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The Death Cult Of Tony Blair

Posted on July 11, 2015 by

One of the worst things about running this website is that eventually it causes you to doubt the existence of reason. Things happen that – even putting all partisanship to one side, in so far as is humanly possible – it’s impossible to believe any remotely rational being or organisation would ever think, say or do.

kodken

A recent obvious case in point was the election of Jim Murphy as Scottish Labour leader. SNP supporters rubbed their eyes in disbelief as Labour and the media rushed, with apparent sincerity, to proclaim one of Labour’s most right-wing and divisive MPs the party’s saviour.

So unable was the nationalist side to contain its glee and amusement at what was a plainly suicidal move to anyone sane, the Unionist establishment persuaded itself a bluff was afoot and that the laughter masked fear. We all know how that turned out.

But what we want to talk about in this article is how, no matter how often that same tragi-comic farce is played out – in 2007, 2011 and now 2015 – the astonishing fact is that it never seems to make any difference. In defiance of the most famous quote attributed (apocryphally or otherwise) to Albert Einstein, Labour and its cheerleaders keep right on repeating the same actions over and over, expecting different results.

For those of us who cling to reason as the hope of mankind, increasingly despite all the evidence, it can cause outbreaks of incredulous despair. “They just CAN’T be this stupid!”, we exclaim, only for Labour to prove us wrong by offering their long-suffering Scottish members a prospective dream team of Kezia Dugdale and Gordon Matheson.

But we may have had a modest epiphany.

Mindbogglingly, the UK Labour leadership contest has been characterised by a quite extraordinary public assault from within the party on left candidate Jeremy Corbyn. Seemingly untroubled by Tories and the right-wing press joining in the attacks with great mocking enthusiasm, the other three candidates and their supporters have rubbished Corbyn relentlessly, culminating in a pressure group urging Labour members to vote tactically to ensure he doesn’t win.

Nor is anyone seemingly too perturbed by the fact that Corbyn appears to have very significant grassroots support, currently running a strong second place in nominations from constituency parties and being enthusiastically received at hustings events while the others are booed. (Almost as if the public don’t care what pundits think.)

Instead, demented lunatics among the commentariat are urging Labour to pick the arch-Blairite Liz Kendall, in the seeming belief that faced with a choice between actual bona-fide Tories hardened by ten years of experience in government and ersatz ones making up what amounts to an end-of-the-pier tribute act in a decaying seaside town (“All the way from Clackerthorpe, ladies and gentlemen, it’s the Simply Red Tories!”), voters will plump for the version that looks like a roomful of half-melted waxworks.

Now, it’s one thing to just dismiss that view as the screaming Stockholm-Syndrome madness that it so obviously is, but it’s quite another to try to explain it. Fortunately, though, its proponents almost always give us a hint.

cmlc

You’ll rarely get far into a defence of Liz Kendall without someone pulling out the Tony Blair trump card. “He’s Labour’s most successful leader ever!”, they’ll trumpet, as if they’d just ended the argument with all the conclusive, unstoppable certainty of Roger Federer steamrollering a helpless Andy Murray at Wimbledon yesterday.

And statistically, of course, in one sense it’s absolutely true. Blair won three elections in a row, something no Labour leader had ever achieved before, and he did it with thumping majorities. But to treat that as proof that triangulating until millions of voters can no longer tell the Tories and Labour apart is the only way to win is to to blunder head-first into a Sideshow Bob-esque series of lethal fallacies.

We’ve already pointed out the practical failings of the argument, whereby Labour ignores 12 million voters largely sympathetic to traditional Labour values in order to try to out-bribe a million or so Tory supporters in marginal seats into temporarily switching sides. But today we’re going to try to explore why the fundamental premise of the strategy is disastrously flawed too.

The first thing that needs pointing out is that the Chuckle Brothers could have beaten the Conservatives in 1997. After 18 years in power the party was exhausted, despised and torn apart by in-fighting over Europe (plus ca change). Only a surprise last-minute miracle had saved them in 1992, and it wasn’t going to happen twice.

Nevertheless, while he’s sneeringly derided by Blairite loyalists now as an unelectable joke figure, the defeated Labour leader Neil Kinnock still secured over two million more votes in that election than Blair did in his final victory in 2005, and 800,000 more than Blair got in the 416-seat 2001 landslide.

(Even Kinnock’s first loss in 1987 saw nearly half a million more people vote Labour than Blair’s 2005 win, and more than in Harold Wilson’s victory in October 1974.)

In fact, Kinnock’s 1992 vote remains the second-highest Labour has recorded in any general election of the last 41 years. Blair only beat it once, after Kinnock had done all the spadework in winning back more than three million votes after the 1983 Michael Foot fiasco, and by 2005 Blair was half a million below Kinnock’s 1987 figure again.

LABOUR VOTE IN UK GENERAL ELECTIONS

1974 (Harold Wilson): 11,457,079
1979 (Jim Callaghan): 11,532,218
1983 (Michael Foot): 8,456,934*
1987 (Neil Kinnock): 10,029,270
1992 (Neil Kinnock): 11,560,484
1997 (Tony Blair): 13,518,167
2001 (Tony Blair): 10,724,953
2005 (Tony Blair): 9,552,436
2010 (Gordon Brown): 8,606,517
2015 (Ed Miliband): 9,347,304

*1983 was the only UK general election contested by the SDP, a breakaway party from Labour which felt it had become too left-wing. By 1987 it was part of the alliance that would shortly become the Liberal Democrats. The combined Liberal/SDP vote in 1983 was 7.8 million, but the Labour/SDP vote combined still wouldn’t have been enough to defeat the Conservatives.

(Fun trivia fact: in election terms Neil Kinnock left Labour 3.1m votes better off than he found it. Blair left the party 2.01m votes WORSE off than the position he inherited from Kinnock. And in reality even those figures flatter Blair because of the respective directions of travel.)

All that Blair really had to do to win in 1997 was to turn up and not disembowel a baby live on national TV. 2001 and 2005 were barely any different, with the Tories being led by first William Hague and then – yes, this really happened – by Michael Howard.

But even then, the manifesto New Labour won the 1997 landslide with wasn’t anything like as right-wing as the policies his governments ended up implementing. There was no mention of introducing tuition fees, no promise to invade Iraq, no hint of the bonfire of civil liberties that was to come.

The 1997 manifesto promised (and partly delivered) a 10p rate of income tax for the low-paid, lower class sizes, a windfall tax on privatised utilities, a national minimum wage, a programme of social house-building, investment in renewable energy not nuclear power, a not-for-profit “people’s lottery”, the abolition of hereditary peers, a Freedom Of Information Act, an end to the internal market in the NHS, electoral reform to bring in proportional representation, a referendum on the Euro, and widespread devolution.

There were genuine shifts to the right too, of course – retention of Tory spending plans and anti-union legislation, a commitment to keep Trident and so on – and things which would become clear as such only later on (like welfare “reform”) but the first New Labour manifesto was still a much more left-wing document than people care to recall.

By contrast, Ed Miliband’s supposedly near-Marxist offering was too timid and terrified of the corporate lobby even to dare to propose the sort of policies which have now been actually implemented by the Tories.

labal

Blair’s victories, then, weren’t some miraculous achievement against the odds, and nor were they done on a conspicuously right-wing policy programme. New Labour also enjoyed the huge advantage of competing against a Conservative party that was still a broken shambles for almost all of Blair’s reign. When David Cameron took over the leadership in December 2005, armed as he was with only the most modest sprinkling of competence and charisma, the writing was on the wall.

It’s perhaps worth noting, though, that the New Labour honeymoon was much shorter than that. Blair managed to lose almost 3m votes even by 2001, two years BEFORE the Iraq misadventure. It seems reasonable to speculate that at least a good many of them were left-wing voters disillusioned that the Labour government they thought they’d voted for was a little less left than advertised – they certainly didn’t go to the Tories or Lib Dems, whose votes in 2001 were both even lower than 1997.

(The NME, still a politically-focused and influential paper at the time, had by March 1998 already run a famous “EVER GET THE FEELING YOU’VE BEEN CHEATED?” front cover in protest at welfare and education policies, and the “Cool Britannia” coterie of Britpop bands who’d supported Blair were queueing up to castigate him.)

Tony Blair inherited a party in 1994 whose vote had been steadily on the up for a decade under Kinnock and John Smith. Within a single term he’d squandered that legacy and reversed the trajectory, driving millions of voters away, seemingly never to return. (Michael Foot’s 1983 slump was at least only a one-term blip. Labour now haven’t broken through the key 10-million-vote barrier, win or lose, for 14 years.)

But there’s one more thing. A line in the 1997 Labour manifesto reads:

“We believe in the strength of our values, but we recognise also that the policies of 1997 cannot be those of 1947 or 1967.”

Those attacking Jeremy Corbyn seem not to have noticed that in the same way, 2015 wasn’t (and 2020 won’t be) 1997 either. For almost all of its time in office New Labour governed in the sunshine of an economic boom, and the electorate is far more inclined to indulge in redistributive politics when there’s lots of money swimming around.

When times get tight, though, voters have an inbuilt (sometimes irrational) distrust of high-spending parties, and no matter how much it protests otherwise, Labour will never win in a contest with the Tories about who’s going to impose the most brutal cuts.

The public recognises that austerity is a natural Tory instinct – not just a capability but an ideologically-driven preference that only reluctantly releases the purse strings even at the best of times.

Labour can scream “we’re fiscally responsible now!” at the top of its lungs, but the double-edged sword of the Labour brand is that no matter how badly it sells out its principles it’s still seen as Labour, with all of the historical baggage, both good and bad, that that label entails.

For the avoidance of doubt, it’s this site’s view that none of the candidates for the Labour leadership has the remotest chance of winning the 2020 election, and that’s an opinion widely shared by the public in both Scotland and the rest of the UK. Our latest Panelbase poll produced sobering results on that score:

lableaderpoll

(The left column is voters in Scotland, the right column those in the rUK. The discrepancy in the latter between numbers and percentages is related to sample weighting – the percentage figures are correct.)

So hardly anyone believes any of the current contenders can save Labour in the short term. But the conviction that Tony Blair leads the way to a recovery is a faith-based position that crumbles under the light of scrutiny. There’s no going back to 1997.

The fact that the Tory media is hysterically demonising Jeremy Corbyn, of course, doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re scared of him. We learned that lesson from the Jim Murphy months. But even the most basic study of history suggests that Labour tend to have the best chance of being elected if they stand for something different to the Tories, not a slavish imitation of them with a dab of red paint around the edges.

Neil Kinnock’s losing vote in 1992 would have defeated the Tories this year (11.6m to 11.3m). It’s triangulation, not socialism, that’s left the party in the mess it’s in today.

In choosing Kinnock – who was never going to be elected PM – to replace Michael Foot and giving him more than one election to do the job, 1983 Labour recognised that it needed serious rebuilding and that it wouldn’t happen overnight. But if it chooses Burnham, Cooper or Kendall this time it’ll be voting instead for “more of the same”.

If the party grabs madly at Tony Blair – a man who lost four million Labour votes from 1997 to 2005, even before the global financial crash – as a totem of better times, a man whose creed will deliver Labour to Downing Street again if only it can rid itself of all those pesky founding values, all it will achieve will be its own final destruction.

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  1. 11 07 15 19:20

    The Death Cult Of Tony Blair | Speymouth

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    The Death Cult Of Tony Blair | Politics Scotlan...

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200 to “The Death Cult Of Tony Blair”

  1. Giesabrek says:

    Fantastic analysis Stu, though it’s a pipe dream to expect logic and reasoning to exist in the bulk of the Labour party now.

    Nevertheless, was it not Napoleon who said to never interrupt you’re enemy while they’re making a mistake?

  2. RogueCoder says:

    Laughed my ass off reading that – superb analysis coupled with suitable levels of caustic wit 🙂

  3. Gary45% says:

    Blairttila started the rot in the Red Tory party, he was basically Thatcher in a suit, only Thatcher had bigger balls.

    The Red Tories keep blaming the SNP for all their problems, which makes them sound Pathetic.

    They lost the election partly due to the English being frightened into voting for a party which would form a government with the SNP, and the fact they have No vision, No Plans and No Idea.

    Had England had the balls to accept the SNP in Westminster with the Red Tories the UK parliament would have been a success.

    Don’t blame me I voted SNP.

  4. handclapping says:

    The trouble with triangulation and nicking the other parties policies is that the political process ends up like the ouzle bird and disappears up its own arse. This is happening in England where the vote share of the “three main parties”, so beloved of BBC Scotland, is steadily dropping and will soon be in the region where a major upset like 200 UKIP seats could happen.

    This is why the SNP should cause to come into existence a political party, the Northern League say, affiliated to the SNP that will campaign in England on British SNP policies like end austerity now and anything else that suits the English, like lets build our own Northern powerhouse rather than wait for Westminster to deliver!

    The thought of the SNP whipping 256 rather than 56 votes in the HoC would have cold shivers looking for spines to run up.

  5. fred blogger says:

    a seriously good article, rev.
    they’re just following a rather complex re-positioning strategy, that no one else can follow/fathom, atm?!
    which tributary to follow to connect with that method in their madness?
    obvs no longer interested in scotland, sights set elsewhere.

  6. Thepnr says:

    The “Labour Party” is an misnomer. Entirely false, they in no way represent the working man/woman nor the unemployed, disabled or otherwise disadvantaged.

    Simply put, they are no more than another neo-liberal party working to deliver the agenda demanded by the establishment. That even one current Labour supporter is ignorant of this can only make me despair.

    I’ll hold my hand up and admit I left it too long before abandoning my support of Labour. This was entirely though ignorance of what they now stood for and an allegiance based on tradition.

    Yes my father voted Labour!

    I’ve changed though and so to will many others when they peek behind the curtain and see that Labour now have been totally infiltrated and are now run by Tories wearing red ties and blouses.

    They are beneath contempt and are destined to spend a long time in the wilderness as they move ever further to the right in search of votes that will not ever materialise.

    My question though is where and when will another party appear to fill the void in England & Wales that Labour capitulation has created?

  7. G H Graham says:

    I didn’t know that Sean Connery was actually black.

  8. Pat says:

    It constantly surprises me Labour singing the praises of Tony Blair and describing themselves as Blairites when the Chilcot inquiry has still to report. At the moment noone has any idea which way the report will paint Mr Blair but if it goes against him then whoever is leading the Labour Party at that time cannot be seen to be a supporter or have been a supporter of Mr Blairs ideals.

    It could look like the only reason the right wing press are supporting a Blairite was to totally destroy the party.

  9. Taranaich says:

    It does have the ring of an apocalyptic death cult, doesn’t it? Perhaps they believe they’ll achieve some sort of political martyrdom if they’re finally destroyed as a mainstream party. I can just see the men in red robes standing around an eldritch sign, awaiting the blood sacrifices of 2016 and 2017 which will trigger their apotheosis.

  10. Bruce says:

    One of your best Rev – an absorbing read, pulls no punches and wastes no time in getting to the point. How you managed to write it without once mentioning John Smith, though, is a mystery!

  11. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “How you managed to write it without once mentioning John Smith, though, is a mystery!”

    It’s very hard to quantify anything about Smith, as he never fought an election.

  12. Meindevon says:

    Will be sending this to my local (English) Labour Party office.

    On the other hand do I want them to see the light? No, no worries I’m sure it will still go over their heads and it will still be all the snp’s fault.

  13. call me dave says:

    Thanks for that info. Never realised how well Kinnock’s figures stack up against past leaders.

    No-one out of the contenders has a chance of connecting with the aspirations of people in Scotland and can only hope to win in South Britain.

    But the Scottish fiasco, although pretty low key, is chock full of fun and popcorn filled episodes for a few weeks longer until the football starts to take over.

    Kezia and Mathieson please!

  14. heedtracker says:

    Looks like Burnham’s their man. Go right, act the part, wait for that UK cycle of government’s that die eventually, opposition at Westminster’s a cushy number, Labour will get their turn eventually. Our imperial masters need an opposition that looks like one, without actually being one.

    In Scotland, SLab are on their way out and they know it.

  15. Clootie says:

    …if they only thought about people instead of power that would be a start.

    I listen to the leadership candidates, the shadow ministers, the HOL’s members, etc, etc and I cannot detect any difference from the Tories. They are terrified of using the word socialism. They claim to be the Party of the “workers” – making sure that people understand this excludes the unemployed, the handicapped, the working poor, single mothers and so on.
    They are on the side of the banks, investors, big business etc etc.

    They ARE the RED Tories ( I am sure the Red part will upset them but not the Tory part)

    Keir Hardie, Thomas Muir and all those who fought for a fairer society must be spinning in their graves.

    Why would anyone vote for a cheap copy of the Tories when you can have the real thing?

  16. Ken500 says:

    There are reports Corbyn was nominated to let Burnham win. (split the vote)

    Andy Burnham was Health Secretary when the North Staffordshire hospital scandal occurred. The patients were being neglected and sone of them were dying as a result. Patients were uncared for and not getting water. They were drinking water out of vases. People were complaining but nothing was done. Eventually a Report was done.

    If a Health Secretary can’t run a Hospital and patients were dying. They can’t run a Government. Another useless trougher, wasting public money which could be better spent.

    Blair/Brown should be in jail, not swanning round leading a Millionaire lifestyle. Millions of innocent people were maimed and killed by them.

    Where is the Chilcot Report, years late. Illegally protected by civil servants.

  17. Ken500 says:

    The English working class vote Tory

  18. Grouse Beater says:

    Labour are another sad western society party that bought into neo-con fantasy economics, and once shown to be devastatingly lethal, lost their way, politically and morally. They don’t know what they believe in or who they represent, only that they want what the Tories have. Power.

    Historically, all political parties go through a period of radical change coming out the other side for good or for worse. It was the Whigs once, and then the Tories. We live at at a time Labour is morphing into something other than the party of the masses.

    Unfortunately for Labour, the electorate are not prepared to wait to see what it is they will become.

  19. Effijy says:

    I can appreciate that choice is good in politics, and a strong Labour Party working genuinely toward the greater good for the majority of the electorate, but these corrupt impostors have
    clearly stated and demonstrated that the party is more important than the people.

    They have ran with very poor leadership and shallow uninspiring
    MPs who were more interested in filling their own pockets than
    improving our standard of life.

    Michael foot, Jim Callaghan were both disastrous, Neil Kinnock just never got there, but did land a very nice Job in the EU, and one for his teacher wife, and one for his son, and one for the
    daughter-in-law, jobs that paid out £10 million over 5 years.

    Old Tony Blair has an estimated wealth of £60 million?
    Should be about right as one job pays £41,000 per week with a 2%
    bonus only any Arab oil he manages to sell to thirsty Chinese
    Industries.

    Our Gordon has followed his pal Tony in naming a Charity after
    himself and it allows him to live in extreme luxury spending
    £10,000 per week “representing the Charity (Himself)

    Ed is quite new to using his political contacts after being deposed as Labour leader, but he has his 2 Kitchens and around
    £2 million in the bank to keep him going until the old boys network can chuck him a few more £million.

    Of course if you are a complete waste of time at a Lower Level,
    Such as Flipper Daring, Dunblane massacre linked Geo Robertson,
    Jack McConnell, Michael Watson, etc you can stroll around in Ermine Robes in the House of Lords to top up your house Flipping Profits, excessive pension, and your expenses.

    NONE of these people are, or were, socialists
    NONE put the working classes before their own self interests.

    These people have killed the party policies that were their foundation and now present themselves as Tories with a different colour rosette.

    They are happy to run negative campaigns filled with obvious lies and distortions and they choose to demonise any opponent who attracts the left of centre voter with sound arguments and objectives.

    Over and over and over we hear them say that they have learned their lesson, they are listening, they will change their ways, before doing nothing of the sort.

    You can already see that they are again campaigning to be Tory Light Labour, and again they will come second best.

    Labour did the Tories dirty work in the referendum and they seemed pleased that the Tories had more in common with them than the Scottish electorate.

    Their blind incompetence has assure this country of another 5 years of Tory cut backs that will see Public Services drop to levels not see since the great depression of the 1930’s and
    delivering Boris Johnson Prime Minister in 2029 when Cameron retires to spend his own vast fortune measured in 10’s of £millions.

    No one will vote for a Red Tory photo-copy of the real deal in Blue.

    The Labour Brand, the ideals, the morals, the genuine desire to
    improve the lot of the working classes are all dead.

  20. Ken500 says:

    @ Labour Party Vote in UK General Elections

    What about increase of population – more voters as (%)

    Affect of SNP vote in Scotland. (taking votes from UK Parties) over years.

  21. shiregirl says:

    Rev. Stuart Campbell says:
    11 July, 2015 at 6:29 pm

    “How you managed to write it without once mentioning John Smith, though, is a mystery!”

    Smith was a good, decent man. Blair, on the otherhand…

  22. Macart says:

    Cracking dissection Rev and couldn’t agree more.

    Absolutely jaw dropping tweet to begin with. So they’ve spent most of the past forty years demonising the SNP and its membership during their rise to prominence. All to avoid owning responsibility for their own duplicity and betrayal of their then PM, their founding ideology and purpose and the Scottish electorate during the first devolution referendum.

    The past four of those in particular throughout the recent referendum campaign saw their narrative expand and gain a momentum all its own as the wider independence movement became a viable target in Labour’s eyes. Labour voters, Libdems, SNP voters, folk who’d never voted for a party in their life. If they intended to vote for independence they got covered in parliamentary Labour’s slurry of smear.

    The weight of the other establishment parties and the efforts of almost the entire UK media saw this demonisation expand exponentially, alienating almost half of Scotland’s electorate FGS.

    This narrative now having gained a life of its own was then hijacked by the ‘blue’ tories, expanded into fully rampant anti Scottish racism and used as a weapon to defeat its original creators in a GE.

    Is it just me or this beginning to resemble an episode of Dallas?

    You’d think by this point and after the calamitous hemorrhaging of their vote that somebody, somewhere inside Labour HQ would have had a f**king lightbulb moment and think ‘mibbies this telling fibs aboot people and getting plebs upset wisnae such a great idea’. But no, colossally arrogant, ignorant and mindlessly destructive to the end these halfwits reckon they’ll spread yet more pain and societal division by quoting chapter and verse from the big bumper tory book of scapegoating, deflection and back stabbing.

    2016 lets finish the job. They’ve made their mind up. They won’t split from UK Labour, they are on a rightward spiral which ends in only one way and they are bound and determined to continue the politics of fear, anger and recrimination.

    We’re done with that bullshit and we’ve got people to help.

  23. Lemon says:

    Brilliant. The best analysis of the predicament that the Labour party are in that I have read.

  24. Dave Rennie says:

    What is the implication that there’s something wrong with the Chuckle Brothers? I think they’re great.

  25. shiregirl says:

    Ken500 says:
    11 July, 2015 at 6:50 pm

    The English working class vote Tory

    …er, no. Not all of them. There are many working class English people who were clueless as to who to vote for in the election. Yes, the older, retired persons in England I know off, voted Tory. The working class I again knew, voted either UKIP (when I asked why, they said Tory and Labour were just as bad and their policies did nil to help them) or didn’t bother as they couldn’t see the point. Tory – no way.

    Had they been in Scotland or had an alternative, they agreed they would have voted in the direction of SNP.

    I’m interested as to how you reach this conclusion.

  26. handclapping says:

    We’re done with that bullshit and we’ve got people to help.

    You are right Sam but the SNP cant stand in England; thats why they need an affiliated English party. It also beefs up the quotient of MPs talking sense in the HoC and gives the “three main parties” something to worry about

  27. Ken500 says:

    Things just got worse and worse. Blair/Brown caused poverty, deprivation and death of innocents all over the world. They are now swanning round the War leading £Millionaire lifestyles and evading tax.

  28. Kingdommy says:

    Excellent analysis.
    Ken500: unfortunately you’ve swallowed the mid-Staffs myth; Burnham was not Health Sec when it happened, and vases on wards had been banned for around 2-3 years before it all kicked off. Heads should roll, but don’t swallow the Daily Mail/Times/Telegraph lies.

  29. Ken500 says:

    John Smith changed the rules of the Parliamentary Labour Party, to give the Leader more power. That’s why Blair could act as a dictator. Otherwise some of the cowards could have stopped him.

  30. unchillfiltered says:

    Labours biggest weakness post Blair has been in selecting leaders and not getting rid of them when they failed to inspire support. Actually looking back further it has always been a huge problem for them.

  31. Derek Henry says:

    The existential crisis of Labour-type political parties.

    http://bilbo.economicoutlook.net/blog/?p=30896

    They’ve bought into a fiscal Conservative narrative. Hook like and sinker because they believe we work from a gold standard. Nothing could be further from the truth and we need to challenge the gold standard household budget zoomers.

    The Labour party have lost their meaning and purpose of existence and everyone knows it. They have bought into the free-market myths and demeaned the role of the State. They now only argue about how much fairer their version of fiscal austerity will be relative to the conservatives. They stopped challenging the underlying lies that drives the austerity agenda in the first place.

    Traditional class conflicts between Labour and Capital within the Capitalism production system are alive and well. Especially when Capitalism has morphed into some international slave owner. With financial capital now dominating over industrial capital. The desire for individual freedom to do what we want does not undermine the role of the state which can discipline capital so that it benefits the many and not the few.

    The idea that the battles between ‘left’ – working class versus the ‘right’- capital are finished is nonsense. It is an idea that is propagated by those with a vested interest in developing the ‘free market’ myth where we are all, essentially, traders at heart who agree that market forces produce the best results. The vested interests ignore the on-going suppression of real wages growth, the redistribution of national income towards profits, the enormous executive salaries which have all combined to generate rising income and wealth inequality over the last thirty years.

    Labour Governments became ‘pro-business’ as neo-liberalism gained ascendancy among policy makers. Prior to that – in the full employment era between 1945 and the late 1970s – governments acted to mediate the class conflict and recognised that without intervention the capitalist system was prone to creating entrenched mass unemployment and stagnant economic growth. All the orthodox neoclassical remedies that had been tried during the 1930s largely failed. These are the same policies that are being proposed by neo-liberal economists now. We have short memories.

    In the 1980’s The policy debate became increasingly concentrated on deregulation, privatisation, and reductions in the provisions of the Welfare State. The so-called structural or supply-side remedies. We went from Unemployment rates usually below 2 per cent between 1945 – 1979. To Unemployment being persist at high levels and soon, underemployment entered the scene.

    The Party was built on the back of the trade union movement and supported an extensive welfare state and worker protections. It was committed to the nationalisation of the banks and major income redistribution. It was not a free-market party in any way. The ‘wealth creators’ were the workers, for without them, there is no production. Previous Labour Governments introduced a range of income support measures and job protections to ensure the workers were adequately rewarded for their work – a practice that allowed consumption growth to be maintained with little recourse to household debt.

    Because the Labour Party’s main role now was only to argue about how much fairer their version of fiscal austerity will be relative to the conservatives. They had fully bought into neoliberalism and the free market myth. At that point, the Labour party was faced with a crisis of existence. And the path they took almost everywhere only served to quicken their lack of meaning existence, which has finally translated into electoral wipe outs. They neither serve the working class (in its various states of employment and unemployment) nor capital and are thus expendable by both. The no money left note left in the Treasury just shows how much they bought into the neoliberal deficit reduction myth.

    By the time Labour was elected in 1997, they had firmly embraced the neo-liberal agenda and eschewed direct government manipulation of the economy and promoted the pursuit of fiscal surpluses to a number one priority. The Labour governments became increasingly full of university educated careerists rather than people who had worked their way up through the trade union movement. That changing demographic is highly significant in the way the Labour party has deteriorated and embraced anti-worker, neo-liberal policies. Lawyers replaced people who had worked more directly against capital.

    The emphasis was no longer on ensuring a fair distribution of income, which in part required that real wages grow in line with labour productivity growth but on pursuing an ever bigger economic pie irrespective of how it was distributed. The claim was that workers would become better off in absolute terms and that it didn’t matter if some people became spectacularly rich in the process.

    They rejected the traditional Labour policy to maintain full employment and provide those without work for whatever reason with adequate income support until they could get jobs. Instead they bought the full employability myth and deliberately kept the unemployment benefit below the poverty line and inflicted meaningless training programs and pernicious work tests on the recipients.

    They also bought in – some might say were trapped into accepting – the priority of the ‘aspirational’ voter who had been hardened into believing that the unemployed and poor were different to them because they didn’t work hard or were not motivated enough. They also perpetrated mass infringements of basic human rights – with respect to our own indigenous population (the ‘intervention’) and refugees (locking them up and torturing them on remote Pacific islands).

    This was so far removed from the traditional roots of the Party, which was splintering into green groups and other coalitions. More importantly, by buying into the neo-liberal macroeconomic myths about fiscal deficits and spending, the Labour-type parties only served to legitimise the public’s perception. And once they had bought into the ‘we will run fiscal surpluses too’ narrative, they lost the scope to articulate coherent social policy because the debate would flounder always on who will pay for it.

    Their embrace of the aspirational consumption dogs who had been indoctrinated by neo-liberalism to be selfish first and selfish last meant that any question of making them pay (given the taxpayer-funds everything myth) was toxic. They trapped themselves and steadily became undifferentiated from the conservatives and their reason for being was gone.

    The same existential crisis is creating havoc in the Labour Party. They lost the plot when Tony Blair and Peter Mandelson pushed the ‘New Labour’ mantra. There are those who claim that Miliband lost in Britain because he was too ‘left’. That is a ludicrous assessment. Miliband also bought into the fiscal myths- Supported austerity and further cuts and by doing so legitimised them and gave himself no room to articulate a coherent path.

    Chuka Umunna who is also a lawyer says he knows why Labour failed.

    Labour was wrong to run a deficit before the financial crisis.

    Condemned “Ed Miliband’s attacks on wealth creators.

    Labour can regain power within five years if it is ‘pro-business’ and makes clear no one is too rich to be part of our party.

    You can’t be pro- the jobs we want to see unless you are backing the people that create them and Labour must appeal to middle income voters in England who have ‘ambition, drive and aspiration to get on and do well.

    He also argues about how much fairer their version of fiscal austerity will be relative to the conservatives.

    It sounds as if the labour party have not learnt from their mistakes. It does not understand they have no existence if they continue to think that capital is the wealth creator and workers get the benefits of that endeavour, that a political party has to be ‘pro business’, that mass consumption and individualism is to be prioritised over decent work and collective well-being.

    The Labour Party has no reason to exist other than a vehicle for political careerists. It certainly has no claims to its traditional purpose any longer and now actively undermines the aims that defined its creation. Until these parties contest the macroeconomic myths and educate the public accordingly they will never be in a position to articulate a socially-progressive and inclusive agenda.

  32. gus1940 says:

    Before reading any further move any drinks well away from your keyboards.- Try to imagine Mathieson filling in at FMQs agains Nicola in Kezia’s absence.

    Only that political fireball James Kelly would be a bigger laugh in that situation.

  33. Ken500 says:

    The English working class have always voted Tory. (statistically) They voted for Thatcher. They know their place. It might be the English Education system or lack of it. They thought Thatcher was great some of them still do. Even in the North of England. Look at a map of the election result. She let them buy their cooncil hooses and live now pay later. Loads of money.

    Nige didn’t quite make grade. Even with the free publicity the Tory Grandees and the Beeb were pushing.

    { ; >)

  34. Grouse Beater says:

    Macart: Cracking dissection Rev and couldn’t agree more.

    Seconded. I enjoy Rev’s plain language that never talks down to readers.

    It’s sad to see honest Labour politicians lost for ideals.

  35. Ken500 says:

    Who in their right mind would vote for Dugdale and Matheson? Beam them up Scots’ye

    Come in Labour/Uhionists your time is up. Put them out of their misery.

    London votes 50/50. All the same anyway. Boris/Miliband. Clowns.

  36. Macart says:

    @Handclapping

    And therein lies their problem HC. They’re still thinking party, power, politics, position. They’re thrashing about desperately, blindly looking for a magic formula for electoral popularity. The popular thing at the moment? Demonise Scotland’s representation and Scottish desire for change. The orders from Labour HQ to their minions in Scotland who hope to move beyond a a career of service in Scotland?

    Ramp up the anti SNP, anti FFA, anti independence rhetoric to 11 or Daily Heil standards, whichever comes first. Never mind the collateral damage, the harm. Never mind neglecting their duty of care and respect for their parliament and electorate. Get busy cranking up SNP BAD to another level.

    Just grim.

  37. Brian Doonthetoon says:

    Hi Rev Stu.

    I’m always impressed when you write an article like this. The way your brain works leads you up paths that mine would probably miss. Maybe a godsend that DC Thomson didn’t take me on as a trainee journalist when I was 17.

    Onnyhoo, the mention of John Smith leads me to wave the flag for David Penhaligon, probably the best leader the Lib-Dems never had.

  38. Grouse Beater says:

    Derek Henry: The Labour Party has no reason to exist other than a vehicle for political careerists.

    I’d be grateful for a link to read the original source of your text. Many thanks.

  39. Dr Jim says:

    Who puts on the best show, Who looks the part, Policies?…Who cares..Give em something to vote against, that’s the winning formula

    Labour party presents in “Jockstrap Miners Club” The Act of the night, every Saturday, and nobody cares they just pay the £2 and go anyway until the membership all dies or gets bored to death

    SNP “YES!! it’s SATURDAY NITE at the Hydro” with the FABULOUS Nicola Sturgeon and complete supporting show
    We’ll give you Colour Music Patriotism Flags all the fun of the Fair
    AND!!! Aren’t the Labour Party rubbish and you don’t have any fun Eh?

    Wow! wouldn’t want to be a member of that Labour lot even if they were any good ……..( which they’re not )
    Anyway, fingers in ears la la ala la

    Apart from the obvious that the Tories are Evil Incarnate
    And the Labour Party are just doing their best to copy them while trying to look like they’re not ( Oh and they’re rotton liars)

    The SNP offer Freedom mixed in with compassion and a dash of Fiscal responsibility
    Who wouldn’t want to lap that up

    Only the people who still go down to ( Jockstrap Miners )
    hoping for a better Saturday nights entertainment before they die
    Ahh Dear

  40. Derek Henry says:

    Scotland has to leave the UK as soon as possible set up its own central bank and issue it’s own currency with s floating exchange rate. So it can protect itself from the markets.

    If governments are not allowed to create their own money from thin air, then all of the credit the economy needs is created by the commercial banks.

    Prof Michael Hudson nails it with this video:

    http://michael-hudson.com/2015/07/why-greeces-debt-is-illegal/

    Ever since 1979 goverments and central banks have been hijacked and their fiscal policies destroyed and replaced with monetary policy that has been a failure for nearly 50 years. As fiscal Conservatives brainwash their own people that a Zimbabwe, Weimar Republic is just around the corner. When nothing could be further from the truth.

    Central banks create money, you can say. And commercial banks create credit. The last six years since September 2008 have seen the largest money creation and credit creation in history in the United States. And, yet, prices have not gone up at all. That is, consumer prices have not gone up since 1980. Wages in the United States have drifted downwards for 30 years. And consumer prices and commodity prices have been stable.

    But there has been an immense inflation; the largest bond market price increase in history has occurred, as interest rates have fallen from 20% to only one-quarter of 1% today. What has gone up is the price of real estate, the price of bonds, the price of stocks. So, the result is that the value of wealth—and most wealth is held by the wealthiest1% of the population—wealth has gone way up relative to wages. The result is a new kind of class war, as I said last night. It’s not the typical kind of class war between employers and employees. It’s a war of finance against the economy.

    And when the commercial bank credit creation leads to debt deflation and the government cannot finance the deficit to pay the interest then the commercial banks say: Alright, sell off and privatise your infrastructure. This is what we’re seeing in Greece today, in Ireland. You’ve seen it in Iceland and the UK. What you are seeing is a financial grab of infrastructure that is taking place by the ability of commercial bankers to prevent the central bank from creating credit. They do this by banning deficts.

    “What we are seeing now is a fight for what is going to be the rest of the 21st century by creating a new kind of class, a new class much like the invasions of Europe a thousand years ago. A thousand years ago, invaders from the north and from Italy would grab land and grab public utilities by military means. But today—ever since the United States went off gold in 1971—aggressors can no longer afford military war. So, what you have today is a new kind of a war. It’s a financial war. You can get by privatisation and financialisation what armies used to get by force of arms. This is not the class war that people spoke of a hundred years ago. It is a financial war. And it is a war that classical economists warned against.

    “300 years of classical political economy sought to get rid of landlords and bankers. A hundred years ago people spoke of technology. Nobody believed that the vested interests could fight back. But they did fight back in the way that parasites do in biological nature.

    People think about parasites, as taking the host’s energy and lifeblood. But, in biology, the smart parasites do something else: They take over the brain of the host. They make the brain think that the parasite is part of the body, to be protected.

    By stopping the central banks from creating currency ( banning deficts) and allowing the commerical banks to create credit instead. The neoliberals have created an asset stripping machine that will gobble up everything before it – pure and simple.

    Labour and the Tories will take us down this path if we don’t leave because they both brainwash the public to believe we work from a gold standard. When nothing could be further from the truth.

  41. davidb says:

    You maybe should have had a box for ROFL in the Labour leader 2020 question. I was surveyed for the Royal Bank recently and the guy doing it said a lot of the people questioned laughed at some of the questions.

    The absolute number of voters may not stand up to objective analysis. The turnout and the number of voters varies at different elections. The UK population has grown from 56 1/4 million in 1974 to 61 3/4 million in 2009 for instance ( ONS ). And the reality is that there are only ever a handful of swing seats in play.

    The reasons the Cons will win in 2020 are firstly, boundary changes in their favour. Secondly, UKIP will be spent. And thirdly, the economy will have returned to reasonable growth by then.

    The reasons they could lose are down to economic competence – or perception of. Or to Falklands round 2 being a crushing defeat ( my hot tip ). Or their party disintegrating over the EU.

    I suspect that while their economy would miss the resources they rob Scotland of, they know politically that our Independence will benefit their own party in the end. So I suspect we are in for a rough wooing, and for us to leave the union soon. And for all their protestations they will be happy for us to go.

  42. shiregirl says:

    Ken500@7.34pm says
    he English working class have always voted Tory. (statistically) They voted for Thatcher. They know their place. It might be the English Education system or lack of it. They thought Thatcher was great some of them still do. Even in the North of England. Look at a map of the election result. She let them buy their cooncil hooses and live now pay later. Loads of money.

    Nige didn’t quite make grade. Even with the free publicity the Tory Grandees and the Beeb were pushing.

    Eh???!!!! ‘they know their place’ ??? wtf??

    My English working class partner who was a miner has just read this and near had a ‘connery.

    You are either on the wind up up or very, very misinformed.

    Thatcher allowed scottish tenants to but their houses too.

    Why are we slagging of the English? is this really helpful?

  43. Derek Henry says:

    @ Grouse Beater

    The link or source is at the top of my post.

    It goes into more detail and is brilliant !

  44. Thepnr says:

    @handclapping

    Wow, some post! Why don’t you shout out more often?

    It is people like us who read and post here who will eventually finish off the phony Labour Party. I don’t even think of attacking the Tory Party because they are what they are and we all know it.

    Yet, Labour claim to be something else! Bollocks, I look forward to watching their demise. Labour as a political party is doomed. Not just in Scotland as their lies and right wing agenda will all too soon be known throughout England also.

    Prospective Labour leaders your party will reap what YOU sow.

  45. Andy Nimmo says:

    The thing is with the three top contemders and even, to a lesser extent Jeremy Corbyn still determined to lecture not listen they are doomed tp repeat the same mistakes as before.
    The current odds show Burnham as clear favourites and Corbyn at around 10/1 HOWEVER
    Two things make me think that Corbyn is vastly overpriced
    1. As the Rev says he is by far the most popular
    2. From what I am led to believe, Gorgeous George has commissioned through cowd funding a one and a half hour documentary entitled ‘The Killings Of Tony Blair’ due for release quite soon.
    If this film does even half as well as predicted, the Top Three could be left with egg on their collective faces.

  46. Derek Henry says:

    What we do is get rid of Labour and the Tories in Scotland forever.

    We set up our own Bank of Alba that issues our own currency with a floating exchange rate. Which means the markets can’t touch us.

    I’ve explained on REV’s previous post in great detail what we do next and why the markets can’t touch us.

    Then we offer a job guarentee – GOVERNMENT AS EMPLOYER OF LAST RESORT.

    http://neweconomicperspectives.org/2014/01/growing-recognition-need-job-guarantee.html

    The link explains it in great detail.

    Everything else will take of itself. All we need to worry about then is inflation and there are dozens of tools to manage that.

  47. Ian Brotherhood says:

    ‘One of the worst things about running this website is that eventually it causes you to doubt the existence of reason.’

    That would be funny if it wasn’t so serious, and true. It also helps explain the state of denial which characterises so much BTUKOK behaviour. It was the great American playwright Arthur Miller who observed:

    ‘Few of us can easily surrender our belief that society must somehow make sense. The thought that the state has lost its mind and is punishing so many innocent people is intolerable. And so the evidence has to be internally denied.’

    Tony Blair is walking, breathing proof that the world appears to be ‘mad’ – that a sociopathic narcissist can prosper, and be ‘celebrated’ by folk who simultaneously claim to be ‘socialists’ is about as barking as it’s possible to get.

    And Miller was spot-on in his use of the word ‘intolerable’ – people who have emerged from the denial cannot and will not tolerate the madness, despite the initial shock when they realise how vast and all-pervasive it is. That’s why the independence movement generally, and this site in particular, draws such ire from the Establishment – we have woken up, and we’re not going to nod-off again any time soon.

  48. galamcennalath says:

    Excellent appraisal of Labour’s situation.

    Something I read on iScot.scot really stuck in my mind so I went back and copied it …

    Draconian and uncaring though they may be, the Conservatives are like the old black and white B movie director who said of his film audiences: “I tell them what I’m going to do. I do it. Then I tell them that I’ve done it.” The Tories are pretty upfront about their agenda. But Labour? some – perhaps many – may say they are downright sleekit.

    In an odd sort of a way, somehow being open about your nasty intentions seems better than trying to pretend you are not nasty, but really are!

    Therein lies one of Labour’s many failings.

    It’s nothing new. As Stu points out above, Blair wasn’t exactly open about just how right wing he intended to be. When Thatcher said something like, her greatest achievement was New Labour, she definitely had a point. However, nastyBlair was probably too skeekit to be a real upfront nasty Tory!

  49. lumilumi says:

    Thanks, Rev Stu, for this analysis. It’s pretty much what I and many, many other intelligent (WoS) people have arrived at.

    I think you’re describing the death of democracy by vested interests and big money. Not only the particular case of the “British” Establishment versus Scottish people’s desire for self-government – democratic and by the people and for the people and all that kind of nonsense.

    The US and the UK puff up and bombast about freedom and democracy. Put up military parades/jubilations at every opportunity. What a lovely war! Ordinary folk won’t dare to object to illegal wars if they’re presented with union-jack-clad coffins of “war heroes”.

    These two countries are the most undemocratic and belligerent in the modern western world, invading countries and causing “collateral damage” (=dead civilians) in the name of “freedom” (=their neo-lib world view and trying to institute it in other countries).

    Sometimes I wish I’d lived several decades earlier when the world was simpler and global finance didn’t rule all our lives. But I’m here and now so must make the best of the hand I was dealt. Sigh.

    I’m feeling down enough as it is. Yesterday Andy Murray lost in one of the best matches ever played on Wimbledon grass. Roger Federer said it was one of the best and most competitive matches he’s ever played. Today Jamie Murray and his Aussie partner Peers lost the doubles final. And Australia lost the first Ashes test. 🙁

    I first got into cricket – test cricket – when I lived in Australia. During the Shane Warne era. Ah, what bliss to watch an important international sport event when hungover and sleepy! Nothing much happens while you drop off… I’ve been reared on fast-moving ice-hockey, you can’t miss a second. Cricket is deceptively slower but then it can get very hectic. Most WoS readers won’t probably understand much of this but I love test cricket.

    I always cheer for Oz, especially at the Ashes. Never “root” for them because that’s Oz/Kiwi slang for “to fuck”.

    Oz lost the first test (in Cardiff, Wales! England was playing abroad!) and some England fans are already talking about a whitewash (what they got in Oz at the last Ashes, 5-0). Won’t happen. I think this Ashes England will take 3-2. They’re 1-0 now. Come on, Australia!!!

  50. snode1965 says:

    You forgot the elephant in the room Rev. The continued support of the tade union movement…Why?
    The Labour party are meant to be the political arm of the TU movement. Without the continued financial support from TU the Labour party would die, so what prevents them from taking the necessary action?
    There are now more SNP TU members in Scotland than Labour and we know that TU leaders are fully aware of what’s happening here.
    So when are the TUC in England going find their balls and form a new party?

  51. caz-m says:

    Scottish Labour AND London Labour are now surplus to requirements both sides of the border.

    If an English voter wants to vote for a Party who’s right wing policies include austerity and propping up the banks, then they don’t need to vote Labour anymore, they can vote Conservative.

    And North of the border, The SNP have all the boxes ticked that a true Labour voter can relate to.

    Vote Labour, why?

  52. Luigi says:

    It’s purely ideological. Belief trumps reason every time. Everybody believes in something. And Labour believe strongly in neoliberalism and the union (two failed projects). Scotland is screaming out for devomax/FFA. The UK is screaming for anti-austerity, but they will never go there. They can’t, because they are committed neoliberal unionists. It’s not rocket science. 🙂

  53. Brian Doonthetoon says:

    Hi Derek Henry.

    Just an idea…

    Instead of putting all your eggs into the basket of a very long post, why not, maybe, post one, or a couple of points, wait for comment, then hit us with the rest?

    Readers don’t always read to the end of a very long post. Rev Stu has taught us that but eh’m jiss a pleb. Whuh’ di eh ken?

    8=)

  54. Murray McCallum says:

    I think every poll I have seen shows Liz Kendall at the bottom, yet she gets favoured support from prominent Labour MPs, e.g. Chuka Umunna on bbcqt.

    Labour MPs are really starting continue to show contempt for their own declining membership.

    If Labour had the gumption to move to an anti Trident policy, take on the resulting media backlash and stick to their [conventional] guns they may actually get people to notice them.

  55. David S Briggs says:

    Yet another attributed to Einstein:

    ‘Genius has it’s limits, stupidity is boundless’

  56. Derek Henry says:

    If any fiscal or monetary lever goes up it takes currency out of the system.

    If you raise taxes it takes currency out of the system. If you raise VAT it takes currency out of the system. If you raise National insurance it takes currency out of the system. If you raise interest rates it takes currency out of the system. It takes our spending power away.

    This currency is not stored or saved in some shed somewhere ready to be used. It is just taken out of circulation by being subtracted from government spending on a computer screen in the Treasury. Effectively it is destroyed.

    The Bank Of England has told you this many times.

    Think about it. Why on earth would the Bank of England want to save pounds ? It is the monopoly issuer of them if they need any they type what they need on a keyboard and credit current acounts. It is created from nothing from thin air. We do not work from a gold standard anymore.

    You have the monopoly on widgets. You make them and nobody else is allowed to make them and only you can sell them.

    Why would you want to save widgets ? You don’t need them if you want any you just make them.

    For you to want to save widgets in some shed somewhere is insanity ?

    Same for the Bank Of England why would they ever want to save in pounds ? If they need any they just type them into someones account.

    We all know what happens when currency is taken out of the system ( that is taken away from the non govermental sector ) which is you, me and our wealth creating private sector. it is not rocket science. It decreases agg demand.

    If any fiscal or monetary lever goes down it adds currency to the system.

    If you cut taxes it adds currency to the system. If you cut VAT it adds currency to the system. If you cut National insurance adds currency to the system. If you cut interest rates it adds currency to the system.

    We all know what happens when currency is added to the system ( that is added to the non govermental sector ) which is you, me and our wealth creating private sector. it is not rocket science. It increases agg demand.

    So knowing these simple facts what is the only thing governments that have a soverign fiat money system ( that is not a gold standard anymore) worry about ?

    Inflation ? What is inflation ?

    Think of the economy as one big department store full of all the goods and services we all produce and offer for sale every year. Inflation happens ( apart from the oil cartel monopoly rigging the market) when we are at full employment. When we all have too much money chasing to few goods and services in the store. Our wealth creating private sector cannot produce the goods and services quick enough to meet the demand . The demand being everything the government and non government sectors need to buy from the store. Therefore prices go up.

    So what do we need to do when this happens ? The government needs to take our spending power away. How does it do that ? It takes the currency away from us. How does it do that ?

    Look above. We have many tools to stop inflation.

    However, when we are not at full employment and the government takes currency away from us non govermental sector total spending isn’t enough to make sure everything in the store gets sold. When businesses can’t sell all that they produce, people lose their jobs and have even less money to spend, so even less gets sold. Then more people lose their jobs, and the economy goes into a downward spiral we a recession.

    What should be happening is the government should be adding currency to the system. How do they do that?

    Look above we have plenty of tools for that.

    So knowing we have all the tools we need to stop inflation ( take currency out of the system, thus reduce our spending power) we could easily achieve full employment as long as it didn’t happen too quickly – making sure our wealth creating private sector could always supply the goods and services we need in line with the drop of the unemployment rate.

    The reason this has not happened since the 70’s is because our deficts have been too small. The size of our deficts have created unemployment. As a sovererign fiat currency country we can increase the currency into the system as much as we want as long as it does not cause inflation.

    This process has been hijacked by the neoliberals.

    Crazies will say what about the debt ?

    What debt ? We don’t work off a gold standard anymore that finished long ago.

    Debt in a modern sovereign fiat money system Simply ADDS to the non govermental sector savings (to the penny). This is an accounting fact, not theory or philosophy. There is no dispute. It is basic national income accounting.

    The £1.5 trillion national debt is really and equates to £1.5 trillion wealth ( financial assets) in the non government sector to the penny. Me, you and the private sector have this £1.5 trillion in our assets or bank accounts which in reality are saving accounts in the Bank of England. If HM Treasury paid off the £1.5 trillion debt the non govermental sector would be broke.

    Debt is a stock not a flow and this is how it is shown on the BOE accounts.

    http://neweconomicperspectives.org/2014/01/diagrams-dollars-modern-money-illustrated-part-2.html

    So what is the right size of defict we should have I hear you cry ?

    The one that creates full employment full stop, end of story. Just like between 1945 and 1980. It’s so much easier now as well because no matter what fruit cakes tell you we don’t work off a gold standard anymore.

    And believe me there are millions of fruit cakes in this country that think we do, because they are taught economics to believe that shite.

    Then all we need to worry about is inflation and make sure our wealth creating private sector can create enough goods and services that both the government and non govermental sectors need.

    Are taxes needed to pay for any of this ?

    No ! – Taxes are and always have been used as a tool to either take currency out of the system or put currency into the system when needed. To either slow the economy to avoid inflation or speed up the economy to provide growth. Always have been. It is also there to make people work to give value to the currency so we can meet our tax liabilities. End of story.

    Taxes are goverment spending in reverse accounts are debited instead of credited.

    This is going to create economic growth our infinite resource planet can sustain I hear you cry ?

    There are many growth-inducing activities that have a small environmental footprint and many that actually enhance the healt of our natural systems. All should be targets of public sector job creation and spending – economic growth will result, less inequality will result, more people will be materially better off, and the Greens will be happy! Which would advance human well-being, protect the environment and allow workers with lower levels of education to fully participate in meaningful work and earn a solid living.

    The job guarentee. With the goverment as the employer of last resort.

  57. Brian Doonthetoon says:

    Hi David S Briggs.

    I’m sure Einstein wouldn’t have stuck the superfluous apostrophe in “it’s”.

    Call me “Proud Pedant”!

    8=)

  58. Mike Fenwick says:

    Am I right in assuming that during the course of the current Parliament, changes to constituency boundaries will happen, and that it will also negatively impact on Labour? Unlikely to hear D:Ream again any time soon then!

  59. Stoker says:

    snode1965 wrote:
    “You forgot the elephant in the room Rev. The continued support of the trade union movement”

    Indeed! BBC text service reporting that 10 trade union and affiliated organisations are giving Dippy Dug their backing.

    Also, from yesterday, there is this:
    https://archive.is/vFXXZ

  60. Fat boab says:

    I’m not a regular poster, Rev, but had to write in to congratulate you on this scintillating piece. One of your best, and that’s saying something!

    Couple of (minor) comments:

    Firstly, the ’92 “Kinnock” election: that result stunk to high heaven and I’m surprised nothing more has been made of it (to my knowledge). There are those who doubt the validity of the referendum vote (and perhaps with good reason), but back in ’92 I recall getting ready to celebrate the certain re-election of a Labour government and the utter disbelief and grief when the result came through – and don’t give me any of that “silent tory majority” crap. It was a bloody stitch-up.

    Secondly (OK, I’ll take off my bacofoil hat now.) Thanks for the Sideshow Bob reminder which is the second best ever Simpsons episode : Obviously “Screamapillar” is tops (look it up if you can be bothered – I can’t do these link things.)

    Thirdly, thank you too for the Stewart Lee link. I was about to lambast you for it: A while back I saw him do what I thought was a very iffy anti-indy sketch and immediately took him off my Christmas card list (alang with Izzard, Cleese and other like-minded “comics”). But now, having reviewed his stuff on Youtube, I realize again what a genius the man is – Strongly recommend folk to have a look at his Glasgow gig. Warning: may be offensive to Bravehearts!

    Fourthly, and finally, as someone who is obliged to read mountains of so-called “academic” witterings: it was a pure pleasure to read an article that was so well referenced – might well take three lifetimes to follow them all up, but that’s beside the point – if only the mainstream was half as assiduous.

    Brilliant! More power to you, Stu.

  61. Derek Henry says:

    What follows is two paragraphs of text relating to government spending and the national ‘debt’. As you read it, try to guess who the politician is, and around what year it was said:

    “As far as I can learn, this money, which belongs to the wage earners, is not earmarked but is used for the running expenses of the Federal Government. It is a serious question whether these payments, made in good faith for a specific purpose – that is, for social security and old-age pensions, and so forth – should be used for any other purpose. The whole question comes down to the credit of the Government. If the credit of the Government is sound – and I do not question it at the present time, but none of us can anticipate what it may be in the years to come. However, if the national debt is to increase a billion or two each year, if we are to pile deficit upon deficit, if we are to continue to issue tax-exempt securities by the billions, sooner or later the credit of the United States will be impaired. Then the funds of these wage earners will also be impaired, when social-security benefits as well as old-age pensions and railroad retirement are to be paid from Government income.

    As I said yesterday, I place the interest of my country and its welfare above all partisanship. I do not want to see the Government’s credit impaired or broken down for any partisan advantage, but everyone knows if we continue the present financial program of borrowing billions upon billions of dollars, with an unbalanced Budget, piling up debt upon debt, sooner or later the day of reckoning will come. None of us are prophets. We cannot predict when that time will be. All we know is that is we continue on this road, with no financial policy and an unbalanced Budget we are going forward on the road to bankruptcy, repudiation, and financial chaos. ”

    So who do you think said this, and when?

    A) David Cameron in 2010

    B) George Osbourne in 2005

    C) Ed Balls in 1993

    D) Margaret Thatcher in 1987

    If you guessed A,B,C, or D, guess what, you’d be WRONG! That’s because this statement, which sounds exactly like what the debt doomsday crowd has been saying over the past few years, was actually spoken on the floor of the US House by Representative Hamilton Fish III, in November 1937!

    Thats right, nearly 80 years ago. As you may know, 1937 was the year the Roosevelt administration embraced austerity by raising taxes and cutting spending on New Deal programs, which resulted in the recession-within-depression of 1937.

    A few years later, spending on WWII would begin, adding thirty times more to the national ‘debt’, with no consequences.

    Goes to show- Same Shit, Different Millennium.

  62. woosie says:

    The labour party is finished in england because they’ve been outflanked by the tories. Tories are in bed with the big businesses, who support them financially, and the press, who give them good publicity. There’s no way out now.

    Labour are finished in Scotland because they are run from another country, for another country, just like the other uk parties.

    Sometimes politics is easy!

  63. David S Briggs says:

    @Brian Doonthetoon

    Fuck me gently Brian ah’ll no sleep the nicht because of that.

    I suggest you try and attempt a life.

  64. Fred says:

    Smith the Myth? he was another Tory replacement. His most notable earthly achievement was leaving it.

  65. Derek Henry says:

    @ Brian Doonthetoon

    Thanks for the advice.

    My long posts are finished for the time being.

    I just needed to get the reality of them across.

    The currency posistion is very important issue and needs addressed.

    It is very difficult to address in short posts when so many people believe we still work from the gold standard and still believe the myth that taxes fund goverment spending.

    Even Labour list has told Labour supporters how it works in reality.

    http://labourlist.org/2010/11/taxpayers-money-myth-and-reality/

    And the Bank Of England 23 times.

    And they don’t know the difference between a sovereign fiat currency and one that isn’t.

    Also solutions take up big posts.

    We can moan and moan and moan for years. It’s solutions we need or we’ll never win another referendum.

    I’m creating a slide show presentation to take around Scotland if the common weal meetings lets me do it.

  66. DerekM says:

    I feel a bit sorry for Jeremy he does not deserve the monstering he is getting,yes i agree he is not PM material but then none of the rest are either,but he could move the Labour party back to the left,out of all of them Jeremy is the one who could connect with their core vote.

    But they must understand they have lost Scotland there will be no miracle comeback too much water under the bridge,plus we have our own political party Scottish through and through they just cant compete with that.

    If Labour vote for any of the rest they are finished in England as well,i have said it before and i will say it again the only way forward for them is for the right and left to split or they will continue to infight.

    But then this is the thicko Labour party i am talking about so its not likely they will do the right thing and will probably continue to blunder about in the dark looking at the past for a solution and blaming everybody else for their own problems not realizing they are playing right into the tories hands.

  67. Stoker says:

    @ Brian Doonthetoon (8.39pm).

    Couldn’t agree more!

    I tend to adhere to the following rule of thumb – if i can’t see a persons entire post on my screen it doesn’t get read, regardless of who’s post it is.

    I’ve lost count of the amount of posts i’ve missed out on but i can’t be bothered with lengthy posts for 2 reasons:
    (1)-They just scream out ME ME ME and come across as selfish attempts to hog the comments threads.
    (2)-I don’t have the patience or inclination to read anything on comment threads which appears to ramble on forever. I’d much rather folk broke their lengthy posts down into 2 or more parts.

    By the same token i always try to stick to the same rule of thumb when compiling a post.
    😉

    @ Derek Henry.
    Here’s a suggestion – why not compile an article for this site and submit it for the Rev’s consideration? He does encourage that sort of thing. You’ll no no unless you give it a go!
    😉

  68. Brian Doonthetoon says:

    Hi David S Briggs.

    Get a life? Thanks, I have one, imperfect as it is but, I remain true to my pedantry!

    😎

  69. dakk says:

    Very instructive article Stuart.

    One could be forgiven for thinking you were making a pitch for employment as some kind of Special Adviser to the Labour Party with these kind of articles.

    Are you ?

    If you succeed you heard it here first.

    Running on a ticket of Indyref for England my vote may even follow you. 🙂

  70. CRAIGthePICT says:

    Really enjoyed that read. A great article that made me rethink something I thought I already knew. Excellent context that the Labour Party are thankfully too caught up in rhetoric and hatred to understand.

    So the great architect and warmonger of new Labour was getting found out every year and eventually shed 8% of the Labour vote. Something for him to ponder from his cell if the Chilcot report ever sees the light of day.

  71. Training Day says:

    Rev, you’re just getting better and better with your compact and brilliant analyses.

    One day you might be good enough for the ‘Scottish’ MSM 😉

  72. Derek Henry says:

    @ Stoker

    I will do when I’ve finished my slide show for the common weal.

    If common weal let’s me do the tour. I’ll send the video to Rev also.

    Unfortunately, you can’t fit the currency question into short posts.

    People have to be unbrainwashed which is difficult.

    And there’s no ME, ME, ME involved. It is why we lost the referendum and I will find and have found a solution to that question before I die.

    All for no financial gain of course.

    There are hundreds of economists who all predicted the crash who have the answer.

    They can be found here:

    http://www.levyinstitute.org/

    http://e1.newcastle.edu.au/coffee/

    http://bilbo.economicoutlook.net/blog/?m=20150710

    http://neweconomicperspectives.org/

    http://www.3spoken.co.uk/

    It’s about Scotland not me. I just want to get a group of people together who can answer that question next time around and try and make sure Scotland is ready for the answer.

    REV could help immensely in the effort by posting D J Alt’s book to start the debate.

    DIAGRAMS & DOLLARS: Modern Money

    http://neweconomicperspectives.org/2014/01/diagrams-dollars-modern-money-illustrated-part-1.html

    http://neweconomicperspectives.org/2014/01/diagrams-dollars-modern-money-illustrated-part-2.html

  73. Andy Nimmo says:

    Interesting.

    Maybe the SNP group should table a motion along the lines of
    “Would the dishonorable Prime Minister who quite clearly is absolutely captivated with EVEL and quire clearly believes that te rest of the UK are a financial not to mention constitutional burden, now go to the country and demand that England be granted her own Independence”

    I think the response would be rather illuminating

  74. Velofello says:

    “And did those feet in ancient times, walk upon England’s pastures green”.

    Whatever political party is able to sustain the myth of empire will get the English majority vote,
    and N Ireland, Wales and Scotland simply have to thole it. It isn’t democracy, it’s majority by population.

    Veering off topic, to restrict, by economics, families to two children is appalling.

    A newborn child is cause for rejoicing.

  75. ronnie anderson says:

    @ Derek Hendry You,ve gave us some lenghtly Quality informative posts. Im one amoungst several Wingers who copy/paste to other Indy sites.

    BrianDTT is correct Derek, if you could submitt them to Stu in ah shorter version,I,ll certainly share them with other sites ,with your approval.

    Hope to read more from you.

  76. Democracy Reborn says:

    Good analysis, Stu, and I broadly agree with it.

    One quibble : do you not need to factor into account voter turnout between elections? Blair did indeed lose Labour votes compared to Kinnock. But the turnout in 1992 was 77.67%. In 2005 it was 61.4%. If you mean that that Blairism caused disillusionment with politics generally, and thereby put people off voting at all, I think that’s clearly true from the numbers.

    It amuses me no end that Milliband spent at least the initial years of his leadership trying to distance himself from New Labour. Now, Tony’s suddenly back in vogue. What does that tell you about the sincerity of Labour’s core principles? On the other hand no matter how much you abhor Tory policies, at least Cameron and Osborne are consistent in pursuing a right wing agenda.They may give it the snake oil-salesman pitch (and Cameron’s very good at it) about ‘One Nation’, ‘hard working families’ and a ‘living wage’. The reality is though – as the last Budget demonstrated – that the poorest (including those in work) are bearing the brunt of austerity, inequality is increasing, and we’re heading towards a percentage of public spending to GDP not seen since the 1930s. Even Thatcher at her peak never managed this.

    The trouble with triangulation is that your party becomes a hollowed-out shell.

  77. Ian Brotherhood says:

    Haven’t been able to keep up with all the comments – I must’ve missed all the post-budget apologies streaming in from BTUKOKers who now have no legs to stand on with their ‘Better Together’ pish.

    Can anyone point me to where those apologies may be found?

    Where’s Henry ‘Reluctant No’ McLeish these days?

  78. Rock says:

    The pigs (Red Tories) are hell bent on removing the slightest difference that remains between them and humans (Blue Tories).

    (George Orwell, Animal Farm).

    No offence meant to real pigs or real humans.

  79. Ian Brotherhood says:

    And what about all the folk who took part in this embarrassing rubbish?

    Are they all happy about what’s happening?

    No Borders, ‘Why Build Another Wall’ –

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mPpGp_J3z2A

  80. Rock says:

    Rev. Stuart Campbell,

    “It’s very hard to quantify anything about Smith, as he never fought an election.”

    He lost the 1992 election for Labour by having a victory celebration party before the election.

    That turned crucial voters back to the Tories.

    Champagne socialists the whole lot of them.

    If his daughter is anything like him, he would have been no better than Gordon Brown.

    Robin Cook, who was probably murdered, had more substance.

  81. Fireproofjim says:

    Rock
    You are really out of order saying Robin Cook “was probably murdered”.
    This is paranoid nonsense.
    He was on a strenuous hill walk with friends and had a massive heart attack. Nothing unusual,about that. It happens all the time, unfortunately.
    No one around him has any doubts about that.

  82. Derek Henry says:

    @ ronnie anderson

    Thanks and advice taken.

    Fell free to use what you like.

    I post under jimmurphybrassneck on the Guardian there is years worth of work there if you want it. Just click on the username and take what you like.

    We need to work together to get the facts out there.

    The Bank of England has a new blog now called Bank underground there are some real nuggets on there that nobody notices.

    They tell the truth but nobody listens.

    For example :

    Read this Ronnie

    Banks are not intermediaries of loanable funds – and why this matters

    http://bilbo.economicoutlook.net/blog/?p=31063

    These guys get to the crux of the issue and show what Scotland could really do with a system that has not been hijacked by the neoliberals.

    Just like we all did between 1945-1980.

  83. ronnie anderson says:

    @ BrianDTT aye get ah life,when can we expect to see the Im ah Pedant Badges,if you,ve nothing else tae dey get started oan the Graphics LOL ,even louder than that.

  84. Rock says:

    Ian Brotherhood,

    “Tony Blair is walking, breathing proof that the world appears to be ‘mad’ – that a sociopathic narcissist can prosper, and be ‘celebrated’ by folk who simultaneously claim to be ‘socialists’ is about as barking as it’s possible to get.”

    The people who have been running Labour since Blair don’t have any Socialism in them.

    They are career politicians with no principles at all.

    They abstain rather than make a stand.

    The only thing that matters to them is victory.

    They “celebrate” Blair as the successful head of their cult.

    Maybe he should have founded a new cult instead of becoming a Catholic after lying that he didnt do religion.

  85. Rock says:

    Fireproofjim,

    “This is paranoid nonsense.”

    It might be or it might not be, so I said “probably”. We will never know.

    I haven’t made it up, I have heard it many times.

  86. ronnie anderson says:

    @ Marcia They must be getting ready to create real black holes wie that picture lol.

  87. John Boyes says:

    Cole: I’m ready to tell you my secret now.

    Malcolm: Okay.
    Cole: I see dead people.
    Malcolm: In your dreams? [Cole shakes his head no]
    Malcolm: While you’re awake? [Cole nods]
    Malcolm: Dead people like, in graves? In coffins?
    Cole: Walking around like regular people. They don’t see each other. They only see what they want to see. They don’t know they’re dead.
    Malcolm: How often do you see them?
    Cole: All the time
    Can’t remember where I found this lol. It was either in a film or more likely a conversation overheard at a recent Labour Party Conference.

  88. David Agnew says:

    I too am sometimes driven to distraction by the foaming mouthed idiocy of labour. Revs article reminds me of the thoughts that run through my head. Then I remembered someone else had the same epiphany a while back…and sums it up far better than I ever could.

    The Strangers’ Cafeteria, House of Commons:

    Joined at lunch by a Yorkshire MP, a mild-mannered fellow, incensed by The Man’s [Blair’s] latest foray into education. “We’re opening the door for selection. Whatever safeguards we put in place, whatever assurances we give will be absolutely worthless once the Tories are in power”. And then: “I think we will lose the next election. The Tories will come to some sort of understanding with the Lib Dems and we’ll find that we’ve opened the door to the market in health and education. And when we protest, they will reply, “But this is your policy; you started it. We’ll be vulnerable for years. Our benches will be full of ex-ministers who won’t have the stomach for the fight”. As he talked his anger mounted and most of it was directed at The Man. A straw in the wind.

    Its from a book called a View from the Foothills by Chris mullin. The excerpt was used by the erudite Mr Peat Worrier in a brilliant post on this very subject way back in 2012.

    He concluded it with this paragraph:

    “Becoming adept in a secular sort of mental reservation is critical for the tyro triangulator. The tragedy of such strategies, however, is that most of the time, they’re simply too clever by half. Instead of burglarising your opponents’ political house while keeping your own ideological soul intact, more often than not, that soul very quietly, often imperceptibly, transmogrifies into theirs. The dismal fact is that triangulation is a way of letting your opponent win, whether you retain office, or they boot you out. It is a recipe for an asphyxiating political consensus, for conceding your opponents’ “common sense”, and not for victory on something like your own ideological terms.”

    That one passage sums up labour and Scottish labour in a neat little package and ties it off with a pretty bow. Watching labour go through its death throes, be in England or Scotland…is to watch irony devour itself…day in day out.

    Armando Iannucci could only dream of writing stuff this surreal.

  89. Fireproofjim says:

    Rock
    You say it “might or might not” be true that Robin Cook was murdered.
    It also might or might not be true that the Queen is an agent of the KGB, or the Pope is actually a giant scaly lizard from Mars.
    Something you may have heard from friends in the pub does not make it “probable” or even likely in any way.

  90. Harry Shanks says:

    @ Rock:

    You say of John Smith “He lost the 1992 election for Labour by having a victory celebration party before the election”

    Sorry, but Neil Kinnock was the leader at the 1992 election and it was he who had the premature party!

  91. Derek Henry says:

    If you really want to learn how the neoliberals have hijacked the currency creating process.

    What they did was from 1980 onwards use interest rates to contol employment. In short they used unemployment to control interest rates.

    They expected interest rates would do all the heavy lifting instead of increasing the defcit. It has been a failure for nearly 50 years.

    Then when it didn’t work they introduced a thing called the (NAIRU.

    http://bilbo.economicoutlook.net/blog/?p=1502

    Which they manipulate to achieve their goals.

    This simple model shows how it really works.

    http://bilbo.economicoutlook.net/blog/?p=7864

  92. ronnie anderson says:

    scottishindependence.com/2015/07/scottish-firefighter-billy-milne-wins-550million-pensions-bonanza/ it catches up with them sooner or later. Well done that Man.

  93. Derek Henry says:

    Prof Stephanie Kelton

    Who is excellent !

    Explains in great detail why it would have been a disaster for us to join the Euro in tis video.

    Called fiscal space and why it matters

    http://www.fields.utoronto.ca/video-archive/static/2013/11/221-2524/mergedvideo.ogv

  94. Ken500 says:

    @ Rock

    ( ; > ) }

    Dr David Kelly

  95. Ian Brotherhood says:

    @Rock & Fireproofjim –

    Conspiracy-related stuff is better placed on off-topic.

    Having said that, it’s notable that those raising such matters on the main threads never take up the invitation to detail their arguments (evidence-based or not) out of the main spotlight.

  96. Derek Henry says:

    This is the model we use – Norway and sectoral balances

    http://bilbo.economicoutlook.net/blog/?p=2418

    We can’t make the same mistakes as we did before the last referendum.

    Some truths and myths that we need to own next time around.

    http://www.3spoken.co.uk/search/label/Scottish%20Independence

    And if nothing changes then it will be this again

    http://bilbo.economicoutlook.net/blog/?p=28716

  97. Rock says:

    Fireproofjim,

    ” Something you may have heard from friends in the pub does not make it “probable” or even likely in any way.”

    It does if circumstances support the view.

    Robin Cook was an opponent of the illegal war and a possible leadership contender.

    It is probable that there were powerful people who wanted him out of the way.

    There was absolutely no evidence of the referendum having been rigged (according to Morag).

    But there are many, myself included, who believe that is was rigged.

    Can you dismiss anyone who suggests that the referendum was probably rigged?

  98. Rock says:

    Harry Shanks,

    “You say of John Smith “He lost the 1992 election for Labour by having a victory celebration party before the election”

    Sorry, but Neil Kinnock was the leader at the 1992 election and it was he who had the premature party!”

    John Smith was responsible for organising it, as far as I know.

  99. Rock says:

    Ken500,

    “@ Rock

    ( ; > ) }

    Dr David Kelly”

    Can we say “probably murdered” about him?

  100. Ken500 says:

    Conspiracy Theory

    That wee bissom Nicola wis at the tennis

    Abodie would think she wis a Celebrite

  101. Stoker says:

    Fireproofjim wrote:
    “Rock, You say it “might or might not” be true that Robin Cook was murdered. It also might or might not be true that the Queen is an agent of the KGB, or the Pope is actually a giant scaly lizard from Mars.”

    I love Rock’ individuality and determination to post his opinions and not just follow the flock but i have to say that’s a brilliant retort Jim.
    LLF
    🙂

  102. Ken500 says:

    @ Tennis

    Aye with her shades on as weel

    What will M15 say? They might lose sight o’ her.

  103. HandandShrimp says:

    Liz Kendall is going to call us out? Labour have spent years talking nothing but SNPbad. They are obsessed. I’ve seen entire interviews where the Labour person has name checked the SNP 40 billion times and never spent so much as a second talking about Labour ideas or policy.

    Mind you it is academic I doubt Liz Kendall will win.

  104. Stoker says:

    @ Derek Henry (10.05pm).

    Your post addressed to me at aforementioned time has only just become visible to me but that happens on here from time to time.
    Some posted comments are delayed for various reasons, especially when the site is very busy.

    Just in the interests of clarity, Derek, it wasn’t me who suggested you put your posts into shorter versions, i think that was Brian.

    I suggested you write an article for WOS and submit it for the Rev’s consideration and if it meets with his approval he will post it on WOS for us all to read and comment on.

    He encourages articles from other sources and it would certainly help us lesser mortals to have all that info in one article rather than having it lost among the zillion comments which have went before.

    I was merely making a statement to Brian that i have a very short attention span when it comes to reading post comments but would also add that is not the case when it comes to reading articles and books etc.

    I also wasn’t trying to imply that your comments screamed ME ME ME, nor anyone else for that matter, it’s just how they can come across at times, especially when one poster has plastered the thread with such epic saga’s.

    Hopefully you’ll compile that detailed article for us all and load it with appropriate links etc because very few are going to learn your teachings if your work is spread all over the place.

    Good luck and i look forward to seeing the article, hopefully!
    😉

  105. Ken500 says:

    # Conspiracy Theory

    Alex and Anna Soubry has a love in

    They shared a flight together and she gave him a lift in her car. Tractor

    Next thing she will be voting for Independence for Shepard’s Bush and declaring Independence.

  106. Ian Brotherhood says:

    Right, okay, fess up – which one of youse bought Queen Victoria’s knickers?

  107. smithie says:

    Rock i don’t know you from Adam, and i don’t know how old you are etc. If i may say some of your posts are, shall we, “out there” but i have to say i agree with you more times that not.

    I give you credit sir for having the cajones to post and stick by your beliefs. I must say some of the replies you receive make me laugh (not funny). This is an open forum and no “Group” is right or wrong. Keep posting Rock, debate is healthy.

  108. smithie says:

    Oh Ian @1:05, sorry pal if i knew you were really wanting them i would not have made a bid. But hey i will accept a 5% profit on them LoL. P@P free.

  109. Ian Brotherhood says:

    Who got 440,000?

  110. Ian Brotherhood says:

    @smithie –

    Hey pal, no worries.

    I just heard on the news (yeah, for real, the fucking national news via BBC Radio Five Live) that the kegs in question are 45-inch waist.

    No way would I get into them.

    Hoots the noo,

    Big Ass Ian

  111. smithie says:

    LoL should i say “ya fat ba”””””D, naw i shall refrain. Well done Sir. All good bud

  112. Tom Wilde says:

    Fantastic article, Stu! I managed to get nearly a third of the way through it by jabbing myself repeatedly in the forearm with a cocktail stick.

    I love the way you start with the suggestion that if when the Labour Party considers a potential new leader their opponents laugh and clap their hands with incredulous joy, then that is a good enough reason for them to drop that candidate… and then a few paragraphs later, talking about Jeremy Corbyn, you imply the exact opposite! Irony?

  113. smithie says:

    Hey fella, by the skin of yer teeth there, lucky guy. Next time LoL.

  114. Well Read Ned says:

    A tour de force of journalism.

    But there is something that you are missing. For many people my age who saw our dafter childhood friends head off to Iraq or Afghanistan to bomb the buggery out of people who didn’t deserve it Labour are the political baddies of our generation.

    Factor that in and their befuckedness grows.

    Below a certain age, we actually hate them more than you do.

  115. boris says:

    Noting Labour Leadership candidates were in Scotland debating the merits or otherwise of each other, I am a wee bit miffed on behalf of the English about the unfair weighting applied to labour Party voters in England and Wales and the Scottish voter.

    Scottish and Welsh Party members vote for their Branch office leaders in Scotland and Wales and the Party leader in England.

    But English members are only allowed to vote for the Leader in England.

    Surely reflecting the stated policy of the Labour party that it a one nation Unionist Party, Labour membership throughout the UK should be granted a universal vote deciding upon the leaders of the three constituent parts of the one nation they purport to believe in.

  116. majestic12 says:

    Fireproofjim@11.24

    Jim, for the sake of accuracy, which is so important on this site, and to scotch any conspiracy theories to the contrary, I feel obligated to inform you that the giant scaly lizards come from the Pleiades, not Mars, and they tell me that the Pope is not one of their operatives.

    I could tell you who their sleepers are, but then I’d have to kill you, and everyone else on Wings. 🙂

  117. john king says:

    Harry Shanks says
    “Sorry, but Neil Kinnock was the leader at the 1992 election and it was he who had the premature party!”

    Correct
    http://tinyurl.com/n8czq92

  118. Capella says:

    They could campaign to remove gross inequality if they are casting about for some sort of policy people might support.

    http://rt.com/uk/259893-inequality-britain-worst-eu/

  119. Ken500 says:

    The latest documents to emerge from the 1970’s show.

    “An Under Secretary at the department of energy, Graham Kear, wanted Orkney and
    Shetland to be hived off from Scotland and the Orkney and Shetland movements for autonomy were to be encouraged.

    This new map of the North Sea was presented as having sound legal basis by a denim clad young Tory ‘economist’? (who doesn’t understand elementary Maths) called Andrew Neil on BBC TVs Tomorrow’s World which at the time was watched by millions every week.

    The Treasury also stopped assigning oil and gas revenues to the relevant UK economic regions,
    mainly Scotland and East Anglia, and created a new offshore economic region.

    The Labour government was then determined to ensure that the proposed Scottish Assembly
    would have no control over energy or any North Sea Oil activity.The civil servants also suggested
    to a willing Labour government that they delay a referendum on devolution for as long as possible
    while undertaking a campaign of misinformation to pay down the extent of North.”

    2009

  120. Capella says:

    @ Ken500
    Any links Ken? Those quotes are interesting.

    This is an excellent article and many great comments too. The two Davids, Henry and Agnew, have been very enlightening. I agree that a whole article (or two) on those topics would be very interesting.

  121. Ken500 says:

    Scotland loves English people but

    especially Kasabian C’mon

  122. Ken500 says:

    @ ”Scots Independent’ 2009 Found it recently. Interesting

  123. Scotspine says:

    @Nana

    About 30 years ago, I was in a Territorial Army unit. We were on an exercise in Germany and were carrying out a foot patrol at night when a light aircraft flew quite low over us.

    A short time later, to a man, we were having mild hallucinations. Trees uprooting and walking along beside us, patterns on and in buildings became faces coming out at us and some guys were on the ground vomiting and having diahorrhoea in their trousers.

    Experimented on? Fuck yes.

  124. Lollysmum says:

    O/T
    The official cover ups continue-from the Indy-police refuse FOI re abuse of boys (Kincora) & link to PIE identified.

    https://archive.is/B4AgI

  125. Seems Labour in Scotland are planning to carry on as usual full steam for the cliff.

    https://archive.is/auLbs

  126. call me dave says:

    £1bm in cuts to Scotland from Georgie boy!

    Apparently less than the labour party would have made I heard on the radio this morning

    https://archive.is/aA7X8

    Meanwhile the two contenders for the branch office in Scotland have their say…Not too much to write home to your old mother about. 🙁

    Kezia in the Herald.

    https://archive.is/auLbs

    and ….What’s his name too!

    https://archive.is/h30jI

  127. scottieDog says:

    @David Agnew
    Yes I have read Chris Mullins’ book. It’s a good read. So many labour mps in the lead up to the invasion of Iraq put career before principle. The rest is history.

  128. Scotspine says:

    Forgot to add, we had a young female journalist fly out with us. She stayed with us til evening, disappeared overnight, but was back with us early next day.

    I didn’t catch which newspaper she was supposed to be with and I’m not aware of any article being published on the then (now amalgamated) 15th btn Parachute Regiment.

    Journalist? Scientist methinks…

  129. caz-m says:

    BBC Radio Scotland GMS again fail to mention the SNP and Westminster in the same sentence. Blatant anti-Scottish Government bias.

    There has definitely been a ban put on the reporting of the work SNP MPs have been doing in Westminster.

    Stop paying for this nonsense. Cancel this illegal tax tomorrow. You are paying for them to lie to you.

    And remember to tell them that you are taking away “Their right of access”.

    You will get a rebate and then you won’t hear from them again.

  130. heedtracker says:

    Kezia

    “If power eludes her, she says she might try writing novels in a few years’ time instead.

    “I really like crime fiction. I’ve read something of every Scottish crime fiction writer.”
    Who would you have murdered? “More blokes,” she grins. “I’m of the Denise Mina school of thought that we need more crime fiction that doesn’t picture women as victims all the time. She always kills the blokes.” Jim Murphy and his gang beware.”

    could get an actual job instead.

  131. steveasaneilean says:

    The top 10% in the UK have average earnings in excess of £80,000. The remaining 90% have average earnings below £15,000.

    The top 10% hold 45% of the UK’s total wealth. The bottom 50% have only 13% of total wealth with the bottom 20% having effectively no wealth at all.

    Yet in their blinkered rush to appease this 10% (Not) Labour have abandoned the bottom 50% to their fates and would have punished the bottom 20% just as hard as the Tories are now doing.

    The poor are pilloried and punished for being poor and the rich (who only get rich by exploiting others and by using their wealth to avoid paying their fair share of tax) are lauded.

    For the last 18 years (Not) Labour have colluded in this shame.

  132. Nana Smith says:

    @Scotspine

    I absolutely believe it. Poor children were experimented on as well.

    http://aanirfan.blogspot.co.uk/2014/12/torture-experiments-on-scottish-children.html

    Bloody hell.

  133. Ken500 says:

    £1Billion cuts more money being taking out of Scotland illegally (along with the rest) without authority of the people in Scotland. Taxation without Representation. Another Unionist mess, which will have to be mitigated.

    Take £20 from the vulnerable on the border/bread line they will starve, without dignity.

    Take £20 from higher earners they will not even notice. Give the higher earners £20, taken from the vulnerable, the higher earners will not know the difference.

    Out of touch Fallon,’ we will not cut defence in Scotland’. The majority in Scotland want defence cuts, they want rid Trident and the nuclear waste. Stop using Scotland to dump nuclear illegally.

  134. caz-m says:

    When you cancel your TV licence, they don’t cancel your TV signal. You can still watch the telly.

    Go on, live life on the edge, cancel that license. Tell the mouthpiece of the English Establishment that you are no longer willing to pay for their Establishment propaganda anymore.

    What you tell them is that you will only be watching catch-up TV from now on, BBC IPlayer etc… all perfectly legal.

  135. Mealer says:

    caz-m 9.54
    Aye.If the BBC don’t have something bad to say about the SNP they say nothing about them at all.They’ve been using that tactic for a long time now,but more and more people notice these days.They can’t turn back the clock.They can’t hold back the tide.

  136. Andy Nimmo says:

    I know it’s a somewhat tenuous comparison but as I attempted to explain on another site, the difference between wealth creation and free enterprise is something that should be expanded upon.
    To me wealth creation (obviously) is the creation of wealth through competence.
    Free enterprise though is turning gross incompetence into gross profits.
    A striking example of this is the fiasco thats currently going on regarding the privatisation of the Translation Services down south
    Again it would take too long to go into great detail.
    Suffice to say that several organisations with questionable ethics and integrity have made millions from bringing the legal system to a grinding halt.
    Too many links to detail here. Please google Court Translation Scandal for the full horror story.
    All of course unreported in the Propaganda Sheets.

  137. Ken500 says:

    The latest documents from the 1970’s show.

    “The Scots had to be persuaded that separatism would be bad for them. Judging by the official papers the men of Cabinet Office Constitution Unit, which was set up to make devolution work, very slowly, saw it as their mission to persuade, cajole and threaten the Scottish majority into resisting the blandishments of the SNP and remain in the fold of the United Kingdom.

    Among those who wanted to stop devolution was Sir David Walker, who is currently investigating the Banking crisis on behalf of Gordon Brown. Walker wanted, ‘devolution to be delayed for as long as possible consistently with honouring the government commitment to move down the devolution road and containing the SNP lobby in parliament.’ This was agreed by Dennis Healey, Tony Benn and Roy Jenkins and it was not until 1979 that the rigged referendum was held.

  138. Andy Nimmo says:

    You were probably one of the first casualties of Gulf War Syndrome

  139. heedtracker says:

    Another day in teamGB middle class media wetfartdom.

    https://archive.is/XNw8Q

    Mhairi Black, MP at 20, Ist from Glasgow and rancid the Graun sez

    “It’s a textbook answer, which from anyone else might sound phoney, but when she says it in her broad west coast accent – she sounds like a Glaswegian docker, basically – she does it with an authenticity that I actually believe.”

    She’s sounds like a 20 year old Scot, if only because the last Glaswegian docker job disappeared 40+ years ago thanks our red and blue tory masters.

    Know your place young Scotland. No wonder so many try to get as far away from our imperial masters as humanly possible.

  140. Ken500 says:

    People live in multi nos households. (families) Some people want to pay a licence or watch the BBC. It is a relevant cheap form of entertainment. Some people have no Internet connection. Some people can’t afford a computer and Internet connection, but they can afford a television. Anything that offends people do not watch it. No viewers no programmes. The BBC is like a festering sore for some people, they just have to scratch it.

    The BBC could lose 3 and 4 and put the programmes on 1 and 2 instead of repeats.

  141. Andy Nimmo says:

    Oh and on the off chance some grim-faced individual tries banging on your door and says:-
    “I’m from the TV Licensing Authority to find out why you’re not paying your licence etc etc.
    Just smile politely and say:-
    “No you’re not, you’re from Capita”

  142. nodrog says:

    “all they’ll achieve will be their own final destruction.”

    In my opinion that has already been achieved , especially in Scotland , and we need to move on. Let us stop wasting time and words on a Dodo and concentrate on improving Scotland’s future.

  143. Al-Stuart says:

    Stuart, thank you for that first rate, forensic analysis. If only the MSM had such thorough journalism as you bring, week in, week out. Excellent work chief.

    The irony is, that if the MSM/Red/Blue/Yellow Tories had any idea about the Scottish psyche, and the tendency of so many Scots to study politics before they vote – subsequently resulting in this…

    7th May 2015 Scottish Electorate Votes Cast:

    SNP 50%
    Labour 24.3%
    Conservative 14.9%
    Liberal Democrat 7.5%

    …then they might stand a chance at recovery. Instead they all fail to listen. Repeatedly.

    Stu., out of curiosity, do you have a considered analysis and view on the what, when and how of the end-game for Scotland in this political turmoil?

    Just asking like.

  144. heedtracker says:

    Vintage Bettertogether Britnat BBC Andrew Neil, Nick Clegg love in right now

    “The country run by Milliband and Salmond really chilled the English heart.”

    The chilled English heart?

  145. Grouse Beater says:

    Heedtracker: Vintage Bettertogether Britnat BBC Andrew Neil, Nick Clegg love in right now

    Playing on in background as I wait for Federer-Djokovic match, compose essay … Clegg is no longer relevant even to Clegg. A useless politician. Tim Nice but dim.

  146. HandandShrimp says:

    LOL at Nick Clegg, if a progressive alliance between Labour and the SNP chilled the English heart why was it that it was the Lib Dem vote that fell apart in England, Wales and Scotland?

  147. woosie says:

    Nana Smith; Scottish people have been cannon fodder and guinea pigs for this “empire” for centuries, but such is the mass brainwashing by the bbc and state-friendly press, many of us ( thankfully a diminishing number ) won’t accept it.

    I read the other day of the last survivor of a Scottish commando unit sent over the night before d-day behind enemy lines to take strategically important bridges, etc. The likelihood of dying on such a mission doesn’t need much analysis here; suffice to say subsequent tory votes weren’t affected. My father was in that unit. For the rest of his life he voted labour, because although he was a proud Scot, the war and all connected propoganda wouldn’t allow him to accept the SNP.

    Hopefully a growing number of Scots won’t accept the “british” con. Heard a snippet on bbc news a few minutes ago where Andy Burnham stated that the bbc is part of being english – then corrected that to british! We don’t need Freudian wit to glean the true nature of this ” union “.

  148. heedtracker says:

    http://lallandspeatworrier.blogspot.co.uk/

    https://archive.is/08fKh

    “The SNP would do well to remember that first-past-the-post is a false friend, as so many Labour MPs came brutally to understand on 8 May. Only nemesis can follow hubris. The 56 represent no referendum proxy. They aren’t compensation, reflecting buyer’s remorse. If another referendum was held tomorrow, the Yes campaign would still lose”

    Scotland wants devo-max, so its hardly hubris voting SNP to get it.

    Nemesis is UKOK here Peatwarrior, Osborne takes no time outs either, “pulled the trigger” last week again, syphoning even more money from the poorest to the richest in teamGB.

    Its not even basic growth economics, the poor can’t save, the rich bury their dosh deep in ever fatter bank accounts, beef up home security, invest in water cannon, riot cop armour…

  149. Ken500 says:

    The latest documents from the 1970’s show.

    “While hiding the true worth of North Sea Oil from the. Scottish public the self same Unionists politicians were claiming that an independent Scotland would be like Albania or Bangladesh.

    The startling revelations were ignored by Scotland’s ‘National’ newspaper The Scotsman and by Scotland on Sunday. Typically the UK Unionist tried to play down the significance. Murdo Fraser, the deputy leader of the Scottish Conservatives, said, ‘Only a political aanorak would get excited about the contents of a 30-year-old historical document’. (This is a but rich coming from someone who still gets excited about a 300 year old historical document, but then he loves the Treaty of Union).

    The lies and deceit of over 30 years ago were repeated as recently as 1999 when Henry McLeish ‘quietly moved’ England’s North Sea fisheries boundary 60 miles north just before devolution took place.”

    2009

  150. heedtracker says:

    Grouse Beater says:
    12 July, 2015 at 11:40 am
    Heedtracker: Vintage Bettertogether Britnat BBC Andrew Neil, Nick Clegg love in right now

    Better get used to it GB. Five years of “we lost to horrid Scottish nationalism,” LibDem and Lab.

    or as rancid red tory Graun says

    “It’s been a brilliant rebranding exercise, the new-look SNP. They repackaged nationalism as social justice, and delivered a message of optimism and hope that the electorate bought. ”

    The electorate, you, “bought” the SNP fraud you see.

    I wish I was a red and blue tory sometimes. Life must be so simple between their collective rule Britannia ears.

  151. galamcennalath says:

    “Vintage Bettertogether Britnat BBC Andrew Neil”

    London bubble politics is a truly strange and incomprehensible beast.

    Right now there are two political parties with the power and influence to shape the future of these islands – the Tories and the SNP.

    Labour have a mandate to be the opposition in England, totally outnumbered by the Tories. They could be relevant, but chose not to be.

    LibDems are certainly now irrelevant.

    UKIP never achieved relevancy, and probably never will.

    UK politics is about the Tories spiralling rightward but with a geographically limited mandate, versus the SNP with a clear social democratic vision and overwhelming mandate in Scotland.

    All debate, all discussion, all political chat shows, all televised panel debates, all reporting, all broadcasting, etc etc …. should focus primarily on what is actually GOING ON in the UK right now.

    UK constitutional reconfiguration is the event of the century.

    But no, their wee bubble is opaque. They see nothing beyond it.

  152. Dave McEwan Hill says:

    heedtracker at 11.51

    “If another referendum was held tomorrow, the Yes campaign would still lose”

    Is there any evidence provided to support this assertion?
    It required one vote in twenty to reverse the “result” last year. I would say we have one in ten at the moment.

    A dose of pessimism we can do without.

  153. Ken500 says:

    Time, demographics, democracy and the Tories are on the SNP/Independence side – five years? Westminster has denied the promises that were made for FFA. Scotland got SFAll. That will drive the Independence movement. Along with the carry on in Westminster. Their own worse enemy. They never learn.

  154. Fred says:

    “Robin Cook Murdered?” Google it and see what you think folks! Whoever it was it wouldn’t be the British security services, you’ll be accusing them of bumping people off in Ireland next.

    As for scaly lizards & the Pope, this is of course an absurdity but Brian Wilson?

  155. Ken500 says:

    Nick Clegg should resign. A Toom (doom) Tabard. Empty shirt, irrelevant. Nick Clegg lied and destroyed his own Party.

  156. nodrog says:

    The lesson the SNP should have learned from GE15 is glaringly obvious but is still being ignored by them – THE MORE MEMBERS YOU HAVE THE MORE VOTES YOU GET. Instead of basking in victory there should be a massive recruitment campaign going on which will ensure massive victory in 2016 and in Indyref2 when it comes , hopefully soon after the 2016 Scottish elections. What the Scottish people are seeing now on an almost daily basis is a group of 56 high quality MPs performing way better than any MPs we had before. So they, the Scottish people, must be thinking how great it would be if these good MPs were running an Independent Scotland. Therefore we should be driving home our advantage and recruiting as many as we can. C’mon SNP get your act together!!

  157. Ben says:

    A lot of good stuff in here. There’s one point I feel is more unpredictable than the Rev thinks. The Labour Party is certainly as weak as I can remember. But I also think the Tories are about to hit an iceberg.
    There’s another economic collapse heading our way. The EU vote also. I believe the Tories are about to found out to and be confronted by the results of their insane economic policy.
    In normal times, the Tories are a stick on for the next election. But these aren’t normal times imo.

  158. Nana Smith says:

    A few more off topic links.

    http://shaunynews.com/2015/07/12/sturgeon-english-votes-plan-unacceptable-snp-playing-a-belter/

    http://www.alynsmith.eu/snp_reject_messy_ttip_compromise?utm_campaign=ttip_20150708a&utm_medium=email&utm_source=alynsmith

    and this one. I have to go outside and scream…

    Chancellor George Osborne to inject hundreds of thousands of pounds into ‘hardship’ fund for MPs

    https://archive.is/DHmIl

  159. Dave McEwan Hill says:

    heedtracker at 11.51

    Tickell’s diagnosis is deeply dubious throughout and coloured by assertions from the unionists, particularly on the currency issue.

    The currency issue had virtually no effect on the vote (as evidenced by polls which showed it hardly featuring at all in voters concerns)and its major inconvenience was the amount of time we got trapped into irrelevant argument on it.

    That was probably the plan and we got caught up in it.

    Because the unionist media says we lost the debate on that doesn’t mean that that was the case. In my opinion (gathered round many doors, at most of which it wasn’t a concern at all) the ungenerous attitude to the sharing of the pound had a probably a minor damaging effect on the unionist cause.

    We really have to be very sure we don’t swallow unionist spin and use it to attack ourselves.

    The only traction the currency union debate had was provided by the fact that a significant section of our population still believe we are reliant on UK generosity in financial terms and in these terms Better Together were only talking to their own identified support – as was their whole campaign.

    Establish that Scotland is comfortably self supporting and nobody gives a toss what our currency looks like and we win the next referendum.
    I know I keep repeating this. That’s because it is true

  160. Ken500 says:

    Sky News Announcer

    ‘Nicola Sturgeon said’s, an audible word in their ear. ‘Oh no we are going to another story’. Sky News’ is nonsense.

    Chancer Brewer ‘guests’, the Daily Mail and the Daily Record. Neutral balanced cover? Aye Right. Load of nonsense.

  161. heedtracker says:

    Dave McEwan Hill says:
    12 July, 2015 at 12:16 pm
    heedtracker at 11.51

    “If another referendum was held tomorrow, the Yes campaign would still lose”

    Is there any evidence provided to support this assertion?

    Sounds like battle fatigue from our man. Also, Scotland, SNP, Holyrood has no, let say, power to actually dictate the pace of democratic change, least of all in teamGB.

    We are always going to be only reacting to hard core red and blue tory teamGB attack on Scotland running.

    This last few UKOK months has presented us with their The VOW shyste, classic tory attack on Scotland running Scotland’s economy for a whole range of deeply creepy stuff, from our completely worthless £1.5 trillion oil and gas industry to Scottish land reform and asking super rich tax dodger elitists to maybe pay at least a wee bit of tax on their giant profit taking from Scotland’s so called wilderness.

    Never give up and never give in, til Scotland is free, is my little motto.

  162. Macart says:

    @Heed

    Yeah, read that piece by Ms Cadwalladr. On the whole it showed the very human side of our 56. Y’know that they don’t paint themselves in wode and eat babies.

    How and ever on several occasions throughout the piece Ms Cadwalladr and with the aid of Mr Crichton, seem to miss the point of our 56 altogether.

    They are exactly as they appear to be. There is no plot, no scheme, no rebranding exercise. They are 56 SNP MPs who turn up, as promised, to do the day job of representing their constituents. Put in the arguments and the hours and work as a unit.

    No they really don’t fit in and hopefully never will. THAT’S A GOOD THING. The minute they get comfy and treat Westminster as home, it’ll be time to replace the offending member with someone who doesn’t get comfy.

    Last and by no means least, as SNP MPs their ideology isn’t about breaking up Britain, its about Scots governing their own affairs. If the readers fail to understand, or don’t want to understand? That really is their problem. Its not as if a great many people didn’t put in a lot of effort BTL in the Guardian over the past several years attempting to explain the concept.

  163. Helena Brown says:

    Dave McEwan Hill, I would agree about the currency issue, that really wasn’t the main reason for the “loss” of the Referendum. More like the fear to death about mortgages, jobs and pensions. This needs to be resolved and put to bed before we go back with another referendum. Too many people in debt and worried about paying them back and they are not the poor, they are the ones who thought they would be safe remaining in the Union. Well they Ken Noo don’t they.

  164. Papadox says:

    Changing the gaurd at (English Broadcasting Corp) outpost Pacific quay

    Having suffered the torture of again watching Politics Scotland in the hope that the “promotion” of John Bateman would alter the antie SNP & Scotland bias, and it has. The bias has become even more pronounced and very obvious. Brewer only ever mentioned Scotland or SNP when the bad SNP were getting bad mouthed. His two MSM guests were from the Daily Mail & record. So much for the new boss at EBC colonial office.

    Long past the time for this lot to be disbanded, it is rotten to the core and they don’t give a toss about fairness and balance, they HATE the natives and humiliate us at every opertunity with utter contempt.

    It’s time this lot were shown the door and ostracised for selling their own country down the river.

    I won’t be giving EBC another chance they are finished.

  165. Dr Jim says:

    The terrible catalogue of mistakes that led to the deaths of the two folk who’s car left the road this weekend has as predicted started off Willie Rennie again

    Once again the centralisation of the police is to blame along with all the adjectives and posturing that Willie Rennie likes to employ leading to (you guessed it) Nicola Sturgeons door

    This kind of Blame Politics from Rennie are beyond contempt and an insult to all concerned

    No Government of any colour is, or can be held responsible for tragic accidents, you might as well blame the car, or the road or rain even

    The police, no doubt have to answer for the conduct or procedural mistakes which led to this tragedy but for Rennie to look for ways to score the cheapest of political points on this must surely be a sickening endictment of this mans behaviour

    More words fail me

  166. Helena Brown says:

    Macart @ 12.51pm, too right there. They are there to represent their constituents, something the three Unionist Parties have forgotten, those damned constituents are just a nuisance in their money making time in Westminster.

  167. Wuffing Dug says:

    Great article, thank you Stuart.

    But.

    I would prefer not to hear any more about them. They are irrelevant. I wish the labour party would just simply cease to exist.

    Its like a bloody soap opera, which I also despise.

  168. Ken500 says:

    ‘If a Refererdum was held tomorrow it would lose’ Yes, but if a Referedum was held in two, three, four years, it could win. Especially if the Tory/Unionists help it along by denying the voters in Scotland what they were promised.The Tory/Unionist can do all the work, make the running. Easy.

  169. heedtracker says:

    Macart, Guardian knows it market. Middle England’s doing just fine and are only progressive and liberal in their yak and bullshit. When it comes to it, they’ll vote for whoever keeps their house prices up, taxes bearable, public sector functional and makes them feel like they own irritating UK regions like Scotland, for ever and UKOK ever.

    There is no middle England support at all for Scotland becoming a modern PR democracy running its own affairs and rancid Graun’s the perfect lense for their pathetic liberal hypocrisy and right to reign over us schtick.

    It looks smiley face benign but its middle England that votes and buys into/wallows in open sewers like the Daily Heil, rancid Graun’s Cif btl says everything you need to know about the mindset of English power over Scotland.

    Its up to middle class Scotland now. That’s written in a Glaswegian dockers accent, for fcuks sake.

  170. Just a mind game, but maybe worth a few thoughts. If there was to be a ref in say 6 months time, what now would the pro BT arguments be, and who would be the advocates?

    I ask the former because it is now obvious that all the promises, vows and scaremongering of BT have since come to nought, and it’s even easier to disarm all their arguments. Finally, Osborne’s budget and the EVEL nonsense have shown the true plans of the Westminster mob.

    As for the team, who is left of BT with any credibility? Who would be brave (daft?) enough to take on Darling’s role, for example?

    So what and who is left to push the case for ‘No’? What now is the argument for staying in the UK?

  171. Robert Peffers says:

    Stoker says: 12 July, 2015 at 12:38 am: (@ Derek Henry (10.05pm)).

    “I suggested you write an article for WOS and submit it for the Rev’s consideration and if it meets with his approval he will post it on WOS for us all to read and comment on.”

    I’ll endorse that view, Stoker but for a quite different reason. The arguments being put forward suffer from exactly the same faults as those put forward by the Establishment to confuse mere mortals with needlessly complex minute details of no reasonable interest to anyone not steeped in the whole process of confusing the natives.

    For starters there is one simple basic fact that overrides the whole thing.

    It is in fact totally irrelevant and unimportant what currency an independent Scotland chooses to keep or adopt. As it says on every banknote in the entire United Kingdom : –

    The, “Onybank”, promise to pay the bearer on demand,(onysum Sterling), at their head office here in, (onyaddress), by order of the board, (ony date) and signed by the group Chief Executive.

    In short the banknote is a promissory note a.k.a an IOU to the face value stated on the note. No one at the coal face has the gold, (or and other standard), that backs up the value of the currency being used.

    It therefore all depends upon the value of the standard being used, in any particular area/country/state, as to the worth of the banknote/IOU the person, or business, has in their possession. In fact, these days it is even more simple than that for anyone, business or individual, need not have a single promissory note, coin or quantity of whatever the current standard happens to be.

    If I order, say a TV set, from a retailer by telephone or internet, I never see the retailer and they never see me, no actual currency changes hands but the agreed value of the TV is simple transferred from the customers account to the retailers account and in turn the retailer’s account is debited to an agreed value by the wholesaler. Who in turn has the value of the item debited from their account by the manufacturer – and so on right down to the basic raw material supplier.

    If, at any point in that chain of value transfers, the currency used changes it is just a then a calculated adjustment in the respective baseline values of each currency.

    So it doesn’t matter what the hell you care to call any country’s currency. It is only a name. The essential thing is the perceived value of the currency unit used. Thus the only reason for not using Sterling would occur after the two kingdoms part company as they both begin with exactly the same basic unit values of the currency being shared.

    Furthermore, there would be no point in changing the currency as the Bank of England, (that actually belongs to the people of the whole UK), would have to set rates that suit the pound Sterling and not whatever the Kingdom of England decides to call itself after independence.

    In case you had not noticed the UK government does not set interest rates. The Central Bank does that and sets rates according to the performance of the currency.

    Just to put all that into perspective, consider this. The Scottish Banks already print their own notes and these are distinctive enough for English people to refuse them in England. All that would be needed to see the Scottish currency become different from English currency would be to just call it the Pound Scottish.

    Believe me, as the Scottish economy, even without oil & gas, will be inherently stronger than that of the three Kingdom of England countries, it will be because the Scottish economy has outstripped that of the other three countries.

    Here’s why – Scotland is a net exporter of Food/drink, fuel and power, and anything the others can manufacture so also can Scotland, but the other three countries are net importers of all four items mentioned above.

    So now you know why the Establishment were so set upon not having a common currency – they were shitting themselves in case it happened and NOT because of any other reason. Think about it. If an independent Scotland had a better economy than the rest, and we shared a common currency, then the effect we have just now with London and the South East sucking the wealth into that overcrowded, and overheated economy, would revers and start flowing northwards for the very same reason it now flows to the South East.

  172. Ken500 says:

    The centralising of the Scottish Police force exposed the corruption of the Glasgow Force and the incompent leadership. Wasting £Million of public money, that could be better spent, on helicopters and political show trials £5Million. A move for the good. The leadership is changing. A more competent relevant, representative leadership will evolve. A force for the good. Making capital out of past appointments will not do Rennie or McInnes any good. They are still toast. The LibDems wanted a local force so they could control them. Control freaks.

  173. Macart says:

    @Heed

    And apparently that was the author avoiding being patronising. 😀

  174. heedtracker says:

    Macart. And apparently that was the author avoiding being patronising.

    lol

    Has there ever been a more patronised group of 56 people ever? Also, Graun cheeseball’s wishing and hoping for their coming collapse into infighting…

    If it does happen, we the Scots will vote again for MP’s that don’t do that silly old teamGB Westminster thing.

    And then, maybe, our imperial masters might really start to get what Scotland is all about, from now til our independence day.

  175. Andy Nimmo says:

    We lost the Referendum for one reason only – Fear
    The majority of NO Voters were of the ‘ we need to adapt to survive’ category.
    They didn’t like it that they were in the position of being up to their eyes, virtually paralysed by debt accrued to follow the American dream that had been foisted upon them but they had adapted to it to survive.
    They may have tried to come up with alternative reasons but they were just a smokecreen.
    Fear of the unknown was the deciding factor. Bettet the devil you know

  176. Robert Peffers says:

    @boris says: 12 July, 2015 at 4:09 am:

    “Noting Labour Leadership candidates were in Scotland debating the merits or otherwise of each other, I am a wee bit miffed on behalf of the English about the unfair weighting applied to labour Party voters in England and Wales and the Scottish voter.”

    Och! boris, there’s a good reason for that. The Welsh, N. Irish and Scottish Labour Party Branch Offices all have their own elected Parliaments that get block grants.

    There isn’t an English Branch office of the Labour Party and thus there isn’t Branch office because the English don’t have an elected Parliament nor do they get a block grant to finance it.

    To the English the terms, “English”, and, “United Kingdom”, are mutually interchangeable. The United Kingdom Parliament is thus, in the eyes of the English, the Parliament of England and all those 533 members, elected as United Kingdom Members from English constituencies, are in English eyes, indeed all de facto members of the English Parliament.

    With that being so you can see why they feel United Kingdom members elected from Scotland, Wales and N. Ireland are foreign upstarts who really have no moral right to be taking part, in any way whatsoever, in their beloved, very own, Parliament of England.

    So now you know why the idiotically titled, “West Lothian Question”, and it’s equally idiotic questioner, are so very idiotic.

    Any straight thinking person can clearly see the whole set-up, of that house of ill repute, at Westminster is a total anachronism of democracy. These people can legislate and prevaricate, until their vocal chords freeze-up and their brains atrophy, but they can never justify so obvious a long existing suppurating sore as a bipartite United Kingdom parliament that doubles up as a quadratic parliament of four countries in which one of those countries is also the United Kingdom Parliament.

    It is now long past time that this anomaly could be removed by instigating a proper Federal system in which all four countries were treated equally and that is without considering that factually the United Kingdom is legally a union of two kingdoms and not legally a Union of four countries.

    Seems Englanders want to have the best of both Worlds while attempting to fool the rest of us into believing they are, “Giving”, us the best of both Worlds. It is not legally in their powers to give us anything as we are supposedly all equally United Kingdom partners.

  177. Les Wilson says:

    I have often wondered what would happen if an Indy ref was called next month! Wouldn’t that cause a huge Union panic,
    imagine if two things arose that would make the sudden change for Indy.

    Ie EVEL, and the lack of anything substantial for Scotland.

    Highlighting that the Tories have voted down everyone of the changes the SNP require. They have rejected democracy for Scotland.

    At this moment, the YES camp is still buoyant,still ready to hit the streets, little opposition from labour or Tories here at this time. Just the usual propaganda machine, that fewer are now taking heed of.

    Well I can dream.

  178. ronnie anderson says:

    No matter how the try they canna keep the Scots doon.
    Two wimmin at Wimbers with a Saltire Poster/ There,s a D JOK in the final ha ha.

  179. Dan Huil says:

    South of the border Labour believes it has to move to the right politically if it has to have any chance of winning in England. North of the border Labour believes it must continue to be a branch office of the London party. We can only assume that Labour politicians in Scotland secretly or openly desire to further their political career at Westminster – in the Commons or Lords, either will do.

  180. Ken500 says:

    That petty, useless alcoholic Cameron has given instructions to the BBC not to call it Murray’s Mound. Despite the £Millions/Billions Andy brings into London/Scotland/UK. Alcoholics make bad decisions. Cameron is jealous of Andy. Andy can run faster, is more talented and has more money,

  181. nodrog says:

    It will be interesting to watch how the three Unionist party candidates for the Scottish election 2016 scramble and fight to see how high up the LIST they can get because they know that will be their only chance to become MSPs. Should reveal some core survival instincts. Entertaining me thinks!!

  182. Ken500 says:

    It doesn’t matter what currency you use. It’s just a name. What matters is if the books are balanced and in credit. Scotland has always raised more taxes than the rest of the UK, and been in surplus. The UK Treasury takes it.

    Eventually joining the Euro would be cheaper for business, trade, holidays etc with less bank costs ripping folk off.

  183. heedtracker says:

    https://uk.linkedin.com/pub/jill-stephenson/59/613/a40

    The University of Edinburgh
    MA, PhD, History, 2.1, PhD
    1962 – 1969

    So an Embro uni Prof that says SNP MP Mhairi Black’s a ‘foul-mouthed slut’ got a 2.1m but the foul mouthed slut got a, what was it again?

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-33279448

    All the usual Britnats play it down as only the UKOK propaganda machine can but a first class honours degree from Glasgow is, well I’ll just leave the compare and contrast here…

  184. Ken500 says:

    Why did the attention seeking retired ‘Professor’ take 7 years to do a degree and PHD. Three years to do a PHD. Not very bright. Did Scottish taxpayers pay for that? To be insulted. Mhairi’s a lot brighter than her and a lot nicer. She’s jealous. ‘It should have been me, it should have been me’ The Polis should have a word. She is bringing Edinburgh Uni into disrepute.

  185. Paula Rose says:

    (Our favourite taxi driver still needing a wee bit more –

    indiegogo.com/projects/austerity-is-a-scam-a-hoax-a-fraud … )

  186. heedtracker says:

    Ken500 says:
    12 July, 2015 at 4:53 pm
    Why did the attention seeking retired ‘Professor’ take 7 years to do a degree and PHD.

    4 year first degree in Scotland, a year for M lit, then 3 for her Phd, same for Humanities or Science. Foul mouthed slut spotter Prof Stephenson has brought disrepute upon Edinburgh uni but its all about UK unionist power and glory in Scotland now.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-33294053

    This Prof got the bullet for saying out loud women in laboratories had struck “such a discordant note”. Debatable but proper Prof got P45 but the Prof at UCL has same status as foul mouthed slut spotter Prof Stephenson.

    If anything says more about how teamGB elitism, crony-ism, turning blind eyeism, all round UKOK shitheadism, this it.

    Incidentally see if you can find what Prof Smirky McSmirkinson got at UEA.

    https://notesfromnorthbritain.wordpress.com/author/conlawforum/

    No one knows. There’s quite a lot of UKOK bullshit artists kicking about.

  187. Fred says:

    Anent the Edinburgh emeritus professor, obviously a severe case of “Mirror, mirror on the wall!”

  188. Rock says:

    Stoker,

    Fireproofjim wrote:
    “It also might or might not be true that the Queen is an agent of the KGB”

    “I love Rock’ individuality and determination to post his opinions and not just follow the flock but i have to say that’s a brilliant retort Jim.
    LLF”

    I am sure that we can all agree that the purring Queen is not probably but definitely an agent of the British Establishment.

    How she saved the union by suggesting, just loud enough for the unionist media to hear, that we should vote No.

  189. Rock says:

    smithie,

    “I give you credit sir for having the cajones to post and stick by your beliefs. I must say some of the replies you receive make me laugh (not funny). This is an open forum and no “Group” is right or wrong. Keep posting Rock, debate is healthy.”

    Like I have said many times, this site is the best example of free speech in the whole country, and one of the very few that allow real freedom of speech.

    Thanks to the Rev. Stuart Campbell, everyone can post their views freely here.

    Unfortunately, some self appointed police persons have taken it upon themselves to decide who is right and who is wrong.

    As if GCHQ keeping an eye on all of us was not bad enough.

    Follow my example and don’t be scared of these self appointed police persons.

    The Rev. knows how to weed out the real “trolls” after defeating them in debate.

  190. lumilumi says:

    Wow. It’s a measure of the excellent quality of Rev Stu’s article that it attracted so many long, well-considered comments in the first few hours, and even more as time goes on. I’m afraid I haven’t read all the comments yet, I’ll do that when I have time.

    Right now I’m a bit ashamed of being Finnish. Apparently Finland is one of the more hard-line, if not the most hard-line Eurozone country in the Greek negotiations. Even rumours of a Finnish veto.

    It’s partly to do with domestic Finnish politics. After the GE in April, we’ve got a new, quite righty government and one of the junior coalition partners (all our governments are coalitions and we think that’s a GOOD thing) is the main eurosceptic party and the main party, the PM’s party, is a bit ambivalent. Sort of pro-EU but a lot of their grass-roots is anti-EU. The other junior partner is traditionally very pro-EU but their leader, our Finance Minister, is very right-wing, keen to protect the interests of banks and big money. So at the Greece negotiations he represent Finland (and bankers’, big money’s neo-lib interests).

    The BBC has a clip of him talking about the ongoing negotiations. He’s demanding Greece to commit to the conditions laid out by the troika. Not a thought to ordinary Greek people.

    He also looks unfeasibly tan, or orange. Fake-tan?

    Some Finnish politician once called him an overexcited squirrel. He’s a very busy twitterer but most of it is fluff and neo-lib mantra. I’ve loatherd few Finnish politicians more than him. And now he’s representing Finland in the Greek negotiations and bringing all Finns into disrepute, as if all of us were nasty, vindictive, selfish, greedy people. (Well, to be honest, some Finns are. 🙁 )

    Apparently Finland is trending in tweets from Greece, and not in a good way.

    Maybe that’ll send a message to Alex Stubb (the Finnish Finance Minister) and his special “Finland branding” group he set up when PM (before last GE). As some Finnish tweeter said: “Alex Stubb must be overjoyed. Finally the interweb is talking about Finland. Only… They want to kill us. Smart move, Alex.”

  191. Rock says:

    john king,

    “Harry Shanks says
    “Sorry, but Neil Kinnock was the leader at the 1992 election and it was he who had the premature party!”

    Correct
    http://tinyurl.com/n8czq92

    Kinnock was the leader but John Smith was widely blamed for organising the premature party, as far as I know.

  192. Derek Henry says:

    It doesn’t matter what currency you use. It’s just a name. What matters is if the books are balanced and in credit. Scotland has always raised more taxes than the rest of the UK, and been in surplus. The UK Treasury takes it.

    Sorry complete nonsense we do not work from a gold standard anymore. What you have posted could not be any further from the truth.

    You haven’t read any of the links I’ve given you.

    Especially from the bank of England

  193. donald anderson says:

    Money is only a yardstick for wealth. Real wealth is measured in natural resources and the resourcefulness of people.

  194. Morag Towndrow says:

    Fascinating read. I’ve just finished Brain Brivati’s 1996 Biography of Hugh Gaitskell. I’d recommend it to anyone who likes a bit of deja vu!! Honestly, it would scare you witless that intelligent people can keep making the same mistakes for 50 years!



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