Duck and Dive, Dave

If anything showed up Scotland’s insignificant role in the family of nations it was this election result…a near clean-sweep for Nationalists and yet a Tory majority in the UK.

The old theme that they rule over us resounds as never before, a bitter reminder that only 20 years ago the SNP policy was to take a majority of Scottish MPs in an election as a mandate for independence. Sturgeon would be heading to New York and the UN this morning instead of London and a BBC studio sofa.

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Mind you, go back nearly 30 years and SNP policy was to stay out of Europe, yet staying in could be the breaker that leads to a second referendum in two years. So things change and, boy, how things have changed. I was wrong. Totally and embarrassingly wrong when I said I expected 30 plus seats to fall and that 40 would be an earthquake. I was categoric – 50 seats was a pipe dream with fairy wings. I foresaw Willie Bain with a 2000 majority, Charlie Kennedy with just enough personal support to inch over the line and a right wing Unionist alliance heaving Murphy back in. Wrong, wrong, wrong.

I still look over the 10,000 majorities and wonder if they’re real. Did the sitting MPs know what was coming? They saw a serious challenge, sure, but how many forecast a tsunami or, as some are saying, an extinction level event? To those who did their constituency job well but still lost – like Ann McKechin in my seat – I say thanks and farewell. It is always the occupational hazard of the elected politician that one day it’s all over and that’s how it should be. If Labour suffered from anything in the long years of dominance it was complacency – now the fledgling enemy of the SNP.

Will Cameron and his crew play the enemy too? They still have no reason to play to Scotland for votes (and didn’t he ditch Ruth Davidson when he went anti-Scottish in the campaign?) and could let it fester as a way of frustrating and infuriating the SNP, turning them into the Feeble 56.

Yet his majority is small enough to be fragile and his party less than loyal, with a solid rump of anti Europeans still terrified of UKIP. There may well be times when he’ll be glad of support when the going gets tricky and antagonising needlessly the third biggest party will look petulant and self-harming.

Jim Murphy

The SNP bloc won’t have much room for more than rhetorical opposition – indeed may have to play the key spokesman role defending social solidarity depending on Labour’s strategic response to defeat. But that will bring benefits in itself if Scots see them taking the case for social justice into the heart of the Commons and standing up for Scottish sensibilities. They won’t have Scottish Labour voices to do that and I suspect the sole survivor – Castaway Ian Murray – will begin to sound more like a semi detached Nat in the circumstances, when he gets a word in.

The big prize of course is more powers and if Cameron believes he has to keep stoking up English chauvinism by blocking the SNP, he can proceed to deliver only on Smith and still lose the argument. I don’t think the Tories have a stomach either for appeasing the Scots or for antagonising them but it can’t have escaped even the most dense and backward Jock bashers that there is a solution to this perennial problem and the chances to deal with it are running out. Sturgeon is right – you can’t look at this rebellion against Westminster without realising that Smith is dead. It was only ever a make-do and mend to get the Unionists out of a bind and no one who follows constitutional issues ever says they can be dealt with simply and quickly to an artificial timetable set by the tabloid press, never mind a demented Gordon Brown. (Can we now leave him in Jurassic Park and can the BBC stop bowing and scraping in front of the old panto dame?)

Inside Number 10, assuming there are smarter minds than Cameron’s, someone has to see the advantage of sealing the Union deal by filling in the Smith gaps with the full panoply of economic and welfare powers which any real Conservative would acknowledge as essential to a country being self-reliant. If the current funding is subsidised by England, why not change it and set Scotland free? What possible right- wing case is there for trying to nurse maid those who want autonomy when it is within the Union and when the real and present danger is a final cleavage.

As I’ve written before, Full Fiscal Autonomy is whatever Cameron and Sturgeon decide it is – with the public’s ultimate approval. What doesn’t suit London will have to be finessed until it does. What damages Scotland will need adjustment to fit. It’s called negotiation and it’s what the Civil Service is for.

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FFA does not mean an overnight transformation to a new funding formula and the end of all cross-border transfers. It will be designed to ensure a stable transition that doesn’t hurt either side with trigger points for subventions when income falls too low or rises too high on the principle of no disadvantage. It will take place over several years. It will be regularly reviewed. The objective is not to damage each other but to meet the aspiration of the voters who want Edinburgh to lead economic development and take care of welfare. Any failure to act on this clear agenda when the voice of Scots has resounded so clearly within a space of only eight months, would be a cruel and self-defeating act of provocation. With a Tory government hell-bent on slashing yet more from welfare in the most callous of deliberate policy acts, it isn’t just the SNP who will be demanding change. The conditions now prevail for street politics in opposition to a right wing government we didn’t vote for so that civil disobedience in Scotland could quickly spread to non-Tory England giving Cameron a headache (and possibly the SNP in Westminster). The days after an election are the time for action when there is an interregnum and the winner can do just about anything and get away with it. There can be boldness and imagination – and I don’t mean heading for the most expensive club in Mayfair to celebrate. If Cameron fails, he will be failing Britain.

By the way, the laugh of the post election party has been the dinosaur tendency in Labour to blame defeat on somebody else. Was it Friday night I caught Jackie Baillie, the Queen of Cant, describing how it was a deliberate plan of Sturgeon to keep going down to England to be seen by as many people as possible to provoke the English (try to keep up) into believing Cameron’s propaganda about SNP wreckers holding Labour to ransom so that (still with me?) English folk would change their vote to the Tories to stop a Labour government. Therefore – Labour’s defeat was the FAULT OF THE SNP.

And right there, ladies and gentlemen, is why Labour are f***ed. Jackie sums it all up – an articulate woman who finds self-analysis impossible, whose loathing for the SNP is so profound and her politics so corrupted by cronyism and careerism that even a cataclysmic defeat can be elided and finessed away. The somewhat repellent Blair McDougall whose personal star has blinked and blanked, is at the same game – the man who ran the whole calamitous train crash along with McTernan, taking the coward’s way out and blaming someone else. If there is any scrap of credibility in either of these political spivs and self-publicists, Labour is welcome to it. Their campaign was crap, a childrens’ playbook of gaffe, hyperbole and vitriol which veered from love bombing the Yes voters to branding them indy crazies hell bent on referendum two. Can they also now be consigned to the wheelie bin of failure or will they re-emerge as newspaper ‘columnists’ airbrushing their own inadequacy. Like Murphy, these tribal Neanderthals need to be flushed out of our politics.

Talking of Her Majesty’s Press, what are the media in Scotland going to do now? They have strained every sinew to gloss over Labour’s failings, bigged up on cue its personalities and its plans, excoriated the SNP and been force fed first by Paul Sinclair under Lamont (doesn’t seem to bad now, does she?) and then by McTernan. Will this force them to open their eyes to the consistent failure of the party most of them support? The MPs have gone, the Holyrood crop is a rump, the talent is gone, the old heads retired, the money spent, the resources and decision-making flitted to the Nats – it’s time to move on, guys. The old ways are finished. Just as Labour has to think differently, so do you. Maybe even BBC Scotland’s early evening love affair with Labour’s interpretation of any given event will ebb too and a balance that has been missing for too long, will assert itself. It is the ones who don’t adapt who lose in the end, eh, Labour?

And where, when you need them, are the Heroes of the Past? Where is Brown’s analysis of Labour reduced to dust? Where in the campaign was Darling? Has Brian Wilson emerged from the digital croft? These are the people whose hubris, arrogance and journey to the Right pulled out the props one by one which supported the People’s Party. Murphy is part of it along with Curran and the defeated 40 but it was Brown sucking up to the City, dictating policy to Scotland – even blocking Wendy’s referendum plea – which rotted the floor. The Stalinist regime of Brown and the party’s failure to confront it, is the single most damning internal influence that destroyed Labour. Cultural changes and historical shifts in society require to be adjusted to and weren’t but in terms of the party and its administration, it was the vainglorious blowhard Brown who downed Scottish Labour…the failed Prime Minister and failed leader who failed Scotland.

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48 thoughts on “Duck and Dive, Dave

  1. It is vital that Jim Murphy and his campaign spinners bring all their vast Holyrood election expertise to the 2016 elections.

    When you have 38 Labour MSPs still to deal with it is no time to change horses midstream.

  2. I too thought 40 would be a triumph, but when I woke on Friday at 6am and heard 55, soon to be 56, I thought I was still dreaming. But how wonderful to be rid of some of the most despicable characters in our politics. However, traps await the unwary, just as Miliband fell into it and was consumed, but hopefully, Nicola, Alex and co are wise enough to deal with Cameron’s machinations.

    Your critique of SLAB is spot on, but we do need a left wing, socialist party. It could be the SNP who seem to be moving leftward under the new leadership. But there is also an opportunity for a reborn Scottish Labour party (or a reformed Scottish Labour), if it has the courage to dispose of the Blairite membership and adopt a truly revolutionary policy – Independence. The English Tories have cast Scotland off and I suspect the English Labour Party may do the same, so why not a Scottish Labour party for Independence?

    They talk the talk of Equality, Social Justice and so on, but under Blair/Brown they failed and produced the exact opposite. Under the Tories there is no chance of Social Justice, just more handouts to millionaires and the total destruction of the Social State. So if Scottish Labour want to implement a socialist agenda then an independent Scotland is the place to do it. But only if they get rid of some of the vile personalities entrenched in their midst, and those sitting at Holyrood, and create a discourse that isn’t predicated on the self-destructive hatred of the SNP.

    Others have pointed out that there are many similarities between SNP and Labour, and Labour sneered that the SNP manifesto was a cut-and-paste job from their manifesto, while at the same time, like the intellectual dwarfs they are, claiming that the SNP were really right wing. A Scottish Labour party free from the strait jacket of SNP hatred could be a constructive force, supporting where appropriate and opposing where necessary and not just opposing whatever.

    But it won’t happen. I see Blairazurus has raised his head from counting his millions and advising despots to claim that Labour needs to return to his policies. If that’s the way they go then there is no hope for reform and justice in the UK.

    • That was what I was thinking Ian Murray should do – re-found the old Independent Labour Party in Scotland and at least go for federalism. He’s my MP, and impressive. Ran a postive campaign, based on local issues and his own achievements locally. He’s against Trident, fracking, TTIP. He was the Shadow Trade and Business minister. And has picked up a lot of knowledge.

      • Agreed. I also heard Neil Findlay on GMS after the route and he sounded like a socialist.

        • Findlay is a left leaning Brit nat imo. He is a follower of Gordon Brown, and he blames Tony Blair for all of New Labour’s failings, while conveniently ignoring the disaster that Gordon Brown was in government. Findlay hates the SNP as much as Murphy and co.

    • Joan Edington

      All these folk who are claiming that the SNP manifesto was a cut & paste of the Labour one really ought to look back and realise how stupid that statement is. The SNP were running the referendum campaign on exactly the same policies for over 2 years before Labour even thought of their manifesto. If they even had the same policies earlier, why weren’t they shouting them out at Westminster?

  3. Civil disobedience has already started in England and Wales. Demonstrations yesterday against Tories in Cardiff with Charlotte Church and in London outside Downing Street.

    I think the role of extra-parliamentary activity will be crucial. Robin McAlpine thinks so too, and you were hinting the same yourself with the TUs.

    Chukka Ummunna now making a bid for leader of the Labour Party, which the right wing will probably go for.

    So is Diane Abbot.

    I think the Labour Party will split and the sooner the better. Something like the RIC needs to take root in England and scoop up the dissaffected 34% who don’t vote as well as the principled part of the party.

    • You would think the TUSC would be well placed to do that. But the question arises as to whether they even recognise the necessity. There can be a snobbishness from trades unionists towards the unwaged and those no unionised. I’m sure RIC will be receptive if they come asking for advice, but I doubt we will be holding our breaths. Dundee RIC meets in the Yes City this Thursday to debate where to go now. I’ll be there.

  4. Gove the new (in)Justice Secretary. First job, to get rid of the Human Rights Act. Yep, just what we need so we can really hammer anyone we don’t like.

  5. Great article. I think they’re finished in Scotland. Labour need to jink right to capture English votes – you can see sign already – that’s “curtains” for the Scottish vote. Breaking with London Labour would mean an attempt to reclaim the left from SNP -it’s simply too late. The Dams burst and and they’re drowning.
    I think SNP will vie with London Labour as the Opposition despite only having 56 MPs because London Labour are in disarray and moving right will make them even more indistinguishable from Tories. English Socialists will therefore be further disenfranchised by Labour and they andleft wing media will focus on the 56 SNP as the new poster boys and girls against the Tories – means much more media coverage and TV air time. Major headache for Cameron.

  6. Scot Labour have missed the boat and and the Holyrood elections will kill them off.

    The Greens will get massive support and become the opposition that will keep the SNP on their toes.
    I hope Murphy/Dugdale team stay as this will further cement the demise of the once proud party.

    They have become a bunch of spineless toadies who would rather keep their jobs than follow their hearts.
    The people have seen them for what they are and to prove the point will any of them refuse a position in the House of Lords. I think not!

    Goodbye ScotLab, relegated to the bottom division of politics. Never on the news, no faces to be recognised in the papers. The party will be a total irrelevance after the five years of this Tory govt.

  7. Great analysis Derek. Broadbield has said that “there is an opportunity for a reborn Scottish Labour party or reformed Scottish Labour to emerge”. I really don’t think that what is left standing has that ability. Until they can recognise and let go of their visceral hatred of the SNP they are going nowhere. I think that they have to be cleared out of Holyrood as well, they need that very hard and painful lesson, before they try and rebuild. I just don’t see it happening. Labour in Scotland is finished.

    As for the MSM and the BBC, well, all we ever asked from them was fair and balanced reporting. But did we get it, no. MSM sales are dropping like a stone, serves them right. What is the Record going to do now? who cares. As for the BBC, Pacific Quay has to be totally cleared out of the Labour mouthpieces running the place. There would always be a place for the good journalists like Izzy Fraser and Ken MacDonald, but for me, the rest have to go. I would not have thought that fair and balanced reporting was too much to ask, it appears I was very wrong on that one.

    • Antoine Bisset

      I noted on Friday evening that Jackie Bird, interviewing Ms Sturgeon in front of Westminster complete with loud hecklers, could not hold herself back from making an attack. Bird must go!

      • Absolutely, she is a bloody national disgrace! Surely there is more talent in Scotland than that old crone.

      • Katrine Paterson

        That heckling forced a change in the type of microphone used. It was ironic that this ‘journalist’ presenter went all the way to London to get an earful of abuse. She had it coming! Her interviewing of Nicola Sturgeon and other SNP people is a disgrace.

  8. I predict the new media attack line will be to bombard Alex Salmond with questions at every opportunity, distort his reponses and repeatedly re-run the distortions and then depict Nicola Sturgeon as a weak leader because Salmond is doing all the talking. They are already mis-reporting his “staging post” comment.

    • But just like the mis-reporting before the general election, it will not work in Scotland.

      Slab dinosaurs are nearly extinct because their public have grown to dislike their confusing politics, their rejection of all things SNP, their disconnectedness from the real world, the fruitcake that is still apparently in charge of their branch office, their dishonesty, their divine right to be elected, e.t.c.

      The only slab thing that the media will be reporting on in the near future will be the final implosion of the branch office before a long period in the wilderness sets in.

      So if the media want to report current Scottish politics they’ll have to report on the SNP and if they don’t do it fairly their circulations will continue to drop and the majority of the population will take a good dose of their real news from online sources that don’t need to dance for Murdoch, David Cameron’s media stooges or right wing reclusives in the Channel Islands.

      If the BBC gives “Elder Statesman”, Gordon Brown another floor show they’ll have to bill it as comedy. Editors manipulating facts and mixing them with fiction and vitriol before going to print in the hope that their are still enough thick folk to swallow it might as well just print floral patterns on bog roll for all the difference they will make.

      Scotland has changed we are not changing back or going back in our box.

  9. I’m watching fascinated as the tattered remnants of Labour demonstrate how far they are from understanding just what happened here by considering the likes of Umuma and Hunt for leader.Please god they pick some such sorry careerist Newsnight-friendly muppet and consign themselves to the oblivion they so richly deserve, then we can start from scratch building a new party that will stand up for the poor and struggling instead of joining in giving them a kicking.

  10. Excellent summing up Derek.

    How can Murphy stay on? He is surely now what they call a “toxic brand”?

    His excuse that he’s only been in charge for 5 months is just bull. The (Not) Labour Party in Scotland has had its strings pulled by its Westminster counterpart for years and Murphy was at the heart of that establishment.

    Scotland has voted Labour for 100 years and what did it do? Labour has been in charge of Glasgow city for almost all that time and it’s still a disaster for the majority of people who live there – Labour core voters in the past.

    Labour has reaped that which it sowed – just when Scotland needed a strong Socialist-leaning party Labour ran in the opposite direction.

    I hope they finally wake up and start putting the word Socialist back in to their manifestos.

    For the good of politics in Scotland I think we need that to happen but it’s not inevitable and if Labour refuses to change life will move on without them and few will mourn.

  11. VikingsDottir

    DB,
    I’m sure Nate Silver said to Richard Bacon that the SNP would win most of the seats, although not all.
    The new SNP M Ps are unaware of what awaits them down south. The first thing will be the culture shock. Then they will have to acquaint themselves with the ways of Westminster. Some of it will seem mediaeval to them, because it is.
    Cameron and his crew will not make any concessions to them. They are in at the deep end, which brings me to Salmond. He was there for long enough and should be able to steer a few of them through the choppy waters
    Don’t underestimate Cameron. He has played a blinder in stirring up the fears of a Milliband/SNP coalition. He knows his own people better than most Scots do. That is our biggest weakness. Some of us should get out more.
    Speaking of Labour blaming everyone but themselves, I heard more than Jim Murphy say that the people just wouldn’t listen to them. We should have done that, shouldn’t we? I’ve also heard a few of them saying that they have to retrieve their core values. If they want to do that, they’ll have to open the mines, the steel mills and shipyards again, and get the population back to work, the way it used to be, when Labour was a strong and supportive force among the working class, and the said working class could identify with them. I’ve almost got tears in my eyes writing this, because I won’t be holding my breath waiting for it to happen.

    • Drew Campbell

      Jim Murphy is trying to hold the line for the incipient Blairite takeover, probably at the behest of Lord Mandelson. Yes, there’s denial and attempts to shift the blame because it is imperative that none of this unpleasant failure attaches to Saint Tony and the Project.

      As regards Cameron, yes, you’re absolutely right, most people underestimate him He’s utterly unprinicpled and has no ideological baggage; he’s there to shift power and wealth upwards to his friends and class – period. His weakness is his vanity, which may lead him to overreach and arrogance. And while you’re right he does know his people better than we do, it’s equally true he doesn’t understand Scots or Scotland.

      Alex Salmond will indeed be crucial. It well known back in 1987 he immersed himself in parliamentary procedure and is an acknowledged expert. He’s taught Angus Robertson, Pete Wishart and others of the next generation too, so expect all kinds of ploys and ambushes to be deployed against the Government. Expect too for Salmond, a privy counsellor, to find his way onto relevant committees and push on many uncomfortable topics – surveillance, MI5 tracking politicians (like him) and perhaps even the murderous paedophile ring – a bigger timebomb under Westminster than even Scottish independence. Wouldn’t Alex love to detonate that one.

  12. The analysis is over. For Labour to recover it has to move left (in Scotland) and right (in England). In Scotland it has to either move to a federal settlement with London Labour or remain as a branch office. It has to retain Union funding to help it recover or distance itself from the Union Barons. It has to retain Jim Murphy a right-leaning darling of London Labour to manage the branch office or find someone who recognises that Johann Lamont – dismissed by many in her own party in London as a numpty – was spot-on with her analysis this isn’t sustainable. Oh, and you’ve got 12 months to sort it all out before you again have to face the best electoral machine Scotland has ever put together……Good Luck with that one.
    Any takers?

  13. The only thing that stood between Scottish Tories and Armageddon (a politically empowered Scottish working class) was the British Labour party.
    Now that they have gone,the Tories are either going to have to leave or find another home for their votes.
    Murphy represented their last hope in Scotland.

  14. Antoine Bisset

    Brian Wilson writing in the Scotsman summed up, all unknowingly, all that was wrong with the Labour approach. He thinks that Labour politicians should lead the people, i.e.that Labour politicians should tell the people what to do. He has no notion that democracy is about the people telling the politicians what to do. The old Tammany Hall ways (vote Labour and get a council house) are being rejected. I’d be surprised if any Scot wants to see them return.

  15. I look forward to the 56 SNP MP’s taking their seats at Westminster – but, more importantly, their automatic membership of Parliamentary Committees, given their status as the 3rd largest party in the UK. Then, there’s the farcical, monthly “Scottish Questions” to contend with – which, will now be even more ludicrous given that the sole Tory MP in Westminster, David Mundell will, automatically, become the “Scottish” Secretary, while the only New Labour MP still standing in Scotland, Ian Murray, must surely assume the role of Shadow Scottish Secretary, given New Labour are deemed “Her Majesty’s Official Opposition” in this “sceptred-isle” of Great Britain?
    But, how refreshing it will be, to no longer hear the verbal equivalent of a series of “sucker punches” as the “Three, Bitter-Together, Tory Amigos” asked each other – “Does my right honourable friend/opposition colleague (for such and such constituency) agree with me, that the SNP ‘separatists’ are the lowest form of life on the planet” – as “courageous” “Scottish” Labour, LibDem and ex-pat Tories lined up to take a free hit, and stick the boot into the SNP, knowing full well they had no right of reply! Well, that cowardly form of attack is now, well and truly over – even with a total dick-head like “Tiny” Bercow as Parliamentary Speaker.
    Aye, I’ve no doubt that the “Sir Button Tufton” brigade, the nasty “City types”, and New Labour’s “Metro-Politicians” will react with extreme hostility, at first, but given the “love-in” for John Swinney on Friday’s “Question Time”, I’m confident the reality of the situation will finally take hold – if not, and NOBODY wants to listen, then that is the time to ask Scotland if they want this unacceptable state of affairs to continue. And, with New Labour in Scotland imploding, and New Labour again raising its ugly head “dahn saff” with interventions from “Bliar” and “Mandy” – both of whom are backing “Chucky” Umunna to become a “Black Tony” – Scottish independence looks more likely, and sooner rather than later. So,roll on the blood-letting before the Holyrood elections!

  16. Seeing Tom Gordon (Herald) congratulating McColm (some other paper) on a great piece of writing about Scottish issue, tells me it is more than the dead heads of Scottish Labour that need to be swept out.
    The grand concept of the fourth estate is fairly meaningless in Scotland.

  17. How broke is Labour? Can they afford to re-organize?

  18. They won’t have Scottish Labour voices to do that and I suspect the sole survivor – Castaway Ian Murray – will begin to sound more like a semi detached Nat in the circumstances, when he gets a word in.

    I very much doubt it, Murray is a Brit nat and appears to be a crony of Kezia Dugdale.

    By the way, the laugh of the post election party has been the dinosaur tendency in Labour to blame defeat on somebody else. Was it Friday night I caught Jackie Baillie, the Queen of Cant, describing how it was a deliberate plan of Sturgeon to keep going down to England to be seen by as many people as possible to provoke the English (try to keep up) into believing Cameron’s propaganda about SNP wreckers holding Labour to ransom so that (still with me?) English folk would change their vote to the Tories to stop a Labour government. Therefore – Labour’s defeat was the FAULT OF THE SNP.

    Aye, Dugdale was blaming the SNP as well. I watched Baillie early on Friday morning, and honestly she never ever gets any better.

    I believe the MSM are effectively finished in Scotland. As Iain Macwhirter has said, around half of the population of Scotland no longer believe a word they say on Scottish politics. Their bias and SLAB cronyism over the last decade in particular will soon be their downfall. I very much include BBC Scotland in that. The actions of Jackie Bird, Catriona Renton, Glenn Campbell, Douglas Fraser, Kirsty Wark (technically she is not BBC Scotland) etc have meant that they have been discredited themselves and their organisation among many Yes supporters.

    On FFA; if I was in the SNP leadership I would go for it. If they can get decent terms then it really is a no brainer.

  19. “On FFA.. If they can get decent terms then it really is a no brainer.” It’s the terms though. What’s our share of the national debt (if anything), how much do we pay for defence and security, why should have to keep Trident (which will be renewed) on our doorstep and so on? FFA if equivalent to the control we would have as an independent country, otherwise it’s a trap and Osborn will make sure FFA is to our detriment.

    • davidmccann24

      The terms will be all important- especially if we are forced to keep and pay our share of Trident, then we have to exact a punishing ‘rental’ for allowing our land to host the submarines and their lethal cargoes at Glen Douglas, although there may well be a political price to pay.
      Secondly, we need to demand the immediate repatriation of the 6000sq miles of sea, stolen by Labour in 1999, taking with it six oil wells in the process.

  20. Interesting times ahead. 🙂

    When sovereignty of parliament meets sovereignty of the people.

    Popcorn anyone?

  21. Thomas William Dunlop

    I think what happened last week was a an on-going re-alignment in Scotland of which there are very few an far between. I think you have to go back to the reformation itself to see such a wholesale shift in peoples opinion in such a short time. Not that I am religious, I am athiest scientist amateur observer of such events, trying to be objective over subjective. However the parallel lies in people wanting more local democracy away from the the centre/ elites ( For Westminster read Rome/ establishment) at that time. It was also a reaction against Church corruption that was rife at the time as well (Westminster corruption anyone?). At the time the establishment fought back and forth to maintain a line, all the way into the Stuart monarchies of the UK- that did not end nicely for them either

    So to the Labour party, how can you be surprised

    when you define yourself as being against your opponents, and give nothing else you are doomed.

    If you take for granted the people who voted for you, you are doubly doomed

    If you insult them by saying they cannot make their own decisions about running their own affairs, you are totally lost.

    It has happened to the tories and now the Labour party in Scotland (not to mention the Liberals). Next is the Union itself

  22. Thoughtful article Derek-however, why spoil the piece with photographs of these Labour numpties?
    Yesterdays men who, I would have thought, don’t even warrant a footnote in the history of this country, being the shallow and traitorous individuals we have had the misfortune to endure………….

  23. FFA? A trap. Had we voted Yes in September we would be independent this time next year.
    And doing what we want and what needs to be done
    This time next year however we will still be arguing about FFA, its terms, Devo max, Devo whatever on an on and then there’s the House of Lords and five years from now the flame will have gone out and the people will have tired of the arguments.
    The only sensible, logical and uncomplicated option is independence.
    (And FFA is not FFA if we do not have the option to refuse to pay for stuff we don’t want – like the UK Defence Policy and the UK Foreign Policy)

  24. We don’t want to end up like Quebec. They lost the first Referendum 40/60. Waited too long in my mind, for the next one 15 years later. They lost that by a single percentage and the national party fell to pieces.

    We are starting with 45% this time,not 30% like the first one. Momentum is with the Yes side. We have no Darling and Labour running the no campaign. Things are different! If we have it in 2016/17. Cameron will be mid term not end of term like the last one.

    Cuts will be biting, and the Euro ref will be causing Chaos. I think we need to get our ref in before the Euro one. 2016 Holyrood majority then referendum in the autumn. Cut out the long campaign this time!

    • No point having another IndyRef unless the polls show we are well ahead. We need to be Yes 60 – 40 No in the polls before we go again. Quebec tells us that we cannot just keep having them. The next one HAS to be the one where we vote Yes. IF that means we have to wait then we wait. If a thing is worth doing it is worth doing properly. We aren’t even ahead in the polls yet, let alone near 60%.

      Do you want to lose another one?

  25. I would have to echo a comment made by Derek some time ago. Scottish labour really need to sit down and decide what it really stands for. Whats the point of Scottish Labour? Where is its core vote. Who does it really speak for. Does it actually have anything meaningful to bring to the table? When they decide that, then they can figure who can lead them. If they just play a game of musical chairs, anoint a new leader, get the press to polish his/hers ego and double down on failure once more, then they truly have learned nothing and forgotten nothing.

    But let us also consider the failure of David Cameron. He last ditch efforts to win resulted in a very ugly anti-Scots message that leaves him with little wriggle room in his dealing with Sturgeon. I always felt that when dealt a poor hand, he would play it badly. He crossed a line and he can’t go back, or take back what was said. Remember also he is running a much lower majority than Major. Major only had to contend with a rabid anti-europe contingent in the party. But now Cameron has that and an Anti-Scots wing as well. He’s done to Ruth Davidson what Miliband had done to Murphy.

    Lastly we have Murphy. The catastrophic 6 month tenure of this man has seen labour control of Scottish politics silenced. He has presided over the loss of all but one of his party’s MPs, including himself. He lacks the self awareness to know that he failed completely as leader. In fact it is fair to say that no one has failed as completely as he has.

    Labour are in denial at the moment. But I don’t think Scotland has the patience to see if they can get through the other side.

  26. robert graham

    that master magician mr cameron might just have his hands full with all the unintended consequences of the two things that in the twisted tory mind won them the election and their pals a second bite at the upcoming feeding frenzy on the what’s left in public ownership firstly this war on anything that costs the exchequer money any kind of public services and his questioning the legitimacy of scottish votes he used both to win a slender majority but only in one part of these islands england, he has mentioned unity he and his party have done everyone who wants a quick independence vote a great service well done dave

  27. Antoine Bisset

    Cameron has said that he will not allow another referendum. This very good news!
    If Westminster have the veto on a referndum in Scotland then we are a colony. If we are a colony we can follow the UN-approved route to independence.
    If he is wrong and we are a country wich can decide for itself to have referndum, then he cannot interfere and we can hold a referendum at a time of our choosing, with a franchise determined by us.

    • Robert Peffers

      There is no doubt that Scotland has been a colony of England since day one of devolution. That day the country of England became the de facto Parliament of England with 533, unelected as such, Members from English UK constituencies becoming Members of the Parliament of England and changing its name to The United Kingdom Parliament.

      It is thus devolving English powers to the other three subservient parliaments. With no members elected as Parliament of England MPs these Englanders are attempting to bar all non-Englanders from their Parliament. Unless, of course, you can show where an elected parliament of England sits? Where is its English funding and who makes England’s laws.

  28. EphemeralDeception

    A great post by Derek and raises many questions and thoughts.

    The game has now changed: No longer is there a troop of Scottish labour MPs to parade and bray on Scottish news items. There is only one. That leaves English MPs or any one of the 3 Brit MPs in Scotland. So it will be much harder for the BBC to load debates, fill the news items and set the agendas.

    If they fill the broadcasts with people from South of the border, often ignorant of the Scottish context then the BBC be more and more ignored by the Scottish public.

    If they always use Scottish Labour MSPs, for Westminster topics then they have the problem of mandate and the problem of total lack of talent.

    On the other hand the 56 SNP MPs can make their voice felt outside Scottish Questions etc. On any number of issues they can advertise how they voted, who in Labour voted against them and can make various kinds of peaceful protest eg. walk after a vote against Scottish interests. Temporary walk out based on a snide, insulting remark from a tory MP, ignored by the Speaker etc. or similar protest whichever is within the rules.

    The tricky part for the SNP may be the pretence of the Tory party to propose something like FFA yet will really work against it. The SNP will find it difficult to reject proposals that look on the surface as FFA. The SNP have already accepted any powers coming forward by default.

    The tricky part for the UK parties is how to block, delay, minimise and pollute any agreement or progress without pushing lots more to independence as the only valid way forward. Also, the tories can no longer depend on Labours and the BBCs former influence to keep Scotland quiet, mislead, and at the back of the bus either.

  29. hossmackintosh

    It is time for the SNP to boycott the BBC completely.

    After years of propaganda, BBC PQ have lost – they are no longer our national broadcaster.

    Do not not pay their licence fee – Do not watch them – let their viewing figures wither and die.

    Time for a real Scottish media.

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