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Hard times

Posted on September 11, 2013 by

We’re most grateful to the eagle-eyed reader who spotted something today that had escaped our notice, and apparently also that of the Scottish media. When we were trying to figure out the likely membership of “Scottish Labour” back in June, the most recent set of accounts for the branch (or “Accounting Unit” as it’s officially termed) on the Electoral Commission website were those for 2011.

slabaccts

It turns out that we were in just a bit too early. The 2012 ones were published a mere four weeks later, and they paint a worrying picture for Johann Lamont and her pals.

Labour in Scotland managed to cut its spending by £160,000 in 2012 from the 2011 figure – hardly surprising bearing in mind there was a Holyrood general election in 2011. Unfortunately, its income also plunged, by around £205,000 (or almost 28%). The party also saw a hefty £110,000 fall (25%) in the value of its assets.

The biggest hit came under “Miscellaneous income”, which plummeted from £222,000 in 2011 to just £15,000 in 2012, a 93% crash. We’d be most curious to know exactly what that category describes. Party conference profits plunged from £21,000 (with receipts having been almost double the cost of the 2011 shindig) to just £4000. And in 2012 the party’s net operating loss almost doubled, from £46,000 to £90,000.

Membership income was almost unchanged, up by just under £6000 to £113,000, suggesting a membership still languishing somewhere below 5,000 hardy souls. (By way of handy comparison, the SNP’s 2012 income from membership fees was almost exactly five times as high, at £555,000.)

It’s little wonder that both Labour and “Better Together” have trouble getting boots on the ground in Scotland compared to the grassroots riches of the SNP and the Yes campaign. On this evidence, they can barely afford laces.

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    97 to “Hard times”

    1. Nation Libre says:

      Union bungs reduced now also, maybe more to follow, so all good

    2. An Duine Gruamach says:

      Did the SNP not unveil their 25,000th member at conference this Spring?

    3. Craig Munro says:

      I’m not usually one for schadenfreude but …… 

    4. The Man in the Jar says:

      They could try Wonga! Labour seems quite happy to give back more than they get in.

    5. Hazel Lewry says:

      Ach, Craig …. are you sure now? Because I’m certainly having a hint of a smirk.

    6. dmw42 says:

      When there was commentary on cuts in TU funding of Labour, I noticed a graphic on the BBC on Monday indicating that Labour received £6.656,000 in ‘Government Grants’.
       
      http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-24020266
       
      Government grants? WTF is that all about?

    7. A fifth of them must be in Pacific Quay!

    8. MajorBloodnok says:

      Maybe this is why they’re all having to borrow jackets (and policies) from the Tories.

    9. muttley79 says:

      @Rev Stu

      We’re most grateful to the eagle-eyed reader who spotted something today that had escaped our notice, and apparently also that of the media.
       
      The MSM in Scotland have shown an almost complete unwillingness to hold SLAB to account for decades now.  How else can their almost censuring of bad news for SLAB be explained?  When was the last time anyone heard Jackie Bird, or Sally Magnusson, headline Reporting Scotland, with “Jackie Baillie is under intense pressure to explain her remarks about Trident”, or “Lamont accuses head of the civil service of protecting the SG/SNP” (which she did last week at FMQs, and which was characteristically ignored by Pravada)?  It never happens because they are too busy covering SLAB’s, and hence the Union’s back.

    10. Malegria says:

      *laughs quietly into pint*

    11. The Man in the Jar says:

      Oh no! I now have a vision in my head of Lamont, Baillie and I. Davidson in one of those Wonga adverts. 🙁
      Well they are puppets after all.

    12. handclapping says:

      @dmw42
      Most of it will be “Short” money paid to opposition parties to make up for the fact they don’t have the Civil Service working for them.

    13. Training Day says:

      We’re not scaremongering about Labour’s collapse, we’re simply asking legitimate questions which Labour can’t answer. Can they, Anas?

    14. Ian MacQuarrie says:

      dmw42 asks about ‘government grants’. This may include ‘short money’ which is given to the official opposition to carry out their statutory duty of opposing HMG…

    15. Andy-B says:

      Hopefully after independence SLAB will become a real party for Scots and Scotland, though I wont be holding my breath.
       
      SNP memebership 25.000 and growing.

    16. Dcanmore says:

      @dmw42…
      When there was commentary on cuts in TU funding of Labour, I noticed a graphic on the BBC on Monday indicating that Labour received £6.656,000 in ‘Government Grants’.
       
      It’s called ‘Short Money’, provided to the opposition party to maintain or balance democracy or something.
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Short_Money 

      1. Funding to assist an opposition party in carrying out its Parliamentary business;
      2. Funding for the opposition parties’ travel and associated expenses;
      3. Funding for the running costs of the Leader of the Opposition’s office.

    17. Juteman says:

      Labour get ‘short’ money?
      That explains some of their online rants, and Eric Joyce nutting a few Tories.

    18. Craig P says:

      Muttley, no surprise, but as I am feeling philosophical, perhaps the MSM perform an important function. Right now Labour need them to disguise their weakness, whereas the SNP need them to disguise their dominance. 

    19. Angus McLellan says:

      Not just Short Money, there’s Cranborne Money too (same idea, but for the House of Lords). The SNP get Short Money (£140K or so). There’s also a scheme whereby Sinn Fein get the equivalent of Short Money. Up until 2005 or so they weren’t eligible as they don’t take their seats.
      Article here about Holyrood’s equivalent of Short Money.

    20. GrutsForTea says:

      I had no idea Labour was in such dire straights, if they can’t even balance their own party’s books how can they ever be trusted to take charge of Scotland’s finances?
      Shocking. They’re all but finished in Scotland.
       
      Sad really, as I used to vote for them.

    21. CameronB says:

      Miscellaneous income = Cringe Benefit 🙂

    22. Tattie-boggle says:

      A something for nothing party

    23. blunttrauma says:

      Spare change???

    24. joe kane says:

      All that 24/7 free, unpaid for, uncritical positive publicity from the mainstream news media and the Scottish Labour Party are still having revenue stream problems! Anybody would think they’re being run by the same bunch of incompetent clowns that run the laugh-a-minute Better Together campaign on behalf of the Tory Party. Oh, hold on!
      ps
      Maybe they should apply for some Ian Taylor sponsorship money. Qualifying criteria should be easy for them – pro-tory, unionist, drowning in sleaze.

    25. Iain says:

      Is there an equivalent of Short Money at Holyrood?
       

    26. DMW42 says:

      Ah, ‘short money’. Thanks guys, I completely forgot about that.
       
      I’ll leave others to decide whether the full entitlement is deserved this Parliament given Labour don’t appear to be opposing many Tory policies. 😉
       

    27. G H Graham says:

      Short Money is basically allocated on the basis of number of parliamentary seats won at election.
      Labour gets over 6.5 million to allow them to belly ache in opposition about policies that they introduced themselves during their last term in office.
      So it really is a something for nothing society.

    28. Helpmaboab says:

      Thanks for this resource Wings. I’ve been browsing the Electoral Commision records for “Scottish Labour Labour Party” with great interest. Several ponts I’ve noticed in just a brief reccy,
      1) Willie Haughey has been very generous.
      2) So has Mohammed Sarwar.
      3) Note to self: Never shop in the Co-op again!

    29. Arbroath 1320 says:

      Hmm, interesting wee group of figures there. I’m no expert on finances but I’d say that Labour in Scotland are less than able to run their own party looking at these figures and they want to run the country!!!
       
      In 2011 their total income was £735,744.00 which then fell to £530,387.00 in 2012. This suggests that they’re not very good at holding onto their membership and donors to me. If they were then surely this figure would be the same or bigger in 2012 not smaller.
       
      Next we have their expenditure costings, £781,569.00 in 2011 and £620,870.00 in 2012. Two things jump out at me over these sets of figures. First they are obviously incapable at keeping to the old adage ‘only spend what you’ve got’ policy, but they do seem to have cut their spending in 2012 although it is still more than they have brought in. Good old Labour in Scotland living on the ‘never never’ just like when they last ran the country!
       
      Interestingly the assets held by Labour in Scotland fell in value from £432,838.00 in 2011 to £323,087.00 in 2012. I wonder if this fall in asset value is due solely to the actual value of all their 2011 assets falling in value or have they been forced to sell some of their assets in an attempt to reduce their indebtedness.
       
      One final point I notice concerns the debt that Labour in Scotland apparently has. In 2011 Labour were £45,825.00 in the red and £90,483.00 in the red in 2012. This debt level for 2012 is practically double that for 2011 despite the income and expenditure figures actually being LESS than those for 2011.
       
      Now that the unions are cutting their direct ‘sponsoring’ of Labour the mind boggles at what sort of mess the figures for Labour in Scotland will be in next year, I can only guess.

    30. Helpmaboab says:

      It seems that I’ve unfairly maligned the Co-op. The organisation “United Wholesale (Scotland) Ltd.”, which I mistook for the CWS, is in fact the business of one Mohammed Sarwar.
      The plot thickens….

    31. handclapping says:

      Our Labour lot and their million votes are worth £719519 to Milliband. The monkeys with the red rosettes he can deal with but the loss of that cash will be a blow, specially if he gives the Unions the shove.
       
      On a lighter note, due to Cranbourne money Lord ffoulkes is worth something to Labour as well as being a free gift to the SNP

    32. Jamie Arriere says:

      Can the figures be found going back a few more years? It’s hard to gauge a trend with a non-election year, and I guess if 2010 was available the income would be even higher than 2011 – remember there’s a hidden phalanx of ermine-seeking millionaires with deep pockets lurking for favours.
       
      However it is good to see, and if the union contributions plummet if Milliband’s gamble doesn’t pay off (as I think it will), let’s hope it continues in that direction.

    33. Helpmaboab says:

      Albert Herring,
      You’re quite right to point out that the Co-op group is a long-standing ally of the Labour party through its political wing “The Co-operative Party”. Many Labour MPs are jointly-sponsored by that party.
      But I think that my confusion of the CWS with “United Wholesale (Scotland) Ltd.” still stands as an error on my part. If you search the Electoral commission site for the latter company you’ll find that it has been a very generous donor to the Labour party in recent years.
       

    34. Linda's back says:

      Unfortunately at by elections they can always draw on their UK wide resources including call centres which will also try to influence the referendum result. 

    35. Albalha says:

      Talking about the Scottish Co-operative Party, you may recall what happened to Mary Lockhart, its Chair, after she came out in favour of a YES vote.
      http://archive.is/YxW8C
       

    36. seoc says:

      These figures tell a story the rash of polls never do.

    37. Baheid says:

      Is this a bit like Unite etc, do all 6 million members of the Co-op know exactly how the cash within their group is spent ?

    38. Frances says:

      Yes Mohamed Sarwar is single biggest shareholder of United Wholesale (Scotland) see Herald article from five days ago – sorry can’t link on ipad. Article by Scott Wright , Business correspondent.

       

    39. Baheid says:

      A wee list of Co-op Scottish MSPs
       
      http://t.co/BVZKWisrkf

    40. ianbrotherhood says:

      It’ll be interesting to see what size of LFI contingent turns up at Calton Hill – they should be hopeful of taking on a good few new members over the course of the day, and deserve our support.

    41. twenty14 says:

      We now know Labour are bust, Labour now know Labour are bust, the Tories know Labour are bust, the whole of the Uk establishment know labour are bust – The Tories must now know – with no Labour they will lose the Referendum, so I’d say round about now will be the start of the dirtiest part of this fight – I think we’ve just watched them get warmed up – Gloves up
       
       

    42. Helpmaboab says:

      Go to the Electoral Commission’s “advanced donations search” page and select the options for “Labour Party” as “entity name”,
      Then select “Scottish Labour Party” under “Accounting Unit”.
       
      Then have a good rummage.

    43. creigs17707repeal says:

      Sorry O/T:
      Question: I have often read of YES supporters prepared to accept the Referendum result come what may – even if a NO vote is the outcome. Has anyone heard if the NO people will be as accepting in defeat? Have any BT high-heid-yins indicated that they will accept a YES result as the democratic will of the people of Scotland?
      YES Scotland.
       
       

    44. Ken Johnston says:

      Regarding the Cooperative bank.
      3-4 weeks ago, in the Sunday Times, before I told them to stick it, business section.
      An article on Celtic. It stated Celtic have a line of credit to the tune of £32 mil. @ 1.5% from the Co.
      Buy nothing from them, you would be helping them keep funding Labour’s £12 mil.? overdraught.

    45. Morag says:

      Can’t help it.  They have a virtual monopoly here.  Village shops – use them or lose them.  We get snowed in sometimes, we can’t afford to lose them.

    46. velofello says:

      “Scottish” Labour’s behaviour in the parliament at Holyrood since losing power to the SNP has been so negative and childish that my view is good riddance, if they are about to fold due to penury.

    47. proudscot says:

      Slightly O/T I noticed on my Twitter posts that my MP Pete Wishart was intending to raise a Point of Order with the Speaker right after today’s PMQs, so I switched on the Parliament Channel to catch it. Right on cue, oor Pete raised his Point of Order on having the pejorative word “separate” banned from any parliamentary motion or question on the subject of Scottish independence. To the speaker’s credit, and to my surprise, he granted Pete Wishart’s request, then went even further by ruling that any such future parliamentary questions, motions, etc., must use the word “independence”!
       
      What made this small victory even sweeter was when a large Labour MP name of Robertson, who makes Alex Salmond look anorexic, immediately raised another Point of Order, complaining that the SNP should be banned from referring to his party as “London Labour”! It was such a childish response, but entirely in keeping with their playground behaviour, exemplified every week at FMQs by Lamont’s petty, spiteful behaviour in particular. Again to Speaker Bercow’s credit, he batted away this bloated cretin’s attempt at gaining some sort of quid pro quo to Pete Wishart’s small but significant victory.
       
      I wonder how Mr.Separashun Davidson himself will be taking this? Not in the best of humoour, I would hazard a guess.

    48. Dave McEwan Hill says:

      I met John Bercow whe he stood in the Motherwell South seat at which I was SNP election agent in 1986/7?.
      That is how the Tories trained their young hopefuls – by putting them in difficult seats – and here can’t have been many more difficult seats for a diminutive Jewish tennis coach from South London.
      He came over a a very decent and thoughtful chap who conceded to me that if he had been Scottish he would have found the SNP a very attractive option

    49. Morag says:

      I remember that election.  I was one of the people who didn’t vote for him.
       
      He put out a leaflet I will never forget.  “Ravenscraig is now profitable and there is no question of its being closed.”  The Tories were elected nationally and within about three years they had closed Ravenscraig.
       
      That will never be forgotten or forgiven.

    50. david says:

      as long as there are still just under 5000 of us

    51. david says:

      that story tastes good

    52. Bill C says:

      0/t – Earlier tonight I tweeted Scotland Tonight to question their choice of panellists for tonight’s programme. The programme was to discuss John Swinney’s Budget and the panellists were Alf Young and Jo Armstrong who both have connections to the Labour Party. My fears of bias within the panel have just been justified. Both panellists were less than complimentary of the Budget with Alf Young in particular, being overly critical.  He was obviously working to a Labour script.I am afraid that STV are now following the BBC in promoting an anti-independence agenda. 

    53. BuckieBraes says:

      The Tories were elected nationally and within about three years they had closed Ravenscraig.
       
      ‘Nationally’?…Oh Morag, Morag! Which nation?

    54. Morag says:

      There was no devolution in 1987, if you recall.  Bercow didn’t win the seat, obviously, but his party, the party which put that promise on his election literature, was elected.  They got into power and promptly broke that promise. Don’t split hairs.

    55. ianbrotherhood says:

      Rev’s probably too modest to flag this here, but it’s a great piece, and begs the question: which is more important, in any debate – what’s between your opponent’s legs, or between their ears?
      http://logicsrock.blogspot.co.uk/2013/09/wings-waffle-about-lgbt-issues.html

    56. muttley79 says:

      @creigs1707repeal 
       
      Sorry O/T:
      Question: I have often read of YES supporters prepared to accept the Referendum result come what may – even if a NO vote is the outcome. Has anyone heard if the NO people will be as accepting in defeat? Have any BT high-heid-yins indicated that they will accept a YES result as the democratic will of the people of Scotland?
      YES Scotland.
       
      Yes, Michael Moore has said it.  Also, the UK government signed the Edinburgh Agreement, which means they have agreed to work with the SG in regards to the result.

    57. dee says:

      @Bill C,  I have been saying that about STV for a while now Bill.  they have become on a par with BBC Scotland. 
      Also watching Newsnight on the subject of this “Bedroom Tax”  and you would think by listening to them that it was the SNP that brought in the tax.  Absolutely mind boggling.

    58. ianbrotherhood says:

      This is for anyone who’s going to be up for a while, doesn’t really want to be, and is really really bored…
      http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2417438/GCHQ-sets-spy-quiz-countrys-James-Bond.html

    59. ianbrotherhood says:

      …and this is for everyone who missed the Stereo MC’S on TOTP, as I did – can anyone imagine a ‘song’ like this appearing on the BBC right now?:
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uxJFfLL6XFM

    60. Bill C says:

      @dee – Yeah I watched it.  Thought Brewer gave Gray a comparatively easy ride in comparison to Swinney and as you say, why didn’t he ask Gray why Labour introduced it in the first place.

    61. muttley79 says:

      Yes, we can forgot about getting a fair deal from both the print and broadcasting media.  It simply is not going to happen.

    62. eva says:

      @ ianbrotherhood – you can’t be bored – Scottish Questions is on BBC2 🙂

    63. Morag says:

      I just turned it off.  It was either that or start to eat my own foot.

    64. HandandShrimp says:

      Yes, we can forgot about getting a fair deal from both the print and broadcasting media.  It simply is not going to happen.
       
      Yes I think that is a fair point. We cannot look to them for a fair hearing and must make our news.
       
      That said we should neither forget nor forgive.

    65. ianbrotherhood says:

      @Eva-
      Be that as it may – I’m in pure Youtube mode, didn’t realise the Stereo MC’S were so long ago, and so good…voices in the wilderness right enough.
      So it goes! And anyway, I’m not able to watch any ‘live broadcasts’ as I don’t pay the BBC poll-tax – saying that I had done so would get me in trouble with the Licensing people…know what I mean?
      Cheers, and X

    66. CameronB says:

      Re. STV. Do they not get their broadcasting license from the BBC?

    67. Bill C says:

      @HandandShrimp – “That said we should neither forget nor forgive.” That is a given.

    68. Morag says:

      Oh for goodness sake, we’re all going to have to live together after 2016.  Less of the vindictiveness.

    69. eva says:

      @ianbrotherhood – you missed nothing any different from the norm

    70. Bill C says:

      @Morag – The two major broadcasters in this country are now undermining our hard won democracy and are actively working against the right of the Scottish people to determine their own future.  In the unlikely event of a no vote, I for one, will not be in forgiving mode.

    71. Morag says:

      I’m not thinking about a No vote. If we get a Yes vote, I’ll be so happy I’m liable to forgive Jack the Ripper.

    72. Bill C says:

      @Morag- Amen

    73. The Man in the Jar says:

      Please take a look at this short (7min) video “The Arshole Gene”
      It explains a lot and is as funny as f*ck!
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qy-sQZH0RAI
       
      PS Sorry Stu I only found this tonight to late for DH. post!

    74. Morag says:

      By the way, I now know it will not rain a week on Saturday.  How do I know this?  Simples.  I just found my waterproof jacket I thought I’d lost.

    75. Marker Post says:

      Just wondering on the Labour balance sheet whether Anas Sarwar is listed as an asset or a liability?

    76. wapirrie says:

      This would explain Jola’s absence over the summer, they couldn’t aford the bus fare.

    77. john king says:

      joe kane says
      “Maybe they should apply for some Ian Taylor sponsorship money. Qualifying criteria should be easy for them – pro-tory, unionist, drowning in sleaze.”
      cumon joe havnt you been told already about the dangers of obfuscation, spit it out man,  🙂
        

    78. john king says:

      “The Tories must now know – with no Labour they will lose the Referendum, ”
       
      What makes you think the tories want to win it?

      hasn’t it struck you as odd that every time the better together campaign look like scoring into an open goal,
      Gideon, or call me Dave, or someone (they absolutely know we despise)arrives to tip the ball over the bar?

    79. john king says:

      gee thanks man in the jar
      there I am sitting (at half past five in the morning) 
      pissing myself at that video you posted,
      and the wife comes down and says “what are you? an arsehole?
      SHUT THE F**K UP 
      way to go man 
      you owe me a pint in the albanach for that 🙁

    80. john king says:

      Morag says 
      “I’m not thinking about a No vote. If we get a Yes vote, I’ll be so happy I’m liable to forgive Jack the Ripper.”

      First watch the man in the jars video ,and ask yourself could I forgive those  ar**holes?
      I’m not seeing forgiveness coming easily,
      for me at least, 
      the word “despise” is creeping into my posts more and more, and I’m finding myself REALLY  meaning it.
        

    81. fergie35 says:

      Would be a break through if the Scotsman or BBC picked up on this, sadly that will never happen.

    82. Training Day says:

      I do hope no one on here would suggest that ‘Scottish’ Labour may receive an influx of funds in the coming months from sources that normally don’t contribute. That would be to impugn the character of such as Lord Ashcroft and Ian Taylor, and is clearly something that wouldn’t happen.

      Oh, and Bill et al above are spot on about Scotland Tonight. McKay’s soft-soaping of Blair McDougall, the shambles of the debate last Thursday with the ‘I see no winner’ panellists, and two Labour commentators on last night to aid the MSM goal of making the SNP somehow responsible for the bedroom tax (a theme which continued on GMS this morning). That is why people are saying that the behaviour of the MSM will not be forgotten, and nor should it.

    83. Desimond says:

      I wouldnt read too much into these figures, we all know how Labour love to try and keep things off the balance sheet!
      And …its SIR Wullie Haughey these days. Must have been for his services for diverting motorway costs.

    84. Oatcake says:

      Re BBC bias: here’s a very interesting and well-researched blog post about the backgrounds and vested interests of BBC London HQ’s personnel…..and I’m thinking that this could form the basis from which to spring a (related) dissection of the Labour heritage of those who run News & Current Affairs from PQ, Rev Stu?
       
        http://www.scriptonitedaily.com/2013/09/03/why-is-the-bbc-banging-the-war-drum-on-syria-just-look-who-runs-it/

    85. HandandShrimp says:

      Thought Ian Reid was a shocker on GMS. Totally body swerved the why don’t you commit to scrapping the bedroom tax now and was completely unable to say anything sensible because he has no idea whether London Labour will include such a commitment in their manifesto. Fair do’s he was pressed on the matter and squirmed beautifully but concluded with a barefaced piece of drivel. He said that John Swinnety said that he wanted to “keep the poor on a hook”. I’m willing to bet Mr Reid’s testimonials that Swinney said no such thing. Felt the interviewer should have nailed the twit for that.  
       
      Didn’t hear Swinney, I hope he put the boot in.
       
      It is an absolute disgrace that a tax contrived initially by Labour and then expanded by the Coalition should somehow be laid at the door of the one party that had sweet FA to do with it. The one party that has delighted Shelter by meeting their request in full. Labour’s we would do twice as much from the opposition bench means squat. We have been here before with Labour’s opposition bench promises. Once in power they do nothing. How many of Thatcher’s pieces of legislation did they promise to repeal? How many did they repeal?….I rest my case.
        

    86. HandandShrimp says:

      Was that a bit ranty? I maybe need to give GMS a miss for a few days…it doesn’t do much for my blood pressure.

    87. Desimond says:

      HandandShrimp…ease the nerves by remembering come 19th Sept 2014 it could be GREAT Morning Scotland!

    88. Iain says:

      @HandandShrimp
      ‘It is an absolute disgrace that a tax contrived initially by Labour and then expanded by the Coalition should somehow be laid at the door of the one party that had sweet FA to do with it. The one party that has delighted Shelter by meeting their request in full.’
       
      Yep, it’s the Edinburgh trams all over again. Still, it’s strangely comforting that the best (only?) means of attack the opposition has is roasting the SNP government for having to cope with the consequences of Lab/Con/LD policies.

    89. Murray McCallum says:

      Be interesting to see how the privatisation of the Royal Mail plays out. Already calls for a future New Labour government to commit to re-nationalising it. If New Labour do this (which they will not) it will simply play into the Tory line on unions dictating policy to Ed Miliband.
      Simply going to be further break in unions from New Labour and further reduction in New Labour income.  Ed’s strategy, if he actually has one, seems to be based on former affiliation fees being more than offset by individual union members paying membership fees direct to New Labour. Given New Labour’s lack of support for them, why would people do that?

    90. fergie35 says:

      Maybe Vitol will help again?
      The LabServative and better together team have had millions of £ of dirty money.
      Its just like selling chemical gas to Syria, money is money in the hypocritical eyes of  British government!

    91. HandandShrimp says:

      The Royal mail sell off was a superb bit of Better Together timing. One of their lot going on about how we wouldn’t be able to afford stamps in an independent Scotland and the other lot quietly planning to privatise the Royal Mail. Wonder if Darling phoned up Moore and said “Well cheers mate, thanks for nothing on that one”
       
      Better Together? Privatised neo-conservative wet dream together more like!
       
      ………maybe a cup of tea will help

    92. Juteman says:

      Some folk seem to think Ed is taking a risk upsetting the unions.
      He is simply putting the finishing touches to copying the US political system. Two parties with the same policies, supported by rich and powerful vested interests.

    93. John Dickson says:

      Morag says:
      11 September, 2013 at 10:12 pm
      Can’t help it.  They have a virtual monopoly here.  Village shops – use them or lose them.  We get snowed in sometimes, we can’t afford to lose them.
       
      Morag, there are other who would fill that vacuum, Londis, Spar, although they may also have dubious connections as I have not researched them. Ofcourse they may not.

    94. velofello says:

      The solution to sustaining “wee corner| shops:
      Compulsory purchase of empty shops, then let out these publicly owned premises with the rent and rates geared to turnover and profit. And no monopoly chain store projects allowed.
      We could after independence form a “wee shops” cooperative, would enable bulk buying, customers could be shareholders – and pay them a dividend. My Granny was in such a scheme, cannot remember what she called it,was a four letter word.
      When I retired I had several ideas on business start-ups – until I learned the cost to rent, and then the business rates for modest premises. Project was deposited in the round file.
      Whilst I’m on the entrepreneur trail, my wish list following independence would include development of a Scottish film industry. A musical on the life of Robert Burns? The seagoing adventures of Thomas Cochrane, a +6ft red-haired adventurer, snubbed by his employers the British navy, and lauded as a hero in Chile.David Livingstone?

    95. X_Sticks says:

      Desimond says:
       
      “HandandShrimp…ease the nerves by remembering come 19th Sept 2014 it could be GREAT Morning Scotland!”
       
      Aye, and just imagine the faces (is that the right spelling?) of the presenters at the then Scottish Broadcasting Corporation! That will be priceless.

    96. Brian MacLeod says:

      I wonder when they will connect the dots, and realise maybe there is a connection between their Unionist, anti-union and pink Tory policies and the lack of membership and income?



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