Put the Kettle On


Polly Toynbee was in Maryhill! The fragrant Polly from the Guardian toured the streets with our excellent local MP Ann McKechin and she didn’t knock the door to say hello…imagine missing a visit to the Cybernat Bunker where I could have shown her the satellite control screens for my constituency drones monitoring activity from above and demonstrated my political laser maps pinpointing each stairwell where Labour votes are being lost. That’s a selfie opportunity I’ll never get back…

Polly is writing about the SNP conference http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/mar/30/snp-confident-tories-want-scotland-gone and how she was blown away by the scale and excitement it generated but she doesn’t deviate from the Guardian script that this is identity politics and the SNP apes Labour policy while the Scots are no different from people in England – apparently it’s all the Tories’ fault.

She spoke to a taxi driver – a truly representative group – and a bloke up the road who blamed Poles for unemployment and then she reminded us of the British Attitudes Survey that found Scots not too different from Brits on a range of society issues including immigration.

Regular readers will know I’ve covered this shallow argument before and the response is simplicity itself. Forget the opinion surveys and look at what the Scots have voted for – free personal care, free OAP travel, free prescriptions, no tuition fees, living wage, early years investment, no public service redundancies, investment in renewables, NHS public ownership protected, council tax freeze, extra police while they’re cut in England, 25,000 apprentices – and then add in SNP policy positions like no nuclear weapons, opposition to UK detention of children as asylum seekers, open immigration and comprehensive childcare…the list goes on. That’s the difference between Scotland and England – here we have parties advocating progressive policies and a parliament that implements them. In England they have UKIP.

Now to be fair to Polly (because I secretly admire her), she has a point. If you examine policy positions from Ed Miliband and add in his party’s deficit reduction plan, you do end up with a totally different story from Cameron’s Tories. Labour will have more money to spend. They are producing ideas that are aimed at working families and are trying to restrict corporate profiteering. Good for them.


The problem is that nobody in Scotland is listening. After the referendum we pressed the mute button. Scots have had a bellyful of Labour promises that we swallowed whole and regretted when they failed to digest. It started arguably with Blair and Iraq (Clause Four, anyone?) and grew through the years of rightward drift and Brown bluster, culminating in the arrogance and duplicity of the No campaign and playing with the Tories. When the arch Blairite Murphy was elected – and wiped from his pages his support for Tory spending cuts – we couldn’t reach for the remote quick enough.

The result is we no longer trust Labour and we no longer hear them. Parties earn the respect of the voters first and then they can make their offer. The offer without the respect is just words. Until Labour take a beating and go through rehab, they will remain Scotland’s silent party – permanently stuck on mute.

(Next time, Polly, pop in for a cuppa. I’ve got bergamot and water lily tea bags waiting).



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27 thoughts on “Put the Kettle On

  1. If Polly believes we are pretty much the same it’s strange that she advocated on TV that a Scottish MP should never again become Prime Minister.

    If she does pop in for a cuppa Derek be sure to use the Labour pledge mug that demonstrates internationalist / non-identity policies!

    • Make sure it’s a ‘controls on immigration’ mug…

    • Yes Ms Toynbee has a short and selective memory.

      Today: “Scotland’s separation is speeded by the reckless opportunism of his response to the SNP surge. That early morning after the no result, a unionist would have embraced the Scots with warmth and solidarity. Instead, he drove a chisel into the rift with his rebarbative threat to punish Scottish MPs: English votes for English laws is a prescription for fragmentation.”

      Last April: http://wingsoverscotland.com/no-jocks-please-were-british/

  2. Polly is just like every other member of MSM. They hear what they want to hear & sell that as the gospel truth to their readers. It’s not the done thing to criticise the ruling elites & it’s only SNP BAD, don’t you know.

    Oh well, there ought to be some difficult questions being asked of the media after May 7th 2015 🙂

  3. If there is any similarity of attitudes regarding immigration (which I doubt, but if there is)
    it is entirely down to the media (mainly the press) who are constantly stirring up an
    ‘anti-foreigner’ attitude.

    When the media-reliant, uninformed are presented with a advantage/disadvantage
    comparison of immigrants the ones I have spoken to (and shown via tinterweb) very
    quickly look surprised.

    When newspapers started giving opinions over facts (I know they
    always have to a degree but not to the extent we see now) they started to lose credibility
    when the facts were finally revealed; perhaps one of the reasons that sales of newspapers
    are declining so.

    I certainly used to put a fair amount of stock/credence to the reporting in newspapers,
    despite doing Media Studies, but I don’t buy/read any of them. As for the BBC; I wouldn’t
    watch the BBC if you paid me & believe me, being unemployed that is some statement as
    not only would it help me afford food but also I’d lose benefits for refusing.

  4. I think Westminster media and their lap-dog political parasites are struggling to understand an electorate which is now driven by different, much wider access to sources of information.

    If a politician makes a statement which is untrustworthy now, it is quite easy to find facts online which will disprove his/her assertion, whereas, in times gone by, you got to read what the politician and his/her media outlet wanted you to know, without any way of finding the true facts of the statement.

    They have arrogantly failed to acknowledge the role of online sources of information, and bad cess to them. It allows an electorate to express a fully-formed opinion, based on easily checked facts and research, which they could have contributed to themselves, if they weren’t so worried about all the stuff they have been hiding for centuries past.

  5. Well Scotland is underpopulated, and England overpopulated. So one needs immigrants, and the other has too many. However if the Anglo centric don’t point this out when providing news and making programmes.

    Then unfortunately some Scots only hear the first few lines:” Too many immigrants”. They don’t say hey wait a minute, we have 5 million people and a third of the land mass. England has only a third more land mass but 12 times Scotland’s population. In fact there are more people in greater London than Scotland. Greater London could fit into Fife!

    This sameing has been going on in the media for years. We often here things like:”We don’t get on with the French”. When they mean the English don’t get on with the French. We have a daily diet of media disinformation fed into our living rooms.

    We are not the same. We are different the same as the Irish. The idea is to subvert Scottish culture with this sameing. If you ignore a nation’s existance, you can prevent it’s culture being recognised. I don’t feel British and certainly not English. So I can’t just be another Englishman. I wake up and I feel Scottish. I talk to my friends and I feel Scottish. I go abroad and I feel Scottish. I speak to the Asian shopkeeper and he feels Scottish. We can’t all be imagining things!

    • Agree with your reasoning regarding the population differences Big Jock. In fact, I recall a statistic that showed England’s population has doubled in the past 100 years while Scotland’s actually fell slightly and has only increased above 1900 level in the past 5 yrs or so, no doubt a result of the brain drain and the great union dividend we keep being told about.

  6. I gave up with the Guardian last year, I got so fed up with the anti Scots rhetoric. We apparently are just whinging sponging Jocks with too much to say for ourselves. I find it hilarious that they are complaining that we might impose a government on them that THEY did not vote for. Well welcome to our world. Poly Toynbee, and each man to themselves Derek, you are entitled to fancy who you wish., but she is a Champagne Socialist, very little idea of what people below her station think or feel so her chances of understanding a strange country like Scotland well I doubt that very much.

  7. Yes, read that piece earlier.

    Shock, horror and haud the front page. People are people the world over. Who knew?

    What Ms Toynbee knows about life and politics in Scotland however, could be written on the back of a postage stamp. You have to walk a mile in another persons shoes to appreciate their life and their experiences. Labour in Scotland have committed too many sins against their electorate, broken too many promises, told too many lies. They have used and abused their positions of trust, their duty of care and their own people. The last straw was their part in the referendum.

    They made this about identity, they othered and demonised half of their own electorate with calculated deliberation. They high fived their way through the referendum process with the Conservatives and the Lib Dems, smiling as food banks were opened, as banks and retailers threatened their own people with economic sanctions and abandonment, as they shared a stage to deny Scotland a currency union. The bastards stood there and smiled as they put their heel on our necks.

    I grew up in Labour heartlands. I grew up admiring Labour politicians and Labour members. They were our heroes and supposed to be our champions and protectors. They were meant to fight our corner against the establishment and be the voice for those who had none. After the referendum I had hoped they would at least pause and consider their actions, begin a process of, as you put it, ‘rehab’. But no, they have picked up where they left off, demonising, smearing, lying, rewriting history to suit their needs.

    The reality is that Labour as was, never was. Labour people though? Labour people are still here in numbers, they are all around us. They are good people with a social conscience and a sense of community. They care and they haven’t gone anywhere. Take away the label of parliamentary Labour and call them what they are today, the independence movement. They simply went to a parties that stand for what they stand for and if those parties betray them, they’ll find another or create one. You see that’s the reality of the common electorate of Scotland, they ask only one thing, that their public servants remain loyal to their needs, their wishes and reflect their values. Not a big ask considering what the public servants get in return.

    So no, I don’t want Labour rehabilitated any more, I simply want them gone.

  8. Why oh why is it always you jocks the Scottish the one’s up north……the Nats? We are a country that has to vote in a few weeks and the votes woll be counted and an outcome will arise. But what people all over the country can’t understand is difference……..and I am sorry to say this but hello we are all different.
    So each individual group district county and country has different requirements. This will not change so to say mixed parties or politicians is wrong or not good is very shallow and out of touch. I think England Scotland Wales and Northern Ireland needs to have their own small or even large political agendas to suit their needs.
    Because we are all different. A total review of the political and voting techniques are needed.
    Thanks Martin.

  9. I remember an Afro Caribean busker who had moved to Glasgow a few months ago from London, being interviewed on BBC Scotland. He was busking in Buchanan Street. It was around the time of the Major government and the Scottish campaign for the parliament.

    When he was asked he said he didn’t understand the need, as we were all the same. Exact words were: “Scottish , English it’s just the same to me”. To me this comment is both ignorant and insulting at the same time. To make a judgement on a country you have not lived and grown up in is just banal.

    Obviously he was from another country and would have been equally insulted. Had we just said Jamaican,Dominican,Puerto Rican….they are just the same. In order to understand a country you can’t just pop in and declare your opinion.

    You have to live and breathe there and form relationships. It takes decades not a couple of days or years.

  10. I noted Polly, with glee, went on about how Scots didn’t really want to pay ‘Swedish taxes’ to be run like Scandinavian countries. I am not going to say that I am certain they do want to but I also suspect that part of the reason for this is that it’s pitched to them as if they should pay ‘Swedish taxes’ from ‘UK pay’ rather than the high pay the Scandinavians receive by comparison.

  11. When ever you wonder why the British Establishment do what they do and their tame mouthpieces in the MSM say what they say remember this quote;

    “To destroy a nation you must deprive the people of their National consciouness. Treat them as a tribe and not a nation,dilute their national pride, do not teach their history, propagate their language as inferior, imply they have a cultural void, emphasise their customs are primitive and dismiss Independence as a barbaric anomaly.”

    Reinhard Heydrich. Protector of Czechoslovakia for the German Third Reich.

    Now apply his words to the treatment Scotland has received and is receiving.

    • Easy to see those words could have been written just for Westminster
      with Scotland in mind.

      I’m beginning to think and feel that I’ve been abused all my life.

      Me and 5 million other Scots.

      Time to move from the mute button to the power button.

  12. We are all the same…a familiar refrain from the unionists and at root we probably are.
    However…..try telling a Canadian that he/she would be better together with Washington DC running their affairs or a Kiwi that Canberra is where they should be at or any of the former British colonies that London rule is preferable to home rule because we are all the same.
    Absolute nonsense of course and the fundamental reason is that these peoples want their countries run by the government they elect.
    Democracy is OK for some people but only when it suits their narrative.

    • As a kilted Kiwi I can tell you that the best reply to an Aussie polie suggesting NZ join Australia’s union is: Any time you jokers want to be the West Island of New Zealand, you just have to ask’. But of course put that way the Aussies are never too keen on the idea. It’s getting hold of NZ’s better balance of payments when their GNP is falling that is really behind such suggestions.

      The distance between the two countries is too great for such a union to hold together for long. The differential treatment between Maori and Aborigine would also be problematic. Maori would almost certainly protest vociferously, fearing their traditional rights to be under threat. And I suspect they would be right. Maori had the advantage of military might over the settlers which won them a Treaty with the British Crown, a binding legal document. A lot more than the Aborigines ever got.

  13. ‘Parties earn the respect of the voters first and then they can make their offer. The offer without the respect is just words. ‘

    This is so true Derek. Politics, like selling, is the art of persuasion and in the selling game it’s one of the basic principles that first you have to gain the person’s attention, then you have to gain their interest, then you gain their trust. Only after doing this can you convince them to buy your message. This is exactly what the Scottish National Party have done by demonstrating over a period of years that they can be trusted to act in the best interests of Scotland.

    Labour on the other hand have demonstrated time and again that they only have the interests of their party in mind.

  14. Great read – enjoyed it. I’m loving the confusion and barely concealed panic of press and politicians from South of Border trying to find an explanation for what’s going on here that allows them to ignore the reality.

  15. What on earth does Polly Toynbee know about Scotland.

    Let her give me in a thousand words, an explanation of the connection between
    West of Scotland Labour, the Mafia and a rut in a Highland glen,
    and then I’ll tell you what she knows about Scotland.

    In the meantime, Derek, I love your idea of the mute button.

    Even though I’d prefer it to be the power button.

  16. Heidstaethefire

    It arise from the metropolitan elite’s view that the U.K. is an island surrounded by the M 25

  17. As the road to Damascus is a bit problematic at present I suppose that Polly Toynbee would have to settle for the road to Maryhill to even begin to understand the sea change that is affecting Scottish politics at present. While she made a brave, some might say miraculous, start on this it would appear that she was struck off her horse a second time and reverted to her default position -one that looks unlikely to impress the Maryhill voters this time round.

    Not to worry though! I feel sure the Grauniad is not a best seller in those parts.

  18. If she wanted a genuine opinion she’d have asked for one. Still, the article was a vast improvement on previous..

  19. “Bergamot and water lilly” how very outré, it’s Pai Mu Tan or nothing these days daaaahling. Good post read it in the G, comments were great fun

  20. Polly-wolly-doodle-olly-day recently described the SNP, Greens and Plaid as “anti-politics”, lumping them in with UKIP. That’s not ignorance, that’s propaganda.

    Perhaps she believes it – the best liars often do. But so far I’ve not seen one Guardian op-piece, not one venting of the Telegraph spleen, not one single pontification of the Times grasp why Labour’s blandishments aren’t working. They praise the “energetic and capable Jim Murphy”, some even amke half-hearted attempts to put a positive spin on his suddenly left-lurching pronouncements, though obviously sticking in the craw of the likes of Alan Cochrane as he tries to big up oor Jim – for the sake of the Union.

    Yet Old Polly was almost right when she called us anti-politics. It’s certainly anti her polticial world, political class, political assumptions. And to some extent it’s not even about policies, which is why Labour cannot make a dent no matter what they promise. This is about retaking democracy. And that’s not anti-politics, Polly, that’s just us playing the game with a new ba’.

  21. We need some lowland clearances to follow on from the highland clearances of yesteryear. Lets clear out the yes voters from the former Labour heartlands and leave more space for the two legged sheep that can still be herded into the polling both to vote Labour.

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