Tuesday 14 August 2012


Yesterday we heard that the journalists' trade union, the NUJ, was taking issue with Ian Davidson's recent performance on News Night Scotland. Today, something I thought I would never see,  an article from Labour paper The Daily Record (reproduced here in full) deeply critical of not just Davidson, but of the whole Labour party, including Lamont and Darling, for doing the Tories' dirty work for them. 

This is a game changer. Labour supporters read the Record in droves. Their opinion has an element of sway. But, they also have their ear to the ground. They don't stray in their opinion far from what they are hearing on the streets of Glasgow, where they are based. If they are starting to lambaste leading Labour figures, they must be fairly certain that the mood on the streets is open to this criticism.

Yesterday Gordon Brown gave a speech and some amazing interviews in which he seemed to suggest that Chris Hoy couldn't have won a gold medal if it hadn't been for England. (Presumably Andy Murray couldn't have won without Spain then, s that is where he trained). He seemed to accept too that Scots are around 4% worse off than the English. I'm not sure why any Scot should accept that, even one that comes from North Britain! 

Further he seems to think that wage levels would change were the union to split up. But if he were a little more regular in his appearances in the House of Commons, which we pay him to attend, he would know that his friends the Tories, intend to have regional pay rates for all public servants, from council employees to doctors and teachers. 

I think you will enjoy this. The article is open to comments too...
MOST sensible people were glued to the London Olympics on TV these last two weeks.
So they may have missed Ian Davidson, a senior Scottish Labour MP, make a complete plonker of himself when he insulted a respected female BBC journalist.
Isobel Fraser, a poised and dignified presenter of Newsnight Scotland, asked Davidson a question he didn’t like last week.
The Glasgow MP blew a gasket, ranting about “Newsnat” Scotland and accusing Miss Fraser and her colleagues of being pro-SNP, something that will come as a surprise to Alex Salmond.
Davidson heads a Tory/Labour-dominated House of Commons committee charged with looking after Scottish Affairs. This is not the first time he’s landed himself in the proverbial.
The only SNP member of his committee, Dr Eilidh Whiteford MP, said she could no longer attend while he was chairman because she said he had threatened to give her “a doing” for speaking to the press.
His language so alarmed English members of the committee that he was forced to explain that he didn’t mean “doing” in a sexual way. Charming.
Mr Davidson was on Newsnight to discuss a report his committee produced into the planned independence referendum – or as they insisted on calling it, the “separation” referendum (no bias there, then).
His report says the Scottish Parliament has no power to hold a referendum. Only Westminster can do that, it says.
The Tory government in London could, however, give the Scottish parliament “permission” to hold the referendum, but only if Westminster called the shots.
Mr Davidson has done an excellent job of delivering for David Cameron.
His committee’s conclusion is exactly the same position as the Tory PM took when he tried to hi-jack the referendum back in January – a move that infuriated Scots.
There’s nothing we hate more than being patronised – and that’s exactly what Davidson and the Tories are doing.
Davidson feels no embarrassment that he is delivering the Tories’ wishes.
That must also go for his fellow Scottish Labour committee members who signed the report. Hang your heads in shame Iain McKenzie (Inverclyde), Lindsay Roy (Glenrothes), Jim McGovern (Dundee) and Pamela Nash (Airdrie and Shotts).
These Labour MPs worked in tandem with the Tories on the committee to produce the shameful report.
Their true blue allies include Fiona Bruce, Conservative member for Congleton, David Mowat, Conservative member for Warrington South and Mike Freer, Conservative member for Margaret Thatcher’s old seat of Finchley.
Is this how low Keir Hardie’s party have sunk? They will use Margaret Thatcher’s successor to strip Scots of the power to decide their own future?
Johann Lamont, Labour’s leader in Scotland also stood shoulder to shoulder with the Tories – at the launch of the anti-independence Better Together campaign.
She believes Scotland is better off with a Tory Westminster government slashing benefits for disabled people, squandering Scotland’s oil wealth on tax cuts for the super rich, and sticking to a lunatic economic policy of austerity.
But there are murmurs of discontent. One front bencher, Neil Findlay, recently had a go at Alistair Darling, Labour figurehead for the Tory Better Together campaign.
Findlay wants the Scottish parliament to have the economic power to protect the poorest – yet his party leaders are trying to block a second question on that subject.
Even more damning for Lamont was the verdict of one of her predecessors, Henry McLeish, former First Minister of Scotland.
Mr McLeish said last week the anti-independence campaign was in danger of also appearing anti-Scottish. We can only speculate as to what he meant.


  1. tris

    see you have gone from the daily retard to the Daily Record.

    OOH! I wonder why

    All Ian did was call a Nat a Nat

  2. Niko seems to accept the natural right of only Keir Hardie House approved commentators or interviewers to be allowed on TV.

    Anyone impartial is therefore the eneny "If you are not with us you are against us"

    Given Niko's support for a right-wing, authoritsrian party which hates the poor and sick, why doesn't he just join the Tories and take over from Dean?

    1. Or is it John Smith House now, showing my age

  3. Thing is, that article was by Joan McCalpine MSP (SNP) in her regular column, not the Daily Record's view. Their editorial line and news articles are still firmly anti SNP and pro Labour.

    I say that as someone who agrees completely with Joan's article.

    But the very fact Joan is writing in the Record and has been for a few months is at least a move in the right direction in terms of balance. But the overwhelming tone is still hostile to the SNP.

  4. I carry no brief for Ian Dividson. I think he is wrong about the BBC and Isabel Fraser....but....really....

    Joan McAlpine rants at Labour MPs and MSPs and - yet again - but this time through proxy Henry McLeish - calls people who disagree with her "anti-Scottish".

    What's new about that? She's had her Record column for months now and it has had no impact beyond showing her silly/nasty version of SNP "thinking".

    Has it occurred to anyone that McAlpine is allowed on the pages of the Record to expose the Nat underbelly to the light of day?

  5. I've called it both on occasions Niko.

    No, it wasn't all he did. He acted like the ass he is.

    I wonder he didn't threaten to give her a doing!

  6. Anon: I've no idea why Niko doesn't join the Tories. There policies are within a gnats tail of labour's.

    Deficit reduction, just slightly slower (which means that it would go up slightly faster); make life utterly unbearable for anyone who is sick, or disabled, or just thrown out of work by their vile policies.

    Then there is their desire to bomb the living daylights out of anyone who doesn't agree with the USA; creep up the president's backside till they all but disappear; spend money on grandiose projects while there are children with the distended bellies of malnutrition, and old people who can't afford to to eat and heat; and if it moves, privatise it... that the Lories or Tabour.

    I often don't know which is which.

    And I have no idea where labour hangs out these days... maybe it's a spare room in Tory headquarters, which is probably in the Strand.

  7. tris

    the accusation was fully investigated and found to be untrue.
    that wont stop you but there you are.

    Henry McLeish, can say and believe what he wishes doesn't mean the rest of us real Labour have to pay any attention.

  8. Hi Ron:

    Welcome to the blog, and thanks for contributing.I hope you will again.

    I didn't actually see Joan's name on the piece, so I had no idea... That does put a slightly different complexion on it, but I still say that the Record is watching the way things are going and reacting by employing the likes of Joan to write columns.

    Maybe the Record will move more towards the government's viewpoint as time goes by and more polls show that no one trusts Labour (what a surprise) and Johann is even worse than Iain (don't sleep in the subway) Grey.

  9. tris

    given Alex is on the record stating he believes in a low tax economy.

    Please explain were the cash is coming from.
    Oh and pleese dont use the Oil crap argument there aint enough and is just a vile disgusting Nationalist subterfuge to avoid the truth of people will have to choose to pay a higher level of taxation if they wish to help their fellow Scottish citisens or perhaps not.

    and if i was proper Tory i would join the snp

  10. Niko: I don't think that the accusation was found to be untrue. I think the Tories and Labour got together to say that they heard nothing.

    After all, even to the Tories, a coarse wee bloke like Davidson is infinitely superior to Dr Whiteford, because he believes in dependence, and she believes in independence.

    You really think real Labour likes policies that hound sick people to get work till they die? 30+ a months!!!!!

    Not the Labour party I've read about from the days before Blair and Mandelson decided to trade up, get rid of socialism and appeal to SE England.

    And don't say they didn't Niko. I've read Pete's book.

  11. Right

    The Labour Councillor holds no brief for the Labour MP

    Other one

    Bells on