Aidan Skinner Campbell says we must rouse ourselves from the impotent astonishment that arises from recent events, and build together an open future for all.


Two days ago, the SNP and the Greens voted1 for a second independence referendum. Yesterday, Theresa May triggered Article 50 and started taking back control.

I’m afraid, I’m angry, I’m confused and I’m scared. I’m also still here. So are you.

We must now build an Open Union. That doesn’t just mean one that is transparent but also one that is accessible. Open2 is a verb, not a noun.

Scotland, like the UK and the EU, is full of opportunities which people can see but which they cannot take. Making it more visible to them is like putting music on random and U2 popping up: at best it doesn’t really help.

But we can build an Open Union with power pooled and shared in Parliaments which work for us.

We can tackle the root causes of the financial crisis by creating an Open Pound managed by a Bank of the UK. It should be designed in public, it should be comprehensible without a deep understanding of the theory of money3 and it should be one of the bulwarks against the regular crises which are an inherent4 part of a modern economy.

The Open Bank will help us properly fund5 the Open Education and Open Care services which recognise that we have different means and needs through the course of our lives and that we all learn, teach, care and are cared for by one another.6

We have a chance now to remake the UK from the ashes that the combination of English and Scottish nationalism has left of the polite fictions that eased the creaky wheels of much of the UK constitution.

Those fictions have hidden many of the sins which are now devouring the Union. The unrepresentative, divergent and distorting electoral systems used in the UK7, the degree of autonomy of our executive branches and the lack of faith in politics across the UK as a whole have reached crisis point8.

But all of those institutions can be changed to support our better, more open politics. We can do this. We are responsible for our own actions. The first step is to build an Open Politics to build our Open Union with.

Open Politics needs us to change how we talk and act to each other though, within Scotland, within the UK and outwardly with the EU and the world. That, I think, boils down to: don’t be a dick9.

In order to open up our country to ourselves our eyes, our ears, our hearts and our minds must be open to the changes that are coming and to each other.

An Open Scotland in an Open Britain with an Open Politics finding ways to work better with each other for an Open World.

Vote Labour.

1 With a weaker, more qualified mandate than in 2011 but legitimately within the rules of the UK constitution. Just as it is within the UK constitution for that to require consent from the UK parliament as a whole. Whether that should be the mechanism for it is open to debate, but this is the system we have and if the promise of liberal democracy is that we can debate serious issues without anybody ending up in a camp then it’s important we uphold things like the rule of law and the democratic process.

2 “Yes but what actually is Open?” is a good question: transparency, accessibility, equality and a person centred view are the key parts of this. It’s also purposeful and proselytising: the existing closed world is inaccessible which makes it inherently unfair, inefficient, ineffective and must be transformed by working together in better ways.

3 If you explain the current way that private banks create fiat credit they will look at you like you’ve grown a third head. Many economists are much worse than this and have actively harmful misunderstandings of the nature of money and banks. For more on this I recommend Ann Pettifor’s new book.

4 Inefficient and turbulent markets may even be desirable to allow technology to develop and then force consolidation and improvement through pressure, but it does not need to have the impact on peoples lives that it currently does.

5 Not through excessive money creation or taxation but by addressing the more egregious misallocations of resources an overly financialised economy like ours is prone to.

6 The Fabian proposal linking Education to National Insurance is interesting.

7 Proportional representation won’t fix everything. STV and AMS still distort Scottish politics, but it will help.

8 There are many necessary reforms around party funding, relationships with the press and so on which would have created major scandals if we hadn’t been lurching from crisis to crisis for much of the last decade under the Conservatives.

9 This is a higher bar than I can manage sometimes and I’m genuinely sorry about that. Please point it out to me as quickly and as gently as you can, I’ll try to hear it quickly and graciously.

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96 thoughts on “Open Scotland

  1. Labour is now an Anti-European Party.

    Labour has voted to deny European people in Scotland a say in Scotland’s constitutional future, sending a message to the Tories at Westminster that SLabour will not fight against the despicable way the Tories as using EU citizens as bargaining chips in the negotiations.

    [moderator’s note: The commenter appears to be referring here to Labour’s opposition to Patrick Harvie’s amendment S5M-04710.5 to Nicola Sturgeon’s motion in Parliament on Tuesday 28 March. Harvie’s amendment, which was passed, included a reference to ensuring that the existing electorate, which allows 16-17 year olds and EU nationals resident in Scotland to vote, should be retained. Scottish Labour has consistently backed this position. What the commenter fails to mention is that Patrick Harvie’s amendment also explicitly endorsed the call for a second independence referendum. Scottish Labour MSPs were therefore unable to vote for Patrick Harvie’s amendment because they do not agree that a second referendum is required. This amendment was carefully designed to combine these two issues to force Labour to vote against and thereby to allow Labour’s opponents to pretend that Labour opposes votes for 16-17 year olds and EU nationals, when the opposite is actually the case.

    Harvie’s amendment is here: and the official report of the debate is here: ]

    People like Duncan Hothersall will now have any shred of credibility they had, thrown into the sea, as their claims of having an international socialist world-view, will been proven as empty rhetoric, as they are forced to argue for the Pro-Brexit stance that Slab and Westminster Labour have now adopted.

    Will a single Slab member have enough integrity and self-pride, to go public and make a stand for the EU citizens? over to you Duncan and Dr Scott..

    It wont be long until Slab will dream of the day they could get as high as 14% in opinion polls, as they go hurtling towards 10% and fourth place.

    It’s laughable that any Slab activist would come write an article laying out labours plan for electoral success at this time, because believe you me, all you can do now is batten the hatches and try desperately to hold on the what you are left with after the local elections in May.

    1. I find this comment quite perplexing. You think by playing along with the Greens’ clever little amendment trick in parliament you can paint the Scottish Labour Party as being “anti-European”? Do considerations of honesty or decency ever figure in your political calculations, or are you entirely driven by blind hate?

      1. Putting Westminster before both the Scottish Parliament and the EU Parliament makes Labour both Anti Scottish and Anti European.

        Labour in Scotland is pro London centric Neo Conservative control.

          1. Grow up Duncan, Mike is 100% accurate in his statement.

            Labour do not represent Scotland, if they did, you would be doing much better in the polls, wouldn’t you!

          2. I was just wondering if there is any voting demographic left for Labour to alienate in Scotland?

          3. I usually enjoy the cut and thrust of the debate on this site, but this kind of childish insult just switches me off.

      2. Duncan Lets be honest The Scottish Labour Party (Branch Office) are subservient to the Labour Party UK (Head Office) and the policy of all of the Labour Party UK is weak on the EU and you supported the Tories in the triggering of Article 50 so you are all anti-European and its not just me saying it have a look at what Peter Mandelson says in the link below he agrees with me.

        1. Surreal. Mandelson is in the Labour Party as well. You are arguing that he is anti-European by citing his own criticism of Labour’s leadership. Is it making any sense to you, because it’s making none to me.

      3. I notice Jamie Kerr has today defected from Labour and joined the SNP, stating that the fact Slabour no longer represent the people of Scotland as his main reason, the fact Jamie is an immigration lawyer may also have played a part in his reasoning.

        I do not think the Greens ‘clever little amendment trick’ will wash as an excuse Duncan, because these types of shenanigans are part and parcel of the political gamesmanship that happens between the parties fighting for third and fourth place (meeeeeooooowwwww!)

        The fact is that the SNP want to ensure that everyone who has made Scotland their home as well as everyone over 16 years of age to have their say in the next referendum, but Slabour have yet again stood shoulder to shoulder with the ‘other cheek’ and voted to deny these citizens of Scotland, that simple right.

        So Duncan and Scott et al, are you European or not? because it looks like your party has signed up to the Little England Ukip type of politics that you have long (rightly) condemned/opposed, and now find yourself marching down the street beating your drum, dragging your knuckles singing Rule Britannia, with.

        You can’t slither out of this one Duncan, if you have any shred of decency you will join Jamie and leave the stinking rump of Slab and join a party that still has some semblance of morality and social conscience.

        You wouldn’t get in the SNP, (there would be an uproar) but I’m sure the Greens would be open to you joining them.

        1. PS.
          It should be noted that you can refuse to vote for an amendment to a motion, while voting in favour of a motion, if you decide that the wording of a part of the amendment would cause you to agree to a policy you disagree with.

          It seems that Slab just won’t or for some reason can’t stray to far away from any position on the constitution that the Tories take.

          We all see Ruth Davidson bossing you around like a playground bully, with Slab trying to appease her by agreeing with everything she says and bringing her in sweeties for playtime.

          Where is your dignity?

          1. “you can refuse to vote for an amendment to a motion, while voting in favour of a motion, if you decide that the wording of a part of the amendment would cause you to agree to a policy you disagree with”

            And what relevance does that have to the little lie you are trying to promote? In Tuesday’s debate Labour opposed the main motion, and opposed the bulk of the amendment. It couldn’t vote just for the bit of the amendment it agreed with. You know it. I know it. You’re only trying to spin it otherwise because you don;t have a shred of decency.

        2. So even having had your argument that Labour opposes voting rights for 16-17 year olds and EU nationals fatally undermined by the facts, you persist in arguing the case and you tell me I haven’t a shred of decency. I think the person without a shred of decency in this conversation is the one knowingly promoting a lie. That would be you.

          1. an Amendment was put forward by the SNP in which the right of all EU citizens and 16 to 18 years to vote in the upcoming referendum was guaranteed.

            Did Slab vote for or against it?

            If Slab voted with the SNP, I have made a mistake and I apologise.

            If Slab voted against…

          2. You are indeed wrong. The SNP proposed a motion, which didn’t mention the franchise. The Greens proposed an amendment, which was worded to prevent Labour voting for it.

            I’ve told you this once, and now I’ve told you for the last time. Now you’ll stop lying about it, okay?

      4. Scottish Labour are clearly against 16 and 17 year olds and the people of Scotland (including EU nationals) from having a meaningful democratic say in the future of their home and country. Forget slagging the Greens & SNP like childish brats, if Labour was genuinely and fundamentally supportive of such a sentiment (i.e. democracy & fundamental Right to self-determination) – it would have stridently proposed such an amendment itself and brought much public attention to the issue (‘pin drop’). Interestingly, under the Great British union 16 and 17 year olds can fight for British imperialism and be sent to war on a pack of lies. Scottish Labour are essentially sending the message: Labour-First! Westmonster-second (Scotland, 16 and 17 year olds & EU citizens – last!). What a strategy for success…

        1. It is my view now that Carwyn Jones, the Labour First Minister in the Welsh government, shows more appreciation, has more empathy with, and is of greater value to sustaining the democratic status of the Scottish Parliament and supportive in the face of the democratic challenge to Scotland as we try to counter a Tory government in Westminster than the Labour Party in Scotland.

          And this is Scottish Labour Party that boasts that it was responsible for giving us the same Holyrood Parliament that is now being disrespected by May’s government and indeed individual Tory MSPs!

          How long can Labour Party members sustain the indefensible position of their Scottish leadership? The vote in Holyrood against giving EU nationals and Scotland’s young people a vote in a possible Indyref2 was bad enough but now being less supportive of the Scottish Government’s position in challenging May’s approach to Brexit than Carwyn Jones must surely be the final straw.

  2. “It’s laughable that any Slab activist would come write an article laying out labours plan for electoral success at this time, because believe you me, all you can do now is batten the hatches and try desperately to hold on the what you are left with after the local elections in May”

    Patrick Roden

    What planet are you on?

    Over 30% of SNP supporters voted to leave the EU.

    People are deserting the SNP in their droves.

    There isn’t going to be an “indyref2″………………….I’ts over.

    1. Deserting them for who? UKIP? You seen the latest polls?

      Still and forever delusional.

    2. Why do you think 30% of SNP voters, voted leave?

      I voted leave to ensure we could get another independence referendum, how many people thought likewise?

      Looking at the polls which were 50-50, it was a gamble, Scotland looked comfortably Remain, but England was on a knife edge. One of 2 possibilities existed for me:

      1) England would vote Leave, but Scotland Remain, and an overall UK Leave vote – Another Scottish independence referendum

      2) England would vote Leave, but Scotland Remain, and an overall UK Remain vote – English nationalism, which is on the rise, would demand something be done about Scotland as it would be unacceptable for them that an “Equal Partner in the Union” should dictate their destiny. This would lead to the possibility of Scotland being removed from the “precious union” by England, so independence through the back door.

      The union is over, it is just a matter of time, so you can deny IndyRef2 all you like. The rise of English nationalism will see to that, if we don’t do it first.

      I assume you are happy to be classed as a scrounger by people in England, it’s all you seem to read in the BBC’s HYS comments these days.

      1. I am truly baffled by the “fake” Scottish independence promoted by Sturgeon and her hypernat followers.

        I have more respect for authentic Scottish Nationalists such as Jim Sillars, who campaigned for both Scottish independence and to leave the EU. I personally do not support this position, but I do understand the logic behind it.

        The majority of today’s SNP promote “plastic” independence; they want to drag Scotland out of the UK union, to then be totally submerged in the much bigger EU one!

        The SNP are all over the shop.

        1. Usual fuckwit unionist comment, so the likes Germany and France etc are not Independent countries in your mind. Do they hand over all their money to the EU, just to get pocket money back again – do they hell! So how is that like the union Scotland is in?

          So if you can’t come up with better than that, then don’t bother with your repeated cut & paste comment, as anybody with any intelligence recognises it for the drivel it is.

          1. Not much of a nationalist in my eyes then.

            When we get our Independence, we can decise as a country if we want to be in the EU, just in the EFTA, or out completely, but it will be OUR CHOICE, not anybody elses.

        2. Its the UK not the EU that insists on submerging its members.

          Didn’t see the EU interfering in the UK EU referendum at all.

          England couldn’t keep out of the Scottish Indy ref in 2014 cant keep out of it now.

          We seem to need Englands permission to leave. Why do you think that’s a union benefit Andy?

          1. “Didn’t see the EU interfering in the UK EU referendum”

            Are you blind?

        1. Maybe you should be looking at the rise of English Nationalism and the consequences for your beloved union, before trying to act the smartarse.

          1. No, it is up to the English to decide what is best for them. If they want to dissolve the union, then that is fine by me.

            How does that fit in with the BritNat mind set?

      2. “I voted leave to ensure we could get another independence referendum”

        Dave……..You’re not dealing from the full deck. Are you?

        1. You seem to be forgetting recent events. IndyRef2 has been passed by the Scottish Parliament. May refuses point blanks to Say “No” when asked if she will refuse one, as she knows she can’t.

          It is only inbred BritNat supporters like yourself that aren’t dealing with a full deck, as you refuse to accept reality. Looking at English/British Nationalist websites strongly suggests that is the case. None of them have anything positive to say about Scotland. So folk like you would be better pissing off and living some other part of the UK of your choice, as you seem to hate the idea of Scotland improving itself.

          Care to answer this question, when the UK leave the EU, what fantastic changes to your life to you envisage now that you have all this freedom from Europe? Hoping to get back to the days of Empire are you?

          1. “folk like you would be better pissing off and living some other part of the UK”

            Dave’s take on “civic nationalism”

          2. Only for anti-Scottish folk, why do you actually live here if you don’t like Scotland. I have many English friends that are more “Scottish” than you.

            Care to answer my question, which you have conveniently avoided –

            When the UK leave the EU, what fantastic changes to your life to you envisage now that you have all this freedom from Europe?

    3. Eh?
      Andy if you are quoting me, then make a point (30% SNP voters voted to leave EU) and nowhere in my quote does it mention EU votes, you are perhaps the one who is on the wrong planet.

      Ah…Another Labour drone assures us that People are deserting the SNP (I wont embarrass Duncan by digging up the old quote he made when he assured everyone that the SNP was finished and labour was in fact surging ahead in the poles, because it has been all over Twitter recently and that’s not fair, but if anyone doesn’t believe that Slab are in for a very difficult election in May, they haven’t been listening to Kezia Dugdale, because she has admitted that Slab still aren’t over the hill yet.

      Oh and I hate to destroy you little love in with your Tory overlord Mother Theressa, but she has no legal right to deny the people of Scotland a referendum and the letter from the EU in response to her article 50 letter, mentions that part of the negotiation for Brexit will be the EU ensuring that the democratic rights of the MAJORITY of EU citizens who voted to REMAIN in both Scotland and N Ireland, are upheld.

      So even trying to play games with the timing will result in a breakdown of negotiation at which the pound will begin to plunge.

      This is when the big money men step in, and your hero stops playing her games.

      So Andy, your beloved Union….It’s over!

      1. Patrick,

        You’re the one having a pop at Duncan and anyone else in the Scottish Labour Party who supports the EU. A Scottish Labour Party who actually campaigned to remain in the EU. Unlike the SNP, whose campaign was a joke.

        You see Patrick, here’s the thing. In the Labour Party we are able to have different views on things, it’s ok as we’re a broad church. I voted to get out of the EU, however, many more Labour members voted to remain.

        Nevertheless, 30% of SNP supporters voted to leave the EU. You’re trying to make out (not very convincingly) that the SNP are rock solid Europhiles, this is a fairy tale.

        So at best Patrick you are deluding yourself with fantasies, at worst you’re wilfully peddling a crock of shit.

        Whatever way you look at it, it’s not good.

        The SNP are split on Europe.

        Sturgeon can huff and puff all she likes; she hasn’t got the authority to hold another “indyref”.

        The Sturgeon leadership are taking all you hypernats for a ride.

        There isn’t going to be another “indyref”.

        It’s over.

        1. hahahaha!!!

          A Slab member talking about a political campaign being a joke… I’ve heard it all now!

          I’m not ‘having a pop’ at Duncan or anyone else in the Labour Party, I’m making the serious point that He like any number of people in Labour can no longer sustain their European or Internationalist outlook, (some Duncan has always claimed) now that Labour have (as ever) joined themselves at the hip with the Tories, and supported Brexit. (with the usual empty rhetoric designed to show some kind of opposition)

          And I’m seriously asking any Labour activist to reconsider whether they want to keep lying to people about Slab having the people of Scotlands’ best interests at heart.

          Slab have now painted themselves so firmly into the other half of an
          ‘Ultra-Unionist Double Act’ that serves the best interests of Tory Elites in and around Westminster, that there’s no ‘believable’ way anyone can keep supporting them, and yet keep claiming they feel that their support is done in the best interests of Scotland.

          As Jamie Kerr has now conceded, ‘Labour no longer serve the best interests of Scotland’

          I know Duncan et al have a deep dislike for JC’s leadership, but what other Labour Party MP, who can run for leadership, is saying that they will not support Brexit?

          Oh Andy! it’s funny watching you trying to make the deep divisions throughout your party, into something of a triumph, but Slabs problem Andy, is that voters don’t vote for parties that ‘Are able to disagree on things’, especially when ‘the things’ are leaked to the press in briefings against each other, or ‘the things’ are differences are major policy decisions.

          You seem to be desperately clinging to some polling data that indicated SNP voters having a 30% leave vote in the EU ref, without seeming to notice the overwhelming numbers (over 70% in your only MP’s constituency) who voted to remain in the EU!

          So if your argument is that the EU vote will have an affect on peoples votes in any upcoming elections/referendum, I think you’ve just scored such a spectacular own goal, that I’d say you are probably ready to apply for a job as a Scottish Labour strategist.

          Go for it Andy…

  3. Oh BTW the article is just absolute utter mince and I’m not even going to bother explaining why because it really is self explanatory.

  4. No. When will unionists realise around forty five per cent of Scots DO NOT WANT TO WORK WITH YOU OR COME TOGETHER. We are heartily fed up of being asked to unite. I personally despise unionist with every fibre of my being and will never work alongside turncoats.

    1. This is a thoroughly depressing post devoid of any grasp of political reality. The SNP worked quite happily with those ultra-unionists, the Tory party in Scotland, during the period 2007-2011. Presumably you are beyond the fringe.

      1. Ronnie, I think you will find Labour and Tories trooped through the same lobbies together, more than Tories and SNP between 2007-2011.
        You are doing it to this day, every day, both in Holyrood and Westminster.
        Yet we now have a Prime Minster, unelected, whose first instinct was to rule by fiat and decree, until the Supreme Court stopped her.
        Dugdale states she will never back Scotland having a say in its own future NO MATTER WHAT.
        How’s that for “putting Scotland first”?
        Even the Labour Welsh First Minister thinks Scotland should have a referendum. Scottish Labour is a bad joke.

        1. Gavin

          paraphrase “SNP are only a little bit Tory” so that makes it ok.

          This idiocy that the Prime Minister is unelected is a mis-reading of how Nicola Sturgeon came to power.

          1. Oh, grow up. All political parties cover a spectrum, from *here* to “there”. Is Mandelson a socialist? Darling? Blair? What of the Beast of Bolsover. What philosophy does he represent?
            But right now, Labour is hand in glove with the Tories. Business as usual.

            The latest wheeze is, that Scotland is no longer a democracy, but an opinionpollocracy.
            Except its not just any old opinion poll, but extrapolated sections of partial polls: unweighted polls: sub sections of polls. All lacking accuracy, but allowing the Britnat propagandists to hide behind their verisimilitude.
            Pretty well all serious polls show Scots are split evenly about holding indyref2 in about two years time: but there IS a majority that Scotland should have the power to call one: that Scotland should determine the timing etc.
            But from the BBC down, all the media go along with the opinion poll lies being promulgated by the Scottish Tory/Labour party.

            May was unelected–fact. She was and is being pushed by the Daily Mail and other very right wing organisations. Her instinct is to rule above the level of parliamentary scrutiny. That worries me, but you seem unconcerned.
            Sturgeon was also unelected, but came from years of deputizing, and no one was really surprised at her ascension.

          2. “and with an education system not delivering for the children of Scotland.”


            I have a son just coming to the end of S6 and grandchildren in P1 and P7, all in the state sector.

            In what way have they been let down by the education system?

      2. Oh Ronnie! that’s a strange thing to call the Tories ‘Ultra Unionists’ if you believe this can you state here on Labour Hame that you never campaigned alongside them during the referendum campaign, and that you’d never campaign alongside them in any future referendum campaign.

        You know politics enough to understand that needing the Tory and Labour votes to get policy through during the SNP minority government was a nessessary part of the situation the SNP found themselves in.

        Is it you or Slabs position that the SNP should have refused to work along with all other parties and ensured chaos for the people of Scotland, just to make some political point.?

        No, don’t answer that one Ronnie,because if there’s one thing Slab have proven time and time again, it’s that they are prepared to do a lot of harm to the people of Scotland, if it means scoring some political point against the SNP.

        So grown up politics in which sound leadership is willing to compromise and work through the problems that a minority government faces,

        is nothing like joining the Tories to lie to and scare the elderly and the infirm with Project Fear, funded by wealthy Tories, and delivered by treacherous Labour activists, MP’s and MSP’s, who were prepared to lie to their own people for the benefit of the wealthy elite.

        So Ronnie, as long as you remain in the Labour party that is so closely welded to the hips of ‘the other side of the act’ it is you who is an ‘Ultra-Unionist’

        And no amount of Group-Think with other Red Tories will ever stop that fact.

          1. Patrick

            You asked me not to answer. I was respecting your wish.
            Some facts. I campaigned extensively throughout the central belt during Indyref – I never knowingly campaigned with a Tory. I did attend the inaugural meeting of Better Together in the Mitchell theatre. A nationalist had to be asked to leave as he was disrupting the meeting while giving the “seig heil” salute. This for me pretty much set the tone of the YES campaign, sadly.

            You have not mentioned it but is something that probably irks you and many YES voters – the issue of the interjection of the VOW and the impact it had on the campaign. My experience of the campaign was that NO was always ahead even in “difficult” areas along the central belt. There was a worrying leaking of votes but it was just about holding. However during the weekend of 23rd August I detected, not a sea change, but a firming up of the NO vote and this was in the very challenging area of West Dunbartonshire – allied to the 85% NO vote in Lenzie of that same day, led me to the conclusion that the NO vote would win comfortably. The VOW changed nothing in terms of voting intentions. If there is a second referendum, and it is by no means written in stone that there will be one, then any YES campaign faces a huge challenge, a 10% difference is a big gap to bridge especially with a First Minister flip-flopping on currency, future relationships with the EU and with an education system not delivering for the children of Scotland.

      1. Ah so all the last weeks panic in Westminster and the BBC/Scottish medias meldown, the Vow, the all but Federalism promises from Gordon Brown, was a big mistake from the people who had the internal poling data etc, while wee Ronnie who was oot chapping doors in Dumbarton knew better?

        Sorry to burst your wee bubble Ronnie, but they had every right to worry because Yes had indeed surged ahead or at least it was too close to call, hence the outright panic and lies in the last week.

        One thing a lot of people overlook, is that the 16 to 24 year olds broke for No in the last few weeks of polling BECAUSE they feared that they would be getting pulled out of Europe if they voted Yes.

        Now i don’t know te numbers for EU citizens who voted Yes/No but…..

        Good luck scaring these demographics this time Ronnie.

        Never mind though, Your Tory chums will certainly fund anyone prepared to scare the pensioners again, so Slab activists/MSP’s and your single MP, won’t be left with an altogether fruitless task in the next referendum.

  5. U 2 oh dear .Most people want to concentrate on getting on with their lives .Indy wont be on them to consider for at least 2 years. The FM today listed the amount of things she has done in the last few days. Said it proved she was doing her day job big deal. Kezia Dugdale asked her questions without throwing in party insults and got a good result. Unlike Ruth Davidson who used her questions to score Party Points and failed. The rest of your blog assumes there is anyone with the talent to implement it.
    Why don’t Scottish Labour say this is the now the will of the Scottish Parliament. We can support the parliament by doing that . We can also say we support the motion as passed to get the referendum. But we will campaign as a party against . Meanwhile lets all stick to the day job local elections

    1. You’re sounding like you care about democracy David, you wont last much longer in Slab carrying on like that!

      You make a very honest and )for some on here) embarassing point for Labour…You could easily support the SNP motion in principle, without voting against it.

      However the Tories have been saying that the EU citizens and 16 to 18 year olds’ getting the vote, will help the Yes Campaign, so Labour have to vote against it to prove their Pro- Unionist Credentials.

      You sound like a thoroughly decent guy who cares a great deal about his local community David, and it feels to me that you are getting close to that point in a lot of Scots Journey when:

      “It wasn’t me that left Labour, it was Labour that left me”

      Perhaps “Now is not the Time” for Duncan and Dr Scott etc, but have you read the comments by Liam Fox?

      He wants to strip all the workers rights to minimum wage, working times directives holiday entitlement, etc.

      And you cn bet your bottom Dollar, that the best Labour will do to oppose these measures, will be to abstain.

      1. I better not say much more because Duncan seems very ‘fragile’ about his politics today, and the position that labour has been painted into by the Tories.

        “like a puppet on a string”

        1. Thank you for your reply . I just say what I think and feel. I voted and campaigned for the then Scottish Assembly . I did it because I did not want another situation where we got the poll tax before England. I wanted the new assembly witch later became the Scottish Government . To have the ability to defend us by standing up to the UK government. I don’t agree with what the SNP have done regarding the ref request. It could have waited until after the local elections in May. On Indy I have moved from remain to don’t know .I will make my own mind up on that.
          I believe that we need to as a party support the will of the Scottish Parliament. The motion was passed . The party should now say we now support the effort to get a ref .We reserve the right to campaign against. I believe if we want a Scottish Parliament worth anything then we need to support it. Especially on something like this

          1. Fair enough david, but I think the timing of whole 2nd referendum statement, was the result of the vote for Brexit.

            The fact it has moved you from No to Don’t Know, is an indication of just how shocking it has been for most people in Scotland, to find out that in spite of over 60% of us voting to remain in the EU, the votes in England and Wales will mean we will be leaving against our will.

            The behaviour of Theresa May has only added to the urgency that the Scottish Government feels, and exposes the Unionist Parties in Scotland (who all argued that Brexit would be a disaster for Scotland’s economy) as being willing to sell Scots down the river for political ends.

            You did not sound like someone who could go along with Slabs position on this and I’m not surprised your stated position on Scotland’s constitution has changed.

            I hope you will move one step further and join a party that will always put the needs of our communities first, because we are a wealthy country with natural resources that is the envy of almost every other country on this planet, yet as a local activist you will have seen the sheer poverty and low live expectancy that has been the result of Westminster and Labour policies in Scotland for so many years.

            The ‘stated’ aim of Slab in Mays elections has been to have enough sets to be able to form coalitions with the Tories to retain power in our councils, so that they can continue with the same policies that cause the poverty, crime and other problems that beset Scotland.

            Can you really go along with that?

          2. Have you read Eric Joyce’s Blog today David?

            Even our children’s education is being lied about by your party!

            No ifs, no buts, you need to get out and join the SNP david.

  6. @Andy

    English Nationalism = BAD
    Scottish Nationalism = GOOD

    English Independence = GOOD

    Scottish Independence = BAD

    1. Great point Mike!

      As one great quote mentions: it’s not the English who are the enemies of Scotland, it’s the Scots who are so willing to betray their own people, to have a chance to enrich themselves with English Gold.

      As they sang at the Tory Conference “Alistair is my Darling” I wonder if it still sounds as good when they sing “Lord Darling is my Darling”?

      Somebody get me a bucket!

      1. As one great quote mentions: it’s not the English who are the enemies of Scotland, it’s the Scots who are so willing to betray their own people,

        Ive always recognised that fact. Its not the English keeping us in the Union. Its the Uncle Tams the frightened the gullible and uninformed the misinformed and the self serving.

        Labour in Scotland come within the last category.

    2. English independence = BAD

      Scottish independence = BAD

      British independence = GOOD

      1. But you cant have British Independence without Scottish Welsh and English Independence Andy.

        The British are not Independent Andy. Only the English have the political power and authority to be Independent the Scots and Welsh don’t.

      2. As someone who lived in England for over 17 years Andy, I can assure you that from their point of view, English Independence is the same thing as British Independence.

        We are just a ‘scrounging outlet’

        and you are a useful Jock.

        The English are a patriotic bunch and although they like nothing better than finding someone who will sell their own people out for England’s benefit, I can assure you that whatever they tell you to your face, they will have nothing but a sneering deep contempt for you for your willingness to betrayal.

        A lot of English films/stories are about people who betray their own nation..They hate that kind of thing down there!

        1. Thanks for the “heads up” Patrick,

          Having lived cheek and jowl with the “auld enemy”, you’re certainly well “qualified” to pass judgement on nationalistic racial stereo typing.

          No one can accuse you of being an armchair expert.

          Nevertheless, it must have been torture for you to spend 17 years in England, I for one marvel at your endurance and commitment to the “cause”.

          Martyrs such as you are a rare breed. You deserve a medal. I am sure Sturgeon will be more than happy to pin an “Iron Cross” on you.

          However, a word of advice: I would tone down your use of clichés, such as “Uncle Tams” and “English Gold”, it makes you sound like a low level gutter-nat, instead of the top ranking uber-nat that you most surely are.

          1. I could say the same about your own sacrifices you’ve made living amongst us Scots Andy.

            How long you been here now? Must be an absolute nightmare for you living cheek and jowl with all those gutter Nats.

            Living in a place too wee too poor and too stupid to endure without our saintly neighbours propping us up out of sheer largesse and generosity.

            My God surrounded by all those leftie liberal village people.

            No wonder you have to clutch a photo of Nigel Farage every night just to help you sleep.

          2. It as a lovely 17 years among many good friends in England Andy,because as I say they are not the problem for Scotland, and they share my contempt for people who would betray their own people.

            You see, and Uncle Tam isn’t someone who genuinely believes that Scotland’s best interests are served being in a Union with England, and Uncle Tam is someone who lies about the issues involved.

            People who were involved in ‘Project Fear’ (were you deliberately scaring OAP’s during that campaign Andy?) or people who were immediately offered positions in big businesses based in London, in seemingly pointless yet very, very, lucrative jobs such as Gordon Brown, Alistair Darling, Douglas Alexander, and I think his name is Greig McClymont.

            It’s almost as if they had a deal in which they would be rewarded handsomely by these big businesses who had vested interests in Scotland remaining shackled to the right wing UK, and chose to take these offers, and betrayed their own people, eh Andy.

            Of course you will know better, and you will no doubt be able to answer and tell everyone exactly what these ‘Labour Big-Hitters’ who by (I’m sure) coincidence just happened to be the most heavily involved in BT of all Labour MP’s, do in these jobs to get so much money,

            Oh and I wonder what happened to Jim Murphy since his ‘somewhat unique campaign’ that stirred up so many people and gave the Unionist Media so many headlines?

            It’s almost as if the Labour MP’s were rewarded by big business, in exchange for betraying the best interests of their own people.

            And that’s what has come to be known in Scotland as being an ‘Uncle Tam’

            So if the cap fits…..

          3. So Andy, when are you going answer my question, which you have conveniently avoided –

            When the UK leave the EU, what fantastic changes to your life to you envisage now that you have all this freedom from Europe?

            You must have a reason for voting Leave surely?

  7. I would share the author’s support for an open society. However I would remind him of a few speeches from the last Conservative conference:

    – The Health Secretary talked about the importance of sending home foreign nurses;
    – The Education Secretary promised a dramatic cut in international students (about 75%);
    – The Business Secretary said companies would have to provide the government with a list of immigrant employees;
    – The Prime Minister made it clear EU immigrants would be bargaining chips in the Brexit negotiations.

    Like it or not, this is where Scotland is heading. It’s going to be a Closed Scotland and a very nasty Scotland too.

  8. Andy

    “Didn’t see the EU interfering in the UK EU referendum”
    Are you blind?”

    Oh I must be. Can you show me where and when they interfered?

  9. Scottish Labour’s position on Scotland and Brexit confuses me, given how it campaigned

    During the EU referendum, Labour Party posters in my constituency stated: “Labour IN for Scotland”. Notably, they did not just state “Labour IN” or “Labour IN for the UK”, but deliberately “IN for Scotland”!

    So after a clear majority of the Scottish electorate supported Labour’s “IN for Scotland” plea, what is the leadership of Scottish Labour and its MSPs now doing for those voters that followed Labour’s advice and did vote IN FOR SCOTLAND? Candidly, not a lot!

    1. It was Labours Stated position that Brexit would harm Scotland’s interests and would hurt our economy. we would lose jobs and our universities could suffer real harm etc etc.

      The Tories are the government at Westminster and Theresa May and her government are trying to make sure that Englands’ best interests are being protected the best she can.

      The lack of discussion with all of the devolved governments, show that her priority is England.

      So Ruth Davidson and the Tories have as always, sold Scotland out. (they always have and they always will)

      Ruths shouty and angry tv appearances over the past week or so, shows a woman who is feeling very uncomfortable at being challenged to explain her position, and so she’s falling back on the technique of getting feigning anger at others rather than calmly explaining why she is now agreeing with Brexit, when she was recently telling Scots they must oppose it.

      But Slab?

      As I’ve been saying, Kez painted herself into a corner, when the article in which she said that should the Tories have a referendum on Europe and the leave campaign won, she would possibly join the Yes campaign.

      Around the same time she said that should their be a second independence referendum in Scotland, she would allow Labour MSP’s MP’s a free vote.

      The Tories leaped on this and painted themselves as the only party that would defend the Union, and slab panicked.

      Kez was forced to make statements that left her and slab with no wriggle room, and now she appears to look unwell, because it is clearly eating her up inside.

      As I have said, even Duncan is struggling to ‘hold the line’ now, and that’s a man who can do so many back-flips and somersaults with words, and enjoy it, that when he starts losing the plot because he’s getting tied up in his own bullshit, that you know Slab are in big, big trouble.

  10. If the English had the same power influence and authority over the EU that they have over the rUK they wouldn’t be leaving. It would be the other 27 States who would be seeking section 30 orders to hold referendums.

    I wonder if the avid “Scottish” Brexiteers would be so keen to end an EU union where England had that level of influence and authority over it.

  11. If Scotland had the exact same relationship within the UK that EU members have within the EU would Scottish Brexiteers want to end the Union?

    How about you Andy would you vote to end a UK Union where the relationship was the same as it is in the EU?

  12. Just saw a picture of none other than Duncan Hothersall on Twitter.

    Hes in a park holding up a wee blackboard that is saying something about how bad the SNP is!

    He’s go that same look on his face that I’ve been saying Kez has.

    Time to give it up Duncan, Twitter is laughing at you, and your being made to look stupid (something I know your not) by your parties contradictory political stance.

    Get in touch with Patrick Harvie, they will welcome you with open arms.

    1. This comment is not relevant to the article, and appears simply to be a trolling of me. And contains, as is typical from the person responsible, several untruths. I am not holding up a backboard, I am standing next to a red ball voting apparatus with chalk writing on it. And the writing says nothing about the SNP, let alone it being bad. It offers people – real people in the real world – the opportunity to choose what they think the priority of the Scottish Government should be right now – focusing on public services, or focusing on another independence referendum. And those real people consistently vote in this visual poll for the Scottish Government to focus on public services, not independence.

      Time for you to give it up, Patrick. Give up trolling me on unrelated articles, give up lying about what I’m doing, and give up blindly endorsing an SNP Scottish Government which is failing the Scots it is meant to be working for.

      1. Its a pity you cant openly admit that the Scottish Government is able to concentrate on both though.

        You’d rather push a worthless party political rhetoric instead.

        Labour have failed miserably once again to oppose in Westminster. It took a single private citizen to stand up to the Tory Brexit and give Parliament a chance to at the very least dilute it from the Hard right Tory extremist version we’re heading for and Labour blew it.

        That’s Labour once again not doing their day jobs. Just as they have failed to do so often over Tory legislation on welfare.

        Do you honestly think there is anybody left in the UK that hasn’t noticed? Really?

      2. Thanks for your efforts, Mr Hothersall. I interpret your comments as implying that I and fellow members of the public are intellectually so limited that we are unable to conceive of pursuing more than one objective, more than one ‘priority’ as you call it, at any one time.

        And given that we the public can only deal – or you only offer – binary choices, I can only assume that you must, of course, be right that any government (or is this unique to an SNP government?) could not possibly ‘walk in a straight line and chew gum at the same time’.

        Come on – with respect, let’s do serious politics, not games. There is no incompatibility between improving public services and securing choice for the people of Scotland over BREXIT. It is not a binary choice. “Red ball voting apparatus” – for goodness sake!

      3. “It’s not a blackboard it’s a red ball voting apparatus with chalk writing on it.”
        That has got to be one of your best ever Duncan!

        Why do you have the pathological need to accuse others of lying Duncan. Is it something you learnt to do in some Labour/BBC away days, or is smearing the opposition all that you have to offer in your political discourse?

        For someone as experienced as you, to carry on like that, it isn’t a good look, and as you must know, deep down, it does more harm to Labour, than good.

        Oh dear…well it’s you web-site Duncan and you get to chose the rules… but once the UK declares the war on Spain, you might find that standing in a park asking people to play with you balls, will be made illegal, as they don’t like that kind of thing in Spain.

        1. BTW the picture that I saw on Twitter was cut off at the part that your red balls were in and the blackboard/chalk that could be seen only had the word independence on it.

          This is what I based my comments on.

      4. would you rather i didn’t post on Labour Hame Duncan, because deleting my posts seems to suggest you’re only interested in hearing the opinions of those you agree with.

        No skin off my nose!

        1. I haven’t deleted your posts. But since you ask, yes, I’d rather you didn’t. You add nothing to the debate.

      5. Go back to buggering kiddies with lord janner and the rest of your english paedo politicians.

  13. So what happens when England goes to war and Scotland and NI don’t show up?

  14. And since I did not see the full picture, do you mind revealing just how many people you coerced into shoving their balls into your tubes?

    Because scientific polls like yours, should be shared widely!

  15. Here is something else my surgery is that busy it operates the triage system . That means they are screening the appointments. They are getting patients to tell the patient to tell the receptionist your problem . She will offer you an appointment within 2 to 3 weeks or a doctors callback. I phoned on Monday told no appointments available took the doctors callback. My medical condition means if I phone they need to see me . The doctor told me to attend at 3 50pm. I was seen quickly . I was shocked at what I saw a packed surgery at that time in the afternoon . Staff under pressure to cope including the doctors and showing it.
    Next door in the chemist it was standing room only . There was 2 ques 1 using the internal door to gain access the other using the front door. People with walking disabilities out of breath and struggling to find a seat .Again a lot of staff on duty but clearly struggling to cope with the workload. Nicola should be trying to fix this not going to the USA for a 5 day holiday at our expense. She is First Minister of Scotland not California

  16. So has it been confirmed yet, that the Labour Leadership has imposed a three line whip on all Labour MP’s to support the Tories article 50 ?

    You can stop people seeing my posts Duncan, but you can’t stop people seeing Slab and your hypocrisy.

    No wonder Ian Davidson has commissioned a private poll to sound out if voters in Edinburgh would back him if he left Labour and stood as an independent.

    Popcorn time!

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