McCrone Report and Johann Lamont and a mirror

Johann Lamont, at her Labour party conference speech last week (in which she described her opponents’ entire Weltanschauung or point of being in existence as a virus, out of which no good could ever come), did some serious shite-spreading:

For the Nationalists the misery of the people isn’t a wrong to be corrected – it is a chance to be exploited. For them, grievance is not to be addressed – it is to be nurtured. And that cynicism, that calculation which leaves families suffering now is a price worth paying if it translates into votes next September. It’s a cynicism which corrodes our politics. It should create in us a revulsion.

I remember the anger,the feeling of betrayal, and yes revulsion that I felt when the McCrone Report became public in 2005.

The report was a secret document from the mid 70s which told the government (Labour, by the time it came out) just how well-off the people of Scotland would be as an independent country, in the light of the upcoming oil-boom. It would be fanciful to say it described a land of people lighting fags with fivers, but you get the idea.

The country would tend to be in chronic surplus to a quite embarrassing degree and its currency would become the hardest in Europe, with the exception perhaps of the Norwegian kroner.

Former Labour Chancellor of the Exchequer Denis Healey has sensationally admitted that his party hid the true worth of Scotland’s oil in the seventies in order to persuade Scots against voting for home rule.

Scotland at the time was total Labour Heartland. To the Labour Party we were their mainstay, their own people, who they cynically and dismissively lied to about the extent of the potential societal wealth they were sitting on top of. It is this that is perhaps the greatest manifestation of the paternalism that the Labour Party in post war Scotland indulged in, from councils to cabinet.

 It is a bit rich, with this history, that Scottish Labour should be trying to tar a party with putting its own interests against the people it is supposed to represent.


Better Together Are Lying To You

Last week I said: (There Is Not Enough Information? part 2)

There seems to be a readiness to misrepresent positions, and it seems to be coming mostly from the No proponents.

It is sometimes difficult in the heat of argument to dispassionately evaluate the other person’s tactics and motivation, and it can be easy to assign malign motivation and skullduggery, just because they disagree on the particular issue. So it is heartening to read a similar attitude to the other side’s information – though the author is on my side of the argument as well, and perhaps could be accused of being equally partisan.

Anyway – here is the editorial from

There Is Not Enough Information? part 2

An interesting addition to my post of yesterday about voters not being informed – this one focuses on the unique role of the BBC – from :

It’s the new referendum tag-line – the undecided voters need more information.  The independence debate is all about point scoring we are told and both sides have to “do more” in order to up the standard of debate.


There Is Not Enough Information?

The past week has been full of news items, articles, speeches and debates about the upcoming referendum. At times, too much – I would prefer a few months of steady information to the blast of 24 hour news media latching on to a new news-fad for a day or two, painting bright colours and amping the output to distortion. There has been a lot of hand-waving and shouting – a lot of it from me as I watch the telly.

What seems to come up a lot is the ‘There Is Not Enough Information’ trope from vox pop voters and panel audience members. I find this quite baffling – there seems to be an unwillingness for people to make an attempt to understand the issues. It literally takes minutes to find the various parties’ positions on all kinds of subjects, but some people are almost willfully ignorant. There seems to be a readiness to misrepresent positions, and it seems to be coming mostly from the No proponents. (No Proponent sounds like a bit of an oxymoron – for being against something). An example is from a Conservative during last week’s Scottish Parliament debate:  Gavin Brown claimed that Salmond ‘suggested that an independent Scotland will not inherit any share of the UK’s debts.’

I know Salmond’s attitude on this, as I am sure Brown must, and how easy it would be for the First Minister to bat this out of the park, which he duly did:

‘The point I made, and will make again is, if the UK Chancellor insisted on the current postion of claiming all of the monetary assetts of the United Kingdom, then it follows from the Vienna Convention and every argument that he would also lay claim to all the liablities of the United Kingdom.’ Salmond has already made very clear that we are willing to accept our share of debt, if we receive our fair share of assetts. Brown went out of his way to interrupt Salmond’s speech to make this easily refuted point – that is the calibre and the flavour of the opposition’s arguments.

Project Fear or Project Hope?

… we can change it anytime we want. It’s only a choice. No effort, no work, no job, no savings of money. A choice, right now, between fear and love. The eyes of fear wants you to put bigger locks on your door, buy guns, close yourself off. The eyes of love, instead see all of us as one.