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Labour welfare proposals detailed

Posted on September 04, 2013 by

Because everybody loves a good transcript, right?


GLENN CAMPBELL: Jackie Baillie, what is your idea of a fairer welfare system? I mean, what would the top couple of changes that you would want to make to create a fairer system be?

JACKIE BAILLIE: Sure, sure. I think there are discussions ongoing about how we could ensure that the welfare state is, y’know, areas of it devolved in Scotland, where there is an impact on local policy.

But, d’you know, I come to the, the position from saying that it needs to be based on need, not on nationality, not on geography, not on the constitution, but across the United Kingdom, actually dealing with people’s needs. Because for me it’s about people, it’s not about geography, and it’s not about the constitution.

CAMPBELL: But is there something that you would do, if you were in charge tomorrow – either in Scotland or across the UK – what would be the first thing you would do to make the system fairer?

BAILLIE: Sure, well I would certainly, I would deal with the bedroom tax, frankly, um, because I’m very clear that we should scrap the bedroom tax, I’m equally clear that the SNP –

CAMPBELL: Is that now Labour Party policy, both in Scotland and the UK?

BAILLIE: – have the power, have the power, let, let me just say to you, have the power to do something about that now. They can stop evictions, they can put money in place to help housing associations and councils, we’ve heard the most appalling stories over the last week about people threatened with eviction. We cannot –

CAMPBELL: In some cases by Labour local authorities.

BAILLIE: – allow that, well, I have to say, by SNP councils too, you only need to look at Clackmannanshire*. It’s not about scoring points about which local authority did it, it’s about having a consistent position across Scotland, so that we see off this appalling bedroom tax. They can do it now, they have the power to do it, but they absolutely refuse to do so.

CAMPBELL: Where would you and your colleagues find the £50m that your finance spokesperson says would be committed to this were Labour in charge?

BAILLIE: Sure, sure, I mean, we will help the SNP find it, but can I offer –

CAMPBELL: Well, where would it come from?

BAILLIE: – the £10 million for ‘Brave’, okay?

CAMPBELL: That’s been spent!

BAILLIE: Yeah, but that was something, that’s something, that’s about choices, that’s what politics is about. Jamie [Hepburn, SNP] can choose to spend it on a Disney movie, we choose to spend it on taking care of the people of Scotland. That’s what the Scottish Parliament was elected for.

[sits back with inexplicably satisfied smile]

So there you have it. Labour’s top two specific policy commitments on welfare if they were in power tomorrow would be to (1) “ensure that the welfare state is, y’know, areas of it devolved in Scotland, where there is an impact on local policy”, and (2) go back in time and not spend £10m (actually £7m) on the Scottish tourism industry, plus find another £40m from [mumble mumble] to alleviate – not “scrap” – the bedroom tax.

(Baillie seemed very confused on this subject. If you scrap the bedroom tax you don’t need to find £50m to cover arrears caused by its penalties, because there won’t be any. And the Scottish Government does NOT in fact “have the power to” scrap it. She appears to be using the terms “scrap” and “compensate for” interchangeably.)

60% of the Scottish people want welfare devolved to the Scottish Parliament. But at 25m 17s in the same programme, Jackie Baillie stated:

“I’m not saying that, y’know, we can’t develop our own welfare system, I’m saying we shouldn’t develop our own welfare system.”

She actively opposes Holyrood being given the power to scrap the bedroom tax, but represents a party that still refuses to say it will do so in Westminster. It would appear that whether Labour or the Tories win the next general election, a Scotland that’s still in the UK will be stuck with the bedroom tax either way.


* We’re not entirely sure what Ms Baillie is referring to with this comment. The official policy of the SNP-led Clackmannanshire Council is that it “will use all legitimate means to collect rent due, except eviction. (Our emphasis.)

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  1. 29 08 14 22:20

    48 Lies | A Wilderness of Peace

112 to “Labour welfare proposals detailed”

  1. Susan says:

    Did Ed Miliband not promise to get rid of the Bedroom Tax if he wins the next General Election, just last week or so? Or have I misread it?

  2. Taranaich says:

    Words cannot express the contempt I have for these people.

  3. Angus says:

    The whole idea is for baillie to do the only thing she can do-mislead………pretend labour cares about Scotland or anywhere else.
    Talk down the Scottish Government (or councils) by misleading statements and she has form on that especially with tha NHS Scotland rubbish she spouts, along with the bbc support labour enjoy here in Scotland, and the bbc feel obliged to use our licence tax to promote her lies and labour’s lies.

  4. handclapping says:

    If JoLa is the female equivalent of Tony Blair then JaBa is Gordon Brown.

  5. Albalha says:

    Could it be this she’s referring to, rent arrears is where it gets very messy for any council, of course what’s the story now?

  6. Gillie says:

    Devolution explained as Scottish Labour sees it.
    The Scottish government are expected to offset the negative impact of welfare reforms but are not allowed to implement welfare reform.
    This allows Westminster to be as nasty as they want against the most disadvantaged in Scotland and expect Holyrood to pick up the pieces of broken lives. 

  7. Training Day says:

    The fact that supposedly sentient individuals vote for this party is even more inexplicable than Baillie’s satisfied smile.

  8. Juteman says:

    Watch PMQ’s from today. Cameron taunted Milliband over the Bedroom Tax, asking if he would scrap it. He refused to answer.
    Baillie is everything that is wrong with politics.

  9. Susan, he was asked today in the HOC if he would repeal it, should he be in power after the next election, he refused to say yes.

  10. Thepnr says:

    This is precisely the reason I joined LFI and now support YES. This women ought to grow a pair and come and join US!

  11. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    Did Ed Miliband not promise to get rid of the Bedroom Tax if he wins the next General Election, just last week or so? Or have I misread it?”

    No. Read past the headline and opening paragraph.

  12. Bobby McKail says:

    And she holds the Welfare brief for Labour in Scotland as well. Seems to me that the position was created to provide her with a hypocrisy pulpit to attack the SNP helped by MSM not holding them to account. Even with that being the case Labour are still failing badly, the BBC et al must be pulling what hair they have left out.

  13. Doug Daniel says:

    Bob Monkhouse had a joke that went: “People always say: ‘You’re a comedian, tell us a joke.’ They don’t say: ‘You’re an MP, tell us a lie.'”
    In Jackie Baillie’s case, there’s no need to ask. As soon as she opens her gob, the lies spill out.

  14. Craig M says:

    How are LFI getting on? What’s the news on the ground?

  15. Dcanmore says:

    ‘She actively opposes Holyrood being given the power to scrap the bedroom tax, but represents a party that still refuses to say it will do so in Westminster.’
    The four words is all you need to know.

  16. JamesLSnook says:

    God, I used to vote for these people. I am so ashamed.

  17. Dcanmore says:

    ‘She actively opposes Holyrood being given the power to scrap the bedroom tax, but represents a party that still refuses to say it will do so in Westminster.’

    The first four words is all you need to know… I meant FFS!

  18. HulloHulot says:

    Jackie Baillie’s a prize idiot with only a limited intimacy with reality.
    Two personal highlights: claiming at ~18’25 that two thirds of social security spend is in pensions. According to the IFS in a report released in July of this year (Government spending on benefits and state pensions in Scotland: current patterns, future issues, relevant graph: page 7), pensions take up 36.35% of the UK’s social security costs. In Scotland, the statistics are slightly different, pensions take up 36.62%.
    And then later in she argues, “but the expert working group [on welfare] doesn’t report until 2016, that’s a full two years after independence.” For someone who claims to read the SNP’s press releases, it’s remarkable that she didn’t know about the first report (released in June of this year) and that the final report (which was about medium and long term implications and plans) was due out in early 2014.
    Oh yes, and it would be around two years after the referendum. The independence is scheduled for 2016.
    But enough about her statistics — her performance on Newsnight perfectly communicated  Scottish Labour’s stance on Welfare and for that she deserves credit.

  19. David McCann says:

    These are the people who would prefer to be in permanent oposition in Westminster, rather than in government in an independent Scotland. They make me sick.

  20. muttley79 says:

    Jackie Baillie quote:  “because I’m very clear that we should scrap the bedroom tax”,
    Milliband refuses to say he would scrap it.

  21. Dave McEwan Hill says:

    Craig M
    Launch of Dunoon Labour For Indy on Saturday night at Dunoon Burgh Hall.
    Speeches, music ,dancers, bar.
    Allan Grogan, Alex Bell, Celia Fitzgerald, Bob Thomson 7pm – 10pm

  22. david says:

    JaBa, read that 10 mins ago, still chuckling, so apt or wot ?

  23. Albalha says:

    The last time I did was 1997, as you say what a pile of bollocks they sold us, but at least we got devolution, so maybe that vote was worth it. Slowly, slowly and all that.

  24. Albalha says:

    @Dave McEwan Hill
    Alex Bell is Labour for Indy? When did that happen, thought he was an SNP man.

  25. Juteman says:

    When you look at the two pictures of Baillie, one on here, and the previous thread, she is obviously squeezing out more than lies. For a Rev, you’re a very naughty man!

  26. wee jamie says:

    Can this really be the same party which gave us the likes of Donald Dewar and John Smith ? The labour party in Scotland are really scraping the bottom of the barrel with the current  ” crop at the top ” Lamont , Sarwar ,Curran ,Baillie, everyone of them a complete embarrassment to Scotland.

  27. Gillie says:

    Bob Monkhouse also used the line, “People used to laugh at me when I said I wanted to be a comedian …….. They’re not laughing now!”
    I wonder if Jackie Baillie will ever get her own joke as being the Welfare spokesperson for Scottish Labour

  28. Atypical_Scot says:

    Like Ms Ballie says we shouldn’t create anything of our own. This chap definitely agrees.


  29. Thepnr says:

    @ Craig M
    Best check out the LFI facebook page, most up to date info can be found there. Also check the facebook page of the Tayside and Fife branch.
    By all accounts though there is a lot of activity and interest from disillusioned traditional Labour folk like myself.

  30. pmcrek says:

    Unfortunately as we all know, even mitigating the awful bedroom tax with cuts elsewhere doesn’t address the underlying root of the problem. The only cut we need and that will suffice  is Westminster.

  31. Albalha says:

    Even though I gave Labour my vote in 1997 was never convinced by Dewar and, sadly in retrospect, would Smith have been any better, though I can still remember where I was when the news of his death was announced.

  32. annie says:

    You know it would be funny if it weren’t so tragic that this is the calibre of opposition that we have if the Scottish Parliament.

  33. Chic McGregor says:

    OT  Anyone hear if they managed to rescue that whale?

  34. Donald MacDonald says:

    Is Jackie Baillie a liar or just profoundly stupid?

  35. Thepnr says:

    I believe John Smith was a great man. I also remember where I was, it was a tragedy since we ended up with Blair.
    O/T On a lighter note all this talk of Bob Monkhouse reminded me of the late Tommy Cooper a fellow shipwright. Some of his one liners:
    Man goes to the doc, with a strawberry growing out of his head. Doc says ‘I’ll give you some cream to put on it.’
    I went up into the attic and found a Stradivarius and a Rembrandt. 
    Unfortunately Stradivarius was a terrible painter and Rembrandt made lousy violins.
    A man walks into a greengrocer’s and says, I want five pounds of potatoes please. And the greengrocer says, we only sell kilos. So the man says, alright then, I’ll have five pounds of kilos.

  36. CameronB says:

    I hope this doesn’t make me appear to be a snob, but that inexplicably satisfied smile just makes me think of a contestant on one of the cheaper game shows the broadcasters use to fill the wee small hours with after midnight.
    The smile is as fake as the tan and her ‘convictions’.

  37. Albalha says:

    On the Edinbutgh whale it died, not sure if you were being metaphorical, though.

  38. Juteman says:

    Many young folk won’t realise how momentous this period in time is. Under 30’s probably take the SNP’s existence as a major party for granted.
     We are so fortunate to be able to decide a nations destiny. How many people in history get to do that? It’s mind blowing! Sometimes it’s easy to forget just how important this is.
    I enjoy reading about history, and often think about what our ancestors would make of this bloodless opportunity to win a nation.

  39. Chic McGregor says:

    Did it?  Ach shame, hardly ever succeeds though does it?

  40. Morag says:

    On the Edinbutgh whale it died, not sure if you were being metaphorical, though.
    Not half it didn’t.  I just spent some time today wading through its blood and guts.  All finished off by the museum guys getting the skeleton for future exhibition.  Quite brightened up the day for the student we had with us this week.

  41. wee jamie says:

    @ Albalha
    Thatcher came to power the year I left school, and my old man was a  lifelong labour / trades unionist, he thought that the only way forward was independence, and convinced me of the same, hence i have always voted S.N.P, although I still hold traditional labour/ socialist views . What I was trying to express was the fact that even though my vote was for independence, I still saw decent Scottish labour figures as respectable dignified people worthy of respect, and it cannot be denied that, compared to what we have now, they were.

    My attitude now is , let’s get this thing done, then post independence, we can all choose from what’s on offer from various parties, I think the way the p.r system works in the scottish parliament, we will see a lot more cross party cooperation in the future, instead of the adversarial ways of Westminster, and this can only be for the benefit of the Scottish people.

  42. Juteman says:

    I decided to register with Panelbase a couple of hours ago, and have just completed my first ever poll!
    The only difficult question was re the Liberals. How has their coalition affected how you might vote for them. There was no box that would let me say I would never vote for them, so I ticked ‘no difference’.
    What will I spend my £3.40 on? Maybe a pint at the rally!

  43. ` says:

    Slogan – “MAKE HISTORY _ VOTE YES !”

  44. david says:

    JaBa. sides are aching

  45. Albalha says:

    I reckon then we’re of the same vintage, I didn’t have a vote in ’79 too young, by a whisker. I suppose, all I’m saying is, having seen New Labour rather up too close and personal, I’m just not convinced, in hindsight, that Smith would have been that much different.

    Anyway as you say a new day is dawning and we can bloody well do this, we can, I’m sure.

    What’s the worst that can happen? And you know I make no secet on here that I’m not an SNP person, they too have their faults, but let’s discuss all that post YES in 2014.

  46. JamesLSnook says:

    @ albalha @wee jamie – Always a more or less tactical Labour voter since the ascent of Blair (and still remember my shock and dismay at John Smith’s death), but I was living down south till 1997 so there was nowhere else to go. The first vote I had in Scotland was for Yes-Yes in the devolution referendum, and after that it was a relief to discover I didn’t have to vote Labour if they weren’t doing the business, as there was somewhere else for an instinctive lefty to go. Still cast the odd tactical vote for them even after Iraq (with my nose firmly held), but the way they’ve carried on in opposition since 2007 has finished that forever – plus, of course, a growing belief that independence was actually a necessity as well as a real possibility. My Labour-voting friends down south – when they’re not being tribal – confess to being jealous.

  47. call me dave says:

    Just now on the BBC radio Scotland.
    Baillie   “Personally I would scrap the bedroom tax”
    Interviewer    ” Thank you” ….  ” Meanwhile Mr Milliband etc etc….”
    No mention of asking Lamont, and why should he bother.
    She would have to phone Ed up for an answer….OH wait the real “Call me Dave” has already asked him today at PMQ’s.  He used the Lamont defence! . . . . No comment.

  48. MajorBloodnok says:

    wee jamie says: Can this really be the same party which gave us the likes of Donald Dewar and John Smith ? The labour party in Scotland are really scraping the bottom of the barrel with the current  ” crop at the top ” Lamont , Sarwar ,Curran ,Baillie, everyone of them a complete embarrassment to Scotland.

    As a former Labour voter myself (OMG I even voted for Darling once, late last century) I have to say that the behaviour and attitude of Labour as it is now has made me go back and reconsider carefully my opinion of the Labour ‘greats’ such as Donald Dewar and John Smith; and the more I know about how the Labour party works now, with its distortions, outright lies, hypocrisy, actual distain for the working man (except as voting fodder) and its all pervading focus on empty spin and media control, the more I realise is that even they were part of the same machine.

    Perhaps there were more politicians of conviction back then, but in the cruel reflected light of the current crop you can certainly look back and see parallels with how they operated.  The main example for me is how they stitched up the voting mechanism in Scotland as part of the devolution settlement deliberately to keep the SNP out.  Not very democratic was it?

    And if you read Orwell at all (and I recommend 1984 and Homage to Catalonia for this) you can see exactly how these so-called ‘socialist’ parties worked and still work (in 1984 he is writing about the logical conclusion of the Labour party’s attitude and tactics of the late 1940s); there are many parallels that jump out at you when you consider these things objectively.

    As for John Smith, we will never know, but his virtual deification by having him buried on Iona beside our ancient kings now seems like blasphemy… because now I don’t doubt that if he had lived he would have ended up in the Lords like the rest of them.

    How our eyes are opened.

  49. david says:

    lamont, curran and the rest of them learnt all they know from dewar, smith etc

  50. Jiggsbro says:

    The ability to spin bullshit into an attack on the SNP seems to be all that is required of SLab politicians and apparatchiks these days. They’re against independence because they’re terrified they might have to run a country.

  51. Lanarkist says:

    Sorry OT, Just listening to news on radio and two articles stood out. Glasgow’s standing at no.1 in households with no-one in employment and 10% rise in whiskey exports to the America’s. This annoyed me somewhat after a post on WOS regards exports going through English Ports. After Indy we will have to invest in deep water ports in Glasgow and Dundee to serve the America’s from the West Coast and Europe from Dundee, Edinburgh and Aberdeen. All of this would involve main road upgrades and rail improvements as well as possible canalways. Greater employment, investment, bigger tax take from employment and properly registered exports and better use of oil income. All of which would easily make welfare payments reduce, the bedroom tax disappear and create wealth distribution for investment and house building/buying in redeveloped areas to service these new industries.

    If London was not able to spend most of the money imagine what we could achieve! Renewable technology to export to the world, heavy engineering revitalised, ports thriving etc.etc.

    I am sure many people could add their own joined up ideas. Let’s get on with it!

    Dump these old school bums and start afresh. Old ideas wrapped up in new, (pink), jackets. We can do better than this. Vote Yes!

  52. call me dave says:

    Why are the BBC  not getting any questions to some Scottish Labour – Glasgow MP’s
    On the situation in Glasgow re: 30.1% households with no one in employment
    I do appreciate that some of th percentage will be down to 
    Age: Illness: Retirement: Single parent obligations…
    but just the same have their / will their views been asked.

    Willie Bain
    Glasgow North East

    Margaret Curran
    Glasgow East

    Ian Davidson
    Glasgow South West

    Anas Sarwar
    Glasgow Central

    These representatives have plenty to say about Scotland and the SG.
    But what are they doing about it in Westminster ?     (no ref: intentionally to Davidson) 

  53. Archie [not Erchie] says:

    Just watched a lead in for the STV debate tomorrow night at 1030pm and once again there was a clip of some Fiscal Studies tosspot stating that in Scotland we get older quicker than anywhere else.
    Sorry folks but I might not make it to the Rally. No flowers please just put my unicyle and budgie collection up for sale. Any funds raised just send to Rev Stu. 🙁

  54. john king says:

    “JaBa, read that 10 mins ago, still chuckling, so apt or wot ?”
    what? as in jaba the hutt?

  55. Murray McCallum says:

    “Drying time 5 minutes”.
    Sorry, just seeing if our dishwasher had any detailed comment about welfare policy as Scottish New Labour.  On Ms Baillie performance I’m calling it  a score draw.

  56. ` says:

    I wholly agree with what you said, onward and upwards !
    These are the visions we need, let us add Scotland’s food industry and supply more of our own to Supermarket shelves, making producers gear up, it would add to what you have said. More jobs, tax receipts, less poverty, a vision to go for.

  57. john king says:

    atypical scot says 
    “Like Ms Ballie says we shouldn’t create anything of our own. This chap definitely agrees.”
    I spent months of wasted energy sparring with Steelyvibe on the Telegraph, just when I thought I was getting through to him he turned back into a rabid unionist, you almost be forgiven for thinking he was more that one person, hmmm?

  58. wee jamie says:

    I agree wi you lanarkist , the future looks bright for our weans in a revitalised , independent scotland,where industry is not based on being overspill branches of English owned companies, and we get to spend the revenue we generate on worthwhile, meaningful  , public  works ,not massive vanity projects such as HS2.

  59. john king says:

    “You know it would be funny if it weren’t so tragic that this is the calibre of opposition that we have if the Scottish Parliament.”
     A thought best left in the back of the drawer, its possible their own stupidity will prove to be their most powerful weapon

  60. john king says:

    “Is Jackie Baillie a liar or just profoundly stupid?

  61. Albalha says:

    @archie(not erchie)
    Now don’t be buying into nonsense statistics and get yourself, the budgie (dead or alive) and the unicycle to the High Street in Edinburgh 21/09/13.

  62. david says:

    dunno whats the funniest, JaBa or shadow health sec, helpmaboab

  63. AnneDon says:

    Baillie did say on Newsnicht that she didn’t believe people’s benefit should depend on geography. Obviously hasn’t been speaking to Labour high command in London, who seem to be moving towards regional benefits!

  64. Albalha says:

    Meanwhile over at The Guardian
    Mention of Bella, National Collective and Common Weal, all good and, I’ve put many into them all, but you see the renegades on this site, nowhere to be found.

  65. Caroline Corfield says:

    Greenock is a container port, or it was till they stopped dredging the Clyde. Port Glasgow was built further towards the sea to also counteract the shallowness of the Clyde. There are plenty of good deep water locations on the West coast but we’d have to copy the Norwegians to make good access through to our fjords using tunnels and bridges. I’ve been in some lovely wee ports on the Norwegian coast, all thriving. Plus what about Stranraer? That would be well worth the effort to upgrade including access roads.

  66. Rod Mac says:

    I work in the “export” business I can assure everyone on here  the vast majority ,around 99% of all Scottish food exports go out from English ports.

    This would account for much of the so called trade we allegedly have with RUK which will be stopped when we secede according to Project fear.
    We could save our exporters a lot of money if we could consolidate and send out our massive food and alcohol exports from our own ports.

    Indeed during WW11 most of UK’s entire imports came in from US and the deep water port 24×7  of  Greenock was a godsend.
    All our convoys rendezvoused there too, for embarkation.

    The English channel is like the M25 ,overcrowded and the ports are all tidal causing many delayed.
    Ships can sometimes wait a week in Holland  trying to get into English ports.

    Then for imported goods we have extra cost of transportation from South England to Scotland.

    The jobs ,companies ,and wealth that could be recreated by opening our ports again is huge.

    There is huge potential for Scotland in shipbuilding ,logistics ,and other ancillary industries.

  67. Ronnie says:

    ‘Beware the JaBa Wock, my son!

    The jaws that bite, the claws that catch………………

  68. Paula Rose says:

    Now, remind me – what’s that deep water port 20 miles from Glasgow called?

  69. wee jamie says:

    wiz there no wan at hunterston during the miners strike ,where they brought in the coal fae poland, so yuille & dodds could drive it tae power stations tae break the strike ?

  70. Robert Knight says:

    The suggestion from Baillie seemed to be that Scotland could create a fairer welfare system but that we simply shouldn’t.

  71. G H Graham says:

    It is deeply disturbing that people like Jackie Baillie are permitted to represent constituents in any capacity.
    She is inarticulate, illogical, confused & expends no effort whatsoever to hide her stupidity. Her drunken like ramblings invariably rely on mentioning the SNP in a banal attempt to deflect attention on her own party’s flawed policies.
    She represents everything that is wrong with Scotland’s political society & I look forward to the day, post independence when we may have the opportunity of discarding people like her once & for all.

  72. joe kane says:

    Here is a 1hr 36min video of a Trade Union organised meeting where Jackie Baillie and Labour get a roasting from members of the audience. Topic of discussion “Free Tuition, Free Bus Passes, Free Prescriptions – Can We Afford Them?” –
    Published on 1 Dec 2012
    Clydebank Trades Union Council

  73. David Martin says:

    Regarding the various posts about the current crop of Labour politicians versus previous generations, the standouts for me are  Tam Dalyell and Dennis Canavan. Dennis for standing as an independent aftrr being ousted by his party did it for me. Tam for numerous things, but obviously, the west lothian question, belgrano and knowing that granting devo was letting the independence genie out of the bottle. A voice in the wilderness. On the opposite end is of course Foulkes!

  74. rabb says:

    She’s got some fucking neck on her! No – really, she literally has got some fucking neck on her!
    Someone please pinch me and tell me I was only dreaming when I voted for these muppets!

  75. tartanfever says:

    Not sure about those comments regarding Dewar – this being the man happy to sign over 6,000 square miles of Scottish North Sea waters in secret as payment for the setting up of Holyrood.

    One of the greatest scandals ever to hit our country and one that many of the population still know nothing about.

  76. Eddie says:

    @Lanarkist, I’m pretty sure (with the abundance of cruise ships visiting) that the Clyde already has a deep water port at Greenock along with the one at Faslane that is currently used by the subs.  Extra infrastructure would indeed be welcome and I’ve no doubt that we would do so as an indpendent nation. 
    I’m certain that the Clyde would go back to being a hub for the trade in world sales and imports which would be very good news to those in Greenock and Port Glasgow, two areas that have high levels of unemployment, although (tongue firmly in cheek) this couldn’t possibly have been helped be succesive Labour and Lib-Dem councils eh?

  77. eva says:

    Rev, I am deeply disturbed at being exposed to not one but two images of JaBa the Fibber over such a short period of time. Health warning in future please.

    She knows she is telling lies and she is doing it deliberately. When is she going to be taken to task about her lies re Clackmannanshire,the Wee County with horrific statistics of child poverty, unemployment, deprivation, addiction, you name it ? The MP for far too long was of course Martin, strangely enough now Lord, O’Neill, quoted in Hansard as describing the purpose of Labour in Scotland being ” to lower the expectations of the Scottish people.” Plus ca change.

    The SNP led Council is doing its level best to address decades of decay for which Labour is responsible and if JaBa knew her stuff about what Labour are responsible for in Clackmannanshire as well as elsewhere in Scotland she would disappear back under her duvet and remain there for a very long time.

  78. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “Not sure about those comments regarding Dewar – this being the man happy to sign over 6,000 square miles of Scottish North Sea waters in secret as payment for the setting up of Holyrood.”

    In fairness, if that WAS the reason he did it, hats off to him. A price well worth paying, because without Holyrood we wouldn’t be a year from an independence referendum, after which we can negotiate our rightful territory according to international law anyway.

  79. Thepnr says:

    I met Dewar once on the train from Aberdeen, to my surprise he was sat right opposite me in the 2nd class cabin and that was my first thought “why isn’t he in first class”. I don’t for a minute believe that this was some kind of show of solidarity with the working class but much more an area where was comfortable to sit and work in that environment. No pretensions whatsoever in my view. A decent man for sure.

  80. ` says:

    She got plenty air time on BBC Scotland News, quite a bit on 6pm STV.
    Tonight 10.30pm we will be told that the unemployed in Glasgow  do not really want jobs. Implications that we are not really wanting to change this, sohow would Independence sort this “Scottish” problem.
    Undermine confidence, that’s their next trick, we cannot do anything right, only Westminster can help, bla bla bla !

  81. AlexMcI says:

    I don’t know for sure his motives for the 6000sq miles of sea thing, but as the Rev says, if he had to do it to get the parliament for us, then that’s cool with me. The fact this was done is another McCrone moment when you show people the evidence. So perhaps he always saw the bigger picture. Besides, the man looks good wearing a traffic cone.

  82. Lanarkist says:

    The world class opportunities that Scotland possesses are being left to rot in a cupboard in Westminster. Interest rates are at an all time low at present and Scotland could borrow against  export potential and mineral assets and tech and knowledge potential to invest immediately in massive infrastructure projects.

    West and East Coast deep ports, ferry terminals, smaller harbours for modern ethical, conservationist fishing, pleasure cruising, transportation of goods.

    Roads upgraded, trains extended and modernised and nationalised, rivers and canals utilised.

    It is hard to know what difference opening up our ports for import and export will make in monetary terms until we are allowed to open and examine the ledgers.

    Rod, Wee Jamie and others don’t you find it strange, when growing up you always heard on the news how well informed and chronicled England and Wales were. Exports up, educational achievement, statistics, improved performance this and that. I could never recall  hearing  about comparative performance figures or statistics for Scotland. Kept in the dark and fed lies. Like McCrone report said, if we ever found out how well we performed or how rich we might have been it would have caused outrage and calamity for the establishment.

    I feel that a lot of the doubt and confusion and a little of the criticism being aimed at the Yes Campaign is partly because no one has been allowed to see the full potential or the bigger secret ledger. We are controlled and kept from the truth. Sites like this and other articles online are allowing glimpses behind the shroud and people are beginning to see the world of possibilities that could be ours if only we take the opportunity.

    Vote yes with hungry anticipation.


  83. ianbrotherhood says:

    @David Martin (7.58)-
    Don’t know whereabouts you are, but Canavan and Nicola Sturgeon are doing a Yes Scotland session in the Volunteer Rooms, Irvine, on Monday night. It’s a 7.30 kick-off but a wee birdy told me they’re expecting it to be stowed – if you want a seat, best get there about 7-ish.

  84. Braco says:

    Major Bloodnok, wee jamie and Albalha,
    The Monklands by election did for John Smith’s and the Labour Party’s reputation as far as I was concerned.
    The death of John Smith and his subsequent universal deification among the media and political establishment just added to the upset of discovering the kind of divide and conquer, every day politics the Labour Party in that constituency had presided over and indulged in for decades (with him as the longstanding MP and high heidyin at Westminster).
    The good of the folk of Coatbridge and Ardrie were far from uppermost in the political calculations made by the Labour Politicians that they dutifully returned election after election and decade after decade. Unfortunately John Smith, in my opinion, was no different to his predecessors in that respect, or those that have followed. 
    The nastiness I witnessed that bubbled to the surface during that by election (after decades of internecine Labour party dominance), I started to really reassess just who it was that we were being asked to think of as political ‘greats’, who it was that was asking us to feel that way and for what reasons. The answer was simple and is as true today as it was then or decades before then. Follow the money!
    Smith’s burial on Iona among the Kings and the later ‘Dewar: Father of the Nation’ crap pushed so hard by the press and Labour establishment, always struck me as the real undemocratic ‘dear leader’ syndrome at the heart of Scottish politics. I am sure this is the dominant prism the current haters in the SLab leadership view Salmond through.
    Hagiograghy of their leadership ‘greats’ is integral to SLab culture and so they find it comfortable and easiest to understand Salmond (and come to terms with his success), as a kind of evil reverse version as viewed through a dark fascist tinted SLab mirror. Hence all the Hitler, Mussolini, Mugabe, Dear Leader, Kim Il Salmond, etc etc. references.
    They are simply deeply undemocratic, they fostered undemocratic politics as their culture in the past, they still do in the present and they would happily into the future if we let them. The modern world has caught up with them and hopefully September 2014 sees the death of that side of Scotland’s undemocratic Political Party past, of every and any colour. (well a boy can hope can’t he?)

  85. muttley79 says:

    The MP for far too long was of course Martin, strangely enough now Lord, O’Neill, quoted in Hansard as describing the purpose of Labour in Scotland being ” to lower the expectations of the Scottish people.” Plus ca change.
    Never heard about this comment before.  On record as well eh..
    Have some sympathy with some of the sentiments in your post.  However, we do not want to do to former Labour politicians what SLAB are doing to Salmond.  It comes across as bitter, vindictive, and generally full of hatred.  I don’t think you are being like that btw, its just we need to achieve independence without any undue rancour. 

  86. Inbhir Anainn says:

    Scandal indeed and one which can read about at:


  87. The Rough Bounds says:

    You guys think it was ok for Dewar to have allegedly done a deal with 6,000 sq. miles of Scottish territory so that he would get his wee pretendy parliament? The same parliament whose rules were designed specifically to stop the SNP from gaining an absolute majority? What kind of Scot would have agreed to a deal like that? If he had had any kind of smeddum at all he would have told them to get stuffed and simply demanded the referendum in 97 as it was what his people wanted.
    Father of the Nation my arse.
    As for John Smith, I remember what he was like in the ’70s; a typical Labour ‘Yes Man. (I suppose I have to explain that a Yes man in the 1970s wasn’t someone who was going to vote Yes in 2014).

    He should never have been buried in Iona in the Relig Oran. It was holy ground till they planted him in it. The people of Mull and Iona weren’t happy about it at all, but Labour was all powerful at the time what with Strathclyde etc, so they just pushed their sleazy agenda through, and ignored the islanders.

  88. Dave McEwan Hill says:

    With you with all of that. As we marched about Lanarkshire in support of the threatened Scottish steel industry (with Coatbridge Labour MP Tom Clarke)there was never a sight of John Smith (who came from Ardrishaig originally ). Destined for greatness as he saw it he didn’t want to be associated with a losing campaign. Notably he continued practising law in the high courts after his election to Parliament, a detail that did not escape the notice of quite a lot of his constituents. Lower beings looked after his constituency affairs. He was an acquaintance of the late SNP great Sir Neil McCormick who laughed at any notion that John Smith might be a socialist. 

  89. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “You guys think it was ok for Dewar to have allegedly done a deal with 6,000 sq. miles of Scottish territory so that he would get his wee pretendy parliament?”

    Um, yes. If we were still in the UK, it wasn’t “Scottish territory”, it was UK territory, so it made no difference to anything. If and when we get out of the UK, we can negotiate it back under international law, so nothing’s lost. Worth it 110%.

  90. Morag says:

    If that was the reason, I agree with Stu.  First time I ever heard it suggested though.  And from what I know about Dewar, I’m not inclined to assume the best.

  91. AlexMcI says:

    Do you know what folks, dewar and smith might have been total knuts. Probably a good chance of that. But I’m of the opinion now that there is no point in us dwelling on 20 or 10 or even one year ago. In fact lets not worry about yesterday . Because its just that to the ordinary people, yesterday’s news, no one cares, it’s on to the thing that’s current in the news. Just let it slip. let’s fight the issue of the day, on the day it appears. Sure we can point to historical stuff when we point out why Scotland is better as an independent nation. But I think that most folk forget Mondays news by Tuesday. If we can destroy their argument of the day to friends, family, or work colleagues on the day it’s printed or broadcast, then we will win this. We can dissect all our history and argue about it after we have won. I think most of the arguments become throw away stuff to people not caught up in politics, sure the headlines stick in their mind and that’s why I think that you need to counter these things straight away to people, all you need to do is put a loud counter argument up to plant a seed of doubt, then they always remember ” but so and so said this” and the doubt never leaves them. So the point they try to make never becomes totally valid

  92. Braco says:


    it’s important to understand Scotland’s past democratic failings in order not to repeat or continue them in the future. I do not recognise any of the descriptions you associate with my post. It’s from sadness and experience more than anything.

    I was careful to finish by including every past mainstream political party in my criticism of Scotland’s undemocratic leadership culture.

    How could it be anything else, dependent as it was on the patronage of a Westminster Prime minister and not the electorate of Scotland.

    Dave McEwan Hill,

    yeah, it sounds like our experience of the old stomping grounds have led us to the same conclusions. I have always been amazed at how long and how easily our communities have been manipulated by our political establishments.
    The Monklands By election was the moment my eyes were well and truly opened (although before then I was always a left leaning Scot, just not overt if you know what I mean?).
    Simply raising the real problems that had been encouraged and allowed to fester was denounced as playing the sectarian card and by the very people who had purposely been benefiting from it as a political strategy for generations. It was sickening!
    Helen Liddell’s victory speech that night was like a prototype for all those bitter and twisted ‘victory’ speeches we would later see in 2007. So I suppose historic in it’s own bitter and deeply tribal way. She ain’t no Lady (no matter how much ermin they give her) that’s for sure!

  93. The Rough Bounds says:

    It wasn’t Scottish territory it was UK territory? So theoretically Dewar could have traded all of Scotland’s sub sea territory for our wee parliament then?
    Tell you what: we’ll demand, not negotiate, demand, that they give us back our 6,000 sq. miles, and we’ll give them back John Smith and Donald Dewar’s ‘Father of Hee Haw’ statue in return.
    Seems fair.

  94. muttley79 says:

    And from what I know about Dewar, I’m not inclined to assume the best.
    What do you know about him?
    I do not recognise any of the descriptions you associate with my post. It’s from sadness and experience more than anything.
    That is not what I said though.

  95. Morag says:

    Same as everybody else who’s read the unvarnished accounts of his career.

  96. muttley79 says:

    Not meaning to be obtuse, but what are these accounts, and what do they say?

  97. Morag says:

    I honestly don’t remember the exact sources right now.  If I do, I’ll come back with references.  I suppose Murray Ritchie’s book doesn’t exactly idolise him, for a start.

  98. Dave McEwan Hill says:

    What was actually the worst thing about those days in Lanarkshire (apart from the evil canard spread by Labour that SNP activists had spat on Labour activists at the count at the Monklands East by election*) was the fact that we knew they were actually rubbing their hands at the prospect of Lanarkshire voting Labour forever if the Tories closed the steel works. I wouldn’t be surprised to find out that that is why the great Tommy Brennan is with us now. 
    And I well remember that the sectarian nonsense was being played so strongly at the Monklands East by-election that only Catholic SNP activists were sent to the polling station at the small Catholic enclave of that constituency.
    Most people wouldn’t believe what went on in Lanarkshire (and probably still does)
    * They tried the spitting lie at the Paisley double by-election as well. We were supposed to have spat on Labour election agents as they went in and out of Paisley Town hall – which as we were behind barriers at the other side of a wide road  would have taken Olympic standard of expectoration  

  99. Morag says:

    Dave, I was there too.  I believe you.  (And only a week after I’d helped Alan Macartney win a 35,000 majority in the North East Euro-election too.)

  100. muttley79 says:

    Douglas Alexander claims he was spat at/or on by SNP supporters, while campaigning at the Perth by election in the 1990s.

  101. Braco says:

    Have some sympathy with some of the sentiments in your post.  However, we do not want to do to former Labour politicians what SLAB are doing to Salmond.  It comes across as bitter, vindictive, and generally full of hatred.  I don’t think you are being like that btw, its just we need to achieve independence without any undue rancour.
    Sorry but I still read that post as associating my comment with the descriptions you use. You did after all address this post to me.
    I am not causing any ‘undue rancour’.  If this site has taught us anything, it’s that we have no control over our opponents rancour.
    I am not in the SNP or the YES leadership and therefor do not have to follow this relentlessly ‘positive only’ line. I believe a balanced and intelligent argument deployed face to face is what is required to convince. You may disagree, but then in my opinion, that is the real strength of a grass roots campaign.

  102. muttley79 says:

    Sorry but I still read that post as associating my comment with the descriptions you use. You did after all address this post to me.
    I am not causing any ‘undue rancour’.  If this site has taught us anything, it’s that we have no control over our opponents rancour.
    No, I was not referring to you, and I have made that clear in my posts.  When I was reading your post I noticed your rightly mentioned the Unionists using various dictators to compare Salmond with.  My point was that this kind of rhetoric causes undue rancour.  I was simply saying we should not stoop to their level.  It was not aimed at you. 

  103. Ron Burgundy says:

    Baillie and SLAB as a whole are “Taking the Scottish people for mugs” as Jimmy Krankie would say because they have been for so long and getting away with it.The punters need to waken up and see these people for what they are – morons without principle.
    I have been among the first to put the boot into the state broadcaster but fair enough Glenn Campbell did more than the print media would ever do in exposing the sham of SLAB and the bedroom tax especially that esteemed SLAB press release called the Daily Record. 

  104. Ken Johnston says:

    I was at the Glasgow Kelvin YES launch tonight, and during Denis Canavan’s speech, he recalled  an incident for Sandra White re Dewar and Smith.
    Labour had decided  that, can’t recall his name, a friend of Canavan’s was too left-wing and should not be allowed to stand for election and sent along Dewar and Smith, who were then at Glasgow Uni, to vote against him being adopted. They could vote as they were ‘members’ of the Transport Union. As Denis said, could you imagine these two as bus drivers.
    Also said, the goings on in Falkirk are as nothing to what went on the the past.

  105. Braco says:

    Dave McEwan Hill,
    Yeah, again that Monklands By election was the first time I experienced out and out sectarianism practiced so obviously as ‘high political’ tool. I had plenty of experience of cultural bigotry etc but had never joined the dots and seen the direction from which it was being orchestrated.
    I don’t think the Labour party wanted it that way, but the decades of infighting and inter factional fighting within the party simply erupted within the unexpected power vacuum caused by John Smith’s death. They handled this the same way they handle every failing of theirs, that is to be first and loudest in accusing their opponents of it! Simple.
    This is why history and experience is so important, they have been acting like this forever but each new generation think it’s just a new failing and ‘if only we could get back to old Labour and emulate the ‘greats’ every thing will be alright again’. Well history shows that the ‘Greats’ were at it too!
    As an architect I always loved the quote from China Town ‘ Politicians, whores and ugly buildings all get respectable if they get old enough’. I used to think of it in terms of ugly buildings, but now it’s definitely the politicians angle that speaks loudest to me!
    The Steel work closure I agree totally with you. Again it seems like a prototype for the way they reacted to the collapse of the ‘Scottish’ banks. Their first reaction is always the calculation of how they perceive it to affect them and their parties prospects of power, immaterial of it’s possible wider damage to Scotland as a whole.
    The only difference during the banking crisis and since, is that they don’t seem able or willing to hide that attitude any longer.

  106. Braco says:

    no worries pal, just a misunderstanding. Even disagreement over this kind of thing doesn’t bother me, as I know you and the vast majority on here are sincere in their beliefs and completely focused on a YES vote (as I hope you know I am).

    ‘rows among friends are as immaterial as agreement between enemies is dangerous’ I paraphrase I think but particularly appropriate to the current campaigns don’t you think? (don’t even know who said it!)

  107. Desimond says:

    I was on a flight last night up from London and in the departure gate, in comes young Messr Sarwar where he meets 2 friends\associates, one older man named Des and a blonde lady.
    He informs them he is to “Take on Sturgeon on live TV, One on One, direct questions to each other”. When Des asked what program he replies “Scotland Tonight” to which his male associate dismissively says “So an audience of 3 then?”. The lady then asks “Has this been done before?” and Sarwa confirms “Yes, by Michael Moore, she destroyed him. he went for the soft soft approach”>The lady then suggests that Sarwar “Goes for her” to which he replies “Its Sturgeon, of course I will.” he then adds the joke “Shes my MSP too!”.

    The lady then rants on about “they, they they and their policies or lack of, including pensions.” Sarwa then has to point out the Scottish Govt will be publishing a series of White Papers but then goes onto berates claims that the Welfare System will continue as is until 2020.
    The subject then turns to the Elder Sarwar statesman and how will his wife cope now he is in Pakistan. “Oh shes going to fly back and forth” confirms the young millionaire. When asked how is his father getting on, he replies “He is having to put up with living in only a 63 Acre plot, tough life” to which warm laughs were shared all round by the 3.

  108. HoraceSaysYes says:

    Well, you can’t argue with that…
    …mainly because, to argue with it you’d need to be able to work out what the hell she was blethering about first!

  109. wee jamie says:

    When I see the level of intelligent,well thought out views being posted on this site by ordinary members of the Scottish public , it makes me all the more certain we can govern ourselves. We may all have our own personal  political beliefs, but seem to be united in the common goal of making our country a fairer , more egalitarian society for our children to grow up in. Big thanks to rev Stu for making this possible, and to all of you for making it so interesting to be a part of . Hope to meet and chat with some of you in Edinburgh on the 21st.  Once we get rid of the yoke of Westminster , we are the ones who will make our wee country an example to the world of what can be achieved.

  110. Colin Dunn says:

    Well, who’d have thunk it. It appears that the Scottish Government’s investment in Brave-related marketing, much criticised by Slab, has turned out to be really good deal after all.
    ‘Scotland is seeing the benefits of a multi-million pound global marketing campaign tied in to last year’s movie Brave, VisitScotland has said.
    VisitScotland said the first of thousands of people have started coming to Scotland because of the film. The visits are forecast to generate £120m over five years for the economy.’

  111. David Bell says:

    When I listened to the audio I was given the impression that the SNP had made the movie Brave for 10 million quid and I was impressed by both their animation and budgeting skills. Sadly they are not as creative as Jackie makes out.

  112. Quentin Quale says:

    The empty rhetoric of someone who hopes to convince people of her position is truly astounding. She comes from a position that welfare should be based on ‘need’? As opposed to what? And of course the obligatory SNP bad. No argument, no clue, no future for Labour.

    I’d love to be there if, as in Stu’s point 2, Labour could go back in time. Imagine if this crop came face to face with the founders of the Labour Party. I’d pay to see that stramash.

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