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Soapbox: On A Boat

Posted on June 28, 2015 by

I was on my way to work in London the other morning when I heard someone talking on his mobile phone. He was a white English man in his thirties, wearing builder’s gear, presumably on his way to work too. We were heading in the same direction, so I listened to his end of the conversation as we walked along.

He was in mid-rant when I first clocked him, complaining about drug addicts and alcoholics living on benefits, while he had to get up and go to work. “I’m on my way to work too,” I thought, and the only thing that bothers me about the thought of drug addicts and alcoholics lying around at home or still asleep on the streets is the utter waste of human lives it involves.


But of course, I was on my way to a job I love, and even though I would happily write comedy whether or not I was paid for it, I’m guessing that my job probably pays a lot more than his does. And from the tone of his voice, I don’t think he was looking forward to his day’s work nearly as much as I was looking forward to mine.

So, although I rehearsed all the arguments in my head (“Do you really think they’re enjoying their lives?”; “Do you realise how little money most people in that situation actually get, as opposed to the myths and lies that are perpetuated in the media?”; “Don’t you see that if we as a society spent more money on addressing the causes of drug addiction and alcoholism, we could actually go a long way to solving the problem?”), I completely understood his frustration and anger.

Why should he have to get up early and struggle in to do a job that he doesn’t like, while other people sit around all day drinking and getting stoned?

Then – surprise, surprise – he moved on to immigrants. “I’m telling you mate,” he told the person on the other end of the phone (who, it has to be said, wasn’t getting much of a word in) “I don’t mind the ones who work, but if they come over here and ponce off us, taking our benefits, seriously mate, I’d put them on a fucking boat and I’d dump them on a fucking island!”

On and on he went, saying all the things I knew he would say, echoing the views that are drip-fed every day by the likes of the Sun, the Express and the Mail, using phrases so clichéd that I would never allow one of my characters to say them. And once again, I was torn between despair at the extent to which so many people have bought into the narrative of the right wing media, and sympathy for a man who was clearly unhappy with his lot, even if he was blaming all the wrong people for it.

But then one sentence leapt out at me. “My mate John,” he raged, “he can’t afford a fucking house! He works all day long and he can’t afford a fucking house!”

That was when it struck me. This man is why Labour lost the last election – and why, unless it radically changes course – it will almost certainly lose the next one.

I have no way of knowing whether he voted UKIP. It’s possible that he might have voted Tory – or that he didn’t vote at all. But having listened to him for those five minutes, I’d be very, very surprised if he voted Labour.

And here’s the thing. Labour will never win over people like that by promising to be a bit tougher on immigration, or a bit more sensible on the economy. He won’t believe them. He won’t even hear what they’re saying.

The only way to win over people like him is to be as angry as he is. Labour has to shout “Your mate John deserves a fucking house! And do you know why he hasn’t got one? It’s nothing to do with immigrants, drug addicts or alcoholics.”

“It’s because property speculators have caused yet another boom in house prices. It’s because overseas billionaires are allowed to buy blocks of luxury flats that are no more than glorified piggy banks to put their money in so they can watch it grow.”

“It’s because the taxpayer is forced to subsidise buy-to-let landlords who are given a free rein to charge obscene amounts of rent for substandard properties. It’s because instead of building council houses, the Tories are more interested in selling off Housing Association properties, so that one day (like the ex-council houses before them) they will end up in the hands of their rich friends, the property speculators.”

“And do you know what we’re going to do about it?” Labour should yell from the rooftops. “We’re going to hammer the property speculators, the billionaires, the rogue landlords, the tax avoiders, the Amazons and the Starbucks and we’re going to use the money to pay for decent, affordable houses that you and your mate John can afford and will want to live in.”

“We’ll take control of the energy companies and put an end to their profiteering so you can afford to heat your homes; we’ll nationalise the railways and slash fares, so you can afford to get to and from work.”

Then – and only then – might millions of people like him be persuaded to vote Labour.

And at the very least, if someone is on their way to work as a builder, it will be to build houses for people like John – and not Russian oligarchs who leave them to lie empty, while they make more unearned money in a minute than alcoholics and drug addicts will get in a lifetime of handouts.


*Pete Sinclair is a writer on Have I Got News For You and other shows. If you’d like to contribute a Soapbox piece (ideally 800-1500 words), send it to us via our Contact page, INCLUDING THE WORD ‘SOAPBOX’ IN THE SUBJECT LINE.

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  1. 29 06 15 09:17

    Soapbox: On A Boat | Politics Scotland | Scoop...

69 to “Soapbox: On A Boat”

  1. Johnny

    Good article and not a lot in there I would disagree with at all.

    It is indeed understandable that people are angry with their lot, especially as they are often told they have nothing to complain about.

    It is just as frustrating to hear them pick on the easier targets for blame that the media has instructed them to, rather than hating those who are really responsible for their woes and have *some* degree of power to change things.

    The unfortunate bit is that Labour doesn’t seem to want to do any of those things to help people which the writer outlines, but to try and get away with pretending them do to pander to a section of their possible vote (the section which they take for granted will just believe them).

    Happily, as Mr Sinclair states, more and more people just don’t believe what Labour says and they will have to actually DO something about these problems (or at least make some show of opposing Tory policies) in order to win any of those people back.

    I don’t think their heart is in that fight, in all honesty. At least not most of the current crop.

  2. cearc

    Spot on.

  3. Gordon Smith

    Well Said, but problem is mot Labour only, but the hold the right wing have on the media.

  4. Murray McCallum

    I agree with the sentiment of this. It is surely the only way for Labour to reconnect to some kind of grass roots social cause. They need some way to build momentum and separate themselves from simply diluting Tory/UKIP policy.

    However, the Labour party cabinet posts seem to be dominated by wealthy Oxbridge graduates who are also very comfortable with the status quo. I currently do not see that changing.

  5. Barbara Gribbon

    Excellent article, wish our politicians could have that much vision

  6. Andrew Haddow

    Labour could shout all that till they’re blue in the face, but nobody would believe them because they’d be lying.

  7. heedtracker

    Fact is property speculators, overseas billionaires, rogue landlords, tax avoiders are profit taking in the Thatcherite UK world protected and developed by Labour, over their last 3 terms in power. Venal British capitalism in a slave wage/high tax/high living cost Uk, powered by comparatively low borrowing costs and arise Sir Alistair Darling.

    Powering behind UKOK economics is the great Brit aspiration to vote Tory when you do actually think you’re a worthy tory Brit, like posh Brits do, non nationalist Brits only though.

    New Labour’s my greatest achievement.

    Yours faithfully,

    Snatcher Thatcher.

    For you, your family and Britain.

  8. Matt Seattle

    Jeremy Corbyn, Diane Abbott, Glenda Jackson – how many more Labour MPs can you name who understand what’s outside their bubble? Miliband had his moment with Nicola and Leanne and Natalie – on TV in front of millions – and didn’t have the whatever-it-takes to seize it.

    Time for another party in England.

  9. Jamie

    Excellent article

  10. jimnarlene

    Labour having socialist ideals, now that would be refreshing.

  11. Adrian Cruden

    The problem is that Labour is signed up to market economics, lock, stock and barrel. I hope Jeremy Corbyn polls well, but the three other candidates are signed up to a political perspective that happily issues red mugs with the logo “Tough on immigration” and remains intensely relaxed about the filthy rich rather than address social justice and issues like the one very powerfully highlighted in the article.

    The Left needs to get over the idea that, deep down, Labour is a caring party of egalitarians somehow just biding their time. You don’t make change that way. Labour as a socialist entity is dead; it is a zombie party which is not going to have its soul reanimated anytime soon – time for us to move on and forge new identities and democratic challenges to this rotten system.

  12. heedtracker

    As soon as Diane Abbott MP could afford it, she sent her children to private schools.

  13. James Sneddon

    Agree, this is something I’d like to have also seen the YES campaign should have pushed harder and louder as a benefit of indy. Ach well, next time 🙂

  14. Dinnatouch

    I’m a joiner to trade. The pay is not brilliant, but along with my wife’s wage as a part-time supermarket checkout operator, it’s enough to live on if we budget carefully.

    I wanted to become a joiner when I left school; I enjoyed working with wood, and I was good at it. When you’re doing it for a living though, it can become very tiring, especially in the winter when you can barely feel your fingers as you try to wield a hammer and chisel. There are a great many days when I wake up in the morning and wish I could just stay in bed or go out for a nice relaxing walk. I’d often wish I could just lounge about like a man of leisure (though I’m happy to say I never bought into the right-wing demonisation of “benefit scroungers”).

    Then two months ago, after 25 years with the same company, I was made redundant. The company had been struggling to keep afloat since the start of the recession in 2008, and the boss now had no choice but to go into liquidation. We were given no warning: yes, we knew that the company had been struggling, but we were just about to start a new contract and thought our jobs were safe for another few months. We came back after the Easter weekend ready to start work, and were told that the company was shutting down immediately.

    Suddenly, I was unemployed. I was a ‘man of leisure’. I was a “benefit scrounger” (in the eyes of the right-wing media, and the Labour Party). I broke down in tears in the Job Centre when I was getting my first interview. I was unemployed for three weeks, and I hated every second of it. Now I could stay in bed if I wanted to. Now I could go for those long, relaxing walks. Now I was desperate to get a new job and get my life back to normal.

    I’m happy to say that I got that new job. It’s very similar to the work I had been doing (there’s more than one type of joiner, and while we can usually do any kind of joinery, we’re better when we stick to what we know). The money’s still not brilliant, there’s still mornings when I wake up and wish I could just lie in and relax, but there’s no way I ever want to be unemployed again. People want to work. People need a political party that will support low paid workers and which will support those who are out of work. The Labour Party is not that party.

  15. Barbara Reid

    In my opinion the Labour party has been infiltrated by career politicians who thought they had a better chance of reaching the top of their profession by standing for Labour rather than join the queue for the Tory party. What happened to the ideology that the party was there to fight for workers’ rights and to support those unable to work?

  16. Dave McEwan Hill

    Brilliant piece.
    But it is not only in London that these attitudes are beginning to prevail

  17. Stoker

    Why am i only now just seeing this article when, according to the date, it was posted yesterday?

    I’ve been on the site many times throughout yesterday, right up to the wee sma oors, reading, but this is the first i’m seeing it.

  18. Rev. Stuart Campbell

    “Why am i only now just seeing this article when, according to the date, it was posted yesterday?”

    It wasn’t posted yesterday. Timestamp error, now fixed.

  19. Brian Doonthetoon

    Yeah Stoker, I was confused too.

    I picked up the url from Rev’s Twitter page but refreshing the Wings home page wasn’t showing it as the latest post. It wasn’t showing up with a page refresh.

    Your post led me to scroll down the home page and I found it, dated yesterday. However, if you look at the top of this page, it has “Posted on June 28, 2015”.

  20. Stoker

    Sorry, correction, according to the date (26th) this soapbox article was posted on Friday.

  21. Brian Doonthetoon

    Ah! problem fixed! Fine article BTW.

  22. Stoker

    All is well, corrections made and sanity restored.

  23. Tackety Beets

    Stoker @ 11.55

    This post’s notice landed on my FB this morning yet the only time I can get it is via the “Posters” notices on the RHS of the screen .
    Hitting home button brings me back to yesterday’s posts .
    I’m on iPad just now which seams to work oddly at times , especially on here .
    My Mac shows my posts immediately .

    A few glitches is a small price ( all be it dammed annoying at times) for us to pay for being able to herd all us like minded together .

  24. steveasaneilean

    Super piece Pete – Labour’s abject failure to look after those that need them most nailed. I don’t even understand why they use the name Labour any more – there is nothing in their words or deeds these days that I recognise as Labour.

  25. Stoker

    @ Tackety Beets (12.07pm).

    Aye, Rev’s explanation restored sanity.
    I thought there might have been a spanner in the works.
    All’s well.

  26. Robert Louis

    You know, this article is simply excellent, because it hits the nail on the head regarding Labour. I see the Labour leader contenders bleating that ‘lefty’ policies are not attractive to voters, so they had best avoid them.

    It is like the freaking elephant in the room. Voters do not even know about so-called ‘lefty’ policies, because the Labour party stopped articulating them in 1997.

    There is no main voice for anything other than austerity, austerity and austerity, oh and let’s not upset the rich people by taxing them.

    The Labour party has an open goal, if only they would wake up. People in this country are screaming out for an end to substandard private run monopoly rail service, and for nationalising power again, but they cannot vote for it, as they are not given the chance, and are bombarded day in day out by the right wing neo-liberalism imported from the USA.

    Look at all the programmes on TV, especially by (american owned Viacom corp.) channel 5 on ‘benefit scroungers’ etc.. All adhering to a single neo liberal ideology.

    The sad thing is, that at present, Labour want to be even more like Tories, because they think it will win them votes. It is so very, very misguided.

  27. Ken500

    The English working class vote Tory. The UK should take in the 2,000 immigrants at Calais. The share of the 60,000 spread over the EU. 60,000 divided by 27 = 2,000+ . It would cost less.

    The UK, US and France caused the problems in the Middle East over the last 100 years. Especially since WW2.

    HIYFY Ian Hislop constantly criticises Scotland and the SNP.

  28. Thepnr

    The Labour party of the 21st century is a giant fraud, they promised to “be harder on welfare than the Tories”. The unemployed, disabled, trade unionists and the ordinary working men and women now have no party to represent their interests.

    There really is in England and Wales only a choice between the far right Tory, Tory original and Tory lite. Scottish voters have the option of the SNP but until Independence happens the only true centre left party at Westminster is severely limited in what it can achieve.

    A radical change in E&W is required and that will not be coming from the existing Labour party.

  29. Skip_NC

    We don’t even need to “hammer” Amazon and Starbucks. We simply need Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs to apply the law as it is written, and as it was intended to be applied.

    The US tax system is poor in many ways, but one thing they do is settle tax disputes in open court. We all get to read about them, if we care to.

  30. Stoker

    Good article Pete, thank you.

    Not so long ago i was watching a documentary, can’t remember what channel, but i think it was called something along the lines of “Life On The Dole.”

    It was focused on what seemed to be at one point in time a beautiful wee housing scheme on the English south-east coast. I can’t remember the name of it but would know it instantly if someone were to mention it.

    Anyway, to cut a long story short, this housing scheme now looked completely run down and neglected. The people they chose to focus on were a group of 4 or 5 white English folk ranging in age from mid 20s to 50 something.

    Throughout the documentary not one of them were seen without a can of alcohol in one hand and cigarette in the other (note i said cigarette and not a roll-up).

    Throughout that very same documentary, to a man and a woman, every one of them sang from that same blame the foreigner hymn sheet.

    That one episode was enough for me, i didn’t bother with the rest.

  31. Skip_NC

    I mean the actual opinions, of course.

  32. Edinburgh Quine

    Now then Pete, why not put such words into the mouths of those idiots on HIGNFY instead of the constant so-called Scottish jokes about unable to find fruit up here or deep fat mars bars. The first 30 or 40 times it was mildly amusing but no longer. However I suspect the audience would like someone, lets say Mark Steel, to come out with the bit about “It’s because property speculators have caused yet another boom in house prices….” and ends with… “and slash fares, so you can afford to get to and from work.”

  33. mogabee

    Dave is right to say this attitude is creeping everywhere.

    I nearly had a falling out with longtime friends who were talking in this way. Quite shocking as they have not come in contact with anyone fitting the “scrounger” title.

    Basically the MSM is infecting the narrative of ordinary folk and it sickens me.

  34. Brian Powell

    Amazingly enough we did have a system where John could have got a house. It involved there being enough council housing, which was also flexible.

    A council tenant, if moving to the other end of the country, could do a swop with other council tenants.

    If John wanted to buy a house there were real building societies where there were rules like not getting more than 2.5-3X the yearly salary. And there weren’t endless TV programmes about houses that said, be as greedy a bastard as you can be.

    The building society also did a magical thing, it didn’t work by people putting thousands into an account, most people saved maybe £20/month and got 6-7% return. Millions of people doing that provided a huge capital resource for housing.

  35. DerekM

    great article Pete and so on the money its scary.

    Until these people fed utter crap from the MSM wake up to reality and do something about their elected officials then nothing will change for them,but then that is the whole point of the black propaganda they are subjected to its all about pointing the blame away from the real culprits.

    Cant have the good people of England finding out the truth that will just not do,it also explains their position on us Scots since we no longer believe what they say and are in the process of enlightening as many people in the UK as we can to the truth which makes us the enemy of the UK state who are trying to cover up their crimes against the people of the UK.

  36. Pam McMahon

    Dinnatouch at 11.36 am
    Thanks for this excellent comment from somebody who has been through the system of de-humanisation which is the UK welfare system.

    You are absolutely correct. People DO want to work, when they can, but it must be difficult for those who have been raised in households where generations of their family have been unemployed and see this modus operandi as the norm.

    Instead of joining in the Unionist demonising of these citizens of our country, the Labour party might be better employed in asking how they contributed to this state of affairs.

  37. CameronB Brodie

    Woah there, Kemosabe. If only life were so simple, but its not, so get real. Though I do not disagree with the main premise, that following in the Tory’s foot steps will not help Labour, where are you going to build all these affordable houses? Ignoring the constraint of the Green Belt for a minute, I’ll assume you were thinking of London, as anything else would require a Regional Policy to encourage a decentralisation of development. Unfortunately, inflation and globilisation broke Labour’s last one back in the late 1960 and Thatcher threw it out in favour of ‘market-led appraoches to urban renewal. So there has been nothing but the speculators to direct development since. What’s a poor boy and aspiring Labour supporter to do?

  38. Dr Jim

    Erm, Labour? England?

    Both Red and Blue Tories have the good folk of that country convinced that the price of a brick rising to astronomical heights of ridiculousness is a wonderful thing

    Security in Retirement they’ll trumpet
    Sell it on and make a fortune they’ll trumpet
    Leave this big asset to your children they’ll trumpet

    When what they really mean is, Us speculating types will get our hands on it eventually because we know if you’re not Elite Rich you’ll sell the damn thing, think you’re rich and move to Spain to you’re dream retirement Villa, end up coming back and have to “Downsize” to a hovel and we get you again

    Ah, isn’t aspiration wonderful

    The deliberate con trick of successive Governments to promote this economy based on the price of a brick is one of the biggest lies in history
    Yet they still get away with it (Why?)

    The big Greed, and the bigger the nation the bigger the greed and the easier is is to promote
    Every night on the news it’s “House prices have fallen” “House prices have risen” accompanied by the required shocked sound if it’s down and the good news happy sound if it’s up

    Westminster Parliament buildings should really ram it home to people how much a brick is actually worth
    Not making any profit there are we?
    I’m one of many in Scotland who are going to have to pay for (A property I didn’t buy) (A property I’ll never set foot in) (A property that has benefited me or my country in no way EVER) I can’t sell it, rent it, convert it,

    I can’t even give the damn thing away as not cost effective

    Ah well, here’s my bank card, take what you want, I’ll just keep saving my pension and doing the Lottery in the hope of owning my own wee brick before I die

  39. gillie

    “To be fair the Scottish economy has its strengths – its chief exports being oil, whisky, tartan and tramps.”, Ray Winstone, HIGNFY.

    I wonder who wrote that?

  40. unchillfiltered

    If you want to understand how capitalism works you only have to play a game of Monopoly. And that’s with the utterly unrealistic scenario of everyone starting out with the same amount of money! We are heading back into the world of Dickens…

  41. Grendel

    It’s time that instead of giving money to folk to buy “affordable housing”, the Scottish Government ensured that social housing was built instead. John needs a house, and on the minimum wage there is bugger all affordable.

  42. Lollysmum

    Very good post Pete & very different to your day job I’m sure.

    Unfortunately the majority of my English countrymen & women seem to believe every word spouted by the box in the corner of the room & every bit of bile issuing forth from the ‘newspapers.’

    I feel like a stranger in my own country & can’t understand why they can’t see what is wrong in UK or is it that they can but feel powerless to do anything about it? Few will ever find their way to reading the ‘Ragged Trousered Philanthropists’ by Robert Tressell. Set in 1904 but its events are still happening today only on a much bigger scale. That is one book I will never forget reading for as long as I live.The best £1.99 (for the Kindle version) I ever spent.

    I comfort myself in believing that I’m not alone & that there are far more besides me in Scotland & across several European countries & we all have the same problem-how to awaken others to the fate that awaits us.

    The person who comes up with the solution will become a hero.

  43. heedtracker

    We are heading back into the world of Dickens…

    Future London Mayor George Galloway, hammer of the Scots etc was on BBC Politics London show this morn and he said teamGB inequality is now worse than Dickens time. Toryboy’s say its relative not absolute, eg, cant afford to have a baby? Dont have one sort of stuff.

    Mike Portillo, who does know what it feels like on the inside (ancient bit of satire there) gave it toryboy shit on BBC Politic night time thing this week where their relative v absolute poverty fraud got just one more UKOK airing

    Fun starts near the end but its always worth watching toryboy rage at their £30bn wasted on benefit moochers, whilst holding down wages at well, slave wage level, pumping billions into landlord tax evader accounts.

    Work makes you strong. Vote red or blue tory. If its going in, its going on, sort of an evening with Brillo meets reality.

  44. MolliBlum

    Je suis John.

    I can’t afford a house.

    I am one of (presumably many) middle-class, educated babyboomers caught fast in the increasingly expensive private property sector. I don’t qualify for a council house, and I pay so much monthly in rent that I can’t save up for a deposit to buy a house that would, ironically, cost me half as much in monthly mortgage repayments. And as age advances, I see fewer chances.
    Don’t get me wrong — this isn’t a “poor me” rant. It’s just an observation.

    I don’t get what alcoholics or druggies could possibly have to do with the situation. Heck –I can even see myself joining them if things go on like this! If only to ease the stress of knowing you could be kicked out at a fortnight’s notice should the landlord so choose.

    Property speculators and “investors” have created this mess, and they are dragging every other home-owner (landlord) along on their coat-tails. There’s plenty of housing available.

    But who sets the prices?

  45. Jimbo

    Yep; Pete Sinclair sums the situation up nicely for Labour. I wish he hadn’t though – Labour might actually pay attention to it.

  46. MolliBlum

    Well said, Grendel (1:20 pm) More social housing. More affordable rents. We don’t all have to “aspire” to home ownership. Good luck to those who do. But a roof over our heads at an affordable price would be perfectly acceptable to many. (self included)

  47. Les Wilson

    Sorry, Following from last post, here are the latest financial accounts available ( 2014) for Mundell’s most prolific donor.

    Also this was one of the companies that Ruth Davidson got fined for not declaring the money received by this donor.

  48. Robert Peffers

    @Murray McCallum says: 28 June, 2015 at 9:46 am:

    “However, the Labour party cabinet posts seem to be dominated by wealthy Oxbridge graduates who are also very comfortable with the status quo. I currently do not see that changing.”

    What is wrong with Labour is far more fundamental than just the presence of the Wealthy Oxbridge or, even, “Bullingdon Club”, old boys. It could be best understood by reading a quote from Miliband that has been showing on the BBC TV News text services all last week in which Miliband claims it is not the leadership to blame for Labour’s election defeat but is all the Fault of the SNP.

    Or rather it was, “The Little Englander”, electorates’ abject fear of an SNP/Labour government at Westminster interfering in The De Facto Parliament of England’s English Only affairs wot dun it.

    As I pointed out before the election it really was neither here nor there just who won in England the only way forward for Scotland was a strong SNP presence at Westminster for the simple reason that Westminster is a total shambles of a parliament since the establishment decided to eliminate the whole original concept of a United Kingdom.

    Mind you that was always their intent as our joint real Scottish/English history has always plainly shown. Even in 1603 the Establishment were making false claims of a Union of the two Kingdoms. That Union never happened but the taught history still teaches it did. Then the English Kingdom’s Glorious Revolution deposed the English/Welsh/Irish kingdom’s monarchy and fetched in King Billy & Queen Mary of Orange making that Kingdom a Constitutional Monarchy but could not be applied to a still independent Kingdom of Scotland.

    So why then the forced Treaty of Union of the two Kingdoms in 1706/7? That deal was billed as a treaty between two equally sovereign Kingdoms but then not only ignored the Jacobite Uprisings until 1745 but totally ignored the Scottish Claim of Right while upholding the English Bill of Right. Thus attempting to deny that The People of Scotland are Sovereign.

    Then in spite of the United Kingdom being a bipartite union of Kingdoms they have finally split it up on the lines of four countries but maintained Westminster as, an unelected as such, de facto Parliament of England. Which then set about devolving England’s perceived Powers to everyone else and they complain now that those other three countries have no right to be taking part in their de facto English Parliament’s decision making.

    Yet there we have it – Cameron campaigning for EVEL while Miliband blames the SNP for having the gall to send actually democratically elected members of the UNITED KINGDOM Parliament to the UNITED KINGDOM. Parliament.

    They have thus had one last chance to fix the matter by getting their unelected Parliament of England to hell out of our joint United Kingdom Parliament and thus putting every UK member of the electorate on an even footing and they have blown it.

    Roll on Scottish, Welsh, Irish and English independence.

  49. scottieDog

    Not one party in the lead up to the election, including snp, talked about the real reason for unaffordable homes. It’s the power given to banks to create money, most of which is pumped into the mortgage market causing inflation…

  50. Dr Ew

    Good article, but I was especially touched by the post from Dinnatouch.

    When you boil it all down, our masters have always used the same ploy to divert attention from their activities or blame for their acts: the “othering” of vulnerable people.

    Pick on a given religion, ethnicity, nationality, sex or identifiable social minority then wage a relentless propaganda war to caricature, demonise and dehumanise. Anyone who speaks up for them is mad, bad or dangerous. Any OF “them” are to be treated with suspicion, contempt and condemnation.

    Except what happens if you fall in love with someone from the travelling community? What if your daughter turns out to be gay? What if your son wants to have children with a black woman? What if someone from Bulgaria saves your life after a road accident? What if your brother becomes an alocholic and your sister a single monther on benefits? What if your house is repossessed?

    What if, like Dinnatouch, you lose your job but unlike him don’t have transferable, marketable skills or up-to-date qualifications and find yourself staring into an abyss of the rest of your life on benefits?

    We need to remind ourselves of our humanity every day. All the more so when we are being exhorted to think of others as less than human and indeed – as this website often demonstrates – are being monstered as “others” ourselves.

  51. Andy-B

    Thank you Peter for your thoughts on immigration, social housing etc.

    You’re right of course Labour aren’t shouting for their old core values anymore, no one at Westminster cares (SNP MP’s aside) about the left and its value to society anymore.

  52. Tinto Chiel

    Jimbo said:
    28 June, 2015 at 1:45 pm
    “Yep; Pete Sinclair sums the situation up nicely for Labour. I wish he hadn’t though – Labour might actually pay attention to it.”

    No chance, Jimbo. They’re too busy doing dodgy dossiers and abstaining in HoC.

    The party of Keir Hardie? Sheesh.

  53. Petra

    @ Les Wilson 2:20 pm …. ”Also this was one of the companies that Ruth Davidson got fined for not declaring the money received by this donor.”

    Amazing how this deceitful wee runt (will I be on the dossier list now?) always manages to get out of these situations by the skin of her teeth. And while I’m on the subject has anyone heard of the outcome of the Police investigation into her ‘postal vote’ fiasco?

  54. Robert Peffers

    @Dinnatouch says: 28 June, 2015 at 11:36 am:

    “I’m a joiner to trade. The pay is not brilliant, but along with my wife’s wage as a part-time supermarket checkout operator, it’s enough to live on if we budget carefully.

    Actually, Dinnatouch, you said a far bigger mouthful than you intended to say in that post. You did not highlight the real story your narrative spelled out.

    You are a skilled and trained tradesman, a craftsman really, and yet you are struggling to make ends meet and you need both yourself and your good lady earning to just squeeze by. You are a valuable and skilled member of society who contributes greatly to that society with your skills.

    Yet we have a virtually useless, multi-millionaire, heir apparent to two ancient Baronetcies, with nothing better than, of all things, a degree in Modern History, (now there’s an oxymoron), from Cambridge as the Chancellor of the Exchequer of the United Kingdom.

    His pre-politics work experience consisted of taking messages of the deaths of Londoners and typing in the details at a computer terminal. This was followed by a job re-hanging ties, refolding towels and generally tidying up after wealthy customers in a London Department story that his wealthy family had a financial interest in.

    From there he was helped along by Conservative Party Headquarters by being taken on as a researcher/speechwriter and then found a safe seat to contest and it was up, up and away as a Hecht Heid Ane of the Tory Party.

    That numptie, like the rest of the inhabitants in the London bubble, have as much knowledge of the real World as my wee Papillion bitch has of quantum Physics .

  55. Isobel Wilson

    Dr Ew, I am usually a lurker but had to come out of the shadows to comment on your post. Completely spot on. I can no longer work due to a hereditary condition and often I feel I dare not mention I am on benefits.

    What with all the crap on TV and the “news” papers about all us fakers it makes you feel ashamed to be disabled. I heard a friend moaning about a woman who came to her B&B and had asked for a wheelchair accessible room but she didn’t use her wheelchair when she was there.

    Her conclusion? A faker of course like so many others who claim disability benefits. She didn’t consider, as many others don’t, that maybe the lady had a condition such as MS and has good days & bad days which of course we cannot predict in advance.

    Sometimes I despair at my fellow humans who have no empathy, . they would do well to remember they too could become disabled or loose their job etc. Sadly it seems no one stands up for the “others” until they become one of them.

    Thank god for WoS where there are still people who care.

  56. Robert Knight

    “I’d put them on a fucking boat and I’d dump them on a fucking island!”

    That sounds similar to Australia’s immigration policy. Apparently it’s working for them.

  57. Capella

    @ Les Wilson
    Can’t read that article Les as there is a firewall blocking it. But the surrounding adverts are amusing. Affordable housing with spare bedrooms and motoring for Herald readers? (2012 prices)

    Detached House, 5 bedrooms
    Offers Over £1,350,000

    Detached House, 5 bedrooms
    Offers Over £1,400,000

    Jaguar Motherwell

    Jaguar – XJ
    Jaguar Motherwell

    Jaguar – F-Type
    Jaguar Motherwell

    Also,a link to a Ruth Davidson campaign revelation piece written by Paul Hutcheon “Investigations Editor”:

    The Scottish Tories battle to save the Union starts here – a detached house in Sussex.

    Paul Hutcheon
    Investigations Editor
    Sunday 1 April 2012
    A TORY fundraiser to “keep Scotland in the Union” is in disarray after it emerged that the event was being run from a detached house in Sussex.

    A lavish campaign dinner for the Scottish party is being co-ordinated by the “United and Cecil Club” (U&CC), a body that had to forfeit an illegal donation last year.

    SNP Westminster leader Angus Robertson said the revelation raised questions about how the Conservatives planned to fund their referendum strategy. Scottish Tory chief Ruth Davidson last month kickstarted her bid to stop independence by launching a new group, “Conservative Friends of the Union”.

  58. Macart

    A good post by Mr Sinclair and a lot in there to agree with.

    Labour have lost their heart and soul, they did so willingly in pursuit of electoral success. As we’ve seen demonstrated recently they have only one choice to pursue this success and two countries political poles apart. There is only one choice for Labour in Scotland if it is to survive in any way shape or form, (not that I care after the past few days), and that is separation and backing a ticket of devo max (if they must).

    To stay joined at the hip to a UK Labour movement, which will of necessity veer even further to the right in pursuit of electoral success, will indeed see the end of Labour in Scotland.

  59. Iain More

    I am a 24/7 carer and what really gets my goat is the real nasty perpetual eternal parasites in Buckingham Palace and the House of Lards. Oh and Local Councillors who think it is their fucking god given right to give us a hard time but then my council is ruled badly by an unholy coalition of British Nationalists who love the effin Royals and fawn to any Lard. It isn’t the alcoholics and drug addicts giving me a hard time.

    Dont get me started on the holiday home owners who don’t live here 50 weeks of the year if at all. Oh and don’t get me started on my local councillors who own several empty properties either. Its no wonder they wanted a No vote.

  60. John

    Labour have been shouting similar things for years, they’ve been exposed as to the frauds that they are. I would not believe them if they did shout from the rooftops. They’re all in it for themselves. Best thing they could do is split apart and admit to who they are.

  61. ScottieDog

    Christ why can’t the UK have a chancellor like this one?!

    I.e one who understands macro economics

  62. Annette

    Very true, very true.

  63. Doug McG

    Labour are in hock to their bankers who call all the shots on policy , the people who create the credit rule the world. I only hope the SNP have the balls to resist them when their moment of truth arrives.

  64. Dr Ew

    @Isobel Wilson

    Hi Isobel

    You’re very welcome. That hideous culture of making people feel ashamed because they have a disability or disease, or because of their sexuality, or their race, or accent, or nationality, or because they’re unemployed or just struggling to make ends meet, is all part of a strategy by the Powerful to cow us lest we dare question their authority and actions.

    This site does lots of things from shining a light on dark corners to exposing hypocrisy and calling out propaganda for what it is. I agree with you though Isobel, this is a place where you can come and not feel as isolated or hopeless. That’s probably the most important service Wings provides.

    Good to hear from you. I’m sure your voice would be welcome anytime.

    Best wishes


  65. Dal Riata

    What is still known as the UK is slowly but surely becoming a dystopian nightmare of extreme right-wing, authoritarian and intolerant views and practices – a fascist state given the cover of being one of the world’s great democracies.

    A controlled MSM that spouts the poisonous agenda emanating from the Establishment upon the people of the UK:

    In print:

    The undesirables – migrants; the unemployed; people on benefits; the low-waged; the sick; the Scots; the SNP; ‘foreigners’…

    The desirables – the monarchy; the aristocracy; millionaires and billionaires from anywhere; bankers; hedge-fund managers; London’s ‘money-marketeers’; conglomerates and companies able to evade tax with impunity; landowners…

    Meanwhile on TV:

    The Great British (whatever) ad nauseam; ‘celebrations’ of war; monarchy ‘news’; English-based news as the main news programmes; England as Britain as the UK; politics programmes biased against the SNP; ‘In Britain’ shows almost entirely in England; “scroungers” and “benefits” sneering shows; dumbed down garbage ‘reality’ and celebrity shows…

    And Labour – once upon a time known as the party of the downtrodden, the people in need and the working-class – allowed it to happen, nay, were quite complicit in it coming into being… Nu Labour, Tony Blair, Mandelson, Blarites, Jim Murphy…

    And Labour reckon their failure in the 2015 General Election was because they had gone “too far to the left”, FFS!

  66. Tinto Chiel

    @ Dal Riata, 6.23 pm:

    An excellent but depressing summary.

    Fair makes you proud, No Voters, eh?

    The only consolation is that I feel we’ll be out by 2020 on a better mandate than we could have hoped for last year. Many opportunities ahead to spring the trap.

  67. scottie2015

    There’s a very good reason why Labour can’t make too much noise about excessive house prices, and that is existing home owners. They benefit from the current system at the direct expense of those excluded.

    The house price inflation caused by property speculators, overseas billionaires, and taxpayer subsidys for buy-to-let landlords, creates artificial demand for housing. That pushes prices up.

    On the other hand, a dearth of council houses, and selling off Housing Association properties, deliberately restricts the supply of housing. That pushes prices up.

    If you’re an existing home owner, you benefit from this. If you’re not, you don’t.

    As existing home owners outnumber those excluded, it’s a very simple political equation. Politics is a numbers game.

    Labour is well aware of this. And the same situation exists all over the English-speaking world.

    It’s only a problem if you’re in the excluded minority.

  68. Kenny Campbell

    For Buy to Let landlords you could just now insert most home owners given that house prices are being buoyed by taxpayers. The ladder long ago pulled up behind them.

    Most kids now won’t be home owners without inheriting one.

    Much of the debt boom was home owners using equity release to buy jetskis, jacuzzis or whatever. I think its lazy and easy to demonize buy to let landlords but in reality its a much bigger set of folk.

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