Labour Hame editor Duncan Hothersall says one job of Scottish Labour leader is to unite the membership, and that task has been made harder by some vocal participants in this debate.

 

Ballot papers for the Scottish Labour leadership election will begin to arrive today, after a lengthy debate among party members. Despite what I believe were the good intentions of both candidates, the debate has too often descended into rancour, and too much of it has been played out in anonymous briefings given to newspapers whose interests do not lie in Labour’s success.

I have been reminded more than once during this campaign of the unpleasantness and personal animosity which bloomed during the independence referendum in 2014. Differences of opinion, deeply held, too often were allowed to develop into personal attacks. Untruths were told and angrily promoted. What should have been a civil debate was conducted as if it were a fight to the death.

As with the independence referendum, the problems in this debate have largely stemmed from enthusiastic supporters given free rein, not from official communications from the campaigns. As with the independence referendum, there seems to be a strong push now to claim that both sides have behaved as badly as each other. As with the independence referendum, that is simply not true.

Some of the loudest voices on the Corbynite left of the party see this election not as a choice of who can best unite and lead a broad-based coalition to electoral success, but how Scottish Labour can be captured for the left alone, and how moderate voices can be drowned out. For them this is not about Richard Leonard, a decent man who they underestimate if they consider him usable as a puppet. They have seized on this vote as an opportunity to exclude those who disagree, and to cement control over the party machine for their factional interest.

Worse, they have been prepared to lie with impunity in order to achieve this aim. The Campaign for Socialism (CfS), which merged its membership with Jon Lansman’s Momentum last year, has adopted the misleading claims used against Labour by the SNP in 2015 and 2016 to try to pretend Anas Sarwar voted for cuts to benefits – cuts he actually vocally opposed. Those who worked hard to counter our opposition’s lies in 2015 and 2016 will, not unreasonably, be angry to see them being exhumed by influential voices within our movement.

And the tone, as well as the content, of these attacks has been very troubling. From anonymous briefings to social media postings this hard core left faction has taken a scorched earth approach which can only be damaging to Labour’s long-term prospects whoever is chosen as our new leader. It’s hard to escape the conclusion that our electoral prospects are not high on their agenda. Their prize is control of the party and the imposition of ideological purity. The ability to actually change people’s lives for the better comes a clear second.

I would have liked to have seen Richard condemn these factional campaigners for their approach on his behalf. That he has chosen not to do so is troubling. He is a better man than his supporters make him seem, and I wish he had found a way to demonstrate this.

Nor should the Scottish Executive Committee, the governing body of the party, escape criticism for how this campaign has turned out. The decision to once again set a freeze date after the resignation of the previous leader and offer brand new members and affiliates a vote has predictably put local party volunteers under enormous pressure to vet new members, and created the opportunity for unscrupulous opponents of Labour to influence who leads our party. It should not have happened this time, and it must never happen again.

Some folk say leadership elections should focus on policy in order to both set the direction for the party and show the wider electorate our breadth of thinking. Despite there having been some good policy proposals made during this campaign, I take a different view. The role of the leader is to unite the membership, embody the party to the electorate, and put our message across effectively and coherently. The election of a leader should focus on those abilities. Policy is the domain of the Scottish Policy Forum and annual conference.

And the critical job of uniting the membership has been made much, much harder by the way CfS and the factional left have conducted themselves during the course of this leadership campaign. Both Anas Sarwar and Richard Leonard are capable of rising to the challenge of rebuilding unity, and whoever wins will have my support in their efforts to do so. But Richard will be greatly hampered in such an effort if he continues to be surrounded by the people who have worked hard so far to promote factionalism instead.

For me only one candidate has convincingly reached out across internal divisions and promoted a unifying ethos for Scottish Labour during this campaign. That he has continued to do so under intense provocation to do otherwise is a testament, in my view, to his strength of character. Whoever wins this democratic contest will have my support to try to heal the divisions it has laid bare; but Anas Sarwar has my vote.

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35 thoughts on “A job made harder than it needed to be

  1. Each leadership contest seems to leave Labour in Scotland more battered and bruised each time. Here’s hoping that whomever wins this one has your whole party behind them. I think true moderates will happily have either candidates as leader but there will be folk on either side of the party that will be certain that the winner will be disastrous. You always fought for Kez even when clearly she wasn’t suited or perhaps ready for the job. I hope you show the same loyalty if Richard wins rather than what we saw with Corbyn.

    The Labour membership has dwindled in Scotland, the official numbers don’t ever seem to be released but the calculations by WoS seem to suggest they have. I hope whomever wins can unify the different factions – when people from your own party describes it as “a nest a vipers” there’s clearly work to be done.

    I live in hope that Labour could one day take a neutral stance on Independence, who knows maybe you could even win back some support from the SNP. There were some independance voters that voted for Corbyn at the last election (Kat Boyd probably being the most vocal) so it is possible

  2. The ongoing turmoil that is continuing to break Labour in Scotland further apart has nothing to do with left/right divisions, Corbynites v moderates, Sarwar v Leonard (OK, the two candidates happen to be Sarwar and Leonard but there is no real difference between them. Any differences are perceptions constructed by others, created positions, to fit a narative.
    The split in Scottish Labour continues its propagation daily. The growth in the size of the fault is in direct proprtion to the time that has elapsed since our referendum campaign. (That corelation is important).
    It is a truth universally acknowledged, that Labour’s fate in Scotland was sealed the day it entered its unholy alliance with the Conservatives in Better Together. Obviously no one in Labour that supported that alliance (including Duncan and Labour Hame) will accept this theory because that would require them to own up to their part in The Downfall of The Branch Office.
    The ‘what if’s’ are limitless. What if wiser heads had been listened to back in 2011? Duncan, myself and many others through Labour Hame have argued this for years now. What if Labour had accepted way back, before BT, that a fair number of their supporters were Yes supporters and were going to vote Yes? What if Scottish Labour had acknowledged their right as Labour members to vote Yes? Where would Scottish Labour be now?
    This is of course all far too academic and as a consequence, a bit pointless. What does it matter if a political party destroys itself? It doesnt matter to the vast majority. Others will fill the space. None the less, I cant let Duncan get away with what the anoraks call revisionism, the rewriting of the history.
    This contest between Sarwar and Leonard has nothing to do, as Duncan claims, with ideology. (Its worth stopping for a minute and reflecting on just how pompous that idea is). The contest, Labour’s fourth Scottish leaders contest since the referendum, is not about ‘direction’, it is about one thing only, it is about Labour’s incredible selfless yet illogical defence of The Union in our independence referendum. It is about Labour putting the country (UK) before The Party, it is about being able when necessary to put old animosities in the past and in so doing, allow an alliance with the once upon a time enemy in Better Together.
    This proposition, I think can be even further developed. Why would Labour join with and stand along side The Tories? What could be more important than the class struggle? Answer – The Union. (that answer is too simple and requires to be expanded upon).
    Why is The Union of the UK so important to The Labour Party? That is the 64k question. The EU union doesnt seem that important. Why is the UK so important to Scottish Labour? My answer – I dont think it is that important. I think it has been made important by Scottish Labour to detract from an unspeakable yet undeniable fact;
    Labour in Scotland have for the last 50 years been driven by one thing and only one thing; hatred of the SNP. It has nothing to do with visions or ideologies, (Infact Labour and the SNP have always been quite close in their outlook to domestic and foreign policies). The truth is Scottish politics since the 1970’s has been no more than the site of a turf war between Labour and the nationalisis. It has been a grubby power struggle to run Scottish politics and our institutions. It is not about nuclear weapons or north sea oil, it is not about what is good for or bad for the country, instead throughout Scotland, at all levels of governemnt, and in all our public bodies, Scotland has been and still is, a battlefield between the old order and the new.
    In the Scottish chapter of the story of the UK, Labour decided to unfurl its colours and pin them to the same pole as The Conservative Party. When the chips were down, when the union was at stake The Labour Party in Scotland and The Conservatve Party are on the same side.
    It is my belief that this animosity toward the SNP is significent for two reasons, first it has been unnecssary and has been detrimental to Scotland and two, it has not only clouded Labour’s vision, it has blinded them, to any vision. Labour in Scotland 50 years ago ran the place, Labour has thrown that all away, they have now nothing left to offer. Leonard/ Sarwar it does not matter, the task is impossible.

    1. I am astonished – astonished! – that for you, a perennial independence obsessive who chooses to spend his spare time commenting on a site dedicated to a party he does not support constantly pushing independence independence independence, the “real issue” here should turn out to be… independence!

      Seriously, it’s astonishing.

      1. And yet isn’t it Labour’s present constitutional position that of …….*INDEPENDENCE* from the EU?,…….and, won’t the newly elected “leader” of Scottish Labour support whatever position is taken by Labour down south, no matter WHAT Scots vote?
        And, isn’t that constitutional stance a BIG part of Scottish Labour’s present decline? Your actual leader, doesn’t even support the existance of a Scottish legal system.
        Your UK no longer seems like a multi national entity, but seems more like an Anglo-British nationalist strait-jacket with no room for “others” , or the history/culture of “others”.

        I’m old enough to recall Scottish Labour imploring the SNP to fight on cultural issues regarding Scotland—-“Labour will stand with you” it was proclaimed. That Labour party seems like ancient history.

      2. I am astonished – astonished! – that for you, a perennial Blairite obsessive who chooses to spend his spare time commenting on a site dedicated to a party he does not support constantly pushing Blairism Blairism Blairism the “real issue” here should turn out to be… I support a Blairite.

        Seriously, it’s astonishing.

      3. You might be astonished – but Richard is right.
        I’m astonished that you cannot or will not understand.
        I will not be voting Labour again until Scotland is independent.

  3. “Nor should the Scottish Executive Committee, the governing body of the party, escape criticism for how this campaign has turned out. The decision to once again set a freeze date after the resignation of the previous leader and offer brand new members and affiliates a vote has predictably put local party volunteers under enormous pressure to vet new members, and created the opportunity for unscrupulous opponents of Labour to influence who leads our party. It should not have happened this time, and it must never happen again.”

    Spot on, this election has been a total farce.

  4. No one doubts the basic decency of the two candidates. What is in doubt is their leadership credentials—-the ability to unite and guide a fractious and ideologically split Party—-to reach out and enthuse an indifferent public with CREDIBLE policies.
    After a decade of poor to dreadful leaders, Scottish Labour NEEDS a big hitter. Neither of these two fits that bill. Nor are there any reserves of talented, articulate young MSPs coming through. It seems the decline may not have hit bottom yet, for all the small recent increase in votes.

  5. Guys I have just voted for Richard Leonard . I will support whoever wins Duncan and Richard are both right in a way .
    I did not ask for this leadership election I did not ask for the 2 attempts to unseat Corbyn .
    Nobody asked me for my opinion .But I do have an opinion on everything from who shot JFK it was Lee Harvey Oswald with the killing bullet being accidently fired by a secret service agent who had a rifle which he accidently fired from the car behind.
    Kezia I never met her she always had my full support she was my party leader .
    I was staggered when she stood down . I felt very sorry for her and if she reads this you have my best wishes and good luck .
    I know that being seen to cooperate with the tories in the 2014 ref cost Labour dear in my own street neighbours told me they would never vote Labour again. When I read the papers I see instead of settling down to try and get on with the job of getting the party into national power
    I see so called senior figures throwing mud at each other and I include during the general election campaign
    Duncan I have to say I didn’t like any of the stuff that was thrown by both sides . Concerning race or background .Its my party to that’s being destroyed and if we don’t get our act together it will be.
    As for 14 we have to put that behind us . Make no mistake the Nats have done some very deep thinking about how to win a future Indy ref Sept 2018 is beginning to get mentioned.
    Also they are now in my opinion now very much concentrating on the day job.
    Labour have to get this election out of the way . No recriminations unite and do our own day job .
    Can I recommend you look at North Ayrshire where our Council Leader and his team are very much doing the day job .
    Our council leader campaigned on a manifesto at the local election which included some of the pledges the FM put in her programme for Scotland. Joe Cullinane and his team are now putting that manifesto into practice.
    I went to the public session of Ayrshire and Arran health board annual review at Cross house hospital last Friday thought I would be the only one there apart from the Health Secretary
    Wrong it was packed with health professionals and members of the public . I was there because I have never been to anything like this before .
    We were told there is a shortage of GPS Key Hospital staff and dentists right across the health board area . Staff members stood up and said all depts. in the hospital are suffering from staff shortages including radiology .The management acknowledged they are having great difficulty in recruiting staff. One staff member said he is from Spain has worked in the hospital for 18 months does not know what happens to him after brexit ,
    A cancer patient told the meeting that he lives in Dalmellington but has to come to Cross house hospital near Kilmarnock for his chemotherapy rather than Ayr . He cant use the centre in Ayr because the NHS don’t have the staff to man it .Well guys there is our Labour party day job right there. For our next leader
    The board senior management told the meeting they have had to make 25 million in savings this year . I call it cuts . Well guys there is our Labour party day job right there for our next leader
    Then we have revealed on the BBC a plan revealed to drastically alter our Fire service it will probably include more part time firefighters and station closures
    Well guys there is our Labour party day job right there for our next leader.
    In 2014 I had a fall at home could not get up . I used my mobile to phone 999 . An ambulance arrived within 5 mins of the call . The police had to force the door .
    I spent the next 3 weeks in a High Dependancy ward in Cross house hospital the initial problem was eumonia .
    Tests revealed an advanced lung condition.
    Since then I have also been a patient in Gartnavel and Queen Elizabeth hospitals. I am on oxygen treatment a minimum of 15 hrs a day
    Full face mask at night in bed .
    I do get out and about with a portable oxygen kit
    I have first class backup from my surgery Respiratory nurses at Cross house I still attend Gartnavel every 6 months for my respiratory checkup . I am at my GP regularly for oxygen and bp checks
    The NHS is there for me .
    It was a Greek Locum and her team who saved my life on my first full day in Cross house That night at midnight my brother got a phone call
    to say David might not make it through the night.
    When I left the hospital at outpatients I had an Asian Consultant My surgery has Asian and Chinese GPS both of whom have treated me
    And if you think I asked where do you come from you are daft.
    The NHS needs all the Staff and support it can get.
    I think brexit is a disaster and on Indy 2 my vote is a don’t know
    But Comrades no arguing no recriminations unite and do what the party is doing in North Ayrshire the DAY JOB

    1. David, you are in a party which believes in “British jobs for British workers”. Which believes in separatism from the biggest tariff free market on the globe—because of the four freedoms. Why would any non-UK person stay working in the UK with the xenophobia of the two biggest political parties?

  6. “As with the independence referendum, there seems to be a strong push now to claim that both sides have behaved as badly as each other. As with the independence referendum, that is simply not true.”

    You are absolutely correct on that –

    As the latest 13 Frigates/then 8 Frigates/ then 5 Frigates/Now maybes aye, maybes naw Frigates/NO “Frigate Factory on the Clyde” AND the completely independent/unbiased recent Report by Amnesty International showing THE MOST ABUSED SCOTTISH PARTY online is the SNP and its followers clearly AND the “Only way to REMAIN IN EU is to vote No* lie demonstrate, it is the UNIONIST side who should hang their Better Together heads in shame and NOT the Pro-Independence side.

    You were/are one of the most vitriolic mouthpiece for that Unionist Drivel and one of the chief cheerleaders demonising the Yes Campaign/Support – while you turned a completely blind eye to the massive, biased, one-sided MSM Anti-Indy onslaught and the violence perpetrated by your side – the ONLY convictions for actual violence were against Union Supporters.

    You also do not seem to give a toss about the impending massive detrimental effect of Brexit to Scotland itself (up to £30 BILLION hit), so utterly wedded are you to this political union which, at present, is completely and utterly ignoring the wishes of (latest poll) 66% of us Scots.

    As long as Labour folk like you would rather continue to see a Tory Govt in WM have ultimate control up here, rather than Scotland forge its own path as an Independent Country – it will matter not one jot who gets elected to run your Branch Office up here.

    Labour’s ONLY chance of gaining power in Scotland, is in the Parliament of an Independent State – not a moment before.

    Waken up.

    1. I don’t seem to give a toss about Brexit? Really? Have you read, I dunno, anything I’ve written since last June?

      1. At two in the morning, you’ve taken part of David’s sentence out of context: he’s saying, quite correctly I think, that your blind loyalty to your beloved Union is more important than any concerns you have about the impact of Brexit.
        Get more sleep.

        1. Quite incorrectly, in fact. How extraordinary that you would assert a greater knowledge of my views than I have myself.

          1. We all know your views cause you’re constantly telling us what they are. They never deviate.

  7. Duncan,
    You misread me. I am disappointed. I gave up on Scottish independence immediately after 18.09.2014. I no longer give a toss.
    But it doesnt stop me from observing and making comment. And the reason I pass comment on your article is purely ulturistic. I hate to see you in such confusion. I will not pass on the other side.
    My point again, if you care to respond – Labour in Scotland are done for, terminal. The damage is all self inflicted. The roots of the self destruction can be traced, back to the 70s and the rise of a new political force on the Scottish scene. Labour’s first response to this new opponent was disbelief mixed with slight annoyance, the status quo worked in Scotland. And although in perpetual opposition in the 80 &90s Labour in Scotland did well – by doing nothing. Reactions changed when the pretend parliament failed to satisfy. The new millenium and a new emotion – fear, quickly followed by hatred.
    That is my point Duncan, for 50 years Labour have not lead they have followed. The rise in the SNP and Labour’s reaction to it defines Labour in Scotland. Fear and loathing are destructive emotions.
    Labour in Scotland is now its own biggest enemy, think about that, its a strong part of the evidence I draw on, its not the Tories, not the SNP, its that lot, the enemy within, you know who Im talking about Duncan. The real and present danger of catastrophic failure comes from within.

  8. I found the second paragraph in this article described Duncan to a tee. But with all of Duncan’s articles you have to find the “kicker” the twist, the bendy truth part, and I believe that would be :

    ‘to try to pretend Anas Sarwar voted for cuts to benefits – (here’s the bendy part) cuts he actually vocally opposed’.

    The use of the word ‘vocally’ means ?????

  9. I had to try and explain today what the hell is going on in this leadership election .
    The unite leader 2 days in the National and both sides going at it in the Times.
    I joined the party in 1983 when the Labour party used to campaign on issues like unemployment NHS etc .
    Now so called senior spokesmen seem to be more interested in slagging of people in public . They don’t seem to have any idea on how to win elections .Somebody tell me why during the last UK internal leadership election the 2 candidates had to have a live tv debate .
    What good did that do .
    Somebody tell me why did the 2 candidates in this shambles of a Scottish internal only Labour party leadership election .Have to go head to head on Scotland Tonight .
    Did somebody think that was smart did anybody even think .
    I have always been loyal never questioned anything in public .
    Today I got laughed at in public by 2 people who vote labour. Its not the first time but it will be the last.
    In this campaign we have seen accusations of entryism racialism peoples candidates family background being questioned .
    Today I got told momentum are whatever you think of them doing a great job taking over the party.
    That was because ch4 John Crick gave a report from outside a momentum branch meeting .
    How the hell do I explain that .
    I got asked today do I still believe in the Labour Party yes I do .
    But I am telling you after today and after reading this blog last night . I have serious reservations about whether the Scottish Labour Party can remain together as a cohesive unit. In my opinion we are not fit and are no where near ready to take power at Holyrood
    We are not even ready or fit to be an opposition .
    We have proved it in the way we have conducted this campaign.
    I never ever thought I would be reduced to this .I spent over an hour today just talking to those long term Labour voters who I met by chance today ..I have never ever strayed from the party in public .
    I am and always have been proud to be a member of the Labour Party . I will continue to be so In North Ayrshire we are proving what the party can do our manifesto is being enacted .
    To the people running this election I say get a grip When this election is over you will be relying on ordinary members like me You will want us to persuade voters to elect you .Well unless I see a massive improvement and I want to see you doing the day job.
    I probably will but then again I just might not bother.
    The day job for me is not only holding the government to account in Holyrood .
    The dayjob for me is campaigning and explaining for example what you will do about the chemotherapy service in Ayrshire being under severe strain . The 25million in cuts Ayrshire and Arran health board has had to make .
    The serious problems they are having in recruiting staff
    Then there is the report the BBC broke about proposed changes to how the Fire Service is operating
    I am still a member I am pleading with my party leaders to sort this out
    You could also like I and others have to do get on a bus and enjoy the endless roadworks

    1. David,
      Your appeal to Scottish Labour leaders to ‘sort it out’ are a waste of your time and effort. They are about to elect as their next leader a factory owner. His company does not recognise trade unions or pay the minimum wage. Their man talks of his belief in the NHS and of a quality state education sysytem but in practice his family go private. That is, in your face, no shame, indefensible hypcrisy.
      For a political party to allow a candidate with such a cv to go forward for election is incomprehsible. To support such a candidate. is beyond stupid. If the choice of Scottish Labour’s next leader was left to Ruth Davidson and Nicola Sturgeon they would crown Anas Sarwar unopposed. You really need to stand back and reappraise this David. Anas Sarwar is a vote loser as an MSP. If he is elected as Scottish leader as I expect he will be he will make Jim Murphy’s leadership look inspirational.

  10. Rewriting history sgain, Duncan. The independence referendum was widely acknowledged as being well conducted snd fair; passionate at times and intense, but remarkably free from violence, if you don’t count somebody wasting an egg on Murphy. Even people like John Kerry could see that. Only Bitter Together seemed to see things differently. This from the Guardiah, not a noted supporter of Self governance for Scotland, 17/2/14
    “Brian Docherty, the chairman of the federation, said in the statement: “The referendum debate has been robust but overwhelmingly good-natured.

    “It was inevitable that the closer we came to 18 September passions would increase but that does not justify the exaggerated rhetoric that is being deployed with increased frequency. Any neutral observer could be led to believe Scotland is on the verge of societal disintegration, yet nothing could be further from the truth.”

    He added: “Scotland’s citizens are overwhelmingly law-abiding and tolerant and it is preposterous to imply that by placing a cross in a box our citizens will suddenly abandon the personal virtues and values held dear to them all”
    The interesting question is what is the reason that you are trying your revisionist tricks. What are you afraid of?

    1. Classic. Your quote is from the Guardian quoting someone else! You are a ridiculous person. What are you doing spending so much time on a Labour site? Who do you hope to persuade?

      1. Of course it is! Why would a journalist quote himself?
        You would do better to engsge with the substance of the post.

        1. Thanks for your valued contribution Heidi – I don’t think Scottish Labour are in any position to ridicule anyone. Labour Hame: “a place for open debate”.

    2. The Scottish indyref,if you even look at what’s happening in Catalonia right now,was conducted in a reasonable and civil manner for the most part.
      Both sides had their share of loony supporters,mostly vocal on twitter,some downright vile but nobody was worse or better,juvenile stuff to claim otherwise that one lot has the claim on a perceived moral high ground.
      Even now I get saddened when I see supposedly intelligent people communicating with vile twitter trolls like Wings or that Brian Spanner character but in the main,most people are pretty reasonable.
      Tiny minority on both sides of the constitutional debate make a lot of noise online but it’s nothing representative of the majority.
      The riot in George square where unionist bigots went on the rampage attacking people and giving nazi salutes etc was about the only time we came close to losing any sense of decency and I still don’t believe it was condemned enough by better together figures but like I already said,it’s not indicative of how most people conduct themselves.

  11. How come whenever Blairites are on the losing side (or side that’s going to lose) they blame ‘factionalism’ rather than face up to the truth that people are sick of their superficial,Tory lite brand of politics?
    It illustrates perfectly the current struggle for Scottish Labours soul that their chosen candidate is a guy whose grown rich on the back of low paid,non union workers and eschews for his own children the state education system that we should be improving rather than abandoning because he can afford it.
    They’d rather have their cosy game of politics,rubbing shoulders with tories on twitter etc and horrified at the legions of working class who’ve bought into Jeremy Corbyns labour vision and claiming the party of the workforce back.
    Remember this is a faction themselves who publicly tried to oust a leader with a huge democratic mandate,costing time and money on a pathetic coup when the real job of labour at the time should’ve been capitalising on a weak and wounded Tory party in the wake of the Euro ref.
    You’ll never meet a more selfish and hypocritical bunch and I can’t wait to enjoy their bleating about factions and new members when Richard Leonard is elected.

  12. After I wrote last nights comment what happens Jackie Baillie on STV news going after unite . unite leader attacking her .I repeat somebody explain this

  13. Here is something else a staunch nationalist phoned my local radio station phone in today.
    He stopped voting because when the SNP won all of Scotlands Westminster seats bar 1 .They should have declared independence there and then.
    He thinks our FM has no intention of holding a ref. Catalonia he thinks Scottish Government like Plaid Cymru in Wales should have Welcomed their independence .
    And he claimed Alec Salmond produced an Independence white paper in 2014 that was deliberately designed to scupper the Indy Ref
    The other callers confined our conspiracy theories to JFK haha

    1. David, If its conspiracy and fantasy your after just read a labour manifesto, their full of magic money trees and flying pigs.
      Or read one of Duncan’s articles, you’ll be spinning for hours.
      LOL.

      1. Thanks for your reply Davy .Magic Money Trees just wait for the Budgets at Holyrood and Westminster
        It wont be a magic money tree it will be a magic money forest and it wont be a Labour one haha

  14. George Square I voted and campaigned for remain . When George Square happened the next day . I was texting with a chap I used to work with who although not political also voted remain. He and his wife were in Buchanan Street bus station waiting for the bus home.
    They were very frightened by what was happening.
    They told me the fighting was also around and in the bus station and it looked as if the loyalist mob was highly organized.
    Darren you are right I don’t think this incident was properly investigated .
    Can I also make it clear I voted for Richard Leonard .
    And I will say it again Labour in Scotland we need to concentrate on the day job
    Attending to Scotlands ills and prove we can run the country. We don’t do it by fighting each other

    1. Never mind all of the above an even worse disaster befell me today.
      Went to the dentist for 2 fillings 4 injections later with the local community radio station Irvine Beat FM on in the background I mention them because the station is run by volunteers.
      My dentist and her assistant got to work.
      So there I was mouth open and what those 2 call pain free.
      With an air hose and a scalpel thing down my throat and with the glasses they gave me to protect me from spray not covering my eyes but on my forehead.
      Now they were happily scraping away and totally ignoring my feeble attempts to indicate pain .
      When as well as ruining my mouth and still ignoring my attempts to attract attention .My 2 heroes started to talk about a horror film the dentist saw on Wednesday night. Which she then described to her star struck assistant in gory detail .
      With me on the other end of something that was making a loud noise.
      So there I was getting dental treatment from those 2 thinking they are talking about a horror film and have forgotten I am here
      I take part in the Irvine Beat FM phone in every Sunday and I started to think if I survive this I have my next story .
      I started to laugh well folks that finally got their attention . My 2 amigos saw me laughing and joined in.
      So we were all laughing the dentist asked me why we were laughing So I told her I had got my idea for my next phone in
      This caused a bit of a stooshie .
      As my 2 amigos had assumed I was laughing at her description of a horror film which involved a mass murderer
      And no I did not mention I am on oxygen at home a trade union member or a Labour Party Member
      If I had I would probably be starring in the Rocky Horror Picture Show tonight.
      I have been well warned I am not to give away the end of the film and when I do speak no mention of Laughing Gas which I will obey as I was reminded I have to see them again on Nov 13
      Now my sad story has not ended there. Me my 4 jags and all the other medication went home.
      By this time feeling very pleased with the world
      I thought I better phone my respiratory nurse what do I do about my oxygen mask tonight
      I had to leave word on her answering machine
      So I phoned Gartnavel Hospital my respiratory Consultants Secretary 7 mins later she phoned back for tonight stay off the rest of my meds .
      No overnight full oxygen mask nose nasal thongs only for 1 night .
      And a wee talk with my respiratory nurse in the morning and my JP
      The talk with the doctor will be good as I got a viral infection which took her 7 weeks to clear up and she caught the infection
      She phoned me to thank me for the chocolates I left.
      But this conversation will be good
      Friday will be over by lunchtime I will let you all know what happens

  15. You will all be glad to know I survived the night and was able to tell my surgery Cross house respiratory nurse and my Respiratory Consultant at Gartnavel Hospital when they phoned

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