Scottish Labour is going down in flames – and taking Miliband’s chance of a majority with them

4th February, 2015 9:52 am

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Let’s start with the clutching at straws on the Ashcroft Scotland poll – it’s focussed on areas where Yes did well in the Independence campaign, and so Labour’s support for the Union was always going to place the party under real pressure. The polling in other seats (where No won) may tell a less apocalyptic story.

There endeth the straw clutching. Because the poll is absolutely diabolical. For weeks commentators, politicians and Labour strategists have mused on the outcome of Ashcroft’s polling, and the general consensus has been that there won’t be a uniform national swing, that Labour won’t be down to just a handful of seats, and although the SNP surge is real, it won’t wash away anywhere near the number of Labour seats people have been talking about.

Yet today has shown that to be absolutely spectacular hubris, the wishful thinking of a party and a Westminster Village who still haven’t fully grasped the seismic change that is happening in Scotland. And for that matter, a political class who are entirely reliant on marginal seat polling (outsourced to a billionaire Tory peer) to have a clear feel of what is happening out in the country.

This poll is as bad as it could possibly have been for Labour. Safe seats look set to fall like skittles across Scotland. Seats that have always been in the Labour column now look incredibly hard to retain with just three months until election day. And the Labour MPs who could lose their seats shows how far the party has fallen. Margaret Curran – the hardworking Shadow Scotland Secretary and one of the quiet heroes of the referendum campaign. Douglas Alexander – not only the Shadow Foreign Secretary – but also the person who is running Labour’s UK-wide election campaign, is polling behind the SNP. He already had two huge jobs to do, but arguably his hardest one will be keeping his own seat. God only knows where he’ll find the time for that crucial task. On these kind of swings, anything is possible. Scottish Labour is  set to lose in Coatbridge for Christ’s sakes. Coatbridge – where we got nearly 70% of the vote in 2010.  As we wrote earlier:

“In none of the seats currently held by Labour does the party’s share of the overall vote drop by any less than 10 points, and in only six of the 14 does the vote drop by less than 20 points. In Glasgow East, Labour are polling 25 points under their 2010 result.”

It’s hard to express how bad those numbers are.

If this polling is anywhere near accurate, and it’s replicate even partially elsewhere in Scotland, then any lingering and vague possibility of a majority Labour government just got torpedoed. Labour might pick up as many as 60/70 marginals in England and Wales, but that won’t haul Miliband across the finishing line if Labour has lost 30+ seats in Scotland. The Labour Party must begin to seriously prepare itself for the grim prospect of coalition or minority government. Because those are looking like best case scenarios now, rather than the worst case scenarios we might have once considered them to be.

Yet anyone in Scotland who thinks that by voting SNP they’ll get a Labour/SNP government is playing a very dangerous game. The reality is that every Labour seat lost makes it less likely that Miliband will head the largest party. An SNP surge threatens to put Cameron back in Downing Street come May 7th. In fact – that’s what he’s counting on.

So how has Scottish Labour ended up in this dreadful position? There’s a short-term cause and a long-term cause.

Short-term, Labour’s handling of the independence referendum and its aftermath has put the party on the wrong side of too many of the party’s previously core supporters. I thought that Better Together – a combined campaign for all who wanted to preserve the union – was a good idea. But the SNP were able to paint Labour as aligned to the Tories (“Red Tories”) and the party hasn’t been able to shake that. So whilst the UK-wide media claim that Miliband has “lurched to the left”, in Scotland the party are accused of being just like the Tories. This wasn’t helped by the way in which Johann Lamont decided to resign as Scottish Labour leader  – by selfishly tossing a rhetorical “branch office” grenade over her shoulder as she left. All this has meant that whilst the pro-independence vote has largely coalesced around a single party, the pro-union vote is split between a number of parties. In many ways Scottish politics in 2015 is now a little like Northern Ireland – your view on the state of the union is what swings votes, more than economic or social concerns. That’s a terrifying political environment in which to operate.

But there are long-term reasons for Scottish Labour’s pathetic capitulation too.  There’s a history of low contact rates in Scottish constituencies, with MPs taking their voters and their local areas for granted. Scottish Labour’s membership has dwindled away to the extent that the SNP can get more members into a paid-for event at the Glasgow Hydro than Labour has in the whole country. It’s no surprise that William Bain looks set to hold his seat for Labour – albeit with a reduced majority – because he’s a relentless local campaigners and doorknocker. But a lack of campaigners with his energy and local connections means people in Scotland (as in many theoretically safe seats in England and Wales) have little personal connection to the Labour Party anymore. I can only wonder how the senior Scottish MP who reportedly told colleagues that they didn’t understand the fuss about mobilising members – because they have less than a hundred and “win every time” – is feeling this morning. Terrified I suspect, and with good reason.

For the long-term health of the party things might look bleak, but some of the organisational measures that Jim Murphy has put in as Scottish leader – a refocusing on campaigning, getting a proper organisational structure in place, restoring a sense of professionalism to the operation and a hyper-active  blizzard of announcements and speeches – will help Scottish Labour from outright collapse. But neither those who have labelled Murphy’s 50 or so days as Scottish leader a success or a failure are right in their analysis. He’ll be judged on how Labour perform this May and next. But the first of those two metrics now looks very tough indeed.

And if he – and Labour more broadly – fails in May, we’ll have a Tory government again. And perhaps the end of the union by the time the decade is out.

Remember when I said there were straws to be clutched at? Scrap that. Scottish Labour can’t afford to grasp at straws, they need to grab this election by the throat – and even then, the opportunity to turn this around may already have passed. The mood in the party is low this morning. It will take something almighty to shift the gloom now.

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  • bikerboy

    Lab has no chance of a majority. That is surely clear to even the most die hard supporter. I imagine the PLP is resigned too.

  • Sheik Rhat el Anrhol

    The concentration now should be on the general election 2020 and Blue Labour. Once again it will soon be proved yet again that a British general election cannot be won from the left. The British electorate has outgrown the kindergarten dogma.

    When Labour lose this particular election, which in my view they will, many will argue incorrectly that it was because the party was not `left’ enough. The truth is the opposite.

    Blair (whatever you might think of him) won three triumphant victories from the centre and Labour has not won a general election from the left in fifty years and it will not change now..

    • Andy Ellis

      Yeah, because being further to the right than the LDs and Tories on so many policy areas worked a treat in 2010….. oh, wait….! And being RedTories for the past five years (“Look, we’re not as bad as the ConDems….we’re offering basically the same policies and austerity, just not quite as fast or as deep…!).. how’s that working out for you?

      A permanent Blairite/Brownite revolution and re-affirmation of the odious NuLab project isn’t the answer, it’s the problem!

      • Sheik Rhat el Anrhol

        Well this may be so from dogmatist Leftist Labour perspective but that will not win any elections, as we are currently seeing.

        • Andy Ellis

          I’m anything but a dogmatic leftist, trust me. This isn’t 1997, and the existential threat to Scottish Labour isn’t some collective false consciousness on the part of Scottish voters generally, or Scottish Labour voters specifically. It’s about the failure to promote a progressive, reformist agenda. you’re not going to win by being a paler version of the Coalition.

          • Sheik Rhat el Anrhol

            I think it may be very much simpler than that – a notion that Labour never did anything for the folks that voted for them and now there is what seems like a viable alternative.

            That makes much more sense to me.

      • Steve Stubbs

        Another Michael foot type manifesto for this general election will save me next years subs to labour, they will not exist after that.

        • Andy Ellis

          The SNP aren’t destroying NuLab by offering Foot’s longest suicide note though are they? Do try to keep up!

          • Steve Stubbs

            I was responding to Andy Ellis who seems to think a far left manifesto is the solution. The SNP are clearly to the right of labour already. That much is obvious. Do try to keep up!

          • Andy Ellis

            I don’t. I’m not advocating far left solutions. I’m a social democrat if anything. Why is it far left to promote electoral reform or re-nationalisation of the railways, both of which enjoy huge majority support? The SNP aren’t trouncing Labour because they are further left, but whether you like it or not, they are seen by most Scots as more progressive and likely to promote equality and a fairer society than the current Labour leadership.

          • Paul Richardson

            “The SNP aren’t trouncing Labour because they are further left, but
            whether you like it or not, they are seen by most Scots as more” as representing them.

            Fixed that for you.

          • Steve Stubbs

            OK I misunderstood but if you had included those in your original replay it might have been clearer. I will vote for any party that promises a full and proper PR system to replace FPTP.

          • Chrisso

            “The SNP are clearly to the right of labour already. That much is obvious.”
            In your dreams!

          • SilentHunter

            Oh come on Steve; that’s not worthy of you.

            You must know in your heart that that simply isn’t so.

            The SNP, in the teeth of opposition from Labour & the 1 Tory in Scotland, have used money we needed to be spent on our students . . . to help mitigate the Bedroom Tax for the most vulnerable in society. For that, Labour accuse them of Screwing over the students . . . instead of supporting the SNP in countering the Tories, they instead try to score political points.

            That’s the sort of thing we’re up against . . . a Labour Party happy to see the SNP having to make a difficult decision in the knowledge that they can criticise them when there is an inevitable loser.

          • Steve Stubbs

            Well in the sense that if you devolve power and decisions, I agree that you shouldn’t them complain when people make their own decisions.

            I take it the SNP also removed the bedroom tax from private tenants as well, after all that was also a labour government policy (tax) that the tories simply extended to the social housing sector.

          • Helena Brown

            Andy you really need to look at Labour, do you think that voting with the Tories is good policy, do you think abstaining is good policy. This is a party which needs to be destroyed so that it can be hopefully reborn as what it started out as, something with a conscience and a purpose. Right now what does Labour stand for, I have no idea. Seems to me a paler shade of blue or perhaps a nice shade of cerise.

          • Andy Ellis

            You misunderstood my intent Helena. I’m all in favour of eradicating Labour in Scotland! 😉

          • Helena Brown

            Actually I have, since reading your other comments, my apologies.

          • Sheik Rhat el Anrhol

            Turquoise or a lovely aquamarine.

      • Stephen Wigmore

        What the hell are the SNP offering. Their policies are just as ‘right-wing’ as Labour. Their plans for an independent Scotland would have led to even more massive austerity.

        • WirralBill

          “Massive austerity”. AKA cutting state spending. State spending paid for by taxpayers.

          So, err, “letting” people keep more of the money they spend most of their week earning.

          How terrible!

          Even feudal lords didn’t demand as much time of their peasants’ lives that Labour supporters demand of workers to pay for their precious big state.

        • Andy Ellis

          Sorry, I disagree they are as right wing. I have no particular axe to grind in their support, but you can’t argue with their record of success in Holyrood, or in attracting former Labour voters (as well as LDs & Tories of course!). You may not like them, but their policies @ Holyrood and what they were seen to be offering during the indyref struck a chord with many as the result then, and the polls last night, ample demonstrate. Plenty of people are convinced their plans would have led to less austerity, not more. It can hardly be argues that the Coalition or Labour are offering less austerity than the SNP in any case.

          • Helena Brown

            Crikey if the SNP are right wing, where does that put Labour, along side Attila the Hun.
            Last time I looked Centre Left, and who gave Maryhill Foodbank £5,000 yesterday, clue it wasn’t Labour.

    • Chilbaldi

      What you say is true in UK terms.

      However, there is a short term argument that Labour should be more left than it is for the 2015 election. Like you, I am a centrist. I have already accepted that Labour probably wont win in 2015. Realising that, I do think Labour should take a core vote, move to the left stance. The election is already lost, but at least moving to the left would help prevent votes slipping to the SNP and Greens, and therefore would partially save the party’s position in Scotland. Therefore the party’s (and more importantly the UK’s) future would be secured.

      As it is we are muddling about in the London metropolitan liberal sphere, not connecting with anyone whether on the left or right, and look set to lose our Scottish heartlands, so painstakingly built up over 100 years. All that is going to waste, and will have to be built from scratch again, if at all. How on earth do we do that?

      • Sheik Rhat el Anrhol

        Simply by helping the folks who voted for you in the first place.

        Have a look at most Scottish and Northern towns now.

        They are often even worse than they were forty years ago and their Labour MP’s and councillors grow ever fatter and more pompous and so cynical.

        Perhaps the penny has dropped.

        • Chilbaldi

          The line about these cities having not improved is often trotted out, but isn’t true.

          Look at how the following cities have improved in the last 40 years:
          – Glasgow
          – Liverpool
          – Manchester
          – Newcastle

          Just to name a few. Of course these cities still have massive problems. But the investment and improvements they have received, particularly post 1997, are staggering. Perhaps we don’t do enough to highlight this?

          I think the real problem is the perception that most investment is made in the south east. And that even if these northern cities have improved, London has received about 20x greater benefit, Londoners keep getting richer, and the gap between the south east and the rest keeps on widening.

          • Helena Brown

            Glasgow has not truly improved, well not for the majority of Glaswegians, superficially it looks better but all they did was move a load out and put up blocks of houses which moved the problem out of sight.

          • Sheik Rhat el Anrhol

            I had to do a tour around Hull and Rotherham and Hartlepool last year, where my mother in law came from. Very depressing indeed. If anything, they are worse than they were when I visited them in the early seventies.

          • SilentHunter

            The “rich” areas of Glasgow have improved but the poorer areas are as poor as they ever were; but that’s what Labour need . . . a cohort of folk prepared to be constantly told that there will be jam tomorrow.

            Unfortunately for them . . . tomorrow never comes.

            Take Ex Speaker of the Commons Martin; a Labour stalwart and MP for Springburn a run down area of Glasgow, who presided over parliament during the expenses scandal.

            Famous for saying . . . ” I didn’t come into politics to not take what is owed to me” and who, when he had to stand down in disgrace stated that he wouldn’t leave his seat unless his son was chosen as his successor.

            THAT is what we are up against!

    • As you so clearly believe your own unsubstantiated assertions I wonder whether there is any point arguing with you but I’ll try. The notion that Blair won three ‘triumphant’ elections is nonsense. Support for New Labour dropped dramatically over the years, members poured out of the Party and the last election was won with almost the lowest level of support in the history of the Labour Party. Disillusion was rife and remains so. Particularly in the north of England and Scotland where Thatcherism failed to penetrate the souls of the voting public and the Tories have practically been wiped out. But it is not just in the north that neo-liberalism has failed to sweep all before it. A substantial majority of the public are in favour of bringing railways and energy companies back into public ownership; on these issues the public is to the ‘left’ of the Labour Party. In England labour votes are being lost to the Greens and smaller parties; In the Scottish referendum former labour voters rightly or wrongly perceived the SNP as more likely to stop the neo-liberal destruction of the social fabric than the Labour Party. Apparently they still do. The question now arises as to whether the Labour Party is more interested in preserving its tribal purity than in talking to to other parties about the best way to stop a further five years of Tory savagery. Whatever the shortcomings of the Labour leadership it is absolutely clear that this will not be accomplished by reverting to the illusory ‘middle way’.

      • Sheik Rhat el Anrhol

        A bloke I sit next to on the train sometimes, works for the Tories in Westminster. I don’t like him much but he is interesting to listen to.

        He has said more than once that without the Labour left, the Tories would never have had one term of government since the war. He says that the Labour left is cherished by the Tories as their secret weapon working tirelessly for them on the inside.

        Could there be a core of truth in that?

  • Arron Blue

    What did Labour expect after Labour in Scotland delighted in doing the Tories’ dirty work during the referendum? You can’t share a platform with the Tories then expect the people of Scotland to vote for you.

    • Robert_Crosby

      You seem to all too easily forgotten that while talk is only talk, it was Labour who DID and actually brought about devolution. The SNP are essentially still arguing for independence even though they lost the vote by a greater margin than any of the commentators – and the Nationalists – expected.

      You should have a look at SNP economic policy and who their prominent backers are. Salmond latched on to Murdoch while others had rightly (if far too belatedly) begun to look on him as a pariah. The talk should more be of ‘Tartan Tories’ rather than any of the red variety. When push comes to shove, the SNP will look to make deals with the Tories where they can. Labour clearly won’t.

      Labour in Scotland deserves criticism for arguably taking its voters for granted and it’s up to Murphy and others to prove that’s not the case now. Criticising Scottish Labour for espousing the virtues of more devolved powers while remaining part of the UK is ludicrous. That’s always been one of its principles.

      • Andy Ellis

        Nonsense. The consensus even amongst disinterested parties is that the indyref result was much closer than expected; hence the panicked Vow, and now Vow2. The tartan Tory line was sure to come up…discredited long ago, and symptomatic of the lack of understanding and reason which is presenting you with an existential threat.

        A deal with the Tories has already been specifically ruled out. Scots wouldn’t stand for it, as the SNP quite understand. Scottish and UK abandoned their principles long since; their devo proposal post indyref was for LESS than the Tories offered. Proof if any were needed of why you’re going to fail. You’ve had years to develop a devomax proposal and have abjectly failed to do so.

        • Robert_Crosby

          Clearly this has touched a nerve with you, hasn’t it? All of the bluster in the world doesn’t alter the facts though when it comes to the SNP.

          The bottom line is that Labour acted to create the Scottish Parliament and that further devolution of powers over time was always inevitable once that had happened. It’s an uncomfortable fact for Nationalists who want to pretend that it didn’t happen and are now attempting to hoodwink voters who, by a clear majority, rejected the separatists’ arguments. You can’t expect to re-write history and get away with it because voters aren’t daft. Neither are you serving people who haven’t been happy with the way that Westminster politicians have treated Scottish voters and the issues that concern them. Labout has the track record on devolution. The SNP merely makes a lot of populist noise. Cameron is counting on them to try to sneak back in in May…. and again, that’s a fact!

          • Andy Ellis

            Don’t be daft, nobody is denying their role in setting up devo; it is legitimate to question their motives however, e.g. the voting system which was specifically designed to prevent majority government at Holyrood, which of course didn’t work.

            Voters rejected the argument on 18/09, yes. How’s that working for you now? Again, nobody is re-writing history. You may feel I’m not serving disillusioned people, obviously I disagree. I’m not an SNP member, or uncritical of their policies or positions on everything… I am however convinced they offer the best prospect for both Scotland and the rest of the UK securing an alternative to the ConDems. Your analysis of them allowing the Tories back in has already been widely and comprehensively discredited here and elsewhere.

          • Helena Brown

            Well as someone who watched the fiddling with the 1979 Referendum and watched Blair with his second question 1997. I would say Labour brought in Devolution reluctantly and have continued in the same frame ever since. Parnell said that no man should set the boundaries of a Nation and that goes for Scotland as much today as it did for Ireland in his day. Labour are being thoroughly skelpt and this is no more than they deserve. They and the Liberal Democrats (democrats my erse) parties who used to believe in Home Rule who now look to Westminster to fill their boots. Jimmy Hood who would vote NO even if it was to the detriment of his constituents. Boy you have them.

          • Johnnydub

            So voters who voted for the “free money from the rich” Labour party now vote for the “free money from everyone in England” SNP party.

            The sooner the Scots go their own way and find out the harsh realities of socialist government e.g. Venezuela the better.

          • treborc1

            Scotland pays tax and revenue to England at about £48 Billion, Wales pays £35 Billion and then gets back less then £14 Billion.

            If Wales was to keep the £35 billion it would have a pretty rich country because we are now living on a dam sight less.

            I mean I’m sure the Scottish Assembly did not cause the banking crises and I’m sure Wales did not, so maybe our cost should be a Billion a year between the two countries and then England can pay the rest of the deficit it’s self.

          • Johnnydub

            Well you lefties are showing your traditional grasp of economics. But I pray for the day you bugger off and take your grasping hands out of my fucking pockets…

          • treborc1

            We find little in your pockets a hole and two tiny marbles.

          • SilentHunter

            That’s a shame; I always thought of minions as being rather nice. Now one of them is a Tory. :o(

          • Helena Brown

            Actually Johnny if we had been left alone, without benefit of GB’s vow which should have been deemed to have been illegal when he “offered” it. I doubt you would have much in your pockets by now. I too wish to stop those picking anyone’s pocket but we Scots and in that I mean all of us whether born here or not, put more money into the Treasury than we see out. We seem to have a better grasp of economics with Jon Swinney who manage to keep us going on our pocket money. We even manage to get projects built either on time or early, how is George doing. You superior beings always seem to have clowns in your Treasury.

          • Paul Wilson

            I think you will find your own Westminster Government has got the finances in a bit of a mess when Scotland leaves you will feel the chill too as the out going Labour minister said on his leaving note the nation is bankrupt but thanks for your good wishes to the soon to be independent Scotland.

          • Robert_Crosby

            Like it or not – and I haven’t always found it easy myself – fundamental change such as devolution can only endure through some degree of consensus. That means keeping people on board by putting in, short-term, what they may see as “safeguards” to make sure they stay engaged and don’t attempt to scupper the whole thing. Ultimately, there’s no pint in having a Parliament if nobody can command a majority within it – but you are judging what was done post-1997 in the circumstances as they were on 18 September last year. Of course things need to change again now, but don’t forget that devolution ad it now exists was driven by John Smith and Donald Dewar supported by Gotdin Brown and others.

            I’ve got a lot of years under my belt as a trade unionist. I can’t abide Tories of any description and I’ll take the fight to them anywhere. I’m practical though too and know that only a UK-wide collectivist party can defeat them and bring about the change people in Scotland and other parts of the UK who want more local decision making are demanding.

          • Andy Ellis

            Not so. The change people in Scotland need is in fact much more likely to come about via an independent Scotland, not a UK wide collectivist party. It’s up to those in the rest of the UK to secure the change they want; Scots aren’t prepared to wait for some indeterminate point in the future for Labour to lead them to the promised land, or put up with moving at the speed of the slowest ship in the convoy and accepting slower progress in Scotland in the name of change in the rest of the UK that may never happen!

          • Robert_Crosby

            That’s obviously your strong-held personal opinion, but you can’t keep having votes until you happen to get the result that you want when most others disagree.

            The point that I think you’ve misunderstood is that whether you want more devolution within a ‘United Kingdom’ OR independence, you need to use the existing regime to kick-start that. That means a collectvist UK party, which is what Labour is.

            You keep returning to your entirely disingenuous claim that ” people are fed up waiting for Labour” and yet you know that can’t be true because you’ve accepted as fact that Labour brought devolution about!

          • Andy Ellis

            Of course we can keep having votes until we get the result we want. It’s called democracy… you might have heard of it? 😉

            We may have needed a UK wide party to kick start the process, but the 70’s are history. We now have a Scottish parliament and the precedent of last year referendum. Your last pra simply makes no sense. There is no disingenuousness; if Lab +/or other britnats don’t deliver on the Vow and devomax, indyref2 and ultimately indy are inevitable.

          • Robert_Crosby

            If you want to put that rather juvenile argument to people who voted against the ”Yes’ campaign last year – and who just about every pundit believes would do so again in the event of another referendum under anything like these circumstances – then I’m sure they’ll take draw some obvious conclusions.

            Who’s talking about the 70s? We’re talking about the Scottish Parliament founded by A Labour government in May 1999 and a referendum only last September. Labour is locked in to devolving more powers to the Scottish Parliament but the promises made by Brown in the campaign won’t be effected if the Tories get back in. It’s entirely disingenuous for anyone in the SNP to suggest that Labour shares the Tories’ agenda and it surprises me that more people – including those who might favour independence – so readily accept the SNP’s false claims.

          • Andy Ellis

            Nothing juvenile about it. The recent polling suggests a majority would now vote Yes, as does the rise in SNP membership and continuing meltdown in Labour support. Indyref2 is likely a hell of a lot sooner than virtually anyone thought, including most Yes supporters. More a question of when not if.

            Few people in Scotland believe Brown’s Vow, or Vow2 which still fall far short of the full federalism or home rule that was promised.

          • SilentHunter

            Watch out for “Vow 3 & 4” as we get closer to May and the polls continue to show Labour in a terminal nose dive.

          • Helena Brown

            Trouble is that all of the Vows say the same, nothing. If they could get the moon down they would give it to Scotland. Labour actually watered down even more than the Tories.

          • Robert_Crosby

            “The polls say…” is invariably a specious tactic used as a last resort. The actual facts don’t match your claims. I have no doubt that you really want to believe the things you say – including your false claims about Brown who has been entirely consistent throughout – but a majority of those who voted in September didn’t agree. the same arguments and circumstances apply now, so I struggle to understand why you believe that so many who voted ‘no’ will automatically change their minds if another vote is held any time soon?

            Brown is a decent, principled politician. Only his most partisan enemies dispute that. Scottish electors don’t and you undermine your own position claiming that they do.

          • Bill McLean

            Brown lied to people during the referendum. Margaret Curran praised in this article. This is why Labour are finished in Scotland – I’ve waited 70 years for the Labour promises to be delivered.
            You know the answer as well as I do and your complete inability to see people like Brown, Murphy, Curran and others for what they are is the reason for your decline in Scotland. 52 years of voting Labour got me the Iraq and Afghan wars, the biggest gap between rich and poor in history. Brown doubling taxes for the lowest paid, more Labour peers than any other party. You happy with that Mr Crosby. Scotland has a chance at a progressive social democratic party. British Labour is a shambles!

          • Robert_Crosby

            Is this what tactics have descended to now… saying “Brown lied”? He didn’t. Your criticisms of Blairites and the Iraq and Afghanistan wars are all valid. Your comments aimed at Brown are silly and undermine your argument.

          • Helena Brown

            Oh he did, and he continues to lie, he can no more promise to restore his constituency Tesco Store than the things he promised Scotland. In case you haven’t noticed he has been absent from Westminster for nearly five years, he has been collecting salary for not doing his job. I am surprised that his constituents have put up with him as long.
            He has the elderly vote, in case he hasn’t noticed they are dying out.

          • Chrisso

            Gordon Brown did not personally receive a penny from the £1.37m he generated from speeches and writing over the past year. He has also chosen not to accept the traditionally generous pension given to former prime ministers. Contrast that with Blair.

          • Helena Brown

            Well he is leaving before the final salary pension scheme vanishes from the Commons, which is ironical when he deprived so many of theirs. I did not mention his charity but he survives very well on expenses from it and very little has actually gone to charity. You can take it I am not a fan and have never been. He had his ego fed enough and he has been absent from the Commons far too often to be considered good fotr his Constituents. He cannot make the money Blair made but he is doing very well for someone who let Labour, and you will note I said Labour down. Nobody is more guilty than him. I would also say he funded Blair’s wars.

          • Stan

            Did my ears deceive me when Brown said home rule in all but name? So where is this home rule in all but name? It’s not there in the Smith Commission hence Millibland trying Vow Mk2.

          • Glastohead

            Now you are speaking for all Scottish electors. Well I’m one, I have met Brown and I’m telling you that I think what he said in the run up to the referendum was entirely cynical. A desperate last ditch attempt to con people out of their votes by saying a bunch of things that bore no relation to reality. When the Labour party’s submission to the Smith Commission subsequently turned out to bet the the weakest of all submission from the main parties it was really case proven that Labour had no intention of meeting Brown’s promises. and now we have Vow Plus – utterly ridiculous, utterly cynical and beyond shame. Principled my arse.

          • Robert_Crosby

            I’m not speaking for all voters at all… I’m not that arrogant. I simply stand by what I say. Brown continues to enjoy a lot of respect and support in Scotland and elsewhere in the UK. Obviously, his and Labour’s opponents don’t think anything like the same way.

          • Bill McLean

            You may not like it Mr Crosby – I will repeat Gordon Brown MP for Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath lied to the voters of Scotland with his “no pensions in an independent Scotland”. He lied despite people receiving letters from HMRC saying that you got a pension that you have paid for regardless of where you live.

          • Robert_Crosby

            I remember Brown talking about projected affordability of pensions – which he was entitled to do. Government departments – including HMRC – would have needed to have stayed out of the politics. I’d be interested to see the comments you refer to for myself.

          • Bill McLean

            Mr Crosby – come up here and ask anyone who took any interest in the referendum. I will repeat Mr Brown lied to pensioners in Scotland – one of the most despicable political actions in my long life. I was a Labour supporter for 50 years and started to drift away about ten years ago following the Iraq war. They set the stage for their ongoing dishonesty at that time although there have been rumours about Scottish Labour for decades. This was nothing to do with “projected affordability of pensions”. Read the FT for February 2014 and you will begin to realize that the propaganda that people in England were fed by all the Unionist parties was dishonest in the extreme but Brown, who had been respected by so many Scots who were loyal to Labour, lied and lied again. Believe me or name me liar. HMRC made the situation crystal clear. Brown lied deliberately and he is still at it regarding the “Vow” and the promises he made to people in Scotland to persuade them to stay in this foul union. As I say, believe me or call me a liar. You can’t have it both ways!

          • Robert_Crosby

            I think you need to get one thing straight first. I’m not calling anyone a liar. I can only refer to what I remember him saying. If what you’re saying is true, then the evidence for it must be on the record – including the internet. Have you got any links so I can read what you say he said?

          • Bill McLean

            Do what I do Mr Crosby – get around the web and you will find tons of evidence of Brown attempting to frighten pensioners – unfortunately he succeeded as they were the demographic who voted most for “NO”. He also lied about cross-border medical cooperation and transplants to the extent that the head of Transplant UK had to publish putting the lie to Brown’s statements. Co-operation of this nature would continue between an Independent Scotland and the rUK and the cooperation even extends to the rest of the EU. If you want links i’ll give you some – Go to Wings over Scotland and pull up the articles “Look away now” and “Barely worth the bother”. Pull the Telegraph article 18 Feb 2014. Read the Tarff Advertiser for Wed 23 April 2014. Read Bella Caledonia articles “The myth of Gordon” and “The Panic room”. Read the McCrone report on line which details how and why oil in Scottish waters had to be purloined for the good of UK – which of course Westminster wasted on foreign adventures and showing off . Read up on Gordon’s promises to people in Scotland of “Home Rule” if they voted NO. Now he’s blaming the CONDEM Govt at Westminster for back-sliding! A dishonest hypocrite! Read the Wings over Scotland publication “The Wee Blue Book” online which details ever aspect of the case for Scottish independence (including links to evidence) about which the entire UK were lied to by the UK establishment (including Labour)! The late, great Jimmy Reid summed Labour up when he became a supporter of Scottish Independence. “I didn’t walk away from Labour – they walked away from me”! There were times, becoming less now, when I felt sorry for Gordon – so much promise ruined by association with the likes of Blair and Mandelson and his apparent inability to cooperate with those who disagree with him. A shell of a man and a broken shell of a politician who betrayed his earliest principles to become typical of modern Labour – “if you don’t like our principles we can always find new ones” (apologies to one of the Marx Brothers)!

          • Robert_Crosby

            I did have a look around actually, but the references I found don’t exactly validate your claims. That’s probably because the facts are what they are… and that you interpret them one way and I do another. Clearly, there are strong held views on either side. I’ve had some good exchanges with some supporters of independence on here over the last day or two. They’ve been entirely courteous – as I hope I’ve been to them – and they’ve made a number of interesting points .. It’s clear that there is deep-rooted frustration and sometimes resentment, including from people who say they used to vote Labour. A lot of food for thought for everyone on all sides of the argument, I’d say.

          • Chrisso

            I agree – It was Alistair Darling not Brown (on 15 Sept 14) that referred to Scottish pensions. He did not say they would be withheld. What he said was – “Every pensioner in Scotland deserves to know how their pension will be paid. They need to know it will be safe. At the moment, the UK guarantees the pensions throughout the UK. The costs are spread across 60 million people. If Scotland breaks away, Scottish pensioners will be dependent on five million people in Scotland. In the next few years, Scotland will have a bigger proportion of retirement age inhabitants and fewer people working than in other parts of the UK. No matter how you look at it, the circle is hard to square. Where will the money come from? Alex Salmond has said the SNP would be willing to pay pensions to people earlier if the UK breaks up. The independent experts at the Institute of Fiscal Studies have said a separate Scotland would face extra cuts … equivalent to nearly the entire pensions budget at present – far less unfunded promises in the future.”

          • Bill McLean

            Tell me which claims weren’t validated – even in some cases by the unionist press.

          • SilentHunter

            “…but you can’t keep having votes until you happen to get the result that you want when most others disagree…”

            Why not?

            If the 45% become 55% or more; why should they not have their views expressed in another referendum.

            If it wasn’t for the panic measures just 2 days before the vote (AFTER a lot of people had already used their postal votes and therefore couldn’t take account of the “new offer”) the result would quite likely have been different.

            It’s called “democracy”.

          • Robert_Crosby

            “if” is about as reliable an argument as “The polls say… “. Tactically – even if you prefer independence – you need to pick your time for a fresh vote. Four months out from a UK General Election and a chance to secure meaningful increased devolved power isn’t that time. Anyone who’s ever studied or practised the art of any negotistion understands that.

          • SilentHunter

            Well if “if” isn’t a reliable argument . . . why are you all running around like a bunch of headless chickens about yet another poll saying that “if” the voters vote as intended in this or that poll . . . then the Labour vote will have collapsed.

            Why aren’t you more . . . “intensely relaxed” . . . about it? :o)

          • Robert_Crosby

            Labour may well perform poorly come May and the populist and simplistic arguments propelled by the SNP may deliver them short-term success. Sadly, it will be people in Scotland and elsewhere in he UK generally who will pay for it.

          • Helena Brown

            Oh dear, have we not had enough of this, we in Scotland can run our own country and that is what Independence means. Look it up. We do not want your money, any way according to my friend in the US, the worlds financial health would disappear with Scot Independence.

          • Chilbaldi

            I think Robert’s point is more like (though he’s too polite to express it in this way) the more you loons shout about independence despite there never having been a majority for it in Scotland, and the more people rejected it at the ballot box, the more ridiculous you will seem.

          • SilentHunter

            Have you bothered to look at the recent polls for independence?

            Those who want it, are now in the majority . . . and why do you think that is?

            Go on; hazard a guess!

            Could have something to do with the broken Vow.

          • Paul Richardson

            Having seen the same polls, I did wonder how soft those numbers are. Before and during the campaign last year, we saw the numbers narrowing dramatically albeit with ‘yes’ catching up with ‘no’. I think it is entirely reasonable that such numbers would narrow again given renewed debates over the oil prices, sterling, etc… etc… Whether the narrowing would still allow ‘yes’ to win is of course the 10 million dollar question.

          • SilentHunter

            Indeed it is.

            Shall we have another referendum? ;o)

          • Helena Brown

            Well without the Postal Votes who knows, might very well come out as yes.

          • Helena Brown

            Should we mention we are not going to wait the same length of time we did for Devolution either.

          • SilentHunter

            Why not! ;o)

          • Chilbaldi

            The vow hasn’t been broken! That’s the ridiculousness of this situation!

            Yes, the Tories are being difficult on EVEL. But that’s a completely separate issue to the vow itself, which is proceeding according to timetable.

          • Helena Brown

            The Vow was a joke, come on, England would never allow Federalism, any more powers, we can go suck.

          • Chilbaldi

            why do you think England wouldn’t allow federalism? The UK has ‘allowed’ devolution and the subsequent extension of devolved powers. On what basis do you think the UK would not allow more, particularly with reference to the fact that it currently appears to be allowing just that?

          • Helena Brown

            If there was to be federalism this could have been introduced instead of Devolution, oh and devolution was supposed to be the be all and end all. I said somewhere possibly here, quoting Parnell with regard to Irish Home Rule that “No man has the right to set the boundary of a Nation” he was right for Ireland and it is correct for Scotland now.

          • Chilbaldi

            realpolitik. devolution was always a necessary stepping stone, rather than going for full federalism from the off. the constitution has always evolved gradually, rather than radically.

          • Helena Brown

            Sometimes it simply happens out of the blue, I have said that in the past that there will be a seismic change that will see Scotland Independent, I have no idea what it will be but do remember we have no written constitution which has allowed people to do things which they should never have been allowed.

          • SilentHunter

            Watch that nose! . . . you’ll have someone’s eye out with it!

          • Angus

            “you can’t keep having votes until you happen to get the result that you want when most others disagree.”

            Best make this the last election then and then just keep whoever wins for good?

          • Robert_Crosby

            I think there’s a difference between single-issue referendums and elections, don’t you?

          • Helena Brown

            No.

          • Robert_Crosby

            You’re naive then.

          • Helena Brown

            No Robert, cynical but I live in hope that one day the people of Scotland will see sense. this referendum, this single issue is proving hard to shake. I was a stateless citizen on 19th September, I doubt you have ever been there. It took two weeks and a trip into the Highlands to get my spirit back. I will be working very hard to ensure that we get our people out to vote the right way on 7th May. I hope you intend to do the same.
            I fear though that Labour have done what they do so often, elect the wrong leader.

          • Robert_Crosby

            I understand that. The differences in opinion may well never be reconciled. I simply don’t believe in separatism. It’s a dangerous option wherever it may appear as far as I’m concerned. I totally get why many people think it may be necessary to bring about actual change though. It’s understandable that some think it’s the only measure left. I just don’t think it’s the right one for any of us.

          • Helena Brown

            We will always be separate Robert, we could have been better friends for it had we been left to get on with it. We have so much in common and so much not in common, but we are tearing apart and have been all my life. It isn’t just politics, some people’s attitudes are bad, been howled down for saying I was from Scotland on a bus in Sweden, by a bus load of people who should have known better, then we have the guy who said we have our hands in his pockets on here, also not nice.

          • Robert_Crosby

            That’s just basic lack of respect for other people, isn’t it. I agree there’s no future in that.

          • Helena Brown

            Sadly Robert I have felt little respect though both my Husband and I have never flaunted our Nationalist tendencies outwith Scotland, well until my Husband put his Saltire on his bag for his holiday and got sneered at because it was there. Sadly I have had to stop cruising with P&O because of the attitude. Last year just before the Referendum was much nicer apart from some bloke from Halifax who decided to tell this bloke from Texas how much they loved Scotland but they (we) were subsidised by England. Rather than involve ouself in a shouting match because this was the feeling that we got, we left him to it, needless to say we stayed well away from him and his wife. We did not feel “Better Together”.
            May I say it has been nice talking with you. thank you so much. so much more civilized.

          • Robert_Crosby

            Hi Helena. There’s no excuse for that kind of behaviour. I understand patriotism but not the kind of deeply insecure nationalism practised by groups such as the EDL.

            Anyway, you take care. I agree it has been good to exchange opinions in something approaching an adult manner.

          • Helena Brown

            We will just have to disagree nicely then won’t we. I have always said we live on this island and surely we can be friends even if we live in different countries. They manage fine these days on the continent, surely we can be friendly neighbours.

          • Robert_Crosby

            I’m sure we’ll manage that! 😉

          • Chrisso

            Apropos “I was a stateless citizen on 19th September” I know how you feel, my brother in law in Ayr felt the same way. However his take was that (incredibly) the people of Scotland had chosen to be ruled by another country, he felt quite depressed about it. Later he has realised that the groundswell is in favour of a future Yes vote. At some point in the next 10-15 years.

          • Helena Brown

            I felt much worse, this confirmed the treaty of Union in 1707, we could at least claim that this was a fix, unlike your Brother in Law my solution was to pick my self up and get stuck in again. Off leafleting shortly. I still consider that there was dirty work at the crossroads, aka the postal voting.

          • Angus

            There are many differences, of course. The fact that the electorate may re-consider and change it’s opinion over time isn’t one of them.

          • Repunitprimes

            It is over a hundred and twenty five years since Keir Hardie campaigned for Home Rule for Scotland. Had labour embraced this fully and consistently the whole of the UK could have benefitted and Labour would have flourished.
            As it is Labour backtracked and had to be dragged kicking and screaming back to the idea at every turn.
            Far too little far too late.
            Three months out and Vow 2 appears, what next? The future of Scotland should not be treated as the next film in the Rocky franchise.
            I look forward to vows 3,4,5,6, and May 7.

          • Robert_Crosby

            It would be great to be able to go back and re-run the history… but this is 2015 and we’re talking about practical solutions that we need now. If Labour doesn’t at least become the largest party, then the Tories win. Anyone who votes SNP will, I hope, reflect that they helped to bring that about.

          • Andy Ellis

            They may if it proves true, but it is hardly likely given all the polling evidence which you helpfully ignore. The only way for the Tories to be the biggest party, or even less likely to gain an absolute majority, is by electing Tory MP’s in England. They will decidedly NOT be propelled into power by people voting SNP in Scotland. there is more likelihood of the clueless Blaire diehards going into coalition with the Tories than of the SNP doing so. The “vote SNP, get Tory” lie has been so comprehensively fisked that I’m astonished you have the front to pedal it here.

            The practical solution is to ensure your party is ready for good faith discussions with the SNP on 8th May, and that the rump of continuity Blairites are kept as far away as possible from any influence.

          • Robert_Crosby

            It’s no lie. I wouldn’t insult anyone’s intelligence by trying anything so crass. It’s a fact that the fewer seats Labour has, the less likely Miliband and they will be to be able to command a position of strength in any negotiations that may become necessary. That can’t be disputed. Cameron has given up on Scottish votes with good reason, so of course it suits him for the SNP to win seats at the expense of Labour.

          • Andy Ellis

            Quite: I don’t want Miliband or his successor to be in a position of strength. I WANT him dependant on a progressive force like the SNP, because his Blairite party can’t be trusted. Scots aren’t voting SNP to help Cameron, they’re doing it to help themselves, to send a message to Labour, and to keep them honest in the hung parliament which looks the most likely outcome.

            We all know that Labour will do virtually anything to ensure they get access to the perks and power of being in government.

          • Robert_Crosby

            But as was made pretty clear on Newsnight last night, voting SNP increases Cameron’s chances of hanging on.

          • Andy Ellis

            Didn’t see it; but it’s still total bollocks however it was spun. 41 Scottish Labour MPs in 2010 didn’t stop a Tory/LD government. Voting SNP won’t result in a Tory government, only English Tories voting in Tory MP’s will do that.

            Neither Lab or Tory are likely to have a majority; makes it more important than ever we have the max number of progressive SNP, Green and PC MPs.

          • Helena Brown

            That would be the BBC or BBC labour as most of them have attachments to the Party. The Labour Party Scottish Branch are even more highly represented in Scotland.

          • Robert_Crosby

            The BBC hasn’t been doing Labour any favours in any respect for a long, long time.

          • Helena Brown

            If you have Sky Robert, I suggest tuning into BBC Scotland news programmes, you will see what we mean.

          • Robert_Crosby

            I don’t have it on principle, Helena. If you’re saying that the standard of journalism within the BBC all over the UK (including in Scotland) has plummeted in recent times, then I’ll agree. I don’t see any bias to Labour though if indeed there ever was. UKIP get a free ride and so does the Westminster coalition from what I can see.

          • Helena Brown

            Oh Robert they do not even hide it here any more. We are Pariah so you can see why we do not watch the Beeb or read the newspapers. Here in Scotland among the YES fraternity the Internet is king. We do have a new newspaper, from the Herald Stable so not all convinced, called the National but all I want is the truth told. Seems impossible though. I think many Labour, and old Labour would be horrified to watch it here.

          • Robert_Crosby

            Our perspectives aren’t reconcilable, are they? I’ve always thought the media have played their own corrosive part in the diminuisation of our politics. Everyone wants to be a Paxman or issue a soundbite now. Proper discussion of issues isn’t a priority now and that spills over into news career agendas too, I agree.

          • Chrisso

            The BBC in Scotland gives Scottish Labour “favourable media coverage”. Robert, you have to remember that the YES campaign was competing against 100% media coverage (until the Sunday Herald broke ranks). There are two (diminishingly) popular tabloid newspapers in Scotland: The Daily Record, and the “Scottish” Sun.

            The Daily Record is basically a propaganda sheet for the Scottish Labour Party. Just as BBC Scotland is its TV station. We’re not talking slightly biased “journalism” here. This is out and out propaganda.

            The alternative is the Sun. It would appear that Salmond was courting Murdoch in the vain hope that the Scottish Sun would come out in favour of the YES campaign. It never did – but sat on the fence until it could see exactly how the vote was going to go (in true Murdoch fashion).

            It was always a vain hope that at least one popular news outlet might have backed the YES campaign. So I have no qualms about AS using Murdoch in this way. This is what Scottish voters woke up to on the day of the 2007 Scottish election:
            https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=sun,scotland,independence&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ei=gqHTVPv-EMW5UauEgbgJ&ved=0CAoQ_AUoAw&biw=1280&bih=847#tbm=isch&q=scotland+sun%2Cindependence%2Cnoose&imgdii=_&imgrc=ccvwWbXmKBkdbM%253A%3BsO6mFl7Fx_KOzM%3Bhttp%253A%252F%252Fwww.thedrum.com%252Fuploads%252Fnews%252Fold%252F20830%252Fmaster.Scottish_Sun_election_day_2007.jpg%3Bhttp%253A%252F%252Fwww.thedrum.com%252Fnews%252F2011%252F04%252F19%252Fscottish-sun-lends-support-re-elect-snp%3B395%3B476

          • Chrisso

            Salmond was accused of a ‘bromance’ with Murdoch. That turned sour fairly swiftly. But the other name that has been used to smear Salmond was Donald Trump. So how did THAT relationship go?

            Trump wanted to build a golf course on some pretty dunes (and “bring jobs to Aberdeen”). Plans were already in place to build a windfarm off the coast – right in front of where Trump wanted to build his golf course. So Trump issued an ultimatum: No windfarm – or I take my golf course elsewhere (and the jobs!). He was told in no uncertain terms where to go.

            Trump spat his dummy out big style – and said he would NEVER build a golf course anywhere in Scotland. And would take his plans, and jobs, to Ireland instead.

            The Scottish Government, led by Salmond, ignored him – and his dummy. Trump has since bought Turnberry – in Scotland.

          • Chrisso

            Not really. Where is the support coming from for Cameron to remain in power with fewer Tory MPs likely to be elected than there are today? The SNP will not back Call Me Dave.

          • Robert_Crosby

            You may be right. He may lose seats (he certainly should if there’s any justice), but he knows that only Labour will really lose out in Scotland if the SNP’s poll rating stays the same.

          • Helena Brown

            Robert, you need to win the South East of England, that is where the bulk of the votes came for Blair, he did not win with Scotland, in fact the only elections to be won with Scots votes were 1974 a and b. Not a good average for Scotland or Labour in fifty years.

          • Robert_Crosby

            Winning only in certain parts of the mainland has been the root of the problem and has caused the division so many people feel.

          • Chrisso

            The polls suggest that the Tories will be the largest party – because of
            Labour hemorrhaging seats in Scotland to the SNP. The current
            convention is that the largest party in terms of seats forms the
            government.
            http://electionsetc.com/latest-forecast/
            But if the Tories get 283 seats they will have LOST seats
            (307 Tories elected in 2010). If Labour get 280 seats they will have GAINED seats (258 elected in 2010). They key point is that the LibDems
            will be decimated so Clegg will no longer hold the ring. The kingmaker role this time will be held by the SNP. And the SNP (which may have at least 40 seats)
            has firmly ruled out an alliance with Cameron but WOULD back Labour,
            albeit without a formal coalition. So in that situation a Cameron
            administration would not last 5 minutes.
            NB: it has not always been the largest party (in terms of seats) that wins the day. Look back to the Twenties?

          • Bill McLean

            What anti-democratic nonsense! We must vote for Labour to keep the 2 party state system in operation. You can’t put a fag paper between the red and blue Tories when they are in power.

          • Robert_Crosby

            Again, that’s just rubbish. It’s obviously your right to post on here if you want, but I struggle to understand what possible reason you may have to be so determined to do so on a pro-Labour site of this sort.

          • SilentHunter

            Perhaps like many who comment here; we don’t slavishly continue to follow a party when we see it turn into the bloody Tories!

            Hence the term . . . Red Tories!

          • Robert_Crosby

            That’s a comment that betrays a real absence of insight.

          • SilentHunter

            Why?

            Just because you say so?

            LOL Sorry . . . are you the owner of this site? :o)

          • Heidstaethefire

            There is no point, Robertt, in discussing an issue like this amongst like minded individuals. The point surely is to persuade others. As long as that’s done with a modicum of respect, there should be no problem.

          • Bill McLean

            What! is this New Labour’s idea of democracy. I’m not to post because I disagree with them!

          • Robert_Crosby

            You shouldn’t be so precious and keen to take offence. I don’t mind what you do… I simply made the observation that I don’t think that many people who hold strong opinions waste their time posting them on the opposition’s sites? To answer your first point, I’ve never been ‘New Labour’. ‘Labour’ has always been sufficient for me.

          • SilentHunter

            Instead of moaning that the Scots have seen through Labours tissue thin policies and will no longer vote for them; why don’t you try persuading the English to stop voting for the Tories by putting forward ? ? ? Oh I don’t know? . . .how about some genuine LEFT of centre policies which benefit the working people rather than pandering to the 1%.

            That might be a start.

            Shame there’s less than a 100 days left for this “new start” isn’t it. You rather missed the boat on that one.

          • Robert_Crosby

            Who’s moaning? You’re right that we do need a grown-up, concerted challenge to the orthodoxy that there’s no alternative to the neoliberal project. The past failings of some (far too many) Labour figures in this respect have been riightly well-documented and Party activists up and down the country continue to challenge them and press for the policies most of us want. My point is simple… whatever Labour’s past or even current failings, the SNP isn’t a viable ‘Left’, socialist or even social democratic alternative.

          • Helena Brown

            After being a person who has supported the SNP since she was a lassie, circa 18 years old and now 68 is looming, I think I have given this considerable thought. An independent Scotland is the only way we can go. The Union does not work for either of our nations and it is wrong to keep it going .

          • Sam Mitchell

            OK… so what had the 13 years of a collectivist party achieved in Scotland?… more job losses … less investment… a road infrastructure that is the MINIMUM we should have… the M8 is a glaring example… the A/E 75… the A 9…. all dangerous roads with minimal investment from wm party mp’s…. who should have been leading the fight… not sitting back in their second homes waiting to switch…. who have left it too late now… as theyv’e been rumbled… so take your travelling fight to whichever tory you want…. but for gawds sake go careful on the crap roads Scotland has…

          • Robert_Crosby

            So who’s best placed to deal with it… the SNP can’t on its own (and I doubt they will anyway – but that’s beside the point really). I just watched the Newsnight piece on the election including Tom Devine’s interview. Very interesting.

          • robertcp

            The voting system was not designed to stop majority government. The way that it is designed actually made majority government possible. Only 56 seats out of 129 are elected proportionally, which is why the SNP got a majority with about 45% of the vote.

          • Andy Ellis

            I disagree; they voting system was specifically chosen by Scottish Labour & unionists to make it very difficult if not impossible for one party to have an overall majority. I’m surprised you even try and deny this, as it was widely accepted to be the case even by many unionists and NuLab types involved?

          • SilentHunter

            The bottom line is that the people of Scotland has witnessed Labour sharing a platform with the Tories and just recently VOTING WITH THE TORIES to bring in yet MORE AUSTERITY.

            So your . . . “Nothing to see here, move along now, Ooooo look at the nice shiny thing up there” . . . isn’t going to distract the people of Scotland (& further afield) from the message that’s already out there and manifestly believable . . . A vote for the RED TORIES is just another vote for the . . . . . TORIES!

          • Robert_Crosby

            I don’t support austerity. Plenty of people inside Labour are arguing that you can’t justify swingeing cuts without challenging the orthodoxy that the wealthy who should be paying their fair share of tx don’t have to. The SNP isn’t a ‘left’ party and it’s not anti- austerity. Sean Connery and Rupert Murdoch wouldn’t entertain supporting a party that was.

            I’m not dismissing people’s disillusionment with Labour on various levels but you’re plain wrong with your claims as to its stance on devolution of more powers. The best way to get what you want on this and in other policy areas is to engage more with Murphy and Ci and demand that they make good their promises.

          • Doug Smith

            The Labour Partry isn’t a Left party nor is it anti-austerity.

            The Labour Party has fulfilled its purpose and is no longer able to represent the interests of ordinary people.

            Labour’s Westminster elite have shown their contempt for ordinary people, now ordinary people are showing their contempt for Labour’s Westminster elite.

          • Gerald Allen

            So, As Labour is a spent force and not worth voting for, as you have advocated all along, please explain how we are going to deal with a rampant Tory government(seeing as that is what we are facing if you follow the logic of this article) that will show what they really mean about austerity and sorting the welfare state out.
            I look forward to your solutions to defending the working class from a Tory majority government led by Cameron, Osborne or Johnson. Me; I’ll be doing my best to prevent such a catastrophe, succoured by the thought that while every part of the media seems to be telling me/us that Labour is a lost cause they are stepping up even further and more strenuously and desperately the ferociously vicious personal attacks on Miliband and Labour, surely unnecessary if we are to believe the polls.

          • Robert_Crosby

            These are vacuous slogans from the lexicon of the Mail and Express. I don’t think you’re speaking for the people yopu call “ordinary” at all.

          • SilentHunter

            The fact that you’re now having to “play the man, rather than the ball” suggests that you know your argument is pants.

          • Robert_Crosby

            I haven’t “played the man” at all. Which pundit did you pick that one up from? I don’t think my argument is “pants” (really… a daft comment like that in a grown-up discussion??). I wouldn’t say it if I didn’t think it.

          • SilentHunter

            Think what you like; it matters not to me.

            All that matters is happening in May. I’m sure that you are looking forward to it as much as I am. :o)

          • Robert_Crosby

            That’s very generous of you. It’s the outcome that matters. What I think personally isn’t that important.

          • SilentHunter

            “What I think personally isn’t that important…”

            That’s true.

          • Robert_Crosby

            🙂

          • SilentHunter

            Awww! Is that a smile Robert? You see . . . I knew you weren’t as poe faced as you made out to be. :o)

            Have a “like”.

          • Robert_Crosby

            Never po-faced, mate!

          • SilentHunter

            Good show. A pleasure discussing stuff with you, mate!

          • Robert_Crosby

            Likewise!

          • SilentHunter

            “…Plenty of people inside Labour are arguing that you can’t justify swingeing cuts without challenging the orthodoxy that the wealthy who should be paying their fair share of tx don’t have to…”

            Well it’s a shame that your MP’s don’t seem to have noticed this fact. Or did we imagine them trooping into the Tory lobbies to vote for £30 billion worth of additional cuts.

            How stupid do you think people are to claim that Labour are not responsible for voting in more austerity.

            And if the SNP isn’t “left” . . . then how come, they have all those “left” policies such as scrapping Trident etc, etc.

            What’s Labours stance on it? . . . Hmmmm?

            I’m glad you’re not dismissing people’s disillusionment with Labour; what you’re clearly not understanding is the depth of derision being heaped upon Labour from previous supporters precisely because that cannot hide the fact that they got into bed with the Tories and continue to do so . . . whilst the Tories are trying to privatise the Health Service and Labour are colluding with that!

            What planet are you on, to have missed all this?

          • Gerald Allen

            I’m on planet earth; and while I have no illusions about a Labour government, I have campaigned in every Labour Party general election campaign since 1964 and have felt the pain of disillusionment that I have experienced, as a socialist, expecting far more from the mildly social democratic policies that each Labour government since 1964 has pursued. But whatever shortcomings those governments had, they were as nothing compared to every Tory government that followed, avidly pursuing their big business and class interests.
            I have missed nothing, but in all my 71 years I have never seen a government so determined to turn the clock back on the advances in our society that have been made in healthcare and social policy through the NHS welfare, education and social reforms since 1945. Until somebody can show me an alternative to Labour that can defeat this vile government, surely that has to be the aim of any decent, caring, humane person. Don’t insult my intelligence by suggesting jokes like TUSK or less so Left Unity can achieve the defeat of Cameron, the couple of hundred votes they may get in any given constituency could only take votes off Labour and aid the Con/Dems; in an election that is supposed to be shaping up to be as close as this one in May, 2 or 3 seats could be the difference. For those that seem to think a vote for the Greens is going to make a difference because they have a very good campaigning MP in Caroline Lucas, they are living in cloud cuckoo land.
            Once again I can only emphasise that it must be a vote for Labour, wartsl and all, and even as insipid an opposition as they may seem, a vote for anybody else is a wasted vote(even though this may seem to contradict this last couple of sentences and it sticks in my craw to say it, a tactical vote for a yellow lapdog Lib/Dem in a constituency where they could oust a Tory or retain a Lib/Dem seat is a must in the greater task of defeating the Tories) that can only aid Cameron and a Tory government that will try to takes back to the 30s.

          • SilentHunter

            “…I can only emphasise that it must be a vote for Labour, wartsl and all,..”

            Even when one of those “warts” lead to the death of hundreds of thousands of innocent people in an illegal war.

            Forgive me, but that sort of Nuremberg Defence cuts no ice with me.

            It just shows that even at the age of 71, you simply cannot bring yourself to acknowledge that perhaps the younger generation could have aspirations which exceed the narrow confines of the current Labour machine.

            It doesn’t matter how much you say that Labour are different to the Tories . . . EVERYTHING the young see in politics screams at them that it just isn’t so.

            Labour and the Tories are there to prop up the 1% – they simply swap around in their cosy 2 party duopoly, safe in the knowledge that there’s a nice comfy seat in the house of Lords waiting for them when they retire on a huge pension; a pension that they have removed from the rest of us and tell us that we must experience cuts and austerity, whilst the Bankers who collapsed the economy are given public money to finance their excessive lifestyles.

            And you think that voting for Labour will stop the Tories?

            You have absolutely no idea.

          • Gerald Allen

            SilentHunter; I don’t know how old you are or and couldn’t care less but from what I have seen on here I’m guessing you are a 15 year old troll. One thing I do know is that if the Tories aren’t stopped then it’s Heaven help us all; though I have never heard you say that they should be stopped or even oppose any of their policies. Seeing as you mention Blair’s illegal war in Iraq( and I hope you did as much as I did in opposing it) perhaps you will point out to me where you have opposed Cameron’s war efforts in Libya and also his efforts to get involved in the civil war in Syria.
            For the record, I not only opposed the war in Iraq, but also the Suez invasion, the French war in Algeria, the Vietnam war; so try to think before you come out with any bollocks about Nuremberg defences.
            What does scream at me, is that I see so much criticism and negativity of Labour and it’s performance in government and opposition, but yet no such condemnation of Cameron and the ConDems who have been far more brutal and broke every promise that they made since 2010 and who by any stretch of the imagination don’t deserve another day in government .

          • SilentHunter

            Gerald Allen . . . I am 55.

            I live in Scotland. (Hello!) :o)

            I’m sure that you did oppose the war . . . in fact . . . I can never find anyone in Labour who now claims to have supported it.

            Funny that . . . don’t you think?

            As for the criticism of the Tories? . . . Have you had your head in the sand all this time? Have you read any of my comments?

            I had thought (particularly on a Labour supporting blogsite) that saying the Tories are 1% supporting scum bags not fit to shovel ordure in the bowels of hell, could be taken as read.

            The difficulty you seem to be having is recognising that the current iteration of the Labour Party are very difficult to distinguish from the Tories at present.

            But that’s understandable at your age; at 55 even I find it hard to keep up sometimes. ;o)

          • Robert_Crosby

            How does walking away to support the SNP solve the problem? It doesn’t. Any trade unionist worth anything knows that NO battle is won or lost on any one day. It all starts again the next day. I do understand the level of disillusionment, but the solution is to continue to fight on and not to throw the towel in and follow the SNP’s wide-of-the-mark agenda.

          • SilentHunter

            “…Any trade unionist worth anything knows that NO battle is won or lost on any one day…”

            That’s an interesting comment; when we are all told to accept the result of the referendum and “move on” despite the fact that the “Vow” hasn’t been fulfilled.

            The SNP aren’t “wide of the mark” . . . they are the ones fighting the Tories with DEEDS . . . not words.
            Labour do everything in their power in Scotland to prevent the SNP succeeding in helping the people of Scotland – they even VOTE WITH THE TORIES ffs!

            Why should we listen to a Labour party telling us that “it will be different this time” . . . when on every other occasion it has remained exactly the same.

            You people don’t deserve yet another chance after all the right wing neo-liberal policies and attacks on freedom of speech and the right to protest that New Labour foisted upon us a s a “reward” (sic) for voting for them, once again.

            Enough!

          • Robert_Crosby

            Not at all. Nothing is won or lost in a day – but you don’t go back and try to fight the battle again through means which have failed you in the past.

          • SilentHunter

            And phrases like Tarten Tories is working is it?

            SNP membership now approaching 100,000.

            Care to tell us what the SLAB membership is? ;o)

          • Robert_Crosby

            It’s one of those rare well-worn phrases that does actually sum up the substance quite accurately. History is full of populist clowns who can hoodwink large numbers in the short term. Sadly, history itself isn’t short-term. The effects of such misplaced – if honestly felt – folly can be longlasting.

          • SilentHunter

            So; less than 5,000 then?

          • Robert_Crosby

            I don’t know what the current figure is. The numbers matter a lot and a lot more would be much better whatever the figure now is – but membership levels will rise and fall in line both with events and people’s responses to them. The argument about what’s right and wrong isn’t the same thing.

          • SilentHunter

            “…I don’t know what the current figure is…”

            Oh come on Robert . . . don’t be coy.

            I’m sure with your connections you could find out for us.

          • Robert_Crosby

            I can assure you I haven’t got any!

          • Helena Brown

            Are you aware why the term Tartan Tory was coined, strangely because when the SNP were in

            their infancy, when they had not long been able to put up candidates in local elections, several members once elected flitted over to the Tories in Edinburgh. It was then resurrected when Jim Callaghan could not get his Party to support him and he was voted out in 1979, the SNP voted against him and were dubbed Tartan Tories. We are not Tartan Tories and can show this by our actions. The Labour Bedroom Tax, used on tenants of Private Landlord and used against the Labour Party heartlands, the SNP have softened the blow to many in Scotland, I have yet to hear a thank you from Labour. The other day one of the Foodbanks in Glasgow was robbed. They lost considerable amount of stock and money which had been collected for a little girl injured in an accident with a car. The SNP and Frankie Boyle put their hands in their pocket, I will not repeat what was said by the current less than a Panda, but I have yet to see Labour helping out.

          • Robert_Crosby

            I’m quite happy to own up to Labour’s mistakes. I have a lot of time for the likes of Boyle and appreciate that many SNP members espouse a ‘left’ agenda. It sadly isn’t matched in the ambition and agenda of the SNP’s leadership. The Lib Dems, Greens, Socialist Party, Left Unity, Plaid etc have all sought to vacuum up voters left disillusioned by Labour’s fixationon ‘The Third Way’. Neither do I find nationalism of any shade attractive.

          • Helena Brown

            We have the Greens, and the Scottish Socialist Party, whose memberships have doubled since the referendum. The SSP got a lot of people from Labour for Independence who would not return to main Labour though a good few came to the SNP as well. I think if you believe in Nations, Robert regardless you are a Nationalist. Anyway we are the Scottish National Party. Nation not Nationality. We have all shades of Nations within out Party. I got lambasted on an English Paper for wrapping myself in the Flag, as I said to this person, have you not noticed the plethora of Union Flags on the Telly. We finally got out our Saltires before the Referendum and guess what, they are mostly still there.

          • Robert_Crosby

            It’s interesting that so much of the coverage suggested how “engaged” people became during the campaign leading up to the referendum. It’s a bit sad then that there does now seem to be this hangover of division. Some people in both camps perhaps need to reflect on how they seek to interact with people who hold the opposing view?

          • SilentHunter

            “…I do understand the level of disillusionment,..”

            No . . . I don’t think you do.

          • Robert_Crosby

            Don’t be so silly.. it does you no credit. I meet Labour Party members every day who are well aware – as I am – of the disappointments, the wasted opportunities and he frustration with the more foolish policies that were pursued (especially by Blair) and the contingent of more worthless individuals dripping in money who were given far too soft a ride. What I and others want to do is make things better, never allow it to happen again and fight for what we believe in from inside the Party.

          • Helena Brown

            So you do not mind if we keep on fighting for what we believe in as you say the battle starts again the very next day. It doesn’t matter what you are fighting for Robert but it has to be something which you believe in, believing in Labour as a Socialist Party has got harder and harder so that in Scotland where people used to vote for them in millions they are deserting them. They found they were and are telling porkies.

          • Robert_Crosby

            Of course I don’t. Debate can only be healthy. I agree, politics needs cleaning up. I will be campaigning hard for Labour to win. If Miliband ends up as Prime Minister, then I want to be standing alongside trade unionists and other campaigners demanding that a government he leads implements the things ordinary people on the left want.

          • Helena Brown

            Good luck with that Robert, I have been waiting a heck of a long time to see that.

          • Robert_Crosby

            There are plenty of good people who have been doing and who’ll continue to do it. They just don’t get the coverage that they should – including from the BBC!

          • Helena Brown

            Much sympathy. Believe me I do not want the Tories back, but I want an honest Labour Party and we could do that for you.

          • Robert_Crosby

            I can’t see it playing out that way, but I’ll admit it’s the case if and when it happens.

          • Helena Brown

            always said Robert that the BBC supports who they see as the Establishment, presently Tories in England and Labour in Scotland, but here in Scotland they are incestuous.

          • Robert_Crosby

            I can’t really say on that (honestly… I would if I could!) and can only agree that they should be impartial and honest in their reporting. It does strike me as an organisation that heeds to remember it’s accountable to everyone. It seems to have a blinkered, siege mentality these days (don’t start me on ‘Top Gear’!)? So maybe we yet have some common ground here too?

          • Andy Ellis

            Your problem is that most Scots, and large numbers of former Labour voters, see the SNP as more progressive and more likely to bring about the kinds of policies they want than Labour. They aren’t interested in socialist top trumps, they are judging the SNP by positive results in Holyrood, the relentlessly negative BT campaign during the indyref, and the prospect of something better (or at the very least no worse) than the policies being touted by NuLab.

            You may say we’re wrong about devomax, but we just don’t trust you, and we trust unreconstructed Blairites like Murphy even less, as the failure of his election to stem the collapse in your support demonstrates. The deeply unpleasant cabal now fronting scottish Labour, including McTernan and Blair Mcdougall for pity’s sake, isn’t part of the solution, it’s part of the problem.

          • Robert_Crosby

            Let’s be honest, you are determined not to trust anyone in Labour because you’ve thrown your lot in with the SNP! I’m genuinely surprised that you’re so easily taken in by them. There are plenty of people within Labour who have a record of integrity and impeccable commitment to devolution of powers. I am not a fan of Murphy at all but neither do I think even he’s that stupid that he can be a modern day ‘King Canute’ when the UK and Scottish Labour stance is so decisive. That’s just another attempted deception by the SNP. Question Murphy and his motives by all means because plenty of others are questioning Nicola Sturgeon’s. What is her aim? Why does Alex Salmond want to return to Westminster? There are a lot of egos at play here.

          • Andy Ellis

            I haven’t so much thrown in my lot with the SNP, as realised that they are the only game in town, the only realistic prospect of securing real change in the foreseeable future, and reliably more “social democratic” and progressive than NuLab. I don’t think they are perfect, and I probably wouldn’t join, though I understand why so many have. The Yes campaign energised lots of people in Scotland, and was certainly in marked contrast to the unrelentingly negative Project Fear, bankrolled by tax avoiding fat cats, one of whom made his money from an oil trading company with links to Serbian war criminal Arkan.

            Of course there are some decent principled people left in the desiccated husk of Labour (though why they want to stay there God alone knows!), just as there are plenty of untrustworthy types in the SNP or broader Yes movement. Such is life. I think Sturgeon and Salmond’s motives are pretty clear. I know lots of people dislike them, but you can’t argue with the figures that consistently show them both with approval ratings other party leaders would sell their first born for. I know who I’d trust in a choice between Murphy and Sturgeon or Miliband and Salmond.

          • Robert_Crosby

            I will concede that it has got bad for Labour is anyone thinks that the SNP is truly “the only game in town”. It really can’t be though and voters really need to take a good hard look at what SNP leaders are saying and put them under far more scrutiny. Trade unionists and others within Labour continue to organise and fight hard and are winning the battle against the Progress rump (whose members talk well beyond their clearly diminishing influence). It’s a choice between that or the Tories which ever way the Nationalists want to present it.

          • SilentHunter

            You just can’t admit that the SNP are MORE socialist than your blessed Labour Party now and far more to the left of centre than Labour have been for nigh on 25 years.

            Face it Robert; Labour today are a hollowed out, fly-blown shell of their former selves. Greed, nepotism and rank corruption have eaten away their backbone, their sense of honour and their sense of duty to the working man & woman of this country.

            The once great Party who gave us the NHS is now more concerned with selling it off to their mates in the City.

            How “sick” is that !

            How dare you belittle what the SNP have actually DONE . . . not just “talked about doing” Like Labour . . . but have actually stood up to the Tories and countered their attacks on the poorest in society, despite Labour sulking in the corner and doing their best to scupper the SNP even when it hurts their own bloody constituents.

            Labour only “organise and fight hard” for their own narrow interests and expenses claims in Westminster . . . they don’t give a flying fark about anyone else and certainly not their core voters who are just expected to STFU and just vote without question.

            You people are arrogant . . . and that is going to be your well deserved downfall in May.

          • Robert_Crosby

            They aren’t more socialist than Labour! How dare I, indeed? I expected you to respond with something a bit reminiscent of a SNP press release, but I’m surprised by the unnecessary melodrama!

          • SilentHunter

            Ooooo! Get you! :o)

          • Robert_Crosby

            A holding reply, I assume… 😉

          • SilentHunter

            No . . . that’s it! :o)

          • Robert_Crosby

            Fair enough.

          • SilentHunter

            I thought so.

          • Andy Ellis

            The unions didn’t seem to have much success stopping Murphy did they? Plenty of union members and some unions are coming to realise that they’d be better off supporting the SNP. Long overdue! Of course only Lab or Tories will be in a position to provide PM as the largest parties…but that doesn’t mean it’s a binary choice; it just isn’t! All the polls show another hung parliament, which means the probably outcome is a minority government dependant on other parties to form a stable government.

            Any progressive should be praying for and campaigning for parties that keep Labour honest, i.e. SNP in Scotland, PC in Wales and the Greens in England.

          • Robert_Crosby

            Unions have a job on to make sure their members are more active… most know that.

            The Greens? You’re kidding now… have a look at some of their antics on Brighton Council.

          • Andy Ellis

            I have no particular axe to grind for the Greens, tho will probably vote for them here as it’s a safe Tory seat and would never vote for them or LDs or Lab. They may not be perfect, and possibly they are having local difficulties in Brighton, but I’d rather see Lucas & other Greens in p’ment than more NuLabour drones.

          • Robert_Crosby

            A lot of UKIP voters apply this kind of “reasoning”. I just don’t see it. The Greens are making a pitch for the kind of voters once attracted to the Lib Dems.

          • Andy Ellis

            I think the Greens will be taking both LD and Lab voters, if (like me) such voters no longer believe in the progressive credentials of either. In truth my vote here is wasted, because it’s a super safe Tory seat; of course if Labour had done something about electoral reform that might not be the case.

          • Robert_Crosby

            I agree with you. They should have done. They had options.

          • Chrisso

            I live in England and back Labour. I shall vote Labour in May. But the writing is on the wall. Labour needs to be more pro-active for working people, more anti-austerity, and electoral reform in our federalised-ish system needs to be a much greater priority. No more unelected parliamentarians in the House of Lords, no more FPTP. We cannot continue with the discredited FPTP system – which ironically is now going to benefit the SNP in Scotland. A federal UK has to adapt its system so that in each Westminster seat the most preferred candidate wins (i.e. the one with more than 50% of the votes cast).

            And it’s not about ‘egos’ or ‘motives’ in the SNP, why the need for you to follow the tabloid ways? The media personalise everything – and against Labour. Salmond and Sturgeon are only being demonised by Labour accolytes because they are both effective leaders of their party: one at Holyrood and most likely one at Westminster. If only Labour was as masterful and could say the same about its own leadership team.

          • Robert_Crosby

            You surely can’t be so naive as to dismiss the “egos” point. There are too many people with massive egos in all parties… it would be nice if there weren’t, but it’s undeniable that they’re there! “Poor Alex and Nicola for being demonised(?) by Labour supporters” is a poor line. They and their toadies dish an awful lot out, I’d say.

          • Helena Brown

            We have an excellent Leader in Westminster he is called Stewart Hosie, he is presently Deputy Leader of the SNP. Mr Salmond will, if he is elected by a backbench MP,that is his choice, he will be an excellent Member for the people of Gordon, he will not be an absentee, which seems to be the Labour way these days, I see that Mr Murphy had missed a few votes since he was elevated.

          • Chrisso

            Interesting – so Salmond, if elected would not be SNP spokesperson or leader at Westminster?

          • Helena Brown

            He is a potential Back Bencher, he holds no other position than MSP presently. I doubt that Alex will every sink into the background but that is the position.

          • SilentHunter

            “…They aren’t interested in socialist top trumps…”

            Lol – That’s a great phrase Andy; succinct & right on target.

          • robertcp

            You are right about Scottish Labour unfortunately. Contemptible idiots compared to John Smith, Donald Dewar and Robin Cook.

          • Chrisso

            Rupert Murdoch backs the SNP? Evidence please.

          • Robert_Crosby

            There’s been a longstanding love-in between Murdoch and Salmond (a “bromance”, some said). Murdoch expressed some concern, it’s true, once he saw what he thought were some appalling ‘lefites’ trying to combine with the SNP towards the end of the campaign – but he continues to be an admirer of Salmond and the “vision” he and the SNP have attempted to promote. The extent of their contact became clear in the aftermath of the initial publicity surrounding phone-hacking, didn’t it? Why would anyone with brain cells have gone near Murdoch in those circumstances?

          • Moominpause

            I’m sure you were issuing forth the appropriate opprobrium when Messrs Blair and Murdoch were bezzie mates.

            You couldn’t just be on a point scoring anti SNP rant could you? That would be crazy (albeit consistent)!

          • Robert_Crosby

            You won’t hear me defending Blair for that. Brown’s a better man than Blair will ever be but he and his wife too indulged Murdoch more than they ever should – and they got stung by his grotty empire later on as we all know. I’ll criticise anyone who has sought to accommodate him. Salmond clearly hasn’t possessed the scruples required to reject the clutches of Murdoch. At least Miliband has been prepared to take him on.

          • SilentHunter

            “…At least Miliband has been prepared to take him on…

            So I see.

          • Robert_Crosby

            I agree with you that he made a foolish – and easily avoidable – error. He got caught up in the mock populism surrounding the World Cup and he should have known better. It doesn’t alter the substance though… he took the fight to them on phone hacking and invasion of privacy. Meanwhile, Salmond remained silent. Murdoch’s titles are now all out to rubbish Miliband and Labour. I wonder why? If the Tories and Labour were the same as you claim, then News Corp wouldn’t be using the vitriol that they are against him.

          • SilentHunter

            I have to say Robert that you’re very good with the excuses.

            I had thought that it was a photoshopped plot by the Tory Party myself . . . but if you insist it was Ed being foolish; who am I to argue.

          • Robert_Crosby

            Your opinions may differ from mine but I don’t believe that you get anywhere unless you try to apply some objectivity and logic. Politicians trying to look “right on” in the 24-hour news and social media age who end up making a hash of pointless PR opportunities. Yeah, I think that’s fair?

          • Moominpause

            I have to say he looks very prepared to take him on in this picture…

          • Robert_Crosby

            We’ve agreed on this one already.

          • Moominpause

            Oh goody, an agreement.

            With that, you’ll no doubt agree that the “There’s been a longstanding… circumstances” comment is nothing more than hyperbolic bias writhen nonsense that one could apply to any politician (probably globally) that one dislikes at that moment in time.

            I’m glad we hate Murdoch equally but the inordinate power that today’s media has makes him a candle to ALL the lepidopteran politicians of this world, to suggest otherwise is both entirely false and disingenuous..

          • Moominpause

            Oh goody, an agreement.

            With that I’m sure you’ll agree that your “There’s been a longstanding love-in… ” comment is nothing more than bias writhen hyperbolic nonsense that one could apply to any politician (probably globally) that one doesn’t like at that particular period in time.

            I’m glad to see that wee both hold Murdoch in equal contempt but the inordinate power of the media today makes him a candle to our lepidopteran politicians and to suggest otherwise is both false and disingenuous.

          • Robert_Crosby

            Legislation and the will to tackle him are the answer.

          • SilentHunter

            Hey! Where did you get that?

            I’ve got patent pending on that! ;o)

          • Chrisso

            Ah Yes, Murdoch and Salmond. You make a fair point then,
            although the Sun’s statement in September about supporting the NO campaign will
            hardly help their buddy relationship! And
            the idea that the SNP ‘tells voters lefty stuff but is secretly planning a free
            Scottish marketplace post indy’ is deluded. If independence is ultimately achieved the SNP
            will have a limited shelf life. They won’t be needed as there will no doubt soon
            be a ‘right of centre’ Scottish party and a ‘left of centre’ one, plus the
            Greens of course.

            Labour really needs to stop navel gazing and ‘look behind
            you’! Better Together was supported by pretty
            dubious characters and business too. I don’t think there is a monopoly on that:
            Better Together spent more than twice as much
            as the Yes Scotland campaign. Better
            Together, the Conservative Party, and Labour – all of which spent more than
            £250,000 – now have until March 18 to submit an independently audited return to
            the Electoral Commission. Moreover, Murphy in his wisdom took on Blair
            McDougall – how inept was that?

          • Robert_Crosby

            I agree with several of your points to be honest. They say the campaign was a triumph of democracy. I’m not so sure – from either side? Murphy has baggage and he’s not an especially sympathetic character for many. That sounds simple, but even he could just be “least worst”. The Party’s not all about him anyway.

          • SilentHunter

            I doubt he sees it that way. lol

          • Robert_Crosby

            If you’re right, then that will be his problem, won’t it?

          • SilentHunter

            And Labours.

          • Robert_Crosby

            Agreed.

          • SilentHunter

            There is only one paper that backs the SNP that’s the National – sister paper of the Glasgow Herald. Every single other MSM outlet is set against them . . . and yet they STILL fight back and increase their majority every time.

            Ask why Jim Murphy is NEVER asked about his time as Scottish Student Union president or his contacts in the right wing Henry Jackson Society or his expenses claims.

            He’s even been portrayed in the Guardian with a “light halo” around his head.
            Why don’t the MSM ever ask him anything awkward?

            I think we all know why . . . he’s the “establishments golden boy”.

            And the SNP? . . . well they just go from strength to strength in the face of the storm of negativity unleashed on them by the press.

            Well they do say that what doesn’t kill you, only makes you stronger . . . and the MSM are trying so hard to “kill” the SNP and it hasn’t worked. >:o)

          • Bill McLean

            Political Compass has the SNP well to the left of Labour! How can you engage with liars?

          • Robert_Crosby

            What kind of mutated reasoning do they employ??

          • Moominpause

            I’m sure you’ll agree it’s easy to reach out to Murphy when this… is his party’s salvo today. He really seem like he wants to reach out to people who voted YES and/or are SNP voters.

            Here’s an idea… instead of telling SNP supporters (of which I am not one) how to do things, perhaps you should be pushing for change in your own party. Think SNPs NATO U-turn for an example of the members influencing the party.

          • Robert_Crosby

            Like I said, it’s not all about him or one specific policy. If it was, the problems Scottish Labour knows it has to address now could have been solved very easily. I don’t think that’s why people have become disillusioned with Labour or wider politics. The SNP taps into that to some extent at least but I can’t take them seriously as a solution.

          • Moominpause

            But people here keep telling you why they’ve become disillusioned with the Labour Party and you keep saying” nope, that’s not it”

            Tell you what, tell people why they’re disillusioned with the Labour Party and then they can parrot back to you what you want to hear, that seems to be the way things are with Scottish Labour these day.

          • Robert_Crosby

            Now you’re misrepresenting me! I DO understand why people are disillusioned… the policies and a number of the prominent figures within Scottish Labour. All I say is get involved, make them earn their money and give them the grief you think they need… but do it within the Labour framework.

          • Helena Brown

            Rupert Murdoch does not support the SNP. Sean Connery is an old man now and is quietly at home, but he is and was a Patriot. He supported Independence and the only Party to offer this was the SNP.
            You may think that Labour wanted Devolution and you are as entitled to think so, but take it from someone who lived on the Scots side of the Border, it was grudgingly offered by a Labour Party.then it did immense damage to it’s own party by allowing Donald Dewar to promote numpties into the Scottish Parliament. There is one of your problems in Scotland, that and having a tame media who allows comments and handouts to pass without investigation and further diminishes the belief in Labour. Believe me if the same thing happened to the SNP I would be less than happy. Standing side by side with Tories and happily doing your own down as Lamont did crowing outside Asda that people would be either out of work or paying more did wonders for your Party.

          • Robert_Crosby

            Overt or covert, there’s more than enough evidence to indicate where Murdoch has his tentacles. I’ll concede that Salmond wasn’t the first to have his head turned by him because it would be stupid to say otherwise. True “patriots” of whatever nationality stick around and pay their taxes.

            Labour has, I admit, suffered for having too many plastic, career androids in their ranks. Sadly, it’s the way of modern politics. Bob Hawke in Australia talks about it all the time. So what do we all do about it?

          • Helena Brown

            Actually you give Alex Salmond little credit, his head is not that easily turned and he is mostly well liked in Scotland, he could walk the streets in safety during the referendum. He has not been a member of the SNP for as long or at the top if he was what is said about him. Pity is that Labour needs to die and be reborn without the careerists. I can see this happening if we are too successful in the SNP. I would say that nobody joined the SNP when Alex did if he wanted a career.
            You need to find a reason and regain your soul, you need to shed the Champagne Socialists, too many of those and not enough working people who are usually your foot soldiers.
            Hey I should not be telling you what is wrong, I should leave you to find out. Chinese General, when your enemy is making mistakes, let him.

          • Robert_Crosby

            Oh, there will always be careerists and self-seekers in any circumstances… David Owen is a good example! What you say makes for interesting reading, mind.

          • Helena Brown

            When Alex Salmond joined the SNP they were hardly in the place where he could make a career, His wife was a member and encouraged him to get involved. Alex is a very well respected person in Scotland, and his Successor Nicola is as respected, when she said on Andrew Marr’s show that they were a team she wasn’t joking. I have always been a Nationalist so it is easy for me but I was at a meeting in my Constituency which has grown by over a thousand members where many are from Labour. We members are learning to be a cohesive Party in a hurray, earning how to make policy, pick candidates as well as the usual things like raffle tickets and jumble sales. I met someone from my old constituency who was laughing and saying he has had to get bigger rooms to hold their meetings too, we used to be a half dozen back in the 80’s. Just thought you would like to see that this is not a flash in the pan.

          • The vote recently did not mean that Labour support Tory austerity policies in any way, shape or form.

            They agreed to a timetable to reduce the so-called defecit and debt. That is all.

            A read of the Hansard transcript of the debate will show exactly how different the policies of Labour are and how they will make very different budgetary decisions.

            Labour, for instance will raise taxes for the better off, tax banks and change laws to prevent massive corporate tax-avoidance, all of which is documented, costed, etc., and effectively diametrically opposing Tory policy.

            Labour DID NOT vote in agreement with Tory austerity at all.

            Like so many political matters, the truth is there, but few seek it.

            A great pity Scotland is falling for the SNP lies about Labour.

            Vote SNP, get TORY and much, much worse austerity, perhaps even with SNP support.

          • Andy Ellis

            Laughable. You complain about people falling for SNP lies about Labour, then go on to lie about “Vote SNP, get Tory”. 41 Scottish Labour MPs didn’t stop the ConDems in 2010, nor would they make a material difference in May. The only thing that will result in a Tory government is enough ENGLISH Tories voting for them.

            Only a large SNP bloc will keep a minority Labour government honest and prevent the odious Blairite hangers on enacting “Coalition light” policies. “Vote for us we’re not quite as bad as the Coalition” isn’t going to be enough!

          • robertcp

            I might be tempted to vote SNP for the reasons given in your second paragraph. I would never, however, vote for independence (I am Welsh and live in London).

          • Andy Ellis

            Fear not, since you live in London presumably you wouldn’t get a vote in any future Welsh independence referendum, which is entirely in keeping with common sense and what happened in Scotland. Only residents get to vote.

          • treborc1

            But you keep saying that, sadly labour did not define that until long after when some advisor said this is what we will say.

          • SilentHunter

            “…Labour DID NOT vote in agreement with Tory austerity at all…

            So what exactly did they vote for when they approved a further £30 billion in cuts?

            I doubt the finer points of your sophistry will be appreciated by the majority who all saw with their own eyes the serried ranks of the Labour Party trooping obediently into the TORY LOBBY.

          • SilentHunter

            “…They agreed to a timetable to reduce the so-called defecit and debt. That is all…”

            Oh well, why didn’t they say so!

            I’m sure the electorate will swallow that. ;o)

          • Sam Mitchell

            Labour reacted to the wish’s of the Scottish electorate… the “”Scottish”” labour crew would never had the bottle to introduce such little devolution that we now have… & who was it who reached a secret deal with mingus cambell to keep the SNP from ever achieving power… not a “nu” labour man … but gordo…. your don quixote promising this or that when he is actually bowing out… & not before time…. the idea is farcical that labour “””GAVE””” us devolution…. they had no choice… they begrudged it from day one… they aligned themselves with the other side of the tory party to save “their” union… & the Scots electorate have noted this…. so blame ed if you want… but the problem is home grown…

          • Robert_Crosby

            Oh come on… think what you will, but don’t re-write the facts to fit your idea of what you want them to be!

          • Russell Bruce

            “You can’t expect to re-write history and get away with it because voters aren’t daft.”

            Yes that is what the current round of Scottish polls are underlining.

          • Heidstaethefire

            “Cameron is counting on them to try to sneak back in May” it’s not a fact, it’s an opinion, but it’s proved by the fact that Cameron has posters pushing the vote Miliband, get Salmond… oh no, wait a minute…….

          • Robert_Crosby

            It’s a widely held opinion.

          • Heidstaethefire

            Widely held by Murphy who’s punting it as hard as he can. Keynes is reported to have said “When the facts change, I change my opinion.” It might be time to re-examine you basic assumptions, R. I seem to recall you saying, in an earlier post, you were a trade unionist with many years under your belt, like me – 40 years. If you’re of the same vintage, ( a very good year) I wonder if you’re one of those people who can’t get past the old Tartan Tory label. If so, I would make two points to you. Firstly, while disagreeing with your analysis, supporting Devomax/Home Rule or even independence doesn’t mean supporting S.N.P, or every policy. Secondly, what have Labour offered in the last 30 years?
            Last point – A flat earth was a widely held opinion many years ago -and no, I wasn’t in a Trade Union then!

        • MikeHomfray

          Shouldn’t have offered it in the first place

          • Andy Ellis

            Yeah, heaven forfend actually responding to the legitimate democratic aspirations of the Scottish people, eh? Thankfully we live in the UK not Spain. However, if you’d like to promote the anti-democratic Spanish approach to devolution and/or independence referendum, we’ll see you the other side of our UDI!

        • robertcp

          The vote for independence was more than expected but YES still lost. The SNP seem to know that they cannot support a Tory government, so I am quite relaxed about Labour losing seats. I wonder if what Scots want is a social democratic Scottish rather than Labour or the SNP.

      • Thomtids

        The more this goes on, the more likely that we end up with a Rump Grand Coalition hanging onto Metropolitan elite control against the Country at large. If things go belly up for all the parties, can we end up with a “Greek Solution”?
        Who could imagine a Tory Party being kept in power by the Labour Party? Is there any difference between them? Obviously, the SNP think not, and so should the rest of us.
        Vote UKIP.

        • Paul Richardson

          “The more this goes on, the more likely that we end up with a Rump
          Coalition hanging onto Metropolitan elite control against the Country at
          large. If things go belly up for all the parties, can we end up with a
          “Germany 1933 Solution”?
          Who could imagine a Tory Party being kept in
          power by the UKIP Party? Is there any difference between them?
          Obviously, the SNP think not, and so should the rest of us.
          Vote anything but UKIP.”

          Fixed that for you.

          • Thomtids

            There is, with no doubt, a commonality between the controlling cliques of the “main” parties. It seems to boil down to Fabianist “Paternalism” except there is a total disconnect with the electorate in matters that are being studiously ignored in the “Punch & Judy” encounters being put on or planned.
            Germany 1933 has similarities but Hitler did step onto the elevator to power democratically. Who, in your metaphor, plays the role of Der Fuhrer? Is Britain merely achieving its political paralysis earlier than anticipated or has the electorate moved faster than was anticipated when the Political Elites chose the route of ignoring the wishes and interests of their electorate? Or is the timing irrelevant and the neutering of Britain was merely “a long game” that was always going to happen with Euro-phile Fabians in control of the Parties?
            Unlike 1933, there are millions of disaffected voters who only need to vote contrary to blind habit to derail the plans.

        • Robert_Crosby

          UKIP and SNtP becoming twisted, kindred spirits on here now. Madness indeed and both deserve to be rejected.

          • Moominpause

            The only place they’re kindred spirits is in your mind.

            But please, carry on helping to destroy your party, it saves everyone else the trouble.

          • SilentHunter

            Don’t worry; as the election looms ever closer and Labour are still languishing in the doldrums they will begin to “eat each other”.

          • Moominpause

            Don’t mention eating things or you’ll have ‘2 Jags’ hankering to get back into the Commons.

          • SilentHunter

            That’s “Lord” 2 Jags to you . . . prole! ;o)

          • Moominpause

            You’ve spelt [email protected] wrong in you last post… and that’s comrade prole to you 🙂

          • SilentHunter

            Sorry guvnor! (Tugs forelock). ;0)

          • SilentHunter

            Hah! You wish!

            As far as I know only the Labour Party has stood side by side in support of a right wing party called the Tories.

            That ACTUALLY HAPPENED! We don’t need to imagine it.

          • Robert_Crosby

            The Labour Party believes in the United Kingdom. That’s no surprise – or shouldn’t be. Suggesting that makes them allies of Tories is a bit like saying any human being is part of any other species that breathes air. Ludicrous to be honest.

          • SilentHunter

            And the whole “Voting with the Tories” thing?

            Care to tell us which excuse is most appropriate for that set of events?

            BTW . . . how much do Head Office pay you for your night shifts? ;o)

          • Robert_Crosby

            They run scared of the press – principally including News Corp – as all UK politicians do. They should have defended their record – including on devolution- much more over the past five years. It’s a major misjudgement on their part not to have done that.

          • SilentHunter

            Yeah!

            But they didn’t . . . did they!

          • Robert_Crosby

            Agreed.

          • Robert_Crosby

            Oh yeah… and while you clearly don’t know what I’m about at all, I’m confident the members who attend our CLP GC definitely don’t see me as a Head Office/Party hierarchy sycophant. The opposite could well be true, I suspect?

          • SilentHunter

            Well, we only have your word for that. lol :o)

          • Robert_Crosby

            I’ll let others judge.

      • robertcp

        Quite right. It is amazingly stupid or dishonest for the Nats to criticse Labour for opposing independence.

      • Heidstaethefire

        1. Labour conceded devolution only because the feared “losing” Scotland. They do have a track record on devolution, they have a track record of having it forced down their throats. They’re still the same.
        2. Tartan Tories? I have a couple of straws left over from Christmas, would you like to clutch at them?
        3. Labour in Scotlsnd deserves criticism….. Give the man a coconut, he got something half right. The major problem, however is the whole Westminster/Whitehall Square Mile establishment who believe that the U.K. Is a small island surrounded by the M25.

      • Angus McIonnach

        “You seem to all too easily forgotten that while talk is only talk, it was Labour who DID and actually brought about devolution.”

        Huh. All those times the SNP won the UK General Election and yet they never implemented devolution. Hurrah for Labour.

    • FMcGonigal

      Yes. Labour should have argued for some version of devomax as an option in the referendum and then shown some distance from the Tories in the debate. Labour should now offer a clear commitment to Home Rule – going further than the last-minute promises before the referendum.

      • Labour actually have made a commitment to that for Wales as well, going much further, as you put it. The Tories won’t deliver any more devo if they return to govt. Its not in their interests.

        • Andy Ellis

          1. It isn’t enough.
          2. Even if it was I would’t trust Labour to deliver in Wales any more than in Scotland.
          3. Even if they were to be trusted there is no guarantee they’d be able to force it through a hostile Westminster.
          4. Even if 3 happens, it won’t be remotely quick enough.

          So that’ll be a no then?

        • treborc1

          Yes but in Wales we have to have another vote on devolution , if any further changes were to take place, and I do not think labour feel they can win the votes, so are holding off, this maybe as far as we will go in Wales.

      • robertcp

        I disagree. It was important for independence to be defeated.

    • robertcp

      Labour was quite right to support the Better Together campaign. It is unfortunate that it will lose seats in the UK Parliament but that happens in democracies sometimes. It will not matter too much so long as the Nats don’t keep a Tory government in power.

      • SilentHunter

        The “Nats” as you call us won’t be keeping a Tory Government in power . . . that will be the English voters in England.

        The Scots don’t vote for the Tories.

        Perhaps Labour will offer something that the English will vote for . . .

        Now there’s a novel idea !

        • robertcp

          We seem to agree.

  • Arron Blue

    Remember, all this is happening in spite of the unionist media, in spite of the BBC in Scotland giving up any pretense of political neutrality.

  • Malcolm McCandless

    Cynicism and anger has set it and very few Scots, as yesterday’s You Gov poll shows, believe that Westminster will deliver on its promises to Scotland.

    Scots feel cheated over the Vow, and Vow Plus has been met with universal derision.

    • Steve Stubbs

      I look forward to waving Scotland bye-bye in the next five years.

      • Andy Ellis

        We look forward to it too. Hopefully when it happens the britnats will be able to improve their own system and actually bring about some progressive reforms? We can but hope, because there’s precious little evidence of it happening thus far!

        • David Pickering

          I hope us English will still be welcome in an independent Scotland.

          • Steve Stubbs

            Only if you bring cash.

          • SilentHunter

            Aye!

            And of course . . . “you’ll have had yer tea”?

          • Glastohead

            Typical – even after independence the English will still try to speak for us. 😉

          • Andy Ellis

            Of course why not? Plenty of English folk in Scotland support indy, and plenty of Scots like me in England do too!

          • David Pickering

            Excellent. I’m all in favour of self determination.

          • robertcp

            Will flying pigs be welcome in an independent Scotland? It ain’t going to happen!

          • Andy Ellis

            As welcome as unionist politicians and about as common! 😉

          • Helena Brown

            We have so many English people here sometimes it is difficult to remember we are in Scotland but then they are sometimes better citizens than the home grown.

          • SilentHunter

            Of course you will.

            It’s not the English People we have a problem with . . . it’s the eejits you keep voting into power over us that we object to. ;o)

            I’m English myself.

          • Johnnydub

            You seem to quite like our money to prop up your little fiefdom though. Who pays after independence…? It won’t be the Oil…

          • Andy Ellis

            Wha! Wha! WARNING! Spurious “jocks are subsidy junkies” klaxon!

          • Johnnydub

            Well Gordon Brown certainly thinks “jocks are subsidy junkies”

            In a sense of fairness, how about ending the Barnett Formula then? Yeah thought not…

          • Andy Ellis

            I’m all for ending the Barnett Formula..as soon as Holyrood total control over all Scottish expenditure and revenues – we’ll just remit our share for defence and foreign affairs. No serious economist (and to be fair even lots of britnat politicos) accept that Scotland is subsidised by rUK, it’s the other way round.

          • SilentHunter

            Fine by us . . . give us the 100% control of tax raising powers in Scotland and you can keep your Barnet Formula.

            That should be simple enough . . . even for you. ;o)

            Banana!

          • SilentHunter

            Er? Dunno?

            Who ate all the oil? You did! You did!
            .
            .
            .
            Ahem!
            .
            .
            .

            Forgive me; I inadvertently descended to your level there.

        • Stephen Wigmore

          Good grief. ‘BritNats’. Try talking English rather than Orwellian double-speak.

          • Andy Ellis

            Oh do bore off you po-faced pedant! It’s just shorthand like scotnat for scottish nationalist. If you don’t like it…tough!

        • Every day, I get angrier and angrier that Scotland forgets that Wales exists.

          Devo for BOTH countries depends on Labour getting into government. They are committed to it. The Tories won’t allow any more devo. They will use the excuse that people don’t want it after the indyref result.

          Any form of devo needs Labour. Thats a fact.

          • Andy Ellis

            Au contraire! I warmly support devomax for Wales too, and ultimately independence if that’s what Welsh people want. Devo isn’t dependent on Labour or the Tories – the Scots and Welsh just need to make it so. If the britnats try to stop it, or don’t deliver on their promises of increased devo, it simply stokes the fires of independence.

          • SilentHunter

            I think your confusing Scotland for the Labour Party.

            They forgot about you years ago or didn’t the miners tell you?

      • SilentHunter

        Ah! But you’ll still visit us, won’t you Steve? :o)

        • Steve Stubbs

          Absolutely. Given I spent more than 30 of my 68 years in Scotland, central belt as well as Aberdeen area and Shetland, I retain a certain nostalgia for mutton pies, Aberdeen rowies and Glasgow morning rolls.

          Not to mention the fact the wife comes from near Peterhead ……

          I will bring food parcels.

          • SilentHunter

            Good Stuff :o)

            Just let me know when you’re coming up and I will usher you in to warm your hands around a roaring candle.

            And of course . . . “you’ll have had yer tea”? ;o)

      • robertcp

        Sorry. The English might want independence but you are stuck with the Welsh and Scots!

    • Diotima

      “Scots feel cheated over the Vow”

      The Scots are stupid then because the people who gave the ‘vow’ were in no position to do so. There is something ironic about Salmond arguing on the one hand that matters in Scotland should not be decided by a detached and unrepresentative ‘Westminster Elite,’ but then stitching up a constitutional agreement with those very people and demanding delivery without caring what the people who elected them think about it. It seems the Scots don’t want to be ruled by an elite they do not agree with, but insist that the rest of the UK should be if that advances Scottish interests. They seem to have a very strange notion of democracy in Scotland!

      • Steve Stubbs

        No it is very clear. What matters in Scotland is the Scottish interest. Not much else.

      • Helena Brown

        No problem with EVEL as long as we remain together that there is no more UK expenditure for London. Also you will not mind that until we are indeed Independent that we vote on consequentials, because we are linked through them.

        • Diotima

          My opinion: –

          There needs to be a new dispensation between the nations and regions of Britain. The tradition of endlessly fudging is fine, but because this often translates into avoiding tricky issues, at some point a reckoning is required. There needs to be a short term EVEL solution because this is a live political issue in ‘not-Scotland’. Labour have misplayed things in Scotland, and they are doing the same in the rest of the UK over EVEL. They are right that a comprehensive constitutional review with an opportunity for debate and consultation is required, and this must also consider London and Wales, but they should be pressing for this while also supporting a quick fix. By not doing so they risk being seen as selling England down the river for the sake of expediency. It seems that their willingness to do this has not succeeded in enamouring them to the Scots, so fail there! Now they must face the English!

          It seems to me that a new and fairer settlement covering all of the UK can be agreed by those of good faith who actually want the UK to stay united. Obviously, those who don’t are going to try sowing seeds of disharmony, mistrust and division because that furthers their own agenda.

  • Pulpstar –

    “The reality is that every Labour seat lost makes it less likely that Miliband will head the largest party.”

    This is an entirely true statement, but perhaps vote SNP get Labour without Miliband at the top…

    Ed is polling worse than Dave in Glasgow. An Eton and Oxford Conservative party leader having better ratings than the Labour party leader IN Glasgow

    GLASGOW

    • David Pickering

      It takes a special kind of socialist who can make themselves more unpopular in Glasgow than an Eton and Oxford educated Conservative party leader. Fortunately, the Labour party have Ed Miliband to fill that role.

      • Alex Gordon

        Ed and David Miliband are not Socialists and have gone out of their way to repudiate their father.

        • David Pickering

          I don’t care about Bananman. He’s off in the US playing batman. You claim Ed Milibnad is not a socialist, but he disagrees with you, in both word and deed.

          On 26th November 2010, Miliband told the country he was a socialist. Much more recently he told us all that a Miliband government would impose price freezes in the energy market.

          When a man tells you he is a socialist, and promises socialist policies, such as price fixing, he is a socialist.

          • Alex Gordon

            Nationalisation is a Socialist deed. Price freezing energy is merely regulating the market and is something supported by conservatives in other European countries.
            The political “middle-ground” has swung so far to the Right, that a price freeze, which is merely a sticking plaster is regarded as radical.

          • David Pickering

            Without wishing to appear offensive, anyone who believes that politicians are better placed to set prices than market participants is deluded, because it removes the consequences of supply and demand.

            And it’s rather telling that Miliband’s price freeze became a price cap, and is now no longer proposed in the political parlours on Islington. Thats because it was an idiot idea that was demonstrated to be an idiot idea by the real world.

            Miliband’s price freeze demonstrates that his idea of what prices should be was far far higher than the markets subsequently decided the price should be.

            Why should we now trust Miliband on any pricing issue when his track record at setting prices, is, to put it as kindly as I can, dreadful?

          • treborc1

            Nothing wrong with a price freeze that then sees these companies brought back in house, but that’s not labour’s plan so freezing to artificiality hold prices high only and that helps the companies not the user.

            We all warned it was stupid to Freeze but of course labour did not think for a minute prices would go down, they were so sure, the Tories would fail or the Tories would not ask these giants to drop the prices before an election.

          • Moominpause

            And if a man tells you he’s the messiah you just believe him?

            The only point when I, and many others, will believe he’s a socialist is when he DOES something to indicate that, not when he promises or proclaims it,but when his actions actually indicate it.

          • David Pickering

            Isn’t that Miliband’s problem, generally? He thinks that words / press releases amounts to action.

            To be fair to Miliband, I do think he truly believes he is a socialist, but one who has come to terms with the fact that the UK is a capitalist society.

            As I’ve pointed out elsewhere this morning, he wrote a pamphlet called Socialism in 2004(I think).

          • treborc1

            So did Heath and so did Thatcher, OK not so much a socialist as socially just

          • treborc1

            Exactly we have had to many people telling us for example they will fix the tax laws, only to enter parliament and do the opposite.

          • Graeme Thomson

            Ed Miliband calls himself a “socialist” and promotes socialist policies. Really! Miliband – like the rest of his Blairite party – is a progressive incrementalist who fully embraces the role of the market in a capitalist society. Note what you say yourself: “price freezes in the energy MARKET”.

            I hate to break this to you but a ‘socialist’ would call for the state to take over a vital resource such as energy production and distribution and run it for the benefit of the people rather than for profit. It’s called nationalisation.

            But Labour don’t like the word any more. Maybe because it reminds them of the nationalisation of politics in Scotland!

          • David Pickering

            Miliband has to do that because the UK is a capitalist country.

            I’m aware that pure socialists want much of the economy to be nationalised. Fortunately, the people don’t.

          • Socialismo

            I actually am a socialist.

            I’ve seen little or nothing to suggest Mr Miliband shares my ideological views.

          • David Pickering

            Isn’t this the problem with politics, anyone can say anything, and genuinely believe it, even if it is radically different from someone else’s idea on that subject?

            Miliband clearly believes he is a socialist. Indeed, he wrote a pamphlet called Socialism in 2004(I think).

            Miliband’s problem is, he is far too socialist for the electorate to embrace, but not nearly socialist enough to please people who I would call ‘old socialist’.

          • treborc1

            Same here so far what we are being promised could have been stopped by labour, for example the vote on the bedroom tax, the cap on welfare benefits, but then again socialist only back people in work or at least the labour party does.

          • HookesLaw

            Thank heavens for small mercies

          • treborc1

            So did Blair, saying it and actually being one is totally different

        • Michael Murray

          Of course Ed is a socialist! Why do you think the capitalist businessmen parasites and their media lackeys are savaging him?

    • Tom Miller

      Without a majority for another party the sitting Prime Minister will get the first crack at forming a government.

      • Chrisso

        But Cameron will not be able to have an overall majority of seats by relying on LibDem seats. Whereas he will know that Miliband will have it as long as he has tacit support from the SNP. So he’ll be off to press hands and call up the furniture van to the back door.

        • NickJamie

          So Labour’s long-term position in England will depend on how English voters take to being governed by a Scottish Raj even though very possibly English voters will have elected fewer Labour MPs than Tory and put considerably fewer Labour votes than Tory into their ballot boxes.

          I realise that many unthinking Labour partisans reckon that won’t be a problem; that the word “fairness” is trademarked to Labour and English voters won’t have a problem with the basic political illegitimacy of that scenario. I also realise that very many Labour people neither sympathise with nor comprehend national identity and national feeling: they did, after all, once believe that Scottish devolution, in George Robertson’s immortally-ludicrous phrase, was going to help them “kill nationalism stone dead”.

          If Labour is as right about the risks of stimulating English nationalism by its own self-interested actions as it so clearly was about Scottish nationalism, the Party may have decades to rue the consequences of Miliband relying on the SNP in particular to try to justify his rule over England.

          • Chrisso

            Not sure why this is a response to me. I was responding to the claim that “Without a majority for another party the sitting Prime Minister will get the first crack at forming a government.” I think the electoral arithmetic means that Miliband will have a better chance of forming a minority government in a hung parliament. If so, Labour plans for a Constitutional Convention, currently backed by the LibDems, should address the questions you raise regarding EVEL.
            PS: Love the claim of a ‘Scottish Raj’ governing us in future but can’t see how that is the case in reality.

      • Pulpstar –

        No, this is categorically wrong, it is the party or group of parties that can form a majority in the House of Commons that form the Gov’t.

        Two key totals to my mind are

        Lab+SNP &
        Conservative+UKIP+DUP

        The Lib Dems are a bit of a wild card and could go with either grouping, but are likely to have more MPs than UKIP+DUP and less than the SNP.

    • If the SNP is as far ahead as today’s Ashcroft poll of Scotland suggests, then how well must Labour be doing to be consistently either tied (which would still deliver an overall majority) or ahead in the United Kingdom-wide polls?

      All SNP MPs would in any case have to line up in the Ed Miliband for Prime Minister column. Like Plaid Cymru, the Greens, the SDLP, and probably also the DUP, they could never go home if they had kept David Cameron in.

      • Doug Smith

        Indeed yes.

        A Labour minority government is, realistically, the best option.

        We will have to rely on SNP, Plaid and the Greens to prevent any further New Labour nonsense.

        • treborc1

          Jesus not with Plaid, they will vote and back labour to the hilt, for a payment of course, three or four places in the house of lords. Nope Blair have stated they will never again go into coalitions they went from second to third in one term.

          • Jeanne Tomlin

            If Labour has the chance to form a coalition and turns it down, once more letting in the Tories, the current bloodbath in Scotland will look like nothing to what happens in following elections.

          • treborc1

            Well once totally devolved within the Union it’s going to get even harder to get people to vote for parliament in London..

        • robertcp

          That sums up the situation very well and it might be a better Labour government than 1997 to 2010. So Mark should cheer up!

          • SilentHunter

            Well we live in hope!

            I have never felt so ashamed to have voted Labour in ’97.

            I kept having to ask myself . . . who the hell are these people that I voted for? Where did all these bloody Tories come from?

          • Helena Brown

            Ah yes but you have seen the light now, you and thousands more.
            I wonder if anyone has commented that Ashcroft polled 16,000 people for this result, considerably more than any other. So if I were Jim Murphy I would be giving the idea of standing for East Renfrewshire considerable thought, oh silly me, he is.

          • SilentHunter

            Indeed I have. :o) And I couldn’t agree more with you about Jim Jong M.

          • treborc1

            But he’s so high in labour if he lost he knows the House of Lords is his, he’d be back again within months.

          • Helena Brown

            Aye, we have a problem with those who love the preferential treatment but not Silent Hunter he will not be there. He is one of the 45 as am I.

          • SilentHunter

            Indeed I am.

        • NickJamie

          It’s revealing that no-one even hints that if the Tories beat Labour in England on both votes and MPs there might be a teansy-weansy problem politically with Miliband trying to govern the country from Westminster using a motley assortment of non-English MPs who in any case have been sent there by voters who are largely no longer governed from Westminster themselves.

          Fine. But Labour people would do well to remember that many English voters have rather more pride in country and a stronger sense of national identity than your average Socialist and plenty of them will not take kindly to England being treated as a Celtic colony for the benefit of the Labour Party.

          Having largely wiped itself out in Scotland by utterly failing to comprehend the power of the urge for national self-determination, it would be ironic if Labour’s response to the problem that this has created was to start repeating the same error in England.

          • Heidstaethefire

            “……,,,, plenty of them will not take kindly to England being treated as a Celtic colony for the benefit of the Labour Party.” That would be the boot on the other foot, right enough

      • MacGuffin

        Surely Miliband would be forced to resign as leader if Scottish Labour faces a wipeout? Labour + SNP = Confidence & supply agreement, perhaps, but surely not with Miliband as PM?

        • Unless they want to go home and explain why they have kept Cameron in, then they will take what they are given and like it.

    • Michael Murray

      Why the panic? Ashcroft is a Tory!

      • SilentHunter

        And does that also hold for those who took part in the poll?

        • Michael Murray

          If the little Scotlanders had gained their independence (even though it involved retaining the apron strings of Her Majesty and the Bank of England, typical Tartan Tories) we would have lost them anyway. We’d have had to have focused our campaigning on the 56 million people in England and Wales. The few extra seats we would have picked up in Scotland would have been a bonus. So I say again: why the panic? Ashcroft is aTory.

          • SilentHunter

            Okay – that tells me that you have no argument other than to insult the Scots.

            Well . . . enjoy your Tory government; whilst we have an SNP government who will fight the Tories all the way.

          • Michael Murray

            How can I be insulting the people of Scotland by pointing out that if they had chosen independence Labour wouldn’t be relying on their seats to form a government anyway and Tory Ashcroft wouldn’t be bothering to take soundings in Scotland.

            Let’s look at the facts. 45% of the Scottish people voted ‘no’ in order to stll keep the Queen, the pound and the Bank of England in their lives. In addition to that 45%, another 55% voted ‘yes’ to keep Scotland in the United Kingdom as well. Funny sort of vote for an independent Scotland, don’t you think?

            Are you seriously suggesting that all the 45% who voted ‘Yes’ at the Referendum will be voting for the Tartan Tories at the General Election?

            “Whilst we have an SNP government who will fight Tories all the way.”

            Well, you’ll need to! A vote for the SNP is a vote for Cameron and another five years of unregulated capitalism and public sector austerity. Why. Because if Cameron’s Tories get even less than Labour, Cameron, as the encumbent Prime Minister will be the first to be sent for by the Queen and asked if he can form a government. He will of course say ‘Yes’ because he will have various stooges to go into coalition with. Result: another Tory Government. That’s why, if you don’t want the Tories governing the UK then a vote for the SNP or any of the smaller parties is a completely wasted vote. To keep the Tories out of the government of the UK your only course is to vote Labour.

          • Moominpause

            You’re ignorance and ability to miss the point is truly spectacular!!

            If he has enough ‘stooges’ to enter a coalition then it clearly means that Labour was never going to the win enough seats anyway. It’s important to remember, or in your case realise, that the SNP taking a seat from the Labour Party gives nothing to the Tories.

            In your example above even if all seats that the SNP won had went to Labour they’d still lose because, as you yourself put it, Cameron has enough stooges to go into a coalition anyway.

            It’s genuinely staggering that grown up, rationale people don’t get this. I taught the same principle last week to a bunch of disinterested undergraduates (mostly 18 and 19 years olds) and within 10 minutes they’d got the idea and we could move on to something more compelling.

            I’ve thought long and hard about it and can only come to the conclusion that there’s 2 reasons why this canard still has any life in it and as far as I can see there are 2 kinds of people percolating it;
            1- they’re genuinely unable to understand simple arithmetic principles
            2- they’re being disingenuous and trying to persuade others through obfuscation, nonsense and a lack of any positive reasons to vote for ‘their’ party

            So tell me, are you a 1or a 2?

          • Michael Murray

            But that’s why everybody should voteLabour. To keep the Tories out. You really don’t understand, do you? I’m an M.A. With distinction. What are you?

          • Moominpause

            LLB (First Class), Glasgow 1985. LLM, Glasgow 1986.
            MSc Economics (with distinction) Saint Andrews 1990
            PhD Glasgow 1993
            Presently lecturing in law, economics and (unfortunately) politics. Have had visiting professorship status at 3 American universities within the last 12 years. I’ve also got a COSCA level 3 Counselling qualification and my cycling proficiency badge.
            But enough about me, what about you?

            I’ll repeat it again, once more using your own scenario, in big letters… IF CAMERON HAS ENOUGH STOOGES TO MAKE A WORKABLE MAJORITY THEN IT WOULDN’T MATTER IF THE SNP WON EVERY LABOUR SEAT IN THE ENTIRE COUNTRY AS IT WONT CHANGE THE FACT THAT CAMERON HAS ALREADY WON.

            The ONLY way your baloney could come to fruition is if there was a tripartite marginal somewhere in Scotland, but there isn’t and in fact there’s only one tripartite marginal in the whole country (Hempstead and Kilburn I believe)

            The lack of understand is entirely one sided and believe me, my side’s watertight.

            I’ll repeat it again, it’s you that’s doesn’t understand and I genuinely can’t fathom why. I initially though it was political bustle but it appears you genuinely don’t understand the basics of arithmetical functions.

          • Heidstaethefire

            I can top that, M. I was a 5th Dan in the Archers.

          • Stan

            You need to make it a lot simpler for some people. David has 10 apples and Edward has 10 apples. Alex and Nicola come and steal 4 of Edward’s apples. How many apples does David have left?

          • Moominpause

            Really?? You felt the need to like your own post? Sheesh!

          • Michael Murray

            Employ all the insults, bluster and casuistry you will, you know very well that if Labour make enough gains in England and Wales to pass the winning post but lose their Scottish seats to the SNP then Cameron walks back into Downing Street. That’s why a vote for the SNP or any of the minority parties is a wasted vote. A vote for the Tartan Tories will put the Blue Tories back in power. It is perfectly legitimate for Labour to make that case.

          • Moominpause

            Casuistry?? There’s nothing sophisticated about my arguement, it’s a simple matter of arithmetic that is able to be understood by most 10 and 11 year olds.

            And while you may feel that I insult you personally it’s a position that’s infinitely more preferable than your attempts to insult the intelligence of many others with your repeated and desperate attempts to parrot a spurious line of undeniably faulty logic.

            The strange thing is you’re condemned by your very own words…. “If Labour makes enough gains in England and Wales to pass the winning post but lose their Scottish seats to the SNP then Cameron walks back into Downing Street”
            So after passing the winning post (your words) they somehow still manage to lose because they’ve lost some seats to the SNP?
            Casuistry indeed!

          • Michael Murray

            Of course. A

          • Michael Murray

            Most eleven year olds can spell the word argument!

            And most eleven year olds can follow the logic of Set Theory but you apparently can not.

            Every seat gained by Labour in England and Wales is nullified, (No, I’ll put it even more simply, cancelled out ) by the loss of every Labour seat in Scotland up to a total of 41. In order to attain a simple majority of one in the House of Commons, we have to retain our 258 seats and increase them to 326. Which means we presently have a deficit of 68 seats. In Scotland Labour has 41 seats. Therefore, if every seat that is gained by Labour in England and Wales is nullified by each Labour seat lost in Scotland up to a total of 41 the probability of Cameron retaining power becomes almost certain. Therefore any one who wants to ensure that Cameron is removed from Downing Street by Labour with a strong working majority must not waste their votes on minority parties such as the SNP but must vote for the Labour Party. Anything else is self defeating. If you want to get rid of Cameron the only way is to vote Labour.

            I hope that this has been helpful.

            By the way casuistry doesn’t mean sophisticated: a casuist is a confused of issues. Look it up again.

          • Denis Mollison

            But the point you won’t accept is that Labour plus SNP having a majority works equally well to get the Tories out. And those of us who want a proper Home Rule settlement suspect we’re more likely to get it if Labour need SNP support to govern.

          • Stan

            Why should I vote for a party I no longer believe in just to get rid of one I have never believed in?

          • Denis Mollison

            That’s straight nonsense. Cameron can stay PM if and only if he can command a majority in the Commons. The SNP have promised to vote against him; if Labour do as well, it makes absolutely no difference whether any seat is Lab or SNP. The one tiny difference is that the SNP probably have a better chance of winning the one Tory seat in Scotland.

            And for an example where a Tory government was succeeded by Labour even though they had more seats, look at the very first Labour government of 1923. So much for Murphy’s lie that “only the party with most seats can form the government”.

          • Michael Murray

            The 1923 government led by the Labour collapsed after 10 months! Labour is a Party that aspire to govern the whole of the UK. How could we possibly go into Coalition with a party that has a self denying ordinance as regards voting on so called English matters? If the Scottish people vote In significant numbers for the Tartan Tories they will prevent Labour getting a majority and return Cameron to Downing Street. Most Labour people I know have no objection at all to the tartan Tories achieving home rule and were not opposed to the little Scotlanders gaining independence if it was decided democratically. Although, as I have remarked elsewhere, it is a funny kind of independence that holds on to the Queen, the pound and the Bank of England. But then the Tartan Tories will do anything to get their hands on the UK’s oil. We were concerned about losing our Labour seats however, because we need them to keep the Tories out of UK government. if Labour does not achieve a complete majority Cameron will walk right back in to Downing Street and you will not get your home rule.

          • Chrisso

            “Labour is a socialist party”? It is not, has not been, has never said it is, and never will be. It’s a social democratic party. And your Little England approach does you no credit as a Labour supporter. Until now Labour has had a far better claim than any other party to represent opinion in three of the four countries of the UK. That seems about to change so Labour’s approach to Scottish devolution needs to change – fast.

          • SilentHunter

            I don’t believe that’s your real name.

            That’s just two random first names stuck together.

            Shirley ?

          • Michael Murray

            Funny, I don’t recall the ‘Silent Hunter’ clan being alongside us in the ’45 or at Culloden.

          • SilentHunter

            I was there . . . you just didn’t hear me; hence the name. :o)

          • SilentHunter

            Ooooo! Are you a “real big spender” as well? :0)

            “Good looking – so refined”?

          • George Anderson

            Seriously?

            Yes the bulk of the 45% will vote SNP and quite a few of the 55% who were taken in by “The Vow” will too.

            I know Labour have always taken it for granted that Scots might vote SNP for Holyrood but return to the fold for Westminster. It is not going to happen this time. Your denial illustrates the disconnection between Labour and Scotland.

          • Helena Brown

            Oh Dear oh dear. I do wish if you are going to tell the world about anything you did your homework. You have angered those who were lied to and persuaded that it was in their interests to vote for Queen and Country, according to the vote, 55% voted NO and 45% voted YES to Independence. I think that the Tartan Tories or those we have renamed the Red Tories are the ones in deepest doo doo. The SNP are the ones people are voting for, and that includes a lot of very angry ex Labour members, I know I have met them.

          • ghostly

            I didn’t Vote Yes to have the £, BoE or the Queen thank you very much. I voted Yes to get shot of Westmonster. The rest would all be up for discussion following the Yes vote.

          • Helena Brown

            I have noticed that those who use Scottish Names are seldom nice about the place where those names originate or indeed those who live in that place. Tired as I am of people like you I have a question, why did you fight so hard to retain my country. I would have let you go.

          • Michael Murray

            It wasn’t I who stopped you from going. It was the Scottish people. 55% of whom voted to remain in the UK and and 45% who voted for The Tartan Tories who wished to have independence yet still retain the Queen, the pound, and The Bank of England. Which is why I said it was a funny old kind of a vote for independence. If you wanted to go why did your tartan Tories need to hang on to th British pound? The queen? The Bank of England.? Don’t blame me for that: blame the tartan Tories.

            Actually, I do not ‘use’ a Scottish name. It is my name. The Murray clan fought for Lord George Murray at Culloden, and died on Culloden Field, so I Please don’t make assumptions about my love for Scotland. Actually, I was quite sanguine about the possibility of Scotland ceceding, despite the fact I knew it would cost Labour all its seats. The purpose of my post was to remind the panic bottoms in our party that this was A poll conducted by a Tory pollster which was having just the effect desired..to make them panic! I wanted to get them to see that we were lucky that Scotland voted
            No to Indepence because if it had voted ‘Yes’ we could have looked forward to no Scottish seats at all . And that, I believe would be a terrible thing, for I never want to see another Tory/ Lib Dem Stooges government like this in my Lifetime and I fear that if people all over our country waste their votes it will come again. But I am pleased that the Scottish people rejected the Little Scotlanders just asI hope that here in England we will reject the Little Englanders. I am a socialist and therefore not a nationalist but an internationalist.

          • ShambolicRetreat

            Maybe if you say “Tartan Tories” a few more times it will somehow become true that the SNP aren’t considerably more left wing than the Labour party. Or are you just trying to convince yourself? The swing to the SNP is not about nationalism, it is about Labour’s failure. A lot of people in England feel the same, they just don’t have a party to vote for to express it.

          • Helena Brown

            I have explained how often Scottish Votes have helped Labour into power at Westminster till I am fed up. twice in fifty years, a great record, 1974, election a and election b. All the others Scotland has got what England voted for. A lovely piece of Democracy. I take it you or members of your family migrated into England and there you are? I am in your eyes a little Scotlander, one like many here who wants to see Scotland out in the world, and taking her place in the family of Nations. I know why the SNP held to the Pound, it is ours as well you know, the Queen, she is Queen of Scots, We founded the Bank of England, I am sure you are aware. This was to placate those who could not face change completely well now they can go hang, they have discovered what they voted for and many do not like it, see Ashcroft’s poll that the numbers who would vote YES now would see Scotland independent.

            Personally as a Republican, who would rather Scotland had it’s own currency and Central Bank I am happy to have a second chance at that.
            I think you are pointing the Tartan Tory badge towards the wrong people, the Labour Party, Scottish Branch has voted more with the Tories recently, certainly more than the SNP who do not.

          • Moominpause

            Your beliefs are completely irrelevant when they’ve been shown to you, on this very page, how totally and utterly illogical they are.

            If I told you that every Tuesday the purple unicorns take me to the land of milk and honey only for me to awaken in bed the next morning would you accept my beliefs as valuable and worth considering? The fact I belief it doesn’t make it right, instead it would seriously call into question my ability for logical or analytical thinking, that’s the way you’re coming across right now

            Using your own words and assumptions would you like me to explain again why a vote for the SNP doesn’t hand power to David Cameron or do you want the unicorn story again?

      • Paul Richardson

        Ashcroft is a Tory but also a now-respected pollster. See UKPollingReport. His national numbers tend to be on a par with the other polling companies and he is the only pollster at the moment, who is polling individual constituencies. What are his motives for spending his money in this way? No idea… but he has shown no bias and that’s the consensus opinion.

        • Moominpause

          Michael displays another symptom of Labour’s illness…

          “Someone we don’t like has told us something we don’t like… should we take the opportunity to reflect and think about it? Absolutely not lets just ignore it or shout them down, that’ll do the trick”

          • Michael Murray

            Exactly. Why should I dance to any pollster’s agenda? Particularly when the pollsters were spectacularly out by ten per cent at the Scottish referendum? As for illness, you’ll see plenty of real illness if people waste their votes on parties other than Labour and allow the Tories back in to government to complete their destruction of the NHS and the Welfare State. But then, that’s what you want, I suspect.

          • Moominpause

            Lord Ashcroft was 10% off with a poll at the referendum?

            I’d be very grateful if you could point me to this poll.

          • Michael Murray

            You know that no such poll exists. But none of the polls were consonant with the actual result. Why? Because they were disregarding the undecideds. I never take account of any capitalist polls. And they all are Capitalist polls.

          • George Anderson

            You think the polls were wrong in the referendum? Taking into account all the last minute promises they seem fairly on the money to me. The situation was fluid. People changed their minds.

          • Michael Murray

            No, they were completely out. And how hilarious it was to see all the capitalist pollsters trying to dig themselves out of their various holes as they struggled to convince everyone they’d called it absolutely right all along.

          • Helena Brown

            Emm, destruction of the Welfare State, Social Security, which Labour has for decades destroyed by inches. This is the same party who voted with the Tories recently or if they think they might be caught out, abstain. Give me Strength.

          • SilentHunter

            “…But then, that’s what you want, I suspect…”

            Oh dear! There speaks the voice of desperation. Particularly when that is patently untrue.

          • treborc1

            You use to on here god you really do think we do not remember your first weeks here.

          • Michael Murray

            I’m sorry, but I really don’t have a clue what you are talking about.

        • Mike Barnes

          “What are his motives for spending his money in this way?”

          He’s said before that he was sick of snake oil salesmen posing as expert pollsters who simply told the Tories whatever they wanted to hear and took the money.

          Now he spends a lot of his own money finding out for himself what is actually happening.

      • Helena Brown

        H asked 16,000 people for this poll Tory or not he went out to find the answer. If you do not like it you need to do something, something radical.

    • SC1

      “The reality is that every Labour seat lost makes it less likely that Miliband will head the largest party.”

      It seems like Scots don’t really want Labour with an overall majority.

      Polls show that Labour isn’t trusted to deliver on significant powers to Holyrood.

      No wonder, after all the to-and-froing on ‘the vow’, and Brown’s promises of federalism disappearing.

  • Peter Arnott

    Think Syriza. Quick.

    • David Pickering

      The SNP have already cast themselves as Syria.

      • Paul Richardson

        Is Labour in danger of casting itself as PASOK?

        • David Pickering

          It seems that way to me.

    • Tommo

      They seem to have morphed into a typical establishment EU fudging government even more quickly than expected.

  • Tommo

    And what about parts of England where similar anti-Westminster establishment sentiments are growing?

    Ignoring Immigration and cultural problems in cities could also lose Labour core traditional working-class voters.

  • David Pickering

    “It’s hard to express how bad those numbers are.”

    I think you’re doing a pretty good job of it, Mark.

    But seriously, this is what happens when politicians ignore the wishes of the people, particularly the people they thought they owned as of right. It looks as though Labour is now as hated in Scotland as the Tories are. That’s some achievement for Mr Ed…

  • Labour must not shilly-shally around the subject. There is no way that they should consider a coalition with the SNP at Westminster. A national party believing in the United Kingdom should have no truck with one that seeks to break our Nation apart. End of.

    • Tommo

      Agreed

    • Andy Ellis

      Then you’ll have no chance of making a positive impact. Same old tired, deeply unpleasant NuLab mentality we saw in May 2010 when the unreconstructed Blairites preferred condemning us to 5 years of Tory/LD coalition than making every effort to prevent it.

      • Diotima

        Unfortunately, there was nothing the unreconstructed Stalinists could do about it because not enough people voted for them.

        • Helena Brown

          Unreconstructed Stalinists, yes you are on the right page.

    • Paul Richardson

      Well said! So when the people of Scotland collectively declare independence, shall we send the tanks in then? Better yet, we could borrow Edward I’s army as he was quite successful wasn’t he?

      Being dogmatic helps nobody. Shifting opinion is the only way to ‘save’ the Union. Maybe a proper federalist system is the way where Scots/Welsh/English/N. Irish have effective representation and feel included. A very small first step would be to create a constitutional compact with the SNP, showing that the Scottish opinion is a value part of the Union.

      • Steve Stubbs

        No tanks left.

        • SilentHunter

          Oh don’t tell me Liam Byrne spent all the “tank” money too?

          • Steve Stubbs

            No that was the tories. We are down to three tank regiments now, and I believe one of those is being converted to use the hulls for NBC protection vehicles, as they have sealed ventilation systems. Pray that Putin doesn’t take it into his head to move further west than Ukraine, we have a lot of infantry but bugger all else now. After all the Russians have been vastly increasing their ‘defence’ spending , except somehow it all seems to offensive formations and equipment.

            Good job we have a nuclear deterrent, or my grandchildren will be speaking Russian.

          • SilentHunter

            Ask yourself how many wars we have had since countries have had a nuclear “deterrent”.

            Then tell me again how it works as a “deterrent” to war.

    • Tom Ruffles

      If Labour goes into coalition with the SNP I shall seriously consider resigning my LP membership.

      • Andy Ellis

        Sturgeon and Salmond have already said they don’t WANT a coalition, and that confidence and supply is more likely. The SNP are (luckily for both Scots and the rest of the UK) smarter than the hopeless LDs, who we all remember bending over and grabbing their ankles for the Tories in the ten days of May 2010.

        A sensible approach (a big ask for NuLab, I realise…but bear with me) would be to use the prospect of co-opertion with the SNP to prevent 5 more years of Tory rule, enact some long overdue reforms to the UK system, and….if you can manage it… bring in a home rule settlement to prevent the UK fracturing altogether. Otherwise you simply hasten indyref2. Good luck after that!

        • Tom Ruffles

          Curiously this made me think of Lenin, a rope supporting a hanged man. The price would be too high and Labour could say hello to a few more years in the wilderness thereafter. Personally I’d be happy to read (or not) about Scotland in the foreign news section of my newspaper.

          • Andy Ellis

            We’ll see on May 8th I reckon. Whether the price is too high remains to be seen. Call me strange, but I reckon most folk would rather have 5 years of Lab propped up & kept honest by left of centre SNP bloc, then a few years in the wilderness than to have 5 more years of the ConDems due to Labour’s inability to win.

      • SilentHunter

        I think your LP membership is safe. LOL

        The SNP have ruled out a coalition with any party.

    • Ryan

      Well at least you’d die fighting, right?

  • Diotima

    I’ve got to agree with the analysis concerning the current attitude of Scots. Whether to the left or right, they have more confidence in the SNP ‘getting the job done’ for Scotland than either Labour or the Tories.

    • robertcp

      The important point is getting the job done within the UK.

  • Steve Stubbs

    Defeatism never won anything, and the election is not lost until the votes get counted.

    But realism say we move ground, and NOW, on the issues OTHER than the NHS which only plays in England, as Welsh NHS and Scottish NHS issues will not move any English voters, other than by reflecting labour’s management of these.

    The concentration on weaponising the NHS is a one trick pony. With three legs. And blind in one eye.

    Time to take a hard look at the top five issues in England (where the election can still be won) and move towards the views people on these issues. Forget all the politically correct crap spoken up to now, concentrate on what the people will vote for. And if that means sacrificing a few left wing principles, then do so. Oppositions can change nothing. Only getting into power is relevant.

    • Sheik Rhat el Anrhol

      Yes, I think the concentration on the NHS comfort zone was both lazy and cowardly, avoiding the economy.

      All the polls I have seen indicate that the electorate is largely content with the NHS.

      As for the current attack on the firms that do the employing, catastrophe comes to mind.

    • Scott Cargill

      … And once you’ve sacrificed your prinicples, what the hell is the point in having power?

      • Sheik Rhat el Anrhol

        If your `principle’ are misguided, it is very unlikely that many will share them.

        • Scott Cargill

          Then what is the Labour party for, if it’s not a crusading movement of the left? If it’s just there to provide mealy mouthed triangulation, on issues – then it doesn’t reflect the lives or ambitions of those it wishes to govern. All it does is say as little as it can, never stands up for anything and will wear any coat to get in.

          It’s worth noting as well, that if Labour does lose Scotland, it’s not because it was too left wing….

          • Steve Stubbs

            Its more left wing than the SNP. How did that work out then?

          • Scott Cargill

            It’s not perceived as such. The SNP are reliably more social democratic in tone, if not in policy – and my personal opinion is that the SNP probably are to the left of Labour on a variety of policy positions. The Yes campaign also took on social democratic positions where Labour, allied ot the Tories and backed by the British establishment looked patrician like, hectoring and pandering to big business. You may find that unfair, and a distortion of Labour’s true position, but the perception of what is left of the Labour party in Scotland is a fairly right wing organisation.

          • Steve Stubbs

            No I agree that perception matters, perhaps even more than reality. It is perceived as reality.

          • Sheik Rhat el Anrhol

            But isn’t the left becoming something of a backwater these days? Perhaps a little naive seeming and even embarrassing?

            The UK seems always to elect from the centre and most in the UK are reasonably sensible from my experience.

          • Scott Cargill

            Any centre point is relative, not absolute. So it depends really, where the ‘centre’ is.

          • Paul Richardson

            The political centre has always been moveable. Think Keith Joseph and his ratchet effect. Of course, that was the ‘other’ direction. Thatcher’s legacy was moving the centre rightwards and in order to win power Blair embraced the new middle ground with his Market Socialism and ‘Third Way’.

            So to embrace the centre requires defining which centre at a given time you would like. Personally, the centre back in the 70s is preferable to now.

          • Diotima

            “those it wishes to govern”

            There’s the problem right there. lol

          • Sheik Rhat el Anrhol

            Certainly makes the blood run cold.

      • Steve Stubbs

        You can’t live on principles. And they are great as a position, except when you find yourself standing in the ruins screaming “we won”. Pragmatism beats principles any time.

        • Scott Cargill

          You need both. Politics is of course the art of the possible – pragmatism, but without principles, you have no political soul, and conseuqently, people have no attachment, no reason to vote for you.

    • Andy Ellis

      Which issues do you reckon they are? Are we meant to trust the NuLab “bittereinders” who still control your party to have some damascene conversion to presenting a radical, progressive set of policies that might attract people back? Electoral reform, abolishing the House of Lords, re-privatising the railways, abandoning Trident and spending the billions saved on something more useful, addressing tax avoidance with the same zeal as benefit fraud. We won’t be holding our breath!

  • Malcolm McCandless

    This ‘vote SNP get a Tory government’ is nonsense.

    Past elections shows it to be wrong. Indeed, in 2010 Scotland sent 41 Labour MPs to Westminster and we still ended up with a Tory Prime Minister. The Tories have only one MP in Scotland, and they are even likely to lose that.

    The maths is simple Labour have to win in England in order to become the majority party, and under Ed Miliband they are unlikely to do that. What is happening in Scotland will have little impact on that reality in England.

    Also current polling indicates Labour will need the support of the SNP to have any chance of being in government. It doesn’t matter if the SNP have 6, 16, 26, 36 or 46 MPs, Labour will need every single one.

    • robertcp

      I agree.

  • gavin

    Labour has taken Scotland for granted for decades. From the days of Harry Selby in Govan to a Scottish Labour MP shouting in the Commons –” Scotland , who cares “?–People notice.
    Many Scottish Labour constituencies are member free zones. Indeed the incumbents don’t want anyone who is not family or friend—no one who might threaten their little empires.
    My own MP is one Sandra Osborne, who presides over a county town in serious decline and a rural part heavily damaged by opencast mining, the operators of which failed to post the required bonds to remedy the ecological damage. The main operator had as a director Brian Wilson, a weel kent Scottish Labour Aristocrat.
    She appears badly out of her depth.

  • Tom Ruffles

    The self-serving Scots are probably assuming a Labour govt held up with SNP support that would wring maximum concessions as the price. What this short-sighted calculation doesn’t factor in is the likelihood of five more years of the Tories. Geniuses. It won’t stop them moaning though.

    • Paul Richardson

      Ever considered that Scots care about being represented and have seen little representation from Labour and much more from the SNP? Few people consider political calculations in the manner you describe. Certainly, the apolitical family and friends I know tend towards “hating all London based politicians – just want to give them a good kicking!”. This is not self-serving but a reflection of democracy.

    • Scott Cargill

      Not so, in 2010 Scotland dilligently returned 41 Labour MPs, and still got a Tory government – it doesn’t really matter who we send, if England produces a majority one way or the other – so instead of lambasting Scots for being self serving, and demanding polcies amenable to them (what, are they unique as an electorate in that respect?) perhaps wonder why Milliband cannot paste the Tories in England first.

      One other point, if you want to see why Labour are getting creamed, look at yesterday’s YouGov Scottish poll, on metrics such as who’s best able to stand up for Scotland, the SNP cream Labour, when asked if the Unionist parties are likely to keep their (watered down) promises regarding the Smith commission, respondents break 33/43 likely/unlikely.

      Put bluntly, after their behaviour in the IndyRef, enough Scots have lost their trust in the Labour party to put them in trouble. This isn’t the Scots problems, but rather the problem of the Labour party.

      • Steve Stubbs

        Large element of truth in this. The labour submission to McKay gave Scotland even less than the tory submission.

        • SilentHunter

          That’s right; which explains why Labour are no longer trusted by the Scots.

  • PATRICKNEWMAN

    Hold on, it’s the beginning of February not April but damage limitation is the most realistic course.

  • Malcolm McCandless

    I understand that Labour are planning to make an appeal to Tory supporters in Scotland to vote Labour to prevent the SNP from winning seats.

    Now that is desperation and very likely to be counter-productive in the present political climate. .

  • NickJamie

    What goes around comes around. Labour was warned. Repeatedly. From inside the tent. And those chilling predictions are now coming to pass.

    Forty years ago Tam Dalyell and Willie Ross, in opposing Labour’s cack-handed 1970s devolution scheme, warned their comrades that by feeding Nationalism it would lead inevitably to Scottish independence. Twenty years ago Dalyell again warned Blair’s party which was finally about to implement it. But did they listen? No. The “clever” people like Cook and Brown and Dewar and Robertson supposedly knew better than dear old eccentric Tam and assured themselves and everyone else that devolution was a wizard wheeze that would simultaneously dish the Tories and the Nationalists while further entrenching Labour’s domination in Scotland.

    Well that’s worked out well, hasn’t it?

    Intriguingly, the same sorts of Labour people who back then dismissed the threat of Nationalism and who insisted that their own partisan constitutional experimentation would quell rather than inflame demands for Scottish national self-determination are today to be heard saying the same thing about England. Apparently ignoring the growing calls for EVEL and Labour using Scottish MPs, even SNP MPs, to pass England-only legislation at Westminster against opposition from a non-Labour majority of English MPs, will have no damaging political consequences. Apparently the English don’t “do” Nationalism and so there’s no danger that taking its English voters for granted while governing them using non-English MPs will provoke a hostile reaction.

    Readers better hope that this time Labour’s “clever” people are right. Having already lost much of the party’s traditional support in Scotland by misunderstanding the nature of Nationalism, if Labour also alienates a sizeable part of its traditional English support too the party’s chances of forming rUK governments at Westminster will diminish to virtually nothing.

    • Malcolm McCandless

      In 1888, Keir Hardie stood in a Mid-Lanark election on a platform that included Home Rule for Scotland.

      Labour has been promising Scotland Home Rule for over 127 years, so far they have failed to deliver it.

    • Andy Ellis

      Totally flawed analysis. Labour in Scotland don’t face an existential threat because they pandered to nationalism, but because they failed to provide what was demanded of them, and spend decades taking Scottish votes measured by pound weight in elections, whilst failing to address inequality and poverty.

      Scottish Labour unionists like the odious Lord Robertson predicted devo would kill nationalism stone dead; their cack handed political opportunism and pandering to soft centre, failing to address the real problems with the creaking UK system, are what has brought you to this sorry state!

  • Malcolm McCandless

    Ashcroft Poll: 35% of LABOUR voters in the party’s Scottish heartlands would rather see David Cameron as PM than Ed Miliband.

    If Labour cannot convince a substantial number of their own core voters about the merits of Ed Miliband then the party is really in trouble

    • Sheik Rhat el Anrhol

      Not exactly an easy task. Quite a challenge.

      • uglyfatbloke

        I think I’ve met your cousins, Sheikh Yerbouti and Sheikh ‘Tallabowt.

    • RWP

      Given the Tories don’t exist in Scotland and the SNP said
      they won’t work with them, an SNP surge will make no difference to who gets
      into Downing Street. Labour’s 41 Scottish seats didn’t stop Cameron becoming
      PM. Either Labour will win a narrow majority, or be the largest party and
      govern alone as a minority, or will govern with SNP support – there is no other
      likely outcome if Labour puts in a reasonable performance in England + Wales.

      • treborc1

        That was then this is now, it may well make a massive difference this time.

      • robertcp

        Some sanity! The Scots proved that they are not stupid when they rejected independence. They will not fall for the Vote SNP and get the Tories claptrap. Labour need to say something vaguely intelligent which is difficult for Labour in Scotland.

        • SilentHunter

          “…Labour need to say something vaguely intelligent…”

          Well, good luck with that project! LOL

          • robertcp

            I did not think that my comment was that funny but thanks.

  • Chilbaldi

    We need to accept the losses in May and move on. It’s too late now. But the one thing we need to make sure happens is that the deadwood who lose their Labour seats are moved on and new candidates selected.

    Scottish Labour needs an injection of fresh talent, with a fresh approach.

    Oh and by the way, massive elephant in the room. Ed Miliband is a major problem in Scotland – I was up there several times in the referendum campaign and the electorate there really don’t like him.

    Labour also needs to state before the election, in a measured and sensitive way, that it will not enter coalition with the SNP while they retain their platform of UK breakup.

    • Paul Richardson

      Am curious …
      What was the reasons why?

      Too English? Too South-East? Too posh? None of these?

      If he is the leader of Labour going into the election, it might help for him to try and address those impressions.

      • Scott Cargill

        None of these, I think. It’s largely down to a serious lack of conviction and gravitas, as well as an ability to relate. Like ’em or loathe ’em, Salmond dominated any room he walked into and Sturgeon can genuinly mix it with the electorate, not in a staged PR kind of way – she can genuinely walk into a pub and have a conversation with someone. That kind of humainty is missing from Milliband.

        As for his terrible polling vis a vis Cameron? Once you are in the mindset that there is no real difference between Labour and the Tories, what is left is a percpetion of competence. Cameron may be evil, but at least you know where he stands, Milliband and Labour’s polciy positioning is so vague and convoluted as to be worthless.

      • Chilbaldi

        Too English, too London, too cookie cutter politician. He being a PPEist was mentioned. There was also an impression amongst some that he went to one of the famous public schools, bizarrely, which of course I corrected. But you can see why they get that impression if they don’t follow politics too closely – the leaders all look the same.

        The overriding factor though is I believe his Hampstead socialist politics. That sort of London dinner party left wing politics has never connected with northern or Scottish voters, and now it is starting to show. I think Scots want practical, pragmatic men of action, rather than intellectual theorists.

        Being a Londoner who attended Oxford and who has never really lived outside the south east other than a brief sojourn in the USA, he isn’t the sort of guy who Scots can connect with or understand either. He can’t relate to them.

    • Andy Ellis

      The talent has all gone to the SNP. The only chance for Labour in Scotland (assuming independence doesn’t come in the next few years) would be to set up a truly distinct party, registered with the Electoral Commission, not just an accounting unit of UK Labour. Lamont’s parting shot was so damaging because it was true, and seen to be true even by Labour supporters in Scotland. Their performance during the indyref was woeful, and despite what Mark says above many of the character like Curran, Alexander, Sarwar, Davidson, Dugdale, Bailie are widely disliked; they are out of touch, dismissive of any disagreement and unpleasant if confronted.

      Miliband isn’t seen as PM material in Scotland or in England, but that isn’t the real problem stopping you halting the SNP rise in Scotland.

    • John Mitchell

      I agree with most of your points and particularly about no coalition deal with the SNP.

      I like Ed Miliband and believe that the issue with current Labour direction is not his fault, or not all his fault. It’s the direction of the party generally which seems afraid to offer a coherent alternative to the Conservatives. It’s become almost fashionable to dislike Ed Miliband, which people are entitled to do, but I do not think that Ed Miliband is the problem here.

  • Steve Stubbs

    Its times like this I wish LL had a live real time chatroom.

    • Paul Richardson

      Google+ / Hangouts?

      • Steve Stubbs

        Sorry can you put sub-titles on that?

        • Paul Richardson

          Was suggesting the use of Google’s google+ network and its Hangout feature that allows people to video-chat together in a group. Apologies am a techo-phile so assumed you would know what I meant 😉

          • Steve Stubbs

            Us luddites are still holding our stylus by the wrong end……

            Mind you, the new stylus tax to pay for the NHS will encourage us to use keyboards. 🙂

  • jimmy

    In many ways Scottish politics in 2015 is now a little like Northern Ireland.
    This statement highlights just how far the divisive nationalist agenda has taken Scotland. The independence referendum and the SNP lies about the “VOW” have managed to turn working Scots against their traditional labour party. the fact that there are more than 50% of the SNP who are ex Tory careerists and that the SNP have more in common with big business and the much hated banks than they have with a Govan welder seems to go unchallenged byLabour. Exposing the lies and and the failure to deliver over 100 election promises is one way to redress the balance. Independence By the back door seems to be the intent ( Salmonds desire to rejoin the Westmonster fold) EXPOSE and CHALLENGE – dont sit in the corner crying about the polls get out there and change peoples minds

    • Scott Cargill

      To paraphrase the late, great Jimmy Reid: The Independence referendum didn’t turn working Scots against the Labour party, the Labour party turned against a lot of working Scots.

    • Andy Ellis

      Self-deluded nonsense. This type of head in the sand unreason is why Labour are in such deep trouble in Scotland. The Labour party turned folk against itself. The SNP may not be perfect, but it’s seen as a hell of a lot more progressive and reform minded than the shambolic Labour party. The SNP haven’t been lying about the Vow – the Vow was a cheque the britnats knew they couldn’t cash, cynically knocked out on the back of a fag packet in sheer panic when the Yes vote started looking threatening.

      Independence doesn’t need to happen via the back door; the hopeless performance of the britnat parties and political elites will deliver it when they fail to make good on their promises of more devo.

  • 07052015

    Scots bottle independence and then six months later blame the unionists for winning.Not very helpful comment I know but politics isnt very rational at the moment.

  • MacGuffin

    Roll on May 7!

  • Steve Timmins

    I am surprised at Mark’s criticism of Johann Lamont. From Glasgow and Edinburgh it must feel exactly like being in a branch office. The appointment of Jim Murphy followed on in the same pattern. And we’re not going to get a majority. We never were. Let’s just be honest and recognise that in the SNP at least we have a left wing party as a potential ally rather than the appalling LibDems.

    • Andy Ellis

      To be fair Lamont is due huge criticism for the abject failure of her leadership. Throwing the grenade upon resignation was the only positive or honest thing she did…it’s just a shame Labour’s Scottish branch office STILL haven’t learned the lessons, or made any practical moves to address the issues she raised. As for electing Murphy…only blinkered NuLab true believers in Scotland could possibly think that was a good idea.

      The best Lab can hope for is to be the largest party without a majority. They better start getting real about the cost of a deal with the SNP too, and preparing the ground for abandoning Trident and actually delivering “true” home rule.

      • John Bolt

        And what will SNP do if Labour says no? Put the Tories in? Stay home?

        • Paul Richardson

          The SNP could well end up in the same position as the LibDems in 2010…. a deal-with-the-devil or electoral-wilderness dismissed as a Westminster protest party, only interested in governing north of the border and failing to be representative at a national/international level. I am convinced the only reason Salmond is wanting a Westminster seat is to be part of this negotiation / deal. His price? Deputy PM maybe?

          • Andy Ellis

            Don’t you people pay any attention? SNP aren’t interested in coalition – it’s a poisoned chalice as the feckless LDs found out. Confidence and supply will do nicely. It’s up to Labour to try and get more MPs than the Tories. No doubt they’ll manage to muck that up too! Even if they do however, an anti-Tory majority is still more likely than an anti-Labour majority. Salmond has more sense than to want to be deputy PM, even if SNP are the 3rd party.

          • Paul Richardson

            Steady! I have been paying attention. My point was that regardless of the name given to the agreement, the SNP could not afford to say “no” to it, for the same reasons that the LDs could not say no either in 2010. These kinds of elections/chances come along rarely hence one must take one’s opportunities when presented. Therefore, there will be pressure on the SNP to “do a deal’.

            Likewise, I am aware Salmond is an excellent political operator and has largely been under-estimated in the last decade or more. However, he also likes to be “in the thick of it”, which is why Ms Sturgeon expressed most directly that SHE would be conducting the negotiations. Nevertheless, you have to consider that Labour may well demand some kind of “you have to pin your colours to the mast of this ship as well” penance, otherwise risking the SNP run away with all the glory but none of the criticism if things go wrong.

        • Andy Ellis

          They won’t say no. Labour will sell their grannies to have SNP support. All the polls and betting odds point to another hung parliament. Barring political earthquakes in next 100 days, only issue is how big the SNP bloc will be, and what the price will be. Smart money is on scrapping Trident (a no brainer anyway) and solid commitment to devomax,

        • Ryan

          SNP / PC / Green alliance, hold their corner, double down for the next election.

      • Diotima

        “The best Lab can hope for is to be the largest party without a majority.”

        It aint going to happen. Labour have as much of a credibility gap in England and Wales as they do in Scotland. They are more interested in speech codes than people’s true concerns, and to the extent they are interested in people’s true concerns, no one believes they have the competence to address them. Labour have successfully situated themselves as ‘the party for women and the minorities.’ The trouble is they are not a party for anyone else. Furthermore, most women and a significant proportion of the ‘minorities’ don’t really want to be considered in the terms that Labour portrays, and so they are sceptical too. When an English Labour MP launches a campaign to increase the proportion of books written by female political writers stocked in the House of Commons bookshop a few months before a general election people get the message about their priorities.

        • Andy Ellis

          Do tell us what it is you know that nobody else does in relation to the available polling then? They all point consistently to another hung parliament, and until recently to Lab as largest party. Recent polls suggest Tories might be largest, but it’s likely to be close. The real issue (still!) is the relative size of the SNP/Green/PC bloc and the LDs

          • Diotima

            We are in uncharted territory to a considerable extent, and so the polls are unlikely to be an accurate guide. In the current political climate in England and Wales, the proportion of electors with a firm party commitment has never been lower, and so much can happen between now and May. I don’t have any more of a crystal ball than anyone else, but I think the widespread voter cynicism about the mainstream parties is likely to increase in the coming months, rather than reduce. I can see three things happening, all of which will harm Labour: a significant proportion of their ‘radical’ supporters will defect to the Greens, UKIP will make further inroads into the traditional working class vote, and the tendency of waverers to ‘play it safe’ on the day and vote Tory.

    • Gary Pepworth

      Jim Murphy wasn’t ‘appointed’, he won an election of Scottish Labour members and won it well.

      • Andy Ellis

        Would he have won it if there had been OMOV I wonder? Not that Scottish Labour have the balls to disclose how few members they now have of course! 😉

      • SilentHunter

        He “won it well” did he?

        So what were the actual numbers? SLAB seem awfa coy aboot it!

  • WirralBill

    The bottom line is, if you vote Labour, you get poverty. All those areas that have voted Labour for 100+ years are the poorest parts of the country. Perhaps the voters there need to re-assess their own attitudes – to work, tax, the state – and throw Labour overboard. It is a failed party that thrives in, and replicates, poverty wherever it goes.

    • Diotima

      lol. The poor are Labour’s key constituency. It needs as many of them as possible.

    • treborc1

      Well they did in 1997 but actually the Tories are not much better are they. So maybe it’s time for the SNP to look at entering politics nationally.

  • Ray McHale

    Having heard a talk from Sheila Murphy – the Labour Organiser sent in to “save the union” I too would have resigned if I was Johann Lamont. She clearly got told by this unelected official – get out the way, I am running things now. Gordon Brown will be Labour’s voice. SM obviously felt that the re-invigorated campaign saved the union – but I doubt that considerably. I think many would say people are not voting for Nationalism in Scotland – but against Tory austerity and a lack of a radical agenda. By sticking doggedly to the centre ground to appease and win Lib Dem votes, the Party was always going to be vulnerable to being out-flanked from the Left. And that can still happen to a greater degree in England and Wales with Plaid and the Greens. The best defence is a national war of word – against austerity, against Tax dodging, against business taking over services to run them for profit rather than need. Even if they fear opposing the renewal of Trident they should be talking in strident terms about cutting this massively unproductive expenditure to the bone – and about supporting green industry and green jobs, and about rent controls and an £8 minimum wage immediately – to stop tax payers subsidizing big business profits.

  • Den Partington

    You reap what you sow. Not only are you now red tories. Your social policies are very little different than theirs. As far as Lamont goes. The truth hurts does it not. You are no longer a labour party and your career pollys are heading for the dole.well deserved. Independence is inevitable and the labour party could have governed an independent Scotland for many years.The SNP are more labour like than you have been in many years.

  • VacantPossession

    SNP strategy seems to go something like this: Leave the Union and be ruled by Brussels. This strategy seems to work with their own voters, those north of the border are joining up in droves. I don’t understand how the SNP reconcile their vision of independence with this desperation to be ruled by someone else, anyone else as long as it isn’t self rule or Westminster.

    Apart from Union membership Labour have a similar strategy so there is no policy differentiation, Scottish Labour are fighting the SNP on minutiae without patriotism. Good luck with that, perhaps a time for a (quick) rethink?

    • Helena Brown

      Och not that one again, Do keep up and stop recycling rubbish.

      • VacantPossession

        I am glad you replied, it was in part a question; I read the wee blue book and in general agreed with most – until I arrived on the section on Europe.

        Please explain to me why the SNP wants rule from Brussels. What is wrong with self government?

        I really don’t understand independence without independence.

        • Andy Ellis

          Because it’s a totally spurious point. Ask Danes, Dutch, Swedes, Balts etc if they feel less independent as part of the EU? I guarantee the vast majority will laugh in your face. This fatuous EU rule = pretendy independence line gets no more convincing for the constant repetition. Polls show Scots are more pro EU than the rest of the UK, and would vote to stay in at any brexit vote; that presents a problem for europhobes. The SNP are already talking about making any future brexit vote in the UK an automatic trigger for a new indyref in the event Scotland votes to stay in and rUK to come out.

          • VacantPossession

            All very interesting but does not answer why.

          • Andy Ellis

            Why what? Scots are more pro-EU… that’s just the way it is. They (and anyone else with 2 brain cells) don’t accept the spurious UKIPer argument you made above. The EU involves some pooling of sovereignty, but by independent states. Simple really!

        • Guest

          Because you mistakenly assumed the SNP as the isolationist, protective, defensive sort of nationalist. They are quite the opposite, they fear those things. It’s England that’s in danger of isolating and the SNP fear being dragged along with it against their will.

    • John Mitchell

      Yes, on your point on the EU, I agree and that’s something I could never understand myself throughout the referendum campaign. I’ve heard commentators that suggested the stance with Europe was different because Scotland should have ‘independence within Europe.’ The truth is, there is no such thing. The European Central Bank runs the show if a country happens to join the EU and they must have a central bank of some sort. What sovereignty is sovereignty if a nation cannot control its own currency? The SNP themselves prior to 1979 opposed EU integration. Now, the issue serves a purpose in order to get another referendum.

      Then there’s the Bank of International Settlements, the IMF and so on. In the modern world there is no such thing as ‘independence.’ Rather, it is independence. Even an isolationist country such as North Korea doesn’t do itself or its people any favours by cutting itself away from this model.

      As for your point on Scottish Labour, yes, that seems to be the case. Surrender as opposed to fighting populist, poisonous and corrosive nationalism. The Labour party isn’t supposed to be about nationalism, individualism and identity and what supposedly makes us ‘different’, it’s supposed to be about what brings people together and fighting for a common cause or the collective.

  • Steve Timmins

    Sorry, Gary. Of course you’re right. Just felt like a daft decision in the light of the referendum. As I’m not a Scot I’ll shut up now

  • Steve Timmins

    Couldn’t agree more re your second par. If only the bullshit at the top of the party would stop for one moment and allow a hint of honesty…

  • Sheik Rhat el Anrhol

    Whose idea was it to dangle Gordon Brown in front of the electorate just before a general election?

    Is everyone completely insane?

    • Helena Brown

      You could say that.

  • David Pickering

    I blame Bill Somebody!

    • SilentHunter

      Stickers?

      Hasn’t anyone prosecuted that guy yet?

  • Tim Mullen

    @LabourList @markfergusonuk It’s also worth noting the lack of contact even from the SNP; that suggests a good ground game (William Bain) can still turn large numbers of those seats around.

    • Helena Brown

      Good luck with that, any idea how many ex Labour have now JOINED the SNP.

      • Andy Ellis

        I wonder how many members Labour’s Scottish accounting unit actually has now? 5000?

        • Helena Brown

          Loved the cartoon in Twitter this morning with Don’t put the lights on Jim they will be able to count us.

      • Tim Mullen

        No and neither do you as it’s totally and utterly impossible to ascertain any statistically reliable or accurate figures. I do know however from published figures that both the SNP and Labour have seen an increase in membership, which is commonplace after both a protracted election (referendum) campaign and a leadership election(s).

      • SilentHunter

        Me. . . . oh? . . . and about 50,000 more. ;o)

    • Guest

      Don’t count on it, it was knocking on more doors than won the SNP the 2005 and 2011 Holyrood elections. Membership has quadrupled since then.

  • Ben Gardner

    I disagree with your central point. From everything I heard about in the referendum campaign, working class people were voting ‘Yes’ not because of any love of independence, rather they thought it was the surest way of avoiding Tory governments. Similarly, the same people are now saying they will vote SNP not because of independence but because they believe the party best represents the kind of democratic socialism they want. That in effect the SNP are ‘Scottish Real Labour’.

    A more confident Labour party would step back and view a centre-left party sweeping up Scottish seats as not the end of the world. Every Labour MP that falls in Scotland is obviously a step closer to the Tories being the largest party, however every Lib Dem that falls is also a step closer to the end of the coalition. At the end of the day the party that commands a majority in the house will become the next government, not the one that has the most seats.

    • Helena Brown

      Many of us in Scotland know that this referendum was fiddled we think it should have been called null and void when the first hint of giving Devo Max was given. Hedge in as we were by rules which seem to only apply to one side we have a very jaundiced view of Democracy in Britain. BBC Labour, the mouth piece won the Referendum.

  • Cassandra

    Of course Labour is going down in flames. They are the Conservative party without the red colour. The leaders all went to same schools, same Universities and are terrified of Socialism. There are two local authorities in Scotland which the Labour and Tories are in coalition.
    The rise in SNP in my view has got nothing to do with Nationalism but in a desperate attempt by voters to find a party which has a semblance of a left wing view.
    See Greece and perhaps now Spain? Perhaps the voters of Europe are fed up by being taken to the cleaners by the multinationals and corrupt bankers. They who caused the financial crisis are laughing all the way to the corrupt banks and and those who had nothing to do with it suffer the consequences of the actions of those rich and nasty people.
    Why hasn’t Milliband shouted long and loud at the practices of these financial institutions? Perhaps the answer lies above?

    • SilentHunter

      “…There are two local authorities in Scotland which the Labour and Tories are in coalition…”

      Damn right !

      I live in one of them and it’s sickening to watch Labour Councillors voting to cut services alongside their new pals . . . the Tories.

      They hate the SNP so much, that they’re prepared to sacrifice their own voters to score mere political points.

      Meanwhile the SNP ensure that money is allocated to negate the worst excesses of the bedroom tax in Scotland. The SNP actually DO things to help the people of Scotland whilst Labour just . . . VOTE WITH THE TORIES!

    • robertcp

      I agree.

  • Barry_Edwards

    As a trade unionist I know that a union strengthens all its members. That should be our message across the whole UK.

    • Helena Brown

      I suppose you don’t know how many Trade Unionists in Scotland are now in the SNP?

      • treborc1

        A lot I would think, especially after Miliband attack on the Unions. I know how many in the GMB are in the labour party 50,000 out of a million.

    • Sheik Rhat el Anrhol

      I was a member of the TGWU in the ’60’s and that was not a pleasant experience to say the least.

    • SilentHunter

      So; Trade Unionists are ONLY members of the Labour Party, are they?

      Yet another example of arrogance Labour has in taking votes for granted.

      Aye! We should just “shut up and eat our cereal” then and not concern ourselves about politics because “the Union” will take care of it for us; to save us the bother of thinking for ourselves.

      Arrogance like that is what is losing Labour votes in Scotland.

      • Barry_Edwards

        I didn’t realize Labour List readers took things so literally.

        I was using my 30 years plus as a union member to suggest the advantages of being part of a union (not necessarily a TRADE union).

        We need to state the positive advantages of being part of the United Kingdom to all its parts.

        • SilentHunter

          Funny; I could have sworn you said “…As a trade unionist…”.

          I hadn’t realised that Labour List readers should be able to read minds as well as comments.

        • Andy Ellis

          A day late and a dollar short I’m afraid! Hopefully we can at least save you from another 5 years of the ConDems before indyref2! 😉

  • treborc1

    I’ve a feeling in Scotland the people will turn out in numbers and they will be voting SNP because labour no longer speaks for the people.

    Look at Miliband today on PMQ’s “labour stands up for hard working people”, so let the hard working people vote for him then I cannot.

    Ball’s last night went onto News night and made a total mess of who his backers are in the business community that was a farce Bill what his name..

    Now then Scotland have always hated the Tories, they have a hate of them, but then we had new labour and Scotland unlike the rest of us had a party in waiting and they responded and sadly labour then made sure a Progress Blair-rite became the leader in Scotland so how surprising should it be the SNP are growing.

    I do not know any more we need to have a party which is opposite of the Tories not trying to out do them.

    None of the party are talking for the majority of the country.

    Miliband we are standing up for hard working families , lets hope enough of them think your worth voting for.

  • Chrisso

    ‘Murphy will be judged on how Labour perform this May and next.’ That’s the main message from this. He’s not even clear on whether he will be standing for his Westminster seat in 3 months time, as BBC’s Daily Politics show pointed out a week ago – with derision. Murphy was critically questioned about his reticence by Andrew Neil but refused to commit himself. Murphy is not even a member of the Holyrood parliament. Yet Scottish Labour elected him as leader! What a disaster.

  • gavin

    Watching the dismal performance of Balls and Miliband, week after week, it would seem to me that Labour will struggle in England, even for parity, with a Tory outfit out to reward their own backers and to hell with the rest. That’s a disgrace. It should be an open goal every week.
    Why anyone would think the Scots would support this present Labour Leadership is beyond me ?
    Miliband, Curran and Murphy. A Troika of Labour doom.

  • J____W

    Supporting the “no” vote in the independence referendum wasn’t the best idea, but following it up by electing Jim Murphy as the Scottish labour Party leader really was the final nail in the coffin.

    The issue for Scottish voters is that Labour had moved too far to the right, but the party’s solution was to elect arguably its most right-wing Scottish MP as leader. Scottish Labour will get everything they deserve in May.

    To be honest, it’s got to the stage that I’d rather see the SNP win heavily in Scotland so that they can drag Labour back to where they should be on the political spectrum – I’d prefer a Labour-SNP coalition to a solely Labour government.

  • RWP

    Despite the headlines, it’s not actually all doom and gloom
    for Labour. Even if Ashcroft is right and they only keep 6 seats in Scotland,
    they still only need to match the Tory vote share in England and Wales, as they
    did in 2005 after Iraq, to get to reach get a technical majority under FPTP.
    From there they could rule alone or with a preferred partner like the SDLP.
    Given the polls and a Tory-led government which, with its austerity programme is
    as unpopular as John Major was when was flung out of office in 1997, this is
    definitely achievable.

    • SilentHunter

      So it’s about playing the percentages . . . rather than any deeply held political convictions.

      Thanks for highlighting just how low Labour have sunk. Power at any price; even if it involves voting with the Tories.

    • Andy Ellis

      They’re likely to need either the SNP or LDs. SDLP won’t be enough to give them a stable majority. Given the attitude to LDs, they really need to be building some bridges to Big Eck & Nicola and gagging the NATZ=BAD trolls in Scottish Labour.

  • Hobbit

    Labour’s best option may well end up being in a Grand Coalition, not least because it does not want to be beholden to the SNP in a minority or coalition government, and because the sensible Tories don’t want to be beholden to UKIP. It will come down, in the end, to who Labour hate more, the SNP or the Tories. Hint: it may not be the Tories.

    • SilentHunter

      I think we can all see that they hate the SNP and are happiest voting with the Tories.

      A Tory / Labour coalition is openly being touted now!

      How could that have ever been imagined in the worst nightmares of the founding fathers of the Labour Party.

    • Paul Richardson

      That eventuality would see me finished with the Labour Party. Oh and that’s what PASOK did in Greece at their last election and all of their votes went to Syrizia this time around. Maybe Labour would prefer 4.7% of the vote in 2020!

  • RWP

    Given the Tories don’t exist in Scotland and the SNP said
    they won’t work with them, an SNP surge will make no difference to who gets
    into Downing Street. Labour’s 41 Scottish seats didn’t stop Cameron becoming
    PM. Either Labour will win a narrow majority, or be the largest party and
    govern alone as a minority, or will govern with SNP support – there is no other
    likely outcome if Labour puts in a reasonable performance in England + Wales.

    • Andy Ellis

      An outright Labour majority in vanishingly unlikely barring some political earthquake in the next 90 days; not impossible, but not worth placing money on. A minority Labour government doesn’t have many obvious partners either, and of those only SNP is likely to have enough MP’s for a stable government – even a minority one!

      • Sheik Rhat el Anrhol

        This is very starkly true. Add to that the normal incumbent’s late surge and we may have a clear Tory majority.

        That would have been hard to bet on even a year ago.

        • Andy Ellis

          No; a clear Tory majority is as unlikely as a clear Labour one. All the evidence points to both being pretty close but well short of an absolute majority.

          • Sheik Rhat el Anrhol

            Yes indeed. However, if one builds in the incumbency advantage and factors in the continuing Labour voting intention erosion, a small Tory majority my be the result.

            Another factor may be that there has not been a single term Government which has lost an election since the war – I am told. This may be the first but who knows?

          • Andy Ellis

            Hmmnn..it’s possible. I think the incumbency factor is offset to an extent by loss of Tory votes to UKIP (tho some may drift back to Tories as they realise UKIP is a wasted vote in most places). Some progressives may abandon Lab in England for the Greens. I’m assuming LDs are as low as they can go & will retain their core vote. I still think neither Lab or Tories will have an absolute majority.

          • Sheik Rhat el Anrhol

            Yes this is the general view but to me, from afar, this has more than a sniff of Kinnock about it and possibly for similar reasons.

  • Tom Williams

    The best the Labour party can now hope for is a coalition with the SNP – with this in mind maybe it’s time to start being nice to people of Scotland and accept they have chosen a party that best suits their needs. Either we believe in democracy or we believe the labour party has a right to govern regardless of public opinion.

    • Andy Ellis

      The flaw in your cunning plan being the fact that both Salmond and Sturgeon are on record as saying they don’t think a formal coalition is likely. that’d be a no then. The Labour party should follow your advice and start getting real tho! As a starter for 10 they should be preparing the ground for Trident cancellation and devolving everything but defence and foreign affairs to Holyrood. Now might be a good time to think about overhauling the shambolic crypto-medieval structure of Westminster and over centralised system in the rest of the UK too?

    • SilentHunter

      The SNP don’t want a coalition with any party – they have clearly stated that they would deal with Labour on a supply & demand basis . . . Not a coalition.

  • Ifan Morgan Jones

    As a Welshman watching from the sidelines – it seems to me that the problem with the ‘vote SNP get Tory’ line is that the SNP have shown that they don’t need to be anywhere near power in order to get what they want. Like a mobile phone customer, they just have to threaten to leave, and get a better deal. The better they do, in Holyrood, the independence referendum, and in the GE, the more the government oif the day will throw goodies their way. From that perspective, who is in actually at the wheel in Westminister doesn’t matter – doubly so if Labour would basically continue with the Tories’ austerity.

    • Andy Ellis

      The real problem with the ‘vote SNP get Tory” line is that it’s a load of bollocks! Otherwise your point is well made! 😉

    • Malcolm McCandless

      Scotland sent 41 Labour MPs to Westminster and we still ended up with a Tory Prime Minister.

  • MikeHomfray

    If the Scots wanted separation then they should have voted for it. No doubt they will come to realise there is no land of milk and honey but by then it will be too late

    • Andy Ellis

      45% of them did vote for it. Latest polls show that >50% would do so today. They weren’t voting for milk and honey; all sane voters realised that there were and are risks and opportunities inherent in EITHER result. If britnats had all the answers why are they getting humped in the polls? Come back to us on May 8th and tell us how unrealistic we are…or are you going to try for the follow up about us being ungrateful subsidy junkies?

      • Diotima

        The polls I’ve looked at have been all over the place since the referendum. I suspect you are being selective. In any event, the only poll that matters is the one where people cast a ballot paper. You just don’t like the result and so want it to be rerun.

        I’m wondering if you’d be kicking up if the vote had gone marginally in favour of ‘yes’ but then polls showed some people had had a change of heart. I’m guessing ‘no.’ lol

        • Andy Ellis

          You suspect wrong. There are plenty of online resources proving the point, and quite a few polling sites contradicting you. No polls I’ve seen show a decease, all show an increase. Google is your friend. Go do! Of course I don’t like the result. Yes I want a rerun. It’s called democracy.

          You’re guessing wrong. If the vote had been Yes and people changed their minds, it’s quite open to them to campaign to reverse the result, just as we are campaigning for another Yes vote at some point. The way things are going it looks like that’s going to happen much sooner than we dared hope!

          • Diotima

            “Yes I want a rerun. It’s called democracy.”

            No, that’s only part of democracy. The other part is accepting poll results and then shutting the f*ck up. You can’t have continuous campaigns and calls for elections, lol. Your notion of democracy is similar to the one that prevails in many parts of Africa, where no matter how elections are conducted the defeated party won’t accept the results. The reason they do this is because many African politicians, and a sizeable part of the electorate have the mentality of 5 year olds.

            “If the vote had been Yes and people changed their minds, it’s quite open to them to campaign to reverse the result”

            Yes, and they would have been rightly identified as d*ckheads.

          • Andy Ellis

            I’ll give your low voltage response all the notice it deserves. Just another anti-democratic britnat zoomer….stun us with another!

          • Diotima

            “We woz robbed!” = democracy, lol

          • SilentHunter

            I think you just conceded the point. >:o)

          • ghostly

            We accepted the decision otherwise we’d be pretending we were independent right now.

          • Diotima

            I didn’t mean ‘accepted’ in that sense, but in the sense of contesting, or in various ways casting doubt on the validity/legitimacy of the result.

            This is a typical response of fanatics and hotheads who are ruled by their emotions – rather like children.

          • ghostly

            So by that logic why are even bothering to have an election in May? We made a democratic decision 5 years ago and are lumped with it.

          • Diotima

            “This is a typical response of fanatics and hotheads”

            Sorry, I forgot to add “fools” to the list.

            Any answer I give is going to be lost on anyone capable of asking such a dumb question.

          • ghostly

            Yet again you miss the point. Where there is a democratic will, then future referenda are justified. The result is not in question. I would argue that the validity is questionable given the media bias but I guess that evens up the fact that the argument for independence is more robust.

            Anyway, you know you are winning an argument when the other person resorts to petty insults. 🙂

  • All Labour has to do to get back the millions of votes lost since 1997 is to remember that its primary purpose is to keep the wages up and the management down. If it does that it can run all the social polices that it wants to get sections of the middle class onside and people like me will just roll our eyes, but still vote for the party that sees that our bread is nicely buttered.

  • Gordon Craig

    I am sorry but I thought I was reading some right wing newspaper and not the Labour Line. We know the situation is bad for Labour in Scotland but let us have a reasoned discussion without going over the top. Jim Murphy will make a difference but it wi take time. Unfortunately Mr Ferguson you do not understand there is a time lag between trying to sort things and getting the reward in changed attitudes. You article is panic driven and all you do is trying to blame everyone in Scotland for what is a difficult political situation.
    By the way where is the article about the SNP’s terrible record of lack of spending in the NHS in Scotland even compared with the poor record of the Tories in England.

    • Andy Ellis

      Just a wee reminder that Jim Murphy tried to score cheap political points about the NHS thing outside a hospital Labour were going to close down. Awkward!

    • Gary Jessiman

      Yet with lower spending our services are still coming out in front of England. Wales which is run by Labour isn’t even in the same ball park.

      Have you ever heard the proverb about glass houses?

    • Henry Hooper

      Mr Murphy WILL be the death of Labour in Scotland – just wait and see, If you are so content to be in denial.
      English NHS spend is greater due to the payments made to outside management consultants, accountants with their hefty fees in each of the regions…all getting ready to slash, divide, sell off and marketise the NHS

    • Gordon Craig

      Whether you are right, time will tell but unfortunately you will not be held to account if you are wrong. As for your excuse about resources it is pathetic. The problem in Scotland is that the targets set by the SNP for the NHS i.e. A&E waiting times and waiting times from referral to treatment are not being met across large parts of Scotland and resources are a problem. The SNP can spend NHS money elsewhere if they wish including producing a so called White Paper on independence but what they cannot avoid is being held to account for failures directly associated with lack of resources which have been given to them.

  • Malcolm McCandless

    Lets challenge the Labour mantra “Vote SNP get Tory government”.

    Since 1970 we have the following average % Scottish figures for UK general elections.

    Conservative governments:

    Labour vote: 40%, Labour MPs: 63%
    SNP vote: 17%, SNP MPs: 5%
    Total vote: 57%, Total MPs 68%

    Labour governments:

    Labour vote: 41%, Labour MPs: 71%
    SNP vote: 23%, SNP MPs 12%
    Total vote: 64%, Total MPs 83%

    So that disproves conclusively the claim, “Vote SNP get Tory government”.

    For Labour to win the UKGE it has to win in England.

    • Paul Richardson

      This misses the vital detail of the argument “Vote SNP get Tory govt.”.
      With the 41 Scottish MPs being Labour, your figures conclude 63% and 71% yet without those seats, those percentages become much smaller since that means 6% of seats being taken from Labour and given to the SNP so those figures become 51% and 59%.

      That is dangerously close to the 50% mark and since the possibility of other parties splitting the anti-Tory vote in other places Labour need to win, the Tories may well hold those vital marginal seats, leaving the possibility that the Tories could just sneak into to become the largest party by a few seats. Since they are the largest party, they will be invited by the Queen to attempt to form a govt.

      Therefore, I agree with you that Labour need to win in England and Wales. However, your figures do not conclusively disprove the claim since there is very real traction in suggesting that voting SNP in Scotland could well let in the Tories.

      I think it would be better described as some have already done as “a dangerous game” if Scottish people do in fact want a Labour-SNP Govt.

      • Malcolm McCandless

        The Tories hold only one seat in Scotland, and on current polling there are no marginals that would allow the Tories to sneak a win in other Scottish seats.

        ” Since they are the largest party, they will be invited by the Queen to attempt to form a govt.”

        Current UK polling indicates that the Tories will not win an overall majority. The Tories have already rejected UKIP and the Lib Dems could be too small in number, so a Tory led coalition or an agreement with others is very unlikely.

        Labour too are unlikely to win an overall majority and may become the second largest party, but if the numbers are right there is nothing to prevent Labour in seeking a confidence and supply agreement with the SNP and Plaid Cymru to form a government .

        No, in the immediate aftermath of the UKGE the largest party in hung parliament will not be invited by the Queen to form a government.

  • Gary Jessiman

    Voting Labour in the GE is a waste of time as all the MP’s vote for the party line and this has very little to do with the wishes of the Scottish electorate. It doesn’t matter what pledges they make in the run up to election as it is only the UK party that calls the shots.

    This is why Labour have failed continuously when they were in power in Scotland, as the leaders in London can’t afford for Scotland to have a better deal than the English electorate, as this would cost them dearly in the next GE.

    We didn’t even want Jim Murphy as the Labour leader in Scotland yet you awarded him that position regardless of what your own party members and the unions voted for. If this is how you treat the voice of Scotland when you’re paying attention, then god help us all after the GE when you don’t need our votes anymore.

  • Glastohead

    People voting for who they want to vote for (SNP) won’t be to blame if Labour and Miliband aren’t the largest party.

    Labour and Miliband will be to blame.

    That’s it right there. Deal with THAT and you might have a chance of entering government.

    I think it may be a little late to change Miliband however. Mind you the other Miliband, being a Blairite would have played even worse north of the border, but pandering to middle England with ridiculous voting on fracking and austerity in the last few weeks not to mention lead boots about Trident mean Labour are nearly unelectable north of the border. Leaving to one side widely held perceptions of the party being riddled with Tory-cuddling liars during the independence referendum (and making one of the ringleaders of that disasterously managed campaign your leader.) Want someone to blame for this? It has to be the person who mismanaged the BT campaign without thinking of its impact on Labour: Blair McDougall. Of course you guys have made sure to give him a wide berth since them to avoid other idiocies. ….er….oh wait!

  • new_number_2

    I had hoped the talk of Labour being wiped out in Scotland was an exaggeration but as the general elections draws ever nearer that appears to be precisely what’s happening. In fact it’s practically a certainly Labour will lose many seats in Scotland.
    At this stage losing only half of the seats would be considered a success, but even that looks optimistic.

  • uglyfatbloke

    Part of the problem that does n’t get much attention has been the failure to address issues that affect credibility most particularly corruption and incompetence in local government. and the sheer uselessness of most Scottish MPs. When Ian Davidson was brave enough recently to comment on the need to get away from Tammany Hall practices he did n’t exactly get a warm welcome, but he was absolutely right. Behaviour that is standard practice in the Scottish party would not be tolerated for a moment in other parts of the country – comfy relationships with the Orange Order come to mind, but so does the appointment of buddies to sinecures.

    • Andy Ellis

      Would this be the same Ian Davidson who threatened that Eilidh Whiteford MP would be “getting a doing”? The same one who threatened to bayonet the nationalist wounded after a No vote. That Ian Davidson? Brave isn’t exactly the adjective that springs to many of our minds funnily enough. Hopefully in the clear-out of useless Scottish MPs Mr Davidson will be amongst the first!

      • uglyfatbloke

        He was right about the Tammany Hall tendency and in the context of the party in Glasgow and the West of Scotland he was being courageous in admitting to it’s existence, let alone criticising it.

        • Andy Ellis

          Granted. Even a broken clock is right twice a day. I’ll even give him credit for being one of the few who voted against Trident the other week; I will still however raise a glass of single malt to celebrate him being thrown out on his arse on 7th May.

  • driver56

    The feelings in the North are the same as Scotland. Labour just won’t listen and act accordingly. Everything still seems to be London based. In our particular constituency I don’t have too many worries over returning our MP but we have people knocking on doors practically everyday along with the MP who is always seen working in the area. It does count. Politics is undergoing a big change in Britain. I am afraid Labour is still suffering the Blair/Brown rule and the 13 years of destroying what the party stood for. We will get a bloody nose in Scotland and rightly so. If Ed wants to get on the front foot he should attack the Tories and make them do the chasing, Jim Murphy needs to get the SNP & Tories divided on issues. promise a vote on our membership on the EU and distract them from their so called strong position. This wake up call may have come too late to save some seats but it was badly needed. now let’s get all hands to the wheel and graft. we can trawl through the ashes after the election.

    • Henry Hooper

      The SNP and blue Tories are massively divided on issues…name one issue they are in agreement on!

      • driver56

        Keeping Labour out

        • SilentHunter

          So are half the Labour Party it seems.

  • CharlesPtwo

    In a surprisingly honest and, indeed, erudite Article, how sad it is to see it descend into blatant Electioneering with the Old Saw of a vote for the SNP will let the Tories in! Labour will gain a substantial number of Seats in England simply for the reason the Tories have been disastrous! However, that is exactly the case against Labour in Scotland!
    For nearly a Hundred Years Labour have walked in Candidates in the most deprived and dirt poor areas of Scotland—the thing is, they are STILL deprived and dirt poor whilst those they have Elected have Swanned off to Westminster and stayed there with their Snouts in the Trough claiming Expenses for every single aspect of survival that their Constituents strive mightily to try and afford and Fail Miserably!
    How dare you defend them! A vote for the SNP is a simple matter of Self Preservation and hopefully an end to the self serving Duopoly of a Two Party ‘Establishment’ in a totally corrupt Westminster!

    • ghostly

      Spot on Charles!

  • Ian

    Is it just me or is there a sense of gloating about this article? It seems very negative and somewhat patronising and basically a (not very well) cloaked attack on our organisation in Scotland and an attempt to link it to Ed.

    Fair enough if that’s how you feel, Mark, but does washing our dirty laundry in public actually help much this close to an election?

    • Andy Ellis

      Yes much better to hide it all and insist you’re going to retain every seat. That’s sure to work; I’m sure the NuLab Chuckle Brothers McTernan and Mcdougall are right on the money.

      Oh….wait….

      • Ian

        Well, it worked in the past….

        • Andy Ellis

          O tempora! O mores!

          Just as well the times, they are a’ changing’ 😉

        • SilentHunter

          Sorry? Is that supposed to be taken seriously?

    • Henry Hooper

      Mark is being honest…something it appears the Labour party have an aversion too. You, Ian are killing your party. If that’s what you want to do then good luck

      • Ian

        I didn’t say he wasn’t being honest, I said he wasn’t being helpful.

        • Moominpause

          Would you have preferred that he lied to you?

          • Ian

            I refer you to the answer I gave some moments ago.

          • Moominpause

            Sorry do you mean the ‘I didn’t say he wasn’t being honest…” comment? I can’t find another apart from that.

            If so is that not rather counterproductive? You’d rather someone told you something you want to hear rather than the truth. Is that not what the essence of the article is warning against?

          • Ian

            I’d prefer it if he stfu if he can’t be positive.

          • Moominpause

            Really??

            So you’d prefer an echo chamber telling you how well things are going or a deafening silence.

            Is there really no room for dissent in the brave new world of Scottish Labour?

            Have you decided where you’re going to build your first gulag camp?

          • SilentHunter

            So that would be a prolonged period of silence then.

          • Ian

            Quite.

        • SilentHunter

          Which is better Ian . . . “honest” or “helpful”?

  • Diotima

    Scottish Labour have been out-manoeuvred by the SNP. The SNP present everything in terms of Scots versus ‘the Westminster elite.’ Labour needed to present a different story, rather the same one.

    A more credible slogan to ‘vote SNP, get Tory’ would have been ‘vote SNP, get independence because that is what they want, even if it’s through the back door’

    • ghostly

      With a “Vote SNP, get Independence” slogan you would guarantee the Nats 45% (and more these days) of the vote. Plenty of votes in a FPTP scenario.
      Surely the best campaign would be to actually come up with bloody good policies?!

  • Henry Hooper

    Labour in Scotland need to set themselves apart. They need urgently, to provide real uncluttered home rule to Scotland. Brown promised, so keep promises and do not do a libdems on Scots or you will continue to pay the price. Ignore at your peril.
    You really need to stop being an anti-SNP party…they have something very important that you don’t have and that is loyalty first to Scotland, not party..you need to change and change PDQ or you are doomed and will follow the Tories into oblivion.
    Why am I, a now staunch SNP supporter telling you this?…. because I know you’ll ignore it…like you always do..you’re arrogance in Scotland still astonishes me….you should learn from your mistakes, but instead have the likes of Murphy and mcternan to persuade us…honestly…..after terming folk like me Nazis, a virus, a blood and soil nationalist amongst other equally deplorable insults and now you want folk like me to vote Labour.
    You’ll need to get down on your hands and knees before I, or my ilk will EVER vote for you

  • Stewart Dredge

    It should not require a Tory peer’s poll to inform Labour activists of what is happening in Scotland; it was apparent to everyone who was canvassing in Labour “heartlands” twelve months ago during the referendum campaign but the signs have been there for all to see for over a decade. The Labour vote was holding up in Scotland until 2008 but it was clear before that it was becoming weaker and weaker. Labour voters were much less committed to the party than they were in the 80s and 90s though they remained loyal. When the dam burst the torrent was huge and unstoppable.

    The basis of the problem is Labour’s inability to understand “the Scottish Question” never mind supply an answer and this is because the strategy in Scotland was driven by addressing Labour’s needs at Westminster first and foremost. Also, its hatred of the SNP blinded it to a rational perspective of idea of Scottish independence.

    Why does Scottish Labour dislike the idea of Scottish independence, apart from the fact, as Johann put it, that it is “a London Branch office”? Or some spurious notion of “internationalism” as if remaining part of a declining empire which has spent the last 40 years positioning itself further and further to the right could be seen as a statement of international solidarity.

    Anyway, here we are, in a still left-leaning country where most international socialists now declare themselves as supporters of independence, wondering why a unionist party which brands itself as “left-wing” but supports austerity and Trident is having difficulties in the polls.

    Labour members, or what is left of you, have to start reassessing your view of Scottish independence. Jim Murphy using the word “patriotic” every time he comes face-to-face with a journalist is not going to cut it if there remains no tangible progressive vision at the end of the line. There is only one possible mechanism which most former Labour voters can see which will take their children and grandchildren to a better place than we are in now and that a country which is outwith the control of Westminster, the House of Lords, the City of London etc. If you haven’t already discovered it, those of you who can bear to canvas during the general election campaign are going to find it out.

    Sneeringly referring to those who seek a better future for their children and their grandchildren as “separatists” is neither fair nor effective.There are no guarantees that independence will, in itself, take us to a better place but it is for politicians to inspire and lead. Scotland needs a united left to make that happen but that is not going to happen while a large group of its left-wing political activists can’t see beyond their former empire.

    Scottish Labour might be behind in the polls with no hope of recovery in its present form but socialism can still win and a future Scottish Labour Party can be a major force in that victory. The question is: does its present membership have the vision and courage to adopt the policies (and the one big one) to take it there? Can Scottish Labour ever support Scottish independence or will it just crash and burn?

    • Andy Ellis

      Hear, hear! This should be nailed to the door of every Scottish Labour club, MP’s office, MSP’s office and made compulsory reading for every Labour councillor. Your party is facing an existential threat. History will show that one of the biggest factors in attaining Scottish independence was the lamentable performance of the Scottish accounting unit of UK Labour.

    • SilentHunter

      An excellent post.

      I wish more of your party were listening to sense like this rather than taking refuge in calling the SNP names.

  • paul barker

    Isnt there any moderation on this site ? Diotimas comment about the majority of Africans having the mentality of 5 year olds is clearly racist & unacceptable.

    • SilentHunter

      This is Labour List, not LDV!

      Freedom of Speech allows people to say appalling things which should be countered.

      Did you tackle him/her about it directly? Or did you just want them banned?

      • Steve Stubbs

        The moderation and banning policy is clearly stated for this site, through the comments policy link at the bottom of the page. If the moderators are concerned, they will act. But it is a clear policy stated therein.

  • Gordon Craig

    I am sorry Mr Jessiman but you completely miss the point. The SNP can spend the money they get for the NHS on anything they like but when all but a few Health Boards miss the A&E targets and a substantial proportion of Scotland’s population are not being treated within the 18 weeks referral to treatment target because of lack of resources then we have the right to question the financial distribution of resources. The fact is the SNP who set the targets then deny the NHS the resources due to them are being dishonest and duplicitous when Sturgeon tells us they are not getting enough resources.
    By the way you seem to be saying that it does not matter if England has a crap NHS, providing we have a slightly better than crap services then it is alright

    • ghostly

      Really interesting phone in on the Morning Call programme on Radio Scotland yesterday morning. Despite the best efforts of the presenter, Louise White, the BBCs agenda of SNP bashing over the NHS didn’t bear fruit. Caller after caller agreed that the SNP administration were doing a good job. Louise got increasingly frustrated and started cutting off callers.

      We have a good NHS in Scotland thank you very much. Sure targets get missed and this sets the agenda of what areas to improve. It is a fairly standard process of governance. Same all over the UK in fact.

      I think the key thing is that satisfaction in the NHS is linked to the increasing likelihood of privatisation south of the border and as a consequence, the threat to us in Scotland. All through the referendum we were told that the NHS was safe. Nothing is safe in the hands of the Tories, or Labour for that matter sadly.

  • Peter Thomson

    Murphy’s latest plan to bring forth Brownasaurus expolitician to state the ‘vow’, to Scotland which Brown and Murphy stated two weeks ago had been fulfilled upon by the Command Paper being published at Westminster, is not the real ‘vow’ on ‘near federation’ and or ‘full devolution’ Gordon Brown has already said it was but for the real ‘vow’ to be delivered Scotland (near federation / full devolution) would have to ensure there was a Labour Government in May 2015.

    Scots do not zip up the back, as has previously been assumed by Labour’s Scottish Accounting unit, and by dint of a bit of research can prove what Brown actually has said with regards ‘near federation’ and ‘full devolution’. Second it is well known in Scotland that Brown and Murphy can not stand each other, they would not even share a ‘Better Together’ platform so this stunt has ‘panic’ written all over it – even before the Ashcroft results came out.

    Labour HQ were warned by senior Labour players in Scotland what the election of Mr Murphy as non executive head of the Scottish Accounting Unit (all decisions on Scottish policy are still made and agreed by the NEC, unless Labour has changed its constitution in the last couple of weeks) would be the final nail in Labour’s Scottish coffin. Murphy a known right wing, pro-Trident, pro NHS Privatisation, pro-austerity, Blairite and member of the Neocon John Henry Institute, just what idiot in Miliband’s entourage thought that a good match? They might have got Murphy off of Miliband’s back but, really, the best fit for a increasingly left leaning, social democrat politic in Scotland?

    To those of us who gave up on Labour in Scotland in 2006 / 7, the demise is unsurprising, we warned Labour how badly wrong it was reading the people of Scotland when we walked and, that unless things changed, the SNP were going to push them hard even in supposed ‘safe seats’. The 2011 Holyrood results were basically ignored as another ‘blip’ by Labour and even with the SNP / Yes Campaign coming within 5% of ending the Union in September 2014 nothing changed, just more of the same old, same old, do as you are told Scotland, Labour knows what is best for you – we will just weigh your votes as usual.

    Labour have to start from the start point that Scotland’s electorate increasingly sees Labour as simply ‘Red Tories’ whose Scottish Branch’s unmitigated antipathy towards the SNP is simply throwing their toys out of the pram in an ever expanding huff and spite.

    Labour went along with the Tories on ‘Better Together’ for their own presumed, short term, electoral benefit, Scotland now knows just what Labour stands for – and that is its own self interest and not the people of Scotland.

  • Bernie Evans

    Wrote this last Nov

    It is becoming increasingly clear that the 2015 election is, as the pundits would say, “difficult to call”. Almost anything can happen in the six months remaining, and millions of votes are still up for grabs, as are most of the seats. Are there any “safe” Tory or Labour seats any more?

    There are many similarities with the 1906 situation; the Tory government had made itself extremely unpopular with the ordinary people, with gaffes like the Taff Vale case, divisions were appearing in the ruling party over tariff reform, and a new party was emerging, grabbing support from all sides. With the resignation of the PM, an election loomed, and the Liberals, unsure of victory, played it safe by making an electoral pact with Labour, agreeing not to oppose them in thirty constituencies. The result was, of course a resounding defeat for the Tories, twenty-seven seats for Labour and a huge majority for the Liberals.

    In 2015, the Tory party also will command little support from the ordinary people, after five years of unfair austerity, tax cuts for the rich and unbelievably callous legislation directed against the weakest members of society, but there still remains huge questions about where their votes will go; undoubtedly the Tories will lose votes to Ukip, but so will Labour, and the Opposition`s problems don`t end there, as there is the possibility of losing almost all their seats in Scotland. Labour`s projected moderate policies have failed to prevent support haemorrhaging to its newest rivals, and it seems unlikely there will be a much-needed shift to the left to regain lost votes.

    No-one can predict with any accuracy the election result, but what is certain is that every seat will count in the formation of the new government, and coalitions are likely. As Labour could not possibly think of joining up with the duplicitous Lib Dems, even though for some unknown reason they will still have some representation in parliament, some pre-election thinking is required, especially as resources will inevitably be tight. Does it not make sense to spend the most money in constituencies where the main rival is Tory or Ukip rather than a party whose policies might be judged by some to be similar to those of Labour?

    Could a pact be made with the SNP so that Labour could at least hold on to a dozen seats in Scotland? Unlikely, as polls suggest an SNP whitewash, with the Labour vote down to 20% in some, unless some of their people could be guaranteed places in Labour`s cabinet. A Green deal is more of a possibility; two of Labour`s target seats are Brighton Pavilion, whose current MP is the excellent Caroline Lucas, the Green party`s only MP at the moment, and Holborn and St Pancras, where the Green party leader, Natalie Bennett is standing. There will undoubtedly be other seats where a split Labour /Green vote could let in a Tory or, more likely, a Ukip candidate. The policies of the Green party are radical and to the left of Labour, so much so they like the description of themselves as “watermelons – green on the outside, red in the centre”. Not only do they prefer re-nationalisation of the railways, but the 50% tax rate applied to all those earning £100,000 plus, a minimum wage at 60% of the national average, and the ending of university tuition fees and Trident. In Wales, too, Plaid Cymru`s domestic policies aim for social justice and a fairer distribution of wealth.

    Would it not be sensible for Labour to think now of making electoral pacts with parties prior to the election, rather than trying, and perhaps failing, to do deals from a position of weakness after the votes have been counted? What happened after the 2010 election, with the result being five years of Tory-inspired austerity, should be a salutary lesson for Labour. If the same were to happen again, but this time with Ukip as the Tories` partner in crime, heaven help us. Opposition groupings would have to be re-aligned and who would bet against one of them being a left-wing party with policies also aimed at protecting the environment? A Green Labour party!

    One of the worst scenarios after the election is a Labour party struggling to form a majority government, aiming to ally with parties with broadly similar views, but being shunned because of pre-election animosity. Those differences should be ironed-out now!

  • Mike Barnes

    I’m just sad there’s no left wing alternative to Labour in northern England.

    • KarlRodgers

      No Green candidates standing ?

  • Schrödingers Kat

    utter havers, if we had sent +41 snp mps to westminster rather than 41 labour mps in 2010……it would have changed nothing. cameron would still be in coalition with the lib dems. labour screams, vote snp and get tories, tories scream, vote snp and get labour…………you forget we just have had a referendum and the people in scotland know that their votes very rarely change anything in westminster. take a good look at yourselves and rather than whining about the snp, get out and convince the people in the ruk to vote labour. the people of scotland are no longer listening

  • Schrödingers Kat

    labour did set up holyrood, but they also introduced a completely worthles tax raising set of powers and also were responsible for voting on english only laws, like higher education fees in the ruk. this has been the most damaging policy that the union has ever faced but not one, not one of the labour shills on social media has had the balls to say to the scottish labour mps to fukc off……..all we get is ….whine, snp, whine snp

  • Schrödingers Kat

    ive got a great idea…..why dont the labour party come up with some policies instead of attacking the snp?

  • Schrödingers Kat

    tic toc, extinction event coming, scottish labour rip, long live the scottish unionist party, boak

  • DRbilderburg

    The Labour Party are good at diagnosis But FFS why did the party sacrifice Scotland on the altar of David Cameron.?
    i was staggered that they celebrating a phyrric victory while at the same time they were chainsawing the branch they were sitting on ,and has been’s Brown and Darling were given centre stage, reliving the glory Years of days gone by, with front page headlines hailing them as hero’s/saviours .

    All the party had to do was distance themselves from the Tories, and say we respect the will of the Scottish people and were grateful for the support they have given to labour over decades, if the Scotnats win and we get power in 2015, we’ll do all we can to make the transition as comfortable as possible, but in our opinion we believe we’re better together.. Instead they went in with their boots on stomping everything in their way ,and will be hammered for it. The party deserve no less

  • KarlRodgers

    “…your view on the state of the union is what swings votes, more than economic or social concerns…”

    I think this, more than most of what you wrote, shows how wrong you are. People in Scotland want socialist policies, they don’t want an agreement to continue austerity which has been proven to be a failed ideology. As long as you maintain that it has nothing to do with politics you can be safe and cosy supporting any old nonsense, which is what the current Labour party are doing.

  • Malcolm McCandless

    Tories say, “Vote SNP get Ed”.

    Labour say, “Vote SNP get Dave”.

    Lib Dems say, “Only we can stop the SNP”.

    SNP say, “Vote SNP get more powers for Scotland”

  • John Mitchell

    Yes, it was grim waking up to this news this morning if you’re not an SNP supporter. I’m not quite as pessimistic for Labour though, and I don’t think the situation is as apocalyptic either for the UK.

    On the criticisms of Scottish Labour, I disagree with the first one on how the Better Together campaign was run. It’s ridiculous to hear the SNP talking about Labour aligning with the Tories on one single issue when they worked with the Tories themselves in a loose coalition at Holyrood from 2007-2011 and on economic issues such as the budget particularly.

    The issue affecting Scottish and international politics more widely is an adherence to neoliberalism orthodoxy economically which isn’t something that the SNP disagree with either. Perception is sometimes different from reality. The nationalists have been able to paint themselves successfully into something that they are not.

    Completely agree with the way Johann Lamont handled her exit as leader. It certainly wasn’t helpful or professional. The worst time to do that sort of thing was not that far from a general election, even if she believes her sentiments to be true.

    Jim Murphy as leader of Scottish Labour so far has been disappointing. As I have discussed with others he appears to be attempting to affirm nationalist sentiment and grievance politics as opposed to challenging it. This is potentially far more damaging in the long term. There’s already a nationalist party in Scotland, why Labour is now trying to copy them doesn’t make any sense. Nationalists can’t be outdone in being nationalists.

    The polls look bleak from a Labour perspective that is true. I still maintain my view of finding it difficult of seeing the SNP doing that well on a national basis. It will be interesting to see how the other Lord Ashcroft polls look in other constituencies within Scotland to see if this really is a national trend or not.

    • Malcolm McCandless

      “loose coalition” , now you know that is a lie.

      • John Mitchell

        That’s why I used the term “loose” because on certain areas they worked together whilst the SNP was a minority administration in order to pass budgets which gave concessions to the Scottish Conservatives in return for their support.

        The Scottish Conservatives didn’t extract anything from Scottish Labour when they were in agreement that Scotland and the UK are better working together for the betterment of all.

        • Malcolm McCandless

          The minority SNP government worked with the Blue Tories, Red Tories and Yellow Tories at Holyrood. Still Tories mind, but there was coalition, loose or otherwise.

  • Gary Urquhart

    I live in Willie Bain’s constituency. One of the main changes is that Labour has to organise around people. (the Springburn Labour Party meets on Friday nights..the worst night of the week!)
    Elected Labour politicians need to start “representing” the people who elected them and it is it clear that there is a difference between Scotland and England.
    Ed Balls has far too much baggage. He spouts about the horribly rich but he stood at the side of Gordon Brown as the Private Equity non doms saw their tax rates fall below the rates of the people who were cleaning their mansions!! (circa 2006?)

  • robertcp

    It was clear in 2010 that Labour was not going to get a majority this year and a Labour-led coalition or minority government was the best possible outcome. Tribalists like Mark were deluded if they are now surprised.

  • Andy Freeman

    The only rational and sensible policy Labour could pursue in Scotland would seem to be support for independence then.

    1st line, it’s “focused” by the way, just the one “s”

    • robertcp

      Sometimes you have to do what is right and Labour was right to oppose independence.

      • Andy Freeman

        I agree. I was merely pointing out how desperate our plight north of the border seems to be

        • robertcp

          I agree. The independence referendum would not have happened if Labour in Scotland had been led by people like John Smith, Donald Dewar and Robin Cook.

          • ghostly

            It is commonly reported that Robin Cook was not so averse to the idea of independence. And why wouldn’t he be?

      • ghostly

        How do you come to that conclusion? If Labour really had the working classes’ best interests at heart then they would have supported the Yes campaign. They were too worried about upsetting the City and more depressingly, their own self interest.

  • Joe Low

    You lot haven’t got a clue!
    Your Scottish MP’s lie for a living.
    Big Gordon scrapping by on £10k per week expenses from his
    own charity, Just Like Tony the Red Tory, only less money per week than he pockets.
    Ed got a complete pasting from Cameron today at PM questions.
    I was embarrassed for him.
    The there is Mr Balls- there is a businessman who supports Labour- Bill Sombody.
    What a joke from the cream of Labour.
    Your party stopped listening to the Scottish electorate in 1970.
    You praise Mrs Curran, the close friend of Mrs Lamont whom she stabbed in the back with Smurphy. She goes on line regularly and blatantly lies about voting against the
    Tories in parliament, and low and behold, she never even went there??
    How about your East Kilbride MP who posted his claim to be against Trident all his life, but he would waste £100 Billion rather than see SNP dispose of it?
    The Vow. What a LIE! Brown Gravy Train says we have near federal Home Rule, then asks 38 Degrees to help enforce it, then comes back again to promise Super Mega Ultar Maxi Ubber Independence. Hum deedle dum deedle di.
    He is standing down and won’t be around and still makes false promises.

    I was a Labour supporter in the past, but frankly I would rather see the Blue Tories
    get in before the Red ones. Blue at least you know are only there for their corporate pals while labour are there to flipp house like Darling, or get Ermine robs like Robertson, McConnell, Prescott, etc. There Rich sods all look at what Tony and Gordy have put away for a rainy day.

  • Socialismo

    Labour have marched to right over previous parliaments, and the SNP, led by a former Labour member are a damn sight more appeals and consistent.

    I’ll be very glad to see both Dougie and Danny dispatched into the annals of history.

    • robertcp

      Neither will be a massive loss to the House of Commons.

      • SilentHunter

        Or humanity.

  • Joe Low

    I have got to recommend the Wings over Scotland web site.
    Anyone who isn’t on the Labour Party Payroll will see just how ridiculous
    the North British Accounting Unit actually is.
    Give it a go! Today they shoot down labour and tory claims that a vote for the other one puts the other one in government??
    Scots and I had voted Labour since 1970, and 1979, 1983, 1987, 1992, and again in 2010. On each and every occasion we got a Tory Government! 28 Tory years out of 45.
    You lot still have the nerve to hope the feeble minded might not have noticed this and you tell them that if they stick to this tried and failed formula, they have a slim chance
    of not getting a Tory government again?????? You are lying to us again and we know it

  • jaime taurosangastre candelas

    Why would not a passionate Scot vote for anything other than SNP? In the event of neither Tory nor Labour achieving an absolute majority from England and Wales alone (which seems likely), then the Scots with their 40+ MPs will be able to extract all sorts of concessions from either Cameron or Miliband.

    I would not like that, nor I suggest would many millions south of the border, but the SNP don’t care about us. In fact, there is a perverse logic that suggests that the SNP could gain independence by being as difficult and demanding as possible, in the hope that the English support “getting rid of the Scots”.

  • Graham Ferguson

    You voted Murphy in – Murphy of all people, an aggressive careerist MP and a right-wing Blairite (despite his lies to the press claiming to be neither that nor a unionist – yeah right) – as leader of S Lab. When Labour needed to distance themselves from the tories post referendum, when a switched on electorate saw Labour MPs from Scotland vote FOR austerity budgets, when Lamont lamented S Lab being a branch office of the main party, you needed someone who would heal these divisions and wounds and remind the voters that you were, once, a socialist party and not a neo-liberal con-job and a party of Spin & PR.

    Yet you voted in Murphy – and let him bring in his attack dog in the risible and frankly immoral John McTernan.

    Come back when you aren’t pretend socialists and have dropped the PR & Spin for policies and, novel idea this, expending more energy on helping your constituents and less on your careers and you might get mine and many other lapsed labour supporters votes back.

    This time round? Prepare to be eviscerated at the polls – and deservedly so.

  • Sam Mitchell

    Vote labour, they have many many mouths to feed, and what appetites they have.

  • pippin dupont

    has anyone mentioned that pointy fork thing posei
    den carries about with him? the snp and greens seem to want him to put it away everyone else seems to want to buy him a bright new shiny 100 billion quid one. i for one think we’ve got better things to spend our cash on than rearming ancient greek gods

  • SilentHunter

    LOL. ;o)

  • Terry Swift

    I have said it before and I will say it again, I am a lifelong Labour supporter, but there is one thing only that can save Labour now and that is a cast iron promise of a referendum on the EU, and a cap on Immigration. This will not go down well, but I am a pensioner and have always voted Labour, but this time I will vote UKIP unless Labour change their thinking on the EU and immigration. The nasty party(Tories are self defeating) but they will win on the EU and immigration alone.

    • Andy Ellis

      You’re right, it won’t be popular, because it is wrong headed. Voting for the BNP in suits and falling for the anti-immigrant europhobic misinformation of the closet racists in UKIP makes you part of the problem, not part of the answer. Sadly it’s all too common to see the hard of thinking, slavishly loyal Labour “bitter einders” jump from one odious, regressive movement into another.

      We see you. We have your measure. You and your ilk poisoning the Labour party are the reason why independence is necessary, and why ultimately it will happen.

      • Terry Swift

        Millions like me are not anti immigration, but realise mass immigration must be stopped, and a sensible “workers only” system not unlike Australia should be implemented.
        We see you. We have your measure. You and your ilk are the reason OUR Labour party is losing votes. Many influential Labour MPs are taking this stance

        • Andy Ellis

          You’re a disgrace to the Labour party and its founding principles. You are enabling a deeply regressive far right party full of fruitcakes, loons and closet racists. To be charitable you may not actually be a racist yourself, you’re just a sock puppet enabling them. The fact that some of the odious Blairites in control of the party agree with you isn’t a recommendation, it’s an indictment.

          • Moominpause

            Harsh but entirely fair.

          • Terry Swift

            If anyone is a puppet, it is a wooden thinker like you, without an ounce of common sense. You and people like you are the reason the party is in trouble, you have to have the last word and you have learned nothing about the aspirations of working people like me. What is worse is the fact that you do not think other people should have an opinion if it differs from your tunnel vision opinions. You are a disgrace to the Labour party and its founding principle of free and honest speech

          • Andy Ellis

            Do try at least and come up with your own material? How could I (as a non-member) be the cause of Labour’s troubles? The existential threat to Scottish Labour is entirely of their own making. The manifest failure of UK Labour is nothing to do with former progressive left of centre voters like me attacking their regressive policies and instincts, rather it speaks to the party’s abandonment of its principles, and the fact that large sections of its former support has abandoned it.

            I know plenty about the aspirations of working people, and I can spot an apologist for closet racists a mile off. You’re quite entitled to your opinion; nobody is trying to silence you – quite the contrary, we want dangerous fellow travellers of the far right like you exposed for what you are.

          • Terry Swift

            Looking back at our conversation, it is quite clear to me that you and people like you oppose a referendum on the issues of the EU, and a cap on immigration. If this is the case you are a dictatorial fool, it is what we call a democracy when peoples views are listened to. The Labour party (who I have always supported) does not trust us with a vote on the issues, so why should we trust them? If we had five more years of Cameron it would be a disaster, the Lib Dems are a non-entity and I would rather vote Labour, but not at any price. If Ed were to propose a referendum Labour would soar ahead, but if they do not promise one, my vote will go to UKIP.

          • Andy Ellis

            I think a referendum on the EU is unnecessary, but if the majority of people want one, then let them have it. I think it would be economically suicidal, particularly for the city of London, but if it is what the little Englanders want, them let them vote for it. Of course, polls show that the Scots tend to be pro-EU (and UKIP barely register in Scotland despite their one seat at the Euro elections – I believe they polled 3% nationally in Scotland in recent polls?), so a vote in England to leave the EU would inevitably lead to calls for independence if Scotland voted to stay in (indeed the SNP may make such an event an immediate trigger for indyref2as part of their manifesto for the Holyrood elections in 2016).

            If you want a cap on immigration then argue the case, don’t pander to a far-right extremist party full of closet racists, homophobes and misogynists. The evidence shows that immigrants provide an economic benefit to the country…so what exactly is your objection? You think the country is full? You don’t like “coffee coloured people” or Polish plumbers? You think they’re all benefit scroungers? If you cap immigration and leave the EU, what happens to the couple of million Brits living in the EU by the way? No doubt you heard recently that the amount of benefits claimed by Brits in other EU countries is more than the amount EU immigrants claim here? Awkward for you, eh?

            So…put up or shut up time Terry. Which are you; a classic Enoch Powell closet racist trying to hide his poisonous little light under the bush of europhobia and faux outrage at being denied a referendum, or just another low voltage hard of thinking Labour drone that believes anything he hears and reads in the “meeja”. Honestly, mate…it’s not a sin to be ignorant, but it is a sin to be as proud of it as you seem to be.

  • hatfinch

    “But the SNP were able to paint Labour as aligned to the Tories (“Red Tories”) and the party hasn’t been able to shake that.”

    You still don’t get it. It’s not that the SNP have been able to “paint” anything. Labour have vacated the ground that the SNP now occupy. Bain’s door-knocking will only get him so far.

  • If I still lived in England I would vote Labour. There is no question about that as the Tories are scum, and it is as simple as that. I would grit my teeth and vote for a party that basically regards me as voting fodder as it chases the votes of the aspirational scrotes down south. I would vote Labour in the hope that they would not cut my benefits as much as the Tories want to, and maybe I could hang on until my Lloyd-George is delivered in just over five years time. It’s not much to vote for, but I would do it just to be rid of the Tories.

    Luckily, I live in Edinburgh, so can vote for the SNP. Their price for allowing you to get your snouts in the trough essentially consists of more powers for Holyrood, an end to the war on claimants and getting rid of Trident. Seriously, what’s not to like about the supply and confidence deal that Labour troughers can have?

    I found out last night that the SNP candidate for Edinburgh North and Leith is Deirdre Brock, one of my local councillors. She helped me sort out a housing benefit problem that I had last year within a week of getting involved, whereas the sitting Blairite MP really only has time to vote for wars and help the Tories change the rules so that workfare victims could not claim compensation.

    Sorry, folks, but this Englishman is going with the SNP.

  • Willie Fleming

    Says it all really.

  • David Houldsworth

    No amount of ‘ getting a proper organisational structure in place’ or ‘restoring a sense of professionalism’ matters one bit to the Scottish electorate. Until Scottish Labour demonstrably show themselves not have common major policies with the Tories eg Trident renewal, pro ‘austerity’, pro welfare cuts, bombing Iraq (again) etc , they will continue to lose the support of the Scottish voter.

    This along with Labour showing themselves hand in hand with the Tories during the Ref (and I know it’s a different thing) still strongly projects to the voter that Labour have more in common with the Tories than not. This display shocked many Labour voters.

    In terms of London Westminster Labour and because of the common agreement with the Tories of the above policies, the perception that Labour is truly an ‘opposition’ has lost much of it’s credibility.

    The phrase ‘vote Labour and get Tory policies anyway’ (and it’s hard to deny/spin given the above) will be one repeated frequently until the GE.

  • AP

    There’s still some hope left with the back up of BBC, specially once Gordon Brown goes on air. It did the trick last time. And no reason why it wont again and swing things for Labour.

    • Moominpause

      Brown’s magic didn’t do the trick with the Kircaldy council by-election.
      An election that had to be called because of an extremely dodgy SNP councillor who was found to not even be living in the country. It was a seat that should have been a canter for Labour to win but even a visit GB made no difference.

      Face it, Labour’s dead. I hope you have a pre-paid funeral as you probably won’t even have enough resources to bury the body the way things are going.

  • Angus

    “Yet anyone in Scotland who thinks that by voting SNP they’ll get a Labour/SNP government is playing a very dangerous game.”

    “All this has meant that whilst the pro-independence vote has largely coalesced around a single party”

    Two telling sentences as to how even the more switched on in labours ranks just don’t get what happening here. You’ve had 50+ years of support here and consistently failed to deliver taking the electorate for granted. You’ve spent the last 10 years with a core policy of “SNP bad” rather than coming up with progressive workable policies of your own. And you just described Margaret (“My children will become Foreigners”) Curran as “Quiet”.

    You lost many of us when you took us into that stupid war, it’s just taken us a while to articulate it.

  • The picture of Johan Lamont standing outside Asda with that huge grin and the headline ” Vote YES and the prices go up” No offers only scare tactics.

    Labour reps cheering and sipping champers with the tories when the won the referendum. Sickening .

    Labour party Mp’s and the BBC spewing out lies and spin day in day out . Hilarious, we have our eyes wide open.

    Mags Curren, ” I voted against austerity measures. Lies.

    Jim Murphy, suddenly against WMD’s and all socialist when we know he’s a self serving hypocrite and liar. Hell , i know more Labour supporters that hate him than Nats.

    Hijacking Women for Indi’s policies on the Female prison system, Giving us empty promises for more power when they offer the least of any.

    Dry your eyes and take off the blinkers. i could list thousands of Labour pledges that have been forgotten as soon as the votes over.

    People vote for representation and get liars who look after middle England. Bugger the rest.

    Take a look at Europe. Folk are fed up with the neo con policies and want change. Labour offer nothing but scares. Empty promises and Leaders who are useless.

    Why would i vote Labour ??????

    Can someone tell me why other than the tory’s will be in again.

    Why should folk trust labour when they have given nothing back .

    Labour invented Bedroom tax and have introduced PFI , involved us once again in a war for the oil companies. Milliband is a useless toff. Him in charge ??>? God help us all.

    I don’t doubt there are good Labour folk out there, I’ve met a few. But they are a tiny minority. They know they are doomed.

    20 years a Labour voter. Like many , hell the majority of Scots. I will vote SNP.

    “trust Labour again” hahahah AYE RIGHT.

    • treborc1

      If I was in Scotland I’d be right behind you, sadly I’m not so for me I have to weigh up which party is best for me and my family. sadly it not labour or the Tories.

      • And you have my sympathy. You look at both parties and find little to choose from them. The offer of two choices of rubbish. Treb i hope someone stands for the people wherever you are. The UK system is outdated and full of Eton school boys.

        We Scots have another option.

        I understand why some would vote UKIP but with the First passed the post system we always end up with one of the big two regardless.

        Maybe the SNP landslide which is predicted will change things, who knows but one thing certain, labour will never be trusted by scots again. The anger and hate is everywhere.

  • Chilbaldi

    I last went to Greenock in May 1996 so my experience of it isn’t current, granted. But I have been to Kirkcaldy in the last year.

    The decline of the towns you mentioned has taken place across the UK. It is symptomatic of people fleeing small towns and moving to big cities – a reversal in population trend that began 20 or so years ago when people stopped moving to the suburbs and new towns en masse. I don’t think that the decline of these towns can be placed squarely at Labour’s door.

    Also many of the towns you have listed serve as commuter towns for larger cities like Glasgow or Edinburgh, which has a knock on effect on the town itself and the people who do work as well as live there. It’s an unfortunate aspect of modern life, but I don’t think Labour’s policy should be to halt the growth of cities and encourage the growth of small towns instead. I think it’s most productive to have successful cities that are centres of excellence, and contributing satellite towns around those cities.

    It’s the erosion of the old local community way of life more than anything – a profound societal change. So not really a justification for the breakup of the UK.

  • Donald Stavert

    There will never be a coalition with the Nats … 1 They do not work with other parties 2 It would entail most labour stalwarts in Scotland tearing up their cards 3 their price would be independence agaist the wishes of the two million 4 The tories will win the election if the nats win lots of labour seats and form government for five years of real tory cuts back to the to 30’s level

    • Helena Brown

      You are right there never will be a coalition what was offered was support on an issue by issue case.
      Labour needs to win in England, Scotland cannot do it, we have only made a difference in two elections for Labour in fifty years. !974 a and b.

    • ghostly

      So why did Labour not vote against the austerity measures then?! Labour and the Tories both appear to be quite comfortable with taking things out on the low earners whilst protecting the interests of large corporations and the City.
      Formal coalition unlikely as for some reason Labour view the SNP with an almost tribal hatred. I think it comes from a perception that the SNP are “stealing” the core support that Labour feel are rightfully theirs. Can’t see any other reason for it.
      Support on a policy by policy basis rather than a formal coalition would seem the most likely outcome in GE if the figures stack up. Personally I would prefer this to a majority government of either colour.

  • paul barker

    558 comments – is that a record ? I havent even skimmed them all but a random selection seem to be full of anger, negativity & bile & all this before your GB polling falls yet further. Perhaps you all need to take a deep breath & admit that some of this might not be anybodys fault. Perhaps after 115 years Labour is no longer fit for purpose ?

    • ghostly

      Agreed. Or at least not fit to carry the Labour name.

    • SilentHunter

      Yup! Just like the LibDems.

  • ghostly

    This article, as interesting a read as it is, still doesn’t grasp a few core points:
    1. The SNP will never back a Tory government and therefore the only chance that the Tories will form a coalition government is if they get into bed with the Lib Dems again or even Labour, i.e. Vote SNP = Vote for Scotland
    2. The SNP govern well and do focus on economic and social concerns. They are a much more appetising socialist proposition to the UK wide parties; and most importantly
    3. You seem to reject to Red Tories moniker, and perhaps your concept of where the centre lies is a bit askew, because under no circumstances are Labour a party of the left anymore. The prospect of a Labour majority government is (almost) as bad as a Tory majority government.

    • Michael Murray

      But the Tories will form a government with the Lib Dem stooges and any other stooges they can get their hands on. Even if they get less seats than Labour. The Tories will never form a government with Labour because Ed Miliband is a socialist and not Ramsay MacDonald. The only way to defeat Cameron and his Lib Dem stooges is to vote Labour! Waste your vote on the smaller parties and the Tories will walk back into Downing Street!

      • ghostly

        I am beginning to believe one of the earlier comments about your grasp of basic arithmetic. Mind boggling ignorance.
        And in Scotland, the SNP are anything but a “smaller party”.

        • ghostly

          Ok, I’ll spell it out, if number of Tory seats + Lib Dem seats does not equal 323 or above then they cannot form a majority government. The SNP “stealing” Labour seats has no affect on that. In fact, the SNP popularity in Scotland actually helps Labour’s cause as we will mop up the Lib Dem seats and solitary Tory seat too.

          • Malcolm McCandless

            Good points.

        • Moominpause

          Genuinely, the level of ignorance is astonishing it’s particularly telling that he didn’t return to the comment when I questioned his arithmetical skills. I even used the assumptions he created to show him what he was suggesting is ridiculous, disappointing to see he’s just moved his shameless crapola along a little and is hoping that nobody noticed.

  • Harry Alffa

    UK Labour’s only chance is to rename themselves Greens.
    Scottish Labour are Brown, like shitty underpants, toast or Gordon.

  • Malcolm McCandless

    I see Labour have been forced to shift position on their claim that in the event of a hung parliament, “the largest party gets to form a government” to “the largest party is best placed to form a government”.

    The reality is “only a party (or a coalition of parties) who commands a majority in the House of Commons can form a government”.

    An official coalition of two parties, or a rainbow coalition of more than two parties, could command a majority in the Commons and hence form a majority government whilst the largest single party could find themselves out in the cold. This is what Labour tried to do in 2010, but failed, when the Tories were the largest party.

    Equally an agreement between parties on ‘confidence and supply’ could see one party command a majority in the Commons and hence form a minority government whilst the largest single party could again find themselves out in the cold. This is what happened in 1923 when Labour formed a minority government despite the Tories being the largest party.

    All the polls indicates a hung parliament with either the Tories or Labour being the largest party, but as the above highlights that does not mean the largest party will form a government.

    So it is time for Labour to stop treating people like idiots and deal in honest politics.

  • Gordon Craig

    Whether you like it or not, the Institute of Fiscal Studies has identified that the SNP Government has short changed the NHS in Scotland by 5.7% in the last 5years. To put that in context the NHS in Scotland should have had over £500m more than it has. I will let you do the calculation how many nurses, doctors, care staff and other support staff could have been employed.
    The result has been that the major targets set by the SNP Government have been missed and will continue to be missed. That is not perception, that is fact.
    As I have said the SNP Government can spend the money on other things but have to face up to the consequences of their decisions.

    • Schrödingers Kat

      i dont like ifs, unionist westminster tory stooges, the snp want full fiscal autonomy, then westminster can take a run and jump, along with the ifs and all those who claim scotland is too poor.

      • Moominpause

        I’m not entirely sure that anyone outside the IFS likes the IFS. Every-time I see them represented as ‘a well regarded independent think tank’ it makes me giggle and I know I’m not the only one.

    • SilentHunter

      And “…how many nurses, doctors, care staff and other support staff…” could be employed if we didn’t have to waste billions on Trident?

      SNP want to get rid of it and spend the money on things like . . .

      “…nurses, doctors, care staff and other support staff”…”

      Labour want to keep Trident and waste billions on it.

      Maybe the collapse in Labour support in Scotland is something to do with the asinine policies they espouse.

    • Moominpause

      It’s particularly telling that you’re being very selective with what you’re reporting.

      You don’t go on to mention that the IFS state that this is not a new pattern in Scotland and the same differential of NHS spending was evident between 2002 and 2009 (health spending grew 43% UK wide but only 29% in Scotland).

      In case you don’t know Labour were the governing party in Scotland for the first 5 years of that time period.

      I’m equally disappointed in both of the parties that made the necessary decisions which precipitated this situation.

      It’s a shame, and a telling indictment of your character not to mention the Labour Party’s mindset, that your reaction is only to criticise the SNP’s actions while hoping that nobody would notice or comment that Labour in Scotland behaved in the same way. Sorry, but I noticed.

  • Tim Mullen

    Try Johanna Baxter’s website, they were mentioned in her last NEC Report.

    • Moominpause

      So in other words you can’t?

      Good job I wasn’t asking for directions to London… “Yeah, it’s that big city down the road a bit, close to a couple of airports and a big river, near the coast, I’m sure you’ll find it”

      The closest JB gets to actually giving numbers is “…and we had seen a number of new joiners in Scotland on the back of the referendum.”

      2 is a number, but perhaps that’s being overly optimistic.

      I’ll try again just in case I’m being too harsh… Can you direct me to where I can find the published figures that indicate a growth in Labour’s Scottish membership? Thanks.

      • Tim Mullen

        I can’t from my mobile phone, in the middle of my 50th birth party, no, but I’m sure it wouldn’t take a sarcastic twit like yourself too long to hunt them down – maybe even Tweet/email Johanna asking for the details? Or is that too complicated?

        • Moominpause

          Double excuse, bazinga!

          The reason you can’t find them is that they don’t exist.

          Take your time, enjoy your party because there won’t be one come May.

          Once more the ironing it burns, you can’t work your phone properly but suggest I may struggle with Twitter. You guys must get extra irony delivered every day, there’s no way any band of brothers (and sisters) can have this much by accident.

          I’m genuinely not being sarcastic I’m trying to out someone who’s making up spurious figures and asking him to show his (or indeed anyone’s) work.

          Anyway you better get back to your guest, hit me up when you hear from JB, I’m here all week 🙂

        • SilentHunter

          Hahahaha!

          Your embarrassment is showing!

          • Tim Mullen

            I’m Glad you can read me so well – not, as I’m in no way embarrassed. However there’s a link on Google to a speech by Jim Murphy last month which is on YouTube in which he speaks of the rise in Labour membership post-Referendum, over 1200 up to his election according to The Daily Record, but as any iPhone user will know YouTube links can’t be copied and pasted from the App (or if they can
            I freely admit to not knowing how to do it).

          • SilentHunter

            Oh; so Jim Murphy and the Daily Record say so!

            And there was me thinking that you might have some “objective” evidence to support your claim. LOL

            So . . . 1,200 New Labour members eh?

            Are you sure you’re not confusing the total numbers for SLAB membership or the number that actually voted for Jim Jong M’s glorious leader status?

          • Tim Mullen

            Well given that formal figures are only published in the pre-Conference National Executive Committee Annual Report, which if you had any knowledge of the Labour Party you would know, anything between September 2014 and September 2015 is unofficial without direct access to the membership lists, which only probably half-a-dozen people have under Data Protection Act rules. But as you are clearly a SNP troll with no links or empathy to the Labour Party you can carry on making yourself feel clever without me. Goodbye ignoramus.

          • SilentHunter

            Oh goodness me! How could I have forgotten that . . . of course . . . it’s all in the Pre-Conference National Executive Committee Annual Report.

            Could you point me to the exact sub section paragraph in the Pre-Conference National Executive Committee Annual Report, so that I can publish it, in the interests of transparency?

            No?

            Thought not ! LOL

            Goodbye, loser.

  • Labour are fckd. Big time. In London they have millionaire Miliband who has the charisma of ‘an enchanted plimsoll’ according to Charlie Brooker. In Scotland, they have just chosen a right-wing Blairite and Iraq-war apologist – with predictable results.

    Even the ‘Vow’ nonsense – two weeks ago it was ‘delivered’ but now we should ‘vote Labour’ in May to have it delivered again?! Sickening too to see Murphy playing for the Old Firm bigot vote – we saw how that one panned out last Sunday – offensive sectarian songs with sickening violence to match and all played out for the world’s media. And supported or excused by Jim Murphy.

    Goodbye Labour.

  • Alan Price

    Yet anyone in Scotland who thinks that by voting SNP they’ll get a Labour/SNP government is playing a very dangerous game.
    _________________________________________
    We will vote SNP in the belief that party will look after and fight Scotland’s corner at Westminster, unlike Labour since the dark days of Tony Blair.

    SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon is on record as saying she can see no reason for a coalition with Labour and that in the event of a Labour minority government the SNP would be looking for concessions for Scotland to support Labour policies therebye doing what politicians should be doing.

    Looking after their constituent’s interests.

  • Bill Cruickshank

    A lot people often comment on Scottish politics even though they do not live in Scotland. Their contributions are often ill informed, naïve and even ignorant. I do not know where the author of this piece lives, but he is right on the button. I have spoken to dozens of ex-Labour supporters who voted YES in the referendum in the last few weeks. Their sense of bitterness and betrayal is palpable. In fact it is scary. It is also reflected among my own family and friends. Being born and bred in Glasgow almost all my friends and family were Labour supporters. Being a member of the SNP for over 40 years I was always seen as being a bit eccentric. Not any more. Friends and family to a person are voting SNP in May, some have even joined the party. The Vow 2 has made Jim Murphy Gordon Brown look like some sort of latter day Scottish Laurel & Hardy. They have treated the people of Scotland with contempt. They are about to reap what they have sown.

    • Moominpause

      I don’t agree that people’s locations matter, only their interest.
      I find ill informed opinions come from all over the place, the one thing they all have in common is that they think watching the BBC News a couple of times a week and reading a newspaper or two everyday makes them a political behemoth.

      Apart from your family’s prevailing political tendencies you remind me of my uncle who was the equally eccentric SNP member in a family of Conservatives The political leanings of most are closer to his than anyone could have imagined 10 years ago (although many of them would still vote NO tomorrow, which I find very amusing)

      The people of Scotland aren’t the only people that they treated with contempt.

      I feel genuinely sorry for those in diminished and decaying towns all over England that have been left to rot while the Labour and Conservative Parties have courted big business, vilified the less fortunate in society and sought to remunerate themselves beyond any measure of their worth to society.

      I don’t know who they should turn to..

      • Bill Cruickshank

        My point is that people who are not on the streets, doorsteps and in the clubs & pubs of Scotland have no idea what is going on in the country. We are seeing a sea change in political loyalty in Scotland. The polls are reflecting what is going on. It matters not whether people inside or outside the country refuse to believe it. It is happening!

        • Moominpause

          Kinda 🙂

          I don’t spend enough, for me, time in Scotland, but if you’re studious about it and make a real effort to keep up it is possible to find out what’s actually happening. I agree with you though that in every office, class room and lecture theater people talk about politics now; not office politics or soap opera politics but real live politics, it’s quite extraordinary.

  • Gordon Craig

    I am not being selective, there is a world of difference between comparing huge growths in expenditure which were possible under a UK Labour Government and very small increases under the present Tory Government. The failure to pass on very modest growth has a huge effect on services. It is the difference between barely maintaining services and having to reduce services or failing to meet increased demand.
    In a climate of barely any growth the failure to pass on what was less than one percent per year and to go further and make a real cut is criminal. If real growth had been of the order of the early part of the century we would not be having this debate as targets would have been easily met.

    • Moominpause

      There is no difference except that in one instance it was your favoured party and in the other it is your mortal enemies.

      You can’t in good conscience bring up a report from the IFS which observes a spending differential but then claim their view that your party did the same is somehow a special circumstance or substantially different.

      It’s not different, the IFS didn’t claim it was different and indeed they specifically commented that seemed to be a trend in Scotland.

      I’m extremely disappointed that both the SNP and the Labour have allowed NHS spending to fall behind but it shows a ridiculous level of sycophancy and blind adoration that you’re only critical of the party that isn’t yours. You have no interest in the NHS Scotland, only in the Labour Party.

  • EdinburghEye

    “The reality is that every Labour seat lost makes it less likely that Miliband will head the largest party. An SNP surge threatens to put Cameron back in Downing Street come May 7th. In fact – that’s what he’s counting on.”

    There is no way an SNP surge can put Cameron back in Downing Street unless the Labour leadership want that to happen. If there’s no majority, the first chance to form a government goes to the incumbent Prime Minister. Even if the Tories are the single largest party, they can’t have a minority government unless they have a confidence-and-supply deal with enough MPs to survive a vote of no confidence. Where are you thinking Cameron is going to get those MPs from? The LibDems – due to lose at least half their MPs? UKIP? DUP? None of those possibilities look electorally probable to anyone.

    If Cameron can’t form a government – and everything points to him being unable to: an SNP surge won’t help him at all – then the Parliamentary procedure says that the Opposition party with the largest number of seats must have the option to form a government.

    Unless the Labour leadership are resolved they will not accept SNP support even for confidence and supply, the Labour party can then form a government. It’s not rocket science. It’s Parliamentary procedure and arithmetic.

  • Malcolm McCandless

    Vote Labour get Ed

    Vote Tory get Dave

    When you consider how unpopular both leaders are in Scotland these two choices are equally unpalatable to Scots.

    The simplest and best solution is to vote for what is best for Scotland. Take the negativity out of politics and put integrity and principle before fear and loathing.

  • Gordon Craig

    If you do not understand the difference then there is little I can do to help but as someone who Chaired a Health Board for nearly 10 years there is a world of difference when year on year there are reasonable increases in income compared to the last five years where there has been little available increase in resources and in Scotland an actual decrease. Scotland has a proportionally higher aging population than the rest of the UK and therefore needed more resources. To fail to pass the little available on is a total failure of priorities. We just agree to differ.

  • Mark Ferguson wrote: “The reality is that every Labour seat lost makes it less likely that Miliband will head the largest party. An SNP surge threatens to put Cameron back in Downing Street come May 7th. In fact – that’s what he’s counting on.”
    .

    Good analysis in general, but marred somewhat by the statement above implying that gains for the SNP will “put Cameron back in Downing Street”. That is of course demonstrably false.

    Although it is customary that the largest party gets first crack at forming a coalition or confidence & supply arrangement with other parties, this and other conventions mean nothing in the face of the numbers.

    1. The Party that commands a majority in the House will form the next government and that is not necessarily the largest party.

    2. Even minority governments must command a majority in votes of confidence and supply.

    3. It doesn’t matter who gets first dibs at forming a government. ALL that matters is which party or group of parties can command a majority in the House and win the confidence vote.

    4. Consider the following: Results May 7 2015 election (Sinn Fein and Speaker’s seat NOT excluded in this example)

    Con 300
    Lab 280
    SNP 46
    Oth 24

    Lab + SNP = 326 = A MAJORITY OVER ALL OTHER PARTIES IN THE HOUSE OF COMMONS

    Since the SNP will ONLY prop-up a Labour government, there can ONLY be a Labour minority government OR a Lab/SNP coalition government, even though Labour are the SECOND largest party.

    If the Tories tried to form a minority government, they would immediately lose the necessary confidence vote (it would never come to that). There cannot possibly be a Conservative Government if the SNP hold the balance of power. No SNP MP will vote support for a Tory government if the SNP fall short of holding the balance of power.

    It therefore is untrue to assert that the largest party WILL form the next government, or that SNP gains make a Tory government more likely. The largest party MAY form the next government, then again, it may not, and SNP gains will ONLY be deployed in furtherance of supporting a Labour government.

    • jaime taurosangastre candelas

      The question is, what would be the SNP “price” for their support in terms of sweeties for Scotland, and how savagely would the English people punish the Labour Party at the 2020 election?

      • No sweeties, just full fiscal autonomy AKA DevoMax. The Barnett formula is scrapped. No more sending Scotland’s revenues to London and getting pocket money back.

        Scotland becomes entirely self financing – not one green bean coming from England. All powers are devolved to Holyrood save defence and foreign Affairs. Scotland remits payment to the UK Government to cover its portion of the costs of these.

        Now, if your “sweeties” jibe was founded in fact, and Scotland was a net drain on England’s balance sheet, why didn’t and why isn’t, the UK govt and the Union establishment jumping at the chance of implementing this solution? Why did they fight tooth and nail to keep DevoMax off the referendum ballot?

        Simple really – DevoMax commands 70% support in Scotland where independence is not given as an option. That is to say, not the first choice of Nationalists, but they’ll take it.

        But OK, then why did the London government scupper its inclusion on the indyref ballot? It is because Scotland taking possession of all its revenues and assets will mean England losing its cash cow.

        Consider that Scotland’s population comprises 8.3% of the UK population, yet contributes fully 10% of UK GDP. If Scotland was a net drain rather than a net contributor to the UK balance sheet, Westminster would have shown us the door long ago.

  • George Trist

    Maybe if the nonsense arguments that say vote SNP get tories stop and real truthful policies are set, not ones made up to get he electorate on board, and never repeatedly lied through msm and tv propaganda, labour in Scotland would have a wee chance. But they did lie to and scare Scotland all through the indyref and the did celebrate like family with tories before and after the result, that will always annoy Scots.

  • hyufd

    As Labour presently leads in both England and Wales, England in particular has seen a significant swing to Labour since 2010 and Labour still leads in Wales even if the Tory vote is holding up there, if there were an election in England and Wales alone tomorrow Labour would likely win an overall majority. As it is, the rise in the SNP lead in Scotland means UK wide they could hold the balance of power

    • Andy Ellis

      You’re wrong. No poll has predicted an outright majority for either Labour or the Tories. Most recent ones have them pretty much neck and neck on around 270-280 seats each, WELL short of the 320 odd required for an absolute majority.

      Barring a political earthquake in the next 80 or so days, the SNP will be the 3rd biggest party and the only one capable of delivering a stable majority. Labour better get planning exactly what they are going to give in return for SNP providing confidence and supply for their minority administration, because that’s likely to be the only game in town!

  • Harry Palmer

    I was a Labour member for thirty years until January this year. I decided to vote yes in the referendum months before that because it was the only way to save the NHS and to get ride of the British establishment who have run our country into the ground. I left Labour over its betrayal of its Scottish supporters by jumping into better together with the Tories. I could never trust the party I was a member of again. And electing the team behind project fear (Murphy and Dugdale) to lead the party in an attempt to win over Yes Voters was just crass. I joined the SNP the day Murphy was elected leader. I will never vote Labour again.

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