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Burning the lifeboats

Posted on November 16, 2013 by

The Herald’s lead story this morning is a fascinating piece from the always-interesting Gerry Braiden. Under the headline “MSP poll plan may backfire”, it reveals:

“Labour’s new selection process for the 2016 Scottish Parliament elections is expected to see high-profile casualties, the return of anonymous MSPs, and bitter infighting among potential candidates.

The party will choose ­candidates it hopes will topple the SNP Government next time around in January, a full two-and-a-half years before the poll.”

It goes on to focus on the local tribal aspects of the decision, and the likelihood that it will strengthen the grip on their seats of some of the party’s “most inconspicuous elected representatives” (Braiden singles out Glasgow list MSPs Anne McTaggart and Hanzala Malik), but uncharacteristically misses what seems to us to be by far the most intriguing consequence of the move.

To find out what that is, we need to go back to a time and place in which many Glasgow Labour politicians will feel very much at home – 1940s Soviet Russia.

Readers may be familiar with the phenomenon we’re about to discuss from some early scenes in the very good 2001 movie Enemy At The Gates, starring Jude Law and Ed Harris as Russian and German snipers during the battle of Stalingrad. But in case you’re not, we’ll let Wikipedia explain:

“On September 12, 1941 Joseph Stalin issued the Stavka Directive No. 1919 concerning the creation of barrier troops in rifle divisions of the Southwestern Front, to suppress panic retreats. 

Their primary goal was to maintain strict military discipline and to prevent disintegration of the front line by any means, including the use of machine guns to indiscriminately shoot any personnel retreating without authorization.”

barriertroops

And if you’re still not sure where we’re going with this, we’ll get to the point. By selecting 2016 Holyrood candidates now, Labour is ensuring that there’ll be no escape pods for Westminster MPs should Scotland vote Yes next September.

It’s been suggested by several seasoned political commentators that independence could actually bring about a revival for Labour in Scotland, as its best talent came back from London to replace the D-list benchwarmers and over-promoted councillors at Holyrood. Few dispute that the likes of Douglas Alexander and Jim Murphy returning to their homeland, however reluctantly, would at least give the SNP slightly more challenging opposition to deal with than Richard Baker and Jackie Baillie can provide.

But that prospect has just been riddled with bullets from its own side. With its 2016 candidates all in place nine months before the referendum, the party couldn’t just parachute displaced Scottish MPs in wholesale after a Yes vote without making a total laughing stock of itself.

(Look at the mess created by the attempt to fiddle just ONE selection in Falkirk.)

The decision makes absolutely no other rational sense. There’s no conceivable need to select candidates two and a half YEARS ahead of an election – January 2015 would be plenty of time. By doing so, Labour has clearly sent out its own McStavka Directive 1919: a “victory or death” message to any troops with thoughts of making peace.

“Beat the Nats or don’t bother coming home” is the order to the Westminster division of Scottish Labour, while the MSP group has basically been turned into a suicide battalion, because this is as close to an open concession of the 2016 election to the SNP as could be imagined.

(It’s also a naked display of contempt for the Scottish Parliament, basically saying “We’re putting our diddies up for Holyrood again even if we’ve got dozens of former Westminster MPs with extensive ministerial experience kicking around unemployed”.)

Johann Lamont has effectively just been told that she’ll never be First Minister, as the party’s seasoned, best-equipped reserves won’t be reinforcing her beleaguered and tattered line. The people’s tribunes on the Thames Front, meanwhile, have been given the stark news that “There are no prisoners of war, only traitors.”

Expect Labour MPs to redouble their efforts from now on. Expect them to fight with the sort of grim, nihilistic desperation that characterised the last months in Stalingrad. Because now they really are fighting for their jobs, for their fat salaries and lavish expenses, and for their political lives.

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    1. 16 03 15 22:23

      The Devo Files: Margaret Curran (Glasgow East) | A Wilderness of Peace

    115 to “Burning the lifeboats”

    1. Red squirrel says:

      They’re running out of feet to shoot.

    2. Atypical_Scot says:

      Are we including Mr Sarwar in the redoubling of effort? Perhaps the Labour think tank believe this move will show the public they are a party of action…, men and women.

    3. Bugger (the Panda) says:

      I find this a thoroughly weird position.
      logically
      Is there already a widening division between Holyrood and Westminster with the former telling the latter that they will not be wanted on the voyage post 2014. This presumes that they think they will retake Holyrood in 2015 in whatever result of the referendum?
      Either that or I am bloody lost at this point, the Tarmac has just run out.
      Could this be another manifestation of the longest suicide note syndrome. 
      Nobody likes us and we don’t care?

    4. Juteman says:

      A certain Labour MP might be using his bayonet on his own troops to get a seat!

    5. steviecosmic says:

      “Expect them to fight with the sort of grim, nihilistic desperation that characterised the last months in Stalingrad.”

      I dont think that they really and truly believe they can win this, so I would expect defections. The smartest among them must surely see, along with the rest of us, which way the wind is blowing?

    6. scaredy cat says:

      They clearly have no respect for the will of the people, but you are right, this will only result in more desperation.
      Talking of which, did I just hear the latest scare tactic?
      Two days running a story on the BBC about people from England coming to Scotland to carry out criminal activities because Scottish laws are not as strict as those south of the border. Yesterday it was people sending their daughters to Scotland for FGM and then this morning it was theft of copper cables.
       
       

    7. gerry parker says:

      We still need to target the Glasgow and Lanarkshire labour bunkers and flush them out into the open to face their electors.  Big job still ahead.  More televised debates ( Nicola Sturgeon and Alistair Carmichael)
      Leafleting/stalls and door to door canvassing.
      g.p

    8. Another London Dividend says:

      Good piece by Ian Bell on currency Plan B which Jim Sillars and Jim Fairlie should read.

      http://archive.is/Mduse

    9. Ghengis D'Midgies says:

      I would’ve hoped that after a yes vote there will be no place in Scottish politics for those who have campaigned against Scotland. Unfortunately, directly after a Yes vote and before the first election, Scotland will still be subjected to the malign influence of the BBC in Scotland AKA the Labour party bilge pump.

    10. balgayboy says:

      Interesting times, between “MSP poll plan may backfire” and “Carmichael warns of complacency in no vote” articles.
       
      I’m inclined to think that the anti-indendence team are awakening to the reality that the consensus in Scotland is swinging to a Yes vote next September.

    11. I’m not sure the main purpose of selecting prospective MSPs now is to make it harder for MPs to move up north after independence.
       
      I think what they’re trying to do is to make sure nobody comes out in favour of independence.  They think people will toe the line more faithfully if they’ve already been selected as prospective MSPs.
       
      It could backfire, though.  What will they do if any of the candidates suddenly start campaigning for a Yes?  Will they get sacked?

    12. crisiscult says:

      After independence, what happens with the current format of the Scottish parliament? Is it supposed to run in the same way as currently for the first election? Where can I read more about this? I assumed there’d be some cross party constitutional commission or some such that would come up with an idea for a new style of parliament, which I suppose could allow the Wasteminster Scotch MPs in. No?

    13. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “I dont think that they really and truly believe they can win this, so I would expect defections. The smartest among them must surely see, along with the rest of us, which way the wind is blowing?”

      Hence the Stavka Directive.

    14. gordoz says:

      Does this mean more of the ugly stuff, more exposure from the Labour’s Scottish Stormtrooper attack hounds ? : such as

      Davidson / Curran / Sarwar / Murphy / Alexander  

      Won’t this infringe on indecency laws in some way  ?

      Seriously what a gift, “Lectured by those who left”

      Davidson might need his bayonet after all for his own side!

    15. Dramfineday says:

      I must say that I’m pretty ambivalent about this news. My problem always has been how could you trust anyone to do their best for the country that has spent their entire career running it down?  It’s democracy stupid is the usual reply (to myself) but as Dunfermline proved, any kind of scoundrel with a red rosette, stands a good chance of getting in. And then how could you trust them in any future negotiations?
       
      It may be that the “big boys and girls” have burnt too many bridges to get back to Scotland or that they see it beneath them to serve in Holyrood – don’t know. However it looks like someone in Labour does and is set on removing the taint of Westminster from their ranks (although I’d be more than surprised if it had been done deliberately and not as an accidental consequence).  

    16. caz-m says:

      I find this story hard to believe. For a start, when did Scottish Labour make a decision without it being passed by their London HQ.

      Are they trying to tell us that they would have Jackie Baillie stand for a seat in the new Independent Scottish Parliament than say, Douglas Alexander.

      Were did these sudden new found powers come from. Is Johann Lamont finally flexing her muscles. I don’t think so.

      I really want this story to be true, but I think it is a non-starter.

      Prove me wrong Johann.

    17. Craig Dalzell says:

      A somewhat alternative scenario is could be that the “top” brass in Holyrood aren’t thinking of this as a suicide incentive at all but are terrified of the returning MP’s kicking *them* out of a job. I don’t think anyone on the top committee really cares who sits on that safe, urban Glasgow back seat. It’s who gets to stand up and read from the script at FMQs that matters. Lamont and co could be setting the stage so that when the post-defeat reshuffles which put her in power come around again there’s no-one with a gnat’s whisker of a chance of having a better CV than she does.

    18. scottish_skier says:

      Labour MPs are in all probability screwed even if there’s a narrow no vote. I have the SNP on 2011 type figures for UKGE intention. In line with Y/N polls, the SNP share for UKGE slipped back during 2012 to just over 40% with labour gaining. Again as per Y/N polls, this trend has reversed over 2013 with the SNP back to landslide territory for UKGE in addition to Holyrood. When Y/N return to parity soon, only Y can gain from there on in and the pro-union campaign will collapse.
       
      I predict a Labour split on the issue in good time. It’s already underway beneath the surface. For some it will be genuine support, others more self preservation.

    19. kendomacaroonbar says:

      @Scottish_Skier
       
      What do you think the current Y/N Referendum polling is showing in your opinion; %’ge wise ?

    20. Doug Daniel says:

      You’re spot on with this, although to be perfectly honest I’ve never believed the likes of Sarwar and Murphy would stand as MSPs anyway – they’d consider Holyrood a step back after having served in the ever so wonderful “mother of all parliaments”. I’ve always expected them to either seek safe English seats, a peerage, or a non-executive directorship at some company looking for influential friends in Whitehall.
       
      No, to them, Holyrood is the Home Guard. Which is funny, because there’s certainly something Captain Pike-esque about Sarwar. And Alistair Darling seems to have based his entire personality on Clive Dunn’s performance as Corporal Jones.

    21. Edward says:

      Talking of Labour, I see BBC’s Question Time will come from Falkirk that will be broadcast on November 28th. It should be interesting to see who Labour push forward to be on the panel to deal with the Falkirk scandal as well as the MP’s that didn’t bother to vote on the Bedroom Tax
      Perhaps we should open a ‘book’ and start the odds
      Sarwar must be at 1000/1
      Davidson at 50/1

    22. Les Wilson says:

      I would personally have a hard time accepting any of these people, who are trying their best to destroy any hope of democracy in Scotland. It would stick in my throat, just when I thought we were shot of them. I suspect very many people will feel the same.

      They should no longer be allowed to fiddle around with Scotland’s future, they should be on the dole in England. Or, just a thought, there is this little island off the west coast where where Westminster tested anthrax. That is a better idea in my book.

    23. The Man in the Jar says:

      Anything that keeps the likes of Davidson, Curran and Sarwar out of Holyrood must be a good thing.
       

    24. Rod Mac says:

      I think it is an irrelevance, this will be some PC dick in Labour HQ trying to prove they are prepared .

      They do not have the brains to be as devious as the Rev gives them credit for.

      In the event of a YES Vote vermin from Westminster will arrive throw their weight about and change the rules in an instant.

      Lamentable Lamont and a whole host of the useless MSPs will be sent back to council duty and the heavyweights will take over in Holyrood.
      Watching Alexander and Murphy fighting like rats in a sack will be a pay per view smash hit.

      God forbid they win the first Scottish election ,their first job will be to increase their pay ,expenses  and housing allowance.

    25. scottish_skier says:

      What do you think the current Y/N Referendum polling is showing in your opinion; %’ge wise ?
       
      I wouldn’t like to put solid %’s on it, but both are approaching the parity of just over 40% each which was the running average since Yes was ahead of the No ~97/98 through to 2011, ironing out the spikes around 2007. No had a ~21 point lead late 2012. This is more ~7 points now according to my own analysis. 
       
      People have been focussing too much on Yes. It is No that is still the most important and it has been falling fast. Once that is overcome and we’re back to parity (which I expect in the next 3 months or so), only Yes can gain from there on in as the DKs, when they shift, shift to Yes. 

    26. desimond says:

      Is this even viable….will the Labour Party exist in Scotland in its present form? Is  the Scottish Labour Party a seperate entity and a registered political party in Scotland in its own right..I thought not…therefore can a rUK Party stand in Scotland? This has chaos written all over it…another mad rushed idea like the “something for nothing” speech disaster.
       
      I suppose theyre trying to at least do something with all their spare time given their not involved in any actual policy or major events like Grangemouth or BAE.

    27. TheGreatBaldo says:

      Agree with the argument put forward….this will make the likes of Davidson, Sarwar, Curran et al squeal even louder as we get closer to Sept 18th……
       
      To go off on a tangent about the repatriation of MP’s after a YES vote ….does anyone know when the other parties are finalising their 2016 slates ?
       
      On the Lib Dems side…..Charlie K would be the obvious one in need of a seat, along wi Mickey Moore and the especially the Cardboard Cut Out Man who presumably would get the  seat held by dear old Tavish !!!
       
      As for the SNP, almost unthinkable they would exclude Stewart Hosie, Angus Macneail, Angus Robertson or Pete Wishart et al……but in their cases their natural constituencies are already taken by sitting constituency SNP MSPs. 

    28. gordoz says:

      On the SNP MP’s – Stewart Hosie, Angus Macneil, Angus Robertson or Pete Wishart et al ..
      Wouldn’t they naturally become ‘Lords’ in the new upper chamber for scotland ?
       
      JOKING, JOKING , JOKING !! (Sorry)

    29. scottish_skier says:

      Y/N Poll rules:

      – Never take one poll in isolation

      – Ignore headline figures (e.g. weighted to turnout and excluding DKs) and have a look at the full base

      – Focus on No for now; Yes becomes important next year

      – Ignore MORI (clearly flawed base skewed towards British on Moreno question as a result of methodology with a shy factor present, correct for the former and falls in line much better)

      – Ignore Yes from TNS (shy factor due to face to face) but note No share

      – Don’t pay much attention to Yougov until we see what their big methodology change (if they stick with it) does in a series of polls

      – Panelbase, ICM and Angus Reid/VC better (more consistent with each other)
       
      Or you can just listen to SS 😉 People can be sure I’m objective. Spotting trends in data is what I do for my day job and I’m just as objective with polls as I am for that. Absolutely no point kidding yourself!

    30. kendomacaroonbar says:

      @Scottish _Skier
       
      Re your comments about analysisng trends… I recall reading about Facebook and Twitter ‘monitoring’ messages/posts and through looking for keywords/phrases can throw up reasonably accurate health/flu epedemic predictions weeks before medical surgeries start to see increased flu related visits.

      Given the above, are you aware of similar trending within social media that would fortify the polling analysis?

    31. gordoz says:

      O/T
      If Labour Councillors were allowing an eviction to take place in Glasgow under their Bedroom Tax (Well it is now since they didn’t bother to turn up to get rid of it ).

      Has anyone asked the new LABOUR MSP (Cara ‘Piccochio’ Hilton) for Dunfermilne to comment  or explain how this couldn’t happen in Dunfermline?

    32. mealer says:

      After a YES vote there will be no place for a London run Labour party in Scotland,just as there is no place for the NZ Labour Party or Australian Labour Party in Scotland.So a Scottish Labour Party,run from Scotland,will take over from the existing effort.Unfortunately,it will be the same bunch who will be involved,but the reconstruction will allow them the opportunity to have a new selection process,thus enabling some of the London lot to “come home”.Dont forget,the independence movement have some talent currently in London who we really need in the Scots Parliament post independence.
       

    33. Where does SLI fit into this as they are the grassroot members and despise both sets of current politicians?    Bring to the boil and then simmer for 6 months, drain then leave to cool.

    34. scottish_skier says:

       recall reading about Facebook and Twitter ‘monitoring’ messages/posts
       
      There was a study done on this a while back and it had something like 73% Yes for people online talking about independence. Can’t find the link – Rev did an article I’m sure.

    35. cjmasta says:

      In the event of a YES vote I think for the good of Scotland the Labour Party, its power structures and media influence should be challenged head on. Living in Glasgow I would love nothing more than to be able to look at the City Chambers without thinking to myself how the building is full with the most corrupt bunch of self serving political types this country has ever seen.

      If we are denied the chance to reflect on what the people of this city and country have been subjected to by those who held power and influence for so long we will just see more of the same with indy.

      The media should have to answer some difficult questions also, there`s no way they should be left off the hook for their behavior the past hundred years shall we say.

      I`ve managed to turn at least ten people from a NO voter to a Yes and I bet many have also done so. Why do the polls not seem to show much shift in voting intentions? I know they can be manipulated to show a certain result but it would be good to see a sizable shift sometime soon. Hopefully the White Paper will be a game changer.

    36. Ian Mackay says:

      Isn’t the next Westminster General Election in 2015? After a Yes vote in 2014 I predict that only those Scottish MPs on the verge of retiral will bother with their re-election in their old Scottish constituencies.

      Any ‘notional’ go-getters used to their lavish Westminster expenses will suddenly develop a fondness for their parties top target seats. Expect Jim Murphy to drone lyrical about North Warwickshire, Douglas Alexander to be seen in and about Hendon, and Margaret Curran to declare her Welsh ancestry in a fight for Cardiff North etc.

    37. scottish_skier says:

      Here we go:
       
      http://wingsoverscotland.com/welcome-to-the-future/
       
      About online support for indy study.

    38. Jimbo says:

      This is sheer desperation borne out of self preservation. The thought of independence has Labour’s Scottish branch really terrified that they’ll lose their place at the Holyrood trough to the so-called big beasts from Westminster.
       
      The desperation among Westminster’s high flying troughers will now become more pronounced as they watch their safety net being pulled away from under them by the second-string performers from clown alley.
       
      Who’ll be stabbing who in the back? Who’ll shoot down JL? We can all sit back and enjoy the show as Labour’s crisis builds up to it’s tense conclusion. We’ll all be on tenterhooks as we await the outcome – Not.

    39. TheGreatBaldo says:

      Rod Mac says:
      16 November, 2013 at 10:34 am

      I think it is an irrelevance, this will be some PC dick in Labour HQ trying to prove they are prepared .
      True and that’s almost certainly how it would be span if they were asked….but it does underscore how dumb tactically and strategically Scottish Labour are these days.
       
      I’m pretty certain that even though they clearly want to win the SNP will already have a detailed plan of what it does and how it reacts in the event of a NO vote and will be ready to roll it out and go straight into the 2015/16 election cycle…..
       
      It’s like at work, everyone knows what to do in the event of a fire…..that doesn’t mean the company is expecting or wanting a fire it just means your prepared for all contingencies….
       
      This is just the same sort of dumb strategizing that saw Labour refuse to put it’s big hitters on the List Vote in 2011 (Christ even Eck was on the SNP’s NE List in case the unthinkable happened)…..and lead to the SNP effectively decapitating Scottish Labour and indeed coming within a few hundred votes of defeating and ejecting it’s Leader.
       
      These seats could have been left vacant until after the referendum to allow Labour complete freedom of movement after a YES vote…..now they are completely boxed in…strategic planning is not one of SLAB’s strong points it’s fair to say.   

      They do not have the brains to be as devious as the Rev gives them credit for.
       
      Attributing them with Machiavellian powers they lack is perhaps being a tad generous and as you say crediting them with more intelligence than they deserve…..
       
      But there was a genuinely personal and moving blog written by the (I assume now Ex) chair of Labour’s UWS chair…..hinting amongst other things that it was the poisonous infighting that had drained her of any enthusiasm for the cause…..
       
      So I think your right….these people aren’t cunning they are just naturally obnoxious and stupid, which is even worse.

    40. les calthorps says:

      Is the Anne Mctaggart mentioned at the beginning of this article the “lady” who, in consideration for her husbands physical wellbeing, chose to take a little horizontal relaxation with a fellow Glasgow Labour Councilor in the Rouken Glen Park after a hard shift at The Glasgow Labour Party trough.?
      The police, showing great consideration and apologising for interrupting such an interesting performance, patted them on the head [or was it doup] and dismissed them with the injunction to be better bairnies in future.     

    41. rabb says:

      cynicalHighlander says:
       

      Where does SLI fit into this as they are the grassroot members and despise both sets of current politicians?    Bring to the boil and then simmer for 6 months, drain then leave to cool.
       
      That’s a good point actually. What of LFI? Surely the selection process would involve the backing of the grassroots CLP’s of which some LFI are members (Then again there’s Falkirk!!)?
       
      It must mean that the CLP’s are in agreement with this. If so then it would appear that they too are complicit in lancing the Westminster boil.

      Is this now an internal acceptance of the inevitable and no more than a self preservation exercise? Or are the CLP’s now taking control (I don’t imagine it would be difficult to remove Lamont from the driving seat) and distancing themselves with the “New” Labour Blairites of Westminster in preparation for a Yes vote?
       
      Let’s face it, that old fella in Falkirk Labour Club the other week was pretty pissed off with SLAB on the telly and pulled no punches.
       
      This politics lark intrigues me more and more with each passing day. I’m kind of becoming addicted to my daily fix now.

    42. Tom Hogg says:

      The Red Army won at Stalingrad.

    43. Changing identities from Webcraft as this is the pro-indy Twitter account I use. O/T I know, but I had to do it somewhere . . .

      Hope that’s OK Stu?

    44. Edward says:

      scottish_skier
      I’m going to go out on a limb with my own opinion, it is based on something, but I don’t want to mention here
      In my humble un-scientific opinion I would guess that roughly the percentages are 50 to 52% Yes and 48 to 50 % No
      But who knows………..

    45. Conan_the_Librarian says:

      They’re bayonetting their own wounded…

    46. Edward says:

      Slightly O/T
      I observed Reporting Scotland reporting on the Green Party launch yesterday. What they went out their way to avoid though was talking to their former colleague, Louise Batchelor, who was there (you get glimpses in the report). Now you would have thought, old pal, nice to see you etc etc , small interview with the ‘well kent face’ Nope in order to provide any ‘normality’ they avoided it like the proverbial plague, after all independence isn’t ‘normal’ is it

    47. Dave McEwan Hill says:

      Unlike Stu I don’t believe there is any significant  quality in Douglas Alexander and Jim Murphy who enjoy an entirely generous relationship with the media and have no evident political raison d’etre. Alexander in particular patronises all the time and neither of them can deal with any robust political opposition. Like much of Scottish Labour today they exist in a meaningless void by dint of being reliably unremarkable  – just like Alastair Darling in fact.
      Rose without trace is the verdict and they are useful in the political construct we presently inhabit because they are no threat to it although they are elected to represent what should be a very energetic threat to it.
      That is where they are useful

    48. Macart says:

      Are we seeing a schism between Holyrood and Westminster SLAB? Rats protecting their nest, or leaving a sinking ship?

    49. O / T,   Brazil   now   jailing   Politicions   (   BIG   MONTHLY   ALLOWANCE   )   A   country   with   masses  of   naturall   resorces   Corrupt  Politicions   selling  the   People  out   for  Self   Gain    (   noo   hiv  a   thunk   on any  Comparable   Countrys   Politicions   abusing   THE   PEOPLE   )   Bookcases  /  Duckhouses  /  Moates  /  Serial   House   Flippers   /   Prison   reform  act   (   Scottih  Gov  to  reopen  Peterhead  old  Prison  Staffed  by  X   Soldiers  New  chanty   poes  on order
      Rev,  I ll  e  the  night  of  the  long  knives  in the   SlAB   lock  upp   Wallaes  Sword  befor  that   Big  Choob   Davidson  gittes   his   hands   on   it   (   naw  jist   gie  him   it   on   condition   he   only   uses   it   on  his   friens  IT   cuts   in   bigger    Swathes

    50. call me dave says:

      Hold the phone! We could be making a big mistake. . . !
      …………………………
      Carmichael also admitted the No camp needed to make an “emotional connection to being British”.
      Using the London Olympics as an example, he said: “Remember Super Saturday with Greg Rutherford, Jessica Ennis and Mo Farah winning golds? Imagine how it would be if you didn’t have a stake in that?”
       
      http://archive.is/0uE5Z

    51. cath says:

      I agree with Thomas here. I don’t think they’re thinking long term past 2014 at all but trying to force loyalty and make sure no one in their ranks is able to start “misbehaving” by coming out for independence or questioning their line and style. 
       
      MSPs have actually been remarkably quiet about the referendum and you can bet some will be open to the idea of independence or even pro and others will want a decent debate not just the bike and hatred. Leadership will be terrified of such people coming out.  So selecting candidates in January will be a way to ensure they can’t speak out. 
       
       

    52. scottish_skier says:

      Remember Super Saturday with Greg Rutherford, Jessica Ennis and Mo Farah winning golds?
       
      Nope. Probably was at Tesco in the morning and doing some stuff in the garden in the afternoon.

    53. cath says:

      *BILE* not *bike*. Damned predictive text…

    54. john king says:

      Doug Daniel says
      “Alistair Darling seems to have based his entire personality on Clive Dunn’s performance as Corporal Jones.”
      Ha ha  
      they don’t like it up em sir 
      love it Doug 🙂
        

    55. Rod Mac says:

      Remember Super Saturday with Greg Rutherford, Jessica Ennis and Mo Farah winning golds?
      Who is Mo Farah did he have a winning sash ,you know the Sash mafarra  wore?
      boom boom

    56. Luigi says:

      The Red Army won at Stalingrad.
       
      Aye, but who is the Red Army in this case?  Stavka Directives aside,I would say the No campaign is in a similar position to the Vermacht in late 1942.  During the past year, the BT panzers have become bogged down in a ferocious, but hopeless Stalingrad street battle with the cybernats (including the WoS rifle division!), who have held the line magnificently. Overwhelming air superiority (provided by MSM) has had little effect and the 30% yes vote was barely scratched.
       
      Meanwhile, has General Zhukov Salmond and the newly forming YES armies been idle all this time?  Far from it!  The general has been quiet but busy, under the radar, putting all the pieces in place.  The trap has been laid, BT rushed into it and complete encirclement is inevitable. Like the Vermacht in 1942, BT completely underestimated their foe and will be unable to come to terms with the huge forces about to be unleashed upon them.  Even when it became obvious that Stalingrad was about to be encircled, the 6th army was not allowed to break out and escape – no retreat – sound familiar?

    57. Dave McEwan Hill says:

      Cath
      I thought it was some coded reference to Chris Hoy

    58. john king says:

      Les Wilson says
      “They should no longer be allowed to fiddle around with Scotland’s future, they should be on the dole in England. Or, just a thought, there is this little island off the west coast where where Westminster tested anthrax. That is a better idea in my book.”
      I could not agree more Les, there are some people for whom forgiveness is not an option.
       

    59. john king says:

      Gordoz says
       “JOKING, JOKING , JOKING !! (Sorry)”
      s’all right Gordoz you got face palmed anyway 😉

    60. Gerry  Parker,  Nth  Lanarkshire  Lab  ur  easy  tae  find  Civic  Centre  Motherwell   Canteen   Jim  louge  heidinthrtrouf     Contact  Michiel  Coyle   SNP  Councilor   for   YES   Airdrie  info

    61. Atypical_Scot says:

      @Rev,
       
      Are you going to do an article on the Green’s white paper?

    62. Gordon Hay says:

      If they are intent on selecting candidates who are “even more inconspicuous” than the current crop, couldn’t this be to make it easier for the “big hitters” to bump them aside when the time comes to save their place/face?

    63. call me dave says:

      Ex prime ministers (ex-politicians) don’t do Holyrood  so GB is out.
      But as reported here , the Herald story, plans afoot to consolidate existing msp’s. Much in-fighting to be seen, popcorn and a good seat required for us in the SNP.Problems to for our SNP MP’s who will require to be accommodated in the independent Scotland.

      But at least they will be welcome.Will Curran ; Davidson; Sarwar; Darling etal: have the decency to find another way to live or continue to blight the politics of Scotland. The only shoe in might be Carmichael and what about Charlie Kennedy and M Moore for the Lib/Dems. Two bags of popcorn required!
       

    64. Jingly Jangly says:

      John King
      Gruinard Island is not a tiny rock, its approx. 2 kilometres by 1 kilometre and is only just over 1 k from the mainland, The way the press reported it you would think it was a tiny rock which supported a single goat and was miles from the mainland.
      But no worries, The UK can contaminate Scottish land with lethal anthrax bacterium and leave it for generations see the following for details
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gruinard_Island#Biological_warfare_testing
      Now that’s what a call Better Together, imagine them doing that with Canvey Island?
       

    65. O/T  Watchin   re  run f  the  Referendum  debate   14  Nov  Holyrood   now  I know  why  Drew  Smith  glas  / Lab  articulate  speaker  no  Johann,s  mashinations  he,s  reading  af  script  tho same shit  differant  mooth

    66. john king says:

      Wow 
      is that it?
      is that all they’ve got?
      Quoting Alistair Carmichael in the Daily Record

      “He said: “If you know you shouldn’t do something but for an emotional reason you are going to do it anyway, then you won’t admit to pollsters what you are going to do.
      “You’ll say you haven’t made your mind up, but know exactly what you are doing but won’t admit it because you are making a judgment that is emotional rather than intellectual.”
      Carmichael also admitted the No camp needed to make an “emotional connection to being British”.
      Using the London Olympics as an example, he said: “Remember Super Saturday with Greg Rutherford, Jessica Ennis and Mo Farah winning golds? Imagine how it would be if you didn’t have a stake in that?”
       
      so basically Alistair Carmichael thinks only the hard of thinking will vote yes?
      good luck with that line of attack Alistair
      and we wont be able to cheer for Jessica Ennis if we’re independent?
      there are no words. 
       

    67. Jingly Jangly says:

      John King
      Sorry missed a bit out on my post and it was too late to edit it,
      I meant to say Gruinard may be a small island but its not a small rock
      (as the press portrayed it)

    68. Scaraben says:

      Selecting candidates this far ahead of an election does seem crazy. Perhaps, bearing in mind what has happened in Falkirk, they want to get any resulting scandals over and forgotten well before the election.
       
      If one were sufficiently paranoid, one might suspect that Labour are confident of a ‘No’ vote, or of winning the next UK election and being in a position to block independence – I am not convinced that a Labour government would consider itself bound by the Edinburgh Agreement.
       
      The optimistic view would be that those whom the gods wish to destroy, they first make mad.

    69. fitheach says:

      @ Luigi
      but hopeless Stalingrad street battle with the cybernats (including the WoS rifle division!), who have held the line magnificently. Overwhelming air superiority (provided by MSM) has had little effect and the 30% yes vote was barely scratched.
       
      Wow! Extra bonus points for extending the metaphor.
       
      To be able to come to a conclusion about the motives of choosing the Holyrood candidates now we need to know where the decision was made. If the decision was made by some of the current Labour MSPs and their supporters I would think the move was to repel boarders. If the decision was made by Labour in London then I would agree that it was a burning the boats type decision. I don’t understand Labours internal structurewell enough to know which it is.

    70. handclapping says:

      No worries for displaced troughers. Holyrood works well but come Independence it will have welfare, foreign, defence, the economy as well as the Beeb to worry about. 129 wont cope even sitting 5 days a week so there will be a bigger parli. My preference would be to go STV, single member in the 3 Isles but for the 70 mainland constituencies pair them off and elect 3 members for each pair. With 56 list MSPs that would give a 164 memeber chamber and they should be able to cope with double the workload of the present parli in 4 / 4.5 days.
       
      However they do it there will be extra seats in the 2016 parli. SLab’s early selection is a shut up measure only.

    71. Doug Daniel ,   am   taking   the   humpf   wie   you   prv  Pike  /  corp   Jones   whit   aboot   corp  Frazer  (   noo  dont  you  be  sittin  own  any  barras  ur  oor  John  Laurie  I  ll  think   yer   a  sparra   remember  hes  the  man  wie  the Bow  n  Arra  lol  jaikits  own  oot  the  door

    72. KOF says:

      @ Luigi  11:51
       
      I think if the WW2 Eastern Front metaphor is being used here, then I think we are about to cross the Oder, not the Volga. We crossed the Volga in 2011.  😉

    73. john king says:

      Jingly Jangly says
      “Gruinard Island is not a tiny rock, its approx.”

      I know that comment was Les’s as seen by the quotation marks,
       but I agree with you how would that little trick have gone down with the population of England had they used a remote island off the English coast, in fact Gruinard is only half a mile away from the mainland, making it entirely possible for a mammal to get there and back bringing Anthrax with it,
      twtpts and too far away to be of concern apparently 

    74. john king says:

      KOF says
      “I think if the WW2 Eastern Front metaphor is being used here, then I think we are about to cross the Oder, not the Volga. We crossed the Volga in 2011.  ;)”

      Thats a (kursk ) salient point
      I’ll get my greatcoat  
        

    75. Hazel Lewry says:

      To be honest, I really don’t fancy the Westminster troughers in Holyrood. I get the feeling they will very quickly turn that parliament into a Westminster cash-cow clone.

    76. Hazel Lewry says:

      Oh, and by the way .. on the understanding that Scotland does vote Yes next September … how can Labour in any shape or form expect candidates to be voted in? They are a political party based in London. This would be akin to a Canadian having a candidate in the US elections ….

      There would have to be a divorce of the Scottish “party” from the English “party” … and headquarters set up somewhere in the country.

    77. A2 says:

      This assumes of course that the Party hierarchy actually wants or needs it’s brightest in office doing their best when in fact they don’t care who it is as long as it’s one of them. As we know many of them can get elected just by having a red rosette. I see it simply a way of showing their confidence that we are going to vote no.

    78. handclapping says:

      @Hazel Lewry
      2nd homes are already out of the Parli. The other biggie is the constituency office, however if there are three members to a constituency do we need 3 sources of patronage? A “Parliamentary Assisatance Office (repeat in Gaelic)” in each would suffice and prevent a host of future scandals.

    79. Craig M says:

      I would be very reluctant to allow any of the current Unionist Westminster MPs to stand for the Scottish Parliament following Independence. I regard them as anti-Scottish in outlook, so why should they be allowed to pursue a political career in Scotland when they have spent considerable amounts of energy putting Scotland down. They simply haven’t earned the right to represent ordinary people at Holyrood. Harsh? I don’t believe so. 

    80. Marker Post says:

      Carmichael in the record, “… believes the SNP can repeat their performance in 2011 when the party came from behind and smashed electoral records with a landslide win”.
       
      The answer’s easy, Mr Carmichael – they were never behind.

    81. BBC Scotlandshire exclusive!
      We have discovered the secret plans to provide SLAB MPs with employment post 2016:
      http://www.bbc.scotlandshire.co.uk/index.php/city-news/584-blare-and-the-ukokers-hit-the-big-time.html

    82. pmcrek says:

      @Hazel Lewry
       
      I thnk they may keep the link between the London based party and that in Scotland in event of a yes vote until 2016 and the first democratic election to an independant Scottish parliament.
      At that point as you say they would need to at least be a registered Scottish based party to stand for elections. However I think their “independence” as it were may remain a grey area even after 2016. It might be dressed up in a coop agreement but for some reason I can still see Labour in Scotland trying to take direction from the Westminster party for some time even in an Independent Scotland.

    83. Brian Mark says:

      Perhaps the real reason for all this pre selection crap from Scottish Labour is to try and preserve the first foot on the grasey poll for the Labour Students that are looking for a job! See Murphy Curran et all for job discription

    84. A2 says:

      Then again, perhaps the thinking is that following a yes vote how long will the negotiations take before actually becoming independent? Are they thinking ‘well lets have a Labour rUK negotiating with a Labour Scottish administration.’?
      feel free to advise how I should actually have punctuated that  { .’? } as it confused me.

    85. Hazel Lewry says:

      @ pmcrek- but how can they be working both sides of independently run nation’s borders. Do Portugal and Spain share political parties, making common policy decisions? Finland with Sweden or Russia? I can’t see how Labour CAN exist if not as a completely, legally separate entity with NO ties what-so-ever to their English mates….. UNLESS their focus is the reunification of Scotland under the Westminster jackboot – what then for democracy.

    86. KOF says:

      John King says
       
      “Thats a (kursk ) salient point
      I’ll get my greatcoat  ”
       
      Here’s hoping they bring their Panthers to the party again. 😉
       
      I’ll get my entrenching tool. (Much more useful in the final battle.)

    87. Holebender says:

      In common with some other posters I cannot see “Scottish” Labour doing anything without direct permission from London HQ. Whatever the purpose of this Stavka Directive, it’s the work of London, not John Smith House.

    88. Papadocx says:

      At this point the unionist cabal are paniciking and they have no co-ordination, their war cry is “dae somethin” and they are all charging about seeing who can make up the biggest scare story, to frighten the decent people of Scotland into voting no. No holds barred because the state has it’s warped media and press to ignore the lies and deceit and misinformation.
      Remember our sleazy corrupt westminster scandal. (Never resolved)
      Remember the press scandal. ( never resolved)
      Remember the BBC scandal. (Never resolved)
      For Gods sake these are the people who are advocating better together. And strange to say they are all in it together holding hands.
       
      Are we blind or stupid? Or do we not want to see, are we happy to be governed by gangsters?
       
      Slab has destroyed itself as a coherent force and is now at the cross roads. It either reforms itself root and branch or it will implode.
       
      For Scotland’s sake and ours we need an alternative political party to hold the government to account, for good government And stop corruption. (Hopefully) 
       
      We certainly don’t want the Westminster cesspool politics visited upon us. We are trying to get rid of that rancid system.  YES YES YES!

    89. Ive  noteist  a  few  posts  refering  to  SNP  mps  &  how  tey  will  fit  in  a  Scottish  Independent  ParliamentI   I  think  people  are  getting  confused   between  Lab  Mps   /   &  SNP  MPs  there  ll  be  plenty room  in  former  SLab  constituences  Robertson  / Mc Neil   ect  Lab  like  the  Torys  will be  a  afterthought  after  2014    its  eyes  tight  shut  as  far  as  Slab  are conserned

    90. Vambomarbeleye says:

      I am hoping that for labour it will be the last days of Berlin with them in the bunker.

    91. john king says:

      sorry rev for some reason I cant edit.

    92. fittie says:

      On the bedroom tax vote
       
      Anas sarwar should be asked
       
      what WAs the long sttading arrangement he used as an excuse for not voting
      what is the name of the mp he was paired with

    93. scottish_skier says:

      SoS AM: If you you are being attacked and belittled for something you believe in but you are going to do it anyway, then you won’t admit to pollsters what you are going to do.“You’ll say you haven’t made your mind up, but know exactly what you are doing but won’t admit it because it’s your own business.”
       
      That’s better AC.

    94. Mad Jock McMad says:

      So the Rev thinks we are heading for a rattenkrieg in the sewers of the Union. I think the rattenkrieg has already started or what else are the increasingly arcane and inane scare stories being flushed into the sewers by the national media?

      I have done a lot of reading on constitutional issues in the last two years and I would like to suggest the Union started to unravel when Westminster realised they could not use either clause 5 or clause 30 of the 1998 Scotland Act to prevent the referendum from happening. Westminster came up against the Scots Law and constitutional convention of the considered will of the people of Scotland, a convention upheld by the UK Supreme Court in AXA vs the Scottish Parliament when throwing out AXA’s case.

      The arm wrestle is now about just who does represent the considered will of the people of Scotland? Holyrood or the political fudge at Westminster of a powerless Scottish Secretary from a minority party in Scotland and a Scottish Affairs Committee which does not know its arse from its elbow? What is clear the constitutional fudge Lord Cooper believed ‘worked’ in 1953 is no longer fit for purpose in 2013.

      Cameron may think – according to Alex Massie – he is winning the debate for the Union, as he sits in his bunker in number 10. It is just a pity that those around Cameron are not willing to tell him the truth, as he moves his mythical Better Together Armies around the board. They are on the verge of being outflanked, kesseled and forced into surrender no matter how hard they struggle.

    95. schrodingers cat says:

      i think we miss a point here
      mp’s know their jobs are always on the line, it isnt these guys who are the problem, It is the unionists who are a permanent part of the state who will be the problem
      bonfire material
      scottish lords, certainly those resident in scotland, perhaps even those resident in england, maybe even those whith scottish names:)
      military, all scots in high positions will get the dunt during the down size,
      civil service, a huge bonfire for the scots unionist in london,
      these are the people who will stop at nothing to save their jobs cos they know they will be toast after a yes vote

    96. kininvie says:

      @schrodingers cat
      You are much too all-embracing in your bonfire of the unionists, and you are forgetting the negotiations. A lot of the people you are proposing for an auto-da-fe are actually people we are going to need. At present, they may be secret sympathisers, bound by conventions of neutrality (civil service) or by their party line (one or two Scots Lords I can think of), but once they are released from those shackles, I think you will find their experience of Westminster thinking will be invaluable in what is going to be a really tough series of negotiations.
       
      We’re going to win this, and the intelligent Scottish thinkers down south, whether in the armed forces, civil service or wherever know that. We are not going to be short of people offering their help to set us going on the road…All we need to do is to ensure the help is genuine and not self-interested. But even that’s easy enough, because we aren’t going to be offering much by way of ermine cloaks or material reward, just the chance to get stuck in.
       
      So I’d hold off, were I you. This is not a revolution; it’s a power game played out in three acts with a prosperous Scotland at ease with its neighbours as the prize. And, as in every pantomine, the third act will be the culmination. So I wouldn’t kill off the baddies-turned-goodies too soon.

    97. Calgacus MacAndrews says:

      Remember Super Saturday with Greg Rutherford, Jessica Ennis and Mo Farah winning golds?
      I’d rather look forward to a Super Every Days at future Olympics, where a load more Scottish athletes get the chance just to to be at an Olympics, because we will be sending our own Scottish Team.

    98. lumilumi says:

      I just don’t understand this SLAB move at all.
       
      For one thing, what political party decides on who their candidates are going to be more than two years before the relevant election?!? An awful lot can happen in those two years.
       
      Is it do show “confidence” in a No vote? The rationale being, with a No vote, there’s no need to accommodate Scottish politicians in Westminster who might want to return home and play a part in their own independent country’s political life (not all might want to return, mind.)
       
      Or is it to try and secure the jobs of the current second-rate MSPs in case of a Yes vote??? I can’t see Labour HQ sanctioning this kind of selfish action from their North British branch.
       
      The idea that sitting SLAB MSPs are selected as candidates this early to keep them toeing the party line and keep them from speaking out (for independence, for instance) is also illogical. Wouldn’t it be more effective to withold the candidacy until the last moment? In effectively saying, “Toe the party line or we won’t let you stand in the next election.”
       
      If some SLAB MSP who will have secured their candidacy in January were to come out on the YES side (extremely unlikely, I know, but possible), what can SLAB do? Boot out the candidate? And create more bad publicity for SLAB?
       
      Oh, I forgot, the BBC/MSM in Scotland don’t do their job. Instead, they shield SLAB and all their embarrassments.
       

    99. lumilumi says:

      @Calcacus
       
      Oh dear, I cheered on Jessica Ennis at last years Olympics and I’m not even British! How could I! (Probably because Alistair Carmichael hadn’t told me that I couldn’t.)
       
      Of course I want team Finland/Finnish athletes do well but that doesn’t mean that I cannot appreciate superb performances by other athletes.

    100. Jim Arnott says:

      Catch
      I love predictive text especially when it comes up with Anas Arswar. That says it all. 

    101. Jim Arnott says:

      Don’t like predictive text when it comes up with Catch instead of Cath. However when it gets it wrong I can always apologise – so sorry Cath. Arswar no apology needed 

    102. Ellie says:

       Personally I think that this is a good, old fashioned, bluff.  Labour are attempting to present to the world their utter confidence that come 2016 NOTHING will have changed; their not doing any planning for their recently unemployed members because they don’t need to; they will all still be happily employed at Westminster.  It’s a referendum strategy being employed by every union orientated body, from the Ministry of Defence to the BBC and back again; no planning because the vote hasn’t happened (spot the inference again though, the undertone that the No vote is certain to win so why bother?).  
      Now whether this is actually what those in charge think is another and probably moot point, it’s the perception that’s important.  I’m sure that somewhere, some perhaps more level headed labourite has given the situation consideration and it wouldn’t surprise me at all if come a Yes vote they announce that the situation has changed and that they will be reconsidering the position.  
      Of course the other thing that perhaps the journalist hasn’t thought about is one tiny, little fact.  What is the legal status of the Labour Party by 2016?  After all as we all know their is NO Scottish Labour Party; their is just the Labour Party, registered and run by London, come independence are we really going to permit a foreign based political party to field candidates in an independent election?  So a new political party then, most likely called Labour, in that case I can’t imagine that a new political party, albeit one which perhaps retains ties to the former United Kingdom Labour (or perhaps not, but that’s for another day) feeling the need to stick to the electoral plans of a party which no longer has any involvement in Scotland.   If you take that into consideration then this strategy by labour makes sense, but like everything else with the referendum outcome unknown it’s a gamble, one that if it doesn’t come off for them will create big problems for their future.  Still, the resulting internal labour civil war will keep the rest of us highly entertained during the independence negotiations which will probably drag on and on, so it’s not all bad news!

    103. Now see what you have gone and done – Rev …  😀
      Glesgagrad!

    104. MochaChoca says:

      Will they also be selecting candidates early (or maybe already have done) for Scottish seats for the 2015 UK general election? I suspect those ‘positions’ would be best advertised as 12 month contracts right enough.

    105. gerry parker says:

      ronnie, thanks for that info.
      g,p

    106. lumilumi says:

      @ Ellie 6.33
       
      I agree with you on this being a publicity stunt to be seen to be confident of a NO vote. Privately they might be anything but, but they can’t let the public know that.
       
      Also, I’m glad you raised the point of “foreign political parties”. I was thinking about that just a couple of days ago. I know many Finnish parties have informal links with similar parties (Social Democrat, Green, various right-of-centre parties) in other countries but that’s a later development. All the Finnish parties developed domestically in the Finnish political culture during the last couple of hundred years. Our own full suffrage Parliament (the first in the world!) in 1906 was a big boost to Finnish political life even though some powers were still reserved to Tsarist Russia.
       
      It was only later that Finnish political parties started forging links with political parties in other countries (well, the communists and social democrats were doing that even before independence in 1917). These foreign parties of course have their own histories and political priorities, but especially after Finland joined the EU, Finnish parties and their MEPs have co-operated with likeminded parties.
       
      The difference is, of course, that if and when Scotland votes YES, the main unionist parties willl have to – shock, horror! – separate! 😀 Con/Lib/Labs are all UK parties based in London. SNP, Greens, SSP, SDA and maybe other small parties are Scottish parties based in Scotland. They have no problem with a YES vote.
       
      Whereas the Scottish branches of Con/Lib/Lab will have to get themselves sorted pretty darn fast. Murdo Fraser will probably right away set up his new Scottish not-Tory right-wing party (he’s been wanting to do that for more than two years), the remaining LibDems might get their act together and start being liberal and democratic again, but what about Labour?
       
      Labour in Scotland are such a shambles that it’ll be a mess. Long knives, in-fighting, more of the bile and spluttering… Unless some decent Labour folk (LFI, for instance) can step up. I’m not holding my breath, though.
       
      Oh, and one more thing. No political party in an indy Scotland should be allowed to receive funding from outwith Scotland. Rules about lobbying and party funding have to be stringent.
       
       

    107. Le Petit Prince says:

      You are a political genius !  Loving it. 

    108. theycan'tbeserious says:

      As there is no Scottish labour party, and labour in Scotland is really a London based party does that mean that they would not be allowed to participate in the politics of an independent Scotland? What would happen if a labour splinter group in Scotland were to register themselves as Scottish labour…quite separate from London? Is that possible, then those that registered it would determine who would be accepted into its ranks. Therefore London and new labour would have no control/influence and that could exclude the London based politicians?
       
      I’m probably wrong but it’s a thought, could be interesting!

    109. lumilumi says:

      @ theycan’tbeserious
       
      Basically, yes.
       
      Even now anyone could register a Scottish-based “Scottish Labour Party” with the Electoral Commission since no such entity exists. It gets messy, though, because the UK Labour Party have registered “Scottish Labour” as their slogan. After independence, the Scottish electoral commission would give sweet FA about parties’ names in other countries, though.

    110. A2 says:

      “The idea that sitting SLAB MSPs are selected as candidates this early to keep them toeing the party line and keep them from speaking out (for independence, for instance) is also illogical. ”

      Ruling that out assumes that logic plays a part in these decisions.

    111. A2 says:

      “It is just a pity that those around Cameron are not willing to tell him the truth,”

      Quite the opposite, If he thinks it’s a given, then the less time and resouces will be directed from down there. The longer they don’t notice, the better.

    112. A2 says:

      Are we all assuming that we actually will be independent by the time of the elections (given a yes of course) Its perfectly feasible that the actual date of indi will be after the elections  so there will be a period where mps will still be required.

      Personally I see that as rather preferable as there will of course have to be bills passed at Westminster on any deals, it’s rather unlikely that the current balance would support any bill weighted in scotlands favour so we need to tip the balance of power down there to get the best deal. We’d be nuts after a yes vote to not have as many mps on side down there to ratify agreements.

      I’d go further and suggest that that would mean having to try and influence Welsh Irish and English electorates as well.

    113. A2 says:

      “Even now anyone could register a Scottish-based “Scottish Labour Party” with the Electoral Commission since no such entity exists.”

      It would be rude not to!

    114. A2 says:

      Actually I can’t see why nobody has, seems a bit of a no brainer. I haven’t the time, money or the inclination but would have thought that there might be some indi leaning Labour stalwarts that would be prepared to do so ( and get expelled from the old party for their trouble).

      mind you I can see “Labour” being a bit of a tainted brand for some time so is the name really going to be a huge advantage?



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