Och, Jeremy Corbyn

On Wednesday evening I did a talk in Motherwell for the local Yes group. The venue held 120 people, and it was full. Many thanks to the organisers for a fantastic evening. It was great to see that interest in the cause of independence is undiminished in Lanarkshire. One of the questions I was asked was how do we as independence campaigners respond to people who are attracted to the message of Jeremy Corbyn, a Labour leader who seemingly promises a return to socialist policies for Labour, and who presents himself as the opposite of the discredited Blairite and Brownite factions which previously dominated the party.

In his past pronouncements, Jeremy Corbyn has shown that he has a tin ear as far as Scotland is concerned. He has more sympathy and understanding of the issues around Latin American politics than he does about Scotland, and if he’s honest he’d admit that he finds Latin America more interesting too. Nevertheless he campaigns on a platform of social justice, renationalisation, and the redistribution of wealth, the very issues which attracted many working class people to support the independence movement in 2014. To some of those people, Jeremy Corbyn’s politics offer the prospect of achieving those same goals. Naturally they’re going to be attracted to his vision.

For most campaigners for independence, independence is not a goal in itself, it is the means by which we can effect much needed change in Scotland. It’s important not to lose sight of that. There would be little point in campaigning and labouring to achieve the independence of Scotland if all we were to end up with was the exact same social divisions, the exact same deprivation, the exact same poverty and social exclusion, the exact same unaccountability of those in power, just all tied up in a pretty tartan bow. For independence to be worthwhile, it has to be about making the lives of ordinary people in Scotland better, it has to be about improving the lot of those who struggle, and it has to be about making our political system more accountable and more responsive to the needs and demands of the people.

Trusting Labour to deliver is in itself a very big ask, it cannot be denied that Labour has historically promised all sorts of things which working class campaigners and socialist activists have dreamed of, and which it has signally failed to follow through on. It has been Labour party policy since the foundation of the party to abolish the House of Lords. We’re still waiting. Labour has never done anything to strip private schools of their financially privileged status as so-called charities. It took Labour 80 years to deliver on its commitment to a Scottish Parliament, and when it did finally deliver the party did all it could to strip that parliament of powers. It’s thanks to Labour that broadcasting wasn’t devolved to Scotland, making Scotland and Wales the only self-governing nations in Europe without public service broadcasters of their own. Labour’s perfidy makes for a very long list. The party may be led by Jeremy Corbyn now, but its ranks are still full of the placepeople and careerists who have let us down repeatedly in the past.

But that’s not the biggest problem. The biggest problem with Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour party is that even if we do show good faith and trust it to deliver, it only offers a short term fix, and that to only some of the issues facing us. Corbyn has little interest in the devolution settlement, he has no great interest in constitutional matters, and he has not presented any comprehensive plans to change what passes for a UK constitution. Voting for Corbyn makes it less likely that Scotland will have an opportunity to decide for itself what sort of future it wants, because his party is just as likely as the Tories to block an independence referendum. We’ll still have the House of Lords. We’ll still have the unrepresentative first past the post voting system for UK General Elections. Corbyn might be sincere, he might be able to get the sullen and uncooperative Blairite and Brownite factions of his party to cooperate with him, or at least not to block him, but after a few years there will be another General Election and we’ll be back to Tory rule again.

All this assumes that Corbyn’s Labour party can get into power and can achieve a majority of seats in Westminster. That is by no means a given. There is no natural left of centre majority in England which has by far and away the largest number of parliamentary seats. Even when faced with what is possibly the most inept, the most incompetent, the most divided government in living memory, Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour party still can’t command a substantial lead in the opinion polls. To have any confidence that he can be the next Prime Minister, Labour really ought to have a lead over the Conservatives that is 10% or more. Yet opinion poll after opinion poll has shown that despite the utter waste-of-spaceness of Theresa May’s government, despite it having as much of a clue about how to deal with Brexit as a goldfish does about airbreathing, Jeremy Corbyn still can’t achieve a breakthrough in the opinion polls. Over the last few months, the gap between Labour and the Conservatives has been about 3% or less. Opinion polls have a margin of error of 3%, which means that statistically Labour and the Conservatives are tying. Just how bad does Theresa May’s party have to get for Jeremy Corbyn to be able to beat her convincingly in the polls? They’re already doing appallingly badly and Corbyn can’t beat her.

This does not inspire much confidence that in a future General Election Labour will be able to defeat the Conservatives. If he does soften his position on Brexit he risks losing support in the pro-Brexit areas of the North of England. If he adopts his own preferred position of a harder Brexit, he risks losing support in London and the large cities and amongst younger voters.

One thing is sure, and that is that it won’t be Theresa May who is up against Jezza next time. If there is to be a General Election it will only be after the Tories have knifed Theresa in the back and there’s a new Conservative leader who will go into a General Election during his or her honeymoon period, with all the puffery and goodwill from the media that that entails. The media in the UK is biased towards the Conservatives. That’s simply a fact, and it’s not one that is going to change just because Corbyn supporters think it’s unfair. As a supporter of Scottish independence, all I can say is welcome to my world.  Realistically however, the chances of Jeremy Corbyn being the next UK Prime Minister are rather less than 50-50. Those aren’t good odds on which to stake your future.

Voting for Corbyn means making it harder to get rid of the Tories forever. I’d prefer to get rid of the Tories permanently. Even with much of a supine Scottish media backing her, even with their dogged determination to cooperate with her in avoiding any difficult questions, Ruth Davidson still fell a very very long way short of attaining a majority in Holyrood. There is a natural left of centre majority in Scottish politics, a natural left of centre majority which doesn’t exist in England. If you are a supporter of socialism or social democracy in Scotland, it makes far more sense to vote for parties which are going to facilitate the opportunity for independence to come about because then we will have the opportunity to make the permanent and lasting changes that this country so badly needs.

In a nutshell, voting for Corbyn means getting rid of the Tories for five years. Voting for Scottish independence means getting rid of the Tories forever. Corbyn is the short term fix, it’s far better to have the permanent one.


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0 thoughts on “Och, Jeremy Corbyn

  1. Thank you, Paul, for expressing so well what I have been trying to say to people with a bias towards Jezza ever since he started to be seen as the Socialist Messiah! Vote for Independence first, so that whatever happens afterwards we will be governed by the Party and the politicians of OUR choosing. Then and only then will it be safe to vote for a Socialist Labour Party in Scotland. However much Jezza’s polemic may appeal to us in the here and now – “Now is not the time!”, to quote a phrase I seem to have heard somewhere before …

  2. Pingback: Och, Jeremy Corbyn | speymouth

  3. You hit the nail on the head there, Paul. Corbyn’s a lost cause and to be frank, I actually just don’t trust the guy. Labour are no different to the Tories to me. Two colluding forces playing the population against each other while dining at the table of privilidge. OT, sorry, but how are you getting on with your Gaelic maps? I’m hoping to buy one when they are ready.

  4. If I am very, very generous and accept that Labour will implement every left wing desire and that they will get elected with a massive majority. The following will happen as night follows day.

    It will all undone by our “turns each” policy at Westminster. At the best he could deliver two terms ( see, I’m being very generous)

    Then the natural selfish South and Middle England horde will kick in to demand their turn once again after listening to Tory Party promises to reward the “hard working middle class”

    If Brexit has shown anything it is that the UK will never be a fair society.

    Remember this fact – The only Labour Party extended term in office was achieved by them becoming Tories.

    • At the end of two terms he would be 80. He looks burnt out, now.
      When Corbyn became Labour leader, the media filmed him entering and leaving his home many times. It was very noticeable, that he had to bend down, to navigate himself under a low lying tree branch.
      It struck me, that here was a man, who couldn’t even organise himself to a place, where the offending branch could be cut down to provide himself, free access to his own home. This went on for weeks, until the offending branch disappeared. It never seemed to occur to him how this looked. You could say: Well Jeremy, doesn’t care about such things. Well, I would have to say: Why the Hell not? What kind of person, bends under a tree branch to enter and leave their front door? Not only him, but every visitor?
      When I was a very young man starting my career, I received some advice from an experienced man manager. He told me:. Never employ anyone who turns up for their job interview, with dirty shoes. I said to myself: Aye, right. But you know, he was proved right a hundred times.
      So No, I won’t be voting for Jeremy. Not only, because of the tree branch of course. But little things do mean a lot.

  5. Woof woof tae the dug! What a stormer. No argument with any of that. I voted Labour all my voting life bar the last GE and past few Scottish Parliamentary elections. Wasn’t till indyref campaign that I came to my senses. I couldn’t quite believe how stupid and gullible I had been all those years. I will never vote for them again. Never. I know, without a shadow of a doubt that there will be more political choice when we gain independence and only then will I consider giving my support to another party. Until then it’s SNP all the way for me.

    • Well said Paul. As ever a fantastic post. And likewise Crabbit Geezer! I have exactly the same experience, and like you Indyref was the catalyst.

      Having seen the actions of Labour, UK and Scottish branch, over the last 4 years, Paul’s analysis is on point. In Scotland, the Bain principle prevails and that frustrates me beyond anything I can express. In fact, it seriously affects my blood pressure on an almost daily basis.

      Corbyn, for all his stated intentions of a new form of politics keeps repeating the old one, promising much, misrepresenting facts, particularly on Scotland, and so far achieving little. Given the present WM government’s abysmal performance, Corbyn should be able to wipe the floor with Theresa May each week, but isn’t.

      Despite delivering devolution, as soon as they were not the party in power they did everything they could to limit Holyrood’s powers, even collaborating with the Tories and LibDems to ensure that Holyrood and the SNP were hamstrung as far as possible. Labour took Scotland for granted, and that, I hope, won’t be forgotten in a hurry. Nor will the New Labour version of conservatism.

      Julia Gibb is right. Brexit has shown that the UK will never be a fair society. In fact, the only thing that might make that change would be, ironically, English Independence.

  6. Great post Paul. It’s probably also worth mentioning that Mr Corbyn is not above the typical practice of UK politics. On his visits to and statements about Scotland to date, he hasn’t exactly covered himself in glory.

    TBF this is the politics he has practised for several decades. It’s all he knows and though he talks a good game about being ‘kinder and more honest’… Well the words haven’t really become actions, now have they? Whatever else he may be, knowledgable about the needs, aspirations and actuality of life in Scotland is not one of them.

    The permanent solution is the ONLY solution which will deliver what the population of Scotland truly need. Control over and a real stake in, their own needs, their own future, their own choices.

  7. “Biased towards” is too weak a phrase for the media attitude towards the Tories (and this now blatantly includes the BBC). Otherwise very good article as usual.

    Regarding Corbyn the socialist, I came across this (if you want to reference do a screen shot as these pages change regularly):

    • “AS BEFITS a politician who took up to £20,000 from the Iranian regime’s propagandists and supported Hugo Chavez as he closed down Venezuelan democracy, Jeremy Corbyn is working to turn his Islington base into a one-party state.

      Corbyn already has the Islington North parliamentary seat, and his nakedly ambitious servant Emily Thornberry has Islington South. Labour controls Islington council, and its power would be complete but for one small problem. As in Asterix’s Gaul, a tiny corner of the north London borough holds out. Labour must be content with just 47 of the 48 council seats because in the rebel enclave of Highbury East, a lone Green councillor, Caroline Russell, provides Islington’s sole opposition voice.

      Naturally, Corbyn finds her presence intolerable; and earlier this month he took to the streets of Highbury to campaign against Russell retaining her seat in the May local elections. Emma Dixon, a former Green candidate in Islington, declared on Twitter: “Wondering why the Leader of the Opposition is out canvassing in Highbury East of all places?… Is it a stronger NHS? No… Opposing Brexit? Of course not (Jeremy loves Brexit). What Jeremy Corbyn and his constituency party want more than anything else is to get rid of something they hate. Opposition.”

      Yuppie flats
      Labour has reasons beyond simple power lust for wanting rid of Russell. She may be a lonely opposition councillor, but she has a knack of exposing the gulf between Labour’s deeds and words.

      Islington council is adding new flats to the Parkview Estate in Russell’s ward, as part of its commitment to build “genuinely affordable homes”. Nothing wrong that, of course. But Russell told the Eye that a block of private maisonettes would be built to a higher specification and receive better services than the rest of the tenants and right-to-buy owners on the estate enjoyed.

      Russell and the tenants pointed out that while Corbyn’s Islington was building yuppie flats, essential repairs to existing flats were already three years late and the council was saying it wouldn’t be able to start them for another two. The delays had made many homes unfit to live in; long-neglected structural problems had turned balconies and walkways into “cold bridges”; condensation was filling the flats with damp and mould. Tenant Sarah Brakes told the Islington Gazette: “My son can’t sleep in his own room. My daughter had been on medication, but when she moved to university she didn’t need the medication any more.”

      Russell took the tenants through the complexities of the council bureaucracy and helped them deliver a petition to the town hall. So loud did the protests become that last week the council was forced to bow to Russell’s demands and promise “remedial work”.

      Clearly, her removal would have its advantages. Richard Watts, Islington’s Labour leader, pooh-poohed the notion that Corbyn had been doing anything other than visiting his constituents in Highbury. But when asked about Russell’s claim that Labour needed a strong political opposition to keep it in check, he said that “civic groups and trade unions” could “hold Labour to account as well”. So no need for a strong opposition, then. Or indeed any opposition. ”

      From Private Eye. I lived in Islington for a few years back in the day, policy wise it didn’t matter which party was in power, the policies were Tory through and through.

  8. “In a nutshell, voting for Corbyn means getting rid of the Tories for five years. Voting for Scottish independence means getting rid of the Tories forever. Corbyn is the short term fix, it’s far better to have the permanent one”

    Paul your above statement defines precisely the unsolvable problem in the argument as promoted by the renegade ‘Yes to Indy but maybe not just now ‘ mob who are promoting Corbyn as an everlasting solution to all …..however to a Scot wanting independence it is most definitely not a once size fits all solution and if Labour in Scotland make gains it will be hugely detrimental to the independence cause…..remember the glee and smugness with the Scottish Tory gains last GE.

    That they, those ‘want Indy’ Corbyn promoting Scots , are naive enough to think that the chicken coup mob will just surrender and concede eternal defeat and thus willingly embrace Labour becoming a true socialist party headed by Corbyn and then a succession of left wing leaders post Corbyn is both laughable and infantile.

    Scottish voters are once again expected to be beholden to the current political whims of the English electorate , with fingers crossed that they, the English, will vote for Labour, conveniently forgetting that to a pro Indy Scot it will just be a case of new boss same as the old boss.

    I am now of a mind to not give a damn how badly or well Corbyn does in England because he does not represent me in any way . His reticence to voice any coherent and decisive opinion on Brexit showed me that he is both weak and indeed not the ‘honest’ politician as referred to by his supporters . Although he has a strong and vocal opinion against Scottish independence which IMO also betrays his supposed honesty. And lets not even start on his MP’s who can talk the talk about austerity and injustice but fall short of being able to walk the walk as they prefer to abstain and vote for Tory policies in the HOC.

    Sorry but Labour under Corbyn represent the Union and on that there is no distinction between them and the Tory party and it is hypocritical of any Indy supporting factions within Scotland to suggest otherwise. If it walks like a duck etc etc ,and I have in the very distant past fallen too many times for the scenario of, ‘vote SNP get a Tory government’ argument, which is as shit and uninspiring an argument if ever there was one and is well past it’s sell by date if experience and reality has shown us anything in Scotland .

    Voting SNP in a GE benefits Scots in Scotland. For at least we will have an independent Scottish voice and perspective in HOC and not just a voice ‘a la Scottish Labour MP’ ( or indeed Scottish Tory Mp) dictated to and controlled by HQ first and foremost , where allegiance to the HQ party is the main priority, and what HQ wants HQ gets .

    Corbyn does not speak for me or mine and frankly the party he heads has always let me and mine down because they are beholden to one country and one country only in this supposed (non) union and we all know who holds the balance of power and it ain’t the Scots voters and never will be as long as we remain in this dysfunctional and fake (non) union.

    Voting Labour under Corbyn or any other subsequent leader of that party is voting against independence , no question about it , that is a given. So why would I vote Labour …..ever again?

    • Clapper you are right.

      Labour and the Tories as has often been said before, two cheeks of the same arse, they are all the same as evidenced in Scotland where the Red and Blue Tories activity support each other quite openly.

      There is no benefit to the people of Scotland in a Labour government or a tory government gaining power, they have both been there before done nothing for anyone in Scotland.

      Dont vote Labour they are not able or willing to help Scotland the union comes first.

      Still at least we have the Royal wedding to look forward to. Stop that stupid laughing at the back.

  9. When you talk about tory bias in the media, it’s important to remember that it’s not just the right-wing rags like the mail, or even the bbc that’s responsible. The self-defeating nonsense from the likes of bella and commonspace is equally pro-tory.

  10. I echo the thoughts of those above , hes a fraud and definatly isn’t the Messiah he pretends to be , just shortly after he was elected labour leader he gave an interview at some seaside venue , in the space of 20 seconds he trotted out 5 total lies regarding the SNP , even insisting Nicola privatised the trains .
    I know he was probably fed the line from labour in Scotland but only a idiot would go on national TV and parrot downright tripe without at least checking what he was about to say , This of course was during the time Kezia gave him a ringing endorsement ,so i guess a wee ticking time bomb aimed at his leadership was expected , its just the way Scottish labour operate , Anas knows .

  11. When he was being attacked interminably in the MSM and by the likes of Ms Sneery Kuensseberg I felt sorry for him but now he can take his futile message and stuff it where the sun don’t shine.

    Interesting that Brexit is now at a standstill until the Irish border question is sorted out.

  12. I will have no truck with Mr Corbyn or any of his ilk, they’re all tories, be they red, blue or yellow. In an independent Scotland, what need will there be for any of these unionist parties, after all there won’t be a union for them to support. We’ll have swept them away, and that day can’t come too soon for me.

    Hopefully new parties, with Scotland’s interest at their heart, will come along, and help build our new country, especially for all of our children and grandchilden.

    I agree with the above comments regarding Bella etc. Divisive or what eh!

  13. Wonderful piece, Paul.
    When you’re out Clydebank way I must come along and harangue you.

    I had the red lead of the Clydeside running through my veins.

    The Clyde fed us,. clothed us, educated us, and sheltered us.
    My father worked himself into an early grave, as did quite literally tens of thousands of his WWII comrades at arms, slaving for the Man, building ocean going liners, battleships, cruisers, ferries, sewing machines and hi tech pumping equipment for giant dams all over the developing world.

    They voted Labour, in the two horse centuries old race.
    There was literally no alternative. We were ruled by London.

    One of my uncles was a Labour Councillor who got his sleeves rolled up helping to decant tenants from fire damaged houses, annoying the heck out of anybody in officialdom who came over all ‘more than my job’s worth’…you get the drift.

    When I was say, 11, our greatest ambitiopn, our only option really, was to leave school, get an apprenticeship at a trade with a future, say, turner, electrician, plumber, or chippy, and a ‘job for life’ building things on the Clydeside.

    Fast forward to ’97. and New Labour.
    13 years of Mags Curran, Douglas Alexander, Ian Davidson, Jim Murphy, Gordon Brown, Alistair Darling, Tom Harris, Brian Wilson, John Reid..the list is not exhaustive.

    Blair, the Fettes Boy, led this load of carpetbaggers into new conservative nirvana, while industry closed, the Bank of England was let loose, and Brown applied a ‘light touch’ to banking, and all that entailed. Services killed manufacturing, PFI saddled us with genrations of debt to the Money Men on the Caymans.
    While all this was going on, Corbyn was sitting on the back benches, defying all of this Cool Britannia shit.
    In his spare time he was the Woolfie Smith of Islington.
    He is an old style Militant Marxist.
    He’s my age. He would be 73 if he were to become PM.

    Nowadays he is a wizened old man who is popular with England’s teenagers, and detested by about 180 of his fellow MPs including his deputy, who are all unreconstructed Blairites.

    There is no ‘Labour Party’ as we knew it in our formative years.

    For the life of me I cannot understand any sane voter looking at Leonard or Murray and putting a cross next to their name.
    Independence , Self Determination, is the only way out of this madness now.

  14. A bit o/t but as it involves Labour its relevant ,
    Nicola could have wiped the floor with the Yorkshire shop steward today but chose not to ,it was a wide open goal that was presented to her .
    The shop steward was well more or less demanding she used the vast new powers over social security , I think in total is about 25% i could be wrong , anyway this artical had the brass neck to call for non existent powers to be used ,
    The same powers Labour fought tooth and nail to prevent the Scottish government being allowed to use , i believe they while in the Smith commission voted against every single proposal , Christ even the tory party voted for some extra powers .
    When Labour asks for money to be used on this or that ,One big – A4 print with PFI on one side and one billion pounds interest on the other closes down all argument .

  15. Good article. Maybe it should also be pointed out to Labour supporters who think that Scottish votes for Labour are needed to help save our English brothers and sisters from the Tories that too many of them foolishly vote for, that while the attitude is well-meaning, the arithmetic is completely wrong:

    Scotland has only ever saved England from the Tories for 8 months in 1974, and a year and a half in the 1960s.

    Meanwhile the last time Scotland voted Tory was 1955, and the only thing that can stop us from having more decades of being ruled by Tories we didn’t vote for is independence. We have every right to go for independence, and we can go for independence with a clear conscience. And in addition, the ignominy of the Tories being responsible for “losing” Scotland could well see the Tories deprived of power in England for a generation. Win-Win. Our parting gift.

  16. Those in Scotland who choose to vote for Corbyn are Britnats.

    He is a fraud – as evidenced by his actions.

    There is nothing any of us can say to those who intend to vote to return Labour MP’s in Scottish Constituencies that will make a difference. They know and are comfortable with the damage their actions would cause to the independence movement – it is what they want.

    I can only hope they are too few to in number to achieve their goal.

  17. Wonder what and who ‘Oh Jeremy Corbyn ‘ will attack tomorrow at Labour conference in Scotland.

    Let’s see what the ‘honest’ politician has to say. Obvs he will have been force fed mucho SNPBAD misinformation, which he will willingly digest and regurgitate with relish to his ‘fans’.

    I am sure special seating will be provided for Murray and Dugdale ….his biggest fans.

    Will they dare to play the ‘anti English’ card this weekend while oor Hugh Gaffney gets to sit next to Anas Sarwar and play pretend happy families. Oh my God how embarrassing would it be if they did …one would imagine that if they play this card they surely must also address the homophobic and racist elephant in the room….that elephant being oor Hugh….obvs…..dinosaur elephant that is aka Mammoth.

    Yes the great Labour strategy is to target SNP seats in Scotland don’t you know….Duh….wot about the 13 Tory MP’s ? Why is the ‘honest’ politician Corbyn not going after the Tories….Duh they are a unionist party silly so it’s a win win situation if the Tory wins a seat ….better that than the SNP….is that not right Keiza….on that at least you and Corbyn agree.

    This is the hypocrisy….they go to bed with the Tories in councils in Scotland to keep SNP out…they target SNP seats in Scotland to keep the SNP out…..the alliance is eternal ….but still we are to believe ‘Oh Jeremy Corbyn’ is an ‘honest’ politician and a socialist wahahaha. Yes Keir Hardie would be proud of him…….desperate tactics from a desperate politician. Just think if Corbyn does not win the next General Election …..who then will be the new champion of the red flag people…..well who knows but we do know for certain they will continue the same old same old tired tactics where it will be the Union uber alles.

    Not sure if it will be the red flag flying this weekend or a more honest Union Jack flying…..cause they are more worshipers of the Union than socialism…….still will be nice to see the Blair witch fakers having to play along for the fans ……you know the ones who have ALWAYS supported ‘Oh Jeremy Corbyn’ through chicken coup and beyond.

    Politics eh….like we , the electorate, don’t know when we are being played for mugs. A united Labour party conference. United my arse…..the smiles will need to be painted on some of the more right wing politicians when Corbyn takes to the stage tomorrow……. for sure. Wee Johanna Baxter will be in tears I tell you…tears of frustration that is, tears that she didn’t win an Oscar for her many performances as a hard done by wee scheming bitter loser.

    It must now be clear to all who read my meanderings wot I have written that I hate with a passion this not fit for purpose party and everything they represent…..which in all honesty I am totally unclear what the actual fcuk they do represent other than unionism.

    Apologies for language and waffling but it has cleansed my soul …..cause I am sure I will be raging after the catalogue of lies we will hear this weekend from the Jeremy Corbyn fanclub and others ( the others being the Blair witch mob).

  18. Good stuff, as usual, Paul.

    Only quibble is the usage of the word ‘natural’. To be ‘natural’, to me, can imply some kind of evolutionary based innate quality. Of course, I know that you meant no such thing but it is just that perhaps ‘cultural’, which has no such possible connotation, might be better, IMV.

    Otherwise there is a danger for the unwary to construe that there is some kind of intrinsically incorrigible difference, whereas I believe that the culturally different perspective evidenced is defined only by different formative experiences which have in turn been driven largely by collective whims of a numerically small but elite academic, political and media class.

    Change, is possible, if not probable in the short term.

    A successful more LoC independent Scotland, acting as an non ignorable due to proximity, example could, I believe, bring about such a change South of the Border

  19. Looking at the situation in a coldly logical fashion, it will take at least fifteen years for a progressive and mature government to re-align the British economy after Brexit. The first few years of which will be the most painful of all. Unfortunately for the UK, no such government is in the offing at this time. Both the Conservatives and Labour are living in a dream world.

    Even if Mr. Corbyn could form a Labour Government, he will be handcuffed by events largely beyond his control. There will be inevitable chaos during these first years of “Global Britain.” If Labour is in government during this period, it will wear the inevitable chaos as a death shroud for eternity. The Tory press will make sure of that.

    His administration won’t last longer than three years. After this brief interregnum, Labour won’t see the inside of Downing Street for at least twenty years.

    In the meantime, the Tory’s will try to figure out how they can actually restore Henry VIII to the throne, and their factors at Cambrige Analytics, Legatum and the Adam Smith Society will provide the means to do it. Again, ably supported by the Tory press.

    They will convince John Bull to cut his own throat and those of succeeding generations for the foreseeable future, as they return the UK to the 18th century. It seems clear that this has been their plan all along.

    Strangely enough, Scottish Independence could actually save the rest of the UK from this fate by triggering a counter revolution against these plans in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

  20. I saw one comment on a forum last night which struck a chord (apologies for not remembering where). Three words which should sum up Labour, its sense of entitlement and its hubris.

    ONLY LABOUR CAN deliver/bring/end/fight for. Three words was all it took for the commenter to sum up Labour’s character.

    Labour had our votes for the better part of a century. Maybe they can explain why they didn’t deliver/bring/end/fight for us. Maybe they can explain the collapse of the UKs manufacturing base. Maybe they could explain why it took most of their existence to put in place a ‘parish council’ parliament for the only other signatory to the treaty of union. Maybe they even have an answer for two words which should NEVER have been seen in the same sentence EVER. LABOUR LORD. Maybe they could explain why they hid the value of that partner’s resources for so very long, collaborated with Conservatives in the destruction of so very many lives and hopes. Maybe they could explain their naked manipulation of demographics which spread every bit as much hatred between people as any Tory and has left us with today’s societal legacy.

    Maybe, but I doubt it.

    And as people turned away from those they created to be their saviours? When they began to give up on giving them chance after chance and year after year of trust and look elsewhere? Labour’s response was not contrition, understanding, empathy. It was not an attempt to truly reach out and make amends. Oh no. No, they reacted with spite, rage, bitterness and abuse. They used their power and access to demonise, lie, insult, undermine and spread as much fear, alarm and hatred as they possibly could amongst their own population. They put those in their charge in actual harms way in the name of spite. They laid about with a will and a purpose.

    Perhaps folk have forgotten both Labour’s actions and inactions which have led us to this pass. They played their part in fracturing the society of the UK, crippling its economy and dragging its constitution and home nation partnerships through the dirt. The Tories come in for the lion’s share as is only right and proper, but for best supporting role in the tragi-comedy that is austerity/Brexit UK? Look no further than Labour.

    They really, REALLY, have earned that spotlight.

    • Have to agree.

      I was a young Labour supporter myself. I remember only too well when my own naivety was shattered – the week after Thatcher was elected in ’79. Scotland sent 50 Labour MP’s to Westminster in that election. All the Conservative MP’s elected in Scotland could fit in a single black cab.

      I was witness then to the birth of the canard of the SNP delivering the UK to Tory rule, by the same people who shortly before had suppressed our democratic choice to pursue devolution.

      They have helped to sow this ill wind. It is only fitting that they share in reaping the whirlwind.

  21. The disputed powers.


    Power grab it is then.

    And if that list isn’t a heads up moment which should have people really looking at our ‘partners’, then I don’t know what will.

    (just add https:// before address)

    • But Sam, this information should be published in the national press and shown on BBC/ITV to get to a wider audience; to make more people aware of how the government many of them voted for, are shafting them.

  22. Brilliant !! Made me laugh out loud like a Disney villain this morning. Tho likening May’s understanding of Brexit to a Goldfish understanding air breathing is a tad unfair- to Goldfish. Goldfish have been known to breathe outside of water for as long as 13 hours !
    Just ask Barbara whose fish Ginger did just that 😜😜
    A spokesman for the Association of Midland Goldfish Keepers said: “Fish can survive quite a while out of the water, as long as their gills remain moist, allowing
    them to breathe. But this is the longest I’ve heard of a goldfish staying alive. It’s quite astonishing.”

    Goldfish it turns out are just as astonishing as this Tory Gov though much more adaptable ! 😜

  23. Love what you have to say here, Paul. Sadly, for those of us who ARE lefties in Scotland the SNP hasn’t exactly been a shining light of social democracy. At the last Holyrood election I went into polling day without a clear idea of who to lend my vote to. I knew I wasn’t going to vote for a Unionist party, but the SNP’s manifesto was too cautious and managerial. In the end, I voted for my local SNP candidate and Green on the list (which has always been my list vote), but I remained unconviced until the most recent budget. The tax change was a stroke of genius which has gone down very well with the public. A bit more of that boldness please, Nicola and co. They need to start coming up with IDEAS again, AND start at least making a case for independence; they should be making hay with this while the Brexit disaster unfolds before our eyes. Come on! I’m growing impatient and i can see a better future for myself in Ireland (if I could ever move there).

  24. As always like the article but still have to read it all and also the comments.

    I stopped at the point where people ask what we say to people about why not vote Labour.

    Surely that is short and simple.

    They screwed us with these policies over a hundred years and it didn’t work for us – only them.

    They continue with the same old proposals and e peck a different result???!!!

    The only way that will work is AFTER Scotland is Independent.



  25. Just to be clear neither Labour – Donald Dewar – Tony Blair – The Messiah or anyone in the British establishment delivered the Scottish parliament all these impostors were literally dragged kicking and screaming by the EU , it wasnt the benevolence of the Labour Party , the Labour Party who have worked hand and glove with the tory party by getting working class people to delude themselves by voting for them .I dont know who is worst Red or Blue Liars .

    • It is always a problem I have myself – namely deciding whether the red Tories or the blue Tories have done the greatest amount of harm to Scotland. What I do know is that they are both lying deceitful BRITISH NATIONALISTS who should never be trusted.

  26. A big problem for the independence parties to get over is how do you convince the die hard Labour voters particularly those of Irish Catholic backgrounds to see the falseness of labour they are as blind as the Orangemen,they still cling to the old Labour for the working class nonsense and won,t be swayed I know this is my background,I sussed out Labour/Socialists 20yrs or so ago they are nothing but a bunch of self seekers almost to a man.Remember the great Jimmy Reid/Jimmy Airlie duo they posed some kind of threat to the establishment then hey ho Reid has a column on the Sun of all papers end of threat,Jim Sillars another bought off.

  27. To me JC is a total bammer.

    All he is interested in is getting to No.10, which in itself is fine. However to keep the labour leave and remain voters he is ‘wishy washy’ on everything other than his lifelong dream to nationalise everything. He cares nothing for the health of our economy which is where we get the dosh to help the less well of in society.

    As for Scotland he knows nothing and cares even less. He is only interested in Scottish labour votes not us, the people of Scotland. I only hope that the labour supporters in Scotland with a brain wake up soon.

    Very clear and well written post Paul, thanks.

  28. Even if you think Corbyn is the genuine goods and is elected, he would have as much chance of implementing his socialistic policies in the face of the English Establishment as flying to the Moon – he’d be heart-attacked quicker than you could say Who killed Cook Robin!

  29. From since very soon after it’s inception the red tory party’s raison d’ etre is not to alleviate and improve the lot of the poor and less well off, in Scotland or anywhere else, but to “manage the expectations of the poor”.

    • I think that line was Ed the Ed stones dad who said that, in other words know your place dont ask for to much and above all dont rock the boat , with such visionaries how could they fail , its bloody heartbreaking how these clowns were ever elected .
      Its not the tory party who are holding Scots back its the bloody labour party .The useful fools of the Tories .

  30. Well, well here we , here we , here we bloody well go…..again.

    Apparently Corbyn is at it again SNPBAD !!!!

    “Corbyn pays tribute to work Richard Leonard has done to build a movement to oppose a Trump visit, “while the SNP has wooed him”

    ‘Honest’ Corbyn probably just forgot to mention it was originally Jack McConnell who wooed and appointed Trump then made him global ambassador for Scotland……..yes that will be it…he forgot………yes the ‘honest’ politician strikes again…or…. strikes out …again maybe !….just a mistake surely.

    What a noble man….not a liar no…..no political propaganda from this ‘honest’ politician…..no playing dirty this ‘honest’ politician….oh no….straight talker…..yes ………what a breath of fresh air he is…..not like the nasty lying politicians….oh no this is an ‘honest’ man…..won’t catch him stooping so low that he deliberately lies, misinforms, and omits information….like the right wing media he so hates….no he would never ever ever sink to their tabloid method depths .

    Though in fairness, to those who don’t give him the benefit of the doubt, a point could be made that he does frequently seem to mimic a kind of tabloid style in a lot of the accusations he makes against the SNP…….that said it’s a mystery why the Scottish press don’t take him to task on this,,,,mystery…….maybe.not…..note I have not written this paragraph sarcastically ….oh no that would be dishonest of me….dishonesty being the opposite of what Corbyn the ‘honest’ politician is..don’t ya know.

    ps. The reality is that sarcasm comes very easily when the target is so obvious an easy target a la ‘Oh Jeremy Corbyn’ of the Labour party as founded by Keir HARDY no relation to Keir HARDIE ……is it cause he was Scottish ? Is that why they misspelt his surname…..tried to make him more Thomas Hardyish LoL….Far from the maddening crowd indeed……apt title for the Scottish Labour conference me thinks.

  31. We need to stop saying to Labour politicians “How stupid can you be!”
    They are taking it as a challenge.

  32. “Corbyn might be sincere”

    Highly unlikely. How many times has he repeated the lie that access to the European Single Market is only available to members of the EU? He repeats it at every opportunity, even after his dishonesty is exposed. The only conclusion I can draw from that is that Jeremy Corbyn is an inveterate liar and, therefore, wholly untrustworthy.

    There’s no dignity in Labour.

  33. The Scotsman (I don’t read it, just quoting from it!) 4th March:

    ‘Former Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale has formed a new campaign group in support of remaining in the EU single market.
    Ten of Scotland’s 73 Constituency Labour Parties (CLPs) have passed motions urging the conference to support the UK retaining permanent membership of the European single market and customs union’ and
    ‘UK leader Jeremy Corbyn announced last week that Labour would seek to form a “new and comprehensive” UK-EU customs union to ensure tariff-free trade after Brexit.’

    The Telegraph (I don’t read it, just quoting from it!) 9th March:

    Jeremy Corbyn: ‘Labour must reject full EU single market membership.’

    The National (I do read it and quote from it) 9th March:

    (page 5) MPs back motion to retain EU citizenship ‘ Citizenship of Europe is very important to us. Scotland is not foreign to Europe and Europe is not foreign to Scotland. We are Europeans.’

    24th June 2016 (BBC News!): EU Referendum: Scotland backs Remain as UK votes Leave

    ‘Scotland voted in favour of the UK staying in the EU by 62% to 38% with all 32 council areas backing Remain.’

    It really is now about ‘who decides’ and ‘what kind of country you want to live in.’.

    Independent (I don’t read it) 9th March 2019.. but I can imagine it.

  34. and how do you think those movements have resolved the impasse between those who would throw off colonialism and those who would rather not? It is a racing ffing certainty that those who managed to maintain their name in the world did not deny to themselves that they had an absolute right to it in the first place? That is what you have done.

    • Your comments make absolutely no sense and have no apparent relationship to anything I’ve written. Maybe trying posting when you’re sober. And I’ve deleted your comment containing the c word. You can fuck right off with that. Consider yourself blocked.

  35. Paul, only noticed a few minutes ago that you had mentioned working on your link list and I couldn’t resist a wee tease. Did you know Eezy Peezy Lemon Squeezy is in Japanese?

  36. Well JC and RL put on a great show in Dundee. They have proven to be racist, support Brexit, ignoring needs of Scottish members. Tossers as always.

  37. A fishkeeping bioscientist wishes to take issue with your deployment of goldfish and air breathing. Carp are good at living in muddy, oxygen deprived waters precisely because they can breathe air. They gulp air at the surface and absorb it through their guts.

    So goldfish have a not bad idea about air breathing. They aren’t Anabantids (Gouramis, Siamese Fighting Fish) who have a space in their skulls lined with blood vessels to absorb atmospheric air. An alternative lung. The males build nests of mucus covered bubbles in floating vegetation and display their gorgeousness (the males are by far the more colourful) to get the females to come lay their eggs. The males then chase the females off and care for the eggs and babies until the little ones become free swimming. They are very devoted fathers.

    • Oh, look, a walrus.
      Thatcher;s Loyalist spawn are gathering for a ACAB (AllCops Are Bastards) march to brox tomorrow morning, to confront the ‘Fenians’.
      Anther useless ‘academic’, without so mush as a toe on the Terra Firma of reality writes in The Herald Britland:-
      “A leading academic who carries out research on fan behaviour at Old Firm match days says the Offensive Behaviour at Football Act fails to understand that sectarian and other abusive behaviour is about cementing “solidarity and fraternity” within groups rather than directing hatred at their rivals.”
      Perhaps this ‘leading academic’ (I’ll spare his blushes by not naming him) can don a green and white jersey tomorrow morning, Sunday, and watch the parade as it passes peacefully through the sleepy Glasgow Streets on its way to Ibrox?
      Will Patrick Harvy, sorry, Harvie, link arms with Professor Two Jobs WATP Scrap the OBFA Bigot Adam Tomkins, Murdo The Queen’s Eleven Fraser, the man the Scottish Public rejected SEVEN times yet he’s still trousering £1200 a week plus exes as one of Ruth’s Listories, Jim ‘I Will Not Sit Down’ fellow Politcal Failure Kelly, and all the MSP’s who voted to scrap the OBFA and march at the head of this band of psychopaths?
      Well it’s these knuckledraggers’ Freedom of Speech that you are protecting?

      Will Wullie, Richard, and Ruth be there, supporting their electoral base as this mob marches onwards ‘up to their knees in Fenian Blood’?

      Fuck, it I’m naming this leading Prof.
      “Dr Joseph Webster, an anthropologist of religion at Queen’s University, Belfast who will be at tomorrow’s Old Firm match at Ibrox, says the Rangers and Celtic fans who behave badly will do so “primarily for their own benefit, to validate their tribe”.
      Ye gods.
      shame on all of you. If somebody dies tomorrow, I expect mass resignations.

      • Those who know me. Check out the typos. My City is handed over to two tribes of psychopaths, for fear that if we try to pevent this obscenity, they will erupt into violence.
        Well it worked for the IRrA and the UDA, didn’t it?
        I am fucking raging.

        • To think we nearly solved this when Rangers went into administration and were somehow saved from oblivion by business law being ignored. How a ‘new club’ managed to get the unsold assets of the defunct club for nothing I will never understand. They should have been sold to recoup creditors to the defunct club.

          The football behaviours act should stay.

          I do not support any team (in any sport) and find football as boring as watching paint dry.

          • Hear! Hear! Well, said, Andy! Frankly I’d rather remove my own appendix with a chain saw than watch a football match, especially an “Old Firm” match. That fool of an “academic” needs accommodation in a nicely padded cell with nothing sharper than a crayon with which to write this guff!

          • Wendy, I know from experience over many decades what it’s like in Belfast on Old Firm Day.
            The good professor of anthropological religions talks through a hole where the sun don’t shine.
            Falls Road and Shankhill Road run parallel to each other down in to the City Centre.
            All access across town to each hot bed is shut off; the big steel gates from the Bad Old Days are still there and are closed. You can taste the heightened tension if you are mug enough to venture abroad.
            The Two Tribes have no need to ‘validate’ themselves.
            Yet another academic who is bursting with intelligence and not an ounce of Real Life street smarts.
            I repeat, I shall blame Jim Kelly for trouble tomorrow, and demand his resignation.
            He’d just love it if it all kicked off. The Yoons only salvation is if they can ‘Ulsterify’ the push towards Self Determination.
            Roll on Monday morning and get this shit over with.

          • Spot on, Jack. I know a wee bit about Ulster myself as my BFF’s husband was born & grew up in Belfast. When he was over here at Uni (where he met my BFF) they were walking through Huddersfield Town Centre one night when a car backfired and he immediately threw himself to the floor, taking my astonished friend with him! ‘Nuff said, I think.

          • Wendy, My Everloving offered her handbag for inspection to anextremely bemused Group 4 Security Guard who was collecting money pouches from the back entrance of M&S in Renfrew Street when she first came over on a visit from Belfast.
            People have no idea what life was like for the poor ordinary citizens of N Ireland during the Conflict.
            You’ve not really lived until you are awoken in the middle of a night by a helicopter hovering yards above the rooftops with the hollow pock pock of machine gun spiting fire somewhere off in the distance.
            Hence my rage at the Kellys and Tomkins of this world. They are using hatred, bigotry, and the threat of violence and social disorder to perpetuate their Union Jack Union subjugation of the people of Scotland.
            WE kicked them out at the ballot box, yet, there they are, spouting sectarian bile under the guise of Freedom of Speech..
            They are beneath contempt.
            I repeat; Patrick Harvie, get a grip.

  38. AFAIR:

    + The local branch of Labour in Scotland voted against a budget which would have (will) increased expenditure on public services at the cost of the better off.

    + The local branch of Labour in Wales voted down an attempt to get the Welsh Government to stop zero hour contracts.

    + Scottish Parliament building (no matter what you think of it): original estimate £40Million, Actual cost about £400Million. Party in government Labour.

    + New Forth Crossing (no matter what you think of it) original estimate £4-5Billion. Actual about cost abour £1.3Billion. Party in government – not Labour

    + East Lothian council: The most natural of bedfellows – a Lab/Cons coalition.

    It doesn’t say “trust me, we delivery on our promises” does it?

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