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Wings Over Scotland

Education, education, education

Posted on May 22, 2013 by

Johann Lamont used to be an English teacher. We presume she was a conscientious and caring educator. We imagine she’s as horrified and embarrassed by this press release from the train-drivers’ union ASLEF yesterday as we are.



Johann Lamont, the leader of the Scottish Labour Party, said she didn’t – and no one should – underestimate the challenge of wining back the trust

“Winning” back, we hope. Unless she plans to try to make people vote for Labour by getting them drunk, which by the state of recent polls might actually be her only hope.

of the people of Scotland for Labour – and that includes many trade unionists.

‘I want trade unions to form the policies, not accept them. I want you to shape policies, not hear them from me. ‘

She said unions should inform the argument about what a fairer Scotland can be. ‘I want real politics,’ she declared. ‘I am tired of fantasy world

We’ll let the missing hyphen slide. There are bigger problems here.

debates about an independent Scotland that is either the land of milk and honey or a place of doom and depression. I want real problems to be discussed – unemployment, education,

Education is not a “problem”.

too many life chances defined by the age of , better transport …’

Wait, too many life chances defined by the age of what? The dinosaurs? The train? Speaking of which, “better transport” isn’t a “problem” either.

She declared, ‘Salmond wants to divide Scots and English.

“Divide Scots from English”. We’re reasonably sure Alex Salmond has no interest in creating divisions among the people of England. (Unless you mean he wants to stop Scots using the language, but frankly there’s only one person who’s divided from the English language here.)

Cameron wants to divide between rich and poor.

You don’t “divide between”. You can create a divide between, but you can’t use it as a verb followed by “between”.

Falange wants to divide between people and immigrants.

“Farage”. Also, immigrants are still people.

‘I want to unite and progress.’

You want to unite what with what? You can’t just “unite” by yourself. And progress from where to where?

Speaking about unions and industrial disputes, she declared herself in favour of ‘a level playing field’. Companies with lawyers to stop strikes by picking up legal details is not the answer.

It’s not a sentence, either. (And you mean “solution”, not “answer”, anyway. For there to be an answer you need a question.)

Labour in Scotland will consult on a mutual model for rail. ‘We are developing firm ideas for a mutual alternative. We will have to pour over the books

Pour what over the books? Condensed milk? Orange squash? Some of that wine you’ve got left over from the first paragraph? The word you’re after is “pore”.

when we eventually win back the trust of Scotland, but then we want a railway that does not have funding taken away to line investors pockets,

To line investors’ pockets, with an apostrophe. There’s more than one investor.

and is democratically accountable.’

There’s nothing wrong with that bit grammatically. But with Labour having recently been in power in the whole UK for 13 years without doing a thing to make railways “democratically accountable”, we’d deduct marks anyway for a failure of plausibility.

(Mind you, if we’re picking holes in the content as well as the style and execution, we’d be here all day. If Johann wants trade unions to tell her Labour’s policies, exactly what are they paying her for? If she’s tired of Scotland being painted as “a place of doom and depression”, maybe she should tell her colleagues. And so on and so forth.)

These are cheap shots, of course – this is our late-night light-hearted comedy and satire slot, after all. But it’s hard not to draw conclusions about the mental abilities of TLPiS from this sort of abysmal, sloppy, lazy drivel. (And even if some of the mistakes are the fault of some incompetent intern on the ASLEF website, others are clearly part of Lamont’s actual speech.)

This, supposedly, is Labour’s top brain in Scotland. What are the stupid ones like?


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33 to “Education, education, education”

  1. Linda's Back says:

    As Johann’s chief press officer, is Simon Pia not to blame?  He certainly has a lot to say when on TV as a pundit with his frequent interruptions of other speakers.

  2. Lynn MacRae says:

    And my mother wondered why I failed my Higher English? With JoLa as teacher it’s any wonder I can string a sentence. 

  3. benarmine says:

    Cheap shots maybe but hilarious. Keep showing up this pea-brained drivel, there’ll be plenty more no doubt.

  4. Robert Bryce says:

    Ohhhhhh sweet Jesus please make it stop!

  5. Vronsky says:

    Knew it reminded me of something.

  6. Ronnie says:

    Education is a problem when schools are built on PFI,  Thanks to her lot, councils are too busy paying many times over for school buildings instead of school education.

  7. Paul says:

    “Falange” is actually quite appropriate.

  8. Jiggsbro says:

    “We presume she was a conscientious and caring educator.”
    Really? I’d always assumed she devoted herself to getting up the union greasy pole and out of the classroom as soon as possible.

  9. pa_broon74 says:

    So we can expect to see some firm policies from labour courtesy of train drivers?
    Well, its a start I suppose.

    (I’ll start…)
    Perhaps this’ll get TLPiS back on track.

  10. SCED300 says:

    At the ASLEF conference, “Delegates welcomed United Nations recognition of Palestine statehood”, but ASLEF decides to campaign against recognising ours!

  11. Derick Tulloch says:

    o/t but your friend Smart has been making a pure tit of himself on twithingy again. 

  12. Geoff Huijer says:

    Truly shocking!

  13. tartanfever says:

    On the topic of Education, I see the BBC are in urgent need of geography lessons.

    They are running a story about unhappy students at ‘UK’ universities. It’s available here:

    However, the report on which this ‘journalism’ is based is actually titled ‘ The Academic experience of students in English universities’
    I’m getting really tired of this from the BBC.

  14. velofello says:

    Quote for the day, from a punter. “I’d vote Yes for independence but I’m terrified of Labour getting back in power after independence”.

  15. Jock McDonnell says:

    Clearly, she wrote it herself. E for effort.

  16. kininvie says:

    So am I! In fact, I’m terrified by the thought that Lament might have to be asked to be on our negotiating team post indie. Surely to God we can avoid that?

  17. Marker Post says:

    ‘I want trade unions to form the policies, not accept them. I want you to shape policies, not hear them from me. ‘

    Had to laugh at that one, I don’t think there’s much chance of hearing any policies from Lamont.

  18. Seasick Dave says:

    The thought of my future being shaped by Johann Lamont’s ‘vision’ is truly awful.

  19. Desimond says:

    In fairness, it may be Aslef that have made any spelling mistakes, going by yesterdays post ( Hollyrood) they do have history.
     As for Labour talking of plans regards “Unite”…didnt her boss upset that Union recently :

  20. Desimond says:

    re Unite….what does The Prince say about that again:
    “Upon this a question arises: whether it be better to be loved than feared or feared than loved?” writes Machiavelli. “It may be answered that one should wish to be both, but, because it is difficult to unite them in one person, it is much safer to be feared than loved, when, of the two, either must be dispensed with.”

  21. Seasick Dave says:

    Is that Johann in the picture at the top?

  22. Desimond says:

    Seasick Dave says:
    23 May, 2013 at 9:08 am

    Is that Johann in the picture at the top?
    Cue a “I will not be silenced” Johann being comforted by Susan Calman after another week of “Cybernat Bullying Yet again!” headlines

  23. Max says:

    If she stopped using her husband’s teeth she would sound a lot more convincing. 

  24. Training Day says:

    Come on, Lamont’s making progress.  Not a single mention of cerr wurkursh or indeed shepratishticulsh. 

  25. pa_broon74 says:

    Still, its good of Lamont to offer ASLEF members a platform from which to offer policies…

  26. Sapheneia says:

    Vronsky’s post – Peter Seller’s
    Excellent speech by Peter. It really has stood the test of time as it still seems to be the de facto fall back position of many of our politicians.  It’s actually a bit like listening to one of Ms Lamont’s speeches at FMQs.

  27. mealer says:

    I think this thread is a bit P*shy really.But I’ve no doubt Rev Stu will come up with something meatier shortly !

  28. Ananurhing says:

    “Schizophrenia is a psychiatric illness in which disorders of thought content are a prominent feature. The disruption of normal flow of thought, or “Formal Thought Disorder” (FTD), has been traditionally assessed through the content and form of patients’ speech, and speech abnormalities in schizophrenia were considered as a by-product of the disruption in conceptual structures and associative processes related to psychosis. This view has been changed due to increasing evidence that language per se is impaired in schizophrenia, especially its semantic, discursive, and pragmatic aspects. Schizophrenia is currently considered by some authors as a “language related human specific disease” or “logopathy”, and the neuroanatomical and genetic correlates of the language impairment in these patients are under investigation. Such efforts may lead to a better understanding about the pathophysiology of this devastating mental disease. We present some current concepts related to FTD as opposed to primary neurolinguistic abnormalities in schizophrenia.
    Key words: schizophrenia, thought disorder, language disorders, thinking, linguistic, psychotic disorders.”
    Hmmm! “Formal thought disorder”, “Logopathy”? Also see “Dysytntaxia”. This might help to explain Lamont’s Logocide!

  29. Without her prepared speech, Johann Lamont rambles incoherently and is unable to answer questions properly.  It has to be said that, even with her prepared speech, she doesn’t make a lot of sense  – so much for being a former English Teacher!
    As for Labour regaining Scotland’s trust, you just have to think of the McCrone Report suppression, Denis Healey’s recent admission that Labour lied about the extent of North Sea oil’s potential, plus the theft of 6,000 square miles of Scottish sea in 1999 (by Labour and Liberals) to realise why they shouldn’t be trusted.  During Labour’s 13 years in power Scotland didn’t prosper.   In their attempt to woo voters in the south east of England they abandoned their core principles and have resembled the Tories for a considerable time.
    The only way forward is an independent Scotland.

  30. The Rough Bounds says:

    Regarding the privatisation of the railways, didn’t Dreary Donald Dewar, our very own walking question mark and ‘Faither o’ the Nation’ (Notion?) make a tidy pile out of that little bit of business?
    ”Pour over…”.    haw haw haw. Best one yet.
    (Johann; This was very poor work and shows complete lack of preparation. See me after class.)

  31. Juteman says:

    On the subject of education, i’ve always thought successive uk governments policy would come back to bite them.
    To keep the true level of unemployment down, various tricks have been used. Under 18’s not counted, folk on disability benefit not counted and students not counted, etc, etc……
    An unintended (from the governments viewpoint)  side effect of trying to get +50% of young folk in further education (to lower the unemployment statistics), is that you produce a more educated unemployed person.
    Chickens, roost, home, coming, to.

  32. mike abbott says:

    At least Johann Lamont recognizes the important part trade unions have to play in engineering industrial democracy, signalling  their political engagement in the democratic process and , unlike the sleepers from the 70’s who steam-rollered Labour policies through , and to be frank, got a bit above their station in adopting the party line, she is not above coaching younger acolytes to guard the precepts of Labour, keeping them on track to engineer a return to power, if she can un-couple a distinctly Scottish ticket from her London-centric colleagues. Her timetable for a resurgence of labour support is a  problem however, as repeated attempts to drive the party forward have met with delays, cancellations, re-routings and political fellow-travellers not sharing her ticket, in fact trying to shunt modern policies into the sidings. It will be a long slow haul for Scottish Labour to redeem any respect  from Scottish voters , even though they may still give Lamont a season ticket in Holyrood. She needs to make hay, market her policies as being central to a resurgence of traditional labour values and rail against the forces of narrow-gauge self-interest and individualism at such an important junction in the nations fortunes.

  33. Chic McGregor says:

    Someone has had a quiet word in her ear about the number of times she called for a debate.  Note she is now fed up of debates but instead calls for ‘argument’ and ‘discussion’ instead. 
    Still the basic “don’t ask me nuffin” message though.
    A Thesaurus makeover, nothing more.

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