independence – self-determination – autonomy

A Leftwing Utopian Fantasy

CrBuSuiWgAAByZ6.jpg-largeIt’s easily forgotten that it was Ed Balls standing up and agreeing with Osborne ‘s catastrophic ‘austerity’ budget that was the final straw for thousands of Labour voters. As Owen Smith tours the country with his Pfizr Socialism it’s worth continuing to try and make sense of the twin-meltdowns of Labour north and south. Whilst the splenetic media foams at the mouth at the ‘far-left’ Corbyn movement, and Ed Balls reckons these 10 Jeremy Corbyn pledges are “Leftist Utopian Fantasy”, you can’t help but be struck by the idea that much of it is fairly bland and unremarkable.

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Take his ten point pledges (above). ‘A decent job for all, in a decent economy’ could be a commitment to full-employment, or a rejection of Philip Green-style capitalism in the week the last BHS closes, but it’s hardly akin to the Bolskevik Manifesto. ‘A properly-funded NHS and social care’ is probably a statement 89% of the general public would agree to. On the day that Apple are told to cough-up €13bn (£11bn) in unpaid taxes to Ireland ‘Everyone paying their fair share’ might seem radical, but it’s really a mainstream truism. ‘Clean green energy we can afford’ is just a Nice Thing to Say, but in the light of the madness of Hinkley it might hit home. Fair enough ‘dignity and rights at work’ is a bold statement with Priti Patel in the Cabinet, and if you want to live in a society that tolerates Sports Direct writ-large then that is indeed a terrifying prospect. Or take the farce of the issue of trains and public transport, where there is widespread (and long-standing) support for public ownership of the railways was turned into a witch-hunt coordinated by billionaire subsidy-junkie Richard Branson.

If people can’t understand why Scottish Labour appointing Alan Roden is making waves, then consider why Corbyn’s mild social justice rhetoric is being treated by the media like he is the reincarnation of Bakunin.

CrBWnzYXgAAT6LmNot for the first time, the Labour rebels are swimming agains the tide. Ian Fraser, author of ‘Shredded’ notes how Ed Balls fuelled the banking crisis and indeed how “Brown positively genuflected to the bankers”. The Labour right have all the support of a nodding-dog media, but they have little of anything to bring to the table other than repeat the same tired old phrases and try and ridicule Corbyn.

As Martin Jacques writes (‘The death of neoliberalism and the crisis in western politics’) :

“After almost nine years, we are finally beginning to reap the political whirlwind of the financial crisis. But how did neoliberalism manage to survive virtually unscathed for so long? Although it failed the test of the real world, bequeathing the worst economic disaster for seven decades, politically and intellectually it remained the only show in town. Parties of the right, centre and left had all bought into its philosophy, New Labour a classic in point. They knew no other way of thinking or doing: it had become the common sense. It was, as Antonio Gramsci put it, hegemonic. But that hegemony cannot and will not survive the test of the real world.

The first inkling of the wider political consequences was evident in the turn in public opinion against the banks, bankers and business leaders. For decades, they could do no wrong: they were feted as the role models of our age, the default troubleshooters of choice in education, health and seemingly everything else. Now, though, their star was in steep descent, along with that of the political class. The effect of the financial crisis was to undermine faith and trust in the competence of the governing elites. It marked the beginnings of a wider political crisis.

But the causes of this political crisis, glaringly evident on both sides of the Atlantic, are much deeper than simply the financial crisis and the virtually stillborn recovery of the last decade. They go to the heart of the neoliberal project that dates from the late 70s and the political rise of Reagan and Thatcher, and embraced at its core the idea of a global free market in goods, services and capital. The depression-era system of bank regulation was dismantled, in the US in the 1990s and in Britain in 1986, thereby creating the conditions for the 2008 crisis. Equality was scorned, the idea of trickle-down economics lauded, government condemned as a fetter on the market and duly downsized, immigration encouraged, regulation cut to a minimum, taxes reduced and a blind eye turned to corporate evasion.”

It’s the failure of the Labour right to confront any of this”real world test” that will lead inevitably to sure defeat for Owen Smith in the leadership candidacy. Which brings us to Scotland.

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As Gordon Brown chunters on and on ceaselessly about some mythical Home Rule, shuffling from parody to ridicule, there are some real changes afoot in Scottish Labour.

Gordon’s Vow 2.0 (“this time with feeling”, I really mean it this time, Real Home Rule, not that old stuff I mentioned before Real Home Rule …”) is in itself a form of an admission.

The lugubrious journalist and Better Together stalwart Simon Pia shuffled across the constitutional divide only last week ‘Labour at Holyrood must embrace radical change on independence’) as did the former First Minister Henry McLeish, who argued:

“The Labour Party has got to recognise that independence should not just be the flag of the Scottish National Party. They have no right to a monopoly, because independence could come from any party. Independence isn’t necessarily about their kind of nationalism. It’s about wanting to be maybe like Finland, or Sweden or Denmark – the Nordic countries generally. We would have a different way of life, different social investment policies, be a genuinely social democratic country.”

Two years ago he would have been hunted down for this, but two things have changed minds. One is of course political obliteration, the other is political success. Mary Lockhart secured victory for the beleaguered party in The Lochs by-election last week. She did so as a candidate running on a pro-independence ticket. Now Fife council elections might seem like small-beer but Lockhart’s election hasn’t gone unoticed.

As the comrades chortled at Owen Smith’s description of Kezia doing a good job in Glasgow, both Corbyn and Smith ruled out any deals with the SNP. There will be no progressive alliance at Holyrood. But as Iain Macwhirter writes:

“The former Labour special adviser, Paul Sinclair, says that it is the Scottish Labour Party that will split first. He forecast on BBC Scotland that the deputy leader of Scottish Labour, Alex Rowley – “a man whose ambition is in inverse proportion to his abilities” – would challenge Kezia Dugdale on the morning after a Corbyn victory…Hitherto, few have considered a Scottish split a serious possibility, but it actually does make some kind of sense. The fundamental divide in the Scottish Labour Party right now is between those who want a wholly autonomous organisation, like Mr Rowley, and those, like Kezia Dugdale, who want the party to remain essentially a “branch office” (copyright Johann Lamont 2014), albeit a thoroughly devolved one.”

The indy movement is often accused (sometimes with some merit) of being stuck in its own echo-chamber talking to itself. The same is true of the media commentariat chuckling away about ‘Comrade Corbyn’ while delivering nothing in its place. They are about to find this out. As Jacques put it: “They knew no other way of thinking or doing: it had become the common sense.” The gap between their allegiance to yesterdays Blairite orthodoxy, and their inability to see past it is being revealed, and this has real consequences for Scotland.

 

 

 

 

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32 Comments

  • Edward Harkins 4 weeks ago

    Have to agree that the news of Gordon Brown expounding (loudly as usual?) a new 'vow' on Scottish Home Rule almost bested the previous day's news of the appointment of right-wing journo Alan Roden as Scottish Labour's 'communications director' (in itself a Orwellian title).

    It does show an unlearning persisting part of the Labour mindset that sees the UK constitution and Scotland's well-being as all about 'killing' the SNP.

    On Simon Pia's piece I disagree. I read some significance into it. This personality was a truly unblinking, tribal, Scottish Labour player. When he periodically moved out of that comfort zone he offered observations and judgements that much merited a listening. Alas, he would then return quickly to the comfort zone. Now here he was, posting some previously unsayable things. He has a road to go, but I do see this as a change of direction - in the right direction.

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  • muttley79 4 weeks ago

    The lugubrious journalist and Better Together stalwart Simon Pia shuffled across the constitutional divide only last week ‘Labour at Holyrood must embrace radical change on independence’) as did the former First Minister Henry McLeish, who argued:

    “The Labour Party has got to recognise that independence should not just be the flag of the Scottish National Party. They have no right to a monopoly, because independence could come from any party. Independence isn’t necessarily about their kind of nationalism. It’s about wanting to be maybe like Finland, or Sweden or Denmark – the Nordic countries generally. We would have a different way of life, different social investment policies, be a genuinely social democratic country.”

    A fair number of people in the SNP have been saying just what Simon Pia states in that quote, and some for a considerable period of time.

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    • Derek 4 weeks ago

      "A fair number of people in the SNP have been saying just what Simon Pia states in that quote, and some for a considerable period of time." - true, but Labour are now saying it, so it has become reportable by the mainstream 😉

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      • muttley79 4 weeks ago

        The main thing is that Simon Pia and others either support independence or move towards it. After all, that is the only way independence is going to happen. I think I should have started with that in my previous post, it is the most important.

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        • ronald alexander mcdonald 4 weeks ago

          Spot on Muttley. Don't underestimate Labour figures move to Independence. For some it may be motivated by self-preservation, for others genuine.

          We have to give them the benefit of the doubt.

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          • C Rober 4 weeks ago

            Weel how many got their Westminster jotters , then repeated again and replaced by Tories in Holyrood , so its looks like next May coonsil elections some have their eye on , or indeed coonsilors jobs even? Come January I reckon we will see internal fighting of ex career politicians sharpening their knives , ready for between their coonsil comrades shooder blades.

            The only thing standing between a triplex wipe oot of the party noo is the welsh englishman , or the english geography teacher , and whether they too come oot and see the messiah broon turncoat as giving a sermon on the mount.

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    • Jack Collatin 4 weeks ago

      McLeish has been out of politics for 15 years. It is not enough for him to pop up and say that he has a Big Idea, Nordic style nationalism, which is not necessarily the SNP's kind of nationalism.
      Where the feck has he been all these years? What he describes is exactly the SNP kind of nationalism.
      Making piles of dosh but failing to keep up with the political scene, I fear.
      His cack handed attempt to steal the SNP's clothes is laughable.
      You may recall that NS /SNP. Plaid, and the Greens were the only vociferously anti Red Blue and Yellow Tory Austerity Package of cuts to the living standards of our poor, frail, elderly and low paid.
      YouTube the UKGE Leaders' debate where NS outlines her spend to grow, investment in jobs/ infrastructure, and £180 billion borrowing 2015/ 2020 to fuel this growth, thus reducing the deficit gradually.
      The 'respected' IFS endorsed this Austerity Reverse approach.
      Where were Mc Leish, or Brown, or Corbyn then?
      There is a concerted effort to rewrite history going on, and this piece appears to be on message, Labour is more left than the SNP? Aye, right.
      Corbyn is not the Second Coming. He has lied about many things; The SNP have not privatised Calmac: they are not implementing Red Yellow and Blue endorsed 30 billion pounds of cuts to our poor and strangling investment in our social democracy. The opposite is the case.
      As far as most of us who were Labour supporters back in the day before the madness of Mandelson are concerned, there Is no 'Labour Party' any more. It died with the hundreds of thousands of Iraqis who were slaughtered. Corbyn would shut Holyrood tomorrow. He is a London boy, and has scant knowledge of Scotland and its citizens, nor does he acknowledge that social democrats in Scotland demand self determination, that we refuse to accept that we are subjugated by, and our whole lives determined by 'foreign' MP's. of Anglo-centric parties for whom we did not vote.
      We are hanging about no longer. This farcical Smith/Corbyn sham election cuts no ice up here, except among the 10,000 or so die hards and Corbynmaniacs.
      Self Determination, full blown Independence is the only game in town.
      I'll brook no argument about Labour returning to its roots. There isn't enough hair dye.
      Kezia, Alex, Johann, and the rest of the motley crew, have never had their day, and therefore cannot be categorised as being past it. Labour treated Scotland as their colony, just like the Tories and the Lib Dems. There is plenty of evidence that we mattered naught to the McLeish's, Browns, Blairs, Reids, McConnells, and Murphys of the Labour Party. London was the prize. All of them happily sold Scotland down the river at every turn. Yet The Herald gives McLeish and Brown top billing (and now BC?), as if they actually mattered, as if they actually had any power, as if we actually feckin' cared.
      And to trot out these dinosaurs and fete them as saviours of the Left is the sickest joke any of the MSM Union pack have come up with, so far.
      There is no Labour Party. When will it sink in among the commentariat Up Here.
      I am not in an echo chamber talking to myself.
      I will not sit idly by while McLeish and Brown are allowed to talk shit, and have it spread throughout Scotland's media as though they had just descended Mount Sinai with the words of the Maker flowing from their lips. Remember Miliband tried the tablets of stone routine before.

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  • Steve 4 weeks ago

    I don't think Simon would describe himself as a BT stalwart, although he was on that side of the fence in 2014. He was certainly interested in Devo Max before Brexit

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    • Agatha Cat 4 weeks ago

      I remember seeing Simon Pia on TV quite a number of times during the independence referendum. I'd say he was a Better Together stalwart.

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  • john young 4 weeks ago

    According to Tom Cuthbert the SNP is doing not a bad job of bowing down to the treasury whereby Scotland will be fcuked as far as financing our infrastructure,I know eff all about economics but would appear to be in the company of 99% of the population including "Broonie/Darling"

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  • muttley79 4 weeks ago

    Ooops it was Henry McLeish who was quoted not Simon Pia!..

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  • florian albert 4 weeks ago

    Corbyn carries a huge amount of baggage. It is a mistake to ignore it.

    He does not come across as prime ministerial. This matters. It helped sink Foot, Kinnock and Miliband.
    He has never shown any interest in social democracy. Instead, he has proudly declared himself a socialist. This matters because his claim to be a man of principle is further undermined.
    He has achieved little in over 30 years in Parliament.
    He shows little sign of going out to convert those who need to won over to win a future general election. Instead, he attends meetings, rallies and demonstrations where the converted gather.

    The fact that the Blair/Brown duopoly left behind little in terms of policy and personnel does not mean that British voters have suddenly acquired enthusiasm for somebody who has been on the periphery of minstream politics all his life.

    One of the left's besetting sins - both in Scotland and England - is to assume a level of support which, come the election, is not there.

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  • Alan 4 weeks ago

    On the Martin Jacques section:

    The term neoliberalism tends to be thrown out as a term of abuse by the Left for everything it dislikes without much engagement with it, its philosophy, its history, etc. and with rather stock and unimaginative neo-Marxist responses. It's not an effective political approach.

    Parties of the right, centre and left had all bought into its philosophy, New Labour a classic in point. They knew no other way of thinking or doing.

    That might be true but Corbynism strikes me as mostly knowing what one wants (the list) but not knowing how it is achievable in any practical sense. What is their "other way"?

    They go to the heart of the neoliberal project that dates from the late 70s and the political rise of Reagan and Thatcher...

    The implementation of neoliberal policies in the UK and US predated the elections of Thatcher and Reagan.

    ...embraced at its core the idea of a global free market...government condemned as a fetter on the market and duly downsized

    The state plays a key role in neoliberalism. Government was not downsized under either Thatcher or Reagan or their successors. Jacques is confusing rhetoric with reality.

    And a bit you didn't quote:

    Corbyn is not a product of the new times, he is a throwback to the late 70s and early 80s. That is both his strength and also his weakness. He is uncontaminated by the New Labour legacy because he has never accepted it. But nor, it would seem, does he understand the nature of the new era. The danger is that he is possessed of feet of clay in what is a highly fluid and unpredictable political environment

    It's not just Corbyn who is possessed of feet of clay.

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    • Broadbield 4 weeks ago

      I think the term "neoliberalism" is being used in its more modern form referring to the theories of Hayek and Friedman. Most economist critiques I've read date the modern usage and implementation to the rise of Thatcher and Reagan and not before.

      I don't know how you can say "government was not downsized" when the evidence of privatisation is all around us.

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      • Alan 4 weeks ago

        Historians date the initial implementation of neoliberal polices as starting before Thatcher and Reagan. See for example the history by Daniel Stedman Jones. Policies that are now associated with neoliberalism were being implemented before either came to power in response to the economic crises of the 1970s and the abandoning of Keynesian policies by both the Left and the Right. It's a mistake to think of Thatcher and Reagan as constituting a sudden break.

        Yes, but if you ask people who use the term neoliberalism what is distinctive about the ideas of Friedman and others at Chicago will they be able to tell you? And the same for the Austrians. What makes them neoliberal rather than merely liberal? Sure people can link it to various persons and schools but without really engaging with the ideas. If you want change, know thy enemy.

        Government grew fairly significantly under Reagan. Thatcher's record is rather more mixed. My statement probably fits better with the US than the UK. I think the larger qualitative point though is that the state has a very important role in neoliberalism. It doesn't shrink away but its role and function are conceptualised differently. The state is still a nanny, to use Thatcher's term, but of a rather different sort. 

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      • Alan 3 weeks ago

        This says it so much better:

        Whilst its public rhetoric might have suggested otherwise, neo-liberalism has not shrunk or rolled back the state in order to free the market. Instead, it has used the power of the state to reshape social institutions and to insinuate market relations into spheres where previously they were absent. Neo-liberalism, in short, has delivered not a small state but a market state. To adapt a distinction made by Jamie Peck (2010), neo-liberalism, particularly in its Anglo-American variants, has been as much about ‘roll-out’ (the enforcement of ‘competitiveness’ through audit and other forms of bureaucratic oversight, the growth of sprawling ‘parastatal’ mega-firms which exist only because the public sector buys services from them) as it has been about ‘roll-back’ (privatisation, deregulation and the rest).

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  • Alex Beveridge 4 weeks ago

    Talking to former Labour voters on the doorstep over the last few years, the vast majority said the reason they would no longer do so was "because they had stood with the tories", during the Scottish Referendum campaign. Pardon me from being cynical about politicians, and former politicians, or indeed anyone who supported the Better Together mob, but surely their Damascus moment is more a case of saving what is left of their rapidly diminishing credibility, and not of any real concern about the fate of the Scottish people.
    They were happy enough to take the Westminster establishment's coin when it was offered, so why should we give any credence to their latest utterings?
    And after James Kelly's excellent blog, I wouldn't read too much into Mary Lockhart's victory in Fife. As he pointed out the Labour vote hardly increased at all, whereas the S.N.P share showed a dramatic rise.
    Maybe it's just because I've been a voter for nearly sixty years, and have seen plenty of promises made by politicians been forgotten as soon as they are re-elected, that I am somewhat disbelieving of these latest opinions expressed by people, most of whom just want us to think their views are in way important, or indeed, relevant.

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    • Alf Baird 4 weeks ago

      "They were happy enough to take the Westminster establishment's coin" - Just like 'our' 56 "roaring lions"?

      On the matter of 'cultural hegemony', the unionist elites continue to run 'Institutional Scotland', despite a decade of a 'nationalist' government; one suspects they will still be running 'the show' even after independence.

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      • Alex Beveridge 4 weeks ago

        As a matter of fact Alf, on the morning of May 8th, 2015, immediately following the count electing our brand new S.N.P, M.P, I mentioned the possibility that some people might suggest that he was now a member of the aforementioned establishment. Yeah, well, they might be "paper tigers", but I have always felt it's better to be inside the tent, rather than outside, as I think the forthcoming "Brexit" negotiations will prove.
        Of course, the unionist influence will still persist after we become an independent country, but it will gradually fade, and I'm hoping by the time my great-grandchildren reach maturity, it will be just a distant memory.

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        • Alf Baird 4 weeks ago

          Alex, "paper tigers" sounds about right. Perhaps there are too many recent unionists among the 56, many unable to fathom or contemplate what national independence really means? I don't believe we are in any "tent", we are mere bystanders, and outsiders, our representatives' opinions ignored and worthless. We will be an afterthought in any "Brexit" negotiations, if that. As for the unionist elite here in Scotland who still run most of not all our public institutions even after a decade of supposedly 'nationalist' government, I was referring to this more as a longstanding cultural and class constraint which would continue to haud doon the majority of Scots folk even after independence, unless properly addressed.

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          • Alex Beveridge 3 weeks ago

            I particularly agree with your last paragraph, Alf. Change, I'm sure, will take place, but probably at a slow rate of knots, much to the chagrin to those of us who feel that if progressive Scots were in control, then we could achieve so much more, in as short a period of time as was possible.
            I'm not even sure we will qualify as an afterthought in the U.K negotiations to leave the E.U, how I hate the phrase "Brexit", since, as Robert Peffers points out, it's not even accurate, since the contempt Westminster has for our parliamentary representation is well known.
            Although the Scottish Government won't say so publicly, another Independence Referendum is a racing certainty, and I can only hope the mess that Tory Government has created in its obsession to retain power, will become more obvious to the Scottish people, and this time we can finally become an independent nation once again.

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  • greatelephantcensus 4 weeks ago

    "It’s about wanting to be maybe like Finland, or Sweden or Denmark – the Nordic countries generally. We would have a different way of life, different social investment policies, be a genuinely social democratic country.”

    On and on and on and on with this vacuous fucking nonsense.

    In the Nordic countries: higher direct and indirect taxes are levied on everyone across the board. Everyone accepts that they have to pay for the services and nice things.

    In Scotland: people want more tax and spend. and more and more spend. But not more tax. Well, they do, as long as those taxes are levied on 'someone else'. Not them. They are taxed too much already. Someone else who has 'too much' or is 'excessively rewarded' or is 'undeserving'. Don't tax me, tax them!

    Scotland will never, ever be anything like Denmark. Because Scots are unwilling to make the contribution, make the sacrifice, do the heavy lifting to make it happen.

    "Someone else" must do that. Someone else must pay.

    All of this is evidenced in the social attitudes surveys. Actual evidence, as opposed to standing in groups, painting each others faces, waving flags and shouting.

    (Though of course, it looks like the social democratic utopian dream is over. Denmark - the country where asylum seekers assets are seized while their claims are processed, and the drawbridge is generally being pulled up. Danes are happy to be 'egalitarian' and 'share' as long as they perceive - or the reality is - that their slice is getting smaller. Then its up drawbridge. The grabby, lazy scots meanwhile, have never been prepared to share, or give up. They want someone else to provide the cake, and grab the biggest slice of cake they can for themselves.).

    I've been fortunate enough to travel to Denmark and Norway, and through holidaying in italy (of all places), get to know a Norwegian family well.

    Scots are nothing like Scandinavians. Nothing.

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    • Bella Caledonia Editor 3 weeks ago

      Are we genetically 'nothing like Scandinavians'? Where does our innate selfishness spring from? Is it eternal?

      I've never stood about in groups, painting each others faces, waving flags and shouting, but it sounds fun.

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      • greatelephantcensus 3 weeks ago

        "Are we genetically 'nothing like Scandinavians'?"

        - No, I didn't say that. You said that.

        You mentioned genetics. Are you going to be arguing that the Scottish people, and their Scottish Scottishy Scottishest qualities ("egalitarianism", "inclusivity" "civicness" "progressiveness") are attributable to them (and available only to them - like magic powers) through some shared genetic factor? A bit like Marvel Superheros?

        "Where does our innate selfishness spring from?"

        A culture of inferiority, victimhood, and persecution complex that runs through sections of your society, that drives insular, parochial, backwards attitudes, and a self-entitled 'mine mine mine' attitude.

        "Is it eternal?"

        Given that commonly found attitudes in Scotland show no signs of changing, then quite probably.

        You continue to be dependent, and are as far away from Lesley Riddoch's independent mindset (which in fairness she is correct is more prevalent in other countries, including the Nordic countries) as you ever were. Further away really, given your ongoing inability to service your higher cost to serve, and continuing demands that someone else pay for it.

        "I've never stood about in groups, painting each others faces, waving flags and shouting"

        Liar.

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        • Bella Caledonia Editor 3 weeks ago

          greatelephantcensus I was merely mocking the idea that social attitudes are static and ridiculing your dystopian view of your fellow countrymen and women.

          Although your language of 'you' suggests you don't live here?

          Anyway I certainly don't believe that Scots are in any way (genetically or otherwise) any better than anyone else - just that we are equal to other peoples and societies and
          have the capacity and potential to govern ourselves and improve conditions.

          That's not a very bold claim. But what is quite bold is your claim that this is not possible - for some deep-seated reason or some innate failing or lacking in Scottish people.

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  • Mhari morrison 3 weeks ago

    Most labour voters I know, average age 60 are more right wing than ukip tell me their is no poverty and hate Nicola sturgeon , what hope for progress? They also dislike jez and kez voting labour is just a habit to them so it does not really matter what pia et all say no one listens anymore

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    • greatelephantcensus 3 weeks ago

      "Most labour voters I know, average age 60 are more right wing than ukip"

      UKIP is not a 'right wing' party, and is hard to define on the 'right' of the political spectrum / compass.

      It is a populist party, rather like the SNP.

      The language, the fanatical supporters, the partisan nature of the debate and the identification of the "other" as the root of all problems (Westminster and Brussels, eurocrats and tories, but you don't have to scratch too much to see foreigners and the English) and the approach of the two movements is very similar.

      SNP and UKIP supporters each think that their cause is perfectly valid, sensible and deliverable and the other is unworkable madness.

      "and hate Nicola sturgeon"

      Are you telling me that all Labour voters you have ever met are a homegenous group who are more 'right wing' than UKIP and all hate Nicola Sturgeon?

      When asked the question 'How do you feel about Nicola Sturgeon?' do they all reply 'I hate her' - ?

      "what hope for progress?"

      Go to school, pay attention, continue your education, gain skills and experience, create value, get paid.

      "voting labour is just a habit to them so it does not really matter what pia et all say no one listens anymore"

      "This group of voters refuses to agree with me therefore they are to be discarded and marginalised".

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      • Mhari morrison 3 weeks ago

        Hi re your reply the labour voters I know are elderly and say terrible things out Nicola sturgeon ,at times I have to tell them off.of course this is just my experience but their attitudes at times worry me

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  • arthur thomson 3 weeks ago

    I find it appalling that Brown and others like him can put forward a 'plan' that involves leaving control of defence at Westminster. Leave it in the hands of people who have shown their willingness to destroy children and adults in other countries because they are apparently lesser beings? True Brits with their utterly deluded blood and soil notions. They have learned nothing except that their days are numbered.

    No. Federalism is not the solution, independence is.

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  • greatelephantcensus 3 weeks ago

    "No. Federalism is not the solution, independence is."

    2014: Try to get Scottish voters to vote for stunted Federal arrangement in a currency union where a foreign power would control your monetary and fiscal policy. Voters say no.

    20?? Try to get Scottish voters to vote for actual independence where currently +£15bn fiscal transfer required to cover higher cost to serve, public services and nice things voters are used to and feel entitled to.

    Good Luck with That. I'm looking forward to watching Glaswegian Goons in kilts and trainers weep in George Square. Again.

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  • Willie 3 weeks ago

    I think Buster Broon will reinforce to those who voted no, why they made a mistake.

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    • greatelephantcensus 3 weeks ago

      "I think Buster Broon will reinforce to those who voted no, why they made a mistake."

      Is that why the polls haven't moved in two years?

      If you had another referendum tomorrow, the result would be exactly the same as 2014, or a bigger margin to No, when voters are actually faced with the consequences of their actions (not just a poll).

      the 'Do you want the £16bn cash transfer for your schools and hospitals or not?" campaign will only have to say just that.

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