Sunday, May 14, 2006

Scottish Raj Poll

From the Sunday Herald:

Anti-Scottish bias could crush the ambitions of both Brown and Reid

By James Cusick, Westminster Editor

WITH Gordon Brown and John Reid tipped to be the main contenders to fight for the post-Blair crown, Labour could face an uphill struggle when it comes to the next general election, a new poll has revealed.

Both men are Scots with Scottish constituencies and, according to a BBC survey published today, being an MP north of the Border could damage their chances of remaining Prime Minister.

According to the ICM poll for the BBC’s Politics Show, broadcast today, 52% of people asked said they thought it "wrong" that in the era of the Scottish parliament a Scot should become Prime Minister of the whole of the United Kingdom, 45% said they did not mind and 3% said they did not know.

The Scots, of course, did not mind at all, with 75% of those polled believing it right that a Scottish MP should be elected to Britain’s top political job.

But what will most worry the Labour Party – and be music to the ears of the Tories – were the poll results from the southeast and north of England as well as Wales. An estimated 59% of southeast England voters thought it wrong that a Scottish MP should be PM. The equivalent figures for the north of England and Wales were 54% and 55% respectively.

Brown and his advisers have long known the inherent prejudice that the BBC poll reveals. The Chancellor’s recent speeches on the importance of "Britishness" are said to have been designed to mask his own Scottishness in a Britain where devolved powers mean that the Prime Minister – if he is a Scottish MP – will be trying to form policies at Westminster that will not necessarily apply to Scotland.
"Anti-Scottish bias" and "inherent prejudice"? No, anti-Scottish Raj and an inherent desire for justice. Of the 21 ministers and law officers in the Scottish parliament only one was not born in Scotland. English affairs, on the other hand, are run by numerous Scottish-born MPs with Scottish constituencies. If the Sunday Herald’s Westminster editor is so keen to expose prejudice perhaps he should take a look north of the border.

It’s interesting that the BBC has chosen not to make a big deal out of the findings of this poll. The cost of commissioning a poll is usually justified by getting as much mileage as possible from the results. However, only the Sunday Herald and the Glasgow Sunday Mail appear to have been tipped off ahead of the broadcast and BBC news is ignoring the findings altogether. The Corporation normally jumps at the chance to plug its own programmes but there’s nothing online and I haven’t heard the poll mentioned once on any of the Sunday morning news and politics shows. Why is that?

Update 11am. Still nothing on the poll at the BBC politics page, but there is a link to this 'news' item which, frankly, could've been written by someone at Number 11.

Update 10.15pm. The poll was finally reported as a news item at 5.15pm, but only at the Scottish section of BBC online. Obviously the BBC doesn't want to encourage the "inherent prejudice" of the English.

(More at UK Polling Report and Political Betting)


Anonymous Rog said...

Seems to be on the Beeb as of 17:15....

(Un)surprisingly, pretty low-key though.

9:48 pm  
Blogger DFH said...

Noted rog. Thanks.

10:21 pm  
Anonymous Clematis Fraud said...

I think that Cameron and his cronies could cause real mischief and seriously bugger up Brown and his cronies by making one manifesto commitment: a referendum on Scottish independence, open to all citizens of the UK. :-)

12:42 am  
Blogger Charles Martel said...

clematis - damn good idea!

it would also have the additional benefit of right-leaning nationalist Scots actually voting Tory rather than the socialist SNP.

12:15 pm  

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