May: pleasing nobody but soldiering on

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Scottish Oil will bail out UK - Again

By Russell Bruce

As a strategy it has more of the doom of the Charge of the Light Brigade than comparison with the Suez crisis most leader writers have likened it to. No doubt she is a little heartened that as many as 19% think she is one the right track.

MAYDAY, MAYDAY! is the headline to the PoliticsHome podcast

Statista have produced this image based on a YouGov poll for The Times conducted as the Brexit plan was unfurled over the White Cliffs of Dover. All it may take is a light puff of wind to carry it to a soggy demise. Yet May looks to survive for now. She will need more than a magic money tree to get it through the House of Commons.

Infographic: Scant public support for the draft Brexit agreement | Statista You will find more infographics at Statista
There is no clear consensus or enthusiasm for who might replace her. No front runner waiting in the wings to pick up the poisoned chalice. Such is the state of this tired and dysfunction governing party.

Pushed to choose from a list of unlikelies; Boris Johnson, Jacob Rees-Mogg, Sajid Javid, David Davis, Jeremy Hunt, Michael Gove, Penny Mordaunt or Dominic Raab – listed in declining popularity – none of the above is the winner on 20%. Boris Johnson manages 15% and Rees-Mogg 14% and the rest are on single figures. The Scottish sub sample (just 112 weighted) indicates Rees-Mogg drops to 9%.

Little can really be gained from the Scottish sub sample, other than support for EU membership is still stronger in Scotland, as other polls confirm. A brave 19% across the UK think Jeremy Corbyn and a Labour government could get a better deal. Quite where Labour stands is a mystery and their six tests are clouded in a dense mist as only continued EU membership meets all six.

Commenting on the draft deal, in his weekly newsletter, Alyn Smith wrote: “There is no good news in it for Scotland: the UK (despite promising to represent our interests) did not even secure a single mention for Scotland. Had the UK sought special terms recognising our clear pro-EU sentiment, then ideas would have been looked at on their merits. But they didn’t, and the EU cannot solve our problems for us in the teeth of opposition from our own UK Government.”

Scotland’s lack of mention runs counter to claims that the union is precious. For whom exactly is it precious? If we get precious little consideration for our wishes and aspirations then the union is only precious to die hard unionists. As Wings pointed out when it circulated the Telegraph article by Andy Critchlow, North Sea Oil, a millstone around Scotland’s neck, can keep the entire UK afloat as exports to China and South Korea will help deliver Global Britain. There you have it. It is our oil and gas, and strong global exports in food, drink and pharmaceuticals that are precious.

You didn’t think you were included when did you when the precious union line gets trotted out did you?