Monday, October 20, 2014

SCOTTISH LABOUR IS GOING LEFT, OR SO SAYS MRS CURRAN

So, according to Margaret Curran, Labour in Scotland is going to ditch the legacy of Tony Blair and return to its “socialist principles” ahead of the UK election next May.

Mrs Curran says Ed ­Miliband is going to stand up to big business.

In an article for Scotland on Sunday, the most junior member of the shadow cabinet appears to have been given the job reversing the direction of Labour, which is odd, given that at their recent party conference, far more senior members of the party were talking about more austerity than the Tories, being tougher on benefits than the Tories, and a minimum wage of £8 per hour by 2020, a laughable ambition when a decent living wage must be around £10 an hour in 2014.

By Margaret says, without a flicker of a smile:

“The socialist principles of equality, redistribution and ­social justice need to shape our politics as much today as they did when I joined the party.”

She is on tour… a bit like Nicola Sturgeon, laying out what she thinks Labour stands for. She will talk in traditional Labour strongholds that voted Yes in last month’s referendum in an effort to win back the party’s core support.

Around a third of Labour ­supporters voted Yes in the ­September referendum.

Curran’s piece trots out a load of words that actually say nothing at all:

When we see a country divided, we should not be satisfied" (erm no, we should not... so, what have we been doing about this division in our society Margaret?) "It should make us work even harder to bring our country together." (So are we going to start doing that now, after 40 years of division since Thatcher?  Oh well, better late than never.)

“We need to listen." (I've heard that before. Didn't Ed tour the country, listening?) "But what people say also needs to shake us into action and we need to change.” (Ah, well that would make a change")
 
Labour standing up to big business
 “We have a leader across the UK who has learned the ­lessons of Iraq and opposed military action in Syria" (but not Libya, and not Iraq again), "who refuses to kowtow to vested ­interests like the banks and the energy companies and who believes that politics is about building a movement of ­working people to change our country.” (No, you don't. You have a weak man with absolutely no ideas whose confidence is torn to shreds, whom few like, and who is generally considered to be weird!)

As usual Labour is fighting the wrong election.

Scottish Labour may feel that to save itself and the well paid jobs of its MPs, MSPs and other officials, it must move to the left to win back the votes of the people it was created to represent, but the problem is, and this is fundamental to the whole independence debate is… "Scottish Labour, so what?"

When it comes to the UK, what exactly is the importance of Scottish Labour? 

Well, of course in UK electoral terms they represent somewhere in the order of 40 fairly solid Labour seats. And given the current state of politics where there is little between the two major UK parties, that is the difference between 10 Downing Street, and mixing with President Obama adn the King of Saudi Arabia on the one hand, and back to the back benches, having failed for Ed, with the added embarrassment that his brother might have succeeded.

Labour’s problem is that in much of Scotland, the north of England and Wales, they should be representing the working classes. People living on poverty wages, among the worst levels of benefits in Europe, and the lowest pensions in the developed world (bar Mexico). They should be fighting tooth and nail for better conditions, more social housing, a living wage, lower rents, better and cheaper public transport, etc, but in the south-east of England, as peter Mandelson pointed out so long ago, they need to attract the votes of a very different constituency. A constituency that would have to help pay for all these upgrades to the way the poor live. And the “south east” has four times the population of Scotland! 
Someone who looks up to Ed... Novel.
In her article for SoS, Curran says that her “number one priority” as Secretary of State for Scotland would be a Scottish Jobs Guarantee and getting the country’s young people “back to work”. (Novel idea. No one has ever thought of that before!)

She tells whoever is listening that for working Scots, the party would seek to “improve their conditions so they don't have to work two or more jobs just to make ends meet”. (I'm sorry Mags, that means putting wages up to a livable level and you won't do that, not in 10 years you won't.)

She insists that “That means ending exploitative zero-hours’ contracts and starting to ­increase the minimum wage to £8 an hour". (No, it means increasing the minimum wage to £10 an hour pretty much right away, and that could never happen, not even under the SNP! Companies just wouldn't stand for it, prices would rocket and those without wages would starve unless benefits and pensions were dramatically increased...like that's gonna happen!)

She goes on: "And we will show exactly whose side we are on by freezing energy prices and reforming the energy market once and for all. Even with less money, we will change the country for good.” (You mean renationalise it? No, I thought not. So how can you regulate it? It's in a market.)


Maggie, it's all words. They sound pretty but unless you're 18 you've heard them all before, every 4 or 5 years.  

Most of your suggestions are unworkable and in any case, the minute you have these 40 MPs to bolster your chances of forming a government every single policy will be ditched in favour of keeping the bankers and the City happy.

Nice try, but we aren't all muppets.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

LABOUR'S PLIGHT

1. Labour begs Gordo to take over from Jola (and someone at the
Daily Fail has a go at Nicola because of her clothes and hairstyle.
How intellectually incisive).
2. Labour grandees (if you could call Jock or Henry grandees)
are beginning to see what the rest of us saw for
the last 10 years. Labour has failed its core vote.
3. Gordon says no. He prefers to be worldwide envoy for education.
He's too old for a proper job at 63.
Not quite sure why they all think they can put retirement age up to
70, when a man of 63 is too old for a full time job.
Anyway, what Labour needs is someone with a little bit of the socialist about him. 

Gordon is new Labour.



Friday, October 17, 2014

THIS SHOULD FRIGHTEN LAMONT...

It's probably a small subsample with a huge margin of error, and, as such, not a true indicator, but even near parity with the Tories in Scotland should give Ms Lamont, and her boss sleepless nights. The moral, as Nick Clegg and Tavish Scott will tell you is avoid the Tories at all costs.

YOUGOV Scotland SNP 41% CONSERVATIVES 20% LABOUR 19% LIBDEMS 9% UKIP 6% GREENS 5% Who'd make best PM? Cameron 31% Miliband 19% Clegg 7%

MARK STEEL HAS A WAY WITH WORDS

In Orkney, where Zebra crossings are
for Otters!

From the Independent.


Even by the standards of political leaders, the speed and scale of the broken promise about Scotland has been glorious. Two days after signing a “vow” to hand over “extensive new powers”, David Cameron announced he would indeed act swiftly to ensure Scottish MPs had less power.

You couldn't help applaud, like if the groom at a wedding reception began his speech by saying: “You all heard me make those vows of lifelong partnership to my wife a few hours ago. That’s why I can declare I’ve already given the bridesmaid one in the graveyard behind the church, a task I was committed to seeing through and will carry out again and again until I am fully satisfied. Now are there any questions?”

Cameron, Clegg and Miliband didn't just promise. They might have made do with a pledge, but Clegg had already ruined the meaning of a pledge. With his record of doing the exact opposite of what he’s pledged, by now he’d have abolished Scotland altogether, or reclassified it as a species of insect.

So they made a “solemn vow”, the sort made to God by monks in the 7th century, and now that’s worthless as well so next time they’ll have to raise it to a sacrifice. Before the election, David Cameron will kneel before an altar and chop a goat in half, then as he smears its blood on his face he’ll say, “I will raise the minimum tax threshold”, before talking in tongues and fainting.

Because where a few weeks ago the party leaders were making speeches such as, “Scotland, Scotland, Scotland, together we fought evil and invented fish and created the sun, oh beloved Scotland we are bound by the heavens, I would gladly have my buttocks sculpted to resemble the mountains of Glen Coe to secure our togetherness”, this week they didn't even mention Scotland in a debate about Scotland.


Many MPs, including Alistair Darling, didn't turn up for it, and the debate in Parliament was all about which votes to exclude Scottish MPs from. Gordon Brown begged the Conservatives to think about introducing the measures they’d got him to absolutely guarantee they were absolutely introducing, to which they replied: “Oh shut up going on about Scotland.  It’s typical of the unfairness that this Scotland debate has only once mentioned Hemel Hempstead.”

So the main part of any new law will  be to ensure Scottish MPs can’t vote on English matters because, as some English MPs say: “This unfair situation makes  many people angry.”

You can see why it has to be dealt with, if it’s making many people angry. There aren't enough anger management therapists around to deal with the anxiety of so many people punching trees in rage and climbing to the tops of gas works to yell: “Why, why, why can a law, in theory, that alters, say, building regulations in my area be voted on by some bastard from Stenhousemuir when my MP can’t vote on building regulations there. Aye? Why, Why, Why?”

All of us who live in England know the heartache of begging our MP to vote about the proposed ring road in Stranraer, just for them to clasp our hand and tearfully tell us they have no say.

Maybe they’ll ease the concerns by making another vow, to give Scotland even more extensive powers, and then take a bit more away. Then they can keep doing this until Scotland is owned by a Saxon warlord, and Glasgow has to provide 200 knights a month to fight the Normans.

William Hague has assured the SNP the timetable for the vow is still on schedule, but it seems likely there’ll be an imaginative definition of “extensive new powers”. Most likely is they will be:

a) Falkirk gets mentioned on the BBC weather map every Tuesday, and;

b) water from English seas will be allowed to flow past Scotland, if the tide’s heading that way.

And in return Scottish MPs will only be allowed to vote on issues relating to shortbread.

Whatever you think about Scottish independence, this system of doing the opposite of what is pledged or vowed appears to be the rule now. Over the next few months, party leaders will film themselves with their parents, and say “I supervow on their souls, that I will never raise VAT and will hand them to the Devil personally if I so much as consider putting it up.” Then a year later they'll say they have to be realistic and need to put it up to help hard-working families, and make their mum Minister of VAT and the Devil, Chief Secretary to the Treasury.

The Liberal Democrats combine this technique with a surly sorry, that appears as heartfelt as when a teenager breaks a promise about vacuuming the living room. So whenever the issue is raised of how they trebled the tuition fees they pledged to abolish, they say: “Oh for God’s sake I said sorry didn’t I? I’ll say it again shall I? Sorry! There. Happy Now?”

Then the party leaders puzzle as to  why their support slips away to a new bunch of parties.

Maybe one way they can reverse this is to try a more forthright approach, and to start with they could say: “If the Scottish are so daft as to believe our vow, maybe that proves they're not fit to run their own country anyway, the idiots.” 
**********

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Fotos for Friday

You certainly did, Gordon.
Still Slab wants you to follow on in the footsteps of such
luminaries as Iain Gray and Johann Lamont.
They're not really representing us any more.
I see no reason to fund them, or watch them
Just don't break the law people; don't watch live tv.
Pooling and sharing misery.
Lord Fraud said:
 "We can't have people loafing about doing nothing
expecting the public to pay for them.
Ooops

Poor old Ed...
Good of you to own up mate?
I didn't know you'd done that...
You really look like you're enjoying that...
Did you pay one of your underlings to actually bite it?

Don't seem to be able to give it away these days.
Ahhh nice... rewards for  telling Jockland that you'd put prices up
if we weren't pooling and sharing with the UK?

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

WE SHOULD TRY TO STOP THEM FRACKING SCOTLAND

It's only part of Scotland, at the moment.
I just had an email from Greenpeace.
It seems that David Cameron’s plan to allow fracking firms to drill under our homes has been rubber-stamped by the House of Lords.

This makes a total mockery of Cameron’s claim that UK fracking regulations are some of the most stringent in the world. And it clears fracking firms of any responsibility for clearing up the mess they create. 
We all know that neither the government nor the fracking firms give a stuff if your pets are poisoned or your kids start being sick.
The only thing that matters to them is the bottom line, and making a massive profit.
Lord Smith of Kelvin (where have I heard his name before)
wants to bring fracking to Scotland
The fracking industry has already been mired in accidents and mistakes. In April 2009, cattle were discovered dead near a drill site in Louisiana. An investigation later found fracking fluid had leaked from the well pad and run into an adjacent pasture. And in July 2013, US fracking firm XTO Energy was forced to shell out $100,000 in compensation after a spill of contaminated wastewater in Pennsylvania. 
Despite claiming that the UK has tough regulations to prevent disasters like this, the government is now rushing to remove obstacles by pushing through laws that will put the interests of shale drillers before the safety of our environment, our climate and most important, our people.
Mr Ordinary doesn't want to bring fracking to Scotland
Greenpeace has a petition which you may be interested in signing.
Remember the people who are set to gain from this are mates with the likes of Osborne and Cameron. They are not the kind of people who care what happens to your house, your family, your possessions or you if you are anywhere near being an ordinary person.
Sensible countries that give a damn about the environment, or the people who live in it, have put fracking on hold. The Uk of course wants to press ahead as it seems to think there is a massive amount of money to be made, and money is their god. 
Fergus Ewing our energy minister, thinks that the power to issue or not issue licences should be held in Edinburgh, closer to the people, not London where they simply don't care about Scotland, but it's too late for that now. We blew the chance to rule our own country It's a done deal and London has the power.
We didn't vote for this bunch of SPIVs. We mustn't let them frack Scotland.

THERE'S NOTHING MUCH TO PICK AND CHOOSE AMONG THEM...

When will he be sacked?
Wait and see, sweetie...
Where else would someone that thick get a job like this?
Redistribution of wealth. That's what I like to see, Jim.
I thought he was Lard Prescott
Tough love would see this bloke sacked before
 he ruins the Labour party any more. It's only fair.
At least with this lot you are forewarned that they don't
give a damn about anyone who isn't titled
or prepared to pay heavily to shortly be so.
Proud boasts for Tories
Sorry for the language, but it is perfect.
The wee lad is bang on.
Dunno about you, but I can see his face as
he lays this on Cameron.
I admit it does look like the party of the workers.
They do exactly the same thing.
You wouldn't mind SO much if he amounted to anything himself
but he is a lying sack of manure who never got anything right in his life.
You'd think with his father in law's money he could afford a dinner jacket
that didn't date back to the 1920s
or is that what the well dressed pondlife is wearing now?
OK, we exaggerate a little, but only a very little.
And this is true
And according to Oxfam, so is this
They do make you laugh, the Brits.
But Frankie makes you laugh a lot more.
We tend to leave the Liberals out of a lot of things, but just to show that
we care, here's a greedy Liberal bitch whining about  how £300 a day
tax free isn't enough for her sorry ass to live on, while she's in a government that
expects OAPs to live on the lowest comparative pension in the developed world, less than 5% of what she stuffs in her bank account.
**********
Ah, yes. The broadcasters have said that it would be impossible to have all the party leaders in a debate.

It would just be too complicated for them.

Isn't it odd how the Scandinavians manage to do that kind of thing. Here they are:
... in Norway
...in Denmark
... and in Sweden.
Still, I suppose their chiefs get a lot more than a piddling £450,000 a year!
How does he manage. Oh yeah, he gets something for being in the HoL.
I said I would look out for information on companies that distorted the truth or said they would leave the country if Scotland were independent.
You may wish to make your own judgments about how much support you wish to give them.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

DESPERATELY DISAPPOINTING DEBATE AT LEAST CREATES MIRTH ON TWITTER

Having bothered to turn up at work and do his highly paid job as an MP on only a tiny number of occasions since losing the last election, Gordon Brown seems today to have decided to make up for all the absenteeism by talking non stop of 4 weeks.

Now I'm going to be honest. I couldn't bear to watch the debate. I am sick at the moment, having picked up a stomach bug, and nausea is pretty much constant. So I just couldn't risk having to watch the vomit-inducing performances, of the troughers in London's House of Commons today.

I did, however, follow some of the debate on Twitter, where fortunately far better informed and more intelligent people were passing on their comments (on both sides of the debate).

So here are some...


Tory MP asking that it become impossible for any part of the UK to become independent without a 2/3 majority. Democracy, Westminster-style: Doug Daniel.

Scotland votes to remain part of Britain and then finds that six of their MPs are worth less than one of Farage's: Dara Ó Briain.

If there's one thing that 'debate' confirmed. For Scotland to have a voice at WM @theSNP needs to win a significant chunk of seats at #GE15: Graeme Thomson.

Surprised Sarwar knew where his work is . Is this a debate or a hate fest against the SNP: Bruce Hosie.

"Business as usual cannot continue" says the man who assumed his father's parliamentary seat: Doug Daniel.


Ian Davidson beneficently announces to a startled chamber that he has outsourced responsibility "for bayoneting the wounded" to ATOS: Peat Worrier.

Ming Campbell describes it as "politically unhelpful" if the devolution timetable isn't stuck to. Not about Scotland, it's about his party: Doug Daniel.

Ming Campbell says that SNP would regard failure to meet devo timetable a considerable advantage". No, as a breach of trust: Peter Curran.

If Westminster does not fulfil its Vow to Scotland it will light a fuse which will ultimately deliver Scottish independence: Tom London.

Watch the debate and see arrogance of Labour front bench to Scottish MPs as they talk about London and English votes in Scottish debate!!: Pete Wishart.

Post-Scotland vote, a grand convention on devolution is needed - politicians keep out.. http://bit.ly/1wy4YSS ”: Dan Snow.
Hague changes his view on the #vow in same speech .. he tells me its unconditional!! ..Then a pile of unhappy English MPs stand to intervene: Angus MacNeil.


Here's a novel idea, why not give Scotland Independence. Then WM won't bitch about Scots MP's voting on matter Scots tax payers pay for: Marty Mc.

Gordon Brown on tax, ignoring fact that he was the man who promised effectively devomax and federalism. Deeply confused...: Peter Curran.

William Hague sits down without mentioning a single new power for Scotland: Liam Furby.

Gordon Brown has described Scotland as a "minority" in a debate on devolution to Scotland. You know where he stands: Paul Monaghan.

There you have it, from a conservative MPs mouth- parliament did not make the vow and are not bound by it:  Patrick J Pollock.

Where is Miliband and Darling at the debate @scottishlabour you lot are a disgrace the sooner you are gone the better: Bruce Hosie (I’d add that, as far as I know, the Prime Minister didn’t turn up either!!)

Hague moved on from Scotland after 14 minutes in his speech. Lab front bencher Sadiq Khan doesn't bother with Scotland at all: Pete Wishart.

Brian Donohoe remaining classy there by referring to the "Scottish Exec". Just can't bring himself to call it the Scottish Government: Doug Daniel.

Peter Wishart bringing up a good point about EVEL-touting English Tory MPs being very happy to wade in on Scottish Questions at Westminster: Doug Daniel.

MORE BREAKING NEWS: NICK CLEGG TOO BUSY GETTING PM'S TEA TO ATTEND SCOTTISH POWERS DEBATE: Ross

For the past 2 years the debate on Scotland's future was exciting & full of possibility. The exact opposite of today's debate in Westminster: Ian Robertson.

Labour to boycott Conservative body set up to review English MPs role in Parliament post: STV (Didn’t they criticise the SNP for boycotting Calman?)

Gordon Brown did his six minutes then raced out of the chamber like a cat with its arse on fire. That's what "everything in my power" means: Rev S Campbell.

84% voted in #indyref. Less than 10% of Westminster discusses devolution. You still think we're Better Together? Shug Osborne.

Seems it’s "Speaker's Discretion" to put time limit on SNP (Governing Party of Scotland) contribution to debate but not Lab backbench Brown: Angus MacNeil.

Feeling miserable. How could anyone have believed #thevow - "promises" of powers WM threw in at the last minute: Beth.

Question really is did Gordon Brown know what he was signing up to when he signed the #vow? Or was he duped? Angus MacNeil.


If the #Vow swayed 6% of voters in Scotland it served its short term political purpose - but now it’s their constitutional hangover:  Angus MacNeil.

According to Lord Ashcroft’s poll it swayed 25% NO Voters (13.75% of all votes) Under 1/2 of them needed to change outcome! Paul.

This debate has absolutely nothing to do with Scotland. It is a debate about English Votes for English Laws: Pete Wishart.

Even Reporting Scotland is going to have a job patching enough of this together to make it look like it was about Scottish devolution: Wings.
 *********

Incidentally the first Tory MP to intervene was disgraced Scots-born Liam Werrity or Fox or something , who called for English votes for English issues.

Then Labour MP John Denham announced that if “Scotland will get what Scotland wants and so England must get what England wants”. Seemingly unconcerned about what Ulster or Wales might want.

But in fairness Lib Dem MP Menzies Campbell said: “Change in Scotland should not be held up to allow England to catch up.” He might have added, after all we have been working for change these past 50 years, while the English refused any kind of regional parliament except in London, which as we all know is a country apart.