Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Wisdom on Wednesday : What has the anti-independence campaign got in common with the Tories (apart from the obvious)?

"The Tories, every election, must have a bogey man. If you haven't got a programme, a bogey man will do."

Said by Aneurin Bevan, Labour's Minister of Health between 1945 and 1951, and the father of the NHS (albeit an NHS that looked a hell of a lot more like the SNP government's version of it than the monstrosity that is currently developing in England). Incidentally, Bevan also said this -

"No amount of cajolery, and no attempts at ethical or social seduction, can eradicate from my heart a deep burning hatred for the Tory Party. So far as I am concerned they are lower than vermin."

Hmmm. I wonder what he would make of the semi-blissful marriage of mutual self-interest between Labour and Tory in the anti-independence campaign?


  1. Vermin and Unionists and Brit Tories at #U;KOK/BT/VNOBS/No Txs: Kind of go together in a natural collocation.

  2. Astonishing intervention from Judge Saunders directly aimplicating and criticising the incompetent fop Cameron for nearly causing the entire hacking trial to collapse.

    The judge in the phone hacking trial considered halting proceedings earlier today after Andy Coulson's lawyer criticised the Prime Minister's "ill-advised and premature intervention" in the case, it can now be reported.

    It follows the "full and frank apology" David Cameron made yesterday over Mr Coulson's appointment at Number 10.
    -ITV News

    Cammie really is one the most lightweight and comically inept PMs we've ever seen. He's managed to prove conclusively by his own actions that his own judgement is utterly appalling and can never be trusted.

    Little Ed or indeed anyone else don't even need to raise questions about Cammie's judgement when Cammie is so deliberately and so publicly making a complete twat of himself.

    Needless to say had it been anyone other than the pitiful twit Cameron (to so publicly almost cause a complete mistrial by broadcasting his Coulson 'apology' spin across every news channel in the land) then it wouldn't have been just severe criticism from the Judge but the prospect of contempt of court charges that would be being raised right now.

  3. How long will it take before the PB tory twits start foaming at the mouth and attacking Judge Saunders for his unforgivable sin of criticising he incompetent fop Cameron?

    Not long at all I'd guess.


  4. Hi James.

    Slightly unworthy this if you don't mind me saying.

    I kinda understand why you should do the Labour=Tories thing, and agree the SNP are in some ways more true to Labour values.

    But please don't imply that Labour supporters are just Tories, that's not the way to make the case for independence!

  5. Hugh,
    what do you think 'he would make of the semi-blissful marriage of mutual self-interest between Labour and Tory in the anti-independence campaign?'.

    This is an honest question and not meant facetiously.


  6. Braco,

    I'm not going to try to second guess Nye!

    I think Labour and Tory both have self-interest in this. But I also (honestly) think both have (honest) reasons for supporting the Union.

    As, of course, do the SNP and those supporting independence, and fuck me does it annoy me when I read politics sites like Political Betting and see people going on about "Braveheart" and "Cybernats", oh you clueless c*nts... but anyway...

    I'd just like to see a "cleaner" fight I suppose, it's such a big issue.

    (for disclosure, I'm still undecided, edging No, and a Labour leaner, in case you hadn't guessed!)

  7. Hugh,
    maybe I am being one eyed here but it seems to me the flavour of 'fight' we are now all getting heartily sick of was and is being driven by the establishment and it's broadcast and print media. Most of what's on the internet or twitter is simply responding. It's the NO campaigns main strength, (seeming) control of the agenda.

    Hence month after month of financial issues in one way or another and of course 'foreigners!'. Never a discussion on the type of country we want to live in, or competing visions and aspirations for Scotland's future.

    We have had the Sottish government announce an interim draft written constitution and seeking submissions for the creation of a final constitution.

    What was the response? From the Unionist parties? From the BBC? From the press?

    Can I ask you, honestly who do you believe to be most responsible for the current 'quality' of the debate and who do you think is in prime position to improve it?

    You say you are leaning toward NO. Does it not worry you that the campaign arguing for your favoured outcome seems intent on avoiding at all cost the kind of 'cleaner' fight both you and I want to see?

    Why is the Scottish Prime minister unwilling to publicly defend in debate his vision of Scotland's future to the electorate of Scotland?

    Why is NOthanks avoiding putting up spokespeople to publicly organised YES/NO debates?

    Why do NOthanks attempt to have YES campaign tables removed or banned from Galla days and public events, on the grounds that they themselves are unwilling to organise an equivalent table?

    How can the debate become 'cleaner' when one side seems intent on not engaging in debate at all?

    Sorry Hugh, I don't mean to come across as hectoring. It's just that I don't often get to talk with reasonable voices from the NO side and would really like to know or understand your view on these things.

    If you have any questions on my views of aspects of the YES campaign I would be happy to try and answer. (doubt you would but the offers there, for what it's worth ;-)


  8. Hugh : I have to say I'm struggling to see anything at all in the post that could be reasonably construed as an attack on Labour supporters, as opposed to the party itself.

  9. Braco,

    I actually agree with a lot of what you say about No. To me practicalities are less important than the philosophical question: namely should Scotland be an independent Country!

    So even if as No claim Scotland would be worse off financially (I know, but let's go with it for the sake of argument) it would be a price worth paying if you genuinely believe in independence.

    Either way, I must be one of the few people who will be reasonably happy whichever way the vote goes.

    James: fair enough, I may have misconstrued. Those of us who hold (proper!) Labour values dear get over touchy when people invoke greats like Nye!

    But if Labour genuinely believe in the Union what are they to do but end up on the same side of the argument as the hated Tories?


  10. Thanks for the reply Hugh.

    The thing is that Labour are not just on the same side as the Tories in favouring the Union, they are forwarding the exact same reasons for why the Union is the only way forward for Scotland.

    How on earth can this be the case if their decision on the matter is based on 'Labour' principles?

    I actually think this is the significance of James's Bevin quote. Where is Labour's value driven support for their Union?

    All I hear is spurious calls for 'suffering in solidarity' in order to protect the parties electoral position at Westminster. The rest is simple sloganising that could be coming from the lips of Cameron or Osborne just as easily as from Milliband or Balls.

    In fact I had to laugh the other day when Cameron happily utilised John Smith's political legacy for his Unionist argument. I suppose every time he goes on about 'our' NHS (another shared Unionist party falsehood by the way) he is in fact also using Nye's legacy for his own Tory purposes.

    Are you not 'a bit touchy' about that? Pretty sure Nye would at least have felt a pang of discomfort at the hypocrisy of the current BetterNO campaign. Where Labour leaders push financial reasons for NO and a Tory Prime Minister quotes Socialist heroes and the advances made by Labour sixty odd years ago as part of his vote NO spiel!

    If as you say you would be relatively happy which ever way the result went, would you not find yourself drift toward the side that is at least trying to forward a hopeful vision of a future Society for Scotland? At least trying to form a wide based grassroots political movement?

    If so, all that would be left for you would be to then decide which campaign's pitch and behaviour best personifies that idealistic ambition.

    You sound like a fairly high minded idealistic chap Hugh, I know you must be uncomfortable with BetterNO's cynical, down and dirty 'scare the bjesus out of them' campaign strategy? Will this really have no bearing on how you vote come Sept 18th?


  11. "But if Labour genuinely believe in the Union what are they to do but end up on the same side of the argument as the hated Tories?"

    Pretty simple : campaign separately. They've successfully managed not to campaign alongside UKIP and the BNP, even though both of those parties are anti-independence, so I don't see why it would have been so hard to keep away from the Tories as well.

    But then they wanted the Tories' millions, didn't they?

  12. Very good point James. Bevan basically viewed the Tories the way labour now views UKIP and the other racist light (and full fat parties).

    They ARE deemed beyond the ideological pale, but I find it revealing that the modern New Labour Party's first instinct was to openly make ideological common ground with the Tories just as soon as the UK's institutional structures were threatened, rather than view the Indy arguments principally through the prism of progressive politics and what would be the best hope of achieving those goals.

    I did notice though, that here in Scotland through Gordon Brown's still born organisation, the real discomfort with this ideological reality within the ranks of Scottish Labour was still significant enough to require addressing (no matter how feebly).

    Labour for Indy is the authentic voice of that 'unease' though and I say 'more power to their elbow!'