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The bonfire of policies

Posted on April 27, 2015 by

Normally you have to wait until after an election for this stuff.


But Scottish Labour’s promises are collapsing one by one with 10 days still to go.

This site has of course highlighted the weasel wording around “exploitative” zero-hours contracts many times, but it’s good to have Murphy finally concede the point officially, after several disingenuous TV appearances in which he left the e-word out.

The implosion of the “£5000 for every food bank” pledge was perhaps less surprising, coming as it had from a non-MP who isn’t standing in the election and therefore plainly had no power or authority to deliver it, though that didn’t stop the Scottish press from treating his pronouncements like the Ten Commandments Part II anyway.

This morning Wee Dougie Alexander tried on “Good Morning Scotland” to flap his way around the zero-hours issue and also the empty assertion that Labour would employ 1000 extra nurses in Scotland if they won the election, even though health is entirely devolved to Holyrood.

(Good Morning Scotland, BBC Radio Scotland, 27 April 2015)

But the truth is that Scottish voters simply don’t seem to be listening to Labour’s lies any more, and whether the media exposes them or not at this stage probably doesn’t make any difference. The people’s faith is gone.

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    1. 27 04 15 11:32

      The bonfire of policies | Speymouth

    2. 27 04 15 12:33

      The bonfire of policies | Politics Scotland | ...

    3. 28 04 15 08:45

      Neck and neck | Gabriel Vents

    4. 04 01 16 00:50

      Questions for Yes Voters in Unionist Parties | A Wilderness of Peace

    81 to “The bonfire of policies”

    1. Betty Boop says:

      As I have said before, heads spinning 360 degrees and then some!

    2. Auld Rock says:

      Compare this with Mhairi came over as honest and straightforward despite the now to be expected constant interruptions.

      Auld Rock

    3. gillie says:

      It is difficult to have faith in Labour when Labour expresses no faith in you because they believe Scots are imbeciles.

      ‘Vote Labour, get Labour’ is the most depressing aspect of this election in Scotland.

    4. Lanarkist says:

      The Keystone cops of Scottish politics, all running around with their own pronouncements crashing into and tripping over each other.

      Looks like their strategy of spreading confusion, moving goalposts and changing priorities and promises is only damaging and confusing themselves and their own supporters.

      Can anyone put Labour in Scotland policy in a nutshell?


    5. Chris says:

      Was looking at opinion polls on Lord Ashcroft website this morning and every Scottish seat I looked at had the SON in the lead! Labour are getting desperate

    6. Mosstrooper says:

      Ahh! yes…but what we meant was.. you see it all depends … look at it… yes but.. SNP BAAAD! (there John, I think that went well don’t you..John, John)

    7. fletch49er says:

      Unfortunately it seems Labour have never heard the tale of the Boy who cried wolf!!

    8. Stoker says:

      Jim Murphy? Gordon Brown? Douglas Alexander?

      Same shite different shovels!

    9. Democracy Reborn says:

      Report on Radio Clyde this morning : Murphy says he’ll lead SLAB into the 2016 Holyrood elections even if he loses his WM seat in May.

    10. Antimodean says:


      For Labour policy in a nutshell, read the Tory election manifesto and refer to “How not to run a piss up in a Brewery for Dummies”

    11. Robert Peffers says:

      @Rev Stu:

      I nearly burst a blood vessel roaring at Wee Dougie oan the Wireless when he was flannelling this morning. It took two biscuits to get the wee papillon out from behind the settee and she’s still a bit timid even yet.

      So I took her a wee walk along to my pal’s house. His wife, (as usual), was watching the PicturKist. BBC Scotland TV was broadcasting a Victoria Derbyshire show all about the NHS.

      Has no one told them, that in Scotland, the NHS is independent? 9:15AM – 11:00AM and a total waste of Scots licence fee payers money and time.

    12. Capella says:

      “Within 24 hours of the election, a Labour Government will immediately pay £1 million to ensure food banks across Scotland are better stocked.” (Gordon Brown, Thursday.)

      I don’t think it’s possible to satirise this sort of stuff any more.

    13. Labour have conducted their entire campaign on two basic premises .. firstly, that the electorate have the memories of goldfish and secondly, social media does not exist.

      Had both of these been true, this could have been a campaign they could have filed under ‘magnificent’.

      Saying anything, to deal with the immediacy of the situation they find themselves in, just doesn’t work anymore.

      The only way for Labour to win in Scotland, ever again, is if the age of consent for voting is changed from those over 18 to those under 3. Even then it would be pretty close.

    14. velofello says:

      We Dougie Alex tried to flap his way around – aye, Tweety Pie may soon be leaving his gilded cage, and the other Labour hoodies leaving too.

    15. Macart says:

      @ gillie

      Nailed it.

      When a party constantly blames the electorate for its own dismal state. When that party constantly projects its own divisive nature on to others and denigrates the culture, aspiration and democratic choices of its own people, then there really is little left to say to them.

      Labour made a choice. They refused to believe that communication was a two way street and stopped listening to people a long, long time ago.

    16. One_Scot says:

      I have said it many times before, everything that has a beginning, also has an end. And in the same way the dinosaur’s days were numbered, so are Scottish Labours. That’s if there ever was a Scottish Labour.

    17. Valerie says:

      I honestly don’t think anyone is listening anymore. Like me, they are thinking, who cares what they say anymore, they lie, are incompetent, and continue to insult the Scottish.

      That’s me being polite.

    18. MajorBloodnok says:

      If you realize that someone has just lied to you, you are unlikely to trust them. When you realize they’ve lied to you TWICE then you will NEVER trust them again.

      By now, they’ve alienated so many former Labour voters that they will never go back. And not only that, the informed, and the 45% plus no longer trust the MSM at all – I mean I can’t even listen to BBC Radio 3 now without considering suspiciously what their imperialist Anglocentric agenda is.

    19. Bob Mack says:

      Can anyond put Scottish Labour policy in a nutshell?
      I think of the natural shell inhabitant ——-nuts.

    20. Valerie says:

      Also read a cutting from an unnamed paper that Murphy is now starting the blame game for his lack of impact, saying Labour went to sleep after the referendum.

      This too, was always anticipated, 10 days out from the vote now, so he needs to start his excuses.

    21. think again says:

      Since Labour are still ahead in polls UK wide it suggests that either a different narrative is being heard in England or the English are more gullible. It couldn`t be both could it?

      Daily Record front page, from a quick squint at newsagents, appears devoid of politics, is this a realisation that people wont buy an organ that peddles negativity and Labour press releases unless they hide them inside?

      Still plenty for us to be doing, keep up the good work Stu it gives us the facts to counter the nonsense the unionists spout (checks spelling for an errant n in spout).

    22. Bill Hume says:

      Democracy Reborn says:
      27 April, 2015 at 10:41 am

      Report on Radio Clyde this morning : Murphy says he’ll lead SLAB into the 2016 Holyrood elections even if he loses his WM seat in May.

      More good news then. Murphy, the gift that keeps on giving.

    23. Andrew Walker says:

      We’re now entering panic stations territory, much the same as the last week of the referendum. The difference is promises this time will not be believed. Well done Wings for consistantly exposing the lies and contradictions of Labours Northern Branch.

    24. molly says:

      Why no money for the foodbanks in England ,Wales and N Ireland Gordon ? Do the people there not matter ?

      You’ve berated Scots for being too narrow minded ,too insular well wheres your solidarity now ?

      oh thats right its another pledge ,another vow to go the same way as the rest of your empty promises. Based on the Scotland Office paying it, another debased institution?

    25. gillie says:

      “Christ All Mighty” have you seen the TNS poll???????????????

    26. MajorBloodnok says:

      Apparently TNS today has:

      SNP 54% (+2)
      Labour 22% (-2)

      Must be a blip, protest vote or something…

    27. Capella says:

      Noam Chomsky says that democracy and capitalism can’t co-exist.

      He tells us what Adam Smith really said, as opposed to what Neo-Liberals tell us he said.

      He explains that national liberation movements in South America, which believed that natural resources should be used to improve the life of the inhabitants of the country, were in direct opposition to the corporations which believe that natural resources are there to make them profits.

      Finally he says that opinion polls regularly show what the majority of people want politically but that policy is set by less than 1% who are the wealthy. That’s plutocracy, not democracy.

      That’s why Nicola is the most dangerous woman in Britain. She champions democracy, not plutocracy.

    28. Andrew McLean says:

      The only exploitative ones will be not by a labour administration, they will be freedom contracts!
      Now Dear Mr Labour Party can we keep Jim Murphy after the elections as a mascot! We have grown quite fond of him, like a drunk old uncle who farts a lot, and talks piss!

    29. heedtracker says:

      Cunning stunts though, promise perfectly feasible, fundamental left policies, hard line right wing UKOK media blast them at Scotland as fact, creepy wee retractions sneaked in just before May 7. The stench of BBC Scotland, Record Macterran, MacDougal smeared all over it.

    30. joe kane says:

      We’re all loving Rachel Reeves mini-manifesto for disabled people where she specifically threatens them with sanctions if they don’t follow her orders when she’s the new boss at the DWP. A sure-fire vote winner amongst the nearly 12 million disabled people of Britain.

      What with promising to employ arch-tory Michael Heseltine after the election and all, its almost as Labour don’t want anyone other that tories to vote for them.

      Anyway, here’s Reeves mini-manifesto crashing and burning on take-off, reminiscent of Brown’s “Vow” about full devolution for Scotland in the event of a referendum NO vote –
      ELECTION 2015: Labour’s disability mini-manifesto chaos

    31. call me dave says:


      But! But Gordon’s providing free bus passes to the food banks too. You could not make that up, as you say.

      I see Mr Murphy making a ‘slam dunk’ in the National this morning having given up the Scotland footie top. It’s hanging in the changing room on a shooglie nail.
      Love that link on the other thread about Jim.

      “Manage Scotland he couldn’t manage his dinner” is one wee quote. 🙂

      Oh and how about…Trident to go to Gibraltar. Aye right says the islanders and the Spanish. It’s beyond parody.

      Mr Alexander the rev Jolly of the labour party. Was he even trying this morning on radio Scotland, resigned to crossing his fingers and hoping the Tsunami will miss him I think.

    32. Richard Lucas says:

      I listened to the hapless Dougie staight after listening to Mhairi Black being interviewed earlier in the prog. She was direct, informed, clear and spoke with real passion. The comparison with the flabby, weak, compromised utterances of the sanctimonious one could not have been more sharp.

    33. chris kilby says:

      Bored with Labour now. It is a travesty of a mockery of a sham. Just wish we could hurry up and get the inevitable over with. May 7th can’t come quickly enough so we can put an end to this charade once and for all.

    34. Free Scotland says:

      Brown, Murphy and Alexander should be prosecuted for defrauding the public.

      All we need now is for the three of them to appear on the front page of the daily record (lower case deliberate) next to a parchment-style VOW declaring that they will never tell a lie ever again. Who could possibly be thick enough to believe that?

    35. molly says:

      Donald Urquahurt
      what you say is true but if you step back and look at the miserable Westminster election campaign, you have to wonder

      If N Sturgeon, Leanne Wood and Natalie Bennett had not been involved in the debates,

      1. Who would actually be speaking for non right wing voters ?

      2.How can you ask people to vote for a Westminster party when who is next to be our enemy / financial cash cow foreign policy has been airbrushed out and replaced by kitchens

      3.The campaign has shown although the SNP, Plaid and the Greens are stymied by the msm to get their message out, the Tories and Labour have free reign , yet they two have still not come out with a genuine policy that would reform Westminster.

      Its true,its not that Westminster cannot change, its that it will not change. Even now ,they’re softening up the electorate for Boris to move seamlessly into place.

    36. think again says:

      Stories emerging of Harry Leslie writing in Daily Record telling Scots how to vote. Harry is not all he seems, he sounds Yorkshire as get out and can tell of his impoverished upbringing, can`t we all, but in actual fact is a successful businessman and author who writes for newspapers and appears in Labour Party Political Broadcasts.

      He might have been poor once but not now and he spends a lot of time in Canada.

      Labour not able to find someone a bit more local than Toronto?

    37. MajorBloodnok says:

      Anyone taking bets on which ‘soon to be former Scottish Labour MPs’ will try to get themselves on the MSP lists in 2016? Apparently Jim Murphy’s keen.

    38. Silver19 says:

      The grand Tory & Labour coalition is getting nearer by the day as they try frantically to save their rotten Union.

      The Red and Blue Tories have all been talking about all the other parties they won’t deals with but yet to talk about a Tory and Labour deal. I wonder what desperate promises and vow’s the unionists will dream up this week and into next week to try and stop SNP. I pray for once it’s too late and SNP wipe the floor in Scotland.

    39. Malcolm says:

      Another piece of mind numbing incompetence from Operation Clusterfuck HQ.
      Time for Global Thermo-nuclear Vow GTE, Platinum Plus (with free unicorns for all!!!).
      Delivered, no doubt, as the painfully inept Jimbo plays keepie up in the background and Wee Dougie chunters on a loop tape about a protest vote.

      Hilarious as this all is I can’t help but feel a twinge of sadness that the party of Kier Hardie and Clem Attlee has come to this.

    40. galamcennalath says:

      Democracy Reborn says:
      “Report on Radio Clyde this morning : Murphy says he’ll lead SLAB into the 2016 Holyrood elections even if he loses his WM seat in May.”

      Wonder if HQ will agree? It looks like SLab will get a huge thrashing. Leaders has stood down for far lesser defeats. The pressure on Murphy to go quietly into obscurity will be overwhelming

    41. Ravelin says:

      Christ Almighty at that TNS poll, 32 point SNP lead over Labour in Scotland! Just when exactly is it going to top out? Murphy boy, I love you.

    42. Betty Boop says:

      @boris, 11:07am

      Re CaltonJock’s article on Frank Roy. Assistant to Helen Liddell, now languishing in the Lords, there are no words which could describe my disdain. The details in this blog are entirely within my expectation of the Labour Party and Establishment institutions.

      No surprises after a lifetime of hearing stories of their duplicity and less than savoury actions and associations. Yet people still vote for them.

    43. ianbeag says:

      O/T but a significant comment from the dreaded Rupert who is accepting that self determination for Scots “Feels inevitable over the next few years”

    44. Luigi says:

      think again says:
      27 April, 2015 at 10:56 am

      Since Labour are still ahead in polls UK wide it suggests that either a different narrative is being heard in England or the English are more gullible. It couldn`t be both could it?

      Labour are ahead in the polls UK wide because the people in England and Wales like Nicola Sturgeon and realise that she will provide the backbone and moral compass that Ed Milliband seems to lack. Ed’s “popularity” started to rise after the TV debates – not because of his performance, which was 50:50 at best, but because of the Sturgeon effect – “we can’t vote SNP (which we like) but it looks like labour will need them so maybe it will be ok to vote Labour after all.”


    45. HandandShrimp says:

      The TNS poll is utterly startling. I have to pinch myself to make sure that I am not dreaming. With postal votes going in now, there couldn’t be a better time for the SNP to be flying so high.

      These are interesting times. I wonder what Lord McConnell has to say about that. I have pretty much laughed off the negative and outrageous comments of the tabloids and Tories but something about McConnell’s “away and eat your cereal” really irked me. He lost to the SNP 8 years ago. When does an 8 year trend become the new reality?

    46. JLT says:

      Seriously, and I do mean it. How can a person openly lie to their own constituents, let alone the nation, on things that they have no authority to deliver, or cannot because it is already devolved to Scotland?

      Is it any wonder that Murphy is doing flash street announcements in what appears to be around 7am in the morning. That is fear. Fear of being questioned or denounced as a bare faced liar in front of the general public.

      If all comes to pass, and Labour in Scotland are scourged, then the remnants of the party will have a choice; evolve or die. Evolve and become a better party for the nation by listening to the people and what they want …or simply fall away into oblivion and then into the history books.

      The choice isn’t that hard…

    47. fred blogger says:

      wow! 10000 extra tins of beans, how many customers per food bank?
      last a day @ current rates?
      a million overall, coupled to free travel, ‘2 to the food bank please’.
      so what did clem atlee say, preservation of dignity and no charity but proper welfare payments, hmmm this is a red clydesider’s dream come true?!
      a backdated restoration of the £2bn/yr + stripped out of the scottish economy by welfare cuts will do.

    48. galamcennalath says:

      All along my advice to Labour has been to NOT try to run a Scottish specific GE campaign.

      They are a UK party with a UK wide organisation and manifesto. Anything Scottish is just a sham and will, in the changed political environment, be seen as such.

      The local branch should have stuck to Holyrood matters and the 2016 Scottish election.

      There are a whole stack of reasons why SNP are so far ahead, but the confused messages about tailored policies for Scotland, which just can’t be genuine, have made matters worse for Labour.

    49. Colin s says:

      Poor Douglas – he said on GMS all zero hour contracts , no one reminded him that policy is changing minute by minute. Next panic button to press? We are sleep walking into a second referendum scotland – oh God really? How brilliant!

    50. HandandShrimp says:


      Not helped when the said promises are contradicted by Balls and Umma. A sticky wicket when your own party don’t back you on telly.

      Jim is a right winger and a hawk. I can see him resurfacing in NATO or the Henry Jackson society or similar if this all goes pear shaped on him.

    51. heedtracker says:

      Noam Chomsky says that democracy and capitalism can’t co-exist.

      They seem to rub along rather well 150 miles east of Scotland in Norway. Norwegian economic success seems to develop from a small population like Scotland, a kind of reverse socio economy of scale where voters are willing and capable of taking control of their countries rescouces and economic structure. Maybe SLabour creeps like Murphy and Alexander or say an expenses crazed dope like Edinburgh’s Ian Murray, did all enter politics for the above drivers but the sheer scale of red and blue City/ Tory boy teamGB gobbled them up as they feed at that grand old Westminster trough. Or maybe not. Its nice to be nice, as long as they reallly are at the end of that UKOK troughing road.

    52. That’s great news Murphy leading Slabber for the 2016 Hollyrood elections kind of takes the pressure off. I’m afraid that Slabber will not see any success until Scotland is independent and they become a political party, even then they will have to seek forgiveness for their sins.

    53. Mealer says:

      Lanarkist 10.34
      I don’t think I could give you Labour Party policy in a nutshell.A colostomy bag would hud it braw.

    54. Fiona says:

      The real tragedy of the poor is the poverty of their aspirations.

      Adam Smith

      Clearly the red tories have taken this to heart. They genuinely believe that our aspirations are so poor that we will feel privileged when foodbanks are better stocked. Pity they missed the “tragedy” part: that part is supposed to mean they should try to raise those aspirations, not collude in continually lowering them with the occasional sop to meeting them once lowered.

      Raising those aspirations should not be through increased “social mobility”,either, another disgraceful policy. What we should seek is a decent life for everyone no matter where they are placed in the society. We can afford it. We should afford it.

      But no, all we can hope for is better foodbanks.

      And they wonder why they are despised

    55. Colmat says:

      James O’Brien on LBC radio this morning taking calls on why the SNP are such a danger to Westminster.
      He totally exposed the nonsense that callers had swallowed from the MSM with a few simple questions, brilliant.

    56. A MacRitchie says:


      4-5 weeks I posted my concerns re sneaky NICK and what his interventions meant and what he stood for. I stated that he would have to loose his seat for the libs to change direction. However time has proved that their main aim was to remain part of the Tories Government as their gimp boys. I hope all these voters in Gordon etc. are taking notice of these policies. There is no chance of them leaning L.
      But Milliband ruling out any deal with SNP to keep the Tories out is unbelievable. Labour are just so easily manipulated by the Tories its just so unbelievable. The British Labour leadership have lacked any gravitas since the 70’s. What happened there? Why are they so easily manipulated by these Eton programmed elitists?
      We know that Labour if the predictions are true they will not survive as a minority Gov. without the SNP so have they just gave up and are now just planning Cameron to re enter no10 and committed suicide?
      Are Milliband and Smurphy so thick they really cant see or understand they are being outmanoeuvred at every turn by the Tories it should be Cameron holding Milliband’s strings. Are they so engrossed in their own dreams of self interest they don’t realise what’s happening to them or around them, their advisers must be so piss poor?
      They are being outmanoeuvred and manipulated at every turn.

      After the ref’dum we were so heart broken we never thought that indyref2 would see the light of day in the near future. However the Tories Labour And Libs are making the case for indyref2 better than YES campaigners ever could. If Milli gives the keys to the Bulling don Boy roll on 2016. If indyref2 is not in Pro Indy Party manifestoes I’d be really shocked. I can smell and taste indref2 coming in the air 2018?
      The point of this comment? The case for independence is being made more clearly, sounded more loudly, demanded more eagerly and decided for more easily than it ever has been. YES campaigners would have had little to do to promote this as the unionist parties are doing the job making the case for it better than we could do it ourselves.
      Labour have just killed this election and committed suicide. Unionism is like watching the slow death throws of a beast clinging desperately to life ……its time to put it out of its misery.

    57. bjsalba says:

      Insanity is doing the same thing year after year and expecting different results.

      Where does tha5t leave George Osborne?

    58. schrodingers cat says:

      Democracy Reborn says:
      “Report on Radio Clyde this morning : Murphy says he’ll lead SLAB into the 2016 Holyrood elections even if he loses his WM seat in May”

      lol, so you no longer need to be a politician to lead a political party?? who would have thunk it

      labour in a nutshell?………Finished

    59. schrodingers cat says:

      NS “the people of scotland will decide whether and when there is another ref”

      translated….when the polls show 60/40 in favour of yes
      presently it is about 50/50, good, but not good enough

      NS “Something would need to change before there is a referendum promise in the 2016 SNP manifesto”

      translated….10-15% of current labour voters in scotland need to cross the floor

      a tory-labour coalition would do that 🙂

    60. Marie clark says:

      Whit? I Mean Whit is going on here?The latest poll has SNP 54%. Murphy has stated he will stand For First Minister in 2016 even if he loses Westminster seat, and it does not matter what London says. Howz he gonnae dae that then. I understood the Labour rules were the leader of the accouing branch had to be an MP or an MSP.

      Then Wee Dougie is chuntering on still aboot it being a protest vote, whit world diz he inhabit. Nae wonner they’re losing Scotland.

      The highlight, the real show stopper for Labour, is inviting Heseltine in as a government advisor.

      They hae nae sense at a’ these complete and utter eejits.

    61. Capella says:

      @ heedtracker
      I would say that Norway is a good example of where a strong democracy tempers the worst excesses of capitalism. They have a social democratic model with universal welfare, a large public sector and state owned industries such as Statoil where the government retains c 70% control.

      I would be very happy to be living in a social democracy with local government control at the level of Norway.

    62. A MacRitchie says:

      Watch who enters no10 after the election the case will be made.

    63. Nana Smith says:


      Re your question from this morning…

      Will postal votes be “sampled” this time though, like in the referendum where postal votes were opened and examined by EC people and reps from both sides presumably?

      just received this reply…

      Sampling always happens in every election so yes.

    64. Fiona says:

      @ Capella

      Depends what you mean by “capitalism”.

      The version espoused by neoliberals cannot co-exist with democracy, on that I agree with Chomsky. That is why they are busy opposing it

    65. orri says:

      In this case “exploitative” isn’t a weasel word. It’s actually a very important descriptor. Not all “zero hour” contracts are bad, which is why there are plenty of people talking about how “bank” shifts suit their lifestyles. The kind of contracts Labour are targeting are the ones where you can be working full time hours without any of the benefits you’d be legally entitled to if you were formally employed for them such as sick pay, holiday pay and recourse to an unfair dismissal hearing if it came to it.

      Once upon a time the law was that if you were habitually employed for a set number of hours or temping long enough your employer had to offer you a contract after a period of time. That’s what Labour seem to be proposing.

      Another exploit which has already been sorted by the tories was the ability of an employer to impose and exclusivity clause effectively barring you from working for someone else. So you would be on call for no pay until they decided they needed you.

      If anything it shows a reliance on sound bites rather than and understanding of what your policies actually consist of which shows why Scottish Labour need to be put out of office.

    66. Fred says:

      Nana I think I’ll just hand mine in at my local station, I have a couple of proxies to take in any case.

    67. jackie g says:


      Came across this on the Iplayer yesterday.

      Gallipoli: BBC2 When Murdoch Went to War

      Very interesting programme about Rupert Murdoch’s father Keith and his involvment in the campaign as a reporter.

      It also shows the disgust he had at the British establishments treatment of their men and the Aussie soldiers.

      It will be especially interesting for the guys who were discussing the subject on saturday.

    68. Les Wilson says:

      Latest from pages of “The Scottish Mail”, ( found lying on the table of car showroom) So no, I did not and never would, buy it.

      “Boris has just banned Bagpipe Buskers in London”
      Go figure??
      Just shows how anti Scottish he is!. (as if we needed more evidence!)

    69. Capella says:

      @ Fiona
      Yes I mean the Neo Liberal/ Free Market/ Laissez Faire capitalism much touted over the past 30 years in UK and USA. No ordinary person in command of their senses would vote for it.

    70. Ian says:

      Apologies if anyone has raised this point elsewhere but I was thinking over the weekend about the whole “1000 (more) nurses, extra money for the NHS” stuff Slab are going on about, even though everyone and his dog knows these powers are completely devolved and are irrelevant in a Westminster election.

      I forget where the particular interview was, but Murphy made a point something along the lines that after they win the general election, Labour would free up the funding required, propose these points to the SNP and “dare them to vote them down”.

      Does this mean that, if elected, UK Labour will demand that HOLYROOD implements their election promises despite them not being in power there? I can’t think of any other explanation which fits Murphy’s outpourings above.

      Then again, I’m at the disadvantage of trying to think rationally about Slab electioneering….

    71. Nana Smith says:


      I’m trying to find written information from the electoral commission but so far no luck, and I am busy with other stuff.

      Anyone know for sure what the legal stance is regarding postal vote sampling.

    72. Fred says:

      Nana, Ruth Davidson’s the expert there.

    73. crazycat says:

      @ Nana

      Not sure if you’ll see this now that there is a new thread.

      I feel that people misunderstand the term “sampling” as applied to postal votes. It’s not like representative sampling for opinion polls, for instance.

      Postal votes have to be verified – the signature and date of birth on the statement have to match that on the original application for a postal vote. After the statements have been detached from the ballot envelopes for checking, the actual ballots are removed from their envelopes and counted into bundles.

      The ballot papers are kept face down during this process. Sometimes, however, it is possible for an observer to work out where the cross has been placed. It was easier in the referendum when there were only two possibilities than it will be in May with four or more candidates.

      Polling agents are entitled to scrutinize the postal vote checking and to question the acceptance of signatures which they think do not match (or the rejection of those they think do). I did this in September and the council officials were beyond reproach.

      Others in my group participated in the “sampling”, attempting to keep a tally of the votes they could semi-see. Nobody examined the fronts of any ballot papers.

      All parties indulge in this form of sampling although they are not really supposed to. What they are absolutely prohibited from doing, and which Ruth Davidson got into trouble for being in receipt of, is pass on any information gleaned from these scrutiny sessions.

      The number of sessions required depends on the number of postal votes and the number of council staff available to open them. There were 3 or 4 daily sessions in my area, plus a very brief one immediately before the main count, for those which had been delivered on the day.

      While I am talking about postal votes delivered on the day of the vote, this is really important:

      Last night there was a discussion about handing in postal votes at polling stations. This is perfectly ok providing the vote is in its envelope and accompanied by the signed statement. It will then be put in a special box to be checked after 10pm as I have described above.

      What concerns me is that I fear some people, worried about the security of the postal ballot, are contemplating taking their ballot papers to the polling station and filling them in there, with the intention of then inserting them in the normal ballot box.

      Please do not do this! When a ballot is issued by the polling clerk, the voters name is crossed off or ticked on the register. The number of votes in each ballot box must exactly match the number of names marked off. Anyone who has a postal vote will be identified on the register with a P – they cannot be crossed off. No polling clerk would allow an extra ballot to be put in the box, and anyone who managed to sneak one in would cause havoc when the totalling took place at the count.

      Turning up at the polling station with a ballot paper but without the envelope in which to put it will almost certainly lead to your vote being invalidated.

    74. Nana Smith says:


      Yes that’s what I believed was the case. Just wanted it clarified by the electoral commission.

      and Doug Daniel gives a good explanation right here…

    75. terry says:

      @Colmat 12.20

      Agreed – It was refreshing to hear James O’Brien conducting a reasoned debate about the “Scottish question”. Good on him! Shame other journos couldn’t do the same

    76. gus1940 says:

      Given what looks like impending Electoral Armageddon next week after his somewhat less than brilliant campaign as leader of Labour’s North British Accounting Unit how does Creepy Jim know that he will even manage to get himself on to any of a grateful Scottish Labour’s Lists for next years Holyrood Election far less get himself elected.

      In his delusional vision of his own brilliance he seems to imagine that he only has to snap his fingers and Hey Presto he strolls into Holyrood as FM.

      If the polls are an accurate indicator of the result on May 7th. Labour’s knives will be flashing on the 8th. and it won’t be an egg between our hero’s shoulder blades.

    77. Gary says:

      And here was me thinking I was cynical. I saw the “end exploitative zero hours contracts” and thought that they were leaving themselves wiggle room to stitch us all up. I then felt bad, they wouldn’t wriggle out of a promise with weasel words, would they? Yup, EVERYTHING they say is a lie, everything…

    78. Nana Smith says:

      Just received this as I queried the ‘sampling’ process..

      Update what I told you earlier was wrong. I got this clarity from the Returning Officer:

      Sampling is not permitted

      I also asked about exit polls and here is the reply I got…

      Regarding exit polls Nana as a party we don’t do them as highland folk don’t seem to respond well to being asked who they voted for!

      as you can see it specifically mentions highland folk so it may be different elsewhere.

    79. scotrock says:

      Just had a conversation in Gourock. 3 normally voting Tories all voted Labour. To keep SNP out
      Inverclyde SNP need to up their game

    80. A MacRitchie says:

      Watched Nicola tonight being interviewed by Bernard Ponsonby. She did very well. If you were watching he just stated what I said and the case for indyref2 “watch who goes through the door of No10”.

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