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Wings Over Scotland

Looking forward with hindsight

Posted on November 11, 2013 by

This site has been warning for a few months now of what lies in store for Scotland should its people vote No to independence in 2014, and in particular if Labour should defy the odds and win the 2015 general election.

Quite openly and in public, safe in the knowledge that the mainstream media (and most importantly the ever-loyal Daily Record) will ignore it, senior Scottish figures in Labour have said repeatedly that Scotland will receive a lower share of UK public spending, with the money being diverted to poor parts of England instead.


It turns out that we could have saved ourselves a load of analysis.

New Statesman scribe James Maxwell today dug out a piece in the Telegraph from August 2011 by Labour adviser, strategist and spin doctor John McTernan, recently familiar to readers in this parish.

It’s one long grovelling cringe about how wonderful the English are for putting up with the awful grasping Jocks (“When it comes to public spending, [Scotland] is a mendicant nation”), doubtless in part driven by McTernan’s bitterness at the Scottish electorate giving the SNP a landslide at the Holyrood election three months earlier.

But it’s the last few lines that are the killer.

“The McChattering classes pride themselves on living in a generous, social democratic nation. So why should redistribution keep going to Scotland when needs are greater elsewhere? Time, surely, for Scotland to help out south Wales or west Belfast – or even the east Midlands.”

John McTernan was at the very heart of the New Labour project, whose ideology still overwhelmingly dominates the party. Almost all of the current Shadow Cabinet served under Blair and Brown. “One Nation Labour” is New Labour with a lick of (white) paint.


And in those words lie the most explicit statement yet of what the party has in store for Scots if it gets back into power. Just don’t say you weren’t warned.

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    1. 09 01 15 12:00

      Reaching out to Yes | FreeScotland

    54 to “Looking forward with hindsight”

    1. fairiefromtheearth says:

      This is why yes is going to win,anybody with an IQ of 40 can see through the one party state and their fearmongering,keep pushing us away with your divide and conqure no camp.

    2. Bugger (the Panda) says:

      I thought Mcternan was still locked up in that internment camp on the Galagos Islands for Ozzie immigration visa irregularities?

      His sojourn in Australia was really helpful to Julia Gillard, eh?

      Is he not the guy who said that the reason the SNP won in 2011 was that Labour hadn’t been negative enough? If so I hope he will be replacing McDougall soon; thanks.

    3. James says:

      As Blair McDougall said the Unionist politicians won’t make the mistake of acting against Scotland until after a no vote. Why anyone would believe that Scotland will benefit after a no vote is beyond me.

    4. fairiefromtheearth says:

      could everybody go on youtube and watch NO GODS PRECIOUS FEW HEROS,its only at 1000 views and it should be the indy song.

    5. Les Wilson says:

      It is what people in the know ( ie us!) are well aware of, but the great unwashed need to know WHAT THEY ARE GOING TO LOSE, then if we do not win.
      Spread word of this doctrine everywhere we can, to cut their legs away.
      Rise and be a NATION again!

    6. truescot says:


      Links please.

    7. Atypical_Scot says:

      Because London, the south and the £6 Trillion city can’t see how they could help?

    8. MochaChoca says:

      I’m sure MacDougall actually refered to this being the situation after a YES vote, it would have taken a real bit of bravery to admit that they will also work against Scotland after a NO vote, and unionists don’t really come across as particularly brave.

    9. Luigi says:

      No doubt they will take more of Scotland’s money and try and engineer/spin it in such a way as to blame the consequential loss of public services on the Scottish government.

    10. Brian Powell says:

      Put htis on a previous thread but seems appropriate here,
      John McTernan writes “truth about Scotland. That it is wealthy not by chance, but thanks to the hard work of Scots, and the policies of successive Tory and Labour governments.”
      Then if the policies of successive Tory and Labour Governments have done this, then what of this, ” So why should redistribution keep going to Scotland when needs are greater elsewhere? Time, surely, for Scotland to help out south Wales or west Belfast – or even the east Midlands.”?
      Why have ‘successive Tory and Labour Governments not made: south Wales, west Belfast and even the east Midlands, successful in their own right and not need to have wealth transferred to them from Scotland?

    11. Luigi says:

      “unionists don’t really come across as particularly brave.”
      We saw just how brave Davidson the Bayonet was, when he was challeneged about the bedroom tax vote (in George Square?).  You could not see him for dust.
      All bluster, no real courage.

    12. gfaetheblock says:

      My bookies (paddy power) have a labour majority in 2015 as a clear favorite.

    13. Training Day says:

      Spot on, and in addition to the ‘repooling’ of resources (taking money from Scotland to distribute in the remainder of the UK), Labour’s plan (as helpfully articulated by its Scottish sock puppet Lamont) is to neuter Holyrood and ‘enhance’ local democracy by investing what minimal powers remain after a No vote in Labour’s rotten boroughs like Glasgow and North Lanarkshire.
      That is the vision for ‘Better Together’ after a No vote – we must get these two messages above across to the undecideds.

    14. MochaChoca says:

      It takes one fact to see if Scotland benefits from the union:
      Annually our economy has grown around 0.5% slower on average than the UK as a whole, as a result our economy is 25% smaller than it would have been had “the policies of successive Tory and Labour governments” been as effective for Scotland as for the rest of the UK.

    15. Luigi says:

      “unionists don’t really come across as particularly brave.”
      And then there was Ian Gray’s infamous Killing Fields of Subway Incident in 2011.

      All bluster, no real courage.
      These guys should be run out of town.

    16. Papadocx says:

      The genie is out of the bottle and it ain’t going back in! there will be an independent SCOTLAND. when, I know not but we will be FREE!  YES! 
      Revenge and punishment? I hope not.

    17. Macart says:

      Bizarrely I’m more worried about what a Labour government will do in event of a no vote than I am of what a Conservative government might. Just how wrong is that? I just get the feeling that their current ingrained tribalism and hatred of all things independence will lead to awful repercussions for the Scots electorate. Kind of a ‘how very dare you reject us’ backlash. As of right now they aren’t fit for office in Scotland. Too many personal attacks, not enough policy and a whole load of attitude in chamber and in the media.
      I never thought I’d even consider that as possible, but they don’t seem to see the image they are projecting. Or if they do, don’t seem to care.

    18. MochaChoca says:

      Sir Ian Woods interim report on the future of the oil and gas sector suggests that improved regulation could lead to a boost to the (UK) economy by £200bn over the next 20 years. (Seems implausible as Mr Darling states that only 2bn barrels remain.)

    19. truescot says:

      @training day

      Spot on mate. This Labour policy needs to be highlighted more.

      Hollyrood will be cut out of the equation. ALL money will go to local government to run housing, social security, education, hospitals, roads and whatever else you need to keep the natives quite.

      It will create a multi-tier society. Way beyond anything we have ever had before and the Scottish Government will eventually be dissolved.

      This is the future Scotland McTernan and MacDougall have planned for us.

    20. Tris says:

      “The McChattering classes pride themselves on living in a generous, social democratic nation. So why should redistribution keep going to Scotland when needs are greater elsewhere? Time, surely, for Scotland to help out south Wales or west Belfast – or even the east Midlands.”

      Well, surely the ahem, ‘socialist’, in him would take that a stage further and say surely a time for us all to help out Niger, or Burkina Faso, Mauritania or Tchad compared with whom, even our poorest are wealthy.
      Their ‘socialism’ seems to stop at Dover. 

    21. eddie says:

      Slightly off topic but I’ve just had a little chat with my postman and I asked him how he was fairing under privatisation.  He shrugged, and I asked what he thought about an independent Scotland re-nationalising the mail.
      There then followed a diatribe on how Salmond is wanting to let everyone into our country to claim benefit.  I asked for proof.  He then went on to say he heard it uttered from Salmond’s mouth detailing how we are going to throw open borders to allow the new eastern European EU members to flood our benefits system.
      I asked which newspaper he read.  No surprise about which two (Record & Sun) and again asked if he had heard Eck say these things or had read that Eck had said these things.  He then ploughed the Unionist handbook of too poor, too wee and too everything to be independent and was quite shocked when I laughed in his face.
      I used to like my postman, now I just feel sorry for him.

    22. sionnach says:

      Davidson’s recent callous threat to the shipworkers on the Clyde appears petty and parochial compared to the effect that “One Nation Labour” would have on the Scottish welfare landscape. Taken together with Gordon Brown’s recent spoutings about “equalisation” [*] it clear what will happen if Labour get in in 2015:

      – the Scottish Health Service will be brought into line with the English/Welsh one, so there will be prescription charges etc
      – tuition fees will be introduced to “equalise” education provision across the “One Nation”
      – excuses will be found not to abolish the “bedroom tax”
      – in “One Nation”, there is no need for Holyrood (or, indeed, the Welsh Assembly)

      Other contributors might feel they can add to the list. Feel free. This is what “One Nation” means for Scotland. That’s what a NO vote could bring.
      [*] Sorry, no links, but both Davidson’s and Brown’s comments have been dissected in recent Wings articles.

    23. MochaChoca says:

      I counter such stuff with a “we’ll, I’m sure you’ll look into it more nearer the time” and a smile. 

    24. panda paws says:

      “Time, surely, for Scotland to help out south Wales or west Belfast – or even the east Midlands.”

      Scotland’s money has been pouring into Westminsters coffers for decades. Might it better be asked WFT Labour did with it when in power if it wasn’t being distributed to the areas of greater need?

      Don’t tell me – illegal wars, greater inequality and being very relaxed about people becoming filthy rich!!

    25. Illy says:

      No Gods and Precious Few Heroes, by Brian McNiell:
      And yes, it would make a good song for the Yes movement.

    26. Robert Kerr says:

      Does anyone remember the 
      “Don’t blame me I voted tory” 
      Car stickers after Labour got into power long ago?
      Perhaps a similar one now is in order.
      “Don’t blame me next year. I shall vote YES”

    27. molly says:

      Ian Mcwhirter made a very good point in The Herald yesterday. The Westminster Tory strategists were able to predict that Labour (in Scotland) and the Unions aided and abetted by the Libdems and of course the Scottish Tories are so tribal ,they would rather frighten and tell people (keech in their own nest) Scotland would not get the contracts, or take jobs away if Scotland votes Yes, than support (never mind explore) alternatives.

      They duly obliged.

      All without lifting a Westminster Tory hand ,the dirty work done.

      Now we have Mcternan proposing redistribution of wealth from Scotland to Wales or Belfast in the name of ‘One nation’.Putting out feelers Mr Mcternan?

      See if the Mcchattering classes as you put it, in a fit of largesse (not known for driving the Merc series 500 through certain parts of Scotland) feel so much better about themselves, by giving a helping hand to the ‘poor’ in other parts of this ‘one nation’.

      Lets be honest, they are your target because they a) have money b) have connections c) vote ,while the unions , ever reliable ,ever unquestioning , will campaign for Labours one nation even although it will be the poor or less well off ,whose money Labour will redistribute.

      The Unions and loyal Labour voters will do the Labour Parties dirty work and all without lifting a Labour hand.

      Lets get Independence, lets get a written constitution, lets get rid of this cabal that claims to represent some kind of democratic choice. 

      Whether Scotland or One nation , people deserve better than this.

    28. Illy says:

      (sorry for the double-post)
      “Time, surely, for Scotland to help out south Wales or west Belfast – or even the east Midlands.”
      Surely we have been, at least we have been as much as Westminster will let us! Since Scotland nets more of a profit per head than the rUK.

    29. Bunter says:

      BBC Engerlund reports proposals for London Britannia Airport (aka Boris Island) at a cost to you and me of £47bn. It proposes a six runway airport supported by high speed rail links and possibly the construction of a new London borough with 300 thousand new houses, road upgrades etc. The proposals due to hit the lords next week. Together with HS2 I make that £100bn  plus of proposals for infrastructure spending for London SE and together with the £100bn WMD, should take care of Sir Ian Woods extra £200bn of revenues story on the sate broadcaster today.

    30. Bugger (the Panda) says:

      Robert Kerr
      That kind of suggests we expect to lose?

    31. desimond says:

      One of the satellite channels last night had The Thick of It episode with beleagured Labour leader Nicola Murray stuck on the train as her career goes up the swannee…when i saw Tony Blair there i just remebered her saying “Oh why arent we in First class?” and her aide saying “No..Thats political suicide!”.

      Seems all those New Labour folk are on the same carriage going the same way!

    32. turnip_ghost says:

      Apologies for O/T but I’m in the middle of doing a survey for Yougov about the media…positive impressions, negative, how likely it is that my use of news brands will go up (The Daily mAIL, SUN, tIMES, BBC, BBC Trust etc)

      I wonder who was the one to commission this one!

    33. ronnie anderson says:

      truescot, local cooncilors ,running housing / hospitals/ social security / education We RE Awe Doomed Doomed Ah Telt Ye //   They could na RUN a STRING LINE tae DIG a Trench an thers no enough room in Johann,s bunker fur them awe

    34. Train Fares says:

      fairiefromtheearth says:     
      could everybody go on youtube and watch NO GODS PRECIOUS FEW HEROS,its only at 1000 views and it should be the indy song.
      I think the indy song should be
      Secret Affair – time for action

    35. Iain says:

      I met McTernan when he was a teenager. He was bright, but already bitter and sneering. It was more than just a ‘Kevin the teenager’ attitude: it was a deep, joyless kind of left-wing political misanthropy.

      Inculcated at a young age, what a blight that has been on his life. He had the ability to be very successful in other walks of life, and could still have supported Labour and the union, if he had not learned otherwise. Instead, sadly, taking on the burden of changing the world, while hating it, has brought him to what can only be seen as failure: a wasted life.  

    36. truescot says:


      Don’t forget those poor old Londoners need even more trains in their city. So why not spend £15 Billion of OUR money on Cross-Rail 2.

      If anyone is in any doubt about where our money is spent, then look no further than London.

    37. Andy-B says:

      Its frightening to actually know in advance what Labour will unleash on Scotland if a no vote is obtained plus they gain power.
      How your average Scots punter can’t see this is beyond me,we will be brought to heel with such an almighty tug on the chain, that, we won’t know whats hit us.
      It seems to me that under the thin layer of the blue and white which makes up the saltire, and thus the Scottish people, that an unhealing wound still festers away, in the political sense.
      People like Lord Reid, who bask in their status, yet could be seen quite regulary at one time, rejocing in Celtic FC’s glories and faliures, knowing full well just how most of the fans thought about, the British Government/Establishment.
      Now scale this paradox down, the common Scot on the street, Westminster, will punish Scotland if a no vote is returned, yet they persist to an extent on voting no, and Labour, thinking its the right thing to do, Lemmings and Cliff spring to mind.

    38. Inbhir Anainn says:

      @ eddie
      Don’t feel sorry for him as unlike other posties who have taken the time to seperate the wheat from the chaffe and become politically enlightened and in reading great websites like Wings Over Scotland, Newsnet Scotland, Bella Caledonia and others, they know that there is only one true way to vote come the 18th September 2014 and that is to give a massive endorsement for a Yes vote.

    39. Robert Kerr says:

      You are correct. But my post here and now may rekindle a memory and encourage YES.
      The crowdfunding has crossed the 12000 pounds threshold.

    40. The Man in the Jar says:

      Sorry for going off topic a bit, however.
      I have posted a couple of comments over the weekend regarding a former colleague and associate who is a shop steward with the GMB and his nothing short of miraculous conversion to a Yes voter. This transformation was brought about by the GMBs almost non existent consultation of its members regarding the independence referendum. My friend considered this to be the last straw. After visiting me yesterday he went away with a shiny new Yes badge and car sticker.

      Earlier this morning I emailed my friend and included a link to the very relevant article on Newsnetscotland regarding this matter. See link below.

      Well my friend only forwarded the link to Richard Leonard the GMB official at the centre of this row. Mr. Leonard has been trying to phone my friend and also sent my friend an email astonished that my friend is even contemplating a Yes vote.
      My friends reply ro Richard Leonards email  basically said that my friend was not at all happy with the level of communication with Scottish members regarding the independence issue. My friend also pointed out that he would have been much happier if the GMB had consulted him with the same level of communication that was applied to the questionnaire regarding “transgender in the workplace” that was sent out every week for two months.  
      Labours arrogance and taking their support for granted will hopefully be the cause of their downfall.

    41. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “Well my friend only forwarded the link to Richard Leonard the GMB official at the centre of this row. Mr. Leonard has been trying to phone my friend and also sent my friend an email astonished that my friend is even contemplating a Yes vote.”

      Man, I really hope we get to see that email at some point.

    42. les calthorps says:

      Before jumping in with both feet and making money for people, who, unless they have  recently made a huge conversion , are dyed in the wool no voters,   checks should be made on the composer and singer  of the song recommended as an anthem for the yes campaign to see if such a conversion has taken place.
      The person who recommended this song will have a good laugh if their suggestion is taken up.

    43. Andy-B says:

      O/T I do apologise.
      Went into Morrisons this morning,as I gazed over the plethora of Union Jacks stamped onto products and billboards, I thought to myself, pass the sick bucket.
      The British flag was only outdone by the amount of poppy displays around the store, the (PPP) Political Poppy Propaganda.
      Anyway a voice blurted out over the stores speakers, Bing!..” At 11.00 O’Clock we will be holding a two minute silence in the store, tills will not be in use”.
      I checked my watch, there was 7 mintues to go, quick as a flash I shuffled and barged my way to the checkout, just beating the deadline, as I left I craned my neck to see, many miffed punters in a hurry stuck in the grasp of the PPP.

    44. HandandShrimp says:

      All the indications from Better Together seem to indicate the intention to gut Scotland if they secure a No vote. There is it would seem an intent to impoverish and keep impoverished the restless natives that dared to rattle the cage. If it were Gideon and the Tory set one might say Hell mend us for giving them the chance but for people who claim to be “proud Scots” to scheme and conspire against their own people and land suggests that their pride is wafer thin and their allegiance is to something other. They are not friends of this land.

    45. alexicon says:

      I was in Tesco today when the [pre] announcement came out over the loudspeaker. I turned to an assistant and vented my displeasure at “those who fought for their country” remark.

      I said there are 2 countries in this union, at which she said it was management policy these words were chosen.

      As I walked away she shouted along the aisle that this was “terrible” .

      I waited the 2 minutes mark of remembrence and approached her again, by which time she had signed up an off duty member of staff to her twisted whine. I tried to point out that I was complaining about “the country” part, but she, or her friend, was having none of it and tried to twist it around to disrespect of the fallen.

      A quick word with her supervisor about her actions as well as a complaint about the management constructed announcement, soon put paid to her ignorant whinge.

      Like many on here I have relatives who fought in many wars for the UK, including a younger brother who fought in Iraq 1, a father who was mentioned in dispatches at Dunkirk and a private Flint (step nephew) who was named in the last year as one of the fatal casualties of Afghanistan.

      It is time we all started complaining about the ‘country’ part.

    46. The Man in the Jar says:

      @Rev. Stu at 3;43pm
      Due to working in the same organisation as Richard Leonard outwith the GMB My friend and Richard Leonard have been on first name terns for some time. I think that might just have changed 🙂
      I will see what I can do regarding email.

    47. Spansco says:

      Scots will only have themselves to blame when Westminster turns the screw after a no vote. A people who don’t believe in themselves, deserve everything they get imposed on them. A No vote will mean Tory rule will continue in Scotland by English MPs. It beggars belief that Scots would vote for that.

    48. truescot says:

      @Man in the jar

      For the last couple of years I have been contemplating cancelling my GMB membership.

      Then, after the fiasco at Grangemouth regarding Unite and the actions of that low life John Dolan, GMB convenor at Govan, saying they would write a clause saying that the Clyde should not get the frigate order if we vote YES.

      That was enough for me. I have now cancelled my GMB membership after being conned for 33 years. I would urge any Unite or GMB member to do likewise.

      It is like lifting a weight off your shoulders, almost a cleansing feeling and you WILL feel so much better for it.

    49. AnneDon says:

      @Bugger (the Panda) McTernan is no longer in Australia – the BBC are employing him as a political commentator!

    50. Ken500 says:

      Not content with an illegal war maiming and killing innocent millions and bankrupting the world. Labour now think they will be screwing Scotland of even more £Billions.

      Let the electorate say otherwise.

    51. gordoz says:

      The upside is that the likes of John McTernan and the other Labour ‘UKOK’ wanabees will be too shame faced to return to Scotland after a YES vote.

    52. Bugger (the Panda) says:

      So he has escaped

    53. beachthistle says:

      @AnneDon @Bugger(the Panda)
      McTernan is no longer in Australia – the BBC are employing him as a political commentator!
      Not surprised to hear that – it was obvious from his ‘re-engagement’ with Scottish politics/IndyRef debate via twitter that he was coming back to work for BetterTogether.
      Did wonder if he might replace BlairMcD, but it is good news for Yes if  BMcD isn’t getting heave-ho yet. If true that McT is going to be working for the BBC branch of BT am very glad I don’t pay TV licence money – would hate to think I’d be contributing to paying for McT’s toxicity.
      If  McToxic is going to be ‘commentating’ on IndyRef for BBC:
      – I hope BT record in their accounts whatever BBC are paying McT as a contribution to the No campaign; and
      – I think that we can now conclude that BBC’s IndyRef ‘editor’ John Mullin is not going to bring the journalististic integrity I’d been led to believe he had to his new job…

    54. Rh.G says:

      A small point of correction: there is no “English/Welsh” NHS system. Wales has devolved powers. There have been no prescription charges in Wales since 2007.

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