The world's most-read Scottish politics website

Wings Over Scotland


Dog-whistle causes dog bite

Posted on May 14, 2013 by

The Guardian today reports the incredibly depressing news that “Labour voters [are] increasingly turning against the poor”, with growing numbers of the party’s supporters now blaming the victims of recession and austerity for their own plight.

Julia Unwin, chief executive of the anti-poverty Joseph Rowntree Foundation, is quoted in the piece saying “The stark findings of this report highlight the increasingly tough stance people are taking against people in poverty. We appear to be tough on those experiencing poverty, but not tough on its causes.”

How can such a horrific, callous scenario, with the supposed party of the downtrodden and voiceless abandoning those who need the most support, ever have come to pass?

We were set up as the party to represent the values of working people, working being the key word. We weren’t set up as some sort of charity to help the poorest in society – the long-term unemployed, the benefit dependent, the drug addicted, the homeless.”

Oh yeah. Now we remember.

Print Friendly

    41 to “Dog-whistle causes dog bite”

    1. Geoff Huijer says:

      That Tom Harris quote is sickening, but sums up nicely
      the attitudes adopted now by people (Thatcher’s children?)…

    2. Dcanmore says:

      “We’re all Thatcherites now” …
       
      We must, MUST breakaway from the UK. Independence is the only hope not just for us who have sought Scottish Independence all our lives but for a chance for those in the Labour Party in Scotland to reclaim their socialist values and return their party to the ideology of Keir Hardie, Attlee and Bevan. Labour in Westminster for 20 years is a neo-liberal centre-right party and it’s about time ALL Labour supporters in Scotland bring their heads out of the sand and recognise what is going on under their noses, because being a socialist in Scotland means you are nothing more than a fringe faction within the UK set up.
       
      VOTE YES 2014!

    3. sneddon says:

      Wait till they lose their jobs, stupid sods.  It’s always someone else’s fault.  same old bollocks.  Eat the rich instead 🙂
      This raises the question are people getting more selfish or just thicker?

    4. Jiggsbro says:

      Wake me up when September 17th, 2014 ends.

    5. Jimbo says:

      Nor should we forget that other comment that summed up London’s attitude towards North Britain – that high unemployment in the north is a price worth paying in order to preserve affluence in the south.

    6. Training Day says:

      “We weren’t set up as some sort of charity to help the poorest in society – the long-term unemployed, the benefit dependent, the drug addicted, the homeless.”
       
      These are the only people who will end up ‘United under Labour’ – by being stigmatised, en bloc, as untermensch.

    7. Jimbo says:

      @ Sneddon, 12.11 pm
       
      They’ve possibly been convinced by Lamont’s ‘Something for Nothing Culture’ speech.

    8. panda paws says:

      I thought the Labour Party was set up to represent the interests of the working class – class being the operative word. Perhaps proletariat is a better expression.
      I thought that mass unemployment and homeless and injustice were things they stood against. My bad.

    9. ianbrotherhood says:

       
       
      Here’s another Harris quote from the original Cochrane piece (28th Nov 2011):
       
      “We used to be a movement – now we’re a monolith. We say we want change – all the candidates mention it repeatedly so it must be true – but only the kind of change with which we’re comfortable; change on our terms, not the electorate’s.”
       
      Kin right Tam…kin right.

    10. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      One of the many interesting things about Harris’ quote is the distinction he draws between “working people” and “the benefit dependent”. Of course, due to Labour’s dismal handling of the economy, many of those dependent on benefits ARE the working poor, who need Working Tax Credits (ie benefits) to be able to feed their families.

    11. Desimond says:

      Reminds me of a confused Kevin Costner at the end of the wonderful Fields of Dreams “What do I get?”. It could be the mantra for all Labour Politicans. That or “If you privatise it, personal riches will come”

    12. ukip free zone says:

      This would seem to be the ideology of the Labour leadership class now. A sort of economic neo-liberalism meets social Darwinism.

    13. joe kane says:

      From Richard Seymour –
      Patriotism – A Dead-End Solution to a Non-Problem 
      New Left Project
      07 July 2011 
      http://www.newleftproject.org/index.php/site/article_comments/patriotism_a_dead_end_solution_to_a_non_problem 
      “…New Labour’s aping of the language of the far right was coterminous with the loss of five million core working class voters. Aside from everything else that is wrong with it, it doesn’t appear to be an effective way of encouraging people to vote Labour. On the contrary, arguing for right-wing ideas within the working class is a certain way for Labour to spread right-wing ideas. Indeed, on a variety of issues, the evidence is that New Labour had more success in moving the electorate to the right than Thatcher did.”

    14. joe kane says:

      Here is Harris from a few years ago when he visited his wife in hospital who had just given birth. To sit next to other new mums and think thoughts like these about them takes a special kind of morality indeed. Then again, if you look up Harris’s parliamentary claims for expenses you’ll see he claimed for baby food and other baby things at the most trivial prices, all at taxpayer’s expense –

      The return of morality: The army of teenage mothers living off the state is a national catastrophe 
      Guardian 
      05 May 2009
      http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2009/mar/05/welfare-children 
       

    15. Patrick Roden says:

      Ah is that Duncan Hothershals (sp) pal Tome Harris showing the Labour Parties true colours in that quote.
       
      Did Tom and Dunc come to blows? was it a twitter fall out, or someother kind of media?
       
      Because one thing I know about Duncan, is he is a good ‘Internationalist Socialist’ and wouldn’t or even couldn’t remain close friends with anyone who had the views expressed in that quote.
      Imagine the outrage a gnashing of teeth from Duncan, if anyone from the SNP had uttered these words!
       
      So, is Duncan still close to Tom? still friends? still members of the same party?
       
      Or… is Duncan just another Labour Party Hypocrite, who spouts any old waffle to attempt to show concern for the ‘working man’ and solidarity between ‘workers of the world’
      when all they really want is power for themselves and the Labour Party with all the snout burrying opportunities this brings for them and their own.
       
      Enough to make you sick, isn’t it.

    16. Thomas William Dunlop says:

      We were set up as the party to represent the values of working people, working being the key word. 
      It would be Ok, if they even kept that part of the bargain up. However the last time I looked, they still had not repealed any Tory anti-union legislation, and a lot of union members are pretty digusted with the party.
      Still I smell the rise and rise of fascism all over the anglo world. The problem is that it never set the heath on fire before, so there are no red lights in place to stop it from happening.

    17. Luigi says:

      UKIP, blue tories, red tories. Gosh, the far right ground is quite crowded nowadays. The LibDems will be wanting a oiece of the action next. Never mind, according to the MSM, we are all rapidly morphing into Thatcherite, neoliberal, trident-loving, war-mongering, independence-hating plebs anyway. So, what’s the problem, jock?

    18. ronald alexander mcdonald says:

      OT. I joined Business for Scotland last week. Am going to meeting tonight. Anyone else going?

    19. The Man in the Jar says:

      It is not just the “High Heed Yins” in Labour that have these opinions. I have mentioned before that I have a friend who is a shop steward in the GMB. I have tried to convert him to indie but every time that I try he starts foaming at the mouth and ranting on about “Abu Hamsa? Don’t ask me what T F that has to do with it. And “all these filthy lazy scrounging scumbags on the dole who should get off their lazy arses and do a days work” He also claims that “you cant be a socialist if you don’t work” “And an independent Scotland would become “A junkies paradise”
      Very sad!

    20. Colin Dunn says:

      I’m sure Duncan Hothersall will be along shortly to explain how they’ve got this story all wrong ;(

    21. AmadeusMinkowski says:

      After 100 years of Labour “supporting the working classes of the West of Scotland”:
      Life expectancy in Wishaw is lower than in North Korea.
      Conclusion: Labour isn’t working for Scotland.

    22. FreddieThreepwood says:

      Also OT (sorry Rev)
      But further to complaints about the BBC/MSM this morning …
      BBC lunchtime news bulletin leads with the Tory rebellion on Europe, evil killer jailed, Hollywood star’s cancer op etc. followed by the headline teaser for Reporting Scotland: ‘There has been an increase in the number of cigarette butts on Scotland’s beaches.’
      I started work as a journalist on a teensy weekly local paper in England and that story wouldn’t have made it past page 10.
      There’s more than one way to convince us we’re too wee, too parochial, too thick to run our own country.
       

    23. Robert louis says:

      Instead of offering an alternative to the current tory b*******s and their libdem lapdugs, Labour have simply adopted Tory policies.  Time and again I have watched Liam Byrne of Labour sit in a TV studio and berate the poor and unemployed.  It is sickening.
       
      So keen are Labour to appeal to the rich inhabitants of the home counties, they have jettisoned every single socialist policy they had.  Sadly, what Milband and his ‘one britain’ nationalistic chums have not grasped, is that those in the home counties who want to vote Tory, will simply vote Tory, and NOT some half baked shallow red tory Labour party.
       
      Labour desperately try to pretend they represent the working class and the poor ‘up North’, whilst in the same breath berating those same people to cheering audiences down south.  Miliband seems to believe he really can fool all the people all the time.  The man is a clown.
       
       
       
       

    24. David Smillie says:

      I got a very similar comment not too long ago from a Glaswegian communist acquaintance.  He had no time for alkies, junkies or homeless drifters; and thought immigrant numbers should be tightly controlled.   Must admit I was a bit surprised, but I shared accommodation with a (now well-known) communist away back in the 70s and he had similar views.  In his regular visits to the then Soviet Union he said that they rewardede workers and frowned on ‘wasters’.

    25. FreddieThreepwood says:
      14 May, 2013 at 2:12 pm


      Also OT (sorry Rev)But further to complaints about the BBC/MSM this morning …BBC lunchtime news bulletin leads with the Tory rebellion on Europe, evil killer jailed, Hollywood star’s cancer op etc. followed by the headline teaser for Reporting Scotland: ‘There has been an increase in the number of cigarette butts on Scotland’s beaches.’

      Agree with you 100%. Remember this is our “National News”, it is pathetic. I think it’s time to have a separate blog as a type of ‘Media Watch’ to highlight this type of low level journalism, this ‘story’ was highlighted on GMS today as well. It would not be considered for a spot on that other bastion of serious journalism, The One Show. I wonder what the costs are for this spot, cameraman, sound, travel expenses and overnight accommodation? And if it will end up as YES Scotland’s fault?
       

    26. ianbrotherhood says:

       
      I used to work with a guy whose only job was emptying ashtrays and sweeping the fag-ends up around the site. At the end of the day we never had any dowts.
       
      In the same place, the security guy was nicknamed ‘Strombo’ (after the famous volcano) because he was normally dormant and surrounded by a layer of ash.
       
      Aye, alright, I’m going…

    27. CameronB says:

      Thomas William Dunlop says: 14 May, 2013 at 1:33 pm

      “Still I smell the rise and rise of fascism all over the anglo world. The problem is that it never set the heath on fire before, so there are no red lights in place to stop it from happening”.

       
      Incremental dear boy, incremental. Or as the Atlantasists like to call it, ‘spreading liberal democracy’.

    28. Robyn - Quine fae Torry says:

      Saw this story on the Guardian this morning and felt pretty depressed.  Frankie Boyle, during his routine at Give It Up for Comic Relief, said “I just don’t feel like I belong in this culture anymore”.  I know the feeling sometimes. 
       
      The quote by Tom Harris is truly spineless but I have heard similar comments from colleagues, friends and family along the lines of it; they go blank when you correct them with facts such as working people getting tax credits, housing benefit and other allowances or that the benefit fraud cost is dwarfed by that of the cost of tax avoidance. I think the MSM has got a lot to answer for and there has already been a rise in hate crime directed towards the disabled with charities such as Mencap linking it to the “benefit scrounger” hysteria that has been stoked by the media in recent years.http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2012/feb/05/benefit-cuts-fuelling-abuse-disabled-people
       
      Labour in Scotland were mooting the possibility of getting income tax devolved, but I would rather have the benefits system under Holyrood control.  Hopefully we will get the whole lot in September 2014. 

    29. CameronB says:

      WhyFI bummed out.
      That should read incremental-ism.

    30. clachangowk says:

       “In his regular visits to the then Soviet Union he said that they rewarded workers and frowned on ‘wasters’.”
      I travelled for years in communist Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union.
      Attitude of the bulk of the population there was summed up in the popular saying ” they pretend to pay us and we pretend to work”
      our UK communists were usually invited at soviet party expense, were wined and dined with Party members never met “ordinary” non-party people and had no idea how the “people” lived or what they thought.
      They won’t be visiting so often now. 

    31. Hetty says:

      There’s apparently a saying in Spain, ‘always a Socialist until you win the lottery’. I thought it was a bit harsh, but it’s turning out to be true here and the tories’ tactic of pitting employed against unemployed/sick/disabled/poor etc, is certainly working for them. It wouldn’t work without the media condoning and advertising it though. When I read (usually the headlines in passing, as I am cleaning the cat litter!!), the gutter press papers that I get from friends and family, I am shocked at the sensational, bigoted, mindless c**p that they are feeding people. Dread to think people actually believe it, that’s the problem. It’s all just like the ‘hello’ magazine but disguised as ‘news’. Very sad indeed to hear of this kind of attitude in these supposed civilised times.
      And yes I know what Robyn means about the blank faces, I get the same, in fact when I mention supporting YES for Independence, many people look at me as though I am completely mad, thank god not quite everyone though.

    32. JLT says:

      Desimond
      Reminds me of a confused Kevin Costner at the end of the wonderful Fields of Dreams “What do I get?”. It could be the mantra for all Labour Politicans. That or “If you privatise it, personal riches will come”
       
      ————–
       
      Ha Ha Ha ….like it. Good one…

    33. James Morton says:

      I think people also forget that although Labour moved further to the right than the tories – what was the alternative? Labour had shifted to the right knowing that there was simply no alternative for people to move their vote. I think they got away with it because peoples hatred of the tory was far greater than their concerns of where Labour was leading us.

      Commentators like David Torrance smugly point out that Scots have consistently voted for thactherite policies and concludes that Scots are not different from the English in the end. Point out that Scots had little choice as they clearly would never vote tory…and its like water of a ducks back. But then its not surprising when you see an increasing tendacy to conflate terms within the media.

      Torrance among others are spending a lot of energy trying to conflate the SNP with UKIP. Lord whathisface’ poll on Trident also shows a tendency to use fallacious reasoning. He pays for a poll with some very leading questions, to get the response they want. Suggest Scotland is natural tory voting country, despite evidence to the contrary, because a right of centre party used to be popular once and believe it or not: Scotlands conservative values should make them vote tory because they are called “conservatives”.

      The reason I think SNP have won the last two Holyrood elections, is that they presented a credible alternative to the status quo. But they are presented in the press as somehow having stolen the election. They constantly attacked as being insane. This by a party whose light touch regulation of the banks and over reliance on outsourcing led to the current meltdown. It takes some pretty big balls to have wasted so much tax payers money and then boast about it afterwards as a benefit of the Union. If they hadn’t been so useless they would not have needed to spend that money. Had they had any sense of deceny, they would have ensured that those most directly responsible paid for it out of their own pockets.

      The unionist parties in Scotland are simply aping their English counterparts. Labour starts bloviating against the poor, Lamont makes her “something for nothing” speech. Cameron makes his Strivers vs Skivers. Ruth Davidson makes her 80% of scots are skivers speech to an English audience admittedly – she would have on the run by now if she had tried it here.

      The Lib-dems – miserable wretches who sold every core value they had for a seat at the table. Boy..are they in for shock come the next election.

      The problems we face are not problems we never faced before. But the problem solving mechanisms in this country are fundementally broken. Its pretty obvious to anyone with a brain that something is badly wrong, yet there seems to be an almost willfully blind stupidity at work within the media and within the political parties themselves. Its made worse by the fact that these people think their shit don’t stink. If they have a success, then it was all down to them. If it fails then it was down to someone else; Europe, Immigrants, People with spare rooms in council house, the elderly, the young, the unemployed ect ect. If they get a break they deserved it, if any of the above get one, its a benefit that is no longer affordable.

      It’s how IDS can attack someone for wanting a proper job rather than pack shelves for nothing. Its how Hothersall was able to defend his parties betrayal on Workfare and the Bedroom tax, Its how Ian Smart was able to accuse Scots of being closet racists.

      They are morons, fiscal spimpletons and are leading the UK to depression and much worse. They haven’t got the chops to do the job properly. They are not even fit to be in the 2nd eleven. They are all PR men and advisors & haven’t got the first fucking clue as to how to run a country. And they are in charge and that scares me, but as much a no vote does.

    34. Thomas Dunlop says:

      @ CameronB
      “Incremental dear boy, incremental.” I think the accelerator pedal has been stuck for the past few years.
      “That should read incremental-ism.” Don’t you mean “increasing cretinism” to describe the atlantaticist project for a new american century- a bye word for american imperial triumphalism, wrapped up with a fascist doctrine.

    35. Tony Little (aka Aplinal) says:

      @James M
       
      Thank you, far more eloquently than I could manage, and hits most of my red buttons.  If, Gods forbid, Scotland is conned into voting NO by the MSM/BBC racket, I can’t imagine what the outcome would be.  It genuinely scares me what Scotland would become.
       
      As others have said before:
       
      Vote NO get nothing
      Vote YES and get a country

    36. CameronB says:

      @ Thomas Dunlop
      I couldn’t have put it better myself, but would suggest it is an Anglo-American dream, sponsored largely by certain players in Wall Street and the City of London. The Fabian Socialist have been wrapped up in it since WW2, through their possibly patriotic association with Milner’s Kindergarten. Certainly a conspiracy theory, but it does come from Georgetown University History Professor and former archivist for the New York Council on Foreign Relations,  Carroll Quigley.
       

    37. CameronB says:

      P.S. The reason I mentioned the above, is that Scotland’s bid for independence is in direct opposition to the objectives of Milner’s Kindergarten (the expansion and perpetuation of a confederated British empire).

    38. Derick Tulloch says:

      Thomas William Dunlop 1:33 pm ““Still I smell the rise and rise of fascism all over the anglo world.”
       
      And I.
       
      Peak Oil behind it all: hence the credit crunch, hence the end of capitalism, hence…who knows. Dark and Drublie it would seem.
       
      Yes and Independence would be a start, but we will still need to work on it, build the Common Weal to keep this nazi shite at bay.  And, alas, we must build a credible professional, democratic, Scottish Defence Force. I don’t like it, but we must.
       
      A No vote would not be the end of it. Not while we breathe.

    39. ianbrotherhood says:

       
      @Derick Tulloch-
       
      Kin right man.

    40. Dave Smith says:

      Derick Tulloch, I might be 49 years old but I would be proud to sign up to that defence force and protect the Common Weal.
      Right now I live a mere nine miles from Scotland but I feel increasingly alienated by the increasingly nasty and malevolent attitudes I hear daily in a land I no longer recognise.
      If Scotland does not vote YES next year, I still believe the UK will no longer exist in ten years. Sadly it will quite possibly have torn itself apart in civil war. 
      I would have laughed at that notion ten years ago but I’m not laughing any more.



    Comment - please read this page for comment rules. HTML tags like <i> and <b> are permitted. Use paragraph breaks in long comments. DO NOT SIGN YOUR COMMENTS, either with a name or a slogan. Ignore these rules and I WILL KILL YOU WITH HAMMERS.




    ↑ Top