By Bob Duncan
The SNP has said that Scottish Labour leader Johann Lamont must answer a series of questions about which she has been completely silent over recent months.
This follows news of a turf war taking place inside Scottish Labour, widespread disloyalty by senior party members, and a disastrous set of opinion polls which placed Labour in a poor second place behind a buoyant SNP.

The Panelbase poll for the Sunday Times and Real Radio Scotland surveyed 1,012 adults in Scotland between 11-17 July 2012.  Party support breakdowns for the constituency vote are as follows (with changes from the May 2011 election in brackets):

1. SNP:         47%     (+2%)
2. Labour:     32%     (n/c)
3. Tory:         12%     (-2%)
4. LibDem:      6%     (-2%)

These figures show that the gap between Labour and the SNP is now greater than it was at the time of the landslide victory in May 2011, when the SNP won its historic majority in a proportional parliament, which was designed by Labour specifically to make such a result impossible.

According to the SNP, Johann Lamont has failed to give her opinion on over the last few months on a number of current issues, including:

  • Whether she supports Trident missiles being based on the River Clyde – she was the only candidate in the Labour leadership election not to state her position.
  • Whether she supports lowering the voting age to 16.
  • Whether she supports greater powers over railways being devolved to the Scottish Parliament, which would allow greater flexibility with the franchise.
  • Whether she will discipline her front-bencher Neil Findlay for publicly mocking Alistair Darling and the Better Together campaign which Ms Lamont has taken the Labour party into.
  • Whether she will allow grassroots Labour members to openly debate the party’s position on the constitution at the next Labour conference.
  • Whether she agrees with her party colleague Ian Davidson MP that the BBC is guilty of ‘systematic bias’, following his on-air revelation that ‘several complaints’ had been made by the Labour party to the BBC.  Was Johann Lamont aware of these complaints and, if so, does she agree? If she was not aware, why not?

Commenting ahead of Johann Lamont’s hastily-arranged press conference today (Tuesday) to discuss the future policy direction of Scottish Labour, an SNP Spokesperson said:

“Johann Lamont’s default position on issue after issue over the summer has been one of silence, and she has a very long list of questions to answer.  It’s no wonder that tensions are boiling over in the Labour Party in Scotland – with one former spin doctor saying that Labour is ‘moribund’, another suspended for insubordination, and a turf war between Labour at Holyrood and the party at Westminster.

“What has prompted this hastily-arranged press conference?  Was it the recognition that her toxic anti-independence alliance with the Tories is going down dreadfully with the party membership and with the voters?  Was it the excellent speech by Allan Grogan on behalf of the ‘Labour for Independence’ group at Saturday’s independence rally in Edinburgh?  Was it the realisation that, under her leadership, Labour are even further behind in the polls now than in their 2011 election disaster? 

“Or was it the embarrassment of being in an anti-independence campaign with the Con-Dem coalition which has been caught out committing a criminal offence by breaking data protection law?

“Ms Lamont promised that her Devolution Commission which she was chairing would report back within a year – but the only thing she has done since she announced it six months ago is try to convince voters that we are ‘better together’ with the Tories at Westminster.

“It’s only when the press have started to ask questions about this that she has been panicked into claiming over the weekend that this Commission will actually happen.

“But this is not the only issue that Ms Lamont has completely failed to address. She the only candidate in the Labour leadership election not to say whether she supports retaining Trident weapons of mass destruction – and we’re still waiting to hear her view, almost a year later.

“This hasn’t stopped other senior Labour figures giving their own view – with Ian Davidson supporting nuclear disarmament, and Jim McGovern claiming that Scottish Labour was pro-nuclear. Even Labour’s Welsh leader has said more on Trident than Ms Lamont has.

“Labour’s limp response to the draft budget – where they made a lot of noise but offered absolutely no suggestions as to how they would fund some their alternatives – was perhaps the final straw.

“Under Johann Lamont, Labour has not even been acting like a proper opposition – never mind a party aspiring to be in government. Today’s press conference is the hallmark of a leadership in crisis.”

Ms Lamont has faced criticism over a ‘summer of silence’ that has led to claims that Scottish Labour have no vision for Scotland, either as an independent country or as part of the Union.  The frustration felt by some members of Scottish Labour was evident at a pro-independence march on Saturday where a group calling itself Scottish Labour for Independence joined thousands of other marchers gathered in support of a Yes vote in the 2014 referendum.


# Saltire Groppenslosh 2012-09-25 08:10
All these figures in Scottish Labour are becoming irrelevant and the speech that we heard from the “Labour Voters for Scottish Independence” man was refreshing and visionary. Entirely unlike anything I’ve heard from that camp for years and years. If these people form a breakaway party, there may indeed be a place for Labour in an independent Scotland.
# mackdee 2012-09-25 08:27
Sad state of affairs from a once proud and well respected party of the people.
# GrassyKnollington 2012-09-25 09:04
Johann Lamont’s position on everything can be summed up by these words,

Better Tory than Independent

Incidentally I have this morning appointed myself in charge of all of the SNP commenters on the internet.

This, like Johann’s elevation to leader of all Scottish Labour will be a tacit understanding with nothing formally written down and you can all choose to ignore me on the basis that you don’t think I have the authority.

If we can get the BBC in Scotland and unionist journos to run with the “GrassyKnollingt  on recently appointed leader of all SNP commenters in Scotland” thing my authority will be complete.

Looking forward to spending 10 minutes in the limelight every Thursday but obviously not available for comment at other times , your leader GK.
# Mark MacLachlan 2012-09-25 09:09
# hektorsmum 2012-09-25 09:14
Isn’t it.
# Dowanhill 2012-09-25 09:20
‘2. Labour:  32% (n/c)’ – N/c being no comment I assume??? When a pro Labour press starts to get worried, it shows how dire Scottish Labour are. I think SNP MSP should be ramming the these questions home to Scottish Labour everytime they’re on either Newsnight Scotland or Scotland today. I also see Ken Mackintosh is spouting old rubbish about the scottish steel manufacturers being overlooked in favour of China being main provider. That especially needs to nipped in the bud.
# J Wil 2012-09-25 17:26
“I also see Ken Mackintosh is spouting old rubbish about the scottish steel manufacturers being overlooked in favour of China being main provider.”

The SNP had their chance a week ago when the budget was being discussed on Scotland Tonight. Their man failed to challenge MacIntosh’s assertion. I do not know why he didn’t.
# Breeks 2012-09-25 09:39
The sound of silence?

“Hello Darkness my old friend,
I’ve come to talk with you again,
Because Allan Grogans vision softly creeping,
Left its seeds while I was sleeping”.

Music to our ears…

As was Allan Grogan’s speech at the Rally.
# velofello 2012-09-25 09:53
At FM Questions the First Minister explained clearly to Lamont that suitable steel was no longer produced in Scotland. Macintosh was in attendance. That he twice on BBC Newsnight has uttered this complaint of not purchasing Scottish produced steel ( unchallenged by the BBC presenter of course) shows the measure of the man.
“A man that would steal an egg would steal an empire”.
# proudscot 2012-09-25 13:14
Quoting velofello:
At FM Questions the First Minister explained clearly to Lamont that suitable steel was no longer produced in Scotland. Macintosh was in attendance. That he twice on BBC Newsnight has uttered this complaint of not purchasing Scottish produced steel ( unchallenged by the BBC presenter of course) shows the measure of the man.
“A man that would steal an egg would steal an empire”.

Ken MacIntosh could be described as a fox, if it weren’t for the fact that the average fox is much cleverer. The man knows full well that no steel suitable for the new Forth crossing is produced in Scotland. I think he is just trying to convince Labour voters that he is still available to replace Lamont, should she be ditched as leader of the Labour Group in Holyrood.
# hiorta 2012-09-25 10:04
Scotland needs a Labour and a Socialist voice to represent those who hold those views, but the current Labour / Scottish Labour politicians appear to want to avoid mentioning them.
# GrassyKnollington 2012-09-25 10:12
The Labour Party in Scotland would have been very uncomfortable at the march on Saturday as there were lots of banners with the word “socialist” on them.

Their new pals the Tories would never embarrass them with that sort of nonsense.
# Marga B 2012-09-25 10:47
Seen from a distance and reading all kinds of press, I’m puzzled – why do so many Scots still vote Labour?
# GrassyKnollington 2012-09-25 10:50
I think they’re colonised in the head Marga B. Years of media brainwashing about the inferior and dependent status of Scotland has sadly worked very well and the thing that now stops them from voting for independence is fear.
# davemsc 2012-09-25 12:09
I think it’s because many people don’t really understand what they’re doing when they vote. The ‘Labour family’ still exists in a lot of places: they’ve voted Labour for generations and will continue to do so (blindly) without reference to policy.

I’ve said for years that the most dangerous right that people are given is the vote. If people don’t know what they’re doing, they probably shouldn’t be allowed to use it. But that’s a dangerous road to go down 🙂
# oldnat 2012-09-25 13:12
Well we got some answers from Lamont.…/

Cuts deeper than Darling’s which were deeper than Thatcher’s.
# handclapping 2012-09-25 13:53
It reads curiously like a Gerry Hassan piece, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing. The gist seems to be I haven’t any answers but I care more about you than the SNP. Not very satisfying, I want people to do things for me not sit about saying I need to tax you more but I don’t have the power to do so, so I’ll do nothing, except tell you I care for you.
# Bill C 2012-09-25 13:56
Thanks for the link oldnat. I always find it interesting that unionist politicians like Lamont glory in bread and butter politics – the food on the table type arguments – yet ignore the fundamental point that to create the wealth, to create the jobs, to increase the welfare budget etc., the political decision makers must have their hands on the economic levers, a situation that can only be realised through independence.
I for one have had my fill of Labour promises, we had 13 years of Blair and Brown and Scotland became still became poorer. There will be no radical change in any aspect of Scottish society until we take decisions here in Scotland. Lamont’s politics are of the last century, it’s time to take the whole of Scotland forward with independence.
# heraldnomore 2012-09-25 14:30
I guess she wasn’t listening to Allan Grogan at the weekend; or Ruth Wishart for that matter.

Just more blah, blah, blah, Alex Salmond, blah, blah, SNP blah blah blah.

It’s so dire we could almost tag on the usual closing statement from BBC Scotlandshire.
# Clarinda 2012-09-25 14:55
I’m not quite sure what “every day people” means in her opening address – is she calling her followers – plebs?

A superficial, boring and bitter piece – badly written – where the writer has contrived a perverse usage of punctuation to demonstrate how not to write in sentences. It contains a fascinating usage of the comma where normally no comma should be ever be seen. I admit in the rush of blood to the head that some blog comments – including most of my own – contain a little grammatical lapse here and there – but this dire offering by (apparently) Ms Lamont, the branch leaderette, is poor by most measures of critical thinking and technical merit. I gave up at ….
“to try and prevent the people for getting a sniff of that vision” – a bizarre sensory skill even for “an every day” person to conquer.

Perhaps the poorest piece of political writing I’ve recently ‘sniffed a vision’ of – and I’ve sniffed a few. Any rudimentary grain of worthy debate has been obliterated by dreadful prose and the obligatory spitting hatred for the current Scottish Government.
# oldnat 2012-09-25 15:35

Sylvander would have been greatly moved by your respect for language! 🙂

(Good post!)
# GrassyKnollington 2012-09-25 15:35
If it had been written by Johann’s twitter alter ego it would have read,

“Just stirring the mince”

this would have been a shorter read and at least the mince would have a realistic chance of appearing.
# Dowanhill 2012-09-25 18:41
Quoting GrassyKnollingt  on:
If it had been written by Johann’s twitter alter ego it would have read,

“Just stirring the mince”

this would have been a shorter read and at least the mince would have a realistic chance of appearing.

No, it have read ‘ As a mither (mother), just stirring the mince’.
# call me dave 2012-09-25 15:52
Quoting oldnat:
Well we got some answers from Lamont.…/

Cuts deeper than Darling’s which were deeper than Thatcher’s.

Direct from her piece on Labourhame:
She said:
I am not saying today, that we have all the answers. But let me assure you from today we will ask the right questions while the SNP seek to duck them.

Let me tell you two differences between me and Alex Salmond. I didn’t come in to politics to break up Britain. And I didn’t come in to politics to dodge the difficult questions. I will answer them.

I pledge this to the people of Scotland. What I say will not always please you. But what I say will always be honest and true and how I genuinely see it.

Aye right! Yawnnnnnn!!!! Another fib!
# Marga B 2012-09-25 13:57
OT, sorry, but Catalonia news, in case anyone’s following us:

The Catalan president has just called elections, 25 November/2 December, 2 years early, as a plebiscite to give him a remit for the next move, probably holding a referendum for independence, unconstitutiona  l and illegal in Spain. He personally risks jail and Catalonia risks reprisals including ceasing of autonomy or even intervention by the armed forces whose constitutional duty it is to protect the unity of Spain. Some retired officers have already rattled sabres.

Even before that, reactions of Madrid to the situation were bellicose, the King is even being sent round the world to cool international support, main business leaders and Europe lobbied, scare stories and threats everywhere.

Next week Catalonia is due to receive a huge bailout from Madrid because Catalonia is bankrupt (“It’s our money!”). Can’t say the president doesn’t enjoy living dangerously.
# Christian_Wright 2012-09-25 16:35
You are living in interesting times, Marga. Thanks for the synopsis. Have you posted on this in greater depth elsewhere?

Or can you provide a link to a suitable narrative?
# FREEDOM1 2012-09-25 14:30
Just watched lamont on STV. She has just comitted political suicide with all her blabbering about bringing back tuition fees, stopping free bus passes,free prescriptions etc. To all you labour voters – join your pals on Labour for Independence and keep all our benefits up here in Scotland.
# Nation Libre 2012-09-25 19:49
Yes, what a gift, she’s actually a Tory. With her stuttering and stammering I almost felt sorry for her but instead just p*ssed myself laughing. How can they possibly come up with someone even worse than Ian Grey. Without a notepad in front of her, she is totally lost
# oldnat 2012-09-25 14:32
After Lamont’s planning to end free education, this is worth a read.…/…

If this new twist to the student finance reforms sparks to life, as its impact on household budgets becomes clearer, it will send a shiver down the spine of leading members of the coalition. At the time they took the decision to bring in the new funding system they knew, of course, they were in for some choppy politics and that those on middle and high incomes would take a hit. But I very much doubt they grasped that it would lead to what many of them would consider to be totalitarian tax rates being imposed on families in the so-called striving classes whose kids are aiming high.

That’s what the Labour bit of the Better Together Coalition want to bring to Scotland.
# mudfries 2012-09-25 14:33
I’m no sure if I want this woman to speak anyway! whenever she talks its always absolute tripe, if only she would shut up for that ten minutes at first ministers questions every week as well i’d be quite happy! and while we’re at it that wee group of nonentitys who sit behind her in the parliament and force themselves to laugh at her attempts at humour should just keep quiet as well, it embarrassing to watch, Your patter stinks lamont! how can you try to take on Salmond in a battle of wits every week when you are unarmed?
# proudscot 2012-09-25 14:33
I have just read Lamont’s speech on the link provided by oldnat. It’s mainly a diatribe against the SNP Government – no surprise there, then. Throughout, there is still no definition of alternative policies, or how these would be funded, but there are dark hints about the unaffordability of free bus travel for pensioners like myself, free care for the elderly, free tuition fees or free prescriptions. And John Swinney’s council tax freeze is then criticised as being underfunded.

And no mention of the mountain of PFI debt the last Holyrood Labour/LibDem administration saddled Scotland with. Suggesting to me that any subsequent Lamont-led government would probably take us down the same economically disastrous route.

But my keyboard came under real threat of being sprayed by coffee, when I read her assertion that she “didn’t come into politics to dodge the hard questons, but to answer them.” At that point I admit to shouting at my inoffensive computer monitor, “When are you going to START answering ANYTHING, wee Missus Unavailable For Comment?”

A final word of warning, anyone with a heart condition intending to read this Lamentable load of anti-SNP and anti-Salmond soundbites, because that’s mainly what it consists of, make sure you have your medication handy. You’ll need it!
# jim288 2012-09-25 14:56
Maybe doesn’t talk to anyone else but Brian Taylor’s managed to cobble an article together to give her a bit publicity.…/…

I like the final sentence in his last paragraph:

To be fair, again, we are some way off from the next Scottish Parliamentary election. At this stage, Ms Lamont is simply questioning the existing orthodoxy. At the very least, it should add to the sources of innocent merriment already available to the observing citizenry.
# Roll_On_2011 2012-09-25 15:09
OT – Good News

Scots firms win windfarm contract:…/…

Two Scottish firms have secured contracts to build weather stations ahead of the construction of a major windfarm off the coast of East Anglia.

Aberdeen-based Wood Group and Steel Engineering of Renfrewshire will share the £17m order for the stations.

The contract was awarded by the windfarm’s developers, ScottishPower Renewables and Vattenfall.
# From The Suburbs 2012-09-25 16:11
Johann Lamont is leading Labour’s Better Together cuts agenda when she is looking for ways to implement additional Tory style cuts to free personal care for the elderly, cuts to bus passes for the elderly and disabled, increased tuition fees for students and increased prescriptions for the sick and increased council taxes for hard pressed working families so that profligate Labour councils can spend spend spend on their vanity projects like Edinburgh Trams.

It is worst suicide note in history and a sure vote winner as it is even more than Alistair Darling wanted when he said Labour’s cuts would be deeper than Mrs Thatcher’s.

In the bleak midwinter, Lamont’s wind made moan,
Scotland reduced to scotched Earth, water like a stone;
Cuts had fallen, cuts on cuts, cuts on cuts,
Thanks to Bleak Midwinter, who is going to vote no.
# Marga B 2012-09-25 16:22
OT again, sorry, but can’t help comparing the style of the president of Catalonia with the diatribe of Ms Lamont, your potential First Minister.

Speech winding up legislation now on live (Spanish simultaneous translation) on El Pais website – Spain is all ears (and it’s getting an earful, too!)
# cirsium 2012-09-25 16:36
Marga B thanks for keeping us informed about events in Catalonia. Very interesting reading.
# oldnat 2012-09-25 17:03
Thanks Marga.

Keep us in touch.
# spcarraig 2012-09-25 17:10
Marga, do you think Mas is going to campaign in the election on a platform of definitely holding a consultative referendum on independence? Is there any room for co-operation with other smaller pro-independence parties?
# Marga B 2012-09-25 17:52
Who knows, Mas didn’t say, it all depends on other parties, public pressure and the reaction of Madrid and other countries. Officially it’s to “open a process of self-determination” and get a remit from the people.

Smaller independence parties ERC republican left, Solidarity, Joan Laporta and even ICV/Greens (eco-communists) are signing up, socialists are sniping from the sidelines and 2 conservative parties are hopping mad.

Oh, I’ve just heard this wonderful sentence from a commentator: “I’ve never once heard a positive argument for the No parties for staying in the union”.

Anyway, it seems it’s all up for negotiation. Catalonia won’t lose out. The only definite thing is that Mas will resign at the end of the process, implying that this will be the first President of a “free” Catalonia!

Coincidentally Congress in Madrid is under attack from the Indignados.
# govanite 2012-09-25 17:16

Lament is no potential First Minister.
The standard for a First Minister has been raised to a new level.
The requirement & expectation now is for
Statesmanship, Leadership, Dignity, Responsibility & Competence

Anyone who doesn’t have these is going to look very poor against some of the candidates that do.

I know you are being humourous, but I can’t abide the thought of that horror.
# km 2012-09-25 16:28
Allan Grogan’s speech from the rally at the weekend:…/

Stirring stuff. And YouTube conveniently gives links to all other major speeches too – Salmond, Wishart, Margo. Thanks to Auld Reekie who posted them there.

Just had a quick read of the Labour for Independence website – it is claiming there were 80,000 hits in the first week of September…
# oldnat 2012-09-25 17:20
NUS quick off the mark to warn SLAB MSPs that they all did “a Clegg” and “every single Scottish Labour MSP signed up to a personal pledge to rule out tuition fees. No voter will accept such a quick U-turn on this, and least of all when it’s bad politics and bad policy.”…/…
# ochyes 2012-09-25 17:53
A third of the population still support Labour. That is a significant number of people. This number has remained about constant therefore they’re no deid yet.
# govanite 2012-09-25 18:02
Depressing, but paradoxically it is motivational too. Work to be done. The future will be written, we must ensure we do the writing.
# sneckedagain 2012-09-25 18:34

But many of them have always been likely to vote Yes for independence nonetheless. In the survey we did in A&B; constituency a few years ago over half those who identified as Labour supporters told us they would vote YES
# tarbat 2012-09-25 18:42
Are the BBC so embarrassed about Lamont’s speech today that they can’t bring themselves to even mention it on Reporting Scotland until 14 minutes into their news bulletin?

Of course, if it was the SNP proposing the scrapping of universal benefits and free university tuition, I’m sure it would have been their lead story tonight.
# gus1940 2012-09-25 19:04
And they didn’t show any of her speech – only a short very tame interview.

It will be interesting to see how Scotlandshire Tonight and Newsnight Scotlandshire treat today’s Lamont disaster, if at all.

If she doesn’t appear and receive a proper grilling it will be a disgrace – I reckon that she is already back locked in her cupboard until her brief release to be routinely annihilated at FMQ’s on thursday.

As for Taylor’s report on the BBC News Site – nuff said – Honest Johann indeed.
# Nation Libre 2012-09-25 20:05
That’s exactly what I thought. Thought we might even get a fourth day of Skimming Stones. How bad was she,what a gift
# Dowanhill 2012-09-25 18:49
I am still at odds at how somebody as stupid and insincere as Lamont is in such a prominent role (albeit by default) in Scottish politics. Am I missing something here? Is this some kind of Westminster funded political experiment that is testing how inept Scottish Labour can muster support?
# davemsc 2012-09-25 18:55
I’m just glad she’s no longer a teacher.
# proudscot 2012-09-25 19:08
Quoting Dowanhill:
I am still at odds at how somebody as stupid and insincere as Lamont is in such a prominent role (albeit by default) in Scottish politics. Am I missing something here? Is this some kind of Westminster funded political experiment that is testing how inept Scottish Labour can muster support?

Dowanhill remember who voted her into the leadership position in the Labour Party Scottish Branch election – not the Labour membership (all estimated k10 to k15 of them), nor the MPs and MSPs, but the Unions block vote.

So she was in fact elected by London HQ, and as a result is on a short leash, politcally speaking, and will only be allowed to bark with their permission and in line with London Labour policies.
# EphemeralDeception 2012-09-25 19:02
The Scottish Government should change their approach in order to get clarification. IMO they are going about this the wrong way.

The SNP should state what Labours position is for them on all the key issues eg.
SNP should simply state ‘Labour are pro trident and pro nuclear’. And… just say ‘Labour’.

This puts the onus for Lamont to contradict and set matters staight or stay silent and everyone can take it as correct.
# Marga B 2012-09-25 19:11
OT, but any Catalonia watchers – short texts but if I see anything good tomorrow I’ll post it – or you could always register with Collectiu Emma and they will probably have some ongoing stuff:…/……/……/…

NOTE – front page story today in the Financial Times – paywall, I can’t see it. Some Catalans have started to say it must be the black arts, that someone has it in for Spain, which may well be the truth behind a lot of this attention.
# indy2014 2012-09-25 19:20
Johan Lamont just on BBC Reporting Scotland @ 18.30.
She thinks families are finding it hard and wants to cut a wad of free stuff like prescriptions, uni. places, buss passes to help them out!

BBC Main newreader led in with “Johan Lamont ACCUSING the SNP of dodging difficult questions.”
News reporter on site said “Scottish Labour’s leader presented herself as honest Johan today in contrast to her SNP opponents, tartan Tories cutting on the one hand and bribing the electorate with free presciptions on the other.”

Unbiased reporting at its best. How long before we cancel that licence fee direct debit?
# J Wil 2012-09-25 19:26
“…Arthur Midwinter, associate professor at the University of Edinburgh.”

Economist? (sniggers).
# Briggs 2012-09-25 19:36
If Johan Lamont’s speech is taken at face value she must be trying to lose the Referendum vote.

A Labour politician talking about ‘a something for nothing culture’ is going to be doomed to some harsh disappointments in 2014?

It really is a weird world nowadays where a political leader attacks her Party’s core vote.

Thanks Johan, but what are you thinking of?

Over at ‘Labour Hame’ the natives are restless.…/…
# Mad Jock McMad 2012-09-25 19:40
“The idea that Scotland is a land where everything is free is a lie” says Lamont. How dishonest, how deplorable, that a Labour party forged by the trade unions of yesteryear should use point-scoring with Alex Salmond to advance an agenda so robustly right-wing that it would make George Osborne proud.

The truth is uncomfortable for many. But at the demonstration for independence last weekend, every single speaker focused on delivering a more socially just Scotland. Better Together is now explicitly a campaign of toryism and reaction. Its major constituent – the Labour Party – have taken a position that will turn stomachs.

In broad terms: No is regressive internationally and socially. Yes is the opposite. That is the way the debate is currently being framed.”

Well it appears Johann has now upset her potential allies on the left of the political spectrum, she has lost the centre left to the SNP long ago – New Labour’s Scottish region are clearly just another bunch of Tories and we know what Scots think of Tories ….. don’t we. Next up, as BBC Scotlandshire announced, Mitt Romney will be coming over to front up the ‘No’ campaign – that’ll help.…/…
# gus1940 2012-09-25 19:42
I can just see tomorrow’s headline in The Scotsman – it will be something along the lines of:-

‘Triumph Of The Lamont As She Slaughters The SNP’
# colin8652 2012-09-25 19:49
I really think that this is the right time to strike early and drive home the differences in staying in the UK and enduring death by a thousand cuts an vibrant and progressive and socially caring Scotland
# Mark MacLachlan 2012-09-25 19:51
She truly is the gift that keeps on giving.…/…
# Briggs 2012-09-25 19:53
How times change.…/…
# oldnat 2012-09-25 19:54
Is Lamont disagreeing with Milliband – or blazing a trail for him?…/…

Or just telling Scots that we are too wee, too poor ….?
# admiral 2012-09-25 19:55
When is someone going to make the link between the squillions and billions supporting an imperialistic world view (Trident, UN security council,illegal wars being the American poodle) and a supposed inability to afford basic levels of social support? We already have the lowest basic state pension in western Europe. For goodness sake, yes we can afford tuition fees, personal care for the elderly – we just need to get rid of imperial delusions and look at our true priorities.
# bringiton 2012-09-25 20:07
What we are seeing in England is the withdrawl of the state from social welfare provision.
All the London based parties have signed up to this agenda so it should be no surprise to anyone here that Lamont has been instructed to fall in line by her masters in London.
At least it is becoming very clear what will happen if people in Scotland vote No in the referendum.
Of course,there will be some who wish to see this sort of non society evolving here but they will be a small minority of idiots.
# Caadfael 2012-09-26 16:15
Oh dear!
This is Labour in Scotland in bed with British nationalism “”””””””””””””I have no intention of slurring over the differences we have with socialism, nor concealing my belief that we are the National Party of Great Britain, representing not narrow class interest, nor the bigotry of the left wing intellectuals, but all those who support the British tradition of democracy, of personal freedom, of personal responsibility for one’s own affairs and those of one’s family, with the least possible interference from the State. Speech to Epping Conservatives (17 November, 1969).””””””””””””””” NORMAN TEBBIT
From facebook, how many suicide notes does she need!!
# Nautilus 2012-09-26 16:51
#Jenny 2603.

I agree.The General Election is won and lost in the mass of population that is the south east of England. I guess that Ms Lamont has been told not even to try to appeal to the Scots voter, but to the electoral area where Labour is likely to pick up most votes. They’ll love these policies down there – especially as they perceive us as lazy scroungers and benefits cheats.

I think I would trust John Swinney, an accountant and economist to know exactly what he can afford, rather than any ill-informed Labour lay person. Let’s face it, he’s done ok up to now. He’s a pragmatic Finance Minister who stamps on waste, whilst the dogmatic UK Chancellor continues his half-baked, costly privatisation policies.

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