The falsehoods of Scottish nationalists

As this is being written, on March 5, 2015, it has become clear that erroneous claims by supporters of the Scottish National Party, mostly about the Labour Party, are being made and repeated, thick and fast.

It is no longer practical to keep responding to them directly; therefore each time a new claim is made and debunked, the information will be posted on this page and readers (including anyone who makes the same false claim thereafter) will be directed here.

This will be a growing resource.

Labour and the Tories are NOT ‘in bed’, ‘in cahoots’, or allied in any other way

After Gordon Brown’s John Wheatley lecture on March 2, SNP deputy leader Stewart Hosie claimed: “Given their toxic alliance with the Tories for the last two and a half years, people in Scotland would be forgiven for thinking that Labour’s focus is not what they can do for Scotland – but what they can do for their Tory allies.”

As Labour and the Conservatives have been at daggers-drawn in the House of Commons since the ConDem Coalition was formed in 2010, and Labour MSPs are not in any kind of alliance with Scottish Tories in Holyrood, it seems Hosie was referring again to the SNP’s watery claim that the Better Together campaign is indicative of a closer relationship between the two parties.

It runs against history, logic and sanity.

Better Together was the campaign for Scottish people to support remaining in the United Kingdom at the independence referendum last year. Labour and the Conservative Party – as organisations supporting the union – were both members of Better Together and worked on it to further the unionist cause in a non-party political way. That is not the same as saying they were allied, and is certainly not the same as saying that they support each other’s policies in any way.

Neither Labour nor the Tories would have said they were working for the unionist cause for the benefit of their respective parties – and certainly not for the other party’s benefit. They would say they were doing it for the benefit of the United Kingdom.

With hindsight, being part of Better Together was a bad idea, but it’s easy to understand why Labour joined (even though some Labour members ran a different campaign) – the idea is that, when two enemies find themselves both facing a large foe (in this case the possibility of Scotland leaving the union) they should pool resources to defeat it rather than staying separate and facing defeat. Unfortunately the Tories did what they always do, and stabbed Labour in the back at every opportunity.

Labour has NOT signed up to Tory austerity that will require £30 billion worth of government spending cuts

SNP adherents say Labour signed up to Tory austerity when it voted to support the Charter for Budget Responsibility. This created a big fuss about Labour supporting Tory austerity, being just the same as the Tories, and there being only 17 MPs who oppose austerity (the number who voted against the CBR). Bunkum, according to the Resolution Foundation.

“The ‘Charter for Budget Responsibility’ is highly elastic: it’s not based on a firm commitment to reach balance in 2017-18,” states the Resolution Foundation article. “Instead it represents a rolling ‘aim’ of planning to reach current balance three years down the road.” The article adds: “Most economists are sceptical about how much difference it (the charter) will make.

“So what if Labour targets a current balance in 2019-20 instead? Based on current OBR assumptions this could be achieved with as little as £7 billion of fiscal consolidation in the four years to 2019-20 (including the cost of extra debt interest).”

Labour has made it clear that it plans to make only £7 billion of cuts. As this coincides exactly with the Resolution Foundation’s figures for a 2019-20 budget balance, logic suggests that this is most likely to be what Ed Balls is planning.

Over four years, £7 billion of cuts may be hard to notice. The Tories’ £30 billion of cuts would be a different matter. Thank goodness Labour hasn’t signed up to it and isn’t supporting Tory austerity!

Labour is NOT calling on Scottish citizens to vote Conservative or Liberal Democrat in order to keep the SNP out

This claim follows a tweet by a gentleman called McNeill, one by Lord Moonie, a comment by George Foulkes and one by Gisela Stuart MP.

The McNeill tweet involved a single, lone, person making a single, lone tweet that asked people to vote tactically in some constituencies. This is against Labour policy, which is to ask people to vote Labour, and that single, lone, person was expelled. So now, nobody in Labour is calling on anybody to vote Tory or Liberal Democrat.

That’s nobody, not several.

Lord Moonie was making a joke, as was detailed in this blog.

George Foulkes strenuously denies any claim that he was supporting tactical voting: “CyberNats up to usual mischief suggest I advocated tactical voting ignoring Question mark so I repeat always vote Labour wherever you live.”

Gisela Stuart’s comment was disowned on the blog LabourList as a single Labour MP spouting nonsense that nobody is taking seriously. The last line of that article states, “Needless to say, this isn’t likely to be a popular suggestion among most Labour supporters or MPs.”

Jim Murphy is NOT a hypocrite because he said Labour would scrap tuition fees in Scotland

This is a claim made in a comment to Vox Political: “He said Labour would scrap tuition fees in Scotland (who don’t pay them anyway). He has always backed tuition fees in rUK which makes him a hypocrite as well.”

Murphy’s pledge is consistent with Labour Party policy at Holyrood, since the first Labour-led coalition under Donald Dewar abolished tuition fees and introduced a graduate endowment tax instead.

Scotland doesn’t currently charge tuition fees – except to students from the other UK countries. As Labour is planning to cut the tuition fee ceiling to £6,000, Scottish universities could lose £37 million a year. Murphy had to pledge more central government funding to plug the gap or institutions like St Andrew’s University might go to the wall.

Jim Murphy was NOT lying when he said Labour would provide more nurses for the Scottish NHS

This is another claim in a comment to the blog. The claim was followed with this: “Neither he, nor Labour in general, could do any of that since they are devolved issues, not relevant to a UK general election, for which he is standing.”

The amount of money going into the Scottish NHS is dependent on the amount of AEF (Aggregate External Funding) grant provided by the UK government in Westminster. If this funding drops, then less money is available for the health service in Scotland. Murphy was saying a Labour government would increase this funding, making it possible both to address the A&E crisis and provide more nurses. As Labour is committed to increasing NHS funding – and funding to the devolved countries is proportionate to that in England, it seems clear that this was a sincere pledge.

If the amount of money going to Scotland is increased, then logically it will be put where it’s needed. Jim Murphy would have had information that this meant A&E and nursing staff, therefore he said that’s where the money would go.

Loss of Labour seats to the SNP WILL make a Conservative government more likely

Polling shows that any seats gained by Labour in the rest of the UK could be negated by those lost to the SNP in Scotland, making another Conservative government far more likely.

76 thoughts on “The falsehoods of Scottish nationalists”

  1. Why are you lying about the SNP – Labour in Scotland are seen BY THE SCOTTISH PEOPLE as BLUE BLAIRITE LABOUR – are you saying that THE PEOPLE and any person who speaks on their behalf have it wrong? Prove it! I usually support your approach which had tended to be realistic and none party bias. Now you are just doing theb same of the rest of the media `protecting Westminster, a system that is rotten to the core (see many of your previous publishing). Why are you trying to demonise the SNP in favour of a Westminster based party that hasn’t lifted a finger to help stop the disgusting discrimination by Westminster over our own UK vulnerable citizens. Has Pickles made a threat and you have sold out. The SNP, Greens and Plaid Cymru will hold the balance of power and the no longer fit for purpose (Government) will cease to exist.

    • Mike Sivier said:

      I’m not lying – but you are.
      Labour in Scotland is not seen in the way you describe by all the Scottish people.
      Those Scottish people who do see Labour in the way you describe have been misled by SNP adherents or other nationalists, and I have described some of the ways in this article.
      You write, “Prove it!” as if I haven’t already done so.
      I am not trying to demonise the SNP – that party has shown it is perfectly capable of achieving this by itself.
      Are you seriously trying to suggest that Labour has not done all it could against the vicious Tory/Lib Dem austerity policies? Are you so blinkered that you really think this is the case, or is this just the SNP line that you have been told to toe?

      I notice – and I hope everyone else reading this does so as well – that you do not attempt to address or disprove the arguments in the article anywhere in your comment. You have nothing.

      • Proudscotbrit said:

        Well said Mike! These SNP folk are perhaps a little bit demented. They constantly dribble on about “the Scottish people” think this or think that when in fact it’s the SNP they are speaking for.

        They don’t seem to understand the difference between party and country. They have their own narrative of entitlement combined with a siege mentality which they are trying to engender among Scottish voters. On a regular basis they take offence if people offer a different view from their skewed narrative.

        If a Scot doesn’t share their views on independence they are bullied and harassed by cybernats. Indeed SNP activists are currently chasing Labour candidates around their constituency and filming them and shouting at them when they are going about the legitimate business of canvassing on the doorstep. Some members of the public have been filmed on their own doorstep by these people who then post their encounters on facebook.

        They do not see this as a form of intimidation or anti-democratic. This happened to Labour MP Margaret Curran a few days ago when she was speaking to a member of the public about the forthcoming election. They were both filmed by these SNP street thugs who were also shouting loudly at the candidate and it was posted on their facebook page. The SNP candidate for that seat, Glasgow East, refused to condemn them out of hand saying they were entitled to dish out the people’s justice.

        During the referendum campaign many SNP types regularly harassed and tried to close down opposition canvassing and speakers. Their mobbing tactics and unwillingness to debate the facts make them appear like a fascist movement. I don’t say this lightly.

      • Mike Sivier said:

        I’m going to see if I can find this video.

      • Mike Sivier said:

        Ah – it’s Piers Doughty-Brown, as featured in this Torygraph article: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/general-election-2015/11529177/The-bullying-behind-the-SNPs-smiles.html

      • This is not an ‘SNP Line’ Labour have been hopeless at opposing the tories. They have no once made the case against Osbornes ecomonic ideas, goverment spending is not resonsible for the deficit , more the bailing out of the financial system. Nor is it the be all and end all of economic ideas.

        Quoting the telegraph?

        Do you want to opose the vilest uk goverment in living memory or do you wana play narrow tribal poliitcs?

  2. I like your blog normally, but as someone who lives in Scotland and sees every day the vicious tribal anti-SNP bunkum that comes out of the Scottish Labour party, I have to dispute the premise of this article very strongly. The point about the austerity measures may be a fair one. As for the rest, I would refer to you the myriad of new Scottish media sources – Derek Bateman, Common Space, Wings Over Scotland to name three. You may be able to split hairs and argue that each of your points is factually valid, but if you live in Scotland, as I do, then the vitriol spouted by Scottish Labour against the SNP is very plain to see and highly damaging.

    • Mike Sivier said:

      That does not excuse the SNP and its followers. If they lie, they need to be shown to be lying.

    • Proudscotbrit said:

      That’s funny stilbury because your experience of living in Scotland seems to be a very different one from mine. The SNP and some of their supporters are behaving atrociously towards any opposition. They have been harassing other candidates going about the legitimate business of canvassing for votes.

      As for your media recommendations for Mike you are surely having a laugh. Derek Bateman, Common Space and Wings Over Scotland are hardly what you could call non-partisan.

  3. Moira McCrossan said:

    First of all, loss of Labour seats to the SNP will not make a Tory government more likely. Nicola sturgeon has made it plain that she will not support a Tory government. Therefore every Labour seat lost in Scotland is still part of the anti Tory group which would prevent the Tories having the majority they would need to form a government. The election will be won or lost in England as has been almost every election in living memory.

    What Murphy actually said was that he would provide 1000 more nurses on top of the SNP plan. So however many the SNP plan, Labour will provide 1000 more. As for Scottish health being dependent on health spending in England. That is exactly the argument made by the yes campaign, which was rubbished by Labour at the time.

    Your point on fees is rather convoluted. The Scottish government at the moment chooses not to charge tuition fees. This is a decision within the Scottish government’s budget and the difference made to funding in universities like St Andrew’s would be more than offset by the additional consequentials from funding a cut in fees in England. However it still seems strange that Murphy is continually fighting a Westminster election on issues that are decisions for Holyrood.

    It was a joke, she’s been disowned, it was a question, he’s been expelled. These are lone voices. I don’t know how true that is but people in Scotland will not easily forget Alastair Darling getting a standing ovation at a Tory conference nor how the unionists stood so comfortably together, making the same points about what a basket case our country is.

    • Mike Sivier said:

      … But it’s all right for you to make the same points about Darling at the Tory conference, or unionists standing ‘comfortably’ together (but when David Cameron and Nicola Sturgeon are photographed shaking hands it’s ‘the done thing’ and ‘in private, they were much less cordial’), or the effect of Labour seats lost to the SNP?

      Interesting double standards you have there.

      • There is only one party at Westminster,the Establishment Party,the Tories,Labour and Lib-Dems are the three parts of it.Labour left the working man behind the day one of them took up ermine.Labour are full of career “politicians” none are looking out for the people,but in Scotland we have the SNP,who are looking out for the people of Scotland.I came across this page by accident and it is an accident,pity those folk with rose-tinted spectacles don’r take them off now and then.

      • Mike Sivier said:

        What a lot of hogwash. If you think it’s a betrayal of the people to have representation for your party in the House of Lords, you simply don’t understand the workings of Parliament. Your criticism of Labour is miserably behind the times, also – don’t you know that Labour supports the replacement of the Lords? Be glad you found This Blog – it’s an opportunity to learn something!

    • So Moira, do English or Welsh students going to study at university in Scotland not have to pay tuition fees?

      It was my understanding they did and that it was only Scottish students studying *in* Scotland who would have not to pay these charges.

      There is a high possibility that if Scotland returns mostly SNP MPs after the election, that the Tories will in fact return to power. If there are any LibDems left, they will almost certainly ‘return to the [tory] fold’, having had a taste of ‘power’. If the SNP support Labour on a vote-by-vote basis, that is not government.

      The *only* way to absolutely guarantee removal of the tories at this time is to return a Labour majority. There are 305 Tory MPs at the moment and Labour have only 256. There are 56 LibDems, some of whose seats will likely go to the tories.Plaid and the Greens may have around 10-12 MPs with the rest made up of Ulster Unionists and a few Independents.

      SNP seats depend on ousting Labour. The mathematical probability is plain to see.

      I don’t think many Scots are aware of the *actual* numbers of MPs in each party today and the likely outcome of Labour and SNP MPs totalling no more than Labour today.

      SNP supporters screaming for Labour’s blood and how they are no different from the tories may also lose Labour English votes. I do know thatthe vast majority of people are politically ignorant and have no idea of the figures I quoted above.

      Vote SNP really does mean a very likely return for the Tories… and unfortunately no matter how much you deny it, it could be Scotland’s fault.

      Nos da

      • Steven Findlay said:

        In the latest poll of polls (from the Independent on Sunday) the Tories were predicted to win 277 seats – only three more than Labour on 274. If the SNP win the amount of seats predicted (currently in excess of 50 seats in Scotland) how then could the Conservatives manage to form a government. Labour and SNP votes would be sufficient to outvote them. So voting SNP does not mean a likely return for the Tories. Your observation that “the vast majority of people are politically ignorant” is very revealing. Presumably we should just accept your pronouncements as truth.

      • Mike Sivier said:

        If the SNP takes seats from Labour, it makes a Labour government less possible and a government by another party more possible. It’s as simple as that.
        Sure, the SNP has said it would vote down a Tory government – but you don’t know that it will. The SNP brought down a Labour government in 1979, don’t forget, and installed Margaret Thatcher instead – and please don’t tell me that’s ancient history because the SNP is quite happy to raise the issue of the Scotland Act any chance it gets.
        At best, with a large number of SNP seats (taken from Labour) we would end up with an extremely unstable minority Labour government, that would be prey to the demands of the Scottish Nationalists and any other party with a mind to support Labour for a while. The SNP would then do all it could to enable its own policy aims while trying to undermine Labour’s – nationalists try to create a ‘them v us’ mindset whenever possible in order to encourage people to think division from the larger state is a good idea – and we’d end up in a situation where another election was likely, with the Tories surging back to power on a claim that Labour has been weak. In fact, Labour would have been weakened by the votes of an uncertain Scottish population, undermined by the fear sown by the nationalists.
        Look at the SNP’s record. It’s clear that this is by far the most likely result.

  4. What’s the legislation requiring every child to have a guardian at birth in Scotland about? Is this an SNP idea or from central government?

  5. I’d take issue with your last point; SNP gains won’t increase the likelihood of a Conservative government as they’ve said that they’ll vote – with others – against this happening. They might even reduce the possibility if they take seats off the Lib-Dems.

    Interesting times. I’m usually a Liberal voter; not this time though.

    • Mike Sivier said:

      Every vote taken away from Labour makes a Conservative government more likely.
      Also bear in mind the dirty campaign being waged by the SNP.

  6. Mike, previous comments still in moderation. However, you probably need to rewrite this after Umunna slapped Murphy down and Balls confirmed that there will be cuts in Scotland under a UK labour government. As these are very public announcements it beggars belief that you are unable to reflect the truth now. It would appear that the SNP are right over cuts.
    Look up Unite Against Seperatism on the web. Run by a Labour activist asking folk in Perthshire to vote Tory instead of Labour. The guy in Midlothian, McNeill has repeated his advice to vote tactically.
    You might not see the Scottish TV debates with Murphy and Davidson the Tory Leader closer to each other than to working class Scots. With Murphy behaving dreadfully, shouting and talking over Sturgeon, it looks like the polls are moving away from scottish labour.
    You seem to be confirming what no UK labour politician is prepred to do. Ed milliband will not work with the SNP in any way even if SNP support would see him installed as PM.

    As for a dirty campaign BY the SNP!! It was Labour that joined in the recent Torygraph smear on Sturgeon. I can provide evidence from throughout Scotland of Labour returning to scare stories to frighten pensioners. If you search for Greg McClymont, the MP for Cumbernauld and Kilsyth you will find the evidence. Labour have been attacking SNP on Full Fiscal Autonomy and talking up the supposed black hole in Scotland’s finances. Balls announcement today that there will be cuts while taking care not to put a figure on things is an attempt to hide the facts. But the killer on this can be found among the principles written in to (and agreed by ALL participants) the Smith Commission Report. 2 stand out.

    1 No detriment to either the rUK or Scotland from any financial arrangement

    2 the agreement does not preclude scotland holding another referendum if necessary in the future.

    The first principle means that there is no reason for a black hole in scotlands finances if the westminster parties are honest and prepared to support what they signed up to. There is no reason to oppose FFA for this reason unless it would expose the lies told by Better Together during the referendum campaign.

    Ed Milliband and David Cameron are on shaky ground saying that neither will allow a new referendum if they are prepared to stand by their written commitments. It is significant that Better Together has raised its head in this way don’t you think.

    There is only one important poll but the opinion polls in Scotland should be telling you that Jim Murphy is not the man to lead Scottish Labour or to win back credibility for the party. If constituencies that have traditionally been the strongest in the UK for labour ARE showing signs of falling to the SNP and scottish labour mps telling staff to find new jobs it isn’t looking good. Now I don’t believe there will be a wipeout for Scottish labour but they are, deservedly, in serious bother and fighting to survive. If they do, it won’t be because labour are worth voting for but because older traditional labour voters with no internet access will turn out for them. However, my mother in law lives in a sheltered housing complex that my wife canvassed during the referendum. An 80 yr old neighbour voted No because she believed labour and had voted all her life for labour. She is thinking of voting SNP because of Sturgeon performance on TV debates. Now that should really worry labour here and force them to talk politics and policy and leave the personal attacks behind.

    • Mike Sivier said:

      Firstly, I have already replied to comments about the supposed differences between Jim Murphy, Chukka Umunna and Ed Balls. If you have read my reply, you’ll already know that there was no fundamental difference between what they were saying. Jim Murphy was saying there would be no cuts beyond what has already been announced and the others were referring to the same cuts.
      I looked up Unite Against Seperatism and it doesn’t seem to exist. McNeill can say whatever he likes; he was kicked out of his position in the Labour Party for making that suggestion.
      The polls are not moving away from Scottish Labour – at least, not any further. I wonder how you can say Murphy is behaving “dreadfully” when Sturgeon is standing there repeating lies at him, like the claim that Labour signed up to £30 billion of Tory cuts (now thoroughly debunked).
      I can’t speak for Ed Miliband; I’m just a commentator, saying what I see.
      The SNP has been running a dirty campaign against Labour, at least since the independence referendum was announced, if not before. This is one hugely important reason why it would be unwise for Labour to enter any kind of alliance with that party. If someone spent many years actively trying to hurt you, and then offered an alliance with you – based on the gains they had made FROM you – would you leap happily into such an arrangement? I don’t think you would!
      As reported here – many times – Labour’s concerns over Scottish pensions are well-founded. It is the SNP’s claims that there is nothing to worry about that are doubtful.
      You deliberately try to confuse full fiscal autonomy with the measures in the Smith Commission Report – another attempt to deceive the Scottish electorate, perhaps? The two are not the same, therefore it is entirely possible that Scotland could end up facing a funding gap of £7.6 billion, as Labour has stated.
      I don’t recall either Miliband or Cameron ruling out another referendum, although it’s certainly true that another one so soon would be unjustified. There is no reason to believe they won’t stand by their commitments.
      I do agree that Scottish Labour are in considerable difficulty. The party in Scotland would be in considerably less trouble if the SNP had been running a clean campaign, but look at the lies about the Bedroom Tax, claiming that Labour abstained. Absolute hogwash but if you repeat it enough times, people will believe it. If Labour is wiped out, it will be because people have believed the lies.
      For that reason, I find your comment that Labour should “leave the personal attacks behind” in very poor taste.

  7. Mike, I lived here during the referendum. The reason that labour are in trouble is clear to anyone who lives in scotland and has endured the manipulation of the press by labour. 70000 people have moved away from Labour and joined the SNP since the referendum. The TNS poll yesterday puts support for SNP currently at 52%! Too much can be read into these things but it is still an indication of direction of travel.

    As for the £30bn being debunked? Not in Scotland it hasn’t. The press which is almost exclusively anti SNP has given Jim Murphy a going over today on the front pages. Last night, jim Murphy wasn’t available for the evening news programmes he would normally be all over like a rash and he wasn’t available for early morning bulletins. I’ve been busy all morning do maybe he has surfaced

    As for the cuts, labour indicated very strongly that there will be cuts yesterday and whether intended or not, it damaged Murphy’s credibility. As for the bedroom tax issues, all the evidence can be checked on ‘theyworkforyou’ so if anyone has doubts they can check whatever the allegations are for themselves and draw any conclusion they think fit.

    Nobody is trying to confuse anything. The argument that has been consistently put forward is that scotland is too poor and can’t look after its own affairs. Murphy has been peddling the supposed £7.5bn ‘black hole’ in 2015. At all sorts of levels it’s outright nonsense. If you want a full explanation I can provide it. you need to ask why labour are so willing to concentrate on one year that FFA won’t happen but are uninterested in publishing the figures for the past 30 years which would show a balanced perspective. Of course for 15/16 financial year, the chancellor has already pencilled in at least £5bn (check out the Autumn statement). McPherson from the Treasury has confirmed that the Barnett Formula will change and provide less money. My point about the Smith Commission principles is that the no detriment clause could allow FFA to proceed. The UK government could, if necessary, fund the deficit in much the same way as it dies now but it would prove the unionist point (or not). the UK is close to £100bn deficit. Scotland’s share is approx 8.3%. That is a larger black hole than labour are predicting if it were at all possible to have FFA in 2015 (it isn’t). I won’t rehearse the rest of the figures since they are freely available on line. Perhaps it might be worth investigating the root source of GERS before trying to fool the public. If FFA was agreed,Scotland would need to borrow to fill the hole the way the UK does now. You do know the £1.5tn black hole the UK faces don’t you? On the FFA issue, milliband, Cameron and brown promised more than they are delivering. Milliband was quoted in one national newspaper ‘ vote no and I will give you Home Rule’. That is supported by a recent poll showing that ‘more powers’ is an issue for voters in Scotland. Perhaps the polls are telling us something? Alas, I don’t believe the SNP will gain more than approx 25 seats. Still significant but probably not enough. Enough to make labour very uncomfortable.

    The principles of the smith commission are a useful guide to what might happen but so too is the Quebec experience.

    If labour are in power after May, what are the cuts that they will commit to? Fact checker on channel 4 news doesn’t agree with the calculations of labour spending plans and plans for scotland stretch credibility and act as a reminder of Danny Alexander’s calculator.
    Labour message in Scotland isn’t getting through because it is presented as SNP BAD rather than as clear lucid policies and costs. I’m sorry if that doesn’t meet with your understanding but it doesn’t make it untrue.

    The whole premise of this article is based on language and behaviour that scottish voters are turning away from. It would appear that Sturgeon is trusted and Murphy is not if you believe the polls. Yet here we have a site talking about SNP lies.

    You missed ed on TV in the past couple of days ruling out another referendum. You might also have missed Sturgeon doing exactly the same thing yesterday and Cameron was reported in the press as saying the same thing. There is plenty of evidence of scottish editions running their own ‘news’ and I wouldn’t be surprised if you haven’t heard them say it. The difference between Sturgeon and the dynamic duo is that she has set out clear democratic parameters where a new referendum could be considered. They have only expressed opposition to a referendum without qualification.
    The question remains, will Ed Milliband take the opportunity to run a Labour government or will he allow the Tories to run a minority government.

    One last thought on Smith. The Tory offer provided more powers than the Labour offer. That’s not an SNP line, that is widely reported in the Unionist press.

    It would be nice to think we could move beyond intemperate language and start to listen and discuss rather than entrench.

    • Mike Sivier said:

      Oh? So I don’t know what I’m writing about because I don’t live in Scotland, is that what you’re saying?
      Ah, nationalists. They love trying to create division where it doesn’t belong.
      You are keen to talk about people’s reactions to what’s been claimed, and the way the press has written about developments; but you also seem less keen to discuss the facts. People are being swayed towards the SNP by a mixture of bullying and lies (and, yes, quite a few people genuinely agree with the policies too). The £30 billion cuts myth has been debunked; that you are still trying to peddle it as a reality north of the border just goes to show how desperate the nationalists are for people to believe it.
      I’m glad you have adopted my policy of telling people to check They Work For You for the facts about Parliamentary voting.
      Your comments about money are interesting but do not address the fact that you are confused – full fiscal autonomy and the Smith Commission proposals are not the same but you are trying to twist them into being so.
      Yes, if you believe the polls, it would appear that Sturgeon is trusted – but yes, this site discusses – and exposes – SNP lies. They’re right there in black and white; you can’t miss them. They are lies, and they are big. You see, a lie is a lie, whether people think it is or not. They’ll have plenty of time to realise their mistake after the election.
      As far as the referendum is concerned, I check the news on the Net and have found articles discussing it since I wrote my first response. The comments by the leaders reflect what was said before the independence referendum – that all parties agreed it was to be a ‘once-in-a-generation’ event. That being said, democracy is democracy, and if there is enough movement towards another referendum, anything is possible. My feeling is that the nationalists are suggesting there’s more support for it than there is.
      I notice your last line represents a considerable move away from the divisive claims at the top of your comment; therefore I do not trust it. You are trying to make your claims seem more reasonable than they are.

  8. Hi Mike. I’m trying to distill the narrative of this page and why it seems alien & bizarre to most people in Scotland.

    The narrative seems to be: SNP = bad, they are liars. Labour = good, they always tell the truth.

    Clearly you’re pushing a pro Labour line and I have no doubt you are sincere and believe what you write. So you must be mystified that in Scotland, large sections of society who are on the same page as you politically, and have been left wing & proud Labour supporters for generations have now turned their back on the party.

    Those people haven’t changed, the values and views they hold, and which you share, are the same as they’ve always been. What has changed is the Labour Party. It shifted to the right under Blair/Brown and left its base behind, because, who else are they going to vote for, not the Conservatives.

    That’s the tough reality for most of Britain, if you’re left leaning you have to vote Labour, no matter how far they move to the right, no matter how detached that makes them to people who hold traditional socialist ideals. Under this electoral system, Labour are your only choice, even if they’re a barely recognisable imitation of their former selves.

    From 1999 onwards Labour have been more right wing than Ted Heaths govt. of 72. The legacy of Thatcherism has been Blair/Brown/Miliband.

    See the graph at the bottom for how the parties have shifted http://www.politicalcompass.org/ukparties2010

    Most of the rest of the UK have no viable left wing candidates to vote for. Your options are limited to the various flavours of centre right parties.

    http://www.politicalcompass.org/uk2015

    This is not the case in Scotland. The ground that Labour used to occupy has been embraced by the SNP. But more importantly, the people who were Labour members and activists, they are now the groundswell of SNP grass roots members.

    We can vote for a genuinely left wing party who can succeed under this electoral system.

    Labours biggest mistake was to allow itself to be seen as the enemy to many of its core during the referendum. The level of political engagement, the atmosphere in the air up here during that time. That we had real political power and could effect real change for probably the first time in our lives. The sheer weight of numbers active and discussing politics, discussing where real political power lies and seeing how much The Westminster political machine has failed us.

    And then to have the full force of the Labour PR spin machine trying to crush our hopes and optimism, hammering home the message that we’re an absolute car crash of a country, subsidy junkies dependant on UK handouts, incompetent and incapable, project fear really putting the boot in.

    And in that climate, when the attack dogs were let loose, we on the left in Scotland, desperate for an end to a broken and corrupt Westminster system. We saw a Labour Party, completely indistinguishable from the Conservatives.

    With the entire media and political establishment united together, standing as one, it was clear to me Scotalnd would never be the same again.

    What is happening in Scotland isn’t a backlash or a protest vote. We are motivated and determined to sweep from power those who don’t serve us. We’ve held strong against the Tories for 30 years, I imagine It’ll be a generation again before The Labour Party as it stands, would ever be trusted or backed by Scotland again.

    What I want from this election is a Labour/SNP deal, a progressive centre left alliance that addresses the unfairness and inequality in our society. I reckon that’s what most grassroots traditional Labour supporters want too. A progressive left wing partnership, where the SNP will force Labour back closer to its founding values.

    Anything else, whether it’s a straight Labour majority, a Lib/Lab, Con/Lib, or even Con/UKIP would all continue to be centre right, pro austerity, pro big business, anti Union, anti worker, creeping NHS privatisation, immigrant bashing, authoritarian and pro nuclear.

    This would isolate Scotland further again, as the true levers of economic power would yet again be in the hands of parties we didn’t vote for.

    When so much of Labour and its supporters time and energy is used attacking progressive parties on the left that it may have to deal with after the election, rather than attacking those on the right who have spent the last 5 years punishing the poor for the mistakes of wreckless capitalism and uncontrolled greed, how then do you expect Labour to be perceived here in Scotland?

    Labour is finished in Scotland, yet 80% of us will be voting for parties that want Ed Miliband as our next prime minister.

    We get the new political reality, and it’s what we want.

    That you don’t get that SNP votes are a good thing for ‘traditional’ Labour supporters South of the border. Either you’re being deliberately obtuse, or you are 100% committed to the Blair New Labour project and you could easily see yourself voting Tory if only they had a nice centrist Ted Heath figure as their leader.

    I’m guessing deliberately obtuse for purposes of electioneering. Meh, it demeans you, but carry on playing that game is you think that’s the best way.

    • Mike Sivier said:

      Why are you claiming to speak for most people in Scotland? There are around five million of them – have you spoken to more than two and a half million people about this?

      You claim more for this page than it does. The evidence shows that the SNP has been trying to hoodwink Scottish voters with false claims including, most strongly, lies about the Labour Party. The article does not make an assertions about Labour’s claims; others can do that if they wish.

      You see, it isn’t about “pushing a pro-Labour line” at all. It’s about pointing out that THE SNP AND ITS SUPPORTERS ARE LYING TO THE SCOTTISH ELECTORATE.

      You are progressing from a false premise, therefore your claim that I must be mystified at the behaviour attributed to Scottish voters is also false. There’s nothing confusing about it. They are basing their decisions on disinformation.

      You say that Labour turned right under Blair and Brown. I agree. Labour has turned leftwards again now. Meanwhile, what about the leanings of the SNP, whose nationalistic nature is part of right-wing politics in itself. That party and its supporters are working hard to create a false sense of division between people in Scotland and their brethren in England, Wales and Northern Ireland – a division that simply doesn’t exist. They say Scotland should break away from the rest of the UK because Scotland has had to endure a Conservative(-led) government for which its people didn’t vote. In fact, in 2010, Scottish Conservatives won 413,000 votes – almost as many as the SNP (491,000) (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/shared/election2010/results/region/7.stm). Suggesting that Scotland should break away on that basis is as ridiculous as saying that the Northeast region of England should declare independence.

      Ed Miliband has nothing to do with Thatcherism. The fact that you suggest otherwise demonstrates your mistake more strongly than anything I can say.

      The SNP is not a left-wing party. Look at its regressive taxation ideas. Look at the Them v Us antagonism it has built up, between Scotland and the rest of the UK, and against the Labour Party in Scotland. That is not left-wing behaviour. Your claims about Labour come straight from SNP headquarters and have little, I fear, to do with reality. Let’s see some evidence for your claims – links to Labour information that states Scotland is a “car crash” of a country.

      You’re right that Labour should not have allowed itself to be portrayed as an enemy to many people during the referendum. Unfortunately, the SNP and its supporters were ramming this image down everybody’s throat at the time – and still lost the vote, let’s not forget. The amount of political debate and engagement at the time was – in fact – inspiring. It is a shame that the SNP and its people have shown so little respect for the result and the decision of the Scottish people that it represents.

      What a shame the SNP spends so much of its time attacking the Labour Party – the only party that can shift the Conservatives from power – rather than concentrating on removing the real threat to democracy. Considering this behaviour, one has to ask whose side the SNP really supports.

      I see no point in responding to the majority of your comment as the tone suggests it has been copied from SNP press releases or pro-independence blogs like Wings over South West England (or whatever it’s called today).

      • “in 2010, Scottish Conservatives won 413,000 votes – almost as many as the SNP (491,000) (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/shared/election2010/results/region/7.stm). Suggesting that Scotland should break away on that basis is as ridiculous as saying that the Northeast region of England should declare independence.”

        Yeah, that was a Westminster election where everybody used to vote Labour to keep the Tories out (changed days now though). Anyone making this type of comment shows themselves to be wholly ignorant of the situation in Scotland.

  9. “Your comment is awaiting moderation”:
    Any particular reason why my post from 29th Marcheck has not been approved Mike?

    • Mike Sivier said:

      Overwork at my end.
      This may be a good time to reiterate that people who demand that I approve their comments get sent to the back of the queue.
      If I haven’t approved you, there’s probably a reason, and hassling me won’t get your comment seen any more quickly.

  10. I don’t claim to speak for most people in Scotland, but the polls do and the polls say, Labour are going to get wiped out.

    By the way, I’m not an SNP member. Would I be wrong in assuming you are a Labour member?

    As for people basing their decision to ditch Labour based upon SNP disinformation. People saw first hand Labour’s ability to be a ‘nasty’ party. That was our experience of Labour during the referendum. A party that was supposed to be our voice, silent for Labour voters who were in favour of an independent Scotland as an alternative to the corrupt Westminster system. Our voices weren’t represented, instead we had the Westminster machine spouting fear & hate.

    The complete opposite of the calm reasoned debate most people on the ground were having with each other about the pros and cons, being discussed by people face to face and through social media.

    That’s where Labour lost us, treating its own people who were open minded or had a different opinion, treating us as the enemy.

    As for Labour’s leanings, left or right. We can debate what we think or we can look at independent scientific analysis of the respective economic models being pushed by the parties.

    That shows 2010 & 2015 Labour in the same spot on the political compass:

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/vj008lnk5p0f0no/compass.jpg?dl=0

    And you talk about the SNP as right wing. Again, we can debate it with what we think, or we can look at what independent scientific analysis of the economic model they are proposing says.

    http://www.politicalcompass.org/uk2015

    Congratulations on quoting the 1 poll in the last 8 years where the SNP didn’t receive the most votes to prove your point they’re as popular as the Tories in Scotland. At least I think that’s what you’re trying to say.

    As for Miliband, the descendant of Blair/Brown, who in turn were the descendants of Thatcher. Post 1995, Labour has been wearing Tory clothes to appeal to middle England voters. It worked, 13 years of government. But 13 years of applying Thatchers philosophy and free market policies, presiding over a massive increase in inequality. Where the rich became super rich and the poor grew vastly in numbers and the gap between rich and poor was wider than it had ever been in modern times. The kind of Thatcher-ism, where the party of the worker became “intensely relaxed about people getting filthy rich”.

    And that continues today, the independent scientific analysis shows Labour of 2015 closer to Thatcher of 1982. And the SNP of 2015 closer to Labour of the 70s & 80s.

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/cfdyx6g2sble9pz/compass%20Comparison.jpg?dl=0

    This blog, this snipe at the SNP, it has no traction up here. Scottish Labour are about to be near wiped out. They are not trusted. Good riddance to them. Labour are almost as toxic as the Tories, not quite, but almost.

    Remember the joy at seeing Portillo lose his seat in 97? Scotland will be enjoying that same feeling many times over as Labour gets routed.

    There will be a lot of gloating, party atmosphere, balloons, streamers, that kind of thing.

    Welcome to the new reality. 😀

    • Mike Sivier said:

      You can’t argue that Labour was silent for party supporters who want an independent Scotland. Labour is a unionist party and has made that perfectly clear. You vote Labour, you support that stance – and Labour voters knew that before voting. Labour voters’ voices were represented, to the best of the party’s ability.

      I quoted the one poll that was relevant to the current election – the 2010 general election. I didn’t choose it because it was the only one in which the SNP didn’t receive the most votes; I didn’t even consider that. Why would I?

      We’ve heard all the stuff about Labour having become right-wingers before. It ignores current evidence – especially now the SNP manifesto has been released and is almost a carbon-copy of Labour’s. I know there are nit-pickers out there saying “Look at this bit! Look at that bit!” The broad strokes are the same. Sturgeon has nowhere to go with her claim that she will drag Miliband to the Left. Look also at J Tennant’s comments, which claim that the SNP is not nearly as left-wing as it claims to be. Can you show evidence to disprove those claims or is J Tennant right?

      I fear you are correct that my little blog, which only attracts a mere 20,000 readers on some days, won’t have much effect on more than two million voters in Scotland but all I can do is keep plugging away, trying to get some facts out to counter the lies.

      The more I learn about the SNP, the more toxic it seems, and the more likely that the Scottish people are being hoodwinked into a colossal, irreversible mistake.

      That will be your new reality.

  11. It’s sad but entirely typical to see you use ‘nationalist’ as an insult, a stick to beat the SNP with. Sturgeon’s as much a Scottish nationalist as Cameron is a British nationalist as Leanne Wood is a Welsh nationalist and Miliband is a British nationalist. The SNP want Scotland to rule Scotland, within a European framework. The Brit parties wish to operate within a British framework (dominated by the interests of capitalists and the south east of England). The difference, of course, is that the British imperialist sees that as the default position. Everyone else is dodgy and wrong. And, of course, as the term is constantly used in your pejorative way by the press and media and British Establishment, it becomes legitimised. Thus the demonisation of the less powerful continues.

    • Mike Sivier said:

      I can’t comment on the attitude of others. My own use of the term is entirely dependent on the behaviour of the people it describes, so if Nicola Sturgeon says Labour signed up to £30bn worth of cuts, when Labour didn’t, then she is a liar and the nationalists who follow her are also liars. Are all nationalists liars because they are? No. Are all liars nationalists? No. So you see, whether it is an insult or not depends on the behaviour of the person.

  12. well! the deed is done and Labour didnt have the argument in England to overcome Cameron. 1 Labour MP left in Scotland and only because he campaigned to gain the Tory vote and the press ran his smear campaign for him. Mike, things changed in Scotland and Ian Davidson at least was decent enough to acknowledge that Labour in Scotland ran a poor campaign that started off appealing to ?Yes voters and ended up appealing to Tories for tactical votes. remember him? long term MP for a Glasgow Labour stronghold. Ed Balls on election day saying that Labour will need to talk to the SNP.
    I didnt really believe the polls. i was at the count and watched decent Labour activists sink into despair with each announcement. The big problem for Labour is the need to credibly deliver 3 different agendas in England, Scotland and Wales. The Tories only need to appeal to England.

    Good luck with Labour recovery. Its difficult to see how it might happen if despite all their press backing in Scotland they received such an electoral hammering. my advice, for what it is worth. stop demonising former voters. Stop telling us how it is. Listen more to what we are looking for.

    The White Paper prior to the referendum did something that Labour failed to do. It set out a vision for a future Scotland. Yes it was flawed. But we waited in vain for a Labour vision for Scotland in the UK and it never came. Now we hear the criticism from Senior Labour figures. Darling! Yes Alisdair fricking Darling now says that the Smith proposals are inadequate and disjointed. The same proposals that Scottish Labour worked so hard to minimise. Jack McConnell is saying the same thing. Did they lie to the Scottish people about their proposals? I believe that they did to hold a ‘party’ line. now, free of the burdens of office and with Labour nigh on wiped out in Scotland they can come forward now with this stuff. No! its not good enough. We want honesty from our politicians from the start. can Labour recover? Possibly but the problem for them is this. more than 1.5m scots wanted independence. By far the largest of that group come from a left leaning perspective. How can Labour appeal to these voters if they wont even engage honestly with the issue of self determination? Even if they tick the party of the left box (and there is some argument there) they dont support independence or increasing powers in a meaningful way.

    • Mike Sivier said:

      I’m told Scotland’s remaining Labour MP had a lot of votes from supporters of the local football team, for services rendered – nothing to do with the Tories.
      Like many, you have misunderstood Labour’s dilemma, which is to deliver the same agenda across the UK, having convinced voters everywhere of the need for it.
      I agree with you about not demonising voters – why alienate the people you want voting for you? Also, to a certain extent, about not telling but listening. I say “to a certain extent” because many voters seem to have badly misunderstood some of what has been going on, and should not be left in darkness about the facts.
      More than 1.5 million Scots wanting independence is not a problem when there are more than five million in total – almost all of them left-leaning. Labour can oppose independence and still be representative of Scotland.

      • I don’t think Murray’s re-election had anything to do with his support for Hearts football club’s successful fight against liquidation. Many residents of Edinburgh South voted for him quite simply because he has been a damned good constituency MP. Regarding a ‘smear campaign’ against the spectacularly inept SNP candidate – both he and Ms Sturgeon admitted inappropriate, anonymous tweets had been posted. To report the truth is hardly ‘smearing’.

      • Some voters misunderstand? really what an excuse.Could it be that we in Scotland have seen enough lies from Labour and folk like yourself,twisting and turning trying to make what you said into the opposite,pathetic is suitable crass is apt.I have given up buying Fleet Street controlled newspapers,and from day one bought the new Scottish real newspaper,its called “The National” and its got better since being first published.

      • Mike Sivier said:

        No, it couldn’t be as you describe. Look at the lack of evidence to support your claims. The National does carry some useful stories, although not where any pro-SNP bias is exposed.

  13. There are not 5 million voters Mike. 49.7% voted SNP and a total of 51.4% voted for pro independence parties. Thats without 16 & 17 year olds who will vote in Holyrood next May. Today, the Daily Record ran an article on my home town with its Trident base highlighting what I know from being at the count. the SNP vote was huge even in that bastion of conservative unionism. having said all that it is clear that some No voters voted SNP. Not all Scots are Left leaning. there is a tory and lib dem rump and tactical voting was, in the main, a failure. In itself tactical voting is a threat to all the Westminster Parties because they could become a single Unionist Party

    I no longer believe that Labour is able to deliver a standard message across the UK. the offer in Scotland didn’t make sense because of devolution (cutting student fees). In addition, having called the SNP liars during the referendum because of the risks to the Scottish budget from privatisation, it stretched credibility to campaign on the threat to the NHS. The Labour party here also tried to fight on devolved issues (made no sense to anyone to be honest), used discredited methodology that fooled some people during the referendum (street meetings with rings of supporters preventing the public from meeting the politicians), shouting down and talking over opponents on TV debates, vote snp get tories as the main plank of your strategy was disastrous.

    It very much looks as if the fight in England is for the centre ground. Chuka’s view is that Labour needs to be more business friendly and, ironically, Alan Sugar agrees. that isnt the agenda in Scotland and only you can advise me whether Wales is also out of synch with England. Indeed, the consensus from the commentators that I read is that Cameron successfully frightened voters by painting SNP as extremists with Labour in its pocket despite strong showing from Sturgeon in the leaders debates. Discussion here is about the establishment of an independent Scottish Labour Party so it appears that Labour itself is recognising that ‘branch office’ status is working against it.

    As for Ian Murray, activists on the ground have very clear evidence of efforts to engage and recruit the Tory vote in an anti SNP vote. Hearts dont really have that much of a following and with all aspects of football tribalism you risk a backlash from supporters of their city rivals. of course there is a substantial body of evidence from the referendum of Labour courting the Orange Lodge so football linked unionist vote is not entirely out of the question. It does tend to be fairly extremist, linked to Northern Ireland and promises to raise unpleasant issues for the party to deal with going forward given the serious issue of sectarianism and the history of the Labour Party in central Scotland over the past 40 years as an essential tool in freeing the Catholic Communities from discrimination.

    I wish you and your Labour colleagues the best in your endeavours Mike. I genuinely felt bad for the local activists at the count. Given the financial wipeout that Labour in Scotland have experienced I don’t think recovery will be easy.

    • Mike Sivier said:

      I didn’t say there were five million voters; I maintain that it is wrong for 1.5 million people, in a country of five million, to claim they speak for everyone there. They don’t. It’s simple mathematics.

      Labour’s offer in Scotland DID make sense – but devolution rendered it hard for ordinary people to understand. If their student fees were being paid by Holyrood, what would be the advantage in having them cut by Westminster? The answer is simple: Holyrood would have had more money to spend elsewhere. Unfortunately, some people, it seems, didn’t want that message to get through.

      The threat to the NHS was and is real – and you’ll be feeling it bite soon enough.

      “Vote SNP – get Tory” is exactly what happened! Who’s running the UK government now? In fact, those Tories are in office precisely because of the prediction that the SNP would sweep the board in Scotland. The Tories – whose media supported the SNP in Scotland, don’t forget – told Middle England that the SNP would team up with Labour to spend everybody’s money (a lie), and Middle England voted to protect their savings. If the Tories had not been able to use that core of fact – that the SNP would take most of Scotland – then the lie would not have been believed and we’d have a lot more Labour MPs, and possibly a different government. There’s no way the SNP can sidle out of its part in giving us a Tory government now.

      Your comment about an independent Scottish Labour Party is interesting. ‘Branch office’ status was something that the SNP used wholeheartedly to suggest something that wasn’t true – that Labour didn’t take Scotland seriously. The Labour Party is a UK-wide organisation. The Scottish Conservative Party is a branch office, as is the Scottish Liberal Democrat Party. That’s simply because it is part of a larger whole. The SNP didn’t have that because it is Scotland-only. But being a ‘branch office’ didn’t mean that any of those other parties don’t take Scotland seriously – that was a lie promulgated by the SNP. If Labour is considering creating an independent Scottish version of the party, I would suggest that this is forward-thinking, to prepare for a possible secession in the near future – called by an SNP that has tricked Scottish voters into giving it 56 Westminster MPs.

      Regarding Ian Murray – I’m sorry, was he encouraging Labour people to vote Tory, or Tory people to vote Labour? If he was trying to get Tory voters to support the Labour Party then there’s another word for that: campaigning. In an election, any politician will try to get people who were considering supporting another party to vote for them. Regarding the football story – it’s what I heard.

  14. Auld Nick said:

    Not in cahoots with the Tories eh, not signed up to Tory austerity? But, today you write about “Labour MPs who ran away when their constituents needed them”. which in effect is signing up to Tory Austerity, which in turn is being in cahoots with them. Same s***, different smell.

    http://voxpoliticalonline.com/2015/07/21/these-are-the-labour-mps-who-ran-away-when-their-constituents-needed-them/

    • Mike Sivier said:

      You’re one of many who are making this point today. While it is a good one – and demonstrates how poorly the interim Labour leadership has thought through its strategy – one is led to wonder whether your own has been planned as well.

  15. David Lee said:

    The first two points in this article (Labour aren’t in cahoots with Tories and Labour don’t back austerity) are on a bit of a shoogly peg after last night’s abstentions.

    • Mike Sivier said:

      I can certainly see your point.
      It was true under Miliband but Harman has created a different story.

  16. stilbury said:

    Some major rework needed on this page (along with a few apologies).

    • Mike Sivier said:

      In response to opportunistic criticism based on a single Parliamentary vote? Very funny.
      The page does need a bit of work to update it. I’ll get around to it sooner or later.

      • stilbury said:

        No, what is happening here is that Labour down south is finally showing the true colours that they displayed in Scotland for the past 2 years or more.

      • Mike Sivier said:

        What a simplistic and naïve opinion.

      • David Lee said:

        It’s not just one abstention though. Let’s not forget…
        The immigration bill (October 2013)
        Depriving workfare victims of compensation (March 2013)
        Cutting the 50p tax rate (March 2012)
        …and many others.

      • Mike Sivier said:

        You may have a point with one or two of them – although the workfare decision turned out fine because the Act was ruled unlawful in any case.
        There weren’t “many others” though.

  17. I take it you don’t defend Labour on this occasion, as their actions are INDEFENSIBLE.

    Unbelievable that Harman asked MPs to abstain…

    But even MORE unbelievable that 80% of Labour MPs followed that instruction. How can they ignore the damage the tories are about to inflict on THEIR constituencies?

    Utterly, utterly disgusting. Feels like a knife twisting 🙁

  18. Mike, look at what the SNP MPs have been doing since the GE. Listen to their speeches, how they are voting. They are turning up in numbers in the Chambers when other Parties can’t be bothered. Mairi Black’s maiden speech last week called on the Labour Party to do what they were elected to do and to work with the SNP and other parties to oppose the Tories. They have chosen to ignore the hand of friendship offered to them and their supporters will not forget this. Even with red tinted glasses on we can’t ignore this or blame the SNP for the way Labour are trying to appeal to people who believe the gutter press that people on benefits are scroungers.
    I feel so sad that a once proud Party of the people has gone so far to the right. My family were all strong Labour but it is no longer the Party we supported. Good luck to the 48 but I fear they will lose the battle to save the Labour Party.

    • Mike Sivier said:

      I listened to Mhairi Black’s speech last week and part of it was a bad paraphrase of an article I published on this blog the day before. The Labour Party has also had bad experiences of SNP behaviour. Once you’ve been stabbed in the back by someone, you’re not so keen to accept their hand in friendship.
      Meanwhile, you’re trying to tar all of Labour with the same brush, just one day after Labour members stood up against the behaviour you (rightly) attack. Bear in mind the popularity that Jeremy Corbyn – who voted with the 48 – is enjoying among Labour’s grassroots membership. That isn’t an accident.

  19. Jeremy Corbyn is about to be elected leader – how more different can the two main parties get?

  20. Stalin and Churchill worked together during World War Two – but this did not result in Britain having a glorious relationship with the Soviet Union.

  21. the labour party died with john smith new labour meant no labour and hopefully corbyn can change that and bring some genuine opposition to the evil that is the tory party and as for cooper, burhnam, harman etc… Why dont you just join the Tories who you obviously support and stop f***ing up the labour party?

  22. See you are still at it with the way you twist things around – look at the figures, look at the evidence, Scotland has rejected Slabour and until they change completely and are not just a branch office then they’ll just keep losing votes.
    One thing you can be pretty sure of up here is that Slabour will always jump when Sconservatives shout!

    • Mike Sivier said:

      Claptrap.
      Evidenceless, too.
      If you want to come back here and debate a subject, bring some information – not just parroted ramblings from SNP head office.
      Ta.

  23. Now over a year later, down to 1 MP at westminster, having no Constituency MSPs for Glasgow, can you not see that there is something terribly wrong with Slab, and it is not good enough to say the it was those terrible SNP. I wish it was. The SNP didn’t have a great election which is not surprising with a Government which has been there for 9 years, but the drift to the Conservatives – (which will uphold the Union) demonstrate the Pandora’s box which you opened when you went in the the Conservatives in better together.

    • Mike Sivier said:

      Scottish Labour certainly has many faults at the moment.
      Labour has learnt its lesson from the ‘Better Together’ campaign. That lesson being: Don’t do anything alongside Conservatives because other parties will try to mislead voters into thinking that you’re allied with them politically, rather than simply over a single issue. That’s the lie the SNP told, time and again, to Scottish voters.

      • Sorry but I think that you are imitating the Bourbons. Yes the tie in with the Tories was disastrous for you, as it was for the Lib Dems, but I’m not sure that you are talking to enough peripheral labour members to understand the depth of the dissatisfaction with the institution which is Labour. The run of leaders for a start, the way that Joann left her position, the reign of Jim Murphy, Kazia as an accidental leader (and arguably even an accidental MSP) . Yes I know that I have personalised the problem in a way that makes it become a characatuer, but it is the people rather than the policies which are oh so wrong. Despite the best efforts of the MSM ultimately what they do is seen as being silly rather than pushing things forward.
        What you fail to see is that Ultimately Scotland will become independent is some form, and the SNP will break up, either formally, the journey is done, or through the various factions being no longer held together by the dream will go their own way to set out their stall. A ready made independence supporting left of centre party could do extremely well in that situation.
        My own belief is that Scottish Labour was killed off by Gordon Brown. When Wendy said “Bring it on” to a Referendum she cold at that stage genuinely have killed the SNP stone dead, but brown chickened – just as he had done for the September Election. Then Douglas cut her throat for Brown and it has been downhill all the way ever since. It is up to commentators like you to be more honest. SNPBad may keep you happy, but it won’t bring the voters back to you. I’m a Theologian by trade and the Labour Party in Scotland is suffering from exactly the same decline and problems as the Church of Scotland (and there has been an overlap of people). It really needs to see the New Church writers for possible answers. The big danger is that Labour will simply continue to decline and that they became as irrelevant to the debate as the Lib Dems.

      • Mike Sivier said:

        Did you not read my comment?
        I did say there were problems with Scottish Labour.
        As for whether Scotland will become independent or not – that is for the Scottish people to decide, and they don’t need you to tell them which way to vote if another referendum happens.

      • These stupid voters. Once they see through the ‘lies’ they’ll come rolling back to Scottish Labour. Thank heavens for unthinking voters eh? I can predict now that Scottish Labour still haven’t hit bottom. I guess if you were campaigning for them Mike, things would be different and we would all be persuaded. For 45% of the population it’s either Greens or SNP. If you want unionism it is almost certainly Tories since Labour might be going soft on unionism.
        But none of this explains why Labour are in long decline in Scotland. On a personal level, the decision to join with the Tories on the Edinburgh Trams project and then. Is manage it to the detriment of the taxpayers in Edinburgh and inhabitants of the Highlands and Islands while it overspent by millions, the fiasco of the Scottish Parliament costs overrun and the Calman Commission which led to the current income tax farrago that is the Scottish budget mess showed Labour’s dishonesty and duplicitousness. The House of Lords and Scottish home rule are all promises subverted to maintain power. Add to that Labour’s behaviour at the Smith Commission over more powers and years of abuse of power at local government level (and I can give examples of years of petty corruption costing £millions if you want) some of which I experienced while working for the voluntary sector.
        It doesn’t matter to me what labour call themselves. They have lost many of their activists, members and supporters because of their own actions. They are an imperialist party still hankering after empire and some nebulous ‘greatness’

      • Mike Sivier said:

        What an interesting world you inhabit.
        Shame you had to try to attribute attitudes and opinions to me that I haven’t expressed.
        For me, that stole any validity your other opinions may have had.

  24. Jams OD said:

    And an equally interesting world where you can say – in effect – “I disagree with one of your observations so I can now dismiss all the rest as rubbish”. Not worthy of you.

    • Mike Sivier said:

      You don’t like it? Support yourself with fact. Links to relevant websites will do.
      Otherwise I can’t help you.

  25. And to bring us up to date: Labour have since supported the Tories in pushing through Trident, the Snoopers Charter, protection of Tony Blair..etc.. while the SNP are the only ones campaigning to end the benefit sanctions, again blocked by the Tories through a lack of Labour support. I guess we are on to something eh…

    • Mike Sivier said:

      Labour is campaigning to end benefit sanctions, and did support the SNP private members’ Bill – or didn’t you read the news yesterday?
      Why would Labour be helping the Tories to protect a former Labour PM? Wouldn’t it be the other way around? And in fact, many Labour MPs want Blair held to account as well.
      Labour stopped opposing Trident when party leaders realised they would not be able to affect the decision. Why continue arguing over a divisive issue when it won’t produce any useful result?
      I share your concerns about Labour’s support for the Investigatory Powers Act.
      If only you were able to separate the silly propaganda from the matters worth discussing, you might get somewhere.

  26. Wobblyjack said:

    Some times Labour most leave me genuinely open-mouthed. Why are they in the Labour Party and they do not possess a scintillating of decent towards those suffering under this unelected junta. I’ve stopped watching the news, no longer buy a paper except for the occasions Morning Star, Freedom News and Direct Action, when they can be bothered. It’s all detriment Al to my my mental health and anyway there are only a short few services available. Comrades regards wobbly1958@outlook.com

  27. Re your Piers Doughty Brown video. Blatant propaganda! You pick a well known shouty extremist and then tar the rest of us wi the same brush. One of the crudest forms of propaganda there is!! You should be ashamed.

  28. Labour are dying Mike.

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