Jim O’Neill responds to the extraordinary behaviour of John Swinney and the SNP following their defeat in parliament on primary school testing.

 

Now we have it finally. The SNP do not really believe in democracy.

Let us set aside, for the moment, the issue in dispute, the testing of P1 pupils. There is now a more fundamental issue at stake, the primacy of democratic decisions in the Scottish Parliament.

Having been defeated 63 – 61 on the issue in the vote, John Swinney said he would reflect on the decision, but that Councils should go on testing anyway. Given that the decision of the Scottish Parliament was not mandatory, the correct response should have been to reflect on the decision but to call a moratorium on the tests while he did so. Given our past experience of Mr Swinney, it could be some time before he finishes his reflection. And one council, Aberdeen City, has already announced a moratorium on testing.

Then, when Richard Leonard pressed her on the decision, Nicola Sturgeon said that while her most able Minister was reflecting on the decision, she believed that testing at P1 was necessary and nothing would change her mind. That despite the many commentators, the teaching profession and the Scottish Parliament itself that have expressed opposition to them. As Leonard said, what makes her so certain given that the vast majority of practitioners opposed them?

But it is their contempt for the democratic will of the Scottish Parliament that is most concerning. Even Patrick Harvie’s Greens, usually certain to dig them out of a hole in Parliament, opposed the tests. Is this what we are to look forward in an independent Scotland? An arrogant SNP Government imposing it’s own policies by diktat despite any opposition majority in the Parliament? This precedent is very dangerous. It shows tendencies towards dictatorship, a state that I would not want to live under.

However, let us return to John Swinney’s time in charge of education. After the last election, Nicola Sturgeon said that education was her first priority and that her government should be judged on that. That was why she was putting her best minister and Deputy in charge of it. So let us look at Mr Swinney’s time in charge. Can he point us to one successful intervention in the sector?

The first issue is the much lauded Education Bill. Two years into trying to put together a bill that would get through Parliament, he abandoned it in favour of getting its terms agreed with councils directly, thereby bypassing Parliament and avoiding open debate on those terms. Once again, sidelining democratic scrutiny by Parliament.

But even this is not new. The Named Person proposals were also rejected by Parliament but Mr Swinney resolved to pursue them anyway. It took a resort to court by NO2NP to stop his proposals in their track. We still await his revised plans but, since so many are opposed even to the basic principle of agents of the state overseeing every parent’s upbringing of their children, I suspect they are being quiety abandoned.

And now we have teachers in dispute. I was a teachers’ union leader during the last great teachers’ dispute in the 1980s. I was also a member of the Teachers’ Negotiating Committee, and I saw how the then Government had an effective veto over any offer by the employers. I cannot think it is any different today.

What resolved it then was a change of Secretary of State, and a change in the government’s attitude to teachers from not being prepared to compromise to being prepared to do so, with the arrival of George Younger in the top job.

The problem is I can’t see John Swinney changing his confrontational approach. You only need to watch him both performing himself and sitting beside Ms Sturgeon during FMQs. He should not play poker as his anger is obvious when anyone challenges SNP policy and he is always first to applaud loudly when Ms Surgeon responds, even if it is the fourth repetition of the same statistics.

So where do we go from here? Can Ms Sturgeon find someone else, as Thatcher did, to change the Scottish Government’s way of presenting their education policies? Can Swinney change his spots? We are facing a critical time in Scottish education verging on a return to the dark days of the 1980s. Scotland’s children deserve better.

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137 thoughts on “Swinney no more

  1. I would say the above standard Unionist “pick ‘n’ mix” attitude to Democracy, but that would be unfair. Its the standard politician’s “pick ‘n’ mix” attitude to Democracy. Strangely (sic), unionists are less keen on supporting the Scottish Parliament’s vote on its right to call a second IndyRef. They all snipe at each other with the kind of arguments used by Mr O’Neill above.

    The fact is, though, what the Scottish Govt is doing is perfectly democratic as they were elected on a manifesto that promised the testing of P1 pupils as part of their strategy to close the education attainment gap. As such they have every democratic right to press ahead with it. The vote held in Parliament last week did not call for the abolition of testing and was not binding on the Govt under the democratic rules that pertain. So a belief in Democracy is not the issue. It could be argued it is Mr O’Neill and his opportunistic Tory allies who have the problem with Democracy as they don’t seem to like the rules when they don’t suit them.

    The Tories are especially cynical as they have banged on about the necessity of testing P1 pupils for years. Even just a few months ago they were championing it and taking credit for “forcing” the Govt to introduce them. But hey, even though they believe in them, they wont let their principles get in the way of their ambition for power. An empty vessel politician with no “strongly held belief” she wouldn’t deny all sympathy with for electoral gain is the perfect leader for such a party. Ruth Davidson is the perfect fit for the job she is doing …. when she deigns to do it.

    1. The Scottish Parliament has no “right” to call a second Indyref. That power is reserved to Westminster. I note no SNP MP has sought to amend the Scotland Act in this respect, even though they have had the opportunities to do so.

      1. Jim the Scottish Government have already voted to have an lndyRef2 and have a democratic mandate to do so. If a section 30 is refused by Westminster that would be undemocratic. A refusal to agree a section 30 could not stop an indicative referendum being put into motion, if this was the case Westminster would crumble and agree and rubber stamp a section 30. Richard and Ruth are always talking up an lndyRef2 so l can’t see any problems there they would not be able to resist taking part and campaigning in an indicative lndyRef2.

        1. Ted just an update from a previous blog .
          In CBB I a labour Party member voted for Hardeep an SNP member for over 20 years . Sadly our man went out at the semi final stage .
          PS I badly need those lottery numbers.

      2. Perhaps they have not sought to amend the Act because they know exactly what the answer from Westminster would be. That is the problem of not having control of your own sovereignty. They also know what the reaction of such as yourself would be to such a move.

        And as Ted illustrates, your claim to be a Democrat is based on a selective approach to votes and whether you like them or not. The “Scottish Parliament” voted to re-evaluate P1 testing, so you demand the Govt obey it citing Democracy. The Scottish Parliament votes for a second IndyRef, so you demand it be ignored, ignoring the very same Democracy.

      3. Anybody has a right to call for a referendum on anything at anytime. You also have a right to participate or not. If you don’t want to participate in any referendum then nobody says you have to.
        You don’t have a right to prevent anybody from calling a referendum.

        See that’s called reality why don’t you try and get in touch with it?

        1. People can call FOR a referendum but only Westminster can grant one at this time. Otherwise the Scottish Parliament would be acting ultra vires and would be heading down the Catalan road

          1. That’s a different and contradictory assertion to your original assertion regarding the rights of the Scottish Parliament to call a referendum so once again you choose to stupidly lie for no good reason but you can.
            Do you have mental health issues?
            The Catalans are exercising full their Democratic legitimate and legal rights those opposing them are doing so by adopting fascism. If Scotland is forced to go down the Catalan road then it will be because Westminster has adopted fascism and you will be at the forefront in support of them doing so along with most of your other Labour Comrades.
            You unionist ideals has you preferring English Tory fascism governing Scotland over the very idea of a Scottish socialist Labour party eh Jim Bob?
            That’s how utterly insane the Labour in Scotland political position is.

  2. I agree with all of you .But we get told constantly the will of the Scottish Parliament is paramount I agree.
    All the opposition parties voted this down and the day before the Scottish Government said as it was advisory they are doing it anyway .
    They should have withdrawn it and come back with another one. After consulting with other parties .
    Kevan Pringle in the Sunday Times writes the SNP were not slow to criticise the late Donald Dewars administration when he said a vote was advisory .
    I fully support the Scottish parliaments right to ask for Indy 2 at some point I think it has to be before 2021
    or the timescale expires
    We quite rightly point out the motion had the support of all parties except the Tories.
    That will now get thrown back at the government .
    Its an own goal that could have and should have been avoided.

    1. In what way would it have mattered how the Scottish Government went about legislating for a second Indyref? In what Yooniverse would any version of legislation not faced opposition for opposition sake?
      You know as well as I do there is nothing the Scottish Government can do that will get any of the Yoon brigade to respect the legitimacy of a second Independence mandate so why do you pretend there is?
      Is there nobody in Labour that isn’t corrupt and dishonest? Has it become compulsory for membership?

  3. Found this in Sundays Herald
    Exclusive by Paul Hutcheon
    He says the FM is being held back from fully supporting a ref on a final Brexit deal by her advisers .
    The top team are worried about the impact a new vote would have on another Indy Ref
    He is also saying senior SNP figures believe a second Indy ref will not occur before 2021 because PM May will refuse to sanction another vote .
    Those Senior SNP figures want the FM to publicly support the cross party campaign for a referendum on Brexit .
    They are claiming this short term move would put the SNP on the side of the majority of Scots and also reach out to remainers who are hostile to Independence .
    Its claimed if the FM does this the FM will give herself breathing room on Independence and reboot the case for Indy .
    Cabinet Secretary Michael Russell And SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford are open to another Brexit Ref .
    The FM is said to be interested but has only offered qualified support .
    Apparently a senior source close to the government said the FMS special advisors are sceptical and the FM is being held back .
    Apparently 2 of the FMS most influential special advisers Chief of Staff Liz Lloyd and constitutional adviser
    Ewan Crawford are not convinced of this policy
    They think backing another Brexit vote would create a precedent for a double referendum on Independence .
    1 on the principle and another on the final deal.
    Some SNP supporters of another Brexit vote say the constitution unit report says that in cases where a government produced a white paper outlining a change to be offered in a referendum a further plebiscite would only be triggered if there was a material departure from the original prospectus
    The FMS spokesperson said with it looking likely it will be a choice between a no deal Brexit and a blind Brexit an extension to the article 50 timetable must be on the table as the only way to stop us going off the economic cliff edge .
    They also said the SNP will not stand in the way of a 2nd EU Ref.
    But those advocating it need to explain how they would guarantee we will not simply find ourselves in the same position we found ourselves in June 2016 Scotland voted to remain in the EU but the rest of the UK voted to leave.

    1. If the FM endorses another EU ref under the same terms and conditions of the last one then she is effectively cancelling any argument the Scottish Government has over the fact that Scotland voted to remain as a Country and that this result should be respected and considered.
      Neither Labour nor the Libs give a shite about Scotlands place in the UK or more accurately lack of influence and authority but it is very important to those of us who believe in Scotland the Nation as opposed to Scotland the annexed region of England.
      In other words nobody should expect the FM to compromise the principle that Scotland the nation voted to remain in the EU and that vote should allow Scotland to remain irrespective of what the rest of the UK does. At the very least it should have a major part within the negotiation process and not be totally ignored and regarded with no significance at all.
      So unless these issues are addressed then the FM is right to withhold her support for a second vote under the same terms and conditions as the first.

      And you know it.

  4. I have been thinking this for a while
    The Scottish parliament has given the Scottish Government the power to ask the PM for permission to hold INDY 2 .We have had the Growth Commission report that was to restart the argument for Indy .
    AUOB have done a magnificent job getting tens of thousands to march for Indy .
    The FM who last week was boasting about the number of protest marches she has been on in the past has still not managed to find the time to address an AUOB .
    We are told the FM will make a statement in October on her Indy plan once Brexit is clearer .
    So I ask this can someone tell me has the FM commissioned the Scottish Civil Service to carry out detailed or any work on plans for a request to the PM for Indy .
    Has no 10 or any UK department been even approached in private for their views .
    If and I think the answer is no .
    Then there is a case to be made the FM has been stringing Scotland and all those marchers along .
    If I am correct I think the Scottish Government mandate which I support to ask for an Indy Ref runs out in 2021 what then .
    The Sunday Herald said on Sunday senior SNP people are claiming no Indy vote before 2021 because the PM will refuse a vote and other papers were carrying the same stories last week.
    If true are the SNP having a laugh .
    Don’t ask for a vote before 2021 when the mandate runs out in 21.
    The reason the PM might say no .
    No one has told all those marchers the FM might not even ask for a vote in case the PM says no .
    If having a Scottish Parliament mandate to ask for a vote as she does now .
    The FM goes to the PM for Permission and the PM is daft enough to say no .
    That would pull everyone together like nothing else .
    I believe that Scottish Labour having voted for the original mandate could support the request but campaign to remain in the UK .
    But to get a ref the FM will have to ask and SNP members will have to start putting the pressure on her to do it will they

  5. I have been watching and reading reports about the blood contamination scandal .
    A disgrace this was allowed to happen .
    Preventable still happened people are dead now we might get to the bottom of it .
    Its taken to long to get to this stage.

  6. Bodyguard in BBC lastnight the biggest tv viewing figures for years .
    But was anyone like me very uneasy with the long drawn out suicide belt sequence at the end.
    For me to many people have lost their lives and had life threatening injuries to terrorism.

    1. David the first two episodes were top notch as for three four and five for me they were so so, as for number six the final episode it was a bit of a let down in particular the bit about the suicide belt was done in episode one so to repeat it was an anticlimax to much hamming it up. Overall I enjoyed it although a bit of a let down at the end I give it 8 out of 10. I think that Keeley Hawes is a fantastic actor brilliant in the Durrell’s l give her 10 out of 10.

      1. Thankyou for your comment Ted .
        My problem with the end sequence is although gripping and well done its that I feel we have had terrible tragedies on our streets .
        I agree about Keeley Hawes .
        I think there will be loads of well deserved awards for this.

  7. Finally tonight I would like to say a massive thankyou to our magnificent NHS I have a lung condition .
    Last Tuesday night Crosshouse Hospital Respiratory phoned me don’t go out Wed storm Ali severe winds forecast
    Would give me serious breathing difficulties .
    Wed Crosshouse Hospital and Gartnavel Hospital both phoned to see if I was ok great service

    1. David so good to see that the NHS is looking out for you it’s good to hear your kind remarks l am sure that they will appreciate them. I wish all the best with your condition and take care.

      1. Thankyou again for your comment Ted
        STV News just said Wet Wet Wet are performing appropriate as its raining Heavily at the moment haha.
        Crosshouse Hospital respiratory said last week we live in Scotland so we are used to the wind so its just this is the wrong type of wind for you .
        Gartnavel Hospital last week 10am when they phoned I asked whats it like in Glasgow answer heavy rain no wind I said don’t worry the wind is coming .
        Its gail force in Ayrshire .HaHa
        At the bottom of my street a huge tree was blown over on Wednesday morning .
        I reported it on Wednesday to the council 130pm that afternoon .
        Other neighbours reported it Thursday and Friday .
        We are told council will try and move it this Wed .
        On Saturday we were all congratulating each other on doing our civic duty by reporting it .
        When we realized no one had checked to see if anyone is under it .
        Will keep you updated on that .
        Also have to report gale force winds the dreaded very important roadworks flying past us trees crashing down .
        And Labour controlled North Ayrshire Council sent out a 2 man street sweeping machine to clear leaves .
        Now that is service .
        Not the councils fault our 2 heroes were seen hiding behind a shop Coop of course haha.

        1. David l guess the tree is not blocking the road so they will not seem it as an emergency so it will not be a priority. I cannot understand the logic of all public authorities from Land’s End to John o’ Groats who start chasing the odd leaves at the beginning of autumn why not wait until all the trees have shed all their leaves and just pick them up in one go it’s not rocket science.

          1. Thankyou for your comment Ted
            The Tree is still there so how about those lottery numbers Ted haha

  8. I think the Tories and Labour have misjudged P1 testing issue you will probably find most if not all parents are in favour of it. What l would do if l was the Scottish Government is make it optional ie parents have to sign up to it giving their consent and see what the take up is. And as for the parents who do not sign up for it they can seek an alternative method of monitoring perhaps they could seek advice from the Tories and Labour as to how they can explain to their children why they are not being treated the same as other children. Also children who are not tested should have the information on their school records so as they get older they should be able to ask their parents to explain why they were not tested and for those who don’t excel in education this would be problematic not only the children but also the parents.

    1. Just as they misjudged the public’s view on the OBFA legislation. They had it repealed despite the overwhelming majority of the public (including the majority of football fans) being in favour of it.

      What they are doing is voting against popular, positive legislation in the hope the people that approve of the laws (who form the majority of the electorate) will reward them for it. Weird logic or what?

      1. Ted, neither you nor Mr Pony are correct in your assertions. P1 testing is opposed by the vast majority of practitioners and by the vast majority of parents (EIS survey). The concept of baseline testing is also frowned on in most progressive European countries, where children do not begin formal education until 7 or 8. Re the football issue, the evidence of James Kelly’s research is that the vast majority of football fans were opposed to it.

        1. Jim the EIS survey cannot be relied upon because the EIS body does not represent all practitioners in the education field, and therefore it is not relevant because it is not a big enough sample of a cross section of practitioners to be relevant and to give weight to. Same can be said about James Kelly research it is all subjective also lacks objectivity and references.

          1. The E.I.S. speaks for 80% of education practitioners, from nursery across to university, the others being not in a union, in he S.S.T.A, or your England snd Wales based organisation. Be in mo doubt; the E.I.S. speaks for the practitionersin Scottish Education – at every level.

        2. James Kelly used a self selecting poll whereby those opposed to the Act flooded it with their responses while those who do not oppose it didn’t take part. The vast majority of people didn’t even know it was happening and, of those that did, the vast majority wouldn’t even think of taking part. This is a phenomenon I am sure you are aware of. However, polls taken by reputable polling agencies found a completely different picture to what Mr Kelly laughably claimed.

          For instance, Panelbase found:

          “The Offensive Behaviour (Football) Act 2012 bans the singing of sectarian songs in and around football matches, but some supporters claim it infringes their civil liberties, or that it was intended to victimise their club alone.

          Do you support the Act, or do you think it should be abolished?”

          ALL RESPONDENTS

          Support the Act: 60%
          Should be abolished: 14%
          Don’t know/don’t care: 26%

          “RANGERS” FANS

          Support the Act: 59%
          Should be abolished: 29%
          Don’t know/don’t care: 13%

          CELTIC FANS

          Support the Act: 64%
          Should be abolished: 25%
          Don’t know/don’t care: 11%

          OTHER SCOTTISH CLUBS

          Support the Act: 76%
          Should be abolished: 10%
          Don’t know/don’t care: 14%

          NON-FOOTBALL

          Support the Act: 54%
          Should be abolished: 8%
          Don’t know/don’t care: 38%

          Don’t know about you, but I believe a poll taken by a reputable polling agency that talks to a random sample of the population is a more reliable snapshot of public opinion than a self selecting poll, that few were aware of, set up by a politician to back his own argument. Just saying.

        3. The EIS survey of 364 people came back with an inconclusive response so once again you wilfully bare face lie. What the hell is wrong with people like you? Its one thing to fight for a cause or argue from conviction but to wilfully lie in support of something is to acknowledge that the issue doesn’t conform to your side of the argument.
          You are corrupt and as a result the Labour party is corrupted by you and those like you. This is why Labour ceased to be a progressive political party and morphed into an organised crime syndicate employing only those who wish to self serve in cooperation with each other at the expense of the public purse.
          Willing to lie cheat steal and even kill through employing deprivation and austerity at a WMD level.
          People like you hate the fact that there is an actual progressive political party in Scotland walking the walk of progressive ideals and policy because it shows Labour up for the sham that it is.
          All soundbyte rhetoric and broken promise unwilling to actually deliver on a single progressive HUMANE policy where and when you have the power and authority to do so.
          The wilful opposition to progressive education policy is just a tiny tip of the iceberg. You wont even vote for your own budget amendments because you’d rather see an SNP budget fail to pass through Parliament than get your own contributions made into policy.
          That’s how utterly worthless and devoid of credibility Labour are and its all down to people like you Jim Bob.

  9. Pony Ted
    Don’t think that Jeremy Corbyn and Richard Leonard do not intend to carry out Labour Party policy if elected they do .
    Richard Leonard when in Irvine told us to be under no illusion that the party if elected will carry out our program for government .
    I was there and he was very straight about it . And I believe him.
    Here in North Ayrshire
    All labour party members were involved in drawing up our local election manifesto .
    We divided into workshops we all threw in ideas me included .
    We all approved the manifesto .
    After we got power as a minority administration
    All members attended meetings it was us the members who decided not to go into a coalition with anyone.
    Labour controlled North Ayrshire Council are enacting that manifesto we the members helped draw up .
    Also the National Labour Party I get e mails nearly every day asking for my opinion and ideas and areas near me where I can help with local campaigning
    We have been asked what we would like to be asked at FMQS and PMQS .
    We the members are going to be asked to help draw up the next General Election manifesto .
    And the Scottish Election manifesto .
    And I can assure you from what I can see we intend to carry it out .
    And I cannot remember a time when the members have been given a chance to get this involved .
    This weeks Labour Party conference in Liverpool is a case in point .
    Some policies they passed I wont agree with most I definitely will .
    But 1 thing that conference showed was passion and a commitment to argue and debate ideas
    I haven’t seen that for years at any party conference .
    Maybe other parties could learn from that don’t rely on stage managing for me it always looks bad and is
    Delegates there just to make the leader look good at the closing speech .
    There again that means allowing a real conference like Labour have just done.
    And BTW be under no illusion we want a general election .
    Will other parties support us if it comes to a no confidence vote to get an election

    1. David the SNP don’t want to go into a coalition but if there was a general election and If Labour Party could get into government to keep the Tories out with the support of the SNP on the basis of confidence and supply would you and your comrades be up for that? Sorry to see the Labour Party make a tactical error at the conference by leaving another Brexit referendum on the table, l can guarantee that all Labour supporters who voted to leave the EU will vote for the Tories if it is in a Labour manifesto. Regardless of what party you support l cannot understand that Labour MPs will vote against a deal and then say to government you have to go back to the EU for another deal this is stark raving bonkers are the EU going to give you more l think not. Please somebody if l am missing something that everybody else sees please let me know.

      1. Thankyou again for your comment Ted
        For me after a general election and Labour were the biggest party but needed SNP support to govern I would say yes.
        I can see nothing good about Brexit .With the passion in that debate I think we can see the trouble its causing all the parties .
        The Sunday Herald ran a piece on Sunday
        About the internal divisions at the top of the SNP on this issue .
        Nicola is being warned if she backs the peoples vote she will drive away the thousands of Independence voters who voted yes in 14 but Brexit in 16.
        That’s why they are trying not to make a decision that will divide the party .
        But sooner or later all parties will have to make a decision .
        For me we need to stay in the EU.

    2. David wrote: “Don’t think that Jeremy Corbyn and Richard Leonard do not intend to carry out Labour Party policy if elected they do. Richard Leonard when in Irvine told us to be under no illusion that the party if elected will carry out our program for government. I was there and he was very straight about it”.

      Sorry David, it’ll take more than that to undo the credibility damage of decades of Labour saying one thing when they have no power to enact it, and then doing nothing when they do. Even recently, Scottish (sic) Labour banged on about the Council Tax Freeze being bad, was affecting council services adversely and needed to be abolished. Then, when it was, Labour councils throughout Scotland did …. nothing. They maintained the freeze and started sniping at other targets.

      A politician claiming they’re serious about implementing policies prior to acquiring power is no guarantee. The Scottish (sic) Labour politicians of 1999 and 2003 were just as “serious” in the run up to those elections then did nothing when they got into office. I’m not going to trust the word of yet another one who is “serious about it” now.

      1. Thank you for your comment Bungo
        All I can say Bungo when Richard came to Irvine to speak to us
        He made it quite clear the scale of our task .Here in Scotland he made no bones about it 3rd place at Holyrood is not good enough .
        The SNP are in power .
        We need to be disciplined competent and prove we can be trusted with power and win the peoples trust
        We make no bones about it we have to prove we can be trusted to do what we say as we are doing in North Ayrshire .
        And we are a left wing party with left wing principles
        We are accused of always SNP bad even worse the SNP believe that .
        They fail to see they are in power at Holyrood and we intend to replace them .
        No one could remember a labour Leader ever coming to speak to the likes of us
        And without publicity he has been all over Scotland
        When he spoke to us he made no bones about the task facing us .
        He also made it quite clear when we get into government we will enact our programme
        A lot off what he said about what will happen after a labour general election victory you heard at this weeks Labour conference including the leaders speech.
        All I can say Bungo it was obvious that day he means it Richard and Jeremy believe in what they are doing.
        Look at the reaction and personal attacks launched at us this week by the media
        I read the National and today nearly every page personal attacks on Richard Leonard
        Somebody is rattled
        Dare I say it SNP LABbad
        Labour have been hitting the Tories all week
        It will be interesting to see who the Tories and SNP attack want to bet its labour does Ruth support post Brexit tendering NHS contracts out to American companies .
        Will the FM say anything meaningful on Indy or EU refs we shall see
        Bungo I have not put my thoughts very well but these are my views

  10. So whats Labours problem with P1 testing? They don’t seem to actually have a valid reason for opposing it apart from the fact that it was introduced by the SNP.
    A party that supports Trident warmongering the House of Lords austerity tuition fees means testing cash for honours Brexit privatisation welfare cuts etc etc suddenly decides to make a stand on P1 testing.
    It wouldn’t surprise me if Labour adopted P1 testing in Wales sometime soon it really wouldn’t.

    Seriously do you people think this is the way back for Labour in Scotland? You have to be the worst opposition party in the history of political opposition.

    I think you’ve made a pact with the Lib Dems where you take turns to be the 3rd and 4th parties in Scotland.

      1. I read your gibbering made up crap and dismissed it for what it is party political drivel. There is far too much support and positive reports from education institutions and professionals regarding early learning for there to be any credible objections to it. There is even a curriculum of higher education study which teaches people to become early learning teachers.
        What it all boils down to is the fact that as an opposition party you took an opportunity presented by the Green party opposition to early learning to score political points off the Government and took it to the actual detriment to the principle of early learning.
        The Green party had opposition to early learning written into their manifesto so at least they have an excuse of principle. The Tories supported the principle of early learning I neither know nor care what the Lib Dem excuse is as they are irrelevant at every level so clearly they both are just blatant political opportunists and here Labour are yet again back in bed with the Tories and Lib dems opposing for oppositions sake.
        Like I said I fully expect Labour in Wales to adopt early learning curriculums in the near future because it will be adopted in England by the Tories.
        Its the bit where you think folk in Scotland are zipped up the back of the head and cant see the farce for what it is in spite of all the media manipulation and subjective censorship.
        Does the media decline and polling not tell you clowns anything?

      2. How do you know if early learning is a success or failure if you don’t measure it?
        And how do you measure it without testing?

        1. Mike that’s a good point l think that what the Scottish Government should do is have another debate and put the P1 testing as a pilot scheme with a review and after two years to assess the results, and also to make it optional for parents to opt in or out of the scheme. I think any reasonable changes should be welcome although l think that the opposition parties to the Scottish Government are political point scoring such a shame to gamble with children’s futures.

          1. To what end? Its as clear as day that the ONLY opposition to P1 testing is political that wont change no matter what results are presented as a result of pilot schemes or reviews.
            The goal here is to present the Government as a failure in spite of any and all successes they achieve. They do it because they have the media in their pocket only all too willing to publish and broadcast any perception given to them by any UK state representatives acting on behalf of the UK state.
            These games can only end when we achieve Independence.
            That’s another positive reason for an Independent Scottish Parliament it will mean that the 3 main opposition parties will no longer have a reason to work together against the needs and wants of the people of Scotland on various issues just to subvert a constitutional choice.
            They can get back to their actual day job of working for their constituencies and principles instead.

        2. That is what the P3 baseline testing is for, at the end of the play phase of learning and the start of more formal learning

          1. So as a result of P3 testing Labour has come to the conclusion that P1 testing makes kids cry but not P3 testing?

            Or as a result of P3 testing Labour comes to the conclusion P1 testing is ineffective?

            What P3 testing results have led Labour to the conclusion that they should oppose P1 testing Jim?

            Or have you just stupidly lied again?

            Instead of trying to be an arse why don’t you try growing up and deal with the issue like an adult?

  11. Jim Bob You bare faced lied when you claimed the “Teaching Profession” objected to P1 testing. The ONLY opposition from the “Teaching profession” who have expressed any opposition to the policy is a few members of the Teachers Union which going on past experiences will be linked directly to the Labour party and will be expressing party political opinion relative to professional opinion. The usual guff.
    The “Teaching Profession” as a whole FULLY endorse and support the principle of early learning and AGREE FULLY that in order for it to be effective testing is required in order to allow the success of the principle to be measured. It is also required in order to highlight any problems early learning may generate.
    See that’s what gets me the most how can opposition come up with excuses to prevent early learning testing when you need testing to highlight the potential excuses you need to criticise it in the first place? You cant actually know if early learning is a problem or not until you test it.
    So spare me the stupid bare faced lying and hypocrisy for once in yer miserable politically tainted existence and for once stand up for what is right for people and not what is perceived to be right for the Labour party in Scotland at the expense of what is right for everybody else.
    Isnt that what public service is about?
    Christ you people have no shame.

    1. I wonder where you get your evidence regarding the teaching profession’s view, an SNP briefing? By the way, I can’t bare face lie, I have a beard. Lol

      1. Mainly because the ONLY teaching profession opposition comes from the Labour party affiliated Teachers union.
        Perhaps if you could name one of these children who are supposed to have broken down and cried because they were tested we could look at the evidence that supports your claims?

          1. Depends on how you interpret the term affiliated. For example you’re not affiliated with the term credibility reliability fact truth or reality but I bet you use these words quite often eh Jim Bob?

      2. Jim that’s funny we all have to have a sense of humour in the arena of political discourse, so well done you it just shows that not all Scottish Labour are spiteful backstabbing SNP BAD.

  12. Great to see the cops getting 6 per cent backdated
    See what happens when other public service workers ask for the same

  13. Just spotted on the BBC that Mike Russell has spoken to Hugo Dixon of peoples vote.
    And Willie Rennie apparently claimed today Mike Russell would support a peoples vote if Willie Rennie would support an Indy 2 Ref .

    1. David interesting snippet so what has Willie Rennie decided to do wouldn’t he reciprocate and agree the offer?

      1. Thank you for your comment Ted
        Correct oor Wully said he had several discussions with Mike Russell Decided he was insulted and Declined to accept Mikes offer .
        And PM May according to Reporting Scotland has told Nicola forget Indy get on with the day job .
        That’s good as Nicola has not and shows no sign of organizing one.

  14. Warning to anyone going to the next AOUB march in Edinburgh a week on Saturday .
    AOUB said that Historic Environment Scotland have told them at this late stage they can march through HolyroodPark but no rally or stalls as the rally is political .
    They have appealed they had the route agreed with the council and Police only got told Monday by HES they could not rally they are now urgently looking for a nearby venue that can hold 35 thousand approximately .
    Surely commen sense can prevail its not a party demonstration let them rally as a 1 of don’t do it here again

    1. The AUOB rally march is a wonderful occasion some of the costumes and garb very colourful and theatrical as well as lot’s of happy joyous folk’s coming together to enjoy the occasion. I would recommend even if you don’t support lndependence and are maybe open to reconsidering your view that you come and enjoy the rally, it is sure to be a wonderful event with a carnival atmosphere. I know a number of folks who have been persuaded to support lndependence after accidentally coming across a rally. I hope the weather is nice and hope all the folk’s have a wonderful day out at the rally and l wish them all the best and good luck.

  15. Thankyou again for your comment Ted .
    A good old fashioned bun fight is now going on
    Accusations of a unionist plot as usual .Nationalists are threatening a mass cancelation of HES membership if the ban stands .
    HES say despite publicising the October 6 march since early June .AOUB only applied for permission on September 13 . Got turned down on Monday 24 .
    The march can still go through the park but no stage rally stalls or temporary toilets .
    HES say the rally would be political.
    They say the organization it replaced Historic Scotland refused permission for a pro UK event in the runup to the 2014 Indy ref .
    AOUB say on facebook HES is being run by closet Tories
    For an organization that is not political that statement does not help.
    Me I think some one needs to bang heads together .
    Why cant the Scottish Government intervene and find a compromise .
    Unless they don’t want to .
    Also I have seen plenty of press coverage on this but no tv .
    Could it be this is that ridiculous for everyone involved HES AOUB Scottish Government they want it to go away
    Or is that a conspiracy theory to far.

  16. That Tree Ted
    A council pickup arrived today I got my hopes up .
    But no a quick look a lot of muttering and away . Then a small gleaming white council van arrived driver got out had a look got back in the van drove away .
    Our tree is still there I will keep you informed as I know you wont sleep unless you know what happened to our tree.
    PS how about those lottery numbers.
    Having said all that my local papers are showing the full impact of storm Ali
    On North Ayrshire Trees uprooted landed on roads gardens and houses .
    The council are working flat out to clear the damage .
    I go to Kilmarnock by bus East Ayrshire Council are working flat out as well.

  17. OK guys for me this counts as well.
    Essentra based in Milton Keynes and listed on the London stock exchange is closing its Kilmarnock factory 51 jobs will go the union say this is devastating for the local economy its main customer was paper for William Hill
    But because of online betting .William Hill don’t need so much paper.
    Other manufacturing sites to close this year include the chicken factory in Cambuslang 450 jobs gone hundreds of jobs went at Pinneys Texas Instruments will close its factory in Greenock next year over 300 jobs will go
    Uncertainty over Michelin in Dundee over 800 work there .
    25 Thousand complained to Ofcom about Celebrity Big Brother so when the hell are we going to start complaining about job losses that’s what demonstrations and campaigns should be about .
    We did it before in the 70s and 80s we are back there

    1. David Scottish Government should consider cutting business tax and income tax and undercut England so that company’s headquarters who are based in England with depots and factories in Scotland would consider relocating to Scotland with the likelihood that the business would be more viable and successful with the less if any job cuts.

  18. Rob Delaney of ch4s Catastrophe who lives in London is asking why his son is being tested at school age 7 he says at that young age his son should be drawing or playing football.
    So where is the evidence that John Swinney has that his tests are wanted or needed

    1. David the Scottish Government should make any testing optional then parents like Rob Delaney should be able to opt out of testing if they so desire.

    2. How does testing P1 pupils stop them playing football or drawing? They require no studying and only take minutes to complete. There is far too much horse sh*t spouted on this issue. What is the problem with determining what a child’s strengths and weakness’ are educationally? It allows a teacher to tailor lessons to suit each child and hopefully help close any attainment gap. Is that such a bad thing?

        1. Jim excuse me for sticking my oar in but why’s asking Pony if he’s ever been a teacher relevant? You could ask 10 teacher’s if they are for or against P1 testing and you could get 5 for and 5 against so in other words you don’t have to be a teacher to have an opinion and view on this matter.

          1. Because his last post shows a total lack of understanding about how teachers structure the classroom experience

          2. Sorry Mr O’Neill, but your last comment was patronising, elitist and totally irrelevant. Are you really saying teachers shouldn’t have to change their ways?

            My wife and I both work for the NHS, though in different specialities. We have to change our ways ALL the time in order to implement new technology and practices. Why should teachers be any different?

            There is no logic in your apparent claim. You constantly bang on about how the Scottish Govt needs to change its education policy but seem to believe that should not impact on teacher’s practices. How can any reforms be implemented if teachers don’t adapt.

            It could be argued that the implication of what you are saying is that it is not politicians or Curriculum for Excellence that are the problem in education; it is teachers refusing to change their practices. I don’t think you really believe that.

  19. Please may l be as so bold make a comment on the political campaigning taking place today as it’s so overwhelming l feel l need share it with someone. I am a supporter of an lndependent Scottish Labour Party in an Independent Scotland so I am in favour of lndependence. So far today l have been the recipient of three groups of campaigners from the SNP two of whom knocked on my door with leaflets and a chat, the other was an outdoor command and control centre with a large square of tables and lot’s of leaflets literature and folk chatting away in the town centre and the atmosphere is electric. It feels as if lndyRef2 has already started and l am disappointed that although l don’t agree with the Unionist position on lndependence l had the impression that Scottish Labour would be also out campaigning today so far nobody has knocked on my door and after going out to the shops up the town centre on my return no leaflets had been posted through my letter box. If l was to compare the standard of campaigning from the various parties today in terms of cuisine l would say the SNP would be on a par with a superb seasoned sirloin steak and Scottish Labour would be on par with a weak soggy spam fritter.

    1. I’m not sure what your constituency is, but Cunninghame South have been out campaigning recently

      1. Jim l don’t want to give too much kudos to the SNP campaigning but nonetheless l rang the the number on the leaflets to find out why there was two different caller’s to my front door just in case it was a mistake mix-up or bad planning, but they confirmed it was an intentional double dunter to make sure that they get their message across, and on the second call answer any questions so superb seasoned sirloin steak still applies sorry to say still have not heard from or had a knock or any leaflets from Scottish Labour so weak soggy spam fritter still applies.

    2. As far as I am aware Labour are out today and I know that last week thousands of newspapers and leaflets were delivered in my area and all over Scotland .
      No SNP came to my street mind you they deliberately miss me .
      Told me Its a waste of time with me .Yet complained like hell years ago when I did that to an SNP shadow cabinet minister .
      Because I did want to offend .
      Watching rock musicals from Hyde Park was on Friday Night thousands bopping away .
      Just spotted an elderly woman leading an elderly man by the hand through the crowd maybe not their scene haha

      1. David l don’t dispute that you and Jim may have been a recipient of leaflets but have you had anyone knock on your front door? It may have been Scottish Labours plan to campaign across Scotland but l think it’s been very patchy compared to the SNP it’s still akin to a weak soggy spam fritter sorry!

        1. Thanks for your comment Ted the last people to go round the doors in my street was Labour and only Labour it was election time no other party has done it .
          Tories leafleted during the summer Labour last week no Nats or anyone else except the Mormons who chapped the door asked me if I was happy .
          Told them I am a rangers supporter Celtic beat us yesterday what do you think .
          Conversation over .
          And I don’t like Fritters and where are those lottery nos haha

        2. Not only do the Labour Party avoid knocking my door, the SNP do so too because they know my involvement with Labour

  20. More jobs going
    Power League
    Are to close 13 5 a side football sites all over the country
    Finchley Sheffield Kilmarnock Shrewsbury Leeds Central Leeds East Football World Halesowen Hamilton
    Manchester South Basingstoke Teeside
    109 people have lost their jobs .
    When is some one going to say enough

  21. The AUOB march at Holyrood park October 6 they say they will rally with or without permission surely the Scottish Government has got to step in and bang heads together before this ends in some sort of confrontation with the cops and with the numbers attending that could end in disaster let them rally as a 1 off

    1. David you might not need the Scottish Government to step in perhaps the police officer who posted the pro unionist anti lndependence yawn tweet on the official police Twitter site might be keen to step in and bang heads together.

      1. Thank you for your comment Ted Cops are saying Human Error pull the other one.
        And they will know who did it .
        English COPS are asking if scots cops got 6per cent why not us
        Then STV say Taggart never actually said theres been a murder.
        But seriously someone needs to sort out this mess at the Tuesday meeting
        We cant have thousands of people turning up no idea whats happening not even allowed toilets the relevant government minister should step in I say let them march

        1. David I agree that the government minister should step in, the only problem is that the other parties will call it a political decision and hence politicise the intervention. I say the intervention could be made on health and safety grounds and as a matter of common decency and let the folk’s march and party.

          1. Thankyou for your comment Ted
            With AUOB saying they will march anyway and with the numbers involved it cant be left to alright on the night .The Government could say its our duty to ensure safety .
            And I would say shame on anyone who criticises that .Better to be safe than sorry

    1. At the risk of upsetting some dear friends in the Party, my understanding is that the allegedly offending words were in a paid column in the Record. Thus it is only proper that the Record pick up the costs. Already, Labour has committed a large amount of members’ money to this, money that was given for campaigning. No political party can afford an open ended commitment to anyone’s legal costs

      1. Jim l agree l don’t think the members would be happy paying legal fees from their subs for someone writing in a personal column, it seems that the newspaper has a moral responsibility to pay the legal fees on the basis that the editor must have cleared the article in advance for publication. I think that if the person who wrote the article was not receiving the roubles for their own personal account and instead the roubles were being paid into the parties coffers for the party to spend instead then that would be different situation.

    1. David is it alright if l chip in as an ex barrack room lawyer l cannot understand why Scottish Labour are doing the opposition parties job by destroying themselves from within.

      1. Thanks again Ted for your comment Ted
        As one barrack room lawyer to another I know one when I see one and about those lottery nos haha

  22. Spotted this
    The Scottish Budget had an overall budget underspend of almost 340 million pounds last year
    Ministers have published consolidated accounts for 2017-18
    339 million pounds was not used by the end of the financial year that’s 0 pt 97 of the overall budget
    Education underspend by 115 million
    Health and Sport underspend 34 million
    Communities underspend 37 million
    Day to day resources budget underspend 283 million
    Capital budget underspend 32 million
    The public finance minister says this shows the Government has a firm grip on Public Finances .
    Would hate to see it if they didn’t
    For example if there had been no underspend public services would be a bit better resourced .

    1. David what happens to underspend monies does it get carried over and added as additional monies into the next year’s budget for the various departments who underspent so they can spend the money in the next financial year?

      1. Any underspend is indeed carried over and lumped in to the following years financial “pot”. It was not always so. Before the SNP came to power, the previous Scottish (sic) Labour administrations just sent it South to Westminster. The SNP administration demanded it be sent back to Holyrood when they came to power and got over £1bn in monies Scottish (sic) Labour had just thrown away.

        Holyrood Govts, until this year, were not allowed to borrow money to finance their responsibilities. That meant they were legally prevented from overspending. Therefore, they had to budget “conservatively” (small “c”), to ensure that didn’t happen, while still leaving enough in reserve for unforseen and emergency expenditure ….. like defending the poor in Scotland from cruel UK govt policies such as the bedroom tax.

        That the SNP administration has year on year managed this to around 99% of its total budget is an example of brilliant budgeting. It is only opposition parties preying on public ignorance of the facts that turn it into an SNPbad story. Another example of why Scotland’s (sic) opposition cannot be trusted to tell the truth. Were they able to con their way back into power on the back of such cynical “story telling”, they could only pray they are as expert as the SNP administration they would replace at budgeting responsibly.

        1. Bungo
          I think you are NHS .
          I am in even more distress than usual as a Rangers Supporter I have had the unfortunate experience of listening to Rangers losing 1 0 to Livingston on BBC Radio Scotland Ref an obvious Livi fan turned down our 2 obvious to everyone but him penalty claims .
          The biased so called commentary team blamed the totally innocent Rangers players for the rammy at the end .
          Now as it was on the SNP supporting BBC Radio Scotland
          I would not be surprized if the result as broadcast is Fake news organized by Nicola and her BBC Scotland cronies .
          I am on oxygen level 1 do you think I should go to level 2
          And maybe 2 tablets to be on the safe side to get over this

          1. David l nearly fell of my chair when l read your post, as a rugby man l just had a peek at the Scottish Premiership table and it’s fantastic in that it makes it more interesting that many more teams are in with a chance to win the title. I am starting to think you may be a closet SNP supporter because you are always banging on about fake news. As an lndependent Scottish Labour Party supporter in an Independent Scotland l can sympathise with your dilemma, l am also constantly fighting my instincts that’s drawing me towards the SNP it’s like a powerful magnet and hard to resist, l am feeling weak with what Scottish Labour has to offer and fear l will also succumb to the SNP.

      2. Thanks for your comment Ted
        Bungo has it right it goes into the following year .
        I was not sure and could not find it
        But I am sure Bungo is correct

    2. But underspends are a vital and necessary condition of budgeting. They are used to cover the cost of unpredictable emergencies and unforeseen events. You know and understand this because its standard practice for anybody and everybody who runs a budget.
      You couldn’t stop yourself making a pitiful attempt at an SNP BAD narrative without foundation or cause.
      How very Labour of you.

  23. Thanks for your comment Mike
    Unfortunately I got it from an SNP supporting publication as usual you could not stop yourself from indulging in Labour bad when after watching Ruth Davidson today you should be following Ian Blackfords advice in the Sunday Times today and keep a close eye on the Tories this week

    1. If only the Scottish media “kept a close eye” on Ruth Davidson and actually did some journalism by taking her to task over her many u-turns, back-flips, weasel words and downright lies as well as the many skeletons tumbling out of the Tory closet. She gets a free ride from the Scottish media because she is seen as the last great hope of unionist Scotland against the rising tide of Indy sentiment. The Ruth Davidson people think they know is a media construct, treated with kid gloves and shielded from any real, meaningful scrutiny. When Scottish (sic) Labour start realising she is the real enemy of ordinary Scots and their best interests, not Nicola Sturgeon and independence, they’ll stop haemorraging support and I’ll stop putting (sic) in their name.

      1. Pony your bang on the money when I heard the mainstream Tory media constructed narrative about Ruth Davidson as a potential prime minister in waiting l thought I was living in a parallel universe. The penny dropped that this was a cynical media construct to sell failing news sheets what with the she’s not an MP no problem she will be parachuted in the Lord’s and get a seat at the cabinet, and meanwhile wait for a safe Tory seat to become vacant and get parachuted into that. Then best of all we sprinkle some magical fairy dust and hey presto shazam we have a leadership contest in which all the stars are aligned and Ruth Davidson is the new Tory Prime Minister just like that, you couldn’t make it up that’s unless you are the mainstream Tory media.

      2. Thankyou for your comment Bungo
        The free media ride was on full tv display on Sunday For Ruth
        Nicola is FM the SNP are in Government.
        That’s why we go after them and its reciprocated by the SNP just look at the
        barrage of attacks some of it personal on Richard Leonard that came from them every day during the Labour conference even today we have been criticised for holding it in Liverpool .
        Apparently Ruth stated no Indy Ref before 2027 not 1 peep of anger from the SNP leadership on that
        Both parties need to ask questions of the Tories like do you support free prescriptions
        And STV News Ruth told the Tory Conference its either support the Brexit deal or hand the keys to Downing Street to Jeremy Corbyn
        Someone is rattled

  24. Another story has popped up
    Thousands of council workers in the equal pay scandal are facing a new wave of discrimination
    In 2014 it was stipulated that all women with a valid claim for their pay had to have their pensions adjusted as part of any settlement
    A large amount will miss out because no national plan was made to administer this change
    And there is still no public body with the power to enforce the ruling .
    As a result thousands of workers are losing out on pension payments and whether they get money or not depends purely on where they live .
    The 2014 law was designed to protect their interests but has been implemented in a haphazard way no public body will take responsibility for enforcing it.
    Some councils immediately complied most did not and have no intention of doing so the Herald on Sunday using FOI found that
    Argyle and Bute council which has so far paid out 4 pt 8 million to settle claims has not included pensions in any of its payouts and does not plan to factor them in when dealing with the 120 outstanding claims against it.
    East Ayrshire has payed out 862thousand in settlements since April 2015 and East Renfrewshire which has payed out 511thousand in that time have also failed to rerate the women affected .
    Fife council payed out 11pt 3 million in non pensionable settlements immediately after the legislation was updated has included pensions as part of settling 1thousand 100 claims against it
    East Dumbartonshire and West Lothian have also included pensions in recent and future settlements
    No public body will take responsibility
    COSLA .its up to individual councils.
    Audit Scotland .
    Did not consider pensions as part of its 2017 report Equal Pay in Scottish Councils neither has it included pensions in any of the reports it has issued following the annual audit of any council
    They said there are highly complex issues on the implementation of equal pay
    And its up to each council to agree pensionable elements with claimants as part of any settlement
    Unison said some women have been receiving the wrong pension for over a decade while others have died without ever receiving what they were entitled to
    They want the Scottish Government to intervene
    The Scottish Government refused to comment on questions relating specifically to pensions but said local not central government should deal with anything related to equal pay Councils in line with their legal obligations as employers should resolve any outstanding claims.
    Can I say every organization involved seems to be saying its not my job .Well fix it or you wont deserve to have a job the women involved worked for their pensions unlike politicians

    1. David perhaps a trade union could get legal representation and take one of their women members case’s to the highest court in the land to get a ruling spelling out exactly who is responsible for paying out any monies and pension contributions. This if successful it could set a precedent and spell out clearly the step’s that employer’s must take to implement the ruling so as to resolve any outstanding claims.

      1. Thank you for your comment Ted
        That will probably have to happen
        To me it looks like pass the parcel STV News Alec Salmond will have his day in court Nov 6

  25. Thanks for your comment Ted
    Nah I am sticking with labour much more fun
    But when Jeremy and Richard get in we will sort out those closet Supporting biased against Rangers SNP supporting BBC people and I am not due back on the oxygen at 9pm tonight
    Better make it 855pm to be on the safe side
    Also as rugby guys you and Jim O Neill would not know a ball if you saw one a real round shape ball is used for fitba haha

    1. David you have something there for a long time l thought that the world was oval but people say it’s round, but who knows these days everything’s up for grabs it might be fake news, until l get proof saying otherwise l will go with the theory that the worlds oval.

  26. Ted
    What we were commenting on last night
    Labour were out all over Scotland yesterday leafleting on the doors etc

    1. David l don’t no why they are blanking me probably because l support an lndependent Scottish Labour Party in an Independent Scotland. It’s not fair they should still stick some bumf through my letter box l always have a gander at it and sometimes it cheers me up. You know what they say laughter is the best medicine.

      1. Thank you for your comment Ted
        Laughter is the best medicine
        Until as a Rangers supporter you get beat from Livingston every Celtic supporter you know contacts you to laugh at you that’s when you realize you did not know so many and my good friend Jim O Neill told me last night the player who scored the winning goal is called DOLLY .
        I mean how much more can a Rangers supporter take .
        Hows that for a laugh .
        And if they missed your door take it as a compliment they probably realized you would know whats in the leaflets anyway haha
        And Ruth just told the Tory Conference no EU 2 ref no 2nd Indy ref concentrate on the UK Union and she is standing by the PM that’s us telt
        All on BBC reporting Scotland

  27. The AOUB situation just got crazier
    2 AOUB 500 miles walkers were spotted by HES staff at Stirling Castle which was closed wanted to take photographes in the empty carpark told no its political cops called as a precaution walkers left only wanted to stop for 5 mins. this is daft .
    I think the Scottish Government needs to step in before thousands arrive for the Edinburgh march no rally no toilets
    And apparently Alec Salmond has been invited to address them.
    This has got to be fixed let them march

    1. David what’s up with the jobsworths surely even when the police turned up you would think that they might have said okey dokey chap’s take a few quick snaps then get on your bikes sorry we’re only following orders. I am sick to the back teeth by the can’t do attitude that is present and spreading the length and breadth of this country we need a shake up from this selfish society and people should consider doing each other a good turn it’s nice to be nice so no more SNP BAD would be a good start.

  28. Thankyou for your comment Ted
    As far as I know 2 HES employees spotted them said political called the cops who did not intervene
    The walkers filmed and recorded it then left after 5 mins.
    My worry is with AOUB saying they are marching on Saturday anyway which is allowed how do they safely disperse and with no rally point and no Toilets .With huge numbers expected .
    AOUB are asking today why the Scottish Government wont intervene
    I am going to email my MSP to ask her to get the Scottish Government to intervene purely on safety grounds let them rally

    1. David that’s a good idea keep us posted if you hear anything back from your MSP, hope that sanity prevails and some facilities are provided for a safe happy joyous occasion hope the weather is nice on the day of the rally.

  29. Just seen on both STV and Reporting Scotland
    Ayrshire and Arran Health Board has a projected shortfall of 22 pt 4 million pounds this year
    This is very serious from what I saw the Scottish Health Secretary said record amounts of money are being spent on the Scottish NHS and it might be time to examine how its spent

  30. Just e mailed my MSP to ask the Scottish Government to intervene with HES even at this late stage on public safety grounds to let AOUB rally on October 6
    Even if they tell them its a 1 off nobody else will be allowed to do it in future.
    Questions for Ruth do you intend to after Brexit support demands from Boris and your other Tory pals to let American private companies bid for NHS contracts will you protect free prescriptions in Scotland previously you wanted us to start paying for them.
    Can you be trusted to maintain free bus passes at 60 .
    And can you explain as it has become tradition at Tory party conferences for the last 30 years the day before the leaders speech every Tory leader has made himself or herself available to the press .
    Your leader the PM has become the first not to do so.
    CH 4 news had a chair available and made a public appeal to the PM to come and speak to them.
    Can you as you seem to have had an opinion on everything this week explain why the PM was not available for interview

    1. David every thing l hear from Ruth Davidson sounds as if it’s someone who put her hat in the ring as Scottish Tory Leader not really wanting to be the leader but won the leadership but did not want the job. It’s telling that recently she ditched the mainstream media constructed fantasy of becoming the UK Prime Minister and now is making up excuses that she doesn’t see herself in politics post the next Scottish Government elections if she doesn’t become the First Minister. I think that if there was a miracle and she became the First Minister she would neither want to be or be up to doing the job. l can see she has a media friendly exterior that is all froth but lacks the interior serious political substance to carry such a role. I conclude that she is already making excuses for her inevitable defeat at the next Scottish Government elections and her subsequent retirement from politics. Footnote all the former will be demeed irrelevant if there is an lndyRef2 and Scotland becomes an Independent Country.

  31. Thankyou for your Ted
    My local MSP is SNP she sent an automatic reply so I know she received my e mail
    I said it might be to late to intervene but the Gov should on public safety grounds and let them rally.
    As soon as Ruth said that comment about not wanting to be PM as she values her mental health to much .
    I saw right away she would be accused of saying along the lines of The PMS job is to difficult for me so I will be FM
    instead .
    Ruth has been on tv nearly every day during the Labour and Tory conferences
    Well Ruth maybe its time to do the day job .
    2 health boards NHS Highland and NHS Ayrshire and Arran are in financial trouble The Auditor General has expressed serious concern about both they are expected to need more loans from the Scottish Government and neither is likely to balance its books for several years .
    NHS Highland will need to deliver 52million in savings in 2018 19 the Auditor General says only 30 million in cuts has been identified so it will need Holyrood Brokerage of up to 22million to cover its cost .The board Chief Exec is leaving at the end of December and it has no permanent Finance Director .
    NHS Ayrshire and Arran also has a 22 pt 4 million deficit it to will require additional Holyrood Brokerage
    The Auditor General has expressed serious concern for both boards they face significant troubles .
    So Ruth the Day Job what does opposition leader Ruth suggest the FM and the Health boards should do
    Then Ruth if you were Tory FM of Scotland what would you actually do if called upon to do the day job
    Then Glasgow University Principal Sir Anton Muscatelli a former special advisor to the Treasury Select Committee and a member of the Scottish Governments Council of Economic Advisors and Standing Council on Europe
    Has said in his view a hard Brexit would represent the most unhinged example of national self sabotage in living memory and everyone in public life has a duty a moral obligation to do what we can to prevent it .
    The Fraser of Allander Institute say more than 130 thousand Scottish Jobs depend on exports to the EU
    So Ruth time to do the day job .
    The PM is a tory you are the leader of the Scottish Tories
    Time to tell the PM if any of that happens Scotland will walk then Ruth you wont need to bother about the PMS or FMS job

  32. The Scottish budget is Dec 12 Libs and Greens already saying no deal unless we get our x mas presents early haha

    1. David talking about Xmas l have a great idea why don’t the Scottish Government fund all theatre’s the length and breadth of Scotland to put on free pantomimes so that all primary age school children starting autumn 2019 are bused to the theatre’s for a seasonal treat. Do you think that all the parties in the Scottish Parliament would vote for this or would they just say “Bah! Humbug!”

  33. Thank you for your comment Ted
    And all the kids can shout at the teacher look behind you
    The latest on AOUB march
    National reporting AOUB are saying up to 2thousand will brake away from the main march on Saturday to cause serious disruption by having a mass sitdown and picnic before the main rally in Princess Street .
    The National is saying questions are being asked why the non political part being used to stop the Rally cant be overruled by Fiona Hyslop Culture minister.
    The Scottish Government told the National All questions should be directed to HES
    My SNP MSP has replied to my request for the Scottish Government to intervene and allow the rally on safety grounds .
    She has pointed out the march is being allowed in Hollyrood park its only the rally stalls stage and toilets that are not being allowed .
    As HES must remain politically neutral she points out AOUB knew this
    HES is non departmental and therefore the Scottish Government cannot intervene.
    Well I just hope this stupidity does not cause problems on Saturday
    I think they all need a kick up the backside

  34. David thanks for the update, as for the stage why bother if it too much aggravation could we instead just use the obsolete Jim Murphy
    Irn-Bru crates and double them up.

  35. Thankyou for your comment Ted
    As there is a Labour reshuffle going on I am waiting for Richard to phone to appoint me to his shadow cabinet maybe doorman
    I will appoint you as official Irn Bru crate collector haha

  36. David I think Richard Leonard has made a mistake getting rid of Jackie Baillie because apart from being the only Scottish Labour MSP who has a reasonable handle on her brief she has a wonderful quality that she has an ever present smiling demeanor, Scottish Labour is imploding smile Jackie smile, Richard calls Jackie into his office to give her boot smile Jackie smile. I am not taking the Micky l think this smiling quality is an asset and opposition parties are often wrong footed by this trait. So l say that Scottish Labour should reverse Jackie Baillie sacking and bring her back asap let’s face it at the moment Scottish Labour supporters are all walking about as if they have just lost a £5 note miserable .

  37. Thank you for your comment Ted .
    Sad to say I have received no phone call asking me to join the Scottish shadow Labour cabinet
    Unfortunate as I have an opinion on everything .
    And if not I will soon get one .
    So I am afraid Ted I cant give you a job as official Irn Bru crate collector so you better put them back haha
    I think it was a phone call Jackie Baillie got

  38. The AOUB march now we are being told there will be a counter demonstration who have graciously agreed to remain behind barricades .
    I am only concerned about peoples safety as soon as they found out they could not rally and therefore safely disperse and no toilets they should either have switched to another city or cancelled .
    HES should have allowed the rally and the Scottish Government should have intervened
    All of them are to blame .
    I just hope it passes of safely and we can spend next week talking about rules only .
    And counter demonstrations why not do your own mass demo somewhere else

  39. Big AOUB march Saturday and Keith Brown tells BBC Reporting Scotland Its not the right time for a second Independence Ref .
    Also peoples vote need assurances if result the same Scotland needs to be listened to etc.
    To all parties I thought every vote was a peoples vote.

  40. As a member of the Labour Party in Cunninghame South since 1983
    I want to emphasize despite what is in todays papers I have never seen any instances of Anti Semitism I had to ask what it is .
    Despite what some people tell you its rubbish yes we have disagreements usually in public .
    That although I wish we didn’t can be a good thing it shows we are passionate and committed .
    Just to be clear every member has received a booklet and at least 2 emails including 1 today .
    Asking us if we have been a victim of it or have seen or heard it at party meetings or events and how to report it in strict confidence .
    BTW I said PM May did not give a press briefing to the media the night before her conference speech it was only CH4 news she would not speak to

  41. David you always get a few rotten apples in the barrel of every party, the anti semitism issue was exaggerated and was jumped upon by Brairites to attack Corbyn. The same could be said regarding Kezia legal funding in that disgruntled Blairites are using it as cover to attack Leonard.

  42. Thank you for your comment Ted
    The sackings could have and should have been done better
    But Richard could not have allowed the constant sniping to go on any longer .
    Right or wrong he has made his move as leader .
    Unlike the PM who allowed the Boris will he or wont he situation to run on when she should have fired him .
    He has become a Tory martyr anyway

  43. Glad to say the AOUB Edinburgh march has passed of peacefully and above all safely that was my main concern
    It seems cooler heads prevailed .
    Huge turnout AOUB say 100 thousand council say 20 thousand so somebody cant count haha .
    Most papers saying FM because of Brexit will put of an Indy 2 decision until November December now .
    Well Keith Brown signalled that yesterday and repeated it today on the march .
    Some marchers want Indy now.
    Unnamed SNP insiders told the Times that Nicola is furious Alec Salmond allowed his RT show to be dominated by Elected SNP politicians to call for Indy now on his show Alec Neill and Angus MacNeil Tasmina joined in demanding Indy now as well .
    Those as usual senior unnamed SNP sources are saying Alec and Angus need to be reminded that the SNP don’t want any of their elected people to appear .
    Well Ian Blackford did tell the SNP MPS not to appear but Angus refused saying if asked he will appear

    1. David I have noticed that the Labour Party UK have got a grip of there loose cannons who have a tendency to blab off first without engaging the brain in relation to a snap general election. In particular l refer to Emily Thornberry who hasn’t got a handle on diplomacy, before the last general election she was very anti SNP in relation to a hung parliament and a confidence and supply agreement she arrogantly assumed that a Labour minority government would put forward legislation for example a budget and if SNP did not vote for it they would have to explain to the electorate why they did not, sorry to say that she has not got a grasp of realpolitik. I notice that the SNP are signalling their redlines for supporting a minority Labour Party UK government that is coming from a position of strength as Labour will be in a weak postion despite delusions of the likes of Emily Thornberry they will have to pay a price that is realpolitik.

  44. Hears another couple of items that might cause a stushie
    In 1960 Israel announced they had captured Adolf Eichman
    Turns out CIA German BND and MI5 all knew exactly where he was in Argentina his false name address and where he was employed from 1952 possibly earlier .
    Did not tell Israel
    When Israel got him there was panic in case it was publicly revealed former Nazis including Friedrich Buchardt an SS officer who led an extermination commando who worked for MI6 until1947 then the CIA he died in his bed in 1982 was working for and was protected by the Allies.
    Hans Globke who drafted the Anti Semitic Nuremberg race laws in 1935 .was allowed to become by 1960 National Security advisor to the West German Chancellor and principal liaison with the CIA and Nato some BND officers were former Nazis
    Reinhardt Gehlen former head of German Military Intelligence on the Eastern Front .
    Its suspected someone in the German security services disgusted at this tipped of Israel as to Eichmans whereabouts .
    The panic in the west was in case it was revealed former Nazis had been relocated unknown to the public to the West and were in well paid influential jobs .

    1. David it seems from your information that no matter the war crimes committed that even war criminals are a currency in that if there is something to be gained from a war criminal in terms of information skills etc then government agencies will protect utilise and give cover and protection to this kind of ilk.

  45. I have been updated on how Anas Sarwar and Jackie Baillie had been sacked by Richard Leonard l don’t think that how they were sacked especially being sacked by a tweet on twitter that’s just not cricket. I have reflected on how Kezia Dugdale was treated by withdrawing support for the previous agreement by the Scottish Labour this is very harsh and disgraceful. It’s obvious that Richard Leonard is a leader in name only nobody knows who he is except the the puppet master Jeremy Corbyn who is pulling his string’s. As an lndependent Scottish Labour Party supporter in an Independent Scotland l think it would be a good Idea if Kezia Dugdale, Ana’s Sarwar, Jackie Baillie, lan Murray and others broke away and started a new Independ Labour Party the only thing is maybe the Labour Party name is copyrighted so it would need a new name. I suggest calling the new party the Scottish People’s Party (SPP) and supporters of the new party would warmly be referred to as peeps.

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