Monthly Archives: October 2012

It’s more than the economy stupid!

As a grumpy individual I find myself shouting at the television / twitter and online blogs more often these days.

This week (like far too many others recently) has been dominated by the referendum process.  Sorry THE REFERENDUM process.

It is important.  It is like oxygen to the SNP, the single most important issue for them.  Less so for others.

For me, however, two more years of this and I’ll lose the ability to watch the news.  It is bad enough that the Beeb is (allegedly) pro anyone and newspapers don’t print news but if I have to suffer endless rehashes of  this morning’s #marr #murnaghan then I’m going to be entirely unhappy.

Polling about how people will vote if they are £500 a year better off or worse off is pathetic and likely to be as reliable as Michael fish in 1987.

Polling ‘If the Tories were likely to win in 2015’  is equally specious.  Democracy in action eh?  do we only want democracy if we get our own way?

This filler of time is all Alex Salmond’s fault (slightly kidding here).  If he had hurried up and ‘called the date sooner’ then less of this guff would be experienced by us all.

The Economic arguments are important to THE REFERENDUM but a largely uninformed electorate (on economics) will struggle to cut through the misuse and clever language (Eg Relative surplus is a case in point – paid in 53bn got out 63bn. comparisons of marginal differences in deficit is not a relative surplus – it’s a relative deficit of large proportions.  In other words we’re up to our necks in debt and they are up to their chin.)

Alex Salmond builds in caveats on almost every issue while trying to sound plain speaking (great trick for a politician) one which I think we have all had enough of (All Tony Blair’s fault – he started it obviously).  I am complaining but I can respect his clever use of language to give him wiggle room.

However, wiggle room is not what we need on such a stark national choice.  Yes or No, in or out.

In Nato, Keep Queen, Keep Sterling, Get rid of Trident (when safe to do so FFS), In EU but no Euro / Shengin, free care for the elderly, free this that and the other (ish) (and never a whisper about how we will pay for it) and don’t mention Council Tax freeze that is crippling local authorities (nor the now sunk Local Income Tax).  A far cry from statements of the past and looking like a ‘don’t scare the horses approach!

Now this wasn’t meant to be a rant about SNP or Alex Salmond but I got distracted.

The Yes Campaign are equally as guilty of obfuscation and this is entirely unnecessary.  The choices are stark but need facts and evidence not assertions.

This fuzzy Guff about ‘Britishness or Scottishness’ is built into us all and to varying degrees it will shape our viewpoint.  But do we really need a never-ending stream of this?  Probably not.

We need facts on the Economy.  (Robust data presented in a factually comprehensible way)

We need facts on EU membership and the implications. (Legal advice published before any vote)

We need facts on other institutions that impact on our society. (Legal, political and social)

None of these are being addressed with facts, they are being addressed by assertions and spin.

A post yes vote (or no vote for that matter) needs to have a clear position on these vital elements.  Otherwise THE REFERENDUM is a ‘trust me’ poll based on a pastiche of Mibbe’s Aye, Mibbe’s Naw.

How on earth do we expect voters to make an informed decision on a fundamental issue?  Let alone the 16 & 17 year olds who will be asked to choose too!

Fair, transparent and legally binding.  At this rate it will be based on Braveheart and olympics.

Not good enough.








Moore fumbles negotiations

Where have we heard this before?

Tomorrow the Prime minister (Big Dave) and the first Minister (Wee Eck) will have a signing sesh.  This isn’t some huge diplomatic meeting but rather a procedural step on the way to the referendum.  (I’ll bet there will be pipers and tartan everywhere and wee eck will be in his best tartan troos)

Negotiated brilliantly by Michael Moore (LD MP) who effectively fell hook, line and sinker for the devo-max question two gambit.  He gave away everything in the cabinet to stop the safety blanket question that Wee eck didn’t really expect to get anyway.  It was a fiction dreamt up by the SNP and hung out as bait.  Sadly the daft laddie that is Michael Moore (and others) fell for it.

Sleekit and canny, Wee eck will have to manage his smugness on Monday or Dave will realise just how much he has been had.  The incompetence of Mr Moore is even more shocking when we consider that he was negotiating with Nicola.

Of course, it might be that he was terrified of her and just gave her everything to avoid being savaged.

What exactly are the terms then.

1 question.  Written by Wee eck.

16 & 17 year olds allowed to vote. (just as wee eck wanted)

August 2014 date. (wee eck’s timetable for a post Bannockburn party)

So all the unionist demands are being met then?  Michael Moore seems to think so.  (not sure which ones, however)

Will it matter? Probably not.  The scots electorate are currently disinclined to support separation from the Rest of the UK (all because of the Olympics and Ryder cup – obviously).  A ha, I hear the zealots yell but just wait until the Bannockburn bounce.  I fully expect them to stay disinclined when the time comes.

Funding is going to be the last little problem to be given up by Mr Moore, we don’t have details but Wee Eck wants the chance to use his lottery windfall and deny the others their chance to use their funds.

Wee eck wants a fair roll of the dice but wants two rolls just in case.

Mind you, by giving the Nats everything they want, they will have no-one to blame when they lose in 2014.  It wont stop them doing so, of course.

Perhaps Michael Moore is playing a blinder and aiming to deal with the SNP for years to come?

Nah, dinnae think so.

Well done Eck another blinder.  Bollocks.

One Nation? What does that actually mean?

Frankly, I have no idea.

The triangulation wonks seem to think it will play well in the marginals and the Soufff.

The problem of modern-day politics is the attempt to appeal to the widest demographic of ‘couldn’t care less’.  It is this whoring to attract the voters who have no ideological allegiance that has left my party in a quandary.

Perpetual opposition (allegedly) or government without a principle guiding the choices we make.

Ed is a very sincere chap, who delivered a great speech (in terms of delivery) but it was utterly devoid of connection to the left.  couple with that the inability of Chukka Umunna (touted as a future leader) to remember that we are a Democratic socialist party not a social democrat party.

I worry about the strangest of things.

Pragmatic – anything to get into power – is the sign of a weak set of arguments.  Doing whatever is populist works in the very short-term with massive hangover damage.  Blairs ‘New Labour’ drove away much of the leftist core and replaced that support with those whose motivation was based on ‘what’s in it for me?’.  The path of vote purchase and appeasement.

This is not the way to a progressive change bringing a steady improvement in inequality and better living standards for all.

What we are being offered is better managers who are more competent to manage decline.  A total and utter capitulation in terms of aspiration for a better society.  Mind you, the current coalition are a complete shambles #omnishambles.

So where does that leave me (and others)?

A party leadership whose strategy is heading in the wrong direction?

A party leadership made up of too many career politicians, who have followed a fast track to MP-dom?

A south-east focus to win at all costs regardless of where we have come from?

A we’re slightly less tory than the other mob?

We have a new badge ‘One nation Labour’.  Oh that’s all right then.

A government which doesn’t stand for special interest groups or sections.  A business focus on ‘good capitalism’ and many more utter bollocks like platitudes to fill the air.

As for the crew – Liam Byrne, Ed balls et al, these guys are neo-liberal to the core and prepared to work the system to manage a labour government in name only.  They are pretty much indistinguishable from the ‘wet’ wing of Maggie T’s Tories.  This is so not good enough.

Members up and down the country are left somewhat befuddled by this ‘One nation’ stuff, hoping it means more left-wing and sadly about to find out it doesn’t mean that at all.  Repeal the NHS act (well done Andy Burnham), pay freeze to continue (FFS ed) and many other missed opportunities to move forward.  Help people get on the housing ladder? FFS, build rentable houses and drive the heat from profiteering landlords.

We need to return to the land of left-wing politics and stop being ashamed.

We have capitulated in the argument about social justice, we have stopped trying.

Sorry, I haven’t and thousands in the party haven’t given up.  Time the leadership reflected the members not a narrow sectional interest of ex spads.