Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Lamont's Scotland

It's November 2016. With the independence referendum lost, Scotland languishes under a Conservative government with no Scottish MPs. 

Johann Lamont's Labour Party has won the Scottish Parliament election the previous year, and is bound by a manifesto described by the Daily Mail as "common sense". 

A retired nurse, an octogenarian widow, leaves her Glasgow home in the depths of winter. Stripped of her free bus pass, she either has to trudge for five miles through the snow, or pay Labour's privatised buses a fiver for a return ticket to the doctor's. She's worked all her life, but on her pitiful pension, she can't afford the bus fare. But why should we give her a free bus pass? This is Scotland! This is the land we don't give something for nothing. 

Her local surgery has closed as a result of the reduction in the Scottish block grant. There's nothing Scotland can do. What are we going to do - vote out a government which has no MPs here anyway?

The doctor writes a prescription for the medicine she needs to stay healthy. There's no point in it - since Labour abolished free prescriptions for the sick, she can't afford to buy it. But we can't simply give the sick something for nothing. 

She knows that she's against a wall. She can't afford her medicine, so her illness will get worse. If her illness will get worse, she'll require care. But Labour have abolished free personal care for the elderly. They can't get something for nothing.

She gets home to an ice-cold house. With Labour not having built a single new council house in Glasgow since 1979, the wind whips through her home. She has to choose between heating her home or paying for Labour's Council Tax, which has risen far above her pension. But tax is tax. We can't freeze it. We can't give something for nothing. If the old lady has to freeze, so be it. But we must raise the Council Tax. 

She rings her grandson, a bright young boy, the hope for her future. She'd always wanted him to go to university and make the best of himself. He's just got five Highers, all at A grade. But he won't be going to university. Labour have abolished free higher education, and the brightest working-class kids are now unable to go to university. We can't, after all, give something for nothing.

With a Conservative government in London, there is no investment in jobs. The unemployment lines across Britain have reached five million. This boy's only choice was university or the dole queue. 

With Labour's abolition of the one thousand extra police officers introduced in the last Parliament, law and order begins to break down in the streets. With no prospects of using his brain, and no hope of a job, what other option is there but a life of crime?

This is the vision Johann Lamont outlined for Scotland yesterday. 

This is why you must vote Yes.

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Lamont's Hate Speech Shows No anti-Independence Party is Left

This afternoon Johann Lamont, who claims to be the leader of Labour in Scotland, gave what the party described as a "keynote speech" in Edinburgh. More than a year after their destruction in the Scottish general election, in which they lost almost every constituency in Scotland, the "leader" crawled from under the sofa to finally outline her vision of the party. 

And what a vision it was. 

Lamont - who claims to be the leader of Labour in Scotland but refuses to say how many votes she gained in the leadership election - gave a speech notable for a public outpouring of outright hatred and contempt for the working class.

Lamont showed her contempt for the working class
As she hauled Labour to the extreme right of Scottish politics, she announced that she wished to abolish:
  • Free medical prescriptions for the poor
  • Free personal care for the elderly
  • Free university tuition for the working class
  • Free bus travel for our pensioners
and hugely increase Council Tax, massively weightening the financial burden on families already struggling to make ends meet thanks the utter destruction of the Scottish economy by Labour. 

She also said that "1000 additional bobbies on the beat is not the best use of police resources". There is a reason that crime in Scotland is at an historic low. That reason is that police numbers in our country is at an historic high. 

Johann Lamont wants to put the lives of Scottish people at risk so that there is no difference between police numbers in Scotland and Britain. She is literally prepared for Scottish people to die to save the union.

Lamont's speech captured in Cloud format

Lamont, who was the beneficiary of a free university education, and has so far refused to refund any of the tuition fees or grant money despite demanding all working-class students now pay, demanded that we end the "something for nothing culture". One can imagine Lamont, in her previous life as a teacher, screaming abuse into the faces of those of her charges who received free school meals. 

It is the hate-filled language of Thatcherite Conservatism that is so damning. Lamont is so used to haranguing, attacking and talking down Scotland at every opportunity that she forgets she needs its people to vote for her. But I know that Lamont isn't - or wasn't, at least - a Thatcherite. So why the shift? It's simple. A socially democratic Scotland and a hard-right England is an advert for independence. Lamont prizes the union above all. Therefore, if Scotland must suffer to maintain the impression of equality, suffer she will.

Fanatical Unionist Lamont with a prescient headline
Her party has never been at a lower ebb - wiped out north of Dumbarton, she personally is a most unpopular leader, almost losing her Pollok seat last year. 

As Green Party leader, Pat Harvie, said: "if policy reform means ending the free education Johann Lamont's generation enjoyed, or charging patients for NHS services, or continuing to court the support of big business...Labour are free to continue their decline".

Lamont's "something for nothing culture" isn't her party's decision to shovel thousands of millions of pounds at fraudulent and criminal bankers. Oh no, she's not said a word about that. 

She's not said a word about spending hundreds of millions of pounds on Weapons of Mass Destruction, to be based a few kilometers from the deprived constituency in which she point-blank refuses to live. 

Nope, her idea of leeching from the state is to ban working-class kids from going to university. It's telling the Drumchapel pensioners who worked their whole lives that they have to choose between eating and going to Helensburgh for the day. It's ripping the rings from the fingers of the retired nurse in Nitshill to pay for her healthcare, before her house is also stolen from her. 

Her idea of "fairness" is to force a newly-married, minimum wage couple in Hillington with no assets but the small house they inherited to pay the exact same Council Tax as the dentist living next door. 

These things are basic rights of the Scottish people. They were not given by the Labour Party. They were taken by the people. 

As Lamont stood on the podium and spat on the grave of Keir Hardy, as she casually smeared the people of Scotland as subsidy junkies, as she called her party's dwindling support base leeches and thieves, she said: "the idea that Scotland is a land where everything is free is a lie". 

Nobody has that idea, Johann. Nobody believes that to be the case. 

The fact is that our free prescriptions aren't free. None of the other basic rights which Lamont wishes to abolish are free. 

Free at the point of use? Certainly. But not free. We, all of us, pay for these things. We pay for it through the massive surplus we send to the Treasury in London each year, getting a portion of it back. 

Lamont is George Osborne in a frock.

We could pay for more like it if we didn't have to fund the obscenity of Weapons of Mass Destruction. Lamont won't tell us her views on Trident (the Scottish people don't have the intelligence to cope with it), but her party's view is that we should continue to spend billions of pounds on it or its successor. 

Lamont's party told us - maliciously and falsely - that Saddam Hussein desired a fraction of the Weapons of Mass Destruction the aggressive United Kingdom held. In revenge, Labour slaughtered a million Iraqi men, women and children. 

If you can stay in a party which does that, then I suppose the complete abdication of any socialist principles wouldn't be too much of a jump. 

What this does show, though, is that the facade of respectability has been thrown off by Labour. They are now proudly and openly a right-wing party. We knew that already: their links with the bankers and media moguls, their open courting of the fascists in the Orange Order, their desire to tax people with not an iota of consideration given to their ability to pay, the systematic extermination of human beings because of where they lived, the fact that under Labour, the list of criminal offences increased more than tenfold. 

It would be totally wrong, of course, to suggest that the outpouring of revulsion at Lamont's comments was unanimous. She had some support:

There is a proverb, Mrs Joyner...

The anti-Scotland campaign consists of the two British government coalition parties, the Conservatives and Liberals; the three fascist organisations, the Scottish Defence League and Orange Order; the fascist British National Party, and the Labour Party. 

Even before Lamont's hate-filled rant against the people of Scotland today, the above looked to be rather unbalancedly right-wing. What we can say now, with certainty, is that the anti-Scotland campaign stands for right-wing principles. 

It stands for regression, it stands for austerity, it stands for hammering the working class. 

And the Yes campaign?

The National Party, Socialist Party, Solidarity, Green Party and a whole host of progressive social-democratic and socialist organisations. 

Scotland is a country which prides itself on social democracy, fairness and justice. 

You have one vote which means two things. 

Fundamentally, the constitutional aspect of the referendum is irrelevant. The choice is between the Tories, Liberals, SDL, BNP, Orange Order, Labour, austerity and bitterness; or between the SNP, SSP, Greens, progressivity, fairness, decency, honesty and integrity. 

Monday, 24 September 2012

Weekend events show difference between pro- and anti-Scotland campaigns

On Saturday, men, women and children from every city in Scotland poured into our capital city in their thousands to show their support for Scotland becoming a democracy. It was one of the largest political demonstrations in Scottish history. 

The march attracted members of almost every serious political party in Scotland, and people who are members of no party. Speakers from the National Party, the Socialist Party, from the Labour Party, the Green Party, non-party lawyers, and the doyenne of pro-democracy politics, Margo MacDonald, spoke passionately about the future of Scotland to an enthusiastic crowd of over 10.000. 

The YES campaign has shown itself to be an incredibly broad church. The support of many of our fellow Europeans on the march (demonstrators came from Padania, Catalunya, Wales, Ireland, Bavaria and Flanders, amongst others) shows the affection in which Scotland is held in our European Union. 

There was only one slight sour note to the day. The presence, and eventual arrest, of several Better Together supporters, who attacked some marchers and attempted to incite disorder, spoke volumes of the type of campaign which will be run by the anti-Scotland side. 

It is clear that the Better Together campaign is well aware that they cannot win a fair referendum based on an analysis of the debate. More than three centuries into the union between Scotland and England, the unionists have still not managed to elucidate a single positive argument for creating or maintaining the union. 

The Better Together campaigners, a motley crew of Labour, BNP, Conservative, the fascist Orange Order, and Scottish Defence League members know this. 

They know, that if they were to organise a pro-union march, they would be humiliated. With no way to outdo the pro-Scotland demonstration, the next best option is to disrupt it. 

This is why the Better Together campaigners were sent out to Edinburgh to cause trouble. An outbreak of violence would have been a dream come true for the Better Together organisers. Fortunately, the pro-Scotland marchers behaved with honour and dignity, an allowed the police to do their job. We must be on our guard always, for this is a tactic they will use every time we rally.

Aware that sending their SDL and Orange thugs out to attack families and incite violence on a sunny day in Edinburgh will not in itself persuade people to vote in favour of the union, the Better Together organisers have already decided that it they can only win the referendum by acting outside the law. 

On Sunday, the Herald revealed that the Better Together organisation had been gathering intelligence on voters without their consent - a criminal offence. 

Not a technical offence, not an overlooking of the rules, but a criminal offence.

The Better Together campaign have already indicated that they intend to continue using this illegally-gathered information stolen from innocent voters. 

It is possible to overlook a criminal offence in the first instance. However, when the perpetrator of a crime asserts openly that they will continue to completely ignore the criminal code, and benefit from the widespread theft of data, then there is only one option. 

The Better Together campaign must be ordered to destroy all data received by it before it properly registered with the Data Commissioner. And if it does not do so, then its directors must be prosecuted from their crime. 

The Better Together campaign has started with violence and criminality. 

Is this the positive case for the union?