Organ bill failure should become SNP’s Iraq

jfjGuWmi_400x400Twitter user AyeRightNaw says the SNP reversal over opt-out organ donation was a moment of profound and calculated betrayal and should never be forgotten.


It happened more than a week ago but it’s taken that long for the rage to calm enough to be put into words. The decision by 20 SNP MSPs to change their minds – or have minds changed for them – over support for Scotland to adopt a soft opt-out national organ donation scheme should live long in the national conscience.

Bad enough for the Bill to fall by just three votes but the reasons given for the narrow defeat made it even more difficult to accept. John Mason MSP came out on social media to say that Labour’s proposed Bill had failed because Labour had whipped its vote, come on too strongly and had given the apparently unpopular Jackie Baillie MSP the job of winding up the debate. Is he really expecting anyone to believe that SNP members withdrew their support because opponents were too committed to getting their own Bill through the first stage of parliamentary process?

Blaming Labour on this just won’t wash. It is perhaps more likely that the change of mind arose from the realisation that in the dying days of this Parliament perhaps the most impactful piece of legislation of the five-year term was not going to come from the ruling party but from the opposition benches. Government strategists would be fully aware that a reopened Borders rail line and an independence referendum were not much of a legacy after five years of unchallenged supremacy.

Simply, it just would not do for anyone other than SNP Ministers to be seen to be doing a ‘good thing’ and at this late stage in the parliamentary calendar there wasn’t much time for the motion to be hijacked or turned into a cross-party Bill that could be pushed through. There was not even much of an appetite for Kenneth Gibson MSP’s reasonable suggestion that the Bill be taken to the next stage where it could be amended in such a way as it could be claimed to be a Government success. No, it had to be killed.

For it appears that even in death the Scottish Government doesn’t do redistribution. But not only did SNP MSPs kill the Bill they also killed the hopes and life chances of hundreds of people in Scotland currently awaiting life-changing and life-saving transplants. Not for nothing did the usually moderate Evening Times scream ‘CONDEMNED TO DEATH’ from its banner the next day. It is disappointing that the outrage was neither more widely expressed nor longer lived.

For this cruel act of sabotage those MSPs and the Scottish Government should not be easily forgiven. The promise of a future Government Bill in the next year or so will provide scant succour for the scores of families who will bury loved ones who will die while awaiting a transplant in the intervening period.

The loss of life will be as needless as it is indefensible and for the first time in hundreds of years people will die in Scotland as a direct result of the actions of proponents of Scottish Nationalism. Think on that the next time you hear that only one party acts in Scotland’s interests.

Labour’s decision on Iraq disaffected significant numbers of grassroots supporters and presented opponents with a stick that 13 years on is still used to pummel the party. This month’s betrayal of hope and sacrificing of life should become the SNP’s Iraq. We should not, must not, allow the Scottish Government to forget the consequences of its callous actions even if all the reminders achieve is the non repetition of such a grievous error.

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51 thoughts on “Organ bill failure should become SNP’s Iraq

  1. I agree with this article in its entirety. I resigned my membership of the SNP last week.
    AweRightNaw is correct, the actions of SNP group last week will rightly come back to haunt them. When I think of the effect last weeks piece of political maneuveres will have on so many fellow Scots and their families, I am more than ashamed. I am angry .

  2. “This month’s betrayal of hope and sacrificing of life should become the SNP’s Iraq.”
    How DARE you try to equate the Scottish parliament decision on opt/in/out which has kept the position exactly the same as it was, and is in many many parts of the world, with the killing of a million Iraqi citizens by your government’s hands.
    You disgust me.

    1. Robert you can feign self righteous indignation all you want, the fact is that blocking this proposal last week will put the progress of the legislation (from the existing opt in to the proposed opt out) back. How long I dont know, maybe a year? In that time there will be those on donar waiting lists that may not survive the delay. You should think about that when you try and defend the SNP groups decision.

    2. Robert
      I would probably be disgusted too if I thought someone was trying to weigh deaths in Scotland against those of the citizens of Iraq. But I didn’t do anything so odious. The Iraq analogy comes from my hope that the organ donation issue becomes every bit the running sore for the SNP that Iraq has become for Labour. That will only happen if we work to raise the issue at every opportunity and at the same time strive to reintroduce the Bill as quickly as possible. It should certainly be prominent in the manifesto.

      1. So….just to get this straight……

        the SNP blocking a Labour bill and keeping the organ donation rules just as they are now….

        is equivalent to the mass misinformation by Labour leading up to a deliberate and illegal invasion of Iraq, for the purposes of regime change, which under international Law is a war crime for which every single person involved can be prosecuted…..

        an invasion that has directly lead to the death of millions in Iraq and turned the country into a chaotic mess where we are still dropping bobs to this day?

        That is the same as keeping organ donation Law the same?


        and you wonder why Labour are doing so well?

        1. “So let me get this straight” followed by a heap of absolute garbage that no-one has argued and that has already been dismissed several times in other comments from the author.

          You won’t get anything straight by making stuff up.

          1. Feel free to point out which bit is made up Duncan

            The bit about the donation rules remaining the same?
            Or the fact that Iraq was invaded on a lie and an illegal premise?

            In your own time

          2. The bit about this article suggesting the organ donation bill and the Iraq war were the same.

          3. The bit about this article suggesting the organ donation bill and the Iraq war were the same. you have a hard time reading clearly duncan

            The author hopes that the SNP “betrayal” should become their “iraq”

            “This month’s betrayal of hope and sacrificing of life should become the SNP’s Iraq.”

            the illegal invasion of Iraq and direct lying to the British public by a Labour government caused the massive draining of trust, respect and support for Labour…

            and, according to the author….

            the SNP keeping legislation around organ donation the same as they are and withdrawing support for changes….should have the same effect on the SNPs levels of trust and support..

            This could only reasonably be assumed if the two events were of comparable magnitude…

            they aren’t, which was the point I made, and have made again, fairly clearly

          4. “This could only reasonably be assumed if the two events were of comparable magnitude”


  3. I havent been following this piece of legislation so I have no clue as to what is going on but Knowing the SNP Knowing Labour I know there is far more to this than the obvious spin and one sided pish above.

    Its so like Labour to put forward a proposal with a sting in its tail so I’m going to take a leap of faith here and say that’s what they did and the SNP as usual didn’t go along with it.

    1. Mike, do your home work before you jump to conclusions. The article, to my knowledge is entirely accurate. And that is, a group of SNP MSPs voted down this proposal for no other reason than it came from Labour and Jackie Baillie summed up. If it had been on any other subject it would be inconsequential, but its not any other subject. The subject is organ donation.

      1. No article coming from Labour will ever be trusted to be accurate. That is where Labour have put themselves.

        Beyond credibility.

        Too many lies too much spin too many half truths too much bullshit.

        If ever Labour did come up with a genuine grievance against the SNP they wouldn’t be able to use it anyway.

        Cried wolf far too often.

        The difference between the SNP and Labour is the fact that the SNP is constantly under hostile Media scrutiny so they cant afford to be blasé with legislation whereas Labour can and do spew all manner of SNP bad bullshit and have it spun in the media as gospel.

        So no I wont be taking this article at face value and nobody who isn’t a Labour drone will either.

        1. Mike, If you dont trust the article because you dont trust the source at least acknowledge the enormity of the facts, should they be true. Then come back and defend the SNP.
          Your position seems to be, I dont know the facts and I dont care, because Labour’s done worse things. Labours only involvement in this is that they brought a sensible, life changing, cost saving proposal to Holyrood, and voted for it; unananimously, 46 SNP MPs voted against not because they didnt support the proposal, they opposed it because of its source.
          Your rational for criticisng this article is the same as the SNP MSPs last week that changed their minds and voted aginst. Its a classic example of ‘kill the messenger.’

          1. “Mike, If you dont trust the article because you dont trust the source at least acknowledge the enormity of the facts, should they be true.”

            Why? What would be the point?

            Why not invite one of the SNP members to explain their reasoning behind their choice. Every constituent is entitled to know why their representative votes the way they do on any legislation.

            Once we read that article we can then make a more informed judgement on the rights and wrongs of their decision.

            I’m certainly not going on the single grievance seeking word of any Labour drone/acolyte when it comes to anything about the SNP.

            Labours worthless and discredited track record on SNP smear attempts speaks for itself.

            You haven’t actually provided a single shred of believable evidence of the motivation behind the SNP vote.

            You just made an accusation based on nothing.

            As Usual.

          2. “I dont know the facts and I dont care, because Labour’s done worse things.”

            No it isn’t! My attitude is based on Labours lack of credibility when it comes to reporting anything the SNP says or does.

            Labour have lied and lied and lied and lied again far too many times for anything they say to be taken at face value.

            That’s what happens when you reach the point of zero credibility even if you finally tell the truth why on earth would anybody believe a word of it?

            Especially when it comes evidence free AS USUAL!

            Stupid people.

          3. You don’t seem to be complaining about the fact that the legislation was voted down but are trying to SPEW an accusation on the motivation behind some of the SNP members voting choices.

            That’s where it falls down for me. The FACT appears to be that the legislation was voted down. Ok It was voted down.

            Now tell us why because you know for a fact why. And this time don’t make it up as you go along. Provide any evidence you have or don’t make the stupid allegation in the first place.

    2. Mike
      I’m sure your ‘leap of faith’ will bring great comfort to those people awaiting transplants and to their families. Your opening confession of ignorance of the subject renders the rest of your assertion a hollow ‘LabourBad’.

  4. This is legislation that has been talked about for decades, and should have been on the statute books decades ago.
    I have no idea why it failed this time.
    Are there no discussions “behind the chair” at Holyrood?

    No excuse, but Baillie is apparently hugely disliked and distrusted in this parliament. They couldn’t have picked a worse person to promote any Bill.

    1. Gavin
      Agree that the Bill should have been passed long ago. As for ‘beyond the chair’ discussions well in this case there appeared to be no need. The motion had cross party support and the numbers were good enough until the 20 SNP members changed their minds.
      As for the Jackie Baillie issue – I am sorry but anyone who thinks that personal prejudice about an individual speaker is enough to excuse voting against a Bill intended to save lives really wants to talk a long hard look at themselves and question whether they are fit for public office. There are credible reasons for not supporting this Bill but not liking Jackie Baillie isn’t one of them. (btw it was an Anne McTaggart promoted Bill)

      1. If the motion had cross-party support why did we feel the need to whip our MSPs? I would have thought a matter such as this should have been left to a free vote.

        By the way, why no comment on the Tories or Lib Dems? Whatever merits this argument might have, turning it into yet another “SNPBad” diatribe frankly makes it look a bit ridiculous.

        I’ve carried a donor card since I was 17, which wasn’t yesterday, and I’m on the NHS Organ Donor Register so I think my view on organ donation should be pretty clear. However, I’m not particularly happy with opt-out either. In my view, the individual choice has to be a positive one.

        Were I an MSP I would have voted against the Bill, whipped or otherwise.

  5. This article goes beyond offensive and doesn’t even make sense. Since when did “20 SNP” MSPs constitute the view of the entire Holyrood party and how could they possibly be solely responsible for this bill not getting passed? There are just short of 70 SNP MSPs and 129 MSPs in total at Holyrood. Over 40 other MSPs from other parties would be needed to defeat the bill. Why are they not being lambasted by Labour over this?

    John Mason is a devout Christian and voted against the bill on those grounds. Not because Labour instigated it. Others had similar reservations and voted accordingly. Also, to compare their (the SNP 20 and the dozens of others from other parties) principled objection to this bill with the then Labour govt’s willfull lying to Parliament in order to take the UK into an illegal war that cost the lives of hundreds of thousands (the after effects of which is still costing hundreds of thousands more in the Mid East) would be laughable if it was not so jaw droppingly offensive. Its just as well hardly anybody reads this site or Labour would no doubt suffer accordingly (and rightly).

    FYI; I support the Bill.

    1. Check the voting figures. 56 voted against. 51 voted for. Those that voted against 46SNP, 11 Conservatves, 1 Liberal. Therefore, even if 3 SNP MSPs changed their vote at the last minute to spite Labour then that would be enough to wreck it.

    2. Me Bungo Pony
      The 20 SNP MSPs referred to are the ones who supported the motion but surprisingly voted against the Bill.
      There are many credible reasons, mostly around ethics or religious belief, for not supporting the Bill and I respect those members who were consistent in voicing their opposition – I disagree with them but so what – they are entitled to their views.
      As for the Iraq analogy please see my response to Robert above for you are missing the point.
      You mention my being offensive twice in your comment – well we all decide for ourselves what we find offensive. If you choose to be offended by your misinterpretation of the point then that’s entirely your call.

      1. AyeRightNaw wrote; “Labour’s decision on Iraq disaffected significant numbers of grassroots supporters and presented opponents with a stick that 13 years on is still used to pummel the party. This month’s betrayal of hope and sacrificing of life should become the SNP’s Iraq”.

        What “point” am I supposed to have missed? You have unequivocally compared this issue with the Iraq war. You may have meant people to realise what the thought processes in your head were when you attempted to link the two issues, however, there is no evidence of it in your article. It was a nonsensicle and “offensive” comparison which you may have not intended to cause “offense” but none-the-less “offend”.

        1. The offence is all yours. The point is that this is a serious failure by the SNP/Scottish Government and I think they deserve to be repeatedly reminded of it in the same way that Labour is repeatedly reminded about Iraq. This really isn’t a hard concept.

          1. No AyeRightNaw, the offense is in the minds of the vast majority (in my opinion) of those who read your article (though, luckily for Labour, that is likely to be a very small number).

  6. “Organ bill failure should become SNP’s Iraq”

    The reason why you Scottish Labour section stooges are heading towards total wipeout and extinction at the next Scottish elections is that you play politics with issues like the organ bill which are so sensitive and it is distasteful to demean the cause of its future implementation. To compare the organ bill failure as the SNP’s Iraq is an insult to all the people who have died as a result of the conflict and it may be that some of the deceased soldiers were SNP supporters which makes this insult even worse. Let me give this Scottish Labour section Red Tory stooge some advice it is because of numbskulls like you that stoop to the depths of the gutter to play politics with an issues like this that is above politics that the Labour section Red Tory stooges will get wipedout at the Scottish elections.

    And for the record you whinging insulting Scottish Labour section Red Tory stooge I support the bill but with no thanks to you as you are more than likely have put many people off supporting the bill who would have supported it with your despicable attitude.

    1. Surely it is “playing politics” for 20 SNP MSPs to support the motion calling for soft opt-out but refuse to vote for the bill implementing it?

      Surely, even in your SNP-warped mind, you can see which side is “playing politics” in this case? It’s not Labour.

      If you really do support the bill, why on earth are you defending the people who stopped it becoming law?

      1. El Capitano no need to spit your dummy out and anyway it’s a case of the pot calling the kettle black how many times has your Scottish Labour section Red Tory stooge marched through the lobbies to vote with your sister party the Blue Tories, for the record organ legistlation is in the pipeline and will be enacted in the near future see link below.

        1. It could have been enacted now. Stop making excuses, and stop pretending you care, because if you did you wouldn’t be defending the people who stopped it happening last week.

          1. It is offensive to accuse people of “not caring” simply because they would not tow the Labour Party line. “Offensive” seems to be the Labour default position now. I support the “opt out” principle but I also acknowledge others have reservations about it; and still more support it but want the legislation to be right. There were perceived problems with Labour’s bill (as there is with most Labour policies these days), so some felt the need to vote it down while still supporting the principles of it. Even the BMA wanted people to support the principle of the bill rather than its specifics. Not supporting this particular bill does NOT mean people don’t care.

            If Labour want to run with this issue as an electoral strategy, then hell mend them. Most voters will likely be bemused by it being thrown in their faces, while also being repulsed by a party using the grief and tragedy of individuals for electoral gain. I remember Jackie Baillie doing that very thing over the Vale of Leven incident, even though it occurred when Labour were in power at Holyrood and before the new SNP govt could rectify the failings of Labour’s incompetence.

      1. Scottish Labour section Red Tory stooge I have given you my view I hope it has penetrated through your clogged wingnuts so please do take it on the chin.

  7. The figures are; against 47 SNP, 11 Conservatve, 1 Liberal and 0 Labour. Therefore 59 voted against. The majority I thimk was 5. Therefore a few ‘waiverers’ made all the difference to the outcome.

    1. I’m still giving good odds that there is a hell of a lot more to this than voting with malice.

      My Bet is Labour tagged something unpalatable onto the bill before putting it up.

      That’s what they have a strong track record of doing in both Parliaments.

    2. Ok I think I’m getting the gist of this now. Like abortion this legislation comes with a minefield of social conscience prerogatives which could include any issue from religious to sentimentality.

      Each member would have to carefully weight up or better still canvas their constituents in order to get a feel for how their constituents judge the concept of allowing their dearly departed to be presumed medical donors.

      To get into the pros and cons of what must be a raging argument on par with abortion over this proposal would take an entire blog on its own.

      No MSP worth the title would even consider voting on this type of legislation without first at least taking a poll of constituency opinion.

      Some may take the issue on their own beliefs and strong convictions however I seriously doubt any would vote on an issue of this controversial magnitude on the basis of personal spite against the proposer.

      What I believe I see here is an article written by somebody with a deeply strong personal conviction on allowing presumed opt in of organ transplanting getting upset and letting his emotional feelings on the subject unbalance his reasoning behind the motivation of the vote result.

      This is the type of vote where party whips would been inappropriate to say the least. This is a vote that could only be taken through conscience conviction and belief.

      Sorry Richard your disappointment is understandable but your ranting rage at the result is way off the mark.

      This vote was clearly made by individual conscience consideration.

      I’m more suspicious about the fact that Labour voted 100% for one side of the proposal. You don’t usually get that kind of one sided conviction on conscience controversial legislation within a party.

    1. I think you missed the point. Read the last para for the Iraq reference. No-one saying “as bad as Iraq”.

      1. Although the article may not be saying “as bad as Iraq” the title implies it; typical journalism really. However, a cynic (which in Scotland is surely anyone with an interest in politics) might imagine that this article’s title was purely chosen to antagonise SNP supporters.

  8. Well I fully support the transplant/organ donation bill with its opt out system, but I suspect what the problem is nobody trusts labour and using Jackie Baillie to front the bill just re-enforces that distrust.

    In the same vein just remember Scotland was supposed to get control of “abortion Law” through the next stage of devolution, but for some reason this is being blocked by unelected labour peers in the House of lords. WHY ?

    I believe the opt- out law is already in place in Wales if so then I see no good reason for it not to be in place in Scotland, but people have lots of reasons not to trust anything labour. mmm

  9. It is a typical Labourhame shit stir. Should have realised that from the beginning.

    Still very suspicious that Labour had 100% one sided vote on this issue. Smacks of party pressure or some kind of anti Government collusion. Looking for this kind of moronic smear attempt probably.

    Although Labour in Wales voted 100% the same way as well. Very suspicious.

    But once again No SNP bad story from this at all. Usual pathetic worthless attempt.

    1. Some kind of anti government collusion, eh Mike? Yes, important to focus on the suspicious nature of those backing a bill to save lives rather than shed any light whatsoever on the 20 odd SNP MSPs who claimed to support the bill and then voted against it. Let’s not worry about those people, oh no. The important thing is to say Labour’s principled support for a bill to save lives is “very suspicious” and probably just them hating your beloved SNP.

      1. Duncan, its no more than labours own fault, ever since the SNP became the governing party in Scotland the unionist parties with labour at the forefront have done everything they can to block any SNP policy or bill even when it benefits Scotland and thats just because its from the SNP government no other reason.

        You have spent years screeching “wolf wolf” and now your wondering why no-one trusts labour when they back a bill, and then you take the chief WOLF screecher Baillie to front it ???

        Sorry Duncan, but even though I support the bill, I keep thinking to myself what have labour not told us, what sly trick or stupid stunt are they up to now.

        I’m still waiting AND WONDERING ???????

      2. There are as many objections to assumed donation as there are factors in its favour Duncan not least of all a very worrying and considerable pressure it can put on Doctors with the already unbearable burden of life choice with the terminally ill.

        Knowing vital organs can be harvested a Doctor could easily be tempted to terminate prematurely a terminally ill patient on this premise. Don’t dare tell me it wouldn’t happen. A risk and temptation not there if the donation is not pre assumed.

        I cant decide which side of the coin is more right and less wrong it must be nice to be able to see it so clearly as Labour does with it undoubted and conscience free 100% support in Scotland and Wales.

        No not suspicious at all.

        1. I see that having arrived here with “no clue as to what is going on” you’re now quite the expert, Mike. Well done on finding a way to make this into an attack on Labour. Again. A new departure for you. Really well done.

          1. No less of an expert on the subject than yourself or the demented soul who wrote this tripe.

            It was you once again you who tried to take nothing and use it to attack the SNP Government with so once again you’re projecting like a good faithful little Labour trough swiller wannabe.

            Lying, projecting your own faults onto others, denying in the full face of contrary evidential proof, smearing accusing without justification. I have to give you credit you really know how to get the favourable attention of the Labour leadership.

            A Jackie Baillie in trousers.

  10. It seems strange that Labour should be totally united on such a matter of conscience and ethics. Interesting too that the main thrust of argument does not revolve on whether or not the legislation is good or desirable or indeed effective, but rather that 20 MSPs appeared to change their mind after having been given the time to research further. Perhaps they listened to expert opinion, or even their constituency opinion, or perhaps saw the bill for the opportunistic political football it was being used as.
    BTW- It is not a given within the medical community that there is any benefit to presumed consent, and many questions as to the ethics of it and the actual implementation of it- In the end families have the final say whether opted in or out. Cut and paste path at end of comment.

    Labour have attempted to create an ethical divide with the question in a similar vein to the use of the abortion/choice question as used in US by the Republicans.

    1. Hear Hear! Red Tory Labour like to follow a lot of political strategies employed by the extremist right wing Republicans in the US.

      Their entire negative and smear campaigning is pure Neo Con US.

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