Assertions are poppycock (Gordon Harmer)

Brian Nugent must be a believer in E B White’s quote: “Trust me, Wilbur. People are very gullible. They’ll believe anything they see in print.”

He makes the same mistakes he made during the independence campaign; he thinks we are all stupid.

Now some simple maths to show the truth of his assertions in last week’s Sounding off. Shetland SNP membership up 300 per cent? This actually equates out as from a total Shetland electorate of 18,000 we have a total SNP membership of around 300, which then makes SNP membership in Shetland a mere 1.6 per cent of the total electorate.

There were 5,669 yes votes in Shetland, a mere five per cent of which now make up the SNP membership.
Out of the 4.5 million voters in Scotland a mere 2.06 per cent are SNP members, so hardly the huge jump or rocketing membership Brian claims.

The SNP membership is obviously made up of the 37 per cent of Scotland’s electorate who voted yes, so Brian’s assertions are poppycock. All that has happened is a few yes voters have joined the SNP, leaving the no voters where they have always been, in the majority.

Brian also concocts a lament of dissatisfactions with the wide spectrum of new powers being given to Scotland. It is important to remember that these powers were promised not to those who voted yes but to those who voted for the union.

It was those whose loyalty to the idea of union remained, who won those very substantial extensions to Scotland’s ability to manage its own affairs.

The new powers were given to make Scotland stronger as part of the union, not to enable its disconnection from it.

In other words Brian, just to rub it in, as the old Greek saying goes, “to the winner go the spoils”, not to the loser go the spoils.

Just to put Brian right on another point: for two years those who were always going to vote no led in the numerous polls which were regularly conducted. Then, shock horror, a rogue poll indicated a lead for the yes camp shortly before decision day.

The talking shops went into overdrive as the YeSNP side attempted to profit from this poll and the no side worked to correct this apparent gain.

The YeSNP lost their attempt to split the UK in two. In essence, those who were always going to vote no did so, then in accordance with the predicted polling results over two years, went on and won the referendum as expected, to keep Scotland in the union and remain in the United Kingdom.

Therefore Brian, as the loser you should accept the result of the majority. Brian and the YeSNP are the vocal minority still out there, shouting about independence because they did not get what they wanted.

Unless I am mistaken, they wanted independence, not extra powers within the union. If that is what they wanted, then they must be the ones who changed their vote, yet funnily enough they are the same people who proclaim they voted yes.

They are entitled to nothing, except constant reminders that the democratic wish of the Scottish people is to stay with the union.

Gordon Harmer


Add Your Comment
  • Steven Jarmson

    • February 9th, 2015 19:01

    About time someone said something sensible.
    The powers were, as Gordon corrects states, a prize for the No campaign, not the yip people.
    The new powers were to add to Scotland as part of the UK.
    And, Gordon hasn’t added this in his letter, the new powers were agreed by ALL the parties, including the SNP, as an acceptable accommodation of all sides wishes.
    Regardless of what powers are given the SNP will cry.
    They also keep moaning that the powers haven’t been delivered yet, but if they had been delivered by now the SNP would have moaned that the new law to give Scotland powers was rushed.
    They really do think people are, as Gordon so eloquently puts it, STUPID!!!
    The Yip voters keep telling us they’ve moved on from the referendum but it is they who are crying about, the No voters simply point out their idiocy, unfortunately on a weekly basis, as the Yip lot seem to think there is interest in their opinion.

    • Robin Stevenson

      • February 15th, 2015 1:49

      “About time someone said something sensible”, Couldn`t agree more Steven, when would you and and Gordon Harmer like to start?
      IF either of you “Actually” read the article, you`d have noticed that the SNP membership is actually up by 580% where Gordon get`s his figures from is anyone`s guess?
      So, for the sake of the numerically challenged, let me [try] to explain :
      SNP membership [pre ref ]was a mere 46 people, presently, 272, an increase of 580%
      Perhaps Gordon or Steven could tell us the membership of Lab/Con/Lib Dems party membership and the increase since the referendum?

      “It is important to remember that these powers were promised not to those who voted yes but to those who voted for the union”…..

      Really? and who do you think pushed for these new powers Gordon?… Labour? Lib Dems? Tories?….not ONE other party was pushing for anything, [indeed refused to have them on the ballot sheet] so to pretend that “It was those whose loyalty to the idea of union remained, who won those very substantial extensions to Scotland’s ability to manage its own affairs”, complete and utter Bunkum.

      The “Spoils” were created by the SNP, NO other…. and If you like to quote Greek philosophy, may I suggest you study this little gem? :
      “It is impossible to begin to learn that which one thinks one already knows.”….[Epictetus]

      “The new powers were given to make Scotland stronger as part of the union, not to enable its disconnection from it”…

      Huh?…Firstly there are NO new powers given, there are “recommendations” given by the “Smith report”, Secondly, 70% of tax and 85% of welfare is retained by Westminster, now that`s what I call Devo-Max near Federalism….[NOT]

      Sadly, for that “democratic wish to stay within in union”, faded into insignificance after the Indyref, when polls showed [and are still showing] 66% wanted either Independence OR Devo-Max, now Devo-Max has not been delivered, roll on May 2015, where a substantial number of SNP MP`s will [actually] fight Scotlands corner.

      Seems to me that the “Poppycock”, I`ve witnessed, seems to be coming from Mr Harmer and his Britnat pals?

  • Gordon Harmer

    • February 11th, 2015 13:44

    THE high profile ‘vow’ made by pro-union party leaders in the final days of the referendum had no impact on the final result, new research has found.
    And the last TV debate between Alex Salmond and Alistair Darling, which the SNP leader was widely deemed to have won, also had little effect, according to the analysis of web search data.
    The study also showed that the more information that people searched for online, the less likely they were to vote for independence.

    Which just goes to show we researched we found the truth we were not conned and we voted no.
    Neither are we being conned by percentages offered by Mr Nugent and the SNP, the truth is out there, it is being revealed and more will be revealed the closer we get to polling day.

    • Steven Jarmson

      • February 11th, 2015 15:14

      I’ll be reading that link tonight.
      I have to say, I do laugh everytime someone claims that 52% would vote yes today.
      I assume yougov have been running more dodgy polls in pro-Nat areas in order to grab a headline.
      Lets pray it all falls apart for the neo-nats come May!! (nit that there’s much to fall apart)

      • Robert Duncan

        • February 12th, 2015 11:58

        YouGov conduct their polls online.

        Whatever you think of them, they are rather more reliable than Google Trends data.

      • Gordon Harmer

        • February 12th, 2015 14:07

        Robert, you must know that YouGov and Panelbase was mobbed by the YESNP before the referendum to give a false impression the polls were going their way. Websites and social media sites were full of SNP and yes activists telling their supporters to register in the beginning with Panelbase and laterally with Yougov.

        Online polls are easily influenced by groups registering with them as was proved in the run up to the referendum, every yes Facebook page instructed their sycophants to register so as to give a false result. That is what caused the hiccup a few days before the referendum which made Westminster panic and introduce the Vow which whatever you say has been proved to have made no difference to the no vote.

      • Robert Duncan

        • February 12th, 2015 16:43

        Mr Harmer,

        Do you suggest the same happened to Ipsos Mori and ICM, who also reported a narrowing of the gap?

        I think your view of the polls is rather simplistic and again reflects your own bias on this issue. Panelbase certainly used questionable sampling and questioning practices but YouGov are a very reputable pollster who’s results were largely in line with general trends and the final result. Do you really think their polls are so crude and simplistic as to be manipulated that easily? I think they would have a rather difficult time convincing anybody with funds to commission a poll were it so open to abuse.

      • Robert Duncan

        • February 12th, 2015 16:45

        To say The Vow has been “proved” to have had no effect is just complete and utter nonsense. The study you highlight suggests that, arguably with some reasonable evidence (very arguably, I would say) but even were we to accept the validity of that study, it does not “prove” anything.

      • Gordon Harmer

        • February 12th, 2015 17:37

        Robert of course online polls are open to abuse with a large enough organisation like the YESNP and plenty of obedient followers even YouGov were open to abuse.
        How are they rather more reliable than Google Trends data, both Panelbase and YouGov got the result wrong but yet the same Google Trends data method which you belittle, predicted 45% would vote yes, I rest my case.

      • Robert Duncan

        • February 12th, 2015 20:16

        YouGov and Panelbase’s final polls both came in at 45% Yes…

      • Gordon Harmer

        • February 13th, 2015 18:31

        Poppycock Robert, Excluding don’t knows (6% in this survey by YouGov), the figures are the same as in our last poll six days ago: No 52%, Yes 48%.

        A significant gender gap has persisted to the end. If only men had the vote, Scotland would choose independence by 54-46%. However, women prefer to remain in the United Kingdom by a larger 57-43% margin.

        YouGov questioned 3,237 electors between 15 and 17 September. This is by far the largest poll conducted during the referendum campaign.

        If you do not do your research Robert you tend to look a bit on the silly side, did you think I had not looked it up.

    • Richard Richardson

      • February 14th, 2015 15:18

      There is considerable evidence from around the world that constitutional change votes invariably lead to a “no change” vote by a few percentage points more than opinion polls once people get to the voting station.

      The Vow could just as easily have hardened the yes vote as boosted the no vote. So not a factor in the outcome from what we know.

  • iantinkler

    • February 15th, 2015 11:37

    Robert Duncan, do you make it up as you go along, just for the sake of argument? How about a bit of rationality, better the stay quiet and appear foolish than write rubbish and dispel all doubt!

  • Robert Duncan

    • February 16th, 2015 0:27

    Yes, I apologise, Gordon, I posted the figures from memory and clearly remembered the figure including DKs rather than pure Yes/No. Still, 48% Yes is firmly within the margin of error, rather different from getting the result “wrong”. I’m not sure the relevance of the other paragraphs in your most recent comments.

    I do not put much weight on individual polls. To do so I think suggests a misunderstanding of how polls work and what they mean. The “poll of polls” for the independence referendum delivered a high degree of accuracy, and those clutching at outliers on either side show their biased views. I feel similarly about this single study, and expect had it pointed the other way you would be among the first to dismiss it as nonsense. Certainly, to claim that it “proves” anything is naive in the extreme.

    Ian Tinkler, if you care to make a substantive point, do feel free.

    • Gordon Harmer

      • February 16th, 2015 16:24

      Robert, the other paragraphs are not relevant they are just part of the piece I copied and pasted from YouGov. The poll of polls was bang on but that was taken from an average percentage of all the polls published at the time. Which all goes to show that the Google Trends data which you took with a pinch of salt was actually accurate and does add credibility to their claims that the Vow changed no ones vote on any side.

      i copied

      • Robert Duncan

        • February 16th, 2015 19:40

        I certainly know, anecdotally, that some “swithering” friends and family were ultimately convinced by it. I acknowledge this study provides some evidence that its effect was negligible, but my sole point here is that it was a single study, with a relatively untested methodology, and as such must be viewed within the wider context. It is irresponsible to trumpet it as “proof” of one thing or another.

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