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The Silence Of The Lamont

Posted on September 19, 2012 by

Alert readers will have noticed that we gave up on maintaining our Scottish media appearance log a while back. With pressures of work and a shortage of help, it was just too much to keep up with by ourselves, requiring hours of monitoring every day even just for the “big three” of Good Morning Scotland, Scotland Tonight and Newsnight Scotland, let alone shows like Call Kaye or anything on commercial radio.

However, we did continue to record appearances for quite a while after our last report, so it seemed remiss not to at least compile the stats to that point, which covered the first five months of 2012. The figures for January 1st to May 31st are as noted below.


Nicola Sturgeon (SNP)


Anas Sarwar (LAB)


Ruth Davidson (CON)
Willie Rennie (LIB)
Patrick Harvie (GRN)


John Swinney (SNP)
Michael Moore (LIB)


Alex Salmond (SNP)
Stewart Hosie (SNP)


Ken Macintosh (LAB)
Johann Lamont (LAB)


Humza Yousaf (SNP)
Margaret Curran (LAB)


Cathy Jamieson (LAB)
Shona Robison (SNP)
Willie Bain (LAB)
Derek Mackay (SNP)


Linda Fabiani (SNP)
Kezia Dugdale (LAB)
Jeremy Purvis (LIB)
Richard Lochhead (SNP)
Lewis Macdonald (LAB)
Stewart Maxwell (SNP)
Douglas Alexander (LAB)
Christine Grahame (SNP)
Hugh Henry (LAB)
Jim Wallace (LIB)

(E&OE. Politicians making fewer than three appearances are not listed.)

So we see that (as for the first quarter) over the entire monitoring period Johann Lamont appeared less often on TV and radio than any other party leader in Scotland – even the First Minister, who has the excuse of a rather busier schedule on account of having a country to run. She appeared fewer than half as many times as her own “deputy” Anas Sarwar, and only fractionally over half as many times as Ruth Davidson, Willie Rennie and Patrick Harvie.

Of course, the reasons for that have become increasingly clear in recent days. But it’s still a startling level of silence from the leader of the Holyrood opposition. It’ll be interesting to see if the frequency of her visits to the studios increases or decreases in the wake of Scottish Labour’s night of the long knives.



Female politicians represented 33% of appearances in our sample, fractionally below their 35% share of MSPs. The pro-independence parties got 46% of slots compared to 54% for the anti-independence parties, despite commanding a comfortable majority of seats, and the Conservatives were the most under-represented party, with far fewer appearances (7%) than the Lib Dems (16%) and the same as the Greens (7%) despite having more than twice as many seats as the other two put together. (Indeed, Ruth Davidson was the only Tory who was seen more than twice in the five-month period.)

Labour were slightly over-represented with 31% of places for their 29% of MSPs, and the SNP substantially under-represented at 39% of appearances for their 53% of seats.

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    Lies And The Lying Liars Who Tell Them | A Wilderness of Peace

21 to “The Silence Of The Lamont”

  1. Al Ghaf says:

    Johan Lamont literally “puts in an appearance” in today’s online coveage of the GMS debate about the Labour meltdown in Scotland. Of course BBC Scotland has gone with the much nicer angle and headline of “Scottish independence: Is Scottish Labour bouncing back?”


  2. Doug Daniel says:

    Here’s Scottish Labour’s official spin doctor, Magnus Gardham, trying to put a positive sheen on that Smyth boy quitting his post as general secretary:
    It’s quite sickening, as was his appearance on Scotland Tonight last night. The guy is completely clueless, and has completely wrecked the Herald as a serious newspaper. Even the Scotsman seems more balanced these days.

  3. Doug Daniel says:

    Oh, and I notice the most featured politician from each party is either the leader (Davidson, Rennie and Harvie) or the deputy leader (Sturgeon and Sawar). As you say, the First Minister can hardly be expected to be popping into TV studios every five minutes (in fact we’d be criticising him if he did), so this is exactly the kind of thing a deputy would be doing – deputising for their leader.
    I’d love to know what Lamont’s excuse is for leaving Sawar to deputise for her. Of course, we all know the real reason is that Sawar is the real Scottish Labour leader – which is a shame, because he’s a slimey little toad.

  4. Kenny Campbell says:

    Maybe Lamont has been told by her spin Dr’s to keep out of the media as she has an adverse affect on Labour. A stealth leader.

  5. Davy says:

    I think you have all got it wrong folks, the main reason Lamont does not go on TV is the damned presenters ask questions for which she does not have a script and that is not fair. How the hell do you expect any leader of a labour party to answer questions without a prepared script, I mean look how good she was in the infamous new forth road bridge FM’s question time incident. Regardless of the answers our First Minster gave about the contract and steel requirments for the new bridge she was able to carryon regardless down that deep deep very deep hole of stupidity, and all because she had a prepared script. So there.

    A little OT but have a little look at labour hame site, Mr Smart & Mr Ruddy are back on with their own version of “truth or dare”. 

  6. Appleby says:

    It’s odd that they’d pick Lamont as a leader if they were only going to hide her out of sight. If they were smart enough to see she was poison then you’d think they’d have chosen someone more suitable in the first place.

  7. Davy says:

    “Appleby”, ah but, remember her other main asset was doing what London says, that outweigh’s everything else. 

  8. MajorBloodnok says:

    It’s difficult to see what the rationale was behind making her leader.  I use the term rationale loosely.

    My own thought (not original I see, pace Davy) is that they wanted someone that would just toe/parrot the party line – anyone with more ability might have had ideas of their own and go off-message and not follow ‘the plan’ (if there is one) for Labour hegemony in these isles.

  9. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “If they were smart enough to see she was poison then you’d think they’d have chosen someone more suitable in the first place.”

    From which options, though?

  10. MajorBloodnok says:

    So you’re saying they didn’t have options and also weren’t smart enough to see she’d be a problem anyway?  I think that sums it up!

  11. Gaavster says:

    The reason Lamont was ‘chosen’ to front the Labour Party in Scotland was, in my opinion, to reinforce the ‘pretendy wee parliament’ image in the run up to the referendum

    They have attempted to polarise the debate into an Alex Salmond personality contest, where they want to reinforce their ‘one party state/dictatorship’ mantra on one hand, whilst showing the alternatives (the current Holyrood unionist cabal) as being incapable of competent government in Scotland

    It spreads fear amongst those who dont like Alex Salmond by forcing them to ask the question, ‘what’s the alternative if I vote for separation?’ 

    The politics of despair…. 

  12. Alex McI says:

    What about our good freind councillor terry Kelly, surely a man worthy of a promotion for his tireless comedy work.

  13. MajorBloodnok says:

    Their obsession with AS has blinded them to the fact that there are plenty of other highly capable people in the SNP.  Appointing Nicola Sturgeon to the Referendum brief will turn out to be a masterstroke as Labour’s strategy of making it a personal campaign against the supposed megalomania of ‘King-Eck’ falls flat.

  14. scottish_skier says:

    Rev Stu. From which options, though?

    I imagine Malcolm Chisholm might not have been overly keen on the ‘top’ (ahem) job. Although Ed would have never let that happen anyway as Malcolm has his own opinions on things; that’s considered dangerous for a Labour party politician.

    Interestingly, Malcolm, like Dennis Canavan, left the ‘big boys parliament’ for the one they considered more important?

  15. Arbroath 1320 says:

    Labour’s obsession with Alex Salmond i, in my view, a very simple concept to understand.
    Labour have NO policies and they are the Tories “front men” in Scotland for the union but have NO arguments FOR the union. As a result of these failings they must find something to help them keep face with the electorate, hence the personality attacks on A.S. The unfortunate thing for Labour with this line of attack is the almost immediate comparison between A.S. and Lamont. As soon as anyone does this they see the benefits of having A.S. as First Minister of Scotland (Independent or otherwise) doing an excellent job and Lamont a wee spokesperson for London who, apparently, has no concept of doing what is RIGHT for Scotland but would rather put Scotland and her people down as per her instructions from London.

  16. Dunc says:

    Lamont got the job because both of the other leadership candidates were clear that Labour needed to change quite dramatically, and that’s the thing that they’re least willing to contemplate.

  17. Offin says:

    ….and some in Labour say that Anas Sarwar is being groomed to take over from Lamont in the run up to the 2016 Holyrood election.

  18. Erchie says:

    Of course, can we be sure that she did win, as the voting figures have never been released

  19. MajorBloodnok says:

    They’ll be released when she gives her opinion on whether or not we should keep Trident.  Probably.

  20. Erchie says:

    I am told she whispered her opinion on Trident into a box, sealed it and buried it on an island beyond the eighth sea

  21. Al Ghaf says:

    It is not just a Labour party problem. None of the Westminster parties can effectively devolve their Scottish branches.

    But conversely the SNP seem to do a good job of maintaining a Holyrood/Westminster operation.

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