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Gorgiewave

Scottish Election 2016 Megathread

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Boab

sorry but a playstation, and any other type of games consul, is a luxury.

:tlj:

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Rand Paul's Ray Bans

I've always thought there should be an option to voluntary pay more tax if you want to.

 

Another option to spend your disposable income as you wish.

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djf

What if they bought the playstation before they lost their job? What if they have a minimum term on their sky subscription? Clearly what we need is for the government to spend many more millions on poverty inspectors to ensure the poor are just the right level of poor to satiate JKB.

 

P.s TV is about the most cost effective method of entertainment so unless you think the unemployed should stare at walls of an evening then you should be praising them for their frugal-ness.

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Thaw

I've always thought there should be an option to voluntary pay more tax if you want to.

 

Another option to spend your disposable income as you wish.

 

The human rights lawyer, Clive Stafford-Smith, has said that he does so.

Edited by Thaw

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Nookie Bear

Not in the united kingdom in 2015.  GW is trying to conflate absolute poverty and relative poverty; it's a cheap divide and rule tactic and is favoured by right wing meme fans on facebook.

 

They're clearly not necessities, but they are not luxuries.

 

A play station is a luxury, no two ways about it.

 

Smoking ?1,500/year is stupid but I suppose it creates tax and lessens the pensions burden.

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Nookie Bear

I've always thought there should be an option to voluntary pay more tax if you want to.

 

Another option to spend your disposable income as you wish.

I would happily pay more council tax as I know it would go on local services (well, it should!)

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Nookie Bear

What if they bought the playstation before they lost their job? What if they have a minimum term on their sky subscription? Clearly what we need is for the government to spend many more millions on poverty inspectors to ensure the poor are just the right level of poor to satiate JKB.

P.s TV is about the most cost effective method of entertainment so unless you think the unemployed should stare at walls of an evening then you should be praising them for their frugal-ness.

You're right and it shows why any sweeping generalisation or policy is instantly batted back with specific examples like yours.

 

In my opinion, it has to be up to the individual to assess their real needs and are the necessary financial arrangements. If I lost my job and smoked 20/day then the answer is obvious (if difficult) and I would be cancelling my Sky ASAP. The government is obliged to assist and catch folk from falling but it has to be a two-way agreement.

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Cade

I've always thought there should be an option to voluntary pay more tax if you want to.

 

Another option to spend your disposable income as you wish.

Prince Charles doesn't have to pay taxes on his vast Duchy of Cornwall estate due to medieval law, but he makes a "voluntary contribution" out of the goodness of his black heart

 

::troll:::'>

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chuck berrys hairline

Are the 'Cannabis Is Safer Than Alcohol Party' running in this election??

 

Said in the last thread the SNP better stop the blame game or my cross will be elsewhere. Also hope the tory bashing dries up as it's crass and lame. This will be the first national election that I will take a great interest in so want it to be about policies and not people in the 'he said, she said' bullshit of that election just passed.

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Normthebarman

Are the 'Cannabis Is Safer Than Alcohol Party' running in this election??

 

Said in the last thread the SNP better stop the blame game or my cross will be elsewhere. Also hope the tory bashing dries up as it's crass and lame. This will be the first national election that I will take a great interest in so want it to be about policies and not people in the 'he said, she said' bullshit of that election just passed.

I think you might be disappointed.

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IMac

are drugs laws devolved? I never know how the legal system separates out.

Edited by IMac

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Felix Lighter

Was swithering whether to start a new thread but seeing as poverty is being discussed here this'll do. 

 

So I goes to the bank today and no weekly tax credit payment.

Calls them up,a brief jist...

 

woman: Yes looking at your file, according to your P60 you're not entitled.

 

me: err but my circumstances haven't changed in the last year.

 

woman: Yes but your entitlement last year was based on you having no income.

 

me: err Working Tax Credits, the clue is in the title, unless you think I work for free.

 

woman: some irrelevant stuff about being self employed.

 

me: It would've been nice if you could've at least sent me correspondence informing me of the decision in advance,that way I could at least try to budget till next payday rather than this mornings rude awakening of, you know, now being skint for the next fortnight eh.

 

woman: blah blah don't really care,You'll receive a letter in the next few days stating why the decision was made, and if you agree with your earnings as per your P60 then you were over paid the sum of ?400 which you will of course have to pay back.

Next please.

 

me: wtf. 

 

Todays ?200 pm shock comes about a month after I finally payed off Housing Benefit over payment (their mistake),just as I was finally starting to get back on my feet financially speaking the rug gets pulled from under me and I feel as though it's one step forward and two steps back.

 

This country eh. 

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2NaFish

sorry but a playstation, and any other type of games consul, is a luxury.

 

That's a diplomatic answer if ever i saw one.

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2NaFish

A play station is a luxury, no two ways about it.

 

Smoking ?1,500/year is stupid but I suppose it creates tax and lessens the pensions burden.

 

Do you actually have a point to back up what you're saying, or are you just going to repeat yourself as though your point is axiomatic. Once again, absolute poverty and relative poverty being different, why shouldn't people have a disposable income? Disposable income is not a luxury in british society; you've not made an argument, merely presented a conclusion, but even just at that it's wrong.

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Felix Lighter

Do you actually have a point to back up what you're saying, or are you just going to repeat yourself as though your point is axiomatic. Once again, absolute poverty and relative poverty being different, why shouldn't people have a disposable income? Disposable income is not a luxury in british society; you've not made an argument, merely presented a conclusion, but even just at that it's wrong.

 

Lucky for me the direct debit for my Sky subscription was payed today.I was able to reverse the payment meaning I'll probably have enough to last till pay day,unfortunately I will of course have to do without the luxury of an internet connection after they cut me off at some point in the next week. 

Disposable income  hmmm  yeah I remember that.

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Mikey1874

I've always thought there should be an option to voluntary pay more tax if you want to.

 

Another option to spend your disposable income as you wish.

you mean through PAYE

 

but yes they'll take donations

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Gorgiewave

This is desperate stuff. What the SNP are doing to Scotland is a fecking disaster. They are appalling and irresponsible opportunists. I cannot wait for their destruction and for them to be shown up as the snake oil salesmen they are.

 

http://www.scotlandinunion.co.uk/scottish_liberalism_is_dead

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Pans Jambo

Was swithering whether to start a new thread but seeing as poverty is being discussed here this'll do.

 

So I goes to the bank today and no weekly tax credit payment.

Calls them up,a brief jist...

 

woman: Yes looking at your file, according to your P60 you're not entitled.

 

me: err but my circumstances haven't changed in the last year.

 

woman: Yes but your entitlement last year was based on you having no income.

 

me: err Working Tax Credits, the clue is in the title, unless you think I work for free.

 

woman: some irrelevant stuff about being self employed.

 

me: It would've been nice if you could've at least sent me correspondence informing me of the decision in advance,that way I could at least try to budget till next payday rather than this mornings rude awakening of, you know, now being skint for the next fortnight eh.

 

woman: blah blah don't really care,You'll receive a letter in the next few days stating why the decision was made, and if you agree with your earnings as per your P60 then you were over paid the sum of ?400 which you will of course have to pay back.

Next please.

 

me: wtf.

 

Todays ?200 pm shock comes about a month after I finally payed off Housing Benefit over payment (their mistake),just as I was finally starting to get back on my feet financially speaking the rug gets pulled from under me and I feel as though it's one step forward and two steps back.

 

This country eh.

Thats brutal. Feel for you FL.

but theres a few weel kent posters on here who will STILL see you as a sponger (clue: the ones who voted No & love all things conservative).

Now I work full time so Austerity will not affect me one jot. You on the other hand are now paying for the banks/governments mistakes.

Its just not right that the poorest get a right boot in the nads and the billionaires & multinationals still dodge their tax responsibilities along with the huge bankers bonuses still being dished out.

I hope you get back on your feet soon mate.

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Psychedelicropcircle

Who's offering federalism?

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TheMaganator

Leave it to the MAGANATOR to get this back on track, eh?

 

Today it was announced that unemployment in Scotland is up 19k from January to March 2015.

 

Unemployment stands at 6% compared to the UK average of 5.5% who've seen a reduction in unemployment of 35k.

 

I wonder if the SNP will man up and work to make this better or blame Westmonster?

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TheMaganator

Thats brutal. Feel for you FL.

but theres a few weel kent posters on here who will STILL see you as a sponger (clue: the ones who voted No & love all things conservative).

Now I work full time so Austerity will not affect me one jot. You on the other hand are now paying for the banks/governments mistakes.

Its just not right that the poorest get a right boot in the nads and the billionaires & multinationals still dodge their tax responsibilities along with the huge bankers bonuses still being dished out.

I hope you get back on your feet soon mate.

You can't just make up lies about people.

 

I'm a Tory & voted No. I do not think that FL is a sponger.

 

Big bad tories though, eh?

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JAYEL

Leave it to the MAGANATOR to get this back on track, eh?

 

Today it was announced that unemployment in Scotland is up 19k from January to March 2015.

 

Unemployment stands at 6% compared to the UK average of 5.5% who've seen a reduction in unemployment of 35k.

 

I wonder if the SNP will man up and work to make this better or blame Westmonster?

 

 

IDS better at issuing sanctions

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Gorgiewave

Leave it to the MAGANATOR to get this back on track, eh?

 

Today it was announced that unemployment in Scotland is up 19k from January to March 2015.

 

Unemployment stands at 6% compared to the UK average of 5.5% who've seen a reduction in unemployment of 35k.

 

I wonder if the SNP will man up and work to make this better or blame Westmonster?

 

They don't have the levers because they're part of a larger state. Prospeerity is only possible as an independent country.

 

So say California, the Basque Country, etc.

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Pans Jambo

You can't just make up lies about people.

 

I'm a Tory & voted No. I do not think that FL is a sponger.

 

Big bad tories though, eh?

So as a Tory you are against austerity.....right??? Edited by Pans Jambo

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Gorgiewave

Was swithering whether to start a new thread but seeing as poverty is being discussed here this'll do. 

 

So I goes to the bank today and no weekly tax credit payment.

Calls them up,a brief jist...

 

woman: Yes looking at your file, according to your P60 you're not entitled.

 

me: err but my circumstances haven't changed in the last year.

 

woman: Yes but your entitlement last year was based on you having no income.

 

me: err Working Tax Credits, the clue is in the title, unless you think I work for free.

 

woman: some irrelevant stuff about being self employed.

 

me: It would've been nice if you could've at least sent me correspondence informing me of the decision in advance,that way I could at least try to budget till next payday rather than this mornings rude awakening of, you know, now being skint for the next fortnight eh.

 

woman: blah blah don't really care,You'll receive a letter in the next few days stating why the decision was made, and if you agree with your earnings as per your P60 then you were over paid the sum of ?400 which you will of course have to pay back.

Next please.

 

me: wtf. 

 

Todays ?200 pm shock comes about a month after I finally payed off Housing Benefit over payment (their mistake),just as I was finally starting to get back on my feet financially speaking the rug gets pulled from under me and I feel as though it's one step forward and two steps back.

 

This country eh. 

 

That's ridiculous treatment. Making the mistake in the first place is wrong, but you should be given plenty of warning and plenty of time to pay it back since your budgeting is wrong through no fault of your own.

 

And the person serving you should be polite and express regret at what has happened.

 

Anything else is bullshit.

 

And none of this makes you a scrounger.

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Felix Lighter

Thats brutal. Feel for you FL.

but theres a few weel kent posters on here who will STILL see you as a sponger (clue: the ones who voted No & love all things conservative).

Now I work full time so Austerity will not affect me one jot. You on the other hand are now paying for the banks/governments mistakes.

Its just not right that the poorest get a right boot in the nads and the billionaires & multinationals still dodge their tax responsibilities along with the huge bankers bonuses still being dished out.

I hope you get back on your feet soon mate.

 

Cheers PJ didn't post looking for sympathy nor did I expect any,I did expect some dogs abuse though tbh, such is KB.Like I said I was thinking of starting a new thread,with the welfare cuts about to kick in I think things are about to get a lot worse for low paid workers, perhaps my experience today was just the beginning. 

I got hit last year for housing benefit overpayment through no fault of my own and had to use a food bank and Poppy Scotland for hand outs to get by for a few weeks,as much as the people there were very understanding of my situation I've never felt so degraded and embarrassed.

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TheMaganator

IDS better at issuing sanctions

Deflect deflect deflect

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TheMaganator

So as a Tory you are against austerity.....right???

Come on now PJ.

 

You said that well kent Tory No voters would think he's a sponger. That's a massive porky.

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Felix Lighter

That's ridiculous treatment. Making the mistake in the first place is wrong, but you should be given plenty of warning and plenty of time to pay it back since your budgeting is wrong through no fault of your own.

 

And the person serving you should be polite and express regret at what has happened.

 

Anything else is bullshit.

 

And none of this makes you a scrounger.

 

The longer I spent on the phone with her the angrier I was getting with her flippant attitude. I later spoke to DWP and the girl couldn't have been more sympathetic,she actually said what I was told didn't make sense and gave me pointers and contact numbers.Hopefully I will be able to get some answers tomorrow.

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Gorgiewave

An actually progressive policy would be to charge university tuition fees to those who can afford it (without a great struggle). There is a fair body of such people in Scotland. Most of those whose children attend private school could afford to pay for university. And those who otherwise have good salaries. This would have been true in my case and in the case of my sister.

 

Then universities would have more money to offer grants and/or spend on research and/or raise lecturers' salaries and/or improve facilities, etc.

 

Charging people who can afford to pay.

 

But no, the SNP wants to buy the votes of these wealthy parents by offering them free university.

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Gorgiewave

The longer I spent on the phone with her the angrier I was getting with her flippant attitude. I later spoke to DWP and the girl couldn't have been more sympathetic,she actually said what I was told didn't make sense and gave me pointers and contact numbers.Hopefully I will be able to get some answers tomorrow.

 

Good luck! I've had my fair share of encounters with uncaring, uninterested, ill-informed government staff so I can sympathise. It's their mistake, they should get on with correcting it and being apologetic about the fact it has caused you a problem.

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Don Draper

This is desperate stuff. What the SNP are doing to Scotland is a fecking disaster. They are appalling and irresponsible opportunists. I cannot wait for their destruction and for them to be shown up as the snake oil salesmen they are.

 

http://www.scotlandinunion.co.uk/scottish_liberalism_is_dead

 

The only positive thing I can say about that article is that it's not a bad translation.

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RosscoC

An actually progressive policy would be to charge university tuition fees to those who can afford it (without a great struggle). There is a fair body of such people in Scotland. Most of those whose children attend private school could afford to pay for university. And those who otherwise have good salaries. This would have been true in my case and in the case of my sister.

 

Then universities would have more money to offer grants and/or spend on research and/or raise lecturers' salaries and/or improve facilities, etc.

 

Charging people who can afford to pay.

 

But no, the SNP wants to buy the votes of these wealthy parents by offering them free university.

So what would be the threshold for those having to pay? What do you regard as wealthy?

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Cade

A few months back Scotland had lower unemployment than the rest of the UK.

Now it's higher.

I assume the differences change on a monthly basis.

 

I'm not one for pissing my pants over something that changes so often.

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Gorgiewave

The only positive thing I can say about that article is that it's not a bad translation.

 

What's it to you? You don't even live in Scotland.

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JAYEL

Deflect deflect deflect

 

 

During the thatcher years anyone unemployed and over 55 were given a benefit book and didnt need to sign on

.

 

Now they just ban anyone for no reason to  manipulate the figures.

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TheMaganator

During the thatcher years anyone unemployed and over 55 were given a benefit book and didnt need to sign on

.

 

Now they just ban anyone for no reason to manipulate the figures.

Deflect deflect deflect

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TheMaganator

An actually progressive policy would be to charge university tuition fees to those who can afford it (without a great struggle). There is a fair body of such people in Scotland. Most of those whose children attend private school could afford to pay for university. And those who otherwise have good salaries. This would have been true in my case and in the case of my sister.

 

Then universities would have more money to offer grants and/or spend on research and/or raise lecturers' salaries and/or improve facilities, etc.

 

Charging people who can afford to pay.

 

But no, the SNP wants to buy the votes of these wealthy parents by offering them free university.

Or it could be means tested like student loans are (were?)

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Psychedelicropcircle

So confident of a SNP majority I may draw a ****** & balls on my ballot card.

 

th_null_zps3a9c42fc.jpg

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Felix Lighter

Good luck! I've had my fair share of encounters with uncaring, uninterested, ill-informed government staff so I can sympathise. It's their mistake, they should get on with correcting it and being apologetic about the fact it has caused you a problem.

 

Cheers man, unfortunately I very much doubt luck will enter the equation, I am merely a statistic to be counted in the ?12 billion welfare cut, but thanks anyway.

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Pans Jambo

Come on now PJ.

 

You said that well kent Tory No voters would think he's a sponger. That's a massive porky.

Aye maybe not you Mags....your a diamond!

Paid that tenner yet?

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TheMaganator

Aye maybe not you Mags....your a diamond!

Paid that tenner yet?

Haha not yet but I will. Went on their website & there's no donate option.

 

Anyone know how to donate to HYDC online?

 

P.s. Think you should pay too - Tories actually got 20k more votes than last election - though share of the vote down. Can't remember what the actual bet was though :lol:

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Pans Jambo

Haha not yet but I will. Went on their website & there's no donate option.

 

Anyone know how to donate to HYDC online?

 

P.s. Think you should pay too - Tories actually got 20k more votes than last election - though share of the vote down. Can't remember what the actual bet was though :lol:

Christ!

Not only a tory but a chancer too!

Aye fair enough, find out the crack & PM me. Seeing as its for a good cause I will chuck a tenner in too.

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JamboX2

Tbh at this GE I voted SNP for two reasons. One was because the only politician I feel is anything even remotely in touch with the working man anymore is Nicola Sturgeon and two for all the reasons people like Mag/GW/On a slightly different note I'm a bit annoyed at George Kerevan after I voted for him and I seen his "enemy" quote. Really pissed me off that did. I hope I get the chance to meet him somewhere cos I'd like to ask him about that. They go on about building alliances but what alliances will you build over the UK with an attitude like that?

 

Tbh, that's been an SNP attitude for a long time. Ask Labour, the Liberals and the Greens for proof.

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Gorgiewave

Written by Neil Findlay, who was defeated by Jim Murphy for the Scottish leadership of Labour (I hope it's alright to copy and paste in its entirety. Is there copyright on facebook posts?):

 

https://www.facebook.com/neil.findlay3/posts/932021963514650?fref=nf

 

My article of what Labour should do now

Neil Findlay, Labour MSP for the Lothians, says this is not a time for people to stay quiet.

 

So it wasn?t a tsunami, earthquake, tidal wave or landslide ? it was all of them and as many other cataclysmic metaphors as you want to throw in. Scottish Labour was obliterated at the polls with majorities in the 10?s and 20?s of thousands wiped out at a stroke with only Ian Murray left clinging on. (A Hearts supporter and Scottish Labour MP ? you can?t say that guy isn?t up for a challenge, and well done to him on both campaigns.)

So are we now entering a new period where politics is not based on a comparing policy positions or manifestos but on a national mood, where like ?New Labour? in 1997 it just becomes ?the thing to do?? In workplaces, amongst the creative community, the voluntary sector, in polite circles and pubs and bars it has become cool to support the SNP. A bit like Chelsea FC ? hardly anyone supported them when they were rubbish but now they are winning everyone?s a fan.

And over the last few years a new adjective, whose definition appears to be ?negative, old style, distant politics?, came into our lexicon: ?Westminster? ? no longer just a place! At every turn this was skilfully used to exemplify everything that people dislike about the UK political system. This feeling grew and grew and, despite some major and positive developments under the Blair/Brown governments ? big reductions in poverty, the national minimum wage, tax credits etc. ? it was the Iraq war and later the expenses scandal that were the heavy straws that broke the camel?s back resulting in mass public opposition and disenchantment, membership resignations and a huge breach of trust with the electorate.

Despite Labour delivering the new Scottish parliament, the fixing of candidate selections left a largely unknown and comparatively inexperienced group in government. Donald Dewar?s death, the McLeish shambles and McConnell period compounded our problems. We were seen us dull and lacking in ambition, always appearing to look over our shoulder for someone else?s permission and afraid to take too many bold policy positions (the smoking ban one of the very obvious exceptions). This culminated in Labour being out of office since 2007.

At the same time the SNP became (along with Sinn Fein) the cleverest electoral force in the country with high quality strategists, policy advisers and media operators and in Alex Salmond they had one of the sharpest political minds around. The fact that it won a single seat majority in 2007 followed by an outright majority in 2011 was truly remarkable and brought the inevitable referendum in 2014.

It is my view that the decision (by whom I still don?t know) to establish the ?Better Together? campaign in 2011 was one of the biggest political misjudgements in Labour?s 100 year history. That decision was taken with no reference to party members, MPs, MSPs, trade unions or indeed anyone that I know. It was a disastrous call! We had spent the previous 30 years successfully demonising the Tories as the enemy of the Scottish people, particularly the Scottish industrial working class and yet now the party of the workers was going to campaign alongside our traditional enemy.

Ironically the Yes camp including Trotskyists and venture capitalists, climate change deniers and greens and tax justice campaigner and tax avoiders did not see any contradictions within its ranks nor did it attract similar charges of betrayal or collaboration. The Labour broad left and many in the trade unions protested at Labour?s ?Better Together? alliance and refused to get involved, eventually supporting the belated ?United with Labour? campaign when it was launched, while others organised around ?The Red Paper collective.?

Saying we were ?Better Together? meant bugger all to someone who was unemployed or in a low paid, zero hours contract. It meant nothing to communities hurting from the impact of austerity imposed upon them by the very Tories Labour campaigned alongside, and it meant nothing to young people who wanted a message of hope for the future. The campaign should have been based on the principle of radical federalism and solidarity: the need for Labour to improve the lives of working people across the UK where the interests of a worker in Livingston is the same as a worker in Liverpool and the need for a strong, united Labour movement to challenge the excesses of capitalism, austerity and inequality.

We should also have reminded people that it?s the Labour Party and the wider movement that has always been at the forefront of delivering the greatest change and social progress in our history ? the NHS, the welfare state, Health and Safety legislation, equality legislation, the minimum wage, social housing, education and the Scottish Parliament. But that case was never properly made, as ?Better Together? offered a negative narrative rather than one of hope and social progress. This was a huge and fundamental mistake and contributed to the inevitable result that was to follow.

Nevertheless, we have entered an astonishing period where, despite Labour being out of power in Scotland for 8 years and for five years at Westminster, we are still somehow blamed for every problem that affects our country (a situation that is even more baffling in areas where Labour does not run the local council either). And during that period we have witnessed:

Our NHS teetering on the brink ? its budgets cut more than in Tory England, waiting times increasing, social care in crisis and increasing numbers of GP surgeries closed to new patients.
Council services being decimated with an 8 year council tax freeze costing 70,000 jobs destroying our public services ? a policy that benefits the wealthy most and punishes the poor who rely on those services. Where was/is the Labour campaign to defend local government jobs and services?
Our colleges have lost 130,000 places largely for working class students.
The implementation of the new school curriculum has been a predictable mess.
Our police services are in turmoil with stations closing, staff made redundant and stop and search on an industrial scale whilst the police are routinely armed.
The Offensive Behaviour at Football Act was passed without a single government backbencher voting against ? easily the worst piece of legislation of the devolution era.
The franchise of our railways flogged of to the Dutch, the Northern Ferries and sleeper services to SERCO with Cal Mac next for privatisation.
Plans to abolish corroboration, a pillar of our justice system, proposed then abandoned following an outcry.
A fracking moratorium announced for 2 years to get us past the UK and Scottish election but which will inevitably be followed by drilling across the central belt led by the union busters at INEOS.
Poverty and health and wealth inequality increasing as the middle class benefit most from free prescriptions, free university tuition, bus travel etc. whilst schools in the poorest areas lose classroom assistants, community health provision is in crisis and public transport fares rise. Incidentally, I fully support universal provision such as free prescriptions, school meals, bus passes etc. but without progressive taxation to pay for them they just become a middle class subsidy.
In the Scottish Parliament we saw the Scottish Government voting down Labour proposals to extend the living wage, end zero hours contracts, limit private sector rent increases etc. ? all Labour proposals ? all voted down by the SNP

But none of this matters in our post rational world.

Nor it appears do the commitments in the manifesto of the parties. If we are to believe what is promoted by the SNP and the media then the Scottish people wanted an alternative to austerity and a leftish policy agenda.

If that is the case then the Labour manifesto was much more to the left than the SNP on almost every issue. Labour promised:

More cash for the NHS,
A future fund for young people,
1000 extra nurses,
more Progressive taxation,
policies to end the need for food banks,
a youth jobs guarantee,
an end to zero hours contracts,
an increased minimum wage and an extension of the Living wage and
Investment to end food banks.
Add to this the assessment by the Institute for Fiscal Studies that the SNP?s budget proposals would mean longer austerity rather than an end to it, and the disaster that full fiscal autonomy will bring (?7.6 billion of further cuts) and Labour should have been sweeping up votes and seats.

But none of this mattered ? people had switched off and refused to listen to anything Labour said. We could have offered a free million pound note to everyone who voted Labour and still this would have been rejected. This is not the fault of the electorate, we can?t blame the SNP ? it?s our fault, Labour?s fault. The people lacked faith in our sincerity.

So the ?7.6 billion question is where does Labour go from here?

Well of course that is the question that every Labour member, every trade union affiliate, every MSP, MEP and Ian Murray will have to address in the coming weeks. It is not a time for people to stay quiet; it is not a time for centralised solutions and for a management or top down fix. If you suffer a trauma or bereavement it is best that the whole family talks about it and learns from that grievous event and ultimately strives to make things better within the family. But for the Labour family time is short ? the Scottish Parliament elections are a year away and I know we all want to play a full part in rebuilding the party and movement we love. It is our movement and our values that have driven the campaigns for and delivered the greatest social change for working people in our history. We can do so again BUT this requires a full, free, open and democratic debate about how we go forward.

So here are a few thoughts on the way forward:-

We should look at creating an autonomous or federal structure within the Labour party giving the Scottish party the ability to develop its own policies, select candidates etc.
Re-democratise our party giving members back power to develop policy and end the top down fixes we have witnessed over the last few decades. Let?s not fear democratic debate, let?s embrace it.
Do not measure everything we do against what the SNP do but develop a policy agenda that is clearly steeped in Labour?s traditions and values
Take a clear anti austerity stance ? promoting fairness, equality and a broad range of progressive policies
Concentrate on what matters most to people ? a secure job, fair pay, a roof over their head, the NHS, education and dignity in old age.
At the earliest opportunity debate Trident and accept the party?s decision ? if it is different from the UK party ? so be it.
Oppose TTIP ? it is a huge threat to our public services and our democracy
Launch a campaign to defend public services especially local government which is being decimated, working with our councillors who are one of our greatest assets and are in the front line.
Re- build our relationship with the trade unions ? many trade unionists want a successful and effective Labour party, promoting an agenda that supports working people and their families.
Re- establish Political education within the party to stimulate debate and ideas and involve our members in policy development not just administration
Re-build and reinvigorate local parties with co-ordinated activity and campaigns in each constituency
Have a complete overhaul of our campaigning strategy ? move away from seeing a door knocking league table as evidence of a good or bad campaigning.
Use the talents and resources that are in our communities and embrace the people that are willing to help us. Who are the experts, the academics, the industry specialists, the community activists, the strategists, the teachers, lawyers, doctors, the workers, journalists, IT experts, the young people, people from the BME and LGBT community who will assist us if only they are asked?
There is much more to be said and done but this is a crucial time for Labour ? let us start the debate about how we bring about change but let us never lose sight of our timeless values of solidarity, community, cooperation, fairness, equality and justice. It is these values that make us all socialists.

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JamboX2

 

Written by Neil Findlay, who was defeated by Jim Murphy for the Scottish leadership of Labour (I hope it's alright to copy and paste in its entirety. Is there copyright on facebook posts?):

 

https://www.facebook.com/neil.findlay3/posts/932021963514650?fref=nf

 

 

My article of what Labour should do now

Neil Findlay, Labour MSP for the Lothians, says this is not a time for people to stay quiet.

 

So it wasn?t a tsunami, earthquake, tidal wave or landslide ? it was all of them and as many other cataclysmic metaphors as you want to throw in. Scottish Labour was obliterated at the polls with majorities in the 10?s and 20?s of thousands wiped out at a stroke with only Ian Murray left clinging on. (A Hearts supporter and Scottish Labour MP ? you can?t say that guy isn?t up for a challenge, and well done to him on both campaigns.)

So are we now entering a new period where politics is not based on a comparing policy positions or manifestos but on a national mood, where like ?New Labour? in 1997 it just becomes ?the thing to do?? In workplaces, amongst the creative community, the voluntary sector, in polite circles and pubs and bars it has become cool to support the SNP. A bit like Chelsea FC ? hardly anyone supported them when they were rubbish but now they are winning everyone?s a fan.

And over the last few years a new adjective, whose definition appears to be ?negative, old style, distant politics?, came into our lexicon: ?Westminster? ? no longer just a place! At every turn this was skilfully used to exemplify everything that people dislike about the UK political system. This feeling grew and grew and, despite some major and positive developments under the Blair/Brown governments ? big reductions in poverty, the national minimum wage, tax credits etc. ? it was the Iraq war and later the expenses scandal that were the heavy straws that broke the camel?s back resulting in mass public opposition and disenchantment, membership resignations and a huge breach of trust with the electorate.

Despite Labour delivering the new Scottish parliament, the fixing of candidate selections left a largely unknown and comparatively inexperienced group in government. Donald Dewar?s death, the McLeish shambles and McConnell period compounded our problems. We were seen us dull and lacking in ambition, always appearing to look over our shoulder for someone else?s permission and afraid to take too many bold policy positions (the smoking ban one of the very obvious exceptions). This culminated in Labour being out of office since 2007.

At the same time the SNP became (along with Sinn Fein) the cleverest electoral force in the country with high quality strategists, policy advisers and media operators and in Alex Salmond they had one of the sharpest political minds around. The fact that it won a single seat majority in 2007 followed by an outright majority in 2011 was truly remarkable and brought the inevitable referendum in 2014.

It is my view that the decision (by whom I still don?t know) to establish the ?Better Together? campaign in 2011 was one of the biggest political misjudgements in Labour?s 100 year history. That decision was taken with no reference to party members, MPs, MSPs, trade unions or indeed anyone that I know. It was a disastrous call! We had spent the previous 30 years successfully demonising the Tories as the enemy of the Scottish people, particularly the Scottish industrial working class and yet now the party of the workers was going to campaign alongside our traditional enemy.

Ironically the Yes camp including Trotskyists and venture capitalists, climate change deniers and greens and tax justice campaigner and tax avoiders did not see any contradictions within its ranks nor did it attract similar charges of betrayal or collaboration. The Labour broad left and many in the trade unions protested at Labour?s ?Better Together? alliance and refused to get involved, eventually supporting the belated ?United with Labour? campaign when it was launched, while others organised around ?The Red Paper collective.?

Saying we were ?Better Together? meant bugger all to someone who was unemployed or in a low paid, zero hours contract. It meant nothing to communities hurting from the impact of austerity imposed upon them by the very Tories Labour campaigned alongside, and it meant nothing to young people who wanted a message of hope for the future. The campaign should have been based on the principle of radical federalism and solidarity: the need for Labour to improve the lives of working people across the UK where the interests of a worker in Livingston is the same as a worker in Liverpool and the need for a strong, united Labour movement to challenge the excesses of capitalism, austerity and inequality.

We should also have reminded people that it?s the Labour Party and the wider movement that has always been at the forefront of delivering the greatest change and social progress in our history ? the NHS, the welfare state, Health and Safety legislation, equality legislation, the minimum wage, social housing, education and the Scottish Parliament. But that case was never properly made, as ?Better Together? offered a negative narrative rather than one of hope and social progress. This was a huge and fundamental mistake and contributed to the inevitable result that was to follow.

Nevertheless, we have entered an astonishing period where, despite Labour being out of power in Scotland for 8 years and for five years at Westminster, we are still somehow blamed for every problem that affects our country (a situation that is even more baffling in areas where Labour does not run the local council either). And during that period we have witnessed:

Our NHS teetering on the brink ? its budgets cut more than in Tory England, waiting times increasing, social care in crisis and increasing numbers of GP surgeries closed to new patients.

Council services being decimated with an 8 year council tax freeze costing 70,000 jobs destroying our public services ? a policy that benefits the wealthy most and punishes the poor who rely on those services. Where was/is the Labour campaign to defend local government jobs and services?

Our colleges have lost 130,000 places largely for working class students.

The implementation of the new school curriculum has been a predictable mess.

Our police services are in turmoil with stations closing, staff made redundant and stop and search on an industrial scale whilst the police are routinely armed.

The Offensive Behaviour at Football Act was passed without a single government backbencher voting against ? easily the worst piece of legislation of the devolution era.

The franchise of our railways flogged of to the Dutch, the Northern Ferries and sleeper services to SERCO with Cal Mac next for privatisation.

Plans to abolish corroboration, a pillar of our justice system, proposed then abandoned following an outcry.

A fracking moratorium announced for 2 years to get us past the UK and Scottish election but which will inevitably be followed by drilling across the central belt led by the union busters at INEOS.

Poverty and health and wealth inequality increasing as the middle class benefit most from free prescriptions, free university tuition, bus travel etc. whilst schools in the poorest areas lose classroom assistants, community health provision is in crisis and public transport fares rise. Incidentally, I fully support universal provision such as free prescriptions, school meals, bus passes etc. but without progressive taxation to pay for them they just become a middle class subsidy.

In the Scottish Parliament we saw the Scottish Government voting down Labour proposals to extend the living wage, end zero hours contracts, limit private sector rent increases etc. ? all Labour proposals ? all voted down by the SNP

But none of this matters in our post rational world.

Nor it appears do the commitments in the manifesto of the parties. If we are to believe what is promoted by the SNP and the media then the Scottish people wanted an alternative to austerity and a leftish policy agenda.

If that is the case then the Labour manifesto was much more to the left than the SNP on almost every issue. Labour promised:

More cash for the NHS,

A future fund for young people,

1000 extra nurses,

more Progressive taxation,

policies to end the need for food banks,

a youth jobs guarantee,

an end to zero hours contracts,

an increased minimum wage and an extension of the Living wage and

Investment to end food banks.

Add to this the assessment by the Institute for Fiscal Studies that the SNP?s budget proposals would mean longer austerity rather than an end to it, and the disaster that full fiscal autonomy will bring (?7.6 billion of further cuts) and Labour should have been sweeping up votes and seats.

But none of this mattered ? people had switched off and refused to listen to anything Labour said. We could have offered a free million pound note to everyone who voted Labour and still this would have been rejected. This is not the fault of the electorate, we can?t blame the SNP ? it?s our fault, Labour?s fault. The people lacked faith in our sincerity.

So the ?7.6 billion question is where does Labour go from here?

Well of course that is the question that every Labour member, every trade union affiliate, every MSP, MEP and Ian Murray will have to address in the coming weeks. It is not a time for people to stay quiet; it is not a time for centralised solutions and for a management or top down fix. If you suffer a trauma or bereavement it is best that the whole family talks about it and learns from that grievous event and ultimately strives to make things better within the family. But for the Labour family time is short ? the Scottish Parliament elections are a year away and I know we all want to play a full part in rebuilding the party and movement we love. It is our movement and our values that have driven the campaigns for and delivered the greatest social change for working people in our history. We can do so again BUT this requires a full, free, open and democratic debate about how we go forward.

So here are a few thoughts on the way forward:-

We should look at creating an autonomous or federal structure within the Labour party giving the Scottish party the ability to develop its own policies, select candidates etc.

Re-democratise our party giving members back power to develop policy and end the top down fixes we have witnessed over the last few decades. Let?s not fear democratic debate, let?s embrace it.

Do not measure everything we do against what the SNP do but develop a policy agenda that is clearly steeped in Labour?s traditions and values

Take a clear anti austerity stance ? promoting fairness, equality and a broad range of progressive policies

Concentrate on what matters most to people ? a secure job, fair pay, a roof over their head, the NHS, education and dignity in old age.

At the earliest opportunity debate Trident and accept the party?s decision ? if it is different from the UK party ? so be it.

Oppose TTIP ? it is a huge threat to our public services and our democracy

Launch a campaign to defend public services especially local government which is being decimated, working with our councillors who are one of our greatest assets and are in the front line.

Re- build our relationship with the trade unions ? many trade unionists want a successful and effective Labour party, promoting an agenda that supports working people and their families.

Re- establish Political education within the party to stimulate debate and ideas and involve our members in policy development not just administration

Re-build and reinvigorate local parties with co-ordinated activity and campaigns in each constituency

Have a complete overhaul of our campaigning strategy ? move away from seeing a door knocking league table as evidence of a good or bad campaigning.

Use the talents and resources that are in our communities and embrace the people that are willing to help us. Who are the experts, the academics, the industry specialists, the community activists, the strategists, the teachers, lawyers, doctors, the workers, journalists, IT experts, the young people, people from the BME and LGBT community who will assist us if only they are asked?

There is much more to be said and done but this is a crucial time for Labour ? let us start the debate about how we bring about change but let us never lose sight of our timeless values of solidarity, community, cooperation, fairness, equality and justice. It is these values that make us all socialists.

Hard to disagree with any of Neil's points there. Hope we see him able to further that change in the party in the next few years.

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The Mighty Thor

This is desperate stuff. What the SNP are doing to Scotland is a fecking disaster. They are appalling and irresponsible opportunists. I cannot wait for their destruction and for them to be shown up as the snake oil salesmen they are.

 

http://www.scotlandinunion.co.uk/scottish_liberalism_is_dead

 

It is indeed desperate stuff. A piss poor article which reads like you could have written it yourself.

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The Mighty Thor

Leave it to the MAGANATOR to get this back on track, eh?

 

Today it was announced that unemployment in Scotland is up 19k from January to March 2015.

 

Unemployment stands at 6% compared to the UK average of 5.5% who've seen a reduction in unemployment of 35k.

 

I wonder if the SNP will man up and work to make this better or blame Westmonster?

 

Clearly zero hours contracts and the wholesale movement of people from JSA to other benefits is gaining traction better in England than up here.

 

What a ringing endorsement. :thumb:

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manaliveits105

For someone who ignored the will of the Scottish people last September Sturgeon likes to repeat constantly that snp must impresss the will of the Scottish people on Westminster now despite actually only speaking for 35% of the electorate.

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The Mighty Thor

Hard to disagree with any of Neil's points there. Hope we see him able to further that change in the party in the next few years.

 

The Labour party will do two things.

1. They will elect entirely the wrong person as leader (see Ed Miliband)

2. they will move back to the left thereby rendering themselves un-electable in every part of the country where there's never been a coal mine/steel works/shipyard.

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