Sunday, 26 April 2015


Earlier today, on the previous post, Anon suggested this blog post, and a response to it. I read the link and felt moved to offer a comment of my own. But as I started writing and the comment got longer and longer, I though it would make a reasonable post on Munguin's Republic. It drifted away from the topic a little perhaps, but, hey, that's how my mind works. For what it's worth, here it is. You might find it a little less disjointed if you read what inspired it first.

Gordon Brown apparently fails to see that if you have a finally balanced referendum result in the offing; and if you then conspire with a Tory prime minister, with only 1/59th of the representation of the country, to deliver a 'vow', a package of measures previously specifically ruled out by that very Tory prime minister, if that ‘vow’ changes enough people's minds that they vote for the new "most devolved powers in the entire world" otherwise described as "as near federalism as you can get when one country in the state holds 85% of the population", and if, on the day after the referendum, people find out that they have been duped by that poorly represented Tory prime minister,  and the most trusted Scottish ex prime minister (EVEL, with which I totally agree, but the Labour party doesn't, indeed electorally CANNOT), and if in the following months a rfarce of a consultation takes place and delivers almost none of what was promised… and that even those powers which looked like coming,  are watered down to the point that they are all but  invisible, it is hardly surprising that there will be a distrust and dislike of the party which guaranteed all of the above.

I realise that the British public is a deal less volatile than some other, but at some point a desire for some sort of new politics, something promised over and again at each general election and never delivered, is bound to take a hold.

There comes a time when there is a desire for a cessation of rule by a never changing  elite, shown over and over to be corrupt to the core in almost all aspects of its daily doings from the relatively trivial attempts to line their pockets, and in doing so work against democracy (Straw, when touting for future employment, as one recent example, admitted influencing EU discussions on behalf of a client, when he was being paid by us to work for the UK) , to the infinitely more serious matters of murder of children.

In Scotland, the somewhat distant London-based parties and their "elder statesmen" should try to remember that it is not the SNP (nor the Greens, the Scottish Socialists or Radical Independence) who are behind this movement.

It is, in reality, the ordinary people of Scotland. It is, as Jim Murphy called them, "Glasgow Man".

A demographic which was previous attached at the hip to Labour, has seen, at long last, that Labour has no real interest in them, save for using them to ensure the ongoing income and rise to the top of people like Maggie Curran, Dougie Alexander, Jim Murphy, Iain Davidson and their likes.

Glasgow man has latterly come to the conclusion that for all he has voted Labour for all these years, because as one guy said to me "It's the party of the working man", he, Glasgow man, seems to have become comparatively poorer, and conditions in which he lives, still produce areas where life expectancy is well under 60 years, poorer than many parts of the developing world, or war zones like Gaza.

Labour deserted Glasgow man because he was expendable. (Where else was he to go? The Tartan Tories, a reputation they liked to foster, but based on something from the dim and distant past?) 

For power, as Mandelson said, you had to get the vote of the Home Counties and the South East, and you weren't going to get that spending their taxes on poor people in social housing in inner-city Glasgow or Dundee.

What actually has happened is that Labour has moved farther and farther to the right. Would Keir Hardie recognise Labour now?

Possibly the final insult (and one predicted  as a disaster by many on the left of Labour) was the election for some weird reason, of a right wing, Blairite, Henry Jacksonite, war enthusiast, Scottish branch leader. Loathed by the left, almost as much as Blair himself is, his election marked the real end of Labour in Scotland. We told you we wanted to move to the left, and you elected a right winger for the leader... What?

It happened more or less at the same time as the most left leaning, anti war, pro equality, leader of the SNP ever, came to power. In Scotland the Tories being nowhere; the Liberals now a part of history; UKIP having managed a brief success in the EU elections, only to have themselves represented by an ignorant racist who doesn't even live in Scotland, and has a particularly virulent strain of foot in mouth disease, the new real politic, as Curran would call it, is Labour on the right,  SNP on the left.

The grandees of the Labour party need to look to themselves for their failures, rather than blame the SNP for their success. Labour ceased to be the party of the working man a long time ago. If you don’t represent your constituency, there comes a time when they will go vote for people who will...people whose agenda is not dictated by the need to win Tory seats in the South East of England.

And frankly it doesn't help if your top people from both the main English parties having begged us to stay with them, are now saying pretty much the same things about Scotland not having the right to send SNP members to London. Exercise your right to vote for whom you want, under our FPTP system, and you will cause a crisis.

Seriously, if they haven’t worked out how damaging that is to their cause, no wonder they are in the tanks. 

Yesterday Munguin and I made a new friend. We had a great afternoon talking politics with one of our family of readers. AH, Abu Haimi, came all the way from Malaysia to see Scotland and, obviously, Munguin. Thanks for coming to Dundee and spending the afternoon in what I know was a really hectic schedule. It was a great afternoon, and I hope we'll have more time together next time you're here. Safe journey home for you and your lovely family, AH.

I'm not much of an historian, but I seem to recall reading that the Daily Mail was relatively supportive, at least for a time, of Adolf Hitler and the Nazi regime. 

Neither am I much of a royalist, but I also seem to recall reading that one very spoilt and unpleasant prince they had in the 1930s, a man who appeared to be incapable of keeping his clothes on for any length of time if there were married women available to bed, when he found he couldn't have his own way about marrying his bit on the side, who had a history of "trading up" her partners for something better, a certain Mrs Simpson, decided to reject the crown of England and his destiny as king, in favour of aforesaid woman.

It seems that they too as were pleased to be received as a royal duke (and ex-King) and his not so royal wife, to meet with Adolf Hitler. 

It might well then, have suited the Daily Mail for Edward VIII, an apparent Nazi sympathiser, and his pushy wife, to stay on the throne. So for them the abdication was, indeed, a real crisis. They lost their man and got George VI and his formidable wife instead.

Whilst we are on the subject, don't you think some people should probably take more water with it:

Now Kezia, you really can't say you weren't warned, when the First Minister herself told you. So presumably, like a good manager, you have been monitoring his tweets. What do you think if this doozie?
Finally, let's spare a thought, and maybe some money, for the terrible disaster of the Nepalese Earthquake.


  1. From the multiple butcher's aprons, I take it that Broon was speaking in an Orange Lodge. A bit insensitive of him, I would have thought.

    1. Sensitivity isn't a quality I'd imagine Brown has in large quantities,Fergus!

  2. The "Union" was purchased initially by English gold for Scotland's leaders acquiescence
    to London rule.
    Since then,that tradition has continued with our elected (supposedly representative) MPs
    being seduced by power and privilege in London as the reward for keeping Scotland tightly bound to English domination of our affairs.
    Lip service was paid to their electorate's needs by these MPs who effectively became representatives of the London based political parties in Scotland,ensuring that we were kept in our designated place.
    Democracy is an alien concept to the English state which still believes in the devine right of
    kings and rule by an elite aristocracy as the norm.
    The radical idea of a group of "alien" MPs actually standing up for their constituents wishes will not be acceptable to them and the establishment will do anything to prevent this idea from taking root in their (England's) parliament.
    Hopefully,by the time they have had enough of us,sufficent number of Scots will have woken up to the reality of the so called "Union" and decide we would be better of not together.

    1. That was well put bringiton.


  3. Thought provoking piece.

    What is absolutely right is that Labour leadership is responsible for their sharp decline, as is the "Glasgow man" phrase.

    Many have turned to the SNP not for independence, but a more effective government that has socialist leanings. Labour failed in spectacular fashion, with McConnell proving that many MSPs are simply jumped up councillors. Salmond used his Wesminster experience to show what can be done. You'd expect Murphy to do the same, but alas no. Brown, for all his faults, is still a very effective campaigner. Murphy is simply a piece of convenient furniture. A party that relies on previous leaders all the time is in desperate trouble.

    I think the SNP will get about 35 MPs, which in itself will cause a bit of a ruckus. If they manage 45+ Labour will probably implode. They are not going to make significant, if any, gains in England. The leadership of Labour has no charisma. Balls reacts badly to criticism, and gives the appearance of a salesman who is going to miss his target and is desperate for a sale. Come to think of it, so does Murphy and Cameron. Balls is also an interviewers godsend, as he is easy to tie up in knots and invariably goes silent when confused. Would you vote for someone like that?

    As to legitimacy - the SNP have every right to be at Westminster. Everyone does. If you stand as an independent "I'm from Mars Party", there is no reason (however slight) why you cannot be Prime Minister.

    1. Thanks Anon.

      I think Labour has abused its constituency for many years.

      Since it discovered the need to appeal to the stockbroker belt it has simply kicked sand in their faces.

      They know absolutely that they needed to move to the left in Scotland, in order to win back people who had been energised by the referendum. Curran had a tour planned of the YES working class areas. She was to tell everyone that Labour was going back to its roots, back to the party she and Jola joined in the mists of time.

      The problem is it can't. If it starts espousing policies of its roots, it will bomb in the richer areas what it has to win, particularly in the South of England, if it's ever going to be in government in the UK, which is what it craves.. Dougie wants another chance to sit in the same room as the American President.

      Clearly following ms Lamont's departure there was a scare that Neil Findlay would take Labour back to the left, which would have gone down singing hymns in Holyrood, but would have been the end of the party in the SE.

      It was clear to me that London had decided that some big hitter had to do it. From the moment he was announced he had far more airt time than Sarah oir Neil. It was like the Labour party sent a message to pacific Quay. Jim's our man. make sure he gets it.

      So, all of them in London are pretty right wing... Dougie, Davidson, Harris... but out of them all they chose the one who is further right than Attila the Hun.

      Maybe Curran could have persuaded people that she was left of centre, but seriously you wouldn't leave her to lead a horse to water.

      They spat in the face of their Scottish voters. We know you want a left wing leader, so here's Jim, and he's going to pretend to be Scottish and left wing... OK. Now be good little Jocks and get on voting for Labour.

      And Glasgow man, not entirely reasonable, but in an utterly unforeseen manner, said F off!

  4. This was the post on National Left:

    Bill Chapman26 April 2015 at 09:28
    "I don't see a referendum on Scottish independence on the cards for a generation or two. There is simply no enthusiasm for it. Don't forget that the Yes vote did not even reach 45% last time. There are new members in the SNP, it is true, before they drift back to Labour. Indeed the SNP might very well serve as the training ground for the Labour MPs and MSPs of the future."
    Chapman is a Labour activist from England resident in north Wales.

    1. That's us telt then, by an impartial and well-informed expert on Scottish politics, with his finger on the nation's pulse (or inserted in one of his orifices - I hesitate to suggest which one, as I know there are delicate people reading this blog).

    2. LOL LOL LOL...

      Well, what can you say. As Fergus says, he would be very attuned to Scottish politics with all his experience of being English and living in Wales.

      I too respect the innocent and delicate who read the blog, but... it's tempting to say "arse". However, I shan't, obviously!

      Nice one Anon.

      The Channel Four reporter said something along the lines that Never, in his career had he witnessed such a vital political atmosphere of people being involved.

      I'd beg to ask mr Chapman, how these 100,000 or so could possibly drift back to Labour, seeing as they never came from there in the first place...

      I'm pretty sure that the Labour Party never had 100, 000 members in Scotland, but if it did it was a bloody long time ago... and most of these members seem to me to be young.

      Over to you Mr Chapman.

    3. That's us telt then, by an impartial and well-informed expert on Scottish politics, with his finger on the nation's pulse (or inserted in one of his orifices - I hesitate to suggest which one, as I know there are delicate people reading this blog).

  5. Tris

    I think I have pretty much had enough of Labour in Scotland now. It's probably time for us to just stop speaking about them, like the Tories and the Liberal Tories the Labour Tories are just not worth the words anymore. They are a dead party, only the BBC and dead tree press are keeping the switch from being moved to off.

    The danger in Scotland will be any real opposition, doesn't matter how good the SNP are, they need good opposition to stay focused and on their toes. A decent opposition would have really hammered them for the mess that is Police Scotland and rightfully so. A good opposition would also have been pushing for as much devolution as was promised given the fact that anything less is a betrayal and the death of their parties, but again no good opposition . They are all pretty thick as their campaigns demonstrate, so wile I am delighting in the death of the Scottish branch of Labour, or at least the slow demise of it we still need someone to fill the gap or we all suffer in the long run. I just don't see where it comes from, if the Scottish branch of Labour had any guts they would abandon the party and form a strictly Scottish independent Labour Party.


    1. Pretty much agree with that Bruce.

      I seem to recall (maybe I'm wrong?) that Labour was broadly in favour of Police Scotland, so any opposition to it has to be tempered.

      A good opposition tackles flaws in the policies of government and tries to make the legislation better. Ever since Wendy Alexander Labour has carped and whined about more or less everything the SNP has done out of hatred for the facct they exist and that they stole their porridge.

      Of course, you are right. We need a good opposition and the SNP will only be able to govern effectively for a limited amount of time before the lack of that opposition starts affecting them.

      I don;t know what happened to all the people from Labour for Independence. I guess most of them probably joined the SNP, Greens or Scottish Socialists.