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The Highlander Doctrine

Posted on October 25, 2015 by

Kezia Dugdale in yesterday’s Scotsman:

“There’s three sort of tests being set for me, and that I’m setting myself.

I have to prove the Scottish Labour Party is autonomous. I have to show we have a belief, a vision of what the future of ­Scotland might look like. And then there’s the question of whether or not I am credible enough to hold the position I have.”

So how are those looking 24 hours on?


It’s not a great start. The Sunday Times, from which the above extract is taken, notes that “Insiders fear the proposals are a recipe for chaos, with the party holding conflicting policies either side of the border on UK-wide issues such as renewing Trident and welfare payments.”

As the paper observes, any such arrangement would be almost certain to fall foul of the Electoral Commission, whose rules on the matter we’ve pointed out before.

The short version is that because “Scottish Labour” isn’t a political party under EC rules (it’s an “Accounting Unit”, or as former leader Johann Lamont memorably put it, a “branch office”), anyone standing as a “Scottish Labour” candidate is in law actually representing the UK Labour Party. There can be only one.

And what that means is that it can’t have different policies on both sides of the border, because then a voter has no way of knowing what policies they’re voting for if they vote “Scottish Labour”. It’d be like the SNP campaigning for independence in Glasgow but having a separate pro-Union manifesto in Aberdeen.

(Cynical readers might feel that Scottish Labour has flipflopped and backtracked and U-turned on so many policies in the last few years, sometimes within as little as 24 hours, that voters would have no idea what they were voting for anyway. But this is a formal legal requirement, not the usual “broken promises” schtick.)

The simple truth is that Scottish Labour LEGALLY CANNOT be “autonomous” unless it completely separates itself from UK Labour and sets up as a new party – something it just doesn’t have the financial muscle to do. (And if it was genuinely separate, UK Labour wouldn’t be allowed to plug its vast funding gaps.)

In other words, Kezia Dugdale has absolutely no chance of ever succeeding on the first of the three tests she’s set herself, which rather undermines the third one too. In the circumstances, whether or not she has a belief or a vision for the future of Scotland seems increasingly irrelevant.

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90 to “The Highlander Doctrine”

  1. Bugger (the Panda) says:

    I thought you had pretty much debunked thnis idea of any degree of “independence” of choice from that of London.

    As Scottish Labour is just an accounting unit (trading name) of the labour Party she cannot come before the electorate professing different policies from the Party line.

    To do so would be electoral fraud.

    Cornton Vale?

  2. bugger (the Panda) says:

    I wonder if her Dad could do a weeky Readers’ Digest of Wos for her. Maybe she could save her face occasionally.

  3. caz-m says:

    The English Labour Party will dump Scottish Labour like a ton of bricks because they realise they have no further use for them, they are a spent force.

    It’s a bit like the way the English Establishment will dump Scotland once the Oil & Gas industry dries up and they build a new home in Wales for their Nuclear subs and weapons.

    Wake up Scotland, we are being used and abused by our English Masters.

  4. jimnarlene says:

    “In other words, Kezia Dugdale has absolutely no chance of ever succeeding on the first of the three tests she’s set herself, which rather undermines the third one too. In the circumstances, whether or not she has a belief or a vision for the future of Scotland seems increasingly irrelevant.”

    That about sums it up. Apart from they have no vision for Scotland, but as a region of greater England.

  5. Bugger (the Panda) says:

    Kezia Dugdale’s wee accounting unit is just a waste of Political space. The Tories do not even pretend to be different from their Landon bosses and who gives a Monkey’s what the LibDems say or do.

  6. woosie says:

    Poor Kez isn’t half setting herself up here. Last week, in her piece in the daily rhetoric, she stated that to finance better opportunities for young people, if she gets in power she will raise the highest rate of income tax from 40% to 50%. Under current devolution rules, as the rest of us know, that would mean also raising the lowest levels of tax by 10%.

    I felt when I read this that she was deliberately deceiving the voters; now I’m inclined to believe that she simply isn’t politically competent.

    To also be unaware that scotlab can’t operate on its own policies, independent of londonlab, is gobsmacking.

  7. Alan Mackintosh says:

    I sent this to Stu last Dec.
    An interesting find. Was poking about trademark searches on
    IPO( looking at whether Scottish Labour was registered. It appears it has been done in 2009, but interestingly
    registered on the 12th Dec 14.

    As you would expect “Scottish Labour” is registered down in London –
    Labour Party Nominees Limited
    39 Victoria Street, London, United Kingdom, SW1H 0HA
    but the other two, in Capitals have been registered by;
    The Members of Camelon Labour Party Social Club (named members,
    Dennis Goldie and May McIntyre) Nailer Road, Camelon, United
    Kingdom, FK1 4DA.

  8. Iain More says:

    I just love those family squabbles. I expect there will be much head spinning and projectile vomiting at the BBC as they prepare their next SNP BAD attack.

  9. Angra Mainyu says:

    Brilliant. Just brilliant reading. An “accounting unit” hahahahahahahahaaaaaaa.

    Anyway, can we safely assume they aren’t going to register Scottish Labour as a party in its own right?

    Or maybe the electoral commission will give them some flexibility. It’s for Britain, after all; rules are there to be broken eh…

  10. ahundredthidiot says:

    Just poured some very strong jet black sunday morning coffee

    The kind of coffee Kez needs to take a long lingering smell of, stop deceiving herself, resign from politics, adopt a more honest line of work and vote SNP

  11. AngusMan says:

    Who advises Scottish Labour?

  12. Macart says:

    Its the first time I’ve seen someone willingly leap out of the frying pan and into the fire. 🙂

  13. JLT says:

    My perception of what is to come following reading both Kezia’s statement, and the newspaper article, is that she, the other key members of Scottish Labour and possibly their analysts will be taken to a nice wee quiet room, and have the riot act thrown at them.

    I can see UK Labours most senior political analysts, and in no uncertain terms, telling Kezia that she doesn’t run the show in Scotland, and that she never will. She will follow ‘orders’ from London; straight and simple. ‘You say exactly what we tell you to say’. No arguments. No discussions. Do as you’re told!

    What Kezia and her colleagues do next will be up to them. But the ball will be in her court. She can either stand her ground, give them a bollocking back about the damage that Labour UK is causing in Scotland; thus facing possible punishment and the full-on wrath of London Labour …or she just accepts her place (which is to be a simple mouthpiece for London in Scotland).

    If she wants to be noticed in Scotland …she chooses option A. She goes for it by giving them both barrels. It will kill her career within the greater Labour party, but her star will certainly rise in Scotland. She may even survive and keep her seat next May if it is seen that she is standing up for Labour in Scotland.

    Option B – the meek route – will see her political star diminish and thus be extinguished in May 2016.

    That’s her choices. I can’t see what else she can do.

    If she does choose option A, then it will also be interesting to see how UK Labour deal with a dissident and perceived ‘rogue ‘ element in their Northern Branch. Night of the Long Knives may follow, but if Labour do go down that route, then they truly can kiss their backside goodbye in Scotland. Bizarerly …Kezia taking a stand may just help Labour in Scotland.

    Hmmmm… safe to say, that Labour are in a bit of a quandary here! LOL

  14. ahundredthidiot says:

    Andrew Neil questions Ken Livingston on SLab creating its own separate policies – paraphrasing here:

    AN: What do you make of that Ken?
    KL: Aree, fine with that

    AN: OK

    There was me, foolishly waiting for electoral rules being mentioned

  15. CameronB Brodie says:

    As i said in replay to Gerry Hassan’s sycophancy to the Labour movement, there is no such political party as Scottish Labour, ergo they have no values. To claim the opposite is clearly an attempt to mislead the electorate.

  16. Edward says:

    Just had the misfortune of watching Dugdale being allowed to spout absolute garbage on Sky News with Dermot Murnaghan

    Nothing was challenged, just accepted.

    Such as child illiteracy and waiting times in Hospitals, which I’m sure she said ’12 hours’
    It was your basic ‘SNP Bad’ rhetoric

  17. CameronB Brodie says:

    OK, see Alan Mackintosh’s post @ 11.13am. 😀

  18. Capella says:

    A succinct summary of the SLAB position. Dead in the water.

    But voters are not angry with SLAB anymore because they consider them irrelevant.

  19. Bob Mack says:

    Just saw Dugdale on Murnaghan outling her philosophy on the 3 points above

    In summary
    SNP Baadddd.

  20. gerry parker says:

    “Scottish Labour”?

    Put up or shut up.

  21. HandandShrimp says:

    I think Kezia’s three tests are fair enough

    I have my popcorn at the ready while she sets about proving them.

  22. Onwards says:

    I wonder if EVEL will affect this. UK labour can no longer use future Scottish Labour MPs to force through legislation against an English tory majority.
    So you would think there would be less opposition from head office than before.

    I wonder if she actually has the strength as a leader to set up a stand-alone Scottish Labour.. taking the funding hit and perhaps a handful of resignations from the old guard.

    Nothing would indicate that so far, but who knows?

    Any other semi-federal structure just isn’t credible.

  23. Conan the Librarian™ says:


  24. The Rough Bounds says:

    I used to think that the leaders of Labour in Scotland were similar to big fish in a wee pond.

    I now see them as dying fish gasping for oxygen in a manky puddle.

  25. Bob Mack says:

    There must surely come a day when the opposition say SNP bad and here is our alternative strategy. To think presenting your opponent as being no good for invalid reasons is puerile in the extreme

    What is your alternative ? Present it to the electorate. Let us decide.
    However be aware, we are very clued up these days and can see through a smokescreen quicker than the Labour Party changes Policy.
    That is your real challenge Kezia.

  26. clochoderic says:

    It is becoming painfully obvious that Kezia Dugdale has no real understanding of the drivel she spouts in public, and indeed shows no sign of even having thought in any depth, or at any length, about the issues she pontificates on.

    She is just the latest SLAB ventriloquist’s dummy rehashing someone else’s script – witness her immediate reversion to well-rehearsed generalities and one-size-fits-all SNP BAD attack lines whenever she is challenged on policy details in any debate or interview.

    Ms Dugdale is just the latest in a long line of SLAB chancers who had no genuine interest in the subject of their studies at university and instead throw themselves into the mad whirl of student union and Labour Club politics. Anyone who has been to uni will know the type – faces never out the student newspaper, never seem to go to lectures, jaunting off to conferences and jollies at the expense of their fellow mug students.

    When the music stopped the last thing on her mind was getting a real job – why not use her political connections to get paid to carry on doing the same thing, albeit at a different university? Student welfare officer? – that’ll do nicely, lots of time for meetings, conferences and fact-finding jaunts.

    Ms Dugdale has been lucky so far to have found a seat each time the music stops. I hope her father is emotional enough to pick her up off her arse when the music stops next May and SLAB wheech the chair out from under her.

  27. Richardinho says:

    The Labour party seems to have two separate policies on Trident within the shadow cabinet at Westminster so I would have thought that what the SLP does is the least of their concerns. Simply put, the Labour party is in chaos so any policy pronouncements they make are essentially meaningless since they aren’t in power and you can’t be sure that they wont change tomorrow anyway.

  28. Richardinho says:

    I’ve no expectations on Dugdale one way or the other. I expect her to fail and fail badly but I don’t think that’s really her fault: Essentially he has an impossible job.

    I suppose the media blitz against the SNP could enable Labour to make a comeback at the next Holyrood elections but that’s really out of her hands.

  29. Hoss Mackintosh says:

    I remember a guy called Murphy who used to say he was in charge of Scottish Labour and he was calling the shots.

    I wonder what happened to him?

    Scottish Labour – just cannot learn from past mistakes.

  30. galamcennalath says:

    She has an illusion to live up to. Since devolution began SLab have played the game of muddying waters so many not-too-savvy voters believe there is actually something Scottish about Scottish Labour.

    I suspect a poll of SLab supports might reveal that many believe it can and does have policies different from London. Many will see it as more than just an accounting unit. Not surprisingly because this is the woolly unclear status SLab themselves intentionally promote.

    And, it will just never happen. Autonomy is for Scotland, not for a local branch of a London Unionist party!

    It’s all just another lie.

  31. ClanDonald says:

    How humiliating for Kezia and SLab!

    AHAHAHAHA, LOLZ, PMSL, ROFLMAO, love it etc etc.

    That they don’t even know the Electoral Commission rules beggars belief.

    How lucky is the independence movement to have these numpties as opposition. Magic.

  32. Proud Cybernat says:


    I posted this in the wee hours of this morning, so a lot of you will have likely missed it.

    New video debunking the BBC & Corporate Media lies about the SNP Government’s stewardship of Scotland’s NHS.


    *DISCLAIMER* I accept no responsibility for anyone wetting themselves.

  33. Valerie says:

    Capella @11.35

    How utterly embarrassing. Says it all loud and clear.

    I would be looking to crawl into a cave if I was associated with SLab, after that finding.

    There is only one thing worse than being talked about, and that’s not being talked about. Scotland are done talking about SLab.

  34. Brian says:

    It’s nothing but a last desperate throw of the dice by Labour In Scotland. They have nothing else to offer. It’s ironic that they see independence as the solution.

  35. bjsalba says:

    A bit puzzled by the headline, Rev.

    Labour are not strong in the Highlands – they come behind the Lib-Dems, and even the Tories (and at the Council level the Independent Tories).

    Can you explain?

  36. Donald MacKenzie says:

    What is concerning/funny (delete as appropriate) about this is that she has got herself into this position in the first place. If you’re going to go out there and make pronouncements about what you’re going to do, would you not test the water first to make sure that everyone who needed to be on board, was on board.

    To say what you need to do, set out your plans for how you think that will be achieved (however daft)and then end up with egg on your face because the big boys told you not be stupid and go away home and play with your pretendy parliament, betrays, I suggest, a naivety that is hugely concerning in someone who claims to be a political leader. I don’t think you’d want someone like that to get their hands anywhere near the levers of power.

  37. Wuffing Dug says:

    What is this slab accounting unit anyway?

    Is Kezia a tangible or intangible asset?

    Certainly an asset to us :).

    Though she is soon to suffer from slabs double depreciation method.

    Alas, poor skeletor, I barely knew thee….

  38. Macart says:


    Movie reference. See the line ‘There can be only one’.


  39. Hoss Mackintosh says:


    I think it something to do with the Highlander movies and chopping heads off?

    or maybe just Brian Wilson’s three failed attempts to get elected for Labour in the highlands or something?

  40. North Chiel says:

    Good to see a very “cool&competent”Michael
    Matheson put Brewer in his place over police
    Scotland “surveillance issue” ( politics Scotland this morning)
    Further on in the program during discussions over possible
    “Scottish” Labour autonomy , chap said that it didn’t really
    matter as ultimately London labour/Whitehall would decide
    policy ( “rocked Brewster back in his chair “).

  41. mealer says:

    onwards 11.33,
    That’s exactly what I’m thinking.If there is a future for Labour it’s as a fully autonomous,pro home rule,anti trident,anti austerity party.Does Kezia have the strength to lead it there? Is there enough enthusiasm in the remaining party to get out and fight for it? Enthusiasm can make up for cash if there’s enough of it.Can they get 5000 canvassers out on the streets every weekend?

    The trouble is,Kezia is against Home Rule,for Trident and nobody really knows what she thinks of austerity.

    Would a new,fully autonomous party be allowed to use the name Scottish Labour Party?

  42. sinky says:

    Its a complete nonsense that the dependency Parties are allowed to describe themselves as “Scottish” on ballot papers until such time as they self funding.

    Time some real pressure is put on the Electoral Commission to rectify this anomaly

  43. Jimbo says:

    Maybe Slab they think they can get away with conning Scottish voters into thinking they can have a devolved Labour Party – After all, for generations, conning Scotland’s voters has always been their modus operandi.

  44. muttley79 says:

    Kezia Dugdale does not seem to understand that to possess a political vision is not the same thing as droning on and on in the most dismal SNP bad manner imaginable. A cynic might suggest that Dugdale has no vision, because she has no real determination and desire to politically change anything. Kezia Dugdale is in politics for the pay check and that alone imo.

  45. Helena Brown says:

    Sinky, difficult to put pressure on an organisation stuffed full of Labour Placemen.

  46. thomaspotter2014 says:

    It needs to be remembered that Dugdale was and still is receiving instructions -but they are not coming from UK Labour.

    Westminster deep state still run the show.

    Dugdale,like Lord Voldemor Murphy,is programmed to screw up and wither UK Labour from within-yesterday’s Labour uproar being the desired effect to perpetuate eternal Conservative’s grip on power.

    Kezia’s strings are being pulled for ulterior motives.

    The last thing on Kezia’s mind is the welfare of Scotland and her people’s future.

    That ain’t going to change anytime soon.

  47. Dave McEwan Hill says:

    Can we perhaps be a little less personal on some for the remarks about Kezia. Invective, however mild, does more harm to us than anybody else.

    I understand political loyalty. She leads an inanimate rump which is all but dead but she is in a position for which she has had no proper preparation and very evidently lacks the necessary political experience. The penny may drop. When it or if it does it will be sudden and enlightening.

    Many years ago I heard Jim Sillars and Iain Lawson both describe the suddeness with which it came clear to them that they were on the wrong side. They moved decisively at that point.

    Kezia reminds me of a football manager of team at the bottom of the league talking absolute shite in defence of the team and his position. What else would he do?

  48. Capella says:

    @ Valerie
    Yes it looks as if, once the scales fall from the voters’ eyes it’s impossible to stick them back on.

    Labour have no political ground to stand on in Scotland. The SNP firmly occupy the centre left. The Tories are much more competent at being Tory. What is the point of SLAB now?

  49. Thomas Valentine says:

    Speaking for myself only.

    Labour would campaign for a group of policies in Scotland only to promptly drop them when they went to Westminster in favour of the “Real” Labour policy.

    Even if they did go thro’ the charade of a “Scottish” Labour Party the real party would hold the purse. Its just not a credible story.

  50. HandandShrimp says:


    I agree. There is enough to tackle with the actuality of what SLab is, does and says without personalising against Kezia. She has set three tests. We have enough there to keep us going for months if not years.

    Of all the politicians out there I don’t actually dislike Kezia. I just think she is wrong and often flies by the seat of her pants to get by.

    Willie exasperates me because he is in a place where has to aspire to be wrong just to improve.

    Ruth I wouldn’t trust an inch. She is a true blue Tory and would privatise the air we breathe if she got the chance.

    I do struggle with Baillie because I think she is knowingly dishonest relying on a compliant media never to press her on her inaccuracies after they are shot down.

  51. Bob Mack says:

    Was it not Einstein who postulated the Theory that the sign of madness was to keep repeating the same thing over and over , each time hoping for a different result.

  52. Dr Ew says:

    @Dave McEwan Hill

    I’d like to endorse those sentiments. It’s perfectly fair to call Kezia Dugdale on policy, spin and lying, and by all means put a bit of satirical edge to comments, but highly personal insults are not in any way helpful.

    There’s plenty of purchase on her words and deeds without a descent into “tin helmet” territory apropos of the personal attacks on Nicola Sturgeon. Let’s leave that crap to Labour, Liberals and Tories.

  53. Sandra says:

    Have said repeatedly I cringe each time she speaks but the time has come for pity.
    Anyone showing such a delusional personality needs help.
    Sadly though, as long as the MSM continues to give her unchallenged airtime, she will go on spouting this rubbish until the point when she goes down the same, soon to be silenced road, as he predecessor.

  54. msean says:

    We would have a choice of Labours not to vote for then. If Scottish Labour were a separate party,(separation-good enough for Labour,but not good enough for the rest of us)then UK Labour would have to run on its own UK policies against the new Scottish newer new Labour I guess, because they would be different.And separate 🙂 .

  55. Graeme Borthwickg says:

    London is playing for time until Scotland’s assets are finished.
    Dugdale works for London and will have a good career waiting there, like Ruth Davidson. The London Media will back them all the way….all they need do is continue talking nonsense and playing for time.
    Baroness Davidson and Baroness Dugdale……here we come!

  56. kailyard rules says:

    Reply to CameronB Brodie @11:26am

    I’ve been saying the same to Duncan Horsestail for a long time.

  57. Jim says:

    After two FMQs Kezia Dugdale used all her questions trying to vilify Michelle Thompson rather than hold the Government to account on devolved issues.

    Michelle Thompson was not and is not at this time under any investigation whilst MArie Rimmer, labour MP is due in court for the alleged assault of a yes campaigner.

    Perhaps Miss Dugdale would like to comment on how it can be right that a colleague accused of such a serious crime has now been appointed to the commons justice committee.

    I wont hold my breath waiting for an answer but if Rimmer was an SNP MP I am sure Miss Dugdale would be screaming from the rooftops of Holyrood about the injustice of it all and demanding that action be taken against this MP.

  58. The Electoral Commission’s indifference to this casual branding of “Scottish” Labour (aka Labour North British Accounting Unit)is symptomatic of British Establishment quangos; apply the rules only when it suits the Establishment.

    It should be no surprise then to also learn that the people who run the EC, have a track record of using tax payer’s money to enrich themselves. Sound familiar?

    I can only assume this is another example of one of those “British values” we hear about. You know, the one about fairness.

  59. David McDowell says:

    Labour already has “different policies depending on where you are in the country” so it’s pointless for them to fret about “looking ridiculous.” They already look ridiculous.

  60. Cath says:

    It’s quite amusing to watch the all contortions unionist parties – especially their members outside Scotland, who have zero understanding of Scotland, devolution, or the debate that’s been going on up here for decades – are making these days. One day perhaps, both Labour and Tory in England, will suddenly wake up and realise the blindingly obvious fact that independence is actually the best answer to all the problems their contorting themselves to try and fix. Or maybe they’ll just carry on until it looks like a drunken game of Twister.

  61. Phronesis says:

    The YES movement has many different faces but all are looking towards the bright star of independence. Labour has two faces like Janus looking In opposite directions full of double speak – which one speaks their true mind? Who knows- they have no authoritative voice in Scotland now and despite their efforts to shore up UKOK independence will be the final destination .

  62. Dave McEwan Hill says:

    HandandShrimp at 12.51

    I’d like to ask Jackie Baillie if the good folk of Portugal sit down on a weekend night at their tellies to watch Spanish football or do they watch their own Portuguese football

  63. CameronB Brodie says:

    kailyard rules
    You’re attempting to debate with an ideologue who’s intelligence appears to be on a par with a marine sponge. Is there much point? 🙂

  64. Thepnr says:

    “Critically endangered” best describes the Labour Party.

    The Yangtze River, the longest river in Asia, used to be one of the only two rivers in the world that was home to two different species of dolphin, the Yangtze finless porpoise and the Baiji dolphin

    However, in 2006 the Baiji dolphin was declared functionally extinct. This was the first time in history that an entire species of dolphin had been wiped off the planet because of human activity. Its close cousin, the Yangtze finless porpoise, is known for its mischievous smile and has a level of intelligence comparable to that of a gorilla.

    The new autonomous Labour branch office in Scotland will soon go the way of the Baiji dolphin. The “real” Labour party just like he Yangtze finless porpoise faces a battle to avoid extinction.

  65. Grouse Beater says:

    There’s lots of gossip doing London’s cocktail circuit suggesting Corbyn is about to cut loose Labour’s branch office allowing it to choose policy as it pleases … he better watch his back. His colleagues ejected new and suspicious Labour look-a-likes in case he got elected.

  66. K Dugdale is a proven liar as are most of her party I have no respect for anything they stand for and her and her party should be treated with the malice they deserve of topic but please stop replying to sensible Dave he is winding you up and you keep falling for it please let him hear nothing but a roaring silence

  67. yesindyref2 says:

    I guess you can have whatever setup you want for your political party, right up to the point it has to register candidates and has to have its name appear on ballot papers. So you could have that autonomy and different policies for the different branches, but come election time they’d have to register as separate parties, and stand as that party. Before then I guess anything goes – it’s the Electoral Commision, not the Political Party Commission.

    From memory, a political party is limited to the number of names it can register – 10 or 12 I think.

    Anyway, I agree with other comments, respect the person, trash what they say and their policies by all means. Ad hominems make no friends.

  68. De Valera says:

    Does this really matter? She’ll be gone after May 2016.

  69. Ruby says:

    Jim says:

    Michelle Thompson was not and is not at this time under any investigation whilst MArie Rimmer, labour MP is due in court for the alleged assault of a yes campaigner.

    Ruby replies:

    That Marie Rimmer case was weird! She was selected to stand as MP with assualt charges pending. Her case was postponed until after the General election which was very strange then there was the jiggery pockery with papers that didn’t mention Glasgow.

  70. Ruby says:

    The thing that puzzles me is why the Branch Office is so reluctant to call themselves British?

    ‘The UKOK Better Together British Hate Preachers’ also seemed very reluctant to use the Union flag when campaigning for the Union.

    ‘The UKOK Better Together British Hate Preachers’ logo was just four finger painted blobs of blue on a Barry White background.

  71. K.A.Mylchreest says:

    If I were KD’s Dad I would have explained :

    1. Indy is coming yet (for a’ that);

    2. Following Indy the SNP will probably be replaced by a coalition of smaller parties, one of which could even be a ‘Scottish Labour Party’;

    3. UK Labour of all flavours doesn’t have a clue about Scottish politics and in any case are more concerned with fighting amongst themselves for the foreseeable future.

    Therefore why remain tied to a drowning corpse?

    Solutions. (a) Change sides and join the SNP (admittedly this is a bit like asking the Pope to join the Wee Frees!); or (b) form a new independent party which can steal as many as possible of the SNP’s policies, so that when eventually a new set of faces are needed, there’s the B-team ready to take the back shift.


    Meantime, you might enjoy these images of the Welsh Branch Office’s Office Party… before it’s over. No translation needed I think 😉

  72. Truth says:

    Now if instead of trying to demonise this website to the media she actually read what is written here, she would have known already that what she is proposing is impossible.

    I rather think she does know and is deliberately trying to pull wool over the remaining labour voter’s eyes. That of course leaves her final test in tatters as she has no credibility.

  73. Petra says:

    SLab and Kezia Dugdale must think that the Scots came up the Clyde on a bike. It doesn’t matter what she thinks or says. She could be an ardent anti-Trident protester, anti-austerity promoter and anti-warmonger but who cares? Who’s listening to her? What difference does what she has to say make at the end of the day for the Scots? Westminster’s bunch of odd-ball Leaders, Tory and Labour, call the shots. I didn’t have a lot of time for Johann Lamont but she at least had the gumption to tell the truth.

    clochoderic says at 11:58 am …….. Great post Clochoderic! Gave me a real laugh too.

  74. Onwards says:

    If there was a real Scottish Labour Party, then perhaps the SNP would be worried some support might drift back to them.

    It looks like they have nothing to fear though.
    The plans are simply for ‘more autonomy’ in Scotland, which is pretty meaningless. Face value only. Head office in London will ultimately still call the shots.

    In a UK government, Scottish Labour MPs would simply be whipped into line.

  75. Stewart says:

    So, it’s likely that, in future, Scottish Labour could vote against UK Labour in a whipped vote at Westminster. Of course, Ian Murray would have to be his own whip……..

  76. Jim says:

    Ruby says:

    That Marie Rimmer case was weird! She was selected to stand as MP with assualt charges pending. Her case was postponed until after the General election which was very strange then there was the jiggery pockery with papers that didn’t mention Glasgow.
    Very strange and yet Kezia Dugdale wasted 8 questions on devolved matters trying to hang, draw and quarter, for all intents and purposes an innocent woman who was not and never has been under investigation.

    Labour seem to think that their shit doesn’t stink but numbers are growing everyday that are seeing through their rank hypocrisy.

    As for that article, Willie Rennie; no sane yes supporter will ever sully themselves giving your party any support.

    The bridges you have burnt may be mended but only when hell freezes over.

  77. macnakamura says:

    Stewart says:
    25 October, 2015 at 6:14 pm
    Of course, Ian Murray would have to be his own whip……..


    Self flagellation?
    The UnionWhack?

  78. Fraser Darling says:

    Does anyone know if it is possible to retrieve this ? it was the one with the interview with Corbyn where he said that there is no desire for further autonomy for Scottish Labour (contrary to what Dugdale is now suggesting. So a) it is just a stunt that she is pulling to try and hold some votes for may 2016, b) she smells a rift/coup in labour and has abandoned allegiance to corbyn and is setting out her stall for whoever next may be coming up, c) corbyn is doing a big U-turn, d) same as a) but with the approval from London to pull the sham.

  79. Jim says:

    Ruby says:
    25 October, 2015 at 3:20 pm

    That Marie Rimmer case was weird! She was selected to stand as MP with assualt charges pending. Her case was postponed until after the General election which was very strange then there was the jiggery pockery with papers that didn’t mention Glasgow.
    Strange indeed but will Kezia Dugdale be as quick to condemn Marie Rimmer as she was to condemn Michelle Thompson.

    The rank hypocrisy is astounding in that she used 8 questions during two FMQs to vilify Michelle Thompson and possibly have her hung, drawn and quartered if she could get away with it.

    FMQs are a chance for opposition leaders to hold the SNP to account for their record in government not a bloody witchhunt of someone who is not under investigation by the police or any other public body.

  80. robertknight says:

    What we are witnessing are the death throes of the Labour Party in Scotland.

    Sure beats the X Factor for entertaining viewing.

  81. Chic McGregor says:

    The stupidest thing SLAB (elected and otherwise sinecured in the MSM or wherever) ever did was getting rid of Wendy Alexander instead of backing her.

    Her brain may not actually have been the size of a planet but she was at least reasonably intelligent.

    However SLAB have, in true lemming mode, seemingly opted to explore the lower limits of rational thinking.

    To paraphrase an old quip ‘And an electron ran along the SLAB front bench looking for a neuron to fire on.’

  82. Chic McGregor says:

    @Fraser Darling

    If you install a linux OS, e.g. Ubuntu, Leaf etc. and search for ways that can download any BBC programme you may get somewhere. That’s all I’m saying.

    N.B. there are slight risks in installing linux and it may require some knowledge like partitioning, so you need to make sure all your necessary data is backed up.

  83. Fraser Darling says:

    Thanks Chic, unfortunately switching my laptop on and off stretches my IT skills. I’ll maybe see if I can get help and try it with an old laptop. Thank you

  84. K.A.Mylchreest says:

    @ Chic McGregor
    @Fraser Darling

    Since I’m running Ubuntu (installed two or three years ago), I tried the link but got a message, “This episode is not currently available” for 13/08/2015.

    FWIW when I do occasionally go to the BBC site, e.g. for QT, I don’t experience any difficulty in viewing the programmes. I don’t recall installing any special extra software, and in fact I’m still running the Firefox browser.

    So what exactly is the problem here?

  85. Robert Peffers says:

    Something about Wee Kezia’s recent bout of apparently involuntary verbal diarrhoea had bothered me but I just, ( perish the thought), couldn’t put my finger on it.

    It just dawned upon me what bothered me when the news item appeared again on the BBC’s text news. The item reads –

    Scottish leader Kezia Dugdale has set out plans for, more autonomy”, for the party in Scotland.

    Proposals would see control over policy, membership, constituency parties and candidate selection transferred to Scotland.

    Ms Dugdale said the reforms would leave no doubt that, “the main focus of Scottish Labour will be at Holyrood”.

    Earlier, The Sunday Times Scotland reported that Jeremy Corbyn plans to create a, “Federal”, Labour Party.

    Like the expected impending death of the, (non-existent), Scottish Labour party it is impending because there are no degrees of death – yer aither deid or yer no deid. Likewise yer aither autonomous or yer no autonomous.

  86. NewportDee says:

    Excuse my ignorance but what happens in Germany in respect of the EU rules where federalism is to the fore? Who makes the rules within the party re candidate selection etc?

  87. K.A.Mylchreest says:

    @ Robert Peffers

    I think the word your looking for is ‘semi-autonomous’.

    Definition : “You’re entirely free to do as you like … just so long as you do as you’re told!”

  88. Alexandra Campbell says:

    Rev Stu

    Suggest you read Ian Murray MP’s Facebook page where a loyal fan asked him about this post. Could it be true? Would Ian comment? The reply from the erudite MP from red Morningside: “I recommend you never read that tosh.”

    That’s that settled then.

  89. Melanie McKellar says:

    in my opinion all political parties represented in the Scottish, Welsh and N.I. Parliaments/Assemblies should be registered as freestanding/independent/ separate entities in the country of representation.
    Having a UK affiliated Party represent voters in a devolved parliament flies in the face of democracy and representation of the people. Also puts a huge ? on the recent EVEL debacle and the background on its inception!!!

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