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The road of the dodo

Posted on May 22, 2015 by

STV’s Stephen Daisley yesterday penned one of the more thoughtful analyses we’ve seen on the future of Labour, both UK and Scottish varieties, although it’s perhaps a bit heavy on “they should do things that are popular and will make people vote for them” and a bit light on what those things would actually be.

But there’s also this.


It’s a bit like watching a rabbit on a motorway explain that lights can’t hurt you.

Gray, along with the rest of Scottish Labour, spent the day screaming about Scottish education, with which there are undoubtedly some worrying issues. Tweet after tweet asserted that the SNP are very bad, but with practical ideas for improving the situation rather thinner on the ground, which is a politer way of saying “non-existent”.

(The most we can deduce is that Labour seem to be opposed to free tuition again, although the party campaigned in the general election on that very policy.)

But that’s only a symptom, not the real problem. Time and again since the carnage of May 7th, Scottish Labour politicians have bemoaned that the problem wasn’t its policies, but that people simply wouldn’t give them a hearing at all. What today shows is that they’ve learned absolutely nothing from the experience.

The facts about the history of tuition fees in Scotland are stark and unarguable:

– in 1997 when Labour came to power, higher education was free.

– the Labour government then introduced fees of £1000 a year across the UK, which meant a four-year degree in Scotland suddenly cost £4000.

– in 2000, the Labour-led Scottish Executive replaced said fees with a “graduate endowment”, meaning that Scottish students paid £2000 retrospectively towards the cost of their education – half of what it had cost them under Labour’s fees system in 1999, but still £2000 more than the £0 they’d been paying in 1997.

In the space of three years, then, while claiming to have “abolished” tuition fees, Labour had in fact increased the cost of a degree in Scotland from zero to £2000. Those are the cold, hard, unyielding truths.

Yet astonishingly, 15 years later, the party’s education spokesman in Scotland is still trying to dance on the head of a semantic pin and insist that Labour abolished fees. The assumption, flying in the face of more than a decade of accumulated electoral evidence, appears to be that Scottish voters – including those who had to pay the “endowment” – are simple-minded idiots who can be fooled by a bit of wordplay.

It’s a trait that regular readers of this site will recognise as being personified in the form of party activist Duncan Hothersall – a desperate evasion and twisting of reality by the use of linguistic pedantry, doggedly ignoring the fact that everyone long ago realised the emperor’s nudity.


Readers, we miss the amusement arcades of the 1980s (especially the decade’s first half). The halcyon era of the coin-op videogame, the period saw every second building on seaside promenades dedicated to a wide range of varied, inventive cabinets showcasing the then-new medium to intoxicating effect in dark rooms full of neon lights, twinkling CRT screens and cacophanies of unearthly electronic noise.

But arcades died. Those that survive are different beasts, full of fruit machines and “redemption” devices effectively carrying out the sale of wildly-overpriced plastic tat and cuddly toys to children. Affordable games consoles found in every other home now outstrip coin-op cabinets technologically by a distance, rendering the arcade redundant as a place of discovery and awe.

Kids don’t want to shovel £1 a shot into games lasting 180 seconds when the same amount of money (or less) would buy them infinite play on one for their iPhone.

The simple fact is that the arcade’s time has passed. A few examples still cling grimly to life on piers and esplanades, eking out a living from sallow-faced gamblers and audiences held captive by the British weather, but they’re basically ghosts. There’s no resurgence coming, no return to the glory days waiting just over the horizon.

Watching the Labour Party in 2015, stubbornly repeating the same lines that people have been seeing through for years, it’s hard not to find ourselves transported wistfully back to Southport and Bridlington and Blackpool, the same kind of resort towns where the People’s Party used to hold its annual conferences.

Iain Gray dutifully trotting out the “Labour abolished tuition fees” line yet again, even as his timeline fills with angry people telling him they’re still paying off their student debts from Labour’s time in power before the SNP finally DID return the cost of a Scottish university education to zero, sounds to our ears a lot like the arcade industry trying to convince itself that gigantic six-player “ride” games like Galaxian 3 would finally haul it out of the doldrums.

(As do the procession of would-be UK leaders proclaiming that only a move even further to the “centre”, ie the right, can reverse the party’s electoral fortunes.)


In Scotland, Labour is reduced to below a breeding pair, like the last white rhino in Africa. Were you to press us to fill in the detail missing from Stephen Daisley’s piece on how to save the party, we might draw a blank too. Sometimes there’s simply no option other than to set your jaw and submit to the inevitable. Sometimes history just moves on, and there’s no avoiding it.

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    222 to “The road of the dodo”

    1. Capella says:

      A brilliant but sad analogy. Their founding principles, like the white rhino DNA, are still there.
      “From each according to their ability, to each according to their need” sounds like a reasonable foundation to me.

    2. mogatrons says:

      The best synopsis of SLAB I’ve read so for.

      Your arcade analogy awakened a long forgotten ache in my soul ..I suddenly realised I miss wasted lunchtimes surrounded by class mates at Porty beach arcades playing ‘Defender’

    3. “With a rustle of ballot papers the curtain falls on Labour’s history. The show is over. The party’s few remaining members get up to leave their seats. Time to collect their coats and go home. They turn round to find no more coats and no more home.”

      From an article I wrote on the Death of Scottish Labour in March.

    4. Erchie says:

      Stephen Daisley comes across as a personable guy, but his articles on Labour, from his pre-election paean of praise for his Grandad’s Labour and how we shouldn’t throw that away, his defence of the increasingly ludicrous Jim Murphy, and this latest article shows that part of the problem, a large part, is the press.

      They have not just given Labour an easy ride (up here), but they have substituted for activists and campaigners, so that the Party got.along, rotting, for a couple of decades before the hollow shell we see is all that is left

      Mr Disley and others, if they want to help the Party they so obviously love, should park that love at the door and give Labour the sane hard time they give the SNP. Then it would have to work to get anywhere

    5. scottieDog says:

      One of the stages of grief I guess. Denial.

    6. john king says:

      Like Cara Hilton tried to pretend that the Labour party had abolished bridge tolls, the explanation however is very enlightening.

    7. Gillian_Ruglonian says:

      There was a poignancy there at the end that I wasn’t expecting, nicely done

    8. Capella says:

      An EU study finds the UK the most unequal country in the EU.
      Perhaps the Labour Party could “aspire” to remedy that instead of struggle to clamber into the top 10%.

    9. Gavin Greig says:

      Headline could do with more apostrophe: “The road o’ the dodo”!

      I saw Iain Gray’s tweet yesterday and couldn’t believe they are still trying it on. The first thing Labour need to acquire, if they’re to have any hope of recovery, is a reputation for speaking truth. This won’t do it.

    10. BornOptimist says:

      Have a look at this link and then ask the Scottish Government what they are going to do. Remind her that one doesn’t have to abide by the rules if one has high moral standards, and I believe that Nicola Sturgeon and her colleagues aspire to govern in a manner that respects people and their aspirations.

      I’ve lost all respect for Cameron and his cronies and it is time they were shown up on the world stage for what they are. They are letting not only Scots but everyone in the UK down, and letting people die in the process. Ask the Scottish Government to do something that will make the world take notice.

    11. Hoss Mackintosh says:

      I blame BBC Scotland.

      If only they had asked SLAB some difficult questions over the last ten years then things may have been different.

      Get a free ride from the media and see what happens…

      Result – a generation of useless numpties.

    12. Hoss Mackintosh says:

      I loved the Tempest arcade game – the one with the spin control and fire button and those brilliant wireframe graphics.

      Can Labour not have a policy to reopen these old arcades and reuse these old games. I would vote for that!

    13. Richie says:

      Firstly I should clarify I’m not a labour voter, green yes all the way for me.

      My point though is that bickering about this masks a serious problem building up here. While no tuition fees is an admirable thing when the stats are analysed this has fundamentally protected the higher education system for the middle classes. As someone who works in tertiary education I can categorically assure you that this policy has been paid for by savagely cutting the FE sector. A sector which provides a second chance for many whether they be mothers re-skirling to return to the workplace or working class students failed by the education system fe can offer a better job or the opportunity of a place at uni which otherwise would not be available to them, numbers of places in Scotland have been drastically slashed closing the door on a place at uni for many as a direct result of hw the government have managed this over the last two terms at Holyrood.

      As I said there is no point in bickering about who is worse than whom, but if our government is to campaign on a platform of left wing social justice then rather than indulge in whataboutery style squabbles we need to start holding them to account on their record and encourage them to start on some redistributive policies which are genuinely left wing and based in social justice do we not?

    14. Clootie says:

      I think it is already too late for Labour in Scotland. The ex-members and activists who have aleady left will not return to the empty shell that is Labour. Those who once voted Labour have now broken the habit of switching between Westminster and Holyrood.

      Who is left?
      The die hard “always voted Labour” brigade and they will simply die out over the next 20 to 25 years

      The process may speed up after the UK Labour Leadership contest as the common claim is a need to move further Right. I would be ashamed to be a party member under the policies outlined bt these contenders for leadership.

    15. Brotyboy says:

      @Alistair Livingston

      Good article, I enjoyed it and learned a little more from it.

    16. Denise says:

      I am blocked by Daisley so did not see the article. It is strange because I am always polite despite being a ”Cybernat'” it is odd how thin skinned journalists are BBC are the worst they seem to have a policy of blocking anyone that calls them out for their inaccurate reporting. Doubly strange as journalist’s raison d’être is to have folk read their stuff so blocking so you can’t read it is counter productive. The MSM are not adapting to social media and lare going the way of the Labour Party and the DoDo

    17. Bugger (the Panda) says:

      R 4 Just discussing Gen Montgomerie and the idea that he had Aspergers Syndrom.

      Could there be a version, as yet undiscovered, for the Labour Party?

    18. Tackety Beets says:

      Iain Gray was in some of my classes in Sec School , so I moved in his circle as a teenager .
      I would never wish to dish the personal dirt as we all did something in our teens we keep quiet about.

      My opinion is this ” Academically he seamed up there among the brighter half o the class. ”
      Away from school I think we use the phrase ” Nae the brightest light on the tree”
      I met again him recently at a Parliament doo and the above was re-confirmed .

      We will all recall his ding dong with Alex S a few years back when IG refused to support SG on the 20k Apprentice places with IG proclaiming it was not enough .
      AS reminded him that the Lab manifesto had 5k places .
      It was a classic Homer Simpson moment in Parliament .
      This iPad is useless with links otherwise I’d find one !

      If this was the 70’s we would say ” Ach yon Laybur Perty is foo o Divs “

    19. Ken500 says:

      Labour/Unionists are liars. Westminster is a corrupt institution full of Unionists crooks who sanction and starve the vulnerable. The Unionist crooks and their associates line their pockets with stolen taxpayers money. Deplorable.

      Iain Grey and the rest of them are shameless. They don’t comprehend elementary Maths and are liars.

    20. Dr Ew says:

      There is a kernel of truth in those Labour wails that people simply don’t / won’t / can’t listen to them anymore. Even if they have something that could amount to a decent policy – e.g. taxing nom-doms – or a valid point on something like FE places with which to debate on the SNP, the simple fact is nobody wants to hear. I’ve heard Labour activists bemoan time and time again. Of course, when anyone tries to explain why THEY won’t listen. So it goes.

      Partly it’s the style of relentless attack, attack, attack when there are little or no valid grounds, partly it’s the denial and distortions of their own record, partly it’s the general incompetence or attitudes of their leaders but, ultimately, it’s all down to one single thing: They’ve lost trust.

      This loss of trust is so profound it’s really gone beyond policy or leaders or presentation or even claimed values. It’s like an abuser partner alternately threatening and pleading and warning his victim not to leave, scorning their capacity to survive without his power. Once you’ve opened that door and inhaled the fresh air, there’s no going back to the one you once loved for now you see him for what he is, a frightened little bully with nowhere to go.

    21. Ken500 says:

      The Greens are useless Hypocrites. Waste £Millions of taxpayers money. Non progressive.

    22. Dan Huil says:

      Labour in England will have to move further to the right if they want to have a chance of winning in England. If Labour in Scotland doesn’t break completely free from Labour in England they will never win in Scotland again.

    23. Denise says:

      I am blocked by Daisley which is odd as I am always polite despite being a ‘CyberNat’. BBC journalists are the same they block anyone that calls them out on their inaccurate reporting. It is doubly odd because a journalist’s reason d’etre is to be read, blocking prevents folk from reading their stuff, the MSM are not adapting to social media will they go the way of the Labour Party and the Dodo?

    24. Giesabrek says:


      While the middle classes do benefit from free higher education, this is what Universalism is about and why the NHS in particular was created to be free for everyone.

      Your argument can apply not only to free higher education but also free primary and secondary education (all those middle class parents should pay for their children’s education so that it can improve the school education system for everyone).

      It can also apply to the NHS – charge the middle classes and above and the NHS will have more money.

      But what you forget is that the more you earn, the more tax you pay and it can be easily argued that the middle classes have already paid for higher education through their greater tax contribution, which can be significantly higher thanks to the 40% tax bracket.

    25. Skot i Sverige says:

      Great piece Rev
      Very apt that you use video games as being analogous to the state of play in UK at the moment. I think the Thatcher years are responsible for this malady afflicting the UK bringing in the quick buck and self serving existence mentality which is a very British thing and sad this seems to have been sustained and fed through the Blair Brown and Tory years since by the media.
      I think the conspiracy nuts aren’t far off the mark when suggesting there are lizard people who have infiltrated the establishment and are sending humanity toward some kind of catastrophic conclusion where they will be the ones who have the means to survive the cataclysm.
      The information age I hope will become more important for real humans who realise we are all in this together for each other.

    26. Sneddon says:

      Hate to be pedantic but only university tutition is free for students domiciled in Scotland. There’s still the student loan. Bring back the maintenance grant. The grant was good enough for the current generation of polititcians then it’s good enough for students today.
      Apart from that Ian Gray displays the usual delusional waffle from labour. Is it in part a reaction to being the polititcans who’ll be remembered for destroying a once great party?

    27. Macart says:

      Their biggest problem?

      They’ve believed their own publicity and their own hype for too many years. They’ve lost sight of the difference between reality, lies told, stories spun and facts misrepresented. I’m surprised they know what day of the week it is to be honest.

      No, they believe they know what’s best for people, and if the people need to be lied to in order to see things their way, or point them in the right electoral direction? Well that’s all part of ‘the game’ isn’t it?

      Good riddance to the lot of them.

    28. Al Dossary says:

      Like the arcades, SL will remain alive – but only in the hands of a few, die-hard enthusiasts.

      Unfortunately I am one of those die-hard arcade enthusiasts who has just spent the last 30 mins getting an earful from my wife over the fact that I had a Taito Defender and Joust 2 dropped of in the garage last week that she only just found out about.

    29. ian says:

      Dan Huil. Even if we had an independent Labour party in Scotland could they be trusted to be truely independent from the mother party?It may be possible if they supported an independent Scotland.

    30. paul gerard mccormack says:

      ‘…a desperate evasion and twisting of reality by the use of linguistic pedantry, doggedly ignoring the fact that everyone long ago realised the emperor’s nudity.’

      Thank you Wings. And there you have it in a wunner. That is the Slabbers to a tee. What a wonderful post.

    31. ClanDonald says:

      Oh man, I really, really hope Kez gets the leader gig! Yesterday’s “labour abolished tuition fees” blunder was magnificently incompetent, if only she’d do this every week from now till next May the Labour Party will face a certain wipe out in the Scottish elections. Can’t wait.

    32. A local Tory woman tried to spin me Gray’s line on tuition fees on the Saturday before the election when I was helping at an SNP street stall in Aberdeenshire West. The reality of the situation was explained to her. Our parting shot was to quote Obama. “You can put lipstick on a pig, but it’s still a pig”. Gray and Labour are kidding no-one on the subject of tuition fees.

    33. Nathan in Cardiff says:

      Ahh playing Battlezone in the Golden Goose in Southport. Happy days! I liked Michael Foot’s donkey jacket too. Can’t imagine Stella Creasy wearing one though.

      Brilliant analysis, Rev.

    34. Ken500 says:

      Students from household of under £21K (national one person average income) get a £2500 non repayable Grant. Students in Scotland (res) still have loans and have student debt. It is just on average less debt. Students in Scotland still contribute to the cost of their education. Paying back the loan with accumulating interest. (UK sold off the loan Co.To their associates for profit) Originaloaners were interest free and everyone got one. Thatcher took in student loans to replace the (non repayable) support Grant, everyone got one.

      Colleges have adequate funding. They do very well, many are having £Millions make overs. ‘Additional’ needs students do well at College/Uni with better support than at school to realise their full potential.

      The Labour/Unionists means tested student loans on household incomes up to £42K. Many students of households of average earning did not get a full loan. So could not apply for University, without household support. Many students with straight ‘A’ could not apply for University. The lack of applications from working class students? No adequate funding. They could not get a full loan but could get £3K? Unemployment benefit. A colossal waste of taxpayer money.

    35. Ken500 says:

      Rev Stu normal service has resumed. Thank Stu. Could do with a re run of the LBB for the Holyrood election. ‘Reach the parts where none have gone before’. Another crowdfunder in plenty of time. Not last minute. Or sell them on sites.

    36. Macca73 says:

      Great piece of writing this and shows the way that Labour are almost being like a person on the phone to the party headquarters whilst talking to the electorate in a “Yeah, Yeah I hear you, we’ve got to understand what went wrong and look inwardly” without actually doing it.

      Career politics in Scotland and the old boys club in Westminster better wake up or none of these parties which are serving south of the border will ever win a seat again.

      If they don’t want us they should have let us go last year.

      The BBC as was posted earlier by Denise also has a part to play in this in Scotland, Ask the serious questions of the people in politics and although it’s not the answer you wanted you’ll at least get the answer that the people deserve. You didn’t and you’re now surprised that people are cancelling thier TV licence fees at 1000 people a day across the whole country not just in Scotland?

      Final part of this (and it’s a long one, I’m sorry) I watched the election this time round like never before. Living across the border as I do I saw how the scaremongering was played full on to the electorate in England to scare them but they way that the party leaders of the Westminster Parties went around speaking to closed private electoral audiences did my nut in. Nicola was alone in going out and meeting the real people. Her human touch and her understanding of seeing people first hand was brilliant and I applaud her for this. She’s not afraid in debate because she’s seen the white of electorate’s eyes. The rest of them will do well to remember that!

      Right, Thanks for that! 🙂

    37. One_Scot says:

      Lies and deception are all Labour has now, along with BBC Scotland and the Daily Record obviously.

    38. ianbeag says:

      Guido Fawkes highlights the career ‘highs’of McTernan, one the contributing architects of SLAB’s demise.

    39. dakk says:

      The MSM are now trying to help Labour and and Lib dems to reinvent themselves to keep the establishment triumvirate in place.

      This was again apparent on QT last night with the great white hope Tim Farron making his bid with a slightly more statesmanlike haircut than usual.

      Labour are establishment, so any reincarnation of faux socialism will be just that-trading on some kind of nostalgic perception of what some individuals may have said or did 100 years ago.

      I for one think Labour are a the scourge of Scotland and have no part to play in our progressive future.

      Looks like Stuart has been inBlackpool or Tanzania for his wee break with the inspiration for this piece. Nice one 🙂

    40. Anne says:

      I’ve just read an article in the Guardian – timeline:tuition fees Education the Guardian.

      December 21 1999
      The Cubie report recommends that tuition fees in Scotland should be replaced by a graduate endowment scheme, whereby the Scottish executive would pay the fees. Students would be required to pay £3,000 of it back when their earnings reached £25,000 a year.

      December 21 1999
      The Cubie report recommends that tuition fees in Scotland should be replace a graduate endowment scheme, whereby the Scottish executive would pay the fees. Students would be required to pay £3,000 of it back when their earnings reached £25,000 a year.

      January 2000
      Following the publication of the Cubie report, the Scottish executive decides to abolish up-front tuition fees, announcing a replacement graduate scheme similar to Cubie’s proposals.

      Students in Scotland would now payback £2,000, not £3,000, but repayments would start once earnings reached just £10,000 – way below the £25,000 recommended in the Cubie report.

    41. Training Day says:

      I remember an ex-colleague of mine describing ten years ago a reasonably prominent ‘public servant’ as ‘a good Labour man’. Coming from my ex-colleague, who also thought of himself as ‘a good Labour man’, it was a signal that the reasonably prominent person was ok, could be relied upon, and if you knew on what side your bread was buttered, well, you’d better be clear on what you should do..

      The public servant operated in an environment surrounded by aspiring ‘good Labour men’. Indistinguishable from each other, they had anchored themselves to Labour not through conviction or principle, but as a result of a lifestyle choice. Best be a part of the structure which is perceived to wield power and influence in Scotland rather than the reverse, eh? – certainly if you know on which side your bread is buttered..

      This is how Labour came to be devoid of ideas, principle and integrity. The aspirants sensed their limited talents would be disproportionately rewarded as part of what they thought was the perpetual ruling clique. The party, for its part, cared not that they were hoovering up people without vision or passion to be their vanguard, as long as the stranglehold on Scottish public life could be maintained. The result of all this was unchecked and unchallenged mediocrity.

      Fittingly, one of the aspirants I mention above was routed as part of Labour’s humiliation on 7 May.

      I’m reminded of a cowboy shooter arcade game I used to play as a kid, and which now seems aptly to describe Labour’s final destination: Boot Hill.

    42. galamcennalath says:

      Good article. There was a time when Labour was a driving force for social progress in Scotland. Those days have long gone and will never return. Labour now stand in the way of our political aspirations. Their role has completely reversed.

      Labour’s woes in Scotland are of its own making. Their time is past. I certainly don’t mourn their now rapid demise. Without their media buddies, the fall would be even swifter.

      We lost the referendum for many reasons. An important one was Labour’s part in BetterTogether with all the fearmongering, deceit and false promises. This was effective due to residual credibility Labour still held among Scots, especially older traditional voters.

      We will win IndyRef2. One of the main reasons will be the much weakened Labour Party next time. Weak, not only in scale, but weak on credibility and influence. Next time Labour won’t be in a position to front for the BritNat Tories who were the real power behind the scenes.

    43. Phronesis says:

      This is a wonderfully thoughtful piece by Dame Aline- Wendy, Emeritus Professor at Strathclyde Uni written just before the Indy vote for ‘Academics for Yes’ & who knows a bit about education…

      Past, present and future: Thinking about reversing early educational and care inequalities in an Independent Scotland.
      Aline-Wendy Dunlop

      The 18th century is often described as Scotland’s ‘Golden Age’. Though famous for the Wealth of Nations, in his Theory of Moral Sentiments (1759), Adam Smith’s main contention was that human morality depends on sympathy between the individual and other members of society: it shows that our moral ideas and actions are a product of our very nature as social creatures. It argues that this social psychology is a better guide to moral action than is reason. It identifies the basic rules of prudence and justice that are needed for society to survive, and explains the additional, beneficent, actions that enable it to flourish. In the middle of the twentieth century early childhood settings in Scotland identified space, appropriate play materials, skilled help and companionship as the foundations of professional effort with that being an extension of the function of the home and not a substitute for it. 14 years into the 21st Century we continue to see early education and care struggling to narrow the inequalities gap: educational outcomes in Scotland must be fairer.

      Not unambitious for Scotland’s children, presently Scottish Government “wants to make Scotland the best place for children and young people to grow up, from giving them the best start in life to ensuring they have the opportunities to thrive and develop into healthy, confident individuals, ready to succeed” (Children and Young People Bill, 2013). In this short paper early childhood in Scotland is viewed through a lens of past, present and future: by taking account of trends in early years policies and practices; the values that withstand time and what makes for a distinctively Scottish approach that draws on our history and culture but is potentially dynamic, forward looking and puts children and their families first.

      Looking at key findings of the Early Childhood Education and Care Provision: International Review of Policy, Delivery and Funding (Scottish Government, 2013a) sheds some light on what we need to achieve:
      • ECEC is integrated in terms of overall ministerial responsibility, but with different sub-departments for education and for childcare services. Not all early years services follow the educational framework. Education and regulation of childcare is a devolved matter. ECEC is not integrated with parental and other leave.
      • ECEC policy is split between the UK government and the devolved governments of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. While Scotland has responsibility for the provision of education and social services, including early education and childcare, and aspects of workforce qualifications and development, the Westminster Government retains responsibility for other ECEC-related areas such as leave policies and the tax system.
      • Across the UK, public expenditure on social protection makes up 28% of
      GDP. In 2007, 3.6% of GDP was directed towards family benefits. 0.7% of GDP was spent on preschool education and 0.4% on childcare, for a total of about 1.1% of GDP.
      • With the transition to Universal Credit, the UK benefit system is currently
      undergoing a period of reform. From 2013, the Universal Credit has replaced child tax credits and housing benefits previously available to families with children.
      • Parental leave in Scotland is unpaid.
      • Curriculum for Excellence is Scotland’s integrated curriculum for children and
      young people age three to eighteen.
      • 96.1% of three to four year olds receive some free early education.
      • Early education and childcare in Scotland encompasses a wide range of
      services. Formal provision includes nurseries (day nurseries, nursery schools,
      nursery classes), playgroups, children or family centres and registered
      childminding. Many children are also looked after informally by grandparents,
      friends and neighbours, nannies or other home carers.
      • Childcare costs in Scotland are among the highest in Britain for part-time places; parents pay nearly as much as parents in Southern England, but on lower incomes.
      • Two separate agencies are responsible for the regulation and inspection of
      ECEC services in Scotland – Education Scotland for education services and the Care Inspectorate for childcare services.
      • ECEC is a mixed economy financed by the state (18%) and by private individuals (70%). Much childcare is provided informally.

      Additionally this year Scotland’s educational Statistical Bulletin reports that:
      • The percentage of preschool children with access to a qualified teacher drops year on year, as does the number of specialist preschool teachers.
      • Class sizes in early primary cannot exceed 26, the aspiration to reduce primary 1 class size further is ongoing (90% are in classes of 25 or fewer (Scottish Government, 2014).

      This reality highlights the gap between the discourse of policy and the day-to-day experiences of families: their reality. It is my belief that in an independent Scotland we must narrow and eradicate these inequalities, that in a newly strong democratic and egalitarian philosophy we could effect a continuity of systems and leave the existing two tier system behind. We need to act decisively and locally and build now on what has already been achieved in Scottish early education and childcare: the raising of standards, universal provision at some level, the improved qualifications of staff, and learn how to close the persistent attainment gap that flourishes in Scotland.
      Can the past and the present give us any insight into what happens next?
      A narrative of shifting policy directions in early childhood is not unique to Scotland, and the ambition and investment in early childhood as a tool to turn our country around is also reflected elsewhere, what is consistent in Scotland is the attention we have collectively been paying to these early years. Perceptions of what works best differ, talk of economic investment has been matched by economic constraint – often at a local level with closures of schools, arguments about hours, staffing and pay that do not always nor consistently put small children first. But a willingness to consider that ‘more of the same’ is not necessarily today’s answer.

      Achievements should be acknowledged – the drive for access for all 3 and 4 year olds to early childhood education, the debate about a fully qualified workforce, registration (though perpetuating the school and social care divide), improved offer in terms of hours of attendance, access to a teacher (whatever that means), some attention to all under threes for whom we have excellent guidance (Pre-Birth to Three, Education Scotland, 2010) but for whom we need greater equity of provision. The relationship between ‘universal’ and ‘targeted’ remains contentious, but with all the effort of GIRFEC (2012) and the passing of a Children and Young People Act (2014) a key part of achieving that ambition is to offer a fairer future for all children, measures include:

      • Increasing the amount of flexible early learning and childcare to a minimum of 600 hours annually for three and four year olds and looked-after two-year olds – the best package in the UK
      • Taking forward the Getting it Right For Every Child (GIRFEC) approach to provide children and young people with access to a ‘Named Person’ from birth to 18 years old who would act as the key, central point of contact; and to a single ‘Child’s Plan’ for those who need one to ensure services are coordinated where necessary to help and support a child or young person
      • Ensuring children’s rights are considered across the whole of the public sector – in line with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC)
      • Extending the powers of Scotland’s Commissioner for Children and Young so they can launch investigations on behalf of individual children or young people
      • Introducing a new kinship care order as an additional option to help provide children with a long-term, stable, care environment

      System reform aimed at the exercise of civil and political rights for all requires an educated society, across all sectors of that society and from an early age. Support for the kindergarten in liberal and radical circles a century ago influenced the development of inner city nursery schools in all major cities of Scotland from 1901 forward.

      Since qualifying as a teacher 45 years ago I have been closely involved in the process of children’s education. Despite the comings and goings of policy the provision of education of our 5 to 18 year olds has always been secure. For those under-five and over school leaving age this is less certain and opportunities often few. As a young college lecturer I saw the raising of the school leaving age to 16 and worked with a group of young people who had expected to walk out of school in the summer, only to find they were obliged to stay in the statutory education system. As always educational reform had an immediate effect on some and this particular set of guinea pigs were sent to college rather than kept in school. In the main they attended, but participation was another matter until the most vocal and least captivated of ROSLA students found out I had worked with her wee cousin who had special needs. Deemed to have made a difference for one child in these most vulnerable of children the rest of the group soon fell into line and treated me with the courtesy of listening – the rest was up to me. It is this disaffection that seems to me to be at the heart of our need for change in social policies – of a move to small, local and connected approaches, beginning with the very youngest children. And why? So that each of us has some sense of being able to make decisions that will affect our lives instead of being roller-coastered along by policies and systems that are generated by people that do not know us, don’t plan to know us and yet suffer from a belief that they know best.

      Much more recently – and for the first time in my career, national discussions in my field of ECEC have felt much closer and more accessible: this since the inception of our Scottish Parliament.

      However the current Scottish Secretary writes of a need to ensure UK politics and policies have more presence in Scotland and it will be thus that independence will finally be dealt with – rejected (Reported in The Herald 28th July 2014). My mind is already made up to vote for a more colourful, more debated, more interested and interesting politic – one which I now believe can only be achieved in ways that will genuinely make a positive difference for Scottish voters in the future through a vote for Independence. In the absence of guaranteed further devolution – clearly a million miles off Alistair Carmichael’s radar – then this is the only way forward for Scotland to secure a fairer future for all of its citizens based on their interested and committed involvement in decision making about our shared future. What an opportunity! Had I not already made up my mind this call for further control from a far away and too distant Government– in miles yes but more significantly in culture, in philosophy and in social values – in order to silence the Scots that would like more part in determining their own future – would make me think, if I were a NO voter, why I was making no choice but digging in with the status quo. It is the arrogance, nay condescension of ‘she/he-who-knows-best’ that makes me want to try to make a difference.

      For whom and for what?– there are so many issues to espouse – higher education, employment, people’s happiness, self-determination, old age, poverty, a closer relationship with decision makers, anti-nuclear, health, families, vulnerability, renewables, the economy, foreign affairs, industry, the arts, children. At the heart of all endeavor is the importance of the child – the United Kingdom is one of the world’s 25 richest nations – but in this privileged group in 2007 a UNICEF report alerted us its children’s health and well being is one of the poorest (UNICEF, 2007). Although the data was collected separately for England, Scotland and Wales it was the data for England (the largest sample) that was used (Currie in UNICEF, 2007).

      Since 2007 – since a change in Government in Scotland we have seen change for young children gallop forward, but still we have a gap in school outcomes, work opportunities and health outcomes at a later stage.

      Parental involvement, the quality of the home learning environment, the degree of stress or happiness in a household, being unconditionally loved by at least one primary caregiver, family health, housing quality, maternal well-being: maternal and child mental health: all contribute to a good start in life. Therefore as a small country we must attend to the health and well-being of families so they are well placed to do what families can do best – bring up their children. Successive Governments have introduced policy, guidance, reforms: children’s levels of attainment, their educational outcomes, have improved across the board, but what we have failed to do is narrow the gap that exists between the majority and the minority – a fifth to a quarter of all Scottish children live in poverty – policy rhetoric focuses on such figures, but what this means is that a fifth to a quarter of families live in poverty.

      Such inequalities have a greater impact the younger or more vulnerable the individual or the more insecure or unpredictable their circumstances are. The Scottish Household Survey of 2012 (Scottish Government, 2013b) showed that –

      • 24,000 families experience severe, multiple disadvantage, including overcrowding, worklessness and poor health
      • Glasgow is the worst affected area with 1 in 10 families severely disadvantaged
      • Unmarried households with children are six times more likely to be severely disadvantaged than married households.

      (Scottish Household Survey (SHS), a large-scale survey of the characteristics, attitudes and behaviour of Scottish households and individuals on a range of issues, including social justice, housing and transport)

      An income based approach isn’t enough. The humanist concern with widening education was shared historically by reformers and as early as 1560 there was a plan for a school in every parish in Scotland, but at that time proved financially impossible. However In 1616 an act in Privy Council commanded every parish to establish a school “where convenient means may be had”, and when the Parliament of Scotland ratified this with the Education Act of 1633 Education is often cited as children’s best chance and has been seen as instrumental in social change since Scotland promoted education for all.

      Is this what we still perpetuate in our zeal to make a difference? I have huge faith in children, I’m less confident about the rest of us to do the job they need from us. We have the potential, together with children and their families to develop a new Scottish Enlightenment in which every one of us is loved and valued by at least another in a common and companionable culture. Scottish early years policy across health, social care and education emphasises the shift in the balance from intervention to prevention in order to promote positive infant mental health. Infant mental health is seen primarily as relational with the mother-infant dyad at the centre. Understandings of the role of the practitioner are derived from policy, research and practice. To be effective in creating equality in educational opportunity as a nation we need to foster infant and therefore maternal mental health by adopting an holistic view and recognising the many influences upon the mother and child (Dunlop et al, 2014). An ecological model in which all levels of the system are taken into account, where families and communities are supported to self-support, where local interacts with national and where people have a voice that interrelates with family, community, practitioner and policy maker: that is the hope of working together productively and in a constituency where the provision is tailored to local aspiration. That belief in the innate capacity of children; the curiosity, motivation and drive of nearly all children to find out, experience and learn so driving their development forward, combined with understanding the importance of home culture give abiding principles for any society, but tailored to our Scottish culture give the maximum opportunity for success.

      In their “Closing the attainment gap in Scottish Education” Report, Sosu & Ellis (2014) summarise what can be done to make Scottish education more equitable from the early years onwards. They identify agents of change and mechanisms that are potential levers to effect positive change. They specify what can be done to make these levers more effective. They argue that “establishing and maintaining the focus on equity for pupils from economically disadvantaged backgrounds will require persistent and focused political and professional effort.” (page 43) and that robust evidence is needed to inform effective change.

      The fight for independence is a fight against ignorance (Stephen Maxwell, 2012) – there is much wisdom in Scotland about what works for young children and their families – in an Independent Scotland we will stop demonizing the poorer members of our society, we will be able to bring together policy affecting children’s education, health and care with policy affecting parental income, housing, urban regeneration, the position of women, employability, mental health, physical life chances – in other words a socially just society, taking responsibility for itself and its own decisions and adopting new and enlightened approaches to closing the persistent gap between better off and poorer families, the persistent health inequalities affecting the lifecourse, and the persistent educational inequalities that mean the attainment gap simply does not go away. Policy is “the authoritative allocation of values” (Press, 2006, 2013). UK wide policy discourse has not been sufficiently mediated by country context: significant policy areas remain under separate jurisdictions. There may be a common language but this can hide deep differences. It is my hope that we can move forward through an independent Scotland to a future that recaptures an enlightened and fairer democracy.

      Dunlop, A-W, Carwood-Edwards, J, Delafield-Butt, J & Ludke, K (2014) Best Possible Start, Infant Mental Health Workforce Development Report for NHS Lanarkshire. Unpublished.
      Education Scotland (2010) (then LTS) Pre-birth to Three: Positive Outcomes for Scotland’s Children and Families. National Guidance. Glasgow: Learning & Teaching Scotland.
      Maxwell, S (2012) Evidence, Risk and the Wicked Issues: Arguing for Independence. Edinburgh: Luath Press.
      Press, F. (2006). What about the kids? Policy directions for improving the experiences of infants and young children in a changing world. Commission for Children and Young People, NSW; Commission for Children and Young People, Queensland, National Investment for the Early Years.
      Press, F (2013) Presentation at POET, CSU, Albury, April 2013
      Scottish Government Getting it right for every child []
      Scottish Government (2012)
      Scottish Government (2013a) Early Childhood Education and Care Provision: International Review of Policy, Delivery and Funding, Final Report- Dr Ingela Naumann, Ms Caitlin McLean, Dr Alison Koslowski,Prof Kay Tisdall (CRFR, University of Edinburgh), and Ms Eva Lloyd (ICMEC, University of East London). Centre for Research on Families and Relationships. The University of Edinburgh, Accessed 20th October, 2013 []
      Scottish Government (2013b) Scotland’s People. Annual Report: Results from 2012 Scottish Household Survey. A National Statistics Publication for Scotland
      Scottish Government (December 2013, amended February 2014) Statistical Bulletin, Education Series. [;]
      Smith, A (1759) Theory of Moral Sentiments.
      Sosu, E & Ellis, S (2014) Closing the Attainment Gap in Scottish Education. Joseph Rowntree Report [www.JRF.ORG.UK] Accessed July 2014
      UNICEF (2007) Innocenti Report Card 7, 2007 Child poverty in perspective: An overview of child well-being in rich countries. UNICEF

    44. Grouse Beater says:

      The very fact that people here are discussing their own or alleged ‘think tank’ proposals for higher education fees is a sure sign the neo-liberals have inculcated enough people to see their ideal of privatised education realised eventually.

      Dig in your heels; the UK is a wealthy country. Education can and should be free for those resident in the UK. How are we to entice our people to stay here and contribute to our prosperity with their acquired skills and innovation?

    45. Grendel says:

      I stopped reading My Daisley’s article when he used the word “sesquipedalian”.

    46. Sinky says:

      We should always point out that when the SNP moved to scrap Labour’s back end students tuition fees, all Labour MSPs joined with the Tories to vote against the abolition of student tuition fees.

      Labour’s problems go back many years as their MPs treated the Scottish Parliament with disdain and used Scottish Questions at HoC to attack the SNP rather than hold the ConDem government to account.

      Their attitude towards Scotland was illustrated by Lord George Foulkes when he hold the BBC in May 2009 that “The SNP are on a very dangerous tack at the moment. What they are doing is trying to build up a situation in Scotland where the services are manifestly better than south of the border in a number of areas.”

      BBCs Colin MacKay intervened to say: “Is that a bad thing?”

      Lord George said: “No, but they are doing it deliberately…”. LOL

    47. Joemcg says:

      Kez Dugdale to run for NB branch manager leader!! Pairty time! This just gets better.

    48. david agnew says:

      labour has never been dealt such a back handed slap in Scotland.
      It has dominated scottish politics for 50 years and much of that time, it fed off anti-tory sentiment, getting fat and lazy as it did so.

      It couldn’t realise that its core message of “vote labour to keep out the tories” had been exposed as a cruel lie by 2010. By 2014 it had effectively positioned itself as a party that “really hated the SNP” but had little else to offer as an alternative.

      To attack a opponent’s position is to invite comparison with your own. Not actually having anything to say other than “We really hate the SNP” was always going to lead labour into a political cul-de-sac.

      They keep telling themselves they have something to offer, but can’t figure out what that is.

      They keep telling themselves that Kezia kept the SNP honest, while Murphy went about fatally wounding the party with one useless gimmick after another.

      Now here they are, once again pushing a line that failed to gain traction during the GE.

      With lips petted they pedal pedantry and artless sophistry. When in the name of God will the other shoe drop, and Labour realise how useless it actually is atm?

      When you see the odd bout of hand wringing about failing to connect and we need to find out what that is, coupled with another toothless attack from Mr Gray…well I am afraid that the answer is NO, Labour in Scotland are not going to learn anything from this.

      They are the peter principle writ large. A party of incompetents. What happened to them was richly deserved. their inability to acknowledge it just infuriates people even more.

      We can expect more slap downs to follow.

    49. ErinT says:

      Came for the Scottish Labour insight. Stayed for the discussion on arcades.

    50. Graham MacQueen says:

      Evidently, Scottish Labour politicians, and likewise staunch members of the party too I dare say, fail to realise that the reason the electorate refused to give them a hearing WAS because of their policies (together with their sycophantic attitude and lies).

      May they remain banished on the edge of piers for eternity.

    51. heedtracker says:

      Education has been weaponised by SLabour alrightee.

      In other news, our imperial master’s keep control of Scotland by making Andrew Dunlop a Lord and a minister of their Scottish office too. Dunlop didnt even have to stand for teamGB election to become a teamGB minister.

      Its a funny way to run their Scotland region without the plebs acting up but at least we can vote them out next time though, oh wait.

      The more things change…

    52. JLT says:

      Decided to take a wee break from the studies before my exam and to have a wee catch up on Wings. Have not been here for a few days now!

      And it seems nothing’s changed! Well …for Scottish Labour anyway!

      Labour seem to be like an old LP that has a scratch on it; rather than change the record, the party seem content to just let the needle scrape over the same scratch continually, and thus repeat the same old sounds! SNP = bad. Labour = well …anything if it will win them votes.

      Seriously, this is just getting worse from Scottish Labour. They have just been annihilated in the election. Rather than learn, they continually tell the worst of lies, continually denounce the SNP as some mad bad cult, and are still displaying the same arrogance, as well as making a complete dogs dinner in just about every interview or PR stunt.

      Jim Murphy will preside over changes within the party in his last working month (oh please!!! This is dream outcome no. 1)
      Kezia is seriously hinting at becoming Party Leader (this is dream outcome no. 2)

      The lies …and they are whoppers! …just keep coming (Labour ended tuition fees!!! Seriously ….WHAT!!!!).

      I honestly thought that after such a hiding at the election, that Scottish Labour would be jolted back into the real world. However, rather than take a pragmatic and sensible approach, it seems that the tragedy of Scottish Labour will continue, and they will probably be doomed to the history books come the May Elections in 2016. It makes you wonder just how long it will be, before serious civil war breaks out between the Labour MSP’s and the SLAB hierarchy will finally take place?

      Aye …interesting times, as they say!

    53. manandboy says:

      Yet another excellent piece Stu. Well done!

      Anyone who uses the words sesquipedalian and refulgently in an article about reforming the Labour Party is asking a bit much. The Labour Party has enough trouble listening to the punters – Stephen Daisley has no chance with words like that!

      He also thinks Kezia Dugdale shows real promise, though he doesn’t say as what. Personally, I think she’s missed her calling, but to be fair to Stephen Daisley, I don’t know what her calling is either.

      With Kez and Stephen on board, Labour’s got less chance of a comeback than a slack tooth.

    54. Ian Brotherhood says:

      Friday poser:

      Duncan Hothersall and Alan Cochrane fall to the bottom of a well that is 50 feet deep. Each day, Duncan climbs 32 feet and then rests overnight. During the night he slides down 2/3 of his height above the floor of the well.

      Cochers climbs 13 feet each day before resting. Overnight, he slides down 1/4 of his height above the floor of the well.

      Their progress can be modelled by the recurrence relations:

      fn + 1 = 1/3 fn + 32 f1 = 32
      tn + 1 = 3/4 tn = 13 t1 = 13

      a) Calculate t2, the height of Cochrane at the end of the second day.

      b) Determine whether or not either of them will eventually escape from the well.

    55. Fiona says:

      It really is curious. Labour appear to have noticed that nobody is prepared to listen to them: but they do not appear to think about why that is. Their only response seems to be “that is not fair”.

      The fact is that on such issues people are seldom wrong. When the numbers who vote began to decline it was because they made a realistic judgement that it made no difference. Or so I think. That thought did not seem to occur to the mainstream parties, who talked of apathy and wrung their hands about how to re-engage people by making voting easier: as if it was all about laziness.

      In circumstances where a major change in behaviour is observed there are always several possible explanations, and it is perhaps natural to choose the one which does not require accepting responsibility. But this has been going on a long time, and they have grasped all such explanations for each isolated instance, and none work

      What worked was offering an alternative: and that was the SNP. It solved the lack of participation and the related problem of youth disengagement. It showed that people will listen to political parties if the parties have something to say and there is some evidence they will do what they promise.

      That observation should give all the mainstream parties a clue: because it is not just labour. Scotland stopped listening to the tories decades ago. The media is not powerful enough to overcome that realism, though it thinks it is and has persuaded the parties that it is.

      I think that once it gets to this stage there really is no way back. I think that labour is finished in Scotland, though no doubt there will be a dead cat bounce at some point. I think that labour is finished in England too, and for exactly the same reason: an alternative will emerge there, though the basis of that alternative is not yet obvious. But the english labour vote can see what has happened in Scotland, and the lesson will not be lost on them.

      I believe we may be seeing a complete reconstruction of the politics of the UK: the only people standing will be the tories: for they are ever with us

    56. Sue Varley says:

      Wondering what Wingers think of Daisley’s suggestion that (some) Lab MPs who lost their Westminster seats should be pushed into Holyrood to increase Labour’s performance and credibility?

      I live in what was Charles Kennedy’s constituency, and it is being rumoured, neither confirmed nor denied yet, that Kennedy will be standing for Holyrood. If he stands for the constituency, I suppose that is fair enough – we get to choose whether we want him or not, but I will be pretty angry if he gets a high place on the list, as LibDems will certainly get list MPs in Highland region.

      We voted him out of Westminster partly because he was a LibDem but mainly because he was not representing us properly – most LibDem to SNP switchers were saying he had been a good man but was no longer doing the job. Why should we have him at Holyrood in 2016 through being pushed into the top spot on the list where the constituents have no say, when we have rejected him 12 months earlier for Westminster?

      I would imagine this sentiment would hold in the old Labour strongholds too? It’s too much like bunging the old failures in the Lords because they’ve been voted out of the Commons. In some ways it’s worse because none of them showed any interest in Holyrood when they were at the big boy’s parliament in London. I think it is treating us with contempt, a sort of “we’ll deign to go to Holyrood now our Westminster careers are over” – any ex-MP that does this is clearly saying Holyrood is second rate and the electorate can just lump it.

    57. Jim Thomson says:

      It’s all very well complaining about not funding a variety of “initiatives” but, where will the money come from? Block Grant.

      If ANY political party wants to complain about the current Scottish Government’s performance, I am, and have been for some time, of the opinion that they shouldn’t be allowed to challenge any aspect of performance until they have submitted their own budget for scrutiny.

      The way SLab, STories and SLibDems constantly complain about underfunding (regardless of area) is quite wearing. If they have the answer, maybe they’d like to show it in the context of a BALANCED budget.

      I won’t hold my breath.

    58. James123 says:

      Here’s two articles on the resignation of Jim Murphy and the future of the Labour Party in Scotland.

      One by Stephen Daisley

      The other by Wee Ginger Dug

      Guess which one hits the nail on the head, I’ll give you a clue, it’s not the paid journalist.

    59. Hobbit says:

      I think Labour’s problems are just about insurmountable: they have to be quite centre-left-to-left (think Tony Benn), to get anywhere in Scotland, and to hold their positions in the North of England and Wales; and Wales makes the West of Scotland look positively prosperous. But to secure Middle England (the Midlands and especially the south-east) they have to be seen to be in tune with the aspirational working class vote … and *not* in tune with the voters you would expect to see on Benefits St.

      Frankly, this is like trying to square the circle.

    60. ronnie anderrson says:

      O/T Just sitting here quietly reading the posts, bbc news in the background. Bbc reporter from Kent (earthquake)I was supprised when the building shook in the middle of the night,2.52 excactly,you dont exspect that to happen.

      Sheeeesh give me strength.YOUR the Bbc you can get one to Order at the time of Your choosing.FFS.

      Its awe Your Fawt Rev ,ah wiz never like this before ah started wie WOS.

      Canny find wan wie Cameron lol.

    61. vambomarbeleye says:

      Reminds me of the statement that Scottish football fans were only behaving themselves to make the English fans look bad. There must be a name for this argument.
      Does any one else think that Ian Gray looks like Quagmire out of family guy. Giggely, Giggely, Giggely. Or some thing like that.

    62. Ken500 says:

      Student loans are 3/4K. Student accommodation is £100 a week (for 11 months). Flat sharing is cheaper per month but for 12months of the year. Add on books, computers access, food, transport etc. Working can impede on studying and become a burden but an neccesity. That is why in Scotland, a higher proportion of students stay at (family) home.

      Education/NHS are the most important for a successful, healthy and happy community. Two of the main aspects which are advantageous in order to have a knowledgeable, healthy, fairer, society. Scotland has always been committed to a good education and NHS system. Scotland was the first country in the world to have a free (church) tertiary education system. Leading in medical science, engineering. Scotland ‘Land of Invention’ has led the world. ‘The Declaration of Arbroath’. The ‘Enlightenment’. TV, telecommunications led on to the Internet which changed the world.

    63. Patrick Roden says:

      Brilliant article Stu.

      The thing about Kezia Ian Gray, Duncan Hothersal, is they are all good or promising Labour people, because they are able to twist words and lie without stopping for a breath and if they are found out, they are able to continue without shame.

      While most of us plebs would go red and pray for the ground to swallow us up, if we were caught telling lies on national TV, people like Kezia just keep on going without so much as a nod or a wink and they never ever apologise.

      These are all the things that make for ‘good Labour’ people, but are at the same time, all the things that people hate in politicians.

      During the referendum I started tweeting to Labour MP’s MSP’s to ‘stop lying to us’ whenever they would tweet another lie, and I’ll tell you it was almost impossible to keep up with them all.

      Labours problem is they have to keep the lies going and so need to elect people like Kezia to positions of power, because if they were to elect honest people they would soon find themselves having to tell Scots just how much they knew about the McCrone Report, the Scottish Parliament negotiations, the dumping of dangerous waste products in Dalgety Bay, how dangerous the nuclear subs are, etc etc.

      These truths would finish Labour, so having a leader who’s selling point is telling Scots the truth would destroy Labour in Scotland, but continuing to lie to us and elect soundbite fodder like Kezia to leadership positions will destroy Labour in Scotland, so…

      Labour is finished in Scotland.

      I am banned from Duncans twitter feed but I know he reads wings every day so my message to you Dunc is simple:

      Before the election I told you Labours campaign had painted them into a corner, and that the result would be they would be toxic in both Scotland and the rest of the UK after the result, no matter what happened.

      You mocked me for this prediction, which is fine, but my prediction is that what has happened to Labour in Scotland in the G Election isn’t the end of a terrible story for Labour, it’s just the first page.

      It’s gona get worse, far worse!

    64. Chic McGregor says:

      “Hate to be pedantic but only university tutition is free for students domiciled in Scotland.”

      To be even more pedantic, there are still tuition fees for Scottish domiciles studying in Scotland BUT they are paid directly to the universities and colleges by the Scottish Government.

      Hence the use of pedantry by the unionists highlighted by the Rev.

    65. call me dave says:

      Painting the white lines on the road of the Dodo:

      In the Herald:
      KEZIA Dugdale has confirmed she will stand to become leader of the Scottish Labour Party.

      The Lothians MSP, who is currently deputy leader, will launch her campaign next month following when Jim Murphy steps down.

      Announcing the move, she said improving Scotland’s education would be her top priority.

      She said in a statement: “I am standing to be Scottish Labour Leader and I intend to transform my party for the good of my country.

      “I will formally launch my campaign next month when the Scottish Executive Committee sets out the rules and timetable for the leadership contest. At that point there will be much more to say on how we must meet the challenge ahead.

      “This is a moment when Scottish Labour must and will change. It’s time for a new generation with a vision for the future of Scotland.

      “Labour lost badly in the General Election. Nothing we can say or do will disguise that fact. The job of our next leader isn’t to explain away that loss or find excuses – it’s to understand why people were so reluctant to vote for us and find a way of regaining the trust of the people of Scotland.

      “I do not underestimate the scale of the challenge Scottish Labour faces. But we’ve been the insurgent force before, pushing back against the political establishment and winning great victories and profound social change. We will be that force again. Our values are what we will carry forward with us – all the rest is baggage.

      “We have a mountain to climb, but I believe I offer a fresh start for Scottish Labour. The great social change we fight for is not a partisan cause. I can be a unifying figure across our party and our country.

      “As the daughter of two teachers I know the value of education. At its best it can transform the life chances of young people, no matter their background.

      The only way we can secure a fairer, brighter tomorrow for Scotland is by giving our young people a better start in life today. As Scottish Labour Leader that’s what I would work for every single day.”

      She can abolish education fees…Oh wait! 🙂

    66. Chic McGregor says:

      @Patrick Roden
      “These are all the things that make for ‘good Labour’ people, but are at the same time, all the things that people hate in politicians.”

      That is the point I was trying to make in previous threads with my ‘perhaps they have different criteria for assessing ‘talent’ in their candidates’ line.

    67. Fiona says:

      @ Hobbit

      I do not see the evidence for this all too familiar tale. It was striking how quickly the “Blairites” came forward with this analysis after the election. It is not a surprise, for that was part of their managerial style when in power, and getting your story out first is an advantage which does give benefits. We have seen that a lot.

      Labour cannot win in England if it moves right, IMO. They will never get enough tory votes, even if they are called “aspirational working class votes”, to counter the loss of their core vote. That has already happened in Scotland but the loss of votes in England over the Blair years is not insignificant, and it will gather pace. When the tories are deeply unpopular, as in 1997, they will get those votes: they would have won in 1997 no matter what stance they took, there was no need to move right to achieve that victory, though the neoliberals capitalised on that narrative. The neoliberals promoted Blair and his tory pals because their aim was to destroy labour: and they have very largely succeeded. But not by converting the core vote: rather by persuading it that despair is the rational position to take due to TINA. TINA is a lie, as the situation in Scotland shows: and the same will happen in England, I believe. We are not so different, as populations, on the whole.

      It seems to me that the labour party can’t count. That is a pretty basic problem, leaving aside their lack of political analysis; values; principles; and any idea they need to represent the people who vote for them

    68. Chic McGregor says:

      Will they really give the job to one of the ‘dream team’ that lost the election? I wonder.

      Also, was citing parental influence a wise move, when allegedly, her dad, at least is an SNP supporter?

    69. Onwards says:

      Great piece of writing.

      It’s obvious that ‘Scottish’ Labour has to adapt to the times.
      But they need a strong leader to face that fact. I just don”t see Kezia as that leader. She seems happier going along with tbe crowd, spouting ‘SNP-bad’ soundbites.

      Who knows, perhaps she will turn out to have a mind of her own, and actively push through a pro-Scottish approach.
      But we are talking about someone brought up under Lord Foulkes union jack wing.

    70. sneddon says:

      @Chic McGregor- You are the pendant’s pendant, in a good way 🙂

    71. call me dave says:

      Something to read with the coffee.

      Pre-election, but only found it this morning, and it’s a slow news day, with Kezia cereal Brek an all that…. 🙂

      Apologies to AS for my comment last night…turns out the trident thing is within his new portfolio and he wasn’t stealing Mr Robertson’s thunder.

    72. heedtracker says:

      Keep up old school Slabour attack with, cant run a piss up in a brewery stuff on the one hand and on far right t’other, Federalist teamGB saves UKOK bacon. Or, cant quite rule over them completely with one tory MP/lords n shit set up now? Well we just change it all. Simples.

      This is NOT from my Slovenian girlfriend says Naw Thanks, but it will be.

      “And federalism would also mean an end to the popular sovereignty of the Scottish people, as expressed in the Claim of Right (and in last year’s referendum).

      Both the US and Canadian Supreme Courts have ruled that the US states and Canadian provinces enjoy no unilateral right of secession.

      Plainly, Scotland does enjoy such a right. In this sense, therefore, Scotland currently has more constitutional power than she would have under a fully federal constitution. Federalism would mean Scotland giving something up, as well as Westminster giving something up.”

      Help us Federalism, you’re our only hope:D

    73. Wee Alex says:

      Until Labour in Scotland recognise the enemy is not the SNP it is doomed to failure.

      Westminster austerity cuts is the problem and come July it’s going to get worse. Labour really needs to focus its anger on the Tories. Instead we can expect more of the same, it’s all the fault of the SNP for cuts. The public aren’t daft, they know it’s Westminster policies that are damaging their communities.

      If they continue with “SNP is bad” they will fail. They need to understand the reasons why voters moved in droves away from the Red Tories.

      The Blue Tories are the problem, end of. Labour need to break all links with them, even if it means losing control of some Councils. Will it happen, no, because it means giving up power.

    74. Fiona says:


      I am not persuaded they need a strong leader, as that term is currently understood. It is one of those words which need to be unpicked, for its meaning is slippery

      On the one hand, there is a well attended school of thought which believes that “leadership” is a quality which an individual has, much like red hair. On that conception it does not matter what the issues may be: the leadership is independent of the direction. This is also seen in the use of the word “manager” which holds that “management skills” are independent of what is being managed, so a person who was successful running a shop can transfer those abilities to the NHS, for example. They don’t need to know anything about the organisation they manage: for that is irrelevant

      On the other hand one can see a leader as someone who represents and articulates a deeply held position. In that case the quality is not located in the individual in the same way: it is located in the “cause” and the willingness of those who support it to give someone power to further it

      The basic dispute is between those who think a leader is defined as someone who tell other people what to do and think: and those who think a leader is defined as someone who responds to the thoughts and aspirations of those he leads.

      I am probably not expressing this well, but the difference is also seen in the context of politics: those who claim that manifesto promises are always broken (like that is inevitable) and therefore wish to turn elections into beauty contests and vote for “good people”: and those who see the manifesto as profoundly important because what is promised is all we can truly judge against.

      For years “leadership” has been defined as the former, and so we have something called “leadership skills” and you can go on courses about it: this has been paralleled by the erosion of all other sources of power which might hold such an individual to account. So it is kind of self fulfilling and our workplaces and our politics are more centralised than they have ever been. All part of the neoliberal narrative, and not a description of a necessary world; rather an ideological or philosophical stance.

      We need to think more about these big words, IMO

    75. Chic McGregor says:

      The problem SLAB have with ‘breaking’ from rUK Labour is obvious. To be meaningful, i.e. to be able to honestly move to the left while rUK Labour moves further to the right, would require separate manifestos and become a separate party.

      Electorially problematic regarding UK Government.

      Because Scottish Labour MPs would not then count on UK Labour’s total for winning a GE nor could they serve in government.

      Unless of course there were some kind of permanent rUK/Scottish Labour formal alliance formed.

      Akin, technically, to the unionist/Tory alliance in Scotland in the 40s and 50s.

      But the problem with that is that unlike the unionist/Tory case, rUK/Scottish Labour would be divided along right/left domestic policy lines, the very thing which would test any such alliance on a daily basis.

    76. Robert Peffers says:

      @Richie says: 22 May, 2015 at 8:09 am:

      “As I said there is no point in bickering about who is worse than whom,”

      Not Labour but Green? That’ll be Green Labour then, Richie.

      The problem, even in tertiary education, is that the Scottish government do not control the per capita funding for education.

      Westminster does that and it is that Westminster de facto parliament of England’s handling of the English Education funding that starves Scottish education budget of funds.

      Here’s the truth of how they do so: –

      English education is funded directly by the UK Ministry, (it funds only English Education as every other country has education as devolved function & funding).

      Thus, when The de facto Parliament of England made the Students in England pay fees, this reduced the UK Ministry’s direct funding of English Education and a negative Barnett Consequential per capita cut in the other three countries Block Grants.

      In order to maintain free University education the SG had to divert the funds to do so from other hard pressed devolved functions. Just where, Richie do you propose the SG should now take funds to fund your proposals?

      You may claim to be Green but your short sighted condemnation of SG policies is 100% Labour Party style policy. Their policies for this, that and the other, with no thought whatsoever given as to where the funds are to be found to pay for them. Mansion Tax anyone?

      Mansion Tax – a rather large pie in the sky. Do not these numpties realise rather a lot of these, “Mansions”, are hedges to salt away funds and evade paying tax upon them? Many of the Mansion owners have several such places and will obviously just convert their surplus mansions into other uses, sell them for office space of convert them into flats for profits or whatever.

    77. Haggis Hunter says:

      Stephen Daisley sounds like a Labour party member

    78. Hobbit says:

      @Fiona – thanx for your feedback at 1142. One thing, if you look just at the results between Conservative and Labour within England proper, there was no change – I think Labour picked up two seats net (lost ten, gained 12). So, whatever the unions were trying to achieve, it didn’t work.

      The Tories have nothing to lose by giving more freedom to their Scottish branch – and I think Ruth Davidson presents quite well – but Labour have everything to lose.

    79. YESGUY says:

      Thanks again Stu .

      Great article and bang on. Two faced skitzo party have no idea where they are going wrong.

      ” people just won’t listen to us ” hahahahah

      T R U S T . That’s LIEBOURS problem.

      Everything else is secondry. We no longer trust the bastards.

      Everyone should now on sight of a LIEBOUR goon talking .

      PUT HANDS OVER EARS AND CRY OUT ” pish pish pish etc ” till it goes away.

      Just my point of view mind. 😀

    80. manandboy says:

      Where I live, the sound of a dog barking is not unusual. When I hear Kezia Dugdale barking – at the SNP in particular – it makes me wonder what the matter is with her. Perhaps her Dad knows.

      With Stephen Daisley to guide her and STV offering 24 hr coverage, Kezia Dugdale should have all she needs to guide her party into oblivion should she become the successor to Mr Murphy. However, I don’t see her surviving the muscling in by the list ex MP’s. Aye, that’ll put her gas at a peep.

      Stephen Daisley BTW, is a UK-based freelance writer and journalist who has contributed to a wide range of publications, including Commentary, Standpoint, and The Commentator, and writes a blog called The Eclectic Partisan. He has an MSc in Political Communication and an interest in Israel, politics, and antisemitism. He is a Catholic, a Zionist, and writes from a center-right perspective. ( As well as the digital political correspondent at STV.

    81. Big Jock says:

      Dugdale will be the next leader. They need someone to stay to turn the light out!

    82. crisiscult says:

      after following some snpout stuff on twitter I gather that the future of Labour is to be a British nationalist version of the SNP.

    83. R-type Grunt says:

      This is an excellent piece of writing Stu. Nice one.

    84. David says:

      Scottish Labour are dead. They’re still walking and talking but they’re dead. They just don’t know it yet.

    85. Fiona says:

      Hobbit says:
      22 May, 2015 at 12:18 pm
      @Fiona – thanx for your feedback at 1142. One thing, if you look just at the results between Conservative and Labour within England proper, there was no change – I think Labour picked up two seats net (lost ten, gained 12). So, whatever the unions were trying to achieve, it didn’t work.

      The profound change is in the steady loss of voters for all parties.

      We know from the referendum experience that it is not laziness or apathy or even (as I have heard claimed) that it is because the voters are broadly content. People engage when there is a chance of making a difference. That is quite separate from the outcome in terms of seats.

      But certainly the electoral failure of Labour in this general election is not because they lost a lot of seats in england, though if the neoliberal Blairite narrative is correct that is what one would expect to see. They seem to me to be obviously wrong, but they have got their story out quickly and effectively with the help of the press.

      What is not often mentioned is that tories are losing voters too. I consider that is because most people over the whole UK still wish to see the kind of landscape embodied in the post war consensus: and they do not have that option from either mainstream party. Both parties abandoned that in favour of a neoliberalism which opposes that compromise root and branch. To that extent many tory voters see that their party has left them behind. just as (more) labour voters see the same thing. This is obvious in Scotland: less so in England, and I am not able to say whether that difference is a difference in the aims of the voters between the two countries; or just another feature of the lack of any meaningful alternative in England. I suspect the latter, and the fact that both parties continue to use the language of the post war consensus: the conservatives rather more successfully. Curiously that is because they are not torn, having got rid of the “wets” during Thatcher’s tenure.

      I do not know what you mean by “what the unions were trying to do”. Can you explain, please

      The Tories have nothing to lose by giving more freedom to their Scottish branch – and I think Ruth Davidson presents quite well – but Labour have everything to lose

      So far as I know both tory and lib dems actually do have more freedom than labour, and that is not a scottish phenomenon: it is UK wide and reflected in their respective constitutions.

      I do agree with Chris McGregor, above, that if Scottish Labour parts from UK Labour in meaningful terms, and changes in the way it needs to to reinstate itself in Scotland then it cannot work with UK Labour unless UK Labour changes in the same direction. At present the Blairite fairy story is dominant, so that seems unlikely. Therefore the two parties would have nothing in common.

      But I do not see that Labour have anything to lose by doing that: for they have lost it all already

    86. Fred says:

      @ Fiona, they might indeed come up with a “born leader” but what they don’t have any longer is “born followers!” 🙂

    87. call me dave says:

      Slow news day just perked up!

      SNP secures control of two key Westminster committees

      THE SNP has secured the chairmanships of two important House of Commons Committees – Scottish Affairs and Energy and Climate Change, the party has said.

      It is thought Pete Wishart, the MP for Perth and North Perthshire, who is the party’s Shadow Commons Leader, will become the new chairman of the Scottish Affairs Committee.

      While the membership of all committees reflects the size of each party, thus meaning that David Cameron’s Conservatives will have a majority on all of them, The Herald understands that the

      Nationalists are confident they can get an “anti-Tory majority” on the Scottish Affairs Committee.

      The SNP revealed its committee chairmanships – secured because of its increased strength at Westminster as the new third party – as well as the securing of a Commons debate next Thursday on Trident before any apparent official announcements by the Commons authorities.

      Commenting on its committee chairmanships, SNP Chief Whip Mike Weir MP said: “I’m delighted that the SNP has secured the convener-ships of these two very important committees following our record-win of 56 seats in the general election.

      “Both the Energy and Climate Change Select Committee and Scottish Affairs Select Committee are especially important to Scotland in this parliament.

      “We will be seeing one of the major bills coming forward in the Scotland Bill on more powers for Scotland and, of course, the Energy and Climate Change Committee is of particular importance with our oil and gas sector and renewables industry.”

      The MP for Angus added: “The SNP chairing these committees will allow us to make progress on these important issues and will help us get the best deal for Scotland.”

    88. Roll_On_2015 says:

      During the run-up to the 2011 Scottish GE

      Elmer Fudd in the dock:

      Tuition fee abolition – What you voted against Ian!

    89. galamcennalath says:

      London Labour has no intention of becoming a left wing party anytime soon. Many in their ranks believe they lost by being too left!

      London Labour are highly unlike to regain a strong position in Scotland as a UK wide, unionist, centre leaning right, party.

      (Does make you wonder who will speak for the millions in rUK who want left wing representatives.)

      Some say a Scottish Labour (as in, the real thing) should be formed independent of London Labour. It should have a more leftist, pro Scottish agenda. It would still have to be linked to Labour rUK, perhaps pre-planning a coalition. But how can that work if rUK and Scottish Labours have positioned themselves in different parts of the political spectrum? They would probably be incompatible and disagree on more than they agree!

      IMO the bottom line is that there is little scope for any party to have majority, or even widespread, popular appeal in both England and Scotland!

    90. Doug Daniel says:

      “in 2000, the Labour-led Scottish Executive replaced said fees with a “graduate endowment”, meaning that Scottish students paid £2000 retrospectively towards the cost of their education.”

      And even that was only because the Lib Dems needed to have something to try and wriggle out of their promise to end tuition fees. (That sounds very familiar… Funny how Scottish politics always seems to be a few years ahead of UK politics.)

    91. Effijy says:

      Good New Labour, Listened to Nothing, Learned Nothing and going against the acknowledged advice that repeatedly doing the same thing over and over again, while expecting a different outcome, Is a sign of insanity!

      The Biased BBC and Daily Rancid headlined Labour’s claim that if elected, there would be no tuition fees in Scotland? I was fortunate enough to confront Labour’s Tom Greatrex on Gordon Brewer’s Radio Debate, that Labour had introduced tuition fees, saw them double and counter claimed to have abolished them by simply applying the new fees to the back end of term.

      They offered Nothing that the SNP has not already delivered, and they can claim no credit other than for introducing the fees and being devious enough to increase costs under an alternative name.
      Greatrex had no intelligible answer!

      For those unaware of it, Deputy Dug tried to claim shock and horror at Scottish Student’s levels of Debt doubling over SNP’s 7-8 term in office.

      A better measurement might have been to look at Scottish Student Debts now averaging £7,000, while England has £20,000, and Wales, were a Devolved Labour Government control education, average depts. of £17,000. N Ireland came second at Circa £16,000 of dept.

      Where would you like to study, If you could save £10,000 ?

      How can people like Grey and Deputy Dug claim to be socialists with the best interests of the people at heart, when their only function seems to be distortion of the facts and misguide the public to keep their noses in the

      Westminster Labour and the BBC should clear out their representatives and replace them with a parrot!
      SNP Bad, SNP Bad, SNP Bad! to repeat SNP!

      Well there would be a cost for the Bird Ladder, Bell, Mirror and Cuttle Fish bone,but definitely better value for money than a Dim Jim or a Duck House!


    92. Murray McCallum says:

      I’m not sure if Stephen Daisley is outstanding at taking the mickey (Jim Murphy, Kesia, paths back to success, etc) or actually means much of what he says.

      He does seem to be an admirer of Thatcher so maybe he does see something in Murphy.

      Stephen writes in his article: “The cause should not be a flag, as in the case of Scottish Nationalism …, but a fair and open society at ease with itself.”

      I don’t agree with that simplistic statement regards supporters of an independent Scotland. For me, it misses most of what the Yes campaign was about. I think supporters of Scottish independence have moved beyond “flegs”.

    93. Louis B Argyll says:

      Hoss M..
      Yes, correct to lay blame at BBC..
      Dumbing down at a time when the population was becoming more engaged is UNFORGIVABLE.



    94. heedtracker says:

      BBC r4 lunchtime news about to introduce Scotland’s next First Minister to England, if we would just vote the way the BBC tell us.

      Come on Scotland, you always used to vote for who the BBC told you to and you love SLabour really. I’m guessing its Kez and not Ian Grey but its still very exciting.

      Nice BBC r4 news lady still reporting SNP as the Scottish Nationalist Party, which is an odd mistake for the greatest public broadcaster in the world.

    95. Chic McGregor says:

      @Call me Dave
      “”While the membership of all committees reflects the size of each party, thus meaning that David Cameron’s Conservatives will have a majority on all of them, The Herald understands that the””

      That is typically misleading of the Herald.

      The last Scottish Affairs committee of the Last Government had:

      11 members which consisted of:
      5 SLAB (chaired by you know who)
      3 Tory (all English constituencies)
      2 Libdems (Scottish constituencies)]
      and 1 SNP

    96. Chic McGregor says:


      Made a similar point in my last post before yours on this thread.

    97. James123 says:

      @Murray McCallum

      Daisley also wrote that nationalism is “the politics of feeling”, so basically we’re all unthinking morons. Unlike unionism of course which is based on sound logic and rational thought.

    98. Fred says:

      Where does Elmer Fudd get that weird whining accent of his? is that how the peeps talk in E.Lothian.

    99. call me dave says:

      Glum Campbell BBC damping down the expectations of a new labour branch manager in Scotland.

      Suggesting that, perhaps, no contest is necessary and the aspiration of having a labour FM is secondary to building up the party for the 2020 Scottish Elections.

      Have they fled the field for 2016 because they are ‘listening to and learning from’ public opinion?

      Even the BBC can’t breathe life into the carcass for much longer try this!

    100. G H Graham says:

      The electorate in England & Wales, coerced by the London Establishment via the BBC & especially the print media, lurched further to the right.

      UKIP, a convenient platform, was therefore promoted heavily, especially in the densely populated south & south east which is where UKIP, unsurprisingly achieved its best percentage share of the vote.

      In Scotland, the effect of the London Establishment’s desperate tactics is still well remembered in the minds of those who considered independence.

      Thus, Scots appear to have remained defiantly, left of centre but chose the SNP rather than Labour to represent their values. The reason for Labour’s failure then, is easy to explain.

      As the electoral aspirations on either side of the border diverged, it became impossible to simultaneously appeal to both using the same unique selling points.

      But Labour arrogantly if not stupidly thought, that they could just broadcast one right leaning message to England while sending out a different, often opposing message to Scotland. This was evident in the ludicrous tabloid headlines which frequently published bizarre contradictions from the same title on the very same day.


      Labour then is like one of those unlikely bargains you sometimes stumble across on e-Bay – a 1967 Lamborghini Muira P400 in lime green with a starting bid price of only £500. Your head spins at the thought of actually owning one when reality sinks in. The small print reveals that it’s a replica made with spare parts from a Ford Sierra by a retired scallop fisherman in Oban.

      Probably safer to just keep dreaming.

    101. galamcennalath says:

      heedtracker says:
      “Nice BBC r4 news lady still reporting SNP as the Scottish Nationalist Party, which is an odd mistake for the greatest public broadcaster in the world.”

      Not a mistake, a tactic. Incorrectly naming a person or organisation is a standard put down.

      It has resonances of some posh boy addressing a commoner called Mr Green, “I say there, Grease, or whatever you name is. Come here and be quick about it!”

      Sort of behaviour you could imagine from Boris Jobsworth 😉

    102. carjamtic says:

      I recall the Labour Party being in a life threatening position before,during the Michael Foot era,a very clever decent man,by all accounts of those who knew him ?,but sadly unelectable.

      The life saving operation was begun by John Smith,he knew what he was doing,the Labour Party did well under his guidance,his untimely passing halted the recovery process.

      Step up to the challenge Blair and Brown,great excitement in the beginning,they carried out what can only be described as a ‘heart bypass’ operation on the Labour party,to labour supporters delight the party not only recovered but was thriving.

      As we now know(and many were shouting their protests from the roof tops at the time) although the operation was a success,sadly the patient died,that it to say,although the brain retained limited functionality with the heart bypassed,the soul,the spirit was gone.

      Now in it’s dying throes,it tried to convince us ‘I’m okay,look,I’m fine,it’s me I haven’t changed’ but it’s not okay,the brain deprived of oxygen has slowed down over time,now barely ticking over,the heart, bypassed,merely a trophy,a reminder of bygone days (brought out every now and again,given a polish,then put back on it’s plinth above the mantelpiece).

      Historian’s will be kind in their recollections,the writings of their passing,but I for one will not grieve,for too long they damaged me and mine,anyway life is too short and I moved on a long time ago.

      This is not only about the Labour Party,it is about Scotland,resilient to it’s core,Scotland has been been awakened from it’s Labour induced coma,the good news is,Scotland’s soul,spirit is undamaged.

      Scotland has never been in better shape,with fresh ideas,new energy,Scotland has been reborn,the young people of the country have accepted the challenge of reshaping our future.Hope has triumphed over Fear and for that I will be eternally grateful.

      Thank You Stuart
      Thank You Scotland

    103. call me dave says:

      @G H Graham

      Ha! Ha! Like this you mean.

      You can see how it turned out if you want to see loads of entertaining episodes on you tube. Personally I love these programmes and remember in the day when I got into the oily bits.

      Much to enjoy : Bubblegum for the brain but I like them.

    104. Robert Peffers says:

      If Labour in Scotland are to make any headway again it will not come from the efforts by any of the present top people. The voters have amply demonstrated they have no faith in them nor of the UK Labour hierarchy.

      There also seems little to be gained by Labour in Scotland remaining as a part of the Westminster Labour Party as their supporters in Scotland are veering leftwards while their English brothers veer rightwards.

      As anyone in the grassroots YES movement knows full well there were/are more left looking Labourites not only leaning left but leaning towards Scottish independence. It is with these Labour people Scottish Labour must look for newer, fresher and trusted leadership.

      Frankly I cannot see the present Labour leaders stepping down in favour of those people. The rift between Scottish Labour and their voters will splutter, flash a bit, then die like a damp squib but like a damp, spluttering, lit squib the voters would be unwise to attempt to take it in hand.

    105. Chic McGregor says:

      @call me dave
      “Even the BBC can’t breathe life into the carcass for much longer try this!”

      Heh heh! Reminds me of my own modest attempt at purple prose back in 2011 (apologies to the master Taranaich)


      Behold the carcass of a once proud and noble animal in its ruin on the Plain of Retribution!

      A vast putrid pile which rots and decays and violates the very air.

      In truth, this aged Leviathan, the last of its kind, had commenced its corruption long ere this final demise.

      The Paparasites which had fed on Laborusaurus Scotus, for that was its name, now reduced to whimpering prodders and pokers, try, hopelessly, to bring their former provider back to life.

      They had, fleetingly, ran to its nemeses, Nicola the sure-footed, the great Golden Queen of Govania, yea even as she wielded the fatal blow.

      But no succour were they to find there, for she is a Queen of hard justice.

      And so they return, pathetically, to the thing they knew, the thing whose time is past, the thing that will soon,… mark their own passing.

      But as the Sun sets in the West, so it rises in the East and the Land will fill with the good light and will renew and all will prosper and attain fulfilment.

    106. galamcennalath says:

      Chic McGregor says:
      Made a similar point in my last post before yours on this thread.”

      You did indeed, I now see. 🙂

      That is my one gripe with Wings, I and others it would seem, see posts which are ~30mins old. When I post something I don’t see it for ~30mins.

      Add to that the time it takes me to type in and say what I want to say and I’m running on a different time zone from others!

    107. Jim says:

      Mmm, how to save the Labour party.

      I doubt there are that many that give a damn about the labour party anymore.

      How about they stop delving into the past, stop telling fucking lies and deliver on their manifesto rather than making promises they have no intention of keeping.

      Good luck with that; the dodo was hunted to extinction but Labour are the authors of their own demise!

    108. Muscleguy says:

      Speaking of thought extinct things, my Wings app notified me of this post 🙂

    109. heedtracker says:

      It has resonances of some posh boy addressing a commoner called Mr Green, “I say there, Grease, or whatever you name is. Come here and be quick about it!”

      Well it was a lousy BBC style BBC sez vote SLab bleh Vote interview with Kez. Christ they are so corrupt in that UKOK outfit. Two things stuck out from Kez thing, she says she’s bringing “good humour to the table” and “SLabour values” with all the old school red tory empty waffle.

      What’s interesting listening to BBC unionist propaganda machine in action is how they never mention their own political power in Scotland, all be it on the wane but even so.

      Once your whole attack kicks off with a giant fraud on Scotland, all the rest of it’s ridiculous. Their man in Scotland droned on about why SLabour are on their way out but he’s never once explained just how badly BBC Scotland flopped May 8. They’ll be trying to work out how to fix that no doubt.

    110. Stoker says:

      The Rev wrote:
      “It’s a bit like watching a rabbit on a motorway explain that lights can’t hurt you.”

      LLF, sore jaws and teary eyes, excellent article taboot.

      The very reasons we are The Reverends Disciples.

    111. desimond says:

      Savings not Cuts..the modern fee-speak example!

      Iain Gray is can we get a jetpack for Wullie Rennie

    112. HandandShrimp says:

      Iain’s next trick will be to abolish all VAT. People will simply have to pay a 20% surcharge after the purchase to feed cute little kittens.

      Jesus feckin wept!

      If you are several thousand pounds down what does it matter what the tax is called you screaming Muppet. The act of attending university triggered the tax. It was a tax on learning.

    113. Chic McGregor says:

      Yeah! I realise that, it was just FYI.

    114. Alastair says:

      So Dugdale confirms Labour Leadership challenge.

      Assuming her success will mean the Scottish Parliament will only have one party leader the Scottish electorate actually voted for – Nicola Sturgeon MSP for Glasgow Southside.

      Ruth Davidson, Willie Rennie, Patrick Harvey and soon to be Kezia Dugdale are all regional list exrta MSP’s.

    115. desimond says:

      The dodo died out because it had no natural predators for such a long time that it got complacent and then when a new entity came along…it was found to deliver quite a succulent feast!

      Sound familiar Kez!

    116. Stoker says:

      “New Labour?” Please, my sides can’t take it.

      Awe furr coat an nae nickers.

      The fur coat may be new but underneath it’s the same old prozzy,
      whoring itself to anyone if the price is right.

      ((( cheap cheap )))

    117. Mealer says:

      The Labour Party.Yesterdays party for yesterday’s people.They think Scotland should be run from London,England.How mental is that?

    118. desimond says:

      Theres more members of the Royal Family in Ireland than there are Labour MPs in Scotland

    119. paul gerard mccormack says:

      This is obvious, but what the hell I’ll say it anyway.

      Surely I am not alone in thinking that irrespective of content, Kezia Dugdale doesn’t understand the first principles of communication. That in order to communicate effectively with someone i.e. we the lumpen proles she will have to:

      1. put the brakes on, so that any listener has sufficient time to digest whatever she is spewing forth.
      2. Build up and develop a specific thesis or argument rather than illustrate Brownian motion verbally.

      FFS. I can’t even listen to it.

    120. Charles Edward says:

      Pedigree Chump.

      Ext. Afternoon.
      Kez lies sleepy on the porch, her head rested on her paws. A fly buzzes but is ignored.
      She pricks an ear and lifts her head quickly and listens.
      A faint sound makes her bounce to all fours. She run down the steps and through the fields.
      Bounding over rocks she gingerly fords a stream.
      Leaping over a log her coat sheens with the slow motion lens flare.
      Excited urgent music.

      Barking, she arrives at a gate where a man and boy are working on a tractor.

      Boy- Dad! It’s Kez! Something must be wrong..

      Man stops tractor as boy runs to meet dog.
      Boy kneels and speaks to dog.
      Dog barks as boy listens.

      Boy- Kez is saying there’s somebody stuck in the well!
      -Who is it Kez?
      -Kez says it’s the Scottish labour party! Dad what’ll we do?

      Man shakes his head and wipes the sweat from his brow with a tartan cloth. He wipes his hands as he saunters over and ruffles boys hair smiling.

      Man – No need to panic Jimmy, everyone knows about those guys. They’ve been in there for years, they dug it themselves and they keep shouting for attention but they keep digging!
      -I chucked them down the old puggy that was in the shed, they love to gamble.

      Man to dog.
      -Go on home now Kez – we have work to do here.

      Long shot- Man and boy walk casually back to tractor.
      Man – Stay away from that well Jimmy, it’s not safe. I’m going to fill it in one of these days.

      Camera pan and pull focus on dog catching and chewing a wasp.


    121. Chic McGregor says:

      @Charles Edward
      Brill! Enjoyed that.

    122. Dal Riata says:

      Amazing how the anti-Scottish everything and anything UKOK MSM and devotees of the same agenda manage to coordinate their attacks on whatever it is that they concoct to be the smear/scare/lie de jour.

      You can always rely on the Daily Mail to be front and foremost of the reporting on the latest Scottish horror… and whaddya know, they have been doing their best to make Scottish education a real shock-horror issue this whole week!

      It’s really spooky how these attacks appear at the same time in places like the Mail (hard-rightwing), Record (leftwing) and Guardian (middle ground). What are the coincidences? Because it couldn’t be intentional, could it? They say they represent different political allegiances, don’t they? So they can’t be coordinating their efforts, they wouldn’t do that… would they? … Would they…?

    123. Sam Auld says:

      This article pulls no punches

      ““Labour in the last election played on public fears for the National Health Service but said nothing positive about how it would actually tackle the service’s manifold problems on a tight budget. It complained about poverty and inequality but presented no credible prospectus for their solution apart from a couple of patently, indeed risibly, inadequate tax changes. Let’s be frank, the public is uninterested and therefore fairly ignorant but it is not stupid. Show them a façade with nothing behind it but hope and do not be surprised if they don’t buy it. Labour is like a company entirely dominated by its marketing department. The public hears the slogans but senses the void behind them.”

    124. desimond says:

      @Charles Edward

      Magic..cant wait for the “Dad..Old Kez is frothing at the mouth..what do we do?” Episode

    125. Dormant says:

      There’s a big difference between the white rhino and SLab; the White Rhino deserves to be saved.

    126. HandandShrimp says:

      Ken Mcintosh is a Blairite and not dis-similar to Murphy in political stance. Neil Findlay is more traditional Labour left wing.

      Kezia is as far as I can tell simply an SNP=bad candidate. I have no idea as to what her actual politics are. At guess I would say Blairite or Murphyite but who knows? Does Kezia know?

    127. heedtracker says:

      Self styled Mild Mannered The Graun really really like Kez too!

      So that’s BBC gits and THE Graun in one hour, lovely unionist puffery, even lovelier happy smiley photos.

      Kez unites everyone and it does look like education is what next year Holyrood election SLab attack is all about to get everyone united behind sort of stuff. Start now, slow heat, end with youre all doomed Scotland without Kez Project Fear style blast next year.

      “This reference to unity tallies with endorsements she has already received across the party. She already has the support of Ian Murray, Labour’s sole remaining MP in Scotland, as well as former Scottish Labour leader Iain Gray and Alex Rowley, a former general secretary of the party who resigned from Murphy’s shadow cabinet soon after the election in protest against his refusal to stand down.

    128. call me dave says:

      @Charles Edward

      A few minutes since I read your post. Still chuckling away here as I picture the scene you painted.

      Not too many Tommy Stouts about to pull labour out…:-)

      Update: The games afoot Macintosh says.

      Mr Macintosh said: “I am pleased to hear that Kezia has thrown her hat in the ring and that she agrees we have to have a contest. I am standing because I want to rebuild the trust and confidence in the Labour Party that seems to have drained away in recent years but that I have never lost. I believe we need to show by our very example that we care more about the people we represent than about politics or position.”

      The Eastwood MP stood unsuccessfully for the leadership in 2011.

      He won the biggest share of support from grassroots party members, but lost out to Johann Lamont after she polled more strongly with parliamentarians and members of affiliated trade unions, under the party’s three-way electoral college system.

      Mr Macintosh is hoping the party moves to a one-member-one-vote system, a reform promised by Mr Murphy before he bows out.

      Aye Murphy writes the new rules to suit as his pal is needing all the help he can get.

    129. Charles Edward says:

      I’ve heard it said that if you get some Scottish Labour and crush it into a powder that it’s very good for impotence and hair loss. .

    130. Charles Edward says:


      Tetanus booster every 10 years.

    131. Flower of Scotland says:

      Alistair Carmichael conceded he was guilty of ” Frenchgate ”

      He is apologising. He should resign!

    132. cirsium says:

      @ richie

      regarding the cut in FE places, you should find this essay enlightening

    133. Glamaig says:

      Dal Riata @ 2:22
      Amazing how the anti-Scottish everything and anything UKOK MSM and devotees of the same agenda manage to coordinate their attacks on whatever it is that they concoct to be the smear/scare/lie de jour.

      My thoughts exactly, hearing education bad, blah blah on Radio Scotland this morning followed by later in the day, Kezia’s leadership bid, education bad, blah blah. They are a team.

    134. Tom says:

      “From each according to their ability to each according to their need” always wondered who defines what people need. No political party has ever put this into practice. It is and always will be theoretical. It’s like the promise of utopia religious groups give. Pie in the sky.

    135. cirsium says:

      heedtracker, 11.05

      Michael Gray has provided further background information on Lord Andrew Dunlop

    136. heedtracker says:

      In other unionista UKOK fraud today

      “A Liberal Democrat minister ordered a civil servant to leak a memo recounting a conversation between the French ambassador and Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, he has admitted.

      Alistair Carmichael described the move, made during the general election campaign, as an “error of judgement which I regret”.

      Carmichael says “I had not seen the document before it was published in the Daily Telegraph, however I was aware of its content and agreed that my special adviser should make it public,” Mr Carmichael said in a statement.”

      So unionist’s publish UKOK civil service stuff without actually reading any of it and who Carmichael agreed with to publish is another teamGB mystery, or maybe just ConDEm semantics, like how the UKOK civil service is neutral and unbiased, or just another UKOK mess?

    137. Chic McGregor says:

      For the three rounds of PISA testing which Scotland has had since the SNP took over education we can take some comfort from the fact that the marked fall in scores during Labour years seems to have been halted for Maths and Science and markedly improved for reading.

      But the UK as a whole has been sliding down the PISA league table rapidly over that period, although in large part due to improving scores elsewhere particularly in the Far East.

      Scotland still performed best of the 4 UK countries overall in the last round of PISA tests but it is elsewhere we should be looking to compare ourselves to and seeking out improvements.

    138. @Flower of Scotland
      If the citizens of Orkney and Shetland had known what a rat (sorry rev) Carmichael has been over this whole episode he would never have got elected.

      His position as an MP is untenable.

      A disgrace to his family his constituency his party his nation.

    139. Robert Peffers says:

      @YESGUY says: 22 May, 2015 at 12:19 pm:

      “Everyone should now on sight of a LIEBOUR goon talking. PUT HANDS OVER EARS AND CRY OUT ” pish pish pish etc ” till it goes away.”

      May I suggest a better method, YESGUY?

      Have the information ready to refute his/her/its point and do so in the hope there are others within hearing distance who may take in your better POV.

      Now I grant you it is most unlikely the better POV will in any way penetrate the single brain-cell of the offender. However, there are usually present a few of that other species of semi-sentient beings we refer to as, “Hingersoan”, who sometimes are not yet too far gone and can often be recycled and revitalised.

    140. Chic McGregor says:

      @Charles Edward
      “I’ve heard it said that if you get some Scottish Labour and crush it into a powder that it’s very good for impotence and hair loss.”

      Aye, but who the hell wants impotence and hair loss?

      It’s very overrated :).

      Loved your ‘Old Yeller’ suggestion.

      I guess the only possible follow up could be “Dawn of the Red”

    141. Grizzle McPuss says:

      Meanwhile in a meeting room somewhere in darkest Labour Northern Branch HQ…Kezia Dugdale steps forward, takes the paddles in her hands and tells all the SLab Con-fab in attendance…

      “Give me 3 million voters”

      And with hope in her eyes, she affixes the paddles to the motionless carcass that was once the Labouring Beast.

      “Stand clear…CHARGE!!”

      A few jerks can be seen moving from the once hulking body, but alas, the beastie has lost its soul…it is dead.

      Step forward Mystic Gray, a spirited medium of the politico class. With great vigour he claws his way through manifesto’s & policies of the past.

      “Ah, the clowns are clearing; I can see many a previous eh, success before me…

      The SLabbering beastie wanted 5000 apprenticeships, that’s oh, 20,000 fewer than the SNP are delivering?…but yes, I can see more…

      There are 6 council houses before me, that’s an eh, uh, astounding achievement from the SLabbering monstrosity in all the time it ruled the Scottish Parliament. This is a whopping 3294 houses…less than…funded by the SNP?…

      With a muttering of “it’s all cataclysmic”, something that Madam Gray picked up from a screeching banshee, he takes his leave and returns to the back bench shadows.

    142. Lanarkist says:

      Did Carmichael hold off confessing until after the election so that he stood a chance of winning?

      If he was still a Minister, he states, it would be a resignation matter.

      As an MP it should still be a resignation matter.

      Leaking Diplomatic conversation, causing International condemnation, abuse of Civil Service neutrality during Election Purdah period, abuse of post and principles!

      Oops, sorry says he.

      First By-Election of new Parliament should commence forthwith!

    143. Yoda says:

      Wow what we saw recently was SNP MPs trying to push dennis skinner out of his seat. Funny that, giving that he is one of the most anti austerity MPs…now they’ve enemies with him.

      You’d have though the SNP would want to work constructively with him, after all weren’t they going to be a constructive force at westminster?

      I suppose they’d much rather be divisive, petty and destructive.

    144. galamcennalath says:

      Carmichael’s admission. If this had come out before the GE he would probably not have won his seat.

      Resign immediately, and call a by-election.

    145. Lanarkist says:

      Yes Yoda, your last sentence sums up your contribution to this site quite well!

    146. Flower of Scotland says:

      Scot Finlayson@3.39

      Absolutely agree. The letter of apology to Nicola Sturgeon is all over Facebook! His position is untenable.

    147. Lesley-Anne says:

      Apologies if this has already been posted.

      WE all knew who released the FrenchGate memo at the time. The MSM, specifically the Daily Telegraph if memory serves me right knew better, apparently. 😉

      Well folks the TRUTH has finally come out.

      This man is an embarrassment to politics and Scotland. He can NOT be allowed to stay in his position as M.P. for Orkney and Shetland. He MUST stand down immediately.

      He LIED at the time of the *ahem* incident about not knowing about the leaking of the alleged memo. He now admits that it was HIM who leaked the FALSE memo.

      Carmichael is a DISGRACE!

    148. heedtracker says:

      Did Carmichael hold off confessing until after the election so that he stood a chance of winning?

      Its not a Carmichael confessing confessionerising , its getting caught by investigator’s sleuthing, probably checking the impartial and unbiased teamGB civil servants work phone outgoing call record, with one or some of the calls going to the Daily Torygraph.

      Independent says

      “The leak was made by Euan Roddin, the special advisor to Mr Carmichael. An official mobile phone was used to make the phone call to a Daily Telegraph journalist.”

      Its more than likely that the impartial and unbiased civil service investigation results were held off from being made public until after Carmicheal won his UKOK Orkney and Shetland seat May 7.

    149. Alastair says:

      So Carmichael is happy to present himself to his electorate for high office in Public service as an MP while being an underhanded cheating liar. His constituents must feel cheated. I hope there is a movement to seek his resignation. He should do the honerable thing, Mr Solicitor, and go.
      Nicola should reject his apology and seek legal advise to sue. Will the Law Society of Scotland also take an interest. Do Police Scotland also now take an interest.

    150. DerekM says:

      It actually hurts me to see what has become off a once great and moral ideology ,it has been so twisted by neo liberalism it is no longer recognizable inside the Labour party.

      I also felt guilt and shame for being a part if even a very small part in allowing this to happen ,i did stay inside the Labour party for as long as i could face it but to my abject horror found that they had moved so far right they were no longer listening not just to the people but to their own membership.

      But then a miracle happened and i realized that the labour movement was not about a political party it was about the people it was their ideology, as i watched them one by one join forces to create and give rebirth to the ideology inside my beloved Scotland ,no trade union or political party leading them and with the belief of we tried this union thing it did not work the only other way to save Scotland was for us to be independent.

      I grasped at this with both hands and why not it was what i believed ,i was a bit concerned about the peoples choice at first of pushing the SNP into government as i had always thought they were not ready yet and were a bit all over the place ,boy was i wrong about that lol

      The only way for the Labour party to go now is to split and i do not mean in England and Scotland i mean left and right ,they must part company or the infighting will destroy what is left of the party,this is not an unheard of position inside of a political party and there are many examples from the past the lib dems for one,even the SNP had to kick out a few rebels.

      It will be interesting to see what they decide to do but a little warning Labour do it quick before you get left behind because we aint stopping the Tsunami so get your surf board ready and ride the wave or get wiped out.

    151. Chic McGregor says:

      That makes all three of the seats the SNP failed to win stink.

    152. Lesley-Anne says:

      Lanarkist says:

      First By-Election of new Parliament should commence forthwith!

      Maybe not even a by election Lanarkist. In my view his vote count should be declared null and void and the runner up should be declared the winner of the Orkney and Shetland constituency.

      Oh look who came second … the S.N.P. 😀 😀 😀

      I think, if my memory serves me right here this would mean we would have not only 57 S.N.P. M.P.’s but the youngest and oldest M.P.’s in the House of Commons. I believe the S.N.P. candidate was in his seventies. 😉

    153. Lollysmum says:

      I wonder why Kezia Dugdale is being talked up so fervently. Could it be that her inexperience makes her easily manipulated as we’ve seen in recent months of working with JM.

      They talked about Milliband’s strings being pulled by Nicola but in Slab’s case we are being promised hilarity from day one. Who will be the puppetmaster?

    154. Valerie says:

      Carmichael is a disgusting, morally bankrupt, festering excuse of a politician, and this is the tin lid!

      I really hope SNP have a think about demanding proper action over this, to set an example to what they think of this kind of filth in politics.

      I hope the people in his constituency riot for being represented by a liar, who had the nerve to address the House of Commons last week on behalf of the Fib Dems.

    155. Edward says:

      Regards Carmichael’s confession that he leaked the memo prior to the election.

      If Carmichael had any shred of decency, he would resign as an MP and allow a by-election

      But then again, Carmichael does not have a shred of decency, so will brass it out to collect his money.

      Being that there are only eight Libdem MP’s in the whole of the UK, will only add pressure on him to stay put and be part of a minority interest group

    156. Calgacus says:


      For God’s sake go.

      You are a disgrace to your family, to Orkney and to Scotland.

    157. Fred says:

      Shocked & stunned, the sleazeball must resign toot-sweet.

    158. macnakamura says:

      I would have thought that Carmichael has breached the Official Secrets Act by releasing details of diplomatic dealings with a foreign government and ally.

      If he has any sense he would be heading for a safe haven for leakers say, for example, the transit lounge of Moscow’s Sheremetyevo International Airport.

    159. VikingsDottir says:

      If there is anyone to blame for the appalling state of the Education system in Scotland it is Labour with their forty-odd years of tampering with it, changing it, re-organising it, which has led, eventually, to its destruction.
      What was one regarded as the best Education System in the world now produces pupils who can’t read, spell or count, and who, for some reason unknown to me, are now called ‘students.’
      All those pundits who assert that we couldn’t run the Health Service without people from abroad, should ask themselves why and try and feel a bit of shame that our young people have been so short changed that they can’t undertake nursing training in the way so many used to. We need serious changes in the classroom methods now in use: back to reality I think I mean.

    160. One_Scot says:

      With regards to Alistair Carmichael knowing he was a rotten and corrupt politician before the election, but deciding not tell the voters before they elected him, is it not possible for the public to challenge his seat without having to wait a full election term.

    161. Robert Peffers says:


    162. call me dave says:

      The sting in the tail! BBC version.

      “The Cabinet Secretary has concluded that there is no reason to doubt that he recorded accurately what he thought he had heard. There is no evidence of any political motivation or ‘dirty tricks’.”

      Will Carmichael do the decent thing? Another cuddly lib/dem but can do ‘mogwai’ to ‘gremlin’ like Dr Jekyll when it’s self preservation.

      Michael Moore, who saw the writing on the wall before the referendum, resigned from the Sec of State for Scotland to allow this liar and excuse for a statesman to get into the trough.

      Surely wee Wullie will be one of the first to condemn this and apologise to the people of Orkney and Shetland!

      The slow news day certainly has gained pace. 🙂

    163. One_Scot says:

      If Carmichael does not stand down and ask to be re-elected, he is a rat of seweresk proportions.

    164. YESGUY says:

      Robert Peffers LOL 🙂

      Must say it’s getting hardere to find Labour voters these days but the MSM are pumping out the propaganda . Think most folk know they are a squirming corpse by now.

      🙂 And kezia for leader 🙂

      OK now is this a joke or is it for real ?

      This is comendy gold standard if it’s true. She’s a wee voice box and breaths through two holes in the nape of her ” brass” neck”.

      Who’d have thought after Sept19th eh 😀 😀 😀

    165. Papadox says:

      As a lawyer, past procurator fiscal, minister of the crown, member of the privy council, and rt hon MP this dangerous clown shows the contempt the “WESTMINSTER ESTABLISHMENT” has for the peasantry of this United Kingdom. Was it ignorance as he suggests or in my opinion something much more sinister and deliberate.

      As a PF did he just make up the evidence when it suited him or is he totally incompetent?

      As a member of the PC, the mind boggles, is he honest, trustworthy then again it probably doesn’t really matter after all it is WESTMINSTER and they are the lowest of the low.

      This might delay his elevation to the HOL and a place at their swill bucket.

      UK just a fancy name for a bunch of rats with no morals, a load of thugs and gangsters with a nice English accent.

      CARMICHLE MUST RESIGN OR GET BOOTED OUT. God help the people of his constituency.

      Carmichale was a minister in Cameron’s Government, I think we should hear from him!

    166. Brian Powell says:

      The civil servant ‘accurately’ recorded a conversation that didn’t happen between the French Ambassador to the UK and the FM?

      Is Heywood working in ‘Scots are bumpkins and we say just anything’ mode?

    167. Brian Powell says:

      If there was no political motivation or ‘dirty tricks’, why did Carmichael release it?

    168. manandboy says:

      According to the Shetland Times, Carmichael says he won’t be resigning as MP.

      He denied that there was any political opportunism involved in the leak. He just keeps on lying, like a true professional, while 60 million don’t believe him.

      There must be a way of redressing this situation.

    169. Mealer says:

      Carmichael epitomises all that is wrong with Westminster.A cess pit of sleaze and corruption.Scotland deserves better.

    170. One_Scot says:

      Seriously, how can Carmichael take tax payers money and still sleep at night.

    171. Alastair says:

      Carmichael says if he was still a minister he would resign.

      So where is the difference in something so serious you resigns as Minister but dont as an MP.

      Is this an admission that an MP can be less morally or legally accountable for their actions than Ministers. Someone please explain.

    172. Lollysmum says:

      I note that Carmichael is not admitting to amending that memo i.e. by adding that last paragraph (which everyone present at the meeting said was never discussed)supposedly dictated by the French Consul General to a ‘civil servant’in the Scottish Office, after the meeting between CG & Nicola had ended.

      He didn’t admit the truth before the election because he would have lost his place at the trough. That in itself is a conflict of interest. He was making sure that his more than generous salary continued to be paid. What a disgusting & dishonest apology of a man he is. I can’t imagine his electorate are going to be overjoyed to hear this news.

      This isn’t the end though- someone will identify whoever amended that report sooner or later & then watch the muck fly from Scotland & the French ‘Corps Diplomatique’

      That could be interesting 🙂

    173. manandboy says:

      Carmichael won in O&S by false pretences. It is surely within the power of his constituents to do something about it. Talk about bringing politics into disrepute. Carmichael is a reputation wrecking ball.

    174. cankertcallan says:

      It’s £2000 per year, not degree.

    175. Giving Goose says:

      Scot Finlayson

      His nation is the UK, not Scotland, that is how he will view himself. And as the UK default position in politics is corrupt, then Carmichael will regard his little wheeze as definitely onside.

      That’s the problem with Westminster politics; the bar is set so low that anything goes. The Westminster moral ground is definitely vastly different from that of the vast majority of the electorate.

    176. Linda McFarlane says:

      @ YODA

      For people like you:

      Whatever the SNP do they must do it twice as well as the other parties to be thought half as good.

      Luckily, this is not difficult.

    177. Joemcg says:

      Carmichael was chief cheerleader for BT and came out with some odious lies during the last 3 years, now this. Who is really surprised?

    178. One_Scot says:

      Carmichael clearly only in the job for the money, I can only imagine how the people who voted for him feel.

    179. call me dave says:

      Sturgeon thinks Carmichael should consider (reflect) his position.

      BBC Radio.

    180. Chic McGregor says:

      “Carmichael says if he was still a minister he would resign” but he was a minister at the time!!! The mind boggles.

    181. Ian Brotherhood says:

      ‘Go Fozzy Go!’, to this tune by The Stranglers:

    182. call me dave says:

      James is ‘truly shocked’ about Carmichael…

      Yer too nice James!… and have higher standards than most of these honorable members.

    183. Now's the Hour says:

      If this disgrace of a human being doesn’t tender his resignation p.d.q., Rennie should grow a pair and sack him. What an absolute b*stard. What price a by-election and no. 57 on the way?

    184. heedtracker says:

      Torygraph reportage very very thin and makes no mention civil service Carmichael investigation dates at all.

      SO its more than likely that same Civil service had investigation results before May 7 or they waited until after May 7 before beginning their investigation.

      Either or, they all stink, Carmicheal, Torygraph, civil service, all media and vote SLab BBC included for using it all as part of their monstering Sturgeon campaign.

      Can we have some more please BBC:D

    185. call me dave says:

      oops! ‘u’ will find it missing above…

    186. Now's the Hour says:

      Sorry folks, I’m in full-on rant mode. Has that scumbag not resigned yet??? Let’s get the pressure on him until he can’t wait to go.
      Gonna go and lie in a darkened room now.
      See ya.

    187. manandboy says:

      Just watched Carmichael’s filmed explanation on the BBC website. Confessing after he has been caught, but it sounds like it was prepared strictly for public consumption and is probably the absolute minimum he is prepared to say.

      On the positive side, he has provided us all with a great insight into the daily workings of a UK Govt Minister. Utterly corrupt. Do anything to stay on the Gravy Train.

    188. Lesley-Anne says:

      Just had a wee thought jolt … outside my wee cardboard box you understand. 😉

      Now that the TRUTH we all knew, or at the very least strongly suspected, has finally come out there is the not insignificant little matter about Carmichael’s wee side kick to consider as well.

      Carmichael admits it was HIM who lied about the memo but this raises the question … how much of this situation did Fluffy know?

      I can not believe for one second that Fluffy knew nothing.

      In my view, slightly biased I have to admit 😀 , as Carmichael has admitted carrying out the dirty deed then he MUST resign also as his underling so should Fluffy. I suspect, from my extremely biased position ( OK OK I lied before and as a consequence I tender my rresignzation. 😛 ) that Fluffy is as involved in this dastardly deed as Carmichael was.

      Not only must Carmichael resign but Fluffy as well. 🙂

      First there was the FAMOUS 56.

      Now … perhaps … there might be the FAMOUS 57 … or even … the FAMOUS 58! 😀

    189. Betsy says:

      Petition calling on Carmichael to resign as an MP

    190. Stoker says:

      RE: Investigation into the Carbuncle Memogate:

      “Sir Jeremy Haywood concluded that there was no reason to doubt that the civil servant recorded accurately what he thought he heard.”
      “Senior officials who have worked with him (Euan Roddin) say that he is reliable and has no history of inaccurate reporting, impropriety or security lapses.”

      And the 76 Unionist Westminster politicians, who are now under police investigation for child abuse etc, never had any known prior history of their despicable acts UNTIL THEY WERE CAUGHT.

      Nicola should reject, in the strongest terms possible, all apologies.

      Slimebag Carbuncle narrowly retained his seat by deliberately deceiving the good folk of Orkney & Shetland.

      Not only is he a blatant liar, he has also demonstrated that he is not fit to hold such a trusted position and has no hesitation in stooping to use immoral and illegal methods.

      He should be removed from his position and expelled from his party, what say you Wee Willie Stinky, preacher of all morality.

      And there are those who would trust these b@st@rds to handle all our foreign affairs, aye, right, on yer fricken bike London.

      And they wonder why we want to break away ASAP.

    191. manandboy says:

      Carmichael’s confession raises the question as to whether he acted as of himself or in collusion with others, eg at Tory special operations. Did Lynton Crosby know nothing of the plan to smear Scotland’s First Minister. I find that too hard to believe. Nicola should sue.

    192. IvMoz says:

      Carmichael has declined to take his ministerial severance pay.

      This is obfuscation intended to muddy the waters.

      He lied about his knowledge of the leak never mind the constructed lie itself.

      He has no honour or credibility.

      He has to resign.

      Voters of O & S – what do you think?

    193. Legerwood says:

      Well according to the report in the Telegraph (on-line version) the inquiry into the leaked memo backs the Telegraph’s original report !!!!!!

    194. heedtracker says:

      Stench of UKOK corruption doesn’t trouble THE Graun’s jolly reporters, who turn another extraordinary British political scandal into just one more attack on Scottish democracy.

      “Although Sturgeon and the French embassy have always denied that she said she favoured Cameron staying on as prime minister, other parts of the conversation recorded in the memo, including her saying she had no idea “what kind of mischief” Alex Salmond, the former SNP leader, would get up to at Westminster, have not been denied.”

      Meaningless but very smeary too, in a pick n mix of typical Libby Carrell low class attack. You can put anything in anyone’s mouth you’re trying to smear but France is an odd target for The Graun, denied, denied, denial, smear, deny, sell even less The Graun papers in their Scotland region.

    195. manandboy says:

      On A. Carmichael’s website his opening words are:-
      “The main purpose of this site is to keep people in Orkney and Shetland up to date with what I am doing and to give them the opportunity to get in touch and let me know their views.”

      You couldn’t make this up.

    196. call me dave says:

      I’m not linking to the telegraph but there is a video of the man himself giving his side of the story.

      He is not convincing, but nor is he blushing but may have his fingers crossed as they were out of sight.

      £10,000 quid parachute money not taken won’t wash with the voters in Scotland nor the Isles Carmichael -resign.

      What an odious person makes Cameron look squeaky clean! 🙂

      “Just one of those things” he said as he passed it off as “just politics” before the election.

    197. Grizzle McPuss says:

      So, that’ll be a green light to deception and damn right lying in public office if he doesn’t go?

      Remember, this is the bloke that stated “These things happen” all knowingly for what he had done.

      And poor wee James Cook took umbridge at the reaction of the not-so-daft public getting upset at his gloat-fuelled attack on Nicola!!

      Mr Carmichael; get yer lardy arse back to your constituency and let the electorate tell you how much regard you are now held in.


    198. One_Scot says:

      Seriously, what’s Carmichaels long term plan here, put fingers in ears and hope that at some point we all forget.

    199. Ian Brotherhood says:

      @Betsy –

      Cheers. The petition is currently at 1068.

      Come on folks – let’s heave this useless baggage right out the door once and for all.

      Petition calling on Carmichael to resign as an MP:

    200. manandboy says:

      Alistair Carmichael, in his welcome video on his website, has this to say:-

      “If politics is to be meaningful and if people are to be genuinely engaged, then we’ve got to know what our politicians are thinking. ”

      But that’s the last thing they are going to tell us, as Alistair has just so clearly demonstrated in his confession, which he made after he had been caught.

    201. scott says:

      Will this barsteward Alan Cochrane do the decent thing and retract his story in the Telegraph about our First Minister,no chance he is just as much as a liar as Carbuncle,was Rennie in on it as well.
      Carmichael must go.

    202. desimond says:

      Nicola Sturgeon is dumbstruck at Sky News interviewers insane questioning right now…interviewer making mad faces and asking “why would civil servant lie”…its pure car crash TV

    203. desimond says:

      A Ministers severance pay..WHY?.in what other walk of life do yoh get money for being found to be shit and unwanted ( bar football manager)

    204. Ian Brotherhood says:

      I’ve no idea who did this, or why, but it’s strangely brilliant:

    205. bugsbunny says:

      I came to this conclusion a long time ago. The Labour Party have a lot in common with the Soviet State. They both practised historical revisionism.

      Alistair Carmicheal has just admitted to being the leak behind Frenchgate. What a bloody surprise Alistair. Did you expect us to have a long intake of breath of disbelief?


    206. DerekM says:

      The SNP must demand a full parliamentary inquiry over this scandalous international diplomatic incident from Cameron ,it must be brought before the HoC at PMQ`s and also inside the Scottish parliament.

      Cameron with no lib dems to worry about will fling him to the wolves i reckon, while double crossing him with a shocking nothing to do with us tories move, it was all those horrible lib dems what did it honest.

      Carmichael should not only resign but should also humbly apologize to the French diplomatic staff.

    207. john king says:

      Carmichael considering his position, oh the joy the joy

    208. FairFerfochen says:

      Just finished reading the National, cover to cover and must say it has to be the best one yet, seriously, if you can get hold of one, please do, youwon’t be disappointed.

      Quality stuff – almost as good as Wings 😀

    209. IvMoz says:

      In light of Carmichael’s behaviour & other MP’s behaviour e.g Eric Joyce’s in the last parliament, surely there has to be a mechanism for scrutinising MP’s fitness for being an MP & if required their removal as an MP.

      Carmichael should have fessed up before the GE but didn’t. He now could continue as an MP until 2020 without credibility and with dishonour but trousering hundreds of thousands until then.

      That’s not right

    210. woosie says:

      Nicola on Sky News interview being grilled as if she was the guilty party by some anonymous bimbo. Never mind asking Carmichael if he’ll finally do the right thing – ask FM about the meeting with the French diplomat, hinting that she really did do something wrong.

      I was screaming for Nicola to stop the live interview and ask what the motive was for the line of questioning! Hopefully that would have ended an unpromising career in tv journalism, and sent a signal to msm in general.

    211. Jimbo says:

      Excellent summation, Stu.

      This is the problem with Labour. Everyone in Scotland, with the exception of Labour politicians and hacks, is sick to the back teeth of their lack of ambition for Scotland, their obfuscations, their distortions and their downright lies.

      Everyone in Scotland sees the problems with the Labour Party – Everyone in Scotland with the exception of Labour themselves that is.

    212. Charles Edward says:

      Asking yourselves why is Alistair telling all now?
      Could it have something to do with a secret memo I’ve just read?
      Apparently he has been approached by a prestigious TV production company offering a 6 figure sum. Depending on his availability shooting will begin in July.
      It involves touring the globe and tracking down individuals and their vehicles.

      According to the memo ‘this guy has Gene Hackman charisma..’
      Working title – Alistair Carmichael stares at cars belonging to Alice or Michael.

      How will the islands adjust to their loss?
      (there’s a guy down the Barras and for £14 you can get a wee bag of Scottish labour – supposed to put hairs on your chest, you will have to get used to shaving your tongue though..)

      Drugs are bad.

    213. Rob James says:

      Slab – No policies, no personalities, no purpose, no point,
      no party.

      Carmichael – no credibility, no charisma, no career.

      @Ian Brotherhood

      Answers to your Friday poser

      (a) He would be the same height as when he fell in (unless he was on growth hormones)

      (b) Not if I can help it.

    214. john king says:

      “How will the islands adjust to their loss?
      (there’s a guy down the Barras and for £14 you can get a wee bag of Scottish labour – supposed to put hairs on your chest, you will have to get used to shaving your tongue though..)

      Drugs are bad.”

      wHAT@How will the islands adjust to their loss?
      (there’s a guy down the Barras and for £14 you can get a wee bag of Scottish labour – supposed to put hairs on your chest, you will have to get used to shaving your tongue though..)

      Drugs are bad.

      “you will have to get used to shaving your tongue”

      What?…doesn’t everyone?

      I love this guy!

      btw I got it for a tenner. 🙂
      I need a shave. 🙁

    215. Effijy says:

      Alistair Carmichael conceded he was guilty of ” Frenchgate ”

      Just watched the UK OK news reporting on this matter!

      Some vile creature purporting to be a Sunday post “journalist”
      has assured us that there is no need for Carmichael to step down
      as he has apologised??

      Beggars belief! If said commentator was beaten up and robbed and received an apology in the post, would he be shouting Whoopee?

      He then went on to say that the Publicly funded inquiry into the matter wouldn’t have cost very much, as it was obvious that he was the guilty party?

      So strange that it wasn’t so obvious when he specifically denied it. It was so obvious that they could not pronounce him guilty until after his lies and deceit saw him elected by only a few hundred votes.

      It gets better, he is going to do us a favour and not collect his pay off for losing his ministerial position.

      How nice of this man only to steel his Westminster salary and
      the cost of this public inquiry.

      His pal wee Wullie was right, The Lib Dems don’t lurch over to the right, they don’t lurch over to the left, they lurch right down into the gutter!

      Get out Carmichael!
      You are a Liar who will never be trusted again.

      Your property should be arrested under the proceeds of Crime!

      We have Wee Karankie Tory getting away with opening the postal votes at the referendum, we have the Treasury illegally leaking
      the Bank’s Brass Plaque letters, we have the BBC tearing up, burning, and burying under concrete, their charter for impartiality, Labour’s robot written letters about their virtues
      from non existent constituents.

      These acts are all undemocratic, immoral, and illegal and sanctioned by Westminster in order to keep the colony slaves in their place.

      Disgusting, Disgraceful, and Draconian the lot of them!

    216. Fred says:

      Carmichael will apparently be spending the weekend privately with his family, this actually means that he’s fucked-up big time and that Mrs Carmichael will have to wear a burka to shop in Kirkwall in future so they’re going back to Islay or mebbes Florida to escape the ignomy of it all and hell fuckin mend him.

    217. fletch49er says:

      I was reading Alex Rowley’s piece in the National today where he calls for Labour’s Northern Branch to “become the party of Home Rule” in a bid to ensure the branch’s survival.

      But I’m afraid changing ones spots to “save their careers” completely misses what has happened and what is required.

      It’s not about “saving their careers” or changing the party line to garner votes. It’s about representing the Scottish people honestly and with integrity. Standing up for what one believe in not what one thinks will fly best with the electorate. Succeed or fail on that belief because it is far more important than a one man’/woman’s career in politics.

      It’s not about the politician it is about the people who would choose that politician to represent them.

      Now if that means helping to improve things whilst in opposition then that is what needs to be done, participating in a positive rather than the current negative way.

      Think on.

    218. Louis B Argyll says:

      Been a busy day, all you folks on fine form directing that focus.
      Cant add much, but to say…




    219. Petra says:

      Macca73 says ”I watched the election this time round like never before. Nicola was alone in going out and meeting the real people. Her human touch and her understanding of seeing people first hand was brilliant and I applaud her for this. She’s not afraid in debate because she’s seen the white of electorate’s eyes. The rest of them will do well to remember that!”

      Kezia Dugdale is a great deal brighter than Jim Murphy (she managed to get a Degree for one).

      I listened to her on the television tonight and it came across to me that she had learned a number of lessons such as ‘bad, bad SNP’ wasn’t going to work anymore, that she would have to adopt a more humorous approach and she also inferred that she would prefer to get out there and interact with the public rather than go along with Murphy’s report.

      I can see her using Nicola Sturgeon as her role model now rather than Murphy.

      It’ll be interesting to see how she moves forward and will the Scots (ex-Labour / Labour supporters) be impressed by her / believe her or not?

    220. woosie says:


      I think Kez has been learning from Murphy for too long. In any interview she swings off the question to “SNP bad”, and into a stilted, scripted diatribe.

      Visit STV News’ website, the piece on Carmichael. There’s a clip of Murphy being asked many times if he regretted commenting on the “memo” without waiting for the facts. He never once answers the question, but goes off on the “unholy alliance” mantra, which all Scots saw through, and cost him his seat and his career.

      I’ve no doubt that Kez will go the same way; Labour have nothing to offer the common people, and Scots are showing the rest of the uk how to deal with them.

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