Thursday, January 14, 2021

It 'as to be Anas

In one sense, Richard Leonard's departure as Scottish Labour leader is an unalloyed Bad Thing, because it proves once again that he's been leading a branch office rather than an autonomous Scottish party.  It really ought to have been possible for a Corbynite to lead Scottish Labour while a centrist was in charge in London, but instead we see internal devolution being exposed as a fiction again as the change of direction at UK level is replicated by compulsion in Scotland.

What isn't yet so clear, though, is whether this is a Bad Thing for the independence movement and for the SNP, because there's not much doubt that Anas Sarwar, who was Leonard's centrist opponent last time around, has the makings of an even worse leader.  I suspect the 'moderates' have learned their lesson and that they'll put up Jackie Baillie instead, but if by any chance Sarwar stands again we should back him all the way.  

If Baillie wins, Scottish Labour will have a confident and articulate leader for the first time in many years, and I suspect she would perform well in the TV election debates.  But I also suspect she may learn the hard way that people have simply stopped listening to Labour, and that the person at the top doesn't make a huge amount of difference.


  1. As you say, the leader doesn't really matter, it's that 'Scottish' labour has nothing to offer.

    Devolution in the EU was their baby and now the English Tory nationalists are destroying it with English nationalist Labour having no interest in maxing it.

    Scottish Labour back the EU while English nationalist Labour now support right-wing brexit.

    Once English Labour supported brexit, they became nationalist and no longer British. It's the nail in the coffin for Scottish Labour. The only future they can have is a Labour party in an independent Scotland.

  2. I see from twitter that Labour have had 13 Leaders or Acting Leaders at Holyrood. Quite a churn.

  3. It doesn't matter if its Sarwar, Baillie or Mahatma Gandhi. Scottish Labour talk. They don't listen. Rinse and repeat. Baillie grates like nails on a chalk board. She is boorish and domineering and she will wind a lot of people up the wrong way. At the end of the day she is simply another Canute esque Unionist trying to bore us into submission. They have nothing

  4. You won’t be surprised to know that I hope this spells the start of a new leadership that promises a FFA referendum for Scotland and and achieve 30% of the vote on that promise, as a Nat vs unionist compromise.

    1. FFA is not a "Nat v unionist compromise". By definition it's unionism.

    2. FFA isn't a Holyrood matter; it's a UK reserved matter so only relevant in UK elections. Independence is a Scottish only matter, so for Holyrood.

      Scots understand this.

    3. Independence isn’t a Holyrood matter either but there should be the choice in my opinion, with or without Westminster consent.

      Yes it’s technically unionism but it’s extremely loose unionism.

    4. Erm, Scottish people choosing to end the union is a purely Scottish matter, so one for Holyrood, proportionally representing Scots and their wishes for the governance of Scotland. This was acknowledged by the rUK in the Edinburgh Agreement 2012.

      Devolution is unionist and therefore a pan-UK matter. FFA is not up to e.g. Scottish or even UK Labour, but needs the agreement of all union partners. It's just not fair otherwise.

      As for the general situation...

      The historic kingdom of Scotland has been part of the UK union for about 26% of Scotland's existence.

      The UK was part of the EU for about 14% of UK existence.

      Very little difference in the scheme of things. If the uk has been historically an 'independent costal state', then no doubt that applies also to Scotland.

      It's surprising how little people understand how fleeting the UK is in Scottish history so far.

      Anyway, in both cases, self determination unquestionably applies.

      The UK could freely self determine its own path just as Scotland can.

      As discussed previously, the right to self determination first requires that a people be historically recognized as that. 1k+ years as a kingdom is a straightforward tick-box on this in the UN courts and will likely get your team e.g. accepted into international sports competitions without question.

      Scotland should be e.g. able to play in the Euro finals as a European country on this basis, even if in union with other states.

    5. Aside from your first point, which I think is technically wrong (but morally right) - it is legally a UK matter - I agree with you.

      I stand by my idea that FFA should be put to Scots too, though.

      By the way. I’m a bit troubled by the reports that the Holyrood election may well be delayed. Over 5 years is a long time to elect a new parliament l.

    6. If UK/British law existed, then maybe. But legally it's a Scottish law matter as it only applies to Scotland. There is nothing in Scots law which prevents Scots having a vote to become independent.

      I don't see the election being delayed and if it is, not by long. Wave 3 has already peaked with mass vaccination underway.

    7. I know these next two points are going to be provocative. Point 1 is the more serious one though.

      1) I thought the constitution was a reserved matter for the uk government? If I’m wrong or right, the Scottish government should (and does?) have the legal right to hold any referendum it wants anytime.

      2) isn’t it great that a UK made vaccine is benefitting Scotland? :-)

    8. 1) There isn't any UK constitution, and hence the Scotland Act doesn't mention one. The Scotland Act does specify that 'matters of the union' (e.g. devolution, monarchy, UK elections, EU membership, trade deals etc) are, rightly, reserved as these affect all the nations of the UK.

      However, it doesn't mention independence, which isn't a matter for the other nations of the union / does not affect them, their laws / territories directly, ergo not a union matter. It's why it's called 'self determination' in UN covenants. The S30 was just to try and limit the scope for people wasting time in the Scottish courts trying say Scotland's indy was a matter for e.g. English people. The referendum could have been held without out and would have been just as legit. Certainly, the Scottish government asking Scots a simple question could never arguably be a union matter.

      Note that the UK also is on record as supporting UDI as a legitimate means for indy, having argued strongly for that in its case to the UN over Kosovo departing serbia. The specifically argued that Serbia's permission wasn't needed, and that it was not a union matter, but one for Kosovars alone.

      2) LOL. That vaccine as made by an international team that we can safely concluded opposes brexit from a uni that we can assume the same, in conjunction with a half Swedish pharma company (again we can assume brexit opposing) paid for by Scots taxpayers. The leading Scientist on the team is Irish. You guys should be thanking Ireland and Sweden. I can be proud of my Irish passport because of this. Long live Europe :-)

      Sadly, brexit Britain couldn't be more anti this type of joint enterprise.

  5. I have never seen Bailie as being articulate. Bill Bailey is more articulate but I doubt he would stand for Scottish Labour, having said that he is English so....

  6. To be honest, I am a Scottish politics geek, but while I can picture leopard and even whatshisname the lib dem leader, I cannot picture Ballie.

  7. If it's Anus Sarwar it will set up an interesting contest in Glasgow Southside .Wonder if that has ever happened before two party leaders contesting the same seat .
    Seat with highest Asian vote in Scotland but Nicola will still romp it

    1. Just great Rocksie - spoken like a true party man - more interested in winning a parliamentary seat in a Parliament to be FM of a government that according to your mate Smearer Skier is not run by Sturgeon but by Whitehall than ACTUAL independence.

      So what is it Rocksie does Sturgeon run the Scotgov or is it what your pal Smearer Skier says it is - Whitehall runs the Scotgov.

      Is Sturgeon just a Whitehall puppet like Smearer Skier says.

    2. Sturgeon runs the SNP which holds a minority of seats in the Holyrood chamber but forms the cabinet with support from the Greens. She can't pass policy without support from her party and at least one other.

      Whitehall runs the Scottish civil service with their top pick Leslie Evans being 'whitehall's woman in Scotland'.

      You don't know much do you IfS. You should read up on the subject.

    3. I know a lot more than you Smearer Skier.

      You are the diddy trying to punt that Sturgeon has no responsibility for what her government does when it has done something unlawful and malicious - only diddies would believe that the FM is only responsible for the things Smearer Skier wants the FM to be responsible for. What a diddy man of an argument.

      The question to Rocksie still stands - Is Sturgeon just a Whitehall puppet like Smearer Skier says. Or is she, as Sturgeon says nearly every day at the Covid briefings, fully responsible for her government's actions.

      Her Government illegally held back documents from The Court of Session Judicial Review.

      It was and still is the duty of the FM to stop her Government acting unlawfully. She knew the process would be found to be unlawful but didn't stop it.

      Her Government illegally held back documents from a High Court criminal trial.

      Smear Skier would have you believe it us all just a wee thing about Sturgeon forgetting about a meeting. It is not.

      At the Criminal trial Geoff Aberdein testified that he met Sturgeon AND ONE OF THE COMPLAINERS at the meeting Sturgeon forgot on 29thMarch 2018. That is why she forgot about it.

      All the head in the sand and wheest off Indy stuff does not make the truth and facts disappear.

    4. Nicola Sturgeon doesn't work for Whitehall / the UK civil service whereas Leslie Evans and 7/9 of the complainers do.

      Nicola Sturgeon isn't Leslie Evans boss, no matter how much you try to mislead people.

      Geoff Aberdein could be a unionist for all I know. Have you some evidence he's a credible witness?

      If so, who cares if he came to see sturgeon to tell her that Salmond was going to come and see her asap about an investigation into his behavior?

      Everyone agrees, Wings included, that she didn't know about the allegations against Salmond until Geoff Aberdein alleged that they existed, and that Salmond would come see her soon. The fact that she didn't know confirms she had nothing to do with them.

      If some sort of UK civil servant who worked at the parliament with the FM of Scotland (current and past) was present it's hardly a shock. It's not like the meeting was in Sturgeon's home. 'Civil servant who worked with former FM and works with current FM in presence of current FM when someone turns up at FMs office' shocker.

      I think the question is how long has Aberdein known? He knew before Sturgeon, so why didn't he or Salmond tell her earlier? Why wait? How long did he keep this news to himself before telling Sturgeon?

      Again, if you have evidence that Sturgeon is a criminal and you are not giving to the police, you are a criminal and you are persecuting Salmond.

    5. Given the complainers were people who regularly worked with the FM of Scotland Mr Salmond and so would then work with the new FM Mrs Sturgeon, I imagine both FMs spent a lot of time in the company of these people on a professional basis, meeting them countless times in their Holyrood / Bute house offices.

      And of course, as we all know, Sturgeon didn't know about the allegations against Salmond until Aberdein alleged they existed, so can't have known that the civil servant she was working with when he arrived would turn out to be a complainer.

    6. Of course if these civil servants had been sexually harassed by a minister, former or current, they would report this to their employers in the first instance, which would be the UK civil service / Leslie Evans and not ministers as doing the latter would be a breach of procedure.

      The UK civil service provides civil services to currently elected Scottish government ministers / chamber. They are not employees of ministers though, obviously.

      Likewise, it would not be appropriate for Evans to tell Sturgeon about the complaints as these are a matter for the civil service and its staff which didn't directly concern Sturgeon.

      This is why Sturgeon didn't know about the allegations until told by Geoff Aberdein who learned from Salmond who learned from the UK civil service.

    7. What a pile of nonsense by Smearer Skier. Lots of words designed to obfuscate. Just like Evans at the Committee meeting this week just punt out lots of words to confuse people.

      Aberdein also testified at the trial he was asked by Liz Lloyd Sturgeons Chief of Staff to a meeting in early March 2018 where Lloyd told him about the allegations. He also testified that Lloyd asked him to attend the meeting with Sturgeon at end of march to discuss the allegations - the meeting Sturgeon "forgot" and laughingly called "a fleeting and opportunistic meeting."

      Also from the criminal case there is also the complainant contacting McCann the SNP office bearer( who reports to Peter Murrell ) well before the complaint was raised with the Scotgov telling McCann about her (made up )complaint and McCann saying we will hold on to that info and use it in the future if necessary.

      So all you really have is that Aberdein lied at a criminal case in the High court. Who is feeding you this stuff Smearer Skier? Just waiting for someone to say it was a muddle not a fiddle like Henry McLeish when he got the boot.

      Smearer Skier not content with smearing Salmond now smears Geoff Aberdein. Shameful.

    8. So a current civil servant (and former party employee) asks her predecessor to attend a meeting to discuss allegations made against the latter's boss - the former FM - during his time in office / when the latter was Chief of Staff. They then meet again to finally inform the FM of the allegations as she does not know about them / has never been involved in their formulation. They tell her that Salmond will see her privately about the allegations with regard to party business as she will, rightly, have no part in the civil service investigation.

      If what you say is true, I'm struggling to understand what's interesting here?

      And I don't understand the gibberish about this McCann person. Do you have evidence for this? Can we be sure the complaint was made up or was it maybe just not criminal? And what's it got to do with Murrell or Sturgeon? Do they own/control this McCann person or is McCann an independently functioning human?

      "So all you really have is that Aberdein lied at a criminal case in the High court."

      I didn't say that, you did. Are you claiming he lied, if so, why do you keep using his testimony? What about the accusers, are you saying they were telling the truth or that they lied en masse in a criminal court? What about Sturgeon, you are claiming she committed perjury, i.e. lied to a criminal court yes? It's you going around calling everyone criminals.

      These are serious allegations and if you have evidence of them, you are a criminal for not going to the police and you are persecuting Salmond by withholding key evidence.

    9. Maybe if you could provide the full story from start to finish with links to all the evidence you might sound credible?

      All you seem to do is accuse pro-indy figures of serious criminal activity based on flimsy, contradicting supposition while attempting to protect the British civil / secret service.

      I mean arguing that Sturgeon 'set Salmond up to put him in prison' while simultaneously arguing she first heard about the allegations against him from his former CoS in late march 2018 is utterly comical.

      Did she set him up in her sleep? Masterminded the whole thing while she was in some sort of trance like state of which she had no memory?

    10. Smearer Skier - never said what you posted. So is it:

      1. Your problem reading properly flaring up again.

      2. Your proven ability to lie with no sense of shame.

      3. Or you think deliberately misrepresenting what someone says is a valid approach.

      Only 1. above gives you an out from being branded a despicable character.

      1. I am not and never have attempted to protect the British civil /secret service.

      2. I have never said Sturgeon first heard about the allegations from Aberdein in late March.

      3. Someone will write a book about this some day - it won't be me - but I doubt you will be able to read it properly.

      As ever you post a lot of nonsense to deflect.

    11. Skier says - "What about Sturgeon, you are claiming she committed perjury i.e. Lied at a criminal court, yes?"

      Another shameless lie from Skier. Never said that - Sturgeon never attended the criminal trial so how could she have lied about it.

      Smearer Skier if you are employed by a place of learning like a college/university you bring shame on it with your lying. I have my doubts based on the lies you post.

  8. All these Labour Leaders have signed the Ragmans Roll. Jim "the egg man "Murphy used to be a near neighbour of mine in Clarkston. He was and is a British prat. I can't ever see any of them doing anything but look out for themselves first and the party second. He just loved getting dropped off by his official limousine driver after being collected from Glasgow airport when he was Sec of State against Scotland. For some strange reason he never liked to hear that slip of the tongue.

    Pity that some SNP are turning out to be no better. Voted for Humza at one point - didn't think he would turn out to be a Justice Secretary that would preside over malicious prosecutions and thought crime bills.

  9. I don't actually care who is the leader of the Quizzer Lab Party in Scotland. It makes no difference as they will be taking their orders from London like all previous quizzers.

  10. The Britnat Rees-Mogg insults every Scottish fisherman who is experiencing great difficulties by saying in the H of Commons -

    "the government is tackling this issue and is dealing with it as quickly as possible and the key is we have got our fish back -

    British fish and they are better and happier fish for it."

    You can stuff your British brainwashing.

  11. "If Baillie wins, Scottish Labour will have a confident and articulate leader for the first time in many years, and I suspect she would perform well in the TV election debates."

    Stop sides are hurging....😃😃😃