Jim O’Neill says Labour must not repeat the mistakes of the post-Foot years and that Scottish Labour must now have a single-minded focus on the 2021 Scottish election and our offer to the people.

I make no apologies for using the title of Lenin’s 1902 pamphlet as the title for this piece. The difference is, where Lenin’s pamphlet was full of certainty, I am asking a question.

I am asking this question on the basis of my 40 years in the Labour Party. This is not our lowest ebb in that time. The numbers we put up during the time of the Social Democrats beat this, and many perceived that to be the end of the Labour Party. But we came back and served our country through thirteen years of Labour government.

But there are parallels to earlier times. After the “longest suicide note in history” according to Denis Healey, Michael Foot resigned and we navel gazed over the next several years. We must this time avoid the blood letting that kept us out of government for another fourteen years.

We do need a new leader; not one who spends all their time in the minutiae of policy, but one who can inspire us with a vision of a socialist government for the many, not the few. But that person must not only inspire our party. They must inspire the many who did not accept our offer in 2019 but chose to support a demagogue with a history of lying to the people, and did all he could to avoid public scrutiny during the campaign.

And we must also, here in Scotland, ask why so many Scots continue to support a party which in government, by all opinion polling, are failing to look after the key parts of our public sector, especially health and education. That is why it is right that the Scottish Executive Committee has adopted a listening mode to try to analyse this conundrum.

It is also right that, for the next two years, we in Scotland must focus on Scottish matters. In two years we have the Holyrood election and we must hone our policy offering to ensure that it speaks to the real needs and desires of the Scottish people.

That is not to say that we should slavishly follow the various and varying cries of the opinion polls over the next two years. We have a specific take on the delivery of governance, otherwise we would not be members of the Labour Party. It is our role, and particularly our leader’s role, to get that message over to the people of Scotland and to turn them away from a slavish nationalism towards the management of the Scottish economy, laws and public services which are the remit of our government.

And we must seek to minimise the effects of the easy SNP answers to all difficulties – that is is all the fault of Westminster austerity. After all, the current SNP government has cut funding to local authorities by far more than the Tory government has cut the block grant.

The first step towards this within the party is a substantial engagement with the second stage policy consultation leading towards the 2021 manifesto. As a member of the Scottish Policy Forum I will be consulting my two CLPs in the early part of 2020, having had the consultation delayed by the election. And we must be honest in our response to these proposals. The only way that the SPF will be able to create a body of policy that best reflects the views of the Party is if you give us your feedback, both positive and negative. And don’t let us be hung up on tags. The CfS, the Fabians and all party groups in between have a role in this. But you must take part.

There it is. Under a year to set out our stall for the 2021 elections. Let this be the low time for the party in Scotland and focus all our efforts in selling our Scottish policies to the Scottish electorate and returning a much larger group in the Scottish Parliament, one that can hold the government to account and implement our policies at Holyrood.

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40 thoughts on “What is to be done?

  1. Jim, as a life long Labour voter I think we have to be honest with ourselves and accept that the Scottish voter has moved on and has realised that in order to obtain a fairer society it is no longer possible to put trust in the Westminster UK system, dominated as it has been by right wing governments. The old argument about working class solidarity has been laid bare with the likes of the traditional Labour seats of the North of England voting for the English National Party. Until we in Scotland realise things have fundamentally changed we will go on, like poor old Jim here, howling at the moon, at the mercy of reactionary Westminster regimes. Good luck with that.

  2. “This is not our lowest ebb in that time”

    If you merely look at the state of the Labour Party through ‘Union jack’ spectacles you will miss the real crisis facing the Labour Party in Scotland. Make no mistake that 2019 is without doubt the lowest ebb for the Labour in Scotland and much worse than 2915 when it was also reduced to a single MP. Labour has now lost the majority of its vote to the SNP within a decade and has been replaced by the Conservatives as the opposition to the SNP. Think of seats like Aberdeen South which Labour lost the seat in 2015 and by 2019 were down to 8% of the vote, or once rock solid Falkirk where they had sunk to 11% having lost it in 2015.

    If Labour continues to be believe that the voters are acting illogically by continuing to support the SNP, it will continue its slide into complete irrelevance. The SNP is winning because it is seen to be fighting Scotland’s corner and seen to be trying to build a better country ‘for the many’. Labour is losing because it stood with the Conservatives to fight to prevent Scotland becoming a normal, independent country, and continues to prefer Scotland to be ruled by the Conservatives and taken out of the EU against its will rather than concede power to the people of Scotland.

    If Labour is every to recover in Scotland, it will have to become a separate party whose sole priority is representing the best interests of the people of Scotland. Being a branch of a party, serving UK masters, is no longer a viable option.

  3. I remember the aftermath of 1983 as I first joined the Labour Party in 1981. We have to be honest that Scotland is in a different place now and Labour has to think very carefully of what they will offer in 2021 – Labour has to face the constitutional elephant in the room head on or it will be completely swept aside by the pro-independence offer of the SNP and the pro-union message of the Conservatives.

    The 2021 election will be dominated by the issue of whether the SNP and other or-independence groups or parties achieve a mandate for a second independence referendum. Labour may want to talk about health and education but they will be asked about this issue repeated. So what is Labour’s position. Does Labour argue against a second independence referendum and alienate its own pro-independence voters. Or could it be brave and argue for a second independence referendum and state that a vote for Labour would be a vote for such a referendum? That would be bold and may attract SNP voters to vote Labour

  4. Jim, Labour needs to do a better job of showing they can run things better in Scotland then they do in Wales. I doubt with the lackluster Richard Leonard at the helm things will be any different. You can’t out Tory the Tories on the Union and doing so will probably alienate what’s left of your voters. Lambasting the SNP over budgets when Labour in Wales uses exactly the same excuse with even worse rankings in the NHS and schools doesn’t wash with voters.

  5. One lesson for Labour is that they need to expel the group of councillors in Aberdeen who were elected as Labour but then did a deal with the Tories to run the city together. It is interesting that Labour’s vote in Aberdeen has evaporated in the last few years – coming 4th in Aberdeen South with 8% in a seat they held until the 2015 wipe out, and getting 13% in Aberdeen North in what used to be one of the safest Labour seats in the country until it fell to the SNP in 2015.

    Labour will only be taken seriously if they act to stop so called Labour councillors backing Tory control in local government

  6. Jim your correct in a lot of what you say especially about how the UK leadership lost the election this is worse than 83 at least we had people who knew how to kick the party into shape .
    In 15 we blamed the wipe out on better together .1n 17 a very limited comeback .In an election we should have won .Did we look at why we did not .
    Then Brexit SNP have been brilliant at Scotland is being dragged out of the EU Scottish Labour all over the place trying to follow the London line we declared for remain after the EU election .
    In the General election another election we should have won .We went back to 1 seat Why do we even know why .
    We have another Leadership election the backstabbing has already started .
    We better waken up fast and realize that people are voting SNP at general and Holyrood elections why could it be that at Westminster We are not seen as a competent opposition never mind the Government in waiting .Like It or not the SNP are seen as sticking up for Scotland .
    Holyrood 3rd place why and we need to recognize people are voting Tory again the recent election the losses in Scotland cant be blamed on anyone except ourselves .
    Caught out repeatedly on Indy
    We need in Scotland to establish legally a separate Scottish party our own policies suited to Scottish needs
    Labour MSPS and leadership need to sharpen up their act big time .Look and behave like a government in waiting a leader who can persuade the people he knows what he is doing and can govern as FM
    The revue everything should be on the table .
    Party organization and members are we up to it policies are they whats needed we need to realize the Indy ref question is now upon us .
    We need a Scottish Labour position asap for me it has to be we don’t have to back Indy but we should actively support the Scottish parliament and government in the coming fight with Boris regardless of anything UK Labour say .
    NHS huge problems brewing but can we not stop treating it as a football take politics out of it .
    Just heard Andy Burnham saying devolve power and resources to the regions
    Why not challenge Holyrood to devolve all powers and resources to local councils .

  7. Jim, Labour won the election in Scotland in 1983 with 41 MPs and got 35% of the vote. In 2019 it got 1 MP and 18% of the vote. This is way worse than 1983 and if you can’t see that you are part of the problem.

    Labour must decide whether it wishes to carry on as a Unionist branch of the UK Labour Party, which will see it lose any remaining pro independence voters to the SNP and probably lose Unionist voters to the Tories or whether it wishes to become a separate socialist party that fights 100% for the people of Scotland without having to follow UK Labour positions it disagrees with.

  8. You speak about “our offer to the people”. I trust this is not more of the same tosh we were promised by Labour at the time of the referendum about extensive new powers to the Scottish Parliament and then when it came to discussions in the Smith Commission it was Labour who actively argued against devolving powers over issues like drugs laws and employment laws. So now today when Labour complain that the Tories plan to weaken various aspects of employment laws, it can rightly be pointed out that had they argued to devolve those powers they would not be under threat. As for drugs, Labour can not criticise the Scottish Government for the level of drug deaths when Labour wanted the powers that could be used to tackle the problem to be kept with Westminster.

  9. Not sure what opinion polls Jim is reading. ALL the polls I’ve seen have people trusting the SNP to deliver on domestic policy to a FAR greater degree than all the unionist parties. Not at all surprising as the stats etc show Scotland’s public services are almost universally far superior to what is provided in Tory England and Labour Wales. That is why the unionist parties are desperate to con the Scottish people into believing things are uniquely terrible here (a lie) while drawing a quiet veil over the far worse situation in the rest of the UK that is under their control. This may have something to do with the unionists difficulty in getting Scots to vote for them.

  10. If Labour rules at doing any deal with the Tories under any circumstances and also indicates a willingness to work with the SNP should no party gain a majority, there is a way for Labour to advance and return more MSPs than 2016. If that is done it will be electoral carnage

    1. And how about a willingness from the SNP to work with Labour did it in London with Corbyn

  11. “In under a year” , if the Scottish part of Labour does not put Scotland before Westminster, then your finished.

    And an honest response would be : Scotland does not need Labour : but Scottish Labour desperately needs Scotland.

  12. Kenny MacAskill has stated that the chance of Indyref 2 this year is likely nil .
    The likely hood of a referendum in the short term is slim the additional time is no bad thing given the failure to have resolved some critical issues from 2014.Or to have restored the campaigning machine that was so effective back then .
    He is asking those on the left of politics to unite against the policies of a Tory Government with a big commons majority
    He believes the welfare state and NHS are targets whatever Boris says
    Jim Sillars has said Nicola is misleading supporters he says anyone with any political nous knows that Nicolas demand for Indyref 2 in 2020 is playacting to up the grudge feeling when Boris says no .
    He does not understand how activists don’t understand she is leading them up the garden path .
    He accuses her of not going for unambiguous Indy vote soft language right for Scots to make a decision about our future something difficult for any reasonable person to disagree with
    He says she then changed tack and made the last lap of the election all about stopping Boris and Brexit .
    So another election goes by and the SNP sought Remainer Unionist votes thus undermining the claim to have a mandate for Indyref 2.
    There was a lot more from both

  13. Remember the contaminated blood imported and given to people with a genetic blood disorder over a thousand in England could have been spared HIV if attention had been paid to a letter written in January 1990 Scotland had spare capacity to produce the blood Factor V111 for patients in England but the letter was ignored there were serious defects between the Scottish Home and Health Department and the Department of Health and Social Services in England .
    Not good enough folks surely we need an inquiry into how this letter was ignored

  14. Was on a bus today a wee girl sitting with her mum started singing Christmas carols at the top of her voice and we were all listening great

  15. Hello Jim It was interesting to read your thoughts on the aftermath of the election. Obviously, there are things that I disagree with you about but mostly it is about your approach to the problem facing Labour in Scotland. You say “we (have to ask) why so many Scots continue to support a party which in government, by all opinion polling, are failing to look after the key parts of our public sector, especially health and education.” This is the problem for Labour, circa 45% of the voting population know this to be wrong, that in fact the NHS in Scotland performs better than anywhere else in the UK – I know it may even be very poor up here, but I can assure you it is still better.

    But its not the NHS I want to talk about here, it is the fact that Labour cannot recover if its analysis of its present predicament is based on false information. To really solve the problem, or at least identify the problem, then the FACTS have to be looked at. Trotting out lines about the NHS might work with those who do not like the SNP but it will not shift the minds of people who have moved from Labour to independence simply because they know that information of that sort is another mis-representation.

    If Labour can look at the facts and try to find not just why it was rejected, but can look at what attracted people to other parties, then, it can build a picture of where it actually sits in the political spectrum in line with what it believes. The question ‘What is Labour?’ might be a starting point. To hear the likes of Stephen Kinnock saying once again that winning votes is more important than having principles no one votes for makes Labour seem to be opportunist and not the party of Keir Hardie. A Hamilton Academical fan can tell you that winning isn’t the most important thing in life.

    With regard to the longest suicide note in history – there was a lot of good in that manifesto: nuclear disarmament, taxing the rich, redistribution of wealth, nationalisation, abolition of the House of Lords – here we are in the 21st century and we still have an unelected chamber of our government???!!! Interestingly and topically, Mr. Foote’s manifesto also included proposals for the UK’s withdrawal from the European Economic Community.

    1. Why should we be comparing ourselves against failing services in England. Our health service is demonstrably brilliant. I am comparing delivery with aspiration of this Government, which has now been in power for well over a decade. Scotland can, and should, be doing better than the current level of delivery

      1. Because, like it or not, the Scottish NHS is part of the UK public health care framework and is subject to many rules, restrictions and dik-tats from South of the border. The English NHS is a base-line set for us that we have no control over. Any deviation from the “English norm” has to be justified in the crucible of a hostile political and media environment that will always find fault with everything, positives in nothing and demand more with no indication as to how it is to be paid for.

        The reality of the Scottish NHS is nothing like it is portrayed by the Scottish govt’s opponents. It performs extraordinarily well when compared to the other components of the UK public health care system on almost every level. If you want it to do better, unshackle it and vote for independence.

        1. Please list the “many rules, restrictions and dik-tats from South of the border” to which the Scottish NHS is subject.

          You’re just lying, aren’t you. Don’t use these pages to spread lies. You’ve been warned before.

          1. Duncan, everything I post on this site is either what I know to be the truth or believe to be the truth. I don’t lie. I have worked in the Scottish NHS (SNHS) for nearly four decades with over half that time as a Union rep sitting on partnership forums from the departmental to the Area level over that time. I know what pressures the SNHS is under and where they come from.

            The saying goes that “no man is an island” and the same goes for the SNHS. As I said, the SNHS is part of the UK public health care framework. ALL the regulatory bodies (such as the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) and Nursing and Midwifery Council), professional bodies (such as the BMA and Institute of Biomedical Science (IBMS)) and accreditation bodies (such as the UK Accreditation Service (UKAS)) are ALL UK-wide. They exist to ensure the NHS services and workforces from Penzance to Lerwick are as standardised as possible; that they all work under the same guidelines; broadly the same terms and conditions; etc.

            All of this was set up primarily for the English NHS with the other bodies having to comply wholesale or adapt the bits they could. These are among the “rules, restrictions and dik-tats from South of the border that the SNHS is subject”.

            It is not the only influence from the South that affects health provision in Scotland but it is enough for now. Fine, don’t agree with me. But like I said, I don’t lie.

          2. You named no dik-tats there, you merely listed professional bodies doing their rightful job. Is that what you meant by dik-tats?

          3. UKAS is the UK’s accreditation body for testing and calibration. It is an arms-length company owned by the UK government which is mandated to exist by EU regulation. So what we’re teasing out here is that when you talk about “UK dik-tats” you mean adherence to statutory standards. And the implication of your complaint is that if we weren’t part of the UK we wouldn’t have to adhere to these standards. But in reality in an independent Scotland this would just be one of hundreds of functions that we would need to duplicate. But again, your implication is that having a UK standards body is a bad thing, but having a Scottish standards body would be a good thing. Can you offer any argument for that?

        1. Oh I think I do, Davy. And Pony, I see what you are saying but the NHS(s) is wholly the responsibility of the Scottish Government. Try telling someone who has lain on a trolley in A+E for four hours+, as I have done, that it is fine because I am waiting less time than if I was in England.

          1. Hi Jim. Hope you are keeping well. “Try telling someone who has lain on a trolley in A+E for four hours+, as I have done, that it is fine because I am waiting less time than if I was in England”. It is never fine but that is not the argument. It is whether you think that it is the SNP’s fault and that Labour would improve things (or the Tories for that matter). The evidence would argue that the SNP have done well with the hand they have been dealt. Tory responsible NHS England is a shambles …. by comparison while Labour responsible NHS Wales is in an even bigger mess …. by comparison. So why should the Scottish electorate view the SNP badly when they are clearly delivering a superior service, under the same framework, than either Tories or Labour are doing elsewhere. What you, and unionists in general, are telling the Scottish people is “don’t look at the evidence, just listen to my words” because if they do look at the evidence it renders the words disingenuous at best.

            Well Googled Duncan 🙂

            Where UKAS is concerned, it is probably the single most destructive “event” to have befallen the Biomedical side of the NHS on a UK-wide basis. It may be “mandated to exist” but it is an independent “private” company that sets its own ridiculous standards that its “victims” have to adhere to or “fail to be accredited”. We are being “visited” next week and literally hundreds of thousands of £s of “man hours” (hope that’s not sexist) have been wasted on preparing for it that would otherwise have been utilised providing an actual service to patients and clinicians. Many, if not most, of the stupid things they make us do for their blessing do nothing for patient care but do make service provision more difficult and expensive and add thousands more “man hours” to the wasted column as staff perform meaningless admin/busywork tasks instead of “real work”. UKAS make their money by charging departments for their visits. But that is not where the ker-ching effect ends for them. They also “accredit” the companies that provide the NHS with kits etc …. for a fee, the cost of which is passed onto the NHS (I would surmise) by that company. And if the NHS department needs to make changes that require an external company to build/create/whatever, they need to be UKAS accredited too …. for a fee, the cost of which is passed onto the NHS (I would surmise) by that company. So the NHS is bleeding considerable sums of money into the UKAS coffers …. but that is not the only “waste” of finances attributable to them. Many kits and materials are wasted in constant, repeated QCs they pointlessly insist are done. Sometimes entire kits can be used up just QCing it with no actual tests done using it

            I could rant on about the “scandal” that is UKAS for ever but I’ll let it rest at that. Scottish Health Care Professionals have mooted setting up a Scotland only body to replace UKAS here but it has so far gone no further than that.

            But all you are doing is confirming my point. That the Scottish NHS (NHSs as Jim correctly puts it) is fixed within the UK Public Health Care framework with the rules, regulations and guidelines all set on a UK-wide basis. The Scottish Govt can allocate its budget and set priorities etc but ultimately it has to work within the same parameters the English, Welsh and Northern Irish organisations work within. You have said nothing that disproves that.

            It is within that context that NHSs has to be judged. It is doing remarkably well. A&E waiting times are massively better than anywhere else in the UK. NHSs has more Doctors, Nurses and GPs per head of popln than anywhere else in the UK by some margin. On almost any statistic, NHSs is performing above the rest of the UK despite having to work within the same framework. That should be acknowledged not scorned and “lied” (I’m specifically looking at the Tories here) about.

          2. It’s a private company owned by the government, Bungo. How would a Scottish version differ? That was the question I asked and you failed to answer. The EU requires these standards to be maintained and enforced. In every public sector and industry standards are a necessary pain. That does not mean the Scottish NHS is not run by the Scottish Government.

          3. I have never claimed NHSs is not run by the Scottish govt. To reiterate, NHSs is run by the Scottish govt within the framework of the UK public health care system with rules, regulations and guidelines set on a UK-wide basis. It is in that context that the performance of NHSs should be judged. As the best performing component of the UK public health care system, by some margin, it is doing relatively well.

            As to UKAS, it is not “Government owned”. A company cannot be both an independent private company AND Government owned. The Accreditation it offers is also not a legal requirement. Nor does Accreditation mean you fully conform to all the regulations; only the ones they happened to look at on that particular visit. Lack of Accreditation does not mean your organisation/department is unsafe; only that it does not have a bit of paper that says UKAS believe it conforms. Plenty of NHS labs do not have it and are reluctant to seek it. Not because they are unsafe, but because the costs both financial and in human resources would be unsustainable. It could actually shut them down with subsequent negative consequences for patient care in their areas.

            Basically, NHS department’s should not need accreditation as it is primarily a way for private companies to gain a competitive edge over their rivals by showing they comply to the highest standards. NHS labs do not compete with each other so do not need that competitive edge. Which brings in the possibility that perhaps privatisation is in the pipe line. Given the way NHS England and Brexit is going (US trade deals??) that is not beyond the realms of possibility. It has already happened in parts of England.

            Devolution offers the opportunity to set up a Scottish service. Though it is not on the horizon. If it just replicated UKAS it would be pointless without independence. But if it took a “pragmatic” rather than “dogmatic” approach to accreditation, it could lessen the costs and negative impact on patient care. Instead of demoralising staff and antagonising them, it could bring them along willingly. I’m not claiming some sort of Scottish exceptionalism here. As I said, if it merely replicated UKAS it would be pointless. The guidelines are open to interpretation and there is more than one way to skin a cat (sorry puss). It would have to follow the pragmatic route to be worth while under devolution.

      2. Hello Jim as I said I didn’t want to get involved in the NHS thing but quickly in response to your question “Why should we be comparing ourselves against failing services in England…” I would say that such a comparison would be done in order to evaluate the service delivered here and across the UK looking at things such as effectiveness, value for money, unit cost etc., the benefit of that would be to spread best practise across the UK from one side of a border to the other: SNHS, NHS England, NHS Wales, NHS NI, BUT what I was trying to concentrate on in my response, what I took to be the heart of your article, was that as Labour looks to see ‘what is to be done?’ it can only do so if the real facts are examined.

        Labour has to make some big decisions in order to carve out its place in the Scottish and UK political spectrum and I find it difficult to see how this can work with the wide range of political diversity in the party eg. Corbyn to Kinnock. Labour also has the additional problems associated with the dynamic’s of devolution in Scotland and Wales. It is a very difficult road ahead as each of Labour’s problems seem to be to point in different directions making the route forward unclear. My own opinion is that Labour’s problems go right back to the removal of Clause 4. There are a number of reasons why I think its removal has damaged the party but I think the most important was that it removed the philosophical differentiation between the Liberal Democrats and Labour – as Defend Clause 4 Campaign said at the time “There is little in Blair’s proposed new clause to which Liberal Democrats or even many Tories could not subscribe.” And as Tony Benn said “”Labour’s heart is being cut out and handed to the City. This is really our promise to the City, `Don’t worry, we will never interfere with your right to run the economy’.”

        I am not saying that Labour needs to be taking over the means of production (although I have nothing against that) but what I AM saying is that Labour became easier to leave. With the gravitational effect of Clause 4 gone it lost many people who thought of Labour as representing them and attracted people who would have been as happy in the Liberal Democrats. Over time this has led to an ever widening problem as people who should be in different parties share the same space in an uneasy truce which shifts back and forth leaving one wing unhappy when the other is pushing forward in the ascendancy.

        And then there’s devolution.

        It is not going to be easy. As I said perhaps ‘What is Labour?’ would be a good starting point, and it might be worth looking to see whether separation of the Scottish and Welsh parties from the Labour party would be beneficial overall for Labour both here at home and throughout the UK too. It is a very difficult task which I hope the party will be able to resolve not quickly, but correctly.

  16. Todays National letters MacAskill in particular as he is now an MP and Sillars being told keep quiet and 1 person cant understand how Kenny got past the SNP vetting prosses given his past remarks on the SNP leadership.

  17. The furore in the National over Kenny MacAskills Indy remarks continues Ruth Wishart has used her column to say Kenny is the very very new SNP MP for East Lothian in post for some 2 dozen days needs to do the day job and remember as an MP he is a team player .
    She also points out that Nicola fired him in 2014.
    For me given that every time some Labour person with an alleged grievance headed for the nearest tv 24 hrs news camera not one word of what Kenny MacAskill and Jim Sillars wrote has appeared on tv news. Next time they attack the BBC the SNP should remember that .

  18. Catholics are to be given guidance on how to vote in next years Holyrood election by their Parish Priest its a more proactive approach to elections .
    A new database will collate details on how incumbent MSPS vote on ethical and moral issues including assisted suicide same sex marriage abortion and changes to gender reform .
    Candidates will be asked about their views details will then go to Priests in every Scottish constituency
    Sunday Times say the church believes this had an effect in Fife North East where Stephen Gethins lost his seat he abstained on lifting the abortion ban in Northern Ireland and voted to allow same sex marriage
    The same with Hugh Gaffney who also voted to allow same sex marriage in Northern Ireland

  19. Cosla say Scottish local Authorities budgets are at breaking point they say more funding is needed targets on climate change and poverty will be missed because of reduced council funding .
    They say economic growth climate change wellbeing child poverty targets will be missed because of cuts to funding .Scot Gov denies this

  20. CH4 news Harry and Meghan want to be financially independent and split their time between the UK and North America does that mean no more official cars planes castles palaces etc that we pay for.
    How about joining the public like I did today Wednesday trying to find out where to get a bus diversions were in place because of roadworks. Mind you could they afford the fare do they know what a bus is .
    We will probably still end up paying for them anyway.

  21. After the election result a disaster for us and we know it I am glad we are having a route and branch revue of the party that can only be good we need to recognize the problems before we can solve them I think we are moving in the right direction .
    This is my view only but with all the fuss over what the BBC did or did not do has it escaped everyones attention the onslaught Labour got from the printed press .
    On the day Labours manifesto came out I watched BBC the papers a reviewer said the manifesto was packed full of measures that would bankrupt the country .Did not mention some already are public policy the Telegraph became known as the daily Boris some of our own people did not help by heading for the nearest tv crew every time they thought they had a grievance when usually they did not the PMS attitude toward Jeremy was a disgrace
    Calling him a disgrace etc Jeremy to his credit did not respond in kind the Westminster antics of Tory MPS day in day out on tv toward not only PM May but opposition MPS off all parties were a disgrace it turned people off in droves .
    It happened again today Ian Blackford got up to reply told to sit down deputy speaker had to intervene to say it was not her who said it .
    This has got to change .
    One other thing Watching FMQS today I was struck by the number of times the FM said we had just voted on her governments record I thought I had voted in a general election to decide who should be PM


  22. Bungo I know you are involved with the NHS
    I watched the Scotland tonight special on the NHS studio guests were from across the NHS
    They said funding not so much an issue but simple things can make a big difference .
    A photo was shown of a long que outside a surgery at 730am for 830am opening .
    They suggested all surgeries operate a triage system it would ease pressure on the surgeries .
    Instead of attending the surgery phone in and someone will phone back that day to discuss the problem and fix an appointment .
    Surgeries using advanced nurses and other health care professionals it reduces pressure on GPS
    My surgery does all of that .
    A and E don’t attend unless you have to and above all don’t phone an Ambulance unless you have to .
    The hospital doctor on the programme said he sees people who out with surgery hrs have gone to A and E with a common cold but he understands parents panicking when a child is involved .
    He said hospital communications between departments needs to be improved he mentioned super hospitals
    The panel also said missed appointments we need to have a conversation about charging .
    And a public education exercise about how to use the out of hrs services and pharmacies
    What do you think

  23. Just seen on BBC News Mothercare out of business Sunday over 2 thousand jobs gone and Harry and Meghan top story says it all about priorities

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