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The Bain Principle

Posted on March 28, 2012 by

The story isn't, of course, that Labour failed to vote against the 50p tax-rate cut when the SNP and Plaid Cymru put forward a motion in the House Of Commons. The truth that it was a "screw-up" is entirely believable in the light of Labour's general ineptitude, and not that big a deal in itself. The rate cut was happening anyway no matter whether Labour voted on the motion or not, and in the flurry of essentially meaningless post-Budget motions, missing out on one of them is pretty insignificant.

Had Labour left it at that, a compliant Scottish media would probably have seen them get away with it altogether, as they'd hoped. (Even now, more than 36 hours later, only the Scotsman has covered it at all, in a tiny little story with no byline buried near the bottom of the Politics section.)

But then Willie Bain stepped in. Late on Tuesday night, the MP for Glasgow North East responded to some criticism of Labour's abstention on Twitter, with an admission of what many in Scotland have long suspected/known – that Labour opposes anything proposed by the SNP, regardless of the merits of the thing in question.

The SNP, unsurprisingly, summed the comment up in uncompromising terms:

It is clear that Labour hates the SNP much more than it loves Scotland. Even when it came to voting against a Tory tax cut for millionaires, Labour could not put its resentment of the SNP aside in the interests of ordinary working people."

But we'll charitably assume that Bain's extraordinary on-the-record revelation (he hasn't deleted the tweet, though it's impossible to say if that's out of honour or a recognition of the futility of trying to delete internet trails) occurred too late at night for the Scottish press to have picked it up in time for the morning editions. We'll be watching closely, though, to see if tonight's TV and tomorrow's papers consider it in any way newsworthy that Scotland's Labour MPs are now by their own acknowledgement more concerned with pettily fighting the SNP than serving the interests of their voters.

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  1. 21 03 15 18:02

    The Devo Files: Willie Bain (Glasgow North East) | A Wilderness of Peace

  2. 13 04 15 13:57

    A Public Service Announcement to Labour Voters in Inverclyde | A Wilderness of Peace

  3. 23 09 18 22:31


7 to “The Bain Principle”

  1. Bugger (theconfused Panda)

    This is straight out of Animal Farm.
    4 legs good, 2 legs bad.
    It confirms, if conformation were ever needed, that Labour have the following priorities.
    1) The Party
    2) Me
    3) Anything that gets Me re-elected
    4) Nothing for the Great Unwashed unless it can be spun to be beneficial to The Party and Me.
    For this they will try to ban caffeine  rather address alcohol abuse, vote against their own amendments and tweet their contempt.
    I suspect there are a few defectors floating about with e-mails and other documents worthy of a mediaeval witch burning.

  2. Doug Daniel

    Not surprised Bain is at the centre of this, he's always seemed rather devoid of principles (other than his own one). Of all the examples of Labour politicians refusing to use "independence" and saying "separation" instead, it was his appearance on Newsnicht a few months ago that sticks in my head the most, because the way he answered every question about "independence" with "separation" was so obvious and artifical.
    The guy is a complete plonker. I mean, we all knew fine this was what Labour do after all the examples of them voting against their own policies in Holyrood, but to actually admit it in public is either gross arrogance or gross stupidity.
    The BBC have absolutely no credibility whatsoever if they don't even mention this story. That's if they even have any credibility left. I think we should all ambush their reporters on Twitter and demand they explain why the story is not being covered. In fact, we should do this every time they display blatant bias towards Labour and/or the union.

  3. RevStu

    To be fair, I'm sure he didn't INVENT the Bain Principle, he's just the one who admitted to it in public…

  4. An Duine Gruamach

     If the SNP were to say "The sky is blue", Labour would shriek in apoplectic rage, shocked that someone had usurped their right to tell people what colour the sky is. They would then scream that the sky was the first colour that came into their heads, possibly one suggested by the Tories. Meanwhile, ordinary people will look up and shrug.

  5. charlie

    i’m guessing you’re saying that the Labour Party prefer to align themselves with the Tories than acknowledge the SNP have valid views. You won’t get an argument from me.

  6. Shodan

    Ah, Bain. You couldn't hope for better opposition. I remember seeing this numpty on RT. He must be prone to making a fool of himself. It's nice to see them admit (in public) to this catastrophically stupid policy at last.

  7. Al-Stuart


    Fancy a laugh, not that chronic SLAB SBPBaditis is funny, but this is an example of what happens to Unionist MPs who are stupid.

    Such is Oor Wullies respect for his political legacy that he is turning Chinese…

    Evidently Willie was too miserable to pay the £5.99 per annum to keep his website alive and the domain URL has been hoovered up by an inscrutible person from the far east.

    I have heard of the song: “Turning Japanese”. Maybe Oor Wullie has is working on a new cover version of this old classic…

    For sure the old SLAB dinosaur in Scotland is extinct. Either that, or Willie Bain will need to learn Chinese to recover his old career.

    Somewhere in all of this is a lesson to all the Unionist slaves who follow the SNP Baaaad Bain principle.

    Stu., please can I nominate Willie Bain for your Moron list.

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