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Wings Over Scotland

Last chance to see

Posted on December 21, 2012 by

Yesterday we noted how Scottish Labour deleted evidence of an embarrassing policy U-turn from its website after it was highlighted by Alex Salmond at First Minister’s Questions. We suspected that it wouldn’t be the last example of the phenomenon, and sure enough we happened to stumble across this page earlier this morning.

It’s a press release from before the 2011 Holyrood election, by Scottish Labour’s shadow health minister and serial fibber Jackie Baillie. But we noticed something seemed to be missing from it that we were sure we remembered. So we went and checked out the same press release on Jackie Baillie’s own website. In the quote below, the sentence in bold is a line still visible on Baillie’s homepage, but which is oddly missing from the Scottish Labour version.

“The Tories’ solution is to increase prescription charges, putting an even greater burden on patients suffering from chronic illnesses. Their message is that if you are ill we will also make you poor. Labour is fully supportive of free prescriptions and will continue this policy if we are elected to Government next May.

The text of the two releases is otherwise identical down to the last word. Just that one solitary line has unaccountably fallen off the page in the journey between sites. We don’t mind telling you, readers, we’re completely baffled.

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    20 to “Last chance to see”

    1. Adrian B says:

      If you don’t like these policies, we have others…….

    2. MajorBloodnok says:

      …yes, Tory ones…

    3. Cadgers says:

      I presume you are not on their Christmas list?
      Well done!

    4. james morton says:

      Not too puzzling when put in context of the labour parties overall shift to the right, as it trys to triangulate disaffected tory voters in the south. Slab is clearly aligning itself with its london party at the behest fo Ed “think of me as thatcher” Miliband.

      What is puzzling is why they would pursue this line, knowing full well the fate that awaits any political party that attempts to pursue tory like policies in Scotland.

    5. Arbroath1320 says:

      Would you WANT to be on their Christmas list Cadgers? ūüėÄ
      Yet again Stu you have excelled yourself in uncovering the FACTS! What a pity Baillie and the rest of the Labour cabal are so incompetent that they continue to deceive, misrepresent,misinform and outrightly LIE to the electorate of Scotland! The people of Scotland deserve better a whole lot BETTER than this gathering of nincompoops who try, and FAIL, to pass themselves off as RESPONSIBLE politicians!

    6. scottish_skier says:


      What is puzzling is why they would pursue this line, knowing full well the fate that awaits any political party that attempts to pursue tory like policies in Scotland. 

      I suspect Ed has decided Scotland’s invariably going at some point soon so sod pretending to be even a bit left. With the SNP, Margo and the Greens as the Scottish centre to left, N. British Labour basically only have the option to tow the¬†Westminster¬†One Nation line, become Scotland’s centre right¬†British¬†unionist party, and hope to encourage nasty divisive poor/disabled/immigrant hating feelings up here. Shall be a failed enterprise; the last step in the demise of the union.

      Watch the fading blue in Ed’s one nation union flag. The red St. Patrick’s cross has already gone (Labour have no support in N. Ireland). I suspect what remains of the blue will slowly fade to white over the next couple of years. One Nation = England. He’s going to try and beat the Tories to it. Not the national party of Britain, but of England.

    7. MajorBloodnok says:

      O/T In other news, Brussels is bad for you – official.

    8. Luigi says:

      The Labour Party seems to be undergoing the biggest bout of ethnic cleansing since Tony ditched Clause 4. Do they still sing the Red Flag at conferences?

    9. James McLaren says:

      lf anyone is still interested in the Barroso Affaire, this is my reply from his office concerning me being kicked out of France after the referendum;
      It is a mastery in sophistry but does confirm an appliation would need to be made and approved by all Member States so, lots of bear pits ahead so, is it all worth it?
      Thank you for your email to President Barroso concerning the potential consequences of Scottish independence. It was forwarded to me for reply.
      President Barroso recently had the opportunity to explain the Commission’s view in a letter responding to a consultation by the UK House of Lords on the implications of Scottish independence. The letter said the following.
      You will understand that it is not the role of the European Commission to express a position on questions of internal organisation related to the constitutional arrangements of a particular Member State.
      Whilst refraining from comments on possible future scenarios, the European Commission has expressed its views in general in response to several parliamentary questions from Members of the European Parliament. In these replies the European Commission has noted that scenarios such as the separation of one part of a Member State or the creation of a new state would not be neutral as regards the EU Treaties. The European Commission would express its opinion on the legal consequences under EU law upon request from a Member State detailing a precise scenario.
      The EU is founded on the Treaties which apply only to the Member States who have agreed and ratified them. If part of the territory of a Member State would cease to be part of that state because it were to become a new independent state, the Treaties would no longer apply to that territory. In other words, a new independent state would, by the fact of its independence, become a third country with respect to the EU and the Treaties would no longer apply on its territory.
      Under Article 49 of the Treaty on European Union, any European state which respects the principles set out in Article 2 of the Treaty on European Union may apply to become a member of the EU. If the application is accepted by the Council acting unanimously, an agreement is then negotiated between the applicant state and the Member States on the conditions of admission and the adjustments to the Treaties which such admission entails. This agreement is subject to ratification by all Member States and the applicant state.

    10. Aplinal says:

      Well, it seems to me that all they have done is regurgitate the original letter.  So, not actually responding to your question at all.  And they will continue to do this until and unless the UK/Westminster government actually asks them specifically.  There is little chance of that, I fear.

    11. Embradon says:


      Yes! – The revised version
      “The Workers flag is palest pink
      Since Tony washed it in the sink”

    12. Juteman says:

      Or Johanns version.

      “The workers flag is not now red.
       Said my boss, bluish Ed!

    13. I got the same response, but with one additional sentence which wasn’t in italics like the rest, so I guess wasn’t part of the copy-and-paste exercise. It says:
      “Concerning the issue of the citizenship, in accordance with Article 20 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU), only persons holding the nationality of a Member State are EU citizens. EU citizenship is additional to and does not replace national citizenship.”
      That’s a bit of a surprise to me I must say. Although it might be open to legal challenge, it’s a pretty definitive statement.

    14. Adrian B says:

      Far from convinced that there is anything to fear here. The implications that Scotland would cease to exist within the EU has enormous implications right across the EU member states.

      Take migrant workers as a single example – All the Scots working abroad in other member states, the added paperwork for individuals, families and employers would bring the system to a grinding stop in every country as well as Brussels.

      Now look at all the French, Germans, Spanish, Polish, Italians, Portuguese etc living working and studying in Scotland.

      The disruption to business alone would be destructive to all the other member states.

      The EU is trying to grow, they will not welcome the implications or political unrest that would come from Scotland and all other member nations being in limbo through this period of negotiation. A political solution rather than an ‘official legal’ solution is the only possible outcome for all member states. ¬†¬†

    15. dadsarmy says:

      Well, if I’m heading up Loch lomond with a car full of passengers, headed for Fort William, but turn right at Crianlarich should I:

      1). Ask my passengers would they prefer to go to Killin?
      2). Tell my passengers I don’t want to go to Fort William as it’s raining there.
      3). Tell my passengers we were always headed for Killin, what nonsense, and if they continue to disagree knock them over the head, get my Ipcress File out and use it to indoctrinate them so they believe we were always headed to Killin?
      4). Find a handy layby, do a safe U-turn and laught it off as a senior moment?

      Mmm, decisions decisions.

    16. Aplinal says:


      I think a referendum is required.  


    17. Boorach says:

      @ James MacLaren

      They insist on stating what would happen on one part of amember state separating from the member state. They singularly fail to say what would happen on the member state ceasing to exist and dividing into it’s two original constituent parts ¬†

    18. JLT says:

      ‘Last chance to see’

      More like…

      ‘Last¬†chance Saloon for this lot…’¬†¬†¬†¬†

    19. Aplinal says:

      OT Word Power have put Alasdair Gray’s article on line here. ¬†Well done them.

    20. MajorBloodnok says:

      I sincerely hope the EC has thought this through because it’s going to be damned awkward when the UK ceases to be and therefore neither part of what was the Union will be signatories to the treaties.¬† Could leave a big hole in the EU and a lot of rather jubliant Tories.

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