The world's most-read Scottish politics website

Wings Over Scotland

The empty cupboard

Posted on August 16, 2015 by

Here’s former Scottish Labour MP Tom Harris in today’s Sunday Times:

“The toughest job for an opposition leader is to get people’s attention and Kez will make a good job of that. She is different from what you’d normally expect.

But the only thing that would make people give Labour a second glance at the moment is offering something that I am absolutely opposed to, and that is independence. The only way we can attract voters back is by offering them what they want and that is independence.”

Wait, what now?

There’s barely a word of that we don’t need explained.

We’re not sure in what way Kezia Dugdale is “different from what you would normally expect”. Like the other two main party leaders at Holyrood she’s a fairly young woman (Nicola Sturgeon is around 12 years older than her, Ruth Davidson just four years older). She’s been the branch office’s deputy manager since last December, and was hot favourite to win the leadership job.

She’s exactly what everyone expected and has already been seeing at FMQs for nine months. She’s about as surprising and attention-grabbing as milk on cornflakes.

And the second paragraph is even more bewildering. The last sentence says that the only thing Scottish voters want is independence, but the polls have shifted only a couple of points since the electorate rejected it last September. We’re not sure who’d be won back if Labour offered it now anyway – such a spectacular U-turn would surely shred what few tattered scraps of credibility the party still has.

Harris concurs, going on to add that the situation is hopeless:

“Labour can never do that so I am very pessimistic about getting us back to the position we were in, in the short term. If we are lucky we are facing a decade in the wilderness.”

We doubt the SNP will be so complacent as to take that claim as gospel – politics is a story of unforseen events turning conventional wisdom on its head. But Harris indirectly puts his finger on the huge core problem facing Dugdale, which is that even if Scotland starts listening, Labour has nothing to say to it.

While commentators and opposition alike regularly carp and girn about how real the Nats’ left-wing credentials are, the fact of the matter is that in the public perception the SNP is now the party of social justice and opposition to austerity. Labour doesn’t have a single policy to call its own, nothing it can offer that the SNP isn’t already offering with the benefit of years of competence in government to back it up.

Labour can attack, for example, on what its tame media allies call an “A&E crisis”, but it immediately faces two problems. One is that it’s invariably the case that the statistics in an SNP “crisis” are still improvements on the best Labour achieved during its eight years in control of Holyrood, despite the SNP working under far more challenging fiscal conditions.

And secondly, in the event that there should be real problems, Labour has no solution. Even if you think that, say, John Swinney is doing a poor job as Finance Secretary, who in Scotland believes Jackie Baillie would do a better one? When challenged to explain how they’d fund the higher spending they propose as the magical solution to all problems, the responses of Labour’s would-be ministers tend to – and we’ll put this as tactfully as we can – lack credibility.


Torn in two directions at once – to the right by the Tories in England and to the left by the SNP in Scotland – Labour has triangulated and compromised its way into complete irrelevance. The SNP are trusted by people who want to vote for leftish social democracy, and the Tories are trusted by those who want neoliberalism. Labour (and the Lib Dems) are no use to anybody. Whatever your ideology, Labour are the second-best choice to carry it out.

The only cure for that malaise in politics is to put a party in the hands of a group of strong, credible conviction politicians. We’re straining our eyes as hard as we can, but if Kezia Dugdale and Ken Macintosh are the best Scottish Labour can find as possible leaders, we’re not seeing where a front-benchful of those are coming from any time soon. And nor, it seems, is Tom Harris.

Print Friendly

    2 Trackbacks/Pingbacks

    1. 16 08 15 14:43

      The empty cupboard | Speymouth

    2. 16 08 15 15:56

      The empty cupboard | Politics Scotland | Scoop...

    91 to “The empty cupboard”

    1. Bob Sinclair says:

      Even now Tom Harris can’t acknowledge that he an d people of his ilk are the problem, not the solution. He is one of the most arrogant people I’ve had the misfortune to meet & it was an absolute pleasure to campaign against him during the Election.

    2. Andrew Haddow says:

      “….what they want and that is independence.”

      Does Tom know something the rest of us aren’t supposed to know?

    3. Hamish100 says:

      Don’t worry the state broadcaster ably assisted by Channel 4 news will support the union labourist cause. Thank goodness we have www and sites like this.

      When’s the election ? Heard Terry Wogan on the radio this morning ( well known British Irish supporter) jokingly refer to Nicola Sturgeon and a nazi chandelier! What’s that all about ? Checked BBC website, low and behold a story on the very subject. When the chandelier appeared in Edinburgh the First Minister wasn’t even born.
      Will Terence clarify his comments? Of course not. Sow the seed…..

    4. Ken MacColl says:

      The picture of Jabba was wholly unnecessary and added nothing to the effect of the article! Geezabrek.

    5. call me dave says:

      I think you tied up all the loose ends there without doubt.

      Like mother Hubbard the labour cupboard is indeed bare.


      Time to get the Trotter Bros in to change the chandeliers. 🙂

    6. McHaggis says:

      So feckless are Labour in Scotland it beggars belief, and so deeply ingrained is their hatred for the SNP that when it is regularly pointed out to them how crazy some of their strategic positions have been in the last 7 or 8 years all they do is suggest ‘hahaha, we must have the SNP running scared if they are criticising what we are doing’…

      It is completely BATSHIT mental, but they just cannot change.

    7. Ken MacColl says:

      The chandelier story cropped up on the Press Review programme on Sky late last night and, predictably, it was suggested that this could prove embarrassing to the First Minister. Quite how was not pursued.

    8. Hoss Mackintosh says:

      Now that he has lost the leadership twice does anyone know if Ken Macintosh still intends to stand down before SE16?

      He was going to retire a while back and changed his mind to stand for the leadership.

      Any point in him staying on any longer now?

    9. R-type Grunt says:

      Pretty amazing that Harris can rationalize a position of NOT giving the people what they want.

    10. Dan Huil says:

      So Labour in Scotland will continue to take their orders from Westminster.

    11. Clootie says:

      The problem/solution has not been Labour moving left or right. The problem was complaceny and self interest which led to them jumping on the rightwing cart. Those in the lead at Labour put self interest first followed by looking after their cronies next.

      The Labour movement of the early 20th. century DID change the conditions for the many of this island. However it was the policies of the party and not the nametag that led to that change.

      The Labour Party no longer exists. It has changed beyond all recognition and is merely another path for the self promotion of career politicians.

      People like Liz Kendall are a discrace in accepting right wing policies to win elections. What happened to principles?

      Blair,Brown and co forgot about the people in their desire to gain a crown.

    12. Ian Brotherhood says:

      Roll on May so we can shepherd these belters together and lob them overboard once and for all.

      Any word yet on what Gordzilla said?

    13. orri says:

      Something to consider is the rise in Labour and socialism came after two world wars. Watching the VJ commemoration yesterday afternoon it struck me that the veterans there beside Cameron were the same generation that told Churchill to take a hike.

      More fun might be had though if you watch the three interviews by those involved in the fighting regarding Hiroshima. First two are from scots. First one up says he’d rather have fought on than use it. Second talks about seeing the result firsthand and the horror. Back to the studio and a bit of gobsmackery with an excuse from someone that the celebration back home was by some who didn’t know the full terror of the weapon.

      They tried later and got, in effect, a no comment with a addendum that he supposed it saved some of our lives.

      The point might be that rather than this endless celebration having the desired effect of reminding Scots of the glory of the union and thus reducing the surge to independence it may very well have the opposite effect. The remind us of why we voted Labour, why the Empire became the Commonwealth and the EEC came to be. Mainly brought about by generation that served then.

      The Conservatives might want to turn back time to before the rise of Labour and ignore the social progress those who fought in those wars began. Labour have no excuse.

    14. ronnie anderson says:

      Gordon Broon Call it this call it that aw FFS call the speech to a halt. (The Cherry planes in the background look nice)so,s that Big Wheel,ah said wheel,no the Big Heel (gordy).

    15. DerekM says:

      How bizarre is that from Harris he has basically said we know what you want and we know its our only hope but we are not going to do it.

      And they say they are listening i dont bloody think so.

      It was nonsense like this that made me drop them like a hot stone,as what use is a political party that does not adhere to the will of the people but continues on a path that the people do not want,its staggeringly stupid and any political party acting like this deserves to be ousted out into the fringes of political wilderness where they belong.

      You labour numpties have forgotten the most important part of being a political party ,if your stance/ policies go down like a lead balloon with the electorate then you have to change to the aspirations of your electorate and not just say you will,you must act and show you are capable or become irrelevant.

    16. Ian Brotherhood says:


      Daft one for BTUKOKers to bring up – prompts a splendid visual metaphor neatly encapsulating the calamitous demise of the Labour movement:

      Only Fools and Horses, ‘Chandelier’ –

    17. ronnie anderson says:

      The Big Cherry Plane in the background on Gordy Broons sermon.
      180 seconds of spinning.

      Gordy takes a bit longer ,but nae substance.

    18. ronnie anderson says:

      Gordy Broon on Nelson Mandela.

      Nelson Mandela FREED his Country & People.

      Gordy Broon KEPT his Country & People ENSLAVED.

    19. Bugger (the Panda) says:

      Rev Stu, I don’t know how you keep on doing this (VG) stuff. I am so fekin pissed off with the conastant avelanche of liquidised keich from the likes or resurrected Harris and the incessant verbal diarrhoea of the likes of Jackie Baillie, not to mention the BBC.

      It has to be that that their strategy is to make us so ferked off about the state of political democracy that we just want to down the pub and watch Coronation Street or Gret British jerk off.

      To quote someone somewhere on invented US TV

      I am going to deploy my own neyron bomb on Westminster.

      I am going to have to come back and vote the bastirts out.

      Then We have to encounter the next ring of defence, and the one after that..

      No wonder the Irish got seriously pissed off.

    20. Bugger (the Panda) says:

      Rev Stu, I don’t know how you keep on doing this (VG) stuff. I am so fekin pissed off with the conastant avelanche of liquidised keich from the likes or resurrected Harris and the incessant verbal diarrhoea of the likes of Jackie Baillie, not to mention the BBC.

      It has to be that that their strategy is to make us so ferked off about the state of political democracy that we just want to down the pub and watch Coronation Street or Gret British jerk off.

      To quote someone somewhere on invented US TV

      I am going to deploy my own neyron bomb on Westminster.

      I am going to have to come back and vote the bastirts out.

      Then We have to encounter the next ring of defence, and the one after that..

      No wonder the Irish got seriously pissed off.

      Thanks goodness that we haven’t risen to the violance that certain elements wish us to do so.

    21. Macart says:

      You can boil Broon’s entire speech down to ‘anything it takes to become electable’. Its ok to move to the right. Its ok to abandon the poor and disenfranchised. Its ok to make as many promises and compromises as it takes, just be electable at any cost.

      And for why Gordy? Even if Labour becomes electable by promising to do whatever it takes for those marginal seats, just why should the people trust that Labour will be any different or any more effective, any less corporately compromised or any less corrupt? The track record speaks for itself really.

    22. Dr Jim says:

      “The Chandelier” or How do you call Nicola Sturgeon a Nazi
      without actually saying it

      The Simon Wiesental foundation in “America” (that’s the land of the free for those who don’t know) has found out that contained within Bute House, in the dining room no less hangs the offending item

      The offending Chandelier they claim was looted by the Nazis during the war and then shipped to Nicola Sturgeons official residence whereupon it now hangs guilt (Gilt) attached (see what I did there)

      The burden of proving the provenance of the item has fallen to the SNP
      It appears to have come from Germany as said but whether stolen, looted, or fell from the sky and landed in a dustbin amongst the rubble of that war the First Minister is is some way, according to the BBC embarrassed at the Nazi connection

      At no time do the BBC mention there’s been the odd First Minister before her of other political parties and that Bute House is in fact owned by the National Trust Heritagey people

      So there you have it the nearest the media can get to putting an SS arm band, mask and bag of stolen Nazi Swag
      on our Glorious Leader (Too far with the glorious leader?)

      Anyway it’s no more than A SHTORM IN IEN looted teacup

      Too many Nazi references, I know, but it’s a lot of fun

    23. Dougie says:

      Dugdale said yesterday ” the Scottish people have stopped listening to us”
      With 5,000 votes from a possible 21,000 * BBC and Sunday mail claims*
      It appears the membership has too

    24. donald anderson says:

      Deputy Dawg is “anti establishment” and pro British Rule. Yp. That’s different.

    25. call me dave says:

      Bevin quoted on his death bed by Dewar and passed on to us third hand by Brown.

      “Never under estimate the passion and instinctive desire of the labour party to help when they can”!!

      I switched off after that… three resurrections in the one afternoon is enough for me.

      Nothing to see there then move along.

    26. bookie from hell says:

      SKY NEWS

      Gordon Browns speech


    27. msean says:

      There,now Mr Brown is finished. Is the tory broadcasting service giving him this airtime for free or does he get a bill for it?

    28. ronnie anderson says:


      Nothing much happening today other than Gordon Broons RAMBLINGS.

      Ah we plug for WINGERS EDINBURGH NITE OUT ,25th or 26th Sept, & INVERGOWRIE on 24th or 31st OCT ,put you comments in OF TOPIC page.

      Cmon People lets get these dates confirmed.

    29. Democracy Reborn says:

      ComRes poll, Independent:-

      Corbyn likely to worsen Labour’s chance of victory. Least chance of all candidates of winning GE2020. Of those polled, twice as many think he would worsen economy.

      Nine members of current shadow cabinet set to quit if Corbyn wins.

      Corbyn already drawing up plans for who will be in his shadow cabinet.

    30. heedtracker says:

      Too many Nazi references, I know, but it’s a lot of fun

      Its not fun at all. Its great british media degenerates attacking Scottish democracy, in the most appalling way possible.

      I caught the famous Thames TV World at War episode yesterday afternoon, narrated by Laurence Olivier and focused only on the Holocaust.

      Just the fact that UKOK propagandists at the BBC can do this or that the likes of Lord Darling could use his “blood and soil” nazi attack on people voting YES so openly last year, after the horror of war they inflicted on the middle east alone, all just beggars belief.

      It can’t sink any UKOK lower than this.

    31. wullie says:

      Dont mention the Elgin marbles or all the other stuff in English museums looted from the four corners of the world

    32. Angry Weegie says:

      The problem with Labour politicians, both north and south of the border, is not that some of them, at least, don’t have any principles, it’s just that the principles they do have are much closer to the Tories and much further away from the founding ideas of the Labour Party.

      So many of them are just Tories who joined the Labour Party because they thought it would be easier to get elected with a red rosette.

      A great analysis, Rev, but why did you have to spoil it all by adding a photo of Jackie Baillie.

    33. Tinto Chiel says:

      But the cupboard is not so bare, Rev, for lo! there approacheth a very parfait gentle English knight, Sir Jeremy de Corbyn, mounted on his sturdy steed yclepit Attlee. He brings to the Northlands the holy grail of socialism, the saintly chalice from which we will drink and be liberated from the spell of the evil wood sprite Nicola. Thus redeemed, we will return to the Promised Land of Clausefouria and forget the nightmare that was Yes.

      But what is in this chalice? I hear you ask. Verily, I say unto thee…..

    34. Ian Brotherhood says:

      If you haven’t been checking the WOS Twitter, please do yourself a favour and catch-up now – last 70 or so Tweets quite possibly the funniest sequence ever.

      Superb. 🙂

    35. orri says:

      Inquiries now being made by the Scottish Government about the provenance of said chandelier.

      Interestingly enough a date of 2008 is given as to when the issue first came to light. It’s recent resurfacing might be due to someone making a bit of cash on something in the Burrel Collection as mentioned later on in the same article.

      I assume that the NTS will ask whoever they got it from where it came from and if it was legit. That’d be HM’s Treasury who got it from the Bute family in leu of death duty. They in turn got it from a known associate of a dodgy art dealer based in Ireland.

      At least the SNP are doing the right thing now that the issue has been raised. Not sure that they could be expected to inquire about the provenance of anything in a property they don’t actually own that has passed through the UK government.

    36. Tinto Chiel says:

      The curse of the wood sprite strikes! Perhaps this will work.

    37. Luigi says:

      Tom Harris starts to come clean (sort of) but then stops halfway. Of course the only thing that would make people listen to Labour again is independence. I’m glad you got there in the end. But why are you opposed to independence? We certainly believe you are absolutely opposed, but please tell us why. I would honestly like to know.

      Why are you absolutely opposed to independence?

    38. Willie Hogg says:

      If only the official residence had been moved to the old governor’s residence next to St Andrew’s House, as proposed. But this now gives the Government an excuse to do so. Great!

    39. Luigi says:

      Well, well.

      So the unelectable Bottler Brown, who never won either an open party leadership contest or a general election, now gives a lecture on electability.

      Aye, righto Gordon, whatever you say!

    40. Auld Rock says:

      Bookie from Hell, think you should have added “rubbish” for that was what it was “rambling rubbish”. Anyone know if the audience were hand-picked, volunteers, conscripts or just the usual suspects. Also anybody totting-up the number of Free Publicity Labour is getting from the EBC. Here’s another moan, late last night EBC2 carried highlights of Englands rugby match with France and this was repeated at lunchtime today. I searched everywhere but no sign of EBC2 carrying similar highlights of Ireland v Scotland. I really am thinking of cancelling my licence.

      Auld Rock

    41. Famous15 says:


      What an embarrassment for George Osborne and the Treasury for owning Nazi loot.

      I knew there was a reason that Nicola did not live in Bute House,as usual her instincts are unerring.

    42. call me dave says:

      @Tinto Chiel

      Ha Ha! Brilliant to see it again.

      Note: Danny Kay not a relation to Call Kaye.


      Your right about the twitter stuff. Broonie out of control maybe they overwound him before trundling him out on the stage. 🙂

    43. notallusenglishareeejits says:


      Down here multi-millionaire bbc foghorn Mr Wogan is best known for crossing an official picket line and being an unashamed scab. The only people who listen to his radio show are the WI blue hair rinse brigade, and they’re dropping off like flies.

    44. ronnie anderson says:

      Rambling Dose rambling dose
      why he Rambles no one knows
      let him ramble, we,ll awe doze

    45. Stoker says:

      Hamish100 wrote:
      “Will Terence clarify his comments?”

      Och, Hamish, my friend, you expect far far too much from the former colleague and friend of Jimmy Savile.
      Aye, good old Wogan, Knight of the House of Paedophilia.

      Meanwhile, back on topic, thanks Rev for another excellently put article full of stone cold facts and you quote Tom Harris thus:
      “If we are lucky we are facing a decade in the wilderness.”

      Aye, and if we had a proper and honest media Slabber would have went extinct with all the other dinosaurs instead of being forced to roam the political wilderness in perpetual embarrassment.

      It is our duty as nasty Cybernats to help put that particular beast out of its agonisingly miserable existence.
      I can reassure Slabberorus its end is fast approaching.

    46. notallusenglishareeejits says:


      Definitely don’t mention where and how HRH Liz of Hannover got her Crown Jewels from.

    47. Gary45% says:

      Anyone remember the VW golf advert from years ago?
      The one with the guy coming out of the casino.

      Well just imagine Crash Broon being the guy, but rather than it finishing with the Golf it finishes up with SLAB in complete tatters, with Duggers running round in circles chasing her tail.
      Just a thought.

    48. Sinky says:

      No doubt this from Sunday Times 18 August will be front page news and BBC lead story!

      CRITICS of Jeremy Corbyn are being targeted with profane abuse as his supporters scorn calls from other Labour leadership candidates for more “comradely” behaviour.

      The Blairite candidate Liz Kendall has been branded an “a***hole Tory Bitch” and a “confused colour blind Tory c***” in social media attacks that were described by Yvette Cooper, a rival candidate, as “quite frenzied”.

      Kendall has attracted the ire of hard-left Corbyn supporters who have accused her of being a “Red Tory” and compared her to Margaret Thatcher. Yesterday she vowed not to be affected, saying: “You don’t give in to that kind of bullying behaviour.”

      Her tormenters include Chris Riley, a Labour member whose Twitter account is followed by the official Corbyn campaign. He tweeted on July 31: “Liz Kendall is such an a*** hole Tory Bitch, your [sic] not Labour and you never
      have been.”

      Riley was unrepentant this weekend. After being confronted he sent a private tweet saying: “If calling anyone I think is a Tory, no Prob[lem]. And just for good measure, do the same to all Tories.”

      Another of Kendall’s trolls is Andy, a member of Calder Clarion Cycling Club in Wakefield. He defended a tweet calling Kendall “a confused colour blind Tory c***” by saying that, in comparison with the assault on the welfare state, his tweets were not abusive.

      “Kendall abstained in the vote on welfare so to me she’s backing the Tories. As a miner’s son I find this offensive,” he said.

      When comedian Robert Webb took to Twitter to support Cooper, a Liverpool FC fan calling himself “Kopology” tweeted that Webb was “a monumental, jumped up c*** with basic opinions and shit for brains”.

      Other Liverpool fans identified “Kopology” as Steve Maclean who describes himself on his Twitter account as an “anarcho-communist football writer”, but closed it down after being contacted by The Sunday Times.

      The former Labour leader Lord Kinnock was showered with insults when he came out in support of Andy Burnham earlier this month.

      Chris McDermott from Liverpool — a part-time employability skills trainer who describes himself as a scruffy historian, punk rocker and “unconventional dad” — posted:

      “Multi millionaire Judas Neil Kinnock supporting Burnham.
      Kinnock was the f****** rat who started the bloodletting. Self serving c***.”

      Just imagine the fall out after the result is declared

    49. Socrates MacSporran says:

      Fair play to big Flash; his rambling speech was a wonderful example of memory at work.

      Learning that might have given him a chance to forget all the mistakes he made as Chancellor and PM.

    50. gerry parker says:

      Bob Sinclair.

      Aye Bob, and ye gied him a good thrashing too, well done.

    51. Jinty says:

      The “offending” chandelier has been in No. 6 for a very long time and has nothing to do with NS or the SNP.

      My mother was housekeeper there from 1969 (all Secretaries of State from Willie Ross to Malky Rifkind) and the chandelier was there then, and I should know, I lived there!

      What a fuss about nothing!

    52. Cactus says:

      New party in-the-making.. ‘Unionists For Independence’ (UFI)
      They may also Desire 🙂

    53. scott says:

      How stupid is this statement

      Gordon Brown: Labour is powerless unless it is elected

      I thought it was obvious that if not in power there is not much you can do,has the man finally lost it.

    54. Grouse Beater says:

      Great Gordo has spoken. I’m waiting for an interpreter to release a transcript.

      Was filling up at Canonmills garage, Embra, when all of a sudden the sunshine suddenly left my face and everything went dark. A silence fell. No birds sang.

      I looked over to the other side of the pump. Who was that unprepossessing figure dressed in all-black, a stolid presence, like a too heavy chocolate brownie, clutching the hose as if ready to use it? Ah…

      ‘Ruthie’ was filling up, probably thanking God it was English petroleum and not that low octane tartan stuff. For me, a close call. All sorts of things ran through my head, but I resisted them, a cybernat out of water.

      Anyway, a last hurrah for Corbyn:

    55. Joemcg says:

      Grouse-did you hear The Omen soundtrack as she siphoned the English oil?

    56. Aye right says:

      I hope after the kerfuffle over a chandelier,Snp members better not wear any Hugo Boss suits anytime soon

    57. Helena Brown says:

      RE: Chandelier, was Bute House not formerly used by the Secretary of State for Scotland? If so surely then the Government is responsible for fixtures and fittings, or are they saying Nicola put it in herself.
      To return to the proper piece, I laughed when I saw this on Wings Twitter page, so nice to see that the Labour Party still do not understand democracy.

    58. JLT says:

      Just back from being abroad, and unsurprisingly, the more things change, the more they remain the same. Kezia is finally the official leader of SLAB (yeaaahh), and the whole of the UK can’t quite work out if the rise of Corbyn is a good thing …or a potential disaster that could destroy the left throughout Britain.

      I think it’s possibly safe to say that quite a good number of Unionist political analysts and commentators must be getting torn to shreds within inside themselves.

      On one hand, they detest the SNP so badly, that someone like Corbyn must seem like a breath of fresh air to them, since he potentially could stop the electorate slide towards the SNP in Scotland …and yet, at the same time, they walk in fear that Corbyn could the tear the Labour Party completely in two, thus ending them as a force not only in Scotland, but throughout the entire UK. Simply put if such a thing came to pass, who would stop the Tory machine then, eh?

      With far too many right-wing Labour MP’s, the possibility that Labour go into meltdown either way of a Corbyn victory or defeat is possibly the unknown factor here (if he wins, the right wing of Labour go nuts as they lose the backing of major companies within the UK. If he loses, the Party tears itself in two).

      If Labour does fragment, and does become a fading political force, and the people not only see it, but know it …then how many more people will shake their heads; know that the future is Tory Blue; and finally (and probably bitterly) look to the SNP as the last bastion of socialism in Britain? How many will wonder if ‘separation’ and ending of the Union (as they see it) …might be the last answer in keeping the faint flame of socialism alive in Scotland.

    59. heedtracker says:

      UKOK media really like all new improved Dugdale.

      Kezia Dugdale ?@kdugdalemsp 11h11 hours ago
      Up and off to talk about @scottishlabour ‘s future on BBC Breakfast and Radio 5 live from 710

      Kezia Dugdale ?@kdugdalemsp 7h7 hours ago
      Getting ready to take your calls from 11am on Scotland’s Talk-In. Tune in on Forth 2, Clyde 2, Northsound 2 and Tay 2

      Blanket UK wide BBC coverage mad old Crash Gordon, blanket Scotland region wide coverage all new improved Dugdale. Something is up but nothing can stop SLabour from taking back their Scotland region, what’s rightly theirs anyway, can it.

    60. Marco McGinty says:

      The Simon Wiesenthal Centre produce a report in 2008, debating the authenticity of the chandelier story, and only now does the UK media choose to run with it, when the SNP are at an all time high?

      Play down the fact that a UK establishment figure may have looted the item in the first place (with the help of a UK art dealer/military figure with close connections to the establishment), play down the fact that MANY unionist politicians used Bute House in an official capacity, play down the fact that the UK Treasury had a part in this, and play down the fact that the current ownership of the house and chandelier is a national charitable organisation.

      No, much better to ignore the facts of the matter, and try to create another dubious link between the SNP and the Nazis.

      As mentioned, the UK government and the media must have sat on this story since the report was published in 2008, just waiting for any pathetic opportunity to use it against the independence movement.

    61. Kennedy says:

      As has already been said, Labour know what people want but refuse to give it to them. Then they are surprised when no one votes for them.

      40 Westminster seats gone and they still refuse to give the electorate what they want. Slow learners or what.

      Oh aye, and they are usless as opposition.

      Not to worry Gordon has surfaced. Cue voting fraud in the leadership contest.

    62. MolliBlum says:

      According to the Wikipedia entry on “Bute House”, the chandelier is “one of three spectacular Bute family pieces, accepted in lieu of death duties by the Treasury”

      “In May 1966 the Treasury accepted Nos. 5, 6 and 7 Charlotte Square in lieu of part payment of death duties on the estate of the 5th Marquess of Bute, who had died in 1956. The three houses became the property of the National Trust for Scotland, which proposed to lease No. 6 to a new trust which would administer the house as an official residence for the Secretary of State for Scotland, as a building where he could reside when in Edinburgh and where distinguished visitors could be received and entertained.”

      “The interior decoration and colour schemes were the responsibility of Lady Victoria Wemyss [nee Cavdenish-Bentick] and Colin McWilliam.”

      Hard to pin this one on the SNP. Deafening sound of barrel being scraped here…

    63. Ferryman says:

      slightly OT but just had to share… The following is john mctiernan on the dug….. Wiping my tea off my iPad at this very minute

      “Just watch her on TV or hear her on the radio and you see a politician who is a message machine, but one who speaks fluently and compellingly too not merely the platitudes of political spin. Week in, week out as Deputy Leader she trounced Nicola Sturgeon in First Minister’s Questions. (FMQs). Always better informed, more relaxed, sharper and just funnier.”

    64. Mealer says:

      Kennedy 5.44,
      That could be said of every political party for most of its existence.Becoming pro Indy and competing with the SNP for the votes of pro Indy people is hardly a guarantee of success.I can well imagine a fully autonomous Scottish Labour Party with a manifesto commitment to genuine Home Rule getting back a lot of votes from the SNP but they’d need a far better team to do it.

    65. Mealer says:

      Ferryman 6.08,
      Pull yourself together.Wipe your iPad clean.Take a deep breath and regain your composure.Now….Imagine Mr McTernan is correct and Kezia has indeed trounced Nicola week in and week out for months.Yet still trails in the opinion polls by 40 odd percent.What does that say about her party and their policies?

    66. Helena Brown says:

      Ferryman I need his glasses, mine show a completely different woman, high pitched screeching wee lassie who sounds like she did not understand the question far less the answer.

    67. Big Jock says:

      Quite remarkable words from Tom Harris!

      He is basically admitting that Scottish Labour are no longer with the aspirations of the people of Scotland. They are not opposing the SNP now ,they are opposing the electorate.

    68. Capella says:

      I know this isn’t a poetry site but it is on topic and there aren’t any rhymes:

      After the uprising of the 17th June
      The Secretary of the Writers Union
      Had leaflets distributed in the Stalinallee
      Stating that the people
      Had forfeited the confidence of the government (SLab)
      And could win it back only
      By redoubled efforts. Would it not be easier
      In that case for the government
      To dissolve the people
      And elect another?

      Bertolt Brecht

    69. Ferryman says:

      here is the link to the mctiernan article in all its glory…….

    70. Kennedy says:

      Mealer 6:12

      What you are imagining is a completely different party from Labour. They need a lot of time in the wilderness before they come to that genuine conclusion.

      What I imagine is a Labour Party promising the earth then delivering nothing. Like the vow.

      All they have is SNP bad.

    71. heedtracker says:

      Rancid hypocrites The Graun also go massive with Crash Brown’s thing today. To be fair, old Crash really knows how to get his ukok unionist slams in

      Crash “said people were feeling insecure about globalisation, which had left people “uncertain and unmoored” and embracing nationalism in countries from Greece to Scotland.

      But he said Labour must not turn its back on internationalism and should build progressive alliances, especially within Europe, against “illiberalism, totalitarianism, antisemitism, racism and the extremisms of prejudice”.

      Trying to get away from likes of red and blue toryboys like Crash or even just wetfart rule Britannia hypocrites of The Graun, must seem like umoored uncertainty to the whole ukok show.

    72. shug says:

      Can someone explain why the BBC has been promoting Brown’s speech all weekend and providing live coverage followed by interpretation
      Why does a failed pm who supported an illegal war and who’s policies destroyed the economy get such coverage for an internal labour party issue

    73. Mealer says:

      Kennedy 6.44,

    74. Christian Schmidt says:

      What a hilarious comment from Watson if you know you Scottish Labour history.

      Because women only get the top job when men have truly fucked up. And if they then show some thinking or if men want the job back, they get kicked out.

    75. heedtracker says:

      “Can someone explain why the BBC has been promoting Brown’s speech all weekend and providing live coverage followed by interpretation”

      Its shows teamGB just how unbiased, neutral, impartial etc the BBC really really is. UK establishment’s got lots of angles in this game. Wish we would voted YES.

    76. arthur thomson says:

      So Mr Harris fears that Slab may face a decade in the wilderness.

      We must ensure that it is not for a decade but forever. It would seem that Corbyn has made clear his imperialist credentials and will be doing all he can to oppose independence and reverse the demise of Slab. We must make it abundantly clear that we, in turn, will work ‘in parallel’ with British Labour in opposing attacks on the vulnerable and poor but that there will be no love lost. One committed socialist in a corduroy jacket doesn’t make an ethical British political party. Brits and ethics don’t sit comfortably with each other and it will be illuminating to see whether a Corbyn led Labour will be prepared to address Westminster corruption given Labour’s full part in it.

      With regard to the chandelier at Bute House, this is a good opportunity for Nicola to show the electorate how an ethical political party puts right the failures of others.

    77. Les Wilson says:

      Just got home and watched Sky tv, and Gordon Brown.
      Usual Gordonzilla performance to selected audience ( never any other way!) Weasel words, decrying Corbyn without actually saying so. Everyone knew what he meant.

      The list of ” New Labour” advocates against Corbyn and the people who support him is growing all the time, they cannot allow a democratic process. It is all shameful, and while no lover of anything labour anymore, I hope it all bursts across their heads. Utterly desperate behaviour, aided by all the media.

      Just like Scotland had before, during, and yes, after Indy.
      This Union is coming apart at the seams.

    78. The Moidart says:

      I love it when the current so called Labour party bring out the old legendary war criminals to make statements. How could anyone be convinced of anything other than how insincere and inhumane monsters like Brown and Bliar are watching them?? They do more harm than good. Brown has never appeared as an intellectual but today’s performance was laughable. I don’t like or trust Corbyn. He’s labour. But when you look at what he’s replacing and what followed before as well as his rivals for leadership of the labour war crimes pro austerity party?? He’s almost convincing. As for McTernan he reminds me of one of those Japanese soldiers found on desert Islands in the Pacific after the war ended. Who is he addressing with his bizarre statements?? Who actually listens to the likes of him anymore anyway?? There are more indigenous wildcats in Scotland than informed labour supporters. I’m delighted that Dugdale won. I don’t see her lasting any longer than the next Scottish election. Like the rest of the unionist bitter together mob. Like tits on a tomcat… They serve no apparent purpose. And never shall!!

    79. @shug

      Because the BBC is a state broadcaster for the benefit of the establishment and their lapdogs the Labour and Tory parties to create the illusion that the UK is a democracy.

    80. CameronB Brodie says:

      Re. Nazi slurs.

      Please remember that it was the English aristocracy that gave the world the ‘social theory’ of eugenics. Remember also that members of the English aristocracy helped to develop this philosophy as it evolved into systematic race prejudice in the USA and finally became the ideological foundation of the Nazi’s final solution.

      Above all though, remember that SNP BADDDD!

      @ BBC Labour in Scotland
      Let’s not look at the imperialist destruction of the Palastine and the creation of Israel, eh?

      @ The Bank of England
      Did the Bank of England not continue trading with the Nazis. throughout the war?

      How Bank of England ‘helped Nazis sell gold stolen from Czechs’ (this is only the tip of the iceberg)

    81. Luigi says:

      So, his royal highness, Gordon Brown, comes out of the woodwork tells the party faithful to “think carefully” before voting for Corbyn.

      I expect another Vow coming out soon (to placate the lefties), but I do hope that the big brown bottler and his accomplice, the orange liar, are not the ones purring in September. 🙂

    82. galamcennalath says:

      Tom Harris says:

      “.. the only thing that would make people give Labour a second glance at the moment is …. by offering them what they want and that is independence.”

      He’s not wrong.

      We have just had a referendum on the issue and it was NOT FREE AND FAIR!!!

      Most Scots see themselves as Scottish first and have, for decades, wanted to run their own affairs as an independent country. Or, with the exception of foreign stuff like defence and diplomacy as some sort of independence-lite, call it DevoMax or Home Rule.

      Consider some different ways things could have played out.

      The referendum campaign began with the Unionists refusing to contemplate, far less discuss, devolution and more powers until after the vote. A vote which they were sure they could easily win, then.

      Scenario 1 – SLab could have recognised the reality of the situation and lived up to their party of devolution line. They could have pushed for a second question and a third option of REAL and DEFINED DevoMax. A sure winner for both SLab and the Unionist cause.

      Scenario 2 – SLab could have decided to take no official view on the matter of a straight fight between Union and Independence. They could have recognised that around half of their voters were pro-indy. They could have left it up to individual MPs, MSPs, MEPs how they campaigned. They could have said that if the people of Scotland chose independence then they would join Team Scotland and make it happen. If not, they could have continued as a Unionist party in the UK. Most importantly they could have avoided being sheepdogs for the Tories in BT! Their Big Guns would probably have bowed out and gone to grass. The result would have been Yes ~60 : No ~40. Slab would have had a future. Scotland would have had hope.

      Either way, they could have achieved redemption from years of troughing. They could have had a future.

      Tough, they blew it!

    83. Stoker says:

      Exclusive coverage of The Lesser Spotted Broon discovery.
      In my very best whispering David Attenborough tones:

      And here before us…we witness the great mating ritual of The Lesser Spotted Broon…a naturally sterile, emasculated and bullish beast…on the very verge of extinction.

      It is a truly magnificent opportunity…to witness one of these extremely rare creatures…but in such desperate circumstances… he paces to and fro…desperately seeking to be taken seriously.

      His desperate and painful cries…and what was once a commonly accepted sound throughout the land…seem to be falling on deaf ears…there are…for this rare creature…no more takers.

      As darkness falls upon this part of the planet…one can only wonder…as The Lesser Spotted Broon skulks back off into the darkness…if we will ever see its like again.

      Meanwhile, in other news – There is great speculation circulating that the Big Broon Crap (BBC) is trying to sell us all a knocked-off damp squib. AGAIN!

    84. Brian Doonthetoon says:

      Good analysis, galamcennalath, of what could have been…

    85. IAN says:

      The labour party has been failing me all my life and i’m 56.Nothing they do or say surprises me and the quicker we put an end to them the better.

    86. Tackety Beets says:

      galamcennalath @ 8.18

      Pretty much on the button.

      I’m nearly 60 and Labour have seamed to me, a non event all my political lifetime.

      I have alway believed in I-Scotland and supported this, even tho’ I anticipated a Labour Gvt going forward . It was a risk , I was prepared to sacrifice.

      How TH and his ilk could not see the potential for the Labour Party to lead inIndy Scotland.
      Labour in charge in Indy Scotland showing how Social Justice etc should be done would have strengthened their hand in rUk .

      That’s assuming they could deliver of course.

      This leads to one simple conclusion …. ” Troughers” the lot o them !

    87. Robert Peffers says:

      The laughable thing is that no matter what the Biased Broadcasting Clique propagate as propaganda on behalf of the Labour Branch Office nor what stark lies the Tories or LibDems attempt to make the people of Scotland believe the voters are either not listening or not believing.

      Nothing succeeds like an idea whose time has come and the idea of an independent Scotland has well and truly arrived upon the Scottish Scene.

    88. Hawkeye The Gnu says:

      Labour in Scotland in the GE won 24% of the vote, in England they won 29%. How much more worse off would they have been dahn sarff if there was a credible (and I don’t mean Greens) left of centre option for voters?

    89. Brian Doonthetoon says:

      Hi Hawkeye The Gnu.

      This portrays the landscape.

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

    ↑ Top