Dear Johann,

Some happy news at last! I’ve been asked by Johann Lamont to produce a paper on where she’s going wrong. There’s no money in it – she’s says she believes in something for nothing. So let me share with you what I’ve said.

Hi Johann,

Thanks for agreeing that I could send this to you directly so it isn’t censored by Paul, your balding Alastair Campbell wannabe. Let me start with Grangemouth which I know has caused you much distress.

I do think the key element here is not to be posted missing. Every time something happens in Scotland you need visibility. Sometimes it doesn’t even matter if you are cast in an unflattering light by comparison with the Great Satan. The truth is that in opposition you simply can’t match him because you have no actual powers. But you do have powers of presence. The Scots need to equate you with the events in their life and if you turn up when there’s trouble, even if Satan is grandstanding, the media will be obliged to ask your opinion. So long as you say something sensible, it will be on Rep Scot. He will hate that.

So when the Unite nonsense began in Falkirk you were wrong to take Baldy’s advice and stay out of it. We both know the truth – that you have no powers in the CLP nor in Unite but the trick is to pretend to the Scots that you do. So, when there’s vote-fixing and vote-buying, before HQ in London steps in – as they must – you negotiate a 24 hour delay in which you turn up in Falkirk, meet constituency reps and union officials, then issue a statement condemning the lot as not good enough for the people of Falkirk and – looking grimly at the camera – you demand the national executive acts immediately. So long as Miliband shuts up and gives a nod of acknowledgement in your direction, you’re home and dry. You’ve set the tone. Taken command. Ordered action. Looked tough. Some in the know will laugh, of course but the vast majority who couldn’t care less about infantile internal politics will see you doing something. Disappearing, as you did, is the worst possible move. If Baldy – or should we now call him The Arse? – tells you that was Gordon’s strategy, ask yourself what happened to Gordon. He is running behind Ramsay McDonald as Britain’s most reviled PM.

So sometime in the last two weeks you had a card to play and missed your cue. You should have called Satan. Personally. Asked for a private meeting. Tell him you don’t want publicity but as there is a matter of national economic importance at hand, you have an insight into the union side of the dispute. The continuation of the plant and the retention of the jobs is your primary concern. Ask if he wants you to broker a meeting with the union. He doesn’t need you for that. But that again isn’t the point. He would eat out of your hand and genuinely appreciate your altruism. Tell him, nothwithstanding the by election, you stand ready to help. And when the plant is saved, guess what? The truth leaks out…Johann put country before party – in a by election – she was brave and unselfish. She showed her real side as a politician and demonstrated that unique gift the public long for…burying differences when its needed and working for the common good. She played her part in saving Grangemouth. So what she’s a member of Unite? It didn’t matter when it came to her country’s hour of need. Cue Hallelujah Choruses, church bells and a deluge of Brownie points. That woman has a heart. And she has guts. Pretty simple, really.

You need to stop demonising opponents and their belief. I mean, if nationalism is a virus, most Scots voting have got it bad. Why insult them? For an easy cheer at conference among the converted you alienate a lot of voters many of whom look to you as an alternative. Think local. Would you say to a woman on the doorstep: “I see you’ve got the virus. Poor soul. You’re beyond redemption. I’ll put a cross on your door and Paul will come round with the wagon to collect the bodies later.”

All it does is reveal what most people would call your loathing for the other side and as they don’t share your feeling, they see you as irrational and hateful. That’s very unattractive. You can get away with expressing something approaching hatred for Tories although that too has to be specific to be effective. They are a small group with little support and their government really is politically loathsome. The policies should induce real anger in a left wing politician but of course you are caught there, aren’t you, since they are now your allies in fighting Satan? Now that’s what I call a dilemma. It’s why I suggested in June 2011 that you immediately strike out alone without the Tories by cornering the Devo Max ground and insisting to Salmond that it be  the second referendum question. It would win hands down and you would be the sole victor…not the Tories, not the Lib Dems and you would be the Joan of Arc who beat Salmond. Too late now.

And it is too late to re-write history. The inexplicable idea of denial of Something for Nothing is inviting ridicule. Just fire the one who put it in the speech. If you can’t trust your own instinct, you sure can’t trust the insensitive nerd who conjured that up. Show your vulnerable side by confessing it was an error. You were only trying to point out how difficult it is to keep paying for universal benefits when you got your words mixed up. A bit. Say sorry. Say also that the people who know you understand what you mean and while you’re at it, sack Midwinter. End the commission. There are no votes in taking from people when they have less. It’s the very time they look to the state for guidance and security. Turbo charge the Devo Max commission to design a new settlement for Scotland for the day the referendum delivers a No. That will be popular. Unless of course the truth is, as some of those who know you well think, that there are to be no more powers for Holyrood. If that’s true, I suggest you stick to Position One. Stay silent. Stay out of sight. Arrange to be seen with Gordon on the beach at North Queensferry, looking out to sea wondering where it all went wrong.


(Any ideas for Johann before I send this?)

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0 thoughts on “Dear Johann,

  1. Dear Joanne,
    Prepare for a majority of your party voting YES next year, and, kind of admit, that it is OK with you. Failure will leave you with nothing. Labour could end up as a ‘nothing for something’ party.

  2. Time for Johann to announce her conversion to the Yes side and step in to take control of Labour for Indy. It’s her only chance of power.

  3. Roibert a Briuis

    Make sure you print it in font size18 or more. I have seen her pathetic performances at FMQ;s she canny read the script, so I assume always dangerous of course that along with the multitude of her other failings she has an eyesight problem

  4. Roibert a Briuis

    O/T have you seen this

    Amazing and a big insight in to how the English behave

    Do they feed the ravens with all the food and water they need provide a nice home for them so they will make the Tower of London their home and NOT want to fly the nest to better pastures.

    ON NO they clip their wings so they cant escape and are effectively trapped in the Tower of London.

    Ring any bells – Like that too wee too poor too stupid country way up in North Britain.

    Maybe Foxy Loxy was the lovely Alex with a fur coat on:-) Or maybe it was that nice Angus Robertson MP, the SNP leader in the HoP trying to put the fear of impending Armageddon into the English

  5. cynicalHighlander

    Here is something for nothing ‘See’ ‘Sea’ (last line) no?

    You could ask her to install thick rubber desk tops for her troops.

    • Roibert a Briuis

      Her troops!!!! I think it has been categorically shown that she is simply a mouthpiece and has no powers in reality. One Thing she is not is a Leader Se behaves like a robot perhaps she is an android call in the Men in Black quickly. I think wee Wendy had something. I don’t know if it was something for nothing …..i was going to say the rest are a load of has-beens but that would be cruel to has-beens as well as has-beans. In fact has-beans is more like it, full of a lot of hot air,

      As for the savior of the world and the banks, he could not see the sea if he was up to his neck in it.or in Gordy Broon language just an unexpected unpredicted abnormally high tide,. Sorry we have no flood defenses people we had some issues in London and all the money is gone now. But don’t worry we have a great PFI plan for flood defenses and your great great grandchildren will still be paying for it…..oops sorry misspoke there delete that last sentence……………….WHAT DO YOU MEAN the MIC IS STILL ON!!!!

  6. emigration to a country far far away with no TVs and no internet might be the only salvation left. “It wiz a big boy who dunnit and ran away” clearly isn’t working

  7. It would be helpful for me, as someone who doesn’t see the point of nuclear bombs, if she would kindly explain the reasoning behind her conversion from a lifelong supporter of CND to being an enthusiast. I haven’t followed her career all that closely, but her change of mind seems to have happened quite recently.

  8. She doesn’t even have to say something sensible to to get it on Reporting Scotland… excess gas would get reported. My hunch is your comment must be a hint of sarcasm.

  9. What Johann needs, and it is not remotely restricted to the calamity that is Johann, is the philosophical equivalent of industrial strength drain cleaner, to be metaphorically consumed until Scottish Labour rids itself of its bilious hatred of all things SNP, and of its apparently historical belief in Labour’s entitlement to power.

  10. […] here’s Derek Bateman, very much part of this new media thingy that’s changing our ways, with some words of advice […]

  11. Derek, I’m getting the impression from some of your posts that Labour in Scotland are effectively run single-handedly by Paul Sinclair. Would that be a fair assessment? Considering his behaviour on Twitter etc, it would certainly explain why they are so utterly, utterly dire.

  12. Dear Johann,

    Although it was some time ago, please apologise for the fabricated rape case. Having your pals at the Glasgow Evening Times concoct a story which then you use for political points scoring in the Holyrood chamber is bad enough, but to make up grim details based on a case where the rape victim committed suicide is abhorrent.

    Surely ‘ as a mother ‘ this is the right thing to do.

  13. Every time she opens her mouth the venom and hatred that comes out is actually quite disturbing. She is obsessed as was Gray before her with what the SNP are doing. Therefore whatever the SNP do is bad and they will do the opposite. Apart from when there is a byelection and then they claim that they actually invented what the SNP do and all that other stuff was just the twisted SNP twisting words and twisting what was said and twisting the meaning about what was said.
    Then 24 hours later its back to normal and they actually really meant all that stuff they said before.

  14. “Her” MPs in London immediately shot down her idea of maybe,perhaps,possibly devolving income tax to Holyrood.
    What chance Devo Max?
    Of course,she will no doubt deny that she ever made that proposal.
    Much of her denials are not even plausible.

  15. She could steal the march on EVERYONE, and show how committed she is to a socialist paradise in Scotland post-referendum. Switching to the Yes camp and making hay on the massive Labour movement vote that seems to be wasted at more than half of UK GEs would mean she could reasonably plan to be Satan herself for years – decades possibly – and apply her socialist values and policies in a nation that’s been loyal to Labour for nigh on sixty years and had little or nowt in return – irrespective of what primate was wearing the red rosette.
    This way she could make her own decisions on what’s good for Scotland rather than be told to oppose everything as a default position, only to be embarrassed when UK Labour support the same policy in a Westminster context – minimum unit pricing anyone??

  16. While your at it Johann when you do highlight all the wrongs in Scotland what about highlighting Labour’s solution to these same problems? Saying over and over ‘We want an honest debate’ when asked what you stand for, and when pressed saying ‘everything will be in our manifesto’s in 2015+2016’ just ain’t going to cut it. Especially as 1/3rd of voters in Scotland are undecided and they will be looking for 2 visions to be brought forward, one from the Yes campaign for post independence and another from Labour fronted Tory benevolent better together campaign post a No vote.

  17. (Any ideas for Johann before I send this?)

    LOL 😀 No!

    Laugh out loud brilliant. Cheered up the day no end Derek.

  18. Alternatively Johann, here is a bottle of whisky , and a revolver.

  19. It used to be suggested that come independence the Labour party might be reborn as a Scottish Party. They might get back into power by embracing the Scottish people rather than accepting London rule. I am now convinced the SNP are so much smarter,reflective and talented in government. That labour is a dead duck in Scotland. I will be voting Yes and then SNP for the first independent Scottish parliament. The SNP is full of bright ambitious people. The labour party is full of jumped up local councillers not good enough to get into Westminster so they took stick on labour safe seats. They are a talentless feckless bunch. They will implode if Scotland votes yes. they might implode anyway.

  20. Not sure Johann did take Sinclairs advice about Unite, I think she took the only option open to her -hide. That’s what happens when you try to ride 2 horses at once or as it’s commonly known as too many vested interests.
    At some point this tangled web the Labour Party in Scotland have spun is going to really start unravelling and Johann is going to have to stand up and actually do what she was elected to do – be a leader
    it is a sad state of affairs when people are openly laughing at Labour politicians appearing on TV in essence saying they won’t be able to discuss a policy until the next general election manifesto is produced, in the meantime we’ll keep accusing the SNP with a straight face that Scotland is on pause.
    It does raise 2 points though, where are the Labour members principles who must be looking on in horror at something like lasts weeks by election and thinking , their candidate votes for closure then openly campaigns to say she’ll keep it open (very Jim Ratcliffe) or is to hell with issues and just beat the SNP at all costs?
    The 2nd point is where is johann taking Scottish Labour.
    if you have a vision spell it out and let people decide for themselves other wise it just all becomes an ad campaign and as became glaring obvious at Grangemouth last week you might have the contacts but you also need the skills to be a politicians.If the public can see the issues what are ambitious Jenny Marras thinking?

  21. My advice would boil down to “You’ve lost it. Resign now.”

  22. Cmon folks. your being far too politically correct about lament. She is over promoted, nowhere near intelligent enough, full of bile and hatred and simply unelectable. She doest make decisions, she reads and says what she is told to say. An utterly vile despicable woman.

  23. Dave McEwan Hill

    She campaigned with Brian Wilson against a Scottish Parliament. We don’t need to know any more.

  24. Shhh, Derek, shhh!

  25. Dear Johann.

    Give up, you’re not any good. The fact that the polls show a lead for the no camp is not an indication of your stunning powers of… er… no… it’ll come to me… but more the utter balls up the “Yes” camp have made with the first part of their campaign. Indeed you are fortunate that on this issue, Salmond (is Satan really necessary Ed?) Sturgeon & Co are at the moment perpetually wearing the look of people who’s dog has eaten their homework. However, when the referendum is over and there is a No vote, we can go look forward to the Westminster election and you coming out of the closet and admitting you are a huge fan of the one man Bertie Wooster impersinator, Cameron.

    Of course, if the “Yes” camp do get their act together and get some momentum (unlikely, but lets not discount the influence of “event’s dear boy, events”), that trouble you’re in will become even more apparent to everyone. Face it, you ain’t going to be the next First Minister of Scotland. Indeed, i would say that Satan (No…. no not him, the real one) has a much better chance of being First Minister than you.

    What do you mean she’s the leader of “Scottish” Labour?

  26. O/T
    Hi Derek
    Do you have any views on the BBC Scotland News package currently being dissected over on Wings. Is it just much ado about nothing or are they onto something.


  27. Dear Johann,

    Loving your work so far, keep doing what you’re doing. You are in opposition and are likely to remain so for the foreseeable, so your inability to decide on anything will not be an issue. The virus is incurable, so don’t try to fight it. Look after yourself.

    Regards etc

    ps Does having that hand up your arse all the time not hurt after a while?

  28. J L does not need any help, unionists are never wrong, or at least that;s what they tell everybody else!

  29. I am a socialist, democrat and supporter of Scottish self determination. You would therefore expect me to be a critic of Ms Lamont and her party and I am. However, I do worry about Labour. I worry that they have turned into a party of liars who think nothing of subverting the democratic process with their lies. It is frightening to realise that the main opposition party in Scotland is quite prepared to lie in an almost systematic way to influence voters and therefore subvert democracy. My real fear is for the democratic process in Scotland, as not even Labour’s Truth Team, seem capable of telling the truth.

  30. Johann who ???

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