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The great betrayal

Posted on September 26, 2012 by

So, who saw that coming? Johann Lamont, leader of Scottish Labour, just abandoned over a century of Labour values in a single speech. More so even than Tony Blair did when he set light to Clause 4 in the name of “New Labour”,  Lamont made a bonfire of pretty much the entire set of founding principles of social democracy. Because, as George Eaton succinctly put it in today’s New Statesman:

“universal public services, to which all contribute and from which all benefit, are the essence of social democracy. Once this principle is abandoned, greater cuts will inevitably follow as the rich, no longer receiving, have less incentive to give (you could call it “nothing for something”). For this reason, as Richard Titmuss sagely observed, “services for the poor will always be poor services””

And let’s make no mistake: what Johann Lamont did yesterday was consign the entire notion of universal services to the dustbin of history. Because if you accept her argument that universal services mean “the poorest pay for the tax breaks for the rich”, then you inescapably also accept that they’re a fundamentally, inherently bad thing whether a country can afford them or not.

Is it EVER good to have the poor subsidise the rich? You’d have a job finding even the most extreme right-wing Tory prepared to say such a thing out loud, so Johann certainly isn’t going to, and that means that all universal services must go, because every one of them is subject to the same “unfairness”. (In the perverted modern sense of the word.) Every service provided free to a person who could afford to pay for it themselves must by definition rob the poor to do so.

So it’s a big cheerio to the NHS, the proud and defining achievement of the Labour movement. Because the NHS – free to every single citizen at the point of use – is the ultimate universal service. (The coalition government is already frantically dismantling and privatising it, hoping to reach a point of no return before anyone notices.) But in conceding the principle of universality, on the twisted grounds that it’s unfair to the poor, Labour has no ideological ground left from which to defend the NHS.

Citing the Beveridge Report, Lamont asserted that “the principle of universality in the delivery of many of our public services may simply be no longer affordable”. Surrendering universality goes even further than that, though, because universality is the basis for almost all taxation.

The deepest, darkest central tenet of Conservatism, rarely spoken aloud, is that there should be no taxation at all except for defence and policing. Everything else should be the individual’s responsibility. Medical treatment? Get health insurance. Education? Pay to send your children to private schools. Old age? Save for a private pension.

After all, Tory thinking runs, how is it fair that a person with no children has to pay taxes to educate other people’s kids? How is it fair that having worked and saved to buy a car, they should be taxed to provide public transport for the feckless? How is it fair that someone who’s earned the money for gym membership and a personal trainer should pay out again to build a public swimming pool for the less well-rewarded?

(Because in the Tory belief system, it’s an article of faith that all salaries, whether high or low, are self-evidently a measure of merit. It doesn’t matter that society would miss a nurse or a sewage worker or a street-cleaner a thousand times more than it would miss a hedge-fund manager or a currency speculator, the fact that the former are paid a tiny fraction as much means, by definition, that they’re the bottom-feeders in the ecosystem of humanity and don’t deserve to enjoy the same lifestyle as the latter.)

Taxation, then, can only be justified on the basis of universality, because otherwise the wealthy have no reason to contribute. Yet that exact sociopathic, selfish mindset is what Johann Lamont irrevocably signed Scottish Labour up to yesterday. (The UK party, of course, caved in on it years ago.) And for what great and glorious purpose was this terrible sacrifice? As it turns out, it was for nuclear weapons.

On last night’s Scotland Tonight, presenter John MacKay admirably pressed Lamont time and again for her closely-guarded views on the UK’s Trident system (from around 10 minutes into that clip). Lamont doggedly waffled and dodged and filibustered her way out of providing a straight answer (as she did on every other question, refusing to even promise any alternatives to SNP policies for over two years), but eventually revealed – via some weasel words about the employment provided by the bases – that she’d be toeing the UK Labour line on retaining and replacing the weapon system.

An independent Scotland’s defence bill, without Trident, would be in the region of £1.5bn a year lower than the amount currently contributed by Scottish taxpayers to that end (according to Professor Malcolm Chalmers, the director of UK Defence Policy Studies at the Royal United Services Institute and a UK government adviser). That annual £1.5bn saving would by itself easily plug the projected funding gap in Scottish universal public services for decades.

But instead, Johann Lamont wants to sacrifice the last scrap of the Labour movement once stood for, in order to preserve a fleet of useless, pointless weapons of mass destruction. If there’s ever been a greater betrayal of the last 112 years of struggle by ordinary working people, we can’t bring it to mind.

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127 to “The great betrayal”

  1. Iain Gray's Subway Lament says:

    Well at least the unionists parties are now united by something else apart from taking their orders from westminster and keeping those troughing MPs in the comfort to which they are accustomed.
    Now they are all united by a belief in Thatcherism.
    Labour love their weapons of mass destruction so much they just sacrificed their conscience in the name of them. And not for the first time as the Blairites and clueless numpties leading this bunch of right wing labour headbangers know.
    Time to get stuck into these Thatcherite fools.

  2. Scottish republic says:

    “””””””””So, who saw that coming? Johann Lamont, leader of Scottish Labour, just abandoned most of a century of Labour values in a single speech.”””””””””””””

    Well, actually, Lamont never said anything that Labour in Scotland hasn’t already said (prior to May 11th and since), all this has been stated, or voiced aloud before — but true, nobody has before, in the ranks of the Labour undead, put it all together and dressed it up in the language of Conservative England to such glorious effect and to the unquenshable glee and delight of the YES camp.

    To add this to the Darling, ‘Vote NO ‘n get nuffink mate’ interview with Holyrood magazine, it’s just a bumper bonus to all men and women of independent mind.

    Laughable and fantastic and dashed helpful all at the same time, and it’s not even Xmas.  Bless their cotton socks — blissful sighs are permitted at this juncture.

  3. Doug Daniel says:

    Bravo, Stu. I say that partly for your dedication in re-watching her car crash interviews yesterday in preparation for this article. It must have been an ordeal.

    Clause 4, jumping the shark, whatever you want to call it, this is surely it. Scottish Labour has spent the past few years trying to pretend it didn’t subscribe to the New Labour ideals. Now they’ve completely embraced them, in full public view.

    We are facing a future choice of raising taxes or cutting spending. However, the Scottish Parliament only really has control over spending, with little to no control over revenue. A socialist would say “we need to get control of our taxes so we can fund these services.” Johann Lamont says “we need to cut services because we can’t raise taxes.”

    We have no choice now. It’s YES in 2014 or we’re fucked. We may not know for sure what will happen after independence, but a leap of faith is always better than certain doom. 

  4. sm753 says:

    “An independent Scotland’s defence bill, without Trident, would be in the region of £1.5bn a year lower
    Are you claiming that the Scottish share of the levelised ongoing cost of Trident is £1.5bn?
    Which would mean that the cost to the UK is, according to you, £12bn a year?
    Did you mean to do that?
    It just makes your argument look silly, doesn’t it?

  5. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “Are you claiming that the Scottish share of the levelised ongoing cost of Trident is £1.5bn?”

    No. If I’d been claiming that, that’s what I’d have written. Instead, I helpfully linked to a source explaining the figure.

  6. Macart says:

    Essential public services are unaffordable, but somehow trident is, sending our troops to Iraq and Afghanistan is, a redo for George Sq, effing trams that no one will use, they’re all affordable. But using those public funds to look after the least fortunate, the poor, the elderly, the afflicted that’s now a something for nothing culture??????????

    Will the real tartan tories now stand up please? 

  7. Dunc says:

    In the whole appalling mess, the thing I think I have the most difficulty with is the idea that anyone could argue in favour of Trident on the basis that it provides jobs… I mean, can anybody think of a less cost-effective employment program, short of simply paying people to burn money?

  8. YesYesYes says:

    Powerful and compelling arguments here but, equally important a headline that, I suspect, will be repeated on numerous occasions from now until the referendum.
    @Doug Daniel,
    “It’s YES in 2014 or we’re fucked”.
    This has to be the leading candidate (so far) for comment of the day. If only the Yes campaign could adopt this as its official campaign slogan.

  9. MajorBloodnok says:

    It’s all working out so amazingly, with the Tories deliberately pissing us all off (to destroy Labour), the Lib-Dems imploding up their own arses, and Labour finally showing its true colours (and it’s not red), that either the so-called Unionist parties know something we don’t and Scotland really is a basket case that they just want rid of PDQ, or God is Scottish (not Billy Connolly, obviously).

  10. Doug Daniel says:

    @dunc: “can anybody think of a less cost-effective employment program?”

    Paying people to punch George Osborne in the face. 60 million people would do it for free. In fact, most would pay for the privilege.

    @YesYesYes: The line could be amended to “It’s YES in 2014 or we’re pooped” for sloganeering purposes. Loses a bit of punch, mind…

  11. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    I always think “screwed” is quite a powerful non-sweary version.

  12. scottish_skier says:

    That’s another 2 Yes votes. 2 new guys at work straight out of uni. Not much into politics and both were for ‘more powers’ but not independence.

    Few links to various choice items over the first week or two and both will be voting yes now.

    Seems the McCrone report and the overruled 79 referendum – which they’d never heard of – was a major factor. Not the first time I’ve heard this.

    The young should be strongly engaged in the debate. While they often intially say no/are not super into politics, they jump firmly to yes when you get them interested/give them a few facts.

  13. MajorBloodnok says:

    What a week:

    Magnificent independence rally on Saturday
    Rev Stu reaches 500 posts
    The Wings over Scotland shop opens
    Labour destroys itself in one fell swoop
    Comments on WoS exceeds 10,000

    I wonder what is going to happen tomorrow?

  14. John White says:

    The future Baroness Lamont?

  15. sm753 says:

    “No. If I’d been claiming that, that’s what I’d have written. Instead, I helpfully linked to a source explaining the figure.”
    You claimed:
    “An independent Scotland’s defence bill, without Trident, would be in the region of £1.5bn a year lower”
    Your source says no such thing.

  16. Doug Daniel says:

    “It’s YES in 2014 or we’re screwed.”

    Aye, that works. 

  17. scottish_skier says:

    How much would Scotland save by not having trident if the 1.5 billion figure is not correct? Obviously, there must be a very large saving in some form. It’s not as if you can get them on e-bay (well, maybe soon) at 3 for a £1.

  18. Mad Jock McMad says:

    The Jimmy Reid Foundation have publically attacked New Labour over Lamont’s speech yesterday, as have the International Socialist Magazine – I have been looking hard for support for Lamont from anyone who represents left of centre politics in Scotland and there is none, no one outside the New Labour Party thinks this is anything other than a Tory agenda for Scotland because all at Westminster are increasingly frightened that the Scots are uniting as a nation and flexing their right to kick a UK Parliamentary Union that has questionably ever acted in their interests, into the long grass.
    This is not about what is best for Scotland, it is about Westminster politicians’ sinecures being ended and ‘Britain’ (aka England) being reduced to just another medium sized country in Europe with a deficit it will have problems servicing without Scotland’s positive foreign exchange input to its Treasury. A country that will have to start paying commercial rates for its gap in power generation and so much more.
    An independent Scotland will point up to the English electorate just how badly they have been shafted by Westminster and just what size of hole in their economy loosing the ‘subsidy junkies’ will cause. 10%+ of GDP and 40%+ of foreign exchange are not the sort of things that are resolved overnight. Worse manufacturing in England is currently at its lowest ebb ever …
    Meanwhile Westminster continues to lie to the English Electorate about the true state of affairs in Scotland by repeating the too poor, too wee, too stupid Scotland mantra to them.
    The ‘No’ campaign are in serious denial.

  19. YesYesYes says:

    @Doug Daniel and Rev Stuart Campbell,
    I prefer “screwed” to “pooped” but I still prefer “fucked” over both. Whilst we’re waiting for the definitive official alternative, let’s compromise and make Doug’s original the unofficial campaign slogan of the Yes Campaign.

  20. panda paws says:

    I oppose virtually everything she said but am delighted she said it. Why? Because it was on the TV, in MSM, reported on blogs. The kitty is out of the bag, there’s no dressing it up, no spinning it. If you like Thatcherite, neo liberal polices, then vote NO. Because that’s what the Blue Tories, the Yellow Tories and now the Red Tories are going to give you. Some of us have known for years that today’s Labour bears no relation to the party of Shinwell, Maxton and Hardie. How kind of her to ensure more people are aware of the fact. We could deconstruct her (let’s be polite) argument e.g when there were prescriptions charges, poor single people on minimum wage had to pay whereas rich over 60s singles on £100,000 got it for free. But why bother. She lost her way the minute she said “something for nothing”.
    Hope Allan over at Labour for independence has got some clerical help, I think he’s going to be inundated!!!

  21. dcomerf says:

    In reply to sm753
    “He suggests this:

    Denmark and Norway spent 1.4% and 1.5%, respectively, of GDP on defence in 2010. If Scotland had done the same – spending 1.45% of GDP on defence – it would have had an 2010 defence budget of £1.7 billion, excluding extra-regio GDP, or £2.1 billion, if one includes the estimated share of offshore GDP.

    This is considerably less than the £3.3bn which the SNP estimates Scottish taxpayers currently contribute to defence spending.”
    So the two possible figures are 3.3-2.1 = 1.2 or 3.3-1.7 = 1.6. Average = 1.4, not far from the 1.5 quoted.
    What’s your problem?

  22. Andrew says:

    Might be an idea to learn to comprehend simple English before posting your tripe.

  23. scottish_skier says:

    @ JW The future Baroness Lamont?

    Sounds about right. 

    Baroness Lamont o’ Pollock. Awarded by David Cameron for services to the cause of Scottish independence.

  24. Juteman says:

    If you want to be polite, how about Vote Yes or we’re fecked.

  25. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “I wonder what is going to happen tomorrow?”

    Well, ideally before then The Rangers will go out of their second tournament of the season 😉

  26. Scott Minto (Aka Sneekyboy) says:

    Maintaining Trident at sea costs the British taxpayer £2.5 billion a year,

    Scotland’s share of the maintenance is £210 Million per year. 

    Trident Replacement Program
    – This Labour initiated program is to replace the Strategic Nuclear Weapons System of the UK over the next 30 years. Or to put it another way, it is a £100 Billion WMD development program that will cost the UK taxpayer £3.33 Billion pounds a year to implement, of which Scotland’s share is £280 Million per year.

    Lamont is happy to see us signed up to spending £490 Million EVERY YEAR on WMD’s but wont countenance £50 Million on free prescriptions.

    How very socialist.

  27. sm753 says:

    “If Scotland had done the same – spending 1.45% of GDP on defence”
    Ah, so the “£1.5bn” number relates to the % of GDP spent on defence. Nothing to do with Trident then.
    Glad that’s settled.

  28. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    Sure, if you assume Trident isn’t part of the defence budget. Um.

  29. Training Day says:

    And so the transformation of Labour into the Tory party is complete. You guessed it, folks..Lamont has an article (or someone has written one for her) outlining her impoverished vision in today’s ‘Scottish’ Daily Mail, the newspaper which castigates single mothers, the unemployed, Somalian immigrants (unless they’re competing for Team GB in the Olympics), and anyone not of the Thatcherite Body –  and which stood behind the British Union of Fascists in the 1930s.

    Well done Johann. You must be very proud.


  30. Scott Minto (Aka Sneekyboy) says:


    Even if we are only talking about the direct running costs of Trident (£210 million) that Scotland pays (No replacements, refits and base costs – Coulport anyone???) then that would STILL go a very long way to paying for those “freebies”

  31. sm753 says:

    “Maintaining Trident at sea costs the British taxpayer £2.5 billion a year,
    Scotland’s share of the maintenance is £210 Million per year. ”
    On that order, yes. A bargain at the price.
    “Lamont is happy to see us signed up to spending £490 Million EVERY YEAR”
    Pardon? You can’t add up the ongoing cost of the existing system with the costs of the replacement. There will be some overlap as one ramps up and the other ramps down, but these are not additive over a 30-year period.
    The replacement should be cheaper. Fewer missiles, more reliable warheads, boats based on the Astute design with lifetime reactor cores.
    An even better bargain at the price. What kind of fool would throw it away?

  32. Arbroath 1320 says:

    Finally an admission from Lamont, she is CONSCIOUS!
    Not once but TWICE!
    Who’d have thunk it?
    Then we had the incredible “this is where my heart is ” moment……
    Maybees AYE!
    Maybees NAW!
    Whatever you do DON’T tell the natives!

  33. Andrew says:

    And didn’t the Mail also support  the Fascists in this year’s French Presidential Election?

  34. sm753 says:

    “Sure, if you assume Trident isn’t part of the defence budget. Um.”
    You claimed (or implied) that no Trident would mean a £1.5bn reduction for Scotland ALONE.
    This is false.
    Such a £1.5bn reduction would have to involve a much larger reduction in the Defence budget. As one of your posters has pointed out, Trident only accounts for around £200m.
    Now, if the SNP are promising a “£1.5bn” defence dividend  – are they? – then they’re going to have to admit a lot more defence cuts. No “restoring the regiments”, no saving Kinloss or Leuchars, no ordering enough ships to keep the Clyde yards open.
    Simple arithmetic really.

  35. Alex McI says:

    How much is it to renew trident, how much will we save if we sack it?

  36. wulie says:

    The straw has finally been put in place, the camels back is broken

  37. Scott Minto (Aka Sneekyboy) says:


    A few years down the line then yes you are right the costs will drop. But while they are designing and building the replacements they will still be running the existing fleet.

    Now forgive me if I’m wrong but its a large investment at the start, thats £25 Billion up front right before they take over from the existing subs.

    Now what exactly is that “Up Front” period and is it actually wise to be spending that money when there are Austerity cuts happening.

    In other words we will be contributing significantly more over the near term.

    “An even better bargain at the price. What kind of fool would throw it away?”

    Well they wouldnt be a fool! Trident has no military value in todays world. There is no possible use for it, and a weapon that cannot be used is a useless weapon.

    But that money could really help people here… now.

  38. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “You claimed (or implied) that no Trident would mean a £1.5bn reduction for Scotland ALONE.”

    I did no such thing. Your inaccurate inferrals from a perfectly clear statement are entirely your own problem.

  39. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “How much is it to renew trident, how much will we save if we sack it?”

    Well, for a start that requires that you accept the current stated cost as being the actual final cost, of which the chances are 0% or lower.

  40. Andrew says:

    No, the Scottish taxpayers pay through the nose for defence, but doesn’t get the defence they pay for. Scotland’s defence capability is being steadily asset-stripped to the point that the subs are about all we’ve got left. A sensible defence force in an independent Scotland would be both more effective and cheaper.
    But you can continue to refuse to understand if you like.

  41. Castle Rock says:

    Tom Harris, Jim Murphy, Margaret Curran, Willie Bain, Alistair Darling, Ian Davidson, Fiona O’Donnell, Lindsay Roy, etc, must be delighted that she’s sold her soul and taken one for England.
    Don’t think the Labour voters will see it the same way somehow.

  42. Scott Minto (Aka Sneekyboy) says:

    @sm 753

    UK Parliament’s strategic defence review document, states that defence expenditure in Scotland dropped by 68% over 6 years. In 2008 spending was around £1.57 billion (Its gone down since then but we’ll use this figure).

    Meanwhile Scotland contributed £3.277 Billion to Defence in 2011

    Scotland therefore effectively subsidises the rest of the UK defence budget by over £1.707 billion a year. 

    Of which £210 million is Scotland’s share of Trident Maintenance Fees per year or the Scottish share of overseas military adventures to the tune of £151 million a year.

    Spending on military operations overseas, such as Iraq, Afghanistan and UK involvement in the Libyan campaign, does not come out of the defence budget, but rather from the Special Government Reserve fund (£1.512 Billion cumulatively over the 10 years 2001 – 2010 for Scotland’s 8.4% share per capita – £18 Billion as the UK total).  This money is additional to the budget of the Ministry of Defence.

    In other words we would not have to have bases close and jobs lost as they are already more than paid for by our contribution.

    The SNP want to spend 2.5 Billion on defence in total per year.

    Scotland as part of the UK spends £3.428 billion including our overseas adventures hiddenin other budgets.

    So Scotland could increase spending by (at least) £930 million a year in country, and still afford to save another £928 million off what we currently spend. 


  43. Arbroath 1320 says:

    If I’ve got this right then:
    a)  it is costing us (Scotland) £210 MILLION per YEAR to maintain the current fleet of nuke subs.
    b)  it is costing us (Scotland) £3.3 BILLION a YEAR to develop the Trident replacement,
    Therefore, AT PRESENT, we are paying £3.5 BILLION a year on equipment we DON’T need NOR want!
    In effect we are, if I’m right in assuming we get £36 Billion a year pocket money from Westminster, paying the equivalent of 10% of our pocket money on stuff we don’t want.
    Just a thought here, does this £3.5 Billion come out of our pocket money BEFORE we get the £36 Billion or as I fear does it come out of the, soon to be very much reduced, £36 Billion AFTER we get it?
    Either way we WILL continue to pay £3.5 Billion for many years to come if not in fact decades until the Trident replacement prgramme comes on line, if at all. Who knows Westminster might suffer another “Nimrod” moment in a few years time.

  44. Juteman says:

    I see sm is trying the old ‘change the subject’ routine.
    Get over it. Lamont has admitted she is a Thatcherite. 

  45. Scott Minto (Aka Sneekyboy) says:

    @ Arb

    it is costing us (Scotland) £3.3 BILLION a YEAR

    No thats the UK figure per year.

  46. sm753 says:

    “So Scotland could increase spending by (at least) £930 million a year in country”
    And this of course is the hilarious bit – how exactly?
    Defence spending buys defence. It isn’t a uniformed job creation scheme. It is unfortunate that defence spending in Scotland has dropped due to budget pressures and strategic requirements, but the onus is on you to show how “independence” would change this one iota.
    Please explain how an “independent” Scotland would increase “spending in Scotland” on helicopters, aircraft, tanks, artillery, missiles and small arms, and which defence manufacturers bases in Scotland these products would be purchased from.
    Kind of hard to buy a “Scottish” helo when the only helo factory in the UK is in Somerset, isn’t it?

  47. Duncan says:

    Perhaps I can clear this up. The article says:

    “An independent Scotland’s defence bill, without Trident, would be in the region of £1.5bn a year lower than the amount currently contributed by Scottish taxpayers to that end.”

    This means: an independent Scotland’s defence bill would be much lower than our current contribution towards the UK’s defence bill. A significant chunk of that saving would be because we wouldn’t have to pay for the care and maintenance of Trident, an unusable weapon. We would also not have to spend money on aircraft carriers (with or without aircraft on them), joint strike fighters, cruise missiles, main battle tanks, and a wide variety of other toys designed to enthuse small boys, politicians and military groupies. Specifically, the total saving, as estimated by Professor Malcolm Chalmers, the director of UK Defence Policy Studies at the Royal United Services Institute and a UK government adviser, would be in the region of £1.5bn per annum. That seems clear to me.

  48. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    People say “helo”?

  49. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “I see sm is trying the old ‘change the subject’ routine.”

    Mm. Subtly it’s morphed from how much we spend ON defence (and therefore how much we might save compared to now) to WHERE that money is spent, an entirely separate issue.

  50. Andrew says:

    Of course Scotland could never have its own helicopter manufacturer. We couldn’t even build our own ships despite having the shipyards. Too wee, too poor, too stupid.

  51. Scott Minto (Aka Sneekyboy) says:

    @sm 753

    Kind of hard to buy a “Scottish” helo when the only helo factory in the UK is in Somerset, isn’t it?

    Ah semantics…

    Lets rephrase shall we. Scotland will be able to spend a great deal more within the country on defence (soldiers, shipbuilding, associated services) than it does currently and have a budget to achieve this and purchase the equipment they need that is at least £930 million larger than they currently get within the UK.

    So in other words the spend within Scotland will indeed go up (and as such contribute to the general economy as a bonus).

    On top of that they will still be able to save the other £928 million a year thereby cutting the cost of government.

  52. Arbroath 1320 says:

    Thanks Scott, I thought I might have got my knickers in a twist over that. 😀

  53. Andrew says:

    Aye rev
    Never heard of the trade publication ‘Helo Magazine’?

  54. Duncan says:

    This £1.5bn could be invested, with a vastly greater rate of economic return, on non-military areas of the economy which contribute to the whole. Let’s face it: since we are not (nor are we likely to be) under attack from any nation state in the foreseeable future, why do we spend so much on “defence” anyway? Against whom are we defending ourselves, at such gigantic cost?

    No developed nation state can afford, now, to have a stand-up, country-versus-country war. Apart from the terrifying risk of annihilation, it’s prohibitively expensive. War is over. All that is left is bullying and terrorism – and an independent Scotland need not be involved in either.

  55. Scott Minto (Aka Sneekyboy) says:


    Aye rev

    Never heard of the trade publication ‘Helo Magazine’?

    Its all wind and bluster…

  56. Scott Minto (Aka Sneekyboy) says:


    Good posts but sm753 already knows what you say, he just likes to try and twist the thread to try and distract us form saying…


  57. Dal Riata says:

    In today’s Scottish Daily Mail you will find on page six an article by Michael Blackley headlined, “Lamont waves red flag to halt free-for-all gravy train” ‘Party in major policy shift’. It begins:

    “Labour leader Johann Lamont yesterday took a massive political gamble by announcing a lurch to the Right and vowing to end the universal, free-for-all gravy train.
    In a major policy shift for the party, the Glasgow MSP said the  ‘something for nothing’ culture had to end.” ..

    And on the same page, we also find an analysis by Hamish Macdonell. It begins:

    “The u-turn by Johann Lamont was pretty impressive. At a stroke, the Scottish Labour leader ditched a host of flagship policies championed by all her Labour predecessors. ” …

    And there’s more…

    On page sixteen, we find another article, this time by Johann Lamont herself! … It begins:

    “Sometimes things just have to be said. With money tight for everyone, anyone who tells you that they can give you something for nothing shouldn’t be trusted.” .. 

    She has more to say, of course, .. lots more, but it makes for painful reading!

    Anyway, there we have it. Scottish Labour now extolled for its virtues by The Mail!

    Labour must be so proud. I wonder how many of their supporters are?

  58. Arbroath 1320 says:

    Kind of hard to buy a “Scottish” helo when the only helo factory in the UK is in Somerset, isn’t it?

    By the same token it is kind of hard to buy a BRITISH built MARS ship when they are being built in SOUTH KOREA!
    Kind of hard to buy a C 17 TRANSPORT aircraft when it is built in the U.S.A.
    Kind of hard to CLAIM the AH 64D APACHE helicopter as being BRITISH when it is AMERICAN designed and only built under LICENCE!
    Kind of hard to buy a CH 47 CHINOOK helicopter when it is built in the U.S.A.
    Even harder to fly a Ch 47 when the software doesn’t work because you haven’t paid the AMERICANS for ACCESS to THEIR software programme and CAN’T therefore modify the FLIGHT CONTROL software on the cheap.

  59. Galen10 says:


    For someone who seems to have such a hang up about rubbishing the potential savings to be made for an independent Scottish defence policy, you really make no effort to inform yourself, or to back up your claims with any evidence.

    To be fair, you have form for ignoring questions you are not equipped to answer, but there is no question that an independent Scotland would make immediate opportunity savings by NOT contributing towards Trident which would amount to many biullions over the lifetime of the programme. There is simply no getting away from that fact.

    In addition, as has been pointed out to you before, Scotland could spend less and still be better defended, more secure, and with superior force structure to the current situation, and devote the rest to other areas of policy.

    The fact you cannot engage with these issues simply proves that you aren’t really interested in proper debate… you’re just trolling for the sake of it.

  60. Galen10 says:


    “Please explain how an “independent” Scotland would increase “spending in Scotland” on helicopters, aircraft, tanks, artillery, missiles and small arms, and which defence manufacturers bases in Scotland these products would be purchased from.”

    After independence, Scotland will be entitled either to a fair share of existing equipment (which we have after all helped to buy), or where it is not practicable or where we don’t need or want particular systems, to either be paid for them, or offset our contribution for such equipment against things the rumpUK want to try and charge us for.

    Thus, we can put a value on how many Typhoon fighters we need/want, how many artillery pieces, missiles etc. The answer in many cases might be we don’t want any of the existing equipment, and would prefer to buy new; that might or might not be from rumpUK.

    What in the above is so difficult to understand? Plenty of countries buy defence equipment abroad where they can’t produce it themselves, and/or insist on offset arrangements for buying major systems, which forces the supplier to place business in their countries amounting to the value of the systems procured.

    None of this is rocket science, and a lot of it could actually be more cost effective for a small nation than trying to produce systems yourself.

  61. McHaggis says:

    Remember folks, smee is a Tory through and through and Lamont’s speech confirming the final repositioning of Labour as far right as the Tories (if not further) was a wet dream as far as he is concerned.

    He now knows that whoever wins the next general election will effectively be the Tories.

  62. Waqar Ali says:

    My theory is that sm753 is actually a unionist politician, paid to try and dissuade us darn separatists.
      My other theory is that his adamant stance that independence is bad/he dun lyk change is actually symptoms of a severe mental illness, the same one most of SLab are suffering where their brains are locked into one route and petty evasions and smarmy comments equal actual informed debate.  We should feel sorry for him, and be glad that we live under a government that’s prepared to preserve our NHS whilst those down south flay it to the bone over a simmering pot. 
      So yeah, go socialism! 


  63. Macart says:

    Good point Galen. Somehow I don’t see a problem in finding armaments suppliers either in England or anywhere else. Its one of those benefits of retaining close cross border relations, English companies either want the business or they don’t.

  64. Davy says:

    First, Juteman, you had me rolling on the floor with ” VOTE YES or we’re fecked “, and then our favorite numpty (Sm753) had me going again with the idea that cheaper nukes are a bargain. 

    But who would have believed that Johann Lamont that unionist pin-up would have outdone the famous FM’s question time New Forth Bridge steel contract debacle, but she and Scottish New Labours Toryisum has just done that. So finally the tories in Scotland have increased their numbers.

  65. Oldnat says:

    The really important bit of the Rev Stu’s analysis in the thread header isn’t the defence spend bit, but the exposure of the fundamental shift in Labour thinking – 

    “Because if you accept her argument that universal services mean “the poorest pay for the tax breaks for the rich”,then you must inescapably also accept they’re a fundamentally, inherently bad thing whether a country can afford them or not.”

  66. tartanfever says:


    lets remind ourselves of what happened when the Russian fleet dropped anchor off the Moray coast in Dec last year.

    We would usually have sent up Nimrod’s for surveillance, but couldn’t because they’ve all been scrapped. We didn’t have any response ships in the area because they were all off elsewhere – (defending the empire no doubt) so we had to scramble an old tub from PORTSMOUTH ! – Hardly an effective quick response.

    Then lets remember Lord West’s attack on the Danish military, saying an independent Scotland would be reduced to a capacity of Denmark – and a couple of days later he was made to eat his words as it was revealed that the Danish airforce had hit more targets in the Libyan campaign than the RAF. 

    So please, don’t even start about defence…

    As for lamont, she obviously wants to undermine devolution as all her new ideas fly in the face of everything that our devolved parliament has achieved. is this a deliberate tactic ? What’s she going to gain with this strategy ?

    Has she been reading the Evening Times again (ala fictitious rape case) and taken on-board, word for word, the witterings of some spotty teenage journalist and decided this would make good policy ?

  67. Roll_On_2014 says:

    Stu I reckon under the circumstances you change your poll wording to:

    Will Johann Lamont lead Scottish Labour into oblivion?

  68. Embradon says:

    sm753 said “The replacement should be cheaper. Fewer missiles, more reliable warheads, boats based on the Astute design with lifetime reactor cores.”
    I wonder what “more reliable warrheads” means.
    Reliable when used – or reliable when being transported/stored?
    Are the current crop not reliable? How will we find out?

  69. Alex McI says:

    More reliable warheads just means, these ones are made from paper mâché, and can be relied on to drain public funds more than the last ones did.

  70. Juteman says:

    So i’ve had a couple of days to digest this ‘statement’ from Lamont. I’ve read various blogs, and articles, and i still can’t figure it out.
    It’s seriously mindblowing stuff from a so called ‘Labour’ leader. 
      I don’t think i’ve been so gobsmacked since that time i walked into my parents bedroom at 12 years old, and my dad was dressed as Batman, and my mum was Superwoman in a sling.

  71. MajorBloodnok says:

    At least she wasn’t dressed as Robin.

  72. Jen says:

    I think this site needs to stop engaging with SM75, nothing more than trolling and skews the conversations and debates from the article in hand.  This would put off any undecided voter reading and preventing them from finding the well informed information to aid their decision making.   Just saying 🙂 

    Well, FMQ is surely gonna be exciting this week as Toryann Lamont has provided ammo for a hard time from  Alex.   

    I’m glad that Labour have come out with their lurch to the right, it allows people to see what they really are: TORIES and have been for a very long time.

    Vote Yes in 2014 or Scotland and her people are fucked.      


  73. james_morton says:

    The thing about defence spending is that it never gets cheaper, it gets higher due to various techniques such as low balling the estimates, front loading seed money for the project while downplaying possible increases to costs. There is also the bow wave effect, were increased spending actually increases costs to the end user. These techniques and failings have been exposed and reported on so often that frankly it’s beyond the reach of satire.
    Thats why there is no such thing a cheaper more effective missile system, the technology alone ensures that it will be more costly and when its being phased out the replacement will be of a far higher magnitude in terms of costs. For example, Trident was introduced in 1980 as a replacement to the older polaris system, yet it did not enter service until 1994, production ceased after the completion of the 4th boat and the total cost was 9billion. 4 billion higher than the original low ball estimate.
    The debacle with the eurofighter is well documented started in 1978 did not enter service until 2008 with massive cost overruns. The apache gunships ordered in early 2000s did not enter active service with UK forces overseas until recently due to many issues including faulty comms and lack of training facilities.
    We also have to consider the two aircraft carriers currently being built. A great cost and the knowledge that neither will acutally see active service as we don’t even have aircraft to go on them, let alone the money to operate them.
    This is not unique to Britain, america has it far worse and it is simply not a model to follow. And independent Scotland would have to look to the scandanaivan system and develop a procurement model based on actual needs with proper oversight of the vendors involved, not throw money at big projects as a form of penis extension for war mongering politicians. Or get involved with wars abroad that have no bearing on the national security of the country, which are then not properly sourced and supplied. Labour more than the tories must bear the blame and the shame for having involved is in Iraq and afghanistan and then try to fight it on the cheap in terms of men and materiel.
    But of course talking about defence issues and Trident allows sm753 to distract attention away from the spectacle of Johann lamont sticking her head up her arse for the Scottish public to see. So lets get this back on track and discuss Johann Pension Snatcher” Lamont who has her eyes on Thatchers Milk Snatcher title

  74. Arbroath 1320 says:

    sm753 said “The replacement should be cheaper. Fewer missiles, more reliable warheads, boats based on the Astute design with lifetime reactor cores.”

    Oh no. NOT the good old ASTUTE argument.
    H.M.S. Astute. The newest nuclear submarine capable of carrying the LATEST nukes but CAN’T navigate its way past SKYE!
    Question is will Astute’s sister sub H.M.S. AMBUSH be ambushed by Astute off Skye any time soon?

  75. MajorBloodnok says:

    Speaking of Robin the boy wonder, Robin McAlpine’s article at the Jimmy Reid Foundation is very interesting (I think someone, (Doug?), posted this before but I can’t find where).

    He’s gobsmacked too.

  76. Juteman says:

    I’ll buy a hoodie with the following on it.

    Vote YES for Scotland free and fair.
    Vote NO for Scotland fucked and bare.

  77. Arbroath 1320 says:

    I’ve just been consulting my crystal ball and saw a vision, a vision I had to share. 😀

    Thinking about it I believe that Lamont’s policies/non policies are about as solid as the scenery was on cell block H. 😆

  78. scottish_skier says:

    sm753 is helping the undecided switch to saying yes to independence. That’s why his posts are welcomed. A rampant Tory posting on the topic wouldn’t have any other effect and I’m sure sm753 appreciates this very well. He is aware that 85% odd of the Scottish electorate have no time for Tories and those that do will be mostly voting no anyway. Hence he must be working on getting more yes votes. This makes much more sense, otherwise I’d wonder what on earth he was doing continuously shooting himself in the foot in such a manner.

  79. Castle Rock says:

    “Vote YES for Scotland free and fair
    Vote NO for Scotland fucked and bare”

    Now that I like. 

  80. Arbroath 1320 says:

    I’ve got a question about F.M.Q.’s.
    Usually we get what allegedly constitutes four questions from Lamont.
    We get two questions from Davidson and occasionally we also get two questions from Rennie.
    With the blueing up and redding down of Labour will Lamont STILL be permitted to ask HER version of four questions or will she be reduced to three questions and will Davidson be reduced to no questions?

  81. Seasick Dave says:

    sm is just the pub bore.

    Please ignore.

  82. Adrian B says:

    Vote no and the Tories will veto devolution, says darling

    “By admitting that the Tories would hold veto over any increase in powers to be passed from Westminster to Scotland Mr Darling has gifted the SNP a head start in this key electoral battleground.”

    As Major Bloodnok noted earlier – What will happen tomorrow?

  83. Luigi says:

    Wow, London Labour certainly lives up to its name this week. This is all about positioning the party for the coming battle for middle England. From London HQ’s perspective, this makes perfect sense. The fact that Johann Lamont so quickly took the script without so much as a whimper must be very disappointing to the thousands of loyal Scottish Labour supporters who have been hanging on since 2007, desperately waiting for revival. They deserved better. And what about the unions – how will they take this?

  84. Holebender says:

    Re slogans about Scotland being fucked if we vote no, I don’t think you can beat the 1820 Radicals’ slogan:
    Scotland free or a desert

  85. scottish_skier says:

    Of course the Tories will make clear at some point that they will likely not back any more serious powers to the Scottish Parliament. For one their voters would be absolutely raging and ultimately they want no Scots MPs in Westminster to block them from getting a majority once again. If the above from Darling is true, we are seeing the next piece of the puzzle being put in place.

    Labour party committing political suicide in Scotland
    First official hints that there will be only one question, forcing devo maxers into a corner
    Now the Tories talking of vetoing more powers?

    Don’t you just love it when a plan comes together.       


  86. MajorBloodnok says:

    Could do with a flow chart of this, so we can just tick off the stages as they fall into place….

  87. EdinScot says:

    I wasnt able to make sense of Lamont’s speech so have begun to come round to a lot of posters thinking that she’s following the London HQ acript.   She  certainly outdid the Gray man’s flip flopping over the council tax prior to the Holyrood Election 2011 AND his subway moment!  That saw  the end of his leadership and  this will for certain put  an end to hers but more importantly she has signalled the death knell of Labour in Scotland.  Not content with images of Brown morphing into Thatcher we now have Lamont to do the honours.

    She is most certainly the gift that keeps on giving   to the independence cause.  The masks have  fallen off alright.  Its time to hammer home that Lamonts Scottish Labour are the real tartan tories

    Ive been waiting years to see these fake socialists exposed for the frauds they are.  So its the only and only time i will thank Ms Lamont.

  88. Adrian B says:

    But universal public services, to which all contribute and from which all benefit, are the essence of social democracy. Once this principle is abandoned, greater cuts will inevitably follow as the rich, no longer receiving, have less incentive to give (you could call it “nothing for something”)

    Scottish labour’s support for cuts play’s into the SNP’s hands

  89. Davy says:

    The anaylsis by Robin Mac Alpine on the Jimmy Reid Foundation is really required reading, and I believe the end result of Lamont’s speech is that labour is fully prepared to attempt to dump Scotland right down the crapper if they get back in power in westminster before we have our referendum. 

    I seriously have to think would labour attempt to remove the ability to even have the referendum if they could, and would they consider attempting to remove or maybe demoting the powers of our Scottish government ??? The tories have nothing to lose, as they have only one MP in Scotland, its only our money they are after, but labour that is a different kettle of fish and anything to do with them stinks. 

    Even a wounded labour is fully capable of turning on its own, if it thinks it can get off with it.

    Vote YES 2014 or get fecked.    

  90. Morag says:

    Marcia said:

    O/T some good photos of Saturday’s event:
    Nice.  If any more evidence was needed that the Ross auditorium was spectacularly over its nominal capacity (probably double the 3,000 permitted standing), that’s it.  No wonder the police were so keen to downplay the numbers on the march.  The week after the publication of the Hillsborough report they gaily allowed a huge number of people to flood into the gated enclosure, simply because they didn’t expect a large enough number of people to show up for it to be an issue.
    So much, also, for the numbers being lower than hoped for, for another reason.  If the organisers expected a significantly larger number, where did they think these people were going to go?

  91. Arbroath 1320 says:

    Brilliant pictures.
    LOVED picture 14, I think.
    Husband wrapped in the Saltire.
    Wife wrapped in the Lion Rampant.
    Yes Ryan, even their WEE DUG was wearing the Saltire. 😀

  92. Morag says:

    Scottish Skier said:
    Don’t you just love it when a plan comes together.

    I’ve been thinking this for some time, and wondering when it’s going to go off the rails.

    I remember way back during the 1990s, the game plan for devolution (if we ever managed to achieve that) was to wait till Labour got unpopular and manage to get into government on Buggins’ turn.  Then to make such a good job of government that when we set up an independence referendum, people would vote yes.  It seemed like a plan to send a manned mission to Saturn, at the time.

    The big fly in the ointment was d’Hondt, which seemed to dictate that we’d only ever get to be in government in coalition, probably with the LibDems, and that would cramp our style.  I look on the start of the plan coming together as May 2007, when the LibDems refused to play by that script.  I couldn’t quite believe our luck, although having only one seat more than the next-largest party was a bit of a facer.

    When the recession hit in 2008, I thought we were screwed.  But that didn’t militate against the basic plan.  For nearly ten years we’d had far more paid politicians and researchers and officials than ever before.  Almost all our talent was in Scotland, working for Scotland only, and taking no orders from Westminster.  Labour was labouring under the converse disadvantages.  In a difficult time, the prospect of having Labour’s C team in charge in Scotland was scarier than anything else.

    I couldn’t at first figure out what all this “devo-max”/”independence lite” malarkey was all about.  Our greatest dream was beginning to look attainable, there was no way Salmond was going to back off on it.  Then it was explained to us, clearly, on Newsnicht, in October 2011.  It was obvious.  I was deeply impressed by the tactics.  I couldn’t quite see what the unionist parties were going to do about it.  I didn’t imagine for five minutes that they wouldn’t see the trap that had been set, even after it was explained to them in words of one syllable.

    But even now, the media are spinning that Salmond has got all he wants for the referendum, except his big prize, the second question.  Hard man Dave slapped him down on that.  Exit Alex, tail between legs – I don’t think.  They’re making it more and more obvious that the only choice is between independence, or the union with control more centralised in Westminster and Holyrood put in its place.

    I can’t believe it.  It’s uncanny.  Hubris is followed by nemesis.  Something is going to go wrong.

    But it hasn’t yet.

  93. Adrian B says:

    Council Tax could rise by £700 under Scottish Labour

    “The SNP have funded the Council Tax freeze in full each and every year – and in terms of proportion of income it helps the poorest households the most.”

  94. douglas clark says:

    The Robin McAlpine piece makes the point that this speech was Labour talking to itself. Whisper it, but assuming that that is true and he makes a very convincing case, is that not what’s been wrong with Labour for yonks? They can, maybe, obtain internal party unity but at the expense of being completely unelectable.

    I certainly believe it also makes the choice to vote ‘yes’ far easier for swing voters. Who votes for a status quo so devoid of aspiration as that?

  95. Erchie says:

    Sukhoi Su-30MKI and Indian Baez aircraft for defence
    If we can’t get Challengers and if we wnt an MBR then the T-90, otherwise invest in lots of AT

  96. Arbroath 1320 says:

    Thing is D.C. Lamont’s “longest suicide note in history” was not the only thing to come forward recently as “good reason” to vote FOR the Union. Check out this from Alisdair Darling in a recent interview with Holyrood magazine. You’ll find this quote right at the end of the interview.
    “Another complicating element is that if you want anything more than a fairly minor change to the constitutional arrangement then at some point you are going to have to ask the rest of the UK which means that all the parties in a general election would have to have in their manifesto what they would intend to do. At the moment this question has been confined to north of the border but once you go a little bit further then you are going to have to engage with the rest of the UK which is a rather different debate to the one we have had so far but firstly we have to decide in our own house, in Scotland, what we are going to do.
    Nice to have our fears confirmed that a NO vote in 2014 will result in NO additional powers coming North. So much for the promise of jam tomorrow. Hell they aren’t even trying to hide the total lack of jam for their jam tomorrow promise.
    I think between the pair of them they have killed off any vote other than YES in 2014.

  97. Arbroath 1320 says:

    Jeez, it’s happened again Stu.
    My posts are not appearing.
    PLEASE can I come out the “naughty box” PRETTY PLEASE with a cherry on top? 😀

  98. Morag says:

    Stu doesn’t have a naughty step.  You know that.  That’s why we post here.  That, and the quality class of snark.

    What are you trying to submit that the IT part doesn’t like?

  99. Arbroath 1320 says:

    I’m guessing that th IT part doesn’t like my link to the Holyrood magaszine, and in particular Alisdair Darling’s interview.
    Oh well.
    Ho Hum! 😀

  100. Al Ghaf says:

    Anybody who has got up close to Labour in Scotland knows what a cynical but wily beast it is. Lamont did not come up with this guff on her own, she has been advised that it is a vote winner.

    It is true that she has jettisoned socialism, but perhaps Labour research suggests that most Labour voters are not ideological socialists. Sure the activists probably are, but the ordinary Labour voter probably has ideals closer to the Daily Mail, Record, Sun or The Jeremy Kyle Show. These papers peddle nasty “something for nothing” stories everyday and in my experience regular people on regular estates often despise the feckless, scrounging, junky, benefit claiming whomever. The rich is also a target as the media pretends to be on the side of the ordinary people in the middle, drowning in tax and paying for bankers and bludgers simultaneously. That is the message being blasted out to Joe Punter daily.

    Labour know that  the average voter is not a political anorak, a lot of their support is tribal, Glasgow Council elections proves this. They have taken a gamble with ideology knowing full well that the vast majority of the support are not driven by socialist ideology but by a vague loyalty.

    Lamont’s poorly delivered speech and train-wreck interviews seem to me to be a closer public alignment with Daily Mailism than any real policy agenda. They have no policy agenda other than getting into power for it’s own sake.

    Is what Labour is doing clever? Well, it’s not as stupid as it looks, but clever is a step too far.
    Will it work? Who knows, but they knew they had to try something, three elections have proven the status-quo wasn’t working out for them.

  101. Appleby says:

    When Scotland is independent it has the option of shopping around or setting up new sources for equipment at home. It only adds more choices to the table, a good thing. I can’t imagine what sort of person would vote for an option that was essentially damning yourself to live as a child in the parental home, hoping for pocket money and permanently tied to the apron strings and the whims of your parents. What rational adult would choose that path instead of independence?

  102. Arbroath 1320 says:

    O.K. folks let’s not beat about the bush here.
    We’ve lost the referendum.
    No If’, and’s or but’s.
    Here, in case you think I’m wrong, is a crystal ball reading of the future.

    Are we REALLY ready to accept this outlook for OUR country?

  103. Adrian B says:

    Arbroath, I posted a link earlier tonight to the Scottishtimes article as it was not any where near as long or boring. Here is the main page of holyrood Magazine hopefully.

    I recommend reading ‘Fast spin programme’ and “The countdown begins’, both by the editor Mandy Rhodes.

  104. Arbroath 1320 says:

    Thanks for that Adrian.
    It is the “The countdown begins’ article that I’ve been trying to link to a number of times but every time I’ve put up a post with the link to this article it disappears. 🙁

  105. Adrian B says:

    Arbroath 1329

    You should read ‘Fast spin programme’ as well. For the editor of Holyrood magasine to write this is a damning indictment of the Scotish Labour party. it’s a party under Lamont which continues to look inwards, not outwards.  

  106. Arbroath 1320 says:

    Is this what we can expect if the NO camp win in 2014?

    Vote NO in 2014 and this WILL happen to the Scottish N.H.S. over time.
    Only INDEPENDENCE can STOP this from happening to the Scottish N.H.S.

    Yes, I’ve read that as well Adrian.
    As you say quite a damming piece on Labour.
    Hey if they don’t want to learn then there’s nothing any one else can do, is there? 😀

  107. Appleby says:

    Stu did mention that the auto spam filter sometimes gets a little jittery and bungs posts in the holding pen for him to root out. It must not have taken a liking to that link or how you presented it. A mystery.
    Looked at the link you posted a couple of places up, Arb. A grim reminder of what people are campaigning about and why we so desperately need to get independence. At least then the future and that possibility will be OUR decision (hopefully to avoid), not forced upon us or decided for us by Mother Westminster. Without that power we are merely spectators in our own country!

  108. Adrian B says:

    We have no option now but to gather a Yes Vote in 2014. Failure to do so will plunge this country and it’s people into the darkages. If I had written that last sentence a month ago it would have been a bit tongue in cheek – it isn’t any longer. A no vote and I would seriously have to consider emigration. Thats a shocking reality now and not a decision that I wish to be in the position of having to make.

  109. Adrian B says:

    I’m getting wordpress messages that tell me that I am posting too fast and to slow down? I think the system is overheating and going into meltdown?

  110. Arbroath 1320 says:

    I hate to sound like the proverbial broken record but every day seems to bring yet ANOTHER reason for the electorate to vote YES in 2014.
    As they say, everything comes in threes.
    1) EXCELLENT march and rally on Saturday.
    2) Lamont’s longest suicide note in history.
    3) Darling’s admission that a NO vote guarantees Scotland being shafted by Westminster in 2015
    Long may the SLOW implosion of the Bitter camp continue. 😀
    I think in all seriousness the current slow destruction of the Labour party in Scotland can NOT go on for much longer before  a real internal war breaks out.
    Surely one or MORE of their M.S.P.’s can see what is happening?
    Surely, for their own personal reputation if nothing else some of the more “respectable” M.S.P.’s MUST see that the writing is on the wall for Labour in Scotland?

  111. Adrian B says:

    I think that for many people Lamont’s change of direction has proved to be a complete mindf*ck of epic proportions. Interesting that IanSSmart on his blog has been talking about Lamonts replacement, and I doubt that he his alone.

    Lamont has even managed to upstage the liberal’s fantasy island conference. Who saw that coming? As Brian Taylor commented on his blog, SNP MSP’s were having trouble containing their glee.

    Labour are toast – who from Labour is not a big hitter that might emerge? Dugdale? 

  112. Adrian B says:

    Trident submarine missiles review to suggest ‘stepping down nuclear ladder’

    Speaking in detail about the Trident review for the first time since he was sacked as minister, Harvey said: “If you can just break yourself out of that frankly almost lunatic mindset for a second, all sorts of alternatives start to look possible, indeed credible.”

  113. Dcanmore says:

    @Arbroath 1320
    ‘Surely one or MORE of their M.S.P.’s can see what is happening?’

    Malcolm Chisholm perhaps?

  114. Cranachan says:

    Auld Acquaintance gives a glowing account of Johann’s intentions. At the end of the article link into the video of her interview with Isobel Fraser. Amazing stuff. 

  115. douglas clark says:

    I don’t know why this quote keeps popping into my head:
    “They make a desert and call it peace”

  116. scottish_skier says:

    Brian’s take on the referendum negotiations.

    You get the impression he’s a bit taken aback by how well these are going. All seems to be being agreed rather easily in a grown up way (as the Scotland Bill was). No Westminster dragging it out or attempts to block it. A little bit of jousting for the watching press here and there of course, but then they know people are watching and expecting some of that; roles need to be played as appropriate.

    Another wee hint that there will only be one question too. Aye, time to get the electorate prepared for voting yes to that question. After all, both sides appreciate that the vast majority of the Scottish electorate want Scotland governed completely or almost completely from Holyrood. The delaying tactic has worked since 1979, but was destined to fail eventually. Now end-game has been reached. Making it all messy would be so pointless so the Tories now looking on the bright side. 

  117. bill says:

    My Dearest SM753,

    Sorry a bit OT:  Youre so lucky that you can debate on this blog, every blog to do with unionism, No campaigns or anything else anti Scottish I just cant communicate with them.  There isnt anywhere I can comment or challenge points made, I had to resort to Tweeting a Better Together follower who repeated the false claim by unionists that we wont get bbc after independence!  He was unable to explain why I could watch bbc, (any bbc channel), in Spain when I lived their or why my Irish friends can watch bbc channels… odd that… another unionist myth kicked into touch!

    So back to topic,  SM753 as always displays a complete lack of knowledge or understanding of defence procurement – QinetiQ seem to manage defence contracts all over the World for anyone willing to pay, from the Italian Navy Submarine escape systems to the US Navy & US Coastguard or weapons testing in the Scottish Highlands for the MOD.

    Post independence Scotland will be able to compete globally for defence tenders.  As for the threat from the MOD civil servant who told Govan ship builders that if they vote YES in 2014 they’ll never build a warship on the clyde again is total nonsense.  There isnt one single shipyard in the UK that can build a sophisticated vessel like HMS Prince of Wales.  Its being built by Devonport, CamelLairds, Govan and Rosyth.  Post Independence Scotland will continue to be a defence partner with Ruk providing the same services.

    As for your fancy helicopters  built in England, ask yourself where does the navigation equipment and missile technology come from?

    Answer: QinetiQ in Scotland!  OMG Sm753 hold onto your seat its going to be bumpy ride till 2014.

    Yours etc

    Engineering Officer
    Former Naval Person 

  118. panda paws says:

    After thinking about it more I think Johann’s speech was a very sensible evaluation of what needs to be considered IF you are a vote NO, status quo, no more powers person. Westminster cuts to public spending and the reduction in Barnett consequentials following ongoing privatisation will reduce the block grant. So there won’t be enough money to cover these items.
    Oh the YES voters will complain about Trident, illegal wars, Olympics et al and how the money could be saved from there. But the wee pretendy parliament doesn’t control these things, so if the block grant is cut, they can’t make savings there. She’s basically outlining what needs to be dealt with following a NO. So the undecided and dexo maxers need to decide what is more important to them, health, council tax and bus passes or a willy waving permanent seat on the UN security council et al.
    See there was method in her madness.

  119. Luigi says:

    Hopefully, during the next two years, it will become apparent to the silent majority in Scotland, that a NO vote in 2014 would plunge the country into a new dark age.

  120. Craig P says:

    MajorBloodnok says:
    September 26, 2012 at 8:13 pm

    Could do with a flow chart of this, so we can just tick off the stages as they fall into place….

    OK Major, how about this as a starter for 10? Feel free to suggest other events or reordering of them.

    Scottish politics, 2012-14

    (also should anyone be interested, Scottish politics, 2007-12)

  121. Wullie B says:

    I am really starting to think this is a ploy to reinvent Scottish Labour after 2014 , dont shhot me down yet as Lamentable cant come out and say Vote yes but she can try and and point those who are undecided the way and by saying we are doing away with all the good free policies of the SNP , those will vot3e Aye , .
    Now in 2016 Labour 4 independence can put forward new policies which London wouldnt allow before hand and a New Scot Labour can be born without SW1 shackles and start too do good again
    A bit far fetched I know , but its the only way I can comprehend what that speach was trying to do to the grass roots Labourites in Scotland , and face it Labour still shackled to SW1 will never again be voted in to power after all the good that the SNP have done

  122. Captain Caveman says:

    apologies, posted in wrong thread

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