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Strike a Poe’s

Posted on May 13, 2013 by

Sorry this post is a bit late, folks. We’ve been pretty stymied all morning trying to get a handle on the extraordinary, unmockable mendacity that’s being fed to the people of Scotland as we speak, which keeps crashing our powers of rational comprehension.


We quite often highlight the utterances of The Labour Party in Scotland (henceforth TLPiS) as examples of “blackwhite”, the Orwellian term for presenting the truth as the exact opposite of reality. But today must surely have set some sort of world record.

Anas Sarwar is perhaps TLPiS’s most practiced proponent of the artform (challenged only by serial truth economiser Jackie Baillie), but we have to salute the career high he achieves in this morning’s Herald, with the declaration that voting for independence would make Scotland LESS independent.

(And that therefore, we must logically assume, the only sensible course of action for anyone desirous of Scottish independence would be to in fact vote No to Scottish independence in the Scottish independence referendum.)

Sarwar’s other bold assertion is that “independence would reduce Scotland’s influence over a right-wing Tory government” – you know, that influence that we’re all noticing at the moment from Scotland’s 40 Labour MPs, and which is doing such an effective job of fighting David Cameron, George Osborne and Iain Duncan Smith’s brutal austerity programme. Perhaps if we elect, say, 43 next time that’ll make all the difference.

Yesterday’s print edition of Scotland on Sunday similarly featured Gordon Brown urging Scots to “Ditch the Tories, not the Union”. As the former Chancellor and Prime Minister spends most of his time on lucrative speaking engagements abroad and almost never turns up to represent his constituents in Parliament, we can understand him being a little out of touch with events, but Scotland has “ditched the Tories” at every election since 1955, and it doesn’t seem to be working.

Indeed, having not voted for them in almost 60 years, and not having returned more than a single Conservative MP since 1992 – yet still having endured 30 years of Tory governments in that period – it’s hard to see how much more unequivocally Scotland could possibly “ditch the Tories”. What is it Mr Brown wants Scotland to do, exactly?

Blaming Scots for Tory governments – as Brown is effectively doing, rather than the English voters who keep electing them – is scarcely any less mind-boggling than Sarwar’s call to vote No to independence to have more independence. Brown must be gutted to have been pipped to the post for the prize, not for the first time in his career.

But there’s a third act in today’s triple whammy of un-satirisable Labour brassneckery.


It’s hard to know where to even begin taking the mickey out of the fact that the “Better Together” campaign has now separated into factions. We can only assume that such extreme difficulty is the reason the media isn’t full today of screaming headlines about “splits”, “chaos” and “turmoil”, as it invariably is when two elements of the Yes camp disagree about something.

But the logo of “United with Labour” seems as good a place as any. The aim of the “Better Together” splinter group (stop sniggering at the back) is not to unite Scotland with itself, but with the rest of the UK. Why, then, is it making this heart-rending call under the banner of a Saltire, not a Union Jack? What’s it ashamed of?

Whatever the outcome of the referendum, it seems safe to say that Scotland’s going to emerge from it more divided than at any time in its modern history. The notion that the relentless onslaught of negativity and scaremongering TLPiS has undertaken for the last 24 months and will doubtless continue for the next 16 is in fact about any kind of “unity” is a strong challenger to both Sarwar and Brown for the most openly, cynically anti-factual claim of the day.

(Particularly, of course, as its very existence arises from division.)

Earlier this month the media was briefly consumed with puzzlement as to why there was no great tradition of Scottish political satire. If there was any doubt remaining, surely that question has today been answered forever.

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66 to “Strike a Poe’s”

  1. Desimond says:

    United with Labour…are we sure this isnt just another tribute to Sir Alex Ferguson that has been misinterpreted? At least that would make sense!

  2. Alex Taylor says:

    Dis-United with Labour
    Working Apart, Stronger Alone.

  3. Doug Daniel says:

    “Whatever the outcome of the referendum, it seems safe to say that Scotland’s going to be more divided than at any time in its modern history. The notion that the relentless onslaught of negativity and scaremongering TLPiS has undertaken for the last 24 months and will doubtless continue for the next 16 is in fact about any kind of “unity” is a strong challenger to both Sarwar and Brown for the most openly, cynically anti-factual claim of the day.”
    Aye. I may have wanted Scotland to be independent my whole life, but I could take it if Scotland voted No next year after a No campaign that was based on giving people facts and providing a strong argument for staying in the union. I’d be gutted to lose, but I could live with it. But as things stand, a No vote would be utterly unbearable. The knowledge that Scotland had been taken in by misinformation and scaremongering would be too much to take.
    I liken it to your football team losing. If you lose because you’ve been outplayed, then you can’t complain. But if it came about as a result of shirt-pulling, diving, and a referee that turned a blind eye all match, it leaves you absolutely livid.
    A No vote won on the back of the current No campaign will utterly destroy Scotland.

  4. Juteman says:

    Tulips. I like it. 🙂

  5. john Lyons says:

    Lol, We the labour party, are off to do our own thing that proves how we are better together.
    I recently saw the Chuckle brothers on Pointless Celebrities (Great name for a quiz show involving celebrities!) I’m surprised they were able to take time off from masterminding the Better together campaign…

  6. pmcrek says:

    I believe a Herald headline that time when the Green party were not leaving and didnt the Yes Scotland campaign was, “Greens walk out on Yes campaign”. Other notable headlines include, “Yes Scotland campaign in chaos …”, “Yes camp disarray as Greens quit.”
    Fast forward to Labour ACTUALLY quitting Better Together, leaving them in disarray/chaos etc and all of the media articles on it, read like copypasta of Scottish Labour press releases. So were does this leave Labour given that there can be only one official no campaign?
    And finally, were does this leave “Coalition Together” now also? Still the OFFICIAL campaign? Hilarious, considering that combined they won a grand total of 17% of the vote at the last Holyrood election.

    We demand answers from No Scotland! LMFAO.

  7. Doug Daniel says:

    John Lyons – the Chuckle Brothers are far too organised to run the BetterTogether campaign. There’s absolutely no sign of anyone going “to me, to you”.

  8. HandandShrimp says:

    Untogether with Better Together who told UKIP to sling their hook because they weren’t a Scottish Party.
    Satire is alive and well and living in an open relationship with No Scotland.

  9. Actually, such are the vicissitudes of English politics, the doublespeak premise now works in our favour.

    As England marches to the right with Labour being unelectable down there and the prospect of a Boris-led Tory / UKIP coalition government for the UK, the choice on 18 Sep 14 is not between independence and the status quo, for the status quo is rapidly disappearing.

    How long would a subordinate Scottish Government be able to maintain, for example, an NHS as the English NHS is privatised out of existence?

    The only way to secure the status quo in terms of the society we have and wish to see is now to vote for independence.

  10. Alan MacD says:

    “War is Peace, Freedom is Slavery”
    Rev, is that a mock better together poster? Im confused…
    A quote from ‘1984’ is a fine bit of satire though

  11. muttley79 says:

    Does this mean that Darling, McDougall, Bailie etc have left the BT campaign?  Has there been an actual, formal split, or is this just for appearances sake?  Either way what a shambles by the No campaign.  The silence from the MSM is hilarious.  How are they going to spin this?

  12. Morag says:

    Well, at least we can just get right on and call them “No Scotland” now.  We need a catch-all term for the No campaign now that they’ve split, and that will do nicely.
    Good article on this in Bella, too.

  13. Surprise surprise, Headlines on Reporting Scotland, (Your National News), the “Broon one” telling us why we’re better with the UK. I stopped voting Labour after his lecture to Scots, pre 2007, telling us we should not vote SNP. So after voting for Labour, (since 1974), and being a party member, I saw the light and it was a brilliant light coming from the SNP. It really was the way to go forward!

  14. Alan MacD says:

    Yup just realised its the INGSOC logo, woops!

  15. Bunter says:

    Newsflash…Brian Taylor fails to ask any awkward questions of Broon on the lunchtime news.

  16. Jiggsbro says:

    Is TLPiS quitting Better Together an acknowledgement that they’re not a Scottish party?

  17. Jiggsbro says:

    Surprise surprise, Headlines on Reporting Scotland, (Your National News), the “Broon one” telling us why we’re better with the UK
    Apparently, he bows to no one in his pride at being North British.

  18. Peter A Bell says:

    Anas Sarwar is ever the reliable source for a mindless British nationalist sound-bite. The man’s only talent appears to be an ability to memorise whatever drivel is fed to him by British Labour’s spin-doctors to be regurgitated as soon as somebody pulls the string on his back. But Sarwar has surpassed himself today.

    There is a point at which thinking reaches such a level of shallowness that it becomes elusive, tending to disintegrate into nothing if one attempts to examine it. So it is with the guff that, in Sarwar’s mind, passes for profound political analysis. He is actually arguing that to be in a currency union with absolutely no control over monetary policy and only minimal control of fiscal policy, as Scotland is now, is better than having the power to freely negotiate the terms of a currency union while having full fiscal autonomy.

    According to this clown, no choice is preferable to a significant amount of choice – including the option to leave the currency union if this was deemed to be in Scotland’s best interests. This is not – cannot be – a position arrived at by reason. It is, therefore, unassailable by reasoned argument. It is simply the argument that black is white.

    And it gets worse! Sarwar hasn’t even the wits to realise that he is actually arguing for a type of absolute separatism such as even the SNP has rejected. The Scottish Government has taken the line that independence can be defined in different ways. It may even be regarded as a redefining of the union. Or, at least, a redefining of the relationships within the union. Thus, there is no inconsistency in envisioning the preservation of the social union while severing from the kind of economic and social policies that are so at odds with the values and priorities of Scotland’s people.

    But Sarwar will have none of it! For him, it’s not real independence unless it is a complete and doubtless acrimonious divorce that harms both nations and helps neither. All unaware, he finds himself making common cause, not with fellow British nationalists, but with that not insignificant part of Scotland’s independence movement that shares his belief that we should reject such notions as a common currency. I wonder if Jim Fairlie is duly grateful.

    Sarwar goes on to rehearse once again the inane “unity” argument so beloved of British Labour in Scotland. That’s the one where they pompously declare that if the values they so dubiously claim to uphold cannot be implemented everywhere then they shouldn’t be implemented anywhere. Need we explore the defeatist idiocy of this? Or can we just dismiss it as perhaps the feeblest, most ill-thought self-serving rationalisation for inaction that even one as pathologically shallow as Anas Sarwar might come up with.

  19. Kirriereoch says:

    The silence from the MSM is hilarious.  How are they going to spin this?

    To be fair The Guardian, for example, has had lots of reports on Scotland so maybe the journalists are simply overworked:

    The sale of Tanera Mor – 2 reports

    Someone going to live on Rockall – 2 reports

    Alex Ferguson – several reports

    Edinburgh Zoo´s Pandas – 2 reports

    I guess there´s just too many things happening for The Guardian to fit in yet another news report, even more so on a different story, from Scotland. 😉

  20. Jim Mitchell says:

    Now that Brown has been brought to the fore, I wonder if there is chance of the truth group checking a few things out that he was involved with.
    The war in Iraq (it wasn’t just Blair).
    Who was really responsible for the collapse of the British economy (Was it all the fault of a big bad banker who did it and then ran away)?
    Who was to blame for the pension crisis?
    Who was to blame for Brown’s microphone  being left on that fateful day?
    Oh wait a minute though, just who will the truth group be working for, Labour or Better Together? I think we should be told!

  21. The Man in the Jar says:

    Doug Daniel beat me to it. Here’s my twopence worth anyway.
    If Yes loose the referendum we can’t blame such a divided and totally incompetent opposition. We cant blame ourselves we have the polices, the people and enthusiasm by the bucket load. We will have the MSM / BBC cabal to blame and I don’t think that it will be pretty.

  22. a supporter says:

    Sarwar’s comment
    “independence would reduce Scotland’s influence over a right-wing Tory government”
    Why would it be the business of an Independent Scotland to interfere in England’s politics? And why should we care anyway what kind of Government is elected (apart from normal humanitarian concerns)

  23. Caadfael says:

    Gordon, hello, where have you been hiding ma lad, do you not know the taury-haunded tories have only one seat in Scotland?
    Thats one less than a motorbike!
    Labour united? Nah! that must be a typo, you must mean untied!

  24. a supporter says:

    Am I banned? I have made two attepts to post without any success.

  25. David says:

    “You couldn’t make this up”
    Take it Darling is doing such a poor job as the whatever in Better together they’ve had to come up with a vehicle for the Saviour of the world, GB. 

  26. Les Wilson says:

    I wonder what all these slime balls will do if there is a YES vote, I cannot see them daring to stand at the following elections. So where do they go? what do they do?
    I can see them become a sick joke everywhere in Scotland, maybe a job in  a council in England would be befitting ! Sanwar, he will hide away in the family business, rarely to see daylight!
    As long as it is very far away from us and our own politics, I do not care!

  27. CameronB says:

    In line with the Blackwhite analysis of SLabour (sorry Rev.), may I also suggest Anas Sarwar is fluent (sic) in Duckspeak;
    Duckspeak is a Newspeak term meaning literally to quack like a duck or to speak without thinking. Duckspeak can be either good or “ungood” (bad), depending on who is speaking, and whether what they are saying is in following with the ideals of Big Brother. To speak rubbish and lies may be ungood, but to speak rubbish and lies for the good of “The Party” may be good. In the appendix to 1984, Orwell explains:

    Ultimately it was hoped to make articulate speech issue from the larynx without involving the higher brain centres at all. This aim was frankly admitted in the Newspeak word duckspeak […]. Like various words in the B vocabulary, duckspeak was ambivalent in meaning. Provided that the opinions which were quacked out were orthodox ones, it implied nothing but praise, and when the Times referred to one of the orators of the Party as a doubleplusgood duckspeaker it was paying a warm and valued compliment.

    —Orwell, Nineteen Eighty-Four

    An example of a skillful duckspeaker in action is provided in the beginning of chapter 9, in which an Inner Party speaker is haranguing the crowd about the crimes of Eurasia when a note is passed into his hand; he does not stop speaking for a moment, or change his voice or manner, but (according to the changed party line) he now condemns the crimes of Eastasia, which is Oceania’s new enemy.

    May I also suggest “United With Labour” is a Thought-terminating cliché, intended to confuse the Scottish electorate and hamper critical analysis of the debate.

    Vote Yes to safeguard Scottish democracy.

  28. EdinScot says:

    Whenever Scotlands answer to the Raj aka dumb and dumber (Brown or Darling) come north of  the border to spew their special brand of poo then cue the fawning of the North Kore i mean Scottish msm.  It really is a sight to behold as all thoughts of any serious questioning of their quite delusional statements goes out the window.  Is the broon one really going to insult our intelligence by playing the clapped out ‘stay with us to keep out the Tories’ con trick?  I guess  the answer is yes going on his past form of rubbishing ‘that bigoted woman’ then rushing with his entourage to lay siege to said ladys’ house to beg her to save his political skin.  What a boak fest it was and is.  They really think they are some form of elite above us all.
    Vote YES Scotland to see the back of this political fraud and his Westminster driven party.  Despite their grandstanding isolated from the Tory fronted Better Together,  they’d rather have you shackled under Tory rule for another 100 years to keep their noses in the trough as on and on goes their gravy train.  Just ask Ian Smart.  Brown didnt even have the grace to congratulate Salmond on becoming FM as is normal protocol.  Its partly because of his disastrous reign at number  10 &  11 that i want off this sinking disaster of a ship.

  29. Helen Yates says:

    Totally agree with Dougie Daniel, this is my worry too that Scots are going to go to the ballet box with nothing but scare stories forcing them to vote no, I want Independence more than anything else and I also could live with a no vote if we had an honest and balanced debate, sadly this does not look likely and I believe this will leave a nation divided after the vote, really is a sad state of affairs

  30. Stuart Black says:

    What a graceless creature…

  31. Tom Hogg says:

    The Labour 2014 Truth Team has been quiet because they were planning this. Obv.

  32. scottish_skier says:

    UKIP/EU/Labour not going to win in 2015 effects really kicking in now.

  33. jake says:

    You make great play of the fact that Gordon Brown almost never turn up to represent his constituents, sometimes of course he cancels because others don’t turn up…..

  34. Marker Post says:

    Made the mistake of clicking the photo which took me to the new-fangled TLPiS interweb site.
    It says, “The referendum is the biggest decision the people of Scotland will face for 300 years”.
    Very prescient of them, must have been Gordon who wrote that bit, it’s very similar to the days of boom and bust being over.

  35. The Man in the Jar says:

    @Stuart Black
    That clip shows the deep-rooted hatred for the SNP and all it stands for from Labour.
    I quoted this yesterday. It is from the speech by Nicola Sturgeon that she is presenting today.
    “A No vote is the real gamble with Scotland’s future.”
    You can say that again!

  36. pa_broon74 says:

    I just can’t honestly believe any one except the most moronic glassy-eyed unquestioning Labour drone would fall for Anas Sarwar and the pish he peddles, I refuse to think Scottish people in numbers that would make a difference come the referendum would actually absorb the meaningless drivel that pours from his tiny little head.
    I’d also agree with Doug Daniel, this level of obfuscation, misrepresentation and out-right dishonesty coming from the No side and the main stream press is likely to result in problems if there is a no vote. That isn’t a threat by any means, but to win by such foul means, for some, would be unacceptable.
    I can’t criticise a person for voting no if its truly what they believe, but if they’re doing it on the back of No Scotland’s fear mongering…

  37. HandandShrimp says:

    Alas Gordon was the charmless man Blur sang about. His spats with Blair, colleagues, staff and public were all straight from In The Thick Of It. 
    However, he was quite good at the back room electioneering stuff before all the fallings out so I would suggest treating like a wounded leopard. We can also have a little hope that they will on each other’s necks as the various No to Scotland bodies jostle to push their vision/nightmare.   

  38. Jim Mitchell says:

    @ Les Wilson, don’t you believe it for a minute Les, there will be those, especially among the Labour party who will have the brass neck to say that what they did was always what they believed was in the best interests of the people, that it was never personal and that now the democratic decision has been made, they not only accept it but wish to go on serving the people of Scotland.
    And there will still be those in the media who will back them i.e. He/She was always sincere and put the concerns of their constituents first, Scotland needs such experience etc), and all though I hate to say it, there will still be some voters who will fall for it.  

  39. Jim Mitchell says:

    To think that Sarwar actually named a body that no longer exists!  Can you imagine the reaction if anyone on the YES side did the same, and this is no rank and file labour member but Johan’s right hand man.
    i wonder if he will report himself to the truth group?
    I cannot wait until the first discrepancy between what the Labour group and BT, shouldn’t be long.

  40. Barontorc says:

    Let’s hope the Holyrood committee that’s monitoring the BBC output has both the balls and teeth to make sure the BBC do as they say they’ll do on their tin.
    MacQuarrie and Boothman need to be watched very carefully indeed and pelted with ball of their own ordure if they ever get up to their tricks again.
    The threat of using an external monitoring body for the referendum should also be kept hanging over the Westminster black-arts division.
    This article could have been lifted from the main themes of George Orwell’s ‘1984’ and ‘Animal Farm’ 

  41. Stuart Black says:

    @TMITJ, “A No vote is the real gamble with Scotland’s future.”
    Absolutely correct. The UK is a basket case, and I don’t want us to go down with it. Imnteresting quote from Australian Professor Steve Keen, the Revere Prize winning economist, who said:
    “the ‘UK economy is a ponzi scheme that is about to go bust – Scotland should get out while it still can’.
    Lifted that from a very interesting article here

  42. velofello says:

    Labour splitting from Better Together: “Along came a BT spider (UKIP) and sat down beside her – may I join you? And frightened Miss Lamont away”.
    Oddly whenever Anas Sarwar is mentioned I think of a sawmill. All those planks of wood piled up.
    My morning effort for the Yes campaign:
    Store salesman – “The SNP need to put all the financial facts together, honestly, for us”. 
    My response – “Why wait for the Yes campaign and the SNP? Go and dig for yourself, the information is out there. Try WOS, Newsnet, Business for Scotland. And that way you won’t have to tag honestly to the facts you learn.

  43. Jim Mitchell says:

    A particular pleasure to return from hols to find the first extracts from Alistair Darling’s memoirs waiting in the Sunday Times on the doorstep. They’ve got a nice pace and style to them, which suggests the sure hand of Margaret Vaughan, my former colleague who was in her time a redoubtable reporter and feature writer at the Glasgow Herald. As the Christian Adams cartoon in the Telegraph captured it today, at one level there is little to surprise us here: so much has been said already about the madness of life under Gordon Brown.
    Two things stand out however. First, this business about residual loyalty. The former Chancellor uses this to explain why in the end he couldn’t bring himself to pull the plug on Mr Brown. It’s the question posed quite rightly by John Rentoul in the IoS today – why didn’t Labour’s leadership cadre not stop him from becoming Prime Minister? In one telling anecdote Mr Darling recounts how he went for a walk with David Miliband at the farm of a friend and they had a collective “oh what’s the use” slumping of shoulders. So did everyone else, it seems, despite the abuse and the awfulness. I reckon a clue may be in Mr Darling’s language, which is scattered with odd phrases that give Mr Brown the benefit of the doubt. Take this one: “Perhaps most damaging, for Gordon in particular, but for all of us in the end, was that he surrounded himself with a cadre of people whose preoccupation was the removal of Tony Blair and the installation of Gordon Brown ” Hang on…the person most preoccupied with doing in Mr Tony was…Gordon Brown! Or this one: “I am not tribal and did not subscribe to the grievance and grudge view of Tony held by Gordon’s political intimates.” Correction: held by, nurtured by, driven half mad with jealous rage by…Gordon Brown and Gordon Brown alone. Even now there remains a willingness to pin the blame for the awful bits on those who merely enforced Mr Brown’s will, and not the man himself.
    Second, and far more serious, is what the former Chancellor has to say about Mr Brown’s relations with the Treasury and in particular his attempts to bully officials into rigging the figures on the economy. In particular his description of how Mr Brown turned on the Treasury is striking. “…the message the Treasury conveyed on the economic outlook was consistently rejected by Gordon as being too conservative. He became convinced that it was determined to thwart him. Gus O’Donnell, the cabinet secretary, relayed Gordon’s unexpurgated view of the Treasury and its permanent secretary Nick Macpherson. Gordon objected to the advice we were providing and the pace at which we worked. Nick told me he felt he was being threatened: either he gave Gordon the advice he wanted, or he’d be sidelined or even removed.” So there you have a former Chancellor recounting how a sitting Prime Minister threatened a senior official unless he provided economic figures that suited him. Dire.
    So that’s what Mr Darling thought about Brown in his memoirs!
    From the Telegraph, hardly unbiased i know, but I wonder when the Scottish media will remind either Brown or Darling about this?

  44. HandandShrimp says:

    Excellent timing for Darling to draw the veil aside. It lets us see what life in the new No Scotland will be like for those unfortunate enough to drafted.
    Which one is Darling going with…the Tory funded one or the Labour Truthers one?

  45. Peter Bell:- ”Or can we just dismiss it as perhaps the feeblest, most ill-thought self-serving rationalisation for inaction that even one as pathologically shallow as Anas Sarwar might come up with.”
    So not really a fan then Peter?

  46. the rough bounds says:

    Relax folks. Gordon Brown is a man of paper and straw. That ‘clunking fist’ title was nothing less than propaganda from the Labour Party Ministry of Truth down in London.
    That man will do nothing for the ‘Nil Points’ campaign except put his big clunking foot in it yet again. He can’t help himself avoid stupidity any more than Tony Blair can keep his hands away from dosh, or Johann Lamont can avoid looking and sounding like ‘the wee fat wummin up oor close’.
    He is not a deep thinker and isn’t in the least bit street wise. The No campaign are currently holding their heads in their hands. Say hello to a Yes vote in 2014.

  47. AmadeusMinkowski says:

    “Thought-terminating cliche”. Brilliant! Thanks for introducing that concept into the context of “Unit Ed Under Labour”.
    Vote YES to safeguard Scottish Sanity!

  48. Bill C says:

    “A No vote is the real gamble with Scotland’s future.”
    I have a feeling this is starting to resonate with the Scottish public for a few reasons:
    a) Cameron and Osborne couldn’t run a raffle never mind a country.  Britain is bankrupt and heading towards economic meltdown.
    b) UKIP is now wagging the tail of the British Bulldog and ensuring a further drift to the right by both the Tories and Labour.
    c) The Welfare State and the NHS are being dismantled (NHS in England) while the British Establishment looks after its own. Blair buys his eighth home and we are still paying for his protection being a good example.
    d) Remaining in the union will seriously damage the Scottish economy, destroy what autonomy we have and allow Westminster to spend the income from our natural resources on playing at being a world power.
    Britain as a country, economic unit and union is finished, let’s hope the people of Scotland wake up to that fact before September 18th next year.

  49. ukip free zone says:

    In France after World War 2, many of the intelligentsia, including Sartre, refused to abandon their sympathies with the Soviet Union despite the welter of evidence about the Gulags. Despite the evidence of the subjugation of the Eastern European countries and the show trials in each Soviet satellite,that mirrored the Moscow show trials of the 1930s. Sartre, de Beauvoir, Mounier and Merleau-Ponty all persisted in believing that Stalinism was a temporary aberration and that the Soviet Union was really a beacon of hope for humankind. Such a refusal to give up a fixed idealogical idea and continue to be apologists in print for the Soviets has an faint,eerie echo in the stance of some staunch Labour pro-unionists. While I’m not trying to compare the Westminster system and the policies of Tony Blair and David Cameron with the repressive empire that was the USSR there is a certain parallel in that Scottish Labour supporters of the union are refusing to take on board the welter of evidence that shows Labour are an integral part of the discredited Westminster system. Namely Trident,PFI,Iraq,tuition fees,bedroom tax,deregulation and much more.

    Many Labour people including Denis Canavan,John McAllion and Labour for Independence have opted not to apologise for the useless Westminster system and have helped the other progressive movements of Scotland to build what in Gramscian terms can be called a counter-hegemonic project north of the border.One which opposes the Westminster/BBC hegemony that currently holds sway. To continue to see hope for Scotland in the Westminster system is to indulge in a political myopia characteristic of Sartre’s myopia of the late 1940s and early 1950s. Pride in the outstanding achievements of Keir Hardie and Nye Bevan will not immunise Scotland from the influence of the Bullingdon Club. And make no mistake,the influence of the Bullingdon Club is what will continue to hold sway at Westminster,irrespective of which party is in power. Scotland has another and far better option. One which would be a real progressive beacon of hope for humankind.

  50. AmadeusMinkowski says:

    Dan Hodges tears into Milliband today in the Telegraph. The article closes with
    “Ed Miliband says he has a vision for Britain. If so, he’s finally going to have to start sharing it with the rest of us.”
    We must strongly refute the claim that “Labour/Unit Ed” is the solution for Scotland.

  51. Peter A Bell says:

    I think you could safely say that. Against very strong competition Anas Sarwars still manages to be one of the most despicable individuals in the ranks of British Labour. Need I remind you of his remarks about Scotland being a “dictatorship”?
    Sarwar really is a man of very little wits. Really just a pre-programmed sound-bite machine. I was at a Brian Taylor’s Big Debate here in Perth some time ago when he was on the panel. The discussion was something to do with troops in Afghanistan and Annabelle Ewing had just made some perfectly innocuous comments. Sarwar was called on to speak and immediately came out with some crap about Ms Ewing “disrespecting the troops”. There was an audible protest from the audience and Brian Taylor, to his credit, immediately pulled him up on it. But Sarwar simply launched into some long-winded waffle that meant absolutely nothing but served to get him past the moment.
    The point is that he didn’t even listen to what Annabelle Ewing was saying. He was programmed to respond to the subject “troops” with one of a small number of pre-packed anti-SNP phrases. It ain’t much of a skill. But it’s all he’s got.

  52. creag an tuirc says:

    This is the same man that sat on the GMTV sofa and said he hoped “We won the World Cup” There would be nothing wrong with him saying he hoped England won the world cup but ‘WE’! Whit’s that aw aboot?

  53. scaredy cat. says:

    If Anas Sarwar is warning us that voting for independence will make us less independent, he must surely be admitting that the people of Scotland actually desire independence.
    Are the polls moving in that direction? If not, why bother taking this approach?

  54. David McCann says:

    You’re taking the piss!

  55. TYRAN says:

    Looks like they are behind Yes. That’s how I read it. Scotland (Flag), United With Labour, Scotland & Labour, Working Together, Scotland & Labour, Stronger Together.

  56. BeamMeUpScotty says:

    Maybe,they were only Better Together in order to get Tory funding for their startup campaign.Now that this is no longer necessary,they can dump the baggage and get on with being Labour United for another 30 years of being HM opposition at Westminster.A bunch of yesterday’s men with No prospect of being elected to power anywhere (thankfully).

  57. Hetty says:

    Oh oh, why does that image with the joined hands and slogan and shape of it give me the shivers? Brrrr it’s a cold reminder perhaps of utter propaganda the likes of which were seen during world war two…I wonder who they paid masses of cash to do that design? Must see what my son can come up with, he’s a type designer…

  58. tartanfever says:

    Peter – 
     excellent analysis of Sarwar in your posts today.

  59. Peter A Bell says:

    Analysis is rather a grand term for recognising that the guy’s a tosser. But thanks for the kind words.

  60. Tamson says:

    Regarding TLPiS as a useful acronym: it doesn’t roll off the tongue.
    LabPiS works much better, I think.

  61. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “Regarding TLPiS as a useful acronym: it doesn’t roll off the tongue.”

    It works if you pronounce it “tell piss” 😀

  62. Chic McGregor says:

    Revamped an old cartoon of mine.


  63. Excellent article,(funny how when I think something is excellent I see a picture of Mr.Burns from the Simpsons) The part where it says that labour are odd in the point that they are saying if they cant get everybody to see their point then nobody shall reap the benefits of the ideology.I have been saying this for many years that an independent Scotland can show the way for the rest of Britain,again Scotland leads the way.Yes we should do it first and yes we should be independent,as that way we can lead.Thanks for an extremely good article.

  64. Les Wilson says:

    Yes Jim your are right in what you say, I never doubted it really, I was really saying what my own preference for them would be.
    It is not a funny fact that our own are some of the worst and they will move like shifting sands if it suits their purpose and still try to claim some high ground no matter how discredited they are. 

  65. Les Wilson says:

    Jim just consider the roles of Darling and Brown at the moment, both responsible for huge mistakes that have effected all of us, yet, they are back in the spotlight reinvented as possible saviours of the union. You could never have made it up!

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