Sunday, 13 October 2013


Poor old Johann Lamont! After her embarrassing display of low end political behaviour in parliament and her deputy Anas Sarwar being shouted down by Trades Unionists, she was facing pressure to take a position on Royal Mail renationalisation, after Labour’s Inverclyde council backed the SNP Government’s position on the issue.

Inverclyde passed the following motion on Thursday, calling for the UK or Scottish Government to re-nationalise the Royal Mail: 

“That the Council supports the campaign against privatisation and, with regard to the present timescales affecting the privatisation that Inverclyde Council records its opposition and calls on the next UK Government or Scottish Government to consider the renationalisation of Royal Mail.”

At Labour’s UK Conference party delegates voted to re-nationalise, but this vote was ignored by the UK party bosses in Westminster.

Now the SNP, at its conference, is set to debate the privatisation of the Royal Mail and the Scottish Government’s pledge to bring it back into public ownership in an independent Scotland at its conference this week.

So, once again Ms Lamont will be obliged to choose between what the Scottish people overwhelmingly want and what London tells her to believe.

It can't be easy, but at least, unlike some people she was neither demoted or sacked at last week's reshuffle!


  1. Hello Tris,
    Like many people of traditional (small c) conservative views, I would like to see the Post Office/Royal Mail retained as a national public service. But it is the EU which has decided otherwise. It has to become part of an EU-wide "market" in postal services. So, it's not the wicked Tories - Labour (or SNP come to that) would be forced to do more or less the same as long as we are in the EU.

    About six years ago I was in Central Lobby with three independently minded MPs. It chanced to be the day when a petition of two million signatures had been delivered about post office closures. The lobby was packed with thousands of people who had come to see their MPs. From an FoI request I had a copy letter from the EU to young Miliband commanding the closure of at least two thosand sub post offices.

    "How many of your colleagues" I asked "will tell these people "Sorry. Nothing we can do about it here. It's all governed by EU Directives now"?"

    They looked a bit awkward and said that they did not suppose that anybody would have said that. "But it's true, isn't it?" I persisted - and they had to agree.

    I have considerable sympathy for the posties but none at all for their leader Billy Hayes who is a total hypocrite. He voted and spoke against EU withdrawal at the TUC and he must know that it is EU regulation which is causing the privatisation.

    It is "the truth which dare not speak its name" !

    1. Hello Mr S...

      Long time no hear. How are you? Well, I hope.

      As you probably know, I'm quite a fan of the EU, having seen at firsthand how much good European money has done in my small corner of the world. Of course I am not blind to its massive faults (not least that stupid bitch with the mediaeval title, who thinks she’s some sort of minister des affaires etrangeres, but that’s another matter!)

      This is the first I’ve heard that EU regulations meant that big business had to be allowed to make a killing out mail services. Of course, that could be because I avoid the Daily Heil, and their mates over at Dirty Desmond’s Porn Emporium subsidiary, the Sexpress, not to mention The Sun, who are the first to publish anything nasty about Europe (or any foreigners).

      I’m a bit surprised too that, if it will be illegal to have a postal system which is owned by the state, Alex Salmond has said that, if he leads the government post 2016 free of Westminster’s shackles, which means our Royal Mail will be ours and not just a northern region of England’s, he will renationalise it. Oor Eck is usually on the button about what can be done and what cannot. I’m also surprised that one of the smartarse buffoons from Cameron’s motley crew of spivs hasn’t pointed that out in their superior Eton and Oxford way.

      I thought that there had to be some competition allowed and that if other EEA companies wanted to deliver mail here they had to be allowed to. To be honest I never really thought it would take off, because, although I can imagine a postal company in say Belgium wanting to deliver in Luxembourg, or one in Switzerland delivering in Austria, I could never imagine anyone wanting to do it in Scotland. Of course I did imagine that some of our venture capitalists would probably want to take advantage of the opportunity to make money in Europe, so it might work the other way round.

      I genuinely didn’t know that they had told us to sell the thing off to the highest (or maybe lowest, given the enormous undersell) bidder. I’m surprised they allow us to hold on to the hopelessly inadequate Pension fund, which it seems the Tories have felt some moral obligation (excuse me while I roll on the floor at the words ‘moral’ and ‘Tory’ being in the same story, never mind sentence) to keep.

      In the great balance of things I see no reason why the state cannot still own the PO and continue to be responsible for it, ensuring the continued standard fee and delivery promise, while other companies can set up in competition if they so wish. I thought in fact that that already happened. Of course the minister formerly known as Saint Vince has said that these obligations will exist on the new royal mail, but surely no one now believes anything anyone in that government says. They all seem to be pathological liars, in addition to greedy grasping spiv low lifes.

      :) ... I guess you can tell I don't much like them!!

  2. Being fair to the Labour movement, we are all united in agreement that the Royal Mail, public utilities and rail ought to be renationalised.

    I wish more people could appreciate that sometimes, the Labour Party isn't the same thing as the affiliated assorted Labour Movement.

    And for the record, I'm sick and tired of the party's timidity on these issues too. But with price control re-entering party policies, things may be slowly drifting to the left. If we win the next election, on the most leftwing platform of policies since 1979, then it proves that yes, we CAN win as leftwingers.

    Vote Labour: end the Thatcher consensus

    A vote for anyone else at UK level, is a vote for the Tories. Do you want them? Or do you want us?

    There isn't any other choice at UK GEs...


    1. Oh yes. I know you are, Dean. There was a resolution passed at conference calling on a future Labour government to renationalise. It's just that London said NO.

      Just like they said no to the trains, which should be the easiest one to do.

      But if they did a lot of important people would lose an income stream.

      Of course the only choice at a UK level is Labour or the Tories, although my experience of them is that there is not much choice. A vote for the Liberals or Scottish Socialist or the SNP in big enough numbers would be a real lesson to them, but as we know that corrupt FPTP voting system means that small parties have no real chance.

      I agree that the reshuffle that Miliband just did was a move to the left, but the very first thing we hear from Liam Byrne's successor is that they will be even harder than the Tories on "welfare" or as we prefer to call it "social security".

      That's not very left, is it. Out Tory the Tories!

      I'll believe Labour a bit more when I see them start to talk left wing policies. And I will believe them even more if they start putting them into practice.

      So how's your tooth. Did you try the hot toddy or the oil of cloves?

    2. Kenosabe your Labour party speaks with forked tongue.

    3. Ohct Tris its killing me! On plenty of those lovely painkillers!

      I've yet to try oil of cloves, but I found a little nip of whisky can work too ;)

    4. Oh, and Cynical 'Kenosabe'?

      "Ke-mo sah-bee (/ˌkiːmoʊˈsɑːbiː/; often spelled kemo sabe or kemosabe) is the term of endearment and catchphrase used by the intrepid and ever-faithful fictional Native American sidekick"

      Whose sidekick am I? And when did I earn a term of endearment from you?

      I praise indeed... seems pigs can fly

    5. Try whisky with hot water, orange juice and sugar... or honey maybe if you like it. You vest go see a dentist tomorrow. He can probably prescribe something you can't buy over the counter.

    6. lol... He's right though, dean. They need to decide where they are.

      I think they are in a hard position. If they want to appeal to their traditional support then they will earn respect, but unfortunately they will be outvoted by the "strivers" in the rich part of the country who don't want to share any of their hard earned with lazy skiving out of work "skivers".

      There's no point in having brave policies if you are in permanent opposition. That would be like the Liberals until recently.


    7. Whose sidekick am I?

      I leave the side kicking to Ruth as I would rather confront problems head on.

    8. Amazing that there are people who still think that this is a reasonable arrangement.

  3. Tris

    Lamont won't do anything at all, and members of Labour, can always join or vote for another party. As far as europe goes postal services do not have to be privatised at all:

    There have been reports that Government proposals to part-privatise Royal Mail and the recent closures of some post offices in the UK are a direct result of EU legislation and, in particular, of the directive on postal services liberalisation that was completed last year. Most of these reports have been instigated by UKIP and are simply not true. The EU legislation is about market access, not privatisation. Richard Corbett MEP.

    The legislation is about access and like you say no one is going to want to deliver in Scotland as it will not be profit making enough overall, so really it needs to be run as a public service. However, Labour/Liberals will never support it no matter what their members say. Lamont just won't say anything because when she doesn't like the question , Falkirk, she just doesn't open her mouth. She has got to be the worst leader of the Scottish branch of labour ever and I really hope they keep her. Her performance last week at FMQs was shocking, she was shaking and got angrier and angrier because as usual AS batted away her points with ease then did the same to RD. They are inept, simple as that.

    However, the problem continues to be people voting for a Labour Party that no longer exists. Labour in name only and people like Dean continue to vote for them across Scotland in this vain hope that somehow they will change their spots and suddenly become this left of centre utopia. They have all fallen for the Miliband line on energy even when anyone with a brain knows that it will not happen. It will no doubt go against every competition law in europe and be unworkable. They will sit back and allow the sale of the east coast rail franchise, the continued privatisation of the NHS started by them and the continued attacks on the poorest because that is what right wing south of England want. They are are a sham of a party and I have given up now trying to convince their members any different because their heads are up their arse.

    I think LabourforIndy are an honest movement but the reality is that while they will change some minds the real change can only come as part of truly independent Labour movement in Scotland seperate from the New Labour or as I think of them Tory Medium. But lets keep Lamont and when services are all gone and consigned to history people like Dean I'm sure will defend it as being part of the Labour plan.


    1. Thanks for that post Bruce. It's a corker

      I suspected that it was not forced. I know that Mandelson tried to privatise the post some time ago but ran into problems. Well now of course the Tories who would make money, not just of selling their grandmothers, but would see her arm or leg if it would make more cash, have pushed ahead backed by that big lump of uselessness Clegg and St Vince of Perfection.

      Lamont is pathetic. But when you look, who else is there? No one! The few people that Scottish Labour (I know they don’t exist) has that are any good at all are in London. And let’s be honest, they are hardly fantastic. Dougie (I sell out my sister for a promotion) Alexander, Jim Demoted Murphy, Stairheid Maggie… I mean I wouldn’t call them any good, but at least they could whip Lamont.

      Ruth is a silly girl chosen by Dave because she would do what she was told. She’s a disaster compared with Ms Goldie. And Willie… pffff why?

      But you’re right, without the foggiest idea of what is going on, the traditional Labour voters trot out and vote for the party of the working man, which is stuffing them.

      How long will it take for them to see that Labour doesn’t give a thought for them?

  4. By that “display of low end political behaviour” do you actually mean her roundly out-performing the First Minister (as she does every week) at FMQs? If asking the same question five times, while ignoring the answer and occasionally adding in some Glasgow pub humour from a dumb-dumb sheet while waiting for the canned laughter from the apparatchiks behind you is beating the First Minister...then she surely does, as regularly as a Swiss cuckoo clock.

    1. Yeah Munguin... thats more or less what I was referring to!

  5. I don’t know why Labour just don’t agree to re-nationalise the Royal Mail, add it to the list of pie-crust promises at the end of their next manifesto. They said they would re-nationalise the railways in 1997 but then said it was too expensive and joined the franchising bandwagon. Even though on their watch Railtrack collapsed and had to be taken back under government control as statutory company Network Rail in 2002. That means that technically nobody owns Network Rail it has no shareholders has limited liability and is subject to government statute. In other words the government could easily pass a law taking it into government ownership and it wouldn’t cost a penny. At the same time in 2009 the east coast mainline franchise was brought back into public ownership when First Group realised that their bid had been so ridiculously low they couldn’t operate the line at a profit. So why not simply allow all the franchises to expire and take them back into government control one by one? Simple Labour in their guise as the new Tory party didn’t want to.

    In an independent Scotland it would simply be a matter of allowing Scotrail’s franchise to expire and allowing whatever entity that supersedes Network Rail in Scotland run the trains as well as maintain the track and that wont cost a penny either. The Royal Mail on the other hand we would have to buy back.

  6. Sorry it was National Express not First Group my apologies

    1. Yes, it was National Express. A truly dreadful company that "run" ??? the buses in Dundee from an office in Birmingham. They took on to run the East coast line and won the contract or franchise and then completely failed to be able to make it work at the price they had put in.

      I don't know what they expected to happen... maybe that the London government would give them extra money, fortunately they did not. They did allow them to give up the contract however, with, as I recall, no charge.

      A bit unfair on their competitor who put in a realistic bid and lost out.
      Yes, of course they could renationalise the railways, but they don't have the will.