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Wings Over Scotland

Just for the record

Posted on April 09, 2013 by

We were a little mystified, on watching last night’s newsgasm about Margaret Thatcher, to see the degree to which Tories were suddenly punting the ancient Labour line about the SNP being somehow responsible for her becoming Prime Minister in 1979, and therefore by implication for everything that happened subsequently.

Alan Cochrane of the Telegraph, Michael Forsyth and Ruth Davidson have all been enthusiastically joining the usual parade of absurd Labour pantomime sorts like Lord Foulkes over the last 24 hours or so, which struck us as a mildly odd joint bit of anti-independence smearing, reliant as it is on people not realising that the two parties are cynically colluding while making diametrically opposite points.


We don’t think the electorate is quite that dim, though of course it’s never wise to overestimate people who would repeatedly elect Michael Forsyth and George Foulkes in the first place. So we’re just going to leave this here:

– We hesitate to start with the incredibly bleeding obvious, but VOTERS elected the Conservatives in 1979, not the SNP. Had the electorate still wanted to have a Labour government, they’d have voted for one.

– The previous Labour government was elected in October 1974. It would have had to call an election no later than October 1979 anyway. Few administrations, especially ones with tiny majorities, cling on to the last possible minute. They snap-call a vote whenever circumstances might give them a small advantage, and nobody holds a poll in cold, dark October if they can help it. So realistically, the vote of no confidence only hastened the election by two or three months.

– The SNP contributed just 11 votes to the 311 which saw the no-confidence motion pass by the narrowest possible margin (one vote). Labour had been in a pact with the Liberals to give them a working majority, but when Labour declined to call an election in autumn 1978 as the Liberals wanted and expected, the pact ended and the Liberals voted with the no-confidence motion. Curiously, though, we’re unaware of Labour still furiously berating the Liberals for “ushering in” Thatcherism more than three decades later.

– The Conservatives won the May 1979 election by over two million votes. The notion that James Callaghan’s embattled party would have turned that huge margin around in even five months is farcical. What is it that people imagine would have happened during those few weeks?

– The first Thatcher government lasted just four years before calling another election, in May 1983, giving Labour their chance to take the country back. But the Tories won in a landslide, more than doubling their vote lead over Labour to four-and-a-half million and securing almost twice as many seats – 397 to 209.

– Another four years later, Neil Kinnock made only a small dent in Thatcher’s lead, cutting it from 188 seats to 147, and even in 1992 John Major, written off before the vote, won a comfortable 65 seats more than Labour.

– Had every single SNP vote gone to Labour in every one of those four elections, the Tories would still have won them all.

The SNP, then, were manifestly not to blame for Margaret Thatcher and Thatcherism. Labour were. The party had FOUR chances to put its record and its manifesto to the electorate after the vote of no confidence in 1979, and on every occasion the electorate – chiefly the English electorate – rejected them comprehensively. They were the only alternative to the Conservatives that was on offer and the voters didn’t want them, which left the country by default with Tory governments.


The Nats were in any event fully entitled to have no confidence in Callaghan’s government – it had reneged on its promise and betrayed the Scottish people on devolution, and people rarely have confidence in liars who break their word. Labour brought the 1979 election on itself in its determination to cheat the people of Scotland out of more control over their own affairs – almost certainly out of terror of losing North Sea oil – but their defeat would have happened within a few months anyway.

It’s mindboggling that the party still clings so tenaciously to the myth three-and-a-half decades later, and that perhaps offers a note of caution to those in Labour ranks who think that two successive defeats in Scottish Parliament elections will cause their party to awake from its slumbers and internecine squabbles in Scotland.

Because if 34 years of staggeringly obvious common sense and logic isn’t enough to cure it of its pathological, bitter hatred of the SNP, it’s hard to see what ever will be.

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  1. 28 03 15 13:53

    The SNP did inflict Thatcher on the UK by stabbing Labour in the back | My Little Underground

  2. 28 03 15 13:55

    The SNP didn’t inflict Thatcher on the UK by stabbing Labour in the back | My Little Underground

165 to “Just for the record”

  1. AnneDon says:

    Exactly. What’s really annoying is when it is repeated by people who weren’t even alive then!

  2. Dauvit says:

    It is also interesting to note that when Labour eventually did win again under Blair, all three times, that they did so by gaining an absolute majority of seats in England. The fact that the Torys were wiped out in Scotland, and Labour gained seats in Scotland, was of no consequence.

  3. MajorBloodnok says:

    And what even more annoying is that some of the people repeating this aren’t really even alive now (e.g. m’Lord Foulkes).  I think he’s doing it deliberately.

  4. James Morton says:

    what is quite astonishing is the way they have all jumped on this, causing me to do so many double takes I have put my neck out.

  5. Dcanmore says:

    They’re trying to re-write history to beat down the growing aspirations of a country. These clowns and drunks of Bitter Together are so blinded by a manufactured hatred of the SNP that they don’t realise how Orwellian they have become. Right now they are re-writing history to mythologise Thatcher and yes they are all in it together and there is nothing to choose between them in policy or ideology. I despise this convicted drunk and expenses junkie Foulkes as much as I despised Thatcher.

  6. Doug Daniel says:

    As Alan Partridge would say, “Abso-bloody-exactly!”
    The likes of Ian Smart (who was going off on one last night again) keep peddling this myth, and it’s such a typical attitude from Labour. It’s never their fault, it’s always because of someone else. See also the various excuses for why they lost the past two Scottish elections.
    One thing I’m not sure about though. Do they truly hold the SNP to blame for “ushering in Thatcherism”, or is it simply a case of making them a scapegoat to avoid seeing the truth that is staring them blankly in the face – namely that it was being in their precious union that was to blame for Thatcherism being imposed on Scotland, and to admit this, even to themselves, would mean admitting that the union is bad for Scotland and that the only way to rid ourselves of Thatcherism once and for all is to vote for independence?
    The fact that the rabid, visceral hatred of the SNP doesn’t seem to extend as far as Berwick leads me to suspect that the latter is the truth.

  7. Tattie-boggle says:

    seen this lovely piece of lies on facebook a bit out of date , but a bit of the same old lies..

  8. DougtheDug says:

    The betrayal by Labour of Scots after the referendum result in 1979 is actually worse than many people understand.
    The 40% rule wasn’t a definite stop on the results of the referendum it was actually just a call for a vote to repeal the bill. After the Cunningham amendment, the Scotland Act 1978 contained the referendum proposal in clause 85(1) plus the 40% clause 85(2):

    If it appears to the Secretary of State that less than 40% of the persons entitled to vote in the referendum have voted “Yes” in reply to the question posed in the Appendix to Schedule 17 of this Act or that a majority of the answers given in the referendum have been “No” he shall lay before Parliament the draft of an Order in Council for the repeal of this Act (Scotland Act 1978: 38).

    An “Order in Council” has to go to a vote in Parliament so if Callaghan had whipped Labour into voting to oppose the order then the devolution bill would have remained on the books.
    Always remember this little fact, even though the vote had failed to reach the 40% target Labour still could have kept the bill on the statute book quite legally if they had wanted to.
    The SNP vote of no-confidence in Callaghan was after he refused to do this because he was afraid of all the anti-devolutionists in his party like Wilson and Cunningham.

  9. pmcrek says:

    Yeah if Callaghan  hadn’t distorted the results of a democratic referendum, the inevitable Thatcher Government would have had limited control over Scotland and his Government wouldn’t have collapsed 5 months early. I’m not an SNP voter, but I fully agree with their reaction at the time.

  10. TheGreatBaldo says:

    Slightly OT but as we’re talking about rewriting history to suit one’s argument here’s Prof Vernon Bognador….the UK’s most eminent expert on Constitutional Matters and the former Tutor at Oxford of one Cameron, D (PM) in a letter to the Guardian…

    I agree with Elliot Bulmer (Response, 1 April) that a British constitution should be based on the principle of popular sovereignty, not parliamentary sovereignty. Indeed, it would be pointless to enact a constitution unless the principle of parliamentary sovereignty were abandoned. The purpose of a constitution is to constrain parliament, not to allow it unlimited sway. I also agree with him that most Scots identify as British and Scottish. But those choosing the separatist option in the 2014 referendum would be proclaiming that the two identities are incompatible, just as, when Ireland became independent in 1921, it signified that the identity of being Irish was incompatible with a British identity. So Mr Bulmer is wrong to say that an independent Scotland would still be, in any serious sense, British. It would be a sign that the Scots had repudiated their British identity. Vernon Bogdanor

    Now leaving aside the fact the majority of the Irish never considered themselves ‘British’ in the first place….. and far be it for me with but a mere Higher in History to correct such an eminent mind…. But from 1603 to 1707, Scotland had it’s own Parliament and I dare say there where many many Scots (particularily those with land and money) who considered themselves to be both Scottish and British during that period….without a Union of the Parliaments Seems rather odd for a history professor to be ignorant of over a century of well the history of his specialist subject

  11. muttley79 says:

    Very good article Rev Stu.  Yes, it seems to have become a central tenet of Scottish Labour in particular that the SNP voted in, and were responsible for, Thatcher.  The truth is the Labour government of 1974-79 was a shambles, which culminated in Callaghan’s bottling of an election in 1978, and the disgraceful fixing of the Scottish devolution referendum in 1979.  They always blame the SNP for Thatcher’s election in 1979.  The truth appears to be that they have always hated the SNP, primarily because of their support for independence, and the consequences for the ermine-chasers that entails.  It just shows how far we have come towards independence that the Scottish Tories are now backing up the Labour Party in Scotland’s disingenuous claims about 1979, given that they were the ones who won that election!!  
    I think it is also now clear beyond any reasonable doubt that the Unionist core of Scottish Labour hate the SNP more than they do the Tories.  This development is bound to intensify their hatred for the SNP even more, as they know they have ended up as Tories themselves.

  12. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    Folks, can I ask this as gently as possible? Please try to take some care over formatting posts, especially those which contain quotes as well as your own comments. It’s a real time-drain for me to have to go through giant blocks of text with a fine tooth-comb inserting paragraph breaks and suchlike so they make sense to readers.

    I’m aware that the comment box isn’t as helpful as it could be, but if you’re cut-and-pasting big blocks of stuff PLEASE paste them into Notepad or similar first, which will give you at least some idea of how they’ll look on the page. If you’re still not sure, two line breaks between paragraphs is better than none. Thanks.

  13. Tinyzeitgeist says:

    This documentary may help to clear up some misconceptions:-

  14. Bill C says:

    “The Nats were in any event fully entitled to have no confidence in Callaghan’s government – it had reneged on its promise and betrayed the Scottish people on devolution, and people rarely have confidence in liars who break their word.”
    That is exactly my memory of events Rev.

  15. GP Walrus says:

    Of course Labour had yet another chance to end Tory policies when they eventually got into power in 1997. They kept to Tory spending plans and did not repeal any of the major legislation that Thatcherite governments brought in.
    Thatcher regarded Tony Blair as her greatest political achievement.

  16. Adrian B says:

    @ Bill C
    An important part of the text on that page is the “Scotland Said Yes” section

  17. clachangowk says:

    Rev Stu,
    Agree with you on formatting.
    I never read posts which are simply blocks of text without paragraphs. If posters want to be read it is up to them to make the read as easy and understandable as possible.
    I just assume that poorly formatted posts have content that is just not worth reading.
    Blows the mind that on top of everything else you do, you also format unreadable posts 

  18. Doug Daniel says:

    Stu, how about some sort of guide on the blog, permanently linked to at the top? I know I’ve worked out most of the tricks to avoid various formatting nightmares, but less tech-savvy folk could probably do with a quick how-to guide to help out.

  19. tartanfever says:

    What was Ricky Tomlinson doing on the telly in that picture ?

  20. Tattie-boggle says:


  21. velofello says:

    As it is some +30 years ago, views on the issues then can be a bit faded. My view is that it was a pity that Callaghan didn’t have an ounce of the resolve that Thatcher displayed. HE as the Labour Prime Minister should have asserted himself and faced down the militants of organised labour- Red Robbo of British Leyland if I recall correctly, Scargill of course. And Hatton{?} from Liverpool. 
    Analysis of Thatcher’s time in government will not be kind to her provided quality historians do the work. Ken Livingstone yesterday summarised her “legacy” well.
    And for those folk happily siting in their discounted -purchased ex-council house, what are the job prospects of your grandchildren? How do feel over the bedroom tax? Was your bargain worth it in the long term?

  22. Nairn says:

    Again, we have to ask, what is this magical event that would have happened between April and  October 1979 that would have stopped say two million of the 13.7 million voters who voted for Thatcher’s first government from doing so? What is this glorious trick that Labour had up their sleeves? Were they merely pretending to be an exhausted, washed-up, washed-out administration barely even limping along to its inevitable execution? did they really have something earth-shattering lined-up for June?
    Didn’t think so. Callaghan’s government was dead in the water, and had been for months by the time the turkeys allegedly voted for Christmas.
    And while we’re at it, Labour need to be reminded that the policies we all later called Thatcherism didn’t actually start in 1979. They started in 1976. Remind me again who the Government was then?

  23. kininvie says:

    O/T (sort of)
    I’m not at all sure we did well by ourselves with the gloating over Thatcher’s death that was all over my Twitter feed (and elsewhere). I was speaking to one long-undecided voter this morning who said she was fearful that an independent Scotland would be prey to hatreds of that kind, and that she was less likely to vote Yes after seeing the reaction. I doubt she’s the only one.
    No doubt this will all long be forgotten by 2014, but it’s maybe worth considering all the same. There’s some unlovely rhetoric flying around at the moment, and it’s not confined to BT.
    On the other hand, here’s a blog post that captures perfectly the excitement of realising that change is possible:

  24. Cath says:

    Given Labour are so filled with hatred for a party that simply wants the best for Scotland, to bring it its independence, and for it to be a better place, you’d think they’d do the honourable thing and just retreat out the country to some place that suits them better. After all, 47% of us in the last poll vote for the SNP, even more than the 2011 landslide.
    They’re so very clearly an anti-Scottish party, run from Westminster and so closely aligned with the Tories to be essentially the same party. They should accept they don’t represent Scotland’s interests any more than the Tories do, never have, and never will. And Labour type that feels that’s an offensive statement should be asking questions of him/herself over what they think they’re doing, and have been doing since 1979.

  25. Marcia says:

    Labour don’t like to be reminded of the newspaper articles that showed their Leaders admiration of Thatcher or the photograph of Thatcher and Broon on the steps of 10 Downing Street.

  26. Cath says:

    ” was speaking to one long-undecided voter this morning who said she was fearful that an independent Scotland would be prey to hatreds of that kind,”
    Eh? We’re in the union right now. That’s why we have all that hatred. Do you think if Scotland had been independent by 1979 there would be any Thatcher-hatred at all here? We’d never have had her policies.
    Besides, the hatred was not confined to Scotland, far from it. I’ve seen far worse from friends in England.
    I find it a bit distasteful myself, but I’m certainly not going to criticise any of my friends in Liverpool for not showing respect at her death. She – and the British media – didn’t exactly show much to dead Liverpudlians.

  27. proudscot says:

    Foulkes and Cochrane tell lies? – well knock me down with a feather! Wouldn’t it be “news” if either of these two anti-SNP, anti-independence numpties ever tell the truth in their many and vairied anti-Scottish ravings?

  28. MajorBloodnok says:

    tartanfever says: What was Ricky Tomlinson doing on the telly in that picture ?
     I think he was shouting “My arse!” at Michael Winner.

  29. YesYesYes says:

    This record does need to be set straight because for many people in Scotland, the 1970s are but a distant memory. Scottish Labour is aware of this, of course, and it has clearly come to the conclusion that, because the events of this decade are so distant (and convoluted), most people will never know the truth and that’s the cue for Scottish Labour to spread its lies and misinformation. For those of us who were politically active in this decade, though, the reality is very different.
    An alternative way of assessing this decade is to read the accounts of the 1970s from English Labour politicians, journalists and academics. You’ll notice that there is a curious omission in all of these accounts. That is, none of them blame the SNP for Thatcherism, though some of the English academics can’t even get the name of the SNP right, referring to it as the ‘Scottish Nationalist Party’!
    So what was responsible for Thatcherism? There were a number of factors that help us to explain the phenomenon of the rise and increasing popularity of Thatcherism, particularly in England.
    First, British industrial relations had become much more conflictual in the 1970s as trade unions attempted to defend their members’ standard of living in response to the increasing inflationary pressures that were developing from the late 1960s. This culminated in increases in both the incidence and duration of strikes in the 1970s with tabloids running headlines like ’13 million working days lost through strikes’ in a number of years in this decade. 13 million days sounds a lot, and compared to previous decades it was, but it’s not difficult to work out that, in actual fact, throughout the 1970s this was a small amount of working days lost in any given year. But that didn’t stop the New Right forces that were developing in England from exploiting this for political purposes, which leads to the second factor.
    From the 1950s, a number of New Right think-tanks had emerged in England – The Institute of Economic Affairs (1955), The Centre for Policy Studies (1974), the Adam Smith Institute (1977). These were the first generation of neo-liberals in England who were promoting a Thatcherite agenda. These think-tanks had a huge influence on the emerging policy agenda of the Tories in the 1970s, particularly after Heath’s defeat in the 1974 general elections, and this agenda was disseminated in the English media to produce a powerful narrative that consisted of, among other things, trade unions were too powerful, the state was too big, public spending needed to be cut, wages were too high, nationalised industries were inefficient, free market forces needed to be unleashed and so on. Sound familiar? As today, this proved to be a very influential agenda in England in the 1970s.
    Third, inflation was becoming an increasing problem in the 1970s, rising to 25.4% in 1975-6. The irony here was that the incoming Labour government in 1974 had inherited much of this inflation as a consequence of the mismanagement and incompetence of the previous Conservative government, a Conservative government in which Mrs Thatcher was a member. First, there was the Tories’ disastrous Competition and Credit Control Act (1971) which omitted the secondary banking sector in its proposals with the result that the money supply increased by 40% in 1971-2. Then there was the ‘Barber Boom’ (1971-3). In response to unemployment increasing to what, at the time, was the politically sensitive level of 1 million, the Tories panicked and embarked on a spending spree, including ill-advised tax cuts. In 1972-3 alone, public spending increased by 20%. Finally, there was the Threshold Agreements whereby the Tories had guaranteed public sector workers wage increases of 1% above the prevailing rate of inflation. Why was this a problem? We might say that, with classic British government/Treasury incompetence, it was timed to perfectly coincide with OPEC’s quadrupling of oil prices in the final quarter of 1973, when the price of a barrel of oil increased from $3 to $12 and so was guaranteed to lock inflation into the British economy for a number of years. And so it proved.
    Fourth, was the so-called ‘IMF crisis’ in September 1976. The Labour government and Britain itself was humiliated when it had to appeal to the IMF for an Emergency Credit. The belief was that the government had, figuratively speaking, ran out of money. Again, sound familiar? As part of the conditionality of the Emergency Credit, the IMF imposed a quasi-monetarist agenda on the Labour government, requiring it to cut public spending and control the money supply. That leads to the final factor.
    The ‘Winter of Discontent’ (1978-9). More than anything else in this decade, it was this event which proved to be the trigger for the growing popularity of Thatcherism in England. The Callaghan government had an arrangement with the TUC (the ‘Social Contract’) whereby, in exchange for wage restraint, trade unions would be compensated by an improved ‘social wage’.  In this arrangement, annual wage increases were limited to 10%. But as a consequence of having to satisfy the conditions of the ‘IMF crisis’, the Labour government unilaterally broke the Social Contract and in 1978 it imposed a 5% pay norm on public sector workers (effectively betraying trade unions). It was this betrayal that provoked the widespread public sector strikes that became mythologised into the ‘Winter of Discontent’.
    These are just some of the inconvenient truths of the 1970s that Scottish Labour would like us to forget, though of course there are numerous other events in the 1970s that could be cited here.
    But perhaps the most important inconvenient truth is something that might help us to explain the shrillness of Scottish Labour’s lies and misinformation about Thatcherism. In the 1979, 1983 and 1987 British general elections, even if every single voter in Scotland had voted Labour it wouldn’t have made any difference to the outcome of those elections, we would still have been governed by the Tories between 1979-92 and, of course, we continued to be governed by the Tories up to 1997. This too, sounds familiar with events today. For it’s also the case that in the 2010 British general election, even if every single voter in Scotland had voted Labour then, once again, it wouldn’t have made any difference to the outcome of the election, we would still be governed by the Tories today.                    

  30. Cath says:

    btw, for the purpose of clarity, since I’ve just read back that post about Labour and it sounds harsh, I don’t think anyone is “anti-Scottish” for not supporting independence – I didn’t until last year. It’s perfectly possible to be against independence because you think it’s the best thing for your country.
    That is precisely the debate we should be having now, and I want to have with people.
    What IS anti-Scottish, is seeking to stifle that debate, lying, smearing opponents by terms like Natz, cybernats, doctored Saltires, and using the power and wealth of a UK-wide party to essentially buy the media in Scotland in order to spread such propaganda.

  31. benarmine says:

    the sad truth is they actually believe it, or some element of it, they are dense and contrary. Like Henry Mcleish in the hilarious Holyrood article they will tie themselves up in excruciating knots rather than admit the simple truth, that we must now run all of our own affairs.

  32. Norsewarrior says:

    “It’s mindboggling that the party still clings so tenaciously to the myth three-and-a-half decades later”

    It is rather odd, even if the SNP had been solely responsible for the downfall of the Labour government in March 1979 they’d only have been responsible for about 5 months worth of Tory government – the election would have had to have been held in Oct 1979 at the latest, and the Tories would have won it then too.

    And, as you say, it was Labour’s failure to offer a viable alternative to the Tories during the 80s (‘the longest suicide note in history’ manifesto in 1983 for example), as well as events such as the Falklands War, that resulted in Thatcher ruling for the whole decade.

  33. Norsewarrior says:

    “I’m not at all sure we did well by ourselves with the gloating over Thatcher’s death that was all over my Twitter feed (and elsewhere). I was speaking to one long-undecided voter this morning who said she was fearful that an independent Scotland would be prey to hatreds of that kind, and that she was less likely to vote Yes after seeing the reaction”

    That’s exactly what I was saying yesterday. This eulogising and glorifying of Thatcher could well convince some people to vote yes, but in order to benefit from that we ourselves need to be dignified and maintain a state of decorum over what is, in essence, the death of an old woman. 

    Of course we can point out to people the damage her policies did to Scotland, and how they are still being carried out by the current government, but gloating over her death and expressing bile and hatred and glee at her demise is likely to just turn people off from our cause.

  34. Robert louis says:

    You raise an interesting point regarding comments about thatcher.  Sadly, you have fallen into the unionist trap of equating such comments with only independence supporters.  Take a wee look elsewhere, and you will see truly nasty comments about thatcher – a good example being the comments in the Guardian, where almost all are very negative.  
    I hardly think all the comments in the Guardian (an English newspaper), nor many of the other socialist websites, can all be attributed to Scottish independence supporters.  Do you??
    Just for the record, I regard the woman as tory trash, who did untold damage to entire communities around Scotland ,with nary a second thought.  Her and her coterie of sycophantic tory supporters gave little thought to the terrible consequences of their actions upon REAL people in Scotland.   Now at last she might meet her maker, and have to account for the terrible things she did.  Not a moment too soon, in my opinion.
    I’m not about to change my views on that subject, and nor will most Scots.  My only regret is she has not lived long enough to witness the independence of Scotland, because one thing she did achieve was to galvanise Scottish opinion against wholly undemocratic London rule, leading to the massive YES vote for the Scottish Parliament in 1997.
    She will not be missed in Scotland, especially by those who will never forget what she did.

  35. Norsewarrior says:

    “You raise an interesting point regarding comments about thatcher.  Sadly, you have fallen into the unionist trap of equating such comments with only independence supporters”

    I’m not sure if Kinivie is saying such comments are only coming from independence supporters, as you say many people despised her. 

    From how I read his/her comment, and what I expressed in my own reply, the point is although lots of people are making such comments, we independence supporters should refrain from doing so – particularly if we’re clearly supporters of a yes vote on Twitter and the like.

  36. Bunter says:

    Anyway, hopefully next wednesday Mr Salmond will do the right thing and represent Scotland by………..going for a round of golf.

  37. Robert louis says:

    Can I raise an interesting question, related to the blatant misinformation from Labour and the Tories regarding the SNP.  Do the financial backers of the Bitter together campaign, such as Baxters foods, know that the Bitter together campaign is peddling misinformation and bare faced lies?
    If so, are such financial backers happy that the campaign is being run by bitter together in that way, or is it merely the case that those financial backers of Bitter together do not realise they are being spun a line??
    The reason I ask is simply this, in a democracy, with two choices, I have no issue with people or companies funding one or other side.  However, if those funders actually know the campaign they are funding is dishonest, and is effectively usurping the norms of democratic choice via their deception,  should those companies be boycotted?

  38. Rod Mac says:

    What of course our Labour naysayers will not mention is that this present tory government was allowed in because of Labour.
    After the 2010 election they had the chance of a rainbow Coaltion.
    However as this meant them treating with the SNP and Plaid they declined and let the Tories in.
    I bet 35 minutes from now ,let alone 35 years from now Labour will never admit that

  39. Guy Fawkes says:

    The Labour Party’s got a cheek, considering the number of times it votes with or abstained with the con dems. the vote on the war in Iraq was carried by a tory labour alliance and in places like South Lanarkshire labour works with the tories to keep the SNP out, which leaves the voters with vote labour get tory

  40. Morag says:

    Hey Rev, what’s a tooth-comb?
    [Ducks and runs for cover….]

  41. annie says:

    Just read on BBC Tony Blair condemning people celebrating Maggie’s death – he obviously just got a glimpse of the future and what awaits him.

  42. EdinScot says:

    It appears with the Tories now joining Labour in the lie that the SNP let Thatcher in, what is manifesting before our eyes is a morphing of one single Unionist bloc where once three parties stood.  This was spoken about by independence posters on this site when bitter together joined up and so it seems that we”re going to be seeing a lot more of the tories and Labour aiding and abetting each other which makes a mockery of their fake stitch up  punch & judy charade of  the British electorate all the more repugnant.
    What we are witnessing in 2011 is Labour in Scotland siding with the Tories against us as we witness the democratic deficit in action of having more pandas than Tory MPs i.e, one,  yet despite this we are under Tory rule again.  So although Thatcher is gone, we are not rid of the blue, red and the lib dem Thatcherites and only then will i roar out a  cheer.
    Although aged 12 in 79 i remember Labour were a disaster and had brougt Britain to its knees as piles of rubbish were seen at sides of our roads all over our towns and cities as the winter of discontent grew darker and darker into a nightmare for many.  Then there was at this time the great oil & gas swindle of the Unionists both red and blue lying to the Scottish people.  This is what the msm and those Westminster parties want to cover up as they hope that Scotland falls for their lies hook line and sinker again.  Since 2007 the tide has went against them and its getting worse despite their 24 hour propaganda machine engulfing us.  Something big is happening in Scotland.  I beleive we will win in 2014.   

  43. Spout says:

    Thanks Rev for taking the time to nail this lie.
    I had to suffer hearing Michael Forsyth repeat this at the end of his interview on GMS this very morning and then hand the baton to Ruth Davidson who gleefully repeated this canard again….of course unchallenged by our ‘doughty’ BBC interviewer…
    …although perhaps the good folks at the BBC don’t know that this assertion is a pile of shite?

  44. velofello says:

    @ YesYesYes: Excellent recall of events.

  45. John Lyons says:

    Tony Blair says the Thatcher parties are in bad taste. Well i agree with him and I hope he will join me in pushing for the dissolving of both the Conservative and the new labour Parties!

  46. Dal Riata says:

    As @cath said, it is not only ‘Yes’ to Scottish independence people who are ‘uncaring’ about Thatcher’s demise. I have friends and acquaintances present-UK-wide and others working abroad, some rich, some poor, some rabid Rangers supporters, some of no particular political persuasion, and all, repeat all, were, um, less than caring about the death of Thatcher.
    She caused misery to many, destroyed communities and colluded in such horrors as smearing the dead at Hillsborough. So if people want to register their feelings – after what that woman did to individuals, communities and society as a whole – even dancing in the streets, good on them, and I support their right to do so

  47. Les Wilson says:

    Many time today I have heard in various interviews how Thatcher turned around the disastrous financial mess left to the Tories by Labour. Sounds familiar.
    How she did was destroying jobs, in industries she considered redundant. Her policies were terrible for Scotland and much of the UK industrial base.
    However, let us not forget what really got them out the dung, THE STEALING OF SCOTTISH OIL!
    If we have ANY pride, we cannot allow it to happen again.

  48. muttley79 says:

    It is clear that there is very little or no, significant differences between the Labour Party, Tories and the Liberal Democrats (either at UK or Scottish level).  The MSM say there is, but I don’t believe that anymore.  They are all just one large neo-Liberal party.  A conglomerate of shit.  We see Blair and Brown leading the most sickening tributes to Thatcher, and the MSM attempting to defend the indefensible in my opinion.  What happened to Gordon Brown over the last 20 years or so?  Was he always just a con-man, or did he knowingly threw away all his principles for power sometime in the 1980s, 1990s?    

  49. Slaughterhouse says:

    Perhaps an FoI request is in order to see how much contact between the anti-independence parties there is?

  50. Jiggsbro says:

    Labour incompetence created Thatcherism, ushered it in and kept it’s iron heel on our nads for 18 years…and then replaced it with New Thatcherism, until more of the old Thatcherism came back, which Labour are promising to copy if they’re re-elected.

  51. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “Hey Rev, what’s a tooth-comb?
    [Ducks and runs for cover….]”

    I actually edit posts with what I believe the young folk call a toothbrush, but I prefer the old words. Cough.

  52. An Duine Gruamach says:

    It did always stike me as funny that some people seem to think that the point of the SNP is to keep Labour in power, however little they deserve it.

  53. Cyborg-nat says:

    Hey Rev, what’s a tooth-comb?
    Morag, Rev being a gentleman would not go into too much description but being a “Mealer” i will. The correct term is”A fine tooth comb” used for searching for nits and lice in hair!  You must remember the 1950’s District Nurse checking your hair at primary school? After she had checked your teeth and behind yor ears or was that just for “Ferm loons”?

  54. Alan MacD says:

    O/T but heres an interesting wee website which is a good way to spend an hour contemplating the future of humanity, got some interesting things on here about Moores Law in 50 years time and intergalactic spacetravel as you go further down the timeline, most of it is fairly believable. 
    Apart from an article about a certain event in 2014!

  55. McFascist says:

    The Conservative’s win in 1979 might have had slightly more to do with Callaghan, Steele, Thatcher, power cuts, and mountains of uncollected rubbish, than anything to do with the SNP. 

  56. heraldnomore says:

    O/T  Been enjoying the YES branding all over the telly, where it will be for the next six weeks or so.  Ok, so it’s cricket on ITV 4.
    YES Bank are one of the major sponsors of the IPL; advertising hoardings, badges on the interview board, onscreen shots.  Oh and there’s more gratuitous dusky maidens than you might find when Brazil play football.
    Any high street bank networks on the market just now.  YES BANK, I like the sound of that.

  57. The Man in the Jar says:

    The District Nurse was of little consequence compared to whenever the dreaded “Dentists Caravan” appeared in the playground. Where did they get these people from? They seemed to take great joy in inflicting pain on young children.
    Oh the joys of a 50s childhood!

  58. Albert Herring says:

    @Alan MacD
    Well off the mark! Also falls for the “Salmond wanted second question” pish. Interesting following piece about internet gaining greater reach than TV though. Seems to me the two propositions are mutually exclusive.

  59. Morag says:

    Cyborg-nat, I think that was my point.  Rev being such a nit-picker and all, catching him in an actual nict-pick nit is quite fun.

  60. Juteman says:


  61. Cyborg-nat says:

    Morag, In polite society they say ,”Pedantic”, we say “Nit Pickin”.
    Best show a wee bit o’ respect, him bein’ a Rev an’ aw’.

  62. Alan MacD says:

    Albert Herring,
    Yea its a pile of pish but im still holding out for my bionic arms in 30 years time….canni wait!

  63. Cyborg-nat says:

    Man in the Jar, The dentist with the snaggle teeth,halitosis and the pedal drill?

  64. Davy says:

    Just to go a little off topic, our old friends over on ‘labour hame’ have came up with a new way of dealing with comments they dont like !!! now they just disable the comment section. (sounds familiar)
    Check out ‘Jenny Marra’s new article on labour hame on the closure of a number of Sheriff courts, no comments allowed, but still its all the SNP’s fault anyway, nothing to do with the reduction of funds available due to labours wrecking of the economy. I would have liked to have said this but not allowed to comment, (very familiar).
    Is it just me but if you are running a blog ? isin’t having comments a main part of it ????????????????  
     Thanks for the info in your article Rev, it gives us the right ammo to hit back.

  65. McFascist says:

    Davy: You can comment about the subject on Lallands Peat Worrier’s blog.

  66. ianbrotherhood says:

    A tooth-comb’s what you use to get rid of baited breath.

  67. DougtheDug says:

    An Duine Gruamach says:

    It did always stike me as funny that some people seem to think that the point of the SNP is to keep Labour in power, however little they deserve it.

    I think that is part of why Labour in Scotland hate the SNP.

    They’ve never forgiven the SNP for not meekly accepting that Labour had the right to shaft them in the 1979 referendum. The Liberals voted against Labour in the no confidence vote as well but that was all forgotten and they were happy to have them as partners in the Lib-Lab coalition in the Scottish parliament.
     To oppose the status of Labour as the rightful rulers of all is not just bad politics, it’s not even heresy, it’s apostasy.

  68. David McCann says:

    I wrote an article called ‘Scotching The Myth’ for a local newspaper about twenty years ago. Here is an edited version, which I hope will add to the Rev’s excellent article.
    “Any day now I expect the Labour Party to resurrect the hoary old tale that the SNP brought about the defeat of a labour Government over 30 years ago, and those of us canvassing today in Labour heartlands, still encounter this oft repeated lie.
    It strikes me that many of our younger members, many of whom were not even born at the time, may find difficulty in countering these taunts of ‘Tartan Tories’.
    The facts, of course are very different, and no amount of Labour spin, then or now, can conceal the fact that from March 1974 until April 1979, the SNP consistently supported the Labour Government’s slim majority over the Tories, and had the Labour Whips managed to rein in their own anti devolution MPs, the Labour Government could have survived until the Autumn of 1979.
    Prior to their election in 1974, the Labour Party promised to set up a Scottish Assembly which would be ‘ a powerhouse with cash and authority’, and although the Scotland Act was passed by both Houses of Parliament and adopted by Scottish voters in the Referendum of March 1979, it was repealed (unconstitutionally) by the House of Commons after the General Election of May 1979.
    The Referendum result was the catalyst in the demise of the Labour Government. In his memoirs, “Time and Chance”, the then Prime Minister Jim Callaghan noted:
    “ In his (i.e. Michael Cox, Labour’s Chief Whip) view, the difficulty within the (Labour) Party, was much greater than any from the Scottish National Party, and the Whip’s judgement was that the government could not rely on the votes of Labour members from the north if we moved to reject the Repeal Order……… we could lose the vote.”
    In short, Labour back benchers, including Neil Kinnock, Brian Wilson et al, would have preferred, not just to see, but to participate in, the demise of their own government, rather than honour Labour’s manifesto commitment to the Scottish people, by establishing the Assembly which Scots had already voted ‘yes’ for in the Referendum.
    The extent to which some Labour anti Devolutionists were prepared to go can be summed up in the words of Patrick Cosgrave in his book ‘The Lives of Enoch Powell’ when he wrote  “Confidential exchanges took place between Thatcher’s aides and a number of Labour back benchers hostile to Devolution”
    The survival of the Labour government was therefore in the hands of its own MPs. If Callaghan’s government had pushed ahead with the Assembly legislation, it would have been supported by the SNP in Parliament. The reason it did not do so is because it became clear that a substantial number of its own MPs were prepared to vote against it. The SNP did not “ let in the Tories  “- the Tories got in because the English voters, following the ‘winter of discontent’ abandoned the Labour Party and turned instead to the Tories and Margaret Thatcher. Labour’s anti Devolution zealots, such as Kinnock, were well aware that a Thatcher victory was on the cards, and at least implicitly preferred this scenario to the establishment of a Scottish Assembly, and the survival of their own government at least until the Autumn.”

  69. scottish_skier says:

    Panelbase indy Q associated with that ‘fairness’ poll reported in the MSM.
    N 44
    Y 33
    DK 21
    WNV 1
    Ties in beautifully with the continuing trend of no falling since peak last October. Yes edging up. When you look at them all.
    Courtesy of better together.
    No idea why they think a poll showing 56% of Scots are not prepared to go out and vote for the union is a good thing. Appreciate them linking to the tables though.

  70. SotsCanuck says:

    The Man in the Jar says:
    The District Nurse was of little consequence compared
    to whenever the dreaded “Dentists Caravan” appeared
    in the playground.
    Where did they get these people from?
    They seemed to take great joy in inflicting pain on
    young children.
    Oh the joys of a 50s childhood!
    ……….. I have it on good authority that the majority
    of these individuals were recruited into the profession
    after their expulsion from the Gestapo on charges of
    excessive cruelty.

  71. Marcia says:

    It was interesting to see the Undecided’s thinking to the question. More against No than against Yes.

  72. Davy says:

    Thanks “McFascist” for the info, but the point was I wanted to comment on ‘labour hame’ without them disabling THE COMMENT SECTION. But then again they usually dont print anything I send them anyway, big fearties.
    Cheers anyway. 

  73. scottish_skier says:


    The undecided have no love for the union. Otherwise, they’d say ‘No’ to indy.

    Good to see panelbase are now providing full tables. Can be interesting things in there.

    What’s interesting at the moment is BT are focussed on %Y yet YesScotland are also focussed on %Y.

    I’m much more interested in %N. That’s what’s important right now. We know what the core for indy is; at least 1/3 solid/will always vote. What is the solid N though? I’d hazard not much more than 1/3 too based on historical poll low no’s and support for the status quo vs devo max.

    The panic of 2012 seems to be waning and as a result, the N is falling steadily. Based on all recent polls we are now back to the situation where the majority of Scots are not prepared to back the union. That’s right where we want to be.

    If the trend continues, Y/N level pegging awaits later this year. Could be by the summer, most likely autumn.

    After Yes stormed ahead of the no late 2011, we had our panicked reversion in 2012. We are now seeing things creep back to what people want. Once it swings back towards Yes, it should not revert again as this time it will be people have come to a sensible decision rather than the more spontaneous reaction I suspect was the case following the return of the Tories 2010 and SNP landslide.

  74. Robert louis says:

    Re: Scottish skier’s figures above
    Given that the No (bitter together campaign) have benefited from around two years of wall to wall propaganda for their cause, courtesy of the propagandist state broadcaster, the BBC and MSM.  This makes me think the NO campaign should indeed be worried.
    Given all that, however, I do not doubt the BBC and MSM will continue with their narrative that only a minority of Scots support independence, all the while missing out the ‘elephant in the room’ of a substantial lack of support for the union.

  75. Jiggsbro says:

    The undecided have no love for the union. Otherwise, they’d say ‘No’ to indy.
    They have no love for indy either, or they’d say ‘Yes’ to indy. The undecided are, I suspect, those supporters of ‘devo plus/max/etc’ who will have to decide whether they want independence – which they don’t support – or the status quo with promises of ‘devo whatever’ to follow. I know which would be more appealing to me if I wanted further devolution without full independence. It might even be appealing enough for me to put aside any cynicism I might have about whether the promises would be kept. We have to get the Unionist parties to set out what they expect a ‘No’ vote to bring and how they expect to be able to implement those promises. We need the supporters of further devolution to understand that it is pie in the sky.

  76. Juteman says:

    No scientific basis, but i think the BBC Scotlandshire love-in about Thatcher will backfire spectacularly.
    The age group that actually lived through Thatcher know the truth, and the reportage bears no relevance to that truth.
    Folk will start to question, and they are the undecided.

  77. Braco says:

    and it’s exactly that older age group that view the BBC as their unbiased and reliable source of political coverage. I have found the coverage already to be a useful lever in to discussing BBC’s Scottish political coverage and it’s bias with my parents.

    They accepted my points without argument (very unusual!) after witnessing the re writing of their own remembered history and experience of the Thatcher era.

    If handled properly, this might just be another final but generous gift from the Iron Lady to Scottish Self determination.

    The undermining of the Unionists last remaining effective weapon, The BBC’s reputation (and specifically among the age group most likely to still be susceptible to its usage and methods.)

  78. Iain says:

    @ scottish_skier
    ‘Panelbase indy Q associated with that ‘fairness’ poll reported in the MSM.
    N 44
    Y 33
    DK 21
    WNV 1′
    Forgive my ignorance S_S, but what are the figures in brackets below the mainline figs eg

  79. Grahamski says:

    You can fool yourselves about the SNP’s shameful role in bringing down a Labour government and ushering in Thatcher’s ghastly reign but you couldn’t fool the Scottish people.
    So disgusted were the Scottish people by the SNP’s treachery that in the 1979 election they turfed 80% of the SNP MPs out on their tory-supporting ears.
    The SNP were pretty much unelectable for a decade after their support of Thatcher.
    Them’s the facts….

  80. Juteman says:

    My politics are aggresive, and i used to want the ‘YES’ campaign to match my feelings.
    I now know that i couldn’t be a politician, and the ‘YES’ folk are much more cleverer than me.

  81. Juteman says:

    And Grahmski just appearing has reinforced my belief.

  82. Dcanmore says:

    I’ve always believed the majority of Scottish people are waiting to be sold on independence, that is why I think the undecided is growing from the No. The No vote can’t move any further upwards now as too many people will be questioning the value of the Union and Scotland’s (and their own) place in it, especially at this time. I think a sizeable percentage of No are soft Nos and will drift into undecided throughout this year. i wouldn’t be surprised if there is a solid 30% undecided (with Indy sitting at 35-40%) at the end of this year at the detriment of the No vote. If the undecideds were to vote originally for Devo-Max then they’ll go for Indy because they’re natural progressives and will always move in that fashion. At the end of this year if Indy is 35% and Undies at 30% then we have it won with at least 55-58% YES. 

  83. Jiggsbro says:

    If the undecideds were to vote originally for Devo-Max then they’ll go for Indy because they’re natural progressives and will always move in that fashion
    Independence isn’t progressive, it’s revolutionary. The status quo with the promise of further devolution is the closest thing to ‘progressive’ that’s on offer.

  84. McFascist says:

    Davy: If you have more interest in whether or not you can comment on a blog, rather than the changes befalling the Scottish legal system, a mirror would be as much use to you as a computer.  So, I hope you are more interested in the changes currently being made to the legal system than changes made to an internet blog.

  85. Dcanmore says:

    @Grahamski …
    It wasn’t their support for Thatcher, it was their abandonment of an incredibly weak and unre-electable Labour government (which proved to be so at the election when Thatcher was actually voted in by the electorate). If Labour hadn’t gerry-mandered the ’79 Devolution vote we wouldn’t have gotten Thatcher in the first place. If Brown wasn’t such an arrogant git Labour would still be in power today with the Lib Dems. So bugger off with that crap.

  86. Braco says:

    Yes but it’s not on offer. YES/NO. Under the easily proven instigation of the Unionist parties. Its a much shorter step forward to Indy from Devomax than it is a step back to the Status Quo, which is at the moment championless and unloved.

  87. Another London Dividend says:

    Fact is  Tory voters in England voted in Maggie Thatcher by a majority of TWO MILLION votes over Labour who had made a mess of running the country. 
    SNP voted against Callaghan as he refused to implement the Yes vote for a Scottish Assembly which would have been the focus for resistance to Thatcher as Labour was impotent and failed to win the next three general elections despite having massive support in Scotland at the time as English votes always swamp Scottish votes just like 2010.
    Anyway I thought Grahamski would be too busy sorting out Labour’s mess in Falkirk where they are in coalition with the Tories.
    Also several Labour resignations over candidate selection problems to find a successor the Hon. Major Joyce.  Labour in meltdown in Falkirk.

  88. scottish_skier says:

    Forgive my ignorance S_S, but what are the figures in brackets below the mainline figs eg
    The figures before weighting.

  89. muttley79 says:

    You can fool yourselves about the SNP’s shameful role in bringing down a Labour government and ushering in Thatcher’s ghastly reign but you couldn’t fool the Scottish people.
    So disgusted were the Scottish people by the SNP’s treachery that in the 1979 election they turfed 80% of the SNP MPs out on their tory-supporting ears.
    The SNP were pretty much unelectable for a decade after their support of Thatcher.
    Them’s the facts….
    How predictable from a Scottish Labour Unionist drone.  No mention of the IMF loan, the rigged referendum with its ludicrous 40% rule, or the fact that everyone knew that government was on its knees (think of John Mayor’s government of 1992-1997).  Why are you and your ilk always willing to blame everybody else for your own party’s errors and mistakes?   

  90. Castle Rock says:

    The reason that I turned my back on the Labour Party was exactly for the reasons that Grahamski amply displays.
    The Labour Party were shafting Scotland with their rigged referendum.  Even without the intervention of George Cunningham and his anti democratic 40% rule, members of the Scottish Labour Party were going to vote down the Bill anyway.
    Alistair Darling campaigned against devolution, Johann Lamont campaigned against devolution alongside the Tories and they are still campaigning against Scotland in the Bitter Together campaign today.
    If Grahamski was going to be honest he should just state that he would rather have a Tory Government in Westminster than a left of centre independent Government in Edinburgh protecting people from right wing abhorrent policies that he clearly prefers.
    See Scottish Labour see total hypocrisy.

  91. Yesitis says:

    “The SNP were pretty much unelectable for a decade after their support of Thatcher”
    …and now Labour (the Tories in red) are just pretty much unelectable.

  92. Davy says:

    “McFascist”,  I am very interested in being able to print a rebuttal to what I believe is an untruth directed towards my party, and the fact they have disabled their comment section to prevent that gets right up my goat.
    I refuse to just stand back and let them off with things like that, that time is over.

  93. McFacsist says:

    Castle Rock: I must say that I find the constant labour / SNP bickering extremely wearisome, especially as they are both cut from the same Blairite cloth at the moment, and ceaselessly row about fine print.  Blair being the guy that brought about devolution in Scotland, and Wales, and N. Ireland. Perhaps it is a shame that Blair is not tasked with bringing about independence.

  94. Albert Herring says:

    Labour: better together with Tories.
    Labour: better together with Tory policies.
    Labour: responsible for 34 years of Thatcherism.

  95. BuckieBraes says:

    ‘I’ve always believed the majority of Scottish people are waiting to be sold on independence.’
    Absolutely! As I go around doing my job, coming into contact with the people I do, I’ve come to the conclusion they represent the Scottish equivalent of ‘The Man on the Clapham Omnibus’. At the moment their opinions proportionately seem to reflect the polls, but those who say they’ll vote No (or rather those who say they don’t intend to vote Yes, which isn’t quite the same thing) make this statement with a lack of real conviction. Except for a couple of my elderly relatives, I have yet to come across anyone who displays a cordial, patriotic attachment to this entity called the United Kingdom. People want to believe in an independent Scotland; and they are just waiting to be convinced. Inspiration and reassurance are all that is needed.

  96. Adrian B says:

    @ Albert Herring
    Labour: better together with Tories.Labour: better together with Tory policies.Labour: responsible for 34 years (and counting) of Thatcherism.

  97. McFacsist says:

    Albert Herring: Give it a break – that is like saying that the Tories are responsible for the Scottish Governments council tax freeze.

  98. Adrian B says:

    Sorry above comment got a bit knackered up in posting.

  99. Davy says:

    “Grahamski”, may I offer my most sincere condolence’s to the passing of ‘New labours’ founding mother ” Baroness Thatcher. You can take heart on how Labour grasped her principles of ensuring the rich got richer and the poor got poorer, and how well your party avoided taxing the multi national companys and anyone else they could suckup to.
    She would have been very proud of labours backing the of workfare bill against the worst off in our society and their rockhard coalition with their fellow tories and libdems in the ‘better together’ campaign. And the simple fact you can not tell the difference between the london parties and their disregard for the ordinary citizen, is a testimonial to her very nature and ofcourse your party.
    My sympathy’s.   

  100. ianbrotherhood says:

    I just posted on the ‘We’re Not Sad’ thread in response to Indion, but want to repeat it here – for days I’ve been trying to get my head around this stat, and it gets more unbelievable every time I look at it:
    The amount of tax lost i.e. ‘avoided, evaded, or uncollected’, in the UK every year is approx 120 billion quid (according to Richie Venton of the SSP) – that could be used to create 4.8 million jobs paying an average 25k. And that’s before you factor in the savings on benefit payments and whatever would accrue from income tax being paid on those ‘new’ salaries. 
    How much cash has been ‘vanished’ from the UK economy since Thatcher’s time?
    And where is it now?!
    The mind boggles.

  101. ianbrotherhood says:

    P.S. I was away to Stirling today, got lost, and ended up in Falkirk. From what I saw it seems a charming town, but all of a sudden I encountered a roundabout, a powerful sense of deja-vu, and looked up to to see Eric Joyce’s constituency office.
    Eric, we know you read this, so please, do the town a favour – get thae windaes washed man, for pity’s sake. Transparency begins at home an aw that…not like it’s coming out your own pocket, eh?

  102. Handandshrimp says:

    The Social Contract, Unions in open conflict with the Labour Government, rising unemployment. Things were not good in 79. Exactly how were Labour going to turn this around between May and October?
    Labour betrayed the spirit of the referendum with the 40% rule and it was hardly likely they were going to get the support of the SNP thereafter especially with so little time left on the clock.
    I was there and I voted in Labour 79 but it was pretty damned clear that Labour were not in a good place, just like Brown was stymied by events, some outside his control some he could have controlled.
    The mantra that the SNP brought in Thatcher is patently absurd. If anyone ushered in Thatcher it was Satchi and Satchi with that Labour isn’t Working poster. It wasn’t the SNP that imploded Labour and set up the SDP either. Some Unionists have short memories, simply weren’t there at the time or would bend spoons to try and twist every facet of history to blame the SNP. An intellectual paucity that is frankly depressing.

  103. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “The SNP were pretty much unelectable for a decade after their support of Thatcher.”

    Um, for how long were Labour “unelectable” after their 1974-79 government? Eighteen years, wasn’t it?

  104. McFacsist says:

    Rev. Stuart Campbell: Remember that it took the SNP 28 years from 1979 to readjust to the death of British socialism, and become a winning political party. A process that very much involved our First Minister, and his political conversion to Blair disciple.

  105. DougtheDug says:

    Grahamski is a Labour party British establishment loyalist. I just got the irony in the name. Brilliant.

    Gramsci was one of the most important Marxist thinkers in the 20th century. He is renowned for his theory of cultural hegemony, which describes how states use cultural institutions to maintain power in a capitalist society. In Marxist philosophy, the term Cultural Hegemony describes the domination of a culturally diverse society by the ruling class, who manipulate the culture of the society – the beliefs, explanations, perceptions, values, and mores – so that their ruling-class Weltanschauung becomes the worldview that is imposed and accepted as the cultural norm; as the universally valid dominant ideology that justifies the social, political, and economic status quo as natural and inevitable, perpetual and beneficial for everyone, rather than as artificial social constructs that benefit only the ruling class. 

  106. muttley79 says:

    @Rev Stu
    Um, for how long were Labour “unelectable” after their 1974-79 government? Eighteen years, wasn’t it?
    Plus they were elected as New Labour (Thatcher’s greatest achievement in her own words).

  107. The Man in the Jar says:

    Just sent a copy of your tax evasion item to all my appropriate contacts.

  108. old mikey says:

    Bunter ‘next Wednesday Mr. Salmond should represent Scotland by going for a round of golf’.Good post but I hope nobody takes it seriously.
    That idea could backfire on the SNP as it would show the first minister being disdainful of protocol in these circumstances. He is acting correctly in stating that he will attend if ‘asked’. If not asked then this would have the opposite effect of Westminster implying that Scotlands F.M. and people were of no import. I quite believe he will attend as he should.   

  109. ianbrotherhood says:

    @The Man in The Jar-
    It is a good one, isn’t it? I don’t know where Richie sourced the £120 billion figure, but I could find out if need be.
    In any event, it doesn’t take a Professor to work out that – IF tax evasion/avoidance/exemption etc etc has climbed towards that figure for the past quarter-century – we’re looking at colossal amounts of wealth which have simply vanished.
    The obvious questions remain:
    Who was the cash taken from?
    Where did it go?
    Where is it right now?

  110. Adrian B says:

    @ ianbrotherhood,
    That’s a truly stunning amount of money going astray from the economy. Still why go looking for it when you can hammer the poor some more while giving Rupert a TAX reduction? (Wee smily thing)

  111. David McCann says:

    Which part of my post at 6.43 did I get wrong? 
    And did Jim Callaghan get it wrong too?

  112. Adrian B says:

    @ David McCann,
    You didn’t get anything wrong. Grahamski just likes doing the same as the other Tories – blaming the SNP. The SNP had 11 Westminster votes, there was about 610 other votes made that day. But it was all the fault of the SNP that the vote went against Labour.
    You see the SNP refuse to take Lordships in the HoL. The Unionists don’t like this as it keeps the SNP working for the common good of the electorate rather than for all politicians , therefor the SNP are not liked for being ‘different’ and playing the Westminster system for all it is worth as many Lords enjoy.
    It rather begs the question – just how appallingly bad  does a Government need to get before the opposition call for a vote of no confidence? I don’t remember Labour calling for a vote of ‘No Confidence’ against Thatcher? 
    Jim Callaghan stayed on as Labour leader for ten years after Thatchers ‘No Confidence’ vote forced an election four months before Callaghan would have had to. Callaghan was then replaced by Michael Foot as leader of the Labour Party – he may not have been a bad person – but he was not leader material and failled to make any impact on Thatcher in opposition. Then came Neil Kinnock, he soon went to be replaced by Blair.

  113. Weedeochandorris says:

    Grahamski awa back to the Scotsman we dont need your trolling dribble on here.  Deserting HMS Scotsman wi the rest of the rats?  Typical.

  114. Weedeochandorris says:

    For a bit of light relief I read the Daily Mash headline “Thatchers grave not a nightclub!”  -“We’re concerned about levels of overcrowding and also the slipperiness as people fulfill their secondary aim of urinating on the former PM’s remains.   It’s a potential disaster zone. Thatcher’s grave could be the biggest threat to the NHS since Thatcher.”  

  115. Nairn says:

    Interesting thing – I was just rewatching Duncan Campbell’s Secret Society Episode 1′ and there’s an interview with former Lewisham West MP Chris Price who states that he led an attempt to rebuild the Lib-Lab pact by persuading Callaghan to give the Liberals a Freedom of Information Act in early 1979, the government having just spiked Clement Freud’s attempt at a private member’s bill. Price says that Callaghan refused point blank, dooming any hope of resurrecting the pact. On the day of the no-confidence motion, Freud was offered a watered-down version of the FoI bill in return for his staying away. Freud returned to Westminster and voted No Confidence with the rest of his party. Had Freud stayed away, the vote would have been 310-310, and the government would’ve survived.
    Basicaly, the SNP were immaterial, and Labour screwed themselves over Freedom of Information, and a control freak mentality. You’d have a better case to blame Clement Freud for the ascent of Thatcher as the SNP (although that would be pretty seriously unfair on Freud).

  116. Laura says:

    £120B – any chance of some confirmation on this figure – it’s pretty powerful stuff.

  117. grahamski says:

    “You’d have a better case to blame Clement Freud..”
    Except the people of Scotland didn’t blame Clement Freud, they blamed the 11 nats who waltzed into the Westminster lobbies in support of Thatcher’s power grab.
    And that’s why a disgusted Scotland wiped them out electorally at the earliest opportunity.
    Whining about that thirty odd years on diminishes you.

  118. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    Can you waltz with an odd number of people?

  119. grahamski says:

    You can if you’ve got a tory on your arm…

  120. grahamski says:

    ..whether you’d want to is a matter of personal taste.

  121. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    …says the man whose party is waltzing 24/7 with the Tories to prevent Scots determining their own future. Again.

  122. Patrick Roden says:

    I think the ‘FACT’ that Johann Lamont and Alistair Darling voted against Scottish devolution, is powerful evidence that shows they have always been opposed to Scotlands self determination.
    This is politicaly powerful and should be used the Yes campaign to let the people of Scotland know how these ("Quizmaster" - Ed)s think. 

  123. Patrick Roden says:

    Ah Grahamski, ("Quizmaster" - Ed) in chief, pays us a visit to share his words of wisdom.
    Grahamski has lost so much credibility, especialy after his postings around various sites before the last Scottish elections, that debating with him is like arguing with Laurel & Hardy, You just can’t take anything he says seriously.
    Grahamski is a figure of fun, just ignore him folks. 🙂

  124. Indion says:

    At 1:21am, David McCann asked you which part of his post at 6.43pm yeaterday did he get wrong?  And did Jim Callaghan get it wrong too?

    The questions weren’t rhetorical.

    Now you’ve slept and are up and about, what are your answers? 

  125. grahamski says:

    Mr Indion
     “In short, Labour back benchers..would have preferred.. the demise of their own government, rather than honour Labour’s manifesto commitment to the Scottish people”
    That quite frankly is poppycock. And desperate poppycock at that.

  126. grahamski says:

    Mr Campbell
    Do you think there is any correlation between the SNP’s support for Thatcher’s power grab and the loss of 80% of their MPs in the resulting election?

  127. David McCann says:

    Poppycock? Why dont you answer the question I asked? Have you read Callaghan’s book? Or Patrick Cosgrave? What is your analysis of their statements which are on the record.
    If you come on here to comment, rather than just troll your usual rhetoric, then please address the questions posed. If not then just butt out

  128. Cath says:

    Re the £120 billion figure, I believe it comes from Richard Murphy and the Tax Research Network. It’s quite a disputed figure, and hard to estimate as it’s a mixture of avoidance (legal) and evasion (illegal) and finding a true figure for that is never easy.
    A good summary of it here though

  129. grahamski says:

    Mr McCann
    You asked what you had got wrong.

    I told you.

    Perhaps you could explain why the SNP lost 80% of its MPs after it backed Thatcher’s grab for power?

  130. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “Do you think there is any correlation between the SNP’s support for Thatcher’s power grab and the loss of 80% of their MPs in the resulting election?”

    I have no idea and neither do you, unless you’ve conducted a poll of hundreds of thousands of people about what they felt in 1979.

    (And of course, they lost FAR less than 80% of their VOTE. It was more like 39%, and the October 1974 result for the SNP had in any event been a freak high. In Feb 1974 they’d had over 200,000 votes fewer than they got seven months later, which presumably wasn’t a result of the no-confidence vote.)

    Now, since we’re trading questions, answer try these two: should the SNP have continued to support Labour (for those whole five extra months), given the fact that Labour had betrayed the pledge that was the condition of that support by introducing the 40% rule and denying the Scottish people the devolution that they voted for democratically?

    And do you honestly think those extra five months would have made any difference to the outcome of the election that would have had to happen in 1979 anyway?

    I cut you a lot of slack on this site, but if you dodge those, I’ll be forced to concede you’re only interested in trolling and act accordingly.

  131. grahamski says:

    Mr Campbell
    I don’t think the SNP should have supported Labour if they felt they couldn’t, however they weren’t compelled to support Thatcher’s grab for power.
    That was truly unforgivable.
    Five months could have made all the difference.

  132. David McCann says:

    Thought so! You dont have an answer! Were you even listening? Was Callaghan making it up as he went along- a bit like yourself maybe?

  133. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “I don’t think the SNP should have supported Labour if they felt they couldn’t, however they weren’t compelled to support Thatcher’s grab for power.”

    You either have confidence in the government or you don’t. Abstaining is a coward’s cop-out, as we’ve seen so spectacularly from Labour recently.

    “Five months could have made all the difference.”

    In what way, given that it took almost two decades and four elections for Labour to regain the confidence of the electorate?

  134. Laura says:

    Thanks Cath.

  135. ianbrotherhood says:

    I’ll ask Richie for his source(s) and when he gets back to me I’ll post them on whatever’s the latest thread.

  136. Seasick Dave says:

    Labour and Conservatives get on great now so I don’t know why Grahamski is opening up old wounds.

  137. Indion says:

    Thanks for your revealing response to my previous. 
    As for ” Five months could have made all the difference. ”
    Five months?! Could?!
    Had our parliament resumed 20 years earlier that would have made all the difference.
    But no, we got a ConLab conspiracy to deny our perfect right to our own democracy, and so no defence to put up with Thatcher and her plundering and squandering of oil amid all else that converted a not fit for purpose corporate public state into the not fit for purpose corporate private state that still exists today!
    If it wasn’t for John Smith, the first politician I met and admired*, nothing further would have come from Labour after that betrayal. But he was a just and  honourable man of integrity who set a bar for Labour they have not ceased to walk under since. 
    (* notwithstanding the providential duty free brandies on my mess bill)

  138. Indion says:


    Thanks for your revealing response to my previous. 

    As for ” Five months could have made all the difference. ”

    Five months?! Could?!

    Had our parliament resumed 20 years earlier that would have made all the difference.

    But no, we got a ConLab conspiracy to deny our perfect right to our own democracy, and so no defence to put up with Thatcher and her plundering and squandering of oil amid all else that converted a not fit for purpose public corporate state into the not fit for purpose private corporate state that still exists and is being widened and deepened today!

    If it wasn’t for John Smith, the first politician I met and admired*, nothing further would have come from Labour after that betrayal. For he was a just and honourable man of integrity and sad loss who set a high bar for Labour they have not ceased to walk under since.
    (* Notwithstanding the providential duty free brandies we shared on my mess bill which might have impaired my judgement, but I doubt it.)

  139. grahamski says:

    “Abstaining is a coward’s cop-out”
    You may be right.
    It’s a cop-out regularly used by SNP MPs at Westminster.

  140. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “It’s a cop-out regularly used by SNP MPs at Westminster.”

    Can you give me a single example, other than the principled policy of not voting on matters which only affect England/Wales/N Ireland?

  141. grahamski says:

    The SNP abstained on equal marriage legislation which some affected Scots.

  142. Indion says:

    Rev Stu,
    Sigh. Please pick my not spaced out 11:38am to delete with this missive.
    I promise not to answer the phone in mid edit ever again.
    Trust me, I’m a pain in my own arse. 

  143. grahamski says:

    I’ll try that again:
    The SNP abstained on equal marriage legislation which affected some Scots.

  144. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “The SNP abstained on equal marriage legislation which affected some Scots.”

    A tiny number, who will be covered by Scotland’s own legislation. You said “regularly”. Got the others?

  145. grahamski says:

    Mr Campbell
    “Can you give me a single example”
    I did.

  146. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “I did.”

    Indeed. And after you did that, I asked you to support your claim of them doing it “regularly”. Can you?

  147. Adrian B says:

    The BBC recorded it rather differently to how you meekly assert that time in UK Politics.



    Callaghan had had the option of calling an election in the Autumn of 1978, but decided to carry on and face the country after the economy had improved. Unfortunately the “winter of discontent” that followed severely damaged the government’s economic policy and its standing in the polls. Although the government picked up slightly in the polls during the campaign, on 3 May 1979 Margaret Thatcher became Britain’s first woman prime minister.


    Callaghan’s parliamentary position became increasingly precarious. By April 1976 the government had lost its formal majority. The immediate reasons were a by-election defeat, the defection of two of Callaghan’s backbenchers to form a new ‘Scottish Labour Party’ and the defection of the maverick John Stonehouse.

    However, Callaghan managed to survive, mainly because the other opposition parties did not seem ready to unite to defeat him. By March 1977, after further by-election losses, he agreed to a parliamentary arrangement with David Steel and the Liberal Party which became known as the ‘Lib-Lab Pact’.

    The Lib-Lab pact ended in August 1978. The pact had been unpopular with some activists in both Parties, and in any case, an election was expected soon.


    Callaghan could have gone to the country in the Autumn of 1978. The economy was improving and the Government had recovered some of its popularity. There was considerable speculation and controversy in the Cabinet about when the best time to go would be. Callaghan sought to end the speculation by singing an old Marie Lloyd song ‘Waiting at the Church’ to the TUC Congress. This was misunderstood in some quarters and he put the country’s mind at rest in a broadcast in which he confirmed that he would not call an election until 1979. He was expecting that another round of pay policy would demonstrate to the electorate the success of his economic policy.

    In the event, the pay policy did not hold and the scenes of industrial unrest were to be remembered as the ‘winter of discontent’. Callaghan hoped to keep public sector pay claims under 5%. When tanker drivers forced the Government to give them a 14% raise, the flood gates opened. By the end of January, water workers, ambulance drivers, sewerage staff and dustmen were involved in industrial action, heralding the ‘Winter of Discontent’.



    On returning from an international economic conference in Guadeloupe, the Prime Minister showed himself to be out of touch with the mood of the country. When asked about the growing industrial crisis facing Britain, Callaghan denied any crisis existed, leading to The Sun headline ‘Crisis? What Crisis?’

    When the devolution referenda were held, Wales voted ‘no’ and while Scotland voted ‘yes’ the majority was insufficient to make the decision binding. On the same day, 1 March 1979, the Government lost two by-election seats to the Conservatives. The SNP now withdrew its support from the Government and a vote of no confidence (on an SNP motion on devolution) was passed on 28 March. Callaghan called the general election for 3 May.






    The vote came by a series of events, which had things happened differently for Callaghan may never have happened. The fact there was so much discontent, both in political circles and in the real world shaped the electorates vote. Scotland voted Labour – it got Tory.



    The general election of 1979 was to prove a political watershed. Most historians and commentators agree that the election of Margaret Thatcher marked a break in post-war British history. The era from 1945 – 1979 had been characterised by a ‘consensus’ style of politics, in which the main parties mostly agreed on certain fundamental political issues and concepts such as the mixed economy, the role of the trades unions, the need for an incomes policy and the nature of the provision of public services such as health and education. This was now to change. Most of all, Mrs Thatcher’s election heralded a change in the politics of unemployment.


    The UK Change (on seats) the BBC gives for the 3rd May 1979 election are as follows:


    Conservative +62

    Labour -50

    Liberal -2

    Others -10


    UK wide people were fed up and voted for change. Callaghan gambled and lost, his own policies on pay lay in tatters and certainly contributed to his down fall.

  148. David McCann says:

    Still no answer to my last post. Dont have one eh?

  149. grahamski says:

    Mr McCann
    I have no idea if Callaghan was making it up as he went along.
    Mr Campbell
    You asked for a single example and you got one, hoist by your own petard my lovely…

  150. Doug says:

    So, by virtue of Scots living in England, the SNP should vote in ALL legislation?  Or just the gay marriage vote? Why is that special/different to other English legislation?

  151. grahamski says:

    Hi Doug
    “Why is that special/different to other English legislation?”
    Because it affects Scots abroad and in the military.
    Simply put it is NOT English only legislation.

  152. scottish_skier says:

    I understood he role of an elected MP was to represent the people living in their constituency.
    As the Westminster equal marriage legislation does not affect any Scottish constituencies, no Scottish MP should be voting on the matter as those they represent are unaffected by it.
    I understand that Scottish Labour, Liberal Democrat and Conservative MPs regularly vote on matters which don’t affect their own constituents (NHS privatisation, tuition fees etc) but do impact people living in English constituents. This has significantly increased cross-border tension and is in no doubt hastening the demise of the UK.

  153. Doug says:

    That is a direct answer to a direct question.  Fair play.  But nobody would seriously suggest the SNP is opposed to equal marriage, given they are happily passing same through Holyrood (and taking much flak for it!)

  154. grahamski says:

    Hi Doug
    I made no such suggestion. The SNP’s support for equal marriage is welcome.

  155. Doug says:

    Agreed, and I did not suggest you were.

    Although, as a technical point, one could make that argument for any aspect of English criminal law, which British soldiers remain subject to anywhere in the world.

  156. Adrian B says:

    Scotland has its own legislation that will cover Scots military abroad.
    The existing position of Scots MPs voting in Westminster is full of holes – a decision on each individual vote is probably made by the SNP. If they had voted in this one, they would have been voting on the population of England and English in the Military, serving abroad.
    Its a big ‘West Lothian question’ issue that has never been resolved in Westminster – it has been left to individual parties to sort out amongst themselves.
    The SNP position on this vote is clear. Vote for the legislation in Scotland via the Scottish Parliament and let The English, Welsh and Northern Ireland MPs vote on the Westminster legislation.
    It was the best all round solution – voting in Westminster would have been rather hypocritical at that point. The armed forces are run from Westminster – its not devolved. Seems like the Bill should be broadly in line with Scottish legislation anyway.

  157. Nairn says:

    grahamski says:
    10 April, 2013 at 7:31 am

    “You’d have a better case to blame Clement Freud..”
    Except the people of Scotland didn’t blame Clement Freud, they blamed the 11 nats who waltzed into the Westminster lobbies in support of Thatcher’s power grab.
    Regardless, Grahamski, the facts of the matter are that when Labour had a choice between greater government openness and a Tory government in place of their own government’s continued survival, Labour chose Thatcher. You don’t have to be a Freudian to recognize how messed up that is.

  158. MajorBloodnok says:

    It makes sense therefore that the SNP try to vote in Westminster only on ‘reserved matters’ but for anything that is clearly devolved they would abstain.  Obviously there are a few grey areas and these would be decided on a case by case basis, as Adrian B notes.
    It’s a pity Labour cannot be similarly principled (which I know is an unfamiliar concept these days but it’s in the dictionary Grahamski, so look it up).

  159. muttley79 says:

    O/T  @Rev Stu
    Do you know if anything is happening to National Collective?

  160. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “You asked for a single example and you got one, hoist by your own petard my lovely…”

    Oh dear.

    Can we assume this is your last post here, then?

  161. grahamski says:

    Mr Campbell
    On this thread, probably.
    I’ll keep my eye on your wee gang hut and correct any future errors when I can be bothered.
    In the meantime, chin chin!

  162. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “I’ll keep my eye on your wee gang hut and correct any future errors when I can be bothered.”

    I wouldn’t be so sure about that.

    I challenged you to prove you were interested in debate, not just trolling. You made an allegation that the SNP “repeatedly” abstained on Westminster votes, which I’ve asked you to back up. You haven’t done so, citing instead an imaginary cut-off point. If that remains your stance, I’ll only be able to come to one conclusion. Debate is welcome here, trolling is not.

  163. Handandshrimp says:

    Five months could have made all the difference.
    In what way? You seem to be forgetting that the Party was in melt down with Owen, Jenkins and co getting ready to break off to form the SDP. It was the SDP taking so much of the core Labour vote that helped keep the Tories in office so long. Would a summer recess really have made any difference to those internal divisions?
    There were no economic green shoots in the offing in 79 it was another global downturn heading towards recession…in fact things continued to get worse. It wouldn’t have made a blind bit of difference, the Zeitgeist of the time in England leaned towards Maggie and even if it had been October the dole queue would have just been longer and the vote just the same. I also believe that the SNP would have lost the same seats in Oct 79 because they were squeezed when Scots saw a potential Tory return. To blame an election in May when one could have been held no later than Oct for 19 years of Tory rule is a complete abrogation of responsibility for the shocking condition and performance of Labour by 79 and in the following years.  

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