Scottish Labour – RIP


‘New’ Labour’s long parched and wilted emblem – an English rose

A party without a conscience

Scottish Labour has always believed in the supremacy of Westminster government. That belief has brought it to the point of extinction in the country that gave it birth. Paradoxically, against a tide of neo-con globalisation, the chief cause of the world’s upheavals, the British Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn, gives people hope, yet allows it crushed in Scotland. Collectively Labour’s Scottish branch has the political acumen of the male widow spider. Having screwed Scotland it will get consumed on the spot.

By its irrational hatred of the SNP, and its political cowardliness, Labour made welcome resurgence of the xenophobic extremist Right, and by default, betraying public trust, allowed the Right to take its place, most evident odious Ukip. Scotland wants none of it.

One of the repugnant sights of the Scottish independence referendum was the sound of allegedly democratic politicians, in the House of Commons and the House of Lords – the self-styled ‘Mother of all Parliaments’ – warning the electorate that, should they exercise their rights and return full self-governance to their nation, the English state will punish them. Scottish Labour was part of that gang of thugs. They asked what we wanted and then told us we’d get a kicking for asking.

They are still saying it, intimidating in so many ways now that they know Scotland is in sight of that ultimate goal, self-determination reinstated, and will not let go. That’s why I publish a letter from a Labour voter at the end of this essay. More of that later.

Dear Labour Party

Scottish Labour threw itself into the vat of neo-liberal mythology. It promoted the phrase, “the something for nothing society”, a thinly veiled condemnation of the very welfare state their party had devised, enabled, and was elected to protect, a system envied by the world. Now the welfare state is portrayed as a terrible drain on the public finances.

Neo-liberalism is hailed as the solution. It concentrates wealth in tiny sectors. The few own the most. Scottish Labour doesn’t mind that because it suits their agenda to keep the SNP from power – they  act like Tories telling us to work hard and we get rewards. It is not what happens, Scotland is not rewarded, but that fits the picture, the mythology. Thus they block Scotland’s progress in the modern world.

No one seems to know what Labour stands for these days, least of all Scotland’s Labour group. Rigor mortis is inevitable for a body politic that refuses to affirm support of Scotland’s renaissance, its new Enlightenment, and stand firm on its core principles, free education, a free health service, and free prescriptions. We in Scotland are bemused to see Labour politicians rejecting socialism, and the SNP doing what it can on a meagre annual Treasury allowance to protect socialism’s hallowed tenets. It’s bizarre. When it becomes part of the awareness, consciousness, and aspirations of the large majority of the population Labour joins with the Tories to reject it.

Scotland is the land of Adam Smith, an  egalitarian. He believed in equality of outcome, not only opportunity. He is an Enlightenment figure, pre-capitalist. Scotland remains stoically egalitarian in values and attitude. To ignore that is to invite political defeat.

I was a Labour voter

On some issues I’m far left, the mandatory participation of employees in company decisions and profits, for example, and I’m centre left on other issues, such as helping new businesses to develop assisted by the public purse, and state support of the arts.

I thought Labour the caring party to achieve all that. Labour wanted Home Rule for Scotland from its earliest days, and seemed to hold firm to that ideal even when the policy stopped appearing in its election manifesto, a recoil from the troubles in Ireland that eventually gave Irish their republic.

I held the notion Labour would see the rise of the SNP as a justified, legitimate protest movement that other countries are currently witness to, (such as Spain’s Podemos) and they would emulate it. It isn’t just the working class that is rejecting conventional political institutions, the middle class in its totality is doing the same for they see no hope in the status quo.

Scottish Labour ignored the working class and the vulnerable to concentrate on wooing the middle class with false promise but instead alienated everybody. And they joined in the wave of Ukip led hysteria over immigrants, blaming them for Britain’s problems.

The rot began with Thatcher

There was a time I could just about accept a Conservative administration lording it over Scotland because its policies were those of the old school conciliatory Tory. (The attitude is in concilia-tory.) Then came Margaret Thatcher, mountebank on horseback, trailing in her wake the destruction of Scotland’s great industries of ship building and steel making, followed by the criminal squandering of North Sea oil profits on state organised repressive campaigns against unionism.

She topped those gross offences by demoting society’s carers, the doctors, the teachers and nurses, turning human sympathy into a dirty word, and instead elevated the barons of industry as saviours of Britain’s empire. In terms of globalisation, she might as well have said go forth and multiply in far off lands, and take no heed of the harm it will do the United Kingdom.

The final straw

Blair and then Brown, far from being radical new wave politicians, endorsed the policies of Thatcher. Ardent followers of the Adoration of the Maggie, Labour joined with extremist Tories to rob Scotland of its civil rights. You could barely tell the two parties apart.

Labour saw to it that our sons and daughters were cannon fodder on the oil stained battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan. They deified greed, uncoupled bank and investment house morality, allowed free the avaricious to pursue fantasy economics, and consequently rob the nation of its savings as the means to keep the men of wealth in the habit to which they had become accustomed. Brown recast himself their employee, loyal Mafia bag man.

With three massive majority administrations at Westminster New Labour had the godsend of an opportunity to break Westminster’s monolithic power and tear up the usury Treaty of 1707 to devise one better suited to this century, one where Scotland was an equal participating partner. But they don’t think Scotland has anything to teach the English.

Even as Labour agreed publically to reinstate Scotland’s parliament it was arguing behind closed doors for the opposite action. It believes Holyrood is a grave error of judgement.

Now that a mere 26% of the United Kingdom’s population voted to dispense with European cooperation and employ confrontation instead, England is destined to become an infinitesimally smaller place with or without Scotland.

Labour won’t rescind Brexit. They know leaving Europe profoundly harms Scotland, but so what, they are happy the SNP will take the hit.


Does the man in this flier still have his job ? He certainly doesn’t have an industry

A malignant presence

Now Labour in Scotland face wipe out in all levels of elections. As a means of survival they propose to align with Tories yet again in wards that seem winnable as a team effort, and all to keep out the one party that is solely concerned with Scotland’s health, the SNP. They conspire to thwart the will of the electorate.

Some Labour politicians think self-immolation a noble sacrifice in the face of a party they detest elected in any form, and the most heinous transgression of all, one with an international outlook.

Where is the person for the hour?

That no Scottish Labour politician exists of any backbone, intellect, or vision, ready to change the course of Scotland’s history, is testament to decades of Labour’s exploitation of Scotland as a convenient stepping stone to greater reward and privilege dispensed by Westminster. As a political group it has ground to a halt, totally bereft of ideas.

You can almost hear their plea: if only Scotland would think like England, all would be safe and well again, and Labour could return to it true character of lethargy, inertia and cronyism, with no need to worry over the problems of this troublesome corner of Mighty Albion. They manifest that dogma in their phrase, “the Referendum was a divisive issue”.

Labour tells us time and time again, it has turned its back on reform.


Orwellian Newspeak: Scottish Labour’s ‘change’ means the status quo,  no change and no hope – we remain subservient to bleak Westminster rule

An articulate explanation of political betrayal

To the letter in question: the writer signs himself ‘A. R. Brown’, a somewhat anonymous  name. He describes himself as a former Labour voter who says – correctly, in my view – Scotland’s radical progressives will have no choice but to fight back; “Scottish Labour needs to pick a side”. Amen to that. It is almost too late. Who will trust it now?

The letter is reproduced below without edit or emendation. It is published in Labour’s whimsically named website, “Labour’s Hame“, a misnomer if ever there was one ever since Scotland so comprehensively rejected New Labour’s far right neo-liberal policies, and anti-Scottish posturing.

This website is not in the habit of quoting the work of another in toto, usually I select sentences or passages to discuss, but on this occasion I make an exception.

The letter

“So, here’s the thing.

For a long time I voted nothing but Labour, but I stopped doing that, and in 2014 I not only voted Yes but, for the first time in my life, I knocked doors in that campaign. It’s likely that I’ll be even more involved if there’s ever another chance to secure self-government for Scotland.

I don’t doubt that a fair proportion of Labour Hame’s readership after reading that first paragraph aren’t reading this one. We all know that there’s an impressive set of fortifications separating the Labour Party from those who voted Yes, and the guns on that bastion point both ways. Maybe there’s even a few people who will doubt my right to write anything on a site dedicated to progressive politics when I’m clearly a small-minded, parochial, anti-English bigot with no grasp of economic reality.

The problem with that is that I’m trained in academic research, I’m typing this in England, I build financial models for the banks and insurance houses, and I’ve never been a member of any political party – not even that one. And as I mentioned before, I used to be a Labour voter and a big part of my commitment to the Yes side was a strong desire to protect the remnants of the 1945 social democratic settlement secured by your party. In other words, apart from a difference in opinion about where the border should be a couple of years ago, I ought to be one of you.

We may not live in dark times yet, but the sun is going down and the stars seem shy in coming out. Progressives need to stand together now or be swept away by the tide of unpleasantness exemplified, not by the Brexit vote, with which I disagree but understand, but by the clear lurch of the UK to the authoritarian, nativist right in response to that vote.

I want the Labour party to function well in Scotland. I want your candidates for First Minister to be plausible and I want every constituency to be hard fought amongst as many parties as possible including yours. I don’t share the tribal disdain for your party that some of your opponents do, but I do resent some of the things that you have done to a degree that I can only describe as visceral. I’ll come back to that.

After the Westminster election of 2015 I heard Johann Lamont on Radio 4 asking for anyone who had forsaken her party to get in touch and making clear that she would listen. I got in touch, offering to talk all she liked but all I got was a baffled response from her office that led nowhere. My interpretation was that she clearly wasn’t expecting anyone to actually get in touch, she just wanted to appear to be open to ideas, to give the impression of listening.

After the Scottish general election I thought again about offering my tuppence worth, and indeed after a talk by your former staffer Simon Pia I thought I’d try again, so I sent a polite e-mail offering to talk at any meeting of my local CLP about bridging the gap between Yes voters and the Labour Party. I never received a reply, although I know the email was received, which only intensified my worry for your future.

So this is my third and final attempt at reaching out to you, and here’s what I need you to hear.

I was horrified by our attack on Iraq, I was exasperated by the grubby municipal politics of the early years of the last decade – especially by the usurious PFI programme – and I was aghast at Gordon Brown’s proposals for a national identity register, but the summit of my fury at your party is the way you approached our referendum of 2014. That was the decision in my life to which I have applied the most intellectual effort. I felt privileged to be trusted with the future of our country and keenly aware of the solemn weight of that responsibility and, perhaps subconsciously, I expected everyone else to feel the same way regardless of which way they decided to vote.

If you consider the notion of Scottish self-government absurd, impossible or criminal what comes next won’t make sense, but neither – to my mind – will the existence of Denmark as a self-governing entity of five and a half million highly educated, well organised, energetic, happy people.

From a party political point of view the referendum put you in a fantastically powerful position and with this power came, axiomatically, commensurate responsibility. The Tories couldn’t win the vote on their own. They relied on you to win it, and you could have extracted any price you cared to in return for your help. You could have demanded the reform of the electoral system, abolition of the House of Lords, reform of trust law or reform of company ownership rules – any one of which would have counted as massive forward movement for progressive politics. You could even have done something about the British class system.

Demanding Crown dependency status for our country would probably put independence in the shadows for several generations, leaving the party-that-must-not-be-named as an etiolated seedling desperately seeking the sun rather than taking root in the limelight of European affairs.

Instead, as far as I can make out, you gleefully joined in the campaign to make the referendum itself a wretched, dumbed-down, tribal trench war with the ultimate aim not of improving the lives of ordinary people but of defeating your opponents. You behaved as if it was mathematically impossible to find any benefit in self-government, yet failed to explain why the last part of the UK to become self-governing, despite its troubles, has never contemplated re-joining that Union.

Arguments presented as absolute and un-nuanced tend to fail basic reality checks and yours did just that. To make matters worse every single one of the skeletons you rattled at us two years ago has since clambered from the grave to dance a grinning Charleston round the country despite us voting as you exhorted.

So what can you do?

First off you have to decide if your approach in 2014 was a potentially fatal error or not and declare that decision loudly. If you decide that you’d do the same again then I really do think that you are finished, but that’s your call to make. Every human being has exquisitely tuned antennae for sincerity. If you do decide to apologise for the course you sailed during the referendum campaign then it has to be truly heartfelt and it has to have consequences that will initially be painful for you. There can’t be a hint of rebuke or grievance. Some of your recently retired representatives and former employees have hit this tone, but none of your actual elected officials’ public statements do – there’s calculation, triangulation and deference in every word.

Secondly, you need to live up to the ‘Scottish Labour’ name and become an actual party, or drop it and campaign proudly as plain Labour. We need to know who’s in charge, and even those of us who pay attention just don’t. As things stand your candidates for First Minister will have a leader in another nation to whom they answer and who is unaffected by decisions here. If you have a notion of our nation as having its own unique needs, that situation is ultimately untenable regardless of the qualities of the leaders involved.

And lastly – federalism. If you really want to keep giving CPR to that constitutional corpse you need to tell us what the complete end-to-end mechanism is for its delivery. If that process includes Labour winning a UK general election and a vote in the House of Lords then I think it’s only fair to say that we’re going to need atomic-level detail on how that situation might come about.

I don’t think it’s an overstatement to say that this is an emergency. Forces are afoot now that might see not just the post-war settlement but all the subsequent social advances swept away within a few years. Scotland’s radical progressives will be in a knife-fight with the UK’s radical conservatives over the next two years. There will be no place for moderates. James Wilson’s 1820 slogan seems likely to fit 2018 like a glove – Scotland Free or a Desert.

This is the time for decisive collective action and I’d love Labour to join in, but if you can’t, if you really think this is the moment to squabble about income tax, then you will have placed yourselves firmly and permanently in the opposite camp to mine.”

If ever there was an essay to close the year and begin the new, that was it.

I wish readers, followers, and political wanderers a productive and energetic New Year.

Grouse Beater


This entry was posted in Scottish Independence Referendum, Scottish Politics. Bookmark the permalink.

56 Responses to Scottish Labour – RIP

  1. jimnarlene says:

    Great read as usual.
    I read the letter earlier, he still didn’t sound like much of an SNP fan, though he’s right; SLab do need to pick a side, and not side with the Tories. I will not mourn their passing.

    All the best, to you and yours, for the coming year and beyond.

  2. Steve B says:

    This is a really good piece.
    Going forward though I suspect after the May council elections, even if Labour do cling on in coalition with the Tories in various councils, Labour will have become such an irrelevance that there will be fewer articles like this about them and more about the “official” unionist opposition – even if SLAB does continue to have some entertainment value!

  3. Great article and letter Grousebeater.
    All the best to you and yours and a Happy and prosperous New Year.

  4. diabloandco says:

    Great read.

    Sadly the Scottish Labour folk appear intent on signing their own irrelevancy warrant – forming a coalition with the Ruth Davidson Party must surely be unpalatable for their supporters.

    May 2017 be a better year for us all and may I add my thanks to you for this blog which pops up happily in my inbox.

  5. Pingback: Scottish Labour – RIP | scottishpolitcalgroup

  6. The sooner we get Indy2 out the way the better.

    This is not a good time for Scotland or for those who are sick to the back teeth of the constant disagreements within our country. This fighting has been the result of the creation of the Holyrood assembly and the politicians who inhabit the building.

    The costly expense of the devolution project does nothing to improve the life of the average Scot. It only seems to serve the purpose of satisfying the small army of politicians, lawyers and other elitist civil servants who live off the UK taxpayer’s generosity. The debating chamber promised a new way of doing politics and the means of self-expression to reflect our regional differences within the United Kingdom. In reality it has not delivered, and instead reflects the same tribalism seen in Westminster, but to a lesser degree of sophistication.

    • Grouse Beater says:

      The democratic process can be a pain in the ass often, particularly when it doesn’t go the way you want it to go, but there is no rule book that states, when conducting a revolution please ensure no one’s sensibilities are outraged.

      Having said that, I reject your rejection of elected government as an institution unworthy of the people’s trust.

      The very existence of Holyrood presupposes a group of representatives doing things differently from the ‘other’ house, such as putting the population of Scotland before all else, including themselves.

      • Angry Weegie says:

        SPG’s comments are wrong in practically every way possible, starting even with the name as there is no sign whatsoever in any interest in Scotland as a nation, or even as a region of the UK with a set of values which might differ from other parts of the UK.

        SPG implies a case for scrapping Holyrood, not accepting the part it has played in the resurgence of the Scottish political scene. Though blaming politicians at Holyrood in general, it is obvious that SPG believes the real problem lies on the independence side of the argument (“The sooner we get Indy2 out the way the better”). Perhaps there should be acceptance that Unionist politicians who reject the existence of a Scotland capable of making its own decisions, or even the existence of Scotland at all, may be at least partly to blame for the “constant disagreements “.

        Finally, to conclude with a sentence containing the words “Westminster” and “sophistication” shows not only a lack of attention to how debates in Westminster are conducted, but also a belief that, no matter what decisions are made, no matter what harm is done as a result of these decisions, the mainly English politicians at Westminster know what Scotland needs better than anyone else. How could that be more wrong.

      • Grouse Beater says:

        One of my regular one-line ripostes to quizzical friends is, “They don’t give a damn about Scotland”. Not until you are among London’s power elite and hear them speak it does that truism hit home with a painful punch.

      • Last time I checked, the Holyrood crew were awarding themselves another pay rise. The basic annual salary for an MSP is £58,097. The First Minister’s salary is a further £84,160, taking her total to £142,257. Cabinet secretaries get a total of £101,757. Junior ministers just get a paltry £85,445.

        The basic average salary in Scotland (2015) is £27,710 UK is £27,645.

        Where is this selflessness in ‘putting the population of Scotland before all else, including themselves’. Have I must have missed this?

        Perhaps you’re too affiliated with these political types to see them rationally.

    • Grouse Beater says:

      I can see you are a poster with an array of innuendo wrapped around graphs and figures that have no real significance on whether or not the current administration is legitimately in government to represent the people, or indeed, the best political group to be there.

      • Clearly you are seeing things with a level of clairvoyance that intrigues. Look up ‘apophenia’ if you want to look in the mirror. Have you fallen on your head (or heid as you prefer) and have a degree of unrecognised concussion perhaps….is your local A&E open on Hogmanay?

        I also see that you failed to be attracted by my observation that people with genuine altruism don’t live a life style twice as opulent as the average Scot. Clearly Holyrood apparatchiks have an aversion to food banks.

        Hope the queue at the hospital isn’t as long as the one at the Queen Lizzy yesterday, where they were heading for the Guinness book of records for delayed waiting times in casualty.

        Happy 2017.

    • Grouse Beater says:

      Your baseless point is summed up as ‘Look at all those privileged people’ but ignores the tax they pay, or that condemnation by salary level is fatuous.

      Their annual salary is modest in comparison with your local manager of a Lidl store. Nor are our politicians whisked away to pocket fat cheque directorships of finance houses, weapons manufacturers, or Murdoch’s empire, unlike Westminster grandees.

      The rest of your last post is a list of weak ridicule – a lesson in how not to conduct the craft of good discourse by bundling together cheap gibes and louche innuendo.

    • Grouse Beater says:

      I repeat, attempting to assassinate character by implying a salary you think too much defines a person’s character, is absolute baloney. It is piss-poor political argument.

      Nothing you have had to say has anything to do with civil rights, constitutional change, or the reaffirmation of the identity of two states.

      In a nutshell, you’re only agenda is to defame.

    • Contrary says:

      SPG, I do not agree with any of your opinions or the strange logic you follow. If I could just point out a couple of things that are factually incorrect though:

      SNP MSPs are contributing their salary increases to a public fund, as before, as reported in the Sunday Herald: “However, the Scottish Government confirmed Ms Sturgeon and her ministers will continue with a voluntary pay freeze tying salaries to their 2008/09 level and put the extra cash into a public spending fund.” On 7th of December.

      Most other MSPs appear to be not taking the full pay rise, or are contributing it to charity. They stopped linking their salaries to those of MPs when Westminster awarded themselves a 9% rise in the midst of the austerity cuts.

      Holyrood is not an Assembly, but a Parliament, as agreed by all parties, i.e. Westminster. Most of the work is done via committees, not through the main debating chamber, which some use for grandstanding.

      The structure of the Scottish Parliament was determined by Westminster so as to prevent any majority government, the SNP has nothing to do with this structure. The Scottish government has a different relationship from the other devolved nations because of the treaty of union.

      • Grouse Beater says:

        Excellent detailed reply, Contrary, but I’ve a feeling it will only cause him to take refuge even further behind a smokescreen of SNP Bad people.

        You can count on him coming back to demand you show him proof – as if he is incapable of checking for himself. SNP MSPs get their every breathing hour raked over by the MSM and British establishment daily, and we have this contributor implying they’re unaccountable. It’s laughable.

        Incidentally, I presume the mysterious “Scottish Political Group” has about as much authenticity as the BBC’s spectral “No Borders Grass Roots Campaign”.

      • Our Holyrood group has only limited statutory powers, so legally and grammatically speaking it’s an assembly by definition. Loose use of the English language by MSM has allowed this misunderstanding to prevail.

        If every MSP has agreed to this allocation of salary to go to charity, why has neither the full details of this alleged philanthropy been detailed by the Scottish government, nor indeed the UK government? This is normally dealt with by the accounts ombudsman in Westminster. The public were told that the difference in pay offered, and that taken, would be allocated to a public spending fund (whatever that is).

        You will perhaps be able to explain who runs this fund and who benefits from it, as you seem to be in the know.

      • Grouse Beater says:

        As predicted, (and to my amusement) he’s back demanding to see proof of SNP MP charity. LoL

        But it’s because he insists Holyrood is an assembly not a parliament that he’s made his last entry, at least for this topic.

        Let’s bring in the New Year free of frantic, puerile goading.

        Cue cries of ‘censorship’, and ‘you can’t take the truth’, but a man’s got to know limits.

      • Contrary says:

        Jeezo, you were right Mr Beater, amazing!

        I knew it was futile, but I still do not understand why some people can’t just take it on the chin that sometimes knowledge and facts don’t tie up with their opinion. I gave a reference and all of it is fairly easy to look up … I mean ‘loose use of the English language’ does not quite equate to something so named through campaigning and a legal affirmation!

        Ach well, I tried. Can’t debate with the irrational.

        Thank you, GB, for the interesting article, I admit to holding a special bitter place in my mind for Thatcher, the Destroyer of Indutries, Culture and Self-respect. Have a superb new year, Lang may yer lum reek.

    • Grouse Beater says:

      I can tell his replies are pre-written, a small adjustment to make them seem spontaneous, but they’re a load of rehearsed black propaganda.

      Take solace knowing he can’t do any harm now that autonomy reinstated is generally accepted as inevitable, a universal right under international law.

      The shadow of Trump and an ailing monarch, (perhaps another excuse for BBC to fly the British patriot flag) doesn’t subdue the feeling 2017 will see the last stage of our interrupted journey.

      With warm good wishes.

  7. Dek says:

    A great way to end the year.
    Thanks for everything Grouse (including the film reviews).
    We are entering the end-game. Let’s escape from little englander control and make 2017 the year that Scotland begins to chart its own course again.

    • Grouse Beater says:

      I’m pleased you like the film reviews, Dek. I considered readers tire easily of a diet of political tirades against the establishment, and like some light relief. Don’t have time to see many films, so I pick and choose … will get to ‘Silence’ and ‘LaLa Land’ soon.
      Have a good New Year.

  8. Andy in Germany says:

    “…Now that a mere 26% of the United Kingdom’s population voted to dispense with European cooperation…”

    I obviously missed something here. How did that workout? I ask partly because if this is truly the case, then it will be a lot less embarassing for people like me who live in Europe.

    • Grouse Beater says:

      Brexiteers love to claim Britain voted to leave Europe. Did it hell!

      • I voted to Remain. I’m not persuaded by Scottish nationalism at present. 30% of the SNP community voted to Leave.

        Your narrative seems a little confused. Are you refusing to accept the democratic process or what?

      • Grouse Beater says:

        “Refusing the democratic process”?

        The biggest hurdle to overcome from your point of view is, there are two nations registered with the UN. Currently, only one has the right to choose the kind of society it prefers. The right to exercise free will is the very basis of western democracy.

  9. Keyser Soze says:

    Great read and spot-on.

  10. Astragael says:

    Excellent– both your article and the letter that prompted it.

    (One small point though: you say “To the letter in question” without, as far as I can see, having previously referred to it.)

    I’ve enjoyed your blog throughout 2016 and will continue to do so, I know, in 2017.

    • Grouse Beater says:

      You’re correct – I lifted mention of the letter from the start and placed it at the end … I’ll re-adjust. Hope you have a good year. 🙂

  11. givinggoose says:

    That letter should be made available via the MSM. Sadly it won’t but then we understand why that will never be.

    Scottish politics is now a single issue with two parties. A Pro Scotland Party and an Anti-Scotland party.

    Labour are very much in the latter camp. I’m forever disappointed that people like Malcolm Chisholm have not articulated a better understanding of the changed political landscape but maybe I’ve partially answered my own question and so called “mavericks” like Chisholm are just charlatans. My “hopes” misplaced.

    To be Labour is to be Anti-Scottish and by default to be Pro-Tory, Pro-London, Pro-Nasty.

    I don’t necessarily believe that Labour Politicians are anti-SNP. They are actually BritNat imperialists at heart and simply believe in nasty ideas. Not just limited to a Scottish dimension, these are global nasties.

    Anyway have a prosperous New Year and keep the comments (e.g. on Wings) flowing.

    Goose, Beauly.

  12. Labour’s north British branch office won’t change; they’ll cling to the tit of the dying British Empire until the milk runs dry.

    They’re finished in Scotland. Nice run while it lasted but Scots have politically moved on. The grand finale will be a fight between those who use the SNP to achieve independence vs. the British Establishment (Tories, Labour, Paw Broon, the BBC, Whitehall, the Ribbon Cutters in Buckingham Palace, Kay with an eeeh etc).

    Happy New Year by the way!

  13. George S Gordon says:

    Always a pleasure to read your blog.

    I’ve just read Ruth’s interview on poverty at – empty words and SNP bad! The Prof thinks it’s a great interview – nuff said!

    Have a guid New Year.

  14. Grouse Beater says:

    It would be arrogant to say Davidson doesn’t know the meaning of poverty for I know nothing of her background, but she sure as hell doesn’t know how to alleviate it.

    She’s another politician in the wrong country.

    Have the best of years…with the apogee yet to come.

  15. norwaywalker says:

    I tried much the same argument on Labour Hame in 2011 – see

  16. norwaywalker says:

    I tried much the same argument on Labour Hame in 2011. See –

    At that time Labour were still riding fairly high, but I forecast that, if they didn’t do something about their right wing, anti-independence attitude, decline would be inevitable.

    A good try, Mr Brown, but don’t hold your breath.

    • Grouse Beater says:

      Nice piece, NW. I’d likes to think it didn’t fall on deaf ears.

      What I keep seeing is Labour screaming at the SNP while doing nothing to understand the new mood of the nation. Labour’s mind is set back somewhere in the 1970s.

    • AR Brown says:

      Well I wasn’t planning to hold my breath, more venting a bit of residual spleen before we crack on with what we all know needs to be done over the next couple of years and beyond. Hell mend them frankly.

  17. Muscleguy says:

    One thing we can be sure of even if the hoped for/expected/feared SNP/Green tsunami does occur is that the BBC IN Scotland will ignore it, ignore the paltry single MP, the third place at Holyrood, the tanking poll figures and continue to print SLAB’s comments, treat their press releases as Holy Gospel and pretend they really matter.

    You just have to see how Wee Willie of the FibDems, The smallest party at Holyrood as more worthy of comment than Patrick Harvie who leads a bigger party, in terms of seats and members.

    The BBC doesn’t do adapting to reality in Scotland. It is in the last ditch presentation of the reality they want to exist which they push.

    If Donalda MacKinnon is serious then the Greens have to have at least parity with the FibDems, the SNP has to be treated as more than illegitimate extremists to be challenged on all points regardless of their merit or truth, and start taking the half of the country who want Independence seriously and stop treating us like extremists.

    I will not be holding my breath and will likely have to rely on others of stronger stomach to tell me if they are doing that as I won’t be watching. I have better things to do with my time.

  18. Good stuff, as ever GB, and interesting ding-dong comments.
    More power to ye in 2017!

    • Grouse Beater says:

      Ding-dong is a good description. Harrumph!

      I really enjoy these little political chats with the mono-manic who think repetition of insults constitutes well analysed counter argument answering empirical argument. Sheesh.

      Hope we can meet up 2017, who knows, I might get an invitation to give a talk to folk in Glasgow, or maybe we meet at a rally in George Square, eh?

  19. andrewgscott says:

    That, both your own piece and the letter, was brilliant. Thank you.

  20. twathater says:

    Another great post GB.

    I, along with my family, were long term Labour voters. It is only after internal reflection that we have realised the EXCESSIVE, MASSIVE, con that has been visited on not just Scottish voters but Labour voters overall.

    We all know what is to be expected of the tories, greed, corruption, illegality, destruction of the social fabric, demonisation of the disabled and poor, and many other disgusting traits, what I and others did not expect, was for supposed socialist Labour representatives too eagerly and comprehensively adopt these self same reprehensible disgusting policies with not a hint of SHAME.

    I think people are being too kind when describing their disappointment of Labour, when I look at their betrayal of the working class and the people of Scotland my anger and disgust is bottomless, and when I look at their (ahem) representatives and their contribution to the governance of Scotland that bottomless becomes infinity.

    Anyway on a lighter note, hope you and yours keep well and prosperous, and as someone said hope to see you on the other side.

    • Grouse Beater says:

      Much obliged, Tawthater.

      As for meeting again…

      Get busy living or get busy dying.
      I find I am so excited I can barely sit still or hold a thought in my head.
      I think it’s the excitement only a free man can feel.
      A freeman at the start of a long journey whose conclusion is uncertain.
      I hope I can make it across that promised border.
      I hope to see my friends and shake their hands.
      I hope independence is as fine as it has been in my dreams.
      I hope …..

      (Slightly altered from the novel The Shawshank Redemption)

  21. I’ve written something, almost two years ago, you might like.

    Here’s a toast to a 2017 full of opportunities.

    • Grouse Beater says:

      Very good, Corrado, and welcome. I like the phrase “We are not afraid”.

      Here’s to 2017 and people repossessing the democratic process.

  22. AR Brown says:

    Grouse Beater,

    Glad you enjoyed my wee piece on Labour Hame! I do hope it gets as widely read as possible, by as many members of Scottish Labour as possible.



  23. Grouse Beater says:

    I think it encapsulates a lot of what socialists of all hues feel.

  24. AR Brown says:

    It was certainly heartening to see the reaction to what was actually a very personal and heartfelt piece.

    • Grouse Beater says:

      Over 7,000 people have read it since it was published on this site.
      Though there are socialists and former communists in the SNP, I for one don’t relish the demise of a once great political party. Referring only to Scotland – for years they sent their best to London to get fat, their Scottish MPs in power here to keep the natives happy and restrained, which has to be one reason the rump of third-raters we have now bump into furniture and trip over their own tongues.
      Alistair Darling perfectly exemplifies the breed, from socialist street rebel to florid faced peer, smug as a bug in an ermine rug, rewarded for strangling a nation’s hopes.
      Self-governance reinstated will begin the Great Debate as to how far left we go, and how much capitalism is retained that is equitable for all.

  25. Jimmy says:

    I couldn’t resist commenting. Perfectly written!

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