No One Likes the Truth

By Allan Grogan

‘I certainly shall not be happy because I meet with very much hostility. Because I tell you the truth. Who do– who likes the truth? Nobody likes the truth. The first experience that you will make when you begin to do anything in the world is that people hate the truth.’

-Eugen Rosenstock-Huessy.

Labour for Independence was created on the premise that a yes vote was the last opportunity to save the soul and end the permanent decline of the Labour Party in Scotland. As I sat last night watching the results from all over Scotland come in I couldn’t help but remind myself of the many warnings we as a group gave to the Labour Party who continued to ostracise us in our pursuit to help them.

Yet there is no great pleasure in the vindication of our work. While the defeat of arch Blairites; Murphy, Curran and Alexander was undoubtedly hubris We all awoke up to the realisation of 5 more years of Tory rule, this time with no dithering uncle Lib Dem to slow down their insatiable desire to tear up the very fabric and nature of our society. Already, before feet are back under the table, plans are being formed to cut work schemes for disabled people. No one, from the left, Labour or SNP can take any joy in the future we have in store for us with a majority Conservative Government.

Despite leaving the party, despite being very critical of both the UK and Scottish Labour Party, I wanted Ed Milliband today to be working to form a workable government. The lesser of two evils, Labour would potentially have adopted more socially just policies had they came into minority power, especially if they were under pressure from a strong progressive SNP/Green/P.C alliance. This election campaign offered great hope to those who have campaigned for a better way. Finally alternatives to austerity were being discussed, removing trident, ending this anti immigration rhetoric. Suddenly these all seemed a possibility, if only the cards would fall in the right places and egos were kept in check. With a majority Tory Government all of this talk is now long gone. Trident will be renewed, immigration will still be front and centre of British politics and austerity will be accepted as the only way.

It is hardly surprising that;

The pound surged instantly as the exit poll suggested a Tory election “win” and investors toasted the prospect of continuity in Britain’s current austerity policies.

The era of those that ‘have’ continue, the persecution of those who ‘desperately need’ will live on for at least 5 more years.

In Scotland the decline of the Labour Party has been often debated and discussed. It is not, as many political commentators have suggested something which has been created since September 18th. The removal of Clause iv, the war in Iraq, Tony Blair, PFIs, supporting Trident renewal,the referendum, the attitude displayed towards the 39% of Labour voters who voted yes. We were ‘Nats’ in disguise, traitors to the party, we would be ‘bayoneted’ and left to rot. Then the final nail in the coffin. The appointment of Jim Murphy as leader, the visual and psychological acknowledgement that the Party wanted a Blairite careerist removed of principles, than the pro trade union, working class candidate Neil Findlay. Labour in Scotland in the last 20 years have signed their own death warrant many times. Now in Holyrood and Westminster in this land, they are wiped out.

Nobody likes the truth. That is why Jim Murphy is still clinging to power and why Labour politicians through various forms of media claim that the SNP are responsible for a Tory Government. Perhaps this staggering inability at addition is what frightened so many voters away. Labour lost by 99 seats to the Tories. That means even if they won every seat in Scotland they would still have lost by 41 seats.

Labour didn’t lose this election because of the SNP. It lost because it abandoned it’s base in pursuit of middle class and affluent voters. Milliband and Balls paid lip service to working class issues but only with bitty policies..

End zero hour contracts… Well the exploitative ones. Fuel poverty is a major issue. Don’t cut prices, just freeze them for a couple of years. The cost of living is too high.. Raise the minimum wage! To £8….. By 2020. ( Rate of inflation would put minimum wage to £8.20).

So petrified were they of upsetting those southern English voters who voted for Blair, that they came across to their base as half baked and to the affluent they were wooing as Tory-lite with a hint of socialist danger.

What UK Labour have never grasped is that these Tory voters wont vote for Tory-lite when they can vote Tory. The only reason they voted Labour before was that when Blair offered Tory-lite, the Tories were so toxic, mired in sleaze, sex scandals and lies that it would make even a former MSP blush through his permatan. That’s why they voted Labour. Yet believing you could convince them, you abandoned your base, you let the Tories lead the campaign agenda… That is why you lost.

Lessons need to be learned, but in Scotland it doesn’t seem to be happening where it needs to. The base surely know that the jig is up, when will the political leadership realise? When will the trade unions?

I don’t take any satisfaction in this, this article is not an I told you so. It’s not easy to hear an uncomfortable truth, but surely now even those most stubborn can see that unless there is a change of course Scottish Labour is on the road to perdition.

For those of us here in Scotland, spare a thought for those in Wales and Northern England. Here at least we have a strong parliament which can mitigate some of the worst effects of Tory rule, Our comrades over the border have no such protection. The 56 SNP MP’s will try their best, but they will have a much reduced effect in opposition than they would have in a hung parliament. The SNP are not my party, nor do I feel they represent me or the working class in Scotland, Yet in Westminster I wish them well. With so many young and/or inexperienced MPs they will need strong guidance so Alex Salmond will have a vital role to play.

For those in Scotland who celebrate tonight the landslide SNP victory I ask you all to spare a thought for those who very soon will have nothing to celebrate. If you believe in a higher power, then God help us.. And God forgive us for what we (the UK electorate) have consigned the people of the UK to.

Nobody likes the truth. The first experience that you will make when you begin to do anything in the world is that people hate the truth.

Yet I must impart some truths for the SNP and Scotland. A one party state does not benefit anyone in the long run. As a party it breeds complacency and arrogance. For a nation it ensures that those in power can select the interests in which they choose to represent rather than which they were voted to represent.

There must be a genuine alternative to the SNP in Scotland, not based on nationalism and unionism but on issues, policy and class. If the Labour Party is doomed to eternal damnation, then another party must fill that void.

This morning I awoke to a feeling of dread, jubilation made way to darkness as realisation smacked into my head. Yet we do not have to be afraid of the darkness. Darkness is just the other side of light, it’s what comes before dreams.



Categories: Commentary

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64 replies

  1. Getting emails of despair and dread from friends in northern England…copying Bella articles to keep them warm.

    Can we discuss how the flames of Scottish grassroots organising can warm the north of England? building links and energy and comfort?

    where does someone, say in Bradford, go to get this?

  2. I don’t think we have a one party state – FPTP forces Scotland to choose that, but in the Scottish Parliament we can have decent representation, a rainbow of political parties that will hopefully work together in a grown up way for the people. I’m looking forward to having more than one party to choose from in 2016.

    The truth for me is that all left leaning people that oppose the politics of the WM establishment parties need to find common cause irrespective of which group they belong, and that is in a progressive anti-austerity alliance where we don’t constantly snipe and sneer at each other, falling for the divide and rule tactics of the mainstream media and those in power – put our differences away and work together to increase engagement of those outside our own wee cliques. That is what was wonderful about the indyref, meeting people from different class/social backgrounds and standing together – it is early days, but when 55% voted no, we picked ourselves up and carried on – there is light if you look for it & it is not just in Scotland but across the U.K, further afield in Spain and Greece.

    • You are right, we do need to find common cause on the left, and stop seeking absolute doctrinal purity. The system for election to the Scottish Parliament gives us that opportunity and we must not waste it.

    • I agree Luan. If we achieved Independence, then a rainbow of political parties, as you so eloquently put it, will evolve. Hopefully the Greens will come more to prominence and those of Labour for Independence can form a cohesive party. There may be others, including SSP.

      The trouble at the moment is the disgusting and disgraceful behaviour of the Unionist parties at Holyrood. Can any of this lot re-invent themselves to play their part to work together for the good of the Scottish people ? I seriously doubt it. They would have to stop lying, for a start.

      Hopefully, a gradual evolution of opposition parties to replace them in Holyrood will take place, which can not only provide good opposition to SNP, but will be able to act like grown-ups. The Tories, Labour and Lib Dems will have to re-invent themselves to play their part. I seriously doubt if they can. They would have to stop lying, for a start.

    • Tragically, Scotland IS a one-party state, Luan, and that party is the UK Conservative Party.

  3. We have 56 SNP MPs going to Westminster, thankfully under the guidance of more experienced hands. Their voters did not all come from the SNP but from a broad base that wanted a stronger voice in Westminster after years of Labour complacency.

    My hope for next year is that the Scottish parliament will be filled with a range of people who are looking for a fairer society and that they will not all be SNP.

    This time the voting was tactical and the country did well – we need to keep discussion going and have others join in the conversation but keep going in the same path. If Scottish Labour grow from the grassroots then they’d be welcome to join us.

  4. I think ‘Tory voters won’t vote for Tory-lite when they can vote Tory’ hits on Labour’s English problem. But I’m increasingly convinced that there are enough Tory voters in England to keep the Tories more or less permanently in power (this will be even more the case after boundary changes). Which makes it more a problem for anyone on the left in England. And there’s no room to change minds: the narrow, wealthy group who run the rabid print media (the print media which largely keep the broadcast media supine) see to that. So what is to be done? There is no hope.

    Apologies for airing this here. This isn’t your problem: you guys are getting out, very sensibly.

  5. From America, this has been utterly amazing to watch. (As was the referendum campaign.) Congratulations, from the heart! 🙂

    Now, I hope Bella contributors find it in themselves to stop, to stop obsessing over formal politics, and get back to what really matters. The real battle is cultural. The real center is neither the SNP in Westminster, nor Holyrood, but the grassroots.

    Oh and one other thing. Attention is a precious gift. Don’t waste it on those whom you do not wish to support. Like the Tories, or London, or austerity. Maybe time to shift focus now that the political spectacle is over?

  6. Almost two out of three voters in England and Wales and fewer still in Scotland did not vote for Cameron. It therefore seems time to start using the streets to bring about Proportional Represenation for the UK Parliament as it will never be delivered by a party in power as they benefit.

    The time has surely come for PR as it is absolutely ridiculous that nearly four million UKIP votes obtained only one MP, another couple of million votes achieved next to nothing for the Greens, and the Liberals et al are also under-represented while the SNP got 56. Only great pressure from those who have been disenfranchised will achieve change – something akin to the anti- Poll Tax anti-Iraq war demonstration in London and the Hope not Fear meetings in Glasgow but this time not simply marching through.

    Governments ought to represent the people, not just some of them and we know there is not a vestige of truth in anything Cameron says about representing the people or all of the UK, etc. Sitting back until 2020 therefore doesn’t seem the most appropriate action as that means accepting that Cameron has a legitimate right to enforce the extreme policies the High Tories prefer. If people are willing to accept them then we deserve to suffer.

    With the largest population and near the centre of political action Londoners need to get pumped and organise in favour of PR. If they do, then many others in the English regions Wales and Scotland will follow.

    • “start using the streets to bring about Proportional Represenation for the UK Parliament as it will never be delivered by a party in power as they benefit”

      You are forgetting that there was a referendum held during the last Parliament and PR was resoundingly rejected by the PEOPLE.

      • I’d like to disagree with that. It was AV that was rejected, and it was never properly debated. Yet again, the LibDems were useless in negotiations. People in England seemed unaware that PR operates in other parts of the UK, the debate was so minimal.

        • And the British ruling classes don’t want us in England to know that PR is used elsewhere in the ‘U’K, in case we demand it. If Westminster used PR instead of the archaic FPTP, the LibLabCon cartel’s share of English (or English and Welsh) seats in the Commons would fall from virtually 100% to 75%-80%, give or take. Still the lion’s share, but it would mean pesky outsiders taking seats they consider to be theirs by right. Worse still, from their point of view, other reforms might follow.

    • The SNP got 1.5 million votes spread over 59 seats (all the Scottish seats), UKIP got around 4 million spread over 650 seats ( all the UK seats).

      This means the SNP vote per seat was 25,423 and UKIP’s was 6,158 or thereby.

      Kind of blows that argument, out of the water; which is what should happen to UKIp.

      However, there does indeed need to be a change to the voting system. FPtP, is too blunt an instrument.

    • ‘while the SNP got 56.’

      Christ am I fed up hearing this. Why only the SNP ? Why not the Tories ?

      Should a party that only got 36% of the vote have an outright and overwhelming say on UK government ?

      The SNP received 50% of the vote in Scotland yet have exactly the same voice in government as Scottish Labour – absolutely none.

      What UKIP failed to do was put together a coherent plan to target key constituencies that they could challenge – instead they thought they had the infrastructure to blanket bomb all constituencies but they clearly didn’t. In an FPTP election, their strategy was a disaster. They went for scores of seats, they should have been targeting 15 at most.

      It would be nice if some of the media clique would ask UKIP what their policy is on House of Lords reform or does their newly found ‘victim tag’ only extend to changing structures to will directly benefit their party.

      Usual stuff from UKIP, target the SNP and don’t mention anyone else.

  7. “One-party state”. You talk of lessons to be learned, yet repeat Labour’s idiotic rhetoric.

    • I think that’s a bit harsh, we have yet to prove our intentions for plurality at Holyrood 2016 and there is a risk; I’d unequivocally vote Green but would want to know if they’d back indyref2 in the event of Brexit (that’s my red line).

      • I’m a Green and though I’m not in a position to personally guarantee it, I’d be willing to lay good money on Patrick & Maggie announcing something along those lines before May 2016.

        • The negotiations for a 3 answer euroref are already under-way.
          Its in/out/in with full control of immigration repatriated to UK.
          Only 3 countries are against allowing the 3rd option, hungary. poland, and slovakia. Cameron has 3 years to buy those 3 countries off.
          He will do it and he will give the people of the uk the middle choice and they will take it because the voters are too scared for an in/out. If you think the press fearmongering during the indyref was bad, just wait till you see the fearmongering for euroref 2017.

  8. Alan you are well wide of the mak about “one party rule” we have here in Scotland a myriad of branches that will be all to willing to rein the SNP in,in NS we also have a very strong willed wummin who is also a very “good listener” am not an SNP more for the commonweal as I believe that we need to be all inclusive and do not fall into the trap of division.

  9. Good piece but the SNP are the party that has filled the void left by the sniny New Labour Party who marketed themselves as a product. We in the SNP are not the Nationalists some paint us to be. Maybe some are. Is Ian Hamilton QC a Nationalist? Is wanting Home Rule a Nationalist policy? The term needs to be looked at closely. Civic nationalism or some pride in yer ain country isnt a blind faith pitting one country against another. Some people think the term Nationalism means those who are in the SNP are right wingers……The SNP as Jimmy Reid said now fill the position where the Old Labour principles once were. We are internationalists. And my principles are all inclusive to cover Scotland’s people’s interests from all walks of life. The old values of the old Magazine The Commonweal from the 19th Century need to be incorporated into the modern notion of a ‘Commonweal’. The real critique is to see the Neo-Feudal elites for what they are, the ruling elite fo 1 per cent, not to descend into class antagonisms again. The best thing Labour politicians could do now is break from the London control freaks and create a genuine Scottish Labour party, not the post-colonial regional office. The reality is simple for Labour: they themsevles have ben locked out of the House of Labour’s Old Credibility and cant get back in and look in the windows of the House they abandoned for ambition in London.

    In simple definition a representative MUST REPRESENT THE PEOPLE who elected them. Labour MPs failed to do that. That’s the TRUTH. The SNP were used as a lightening rod to boot them out for their arrogance. Watch the video of old Tom Clarke telling people he did everything for them and they owed him their vote. Arrogance of power talking down to people leads to a wipeout. Labour’s first lesson is HUMILITY and go talk to the people of Scotland and hear what they are saying. I listen, I learn and I obey my constituents as their servant……..

  10. Excellent article Allan. I think the Greens have the right idea from the point of keeping things local but in solidarity. The problem with the centralised power with Labour is it tries to be too many things for too many people and as it moved away from grass roots solidarity movements, it became about central power and telling us what we needed, rather than listening. Gentrification of the Unions has not helped, they seem more run like businesses now. It’s about working together where you have commonality but being able to make the decisions you need to for the people you represent, no whips. Reliance on mainstream media for your election campaign too, you would have thought they would learn that the conventional media is no friend to left wing aspirations, which is why they’re having to chase an increasingly right wing agenda to appeal. The fact that 84% of Tories believe the economy to be recovering but that further austerity is required speaks in volumes that the Tories are the drones who follow the right wing broadcasting unquestioningly.

  11. Alan does a good job of setting out some of the many reasons behind Scottish Labour’s Downfall. Jim Murphy is fond of the odd footballing allusion,so here’s one for him:

    Jim Murphy is to Scottish Labour, as Craig Whyte was to Rangers, with the Daily Record playing the same role in both sagas, the uncritical printing of PR pish, and calling it news. The Daily Record has loved to death, two bastions of the Scottish Establishment, (hope to goodness we manage to avoid its deadly embrace 😉 )

    Get the jackets on, because the 56 MPs will deluged in off the radar quantities of pish over the coming weeks and months.

  12. I thought that Alan, who I heard speaking twice at Yes meetings, was one of the best people that the Yes campaign had. However I think his one party state comment is nonsense. The people of Scotland voted in a free and fair election and soundly dismissed what was on offer from the other parties.

    People are fond of saying that we need a strong opposition, but if the opposition is so poor that no enough people vote for them, whoes fault is that?

    • Dubbieside, it is of course the fault off the parties. However, that doesn’t invalidate the central point, for politics, and even government to work effectively, you need a credible opposition. Otherwise you end up with self inflicted miseries like corroboration, or the women’s super prison 😉

      • Mel

        My point was that it is hardly the fault of the SNP that so many people voted for them, and not for the opposition.

        What should the SNP do? make themseleves unpopular so the rest can catch up? Maybe if the rest of the parties stopped being branch offices of their London leadership that could be a start in reconecting with the voters who left them in droves. Will any of them have the guts to leave matron? that is the big question.

        • There isn’t anything the SNP can do. I’m simply pointing out that a lack of a credible opposition is a bad thing in and of itself. The end result of hegemony for any party is, well, look at Scottish labour today.

          Credible opposition keeps you on your toes, the creative juices flowing, hegemony leads to stagnation and death.

          • Mel is absolutely correct and so is Alan Grogan. The SNP need a strong opposition, and they need it now. Nicola Sturgeon is already swaggering about like George W Bush, and I think the SNP are in danger of creating a cult of personality around her. Actually I think I could probably drop the in danger of.

      • It seems pretty obvious to me that the opposition are WM parties and we should be united in getting Scotlands voice heard. It’s why we vote for them. To represent us. We don’t need division in Scotland we need unity. And the SNP are the elected representatives for Scotland now. This one party state is rubbish . There are still other parties.

        if folk won’t vote for them tough. They need to change to attract more voters. This articles starts of so well and ends like ……. ??

        Such a shame as i thought so highly of you during the ref.

        You really do sound like old labour by pointing out their faults but cannot resist the dig at the SNP to finish. The people have voted are YOU listening ??

        SNP Bad AGAIN ..

        The SNP will be kept in check by it’s supporters. Many from old Labour and no doubt tories too. If they fail us they will be replaced……We are not the apathetic electorate we are sometimes painted .

        You are there in the middle of this so you really surprised me by this article.

        I am delighted that Labour are dead. No more vile smears and lies. No more blah blah cannot answer the question. No more vote SNP get Tory. labour lost the UK. Talentless voice boxes full of hatered . Good riddence.

        I was dancing around my living room each time these troughers lost their seats. i was knackered afterwards. …. You try and do 56 jigs at 4am 🙂

        56 SNP voices. YES YES YES

  13. I hear what you are saying and would reassure you that many many in the SNP fully appreciate the despair being felt by so many in other parts of UK. I’m confident that our 56 MPs will try and speak for all the disadvantaged, regardless of where they live.

    Equally, none of us have ambitions to be a ‘one-party’ state – we fully appreciate that we have no monopoly on ideas and solutions. The diverse groups that played such a vibrant role in the Independence referendum must continue and I will certainly try and use my list vote to help ensure they are fully represented in the Scottish Parliament.

  14. Most of what you say is very very true and SLAB should take note of it. Will they? It doesn’t look like it going by the utterances today of those responsible for Labour’s annihilation in Scotland. The same old, same old, anti-Snp rhetoric and blaming everyone for their misfortune rather than themselves. They are hopefully heading for oblivion at the local council level next.

    Two quibbles. “Trident will be renewed”…I would not bet on that. There is a lot of opposition to Trident not only in the Labour Party but in the Tory Party too, the armed forces hierarchy, and the ‘Establishment’, not to mention the good ol’ boys in the US of A. It would not take much leadership to set the ball rolling against Trident, which even those who support its renewal know, is an expensive, disastrous and useless policy.

    Second quibble. You doth overstate the possibility of Scotland becoming a single party state. With proportional representation for Holyrood there is little chance of that. All parties are well represented at Holyrood and that is very unlikely to change. Much of the SNP ‘surge’ is due to the fact that the Labour Party in Scotland is actually very anti-Scottish and Scots will not vote for them now. But if the Labour Party decided to become a sensible left of centre party and support Scots and Scotland that could change.

  15. As a former labour party voter i fear the old party is done for in Scotland unless there’s a move to real Home Rule and the ditching of Blairism.
    Sadly i reckon only ultra unionists are left in the party.

    • Scottish Labour can only move left and watch their England colleagues move right! What a mess SLAB must support Devo Max, FFA, Federalism whatever they want to call it. Otherwise they are doomed forever. Their MSP’s will be next to pay if they fail to recognise this.

  16. Horrified comments about Scotland becoming a “one party” state are being made without taking into account what has actually been happening. The people of Scotland have taken over the ruling Party in this country by becoming members.
    Scotland’s New Politics recognises that the old Party Political system is broken and no longer fit for purpose in a digital age. Huge amounts of energy go into destructive and usually misleading denegration of one’s political opponents’ policies rather that creatively imagining new and better policies. The SNP provides an infrastructure for the evolution of an alternative future democratic model.
    The 80,000+ new SNP members need to have the courage to demand a massive programme of structured political engagement and education – the 21st century equivalent of the old Workers Education Association. This will ensure that our new MPs will be held to account by an informed electorate. Even more importantly it will ensure that policies are developed for the transition to when some 5 to 10 years hence Scotland has the status to be a full member of the UN and other international bodies.
    There’s another reason why this model for direct democracy is so badly needed at this time. That is because currently Scottish Government “consultations” are delivered through unaccountable bureaucrats. The post referendum empowered new generation expects a real share in the ownership of this incredibly exciting process of creating a new nation. Our internationalism means that we don’t want just to share this experience with the rest of these islands but with the rest of the World. Have the courage to challenge once and for all the Westminster way of doing politics.

  17. “unless there is a change of course Scottish Labour is on the road to perdition.”

    You’re already there mate, and droning on about “one party state” in the face of a massive, unique and historic democratic statement to Westminster by the Scottish electorate shows why.

  18. I entirely agree with you, that a majority government is dubious, come it from a first past the post or from proportional representation. I am an SNP member and have openly discussed with friends and local office bearers, that I look at my membership as a instrument to achieve independence. Once that is reality, I will then leave the party and search for a party who would defend a «Social Market Economy» like there was in Germany from about 1960 to 1980. Defined in one sentence: «If the employees feel good, the bosses will also feel well» and «Profits after tax will be shared: 1/3 to the capital (shareholders, supervisory board and top-level management), 1/3 to the employees on all levels (same sum for all 100% jobs), 1/3 to invest directly into the company.

    • I agree with a lot of what you have said Arran. The SNP are a means to an end for me as well. I frankly do not like the SNP’s growing adulation of Sturgeon. I do not see the FM as being a particularly compelling character, and frankly all this chat about all her selfies makes me want to puke. The SNP are in danger of maxing out on Nicola Sturgeon. She and the SNP are there to deliver independence, not create a cult of personality. I really hope they do not forget that.

  19. I understand you are hurting, but you still have a Labour insider’s viewpoint, Allan. I grew up in a Labour/TU family/culture. I left school in 1979. I joined CND, and after college started work and joined a TU.

    I celebrated in 1997. I didn’t trust Blair, but I cheered every time Kirsty Wark said “There are no Tory MPs left in Scotland”. Blair could have done anything. But what he wanted was a party so right wing that his Tory-voting father would be happy to vote for it.

    As someone said on the eve of the Gulf War: I waited my whole adult life for a Labour Government. And when it finally arrived, it was this one.

    People are echoing the words of Jimmy Reid all over the country, and not just in Scotland. I didn’t leave the Labour Party, it left me.

    I began to doubt I was Labour when Blair became leader. But it took indyref to show me – I wasn’t disillusioned Labour, I was ex-Labour. I didn’t join Labour4Indy because I genuinely didn’t care if the Party survived. It has been so thoroughly gutted by the Blairites that there is nothing left.

    And as for their MPs? It says it all that Margaret Curran fought her campaign partly on what she had done as a Community Worker. What had she done as an MSP or an MP to talk of? Toed the party line to get promotion. Nothing that interested her souls she was paid to represent.

  20. And Allan, a One Party State?

    With Labour apparatchiks still spewing their propaganda from BBC Scotland to the Herald, from the Daily Record to our Universities?

    I wouldn’t worry yet.

  21. I have read almost all of the comments on here and they leave me slightly bewildered, I am an SNP supporter but used to be tory until I retired from the army in 1978, I joined the SNP after the 1979 referendum and since then Independence is the only game in my mind for Scotland.

    The SNP to me is a vessel for independence and that is why I embrace it, once independence is obtained then it is to be hoped that all parties will participate in the smooth running of our great country.

  22. Many years ago the Labour Party ceased to be a movement for the common good. In large part, it is now no more than a very nasty vehicle for people who see politics as a way to ‘do well for themselves’. See the behaviour and reactions of Mandelson, Livingstone, Straw, etc. What connection do they have with common decency never mind representing the vulnerable? Milliband was exposed during the election as utterly unprincipled except in so far as supporting the status quo of power. A pox on them as far as I am concerned. They are toxic. No better than their tory counterparts.

    We have shared in the development of a movement for positive change in Scotland and at every turn it has been cynically attacked by Labour – because they saw it as an incursion into their exploitation rights. But Scotland has told them where to get off, and I fancy that included a lot of our old folk – led by a decent wee woman who believes in what she says. It is up to people elsewhere on these islands to find their own way to get Labour out of the way and organise a new political movement to represent them. They at least have an example to follow.

  23. I’m sick of all these pseudo intellectuals complaining about us becoming a ‘one party state’…what tosh. don’t we have PR in Scotland. all parties are fairly represented at holyrood. we play at Westminster to their rules. they had a vote to change to PR & refused

  24. You’re right. We do need a new left wing party… Or perhaps the socialist parties need to get their act together? That means to stop bickering amongst themselves and to take dynamic action to engage young people (without verbally bashing them over the head).

  25. Your grandchildren are delightful. So is Jean. And Gordon, of course. It was a lovely visit. Pixs following!

    L
    M

    Maggie Craig
    Damn’ Rebel Bitches: The Women of the ’45
    Bare-Arsed Banditti: The Men of the ’45
    When the Clyde Ran Red
    Gathering Storm, Jacobite intrigue in 1740s Edinburgh.

    http://www.maggiecraig.co.uk

    From: alexandercraig@videotron.ca
    Subject: curran etc–Maggie–sarwar as leader? hope the Quebec crowd’s visit went well////[New post] No One Likes the Truth
    Date: Sat, 9 May 2015 14:16:24 -0400
    To: maggie_e_craig@hotmail.com; fimac@sympatico.ca

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    bellacaledonia posted: “By Allan Grogan

    ‘I certainly shall not be happy because I meet with very much hostility. Because I tell you the truth. Who do– who likes the truth? Nobody likes the truth. The first experience that you will make when you begin to do anything in the wo” Screen-reader users, click here to turn off Google Instant.+AlexanderWebNewsImagesVideosMapsMoreSearch toolsAbout 316,000 results (0.34 seconds) Search ResultsMargaret Curran – Wikipedia, the free encyclopediaen.wikipedia.org/wiki/Margaret_CurranJump to Member of the Scottish Parliament – Given the Scottish Labour Party’s losses in that later … Curran pledged her support to Iain Gray who was …‎Background – ‎Member of the Scottish Parliament – ‎Member of ParliamentIn the newsScotland election 2015 results: SNP landslide amid almost total Labour wipeout – as it happenedTelegraph.co.uk‎ – 1 day agoLabour’s Margaret Curran, the Shadow Scotland Secretary, convincingly won it back in 2010 …Election 2015: Who are the Scottish Labour losers?BBC News‎ – 2 days agoMore news for curran scottish labourElection 2015: Who are the Scottish Labour losers? – BBC.comwww.bbc.com/news/election-2015-scotland-325876312 days ago – All but one of Scotland’s former Labour MPs lost their seats. … East in 2010, Margaret Curran had been shadow Scottish secretary since 2011.Margaret Curran – Scottish Labour Candidate for Glasgow …www.margaretcurran.org/MP for Glasgow East. Includes profile, advice surgery information and photo gallery.Margaret Curran | Scottish Labour Partywww.scottishlabour.org.uk/people/entry/margaret-curranMargaret was elected to represent Glasgow Baillieston at the inception of the ScottishParliament in 1999, and re-elected in 2003 and again in 2007.Labour ‘write off’ 30 Scottish seats and double down on …www.heraldscotland.com/…/scottish…/labour-write-off-30-scottish-seats-…7 days ago – SCOTTISH Labour is targeting its resources on the party’s three most …However, a senior party insider said Curran’s Glasgow East seat was …Today Jim Murphy, Margaret Curran and… – Scottish Labour …https://www.facebook.com/ScottishLabourParty/posts/836050613153807A Labour government will stand up for Scotland’s working families. Only a Labourgovernment will freeze energy prices in Scotland, which would save every …The fall of the reluctant leader: the inside story of Scottish …www.newstatesman.com/…/fall-reluctant-leader-inside-story-scottish-labo…Oct 29, 2014 – Former Scottish Labour leader Johann Lamont during the … By its account, Margaret Curran, the shadow Scottish secretary and a friend of …Scottish Labour contemplates the unthinkable: coalition with …www.theguardian.com › World › UK News › ScotlandFeb 10, 2015 – With opinion polls showing a significant SNP lead in Westminster voting intentions, Labour’s Scotland spokeswoman Margaret Curran was …Shadow Scotland Secretary Curran backs Murphy for …labourlist.org › NewsDec 8, 2014 – Many senior Scottish Labour figures have stayed above the fray in the contest for Scottish labour leader so far. Acting leader Anas Sarwar, …12345678910NextSherbrooke, QC – From your Internet address – Use precise location – Learn more Help Send feedback Privacy Terms

  26. Whether the SNP like it or not, the Scots people have given them a mandate to end the union now. Scotland does not have to put up with 5 more years of English Tory scorched earth policies imposed on Scotland. The English Tories don’t have any mandate to rule over our nation. That leaves two choices for the 56. Walk in, shout a bit and take the salary and expenses for the next 5 years, or walk out and say cheerio. I say walk out and give England her independence – the 56 would surely be applauded for that. What could the English Tories do? This is 2015, not 1715.

    • I think the problem the SNP would have if they walked away from Westminster is that many people who voted for them would regard that as a breach of faith.
      They voted for the SNP to go to Westminster and get the best possible deal for Scotland.
      Walking away isn’t doing that.
      However…..should Westminster prove to be completely intransigent in devolving the powers that Scots want,then the SNP would be within it’s rights to call for another referendum.
      Even if we had independence right now,we would have to speak (a lot) to England’s government.

      • “a breach of faith”

        I think the 50.2% of the population who supported SNP would be more than happy with independence. Do you think these people would prefer to be ruled by English Tories?

        “the best possible deal for Scotland”

        The best possible deal is hardly another 5 years of English Tory mis-rule over Scotland, for which they have no mandate. “Walking away” from Westminster is the SNP’s raison d’etre. It has to come at some point – might as well be now.

        “should Westminster prove to be completely intransigent in devolving the powers that Scots want”

        I think we can be sure of that intransigence, and deviance. We don’t need o put up with it any more.

        Speaking to England’s government might be more fruitful if done on an equal basis. That can only be done with independence. Until then Scotland is at best a ‘sub-nation’.

  27. Allan’s piece is pretty much bang on the money in most respects. Nevertheless, his point about the dangers of a one party state, while correct in its own right, is somewhat irrelevant in the context in which he’s mentioned it. There are two principle reasons for this.
    (1) Scotland is not a state. The UK is currently the state and Scotland is totally dominated by it. Westminster remains the overlord of the Scottish Parliament as things stand and even if every MSP and Scottish MP was an SNP member, London still retains the ultimate power to deny their will. A real one-party state has the power to dictate the fate of its population. The SNP is nowhere near being able to do this. (However, David Cameron is already in that position.)
    (2) The SNP isn’t really a party. It’s a cause and a movement whose ultimate goal is to make itself redundant by re-establishing Scotland’s independence. Once independence is won, the SNP will have accomplished its purpose and will burst into fragments almost immediately. In the wake of independence, everything will be up for grabs and it will be up to various parties, old and newly-formed, to position themselves with their various visions of how an independent Scotland should be governed. Those parties will almost all contain former members of the SNP who — leaving aside their common belief that the Scottish nation’s governance should be the responsibility of the Scottish nation’s populace — have very different political ideologies.

    On another tack, I see a curious irony in the situations which the SNP and the so-called Scottish Labour Party (which is in reality only the North British Branch Office of the Labour Party) presently find themselves in. The goal of the SNP, as I mentioned above, is ultimately to make itself obsolete before self-destructing but in the meantime it’s consistently finding itself increasing its political power. By contrast, the purpose of Labour is to attain political power but, particularly in Scotland, it is instead tumbling nearer and nearer to obsolescence and oblivion.
    As Allan suggests in his article, the best plan for Labour’s North British Branch Office is to take a leaf out of the SNP’s book by seeking independence from London. The simplest way to do this would be to complete its current process of self-annihilation — but this time, deliberately! — and follow it immediately with the creation of a genuinely independent Scottish Labour Party. In theory, the new party ought to find itself naturally aligned with the rUK Labour Party wherever they still have common principles. And if there isn’t enough common ground for an alliance because of the southern party’s Tory-lite positions, that’s all the more reason for Scottish supporters of Labour principles to go their own way.

  28. Labour in Scotland is dead. If it isn’t then at the very least getting within close proximity will poison your political chances.

    Murphy is still leader. The Scottish branch is full of similar acolytes – Dugdale a demented robot – the poison of Baillie, the stupidity an venom of Lamont, the ineffectiveness of Gray, and the grubby network of local councils led up by Matheson in Glasgow.

    To try and break down that network and ‘cleanse it’ is an impossibility. It would be easier to start a brand new ‘Labour’ party and certainly a much more positive experience.

    A new Labour – fighting for total home rule, a rejection of neo-liberal economics, scrapping trident but remaining within the union as a group of federalist entities.

    I think a lot of people will go for it.

    • “Labour in Scotland is dead”

      And good riddance to very bad rubbish. Ditto the Tories and FibDums.

      The three amigos now each have one seat in Scotland – and where the only reason they got any seats at all was because circa 30% of the registered voters in these 3 particular constituencies are English. Otherwise there would have been a clean sweep for Scotland. More than anything this is about Scottish nationhood (from which more progressive policies and reform of our rotten establishment will flow) and these people evidently can’t stomach Scotland being a recognised nation. They would rather vote for very bad rubbish than see Scotland become a recognised nation again.

  29. We might not want a one party state. But remember that the SNP vote was a Scottish bloc vote, of many different hues. It was Scotland united against Tories and austerity. The Greens got behind the SNP as did the Labour rebels.

    This was a vote for Scotland. Any alternative party must be independent of London. Otherwise the people of this nation will unite again for one party to deliver Scottish democracy.

    Until Scotland is independent this is the way things will have to be. After independence Scottish alternative parties can find a voice loyal to Scotland. If Scottish Labour continue to court the UK one nation garbage. Then they will just become a fringe party. I suspect many Labour insiders are looking to leave the UK Labour party.

    The goalposts have now moved. Slabour are a minor force in Scotland but non existant at a UK level. The bonds that tie them to London are broken. The MSP’s will be more powerful than the likes of Murphy and Murray. Its up to them to challenge London control. Why not grasp independence. Then again I am crediting them with too much intelligence.

  30. Scotland, the SNP, and a quickened independence outcome, got the perfect result, a majority Conservative government.
    As a Scot it was the outcome I was desperate for. Thank you in advance David for your upcoming contribution to Scottish Sovereignty.

  31. as a Progessive northern English voter I think Labour will need to completely reinvent themselves I personally feel New Labour is a completely busted flush that has alienated many traditional Labour voters, although it hurts now long term it might be a blessing in disguise,Labour have been completely inept in opposition

    • I reckon the trade unions in England would be better walking away altogether from Labour in England, and funding the Greens or another left wing party. Mandelson, Blair and co hate the unions, and they are already heavily pushing for the return of New Labour.

  32. There must be a genuine alternative to the SNP in Scotland, not based on nationalism and unionism but on issues, policy and class. If the Labour Party is doomed to eternal damnation, then another party must fill that void.

    Exactly. There’s a big difference between saying that there needs to be a credible opposition party in Scotland (which is obviously true) and saying that Labour is that party.

    I don’t think they’re a complete write-off though: some in the party are finally beginning to realise that they can’t hope to be popular in Scotland when they’re part of the same party that needs to compete in Labour-Tory marginals in England. An actual Scottish Labour Party might, just might, finally begin to try to deserve the votes of ordinary people – rather than the absurd “vote for us or else!” nonsense that Jim Murphy has been shouting for the last six months.

  33. Not sure if this is the right place to ask this, but those down south often through the Barnett formula in our faces. i.e. – they are supporting us year on year financially. Is this right? If it is we need, collectively to face up to it if we want independence

  34. ‘The SNP are not my party, nor do I feel they represent me or the working class in Scotland’ Disappointingly, that’s a very labourite statement.

    The SNP have been doing a better job of representing the working class in Holyrood than ‘Labour’. And will certainly do more to represent the working class in WM then any of the feeble Labour wannabe MPs would have done. Curran anyone?

    • Fordie, I’m curious why you feel that is a labourite statement? Because they dont represent me or the working class? There is nothing Labour about that statement. Socialist yes. The argument that the snp do a better job than labour does not mean they represent the working class. That is like saying you are more left wing than Thatcher… it leaves a lot of scope.

      The fact is i feel no ill will to the SNP but they are not a party for the working class especially economically, not living wage supported, a promotion of cutting corporation tax, they are a neoliberal social democratic party who believe in capitalism.. There will never be a party who believe this and also represent fully the working class. That is where Labour failed so spectacularly.

      In regards to the one party state. I meant in terms of political power. With a majority in PR and 56/59 mps they do have majority of power and control. I have heard for years SNP supporters call Labours dominance a one party state in Scotland re political power. Now that is the same with the SNP. Of course it isnt the SNP’s fault that this has happened hence why my note wasnt a critique of them but a gentle reminder of what happens when one party (as we saw previous with Labour) have full control without a credible opposition.

      Thanks for the comments folks, appreciate you reading my work
      Allan

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