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Conspiracies of silence

Posted on January 08, 2014 by

Yesterday the Labour Party’s representatives in the Scottish Parliament voted against a motion to provide free school meals to all Scottish children in Primary 1 to Primary 3, and to increase childcare funding for two-year-olds. They did so barely 48 hours after angrily demanding that the Scottish Government provide better childcare – an issue which Labour had explicitly tied into the independence debate by using an opinion poll commissioned by the “Better Together” campaign.

childcareflowchart

Fortunately for Scots, Labour is a totally impotent force in the Scottish Parliament, and its opinions and actions there ultimately count for nothing. Thanks to the SNP’s majority, the motion passed and hungry children living in poverty will get at least one hot, nutritious meal a day, without the stigma of being marked out as poor.

But after the blanket media coverage of Labour’s calls over child welfare, you’d expect that the arithmetic of the vote would merit at least a passing mention when Scotland’s press reported the story. Wouldn’t you?

Regular readers of this site are excused from such naivety. Because they know the Scottish media better than that, and sure enough this morning’s papers execute a 100% news blackout of Labour’s opposition that stretches their credibility as impartial chroniclers of events to breaking point.

The Scotsman, Herald, Daily Record, Scottish Daily Express, Telegraph and Guardian all choose to completely omit Labour’s vote from their online coverage. Only STV’s Scotland Tonight reported it, inviting the party’s education spokeswoman Kezia Dugdale to defend the decision, which she did in an extraordinary way.

keziadugdale5

Asked (eight minutes into the programme) why Labour had opposed the move, Dugdale gave an unusually direct and unambiguous answer.

JOHN MACKAY:Why did Labour vote against free school meals today?

KEZIA DUGDALE: We had to vote against the government’s motion today because the last line of the motion said that you needed independence to ensure that kids in Scotland had the best start in life, the best opportunity to grow up in the best country in the world. We disagree, we don’t think you need independence to do that.

So by Labour’s own admission, they voted against giving hungry children food in a fit of pique at the precise wording of one line of the motion. Ms Dugdale later published the full text of the motion on her own website. The passage in question runs:

“[this motion] acknowledges that the powers of independence are necessary to ensure that the full ambitions for early years education and childcare in Scotland are delivered as only with the powers of independence will these additional revenues stay in Scotland to fund such a policy for the long term”

Now, there isn’t a lot of room for factual debate about that. (See the diagram at the top of this page.) The additional tax revenues generated by having more women in work as a result of affordable childcare WILL indisputably go straight to Westminster, meaning the costs of care provision – hundreds of millions of pounds – will have to be recouped by cuts elsewhere in Holyrood’s budget. (Labour have characteristically failed to offer any suggestions for where they’d find the necessary savings.)

However, even if Ms Dugdale’s party disagrees with that assessment, so what? Is a bit of petty quibbling over wording really so important that it justifies depriving hungry children of what might be their only meal of the day? Labour had tabled an amendment (also quoted on Ms Dugdale’s website) that was every bit as party political, seeking to give Labour the credit for reducing child poverty.

So what would any party with even an ounce of political acumen, let alone decency, have done? It might seem reasonable to expect that they’d have voted for the motion to ensure innocent children didn’t suffer for political tribalism, thereby shaming the SNP for having attempted to crudely hijack it, and then forced the Nats to vote down an amendment which simply proposed to remove the “independence” line and make the motion neutral without tacking on the bit about Labour.

The result of that would have been that the SNP looked petty and Labour occupied the moral high ground. Instead, Labour were so blinded by their utter, uncontrollable hatred of the SNP that they played games with the lives of starving children, gambling that the motion would secure enough votes despite their petulant sulking.

At the end of the debate, Labour perhaps realised the stupidity of its strategy. At 53 minutes in the “Democracy Live” recording of proceedings, Labour MSP Drew Smith can be seen attempting to raise a point of order claiming that his party’s imminent action were NOT a vote against free school meals at all. And while he was summarily (and quite correctly) dismissed by the Presiding Officer on the grounds that it was an improper use of the mechanism, it IS possible to argue that case based on the wording of the motion.

Such an argument, however, is comprehensively torpedoed by the headlines in today’s newspapers. Not one of them reports “SNP pass motion praising independence”. Every single one of the pieces we link at the start of this article, without exception, reports yesterday’s events in the Holyrood chamber as concerning the provision of free meals for primary-school children and an extension of childcare for two-year-olds.

And neither the media nor Scottish Labour can have it both ways. If the debate and the vote were about free school meals and improved childcare, as we’re told by the papers they were, then that’s what Labour voted against. The party walked right in to a giant elephant trap set by the SNP, which left Labour looking cynical, hypocritical and dishonest, driven solely by their hatred of the Nats at the expense of the welfare of Scotland’s children. (For the very good reason that that’s exactly what they were.)

The press has this morning done its very best to pull Labour’s carcass out of the fire by whitewashing the party’s shambolic behaviour. Almost exactly halfway through its second term in office, the SNP retains a near-unprecedented lead in opinion polls.

It hardly bears thinking about how much of a mess Labour would be in if Scotland had a halfway-balanced media that held all parties to account instead of just one. But readers would also be forgiven for wondering whether that media’s endless enabling, excusing and covering-up of Labour’s incredible incompetence as an opposition is ultimately doing a grave disservice to the people of Scotland.

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    1. 08 01 14 10:44

      Conspiracies of silence - Speymouth

    2. 11 03 14 11:07

      Poverty and inequality – the past, present and future of the Union | The Science of Independence

    137 to “Conspiracies of silence”

    1. Dorothy Devine says:

       Shite and spite  is the game they play in Holyrood.
       
      Whatever happened to the Malcolm Chisolms of this world? Does anyone  think he wishes to be associated with these idiots?

    2. BM says:

      If they were unhappy with the wording, they could have tabled a short amendment, simply removing those phrases (instead of the wrong, ambling one they did submit), and then, if the amendment didn’t pass, abstain. But of course, their intent was to oppose the policy from the outset.

    3. Dcanmore says:

      The second picture, is that another Labservative composite fit?

    4. Linda's Back says:

      If only we could say with certainty that “Fortunately for Scots, the Press is a totally impotent force in Scottish public opinion”, 
      Even the letters columns are swamped / or edited in such a way that re-enforces the negative nonsense coming out of the No campaign.
      Despite his bedfellow David Cameron saying its not a fight between the UK and Scotland, Magnus Gradham in Herald to-day is going on about the “Pro UK” Better Together campaign  – so perhaps we should keep referring to the “Pro Scotland Yes campaign.”

    5. McHaggis says:

      …and amazingly, both The Scotsman and The Herald include reports on a poll from the borders area showing support for indy at 24%… Pete McMahon still pulling in favours from chums like Gardham and his ex-colleagues at The Scotsman.
      I always knew the press in this country were partisan to a certain extent, but since around 2007 I have been left aghast at just how one-sided our entire media are.

    6. MekQuarrie says:

      I wouldn’t expect Nat MSPs/MPs to vote for a motion that recognized the overwhelming benefits of the Union, so Labour were within their rights to vote against the SNP motion. However, they can’t avoid the fact that they *would* have voted against it anyway because of the Bain principle and because they don’t want children to get the free meal (yet)…

    7. McHaggis says:

      also remember Kezia’s days trolling the Scotsman comments day after day when I used to look at it…

    8. CameronB says:

      I’ll stick my neck out here. Was the SNP’s “elephant trap” not itself also cynical politics? The motion was concerned with free school meal, so was it entirely necessary to associate their provision with independence? I understand that independence will have long-term beneficial effects to the funding and governance of Scotland, so please don’t all shout at once.

    9. Les Wilson says:

      I watched Dugdale being interviewed last night, you could see the venom in her face as you can with most of labour MP’s and MSP’s. Who in their right mind would want to be governed by this motley crew. Reading Scotland’s Claim, shows just how far back they have worked against the interests of Scotland, but to use the plights of our children in their bitter shenanigans is an unbelievable low point even for them.
       
      If there comes a future point, perhaps in an Independent Scotland, for labour to reinvent themselves, then they need to cut all these bitter callous types out and find people with intelligence and moral dignity. They have none of that, at this time.

    10. Luigi says:

      Inserting the “independence” passage at the end of the motion was a bit cheeky, IMO. However, SLAB acted far, far too predictably. Unless SLAB learn to behave like proper politicians and stop reacting, well so stupidly!, the SNP will continue to run rings around them. I expect more of these “idiot-traps” to be set out in future, which Labour MSPs will duly walk into. How many more of these acts of stupidity must occur before the MSM finally gives up on these idiots? The truth is getting out eventually, in any case. 

    11. Andrew Morton says:

      O/T an English friend of mine is seeking a good book about the Scottish Enlightenment. Can anybody suggest one?

    12. desimond says:

      Usual Media games, some new some old…today’s Metro talking about some Independence Referendum comedy show in Edinburgh is citing brave Susan Calman receiving death threats after voicing an opinion on the referendum.

      It really is true…repeat a lie enough times….

    13. HandandShrimp says:

      Labour oppose child care full stop. They did next to nothing when in power and opposed the SSP motion on school meals when they were in charge at Holyrood. It had nothing to do with independence, New Labour simply don’t do child care. People need reminding of this fact. Lamot’s crocodile tears and posturing are a complete sham.

    14. gerry parker says:

      There are benefits over and above the nutritional ones of children being provided with a meal at their place of learning.  It’s an opportunity for social interaction between children, and between children and their teachers which helps develop their social skills.

    15. Dcanmore says:

      they are nutcases, completely lost it, we can suffer the grumble grumble of opposing an SNP policy but to come out with faux outrage against a policy that will help feed young children, and many of them vulnerable, is obscene. SLAB want Scotland to suffer by their actions but only to blame someone else for them, look behind the curtain folks nobody’s there.
       
      MSM aren’t reporting this opposition to the policy because they are trying to protect their loony pals from the public. This is about saving the Labour Party at all costs and it’s showing. The MSM know too well that a story such as this will be the straw that breaks the back of Labour in Scotland. SLAB are teetering on the edge of oblivion.

    16. Vincent McDee says:

      (That behaviour on the part of labour, must be caused by the famous poisson La Kranky so much speak about.
       
      I’ve always said, (actually since 2004, but you all know where I’m coming from) that at the very bottom of reasons why, voting in favor of Independence was going to be a simple matter of
      SELF PRESERVATION

    17. Macart says:

      Not fit for purpose. They deserve to rot in the political doldrums.
       
      They have neither ethics nor empathy and their single minded, tunnel visioned raison d’etre will not allow them room for such simple human attributes.
       
      Bairns, not bombs.

    18. MochaChoca says:

      Yes, maybe a bit cynical, by the SNP, but they knew the vote would be passed with or without Labour’s support so why not expose their irrational behaviour as proof that Labour MSPs will always put their own party unionist stance ahead of the wellbeing of their constituents.
       
      This effectively spells out that even if a Labour MSP comes to believe independence will be good for the people of Scotland they will still campaign against it.

    19. Papadocx says:

      Just when you think SLAB can’t sink any lower they pull out all the stops, and try to steal the food out of children’s mouths. How low can they go, then they have a argument about how to justify their treachery to kids and shift the blame onto totally innocent SNP MSP ‘s. Kezia Dugdale sneering, double talking excuse for a human being.Drew Smith typical SLAB waster, career “politician” Johan Lamont lowest of the low Beneath contempt, DESPICABLE. Allan Grogan watch your back brother, You have some very nasty enemies. They will stop at nothing to protect their gang.
       
      BBC & MSM Cover up and hide this attack on children’s health and well being, how the hell can they justify that and live with themselves. Easy NAE CONSCIENCE. Does this fit in with the Calman report.

    20. kininvie says:

      To be fair, the Record’s editorial  does cover the Labour debacle – so there’s not a complete black-out:
       
      http://archive.is/sWJ8m

    21. sneddon says:

      Cameron B- SNP cynical maybe but what did Labour expect them to do, indy is SNP mission and every oppotunity should be taken to emphasise that.  Whether they had worded it differently or not I feel labour would still have voted with the tories.  Labour had options but they really did take the hump because it was SNP proposal. Sheer, blind hatred and stupidity.  They could have just realised the wording was just politics and voted for the bill.

    22. Les Wilson says:

      On a lighter note, Lamont gets dressed up to go out the bunker at night  

      https://twitter.com/tommy_ball/status/402142296604282880/photo/1

    23. chalks says:

      O/T
       
      My boss here has just sent round the old independent article about the McCrone report….it had been sent round a very well known oil company and forwarded onto him….just about fell off my chair…when I saw…
       
      Great start to the day.
       
      Viva la independencia!

    24. CameronB says:

      Meant to say, the MSM certainly is letting the people of Scotland down. What have we done to deserve them?

    25. Flower of Scotland says:

      Kecia Dugdale portrays all that’s bad with a party that thinks they were DONE at the Scottish Elections ! She has never got over it and seems to be always ” spiteful” in any interview . Get over it !! 

    26. Tony Little says:

      I note that the btw comments on all the papers are pointing out labour’s vote against.  This is good, but does anyone have any idea how many readers will read the btw comments as well. Or just skim read the article  and the headline?
       
      So one the one hand the headlines all do support the SNP position, even though on the other hand they airbrush out Labours typical application of the “Bain Principle”.
       
      Still a long way to go, but the campaign is strengthening everyday.

    27. MajorBloodnok says:

      @CameronB
       
      It’s all just ‘politics’ I think and the wording of the motion referring to independence was just the bait to entice Labour into voting against the motion, thereby falling headlong into the trap.  Which of course, they did, yet again (you’d think they’d see them coming by now).
       
      Actually they probably did know it was a trap but as the SNP are good at setting them they no doubt were thinking “oh noes, this trap is probably a trap, so we’ll double-cross them by falling into a different trap (or possibly the same one).  But never mind, the press will portray it as a moral victory for us, whatever happens, so we can all just carry on with the delusion that our strategy is really really working and no one needs to get fired, particularly Lamont.)  Keep up the good work Labour,is all I can say.

    28. tartanfever says:

      Cameron:
       
      That’s my initial reaction also. Whilst I’ve no time for Labour and their spiteful tactics I can’t help but feel slightly disappointed with the SNP for including the line regarding independence. 

      Whilst I agree with Rev Stu and his summary of events, my gut tells me this whole episode is full of the trickster politics that has turned much of the population against politicians in the first place.

      I find myself just feeling pretty flat and deflated about the whole thing.

    29. Taranaich says:

      We had to vote against the government’s motion today because the last line of the motion said that you needed independence to ensure that kids in Scotland had the best start in life, the best opportunity to grow up in the best country in the world. We disagree, we don’t think you need independence to do that.
       
      The cruel irony, of course, is that Labour’s actions have proven that last line entirely right: how can you argue that you’re giving kids in Scotland a better start in life as you are depriving them of free meals in a time of brutal austerity? This, on top of the shocking 25% poverty figures. It’s like saying “violence doesn’t solve anything” as you smack your naughty child.
       
      The best way to prove the SNP wrong on this was to either suggest an amendment, or just go through with it despite the independence line, in acknowledgement that some things are more important than petty tribal politics. That way, you could show a Scottish Labour party in the UK would put aside their differences with the SNP for the common good, and retain the moral high ground in the process. In attempting to show we’re Better Together, Labour have inadvertently shown us exactly why we’re not.
       
      CameronB: I’ll stick my neck out here. Was the SNP’s “elephant trap” not itself also cynical politics? The motion was concerned with free school meal, so was it entirely necessary to associate their provision with independence?
       
      I think you could argue that, but considering the big song and dance Labour’s been making about the SNP’s childcare proposals, you could also argue that it was a relevant notation to include, especially since this year of all years will see a lot of discussion on independence. If this was 2007, then talk of independence wouldn’t be as relevant, but part of the SNP’s entire policy is on those long-term effects.
       
      The fact of the matter is that this is THE year for independence, so I think if the current government pushing for independence want to give examples of how independence could benefit everything from school meals to defense, then this is the year to do it.
       
      And the difference is if Labour/Lib Dems/Tories put forward a proposal stating something along the lines of “[this motion] acknowledges that deference to Westminster is necessary to ensure that the full ambitions for early years education and childcare in Scotland are delivered as only with the powers of devolution will these additional revenues be given back to Scotland to fund such a policy for the long term“, they would have the distinct disadvantage of being entirely untrue and disingenuous. Not that that stopped them before, but for all the SNP’s cheekiness in including independence, it is pertinent to the much larger debate.

    30. Kenny MacLaren says:

      Not surprised by the media blackout and the Labour vote.  In Renfrewshire Council one of the first actions of the Labour administration was to remove free school meals.  Previously the SNP administration had piloted free school meals to all p1-3 in schools in the most deprived areas, with the intention of rolling this out to all schools.  Labour came in and removed that provision in their first budget.

    31. desimond says:

      In that picture above, Kezia is the spitting image of the wee lonely shopkeeper from Chewing the Fat.
      No surprise that she cant find anyone to partake in a wee individual fruit trifle with her!

    32. my conversation with Malcolm Chisholm on twitter this morning.  nope this doesn’t mess up formatting 

      ruth wishart ?@ruth_wishart1h
      Voting against things you believe in because the other lot propose them does not qualify as grown up politics.#Scottish Labour.

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      Malcolm Chisholm Msp ?@MalcolmChishol11h
      @ruth_wishart @RichardLochhead It would be bad Ruth if that’s what we’d done! Please read the debate and the motions.

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      Anne ?@annewitha_e1h
      @MalcolmChishol1 @ruth_wishart @RichardLochhead lets see if the people of leith understand the finer points of debate or numbers on a vote

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      Malcolm Chisholm Msp ?@MalcolmChishol155m
      @annewitha_e @ruth_wishart Independence was main theme of motion Anne.Free school meals flagship LibDem policy but they voted against too!

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      Anne ?@annewitha_e50m
      @MalcolmChishol1 @ruth_wishart what’s clear is lab opposition to #indyref takes priority over scots children welfare.

    33. kininvie says:

      @tartanfever
       
      I agree. Politicians of all colours seem to waste more time plotting how to do the other side down through various procedural mechanisms than in creating clear motions that all sides are happy to accept. It may be bad in parliament, but it’s far worse in Councils.
       
      It’s an ingrained habit, and not an especially attractive one to those of us who just want our elected representatives to get on with the job of providing good government.

    34. Fergie 35 says:

      I suspect there is more to Labour’s no vote than meets the eye, Lamont has been harping on about the something for nothing Scots, the media is covering their tracks and letting them off with the blunders as usual. Something has a hold over the whole rotten lot of them!?

    35. FreddieThreepwood says:

      I recently seem to have fallen foul of an old acquaintance on Twitter (he’s unfollowed me) after a difference of opinion on Cameron v Salmond TV debate. Pursuing the issue was a ‘tribal’ move by the SNP, he said, and that as an ‘open-minded undecided’ he found it a turn-off. Leaving aside how bonkers I still think that is, I do believe there is a caution in this for the Nats.

      I agree with those who would have preferred the motion to have had no obvious political mantraps in it, no matter how easy it would have been to avoid them, as the Rev points out.

      But I would go further. It’s great to see Labour for Independence gearing up for 2014 under the banner ‘A Yes vote is not a vote for the SNP’. Can someone tell me why the SNP can’t bang that drum themselves?

      a) It’s true.
      b) What have they got to lose?

    36. Tony Little says:

      @tartanfever
       
      I look at it this way: Within the UK Scotland’s ability to do things like this is limited and will become even harder in future.  ALL the revenue that we have is syphoned off and a small amount returned with which proposals like this one have to be funded.  The  austerity coming our way in the next two years will make provisions like this even harder, assuming that we also want the Scottish government to support other universal measures.  
       
      So, in all honesty, I DO agree with the sentiment that only with Independence Scotland can match countries such as Sweden and increase the number of women in the labour market by more than 100,000, increase Scottish output by £2.2 billion and government revenues by £700 million; acknowledges that the powers of independence are necessary to ensure that the full ambitions for early years education and childcare in Scotland are delivered as only with the powers of independence will these additional revenues stay in Scotland to fund such a policy for the long term; believes that having full control over both taxation and welfare is vital to achieve the transformation in childcare that Scotland needs and for child poverty to be finally eradicated, and further believes that only with independence can Scotland truly become the best place in the world for a child to grow up [From the motion proposed]
       
      We can’t do it remaining in this (dis)United Kingdom, so the additional proposal is a valid statement of the real situation.  (IMHO of course!)

    37. Tony Little says:

      The motions of Alex Salmond and the amendments by Lamont, Davidson, and Rennie can be seen on the Holyrood web site here, for those interested. 

    38. Gaavster says:

      @Andrew Morton
       
      This is a great read, written by an American called Arthur Herman, called ‘How Scots invented the modern world’
       
      http://www.amazon.com/How-Scots-Invented-Modern-World/dp/0609809997/ref=la_B000APOUB0_1_2/180-7643932-1532309?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1389176952&sr=1-2

    39. Illy says:

      The SNP may have set the wrong trap here.
       
      Since SLab were going to vote against it anyway on principle, wouldn’t it have been better to *not* include the independance line, so SLab didn’t have it as an excuse?
       
      Which turns it into another example of SLab foting against the SNP, even when the SNP are proposing what SLab have been yelling about.
       
      I suppose they might think they have enough examples of that though, so felt they’d go easy on SLab, since it’s the new year and all.

    40. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “Since SLab were going to vote against it anyway on principle, wouldn’t it have been better to *not* include the independance line, so SLab didn’t have it as an excuse?”

      I’m not sure we do know that Labour would have voted against that.

    41. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “Whilst I agree with Rev Stu and his summary of events, my gut tells me this whole episode is full of the trickster politics that has turned much of the population against politicians in the first place.

      I find myself just feeling pretty flat and deflated about the whole thing.”

      The SNP cannae win. For months Yes supporters have been telling them that they need to get more aggressive, more pro-active and fight a bit dirtier. So they come out and play a bit of clever politics, while also giving schoolkids free meals and improving childcare, and folk still moan at them.

      They’ve done an unquestionably good thing here, and made Labour look like idiots in the process. What’s not to like?

    42. Papadocx says:

      Well said rev + SLAB will bayonet the wounded, they set the rules.

    43. Training Day says:

      On here, we know that the MSM is the Better Together campaign.  But when you hear (as I recently did in a work context) professional, intelligent people talk, with a straight face, about the ‘BBC’s requirement for balance’ as if it were an immutable law of nature, you realise how much work we have to do in disabusing people of such notions.

    44. Melanie McKellar says:

      I think that the free school meals to ALL p1-p3 is a great initiative by the Scottish Government.  It will have far reaching long-term benefits if the meals provided are balanced, tasty and nutritious particularly if the health benefits are promoted and taught.

      in contrast Scottish Labour are a sham, while they grin and cut ribbons at Foodbanks (you have to ask ‘what is in it for them?’ ..) [see a previous WoS article http://wingsoverscotland.com/the-pride-of-britain/ ] and when this initiative of Free school meals plus additional, albeit limited at present, childcare is introduced, Scottish Labour elected MSPs vote against it as did the Tories. And all because ???

    45. SquareHaggis says:

      The only reason IMHO, why Labour would oppose this motion and then bury the evidence hoping nobody will notice. Strikes me as thier intentions are to hi-jak the policy at a later date.
       
      Just wait, it’ll appear in their manifesto. Like knights in shining armour they’ll come running to the rescue with the free school meals and claim all the glory.
       
      If this is what they’re prepared to cook up for primary 1-3 year olds (no pun intended) the rank stench of hypocracy will be all that fills the dinner-halls from now til never, but then they’re not immune to such tactics for political ends are they?
       
      First it’s bayonnet the wounded, now it’s starve the weans – sickening.

    46. Glass Girl says:

      Just wondering if it is possible that the SNP put the bit about independence in as a sort of conditional clause to cover their backs in the event of a no vote?

      That way if this motion was ever repealed due to a cut to the block grant Labour wouldn’t be able to use it as a stick to beat them with because they would point out that it was only ever guaranteed to be viable through independence.

    47. Horacesaysyes says:

      @FreddieThreepwood – Can someone tell me why the SNP can’t bang that drum themselves?
       
      They are. Nicola Sturgeon mentioned it repeatedly during her talk in St Andrews on Monday. However, I do think that it has more of an effect when it comes from outside the SNP, as otherwise some folk tend to think ‘well, they would say that, wouldn’t they?’

      As for the extra line in the bill, it was clearly a trap laid out for Labour, which they rushed head first into. While it is perhaps slightly disappointing to have seen it there, it should have been glaringly obvious and easily avoided in the manner set out by Rev, and given the SNP majority, it didn’t jepordise the passing of the bill.

    48. Alastair Naughton says:

      I wonder just how many more “Labour for Independence” supporters this will generate! As WoS and others on here have commented, all SLAB needed to do was to suggest the SNP remove the line on independence being a pre-requisite for free school meals, and they would have occupied the moral high ground. As HandandShrimp says, they opposed a similar SSP motion when they were in office, so no surprise really. 

      @ CameronB: You might argue that it was cynical, but it was a motion for debate, nothing more. Labour could have suggested any amendments it wanted while still agreeing in principle to the idea of free school meals. They chose a different path. They have done this before, and for no other reason than it is an SNP motion. See the “Willie Bain Principle” (I use the term in the loosest possible sense). An SNP amendment put forward to retain the top tax rate of 50p was not supported by Labour for no other reason than it was “a long-standing PLP convention not to support SNP amendments” – Willie Bain, and thus the SNP motion did not get debated. It could have made a real difference to people’s lives if it had been passed, but such is the SLAB absolute tribal hatred of the SNP that they will say or do anything rather than agree to anything the SNP proposes. 

    49. Doug Daniel says:

      McHaggis: “also remember Kezia’s days trolling the Scotsman comments day after day when I used to look at it…”
       
      Urgh, can you imagine today’s unionist trolls become MSPs? Hardly bears thinking about.
       
      I actually thought the most interesting thing on Scotland Tonight was Kezia saying Labour would pay for the increase in childcare by removing the small business bonus. It’s probably just a case of making up policy on the hoof (the way Anas Sarwar did with the bedroom tax in the debate against Nicola), but if we had a media that was able to do its job – or if that had been an SNP MSP – they’d be on that like a shot to find out if it’s official party policy or not.

    50. Geoff Huijer says:

      handandshrimp,
       
      Please tell me more about how Labour ‘opposed the SSP motion on school
      meals when in power at Holyrood’. – I must’ve blinked the day the MSM had a
      field day with that one!
       
      Taranaich – well said!

    51. PickledOnionSupper says:

      @Andrew Morton
       
      Gaavster got in first! I second his recommendation – Arthur Herman’s book is excellent. 

    52. Garve says:

      In realpolitik terms both the SNP and Labour were playing the game, and Labour got thrashed 7-0.
       
      Still leaves me feeling pretty shitty about politics in Scotland though – I’d like to think we’re better than that, when we’re clearly not.
       
      If this was in the runup to the Holyrood elections it would be understandable and I probably wouldn’t have any complaint, but it’s not, it’s the runup to the referendum. To win that we need to persuade Labour voters to vote Yes. Is the best way to do that to make Labour look stupid, or to show how we could work with them following independence to improve the lot of the poorer parts of society?
       
      I don’t know the answer, but I’ve a feeling that if we continue to attack Labour it will harden some No votes which would otherwise have been susceptible to persuasion.

    53. X_Sticks says:

      “Scottish independence: Call for ‘truce’ during Glasgow 2014”
       
      http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-25645859
       
      Comments allowed! Though probably not for long 🙂

    54. Jingly Jangly says:

      According to Newsnet Scotland, “The bitter war of words erupted after First Minister Alex Salmond announced the Scottish Government was extending its current free school meals package to include all children in Primaries 1 through to 3.  Also included in the announcement were plans to extend free childcare.”
      So whats the problem with mentioning that they only way we can have the childcare as per the White Paper is with Independence?

    55. HandandShrimp says:

      Geoff
       
      Knock yourself out 🙂
       
      http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/2054832.stm

    56. a supporter says:

       
      Tony Little
       
      I note that the btw comments on all the papers are pointing out labour’s vote against.  This is good, but does anyone have any idea how many readers will read the btw comments as well. Or just skim read the article  and the headline? 
       
      Because articles in MSM are usually propaganda lite I usually read the Headline then go straight to the comments btl to get the true picture of what the article is about and to join in if interested. I’m sure many people do the same. The comments in many cases are far more interesting than the articles.

    57. bunter says:

      Its not just the UK that will go down with a YES vote. This debate is going to have people questioning why all these facts and figures which the YES campaign are putting forward, backed up with links and evidence, have escaped our investigative media over the decades. There is a reason that the McCrone report didn’t get wall to wall, that the GERS figures were ignored on the day and they ran with a spoiler. Our media are also complicit in the big lie and are now fighting for survival. Lets work to hasten their demise.

    58. ronald alexander mcdonald says:

      Consider the suicidal path Labour MSP’s are undertaking. 

      If there is a NO vote, by the 2016 Scottish election there will be massive cuts to the Scottish budget announced, regardless as to who governs in Westminster. Even diehard Labour voters will recognise them as the Unionist party who campaigned for such misery.

      In addition to that Lamont will have to go head to head in televised debates with Alex Salmond/Nicola Sturgeon. The MSM will not give her such an easy ride post referendum. She’ll be slaughtered!

      The 2011 election result could could look like a reasonable result compared to 2016. P45’s for Labour MSP’s all round. Apparently Turkeys are voting for Christmas!

    59. Paul says:

      The New Tories(Labour) can do and say anything the like they can lie, deceive,and turn cartwheels because they know that the pretend Scottish media will look the other way but heaven forbid if the Scottish National Party says anything wrong. This media attitude is also aimed at the other factions within the Yes campaign e.g the Scottish Greens You hardly ever read or hear that they are part of the independence movement as the media wouldn’t be able to play the anti Salmond card.

    60. PickledOnionSupper says:

      I have to admit that on hearing about this my first thought was very similar to CameronB’s. I can see why the extra childcare proposals do require independence to work, as is very well explained by the graphic at the top of this article, but did the free school meals measure in itself?  There will be plenty of opportunities to point out in parliamentary business where independence is needed, so I think it’s a bit cynical to use it as a ‘trap’.  That said, Rev Stu makes a good point on how Labour could have avoided this trap, and I’ve not read the actual motions or amendments themselves, so will check those out before I say any more – thanks Tony Little for the link!
       
      Glass Girl, yours is a very interesting thought too…

    61. a supporter says:

      People should remember that in Scotland and the UK the political set up is intentionally adversarial even to the extent of having The Government and The Opposition benches in the parliaments. And many folk seem to be unaware that it is the Opposition’s DUTY to oppose the Government so as to try to keep it honest.

      So what happened yesterday was the normal kind of exchanges which happen under the adversarial system. The SNP were quite right to attach their motion to Independence in order to score points off the Opposition in debate. It was up to the Opposition to amend the motion to exclude the Indy references and to substitute its own version. It is just too bad for it and Scotland that it is not bright enough to do that.

    62. Beastie says:

      Interesting side point here, Rev.

      If you put ‘Scottish parliament childcare voting’ into Google this article comes up a few down the list just below Better Together. Now, for a relatively small operation to have an impact at that level, right behind a well funded organisation far bigger than you is something to be pleased with, I think.

      The MSM are as usual blanking anything they don’t think the public should know, and Labour voting against this is something they’d like to keep quiet, but the message is getting out from here to at least the internet savvy. Who then talk to the not so savvy, and spread it out like that.

      Good job, Rev. I’ll just keep doing my wee bit for the cause by pointing everyone with the slightest interest to this website. I think I’ve learned more from a few visits to here than I have in years of reading the MSM output and if I can get new information from you… so can everyone else.

    63. john king says:

      “The second picture, is that another Labservative composite fit?”
       
      Sadly no

    64. Geoff Huijer says:

      handandshrimp
       
      Thanks! (and OMG!) – link bookmarked.

    65. Like I said on twitter last night Labour voted to take food from our children’s mouths, nothing will justify that action, to use the excuse they have is even worse than saying they don’t agree with the policy itself, they really have lost the plot.
      As far as The SNP are concerned, they played a blinder, Well done The SNP 🙂

    66. chalks says:

      The SNP mentioned it as Independence is the only way to be able to afford it for all ages.
      We would have the full powers available to us to tailor things to suit things like this.
      You can look at it like it was a trap for Labour, but it is also true.  In the year of the referendum, why shouldn’t they say it?  Things could be better with independence, not worse. 
       
      Ever considered that things like this might just spell things out a little clearer for those across the chamber struggling with what side to come down on?   
       
      We’ve had headlines about it in the MSM…..along with the childcare proposal after the white paper release creating some goodwill.  If the SNP are seen to be delivering whilst also saying, we can only go so far without independence then it opens certain peoples eyes and increases the trust of the SG to act in the best interests of Scotland.  An undecided is much more likely to say, oh well what else can you do if independent?  Rather than say, this is petty political point scoring!
       
      I think some are looking too much into this.  Hardly anyone kno’s Labour voted against it, so all this talk of it putting Labour voters off is nonsense as they don’t have a fkn clue about what happens at Holyrood…..all the headlines are about the SNP delivering.

    67. pmcrek says:

      There is a touch of last days of Enron about Scottish Labour today, perhaps if the media were balanced and critical in their approach to the party, they’d be in a much healthier state.

    68. Beastie says:

      Jingly Jangly, the problem is that’s a far, far larger prospect than what’s just been announced, surprisingly very much under the radar of the MSM as well. Free provision of childcare as just announced is to cover children from workless households. There is a future intention to roll it out to all children from families on benefits. That is a very, very long way short of what is proposed with independence, which is universal state funded childcare.

      Didn’t get that from the media, funnily enough; got it from my colleague who issues council tender documents for contracts and has just been stuffed up by yesterday’s announcement because the values on the big tender that she issued on Monday are now completely and utterly wrong due to the expansion of services. She’s nae chuffed.

    69. bunter says:

      O/T
       
      Another SNP/Panelbase finding, polling rUK finds that folk doon sooth reckon a YES vote would mean more powers would be likely for the English regions from Westminster. Interesting SNP tactic polling the rUK, lol

    70. a supporter says:

      Freddie Threepwood

      C’mon Freddie, Don’t be so naive. You’ll be saying next that Cameron should occasionally tell Milliband that some of Labour’s policies are good. (even though it doesn’t really have ANY). It’s up to individual parties to make their own case for support.

    71. Willie Zwigerland says:

      It rather deflates the evil Tory baby eater message that underpins the appeal for independence when the SNP starts nicking coalition policies.

    72. Bill McLean says:

      Garve – with respect the unionists have been slinging shit for years now at the SNP – and we are better than that! Don’t you think maybe Labour have made themselves “look stupid”? Not convinced that hard core Labour voters will be pleased with the behaviour of their party at all!

    73. creigs1707repeal says:

      SLAB need a SLAP. If they were so ‘outraged’ at the wording of the motion, then simply abstain, don’t vote AGAINST the motion. But they knew that the complicit MSM had their arses covered. Shysters the lot of them.

    74. Bill McLean says:

      … and do you really think a party who will not vote to feed some of the most deprived in our country deserves respect?

    75. CameronB says:

      I was thinking, “but this is the year of the referendum, all policy proposals need to reflect this fact in their wording”. I thought I’d ask anyway, as I don’t have a clue about parliamentary procedure.
       
      Thanks for the replies, I’m sure there is more mileage in this.

    76. Jamie Arriere says:

      @Andrew Morton,
       
      Anything by Alexander Broadie  – he was the go-to guy on the Scottish Enlightenment and Scottish Philosophy while I was at Glasgow Uni seven years ago. He has a number of books at various levels – introductions, histories and anthologies. More authoritative and indigenous than Herman’s American fan book (great rollicking read though it is)

    77. Jimbo says:

      “It rather deflates the evil Tory baby eater message that underpins the appeal for independence when the SNP starts nicking coalition policies.”
       
      It has been SSP and SNP policy for years. The only thing lacking was the money to fund it. And, even now, the only thing stopping the Scottish government from fully implementing the universal childcare and free school meals policies is insufficient pocket money. It can only be achieved by Scotland being fully independent.
       
      It is more a case of the English coalition government nicking SSP/SNP policies before they could be implemented in Scotland.

    78. scottish_skier says:

      SNP starts nicking coalition policies.
       
      Other way around you mean. Scottish Government have had this policy since 2007 and have been looking for ways to fund it. They now have one. You could criticise them for not finding the cash sooner / not putting it higher up the priority list, but better late than never. I suppose the massive rise in food banks under the coalition has made it more important.
       
      Try to keep up.

    79. Garve says:

      Bill McLean – I’m not really asking if the SNP should be using those tactics in general – I’m asking if this is the way to win a referendum or not.

    80. MochaChoca says:

      “It rather deflates the evil Tory baby eater message that underpins the appeal for independence when the SNP starts nicking coalition policies.”
       
      Didn’t SNP trial this back in 2007/08 and said they’d fully impliment once resourses allowed. The coalition implimenting this down south resulted in Barnett consequential funds which allowed this up here.

    81. Ken MacColl says:

      It would appear that some other acronym or tag will now have to be constructed to describe the main opposition party in the Scottish Parliament. SLAB is inaccurate,We see elsewhere on WoS that the thought police at Labour HQ in Scotland insist that there is no such organisation as the “Scottish” Labour Party and that all members are members of the British Labour Party and  by clear implication therefor stout defenders of the British state. Deviation will not be tolerated. Eat your heart out Keir Hardie! 

      This may also bring into question whether such gatherings as “Scottish” Labour Party conferences have any legitimacy and should be covered by the media and afforded TV reportage?

    82. kalmar says:

      It’ll be interesting to see how well Labour do in the Cowdenbeath by-election after this.  Mind you, if it’s not reported anywhere..

    83. annie says:

      While I don’t remember if Reporting Scotland actually reported that Labour voted against the motion they did show the clip of Johann Lamont in parliament telling the FM that “he had his priorities wrong” surely that has to be picked up by Labour voters, hopefully especially in Fife.

    84. Bill McLean says:

      Garve – as someone wrote before the utter disgrace and dishonesty of the NO campaign has been met with no hostility and very little political manoeuvre. In my opinion this tactic is exactly right as Labour need to be exposed as often as possible. The referendum is crucial to both sides – so far only one has played nasty!

    85. Gillie says:

      As one wit aptly put it about Scottish Labour, “From Keir Hardie to Laurel and Hardy”
       
      “D’oh!” as Scottish actor James Finlayson was oft to say.

    86. Jamie Arriere says:

      I noticed a good report from the Electoral Commission recommending showing ID at polling stations and forbidding campaigners from handling postal votes. Might need some serious lobbying & campaigning to get these introduced before September – surely the vote’s too important not to?
       
      http://www.electoralcommission.org.uk/i-am-a/journalist/electoral-commission-media-centre/news-releases-reviews-and-research/id-needed-at-polling-stations,-recommends-independent-watchdog

    87. Ewan MacKenzie says:

      Note that the policy of free school meals isn’t just about ensuring poor children get a nutritious meal every day.
       
      Many parents are not well informed about what constitutes a nutritious meal, and/or are too busy/lazy to prepare a decent packed lunch or a decent evening meal. Also many children are much more fussy about what they eat at home than they are in a social setting (school, friend’s house, etc) and consequently eat a very restricted diet at home.
       
      School meals must meet high standards of nutrition, and a wide range of dishes are served. Free school meals is a public health policy, not just an anti-poverty measure.

    88. scottish_skier says:

      Do you think that those arguing for a No vote in the referendum should publish a similar document [to the white paper] setting out what will happen to Scotland if the vote is No?
       
      Yes 70%
      No 14%
      DK 16%
       
      http://www.panelbase.com/media/polls/SNPScotlandtables060114.pdf

    89. Papadocx says:

      @garve
      sorry garve:
      This is not a game, no points for being a nice second. The object is to win. The opposition have limitless resources (supplied by us) The UK state is under threat and every means at its disposal fair or foul will be used and used 100%. 
       
      The secret intelligence services job is to oppose and beat any threat to the state, that is their primary purpose. This involves MSM, BBC, STV. etc.  They have been doing this all over the world for years, their last well known operations included Ulster, extraordinary rendition, Afghanistan, quantanimo etc. very nasty people.
       
      So have a look again at how SNP are behaving. Politics is a dirty business. We aren’t in the same league as the nice Westminster system.

    90. castle hills chavie says:

      Andrew M
       
      would strongly agree with Jamie A above about Brodie, Hermans book is also good, but also a book by David Daiches called A hotbed of genius.

    91. Norrie says:

      My take in toon form.
       
      Let them eat cake.

    92. Les Wilson says:

      Labour has the MSM and weight of all Westminster parties behind them, there is a constant and very personal campaign against Alex Salmond, and the SNP in general. They have an army of civil servants working against us in order to assist teh Unionist agenda.
       
      How in hell’s name can some here criticise the SNP, when they play a canny game where all our children benefit and at the same time make sour labour make a fool of themselves. The blind hatred of the Unionists of all colours is apparent to the extreme, so if they decide to make a fool of themselves, I for one will applaud that. What people should also know as Slab have rejected this kind of motion previously, so  it did not really matter what was in the motion, they would have rejected it anyway. Just as they did previously. 

    93. a supporter says:

      OK Rev what am I doing wrong to get the heading “Your comment is awaiting moderation.” on my posts?

    94. Garve says:

      @papadocx
       
      I understand that the No campaign fights dirty. I realise that they have the almost complete backing of the media in this.
       
      Nevertheless, I think we all realise that in order to win the referendum we need to persuade people who would normally vote Labour to vote Yes.
       
      I’m not saying I know the best way to do this. I’m just asking the question, is shaming the Labour party and making them look ridiculous the way to get Labour voters to vote Yes? Maybe it is, but I’m not sure. By making Labour look stupid we risk making their voters feel we’re saying that they were stupid to vote for them. I don’t think that brings them on board during the referendum campaign.

    95. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “OK Rev what am I doing wrong to get the heading “Your comment is awaiting moderation.” on my posts?”

      CITE tags. How many bloody times do I have to say it?

    96. yerkitbreeks says:

      This all smacks of trickster politics and will disappoint many.

    97. MochaChoca says:

      “Better Together labelled the move a clumsy attempt to win votes and said people would see through it.”

      I wonder how the Libdems in Scotland feel about Better Together portraying them in this way?

    98. Papadocx says:

      We don’t make Labour look stupid. They are doing very well themselves. Anybody who watches the vitriol, lies and deceit of SLAB and wish to support this attitude is beyond the pale.

    99. Robert Kerr says:

      @Andrew Morton
      Jaimie is correct. try
       
      The Scottish Enlightenment – The Historical Age of the Historical Nation.
       
      Published by Birlinn and available as an ebook also
       
      ISBN: 978-1-84158-640-3 or 978-0-85790-498-0
       
      I have my copy on my iPad. Have a look at the Apple iBook store. Many books published by Birlinn. Including The Scots – A Genetic Journey by Moffat and Wilson which I also find fascinating.

    100. Bubbles says:

      I was one of the ones demanding the SNP get more aggressive and I’m happy with this move. Labour are not the enemy, the MSM are!

    101. Cath says:

      “Whilst I’ve no time for Labour and their spiteful tactics I can’t help but feel slightly disappointed with the SNP for including the line regarding independence. “
       
      I feel that marginally, because it was clearly political. However I also think it’s political genius on the part of the SNP, and Labour absolutely set themselves up for it.
       
      The idea that really transformational change, such as the childcare proposals need the Scottish government to control all taxes and spending goes to the very heart of the debate. So many people still ask “where’s the money coming from” and seem to have a mistaken belief we’re funded by Westminster. They just haven’t given any thought to how tax and spend works.
       
      So paying for school meals out of a block grant is a decent use of money; investing in a childcare programme designed to bring in more taxes isn’t, because we don’t benefit from those taxes. That kind of thing is a prime example of the very negative consequences of devolution – why should the Scottish government spend our block grant investing in anything designed to improve the economy or tax take if that money isn’t actually “invested” on their part at all, just spent?
       
      So yes, putting the independence line in could be seen as playing politics. But it’s playing politics for a very good, and very specific point, especially given Labour are demanding the Scottish parliament bring in free meals, AND bring forward the kind of transformational childcare the white paper talks about now, without those tax and spend powers. They won’t say how they’d pay for it, because they know they can’t. In other words, they know that final statement is true. They just refuse to admit it. And in refusing to admit that, they’ll actually go as far as to vote against those same policies they claim to support!
       
      It’s clever political education from the SNP in a way.

    102. Moujick says:

      Yesterday’s vote isn’t the only area where the Scottish media are keeping up a silence:-
      http://blogs.channel4.com/alex-thomsons-view/scotlands-modern-millwall-celtics-toxic-public-image/6921

    103. annie says:

      Just been watching PMQ’s and can’t decide who is the most obnoxous, David Cameron referring to Angus Robertson as Alex Salmond’s lackie or Iain Davidson making his usual embarrassing diatribe against the Yes campaign and Alex Salmond.  Words fail me to describe this sorry excuse for a Scottish politician.

    104. a supporter says:

      Papadocx
      I am with you on this. Hit the bastards hard and often.

    105. Erchie says:

      Having fucked up in Australia, I see John McTernan is turning his attention to us again.
       
      Today we learn that the Nuclear Bomb is a worker’s bomb, the bomb of Socialists.
       
      And that, despite the provable advantage of universality (simpler, less money to administer, greater acceptance by the electorate [The ‘If I don’t have it why should they’ attitude] and often actually cheaper than the means-tested version, he is saying “Free school meals is taking money from the poor”

      Despite the fact that many he would class as “middle-class” are also suffering, losing their jobs, needing food banks and the help this provides.
       
      I don’t think he’s stupid, just an unprincipled tosspot

    106. a supporter says:

      annie
       
      Just been watching PMQ’s and can’t decide who is the most obnoxous, David Cameron referring to Angus Robertson as Alex Salmond’s lackie or Iain Davidson making his usual embarrassing diatribe against the Yes campaign and Alex Salmond.
       
      C’mon annie. There is no contest. Davidson is a heap of shuddering ("Tractor" - Ed)ous flesh.

    107. Craig M says:

      I’m very disappointed in Malcolm Chisholm. He has to decide what he represents and what he actually believes in. He’s either a socialist or he’s a Tory. Simple as. The reason it is actually a rather simple decision is this;

      Government by Westminster will never result in social justice, or a left of center Government; two goals that Mr Chisholm claims to want. He has an opportunity to ensure that change is delivered to the people of Scotland, his constituents, but he is quite deliberately not taking that option.

      Conclusion, Malcolm Chisholm does not want social justice and wishes to continue down a path where extreme right wing policies are the norm. Sad. 

    108. Training Day says:

      @Bubbles
      ‘Labour are not the enemy, the MSM are!’
       
      Yes – and we should focus our attention not on looking for crumbs of objectivity in, or, Lord help us, sympathy for our cause from the MSM, but on educating our fellow Scots about what is happening around them, and what is being done to them in the name of ‘information’.
       
      Once people start properly to deconstruct the narratives of the MSM, there’s no going back.

    109. johnnypict says:

      @ Ken MacColl …does that mean we should call them BLAB? 🙂

      Labour have put their foot in it again. Long may it continue. If it makes people realise what SLAB (or BLAB) are actually doing and if it pushes people to LFI or elsewhere and to a Yes vote then great.

      Personally I’d hope to see a Scottish Parly where any policy that is shared, is just supported. 0pposition for oppositions sake is just nonsense and does not help the electorate, and is quite frankly starting to bore the t*ts off me.

    110. bald eagle says:

      papadocx
      dont forget edinburgh airport scare
       
      the american special forces helicopter crash lastnight
      why are they training here  and dont forget every time cameron has any spare time you will find him with the troops in afghan what is he up to something is coming our way
       
      i dont know if anybody else has noticed but there seems to be a lot of work being done to courts and police stations just now and its not a spring clean and she that must be obeyed says that a lot of insurance policies are being taken out for structural damage her company are getting about 6 a week
       
      and we know the burrell collection is going overseas one hellava load of scottish owned art is out the country now dont think im par”anoide but just think about it what is going on that we dont know about yet

    111. Busy-Bee says:

      Rev says:…. “They’ve done an unquestionably good thing here, and made Labour look like idiots in the process. What’s not to like?”
      Couldn’t agree more! 🙂

    112. desimond says:

      @Ken MacColl

      BLAB has a nice apt ring to it for the British Labour members empty utterings

      @Bubbles
      The media are the enemy..im not sure….is it the media who ensure Labour dont give out any bad press or the other way round?

    113. Murray McCallum says:

      The “Childcare in Scotland” graphic is very good / clear. Surely anyone that looks at that for 30 seconds gets it?
       
      The “Devolution” scenario could show the funds raised going towards Trident replacement, or funding the increased cost of the House of Lords, or towards the subsidised alcohol at the House of Commons. Scots savings well spent.

    114. HandandShrimp says:

      “S4M-08707.3 Johann Lamont: Scotland’s Future—As an amendment to motion S4M-08707 in the name of Alex Salmond (Scotland’s Future), leave out from “deplores” to end and insert “believes that the UK Government’s economic and social strategies have failed and threaten the progress made by the previous Labour administration in tackling child poverty; agrees that devolution allows the Scottish Parliament to take a different approach; notes that progress in tackling child poverty has stalled in Scotland under the current administration, and, while recognising the value of free school meals, calls on the Scottish Government to take action to deliver for children now, including providing 50% of two-year-olds with 600 hours of free early learning and care in 2014.”
       
      Not sure if this has been covered above but Ms D is punting this about as an example of how they were prepared to meet the SNP half way to pass the motion. A better example of an amendment designed to be rejected you would be hard pushed to find. Labour wanted to oppose free school meals pure and simple.

    115. Inbhir Anainn says:

      Motion agreed to,

      That the Parliament deplores the welfare austerity cuts imposed by the UK Government on the most vulnerable; notes the estimate of the Child Poverty Action Group that, as a direct result of these, by 2020 child poverty will increase by up to 100,000; recognises that free school meals help tackle child poverty and promote child welfare and educational attainment; further recognises that free school meals save families at least £330 per child per year; confirms its commitment to increasing the number of primary school pupils eligible for free school meals; further confirms its commitment to continue to increase the provision of high-quality early learning and childcare, which,
       
      as well as being of benefit to children, will be of great assistance to family finances and help to boost female participation in the labour market; believes that, with independence, Scotland can match countries such as Sweden and increase the number of women in the labour market by more than 100,000, increase Scottish output by £2.2 billion and government revenues by £700 million; acknowledges that the powers of independence are necessary to ensure that the full ambitions for early years education and childcare in Scotland are delivered as only with the powers of independence will these additional revenues stay in Scotland to fund such a policy for the long term; believes that having full control over both taxation and welfare is vital to achieve the transformation in childcare that Scotland needs and for child poverty to be finally eradicated, and further believes that only with independence can Scotland truly become the best place in the world for a child to grow up.

      Can’t help but notice that a few posters keep referring to a Bill when in reality it was a motion that was eventually passed.

    116. Andy-B says:

      Good piece Rev
       
      It seems theres no level SLAB won’t stoop to, even removing food from childrens mouths, and doesn’t seem to upset them in the slightest. What on earth has happened to SLAB to become so far removed from the common man/woman in the street.
       
      Labour are now at loggerheads with charities, and campaigners like the EIS teaching union, Save the Children, and the Child Poverty Action Group, over their complete unwillingness to support the fee meals for children.
       
      Staggeringly Johan Lamont actually said school meals wouldn,t be her priority this from a former teacher, I think we all know Johan Lamonts priority, it involves an ermine cloak and a life long seat south of the border.

    117. MochaChoca says:

      “in reality it was a motion that was eventually passed”
       
      Is that why Ms Dugdale has that look on her face?

    118. kalmar says:

      i dont know if anybody else has noticed but there seems to be a lot of work being done to courts and police stations just now and its not a spring clean and she that must be obeyed says that a lot of insurance policies are being taken out for structural damage her company are getting about 6 a week
       
      OK, I’ll play: It’s a Yes landslide, followed by Westminster saying “actually, no”.  Riot, attempted rebellion, terrorists detained, Scottish parliament dissolved by force.

    119. bald eagle says:

      kalmar
      think glasgow city council and the amount of buildings going up in flames what else are they up to and who are they going to blame funny it was said council taking the insurance out

      go back a few years and scotland today reported that art work worth millions was being loaned to that law lord in england for his apartment irvine i think his name was did we ever get it back somebody here will know who and what im talking about the same person that decorated his apartment with very expensive wallpaper then you will get what im talking about

    120. Edmund says:

      Note that the debate in question seems to be titled ‘Scotland’s Future’, not ‘Free School Meals’.  I’m not sure the outcome actually affects any law or budget at all, and just seems to be an excuse to have another round of reaffirming entrenched positions on all sides.
       
      It’s true, however, that the opposition amendments aren’t any better than the original text – they are just as childishly self-congratulatory and party political.  Lib/Lab/Con might have been better to just propose to remove the independence-related clauses and vote in favour of the commitment to free school meals.
       
      I haven’t forgotten that Labour’s record on free school meals is one of massive hypocrisy.  They vehemently opposed the SSP’s free school meals bill back in the day.  Then they turned around and proposed the exact same policy.  I had a rather heated exchange with one of my MSPs about it – she had somehow convinced herself that this was perfectly logically consistent.
       
      Apparently they’ll vote for anything stamped with the correct party logo and against the exact same words printed on different coloured paper.

    121. Roger Graham says:

      The Labour Party has one policy in Scotland: hatred of the SNP. They are a disgrace.

    122. roberto says:

      Miss Dugdale on Scotland Tonight stated that labour would cut small business rates to pay for child care.

    123. Ken500 says:

      Vote FiFi out, she might have to try and get a job, as a dinner lady. Feediing the kids. Karma. The troughing cow. Let them eat cake.

    124. Ken500 says:

      Bairns or bombs.

    125. john king says:

      Whats going on here rev, why are you deleting my posts?

    126. Ken500 says:

      Thatcher the milk snatcher. Lament Mark 11

    127. Barontorc says:

      O/T but in the same vein Rev – Do I understand that there is a move to insist on proof of identity at polling stations coming from England and that bulk handling of postal votes by political parties will not be acceptable?
       
      Oh, well and good and perfectly sensible and much needed given the postal fraud that’s won a few undeserved elections for Labour, but the cruncher is it will take about a year to put in place. So, oh bugger, fill yer boots boys in Scotland we ain’t looking yet!
       
      It simply beggars belief that a known weakness in the process is being given the  ‘light touch’ – do you suppose it’s intended – ‘and they’re doing it deliberately’ ask  Lard Foulks perhaps?

    128. Craig says:

      FreddieThreepwood, it would not make any sense for the SNP to say anything against themselves.

      If Scottish voters couldn’t understand that a vote for independence is not a vote for Alex Salmond / SNP, then they WOULD BE too stupid to be independent.

      But Scottish voters are NOT stupid. Fortunately for us, Better Together are making a big mistake in taking Scottish voters for fools.

    129. Craig says:

      FreddieThreepwood, it would not make any sense for the SNP to say anything against themselves.

      If Scottish voters can’t understand that a vote for independence is not a vote for Alex Salmond / SNP, then they ARE too stupid to be independent.

      But Scottish voters are NOT stupid. Fortunately for us, Better Together are making a big mistake in taking Scottish voters for fools.

    130. SquareHaggis says:

      @bald eagle
       
      You raise some interesting points there, some of which could do with further discussion.
       
      I too have noticed some unusual goings on over the years, in particular with the reshuffling of military and police assets around Scotland. Your post about insurance being sought for structural damage is something I was not aware of and this certainly highlights some concerns. 
       
      I distinctly recall the Tories shifting helicopter gun-ships and other assets into the Lossimouth area shortly after the elections, including Mr Camerons private army to barracks at Fort George I think it was, allegedly to protect north sea oil.
       
      It’s quite clear to even the most casual observer that successive Westminster governments have been gradually eroding Scottish troop numbers over the years by either amalgamating them into forces down south, posting them overseas or disbanding them all together, resulting in the altogether poorly defended Scottish mainland we have today.
       
      Then there’s the issue regarding dwindling police numbers, according to news reports Monday they’re leaving in droves to take up places in the north sea oil sector. Why?
       
      Could it be a move to secure north sea oil to westminster in the event of a Yes vote in the referendum? I’m not sure but putting two and two together it certainly seems plausable and with Scotland in the vulnerable state it now finds itself in, most definitely possible.
       
      Worrying times ahead…

    131. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “Whats going on here rev, why are you deleting my posts?”

      Because the rules apply to you the same as everyone else, John.

    132. Alan Mackintosh says:

      @kalmar 
       
      go back a few years and scotland today reported that art work worth millions was being loaned to that law lord in england for his apartment irvine i think his name was did we ever get it back somebody here will know who and what im talking about the same person that decorated his apartment with very expensive wallpaper then you will get what im talking about

      His name is Derry Irvine. Very close to the Blairs, so close in fact that Cherie was on top apparently, often… Also interesting to compare the looky likey of the Blair kids to Irvine and T Bliar.

    133. John Kerr says:

      @ Ken500
      “Thatcher the milk snatcher.  Lament Mark II”

      Does this make Lamont “Labour Chief – School Meals Thief”!

      Does anyone know how many more “Dinnerladies” will need to be employed to provide the extra meals and what the tax benefit to Westminster will be? This follows along the same lines as the why we need Independence to be able to afford 1200 hours of child care. I’m sure that a sizeable chunk of the £300 million cost of this fantastic policy is going to go to the London treasury.

    134. Training Day says:

      O/T but on Labour. Anyone from Business for Scotland out there? Just listened to Tom Greatrex, Labour’s UK Energy spokesperson, and I need help in understanding what he’s saying ‘cos I must be thick.

      A) Greatrex claims comparisons with Norway and its oil fund are ‘facile’, and that Scotland couldn’t have built one up over the last 20 years even though Norway did. Why?

      B) Greatrex claims that ‘volatility’ makes oil a dangerous basis for an economy. Why does every other nation which has discovered oil not worry about that?

      C) Greatrex claims ‘pooling and sharing’ resources across the UK reduces the risk of volatility. Why was Norway not eager to pool and share its resources with Sweden, Germany or whoever in order to reduce their risk of ‘volatility’?

      Truly, if we Scots are stupid enough to vote No then we deserve everything we will undoubtedly get.

    135. bald eagle says:

      squarehaggis
      @5:58am
       
      first the insurance the council before selling any building are putting them out for sale and if any buyers come forward ie big builders they know the builders cant just rip these building down so a pitance is paid on insurance and then up it goes the insurance is for any damage to any other building or private property
       
      now heres the problem the buildings that you see in the town centre dont just stop at ground level they go down below ground not basements but whole streets underground shops from years and years ago plus houses what you see above ground is not whats down there all it takes is one fire and the whole of the centre of glasgow could go up thats why after a fire the fire brigade could be there for days damping down the remnants if you ask a fireman where all the water goes they will tell you they have no idea ive been down there and it goes on and on i dont think anybody knows how big it is down to the clyde side and up as far as the buchanan galleries and in all directions
       
      what you said about lossiemouth any time the armed forces get rid of any bullets shells anything like that if it goes bang or boom they usually use beaufords dyke hope thats spelt right look at an atlas its just of ireland its a deep under water trench it all gets dumped there the irish  a few years ago enquired what was going on with tugs dumping stuff into the sea and where told it was research by the navy whoever told them that must have forgotten ireland has her own navy and they knew nothing about it and then whitehall was asked if it was research why was there helicopters flying about i think they are still waiting for an answer
      why do you think the submarines go up to the north of scotland to do all their diving practices theres enough crap down there it would blow ireland and the most part of the uk of the face of the earth theres even stuff down there from both world wars if theres surplus ammo down it goes look at an atlas and you will see how big the dyke is if you ever go to helensburgh go out past the submarine base up to the view point and look down into the base if a tug or tugs go out with tarps  hiding whats on board and they are escorted by fast rigs thats where they are going 
       
      also the cops know where the money is thats why they are all heading north private security and personal security easy money will you or i get the chance of this kind of work no chance army and cops only asked the other half why are the cops spending all the money on cop shops and courts and she said its to try and keep them from leaving why courts if you have ever seen inside one they bloody need it personaly i think there is going to be a big shake up of our legal system 
       
      hope this post isnt to long

    136. SquareHaggis says:

      @bald eagle
       
      Just been reading the Carloway Review, well reasoned considering it’s attempting to do two things at once 1) take us up to speed with EU law and 2) counteract the mess made by the bleedin Supe Court in London. Trying to remain neutral until I’ve finished reading it tho so don’t quote me on that.
       
      As to pollution, yes I do often wonder what’s beneath our feet. had a look at some papers on nuclear waste dump sites and they are everywhere.under the seas, mostly out on the South West around Jersey/Gibraltar but that’s pretty old data.
       
      Other problems here on the east side especially around Rosyth and the Firth of 
      Forth heading east along the coast. A few years back a farmer friend of mine living near Burntisland showed me a hole in the ground where he stores his spuds. It’s almost hidden on the edge of what looks like an old quarry but is actually an ancient cave hewn out of the rock by monks (don’t know how old it is) – nothin fancy but boy it’s BIG. The top level, when standing inside goes at least 30 feet up, pillars hand cut as far as the eye can see. It goes 6 levels down into pitch black, 40 degree gradient all the way.
       
      The farmer says he keeps the tats down on level 2 and the subsequent levels can’t be used because they’re filled with water washing back from the Forth, apparently these monks dug a tunnel from the bottom level right out to Crammond Island near Barnton in Edinburgh. The British Army used it as a weapons store in WWII then sealed it off after the war, I’m told there are thousands upon thousands of  mustard gas cannisters submerged under that water and who knows what else.
       
      This place is not on any “touist map” and can’t be seen from the nearby road which is right next door to the tourist trail,  I asked my relatives in Burntisland about the place and though many knew about it, they didn’t seem that bothered.
       
      And the spuds? well they go somewhere else, Burntislanders get theirs fae Tesco Kirkaldy.
       
      Whatever happens on Sept 18th, we’re going to have our work cut out for us for a long time to come.
       
      We won’t be inheriting a utopia that’s for sure.



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