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 WANTS ‘REAL POLITICS’
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?