Saturday, October 25, 2014

Lament for Lamont?

For weeks now, I've been meaning to write a post containing a Top of the Pops list (or Top of the Scot Goes Pops list) of the stupidest things that unionist commentators said in the immediate aftermath of the referendum.  Hopefully I'll still get around to doing it, because there's a hell of a selection, but in the meantime let's remember just one particular gem - I think it was possibly a Daily Mail editorial that said about Alex Salmond's resignation, "with one deft flick of the electorate's knife, the fish-faced king was no more".  I may not have remembered the last bit correctly, but it was some such gibberish.  The gist was that, far from the reality of Mr Salmond being this country's most popular and trusted political leader, we instead live in a parallel universe where the voters loathe him as much as the Daily Mail does, and where they "defeated" him in order to "expel" him from office.  (And of course he didn't resign of his own free will, or anything like that.)  So presumably on Planet Mail, whenever a party leader resigns immediately after a referendum, we can take it as read that the party in question suffered a humiliating defeat in that referendum.  Therefore, the fact that Johann Lamont has just resigned as Scottish Labour "leader" means that the No-supporting Labour party must have lost the independence referendum.  Hmmm.  It's confusing, isn't it?

I'll be honest - my first reaction upon hearing the news was one of bitter disappointment.  Ms Lamont has been an absolutely dreadful leader - it's a moot point whether she's been even worse than her predecessor Iain "the Snarl" Gray, but at the very least she's been just as bad.  If only she had stayed in harness for eighteen more months, it would have been a racing certainty that Labour would have suffered a third successive defeat in a Holyrood election.  Now of course, there are any number of dire Scottish Labour parliamentarians in both Edinburgh and London who might be fancying their chances tonight, and who would just as reliably assist the SNP in securing the hat-trick.  But it seems to me that Labour have nothing really to lose from a vacancy now - at worst, things will stay as they are, but there's just a chance they might find someone half-decent to take over, in which case Nicola Sturgeon might be given a run for her money in 2016.

So I was feeling pretty downhearted, until I realised that Lamont's departure was by no means an amicable parting of the ways, and that she had tossed a grenade into the constitutional debate with her stated reasons for resigning.  Hopefully that means there's at least a chance that something positive will come out of this.  Surely the new Labour for Scotland group will now have to rise to the challenge of putting up a candidate to argue the case for a much more radical devolution package, and also for their London colleagues to take a "hands off" approach on matters that are properly the province of the Scottish party.  Even if that candidate doesn't win, they might be able to set the tone of the leadership campaign, and secure concessions from the eventual winner.  If as a result Labour finally becomes the party of devolution that they've always claimed to be, they might be much more formidable opponents for the SNP, but that would be a price well worth paying for this country's sake.

If I could set aside all strategic considerations, I should probably take nothing but satisfaction from Lamont's demise, because she (or at least her public persona) is the absolute epitome of everything I loathe about the Labour party.  I'm not just saying that because she happens to be the outgoing leader - I remember thinking it when I first saw her on television way back in the 1990s.  It's like she sees Scotland as a dreamy, spoilt teenager, who needs to be given an endless series of bitter lectures about the stupidity of expecting too much from life.   The notorious "shut up and eat your cereal" ad from the No campaign could almost have been Lamont : The Movie.  If it's really true that she's been pushing the pro-devolution case behind the scenes, that does make me think better of her, but what I don't understand is why she had to wait until she resigned to speak out publicly.  Why not use her mandate to say "I'm the elected leader of the Scottish Labour Party, and it's time to stop encroaching on my territory"?  The whole point of having your own mandate is that you can't be sacked by Ed Miliband for talking out of turn.  Well, that's the theory - hopefully her successor might have the bravery to turn that theory into something more concrete.

Final thought - if Labour can't rediscover their roots, could they at least give us a three-cornered leadership contest between Terry Kelly, James Kelly (my esteemed MSP namesake) and Alex "Braveheart" Gallagher to cheer us all up?


  1. She was a huge asset for the SNP and I will be sorry to see her go. She came across as a cold heartless individual who consistently championed austerity. Did her advisors never tell her how she was coming across? I would love to see Labour implode now as they deserve.

  2. There are number of assets in the Labour party....Paul Sinclair being another.

    Apparently anus sarwar hasnt confirmed he js running for westminster yet. He is a good london lapdog

  3. I just find it ironic that she fought hard to keep us under Westminster rule and she is leaving due to Labour at Westminster !!!!

  4. Lamont gives one of her reasons is the London HQ wouldn't give the Scottish branch autonomy. In response they'll make sure that her replacement is die hard Unionist and even more loyal to the party.

  5. I'm going to stray from my normally thoughtful posts on polling and just say this about the Labour meltdown ahead of the GE.

  6. Wings actually covered the most pertinent facts for any replacement for the hapless Lamont. Namely that they will be in line for a complete thrashing in 2016 and London Labour always, but ALWAYS, throws their 'scottish' Labour leaders under the bus to protect the London leadership.

    You only need look at Lamont and Gray to see the truth of that.

    So it would have to be a very gullible and/or stupid labour replacement who took up Lamont's poisoned chalice as they could say bye-bye to any kind of career after the 2016 hammering of 'scottish' labour. Doesn't matter what 'assurances' little Ed or anyone else gives them, they would be the fall guy/girl and have the customary bucket of shit poured all over them in 2016 to protect little Ed or whoever is Labour Leader then.

    You can say this about Lamont though, she did know where to hit little Ed and the London leadership precisely where it hurts the most.

    Anyone put forward as the London Labour choice now will simply exacerbate the the SLAB civil war which is absolutely going on right now.

    The amusingly venomous Magrit Curran has also made certain SLAB are taking sides right this second as little Ed's loyalists and sycophants line up against those in SLAB who have had enough of being dominated and controlled by a London labour leader less popular than Cameron in scotland.

    Anyone remember the "root and branch reform" Murphy was in charge of delivering? How about the sea-change to labour promised after the Falkirk scandal?

    The London Labour leadership are utterly incapable of facing the truth, which is that while they are in control they are most to blame for what happens to Labour in scotland. That's why little Ed will always use SLAB as the scapegoat as he struggles with comically low popularity ratings.

    It's also why SLAB are in the mess they are right now and why they will get hammered in 2016.

  7. This is like watching your worst enemies crashing their nissan micra into a sycamore tree in slow motion.

    According to polls Labour are facing a rout north of the firth of forth and a strong challenge in their safest seats. The election is just 6 months away and they're now embroiled in the worst bloodbath/civil war the party has seen in decades. Any leader that takes the reins now will be ruined by the humiliation in 2015 and more so by tbe outright defeat in 2016 - maybe Sarwar is going to take the fall for Murphy, who knows.

    Labour needed a caretaker leader like Lamont to take the blame for losses in heartlands during the referendum, humiliation in 2015 and the second SNP victory in 2016. Everything could be blamed on her weak leadership and someone like Murphy could stand in 2016 and join the MSPs. Until that point no MP can seriously lead the branch without being in Holyrood.

    The thing is Lamont, god bless her, wasn't going to let them do that to her. She wasn't going to be their stooge. She kicked London Labour right in the balls with this move and got her revenge with her head held high - but she has damaged her party terribly. Was it worth it?

    She is without a doubt the worst leader Labour has had in many years - James accurately assessed her attitude to our country in his piece above. I loathe the woman but she's possibly done us a world of good by this.

  8. I think the headline above should have been, LAMENTABLE LAMONT, seems more appropriate!!

  9. but there's just a chance they might find someone half-decent to take over, in which case Nicola Sturgeon might be given a run for her money in 2016.

    Theres as much chance of that Scot, as me winning the lottery, old fruit-hahah!

  10. A group within Scottish Labour orchestrated Lamont's demise - they back M Curran and are anti- powers to Holyrood.

    Lamont tried to put a spoke in their works with talk of Westminster MPs interests.

  11. From the morn's yougov UK Scottish sample:

    Do you think Ed Miliband is doing well or badly as leader of the Labour party?
    12% Well
    82% Badly

    21% Well
    73% Badly

    Ed's maybe done it and overtaken Nick in the unpopularity stakes!

    Fieldwork before Lamontgate broke too.

    I suspect the Scottish electorate are watching UK party leaders like hawks over more devo and EVEL.

  12. Sunday Herald is great reading today. Murphy being backed by labour folk. They obviously forget Nicola roasted him and he bottled out of seeing her again on the big big debate...instead sending galloway!

    Labour leadership elections still use the college ststem, not one member one vote. This is going to be very,very, funny.

    Pass the popcorn.

  13. "A group within Scottish Labour orchestrated Lamont's demise"

    More accurate to say they acted with the blessing of London Labour since Curran and chums are little Ed sycophants and it was little Ed who orchestrated the attacks on Lamont since the Labour conference.

    "Do you think Ed Miliband is doing well or badly as leader of the Labour party?
    12% Well
    82% Badly

    21% Well
    73% Badly

    Ed's maybe done it and overtaken Nick in the unpopularity stakes!"

    Hilariously toxic aren't they?


    Speaking of Clegg's amusing ostrich faction, it appears the potty old bigot Smithson has been lying about the SNP and the local elections again. He also thinks Smurph getting hit by an egg somehow makes him more than a match for Sturgeon.


    No surprise westminster bubble imbeciles like that didn't actually follow the campaign apart from Mail headlines or they would know that Murphy's 'contribution' was laughable. I expect they'll finally realise why Smurph can't stand round about the same time someone points out what PB/Stormfront Lite's "Golden Rule" was for the last election without it getting deleted by the cowardly mods.


  14. "Labour leadership elections still use the college ststem, not one member one vote. This is going to be very,very, funny.

    Pass the popcorn."

    Yep. You hit the nail on the head there.

    Imagine how many out of touch westmisnter bubble idiots don't have a clue about that. Or indeed the fact that Smurph has quite a bit of amusing form involving unions and shady dealings in somewhere called Falkirk. Nothing major though. After all, Smurph only got demoted along with Tom Watson quitting over it. I don't think scottish labour or the unions have forgotten all about that somehow. Not to mention how Lamont was elected in the first place.

    The penny will drop eventually for the westminster twits. Or not. ;-)

  15. Lest we forget it was the disgusting Joe-Lamb who used Alex Salmond's childlessness against him as a campaign tactic.

    And she was one of the labour vermin who made it policy that men are never and can never be victims of domestic violence.

    Scum she is, was and always will be.
    Quisling scum at that. Rot in Hell!

  16. I wouldnt say scum. That iimplies she has a modicum of brain cells!

    No, a more appropriate epithet would be " just a common Glesca wifie, whi unfortunately has absolutely no redeeming features either in looks, intellect nor personality.

    In other words, just perfect for selection as "leader" by london, as one who will react in robotic response to whenever the morris dancers pull the strings......

  17. Let's see...

    37 Labour MSPs in not the best position for 2016.

    41 MPs many of which may be looking for a new job in May 2015, just in time to stand in 2016.

    Johann may just be the first to be stabbed.

    Bloodbath possible in a party where stabbing your brother (Milibands), sister (Alexanders) or best mate (rumour is Curran was stabbing Lamont at Ed's request) to advance is par for the course.