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Empty vessel makes noise

Posted on June 06, 2013 by

Below is attached the full text of Labour leader Ed Miliband’s speech in London today.

edmiliband1

We’ve translated a few of the trickier passages for you.

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It is great to be here in Newham. Where a Labour Mayor and council are doing so many great things to help get local people back into work. On Monday, Ed Balls gave a speech about how the next Labour government would control public spending.

By cutting benefits so we’ve still got money to spend on replacing Trident.

The biggest item of expenditure alongside the NHS, is the social security budget. The next Labour government will have less money to spend. If we are going to turn our economy round, protect our NHS, and build a stronger country we will have to be laser-focused on how we spend every single pound. Social security spending, vital as it is, cannot be exempt from that discipline.

Only military spending can be.

Now, some people argue that if we want to control social security we have to leave our values at the door. But today I want to argue the opposite. Controlling social security spending and putting decent values at the heart of the system are not conflicting priorities. It is only by reforming social security with the right values that we’ll be able to control costs.

And the system does need reform. And it is only by controlling costs that we can sustain a decent system for the next generation. In every generation the world has changed and Britain’s welfare state has to change with it. We’re no different.

Today we have women at work, not the male world of work that William Beveridge envisaged in the 1940s. We have persistent worklessness, not the full employment of the past. So jobs for everyone who can work and help to make that happen, must be the starting point for social security reform: cutting the costs of worklessness.

It’s all your fault, ladies. We seem to remember that when a Tory minister said the same thing in 2011 Labour called it “shocking” and “rubbish”, but let’s not be churlish.

Today, people often don’t get paid enough in work to make ends meet. And the taxpayer is left picking up the bill for low pay. We must change our economy, so that welfare is not a substitute for good employment and decent jobs. Today the welfare state, through housing benefit, bears the cost for our failure to build enough homes. We have to start investing in homes again, not paying for failure.

And, today, people’s faith in social security has been shaken when it appears that some people get something for nothing and other people get nothing for something – no reward for the years of contribution they make. We have to tackle this too.

“Something for nothing”? This IS the Labour leader’s speech we’re listening to, isn’t it? Have we come to the wrong place?

Overcoming worklessness, rewarding work and tackling low pay, investing in the future and recognising contribution: these are the Labour ways to reform our social security system. And what I want to talk to you about today.

And it is very important I do, because there is an extra responsibility on those who believe in the role of social security to show real determination to reform it. Real long-term reform not the short-term, failing approach of this government. Which leaves hundreds of thousands of people in long-term idleness. Hits the low-paid in work and pretends they are skivers. Forces families into homelessness, driving up bills. Never truly getting to grips with the root causes of social security spending.

You just said all that. Can we fast-forward to what you’re actually going to do about it?

So here is the choice: Remake social security to make it work better for our country and pass on a fair and sustainable system to the next generation, with the Labour Party. Or take the Conservative way: taking support away from working families and those who need it most, always seeking to divide our country and not tackling the deep causes of rising costs.

Let me start with the importance of work. As I have said before: Labour – the party of work – the clue is in the name. Our party was founded on the principles of work. We have always been against the denial of opportunity that comes from not having work. And against the denial of responsibility by those who could work and don’t do so.

Ah yes, we remember. You 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. Because there are already far too many parties speaking up for those bastards, right?

This country needs to be a nation where people who can work, do. Not a country where people who can work are on benefits. That’s about values. And it’s also about making social security sustainable for the future. History teaches us this. The growth rate of social security spending was higher under the Thatcher and Major governments of 1979-97 than under the New Labour governments of 1997-2010. How can this be?

Because they were in power during a major recession, whereas you were in power during a decade-long boom, duh.

Given the Conservative governments pared back benefits, year after year. Whereas the Labour government took action, of which I am proud, to increase tax credits to help make work pay and to address pensioner poverty in a way no previous government had done since the War.

The reason is this: because among the biggest drivers of social security spending are the costs of unemployment. That’s what happened under those Tory governments. Unemployment went up. Now we have heard so much from this government, and from Iain Duncan-Smith, about the importance of work. So surely they’ve promoted it?

The answer is they haven’t. After only three years, just like the Thatcher government, they have a dirty secret about social security. Something they don’t want you to know. Long-term worklessness is now at its highest level for a generation. From this government, that preaches to us about work. About people not being on benefits.

Today, there are more men and women – half a million – who have been out of work for over two years than at any time for sixteen years, in fact since the Labour government took office in May 1997. This worklessness, this waste, under these Tories, is totally at odds with the values of the British people.

The Tories are bad, blah blah. We knew that. Get to the point.

In 2012 youth unemployment alone cost Britain £5 billion. And long periods of unemployment store up costs for the future. This level of unemployment among young men and women means further costs of at least £3 billion per year in the long term in further worklessness and lost tax revenue. Billions of pounds that could be put to far better use. There’s nothing in Labour values that says that this is a good way to spend tax-payers’ money. Britain just can’t afford millions of people out of work.

Now just as there is a minority who should be working and don’t want to, there is a majority who are desperate for work and can’t find it. I think of the young man I met in Long Eaton recently, out of work for four years, desperate for a job. The problem is this government’s Work Programme can leave people like him unemployed year after year after year.

We would put a limit on how long anyone who can work, can stay unemployed, without getting and taking a job. For every young man and woman who has been out of work for more than a year, we would say to every business in the country, we will pay the wages for 25 hours a week, on at least the minimum wage. Fully funded by a tax on bankers’ bonuses.

25 hours a week at the minimum wage for six months isn’t a “job”. It’s a slightly glorified workfare placement, which will make the person on it no better off and save the country nothing, because we’ll be paying just as much in wages and tax credits as we would on benefits.

And at the end of it they’ll be out of work again. Unless the employer actually needs someone to do their job, in which case they would have needed someone to do the job anyway, so all we’ve achieved is to subsidise a company (probably a large tax-dodging multinational, judging by the ones who have signed up to the current workfare programme) by giving them free labour for six months.

The business would provide the training of at least 10 hours a week. And because it is a compulsory jobs guarantee, young people will have an obligation to take a job after a year or lose their benefits. And we will do the same for everyone over 25 unemployed for more than two years.

Those two categories combined will still only encompass around 250,000 people – just 10% of the current unemployed figure. The difference it would make to the overall welfare budget even if half of them kept the “job” permanently is close to zero.

Job Seeker’s Allowance accounts for just 3% of total benefits expenditure. Therefore, if Labour’s workfare scheme led to permanent jobs for half of the people forced onto it – a wildly, insanely optimistic estimate – it would bring about a reduction in the total benefits budget of 0.15%.

And to those who say the work simply isn’t there, I say with a national mission, led from the top of government, we can get thousands of businesses, tens of thousands, in the country behind the idea. Businesses and social enterprises that are desperate to give people a chance. And while the jobs guarantee is national we will make it happen through local action. The kind of local action I’ve seen here in Newham.

And how’s that kind of local action going? “Within London, the highest levels of unemployment are found in Newham.” Oops.

Devolving power and resources to local communities so there can be advice and support suitable for the individual who is looking for work and tailored to the particular needs of businesses in the area. But we need to go further. Parents need choices, particularly when their children are very young.

We know the difference stay-at-home mums and dads can make in the earliest period of a child’s life. But we also know that the ethic of work is an important one to encourage in a household. We do not want worklessness passed down from one generation to another. The last Labour government made significant progress in getting parents in workless households back into work.

But the truth is there is still more we can do. Too many children still live in families without work. And under the current government too little is being done about this. At the moment, if both partners in a couple are out of a job, or a lone parent is out of work, they risk completely losing touch with the world of work when their child is under 5. But all of the evidence is that the longer anyone remains disconnected from the workplace, the more likely they are to stay unemployed for a long period. Bad for them and bad for the country.

And there is something we can do. Thanks to the last Labour government, we now have nursery education available for all 3 and 4 year olds, for 15 hours a week. The very least we should offer and demand is that while their children are at nursery, both partners in a workless household, as well as single parents who aren’t working, should use some of the time to undertake some preparations to help them get ready to go back to work.

Attending regular interviews in the Job Centre, undertaking training, finding out what opportunities exist. To be clear, under this policy there would be no requirement to go back to work until their youngest child is 5. But there would be a pathway back into work for them.

So after all that waffle about the difference stay-at-home parents make in the earliest period of a child’s life, we’re going to send them all out to work (or workfare) anyway. Or humiliating, degrading instruction in how to look for jobs, because people don’t know how to read a newspaper, use a website or visit the Job Centre by themselves.

We should also support disabled people. Those who cannot work. And those who want to work and need help finding it. Successive governments did not do enough to deal with the rise in people on Incapacity Benefit. It was a legacy of unemployment from the years Mrs Thatcher was in power. But the last Labour government should have acted on it sooner.

Yeah, because when you did act, by paying Atos billions of pounds to drive the sick and disabled to suicide, that worked out so tremendously well for everyone.

Towards the end of our time in government, we did introduce tests for the Employment and Support Allowance. That was the right thing to do. And we continue to support tests today. But when over 40% of people win their appeals, it tells you the system isn’t working as it should. And too often people’s experience of the tests is degrading. So this test needs to change.

It needs reform so that it can really distinguish between different situations. Disabled people who cannot work. Disabled people who need help to get into work. And people who can work without support. The test should also be properly focused on helping to identify the real skills of each disabled person and the opportunities they could take up.

So your actual policy is?

I meet so many disabled people desperate to work but who say that the demand that they work is not accompanied by the support they need. So these tests should be connected to a Work Programme that itself is tested on its ability to get disabled people jobs that work for them. So the first piece of a One Nation social security system that controls costs begins with the responsibility to work and the responsibility of government to help make it possible.

Right. And remind us, how is it you’re going to create the four million extra jobs required again? We’re pretty sure you can’t fit EVERYONE onto a nuclear submarine to do some cleaning and sweeping-up, and they don’t have many shelves to stack.

But it is not just about work. It is also about the kind of work that can properly support people and their families. Today in Britain almost three million men and women and almost one and half million children live in families that are going to work and are still not able to escape poverty.

People doing the right thing, trying to support themselves and their children. The last Labour government took action on this, and was right to provide tax credits for those in work. But we didn’t do enough to tackle Britain’s low wage economy, a low wage economy that just leaves the taxpayer facing greater and greater costs subsidising employers.

So the reason we should trust you now, when you failed to tackle this issue in almost a decade and a half of government, is what?

To tackle the problem of poverty at work and to control costs we need to create an economy that genuinely works for working people. I want to teach my kids that it is wrong to be idle on benefits, when you can work. But I also want to teach them that the people in this country who work 40 or 50 or 60 hours a week, do two or even three jobs, should be able to bring up their families without fear of where the next pound is coming from.

So it’s okay for people to have to do three jobs and work 60-hour weeks, as long as that makes them just about enough money to pay the bills? You don’t want to stop that from happening, just make it pay a bit better?

That’s as much an issue as the responsibility to work. Of course, this government has nothing to say about this. Worse than that, they are taking our country in the wrong direction. Their failure on the economy means that real wages have fallen £1,900 since this government came to office.

Because everything was hunky-dory when you left, of course.

We know that this government will never stand up for low and middle-income working people. But our approach for the future needs to make good on what the last Labour government did not achieve.

As William Beveridge envisaged seventy years ago when he founded the social security system we need to understand that there are three sets of people with responsibilities: Government. Individuals. And the private sector, including employers. That’s what One Nation is all about. Responsibility being borne by all.

For too many people in Britain the workplace is nasty, brutish and unfair. The exploitation of zero hours contracts to keep people insecure.

So you’re going to end those, are you?

Using agency workers to unfairly avoid giving people the pay and conditions offered to permanent staff. Recruitment agencies hiring just from overseas. And some employers not paying the minimum wage. These issues too are about our responsibilities to each other. About the failure of government to set the right rules and the failure of a minority of employers. Be in no doubt: all of this is on the agenda of the next Labour government.

So, for example, we will change the law to stop employment agencies using loopholes to undermine the pay of what are effectively full-time employees. And we will do everything in our power to promote the living wage.

You’d be the GOVERNMENT. Everything will be “in your power”. You could make the living wage the national minimum wage and solve the problem at a stroke. Why are you prepared to tolerate people being paid a sub-living wage?

If local councils can say if you want a contract with the council then you need to pay the living wage, then central government should look at doing that too. And for every pound that employers pay above the minimum wage towards a living wage, government would save 50 pence in lower tax credits and benefits and higher revenues. We should look at offering some of these savings back to those employers to persuade them to do the right thing and pay the living wage.

Once again: you’d be the GOVERNMENT. Don’t “persuade” people to pay a living wage. Damn well MAKE them. The right said the legal imposition of a minimum wage would destroy businesses and jobs, but it didn’t. Why would the living wage do so?

It will be tougher to tackle big issues facing our society like child poverty in the next Parliament. But I still think we can make progress if everyone pulls their weight. And it starts with tackling child poverty among families in work, as part of a long-term goal that no-one should have to work for their poverty. So the second plank of our approach is about an economy that works for working people so that we can both keep social security costs under control and work towards a fairer society.

The third plank of our approach is wherever possible we should be investing for the future, not paying for the costs of failure. It is why it is far better to be investing in putting people back to work than paying for them to be idle. It is why it is so important to invest in childcare so we support families as they struggle to balance work and the needs of family life.

So what’s your actual policy?

And the same is true when it comes to one of the biggest drivers of the growth of social security spending in recent decades: housing benefit. We can’t afford to pay billions on ever-rising rents, when we should be building homes to bring down the bill.

Yes, “we” should. Labour was recently in power for 13 years and built fewer houses in every one of those years than John Major’s Conservative administration did.

Thirty years ago for every £100 we spent on housing, £80 was invested in bricks and mortar and £20 was spent on housing benefit. Today, for every £100 we spend on housing, just £5 is invested in bricks and mortar and £95 goes on housing benefit. There’s nothing to be celebrated in that.

And as a consequence we are left with a housing benefit bill that goes up higher and higher. For the simple reason, that we have built too few homes in this country and therefore we see higher and higher prices, particularly in the private sector.

So reintroduce rent controls and solve the problem overnight. Except that your work and pensions secretary said on Radio 4 this morning that that would be going “too far”. Why? Elsewhere in the world, even in the USA, rent controls are normal.

Now, this government talks a lot about getting housing benefit under control. But let me be clear: any attempt to control housing benefit costs which fails to build more homes is destined to fail. For all the cuts this government has made to housing benefit, it is still rising and it is forecast to carry on rising too.

Of course, there is an issue of values here too. In 2011, there were 10 cases where £100,000 a year was spent on housing benefit for individual families. That’s 10 too many. And it is one of the reasons why Labour has said we would support a cap on overall benefits.

So you’re going to hold the victims responsible, and punish tenants in expensive areas for the greed of their landlords?

As Ed Balls said on Monday, an independent body should advise government on how best to design this cap to avoid it pushing people into homelessness and costing more. But the real, long-term solution is clear: we have to do what hasn’t been done for three decades and to move from benefits to building.

Currently Britain is building fewer new homes than at any time since the 1920s. Ed Balls talked on Monday about how we invest for the future of our country. Clearly, the building of homes is high on that list. This will be a priority of the next Labour government.

Funded how?

But just like tackling worklessness, we can’t do it from central government alone. We will need every local authority in Britain to be part of this effort. At the moment, we expect individual families to negotiate with their landlords. In these circumstances, it is almost inevitable that tenants end up paying over the odds. And so does the taxpayer, in the housing benefit bill.

It’s time to tackle this problem at source. So a Labour government would seek a radical devolution to local authorities. And Labour councils in Lewisham, Liverpool, Leeds, Manchester, Sheffield and Birmingham have all come to us and said that if they had power to negotiate on behalf of tenants on housing benefit, they could get far greater savings than the individual on their own. So a Labour government would give councils this power. Bringing the cost of housing benefit down.

The power to negotiate? With what leverage, when housing demand so massively outstrips supply? Reintroduce rent controls and no negotiation is required. But of course, that might frighten the rich landlords whose votes you also want.

(And they’d presumably be just as frightened if they thought these “negotiations” might bring about the same result, so clearly they won’t.)

And what is more, we would let them keep some of the savings they make on the condition that they invested that money in helping build new homes.

Except there won’t be any savings. Why would landlords negotiate lower rents? Where else is the council going to house everyone?

This is the way we can start to bring about the shift from benefits to building. Bringing the housing benefit bill down for the long-term too. And it is a One Nation solution: enforcing the responsibilities of government and private landlords.

How would you be “enforcing” anything? As with the living wage, you appear to be pinning all your hopes on “persuading” people who have absolutely no incentive to be persuaded. “Enforcing” means using force, not persuasion. The clue’s in the name.

So the third plank of a One Nation social security system is to invest in the future, not to pay for failure.

The fourth and final plank is around recognising contribution. We do that by recognising the importance of supporting families, through maternity and paternity leave and pay, child benefit and child tax credit.

We do that by providing support to people with disabilities, both those who cannot work and also to those who can work, but whose extra needs it is right to recognise. Of course, it is right to make sure that we have the right tests in this area too. Which is why we support tests for Personal Independence Payments, but again they must be done in the right way.

So what’s your actual policy?

We also recognise contribution by supporting elderly women and men who have contributed to our country throughout their lives. On pensions, we know we have a rising elderly population and a rising budget. The way to make this sustainable is to ensure that we increase the number of people in the working population supporting our elderly. And therefore to show a willingness to adjust the retirement age.

So you’re going to “support elderly women and men who have contributed to our country throughout their lives” by… forcing them to contribute for a few more years.

Of course, there needs to be proper notice, but as people live longer, the age at which people retire will have to increase. All of Britain’s elderly men and women deserve dignity in retirement, after a lifetime of contribution to our country.

Of course, in poor parts of the country, the retirement age will be higher than life expectancy, so the elderly in deprived areas will literally have to work until they die. Some savings made there, well done.

That’s why there will always be a place for universal support at the heart of our welfare system. Like an NHS for all. A proper basic state pension for all those who’ve paid in. But whether it is relation to pensioners or children there is always a balance that has to be struck between universal, contributory and means-tested benefits.

With so many difficult choices facing the next Labour government, we have to be realistic about what we can afford. So it doesn’t make sense to continue sending a cheque every year for Winter Fuel Allowance to the richest pensioners in the country. Equally, when it comes to the decisions of the next Labour government it won’t be our biggest priority to overturn the decisions this government has made on taking child benefit away from families earning over £50,000 a year.

So you’re going to keep Tory cuts, and add some new cuts of your own, even though in the latter case the costs of the bureaucracy required to mean-test 12 million pensioners will almost certainly be more than the money saved.

But in one important respect our social security system fails to recognise contribution: the service of those currently of working age. Last week, I met somebody who had worked all his life, for 40 years, in the scaffolding business. What does the social security system offer him if he falls out of work? It’s the same as someone who has been working for just a couple of years. That can’t be right.

Can’t it? If I pay household insurance for 40 years and my house burns down, I don’t get more money than my next-door neighbour in an identical house that also burned down in the fire but where he’s only lived for two years. That’s not how insurance works.

I can’t promise to turn the clock back to Beveridge and nor do I want to. Our society isn’t the same as it was back then, with most men at work and women at home. But the idea that people should get something back for all they’ve put in is a value deeply felt by the British people. So I believe we should look at the support that is offered to those who fall out of work and the contribution on which it is based.

Currently, after two years of work, someone is entitled to “Contributory Jobseeker’s Allowance” without a means test for six months. They get £72 per week. Whether they’ve worked for two years or forty years. Two years of work is a short period to gain entitlement to extra help. And £72 is in no sense a proper recognition of how much somebody who has worked for many decades has paid into the system.

As so many people have told me: “I have worked all my life, I have never had a day on benefits, and no real help is there when I needed it.” So I have asked our Policy Review to look at whether, without spending extra money, we can change the system. Asking people to work longer – say 5 years instead of 2 – before they qualify for extra support.

So you’re slashing the benefit entitlements of people who’ve worked for two, three or four years, in order to give more money arbitrarily to people who’ve worked longer, regardless of the actual needs of either group?

But at the same time making that extra support more generous to better reward contribution. This is particularly important for older workers who find it harder to get back into work at a level similar to their previous occupation. And we will look at accompanying this with extra help back into work for older workers who lose their jobs.

You’re going to “look at” it? Terrific. Good to know. (And we all know what “help” actually means in the context of getting people back to work nowadays – harassment and sanctions.)

And as we look to reform this contributory part of our welfare system, we should also examine ways to take account of some of the other kinds of contribution people make, like mums looking after very young children and children looking after their elderly parents. Because we want to send a signal about the real importance that the next Labour government attaches to recognising contribution.

So your actual policy is?

So the four building blocks of a One Nation social security system are: work, rewarding work, investing for the future not paying for failure, and recognising contribution. A system that is sustainable. And one which reflects the values of the British people. But I believe we need to do more in these tough times in how we plan social security spending.

In Labour’s last period in office we introduced the three-year spending review. Enabling departments, like any business, to properly plan three years ahead. Throughout previous generations, there had been an annual spending round, rows between ministers, arguments between Departments, leaks to the newspapers. A bit like now really under this government. It makes much more sense to plan ahead.

Hang on. Every time someone asks you what your policies are, you say “We can’t possibly know that right now, because we don’t know what will be the situation in 2015.” But as soon as you’re actually IN power, you’re going to somehow magically gain the ability to plan for the future?

I believe we should extend this approach from Departmental spending to social security spending. So that planning social security over three years should become a central part of each spending review. And I also believe that a cap on social security spending should be part of that planning process. Because what governments should be doing is looking three years ahead and setting a clear limit within which social security would have to operate.

…regardless of what the actual situation is.

Now, clearly there are detailed issues that need to be worked on to make any cap sensible. The government has also talked about a cap on social security. And we will look at their proposals.

In particular, they are right we need to be able to separate the short-term costs of social security – those that come from immediate downturns in the economy – from the big, long-term causes of rising spending that should be within a cap, like housing costs and structural unemployment. And we need also to consider how to cope year to year with higher than expected inflation and how to treat the impact of an ageing population.

You’ve already told us what you’re going to do about that – ramp up the retirement age and means-test benefits for old folk, assuming they live long enough to claim any.

The starting point for the next Labour government will be that in 2015/16 we would inherit plans for social security spending from this government. Any changes from those plans will need to be fully funded. For example, if we were in government today we would be reversing the millionaire’s tax cut to help make work pay through tax credits.

Today I am delivering a clear statement about One Nation Labour’s principles for social security spending: the next Labour government will use a 3-year cap on structural welfare spending to help control costs. Such a cap will alert the next Labour government to problems coming down the track.

Wait, what? Putting a cap on spending so it can’t react to events will tell you when there are likely to be more events? Who came up with this policy, Gypsy Rose Lee?

And ensure that we make policy to keep the social security budget in limits. Introducing greater discipline, as ministers from across departments will be led to control the big drivers of spending.

What we just heard: ARGLE FLARGLE BARGLE WARGLE.

So here is the choice that people will face at the general election. I have set out how we can control the social security budget. Not in anecdote or as part of a political game or as a way of dividing the country. But as a way to reform the system so that it meets the values of the British people.

Yes. You’re going to cut benefits for poor people. Radical.

I have set out the values that would drive a One Nation social security system in government. But there is another choice on offer from David Cameron. I will tell you that there is a minority who don’t work but should. He will tell you anyone looking for work is a skiver. I will tell you that we need to protect the dignity of work and make work pay.

But you won’t actually DO anything about it. You won’t raise the minimum wage to a living wage. You won’t legislate to keep rents down. You’re happy for people to keep having to do three jobs and work 60-hour weeks to make ends meet.

He will hit the low-paid in work. I will tell you that we do need to get the housing benefit bill down with a cap that works, but crucially by investing in homes and tackling private landlords. He will make the problem worse by making people homeless and driving up the bill. I will tell you that we always need to value contribution in the system.

So you’re going to cut benefits even more for young people, mothers forced into the job market and the disabled – all the people who haven’t built up years of contributions, but often the people in the most need.

He will hit people who work hard and do the right thing. We will tackle the deep, long-term causes of social security spending and tackle the costs of failure like housing benefit, worklessness and the problem of low pay. They will not. We must pass on to our children a social security system that is sustainable. And a system that works and is supported.

We can use the talents of everyone. Demand responsibility. And seek to move forward as a united country. Or we can have politicians who seek to use every opportunity to divide this country and set one group of people against another.

I believe this country is always at its best when it is united. One Nation. Everyone playing their part. That is the social security system I want to build. That’s the future I want to build for Britain.

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And remember, readers – even this dismal offering is predicated on Ed Miliband becoming the next Prime Minister, and then keeping his promises, both of which are long shots to say the least. So, who wants to stay in the UK?

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    78 to “Empty vessel makes noise”

    1. Macart says:

      Ed chambers another round and this time uses it on the last of the socialist dissenters within his One Nation Party.
       
      FFS 🙁

    2. Max says:

       
      These UKUNT politicians are all the same. The rich get richer, the poor gets all the blame. 

    3. Adrian B says:

      I can understand the gist of Ed’s speech without reading it. Its the same rhetoric that we have been hearing about for some time. It revolves around Labour putting their arms around UKIP and the Tories to appeal to the South of England electorate.
       
      The ‘One Nation state’ that is London and the Home counties attracts this sort of nonsense and the press lap it up.
       
      The Tories and UKIP must be beaming from ear to ear today – three days of Labour agreeing with UKIP and the Tories.
       
      No opposition to austerity – it is here to stay. I however see another option that Sots have that comes to us before the 2015 election. That option will give Scots a different path and with it hope for our society and country to prosper.
       
       

    4. Max says:

       
      Ed Miliband, “It is great to be here in Newham. Where a Labour Mayor and council are doing so many great things to help get local people back into work.”
      This is the same Labour Mayor and the same London borough council that is threatening to evict tenants and place them in boroughs outside London.  Labour  the party of slum landlords. 
       

    5. Doug Daniel says:

      Ed appears to be having a bit of a private moment in that picture.

    6. John Lyons says:

      That bit about the Tories spending more on social welfare than Labour, is that REALLY something to be proud of?

    7. MajorBloodnok says:

      He says he’s going to be ‘laser-focused’.  So he is a robot.

    8. ianbrotherhood says:

       
      Why oh why doesn’t he just board that plane behind him and fuck off?

    9. Training Day says:

      Eh.. ‘Scottish’ Labour.. time to enter the study where an empty revolver with a single bullet beside it awaits you on the table..
       
      Is there anyone left in ‘Scottish’ Labour with a conscience?  No need to answer that..

    10. Desimond says:

      Excellent pick ups Rev…continuing the Scaffolder example…i can only assume the lovely parachute payments for MPs being voted out of Office will reduce accordingly.

    11. Bunter says:

       Just imagine, Miliband, Curran, Murphy Balls etc leading us on the world stage as part of the UK doh. You used to at least have PMs of stature and gravitas, usually with a brain. Now we have policy wonks.
      Love him or hate him, when A.S. makes a big set piece speech, you see a leader and a politician of substance who actually believes in something and not a load of waffle and ”Curran” speak.

    12. I’ve just spent half my dinner break wading through this drivel.

      What is wrong with my life?
       
      🙁

    13. Desimond says:

      After Curran and Miliband this week I didnt think i could feel any more disdain for people…someone in work just said “ive paid 120 quid for a new passport, theres no way Im paying for another…its a NO from me!”…when told “you can hold both”…they replied “i find it hard enough to look after One thanks but No thanks!”

      Theres a North Lanarkshire Labour stalwart for you!

    14. Dcanmore says:

      Yup, Ed-bot essentially says if he gets power then he’ll carry on with Tory policies but with more feeling, just like Tony Bliar did in 1997.
       
      That’s about it really, if you have the same policies as your opponent in government then it’s highly unlikely that those who voted them in will suddenly vote for the other you.
       
      To paraphrase Craig Murray’s blog, “So (the poor, old, unemployed, destitute, young, single mothers), would you like to be shot by the Red Gun or the Blue Gun?

    15. John Lyons says:

      Sorry, but I can’t read anymore of this. My bloods near boiling point already. It makes you want to tie him down to a chair Clockwork orange style and show him film of proper Labour politicians…
       

    16. Jamie Arriere says:

      God almighty, I got halfway down and ma heid exploded – just finished reassembling by skull. 
      So Ed, youth unemployment is a huge problem and the worst for a generation – yet, you want to make benefits contribution-based. What happens to youngsters who’ve never had the chance to contribute? Are they dropped off the cliff?
      I’ll finish looking harder later, once I’ve cheered up.
       
      What an appropriate word for each piece of the strategy – planks!
      Short, thick, wooden, liable to collapse, reducible to sawdust

    17. HandandShrimp says:

      Desimond
       
      The thing is he doesn’t even need to hold both. He can replace the one he has when it is due. Sounds more like someone deliberately creating obstacles where none exist to me.

      However, you could have said “what if you have lost it by 2016?” 😉

    18. The Man in the Jar says:

      Hats off to Rev. Stu. for that. How anyone can wade through that pile of shit is beyond me. I managed to get about halfway before giving up. It is now becoming more and more imperative that Scotland gains independence. Labour, Tory it matters very little they are just pure and utter scunners the bloody lot of them.

    19. John Lyons says:

      The worst thing about Milliband is he’s such a muppet cameron can do pretty much whatever he likes to the country and Still win the next election,, because people won’t vote for milliband.
       

    20. Frances says:

      Slightly O/T
       
      Scot goes Pop has a link to Polical Betting where there’s a poll (an online, self-selecting one)  asking what percentage of the vote you think the Yes side will get in the independence referendum next year.
      http://scotgoespop.blogspot.co.uk/
       
       

    21. Desimond says:

      HandAndShrimp…I know…to be honest im forcing myself to keep schtum for a wee while in here…they didnt like it a few weeks ago when I suddenly shouted out “Are you Fucken kidding me?” when one asked “I mean, what good has Independence ever done for Ireland?”

    22. Luigi says:

      Labour seem to be setting themselves up for a spectacular fall. After three years of shouting how bad the tories and tory cuts are, we now find they are suddenly adopting all of their very right-wing policies. The rise of UKIP has caused blind panic. Make no mistake, the London tory-MSM will not miss this, a real opportunity to completely destroy Labour’s credibility.

    23. BillyBigbaws says:

      There’s a new article over on Labour Hame called “An End to Universalism?” which argues strongly against Balls, Byrne and Milliband, and defends the very foundations of the welfare state, rallying the strong to the defence of the weak against an unjust government.

      Only joking… it actually agrees with them on everything, and furthermore says: “universalism has had it’s day. It needs to go and it needs to go now.”

      It’s full of all kinds of failure and stupidity – the guy who wrote it doesn’t even know what rights are, he thinks they are (or should be) earned by the individual.  Nobody should actually bother reading it, but I thought it was worth mentioning.  It’s a shame that average Labour voters will never see it, since none of them know that Labour Hame exists.

      This is all deeply depressing.  I can understand why London Labour is chasing Tory votes, in search of power, but will never understand why Glasgow Labour think it’s wise to do the same.
       

    24. Macart says:

      You can see it now. Labour voters voting for the tories in their droves because Eds too right wing. In the name o’ Cliff Richard, the worlds gone fekkin’ mad.

    25. Adrian B says:

      The lunatics have well and truly taken over the asylum.

    26. Morag says:

      Frances, am I the only one who gets this every time they go to Scot Goes Pop?
       
      Better Together
      www. bettertogether.net
      We are stronger as a part of the UK Join us today!

    27. panda paws says:

      Linked to this post over at Guardian politics blog discussion of Ed’s speech in between discussing socialism with John Ruddy!
      As per Rev hits several nails on several heads. But bottom line, Labour’s plan to get elected in 2015 is to be the Tories. Excellent, good to know.
       
       

    28. Robyn - Quine fae Torry says:

      “Last week, I met somebody who had worked all his life, for 40 years, in the scaffolding business. What does the social security system offer him if he falls out of work? It’s the same as someone who has been working for just a couple of years. That can’t be right.”
       
      He really hasn’t thought this one through (not that there is much in the speech, overall, that seems to be anything more than gobbledegook).  Having worked for 40 years, would it be unreasonable to think that Mr Scaffolder might have some financial reserves to fall back on to see him through a short-term period out of work? Whereas someone who has only worked a couple of years (shall we say after 4 years at uni and being a lucky enough graduate to have a job and will already be paying back their fees/loans etc on top of usual living costs) will probably have little to fall back on should they lose their job?  But that is the quandry:  there will be as many different circumstances as claimants.  The cost of the bureaucracy to administer all these means tests alone will dwarf the current total cost of unemployment benefits.  Is it any wonder people are apathetic about politics when all these so called politicians spout is meaningless rhetoric? 
       
      Do Labour seriously think this will win them the next general election?  If so, I will definitely be staying up to watch the 2015 live election results; the facial expressions alone will be TV gold.

    29. Training Day says:

      @Morag
       
      Something funny going on with that poll itself  – told me I had voted already when I attempted to vote Yes at 50-60%..

    30. Jiggsbro says:

      I naively thought ‘One Nation’ might be about persuading people that we’re all equally valued members of society. Turns out it’s about creating one nation that matters – the fortunate – and one that doesn’t. Because the bigots are too stupid to realise that only an accident of fate separates them from the people they’ve been taught to despise and because Labour are too scared to tell them the truth.

    31. Gordon Bain says:

      Good work Rev!
      @ Bunter
      just imagine we win the referendum and two years later these morons are representing US o the world stage. God forbid!

    32. pa_broon74 says:

      @Robyn
       
      Also, it doesn’t matter if you’ve worked for forty or four years, the cost of living (assuming they’re both living close by) will be similar. Unless Ed is talking about some sort of insurance scheme where the more you pay in the more you get out if you do end up out of work?
       
      As far as I know, that’s not what social security was supposed to be for, its already paid at a subsistence level despite what the Daily Express etc would have us all believe.

    33. Jim Mitchell says:

      Now I see what Nigel Farage meant when he said that he could work with Ed Miliband!

    34. Doug Daniel says:

      This idea that unemployment benefit should be dependent on how much national insurance you’ve paid is ridiculous. It’s not a bloody savings account with the Bank of Westminster. “Sorry young person, your balance is £0, so you can’t withdraw any benefits.”
       
      I feel angry with this utter moron just reading the speech – it feels like a US self-help guru reading out a passage from his new book called Labour Makes You Free. If I’d been in the same room while he was reading it, I think I’d have been forced to throw a shoe at him.

    35. Dcanmore says:

      @Morag …
       
      Hi, BT have signed up with Google’s AdChoice banner service, meaning that if you’ve been to the BT website (triggering a cookie) often enough Google will think you’re interested in BT promotions and it will follow you around on websites that host Google Ads. You can change this by clicking the little blue triangle on the corner of an advertisment and change the sort of adverts you want to see pop up (hence AdChoices). Otherwise go to your web browser and RESET it, this will clear out any cookies BUT ALSO any history, passwords and login info you have stored in your browser.

    36. Jim Mitchell says:

       
      BillyBigbaws says:This is all deeply depressing.  I can understand why London Labour is chasing Tory votes, in search of power, but will never understand why Glasgow Labour think it’s wise to do the same.
      Because Billy doing what your told always seems easier than thinking for yourself and in the past the rewards could be so good!

    37. scottish_skier says:

      I have a feeling this may well accelerate Labour’s decline in the polls.

    38. Morag says:

      But, you know, I ain’t been anywhere near the BT web site.

    39. scottish_skier says:

      BT are spending a lot on online advertising for apparently little return.

    40. Robyn - Quine fae Torry says:

      @ pa-broon, @doug daniel,
       
      I think the topic of benefits is an easy target for politicians to try and score points and make themselves look tough (to whom? the right wing media?) but they are not thinking beyond the headlines.  We have already seen the reality beyond these headline friendly soundbites with people being told they are fit to work, yet dying soon afterwards http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/linda-wootton-double-heart-lung-1912498
       
      Now they want to pit workers against workers.  Is someone who is working, but has only worked a couple of years, now a shirker?  Perfectly reasonable that a young person just starting out is only a couple of years into their career, also people who have been bringing up children (its not just mums there are dads who stay at home), also people who may have been ill long term and numerous other situations why someone has only worked a couple of years.  Its a bloody nonsense.  Unless, as you say Pa, that he is meaning people can contribute more and get more out.  I’m not sure I would be willing to pay more in NI and Income tax than I already do though. 

    41. frankieboy says:

      I gave up after a couple of paragraphs. I hate being patronised, especially by a millionaire.  Replace ‘jobs’ with ‘champagne’ and this is an accurate allegory of Labour http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N4nB0g8eYAc

    42. Macart says:

      Y’know that advert for train tickets on telly just now? The one where an entire carriage goes barking mad with panic, heads exploding, teddy bears beating on windows, eyebrows falling off in shock, young women cellotaping their heads…..etc
       
      Wonder what the scene is like in Ms Lamont’s office round about now?

    43. Frances says:

      Morag
       
      No, you’re not the only one, I get it too. 

    44. The Man in the Jar says:

      I know that it is just a very small example but I know a couple of West Central Labour voters that think this is wonderful stuff, cant get enough. The new mantra seems to be “Labour is for people that actually work!”
      Half-wits!

    45. The Man in the Jar says:

      @Macart
      🙂

    46. Macart says:

      @TMITJ
       
      Well if Labour are saying they want nothing to do with the poor, infirm, disenfranchised and deserted of Scotland, then proper socialists and humanitarians will just have to get on with helping folks back on their feet. That smug millionaire bastard at the head of this column can take what he calls his One Nation vision and stick it right up……. You get the drift.

    47. SaltireRadge says:

      Excellent dissection of Ed Miliband’s shameful speech.
      Better Together? Only if you believe that attacks on the already limited benefits available to the poorest and most disadvantaged in society are in any way acceptable.
      It’s clearer now than ever before that only with Independence can we protect Scotland’s most vulnerable citizens.
      Miliband and Johann Lamont should hang their heads in shame.

      Couple of acronyms for them: 
      Egregious Discourse. Mendacious Idiocy. Leader Is Benefits Axeman. Nefarious Dogmatism

      Joyless. Obviously Hopeless. Asinine Negativity. Nightmare Leadership. Apes Most Odious Neo-Thatcherites.
       

    48. benarmine says:

      Great read again. But wouldn’t half the saving on JSA be 1.5 per cent?

    49. CameronB says:

      Doug Daniel says:
      6 June, 2013 at 2:07 pm

      Ed appears to be having a bit of a private moment in that picture.
       
      Possibly just secretly made the mistake of attempting the “Angry Old Toad”?

       

    50. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “Great read again. But wouldn’t half the saving on JSA be 1.5 per cent?”

      No, because only around 10% of claimants would be eligible for the compulsory-job programme.

    51. Scaraben says:

      “if we were in government today we would be reversing the millionaire’s tax cut”
       
      is not the same as
       
      “if we form the next government we will reverse the millionaire’s tax cut”.
       
      Some carefully chosen words there – a hint of a promise where there really is none.

    52. joe kane says:

      Miliband’s speech is saturated in neoliberal biopsychosocial ideology and language which has been developed to attack and disappear the welfare state. 
      There is no evidence unemployment runs through different generations of the same family in the same household. Such a thing as “inter-generational worklessness” doesn’t exists to any extent worth bothering about as the Joseph Rowantree Foundation researchers proved at the end of last year. The phrase was first popularised by Dame Carol Black who is also keen on promoting the notion that the longer people are off work or out of work, for whatever reason, then the less likely they are to ever return.
      The whole idea of “worklessness” itself is a dubious right-wing neoliberal idea which all but blames the individual failings of workers for being unemployed, rather than decades of government neoliberal economic policy which is deliberately designed to create mass unemployment as its suits the interests of employers and the rich. 

      Reference –
      Are Cultures of Worklessness’ Passed Down The Generations 
      Joseph Rowantree Foundation 
      13 Dec 2012
      http://www.jrf.org.uk/publications/cultures-of-worklessness 

    53. Juteman says:

      You could have saved a lot of effort by simply posting a piccie of Ed, and the words ‘Tory arsehole’ beneath it.

    54. benarmine says:

      ah I see, only ten per cent of the jobless sold into slavery. Result!

    55. scaredy cat says:

      I am so angry about this. I can’t believe that these, so-called, educated people can be so short sighted. This is simply one of the most sexist policies I have ever seen. Is this really 2013? How on earth are we (women) supposed to take time off to give birth and look after small children, without being penalised when the time (God Forbid) comes, that we lose our job. I mean, how many women actually lose their job BECAUSE they get pregnant (although management wouldn’t admit it). Where does that leave them? New baby, no job, little benefits. Bearing in mind that most women who have children are young-ish, how are they to build up enough contributions? Is this going to affect  maternity benefits? Surely not.
      I fear for all of us if there is a ‘No’ vote next year. How will we ever explain it to our children?
       

    56. Weedeochandorris says:

      The Labour party death rattle is deafening.

    57. Juteman says:

      “It would appear that this has ruffled the feathers of the left who consider universalism as a sacred cow that simply cannot be touched. They consider it to be unarguable and something that would end civilisation as it stands. ”
       
      No, not Tory Hoose, but Labourhame.
      Have I just awakened from a coma? I thought ‘Labour’ WERE the Left?

    58. mogabee says:

      I do believe that Labour need a name change. Perhaps we should suggest some!
       
      I nominate the “After-You Party”……

    59. Davy says:

      That is a speech of a man who has never had to worry about his job and keeping it.
       
      That is the speech of a man who has never been told he is being made redundent through no fault of his own.
       
      That is the speech of a man who has never had to worry himself sick about how he is going to pay his bills.
       
      That is the speech of a man who cares more about his party getting the votes from middle England than about the people his party was formed to help and protect.
       
      That is the speech which declares the poor and disadvantaged are to be thrown to the wolves, to suit the political requirements of Labour.
       
      That is a Tory party speech, endorsed by Labour.
       
      Vote YES – Vote for the rights of all, not the few. – Vote Scotland.
      Hail Caesar!
        

    60. Lochside says:

      Reporting Scotland completely blanked Mr. ED’s speech and Joanne Lamont’s usual parroted, pathetic and personally insulting (to AS…’Big beast with one thing on his mind’) defence against AS at First Minister’s questions. This despite STV and Channel 4 both covering it prominently. I have complained as this ranks as one of the most blatant cover-ups by Pathetic Quay to date. I’ve questioned why a cornerstone of Labour policy i.e. Universal Benefits being tossed into the dustbin of history by the leader of Labour(?) should be of less significance than the Iona project and Dumfries Dental Clinic’s roof, particularly when a significant by-election in Aberdeen is imminent.
      I won’t hold my breath….but urge others to complain. They must not be allowed to get away with this blatant censorship and political manipulation.

    61. anton le grandier says:

      so this is what it has come to-the great social project reduced to this cunt and his party of wanna be cunts embracing any view that,they hope,will get them elected.I actually prefer Cameron to Miliband cause Cameron is open about what he is and what he hopes to achieve while Miliband attempts to cloak his right-wing shit in feel good waffle and ‘left’ rhetoric.Of course his target audience dont need any leftish crap cause they are all right behind the great push to crush the spongers etc etc.

    62. CameronB says:

      Davy says:
      6 June, 2013 at 8:19 pm

      That is a Tory party speech, endorsed by Labour.
       
      Indion posted me this link in Quarantine, to a Torygraph article that suggests Tony Blair will publicly endorse Dave before the next GE.
        

      http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/iraq/10086837/The-whiff-of-suspicion-over-the-Chilcot-Inquiry-grows-stronger.html

    63. JLT says:

      The only thing that really worries me about all of this is, that we have 4 parties that are basically shouting out their policies; policies that are so bad, so rotten, so socially undemocratic, that it should be blatantly obvious to the man in the street what he needs to do in September 2014…
      And yet …I fear that half of Scotland is sleepwalking to disaster, by saying, ‘I’m voting No because  ….I am a Labour man / I hate Salmond / I hate the SNP’ (choose whatever if not all 3!)
       
      I keep the faith that our countrymen will see the light at the last minute, but come September the 19th 2014, if it all goes horribly wrong, then me and the wife have talked about emigration to Canada. Bugger staying here to get utterly shafted! And bugger those Unionist Individuals who begin to whine about how crap it all is when it is a Tory/UKIP coalition. Seriously, you would have to hold me down as I try not to throttle them!!!!! It’s either Canada or the jail for me come 2015!!!!
       

    64. The Rough Bounds says:

      @JLT
       
      How do you suppose the Scottish patriots felt after the battle of Falkirk?
      They just regrouped and got on with the fight.
      I get fed up too then I just remember that the darkest hour is always before the dawn.
      Scotland is a lady: she prefers men of action.

    65. JLT says:

      The Rough Bounds,
       
      I hear you matey, and I know what you mean. I truly hope that the Yes campaign play a blinder next summer with an excellent blitz on the senses to all those who live in Scotland.
      You never know …a calamity or two within Westminster, may also just add fuel to the fire.
       
      The wife has spoken to two of her colleagues in her work in the last two days, and the topic of the referendum came up. Both said they would vote No …and why?
       
      1. First person – I don’t like Salmond
      (it’s pathetic, isn’t it! – I don’t like the man, so f*** it, let’s keep Scotland tied to a seriously imbalanced union, even though the person hates the Tories even more!)

      2. Second person – My hubby works for the HMRC and his job will get moved to London
      (??? – Eh …so Scotland is not going to have its own HMRC – Seriously! Is that what you really believe? Ehhh …I dinnae bloody think so. I think his job will be well safe here in Scotland!)
       
      Then we hear the 2 Ed’s statements …and still …folk just carry on as usual! It’s almost surreal.
      Seriously, Rough Bounds, I am seriously praying that we win this referendum. If not, I dread to think what may come!

    66. Red squirrel says:

      Isn’t it plagiarism to copy other folk but pretend it’s your idea?
       
      If we’re renaming them, why not try PPP ‘The pig in a poke party’ – “vote for us & we’ll tell you our policies later. Maybe. If we can think of any. quick, google ‘Tory manifesto”.
       
       

    67. ianbrotherhood says:

       
      @Davy (8.19)
       
      Hear hear.
       
      There must’ve been a lot of very uneasy Labour folk in Scotland today who suddenly remembered they had to clean the oven rather than sit watching that ludicrous c-c-c-c-c-character.

    68. Hetty says:

      I think the government in westminster should be ‘reformed’. It’s not working and costs far too much, it’s long in the tooth, has encouraged a something for very very little if anything culture among the staff and is just not fit for purpose. And now we find out they are steeling from the people as well, which is perhaps nothing new.
      It’s time to take stock and reform…and quick, no beating about the bush, and with a take no prisoners type of stance, just like their ‘welfare reforms’…where the most vulnerable and poor are being demonised and and demoralised, deliberately and callously.
      must look out my little badge which says, ‘does reform reform you?’…

    69. scaredy cat. says:

      @JLT
      I get so frustrated by the stupidity of people. When I hear stuff like that I just get depressed. Think I need to get some sleep. I’m feeling a bit down now.

    70. Tony Little (aka Aplinal) says:

      @JLT
       
      re your wife’s friends.  It genuinely astounds me that people are STILL treating this a a general election.  The response to the Salmond haters is, “Then vote for someone else AFTER we are Independent”  The media are so far succeeding in making this just like any other election, with an emphasis on personalities, not principles.   There is a long way to go yet, and many people will remain undecided until the reality of this government, and the next one – Lab or Con – hits home next year.  For most people the pain is just beginning.
       
      May the Gods of whatever flavour inspire the Scots voter to look beyond the bias in the media and think about the generations to come.  I firmly believe that a NO vote will end Scotland as a country.  It really will become North England. 

    71. Hetty says:

      Next on the agenda, from torylabour, workhouse for all without a plush job, and national service for the young. Making money ie a living wage, is essential, how people are allowed to do this requires skill, imagination, investment, and, money.
      If you don’t invest, you don’t get any return, they do talk godswollop don’t they, these guys in their posh houses on a very nice wage, with many many perks and expenses thank you, with not a worry in the world really. They disgust me.

    72. Yesitis says:

      Scary, stupid stuff on Twitter. Warning contains the Tories Edwina Currie and Ian Smart.
      https://twitter.com/frasernelson/status/342734556111200256

    73. Hetty says:

       I volunteer for a charity which requires contact with people working in the public services, I find that they often look really quite knackered and overworked. They do often work long hours in stressful jobs, some better paid than others I am sure.They do get holidays, ( annual leave sorry) unlike myself so far, which I envy though!
      What I just don’t get is the stupidity of this, there are so many people without work who would love to have a job, but just can’t get one, nevermind two. It’s a symptom of a society set up ( by governments) to divide people and create more disparity.
      It’s very sad and very damaging for the future development of societies, and it’s quite backwards and counter-productive. Are humans as polarised as it seems? Do they function to destroy each other? Questions questions. Must read the ‘Austerity Britain 1945-51’ book I have by David Kynaston, ( published 2007)but will it give any answers? Will report back.

    74. Holebender says:

      With apologies to George Orwell:
       
      The voters looked from Lab to Con, & from Con to Lib Dem, & from Lib Dem to Lab again; but already it was impossible to say which was which.

    75. Angus McPhee says:

      Well, that’s really knackered the  “You’ll be deserting us to Tory rule” argument.
      silver lining and all that, Sorry chaps

    76. Douglas says:

      Mock the Week Satire has been replaced by Ed Miliband.
       
       

    77. theycan'tbeserious says:

      When most are interviewed and offered a job the employer expects certain criteria to be met i.e. you have the relevant qualifications, you have the required experience, you have ability, you will be a benefit to the company,  you are expected to at least fulfil if not exceed the expectations/results demanded by your contract and job description and that’s not even considering the personal qualities you would expect an employee to have, such as honesty, loyalty, ethics, respect for others etc.
      What qualifications, experience, ability, results do politicians offer those that they represent? One of the few jobs where failure is very highly rewarded. In a free Scotland We should review the criteria for who is suitable, and not just in the eyes of the political parties, but in the eyes of the Scottish people, for political office…..we should demand better, because whether or not we vote for them, we still have to pay for them!

    78. deewal says:

      The Rough Bounds says:
      “How do you suppose the Scottish patriots felt after the battle of Falkirk?
      They just regrouped and got on with the fight.
      I get fed up too then I just remember that the darkest hour is always before the dawn.
      Scotland is a lady: she prefers men of action.”
      Men gave their lives for their country at the Battle of Falkirk.
      Are you willing to give yours ?
      If there is no SERIOUS opposition from the YES camp against the lies of these London Gangster’s and corrupt profiteer’s they will take Scotland as their own and the booty that goes with it.



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