Party Time!

Who won? Seems strange to be asking but even the Unionists are worrying that victory in the referendum was pyrrhic and that in the long run they are the losers.

I came across two new versions of this dreadful awakening, one from the increasingly strident John McTernan who is assuming territorial rights over Scottish Labour, and the other in Labour List by Peter Russell.

They argue that Labour has failed to press home the win and take command of Scotland again. This apparently is down to miserable leadership and must be corrected to stop Yessers striding around with grins on their faces while Labour quietly put away the banners.


But surely they miss the point – they DID lose. They lost the argument, they lost their soul and they lost their credibility. Now they’re losing their support.

Since the vote went their way, why aren’t they celebrating and bragging? Could it be that they didn’t know what the prize was? They didn’t understand what they were fighting for because they don’t really believe in Britain either, at least not its Tory government every 10 years and the rise of UKIP and dodgy wars and hopeless productivity and dismissive treatment of unions, not Ed’s creepy appeal to southern middle classes nor Balls’ lust for austerity. They were fighting against the SNP – that bit they understand – and the supposed prize of the Union holds only the grim knowledge that they keep their MPs at Westminster. It doesn’t deliver the joy of triumph because the reward is threadbare, broken old Britain and its intolerant right wing ascendancy.


Instead of celebrations on the streets, we had the Save Our NHS marches, pathetic in the counterpoint they provided to the lies told during the campaign. Labour folk know their side betrayed principle – wasn’t the grasping by Darling of Ian Taylor’s £500,000 donation from Vitol early proof that morality would play no part?

The cavorting with Tories –Darling at their conference getting a standing ovation – the threat from Balls over the pound (their Scottish pound) and the incessant insults about Scotland’s inability to run its own affairs, crushed many Labour voters and turned up to 40 per cent of them into voting Yes. This was a disaster for Labour and already the internal campaigning has begun to resurrect some kind of genuine working class movement…at the same time as McTernan (and Murphy) are pulling in the opposite Blairite direction of no universal benefits and keeping Trident. Celebrations? More like rats in a sack.

Labour people were also forced to see close up just how talentless their leadership is both in Scotland and London and they were embarrassed.


The trouble with victory is you need to know what to do with it. What was winning for? What policies, what new approaches, will now flow from it? How will Scotland be changed by Labour? Do their voters know their position on extra powers (sort of, and pretty weak they look), will they now implement some ground-breaking policy ideas and begin a massive recruitment drive and build towards winning the 2016 Holyrood election? Of course not. There is no prize. Even the departure of Salmond produced the even more popular Sturgeon…and the SNP is now massively bigger and more powerful than Labour as a party. In theory, no Labour seat is now safe.

The next few years could be dog days in which the failure to create a new invigorated democracy in Scotland will follow in their shadow. They are identified with hard right Conservatism (their partners when it suits them) in anti-European, anti-worker Britain. That is what they fought for and what they won. Not much to celebrate, is it?

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30 thoughts on “Party Time!

  1. Derek, I think that even the most committed Labour Party member has realised the game’s a bogey. They are unravelling at a rate of knots because they have coasted along for the last 7 years in the Scottish Parliament watching a vastly superior, hard working government work for the people, and have sat down in Westminster collecting fat pay cheques with absolutely no responsibilities at all.

    So within the next very few years we will have our independence.

    • For all Unionists and other No voters: the road back begins with the following prayer- I am very sorry that I have sinned against democracy and all the people who are living in Scotland, who come to think of it are my brothers and sisters, and with wisdom and courage I sincerely hope to have the opportunity as soon as possible to right the wrong and undo the damage.

    • Will someone please tell me, I know plan B , was not good in the debate, but look at the Channel Islands, and the Isle of Man, they have their own currency, notes and coins , redeemable in our high street banks, they use they use the Euro, and they use the POUND, the Isle of Man notes have a photo of the Queen, Minus a crown, the Isle of Man pays a stipend to Westminster for Defence, personally, we lost the title of a Superpower , decades ago, and I see no reason not to be neutral, if every country were neutral, it would give no reason, to the war making machine in America to exist, and then we could maybe sort our planet out.So as I say why were these points not raised, and I believe would have shut Darling up, on a personal note I loved the sight of him squirming, stuttering ,foaming at the mouth, brilliant, but the referendum was rigged from the start, for us to lose.And if you think Cameron got a bollocking from the queen, think again, he is her cousin five times removed, born on the wrong side of the blanket, He got a Well Done My Son but as the man says It ain’t over , roll on the General election, where hordes of SNP MPs descend on Westminster, and vote on every English issue, Cameron you messed with the wrong people

  2. Derek, I’ve been saying to one of my Yes voting friends not to be disheartened and that a narrow loss was possibly the best of the likely outcomes in the long run. Had we won a narrow victory, we would have had almost half of the country feeling pissed off with the result and open to challenge by Westminster. Negotiations could have been very difficult with the possibility of Westminster calling another referendum at the end of them.

    As it is, the wavering No voters and Devo Maxers are now able to see the total disarray of the London parties and the faint hopes of any meaningful powers emerging. As well as that, the lies will unravel over the course of the next few months making it difficult to sustain them when the next referendum is held. To top it off, a sizeable group of SNP MPs will be operating at Westminster, possibly even holding the balance of power.

    Plenty to look forward to!

  3. The other positive note for us Yes folk, is that we are now so much better informed and we can very quickly tear apart a crap response from any Lab party apparatchik eg Mags Curren on twitter saying – I think we can do….., quickly getting ripped to shreds – folk saying can?, think? WTF.

    At the beginning of the indy ref,I was 100% committed but was not as knowledgable as I thought.

    Blogs like yours, NNS, BfS, WoS and many others have furnished us with so much information that we can instantly react when being told lies.

    • So agree with you Liz – always been 100% wanting our independence (40 years of praying!!). But I now realise I knew almost nothing about it all – my goodness how much better informed I am now and only touching the tip of the iceberg! If the Scottish people had had more knowledge pre referendum we would have had our Independence. Nothing can stop us now !! We are all waking up from 300 years of apathy and dependence.

    • Yes. Great points, well made.

  4. Steve Asaneilean

    In his piece Peter Russell says: “Scottish Labour needs to be clear that we are on the side of the majority and of democracy. We need to keep the SNP painted into its losing corner…in the anti-democracy fringe…Most immediately, we must make it clear that as part of the winning side in the referendum, we can and will act to safeguard the outcome. It should therefore be announced as soon as possible as a headline commitment in next May’s General Election manifesto that no Labour government will agree to a new Scottish independence referendum: not in the next Parliament, not ever”

    So Labour should rule out a democratic process forever yet describe the SNP as anti-democratic?!

    Spot the oxymoron (or is that just moron?)

    • Alternatively, the words “pot”, “kettle” and “black” come to mind. Russell also seems to forget that no Parliament at Westminster may force its successor to do. or not to do anything, which means no UK government may be barred from agreeing, however reluctantly, to stage a further indy referendum.

    • Seems Mr Russell has forgotten one thing and that is if Scotland were to vote in a majority of SNP MP’s or an alliance of Independence party MP’s and MSP’s then I see that Westminster might have a bigger fight on their hands than a Referendum which they have and seem to be able to fiddle. Then a declaration to end the Union is all that is required and they all know it.
      I realise that this is a curse but in our case perhaps a blessing, “We live in Interesting times”.

  5. Derek, I have enjoyed your writings for some time now, I just wondered whether other readers are finding that there seem to be lines of text missing from your articles, ie not displayed? Dark forces at work? Or just crap technology on my part?

  6. Well mentioned again Derek regarding the ‘incessant insults’. We had just returned from a Swedish holiday prior to the Ref and were still in awe of the international understanding expressed, in our case, by Swedish pals & well-wishers, that understood the utter contempt that was levelled against Scotland along with the dripping love-bombing. Sorry if that was a side issue but SL can surely expect no forgiveness and can follow the Driberals as they spin and circle the plughole.

  7. Perhaps John McTernan should get thr Labour leaders knitting…..

  8. I pretty much gave up paying more than a passing interest in politics ever since the last debacle in 1979. After informing myself on the issues of the Referendum, what immediately struck me was the abysmally low standard of politician in the North British Labour Party.What is more to the point is, it’s natural voters have realised this also.When Jim Murphy is seen getting a hard time from the crowd while standing on his crate at Motherwell Cross and other so-called heartlands, you know the game is well and truly up for them.

  9. I (along with many others),near the end of the campaign thought that most Labour voters had heard the arguments and were definitely going to vote Yes.
    I was wrong and must admit that I have no idea how Labour voters are going to react when the Vows and promises come to naught.
    The GE next May will be the litmus test and tell us how strong the tribal links still are.
    Labour are going to find it difficult to paint the SNP asTartan Tories after the referendum campaign which saw them clearly standing shoulder to shoulder with the Tories in denying Scots democratic governance.
    Once people start to make the journey of questioning their current blind allegiance to British Labour,they will begin to understand what the referendum was really about.

  10. The Torries must be peeing themselves laughing, getting Labour on their side and all the while knowing how toxic it would be to them, Labour for their part had no choice whatsoever other than to join in and keep their fingers crossed that it didn’t turn out as badly as it did ( and is going too )

  11. Willie Galbraith.

    As a lifelong socialist I am appalled that a party other than labour is the only one fighting for social justice and equality. I am appalled that when the SNP make strides in that direction labour politicians vote against them. I am appalled that a supposedly socialist party stand shoulder to shoulder with the Tories for any reason other than national emergency..
    Finally I am appalled that Jim Murphy went on a tour promoting better together when he couldn’t be arsed speaking out once against the shambles the Labour Party have become.
    I joined the SNP…….the only party in the UK that actually has the temerity to fulfil election promises.

  12. And there’s Jo La getting the sack. Still I expect she won’t need a foodbank anytime soon, unfortunately. Labour are a disgrace and might as well give up the ghost.

  13. ‘There is no prize’… never a truer word spoken for Labour’s pyrric victory. And now the astonishing news that Lamont has resigned, apparently because of London interference. She is really firing off… Westminster MPs who are dinosaurs only interested in their own careers who don’t get that things have changed in Scotland since the referendum… the need to offer meaningful devolution… wow she is really letting rip. My estimation of her has just risen (never thought I would say that…)

    • I too admired the way she blasted her WM Labour “friends”. That takes courage.

    • Now that she’s jumped (or was pushed), she has nothing to lose by making these comments. Maybe she intends to stand down at the next Holyrood election. I doubt that anyone with hopes of progressing their career in the party would make such comments, as that would mean the end of their career.

  14. Lamont’s bitter parting comments: English labour are treating Scottish labour as a branch office of London and MP’s at Westminster are dinosaurs. Emmm sounds exactly like what the YES camp have been saying all along.

    Scotland are treated like a subordinate of London and Westminster politics are draconian and out of touch. That’s why we wanted a referendum Lamont!

  15. Did she go or was she pushed. The labour leader selection procedure is a long and winding one. Plenty of time for the knives, clubs and whips to be wielded and for Labour in Scotland to shred itself — and only six months away from a general election. So who won?

  16. Murphy’s already booked a one-way ticket to Argentina. Where did he put that Irn-Bru case?

  17. It’s so rewarding when you find a terrific article about Scottish Labour and find yourself punching the air reading it – then scroll down to the magnificent comments and punch the air some more 🙂

  18. Considered reasoned argument Derek.

  19. Good post Derek and couldn’t agree more.

    Why no street parties, no flag waving celebrations, no joy?

    Answer – who celebrates selling the futures of their own people into a system of government they know to be broken and societally damaging? Well in the quiet of their own committee rooms obviously Labour politicians only it appears.

    They lied to, mislead, manipulated, smeared, insulted, terrified and brow beat their own electorate. They expect what from that electorate now? Love? Loyalty? Respect? Reconciliation? Its just a game this politics lark right? Nothing serious, just business.

    A news flash for those self serving pricks. We’re not politicians, we’re people and its been my experience that us ‘ordinary’ plebs don’t think of politics as a game in general and when it comes to something as important as our self determination, our very right to choose our own governance and future in particular, then you went too far in your treatment of us this time. Don’t be too surprised if the people of Scotland and I’m including many whom you either conned or browbeat into voting no decide to show just how much reconciliation they have in mind come May. You’ve already proven beyond any shadow of a doubt that you are no longer trusted to serve and certainly no longer fit to lead in our name. You will deliver precisely nothing of use for Scotland from the much publicised vow and WHEN that becomes patently obvious to all, then I hope you have nightmares about what comes next at the polling booth. You’ll have earned it.

  20. It’s unavoidable to observe that McTernan is a bitter, vicious, deluded individual.

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