By Martin Kelly
Scottish Labour leader Johann Lamont has claimed that universal benefits enjoyed by the sick and elderly may have to end and that modern apprenticeships may have to be cut if higher taxes are to be avoided.
In a surprise speech given today Ms Lamont claimed that free prescriptions, free concessionary travel and free tuition for Scottish based students were unaffordable and would be under threat if Labour were re-elected in Scotland.

Speaking to Labour members in Edinburgh, the Scottish Labour leader accused benefit recipients of living in a "something for nothing country" and claimed the culture had to end.

“We need to ask different questions and face up to the honest answers.

“For the last decade Scotland’s budgets have grown rapidly but we are in a new age with less money and more demands.

"We need to say what we want Scotland to be, what we can realistically afford, and how can we, in reality, make Scotland better.” she said.

She added: “I want Labour to lead the debate about how we intend to look after our rising number of older people, how we accommodate people’s desire to have their own home, how to ensure that we can afford to pay for people’s pensions.

“How do we address the current unjust imbalance that exists between the funding of higher and further education; we need to be honest about the sustainability of 'free' higher education, and the impact it will have on academic standards.”

The Scottish Labour leader hinted at a return to means testing and criticised the universality of free prescriptions for chief executives and free University education for the offspring of lawyers and judges.

Ms Lamont also claimed that under Scottish Labour, apprenticeships might have to be cut saying: “We need to be honest about apprenticeships – apprenticeships should be as highly regarded university education.  If this means fewer, but better quality apprenticeships, we need to be honest about this.”

However the Scottish Labour leader caused confusion when appearing to suggest that police numbers would also be reduced if Labour came to power, arguing: “We need to be honest that the target of 1,000 additional ‘bobbies on the beat’ is not the best use of police resources when a number of them are filling back office jobs which have been cut.”

Immediately after the speech Scottish Labour officials hurriedly sought to play down suggestions of a cut to police numbers after the Scottish Police Federation (SPF) called the Labour threat a “tragedy” and described such a position as “out of touch”.

The SPF later by tweeted: “@scottishpol Scottish Labour contacted @scotspolfed to confirm continued support for 1000 extra officers. Very welcome message indeed!”

The Labour leader’s comments were seized on by the SNP who described the unscheduled speech as a having been prompted by “panic”.

Describing as “chaotic” the hurried denials by Ms Lamont’s advisors that Labour would cut front line police, the SNP’s John Finnie – a former serving police officer who sits on the Justice Committee - said:

“As if Johann Lamont’s speech wasn’t damaging enough to her party, she has been utterly humiliated by her spin doctors forcing her into a complete U-turn within an hour of her speech.

“Why mention cuts to police numbers in her speech if they aren’t part of the review?

“Her big announcement of a cuts commission which won’t report until after the referendum was ludicrous enough, but having her spin doctors deny something she has only just said in her speech is farcical.”

Ms Lamont explained that Labour would not reveal how the party intended to address the issues she raised until after the 2014 referendum.  In the intervening two years, Scottish Labour will instead set up a working group, chaired by Cathy Jamieson MP and Ken Macintosh MSP, which will seek evidence and advice from a wide variety of leading experts and authorities, as well as ordinary people.

Responding to the speech, Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon accused Scottish Labour of adopting a raft of Tory policies.

Ms Sturgeon added: "Almost one year on from her election as leader and Labour still have no policies of their own to bring to the table.

"At a time when people are facing serious wage restraint and rising living costs, the council-tax freeze, the abolition of charges for prescriptions, support for higher education, apprenticeships and the elderly are all part of the support we in society give to each other."


# Marian 2012-09-25 19:25
Whatever way Labour and their media acolytes try to spin today's speech by Johann Lamont there is now absolutely no doubt that she is a Blairite through and through and as we know that is second only to Thatcherism as a political poisoned chalice in Scotland.
# border reiver 2012-09-25 19:26
The answer to all of Lamonts questions is simple,
# Nation Libre 2012-09-25 19:26
This is an absolute gift if we can get this out to the undecided. We can't afford free education, prescriptions, extra police, free health care for the elderly, apprenticeships . We can however afford Trident, Illegal Wars, PFI contracts, The House of Lords, The Olympics, etc, etc
# bagonails 2012-09-25 19:39
Labour north British branch have just delivered their final suicide note
# Hillside 2012-09-25 19:43
So we finally get to see what a 'better together' Scotland will look like: Just more Tory austerity. I'm actually pretty gobsmacked that this is the best Lamont and Labour can come up with.
# oldnat 2012-09-25 19:43
Aneurin Bevan was one of Labour's greats, post WWII.

In 1951 he resigned from the Labour Government over the introduction of charges for medical prescriptions.

Labour members might want to note his words in his resignation speech.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer is putting a financial ceiling on the Health Service. With rising prices the Health Service is squeezed between that artificial figure and rising prices. What is to be squeezed out next year? Is it the upper half? When that has been squeezed out and the same principle holds good, what do you squeeze out the year after? Prescriptions? Hospital charges? Where do you stop? I have been accused of 42 having agreed to a charge on prescriptions. That shows the danger of compromise. Because if it is pleaded against me that I agreed to the modification of the Health Service, then what will be pleaded against my right hon. Friends next year, and indeed what answer will they have if the vandals opposite come in? What answer? The Health Service will be like Lavinia—all the limbs cut off and eventually her tongue cut out, too.
# Traquir 2012-09-26 05:49
Excellent quote from Bevan, a real socialists unlike the current set of phonies in Scottish Labour who make mockery of socialist core values
# clootie 2012-09-26 06:04

This is the true issue. Labour in Scotland are not attacking the SNP - they are attacking their founding principles which now happen to be carried by the SNP. The Labour party has become a political machine for election and power instead of representing those in need.

Labour - I hear the words of Socialism but I watch the deeds of Tories.
# James 2012-09-26 15:17
Bevan is still revered up in Ebbw Vale, now transformed after the end of the mining era, although only the older generation now remember him.

The Labour Party is finished as a political force in Scotland, because it is tied hand and foot to London, to London values, and to London needs and London

This curious statement reads to me as if it has been an order handed down from London, where it has been composed in the light of the unavoidable economic disaster that the Labour leadership know is going to happen there no matter which party is in power at Westminster.

I still have searing memories of growing up on Clydeside during the interwar depression as well as the postwar austerity. This has made me determined to ensure not only that the benefits that were introduced then will continue, but also that Scotland's entire economic system must be put onto a rational basis, in harmony with its international framework, in order to ensure that these benefits can continue to be financed.

England can no longer afford the welfare state, but Scotland can if its strategic governance is organised in a competent manner. That demands not only the relevant skills, but also the ability to analyse the economic and social forces that are at work in Scotland and the world today.

Clootie is right. Scottish Labour is floundering, confused and disoriented, and is in no way capable of governing Scotland. Let us all be grateful for its past achievements, but let us also remember that no political party is an end in itself. It is a means to an end, and like any tool it should be discarded when it has outlived its usefulness.
# Fungus 2012-09-25 19:46
I knew they were reality challenged but this. Is Johann really a glove puppet with Thatcher's hand up her...errm controls?

I live in East Ayrshire and when the wind is right I can hear Keir Hardy spinning in his grave...he's fair rattling tonight.
# Leswil 2012-09-25 19:46
I can see no reason just why would say all this now, AND any report on her "cuts" will not be available until AFTER the referendum, Huh?

There is absolutely no chance that voters will fall for that, it is like it is from the mouths of Tories.

Have they planted a SNP spin doctor in the labour office?? ( joke - I think!)

It is just nuts and so sure to upset labour root votes. They are really losing the plot.
# pmcrek 2012-09-25 19:52
I would like to present the following mystery for someone to solve:

1) The 2007 Holyrood election result, in my opinion, was due in no small part to Labour introducing tuition fees in Scotland.

2) The 2011 Holyrood election result, in my opinion, was due in no small part to the SNP sticking to their word and restoring free tuition in Scotland.

3) Ms Lamont makes a speech saying Labour will reintroduce tuition fees in Scotland.

What the hell is going on at Scottish Labour?
# Keep UTG 2012-09-25 20:04
I think British Labour may have something to do with it.
# EphemeralDeception 2012-09-25 20:41
From her 1st speech as Labours new regional leader:
"we need to start building the kind of Scottish Labour Party which Scotland deserves..."

Now we start to see what she was actually meaning.
# Keilers 2012-09-26 02:15
I am honestly staring to think Lamont is a closeted Nationalist in Unionist clothing, desperately wanting a independent Scotland but knowing full well she can't admit it! Instead of fighting directly for freedom she's attacking the oppressors from within.
# call me dave 2012-09-25 20:00
This is an indication that the Labour party in Scotland is lead by a person who has thrown in the towel. She doesn't believe in a Scotland that can do well in the world.

She should stand aside and let someone else pick up the cudgels in the Labour party.

She,and Rennie earlier today, have again come out with the 'jam tomorrow' promise if we Scots vote to the keep status quo.
Now we know why she is normally unavailable for comment. She has nothing to offer and no vision for our country.

I can't imagine two more unworthy people to have in politics.

As someone else has said before:

The solution is to vote for independence in 2014.
# mountaincadre 2012-09-25 20:08
She is a puppet nothing more,one who speaks as she's told to, a quick guess would be that Labour see themselves getting in again at West minster pretty quick(maybe before 2015) and know just how much cutting there going to be doing , this from JL could be a disclaimer(we have to do it) to justify what they will do.I know we all get caught up in the present but remember this pips, the three stooges are there to do others bidding, not to think for themselves.
# Nation Libre 2012-09-25 20:29
Have a look at LabourHame, there is genuine bewilderment. This will be the last straw for many. Bad enough siding with the Tory Party, but taking over their policies is absolute suicide. The end of Labour and a sad day for a once great party
# Jenny2603 2012-09-25 20:29
'Ms Lamont explained that Labour would not reveal how the party intended to address the issues she raised until after the 2014 referendum'

Here we go again. Something else we're not allowed to know about until after the referendum.

Well if it was anything good I have no doubt they'd be quick to tell us to ensure we vote no. What they're offering is Tory austerity in a shiny red package.

I'll take my chances with independence. It couldn't possibly be worse than what the right wing Westminster parties have in store for us.
# rgweir 2012-09-25 20:34
Might there be something going on that requires a distraction?
A lot of the posters on NS have been around the political block a bit and can usualy tell when they are being fed information that just does not add up.
Lets wait a few days to see if this goes anywhere or if it is meant to take our eyes off something slipping under the radar.
# steveb 2012-09-25 21:03
Well said.
Eyes and ears open everyone.
# Jenny2603 2012-09-25 21:29
It's possible. Given the internal strife in the Labour Party at the moment, she might just be trying to portray a tough image as a means of stamping her authority on the party in Scotland.

Either that or it's been done for the benefit of the wider Labour Party. Looking tough and being willing to get stuck into the jocks would play well in certain quarters down south. Whilst they Labour vote up here is useful to them, it's the south they need to convince to win. Maybe they've just given up on Scotland.

I certainly don't think it was intended to win many votes in Scotland. Even a party intending to make cuts would dress them up so that they appear more positive but her attack on universal benefits offered nothing in return for bringing in yet more means testing.

The only other angle I can think of is trying to portray Scotland as unable to afford these things in the long term. The implication being that we'll pay a terrible price for it, whereas good old Labour will offer stability and the best possible deal in difficult circumstances etc.
# sneckedagain 2012-09-25 20:38
I cannot in my wildest imagination make any political sense out of this suicide attempt.

What she us actually saying is that as a part of the UK Scotland cannot afford the sort of benefits many other small countries in the world manage perfectly well to provide for their people.

However I take the point that she may have been be told be ready for a General Election. I have been a little worried that the SNP does not have Westminster candidates in place in what is an unstable political situation.
David McEwan Hill
# oldnat 2012-09-25 20:59
The lack of political sense is what puzzles most of us.

It's almost as if Lamont has been steered into an impossible political position by someone - in response to her sacking London's placemen in John Smith House?

The lack of support, for her new stance, from Anas Sarwar has been deafening!
# bipod 2012-09-25 20:45
And there goes any last claim that Labour is the "workers" party. This speech is straight out of thatchers handbook, it is designed to appeal to the Dailymail/telegraph readers in middle England. Fortunately, this type of guff doesn't get as much traction in Scotland than it does in England, we will need independence if we going to survive this coming storm, otherwise labour will completely destroy what is left of our public services.

I wonder why people like Lamont join the labour party, because from what I have read, see would be far more comfortable with the tories.
# tarbat 2012-09-25 21:01
Even BBC Wales seem a bit puzzled by SLABs change of policy on universal benefits. And they even allow comment!!
# tartanfever 2012-09-25 21:50
If ever there was a time to hit the BBC with comments it's now.

The BBC Wales political editor has her blog open for comments about remarks made today in Holyrood. She even quotes Brian Taylor in her report for God's sake - yet the open blog is on the Welsh website, not the Scottish one because we don't have that freedom of expression in BBC Jockland.

As I've just pointed out on the BBC website (and in light of the topic of the article) - is it fair that we in Scotland should pay the same licence fee as the rest of the country when we suffer service cuts that no one else has to ie, the closure of the Scottish blogs ?

Maybe Lamont would like to add this to her list of ' those being shafted'.
# gedguy2 2012-09-26 07:04
After watching the BBC article I have to admire the way in which she avoided answering any of the questions put to her. This was not so much Johann Lamont was 'unavailable for questions' but more of a Johann Lamont was unavailable for answering questions.
# Leswil 2012-09-25 21:11
This has to be coming from Westminster Labour. What is evident is that Lamont is totally useless for "Scottish Labour", she should resign rather than being the fall guy.
Also, yes, let us wait and see where this goes as there may be sneak moves going on.
# border reiver 2012-09-25 21:27
This is obviously an order handed down from Westminster who are so out of touch with Scotlands aspirations and values it beggars belief, do they actualy think that this is a vote winner? The Labour leadership are demonstrating classic symptoms of insecurity by failing to install the right person for the job, they have put in puppets and yes men/women, Lamont is a classic example of the wrong person to lead a once proud party
# Hillside 2012-09-25 21:46
Yes, the only feasible explanation for this 'policy' statement is that it comes from London, where Labour are known to cling to the discredited 'Tony Blair' method of getting elected i.e. become as much like the Tories as possible. Maybe Lamont is coming under pressure to perform by her London masters, and is now telling them what she thinks they want to hear?
# tartanfever 2012-09-25 21:29
Took this quote from lamont on the BBC Scotland website:

"What is progressive about a chief executive on more than 100,000 a year not paying for his prescriptions, while a pensioner needing care has their care help cut?'

So according to her, someone that pays £40,000 in tax out of a £100,000 salary is not contributing enough and should be forced to pay extra. I would have thought there would be a good argument to say this person has most likely done well, worked hard, contributed to society and deserves as much as anyone else the free benefits of universal health care.

This 'rich' person will most likely also pay the highest council tax band, and will most likely contribute more to the economy through spending - which supports business.
# pmcrek 2012-09-26 01:34
It should be remembered also that means testing free perscriptions would not necessarily save us any money either. We would need to employ administrators, investigators, case workers, support staff, office space, supplies, software, hardware and incur legal costs.
# Briggs 2012-09-26 16:45
'This 'rich' person will most likely also pay the highest council tax band, and will most likely contribute more to the economy through spending - which supports business'

This 'rich' person should live more modestly then?

This sounds like the non existent 'trickle down effect' espoused by Thatcher. It didn't exist then and it doesn't exist now.

Will the 'Mansion Tax' affect you tartanfever?

# Jiggsbro 2012-09-25 21:36
So am I the only person that thinks SLab secretly wants independence but isn't allowed by London Labour to actually campaign for they throw this out to make it clear to Scots that independence is the only way to retain benefits and services?

I'm over-thinking this, aren't I? Cock-up, not conspiracy.
# NkosiEcosse 2012-09-26 08:46
Quoting Jiggsbro:
So am I the only person that thinks SLab secretly wants independence but isn't allowed by London Labour to actually campaign for they throw this out to make it clear to Scots that independence is the only way to retain benefits and services?

I'm over-thinking this, aren't I? Cock-up, not conspiracy.

If it is/was then it was not Ms. Lamont at the steering wheel, but rather someone with a tad more intelligence.
# balbeggie 2012-09-25 21:42
Still trying to pick my jaw off the floor. So what was the point of Labour since it's inception all those years ago? My late parents will be birlin in their graves, all their time campaigning for Labour to be jettisoned just like that.
# Tinyzeitgeist 2012-09-25 21:46
Lamont is going to be interviewed on newsnicht. Will be worth watching!
# Mac 2012-09-25 21:57
This is an attack on Scottish society, the poor, the sick, the old, the young, the police, students, apprentices, the colleges, the universities, the health professions, small businesses and tax payers. I find it remarkable that any Labour politician would think in this way never mind actually say it. Johann Lamont agenda for cuts is simply unbelievable.
# Robabody 2012-09-25 21:59
I watched the lady on STV news tonight - oh dear. Her speech was physically awful for a "professional" politician while Mr Ponsonby had her on the back foot from the off on the technical aspects of the content.
# mudfries 2012-09-25 22:03
Well, if it looks like a tory, and it acts like a tory, its a tory.
# hadrianswall 2012-09-25 22:11
Why is Lamont following a UK policy? We have a parliament where we can determine our own policy on most of the issues she is talking about. Why isn't she standing up for our people? Truly baffling. She is showing herself to be a true child of the union. Is this what she means by better together? The unionists are painting themselves into a corner. I can't see where her speech has come from. However it almost certainly is part of the disintegration of 'Scottish' Labour. Freedom
# Tinyzeitgeist 2012-09-25 22:15
If Lamont knows one thing, it is the cost of everything and the value of nothing!
# brusque 2012-09-25 22:16
One of Lamont's finest hours!!!

I imagine that there will be an awful lot of very hard-up people in and around Glasgow; who are ready to tick any box but Labour on the Ballot paper!

If you didn't know better you would think she is a Tory. They are her bestest mates so I suppose some of it has rubbed.

She was like a woman possessed on Newsnight, unfortunately just not possessed of any political nouse.

Jings, Eck could have written her script for her, and Isobel (good to see her back) didn't take any guff from her.
# Jiggsbro 2012-09-25 22:29
Quoting brusque:
I imagine that there will be an awful lot of very hard-up people in and around Glasgow; who are ready to tick any box but Labour on the Ballot paper!

I think that might be your imagination. I imagine there'll be an awful lot of very hard-up people in and around Glasgow who are ready to tick the Labour box every time, because they'll believe whatever lies Labour tell them in the run-up to an election.

I hope you're right and I'm too cynical, but we'll see.
# G. P. Walrus 2012-09-25 22:19
She should have topped it off by telling the unemployed to get on their bikes and look for work.
# mealer 2012-09-25 22:25
Sorry guys! I cant offer any further insight or explanation as to why Labour has announced they intend to introduce means testing for what they used to champion as universal.
# Alba4Eva 2012-09-25 22:26
Lamont and the Labour party have had over 5 years since losing power in Holyrood to; initially get over the shock of being the opposition... And to spend some time considering what their policies are and where they would plan to take Scotland....

...So WHY OH WHY was Lamont faffing away on Newsnicht Scotland about wanting an open debate on the issues?

What have Labour been doing for the last 5 years?

...OH sorry, I forgot.... They were spending every waking hour making up story's to try and convince all n' sundry that the SNP are evil and out to end humanity on the planet Earth.

Simply WOW to the farce that Labour have become!
# WRH2 2012-09-25 22:28
Just watched JL on Newsnight. Dire doesn't begin to describe it! Isobel was really struggling to get any sense out of her. Well, OK Isobel failed to get any sense out of her.
Not the slightest hint of what Labour's alternative policies might be but of course, it's obvious they just don't have any. I don't think they have noticed its best to have done the work and come up with the alternatives before announcements are made. Doing it the other way round means they can't answer questions and just end up looking really silly.
I would really love to know who thought up this stunt and whether they have now made themselves scarce.
# wee e 2012-09-25 22:29
Well, on Newsnicht just now, Lamont was backpedalling furiously in each and every case -- health, education, OAP services & council tax - from her proposed solutions of means testing, higher taxes and fees. But only briefly. Mostly it was her gabbling out anti-SNP smokebombs.

I can never follow what the woman says, the way she chunters on in that high-speed monotone.
# govanite 2012-09-25 22:32
She wants to have half a debate.
Unless she can be open, honest & objective about tax varying power she is whistling in the wind. She chooses limited power & then complains that things don't work.

Is she a fool, a coward or a hypocrit ?
# davemsc 2012-09-26 12:06
All of the above!
# Vronsky 2012-09-25 22:32
OK, so now I'm confused. I've just heard a speech from the leader of the Conservative Party - except she claims she's the leader of the Labour Party. Que pasa? Was that thing I just stepped through a looking glass?
# J Wil 2012-09-25 22:33
STV gave Lamont an easy time compared to Isobel Fraser on Newsnicht. Poor dear Johann needs help, after that ramble. She certainly succeeded in putting the meat on the bones. Not!

I cannot see Ed Miliband leaving Scottish Labour politics to Lamont after her performance tonight if he intends to get back into power at the next election.

After all the accusations that she had gone into hiding she has been goaded into saying...nothing.
# exel 2012-09-25 22:33
Jiggsbro 2012-09-25 22:36
"So am I the only person that thinks SLab secretly wants independence but isn't allowed by London Labour to actually campaign for they throw this out to make it clear to Scots that independence is the only way to retain benefits and services?"

What is apparent is that the political parties intend to carry on the longest election campaign in history.

The most important decision before the Scottish people, is intentionally being sidelined.
# Jiggsbro 2012-09-25 23:16
Or, from a slightly more considered viewpoint, "there are other important things going on in the country at the same time as the run-up to the referendum".
# nchanter 2012-09-26 09:53
Quoting exel:
Jiggsbro 2012-09-25 22:36
"So am I the only person that thinks SLab secretly wants independence but isn't allowed by London Labour to actually campaign for they throw this out to make it clear to Scots that independence is the only way to retain benefits and services?"

What is apparent is that the political parties intend to carry on the longest election campaign in history.

The most important decision before the Scottish people, is intentionally being sidelined.

As you all know, during the American civil war some families fought on both sides to ensure a win win position. Could the Labour pty be doing the same?
# Alan 2012-09-25 22:42
I have been lead to believe that John Swinney has been implementing tough levels of efficiency savings in public services. I suspect that means no more cushy jobs for party apparatchiks. Something that Labour have always been fond of. Labour need to pay for them and the money has to come from somewhere, Johann Lamont is just letting us know where.
# PerryThePlatypus 2012-09-25 22:49
Dear oh dear!........ now we know why she is always "unavailable for comment", if this is what happens when they let her out of the box!?
How long do you reckon she will last? Personally I can't see it being much more than a couple of months at his rate.. even if they DO keep her hidden?
Although I hope she does last a bit longer - she's political gold for the YES campaign!
# Dougie Douglas 2012-09-25 23:24
It's all the fault of the poor.

This is text book Blair/Thatcher and has definitely come from London.

Blair was open about his strategy - he wanted to win over middle England as he always had the working class vote. He could count on the working class vote even when attacking them like Lamont is now - they have nowhere else to go, he needed aspirational middle class English voters. This is what Lamont is trying to emulate.

The BIG difference is that unlike England the working class do have somewhere else to go here - the SNP.

This shows that in 'Scottish' Labour there is no understanding of what could charitably be said to be the nuances of the local political scene.

This was built in London for middle England and Lamont, the diddy, has swallowed it whole.

Silly, stupid woman.
# govanite 2012-09-26 00:03
I think this is near the mark Dougie. Treating the electorate with contempt.
# Mad Jock McMad 2012-09-25 23:26
Johann Lamont the latest of New Labour's 'toom tabards'.

Leaves you wondering which 'spad' thought this one up ...

"Aye pal"
"Here's brilliant idea to win back votes"
"Aye, pal"
"We give you a script to read that is a retread of Tory policies the Scots electorate hates.."
"An whit is that goin tae dae?"
"Well, we can claim you are being honest and try to make Wee Eck look shifty"
"So ah tell'em am a Tory an that'll win folk back tae New Labour cos am tellin it as it is?"
"Spot on Johann!"
"Ah can see how that'll work.."

And the rest, as they say, is history...
# clochoderic 2012-09-25 23:27
I watched both her performances on STV and BBC. In the interview with Isobel Fraser she managed to shoe-horn in no less than 23 attacks on the SNP, Salmond and Swinney in a 10 minute interview.
Did anyone else notice her prompt sheet she was reading from during the John McKay interview on STV earlier?
# wee e 2012-09-25 23:29
I don't normally keep up much with Labour's infighting. If Lamont has been wound up and pointed topwards walking the plank here, who is likely to replace her?

who benefits?
# Jimbo 2012-09-25 23:54
It looks like Lamont, with London's supervision, intends to turn Scotland into a little England.
# Barontorc 2012-09-25 23:57
Like so many others posting on this - I'm waiting for a slap on the back of my head - could it be there's something afoot that needs a smokescreen?

Even the most devoted labour supporter will be struggling to come to terms with what JL's offering up for their future and her inner cabal must be at least on-song with these folk.

So what's going on?
# Marga B 2012-09-26 00:01
Tried to get the Sctsman's article on this "radical new policy shift" but got the message "not available" :))

Then tripped over this one on Lords eform:

"Former UK minister and MSP Lord Foulkes wants the Lords to be scrapped and for each 
devolved parliament or assembly to send its own appointed representatives to a new second chamber in London.

"The proposed reform would allow the new body to review and delay Scottish laws for up to a year – along similar lines to the delaying powers the Lords currently has over the Commons."
# oldnat 2012-09-26 00:22

Try the link from this post.

It should still work - unless it's an international issue.
# Marga B 2012-09-26 00:44
Thanks oldnat - crickey, "a new policy commission that will look at ending free university tuition, free prescriptions and the council tax freeze." Definitely vote for her, then.
# Dowanhill 2012-09-26 00:08
Lamonts speech : absolute tosh! What was it all about? One more thing, How many lawyers + doctors use the bus? God help us if she ever succeeds in becoming FM. She's dreadful, Scotand deserves far better than that thing. Also, I thought SLAB were going too replicate the SNP's council tax freeze at the last general election? Increase cost in tuition fees? Interested to hear the Labour sponsored NUS take on this??
# Roll_On_2011 2012-09-26 01:08
Newsnight Scotland - Johann Lamont - 25.09.2012
# rodmac 2012-09-26 02:51
A truly Amazing speech and Interviews from Lamont...

Here is my take on it!

# gus1940 2012-09-26 04:33
We are told that she is The Leader of Scottish Labour and in that capacity I presume she will be making a speech at next week's Labour Party Conference.

If she doesn't manage to avoid doing that we can look forward to some fun.
# derek 2012-09-26 04:53
Collectivist or Individualist? lets collectively agree that those with the broadest shoulders should bare the burnt of the excess.If Lamont wants to talk about a fairer distribution of wealth through a better taxation policy then lets embrace the notion that those at the bottom need help the most.It's a ridiculous situation to dampen growth by lower incomes because less money means less demand which only increases the austerity measures.What we need is a pension plan that is paid straight across the board and meets today's livings cost and further gains in pension could be self accrued.It's ridiculous to suggest that raising the tax threshold to £10,000 is a gain for low paid employees because it's offset by a reduction in tax credit and in some cases the tax credit is removed all- together.Wilson tried to incite the whiteheat debate way back in the early 1970's it's just pure utter nonsense that workers by the thousands need tax credit and benefits just to bring them up to a minimum standard wage.Good pay, good condition and good benefits for those unfortunate enough to be unfit for work and a sense of future care for all in health and education.Tomorrows world won't be built if we exclude some from further education because history tells us that the most important inventors were from poor backgrounds.I say this to Lamont and the Scottish labour fudgers be clear, be precise or just go.
# PrideoftheClyde 2012-09-26 05:39
Typical Lamont. More than happy to tell us what she is against but never willing to tell us what she stands for. The politics of negativity the Labour party is trapped in will turn even more voters away. This speech wasn't only Lamont's political suicide note, it was also the political suicide note for the Labour party in Scotland. They are now full converts to the Tory ideological cuts agenda which the Scottish people reject.
# colin8652 2012-09-26 06:08
laments speech was all abou two things. bringing Scotland in linewith England and releasing more funds for Glasgow city council toemploy more la our faithful to bit in council vans and dohe haw
# PrideoftheClyde 2012-09-26 06:40
My favourite part of Lamont's speech:

"I think we have gone through a period when too many children and people have been given to understand “I have a problem, it is the Government‘s job to cope with it!” or “I have a problem, I will go and get a grant to cope with it!” “I am homeless, the Government must house me!” and so they are casting their problems on society and who is society? There is no such thing!"

Oh no, wait. It was Maggie Thatcher that said that. Oops. Lamont does an alright impersonation though.
# gedguy2 2012-09-26 06:46
Johann Lamont thinks we should set fees for prescriptions, the problem with setting fees for anything is that a committee has to set a cut off point where people pay and people don't. Of course, the problem with cut off points is that these points can be moved to suit the political wind at that particular moment in time. Then, if you have cut off points, we have to employ people to check that the cut off points are not being abused, investigators to gather evidence of abuse and solicitors to take these people to court, magistrates to rule on them and possibly prison places to put the offenders into. So where are the savings? Passing the NHS budget onto the Law budget is not making savings it is hiding the true cost. How about allowing the well off an opportunity to 'donate', let's say £5 for their prescription which can be given to a needy charity?
# gedguy2 2012-09-26 12:08
There is a another point here which has been deliberately overlooked. They are trying to privatise the NHS because the baby boomers of the 40s, 50s and 60s are coming to the age where they are going to need the NHS and the cost of this is going to be horrendous. This is why they see the privatisation of the NHS as one way of avoiding paying these fees. However, we baby boomers have been paying our National Insurance stamps all our lives, where has this money gone? It has been spent on whatever the current UK government of the time has decided and now that is is pay back time they are trying to rip us off from what is our right. We paid for it now pay it back!!!!
# G. P. Walrus 2012-09-27 06:36
They're trying to privatise the NHS because some people stand to make a great deal of money out of it.
# Alibi 2012-09-26 06:49
"We need to say what we want Scotland to be, what we can realistically afford, and how can we, in reality, make Scotland better.” she said.

*************** ****

Is Johann at last realising that Scotland needs to regain her independence?
# Indy_Scot 2012-09-26 07:24
I suppose Labour were always going to have to make cuts somewhere, after all, their MPs and councils do have a life style level to maintain.
# Ready to Start 2012-09-26 07:25
Lamont is merely copying Ed Miliband's move to the right and the Tories Together NO campaign lemmings are rushing over the cliff in collective suicide.

A little intellectual vigour would illustrate that a Scotland with independence or even full fiscal autonomy could easily pay for such choices but would make the Scottish government more accountable for its decisions.
# Mark MacLachlan 2012-09-26 07:25
Surefire winner Maggie.
# Jim Johnston 2012-09-26 07:28
What does Lamont mean Scotland cant afford everything she mentioned ? The SNP Government has delivered everything on the list.

What she must mean is the Union cant afford Scotland. No ?
# Silverytay 2012-09-26 07:35
The only good thing to come out of lamont,s speech is that we now know what a no vote will mean .
From now to the referendum we need to hammer home to the Scottish electorate what it is they will be giving up if we vote NO . As for her something for nothing comments , I find them very offensive . I have paid my taxes all my life on the understanding that if I am ill I will be looked after .
My old man will be birling in his grave at what the labour party have become .
# Zed 2012-09-26 07:49
I see BBC Scotland news has just tried to brush Lamont's speech right under the carpet and ignored the story.
# Jiggsbro 2012-09-26 08:03
# Indy_Scot 2012-09-26 08:36
If they can't hide it in a different country, they can always hide it in the small print. Jeeze, what are the BBC like.
# Zed 2012-09-26 10:00
Aye, seen it on the website but it wasn't on the BBC TV news even although it made headlines on STV.
# Old Smokey 2012-09-26 08:20
Just listening to Call Kaye and yes they are discussing this
So far callers are critical of Labour
Keeza Dugdail trying to defend the indefensible. Thought it was funny that when talking about free travel for OAP's and she was against the wall on that, she said lets talk about other issues
# Adrian B 2012-09-26 09:55
Choices do indeed need to be made in the long term. The Scottish budget is controlled form London. There are no negotiations on the size of our budget.

That is why unnecessary and unwanted things like Trident can be done away with to spend the money that we wish on education, police and job creation are important.

Scotland will only be able to make long term sustainable decisions if we have the full amount of Taxes that Scotland already pays diverted into the Scottish Treasury.

If you avoid the Scottish treasury then deeper cuts to the block grant from Wesminster will be unavoidable as our tax money is being spent on projects south of the border rather than in our own country. That is the dilemma that Johann has unwittingly highlighted.
# Marga B 2012-09-26 08:25
Looking at the BBC, it seems everyone is able to articulate the message better than Johann herself. Especially Taylor though he ends his main piece enigmatically:

"To be fair, again, we are some way off from the next Scottish Parliamentary election. At this stage, Ms Lamont is simply questioning the existing orthodoxy. At the very least, it should add to the sources of innocent merriment already available to the observing citizenry."

Sí, señor!
# GrassyKnollington 2012-09-26 08:41
Hold on what's going to happen to Lamont's cuddly "as a mother" routine now that she's milk snatcher?

And "just stirring the ground beef in ma Le Creuset buffet casserole" doesn't have the same ring to it either.

Has she really thought this "see me ahm a pure Tory now so ah am" business through?
# balbeggie 2012-09-26 08:56
'Fantastic Speech by Johann Lamont'


video of her tv interview included.

New Statemsn not impressed either
# peter,aberdeenshire 2012-09-26 09:08
Lamont spoke a lot but said nothing, the most mentioned topics were SNP,Alex Salmond, Debate. FFS who votes for this halfwit?
# scotswhahae 2012-09-26 09:31
Jiggsbro "So am I the only person that thinks SLab secretly wants independence but isn't allowed by London Labour to actually campaign for it.. "

My first thought was this, that Labour do indeed want Independence for Scotland, they just don't want to come right out & state that. Either that or JL is on a suicide mission all of her own making.. And here I was starting to like her, as I could see how GOOD she was for the YES campaign..sigh!!!
# Angus 2012-09-26 09:33
Could it be Lamont and SLAB have done a Gerald Ratner, mind his speech of 1991? Despite media spin, they got ripped to bits by callers on Radio Scotland this morning.
# Clarinda 2012-09-26 09:34
Calamity Johann indeed.

What - no rush of fellow Slabber MSPs queuing up in support of the leaderette? I note that only the towering intellect that is Master Baker got a mention in her incoherent published ramble yesterday - not even he has emerged pour encourage les autres. Do they know she is being hung out to dry while desperate measures are made to fashion some Frankenstein monster from the remnants of a party bereft of life, ideas or national ambition and loyalty. Or does Labour HQ seriously believe that no ideas are good ideas?

Not so much 'unavailable for comment' as unable to comment methinks.
# WRH2 2012-09-26 09:54
On Call Kay(e), Kezia Dugdale brought up the tax varying powers that had been part of the original devolution package and suggested that SG could have used these to pay for "freebies" rather than fund them out of our block grant. She seemed to forget that we could only vary income tax rates that have been set by Westminster. But hey, ho when did details ever get in their way.
This is part of their "strategy" better known as Jam Tomorrow.
# Talorcan 2012-09-26 09:55
It's all quite extraordinary isn't it? During the nineties and over the space of eight years I put my three sons through university and it cost me and my wife an absolute fortune, leaving us both much shorter of cash for our retirement than we would otherwise have been. Why on earth would anyone vote for that ridiculous woman Johann Lamont and her Labour Party?
# Mark MacLachlan 2012-09-26 10:06
Labour to Tory transformation complete...
# Leswil 2012-09-26 10:12
Watching her on Newsnight, she could not really give a definitive answer to well, anything! She wants a debate, another one, or two, or three!

Yet she offers no solutions on any subject, unbelievable stuff. It was basically an anti SNP rant.

Labour just wants to bog down the SNP during the run up to the ref vote.

It was good to see Isobel giving her a bit of a hard time.

However, it could all be construed as " Our policy is to go against anythingthe Scottish Government try to do" ( Willie Bain ) is still party policy.

Is this as simple as that? if so it is crazy stuff and suicide for labour.

Could it just be that they truly hate the SNP so much that they, with their non existent vision for Scotland, are really be willing to actually hurt our poorest people?

Well I have to say, yes, perhaps their hatred surmounts all other issues, regardless of who it hurts.

They want to kill off the SNP, in truth they are killing off themselves.
# nchanter 2012-09-26 15:52
When you are used to the finest swill the taxpayer can afford who wouldn't hate anyone who would threaten to take from you.
# tartanfever 2012-09-26 10:14
Looking at the Newsnight interview it's clear to see Labour tactics. Not one of these 'ideas' is policy, they are just 'observations' - or as Lamont kept repeating, 'we're going to look at'....

Are these the tactics of fear ?

Most likely. A party doing badly, given the biggest roasting of it's life last year in Scottish elections is running scared from it's dwindling voters are not going to say anything for fear of further losses.

It's all ideas made up ultimately as a vehicle to undermine and attack the SNP rather than offer a labour vision of the future - thats the ultimate goal.

They don't want to win votes, they want the SNP to lose votes. (the difference being one denotes a negative approach, the other a positive)

And all in all the media have been decidedly weak about the whole affair. Fraser on newsnight couldn't control the interview and spent five minutes just trying to get a question in, she never followed up on any points and after lamont had made a statement would often just accept it by saying 'ok' whilst looking at her notes thinking of the next question. It's a poor show.

Where were the questions on 'leadership' or 'lack of policy'. Even just the basic 'so these aren't policy decisions - the labour party aren't actually stating anything - this just seems to be a vehicle to attack the SNP government ?' or

'You have been leader for a year now and you promised on talking over that leadership a grass roots examination of policy and after a year, what policies can you offer ?'

Or even just the ' Let's be clear, what are the labour party offering in policy on:
trident , NHS, Prescriptions ?'

And if lamont cannot give a clear and defined answer then say that, thats what investigative journalism is about.
# daveniz 2012-09-26 10:14
jk rowling has said she is against Scottish independance!

the only thing jk rowling is good for is making up fantasy worlds completely outwith reality wait are you sure she is not writing the anti independance speeches/statements?
# Louperdowg 2012-09-26 10:20
She also donated £1m to the Labour Party and is a friend of the Browns.
# Training Day 2012-09-26 10:22
Labour for Independence's Allan Grogan on Lamont's speech:

I don't think there is any mystery here. She is reading a script (what else does she do?), a trailer prepared by London Labour along the lines they intend for future consumption in the South East to allow UK Labour to be indistinguishab le from the Tories in the next UK election. Lamont lacks the intellect, beliefs, principles and basic flexibility to even slightly baulk at her script-writers notions.
# J Wil 2012-09-26 10:23
Lamont's speech was ill considered as she was unable to answer the inevitable questions during the two interviews and could only resort to, "...that has to be discussed...", ad infinitum, to every policy question raised.

Her speech was described as, "nuanced", in one 'paper??? I could agree with that. It was so subtle it was incomprehensibl e.
# Dundonian West 2012-09-26 10:50
"We need to say what we want Scotland to be"! I can tell her in one word.

This speech could so easily have been written for Margaret Thatcher,Tony Blair,Gordon Brown or Ed Milliband.

Labour in Scotland's mask has slipped with their New Labour UK South East policies in the shop window for all to see.
# Diabloandco 2012-09-26 10:54
OT but the comment of the week in the Herald ,
Simon Harries:
"Simply assuming you can walk away when you want and on your own terms is a very big deal indeed. It's not how most countries work... You need to acknowledge that it is a huge constitutional change and that needs a lot of thinking about, and in my judgement also needs the active participation of everyone affected by it. That's every citizen of the UK."

Anyone shine a light on who ,what interests ,political allegiance this " comment of the weeker" has?
# Training Day 2012-09-26 11:00
Is it Magnus Gardham's maw?
# sneckedagain 2012-09-26 11:02
It's really quite simple.
The success of the SNP in Scotland is becoming an embarrassment to the political classes in England.
The Labour Party in England is in a competition with the Tories in England to get the middle class vote. It cannot offer to England what the SNP is giving the voters of Scotland.
Therefore what we are getting has to be undermined.
Ms Lamont is merely reading the script from London as she has been told to - but she cannot argue the case - any case in fact - when put under pressure.
She has zero political abilities away from Sinclair's scripts. Let's hope she stays in place.
Dave McEwan Hill
# John Souter 2012-09-26 11:56
The road to serfdom is signposted with distractions.

It has become patently obvious the establishments of nations and multi national federations having failed to address the financial idiocy exposed in 2008 in any meaningful way, other than to impose the costs on a bewildered, bemused and apathetic public, have decided to use it as an opportunity to further their ideological aspirations and increase their control of the sham democratic processes they preside over.

The EU cabal of the unelected have cast off the cloak of democracy in order to use a financial deficit to lever a European State into prominence.

Ms Lamont is in fact repeating the Westminster mantra of ideology and values -it has to be remembered down south, according to the MSM propaganda, the welfare reforms are claimed to be popular. Further, the fact these reforms - privatisation of the NHS, welfare and tuition fees - were all initiated by Labour prior to 2010, when the Con/Lib merely added a few more turns to the thumbscrews.

So Ms Lamont is merely taking advantage of the new lexicon created by the incumbents by calling it the 'dependency' culture and want their incompetence rewarded by getting more from the same while giving less and charging more.

The hypocrisy of their position is underlined by the fact that to a large extent it is they who have through their incompetence and their apathy have jumped on the bandwagon of irresponsible capitalism. With no responsibility towards society bothering the capital conglomerates and financial shamans the politicians now want to continue releasing themselves from the tethers and responsibilitie s of running a democratic government.

To my mind a competent government would have a) not put the nation in hock to the financial wizardry, and b)not expanded the dependency culture by depending on a) and turning a blind eye to its citizens redundancy.

After all, we are all dependent in some way or other within a society, otherwise we would have no need for governments.

26 September 2012 12:22
# tartanfever 2012-09-26 12:23
Well said John.
# clootie 2012-09-26 13:25
John Souter

Good post John - thank you
# Dowanhill 2012-09-26 12:00
I listened to 'Drivel with Kay' this morning. We had Kelza Dugdale re-iterating practiced answers that Lamont avoided answering the day before combined with Kay's pro-labour bias getting the better of her and reminding the audience of a very articulate caller that he was an SNP supporter. This is a gift horse for the SNP. They should be jumping all over this and estimating labours projection on such increases and it's impact that will be placed on hard up families and what extra they [ Scotlands Families ] will have to pay under SLAB's ill thought out plans for Scotland.
# J Wil 2012-09-26 15:05
"They should be jumping all over this and estimating labours projection on such increases and it's impact that will be placed on hard up families and what extra they [ Scotlands Families ] will have to pay under SLAB's ill thought out plans for Scotland."

I understood that Prof Midwinter was going to do that.
# Marga B 2012-09-26 12:20
OT, thoughtful and articulate article (cave Lamont) for any Catalonia/Spain/Europe watchers, from the Telegraph.
# Old Smokey 2012-09-26 15:15
It seems to be heating up. Ive seen elsewhere (may also have been mentioned on NNS) that the Catalonian presidnet is bringing forward their proposed referendum and could be held as early as November 25th this year.
Think a Catalan speaker on these forums mentioned this
The Spanish military are now threatening (they think they are still under Franco)

IF (Im using the big if) trouble does start their, we must give full support but also watch out for this being manipulated in the media here
# Marga B 2012-09-26 17:07
You're right, Old Smokey, but it's not the referendum (yet) it's elections on the issue of independence with a view to holding a referendum (a plebiscitary election) and after 25 November, if there's a full majority for the referendum, it will be held, with or without permission from Spain (i.e. could be illegal).

That is if the state doesn't forbid the elections or get the army out or shut dowsn the Catalan government, or cut off our money, all of which they are entitled to do under the Constitution, written so there can be no mistake.

The media in the UK (Financial Times, Telegraph) and in the states are surprisingly accurate, much better than the Madrid press, which manipulates as badly as the Scottish press, there seems to be an anti-Spain agenda in the international press.

There's lots more articles about, will try to post anything particularly interesting. Thanks for your support!
# Edulis 2012-09-26 12:41
Johann and her spin doctors have been consulting the Ladybird book of politics. You see, it is all about differentiation . The focus groups have told them that there is a worry within the public at large about the affordability of Free Care for the Elderly, Bus Passes etc. Therefore why not major on looking fiscally responsible. The numpty of course jumps to these issues and misses out the £1 Billion costs of running the Westminster parliament, the evasion over Trident, the £20 Billion cost of tax evasion/avoidance every year. In her hatred of the SNP and her modus operandi of rejecting all SNP policies (cf Wee Willie Bain) she completely misses the point that to be seen as a fair Government, you have to be on the side of maximum benefit to the majority of the people. The only thing that SLab types are worried about is feathering their own nest.
# DoricBob 2012-09-26 13:12
It's significant that the BBC gave this speech a very low profile, 4th or 5th item in, and a very short screen time on Reporting Scotland. Keep on Labour licking BBC.
# samizdat 2012-09-26 13:35
Like many others I see this as a directive from her masters at Westminster,the y see that there is a strong chance that there could be an earlier than expected general election and labour could be back in power,normally that would suit them fine as that is the routine they are used to,they,Labour as usual make an absolute hash of the economy and in turn the Tories as usual ruthlessly and at the expense to the people at the bottom of the scale get the economy back to a semblance of order but at the expense of losing the following election and so the cycle goes on but this time when labour get in the economy will still be in a mess and labour will have to do their own dirty work for a change and I see this speech by Lamont as the first in an attempted process to condition the Labour support to expect hard times,of course in Scotland we have a choice the labour supporter can slavishly keep voting labour or waken up and grasp the thistle and vote to run our own country.
# Robabody 2012-09-26 14:22
And the irony is the STUC are holding a march on the 20th of October entitled a future that works:

Wonder what some of them thought when they saw M/S Lamont in action.

Well I know one future that'll work and will be voting yes for it.
# Breeks 2012-09-26 14:31
I don't understand the 'why?' and the 'why now?' of this.

The best explanation I can think of is that Allan Grogan's speech at the Independence rally rattled Scottish Labour, perhaps even threatening to assault or even dominate the Labour agenda. Lamont had to say something, anything, but do it quickly. After all, they don't want too many Labour unionists being left to dwell too long on what Allan Grogan had to say do they?

That might explain the 'why now?' but the 'why?' is still beyond me.
# Training Day 2012-09-26 14:54
And so the transformation of Labour into the Tory party is complete. You guessed it..Lamont has an article outlining her impoverished vision in today's Daily Mail, the newspaper which castigates single mothers, the unemployed, Somalian immigrants (unless they're competing for Team GB in the Olympics) and which stood foursquare behind the British Union of Fascists in the 1930s.

Well done Johann. You must be very proud.
# Mad Jock McMad 2012-09-26 14:54
This is Scotland's Rubicon crossing moment ... the people of Scotland now have to commit to the sort of Scotland they want - a back water defacto English region or to be a nation in our own right with all the uncertainty which it brings.

The message is clear, vote 'Yes' to preserve Scotland's NHS, its culture of care for those at the bottom of society, the elderly and the disabled.

Darling has let slip their will be no further powers if Scotland says 'No'.

Lamont's speech has outlined the Scottish Region of England will have a Tory political meme forced upon it.

Words fail me in trying to describe the anger I feel at their contemptuous arrogance and denial of our fundamental human rights and unconstitutiona l rejection of the considered will of the Scottish people.
# mountaincadre 2012-09-26 15:03
Your nae the only one Jock.
# Jiggsbro 2012-09-26 15:38
Quoting Mad Jock McMad:
Words fail me in trying to describe the anger I feel at their contemptuous arrogance and denial of our fundamental human rights and unconstitutiona l rejection of the considered will of the Scottish people.

Give them time, Jock. Their focus groups are still trying to work out what went wrong with the electorate in 2011. Once they've fixed the public, they can carry on with the proper business of ruling Scotland.
# proudscot 2012-09-26 14:59
Johann Lamont should have heeded Ian Davidson's dire warning about "NewsNat Scotland" and Izzy Fraser in particular, being anti-Labour and thus evidently pro the evil SNP and the Great Satan Salmond.

Seriously, Lamont's performance was both dire and pathetic. She avoided answering even the few questions Fraser managed to interject into her (Lamont's) increasingly desperate and meaningless babble, consisting mainly of scripted anti-SNP, anti-Salmond and anti-Swinney accusations.

Hopefully though, any Labour voters who watched this car crash will be both apalled and embarrassed. They cannot now avoid the evidence of their eyes and ears, that Lamont's Labour have not only followed their London masters into bed with the "hated" Tories, but have also adopted their children, in the form of their right wing policies.

I wonder if the seating layout in the Holyrood Parliament will now be rearranged, so that the Lab/Tory Party will now form one block of like-minded, policy sharing, sneering desk slappers?
# oldnat 2012-09-26 15:32
Robin McAlpine has a brilliant analysis of the thinking that brought Lamont to deliver that speech yesterday.

It's a must read!
# call me dave 2012-09-26 16:21
Thanks for this #oldnat:

The last sentence in the piece sums it all up nicely.

This is insane. The ‘Scottish’ in Scottish Labour has to fight back. The ‘Labour’ in ‘labour movement’ has to fight back.

Presumably a left-of-centre voter like me is the sort of person Labour might like to vote for it. So what is it offering me? What reason do I have to choose Labour? One wonders how much longer any progressive element left in Scottish Labour can stick this out.

One wonders how long Labour has left as a credible force in Scottish politics.

Did she wake up this morning from a horrible nightmare only to find out what she thought she said yesterday was all true?
# mealer 2012-09-26 16:26
thanks for the link.That,I think,sheds a bit more light on what we are witnessing.
# connect2 2012-09-26 16:42
Robin McAlpine is on the money with the analysis; I would add one other point and it is this -
Ms Lamont is quite simply an extremely selfish person who holds the poor and the vulnerable in utter contempt.
# Fourfolksache 2012-09-26 16:48
Just listened to BBC Radio Scotland - no mention of this subject at all! Astounding!
# Breeks 2012-09-26 18:03
Weird isn't it?

And we all laughed when Jim Murphy said it was the BBC would decide who presented the case for the Union and took the fight to Alex Salmond.

Are we thus to conclude the BBC have decided it isn't going to be her?
# bringiton 2012-09-26 18:18
Labour,the party of fiscal responsibility who will do away with the profligate policies of the SNP.
What they are trying to con the electorate into believing is that the current economic catastrophe is nothing to do with them and is all down to the evil Tories and a global downturn (which they had a big hand in creating)
The current labour party and fiscal responsibity are mutually exclusive terms.
Any administration which can turn a £300 billion windfall from North Sea oil and gas into a £600 billion deficit can by no stretch of the imagination be called economically responsible.
As AS said on Saturday,it is a question of choices.
Do we choose,as a nation,to spend our taxes enabling social inclusion or do we follow the neoliberal route of every man and woman for themselves.
She has very definitely positioned Scottish Labour in the latter.
I just hope that sufficient Labour voters waken up to what their political leadership has in store for them.
# Davy 2012-09-26 18:42
That link to the Jimmy Reid foundation from "oldnat" was very insightfull, and Lamonts speech shows how labour is going to treat Scotland if it ever gets back into power at Holyrood, just as a minor region of england.

And if labour gets back into power at Westminster every dirty stunt and trick they can muster will be directed at our country, aided by Lamont's labour, under their slogan of "stuff the Scots, party first".

I can not claim this slogan, but I will use it.

Vote YES or we're fecked.

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