Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Just what are they afraid of?

The Labour Party, the Liberal Democrats, the Tories in Scotland; what are they afraid of? Watching the Libdems in Westminster snorting at the trough, you would think any one of these so-called representatives of the Scottish people would leap with out-stretched arms at the opportunity at a shot of time in government. And not just a devolved government, but fully matured, grown up, independent government with powers over taxation, spending, foreign policy and the sundry responsibilities that this would entail.

This next step, to my mind, is the logical one to take. Following on from the devolution “experiment”, independence can be the only destination.

While reading another article here: Scottish Socialist Voice, it hit me on the forehead that these enemies from apparent opposite ends of the political spectrum (with the dead-beat Libdems swinging either way to suit whatever side is “in”) were more than willing to cosy up in a thorny bed to maintain this dysfunctional Union, rather than stand up and go boldly into the future which is full of potential. They are happy to support all these awful cuts to benefits which is the cause of much suffering to the weak and vulnerable in our society; cuts which Labour have promised will continue in the future following 2015 general election, should they win. They seem content – every one of them – to watch the gap between the wealthy and the poor stretch to mind-bending, record breaking levels, rather than say “No, this can’t go on, there is another, better way!”

What is it that keeps them tied hard and fast to the Butcher’s Bloody Apron-strings; that makes them too afraid to take up the cause of their kith and kin and actually try to improve the lot of the Scottish Nation?

Consider the gasping corpse that is the Tory Party in Scotland; why would it consign itself to electoral oblivion under the current system? Potentially, in an independent Scotland they could achieve a return to the popular party they were during the 1950s, but with a uniquely Scottish conservative slant. Or perhaps that’s where their imagination runs out. It has to be like Westminster.

Then there is the Labour Party, North Britain Branch, because they do not behave like a representative of the Scottish people. This crowd, as so eloquently pointed out on many, many occasions, would prefer to be ruled and dictated to by a Conservative parliament in Westminster, than put a foot on the next step of the promotional ladder and use the power of Holyrood to improve the lot of the people of, for example, Glasgow. These same people of Glasgow whose life-span, despite many decades of local councils being under Labour stewardship, has been shown to be shorter than the residents of Gaza.

When we come to the Liberal Democrats we appear to have a political party whose malleability is second only to warm Plasticine; willing to compromise their ideals for any taste of power. So, why not in an independent Scotland?

Could it be they are so used to taking instructions from headquarters in London that they have lost all confidence in themselves and are emotionally, psychologically and physically incapable of taking charge of decision-making and of forming a government? They certainly seem bereft of ideas and policies, and are deadly silent on what their function in an independent country would be.

Obviously the SNP never had to take instructions from, or toe the line of, any London-centric party. They have always been their own masters and have grown and matured over the last 70-odd years to become a very competent party of government within the devolved parameters of Holyrood. Furthermore, I’m confident that the changeover to independent, autonomous nation-hood will be no great problem to them either. As individuals they are, each and every one, all ready to work for the needs and the needy of Scotland.

In contrast, however, I think the other political representatives do not have that confidence, intellect or ability. They only know how to take and carry out orders. Therefore, to suddenly give them the power of a fully functioning government would cause them to behave like rabbits in headlights. As a result of their current set-up, i.e. receiving instructions from London bosses, they have never had to stretch their abilities beyond that of a glorified councillor. They’ve not really had to balance a budget as well as they should.

This is true, especially when you take into consideration their past record in power (1999-2007); PFI, PPI and so on. They have bequeathed a whole slew of extortionately expensive schemes, which have in reality indebted our grandchildren. My nephew’s daughter will be paying off hospitals and other public expenditure into HER adulthood.

Perhaps some of the now retired and more mature ex-members of those parties could have coped in government, but when I look at Lamont, Rennie and Davidson, I’m left with the knowledge they are followers not leaders.

You only have to watch their cringe worthy “performances” at First Minister’s Questions to see that. Their debating skills are limited ad hominem commentary and petty point scoring, instead of discussion and debate. Their sense of achievement appears to come from their perception that they have successfully dragged other MSPs characters, chiefly SNP MSPs, into the dirt, rather than finding solutions to the myriad of social and economical issues that affect the everyday lives of our fellow Scots.

It is now obvious to me and much of the general public that many of the current members of Labour, Libdems and Tories are by no manner of means ready for serious, grown-up politics; they’ve relinquished that responsibility to their masters in London. They have chosen to self-fulfil the “too stupid” myth by being incapable of standing up to the mark and saying “Not only, Yes We Can, But Let’s Show Westminster How It’s Done!”

Since the SNP landslide of 2011 and the promise of the referendum, not one positive reason for remaining part of the United Kingdom has been given by any of them. All that has happened is a torrent of scaremongering has cascaded from all Unionist quarters. Slurs, insults and in many cases, out and out lies have been utelised by them in an attempt to subdue the Scots into giving up their right to autonomy. In addition, we’ve had the “Jam Tomorrow” promise of increased powers post 2014. All we need do is look at the NHS in England and watch it evaporate despite promises made to conserve and nurture it, same with education fees.

Scotland’s fate in 2014 following a No vote is something I have no desire to even contemplate. It’s too dismal and depressing.

I believe that one of the reasons these Union politicians in Scotland are so unreservedly ideologically stuck to the maintenance of the United Kingdom comes down to basic lack of ability. They may even have some insight that they themselves are incapable of making such important decisions, and this is why they are afraid to step up to the mark. However, more importantly and probably closer to their hearts, it really does come down to the money.

Many believe their financial rewards will be greater remaining with the status quo. With the potential of a gift of a place on the Green Bench and an ermine cape, so long as they do their master’s bidding, they are more than happy to keep the querulous Scots kow-towing to Westminster’s increasingly miserly plan. However, they are not so daft as to miss the point that as members of an Edinburgh Government, we the people have sovereignty over it and them, and could ask awkward questions about expenses and dubious accounting. Whereas Westminster not only does very little to prevent this type of corruption, it actively encourages it, as we have seen many of those who paid back false claims are having them repaid.

And for these selfish reasons alone, Scotland could remain yoked to a system which has little in common with her social aspirations. A system dedicated to maintaining the false perception bolstered by compliant media that, although The United Kingdom is over-run with layabout spongers, the worst of them all (if the comments section of the Daily Mail and Telegraph are to be taken seriously) are the lazy, drunken, scrounging Scots north of the border.

When in reality, we all know the real scroungers and money-wasters occupy Green and Red Leather Benches in a luxurious palace on the banks of the Thames. 

The very place that many, if not most of the Unionist supporting politicians would dearly love to be.


  1. Get right intae them, Hazel! I couldn't have said it better myself - although I would probably have used a few long and obscure words to bolster my flimsy male ego ;)
    You've put your finger on it: there is an appalling lack of intellect, principle, and talent on the Opposition benches at Holyrood and not a lot more among the Big Boys down south.
    I can't remember a dimmer crowd of politicians other than some of our recent American brethren who seem to enter a state of gibbering concussion when confronted by logic and fact.
    It's like a parallel evolution with the Arts - the Tories are a preserved cow cut in half, the LibDems are a "monstrous carbuncle", and Labour are techno - full of tedious repetition, noise, and a total lack of original ideas. O tempora! O mores! (retreats to cave waving long white beard at admiring fans)

  2. Spot on Hazel, you've hit the nail on the head!
    The three unionist parties are a disgrace and painfully embarrassing to watch on FMQ.

    1. Oh, Marjorie ... I just can't watch them on FMQ's. It's utterly abysmal. Our Primary 7 class had a better quality debating team than those politicians.

  3. With the emergence of some Labour members coming out in favour of Independence, I'm quite surprised that we haven't seen similar activity amongst the tories. There must be at least one Conservative party member in Scotland that would be prepared to ditch the Unionist label. As you quite rightly point out in your article, they'd probably benefit greatly. They couldn't do any worse!

    I've just had a look at the election results for my own constituency. While the SNP have held Moray since 1987, the tories have taken second place in all subsequent elections bar 2001 when Labour overtook them. I wonder how those results would have differed had the had they been more pro-independence.

    As for the LibDems, I'll be looking forward to seeing the stronghold of orange westminster seats go the same way as their Scottish Parliament equivalents. 

    1. It's the Tories that baffle me most. They have the most to gain from independence, and yet are happily taking a bullet for Westminster.

      The three unionist party system exists in Scotland for one reason only. To ensure they divide the vote and reduce the chances of independence.

      There will ALWAYS be Tory voters, or Labour voters or Libdem voters. Unthinking People of Habit, totally incapable of doing anything other than placing their X in the same box each and every time.

    2. Don't be baffled by the Tories for it was them who buried the McCrone Report !!! .....They want and need Scotland's Resources inluding our water and Windpower if they could pipe it South !! to maintain the Wealthy lives they lead away from us Plebs ! ....Love your Article ....Thankyou once more :-)

    3. Both the Tories and Labour were in cahoots over the McCrone Report.
      The usual story... if we're such whiners, lazy whingers etc... why do they want us in the Union?
      Exactly as you say, cheap power and abundant water. Oh, and nuclear dumping ground.

    4. The Tories are the Conservative and Unionist Party, and they can't get past that. If they had any vision they would not have supported Ms Line in the sand Davidson. I remember in 1997 the Tories at the count were actually shell shocked as the votes piled up. They sat apart from the rest of us and shuddered. Pastorally I told them that they couldn't do worse in Edinburgh than they did at Westminster and one told me that their whole job was to protect the Union. There is this deep emotional thing and it will take a generation of independence for us to get a right of centre party with any self belief

  4. This may give you an insight into the mentality of conservatives, with a small 'c'.
    The rest of the articles on this site are rampant anti-SNP and anti-independence.

    1. The Bitter Together slogan (which is a Gaelic word for battle-cry!) suits them well.

  5. "Just what are they afraid of?"

    I've often wondered that myself, Hazel, and I can only concur with your reasons. I would think, with the 2 watt dim leadership the Scottish LibDems have with Rennie, they are destined to crash and burn, there is no other way for a party that tells so many public lies to go, and apologies on Youtube by their London leader while he sits next to Clone of Thatcher just rubs salt in the wounds of their duplicity. What I don't understand is why, when the likes of Lamont is intent on punishing the poor and working poor of Scotland as much as the Tories at Westminster are doing at present, and promising extra pain on top, as well as threatening to force families that can ill afford it even more debt if they want their children university educated, that the Scottish Labour party has any substantial following at all. Yes, I know it is diminished, and there is a chink of light on the horizon with the rise of Labour for Independence, but why does anyone in Scotland give Scottish Labour the time of day at all?
    These parties are scared of change, they have moved so far to the right that they have forgotten the way back and the principles they left behind. In place of competent leadership in the Scottish branches of the Westminster parties, they have placed nodding donkeys running on batteries so low that all power for reasonable thought has been diverted, just enough juice left to nod away and spout hackneyed clichés when required.
    I suppose even the dinosaurs put up a good fight in their day before the final demise. No electorate to worry about, the dinosaurs had little but self-preservation in mind as they struggled to the bitter end... Ah, it all becomes clear.
    Although stifled and kept in dark cellars somewhere out of the way, there are a few sparks of talent and potential in the Scottish Westminster parties. I can only hope some of the brighter ones will see a chink of light and escape the darkness soon. There may be a "fully matured, grown up, independent government with powers over taxation, spending, foreign policy and the sundry responsibilities that this would entail." waiting for them to participate in, if only they take the leap.

    Excellent piece Hazel, I look forward to intelligent posts, keep up the good work :-)

    1. Thanks for your insightful reply ... nodding donkeys right enough!

  6. Head, nail... spot on... (and only one mis-spelt word! - Sorry H, they jump out the page at me every time!)

  7. Oooh Hazel, I wish I had your talent for framing the argument perfectly. It was well worth the wait, just don't make it too long next time.

    The people you describe are anti-Scottish because they don't recognise Scotland as a distinct country with its own distinct flavour and politics. The debating chamber after independence will become a very different place to the one we see now, as one or two of the parties we see there now may not survive in their present state. If they are aware of that, we may see subtle changes in their stance as we approach the referendum. They are mostly, after all, career politicians who will always take the populist view.

    Kindest regards,


    1. Thanks David,I'm just writing as stuff hits me at the moment.
      Hopefully as the referendum approaches, there will be an alteration in perspective for the more sensible among them. Right now they are like a bunch of ostriches with their heads buried deep in the sand.

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  9. Hi Hazel - long time no hear - and welcome back! If now is not the hour of our awakening, just when can that ever be? We are traduced as a country and officially represented as a region by the UK, which is England with bits bolted on and worse, we cannot escape, even if we want to, because we are ensnared within a faux-democracy that has biased public broadcasting and wholly rabid pro-establishment newspapers which misconstrue, lie, propagandise and denigrate to their hearts content quite unbridalled by any regulatory authority whatsoever, never mind in the name of basic human rights and the concepts of natural justice.

    Your fine article has one passage that has been totally overshadowed by Moore's announcement and presentation of the UK Gov's position yesterday ....'so long as they do their master’s bidding, they are more than happy to keep the querulous Scots kow-towing to Westminster’s increasingly miserly plan. However, they are not so daft as to miss the point that as members of an Edinburgh Government, we the people have sovereignty over it and them, and could ask awkward questions about expenses and dubious accounting.'.... Given what 's in store for us Scots if we turn our back on YES - just what will Holyrood then be capable of and Connolly's 'pretendy wee parliament'!! will be just that - placebo democracy anyone?

    So, sharpen your pencil Hazel, now's the time and now's the hour for you to get stuck back into it! Love your stuff and Big Hugs!

    1. Aye Baron, a wee pretendy parliament is exactly what we'll have after a No next year.
      Governor-General Moore's blabberings yesterday were all part and parcel of the denigrate by degrees imperative. As I said on a post on Facebook regarding this "The deals brokered [in the event of independence] will be down to Holyrood's negotiating. He'll be negotiating from the wrong side of the table. This is all part of the subliminal message of "why bother voting if all the power is still decided at Westminster, even if you do vote for independence" .."

      Always appreciate your input Barontorc. :D