Kezia Dugdale MSP stands with a dozen or so campaigners on Leith Walk, near the Green Tardis (out of shot)

Labouring under false premises

The Green Tardis at Shrubhill really seems to be a hotspot for politicians to pose for photos. I suppose a good photo is better than nothing when you haven’t got any innovative policy ideas.

It also helps to have a good photographer who can make ten people look like an enormous crowd. You know the Leith Walk SNP team (which covers the area pictured) can muster up at least this many people on any day of the week just to do door to door canvassing in the tipping rain!

Incidentally I don’t suppose I need to point out that the only reason we have these tory cuts in Scotland is because

A) Labour abstained in parliament, effectively waving through the tory cuts by looking the other way

B) Labour campaigned for Scotland to remain in the UK at the mercy of successive tory governments that we have categorically rejected at the polls for forty years.

Until Labour face these facts, they will fail to engage the electorate.

Now, while I believe we must back the SNP to get independence I also think there is no chance of getting there without including any and all other parties and groups in Scotland, including the Greens and even the (nominal, in some cases) socialists.

I will vote Green this time (and SNP of course) because I’m in an area where many intend to vote SNP/SNP and also the polls show a good chance of an SNP clean sweep in the constituency ballot in this region. NOT ALL regions fall into that category, I hasten to add.

And of course though they make a lot of noise, polls still indicate that Solidarity,  RISE and other marginal socialist parties will none of them get enough votes to win a seat.  Ironically a “second” vote for Solidarity etc will probably be wasted.

Anyway, it’s polling day tomorrow and on Friday the papers will all be wringing their hands about how wrong the Scottish voters were to elect that dangerous SNP again, except The National, and I’m sure life in Scotland will quickly go back to “normal”, whatever that means these days!

All that is nevessary for evil to triumph is that good men do nothing.

Last night the Tories got their Welfare Bill passed in the UK parliament. Here are a few interesting facts about it:

1) This bill will undoubtedly cause many people, including children and the disabled, to be worse off, putting them at higher risk of starvation, ill health and even death. This isn’t about workshy jobless, and it isn’t even about welfare. The social security system isn’t a hand out, we all pay our national insurance, and many many people requiring help are in work but on very low pay or hours.

2) Virtually all of the Tory MPs voted for the bill, and under a quarter of Labour MPs voted against it, preferring not to oppose this bill, but to allow it to pass effectively unopposed.

3) All the SNP MPs voted against the bill.

4) IF ALL OPPOSITION MPS HAD VOTED AGAINST IT, it would not have been passed.

We must oppose, not abstain. People need a voice, prople need help. Lets give it to them.

 

5) Of the four prospective Labour party leaders, the only one to vote against the Welfare Bill was Jeremy Corbyn​​. I’m still not convinced, however, that even this wasn’t some sort of game playing manoeuvre on the part of the Labour party. Don’t they know people’s lives are at stake?

This vote wasn’t about party politics or political gameplay, and yet Labour treated it as such, just like they have been doing for a long time. As a result it passed through parliament.

I just hope the general public are paying attention to all this…

 

“New brooms sweep clean” or so they say. On the other hand, what do “they” know anyway?

Labour’s Relationship with Scotland – It’s Complicated

Johann Lamont

Johann Lamont

The “Scottish” Labour Party will certainly be hoping to make a clean sweep of the 2015 General Election in Scotland, anyway, so perhaps that’s why it’s no coincidence that the “leader” and “deputy leader” of “Scottish” Labour have both stepped down this week, giving a full six months for whoever is elected to the roles to shake hands and kiss babies. Six months is, of course, long enough to do a lot of smiling, and get a lot of column inches written about you, but unless you’re completely incompetent, it’s too short a time to really stuff anything up too badly, especially if you’re not in government… isn’t it?    Read More →

It’s three weeks now since Scotland had its independence referendum. 45% of those who did vote (1.6 million voters) voted Yes to independence, and 55% (just over 2 million) voted No, although polls suggest that one in four of those voted No on the understanding that substantial additional powers would be devolved to Scotland (the leaders of all three UK unionist parties, in Scotland and at Westminster, as well as backbench MP Gordon Brown “guaranteed” this).

The Smith Commission has been set up to consult on what additional devolution for Scotland should look like, and if you are reading this prior to 31 October 2014, i strongly suggest you put your views forth now on what that devolution should consist of.

Hope Over Fear, Glasgow George Square, 12 October 2014

Hope Over Fear, Glasgow George Square, 12 October 2014

Massive demonstrations have taken place since the vote, in Edinburgh and in Glasgow, and it is clear that the Scottish independence movement has gone from being a minority cause, to a mainstream movement over the last year or so. For the pro-independence supporters, the result of the referendum may have been disappointing, but the result of the campaign has been a resounding success. Read More →

I’ve heard it said a lot recently that Labour are “finished” in Scotland, but what does that really mean? Are they really finished in Scotland? Should they be?

The History

It can’t be denied that for generations now the Labour Party has commanded a huge share of the votes, and parliamentary seats, in Scotland. Recent years have seen the Labour Party’s popularity decrease sharply, however. The Labour Party has turned its back on its own values as well as the needs of the people it claims to represent. Times have changed, since the Thatcher years. We all in Scotland breathed a sigh of relief when Tony Blair’s government won in 1997, but by the time he was illegally invading Iraq, despite the vast majority of the whole UK being against it, it was clear to most that Labour may have changed with the times, but not necessarily in the way we wanted.

Vote For Keir Hardie - Labour Party Values

Vote For Keir Hardie – Labour Party Values

It is often said that Scotland is predominantly left wing. I’m not sure. Even if that is true, i think it’s more accurate to say Scotland is predominantly social, politically speaking. We favour values which allow the whole community to thrive, because we know this is best for all of us. Throughout the 20th century, it was easy to see that Labour epitomised that, with their pro-working-class ethic and power-to-the-people attitude, not to mention their stranglehold on the trade unions. But with the working class being at least conceptually replaced by the middle class(es), so to speak, the class based structure of politics had broken down by the beginning of the 21st century, at least in the minds of many voters. Read More →

Hi there. So recently Scotland had a referendum on the little issue of whether or not to remain in the United Kingdom. We collectively voted 55.3% No, 44.7% Yes, according to the official results, which are accepted by both sides of the campaign.

That’s been reported as a “decisive” victory for staying in the UK by all the mainstream media, but if you employ your brain a bit you can see that it’s actually quite a close run thing, especially considering not long ago the idea of independence was considered to be the hope of only a small minority in Scotland.

Scottish Referendum Results, nonproportionately, and proportionately by area

Scottish Referendum Results, nonproportionately, and proportionately by area
(click to enlarge)

The BBC, the Daily Mail, and the Daily Express amongst many others all ran graphics such as the one on the left following the official result. As you can see it appears to show that something like 95% of Scotland voted No. That’s very reassuring for readers of these unionist organs, however it doesn’t actually reflect the real result. Anyone reading the table of results or looking at the pie chart can see that. In fact the map on the right hand side shows an accurate proportion of each council area coloured for Yes and No. It shows a much more accurate representation of how much of the country voted Yes and No. Read More →