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Wings Over Scotland

Another sunny day in La-La Land

Posted on March 21, 2014 by

An extraordinary front-page headline in today’s Herald blares “Miliband pledges positive case for Union as No inject love into debate”. (We apologise to any readers we may have just inadvertently upset with the thought of Ed Miliband “injecting love” into them while they’re still digesting their breakfast.)


The article’s rather shy on details of Ed’s positive case, but luckily the Guardian has it.


We don’t know about you, but we’re feeling the benefits of that love injection already.

“The Labour leader will tell Scottish Labour’s spring conference on Friday that the first minister has sabotaged his claims to be a social democrat by mimicking Tory policies which protect the interests of the highest earners.

If Salmond won his quest for independence, Miliband will argue, ‘think how hard it would be to stop a race to the bottom happening if, on one island, we had a border running along the middle so we were divided in two. It would be two lanes in a race to the bottom, with David Cameron and Alex Salmond at the starting blocks in which the only way they win is for you to lose.'”

Stop! It’s too much positivity!

“‘Alex Salmond, who claims to be a great social democrat, would end up running the same race to the bottom that the Tories have embarked upon,’ Miliband will say, before invoking the memory of John Smith, the former UK Labour leader whose death 20 years ago led to Tony Blair’s election. ‘The SNP talk about social justice but they can’t build it because they can’t be narrow nationalists and serve social justice at the same time.'”

Tartan Tories! Old dead guys! Narrow nationalism! Positivity!

The New Statesman has some more direct quotes from Miliband’s speech, in a rather toe-curling piece by George Eaton that’s not so much an article as a schoolgirl mash note to the Labour leader:

“If Scotland was to go independent, it would be a race to the bottom not just on tax rates, but on wage rates, on terms and conditions, on zero hours contracts, on taking on the energy companies, on reforming the banks. Those who can afford it will be paying less, while hardworking families across Scotland will pay more and see their services suffer.”

Um, can you actually race any further to the bottom on zero-hours contracts? Is there a number of hours LOWER than zero that you can have on a contract? Has Ed been getting Johann Lamont to help with his arithmetic?

Luckily Miliband isn’t having to carry the positive Labour message alone.


“The former prime minister said a line-by-line comparison between the Scottish National party’s tax and spending plans with Labour’s offer to voters, which includes higher taxes for the wealthiest, would cost every household in Scotland £450.

In a speech before Scottish Labour opened its spring conference in Perth, Brown stepped up his party’s attacks on the first minister’s economic policies and heavy reliance on oil revenues, in a concerted effort to portray the SNP as the party of business and the better off.

‘Everyone knows the SNP cannot afford all of their promises. But what has become clear is that when it comes to a choice, they prefer giving business tax cuts and money to the richest Scottish energy companies than cash to Scottish families,’ Brown said.”

A BILLION pounds worse off? Heavens, we might actually burst from all this positivity.

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118 to “Another sunny day in La-La Land”

  1. yerkitbreeks says:

    Have these dudes really NO IDEA of the wider debate up here ? Suppose not – Miliband can be explained easily, but Brown ? Oh of course he’s one of those “90 minute Scots” addressed in “Blossom”.

  2. Bigdrone says:

    This is wonderful from a party that has had a personality transplant that’s being rejected by the recipient – a government in charge of a 1.5 trillion pound overdraught and rising! Black, pish, kettle, any order!

  3. jon esquierdo says:

    They are going to step up the personal attacks on Alex Salmond and the S.N.P. at every opportunity. They are trying to portray that the referendum is about Salmond and the the SNP. They must have taken it for granted that the SNP will win the election in

  4. geeo says:

    I am stunned that such unadulterated positivity has finally entered the debate from BT.

    Who knew they had it in them!!

  5. peter macbeastie says:

    Funny how he rails against the Tories but still uses the Osborne mantra of ‘hard working families.’

    Out of all the crass, ignorant shite in that whole piece that is the phrase which offends me the most. It is in there to place a divide between those who work and those, for any reason, who don’t work. It is an attempt to create a class of people to be used as a scapegoat; think Jews throughout history. You can’t use the Jews now, that’s religious discrimination, so they’re busily demonising anyone on benefits.

    As for the last line; taking lectures on the economy from Gordon Brown is much like taking childcare instruction from King Herod. He is about as far from a sensible commentator on economic matters as I am; difference is I do not pretend to have an in-depth knowledge… and he blatantly tries to kid on that he does.

  6. Desimond says:

    With all this Cameron and Salmond talk, is Ed Miliband admitting here that he expects Labour to lose both the General Election and the Holyrood Election?

    Positivity right enough!

  7. annie says:

    Read the Daily Record version and wondered after a couple of paragraphs which sycophant had written it, went back to the top and sure enough Torcuil Crighton was the culprit, why on earth anyone would be enthrall to Ed Milliband is a mystery to me.

  8. jon esquierdo says:

    Will Mr Brown take just one question before he runs out of the hall. Who scrapped the ten pence tax level?.

  9. Colin mcartney says:

    “One island, with a border running through it, so divided in two” ?
    That will be Ireland then.
    Oh wait, anywhere that two countries meet usually means different tax regimes on either side, even in Canadian and American States they have different tax rates from each other.
    Arithmetic 0/10, geography 0/10, must try harder, in fact don’t bother, just go and sit in the corner

  10. Robin Ross says:

    Ed Milliband seems to be envisaging a future in which Alex Salmond and David Cameron are in opposition to one another. Is this a tacit admission that he does not expect to be in power in the future?

  11. Robin Ross says:

    Beat me to it Desimond!

  12. ally says:

    Any reader got an idea when Eddie Millipede speaks at conference?

  13. bookie from hell says:

    Love Will Keep Us Together

  14. Taysideterrier says:

    The parts there from the guardian story seems to be very similar/almost identical to the bbc news story. I find it Funny how the media dont seem to quote Ed Milliband ect directly but all seem to suggest they know what MP’s will say and put in in quotes as if they have said it? Do they get this stuff from press releases?

  15. Taysideterrier says:

    Sorry for the grammar errors there, using phone to type!

  16. Breastplate says:

    They seek him here they seek him there
    Those veggies seek him everywhere
    Is he in heaven is he in hell
    That damned elusive positive case for the union

  17. Doug Daniel says:

    “It would be two lanes in a race to the bottom, with David Cameron and Alex Salmond at the starting blocks in which the only way they win is for you to lose.”

    Interesting that Miliband is predicting a Tory win in 2015 and an SNP win in 2016.

  18. jon esquierdo says:

    Is Gordon an egoistic tax cheat?

  19. chalks says:

    A race to the bottom that was instigated by New Labour, the very people ED the red admires…

  20. Stuart Black says:

    @peter macbeastie: Absolutely agree, this “hard working families shite annoys me intensely, it’s just a Daily Mail style rhetorical tool to promote divisiveness, and they all do it constantly. Pish…

  21. Colin McCartney says:

    “One island, with a border running through it, so divided in two” ?
    That will be Ireland then.
    Oh wait, anywhere that two countries meet usually means different tax regimes on either side, even in Canadian and American States they have different tax rates from each other.
    Arithmetic 0/10, geography 0/10, must try harder, in fact don’t bother, just go and sit in the corner

  22. heedtracker says:

    Poverty pay levels, zero hours contracts, million plus teenage unemployment, near bankrupt £1.5 tr national debt/deficit, royal billionaires, super rich tax dodger banker class, expenses fraudsters Alistair Darling et al, £100 billion nukes missiles in the Clyde, endless middle east wars, renewable energy all to pot, relentless Project Fear/BBC in Scotland and on and on it goes AFTER 12 years of Labour in power.

    No thanks Ed.

  23. Macart says:

    OFFS, if they don’t stop with all of this love, I may burst into tears. 😀

    Course Miliband has conveniently forgotten how many times Labour cut corporation tax and I’m just dying to hear what he thinks of Johann’s devolution proposals. Or will he be concentrating so much of his speech on Alec Salmond that the revolutionary devo proposals will be conveniently neglected? Two faced hypocrite.

    Labour/Tory, you couldn’t put a fag paper between them and these pricks have the neck to come up here and tell us that when they use these levers on behalf of the UK its a good thing, even if the result is still fucking economic carnage. If the Scots use them on their own behalf and for their own benefit its an act of pure evil. This idiot is basically defending every PM and chancellors record, regardless of party, for the past fifty years and saying their actions were just peachy.

    Just how fucking brilliant a record can their use of the nations fiscal levers be, when people are struggling to find something to eat.

    ‘Scuse the swearing.

  24. Desimond says:

    Ed, these crazy SNP backed Universal Benefits, should they be Universal?


    So everyone should have them?

    No, nobody should.

  25. jon esquierdo says:

    Colin you said “just go and sit in the corner!” Did you spell the fourth last word correct?

  26. jim arnott says:

    Labour just don’t get it. By constantly attacking the SNP with their visceral hatred they are attacking the Scottish Government elected by the Scottish people and therefore they are attcking the people of Scotland. Just how stupid is that? Best not answer that.

  27. Murray McCallum says:

    New OneNation Labour have really bought into this “hardworking families” Tory rhetoric. This fits in with their OneNation attack on welfare spending over and above what the Tories are intending.

    The 13 year-long New Labour government that did much to create the UKs unequal society are, as usual, attacking every aspect of the independence campaign.

    They are now saying:

    1. Independence is purely aimed at business interests (while quoting any business statement remotely against independence and apparently saying businesses are against independence).

    2. Independence is purely aimed at rich people (while saying rich people will move south of the border to protect their wealth).

    3. Independence will damage the less well off (while every poll shows the most disadvantaged Scots predominately voting Yes).

    A total fear mongering scatter gun approach.

  28. Jimbo says:

    Invoking the memory of John Smith???

    This present entire Labour lot would give John Smith the dry boak.

  29. Ken500 says:

    What Miliband forgot to say? Oil and Whisky tax rates 80%. Evaded Tax rates on Multinationals (foreign) through the City of London = 0% Illegal and damaging British business. Unfair markets.
    There is a two tier tax system operating in the UK which favours the City of London and the S/E of England and discriminates against Scotland and British business but favours Tory bankers. 5 people in the UK hold more wealth than 1/5 (20%) of the UK population, the most vulnerable. Unequal and unfair.

    Scotland no taxation without representation. (outvoted 10 to 1) The UK is not an equal Union. The secrecy and lies around the UK Treasury Accounts, the McCrone Report, the illegal Wars and the Press corruption.

  30. Colin McCartney says:

    Jon, if I missed out the “h” I apologise, but the rest of the sentence would have read ” all over us again”

  31. Macart says:


    Couldn’t agree more. The last leader of that party who still understood what a socialist ideal was.

    You’d be hard bloody pressed to find anyone in parliamentary Labour now who remembers what Labour was meant for. They’re all too busy having a career.

  32. BM says:

    When the news is written before it happens, how can we trust it to be objective?

  33. SquareHaggis says:

    Could ThatchED be trying to shake off his “I’d rule like a Tory” statement whilst accusing EVERYONE else of being a Tory perchance?

    Poor people of Perth, sook up the luuurve…

  34. Dcanmore says:

    Once again Labour is trying to manifest ‘year zero’ onto the public. White washing all the political decisions taken over the past 35 years.

    Look at Britain today, everything you see from boom and bust, zero hours contracts, bedroom tax, poll tax, ATOS, food banks, means testing, NHS sell off, PFI, casino banking, personal and corporate tax avoidance, industrial wastelands, mass unemployment, worthless pensions, work until you drop, privatisations, tax raids, massive price hikes, low wage economy, austerity measures, illegal wars, new Trident … all of this is the result of successive Conservative and Labour governments over the past 35 years as obsessive party ideologies are more important than the well-being of the country’s own citizens.

    Ed Milliband wants us to forget all of that, we are to pretend he wasn’t in the Labour government as Energy Minister when much of the above and more was manifesting under his nose. We are to just blame Alex Salmond and the SNP because for the ills of the world because according to Ed, nothing happened before 2011, nothing at all.

    Vote YES and leave this creep to his Westminster domicile.

  35. patronsaintofcats says:

    Jeez, these love bombs are really beginning to sting! How’s about a little less love Ed?

  36. Stew says:

    Wonder how long its going to take them to get the message that the scaremongering and personal attacks arent working. Probably about as long as it takes Lamont to do her sums. Oops sorry its not about arithmatic.
    Think Ive got the message now though, Im voting No! Cheap beer and bingo, Im alright Jack, fuck the rest of you.

  37. BuckieBraes says:

    ‘Think how hard it would be to stop a race to the bottom happening if, on one island, we had a border running along the middle so we were divided in two. It would be two lanes in a race to the bottom, with David Cameron and Alex Salmond at the starting blocks in which the only way they win is for you to lose.’

    If he really is going to say that, it’s gibberish. Somewhere in the middle of that quote-to-be, the language is being tortured until it’s screaming for mercy.

    This ‘border running along the middle’ – what, down the Pennines or something? The ‘two lanes’ metaphor doesn’t really work if we picture the Anglo-Scottish border as the divider. Oh, dear: poor Ed!

    Right, I’m off to drive round Perth with my Yes sticker.

  38. Les Wilson says:

    I do not know what others think, but when Edd Balls and Osborne on TV recently they could have been taken as friends.

    Despite what they say to vilify A.Salmond by trying to label him some kind of Tory sympathiser,is actually they who admire them.

  39. gerry parker says:

    Even my barber in Whifflet knows it’s not about Mr Salmond and the SNP.

  40. Taranaich says:

    But what has become clear is that when it comes to a choice, they prefer giving business tax cuts and money to the richest Scottish energy companies than cash to Scottish families,’ Brown said.

    Ah, yes, that must be why the SNP set aside millions of the already-tight Scottish block grant to mitigate the Bedroom Tax for Scottish families, the same Bedroom Tax the Labour party innovated and consistently fails to repeal… wait what?

    Seriously, getting REAL tired of this. “SNP can’t be socialist because corporation tax” – well how in blazes can Labour be socialist because Bedroom tax? What do you think has a more immediate detrimental effect on the lives of the poorest in Britain?

  41. Truth says:

    @jon esquierdo

    Brown didn’t scrap the 10p tax rate, he doubled it!

    I find phrasing it like that wins more people over. I believe it is more technically accurate also.

  42. Desimond says:

    @Stuart Black @peter macbeastie

    Now lads, come on now, fairs fair.
    Ed’s Labours proud to be the party of the ‘working’ not the NON-working…

    “So I have asked our Policy Review to look at whether, without spending extra money, we can change the system. Asking people to work longer – say 5 years instead of 2 – before they qualify for extra support.”

  43. heedtracker says:

    That thing by the great Sevrin Carrill is so project fear vote no, I don’t know why he isn’t working for the BBC in Scotlsnd. They said they were hiring 60000 more BBC trainees for a few months up to Sept but why not give this one vote no vote labour fanatic the job? Sevrin Carrel/Steve Bell double whammy from England to defeat the evil and cruel Scots FM, shock!

  44. proudscot says:

    If Milliband is hoping to “inject love” into the debate on Scotland’s Independence, maybe HE’s the one who hopes to win the “race to the bottom”? Just saying. Ok, I’ll get ma coat …

  45. heraldnomore says:

    For a fleeting moment there I put JoLa’s address to conference on full screen.

    Bad as that was we’ve now got McClymont doing the hand jive. Wonder if they’re going to give the Aberdonian a slot?

    Oh my that hall doesn’t look very full. No doubt Stu will bring us all the screen shots of the sleeping hordes in due course. When’s Allan Grogan’s session?

  46. scopa says:

    What I find most interesting about this is that neither of them mention the devolution convention. Are they embarrassed by it? Can’t think why.

  47. jon esquierdo says:

    Good point truth

  48. JPJ2 says:

    Streaming of the Labour Conference by the BBC on the internet in Scotland shows minimal applause for Lamont and others-the audience knows they are failing.

  49. heraldnomore says:

    innovative aren’t they? no wonder they can come up with nothing new

  50. Bit of a brass neck being shown by the young leader of Tory-Lite.

    It is a measure of his cartoon understanding of the Scottish political dynamic that he is promoting this Mickey-Mouse meme.

    He obviously thinks the Scottish electorate too stupid to resist his carnival-barking nonsense. They know that the SNP is THE social democratic party in Scotland. They know that Salmond and his team have proven themselves competent and reliable and fit to govern.

    That is why the electorate gave the SNP a second term and an overall majority in a proportionally elected Parliament. It is not for nothing that London born Oxford educated Miliband minor is considered a chancer by the majority of Scots.

    He is insulting their intelligence.

    And as for his one nation, one people, one leader guff, well I didn’t like it when adolph said it and I don’t like it now.

  51. TheGreatBaldo says:

    Ladies & Gentlemen…..

    ‘The Red Paper’…..cos obviously JoLa’s effort went down like a fart in a spacesuit.

  52. kalmar says:

    Tuned in to the conference in Perth for 5 minutes. It’s a massively dull yet still aggravating and enraging experience. Tuned out sharpish.
    I worry for Stu sometimes, I really do.

  53. CameronB says:

    So does Scotland’s independence and self-determination means an SNP government for ever. Hope not, but I think I’ll take the risk.

    @ Mr. Miliband. When are you going to give us a written constitution?

  54. CameronB says:

    I do miss the editor. 🙂

  55. Vincent McDee says:

    Is not often I recommend an article from the Record which is not written by Joan McAlpine, but the one below is of so much zany comedy relief, it becomes essential reading as one of your “five a day” for healthy laughing:

    Guess which paper is going to be the centrepiece of the three-day Scottish Labour conference that gets under way in Perth today?

    Anas Sarwar “red paper” for Social Justice in Scotland.

    I kid you not.

    I kid you not.

  56. Stevie says:

    Oh, this overwhelming wave of positivity requires a them song for all this BritNat love – CAN YOU FEEL THE LOVE

  57. velofello says:

    I really enjoy watching Johann as she speaks. I watch Johann’s glum face and her hand gestures. At FM Question Time she adopts a right wrist twirling motion, a bit of finger wagging and also a right arm flailing motion. When seated comfortably (eh?) in interview she seems to be simulating working in her kitchen on a chopping board.

    With regard to what she actually says whilst expressing herself with hand art, well she seems to have a similar understanding of finance as my six year old granddaughter has whilst playing monopoly. Granny and Grandad are there to help the six year old play monopoly but Johann is sitting there in interview all alone with a red tide rising up her neck. Should she ask Gordon Brown and Alistair Darling to accompany her as financial minders?

  58. Bob Tateson says:

    Interesting that Milliband concedes that after a Yes vote the first elected Scottish government will be SNP. Presumably he has no faith at all in Lamont’s chances. And who can blame him?

  59. heedtracker says:

    Another of LabourTory Lamont’s “end aye thone freebie cultures” turns out to be just one more load of Westminster crap, dumped on kids this time.

  60. call me dave says:

    Another BOHICA day in Scotland, lectured to, patronised, bullied, dismissed and smothered in condescending claptrap.

    One little X (kiss) them goodbye. Oh what a relief that will be.

    No more BOHICA

    What?… Bend Over Here It Comes Again.

  61. Jim T says:

    All the “live” excrement, sorry, excitement here:

    Still hunting for the running order.


  62. heraldnomore says:

    Are they just meeting up to talk amongst themselves about the SNP?

  63. bookie from hell says:

    Red Paper


    they like kicking cans down the road

  64. “Is there no women delegates that want to speak in this debate?”


    “Oh Dear!!”

    And that my rests my case Mr Stu.

  65. Stevie says:

    LOVE’s LABOURS LOST – this is just too ridiculously easy:

    That pesky inability to keep a positive approach, Shakespeare doth name thy troth for what it is, ye doomspeakin Labourite British nationalists :

    Act I

    ‘Having sworn too hard-a-keeping oath, Study to break it and not break my troth.’

    ‘Affliction may one day smile again; and till then, sit thee down, sorrow!’

    Act II
    ‘That aged ears play truant at his tales,’

    Act III
    ‘This senior-junior, giant-dwarf, Dan Cupid;
    Regent of love-rhymes, lord of folded arms,
    The anointed sovereign of sighs and groans,
    Liege of all loiterers and malcontents,
    Dread prince of plackets, king of cod-pieces,
    Sole imperator and great general
    Of trotting paritors. O my little heart!’

    Act IV

    He hath never fed of the dainties that are bred in a book;
    He hath not eat paper, as it were; he hath not drunk ink.’

    Act V
    ‘He draweth out the thread of his verbosity finer than the staple of his argument.’

    ‘They have been at a great feast of languages, and stol’n the scraps.’

    ‘I have seen the day of wrong through the little hole of discretion.’

    ‘A jest’s prosperity lies in the ear of him that hears it, never in the tongue of him that makes it.’

    It was true then and it’s true now : Westminster politics is a bed of lies, deceit and betrayal. Leave their sleeping dogs to lie.

  66. Chris Cairns says:

    Re the late, “great” John Smith … as trainee hacks in Darlington in 1989, our class went along to the Richmond (Yorks) by-election (won by William Hague). Smith turned up to support the Labour candidate and I well remember at the press conference that his then secretary, the awfully nice Mo Mowlem, invited these callow journos to ask a question or two.
    No-one else stuck their hand up so I asked him why he was opposed to a referendum on a Scottish Assembly. (Ach, I knew it was hardly relevant to his visit but it raised a laugh from my classmates). Not so yer man. His face darkened and he launched into a vicious Nat-bashing rant Helen Liddell could’ve delivered.
    I just sat with a big grin on my face as Mo desperately tried to lighten the mood again with some questions about child poverty and war.
    The man was just a machine Labour politician like all the rest – let’s stop making out he was JFK just cos he’s deid.

  67. call me dave says:

    The councillor from Pollok has the usual tirade about the SNP and then….not a lot on what labour will do.

    No wummin wanting to talk at the podium, oh well Ken Macintosh then! says the mc. 🙂

    He may be waffling but he can waffle without to many notes.

    Putting in a case for MP’s at Westminster, well they need the jobs.

    Had enough already, lunch beckons try again later.

  68. Stevie says:

    OMG – LOL

    I’ve just realised, this Miliband ‘positive love’ was meant to be a killing blow in TANDEM with the DEVO F**K ALL Labour BritNat Lamont’s ‘proposals’.

    LOL – one doesn’t often laugh but Labour is doing its Monty Python (see 2011 Scottish Holyrood Labourite campaign) approach to campaigning again.


  69. Alt Clut says:

    I believe I’m qualified to say this as a still relatively new returner to Scotland after spending all of my working life in England and having never voted anything but Labour in my entire life.

    Mr. Miliband you have a bloody nerve ! Your party followed on seamlessly from the Tories in presiding over the biggest shift of wealth and power from the poor to the rich since World War II and you are no different.

    I’ve been struck by how well the SNP reflects the social democratic, pro social justice, thinking of most Scots. I’m not an unreserved supporter of the party but I shall vote for it, and am campaigning hard for ‘YES’ because these are the best defences we have against the hypocrisy of the three headed ‘Tweedle Dee/Dum’ of Tories/Labour/Libs.

    Labour No More. To hell with all three of you !!

  70. Desimond says:


    Will Anas have time to do all these promises or will he back in Pakistan giving lectures on Entrepreneurship like he was on the night of the Bedroom Tax vote?

    Lets get this YES vote through and then watch the Ship of Fools that is Labour tear themselves apart. As Brad Pitt says in Fight Club…”Self Destruction is needed, not Self improvement”

  71. CameronB says:

    Sorry, a bit OT. I’d never heard of the National Labour Organisation, also known as the National Labour Committee.

  72. Robert Kerr says:

    i find the phrase “If Scotland was to go independent” the most patronising and objectionable of all the things trotted out.

    It is cold war rhetoric. It is an insult to us all!

    Think about it. We shall here this more frequently in the weeks to come.

  73. Macart says:

    @Chris Cairns

    Oh he was definitely a Westminster first man no question and there’s plenty in his politics to disagree with. In my own personal filing cabinet I’d stick him in the same folder as Mr Benn. Someone you could respect without necessarily agreeing with or liking.

  74. CameronB says:

    Joy Division – No Love Lost (version)

  75. The Rough Bounds says:

    Scottish Labour? They will not rest until Scotland is scorched and burned to the ground just so they can become Lords of the Ashes.

  76. Gillie says:

    I might be worth checking out some of the people listed in Labour’s ‘Red Paper’

    One Ghizala Avan is described as a Development Consultant
    & Psychologist.

    However there is Ghizala Avan, an actress, that looks awfy like Labour’s Ghizala Avan.

    Why didn’t Labour mention she was an actress?.

  77. heedtracker says:

    Here in Aberdeen, another BetterTogether Press and journal vote NO rant goes tits up, as same propagandists try to sell/explain Osborne’s latest Scots oil tax hike/raid/asset stripping. This time they’ve snatched a useful billion off the drilling side. Drilling says it’s going to shut it down.

    Also, Salmond accused, Danny Alexander orders Scottish airports to “seek new destinations and vote no” You don’t have to be mad to live in Aberdeen but BetterTogetherP&J makes it all the more insane.

  78. Another Union Dividend says:

    John Smith who lived in a leafy Edinburgh suburb failed to tackle the blatant sectarian nonsense in his Labour Party Monklands constituency.

    This is a fight between Scotland and Westminster and I heard on radio this morning that Labour plan to send a copy of their “Red Paper” to every household.

    Will this be charged as part of the referendum campaign expenditure?

  79. john king says:

    “Vote YES and leave this creep to his Westminster domicile.”

    Wow, what Dcanmore said?


  80. Lanarkist says:

    Brian Taylor’s Big Debate from Perth already running into trouble!

    Audience mostly very clued up and have torn through Lamonts TV Interview and empty promises from all three BT Parties.

    Looking to be an eye opener in the same town on the same weekend as the SLAB Conference.

  81. The Rough Bounds says:

    George Eaton in the New Statesman writes:

    ”If Scotland was to go independent…”

    That ‘if’ makes the question a conditional Mr. Eaton. The correct English grammar is ”If Scotland WERE to go independent…”

    Is this really the best that we can expect from Labour?

  82. Lanarkist says:

    Beeb BIg Debate, John Swinney is on fire, he is calling out incoherent Policy from SLAB.

    Some home truths coming out now, Barnett Formula after No vote under threat causing a stooshie!

  83. john king says:

    I have a question
    if Ed the talking horse is all for hard working families
    then what happens if you have a hard working member of the family and the other one is a lazy shite?
    (not that I know anyone by that description you understand),
    would he give with one hand and take away with other?
    just askin s’all

  84. Gillie says:

    Ghizala Avan, of now Red Paper fame, once appeared in Taggart, “IT WUZ MHURRRDERR”

  85. Grouse Beater says:

    Miliband exhorts us to vote for continued obedience to our neighbour to “honour the memory of John Smith.

    Some years back, for a televison drama series, I asked John Smith’s wife for a contact or two in Russian television, the good lady back then a significant person in the Scottish Friends of the USSR association.

    A few days later I was stunned to receive a demand for a considerable amount of money for her yet-to-be-undertaken task.

    In order to put her mind at rest and mollify her anger at my resistance to a “fee” in advance of any work, I agreed to her condition only if and when a contact guaranteed the project would happen.

    A few belligerent telephone conversations later from the dear lady accusing me of renaging on a deal (none had been discussed let alone made) I wrote informing her that her socialist version of opportunistic capitalism was wholly unacceptable, and quietly dropped the Russian end of the project.

    I don’t subscribe to the hoary old adage the sins of the father visit the son, or in Smith’s case, his television journalist daughter, but I do harbour an understandable suspicion that his daughter’s new role commanding media presentation of our plebiscite might just be less than the even-handed responsibility it should be.

    After all, she’ll have signed a contract in advance insuring she is paid handsomely for her short-term endeavour.

  86. Helena Brown says:

    Realising that Mr Miliband will not have read Newsnet Scotland who during their recent Panelbase Poll asked Labour Party Supporters if working with the Tories in the BT Campaign had damaged their Party, 48 percent of Labour Members surveyed thought that it had damaged the Party and 62% of all Labour Supporters though the Party was damaged. So I would suggest that before Ed Miliband throws bricks at the SNP he looks at the glass in his own hoose,

  87. john king says:

    “And as for his one nation, one people, one leader guff, well I didn’t like it when adolph said it and I don’t like it now.”

    What? do you mean the Ein Volk Ein Fuhrer bit?
    naw Im not seeing Lamont as Der Fuhrer more like Herr Flick 😉

    As far as the tory eh sorry labour conference in Perth is concerned would it not have made more sense to have it in the COUNTING House 🙂

  88. Papadox says:

    Gordon Brown. What a rat, who sold the gold off half price, who bust the pensions industry, who was the captain of HMS LONDON when the banks went bust. How much does he get off of us as a thank you + expenses. A PARASITE, with no shame or a conscience. Don’t do as I do do as I say.

    Milliband, who is he, what is he, why is he up here to slag off AS and the people of Scotland, another PARASITE. F.O. back to the big smoke.

    Who are these muppets, send them back to their city state where they fit in nicely.

  89. DougtheDug says:

    Chris Cairns:

    I didn’t know he was opposed to a Scottish referendum but I do know that if he had lived I would have campaigned against him, his party and his candidates just as hard as I did against Blair, Brown and now Miliband.

    Just like Blair, Brown and Miliband he was a unionist opposed to Scottish independence and dedicated to preserving the British state and establishment.

    Labour regard him as a lost hero and rather arrogantly they expect the rest of Scotland to take the same view. I simply regard him as a past leader of the British nationalist Labour party.

  90. andyC says:

    Don’t call it ‘The Beeb’
    That word was conjured up to make it sound all nice,friendly and cuddly.

  91. andyC says:

    “Send Milliband and Brown back to the big smoke” ????
    NO!….Detain them at the ‘border’ (hee hee) and charge them with crimes against humanity.

  92. Big Jock says:

    Milliband go home and tell them that Scotland’s sons and daughters are yours no more.

  93. Stuart Black says:

    Brilliant article on Bella. Apologies if already posted.

  94. Muscleguy says:

    @Vincent McDee
    I loved the bit where they say they are going to abolish the anti sectarian songs bill in order to help the battle against sectarianism. Right, so more people going back to singing songs deliberately meant to be offensive will not get anyone’s back up?

    Pull the other one Anas, it’s got Grant’s on (I prefer it to Bell’s if I must drink blended).

  95. john king says:

    Ein Riech

  96. patronsaintofcats says:

    @Gillie check out Ghizala’s Twitter feed, she’s got 18 followers! About: “Actor, psychologist……….and various other identities I can bore you with but will spare you.” And she likes kitty cats! What’s not to like?

  97. Deepest green says:

    @ Lanarkist

    “Beeb BIg Debate, John Swinney is on fire, he is calling out incoherent Policy from SLAB.

    Some home truths coming out now, Barnett Formula after No vote under threat causing a stooshie!”

    I thought Swinney was in excellent form, it was a really good listen.

  98. call me dave says:

    I note that Ms Lamont only just managed to squeeze in at the big table on the conference stage. I thought she was chief in Scotland? Tells a lot the seating arrangement.

    But being at the end she can always nip away and get the tea and empire biscuits in when the conference hustle and bustle subsides a bit.

  99. The Rough Bounds says:

    John Smith? That two faced hypocritical apology for a Scot.

    That this man was allowed to be buried in the Holy Relig Odhran graveyard in Iona among the remains of our Scottish kings and Gaelic saints just to give the Labour Party some publicity is an absolute and utter disgrace.

    I cannot think of any other country or culture in the world where this would have been tolerated. Labour politicians have cast aside all respect for the Scottish nation, and they should be destroyed and discarded by us in the same way we would deal with a rat found behind the kitchen door.

  100. They would be better sending out the wee red book from the E.T.It would make more sense I have no doubt. Just another carpetbagger on an away-day return, although it’s nice to see some realism has crept in with his acknowledgement that he is going to lose the 2015 election, as the dogs in the street already knew. Still, the M.S.M will plug this for all their worth, trying to make this political nonentity seem important. Sad really, that such a once great political movement has come to this. But then, it’s their own doing, and how this thoroughly corrupt organisation is going to recover in an independent Scotland is beyond me. However I don’t really care, so hell mend them.

  101. Papadox says:

    Is Ed going to announce that he wishes to correct a mistake. “There is no such thing as Scottish labour” O and while I’m on a roll “there is no country called Scotland! We extinguished the jocks 1707. So you are all ENGELANDERS now!

  102. rab_the_doubter says:

    I knew there had to be a cunning plan behind the venue for 4th April but couldn’t figure it out until now. Anyone fron BT is going to stick out like a sore thunb in a place called the ‘Counting House’.

  103. Morag says:

    I remember going over to Iona a few years after that, because my mother wanted to go (to the island, not the cemetery!). The woman selling the ferry tickets at Fionnphort asked me if I was going to visit “the grave” and waxed elegaic about the wonderful Prime Minister he would have been.

    I don’t know if she saw the wee SNP pin on my collar or not. I replied that we don’t know what would have happend, and we don’t even know that Labour would have won the 1997 election with Smith in charge never mind what sort of a job he’d have done if they had. I was subjected to the most appalling abuse. I was really quite shocked. I mean, I’d only gone to her wee booth to buy a couple of tickets on the bloody ferry.

    I also remember seeing a small crowd of people over in a corner of the graveyard while I was there, and giving them a wide berth. Disgusting. He should have been given a decent burial in an Embro kirkyard.

  104. sionnach says:

    @Stuart Black:

    Yes, an excellent Bella article! Britain is so bleak it makes “Bleak House” sound like a rather pleasant place. I fail to understand how anyone, given the chance, would vote to continue pooling and sharing all this bleakness.

  105. CameronB says:

    John Smith. A working class leader that could work with the establishment and not ask for too much?

    One Nation Benjamin Disraeli would have been delighted.

  106. Grouse Beater says:

    @ Stuart Black

    I took your advice and read the Bella Caledonia essay. There’s much I like and a lot I don’t.

    The author’s portrayal of Scotland’s move toward regaining full democracy as nothing special is, in itself, a radical step, for some Scots and English, a step too far.

    The SNP’s vision is one step at a time, any radical agenda of change arriving when autonomy is secured on the back of new freedoms hitherto not enjoyed in over 300 years.

    Though the author restricts his thesis to political issues, there is much that is significantly different about Scotland compared to other small nation states that has a bearing on our daily life, not the least of which is the quality of light. That difference alone has a bearing on a people’s outlook and behaviour, and practical things such as crop growth.

  107. Clootie says:

    …this is still a rant on what will happen (in his opinion) with independence. What happened to the outline of the POSITIVE case.

    I really want to know. I promise to listen.

    So apart from Eastenders / Dr Who / olympic team / killing people together – what is the case for the union.

    I don’t want another repeat of scare stories. It’s an easy request to compile – a simple list of the benefits Scotland enjoys (“Share risk and reward” is waffle and doesn’t count).

    Scotland is better in the union because…

  108. BigSteveChisholm says:



    Good story.

    Baroness Smith has some very interesting (spooky, even) connections. Between ’98 and 2000 she was on the board of low profile Hakluyt (ahem) consultancy. She was also on the board of The Centre for European Reform. Look ’em up.

    Life peer, Labour royalty, UK establishment through and through. She’d certainly be well placed to make a few phone calls to the BBC…

    … not that I’m suggesting she would.

  109. chalks says:

    Morag, I went to Iona but never saw his grave. Went to the Abbey which reminded me of the Wicker Man, then got a boat to Staffa. Which was great.

    I didn’t even know it was there!

  110. gordoz says:

    Im sick of this PC to Labout guff !!

    John Smith a fine man to some, (mostly labour minions, for Labour reasons), who did not live long enough to get around to changing the lives of ordinary Scots.

    Miliband, I raise you, your nemesis, the bogey man – Mr Alex Salmond (First Minister of Scotland).

    Scotlands man.

    ‘Our Man’ who takes no orders from London !

  111. faolie says:

    Ha, that’s a laugh, coming from a party that couldn’t be bothered to turn up to vote against the bedroom tax, which said, “There is no point funding free care for the elderly when half the people in the poorest parts of Scotland do not live long enough to take advantage”, and that’s said it wouldn’t re-nationalise the post office.

    And as for Broon, lecturing us on political parties that are going to cost us dear? On yer bike, man. Do you really think we’re going to listen after how much you cost us when you were in government?

  112. The No campaign will say anything. Hitler once said ‘if you tell a lie often enough people will believe it’. While I would not suggest that the London Politicians should be compared to Hitler, someone on their team must believe the veracity of this statement.

  113. Viking Girl says:

    I’ve said it before, but it isn’t about whether I’ll be a few pounds better off or worse, because it isn’t about me. It’s about my country and whether it remains in thrall to the Westminster hegemony. I want out of it. Last night’s ITV News At Ten was interesting. Seemingly, the Scottish working class are moving over to ‘Yes.’ That’s because Labour have lost their constituency here. All they have left is the Govan shipyard, that’s the one they’re using to threaten all of us with tales of losing jobs if we don’t vote ‘No.’

  114. Bill Walters says:

    Negative campaigning doesn’t bother me half as much as people moaning incessantly about the tone of an argument while ignoring the actual substance of the point being made.

    Some of the most powerful arguments for voting Yes are negative arguments – no more Tories, the UKIP factor, the danger of leaving the EU, etc. It would be nice if we could drop this obsession with negative campaigning and focus simply on whether an argument is accurate or not.

  115. Faltdubh says:


    Brian’s Big Debate was a good listen. Swinney was definitely on top form, and credit where it’s due Brian was decent today and telling the Labour and Lib Dem women to worry up and stop woffling off topic.

    The crowd sounded very much Yes too.

  116. Grouse Beater says:

    @ Big Steve Chisholm

    Well reminded – a pillar of the British Establishment.

  117. lumilumi says:

    Westminster bubble politicians really are deserting the north.

    …if, on one island, we had a border running along the middle so we were divided in two…

    I measured the distance from Dunnet Head in Caithness to Land’s End in Cornwall on the map inside the cover of my GB road atlas and divided that by two to figure out the middle (excluding the northern isles, which are, as usual, inserts on some other map page – apologisies to any Orcadians or Shetlanders reading this). The border would run from Kendal to Middlesbrough.

    The Better Together UKOK’s have moved the border from Hadrian’s Wall (also entirely within England) even further south. 😀

    And this was just a rough north-south measure. England & Wales are “fatter” than Scotland so area-wise the “middle” might run from Blackpool to York.

    It all of course becomes intelligible when you remember that UK Labour want to win votes in “middle” (really south/south east) England. Their Scottish branch is supposed to deliver the “guaranteed” Scottish MPs to help the UK Labour in their one and only political ambition: to win control of the Westminster parliament.

    And the brass neck of Miliband bleating on about social democracy when they’re a neo-lib right-wing party.

    People in England and Wales don’t have much choice between the red or blue tories and the reason Labour in Scotland hate the SNP so vehemently is because the SNP have comfortably slotted into the left-of-centre slot Scottish voters seem to prefer.

    Ed Miliband’s speech was all about Westminster politics, not about Scotland. Labour’s priorities are in Westminster, Scotland is just a vote automaton – and they hate it when the wheels are coming off and they’re actually challenged north of the border (wherever that might be :-D)

  118. bjsalba says:

    I’m still trying to work out what the term “hardworking families” actually means.

    Last Scottish census household sizes are
    1 person in household 34.70%
    2 people in household 34.00%
    3 people in household 15.10%
    4 people in household 11.50%
    5 or more people in household 4.70%

    Singles are obviously not included (so almost 35% is excluded right off the bat).
    Some 2 person households might – if they not on benefits or retired – but what if they both work and have no children? So out of that 34.00% maybe half say 17% would be families.
    Households with three or more (3,4 and 5+ totalling to just over 30%)- if they not on benefits – say 2 in 3 or around 20%.

    So we are talking about 37% of households?

    So what about the other 63% of us?

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