"A new and awful low in Scottish politics" – Margaret Curran

Wings Over Scotland

Back to the future

Posted on September 06, 2013 by

Anas Sarwar’s boorish embarrassment of a performance on last night’s STV debate doesn’t deserve a post of its own, frankly. As the Glasgow MP who thinks Scotland is a dictatorship oafishly shouted idiotic slogans over the top of Nicola Sturgeon non-stop for 45 minutes, all we could hear were the same old hollow canards Labour have been repeating for months on end, and which haven’t changed a bit in all that time.


So rather than expend any effort on debunking them again, here’s an encore.

Why Labour’s plan to “mitigate” the bedroom tax is a cynical lie.

What Labour would actually do if the Scottish Government adopted it.

The tissue of fabrications that is Labour’s “secret dossier”.

We’re having the morning off.

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    58 to “Back to the future”

    1. Gillie says:

      I have just won the Wigtown Book Festival poetry competition. Here is my winning entry;
      The Bedroom Tax is a farce
      The poor end up on their arse
      Miliband won’t commit
      He has been called a right tit
       But he is not as big as Anas

    2. Macart says:

      Hah, canard… the Rev got it in. 😀
      No ducking the issues on this site. 🙂

    3. MajorBloodnok says:

      If Anas is a duck then he’s a definately a Shoveler.

    4. HandandShrimp says:

      I am tickled by the media “it was a draw” comments
      Monty Python’s Holy Grail come to mind
      BLACK KNIGHT:  All right; we’ll call it a draw.
      ARTHUR:  Come, Patsy.
      BLACK KNIGHT:  Oh, oh, I see, running away then.  You yellow
            bastards!  Come back here and take what’s coming to you.
            I’ll bite your legs off

    5. Alba4Eva says:

      The Bedroom Tax is a farceThe poor end up on their arseMiliband won’t commitHe has been called a right tit…and his partner in crime is Anas.

    6. Desimond says:

      I thought Anas’ Wikipedia page deserved an update:

      On 5th Sept 2013 during a live TV debate with Nicola Sturgeon of the SNP on “Scotland Tonight”, Anas Sarwar astounded the nation when he committed the Labour Party to remove the ‘Bedroom Tax’. This pledge came days after his Party leader Ed Miliband had refused to make the commitment in Westminster and on the same night his Scottish Labour boss Johann Lamont refused to commit to it on an interview with BBC Newsnight Scotland.

    7. Seasick Dave says:

      People like Anas Sarwar are irrelevant to our future.
      They are the death rattle of a dying party.
      The future is Independence and anyone voting to continue Westminster misrule needs their heads examined.

    8. heraldnomore says:

      And on the Big Debate Brian Taylor asks the bedroom tax question, directly to James Kelly
      and the answer is…….
      more guff, more fluff, blah blah.  Clearly Kelly doesn’t have the same ear as Sarwar

    9. Paula Rose says:

      Ruddy duck?

    10. Training Day says:

      In other news, an invading Norman army has completely routed the Saxon forces, killing King Harold and assuming total control of England.
      Observers Bernard Ponsonby and Colin McKay stated that they felt ‘King Harold really got under the skin of William the Conqueror’ and described the outcome of the battle as ‘too close to call’.

    11. joe kane says:

      It is strange that Alistair Darling could turn up at the recent Scottish Conservative Party Conference in Stirling and give such an eloquent speech in support of the Union that he received a standing ovation. Yet Sarwar is unable to make a coherent and understandable case in support of the Union to the Scottish public on TV. Obviously supporters of Scottish independence will take advantage of this failure just like they took advantage of the Tory standing ovation for Darling.

      Reference – 
      Better Together chief Alistair Darling addresses Tory conference
      08 June 2013

    12. Seasick Dave says:

      I think that I will send the BBC and STV political presenters some hand cream as there is so much handwringing going on they must be getting terribly chafed and sore.
      Pet lambs.

    13. Gillie says:

      Alba4Eva says:
      The Bedroom Tax is a farce
      The poor end up on their arse
      Miliband won’t commit
      He has been called a right tit
      …and his partner in crime is Anas
      I like your style…

    14. Murray McCallum says:

      I found watching Johann Lamont on Newsnight to go as expected.  She probably spoke for about 15 minutes and basically clarified nothing. Her voting against devolution in 1979 to usher in Mrs Thatcher’s reign over Scotland did however prove that JL is incapable of learning from her mistakes.

    15. Gillie says:

      Training Day says:
      In other news, an invading Norman army has completely routed the Saxon forces, killing King Harold and assuming total control of England.
      Observers Bernard Ponsonby and Colin McKay stated that they felt ‘King Harold really got under the skin of William the Conqueror’ and described the outcome of the battle as ‘too close to call’.

    16. Gillie says:

      So Lamont voted against devolution in 1979. That makes her as principled as Ed Miliband and as stupid as Anas Sarwar.

    17. Brotyboy says:

      I caught the last 5 minutes of this last night, my first experience of Anas Sarwar.  I was unsure of the format at this point and was frankly amazed at the lack of discipline shown.  While it shows remarkable levels of memory and concentration to talk over someone else while not taking any notice at all of what is being said, it also shows remarkable levels of self delusion, particularly if you think you are helping your own point of view.  On the one hand I thought Nicola Sturgeon’s attempts at debate were the only ones, but I was concerned that some observers could conclude that she lost the shouting match and thus the ‘debate’.  On the other hand, I thought Anas Sarwar exposed himself as an ill-disciplined rabble rouser with no coherent thought processes.

    18. CameronB says:

      Re. Anas. Not only is he JoLo’s second in command (help ma boab), but he’s also a close contender for foremost proponent of Modern Duckspeak.

    19. Clarinda says:

      Jittery body language and stunned facial expressions with nervous glances towards John McKay (for reassurance?) underlined Mr Sarwar’s rambling guff.  Compare with Miss Sturgeon’s articulate and competent poise in the face of witless bluster.

      On what MSM stage can the Independence proponents promote the spirit, facts and energy of the Yes campaign – even if there was such an opportunity I doubt any of the No cohort have the capacity to courteously debate facts without revealing their political vacuum and bile.

      Continuing the fowl analogy a little more – not only did Mr Sarwar rashly reveal canards but Miss Sturgeon cooked his goose.

    20. Seasick Dave says:

      No doubt Iain McWhirter will be along sometime soon to criticise Nicola’s efforts and to agree that it was a draw.
      As Al Green said, “People Get Ready, there’s a train a coming…”

    21. Scotia Libre says:

      Slightly O/T (but related).
      I was driving along the M4 this morning when it was announced on BBC 5 Live, that they are having an Live Independence Debate in Glasgow on Monday 16th September. They are looking for requests from people who would like to be part of the studio audience for the question & answer session. 
      As this will not be a BBC Scotland production, it might be that ‘some’ of us would like to e-mail them for tickets to participate. I will be in Cardiff that day so can’t attend. I didn’t catch where or how to apply for tickets, but it must be on the 5 Live website.

    22. Andrew Morton says:

      I was actually sickened by this debate, mostly due to Mr Sarwar’s behaviour, but also due to the fact that the format encouraged him. It seems to me that if STV actually wanted a debate, then they should have had an agreed list of questions with both representatives speaking to the questions without interruption. Instead we had Anas shouting down every attempt by Ms Sturgeon to actually answer the questions and then blathering witless ly when it was his turn to answer.
      What do ordinary Labour supporters think about his behaviour I wonder?

    23. Jeannie says:

      @Cameron B
      Anas…..Duckspeak…….how appropriate!

    24. call me dave says:

      ‘Eider’ bet money that Mr Sarwar would duck and dive during the debate and canardly believe that the host did not call fowl.
      This is what he said recently about the SNP:   Aye right.
      Mr Sarwar insisted that it was “very clear” to him that the SNP would say “whatever you want to hear, do whatever it takes” to get the yes vote for independence.
      He added: “Not for them a debate based on fact. Not for them a debate rooted in reality or honesty.
      “For them, a debate based on telling you what you want to hear to win your vote.
      “We are used to them making it up as they go along, but they are not even any good at that anymore.
      “Like some bizarre form of constitutional Blankety Blank, they make up any answer to fill in the space.”

    25. faolie says:

      Just watched it. Even Colin Mackay thought facilitator John Mackay was useless when it was Nicola’s turn to question. He just stood there and gazed into the distance while Sarwar went off on an incoherent rant.
      Almost inconceivable, I’d say, that “don’t knows” watching this would edge closer to a No vote. Nothing from Sarwar at all to persuade them. But there were some pertinent questions from Nicola, which weren’t answered, that hung around the whole debate that would certainly leave “don’t knows” wondering if there was anything to BT other than oafish posture and bluster and sad references to how a Westminster Labour government would fix everything. Except we all know that they won’t.
      More Anas please!

    26. Jeannie says:

      Wouldn’t be surprised if Anas needed counselling for post-traumatic stress after that encounter with Nicola.  Mind you, if he goes private, it’ll probably be tax-deDUCKtible 🙂

    27. CameronB says:

      Forgot to say thanks. 🙂

    28. Morag says:

      I’d say, that “don’t knows” watching this would edge closer to a No vote.
      Really?  That’s not what others have been saying.

    29. murren59 says:

      No doubt that Nicola easily won the first half but it’s tough to beat a loudmouth scumbag in the stairheid rammy that was the second half of the ‘debate’. I think she just about outpointed ratbag to take the secnd half as well after she persisted with her ‘just answer yes or no to my question’ line of attack and he ignored her to persist with his stupid off topic rants.

    30. Albalha says:

      ‘Inconceivable that’ …..I misread the post at first as well.

    31. CameronB says:

      You need to get people to re-examining the status quo before they will come to accept there is a massive and growing need for change. Did Sarwar’s performance  reassure undecided viewers that there is anything of substance behind ‘Better Together’, or benefits from maintaining the status quo?

    32. Yesitis says:

      If Twitter is anything to go by, then last night more than a good few converts to Yes were made after Anas Sarwar`s performance. Quite a few Labour folk were disgusted at Sarwar`s behaviour and openly admitted to moving over to Yes.

    33. Gillie says:

      It’s all going pear shaped for poor Anas.
      LABOUR has stopped short of a commitment to abolishing the bedroom tax if it wins power in the next election in 2015

    34. gordoz says:

      Andrew Morton says:
      6 September, 2013 at 1:16 pm
      I was actually sickened by this debate, mostly due to Mr Sarwar’s behaviour, but also due to the fact that the format encouraged him.

      It just proved that John Mackay & STV were not up to the job and such a format in future must be avoided if Scotland is not to become a laughing stock. This  was not a debate it was a fracas of heated words and that was largely Mr Sawar’s / Labour’s plan, (avoids discussion that requires facts you see). But what are we to do, avoid these debates and a chance to get the message out there, if we’re not constantly interrupted by by ‘canard sniping’ ? – (d’you like it nearly got 2 birds with one stone there!!). 

      We must learn from last night  and take control of these debates or they will be treated as childish comedy entertainment. TV must take blame for this; they can’t use this confrontational format again (even though YES argument clearly one the day).

      J MacKay if he knew his stuff on debating should have interceded a number of times to caution Sarwar on his conduct (extreme lack of facts) or highlight the constant evasion of answering direct questions. (e we’ll take that as a no then). 
      Panel were at best inept – a draw … Aye right (It might not have been great TV but it wasn’t a draw).

      YES won by a Technical knockout (No avoided debate)

    35. ` says:

      Sanwar performed just as I expected, having watched closely in various issues.
      He can perform to a pre determined script, however, there is no knowledge level below his script. Anti SNP rants are his usual,and after a short will, they came out ,no answers just bile. He is a poisonous little man, who will  retreat back into daddy’s business after 2014. 
      He is a disgrace and how it was declared a draw with all his incessant ranting, was unbelievable,but I  suppose we can expect no less from their panel. Good old MSM.

    36. faolie says:

      Desimond I thought Anas’ Wikipedia page deserved an update:
      Very nice of you to help out Anas with his wiki entry 😉
      (still there too)

    37. faolie says:

      ‘Inconceivable that’ …..I misread the post at first as well.
      Memo to self: write posts with less convoluted sentences….

    38. Albalha says:

      Of course I could just read more carefully!

    39. Morag says:

      I’ve seen Nicola, on Question Time, just sit back and say nothing when repeatedly talked over.  It didn’t work so well there because there was a panel of about five, so they just took it in turns to speak.  However, it could work better in a one-on-one – just shut up, immediately, as soon as he interrupts, let him go on until he’s finished, then pick up the original thread.  Rinse and repeat.

    40. Iain says:

      Am I cynical in suggesting that AS will follow his father as Governor of the Punjab, around 2030?

    41. Keith Brodie says:

      o/t Got to get this out of the way – Canard (sort of) – Clarke and Dawe on ABC’s nightly current affairs program 7.30. What these two would make of the Better Together can only be imagined.
      Also good is Margaret Thatcher’s Legacy, The US Oil Spill, The Royal Wedding and The Front Fell Off.

    42. Dorothy Devine says:

      “Am I cynical in suggesting that AS will follow his father as Governor of the Punjab, around 2030?”

      Good heavens you gave me a shock there – I spent a few seconds worrying why Alex Salmond would go to the Punjab!
      Didn’t watch the debate but having read all the comments here I don’t think I’ll be bothering with JOHN MACKAY and co .showing their incompetence.

    43. Keith Brodie says:

      And of course, the most important link – canard.
      I’ll get my coat.

    44. CameronB says:

      I hadn’t heard of Clarke and Dawe. Nice one.

    45. MajorBloodnok says:

      Jeannie says:Wouldn’t be surprised if Anas needed counselling for post-traumatic stress after that encounter with Nicola.  Mind you, if he goes private, it’ll probably be tax-deDUCKtible
      I can’t help looking forward now to Rabbit Season…

    46. Jeannie says:

      @major bloodnok

      Duck Season!

    47. alistair kerr says:

      The whole debate was allowed to degenerate through the poor control by John Mc Kay whom incidentally I believe generally to be a fair and balance commentator. Last night he totally failed to control the event. As chairman in any debate ,control is maintained by firmly ensuring an answer is given to a specific question and this John failed to do.

    48. ` says:

      A surprise for me was watching the 6 pm STV news tonight ( Fri ), the repeated a section of the debate and put on apart when Nicola was consistently asking for answers to her questions. This section they chose ( near the end ),  made Sanawar look exactly what he was ” a complete Tit “!
      They must have cut into the wrong bit ! someone else fired eh ! 

    49. Ulster Budgie Breeding Veggie Muncher says:

      I think this Kind of debate would be better with a live audience. Sarwar wouldn’t have got away with half of that guff if the audience was laughing at him.

    50. Ulster Budgie Breeding Veggie Muncher says:

      That’s not my name! What’s going on here?

    51. Richie says:


    52. Hetty says:

      Have to hand it to Nicola, she’s a touch cookie, and doing a great job. It’s a challenge but really, it is all about intelligence and being able to say what you mean, and Nicola has integrity, A S just doesn’t. At the end of the day, honesty, coupled with sincerity, will win the day, sorry Labour, you have sold out , big time. Changes, they are a coming…

    53. RodneySofa says:

      Crikey! Just watched on stvplayer and Sarwar really is a shocker. And not such a smart one either. Other than hoping he’d shut up and let Nicola answer, he seemed a man of no substance or conviction whatsoever. Is that really the (second) best that Scotland can do? Whilst I have great faith in Salmond, Sturgeon and Swinney – the dark shadow of Lamont, Sarwar, Baillie and several other scunners worries me greatly. Fortunately I shall be an ex-pat no longer in Spring 2014 and know already very happily where my wee cross will be planted. 

    54. RodneySofa says:

      Oh and for good measure I joined Labour in 1981 as I started work in the steel industry in the north east of England, left them in 2003 when they decided to go to war, and have now promised never to vote for them ever again following Darling’s antics at (Scottish – ahem) Tory tea parties. How times change eh? There’s really only Scotland left if I want my one wee cross to have some effect…

    55. proudscot says:

      When in the Westminster “debate” on Scottish independence, this same Anas Sarwar stated “The Holyrood Parliament is not a democratic place!” that should have shown everyone what sort of unprincipled, ignorant blabbermouth he is. 
      I usually admire Bernard Ponsonby as being one of the reasonable, almost neutral, commentators on TV and the MSM these days. However if he adjudged the Sturgeon/Sarwar confrontation a draw, then he must also think that Edward II came away from Bannockburn with the same result, and so did James IV at Flodden!

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