To: SNP Group, Westminster
From: Mike Weir, Chief Whip
The “feisty 56” (thanks Alex) have had another fine week in the bosom of the Auld Enemy.
We scored another great hit when we persuaded everyone that Labour MPs had voted against 16 – 17 year olds getting a vote in the EU referendum. Well done.
A pat on the back to everyone for re-tweeting Angus’ assertion that Labour had voted with the Tories on this issue – everyone fell for it (except for that pesky Full Fact organisation).
Those of you who are new to politics might be a bit confused as to why Angus would say something that is clearly not true, but don’t worry, it is one of our favourite tactics.
Remember all the hoo-ha over whether Alex had got legal advice on whether an indy Scotland could join the EU straightaway? He bluffed his way out of that one brilliantly.
It works like this: if we assert something loudly and often enough, people accept it is true – even when it is not; it works especially well with our most ardent followers and The National.
In this case Labour MPs voted for the EU Referendum Bill, and did not support our amendment that would have effectively killed the Bill.
But because we had cunningly added in a line into our amendment about votes for 16 and 17 year olds, we got away with saying Labour were against extending the franchise. Simples.
Your discipline has been exemplary this week (with one or two exceptions). I think almost every one of you tweeted on command, and if we keep this up we will soon have those Labour MPs not knowing whether they are coming or going.
Next week’s business is on full fiscal autonomy – we are going to have some fun with that, I can tell you, but if anyone sees that pesky Tory, Sir Edward Leigh, can you lock him in the gents?
Yours aye for Scotland (in Westminster),
P.S. Could Tommy Shepperd and George Kerevan come to the Whip’s Office first thing on Monday morning. I need to have a quiet word with you both about the difference between being honest with the voters, and destroying our party’s credibility. It won’t take long.