Sunday, 24 May 2015

THE WAY AHEAD FOR LABOUR

Duncan McNeil MSP has called upon Jim Murphy to stand down from the task of reviewing the Scottish branch of the Labour Party and its electoral system.

Despite the old adage “Never interrupt your opponent while he is doing something stupid”, I cannot help but agree with him.

Murphy, as we have now said on several occasions, was the wrong person to lead a party whose membership had shown that they were begging it to move to the left.  

In their droves, Labour’s heartlands voted against the Labour, Tory, Liberal Democrat and UKIP (not to mention the Orange order and George Galloway) coalition in the referendum campaign and voted with Labour for Indy, the Greens, Scottish Socialists, Radical Independence and of course the SNP, for a more socially conscious, decent, independent Scotland and an end to Tory rule and austerity for the sake of it, from London forever… that’s Blue Tory or Red Tory rule, by the way.

Murphy made some attempts to be that kind of Labour person, but the years of slavish right wing politics, wars, Blair and Henry Jackson were hard to shake off, and maybe Glasgow man wasn't quite a stupid as he had thought, or hoped. 

Glasgow man didn't buy Jim's pally footie patter. Glasgow man was largely insulted that Jim, in his right wing metropolitan ignorance, thought that if you allowed the working man to get drunk at football and sing sectarian songs, everything would be just fine again.

He was wrong. Glasgow man it seems really doesn't want nuclear weapons (and dangerously neglected ones at that) only a stone’s throw from his multi. 

He doesn't like that he has to claim benefits even when he’s working full time, just to pay the rent. He’s not too keen on Rachel Reeves' declaration that they don’t represent unemployed or sick people (echoing what Harris has been saying for years), and he didn't care for Darling and Murphy being seen to be all matey with the Tories and their Liberal Democrat friends.

Murphy is also the wrong person to write a paper on reform of the voting system.  Labour needs new blood, untainted by the failures of the past. And, as Mr McNeil points out, that only concerns itself with Labour internal systems. It's the voters that cont. All of them, not just the Labour membership.

What the party must do in the next few months while Kezia is caretaker branch manager, is work out where the future lies for them. This is deep philosophical stuff. Above Murphy's pay band.

Do they want to stay a branch office of London Labour tied to Labour's English based policies, or do they want to be free to espouse their own policies. 

Even Murphy, a dyed in the wool London MP, could see that, after Johann Lamont’s declaration that her hands were always tied by London, he had to show that HE and not anyone was in charge of Scottish Labour am its policies.

Unfortunately when he did that, Chukka Ummuna and Ed Balls slapped him down within hours, telling the broadcasters that THEY made the rules.

Mostly it is about getting in touch with ordinary people. That is people who aren't in a political bubble. People who might be inclined to vote for a left of centre Labour Party not bound and gagged by London for fear of frightening off the stockbroker belt and its money. People like me and the folks that I know.

What do they want from a party in Scotland that has to be distinctly Scottish and yet must necessarily be able to chime with the policies of their big brother in London if they are to take the same whip in Westminster? 

How can it be made to work? How can you be distinctly Scottish and yet British too? Is it, today, even possible?

Mr McNeil indicated that Labour activists must get out on the streets and talk to people… find out what they want. That makes sense.

The amazing thing is that with all these MSPs, councillors, MPs and MEPs, none of them have thought to do this already.

I thought that was their bloody job!

Friday, 22 May 2015

SO WILLIE...

Did he lie to you too, or were you part of the plot?

It seemed so strange that although the Telegraph, which broke the lie, didn't manage to get hold of anyone from anyone in the SNP, they did manage to get a quote from Willie Rennie, who, with respect, is a rather junior entity in Scottish politics.

No one from the Labour Party, or the Tories, the second and third parties in the Scottish parliament, was asked to comment, but up pops Wee Willie, leader of the 4th party. 

Strange that he was just hanging about minding his own business... with a statement ready.

Incidentally, I read that the inquiry into this incident is reported to have cost (for some unknown reason) £1.25 million. This could have been avoided if the cabinet minister, in a government determined to cut costs, had just admitted his involvement for the get go. 

He seems to think that not taking his £10,000 redundancy (despite still having a £75,000 a year job) is sufficient recompense.  

Right Honourable? Not even legal!

May we expect an apology from Rennie any time soon?

And, while we are on apologies, maybe those who immediately believed the leak in the Tory Telegraph, despite there being no checking, instead of the First Minister or the French Consul to Scotland or the French Ambassador to Court of St James, might like to reflect that they bought into such a pile of lies. Kezia for example?

Finally. This was Scotland Office stuff... who was Carmichael's bag boy at the time?

None other than Fluffly Muddle. What did he know about it?
++++++++++

Letter from Shetland News:


So, our newly elected MP Alistair Carmichael has admitted he knew of the contents of, and sanctioned the publication of the leaked memo concerning the French ambassador's discussion with Nicola Sturgeon.

He also seems to consider that apologising to both parties and refusing to claim his severance pay from his term as Secretary of State for Scotland is sufficient to eradicate responsibility for the consequences of his actions.

I beg to differ.

His duplicity in not admitting liability before the election on 7 May demonstrates a lack of moral rectitude in achieving election, which is unbecoming, to say the least, in an elected member of parliament.

I, for one, am calling for his immediate resignation from his post as MP for Orkney and Shetland in order to allow someone with moral compass to be elected, at a by-election, in his stead.

George Pottinger
Hamnavoe
Burra

Thursday, 21 May 2015

FOTOS FOR FRIDAY

So, until they change that, wild horses wouldn't drag me into their store.
They demand sick people work and then they go all out to make it difficult for them. What a cow.
I wonder what the land reforms will cost them in Immoral.
Sorry Balmoral.
All about class, connections, who's who, London
Society, and Old School Ties.
And this is all about common sense.
They say there's nothing to worry about...
...but it doesn't seem like that to me...
and there is the small detail of it costing money we don't have...
How embarrassing. No one cared Jack.
Yawn. The FM that will go down in history for
 wearing a skirt in New York.
No, I hadn't but, if you want to swing by for drinks on Saturday evening,
Munguin will be happy to get to know you.
Are you not a bit old for this job?
But wait, I hear B&M are looking for folk...
Well, you should have...
So Alistair is good, is he?
Not what I heard.
Never saw that one coming, did you Mr Smarty Pants.
Nor, I suspect this one.

Exactly
Was that when you were pulling your pants down...or up, Paddy?

I wish I'd thought of that, says Jim.
In bleach... no wait, H2SO4
Bang on, son.
Well, what do you know?
Including the unlovely Viscount Aston and his uppity daughter.