Labour’s broken pencil stub

On Wednesday the Scottish Parliament debated the Scottish Government’s draft budget. The Labour party in Scotland doesn’t like the Scottish Government’s budget. No really. I was as shocked as you are. Labour think it’s a bad budget. It’s a terrible budget. It’s a rotten budget. But worst of all, and for this it is beyond all redemption and hope of forgiveness, it’s an SNP budget.

So you might wonder, and not unreasonably, what would Labour do differently? Labour carefully pondered. Labour has considered and thought the issues through. Labour has the answers that working class people are demanding. And so James Kelly pronounced from his pulpit of wisdom, the one that he was standing at because he won’t sit down, “Ah, well, but, eh, anyway … We’ll get back to you on that one … Emm … It’s a rubbish budget anyway but.”

Labour has all sorts of fantastic plans. They’re going to give every school in Scotland a golden unicorn. They’re going to pay every public sector worker a quadrasquillion quid a year. They will ensure that no one in Scotland will ever catch a cold ever again and the NHS will be so well funded that it will never be used because no one in the country is ever ill. When Labour’s in charge it won’t dare snow. It’s just that they don’t have the foggiest idea of how they’re going to pay for any of this. They won’t say what taxes they’ll raise in order to come up with the extra £700 million they say that Scotland needs. They won’t say what spending they will cut to make up the difference. Because they have no clue.

Labour hated the budget because they said that it would not defend Scotland against austerity, because it wouldn’t protect public services from cuts. It’s a budget, Labour claimed, which proves that Thatessempee is in cahoots with the Tories. And to prove just how opposed Labour is to anything that smacks of support for Torydom, they voted against their own motion along with the Tories. They voted along with the Tories to reject an extra £400 million for NHS Scotland. You know, that NHS that they’re always complaining is underfunded and underachieving. They voted along with the Tories against an extra £120 million for Scottish schools. You know, those schools that they’re always complaining are underfunded and underachieving. They voted along with the Tories to block the lifting of the cap on public sector pay. You know, in order to fight for the interests of those public sector workers that they’re always telling us are suffering due to the wages squeeze. There’s Labour standing up for Scotland against the Conservatives. Keir Hardy must be so proud of them.

Not that any of this was adequately explained on our wunnerful public service broadcaster, just like they glossed over the betrayal by Scotland’s half baked dozen of Tory MPs of the devolution settlement. There are far more important and crucial news stories to be told than the fact that the Conservative government, fully supported by Scotland’s thirteen Tory MPs, is traducing the results of the 1997 referendum when Scotland voted for the devolution settlement and the 2014 referendum when the people of Scotland voted for stronger devolution and a Scotland that’s an equal partner in the UK family of nations. There are far more relevant news stories than the story that the Labour party in Scotland is even more unfit than Donald Trump, who is in rude good health for an overweight 71 year old man who takes to his bed to stuff his face with junk food and never takes any exercise. There are important stories that the people of Scotland need to be told, like the one about the hedgehog which is getting hydrotherapy and the surprising fact that it has been snowing in Scotland in January. Ohmygod! Who knew! And now the fitba.

There’s nothing to stop the Labour party in Scotland from promoting tax policies of its own if it doesn’t like the ones that are on offer from the Scottish Government. It’s not like Labour has a great deal else to do with itself. They’re not in government. They’re not even the main opposition party. If they spent a fraction less time falling out with one another and a little more time coming up with policies they might actually have something constructive to say about the budget. Unlike the Scottish Government the Labour party is going to be guaranteed a favourable hearing in much of the Scottish media and will even, incredibly enough, be given billing on Reporting Scotland above the hydrotherapised hedgehog. It’s just that they don’t have a tax policy. Or anything else that smacks of costing, thought, or rigour. All they have is tribalistic finger pointing.

The Tories have a tax policy. Admittedly it’s a rubbish tax policy even by the standards by which Labour judges the SNP’s tax policy. The Tory tax policy is not to increase taxes on rich people because it’s a far greater social benefit that well paid people in the leafier suburbs can afford a second skiing holiday than it is to fund services for children and vulnerable people. But at least the Tories have a tax policy, even if it is one that a Viking warlord who specialises in ransacking and pillaging would consider a tad greedy and a wee tait entitled – and you can have as many skiing holidays as you want when you’re a Viking warlord.

Labour could have used the debate in Holyrood to highlight the actions of Scotland’s Conservative MPs and their betrayal of the devolution settlement despite their claims that they’d vote as a bloc to defend and protect Scotland’s interests. Labour could have used the debate to promote and publicise meaningful and realistic solutions to help mitigate the austerity politics of the Tories and their blaming and victimisation of the poor. Instead, they decided that the most effective use of their energies was to waste time with tribalistic finger pointing. We hate Thatessempee. That’s it. That’s the beginning and end of political thought in the Labour party in Scotland.

The Labour party in Scotland is less useful than a broken pencil stub. Even a broken pencil stub can be sharpened so it has a point. Sharpen the Labour party in Scotland’s pencil stub and all you’ll be left with is the rubber face of James Kelly erasing anything meaningful from a Holyrood debate.

The Wee Ginger Dug has got a new domain name, thanks to Indy Poster Boy, Colin Dunn @Zarkwan. You can now access this blog simply by typing into the address bar of your browser, the old address continues to function, the new one redirects to the blog. The advantage of the new address is that it’s a lot easier to remember if you want to include a link to the blog in leaflets, posters, or simply to tell a friend about it. Many thanks to Colin.

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0 thoughts on “Labour’s broken pencil stub

  1. The Labour ‘revenge against the SNP for losing our Scottish fiefdom’ act got old and tired and depressing a long, long time ago. They’re like stalkers still hanging around their ex in the vain hope they will take them back, after treating them like dirt for years. I am very, very tired with the Scottish political scene in regard to the Tories and the Tories, sorry, New Labour. How long is this going to go on for? It’s pathological madness.

    • It’s all part of the plan, undermine the Scottish parliament, by being totally ineffective in opposing what the tories are doing to Scotland. They hope to bore people, to portray Holyrood as some tin pot little branch office, a wee council talking shop. Easy to dismantle it then, temporarily. Because if that does happen, we can be sure it will reopen with a Britnat party put in place, sounds far fetched, but seeing what happened yesterday in WM, put nothing past the colonialists.

      Only the SNP are actually acting like grown ups, with intelligent, well thought out and forward looking policies. In comparison to the Britnats, it’s like we live in different centuries. But then, the Britnat parties are attempting to take us back to Dickensian times. We wil do everything to stop them from taking Scotland back, in both senses of the word, we have to.

        • If you succeed I believe you automatically become King of India –

          Well said Hetty , we are in a fight for our country , its culture , heritage and people.

        • lol! Kitten ok? My gorgeous wee beautiful, soul friend of 9 yrs, our cat died at Hogmanay, when I am over grieving, another good soul will defo be embraced for sure. Animals are angels. To have a cat hold your hand is the most special thing.

      • I do agree with you on everything you say, Hetty, and am conversant with the whole ‘run the country and party and opposition down’ idea. What I genuinely don’t understand is how these people can say they’re ‘working class’ or ‘for the people’ or ‘socialists’ – it’s the latter that totally bamboozles me.

        Labour is dead in Scotland, and the naked Tory agenda of destroying Holyrood and its authority by the death of a thousand cuts has become ever-clearer. If we don’t get independence we’re finished – Westminster will disband Holyrood and we will be stuck under their hateful, last-colony-punishing Little Englander jackboot forever. Interesting, depressing, and dispiriting times – morale-boosting articles like Wee Ginger Dug’s are a real boost. This won’t be forever. We can do this. We have no choice.

        • Of course they are ‘working class’, Graham.
          Leonard doesn’t spend an extra £600 a year on private school fees to send his offspring to Fettes.
          He bought 6 cashmere scarves instead.
          “This won’t be forever. We can do this. We have no choice.’
          I volunteer to chair a meeting/workshop/rally using these 3 short sharp and inspiring sentences as the agenda.
          The When, How, and Determination needed on the Road to Freedom.
          Well said, Sir.

      • Well said Hetty, the unionist MSP’s have tried ever since our Parliament re-convened to have it seen as an irrelevant talking shop. Who can forget Joanne Lamont’s weeks long quest to discover who paid for Alex Salmond’s tartan trews?

  2. Pingback: Labour’s broken pencil stub | speymouth

  3. Orwell, in one of his ‘As I Please’ articles (1947) in commenting on the USSR’s literary purge :-

    “They don’t know what literature is, but they know that it is important, that it has prestige value, and that it is necessary for propaganda purposes, and they would like to encourage it, if only they knew how.
    So they continue with their purges and directives, like a fish bashing its nose against the wall of an aquarium again and again, too dim-witted to realize that glass and water are not the same thing.”

    In the above comment, substitute ‘Russian literature’ with ‘Scottish Budget’.

    For Stalin’s Russia substitute The Red, Blue, and Yellow Tory Branch Offices.

    Paul, you describe the madness, laziness, and sheer incompetence of the Red Blue and Yellow Tories Up Here with your customary quiet rage and utter condemnation..

    None of the Yoon Horde has even bothered drawing up alternative policies on any aspect of Government.
    As you say, they point a finger, wet it, then, like a redundant RBS teller, count the £1200 , plus expenses, plus an index linked pension, for doing absolutely nothing to assist in the administration of Scotland.
    They must pinch themselves daily that they can trouser public money for nothing, without lifting a finger to do any work, other than deliberately undermine the smooth running of government and serving the needs of the Scottish people.

    Kelly is like a goldfish swimming around in his own little bowl, endlessly, pointlessly, his puckered lips constantly battering against the unyielding glass wall that separates him from the Real World outside the little puddle of his own petty pusillanimous existence.
    Their goal is to make sure that Scotland’s Parliament is damaged at every turn, that Scots suffer because they believe that England’s needs trump those of their fellow scots citizens, that in order to continue drawing blood money, they must attempt to destroy the good that Scottish politicians do for their country.
    And Tom Gordon McGordonface is right there with them, trashing anything Scottish.
    You are on rare form, Paul.
    I can taste cold steel in the cold January air.
    This is indeed the Winter of our Discontent.
    Rise Up, Scotland, Rise Up.
    Kelly, keep bashing your face against the glass wall. Now that’s got to hurt.

    • I’ve just clocked today’s National front page The Headline “No Idea, No Clue” and James Kelly’s hapless face between, looking evry inch a goldfish with its face slapping off the glass wall of reality beyond SNP BAD.
      I’m buying ten copies and filling my Dentist’s and GP’s waiting rooms with copies.

      • Jack labour got a kicking that night the snp destroyed them and the presiding officer for that debate wasn’t having none of labours whinging but Paul’s article in the nationals pissed of the bbc as there head of news at bbc Scotland write to the national that he’s barking up the wrong tree and he’s saying that they reported the scottish goverments brexit impact assessments and saying that Paul should get his facts right frist oh if Paul was a dog he would of bit them in the ballz like jerry Lee does in the k9 movies to the criminals well done Paul.

  4. We must have a simple strategy, one on which all the Independence minded people can agree and work together. Let’s keep this simple.

    1. Ensure that the ballot process is not only secure, but is seen by the voters to be secure.
    2. Coordinate, at country level, a very high profile propaganda campaign from our side with a judicious mixture of fear and personal mudslinging. Facts alone will not convert the diehards. We simply take the winning strategy of the Unionists in 2014 and the Brexiteers in 2016 and copy it.

      • Another candidate is a soundbite from Flower of Scotland : ‘Rise now and be the nation again’. It resonates in my ear and may well stick in the heads of others.

    • The obstructionist opposition, on every SNP motion, is a trope the red and blue Tories have imported from the way the Republicans attacked the Democrats during Obama’s terms. These people are genuinely traitors to Scotland, filling their pockets at the expense of the rest of us. They’re an amoral total disgrace.

    • Ensuring the security of the ballot in any future election/referendum only goes half way.

      It is also essential that the contents of the Electoral Roll are secure as the insertion of names thereon is wide open to misuse and the casting of false votes when it comes to the ballot.

      • Gus, I agree that we need to make sure that only genuine names are on the Electoral Roll. I was speaking to an ex soldier who had been posted to Northern Ireland, billeted with many others in a warehouse which was then used as their address for voting. I don’t know how to prevent similar manipulations.

        The Referendum Bill has not yet started on its committee phase, so things can still be changed. What could be suggested to the committee?

    • Les, You’re dead right that facts alone won’t convert the diehards, but I don’t think anything will.However, simple, clear facts might well convert the doubters.

      Big mistake in 2014 was responding to the UKOKs and fighting on their terms.Yes needs clear slogans repeated constantly and a few clear facts likewise. Ignore the UKOKs and their arguments and plug the same few points relentlessly.

  5. Must admit to doing a double take on the twatter feeds last night. Even I had to take a few seconds to let that one sink in. They voted against their own motion… WTAF??? Preceded by Kelly’s abject howler which left the Scottish government benches in hysterics.

    As for Murdo Fraser’s pearl of wisdom on scrapping NP? A vanity project he called it. Protecting the most vulnerable in our society. Let that one sink in. That’s yer Tories in a nutshell. Oh, and in favour of what? What could be a more worthy cause in Murdo’s eyes than the protection of vulnerable children? The mind boggles.

    Then there’s our media. On a day when any balanced or remotely representative media should have been actually doing that whole public watchdog thing. Y’know, the one where they’re actually using their ability to speak truth unto power and protecting people by highlighting grave political offence, catastrophic legislation, uncovering the seedier and poisonous underside of political practice. Where were they? Absent Without Leave. Silent. No comment. Not a sausage.

    In the space of twenty four hours crucial votes affecting the democratic and civil rights of every human being in the United Kingdom went barely noticed. Powers of the devolved parliament’s existing settlements were undermined and are in the process of being stolen. NOT A PEEP. A massive constitutional crisis is looming and it’s one not brought about by the Welsh, the Scottish, or the Northern Irish assemblies. It’s been brought about 100% by the political practices of Westminster. The parliament of the United Kingdom. The rest of us are just expected to make the best of… etc.

    So, instead of the threats posed to the Welsh Senedd and the Holyrood Parliament being klaxoned out to the people. We got swimming hedgehogs from our public broadcaster and ironically, white noise from our printed media. Watchdogs? No. Lapdogs? Yes.

    Yet again, (AGAIN), they failed us. They failed the people they are tasked to protect. Personally, I hope they shit those hedgehogs for the rest of their natural lives.

    • Indeed, Sam.
      The English Government is in freefall but Kaye Adams 2 hours of chat this morning on BBC Radio Jordanhill will discuss the ‘controversial subjects of calling people ‘fat’, then a Radio Doctor phone in, and wait for it, a review of the reprise of a ’90s US Sitcom for 15 year old girls, Friends, an Upper Class Manhattan Judeo Christian values and prejudices laden homophobic elitist all white romp about six skinny spoilt child-women (ok, 3 of them are dressed in boys’ clothes, but the male characters are just female extensions of pubescent girls’ teenage angst ) who live in Manhattan apartments that even pop stars would struggle to afford.
      After all, there’s nothing much else happening in Scotland to rouse the passions of Kaye with an ‘e’ and her daytime listeners.
      It is all getting a bit too much for the BBC Scottish redoubt in Pacific Quay.
      I suspect that the Brit Nat nostalgia for ’90’s US idiotic sitcoms when the Twin Towers, featured frequently in NY sit coms dominated the skyline and nobody had heard of sub prime mortgages, Leehman Brothers and Northern Rock, and black people were bit characters on US TV, will offer some succour to the dog whistle Brit Nats listeners of North British Radio.
      BBC Scotland and our Dead Tree Scrolls have given up entirely now.
      Where is Glenn Campbell these days?
      Has he been promoted to the Hollywood desk as a reward for his Project Fear work?

      I see Kelly’s on his feet next week attacking the ‘controversial’ law banning his knuckle dragging fans from F@&$-ing the Queen or dancing up to their knees in Catholic blood.

      He really is the encrusted mucus at the end of our nose on a frosty morning.

        • Labours done that before Sam Falkirk council labour a few years ago had an amendment which would of benefited Falkirk but because the snp members on Falkirk council agreed with it labour voted it down by siding with the conservatives there defeating there own bill.

          • They are so depressingly predictable. So childish. So bloody wrong in what they hope to achieve from their actions.

            Bring down an SNP Scottish government? Possibly, eventually. Every government runs out of steam and popularity. People become jaded or entitled, or any of a hundred other things. Yes, they could aid in doing that.

            Will they ever enjoy the blind trust, popularity and loyalty of the majority of Scotland’s population ever again? Not in my lifetime. What they’ve done and continue to do to the population will be remembered for a very long time and forgiven maybe never.

  6. There is no bottom to the well of contempt I would like to hold Labour in. They truly are utterly useless, swivel eyed little gobshites.

  7. a short simple reply to those brainless crettins who demand money for all services .


    If you say it often enough it might just sink in

    Here yah go

    P F I

    P F I

    P F I = one billion pounds interest and rising every year .

    who gave us P F I – Labour & the toerags with wullies lot cheering from the sidelines.

    Much the same as the VOW – P F I is the Orphan no one wants to take care of , not one of these unionist parties will admit the total f/k up they have left us , our children & our children’s children .

  8. I used to loathe the Labour Party with a vengeance for the way it had let ordinary people like my family, friends, neighbours and workmates down through the decades. I still find that unforgivable, but things have now got to the stage where I find Labour absolutely hilarious, and I’d now be almost disappointed if they disappeared entirely for their sheer humour value.

    James Kelly MSP – a comedy writer couldn’t invent this without being criticised for lack of subtlety.
    Richard Leonard – here by Hogmanay, gone by Halloween.
    Neil Findlay – an enviable lack of self-awareness; a bit like Marie Antoinette, probably very well-meaning and totally unaware he’s one of the elite on expenses.
    Anas Sarwar – me me me me me me me me; a bit like Marie Antoinette and proud of being one of the elite on expenses.
    Kezia Dugdale – celebrity jungle was her zenith.
    Johann Lamont – Come Dine With Me, m’ Lord.
    Iain Gray – grey.
    Jackie Baillie – photo ops at the foodbank after lunch with the ladies.

    • Oh Catty ha ha Cat , is that how you spell catty it dosnt look right ,

      Then again anything to do with labour dosent look right .

    • You mentioned sawar boy was he left fuming Wednesday when he got ripped to shit for lobbying in westminster to cut 30 million from the uk budget in 2015 the presiding officer told him to sit down his face had pure anger they all got humiliated not just Kelly it was a train wreck for labour and yet again like with better together Falkirk council and even brexit on occasion labour again sides with the conservatives

  9. Another laugh-out-loud yet razor-sharp analysis of the shrivelled remains of the Labour Party in North Britain. (The laughter helps take away some of the pain of recognising the bitter truth of it all.)

    I just hope young people in particular are paying attention, so they don’t make the same mistakes as we did in believing and trusting the Zombies, and have to go through all of this again in 20 years’ time.

  10. Ahh the empire strikes back

    The threat to the Union has been obliterated Campbell has been silenced.

    Late news thousands homeless with the removal of WINGS from the internet

    Sedition and threatening the Union will not be allowed

    So shut up you separatists know your place or else , first Campbell next your parliament we are coming to get you . So watch your lip .

  11. The UK government political policy is neoliberalism. The SNP’s political policy is substantially the Nordic model. It is not therefore in the interests of the UK government to allow the SNP to pursue, and succeed in their objectives.

    Events this week has seen the UK government move on at pace.Whereas Westminster’s earlier strategy was to mildly bully and frustrate Scotland via Holrood – VAT on Fire and Police services, withholding EU agricultural grants etc. Brexit has upped the ante, the UK and Scotland are on wholly divergent paths.

    As others have commented, that the 13 Scot Tory MPs sided with UK government on the return of reserved powers issue, relinquising democratic authority to a collection of unelected ex-Mps, Anglican bishops,and “Lords”is simply astonishing. It demonstrates the shallowness of their political nous, and lack of respect for the Scots nation. The Tory party operatives now know they have a cluster of 13 House-Scots Tories to deceive and bully – turkeys voting for Xmas.

    The SNP missed the opportunity when they had 56 MPs. Upon witnessing the lack of respect, and the dismissal of whatever proposals were forwarded by the SNP at Westminster they should have departed to Holyrood.Can still be done, but much less international impact. Brexit arguably will justify that action.

  12. And to add to my post above:

    Rules, and Laws, are for the guidance of the wise, and the obedience of fools.

    Operate as an independent nation.

    The 13 House ScotTories MPs are now but, like sheep, counted in the pen. Fools.

  13. Paul, you say, even a broken pencil stub can be sharpened so it has a point. You say you can sharpen the Labour party in Scotland’s pencil stub and all you’ll be left with is a rubber erasing anything meaningful from Holyrood. Paul, it’s worse than that.

    The Labour Party in Scotland is like a pencil where the lead is broken all the way through. Every time you try to sharpen it, it just jams up your sharpener with a really annoying bit of pencil lead that wedges itself under the blade and stops you sharpening all your pencils. But there is a solution. Fetch your shiny SNP pin or needle to get that bit of useless lead out of our sharpener and it will work again. But until we throw that broken Labour pencil away, our pencil sharpener will keep getting blocked and never be able to work as well as it should.

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