ronnie mcgowanRonnie McGowan reflects on the upcoming Unite for Europe march in London, the strength of unity in the face of terror, and the knowledge that there is always hope.

 

Five days before parliament gives the green light on Article 50, I’ll be travelling to take part in the Unite for Europe march in London. Now, I’m not a Remoaner – perish the thought – but the train journey to Euston will allow time to reflect on the ending of a political era which has been present throughout my adult life.

The trigger will be squeezed by a reluctant Prime Minister only too aware that lights will be dimming around Europe – the deed will be done but Theresa May is no Lady Macbeth. The ghost of a lazy, complacent David Cameron will haunt her thoughts in perpetuity. The United Kingdom is about to be a diminished force with reduced influence in the corridors of power.

Even when I was in short trousers the benefits of being a member of the European Coal and Steel Community seemed obvious. Europe was emerging from two catastrophic wars, but thankfully there were those who had a vision of peace, co-operation and cordiality that would set Europe on the road to a lasting stability through neighbourly trading agreements. Friendship between previously warring countries is no bad thing.

Now we are turning our backs on that – in the pursuit of what? Things are about to be very different, but they won’t be better, not by a long stretch. Deals will be made, some good and some not so good. But as Harold Wilson observed, being part of a wider economic market meant more than the price of a pound of butter.

The United Kingdom took a while to come around to joining the Common Market and when, in 1974, the former Honourable Member for Belper, George Brown, addressed a Glasgow meeting promoting the cause I had already been won round to the idea, many years before. Our great allies across the pond had encouraged our membership. “No ifs, no buts.”

During this period of the Heath and then Wilson governments, and while a student, I had retained my Amalgamated Union of Engineering Workers membership and it was always puzzling why its leadership under Hugh Scanlon was vociferously Eurosceptic, always complaining about joining a capitalist club as if there was some Utopian alternative hiding behind a far off iron curtain. That’s how I see the current leader of the Labour Party, whose cool stance on Europe is firmly rooted in the 1970’s, a leader who was posted missing all too often during the referendum campaign, much to my deep disappointment. Though I was hardly surprised; my bar was already set at a low level of expectation. Tellingly, I found from a sojourn to the Copeland by-election that voters in the market town of Egremont also expressed the view of a leader out of touch, and these were previously staunch Labour supporters.

The ideas and social democratic philosophy coming out of Europe always struck me as more mature and appealing, especially during the Thatcher years. In 1984 Helmut Schmidt found himself talking to a tiny audience one Friday evening in a lecture theatre at Strathclyde University. He was on dazzling form with an economic and political discourse which caught the mood of a new Europe becoming more at ease with itself. The future was bright and optimistic during a time of turmoil in our own domestic politics. Our European partners had their own internal more violent tensions. But the dream of a harmonious Europe had become a reality.

Why we are turning our backs on the progress made since World War II is a mystery. Had Margaret Thatcher been Prime Minister during last year’s vote we would undoubtedly still be in the European Union, which is just one of life’s odd little ironies.

The terror attack in London has once more thrown into sharp focus the need for countries to come together and work even harder to defeat this wave of violence. Exiting the European Union loosens the essential bonds which help us to tackle this. We are a better continent when we pull together. We are a better race when we work and share together. We were in a better place when we were in the European Union.

So as I settle into the first-class carriage I’ll be deep in thought, tinged with regret and poignancy but still excited about heading to a march in the greatest city in the world. We may have suffered a loss but there is still all to play for.

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59 thoughts on “London unites for Europe

  1. And if the Labour Party hadn’t lead the UK into illegal wars?

    You say this Ronnie- “Tellingly, I found from a sojourn to the Copeland by-election that voters in the market town of Egremont also expressed the view of a leader out of touch, and these were previously staunch Labour supporters.!

    It’s incredible to me that anyone writing in LabourHame believe’s that ‘previously staunch Labour voters’ are turning away from your party, because of JC.

    I agree that he is not even close to being leadership material, and his compromising on all the so called ‘socialist ideals’ that he previously held (and the reason so many people joined Labour and voted for his leadership bid) has been nothing short of pathetic.
    his fumbling and weak performances at PMQ’s has also been a good enough reason for anyone who is in Labour to be concerned, but to claim he is the reason people are turning away from Labour is …..THE REASON PEOPLE ARE TURNING AWAY FROM LABOUR!

    Listen Ronnie, do you remember when Jim Murphy became leader of Labour in Scotland, and all us Nats were leaping with joy, saying that Labour had made a huge mistake?

    Do you remember the Labour soundbite that we were saying this because we were ‘running scared of Jim’?

    It seemed that everyone in Labour quickly fell into this ‘group-think’ and not one of you wondered (publicly) if perhaps the army of nats who chapped doors etc maybe had a better understanding of what people felt ‘on the street’?

    Well, what happened? We were right Ronnie and Slab were wrong.

    So ignore this at your peril Ronnie, but Jeremy Corbyn is not Labour problem, he’s not even part of Labours problem.

    The dishonesty, the smearing t,he poor quality candidates who are unable to connect with people, this is the problem with Labour and it will be the death of Slab.

    Here’s a slogan for Slab MSP’s, Activists, Councilors and MP’s.. it’s crap as far as punchy slogans go, but the message is true:

    If YOU don’t connect…THEY won’t elect!

    1. When I talked to voters in Egremont not one gave “Labour aren’t left wing enough” as a reason for not voting Labour. But you are correct, the Labour party hasn’t yet found a set of policies which resonate.

  2. Patrick

    That was well written and well articulated but believe me it fell on deaf ears or more accurately blind eyes. The people you’re posting to know full well what the problem is but they don’t care because they would rather the party went under than return back to its socialist roots.
    If it cant be Red Tory they don’t want it to exist at all.
    If they cant fool enough instinctive left wing Labour voters to vote Labour to allow it to pursue a Tory agenda they would sooner end the Labour party completely and just shift over to the Orange or Blue Tories.

    Wont be too long now before the likes of Duncan and Scott Arthur end up trying to find a place in the Conservative of Lib Dem parties. I suspect Andy will end up with UKIP.

    1. The “Red Tory” label is so 2014/15. Back then, the SNP bandwagon was focused on fighting inequality and was led by Nicola Sturgeon, who many styled as a Scottish Che Guevara. Since then the SNP have continued to dominate the centre ground of Scottish politics – far to the right of Scottish Labour. Scottish Labour continue to propose policies to cut inequality, whilst the SNP preside over unused powers, falling educational attainment & rising child poverty. Indeed, Labour opposed the SNP’s implementation of Tory tax policy in Scotland.

      You need a new record Mike.

      1. The “Red Tory” is still now, and you can still have a small yell about your pretendy policys, but simply, no-one trusts labour, no-one believes labour. And if you want to actually oppose something Tory, try voting against a tory budget down in Westminster instead of supporting them or abstaining.

        its not so much a new record you need Scotty, more like get rid of the labour tinted glasses.

        1. Labour voted against the Tory budget. We also voted against the SNP budget that passed on Tory austerity. The Tories and the SNP voted together to oppose Labour’s amendment.

          Open your eyes, chum.

          1. Duncan and Dr Scott—-you can vote against any and all budgets.
            You can spend money like there is no tomorrow. On education,the NHS, transport, local authority budgets, social security, putting Kezia on the moon—oh, she is already there! Etc.
            But at some point you will have to come clean on what you are going to spend, where the money required to fund it is coming from. How much in EXTRA taxation will be required.
            In other words, you will need to put down, where it can be fact checked, a properly funded spending program, not just a wish list hanging on the branch of a money tree.

          2. Dr Scott—afraid not. Your manifesto is now either a year or two years old.
            Your party has continued to agitate for more spending in a whole variety of areas, still with only a 1% tax increase to pay for it all.
            Perhaps you could list, what EXTRA spending Scottish Labour is committed to, right now as opposed to last year or the year before.
            What it would cost and how you would finance it.
            It shouldnt be difficult to do, though it does seem to be a movable feast.

      2. Eh no Its so 1997 to 2017………….

        Far to the right being

        Opposed to Trident renewal
        Opposed to tuition fees
        Opposed to Tory targeted austerity
        Opposed to privatisation
        Opposed to warmongering
        Opposing welfare cuts
        Opposing benefit cuts
        Opposed to means testing
        Opposed to the House of Lords
        Oppose PFI PPP

        While “Left Socialist” Labour supports it all.

        Labour always propose policies when they are in opposition its getting them to deliver on those policies when they are in power that’s the problem.
        When Labour talk about “Reforming” the House of Lords people don’t expect them to mean increasing its membership.
        When they talk about reforming the NHS people don’t expect them to mean privatise it.
        When Labour talk about welfare “reform” people don’t expect them to mean cutting it and imposing means testing.

        The Scottish Parliament doesn’t have powers it has responsibilities without the power to implement them. Labour deliberately set up the Parliament that way and have ensured via the Calman and Smith commissions it stayed that way.

        You need a new pack of lies those ones have been debunked more times than you’ve self served.

        1. Usual rubbish from you Mike. Let’s start with PFI. Yes, Labour backed it in the past. However, it’s the Tories and the SNP that use it now.

          1. Oh no they didn’t, chum. The Scottish Futures Trust uses PFI. They call it NPD because private profit is limited (to many millions of pounds) but it is still PFI. And useful idiots like you repeat the lie that PFI is abolished. What a country.

      3. The ‘Red Tory’ handle is as much about Labours attitude of not caring how their policies effect Scotland, as any ideas of being left or right wing.
        I would argue that Labour is despised more by Scots than the Tories are, because we don’t expect anything better from the Tories, but have felt completely betrayed by Labour.

          1. Well there was that time when labour joined with the tories and the libdems to vote against every amendment (50+) in the debate at Westminster on the “Scotland bill”.

            In fact labour voted pretty much 100% against every amendment that day, once they got their earses out of the bars.

          2. No, that’s a complete lie. Labour indeed proposed many amendments and voted for them. The SNP pretended that none of their amendments were passed but in fact as demonstrated earlier in this thread they were just misrepresenting parliamentary process. One of their amendments was the permanence of the Scottish Parliament, and as any honest person would accept, the government responded to that amendment by promising to bring back their own version at committee stage, which they duly did. This happened on a number of issues, for both SNP and Labour amendments. But the SNP continue this dishonest pretence that all the amendments were refused.

            Really sick of nationalists rewriting history to sow grievance.

          3. Are you kidding me Scott?

            Are you aware that we have nuclear weapons that were deemed too dangerous to site near an English town, sited within the danger zone of the biggest population area of Scotland.
            Are you not aware of the McCrone report?
            I can go on about the amount of times that Sottish Labour MPs voted for Tory Austerity laws in Westminster, but since the lists have been all over twitter and are regularly sent to all Labour MSPs, only for you lot to ignore the evidence that is part of the written record in Westminster and pretend it didn’t happen.

            It is this level of dishonesty that I was talking about earlier, and that is destroying Slab.

            You have stood shoulder to shoulder with the Tories to do Scotland down and continue to do so, for that alone you have shown a lack of care for the people of Scotland..and your votes in every election since the referendum, show that the people of Scotland can also see this.

            AND they are seeing it in ever increasing numbers!

    2. “I suspect Andy will end up with UKIP”

      No need Mike, UKIP have served their purpose.

    3. Thank you all for your contributions.
      I never claimed Jeremy Corbyn was the reason people have turned away from Labour – but he was elected leader to try and reverse the trend – so far without success. Interestingly his leadership wasn’t the only issue on the Copeland doorsteps – Nicola Sturgeon isn’t too popular either.
      The issue of my travel arrangements is a matter of convenience and comfort – I’m travelling straight from work and will be back working at 7.45am on Sunday morning – how that translates into being part of a “middle-class protest party” i don’t fully understand.
      It’s my opinion that London is the greatest city in the world, I do have a selection of head wear but rarely doff it.
      As for more referenda – well we’ve recently had two on those very issues – why do we need more of the same?

      1. Some good points Ronnie.

        I lived down in England for around 17 years, so not surprised that the constant lies and smears advanced in the right wing press and supported by most Labour politicians, has a detrimental effect on how the English view Nicola.

        I’m sure you put the right though Ronnie…did you? (no need to answer)

        I’m not sure about JC being elected to reverse the trend though Ronnie, although your opinion is as good as mine.
        I’m sure activists and Labour MP’s see the party being elected as the ultimate goal of the party,
        but my interpretation of events was that JC was elected by the Membership of Labour to take them back to the party that the traditional core Labour voters once knew, without reference to the ability of Labour to get elected.

        The people just wanted their party back and they wanted a party that wasn’t dictated to by the right wing media.

        The surge in membership and all the infighting since JC was first put up as a leadership candidate, has only served to arouse suspicion that a right-wing Blairite Faction, has been at war within the party, with the Left-wing Cobyn Faction, ever since JC was elected leader, and he has been hamstrung because of this.

        He is a very weak politician though, and certainly not got any leadership qualities, so i understand why people like yourself and Duncan see him as an electoral liability (he is)

        But the majority of Labour voters have a different viewpoint, they don’t want a right wing Blairite type Labour Party.

  3. “…heading to a march in the greatest city in the world”

    That should read the greatest City State in the world. Surely.

  4. “as I settle into the first-class carriage………….excited about heading to a march in the greatest city in the world”

    Who said the Labour Party was nothing but a middle class protest party?

    Dear oh dear.

    1. Ronnie McGowan – March 23rd, 2017 at 7:38 pm

      “The issue of my travel arrangements is a matter of convenience and comfort – I’m travelling straight from work and will be back working at 7.45am on Sunday morning – how that translates into being part of a “middle-class protest party” i don’t fully understand.”

      Ronnie,

      In 1983 the Labour Party was a Eurosceptic party.

      The problem is that Euro sceptics are now widely derided and ignored within the Labour Party and have either already left or are considering leaving our Party.

      Many of the people, who sneer at UKIP and its support, fail to realise that they helped to create that particular monster, by stifling debate within the Labour Party regarding the EU .

      It is an indisputable fact that many of the millions of people who now support UKIP, used to be staunch Labour Party supporters.

      The Labour Party are at a cross roads. In the recent past we were successful as we were able to count upon both working class and middle class support. Our biggest offers were routinely pitched at the middle classes as they had an electoral choice between Labour, Conservatives or the Liberals. Our offering to the working class was pretty much take it or leave it, as we were the only game in town. Today, with the SNP and UKIP this is no longer the case.

      Today’s Labour Party be it left right or centre, is very middle class in both its makeup and outlook and is pretty much disconnected from large swathes of our former bedrock working class support.

      Basically, we have to decide whether we are a party for the interests of the working class or the middle class, the two interests are now too divergent for us to continue to serve both.

      The EU referendum has only served to highlight the stark reality of this situation.

      1. Staying in the EU is in the interests of the working class more than it is in the interests of the middle class. The social chapter, the working time directive, health and safety, peace and security, the right to work across a continent – categorically these things benefit the working class more than any other.

        As a matter of fact the bulk of that also goes for Scotland staying in the UK. And yet nationalists are constantly giving us the same line as you just laid out, Andy. One lot says Brussels is the seat of the capitalist elite, one lot says Westminster is.

        I really am sick of this idea that Labour “stifled debate” on either EU membership or independence. The back of my membership card says “by the strength of our common endeavour we achieve more than we achieve alone”.

        1. “Staying in the EU is in the interests of the working class more than it is in the interests of the middle class. The social chapter, the working time directive, health and safety, peace and security, the right to work across a continent – categorically these things benefit the working class more than any other.”

          “As a matter of fact the bulk of that also goes for Scotland staying in the UK”

          Staying in a UK Governed by Tories who are hell bent on removing all vestiges of Human rights workers rights and social legislation.
          Who want to drag us out of the EU specifically to remove these EU enforced rights.

          Jesus Christ Almighty. Have you considered Self Awareness classes?

          1. Anyone who promotes constitutional change because they have been unable to win electoral change is no democrat.

        2. “Staying in the EU is in the interests of the working class more than it is in the interests of the middle class”

          Duncan,

          What is left of the Labour Party/Movement largely resides within the public sector. The private sector element within the movement has been in decline for over 35 years.

          The UK labour Party/Movement is currently over represented by and biased towards the public sector. For the movement to flourish we need to build up our presence in the private sector industries. We will be unable to achieve this as long as we the EU Free Movement of Labour is in operation.

          Historically now as in the past, our mixed economy has given us years of boom and years of bust. The tide comes in and the tide goes out. However, in order for unions to establish, survive and flourish within the private sector, you need to limit the labour supply to put a squeeze on the employers. During a boom, pay and conditions will improve and during a bust, pay and conditions will deteriorate.

          Simply put, in the good times it gets better for the average worker and in the bad times it gets worse.

          However, with the EU’s Free Movement of Labour there are no good times, just a constant influx of cheap labour to undermine terms and conditions ever further. This policy exploits both the indigenous population and the migrant worker.

          The only real winners of this policy are the wealthy people who rent out property and do not need to rely upon our public services.

          The claim that the EU has delivered good protection for workers is untrue, the average worker had far better terms and conditions 40 years ago.

          When you go to an employment agency for a job, chances are they will offer you a role as a “mobile worker” aka, a zero hour contract or casual labour.

          The working time directive is also a joke. The first thing an agency will do is have the worker wave their “right” to any such “right”, if they don’t comply, they won’t be working.

          So, if they’re “lucky” enough to land a job, they’ll have to be available for it at all times. For this commitment they will be offered anything between 0 and 80 hours work per week. Furthermore, they can turn up for work and be sent home at a moments notice, this is even worse when on a night shift and it’s 3am with no bus home.

          The Labour Party could not be more disconnected from ordinary working class people if it tried.

          If we don’t stand up for ordinary people, we stand for nothing. The people deserve much better than this.

  5. Ronnie first of all I cannot understand why you are in the Scottish Labour Party when the Labour Party UK voted to trigger Article 50 and I think that you cannot blame jeremy Corbyn for the decline of the Labour Party it was as we have seen in Scotland that the Scottish Labour MPs took the people and their votes for granted and did not do their constituency work and because of their complacency they got their comeuppance and were booted out. Sorry to say that what happened it Scotland is happening in England all the Labour Party MPs are from the University Special Advisor in crowd and there are no ordinary working class MPs from manual occupations or trade unions. The Labour Party UK will be unelectable for the next 10-20 years so Scotland needs to make a break and consider independence. I think that Scotland should have a Indy Ref 2 solely on Independence and if successful then another referendum on the EU so that the folks of an Independent Scotland can choose whether to join the EU or not.

  6. The sorry mess we are in over Brexit was caused by David Cameron he caved in to tory infighting. In trying to see of UKIP. he called a ref he lost. We all lost even Maggie and John Major did not try that. He totally failed to see the immigration question coming. He failed to see it would be a game winner I saw it coming. Take our country back so simple so effective. No real plan to win the ref. None to deal with the aftermath. David and George are making tons of money the rest of us are being told you might have to work until you are 70 to get your state pension

  7. It’s nice to be commenting on a well written post that I can agree with!

    I think the only immediate hope for sanity is if something demonstrates the dishonesty of the Brexiters. For example, if Nissan’s ongoing review results in them announcing the closure of the factory.

    The problem is that I suspect that the Brexit disaster will only become clear when it’s much too late to reverse it. Although at least in Scotland we can board a lifeboat.

  8. Thank you ‘grangedigital’. We live in the moment and as yet nothing of consequence has happened. The Nissan thing was a PR job – it has taken Europe 70 years to get where it is – sadly we are about to do our worst in unravelling the progress that was made – we may need the reasonable voices within Europe to help us out – there are encouraging sounds, let’s hope they have substance.

    1. Grange and Ronnie I agree brexit is a disaster. We wont know the ramifications until its to late. That’s why if the SNP play their cards right they can make a strong case for Indy. I hope at least in Scotland we will get info for and against with no tit for tat from politicians . I don’t think we will

  9. London–“the greatest city in the world”.
    In a survey done a few years ago, the RICHEST region in Northern Europe was Inner London.
    Nine out of the ten POOREST regions were in Britain.

    Work it out. This is the direct result of tax and spending decisions of successive Labour and Tory governments

  10. “Oh no they didn’t, chum. The Scottish Futures Trust uses PFI. They call it NPD because private profit is limited (to many millions of pounds) but it is still PFI. And useful idiots like you repeat the lie that PFI is abolished. What a country.”

    If NPD was anything even remotely similar to PFI they would be interchangeable and yet you couldn’t simply swap from one scheme to the other without massive financial and logistical alterations.

    You might as well claim that all public financing is the same as PFI because it has limited funding to Private enterprises.

    Useful idiots trying to pretend PFI hasn’t been abolished in Scotland and isn’t an indication of right wing Tory ideology adopted by Red Tory Labour.

    1. And further. If PFI and NPD are the same why cant the Scottish Government use NPD to pay off the remainder of PFI debt?

        1. That was exactly the point I was making with regards to PFI being in a relationship with NPD.

  11. “Anyone who promotes constitutional change because they have been unable to win electoral change is no democrat.”

    If you promote constitutional change via a Democratic process you’re nothing but a Democrat.

  12. @Andy Mac

    “in order for unions to establish, survive and flourish within the private sector, you need to limit the labour supply to put a squeeze on the employers”.

    This measure at the very best is a 2 edged sword. At the same time you will be limiting Union membership and membership funding contributions.

    A Union is only as strong as its membership numbers and contributions.

  13. “It is an indisputable fact that many of the millions of people who now support UKIP, used to be staunch Labour Party supporters.”

    I actually sympathise with Labours dilemma here. UKIP who are in fact an extremist far far right Tory party are perceived by many in England as being a workers socialist anti establishment party because they promote the ideal that immigration and not right wing ideology is the root of all the social wealth division problems in the UK.
    I cant even pretend to understand the English infatuation with UKIP except as an alternative to the Joint UK established order supported between the Blue Red and Orange Tories.

    I have always maintained that the vast majority of support throughout the UK is Left wing Socialist and Anti Right wing Tory.

    Labour has lost its ability to make the electorate believe it is left wing socialist while UKIP has successfully promoted the idea that it is.

    Its so ironic.

    I will be ever grateful that Scotland had the SNP to turn to as an alternative to the right wing Blue Red and Orange Tory cabal instead of UKIP.

    Scotland gets to stay left of centre while England and Wales go on an unstoppable train ride to extremist right wing ideology for the foreseeable future.

    1. You make some good points here Mike,

      In my career in England, I had the ‘privilege’ of sitting in many groups and listening to them talking frankly about how they felt about their life. It was a bit of a shock to me when almost overnight a large percentage of these people began to tell me that their biggest problem in life was immigration and that they were going to start voting Ukip.

      The more interesting thing though was when I began to ask some questions on how they perceived the other parties in England.

      Almost to a man & woman they told me they had lost trust in all the main political parties and in particular Labour whom they accused of being part of the problem.

      They almost always sited the time when a woman approached Gordon Brown in the street and expressed concerns about immigration, and that he seemed to be listening to the concerns only to accuse her of being a bigot when he didn’t know he was being recorded.

      I don’t think people up in Scotland, understood the huge effect that this episode had on Labour and GB’s reputation down in England, as people saw this woman as expressing concerns that they shared and GB’s response, an expression as to the contempt that both he and Labour had for them.

      As a result GB and Labour attempted to get on the side of these voters with the ‘British Jobs for British Workers’ speech that GB made along with promises that Labour would ‘sort out immigration’

      What people were telling me though, was that they just didn’t believe labour, and immigration had become the number one priority for them. (it has probably been the main driver for Brexit)

      So all of the main parties had to go further-right in order to stop the rise of Ukip, including Labour, which did a lot of harm to their electoral chances for the party in Scotland.

      It must be tough for people in Slab to pretend that they agree with the party in England’s policies on immigration and nuclear deterrent etc, but this is the price anyone has to pay if they wish to compromise enough in order to win elections.

  14. Duncan,
    I know this has got nothing to do with Ronnie’s article but I put it on Labour Uncut and then realised they wont put it up. So I thought of you and wanted to tell you how much I am enjoying my politics these days.

    Just when you thought this incredible story could not get any more bizarre along comes Len.
    My gob has never been smacked so hard. It is the most amazing drama I have ever had the good fortune to witness. If it was a piece of fiction nobody would believe it.
    First of all Jeremy gets himself on the ballot paper because people feel sorrow for him. And then he goes on to win it. That is funny. Can you imagine the conversations there must have been between JC and Dianne and Emily, after the reality had sunk in, ‘christ Jeremy what are you going to do now?’. ‘I don’t know, I’ll ask John’.
    And then Angela and Owen came along to cement Jeremy firmly in post, so now he cant step down even if he wanted to.
    And then, probably the funniest act of all; Brexit. JC a life long EU sceptic is persuaded, reluctantly and at the last minute to climb into the Remain camp only to find out he had been on the right side all along. That kind of timing is comic genius.
    Enter Len stage left, the leader of Unite. The biggest union in the country and pure loaded. Len is tired of the day job. He’s a big man and he sees an opportunity. There is a role for me here Len thinks, in The Labour Tragedy as ‘The Puppet Master’. His lines could have been written by The Bard himself. ‘There are Labour MPs looking for a back to stab’.
    Where can it go from here? Schism? Mass resignations? Doing a Corbyn?
    Sunday mornings have become the highlight of my week. I wonder who is on tomorrow? I would love it if the BBC could get Len on with Brillo, or John on with the posh boy with glasses. Or is it time for JC to take control, calm the troops and stamp his authority with a personal apperance with Andrew on the sofa? Cometh the hour, cometh the man.

  15. It seems to me you’re missing the obvious, Ronnie. The only way Scotland can now stay in the E.U. is to become independent. Your choice comes down to Brexit Britain or an independent Scotland in Europe.

    1. ‘Heidstaethefire’

      Scotland is not staying in the EU. There was a vote and the UK is leaving. Besides a fledgling independent Scotland doesn’t even have a currency nor a central bank to prop up this phantom pound or whatever it is – but enough of that! Besides the First Minister has been flip-flopping on whether to re-apply for EU membership. Bear in mind that she was willing to drag Scotland out of the EU in 2014, so she does have history of changing her views. This is a First Minister riddled with inconsistencies.

      What has been disappointing, but hardly surprising, is the lack of cross party input into the Scottish Brexit representation which invariably is a rehash of SNP grievance. This is not good enough. There is no attempt to rise above narrow party interests in securing the best possible outcomes – bearing in mind there are over 2,000,000 voters in Scotland who do not subscribe to the vision of an independent Scotland.

      My plea to the Scottish Government is to put aside your fiercely partisan stance and begin to represent the whole of Scotland not your own selfish nationalist constituency – a broader outlook is necessary to get the best deals for the UK and for Scotland – no we don’t need any separate deals.

      The last thing I want is the triple whammy of out of the EU, out of the UK and out of pocket.

  16. Dr Scott writes:
    “Patrick,
    Labour oppose Tory austerity. They also oppose the SNP implementing it in Scotland. How about you?”

    I apposed the Labour Party in Westminster when it was they who introduced the bedroom tax, as well as the beginning of the attack on the disability benefits.
    I attended meetings within the NHS in which I warned people that the constant demonising of the disabled and unemployed, in the right wing red tops, (while Labour was in power) was a sure sign that Labour intended cutting peoples benefits.
    I opposed the Labour Party changing the name of benefits to make them easier to cut if the claimant did not meet certain criteria, rather than the claimant only having to show that they had a disability.
    I was warned that i was seen as scaremongering and a conspiracy theorist, but i kept opposing.
    I opposed the Labour Party when they began implementing the austerity agenda, and did so before the Tory party developing the agenda further. I opposed the Labour Party when Alistair Darling made the statement that Labours cuts would be deeper than Margaret Thatchers.

    I opposed the Labour Party when the majority of its MP’s (including most of the Scottish MP’s) marched through the lobbies with the Tories and voted for the further austerity measures in David Camerons Government.

    I apposed Labour when the stood shoulder to shoulder with the Tories to tell Scottish pensioners that if they ‘Voted Yes on Thursday, their pensions would be stopped on Friday’

    I opposed ‘Project Fear’ in which the Labour Leader in the Better Together Campaign appeared at a Tory Party conference and gave a speech after which he was given a standing ovation and the Tories sang ‘Alistair is my darling’ (somebody get me a bucket)

    I will always oppose any Tory coming up from Westminster to tell Scots that they know whats best for us.

    How about you?

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