Can we put the “largest party forms government” thing to bed now?

Surely this must be the final word on the ongoing “Vote SNP, get Tory”, “Vote SNP, get a UKIP-Green hybrid” and “Vote Green, get lucky with an unwashed activist” nonsense.

Here is the government’s own Cabinet Manual, released in October 2011, subtitled “a guide to laws, conventions and rules on the operation of government”. If you’re so inclined, you can read the whole thing here, but I’ve picked out the important bits below.

You might notice a distinct lack of anything stating “the largest party gets to be the government”…

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Islamic State “furious” at constant snide remarks

A spokesman for the so-called “Islamic State” has launched a scathing attack on the “constant petty, snide and frankly passive-aggressive comments” from western journalists.

“It got old pretty damn quickly”, snarled Muhammad al-Siddiq, supposed director of communications for the group.

“I mean, you never hear Jon Snow referring to the so-called Saudi regime or the pretendy Iranian president. I’ve never seen air quotes around the Taliban’s name. We might have to start addressing our videos to the self-proclaimed ‘journalists’ at Channel 4 News, in the nominal United ‘Kingdom’.”

The statement concluded prematurely as Mr al-Siddiq stormed off, ranting incoherently.

Spot the difference

Signs that Westminster might be panicking slightly:


Vote SNP and you’ll let Labour win! Aaarrggghhh!!

Of course, it could be worse. Labour recently tweeted this portrait of a dystopian future.

A Tory government you didn't vote for? Inconceivable!

A Tory government you didn’t vote for? Inconceivable!

Of course, both of these posters ignore the fact that even if every single Scottish constituency had voted Labour in 2010, we’d still have got the current Tory-LibDem outcome.

Here’s a radical idea – why not vote based on who you think will represent you best?

Health is devolved, Jim

Dear Mr Murphy,

As an experienced politician you are surely aware that health is devolved to Holyrood, yes?

If so, this general election poster makes no sense.


Basically, either Labour know fine well that this is pish and have published it anyway, hoping that you won’t notice, or they have no idea about the current constitutional setup.

Either way, voting for them in May looks like a terrible idea.

Phew! Lucky this large new oil find off the Scottish coast was made after the referendum

Pride's Purge

(not satire – it’s the UK today!)

It’s extremely lucky for David Cameron and the winning NO campaign that the large new oil find off the coast of Scotland announced today was discovered just after the independence referendum.

Because such an announcement could have given the YES campaign a massive boost.

Couldn’t it?

GDF Suez and BP make UK North Sea oil find


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Bungle denies he was ever UKIP deputy leader

bungleFormer children’s entertainer Bungle the Bear today released a statement advising that he is not, and has never been, the deputy leader of UKIP.

The large bear, who starred in popular TV show Rainbow between 1972 and 1992, spoke out after rumours appeared online that he is now employed as MEP for North West England, serving as Nigel Farage’s second in command.

“I think this is probably the funniest thing I’ve ever read about myself on the internet. I’m all for it.”, Bungle told an ITV journalist this morning.

But the he soon poured cold water over the rumours, saying:

“Considering I’d been working on Rainbow for three years before the actual UKIP guy was born, it makes it very difficult indeed for this to be true.”

“But I do find it really funny that people are making things like this up.”

After the No vote

In this, the first in a series of articles exploring the post-referendum settlement, we meet several ordinary Scots who breathed a sigh of relief on the morning of September 19th.

Margaret, 55, from Glasgow East

Margaret from Glasgow East

Margaret from Glasgow East

Margaret had worked in Edinburgh for years, before deciding in 2010 to apply for a new job in London.

“I was really scared that all the time I’d put into my career was going to count for nothing”, she explained. “I finally secured myself a huge pension and a cosy retirement down here where it matters, after slogging away for years in the regional office. It’s all well and good saying the poor and the needy would have been better off, but I have to think about my own career.”

Jim, 47, from East Renfrewshire

Jim from Renfrewshire

Jim from Renfrewshire

Jim worked for the National Union of Students in the 1990s, before taking up a job in London in 1997.

“On a personal level, a Yes vote would have been disastrous”, Jim told us. “Just now I’m earning a basic salary of £66,396 plus expenses in 2013/14 of £196,969.33, so obviously I’m bloody delighted that things turned out the way they did.”

“Hopefully my work over the last few months will stand me in good stead for another promotion soon enough.”

Gordon, 63, from Kirkaldy

Gordon from Kirkaldy

Gordon from Kirkaldy

Gordon worked in London from 1983 until his semi-retirement in 2010.

“I basically stopped showing up for my day job in 2010”, Gordon told us, “so now I spend time giving after-dinner speeches. I’ve made over a million pounds on the side this way, so obviously I don’t want my stature to be diminished by a silly idea like Alex Salmond’s.”


In our next article, we’ll meet some of the less well-off Scots, whom the referendum result has condemned to a future of food banks, illegal wars and marginalisation…