Coffee House

Brothers in arms — Ukip and the SNP are singing the same song

28 April 2014

7:05 PM

28 April 2014

7:05 PM

You don’t mean a thing if your seat ain’t a swing. As this saying goes, political campaigning in safe seats is usually a thankless task — unless you are Nigel Farage. Last week, he managed to pack out The Sage concert hall in ultra-safe Labour Gateshead for Ukip’s biggest ever-public meeting. By going back to the simple idea of touring the country (even the sceptical parts) and giving speeches, Farage is appealing directly to the voters left behind by the other parties. He told the 1,200-odd assembled crowd of my fellow Geordies:

‘We are here to say that Labour used to stand up for the people in this region, but they have turned their backs on you in favour of the European project. Well, UKIP will stand up for you now.’

BuzzFeed also went along and asked 18 people why they support Ukip. Aside from a few Farage fans, the political class has left them all disgruntled. Yet Labour has not quite grasped why Ukip’s back-to-basics approach and policies are appealing to voters. In response to the Ukip gathering, Gateshead MP Ian Mearns spoke of trade unions, not dealing with concerns over immigration:

‘Apart from opposition to the EU UKIP are clearly and simply a party wedded to opposition to workers’ rights and protective legislation. They have nothing to offer working-class voters but a deterioration of their rights at work and a return to individuals being expendable.’

Compare Ukip’s approach to the ever-improving prospects of the SNP and it’s clear that the two parties are now deploying the same tactics. Xenophobic, making coded jibes against our near-neighbours? Check. Small-minded, and seeking to build a greater wall around your country? Check. Some members with crackpot views? Check. Denouncing the ‘Westminster elite’? Check.


And campaigning using old school political hustings? Check. As the leader in this week’s magazine says, it is the old idea of giving speeches in town halls that are behind SNP’s recent success:

‘In Scotland, the debate is taking forms that Westminster politicians do not understand. Those who truly believe that Scotland should be a separate country tend to be evangelical about it. Their strength is in old-style campaigning: meetings held in towns and village halls. The Better Together campaign does not have this zeal — and this is, in a way, understandable. It is harder to evangelise for the preservation of the status quo.’

The mainstream parties are taking a more sophisticated approach. The Tories have hired Obama’s digital guru and are ardently gathering data. Labour recently signed up Obama’s chief strategist while the Lib Dems are using sophisticated voter targeting software. Instead of focusing on winning the mass vote, parties are now primarily concerned, thanks to technological advances, with persuading a core group of swing voters. As Fraser pointed out last year, David Cameron could have won a majority if just 0.02 per cent of the electorate had voted differently. The Westminster parties think they have a better chance of winning this way.

Whether the SNP enjoy being political brothers with Ukip — and they don’t, judging by Angus Robertson’s recent clash with Fraser — both parties are on the cusp of success by challenging the political establishment in the same way. UKIP and the SNP are using the same plague-on-all-your-SW1-houses gambit, both trying to ride a populist wave sweeping Europe.

Neither may reach their ultimate goal of separation from their respective unions (UK and EU) but they have both made politics more interesting and relevant to people previously disinterested. Regardless of whether you agree with them or not, it’s undoubtedly an achievement.

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Show comments
  • EschersStairs

    As soon as they start ranting I skip down the page. I think I read 2 paragraphs.

  • Christian Wright

    I don’t know that I have ever read a dumber analysis than that served-up here by Mr Payne.

    Payne “Xenophobic, making coded jibes against our near-neighbours? Check. Small-minded, and seeking to build a greater wall around your country?”

    Scotland is very pro-EU. The YES camp advocate open borders with iEngland. They desire a currency union with iEngland. What are these walls you say YES wants to construct?

    The only side threatening barriers is the UK Government and the Unionist anti-independence campaign. They tell us iScotland will not “be allowed” to keep the pound or have a cu with iEngland.

    They are the ones who insist iScotland will be barred from EU membership, barred from membership of NATO, barred from membership of the UN. iEngland we’re told will implement border immigration controls between iScotland and iEngland.

    So it is not the SNP or Salmond, or the wider independence movement who advocate building wall, its the Unionists.

    What on earth is Mr Payne havering about?

    Payne “… both parties are on the cusp of success by challenging the political establishment in the same way”

    Has Sebastian EVER been north of Watford? Doesn’t he know that the SNP have been the government of Scotland for the past seven years and have more council seats around the country than any other party? The SNP ARE the political establishment in Scotland. They already have control of the levers of power.

    The YES campaign is not a revolutionary or a protest group, it is a civic and cultural movement for national self-determination driven by the simple notion that tomorrow can be better than today. No’s message is that this is as good as it gets.

    This is a truly appalling article, not because I disagree with its politics, but because it evinces a cartoon understanding of the political dynamic in play in Scotland that inevitably leads to these Mickey Mouse conclusions.

  • allymax bruce

    Seb, I read your article, and found it lacking in direction; other than smear.
    Your article epitomises why the UK is so far behind all the enterprising Nations in Northern Europe; because all you do is proclaim ‘rhetorical smack-down’ in your MSM. It doesn’t work anymore; thinking it does only shows you believe too much in your own bs.

    rUK will continue to die a slow, and agonising, (to watch), death if you don’t start to do something about the imbalance in wealth, representative democracy, social justice, and, most importantly, give England back to the English!

    There’s none so blind as those who will not see.

  • Chris Bryson

    They are both the same is as much as they both promise nirvana by adopting simplistic solutions and blaming some else, the English and the wicked Tories in the case of the SNP and the EU and immigrants in the case of UIP.
    Would that life was that simple!

    • CameronB

      Got any proof or is that your opinion?

  • Tamas Marcuis

    This must be about some other SNP. Not the one currently campaigning for democratic reform and restoration of Scots independence. The party that’s commited to the EU and openly encourages immigration from England and the other contries of Europe. The SNP that most resembles social democratic parties.

    Have you really forgotten how absolutely opposed Scotland was to Thatcher. They wiped the Tories off the electoral map. UKIP is the nasty party of English politics precisely because they are led by people trumpeting glories of Thatcher.
    “SO FAR” they are at origin an English problem. SO don’t go trying to claiming Scotland is playing that game. I moved here to get away from that nonsense.

  • Alastair Barron

    This article is absolute nonsense. UKIP and the SNP are Poles apart (see what I did there?). UKIP has more in common with the Tories and Labour (if you can tell the difference between those two cheeks of the same 4rse) than any other parties.

    • the viceroy’s gin

      …yes, I see what you did there, lad.

  • Endie

    UKIP want to cut immigration while the SNP openly want to increase it. Daubing the word “xenophobic” on each is lazy, loaded journalism with a blatant political goal.

  • Blooflame

    Sure the tactics are the same, there the similarity ends. UKIP are opposed to the present path of the EU not to trade. The SNP actually hate the English…I know I was a victim of that many years back in Arbroath as a Marine based in an SNP heartland. They will embrace settlers from the EU and Asia but not the English! UKIP have the ear of the ‘masses’ and the SNP have the ear of Bigots who’s role model is an anti British, anti Semitic, Drunk American actor.
    The model that the SNP’s masters’ in the EU aspire to is right here…Britain, enduring, encompassing and sustainable. The SNP may or may not win the day, whatever the result, it will be the beginning of the end for this one trick pony. By losing they will perish, if they win, they will be exposed through their inability to add up and thus will perish

    • CameronB

      Perhaps your bad experience in Arbroath(?), was due to historic animosity between locals and the services. People don’t have to like you, just because you exist.

      • Blooflame

        No mate I experienced it. Arbroathians themselves were great, the SNP bussed them in regularly from Dundee for Agg in the ’80’s. That soon died a death being as most of the lads were Scots and northerners. One: you don’t pick on a Marine and two: You don’t pick on a Marine from Scotland. It’s what is said whilst there is trouble that stays with one, i.e. English this and English that which my Scottish oppos took exception to!!

        • CameronB

          And so they should have. There is no place for bigotry in a tolerant society . I certainly wouldn’t tolerate it. 🙂

      • Blooflame

        Cameron, the point is that it is unnecessary, why would anyone take such a shallow stance unless they are hate filled? Arbroathians have no truck with Servicemen there, quite the opposite. I maintain that the SNP are a racist, anti English party and that’s how they are perceived. The crazy thing is that the UK are a mix of each others peoples (certainly down here). When people “up the road” talk of Westminster being remote from their needs and all starts/finishes in London, then welcome to the club! Don’t you think we say that in the Midlands , Lancashire et al? whether it’s Tory or Labour that doesn’t change and the same happens throughout the World. The same will be said of Edinburgh if the vote is a yes.

    • Jambo25

      Funny that my English born wife and friends haven’ experienced this in the various parts of Scotland they live.

      • Blooflame

        Oh Well I must be making it up then eh? You really ought to travel around your own country sonny

        • Jambo25

          I have and have been physically attacked in England a couple of times due to my accent. So have numerous other Scottish friends and relatives ‘sonny’.

          • Blooflame

            I just don’t believe that, it’s total

            • Jambo25

              Of course it is. You just keep telling yourself that. The English are noble beings who would never ever insult or assault a Scot just for being a Scot but the Scots, after all, are evil personified.

  • jazz606

    UKIP and the SNP singing the same song…???!!!
    You’re having a laugh aren’t you ?

    I have a sneaking suspicion that Andrew Neil is telling you guys what to write.

    • serialluncher

      Actually he’s stating the obvious. The politics may be different but the general approach and rhetoric are very similar. Both parties indulge in and promote an “us and them” type mentality. The Ukip “them” includes mainly the EU and immigrants. The SNP “them” is the English (particularly Southerners)”. People who don’t share their respective points of view are seen as lackeys or traitors. They are two peas from the same pod.

      • jazz606

        “…The politics may be different..”

        Precisely and it’s the politics that count.

  • Lady Magdalene

    Since when has it been xenophobic to want to govern your own country; trade globally and run a sensible immigration policy based on quality and quantity.
    I hadn’t realised that the 165 countries of the world not in the EU – including America, Canada, New Zealand and Australia – were all xenophobic.
    Once again the writer has pontificated without understanding what he is wittering on about.
    We want the UK to return to the global “club of nations” which is a far less xenophobic stance that the little Europeans who can’t see any further than their own backyard and are scared of venturing out into the big bad world unless their Child-Minders are holding their hands.

  • Colonel Mustard

    Interesting comments on this article and unelected Barbara Roche coins the new lefty pejorative of “Euracism” for anyone who has concerns about freedom of movement within the expanded EU:-

    • Denis_Cooper

      On the Sky press review last night it was pointed out that while all the other papers led with the story of a teacher being stabbed to death the Guardian had chosen to relegate that to a side column and its front page headline was, as I recall:

      “Cross-party campaign to brand UKIP as racist”

      • Andy

        Ah yes but no can be allowed to oppose the Grand Fascist dream of the EU.

        • Denis_Cooper

          I remember some time in the late 1990’s or thereabouts the BBC reporting from Dover where some men had turned up from the Balkans, Albania I think.

          The reporter asked them why they had come, and one replied:

          “We heard on radio that England need more people”.

          That was Barbara Roche, she’d been to the Balkans and been on the radio and given out that message.

      • Colonel Mustard

        I’m struggling to understand how an unelected woman (who Labour have been trying to parachute unsuccessfully into various “safe” seats) can be reported as leading a “cross-party campaign”.

        Also, a campaign to “brand” a party as racist seems to be an incitement to hatred, but of course political opinion is not included as a criteria under that law. That in itself is interesting because it suggests that free choice is not something that can ever be discriminated against. Therefore the establishment is free to penalise free choice as we saw in Rotherham.

        Something very rotten has been happening in this country of ours.

        • Denis_Cooper

          I suspect that for Roche it has always been and still is about maximising immigration more than it is about the EU; but for the Guardian it is the other way round, above all it is about protecting the EU project.

          • Chingford Man

            I hope this new group gets as much publicity as possible as soon as possible. UKIP hasn’t it won just yet.

    • Augustus

      Yes, what a typically stupid argument to say: “The party is practising what is in effect a form of ‘Euracism'”, and “It is no less offensive to say British families should be wary of Romanians moving in next door than it is to say it of Nigerians or Indians”, when open-door immigration within Western Europe has so obviously been out of control for years. But it’s all part and parcel of a Europe that’s already giving it’s money to countries like Turkey, Serbia, Albania, Armenia, Libya, Ukraine…a veritable Orwellian Eurasia in the making. One is either part of a monopolistic super-state, or prefers to live in a free and sovereign country, responsible for its own laws, devoted to free markets and trade agreements. Not willingly a member of a political construct with an overriding ambition to dictate its policies to a group of nations containing half a billion inhabitants, while forcing one set of taxpayers to pay bills for the failures of others. A construct based entirely on totalitarian centralization and oppressive constraint generally on independent national governments. You can’t reform such an increasing monopolization of power.

  • swatnan

    ‘We’ll meet again … don’t know where, don’t know when, but I’m sure we’ll …’
    Kim Philby ended up in Moscow didn’t he?

  • callingallcomets

    Three weasel posts re UKIP in today’s Speccie….their bosses at the DT have certainly got the sixth formers scribbling hit pieces nineteen to the dozen….I wonder why? Was there some polling over the weekend that knocked them a bit sideways?

  • James Kelly

    Are you on drugs, Mr Payne? What “xenophobic” comments have the SNP made? Can you give even one example? Aye, thought not.

    As for their “crackpot views”, I presume that translates into English as “non-Thatcherite views”.

    The reality is that UKIP slot neatly into the political spectrum between the Tories and the BNP. So we do understand your embarrassment, lad.

    • Andy

      You obviously know nothing of the BNP. You will find that actually the SNP are far closer to the BNP than UKIP are. The BNP is a party of the Left, not the Right.

      • Jambo25

        Of course. The multi faith, multi ethnic membership of the SNP and their social democratic, pro immigration, pro EU ways are just like the BNP. Dear God in Heaven.

        • Blooflame

          Yes, far better to import a rag tag bunch from the sub asian continent who will turn on little scotland in the years to come. Mark my words you’re destroying scotlands cultural traditions. You are neo – socialists who will grind to a halt (economically) short term and it will be your one trick pony party’s fault

          • Jambo25

            “rag tag bunch from the4 sub Asian continent” You’re both a racist and an ignorant twerp. Try harder.

  • saffrin

    I can see why Sebastian Payne would be so fearful of losing his workers rights after writing this boll*x.

  • Chingford Man

    Why does the Speccie damage its reputation by churning out dross like this? Honestly I could have produced something better when I was a kid at school.

    There are some similarities between UKIP and the SNP in terms of how they practise insurgency against LibLabCon. Otherwise the parties could not be more different and only a complete idiot could have written that headline.

    There are also interesting similarities between the modus operandi of the DUP and Fianna Fail and indeed between the DUP and Sinn Fein but to say they were “brothers in arms” would be just stupid.

    Payne, you would better learning your trade in provincial crown courts and the like, as journalists used to do. Or take Lynton’s shilling.

    • Smithersjones2013

      Or take Lynton’s shilling.

      Do they need someone to clean the toilets at CCHQ then?

      • Chingford Man

        I’d steer clear of CCHQ toilets myself.

  • jdmank

    Well that two minutes of my life I’ll never see again, Sebastian Payne, fantasist extrordinaire,
    fact free drivel maybe you would like to come to Scotland and learn a thing or twenty before you write absolute GARBAGE about the SNP.

  • the viceroy’s gin

    So, yesterday, this poor Speccie kid commented that UKIP was basically the same as Call Me Dave’s mob.

    Today, the poor kid says UKIP is the same as the SNP.

    Are you really this witless, lad, that you’d be caught out in such absurdities? You know, being openly jeered at isn’t much of a job recommendation, and from the looks of things, there’s going to be some shake up in Speccieworld shortly. You licksplittles apparently haven’t done a very good job, and the unthinkable appears close at hand.

    • Grey Wolf

      UKIP seems to have shaken the Speccie bubble denizens. Nick Cohen has gone mad and now this.

  • Machina22

    “Xenophobic? Check. Small-minded? Check.” It’s nice to know that’s what The Speccy thinks of a large chunk of its readership. Utterly pathetic that all you can do – like Clegg in the second debate with Farage – is resort to slurs and personal attacks.

    I can’t wait for your chums to get kicked out in 2015 and have the smug smiles wiped off their faces when they realise that, actually, our votes aren’t coming back; we’re fed up of being taken for granted whilst being treated with contempt.

  • Man in a Shed

    Not sure your going to win UKIP troller of the week with this article.

    Must smear harder … ( unless of course you’ve twigged the effect of all this political elite condensention )

  • The_Missing_Think

    For the wrong reasons, the article is right.

    SNP verses LibLabCon…. check.

    UKIP verses LibLabCon… check.

    Or to boil it down further:

    Nationalist verses anti-nationalist (E) Unionist (K)… check.

    It’s no coincidence, that as the middle class elbows are blunted, and their beaks put further and further out of joint, they’ll keep adjusting their stance accordingly. It’s human nature.

    I can’t see it stopping, until one is victorious.

    • Kitty MLB

      Having a little dig at the middle classes are we. The socialist
      party made such a excellent job of things. And if Scotland
      are dragged back to a perpetual socialist utopia like
      the 70s they will not know what has hit them.
      asalord worries about Labour following a Tory agenda,
      it just shows the insane thinking of some.

      • The_Missing_Think

        Yes, sort of, if you view (mandatory) mind defence busting constructive critism as a dig, then yeah… but they are the voting class, to their credit, so the UK’s / England’s fate is in the palm of their hands. Thus, they are the targeted (pampered) class as well.

        And… Nope.

        “The paper concluded that Scotland had “more than enough resources” if it
        had the powers of independence.”

        Two tourist mountain ranges
        Huge surplus hosepipe water.
        Very windy, needs a new design…
        … invented TV and phone ^^design^^
        Whiskey Industry
        Fishing Industry
        Undrilled Oil & Gas resereves
        Nuke base for rent.

      • Jambo25

        The SNP are Social Democratic-centre-right European style Christian Democratic. That of course, possibly does place them further left than the UK mainstream.

        • Kitty MLB

          Thank you Jambo, I was never quite sure of exactly the SNP
          stood on the scale of things.

  • Kitty MLB

    Well, the fact that small parties like these not only have a voice
    but are dominating the political agenda shows how far removed
    from the electorate the governing parties have become, unthinkable at the time of Thatcher. Nigel Farage has said this himself.
    Its rather too easy to link them, Salmond is more politically
    astute then Farage who is more straighforward.
    Mr Salmonds main aim is independence, after that, who knows,
    he has not explained. Farage wants us to have independence
    from the EU, but if thats job done also I have no idea.
    I assume he wants a seat in parliament, Farage is causing major
    damage to the Labour Party. But I do not see too many
    similarities between our little kipper, salmond, and sturgeon,
    except they are making a fish platter out of the main parties.

  • CameronB

    Mr. Payne, I wonder if you even know where Scotland is? I think if you had checked your facts , you would appreciate that the UK is awash with xenophobia roday, thanks to the London parties, i.e. UKIP and the Tories (both blue and red flavours).

    I wonder if you would be kind enough to provide some evidence to substantiate your wild allegations of SNP other-ing.

    P.S. Are the London parties really being “more sophisticated”, by suggesting that one of the oldest countries in the world, does not exist?

    P.P.S. David Aronovitch has already fallen flat on his face with this sort of approach.

  • Smithersjones2013

    There should be a criminal law against bad analysis such as this. Why on earth does Nelson bother with someone so thick as this Payne boy? The similarities between the SNP and UKIP are as superficial as the cheap mindless attempts by Payne to smear both parties simultaneously (another example of slovenly Tory expedience no doubt).

    Of course there is one thing they do have in common. Both parties are making the Tories look like the prize idiots.

    • Lady Magdalene

      Two things in common: their respective members both seem to both like and support their Party Leader.
      Meanwhile, Cameron has driven away half the party membership he had when he became Leader and a sizeable percentage of the remaining 100,000 loathe him.

  • cargill55

    The political system in Britain is now one you would find in a 19th century colony or an autonomous region of a dictatorship with a PR facade of democracy.
    At its base is a political cartel created by first past the post, a monopoly of political donations from self serving big business cronies going to the cartel, zero independent control of what government does in relation to responsibilities and promises, zero local democracy and too little use of referenda, no local primaries, no MP recall, a sycophantic and tribal MSM which works to maintain the cartel and corrupt postal voting system.
    Overlaying this is rule by the EU superstate whose foreign laws are imposed on Britain by Westminster stooges and their quangocrats and bureaucrats.
    The results are clear :
    – our sovereignty has been handed over to the EU
    – Britain’s broken political system has disenfranchised the voters
    – the Liblabcon political cartel consensus has completely gone against the wishes of the British people on most fundamental issues. For example eu, immigration, overseas aid, state finances.
    – the cartel, run by the professional political class and MSM rely on spin, propaganda, PR , lies, deceit, to maintain power with absolutely no interest in doing what is right for Britain
    – endemic cronyism, nepotism in politics.
    -endemic big business lobbying in Westminster and in the EU to buy policies to benefit their businesses
    British politics and democracy are broken, the political,business, quangocrat and bureaucrat elite carves up Britain and the people for their own business, political and personal benefit and Britain will not revive until Liblabcon has gone.

    • the viceroy’s gin

      Yes, but, well, that’s all waaaaaaycism. Hadn’t you heard?

    • RolftheGanger

      And apart from those few minor deficiencies, the Westminster system is broken beyond repair!
      Vote Yes!

      • cargill55

        I would prefer to see the UK continue but with a real federal structure including full English devolution, that’s what Cameron should have agreed rather than a referendum for Scotland .

  • cargill55

    The Establishment must be terrified of UKIP and the Peoples Army
    – Liblabcon are getting people to trawl through UKIP members social media accounts to find anything which can be used in anti UKIP propaganda
    – the MSM is writing hundreds of articles in the biggest smear, sneer, misrepresentation, insult and lie campaign against UKIP , the biggest in Britain’s history, all to protect the corrupt oligarchy of Liblabcon .
    – the EU is using British taxpayer money to employ trolls to propagandise against UKIP
    Well Liblabcon, MSM , EU your propaganda will not work, we are wise to you now, you are the enemy of the British people

  • cargill55

    Yet another appalling smear against UKIP being xenophobic.
    Try all you can, people like you are not trusted anymore.
    UKIP wants controlled immigration and immigrant assimilation

    • Alexsandr

      and the small minded carp too. where does the speccy get people to write such drivel?

      • Smithersjones2013

        Clearly they must kerb crawl the Special Ed schools looking for such ‘talent’

    • you_kid

      Everyone WANTS controlled immigration and immigrant assimilation.
      Why pretend you were the same as ‘them’?

      • the viceroy’s gin

        …whatever it is, an ignorant and poorly educated socialist nutter like you isn’t qualified for it

  • Paul Vickers

    Yes, obviously. As I pointed out in about a year ago and on Twitter many times since.

    Salmond and Farage are both popular, populist, passionate and (largely) single-interest issue politicians.

    Compared to the vanilla-flavoured gruel with which the rest of our politicians feed the 24/7 news outlets, they’re both the real ‘meat and two veg’ – with Tabasco!

    On a world stage, only Putin comes close – hence their admiration for a politicians who has put his country’s best interests ahead of those of other nations.

    • cargill55

      UKIP single issue?
      Complete misrepresentation.
      Costed , comprehensive 2015 manifesto coming out after the EU elections.
      In the main time, comparative analysis of UKIP v Liblabcon policies.
      UKIP v Liblabcon corporate fascists.
      Smaller v big state.
      Sovereign v Britain in a superstate.
      Lower tax and spend v higher tax and spend
      No political correctness or multiculturalism v political correctness and
      multicultural extremism.
      Defend Britain v illegal and unnecessary wars
      Functioning democracy v broken democracy
      Keep nation state v EU superstate
      Controlled v uncontrolled immigration
      Deal with illegal immigrants v let 1 million illegal immigrants stay
      Welfare as a short term basic emergency v welfare as a lifestyle
      Lower tax and spend and balanced books v higher tax and spend and soaring state debt
      Common sense Britain v cronyism, quangocracy, charitocracy, bureaucracy.
      Britain first v Britain last.
      No instant immigrant benefits v immediate immigrant benefits
      EU exit v EU
      Emergency humanitarian aid v £60 billion every 5 years.
      NHS with fewer managers and higher standards v NHS cronyism
      Tough on Law & Order v Soft on Law & Order
      No unnecessary foreign wars v EU/US expansionism

      • Kitty MLB

        Well I am glad the 2015 manifesto for UKIP will come
        out after the EU elections because the UK needs more
        choice politically, and a realistic party which can
        govern a country, the economy, education, welfare
        all the mundate, less glamerous stuff but essential
        for running a country.
        I am sure UKIP are capable but they will need to prove
        themselves, especially as they have no experience
        in the higher levels of government.

    • Smithersjones2013

      and (largely) single-interest issue politicians.

      When that ‘single-interest issue’ is deciding how and who runs the country with all the consequences that would have, I do find such a description sells short what they are actually talking about to the extreme. Both are proposing what are potentially the most radical political changes in the relevant country in at least 60 years.

      The implications of such changes are immense

  • Denis_Cooper


    So a party which is committed to breaking up the present United Kingdom through the separation of Scotland is the same as another party which is committed to maintaining the integrity of the present United Kingdom, and which actually states that in its party constitution apart from having “United Kingdom” in its name.

    It is amazing what profound political insights are available here.

    • Smithersjones2013

      Indeed and a party that is committed to remaining part of the European project at all costs is the same as a party that is committed to invoking article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty at the first available opportunity.

      Poor Sebby had to wear the dunces hat and stand in the corner yesterday. It seems he will have to once again today….

      There isn’t some secret government funded initiative for media outlets to employ upper class dimwits that we haven’t heard about is there?

    • John Ruddy

      You dont see any similarity between two parties that both think they are being ruled from a larger union in which they have no say, and policies are imposed from above without the consent of the people?

      • Smithersjones2013

        Except the SNP want to be ruled by a Union far larger than the Union they are currently ruled by. UKIP wants to recover sovereignty from the EU, the SNP merely wishes to transfer sovereignty to the EU directly (and do so without a separate referendum). Where is the similarity in that?

        • MichtyMe

          The SNP seeks the repatriation of sovereignty to the Scots parliament, how that sovereignty is thereafter exercised, re the EU or any other matter, is for the Scots electorate to decide.

          • Smithersjones2013

            Not according to Alex Salmond and the SNP it isn’t (unless he’s recently changed his mind and I’ve missed it)…..

            • The_Missing_Think

              You’ve not understood MichtyMe’s point, if they want out of the EU en masse, they’ll just
              dump SNP as they dumped Labour in 2011 – note: they vote for what they want, not parlour mind-game charades – so they won’t have to wait 40 years for a vague handdwavey if if if if promise, just 4 years… and they’ve got what they politically want delivered. (again).


              • Smithersjones2013

                And you think that Scottish Labour or Libdems or Tories will keep them out? Good luck with that one…….

          • DaHitman

            They want to keep their sovereignty using other peoples money

      • Jambo25

        No. A pro-immigration, pro EU party which wishes to leave the UK is not the same as an anti-immigration, anti-EU party which is a UK nationalist party. If a SLAB activist, like your good self, doesn’t have the political nous to understand that then no wonder SLAB is in such bother.

    • Endie

      The lad’s not simple: he knows that if he spouts nonsense plenty of us will log in to point out his idiocy. That gets him clicks and engagement and in the world of ad impressions and clickthroughs, pecunia non olet.

  • sfin

    When the Westminster cabal ponders the electorate’s increasing disillusion with politics, this article, pretty much has it in a nutshell.

    On one hand you have politics as a science, a career, for personal advancement, the electorate seen as a target, a numbers game. A politics which appeals to the ignorant with it’s obsession with image, media manipulation and spin.

    On the other you have two different parties practising politics, as it should be in a representative democracy, engaging directly with all of the electorate and asking for it’s loan of power by force of argument. I disagree with pretty much everything that comes out of Alex Salmond’s mouth – but I applaud the SNP’s tactics in appealing to every last voter. Contrast that with the ‘No’ campaign’s Alistair Darling.

    In the end, one could sum it up as the difference between leadership and management. Having experienced both in the military, I know which I prefer.

  • Ricky Strong

    So while one party is trying to engage with the electorate in the traditional way – which really is refreshing – the other three are resorting to use some guru who will help to garner votes without giving an iota of a sh*t about what the electorate wants.

    • Cooper1992

      One needs to remember that…

      the PPE Politicians,
      the Bonus Bulging Bankers,
      and the Metro Moaning Journalists

      …in this country are all one of the same: ‘THE ESTABLISHMENT’.

      UKIP and the SNP both, from different directions, offer alternatives to this little clique that cosy up together to systematically destroy this nation, and then lie about having done so.

      • Ricky Strong

        I wholly concur with you. It just perplexes me as to why so many either do not see this for themselves, or being aware of it, continue to adopt an apathetic attitude. I know people that are furious with our politicians but when you ask for whom will they vote the reply is generally the same – why bother.

    • Lady Magdalene

      As only around 2% o the electorate are of any interest to them, they can’t really complain if the other 98% either vote for other parties or don’t bother to vote.

  • CraigStrachan

    The SNP is not “on the cusp” of electoral success; it already forms the elected and re-elected government of Scotland. It was on the cusp around 1967.

    • chudsmania

      Dont expect Mr Payne to understand this. He’s another in the media bubble who’s never done a real days work in his life. To think he (and the MSM in general lately) gets paid to write such tripe is frankly quite alarming.