By Martin Kelly
Johann Lamont has been accused of preferring to spend billions on nuclear weapons instead of protecting Scotland’s most vulnerable.
The accusation was levelled at the Scottish Labour leader after her party issued a statement insisting that Labour in Scotland was now in favour of retaining the Trident nuclear weapons system and spending billions on a renewal programme.

Confirmation that Scottish Labour are now officially backing the WMDs follows almost a year of silence from Ms Lamont who has persistently refused to clarify her position on Trident since replacing Iain Gray as leader of the party north of the border.

Her party’s stance on Trident is a major climb-down for Ms Lamont who in 1999 publicly backed decommissioning of the nuclear weapons system.  She later gave an interview to Holyrood magazine in which she claimed the campaign against nuclear weapons was one of the factors which first motivated her to get involved in politics.

The news, revealed by BBC Scotland’s Derek Bateman, was seized on by the SNP who accused Ms Lamont of putting nuclear weapons before key services including prescriptions, higher education, apprenticeships and the council tax freeze.

Commenting, SNP MSP Bill Kidd who is a Co-President of the Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament (PNND), said:

"After a year of silence, Labour in Scotland has confirmed it wants to retain these obscene weapons while slashing vital services that really matter to people.

"Johann Lamont's Cuts Commission is attacking universal benefits and her remarks about Scots living in a 'something for nothing country' while backing Trident shows just how out of touch Labour really is.

"Labour lost its way on social justice a long time ago but this commitment to spend billions on WMDs while wanting to cut vital services is a new low for a party that once prided itself on representing hard working people.

“The £163m that Scotland is currently paying towards Trident could be spent on 3,880 nurses, 4,527 teachers or a host of new schools and hospitals in our communities. This is even before we consider the extra £84 million a year that is proposed we spend on its replacement over the next 15 years.”

Scottish Labour now finds itself out of step with most Scots and the vast majority of Holyrood MSPs, as well as the churches, trade unions, and civic society who all oppose Trident nuclear weapons being based in Scotland.

Lamont’s support for nuclear weapons also exposes splits at the heart of Scottish Labour, with several MPs and MSPs publicly coming out against Trident.  Last week front bench MSP Neil Findlay criticised plans to spend billions replacing the nuclear weapons system.

Lamont’s own deputy, Anas Sarwar MP, is another who has come out against Trident and his Westminster colleague Ian Davidson has also said Trident should be scrapped.

Mr Kidd added: "Ms Lamont is now in direct opposition to the politicians she is supposed to be in charge of - including her own MSP Neil Findlay and deputy leader Anas Sarwar and his MP colleague Ian Davidson.

“With this leadership shambles it is no wonder Labour members in Scotland are now looking at the merits of voting Yes in the independence referendum and have formed the 'Labour for independence group'.

“It is now clearer than ever that only the SNP stands for a fairer society and stronger Scotland and only a Yes vote for an independent Scotland in 2014 will see Trident removed from our waters."


[Newsnet notice - We have been informed by organisers that the planned demo at Pacific Quay, scheduled for November 15th, has been postponed.  A new date will be announced in the near future.]


# mesmiths 2012-11-03 18:03
Wow. What are Labour for exactly? Will any MUKPs or MSPs quit over this? I can't believe they all agree with what is happening to their party, but I reckon they're all resigned to thinking 'well I've made my bed...... lets just see this political career out'.
Unfortunately for them this kind of party which stands for nothing does nothing for ordinary people and will not attract future members. R.I.P Labour
# Mac 2012-11-03 18:05
Johann in Blunderland. This will cause huge divisions in Scottish Labour. Be prepared for resignations from the Labour party.
# bodun 2012-11-03 19:19
You can see how others are reacting to Johann here:
# Ysabelle 2012-11-03 18:07
The Labour party in Scotland is a shambles.
# Macart 2012-11-03 19:11
Wait for it........wait for it........

How can we possibly trust a word this person says ever again? I'm shocked, just shocked I tell you. Labour in favour of retaining and indeed endorsing trident. Well I never. :)

Good to see you here Ysabelle.
# Ysabelle 2012-11-03 19:44
Nice to see you too, Macart!

Aye, I wouldn't believe a word Labour says anymore, though I don't doubt there are decent people left in the party. They're just not running it!
# hiorta 2012-11-04 11:05
You're far too kind, Ysabelle.
A decision such as whether to support having WMD is properly for the Party membership to debate and decide.
Puppet 'leaders' who sideline members tread a dangerous path.

Now we see why Johann was invited to join Labours Southern elite - the role of sacrificial lamb was vacant.
# Big Eye 2012-11-03 18:11
This will help them to be even more acceptable to their friends in the Tory Party. What fun it must be at the Bitter Together meetings where they all just sit round the table with the telephone in the middle connected to a speaker.

I can see the nodding heads in agreement as the latest instructions are issued from London. Is it Cameron, Osborne or Milliband?

Doesn't matter they are increasingly morphed into the same thing.

What little respect Labour enjoyed has now finally evaporated.

What a bunch?
# Piemonteis 2012-11-03 18:35
"The accusation was levelled at the Scottish Labour leader after her party issued a statement insisting that Labour in Scotland was now in favour of retaining the Trident nuclear weapons system and spending billions on a renewal programme."

Surely it would have been useful to quote the Labour party statement in the article, or was that information sacrificed to quote 800 words of SNP spin from an MSP?
# Barontorc 2012-11-03 18:45
It is simply beyond my comprehension how Labour are alienating their voting support in Scotland.

If it is not by cosying up to the OL which is complete anathema to their traditional Irish catholic support, it is their accusing benefits recipients of taking something for nothing, threatening pensioners with stopping free travel, the sick with removing free prescriptions, hard up families being forcibly told they have to pay their share of the chronic deficit caused by casino bankers, you name it, but practically every area of comfort zone established under devolution is threatened

And, now the final straw - I hope - they're backing Trident and WMD's and this, against the express wishes of virtually every civic body in Scotland.

What political nutcase is shaping labour policy? Has the party totally flipped? Is the effort to confront anything resembling consensus at Holyrood so overwhelming it has driven the ringmasters mad?
# thomsor 2012-11-03 18:47
Stand by for BBC Scotland and media to cover the story as a brave & courageous decision by Joanne, not the second policy u turn from Scot lab in 3 weeks.
# Angus 2012-11-03 18:51
Labour in Scotland are sacrificing all their core values for trident and to follow London's rule
# tarbat 2012-11-03 19:04
So, what did she say on the Derek Bateman programme today? Does anyone have the exact quote?
# amfraeembro 2012-11-03 19:13
No quote
Bateman had phoned Labour to find out. Listen at 45:15
# Piemonteis 2012-11-03 19:38
It's not really a statement then, is it? Just some guy in an office answering an e-mail.
# Bobelix 2012-11-03 23:32
But it's a detailed answer obviously referring to a policy document. About 10 minutes in Bateman says they were told Labour are backing £3 billion expenditure on Trident.
# Silverytay 2012-11-03 19:12
Trident and the scottish health service are the labour party,s and the no campaigns achilles heel .
How any party can justify spending billions on W.M.D when areas of Scotland has worse deprivation than some of the countries in eastern europe .
Labour cant even blame the deprivation on the S.N.P as it was created under the labour watch at u.k , Scottish and council level . I would rather spend the money on health , education , the elderly and the homeless rather than spend it on the obscenity that are W.M.D .
# J Wil 2012-11-03 19:13
This just proves that Johann Lamont is well and truely shackled to Ed Miliband.

Why else would she adopt this position?
# sword 2012-11-03 19:18
Confirmation that the position of Labour in Scotland is only to oppose SNP policy.

Say YES! with conviction!
# Marian 2012-11-03 19:22
The battle lines are slowly being drawn thanks to Lamont and her masters in Westminster.

The people of Scotland now have a clear choice - they can continue with the unionists status quo and never see nuclear weapons removed from Scotland or they can vote for independence and have them removed in their entirety.
# bipod 2012-11-03 19:26
Im sure Labour will hide behind the veneer that trident is nothing more than a job creation scheme.
# dunnichen 2012-11-03 19:58
Wow, for those of us who wish for a brighter future for our country we really couldn't have wished for more favourable party political dividing lines.
There's only two possible reasons for this stance by the liebour party in Scotland - 1/ their HQ told them to do it and 2/ the SNP are for the opposite path. Either way it's a gift for us although it will indeed be interesting to see how the media spin this one.
# Old Smokey 2012-11-03 20:00
The media will keep this as low key as possible, but Labour when pressed will spin this that the public are not that bothered (thats the impression I got listening to Simon Pia being interviewed)
# From The Suburbs 2012-11-03 23:16
Spot on. It could be argued that the majority of the population aint that bothered but political foot soldiers and Labour Party members do care about these things.

In most areas of Scotland Labour can no longer rely on their "payroll" representatives to do the work round the doors.
# CharlieObrien 2012-11-03 20:06
Is this the suicide of Labour in Scotland?Is this a deliberate action so that the people will vote yes? I cant believe that they can all be so stupid!But I also know that they lack the ability to be so Machiavellian,t hey just don't have the brains,in my view.Of course this could all be denied at a later date as somebody made a mistake when reading it out.
# Corm 2012-11-03 20:43
Meh! She is probably just being made a sacrificial lamb so that they can suddenly announce a bunch of policy changes and go see wee do listen lets keep the Union and here is our new Scottish party leader...
# clootie 2012-11-03 21:10
My smack is gobbed
# Bobelix 2012-11-03 21:32
After about 10 minutes, Bateman says that they DID get a detailed reply and that Labour are backing £3 billion expenditure on Trident.
It's from 45mins in here:
# Dowanhill 2012-11-03 23:46
Step left John Curtis telling us via BBC Scotland that polling shows that in Scotland, there is a majority in favour of retaining weapons of mass destruction on the Clyde????
# From The Suburbs 2012-11-03 23:47
Gordon Brown's 20 killer questions can be found here
# Aplinal 2012-11-04 07:46
A nice 'dissection' of this rubbish by Brown over on Wings over Scotland.
# Taighnamona 2012-11-04 10:44
I agree, it's an excellent dissection...the kind of thing professional journalists ought to be doing if they really wanted to do their jobs.

as for gordon brown, it's obvious from his 'written speech' that he cannot write; cannot compute and is not up to date with things Scottish...indicators that he really doesn't give a damn for the Scottish people.
# call me dave 2012-11-03 23:53

The UK Government turned down the EC's offer of a legal opinion on Scotland's status in Europe, saying it would not "pre-negotiate" the terms of an independence settlement.

But in a surprise move, the Scottish Government, which has faced days of criticism over its claim that EU membership would be automatic following a vote for independence, accepted the decision, claiming it was "a matter for the UK Government".

The refusal to take up the EC's offer means voters will be denied a potentially significant – though not definitive – view of the terms under which Scotland might join the EU before the referendum in 2014.

Scottish Labour hit out at the impasse and called for the EC to be consulted.

Curiouser and curiouser!
# Marga B 2012-11-04 14:55
call me dave - In fact, the EU has already said it will only deal with member states in this, so the Scottish government has no possibility of acting. Only possibility maybe would be a country-wide petition.

It's a vital matter as the Spanish govt. has done the same, and survey show that with EU membership, independence-voters are already 51% but without it, the vote goes down over 10%.

The EU should be hanging its head in shame over this sorry handling of a vital issue - I believe some MEPs already are, in private.
# dial-8 2012-11-04 00:40
Johann better get a moustache and cigar for the next FM's Questions when she'll no doubt be using the great Groucho Marx's words “Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others.”
Vote Yes and help keep clowns in their proper place.
# expat67 2012-11-04 01:14
If this is indeed true about the Labour Party in Scotland coming out in support of spending obscene amounts of money on the replacement for Trident, once more Keir Hardie et al must be birling in their graves. How could the once people's party of Labour have come to this sorry pass? One wonders who's finger is on the self destruct button? Is it Washington, Westminster or Johann Lamont?
# tartangladbach 2012-11-04 01:46
Labour finally drop the rose for the mushroom!
# Keep UTG 2012-11-04 08:09
Sorry this is o/t but the Yes Aberdeen meeting is next Saturday,https: //

After meeting our "local" better together lot yesterday,and being told having nukes allows us top table representation at the UN,well whoopee do,tell the millions of poor that the reasons their lives should be a misery is because of the size of unionists egos.
# Jimmy the Pie 2012-11-04 08:55
So there we have it - Power before principle.

Mind you I think everyone knew that.

Scottish (London) Labour have no relevance in Scotland.
# UpSpake 2012-11-04 09:47
The 'TRUTH' of Labours stance on Trident lies in the costs apportioned to Scotland of this hideous weapons system.
Ignore the figures of 163 Million as the cost to Scotland it is much, much more than that.
The allocation of the total costs of Trident is 1.8 Billion annually and it allocated by GERS 100% to the Scottish account. IE 342 pounds for every man, woman and child in Scotland. every year.
The whole GERS set of figures is a cloud of smoke and mirrors and we are 'told' that the costs of Trident is spread right across the UK as a whole.
It takes many labourious hours of work to figure out that this is a lie.
342 for Trident 318 every year to be part of the EU. 145 if you live alone for your TV Tax. Go add it up and then add in the cost every year to Scots families of being in the CAP @ 2100 pounds.
We live in rip off Scotland quite apart from the morality of hideous weapons.
# McHaggis 2012-11-04 09:49
Under attack by who?

I can see no trace of this in the MSM today (Sunday).

SNP has democratic debate and vote on NATO - splashed over multiple headlines for weeks.
Labour in Scotland decides, without a vote, to abandon opposition to Trident and the silence is deafening.
# J Wil 2012-11-04 12:42
Nothing in the Sunday Politics, Scottish edition, either.

It should be a major talking point.

The BBC announcing the Big Debate tomorrow on BBC 1 (I think) about the referendum. Nothing on it in the programming lists or in the TV info as far as I can see. Gary Robertson is taking it apparently, but nothing to indicate it's on the radio either.
# Old Smokey 2012-11-04 15:45
Schedule showing 'The Big Debate : Choosing Scotlands Future' at 10.35 pm Monday 5th November from Motherwell Civic Centre
for 1 hour
# Jim Johnston 2012-11-04 11:27
The Scottish Government have been accused non stop by anti-Independence politicians, press and BBC opinionists, of making "assumptions" on just about everything.

I notice that creeping into anti-Independence propaganda is the notion that there is no conclusive proof that Scotland is anti nuclear, or even actually supports removal of WMD from Scotland.

Does this not come under the catagory of Unionist propaganda assumptions ?

The fact that the majority of SMP's, Scottish MP's and the majority of numerous Scottish institution and unions all support the SG's position, seems not to be enough to constitute the actual will of Scottish people.

This latest anti-Independence propaganda ploy takes their propaganda to a new frontier.
# Dee 2012-11-04 12:38
Hi All, Can someone agree with me that the drop in poll numbers wanting independence is due to the jubilee, olympics and general union jack flags since beginning of the year and that it should start turning the further away from 2012 we get.
# Dundonian West 2012-11-04 14:16
Should do,as the grim reality of the Scotland-England Union bites.
# farrochie 2012-11-04 16:35
Here is an interesting analysis of how polling changed prior to the Referendum of 1997.

We ended up with 74% in favour of a Scottish Parliament and 63% in favour of tax-raising in Scotland. This showed a remarkable up-tick when it came to the actual vote.

30% of Labour supporters were thought to be pro-Independence.

Like the recalling of the Scottish Parliament, this is a unique opportunity for Scots. I don't expect the polls to ever understand the collective will of the Scottish people.
# call me dave 2012-11-04 20:25
SCOTTISH Labour leader Johann Lamont has removed an ally described by colleagues as "aggressive and abrupt" from a post liasing with MSPs and civic Scotland.

Siobhan McMahon MSP has been shifted from the coveted role of parliamentary private secretary after less than a year in the job.

The Central Scotland MSP's formal job description was linked to "external engagement", but in reality she was seen to be the leader's eyes and ears in the party.

Labour sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, said McMahon's uncompromising style had not got down well with colleagues.

One said: "She was far too aggressive and abrupt. I don't think she was temperamentally suited to the role."
# indy2014 2012-11-04 22:15
Tne BBC knew last week that labour supported Trident.
When Philip Hammond visited Faslane Reporting Scotland ran a piece suspiciously supporting Trident.
The piece ended with the reporter saying something like ".... not much to pay for the ultimate guarantee."
How deep are the links between Labour and the BBC?
# gus1940 2012-11-06 09:21
It was interesting to see on last night's Big Debate that when Sarwar was asked the direct question of whether or not Labour supported Trident replacement he was allowed to wriggle free from answering the specific question.

Of course, I was forgetting that, after all, it was The BBC.

It was also interesting once again to hear the guy on the Volume Slider making full use of it to manipulate the applause. Being recorded I wouldn't be surprised if, in addition, they did a cut and paste job with the applause to suit their political agenda of bias and distortion.
# X_Sticks 2012-11-06 13:28
I noticed Sarwar ducking that one too, gus. Was it just me or did he give Gary Robertson a "are you trying to get me into trouble" look. He then went on to pointedly NOT answer the question. I think the labour mob know their "Scottish (all utterences must be checked by london) "leader"" is going to find her support of trident a vote loser.
# Caadfael 2012-11-06 16:28
And now a wee bit of good news ...
# Dundonian West 2012-11-06 17:12
It's made it's way on to BBC Scotland news page! After fireworks.
DEFINITELY for top of Reporting Scotland this evening.
Seriously,it is great news,considerin g we're too stupid.

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