By a Newsnet reporter 
The Labour party in Scotland, also known as the Scottish Labour Party, is emerging as the biggest threat to Scotland no matter how Scots vote in the referendum.
Led by Johann Lamont, an individual who struggles to contain her detestation of Alex Salmond and the SNP - Scottish Labour is a party devoid not only of policy but of consistency.

Against the council tax freeze, then in favour, then against and apparently now in favour again, nobody really knows where it stands on key areas anymore.

Nothing its leader says can be believed as Lamont's "something for nothing" denial demonstrated.  Scottish Labour's stance on important issues changes with the wind.  This party went into the last Holyrood election with its leaders, including Lamont, having publicly signed pledges not to introduce tuition fees – that altered after they lost.

Scottish Labour is now no more than a confused and extremely bitter anti-independence lobbying group.

The latest display of vitriol saw its leader accuse First Minister Alex Salmond of having taken two weeks off and of not doing his job.  The statement itself was an insult to the intelligence of Scots who watched as Salmond put his own reputation on the line in a last ditch bid to save the Grangemouth plant.

At the same time as Salmond was cancelling planned by-election campaign visits to Dunfermline, Labour's by-election candidate was attacking the SNP leader for apparently putting Scotland on pause.

The idiocy of the wooden and hapless Cara Hilton, who couldn't even repeat basic sentences at her swearing in ceremony at Holyrood, was indicative of a Scottish Labour group almost totally devoid of real talent and vision.

Lamont herself is the biggest liability.  Praised and lauded by fervent Labour supporters in the Scottish media when she initially replaced Iain Gray, these same supporters must now look through their fingers when she gets up to speak at First Minister's Questions.

This is a car crash leader in every way.  Her performances at First Minister's Questions have become must see viewing with a style reminiscent of dysfunctional guests on a Gerry Springer talk-show.

Last month she was finally taken to task after not once, but twice accusing Salmond and his government of being dishonest.  Publicly, and humiliatingly for a leader, she was rebuked by the Presiding Officer after one intemperate remark too many.

Protected by the media in Scotland, Lamont's worst excesses are airbrushed out of the news.

Yet anyone with an ounce of common sense can see that this individual is nowhere near the calibre required to be First Minister of Scotland.  That she's not even main opposition leader material will by now have dawned on handlers and media supporters alike.

Whether Yes or No prevail in the independence referendum, allowing an individual, with such little self-restraint and principle, to carry on with impunity risks damaging democracy in Scotland.  The Holyrood chamber has become like a tenement close with Lamont shouting insult and invective at her First Minister neighbour.

Her intemperate actions encourage those behind her as they mimic their leader's hostile performance, frequently shouting and banging their desks.  It's a sobering thought that these same MSPs could find themselves in ministerial posts making decision that affect the lives of millions of Scots.

In interviews, Labour MSPs are reduced to indulging in unbecoming anti-SNP, anti-independence sloganising – wilfully lying at times in order to bolster whatever claim they've been told to make against the hated nats or independence.  Lamont's leadership has rendered Scottish Labour a policy free vacuum able only to articulate one message, that they oppose independence, that they hate Salmond.

Despite losing heavily in 2011, they are still unable to articulate a vision for Scotland post the referendum … just vote No they scream.

Ask about specific policies and Lamont responds with a variation of the same answer – she wants a debate, she wants a discussion, she has a commission.  Trident, tuition fees, council tax [outwith by-elections], extra powers and a host of other policies critical to the future of Scotland and there is nothing forthcoming.

Scottish Labour is fast moving from a party unprepared for government to one that is incapable of governing.  They have become a group that defines itself solely against whatever policy the SNP proposes.

Scottish Labour has lost the discipline required to make decisions, shape policy, compromise and co-operate.  At Holyrood Labour has so few experienced and truly capable MSPs that there is no internal challenge to Lamont.

Without the habitual voter whose knowledge of politics extends to how their parents voted, the Labour party in Scotland would die within a generation.  The media takes the blame of course with its schoolground portrayal of Scottish politics having rendered Scots so politically ignorant that huge swathes will still vote for such an appallingly led party.

There's no doubt that the forthcoming referendum has worsened the vitriol between the SNP and Labour and no wonder when you consider that a Yes vote would render 90% of Labour's Holyrood group redundant.  It's a two-way dislike, but the overwhelming bad feeling is from Labour's opposition benches.

Labour barely managed to govern Scotland when the money was plentiful.  Just imagine what the likes of Johann Lamont, Iain Gray and Jackie Baillie will do in these austere times if they ever find themselves in government again.


# Henderson 2013-11-01 09:58
But there are so many Proud Scots voters who buy this rubbish & manipulation of facts by Labour including our journalists and wider media.

The Scottish press is being viewed abroad with a lot of scepticism and disdain by international press and broadcasters.

But the status quo in press ranks means Ms Lamont can get away with this rubbish (cip Dunfermline)
# maisiedotts 2013-11-01 10:20
It's ridiculously funny if you take a minute to see the asinine statements and responses for what they are.

Take this for example "UK Ministers are not going to fall into the trap of acting against Scotland until Scotland decides to stay in the UK." - Blair McDougall. [my emphasis]

Talk about opening your mouth before engaging your brain! It seems to be a perennial problem for Labour.
# xyz 2013-11-01 13:38
did he say that?
According to Wings, he said the opposite:

paraphrasing: 'Vote yes and be punished'

However the only way to avoid punishment by Westminster is to vote yes, because at last, Westminster will have no choice but to treat Scotland with respect or at least like any other independent and resource rich European country.
# maisiedotts 2013-11-01 14:59
Quoting xyz:
did he say that?

Yes word for word you have misunderstood the implication.
# John MacIntyre OBE 2013-11-01 10:20
The gratuitously personal attacks with which this article is riddled reflect no credit on Newsnetscotland ; and it is an act of cowardice on the part of the article's author that he/she refuses to attach his/her name to the article and hides behind "By a Newsnet reporter". Shame on that reporter and shame on Newsnetscotland .
# mcarta 2013-11-01 11:34
Quoting John MacIntyre OBE:
The gratuitously personal attacks with which this article is riddled reflect no credit on Newsnetscotland ; and it is an act of cowardice on the part of the article's author that he/she refuses to attach his/her name to the article and hides behind "By a Newsnet reporter". Shame on that reporter and shame on Newsnetscotland .

What's your problem, OBN? Are you claiming that there is anything untrue or inaccurate in this piece?
# McHaggis 2013-11-01 12:50
Dear John MacIntyre OCD,

Unfortunately for you, this is not The Herald where the moderators give you free reign and everyone else would have been banned months ago if perpetrating the same trolling, spamming, abusive dross you contribute on a multiple times daily basis.

A man who wont have a vote in the referndum, lives in Woking, served and worked for the westminster establishment in London for the majority of his life, has an incandescent hatred of the SNP and Alex Salmond and who regularly spews utter bile on to the Herald forums and who regularly claims to speak for the majority of Scots...

Your trolling contribution here is as clear as the day is long.
# cuckooshoe 2013-11-01 14:52
Meanwhile in today's Herald..

"Lamont's Big Six botch job was worthy of Hallowe'en

IT was a grisly episode ideal for Hallowe'en.

Undeterred by the lesson of Frankenstein's monster, from whom she recently borrowed a haircut, Labour's Johann Lamont took her own stab at radical transplant surgery at First Minister's Questions and botched it horribly."

# call me dave 2013-11-01 18:07
# cuckooshoe

Same story as you but this link doesn't click up the hits for Herald for those who prefer it otherwise. OUCH indeed. Even the reporters have to acknowledge it now.
# jinglyjangly 2013-11-01 10:27
Superb , its about time we started showing the labour party for what its become, I was discussing same with an ex labour member last night and we both struggled to come up with anybody in the "Scottish" party apart from Chisholm who we would want representing us.
# cjmjr 2013-11-01 10:27
As Labour voters age and pass their vote decreases, they are not attracting young activists in the same way they used to, they have no vision or ambition for Scotland and without it what have they got to entice those activists to join the party in the first place. With Labour supporting and promoting Tory austerity policies and dogma they have nothing to offer Scotland or her people. As has already been said Labour have become no more than the anti-Snp anti-independence protest group.
# fynesider 2013-11-01 10:37
Please do not forget the 'Labour for Independence' group Fortunately there are still some Labour members who have honesty & integrity, although there are gey few currently in Holyrood.
# The Laird 2013-11-01 10:42
As much as I take an interest in Scottish politics, I've stopped watching FMQ's as Ms Lamont is an insult to Scotland. The ten minute harping is cringeworthy in the extreme. Something must be done about this fiasco.
# Diabloandco 2013-11-01 10:43
This was a shocking display by this woman.
Whoever her script writers are they are obviously intent on making her look an absolute fool.
It is such a shame that truth and honesty have taken a dive in our so called democracy but this wee woman has plunged to new depths with this utterly spiteful ,degrading performance.
Are there no honest brokers in the Labour party at Holyrood?
Are they all so stupidly blinded by their visceral hatred of the SNP that they are incapable of seeing themselves in the mirror ?Do they go home and watch that performance on the telly and applaud like trained seal again?
Are they satisfied with exposing their idiocy ?
Whatever happened to the intelligent members of this party ,the Malcolm Chisolms of this world? Have they been struck dumb with incredulity by this foolish leader with the blank brained script writer?
# loveme2times 2013-11-01 10:50
What ever happened to Jim Murphy's review of the labour party after the last elections?

Maybe Johann wanted to have a big discussion about it...................

If she is the cream of MSP's for Labour they need to take a cold hard look at themselves in the mirror, as said the only policy you can say 100% that they stick to is whatever the snp policy is we don't agree!!
# flying haggis 2013-11-01 12:35
Unless there is a vote or by-election, then Labour completely agree with the SNP. So much so that they actually claim SNP achievements as their own!
However, they quickly slip back to the norm once its all past.
# Arthur G 2013-11-01 10:52
That old dictum that you should never allow one's enemey to define you is turned on its head here.

It would seem that Labour in Scotland, if asked the question: "What are you?" Could only reply: "Not the SNP".

That is a truly shameful position to be in for a once great party. My grandfather, an ILP man 70 odd years ago, will be spinning in his grave...
# mountaincadre 2013-11-01 10:53
Diablo, they all left when they seen what was happing, Labour in Scotland represent not only the worst type of political behaviour but the worst in human as well.
# Massacre1965 2013-11-01 11:25
A truly shocking performance by the Leader of the Opposition. Her bile and hatred appear to be no longer contained and she cuts a pathetic, clueless figure. I almost feel sorry for her but not quite as she deserves all she gets. The media especially the BBC, by their silence on her dreadful performances and attitudes, only serve to maintain this situation.

She certainly deserves this well written article about her.
# ds12 2013-11-01 11:29
What on earth do some of her MSPs make of this week in and out. They can't all be clones driven by hatred.
After yesterdays performance even the BBC couldn't find anything to beat Alex Salmond with so they put their heads in the same bucket of sand.
The Parliament should be better than this.Lamont is so far out of her depth she would struggle at Glasgow council.
# bringiton 2013-11-01 11:36
The way she conducts herself might be OK in cooncil chambers but is a total disgrace in our national parliament.
Visitors must think,if this is what Scottish voters elect to office then it doesn't say much about them.
She reflects very badly on us as a nation but then again,maybe that is the strategy.
# pomatiaH1 2013-11-01 11:43
I wonder what her script-writer thinks about; in FM questions yesterday she introduced Fred Goodwin into her 'speech', which left an easy and stinging reply from the FM, reminding everybody that Labour gave Goodwin his knighthood and he was acting as adviser to Alistair Darling!
Labour has sunk to having no more than grubby Party politics and tactics, with no policies or content.
Also an interesting admission from Blair McDougal in the Dundee University debate: "“UK ministers are not going to fall into the trap of acting against Scotland until Scotland decides to leave the United Kingdom”.
Followed by:
"“It’s a trap that they’re very wise not to fall into.”
# dpict 2013-11-01 11:47
@ John MacIntyre OBE

I take it you have no issue with the constant barrage of vitriol and insults which labour Scotland throw at our first minister and his party on a weekly basis then? Does the FACT that this behaviour makes them look petty, spiteful, vindictive and unworthy of their positions not bother you? If so then you are no better than they are. If this article so offends you, why don't you challenge it with fact based evidence, instead of behaving in the same predictable dismissive manner as your labour pals. They have nothing positive to contribute either.
# Aplinal 2013-11-01 11:49
JohnOBE, I find it rather amusing that YOU of all people seem to take umbrage at your description of "gratuitous personal attacks". I recommend readers to the herald where JohnOBE regales us on a daily basis of the shortcomings of Alex Salmond.

But in fact, John, this is not a "personal attack", i.e. a non-factual and personalised commentary, but rather it is simply stating for the benefit of readers some of the observable FACTS that Ms Lamont, and others in the Scottish wing of the Labour party have been doing for years.

Perhaps you can identify these "personal attacks" and allow us to rebut them? Or is that too much hard work?
# clootie 2013-11-01 11:50
"...a style reminiscent of dysfunctional guests on a Gerry Springer talk-show."

What an accurate picture that phrase gives.

As regards the bad feeling. I think the media have tried to push the line that they are as bad as each other. In my experience it's not true. I have never seen any SNP activist express the kind of hatred / venom which we recieve during elections. I think Labour forget that a very large proportion of the SNP ranks are ex-labour. The people didn't change values, they changed parties to follow those values.
# Kinloch 2013-11-01 12:40
clootie - " I think Labour forget that a very large proportion of the SNP ranks are ex-labour. The people didn't change values, they changed parties to follow those values."

Well put.
# Will C 2013-11-01 14:32
As many folk often say 'I didn't leave Labour, Labour left me'.
# John Souter 2013-11-01 13:12
labours position is so inept and duplicitous overall - but especially so in relation to Scotland - you have to wonder whether its by design?

A No vote in 2014 and, if ever Labour get back in power at Westminster, Holyrood reverts to a nodding shop.
# hektorsmum 2013-11-01 13:17
Until the Media hold the Labour Party to account for their behaviour they will continue to their detriment.
They are turning people off and do not realise it.
# Will C 2013-11-01 13:44
Firstly I applaud this article and wholeheartedly agree with the sentiment. As a Scot I am embarrassed that this woman is the leader of the main opposition in the Scottish Parliament. She demeans the Parliament and embarrasses the nation with her anti-SNP bile. She is neither effective or constructive in her role as opposition leader.
Secondly in response to the unwarranted and unwelcome attack on the author of this article from someone south of the border I would make three points:
1. You have no right to ask the name of the reporter and accuse him/her of cowardice;
2. You have no vote in our referendum and therefore you should refrain from your uninformed attacks on those of us who wish to our country to be independent;
3. Your attack on Newsnet displays a complete ignorance of the invaluable job Newsnet, Wings over Scotland, Belle Caledonia etc. are doing in informing the people of Scotland on the issues in the referendum debate.
# proudscot 2013-11-01 15:26
Johann Lamont's one achievement at FMQs is that she makes Ruth Davidson and Willie Rennie sound articulate and almost competent by comparison. Honourable exceptions are Patrick Harvie who sounds competent because he is, as is the redoubtable Margo MacDonald.

Lamont shames our parliament with her spiteful, inarticulate performances, especially when representatives of foreign governments are present in the VIP section of the public gallery, as was the case yesterday.
# govanite 2013-11-01 19:39
I disagree, I think she is worse, the other 2 are not FM standard but they are at least civil. Lamont is a disgrace, no suggestion of quality, just a ranting harridan.

--Edit-- I just reread your post, I think we agree.
# Tom60 2013-11-01 15:42
@ Will C
Best to ignore him as others have said. He is a Troll and I'm sure the moderators will deal with him if he oversteps the mark. He posts compulsively on the Herald, mostly regurgitating what he has already said, a sort of cut&paste fanatic and imo demeans the forum, but I'll leave it to others to say, as to why he gets away with it.
# IXL 2013-11-01 17:28
Absolutely agree.
However, I suspect his name, location and alleged "honour" are entirely fictitious, but I confess to being insufficiently motivated to bother investigating further.

Ignore the ignorant troll
# Will C 2013-11-01 18:22
I make a point of ignoring him on the Herald forum but fell into the trap simply because he attacked Newsnet and its' reporter. Really annoys me that someone thinks it's fun to insult one of the few news outlets in Scotland which is resourceful, truthful and brave enough to take on the British Establishment. Especially when he doesn't even live in the country.
# BRL 2013-11-01 17:55
This is an article that is telling the truth and is not in any way over inflating any issue to demean the Scottish Labour leader - these are actual, they are recorded and they are now historical fact in whatever is the 'Hansard' of the Scottish Parliament - so what the hell is going on with the seemingly perpetually sinking Scottish MSM and BBC?
# JimW 2013-11-01 19:48
The dignity with which Alex Salmond responded during and after the Grangemouth affair was in stark contrast to Johann Lamont's unbelievable outburst. He is a statesman while she is merely a politician.
# Blackford Wheeler 2013-11-02 00:18
Never interrupt yer enemy while she's makin an erse o hersel.
# taimoshan 2013-11-02 15:40
Ignore John MacIntyre OBE - a few months ago in the Herald during a discussion on voting for 16 and 17 year olds OBE stated that he did not want "16 & 17 year old numpties from Kelty and Cowdenbeath" voting. Of course these 16 and 17 year olds will not have been aware of this insult and thus had no reply. The tactics of a bully. OBE displays behaviour like this regularly to bolster his self esteem - many remember his membership of a "prestigious Scout troop" in Dunfermline. Clearly he had never read the Scout Law!
# staypos+ve 2013-11-02 19:56
The reason the fathers and grand-fathers of today's Labour Voters voted Labour involved for many the aims encapsulated in the then content of ''Clause 4'' scrapped by Blair and New Labour in 95. My Father would certainly not have continued to vote Labour if he were alive today. He would recognise that the New Labour/One Nation Labour did not represent the socialist values people of that generation supported.

Present day Labour Voters and party members and trade unionists need to ask themselves some searching questions!

Can these ''clause 4 '' values be best served by voting YES.

No doubt in my mind!
# call me dave 2013-11-05 15:32
Labour's latest act of insanity at the SG.
Party before people and, by the way, we hate the SNP!
# call me dave 2013-11-06 10:05
The empire strikes back!

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