The world's most-read Scottish politics website

Wings Over Scotland

Facing the wrong way

Posted on January 07, 2019 by

Scottish Labour mounted another of their infamous stunt “protests” today, as always dutifully assisted and advertised by the Scottish media.

STV reported it as an event organised by a small rail union – not the RMT or ASLEF, but the little-known Transport Salaried Staff Association – which would feature “other campaigners”, but in fact it was a Scottish Labour shindig from top to bottom, with no union branding visible anywhere and Scottish Labour on all the placards.

Well, we say “all”.

The party managed to scare up just barely a dozen people to stand outside a damp Glasgow Central on a Monday morning with three Scottish Labour ad boards, almost outnumbered by an eager press pack keen to snap them nice and close in to make proceedings look a bit more dramatic, straight out of the Jim Murphy playbook.

(The timing was a tad fortunate, coming just hours after services into Central had been cancelled because some poor sod had been hit by a train in Renfrewshire, generating more statistical disruption that Labour can castigate ScotRail and the SNP for.)

We wondered aloud on Twitter whether the tiny group had actually bothered doing any protesting or leafleting at all, or if they’d just turned up briefly for the photo opportunity and then scuttled off, and an alert reader was on the spot to answer.

Richard Leonard and his micro-mob had in fact been standing with their backs to commuters the whole time, as far from the station entrance as it was possible to get without being run over, earnestly relaying their real concerns to passing cars and the window of the Sainsbury’s Local across the road while rail passengers couldn’t even see their placards as they hurried to catch their trains.

If there’s a better visual metaphor for Labour’s relationship with the Scottish electorate this year, we’d love to see it.

Print Friendly

    535 to “Facing the wrong way”

    1. yesindyref2 says:

      Yesindyref2 Rubbish Scotland has far more MPs as a percentage than MEPs.

      Whioh also has absolutely nothing to do with QMV. The number of MEPs is relevant to the European Parliament you ignoramus, NOT the Councils which have one Minister from each of the 28 EU members, with 1 vote each.

      Your lack of knowledge of the EU is 100%. Are you Theresa May?

    2. Rock says:

      CameronB Brodie says:
      10 January, 2019 at 9:10 pm

      You make unsupported statements then claim I lost an argument I never involved myself in.”

      You did involve yourself in – for no reason.

      If you think they are “unsupported statements”, prove them wrong.

    3. yesindyref2 says:

      Rock says “The moon is made of green cheese” and expects people to prove him wrong. I think that’s what you’d call “cheese and crackers”.

    4. HYUFD says:

      CameronBBrodie Nietzsche did believe in ‘master’ morality ie to have wealth, strength, health, power in contrast to being poor, weak, sick, pathetic, over ‘slave’ morality which in his opinion championed other-worldliness, charity, piety, restraint, meekness, and submission over what it saw as evil values of being worldly, cruel, selfish, wealthy, and aggressive and he saw the latter as cause of most of the world’s problems. If you deny that you deny proper understanding of Nietzsche

    5. HYUFD says:

      K1 In Macron’s own words a European army is needed to counter Russia, China and the USA

    6. HYUFD says:

      Yesindyref2 Yes so Scotland has less representation in the European Parliament as a percentage of MEPs than the UK Parliament as a percentage of MPs and can also be outvoted in the Council of the European Union under QMV

    7. yesindyref2 says:

      The UK has no QMV, so if MPs from Scotland and Wales and even from Northern Ireland all voted together that achieves only 15% in the UK Parliament, so we would all be outvoted if the English MPs decided to vote against us.

      Whereas under the much fairer EU QMV system, that would be 3 out of 4 saying “no”, so they would win. In fact 2 out of 4 would win, and halt any EU legislation that had a bad effect.

      And of course, for votes that require unanimity, Scotland would have a veto in the two Councils of the EU, whereas Scotland has no veto in the House of Commons. Legislation in the EU requires consent from the Council, as well as the EP.

      The conclusion is staring a sane man or woman in the face – if it’s a choice between two Unions, as it may well be, Scotland is far far better represented democratically in the EU than the UK.

      And if you say any different, you’re a fool.

    8. Cubby says:


      I see you ignored my earlier travel advice so Ill repeat it for you:


    9. K1 says:


      What’s what Macron says got to do with anything I stated?

      One temporary current president makes an assertion about ‘why’ he views it this way and that makes it a ‘superstate’?

      Look all nations have influence within the bloc and influence means outlook can be altered, compromises reached. There will always be different views, at least within the EU construct, our views will be heard as an equal nation amongst other nations. That is not the situation within this UK construct and that is the point I was making.

      You throwing in another useless piece of msm diatribe is not debating, nor does it shore up your assertion, what it does show is a man incapable of reasoning, resorting to ‘news’ articles (second hand sources) to somehow support his fevered imagination, you are one of those gullible enough to vote Tory, so it’s easy to see ‘how’ you have come to think about these issues as ‘your’ view has already been sold to you through your own choice of ‘news’ outlet, it certainly isn’t through engaging any capacity to actually think through issues for yourself.

      People like you are stuck in a ‘danger danger’ bubble, fears of everything going wrong with no sense of humanity’s capacity to work through problems without always resorting to threat/violence as ‘the only’ means to solve problems.

      Macron drinks from the same Kool aid as you…it’s arms and trade deals and ‘strong man’ rhetoric.

      You have no idea or any kind of vision of any future without what you imagine to be ‘set in stone’ internal reference points gleaned from what you ‘already believe’ and what you have been taught to believe in those ‘fantasy’ terms.

      What is a ‘paradigm’ shift?

      Tell you what it isn’t…the hopeless and futile outlook of those with your mentality continuing forever to dictate the narrative and terms of debate to decide the lives of those who disagree passionately with the very essence of your worldview…continuing ad infinitum.

      A tiny, minuscule shift…does change everything, who is to say what the future holds eh?

      Not you.

      And thank the fucking heavens above for that.

    10. HYUFD says:

      Yesindyef2 To win under QMV Scotland would need at least 14 other nations to vote with it, far more than just 3. Plus the idea that you could always get agreement on the issues you want with the vast cultural and economic differences between Eastern, Northern and Southern Europe is absurd.

    11. HYUFD says:

      Chubby Say what you want, as long as people keep replying to me on this thread I will replying to them.

    12. HYUFD says:

      K1 It is Germany that sets the direction for EU economic and Eurozone policy as the largest economy in the EU, as Greece and Italy have discovered. It is France as the largest EU military power that will set the direction for EU military power and foreign policy. With Putin threatening the Baltic states and Xi threatening Taiwan nationalism is on the rise in both Russia and China.

    13. CameronB Brodie says:

      I claimed your statements were unsupported as you provided no substantiating proof. Your a sophist. I’m on to you.

    14. CameronB Brodie says:

      I’ve shown HYUFD how British nationalism crushes the embodied human rights of Scotland’s inhabitants, yet he persist in promoting British nationalism. Subsequently, we can assume that HYUFD does not respect the doctrine of international law, or support the principle of universal human rights. His arrogance dulls his intellect and encourages his cultural chauvinism. He is an authoritarian, English/British nationalist.

    15. CameronB Brodie says:

      HYUFD is a fantasist. Parliamentary sovereignty was removed from British constitutional law in 1991, but tradition appears to be deeply ingrained in this one. The man’s an arse.

    16. yesindyref2 says:

      Yesindyef2 To win under QMV Scotland would need at least 14 other nations to vote with it, far more than just 3.

      12. It needs 13 out of 28 – just 45% of the 28 member states in total – to block legislation. Smaller members do very well out of the EU, they can get concessions to get their votes.

    17. HYUFD says:

      CameronBBrodie If British nationalism crushed Scots rights to self determination a vote on independence in 2014 would have been banned by the UK government, instead one was held and Scots voted to stay in the UK. Instead the main ‘universal human right’ you are pushing is for Scotland to stay a part of an EU superstate if the UK proceeds with Brexit

    18. HYUFD says:

      Yesindyref2 There is a world of difference between socially conservative Poland or Hungary or Italy, economically liberal Luxembourg or the Netherlands, social democratic Sweden or Finland and left populist Greece. Trying to get them to all agree on legislation on immigration or economics or regulation such as to get 13 nations in a block committed to Scotland’s views all the time is not going to happen

    19. CameronB Brodie says:

      Were you in Scotland to experience the indyref? It was as far removed from ethical democratic process as you can get. Do you respect the doctrine of international law and support the principle of universal human rights? I don’t think so.

      If the British state wants to comply with international law, it must do all in its’ power to encourage the implementation of the “Right to Development”. As such, the Tory’s ‘plan’ for Brexit is not consistent with international human rights law. British nationalism stands in opposition to international law and fails to respect the embodied legal personality of those living outwith England.

    20. CameronB Brodie says:

      Let’s carry on with HYUFD’s edumication of what ethical democratic process looks like.

      In Our Name
      The Ethics of Democracy

      When a government in a democracy acts in our name, are we, as citizens, responsible for those acts? What if the government commits a moral crime? The protestor’s slogan–“Not in our name!”–testifies to the need to separate ourselves from the wrongs of our leaders. Yet the idea that individual citizens might bear a special responsibility for political wrongdoing is deeply puzzling for ordinary morality and leading theories of democracy. In Our Name explains how citizens may be morally exposed to the failures of their representatives and state institutions, and how complicity is the professional hazard of democratic citizenship. Confronting the ethical challenges that citizens are faced with in a self-governing democracy, Eric Beerbohm proposes institutional remedies for dealing with them.

      Beerbohm questions prevailing theories of democracy for failing to account for our dual position as both citizens and subjects. Showing that the obligation to participate in the democratic process is even greater when we risk serving as accomplices to wrongdoing, Beerbohm argues for a distinctive division of labor between citizens and their representatives that charges lawmakers with the responsibility of incorporating their constituents’ moral principles into their reasoning about policy. Grappling with the practical issues of democratic decision making, In Our Name engages with political science, law, and psychology to envision mechanisms for citizens seeking to avoid democratic complicity.

      Eric Beerbohm is professor of government and director of graduate fellowships for the Safra Center for Ethics at Harvard University.

      Political Ethics

      Political ethics (sometimes called political morality or public ethics) is the practice of making moral judgments about political action, and the study of that practice. As a field of study, it is divided into two branches, each with distinctive problems and with different though overlapping literatures. One branch, the ethics of process (or the ethics of office), focuses on public officials and the methods they use. The other branch, the ethics of policy (or ethics and public policy) concentrates on judgments about policies and laws. Both draw on moral and political philosophy, democratic theory and political science. But political ethics constitutes a free standing subject in its own right. Most writers on the subject do not try to apply foundational moral theories but rather work with mid-level concepts and principles that more closely reflect the considerations that political agents could take into account in making
      decisions and policies.

      Public Ethics and Political Judgment

      2.1 Political ethics is not the same as personal morality and the two sets of requirements do not always align. Political ethics broadly covers standards, rules, norms and precepts that relate to the roles and functions that political office serves and the concomitant responsibilities that incumbents of office undertake to fulfil. These responsibilities are not identical to acting ‘morally’ or with personal integrity. Indeed, there is some similarity to other professions in the separation of personal morality and professional ethics. A doctor with a strict personal moral code deriving from religious commitments must distinguish between what her formal responsibilities for the care of a patient requires and what she would herself opt to do in a similar situation as a patient.

      Similarly, politicians may not always be able to do what their consciences demand because, in accepting the responsibilities of public office, they accept duties that it would be inappropriate (unethical or ‘dishonourable’) to ignore even when these clash with their personal moral convictions. For example, they have duties to represent their constituents’ interests even where they regard aspects of those constituents’ lives as morally reprehensible or repugnant. In no case are such conflicts easily resolved, but the potential for such clashes highlights the fact that role requirements differ from those of personal morality.

    21. K1 says:

      Oh dear god in heaven, whatever ‘current’ set up is in place makes no difference to the point being made.

      Scotland would have a voice within the EU construct. You can twist and turn with your insistence that it would somehow be irrelevant given the big 3…the reality is as others have pointed out to you time and again, is that in ‘comparison’ to the UK construct we would in fact be running our own affairs within that bloc and we would have representation in terms of issues that affect Scotland specifically, currently we have little if any say in terms of how we wish to run our country, especially wrt to foreign policy.

      As that is the reserve of WM. We don’t vote for Tory Govs and get them repeatedly, our parliament is in effect an administrative outpost that mitigates agains the worst of those crushing social policies.

      If you insist on playing dumb you will be treated as the ignorant robotic arse that you clearly are Simon.

    22. yesindyref2 says:

      such as to get 13 nations in a block committed to Scotland’s views all the time is not going to happen

      What planet are you on? Who on earth apart from you has ever suggested such a thing? Though it does go to show the state of mind YOU have, where the whole world should revolve around the UK.

      I’ve got news – planet earth revolves around the Sun, which is a star at the end of a spiral galaxy, which is just one galaxy in a universe of galaxies, in a whole load of dimensions of universes.

      We’re not really that important in the cosmos of things, except to ourselves.

    23. yesindyref2 says:

      Here’s an example of how it works with QMV. These are 2017 figures, but they’ll do. By population:

      Germany 82,800,000
      France 67,024,500
      United Kingdom 65,808,600
      Italy 60,589,400
      Spain 46,529,000
      Poland 37,973,000

      EU-28 total 511,805,000

      Total of those 6 member states 360,723,500. That’s over 70% of the total population of the EU!

      However, if those 6 “bullies” try to pull a fast one and pass legislation which favours them against the 22 smaller states, they FAIL on QMV, as they only have 6 out of 28 votes on the first stage of QMV.

      Can you imagine the UK being so democratic towards its smaller partners – Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland?

      No, me neither.

    24. Rock says:

      CameronB Brodie says:
      11 January, 2019 at 9:17 am

      I claimed your statements were unsupported as you provided no substantiating proof. Your a sophist. I’m on to you.”

      If you are looking for unsupported statements, why are you not questioning Ken500?

      Have you turned into one of the hypocrite usual suspects attacking me?

      The owner of this blog has not imposed any condition for supporting statements – I am expressing my opinions.

      If you disagree with something I post, why don’t you specify what is wrong and provide your alternative opinions?

      Are you denying that Nicola has fully backed the dishonest unionist civil servant trying to destroy Alex Salmond?

      Are you denying that the British Establishment is terrified of Alex Salmond?

      Are you denying that the British Establishment has ZERO fear of Nicola?

    25. yesindyref2 says:

      I see Rock is running interference for HYUFD.

    26. HYUFD says:

      CameronBBrodie It was a fair vote on an 80% turnout even if you dislike the result

    27. HYUFD says:

      K1 Scotland has MPs just as it has MEPs, it has even produced PMs from Douglas Home to Brown. The fact many Scots want independence to rejoin the EU if Brexit, especially No Deal Brexit, goes ahead is up to them but that as the polls on the issue show would be the main reason for any Yes win

    28. HYUFD says:

      Yesindyref2 As I pointed out trying to get 13 member states, even smaller ones to vote in a block is far easier said than done, especially with the cultural and economic differences between Eastern, Northern and Southern Europe

    29. K1 says:

      We only need to win once.

    30. yesindyref2 says:

      As I pointed out trying to get 13 member states, even smaller ones to vote in a block is far easier said than done,

      and what about trying to get 2 more than that – 15 in total – to vote in a block FOR any legislation? Abd they have to actively vote FOR to count. 16 or more.

      Because there’s this:

      An abstention under qualified majority voting counts as a vote against. Abstention is not the same as not participating in the vote. Any member can abstain at any time.

      So you don’t even have to get 13 to vote, abstensions are good enough.

      So there, sweetie pie.

    31. HYUFD says:

      K1 Not necessarily. If Yes does win it would be mainly down to Brexit, especially if No Deal. However if the UK reversed Brexit in any EUref2 and decided to stay in the UK that would also set a precedent for Scotland to reverse an independence vote and decide to stay in the UK

    32. HYUFD says:

      K1 Not necessarily. If Yes does win it would be mainly down to Brexit, especially if No Deal. However if the UK reversed Brexit in any EUref2 and decided to stay in the EU that would also set a precedent for Scotland to reverse an independence vote and decide to stay in the UK

    33. Cubby says:


      Totally delusional Tory twit.

      As if any country has ever thought about going back under Westminster control. You are not even in the same universe never mind the real world.

      Once people experience freedom from the dictatorship that is Westminster they laugh at that suggestion.

      Just pissoff with your nonsense.

    34. Cubby says:


      It was a fair vote you say. Tories don’t do fair. Lie cheat and deceive – that’s what they do. Labour are pretty good at cheating as well.

      Westminster = gerrymandering = perfidious Albion = Britnats.

    35. HYUFD says:

      Scottish MPs are part of Westminster, what an absurd point.

    36. yesindyref2 says:

      59 MPs out of a total of 650, 9%. A simple majority requires 50%, so 59 MPs have ZERO power, what an absurd idea of democracy.

    37. HYUFD says:

      Not necessarily, indeed on current polls Corbyn would only get into government with the support of SNP MPs.

      Indeed if we get EUref2 that could also be down to Scottish MPs

    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. If your comment does not appear immediately, DO NOT REPOST IT. Ignore these rules and I WILL KILL YOU WITH HAMMERS.

    ↑ Top