Nicola Sturgeon’s intellectual dishonesty exposed in her failure to say ‘Don’t vote Tory’


Isn’t the similarity between the SNP manifesto and Labour’s astonishing?

Shall we count some similarities? Yes, let’s.

Both parties want to scrap the bedroom tax and zero-hours contracts, reverse the privatisation of the NHS, increase NHS spending and integrate health and social care.

They both support a 50p top tax rate, the mansion tax, the bankers’ bonus tax,  abolishing non-dom status and ending the married couple’s tax allowance.

They would both increase the minimum wage to more than £8 (although Labour would promote the higher Living Wage as well), and both want benefits to rise in line with inflation.

Both parties would cut tuition fees across the UK and increase free childcare (to 25 hours per week (Labour) or 30 hours (SNP)).

Both would set a target for house-building, although Labour’s – at 200,000 – is twice as high as that of the SNP.

Both would oppose any moves to take the UK out of the European Union, and both support the current level of overseas aid spending.

Both Labour and the SNP would abolish the House of Lords.

And both would implement the Smith Commission’s proposals in full, along with further powers for Scotland (differing on the details – Labour would not wish to grant full fiscal autonomy due to fears of a £7.6 billion ‘black hole’).

With so many similarities, it seems strange that Nicola Sturgeon has claimed an alliance with the SNP is necessary to “pull Labour leftwards”.

Isn’t it more likely that she is hoping to claim success in this regard, during a future alliance, despite having done nothing to achieve it?

All she’d have to do is wait for Labour to put through the relevant legislation, after all.

But what seems most strange, considering the overwhelming similarity with Labour, is the similarly-overwhelming negative campaign against Labour, on the grounds that Labour is too right-wing! There’s simply no justification for it – other than a hunger for power. This leads to another question:

If the SNP wants a louder voice in the whole of the UK, and wants to “lock the Tories out of government”, then why hasn’t the SNP told the electorate not to vote Tory?

Nicola Sturgeon is perfectly happy to tell Scottish voters not to vote Labour. About the Tories? Not a word. Perhaps she thinks they’re not a threat but there were nearly half a million Conservative voters north of the border in 2010 and with Labour and the SNP at each other’s throats, the right-wingers have freedom to campaign without hindrance.

To the best of this writer’s knowledge, Nicola Sturgeon has never said: “Don’t vote Tory.”

The motive seems obvious: She needs a large Parliamentary Conservative Party, with many seats in England and Wales, blocking Labour from its majority – she she can blackmail Ed Miliband into a deal with the SNP. Considering the similarity between their manifestos, an alliance of any kind between Labour and the SNP isn’t really necessary anyway, so this can only be about one thing:


Ms Sturgeon is desperate for the SNP to gain the balance of power in Westminster, so she can blackmail Labour into providing what she wants.

And what does a nationalist political party always want?

Mark these words.

If the SNP has its way, we’ll be looking at the break-up of the UK again very soon. It’s the only way her actions make any sense.

Follow me on Twitter: @MidWalesMike

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  1. Thomas April 21, 2015 at 2:23 am - Reply

    I predict 50 to 56 SNP seats and by 2020 Scotland will be independent, leaving us stuck with endless Tory government.

  2. Janis Aitken April 21, 2015 at 6:32 am - Reply

    At least Nichola Sturgeon is straight forward and HONEST !! as opposed to all the lot we are lumbered with down here !

    • Mike Sivier April 21, 2015 at 7:17 am - Reply

      The point of the article is that she isn’t honest.

    • hstorm April 21, 2015 at 5:40 pm - Reply

      Sturgeon is NOT honest. People down here only think she is because we will never get to endure her in any form of Government we are likely to have to live under. Just look at how the SNP has butchered higher education north of the border since taking control of Holyrood. Their stance of being the embodiment of “The Scottish Liberal-Left” is largely an act.

  3. Joy Morby April 21, 2015 at 7:20 am - Reply

    The snp oppose Trident Mike.Labour don’t

    • Mike Sivier April 21, 2015 at 7:47 am - Reply

      I know. Many Labour candidates also oppose Trident, meaning a future Labour government may reconsider its position.
      Now look at all the similarities between Labour and SNP policies.
      There really are a lot of them, aren’t there!

    • Marie Macfarlane April 21, 2015 at 9:22 am - Reply

      Very handy that she does not oppose leaving NATO, though…

  4. Sean April 21, 2015 at 7:37 am - Reply

    There are probably some similarities between all political manifestos. there are some key differences between them, and not highlighting them just shows this article for the skewed piece of nonsense it is

    • Mike Sivier April 21, 2015 at 7:50 am - Reply

      That’s desperate of you.
      There are far more similarities than differences.
      Yes, there are key differences, which is why Ed Miliband will not consider a deal.
      But the basis of Sturgeon’s campaign – that Labour is bad, that Labour needs to be kept honest, that Labour needs to be dragged leftward – is destroyed by this document.

  5. Sean April 21, 2015 at 7:39 am - Reply

    She also has never said the words “don’t vote Labour” either. She has specifically told voters in England and Wales to vote Green and Plaid respectively. More utter lies from desperate unionists

    • Mike Sivier April 21, 2015 at 7:48 am - Reply

      The entire SNP campaign is based on negative campaigning against Labour.

      • Sean April 21, 2015 at 9:51 am - Reply

        citation required

        • Mike Sivier April 21, 2015 at 4:03 pm - Reply

          For what?

      • Sean April 21, 2015 at 4:40 pm - Reply

        The made up claim that “the entire snp campaign is based on negative campaigning against labour” – total b*****ks

        • Mike Sivier April 21, 2015 at 6:24 pm - Reply

          I knew one of them would fall on profanity in the end. That’s not an argument.

      • Sean April 21, 2015 at 7:57 pm - Reply

        Pointing out the use of bad language isn’t an argument either. The snp campaign is focused on getting Scotland’s voice heard, public spending rather than austerity and trident. You have also got labour’s position totally wrong with regards to the Smith commission, they were the party who offered the least in terms of actual new powers. there are so many other mistakes but I don’t have time to go through them all. I must have missed the announcement that they would abolish the house of Lords though, you will have to evidence that please. In Scotland you will hear cries of ‘red tories’ from supporters and activists. There are many reasons for that including votes for expensive nuclear weapons, wars in Iraq, welfare cuts, demonising those on benefits, standing shoulder to shoulder with the tories during the referendum. there is also the fact that there are numerous labour MPs and msps who are seen to be careerist troughers, only in it for themselves who have taken the Scots for granted for far too long. I just thought I would give you an education as clearly you didn’t actually bother do any proper research into the other side of the argument

        • Mike Sivier April 22, 2015 at 10:06 am - Reply

          You haven’t read Labour’s manifesto, have you. Also, Labour might have gone into the Smith Commission negotiations with the fewest new powers to offer, but it was a negotiating process and in that situation it is often best to start small and then see what can be done. Saying Labour started with the lowest offer tells us nothing about where Labour finished. You know, I’ve got a few people complaining that I’m accusing David Cameron of serious crimes without evidence (in the comments on another article) – according to their reasoning, you’re doing exactly the same here.
          In Scotland you will also hear cries of “Tartan Tories” from those who oppose the SNP. There are many reasons for that – just look at J Tennant’s comment – and it seems unlikely that that comment includes lies about being allied to the Conservatives (or supporting the Bedroom Tax, another favourite that is completely untrue).
          The day people like yourself can give me an education is a long way away.

    • hstorm April 21, 2015 at 5:50 pm - Reply

      “She also has never said the words “don’t vote Labour” either. She has specifically told voters in England and Wales to vote Green and Plaid respectively.”

      Sean, you do realise that people are only allowed to vote for one party, don’t you? That means that if people in England and Wales vote for Green and Plaid respectively, they CANNOT vote for Labour. Therefore, telling them to vote for Green and Plaid, by definition, *is* telling them not to vote for Labour. (Or Tory, or Lib-Dem, or UKIP or any of the Others, admittedly. But definitely not for Labour either.)

      When I was living in Scotland during the early-90’s, I was amazed at the silly things that paranoia could lead the locals to say. And you’ve just reminded me of it. UKIP do much the same south of the border, but that doesn’t say good things for SNP supporters; their behaviour matching the ‘Kippers… ouch.

      • Mike Sivier April 21, 2015 at 6:21 pm - Reply

        That’s not a fantastic rebuttal of what the SNP fans are saying, because their argument is exactly the same – that, by saying people should vote Green or Plaid, she is implying that they shouldn’t vote Labour.
        The simple fact is that the entire SNP campaign north of the border is “Don’t vote Labour, they’re rubbish. Vote for us instead” – as has been reported numerous times in the media.

        • Ian April 21, 2015 at 7:27 pm - Reply

          Miliband has said nothing about waiting out the NHS contracts, just he wants to stop private business making too much money from the NHS. Whichever angle you look at it, that is not reversing privatisation.

          The SNP’s NMW will be 70p more than Labour’s and both will take an eon to flly introduce. Far from great but the SNP is obviously better than Labour on this.

          Labour aren’t going to ban zero hours contracts outright. You know this so why argue it?

          Quote – “1) We will abolish exploitative zero-hours contracts, with rules introduced to give new rights to employees on zero-hours contracts. This will include the right for employees who have consistently worked regular hours to receive a fixed-hours contract automatically.”. That has one glaring get-out that makes it actually worse than what we have now. Once an employee nears the point they’d be entitled to a proper contract they’d be laid off. Duplicitous and two-faced.

          £140 billion would have to come from somewhere? Well, increased tax receipts for a start, probably a few tax rises and some borrowing. Given that borrowing is cheap right now and would be used for investment, it makes perfect sense and I suspect if Miliband announced this tomorrow you’d be 100% behind it. But this is all addressing the point on the neoliberal’s own terms – austerity has been a full blown catastrophe for this country and was utterly unnecessary. The fact you buy into it speaks volumes about the state of the left today. Austerity is not necessary.

          I disagree on the ‘vote for’ thingy. They know they can do little else in a Westminster so what else are they supposed to say? Supporting a policy is far from having the same policy, it’s just pragmatism. They could have a policy of free pterodactyls for hardworkingfamilies, wouldn’t get em very for. The art of the possible.

          True, the SNP manifsto doesn’t say where the NHS money will come from but I assume from the aforementioned £140 billion. It’s also twice hat Labour plan to spend.

          It’s blatantly obvious to anyone reading that the SNP are noticeably, significantly, left of Labour. All you did in the original blog was cherry pick a few similarities and drew a deliberately wrong conclusion from them.

          The tide is against you, Labour are a spent force in Scotland precisely because they’re too right wing for many Scots. The further Labour have drifted from their voter heartland, the more political capital the SNP will make. Nature abhors a vacuum and Ed Miliband is definitely a vacuum.

          As a leftie, you should be glad of this, the SNP will try and get a few genuinely social democratic policies through parliament if they hold the balance of power. I cannot see why you don’t see this as an opportunity to be built upon.

          • Mike Sivier April 22, 2015 at 10:18 am

            On zero-hours contracts, I was quoting from the Labour manifesto. You weren’t. What were you quoting?
            You don’t get £140 billion from increased tax receipts instantly. Labour is planning to borrow for investment in the economy so the SNP suggesting it is pointless. Labour is also planning tax rises. To get another £140 billion, the SNP would have to do something extreme like DOUBLING income tax. Do you think the public would tolerate that?
            Your disagreement on what the SNP means when it says it would vote for a policy is noted. This of course would empty the SNP manifesto of a large amount of information, if those aren’t SNP policies too.
            You seem desperate to make the SNP seem acceptable when the evidence against is mounting inexorably.
            The SNP is not an opportunity but a disaster that is desperate to inflict itself on us. The more we learn, the more it seems they will be almost as bad as a Tory government.

  6. Bookmanwales April 21, 2015 at 7:59 am - Reply

    Unfortunately Nicola Sturgeon comes across as more forthright and honest than Ed Milliband or David Cameron. Yes she is going to put the interests of Scotland first that is after all the whole basis of the SNP.
    She has never denied this and the Scottish people who vote SNP would expect no less. The Tories are irrelevant in Scotland and bringing them up as a way of denigrating her is not at all productive.
    The Labour Party’s failure to put itself across as the “working mans party” is one of the reasons for their failure to reach a sufficient level of support to stand on their own feet.
    Comments from the likes of Liam Byrne and Rachel Reeves, with no clarification from the Labour executive have given the impression that Blairism in the Labour party is not dead and buried.
    Regardless of how you wish things to be a deal with the SNP is in so many ways better than another Tory government.

    • Mike Sivier April 21, 2015 at 3:56 pm - Reply

      My point is that we shouldn’t believe she is going to put the interests of Scotland first; she seems far more keen on the interests of the SNP.
      You have also failed – along with many others – to understand the distinction I was making: Ms Sturgeon says she wants a stronger voice in the whole of the UK but, when she could be using that voice right now – along with her newfound popularity – to help fend off the possibility of a Tory victory, she keeps her mouth shut.
      The reason is clear – she needs lots of Tories to keep Labour’s Parliamentary population low enough to make it possible for her to blackmail Miliband into some kind of deal.
      This is about power for the SNP and for Nicola Sturgeon. It is NOT about the good of the Scottish people.
      My fear – legitimately – is that a deal with the SNP will leave to a truncated UK, stuck with Tory dictatorship for a long time after Scotland has quit the union for a much less certain future.

  7. Linda Donohoe April 21, 2015 at 8:23 am - Reply

    In my humble opinion – The politicians can say what they like up to the election and promote their manifestos’ but in the event of a coalition these manifestos’ are worth nothing with 2010 being a fine example… SNP will not pursue the Tories in Scotland as they are secure in the fact that they are no threat but they do need to take Labour seats. SNP to the Scots are the best of a bad bunch. Personally my vote goes to the Greens.

    • Mike Sivier April 21, 2015 at 3:57 pm - Reply

      But what about the SNP in the rest of the UK?
      Sturgeon says she wants influence but she refuses to challenge the Tories, who she says she wants to “lock out”.
      I reckon that’s two-faced.

      • Linda Donohoe April 22, 2015 at 7:49 am - Reply

        They are not being two faced Mike they know exactly what they are doing. The SNP are also known by some in Scotland as the ‘Tartan Tories’ and Alex Salmond and SNP are now in the privileged position they cleverly orchestrated. J Tennant has made some valid points below and I would like to add that whilst everyone was enthralled with the decision regarding Independence SNP devolved power over business water back to the Tories for inclusion into the private water market. This should never have happened and this is just another betrayal. Fracking will be next as the moratorium is just a delay until after the election. J Tennant also says that ‘what is frightening is the lack of scrutiny by the general public’. I agree with his statement and feel that we should get rid of the House of Lords and replace this with a peoples 2nd Chamber and we should have one in Scotland too as SNP have carte blanch to pass policies at will with very little scrutiny.

  8. J Tennant April 21, 2015 at 8:44 am - Reply

    For those of us in Scotland who have not fallen for the evangelical SNP, there are many points that the mainstream media do not pick up on.

    SNP has introduced a state Guardianship for EVERY child in Scotland from pre- birth to 18 years old. These guardians can make decisions on a child’s future without the parents being involved. they will cover themselves by erring on the “safe” side always, rather than not reporting something which might be quite innocent. Realise that this law is for ALL children, not the most vulnerable or those deemed to be at risk . So scarce resources will be spread too thinly. For many parents it is like the start of a State intervention in their lives. By the way, guardianship lasts til 18 years of age, yet Scottish youngsters will be able to vote routinely from the age of 16 Years old. What does that tell you?

    Prestwick airport was bought by Scottish govt for £1. But millions of pounds have been spent keeping it open, even though there are only a few flights per week, specially in the winter. They “hope” that it will become a space centre. This despite a crying need to support the food banks which are blamed on Westminster but which they could do something about.

    SNP spending on NHS is lower than England’s . There are privatised services in Scotland despite SNP blasting England for privatisation.

    There has been a huge loss of 130,000 college places and teach staff. No outcry about this anywhere. The money gained pays for free university places for all – rich and poor. Who benefits most from this? Well off Scots.

    There was an underspend this financial year of nearly £500,000 million pounds. They say they are being prudent- what about the poverty they use as political rhetoric?

    We have lost 4000 teachers since the SNP got into power. Spending on education has fallen

    Social Work and NHS is being merged. A good idea but the main reason for it is to stop bed blocking. What has that to do with most of Social Work’s remit?

    The Holyrood committee system is not fit for purpose. There is not the scrutiny you get in the House of Commons committees. The Scottish committees are often run by an SNP chair and have a majority of votes from SNP MSPs. This makes for poor government and laws by stealth. A case in point is the Guardianship law which people only became aware of recently and are challenging now in the courts.

    Freedom of speech is being eroded. People are becoming frightened of putting their head above the parapet to criticise SNP or being seen to be in favour of the Union. I could relate several tales of intimidation by SNP supporters that I have personal knowledge of but these are anecdotal. However look at Facebook and Twitter feeds and you will see vindictive statements everywhere, mainly against Unionists.

    What is frightening is the lack of scrutiny by the general public. SNP have teflon coats. Interviewers do not tackle any of the important issues when the SNP spokesperson dismisses their point. Oh for Andrew Neild or a Paxton to pull their arguments apart. Many people are watching the rise of the SNP and feeling helpless. Because the NO vote is split between 3 parties, it is fragmented. People are taking about tactical voting but it will not be enough.

    Make no mistake. The SNP will run Westminster ragged. They will try and get as much as they can- a valid political aim- but to the detriment of the rest of the UK. Nicola Sturgeon is a gifted politician. If i did not fear what she is trying to achieve, I would admire her. But the SNP need to be scrutinised and held to account for their policies in Scotland or the UK will not last long.

    • Mike Sivier April 21, 2015 at 4:01 pm - Reply

      An underspend of £500,000 million? That seems likely to be a typo.
      Other than that – very interesting. I take it this is all verifiable?
      I agree with your “Teflon coats” comment – look at some of the responses to this article.

    • Jim Round April 21, 2015 at 5:11 pm - Reply

      Prestwick Airport is similar to Cardiff Airport, owned by the WAG with few flights.
      There is also WAG Air and the WAG Express.
      Further Education is suffering across the UK, with Free (already costing almost £1bn) Schools causing a detriment to LA Schools.
      Ask what happened to so called “Objective One” funding, a lot of Wales saw little, if any of it.
      Betsi Cadwalader have problems with their attempted downgrade of maternity services.
      The NHS across the UK is underfunded.
      Boris likes his vanity projects, New Bus for London, the cable car and Boris Island to name a few.
      Ask The SNP why it took a large donation from Brian Souter (Stagecoach boss) to remove bus regulation as a party policy.
      Ask their candidate for Inverness, Nairn and Badendoch about “Option Six”.
      It doesn’t matter who you vote for, the government always gets in.

      • J Tennant April 21, 2015 at 7:31 pm - Reply

        Further education in England has not been decimated by 130,000 places as in Scotland. This was done to pay for free university education for all. These are cuts which affect less academic young people and women returners.

        Spending on NHS in England was 4% higher than in Scotland, according to recent figures. The money allocated to Scottish govt for NHS was underspent on NHS and diverted elsewhere.

        Council tax has been frozen for 7 years and consequently, services in all areas are being run down dramatically. Councils are also borrowing heavily to try and make up for the loss of their budgets. Something like £2.6billion over 7 years.

        A huge amount of money was spent making all the road signs in Northern Scotland into Gaelic, despite almost no one there speaking it.

        Westminster gave Holyrood £1billion to alleviate poverty in the last few years. None of it was spent on schemes to alleviate poverty. It was given to the local councils who used it to plug the gap in money from the Council tax. There was no scrutiny or management of how the money was spent.

        Vanity projects may work in London but Scotland does not have the kind of funding that London has to be able to indulge itself. Specially with the kind of poverty that is made much of by the Scottish govt who of course blame Westminster for it. Some of that criticism is justified – the working poor, the benefits sanctions- but if you feel so strongly about these, funding should be allocated to help, not spent on vanity projects.

        Do not forget that the police in Scotland has been centralised into one force as has the ambulance and fire service. Much criticism has been made of these services as a result of this centralisation.

        You might be aware that Police Scotland do more stop and searches than the London police- this happens in rural areas as well as urban. No proper records were kept and hundreds of children under 12 were searches as well as babies in prams. I kid you not! They have also been criticised for carrying weapons on routine patrols in areas like Aberdeen and while there was agreement to stop this practice after criticism from the public – ( imagine having a car accident and armed police respond) it is still happening.

        I could probably give you more examples. But the point I am trying to make is that the SNP is not the kindly party they make themselves out to be. They are centralising and authoritarian. More powers have gone to Holyrood in the last 7 years and been taken away from the councils and regions like the Highlands.

        It was interesting to see Nicola Sturgeon yesterday on tv, after talking about her manifesto, and before taking questions from journalist, warning her supporters -3000 of them- to let questions from journalists be heard. “They had a right to ask them and to scrutinise the manifesto” The first question was from a BBC journalist – James Cook who had been vilified on social media for asking questions of Sturgeon before. As he finished his question which the audience did not like, they started booing. Sturgeon put up her hand and let it lower slowly. The crowd were quiet. They were then well behaved. But what other politician has to warn his supporters to behave themselves and let others speak? This says it all about living in Scotland today.

        PS At the recent SNP conference, the party voted thus. No party official, MP, MSP etc is allowed to criticise the Party or disagree with it in public.

      • Jim Round April 22, 2015 at 11:44 am - Reply

        J Tennant:
        If you look at my comment, I also criticise the SNP, but also say that there are problems that are similar across the UK, no government is immune from questionable practice.
        There are protests at North Wales colleges about post 19 funding cuts, also affecting women and return learners.
        Also, Mike will know about the cuts Powys Council, among others are facing, look at the disparity in the funding some North West/East councils get compared to the likes of Surrey etc….
        It’s also worth noting that people who complain about Council Tax being excessive have louder voices than those who would pay a little more for better services. Look at the criticism of Labour controlled Tameside Council, who dared to raise council tax.
        Police Scotland was a good idea badly implemented and managed, it is worth remembering Labour wanted to merge some police forces a few years back, it has already happened with North West Ambulance taking over the regional ones.
        London can’t afford vanity projects at the detriment of youth services and leisure cuts when a growing population needs both.
        I also agree that centralisation is an issue, the UK is one of the most centralised countries in the world, but then local papers are full of letters criticising the local council for being incompetent with funds.
        It is worth asking where that extra funding for the English NHS has gone, maybe on the reorganisation few wanted, or on CEO pay rises, it certainly hasn’t reached the front line.

        • Mike Sivier April 23, 2015 at 12:41 am - Reply

          Did Labour merge any police forces? No – and probably for good reasons.
          London may not be able to afford vanity projects, but it certainly has them!

  9. Richard Ashton April 21, 2015 at 12:30 pm - Reply

    Another interesting issue is why the Tories are constantly talking about the SNP. Its clearly an election strategy designed to galvanize the SNP’s support in Scotland, while frightening middle england to vote Tory. For a Tory party thats in crisis with its own voters in England, this represents their best chance of staying in power. And even Torygraph journalists are pointing this out, as are some Tory backbenchers.
    What the Scots dont seem to understand is that by voting SNP they’re ultimately doing exactly what the Tories want them to do. The SNP are essentially playing a dangerous game thats putting the political ambitions of Nicola Sturgeon, before the lives of the people she claims to represent, and the rest of the UK population who she doesn’t represent. And unfortunately, it does seem like the Scots will only realise this once the Tories get back in, and the cuts we’ve seen in this parliament are doubled.
    Also, a more frightening issue that gets much less attention in the right wing media is who the Tories will have to do a deal with to stay in position. The third party in England could very well be Ukip, so the possibility of a minority Tory government propped up by Ukip is very real. And this will allow Cameron to move the Tories further to the right, and enable him to blame Ukip for the implementation of far right policies.
    Do the Scots know that repealing the Barnett formula is a Ukip election promise that will ultimately reduce the budget in Scotland, and probably enable the Tories to kick further devolution into the long grass. The Greens and Plaid Cymru are getting a lot of right wing media attention at the moment, predominantly as an alternative to voting Labour. But most political commentators seem to agree that this, at best, will lead to them getting a couple of seats each. Whereas Ukip are polling consistently at around 15% which means that in reality, it’ll be Nigel Farage who holds the balance of power in Westminster following the election.
    The SNP lost in the referendum, and have used this to criticise Labour, who are only guilty of wanting the Scots to stay in the union. The accusation of them working with the Tories to keep the united kingdom united, is actually highlighting a new politics where parties from across the political divide can come together on issues that are not rooted in party politics. Something that Sturgeon usually promotes, but obviously cant stand when its done in Westminster. Showing once again the utter hypocrisy thats evident in the anti-Labour propaganda thats favored by a nationalist party, that wants to make decisions that effect the whole UK.

  10. Rupert Mitchell (@rupert_rrl) April 21, 2015 at 3:45 pm - Reply

    I digress slightly here Mike but I would like to draw the following comments to as many decent people out there as possible:-

    Vulnerable under Attack.

    Remploy was set up in 1946 by the then Labour Government to help people with physical and mental disabilities in their everyday lives.

    It has helped over 25 million people. When the Tories came to over in 2010 on of the first cuts they made was Remploy, then disability payments followed by the bedroom tax.

    These cuts have been made by the most privileged government in my memory, financed by the wealthiest in the land, hitting the most vulnerable. If this is what we want and more of the same vote Tory in the forthcoming election. It says a lot about the country we have become.

    I digress slightly here Mike but I would like to draw the following comments to as many decent people out there as possible:

  11. Thomas April 21, 2015 at 4:33 pm - Reply

    Farage will be lucky to get more then three seats.

  12. Ian April 21, 2015 at 5:05 pm - Reply

    Miliband recently said he only wanted to stop business taking the piss as far as making excess profits from the NHS – that is certainly not reversing privatisation and it’s anyone’s guess what is deemed excessive but I bet it turns out to be a hell of a lot more than you or I would allow… Also, the NMW will only be increased to £8 over a period of FIVE YEARS, so not what i appears initially. Labour wouldn’t ‘abolish’ zero hour contracts, either, just limit them under the pretence that some people want them.

    The SNP, quite rightly, would end the repellent austerity, giving, they hope, 140 billion extra spending to invest in the country. Let me hear Miliband make the same promise. The manifesto also only says they would ‘vote for’ the 50p tax, banker bonus tax, mansion tax, abolition of non dom status, a crackdown on tax avoidance and reversel of the married couple’s tax allowance. Their policy is to vote for these things, there’s a difference between that and just copying Labour. It’s backing Labour, rather then following them.

    SNP would increase NHS funding by far more than Labour’s 2.5 billion, which we know is not enough. 24 billion by 2021, in fact. Let’s see Miliband promise this.

    Labour, to their eternal shame, will keep the cap on child benefits whereas the SNP would increase child benefit. Let’s see Miliband change his mind on this.

    The SNP would increase the NMW to £8.70 by 2020. Not fantastic but better than Labour.

    I could go on but you get the point; Labour are really quite a way to the right of the SNP.

    • Mike Sivier April 21, 2015 at 6:33 pm - Reply

      Any reversal of NHS privatisation has to honour the contracts that have already been signed – until they run out.
      Nobody is planning to increase the minimum wage immediately – you say yourself that the SNP would increase it by 2020, echoing a point that, in fact, I already made.
      Labour’s manifesto explicitly states that the party, in office, will be “banning exploitative zero-hours contracts”.
      If the SNP ended austerity, the £140 billion would have to come from somewhere. Where? Extra borrowing? So they’ll borrow the UK into a black hole and then split Scotland from the rest of the country – is that the plan? If so, I’m not happy with it.
      Your comment that the SNP would only “vote for” certain measures would carry more weight if it were possible for the SNP to do anything else. The party supports those things, clearly. This is exactly the same as Labour policy.
      Labour would increase NHS funding by £2.5 billion PER YEAR – £12.5 billion in total. The difference between this figure and that offered by the SNP is that Labour knows where it will get the money. The SNP doesn’t.
      You can’t wriggle out of it, try as you might; there are more similarities than differences and any claim Sturgeon has that she will drag Miliband to the Left has evaporated.

      • J Tennant April 21, 2015 at 7:50 pm - Reply

        I am sorry to disagree with you but the SNP is not a party of the left. They have not had one redistributive policy in their term of government. Yes, they had had populist policies like the council tax freeze – but poorer people did not pay council tax anyway. It helps people like me to save money that I could well afford and be happy to pay.

        Free prescriptions also help the well off or better paid. We can easily pay for them and I know many people who would willingly pay more to help out our local councils and NHS.

        Free university fees help every students’ family but again why should well off parents get a free ride? They can afford to pay. You may not be aware that the number of less well off students has fallen quite significantly. SNP cut their maintenance grants!!

        And the cost of free university places has been at the expense of 130,000 college places for poorer students.

        50p rate of income tax has just been adopted recently by the SNP i.e. in the last week, as well as the other other Labour tax measures.

        Honestly it is a myth generated by SNP that they are to the left of Labour. Nothing is further from the truth.

        Yes Labour will have some austerity buts, but the SNP has a black hole in their own figures which IFS have shown to be completely wrong, meaning that Scotland would have a deficit of £7.6b if it gets full fiscal autonomy. This would be real austerity for us.

        • Mike Sivier April 22, 2015 at 10:09 am - Reply

          To be honest, I favour the principle of universal benefits; start means-testing and you end up on a slippery slope to cutting off a benefit altogether.
          Other than that, it’s a very interesting comment (although I would appreciate links to supporting evidence).

  13. Chris Mckenzie April 21, 2015 at 8:14 pm - Reply

    I get the point that the SNP is not so left of Labour but there are significant differences. The BIG one is Trident, this money could be spent on our NHS and public services. I also do worry that your “anti-austerity Labour” credentials are beginning to look a little shaky Mike. Borrowing for investment, creating a fair society and generating growth is surely what any socialist wants? As apposed to Labour’s fear of what the right wing media would say if they proposed that – the SNP on the other hand, have the balls to say they want to spend their way out of recession. I don’t claim to know everything about them. Do they have a progressive taxation policy to the left of Labour? (Genuine question). Cheers

  14. J Tennant April 22, 2015 at 1:06 pm - Reply

    Much of the information I quoted above is common knowledge in Scotland if you read the press, rather than rely on “Wings over Scotland” and SNP pages. The mainstream press in Scotland, like Herald Scotland, the Scotsman, the Daily Record,and the Courier have had articles on all these subjects over the last year or so. Even the Herald which is pro independence carried an article recently by Patrick Harvey of the Scottish Green party, criticising the Holyrood parliament and its committee system. Other papers like the Guardian have also had interesting information over the piece.

    What is worrying is that these facts are not getting through to SNP supporters. Everything is “fear mongering”, Project Fear, if there are inconvenient facts they cannot refute or have no answers to.

    The recent polls do show SNP ahead but there is a large movement around tactical voting which may not make a huge difference but may save some seats. The problem is that the SNP has about 50% of people saying they will vote for them. Because of first past the post system, the rest of the votes, which were mainly NOs in the referendum, are split 3 ways between the other parties. It is interesting to note that at the last Holyrood? or general ? election, there were almost as many Tory voters as SNP but they were spread thinly over the country and did not get many seats.

    Red Tories is a slogan the SNP use a lot. They castigate Labour for siding with the No campaign and the other parties. Unfortunately a lot of their supporters think this means that Labour are the same as the Tories.

    As for Career Labour politicians, all parties have them, even the SNP. Nicola Sturgeon worked briefly as a lawyer and has been a career politician since, as have many high ranking members of the SNP. In fact there was an article recently – cannot remember which paper, which showed that there are many (10?) SNP “families” i.e. several members of the same family, holding office in Holyrood or Westminster or local councils. Thus are dynasties founded but it is a bit unhealthy and incestuous when there are so many of them.

    Although the SNP now publicly denigrate the Tories, for 4 years recently in the Scottish parliament, they worked closely with them (Ms Golding was Tory leader in Scotland then) to get legislation through when they were a minority government. A bit hypocritical of them now.

    • Mike Sivier April 22, 2015 at 1:15 pm - Reply

      I know there were nearly as many Tories as SNP at the general election in 2010.

      • J Tennant April 23, 2015 at 8:56 am - Reply

        There is a very interesting article in today’s Scotsman- 23 April – sorry cannot get it to create a link! It is “SNP justice “shambles” alarm for Scottish justice”. Discusses the forcing through of a law, to implement “no need for collaboration” in legal cases. It goes on to talk about the lack of scrutiny of MSPs in Holyrood. And it discusses fears for the future of Scotland.

    • Joan Edington April 24, 2015 at 12:27 pm - Reply

      “Much of the information I quoted above is common knowledge in Scotland if you read the press,rather than rely on “Wings over Scotland” and SNP pages. The mainstream press in Scotland, like Herald Scotland, the Scotsman, the Daily Record,and the Courier”.

      So now we know where you get your information. From the mainstream media which is just as right-wing in Scotland as it is in the rest of the UK, if not more so. The Herald is not a pro-independence newspaper either. Its sister paper, The Sunday Herald, was the only paper not to support the Unionist views during the referendum. I don’t think one Sunday-only paper has much clout with the voters when up against the rest and the BBC.

      • Mike Sivier April 24, 2015 at 12:48 pm - Reply

        I’ve been researching J Tennant’s claims and, so far, they are supported by the facts.
        It seems the SNP is more of a right-wing party than we’ve all been led to believe, so your comment about the press seems misplaced.

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