As the UK Labour leadership election intensifies, Alastair Osborne looks back on political figures he has admired but who have turned out to be deeply flawed, and considers what attributes we should be seeking in those vying to lead our party.

Of all the public figures I have admired over the years, a disturbing number have turned out to have feet of clay. In some cases the fault was entirely mine due to poor judgement or shiny eyed idealism. Some are just examples of human frailty in even the greatest of men, for it is mostly men. A few were probably always phoneys.

Of course the election of both Donald Trump and Boris Johnson has shown that the human frailty label in itself is no barrier to securing public support.

The term ‘feet of clay’ is from Daniel’s interpretation of King Nebuchadnezzar’s dream in the Old Testament, and has come to mean flaws in the character or behaviour of an otherwise admired person. As we face a Labour leadership election, we are bound to turn our thoughts to what really makes a good leader and how the candidates shape up.

In the 1960s, the public leaders I idealised were Jack Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr. I well remember Kennedy’s iconic declaration, ‘Ich bin ein Berliner’ and Dr King’s ‘I have a dream’ speech. It was many years before the media exposed their serial sexual promiscuity and infidelities. Kennedy is reported to have told PM Harold Macmillan, ‘If I go more than three days without getting laid I get a headache’.

Optimism was sky high when Robert Mugabe was elected as the first leader of an independent Zimbabwe in 1980. We celebrated the triumph of an articulate intelligent African freedom fighter comprehensively defeating Britain’s favoured puppet candidate, Bishop Abel Muzorewa. Mugabe let us all down badly, turning against his erstwhile comrades, crushing dissidents, massacring opposition supporters and taking his country to the very edge of bankruptcy while he obsessed over internal politics and his succession plans.

On the domestic scene, Tony Benn inspired me to join the Labour Party. I followed him round all his conference fringe meetings like a groupie. His mantra was ‘We shall do it ourselves’ and ‘Policies not personalities’. With hindsight I now see how he was at the very heart of the bitter internal battle for the soul of the Labour Party that left it broken and unelectable for nearly two decades.

My heart was pounding as I stood on Glasgow Green at the May Day Rally in 1989. The motorcade drew up and out strode Daniel Ortega, darling of the left and President of Nicaragua. We were ecstatic that he had seen off the threat to his country from the US and the US-backed Contras. Good times surely lay ahead for Nicaraguans. He has stayed in power off and on ever since, turning from tackling poverty and promoting economic development to crushing opposition and championing the socially conservative agenda of the Catholic Church, including the persecution of LGBT people and a total ban on abortion.

When Labour won the 1997 general election with a record majority I was absolutely overjoyed, and I was so proud of all that Tony Blair’s government went on to achieve in office. Is all that to count for nothing because Blair made a disastrous mistake in taking us to war in Iraq?

It takes a very charismatic figure to command a standing ovation before he even opens his mouth. In 2006 that was what happened when former President, Bill Clinton addressed the Labour Party Conference in Blackpool. I was one of those on their feet. He went on to deliver a masterclass in public speaking from the moment he began with the words, ‘Bill Clinton, Arkansas CLP’. He was a great statesman; a progressive, modernising politician who put his party in power and then saw his legacy damaged by his abuse of power with an intern called Monica Lewinsky. Yet he left office with the highest approval ratings of any modern day president.

Most recently Labour has been led by someone adored by his followers who inspired them with his vision of a socialist society. However, Jeremy Corbyn was always going to be a dreadful public leader who could never become Prime Minister.

So who will follow him? There is no shortage of material being written about all the candidates. We are being told who the continuity candidate is; who gives Jeremy 10 out of 10; who represents real change; who speaks truth to power; who offers the brave not the easy choice; who is the choice of the Labour right; who thinks another future is possible.

But perhaps this is the time to expand the conversation to reflect on what does and doesn’t matter when choosing a public leader. Do we have unrealistic expectations of our leaders or should we expect much more of them? How do we find leaders who have the confidence of the public to tackle the crises we face? On what should we base our choice when picking a leader – their charisma, oratory, personal integrity, trust, intellect, class, values, wisdom, toughness, efficiency, ethnicity, age, gender?

Would it be rude to ask to see their feet?

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49 thoughts on “Feet of clay

  1. Labour’s problem is not in finding a leader but in finding a Principle to uphold. Nobody knows what you stand for anymore. You’re not the once party of the working man and women nor the party of progressive social ideals. You’re the party trying to pretend you’re everybodies ideal. You’re chasing voters from all over the political spectrum and trying to be a one size fits all UK party when there is no one size fits all across the UK on anything. England keeps the Tories in power because the Tories have managed to appeal to their sense of English Nationalism coupled with their sense of self entitlement. Get away from the idea of a “British” culture because there is no such thing and embrace the fact that the UK has finally discovered the fact that it is 4 Countries 4 native cultures pulling in different directions with different needs and wants. The little Rule Britannia experiment is over and there is no getting it back.

  2. It has to be a woman. If Labour elect another middle aged man it will confirm what the British electorate (50% woman) have all suspected for a long time; Labour is at heart a deeply rooted misogynistic endeavour.
    All the nonsense in the past about equality and all woman short lists; it always seemed a bit weird but now it is looking like a sick joke.
    There are five candidates left, 4 woman and one man. If Starmer wins he will cursed from the start.
    But Im going to make a prediction. Starmer will win. .

    .

  3. I recall watching a politics program many years ago. Brian Wilson was asked if he preferred Scotland to be ruled by Maggie Thatcher, or to run its own affairs. He nodded his agreement to Thatcher rule. That was a “clay feet” moment for me, and I switched to supporting Scottish self-government right there. How a supposed socialist could support a person deliberately destroying entire communities for reasons of economic theory, because of his British nationalism, is beyond parody.
    Mr Wilson was in a fairly small band of “London Rule OK” centrists at that time( including Tam Dalziel, a man of far more quality than Wilson), but the present rump of Scottish Labour appear, like lemmings, to be heading for the cliffs of Anglo-British nationalism.

    How Scottish Labour think they will fare inhabiting the exact same political space as the ultra-nationalist/populist Boris Johnson, is one for the history books. It will be a very small paragraph.

    Right wing pundits like Alan Cochrane, who once talked up Scottish Labour as allies, are piling onto the party seeking to destroy them and subvert their supporters to the Tory side in the “Final Battle”!
    Though it’s hard to see many normal people falling for a blustering used-car salesman’s patter.

    1. I had the grave misfortune to have Dalziel as an MP for a fair number of years. He was hopeless. One of the most overpraised Scottish politicians of the post WW2 period.

  4. Richard we have to pick who is best for the job someone who can connect with people get under Borisses skin who is up to it

    1. David, Im afraid to say your attitude to this leadership contest exemplifies precisely, why Labour is in this unique, self made, existential mess, You exhibit a total disconnection with what the public think.
      “we have to pick who is best for the job………….”. No you dont. That would be a plus but it is not the priority consideration here. The first question Labour should ask itself is ‘what do the voters expect?’
      That has been Labour’s problem for too long. Labour, especially in Scotland has had an attitude where they dismiss what the public think because ‘we know best’.
      Put yourself in the shoes of a woman voter David (maybe you do on occasion, and there is nothing wrong with that), how are 50% of the population going to see this? 4 woman, 1 man. And the man wins it? If that happens Labour is will be pilloried.

      1. Thank you for your comment Richard
        I know public perception is king it had a big part in our defeat minds were made up on Jeremy
        But we still need to pick someone who can do the job .
        And look and behave like an alternative Government

  5. Hello Alistair
    Its the ones with heads of clay I worry about, and I am afraid the party is full of them these days. I worry when people talk about blocking the democratic route to independence. I know some will say we had a referendum in 2014 but blocking the democratic route to anything is a dangerous road to go down. To say metaphorically you can have democracy up to shoulder height but not to head height is a limit on democracy. Once you start setting limits for one reason there is nothing to stop you or someone else doing similar for other reasons. I am surprised by Jack Mc Connell for apparently backing Lisa Nandy’s comments. Never mind the slur on nationalists its the idea of an international commission that is a concern. Who gives these people the right? The ‘rules’ governing self-determination are well defined and need no international commission. The only people who have the right to decide on their political future is the population of voters.

    1. I must confess I find this argument terribly self-serving.

      The powers of the Scottish Parliament have been the constant focus of our politics for a long time. Every new Scotland Act brings new focus on them. It is well known that as a devolved legislature it holds a huge range of powers that enable the government of Scotland within the UK, and that a small number of powers – including those which exercise sovereignty such as the declaration of war or independence – are reserved to the UK Parliament by the explicit democratic consent of the Scottish people.

      In 2014, again by consent, the powers to conduct a binding referendum on the question of independence were devolved on a one-off basis, and the people made their choice.

      What you are arguing is that the devolution of those reserved powers should always be available whenever the devolved executive demands it; in other words that they should be devolved. But that in itself contradicts our democratically agreed devolution settlement. And it also makes a mockery of the decision the Scottish people made in 2014. There is, in my view, a stronger argument to say that your demand is undemocratic than to say the UK government’s upholding of the devolution settlement is undemocratic.

      Successive UK governments have operated in good faith on this issue. The powers granted in 2012 left the Scottish Government to choose the timing, the question and the electorate for its “one opportunity” referendum. All sides agreed to honour the outcome. Instead the pro-independence side began working to undermine it within days of the result, and have never stopped.

      The core argument that things have changed since 2014 – the Brexit vote – does not work unless there is commensurate evidence that this change actually affected levels of support for independence. There is no such evidence. Indeed opinion polls tells us support for independence, having remained quite high from September 2014 through 2015, dropped markedly after EU referendum result in 2016, and continued to drop in 2017. It has increased a little since, but remains well below 2014 levels.

      It may well be that this “undemocratic” argument prevails and a second referendum is held. But to me it is much less clear cut than you set out here. There is a strong democratic argument for holding the Scottish Government to the decision of its people for the next ten to twenty years at least. We shall see.

      1. Hello Duncan – thanks for the response. The points you put forward are both interesting and illuminating and I thank you for that.

        I accept your criticism that I say “…reserved powers should always be available whenever the devolved executive demands it…that they should be devolved (but that) contradicts our democratically agreed devolution settlement…” I agree. You are right. I disagree though that my “demand is undemocratic” – democracy, politics is a living entity. It is not a static disourse. All of our politics is built around the idea of changing society. Yes, we accept lawfully the status quo but never accept that we cannot argue for difference and in turn try to influence change.

        With regard to the referendum you say “All sides agreed to honour the outcome. Instead the pro-independence side began working to undermine it within days of the result, and have never stopped.” Well, to be pedantic, two sides agreed to the outcome but I would argue that both have honoured the outcome. This is something that unionists do not seem to understand. We are not independent, we work within the areas defined for the devolved administration – so what’s the problem? There’s been no UDI, things are ticking along just as they did beforehand. Why is it undemocratic to argue for what you believe in?

        With regard to once in a lifetime stuff. When I buy a car (cheap second hand) I ask questions about it: “What happens of the gearbox goes within three months?”
        “Just bring it back and we’ll fix it up for you, no problem.”
        So the gearbox goes within a fortnight and I take it back. The salesman says: “What do you want me to do about it?”
        “But you said…”
        “Well, its not in the contract you signed”
        Nowhere in the referendum contract does it say once in a lifetime or anything of the sort. Even if it did, would it be fair for Alec Salmond and David Cameron to tie Patrick Harvey’s hands? This was an arrangment between a First Minister and a Prime Minister not the whole world politic.

        When you mention the levels of support for independence it has actually stayed fairly static. It has never fallen markedly and even with the levels staying static John Curtice points out that this is die to a strange dynamic in the 15% of Yes voters changed to No as they did not want to be part of the EU whilst 15% of No voters changed to Yes as they didn’t wan to leave the EU – the EU/Leave churn as he called it. So the 45% supporting independence now is not the same 45% voting then. Interestingly, with the last few polls putting Yes on an average of just over 48% – and with Brexit still to happen there could be a possible knock on effect of movement from one camp to the other. How that works for No or Yes remains to be seen after people actually experience Brexit and its outcome.

        On a personal note. I do have friends who voted No to stay in the EU (Belgian and Latvian) – they now support independence for Scotland – so to deny that there was a material change in circumstances is wrong.

        IMPORTANTLY the reason I was concerned about the limit or cap on democracy in my previous post was for two reasons: one the precedent that others can misuse in the future and second that it leaves only other routes open. With almost half the electorate supporting independence I assume that they are not all of the nice people of our land. There will be a representative sample of all types of people including hot-heads and violent types. The big argument that could be levelled against the IRA and their acts of violence was that the ballot box was an available route – take that away and people find others.

        On a more philosophical level one of the things I find interesting is the notion of consent and how the ‘consent of the Scottish people’ is defined but that is for a different argument, and being honest though, I sometimes find the whole construct of ‘representative democracy’ difficult, say how it fits with a first past the post voting system or referenda for example. The UK political system is certainly unique – but desirable?

      2. For a guy who likes to quote the word ” democratic ” quite a lot, here’s a little democracy for you:

        Scottish Westminster seats to date :-

        SNP 47
        Tory 6
        L/dem 4
        Independent 1
        Labour 1

        You and Labour can keep banging your head against the wall, Scotland isn’t listening.

        At least according to your last poll your membership has more sense regarding a Scottish Indy ref2. They recognise the right of Scotland to choose it’s own path.

        1. First past the post, eh? Handy when it suits. The SNP’s 47 out of 59 seats were won with 45% of the vote. Perfectly reasonable victories in each according to the terms of the election in which they were won; but not the overwhelming mandate you guys like to paint it as. 45% again, eh? Who’da thunk it.

          1. First past the post is Labours preferred system. Yet even with a minority Tory government in turmoil for years (and expelling some absolute party stalwarts) Labour could not lay a glove on them—and did markedly worse in Scotland( with Leonard in charge).
            Boris has a mandate to “get Brexit done” with 43% of the electorate, yet Brit Nats like to dismiss ANY mandate given to the SNP with 45% support..
            There is apparently a sizable minority of Labour voters who support independence—they are counted among the 55% of Scots who voted Tory, Labour and Lib Dem—all of whom vote in an election on different issues (of importance to them) of the day.
            I am certain Whitehall is still conducting private polling in Scotland. I am equally certain if the polls were in favour of what is laughingly called, “the Union”, then Boris would have called a referendum—yesterday.

          2. Well if Scotland was first past the post in the Scottish Msp elections , labour would only have 3 seats. The list system suits labour eh , otherwise labour would be in fourth place instead of third.

            And after the pig’s ear of a mess labour made of Brexit, and the total disregard of how Scotland voted to remain. How many scottish labour voters and other unionist party members will now vote for independence to regain their place in Europe.

          3. Nice way to avoid the point. 45% is not a mandate on a binary issue. It will win elections til the cows come home but these are two different concepts.

          4. But elections are, by nature, not binary issues.
            But, and it is a real but, mandates are historically given to the party with the most seats. Governments have made drastic constitutional/policy changes with minority electoral support, but a majority of seats.

            It seems only the SNP “mandate” is governed by different rules.

            Scottish Labour are cowering behind Boris Johnson’s fake bonhomie, an odd place for socialists to be. Polling has shown a large minority of Scottish Labour actually are supportive toward independence.
            We shall see where that leaves Labour when Boris’s Teflon coating wears thin—as it inevitably will, as both he and Labour made improbable commitments in the GE.

          5. But surely the justification for another Section 30 order has to be more than just winning minority government in the devolved parliament? The constitution is *not* devolved. This is *beyond* the powers of the Scottish Parliament. Hence a greater justification is needed.

      3. “It is well known that as a devolved legislature it holds a huge range of powers that enable the government of Scotland within the UK, and that a small number of powers” – That is utter rubbish, the Falkland Islands have more powers than Scotland, and the so called Vow (Devo Max) was never delivered, it was watered down so much by the Brit Nat parties as to be effectively useless.

          1. The SNP has won elections to both the Scottish and Westminster parliaments with manifesto commitments to a plebiscite of the Scottish electorate (which, unlike the EU referendum, would include 16&17 year old and EU citizens resident in Scotland)–and by quite a distance.
            A “greater justification” you say. What would that be?

            N Ireland has the constitutional right to a border poll every seven years, if the criteria are met. The “right” to self-determination of the people of Ireland was part of the Downing Street Declaration.
            This is now part of the constitutional architecture of the UK, and might be used in any Supreme Court hearing into indyref2. Scottish Labour signed up to the Claim of Right—why are you reneging on it now, and would you agree Scots should have the same constitutional rights as Irish people in the UK?

            The “Vow” was a planted story in a Unionist newspaper, of which no political party has ever claimed responsibility. The Smith Commission was a trap the SNP were daft enough to fall into.
            I would go with the commitments made by Brown and Darling on numerous TV programs. Federalism. Devo Max. Home Rule.
            Brown is all over the media in the last few days. Oddly no one in that media remind him of his previous promises.

          2. What a litany of nonsense.

            The SNP has never won a UK election. 47 out of 650 seats is a loss.

            The Good Friday Agreement was part of a settlement to end The Troubles; trying to suggest it applies in any way to Scotland is both offensive and ludicrous.

            The Vow has been delivered in full.

            Neither Brown nor Darling made the “commitments” you claim. Talking about something, even endorsing it, is not a “commitment”.

          3. So Gordon Brown offering Devo-Max or Federalism has been met has it?

            Honestly, you Brit Nat types have a real selective memory.

            If the Falkland Islands having as much power as they do, and Scotland was promised the same, where is it?

            And a link to your own twitter feed isn’t evidence, it is just your opinion.

          4. Gordon didn’t “offer” or “promise” devo max or federalism. He said if income tax powers were devolved – which they were – we would have the closest thing possible to federalism in his opinion. This has been distorted since, but that’s what he said. You should stop misrepresenting him.

            When was “Scotland promised” the status of an overseas territory? Please cite your evidence. I don’t think it happened.

            That thread explains in detail how each element of The Vow has been met. You don’t want to acknowledge it because it doesn’t suit your argument.

          5. Nonsense? Yes you do spout it Dunc.
            Every media outlet had the SNP “winning the election in Scotland”. In fact if we go by your logic no Scottish party could promulgate a manifesto in any UK election because they obviously could not guarantee its fulfilment.
            Including so-called “Scottish” Labour.
            No, I don’t imply the Good Friday Agreement is directly applicable to Scotland, but…..in a country with no written constitution, then every legally binding Treaty affecting the rights of part of the UK population has implications for the rights of the rest of that population. And these rights (guaranteed in international law), are now part of the architecture of the UK constitution.
            That is why the Supreme Court exists—to bind us as one under a commonly applied law, and English law is based on precedent—and the precedent is the Downing Street Declaration and Good Friday Agreement.

            The Vow, presumably the Smith Commission, did not fill its brief—Labour fought tooth and nail to prevent the very things it stated it was previously in favour of, whether welfare or fiscal powers.
            Jack McConnell described Smith as a shambles and asked Cameron to lead a new constitutional convention. This was echoed by Malcolm Rifkind.
            Iain McWhirter stated that the lack of a basket of fiscal powers would “lock Scotland into economic decline”. You want proof? David Mundell trumpeted that Smith’s taxation powers were a “fiscal trap”.
            A Holyrood committee declared that Smith did not meet his brief: polling showed Scots were dissatisfied by Smith.
            Then the election followed—- 56 out of 59 MPs returned for the SNP.

            You must be proud!

            Oh, and by the way, Brown and Darling made specific commitments—they weren’t “just talking”, during the most important decision Scotland has had to make..

          6. “Half truths and falsehoods”—No, they are not.
            Take them one at a time and refute them, why don’t you?

            Proof of the pudding?—- 56 out of 59 MP’s for the SNP—THAT was the verdict of the electorate in a country with a media antipathetic to their arguments.

          7. Everything up to the final para is a series of half-truths. The final para is a falsehood.

          8. You appear unable to refute a single thing I have said, Duncan, yet you like to dismiss facts as “half truths”.

            You state my final paragraph is “a falsehood”. We all know what we saw and heard in that final, panicky week for the Brit Nats.
            Brown getting airtime EVERY night to ramble on about Federalism, Home Rule—a parliament which could not have its powers diluted, or issues (he claimed the Poll Tax) imposed against its will. We know Westminster can impose anything on us it wants—that no parliament can bind a later parliament, so……..were his words weasel words? Lies?

            Alistair Darling agreed directly with Jackie Bird that “we are talking about Devo Max, here”. Fabrication? You bet! He was lying through his teeth.

            I am finished with this subject now, as you will not engage in an adult fashion.

          9. Neither Brown nor Darling made “specific commitments” as you claim. I’m glad you’re going to stop, because I am tired of your shit.

  6. Hello Duncan
    I have been a Labour party member since 1983 in the 80s we demonstrated against unemployment and for the NHS miners and devolution I don’t know how many times I heard ordinary people aye but she wont give you it she being Maggie.
    Her destructive policies ruined lives I was one of them for years life with little money because you have no job is not funny.
    And people just accepted it then one night I saw a Labour party broadcast by Michael Foot I remember thinking quit moaning do something about it without telling the family about it I joined .
    They were astounded when they found out .
    Maggie was hated by my generation that much we joke has anyone actually checked she is dead .
    We also said if the SNP had been viable during the miners strike we might have gone for Indy I don’t want todays young people to go through that feeling bitter angry and done .No job no hope
    Under Labour every day I had the same job what a difference it was the Tony Blair Labour government that brought in devolution no mean feat .In 14 I campaigned for no never thought twice about it I just did not want to separate .
    Then Brexit I knew how that would go it never got passed immigration in my area I was on a bus the week before polling day we passed roadworks as usual I heard comments look at that Polish guys over here doing our jobs .That made me think Scotland might vote for Brexit .
    I have heard that 3 times now and on all 3 occasions when I have said something I have been turned on .
    For me Brexit was a game changer .in 14 we promised people vote no stay in Europe that went well.
    I see nothing good in leaving Europe .
    Labour at Holyrood have never been in power we were in a coalition then opposition still are except we are now 3rd .And incapable of gaining power .
    UK level and certainly in Scotland we were losing the voters long before Corbyn .I was only waiting to see if Labour would win at the election .
    In the revue now going on we need to put Indy which I now support on the table .
    The SNP got 48 MPS we got 1 so they have earned the right to a ref for Boris and friends to say no matter the size of an SNP majority in 21 its still no is not on for some one like me who believes in democracy
    Labour at Holyrood and Westminster if you want Government act and look like an effective opposition .
    AUOB we can argue all we like about them but they are getting tens of thousands to turn out in all weathers on a regular basis .
    When was the last time Labour even tried one
    George Kerevan has warned if the democratic route is ignored civil disobedience will begin

    .

  7. “Talking about something, even endorsing it, is not a commitment”

    We will remember that the next time you quote ” once in a generation “.

  8. Davy I am maybe like you fed up with once in a generation and the vow then there is Boris at the last 2 FMQS using the phrase Alec Salmonds Protégé Nicola Sturgeon
    We have enough problems without this

  9. “David”, Scotland simply got shafted after the 2014 referendum, and no amount of spin by Duncan can cover that up. The once in a generation and strongest devolved government nonsense is used to muddy the waters because “better-together” has already used up all the scare storys and theres nothing left.

    So its coming down to a simple fact, its Scotland verses the Torys.

    Labour & libdems scottish members/supporters are soon going to have to chose, either :-

    SCOTLAND or TORY.

    Chose ?

    1. “THESE ARE THE ONLY TWO OPTIONS”, shrieks the absolutist. “ANYTHING ANYONE ELSE SAYS IS A LIE.”

        1. When I voted No in 2014 I chose Scotland. Being part of the UK is in the best interests of Scots. We get rid of bad government by forming UK-wide coalitions of voters to vote them out, not by creating a Scotland-only silo and huffing about how 59 seats can’t alter the result in a 650 seat election.

          And it’s spelled CHOOSE, FFS.

          1. Duncan if the Scottish Labour Party review on the IndyRef2 comes out in favour of having an IndyRef2 could you please let me know what would your position be on that thank you.

          2. You can turn, twist, and spin to your hearts content, it will still come down to either :

            SCOTLAND OR TORY – CHOOSE

          3. No it won’t, you tiresome nationalist.

            But well done on at least spelling it right this time.

  10. Duncan I hope everything’s okay with you it’s just I noticed that some of your recent replies to some posts directed at you have been a wee bit tetchy and unduncanesque. I can understand defending the Union can be demoralising at times but you have to rise above the temptation to lower the tone of debate, l have on the whole found your responses to be fair and reasonable with a touch of satirical sarcasm that is endearing, l am just hoping that your recent dip in your usual cheery self is just but a temporary blip.

    1. Thanks Ted, apart from for “I can understand defending the Union can be demoralising at times” which is snide and beneath you. I get tetchy when people say things that aren’t true on a website that personally costs me money to run every month. I am demoralised not by having to defend the union, but by a political milieu in which distortion and garbage is common currency. Let’s hope we can all find some decency again in time.

    1. Fraid so, David, though it would cost me a lot more without the generous souls who have signed up to a monthly donation via the link at the top of the page.

  11. Watched Gordon Brewer interviewing Ian Blackford asked him repeatedly have the Scottish Government instructed Civil servants to draw up Indy plans
    Answer there are a range of plans and its not for him to comment on the Scottish Government plans .
    For me at PMQS he needs to change tact .
    Boris is now openly goading him before he even gets up .I say to everyone at Westminster or Holyrood no big speech ask the question sit down .Don’t give your opponent time to think.

  12. Monday was holocaust memorial day and what are todays headlines politics and Prince Andrew memorial day should have been front page everywhere and the reason for it .

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