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Wings Over Scotland

A plague on all your houses

Posted on May 11, 2013 by

Yesterday we were reading an engrossing article by Peter Kellner, the president of YouGov. It’s only available in PDF form as far as we can tell, and in terms of formatting it’s a bit of a trial to get through, but the information within is fascinating.


It’s a study of the difficulties faced by Labour in their attempt to win the 2015 election, and without wanting to spoil it for you, Kellner’s conclusion is that it’s going to be extremely difficult. That won’t be news to Wings Over Scotland readers, of course, but the depth of detail is well worth getting into if you’ve a head for that sort of thing.

We gleaned something different from the piece, though.

Again, it won’t come as the biggest revelation to users of this site. But the various polls from which Kellner draws his conclusion finally put some solid numbers to the magnitude of the British public’s utter contempt for its politicians.


The poll above is pretty self-explanatory. What’s remarkable is the near-uniformity of the respondents on the notion that all three main parties are, in essence, both evil AND stupid. For the Tories, “mean and dim” is the most popular assessment of their ethics and competence, and for Labour it’s only one point behind the most popular, “nice but dim”. The Lib Dems score more for “nice”, but are even dimmer.

A staggering 73% think the coalition tea-boys are idiots, with 17% undecided and just 10% regarding them as capable of governing. 61% of people regard Labour as hapless cretins, with 16% undecided and only 24% believing Ed Miliband’s party could make a half-decent fist of running the country. And even the Tories record a majority – 53% – who consider them to be morons, while just 33% think they’re fit for office.

The UK, then, is faced with a choice of three parties, NONE of whom it reckons can actually do the job. (And only two of whom have any chance of winning anyway.) It’s not the greatest advertisement for British democracy. But things only get worse.


Stripping out the irrelevant Lib Dems, the next poll surveyed the public’s expectations of the next government, whether it be Labour or Tory, and it’s safe to say that nobody’s getting their hopes up. From a total of 24 “positive” questions asked (12 for each of the two parties), the ONLY one which gets a majority Yes response is the one asking whether the Tories have the courage to take difficult decisions.

(Of course, as we learned from the previous poll, the public is grimly certain that they’ll get those difficult decisions wrong, but thinks at least they’ll man up and make them.)

Labour get a net positive rating on just two, both by a wafer-thin five-point margin. On the other ten, the public has a negative faith in their ability. The Tories get a net plus score on just one – the aforementioned tough decisions – and in all but one of the others their negative rating is in double figures.

The last question in particular is devastating – just 21% of respondents trust Labour to “keep their promises” if elected, with a horrific 14% having confidence in the Tories to do so. In 2015 Britain will elect a government on the basis of manifestos which at least 80% of people will believe to be packs of meaningless lies.

Depressed yet? We’ve saved the worst till last.


The final poll we’ve highlighted from Kellner’s article is a personal appraisal of the two main party leaders. Voters were asked in turn if each was “in touch with ordinary people”, “honest”, “sticks to what he believes in”, “decisive”, “strong”, “charismatic”, “a natural leader”, “good in a crisis” or, in desperation, at least “average”.

For both Ed Miliband and David Cameron, overwhelmingly the most popular answer (46% for Miliband, 45% for Cameron) was “none of the above”. Two years from now the British public will elect, through lack of any alternative, a leader that most of them believe to be weak, dishonest, unprincipled, indecisive, out of touch, lacking in character and unable to cope with problems.

(And in both cases, that impression is actually growing over time – the electorate’s faith in the two leaders has decreased since 2011.)

How has a once-proud nation come to this? Because British democracy as an exercise in meaningful choice has been destroyed in our lifetime. Firstly when Tony Blair, like a cuckoo in the nest of the left, sold out all of Labour’s socialist values so that he could empower and enrich himself implementing a slightly slicker version of neoliberal Thatcherism, and then when Nick Clegg cravenly abandoned a once-in-a-generation chance of electoral reform – the only thing that could have saved UK politics – at the first sight of a ministerial Daimler.

The people of England are so desperate for a straw – however flimsy and rotten – to clutch at as the country spirals down the plughole that they’re voting for Nigel Farage. And currently, at the behest of Alistair Darling and his cronies, Scots are vigorously smashing up the only lifeboat with an axe so that Darling can sell it for firewood.

Anyone watching from afar must be bewildered. And frankly, readers, we haven’t got the faintest idea what we’d tell them if they asked.

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73 to “A plague on all your houses”

  1. Morag says:

    Well, that seems to have shocked everyone into silence….

  2. Jiggsbro says:

    The Malaysian for 'vagina' is 'faraj'.


    Just saying.

  3. Those results are breathtakingly bad. It's one thing thinking that myself, but to read them in a wide survey… wow.

  4. Vincent McDee says:

    That 80%…..stupids they aren't!

  5. Morag says:

    Jiggsbro has been listening to The News Quiz, despite Calmangate.

    As an explanation for UKIP, that survey takes some beating.

  6. Dcanmore says:

    I cannot for the life of me see Ed Miliband winning the next UKGE. It is a possibility that there will be a low turnout where Labour are strongest in the poorer North combined with a higher turnout in the stronger affluent Tory South. Maybe Miliband has a real problem here as I don't think he'll attracted those vital SE votes with his pretty-near invisible front bench. UKIP have some momentum at the moment and the Local/Euro Elections 2014 will probably boost their standing in British politics. There will be another lurch to the Right and when that happens I think Labour will implode trying to match Tory policies. Looking at the Shadow cabinet I don't see many 'fighters' in their ranks.

  7. Robert Bryce says:


    As someone who has never really been engaged in politics until relatively recently, this makes interesting reading indeed.

    UK politics has become homogenized and I blame Tony Blair for it.
    It really is a case of (to paraphrase Groucho Marx) "If you don't like our policies, we have others!"


    People need to be made aware that the current economic climate in the UK is merely the tip of the iceberg. London is heading for an almighty meltdown that will make the current austerity measures seem like small beer. All brought about by political parties who are no more than 2 cheeks of the same arse.

    Scotland will be absolutely pillaged beyond belief of all it's resources in an attempt to mitigate the crash that will come. Just like Thatcher used the oil to start the ball rolling and bankroll the debt fuelled shithole we find ourselves in now.


    For goodness sake people, if your sitting on the fence then get off it. We have one chance to protect the future of our children rather than saddle them in an abyss of debt and poverty courtesy of a Westminster government hellbent on propping up reckless bankers.


    I hate to sound negative but FFS wake up people!

    I am not an SNP member but even I can see Alistair Darling & his Better Together bedfellows are walking us into an economic abyss!

    Sorry for the rant Rev.

  8. Those results don't surprise me at all.

    However, when the next Westminster election comes around, whether we are in it or not, th whole lesser evil argument will come up again.

    As much as the whole show is indeed bullshit, there is some value in the idea that in voting for the lesser evil you should get, essentially, less evil.

    However, in the UK it is really hard to tell these days.

  9. Dcanmore says:

    O/T apologies … Don't know if you've seen this Rev?

    Duncan Hothersall trying in vain to stop the tide of abuse aimed at Salmond/SNP … 'Unpleasant Allies'



  10. Matt says:

    '….or, in desperation, at least "average"..

    That seems to be the average score for all of the above qualities, rather than actually asking respondents to say whether they agreed that those leaders were average. It is pretty confusing though the way it is laid out.

  11. BillyBigbaws says:

    I find it extremely difficult to applaud Duncan Hothersall under any circumstances, but I suppose I have to give him some credit for that Storify post.

    At least he’s finally had a look to see what’s being said by some (let’s face it, many) on the Better Together side of the debate.

    It’s taken a long time for anyone on the unionist side to notice the beam in their own eye – and those are actually quite mild examples of the kind of abuse Salmond, the SNP, and other Yessers have been receiving (since at least 2007) – but still, the boy done good.

    Thanks for posting it Dcanmore, there’s no way I ever would have seen it otherwise.

  12. Luigi says:

    The last table is the killer. Not only does EM consistently score lower than DC on the basic, vital leadership qualities, but he does by very wide margins. EM is toast, but hey we all knew that already, right? If DC can deal with UKIP before 2015, we are talking tory landslide. People need to be aware of this when they vote in 2014.

  13. Marker Post says:

    Wonder if Cameron's score would have been even lower, had the report from the National Audit Office been available at the time, which yesterday stated that a series of U-turns on the Joint Strike Fighter project has cost the tax-payer £74m?

    Still, Better Together, and all that.


  14. Luigi says:

    A pic of the three stooges in front of a better together sign, each holding a "NO" card, would make a brilliant image!

  15. john king says:

    jiggsboro said

    "The Malaysian for 'vagina' is 'faraj'.


    Just saying.



    Malysian for bollocks is

    isap telur cos Malaysian for vagina is pooru

    just sayin 

  16. john king says:

    Trying hard not to be partisan here but it's becoming increasingly obvious the best and brightest politicians in Britain  are sitting on the SNP  front bench in holyrood

  17. john king says:

    Robert Bryce says wow

    then apologises for the rant, 

    dont, we need many more rants like that 

    keep posting Robert

    btw welcome brother

  18. Just out of interest, do we know of any similar polls done on the parties and leaders at Holyrood? It could be an intriguing comparison.

  19. Tony Little (aka Aplinal) says:

    Well, I took that poll, one of the few political ones I am asked for on YouGov, and am rather surprised they published it!  At the time I was amazed at the questions.  I suspected it was for private polling, obviously wrong!


    I can only say that the reults DO reflect my views and contribution.  When will voters wake up?

    @Horace: I have never had a poll from YouGov about Scottish politicians

  20. Tattie-boggle says:

    Ed and Dave Look like they could end up victims of a Night of the Long Knives Via the Back Benches "The Party Must Survive"

  21. Thomas Dunlop says:

    In 20 years time, the UK will be held in the same contempt they have for the third world countries they have now…..and it will serve them bloody too right….or has that point been reached already? Hard to tell.

  22. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    "That seems to be the average score for all of the above qualities, rather than actually asking respondents to say whether they agreed that those leaders were average. It is pretty confusing though the way it is laid out."

    I'm not sure. For Cameron in 2011, for example, the average of the first nine ratings is 18.8%, not the 21% in the chart. In the 2013 column his actual average is 13.4% rather than 15%. Those would be some quite excessive rounding errors.

  23. seoc says:

    Some public measure of how our 'protective' media are performing their duties would be welcome and revealing.

  24. Good find and excellent article. It'll be interesting to see if the men in suits persuade someone to stand down before the next GE so they can parachute Boris into a safe seat.  Desperate I know, and whether it would help is hardly certain, but it's really the Tories' only option if they're not to be royally rogered by UKIP.

    Labour hasn't a hope in hell unless it can find a man of principle forgotten in the back of a cupboard somewhere. Sadly, the only ones I can think of are no longer with us (John Smith, Jimmy Reid and Bill Speirs).

    The Lib Dems? If the indyref goes awry we could well see more SNP members than Lib Dems in the next Wasteminster parliament.

    You're right, Rev.  The Good Ship Britannia is headed for the UKIP iceberg.  While Dave and Ed rearrange the deckchairs, not only is Captain Darling busy smashing the lifeboats, he's locking the gates on the Steerage class passengers down below.

    O/T: My latest offering in the saga of the Daily Mailification of The Hootsmon: Comic Trumps Academic in "Evil Cybernat" Publicity Stunts. Click on my name to read if you want.

  25. The Man in the Jar says:

    I read this last night and I have read it again this morning just to make sure. My reaction is still Oh shit! We absolutely must win the referendum, no ifs or buts. How can anyone living in Scotland even contemplate not voting for independence when otherwise it is guaranteed that these Muppets will be in charge? And that is even before taking their polices into consideration.

    We got to get out of this place, if it’s the last thing we ever do!

  26. Alex taylor says:

    Rev Stu

    Sorry if we’re too few comments in to be going off topic. I’ve been thinking about the relentlessly positive messages from the Yes side and I agree with it wholeheartedly. But should there not be a place to which  we can point undecideds , to show  them a bunch of the horrific acts of corruption and stupidity by Westminster, and its cohorts the media and police force in Engaland, that make our leaving them in there own cesspit the only option.

    With austerity aimed only at the poor and vulnerable, money will always be found for the things they consider worthwhile.

    To start the ball rolling and in no particular order:

    The Iraq war, built on lies, and its cost (how many billions of pounds and how many lives?)

    Cost of Afghanistan in money and lives

    Soldiers and equipment just sent to Mali

    Cost of changes to Eurofighter £74 million (thanks Marker Post)

    Scrapping of nine newly built Nimrods at £9 billion

    New £3 billion aircraft carrier with no aircraft to carry and to be scrapped after 3 years

    Use of drones

    Margareat Thatcher funeral £10 million

    The Millenium Dome £780 million

    Trident £100 billion over ten years?

    Police corruption in Engaland: shooting causing riots (none in Scotland)

    Jean Charles de menezes (who gives a police officer the right of judge, jury and executioner?)

    Jimmy Saville: the police and BBC

    BBC propoaganda and golden pay-offs for incompetence

    Och, you get the idea Rev. And I’m sure everyone here has a jaw dropping, eye blinking example of the corruption and incompetence we’ve had to endure for the last 30 years.

    Would such a resource be worth putting together?


  27. Andymac says:

    Robert Bryce , great post ,spot on ,agree totally, wake up or it's over and our grandchildren will be starving to death while the fat cats still live it up ! 

  28. kininvie says:

    O/TTwo excellent pieces for anyone keeping half an eye on the Catalan situation:



    The first is a thoughtful essay – full of ironies – about the political difficulties. The second consists of responses to The Times, which – seemingly bored with beating up Scottish independentistas – has now decided to have a go at the Catalans. Hilariously, The Times has just recycled the same old arguments….

  29. southernscot says:

    Ah Ed Milliband the unelectable, no expletive can express the disdain that I hold for him.

    O/T "Benefit claimants are now seen as other – less than fully human"

    Guardian article just to lower the mood further.

  30. Cyborg-nat says:

    O T but an interesring warning. Do not , I repeat do not underestimate Rev's powers! No sooner had he called for ," A plague on all your houses when I read this on NNS concerning the travails  of the Coperative Bank.

    "The Co-operative Bank owns 26.7% of the Unity Trust Bank, which is the bank used by major trades unions and one of the major sources of credit for the Labour party.  Union leaders held an emergency meeting on Friday to discuss the bank's future."

    Brothers in bother?

  31. Juteman says:

    I don't think Blair set out to enrich himself. That was just a nice bonus.

    The US did what it always does to potential 'socialist' countries, it undermines them. To make sure 'old labour' couldn't make a comeback, the party was taken over from the inside by folk the US thought suitable. Even today, almost every potential leader in the Labour party has spent time in the US receiving ;training'. We are a state of the US.

  32. Craig P says:

    Maker Post – in terms of MoD procurement, £74m is the shit the civil service scrapes off its shoe on its way to work in the war office, if it ends up saving over ten times as much I guess it was a loss worth taking. 

  33. Stevie Mach says:

    After reading this, how anyone in Scotland could vote other than YES is beyond me. It truly is time for a sharp exit!

  34. ianbrotherhood says:


    Do they still give you a wee reward for answering these polls?


    I got stopped in Sauchiehall St, long time ago, and invited into the McLellan Galleries to answer questions about a redesigned Jaap's Liver Salts tub. Took about ten minutes, then they gave me a Mars bar. Only catch was I had to eat it there and then and answer another seventy-five questions about the experience.


    Happy days…

  35. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    Alex: you're thinking of The Sealand Gazette.

  36. Robert Kerr says:

    O/T but following on from previous point re carriers. I sought clarification from my mate who keeps up to date with this. The two carriers can only fly one variant of one aircraft. That variant is so expensive that only UK and USA shall order them.

    This is incompetence of the highest order. A serious vulnerability for the UK. He suggests a read of "Lions, Donkeys And Dinosaurs: Waste and Blundering in the Military" by Lewis Page. I have ordered this from Amazon.

  37. Michael Laughlan says:

    Will you please stop bashing Ed Miliband – imagine having his brother, a (b)liar clone in more than leadership style, trying to offer an alternative to the tories!  Start campaigning to get rid of Clegg and maybe, just maybe, people will vote for labour again with a little hope.

    Hopefully it won't be our problem!


  38. Alex taylor says:

    Rev: thanks. I had a quick look at the stuff over there and it would be pretty hard to take too much of it.

    My idea was for a simple, reasonably fact checked list of big item f**k ups that have been forgotten about or swept under the carpet.

    Thanks for the response anyway.

  39. Dee says:

    If this turns out to be a NO vote then the Tories will adopt th UKIP policy for the Scottish Parliament by getting rid of all the MSPs and using it as a debating chamber for Scottish MPs.  We will NEVER get a chance like this again to become an Independent country.  If you know of any undecided voters or even NO voters this point has to be explained to them, it's now or never.  With the state the opposition parties are in and the equally bad state the economy is in, then I would compare the position YES campaign is in as that of planet Earth, we are both in the " Goldilocks Zone ".  Vote Yes.

  40. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “Rev: thanks. I had a quick look at the stuff over there and it would be pretty hard to take too much of it.”

    Isn’t that rather the point?

  41. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “Will you please stop bashing Ed Miliband – imagine having his brother, a (b)liar clone in more than leadership style, trying to offer an alternative to the tories!  Start campaigning to get rid of Clegg and maybe, just maybe, people will vote for labour again with a little hope.”

    Why would we want people voting Labour?

  42. SCED300 says:

    In Scotland stupidity runs very deep in Labour politicians. They are working, hard to destroy the most effective weapon around. It is not their weapon but it is all they have going for them.

    Ironically it is Independence.

    Devolution was brought in to head off Independence. The recent 'offers' of more Devolution only exist because of possible Independence.

    If there is a No vote then that possibility is gone.

    A Conservative Government would have no incentive to go further with Devolved powers that would strengthen a Labour Scotland. What would Labour have to negotiate with?  They would be laughed out of the room. Any 'devolution' as stated by the Conservatives would mean more responsibilites without more real power. As pointed out on another article on this site, Tory groups say why should they keep allocating money to parts of the country that refuse to vote Conservative.

    UK Labour would have no reason to strengthen Scotland because the SE of England, Wales, Northern Ireland, well everywhere, would want the same treatment. They also think Scotland gets too much.

    The Barnett formula is going to be replaced in 2016, and that alone will not be good news for Scotland; the Conservatives already believe Scotland gets too much. Any extra earnings Scotland makes from any source will be shaved from the Block grant. Johanna Lamont stated we are an entitlement society, and so they, Labour, will be carryiing out a cuts the UK Governemt imposes.

    At the momnet Labour in Scotland is suffering from the Gordon Brown delusion. When Gordon Brown was getting rid of Tony Blair, he thought everthing would be the same but he would be in charge. Within two years he lost the election.

    Labour here believe without the SNP they will be in charge and all else will be the same. But the Conservatives are simply waiting; they have plenty of ammunition to use against Labour. It will be remembered that Alistair Darling, Gordon Brown, Tony Blair are 'Scots'. The banking chaos happened when Labour was in power. Alistair Darling had Fred Goodwin as an adviser, Labour gave Goodwin his knighthood. It will all come back.

    It will be the UK Tory political machine they will have to deal with.

  43. Robert Bryce says:

    Andymac says:

    11 May, 2013 at 9:34 am

    Robert Bryce , great post ,spot on ,agree totally, wake up or it's over and our grandchildren will be starving to death while the fat cats still live it up !


    This is a real worry for me. It's a serious threat to Scotland in particular as we'll be the first to suffer as London goes into self preservation mode.

    In footballing terms none of the names in the polls provided above by Stu have the respect of their dressing rooms and are doomed to failure as their players  (bankers) walk all over them.

    It may seem like an extreme view but mark my words. If you have a mortgage, a car loan, home improvement loan etc then these bankers own your arse. They will take more than their pound of flesh come the meltdown.


    Alistair Darling knows this fine well and is happy to lead us all into an economic armageddon. It does make sense though. Another 5 million people come the day is another 5 million they can burdon with their debt.

    Be warned. The Better Together "500 questions" is yet another smokescreen to throw us all off the trail.

    Believe me, those questions are the least of your worries.

  44. Alex taylor says:

    Isn’t that rather the point?

    In the words of Richard Dawkins, "I gratefully accept the rebuke."

  45. The Dog says:

    @alex taylor

    Events have somewhat overtaken this article recently where we've regressed even further to the right but maybe it would be a suitable item to send on to people?

  46. cynicalHighlander says:

    Since our real rulers are unelected financial institutions based in the City is it any wonder of the state of our 'democracy'.


  47. Juteman says:


    Boris Johnson – a bouncy castle with altzhiemers. 🙂

  48. Alex taylor says:

    Events have somewhat overtaken this article recently where we've regressed even further to the right but maybe it would be a suitable item to send on to people?

    I missed that article Dog, so thanks for bringing it to my attention. I am talking to quite a number of people still undecided but beginning to get interested in the referendum. I'm trying to gather together some hard hitting positives for the Yes side  but I want to show them what voting NO might mean for them.

    This is good. Thanks


  49. HandandShrimp says:

    In the Manchester byelection the turnout was 18%


    These people are killing democracy throught the gifts of boredom and uselessness.

  50. CameronB says:

    OT, but following on from cynicalhighlander, I though I'd re-post this extract from a message to the US congress by President F.D. Roosevelt, April 1938, concerning the dangers posed by monopolies. Still kind of relevant, three quarters of a century later.

    To the Congress:

    Unhappy events abroad have retaught us two simple truths about the liberty of a democratic people.

    The first truth is that the liberty of a democracy is not safe if the people tolerate the growth of private power to a point where it becomes stronger than their democratic state itself. That, in its essence, is Fascism—ownership of Government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power.

    The second truth is that the liberty of a democracy is not safe if its business system does not provide employment and produce and distribute goods in such a way as to sustain an acceptable standard of living.

    Both lessons hit home.

    Among us today a concentration of private power without equal in history is growing.

    This concentration is seriously impairing the economic effectiveness of private enterprise as a way of providing employment for labor and capital and as a way of assuring a more equitable distribution of income and earnings among the people of the nation as a whole.


    Vote Yes for a change of system.


  51. Dee says:

    I think the positive view to take on poor poll results is that only about 20% of voters are truly engaged at this moment in time and they have till to realise the importance of the referendum.  That is when the polls will start turning our way, Keep Believing. Vote Yes 2014

  52. pmcrek says:

    Its all really quite a dire picture for the state of UK politics

  53. muttley79 says:

    @Cameron B


    Also, Eisenhower used his last address as US President to warn of the dangers of the growth in the military industrial complex.  This is also still relevant.

    "A vital element in keeping the peace is our military establishment. Our arms must be mighty, ready for instant action, so that no potential aggressor may be tempted to risk his own destruction…

    This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence — economic, political, even spiritual — is felt in every city, every statehouse, every office of the federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources and livelihood are all involved; so is the very structure of our society. In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists, and will persist.

    We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals so that security and liberty may prosper together."


  54. balgayboy says:

    Here's the deal come 2015. A righter wing Tory/UKIP(influenced) government.

    An Independent Scotland with the  bonus being rid of BBC Scotland (or at least some of them) and returning south in somewhat trepidation of further employment.

    The rUK and UKOK in denial and looking for scapegoats. 

    The sudden realisation of the good people of England, Wales & NI that their country and world has significantly changed,

    Scotland and the Scottish people will at last have the oppotunity to decide on their own government and consquentially their own future. 

    Not a bad future for our nation, the rest of the UK can sort out their own problems. 


  55. CameronB says:

    @ mutley

    Without wanting to get too depressing, the situation really is a mess. In the US, the banks and the military industrial complex own and control the MSM. We can all see how that is working out. Here, we have a state broadcaster and privately controlled printed media, that appear quite content subverting Scottish democracy to enable the continuation of UK plc.


    Did you know that half of Wall Street supported the fascists during the '30, and there was attempted fascist coup d'etat in the USA in 1934?


    (clip from The Corporation

  56. Jiggsbro says:

    @john king


    Malysian for bollocks is isap telur cos Malaysian for vagina is pooru

    just sayin 


    'Pooru' is the Malayalam word for vagina. Different language.

  57. CameronB says:

    @ Jiggsbro

    And there was me thinking you were having a dig at our friend Nigel. 🙂

  58. scottish_skier says:

    Bigger picture and all that. Patience in the meantime.

  59. AHamilton says:

    Hello, this is totally off topic …… Just been delivering YES leaflets in the rain, 25 to 30 people turned out and cheerfully did the job in Lanarkshire.   We are going to win a YES vote. 

  60. Jiggsbro says:

    And there was me thinking you were having a dig at our friend Nigel.


    'Nigel' is a Tagalog word meaning 'a horse's arse'.

  61. Morag says:

    Hello, this is totally off topic …… Just been delivering YES leaflets in the rain, 25 to 30 people turned out and cheerfully did the job in Lanarkshire. We are going to win a YES vote.

    Pleased to hear that.  I'm trying to scrape up a car-ful of people to go to Yes Tweeddale in ten days.  We're spread thin here, and I don't think we can expect activists from further downstream to spend time coming up to the headwaters when there's so much to do in Peebles and Innerleithen.  So a handful of us are going to have to take on the Lyne Valley ourselves.

    My thought is this, though.  There are no no-go areas in this campaign.  No safe or hopeless seats.  Every Yes vote has equal weight.  So we're just going to have to do the best we can where we are.  Hopefully we'll get strategic guidance and campaign materials.

    Someone told me that one of the times the start of the referendum campaign was announced, a TV crew came here and made a film about "a typical Scottish village that was happy being in the union".  I didn't see that.  Or I'd have got my gun.  Or somebody's gun anyway.

    So it's unionist heaven.  But then, all the more people to turn round.  If we can normalise support for independence by making it seem natural for people who live here, it might encourage waverers.

  62. ianbrotherhood says:


    A NNS link – article does what it says on the tin. Just shows how plain daft these things can be.


  63. Jimbo says:

    The Labour/Tory alliance will shrug that poll off as a low that every Poltical Party suffers midway through a parliamentary term. They always have some kind of excuse for their ineptitude.

    To paraphrase the german humourist, Christian Morgenstern: And thus, in their considered view, what does not suit, can not be true.

  64. Jiggsbro says:

    They always have some kind of excuse for their ineptitude.


    They'lll blame it on us, for failing to understand their message.

  65. Michael Laughlan says:

    Unfortuately our english friends can't vote SNP, the comment was intended for them.  Definately do not vote for Labour in Scotland (i'm from Glasgow!), just lay off Ed personally, and bash away at the party to your hearts content.

    -Will you please stop bashing Ed Miliband – imagine having his brother, a (b)liar clone in more than leadership style, trying to offer an alternative to the tories!  Start campaigning to get rid of Clegg and maybe, just maybe, people will vote for labour again with a little hope.

    Hopefully it won't be our problem!

  66. Doug Daniel says:

    Michael – I would disagree with you very strongly there. Ed Miliband is a complete moron, and as a result deserves every bit of criticism coming his way. It's not good enough for him to simply be less bad than his brother (the jury is out on that one) or David Cameron, and a Labour party headed by him is not a party that should be getting people's votes.


    The sooner Labour realise that, the better. So long may the slagging of him continue!

  67. Indion says:

    Whether you agree or not, sometimes it’s best to say nothing Doug.

  68. Titler says:

    Hmmm. I can't agree with the idea that Labour are doomed, or even the Tories for that matter, simply because I think it's missing where the rise of UKIP is coming from, and what it will mean in the General Elections.

    I've commentated here a few times now about the rise in hate driven scapegoatting passions, so I don't need to repeat that; the question is whether when it comes to the General it'll continue to break to the protest vote of UKIP or not. That will depend on how Cameron can keep his own backbenchers under control between now and the election; if he does a good job I think he'll hoover back up the Nasty vote and it'll come back under the fold…

    But the problem for Labour is coming from somewhere else. And it's the apathy and impotence of decent people again. A quick tale; I used to volunteer at a Daycentre for the elderly. The Government has been stealth privitizing social services by switching to "Personal Budgets"… They means test you, ask what services you believe you need, which you'd like, then give you a lump sum to spend on them. Personal freedom! Choice! Adaptability!

    I think everyone here knows where this is actually going… In reality, most of the pensioners were unable to correctly pass the testing part, those who did were given a much reduced sum from the previous centralised expenditure, especially if they couldn't make a case for "Need", they simply didn't get that funding; but were told they could of course still go to daycentres and things they'd "Like" if they chose to budget for it out of the total… they've not taken the services away! You just can't have them and medicine and meals on wheels and…

    When this first came through, I immediately started agitating for our daycentre to fight it; I warned the staff it was a way to close us without being held responsible for doing so. The problem was, people would fight for the service but not against the politicians or politics that were going to take it. So I set up and ran a petition against the closure, which got 2000 signatures in 2 weeks… and the staff supported that. But when someone in the Council leaked to me an email which stated categorically they intended to close daycentres because they saw them as "old fashioned", they wouldn't believe it. We had blazing rows in the office because I was trying to point out the practicalities that would result, and here it is in black and white; this is the council saying they expect us to close; and I was accussed of just being a revolutionary. When we got Councillor Rodgers (leader of Bristol City Council) in to speak to the Elderly and under camera, they listened to him and protested funding cuts, he told them there would be no cut… and they let it go. He and his staff then had a private meeting with the staff off camera, and told them the exact opposite, that yes they expected much less funding to come through; and they didn't leak it to the press or tell him he couldn't expect them to honour such a deceitful process. They simply didn't want to get that down and dirty, there was a sense that "Well, we'd best pull our punches here. We don't want to argue politics, we just don't want our centre to close." 

    I pushed for the local press to come in; I got the BBC and Channel 4; they decided in the end not to use our clients as they were all too modest and said "I'm ok, I worry about everyone else" and no one wanted to give the high impact sob story the visual media were after. The Lord Mayor of Bristol came and had lunch with the Elderly… but at every single step, no one but me would complain about the actual Policy; just "please don't close our centre", to which the response would come every time "we're not, we're giving your clients freedom!"

    It closes in June for ever now. Of the 30 or so registered clients, only 4 ever got the funding earmarked for said service. The staff spent most of the final months I was there arguing amongst themselves, playing petty power games over small expenditure and areas of responsibility, gossiping visciously about each other… And it wasn't as if they weren't decent people; but when faced with huge issues, they just couldn't face them. When things got really hard, they simply gave up… and eventually ended up poisoning their own well.

    So why do I say I don't think personal unpopularity will necessarily doom Labour? Because to do so would be to pick a fight; it would mean nailing your colours to another party's mast and picking up a cutlass and starting to slice back…. And I don't think the people of the left in England are going to do it. I don't know where the apathy comes from; The sense that things aren't as bad as all that (after all, you're still the largest nation in the UK, there's only occasional rioting, there's football on the telly to watch) or if it's the civilizing elements of history that are now biting them on the bum (after so many victories of the liberal-left, and the sleep walking years of the Blair government, people don't know how or even see why you may need to be beasts of bolsover any more) or if it's simply the complete indifference modern politicians show to their electorate that has sapped all engagement or hope (I will always hold Blair's greatest sin was destroying the concept of Democracy with his shameful Iraq adventure)…

    But where ever it comes from, I really don't think we'll see it turn into revolutionary movements in politics. After all, look at America; Barack Obama can openly state he sees himself as a "Moderate Republican", and he still picks up the left hand side of the binary division of politics.  All the passion, all the hate, all the energizing stupidity is on the Right… the Left just seems to be exhausted, and prepared to vote for the Lesser Evil rather that spark the same aggressive pushing back against politics.

    So I'm expecting Absentism to be the winner in the General Election here. But Labour to get a majority simply because of those who do get in and vote, the Nasty obsessives will break UKIP or Tory, and the rest will just go "Meh, lesser evil then".

    What I've yet to hear is why Scotland should be any different. Sure, everyone here is passionately engaged. But you're a self selecting group, not necessarily representative… and when I see the polls that show solid majorities for "No" votes, I wonder if I'm seeing the same, mushy middle apathy there too? A case of "Well the SNP are definitely better than all the alternatives, but I don't want to go picking Making History level fights when I've already got the lesser evil…"? Combine that with genuine Unionism, the massive power of negative campaigning, and a lot of "Don't Knows", I can see how you could get to a majority even in Scotland. Now if you actually win, then there's something clearly more animated and alive in Scottish politics than south of the border… which gets me back to my own despair at the sheer crap state of English politics. And it clearly is crap. No doubt about that. Sigh. But how sure are you that the revolutionary spirit is there outside of these forums, and the people who run into you in your local pubs?

    Try and make sure because I believe the power of "Meh" in the ballot box is being under-rated… because like me, I suspect you all find it hard to understand how anyone can be so mediocre. But it's genuinely there. It virtually rules English politics unfortunately…

  69. Morag says:

    Well, that was an interesting rant, and I'm genuinely sorry about your daycare centre.  However what I don't see is where it adds up to a reason we shouldn't try.

    Maybe you're right, maybe the mushy middle in Scotland doesn't have the guts to do it, or the brains to see that a Yes vote is massively in their own self-interest.  But what do you suggest we do?  Throw in the towel and watch daytime TV instead?

  70. Indion says:


    Well, rant or no, it was a good one titler.

    "Now if you actually win, then there's something clearly more animated and alive in Scottish politics than south of the border… which gets me back to my own despair at the sheer crap state of English politics."

    There is. That's why it's still called Scotland not Scotlandshire.

    But I feel your pain too. It's one of the reasons I'll be voting YES for sovereign independence in a confederal union here at home.

    Whitehall & Westminster won't change and England can't leave itself. We can so that you can too for the best – if so minded – in recognition that the neighbours have moved out and on like the Irish and every other emigrant who wanted to get out from under.

    When you think back to what Bristol and so many cities once were, so much since has been sucked into the unchallenged vortex for power at and from the centre, it is hardly surprising that people in places got up and gone from have little left to stand up for their own personal and plural autonomy.

    In taking back what we gave to share equitably, having witnessed it being misspent and squandered instead of being productively spread around, perhaps England too will gut the centre to feed its regions from bottom up rather than starve them from top down.

    We've done it before. We can do it again. That way too, our governance should be a reflection of our societies, not a revolving door to who next gets a turn to paint their own idolised image over our real one.

    We'll make our luck. And with that, look forward to being best together with you and yours in reunion.

  71. molly says:

    Titler, I can't speak for anyone else but for me Westminster appears to be further and further away. I used to watch Question Time and regardless of its set up, the same faces and the same conversations over and over again ,appear irrelevant to me.

    You talk about the General Election and although I am aware of what is happening at Westminster, I will not be voting in the next 'General Election'

    If Scotland is Independent, there will be no need and if Scotland votes NO, as is my right ,I'll not vote and I won't vote until a system where my vote actually matters is devised.I won't hold my breath for that to happen any time soon.

    I'm not sure if you really appreciate ,the way Labour has operated in Scotland. The saying "mair faces than the toon clock", comes to mind. While Ed Milliband  trundles up and down England with his 'your Britain' policy forums, this is never highlighted in Scotland. While the discussion of a 'British Investment Bank 'is discussed, its never highlighted in Scotland,or EM 's notion of a 'One Nation' ?? is never highlighted in Scotland.

    No in Scotland , we get the couthy version of Labour, Jim (aka the murphy) well he's just like you and me , except richer, but he could be your neighbour. In fact it is true Jim is just like you and me as in he knows nothing about defence.Theres Johann, a school teacher just like the woman up the road, except Johann and her man between them have very influencial positions in Glasgow Council and the other is in charge of  all her Labour MSP's. Well we think anyway,cos she tends to keep a low profile and Labour have projected this image for decades. Trust us .we're Labour and the people did. 

    Of course, this image was helped along by a compliant media. Afterall ,we are dealing with a press who still cannot cope with Rangers being relegated to the third division, (no offence to Rangers fans ) so taking a cold hard look at what the Labour Party is actually doing for the people of Scotland might just be asking too much.

    Finally can I ask, how did you get the BBC interested AND to respond ? 

  72. Indion says:


    A VG question Molly!

  73. Jamie Arriere says:

    I don’t know about Clegg, Milliband or Cameron in the photo – but isn’t that Willie Rennie on the left?

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