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Interview with Tom Harris MP 7

Posted on December 02, 2011 by

As regular readers will know, as a supporter of independence this blog fervently hopes that Tom Harris wins the contest for the leadership of Scottish Labour. Not only because Comical Tom – a fervent pro-Unionist who has already proclaimed that "I don't want Scotland to run her own affairs" – would be a massive recruiting sergeant for the Yes campaign, but also because he's simply the most entertaining.

It recently dawned on us that by joining Youth Labour for just £1, we could actually help to make such a thing happen by having a vote in the leadership election. We duly filled out the form with some enthusiasm, but were sad to realise that we lived far too far away from any of the hustings to quiz Tom directly. Until, that is, he sportingly hosted a live Q&A session on his website

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Tom Harris is a liar 14

Posted on November 14, 2011 by

We’re going to come right out and say it. Tom Harris MP will not be the next leader of Scottish Labour. This is because while Scottish Labour might be collectively a bit dim, it’s not THAT dim. Despite having by far the highest media profile of the three leadership candidates (which, in fairness, is clearing a not-very-high bar), Harris failed to secure the support of a single Holyrood MSP for his nomination, a situation that would hopelessly undermine whichever unfortunate lackey was chosen to deliver his attacks on Alex Salmond at First Minister’s Questions.

Opponents of blood sports would shy away from the screen in horror as Labour challenged the FM every week with – at best – a deputy leader acting as a mouthpiece for a Westminster MP. The lack of credibility of an MSP group unable to put forward a single member of sufficient talent to lead would make the party in Scotland a laughing stock, particularly if – as might well happen – the new deputy was a Westminster politician too, such as Ian Davidson or Anas Sarwar.

The SNP, though, will doubtless be hoping against hope that Harris manages to win anyway, because the MP for Glasgow South would represent a massive liability to Labour in many other ways too.

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Another unfortunate oversight 484

Posted on January 30, 2019 by

Earlier on today we reported on a case of a Scottish Labour MP being inadvertently unacquainted with some quite pertinent facts regarding a public pronouncement they’d made. While we’d assumed this to be an isolated incident, it’s in fact our sad duty to report another example within the Northern Branch Office.

That’s the pro-Brexit former Labour minister Tom Harris, there, making just the sort of statement that this site like to fact-check. So let’s see the most recent data.

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The Big-Stats Quiz Of The Year 168

Posted on December 27, 2016 by

So called because doing it makes our traffic figures get larger 😉


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Powers without pennies 200

Posted on June 23, 2016 by

One of the more intriguing aspects of the EU debate has been the claim made by former Labour minister Tom Harris that a vote to leave the EU would transfer a raft of new powers, including over fishing and farming, to the Scottish government.

(Part of a fairly major volte-face by Harris on who should control what in Scotland, but let’s not get into that right now.)


On the face of it, this is a perfectly feasible possibility, since devolution was set up on a “reserved list” basis – any issues not specifically reserved to Westminster are devolved to the Scottish Parliament. In theory this would indeed mean that powers over farming and fishing would revert to Holyrood automatically upon exit from the EU.

But it’s not quite as simple as that.

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The empty cupboard 93

Posted on August 16, 2015 by

A masterpiece of timing 107

Posted on July 08, 2015 by

Here’s Kezia Dugdale in the Scotsman:

“Too often in the recent past it has looked like we are only on the side of one group of people – the most vulnerable in society.”

Now, to be honest we’re not sure we remember exactly when that was. Was it when Scottish Labour were threatening to slash “something for nothing” public services? Was it when Rachel Reeves said “we are not the party of people on benefits” (which is almost half the country)? Was it when Tom Harris said we weren’t set up as some sort of charity to help the poorest in society”?


All we do know is, if we were a prospective Labour leader and we were going to make comments like that at all, we probably wouldn’t choose to do it just hours before a Tory chancellor was going to produce a budget battering living hell out of the most vulnerable in society and throwing 500,000 children in Scotland alone into poverty.

Because, y’know, we might be idiots, but we’re not complete idiots.

The blind eyes 91

Posted on April 23, 2015 by

Earlier today we highlighted some of the social-media charm of Labour blogger and BBC pundit Ian Smart, after the Scottish branch office deputy leader Kezia Dugdale demanded that the First Minister should take a more pro-active role in policing the comments of party members on Twitter and Facebook.


Mr Smart’s history of incredibly abusive and offensive comments stretches back many years. But of course, it wouldn’t be reasonable to berate Scottish Labour for its failure to act if it wasn’t aware of them. So we had a trawl through his Twitter followers list just to see if there was anyone who might have noticed and brought it to the leadership’s attention so they could have a quiet word.

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A question for the Labour Party 243

Posted on March 17, 2015 by

From a piece on Labour’s welfare shadow Rachel Reeves in today’s Guardian.


So… who DOES represent those people, then?

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But seriously 328

Posted on December 13, 2014 by

We suppose we should offer a few thoughts on this, then.


And we don’t mean Kezia Dugdale’s freakishly gigantic hands.

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Leopard’s spots resprayed 165

Posted on November 15, 2014 by

We noted with interest this morning an uncredited story in the Herald, suggesting that Scottish Labour leadership candidate Jim Murphy would stand as an unlikely champion of the poor and downtrodden and the heroic defender of universal benefits.

Murphy rejects Lamont stance on benefit cuts

Jim Murphy has signalled a major shift in Scottish Labour policy if he wins the leadership, saying he would not seek to axe popular benefits and entitlements.”

On investigation, the truth was somewhat at odds with the headline.

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Friends and comrades 141

Posted on November 03, 2014 by

Just for fun, we thought you might like to see a list of the Scottish Labour MPs, MSPs and MEPs who are eligible to nominate a candidate for the leadership and deputy leadership positions, but have declined to endorse anyone for either.


If you wouldn’t, don’t look below, whatever you do.

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