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Wings Over Scotland

We are biased

Posted on April 17, 2012 by

It's true, we are. This blog supports Scottish independence, and therefore usually finds itself at odds with the Scottish Labour Party and its elusive "leader" Johann Lamont. So when she was apparently released from the basement of John Smith House to speak at the launch of the Labour council-election campaign for Glasgow (though the evidence, supplied by Scottish Labour's own Twitter feed, was somewhat inconclusive), we didn't think it would be fair to report on the contents of her speech ourselves.

So instead, to ensure that Labour's positive policy prospectus for Scotland's biggest city gets impartial coverage, we're going to hand you over instead to the Scottish Political Editor of the Sunday Herald, the unimpeachably neutral Tom Gordon. Below is his full Twitter commentary on Lamont's speech as it happened. We have not edited Mr Gordon's tweetstream in any way. This is everything he said.

Well, I don't think we can be in any doubt about Labour's exciting, inspiring plans for Glasgow should it win control of the council again. The citizens can rest assured that should they place their confidence and trust in the people's party once more for the next five years, Labour will repay their faith with a tireless, focused and comprehensive programme of really, REALLY hating the SNP.

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    26 to “We are biased”

    1. Scott Minto (Aka Sneekyboy) says:

      And they call the SNP a single issue party!
      What does Labour stand for??? Hating the SNP.
      Who does Labour benefit??? Labour
      I really do feel sorry for the Labour Party Members with these people at the top controlling the direction of the party.
      Maybe if Labour stopped obsessing over the SNP they might just pull together a policy.. or two… three is pushing it though.

    2. Erchie says:

      For Lamont to comment on anyone's availability for comment is a hoot, a giggle of the highest order

    3. Doug Daniel says:

      I think it's fair to say that Labour's taunts that Allison Hunter is nowhere to be seen are nothing more than a ploy to divert attention from their own illustrious leader's impeccable hide and seek skills. Are they right? I don't know, and to be perfectly honest I couldn't give a toss – she's just a council group leader, and not for my council at that. I read recently that Hunter is perhaps not the best at public speaking, and if that's true, then as long as she doesn't have any notions of becoming a government minister, it matters not a jot. Councillors get asked onto TV programmes once every few years – council election time – so if they're absent from the TV, no one notices.
      Lamont, on the other hand, is meant to lead every single Labour politician in Scotland. It's a role that is supposed to be of national significance as the leader of the main opposition. If you aren't prepared to be the party's face and voice in the media, then you are failing in your job. Even Willie Rennie gets more airtime than Lamont. In fact, even Patrick Harvie is on TV more, and he's one of only two Green MSPs.
      It is therefore very noticeable when she is absent. What a shock that there isn't a bigger deal made about it in the media, eh?

    4. Macart says:

      Have Labour actually proposed any new policies (which they haven't lifted from the SNP) in the past seven years? I mean jeez, its meant to be the launch of a campaign to win votes in council elections. Just some hint toward local policy, a smidge, a nod, a word, something. But no, let's revert to just hate, smear, despair and carnage.
      They're definitely obsessing now.

    5. Erchie says:

      You didn't include the retweet where Anas Sarwar pledges Labour not to cut Council funding.   I woud have thought Mr Gordon might have mentioned Labour's support of a CT cut in Stirling

    6. Arbroath1320 says:

      Now that we have got the confirmation of Labour's "anything but S.N.P." s***e out the way what exactly are the Labour party's policies, I know pluralising is asking a bit much here but I'm TRYING to be kind to the wee soul it can't be easy trying to constantly find stones to hde under.

    7. Angus McLellan says:

      The Grauniad has a piece from Sev Carrell on the elections: The subeditor's summary is Johann Lamont, the Scottish Labour leader, has predicted the Scottish National party will win more council seats on 3 May, again making the SNP the largest party in local government.
      Managing expectations is important, but with two weeks still to go there's an awful lot of doom and gloom in there. One interesting snippet caught my eye:  One other pro-UK party leader put rather more bluntly than Lamont late last year: boosted too by landing 69 seats at the Holyrood election, the SNP is building "a fucking army", funded by taxpayers, her counterpart said, with every new SNP MSP and councillor supported by paid researchers.
      The absolute rotters, how dare they!

    8. Christian Wright says:

      Ms Lamont stated is part: ""Behind every statistic is the tragedy of a family losing an income and a person suffering the indignity of being out of work .. Let's have a battle of ideas. Let's discuss how we deliver social justice at a time of scarce resources. Let's talk about real lives, real communities and how we can work together to improve them."
      This is Labour Party boilerplate apparatchik-speak. I can remember near the very same words ringing in my ears half a century ago, when I acted as gofer to Glasgow Labour candidates during these very same council elections (though then it was Glasgow Corporation as I recall). 
      Almost fifty years on, how has Glasgow fared under Labour? Well, in some areas of the city the life expectancy for men is lower than that in Baghdad. Poverty in endemic in other areas to the extent that fetuses in the womb and neonates of both sexes, come into the world  epigenetically  predisposed to illness, mental disorders, and early death (recent Glasgow U study).
      The socio-economic blights that both plagued and defined Glasgow then, are still present today.  That span of fifty years also encompasses the arc of Labour's hegemony in my home town. The more things change the more they stay the same in Labour controlled Glasgow.
      If Labour could not eliminate or at least ameliorate these blights in fifty years, why should anyone believe they can fix them in the next five? It is clear that Labour have been there too long for any good they may have done. 
      It is time for change. The Ancien Regime is about be swept away. Labour's goose is cooked and Lamont knows it.
      Stick a fork in her, shes done.

    9. Tris says:

      Lamont appers to have found her forte. Stand up comedy of the "clubbie" variety.
      She's dne it a few times at FMQs, and her MSPs appear to love it.
      She has nothing much to say about policy. She hasn't got any policies, I expect, and if she did they should be the same as the SNPs, ie broadly left of centre Scottish politics. So, in the absense of anything much to say, Johann makes funnies about Craig White and Rangers and the SNP.
      And I used to think that Iain Gray was a bit of a loser (well, he was; I was right there), but this one takes the biscuit.

    10. Christian Wright says:

      Well, saw snippets of her performance. A poorly written can somtimes be saved by an exceptional delivery, but alas  it is clear Ms Lamont does not carry the necessary gene. She was duff.
       In the Labour Party the cream always rises to the bottom.

    11. Morag says:

      Allison Hunter is scary efficient by the way.  She was a senior admin in SNP HQ for years.  I think one or two of the "gaffes" have been because she was speaking frankly, thinking she was off the record.  If she's not good at public performance, I'm surprised, but it seems that may be the case.  So what, really.  She's an ace admin, and that's what's wanted in the job.

    12. Angus McLellan says:

      Christian Wright is being premature as regards Ms Lamont. She's not done yet. And people lose elections as much as win them, so let's wait and see. Optimism is good, overconfidence isn't.
      But remember, it's not over until Jackie Baillie has treated us to a rousing rendition of Here in my heart. (Oops! Rendition and Labour politicians, that's current events right there.)

    13. Morag says:

      One other pro-UK party leader put rather more bluntly than Lamont late last year: boosted too by landing 69 seats at the Holyrood election, the SNP is building "a fucking army", funded by taxpayers, her counterpart said, with every new SNP MSP and councillor supported by paid researchers.

      I remember pointing pretty much that out as a major advantage to the SNP from the establishment of the Holyrood parliament.  Though maybe I didn't use exactly those terms!  Some LibDems were asking, "why are all you SNP people so damn happy?", after the referendum result.  They had bought the "devolution will kill the SNP stone dead" line.  I pointed out that a PR system would finally give the SNP a fairer crack of the whip, and even if the party didn't win at the outset, it was guaranteed to multiply its existing number of paid representatives many times, and they of course would have staff, and all that couldn't be bad for a party getting by on three MPs and a bunch of volunteers.
      I'm not sure how much the unionist parties had thought about that aspect.  For me, it was all-important.  The SNP hadn't had a chance to build a professional cadre of representatives and full-time party workers, and Holyrood provided that chance.  Someone has just noticed, and seems to think it's illegtimate for some reason.  As usual, it's all OK when Labour or the Tories do it, but when the SNP do the same, cry foul – whether it's accepting donations from people whose views may not be to everyone's tastes, or having supporters to tea.

    14. Arbroath1320 says:

      I have one very serious problem with all this daily c*** up mentality  we are constantly confronted with from Labour, particularly the lamentable one. Much as I  enjoy the daily screw ups by Lamont, whenever she can be dragged out of her rabbit bolt-hole, I am getting a wee bit concerned that my enjoyment of the daily Lamentable Ups (Lamont screw ups) might be considered by some to be over confidence on my part. Regretably there is, as far as I can see, no cure for the current level of daily hilarity show that is the Labour party.
      PARTY ON!

    15. Morag says:

      I very much doubt speeches like this are going to cause SNP activists to down tools prematurely.  I just typed over 500 address labels to send out leaflets by post to the many outlying farms and estate houses in this extensive rural ward – even we can't get everywhere, but we're determined no voter will remain uncontacted, not even if they live in a place called Lonelybield or Stoneypath (not making this up).
      And we have the rest of the ward divvied up between the activists, and by the way this is round two, we got the first tranche of leafletting done before the official beginning of the camaign.  It's a point of pride, and nobody is going to hang up their trainers and put their slippers on just because the lamentable one has thrown in the towel.

    16. Christian Wright says:

      Angus wrote: "And people lose elections as much as win them, so let's wait and see. Optimism is good, overconfidence isn't."
      I am confident you will keep your head down and your shoulder to the wheel until Jackie Baille sings a sad lamont, Angus. 
      My party worker bee days are long past. So I get to just sit here chillin' with a cold one, luxuriating in well considered over confidence, secure in the knowledge that the campaign is in sound hands.



    17. Macart says:

      Arbroath wrote: "I have one very serious problem with all this daily c*** up mentality  we are constantly confronted with from Labour, particularly the lamentable one."
      Problem??? I see no steenking problem! Hey Arb, what's shakin'  dude? Must admit to laughin' masel sick at this latest beauty from Lamont. Basically – even if we get hammered, it's still only a protest vote and independence isn't really popular. So let me get this right – It was a protest vote in 2007, it was a protest vote in 2011 and if they get hammered again on May 4, its still a protest vote.
      That's a lot of protest ๐Ÿ™‚

    18. Seasick Dave says:

      Almost fifty years on, how has Glasgow fared under Labour? Well, in some areas of the city the life expectancy for men is lower than that in Baghdad.
      Is that before or after a campaign of 'Shock and Awe' and being exposed to depleted Uranium, courtesy of the Labour Party?

    19. Erchie says:

      Moving on from the Herald to the BBC, which, so Peter Curran assures is so unbiased that anyone seeing bias in it must be delusional, and this morning's GMS.
      The top of the piece was "Labour's last-ditch attempt to stop the increased pension contributions of NHS staff"
      Basically, Labour asked  some questions they already knew the answers to about the pensions, the answer being that the Treasury would impose £5 million a month cuts to the Holyrood pocket money if the changes were not implemented.
      To be fair to the Beeb they did let that issue get articulated, though there was some clinching letter from the Treasury that they didn't play Ms Sturgeon reading, it might have been informative to the listener if they had, so obviously they didn't.
      So, having billed this great, last-ditch effort, The Beeb had to quietly admit at the end that Labour didn't even put a motion to the committee.
      Yup. No bias there

    20. Arbroath1320 says:

      Hey Macart everytrhings fine this end how about you?
      So now the Lamentable one has broken her cover for an extremely rare public appearance, hell blue moons are more common than her public appearances, we are informed that It was a protest vote in 2007, it was a protest vote in 2011 and if they get hammered again on May 4, its still a protest vote.
      Doesn't the Lamentable one know that protesting can be HOBBIT, sorry I mean habit forming. ๐Ÿ˜€

    21. Macart says:

      Hah, nice Arb and not so bad masel'. Johann's rare appearance in daylight was entirely predictable, has to be said. At some point we may even hear the even more rare sound of a policy announcement (though I doubt it). But as far as I can gather the current one is SNP bad, no really, bad people an they dae stuff that's no good as well, honest. So vote fer us, we're good n' that (now picture heavy gimlet stare into camera). 
      Personally I'm astounded at the lack of craft or policy from Labour North or South right now. No policy, no ideas and no clue about how to handle their opponents. A.S. probably can't believe his luck. ๐Ÿ™‚

    22. Arbroath1320 says:

      It brings a tear to ma e'en Macart, just thinking about the fact that we have an SNP government whose policies are SO, SO VERY GOOD that a'bdy, well Labour anyway, just feels the need,the need for speed, oops sorry I ment to say the need to copy the SNP policies. If you'r going to hang around for a policy that is of Labour's own making methinks you will be hanging around for quite some considerable time,weeks,months,years,decades no I've got it centuries! ๐Ÿ˜€

    23. Macart says:

      Is it just me Arb, or is this the quietest campaign so far? I get the feeling that the opposition strategy appears to be don't draw attention to what could be another potential night of disaster. Not exactly a winning formula if that is the cunning plan, but I'm not complaing either mind you. ๐Ÿ˜€

    24. Arbroath1320 says:

      Shhhh! ๐Ÿ˜€
      The candidates are all asleep, we don't want to waken them up too early do we?
      I guess the opposition parties have tried everything else this about the only thing that is left for them to try. If it is them BOY do they have have some SERIOUS problems. ๐Ÿ˜€
      It is not just the almost non existent campaigning that is not going on but the fact that there has been a reduction in the number of actual council candidates standing for each party except one. Now I wonder which party that might be????? SNP anyone?
      You really have to ask some serious questions about the unionist parties tactics when we hear about stories like the Tory candidate who only stood so long as he did NOT have to campaign nor was he expected to win. My question to that was "So why the hell was he standing?" What a waste of time, effort energy etc.

    25. Macart says:

      I feel another good night coming on. ๐Ÿ™‚

    26. Arbroath1320 says:

      We'll have fun,fun,fun while her father takes the T-Bird away! Tee Hee. ๐Ÿ˜€

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