I'm indebted to a certain controversial rapper, because if I hadn't randomly followed a link in one of his tweets, I would be unaware of the fact that Allan Moore has charged me with (almost) singlehandedly destroying the Yes movement. I fear Allan may be overestimating my importance just a tad, but it would definitely be worth it if it was true. Just think of my place in the history books - they'd say the survival of the glorious United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland was all down to that Scot Goes Pop blogger bloke. I'd be the modern-day Churchill.
"We had seen this argument before, with the blogger James Kelly aggressively promoting the 'both votes SNP' argument during last year’s Holyrood elections."
Well, I don't know if that's news to you, but it's sure as hell news to me. In reality, I must have been one of the few people on either side of the debate who went out of my way to avoid using the 'both votes SNP' line, and continually said how unhelpful and inappropriate it was. My main preoccupation was with getting the message out that so-called 'tactical voting on the list' was not feasible, and that people should vote for their first-choice party on the list vote - the more important of the two ballots. In practice, that meant trying to persuade SNP supporters that they should stick with the SNP on the list - because it was SNP supporters who were being targeted by the tactical voting lobby. The SNP weren't going around telling Green supporters that they should 'tactically' abandon their own party on the list.
"As for the both votes strategy it was a success... except it wasn’t. As the SNP gathered their biggest votes ever for FPTP and beat Labour’s record for list votes their success in the FPTP seats worked against them in the list seats while the thing which lost them the cherished majority was, well SNP losses in North East Fife, Edinburgh Western and Edinburgh Central which did for them."
Simply not true. Holding on to those constituencies would have been a 'get out of jail free' card for the SNP, but their failure to do so is not the primary reason they lost their majority. They actually enjoyed a significant net gain in terms of constituency seats, in line with their increased constituency vote share. But their list vote dropped from 44% to 41.7%, and because the overall composition of parliament is essentially determined by the list vote, their overall number of seats naturally fell. If you lose support on the more important of the two ballots, more often than not you're going to lose seats. This isn't rocket science.
"[Cat] Boyd’s appearance provoked obviously a reaction from the one eyed Yessers and also an astonishing response from the aforementioned Mister Kelly of the Scotland Goes Pop blog. Astonishing, because the post to all intents and purposes lays out a manifesto for an ideologically pure pro-Independence drive for votes taking Independence and independence only as the basis for your vote. There is no concession to whether you agree with the SNP on, say, local authority funding, education, taxation or relations with the EU, you vote SNP for independence... or you are the enemy for voting for a ‘Yoon’ party."
First of all, I did not call Cat Boyd "the enemy", and I'm not in the habit of calling either individuals or political parties "Yoons". (Nor, incidentally, is this blog called "Scotland Goes Pop", so I'm beginning to wonder about Allan's attention to detail.) However, it's quite true that I believe (and I think this is a statement of the bleedin' obvious) that a vote for an anti-independence party like Labour is a vote against independence, and that a vote for an anti-indyref party like Labour is a vote against holding an indyref. By the same token, a vote for an anti-European party like UKIP is a vote against remaining in the EU, the single market and the customs union, and people would rightly laugh at you if you tried to pretend it was anything else.
Any party is likely to have policies you disagree with, and so you're inevitably going to end up 'voting for' things you don't actually believe in. For example, I'm not mad keen on the fact that my vote for the SNP was an endorsement of NATO membership. But that didn't stop me, because leaving NATO isn't a high priority for me. And that's the bottom line - voting "proudly" for an anti-independence party doesn't mean that you're no longer in favour of independence, but it does mean you're not that bothered about it in comparison to other things. That's a pretty incredible position for the co-founder of a party that portrayed itself in last year's Holyrood election as passionately pro-independence, and sought pro-independence "tactical" votes on that basis. (Indeed, the 'I' in the acronym "RISE" actually stands for independence.)
"Kelly’s plot was well and truly lost right at the start when he said that RISE were now vulnerable...the point missed by Kelly is that RISE were canvassing for votes from the Radical Independence wing of the Independence constituency, votes that would only go to the SNP tactically anyway."
As RISE received only 0.5% of the national list vote, it's quite difficult (and perhaps not particularly important) to work out who those people were. Nevertheless, there is absolutely no doubt whatsoever that RISE very much wanted SNP supporters to lend them their list votes on a "tactical" basis. A press release was put out to that effect. If the same pitch is made next time around, it'll be undermined by the lack of commitment to independence demonstrated by a leading figure like Cat Boyd. That's the point I was making.