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Wings Over Scotland

A litany of idiocy

Posted on March 19, 2014 by

Every time today that we’ve re-watched Johann Lamont’s multi-vehicular pile-up of an interview on last night’s Newsnight Scotland, we’ve seen something new in it that we missed previously and which makes us pull this face:


So (hngh) we’re going to have to get these down for posterity.

We’ve already dealt in the previous piece with the bit where Johann admits that what Labour proposes (if elected in 2015 and there’s been a No vote) is to divert money from Scotland to poor parts of England, Wales and Northern Ireland. So let’s skip ahead.


BREWER: What do you think the basic rate of tax should be?

LAMONT: Well, it’s currently 20 pence.

Oh, this is going to go well.


BREWER: Now, you want the power to raise the higher rates of income tax – that’s just the 45p rate, is that correct?

LAMONT: Mm-hm.

BREWER: Not the 40p rate?

LAMONT: Yes, the 40p rate as well.


BREWER: So you want the power to –

LAMONT: I want the power, and the flexibility, to make those decisions, but that is again subject to the agreement of the people of Scotland in an election. That’s what we would discuss ahead of 2016.

BREWER: But not to lower them?



BREWER: I’m… what on Earth is the logic of that?

LAMONT: What you of course have already got the power to lower taxes across all over the bands, and we think there’s an argument which says if you’re going to lower at the top rate you can lower all of at the levels. But what we don’t want is a position, the concern of course around Corporation Tax is tax competition.

We took the judgement that actually there might be an issue, if you had the flexibility to cut as well as raise the top level, you might create a degree of tax competition across the United Kingdom.

Again, the balance is, the extent to which the sharing union, the co-operative, the sharing pooling risk and resources, actually holds the United Kingom together, which is why we don’t want to import too much responsibility onto the Scottish budget, but equally we don’t end up in a position that’s a race to the bottom on taxation.

Okay, everybody clear on that now?


BREWER: Do you, as a matter of fact, should you come to power in Scotland, want to put taxes up to 50p?

LAMONT: Once you have the power, you then have that, we make those decisions ahead of 2016, and we will put them before the people of Scotland.

We’re totally bemused as to why Lamont answers that question so evasively. Because as recently as Sunday, she’d said she would:

“Lamont indicated she would follow the approach taken by UK Labour leader Ed Miliband, who has been a fierce critic of George Osborne’s 2012 move to cut the tax rate for those paid more than £150,000 from 50p to 45p.

Miliband has promised to restore the 50p rate and has launched a high pay commission aimed at curbing excessive boardroom salaries.”

Miliband has promised it, Johann Lamont has said she would follow what Miliband did, so why not just say “Yes” when Brewer asks if that’s what she wants to do? Is the habit of dodging questions so totally ingrained in Labour by now that Lamont is pathologically incapable of answering one directly even when she’s already announced the answer barely 48 hours before?

BREWER: What happens if, let’s say, the Scottish Parliament decided to put the top rate of tax up to 50p, and lots of high earners just left or based themselves in England, and they thought “Ooh, well that wasn’t a very good idea, let’s put it back down again”, would they be forbidden from doing that?

LAMONT: No, they can do that.

BREWER: But I thought you said they couldn’t put it down?

LAMONT: What they can’t do, they can’t reduce it below what the level is set at a UK level.

BREWER: Ah, so it’s the UK that determines it?

LAMONT: Well, we have accepted that, we’re part of the United Kingdom.

Johann not quite grasping the concept of devolution, there.

BREWER: What if Ed Balls should become Chancellor of the Exchequer and he says “Right, I’m going to put the top rate up to 50p”, can the Scottish Parliament say no, we’re not going to do that, we’ll just keep it at 45?

LAMONT [after pause]: I wouldn’t have thought so.


LAMONT: Why would we, you know, why would we do that?

BREWER: Well, would we have the power to do that, that’s what I’m asking.

LAMONT: The power we’ve got is not to cut below what the UK rate is, so the UK rate is set and then we can’t cut below that.

Feel the power, readers!

BREWER: So if they put taxes up, we have to put them up?

LAMONT [strangled]: Yes.

BREWER: And if they put taxes down –

LAMONT: Well, to the top rate, yes.

BREWER: – if they put the top rate down, we don’t have to do that?

LAMONT: Well, they establish, it’s quite basic, because of course, we’re still part of the United Kingdom, we’ve accepted that macro-economic policy should be decided at a UK level, what we want round about that is flexibility.

…but only the flexibility of travelling along a one-way street. You can go up it in one direction just fine, but if you want to reverse back down it the wrong way, strictly speaking it’s technically doable but everyone else behind has to go backwards with you and the whole thing’s just an insane mess.

BREWER: It just seems… it’s a very peculiar way to run a tax system.

LAMONT: Well, you may think it’s peculiar, but then what we have here is an interesting combination of us being part of the United Kingdom, which shares and pools risk and resource, but also gives the Scottish Parliament accountability.

We don’t know about you, readers, but when we see people queueing at a foodbank, the sentence we hear over and over again is “Look, I might be starving and reduced to this appalling, desperate measure to feed my family, but so long as the Scottish Parliament is more accountable over its tax revenue that’s what really matters.”

BREWER: What about tax bands, can we change them?


We sure do love all this new flexibility over taxation! Go go Devo Nano!


We’re going to have to leave the bit about Housing Benefit out – where Lamont concedes that Housing Benefit is a fundamental part of Universal Credit, but that you can nevertheless remove it without destroying Universal Credit, in ways she doesn’t specify, even though it’ll still be part of Universal Credit in the UK, and that somehow Housing Benefit is a SOURCE of income (“monies that accrue from Housing Benefit”) rather than an EXPENSE – because every time we try to listen to it it makes us cry.


BREWER: Now, you say the Barnett Formula should continue, which is fine for you to say. Can you imagine a situation where a Scottish Government says “Right, we’re going to be bold, we’re going to have a Baltic states policy on taxation, we’re going to cut tax across the board 5p in the pound” – which would mean that the Barnett money, while it might be the same, would be a greater proportion, obviously, of reduced tax revenues in Scotland – and everyone in the rest of the UK is going to say “Oh, that’s absolutely fine”?

LAMONT: Well, I think Barnett Formula works for the United Kingdom. Clearly if you’ve got a tax-cutting agenda –

BREWER: But if Scotland did that, surely even a Labour government in London would say “You must be joking”?

LAMONT: – a tax-cutting agenda, if you had a tax-cutting proposal, Barnett adjusts round that. You don’t, you would take the risk to yourself, of cutting taxation.

Wait, WHAT? No it doesn’t, you blithering imbecile. The whole point of the Scotland Act proposals and Labour’s suggested extension of them is that your block grant gets cut at the beginning of each funding period, only half of income tax is levied by London, and then you have to make up the Barnett shortfall with your own Scottish taxation, thereby making Scotland responsible for raising more of its own revenue.

If you want lower taxes you can choose to do it, but if so you have less money and have to cut elsewhere. You DON’T then get DOUBLY punished by having Barnett cut even further if you’ve chosen to absorb some of the original cut to keep taxes down. Barnett doesn’t “adjust” to anything you do, it’s set at a fixed level before you start.

Johann Lamont wants to be the First Minister, readers. She doesn’t understand how the Scotland Act – essentially drafted by her own party – works, she doesn’t know whether Scotland would be able to have a lower higher tax rate (if you see what we mean) than the rest of the UK, she thinks only being able to move in one direction is “flexibility” and she thinks you can take one of the fundamental core elements out of Universal Credit, in only one part of the country, while simultaneously keeping it intact and retaining control of welfare at Westminster as one of the pillars of the Union.

If we vote Yes in September, she won’t be the leader of Scottish Labour any more. If we vote No she will, and there’s at least a theoretical chance she could be in charge of the country 20 months later.

The choice is in your hands.

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  1. 18 04 14 13:04

    God wants you to vote No. | mjaei

196 to “A litany of idiocy”

  1. jon esquierdo says:

    Straight jacket as soon as possible please

  2. heraldnomore says:

    Ya beauty, Spitting Iamge is back!

    Well done Stu, brave man indeed

  3. Muscleguy says:

    Feel the power, readers!

    I was drinking some fizzy cordial when I read that. Fortunately you do not owe me a new keyboard as I, just, managed to snort laugh without spraying it everywhere. Very good.

  4. muttley79 says:

    I have to admit that I cannot really criticise Lamont about financial matters because I don’t really have a clue myself. I find it very difficult to understand. I know we get a block grant from Westminster, and it is getting reduced year on year, but that is about it.

  5. Morag says:

    OK, thanks for that last bit Stu, because I really thought I must have understood Calman all wrong, or this new thing was a completely different animal from Calman.

    I see, I understood it perfectly well. It’s just that Johann Lamont doesn’t. This is absolutely atrocious.

    I am getting more and more afraid of the consequences of a No vote every day. My consolation is that I was pretty shit-scared of a Labour government in Holyrood in 2011 and didn’t entirely trust my fellow-Scots to do the sensible thing. Then look what happened.

  6. MajorBloodnok says:

    “Gordon was all like, OMG WTF.”

    I don’t blame him.

  7. Ali Whiteford says:

    This interview shows how different the indyref debate could be if intelligent journalists like Brewer used their powers to question both sides equally rather than giving Better Together their accustomed free ride.

  8. I actually felt sorry for her. This was just embarrassing. Why does nobody in Labour make a move to replace her? Is there really no-one better? I suppose we should be grateful though. She is a huge asset to the YES campaign. Having stuck with her until these proposal were released, it will be difficult for Labour to get rid of her now before the referendum, so fingers crossed she remains in post until September 18th.

  9. Onwards says:

    I was embarrassed for her watching that interview.
    It was absolutely cringeworthy.

    I think is is likely she actually wanted more powers, but was told to just shut up and know her place.

    You need a total brass neck trying to defend these tax plans with a straight face.

    But she is such an asset for the YES campaign, I hope she doesn’t have the decency to resign.

  10. Cath says:

    One thing I really wish the media would pull them up on very hard is this:

    “you say the Barnett Formula should continue, which is fine for you to say.”

    The SNP have been pulled up time and again for things like a currency union because they can’t offer or guarantee that, Westminster would have to agree. Same with Barnett

    Labour in Scotland can’t promise or offer anything. They can say they might like Barnett to continue, that it all. If MPs and voters in England want it to end, and all the evidence is they do, it’s toast. History.

  11. Ian Brotherhood says:

    Even with it written down, I still don’t understand what she’s on about.

    Could someone express it as a painting, or a short piece of music? Or maybe a piece of wicker-work?

  12. muttley79 says:

    Unfortunately Morag this is not an election. The No campaign only have to scare, condition, con etc more than 50 per cent of people into a No vote. If there is a No vote, even by a tiny margin, we are effectively locked into the UK for at least another 10 years, probably more. I think people really need to be aware of this; the fact that if you take away the threat of independence, then Scotland is going to be left without any protection from the various Tory/Neo-Liberal parties at Westminster.

  13. Grouse Beater says:

    Lamont is chronically unable to express intelligence.

    (Like Pooh Bear, it might be because of “small brain”.)

    Will ditherers and waverers, and the, more power but not real control of that power, understand Labour in Scotland propose to sell us tins of Westminster air?

    Will the Nos understand why the tins are empty when opened?

  14. Brewer also exhibited professional lack of bias when he interviewed John Curtice afterwards. It was clear they were both simply trying not to laugh at Johan Lamont, and both managed to contain it to a slight twinkling about the eyes. That’s the kind of impartially we should see more of at the BBC.

  15. Steve B says:

    Well it was only a matter of time before she escaped her minders to spout off on something that wasn’t directly attacking independence or Alex Salmond. In this case she had to get her head around some actual policy and failed miserably.

    Normally you only see her once a week at FMQs – now everyone knows why!

  16. cumiskeyxx says:

    I am 62 year old granny and was cringing listening to the rubbish that was coming out off her mouth I do not know to be sorry for her or run for the hills…

  17. G H Graham says:

    The woman is a simpleton. Quite, quite stupid.

    There are no mitigating circumstances or excuses for explaining away her complete lack of understanding of a policy she’s allegedly been working on for 2 years.

    Although one can’t help get the impression that the first time she read it was yesterday. Around breakfast time.

    But the longer she remains as subordinated, badge leader of North British Labour in Scotland, the better.

  18. tartanfever says:

    Medal to you Rev for trawling through this time and again.

    Lamont clearly doesn’t know what she’s talking about, how her plans could work or even the basic principle of what devolution means.

    If undecideds believe that this is the ‘more powers’ they were looking for then it’s time to pack up old Scotland and send us off to the loony bin. Last person to leave please switch off the lights. This is light years short of what people were asking for, it barely scratches the surface.

    Oh, and she wants to separate Housing Benefit from Universal Credit, thus completely defeating the object of this policy.

    In the land of the Welfare State, Housing Benefit will now be a foreigner.

  19. Doug Daniel says:

    Ian: “Why does nobody in Labour make a move to replace her? Is there really no-one better?”

    Anyone taking over Johann’s position would be kissing goodbye to any chances of getting a seat in Westminster, and that’s their main concern. So the only people who can become Scottish “Leader” are dead losses who are deemed to be in the Labour B (or C) team.

    That’s made even worse if you’re also known as “the person who lost the referendum”.

  20. tartanfever says:

    Cath @ 2.19

    Very Good point regarding Barnett.

  21. muttley79 says:

    I think for Lamont and the rest of SLAB (at least the unionist element) this interview was on a par with her something for nothing speech, in that it completely bombed.

  22. David says:

    Lamont seems incapable of stringing two sentences together without either contradicting herself or failing on basic sentence structure.

    She needs to slow down and actually make meaningful points.

  23. Doug Daniel says:

    Paul Sinclair: “Okay Johann, remember, if you get stuck, just say ‘flexibility’ a lot, and make lots of references to pooling and sharing resources. And if you’re really stuck, just give him some waffle about everything being up to the Scottish people in 2016 or something.”

  24. call me dave says:

    Mr Swinney is a mild mannered man, a gentleman even, and when he watches this early April fool from Labour HQ, which Lamont has had to swat up on and deliver he’ll be hard put not to break out in hysterical laughter at the display of incompetence.

    Surely the real Lamont has been kidnapped by the SG and a doppelganger has been substituted in her place. Mr Salmond tell us the truth.

  25. Les Wilson says:

    As I said previously I watched this jaw dropping “interview” and found it utterly incredible.Slab voters wake up, please!
    to what Labour has become, it cannot be what you voted for.
    Can it??

  26. Mosstrooper says:

    Now Ms. La Mont. to win the prize this question.

    Who is buried in Grants tomb? the 30 seconds starts now.

    Ah well..erm.. that of course depends on, on.. who is buried in, ..You see, people or whoever, decide these things… is it the unknown soldier?

  27. Brian Nicholson says:

    This is not even Jam Tomorrow, this is letting us smell the UK jam and claim it is our jam. Now we are not allowed to taste the jam, or spread the jam, or even dream of tasting the jam, that is not the UK way. Of course, we do get to pay for the jam and watch others eat the jam, content that we have contributed to the jam eating of others and fervently hoping that one day, we may be actually be allowed to taste the jam.

    To that scenario, all I can offer is Vote Yes and let the jam flow to all Scots.

  28. Steve B says:

    “Why does nobody in Labour make a move to replace her? Is there really no-one better?”

    I guess it’s just a matter of timing. Who would want to take over as Labour leader now when if they lose the referendum the new leader would get the blame, or if they win the referendum they may also take the flak for a bad Better Together campaign, bad Euro Election results, etc, etc.?

    The obvious time to challenge for the leadership will be after September no matter what the referendum result.

  29. tartanfever says:

    Quote of the day from the Rev’s Twitter Account about JoLa:

    Euan Henderson says:

    ‘If she was in Westminster she’d be so backbench she’d fall into the river.’


  30. Grouse Beater says:

    @ Doug Daniel

    Or the contrary view: the opposition is precariously low in intellect and political ability because Labour hold back their best fearing autonomy of some sort. They lay in wait to see what is for the taking in a freer Parliament.

    Two heavy weights to pity who could have served Scotland:

    Hapless Gordon has blotted his copybook forever.
    Gorgeous George Galloway is a fruitcake.

  31. Marcovaldo says:

    I guess Gordon Brewer got a wakeup call after Andrew Marr’s controversial interview with Alec Salmond on Sunday.
    But Newsnight Scotland (and Newsnight) will be replaced by “Scotland 2014” at some point in May, so Brewer may know his own job (and reputation) is in question.

  32. Frost says:

    I watched NNS last night and to be honest, I feel more confused now reading back the transcript of her interview.

    The thought of her being handed the keys to Bute House is spine-chilling. No matter how slim that prospect may be.

  33. pi says:

    I think you missed my favourite bit which is at 11mins 35secs when Gordon Brewer says “Sorry to remind you, but you’re not the Scottish government,” and I can almost see him in the brief pause after saying that, thinking the obvious follow on clause “and never will be.”

  34. Training Day says:

    “BREWER: What if Ed Balls should become Chancellor of the Exchequer and he says “Right, I’m going to put the top rate up to 50p”, can the Scottish Parliament say no, we’re not going to do that, we’ll just keep it at 45?

    LAMONT [after pause]: I wouldn’t have thought so.”

    There’s no point trying to dress this up. This woman is stupid. Wretchedly, irretrievably devoid of intelligence. Incapable of independent – or to use her new buzzword of choice, ‘flexible’ – thought. And she possesses the communication skills of a Trilobite.

  35. Morag says:

    Pi, I grinned at that bit too. He almost said, “forgive me for intruding into your private grief, but….”

  36. Shagpile says:

    Ah, so she doesn’t want the power to cut income tax incase a “future nationalist government” would do it “with the consent of the Scottish people”. Perhaps she is afraid they would “do it on purpose”?

    A future nationalist government is hardly likely to be as idiotic or as incoherent as she. It’s just not possible.

  37. Bill C says:

    Surely the most incoherent interview given by any politician ever. Alex Salmond should arrange a morning debate with her and have her for breakfast. Truly appalling that she has been allowed to lead a political party in Scotland.

  38. Iaon Robertson says:

    To be fair to her, she thinks a Barnett cut is a haircut!

    “Wait, WHAT? No it doesn’t, you blithering imbecile” love it.

  39. Morag says:

    “I wouldn’t have thought so.”

    This is the level of command of her brief possessed by the woman who would be FM. Vote Yes to consign her to the back benches forever, vote No to give her real power over your life.

  40. Murray McCallum says:

    Well that’s amazing. Seeing it written done makes it 10 times more embarrassing.

    I remember hearing a sober Simon Pia on Newsnicht admitting Johann was “not good with numbers”.

    Her repertoire seems to be “need for a conversation”, “doing her best for the people of Scotland”, and “pooling and sharing risks and resources”. When you dumb down a leadership job to such levels it insults all your supporters (never mind everyone else).

  41. Helena Brown says:

    Please people never let this numptie have power in Scotland, bad enough her minions, but her as First Minister, I would have to leave the country even if we were Independent.

  42. HoraceSayYes says:

    I haven’t been able to watch the whole interview yet, so thanks for these potted highlights, Rev.

    As for the response to ‘What on earth is the logic of that?’ – I recognise every word, but I’m damned if I can get any meaning out of them in that order!

  43. call me dave says:

    I heard the sniggering on the interview and wonder if it might have been the ghost of Richard Baker or even Andy Kerr who both had unfortunate experiences with their sums on live tv about knife carrying statistics.

    Andy Kerr still has the Scottish labour calculator used for working out the figures.

    I sent an e-mail and a letter to Mr Grey to suggest he should resign as labour leader but on this occasion I won’t trouble myself.

  44. joe kane says:

    I loved Carcrash Lamont’s proposition about taking Housing Benefit out of Universal Credit but still keeping Universal Credit which, sort of, doesn’t actually make Universal Credit “universal” any more.

    I would have thought that in the 2 years it has taken to develop these proposals Scottish Labour might at least have taken a quick shooftie at johnny void’s estimable blog. They’d have realised that Universal Credit is one almighty, on-going, slow-motion car crash in itself. A completely unworkable and un-implementable IDS pipe-dream.

    Trust Lamont and Scottish Labour to try to finesse something everyone knows is already a complete tory disaster zone.

  45. Helena Brown says:

    Just as an addition this was the Labour Party who drafted laws in the good old days of Wendy the Alexander, and who took money from the public purse to educate their staff and then made a complete cock up of it. So why are any of us surprised.
    We think in our house that they, the Labour Party are rather like the Mafia in Italy, look after themselves not the people. Just another bunch of Criminals with an eye to the main chance. Trouble is that I could see another bunch of criminals, namely their own party in England managing to do the same to them.

  46. theycan'tbeserious says:

    It the union are trying to start a revolution in Scotland they are going about it the right way! Read Causes of Revolution…some things never change;

  47. Muscleguy says:

    It’s interesting how the SNP’s change to The Scottish Government instead of Executive has taken hold generally, even in the BBC who might have been expected to resist it.

    It is much more natural to think of the Scottish Government and the SNP need to be congratulated for thinking of it. It does seem to me that either they have people with a natural feel for these things or someone high up has done some psychology studies. They just seem to get society and see changes worth making that people want.

    I used to be a solid middle class liberal Labour voter (though never New Labour) and I thought the SNP were irredeemably populist. I’m now solidly behind the best Social Democratic party in these septic isles.

  48. faolie says:

    This is the gift that keeps on giving. First, we can’t believe our ears, then, seeing it written down (good job there Rev), we can’t believe our eyes.

    Imagine canvassing for BT (I know, ha ha), and trying to explain this. Or being the person (singular, natch) on the BT stall telling the passers-by that a No vote means more tax. Yes but, surely we’d be able to decrease it as well? No, it’s more flexible and accountable this way.

    Even in their wildest dreams, AS & Co couldn’t have dreamed that JoLa would come up with a proposal that she can’t explain and doesn’t understand. Perfect!

  49. Muscleguy says:

    @Training Day
    That is a slur on the reputation of trilobites. Those amazing eyes and the range of antennae and other projections suggest they could be more expressive than many Cambrian creatures. They also had a well developed nervous system for the time, which cannot be said of Ms Lamont. I’m afraid I must ask you to reconsider your comparator or I shall have to ask you to step outside.

  50. Desimond says:

    @Doug Daniel

    Flexibility..this weeks “Cost of Living Crisis”. I cringed at Douglas Alexander using that phrase in almost every answer during BBC Question Time last week.

    George Osborne has just delivered a vote-winning budget…Rev, your £20 quid bet just edged closer to winning me thinks.

  51. faolie says:

    Will you still be leader of Scottish Labour next year?

    “I wouldn’t have thought so”

    Tee hee

  52. Sandy says:

    Just for Ian Brotherhood.

    Here is an artists impression of a painting of a statue of it.

  53. Clootie says:

    Live it was unbelievable. Later watching the clip last night it was shocking and funny.

    Today I’m just worried that this is the best Labour has to offer in Scotland. Even worse is the thought that people still vote for her.

    I wouldn’t leave her alone in a room with a box of matches. On reflection it may be OK as a matchbox has no instructions for opening it.

  54. Grouse Beater says:

    @ Muscleguy

    For many months, various organisations and institutions, all the opposition parties, and BBC Scotland, did, indeed, resist using the change of name from “Executive” to “Parliament.”

    Like you I was very happy to see the change. It boosted our self-esteem.

  55. Harry says:

    And to think, George Foulkes called Alex Salmond’s interview with Andrew Marr a “car crash”. He’s strangely quiet about last night.

  56. seanair says:

    I know it wasn’t supposed to be a “debate” but a good debater should be able to marshall facts and respond to questions from an interviewer.
    I hope therefore that the Herald is suitably ashamed that they quite recently awarded her the title of “Debater of the Year” . I also hope they have the guts to ask her to return whatever bauble she received.

  57. Gillie says:

    Well you could argue that the vote on the 18th Sept is now a confidence vote about the direction the Labour party has taken over the years.

    Vote YES and save Labour from itself.

  58. Anne McHardy says:

    Well,all I can say is thank you all for saving my sanity. When I listened to this ‘interview’ (I italic use as an interview normally requires two intelligent persons to enter into conversation’ I thought I may have unwittingly been fed Class A drugs and was on some sort if wild mind warping trip!

    Nope, it seems it really was just JL being JL.

    Anyone looking at emigrating if the vote goes No?! :-/

  59. Training Day says:


    From the Wikipedia entry on Trilobites:

    “they flourished throughout the lower Paleozoic era before beginning a drawn-out decline to extinction.”

    Seemed the most apt metaphor for the Branch Secretary’s Party. Although the less drawn-out the better.

  60. kendomacaroonbar says:

    o/t Rev

    it’s being reported on Sky News that £ 4.5 billion has been wiped of the share value of the top 5 pension companies.

    Will we hear about Standard Life making contingency plans for leaving the UK due to unfavourable business conditions ?

  61. Grouse Beater says:

    @ Rev Stuart

    Anything in Westminster’s budget to cause Scotland alarm?
    Not had time amidst work to follow announcement.

  62. Macart says:

    Oh Jeez its ‘almost’ unfair. If I didn’t know what poison and tribalism Ms Lamont doles out on a weekly basis at FMQs I’d feel sorry for Labour’s place person in north Britain.

    I did say ‘almost’ mind. 😀

  63. Stuart says:

    Poor old Johann. She’s simply not programmed to make political decisions.

  64. Les Wilson says:

    Gotta love Rev’s choice main photo here of Gordon Brewer, the more you look at it the funnier it is. He looks totally bemused, with a look that says ” what the hell happened there”??????????????

  65. Jimbo says:

    I was sure that Labour could never ever again come up with such a ludicrously inept hapless fool like Iain ‘killing fields’ Gray – Johann Lamont has proved me wrong.

  66. Patrick Roden says:

    The important part of her answer to the question about Ed Balls, was the facial expression she adopted as she said “I would have thought so”

    You can see that she is beginning to get angry at Brewer as she realises she is being taken apart, so the screwed up face is her coming out of her well rehearsed ‘body language/public speaking’ mode, and reverting back to the real ‘bile filled sneering labour MSP’ that she really is.

    Labour are finished, all that is left to do is ‘bayonet the wounded’…

    …and boy, Johann was left badly wounded by that interview!

  67. Macart says:


    Remember she’s not genetically programmed the right way to make political decisions.

    She was only being truthful for once.

    Who knew? 🙂

  68. HandandShrimp says:

    Johann is not a numbers person is she?

    That is actually painful to read. I haven’t seen the interview but I may give it a miss. I oppose blood sports.

  69. alex mckechnie says:

    Look at the interview its not “across a table ” and looks as if its been edited to give Sadie a chance to get the answer right ie another take I think we shoudl be told ?
    How long did it take to get the take if it was cut and sitched up it all take a new meaning once agian. The weapon the YES side have bring her on Sadie or Rosa depending on the hairstyle says it alll really

  70. Steve Bowers says:

    Brilliant analysis Rev, just hilarious, if only she didn’t actually mean it

  71. Desimond says:

    @grouse Beater

    Anything in the Budget to scare Scots…

    Aye..Danny Alexander is getting on-air time to explain the latest tax breaks for the well-off.

  72. Mutters says:

    Off topic, but Rev / Wings readers, have you see any MSM coverage of the Dounreay leak secrecy scandal … new report in Newsnet scotland today:

  73. Grouse Beater says:

    @ Desimond

    ..Danny Alexander is getting on-air time to explain the latest tax breaks for the well-off.


  74. liz says:

    @kendomacaroonbar – do you think this is because the towel folder – ex – refused a CU?

    It will be interesting as to who is going to blink first because WM have left themselves no room to maneuver – they couldn’t possibly spin this if they had to change their minds – no means no means maybe?

  75. Andy-B says:

    This shambles,really does show what a smashing piece of literature the SNP whitepaper is. Johann Lamont can’t actually say anything without the consent of her London master Ed Miliband.

    It seems the tax powers are just a trap to keep Scotland in line with the rest of the UK,I see no advantage to Holyrood, in adopting these conditions, and as you quite rightly point out, two years in the making,and this is the best they could achieve.

    Labour probably thought they’d never need to roll out any extras to Scots as the referendum in their eyes would be a forgone conclusion. Now the grassroots yes campaign has sprung legs and started running, at a good pace, panic has set in both at Westminster and Holyrood.

  76. fergie35 says:

    Still the media protects her and the LabServative-Dems. If this was Salmond being as thick as Lamont, then it would be world news. A unionist dividend.

  77. Morag says:

    The point is, this proposal sets out to ensure that the Scottish government only has the power to change things in a way which will damage Scotland, but not the power to make changes that will benefit Scotland. And what’s more they’re doing it deliberately.

    It’s a complicated mess of bureaucracy designed to do one thing and one thing only, and that is to hog-tie any future Scottish government that might want to act in a way which would give Scotland a competitive advantage.

    The newspapers and the BBC should be shouting that from the rooftops, to educate and inform their readers. What’s the betting?

  78. kendomacaroonbar says:


    No, but if uncertain business conditions would make SL leave Scotland ( as has been reported on the MSM these past weeks, )then it will be interesting to learn of SL’s comments on their stock having tanked after the UK treasury’s budget announcement on pensions.

  79. Paul Martin says:

    My god. It was hard to listen to, but it’s even harder to make sense of it when it’s written down. Quite how The Scotsman and Herald leaders could have given this qualified support today is really unbelievable. Its like trying to make a sand castle out of diarrhea.

  80. annie says:

    Re the budget and Scotland’s block grant, it is going up from £25.5m to £25.9m however as the increase is below the rate of inflation it is a cut in real terms.

  81. Iain says:

    It’s like 1994 all over again – weak proposals that would cause havoc for any party voted into government in Edinburgh. Nu Labour should come clean to their voters and tell them that a wee pretendy parliament in Holyrood is the most Scotland can expect of them. This whole exercise is an insult to democratically-minded people everywhere and has been a complete and utter waste of time and effort.

  82. annie says:

    Think I actually meant £25.5 billion – £25.9 billion.

  83. HandandShrimp says:

    This actually reads like a Long Johns script

  84. Desimond says:

    “Comrades..Ive got it…we give the Scottish Govt BIG Tax powers”
    “Oh like it”
    “We say the Scottish Govt can put taxes up”
    “And down?”
    “Err naw”
    “Well generate more money overall then?”
    “Err naw”
    “Whats the point in that then?”
    “The Media will only report the first line”
    “Trebles all round!”

  85. Linda's Back says:

    O/T On Osborne’s budget

    Based on the Office of Budget Responsibility figures George Osborne and others have forecast that oil revenues will fail sharply over the next few years but the OBR has a very poor record on forecasting. In 2010 their forecast of oil prices for 2012 to 2014 was $87 to $88 a barrel whereas to-day’s price was $107 and Brent Crude one year forward price is even higher $114 and higher than the Scottish government’s forecasts of $100. The industry body Oil & Gas UK also forecast production at almost double the OBR’s gloomy predictions.

    Based on growing demand from India and China, economists at the Paris-based OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) forecast that oil prices will rise throughout the rest of this decade up to $190 by 2020. This would mean £2500 up to £4000 billion worth of oil revenues still to flow through the Scottish economy.

    George Osborne is a political chancellor and even Alistair Darling called into question the OBR’s neutrality when in 2010 he told the BBC “Right from the start the Tories used the OBR not just as part of the government but as part of the Conservative Party.”

  86. John Boyes says:

    Ian Brotherhood says:
    19 March, 2014 at 2:21 pm
    Even with it written down, I still don’t understand what she’s on about.

    Could someone express it as a painting, or a short piece of music? Or maybe a piece of wicker-work?

    Think Stockhausen must have had some input. This is how she sounded to me anyway.

  87. Viking Girl says:

    I think Johan thought she was in a staff meeting, like the ones she used to attend when teaching, that’s when no-one actually says anything of any value, and at the end you know no more than you did at the beginning. It’s just the usual gibberish, or should I say ‘avoid-speak.’ To be fair, if you had spent the day regurgitating that stuff, you would be dazed and confused as well.

  88. HandandShrimp says:

    I do like the notion of a special powers to do nothing advantageous.

    There is a super hero lurking in there somewhere.

    Captain Incapable?

  89. Desimond says:


    Would the outfit be fart in a spacesuit shaped?

  90. Ian Brotherhood says:

    @Sandy –


  91. No No No...Yes says:

    From the Daily Record website this afternoon:

    “Publication of the Devolution Commission is a milestone for Labour under Lamont.
    Labour took a long look in the mirror and admitted what they should have when they opened the door to the SNP in 2007 – they had let the voters down, they had not worked hard enough to maintain their trust and they ended up out of tune with their needs.
    Lamont’s gritty leadership and the referendum itself has forced the party to begin to change, to listen to voters, to start rekindling the party’s purpose – tackling poverty.
    The SNP know their only hope of winning is to steal Labour votes. That’s why the social justice argument is so important to them.
    Now, cometh the hour, Labour are ready with a genuine offer to these same voters of something better, hope of a better Scotland.”

    Well, thats it then, all is well in La La Land.
    There is also a typing error, Milestone should read MILLSTONE.

  92. Ian Brotherhood says:

    @John Boyes –

    Aye, that’s the type of thing I was after – a blessed relief.

    Bing-bong! Whoooosh!

  93. HandandShrimp says:


    I can think of a few outfits that might be applicable. The gimp out of Pulp Fiction springs to mind.

  94. Chris Murray says:

    I’m impressed, Stu. Twice now I’ve tried to sit through that interview and twice now I’ve started hearing the theme tune to the Magic Roundabout.

  95. bookie from hell says:

    NO NO NO Yes

    Milestone to MILLSTONE brilliant

    Daily Record must of been working on article between 1030pm–11pm last night

  96. dmw42 says:

    What’s even more concerning is that this interview, and the one on STV, wasn’t even ‘live’, but was recorded!

    Ms Lamont, or her ‘advisors’ could, at any time, have asked for another ‘take’.

    Actually, maybe they did…

  97. Training Day says:

    @No, No, No… Yes

    “Now, cometh the hour, Labour are ready with a genuine offer to these same voters of something better, hope of a better Scotland.”

    I knew the Record would pick up on the offer of a Scottish Health and Safety Executive (albeit one – rightly – operating within a reserved framework).

  98. Desimond says:

    @No No No…Yes

    I thought the typo was in ‘Lamont’s gritty leadership’

  99. Ken500 says:


    Don’t watch it

    Labour/Unionists can count on increasing the YES vote.

  100. gerry parker says:

    @John Boyes.
    @ Ian Brotherhood.
    For some reason this started playing rather loudly in my head.


  101. Juteman says:

    I must be getting soft in my old age, as I actually feel sorry for the woman. She has been set up as the fall guy/gal, and it is tragic to watch.

    Anyone remember ‘The presidents brain is missing’?

  102. MajorBloodnok says:

    Desimond says: I thought the typo was in ‘Lamont’s gritty leadership’

    I saw two typos, but both in the same word.

  103. CameronB says:

    Ian Brotherhood
    Not a lot of people know this, but Edvard Munch was an agoraphobic. Perhaps Lamont was simply overwhelmed at being allowed out of the bunker.

  104. Claire McNab says:

    I don’t think that Lamont is really the issue here.

    The problem is that Labour’s proposals are an incoherent damp squib, and anyone trying to defend or explain them would have an appalling job. If Lamont was a better performer, or Brewer a weaker interview, she might have been able to divert the discussion into a series of rants about the wickedness of the SNP, and the horrors of independence etc. But actually staying on topic and defending that mishmash is an awful job.

    The proposals look like a camel designed by committee. AFAICS, there was some sort of huge internal dispute which led to the adoption of a document so heavily diluted that it became meaningless, but avoided splitting SLAB.

    So it’s business as usual for SLAB. A waffly fudge which addresses their internal divisions, without providing anything remotely resembling a vision which might stem their decline.

  105. heedtracker says:

    LAMONT: What you of course have already got the power to lower taxes across all over the bands, and we think there’s an argument which says if you’re going to lower at the top rate you can lower all of at the levels. But what we don’t want is a position, the concern of course around Corporation Tax is tax competition.

    Metaphorical gun in mouth, pull trigger, metaphorical splash zone all over Labour in Scotland land.

  106. call me dave says:


    Don’t weaken, not long to go now. She had choices we will have a choice on 18th September.

    Did you hear Curran on Newsdrive running with the OBR figures on reduced oil revenues? When asked what labour would do she said they had a better vision for Scotland…then couldn’t go on to furnish any details just waffle. Must be a labour trait

  107. Sandra says:

    She let her side down badly. But most of them dont seem to know what they are on about. They just keep wanting to please that big sink hole down soyth.

    I believe they are running scared as when we get Independence they wont be allowed to draw two wages. One from Westminster and one from Holywood.

  108. James Whyte says:

    “We dont know how bad the mayhem caused by the UK Government around universal credit will be”.

    (Aren’t you supposed to be putting forward the argument *against* independence, Johann?)

  109. Grouse Beater says:

    Labour in Scotland are incapable of understanding or do not want to acknowledge the meaning of empowerment.

    The sooner the people of Scotland realise that – most of whom expect to greater powers from all their effort and debate – the sooner they’ll vote for radical empowerment.

  110. You and My Comb says:


    I see the Bliar macdoogal has been countering on about the OBR figures on oil on twitter. Has anyone dealt with that. If so can you link me to it. Thanks

  111. Taranaich says:

    @Ian: Why does nobody in Labour make a move to replace her? Is there really no-one better?

    @Andy-B: Johann Lamont can’t actually say anything without the consent of her London master Ed Miliband.

    In addition to Doug’s response, you have to remember that Lamont is irrelevant in the grand scheme of things. If this was a game of chess, she’d be a pawn, along with Darling, Carmichael, Davidson, Rennie, and all the other Scottish politicians. What would be the point in replacing her?

    She has no power, no authority, no control at all – it’s designed that way. In Labour, even the lowliest MP has authority over her in the party heirarchy, and even Milliband is at the mercy of Westminster tradition. Like Darling, Carmichael and the rest, Lamont cannot, and could not, offer a damn thing.

    It suits the media & Labour to perpetuate the impression that she has any power or authority, of course, but certainly not in actuality. That was made clear with the report itself. But frankly, I would be happy if we just ignored Lamont from now on. She can’t tell us anything.

  112. Dorothy Devine says:

    I was feeling a little down in the mouth but I visited Wings and have now spluttered uncontrolled coffee everywhere.

    “Make a sandcastle out of diarrhea” was the final straw!

  113. Robert Kerr says:

    Square Haggis

    That picture is very cruel!

  114. proudscot says:

    Heard Sterrheid Rammy Curran quoting the OBR’s dodgy forecasts on UK growth and then falling Oil production over the next couple of years. The first wildly optimistic, the second predictably pessimistic. Why any politician, even someone as lacking in both intellect and ability as Curran, continues to quote OBR figures when they have been so spectacularly and consistently wrong, beats me.

    In the event, although Curran wasn’t quite the disaster of Lamont proportion on Newsnicht, she still managed to speak for about 5 minutes, and said absolutely nothing of note. She’s the female equivalent of Sarwar – talk fast, keep repeating buzzwords and soundbites, and baffle the listeners with bullshit!

  115. kalmar says:

    Just watched the interview again – thought I might have been over-tired and imagining things last night.
    Absolutely astonishing. Some sort of medal is due Gordon Brewer.

  116. Moreida Lord says:

    Hello Suart: When I read this “If we vote No she will, and there’s at least a theoretical chance she could be in charge of the country 20 months later.” it sent shivers down my spine. Any undecided by now should & must know what to do come September 18th.

  117. SquareHaggis says:

    Okay, okay Robert – I’ll lighten up since it’s nearly T-time

  118. bjsalba says:

    As long as all SLAB had to do was mimic what was being done in Westminster they didn’t need anybody with a brain…

    They never reckoned on SNP being in a minority or majority administration.

    They took all the talent (???) to Westminster.

  119. Desimond says:

    Every time I hear this crap about “The Oil price is falling” it makes me think of someone moaning because his girlfriend will only let him watch her and her stunning best friend make out.

    Thank god I didnt say that out loud


  120. Twenty14 says:

    Just in and started to read this through – got halfway down and had to ask my wife if I was drunk and could she smell drink from my breath !!!

  121. Roland Smith says:

    Standard Life whilst worrying about the Independence Referendum obviously took their eye off the ball and missed out on the risk of annuity’s being scrapped in the UK. And they obviously missed the double whammy that if Labour get in tax relief on pensions will be confined to the basic rate.
    However they can feel safe in a stronger economy thats only borrowing 94 billion next financial year. I think thats called a black hole if commenting on Scotlands finances.
    Anyone got access to graph on debt interest over the next few years?

  122. BuckieBraes says:

    I can’t help thinking of Jack Benny when looking at that first picture of Gordon Brewer. Presumably his next move was to turn, place one hand against his face and say, ‘Well!’

  123. SquareHaggis says:

    On the other hand, JoLa might look quite fetching in this

  124. CameronB says:

    Is the DDOS still with us? I’m getting posts disappearing and reappearing again.

  125. GrahamB says:

    All the way through his speech Osbourne kept banging on about how all his previous forecast were now wrong and everything was much better than forecast. Who supplied him with his forecasts, as he also kept saying – OBR! Not much of a validation of their prediction abilities then.

  126. Andy-B says:

    O/T Ed Davey,UK energy minster,threatening to buy less electricity from Scotland if we become independent. What Mr Davey doesn’t realise is that Scotland keeps the lights burning down south, good luck with that Mr Davey, you’ll need it.

    Meanwhile Fergus Ewing has vowed not use the Bannockburn event as a political stage, can the same be said of the armed forces day, just down the road in Stirling on the same weekend? call me sceptical call me paranoid but I think not.

  127. Fiona says:

    @ dmw42

    Unfortunately there is no reason to suppose another twenty takes could have improved that. The problem is not of that sort…..

  128. Marcia says:

    Dundee and Angus College student debate: Start: Yes-60%, No-9%, DK-31% to After: Yes-83%, No-11%, DK-6

  129. GrahamB says:

    Fergus Ewing disappoints, Bannockburn should be milked for all it’s worth, especially with the Imperial military nonsense going on down the road.

  130. jingly jangly says:

    Roland Smith

    To that 94 billion figure you can add the 65 billion which they got from the BOE and Royal Mail pensions this year, unless offcourse they sell off some more family silver.

  131. Ken500 says:

    Scottish Oil sector taxed at 60% to 80% Oil revenues are down because of the 11% increase (£2Billion) in the 2011 Budget by Osbourne/Alexander. Oil companies cancelled Projects,

    Whisky the same

    Multinationals (foreign) tax evade (£Billions) through the City of London, damaging British business through unequal, unfair trading conditions.

    There is a two tier unequal tax system operating in the UK, against Scotland.

  132. Andy-B says:


    I couldn’t agree more Graham, and to add insult to injury Westminster politicians are to fly up to Glasgow and use Glasgow city chambers, as a staging post to promote the benefits of the UK during the Commonwealth games.

    Scots paid a shed load of cash to London for the Olympic games yet saw no return, London, Westminster, hasn’t contributed one single penny to the Commonwealth games,yet they’re set to be hijacked by the Rule Britannia brigade, this summer.

    A real lover of Scots and all things Scottish, Kelvin MacKenzie, is to stand as an independent in local council elections in Surrey, I’m sure the ex-Sun newspaper editor, will embrace any Scots in his constituency, if he wins.

  133. Alfresco Dent says:

    She comes across on the telly as being thick as mince but it’s only when her mumbling is broken down and put on paper that the true horror comes through.

    She was a teacher, for the love of God!

  134. Alan Macd says:

    This is brilliant.

  135. liz says:

    Some folk are much nicer than me – feeling sorry for JoLa.

    Well I don’t, she is either lying or she is not bright enough to realise the information she is spouting is nonsense.

    Either way she is trying to prevent the people in this country of having the opportunity of doing things in a different, fairer way.

    The oil output is falling this year because of the tax grab by Osborne – WM is not to be trusted with our assets.

  136. Iain Stewart MacLean says:

    Keep the faith – JL and her fellow conspirators are doing their best, to achieve – YES.

  137. Thepnr says:

    Severin Carrell has an article up on the OBR forecasts of lower N.Sea revenues titled “Salmond under pressure after North Sea oil tax estimates cut in budget”

    However, unlike yesterdays article on Labour’s devolution plans which was ripped to shreds BTL he has chickened out this time and no comments allowed. Fearty!

  138. Grouse Beater says:

    @ Alfresco Dent

    She was a teacher, for the love of God!

    A common fallacy; teachers are expected to be well versed in their chosen subject, not expert in all trades. Novelists are expected to be skilled at plotting, characterisation, and poetic skill, but not spelling. Actors are supposed to be good at recreating the behaviour of other people, but not great political orators, and so on, and so forth

    In same the way, Lamont is a seasoned campaigner on protecting women against violence, but singularly maladroit preventing violence to the democratic structures of Scotland.

  139. Croompenstein says:

    So deserves a muglet..

  140. goldenayr says:

    I’m so glad John Smith House didn’t accept her resignation last year.Her contributions to alleviating the austerity bollocks from Westminster are most welcome.
    Many starving comedians and their families will eat well from the nutritious milk of comedy that flows from her and the rest of the labour tits.

  141. Delboy says:

    If Johann Lamont is your average Scottish Teacher then its no wonder im an idiot.
    Would be out of her depth in a paddling pool.
    Traffic Cone intelligence.
    Spongebob in Drag.

  142. Robert Kerr says:

    Grouse Beater.

    She was an English teacher. I would expect her to be able to construct sentences and know what the words mean!

  143. goldenayr says:

    Delboy says:
    If Johann Lamont is your average Scottish Teacher then its no wonder im an idiot.
    Would be out of her depth in a paddling pool.
    Traffic Cone intelligence.
    Spongebob in Drag.

    I’ll give you the pool and traffic cone analogy but SpongeBob is far to erudite and compassionate for there to be any comparison.Patrick or Squidward on the other hand…

  144. john king says:

    Or is she part of a master plan?

  145. ronnie anderson says:

    JoLo, as Annie Oakley,

    Oh the DEAD WOOD Stage Has Gone Rite Over The Hill

    Hip Hip Hooray.

  146. Grouse Beater says:

    @ Robert Kerr

    An English teacher is not a grammarian expert.

    Knowing how to construct a basic written sentence is quite different from verbalised language with its hesitations, recasting, fractured sentences, tautologies, dialect, and repetition, particularly when you’ve been exposed to Gaelic Scots, old Scots, Pollock Scots, and BBC Scots.

    I am not making excuses for her terrible inability to master a brief, what I am saying is, its our fault if we gift her with skills she does not have.

  147. Clarinda says:

    Those of us who remember ‘Professor’ Stanley Unwin may agree that his linguistic form of Unwinese made more sense than the shocking lack of brain engagement evident in the gobbledygook spouted by Ms Lamont. Watching, listening or reading her latest mangled interviews would not give the good ‘Professor’ any feeling of “Deep joy” – me neither.

  148. a Supporter says:

    Rev Stu

    Having watched the i/v and read the 1st few sentences above (I couldn’t take any more) I don’t know how you can do it. Johann Lamont and ‘Scottish’ Labour are dead from the neck up. I cannot for the life of me understand why ANYONE voted Labour in the last few by-elections. THEY must be dead from the neck up too.

  149. Albalha says:

    “What’s even more concerning is that this interview, and the one on STV, wasn’t even ‘live’, but was recorded!

    Ms Lamont, or her ‘advisors’ could, at any time, have asked for another ‘take’.

    Actually, maybe they did…”

    To be fair Scotland Tonight do record as live, no retakes, not an option.

  150. Clarinda says:

    Grousebeater – 7.35pm

    “master a brief”? Don’t you mean she got her knickers in a twist?

  151. Restlessnative says:

    As ma auld boy used to say,”the mair I see o some folk,the mair I love ma dug”.Vile nonsensical harridan of a woman.It pleases me greatly that our side has by far and away the most eloquent,level headed,coherent and honest people.

    We can and will do this.

    This for SLAB and all who fester in them,enjoy you cnuts.

  152. Bugger (the Panda) says:

    CameronB says:

    GCHQ, old chap.

  153. msean says:

    What does BTL stand for?

  154. CameronB says:

    Sorry, I can’t get off the imperialist theme. Doing a bit more reading, I came across “Imperial Reckoning”, the winner of the 2006 Pulitzer Prize for Nonfiction.

    So just to make things clear, the current Queen holidayed in a tree-top lodge in Kenya to celebrate her coronation, the same year that Kenya’s colonial master (Britain), imposed a state of emergency and launched “Opperation Jock Scott”. The result of this was almost the entire Kikuyu tribe was illegally imprisoned in concentration camps. That’s 1 million people in detention camps, where more than 100,000 died over the next eight years. Forced labour on public-works projects, was apparently also common practice.

    British authorities then destroyed public records as they withdrew in 1963, in order to hide their crimes. That was the year my brother was born, not some dusty ancient history.

  155. Wee Jonny says:

    What you don’t understand about JoJo’s answers is that she was reading them in the mirror so they’re back to front. Go and read her answers again the right way round, from right to left. They’ll still not make any sense but they’ll be slightly more coherent. Slightly.

  156. Bugger (the Panda) says:


    Oi you, mind your language!

  157. Bugger (the Panda) says:

    @ Cameron B, that would be ’53.

  158. gerry parker says:

    Some gems of wit in this thread.

    That’s a cracker Ronnie. I see a garden at Whifflet lights has a large saltire tied to a clothes pole in the garden, well visible. Wonder if it was one of my newspapers that prompted it.


  159. Restlessnative says:

    “Oi you, mind your language!”

    Please accept my humble yet enthusiastic apologies.

    Hailsa ya B@ss!!

  160. CameronB says:

    Bugger (the Panda)
    Apparently “Operation Jock Scott” kicked off in 1952 and the destruction of public records probably continued up until the last day of colonial rule in 1963.

  161. goldenayr says:

    Stairheid Curran has just been spun on radio Scotland making it sound as if she wants a YES vote with her condemnation of the budget effects on Scotland.Mind you it’s probably just the beeb trying to rehabilitate,or revive,the braindead labour party[North British branch].

  162. heedtracker says: Check out Torquil Crichton/Crichton Torquil pumping out the vote no propaganda. This must be why they think Lamont can sit in tv studios and speak in tongues.

    “Radical Castle tax” doesn’t get much more desperate for Torquil and co.

  163. lumilumi says:

    Sorry to go on an O/T rant but a link in some previous thread, or maybe even a look around the mighty BBC (Scotland) website brought me to this travesty…

    Er… it seems I cannot give (copy) the URL link for you. Probably my bad IT skills, the BBC wouldn’t want to hide audience participation questions like these, surely? So I took screengrabs (available on request).

    Whatever, but what really got me goat was question number 7.

    7. Which ethnic group do you belong to?
    White / African-Caribbean / Indian / Pakistani / Chinese / African / Mixed origin / Other (please specify)

    This is a real BBC audience vetting question for their future indy debates.

    For one thing, why is Caribbean African differentiated from just African? Is it to differentiate the “good” (been here for generations) blacks from the “bad” (recent arrival) blacks?

    And what’s with the “white” thing? So all whites are the same, eh? English, Romanian, Bulgarian, Nordic, Polish, Estonian, American, Russian, Argentinian, Kiwi, Scottish or whatever, just as long as they’re WHITE.

    Sorry, my tall, slim, pink-skinned, blonde-haired, blue-eyed Nordic self feels a bit sick right now.

  164. The Rough Bounds says:

    There were a couple of comments earlier about trilobites.

    You may be interested to know that Scottish trilobites are different from those found in England.

    The trilobites found in Scotland thrived when Scotland was part of the American land mass. Because of the movement of tectonic plates Scotland broke away and drifted over to where we are now…stuck to England.

    I suppose if we were to wait for a few hundred million years we might break away again and drift off to somewhere else on another giddy tectonic plate ride, but I think I’d rather we just did it in September.

  165. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “What does BTL stand for?”

    Below The Line. It means comments on an article, rather than the article itself.

  166. lumilumi says:

    And lumilumi back with the tail between her legs…

    Because now I’ve got the link for the BBC audience participation vetting questionnaire.

    I still think lumping all “whites” together wiffs a bit of racism.

  167. Restlessnative says:

    “Scotland broke away and drifted over to where we are now…stuck to England.”

    Or,”I thought I saw the light at the end of the tunnel,but it was just some b@stard wi’ a torch bringing me mair problems”

    O’ but for a quirk of geological fate.

  168. gavin lessells says:

    It occurs to my cynical mind that perhaps Brewer was doing a hatchet job on Lamont to get rid of her for the Westminster Mob.

    However, who would they replace her with?

    Answers on a postcard to ED.

  169. The Rough Bounds says:

    I think I’ve managed to suss out why Ms. Lamont has such a difficult job with the lines on her script.

    I believe she is reading them ‘boustrophedon’ style. (Alternatively, or as the ox ploughs a field: from left to right, then from right to left.)

    .tol a nialpxe dluow tI

  170. Flooplepoop says:

    We should leave some encouraging comments..


    As you watch the interview look deep into JoLo’s eyes I swear your can see her thinking “sandwich shop, sandwich shop, there must be a sandwich shop some where about here” Labour for Indi must be in tears at the thought of processing all those new membership forms, Will this interview be played as the next SNP party political broadcast. Keep it up Johann – cheques in the post!

  172. Wee Jonny says:

    I’m gona retract my last comment about JoJo reading her script in a mirror as I’ve just watched a documentary on Sky1 about a family in America where the husband is in control of a nuclear power plant and is a lazy, overweight, incompetent idiot. On reflection JoJo doesn’t look too bad.

  173. wullie says:

    I never really thought it would come to pass but she is the archetypal donkey wearing a red rosette and has been voted for and elected

  174. Heather McLean says:

    Ian Brotherhood – hahahaha! I’m wetting myself laughing here! Can hardly see the keyboard for the tears of laughter in my eyes!

  175. lumilumi says:

    It doesn’t matter how good or bad JoLa is.

    She’s served her time in SLAB and been awarded with a safe SLAB seat. She was elected leader by her crony trade unionists. The membership of SLAB actually voted for Ken McIntosh. He’s at least articulate and personable. Got moved from the Holyrood shadow front bench to the back benches… SLAB really have a death wish.

    Nothing to do with democracy or political ideas or intiatives. SLAB cannot have political initiatives anyway, they all have to be OK’d by the London HQ. Their main policy is the Willie Bain principle: oppose any and all SNP initiatives, no matter what.

    And people still vote for this party???

  176. Taranaich says:

    @lumilumi: 7. Which ethnic group do you belong to?
    White / African-Caribbean / Indian / Pakistani / Chinese / African / Mixed origin / Other (please specify)

    This is a real BBC audience vetting question for their future indy debates.

    For one thing, why is Caribbean African differentiated from just African? Is it to differentiate the “good” (been here for generations) blacks from the “bad” (recent arrival) blacks?

    And what’s with the “white” thing? So all whites are the same, eh? English, Romanian, Bulgarian, Nordic, Polish, Estonian, American, Russian, Argentinian, Kiwi, Scottish or whatever, just as long as they’re WHITE.

    I’m guessing it’s by population: there are significant numbers of specifically Chinese, Caribbean, Indian, Pakistani and African migrants in the Scottish population. But then, if they wanted to be fair about this, why no recognition of the significant numbers of Poles? It distinguishes between Indian and Pakistani, why not Polish, or Irish, or English for that matter? The only way that makes sense is if you treat “white” ethnoi as similar enough to be grouped together, but – for example – Indians and Pakistanis to be distinct enough to warrant separate groups. It is, in a word, nonsense.

    Either go with the flawed White-Black-EastAsian-SouthAsian groups, or actually reflect the ethnic distinctions by splitting the “white” group (a grouping I abhor, by the way) into its subsets. Either lump everyone into groups, or split everyone. Don’t lump some, but not others. It’s insulting to treat people from Poland and Ireland as essentially identical for the purposes of ethnic groups, but not Pakistanis or Indians.

  177. Johann Lamont says:

    D’yous no git it? Ah’m the leader o’ the labour pairty in Scotland. The leader! Hoo can I be a numpty? Ah’m the leader o’ the pairty. Leader. An’ whit’r’yous pissin’ yersels aboot, eh?

  178. X_Sticks says:

    Sorry Rev :}

    (me on naughty step):(

  179. GordonMcA says:

    Am I right in thinking that Labour are actually planning to take tax powers away?

    At the moment the Scottish Government can increase or decrease income tax by 3%.

    The Scotland Act 2012 will increase the amount they can vary income tax to 10% in 2016. So the Scottish Government could decide to have income tax set up to 10% higher or lower than then UK tax rate.

    Now Labour are proposing only to allow raising and lowering of the tax rate as long as they aren’t lower than the UK rate?

  180. karen mcghee says:

    Dont know if anyone else has noticed but at 9mins 7secs you can actually hear someone laugh in the background when she is talking about housing benefits/bedroom tax, What a car crash

  181. Muscleguy says:

    Now you are moving the goalposts. The original point was about communication, now one incredibly diverse and successful group of extinct animals has been picked on amongst many better candidates for no good reason.

    So, removes glasses, even though it is now dark out (making it harder for any spectators to marvel at my pugilistic prowess) I must ask you to proceed exteriorwise forthwith. Not sure where mind . . . Bella?

  182. Stevie says:

    Sadly and with regret, I watched it – now my brain hurts, my ears hurt and I may never recover. What a pile of tripe dripping tosheries that Labourite BritNat spewed out.

  183. bobdog collie says:

    what worries me is that if labour get back into government they could be standing up for Scotland, fighting Scotlands corner within the UK

  184. Robert Kerr says:

    Several posters have remarked about “laughter”

    I have thought outside the “nine dots” and propose that those of us who manage to gain access to the likes of QT note the unionist “plants” and guffaw loudly when the asinine question is asked.

    We really are winning!

  185. Tamson says:

    I’d say the idea of Lamont as FM in 2016 is more than than theoretical.

    Post-No, I’m sure the Unionist parties will try for a three-way coalition, if they have the MSP numbers.

  186. Tamson says:

    Would try, not will. Of course on September 18th we can end Lamont’s career easily.

  187. Davy says:

    Myself and the wife watched it on iplayer yesterday afternoon, and we must rate Johann Lamonts interview as fully equal to her infamous New Forth Road bridge debacle during a past FM’s question time.

    The fact she could not understand her own parties proposals after she had presented them to the public that very day is beyond belief. Her interview was not mince it was a lot worse than that, God help us all if she or any of her cronies ever become First Minister of Scotland.

  188. tartanarse says:

    a supporter at 7.37 19th March

    ” ANYONE voted Labour in the last few by-elections. THEY must be dead from the neck up too.”

    You may joke, but weren’t some of the Labour voters of the past ACTUALLY dead?

  189. Iain Bell says:

    Seems to me the mince ‘n’ tatters brigade that is the talking heads of SLAB are all sacrificial lambs. Those that can see the way the wind is blowing are keeping a low profile, and will pop up again after Indy to try for a seat in Holyrood without the dead weight of have spouted shite on record…

  190. Stuart Swanston says:

    I tried to post a message of thanks to Gordon Brewer via the BBC Newsnight Scotland’s presenters page which offered a link to FaceBook but that link had already been made inactive on the evening of 22nd May, the last night of broadcast of Newsnight Scotland. Winston Smith would have appreciated such preemption. Anyway Gordon, thank you for all the news and stories over these past fourteen years.

  191. Two short planks comes to mind

  192. Dr Ew says:

    OK sneer all you want, Stu, but you have to admit she’s a looker!

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