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The Brain Of North Britain

Posted on May 13, 2014 by

This morning’s Daily Mail reports that Alistair Darling has been “sidelined” by the No campaign, with Douglas Alexander drafted into his place. We’ve remarked previously on this site about our bemusement over the reverence with which Mr Alexander’s intellect is regarded by the Scottish media, and we’re none the wiser after this:

The above clip is from The Sunday Politics two days ago. It’s a full-on, toe-curling cringe of a performance, best watched through the gaps in your fingers or from behind the sofa as Alexander is absolutely eviscerated by Andrew Neil over Labour’s latest election poster claiming that families have faced a £450 increase in VAT at the hands of the coalition, even though the image mainly features items on which VAT is 0%.

Alexander just about manages to bluster his way out of that one, but then Neil drops the bomb. To pay an extra £450 a year in VAT, families would have to be spending £21,600 on things liable for the full 20% rate, which is a complete absurdity.

The average family spends most of its money on rent/mortgage (no VAT), utility bills (5% VAT, unaffected by the Tory increase), grocery shopping (mainly 0% VAT) and so on, with only a small percentage of its expenditure liable for the tax. Labour have inflated the “£450” figure by hundreds of percent, if indeed it has any statistical basis at all rather than having been plucked out of thin air.

28 seconds into the clip, Alexander makes plain that the figure is supposed to be an annual cost, saying it represents the extra bill for a household “during a year”. But as Neil pulls him to shreds, he panics and tries to backtrack, blurting at 1m 10s that “it doesn’t say it’s an annualised figure” and suddenly trying to pretend that it covers the entire period since 2010.

The terrified look on Alexander’s face as he can’t stop himself checking the poster twice (1m 29s) to see if he can get away with the blatant lie is probably enough proof on its own, but just in case anyone was still tempted to give him the benefit of the doubt, Neil tweeted a couple of quotes from Labour’s shadow cabinet about the claim:



And we went and dug out another one ourselves:


(What’s even stranger is that last September Miliband said he WOULDN’T cut VAT after all, telling BBC Radio 4 “There isn’t going to be a cut in VAT, that’s not what we are proposing at the moment. That’s because the economic position has changed”.)

Readers might at this point be finding themselves wistfully imagining a world in which the Scottish media challenged Unionist spokesmen this forensically on the subject of independence. It’s not as if there isn’t the ammunition – this site provides it by the bucketload, whether on pensions or immigration or Corporation Tax or “solidarity” or any of the No camp’s other pet subjects you care to think of.

Instead, we have to do its job ourselves. Andrew Neil’s destruction of Wee Dougie on Sunday will for now remain just a tantalising glimpse of an alternative Scotland where the media attacked both sides with alacrity and determination, rather than just one.

In the meantime, we suspect that Yes Scotland won’t be losing too much sleep over the appointment of Mr Alexander as the new de facto head of its No opponents. The man who presided over the shambolic 2007 Scottish Parliament election, masterminded Labour’s unsuccessful 2010 and 2011 campaigns and was in charge of David Miliband’s attempt to win the Labour leadership has a track record to envy. If you’re on the other side, that is.

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130 to “The Brain Of North Britain”

  1. Bugger (the Panda) says:

    Douglas Alexander = Lying Toad

    I thought he was a son of the Manse, so he cannot expect his Father to give him absolution. That would be for us to do, if we wanted, and he asked.

    I know what my response would be, if asked.

    We need shot of these shysters, and their Spiv counterparts in the City. The whole damn political and financial firmament of the UK is rotten to the core.

    It needs tearing down and rebuilding. The French do that from time to time. We should learn from them.

  2. Bugger (the Panda) says:

    By the way, I thought that wee Dougie is in charge of Millibands GE campaign.

    That seems to going quite well.

    Did he jump or was he pushed?

    Who cares?

  3. Tasmanian says:

    The question is, how much power does ANY EU member state government (Westminster, Holyrood, Dublin, Lisbon) have to vary VAT? It’s mandated by EU law. Was the UK VAT increase genuinely voluntary by the UK govt or did the EU require it?

    For decades, the UK subverted some of the EU’s VAT regulations by establishing VAT on certain goods and services, but as they didn’t specify a minimum rate they set the rate to 0%. This loophole was closed a while back.

  4. David McCann says:

    I watched that interview with a growing, and somewhat grudging admiration of Neil’s destruction of wee Dougie’s reputation as a political heavyweight.

    It was pretty awesome.

    Can we expect something similar from Glen Campbell, if Alexander gets the Darling brief?

    BTW OT. Where have Yes been hiding this guy from Unison. Brilliant!

  5. foojy says:

    That was one of the most cringing experiences i’ve witnessed since….. ever.
    I had my hands over my face. How embarrassing.

  6. Adrian B says:

    The King is dead – Long live the King 😀

  7. John grant says:

    Labour eh , shambles north and south of the border , years not being challenged has done this to them , damn them to hell .

  8. kendomacaroonbar says:

    I wonder if Dougie paid VAT on the £ 14,000 double glazing bill he paid on his MP expenses.

    If he cannot understand the mechanics behind claiming taxpayer monies for ineligible expenses then how in heavens name can he be expected to justify every monetary statement to the punters.

    He’s a Labour Career Politician therefore please accept what he says without question, …after all the MSM does

  9. heedtracker says:

    What a mess and England’s polls showing Snatcher Thatcher Tory boys ruling Scotlandshire for another generation too.

  10. Given that the latest opinion polls show that the tories are ahead of labour, and Miliband is on a minus rating, more good news for us Yessers. Bring it on, Dougie.

  11. Defo says:

    Lying liars exposed again. Just imagine the effect if project fear was given this treatment by Neil & co. on their pet scare stories. All the info is here at wings. If only…

  12. heedtracker says: Lovely little welcome from BetterTogetherBBC in Scotland here for the new new saviour of ukok.

  13. TheItalianJob says:

    This man is a WM career politician and like most of them, are not articulate enough to understand basic political theories never mind simple maths.

    However correct me if I’m wrong, 20% of £21,600 is £4320 not £460. To spend £460 extra VAT on Vatable items you would need to spend an extra £2300. Not a samll amount none the less.

  14. annie says:

    It amazes me that people in Westminster think that Douglas Alexander, Gordon Brown, Alistair Darling and co are well regarded here in Scotland. They get returned to Parliament simply because some Scots see them as the only alternative to the tories and as they say you can put a red rosette on a donkey etc. in some parts of Scotland.

  15. Tasmanian says:

    Seems the minimum VAT rate is 15% as of 2007, but there are various temporary derogations and exemptions in the UK currently.

  16. Robert Graham says:

    oops so used to not being asked about the small print sonny i wonder how these liers would get on if we had an inquiring media in scotland , i think the united nations need to get involved to oversee dodgy government manipulation of both the voting system and the government run media how can we complain about russia and north korea keeping their people in the dark when its happening right here right now

  17. Desimond says:

    When Darling was sidelined, was it due to the results of yet another Convention called for by wee Duggie The Dud?

    He is here to play up Devo Max Myths and tease with Jam, Marmalade and Lemon curd tomorrow if Labour lackies will just believe in their doomed partys lies one more time.

    The only thing that awaits after a No vote is the long grass to welcome all and any hollow Devo max statements of wishful thinking (I refuse to write promise as we know the folk in BT will play semantics if they were ever asked to fulfill this deal)

  18. Seasick Dave says:

    What do you mean, “Best watched through the gap in your fingers?”.

    I was in full screen mode, lapping it up!

  19. Doug Daniel says:

    You can also add Michael Dukakis’s bid to become US president in 1988 to his list of “successes”, as Weasel Boy was involved in that as well. And let’s not forget who the organiser for David Miliband’s leadership bid was: a certain Blair McDougall. What is it with Better Together and their love of failures?

    Still, it’s good that they’ve got plenty of experience of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. It means they’ll be well prepared for the 19th September.

    I think I possibly hate Douglas Alexander more than even Jim Murphy and Anas Sarwar. He somehow manages to take the insincerity of those guys up a notch, with that false concern he always utilises, pretending to be the good guy while spreading lies. It’s repulsive to watch.

    And he has one of those faces you’d never tire of slapping with a wet fish.

  20. Tasmanian says:

    TheItalianJob: it’s the difference between 20% VAT and 17.5% VAT which works out to be £460, not the total amount of VAT paid at either rate.

  21. Greannach says:

    Douglas Alexander reminds me of nobody more than Teddy Taylor. Same twee, prim attitude. Same reputation as a great thinker. Same desire for personal advancement.

  22. anton le grandier says:

    Love this

    Dougie “so you are denying that 450 pound extra VAT is being paid by the average family etc etc etc”

    Andie “Yes”

    Dougie “umm…..”

  23. Nemo says:

    @theItalianJob – correction which you asked for. The top rate of VAT was at 17.5% previously, and was raised to 20%. To work out how much in top rated goods you would need to buy to incur an extra £450, a simple proportional sum gives you £450 divided by .025, in other words £22,500.

    Simples. Where is Sergei when you need him?

  24. alexicon says:

    Wee Dougie is being trumpeted the way ‘the bruiser’ was lauded as the saviour of the union and it’s not going to work.
    They’re getting more and more desperate. Good.

  25. heedtracker says:

    Why is there a Scots news black out on the Tory party lead anyway? No must be alerted immediately to the ukok BBC news embargo at the Scotland/England border.

    From here in Pacific Quay
    to here

  26. Muscleguy says:

    When Dougie knifed his sister in the back and squashed her idea of an Indie referendum with a short campaign way back then we would not be having this campaign now, even with an SNP majority as the issue would have been put to bed for a long time and there would be no appetite for doing it again, even with the Tories in London.

    When we vote Yes in September we can truly anoint Dougie the bastard father of the nation.

  27. Tasmanian says:

    If you’re buying £18400 (exc VAT) of goods and services, you’d pay £21620 if VAT is 17.5% and £22080 if VAT is 20%. That’s a £460 difference.

    Incidentally, I hate VAT. It’s a regressive tax which hurts the poor. I’d much rather it was replaced with more aggressive and better enforced income tax, capital gains tax and corporation tax etc, which can all be progressive and reduce the rich-poor divide. Unfortunately VAT is one of the EU’s crown jewels so there’s no getting rid of it without leaving the EU, which would be even worse!

  28. Macart says:

    @David McCann

    Alexander a political heavyweight?


    Cracker David. 😀

  29. Murray McCallum says:

    Poor wee Doogie – he should have said he was calling for a 10 year VAT convention to determine its impact and consider future changes.

  30. Big Red says:

    VAT cut will help families by up to £450 a year, says Ed. Surely there is no upper limit on how much you can save on VAT. Ed’s banker pals could buy a couple of BMW’s and a yacht and save a bit more than the average non-food shopping basket.

    But of course its not a year – its a term of Parliament, says Danny.

    So Ed’s pals could actually save £2250 on VAT over a term of Parliament.

    Come on you two – which is it? You’re still not very good with numbers are you?

    When is a year, not a year? When its a Labour year of course.

  31. Ian Brotherhood says:

    What does the ‘sidelining’ of Darling involve?

    Will he still make public appearances, but only if he’s inside one of those big glass boxes they used to put astronauts in?

    ‘Roll up! Roll up! See the Incredible Blinking Man!’

  32. mato21 says:

    I never believed Wendy had a brain equivalent to the size of a planet either

  33. Steven Luby says:

    Shortly after the Edinburgh Agreement I began to have my suspicians that the No Campaign actually supported,behind closed doors,Scotland leaving the UK. Then I drifted towards the idea that we the voters had been stuck with a shower of inept monkeys to elect as representatives within Westminster. Now,almost what,2 years down the line I feel I can say,without any hesitation,not even a sneaky glance over my shoulder, without any comeback from myself…with attitude mind,that the No Campaign are just shite. Its clear that the only UK Party that has traction within Scotland is Labour,so it makes sense for Labour to head and voice the No Campaign. Irony is,this leaves Labour supporting Tory policies(which they have in HoC)within Scotland who outright reject the neo-lib swing in party policies. What is now clear is that further devolution after a no vote must be pushed for all its worth. But even this has died on the sandy beach before it could ever evolve and crawl into the manifesto of the most inept shower of Labour Reps this country has ever had to endure. So wee Dougie will be thrust forward into a more enlightened Scotland to produce something that will be widely hailed by the even more inept Scots media as the positive case on how to cut a political career stone dead yet,gain access to the HoL.

  34. Ron Burgundy says:

    To bugger the Panda

    Imagine, a good Presbyterian Unionist like Alexander, telling lies?? Wonder if he will be there with his wee flute and Union Jack flying, at the big Orange NO parade in Edinburgh, along with the other pinheads, in the weekend before the referendum?

  35. galamcennalath says:

    Greannach says:
    Douglas Alexander reminds me of nobody more than Teddy Taylor. Same twee, prim attitude. Same reputation as a great thinker. Same desire for personal advancement.

    Same crash and burn as a Scottish MP?

    A No vote and people like this will put the Tories in Westminster in 2015.

    A Yes vote and people like this will be looking for a life in Scottish politics after Independence.

  36. Nemo says:

    Must stop doing these sums in my head! Net of VAT, the amount is £18,000, so with 20% VAT the new total amount for purchases is £21,600.

  37. caz-m says:

    “eviscerated by Andrew Neil”


    Is that a sexual thing we don’t want to know about Rev??

  38. Flower of Scotland says:

    Wee Dougie uses the wee Pal, softly spoken , sorry you have misunderstood, way! He’s as much a weasel as the others! So now we have this soft attack are they lining up Big John ( Reid ) for the few weeks before Sept! GOOD COP /BAD COP??

  39. TheItalianJob says:


    Thanks for clarifying that.

  40. TheItalianJob says:


    Also thanks to you as well on the calcs and clarification.

  41. Desimond says:

    On the bright side, this should free up wee Alastair Darling for some more After Dinner speeches, he loves a slice of that cash-cow.

    So will Douglas Alexander be the next one to offer a live debate with Alex Salmond while Dave concentrates on a guy who pretends his surname doesnt rhyme with garage?

    Douglas Alexander, being blessed with a vivid imagination, I can just picture him as a dodgy wee player, whispers in ears, casual denials while ousting a leader, clandestine dinners and random leaks about colleagues to the Press.

    BTW is it just me that suspects that sometime over the next 3 months, a call is going to go out: “Get Tony!”
    (You can insert your own joke for that one)

  42. liz says:

    I’ve always disliked wee Dougie.

    When I used to watch QT, David Starkey slated him – I think he called him a weasel – it was the 1st time I agreed with him.

    No wonder in England they can’t stand the Labour party – look how much damage they have done to the economy.

    There was an article recently saying that Gordon Broon had deliberately run down manufacturing in the UK as he wanted to mirror the US economy.

    People in Scotland are going to have to wake up to the fact that they are promoted for their compliance and not for their ability.

    Well done Andrew Neil but it would be because there is a GU coming up and he will be supporting the tories.

  43. Westie7 says:

    Barney Crockett replaced as leader of Aberdeen City Council?

  44. flirb says:

    Tasmanian: the UK VAT increase was entirely voluntary. EU law requires that the standard rate of VAT must be at least 15%, but each state is free to choose its own rate subject to that minimum.

  45. Rocketscientist says:

    @TheItalianJob “However correct me if I’m wrong, 20% of £21,600 is £4320 not £460. To spend £460 extra VAT on Vatable items you would need to spend an extra £2300.”

    I think they are talking about the rise or drop in VAT not the whole amount.

  46. galamcennalath says:

    OT The letter in the Herald (I believe) about the hidden poll? Anyone heard any more about this?

  47. Defo says:

    @Bugger(the panda)
    I thought i would ask an expert, so…
    Do we really need to bother with all this referendum stuff? China don’t rent out their bears to provinces or regions, only nations. This is tantamount to recognition from the world leaders, and all we need to do is UDI.

  48. Arabs for Independence says:

    The clip is a great insight into what a sneaky, lying, devious little toad Mr Alexander is. He got well and truly ‘fund oot’ and it was wonderful watching him trying to slither his way out of the hole he had dug (doug) himself into.

    If I remember correctly he was one of the 40+ Labour MPs who didna vote to bring down the bedroom tax a few months ago but he was smart/sneaky enough to have it plastered all over his website that he was at a holocaust memorial (although he never did say when, why, how; but it was enough to please the easy to please Labour sycophants)

  49. HandandShrimp says:

    I was beginning to wonder why Alistair’s eyelashes had been given leave of absence…presumably knackered after the extreme blinking they have been subjected to.

    Douglas Alexander? He makes bland seem exciting. If there is anyone I equate with the Blair/Brown era focus group right wing of the Labour party it is Douglas Alexander.

    I can’t help but recall how he let Wendy fall to the wolves either and screwed up the 2007 Holyrood elections.

    As I said, I think the Tories have pretty much given up on Better Together. I think the fake grass roots NOBs mob are the Tories PR driven re-launch of their anti-independence drive. Douglas will simply doodle ineffectually around the margins.

  50. Votadini Jeannie says:

    I hate, smug smart-aleck answers like this wee toad is giving here. “People will still use shopping baskets”… Fuck off and just address the point.

    He think he’s being so clever but all he’s showing is his ignorant attitude. Luckily we respect him about as much as he respects us.

  51. Gillie says:

    I can’t imagine that Gordon Brown will be happy that he is not to directly replace Alistair Darling as Better Together campaign leader.

    Having walk on parts is not the same as having the lead role.

    I must ask though who thought it was a good idea to have Douglas Alexander as Darling’s replacement? I don’t get that, he is too much of a lightweight.

    Perhaps it is a cunning Tory plan for Cameron to claim victory if Scots vote NO.

  52. Alt Clut says:

    Reassuring to know that the new wizard of the dark tower is as Micky Mouse (remember “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice” movie ?) as the old one. Perhaps the old one will be thrown to the Orcs ?

  53. velofello says:

    This clip really is an excellent confirmation that neither Alexander nor Neil, or his behind camera feeders, have much of a grasp of arithmetic as TheItalianJob points out above.These politicians and commentators are safer sticking to big things such as Kosova, iraq, Afghanistan where they can blether away without bothersome statistics and arithmetic to expose them wanting in understanding their subject.

    As Johann Lamont would put it, Joe Public’s earnings,taxes, pensions are wee things, not sufficiently lofty of gravitas for big beast politicians and commentators.Remember the days before the internet, and WOS. The ancient days of the Sunday Post, Express, etc.where MSM would wax on unchallenged about the incredible intellects of various politicians and we had no way to measure the veracity of these assessments? Not any more.

    Trouble is that these lofty personalities nevertheless like and grab our wee taxes, round them up and spend them on projects they haven’t asked for our approval – Trident,London Crossrail, wars,HS2.

  54. Peter Macbeastie says:

    That is genuinely funny. If he was a fish he’d be cooked and the bones in the bin by now.

    Heard him getting the easiest ride of his life on Radio Scotland yesterday morning and he STILL had to resort to ‘broad shoulders’ when the actual interview was about changes to the state pension age. His remit is clearly about combating independence and it doesn’t matter what he’s talking about, he’ll get in the line about broad shoulders, clout, shared risk and stronger together.

    Ultimately he will go the same way as Darling. Because he’s already proved that he’s precisely no better so far as I can tell and that’s the only way he can go.

    “For political heavyweight (Westminster variant) see Carmichael, Alistair. See also Secratery of State for Portsmouth, Balloon, Airbag, etc, etc, etc.” Remember when Alistair C was parachuted in to sort things out after they decided Mickey Moore wasn’t getting it right? The media painted him as some sort of heavyweight political boxer.

    They were right on one point. He’s certainly heavyweight.

  55. annie says:

    It’s no wonder Darling was sidelined, it must have been for health reasons. If you recall his last interviews were becoming more and more angry and he was blinking like blazes through the stress of lying so much. I wouldn’t be surprised if his break on Islay was on doctors orders.

  56. Desimond says:

    Remember wee Dougie stabbing his sister in the back….well…

    Mr Alexander did not indicate if Labour would accept the first minister’s offer of talks if voters backed independence.

    “If we see a ‘Yes’ vote, contrary to all the opinion poll evidence, then there would be judgments that need to made by Johann Lamont as Scottish Labour’s leader as to how our party would respond to that judgement by the Scottish people,” he said. “But there’s no indication at this stage that it’s the likely outcome.”

    I think this statement also sums wee Dougie up, pure high falutin’ pysh – ‘He also called for a “respectful discourse of political discourse” rather than a politics that “descends into personal destruction”.’

  57. Dcanmore says:

    The good ship SS Labouring Politician is heading for the rocks, full of a generation of Labourbots masquerading as intelligent thinkers hammering home neo-liberal policies on the electorate. It’s coming to an end folks, forthcoming Euro election success for UKIP in England will kick the red tories in the groin so hard that Ed will drop a few more percentage points. Dougie the loser, only has a safe Labour seat as a safety net, the rest of his CV is one of consistent failure even falls apart on one subject in one interview. It’s like watching someone trying to hold the tide back with string vest. England is lost, Scotland is watching.

  58. Tamson says:

    Be fair Rev – wee Doug did mastermind one winning campaign. He got Gordon Brown elected as Blair’s successor IIRC…

  59. Angus says:

    They (BBC Labour)used to call his sister Wendy ‘Two Brains’ as I recall, but I could never see any evidence of the other 1½.

  60. geeo says:

    Its like they wanted to cast a heavy shadow across the Yes campaign heart by removing blinker, but no, it was merely a prelude for the clown show….roll up, roll up, for the greatest show in town

  61. Dan Watt says:

    The problem is, Mr Neil is only questioning him so well, because he is a tory fanbyoy. We’d never hear about it otherwise.

  62. galamcennalath says:

    Greannach says:
    Interesting EU document on VAT rates here:

    Very interesting. Other countries pay substantial VAT on Foodstuffs, Water supplies, Pharmaceutical products, Medical equipment for disabled persons, Children’s car seats, Transport of passengers, Books etc etc … which are all Zero rated in the UK.

  63. geeo says:

    Hope this works…

    No offence intended to the muppet in the picture..

  64. bunter says:

    Hey!! lay off ma MP! Wee Doogie has worked wonders for Paisley you know lol.

  65. Ken500 says:

    Willy Young to hit the buffers too?

    The corrupt clowns running the Aberdeen City Council cabel. Diabolical troughers.

  66. Stonefree says:

    I am told that there was ,now redundant phrase “never trust the son of the Cloth” that’s Brown and Alexander’s cards marked

  67. Nana Smith says:

    I will never vote labour while any of these idiots are in the party.

    Had a conversation with my neighbour who says the same.He is a member of a bowling club and tells me most of the people there say they will always vote snp unless the labour party clears out the dross.

    This clip just proves how inept Alexander,Brown,Lamont etc really are.There should be some sort of examination especially in economics for prospective mps.

  68. bunter says:

    What is it aboot ministers sons who tell big lies.

  69. If they are side-lining Darling, making Dougie de-facto head but still pretending Darlings in charge (so not to admit the campaign’s failing), will they still be pushing for Darling to be the one to debate Salmond?

    From their point of view, would Darling doing a live head to head with Salmond not be suicide?
    The only way they can really get out of it without admitting Darlings been demoted would be to give in and have Dave do the debate (or just not put forward anyone as is their usual tactic)

  70. Dcanmore says:

    Remember folks this shitehawk is an alumni of the British-American Project…

    From the Guardian 2004:

    “You won’t have heard of the British-American Project, but its members include some of the most powerful men and women in the UK. Officially it exists to promote the ‘special relationship’, but it has been described as a Trojan horse for US foreign policy…

    … BAP is portrayed as a Trojan horse for American foreign policy, recruiting Britons of liberal or left-of-centre inclinations and political talent and connections when they are young, indoctrinating them with propaganda about the virtues of American capitalism and America’s role in the world, and then watching them approvingly as they steer British politics in an ever more pro-Washington direction. According to this analysis, the project’s greatest success has been New Labour.”

  71. caz-m says:

    If you think the clip above was bad on Dougie, then you should have a look at the whole interview.

    Got to be Alexander’s worst interview.

    Starts 6.40 mins,

    Why can’t Scottish journalists and reporters ask these searching questions?

  72. JWil says:

    Ed hasn’t done too well on the glamour boy front since his inception, but it seems that he is also intellectually deficient too.

    As the more obvious targets on the economy have changed and vapourized, he has failed to put any cogent arguments that register with the voters, even as he has attempted to update his policies.

  73. Iain says:

    Let’s be fair: wee Douglas is certainly quite bright, and he is usually good at avoiding direct criticism and challenge by smothering interviewers with vague, detail-free woffle. But it is true that he completely lacks the Salmond spark: his achievements thus far also owe a great deal to dogged study and the supporting self-assurance that, as a Labour politician, he is carrying out god’s will.

  74. big jock says:

    Someone must be able to unearth that hidden independence poll. It would be like gold dust if they did?

  75. Desimond says:

    Douglas to his mates in BBC : “In terms of what comes after the referendum, I do think there will be a very fundamental choice, almost an existential choice, facing the nationalists.”

    Aye Dougie, the choice will be take a pain killer or go to the A&E to get the sore ribs treated after laughing so much as you and your Labour mates scramble for survival.

  76. Bugger (the Panda) says:


    I am available for bar mitzvahs, hen nights, stripagrams and wine tastings.

    Good rates

  77. Bugger (the Panda) says:


    One was rumoured to be planetery in size, Uranus in fact; or maybe that Jackie Baillie.

  78. Tamson says:

    For anyone who enjoyed this, worth tracking down the Question Time episode where Hugh Grant tears wee Dougie a new arse over New Labour’s links to Murdoch after the phone-hacking scandal. Search on YouTube using both their names.

  79. Jim Mitchell says:

    Wee Dougie always reminded me of an old fashioned school prefect, all that was missing was the badge and the row of pens in the top pocket.

    After watching the clip, I would like to apoligise to old fashioned prefects everywhere!

  80. No no no...Yes says:

    Although I do not like A.Neil, he did a professional job on Dalek Zander. I just wish some of the BBC Scotland political “journalists” would have the guts to do likewise to ALL interviewees, not just the pro-indy ones. Come on James Cook, Kenneth Macdonald and Isobel Fraser, you have to mentor these new trainee journos that have brought in on the cheap. We want more professional pride, apply the referendum guidance and challenge the bias. Scotland needs you to show your peers how it is done.

  81. galamcennalath says:

    big jock says:
    Someone must be able to unearth that hidden independence poll. It would be like gold dust if they did?

    Definitely. I posted a link above to the letter claiming its existence. How long does a FOI request take to deliver results, I wonder?

  82. Wullie B says:

    if heavens forbid Scotland votes Naw ,am going to have to go to night school to learn Gobblydeegook and doublespeak as languages cuz am lost with the Labour talking protocol, even a protocol droid like C-3PO would be hard pressed to translate the lies from Lamont and Co

  83. heedtracker says:

    Aberdeen City cooncil Labour finance convener Wullie Young is a landlord millionaire. When was the last time a council house was built in Aberdeen, oil capital of Europe? over 30 years ago. Socialist workers like oor Wullie know where they money is.

  84. willie says:

    Dont trust anyone of the cloth, remember what they did in 1707. There would have been no union had they not decided to dump their entire flock for their own selfish ends

  85. heedtracker says: “This means that it would take over 4 years to clear the current waiting list.
    The total number of households on the main council housing list, which includes the transfer list, was 6,950 in March 2013”
    Tasty, if you’re a landlord in Aberdeen likw oor Wullie, average 3 bed home ex council house rental price per month £1500, 2 months deposit plus admin costs and then Alexander’s concocted VAT hike?

  86. flirb says:

    Greannach: I didn’t want to get into it too deeply because EU VAT is insanely complex. Every country has a standard rate and one or two reduced rates that apply to different things. The rates and what things they apply to vary from country to country. Some countries have zero rates or parking rates to reflect historical anomalies that the EC would dearly love to eliminate.

    The key thing here is that each EU member state sets its own VAT rate subject to an EU-imposed minimum. (Worth noting that the only country still using that minimum rate is Luxembourg?) Remember when Gordon Brown and Alastair Darling dropped the (standard) VAT to 15% for a year back in 2008? They couldn’t drop it any lower than that, but the decision to drop it at all – and raise it back again a year later – was entirely the UK’s.

  87. flirb says:

    Wullie B: if heavens forbid Scotland votes Naw, I’m going to night school to learn Swedish!

  88. Training Day says:

    Darling was becoming too angry and twitchy. He was beginning to resemble Robert de Niro’s character in ‘Awakenings’.

    Dougie, by contrast, can be relied upon to deliver the message unwaveringly in tones of bland, utilitarian glibness, replete with Labour’s favourite meaningless cliches about ‘social justice’.

    That’s the case whether the message is justification of the Iraq War (there was no bigger supporter of this wholesale slaughter than God-fearing Doug) or spooky stories about ‘separatists’.

    On which point, it was noticeable that in his radio interview yesterday conducted by the feeble Gary Robertson, Doug ratcheted up the use of the term ‘separatists’ once more. By pure coincidence, the BBC then ran an item on ‘Pro-Russian separatists’ which included a contribution from Matt Qvortrup, introduced by the BBC as the author of ‘referendums and ethnic conflict.’

  89. patronsaintofcats says:

    On Twitter somebody put up a photo of an article saying the UK govt spent £46,000 of taxpayer money on a poll which they did not publish (thinking this is the missing ipsos poll). More interesting to me is that they’ve signed a contract for £75,000 back in January for “independent polling and PR deals”. Now, I haven’t seen much PR from the government…but isn’t there a new “grassroots” No group that’s really just a front for a PR company? That magically came out of nowhere? Aye, right.

    Updated it’s from the Scottish Sun. Can’t post a link, but it’s on @PeteWishart timeline on Twitter.

  90. Walter Scott says:

    Douglas Alexander is indeed held in very high esteem by the Scottish media and they do attribute him with a giant intellect. However he never says anything, ever! His political analysis is always safe, non committal and totally bland. He’s puerile & trite. Once the No Scotland team see he’s as effective as Darling they’ll replace him with David Axelrod

  91. G H Graham says:

    Darling’s removal from front stage moaning has been quite obvious this past couple of weeks.

    But the good news, is that Alexander is just as useless. Sure, he doesn’t do the ferocious eye twitching & appear to lose his temper like Alistair “Flipper” Darling, but he’s just as rubbish as arithmetic.

    But when he’s cornered & caught out lying, he somehow manages to maintain some sense of grace by spitting out more lies to cover up the last one. That’s a skill that Darling never mastered; lying your face off & not showing it. I’ll be surprised if he doesn’t make Chancellor one day. Assuming he’s found a safe Labour seat in England of course.

    So Better Together have quietly maneuvered the useless Douglas Alexander to the front of stage where he’s surely to become the next fall guy.

    Still. Could be worse. He’s only got 4 months to shift the poll trends into reverse.

    Ha, ha, ha, ha ….

  92. Fairliered says:

    Wee Dougie reminds me of a mini-me Mandelson.

  93. Mosstrooper says:

    Just signed in. Loved seeing Cap’n Beaky (his nick name at school) squirm. Especially loved it when he hid behind his coffee mug. You could almost hear his brain going feck,feck, feck. hahahaha!

  94. call me dave says:

    @Walter Scott

    Out of the same stable as D. Torrance then. Gave up on his latest epistle in Herald… life too short.

  95. a2 says:

    To be fair and positive, he does dress smartly.

  96. call me dave says:

    The Scottish Affairs Committee takes evidence from George Osborne and Sir Nicholas Macpherson on Wednesday 14 May 2014 at 13:30hrs

    Worth a watch. Link attached.

  97. clochoderic says:

    Wee Dougie is a troughing speak-your weight sound bite merchant who has risen without trace in politics with no visible connection to talent or original thinking.

    He was only gifted his seat after the Blair landslide in ’97 after the winning local Slab candidate, a local community activist called Gordon McMaster was bullied and hounded into suicide for being gay by the Tommy Graham/Terry Kelly faction of the local party. Cue Wee Doogie and his parliamentary parachute.

    His time as an MP has not been totally wasted, he has bought a massive big hoose in the only posh town in the constituency and has been milking the expenses system to the hilt for 17 years. At the height of the expenses scandal when the figures were released I calculated that this people’s tribune was costing us over £350,000 a year for his mp and minister salary, second home allowance and office expenses.

    For someone with no discernible talent, insights, working experience outside politics or indeed loyalty to family or constituents he is an inspiration to venal, carpetbagging shysters everywhere.

  98. Steve Bowers says:

    Hmmmmm, now why won’t it let me load up Doris Day singing Move over Darling !

  99. Abaron Nomore says:

    Was there not a character, Wormtongue, in Lord of the Rings based on Dougie Alexander?

  100. fergie35 says:

    Labour, rotten to the core, keep selecting leader after leader who are numptys, chancers, liers and gobsh!tes; Lamont, Gray,Broon, Darling, Milliband, Alexanders (both)…. and how many times has the ‘big hitting’ Broon ‘waded’ into the referendum campaign to save North Britain?

  101. Kenzie says:

    Wee Dougie’s past failures – and there are a few – attracted the unenviable epithet of ‘The Village Idiot’ and he has neither said or done anything since to eradicate that.

  102. fergie35 says:

    OT/ Barney of the Crockett AKA Aberdeen’s LabServative PM and self styled Belter has been ousted by the LabServative group.
    Looks likely that his Mini me, Willie baby faced Young is following soon. These are the guys that banned the Scottish Government from any council building in Abz!

  103. Tam Jardine says:

    I found Douglas Alexander’s performance on Scotland Today last night pretty embarrassing also. He came on all guns blazing demanding the first minister makes a firm commitment to making devolution work along with the other parties in the hypothetical scenario of a no vote. Alex Salmond had already made a written agreement to do so and reiterated that yesterday.

    But regardless, DA pushed the point last night and then did not have it in him to give a reciprocal agreement to work with the SNP in the hypothetical scenario of a Yes vote. Rhona asked him so many times, she eventually had to ask him to clarify that he would NOT work with the SNP if it’s a Yes.

    So he could not give the same reasonable commitment, as a Scot to do what is best for the country.

    It ain’t him, babe… no no no it ain’t him, babe. It ain’t him your looking forrr babe!

  104. annie says:

    Looks like VNB are running their photo campaign in the Scottish Sun today after the Daily Record yesterday, be interesting to see if the Scotsman and Herald get their turn tomorrow and Thursday.(No I don’t buy it.)

  105. HandandShrimp says:

    The NOBs are certainly splashing the plastic on their plastic campaign.

    However it looks exactly like a Tory campaign would look like. They don’t really think outside the box when it comes to political adverts in Toryland.

  106. bookie from hell says:

    In The Scotsman douglas alexander for NO campaign says we wont be

    “intimidated into silence”,

    every labour MP wishing he was silent ( : > )

  107. Robyn - Quine fae Torry says:

    Well done, Andrew Neil; that was awesome.

  108. AllyBally says:

    To drink from the cup when he did was indicative of his discomfort.

  109. X_Sticks says:

    Wendy, Wendy, Wendy, Wendy, Wendy, Wendy, Wendy, Wendy, Wendy, Wendy, Wendy, Wendy, Wendy, Wendy, Wendy, Wendy, Wendy, Wendy, Wendy, Wendy, Wendy, Wendy, Wendy, Wendy, Wendy, Wendy, Wendy, Wendy, Wendy, Wendy, Wendy, Wendy, Wendy, Wendy, Wendy, Wendy.

    That’s all I have to say about Dougie. Nuff said.

  110. lochside says:

    Said it before..he’s a nematode and they aren’t able to count.
    They just suck the juice out of the host..something he’s long been an expert at…but not for much longer.

  111. Craig P says:

    Patronsaintofcats – £46k for one poll? They must be quizzing at least 10,000!

  112. Macandroid says:

    The hidden poll – where’s Wikileaks when you need them?

  113. heraldnomore says:

    Even that scoundrel Guido had that interview up, so complete was the shredding of the bold Dougie.

    And I see Guido’s now suggesting Dougie’s been sent north not to save the union, but as his ‘reward’ for Labour’s dismal Euros campaign – as far from London as possible, off you go now.

    And a hint that Ed may have to go before they get fully into the 2015 campaign. Maybe they’ll bring back the old Broon/Darling double-team, having done so well last time and fought a great battle over the last year or so. Or maybe not.

    Still an admission that we face a Blue Tory/UKIP at Westminster can only be a boost to one the campaigns for September; and must have many more Labour members realising that there is only one way to go.

  114. patronsaintofcats says:

    link to story about missing ipsos more poll

  115. CameronB Brodie says:

    @Douglas Alexander
    Here is a wee reminder, just to get you off on the good foot. Bert’s favourite number is six. I have already passed this info on to your branch manager, but she hasn’t been seen for a wee while. Has she gone the same way as your predecessor?

  116. Gordon Innes (Gin) says:


    Apparently poll was 45m of Questions. “A lot on attitudes to currency union & ‘borders’ “.

    More info on Twitter

  117. Chic McGregor says:

    He certainly won’t be ‘Uniting’ with Gordon Brown anyway. Not after he pointedly refused to support Brown over McBridegate and joined in the whistle blowing.

    The intellect thing. Are the press getting confused by the Wendy ‘brain the size of a planet’ Alexander mythos they lovingly crafted some years back? Or are they just hoping the public are?

  118. I’d a feeling Duggie was being reamed, sorry meant primed for this. I done my own wee blog on something that annoyed me a wee while ago.
    Nothing new to Wings readers….just my take on it.

  119. Appleby says:

    This career slime ball has no idea what the “average” family or the majority of them live like, earn or how they get by. This is why he blunders into these ridiculous clangers. Completely out of touch as a worthless career politician who has done no good in his life.

  120. ben says:

    He actually said “the year” or “a year” during that interview in regards to the time frame. I couldn’t quite make out if he said “the” or “a” though.

  121. Hardin says:

    Isn’t he himself subject to negative briefings over the disastrous Labour UK general election campaign? Suddenly found free time hmm?

  122. Cactus says:

    Here’s a dedication, courtesy of a most excellent English music band.

    The Beatles ~ Oh Darling! (Genre: Love song)

  123. manandboy says:

    Unionist supporters en route to the abattoir.

    (previous post evaporated into the ether)

  124. Corm says:

    I haven’t read all the comments but here is an important fact (as in a real one not a FACT) about VAT. The rate cannot be lowered under current EU directives. A Member state can request a temporary reduction (for periods of time no longer than 2 years If I recall correct, don’t quote me on that) but it is exactly that. Temporary like Brown and Darling requested and received during “the crash”. It cant ever go under 20% permanently. The only exceptions are rates that existed prior to introduction of VAT and subject to changes to the 6th Directive. UKofGB gets away with effectively 3 rates, 0 Lower and Upper. Other states aren’t so fortunate. Also 20% VAT whilst hell for most of us is actually below the EU average of 21%.

  125. Colin Morrison says:

    Is it still technically schadenfreude if you are disappointed that there is not enough ridicule being heaped upon him?

  126. WantonWampum says:

    RE-wee duggie`s takeover of the bt campaign –

    # My name is Alexander,
    I`m the leader

    Bossed by Mibbebland in Mibbeland.

  127. WantonWampum says:

    “Scottish (?)Labour Party”


  128. Brotyboy says:

    Is it still technically schadenfreude if you are disappointed that there is not enough ridicule being heaped upon him?

    Like button, please.

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