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Tag Archives: Nu Labour

The lesser spotted Scottish Labour voter…

If you are reading this in England you may be wondering what I’m on about. You’ll be thinking that The Labour Party is getting ready to turf the Tories out and sort the upstarts of UKIP and the LibDims. If you were here in Scotland you would be looking out onto a political topography on which the lesser spotted Scottish Labour voter has diminished to a degree, which is nothing short of astonishing.

There’s a long way to go until May 2015 but at the moment polls are indicating that Labour are polling around 20-25% whilst the SNP are polling around 51% to 60%. No need to look at the figures for the other parties they are struggling to gain double figures.

During my stint leafleting on the run up to the Scottish Independence vote I met a few Labour voters. They all seemed to fall into the same sort of “type”. They started shouting fairly quickly, they tore up any leaflets or newspapers I was attempting to deliver.

Whilst a lot of Labour voters voted NO a lot also voted yes but not enough so why have so many Labour voters changed to the SNP now? Well it’s simple, very, very simple. Labour have not represented their historic support base since Tony Blair strode onto the world stage. The other reason is that Labour sharing the stage with the Tories and being so negative and wilfully telling porkies was just too much.

I can provide a great example of how inept Labour politicians have been. In the 80’s I had to visit a client in Greenock. I was surprised when I got there. On both sides of the road there were shipyards, heavy engineering, metal bashing and more. Step forward Maggie and her desire to stop metal bashing and go for services instead.

Jump forward to New Labour being in power. Almost all of the manual, metal bashing jobs and the other industries that supported them were gone. I had cause to visit Greenock a number of times and all of the yards were gone. Some housing and the odd supermarket replacing the yards. Not a huge amount of jobs on offer and a populace fighting over call centre jobs.

Blame Maggie? A good bit I’d suggest. But and this is a really big but, the Labour Party had made no real effort at all to help Greenock and many similar places throughout Scotland back to prosperity. And yet the people in these working class towns still kept on voting for Labour. It’s a disgrace many times over. Thankfully it’s now changing and the Labour vote is crumbling.

There isn’t a day that goes by that my twitter feed doesn’t contain a good few people saying they voted NO and they were wrong to do so. Too late, but not too late as in forever, just wait and see.

So all Labour has to do in Scotland is come up with policies which will appeal to their own traditional voter base and for the potential voters to actual trust them to deliver.

That’s easy.

Really?

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A disaster waiting to happen…

I’m reading “Blossom” at the moment. It’s about Scotland and it’s people and why we have such bad health and various other depressing issues although there is much positivity also. It was recommened to me by “Clarinda” and the book was written by Lesley Riddoch.

Early on in the book Lesley mentions “Old Labour” and not in a positive manner. I can see why she might think like that since, to younger people, Old Labour was fraught with internal wrangling, beset by unions ever eager to encourage strikes and subject to a bottom line which could not make the party electable.

To me “Old Labour” was certainly those things but not just those things.  “Old Labour” was the vote of the workingman. It was a party in which working men could get a sense of hope that their working lives would be productive enough for them to have a comfortable lifestyle secure in the knowledge that their children would have a better life than they had.

In the 60s life wasn’t easy although things started to change for the better in the 70s or so it felt to me. My family life improved. We had proper holidays, we had a better car, the house was better decorated and warm, there was money to go out of an evening.

Mrs Thatcher came along and trimmed the wings of the unions and pushed “Old Labour “ away from electability. Whilst some of the things she did were undoubtedly damaging to the country, other things she did were good. Her experiment and the change to a “services economy” might have been a great idea for London but less so for Scotland where traditional industries were still the core. That was all lost. Gone.

But the Tories went eventually and along came New Labour. In order to become electable Tony and his mates moved to the right. In doing so they ripped up the old ways. Now everything was new and shiny. Well maybe for some but less for a lot more people.

The West of Scotland had a lot of heavy engineering before Mrs Thatcher and much less when Tony cane to power. You would have though that “Nu Labour” would have invested heavily in either supporting and renewing the traditional industries or investing in bringing new manufacturing jobs to that area.

Well they did. Unfortunately, they managed to import low skill jobs after Mrs Thatcher had exported high skill jobs. The workforce was to be retrained. What? Retrained to follow an entirely different type of life? No. Just enough retraining to be able to answer a telephone all day long and such like. A disaster waiting to happen.

They still vote for Labour in the West of Scotland as they have always done when they worked in the old traditional industries etc. in towns and villages all over Scotland. Why? They can’t bear to vote any other way? They have always voted Labour as had their parents and grandparents? Who would they vote for if they didn’t?

To a degree they have stopped voting altogether.

Labour has done nothing, NOTHING to invest in these communities although they were in power for two terms. Not to mention the number of local councils that are also Labour run.

Labour has failed even worse than Mrs Thatcher failed.

No amount of silly tactics such as taunting the Tories that they didn’t have a single woman on the front bench.

Is that the best they can do? Is that as far as their combined intellect can manage?

Look in the mirror Ed and I mean really look in the mirror.

 

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Big Brother Zealots edition

Energy… it’s what it’s all about.

The evidence points in the direction of the environmental and health zealots.

None of these people want you to have any. Energy, that is.

Environmentally, we can’t get the energy we need because it will upset small animals, spoil land, pollute, we will be greedy with it if they allow us any, it will induce climate change and anything “bad” which could well happen according to those who know better than us.

Health wise, we can’t get the energy we need because it will involve the death of animals, use of modified genetics, having too much sugar in it, having too much salt in it, having too much fat in it, it’s is processed, having too much “added” sugar in it, all of which will kill us earlier than a more “healthy lifestyle would allow according to those who know netter than us.

Going back to my grandparents and I suppose even my parents their view of food was simple. Three square meals a day and make sure you left a clean plate behind. The reason for three square miles per day was that they generally worked harder from a labour point of view. They needed the calories (energy) in the food to get them through the working day. Nowadays we count calories so a guy can have 2000-2500 calories a days and a wifey 1500-2000 a day. If you go below those limits you will probably loose weight and if you go above you gain weight. Simple.

This has become muddled because generally a lot more people are sedentary; they rarely get out of their office chair in a normal day. Not ideal then. They don’t walk too much and they don’t exercise to any great extent. I’m not, however, suggesting that should all don the lycra and get sweating. I mean you do it if you want to but don’t get all self righteous just do it and leave everyone else alone to make their own decisions.

The environmentalists are keen that we all use less energy. There’s really no reason for any of us to do that but they still want us to cut down.  The tool they use is hiking the prices. This means that some people can’t afford the energy they need and sadly some die because of it.

Years ago I used to wake up in a bedroom, which in the winter had ice formed both on the inside and the outside. The only heating in the house was either a paraffin heater or the coal fire, which took ages to start producing real heat. We didn’t complain. We didn’t know any better. You can still have coal or wood burning fires although it’s mostly down to fashion rather than anything else.

So why do so many of these zealots want to restrict so many things of which a surprising amount seem to be things wee not only need but can’t do without?

Again the answer might be for them to provide us with role models. They could be the role models. Live without all the stuff they think is bad.

Oh please do it.

Pretty please?

Or how about a special edition of Big Brother. They could call it Big Brother Zealot! We’d all call it BBZ, which isn’t far away from one of the biggest supporters of zealotry – the BBC!

Done deal.

 

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Political beliefs

I thought I should clarify a couple of things.

A number of people have started following my blog over the past couple of weeks and I think it’s important that I explain where I sit/stand/jump as far as my politics are concerned.

I’ve already covered this some time ago but I think it is important to cover it again.

My family were Labour Party members going back three generations. My Great-grandfather lost his job for trying to organise his workmates and then had to sell sticks for fires and vegetables depending on the time of year, from a handcart.

My Grandfather was a Labour burgh and county councillor for a long time and my Father was a Labour Party member and activist most of his adult life. Both my Grandfather and my Father supported the Labour Party because it was the party of the workingman. They believed that the Labour Party tried to improve the working mans lot subsequently helping each generation be more prosperous and better educated than the last. Labour people generally where always pleased when someone made progress and they were also very keen on education for their families even at that time when University wasn’t possible for at 80% of the population.

The dreadful strikes of the 70s and 80s caused them both to think hard about how, perhaps, some people had taken advantage of the Labour movement and things had maybe got out of hand. The miners strike closed the local mine and the town suffered due, not just the loss of jobs, to a loss of community which the miners facilitated.

My Grandfather was dead before Tony Blair took office and my Father was at the point of resigning from the party, when he became ill and died. He didn’t think that New Labour was a working mans party, far from it. He thought they had moved far too much to the right.

Due to what has transpired over the years I’m sure that all three of them are spinning in their graves. The Labour Party is no longer the party of the workingman, they are the yuppy and yummy mummy party. To their eternal shame, they have spawned Call me Dave son of Blair and have formed partnerships with the Tories. Animal Farm rings true then. Corruption in Glasgow and Edinburgh not to mention expenses scandals and the like shame the party as does the continuing lust for power for powers sake, although to be fair this stains all political parties currently.

Worst of all however, is the condescending way that the left talks down to people and stifles debate, doesn’t listen and from all levels of government piles additional costs on us all. PFI, taxes on taxes and worst of all from the global warming scam which has in effect allowed them to tax the air we breath out. The left lecture us on what we can and can’t say, what we can and can’t eat, smoke, drink and what weight we can and can’t be: this is obviously a very small percentage of the loss or rights and increasing controls we are required to live with.

In Scotland, the Labour Party clings on. It’s support is historical although not yet hysterical. The SNP have profited because of Labours arrogance at being THE party in Scotland according to the Labour Party and their lackeys, the BBC the quality newspapers etc.  The case for independence is stronger and more compelling because Labour failed to reverse the loss of jobs caused by the destruction of heavy and traditional industry over more than ten years! The heartland of their voters has suffered the worst. It’s a disgrace.

Currently there is no political party, which is left of centre or right of centre for that matter.  The Tories are no longer Tories, Labour are no longer Labour and the LibDems, well you can make your own mind up on them.

So there you have it. Scottish Independence is important to me since it will alter the Scottish political landscape significantly. Getting away from the grasping Westminster set should provide much improved opportunities for everyone living is Scotland regardless of being indigenous or not.

The best is yet to come. I think I’ll have the on my headstone. Well you have to believe in something and the above are mine for what they’re worth.

 
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Posted by on August 26, 2012 in BBC, Politics, Scottish Independence

 

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Gray by name and grey by nature.

Iain, our present Labour MSP leader in Scotland has given his last speech in the position. In doing so he has underlined the reasons why the Labour Party in Scotland finds itself in a position that they could never have contemplated. Their support is disappearing quicker than “snaw oaf a dyke” and they have scraped the bottom of the barrel for political talent and come up wanting.

That their fall from grace should be so fast and so absolute is no surprise. For years they have treated Scotland and the Scottish people as theirs. They have used Scotland as a means of shoring up their Westminster presence. They have said they represent “the working man” and yet they have failed over and over again to address the real needs of Scotland.

They have failed to manage the change form heavy industry and the more traditional trades which had provided jobs for the Scottish people. The new jobs they chased were transient, low skill and even worse public sector. Labour also have to shoulder their share of the blame for squandering the oil “bonanza”. Shame on them.

Can we trust Labour? No matter what they say they are a Unionist party. Westminster draws the best Scottish Labour talent, it’s a bigger stage for them but they then become more anti-Scottish than any non-Scot. Just look at the treatment of RBofS and BofS and the Dunfermline Building Society. Gordon Brown and Alistair Darling couldn’t get them sold off quick enough. No thought about the impact this might have on Scotland. You would really expect more from Scots with a pride in being Scottish.

This isn’t an anti-Labour whinge. It’s an anti-Labour as they have become whinge.

It looks like Labour are heading up a dead end. They might rally a bit but they are looking tired and the three leadership candidates? None of them look like good long-term propositions.

The reality of course is that this is actually bad thing. The Tories are nowhere and the next election will wipe the LibDems from the political map. Where is the opposition going to come from? Not the aggressive, negative and grey of Mr Gray. The confident, well informed and challenging opposition which will ask hard questions of the SNP and most importantly keep them honest.

History will judge failure to take full advantage of the present drive towards independence very harshly. This is the time for all MSPs to put Scotland first. Nothing else will do.

 

 
 

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Traitors, Labour, Sold out, why?

Captain Ranty has an interesting post on his blog.

In some detail, he lays out the skulduggery carried out by the Westminster Labour Party in collusion with Labour and LibDem MSPs. Alex McLiesh and Tam Dalyell along with Tony Blair are specifically mentioned.

It would seem that these men signed away the rights to 6000 square miles of Scottish Territorial water. The water in which more oil may be discovered. The transfer took place. The document links are on the CR blog. It happened. Neither parliament was consulted. It wasn’t reported in the press.

The question is why would they wanted this and why would they agree to it? The inference is that this was a means to reduce any potential new oil wealth although the official line was that this was for adding fishing rights to the English fishing fleet. The documents you may care to look at on CRs site are the actual official documents and there are others which clearly state that a huge Scottish economic budget surplus would be the result of the oil discoveries made in the 70s.

The lies. We have been told repeatedly that Scotland gets more out of the UK than it’s fair share. This is a lie.

That we have this example of the duplicity of Scottish MPs and MSPs who represent Scottish people, do they know the meaning of that word They will say that they know better than us. That it was all part of a bigger picture. That it has benefited us more than would have been the case otherwise.

I am no fan of enquiries but here is a case where a televised enquiry is required. I want to see the guilty men sit and squirm. I want apologies from them to all the Scottish people. I want recompense from the Westminster Government. I want to see a payment made from the Westminster exchequer of £1500 for every person in Scotland as a starter. I want them to have to negotiate for the return of all oil tax and other monies with a starting point of how soon payments will start to be made rather than if.

I want, I want, I want. Petulant child? No. Angry yes. I know it’s not gong to happen. That doesn’t mean that our Scottish Government should not exploit this and expose and embarrass the treacherous, guilty men.

I’m sure they sleep soundly in their beds.

 

 

 
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Posted by on September 29, 2011 in Politics, Scottish Independence

 

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Do we need the SNP?

The short answer to that is yes. The longer answer is … well a wee bit longer.

We needed the SNP  to “break the mold”  and provide the shock to the system which could impart real change and awaken those who were complacent at best and willfully negligent at worst. However, as with all things, the result of the change has exposed weakness to a higher and wider degree than expected, exposing the almost shocking Labour, Tories and Libdems problems.

Labour has found itself in the position of being intellectually bankrupt. Even more so this being caused by it’s own arrogance in its belief in its traditional voting support and the reliance, for strategic action and policies, on the UK party leadership in London. The best Labour politicians , such as they are, seek London as their stage which confirms them as devote unionists, even more Unionist than the Tories. The signs are that it will take a significant amount of time to re-organise the party into a fit and proper opposition to the SNP.

Which brings us to the Tories. The Tories are a party built on tradition and change is particularly difficult for them. The Tories in England, and in the London parliament ,have no mandate in Scotland to speak of. They are between a rock and a hard place. A potential candidate for the Tory MSP leadership has spoken up and suggests that they alter their structure in Scotland to be more modern and appeal more to Scottish voters. This is is received like a unpleasant odour, not nice at all and distance being the best form of escape. As has been pointed out by others, those who seek to carry this strategy forward may find themselves having to split form the party following an unsuccessful leadership result. This may be no bad thing but it will lead to an increase in the time required to form a valid opposition to the SNP.

The LibDems. Well what to say. They have managed to turn a modest up swing in their popularity into a plunging, embarrassing and catastrophic disaster which will take at least two elections to even slightly address. Everyday their cause in Scotland, as well as in England, is weakened further by the Party in London running away from the parties core beliefs and aims whilst desperately gripping onto power within the coalition. Death grip is probably more apt to use.

So, yes we need the SNP but we also require the strength and conviction to deliver what the Scottish people expect, need and want from them for our parliament and government. Unfortunately we have to rely on the opposition to provide credible and appropriate opposition which, will keep the SNP honest and drive them on to the absolute best of which they are capable. This may well not turn out to be the case.

 
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Posted by on September 11, 2011 in Politics, Scottish Independence

 

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