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Right now, bookmakers are offering (average) odds of 1/3 on Swinney becoming the next SNP leader. Kate Forbes is 11/4.

Friday, May 3, 2024
9 mins

(2) The Crossgate Centre #SupportsAlexSalmond on X: "A pre-slaphead Swinney with Willie McRae. Given Swinney's history as a safe pair of hands for England's political hegemony over Scotland and McRae's fate, there's a pic which suggests possibilities for a writer of Scottish Noir to conjure with.... https://t.co/3oE1W28G8x" / X (twitter.com)

Skeleton Staff

by Rab Clark

The image above shows a young John Swinney with Willie McRae, as tweeted by @CrossgateCentre. It is undated but must've been taken before April 1985, when McRae was murdered.

So, that picture was taken at least 39 years ago.

As we write, Swinney is being prepared for his second stint as SNP leader. Whether or not he wants to take the gig seems academic. He'll be doing it.

Right now, bookmakers are offering (average) odds of 1/3 on Swinney becoming the next SNP leader. Kate Forbes is 11/4. Then Neil Gray at 9/1 followed by Angus Robertson (remember him?) at 22/1.

Next SNP Leader After Humza Yousaf Next SNP Leader Betting Odds | Politics | Oddschecker

If you're not familiar with how 'odds' work, the second of the numbers represents the amount you are staking. So, 1/3 means you're having to place £3 in order to 'win' the first number i.e. £1. That win is added to your original stake and returned to you. So, you gamble £3 and end up with £4.

Contrast with the odds for second-favourite Kate Forbes. Take the second number again -that represents £4. You 'bet' that she'll win at 11/4. If she does win, you'll get your £4 back plus £11.

£15 for a £4 stake? Nice!

But it's not likely to happen, and that's why the bookies are trying to tempt you to part with that £4. Because once you've staked it, it's theirs. Bookmakers don't often get it wrong.

Why are they so certain?

Anyone keeping abreast of developments will have seen Swinney rocket into the hot-favourite position in a matter of days. But the resignation of Humza has been clumsily managed by 'the men in grey suits' and their skirts (yes, men in suits can wear skirts if they so choose) have been showing more than one might expect. It doesn't help that Humza was handed such a feeble line to explain 'his' decision - the Greens' feelz woz too hurted?

No-one's buying that.

The following comments, culled from Wings and Twitter, give a fair representation of current speculation and skepticism:


29 April, 2024 at 11:54 am

– while this is going to be a fun day, let’s get real about what has really happened …

The destruction of the indy movement, is, absolutely, a production of the UK spooks; it has all their fingerprints and technical aspects. It was done with economy, it all came through one person, Sturgeon.

Her own idea of indy might have been lukewarm to begin with, but when faced with blackmail over your closet lesbian status and your lavender marriage, it was an easy switch to move towards identity politics, particular all the “rainbow” activities. She was surrounded by civil servants who all worked for the UK and reported on her every week.

You don’t need to have everyone on the payroll, you just need a few people in the right places – Sturgeon systematically, off her own bat, sets out to protect herself, ridding the party of any potential rivals and stuffing the order with her own creatures, the trans rights nutters, the queer activists – toxic, unattractive, people which drove out all the decent and competent members. Now, they are losing support and money, but I suspect there is some substantial and covert source of funds, as yet undiscovered; losing all those subs, or rich supporters, never bothered them, why?

The party was hollowed out; and when the opportunity, on the flimsiest of precedents, arises to eliminate forever the one politician who overshadows you on every measure, you take it. Here there must have been a substantial conspiracy, but in the end a jury of ordinary people saved Salmond. Remember that blackmail and sexual smears is the #1 spook technique.

– now people are “noticing” and the complete lack of any attempt to use brexit as a means to force another referendum, at minimum, is the big “tell”, the smoking gun.

As far as the spooks think, this is job done – SNP ruined, rotten from the inside, a walking zombie corpse, full of grifters and people in denial; the indy question is kicked down the road for at least a decade, by which time I will have moved up a couple of grades in the service and it is someone elses problem … the important thing to note here is that nowhere is there any reason to “look after” Sturgeon anymore. Why should they? She might have thought she was solid, or was even being groomed for a top slot (see her talk to the CFR) – but she wasn’t and now, out of office, she is back to being a nobody; she doesn’t have any leverage against anyone – “the people I sold out my country to, stabbed me in the back … ” – not a good look, is it? Also, her being “hung out to dry” supports the notion she never worked for the spooks in the first place, nice touch.

What protection remains for Sturgeon comes from the cops and judges she gave nice jobs to, mostly “wimmin”; we shall see.

This is why you should never take the deal, sellout to the bad guys, for they will cut you loose once you are no longer required, or become a liability and FGS don’t try to become a “novelist” or start talking to journalists, for you will one day, get very sad, and take a lot of pills; and the coroner will say “he took a lot of pills, for he was sad”.

People have tried to blame the current chaos / shitstorm / binfire on the SNP alone, or even the Scots electorate, but this is false – these events were made to happen, helped along. And you must remember the measure of “good spookery” is not being noticed, not being obvious, making it all look above board, natural events or accidents; there is an economy of effort, even simply to save money – if it was too obvious, they would not be very good. Even now, you have to stand back and squint your eyes a bit – it fits, at least it fits better than the alternative … Sturgeon really tried her hardest to go for independence, but was simply thwarted, tried to stop brexit out of her common goodness, had a masterplan, did a lot of things she forgot about, had nothing to do with what happened to Salmond, never touched any dodgy money, never knew what her husband was up to … and so on. It doesn’t make sense – it makes her sound like a bit of a scatterbrain “what am I like?!” when in fact she is a skilled political operator, a control freak who liked to know everything that was going on.

– she will go down as one of the great tr41tors of history. Alas, we will only get the real story 30 years from now, longtime too late.

Vivian O’Blivion

29 April, 2024 at 9:03 am

Here’s a curious development. Jenny Gilruth has purged her Holyrood, Register of Interests of any mention of her visit to Washington under the State Department’s International Visitors Leadership Program in 2016. It was there now it ain’t. Curiouser and curiouser.

Both comments from btl, here: Wings Over Scotland | Marking Time

Women Won't Wheesht


The Scotsman 16th July 2002.24 years ago when John Swinney was SNP leader.

"Before & during Mr Swinney's time as leader, the SNP has developed a cult of the anonymous smearing of individuals"

Women Won't Wheesht 👩‍🦰🐀 on X: "The Scotsman 16th July 2002. 24 years ago when John Swinney was SNP leader.🤨 "Before & during Mr Swinney's time as leader, the SNP has developed a cult of the anonymous smearing of individuals" https://t.co/usWsXmCj0L" / X (twitter.com)

For more and more Scots it's finally hitting home that we're all witnessing a theatrical production masquerading as 'politics'. Our part, as spectators, is to validate the whole charade by reacting to events onstage. We can boo, applaud, cheer, hiss or whatever. But the one thing we mustn't do is ruin the illusion that there's any other show in town.

The central plot of the 'show' is that one side (goodies or baddies depending on your POV) want the country to be independent and the other side doesn't. That conflict generates the drama. If there is no conflict i.e. everyone wants things to stay the way they are, then there's no conflict, no drama, nothing to write home about.

We keep hearing from unionist politicians and pundits that the SNP/Scotgov is 'obsessed' with independence despite no evidence of same bar a sequence of white papers no-one bothers to read. And everyone, including the SNP/Scotgov and mainstream media, goes along with this lie because it suits them. Yet again, the 'drama' over the next SNP leader/FM is presented as a 'party political' issue (in this case internal power struggle) when in fact there is no 'struggle' at all, just another coronation in the pipeline. There will be sound and fury aplenty, the kicking up of dust, plenty of smoke and mirrors, but the end result will be a familiar face with that gigantic pair of safe hands, in the same place. Job done.

Alex Salmond's revelation that Humza was still actively pursuing some kind of deal with Alba even as the mainstream media were preparing the public to expect his resignation just serves to underscore the horrible reality that the 'leaders' are disposable puppets. It's no great stretch to imagine that the main broadcasters were given details of the reasons behind HY's resignation at the same time he was. Does anyone really believe that he was so consumed by guilt and remorse over hurting Patrick Harvie's feelings that only the abrupt ending of his tenure as First Minister could help salve his conscience?

Apply the same cynicism to 'Honest' John's sudden reappearance on the front line...

Are we seeing a rejuvenated Swinney, driven by love of his country and party, re-entering the fray because 'it's the right thing to do'?

Or has he been told to get back in the ring whether he likes it or not?

One thing's for sure - more and more Scots are thoroughly fed-up with being treated as fools and have reached the point where they're no longer prepared to sit and watch this farce.


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