The world's most-read Scottish politics website

Wings Over Scotland

Spelling it out

Posted on September 11, 2014 by

Yesterday the three UK party leaders all came to Scotland to “campaign”. None of them would appear in public or be interviewed on TV, speaking only to small crowds of invited supporters before scurrying south again. Nevertheless, their fleeting presence north of the border meant that the weekly Prime Minister’s Questions was conducted by substitutes. Standing in for David Cameron was William Hague.

So that’s all a bit clearer now.

“The statements by the party leaders made on this in the last few days are statements by party leaders in a campaign – not a statement of Government policy today, but a statement of commitment from the three main political parties, akin to statements by party leaders in a general election campaign of what they intend to do afterwards. It is on that basis that they have made those statements.” (column 900)

In pointing out that any promises made by the three leaders were merely campaigning rhetoric, Hague placed them firmly alongside a long list of famous election pledges.

1997, Labour: “We have no plans to introduce tuition fees”.
(introduced tuition fees)

1997, Labour: “We will reform the electoral system”
(electoral system was not reformed)

2001, Labour: “We will not introduce top-up fees”
(introduced top-up fees)

2005, Labour: “We will not raise basic or higher rates of income tax”
(raised higher rate of income tax)

2005, Labour: “We will hold a referendum on the EU constitution”
(did not hold a referendum on the EU constitution)

2010, Conservatives: “We have absolutely no plans to increase VAT”
(increased VAT to 20%)

2010, Conservatives: “There will be no top-down reorganisation of the NHS”
(instigated massive top-down reorganisation and privatisation of the NHS)

2010, Conservatives: “No cuts to front-line services”
(the biggest cuts to front-line services in British peacetime history)

2010, Conservatives: “No plans to abolish Education Maintenance Allowance”
(abolished Education Maintenance Allowance)

2010, Liberal Democrats: “We will vote against any increase in tuition fees”
(voted to triple tuition fees)

Those are just a small handful of the better-known highlights. (For example, we’ve left out New Labour’s pledge to renationalise the railways, because as far as we can tell they never quite came out and said it in public, despite lots of nudge-wink briefings.)

Readers can while away a fun morning Googling for “[party] [year] manifesto broken promises” themselves if they like. In the meantime, we thank Mr Hague for providing candour and clarity.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

6 Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. 12 09 14 01:13

    Project Fear Are Scared | A Greater Stage

  2. 12 09 14 15:09

    Mortgages, the Economy & the Referendum | Darling Blogs

  3. 14 09 14 16:41

    Why I’m voting Yes | Darling Blogs

  4. 15 10 14 10:59

    Be sure the truth will find you out | FreeScotland

  5. 13 11 14 14:02

    How to speak Weasel | FreeScotland

  6. 17 01 16 16:37

    The Ballad Of The Glyph - Wings Over Scotland

71 to “Spelling it out”

  1. Luigi says:

    It’s strange how the BBC did not pick up on this and keep us all properly informed. They are normally so reliable.

  2. Muscleguy says:


    But the main men were away so nothing interesting could possibly have happened at PMQs. Why would the BBC therefore bother to report them? The 3 stooges were abroad and being ‘newsworthy’. Dull, stolid Mr Hague simply could not compete with that.

    What’s that I hear you cry? Bread and Circuses? Sorry, I’ve just seen a squirrel and have some cereal to eat.

  3. L MacDonald says:

    If it’s No and they back down from their ‘intention’? Trouble in Scotland.
    If it’s No and the try and implement? Trouble in rUK (England) UKIP, Boris Johnston and Priti Patel just for a start.

    What they are down is messing with democracy and dangerous.

  4. heedtracker says:

    Hague’s poker face is almost as ridiculous as Cameron’s quivering lower lip.

  5. Jim says:

    Damn that freeze frame of Hague is fucking scarey, it looks like he has no eyes!

  6. paul gerard mccormack says:

    speaking of cereal, I need my porridge now

  7. MajorBloodnok says:

    Westminster’s manipulative cynicism knows no bounds. That was much easier to write than say out loud.

    PS hello Waterbeastie – nice to meet you at the Meadows stall yesterday. I saw you were nearly out of WBB… excellent.

  8. fred blogger says:

    buyer beware!

  9. Jim says:

    And so, my fellow Scots: ask not what your country can do for you — ask what you can do for your country.
    Please take that in your hearts, Davidson, Lamont, Rennie, et al.

  10. No no no...Yes says:

    They say one thing in England and another thing is Scotland. Thank goodness for the internet so this latest revelation can be debunked.
    Do they really think we are so stupid?
    Regardless John Lewis, when you listen to the actual words, once again the headline is proven to be misleading, no surprise then. Anyway, how many people in the schemes actually shop with John Lewis?

  11. IheartScotland says:

    Don’t be fooled again….they have so much ‘previous’ that it beggars belief that anyone would fall for such shite.

  12. KaMate says:

    David Cameron – the tool on the stool 😉

  13. T222Deracha says:

    Westminster promises are to Scotland what Enron was to financial accounting.

  14. Clootie says:

    While walking down the street one day a US senator is tragically hit by a truck and dies.

    His soul arrives in heaven and is met by St. Peter at the entrance.

    “Welcome to heaven,” says St. Peter. “Before you settle in, it seems there is a problem. We seldom see a high official around these parts, you see, so we’re not sure what to do with you.”

    “No problem, just let me in,” says the man.

    “Well, I’d like to, but I have orders from higher up. What we’ll do is have you spend one day in hell and one in heaven. Then you can choose where to spend eternity.”

    “Really, I’ve made up my mind. I want to be in heaven,” says the senator.

    “I’m sorry, but we have our rules.”

    And with that, St. Peter escorts him to the elevator and he goes down, down, down to hell. The doors open and he finds himself in the middle of a green golf course. In the distance is a clubhouse and standing in front of it are all his friends and other politicians who had worked with him.

    Everyone is very happy and in evening dress. They run to greet him, shake his hand, and reminisce about the good times they had while getting rich at the expense of the people.

    They play a friendly game of golf and then dine on lobster, caviar and champagne.

    Also present is the devil, who really is a very friendly guy who has a good time dancing and telling jokes. They are having such a good time that before he realizes it, it is time to go.

    Everyone gives him a hearty farewell and waves while the elevator rises…

    The elevator goes up, up, up and the door reopens on heaven where St. Peter

    is waiting for him.

    “Now it’s time to visit heaven.”

    So, 24 hours pass with the senator joining a group of contented souls moving from cloud to cloud, playing the harp and singing. They have a good time and, before he realizes it, the 24 hours have gone by and St. Peter returns.

    “Well, then, you’ve spent a day in hell and another in heaven. Now choose your eternity.”

    The senator reflects for a minute, then he answers: “Well, I would never have said it before, I mean heaven has been delightful, but I think I would be better off in hell.”

    So St. Peter escorts him to the elevator and he goes down, down, down to hell.

    Now the doors of the elevator open and he’s in the middle of a barren land covered with waste and garbage.

    He sees all his friends, dressed in rags, picking up the trash and putting it in black bags as more trash falls from above.

    The devil comes over to him and puts his arm around his shoulder. “I don’t understand,” stammers the senator. “Yesterday I was here and there was a golf course and clubhouse, and we ate lobster and caviar, drank champagne, and danced and had a great time. Now there’s just a wasteland full of garbage and my friends look miserable. What happened?”

    The devil looks at him, smiles and says,

    “Yesterday we were campaigning…… Today you voted.”

  15. Jim says:

    KaMate says:
    David Cameron – the tool on the stool
    Is he a tool or a stool or both?

  16. Jim says:

    Brilliant caller on Radio Scotland just now.

  17. Illy says:

    Fun Comparison:

    If you search “SNP broken manifesto promises” you get a lot of griping from Labour.

  18. geeo says:

    PMQ’s was a sickening love fest, united against Scotland and an affront to democracy.

    Harriden Hartman and Wullie Vague, christ, if they had a kid the midwife would slap the parents!

  19. tartanfever says:

    Get the word out, inform undecideds of the facts as laid out here.

    You could do no worse than point people to Mike Small’s article this morning on Bella about RBS which is as ‘fiery’ as Monbiot’s article the other day.

  20. Gillian_Ruglonian says:

    Okay, so that confirms my suspicions that the Westminster flashmob was orchestrated to avoid awkward questions in London, but can anyone explain Prescott on my main street??

  21. geeo says:


    That was brilliant !
    Permission to share….?

  22. Clootie says:

    @Gillian_Ruglonian says:
    11 September, 2014 at 10:31 am

    Can anyone explain Prescott?

  23. gordoz says:

    Aye, there you go – back to normal service in the house, nothing to see here .. next.

  24. Clootie says:

    @geeo says:
    11 September, 2014 at 10:34 am

    Off the web – feel free

  25. Macart says:

    They campaigned?

    I thought they were just out on a day trip to talk ‘at’ us.

    But yep, completely agree, there are no proposals or policies only a ‘commitment’ to make some (inaudible mumble).

    As for who holds the whip hand here? Something to bear in mind for folks is that what the establishment are seeking to do here is convince you that they are in charge, that you need their permission. Nothing could be further from the truth.

    The truth is they will require your permission to remain the establishment, remain in control of your future. YOU have the right to decide who governs Scotland, not them. Better yet, you won’t have to wait on any further proposals, debates in chambers, bills being passed, amended or indeed rigged. You can go straight to having the government that you want, responding to your needs, reflecting your society and your politics. There is no ifs buts or maybes. You can deliver this for yourselves 100% guaranteed.

    All you have to do is vote YES.

  26. Macart says:


    That’s a belter. 🙂

  27. CUTOMMY says:


    At 7.00am on the morning of 18th September 2014, the People of Scotland will, for the first time, take full control of our relationship with our neighbours in these islands.

    If we vote YES, we, the people of Scotland, will decide which powers we retain and which powers we share in partnership with the other nations of the UK.

    If we vote NO, at 10.00pm on that same day we will have returned that control to Westminster. In that event, the People of Scotland will allow David Cameron, George Osborne, Nick Clegg, Ed Miliband, Nigel Farage and their successors to decide what powers are devolved to Scotland and which powers are retained in Westminster. Your children deserve better.

    You have the power to pass to your children, full control of their country, please don’t let them down.

  28. G H Graham says:

    I did some arithmetic the other day which revealed Scotland’s exports to be LARGER per head of population than Germany’s.

    For a population of just 5.3 million, we export to the UK & the rest of the world about £100 billion worth of goods & services.

    Germany has a population of around 82 million people which exports around £921 billion worth of goods & services.

    By calculating the value in exports per head of poulation we can deduce that Germany exports £11,231 while Scotland exports £18,867.

    Germany is consired one of the worlds greatest exporters but we can see that even their capacity per head of population is dwarfed by Scotland, by a massive 68%.

    It is no surprise then that Westminster is desperate to cling on to Scotland. It is a massive cash cow for the Treasury in London. It alwyas has been.

    Anyone who still thinks Scotland is too wee, too poor or too stupid needs to visit a clinical psychologist.

  29. Indy_Scot says:

    Having seen the way the British state and the media have come together against Scotland, our only hope is to vote Yes, because if we don’t, we will pay a price.

  30. frazer allan whyte says:


    Great writing – do more!

  31. bookie from hell says:

    n1 clootie

  32. Dave McEwan Hill says:

    RBS was founded as an anti Jacobite bank ( BOS was on the other side). The “parcel of rogues” who took the bribes to vote for the union were largely depositors in it.
    History repeats itself

  33. Wee Alex says:

    Last caller on Louise White must have been reading from a Labour crib sheet.

    We are too wee, too stupid, too poor.

    I despair at these comments but it will only make work all the harder to achieve what is normal throughout the world.

  34. I'veNeverSeenBraveheart says:

    Alex’s press conference about to begin and the BBC newsreader makes a snide remark about how we was due 5 minutes ago! So then we jump to the Pistorius circus, and miss Nicola, Patrick etc speaking!

    Compare to the blanket coverage of Gordon Brown & friends the other day!

    Still, what do we expect now…

    Is there any point complaining?

  35. Clootie says:

    @frazer allan whyte says:
    11 September, 2014 at 10:48 am

    From an American site on political promises.

  36. msean says:

    Still voting yes,its a poker hand they have played,wrongly in my opinion. If yes wins,these banks won’t get much new business and will need another giro from Mr Osbourne.

  37. BrianW says:

    I’m not genetically programmed to understand that..

    Thank goodness Westminster are there to make my decisions for me, and reap the benefits of my country’s resources, whilst at the same time watch as child poverty reaches record levels, and foodbanks are on the increase..

    Better Together, No Thanks uKOK. Utter Bollocks. They’d rob there Granny’s to self promote themselves and spout their vile pish to those with out a bullshit detector..

  38. Roughian says:

    I met Mr Chope back in the 80’s. He was something to do with industry in the Thatcher government. He came on our stand at Scotbuild (SSEC)to announce we were opening a joint venture factory (Scot/Norway) in East Kilbride. He asked how many jobs are you creating? We answered 12, it wasn’t a labour intensive operation. He disappeared before you could say smakeroonies. I don’t have much time for MPs after that.

  39. Brotyboy says:

    @ G H Graham 10.45

    Business for Scotland told me this around 6 months ago. Glad to see your confirmation.

  40. goulashman says:

    Dreadful clip on Classic FM: woman from “Women Together” – “Women will vote NO because they don’t like Salmond’s looks.” …… Hopefully men and women are far more discerning than that? This current blitzing of Scotland with scare, greed self-interest and propaganda, shameful lies and unprincipled Westminster politicians is the same attitude that inspired the clearances, the Hanoverian oppression et al. Scotland isa perceived as a ‘colonial resource’ to be enslaved. Can’t NO voters are this?

  41. Graeme Doig says:


    Nobel prize for analogy 🙂

    If Scotland falls for this again, come the 18th, we deserve everything we get/don’t get.

    Time to get out and bust ourselves for the final week.

    Have some self respect Scotland.


  42. Quentin Quale says:

    Ah, so they were up not as a united front but doing a wee bit of party political campaigning. The contempt in which the Scottish populace is held in is becoming much clearer to many, many people. But congratulations to BT on such monumental back-firing of a political message. Has there ever been a more ridiculous political campaign than that overseen by Blair McDougall? Anybody worked out the total time spent in Scotland by the three?

  43. Kevin Evans says:

    The real people and staff (nurses,doctors,cleaners chefs) at the Nhs know what stayin in the union means for the Nhs – they need to stand outside all Scottish hospitals over the next few days and tell the people the truth of what’s going to happen to the free health care we all should be greatful for today.

    Urge them to stand up and tell the truth.

  44. I'veNeverSeenBraveheart says:

    And now he’s been interrupted!

  45. Indy_Scot says:

    Just watched Alex Salmond get cut off by the BBC, they really do think highly of us.

  46. heedtracker says:

    After pretty incredible UKOK media blasted at Scotland we then have this to watch and Farage is coming up to kick some deluded separatist arse.

    Watching this giant OO parade for teamGB will probably be a nice break from relentless BBC hardcore propaganda alone.

  47. Marie clark says:

    So there we have it.Straight from the horses mouth. The plain unvarnished truth. Spread the word folks.

    Apologies to horses if they are upset by the comparison to William Hague.

  48. Auld Rock says:

    Gillian_Ruglonian. He was there to advocate that there should be a united soccer team, except he didn’t tell the Tartan Army.

    Auld Rock

  49. tartanarse says:

    I like to think that I have a good grasp of the English language.
    I also like to think that whilst no rocket scientist, I am more intelligent than a monkey.

    Having said that, can anyone please explain to me what it was the Mr Vague was talking about?

    OT Did anyone hear Jim Notties NO expert on this morning. He ripped Notties banking and currency item to shreds. He was supposed to be the NO guy as well!!!

    His mistake? He set about stating the truth in a factual and neutral manner.

    Jim wasn’t pleased. It was great. More please.

  50. muttley79 says:

    @Indy Scot

    We will pay a huge price if we vote No.

  51. Papadox says:

    Whenever oil is mentioned it is always with regard to the North Sea, which has been producing for over 40years.

    The rest of the Scottish waters are AVOIDED like the plague. This is done to minimise the reserves available to Scotland and known HUGE RESERVES AND POTENTIAL can be “hidden” till after Westminster gets its hands on it. Then they can shrug their shoulders and say all we mentioned was the North Sea reserves.

    There is a huge con going on their covered up by MSM, EBC, BP, MPS ET AL.

  52. Auld Rock says:

    It’s beyond belief, the guilt or otherwise of a SA athlete in what was a tragic place is more important to the people of Scotland than hearing OUR OWN 1st MINISTER beggars belief. Can this shower of New Labour eejits at Pacific Quay stoop any lower. Don’t answer that for they probably will during the next seven days. It’s going to be very interesting watching them squirm around 03:00hrs next Friday morning.

    Auld Rock

  53. Auld Rock says:

    place should be ‘case’.

    Auld Rock

  54. call me dave says:

    The FM trying to get out the truth about the Banks.

    Interview filled with interruptions but he manages.

    From 2hrs 10mins in…

    Good old BBC it’s all uncertainty and it’s the SG fault who do you trust?

  55. Andrew Brown says:

    SWMBO and I were so incensed today that we closed our joint account with the Royal Bank and told them why. No doubt they’ll spin it as capital fleeing an independent Scotland. Also dropped John Lewis a note saying I’d never shop in their stores again thanks to their Chairman’s remarks.

    Is there a list anywhere of businesses which would no doubt welcome no longer receiving my patronage ? I mean who wants to take money off one of those dreadful uppity sweaty socks ?

  56. It is hard to keep up with all the interviews going on. I would just like to thank those on the various threads on Wings who post links, they are extremely useful . Thank you.

  57. John says:

    Lets not forget the redrawing of maritime borders that Labour sneaked in unannounced THE DAY BEFORE devolution took effect.

  58. Robert Peffers says:

    I’ll say it again.
    All United Kingdom companies who want to continue to trade in all present United Kingdom countries after the Kingdom of Scotland and the Kingdom of England become independent from each other will legally have to maintain a registered head office in each kingdom. This is madatory for companies. This is what registration is all about – they register as companies to be regulated by the state and to pay, or get tax relief on their profits or losses.

    There is thus going to be a damned site more English registered companies who will have to legally establish a registered head office in Scotland. Think such as ASDA, TESCO, Presto, Aldi, PC World, Currys, many Building Societies, Cinema Chains, Sainsburys, John Lewis various builders, Filling Stations, Broadcasters. Clothing, furniture, DIY Chains Betting Shops, Pub chains, Hotel Chains, Transport companies, Insurance companies, Amazon, corner Coffee bars. et al. The list is endless.

    Note that the banks registered with offices in Scotland already saying they will register in England do so to be able to continue trading in England. There are far more registered in England who trade in Scotland. Believe me they are not about to leave Scotland and thus be prevented from trading in the Scottish marketplace.

    As we say in Scotland, “Yaise yer heid ya numptie afore ye fung yer Teddy frae yer buggy”.

    THIS IS A GOOD THING FOR AN INDEPENDENT SCOTLAND, it means these companies know they must legally be registered to trade in both countries after they become independent.

    I’ll put it another way for you. No company can trade in an independent Scotland without maintaining a registered office for both tax & regulatory reasons. Did you actually think that a company could earn profits in Scotland and continue to pay their tax on that profit to the Kingdom of England treasury after independence?

  59. JWil says:

    Our family are not great customers of John Lewis, basically because their shops are too far away and a bit expensive in our view, but I do hope their existing customers will take the time to email or write to the Chairman to register their anger about his announcement that their prices will increase in an independent Scotland.

    I am not aware that it is a practice of large retail companies to announce that they are going to put prices up. They would much rather get their customers into their stores and find out first hand. So we can say with some certainty that this announcement is nothing short of blackmail and coercion in a attempt to undermine the democratic process of the referendum.

    I hope J Lewis customers will tell them in no uncertain terms where they stand with the company.

  60. Steven Mitchell says:

    Why not add

    1995, Labour – There will be an end to zero hour contracts

  61. JWil says:

    What’s behind Gary Robertson’s sinister smile? Here:

  62. JWil says:

    100 MPs. The extra thin red line*.

    Seeing Harriet Harman getting on the train in London just cheered up my day. Another non-event for NO and more votes for YES.

    Note: I looked up the Battle of Balaclava in Wikiepedia where the regiment is listed as:

    The British Sutherland Highlanders.

  63. Rod Cameron says:

    Fool me once – shame on you. Fool me twice – shame on me!
    We desperately NEED to turn our back on the westminster ‘government’ and all who shares her nest.

  64. JWil says:

    If people are concerned about animosity after the referendum. Whether its yes or no, perhaps they should be seeking the setting up of a truth and reconciliation commission. It’s even more pertinent after the assault we have had on Scotland this week from the Westminster establishment and the media.

    I was glad to see Alex Salmond getting stuck into criticising the UK Government and the BBC today. It’s not before time that they were taken to task. The BBC especially. They are getting more and more bold about presenting one sided arguments.

    Yesterday I saw part of the select committee interview with the woman who may be taking on the job as head of the BBC Trust. A member of the committee pointed out that all her predecessors had seen their role as protecting the BBC. She said her role was to take the BBC to task. Maybe there is light at the end of the tunnel, but it will be too late for this referendum. Whatever happens I hope there will be a big shakeout of personal at BBC Scotland.

  65. Tom Foyle says:

    Is it just me, or was the visit of the westminster pirates a complete non-event?

  66. JWil says:

    On a News video I saw someone with a microphone, alongside the delegation as the came off the train, mouthing off about, ‘our imperialist masters’. That was the highlight of their visit for me.

  67. Ken500 says:

    Hague buried the Report into child abuse by Westminster MP’s. Thatcher turned a blind eye.

  68. Ken500 says:

    The three stooges are so unpopular in Britain, they can’t walk the streets without guards.

  69. Rory says:

    2010, Conservatives: “No cuts to front-line services”
    (the biggest cuts to front-line services in British peacetime history)


Comment - please read this page for comment rules. HTML tags like <i> and <b> are permitted. Use paragraph breaks in long comments. DO NOT SIGN YOUR COMMENTS, either with a name or a slogan. If your comment does not appear immediately, DO NOT REPOST IT. Ignore these rules and I WILL KILL YOU WITH HAMMERS.

↑ Top