First of all, can I wish you a belated Happy New Year and hope that 2018 is a better year for you than 2017.
In 2017, we had 41 posts, the most posts in a year since 2011. It was a year dominated by the fallout of last years EU Referendum, the SNP’s loss of control of the political narrative and May’s cut and run election which backfired spectacularly. Yet with the exception of the number one on this list (and I suspect you all know what it is), every post in the top 10 was in the first half of the year. Without further ado, lets get to that top 10. Cue The Wizard...
At 10 is a post about the big losers from June’s General Election. The SNP did win the Scottish ‘leg’ of the Westminster Election, but lost more seats net and more voters and dropped more % points than the Tories and “Slipping Through Fingers” explained why Sturgeon’s own ‘Imperial’ phase was over. At number 9 was one of a series of pieces burying the Labour Party (as was). "Dying Before Our Eyes" lamented the paucity of political intelligence among Labour circles, especially when it came to campaigning against closures of local hospital wards recommended by, essentially, QUANGO’s.
At 8 is one of a number of posts about Indyref 2 and why the clamour for an Autumn 2018 vote will lead to disaster. “Asking The Question” was also part inspired by Steve Richards “Leadership Reflections” talks about UK Prime Ministers that was shown on the BBC Parliament channel and was the place that pinpointed the concept of ‘Political space’. Number seven in the list is about another of the SNP’s issues. Mhari Black’s election address was an appealing address aimed at a left of centre audience, which blanked her own parties own rightwards move at Holyrood and “A Lesson in Talking Left and Acting Right” (incidentally a charge I used to level against Gordon Brown) discussed this dichotomy.
At six is a post where I say that the leader of the Labour Party is essentially a “Dead Man Walking”. As it happens, a lot of the criticisms I make are still valid. He’s still not a great orator, he is still not as flexible enough at public speaking though he has improved at the dispatch box. I’m still not sure he’s handled the fallout of the EU referendum well either, though i don’t think he should go down the route advocated by both the SNP and Blair and champion the ‘Remoaner’ cause.
Into the top five and at five is one of the two ‘guest’ posts that appeared in this 10th anniversary year of this blog. Both the Scottish Labour activist Lauren Gilmour and SNP candidate in May’s council elections Brian McGuire wrote guest posts, with Brian’s take on his campaign, “Not To Be This Time” reaching the top five. At four is a post that reads as a harbinger for the post that ends up as number one in this list as it highlight’s the “Yes movement’s” little man Trump problem. “Poisoning The Wells of Scottish Politics” was about the reaction to an article praising Sadiq Khan’s semi-controversial speech at Scottish Labour’s conference, but the (over)reaction among Indy fundamentalists overshadowed what Clare Heuchan actually said.
Three to go, and at three is a post looking at “The Bad Politics of Indyref 2”, as executed by both parties. Essentially the argument here is that if May had any political nous, she’d give Sturgeon exactly what she wants – Indyref 2 this autumn. At 2 was a post looking at the Tories ‘out and proud’ pro-Union campaign and their target seats. “About That Mandate...” asks if what we saw in the Holyrood Elections would happen again, with the Tories and the Lib Dem’s winning seats by putting opposition to Indyref 2 front and centre of their respective campaigns.
This brings us to... well the most read post of 2017. “The Suicide Note For The Yes Movement” was inspired by the reaction to Kat Boyd’s act of hard truth telling on a post election edition of The Sunday Politics in mid July: that left wing pro-Independence supporters were attracted to and voted for Corbyn’s Labour (over an SNP that, as has been said ad nausium here, drifted rightwards) should not have been news to Indy fundamentalists. What was new was the casual throwing away of the ‘Yes Coalition’ by what we should describe as Indy fundamentalists, angry that voters could be ‘tempted’ to vote for a ‘yoon’ party. While this post concerned itself with on-line figureheads of this ‘fundamentalist’ movement – Stuart “Wings” Campbell & James “Scot Goes Pop” Kelly, it also pre-explained why those on-line Indy Fundamentalists, and the SNP, have gone after Corbyn’s Labour with such venom.
So, that’s yer lot for 2017. See you soon for the rest of 2018.