Saturday, May 05, 2007

Iain Dale forgets to turn off Microphone

Funniest part of the Election Coverage must go to Iain Dale at about 11ish this morning, whilst listening to the audio feed on 18DS he announced he needed to go and left his fellow announcers rather rapidly, sounds of them carrying on but in the background sound of walking , door banging and thunk, then loud, long fart and a good groan and then silence, thank god he was cut off in his prime, anyway couple of minutes later he arrives back in the studio saying he had urgent call of nature. One of the guests says "hope you turned your Mic off"

He hadn't! Priceless.

P.S. Was enjoying the coverage on 18DS before this.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Salmond's Victory in Gordon gives him the keys to Holyrood

Alex Salmond has led his party to victory in the Scottish Elections but has still to form a government in Scotland as he will have to go into coalition with other parties. It is likely to be the trough slurping Lib Dems as the major partners. I can't see the SNP managing to get into bed with any of the other parties. Even this won't be enough to give them a clear majority so it may just be a minority Government.

Alex Salmond meanwhile has claimed a great victory for himself by getting elected in Gordon. He took on a long shot and his victory gave the SNP's the seat they needed to best Labour. Anyone disputing his right to be First Minister will have a tough job.

So onwards to the Referendum. Once we have got that out of the way and rejected it, we can really find out what the Scottish Political Landscape is like, as the SNP lose their reason for existing and scatter to the other parties. Could be interesting, especially as England will be suffering under MaCavity for the next couple of years.

Hat Tip to Blue Moon on PB for pointing out the impact of the result in Gordon.

P.S. Lost in England one grumpy dour Brown bear, answers to the name of MaCavity. Known to hibernate in strange faraway places when bad news is on the go.

Salmond achieves Holyrood victory

SNP biggest party in Holyrood. McConnell Humbled

They will have 47 Lab 46. Macavity now gone into hiding in England somewhere. Will he ever come back to Scotland.

Blair's Springboard to Oblivion

Brown showing what he would do to Blair.

Whilst MaCavity Brown has been hiding in a deep dark damp place in the bowels of No 11 in case any part of this Labour Disaster might reflect on him, across at No 10 Blair appears to be living in a fantasy world where facts are mangled and fiction becomes the truth.

Despite losing 500 seats, the Tories eating into his heartlands and the SNP the biggest party and with the most MSP's in Scotland, Tony Blair has insisted Labour has a
"good springboard"
to win the next general election.

BBC political editor Nick Robinson, assessing the picture across Britain, said:
"By any conventional measure, if we look at Labour and don't think about their opponents, this is pretty dire."

BBC NEWS | Politics | Blair defiant despite poll losses

Scottish Elections ruined by vote problems

The Scottish Elections in 2007 for the Scottish Parliament and Local Councils will go down in history as the most inept and inadequate ever. They are worse that those that dogged the 2004 American Presidential elections and to hear Labour, as usual blaming it on anyone else but the Scottish Executive is beyond belief.

At the moment it looks like over 100,000 spoilt ballot papers have been (not) counted in the Scottish Parliamentary elections, no figures for the council elections are appearing yet but they will likely be as bad.

In addition to this the count has been suspended in seven places either because of system problems or recounts because of the vast number of spoilt ballots and what must now be a complete lack of faith in the system.

None of these problems will be news to people who have been reading the Scottish Blogs during the election as they have been highlighted many times.

What happens next, there will be an inquiry and as usual no one will be held responsible, but there is a likelihood that there may be legal challenges as this size of problem has never been encountered before. I foresee a number of challenges that may go on for some time leaving the real result in doubt for many months.

Human rights lawyers will no doubt be rubbing their hands with glee this morning with the thought of how much money they can make from this.
Rumours will soon be going round that Cherie Blair has arrived in Scotland to see if she can get her snout into the trough as Tony has given up his day job.

No doubt there will also be a number of former or budding politicians who will also be looking at challenging the results.

So what does this mean to us the voter (spoilt or not).

Without a doubt it shows that our level of interest in Politics has diminished when we cannot be bothered to learn how to vote. The information has been there and the help has been there. If we can't be bothered to notice that there were new ballot papers and new forms of voting then to an extent we have only ourselves to blame.

However we have also the fact that various organisations warned the Scottish Executive about combining the two types of voting on one day. Whilst it was no doubt cheaper and should have been more efficient, it has confused voters as to whether they should mark with a cross or with numbers. Scotland managed before when the elections were not held on the same day.

Right now we have become a third world country in terms of Electoral Competence, we will be a laughing stock to many countries whom we have looked down on in the past years. This is yet another in the long line of incompetent decisions made by the Scottish Executive and will live on to embarrass them for many years.

The result of the election will not now be known until much later today, though from indications it will be very close. After watching the coverage last night I was appalled at the stumbling and mumbling Jack McConnell after his declaration, if he retains his position as First Minister it may be time to flee the country, he is nearly as much of a joke as the elections. I just hope the SNP do get most seats and we get a change, it can only be better for Scotland.

Update: This story from one of the returning officers is worth a read.

More stories of incompetence appearing all over the place. A Wifie was on BBC Radio Scotland news at lunchtime as I was driving home saying at her Polling Station the plastic boxes had failed/broken and the returning officer was stacking the papers up on the floor next to him. So much for secrecy/security/honesty etc etc etc. Apparently she complained and the officer was rude to her. She is chasing the matter up with Chief Returning Officer.

Another woman from Aberdeen detailed how she had not received her postal vote which is again appearing to be a common problem.

Counts still going on.

Elections marred by vote problems

Aberdeenshire is Labour Free again

All the results for the Aberdeenshire Local Elections are in and the best news is that there are no Labour Councillors in the whole of Aberdeenshire yet again.

State of play after all counts is
Liberal Democrats 24(-4)
SNP 22(+7)
Conservatives 14(+3)
Independent 8(-6)

Aberdeenshire Council - Local Election Results 2007

Bruce Luffman and Marcus Humphrey Retain their seats.

My local Conservative councillors have both retained their seats, Congratulations. Aberdeenshire Council - Elections - Ward -

Spoilt Ballot Party ruins Scottish Elections

As previously warned both the E-Count system and the complications of new voting methods is making a joke of the Scottish Elections. Anniesland has just declared over 7% spoilt Ballots. If this goes on the Spoilt Ballot party will come in either 4 or 5th in the Election defeating the Greens.

This is shocking, it is a travesty and makes us look like a third-rate nation. A total rethink will be necessary and I would suggest their will need to be an Official Enquiry.

Don't also forget with the rate of spoilt ballots the whole election could now be in jeopardy and open to legal challenge. The rate is now overall at about 4-5%.

Countries like Zimbabwe and Nigeria will just be laughing at us. This is just another low point for the Scottish Executive.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Live Blog 3 - Last one just won't edit

From PB

Sean T; there are no exit polls because they’re vastly expensive. I led national polls for Harris for ITN in the 1987-92 period and they cost a couple of hundred thousand pounds even then. Regional polls really wouldn’t be much cheaper, as they still need the sample size and the number of sampling points to be valid.
The audience for other than a general election will not justify the cost for the media. We’re just going to have to keep watching real results - elsewhere and here!

by Robert Waller May 3rd, 2007 at 11:08 pm

23:36 Fog stopping Ballot boxes from Barra. Will be midday before count complete.

23:38 BBC reports turnout may be up to 60%

23:44 SNP contact in Inverness East Nairn and Lochaber still taking down signs,

23:48 5 mins to Wishaw declaration!

23:57 Mr Eugenides reports: Stirling is Michael Forsyth's old [Westminster] seat, and the Tories are trying desperately to take it "back". They require a swing of just under 5% to capture it from Labour.

My man inside the Stirling Tory campaign says - and this is hard information, by the way - that the Tories were ahead on the postal vote, with the SNP pushing Labour into third. With half the ballots now counted, the SNP are in pole position - just - with the Tories second and Labour still third. The remaining votes are, they think, from more rural areas of the constituency, which tend to be more Tory. It's going to be tight.

Nick Robinson of the BBC says Our boffins behind the scenes are analysing in detail the results in a few key wards. They tell me that the the early signs suggest this may not be as bad a night for Labour in England as had been anticipated. It may instead be the Lib Dems whose support is down on last year.

00:33 Mr eugenides reports
Radio Scotland have Annabel Goldie ahead in West Renfrewshire. Our Lady of the Doilies, much maligned (and rightly so) has had a good campaign: it would be a terrific result if she can come from third to boot out the egregious Trish Godman, of Labour.
00:34 Jack Mcconnell holds Wishaw, majority cut by 3500 and he is struggling to put brave face on it. This is dire, If he is our leader again we might as well flush the toilet on any hopes in the future.

00:38 hearing reports SNP doing well in ABerdeen south (Nicol Stephen), Please god let that be true.

00:43 Nearly 1,000 spoilt ballots in Wishaw. How thick are some people? Jesus.

00:51 Nick Robinson is continuing with the BBC line as follows

Some early signs of how the Tories are doing in the north. The party says that they are on course to become the largest party in Bury and to make gains in Crewe and Nantwich. The official results are not yet in. Sounds good - at first.

These areas used to have Tory MPs and these are councils they really need to take control of. So, the verdict will be likely to be good, but not good enough

00:52 Mcconnell back on the BBC, very nervous and halting, What a Gawwp. Hopes he has won confidence of Scotland. Almost stuttering, and mumbling and now onto pathetic manifesto speak.

00:56 he's getting worse and worse, he is dying on screen, He accuses others of being arrogant but declines to name them, what a prat.

God he is awful, accusing others of being arrogant but afraid to say who. Worst interview of a winning candidate I think I have ever heard.

If he is still our First Minister we should just turn into lemmings and jump off the nearest cliff.

01:10 Dr Hfuhruhurr has information from Gordon that Salmond is neck and neck there.

01:11 Parliamentary vote in Kelvin has over 1100 votes spoilt!

01:13 Dundee West to the Nats from Labour, Meltdown starting hopefully.

01:15 Swing was 6.8% Again spoilt votes very high. This will cause a big problem for the new parliament.

01:17 Everyone remarking on spoilt votes. I spent ages educating people how to vote what is so difficult about it. Next time we will have to take names and go round with the heavy mob.

01:22 Looking really bad for Lab in Wales may it continue.

01:28 Tartan hero reports
1.10am Gordon Jackson has just been overheard saying "there is no coming back from this" ... more or less conceding defeat... Nicola Sturgeon about to be declared the new Govan MSP.
On the three results declared across Scotland, the SNP vote is up 10%, Labour down 1%.

01:39 Tories holding Galloway & Upper Nithsdale.

01:40 With 3 results in nearly 3400 spoilt ballots, last time less than 500. What a disaster!

01:48 , What a prat Bill Butler a rant about heckling made him look stupid. Yet again a huge number of spoilt votes in Anniesland.

01:58 Shock News Spoilt Ballot Party take 4th place in Scottish Elections just behind Tories

02:13 Dundee is now totally SNP, Their first ever city.

02:29 my final entry I have to be up in 4 hours. It looks like Alex Salmond has won Gordon, great result for the SNP and kick in the teeth for the Lib dems. Hopefully this will continue into West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine and the Tories kick out the Lib Dems.

Have fun!

03:10 One final entry as Salmond wins Gordon and says that Postal Voting arrangements were totally inadequate, Also the fact of having the two different elections at the same time has invalidated thousands of votes. It's going to be tight, it will probably go down to the Western Isles tomorrow.

Now must go.

Live blog 2 - Live bloggers in Scotland

23:13 Picked this up from Doctor Vee ,just having a wander around.

23:15 First result from Motherwell & Wishaw expected within 30 mins. ?

23:17 Live coverage of Scottish Elections on BBC Parliament here

Live Blog Time

In rural Aberdeenshire people still voting late on met a couple just walking down at 21:30 and the Polling station was quite busy. Hopefully a good turnout, itching to see change in Scotland.
Might grab a quick wee dram but work and a drive in the morning beckons so it will only be a little one.
SNP claim they are challenging Labour closely in Glasgow Kelvin. Could be the first seat to declare.

10:48 Finally got kids to bed , wife watching Question Time on Sky (Channel 974-988 ) as its not on in Scotland.

22:51 Now got QT up on in internet hoping for Patsy to have a hard time, she would be gone by now if the elections weren't on. She is the sacrificial lamb for tonight.

22:53 just as I write that the question is should Patsy resign, apparently the most asked question!

22:57 Patsy at her patronising worst!

22:58 Caol Ila in hand, tasty

22:59 Patsy getting hard time what a shame!

23:04 newsnight saying indications turnout up in Scotland

23:05 test on PB says


Guardian story on briefing doc for Labour ministers tonight

“The first of three “key messages” ministers were briefed to explain reads: “This was always a very tough set of midterm elections for Labour. However we fully respect the message the British people is sending us this evening.”
It offers recommended answers to questions about the party’s unpopularity and the handover of power to Mr Brown. Initially, ministers were told they should say: “Let us wait and see what the results are before engaging in speculation. We will know soon enough.” Once the results began to come in, the paper said ministers should reply: “We are midway through an unprecedented third term. All governments experience midterm setbacks at the polls. In the end what matters is we have the right policies to take the country forward and take the tough decisions for the long term.”

Voting is over, roll on the Count

Voting has stopped, now all we need are the results, here's hoping for a change in Scotland.

Live Blogging from Deepest Aberdeenshire

I'll be adding my tuppence worth on what's going on around the UK for a while tonight, but as work calls early tomorrow it may be an early bath.

Thanks to Matt Wardman for the opml file, makes it easy to keep up with all the action.


How to vote in West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine

Well after getting home from work, the wife and I have wondered down to the Polling Station and voted.

I surprised myself by adding an extra vote on my council election slip by giving a 3 to the SNP candidate, it might just help ensure that Labour and the Lib Dems don't get in. This is the first time in 30 years of voting I have ever given any part of my vote to anyone else but the Conservatives, which just goes to show how much this country needs a change from the current government.

Whilst the polling station wasn't very busy there were a few people wandering in whilst we were there, so if you haven't voted, get down their and get voting.

Prepare for Patsy!

Patsy (Best Year so Far) Hewitt will be patronising, deceiving and just lying on Question Time tonight at 10:35pm. Please will the rest of the Panel (William Hague, Charles Kennedy, Oona King and Tim Collins) giver her the kicking she deserves.

Some of these stories might help for some hints.

Meanwhile if you haven't voted, get out there and do your democratic duty.

Question Time | This week's panel

Blair 'will not quit yet as MP'

Brown showing what he would do to Blair.

Strange how this story came out today. Will this be the last spin of the Blair top. I'm predicting a kicking for Labour in Scotland so hopefully he will get the message and do the decent thing tomorrow.

Blair 'will not quit yet as MP'

When will the results be known

The following sites have timetables of when the results are projected to be known.

Scottish Parliament and National Assembly

English and Scottish local authorities:

I suspect that I will be in bed when they start to come in as I am working on Friday.

Meantime get out there and vote, vote for change and kick the Labour Party out of Scotland.

Hat tip to Stuart Dickson on Political Betting even if he is SNP. » Blog Archive » Who’ll win the polling battle of Scotland?

Go forth and Vote!

How to Vote in WAKHow to vote in West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine

The Herald has published details of a Telegraph poll by YouGov perhaps the only poll that forecast the last elections results in Scotland accurately. According to the Herald

A YouGov poll for The Daily Telegraph today gives the SNP a six-point lead over Labour in the constituency vote, with 37% against 31%, with Tories 13%, LibDems 14% and others 5%. The regional vote has the parties on SNP 32%, Labour 27%, Tories 13%, LibDems 10%, Greens 9% and others 9%.

The paper said those figures translated into seats would give the SNP 45 over Labour's 39.

I popped these results into my favourite calculator over at Scotland Votes and they gave the SNP one more seat.

What is even more apparent from these figures is that every vote will count for the first time in a Scottish election. The proportional outcome is expected to see a radical shift in the distribution of power across the nation's council chambers.

So remember how to vote correctly. A good example is shown below.

And finally good luck to Stewart, Bruce and Marcus for today!

How to Vote in WAKHow to vote in West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine

The Herald : News: HEADLINE NEWS

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Update: Brethren Cautioned on SNP placards removal

In an update to this story it appears that the 5 people were members of the Brethren Church. Make of that what you will!

Five men have been cautioned by police after Scottish National Party placards were removed in Aberdeenshire.

I wonder who they might have been considering the constituency is Gordon!

Cautions on SNP placards removal

Stewart Whyte or Trough Feeding Lib Dem

Just received the latest version of what purports to be the West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine News. It is in fact an election document from the Lib Dems full of their usual bar charts, half-truths and deceptions.

The biggest deception is of course the format and title. Have a look at the image below. The first thing to notice is that nowhere on the front does it say this is a piece of Lib Dem propaganda, no it purports to be "News" and tries to look like a free newspaper.

In fact it has nothing to do with news as can be seen from the next image which is the main headline.
Are the lib dems so dim they don't know who their opposition is. Good though to see that they are predicting a close contest here.

The title is just so typical of the Lib Dems who though purporting to be the "nice" party are in fact the most underhand, sleazy, condescending and just plain dishonest of all the major parties, which when they have Labour to compete against says something.

Perhaps if the headline had said

STEWART WHYTE or the Trough Feeding Lib Dem
it might have been more honest.

Then we could have had a couple of bar charts of number of mortgages taken out by the Lib Dem and then a profit from our money bar chart (£40000 and counting).

If you had any doubt about who to vote for before this should have made your decision just that little bit easier.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Patsy lying and dying in House off Commons

According to Dr Crippen , Patricia (Best year so far) Hewitt is lying and dying in the House of Commons this afternoon.

According to an E-Mail from a BBC producer

Patricia Hewitt is speaking in the House of commons right now - apparently the MTAS security breach was Channel 4 News' fault because they left 2 hours between finding out about it and contact the DoH press office.

She also just said 'there is no evidence that members of the public, or any other authorised people, other than ITN/Channel 4 News accessed the data',. This got enormous laughs and cries of 'yer what? Yer what? Yer what yer what yer what?' from the opposition benches.
Dr Crippen ends off as follows:
Hewitt is being both dishonest and disreputable.

* I am not a junior hospital doctor.
* I am not registered with MTAS.
* In this context I am a member of the general public. I was able to access details of applications on the MTAS site, and did so.
* Many others did so too.

The security of the MTAS site was appalling. Victoria Macdonald is a highly respected Channel 4 journalist and the attempt somehow to blame her, or Channel 4, for the MTAS problems is disgraceful.

This now goes beyond political rough and tumble. Hewitt has lied to the House of Commons.

Time she resigned.

I can only echo those sentiments and judging by the traffic I am getting to this article from the NHS so will many Junior (and other)Doctors.

NHS Blog Doctor: Hewitt on the ropes in the House of Commons

Napier's Commission

As well as being a really useful tool for one of my other interests, Family History, the documents here recently made available online for the first time are a timely reminder of why Scotland would like to be able to have a decent say in it's government and future state.

Even reading the first few pages, when one of the crofters interviewed, refuses to say anything until he has a guarantee that his Landlord will not either turf him out or burn him out, brings a sense of the hardships endured not much over a hundred years ago and which had been in place for many years.

Lochaber College Mallaig - Napier's Commission

Some Light Relief

After "Combeing" the land I have found at least there is one Mackie who knows how to use his head.

Vote early, vote often

According to David Hencke, the Guardian's Westminster correspondent, this Thursdays elections across the country

could go down in history as the point when fraud, corruption and mismanagement made a mockery of the electoral process in Britain.
The reason is because of all the new experimental voting and counting procedures which have not been properly thought out. Worse, some of the experiments have been based on laws that, ministers have just discovered, were not properly drafted in the first place.

I have already taken a look at the demise of the secret ballot here. The BBC has a report here that over 20,000 postal votes have dropped off the register in Birmingham since the last election, when massive fraud was discovered after the elections. And I posted earlier on the new E-Count system where I said
As this is the first large scale use of the system you would have thought the numpties on the Scottish Executive (Labour/Lib Dems) would have had enough sense to at least follow some of the calls of the Electoral Commission who asked for e-counting to be independently verified more than three years ago to boost voter confidence but nothing has been done.
So what confidence can we have in the election counts being correct, secret and fair. It's time to rethink this mess and get back to some semblance of fairness to both voters and candidates, before we become as suspect as countries like Zimbabwe or Nigeria.

Vote early, vote often

Hotmail's antispam measures snuff out legit emails, too | The Register

I see the ever so secure Microsoft are deleting your valid e-mails if they think they might just be spam.

Whilst everyone detests spam it would be nice if valid e-mails , which could be important. did arrive in a timely fashion.

Now whilst you can accept the fact that this might happen occasionally, you would presume there would be some simple way of determining why this might have happened and how it could be resolved, but apparently "Big Brother" Microsoft does not want this to happen.

In the end it's really quite simple, abandon the big ship Microsoft.

Micro Softs Hotmail's antispam measures snuff out legit emails, too

Monday, April 30, 2007

Last gasps from a dying Labour Party

Are these the final plaintive gasps from the dying Labour Party.

According to the Independent, Jack McConnell has launched an appeal for a cross-party alliance of Labour, Tory and Liberal Democrat voters to stop the SNP winning.


Mr McConnell said Tory and Liberal Democrat voters should back Labour as the "only way" to stop Alex Salmond, the SNP leader, taking power after a YouGov poll put the SNP on 38 per cent, eight points ahead of Labour, and on course to become the biggest party at Holyrood.
I can think of only one appropriate response to this suggestion. Turn away if easily offended!

Labour braced for dual Celtic challenge

How to Vote in West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine

The above picture(Click to enlarge) show you how to vote in the West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine constituency for elections to the Scottish Parliament, for Stuart Whyte and the List vote, and also for the Local Government Elections in Aboyne, Upper Deeside and Upper Donside for Bruce Luffman and Marcus Humphrey.

So if you are at all confused just follow the above instructions and all will be well.

Remember not to to fold your voting slips.

This is a follow onto to the entry here about Labour dying in Scotland.
Posted by Picasa

Daily Mail website still down.

I see this Daily Mail website is still down.

You should have a quick look here as Adam Boulton riles Patricia (Best year so far) Hewitt.

MTAS is currently unavailable

Recognise NHS success, says Blair

Should be a short Speech!

Hat tip I'm Backing Blair for the Image.

BBC NEWS Politics Recognise NHS success, says Blair

Labour is Dying. STV to Blame.

No, its not a disease, The Herald has the article attached showing how a combination of events will mean that Labour will suffer during the forthcoming council elections in Scotland. Now this is not something to worry or cry about too much as it their just desserts for years of inadequate and dishonest government.

What is really worrying for all involved in Politics is the fact that only roughly a quarter of people in Scotland know about the new Single Transferable Voting (STV) system and only 4 in 10 had even heard about it. Roughly a third of the population had not even heard that STV was going to be used.

James Mitchell, a politics professor at Strathclyde University, interpreted the findings in the Herald as follows:

"People are not only willing to vote differently in list and constituency votes, but also in local council elections. Given that people are showing some sophistication in using their votes in different ways, you can see this would continue under STV.

"But many people do not understand the system, and it is pretty unlikely they will learn about it by polling day.

"This suggests it would have been better to have local government elections on a separate day, running a more successful public information exercise in tandem with what the parties were doing."
Now I would say that there has been plenty of information available, both via the mailshot, in the media and available online.

Unfortunately most of it has been ignored, as it has arrived or been seen to be part of the great "Election Bumph Delivery" that drops on your doorstep, most of which is permanently filed on arrival by a number of methods.

So be aware of the new Voting system and use your vote(s) wisely and of course correctly on the Conservative Party.

A reminder this does not apply to Postal Voters whose votes will already have been mislaid/stolen/removed or just in general tampered with.

The Herald : Politics: MAIN POLITICS

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Stewart White -

After a tip from Iain Dale I find out that my prospective Conservative MSP is/was leading the voting for the sexiest male MSP candidate, this may be a shock to him!

It was definitely a shock to my kids and their friends who were quite amused by this and have maybe helped a bit in the voting! They are pupils of his at Aboyne Academy.

If the results of this vote are anything to go by, he will be a definite for West Aberdeenshire amd Kincardine MSP.

Sexy MSP