Tuesday, 25 September 2012


Johann Lamont has, at long last, broken her silence perhaps as a result of the constant criticism she has received from bloggers and others for appearing for only 30 minutes in parliament on a Thursday and reading a London-written script.
So following last week's clear out in Glasgow headquarters, Johann appeared today to announce a commission on cuts. Some things never change, eh! I suspect this may have been commission king Gordon Brown's idea, if he has time to think about North Britain these days
Lamont is wondering why there should be a Council Tax freeze for the rich, a  position that Labour has held since the SNP brought in the freeze, except of course, in the run up to the election, when it they decided that in fact it was such a good idea that they adopted it themselves.
Mrs Lamont goes on to wonder about other things that the Scottish government provides free of charge like tertiary education and prescriptions.
She asks why a judge on £100,000+ should benefit from free tertiary tuition for his or her child. It's good question. But why not also ask why should they benefit from free secondary education, or primary education? 
One might also ask why someone who has earned large amounts in their working life is entitled to a winter fuel allowance, or even a retirement pension (although of course this is a reserved matter and outwith Mrs Lamont's commission's remit). 
One answer to these questions is: because they have paid their taxes, [and, incidentally, unless they have been fiddling (which it is the work of the Treasury and Inland Revenue to sort out) they have been paying a damned site more in taxes than I have].

Another is that the process of means testing is so expensive that it frequently costs more to operate than it saves, or it is easily fiddled.
Of course some benefits can be means tested on a sliding scale (council tax relief is one), and although it is extremely expensive to operate it is a fairer system. But other benefits cannot be calculated in this way. You can't have half a bus pass, for example.
A further argument against means testing is that once a benefit becomes means tested, the bulk of the population, or groups of the population, has no interest in its continued existence. It is then much more likely to be scrapped or reduced, because the political fall out will be far less.
We can see, for example, how the government in London is getting away with treating sick and disabled people. If this treatment affected us all there would be an uproar.
There is no doubt that Johann has opened up an interesting and hopefully stimulating debate, because at its heart is the kind of society we wish to have in Scotland.
I would have preferred for her to look at expenditure in a more all encompassing way. So, for example, if we weren't paying for our share of a 10 year plus war in Afghanistan, if we weren't paying for nuclear deterrents, if we used the North Sea gas to supply our nation with gas ...then what?
In light of the upcoming referendum, it would be interesting to bring these and other issues into the debate.
The Government's response from the Deputy First minister is as follows:
“Almost one year on from her election as leader and Labour still have no policies of their own to bring to the table. Establishing a Commission for Cuts but hiding the final conclusions until after the referendum is simply pushing Labour’s policy problems into the long grass.
“What Johann Lamont fails to realise is that the Social Wage put in place by this SNP Government delivers protection to households and families across Scotland from the impact of the UK Government’s attack on living standards and economic growth.
“Tory cuts to spending are happening now and it is by taking the difficult decisions that this SNP Government has been able to protect support for households.
“At a time when people are facing serious wage restraint and rising living costs the council tax freeze, the abolition of charges for prescriptions, support for higher education, apprenticeships and the elderly are all part of the support we in society give to each other.
"To destroy those shared social bonds, that we all pay for through our taxes, is a disastrous approach for Labour and one that will only increase support for an independent Scotland.
“All Johann Lamont has achieved with this morning’s hastily-arranged press conference is to highlight the successes of the SNP in Government.
“If Johann Lamont thinks that mimicking the Tories on police, prescriptions and tuition fees is the way ahead, she really has lost touch with the people of Scotland.


  1. tris

    weak very weak post of yours

    'why there should be a Council Tax freeze for the rich,'

    Unarguable really to say because you would does not answer the question.

    And as for the snp waving the tory flag at every chance.............IT WONT WORK

    See Alex seems to have surrendered on the second question and consigned himself to the doom of defeat they say the low dismal pathetic turnout was the final straw.

    He said this is not Stirling bridge this is Falkirk and I am beaten.

    Although I do at this time admire and respect Alex he of all people knows the battle is lost and still he fights on.

    The true mettle of a 'MAN' is those who fight on when all is lost and others run away.

    New International Version (©1984)
    Then the LORD said to him, "This is the land I promised on oath to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob when I said, 'I will give it to your descendants.' I have let you see it with your eyes, but you will not cross over into it."

    New Living Translation (©2007)
    Then the LORD said to Moses, "This is the land I promised on oath to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob when I said, 'I will give it to your descendants.' I have now allowed you to see it with your own eyes, but you will not enter the land."

    English Standard Version (©2001)
    And the LORD said to him, “This is the land of which I swore to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, ‘I will give it to your offspring.’ I have let you see it with your eyes, but you shall not go over there.”

    New American Standard Bible (©1995)
    Then the LORD said to him, "This is the land which I swore to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, saying, 'I will give it to your descendants'; I have let you see it with your eyes, but you shall not go over there."

    King James Bible
    And the LORD said unto him, This is the land which I sware unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, saying, I will give it unto thy seed: I have caused thee to see it with thine eyes, but thou shalt not go over thither

  2. LOL
    Good one C.H.

    The way she is going on I thought that she was Leader of the Scottish TORIES!

    Here's a wee update on Labour policy options.


    Will the 1000 extra bobbies on the beat be safe under Lamont's new policy of cuts?
    Maybees AYE!
    Maybees NAW!

    We had all this guff from Lamont today and STILL nothing from her about replacing Trident or any nuclear policy.
    I guess the policy on ALL things nuclear, sub surface and power station, is maybees AYE, maybees NAW!

    What is this fascination that Lamont has with a salary of £100,000?
    Is she jealous?

    Oh aye the council tax freeze worked well for Labour in 2011 didn't it?
    A.S. announces a council tax freeze and Gray immediately jumps on the bandwagon and announces a TWO year freeze, despite calling for the freeze to be scrapped weeks earlier, only for A.S. to trump him with FIVE years council tax freeze.

    I must say bringing Broon into the fray is a MASTER stroke. This is off course if he can find time from his busy schedule of dinners around the world telling all and sundry how he saved the world.

    Let's face it the minute Broon shows his face on the Bitter platform the YES camp numbers will increase exponentially!

  3. Niko:

    1 Alex wants one question.

    2. The people of Scotland want 2 questions (opinion polls show), therefore Alex raises the question of a second question with London.

    3 London says NOOOO.

    4 Who denied the Scottish people what they want?

    5 Oh yes, London; David Cameron; the Tories; the Nasty Party.

    Who comes out of it looking as if they care about what Scots want? Who comes out of it looking like they haven't paid any attention to the opinion polls...ie what people want?

    Now that's only my interpretation, but it's certainly the way it looks.

    Alex Salmond doesn't want devo+. He came into politics to get independence, and he's not going to give up at this stage.

    As for the value of the post, I though it was quite equitable.

    I don't question that it is something that we should discuss. Why do I pay taxes so that the Duchess of Caithness can have a bus pas (I don't know if she exists, but it's a possible example.)

    Why am I subsidising royal children to go to uni?

    Why does Fred the Shred get free prescriptions when out of his pension he could buy the NHS?

    In a broke UK, why are we paying £5000 a year in retirement pension to Mrs Thatcher and Mr Tebbit and their likes, who have £300+ a day income from the House of Lords?

    I agree these are valid questions.

    But I wonder if this is Labour's policy, why they didn't do something about it when they were in power; and I wonder why Mrs Lamont thinks that its reasonable, having done a U-turn on council tax freezes at election time (as did the Tories), to then do another U-turn.

    That surely is fair criticism.

    But overall I think she is within her rights to open these things up for discussion. Why not? In an independent Scotland Mrs Lamont may have a place in government. She might be first minister.

  4. Niko, what low dismal pathetic turnout would that be then? You can't mean Saturday, where the attendance saw the designated venue filled to about double its nominal capacity, and then at least half as many again outside? Face it, if anyone had expected more people they wouldn't have booked that venue. It was MOBBED. Contrary to the original plans, they'll have to find somewhere bigger next year. Do you have a problem viewing photos on your computer?

    And have you unionists STILL not figured out whose advantage it is to have only one question? Even after you were actually TOLD nearly a year ago and people have been telling you again and again ever since?

    I can't believe Salmond has pulled that one off.

  5. Mrs Lamont may have a place in government. She might be first minister.

    That must be a new strain of flu you have caught tris. LoL

    ps. get well soon.

  6. Ha ha...I can't believe it only took 5 minutes for the whole thing to descend into chaos...

    ... Well yes, I can, actually.

    I don't mind this discussion taking place. it's sensible to always be looking at what we can afford. And some of these things were put in place by a Labour-Liberal government.

    Clearly the police were a part of the review, and that has now been ditched because they realised very quickly how unpopular it was. probably a text from London!

    I'd have expected grass-roots Labour people to be horrified by the speech, but Niko seems to think it's a good idea.

  7. Another good one there CH...

  8. Yep Rolfe.

    They seem to think that it's a defeat for Salmond, but it's a total win.

    CAMERON has denied the Scots what they appear to want.

    In fairness it is because even if we voted for what would have to be a defined Devo-Max, he couldn't commit to it without convening an English only parliament to agree to amend the 1707 treaty. And that is unlikely to happen.

    None the less. If one was wavering (and let's be honest waverers are thinking people). They want to consider the pros and cons), I'd be thinking that the Eton Tory denied me what I really wanted...a half way house... ok, so I'll vote YES, which is what HE doesn't want.

    As I understand it Andrew Page, at Scottish Liberal, has said that he would vote for Devo Max (a traditional Liberal federalist policy, forgotten by the present lot) if it were on the table, but if not, it will be independence.

    I suspect many people think like that.

    I've already made clear my objections to devo max, even allowing for the problems of legality. These being that we would leave in the UK's hands, among some others) Foreign Affairs and Defence. Two departments that spend endless amounts of money, very inefficiently, and for very little return, and which still seem to be stuck in a time warp about 150 years ago.

  9. I've got a bit of a temperature CH... I should discard most of what I say LOL

    Thanks for your good wishes. I'm a quick healer. I'll be right in a few days. :)

  10. tris

    Fascinating I find watching and listening to you Nats Alex lost his second question and you lot claim a victory just Fascinating.

    Cos thats what he wanted all along ERR! so Alex was lying to the Scottish peoples all along then??

    the dismal turn out(Alex own words) was MOBBED yeah well any small venue would of been.


    You cling to your delusional beliefs against all the evidence

    Quintus: People should know when they are conquered.
    Maximus: Would you, Quintus? Would I?

    One Question to rule them all,
    One Question to find them,
    One Question to bring them all,
    And in the darkness bind them.

    In the Land of Britain where the Shadows lie.

  11. Niko:

    You are having trouble with a First Minister who takes the wishes of the population into account.

    Alex doesn't want his achievement to be a country which is still obliged to have its defence and foreign affairs run by another country...particularly one that wants to be involved in every war, and as Cameron said, "punch above its weight" in military strength.

    But if 40% of the population is asking for that, it doesn't seem unreasonable for a decent leader to take it on board.

    He knew it was unlikely to happen because apart for a few little things like handguns or speed limits there isn't much else they can give us.

    It would need consent from the Scottish and English Parliament, as the treaty needed 305 years ago.

    The perceived opinion is that the English parliament would never grant that.

    Where did you get that quote? I don't recognise it.

    But Cameron is the bad guy here, whatever way you look at it.

    As for Alex...like I say you don't work your whole life for something only to throw it away, knowing there won't be another referendum in your life time.

    Nope, Alex was always for all or nothing. After all, even if he were to lose, he'd probably still be first minister. Johann is hardly any competition.

  12. Niko:

    Scotland cannot afford all these freebies.

    How come we can afford trident?

    How come we can afford a refurbishment for Westminster?

    How come we can afford all the tra la la of the lords?

    How come we can afford 5 castles or palaces for the royals in London and one in Edinburgh?

    How come we can afford to be at war in Afghanistan?

    How come we can afford as much useless foreign aid as we give,often to countries who don't need and don't want it?

    How come we can afford £8 million for the Scotland Office?

    How come the government can afford to spend money employing someone to sell the union?

  13. LOL CH... that is so funny!!!

    Love the French one!

  14. Where did you get that quote? I don't recognise it.

    It was taken from a film quote by a front line soldier, it is just Niko trying act superior to us 'plebs' playing the 'Dunc' of Labour.

  15. trtis

    Every poll there ever was show overwhelmingly the people do not want Independence but there wishes Alex has tried to suppress.

    And as for the rest of your Guff about being ruled from elsewhere I shall only say The EU

  16. The EU doesn't make us go to war, or make our petrol the most expensive or allow free range to electricity and gas companies or make us have trident...Nor do they insit that we have the most expensive and worst, slowest trains in western Europe. . and whole pile of other things.

    And if the UK government/parliament wasn't so bloody lazy, a lot of the things that they pass into law without scrutinising would be thrown out because a huge amount of the stuff that comes from Brussels is optional.

    None of the laws that come from London are optional. They are not directives. They are the law.

    Still we couldn't wexpect the lazy gots to do much in the way of work for us plebs. We know out place.

    And yes, the bulk of people have said that the don't want independence, but the fewest have been for the status quo, so what is the first minister to do...

    He stands for independence and they elect him. He stands on a platform of a referendum and they elect him.

  17. it's certainly a possibility CH. We will no longer need the EU to stop the UK government putting the working week up to 60 hours and taking away every right of the plebs.

    So I'd have no objection to being like Norway and Iceland, Lichtenstein... EFTA members.

    It doesn't seem to have done them any harm.

  18. Heck she's having a car crash interview on Scotland Tonight on STV at the moment.
    But luckily she's changed her jacket :)
    Getting in a tangle over Trident lol

  19. Oh dear... On my way to look...

    Yes, the jacket was like one of my granny's pinnies, the wrap around sort!!

    Not only does she need some more reliable info on which to base her (few) pronouncements, but someone might tell her what is, and is not, appropriate for standing up representing your party at a press conference.

    Like an explosion in a paint factory!

  20. When I read her speech I thought I was reading the spoof BBC Scotlandshire site then was stunned to find I wasn't. What is the point of Labour if they jettison all the hard work a lot of people campaigned for over all those decades. Scrapping Trident will free up monies for services.

  21. Missed it! Damn. It's Nick Clegg now! Pfffff.

  22. Exactly, Marcia.

    If you want/need to save money, the way to do it is to get rid of unnecessary spending.

    Who REALLY benefits from Trident? The people at the top. They get to play at being important by having representation on the Security Council (as long as they do what Obama says). I've never as much as had a trip to New York out of it.

    Are the Russians going to attack us? Well, if they are, our little nuclear deterrent (supposing we can gt the codes from America in time) won't put them off. Likewise China.

    Au contraire if a dissident group like Al Qa'ida, but possibly from elsewhere, much closer, decided to fly a plane into our nuclear weapons base, we would be well and truly blown up! And there would be a mushroom cloud over Glasgow.

    £70 billion. Goodness, what could we do with that.

    So why doesn't she start on that and save money by campaigning to scrap it.

    You'd have to deny an awffy lot of fowk a free bus pass to recoup that kind of dosh.

  23. And your point about all the people who worked, night and day, in terrible conditions, and persecuted at every turn, to get something like decent conditions for British workers... How must they feel today with B£air the money machine, Mandelson, Brown , who can't be bothered to turn up to parliament and, as Monty points out on his blog, is over in New York causing mayhem on the stock exchange, and people who want nuclear weapons on Scotland soil...

    They must wonder what they bothered for as they look from pig to man and man to pig...

  24. You should read this... Hilarious:


    Link in sidebar => if you prefer.

    Grumpy Scottish Man

  25. Tris,

    from twitter it seems we missed JL on TV losing votes all around.

  26. Does she even KNOW what Trident is?
    She probably still thinks a Trident is the three pronged thingy seen on the back of old pennies being held by Br...., Brit...., Brit something or other!

    Well there is this over on the Guardian site.


    It looks like the whole nukes "disaster waiting to happen" can be dismantled in FOUR years.

    Oh don't worry about Broon Tris. There are still the odd two or three gazillionaires around the world willing to pay the odd million or three to hear how Broon saved the world!

  27. You didn't miss much from the stv programme tris. She was a bit panicked and rabbit in the headlightesque.

    That burdzeyeview blogger was good. Confident and kept on speaking to get her points across

  28. Q - What is the difference between Maggie Thatcher and Johann Lamont?

    A - the accent.

  29. Nikon

    Consider this.

    Ruth Wishart. A labour supporting a journo was in favour of DevoMax. It's not on offer. She is now in favour of Independence.

    Jim McColl was agitating for DevoMax, it's not on offer. He is now n favour of Independence.

    Now repeat that down the majority in favour of adevoMax. Who tried to get the other three parties to have a think about DevoMax? Alex Salmond and the SNP.

    Who denied the DvevoMax supporters the chance to vote for it?

    The Unionists

    Who will benefit out of this situation?

    The people of Scotland, Because a fair amount of those votes will add to thse that support independence, which is doing a lot higher in the polls than the Status Quo.

    As to the ending of Labour"s support for socially equitable provision of public services? The only way they can sell that is to victimise people, same as they did with the sick and disabled.

    You might want to support that party, if you do, I pity you

  30. It's already been said a few times but it bears repeating - Lamont is the only person who agrees with Nick Clegg these days.

  31. Thanks Marcia.

    I'm sorry to be so long in replying. I took advantage of the fact that I didn't have to get up, to lie in bed and try to shake off the flu. I'll pick on Twitter shortly.

    It seems from what you say, though, that Johann might have been doing Labour more favours if she had just stayed in her bunker.

  32. Well Arbroath, she used to know what Trident was, because she used to be against it, before she started climbing the greasy pole and of course before labour was pro WMDs.!

    Still, she may have forgotten.

    It's good to see we'll be shot of them by 2018!

  33. I'll try to find it on the STV player later Monty. Thanks

  34. LOL Marcia. That's a wee bit unfair to Maggie's hairdresser, don't you think.

    And much though I despise the woman, I'd say she has a slightly better sense of dress than Lamont.

    And before Niko jumps on me and says "you wouldn't say that if it was a man".

    I would!

    Brown always looked as if he'd slept in his suit, whereas Mr Miliband always looks like he spent all morning getting his expensive closes just right!

  35. Well said, Anon.

    I said somewhere else on this thread, the most unpopular of the three options has always been status quo (and no one would be so silly as to think that going back to direct rule from England was a starter (NHS privatisations, University Fees, prescriptions, etc, etc!).

    So the bulk of the people want change...either independence or devo max.

    By highlighting devo max and letting Cameron be the one to say a flat no to it, the unionists may think that they have got one over on Alex.


    After all Alex has won all the other arguments: the fact that there will be a referendum at all, the wording of the question and the date.

    It's nice to let the other side win a point. It's good negotiating skills.

    The fact is that it's a double win for the Yes campaign. I doubt there are many in that campaign that want devo max, but as you say, our numbers will swell with people who would have been happy enough to retain UK membership, but will not settle for the staus quo, where our money is taken from us and handed back in pocket money. Where our government is not allowed to borrow money, unlike a city council.

    Wee pretendy parliament, as Connelly described it; a parish council (an English thing) as B£air described it.

  36. Hi Don...

    Even Wullie seemed to be slightly out of line yesterday, I thought, with what Clegg thinks.

    There was a guy on radio this morning from some think tank on Fiscal Studies... He said that this kind of change would raise (and he was talking UK wide about Clegg's proposals) "between very little and not very much". A nice phrase I thought.

    As always with this kind of thing, to do it properly costs a lot of money, because of the constant changing of circumstances, all of which have to be verified. Offices have to be set up in every town. staff have to be employed to look at people's eligibility (people are rightly reluctant to send bank books through the post). A cyclical re-evaluation has to take place, like painting the Tay rail bridge, because people's circumstances change. Calculations are frequently wrong and have to be revised. For some things it is necessary (council tax relief), but if you are going to save very little money, why do it.

    One of the things that we have not mentioned here is how humiliating it is for the poorer OAPs to have to present themselves before a very junior clerk (often young enough to be their grandchild) and show all the details of their income, savings, outgoings...) It makes them feel like they are scrounging. It makes other people think that they are scrounging. (And look at what Westminster has done for disability hate crime, with their "you lot are lazy scroungers" campaign, aided and abetted by the Daily Mail and the Sun.)

    The truth is that many people who could apply for free bus passes, winter fuel allowance, etc, don't. They couldn't be bothered with the forms for what is a tiny sum to them, or, they genuinely don't want the money that they don't need that would be better used elsewhere.

    And where do you start. Nick says £1 million. Mrs Lamont says £100,000. What if the next government, pressed to raise more money for another war says, £50,000, or £25,000.

    And why stop there. Why should people not pay for board and lodging when they are in hospital.

    Will it be like free school dinners and the poor lad that gets taunted and teased.

    Nope, sorry, on balance I don't like the idea.

    I still say that Mrs L was entitled to raise it, no matter how politically dodgy it turns out to be. She is braver than I thought she was.

    I wonder if that means that London is thinking of backing Clegg and is trying it out in Scotland first?

  37. Johann said the money saved could be used to target those in need. Unfortunate phrase to use in connection with arms manufacturers.

  38. Meanwhile listen carefully.

    I hear that AD has said there will be no more powers if we vote no, some choice there then.

  39. I think that we should all take step back for a moment and think about all this talk about Lamont.
    No Seriously we should!
    I don't want to out Niko Niko but WE are all wrong here. Lamont has just made the most AMAZING speech in political history.

    In fact as a result of this speech we should all stand up and applaud her. She has just achieved what, until now, was thought IMPOSSIBLE!

    Lamont has managed to OUT THATCHER THATCHER!

  40. Yes John. For those in need to a missile up their fundament!

    Have you read Wings over Scotland's piee on it. Brilliant and passionate.


  41. Brilliant C.H. :lol:

  42. Listening now CH...

    Alistair Darling says... lol... who's he? Where's he? Oh yeah, he's in charge of the No, we're 'fairt organisation.

    The SNP is the new party of the working man, it seems.

  43. As ever the Nationalist resort to lies evasions and downright untruths.(as ever)
    Ms Lamont questioned quiet rightly in my estimation 'IF'
    paying for

    the council tax freeze

    not paying tuition fees

    personal care for the elderly.

    for those within Scottish society
    who are able and can easily afford to pay towards these snp bribes.
    When the fact is this leads to less money being used for those in real need and no money at all to pay for these benefits.

    the snp would like to claim and indeed do claim these are affordable for all which is untrue.
    and just goes to show the snp are the party for the wealthy in Scottish society.

    The Nats led by pudding bowl haircut AKA Nicola Sturgeon like to say(they always do although the evidence show different) this will lead to more votes for Independence

    Well good we will have a clear divide between those who believe
    being fair is about those who have the most paying a fairer share.

    And the snp who wish to stuff gold into rich peoples mouths in order to gain some votes any votes which they sorely need.

  44. Yes Arbroath. She's done away with the Labour Party's raison d'etre.

    Weel done Johann.

  45. Great List and fantastic new look for her Johanness, CH

  46. Yeah right Niko....

    Talking about pudding bowl haircuts, what do you think of Lady Lamont's hairdo?

    Did the old Labour Party not have something about universality of benefits at its core, or the basis that "benefits for the poor are always likely to be poor benefits"?

  47. Niko:

    I think we do believe in those who have the most paying the most, which is why we believe in a progressive taxation system starting off with the poor paying little or no income tax, and the rich paying a great deal more.

    Labour of course, you will remember doubled the bottom rate of income tax.

    In Britian today, thanks to the liberal Democrats we are moing to a point where people on £10,000 pa (2/3 of poverty level £16,000) pay no income tax, and teh UK deemed it right that those who earned over £150,000 pa, shouldn't have to pay 50% on the money they earned over and above that amount.

    How fair is the union then Niko?

    Can you answer a few questions.

    Would you be happy then to see rich people having to pay for education for their kids at primary and secondary level, means tested of course, so that the richest paid more and the poorer rich less?

    How would you feel if the rich had to pay for hospital treatment, or every time they went to the doctor, just fork out a means tested fee?

    Should the rich get a state pension?

  48. Johann

    is to me talking about

    the council tax freeze
    universal prescriptions
    and people on 100,000 a year, not paying tuition fees

    didnt see any mention of pensions
    But then I am not a politically myopic Nat.

  49. Once you start with taking away universal benefits Niko, where do you stop if America wants you to go to war in Iran, or Syria and you need more weapons... or George Osborne loses more money on his ridiculous scheme to save the economy...

    Where do you look for savings?

    Do you think...oh, we can tax the rich, or do you think...well, it was easy to take away their benefits, we took sickness benefit off them ok, sooooo a few of them died... good riddence. And no one complained much anyway.

    Then we took away the bus pass and the winter fuel payment, becasue we were only hitting the relatively well off old...and no one likes them...In fact, all our supporters shouted 'yes'... to hell with all these silly socialist policies, so, they won't mind if we take away the pensions from anyone who has over the average in private pension.

    And do you think the Tories or indeed New Labour wouldn't do this? Huh?

    Because if you do, think again.

  50. Just listened to Lamont on the iplayer from last night.

    She's talking utter mince, some how appealing to an already strapped and struggling populace that 'things cost money' so they'll need to pay more.

    I don't think it will be popular.

  51. And that's just the start, Pa. I can see that it may have some appeal to people who think that it's unfair that they are paying taxes so that the lady from the big house can get a free bus pass, and although that is a short term attitude, people often are short term.

    So I can see that maybe it can be popular. But she must be challenged on how far she believes it can go.

    And isn't it just really Tory/B£lairite policy? You throw crumbs at the poor and you can reduce taxation on the rich.

    Then, becasue none of these things any more affect the rich (who would include Johann Lamont and Ed Miliband), they will have no interest in ensuring that they are reasonable or fit for purpose...

    We already see this in unemploynment and sickness benefits. None of 'them' will ever require that, therefore they don't care that you can only barely live on the money.

    This is worth a read. It's an analysis for a left leaning Labour man. It doesn't look good for Lamont.


  52. Here is a crystal ball vision of the future if Scotland votes NO in 2014.


    Is this REALLY how we want to live AFTER 2014?
    I for one DEFINITELY do NOT want to live in this world of utter DOOM and DESPAIR!

  53. NO. I'm brushing up my language skills just in case. I think Norway would be nice, Iceland if not, or Denmark... The kind of place Scotland can be, without the UK.

    I'm not sure that I could stand the desolation we would have in a country which the Tories had defeated. They would treat us like dirt....even more so than now. And there will be such hatred for them, it will make life here horrific.

    The UK can't get away with fiddling again.

  54. Niko said:
    Cos thats what he wanted all along ERR! so Alex was lying to the Scottish peoples all along then??

    No. Alex told the Scottish people that he supports independence and will campaign for independence and not any other option. He told anyone who was listening that the SG only wants one question, but being democratically minded would be willing to add a second question on devo-max IF AN AMENDMENT TO THAT EFFECT WAS PROPOSED AND SUPPORTED BY ANOTHER PARTY.

    It was made perfectly plain that a devo-max option would have to be "owned" by another party, which was prepared to campaign for it, because the SNP were only interested in independence. This rubbish about a "consolation prize" was entirely made up by the unionists and the media. Alex told it straight, like it was, and whose fault is it if nobody outside the SNP believed him, and they all tried to figure a hidden agenda that wasn't actually there?

    Looks like it's almost job done. I honestly thought it would go on for longer, but Alex seems to have taken the unionist parties for suckers without even breaking sweat.

    Niko said:
    the dismal turn out(Alex own words) was MOBBED yeah well any small venue would of been.

    Alex's own words? Which actual planet are you on? Because in planet Edinburgh on Saturday, Alex actually said, "I've spoken to many crowds in these gardens over these last few years, but never to a rally of the scale and breadth and width of this great rally today."

    The photos are there to be examined. Observe, and weep.
    That wasn't even the warm-up. That was the toe in the water.

    But if it makes you feel better to imagine that only the people in the gardens on Saturday are going to vote YES in two years time, carry on.

    You can get back to me when the "Aw no we're too feart" campaign get up the nerve to see how many will turn up if they organise a rally. I don't think punters like being bussed up from Surrey.

  55. Stirring stuff Rolfe:

    And bang on too.

    Niko is, however, like the diehard Labour lot still clinging to Neocon Lamont values, hopelessly lost.

    He is the Caron Lindsey of the Labour Party. If the leader says it, it must be unquestioningly true.

    Even if it's a pile of crap.