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Filling in the blanks

Posted on September 24, 2013 by

Daily Record hack Torcuil Crichton has had another curious memory lapse in the paper today, in a dramatic piece headlined “Labour will axe Atos if we return to power, vows shadow work and pensions minister Liam Byrne”. A Record insider leaked us this redacted image of the original draft version:


Can you supply the missing words?

Alert readers will of course have spotted the big clue – the UK government in 2008 was the Labour one of Gordon Brown. The contract Byrne wants ripped up is the one his own party gave Atos, when Byrne himself was a Cabinet minister.

But it’s not just embarrassingly transparent cynicism that’s on display here. Anyone who’s been following British politics for the last few years will be a little mystified by Byrne’s sudden conversion to a champion of the poor, disabled and vulnerable.

As recently as last month he was attacking the Tories for not cutting benefits enough and promising that Labour would reduce the welfare bill further by increased use of forced-labour “workfare” schemes. In July the LabourList website savaged him for trying to “out-do the Tories on social security cuts”, while the New Statesman highlighted his criticism of the coalition’s benefit cap, bemoaning “Labour’s disastrous new line of attack on the benefit cap: it’s too soft”.

So why the sudden change of heart? Well, it’s not just Byrne. As the UK media splashes Damien McBride’s shocking revelations about life inside the last Labour government all over its pages, the party is fighting to get coverage for a sudden avalanche of pledges gushing out of its conference.

An incoming Labour, we’re told, will raise the minimum wage, embark on a vast programme of housebuilding, end the bedroom tax and more besides, all funded from the pockets of the rich. It sounds exactly like the sort of large-scale socialist programme the party’s been avoiding like the plague since 1997 for fear of scaring off the right-wing swing voters in England it needs to form a government, and exactly the sort of programme it didn’t enact when it WAS in power for 13 years.

But here’s the thing – as we noted last week, the voters of England are getting dramatically MORE right-wing, not less. So who is this leftward lurch meant to win over, who wasn’t going to vote Labour anyway? It’s possible, of course, given Ed Miliband’s promise at the same conference to reduce immigration, that it’s simply an attempt to stem any flow of working-class anti-immigrant votes to UKIP, or to shore up a disillusioned core vote as Labour’s poll lead over the Tories vanishes.

Neither of those, though, seem likely to have anywhere near enough effect to win Labour the 2015 election, especially when weighed against the floating right-wing votes they’ll lose. And our view is that the move represents something very different: Labour is preparing for defeat.

We’ve been pointing out for months, of course, that Labour isn’t going to win in 2015. But it seems to us that the party itself is now accepting that too, and getting its excuses in early. And to our admittedly cynical minds, there’s only one aim behind that which stands up to any logical examination.

If Labour loses in 2015 on a socialist manifesto, it can say to its rank-and-file members and activists “Look, we tried it your way and lost. We HAVE to continue moving to the right, like it or not, because that’s how the British people are now and we don’t want another lost generation like 1979-97”.

Those at the top of the party are still almost all Blair-era New Labourites. The right wing is where they’re comfortable, and where they feel they have the best chance of achieving power and the sort of riches it brings. They believe – not entirely without justification – that in the face of an overwhelmingly right-wing media and the great shift in the demographics of class in the UK over the last 30 years, there’s simply no chance of getting elected on a socialist platform in their lifetimes, and they’d rather be winners with access to all the advantages that office brings. Principles don’t pay the bills.

Labour’s overnight Damascene conversion is hard to rationally explain any other way. We suspect Torcuil Crichton’s self-censorship reflex is going to have to work rather a lot of overtime in the future.

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93 to “Filling in the blanks”

  1. Desimond says:

    The phrasing of “If we were in power tomorrow” just keeps springing to mind.

  2. alexicon says:

    By the Labour party.

  3. They will use this phrase ‘if we were in power tomorrow’ in the months ahead here in Scotland, our referendum being a year ahead of the General Election, and plenty time to ‘re-asses and switch promises after that to suit English constitutencies.- They will try to show that all folk have to do is vote NO and Labour will deliver in 2015.  But its not going to happen. Politics is a dirty game. Smoke & Mirrors.

  4. Desimond says:

    Apols for Frequent posting but what does Daily Mail mean when it reports:

    A report by one of the architects of devolution, published four years ago, found devolution had led to lower standards of public services in Scotland because Holyrood ministers are too worried about being popular.

  5. Jingly Jangly says:

    Yup it sound like turkey’s voting or Christmas down south, but it could be also to do with trying to get a No vote, the MSM wont broadcast the fact that they are on a hiding to nothing in the next General Election, The Red Tops will still be printing their Labour propaganda so a lot of people in Scotland will still think that they are electable and it will harden their vote up here…

  6. Robert Kerr says:

    112M a year subsidy to a Catholic Pilgrimage Site? Should upset the OO Naysayers.
    Hail Alba

  7. Seasick Dave says:

    …with gusto to appeal to Daily Mail readers in the south of England…?

  8. Seasick Dave says:

    So we have a mole at the DR?

  9. Murray McCallum says:

    Tony Blair – His financial acumen serves JP Morgan well (Tony reported to get between £0.5m and £2.5m pa from JPM). Hopefully this institution will be bust soon and/or its management in US jails.
    It does seem that New Labour’s “policy” strategy is the fundamental belief that voters simply wake up in the morning forgetting what took place the day before. Trouble is this amnesia seems to rest within their party.

  10. Donald MacDonald says:

    Jingly Jangly has it exactly. This is a ‘Vote No for the Socialist Nirvana in 2015’ ploy, a cynical attempt by the Lying Party to ensure its election fodder is available in the future.
    These people have no shame, and no loyalty but to themselves, via the Party.

  11. taratnfever says:

    That sounds like CPPR John MacLaren think-tank garbage that’s been mentioned by Margaret Curran, yet she fails to mention her role as Minister for Communities during that time to a Labour led Scottish Govt.Tragic.
    Our very own Doug Daniel’s been tweeting about this.

  12. creag an tuirc says:

    Does this mean we’ll get something for nothing now or not? I’m confused 🙂

  13. I don’t think Labour are preparing for defeat.  I think they’ve realised that a left-wing Labour party is the only thing that’ll save the Union, so they’re now pushing left-wing policies to get Scots to vote No.  If they succeed, they’ll immediate swing back to right-wing policies after the referendum.

  14. Craig M says:

    Labour is nothing more than a Cult, with willing, non-thinking acolytes, lead by ambitious, self serving high priests and priestesses. I notice that Derek Bateman still has a tiny bit of optimism left when expressing a desire for Douglas Alexander to actually do something good for a change. Does he, Bateman, detect that Alexander may be the last Labour Scot with the possibility of a thread of decency still in him, or is it wishful thinking? See NNS for the piece. The enemy of personal ambition is time. Would the Alexanders of Labour be willing to wait 6 years for another chance at the big time?

  15. les wilson says:

    Labour have a very short memory in what the actually did last time they were in. Which was an all round disaster. Here in Scotland, what about the levels of poverty they left and the poverty of our children in particular. A disgrace.

    What about the PFI costs they left us ? What about the deregulation of banks, which left us as well as the rest of the UK in deep, and ever increasing debt?  What about  Gordon ( aka the pickpocket ! ) Brown and his never ending stealth taxes?

    Labour then, and now offer Scots nothing and will give us nothing in the future. They depend on the control of the poor for votes , and that is how they actually want to keep us. Whatever they offer it they are ever more likely ever to deliver  it.

    Who among labour voters would have expected to see them sharing a platform with the Tories? . Who would have expected them to agree with AND enforce Tory policies. They have lost their morals.

    No, labour are for the dustbin, and not before time. Scotland can get a good labour party only if after a yes vote they go  back to basics and traditional values. 

    Even then, only when they turf out  the old corrupt guard and start again with a new party that has new blood and new commitment, however that may still take a while,  as there is a question of regaining trust.

    They are, and always were, the most deceitful party, we should trust them in nothing at all.

    However they will currently promise the world while knowing full well that they will not be in government anyway.

  16. cath says:

    Trouble with getting rid of ATOS is that, however bad ATOS are, they are merely a corporation carrying out the wishes of the government and DWP that employs them. And they are employed by the government and DWP to get as many people off benefits as possible and make the system so hellish no one uses it unless they absolutely have no other choice.
    Both Labour and the Tories have had the same reasons for employing ATOS. So getting rid of them and bringing in “Corporation B”, probably with various Lords and Labour/Tory politicians on its board to do the same job is a cynical and pointless move.
    We need to hear a better welfare policy, not just “we’ll replace ATOS with someone else”.

  17. liz says:

    This is a definite ploy by the LAB lot as they know they will probably not win the next election at least outright.
    They are appealing to their die hard supporters to vote No because I don’t know why but a lot of my friends are died in the wool SLAB and even though they know the truth a lot of the time, they always give them ‘one more chance’
    This will be directed a the LFI group.
    I’m afraid that it will work as it has before – remember the feeble 50?
    Also BBC Scotland will be over this like a rash. 

  18. les wilson says:

    I totally agree!

  19. Rolf says:

    Torcuil was spouting his fantasy Labour nonsense unchallenged on GMS earlier. He was trailing Miliband’s speech, which will apparently wax lyrical about a Scot being treated in an English hospital, without – wait for it – being asked if she was Scottish or English. He made no mention of Westminster’s ongoing attempts to privatise the English NHS or that voting Yes is the only way the Scottish NHS can be protected.

  20. liz quinn says:

    Thomas and Liz.
    Totally agree. This is aimed at the referendum. SLab need all the ‘help’ they can get.

  21. cath says:

    Also, regarding ATOS “being got rid of”, this is fascinating and enlightening. So what are Labour proposing to do about this, exactly?

  22. Jason says:

    It’s become increasing clear during the past couple of days that Darling’s main interest is himself and his future position at Westminster.
    Likewise, Curran very much gave the game away with the stuff about how independence would break up the Labour party – and the career prospects of many in Scotland.

  23. Jiggsbro says:

    It seems to me the important missing words come much earlier than the redacted part. They come after “ATOS should be stripped of their £112-million-a-year contract” and they are “and be replaced by a different company doing exactly the same thing”.

  24. BlueTiles says:

    As has been said before, the worst possible words No Voters can hear after a No Vote – ‘We told you so.’ 
    Labour were in power for thirteen years and look at the mess they made.
    They will not save Scotland. Only their own skins ( and expenses, second homes, salaries).

  25. cath says:

    My own feeling, for what it’s worth is no one – not in Scotland or in England – can afford to give Labour a second shot. The UK has been headed in one direction, and that is rightward, along a privatisation agenda. Labour when in power were as signed up to it as Thatcher, and were the ones who kicked open the doors for the Tories in a range of fields, including the NHS and welfare.
    Both Labour, the Tories, and their ultimate paymasters in corporations rely on the fact that there is no other option for voters. We have the illusion of being able to get rid of governments, but in fact the agenda goes on the same whoever is in, and that has been a very long term agenda regarding the NHS and welfare.
    If UK voters give Labour another chance, that is simply yet another 5 years of the same agenda and we can’t afford that. England needs a new party of the left, the workers, the unions – one that will stand up for public services. And the UK as a whole needs a more federal structure. The only way I can see either happening is by Scotland voting Yes next year and giving Westminster and the UK establishment the boot up the arse it needs. Anything else is just more of the same.

  26. smudge says:

    Just read Margaret Currans remarks in Brighton re devolution in todays Telegraph 🙁

    Please tell me she’s really a double agent for the YES campaign and that she doesn’t think that comments made by her won’t get back to Scotland or that our heads button up at the back.

    These lies, deceits and uncontrollable contempt by the No campaign in general and Labour in particular are going to be vote winners for the referendum

    Keep up the good work rev

  27. Morag says:

    Thomas is absolutely right.  Labour are playing for a No vote.  Someone has realised that losing in 2015 isn’t the end of the world.  They always get another shot at Westminster.  However, a Yes vote in 2014 is the end of their world.  So they’re headlining policies aimed at the “one more heave” brigade of habitual Old Labour voters.
    Of course that will switch right round on 19th September if they get their No vote, and the time between then and May 2015 will be spent trying to convince Middle England that they’re really Tories after all.  I think they’ve calculated that even if the seven/eight months of campaigning left after the referendum isn’t enough to swing these voters in sufficient numbers, it’s a risk they have to take.

  28. So Labour will come to the rescue and get rid of the hated bedroom tax and give ATOS the boot, so no apologies then for bringing this crap upon our nation in the first place, they really are fucking idiots and they are treating the no’s and un-decided in our country as halfwits, this hypocrisy has to be exposed at every turn.
    It makes me very angry that these idiots think we are so stupid up here, the pish they are peddling reeks and I hope any undecided people reading this will see the unionists for what they are, slime ball scumbags that will say anything and I mean anything to keep the Scot’s nation in it’s place and save the UK labour party, it’s not about what’s best for Scotland only what’s best for labour / Westminster,  lying scumbag fuck pig bastards that they are !
    Sorry about the language Rev, you may want to edit, I’ll try no do that again.
    Also looked out for you an Indy Raleigh but no joy, even afterwards was hoping to bump into some of you in a boozers but didn’t happen,  next year then 🙂

  29. Murray McCallum says:

    I personally do not think there is any long term thinking whatsoever in New Labour strategy. It’s almost as if they woke up realising they had to cobble together some slides for a conference this week. It’s all short term think – let’s just get this conference done and out of the way. It will all be forgotten next week.
    What will definitely have a longer term impact is the Heffer, Lamont “virus” and general New Labour patronising mockery of Scotland. This hideous language will leave a damaging legacy.

  30. orpheuslyre says:

    Obviously it is a repositioning and obviously Labour know they will not have a majority. In which case it looks like a path towards a Coalition with the LibDems, adjusted very slightly leftward on the assumption that the libdems will probably tend to be slightly more to the Right.

  31. cath says:

    And after reading that Tom Pride article on ATOS basically taking over the NHS in England, read this one on Labour wanting devolution to move into “a new phase” where health policy across the UK is standardised:

    “Burnham also revealed that he hopes to see greater consistency of health policies across the border. Since responsibility for health was devolved to the Scottish Parliament in 1999, it has used its powers to pursue separate flagship policies such as free personal care, free eye tests, and free prescriptions, and also chose to introduce the groundbreaking ban on smoking in enclosed public spaces a year ahead of England. However, while Burnham professes to be a “huge advocate” of devolution, he suggests that it now needs to enter a “different phase”.

    “That is why I am talking quite passionately about getting English Labour MPs back up the road and for me, sitting down with Neil [Findlay] and Richard [Simpson] and Rhoda [Grant] and others and saying, let’s get health policies that can be consistent across England, Scotland and Wales. Wouldn’t that be a good thing, pulling in the same direction as opposed to pulling our separate ways? Devolution, in its early days, was about doing something different and it needs to enter a different phase where we start talking again more about a UK-wide policy because in the end, that helps everybody.”

  32. cath says:

    Make no mistake – Labour are not left wing, and they are no longer advocates of devolution either. Their “one nation” slogan means just that. Labour, Tory and Lib Dem – all Westminster parties – are dedicated to bringing Scotland back in line and making sure those damn Jocks can’t get this uppity again.
    Vote no and repent at your leisure because you’ll have another 300 years to do so.

  33. MochaChoca says:

    If Labour have already accepted defeat for 2015, then yes, it’s very possible that this sudden (but temporary) return to socialism is just a primitaive attempt to sway us stupid Scots into A. voting NO and B. re-electing those 40 odd Lab MPs.

    Afterall, just remember: ‘better a hundred years of tory rule than an independent Scotland.’

    And those at the trough get to remain there for another 5 years.

    There must be a temptation for the SNP to say that they will treat a NO vote as the signal that Scots wish to be governed exclusively by the Westminster parties and will therefore be stepping down from Scottish politics. I wouldn’t blame them to be honest. But the likelihood of ‘Lamont for First Minister’ would fair concentrate the minds of the voters in the booths come referendum time.

  34. Doug Daniel says:

    Cath’s right, it doesn’t matter if they get rid of ATOS or not since they’ll simply replace them with another company carrying out the exact same objectives.
    Governments employ private companies to do their dirty work so they can be the fall guys for bad decisions, thus taking the heat off of the relevant government minister. So when people protest against ATOS, they might think they’re helping stick up for disabled people, but the reality is it’s no different to castigating your postie for delivering your P45. It’s saddening that so many people in the UK are fooled by such a basic and transparent trick. Although in the case of Labour acolytes, I suspect they’re just glad they can direct their ire at an external source, rather than having to admit that their precious Labour party are the real bastards for letting ATOS in originally.

  35. HandandShrimp says:

    The problem Labour has regardless of 2014 or 2015 is that the London press by and large don’t give a stuff about Scotland. People like Heffer in the Mail would like to see us go (pandering to the Mail readership’s prejudices). The London press are going to go after Milliband and Balls. Call their policies unaffordable, say it is back to the days of reds under the bed and all that good stuff. If this gains traction and it looks like Labour are behind in the polls in 2014 then they could easily be handing us a Yes vote on a plate.
    The question is how populist will Dave go? A firm date on the EU referendum? more anti-immigration stuff? The combined Tory UKIP vote in England is quite frightening and if Dave wins them over or gets Farage’s seal of approval then he is looking at an absolute majority. Milliband’s primary hope is that UKIP splits the right wing vote because he does not seem to be breaking out of the 35/36% rut.

  36. balgayboy says:

    MochaChoca says:@ 11.29
    Good one, “Vote No and get Lamont as First Minister” that’s got to rumble with the undecided.

  37. Desimond says:

    Can I just say this piece and comments are exactly why Wings is so important.

    The information covered here is exactly what the electorate need to be hearing. Today and tomorrow the papers and TV will be telling Scotland about Labours wonderful vision but here we see the truth behind the facade.

    Share this with everyone you know, the information here is exactly what anyone in the Undecided camp need to be hearing.

  38. scottish_skier says:

    Is it the Labour or the Tory conference on right now?
    I quickly had a look and it’s all blue backgrounds and union flags. Was just waiting for Dave to waltz on stage.
    With respect to the latter, I see the saltire continues to be faded to white (St. Patrick’s cross having already gone), leaving the cross of St. George resplendent.
    The one nation is not Britain. The meaning / power of symbolism should not be underestimated.

  39. Rod Mac says:

    Pre 1997 Blair and Brown and the rest of the Labour liars promised us they would get rid of PPP  ,which of course they did , by renaming it PFI.

    For decades they have promised us they would unilaterally remove WMD , now they are the biggest cheerleaders for a replacement Trident.
    Labour have always been great at promising ,and not delivering for their vote.

    They are great at delivering higher living standards and better jobs for themselves ,as to their voters ,they are quickly forgotten.

    Even worse than the Labourite vermin is the filth that inhabit the 4th estate and collude in conning and cheating the people of Scotland.

    I say this as a member of no political party, there are not enough lamp posts in Scotland , and not enough rope.

  40. pmcrek says:

    It wasn’t all that long ago Jamie Glackin Vice Chair of the Labour Party in Scotland tweeted that the purpose of politics was essentially to be in power in response to someone concerned about Iraq War, ATOS and Labours shift to the right in general.

  41. Morag says:

    I am SO frightened of a No vote.  I only remember being this frightened before the 2011 election, frightened that Labour would get back into power at Holyrood.  Except I’m even more frightened now.  This isn’t just about achieving independence any more, it’s about rescuing our country from these bloodsucking bastards.
    Fortunately the Scottish voters came good in 2011.  I believe they’ll come good in 2014 as well.

  42. Triangular Ears says:

    What Cath said.  These companies – I believe Glasgow call them ALEOs (Arm’s Length External Organisation) – are designed to fool the more gullible voter that these decisions and the shocking cases we read about daily are Atos’s fault when in fact they are just companies paid to do dirty work.
    What’s more, any replacement company will just be another joint-venture, with the same crony faces on the board, creaming off profits of misery.  It is the very worst of privatisation as there is not even any pretence of spreading ownership far and wide like with even Thatcher’s privatisations.
    Post-independence, prosecuting authorities need to march in to Glasgow and anywhere else, and round up these corrupt people at the top and jail them.

  43. Adrian B says:

    NNS are carrying a great piece from Derek Bateman today:

  44. cath says:

    I’m growing increasingly terrified of a no vote as well Morag. And I was an undecided last year.

  45. balgayboy says:

    Morag says:@11.50
    Hi Morag, no need to be afraid. Old London establishment and imperialistic spokesperson Simon Heffer is coming north to advise us Scots to vote YES as him and his ilk are tired subsidising us barbarians. Really hope he has the balls to come north and spew his racist bile in front of the people who has protected his like for centuries.

  46. Ananurhing says:

    In the event of a No vote, I think we can be certain that steps will be taken, and black ops deployed, to ensure that the union is never threatened like this again.
    Remember Brown’s threat of “whatever it takes”, and we know what direction his moral compass was pointing. Due south.

  47. Ananurhing says:

    I don’t think I’ve ever seen so much bullshit emanating from a single Heffer

  48. Triangular Ears says:

    I’m scared of a no vote too, but, if Saturday demonstrated anything, it’s that we’re not going away.
    Sometimes I despair at the apathy, but Saturday was a real boost for me, seeing so many people just happy to be there and make a statement.

  49. Murray McCallum says:

    Brown’s threat of “whatever it takes”, and we know what direction his moral compass was pointing.
    These devices do not work properly when, as in Gordon’s case, inserted far up certain orifices.
    Really like reading the comments on this thread. Cath making some excellent points. I also see Wings have tweeted a very interesting article on the NHS privatisation by stealth

  50. balgayboy says:

    Ananurhing says:@12.02
    Was that Broon the Scot or Brown the “North Britain”…that’s new labour for you in a nutshell.

  51. BeamMeUpScotty says:

    Labour trying to shore up it’s northern constituency.After our referendum,wouldn’t be surprised to see a volte face in order to shore up it’s southern constituency.Believe them at your peril.

  52. Ananurhing says:

    Aye. Broon always employed a certain amount of autistic licence.

  53. Training Day says:

    O/T check out this mega-cringe from the Record.  And the best bit involves our Torcuil:

  54. cath says:

    I strongly suspect the reason the devolution papers are being suppressed is because Labour never supported devolution. Westminster were pushed into it by the EU and UN under threat of international sanctions, because the way the UK was (and probably is) being run was seen as wholly undemocratic and against all norms of self-determination. They did the least possible, while also making a lot of Scottish waters English.

  55. cath says:

    Which does really make you wonder what happens if there is a no vote followed by a withdrawal of the UK from the EU – back to the dark ages of pre-devolution for Scotland, as has always been favoured by all Westminster parties.

  56. liz says:

    I am also terrified of a No vote.
    We committed Yes people know that LAB is lying but the DKs and previous diehards want to believe.

  57. Robert Louis says:

    I have been watching events at the Labour party conference, and ONE message is made very, very clear, at every opportunity.  It is NOT the Labour party, rather it is ONE NATION Labour.
    Every interview, every speech, the phrase One Nation Labour is used in place of Labour.
    Make no mistake, the Labour party have no interests in Scotland as a country, we are but a region in Ed Milliband’s totalitarian sounding ‘ONE NATION Britain’.  Lamont herself, was urging Labour members across the UK to help ‘save the UK’.
    I and everybody needs to re-double our efforts to make sure we don’t just win, but win well.  A NO vote, will see the emasculation of the Scottish parliament, and the final acts of Westminster inspired cultural genocide, to remove the last vestiges of Scotland as a nation.
    Independence and a much better future for Scotland, is there for the taking, and if the day following the vote, any of us felt we didn’t work for the campaign hard enough, I don’t doubt we will never be able to live with ourselves.  The day after the vote, is too late.  We are in the final year, time for that final push.

  58. Jason says:

    scottish_skier: With respect to the latter, I see the saltire continues to be faded to white (St. Patrick’s cross having already gone), leaving the cross of St. George resplendent.
    Just seen this – there’s no way that’s just an accident of design. It shows clearly exactly where the Labour party’s one nation is.

  59. Daughter of Evil Reindeer says:

    @ Catt @ Liz
    Will quote my Ma on this one…
    If we don’t win we will get no favours from Westminster we will be punished worse that after Culloden!!

  60. balgayboy says:

    Training Day says:@12.23
    Is the DR correspondent the same Euan Mclean disaster that pretended to be a professional goalkeeper and let an easy 5 past him against a pretty ordinary Falkirk team at Tannadice? If so why is he now ascribing to what seems more own goals! No lessons learnt there then.

  61. HandandShrimp says:

    Amazed that the Devolution papers are so secret. What the hell did they discuss that they cannot reveal to us poor voters? We cannot trust these people one solitary inch.

    If they cannot tell us then we should fill in the blanks for them and cast it abroad. 🙂

  62. Bobby McPherson says:

    So they will replace ATOS? Wi whit exactly?

  63. liz says:

    ‘Scottish Labour leader (sic)at the LPC, Johann Lamont calls nationalism “a virus that has affected so many nations and done so much harm” and accuses the SNP of “corroding politics”
    Does this incredibly stupid woman not realise that this is the same tactic that was used by the Nazis to de-humanise the Jews?
    I put a comment on the Herald the other day – which I knew wouldn’t make it passed the mods – that JoLa was like a dementor from Harry Potter – a creature that sucks all the hope, light and happiness from peoples souls

  64. muttley79 says:

    Make no mistake – Labour are not left wing, and they are no longer advocates of devolution either. Their “one nation” slogan means just that. Labour, Tory and Lib Dem – all Westminster parties – are dedicated to bringing Scotland back in line and making sure those damn Jocks can’t get this uppity again.
    Yes, those in charge of SLAB have gone off devolution because they are now longer in power, and hence in control.  Does not really say a lot for their democratic principles does it?  It is like the little boy who goes away in the huff with his football!..

  65. tartanfever says:

    Cath – your posts on this subject have been great.
    The other thing about ALEOs and ATOS and all the private companies now running public services is they also provide a buffer to the politicians if something goes wrong or the services are poor.

    The companies take the public’s anger, the politicians just hide in the background and promise to sort it. 

    At least in the old days of nationalised industries, if something went wrong, politicians and their parties would be held responsible. 

  66. HandandShrimp says:


  67. Indy_Scot says:

    “there’s simply no chance of getting elected on a socialist platform in their lifetimes”
    That pretty much sums Labour up in a oner for me.

  68. Robert Louis says:

    Ha, Liz,
    “…that JoLa was like a dementor from Harry Potter – a creature that sucks all the hope, light and happiness from peoples souls”
    Johan Lamont as a dementor.  How very, very apt.

  69. Jason says:

    As for Labour being in it for themselves, McBride’s comment about how he gave Darling’s son work experience at the Treasury is just the slightest example of this.

  70. balgayboy says:

    Oh.. Capita, check the background section.

  71. Moujick says:

    “A Record insider leaked us this “
    I liked this bit!

  72. “Amazed that the Devolution papers are so secret”
    This should be pushed and pushed and pushed, they are hiding something and don’t want us to know, all the more reason to push harder.
    RELEASE THE PAPERS ! but then we know how good they are at marking things secret for 30 years, lying sneaky bastards that they are, committed the biggest fraud in history and at the same time tried to make us believe we were subsidy junkies, Union of equal partners my erchie,
    While I’m at it, Lamont writing off a solid 3rd ( I think over half) of our country’s people as a virus, we are a disease, I have never heard a supposed leader of a political party isolate half the population the way she has with that statement, saying she is an idiot just doesn’t come close the how pathetic she really is.
    End of rant
    Roll on the big party next year after we have dumped the lot of them, now that’s something to look forward too 🙂

  73. Roboscot says:

    The question is whether 2014 is going to be a 1979 or a 1997.

  74. Morag says:

    If you’re talking about the actual voting figures, I’ll take either.

  75. The Rough Bounds says:

    I’m getting very good at spotting lies, half truths and sheer propaganda on BBC Reporting Scotland. I thought STV was better at providing unbiased reports but I watched the STV news programme at 6 pm yesterday evening and there was a wee item about a Maggie’s Care Centre being officially opened in Aberdeen.

    We were told that it was opened by Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall and we were shown her faffing around. We were also given a very, very brief glimpse of the carved stone commemorating the event. I just managed to read that the Care Centre was also opened by the Queen of Norway.

    This fact wasn’t mentioned at any point in the report and Queen Sonja just didn’t appear anywhere in the shots. So why would STV try to cover up the fact that the Maggie Care Centre in Aberdeen was opened by the Queen of Norway as well as Camilla?
    The Yes campaign has often drawn comparisons between Scotland and Norway, and Norway is regularly used as an example of just how successful a small independent country can be, and the British Establishment don’t like that at all. The fact that Norway has its own monarchy as well as its independence simply pisses the British off to distraction.
    Hence, censorship, and perhaps the sneakiest, dirtiest, censorship of all: censorship through inertia.
    Keep your eyes peeled for this sort of thing folks. It’s so easy to miss.

  76. Taranaich says:

    @Liz: Does this incredibly stupid woman not realise that this is the same tactic that was used by the Nazis to de-humanise the Jews?
    Evidently not, nor the irony of talking about the evils of nationalism under a great big banner saying ONE NATION…

  77. Albamac says:

    “Work capability assessments have brought misery to thousands of disabled people since they were introduced by”
    Westminster Tories (Red Team), expanded and accelerated by Westminster Tories (Blue Team) and facilitated and vigorously pursued by hundreds of thousands of trades union members who have recanted and joined the inquisition.

    When they get round to introducing public burnings and hangings there won’t be any shortage of willing hands to gather the wood, plant the stakes and build the gallows.

    This could be big! Another Festival of Britain, complete with brass bands, banners and cloth caps.  A celebration of death and glory, blood and money.

    Aye, they’ll show us what a real rally looks like as they advance in review order. 

    Right! Right! Right! Right! …

  78. Chic McGregor says:

    “Sorry about the language Rev, you may want to edit, I’ll try no do that again.”
    A picture can say a thousand words.
    … sometimes nearly literally.

  79. Morag says:

    Norway actually invited one of the Danish royal family to take the throne of Norway, so as to have its own monarchy.  Not sure I’d advocate following suit, but it seems to have worked well for them.

  80. Calgacus says:

    @scottish skier, Surely if one nation labour lurch to the left they will tank in the polls, 
    leading to Scots feeling that a Tory victory is on the cards? 

  81. Arbroath 1320 says:

    Morag, Cath, Liz don’t be afraid.
    Believe in a better Scotland.
    Believe in the truth getting out there.
    Believe in the fact that as the Better Together crowd become more and more negative and desperate more and more people ARE turning to YES.
    Believe in the fact that every time Curran opens her mouth MORE people turn to YES.
    Believe in the fact that MORE people turn to yes every time Lamont makes an utterance.
    Believe that YES is winning the argument thanks to the likes of Sarwar.
    Fear NOTHING!
    Fear NO ONE!
    BELIEVE! :P:

  82. Robert Kerr says:

    May I quote an Egyptian I met in Libya who had bad things to say about Libya…
    “I fear no man, I fear only God”
    Hail Alba

  83. Ronnie says:

    @The Rough Bounds 1.50 pm
    I noticed that too, when the fact that the commemorative plaque clearly states;
    ‘Opened by HR The Queen of Norway and HRH the Duchess of Rothesay’.
    In that order.
    STV are not to be trusted with reporting the truth either, it seems.
    We are on our own in this battle, folks, and we can’t afford to lose.

  84. Ronnie says:

    Forgot to say that the reason Norway is involved is because the building was designed by the Norwegian architect Snohetta.
    I don’t think that this was mentioned either.
    Surprise, surprise!

  85. muttley79 says:


    Evidently not, nor the irony of talking about the evils of nationalism under a great big banner saying ONE NATION…
    Watching Lamont’s ‘leadership’ of SLAB is like constantly watching a rerun of a slow motion train crashing in front of your very eyes.

  86. Chic McGregor says:

    “Both Labour and the Tories have had the same reasons for employing ATOS. So getting rid of them and bringing in “Corporation B”, probably with various Lords and Labour/Tory politicians on its board to do the same job is a cynical and pointless move.”
    So that joke about ATOS being known as ‘Lourdes’ was almost right then.

  87. gerry parker says:

    Well, (not being an royal etiquette expert) would the “Duchess” have to defer to the “Queen” in these proceedings?
    Might explain their reluctance to broadcast any more than a small clip.

  88. CameronB says:

    Former Tory PM and arch imperialist, Benjamin Disraeli, had his first novel published in 1845, “Sybil: or The Two Nations”. This was about the time of the first glimmerings on an organised labour movement around the world and slap in the middle of the Opium Wars that Britain inflicted on China as a means of securing free trade agreements (esp. opium). It was also only 50 years after the French Revolution, which had so traumatised the world’s capitalists.
    In his novel, Disraeli highlights the dangers of allowing the Two Nations (rich and poor) to continue without intervention from the State. Not to improve the horrendous working and living conditions experienced by the lower orders of society, but to ensure that the demands of the poor did not hurt the Establishments’ economic interests. The Establishment and the capitalists were Disraeli’s One Nation.
    Disraeli’s solution was to bring about a state of “One Nation”, where the aristocracy and the industrialist would work in closer cooperation so as to prevent the advancement of working class aspersions.
    As he is a fan of Disaeli, perhaps Ed shares his desire for a One Nation Britain. Perhaps Ed also agrees that working class leaders must be co-opted to serve the interests of One Nation.

  89. CameronB says:

    So they will replace ATOS? Wi whit exactly?
    IMHO, that would be a missed opportunity and not the most efficient management structure possible. The obvious replacement is G4S.

  90. Shinty says:

    Arbroath 1320
    Fear NOTHING!
    Fear NO ONE!

    One of the signs on the march I noticed – NO FEAR HERE.
    which I though was brilliant, my other favourite was (can’t remember the exact wording)
    ’18th Sept 2014 is my birthday, please vote YES’
    Was thinking next year to get some really good ones and tie them onto my fence (on the roadside) one for every post, about 60 of them. Maybe a flag or two in between, already have my Saltire, but a nice one for Wings, Business for Scotland & National Collective would be an added bonus.
    Nothing like upsetting your neighbours 🙂

  91. DonDeefLugs says:

    Well said, it’s about the policies, not who carries it out.

  92. Arabs for Independence says:

    It was labour who ended the wage subsidy to employers who employed people with significant disabilities. This measure had been in operation since the mid 80s and it helped employers employ around 20,000 disabled people in the UK.
    It was Broon’s government that did all the preparatory work to end this quite successful programme which has also affected Remploy and Blindcraft employees.
    This rarely gets mentioned especially when Labour MPs are in mock outrage regarding the treatment of disabled employees of Remploy. 

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