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Wings Over Scotland

Who cares?

Posted on January 13, 2013 by

Two ostensibly-unrelated stories from today’s Scottish press leap out at each other with such force you fear the collision could almost create an actual thunderstorm.

“Benefits reform ‘to force 1 in 4 into poverty'”, roars Scotland On Sunday’s second-top story above a curiously makeover-ish picture of Margaret Curran and news of a report by the Scottish Council of Voluntary Organisations which predicts that hundreds of thousands of children and vulnerable women (in particular) will be pushed into financial catastrophe by the Westminster government’s benefit cuts.

Curran is then quoted as attacking the UK coalition because it’s “prepared to cut the incomes of hard-working Scottish families at a time when people are already struggling to make ends meet”, and demanding “welfare reform that works”. Which makes a story in this morning’s Sunday Herald all the more bewildering.

The piece by Tom Gordon struggles under the rather unwieldy headline “Lamont under fire for failing to save Holyrood benefit debate … after calling for it to go ahead”, but the contents are explosive. We urge readers to read the entire thing, but we’ll quote the first few paragraphs to give you the flavour:

“Scottish Labour leader Johann Lamont has been accused of rank hypocrisy after Labour torpedoed a Holyrood debate on universal benefits, despite Lamont regularly accusing the SNP of trying to stifle debate on the subject.

SNP MSP Clare Adamson had expected to hold a member’s debate on the case for universal benefits this week, after a notice appeared in the Scottish Parliament’s bulletin stating it would take place on Thursday. But Labour complained there was not enough cross-party support to stage the debate – and rather than step in to save it, they stood back and the debate was axed.”

The two stories taken together reveal in perhaps the clearest form ever the cynical, despicable hypocrisy at the rotten heart of Scottish Labour. On the one hand pretend to care about the poor and vulnerable, pretend to be interested in provoking a “serious debate” on the subject, but then the minute you’re called on to actually stand up and talk about it without being able to hide behind a monologue press release or a brief interview where you can dodge and stall and waffle your way out of answering any questions, run for your life and don’t look back.

(Labour’s pitifully craven response in the article – essentially saying that parliamentary procedure allows them to block the debate so they have, and that the SNP shouldn’t complain about it because them’s the rules, guv – is especially enlightening.)

Scottish Labour’s true level of concern for the people of Scotland has, of course, been revealed in public before. Allow us to remind you of it.

Nevertheless, as an illustration of their self-serving contempt for the electorate, the events reported by the Herald and SoS today take some beating.

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    1. 25 03 15 21:49

      The Devo Files: Ian Davidson (Glasgow South West) | A Wilderness of Peace

    32 to “Who cares?”

    1. McHaggis says:

      The Herald piece you refer to is showing in about 7th or 8th place on their online front page just now.

      I will wager it falls off the front page later today.

      The leader when I view their website is the SNP’s stated aim on oversees aid and development, to which the right wing unionists are flocking to criticise despite The Herald having a comment piece essentially praising the ambition. 

    2. FreddieThreepwood says:

      Depressingly familiar, yes Rev. Although one surprise I suppose is that Curran didn’t blame Alex Salmond for the benefits cuts. And have a swipe at him for the riots in Belfast and the norovirus while she was at it.

    3. Pity it’s in the Herald where nobody will read it.  Still, it’ll be first on the BBC News tonight no doubt.  Won’t it?

    4. Keef says:

      Any reasonable person, regardless of their political leanings, must surely now see that labour has well and truly deserted the working class of Scotland. 

      I expect their rank and file are raging. 

      Labour4indy’s numbers just swelled considerably. My astonishment of this turn of events is matched only by the fact that the unionist papers saw fit to print it. 


    5. Peter Mirtitsch says:

      Smiley Margrit and Wee Jojo are such incredible hypocrites as can be seen when they repeatedly criticise the Tories (and Libdems) as being so detrimental to the Scots, and claim to be fighting against them, yet they have the bare faced cheek to turn and say that our best chances are to stick with them, and they even cosy up and spoon them just to put one over on the SNP. So much for representing the people…

    6. Zundapp says:

      Keef says:   “I expect their rank and file are raging”.

      Really?   I don’t think they’ll even notice. 

    7. Jeannie says:

      Just saw Ed Milliband being interviewed on The Andrew Marr Show.  They were discussing the cuts in child benefit, which he was against, on the grounds that he was in support of…wait for it…universal benefits. He specifically said he did not want to take child benefit from the wealthy as he supported universalism.  Maybe that’s why Johann Lamont pulled out of the debate – her boss was about to go on national tv and more or less espouse the principle of universalism that the Labour Party in Scotland so vociferously disagrees with. 

    8. Juteman says:

      Does your average Labour voter even take an interest in ‘the news’, or do they just turn up at the ballot box and vote Labour? After all, they are the party of the ‘working class’, as everyone knows. The end of the Labour party in Scotland is coming, but it may take the passing of the non-internet generation to finish it off.

    9. Vincent McDee says:

      I’m quite sure this is not relevant to the issue of hypocritical labour, but I’ll share it if for the sake of merriment.

      My dogs do sometimes react to sounds from the TV, howling if it shows wolf pups doing it, going behind the desk looking for them if cats, dogs, deers, etc, make noises.

      Their best reaction they reserve for La Curran. As soon as her C6 highest soprano voice starts her high-pitched piercing and screeching sounds, the 3 of them bark at the telly in alarm.

      The better I get to know people, the more I like my dogs.     

    10. Malcolm says:

      @ Jeannie
      Rather begs the question – if WM labour support universal benefits (for now), where on earth did something for nothing come from?

    11. James Morton says:

      The other reason to avoid a deabte, is Lamonts “cuts commission” – she was and is a hostage to fortune with that one. Also one need to hold a position with stated aims in a debate and this is increasingly something that Scottish Labour don’t seem to have.
      @Juteman – I think for a lot of folk voting labour was something you did to show defiance of the tories. It became a habit and Scotlab developed an odd sense of entitlement to it. But is fading away slowly but surely. The real talent in labour moved on out to Westminster and thought there was nothing to worry about in Scotland, so they promoted their aides and friends in the cooncil to MSP and let them get on with it.  Think of it like a football team – were for some strange reason, the manager puts his most useless and ineffective players in defence and in goal, because they couldn’t imagine anyone from the other side being in a position to attack them.

    12. Dave McEwan Hill says:


      Do not confuse the “rank and file” of the Labour Party with those who vote Labour. They are not the same thing. The “rank and file ” means the membership which makes up the political activist base for the Labour party. These people think and take politics seriously. They are indeed raging and are becoming inactive and are walking away from the Labour Party at the moment 

    13. Dave McEwan Hill says:

      A word of caution.

      Current campaign themes running on the “do you want to have x more years of Tories running Scotland” actually imply that voting Labour is a better thing to do from Scotland’s point of view.
      This is dangerous and possibly counter productive stuff.
      The only sustainable argument is that voting unionist ie Labour or Tory gives you more years of rule from  London that doesn’t care about Scotland

    14. Aplinal says:

      Wow!  Some of the comments on the SoS story beggar belief.  I can’t believe these people come from my country, or even the UK.  It seems that the MSM/BBC has brainwashed huge swaths of our population.  The first comments are like a Dickensian novel.
      The “undeserving poor” are back among us.  “Workfare”, but no jobs etc. Has our country really come to this.

    15. ronald alexander mcdonald says:

      What Curran missed out is that the Labour party would do exactly the same as the tories.

      Spot the difference! No wonder Labour for Independence is growing at a fast rate. As many ex-Labour voters have said, the party left me. No one can accuse Johann Lamont of being disobedient to the party.      

    16. Derick says:

      Apinal. Yes it has.  But it can and must be changed

    17. blunttrauma says:

      Ed Milliband in favour of Universalism, shurely shome mishtake.

    18. JLT says:

      As these cuts dig in over a period of time, just watch the Yes vote slowly rise….

    19. Jeannie says:

      I know – he said it was the bedrock of our democracy or something like that and said without it we’d have to have means testing, which he’s against.  Did he forget to tell Johann Lamont about this? Because it sounds to me as if he actually agrees with Alex Salmond rather than the leader of his party in Scotland, not to mention his shadow Scottish Secretary, Margaret Curran.

    20. Keef says:


      The rank and file have refused to share a platform with their Tory ‘partners’. The STUC have flat out refused to endorse the better together campaign.

      The tide is turning within the labour ranks. Make no mistake a huge surge of resentment is already beginning to be felt. Millipede has already written Scotland off and is now scrambling for the English middle class vote. I feel sorry for our English cousins they just are not thinking ahead enough as they have no idea the shit fight that is about to befall them.

    21. AndrewFraeGovan says:

      Will Milliband reverse these cuts when in office (yes I know)? If not it’s just posturing.

    22. Boorach says:

      We can but hope that Nicola’s committee come up with some reasonable ways that those, most in need, can be helped.

      In the meantime remember that virtually every town in the country now has some sort of food bank and a few tins a week would be very welcome.

      FOOD BANKS in an oil rich country where Alistair Darling couldn’t even motivate himself to vote against the welfare cuts. The esteemed leader of the  naysayers merits keelhauling! 

    23. Boorach says:

      Apologies, but this subject really angers me….. wouldn’t you just like to see the stocks being reintroduced for a few select people?

    24. Rabb says:

      So let me get this straight in my mind.

      Labour is in favour of universal benefits in England, Wales & NI but does not favour them in Scotland?

      And Ian Davidson’s stance on all matters Scottish is “Who cares?”

      Way to go Labour, the people of Scotland will love you for that 🙂

      I want to vote Labour again but please give me a fecking reason to do so!!!!!!!

    25. Erchie says:

      I think we now know the strategy of the Labour Party. As far aspossible paralyse Holyrood, lessen it’s impact, turn it into a laughing stock, try to minimise interest in Independence by making it look asiff the “too wee, too stupid” part is right

    26. pmcrek says:

      To be fair, when you have three houses its difficult to get enough time to properly class war.

    27. Silverytay says:

      First ministers questions are going to very interesting this week now that Ed has cut the feet from under Johann .  Labour are turning summersaults in their desperation to be electable at the next general election . Everytime that they open their mouths to try and attract the right wing vote in the South East of England their votes in the North of England and Scotland haemorrhage , hence the reason they occasionally pretend to be a party of the left as in Ed,s recent statement .  You only have to look to the recent welfare vote to see what a hypocritical party labour have become , On the one hand they vote against the nasty coalition , and on the other hand they state they will not repeal any coalition legislation .

    28. Rabb says:

      I’ve said this before. I still believe that the Labour party is the sacrificial lamb for the unionists. They are being used to deliberatley display incompetence in a bid to scare the Labour heartlands into rejecting independence on the “too stupid” ticket.
      I just can’t believe that a national organisation such as the Labour party can have such a disjointed front. It’s quite remarkable. 

      I only hope the people of Scotland are sensible enough to see through this game. 

    29. Yesitis says:

      I imagine good old Auntie Beeb and the compliant Unionist Scottish MSM will somehow conjure up a Labour inspired Alex Salmond/SNP accused scare story just in time for next First Minister`s Questions. We can`t have a unionist hand-puppet like Johann Lamont in any way weakened going into “battle” with an enemy of the state like Alex Salmond.
      Expect a news story to break sometime around Tuesday/Wednesday (as usual).

    30. McHaggis says:

      As predicted, the Herald piece on Labour ducking the debate on universal benefits has disappeared from the front page online and now sits under ‘other political news’.

      If this had been the SNP, The Herald would have made it front page for weeks to come. 

    31. Bill C says:

      If anything highlights the fact that these people are not fit to govern it is this. Lamont’s position is now untenable, she should resign immediately. She has been hung out to dry by her London masters. She is now the ‘Toom Tabard’ of the Referendum campaign.

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