By a Newsnet reporter
The Labour party is facing the prospect of a by-election in Falkirk as it emerged that Eric Joyce has been charged with three counts of common assault.
Mr Joyce is being held in a London Police station following allegations that he went berserk and attacked a Tory MP.

The incident at Strangers Bar in the House of Commons ended with Mr Joyce being arrested by five policemen.

It has also emerged that several Labour whips tried to restrain their out of control Scottish colleague as the incident got out of hand.

Eye witnesses have described how Mr Joyce went “berserk” as he complained loudly that there were too many Tories in the bar.

One Conservative MP, Stewart Andrew has alleged that he was left with a bloody nose after being head-butted by the controversial Labour MP.

It is also claimed Labour whip Phil Wilson was left with blood stains on his shirt after he was struck by Joyce as he tried to intervene.

Mr Joyce has remained in custody at the Belgravia police station since being arrested late on Wednesday evening.  Bar staff on duty when the alleged incident occurred went to the police station to give statements at 3pm.

Unconfirmed reports suggest that after Joyce was taken into custody he took a swing at a desk sergeant.  It has also been tweeted by Michael Crick of the BBC that Joyce “was in such a state” that he refused a lawyer.
Yesterday morning Ed Miliband took the decision to suspend the Scottish Labour MP from the party.

The revelation that Mr Joyce has been charged with three counts of common assault followed news that several Labour MPs have been expressing concerns about their colleague's health.  Many commentators are now suggesting the controversial Labour MPs career is over and that it is now almost certain that he will step down as MP for Falkirk.

Mr Joyce’s predecessor, Mr Denis Canavan, said: “If he is found guilty of serious assault, then I hope the parliamentary authorities take action against him to suspend him from the House of Commons.
“I am saddened but not very surprised to hear about this latest incident.  Sadly, it says as much about the quality of the Labour Party’s selection process for candidates as it does about Mr Joyce.
“He is not a fit and proper person to be an MP.  My sympathies lie with the people of Falkirk, not with Mr Joyce.  This all speaks volumes about the way the Labour Party goes about selecting its candidates.”

In the last general election Labour achieved a win over the SNP with a majority of 7843 - 23,207 votes to 15,364.

If Mr Joyce does stand down on health grounds then Scottish Labour will face their first real test since Johann Lamont replaced Iain Gray as Scottish leader.


# Soixante-neuf 2012-02-23 23:54
I heard the correspondent on the BBC1 news say "nobody is ruling out a by-election", but I don't understand why or how he can be forced to resign over this. MPs have kept their seats in spite of very serious illness, when it suited their party not to have a by-election. What makes this any different?
# Holebender 2012-02-24 00:33
Umm... Criminal charges?
# Soixante-neuf 2012-02-24 00:35
Well, no. If that was all it took, we'd have got shot of quite a few of them over the years. It has to be a conviction and a jail sentence of over a year. Common assault doesn't carry that sort of sentence.
# Saporian 2012-02-24 07:17
Yes, but he will get off by pleading insanity. He is a unionist!
# dundie 2012-02-23 23:58
What was it Bendy Wendy said? Bring it on?
# Union City Blues 2012-02-24 00:04
Poor guy has obviously had a breakdown, not something we should be happy about. I hope he gets better and keeps his seat.
# Soixante-neuf 2012-02-24 00:10
I can hope he gets better without hoping he keeps his seat. He's not my MP, but if he was, I'd be appalled that my representative had perpetrated something like that.

Oh wait, my MP is Mundell the hamster. I don't think it gets any worse.
# Jim Johnston 2012-02-24 08:25
Hi S-n,
Possibly a breakdown from overwork filling out expense claims ?

What is obvious is that Joyce is certainly Labour party officer material in the class of Foulkes.

Will Falkirk folks put up with [Offensive comment removed - NNS Mod Team] like this for much longer ?

Very sad to think they used to have Denis Canavan for their MP.
# call me dave 2012-02-24 00:32
Quoting Union City Blues:
Poor guy has obviously had a breakdown, not something we should be happy about. I hope he gets better and keeps his seat.


Blondie! (apologies couldn't resist)

Your sentiments are commendable and are shared by many on this thread I am sure.

But in the world of politics there are movers and shakers in both the Labour and SNP poring over the chess board even now plotting out their strategies
'what if'. . . .etc etc.

Its war out there and we ordinary folk just get to wonder and then vote!

Played that 'Union City Blues'
until I wore the needle (stylus) away loved it.
# Sleekit 2012-02-24 11:33
This man is not fit to be a representative of the people.

In September 2008 Joyce was banned from driving for six months after clocking up 12 points on his driving licence.

On 18 November 2010 Joyce was arrested for failing to provide a breath test following a motoring incident in Falkirk. He pleaded guilty in court the following day and was fined £400 and banned from driving for a year.

Joyce resigned from his position as Shadow Northern Ireland Minister.

Now we have him being arrested in Parliament for committing assault. He apparently went 'berserk', hitting 'at least three MPs, including Labour whip Phil Wilson before he head butted the Conservative MP Stuart Andrew.

Not a one off incident!!!

We then have to add to this his expenses record where he was the top-claiming Member of the House of Commons for the 2005–06 Parliamentary Session, claiming £174,811 in expenses.

He made a public pledge to cut his expenses moving to 11th on the list of MPs' expenses and allowances in 2005-06 BUT was back at the top of the expenses list for the 2007–08 Parliamentary Session with £187,334.

Joyce was the first MP to claim more than £1 million cumulatively in expenses.

In October 2007 Joyce claimed £180 for three oil paintings. When asked why he had used taxpayers' funds in such a way he replied "because they look nice."

In May 2009, tabloids reported Joyce was seeking advice from HM Revenue and Customs regarding £40,000 in unpaid capital gains tax on the sale of his London home, which he had designated as his second home under the Second Homes Allowance scheme.

The house had been bought in September, 2001 for £249,950 and was sold in August, 2007 for £383,000. When asked what he would do were he asked to repay the money, Joyce stated he would "suck it and see."

In what world does Labour operate where they wouldn’t want to see this man resign as an MP???

And I dont think it was a breakdown, no matter how hard they try to spin this...

He was drunk and started a fight, end of!
# Gwendog 2012-02-24 00:08
If he's found guilty of criminal behaviour whilst being an MP, surely he would have to stand down and take the Chiltern 100's.

As a result, we in Scotland have a problem.
If the SNP cannot take the seat from a convicted criminal who's also been the biggest snout in Westminster's trough, the referendum in 2014 result will be less certain than it feels currently.
# nchanter 2012-02-24 16:48
Quoting Gwendog:
If he's found guilty of criminal behaviour whilst being an MP, surely he would have to stand down and take the Chiltern 100's.

As a result, we in Scotland have a problem.
If the SNP cannot take the seat from a convicted criminal who's also been the biggest snout in Westminster's trough, the referendum in 2014 result will be less certain than it feels currently.

Quite agree, it would also speak volumes for the people of Falkirk who would keep such a gonkl.
# Arbroath1320 2012-02-24 00:10
What concerns me is the statement that a number of his Labour colleagues that they were concerned about his health. If they were so concerned, where the hell were they last night!

The revelation that Mr Joyce has been charged with three counts of common assault followed news that several Labour MPs have been expressing concerns about their colleague's health.
# MAcandroid 2012-02-24 10:03
"Health" as in tired and emotional possibly ?
# pictic-1 2012-02-24 00:12
"Eye witnesses have described how Mr Joyce went “berserk” as he complained loudly that there were too many Tories in the bar."

He was absolutly right ;-))

(But you have to vote them out - not duff them up!!!)
# Alba4Eva 2012-02-24 07:34
Ruth Davidson, Tory, Kick Boxing... or Eric Joyce, Labour, Street Fighing...

...But who is best.... only one way to find out...

# call me dave 2012-02-24 00:14
Well for his constituency and for him it probably would be for the best especially if there are underlying personal factors.

As I was reminded a wee while ago by others Harold Macmillan is reputed to have said

"events dear boy events"

we never know what's round the corner for any of us.

By the way, although I sympathise with anyone who's ill, if this by-election opportunity does come about I hope the electorate will give Labour a doing.

Eerie how 'The First Eck' seems somehow to be fortunate in political matters, fated by the powers that be. One door opens and then there's another one and so on! Karma.

Destination independence
# megsmaw 2012-02-24 19:21
Quoting call me dave:
Eerie how 'The First Eck' seems somehow to be fortunate in political matters, fated by the powers that be. One door opens and then there's another one and so on! Karma.

Yep, 300 years worth of Karma! ;D
# Hing em high 2012-02-24 00:22
There will be no by election. This isn't Greenock. Millibland cant afford the risk. Cynical but true! Heck the Brit Nats collectively will be having kittens at the thought of a by election and very big kittens at that.
# Soixante-neuf 2012-02-24 00:30
From the new Hootsmon.
One party source said: “The only reason he got reselected was because of the trade union vote – he is not popular in the constituency party.”

Another said: “He is innocent until proven guilty, but his future in the party and as an MP beyond the next election has been over for quite some time.”

I wonder if they'll be prepared to insist he goes, though, with the prospect of handing the SNP a by-election win. Falkirk's a good place to get to from all over the central belt.
# 0din 2012-02-24 00:36
It would seem that he's been following his colleague Ian Davidson's advice and decided to give the Tories a "doing" lol.
# MAcandroid 2012-02-24 10:05
"three counts of common assault" three counts of commons assault shurely ?
# Soixante-neuf 2012-02-24 00:46
John Curtice in the Hootsmon.

"By-election is the last thing the Labour party wants"
# Old Smokey 2012-02-24 00:52
yes but what Scotland wants especially the consituents of Falkirk
# Soixante-neuf 2012-02-24 00:54
The constituents of Falkirk can't actually sack the man though. In fact, I'm not sure who can, now that he doesn't have the Labour whip.
# scotsgal 2012-02-24 01:07
Hmm seems this guy is one of mine being from the area, not that I ever voted for him. Not overly impressed with Labour here what you get is very dependent on what area you live in and well they are not too interested in my area. Am hoping that SNP get a majority as we might actually get noticed, we wanted a railway and it went else where we were ment to get a cinema and they decided that it should go to Falkirk and the shopping centre was ment to get a make over about 5 or more years ago, still waiting.
# chicmac 2012-02-24 01:10
Jings! Every time we get a by-election it always seems to be a huge Labour majority to overcome.
# call me dave 2012-02-24 01:22
Big swings to the SNP are not that uncommon. 8 or 9% will do it but Joyce has to
1. Resign or
2. get 1yr in jail for this (wont happen)
3. [Offensive comment removed - NNS Mod Team]
4. Or there is a general election when the Tories kick out the Lib/Dums.
and go to the country. (oops the UK)

Which reminds me

Anyone seen Auld Bob posting lately?
# jafurn 2012-02-24 01:49
Anyone seen Auld Bob posting lately?

I noticed a distinct lack of posts from auldbob myself.
# chiefy1724 2012-02-24 08:27
He's fighting the good fight over on the Huffington Post as well.
# Auld Bob 2012-02-24 10:50
Quoting chiefy1724:
He's fighting the good fight over on the Huffington Post as well.

Yes and this is his last post to NNS, Unless, of course, they MOD me off. I stll read your comments every day but will NOt be posting nor contributing financially again.
Keep up the good work
# alexmc8275 2012-02-24 18:12
Sorry to hear that Auld bob, shall miss reading your thoughts on here.
# Macart 2012-02-24 06:24
He's happily getting torn intae them on the Guardian site. Came across a number of his posts yesterday.
# call me dave 2012-02-24 09:22
Glad to hear that!
# creag an tuirc 2012-02-24 15:01
I second that, I was worried about him.
# Evil Gazebo 2012-02-24 08:34
Quoting call me dave:
Big swings to the SNP are not that uncommon. 8 or 9% will do it but Joyce has to
1. Resign or
2. get 1yr in jail for this (wont happen)
3. [Offensive comment removed - NNS Mod Team]
4. Or there is a general election when the Tories kick out the Lib/Dums.
and go to the country. (oops the UK)

Which reminds me

Anyone seen Auld Bob posting lately?

I find option 3 a nasty cuel & evil thing to say.
Mentall illness is never something to laugh about,and snide comments like that bring us down to the level of nastiness more commonly associated with Unionist parties.
Sounds to me that he has realised his career in politics is over,he has no real skills to offer an employer,and has been suffering an escalating breakdown for some time.
# Harry.Shanks 2012-02-24 09:28
Quoting Evil Gazebo:
...Sounds to me that he has realised his career in politics is over...

Quoting Evil Gazebo:
...he has no real skills to offer an employer....

I don't see the connection.
I could reel off a list of Unionist MPs who have or had no skills to offer but who still manage/ed to make a great living "representing" us.
# call me dave 2012-02-24 10:22
# Evil Gazebo


fair do's Evil

But as a person who has been nearly declared bonkers and is just getting back to getting on top of it I don't feel too bad about using it.

But I'll mind my P's and Q's a bit more judiciously in the future. OK
# Holebender 2012-02-24 13:04
Quoting Evil Gazebo:
snide comments like that bring us down to the level of nastiness more commonly associated with nationalist parties.

# Evil Gazebo 2012-02-24 15:27
Quoting Holebender:
Quoting Evil Gazebo:
snide comments like that bring us down to the level of nastiness more commonly associated with nationalist parties.


Sorry sorry sorry,was of course a typo,meant Unionist,just not keen on the word bonkers being used.
To call me dave,i have on more than one occasion had to spend time in hospital for mental health problems,and find the term bonkers to be compattable with the words cripple,spastic ,etc(remember the Sun headline "bon*ers Bruno locked up?)
Am a regular visitor,infrequ ent poster,sometime s i get a bit carried away,have no wish to offend anyone.
(Typo has now been corrected)
# snowthistle 2012-02-24 15:54
Don't think you've offended anyone, sometimes thoughtless use of language has to be pointed out. I've used the term many times and never realised I was in danger of offending people
# weegie38 2012-02-24 02:15
Quoting chicmac:
Jings! Every time we get a by-election it always seems to be a huge Labour majority to overcome.

That's because most Scottish Labour MPs have huge majorities: of the seats where the SNP are the main challenger, most have majorities pushing the 10,000 mark.
The SNP's record in Westminster by-elections isn't great, BTW. Of all those held since 1980 they've only won about 3, and one of them was from the Tories.
If we get another by-election here, Labour will no doubt play the "Och, he was just one bad apple" card this time.
# GerrySNP 2012-02-24 03:18
Weegie: They might well try that line although thay know that fundamentally he is - like a few others of his colleagues - a Chancer who has got away with his games for too long!
# weegie38 2012-02-24 09:51
Quoting GerrySNP:
Weegie: They might well try that line although thay know that fundamentally he is - like a few others of his colleagues - a Chancer who has got away with his games for too long!

Actually, it's beginning to look like a replay of the David Marshall situation. The comments from other Labour MPs are paving the way for "resigning on health grounds" , which will be the MSM line. The fact that Joyce has been one of the biggest expenses troughers at Westminster for his entire career will be OOB.
# chiefy1724 2012-02-24 11:36
Well, if they want to go for a by-election, (and they won't get away with a prolonged delay like Springburn this time), the campaign is as follows.

i) Labour told you that if you voted for them it would protect you from the Tories
ii) They Lied.
iii) The Only thing that will protect you from Tories is An Independent Scotland.
iv) Vote SNP. Council Elections. Now. 2014.

We don't mention Joyce, his record, his problems.

A vote for Labour is a wasted vote. Deliver them another anonymous time-served lobby-fodder, and that's the last you'll hear about it until 2015 for the Last UK General Election.

A vote for the Tories or the Liberal-Democrats justifies everything that they have done and will continue to do.

The Only vote that gives Falkirk a voice at Westminster is an SNP Vote.

My name's Chiefy, I'll be here until 2014 and beyond.
# Roll_On_2011 2012-02-24 01:14
Wether or not Joyce does decide to stand down; the most notable event in Falkirk before his by-election will be the Council elections in May.

I wonder if Joyce’s actions will have any fallout on these elections.

Falkirk Council

LAB 14
SNP 13
IND... 3
CON. 2

Council Control: LAB + CON + 2 x IND = 18

The SNP have a good chance of upsetting the apple cart. If they do then recent history has shown they will need to keep an eye on the polling register, should his by-election take place.
# Gaavster 2012-02-24 01:20
Is this a case of the gravy train finally coming off the rails?
# Alba4Eva 2012-02-24 07:41
# deepthroat 2012-02-24 01:23
It is more than likely that he will be threatened with a motion calling for his expulsion given the description of events in this article.
In the 20th century three MPs have been expelled
Peter Baker Con 1954-sentenced to 7years for fraud
Garry Halligan, Lab, 1947 - lying and gross contempt
Horatio Bottomley, Ind 1922 Fraud 7 years

He will probably go rather than wait for what a motion of expulsion to come before the House of Commons,. There might be some sympathy for his 'illness' but not for his behaviour.
# call me dave 2012-02-24 01:38
Are you saying that common assualt might result in his situation becoming the case for a motion to expel

Anyhoo! Standards are much different nowadays MP's and ministers used to do the 'decent thing' but these days anything goes.
# oldnat 2012-02-24 02:08
The law has changed since 1954. An MP can be disqualified for being sentenced to more than 1 year in prison, or if they are detained (sectioned) under the 1983 Mental Health Act.

It is always open to the Commons to vote to expel a member for conduct they don't like but

1. To do that would put a helluva lot of them at risk

2. None of the Unionist parties would want a Scottish by election.
# deepthroat 2012-02-24 01:57
call me dave

What I am saying is that he is likely to be presented with the threat of expulsion so go. This has become very public and reflects on House of Commons and politicians so there is more likely to be a mood that he has to go. I would be surprised that a statement to the Commons expressing abject apology and promise to go for aggression and any related therapy would save him in a vote. If he is not present such a motion is passed and there is no appeal. There then must be a By election
# jafurn 2012-02-24 01:59

He will probably go rather than wait for what a motion of expulsion to come before the House of Commons,. There might be some sympathy for his 'illness' but not for his behaviour.

I had a look at that motion of expulsion
and you are,as far as I can see, correct that the last time it was used was 1954

It was only used 3 times in the 20th century... beggars belief especially when you consider what your typical MP gets up to.
Just goes to show that
'They are all in it together'
# Displaced Patriot 2012-02-24 04:58
he will not go ,no way the unionists want a Scottish by election.
We are talking Westminster ,the most corrupt democracy in the western world.
After a suitable time ,some treatment he will be wekcomed back into the Labour Party.
What isbest for the voters ,never enters Labour thinking.
The Party always comes first ,second and always.
# Dougie Douglas 2012-02-24 05:10
Obviously he has some severe health/mental/alcohol issues and as such I genuinely wish him all the best in his recovery.

Clearly the pressure of a parliamentary position is not suited to a man burdened by such issues.

The obvious question is:

Will the Labour party do the right thing by Joyce's health and the constituents interest's? or do the the right thing by the Labour party?

As such I can't see any bye-election coming out of this - Labour's self interest and the looming local elections in May will assure that.

Lastly; it would probably help Joyce's mental condition if he stopped sending himself into a lather everyday by [Please provide supporting evidence- NNS Mod Team}
# Vincent McDee 2012-02-24 05:19
Pardon me asking, but doesn't the labour party in Scotland have the right to decide the date of the by-e?

Does anybody have a clue about what (if anything) has the Lamont to say, decide, or both, with respect to the whole enchilada?

Doesn't 2012 feel like is full of Christmas days?
# EphemeralDeception 2012-02-24 07:24
Actions speak louder than half truths.

It is Ed who made the decision to Suspend him. Showing that British Labour hierarchy are fully accountable for Labour MSPs in Scotland and not the group leader in the SP.

I guess the Labour party in Scotland will have an input concerning Joyce and a By-e but only that. The action from Ed demonstrates where the authority over all things in the Labour party remains.
# ubinworryinmasheep 2012-02-24 07:36
Surely Johann Lamont should have been given the job of suspending him since she is supposed to be Scottish leader in charge of all that are 'Scottish' Labour ? This is either a mistake on their part or the Scottish MPs are not happy with her being their boss and Ed knows it.
# chiefy1724 2012-02-24 08:39
Well, according to the Fragrant Ms Harperson on WWJ this morning, the decision was actually taken by The Chief Whip as the suspension is in the first instance from the Parliamentary Labour Party and the suspension from "The" Labour Party is the responsibility of the General Secretary.

Although, she went on to say, she had "no doubt" that Ed, Johann, Mr Whippy and The General Secretary "would" all "have been in absolute agreement" about the "course of events".

Basically, however, Johann has been shown to be a Woman of Straw.
# Fortitudine 2012-02-24 08:15
"Pardon me asking, but doesn't the labour party in Scotland have the right to decide the date of the by-e?"

I've no idea which branch of Liebour get input on this but I do know that they like to drag their heels on it... remember Springburn constituency after Michael Martin was booted oot, we were left without an MP for ages. In fact still are really, can hardly class the horrid wee Willie Bain as a great replacement lol
# Vincent McDee 2012-02-24 21:31
Exactly my thoughts.
# Arbroath1320 2012-02-24 21:35
Just think about West Fife Forti.

They elected a certain individual as their M.P. and since May 2010 he has hardly made an appearance in the House of Commons.

Now if I could only remember his name..... :D
# Dougie Douglas 2012-02-24 05:27

[We have passed this on to the relevant people. NNS Mods]
# Angus 2012-02-24 07:47
I m guessing he will be declared an alcoholic with mental health issues, and so get off with a slap on the wrists.
Reckon they will keep him where he is until after the next Westminster election, but he ll be deselected after that?
# mealer 2012-02-24 08:00
that'll be what happens.They'll "give him support while he fights this terrible illness".
# mato21 2012-02-24 08:04
Harriet Harman certainly wriggled on GMS and denied Ed made the decision Said it was the chief whip but Ed and Johann would have agreed with the decision They have not got their stories calibrated yet it's still early
# Ready to Start 2012-02-24 08:47
Quoting mato21:
Harriet Harman certainly wriggled on GMS and denied Ed made the decision Said it was the chief whip but Ed and Johann would have agreed with the decision They have not got their stories calibrated yet it's still early

Of course London Labour took the decision, if Lamont had interfered the MPs would just laugh in her face. But "as a mother" and "the leader" what has she to say on the thuggish behaviour of Scottish Labour elected male politicians which is becoming a regular occurrence with recent incidents involving Ian Davidson MP, Cll Davidson in Glasgow and now Cll Jim Docherty in North Lanarkshire.
# MAcandroid 2012-02-24 13:34
Slightly OT - HH supported the Lament in attacking AS for not having specific policies to tackle female unemployment but could not give details of any policies Labour were suggesting either, although they are so deeply concerned about it.
# Lupus Incomitatus 2012-02-24 08:09
He will get off with it.

Why ?

The charge should be that of a much more serious crime; actual bodily harm. He did nut an MP (twice?), took 5 Police Officers to take him down and have a go at the Custody Sergeant.

He will appear contrite, undergoing treatment for alcoholism ( car crash etc as evidence that he is an alcoholic) and say sorry.

First offence and a fine and bound over.

Now, if he stolen a bottle of water?
# DonaldMhor 2012-02-24 08:13
# Arbroath1320 2012-02-24 00:10
What concerns me is the statement that a number of his Labour colleagues that they were concerned about his health. If they were so concerned, where the hell were they last night!

Probably cowering behind a Tory as usual.

I doubt very much if Labour will want a by-election at this time and like Martins seat in Glasgow they will try to get past May before they do anything.

Either way no one should be crowing about this incident, if he is an alcoholic he needs help with his demons.

[Offensive comment removed - NNS Mod Team]
# m4rkyboy 2012-02-24 08:18
Falkirk has the potential to fall to the SNP.Remember though,Joyce was voted in regardless of the expenses scandal.There is a section of Falkirk that are 'Labour people' and they would vote for bloody Pol Pot if he had a red rosette on.
# chiefy1724 2012-02-24 08:35
Well, we're hearing this morning that "many" Labour MPs have "been expressing their concerns" about Eric's "health" over the last few months.

Now, if that is his Health rather than his "health", may put a slightly different face on things.

Having been there myself and used booze as an "additional" painkiller following a botched operation (or "self-medicating with alcohol" as my GP put it), I can sympathise.

However, I would maintain that taxpayer-subsidised bars at the HoC open through what for the rest of us is "the working day" is not a particularly positive thing.

Now, its not going to stop anyone drinking. There are at least 3 pubs within five minutes walking distance of the HoC that I know of.

But the easy availability of cheap alcohol (even for someone on £65K) can't be helpful especially given the anecdotal levels of alcohol consumption caused by stress in Politics
# farrochie 2012-02-24 08:36
A large measure of humanity is required when considering and commenting on this case.
# m4rkyboy 2012-02-24 08:48
I agree,regardles s of his political stripes he is still a fellow Scot.I think he is coming off the back of a divorce where the wife got the kids and house.I have a large amount of sympathy for him if he has turned to the booze as a result of family and work life.I know men who didnt survive less.
# Diabloandco 2012-02-24 09:00
But most of the guys you know didn't have an expense account as long as this blokes.
# derick fae Yell 2012-02-24 08:55
Quoting farrochie:
A large measure of humanity is required when considering and commenting on this case.

Agreed. Personal grief. Lets not fall into the gutter along with 'Scottish' Labour
# Robabody 2012-02-24 13:55
# brh206 2012-02-24 09:01
First things first, as far as I am concerned if Eric Joyce is going through any sort of personal crisis then I hope he receives help and support and I wish him well.

If there is to be a by-election then the SNP need to handle this very carefully. It has to be fought on the record of Labour both locally and nationally and Eric Joyce's personal problems cannot play a part in this process. I actually think this is a dangerous by-election should it happen. Yes, it will be a test of Labour and the SNP but I think you can bet that the MSM media sympathetic to the union cause will pull out all the stops to aid a Labour victory, and thus celebrate this as a rejection of the SNP and independence. This will result in more of the bring it on rubbish from the un-holy coalition against the Scottish people's right to choose the time and place we want for the historic vote.

The SNP need to fight this on the basis of Labours record, and on their mantra of vote Labour to fight the cuts. They need to ensure that this election if it happens is about who is best to represent the electorate at wasteminster. Yes they will face a barrage of questions and accusations about independence but have to resist the urge and go on Labours record and being the alternative voice to what is effectively a 3 party government in London.

If the SNP can fight an honest fight based on the record of the other 3 parties then they can overturn the majority, won't be easy but is do-able. They must however be aware that any by-election will be watched by the whole of the UK, will come up against everything the Unionists can throw via the media. The SNP need to make sure any candidate is prepared for the onslaught because that is what it will be an onslaught. This will be an interesting fight, it will be a test of the will of the local people, but what we have got to not lose sight of is this about who is best to represent those people in London. This is not about 2014 no matter how hard the other parties try to play it.
# chiefy1724 2012-02-24 09:14
I wonder if it would be possible to persuade Denis Canavan to step up to the mark in the Black and Gold ?
# Harry.Shanks 2012-02-24 09:37
The same thought occured to me
# Soixante-neuf 2012-02-24 10:58
Oh, if only....!

I doubt it though. He's a principled man and as far as I know is loyal to Labour, despite all its faults.
# Harry.Shanks 2012-02-24 13:23
My memory might be playing tricks but was he not deselected by Labour?

If I'm right, any "loyalty" might have gone out the window.

He did come declare in favour of Independence recently
# nchanter 2012-02-24 17:01
Quoting Soixante-neuf:
Oh, if only....!

I doubt it though. He's a principled man and as far as I know is loyal to Labour, despite all its faults.

So what. Denis is as you say a principled man and that is what Scotland needs not the colour of the rosett though I would prefer the B&G
# weegie38 2012-02-24 14:39
How about persuading Caravan to stand as an Independent, with the SNP giving him a free run? Best solution for everyone except Labour, IMO.
# Lupus Incomitatus 2012-02-24 09:03
Cheap booze at Westminster.

Need a (very large) minimum unit price there and then make sure they don't claim it on expenses.
# Zed 2012-02-24 09:05
Let's not get too emotional about Eric Joyce.
Of course we should acknowledge the guy has personal issues, and on a personal level I hope he recovers from his troubles.
But if his fellow Labour colleagues are as concerned about his health as they make out then they should be advising him to step down and seek help.
But I fear they will do everything in their power to keep Joyce as an MP, even to the detrement of Joyce himself and the people of his constituency.
# Diabloandco 2012-02-24 09:06
OT but it seems that the bearded wonder on the DT hasn't even noticed that Eric Joyce is " tired and emotional".

Can anyone tell me when a thug becomes "unwell" and cause his colleagues to suddenly recognise that he has been
" unwell" for some time?

I am not without sympathy for those with mental illness , however to use it as an excuse in this case is a little naive -no?
# Lupus Incomitatus 2012-02-24 09:11
He could have been "excused boots" if he had asked and has been counselled to do by his Leader, Johann Lamont.

4 weeks drying out and then another 4 weeks somewhere out of the public eye in the sun, sorting himself out.

His vote could have been covered like other ill MPs have been in the past.

Does an employer not have an obligation of care to his employees????
# nchanter 2012-02-24 17:03
Quoting Lupus Incomitatus:
He could have been "excused boots" if he had asked and has been counselled to do by his Leader, Johann Lamont.

4 weeks drying out and then another 4 weeks somewhere out of the public eye in the sun, sorting himself out.

His vote could have been covered like other ill MPs have been in the past.

Does an employer not have an obligation of care to his employees????

Excused boots, that's an oldie
# scotsgal 2012-02-24 09:42
Ok the man is ill, but lets not forget he was in the army and knows how to handle himself and therfore needs to demonstrate more control over his temper. No matter if he is ill what he did was wrong, and why are the taxpayers subsidising MPs drinking habits?
# oldnat 2012-02-24 15:10
I understand that Commons bars now charge the same prices as in local pubs. A change introduced a couple of years ago.
# scotsgal 2012-02-24 15:21
Not from what I saw on the tv on this morning, they still sell about 25% less than the local pubs. And on top of that they mentioned that some MPs keep the reciepts for expenses.
# oldnat 2012-02-24 15:23
You mean the stuff I saw on this was Westminster spin? Never! :-) :-)
# scotsgal 2012-02-24 15:33
They had the price comparison up for the local pubs and the pub that was in the middle of the debarcle. I am assuming that they did the research and gave actual prices and didnt make them up. However it was still London and quite expensive.
# mato21 2012-02-24 10:04
Let me first state if this man is ill either through alcohol, depression or anything else, for that matter I hope he is able to admit this to himself and seek and get the help he needs, and that he makes a full recovery.We are all just a heartbeat away from health problems

What does concern me however, are those now coming out of the woodwork to claim that they have been concerned for some time about his health
Were they concerned enough to have a word with him if not why not?
If they felt they could not speak directly to him why did they not approach someone further up the chain who could?
Untill I see otherwise I shall take their concern with a pinch of salt

Let us not forget before there was any concern being shown this man was trougher in chief, without compunction, and continues to be according to latest figures. He thought, as they all did, to pauchle the public purse was their right £180 for 3 pictures may not seem much but to justify it by saying they looked nice shows the contempt he held
He never came over as anything other than an unsavoury character and being ill does not change that one iota
# Old Smokey 2012-02-24 10:09
O/T After reading the article in the Herald about Labour Cllr Jim Docherty's idiotic tweets
I thought I would have a look at the twitter page of Cllr Jim Docherty
and have never seen such a poisonous diatribe of sanctamonious vitriol!/jamesdocherty4
Is this typical of the calibre that Labour has?
# mato21 2012-02-24 10:23
Followed your tweet link and I agree with all you say
People voting for this [Offensive comment removed - NNS Mod Team] says as much about them as it does about him
# Arbroath1320 2012-02-24 10:59
How drunk do you have to be to tweet diatribe such as this!
# Marga B 2012-02-24 15:26
Is this man dyslexic in which case he should be offered understnding or just plain ignorant?
# alexmc8275 2012-02-24 19:48
Just had a look at some of these tweets, they don't seem to understand English , are labour msp all on some weird trip, that when someone say we don't make that type of steel here, it sounds as if we are saying , we don't want to use Scottish steel, because it will damage our economy and that's good. Can't be many more explanations can there.
As for all the airport link tweets, makes you wonder if there are now some pretty worthless pieces of land along the proposed route .
# Fungus 2012-02-24 10:13
If Joyce does have mental health problems then obviously one feels sorry for him. He does seem to have a battle with the drink but he also seems to be a particularly nasty little man with a temper judging by an interview I saw yesterday where he got angry because someone dared to question his huge expense bill.

I find it awfully suspicious that after the fact they come out the woodwork to tell us he has 'health problems' and they have been saying that for years. Remember the gut instinct of the Labour Party is to lie and obfuscate. Genuine concerns or the result of late night phone calls from spin doctors?
# pmcrek 2012-02-24 11:25
I guess we will find out, if he is at it then shame, it just makes it infinitely more difficult for people with real issues to be given a fair try.
# Arbroath1320 2012-02-24 10:41
Sorry for going off topic, but Albannach, a Gaelic folk band, have brought an E.P. in support of INDEPENDENCE.
# Diabloandco 2012-02-24 15:07
I am listening to it as I read - thanks to all involved.
# zeldomzeen 2012-02-24 10:46
"Too many Tories in the bar"...and by extrapolation-in Westminster....Reality bites..HARD!
# brusque 2012-02-24 11:04

The Herald reports that there is very little sympathy or support for Joyce, in his constituency.
# weegie38 2012-02-24 11:26
Quoting brusque:

The Herald reports that there is very little sympathy or support for Joyce, in his constituency.

That was very much the case on the STV vox pop on the story last night. Not a single punter questioned had a good word to say.
# pmcrek 2012-02-24 11:23
Wait, didnt he hit Tories? Surely it was "posh assault"?
# Arbroath1320 2012-02-24 11:34
Naw it couldnae be a "posh assault", she's still in the USA. Thank God for small mercies. :D
# Barbazenzero 2012-02-24 11:27
Personally, I'm surprised that he's not been charged with ABH, and even with 3 common assault charges he's unlikely to get a long enough sentence to be thrown out automatically.

OTOH, re this article's closing
If Mr Joyce does stand down on health grounds then Scottish Labour will face their first real test since Johann Lamont replaced Iain Gray as Scottish leader.

That would seem to be his most sensible course of action if he can manage to claim it, as he would get the MP's Resettlement Grant as well as an immediate pension based on the service the MP would have accrued if he or she had continued to serve until age 65. See

That would allow him to put in a diminished responsibility plea and likely not receive a custodial sentence, as well as greatly improving his MP pension over what he would receive if he loses Falkirk at the 2015 UK General Election, even assuming that the referendum fails to return a NO vote.

I suspect that Joyce is hardly going to be persona grata with his party again and that even if Falkirk elects a Westmidden MP in 2015 it won't be Joyce.

Giving up some allowances until 2015 in exchange for a non-custodial sentence, a large resettlement grant and a gold-plated, independence-proof pension payable immediately would be a great deal. If he's the trougher many of us suspect him to be, he'll go PDQ.
# Des58 2012-02-24 11:36
Let me first state if this man is ill either through alcohol, depression or anything else, for that matter I hope he is able to admit this to himself and seek and get the help he needs, and that he makes a full recovery.We are all just a heartbeat away from health problems

Said mato21
Fair dues but thug behaviour has to be dealt with. People that behave like Eric Joyce often make our streets unsafe. Often victims of similar violence will not have half a dozen policemen and other assorted security nearby to help out when a ned/thug kicks off. Joyce deserves all he gets and he shouldn't use alcohol as an excuse. Jail would be a good example to all other thugs, where ever they lurk in society.
# Edna Caine 2012-02-24 11:52
Well said Des58 -

I think we are in danger of drifting off-topic if we concentrate on Joyce's personal problems. The topic is his thuggish behaviour in a (privileged, admittedly) public place.

Many people have personal problems with their family situation, stress, etc. and some may even take to the bottle as a result. Few of them choose to attack and injure others for the perceived offence of being in the same bar as them.

It's time for the UK Government and the courts to show it can be tough on violent crime.
# Arbroath1320 2012-02-24 11:58
But Edna, your talking about Wstemonster here. They don't do punishment of "their own."

They do however do punishment of the electorate without a blink of the eye.
# mato21 2012-02-24 12:01
Hi Des
I was in no way trying to minimalise his conduct nor how he should be viewed I agree the full force of the law should be visited upon him.I realise I did not make that point but was trying to make it by asking about this sudden concern now being expressed for his health as a means of excusing his thuggish behaviour Alcohol should never be allowed to be put forward as an excuse nor should it be allowed to influence a judgement

As I said at the end his health problems which he may or may not have does not change my view that he has always been an unsavoury chatacter
# Des58 2012-02-24 12:58
Hi Mato, agreed your last sentence does stress that. I was getting concerned perhaps there was a trend towards an overdose of compassion in some comments towards Joyce. Let's hope the system deals with him appropriately both under the law and with regards to any help he might seek for problems.
# taimoshan 2012-02-24 11:42
Drinking in the HofC may explain some of their crazy policies over the years. Frightening to think that when they commit youngsters to kill and be killed they may be under the influence! We must get out of this union as soon as possible.
# Arbroath1320 2012-02-24 11:44
Found this on facebook.

Hopefully it will pass the mods. :D


# chiefy1724 2012-02-24 11:56
O/T Council Tax cut by 1% in Stirling.

Tory and Labour councillors have got together and voted through an "Alternative Budget" in Stirling that cuts council tax by 1%

This would be the Same "Scottish" Labour Party voluble in their decrying of the Council Tax Freeze "forced" on Councils by That Horrible Secessionist SNP Government ?

The Same "Scottish" Labour Party who rail and shout at everything said and done by Tories ?

Sic' a parcel etc.
# Arbroath1320 2012-02-24 12:00
Not quite on the same scale as McConnell returning the £1 Million to Wastemonster but the concept is I think the same.
# tartanfever 2012-02-24 12:05
Hi Chiefy.

Was just writing about this on another thread. What gets me is the reporting of the BBC, they run this as a victory for Labour after they defeated the first budget proposal by the SNP, however last week that was reported as ":labour voting down their own budget' as the SNP had accepted labour amendments.

Consistency and the BBC should never be used in the same sentence. What will happen is that in the next few hours this story will be filled out and the favourable Labour angle will be lost. However, the BBC will have had a few hours worth of a misreported headline that some people will read before any adjustments are made and claim this to be valid reporting.
# mato21 2012-02-24 12:10
So what are they going to say to the teachers, council workers ect when they have to make cuts to cover the shortfall After all they felt the council was not getting enough from the SG to meet these services only a few weeks ago
Desperation seems to be the name of the game now, of course when the SNP win the council election they will have to enforce any cuts and the labtors will be on the sidelines shouting about the cuts
I bet they think they have been very smart today
# Arbroath1320 2012-02-24 12:30
I wonder if this is a ploy by the Labour party and Tories. Perhaps they know they are going to be gubbed BIG style in May and this is the only way they can fight the SNP, give them a duff budget to work with.
# Old Smokey 2012-02-24 12:44
Simple Labour and Tory will blame the SNP for any cuts, thats what Labour does, even when its Labour that are the root cause
# steveb 2012-02-24 15:14
And that's exactly what they did to us with the trams remember. Give them a crap purse and shout loud about the lack of spending.
It didn't work with the trams and it won't work in Stirling either.
# Lucas 2012-02-24 12:16
Now I've read accounts of the incident - I'm suprised that he's only been charged with common assault, rather than abh, and he's done well to avoid a charge of obstructing/assaulting police. I imagine words have been had about charges that he will plead guilty to in avoid a trial. That said, he isn't a first offender - refusing a breath sample is a serious matter, and I think that the Court would be entitiled to wonder why Mr Joyce failed to address his alcohol problems after that matter. Why his party whips didn't do more at that point is a question that they must answer, but it seems symptomatic of the general disarray and poor discipline within Labour. It's a shame to see anyone brought low by drink, but it's an old story, and I do wonder why he was left to flounder.
# nemo 2012-02-24 12:58
While I have sympathy for anyone who is battling personal demons of whatever nature, I suspect he would be given short shrift at any other worklace where he assualted colleagues. And as a Falkirk consitutent, I don't want representation from someone who, under whatever influence, resorts to violence. A by-election is needed to let this man recover in private but also to be fair to the people of Falkirk.
# Hirta 2012-02-24 13:03
He is my MP and the sooner he goes, with a by election win for SNP, the better.
# flyingscotsman 2012-02-24 13:19
So Brian Taylor is back and his comments about Alex Salmond are disgraceful

You can discern the narrative, can't you? Alex Salmond is too posh, too distracted by global connections to trouble himself with those losing their jobs back home in Scotland.

So we are damned for looking inwards, we are damned for looking outwards.

Yet while Alex brings in contracts and jobs to this country from abroad, Labour brings negativity, scaremongering and media-driven lies to the table. Sorry but you cannot create jobs with these. I thought the bias of the BBC was going to be addressed? So much for that.
# Soixante-neuf 2012-02-24 13:20
Alex Salmond? Posh? Are we talking about the same Alex Salmond here?
# Marga B 2012-02-24 15:33
At least in parts of Fife professionals like the SNP are hated with the hatred that only chips on the shoulder can breed. It's a deep-seated attitude, where personal achievement is seen as betraying your roots and getting above yourself.

It has destroyed more than one young person's life but unfortunately is not about to change quickly, I'd imagine.
# mato21 2012-02-24 13:37
Brian really is enamoured by Johann He praises her nonsense week after week without question, much as he did with Iain Gray, and you all know what a help that was

His snide remarks, heavy sighs, and what he must consider smart put downs on his big debate are wearing a bit thin
# Soixante-neuf 2012-02-24 13:41
Does anybody much read it any more? It's only an online blog. It was kind of fun to look at it for the comments, but now there are no comments, what's the point?
# call me dave 2012-02-24 13:46
It's blatant and it's obvious to the impartial observer who is discerning.

But we here are not impartial and are even more incensed by these 'throw away' remarks.

Brian is probably doing his best to put the correct Unionist twist into his summaries as the labour spokesperson(s) concerned need their message to be sharpened up and polished for effect in his opinion.

I think he is lost as a neutral commentator and is just earning a crust now. At least we now know where he stands!
# J Wil 2012-02-24 15:50
I thought we knew where he stood for some considerable time.

Hence the reason for them censoring comments at Brian's a...!

The suspicion is that Chris Patten has decided to let BBC Scotland have their head without sanction and they are pretty well going for it.

We can hope that they get so ridiculous with their criticisms that the public will see through their motives.
# dogcollar 2012-02-24 13:54
Blimey I watched FM Q'S yesterday and my own feeling was that Lamont was being negative in the extreme with no policies to offer instead of what she was against. No mention of the 5 point plan where Salmond explained that 4 of these points were reserved matters.

I suspect that Taylor is fed up with Salmond always winning the arguements whereas Lamont needs all the help she can get.
# Hing em high 2012-02-24 15:26
She doesnt need any help, she needs retiring. On second thoughts maybe no, they might get somebody competent in, then again they dont have anybody competent, retire her, retire the lot of those Labour wasters
# Arbroath1320 2012-02-24 17:58
On second thoughts maybe no, they might get somebody competent in,

Come on Hing em, Labour..... competent.....does not compute......does not compute........
# Thee Forsaken One 2012-02-24 14:17
I think you're taking it a little too far. If you take the entire quote in context, he is implying that is Lamont's narrative. Perhaps Brian Taylor agrees with that but that quote definitely isn't the evidence for it.

I do think he is a little enamoured with Lamont, but on the other hand his blog says that Alex Salmond handled her tact easily and so her attempt to portray him as posh failed. I admit he puts such a positive spin on saying that Lamont failed that you would be hard pressed to think he was saying she did, but it is in there.
# flyingscotsman 2012-02-24 14:51
Implying, yes, his opinion, yes, was that her words, either see through it or you don't...

Enamoured with Lamont too much I would say, he says "Once more today, Ms Lamont was rather effective. Her story-telling is subtle rather than clunky"

Every time I hear her speak she sounds like she doesnt believe a word of what she is saying. And so "effective" she is certainly not.
# GraemeB 2012-02-24 14:25
Odd, Brian surely didn't watch the same FMQ's that I did. Either that or he needs to get the optician to grind the hellish rose tint off his spectacles.
# Arbroath1320 2012-02-24 18:00
Perhaps he is commenting on the FMQ's as relayed to him by Glenn Campbell!
# clootie 2012-02-24 14:33

The man is is not a journalist. His bias exceeds that of the normal main BBC slant in Scotland.

He may have some success in "polishing" the unionist rant but at what cost to his remaining professional reputation. I cannot understand why you would enter into a journalistic career without the desire to be taken as a credible source.

[Offensive comment removed - NNS Mod Team] That is how he will always be remembered now.
# Arbroath1320 2012-02-24 17:55
You can discern the narrative can't you? Blubber is too ignorant, too stupid, too pathetic, too distracted by his Labour masters to trouble himself with the simplest of broadcasting ideas, that of telling the truth!
# proudscot 2012-02-24 13:25
I have known friends and acquaintances who had problems with alcohol consumption. None of them were violent, no matter how inebriated they were. Joyce, like Fooks, may have problems with an addiction to drink, but it does not excuse violent behaviour.

I am also of the opinion that someone in the position of a law maker, as he is, should not be a law breaker. He should resign from parliament and seek medical and psychological help.

Any drink problem he may have however, does not excuse his expenses troughing over the past several years. That isn't caused by drink. That's caused by naked greed.
# call me dave 2012-02-24 13:28
One for the footie followers.

Pub landlady Karen Murphy wins TV football court case

# Alba4Eva 2012-02-24 18:10
It's more importantly, one for the freedom to receive media broadcasting throughout the world without fear of prosecution of the TV tax.... and also (related) to retain the freedom of the internet.

No TV Licence


The technology exists to encrypt digital media content... If you don't want people to steal your data, show competence in protecting it.... market forces will do the rest... if folk want your content, they will choose to purchase it.
# Mac 2012-02-24 14:04

Motion S4M-02056: Kenneth Gibson, Cunninghame North, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 20/02/2012

Fool Me Once

That the Parliament notes the recent comments by the Prime Minister regarding additional powers for the Scottish Parliament; understands that the carrot of extra "powers" will be available only if Scots do not vote positively for independence in a referendum; considers that no attempt whatsoever has been made to define such powers; believes that the same tactic was used in the 1970s by the Tories, who promised a better assembly bill if the one on offer was rejected; considers that the Tories, on gaining office in 1979, betrayed this promise and shelved any pretence at delivering devolution during 18 years in power; believes that Scots have learned from bitter experience not to trust the Tories on the constitution, and urges a Yes vote in the independence referendum.

Supported by: Adam Ingram, Gordon MacDonald, Mike MacKenzie, John Mason, Stuart McMillan, Dennis Robertson, Bill Walker, Bob Doris, David Torrance, George Adam, Angus MacDonald, Maureen Watt, Kevin Stewart, James Dornan, Colin Beattie, Chic Brodie, Joan McAlpine, Margaret Burgess, Annabelle Ewing, Gil Paterson, Bill Kidd, Jim Eadie, Kezia Dugdale, Jamie Hepburn, Roderick Campbell, Dave Thompson
# Soixante-neuf 2012-02-24 14:11
Unsubstantiated allegation removed - NNS Mod Team
# Thee Forsaken One 2012-02-24 14:18
Me thinks she did not read the last line.
# Soixante-neuf 2012-02-24 15:55
Hey Mods, I only said "reputed to be"! Entirely accurate, that! ;)
# balbeggie 2012-02-24 14:15
Let's hear Labour spinning that one away.

'.....should have gone to Specsavers.......'
# mato21 2012-02-24 14:18
Was she aware what she was signing? I am not always sure what comes out her mouth is exactly what she intended to say when she started out
# Islegard 2012-02-24 16:14
She thought it was an expenses claim. Actually tell Labour MSP's that's what it is they'll all sign up.
# Arbroath1320 2012-02-24 18:04
Could this be the first crack that finally sees the absolute and final demolition of the "joke" political party that is was the Scottish Labour Party!
# GloomyJim 2012-02-24 14:29
Just out of curiosity.We were obliged to seek "make an enquiry politely" from our Labour M.P. He was rude and agressive towards my wife and when she mentioned democracy, he retorted angrily "Let's not go down that route!" How appropriate from the Labour Party.This was in Dumfries.
Have any of we similiar or even worse stories of our "democrats" doon in Westminster? Could be funny?Could be hilarious.What a wee nyaff
# Jimbo 2012-02-24 15:33
Maybe in time, after trearment for alcoholism, Joyce will be moved to the House of Lords. There are a couple of similar actions where Labour MPs were not required to resign and ultimately ended up in the upper chamber.

"In 1991, John Reid's reputation appeared to be in tatters. Drunk one day in the House of Commons, he tried to force his way on to the floor to vote. When an attendant stepped forward to stop him, Reid threw a punch. What the MP for Motherwell North did not realise was that he had taken aim at a former SAS soldier. As bemused colleagues looked on, he was effortlessly wrestled to the ground. The humiliating spectacle proved what they all suspected: that Reid had a serious problem. He went slinking off to the Westminster bar to console himself and feed a drinking habit that many believed would eventually wreck his career in politics."

Re George Foulkes: "His conviction is the latest in a long line of incidents involving the Foulkes family. In 1993 his dad George resigned from his post as opposition junior defence spokesman after he was fined for a drunken assault on a policeman.

Foulkes had just left a party hosted by the Scotch Whisky Association, and ended up trying to whack a police officer shortly after inviting two women to dance in the street.

The MP was hit with a pounds 1550 fine after he admitted assault and being drunk and disorderly."'S+SON+IS+SOCCER +HOOLIGAN%3B+Yob+claimed+m inister+dad+wou ld+'trouble'...-a064963554
# Dundonian West 2012-02-24 15:47
Came across this as I was 'surfin'.!/newsnetscotland
Good luck.
# J Wil 2012-02-24 15:47
Good choice of picture. He must be waving goodby.
# rgweir 2012-02-24 15:48
Radio Scotland news 3-00.
Power company SSE warning uncertainty of independence could hinder their future planning.
I think the clue is in the company name.
# Hing em high 2012-02-24 16:03
Okay so who can I switch my lecky supply to and I will be telling SSE just exactly why they are losing my custom.
# Harry.Shanks 2012-02-24 16:04
At last the Unionists have managed to find one!

Presumably SSE think that post-independence the Scots will be reverting to living in caves and will therefore not require SSE services.

Change of utility provider will be made asap in the Shanks household.

Let the cry go up - Shove yer Leccy, yer Teacakes, & yer Caramel Wafers!
# Islegard 2012-02-24 16:10
Yup change of utility for me! Anybody who supports independence needs to boycott any company that speaks out against our independence. That's what the Jewish lobbyists in the US do to good effect.

Everyone needs to change from SSE and complain.
# Alba4Eva 2012-02-24 16:15
I get my Leccy from a Spanish company.
# Dundonian West 2012-02-24 15:57
And another---

Honest,they're no paying me!
# ScotFree1320 2012-02-24 16:01
Even if Joyce does get expelled from the HoC, they'll put him in the HoL, just like Lord Watson ... wilful fire raising, wasn't it?
# Dundonian West 2012-02-24 16:12
O/T.Thought I was just a bit paranoid about the UK/British press.However,I think not:-

The word gutter springs to mind.

# Islegard 2012-02-24 16:35
If there was any truth in this that would be shocking. Does anyone know more about this?
# Old Smokey 2012-02-24 17:11
Reality check
1. The article is written by Cochrane, who will use any excuse to attack the SNP
2. In the article he covers himself by stating at the end 'You choose who you believe'
3. It's very doubtful that a business (any business actually) would send an invitation to give a speech then withdraw the invitation for no reason at all.
4. There is the local elections coming up, the SNP are fielding candidates in Orkney (as well as Shetland). So the Libdems feel threatened, so are resorting to smear and inuendo by having the Libdem MSP Liam McArthur write in the local paper 'The Orcadian'
Actually Liam McArthur makes a lot of use of 'The Orcadian', going by the number of articles he is mentioned in it.
(Funnily enough I cant find any article online about Liam McArthur's letter)
# Old Smokey 2012-02-24 17:15
Seem the telegraph are having 2 bites at this apple
# Arbroath1320 2012-02-24 18:12
The article is written by Cochrane,

Explains everything O.S.

Say no more!
# ScotFree1320 2012-02-24 16:50
I think the source says it all:

But that’s not how our petty-minded Nat masters saw it, at least according to Lord Wallace’s friends and colleagues.

Mud sticks & all that.
# Dundonian West 2012-02-24 16:55
Quoting ScotFree1320:
I think the source says it all:

But that’s not how our petty-minded Nat masters saw it, at least according to Lord Wallace’s friends and colleagues.

Mud sticks & all that.

I'm SHOCKED.Where's the smelling salts?
Must write to my MP !
Oh no,perhaps not.
# Harry.Shanks 2012-02-24 17:16
The Telegraph seems to be emulating the Grauniad in terms of printing errors.

I mean, "Lord Wallace of Tankerness" surely contains a typo.
# flyingscotsman 2012-02-24 17:20
Well ironically Mr Wallace knows all about peer pressure, judging by the recent program on BBC with Nicola Sturgeon which demonstrated he often exerts his voice on others. The sooner independence comes the sooner we can abolish these so called "titles" of these so-called elites.
# From The Suburbs 2012-02-24 16:26
Grow up SSE. There is uncertainty in every country when there is an election coming up as there could be a change of policy.

Did SSE consult their shareholders before making political submissions?

Strange that many high profile overseas companies are not fazed by prospect of independence as they are used to dealing with numerous governments.
# balbeggie 2012-02-24 16:43
I see the BBC is saying it is a Perth based company - it isn't.

SSE is a trading name of SSE Energy Supply Limited which is a member of the SSE Group

The Registered Office of SSE Energy Supply Limited is 55 Vastern Road Reading Berkshire RG1 8BU

Registered in England & Wales No. 03757502 |
# Wee-Scamp 2012-02-24 16:44
The SSE story is here.

Very disappointing but then of course most of their major shareholders will be City fund managers.
# balbeggie 2012-02-24 16:48
Down South rely on our electricity night and day -

Demand: 43986MW 16:57:00 GMT

16:55:00 GMT
Frequency: 49.852Hz
16:55:45 GMT

System Transfers

N.Ireland to Great Britain: -344MW
France to Great Britain: -568MW
Netherlands to GB: 202MW
24/02/2012 16:30:00 GMT

North-South: 9549MW
Scot - Eng: 2346MW


16:57:00 GMT
# mato21 2012-02-24 17:10
So they actually need us more than we need them

Now doesn't that come as a surprise
# chiefy1724 2012-02-24 17:23
2346 MW. Isn't that about the same as 2 Nuclear Power Stations ?

Hunterston - 960 MW Max
Torness - 1250 MW Max

= 2210 MW

So, just what IS England going to do when an Independent Scotland not even closes the stations but simply doesn't replace them ?

Well, Aren't they Lucky that we have an SNP Government with a programme of committment to Renewable Energy ?

Or is this the REAL reason that Call-Me-Dave is cozying up to Sarkozy ? Its not about borrowing a bottle of Merlot and an Aircraft Carrier (if you have one spare for a few weeks) in case the Argies try and take The Falklands Oil (having come to terms with Losing Scotland's Oil), it's about making sure that there are enough French Nuclear Plants to keep the Tea Boiling after Corrie and Eastenders !
# mato21 2012-02-24 16:48
Some are not too impressed with Ruthies line in the sand
# mato21 2012-02-24 17:00
I fail to see why this company chose to make their submission public They are after all a company and as such their employees who live here will have a vote they as a company per say will not
I would expect some companies may wish to make submissions in their own interest I would not expect them to go public epecially any of the utilities which we all need to buy into
Srike anyone else as a bit odd?
# GrassyKnollington 2012-02-24 17:35
I think Douglas Fraser just answered your question on the BBC Newsdrive show mato21.

He had a lengthy conversation with Bill Whiteford which ended with him observing that the SNP Government had claimed that uncertainty over the referendum date was not affecting inward investment in Scotland but that this intervention by SSE supported the pro-union case.
# Old Smokey 2012-02-24 19:03
Douglas Fraser also made it clear on Reporting Scotland that prior to the SSE statement the pro unionists didnt have anything to support their claim that companies would not be investing in Scotland, now, according to Fraser, the pro unionist's do have something.
Expect this to be played out for all its worth
# J Wil 2012-02-24 19:22
and he insisted it was non-political?

I see that some companies have stepped back from the Westminster government's training plan after it was claimed it was akin to slave labour. Has SSE no fear that its clients will desert them because of its politicial interference.

It looks like this company has taken its time to activate against the fact that Scotland is actually gaining inward investment. It makes one wonder if its attempt has been orchestrated by the CBI?
# RTP 2012-02-24 17:04
SSE uncertainty they say so what is this all about.
# oldnat 2012-02-24 17:46
Different countries frequently co-operate on infrastructure and the market which it serves.

British-Irish Council meeting Communiqué 20the June 2011.

Electricity Grid Infrastructure

The Council welcomed the discussion paper on an All Islands Approach (AIA) to energy resources. The Council agreed the AIA vision of an approach to energy resources across the British Islands and Ireland which enables opportunities for commercial generation and transmission, facilitating the cost-effective exploitation of the renewable energy resources available, increasing integration of their markets and improving security of supply. The Council agreed a set of principles to underpin the vision, and launched a programme of joint work spanning the potential for renewable energy trading, as well as workstreams on interconnection and market integration.
# Begbie 2012-02-24 17:08
Hi all
Was wondering if we could find all the links between labour and the ebc in relation to who is married/related to who.If we could get this imformation together we could then have a whip round to pay to advertise it on the billboard nearest to the EBC headquarters or we could all vote where it would be best placed
it could also be used for leaflets
I think it could make the ebc very uncomfortable indeed
the wording could be something like
BBC impartiality? then the list or something like that or would that be illegal? im sorry if im havering but that lot need seeing to in a nice way. We cant rely on the scottish goverment to expose it as they would get roasted by the impartial media we enjoy in scotland just a thought feel free to tell me if im being a tube lol
# Harry.Shanks 2012-02-24 17:19
IF it can be done, I pledge my Licence Fee equivalent right now to help get it on a billboard!

Scots are fair-minded people, we just need to get the facts out there.
# Begbie 2012-02-24 17:34
Quoting Harry.Shanks:
IF it can be done, I pledge my Licence Fee equivalent right now to help get it on a billboard!

Scots are fair-minded people, we just need to get the facts out there.

I would pledge the same amount harry thats not a bad start
Anyone else? any donation no matter how small to make it happen would be great.
# taimoshan 2012-02-24 18:47
You can have my licence fee too! just think if we got enough we could have a 2 minute slot on STV to name them all!
# Diabloandco 2012-02-24 19:46
Count me in too Harry.
# gus1940 2012-02-24 17:48
All that is needed is to pass the info to Rupert and he will put it in The Scottish Sun as part of his long running campaign against The BBC.
# J Wil 2012-02-24 19:25
Something pictorial like a family genealogy chart would be useful?
# G. Campbell 2012-02-24 17:42
The London Evening Standard has all the best writers.

"Scottish and Southern Energy today hinted that devolution could jeopardise plans for further investments in projects north of the border."

"The statement, which was made to the London Stock Exchange, could come as a blow to the campaign of Alex Salmond, pictured, for devolution as it will play to the fears of the anti-camp that a split would affect companies' investments north of the border."
# macgilleleabhar 2012-02-24 17:53
Think about this logically.If you were a private utility company supplying two major essentials in a Social Democracy and one of the other major utilities was in in public ownership would you not feel just a wee bit exposed ?
# Begbie 2012-02-24 17:46
Sorry if it seems im asking for money im not (yet) lol
just think it would be interesting to see if it could be done as nothing would give me greater pleasure than making the ebc squirm.have to go out now will catch up again tomorrow
# Begbie 2012-02-24 17:50
Good suggestion gus
# GrassyKnollington 2012-02-24 17:58
In my opinion SSE have been encouraged to come up with some fear, uncertainty and doubt regarding the referendum timing.

How delightful that they've chosen to put the boot in before loftily announcing that as a company they have no opinion on the outcome of the referendum.

What business have they actually lost to date as a result of uncertainty?

If the answer is none then what they've just done is indulged in political speculation which is not based on any financial evidence.
# Old Smokey 2012-02-24 18:54
Here is the actual press release from SSE
On a read through I found it highly skewed, despite its opening remark that it's 'down to the voters to decide'

Reporting Scotland dis a piece on it , to say that Sally Magnussson was gleeful would be an understatment.
Someone has put SSE up to this, there is no doubt about it, its clear in reading the press release, which conflicts unfounded remarks with business practice (that is not commenting on something that has actually happened)
# Legerwood 2012-02-24 21:03
I thought it was a failry balanced statement and essentially said it, SSE, needed some clarification in certain areas e.g Europe. It is not unreasonable for a company to ask for this sort of thing and the SSE stated it was experienced at managing this sort of change.

The FM addresses some of the points raised byt the company in his interview which formed part of the BBC Scotland report.

If the SG is sensible they will take these comments on board and address them.

Companies do not like sudden change. You only have to think back to the outcry when the Chancellor almost out of the blue imposed a tax increase on Noprth Sea Oil profits. The companies had been told that there would not be any changes without prior consultation then they were slapped with a tax increase.

I think the SSE was giving the SG a heads-up as to what issues the SNP needs to address when considering the Energy supply in an Independent Scotland. A not unreasonable thing to do.

What the BBC did to the story is something else again.
# mato21 2012-02-24 21:09
No Leger you have got that wrong Danny jumped forward to claim credit for the oil tax We cannot let that be forgotten He was so proud at the time So daft he never realised he was being made a scapegoat, however we must give him the credit
# Legerwood 2012-02-24 22:04
OK it was not the Chancellor who thought of it but he accepted and enacted it though.

The point the oil companies were making was that they needed forewarning of such changes so they could factor them in to their investment plans. The tax rise came virtually out of the blue and they put a lot of their development plans on hold as a result.

All the SSE is asking for is some clarity so they can plan accordingly.
# mato21 2012-02-24 22:21
Sorry Leger You were making a serious point I shouldn't have been so flippant
# Legerwood 2012-02-25 17:42
Its OK should have remembered the Chief Sec Tres and his pride in his achievement - shotr-lived as it proved to be.
# Arbroath1320 2012-02-24 21:09
I'm guessing that the EBC didn't have anything else with which to attack the SNP tonight so decided to put their own unionist slant on this story.

I fully expect that A.S. would have been already well aware of what was in their, SSE, statement. Like you say Ledger, their statement will be taken by as a "heads up" by the Scottish government and in time I think this "story", like most EBC attempts, will be seen for what it really is..... a non event!
# Jiggsbro 2012-02-24 21:19
Every reputable company (not Rangers) will have factored the referendum into their routine risk assessments. Just as they routinely consider elections and possible changes of government and policies. I doubt many factored in the oil tax (completely out of the blue) or the VAT rise (repeatedly denied), both of which are significantly more damaging than a little bit of democracy in action.
# Legerwood 2012-02-24 22:07
Jiggsbro and Arbroath 1320

Agree with both of you. A company being prudent and looking ahead but saying at the same time it can cope with change as long as it knows what the changes are going to be.
# mato21 2012-02-24 18:08
Since there is virtually no difference in the price of these companies I would hope anyone with an account with SSE would change to another supplier. I doubt if anyone would be financially worse off
# macgilleleabhar 2012-02-24 18:23
A couple of clicks on Google and I can save £110 a year changing my gas and electricity to NPower!
Do I sense a Ratner moment for SSE?
# Edna Caine 2012-02-24 21:23
Immediately after watching the BBC report, I e-mailed SSE who supply my electricity. Their communication system did not allow me to save a copy of the mail or I'd post it in full.

The gist was that I was beginning to doubt the wisdom of retaining my account with them as the news report had led me to believe that either SSE were making political statements or the management were incapable of dealing with the challenges of cross-border supply. There was also a hint in the report that suggested their bills may rise because of increased risk costs.

I asked for clarification before making a final decision and await their reply which I shall post when received.

Edna in Berkshire
# mato21 2012-02-24 21:32

Well done Lets hope more do the same I would imagine a few hundred emails may concentrate some minds
# mato21 2012-02-24 18:13
Funny the chap working in the constituency office of E.Joyce did not express any concern regarding his health You would have thought that he would if there was any substance to that claim
# Arbroath1320 2012-02-24 19:13
Makes you wonder if all these claims being made by various Labour personnel about being worried about his health are not just futile attempts to set up a smokescreen.
# roguesquadron 2012-02-24 18:15

Nearly peed myself laughing.
# clearwood 2012-02-24 18:34
I felt sick when I heard it was a Scot who'd behaved like this. What a cliché. Do the people who have claimed that we should sympathise with this guy's "illness" say the same when a ned throws up on their stairs?
# rhymer 2012-02-24 18:44
It seems that it was Ed in Westminister who suspended Joyce from the labour party - does the "leader" (Johanne) know that this guy is trying to usurp her leadership of all Scottish MPs and MSPs ?
# GrassyKnollington 2012-02-24 19:00
The details of Johann's Lamont's formal responsibilitie s were so top secret that Jim Murphy wrote them in food colouring on rice paper and ordered Johann to eat them as soon as she'd read them.

This was to prevent Brian Taylor from waving them about to prove they do actually exist before eating them himself.
# Arbroath1320 2012-02-24 19:16
The lamentable Lamont has leadership over all Scottish Labour M.P.'s and M.S.P.'s.

# GrassyKnollington 2012-02-24 19:20
yep she absolutely does Arbroath. Only this morning she was on the blower to Alistair Darling and Douglas Alexander telling them to up their game or else. Allegedly.
# Arbroath1320 2012-02-24 19:32
What make of blower was it Grassy?

Two tin cans and a very long piece of string perhaps?
# J Wil 2012-02-24 19:35
I think Harriet Harman said something else about who was responsible and it wasn't Ed or Johann.
# Arbroath1320 2012-02-24 19:38
Not dear old Gordie Broon was it?
# Arbroath1320 2012-02-24 19:10
Looks like there could be a wee bit of fireworks tomorrow in Glasgow, and no I'm not talking about the Old firm game.

Looks like it might be a good idea to avoid St Enoch Square tomorrow.
# Old Smokey 2012-02-24 19:11
The Chairman of SSE is Lord Smith of Kelvin and was on the Council of Economic Advisers to First Minister of Scotland 2007-10
# Wee-Scamp 2012-02-24 19:21
I've just read the complete statement by SSE.

There can be little doubt that the BBC have spun it because they're not saying anything that I'm sure a lot of others are saying. I also don't think they're not being unreasonable given the nature of their business and I also don't think the SNP will be at all worried by this.

So this is proof positive for me that the BBC are playing a very dirty game.
# Legerwood 2012-02-24 20:49
The item on BBC Scotland did include a contribution from the FM and he put over his point very clearly and concisely that co-operation between the various parts of ther UK and Ireland would continue post-Independence. And the importance of Europe to Scotland

Did the SSE not recently announce that they were going to build a new hydro Scheme? So not as uncertain about the future as the report tried to suggest.

I think however the SG will have to start putting out more information about Independence and start talking to ourr home grown companies. So far overseas companies do not seem to be having any problems with the idea of independence or the time leading up to the referendum.
# Arbroath1320 2012-02-24 20:53
How can cooperation not continue?

Do the France not have a cooperation agreement with the South East of England to provide electricity for them?

If France can supply an "Independent" U.K. with electricity I am sure that an Independent Scotland will be able to provide an Independent England with electricity.
# Legerwood 2012-02-24 22:01
How can cooperation not continue?

The FM made it clear in his interview in the BBC Scotland report that we already co-operate on energy matters through the British Irish Council and that would continue after Independence.
# Arbroath1320 2012-02-24 22:12
The trouble is Ledger the EBC can't compute that concept!
# Old Smokey 2012-02-24 19:21
The SNP really need to shoot this fox, lay out clearly what an independent Scotland will look like, without any grey areas.
They have to study the 'submission' by the SSE, then draw them in to discuss and answer the so called uncertainties, if SSE refuse, then it will be clear that SSE really dont want any clarification.
You can bet the pro unionists are working on various companies to come out the closet. So the sooner this is nipped in the bud the better.
The public at the moment are only hearing and seeing what the BBC are telling them. Those that are customers of SSE, will think that what is being put out must be true
# derek 2012-02-24 19:32
An Independent Scotland maybe bigger than first thought.
# Diabloandco 2012-02-24 19:59
That raised a smile ,thanks!
# J Wil 2012-02-24 19:41
Peter Oborne of the Telegraph was on the Andrew Neil's Daily Politics show today. His arguments on various matters were knocked down several times. He finished up looking like a bit of a hot air merchant and distinctly uncomfortable.

If I remember correctly he had plenty to say against Scottish independence a few weeks ago but, going on today's performance, anything he has to say can be taken with a pinch of salt.
# Arbroath1320 2012-02-24 19:49
He isn't a scholar of the Alan Cochrane school of Anti Scottish Independence per chance?
# J Wil 2012-02-24 22:14
I think so when it comes to writing
scurrilous articles about Scotland.

You might also remember him from this interview on Newsnight when he called an EU spokesman an idiot, supported by Paxo.
# mato21 2012-02-24 22:17
Interesting read in the Guardian
# Arbroath1320 2012-02-24 22:25
Let the fireworks begin. :D
# Arbroath1320 2012-02-24 23:28
Oh dear it would appear not to be all rosy over in the Scottish Tory camp.

Former press officer for the party, Iain Gibson, said her referendum position was “all a bit of a disaster” and that her "line in the sand" position was: “Silly silly silly”. Craig Wilson, who previously worked for the former Tory MSP Derek Brownlee and current MSP Gavin Brown, announced that he was “delighted” not to be in a Tory Party where Ruth Davidson was “playing to a reactionary membership”.

I came across this on another site and yet again we appear to be seeing a unionist party in the early throws of complete meltdown and disarray!

There were also some interesting tweets on the site. The last one seems to infer, my suspicion, to Newsnet.

So there we have it, not only is Newsnet read by us, Separatists/Independenistas /patriots etc, but also by Labour. We now know also, apparently, by the Tories.
# Arbroath1320 2012-02-25 00:30
Here is the Herald's take on Jim Docherty, a Labour councillor representing East Kilbride South on South Lanarkshire Council and his tweet attack on attack on Alex Neil, the Scottish Government's Infrastructure and Capital Investment Secretary.

It would appear that for once the Hootsmon has been doing some "real" digging on an issue close to the Scotland/Wastemonster defence argument.
# Roll_On_2011 2012-02-25 07:11
From the following article it appears that the aggressive nature of Eric Joyce pre-dates his becoming an MP.

Mr Joyce grew up in Perth. As a 15-year-old, he was fined in court and expelled from Perth Academy after wrestling a female teacher out of a classroom. Charges were laid because, the court was told, it was the second time he had intimidated a young woman teacher.

Then, say former pupils and staff, he wrenched the teacher’s arm up her back and flung her out of class. She was four months pregnant.

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