The Sound of Silence

In victory, they don’t know how to behave. In resignation, they don’t know how it’s done. In rehab, they get it wrong. Everything that is happening now illustrates and confirms the total failure of the Labour Party in the basic duties of organisation and campaigning.

Anyone who thinks Labour’s travails will be cured by replacing the leader has been asleep for the last seven years. It isn’t a new head Labour needs, it’s a heart.

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The payroll brigade utter phrases about the Labour family and ‘what brought them into politics’ and repeat mantras that echoed hollow years ago. Out there in the streets and schemes nobody knows what they are any more. They know they have changed but they’re searching for a handle they can grip to get a feel for the meaning and objectives of a political tribe they once belonged to.

Because Labour stopped speaking to them before 2007, they switched sides and did so with ease four years later and every sign shows that to be an estrangement that is accelerating through maybe 40 per cent deserting the Union cause in the indyref and on to an opinion poll rating barely half the SNP’s.

To head straight into a leadership race based on personalities with the sound and fury that generates is to pretend to address the issue by brushing over the tracks. What Lamont left behind was a stark essay on the dilemma at the heart of Unionist Labour – what is it for…what is its objective…who does it represent…how should it organise itself? To fail to ask these questions – or only air them obliquely in the heat of a campaign – is to remain silent as the clamour grows outside for answers and debate. Sorry to associate them with Labour, you S and G fans, but it reminded me…

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And in the naked light I saw

Ten thousand people, maybe more.

People talking without speaking,

People hearing without listening,

People writing songs that voices never share

And no one dared

Disturb the sound of silence

That is, if you can equate Jackie Baillie with the sound of silence. I have heard her twice now saying Labour is united, no matter which chamber colleagues sit in – they all want the best for Scotland. If so, why are they briefing against each other, undermining each other, attacking each other in the media, going behind Lamont’s back and exposing deep personal, political and territorial differences? If it is so, why is Baillie herself openly disagreeing with Lamont, calling her remarks on the bedroom tax offensive and wrong? This is vacuous and counter-productive pig’s swill. To deny there is a problem and that everyone is united is laughable and falls into the old Labour trap of complacency. The hard truth about too many of Labour’s very limited representatives is that they are accustomed to winning the jackpot at every election without trying. They therefore believe that if you say just about anything and stick a red rose on it, the bulk of punters will just turn up and vote regardless because generationally they know nothing else and are weaned on Tory-hating and Nat-baiting.

For decades this has worked and as a consequence has reared a cynical and conceited breed of machine politician who has abused the trust of working class Scots. To be kind to the bulk of Labour Westminster backbenchers, you would call them mediocre, yet the only real challenge has been to win the nomination in the first place and thereafter a lifetime of salaried oblivion follows – the key requirements being an efficient constituency operation (to do the main work for you) and a craven capacity for obedience.

I think the dash to replace – and therefore bury the memory of – Lamont is a huge strategic mistake. It follows on from the same error in 2007 where the door opened for a full all-member debate on purpose, policy and process in the light of losing power. Instead they failed to confront the truth and we got Iain Gray. To make the same mistake is catastrophic and, historically, unforgivable. It won’t win any seats in the General Election, won’t win the Holyrood campaign in 2016 and won’t produce any new talent.

A leadership race is an attempt at circling the wagons and keeping in-house the festering issues. It ensures that when the question of party autonomy does break out, it will be laden with anger and antipathy between rival camps. As ever, it will get dirty and will produce a titular head with no more powers that Lamont had.

He/she will also carry the burden of election through the discredited electoral college which Scottish Labour itself says should have been abolished.

My own proposal is to appoint as an interim head, a mature and uniting figure who will conduct a full party debate including country tour and open meetings designed to bring in non-members who can be recruited if the message is strong enough. This is where Gordon Brown could properly play a role as conciliator and not commander. Or, if hatchets can be buried, a McConnell or a McLeish. Or Malcolm Chisholm. And let’s hear from the MEPs the best lessons of how parties in Europe organize themselves (mostly separately but in alliance with larger groupings). All MSPs should be on the road following the example of the Yes campaign, hearing the views and listening for a change instead of mentally deleting anything that won’t be acceptable to the Westminster gang.

There is no reason why it could not be a non-Holyrood figure if it is temporary and would allow an aspiring MSP – or even more than one – to speak in the chamber. This arrangement allows a fluidity in which debate and decision can flourish without the fixed and abrasive business of personality politics. It may be that it would also reveal the natural heir through the process of discussion and leave little doubt about who should lead. Does a leader of Scottish Labour have to be in place before the General Election? I don’t see it. They have a leader, Miliband, and the MPs have their own constituencies to contest which in not going to change if there is an elected leader in Scotland. If they could learn to drop their shoulders and relax and let the air in, Labour could find this an invigorating experience.

There is a difference between SNP representatives and Labour’s – the nationalists are bound by a cause more than party but Labour are united by party having lost a cause. The missing mojo must be rediscovered long before some individual emerges to dictate the direction and tone of any recovery.

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The mainstream commentators have already fallen into line with the leadership. I heard Paul Hutcheon deriding the idea of ‘internal, interminable debate.’ This is the same shallow thinking that got Labour into this mess, pretending that Who is more important that What and Why.

Even if you don’t want to discuss direction and vision, what makes you think a new leader will solve anything? Jim Murphy for example will deeply divide the whole party as a pro-Trident, anti-benefits Blairite war-apologist out of step with majority opinion in progressive Scotland and would be a gift on the policy front to the SNP. He can organize though and he can manipulate the media as he showed during the campaign where they fell for his victim stunt. I can’t believe at the same time they would think it struck the right note to have a leader from Westminster, the heart of the problem. Murphy is divisive internally too and would create too much resistance to heal any rift. (Odd, isn’t it that the Saviour of the Union Alistair Darling is nowhere to be seen. If Labour want a mature leader to get them through and unite the party surely the Darling of the Tory conference should be their man?)

And let’s remember that while Lamont lit the fuse and in the long run Labour should be grateful, the reason she failed was her own ineptitude. She lacked the talent to lead, failed to show fight in office, chose the wrong advisers, didn’t consult MSPs or party members, got on the wrong side of every argument and repelled support with criticism of popular SNP policy and with jarring and unattractive language. In going immediately in this way, she has left Labour holding the toilet brush. They deserve each other.

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55 thoughts on “The Sound of Silence

  1. Perceptive as ever, Derek. I don’t think you’ll find Darling wanting to get involved again in a hurry, even after he’s enjoyed his current holiday in New York.

    • Darling’s in New York? Wonder if he’ll pay David Milliband a visit?

      Another problem for Murphy is that he wouldn’t go down well with Labour’s Better Together bedmates the Orange Order.

      • Not so sure xsticks, the reptilian Murphy has been working hard, it would seem, to build bridges to the attack dogs of NAW.

        They in turn are keen at least to sup with Murphy, despite his background. The reason being they realise that the YES parties want them and their poisonous filth, eradicated from Scottish life. Murphy, ever the unprincipled schemer probably sees his efforts as “outreach” to a Scottish “cultural organisation”.

  2. Great summation of their dilemma. Maybe you’d agree that their problem is that there has been no Scottish leadership and this will also hamstring them in deciding on their course of action since they’ll wait for Westminster leadership to give the lead on this too. I wonder if Johann was really thinking of Scottish Labour when she voiced the comment about Scots not being genetically programmed to make decisions.

  3. Some very good advice for Labour there, Derek. STOP IT!

  4. Wonderfully insightful. I am hoping to write a Labour Horror Story – provisionally titled ‘The Which Blair Project’…can I quote from this please?

  5. Nailed it Derek.

    Having said that I hope they don’t follow your advice. They made a choice, a conscious decision to become the creature we see today. A decision to place power and party before people and need. Well they got that power and the change they went through in order to do so became permanent and fully transformative. They chose to become what they professed to detest in order to win power. They became something that would easily be recognised in those oh so famous marginal seats in England. Those seats which decide who sits where in the Commons.

    They became conservatives in ideology and action.

  6. Bugger (the Panda)

    Couple of points

    The Scottish Labour Group seem to be Hell bent in taking about position and portrayal rather than substance. Window dressing ad nauseum, even though the political clothes they wear and show off are not appropriate to the current Scottish political climate.

    Secondly, you are bang on.

    The SNP is a political party with a cohesive purpose.
    Labour is a political gang with no idea of any purpose, except self enrichment.

  7. where are the john smiths,keir hardies,etc honest dedicated men,now we have grasping people,only interested in spin and power
    I cannot believe they would choose murphy sarwar,or baillie who enjoy the high life with very little principles,or a drive for a purpose
    we need people of vision,drive,values,oh i forgot we have!!!! ,salmonds and sturgeon etc etc

  8. I don’t know why you bother Derek, honestly.

    There’s not a single one worth saving; in fact several should be in jail for crimes against humanity with reference to the Iraq ‘War’.

    Cheats, liars and hypocrites every one and they cost us all a fortune with their bloated expenses.

    The sooner the Labour Party sinks without a trace the better it will be for all of us.

  9. Succinctly proving, yet again, you really GET all the subtle nuances, consequences & ripple effects of Scottish politics. If Ed Miliband lived in Scotland for a 100 years, he’d still never ‘get’ Scottish politics.

    However, the best summation ever, of Northbrit Labour’s woes are You Tube’s “YEW CHOOB Labour’s In the Shite”. Says it all really; to my favourite Frank Sinatra tune, too.

    And please, Derek, stop giving such good advice (for free, forbye!) to Northbritish labour party!

  10. I don’t think the Who, or the What or Why has ever been important to the Labour party in Scotland, because it has trained it’s electorate to vote for anything wearing a red rosette since devolution, which is why it’s leaders are always so abysmal and ineffective.
    It suits Westminster for them to be wee, small echoes of the national Labour party policy, and until Scottish Labour grow a pair, and formulate their own policies for Scotland, it won’t matter who they decide to elect as leader, except as cannon fodder for Nicla Sturgeon.

  11. An excellent post Derek but I have to say I want them to remain complacent right up and past both 2015 and 2016. I doubt though that they would listen. They are in denial that there is anything wrong with them. J. McConnell and H. McLeish both recognise there is something wrong but neither of them have an actual clue. McConnell after stabbing Lamont in the back then goes on to praise her, two faced or what?
    No we should let them alone to make another mess, another nonentity will safety emerge, because who wants to be the one to lose another couple of elections.

  12. Derek. Stop it. Never interrupt your enemy when they are making a mistake. Leave them to stew in their own juice, it’s well deserved.

    Pam McMahon, fully agree with you.

  13. The Scottish Labour Party needs to entirely implode and the resurrect as an entirely new and independent party in Scotland, supporting independence. That would be a win-win for all. Labour could move to the left and the SNP cover the centre ground. And in an independent Scotland even an entirely independent Tory-type party would find it’s own constituency and prosper a little more. All good for a healthy democracy.

    • Sounds good to me, steffeng2014.

      Fortunately they won’t follow your advice, Derek, as they trampled on their reason for being long ago and followed Blair, Brown and co.

      Enjoyed your article, all the same.

  14. I can’t see how they can resolve their dilemma. The London Party holds the purse strings and the London Party wants no devolution. The Scottish Party does, but is gutless, and pennyless, as well as clueless. There are no uniting figures. Murphy is a bully, Brown is a bully, both want to dominate and intimidate and both see their primary mission as crushing and extirpating the SNP. Neither are actually interested in Scotland. The electorate actually is interested in Scotland, and in devolution, but the London Party really does not get this. It really doesn’t. I fear that the London Party are going to get their way, since the Scottish Party is too weak to resist. But they would all be perfectly happy if Murphy and Brown came to Scotland, hammered the Nats, and closed down the Scottish Parliament as an unworkable experiment. Honestly, this is a recipe for civil unrest, but I don’t see the alternative.

  15. Working class Scots are only going to take British Labour’s English middle class message for so long.
    Eventually even the most tribal members will realise that Labour isn’t working in their interest and that something has to be done.
    Until then,British Labour here in Scotland are going to be between a rock and a hard place and it won’t really matter who the leader is if the message remains the same.

  16. I’m still pretty angry that Lamont saw all this, suffered all this, and didn’t have the principle to speak out about it. I don’t think she lacks guts. It was more a case of stupidity and misplaced loyalty. She thought Labour Scotland was a family, her family. But it isn’t. It’s a branch office of Labour London and they are a nest of vipers. But her stupidity has cost Scotland dear. Why did she not telll us this before?

  17. SNP are united behind a cause.

    After a yes Jola would have undoubtedly tendered her resignation and we would have found out which of the leading lights of the no campaign had a genuine interest in making a positive contribution to the future of their country. With Alistair Darling and Alistair Carmichael taking their seats at the negotiations we would have witnessed the emergence of some sort of devo-max-plus where we shared the pound and set up lots of cross border agreements to share responsibility, management and ownership of many of the assets of the UK. We would only have been as independent as the broad views of our negotiators were prepared to allow us to be fully mitigated by the concessions that we would have been able to obtain from rUK.

    To my mind the big fundamental differences in early independence of Scotland would have been the clarity that all issues affecting the future of Britain would have had to be resolved by negotiation and not by diktat. The perceived genetic inferiority so embedded in the Scots’ psyche would have begun disappear and many of the shared mutual interests of Scotland and rUK would have continued with the very important proviso that Scotland also had a veto over them.

    The political parties of Scotland would have all begun a process of major change. Conservatives and LibDems no longer looking to London for permission to develop appropriate policy for Scotland. The Greens, Socialists, e.t.c, grappling with opportunities to have more of an impact and influence on Scotland’s future and the Labour Party regenerating itself from the bottom up and emerging from this to become the biggest political party in Scotland, championing welfare, human rights, economic development and the emergence of Scotland as a successful small European nation.

    Meanwhile the SNP would slowly fade away.

    Why are Labour so dumb? Where are the visionaries?

    • Sorry the visionaries in Labour voted yes and got ostracised even though Scottish Labour never allowed a democratic discussion and decision on how to approach the referendum.

  18. @ MBC: Lamont not only – saw all this – she was a willing participant. Guts? She sure had the guts to spout some very vile remarks at the First Minister, remarks that a person with a modicum of self esteem would have refused to read out from the script handed to her for First Minister’s Question Time.

    Scottish Labour’s stupidity and absence of moral fibre has cost Scotland her independence, that is just how serious is the charge against them. Scottish Labour stood with the Unionists against independence knowing full well that they, Scottish Labour, are but a branch office of the Westminster Labour.

    Scottish Labour – Bought and sold.

  19. I can’t work out why you are laying out a roadmap for Labour in Scotland to fix the shambolic state they are in and get themselves re-elected?

  20. However their problems seem to be getting worse by the day. Suddenly a number of “contenders” find they have other priorities. Sorting their shoe cupboard may do for some of them: urgent constituency business is another possibility – they might want to remind themselves of where it is ; – in fact the list of excuses for not standing for this wonderful post may become something of a minor top ten of reasons.

  21. I can understand why many Yes people would welcome Murphy, seeing him as such a divisive figure that he would hasten the demise of Labour in Scotland. But my fear would be his introduction of combative Westminster practices into Holyrood, to its detriment.

    When Holyrood was set up there was much talk of a new politics, a less confrontational style of politics — one of the reasons for the semi circular formation of seats in the chamber. To think we could rid ourselves of confrontation entirely was undoubtedly naive, but the public are turned off by the negativity of this type of politics. The positive, happy, inclusive campaign was to my mind one of the reasons the Yes side attracted such a large number to campaign for independence. People want that co-operation to continue. Murphy’s appearance at Holyrood could pour much bile over efforts to bring people together. And bring people together we must if we want the kind of inclusive, democratic politics we envisage.

    • He would have to get a seat in the chamber first. Maybe that will be more of a problem than getting the go ahead from Ed.

      • Yes, there is that. But they were talking the other day of getting some dinosaur MSP to ‘retire’ creating a by-election opportunity for Murphy. He could certainly get in as a list MSP. I don’t know the rules about lists though. Can the list be changed at will by the party?

        • No the list created at election time stays the same and in the same order through the lifetime of that parliament. Jim Murphy cannot get on a list until the 2016 election. He could fight a byelection if a constiuency MSP resigned but if that process were to happen the risk of him not winning the byelection is probably too high considering the current state of Labour.

          • Thanks for clarifying the position about the lists. I think Murphy is trying to figure out if he would have support before putting his cap in the ring. Part of that calculation is no doubt whether a by-election opportunity of the kind I have outlined is likely to present itself. Malcom Chisolm for instance, is nearing retirement and will stand down in 2016.

            But he of all people is totally unlikely to move over for Murphy whom he clearly regards as a disaster. However there might be those who would be willing.

      • If Murphy is elected as party leader, presume a patsy list MSP will be quickly bumped up to the House of Lords to leave space for slim Jim to get a list seat. With current polls as they are, he can’t afford to go through an electoral process that might see him lose. The SNP has the resources after all to flood any seat he hoped to stand in. So which list MSP has already agreed to be elevated to the House of Lords. Because, be assured, Jimbo won’t have announced his candicacy for leader if he didn’t already have this in the bag.

    • The Scottish Parliament is run by Presiding Officer Tricia Marwick – there will be no nonsense – the yahoo , talking when others are speaking, the getting up and leaving stuff is all a complete No No !!! Maybe that’s why some many of the Westminster mob don’t want it!!

  22. Steve Asaneilean

    Oh please Bob – let’s not drag out John Smith “the greatest PM we never had” nonsense again. He was an establishment figure through and through – an Edinburgh QC who lived in what would now be a £2 million house in Morningside, who in the 1990s effectiveky turned a blind eye to this behaviour carried out by his own party members in his own constituency (the very area in which keir Hardie and Alexander MacDonald were born) and against his own constituents:

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/monklands-council-guilty-of-nepotism-and-unfair-spending-1587298.html

  23. Labour’s predicament reminds me of the chess situation known as ‘zugswang’ You’re safe so long as you don’t move but – oh dear! – it’s your move. The party has only a choice of errors.

    Of course they will do nothing in the direction of reform and your perfectly sensible advice will be ignored. What ultimately matters is the electoral prospects of the party in England, and in the final analysis they can do without Scotland, just as the Tories do. What the kilted version of Labour does is of no importance – historical results show that Labour governments when elected would still have won without their Scottish seats.

    That’s the deeper agenda here. Labour in Scotland is a single-issue party: its solitary function is the maintenance of the Union. Scottish seats are unimportant to Labour, except as a fig-leaf for the Union. That’s why apparatchiks like John McTernan must continue (hilariously) to insist that Labour is the national party of Scotland. Voters were comfortable that a large Labour block from Scotland was a statement of national identity and a protection. If that spell is broken then the Union is broken and the Tories will be much sadder than Labour.

    Hence the best leadership choice for Scotttish Labour is the present incumbent: David Cameron.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zugzwang

  24. DB,
    It looks to me as if Johann, being a female, and the promotion of women being Labour policy, and one of the things they believe they stand for, found that after she was elected as leader, the males of the Labour Party species gave her no credibility, and when the referendum came along, instead of leaving the organising of it in Scotland to her, as would have been the right thing to do, they just side-lined her in favour of what had become known as ‘the big beasts.’ Those ‘big beasts’ are actually two men that had links to dubious political organisations when they were young, and neither of them has ever explained the links they had, or how and if they got out of it, or if they still have emotional attachments to the beliefs they used to espouse on campus, and this is all conveniently ignored by their devoted acolytes who put them on pedestals. So, aside from their credentials as Left of Centre Man who supports Women’s Rights, or one-time campus revolutionary, they both played it like a typical un-reconstructed Scotsman: ‘get her oot the road and let me dae the job.’
    I actually feel some identification with Johann today.
    It has been my belief for a few years now that ‘The Sounds of Silence’ is the best contemporary song written in the 20th Century. You couldn’t beat it with a big stick.

  25. Very noble Derek but a waste of time. The Labour Party offer nothing, they are a shell. All this nonsense about a Scottish Labour Party, they need to get over it. The campaigned to keep Scotland as a region so why are they unhappy with being a regional organisation, is that not what they wanted? Whenever I hear Labout people whining (and that’s what they do best), for example the so called independent leader of the Western Isles Council last week in regard to energy pricing and energy policy, they are in their natural home complaining endlessly about issues then have no control over amd which they turned down the chance to take control off. Pathetic, they are Scotland’s shame and if it was me I would not be handing out any solid advice to them. They deserve everything they are going to get and I look forward to that day. The Red Tories hollow and with no principles, at least the Blue Tories are honest enough to tell you the are going to screw you………

  26. “I would not be handing out any solid advice to them.”

    Derek’s tongue is so far in his cheek he risks personal injury. Of course his ‘solid advice’ will be be ignored. Crack open another can and pass the sausage rolls. This is going to be fun.

  27. I think there is a certain type of personality attracted to Labour and it’s not very nice , John McTernnen, Iain Smart, Duncan Hothersall, I could name dozens off the top of my head but you get my drift. These are the people you associate with Scottish Labour in particular and it’s not what most people want.

  28. the reason she failed was her own ineptitude. She lacked the talent to lead, failed to show fight in office, chose the wrong advisers, didn’t consult MSPs or party members, got on the wrong side of every argument

    I’m afraid, Derek, that you have totally missed the point.

    Her lack of talent in all departments was PRECISELY the reason the leaders in london engineered her leadership. They were looking for ANOTHER individual who could be reliably told to do their bidding at all times. The last thing they wanted was an individual with looks, intellect and personality who had a mind of their own and whose first priority was for the wellbeing of the Scottish peoples!

    To be fair to the labour party (and I hate to be fair to the mob who shit and pissed all over the poorest and most vulnerable Scots who were so deluded as to think they were voting for a party who actually give a toss about them) if either the lib dums or the tories had been in power, they would have acted in exactly the same way towards the Scottish peoples.

    So, it is not worth speculating as to the future “leader” of this northern branch office of the london labour party may be, whoever emerges will continue to act against the very Scots they are supposed to represent. I, for one, will not waste a nanosecond in wondering what tenth rater and utter utter nonentity we will be saddled with!

    Please read Iain’s comments above which I heartily endorse.

  29. The fact that Labour has abandoned its traditional principles in Scotland in order for Miliband to try to gain votes from the South East of England will prove to be the undoing of any leader of the Labour branch office in Scotland no matter who they are.

    No amount of spinning by Murphy or McTernan can change that fact.

  30. If I may indulge..A summation of where Labour is, from Ninja Penguin
    http://youtu.be/Z9v_4htRbd8

  31. ” he can manipulate the media as he showed during the campaign”

    He didn’t manipulate them , they were willing partners and if every so called Scottish newspaper collapses along with the labour party ,I won’t give a stuff.

    Should the delightful , impartial BBBC fall into the Clyde ,the same sorrow and concern will apply.

  32. “he can manipulate the media as he showed during the campaign where they fell for his victim stunt.”

    Even after 45 years you still don’t seem to get it, do you, Derek? No one in the media “fell” for Murphy’s “victim stunt.” Murphy set out on his tour intending to provoke anger and probably even discussed it with his media chums beforehand. Let’s get it straight: we aren’t swallowing the bull that the media aren’t complicit in “reporting” the Unionists’ pre-planned political propaganda stunts any more so please start respecting our intelligence and drop trying to make us believe the media are innocent dupes in all this. No one believes it any more, if they ever did.

  33. The Scottish labour party has degenerated into a bizarre form of ponzi scheme. It’s incapable of reform as there is literally nothing left of it to reform. Their performance in opposition really opened my eyes to this. It was a surreal experience of watching the swivel eyed dishonesty that they displayed from 2007 onwards. It was as if defeat – at that time marginal – had tipped them over the edge into some version of Howard Beale, but with none of the compelling rhetoric. They said and did some of the most insanely idiotic things leading up to the referendum. The list is too large to go into. I watched this party and tried to wonder just what the hell had happened. How did it end up being this rubbish.

    The only way to explain it is to see the party as a ponzi scheme. People come in at the bottom and support the troughers at the top. Scottish labour simply saw labour as a way of making money. Politics? principles? who needs them. They were too busy dining out on anti-tory sentiment to think of doing anything worthwhile. Why change a winning format? Then they lost in 2007 and lost WM in 2010. The uk party decided it needed to out right-wing the right-wing. Thats when the cracks start showing in Scottish labour. How do you waffle on about keeping out the Tories when you party is chasing Tory votes. The bedroom tax and subsequent debate shows how they managed that. They dithered between openly supporting it and condemning it. They tried to pin in on the SNP. They pressured the SNP into paying a ransom for it, and then having the brass neck to take the credit. They killed their own debate in WM despite demanding the SNP support them. They would go further with workfare, immigration, calling universalism something for nothing culture, planning on denying aid to the disabled, planning denying aid to the elderly because some folk die young. (one of Anas Sarwars little gems)

    Thats a party that has no clue whatsoever as to what its meant to stand for. It simply apes what the UK party is doing as it has no clue as to how to behave or even look like a political party. Look at Lamont’s performance on FMQs. Its a woman who thinks if she shouts louder than the other person, then she wins. If she twists facts or outright lies, she wins. She thinks saying “we need a debate” then avoiding it is statesman like. Who the **** was writing this woman’s speeches? and why the hell didn’t they coach her properly to avoid looking like someone who wandered into a interview by mistake? Take the performance of them all and really see it for what it is. A collection of complete idiots who got where they are, because they worked for someone who once held that position, and has now moved on to better things. The Dilbert Principle is based around the concept that in many cases, the least competent, least smart people are promoted, simply because they’re the ones you don’t want doing actual work. And this is what happened here. They got the most useless and incompetent to be placeholders. useful idiots who would do what they are told. They are expected to attack the SNP – its clear it wasn’t explained that they might need to do this when in opposition, which is why they seem utterly ridiculous; Iain Grays speech where he wondered where the money for an oil fund would come from is a case in point. They were told they would not have to work for votes. Scots hated the tories so they wouldn’t have to do anything and don’t worry about the SNP, they’ll never win, the UK party took care of that. Your reward for being a good little labour drone? – your snout in the trough.

    Lamont took off in a huff. She did exactly what she was told. She expected a reward. She got a stab in the back. So she blew the whistle on them. It might be all it takes to get the whole rotten mess to cave in.
    Don’t weep for the death of labour – it died years ago.

  34. Hi Derek As we all know the reason labour is in such a mess is because they took the ordinary people for granted . They had been in a comfort zone for so long in Scotland . They did not understand the earth was shifting from right underneath their feet . We sick of people saying that England bales us out we want to stand as a nation proud to be who we are face the challenges and all pull together to improve every one’s
    conditions . LETS TRY AND PUT EVERYONE FIRST>

  35. I just don’t care. Best if they just sunk without trace. I do agree with Steve Asaneilan (2.35pm) about John Smith; all talk ,no action.

  36. Has anybody looked at the age profile of those who still vote Labour? Which age profile has moved to the YES parties?

    The SNP branch I belong to just held a new members meeting. We didn’t have age statistics, but it struck me that the new folks were generally a lot younger than the pre-referendum membership. Also, a couple of folks who have told me they joined the Greens are much younger too.

    It strikes me that if Labour has lost the young folks, they are doomed, no matter what a new leader does. It is only a question of what form the demise takes – a sudden vapourization, or a long slow decline.

  37. In response to the question: “Would you like to be appointed leader of the Scottish labour party?,” the latest opinion poll shows a clear lead of 100% to 0% in favour of the “No” camp.

    Maybe they’re still under the influence of the brainwashing techniques which were used to convince them that “No” was a nice word.

  38. Derek, this one’s really a bit O/T, but worth linking to.

    Oh, and for those who suffer from anger management issues, I’d recommend sitting down with no breakables near to hand.

    http://wingsoverscotland.com/from-the-office-of-ed-miliband/comment-page-1/#comment-1916629

  39. Macart763
    I read it.
    If I use the wrong tone, give a perceived ‘wrong look’,give the wrong info or dismiss someone’s point of view I am accountable.
    Seems you can run and print a newspaper, stand for political office , deliberately deceive the public and your accountable to no – one.
    Then you read that and it confirms it.
    I wish I was born somewhere else, I wish I cared less , I wish I could stop thinking what could have been.

    • “I wish I could stop thinking what could have been.”

      It still can be.

      Two years ago we were looking at an apathetic public, and although a popular Holyrood government an independence movement polling in the twenties.

      Now you have a very pissed off, aware and awake public, a Holyrood government set to be the third largest UK party by membership, pro indy parties growing by the day and support for independence confirmed at mid forties. This will be our starting point as of now. There will be no twenty year wait for a second chance. They’ll be lucky if the current result gets five tops.

      The UK parties have yet to deliver on their stated pledges and positions. If they fail to do so (and they will), then indyref2 it is. They drove a bus through both the letter and spirit of the Edinburgh agreement. It is also as I say, highly probable they will fail to deliver a devolution settlement that the Scottish electorate will find acceptable. Our electorate may also find in the interim, that life in austerity UK is not so very ‘better together’ as billed, therefore we should respect the result why?

      They put up or get ready for round two. In the meantime though neither the meeja nor those who fed them the ammunition of lies and smears are going to get away Scot free. There’s the small matter of a GE in May where a very, very clear message can be sent – we’re not getting back in our box and there will be absolutely no reconciliation with those who first hijacked, then twisted our referendum for party political agendas.

      They want political engagement? A dialogue with the people? We’ll show them dialogue and engagement right up in their collective kissers. 🙂

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