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Hearing a different question

Posted on October 21, 2014 by

Margaret Curran on last night’s Scotland 2014:

Well, we don’t think anyone can say she didn’t give a full and comprehensive answer on the subject of Scottish Labour’s membership figures there.

We can’t explain why Sarah Smith (daughter of former Labour leader John Smith) said SNP/Green membership had “practically” trebled when in fact they’ve more than trebled (25,000 to 82,000 in the SNP’s case, and 2000 to 7000 for the Greens), or why she didn’t press the question as Curran waffled on about something else entirely.

But it’s a start, and with the subject of membership levels being so topical in the wake of the explosion in SNP, Green and SSP figures, we look forward to more interviewers quizzing Scottish Labour representatives on it, and perhaps establishing why they’ve kept their numbers a closely-guarded secret for the last half-decade.

Honest, we’re holding our breath and everything.

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    1. 21 10 14 17:00

      Hearing a different question | FreeScotland

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      Hearing a different question - Speymouth

    217 to “Hearing a different question”

    1. Doug Daniel says:

      “Honest, we’re holding our breath and everything.”


    2. She didn’t give a full and comprehensive answer on the subject of Scottish Labour’s membership figures there.

    3. Bill Fraser says:

      So, if the estimates are correct and Labour has sub 5000 members in Scotland, the Greens are a larger party than ‘Scottish’ Labour

    4. joe kane says:

      It’s great to know I pay the wages and subsidise the expense accounts of both these parasitic British establishment phagocytes.

    5. Swami Backverandah says:

      I do believe there’s an ‘appetite’ for getting rid of SLAB, MS Curran.

    6. Tommy Kane says:

      Joe at 4:16
      needed google for that one, pretty accurate tho’

    7. ronald alexander mcdonald says:

      The interview was a first for her. She didn’t mention the SNP once!

      Maybe she’s just twigged that they are highly popular.

    8. Brian Powell says:

      All the issues she mentioned, we campaigned on those issues. She campaigned on the SNP and keeping the UK Government in charge.

    9. Brian Powell says:

      Also, the Labs are desperately trying to be part of the energy that is the SNP, Greens, SSP, Women for Indy. They would like to highjack it, like someone else we know who highjacks petitions.

      She was trying it again there in that ‘interview’.

    10. HandandShrimp says:

      When a political party keeps a number secret it is because they don’t like the number. One can be sure that if they had over 82,000 members they would not be shy in coming forwards.

      Most other parties are honest about their membership numbers.

    11. gillie says:

      I reckon that SLAB membership must be less than the Scottish Greens.

      The people’s party has lost the Scottish people and finds itself in the political wilderness.

    12. Valerie says:

      I’ve got a good meme I use for SNP membership numbers, around various FB pages when I’m annoyed, or a No voter tries to have a go.

      Why would Ms Curran answer that question when its an embarrassment, a bit like her expenses claim.

      Sarah Smith has annoyed me for MONTHS now.

    13. handclapping says:

      @Doug Daniel
      He’s in England. We’ll need a fund-raiser to get the money to pay for it first!

    14. Bawheid Bragg says:

      It’s a shame Magrit doesn’t hold her breath, at least once in a while. I’m sure the only reason this woman is a politician is because she can talk continuously without having to breathe in. BTW if we believe what people (ex- SLab members) are saying on Facebook, SLab membership may in fact have decreased. Now there’s a thought.

    15. annie says:

      Don’t they publish income from membership, would it be possible to work it out from that.

    16. Bad enough that the numpty Curran doesn’t answer the question but its worse when the other numpty Smith doesn’t ask the question or press the question.

      Just keep asking any Labour rat the question non-stop.

    17. dave oh what says:

      WHERE did that spring up from – thought she’d disappeared.

    18. Proud Cybernat says:

      So long as independence remains the best political option to build a better, fairer, more equal, non-nuclear, more progressive and inclusive society here in Scotland, it will remain very much the preferred political option for many, many people. You may want Indy to disappear off the agenda, Maigrit, but remember this–you don’t always get what you want.

    19. tombee says:


      Joe do you mean to absorb shit or excrete it?.
      Whatever Joe, I think you’ve nailed it.

    20. galamcennalath says:

      That is utterly brilliant!

      SLab are dead in the water waiting to be finished off, and she knows it. In fact, both Smith and Curran know it.

      While Slab have been spending a decade on tribal party politics, Indy parties have occupied their natural policy space. They have no reason to be part of Scottish politics any longer. All these things she spouted off about (regardless of ignoring an important question) are now other parties’ turf!

      SLab are now an irrelevance, and that status is of their own making.

    21. Rigmac7 says:

      Why is it that female politicians in the unionist parties seem to be, on the whole, objectionable, unlikeable and plain outright icky? I’m struggling to think of a nice one.

      Nicola has absolutely no competition on that front, she is miles ahead in every department. Who’d have thought that simply being a nice, honest human being would give politicians such a huge advantage. And then there’s the fact that she’s also a better politician……it’s almost unfair 🙂

    22. Luigi says:

      I’m sure I heard Simon Pia on radio the other day, say that SLAB membership was around 14,000 or thereabouts. Perhaps I misheard, but I’m pretty sure that was the figure quoted.

    23. McBoxheid says:

      joe kane says:
      21 October, 2014 at 4:16 pm

      It’s great to know I pay the wages and subsidise the expense accounts of both these parasitic British establishment phagocytes.

      The trouble is, if there are too many phagocytes, you get LIEkemia. That point of no return happened a while back though.

    24. Aspen says:

      And Nick Robinson got all that publicity for accusing AS of not answering the question.

    25. JimnArlene says:

      Sorry, can’t listen to her; or her ilk. Slab is dead, it just doesn’t know it yet.

    26. pete says:

      Her voice graits me, like finger nails down a black board, trailer trash. Living the life on tax payers money. She and the likes of her are what put us in this mess…….. cow.

    27. donnywho says:

      Our people have to get under the interviewers skin. If they are the problem and they are part of the establishment then treat them as such. Stop cooperating and start making them the story, if they lie and twist do not answer the question … demand that they justify their actions and line of questioning, then after humiliating them, answer the question. They must become the story the narrative they must be exposed, if they behave well pat them on the back like a good child. They only have the power we give them. Non cooperation unmasks them for what they are!
      Fire with fire, make the nation know you think they are propagandists first and foremost. They still need us to paper over their cracks and they always will, use them for they will endeavor to use us!

    28. wee folding bike says:

      But on HIGNFY Mr Robinson claimed that he had asked a question Mr Salmond couldn’t answer.

      Surely some mistake.

      Which one do I believe?

    29. Andy A says:

      One of the most frequent introductions I heard from new members at our last SNP branch meeting was ‘I used to be a member of the Labour Party, but…’

    30. BigSteveChisholm says:

      @ James Caithness

      What you said. X 100

      How long would John Smith’s Daughter have taken to intervene if an SNP politician had offered an answer that started off on a tangent before careering through a wormhole into a different dimension?

      Thanks to all who watch Scotland 2014 so I don’t have to.
      A truly selfless act.

    31. Murray McCallum says:

      Does “Scottish” Labour have more members than Scotland 2014 has viewers? There seems to be a mutual help group appearing at our expense.

      We need answers.

    32. schrodingers cat says:

      independence is off the agenda for a generation

      a real vote winner with the nos in may 2015

      although, the generation ends at 10:01pm of the 6th May 2015

    33. Robert Louis says:

      It is truly amazing that not one political ‘journalist’ in Scotland has really probed this issue. Why is the membership of Labour in Scotland such a big secret? Why will nobody from Labour give us the true figures?

      Is it so small, that Labour are ashamed of it? Is it what we might call ‘Labour’s dirty little secret’?

    34. Jimbo says:

      I don’t have any doubt that Curran heard and understood the question. I think it’s just a case of her being asked an unexpected question that she did not have a pre-prepared answer to.

      We know what it is like for these London Labourites when they don’t have a script to adhere to. They start to waffle about ‘What we’re saying is’ and/or ‘We need to have a conversation about it’ and/or ‘We’re having a conversation about it’.

    35. Bugger (the Panda) says:

      Doubleplusungood Duckspeak

      a perfect example.

    36. @Rigmac7
      Anyone that defends the indefensible usually hate themselves and in turn hate the people that make them hate themselves, You will find it with most of the Traitors the pinched face the dead eyes the downturned mouth ,hate and loathing seeping from them. Its not just the women just look at any of the Traitors.

    37. Edward says:

      On the subject of Labour and last nights Scotland2014

      It was a bit of a Labour love fest, while pretending to be not.

      First section was about poverty, apparently none of the parties, including Labour were available. So Sarah Smith discussed the topic with John Boothman’s partner, Susan Deacon, who just happens to have been a Labour MSP as well as a Labour activist. So the usual crap came forth stating the Scottish Government could do more.

      Curiously Curran was available in the next segment to talk about Labour………..

    38. Bugger (the Panda) says:

      @ Bawheid Bragg

      She breathes through her ears, and that is as far as I am going on that topic.

    39. Stoker says:

      pete says:
      21 October, 2014 at 5:24 pm
      Her voice graits me, like finger nails down a black board, trailer trash. Living the life on tax payers money. She and the likes of her are what put us in this mess…….. cow.

      There you go again, insulting a perfectly useful creature.
      That filthy Slabber is more akin to what comes out a coo’s erse.

    40. Capella says:

      Better Nation made a good effort at calculating membership by adding up the ballot papers for the leadership election. This gives a figure of 13,135 although it is certain to be less than that because some people had more than one vote. The membership figure will surely be less than that now.

    41. PictAtRandom says:

      “One of the most frequent introductions I heard from new members at our last SNP branch meeting was ‘I used to be a member of the Labour Party, but…’

      Definition of Game Over:
      “Hello, my name is Gordo and I’m a powerholic…”
      [followed by applause of course]

    42. AuldA says:

      If one of my kids asks me what ‘stonewalling’ means, here is a perfect example.

    43. Ken500 says:

      Labour are not good at figures, only at hiding them. The McCrone Report.

      What are the viewing figures for that programme?

    44. Franariod says:

      Blah blah blah blah ” and thats what scottish labour are good at” You said it MC

    45. John G says:

      Would membership of a political org not come under freedom of information?

    46. Rigmac7 says:

      @Scot Finlayson

      True true, I guess their mouths looking like small dogs anuses is an unfortunate side effect. Self loathing would seem an apt state of being.

    47. YESGUY says:

      Good stuff rev.

      Another question NOT answered. What is the matter with these people. Can’t they understand English.

      Labour are bigger liars than the FibDems.

      And Curran(T) head is as bad as Jola the blahblahblah

    48. manandboy says:

      Just scanned through last nights Scotland 2014 on iPlayer.

      Whatever this show is about, it isn’t Scotland. If Ken McQuarrie or John Boothman renamed it Labour 2014 that would at least be a little more honest.

      John Boothman’s partner Susan Deacon was on – haven’t seen her for a wee while – a former Labour Minister and former Professor of Social Change at Queen Margaret University, and an Honorary Professor in the School of Social and Political Science, at the University of Edinburgh, now Assistant Principal Corporate Engagement and a Professorial Fellow of the University (Edinburgh).

      But she was asked a question about kids in poverty, connecting I presume with her old job (as Scotland’s first cabinet Minister for Health and Community Care)- that’ll be the stuff that Labour never got round to in 50 years of local and national government in Scotland.

      Speaking in TesConnect (
      Susan said:-
      “It is also just too challenging for us as a society to hold up a mirror and acknowledge that we could be doing an awful lot better at bringing up our children.”

      Maybe she was just picking John up from work, and, having a few minutes to kill, John thought why don’t you make yourself useful, earn a few bob, and go up and have a chat with Sarah.

      IndyLoss has changed me – I’ve no time for unionists – particularly the Labour kind.

    49. Alex Clark says:

      The number of Labour party members in Scotland is now an irrelevance. What is far more important is the number of people who will vote for them in the next election.

      I am optimistic that it will be less than half those that supported them in 2010. Why the optimism? I ask former Labour supporters and they tell me what they tell me.

      Every single Labour Mp’s seat in Scotland is now up for grabs, just wait until the panic really does set in. I will enjoy that.

    50. John Russell says:

      God forbid that MS Curran ever becomes Scottish Secretary – whoever holds this position is supposed to an Ambassador for Scotland – That excludes Carmichael of course he is a lickspittal if ever there was one.

    51. The Red Tories . They are trained by John McTernan , so basically lie lie lie lie and then blame Alex Salmond,but whatever you do, do not answer a direct question.

    52. rabknight says:

      God help the poor M&S check-out assistant at Silverburn when they ask Mags if she wants a carrier bag for an additional 5p surcharge – no doubt a rant about Sturgeon, or the NHS, or some other completely unrelated response will follow.

      And we pay her wages…

    53. Capella says:

      In the comments from that Better Nation article (link above), written in 2010, there is a hilarious attempt by Kezia Dugdale to explain the intricacies of Labour membership. The author (Malc) patiently points out that she is talking rubbish. From comment 50 on.
      The fact is that to get the 20,000 number often quoted, they add in the 7,000 or so members of social clubs mainly in the ex mining communities of Ayrshire and East Lothian. They are not necessarily members of the Labour Party.

    54. osakisushi says:

      The ‘problem’ isn’t membership of SLAB for LibDems as I’m sure their collective membership could hold a meeting in a school assembly hall.
      Witness the coverage given to the Conservatives in Scotland, a party probably capable of housing their membership in a phone box.
      The core issue is they are all ‘establishment’ and thus, deemed by the media as worthy of coverage. Whereas we, the people, are anti-establishment and therefore, screwed.

      I wish I could figure out an answer to this problem.

    55. JayR says:

      I love how she always puts on her “posh voice” when speaking in the House of Commons, and reverts to her real voice when before a Scottish audience.

      Usual Labourite, embarrassed about where they come from, always editing themselves when in the company of their “betters”.

    56. bookie from hell says:

      These comments today show how far Labour are from Home Rule

      Lord McConnell said tax raising powers should amount to more than 50% of the overall tax take, a policy which would go beyond Labour’s plan to give Holyrood responsibility for raising 40% of its budget.

      He said: “I believe very strongly that expectations have been raised in Scotland by the slightly panicked reaction in the last 10 days of the referendum campaign.

      “slightly panicked”?

    57. fred blogger says:

      putting words into people mouths, instead of the food of truth, is all she and neoliberalism does for the masses.
      they tell people what is good for the teller.
      as jim murphy said “i’ll tell him want he is saying”, they just talk over people.
      they waste people’s time, energy, cause delays, and people simply give up.
      to cause anger and frustration, which leads to voter apathy.
      which is what they want and is done to send us back to sleep.
      they are classic bullies pure and simple.
      we need jobs creation powers, not more taxation powers.
      see the work of the jimmy reid foundation etc for solutions that work.

    58. @John Russell
      Alexander Morrison “Alistair” Carmichael the Secretary of State for Scotland is the living embodiment of the word lickspittle.

    59. arthur thomson says:

      Galameennalath – I like your style. Let’s start telling it the way it is – there is no purpose for SLAB now. They are just working class tories and Scotland already has a tory party. I also like Donnywho’s style – let’s get on the offensive. One and a half million people are not going to be ignored, cheated and walked over any longer. And yes I like Robert Louis’ approach – Labour’s dirty little secret’. We need to approach the next elections with a guid conceit of ourselves.

    60. INDEPENDENT says:

      You beat me to it.
      Take away their social members and they will be lucky to have 10,000 in total.
      Amazing what cheap drink and a game of bingo can get

    61. woosie says:

      No doubt Ms Smith will get her arse kicked for asking a direct question of a unionist! Our big problem is that the majority of no-voters can’t identify lies any more; if people like this are being elected democracy can never work.

    62. Dr Jim says:

      Maybe Stu could supply a permanent link to “Stairheid” Curran under his “Zany Comedy Relief” section, it’s like watching a Zoo animal trying to get attention,
      Certainly makes me laugh…

    63. Helena Brown says:

      JayR@ 6.37. I was going to comment that why do all Labour Members regardless of origin all sound like Glasgow Toughs. Magrit has a posh hoose and I am sure all her wee foreign kids speak perfectly good English, but she sounds like a wee female keelie. Jack McConnell came from Arran and he was the same. Ian Gray was the same and him educated at George Watson’s in Edinburgh, could it be a career move the accent.

    64. geeo says:

      If you drowned a unionist in a body of water after taking their wallet/purse, would that count as “pooling and sharing resources”

      Saying that, Curran’s face would boil away the water before she drowned.

      Or as a friend recently said, “she has a face that looks like it was on fire and put out with a football boot”!!

      Still working on a JoLa description…

    65. Grouse Beater says:

      Stoker: Trailer trash.

      Well, after all that’s happened, you’d think Labour would jettison their Tammany Hall machine politicians, phony of-the-people, salt of the earth, serial liars … in place of substantial persons with experience, understanding and wisdom, who …

      can actually construct and communicate a simple bloody sentence!

    66. Helena Brown says:

      I notice that Wiki has them with a doubtful 13,135 which was the 14.000 form the Caledonia Mercury in 2010. I seriously doubt they have half of that considering the number of people who say they USED to be a member. They also claim to be Centre Left so that may give an idea of their veracity.

    67. Roland Smith says:

      Rev, the big story of the day is that the deficit for the sixth month running has increased, not decreased.
      We had a chance to get on a lifeboat back in September but no voters were conned by Labour into believing the UK was a safer bet than an Independent Scotland.
      Both Labour and the Tories are committed to balancing the budget. The scale of cuts to achieve that are increasing daily. The interest we pay on our increasing debt is increasing daily.

    68. Capella says:

      Ms Curran says that she asks people “Do you think we should tax bankers’ bonuses so that we can get a programme of work for young people? Do you think we should tax more at the very top to make sure we get more resources to share to build public services? She thinks they would agree with that.
      Does the Labour Party think that? If so, why didn’t they do that in the 13 years they were in office?

    69. Andy smith says:

      Ot There was a letter in today’s metro imploring labour not to go back to their old left wing socialist ways, as the silent majority who’d voted no had no wish for socialism.
      If this is the voice of new labour voters, it explains a lot .

    70. rabknight says:
      21 October, 2014 at 6:32 pm
      God help the poor M&S check-out assistant at Silverburn when they ask Mags if she wants a carrier bag for an additional 5p surcharge – no doubt a rant about Sturgeon, or the NHS, or some other completely unrelated response will follow.

      And we pay her wages…


      She’ll put the 5p on her expenses claim.

    71. Jim Mitchell says:

      Can anyone tell me if Scottish Labour are still touting themselves as the largest party in Scotland?

      BTW why wasn’t she asked that?

    72. Vronsky says:

      Curran interview reminded me of this:

    73. muttley79 says:

      I seem to remember Margaret Curran, in a speech at a Glasgow count years ago, blaming the SNP for heckling her, when it was in fact SSP members. Good old Magrit eh….

    74. Mealer says:

      Sarah Smith is rubbish in that job.

    75. Alex Clark says:


      “Sarah Smith is rubbish in that job.”,/i>

      She’s very good in that job. That is what she is payed for, to promote a Labour agenda. She might even get a rise!

    76. davidb says:

      Three things.

      Firstly, why bother watching anything on the MOT? Don’t watch it, dont pay their tax.

      Secondly, I notice in my ward the No fliers are still – illegally – on the lampposts. Can they not muster up anyone to take them down? Will they be fined? Ours were down and stored weeks ago.

      Thirdly, 56k+ people have joined the SNP in the past month. Had Labour even 14k ( dubious ) members before the first battle of our modern independence war, even if all of them had joined the SNP, then they will also be swamped by new people who never joined the party before. So at best they are about 17% of SNP members.

    77. piggy says:


      Yet, they cannot stop themselves from spewing up in front of the camera. Expect a steady stream of repeats viewers. REJECTION IS HARD TO ACCEPT FOR SOME.

      They are being DECONSTRUCTED and they feel it deeply. They have NOTHING to say and can offer the people of Scotland NOTHING. Aye, their on a hard shift and it’s going to be a long one as well.

      They know that we understand that they, LABOUR, betrayed the Scottish people, and it bothers them as they now witness the harm being planned by WESTMINSTER for the Scottish people.


      Who?……..who living in Scotland would vote for REPULSIVE LABOUR ever again?

    78. CameronB Brodie says:

      sHe’s Completely Hatstand!

    79. Craig P says:

      Labour can legitimately claim to be the largest party in Scotland. The SNP might have more activists, MSPs, councillors, popular support, and both the SNP and Conservatives have more money, but Labour has the only thing that matters, the people who go to the place where the decisions are made, Westminster MPs.

    80. Thomas Valentine says:

      Membership in the Labour Party is no longer like the Orange Lodge, access to priviledges and favours. Since the Scottish Parliament came into being government has been a lot closer and visible. The authorities much more likely to pay attention to little local practices. It’s harder to offer little favours when there’s a principled idealistic opposition fighting you everywhere who’s unwilling to help things along. Labour and Conservatives have been really good friends for a while when it came to playing this game. Their collaboration during the referendum didn’t suddenly appear, it’s been there for a while. It’s this resistance by the kind of people who the SNP and Greens attracts that leads to the bitter hatred from Labour members.

    81. PictAtRandom says:

      If only 10% of those joining the SNP are disillusioned ex-LPIS members and their membership was 13,000 tops to begin with then they could (at most) have a majority over the Scottish Greens of only three figures.
      Basically the SNP can fight each seat like a grass-roots by-election. If I were in the Green leadership I’d be tempted to go for just 12-15 seats around the country and try the same thing.

    82. David Stevenson says:

      Muttley79: SSP guilty as charged…… Poor Magrit….

    83. A.N.Surgent says:

      For slab to get anywhere at the GE they will have to reinvent themselves pretty quickly, maybe God forbid agreeing with some of the SNP`s policies and running with some left-orientated ones of their own.

      Since most of them are careerists,who only care about themselves and their advancement and not the people they are
      representing,this will be truly difficult because they are not genetically programmed to do anything but what they do.

      Hopefully a Real Labour party will emerge from the mess and truly represent the ordinary man and woman.

    84. alistair says:

      One for Rev Stu – why is everyone not hammering Labour over NHS in Wales as per front page of the Daily Mail today. Where is Eleanor Bradford with her equivalent dose of anti-snp NHS sensational headlines. Surely we need a Call Kaye phone in and full headlines on BBC for the day.

      As for Labour member numbers, surely there are plenty of snp Union members who should have access to this info ?

    85. Grouse Beater says:

      Mealer: Sarah Smith is rubbish in that job.

      My opinion, something of an overture to a longer analysis of her programme that I might add to my blogsite…

      She’s very difficult to listen to, brash.

      When you watch her you’re more concerned about her delivery than what she’s saying.

      Visually, she looks as if the proverbial rabbit caught in headlights, surprised she is asking questions, rather than surprised she gets an answer.

      Her questions are often limp, her follow-up question made as if she takes no interest in the answer to the opening question. (The clip illustrated above is a good example.) I can’t think anybody looking for an incisive interrogator would employ Sarah Smith.

      For all I know she could be a born again vegan, but her father, a former leader of the Labour party, John Smith, leaves her unfortunately tainted, causing you to be suspicious about her impartiality.

      All-in-all, you DO NOT get the impression she is a serious investigative journalist.

      The most I can say about her is, she’s made herself presentable, and done well because of her connections.

      Fit for the job of chief political presenter on Scotland’s national broadcaster?

      Are you kidding?

    86. fred blogger says:

      if she had said we must jail the bankers, bail out the poor and come up with job creating policies, as have BfS and the jimmy reid foundation then she would have been in truth.
      the reality is that we need a million more earning and paying tax.

    87. Forbes says:

      Now Now you lot!

      I checked this out with Nick Robinson, the BBC’s Political Editors, and the BBC’s own in-house Ombudsman.
      Mags did answer the question but just not in the real world,
      which doesn’t count as far as they are concerned. lol

    88. Andy smith says:
      21 October, 2014 at 7:14 pm
      Ot There was a letter in today’s metro imploring labour not to go back to their old left wing socialist ways, as the silent majority who’d voted no had no wish for socialism.
      If this is the voice of new labour voters, it explains a lot .


      The silent majority that voted No are not likely to vote for the SNP then.
      We must not be complacent but must try to wipe labour from Scotland.

    89. heedtracker says:

      Here in England, the referendum is all largely forgotten now but its been a relief to not have to listen to the BBC in Scotland region lingers pump out their very grotty UKOK propaganda. I didn’t realise it until the awful James Cooke is it, came on the radio from Ayr this tea time explaining with the usual BBC in Scotland thrill of being picked to talk to England what windy weather’s like in Scotlandshire. Cringe doesn’t even come close…

    90. David Agnew says:

      Robert S McNamara: Never answer the question that is asked of you. Answer the question that you wish had been asked of you.

      McNamara of course was adept at doing this. Curran isn’t – this was typical new labour bluster and deflection. You also notice the rather obvious way she brings in her conversations with yes voters. The message is we’re won, we are putting it behind us and we still the party of social justice.

      It’s labours old tin ear problem and its reliance on spin. Just saying social justice like its a mantra to ward of evil. Other people will be struck by the odd magnanimous tone compared to the hectoring nonsense she was used to spouting.

      But pretending you don’t have a problem is a sure fire way to have those problems magnify then bite you on the arse.

    91. frazer allan whyte says:

      I really liked the red thingy covering MC’s mouth and then I made the mistake of pressing the arrow and it disappeared and some seriously painful gobbledygook popped out. Is there any way the red thingy could be permanently attached?

    92. MJC says:

      If thee bbc wanted to tell all the actual membership of lab. they would. Course they know. as well as most other unionist media slaves. Our issue is not having anything like the airtime or pro indy journalists to counter this criminal imbalance.

      I know there has been plannning meetings of various media that are looking to push towards addressing the bias. maybe to early for any concrete plan with clear aims and proposed timescales. However until we tackle this im afraid the constant bullshit bias will continue unabated as that is just what they do.Its there job.

      They aint going away and the zombie consumers are not going to change overnight. though i feking wish they would. they wont.

      P.S. anyone who still pays either bbc or buys the sad rags is keeping thier flame alive! DONT DO IT MAN! Its equivilant to paying someone to beat you up. unless your into a bit of S&M there is really no excuse to continue.

    93. Kenny says:

      O/T I am visiting London and I was walking about the centre today. I was just crossing Whitehall outside Parliament with the aim of walking up the side which has Downing Street when a police van drove up, parked and a large group of policemen came out. They marched purposefully in the direction of Parliament Square all with very “serious” expressions on their faces, as if a murder was being committed there. I decided to follow them, as I thought “something” must be going on.

      Metal barriers were being put up around Parliament Square, which was being guarded by a ring of policemen in high-visibility jackets. The policemen who had come out of the van were just in their usual dark jackets and, for some reason, were just standing in the middle of the (muddy) green patch, not doing anything, hunched up in a group. There was what seemed to be a group of photographers and onlookers to the side.

      I had heard of the “Occupy Parliament Square” protest, so I asked first a policeman standing on the outskirts of the grass and then a woman sitting nearby what was going on. It turns out that the protestors had been suddenly hauled off earlier in the day for no reason at all (except, possibly, that there was a state visit).

      I stayed and talked to the woman for quite a bit; she gave me a leaflet and they are basically protesting against the lack of representation in Parliament and against the usual things like the bedroom tax and unchallenged privatisation. The occupiers are not allowed to put up “structures” (meaning tents) on Parliament Square, but now the police have interpreted structures to mean the plastic tarpaulins they were sitting on and have banned them (they pulled the tarpaulins off the protestors in ridiculous scenes on Sunday night).

      I later learnt that Baroness Jenny Jones, a member of the Green Party and deputy chair of the London Assembly’s police and crime committee (!), was briefly arrested earlier today at 11 am when the police had cleared the square of the protestors (apparently just for today).

      I did not want to get onto the subject of Scotland, because it was their protest, but when the woman I was talking to mentioned Livestream I told her about Darren Carnegie and his “Occupy George Square” (which ended today). I could hear another group nearby me, where a woman was also talking about Scotland, saying how much they had hoped that Scotland would pull it off.

      I stayed and chatted for a bit with them, but I honestly felt that they were a little bit feeble — and generations behind Scotland! Of course, Scotland is more compact and can group around its national identity, but these protestors seemed so far behind us: few in number, no active presence on social media, rather vague and woolly.

      It was then I realised how far we have come on, we all seem to have facts and figures at our fingertips, our young people give electrifying speeches at well-attended rallies, we have decent and committed politicians and activists fighting for our casue. Even our arguments on here between ourselves are over fine points and show diversity heading towards a common goal.

      In this sense, we are really very lucky in Scotland, but I was left overall a little bit sad about how England is ruled by apathy and those who do see the light lack the passion and vision of people like Tommy Sheridan, Sam Shackleton and Mhairi Black. How I wish we could infect England with out energy as punishment to WM for being made to stay “better together”!

    94. john king says:

      Vronsky says
      “Curran interview reminded me of this:”

      So, stealing my gags Vronsky? 🙂
      you beat me to it.

      The instant I saw that I thought of the two Ronnies as well.

    95. bowanarrow says:

      I was wondering if it was possible that the other English parties are helping to subsidize the SLAB and if they released their numbers we would be able to find out how much they are getting from the English establishment as a subsidy??

    96. fred blogger says:

      link bookmarked, for view in depth of winter.

    97. Valerie says:

      @Grouse Beater, I detest Sarah Smith, but am mesmerised by her delivery, and not in a good way! It does sound harsh, and she is actually quite aggressive when she wants to be, which might make some think she will be hard on EVERYONE. She also has an unfortunate poshness to her demeanour, a kind of snootiness.

      I honestly don’t want the SNP getting off the hook, although IMO, they are the least likely to try it. I just want to see both sides of an interview getting a fair crack, and equally pursued on answers that are important.

      During the referendum, I thought at one point James Cook might turn out to be fair to both sides, but they seem to have pulled him back from the spotlight. It may well be because he was really stuck it to Jola that one night on a debate.

      One of my favourite clips was watching Jeanne Freeman answering Andrew Neil back on the NHS. Neil was his usual bombastic self, but she argued her position really well and professionally.

    98. Doug McG says:

      Thomas Valentine says:

      21 October, 2014 at 7:52 pm

      A good , well observed comment. Thanks

    99. Lesley-Anne says:

      I’m guessing the answer to the question from Sarah Smith is “not good!” 😛

    100. Katie says:

      The honest conversation wld be….
      Interviewer: So how much has the labour party membership increased in the last month?
      Maggie C: Hee haw! Although the heat generated from all the ex members setting fire to their memberships is savin us a fortune on our heating bills back in the offi e!

    101. gillie says:

      You no’ think that Sarah Smith’s chin is too big for her head?

      Next she’s on the box have a look at her enlarged mandible.

    102. Les Wilson says:

      Slab is a hoax on Scotland anyway. It does not exist as an entity, it is just the Northern part of UK labour Party.
      There is NO registered Scottish Labour party as far as I know.

      Simply makes it easier for UK labour to use Scots for their own purposes. They are simply being found out!

    103. Doug McG says:

      Just watched and listened to this blast from the past , Winger fuel !

    104. Alba 46 says:

      Curran typifies Better Together in general and the Red Tories in particular that in the absence of answers on any subject they will lie, distort, confuse, exaggerate and generally bore people to death.

      However you have to hand it to them. They wanted badly to win the referendum and with the considerable help of a compliant media they frightened people, lied, cheated and fought there way out of the sewer and ultimately were triumphant. In other words they were prepared to do and say anything to get what they wanted.

      Sorry to say the YES campaign were too nice. Its not as if they did not have any ammunition as there is plenty out there. The lesson to be learned must be to go into a referendum / election and be determined to win AT ALL COSTS. The only way you are going to beat this bunch of chancers is to be as dirty, devious and unprincipled as they are.

    105. highseastim says:

      Well that was a kop out Magritte, if ever I heard one!

    106. Mealer says:

      I get your point,but it should be remembered that an obedient media was essential for Better Together to get away with their blatant lies.

    107. Valerie says:

      Katie says:

      The honest conversation wld be….
      Interviewer: So how much has the labour party membership increased in the last month?
      Maggie C: Hee haw! Although the heat generated from all the ex members setting fire to their memberships is savin us a fortune on our heating bills back in the office.

      Yes! That would be honest! At one point after the ref. there seemed to be a competition as to who could destroy their Labour membership card in the most imaginative way and post it on FB

    108. The Earthshaker says:

      Off topic, it looks like the referendum has changed the dynamics between the First Ministers of Scotland, Wales and NI

      There are meetings going on this week to discuss the aftermath between Alex Salmond and NI First Minister’s and between Wales First Minister and NI FM’s, but not between Alex Salmond and Welsh FM Carwyn Jones, more from the Daily Wales website

    109. Cadogan Enright says:


      still hoping for a Scottish Alliance

    110. ben madigan says:

      alba – agree the YESSERS need to be determined to win and need to lose a certain naivety. Maybe they have now got the full measure of what they are up against.

      on another point – time to get a move on.
      Sinn fein (NI)cumanns (branches) have already started selecting their candidates for the May 2015 general election (on an abstentionist ticket).

      SNP (semi-abstentionist), SSP and Greens can’t afford to leave candidate selection until hogmanay, the winter weather, gales and the dark evenings are over!!!

    111. Andy smith says:

      Totally agree,a start would maybe be leaflets pushed through every door detailing how much Murphy, brown and the rest are lining their own pockets with tax payers money. How many out there know the huge sums brown claims on expenses through his own charitable foundation for instance, as well as using it to avoid paying tax on on other earnings.

    112. muttley79 says:


      Aye, there is a new article on Bella Caledonia about the protests outside Westminster.

      @Alba 46

      I don’t think we need to be as dirty or unprincipled as the No campaign next time. We do need to be more ruthless and less nice though. I don’t mean personal abuse like Salmond got, I would hate to go down that path. I mean a more robust critique of the fallings of the British state, particularly in regards to social and economic policies and conditions. We also need to build up our infrastructure in media, and think tanks etc.

    113. Truth says:

      The only thing I can say is that in 20 odd years of being eligible to vote, I have gratifyingly never vote for the likes of Margaret Curran.

      The sooner we are rid of her and her ilk, the better.

      She should be bloody ashamed of herself.

    114. Dave McEwan Hill says:

      At least you can hear Margarert Curran from time to time. In Argyll and Bute we have an almost silent and almost unknown LibDem called Alan Reid. If there are more ineffectual persons anywhere in Scottish politics I have yet to find them.

      He has however effected the almost impossible to achieve election. He has cornered both the anti Tory vote and the anti SNP vote and gets elected on that basis.

    115. Annette says:

      I’m tickled by the idea that Scottish Green might have more members soon (or already?) than Scottish Labour.

      However, I am not too happy to see here numerous comments about Ms Curran’s appearance. I’m not even going to insist on the argument that it’s usually women in politics who get that kind of criticism, it’s simply that people can’t help the way they look. Consider that David Cameron is quite a dapper-looking person, in spite of his rotten core.

    116. Stoker says:

      If anyone has the ability to record, for future reference,
      then they should go to the BBC iplayer and look through that
      Slabber Party broadcast (aka Scotland 2014) from last night,
      20.10.14. There is quite a bit of good material, which may come
      in handy in our campaign towards the elections, especially
      around the 13th minute where we have kezia Dugdale salivating about her Red Tory master in Scotland and how she will STILL be leader of the Slabbers come 2016. Dugdale seems to be building up a substantial portfolio of lies of her own, doesn’t she.

    117. Annette says:

      @Alba46: No, I think that is a very dangerous path to go down. Ends do not justify means. If you think otherwise, look at how communism turned out in the Soviet Union. The case for Independence must at all times be made with the highest standards of accuracy and personal integrity.

      Here’s a suggestion: We all know people who voted No, obviously. If just a quarter of the 1.6 million Yes voters would each convince one no voter, we’ll win the next time.

    118. crazycat says:

      @ Dave McEwan Hill

      ” an almost silent and almost unknown LibDem called Alan Reid”

      It may amuse you to hear that I knew of Alan Reid’s existence long before he became your MP; he was (and still is, I believe) a very good chess player, and friends of mine who knew him in that capacity reported his stalking the halls of Paisley Chess Club, exhorting everyone to be “Quiet!!” during matches. This became his nickname (though I doubt if he was aware of that; its use may have been confined to the people who told me about it), and it seems he took his own advice to heart.

    119. @Mutley79 – Unfortunately the NO campaign showed you how to win. Now you either want to win or you don’t. If getting personal gets you over the line, if lies get you over the line, if
      fear frightening the electorate gets you over the line, whatever it takes to get you over the line so be it. If fact you better be prepared to do do it.

      Because you can bet your boots the unionists are going to do it to us.

      So if you don’t want to waken up on the 8th May, having lost because we were too nice, we played to a more moral set of rules while our enemy/opponents didn’t, we better get into the real world of dirty politics. They are going to unleash a dirty hell against us.

    120. gerry parker says:

      Since it is likely that the Block grant will be cut within the next year or so, it is even more important that the Scottish Parliament looks at the amount of money it gives to political parties to help them represent their constituents and forward their political ideas – times of austerity and all that y’know.

      Since the labour party and conservative party have many more members compared to the smaller parties, perhaps we in Scotland should be expecting the members of these parties to contribute to their Scottish parliamentary expenses, rather than the money coming out of the public purse and thus reducing the amount of the block grant that can be spent on other important things like Eduction and Health for example.

      The smaller parties (numerically) would of course, suffer no such cuts to their parliamentary funding. That would seem to be fair.

      So the cut off point could be say 100,000 members. Above this the party (via its members) would be liable to pay a proportion of running expenses at Holyrood, and the smaller parties would continue to be funded out of the public purse.

      I don’t know how much the labour party in Scotland picks up from public funds to run its Holyrood operation, or indeed how much the conservative party picks up, but with the national membership they currently have, surely it is time to expect some pooling and sharing.

      A sort of Barnet formula for party funding in Scotland in these times of austerity.

    121. Stoker says:

      muttley79 says:
      21 October, 2014 at 10:30 pm
      We also need to build up our infrastructure in media, and think tanks etc.


      I’ve been thinking about this every day since the referendum
      and one of my beliefs is a Yes movement radio station which
      covers ALL of the country – to constantly pump our message out.

      One serious concern i have with any form of media that we do
      manage to set up is a severe lack of willing opposition participants.

      Not one of these unionist cowards would ever put themselves
      in that position, to be interviewed, we’d never let them
      away with what they currently get away with on the BBC etc.

      How would we manage to negotiate that type of hurdle?

    122. Natasha says:

      Stewart Hosie gets my vote for depute leader.

      Still waiting for my answers Plod. Great big yellow streak down the middle of your back. Must be nice having benefited from that free university education and student grants so you can now support a union in which any government in power will always seek to restrict access to education to the affluent – oh yes, people like you, who will have no difficulty funding your grandchildren through university. And of course, they will never die alone, hungry, in fear and desperation because they have a mental disability and no one to look after them. We all know what your values are, Plod.

    123. caz-m says:


      The UK economy seems to be heading in the wrong direction.

      “Government borrowing 10% higher than last year”

      Blamed on low tax receipts and Oil revenue falling.

      There is also talk of the £25Billion in cuts coming down the line will almost certainly have to be increased.

      What happened to these big broad Westminster shoulders that they told us would absorb all these economic ups and downs. (Douglas Alexander continuously reminded us of this very point.)

      If we don’t get out of this Union ASAP, then Scotland is going to find itself in the middle of the Mother of all catastrophes.

    124. Tackety Beets says:

      Tonight’s 2014 was in B O Allan , interviewed some No Voters . Gee Whizzzz 0/10 for their reasons for supporting NO , shocking !
      Shocking on many levels , lack of facts , etc but most worrying was how can we interact with them .

      Hopefully things will change in the coming months and plenty others will come aboard in time.

    125. Embradon says:

      There is a funny story going around that Anniesland Labour Party tried to sack their chair this evening for supporting the YES campaign, but couldn’t because they didn’t have enough members for a quorum.

    126. Annette says:

      @James Caithness: So, the No campaign lied and got personal and used every dirty trick, but do you not understand that most of those who support YES do so because they do not want the dirty game? And most of those who came over to the Yes camp, who left Labour etc did so because they are sick of the dirty game? If we become like them, then we no longer offer an alternative. Isn’t this exactly what happened to Labour? We MUST NOT play dirty. Besides, we need not. We don’t need lies, the truth is on our side! What we need to do is tell the truth, competently, backed up by evidence, relentlessly, on every platform available. Debunk their lies, unmask their strategies. Why should we lie, we have nothing to hide.

    127. Alex Clark says:


      Well said, I agree with you. If you can’t do things differently and win the support of the people. Then are you really offering an alternative? Are you really any different?

      The Yes campaign took the moral high ground, we must keep it, else why are we bothering if it is not for a better and different type of politics to that which the Unionist parties offer.

    128. Dr Jim says:

      Labour are the party of Scotland, we’ve done, em,.. eh,.. ah..and eh?..
      Plus,.. what we’ve said is that eh,..em,..ah,.. and we’ll continue with those policies, which are the things that are important to the people of Scotland
      Also it’s very important to note that we hate the SNP because these are the issues people care about in the real world
      Phew,.Another interview successfully negociated!

    129. Michael McCabe says:

      @ Embradon 12:00 am That’s the trouble with the Labour Mob They have no De Quorum.

    130. Defo says:

      It’s the multi-verse effect again.
      On this evidence, it looks highly likely that JB isn’t the only Slabber with Dyno Rod on her speed dial.
      She’s going through the motions, & the contempt for the viewer is utterly apparent. Snout deep in the trough, shit everywhere.

      Question. Is this the kind of thing that you’ll get two years in pokey for ?

    131. Grouse Beater says:

      Valerie: She also has an unfortunate poshness to her demeanour, a kind of snootiness.

      Sort of girl’s school, hockey team captain?

    132. donald anderson says:

      Hardly the Noam Chomsky, or the Voltaire and Rousseau of the “left”.

      The more she prattles on the more she shows her ignorance of socialism and what is wrong with the Labour Party.

    133. john king says:

      Gerry Parker says
      ” surely it is time to expect some pooling and sharing.”

      See what you did there Gerry. 🙂

    134. Marian says:

      Once again we see a unionist politician allowed to spout nonsense that goes completely unchallenged by an establishment TV reporter.

      There you have the crux of the problem for if it had been a pro-independence politician or supporter the same TV reporter would have been aggressively interrupting and challenging every word that they said.

      Pro-independence politicians should become far more outspoken about the pro-unionist bias that is so prevalent at the BBC and should flatly refuse to co-operate henceforth when BBC TV reporters try this kind of stunts at interviews.

      The Scottish Government should also introduce as soon as possible its own post-Leveson laws to ensure good behaviour and honest reporting by the media in Scotland as its now patently obvious that the Westminster post-Leveson proposals have been kicked into touch by Cameron.

    135. Luigi says:

      Donald mac says:
      21 October, 2014 at 11:18 pm

      Stewart Hosie is calling for a yes alliance

      Good idea, although I’m not sure “YES Alliance” is a good name for it (at this stage). It could alienate many NO voters who might otherwise vote tactically for the SNP this time.

      Perhaps something like the “Scotland First Alliance”, “DevoMax Alliance”, or “Powers for Scotland Alliance” or just “Scotland Alliance” would attract both YES and NO voters.

    136. Bugger (the Panda) says:

      @ Grouse Beater

      Sort of girl’s school, hockey team captain?


      Teacher’s clipe.

    137. alba46 says:

      @ Annette

      During the referendum the YES side tried the nice principled approach and it didn’t work. It would be utter madness to go into another campaign using the same tactics. You will just get the same result.

      I agree with you that it would be more palatable to win by adopting the morale high ground, but we just tried that and it failed.
      That being the case we have to change tactics. We will not get many opportunities to get another chance at a referendum there for when we do get a chance we have to go for the jugular.

      If we are serious about winning there are no half measures. We have to use everything we have in our armoury. You can bet your bottom dollar the other side will as has just been demonstrated.

      They won we lost.

    138. Bugger (the Panda) says:


      All Scotland Alliance

    139. thoughtsofascot says:

      Scotland First Alliance would be a bad choice Luigi. We know what evil ****’s labour can be. They would waste no time in attempting to throw us in with the Neo-Nazi Britain First, their erstwhile bed companions in the indy ref. Naming is important, but its a subject we ought to be cautious on.

    140. caz-m says:

      Project Fear is alive and kicking in the world of BBC Scotland GMS. They are quoting this morning the Labour Party leaning think tank “Fiscal Affairs Scotland”, saying that Devo-Max would lead to Scotland having a £5Billion deficit.

      The FAS is an economic think tank headed by Labour Party supporting economists, John McLaren and Jo Armstrong.

    141. Rigmac7 says:

      Excerpt from EBC this morning on the Smith Commission;

      “The commission is tasked with finding common ground between the pro-Union parties and the more radical submissions from the SNP and Scottish Greens.The commission is tasked with finding common ground between the pro-Union parties and the more radical submissions from the SNP and Scottish Greens.”

      I guess we are no nearer to impartiality then. I suppose it was a bit radical to think that the EBC could be neutral 🙂

    142. caz-m says:

      Does anyone know if the Scottish Government/SNP can reject the Smith Commission proposals?

      If they do reject them, what happens next?

    143. Dorothy Devine says:

      Annette , have to agree . There is no point in adopting the disgusting strategy of the Labour party or their media pals.

      What should be done is the debunking of every lie and piece of drivel they utter – no on the back foot debunking either . Loud ,clear and unapologetic – stuff the ” honourable gentlemen is being economical with the truth” just ” that is an out and out LIE “and those reading or listening should be left in no doubt.

      Interruptions in interview should be dealt with using silence – and a polite ” have you finished ? or do you wish to continue telling the viewing public what you think as opposed to what is actually being implemented”

      I worry about this idea that they should refuse to be interviewed because it can be spun to look as though their scared of being “found out” by the mighty TV lords.

    144. Arabs for Independence says:

      Nothing changes. GMS at it again with the former advisors to Donald Dewar (McLaren) and Jack McConnell (Armstrong) stating, unchallenged, that Scotland can’t cope on its own.

    145. caz-m says:

      BBC Scotland GMS had economist Labour Party supporter, John McLaren in for an interview talking about Devo-Max.

      What a depressing bastard that guy is. Is outlook for Scotland is “We’re all doomed, we’re doomed a tell ye”.

      And it’s exactly how BBC Scotland like to put it out there. They like, “worse case scenario” experts coming in and frightening the shit out of their gullible audience.

      Waken up Scotland, FFS.

    146. caz-m says:

      BBC Scotland love a good anti-SNP “Think Tank”, don’t they.

      Or a good Freedom of Information (FOI) report about the Scottish NHS, preferably led by Eleanor Bradford and Jackie Baillie.

    147. Greannach says:

      Surely by this stage even Labour are embarrassed by Curran. Which barrel are they scraping these days to get this calibre of person?

    148. Ken500 says:

      Stop listening to the BBC. No listeners = no programmes.

      The Smith Commission is a joke. Just vote SNP get the Unionist politicians gone so they can do no more damage. Have another Referendum in 4 years. The demographics will have changed.

    149. galamcennalath says:


      Heard that on GMS. Obvious that they are trying to tar FFA with the dirty brush they used on Independence. Despite running with Home Rule/Devo Max promises prior to the 18th September, the EBC have followed the Unionist turn around. Sheeesh, most Scots want FFA. End of!

    150. Grouse Beater says:

      Caz-m: The FAS is an economic think tank headed by Labour Party supporting economists, John McLaren and Jo Armstrong.

      And does BBC’s Nick Robinson pop up to ask, “Why should the public believe you, a Labour activated pretendy think tank, against on the record evidence that states the opposite?”

      And does he shout, “They didn’t answer my question.”

    151. Alba 46 says:


      Alex Salmond stated on a number of occasions during the referendum that a “a positive case will always beat a negative case”. Well no it didn’t.
      I think that AS is probably the best politician the UK has seen since the 50’s / 60’s but he and the YES campaign were wrong on this despite being right in just about everything else.

      The NO tactics won. They were prepared to go where we were not. Whether you like it or not that’s what it takes to win. I agreed with the approach that the YES campaign undertook but we must be realistic our tactics failed, theirs won. It would be utter madness, naive and sheer stupidity to go into future campaigns using the same approach. We must learn from our mistakes if we don’t nothing will change. How many times do you have to fail before you change tac. We will not get to many bites at the cherry.

      Politics is a dirty game as the NO campaign have shown to good effect. We must win at all costs using whatever non violent means are available to us. Once we get the win, which I am sure we will, we can sort out the moral high ground – but first we must win.

    152. @Mutley79 and Annette. – Having thought about this overnight. With the media against the SNP if they (the SNP) told a lie they would be hounded by the media. Although the other parties will be squabbling with each other too, and votes will be divided between them.

      @Annette – The GE isn’t about YES and NO its about the parties

    153. GusI says:

      I heard the John McLaren report on GMS this morning and thought a five billion deficit would be great after yesterday’s report that Westminster had a 58 billion deficit for the first six months of this year. That would make it about 120 billion borrowing for the full year and Scotland would be responsible for 10 billion of that rather than the five billion McLaren/BBC are spouting.

    154. Ken500 says:

      Oil revenues have fallen £4Billion a year since Osbourne/Alexander increased Oil tax 11% (£2Billion) a year in 2011. Now up to 90%.

      Scotland pays £4Billion a year on debt repayments it doesn’t borrow or spend.

      Scotland could save £1.5 Billion with a tax on ‘loss leading’ drink.

      Scotland could save £1.5Billion from Trident/illegal wars/redundant weaponry.

      The rest of the UK borrows and spends (pro rata) £10Billion more which is spent on the private sector. Corp tax/evasion from Scottish sector activity £3Billion+ Total £20Billion

      Westminster has no supported NHS or education and has not cut the deficit/debt. 5 years of nothing.

      Not a lot of pooling and sharing going on. The HS2. White elephant with no business case. Starving the vulnerable. 5 people own more than 1/5 of the population. The wealth of the wealthiest has increased 15% a year.

    155. chalks says:

      How about Devo-Max alliance.

    156. Cuilean says:

      I asked my Labour MP Katy Clark what her party’s figures were a couple of weeks ago. This was her reply, “I do not know the present membership figure of Scottish Labour. You may wish to contact the Party direct to request this information.” I pressed her again, as follows:

      “Dear Katy,

      why do you not know please? And can you not find out directly from your party by simply lifting a phone or emailing them yourself?

      I await your response before informing the two local newspapers, (Arran Banner and Ardrossan Herald) that I asked you for this information but that it was outwith your capability as an MP to ascertain the membership in Scotland, of your own party. Your obvious unwillingness to ascertain a basic fact and to impart it to your constituents is really quite shocking.

      I am appalled at your apparent lack of information and your disingenuous lack of willingness (wilful blindness) and ability to discover the facts together with your apparent glib desire to simply ‘pass the buck’ onto your party. Surely as part of your duties for which you are amply awarded, (with a 11% self appointed salary raise next year and expenses) you can find out this simple information?

      Every other Scottish party is happy to reveal its membership but not Scottish Labour.

      If you cannot advice your constituency of such a simple fact, one must wonder what other facts do you also choose to hide from your constituents?

      Not good enough, Miss Clark.”

      This was Katy’s second email response, as follows:

      “The information you are requesting is not published or available by email or phone. If it was I would have provided it to you. The last time I saw figures published was during the Labour leadership election after the last General Election. It is my understanding that at that time in 2010 around 13,000 ballots were sent [sic]Labour members in Scottish constituencies to vote in the party’s leadership election. This figure excludes members of affiliated Labour clubs.

      I do not know whether that is the correct figure as I am not responsible for membership of the Labour Party and the current figure is not readily available. As you will appreciate membership figures will fluctuate and for that reason I had no wish to provide you with inaccurate information.

      With Best Wishes,

      Katy Clark”

      So its official. Not even the Scottish Labour Party MPs know (or more accurately) they choose not to know, their own party membership figures. So this begs the question, who does know this figure? Any takers?

    157. Macart says:


      Gets my support as an approach. 🙂

      Parliamentary conduct, language, privilege has been turned into a fine art form. A means to impart and protect information, parties and individuals. Many have become experts in using the codes of conduct and letter of the rules involved to lie and mislead.

      As an ordinary citizen I frankly couldn’t give a shit about parliamentary codes of conduct. I simply want the facts and the truth of a situation. Its all part of a game to politicians and how many times have we heard it described as such?

      Well to me politics is not a game its about our lives and well being and for too long mendacious, evil, self seeking, power hungry pricks have used these rules to get away with everything from deliberate and malicious acts against their own electorate to the more common acts of extreme ineptitude.

      To these bastards politics is about seeking power either over people, to further a career or for its own sake. Politics is about being responsible for people, their care and well being. We grant them the power to administer that care. When they fuck up or are caught misusing the power we grant them, then we should reserve the right to cut through any and all bullshit protective privilege to hold the offending individual/group/party to account. Its kinda what our 4th estate was meant to do, but they’ve kinda forgotten what they’re for too.

      Now its up to us and May is as good a place to start as any. 🙂

    158. galamcennalath says:

      Alba 46 says:
      “Alex Salmond stated on a number of occasions during the referendum that a “a positive case will always beat a negative case”. Well no it didn’t.”

      I would say it did. BT only won by switching to a positive message in the last 10days.

      BT were losing. Around the 5th of September all private polling was showing a 3-4% lead for Yes. The postal info they illegally had wasn’t enough to guarantee BT winning.

      From the 8th September, beginning with Brown’s appearances on TV, BT switched a position message of “Home Rule”, “Devo Max”, “extensive powers”, and “federalism”.

      For hardcore Indy people, like myself, this wasn’t enough. However, for an estimated 10-15% of Scots, this was the positive message they wanted to hear.

      Of course it was another lie, bigger than most, but it was still a positive message which swung it for BT.

    159. Northerndiver says:

      Sarah Smith is just a clone of Kirsty Wark, right down to the labour party connections.

      I don’t watch 2014, but I hear she interviewed Susan Deacon. So let me get this right… The daughter of a former labour party leader interviews a labour MSP, who is the partner of her boss. All sounds rather cosy to me.

    160. caz-m says:

      “Westminster had a 58 billion deficit for the first six months of this year.”

      I highlighted this very point last night. Osborne is borrowing %10 more than he budgeted for. Which will mean even more cuts on top of his £25Billion that are already planned.

      And not a word about it from SNP/Scottish Government trasher, Labour Party lovin, McLaren.

    161. Cadogan Enright says:

      caz-m says:
      22 October, 2014 at 8:07 am Does anyone know if the Scottish Government/SNP can reject the Smith Commission proposals?

      If they do reject them, what happens next?

      @chalks says:
      22 October, 2014 at 9:11 am
      How about Devo-Max alliance.

      SEEMS TO ME TOTALLY OBVIOUS THAT SNP/GREENS/SOCALISTS HAVE A DEVO-MAX ALLIANCE FOR 2015 AND 2016 AND TRIGGER A REFERENDUM ON IT AT THE LATEST IN 2016 – with devo-max Scotland will have to sign a massive cheque every year to the UK, and Independence will quickly follow.

    162. Ken500 says:

      Fiscal/Affairs/Scotland/UK – Gavin McCrone

      It’s laughable

    163. caz-m says:
      22 October, 2014 at 8:01 am
      Project Fear is alive and kicking in the world of BBC Scotland GMS. They are quoting this morning the Labour Party leaning think tank “Fiscal Affairs Scotland”, saying that Devo-Max would lead to Scotland having a £5Billion deficit.

      The FAS is an economic think tank headed by Labour Party supporting economists, John McLaren and Jo Armstrong.


      @Annette – There you go lass, get used to the dirty tricks against us.

      Show me a good loser and I’ll show you a loser.

      Win and we can do things, lose and we can only moan and tells ourselves what good losers we are.

    164. @caz-m – If you didn’t see this in a previous post it is worth watching.

    165. HandandShrimp says:

      I am still interested to see what Smith comes up with because the Tories did have a more radical set of proposals than Labour and have stated as their opening position that the Strathclyde Report was their floor position not their ceiling position. I still think the final proposals are going to send Labour into a tailspin.

      Of course the whole thing will likely end in a bun fight in Westminster but Smith itself might be quite radical and a very useful tool to use in May 2015 to demonstrate the paucity of Labour’s vision.

      On their membership, I can believe they don’t know how many members they have. They have never struck me as competent on anything that remotely requires administrative skills.

    166. Training Day says:

      Jackie Bird, pre-referendum: let’s call it devo max. Is good!

      Gary Robertson, post referendum: let’s call it devo max. Is bad!

      Now, who’s left on Strictly?

    167. Alba 46 says:

      @ galamcennalath

      Your last comment is interesting “Of course it was another lie, bigger than most, but it was still a positive message which swung it for BT”.

      Are you saying that a lie was positive ? – don’t follow your train of thought on that one.

      Like you I am also a long term supporter of independence and as I am 68 years old and sincerely hope I live long enough to see it. It would appear that we agree on the same destination but differ on the method of travel

    168. Robert Louis says:

      Macart and Dorothy,

      I agree. It is of no earthly use to descend into the gutter with Labour, as that would guarantee people would not only leave the SNP, but would stop voting for them.

      The YES campaign was only 5% short of the winning post, despite the entire UK media blasting out blatant anti Scottish propaganda 24/7. So, do not fall for the spin, that the result was somehow a ‘resounding victory’ for NO, as the facts clearly show it wasn’t.

      As regards people such as SNP politicians handling the media, in my honest opinion, and I haven’t said it publicly before, there are some very senior members of the SNP/Scottish Government who need some serious media coaching.

      Too many times during the indy campaign, I watched as such people, failed to hit the key point in interviews, even when given an open goal. Some cabinet ministers on occasion hardly seemed aware of what the key arguments were – leaving their unionist opponents to hammer home the message.

      Sometimes, these things need said publicly, in order to get the people involved to wise up to their own failings. It really does need addressed by the SNP. They are no longer a wee party, where media interviews can be managed on an ad hoc basis.

      Aside from that, I wholly agree with positive campaigning. As I have stated here before, the old adage in relation to dealing with unionists;

      ‘never wrestle with a pig, you will get dirty and the pig will enjoy it’.

      We should never stoop to the unionists gutter level, for that is just exactly what they would prefer.

    169. HandandShrimp says:

      On the Fiscal Deficit the UK Fiscal Deficit for the first 6 months of this year was 58 billion. On a per capita basis Scotland’s share is 4.8 billion for the first 6 months.

      So under FFA if our deficit were to be 5 billion this would represent a marked improvement over what we have at the moment. Any report that fails to take into account the current UK position isn’t worth a damn.

    170. Robert Louis says:

      For those not on twitter, or who haven’t seen it on Lallands Peat Worrier, here is Stewart Hosie’s (Dundee east MP) thoughts on the way forward, from his perspective as a candidate for deputy leadership of the SNP.

      I think Stewart Hosie was one of the SNP stars during the independence campaign.

    171. Flower of Scotland says:

      Yes, the BBC are definitely on the GE trail now. Morning call wanted to know what the public want out of the Smith commission. Some good calls to this but of course the warning that oil prices are going down so what would have happened if we had voted yes! We are so much better with the support of Westminster! Here we go again.

    172. gordoz says:

      O/T Sorry Couldn’t resist this ‘barb’ from Scot goes Pop’s James Kelly.

      Re – Cleggs comments on FM

      “Oh, and given that the Lib Dems are on 5% in YouGov’s latest Scottish subsample, and the SNP are on 49%, it’s just possible that opinions may vary about which political leader most closely resembles a deluded Japanese soldier who has failed to recognise that the game is up”

      Salt in wound Cleggers ??

    173. HandandShrimp says:

      I confess to being unsure who to vote for on the Deputy Leadership thing (assuming new members get a vote). I think they are all pretty good. I heard Angela speak live and was impressed and Stewart and Keith are both safe and capable choices.

    174. Dorothy Devine says:

      Macart , you are right” political correctness ” was merely a way of hogtying the truth.

      “That’s racist/sexist/ageist/youthist” and whatever else was thought up to wrong foot perfectly logical and sensible discussion – a great a disservice to integrity, honesty and logic.

    175. manandboy says:


      With the success of the fear campaign among a fast growing elderly population, what effect will the affinity between the elderly and fear have on future Scottish elections, beginning with GE15.

      All any ‘unionist’ group have to do is tweak and repeat what was done in the Referendum. Against that, what have the Independence parties got to overcome what proved to be the decisive fear factor.

      The Indy parties have their work cut out because the unionists are not going to change a winning strategy.

      “While most age groups are expected to remain stable, the number of pensioners is due to hit 1.4 million within 25 years, up from 879,500 today. An extra 21,500 over-65s have been added to the estimates, after the statistics were revised upwards from the last data released in 2008.

      It means that within 23 years the percentage of Scots who are of pensionable age will rise from the current figure of 16% to almost 25%.”

    176. HandandShrimp says:


      On the other hand if the UK Government follow up on a recent report and raise the pension age to 70 those of an older disposition might be a tad disgruntled and not actually pensioners.

    177. manandboy says:

      Nicola & Angela Constance leading the SNP and the Scots Gov? – with Angela the next FM after Nicola steps down.

      Somehow I don’t think so.
      If two men doesn’t work in terms of representation, then neither does two women.

      But, I’ve been mistaken often in the past.

    178. Cuilean says:

      When Sarah Smith’s father, John Smith, died, his widow, Elizabeth Smith, who had never held any political office, was ‘elevated’ to the House of Lords in 1995, shortly after her husband’s death. Mrs Smith became Baroness Smith of Gilmorehill.

      Sarah Smith, therefore, should actually be referred to as ‘The Honourable’ Sarah Smith.

      Elizabeth Smith, despite being in the House of Lords for nearly 30 years, has yet to make her maiden speech! However, the good Baroness assiduously attends every single time the House of Lords is in Session, without fail, flying up and down from Edinburgh to London, to attend daily, despite saying NOTHING for 30 years! The Baroness, naturally, claims full expenses for her flights, which are so urgent, after all, as she has absolutely NOTHING to say!!!

      The Baroness says she does not like being in the public spotlight but cheerily pockets public money very adroitly. Over 30 years, The Honourable Sarah’s wee maw must have run up quite a bill at our expense! Millions?

      Sarah’s wee maw claims the full £300 per day plus expenses. It should be said that the £300 per day stipend is not paid automatically, the LOrds & Ladies of the HOuse have to claim it, e.g. Lord Smith chooses not to claim his £300 per day allowance, but the Honourable Sarah’s mum, never misses submitting her claim to the public purse! That’s all tax free, remember. On average the Upper House meets 11 days per month, when it is not in recess. Therefore the quiet Baroness, a champion of red Torism, pockets £3,300 per month, plus her flights expenses, taxis, subsistence etc, for her ‘dumb’ LOrds presence.

      By the way, this socialist ‘pillar’ attended Hutchesons’ Grammar School, a private fee paying school, which charges £10,700 plus, per year. So not your average working class background then, but a true Red Tory!

      The good Baroness is also the president of Scottish Opera. Opera tickets range from £150-£200, which kinda rules out most ordinary folks’ budgets.

      Ah, but this isn’t the real world, this is the ‘entitled’ world of Scottish Labour, which they all aspire to, one day.

      The Smiths of this world therefore have very little in common with ordinary Scots families on welfare or the people reduced to seeking survival from foodbanks. Not for the Baroness’s children the poverty which voting NO placed 100,000 more families into, in Scotland.

      No doubt, in the fullness of time, we’ll see wee Magrit Curran, ‘taking the ermine’, where she can join Sarah’s wee maw. Magrit can really concentrate, then, on avoiding the Scottish ‘glottal stop’ in her erratic speech mannerisms. Baroness Smith should be able to coach her with that, when they’re both out at the Opera. After all, the Upper House seems to have done wonders for thon wee Baroness Helen Liddell of Coatdyke’s grating accent (she of the iron lady hairdos). Baroness Helen is equally assiduous in claiming her £300 per day allowance plus expenses. The message is, ‘Don’t live as I live, live as I say you should live. We’re alright (Union Jack!’

    179. Alex Clark says:

      “It means that within 23 years the percentage of Scots who are of pensionable age will rise from the current figure of 16% to almost 25%.”

      Only if the state pension age remains at 68, it could just as easily be 70 or even more if the government continues on its present course.

    180. galamcennalath says:

      @Alba 46

      “Are you saying that a lie was positive ? – don’t follow your train of thought on that one.”

      Maybe I’m a born sceptic, but I consider almost all commercial advertising as positive lying. The products are rarely as good as the ads imply. The message is always positive. The reality behind the image presented is at best bending the truth.

      BT’s last ditch panic offers were read as a positive message to much of the electorate, as intended. However, a bit like Popeye’s spinach, the contents of the can didn’t match up.

      Lying is usually immoral, and especially when used to manipulate. Perhaps all the ‘best’ most manipulative lies have a positive message.

      “It would appear that we agree on the same destination but differ on the method of travel”

      During the 2011 election I felt the whiter than white (sorry for the advert pun) approach of the SNP couldn’t match the negativity of opposition. I was wrong. I do believe, on balance, that positive beats negative. As above, I do also believe BT swung the vote by finally offering a message which was positive for many voters. So, positive won.

      The future? Staying positive is IMO best.

      However, I do think there needs to be considerable education of those who voted NO through ignorance. And part of that needs to be showing people what the Unionist parties really are, and what they actually stand for. Doing so in a thoroughly positive way is a challenge.

    181. Valerie says:

      @Cuilean – loving your work with Katy Clark! I think that whole issue just points to their incompetence or their lack of transparency, because it’s a very basic question.

    182. gillie says:

      FAS must mean “fecking all shyte”……

      ……. because those Labour tossers John McLaren and Jo Armstrong are arguing that Scotland’s current deficit of £12 billion under the UK Treasury is better than a £5 billion deficit under full fiscal autonomy.

      These chancers should be chased out of Scotland.

    183. Macart says:


      Couldn’t agree more.

      No, they’re no longer a small party by any stretch. 🙂

      You’re right though they have been backward about coming forward with the meeja on a good number of occasions and its not a good enough excuse now to say they’re afraid of rocking the boat or they’re bound by whatever code of conduct or that the person put forward wasn’t media savvy enough. They need to sharpen up and act accordingly if they wish to continue to enjoy this new found show of support.

      They are now the third biggest party by membership in the UK and by far the largest in Scotland. Its time the meeja and both parliaments took note. There’s a reason for that and their conduct is right at the heart of it.

    184. muttley79 says:

      The old trick of BBC Scotland getting the Labour Party’s FAS to attack the SNP, this time over Devo max, was used again I gather. The need for independence supporting think tanks is evident.

    185. @Cuilean
      Bravo,excellent piece of real journalism a rare thing in Scotland,(outwith Wings).

    186. gillie says:

      Here is what is going to happen to the state pension in the near future.

      1. You won’t be able to claim it until you are 70.

      2. You won’t be able to claim it if you have a private pension.

      3. You won’t be able to claim it if you have assets of a certain value.

    187. Vic Whyte says:

      Membership has been declining since 2008 as well as income through membership

    188. chalks says:

      I’ll be going for Hosie

      A Devo-Max Alliance Group or Alliance would work very well on the Ballot papers in my opinion….especially in Labour held seats.

    189. gillie says:

      So in attending the House of Lords for 30 years Baroness Smith has pocketed the equivalent of £1,500,000, and said nowt in the process

      John Smith, speaking in 1993, “Let no one tell that the principles of democratic socialism are dated”.

      It seems one those democratic socialist principles is to wear ermine and quietly your pockets with other people’s money.

    190. seanair says:

      Robert Louis
      I think all of the candidates are worthy of the post of Deputy FM, so why don’t we appoint all three? Stewart Hosie to deal with Westminster matters, and Angela and Keith to divvy up Holyrood matters, all reporting to Nicola, but giving Nicola more time to get round the country and onto airtime (TV and radio) to push the advantages of “home rule” and refute the lies which we are so used to.
      I hope this idea could be considered (maybe too late now) but not turned down because some ancient rule says we can’t do it.

    191. Dave McEwan Hill says:

      The significant failure of the referendum campaign was an inability to establish that Scotland is comfortably self supporting.
      If a majority of Scots understood that Scotland was self supporting we would have won by miles.
      That is a simple fact

      The whole Better Together Campaign relied in the premise that we are not self supporting. As long as a significant number doubted our ability to pay our way they could run campaigns of scaremongering on a range of fiscal,economic and financial matters. That is all they did.

      We painted a marvelous picture of a better Scotland. This has survived. A significant number of our citizens however did not believe we could pay for it.

      It is no accident that the campaign based on a Scotland dependent on UK largesse is continuing apace.

      We can do what we like but till we sort this we are at a huge disadvantage

    192. Jack Murphy says:

      I watched the begining of this Sarah Smith-Margaret Curran interview but had to switch channels three minutes in,because Smith was not sure footed on facts,and Curran twittered on about anything except the question.
      The Labour Party high heid yins have form on this,and Smith should have been psyched up,two steps ahead and ready to deal with it.
      She didn’t.

    193. Capella says:

      Dorothy Devine 8:09 and Annette
      I agree about not sinking to the abyssmal level of the Unionist pols and their media supporters. What would be the point? Even if we did “win” through lying and smearing we would have to keep on lying and smearing to stay in power. I’m only interested in democracy,not winning at all costs.
      Interviewer –
      ‘What do you think of western civilisation?’
      Ghandi –
      ‘I think it would be a very good idea!’

    194. gordoz says:

      Im affraid S Smiths links to Labour run too deep.

      I you think otherwise and she’s impartial, look and listen closer. Labour HQ have vetted her positions each time, (sad to say).

      Dont doubt she’s probably a nice person away from the politics but her links ?

      It was and is a flawed choice of presenter for a political programme in Scotland, but typically was a 2 finger response from the State broadcaster.

    195. Ann says:


      New members who applied shortly after the referendum (can’t remember what the time span was) and have received an e-mail confirming their membership will be able to vote.

      You should receive an e-mail today from the SNP if you are legible to vote for Deputy First Minster.

    196. ann says:

      Minister. Doh!

    197. caz-m says:

      James Caithness, great link, cheers.

      Brilliant speech by Christine Graham of the SNP, regarding
      Scottish Independence.

    198. crazycat says:

      @ Cuilean and gillie

      1995 is 20 years ago, not 30!

    199. Stoker says:

      Re – Cuilean @ 10.22am.

      Excellent post.

      Can i urge, NAE…BEG, you to consider doing a type of
      “Lords Files” along the lines of what ‘taranaich’ has
      done with his “Devo Files”.

      It would be excellent ammunition for us foot-soldiers and
      an excellent reference source, not to mention very highly
      appreciated by all of us in the Yes movement.

      btw, i wouldn’t expect or want you to cover every single
      parasite. Even covering all of the “Scottish” ones would
      be too much to ask and an impossible task. Given that it
      is to be expected from Scottish Conservatives, perhaps it
      would be more achievable if you focused on the LibLabs.

      As they are THE biggest political party obstacle to our
      dream of Scottish Independence, many of us would be over
      the moon with just a Slabber Lords file.

      Either way, the format would be entirely of your making
      and i for one would be most grateful for anything you produce.

      There is a SEVERE lack of this sort of ready available ammo
      out there so please consider this request.

      Thank you very much for an excellent and informative post.

    200. Grouse Beater says:

      The Baroness, naturally, claims full expenses for her flights, which are so urgent, after all, as she has absolutely NOTHING to say!!!

      Yes, but she can schedule attendance with visits to London friends, the private paid by the public. Blessed is the person who can fuse business with pleasure.

    201. Robert Peffers says:

      @Rev Stu.


      Did I miss something there?
      You see I also have hearing problems, so some times when people speak to me, I don’t hear what they say. It just comes in as a jumble of noise. Thing is what one does in cases like that is say, “Sorry, could you say that again as I’m deaf and didn’t properly hear what you just said”?

      So perhaps the, (Err!), Lady, is deaf.

      Naw! Belay that – she’s Labour and unionist and that means the norm for such people is to never tell the truth when a lie will suffice.

    202. Robert Peffers says:

      @Valerie says: 21 October, 2014 at 4:44 pm:

      “Sarah Smith has annoyed me for MONTHS now.”

      Sarah Smith has not annoyed me ever. Unless you count having to Google to discover who she was. I did see her once on my pal’s wife’s TV but had not known who she was then. I thought she was inept – just like most TV people.

    203. Robert Peffers says:

      @Rigmac7 says:21 October, 2014 at 5:13 pm:

      “Why is it that female politicians in the unionist parties seem to be, on the whole, objectionable, unlikeable and plain outright icky? I’m struggling to think of a nice one.”

      Och! Rigmac7, Old Rudyard Kipling answered that one way back in 1911 when this was published : –

      The Female of the Species

      WHEN the Himalayan peasant meets the he-bear in his pride,
      He shouts to scare the monster, who will often turn aside.
      But the she-bear thus accosted rends the peasant tooth and nail.
      For the female of the species is more deadly than the male.

      When Nag the basking cobra hears the careless foot of man,
      He will sometimes wriggle sideways and avoid it if he can.
      But his mate makes no such motion where she camps beside the trail.
      For the female of the species is more deadly than the male.

      When the early Jesuit fathers preached to Hurons and Choctaws,
      They prayed to be delivered from the vengeance of the squaws.
      ‘Twas the women, not the warriors, turned those stark enthusiasts pale.
      For the female of the species is more deadly than the male.

      Man’s timid heart is bursting with the things he must not say,
      For the Woman that God gave him isn’t his to give away;
      But when hunter meets with husbands, each confirms the other’s tale—
      The female of the species is more deadly than the male.

      Man, a bear in most relations—worm and savage otherwise,—
      Man propounds negotiations, Man accepts the compromise.
      Very rarely will he squarely push the logic of a fact
      To its ultimate conclusion in unmitigated act.

      Fear, or foolishness, impels him, ere he lay the wicked low,
      To concede some form of trial even to his fiercest foe.
      Mirth obscene diverts his anger—Doubt and Pity oft perplex
      Him in dealing with an issue—to the scandal of The Sex!

      But the Woman that God gave him, every fibre of her frame
      Proves her launched for one sole issue, armed and engined for the same;
      And to serve that single issue, lest the generations fail,
      The female of the species must be deadlier than the male.

      She who faces Death by torture for each life beneath her breast
      May not deal in doubt or pity—must not swerve for fact or jest.
      These be purely male diversions—not in these her honour dwells—
      She the Other Law we live by, is that Law and nothing else.

      She can bring no more to living than the powers that make her great
      As the Mother of the Infant and the Mistress of the Mate.
      And when Babe and Man are lacking and she strides unclaimed to claim
      Her right as femme (and baron), her equipment is the same.

      She is wedded to convictions—in default of grosser ties;
      Her contentions are her children, Heaven help him who denies!—
      He will meet no suave discussion, but the instant, white-hot, wild,
      Wakened female of the species warring as for spouse and child.

      Unprovoked and awful charges—even so the she-bear fights,
      Speech that drips, corrodes, and poisons—even so the cobra bites,
      Scientific vivisection of one nerve till it is raw
      And the victim writhes in anguish—like the Jesuit with the squaw!

      So it comes that Man, the coward, when he gathers to confer
      With his fellow-braves in council, dare not leave a place for her
      Where, at war with Life and Conscience, he uplifts his erring hands
      To some God of Abstract Justice—which no woman understands.

      And Man knows it! Knows, moreover, that the Woman that God gave him
      Must command but may not govern—shall enthral but not enslave him.
      And She knows, because She warns him, and Her instincts never fail,
      That the Female of Her Species is more deadly than the Male.

      By Rudyard Kipling

    204. Stoker says:

      Excellent post.

      Can i urge, NAE…BEG, you to consider doing a type of
      “Lords Files” along the lines of what ‘taranaich’ has
      done with his “Devo Files”.

      It would be excellent ammunition for us foot-soldiers and
      an excellent reference source, not to mention very highly
      appreciated by all of us in the Yes movement.

      btw, i wouldn’t expect or want you to cover every single
      parasite. Even covering all of the “Scottish” ones would
      be too much to ask and an impossible task. Given that it
      is to be expected from Scottish Conservatives, perhaps it
      would be more achievable if you focused on the LibLabs.

      As they are THE biggest political party obstacle to our
      dream of Scottish Independence, many of us would be over
      the moon with just a Slabber Lords file.

      Either way, the format would be entirely of your making
      and i for one would be most grateful for anything you produce.

      There is a SEVERE lack of this sort of ready available ammo
      out there so please consider this request.

      Thank you very much for an excellent and informative post.

    205. Davy says:

      Ah a Curran mystery, is it one of those where the interview is first then you come back and try to guess the question ?

      Have you noticed how much the media is trying to place the red tories to the front of every interview almost as though they are in government. Could it be a ploy to try and convince us that the red tories are not the back stabbing bunch of bastards that spent the last two years insulting our country and its people at every opportinuity they could, hand in hand with the westminster tories.

      Because I don’t think its working.

    206. E Blair says:

      So according to Curran devolved powers will be—– some health and safety. Something close to my heart but Northern Ireland have had devolved H&S for years.

      Obvioulsy UNiTE that well known backer of labour is pleased with this just a pity they couldn’t care about the workers at Grangemouth.

      Now for the Smith Connection
      As can be seen a man of the establishment. Feet in All the unionist camps. What a pity no one from Weirs Group was individually prosecuted for the corruptive practices that Mr Smith currently Chairs.

      Do we believe he will be honourable to all parties?

    207. Annette says:

      Alba: The moment the Yes campaign starts to use lies and other dirty tricks, I will stop supporting them, as will many others, I’m sure. I don’t want an independent Scotland run by unprincipled people, that would be a case of Meet The New Boss Same As The Old.

      Besides, with the media against us as they are, being caught in one single little lie would finish us in the eyes of the public. Nicola Sturgeon would have that one incident shoved into her face till kingdom comes. So tactically it’s no use either. And as I said before, why bother lying? Totally unnecessary. The No campaign lied because they couldn’t tell us their real reasons, i.e. self-interest. Our arguments are our real reasons. All we have to do is tell the truth and have the facts at our fingertips to back us up. I can’t think of any lie as powerful as the real, true, factual reasons for independence.

    208. donald anderson says:

      If your politics and your cause is right there is no need to lie.

      That should be the difference between us and Labour Party.

    209. Annette says:

      Forgot to say, it is not a sensible argument to say, their dirty tricks made them win, so now we’ll have to do the same. Support for Scottish independence has only gone up and up over the years and has also gone up and up during the campaign. Support for them has gone down. We’re doing it right.

      Imagine for a minute Martin Luther King or Bishop Tutu or the Dalai Lama stooping to lies and tricks. Impossible!

    210. Buster Bloggs says:

      How anyone voted for this lip service idiot is beyond me, she is the type of person that can talk for 20 mins and say nothing.

    211. Morag says:

      By the way, this socialist ‘pillar’ attended Hutchesons’ Grammar School, a private fee paying school, which charges £10,700 plus, per year. So not your average working class background then, but a true Red Tory!

      The good Baroness is also the president of Scottish Opera. Opera tickets range from £150-£200, which kinda rules out most ordinary folks’ budgets.

      A bit of “othering” going on there.

      I wonder what Elizabeth Smith’s maiden name was? Because I was at the same school, possibly about the same time, though she may be a little older than me. I might remember her. (Pity I don’t read the school magazine very carefully.)

      In the 1960s Hutchesons’ Grammar was a very different operation from today’s school. It was “grant-aided”, which meant that the fees were very low. (Anyway, if your class marks were good enough, you didn’t have to pay anything after two or three years.) My Dad was a parish minister, and when I went to uni I was on the maximum grant, but I still went to Hutchie. Then. I think it was Labour who changed the rules, and prevented ordinary kids from being able to go there.

      I was at a Scottish Opera performance last week, and the ticket was about £25. (I remember my mother being horrified in about 1970 when they put the price for the same band of ticket up to £1!) That’s not even the cheapest ticket.

      You know, people who like opera rather than football matches, and who were lucky enough to get a good education while it was still possible to do that without having a fortune in the bank, support independence too. And it doesn’t cost £150 to go to a performance at the Theatre Royal. I don’t think even the dearest seats are as much as that.

    212. TJenny says:

      Morag – according to WiKi – her maiden name is Elizabeth Margaret Bennett, dob 04/06/40 after Hutcheson she then went on to Glasgow Uni, so a bit before your time.

    213. Morag says:

      Thanks, I should have had the nous to look it up. As you say, she would have left long before I went to school. Or uni, come to that. (Hutchie to GU has always been a pretty well-trodden road.)

      I was a bit cross, seeing the very fact of someone having attended HGGS way back in the day used as a rod to beat her with. Really, you didn’t need money in the family to do it then. Now – I don’t know how it compares. I can’t imagine school, where all your classmates are loaded.

    214. Grouse Beater says:

      Morag – according to WiKi – her maiden name is Elizabeth Margaret Bennett, dob 04/06/40 after Hutcheson she then went on to Glasgow Uni, so a bit before your time.

      Seriously before his time, TJenny. And bugger all to do with who likes opera enough to pay the ticket price.

    215. Tom Platt says:

      The very accommodating interviewing technique that Sarah Smith used to allow Curran’s prepared speech to be used in response to a completely different question, reminds us all that we need to ensure, one way or another, that broadcasting must be devolved to Holyrood! What other nation lacks a public broadcaster?

    216. Luigi says:

      Margaret Curran doesn’t answer questions, remember:

      If only John Mason would stand against her for Glasgow NE at the GE. Get rid f the witch once and for all.

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