Saturday 27 September 2014


...And in Glasgow they collected food for the Foodbanks, because Scotland has now been put on the back burner while the Tories lose people to UKIP and send people to war yet again, in the mess that they left Iraq. This is clearly much more important to them that Scotland is. 

Niko will say... you lost, give it up. 55% of Scotland wants to be British. 

I say, OK, we will do that, when the Public School Boys start to comply with what they promised in the last days of the campaign when they were sure they were going to lose... and what swung it for all the people who really wanted devo max anyway.

OK, that's not me (I don't want to be at war right now), but I accept that it's what overall Scots wanted. 

They did right at the beginning before Cameron ruled it out. (He has form on this... you can have a referendum on voting systems but you can't have the one you all want on the ballot paper; you can have a referendum on Scotland's future but you can;t have the option most of you want.) 

And they did when the party leaders promised something like it ... no sorry "vowed" it... and when Gordon touched down briefly in Scotland, between 5 star hotels, and promised that he would guarantee devo max... as near federalism as you can get in a state where one country comprises 85% of the population. 

As soon as Gordon starts guaranteeing this, and the government starts delivering it, we'll stop hounding them to do it. Simple.

And no. It won't do to say that we will have to wait because the country is at war. It seems to me that most ministers are not involved in this war (more's the pity). They can get their pretty little heads around the problem.

The next deadline approaches, Cameron. You missed the first one. Don't do it again. 
Just in case you forget us...
Lots and lots of us...
All over the place...
Yes, we know no one in Westminster gives a flying one
that people are starving. They'd much rather be off killing
Johnny Foreigner, while supplying arms to the enemy's
backers. But in Scotland we do actually care.
Let's support people who are being starved
to death by Westminster's policies.

Oh and Edinburgh does food banks too...

I thought it was worth reproducing this piece from the Guardian (without permission of its author, Kevin McKenna, but with a suitable link). 

The Guardian used to  be a Labour paper. Lord knows what the Torygraph is saying about Labour now.

Jim Murphy’s “scary monsters” tour of 100 towns during the independence referendum campaign encapsulated many of the reasons why the Labour party is all but finished in Scotland. Murphy, a man who has pocketed a small fortune in legitimately claimed expenses from Westminster in his 15 years there, would have had us all believe that his Herculean task of completing the tour in 100 days was all about saving the union. And indeed his narrative, like that of Alistair Darling, was all about how small, vulnerable and cowering Scotland is and why a curfew must eternally be imposed upon it.

But let’s be honest with each other here. This wasn’t really about his new-found enthusiasm for the union. It was, instead, a three-month job interview for the post of leader of the Labour party in Scotland. As Murphy began to embark on his bizarre urban peregrination around the country it began to dawn on several young Labour MSPs why, in the previous several weeks, they had been solicited to have cosy lunches with some of Murphy’s acolytes in a few of Glasgow’s more chichi restaurants.

The most troubling question that may be asked about Murphy’s tour is this one: you’ve been a Labour MP for 15 years, Jim, so why didn’t you ever get up off your arse during that time to conduct a tour of 100 towns to highlight urban deprivation and social inequality? You waited far too long to show you cared about anything beyond your career and, when you finally did, you chose the wrong subject to get all passionate about: the British state.

The same can be said about Labour in Scotland and could probably pass as its epitaph. Because, if something very drastic and very radical doesn’t happen to the party in this country soon, then it is effectively finished as a serious political entity and will become a party of the undead. It will be condemned to spend the next two generations in the same twilight zone as that occupied by the old British Liberal party throughout the 20th century.

Those Scottish nationalists experiencing problems in accepting the independence defeat are gleefully portrayed as stumbling through the Kübler-Ross five stages of grief model. Some grief. Seven years ago, their party remained in opposition in its own devolved parliament. Since then, it has become the natural party of government in Scotland, having achieved an overall majority of seats and having come closer to bringing the British establishment to its knees than Hitler, Napoleon or Christine Keeler. Its membership currently sits at around 70,000, almost three times what it was on 18 September. If Carlsberg made political defeats…

It is Scottish Labour’s party chiefs and its senior strategists who need to acknowledge, and quickly, what has just happened to them and to face reality. In four of their five most impenetrable redoubts, their core voters rejected the most intense barrage of anti-independence propaganda that any had ever encountered. They lost Glasgow and North Lanarkshire, for heaven’s sake. For two years, every Scottish MSP and all the Westminster ones that matter hectored Labour’s most loyal voters with wave upon wave of attacks on Scottish independence: only Labour at Westminster can deliver true social justice; there are too few of you adequately to foot the annual care bill; your pensions are at risk. Yet still, almost 40% of their supporters rejected these lines.

Gordon Brown was wheeled out at the last to entreat the comrades to win one more for the Gipper while displaying a love for the NHS largely invisible during his 13 years at Downing Street. They saw through him, too, and left Labour’s King Lear to reflect that his greatest political achievement was to play a cameo role in keeping David Cameron’s career alive.

Labour’s recently elevated aristocracy, Baron Reid of Cardowan and a retinue headed by their lordships McConnell of Arran and Robertson of Port Ellen also suffered to come down among those folk they once knew and talked too of social justice and building communities. Margaret Curran was the first to wake up to the nightmare when she declared that Labour must reach out to its heartlands. There is no satellite navigation system sophisticated enough to guide them to these long-forgotten places.

Already I hear some of them claiming that the lost 37% will be back in due course to “kick the Tories out”. They are deluding themselves. This time around, disaffected Labour people aren’t simply registering a protest vote. They are actually joining the SNP in droves. Many of the 37% of their voters who voted yes were initially disowned by their own party, or their existence actually denied. Then they were hounded out of their constituencies and demonised as nationalist stooges. They will not forgive such treatment easily.

Many others were sickened at watching their party acting as swordbearers for the baleful forces of the Conservative party, big oil, big business and the landed and undeserving rich during the referendum campaign. The sight of Labour people singing and dancing with Conservatives at having preserved the established order of things will not be erased soon.

Ed Miliband will require all of his 41 Scottish Labour MPs to be returned if he is to have any hope of winning an overall majority at Westminster next year. Yet how many of them would survive a backlash from among the 1.6 million who voted yes and who have effectively renounced the Labour faith?

In recent days, I’ve been rebuked by some chums in the Labour party for deploying the term “careerist” to describe them. Leaving aside Murphy and his 100-day job application and Baron Reid and Baron Foulkes of, ahem, Cumnock and their exalted Labour lordships McConnell and Robertson, I’m willing to concede that “careerist” doesn’t apply to all Labour stalwarts.

So here’s a challenge to the good and able Scottish Labour MPs at Westminster such as Gregg McClymont, Tom Greatrex, Ian Murray and Anas Sarwar. The party in Scotland, gentlemen, is on a life-support machine. How many of you care enough about it to give up your Westminster careers and come to its aid at Holyrood?


  1. One of the things that stuck in my craw was Liverpool Labour Party supporters being bussed up to Glasgow to stand beside the Sun against the Scots.You couldn't make it up.

    1. I suppose in the UK, there is little that is unbelievable. You wouldn't think of making it up. But they were forever bussing up people from Labour branches in England and paying them, because their own members were on the yes side...

      Awful corrupt lot.

      It's an awful corrupt country too.

      No sooner did Labour announce that 18-21 yo wouldnt be entitled to JSA that David Cameron stole that policy for his own. Apparently announced in the Times.

      So now, if you are between 18 and 21,... regardless of who makes up the next government... don't get unemployed, otherwise you will starve to death.

      This may be a little hard for you given that the dole will send you for any job at all, even if it only lasts a few weeks and is a zero hours contract. Now we know what it must have been like to live in the 1860s if you didn't go to Harrow or Eton.

      But there...the country is broke...we can;t expect to be able to keep the unemployed alive.

      Except of course the war in Iraq will cost £3 billion and rising (because it will probably go on for 10 years)... so, maybe we aren't that broke.

  2. So I was talking to some Tory mates of mine and they split down the middle very interestingly.

    Half of them welcomed the UKIP defections 'cos it rid the Tories of 'headbangers' (their words)...the other half welcomed the defections 'cos they thought it might force an end to the 'modernising agenda' inside the party (by modernising agenda they seemed to mean 'supporting gay rights mainly).

    Reality is: Conservatives are badly split between socially liberal 'moderates' and 'Thatcherite' old gaurdsmen.

    It isn't Europe anymore so much as a battle for the soul of the Tories on much wider philosophical issues like social policy, gay rights, minority rights etc.

    This will be interesting.

    1. That's interesting, Dean.

      Hug a hoodies not going down too well with the Thatcherites.

      It's a funny old mess the Tory Party now. I can't make head nor tail of it.

      I'm surprised that Europe isn't so much of an an issue inside the party. I still think that there are many Tories who can;t abide the idea of Englishmen being told what to do by a bunch of foreigners.

  3. I think Labour under Millipede is unelectable even if Scotland returns its usual dollop of LabourTory's to Westminster.The South of England will never elect the LabourTory's in view of Gordon Broon's disastrous stewardship of the economy.
    Murphy might be playing a long game here-he is daft enough to think he might be in the running for the top job in the event of Millipede falling on his sword when the LabourTory's lose the 2015 election.The soapbox skit will be used to present him as a man of the people,a bit like that other grey man,John Major, who also was fond of presenting himself as one of the unwashed.That egg could be very costly for Scotland one way or another.

    1. Sadly for Scottish unionist MPs there will never be another Scottish PM thanks to Brown, so Murphy should lower his sights. Possibly FM In Scottish Parliament, but even that would not be certain.

    2. I've never seen Murphy as being a star, even though I admit Labour seem to look on him as a bit of a heavyweight. I heard him utterly skewered on radio phone ins, by ordinary people, so much so that he got rattled and accused the BBC of taking only SNP callers' questions.

      Like that was ever going to happen.

      I agree with the comment that there won;t be another Scottish PM. Nor I think will any of the top posts be taken by Scots.

      And if new powers emerge for Scotland as surely they must in the end, one way or another, that will make it even more unlikely that a Scot will ever take a top role.

      Miliband appears not to rate Murphy either, demoting him at his first reshuffle. I think he's nowhere man. But then there are, and have been, some very mediocre ministers in the past...why not in the future?

    3. I thought he going to omulate eggwina curry in whatever role that was.

    4. At least her eggs were unfertilised.

    5. Oh yeah... stand up double act!

  4. tris and the others

    You didnt just lose you were crushed with your much vaunted
    chief committing political seppuku ( and so he should ).
    Its only downward for you Nats bent on Independence,
    will you ever learn i wonder ???

    1. Niko, the big losers are arguable Scottish Labour.

      Johann Lamont has alienated 37% of her own voters who voted she branded them 'narrow minded nationalists'. She kicked them in the teeth in Glasgow, Dumbarton, Dundee as she declared 'VICTORY' over twitter.

      Labour lost Glasgow, lost Dundee, lost 37% of their OWN VOTERS to YES.

      Do you really think after all that they'll be coming back?

      Last I checked they were making a clean break for Greens, SNP, SSP...anyone except SLAB.

      Confident now? A pyrrhic victory if ever I heard one.

    2. Deano

      The snp will now have to make real choices with the real power they
      are gaining from Westminster, This will be the reason many who flirted
      the snp having found out what a partially unfettered snp are capable
      off. Will return to the open loving arms of the Scottish labour party.

    3. The question is, Niko, what new powers?

      Gordon Brown promised as near federalism as makes no difference.

      Dave has said that's not true (but he waited till after the vote before saying it). He says there will be an extension of existing responsibilities, and that despite pledging that the Barnett Formula will stay in place, there will be less money for Scotland.

      So greater responsibility; but less money?

      He also seems to have put one over on Brown, because Brown, who is credited as saving the referendum (nice to get that one over on Darling), appears not to have been informed that England would want devolution too and that that would cause all manner of problems for Scottish devo-max..

      The trouble with devo max for England is that Labour would not really be able to form a proper government in the UK if England always voted on its own policies, and of course it means removing Scotland from even the pretence of having a say in how much money is spent.

      Dean is right. Labour is the one with the biggest problem.

      A tripling of membership for the SNP and Greens is not a problem for them surely. The SNP now has nearly twice the membership of the Liberals over the whole UK and is creeping up to the membership of the Conservatives. And why? Because they were seen to have lied through their teeth to us, so they could keep their hands on the oil money, which will pay for their war, which will please the President and earn them Brownie points.

      Blair must be over the moon. His protégé Cameron has followed his instructions and gone to war. Must be big bucks in it somewhere for Blair.

    4. Niko: One of the SNP's great pluses is that when put to the challenge of actually running the country, they have done marvellously well.

      The had a minority government in 2007 and worked well with it. They got an overall victory in 2010. They brought in popular policies, despite having their grant cut from £33 to £27 billion.

      It gets harder and harder to make ends meet, but as labour promises even more horrific austerity on the people at the bottom, I can't see that they have a chance with the Scottish working classes.

    5. If memory serves me right Labour set quangos to do the thinking for them as they are missing the correct genes to make decisions by themselves.

    6. Not genetically programmed?

    7. Nico, I had a whole diatribe to launch at you; showing the error of your ways. The cowardly way you voted no, then to sod off to sunnier beaches. The way you blame all worldly ills on a political party, who's sole aim is the betterment of the the Scots and Scotland. The way you parade your unionist ideals as if they were a universal panacea. Then I thought, fuck it, he's not worth it. He will have to bid a fond farewell to his bar, when his beloved unionist parties drag the UK out of Europe. A bitter sweet irony.

    8. CH

      Naw, they just don't want their name going through any decision like Blackpool Rock. It is all to do with deniability and lack of personal conviction.

      The only conviction this lot have is in the future tense, a criminal one.

    9. Jimminy

      That was a pretty good for all the good people are in the
      snp well I leave it there.


      seeing as Alex ( who was he they ask ) spent all his time wooing
      the wealthy Scots at the expense of the less well of scots. Its with great Irony I point out the downtrodden poor who Alex ignored voted
      yes ( but not for the snp )
      whilst the wealthy whom Alex spent his time erse kissing voted to
      a man and woman no and for the union..I mean you gotta laff.

      still the snp will be put of power in 2016 its already been arranged

    10. Well, I dunno... circumventing a raft of the Westminster policies in the Social Security filed wouldn't be pandering to the rich Niko.

      Building council houses wouldn't be seen to be pandering to the rich.

      Free prescriptions either. It was never the rich who had to choose between which medicines they could afford and which they could manage to do without.

    11. Niko, the truth is you won but you will lose in the long term. Scotland was cheated once AGAIN, just like 1979 with a Labour Politician taking on the role of Sir Alex Douglas Hume, who was at least a Tory and we all know how that went. Well as others have said this just doesn't feel like 1979. The SNP have a happy knack of coming back like the waves in the ocean, this time I foresee a Tsunami.

  5. Falkirk and Inverness did great as well yesterday. This feels nothing like 1979.

    1. Good Iain.

      1979 was a walk over for them.

      I imagine people moaned a lot but just put on their stiff upper lip and got on with it, while Thatcher took money from the Scottish budget and threw a third of the population on the scrap heap.

      But it's a different world now and I'm sure that people like Cameron aren't totally clued up on the power of the internet.

    2. They fear the internet and want to control it something like those other great democracies do such as China.

      Dean a site you might find interesting.

    3. What I don't understand is that they worry themselves a lot about the atrocities in Iraq, but care not a whit about the atrocities in for example Saudi, which has executed by beheading, 19 people in the last month.

      And they don't seem to want to to go to war with them.

    4. Thanks for that Cynical.

      Without my VPN I'd probably not be able to get onto that site. Here in China things are getting very...tense...'cos of Hong Kong. Even Instragram is now banned alongside Twitter, FB etc...

      I don't see any of this ending well.

      Can't these students in HK not see what they're doing? If this escalates much further, you watch Beijing lose its temper and crack down hard.

      That happens, goodbye any freedoms HK currently enjoys.

      Things are not peaceful or tranquil right now. Even some of my more politically engaged Chinese friends here won't discuss any of this. There is palpable anxiety.

  6. Labour is dead, the body is in putrefaction and even Dr Frankenstein could raise it to a meaningful definition of life.

    Zombies infest it.

    Jim Murphy has arisen.

    1. Forgot this, sorry

    2. A symphony of horrors....?

      Could be either Labour or the Tories.

      The Liberals would just be a concerto of horrors...

  7. tris

    Whats your view on the Hard left organisng and joining the snp to gain
    power through the back door and push the snp to the extreme left of
    Not sure Alex would approve or Nicola can control the snps own militant

    1. I have to admit I thought about the large increase in membership and wondered where that might take the party.

      As far as I can see it is a relatively democratic organisation. I wonder what a large influx of members will do to its policy making.

      My own politics are fairly left wing anyway (I'm reading Dennis Skinner's book right now adn agreeing with more or less everything he says) but I'm anxious about the idea that some of the hard hard left might influence things too far for even me.

      Of course Eck himself pulled the part to the left by quite a way for the days of Gordon Wilson.

      It's an interesting problem.

  8. tris

    Have you voted yet............yes or no.........answer on this poll as well i voted for no
    well i would its a good unionist word

    1. I grant you that £23,000 seems a huge amount if you live outside of london or Birmingham, may certain parts of manchester.

      But that includes housing benefit and with absolutely no cap at all on what private landlords can charge for hovels and almost no public housing available, it will mean more people being evicted.

      That's the Tories for you though. It won't be them or theirs.

    2. Of course you voted NO it is the longest word you can spell without a spell checker.
      I much prefer Tris's comments.