Today was her Big Day, when Johann Lamont had her first opportunity as Labours Scottish leader to reinvigorate her party north of the border.
Did she do it? Did she succeed? Were they packing out the Caird hall in Dundee and overspilling into conference rooms? Were the party faithful enthralled by her wisdom and invigorated by her passion for Socialism, and what wondrous words of wisdom did she have for the rest of Scotland? Did she inspire us all with her positivity? Did she set out positive courses of action that Labour would take to benefit us all? Dis she outline positive policies to make Scotland a better place for all of us? Had we found at last, after years in the Socialist wilderness when Labour sold all their beliefs and clothes for a few shiny baubles. a Labour party which had recanted of their sins against the people and repented of their hypocrisy?
Let us see shall we?
Here is her transcript, written by Paul Sinclair and delivered eloquently by Johann today.
I for one was stunned into admiration.
Admiration for their unique capability for self delusion, and projection onto others the blame for their failure and their subsequent worthlessness.
“This is my first speech to you as leader of the Scottish Labour Party.
I have had a look to see how leaders’ speeches usually start. They begin, usually, with a tribute to the city hosting us and yes it is great to be in Dundee.
Sometimes leaders pick out a few colleagues to praise and I will happily do that later in my speech.
But conference, I want to start with a very clear message. It is time for us to stop apologizing for the mistakes of the past and to start fighting for Scotland.”
“Time for us to stop apologizing for the mistakes of the past and start fighting for Scotland”?
I would be pleased if you had even begun to start apologizing to the the people of Scotland and to your loyal voters for the God awful mess you made in this country, and for letting them down so badly. The only thing I have ever heard your lot apologize for, is to your own party for making the most unbelievable cockups in an election ever witnessed anywhere. Not a jot of apologizing to anyone else for what you inflicted on everyone.
Or if you even began fighting for the Scots people, I for one would be delighted. Unfortunately all I can see is a narcissistic desire for power and self privilege.
“We know what happened last May. We looked tired and complacent and we got the kind of beating we deserved.
But now we need to start building the kind of Scottish Labour Party which Scotland deserves and which Scotland needs.”
Not only were you tired and complacent, you were utterly clueless and fully expecting your programmed automatons to deliver you the votes which you had come to expect as your divine right!
Unfortunately for you, people had at long last woken up to you.
Far be it for me to point you in the right direction, but should you not first actually begin to listen to what the people are saying, rather than rebuilding your own construct on what new guff to tell them? You are supposed to represent the people and act on their wishes, not just simply find new ways to get them to listen to you!
We lost an election. We did not lose our sense of right and wrong. We did not lose our values.
You got trounced! You lost your sense of right and wrong a long time ago, and you sold out whatever values you once held.
Let me drop a couple of recent hints….Joyce, Glasgow City Chamber bullying, Trident,Devine,conspiring with tories to introduce welfare reform.
“I congratulate the SNP on their victory. But that victory did not remove the need for us to exist – it made it greater.
A party, a movement, which speaks up for the voiceless. Which fights for opportunity where there is none. A party which believes – which demands – that all should have the chance to fulfill their potential and be the people they can be.
A party which does not erect borders but one which demolishes barriers.
One which promises every parent that their child will have better chances than they had.”
Fine words, nice ideals, but unfortunately from you, utterly empty rhetoric. Saying buzz words without taking action is meaningless, but worse…your actions for the previous 13 years of Labour Government did precisely the opposite!
You didn’t speak up for the voiceless you spoke up for the Bankers.
The only opportunities you fought for were opportunities for yourselves to milk the system dry and claim for porno videos,and create more privilege and ermine and £300 a day expenses for mediocre politicians, who had climbed to the top of your monkey tree in the Lords. All the while hugely increasing to gap between rich and poor. The rich got richer and the poor got poorer.
You didn’t erect borders, you stormed over others borders along with the Americans, and you demolished a lot more than barriers, you blew up civilians houses and murdered them while calling it collateral damage!
And you left the economy in such a damned state that there is far more child poverty and starvation than there was when you started.
“I am a Scot and I love Scotland. But the love of my country drives me to demand that it is better tomorrow than it is today.”
“I am a Scot and I love Scotland” followed by a BUT, there should never be any “But” after that statement!
“I will wear the saltire with pride, but I won’t bind it around my eyes so I cannot see the injustice in our country.
I will not talk Scotland down. But I will not be silent while under Alex Salmond, children suffer in poverty and he does nothing about it.”
Now seeing you with a Saltire round your shoulders would be a sight indeed, but somehow I doubt your words, unless it was for a cynical photo shoot.
If you haven’t been talking Scotland down, I would hate to see you actually do it.I am not sure how much lower Labour can go in that respect.
As for trying to make Alex Salmond responsible for Scotlands Child poverty? Can I remind you that Labour has had exclusive control over Glasgow for the past 50 years, and for many of these years Labour was in Government in Westminster and in Holyrood. Strangely enough, in all that time, some of the highest incidences of child poverty and ill health and early deaths in the UK have been where? You got it, Glasgow!! You haven’t improved conditions in all that time, and you have the cheek to blame Alex Salmond, who hasn’t been First minister for more than 5 years..Incredible lying and hypocrisy from you Johann.
I will not be silent while he does Scotland down. While he uses the powers of devolution not to protect Scotland from a Tory government, but to amplify every cut they make.
Amazing.. Alex Salmond has been full of positivity for Scotland, and you say he is talking Scotland down? Mind melt!
The Tory cuts as you put it, are mostly initially implementing Alastair Darlings Labour Cuts, which he promised would be deeper than Thatchers. The Tories have just gladly added a few of their own.
Scotland has had a massive cut in budget, where do you expect the money to come from, thin air?
If anything it is the opposite, with the SNP in power they have actually managed to deflect some of the worst cuts which England and Wales is facing.
Does anything feel familiar conference. We’ve lost and we have a government, cutting services for the poor and vulnerable. Blind to the needs of real people. Wrapping themselves in the flag….and oh….backed by Rupert Murdoch
A Government cutting services for the poor and vulnerable? Blind to the needs of real people, backed by Rupert Murdoch? Yes indeed it is all familiar, depressingly so.
Only the Governments which I have in mind are Labour and Tory ones.
The flag They wrapped themselves in is called the Union Jack! .
Or to give it another name..The Butchers Apron.
“We’ve been here before. And we will do now what we did then. We will re-build our party, re-connect with our country, win and put social justice and fairness at the top of the agenda again. And this time we will do it better than before.
God Help us!
Not New Labour, not Old Labour, but Real Labour.”
What,yet another name change and rebranding? Whats next, Hard Labour?
“People the length and breadth of this country are fearful. Fearful of their jobs. Worrying about how they will make ends meet. Whether their kids will get jobs. Watching as the public services they need are cut back.”
Ahh…Back to the politics of Fear!
Make life utterly unbearable for everyone other than yourselves, then say…..It could be worse! Make people too frightened of change, so that they cannot see that change can be positive if they do it right. Vote for anyone else but you,and what you want, and it will be worse for them!
Yes we got it.
The SNP have been in power for five years now. Last May Alex Salmond told us he would ‘re-industrialise’ Scotland.
And look what has happened. Unemployment up – nudging a quarter of a million. Youth unemployment out of control. Four hundred women losing their jobs every day.
Amazing that you expect the SNP to do in 5 years while working with the legacy of massive budget cuts which your party in Westminster left for them.
It will take more than 5 years to reindustrialise Scotland, to replace the shipyards, the Coach building works of Cowlair, the Steel Industry in Ravenscraig and Gartcosh, the Railways, It’s once proud Merchant Navy with sailors lining up in the Broomielaw to export and import goods from around the world, and so much more that Westmister has asset stripped. But they at least are making a start.
New Industries are being built, New Wealth within our creation from our abundant natural resources. What have you done?
Our employment levels are higher than the rest of the Uk, and our Unemployment following your disasters is on a par.
You voted against Youth apprenticeships because they were creating more than you asked for. And its not just women who are bearing the brunt of your parties follies but many men too! But you are going for the womens vote aren’t you, hence you single them out!
So how has Salmond tried to ‘re-industrialise’ Scotland? He bought a bridge from China.
By bringing forward the Forth Road Bridge contract, he said it would stimulate the Scottish economy.
Yet how does that money – £790 million of Scottish taxpayers cash – stimulate the Scottish economy when it goes to China, Poland and Spain and only £20 million goes to Scottish companies?
How is Salmond standing up for Scotland when our steel industry s ignored?
He didn’t buy a bridge from China, China are providing the fabricated steel, we don’t make it any more since you watched on while Ravenscraig and GArtcosh were broken down, and are no more.
If only we could still make it for ourselves. Think the Proclaimers song..’Letter to America’ Bathgate no more, Linwood no more,Methil no more, Irvine no more, Lochaber no more’
None of our Scottish Companies were capable of providing the major contracts, and EU Laws stipulate that they must go out to competitive tender.
We did get 80% of the Sub Contracts though.
When he is so reckless, that we get to the point where Lanarkshire steel workers feel they have to write to a Tory Prime Minister to ask for protection from a Scottish First Minister?
More Lies…Dazell is owned by an Indian Company called Tata, and Tata did not bid for any major contract…So stop telling complete porkies!
Tata have also been awarded millions of pounds in Wind Turbine production, which they were capable of tendering for.
Let me tell Alex Salmond something.
Putting saltires around his fireplace is no proof that he is putting Scotland’s interests first and there is one thing we in this country are good at – spotting a conman when we see one.
Putting Scotland first means more than holding press conferences in Edinburgh castle.
Scotland is good at spotting Con Men? Alex Salmond Isn’t one, but the Country did vote for the Biggest political Con Man in British History for years….One Tony Blair!
But don’t worry, we have his measure now, and the rest of your lot are poor imitations, and have been found out!
As for holding a press conference in Edinburgh Castle? Labour first did that back in 1997, talk about being hypocritical..
Many of us have long been tired of Alex Salmond’s fantasy assertions and deluded deflections but it is proving quite the novelty for his new English audience.
He is of course an avowed Anglophile – so much so that he wants the Bank of England to set interest rates in his independent Scotland.
Just because you call Alex Salmonds assertions fantasy, does not make it so,Johann. Indeed much of this speech is more akin to fantasy and of considerably poorer quality than Alex produces.
Wanting to initially enter into a monetary union makes sense, it provides a period of stability while things settle down. The Irish Republic also shared the pound for many years before creating its own currency. So there is good precedent for such an action.
My favourite line from his tour is that Scotland – as an independent country under his leadership – will be a beacon for progressives.
Progressive is one of those words politicians use – I prefer plain and simple fair.
Is it fair that an elderly person has his care visits – possibly his only contact with the outside world – squeezed into 15 minute windows because their care worker is overstretched?
Is it fair that a teacher, someone who devotes their career to bettering young people, has to delve into their own wages to provide jotters and pencils for their class?
Is it fair that a vulnerable child in a chaotic home, is left at risk and at the mercy of unfit parents because overworked social workers don’t have time to carry out the proper checks?
In Alex Salmond’s progressive Scotland, he took a 2 per cent cut from the Tories, doubled it and handed it to Scotland’s councils. We are seeing the consequences of these decisions in our communities every day.
Now for an elongated moaning list…
Of course none of the above is fair, but if a Central Government In England cuts Scotlands Budget drastically, cuts have to be made at all levels of government, including local government.
Ask why these cuts had to be made,and where the source of it is, and the finger of blame points squarely at Labour disastrously handling our economy.
In Alex Salmond’s progressive Scotland, where the rocks will melt with the sun before he will introduce tuition fees, colleges in Scotland are being filleted with 20 per cent cuts. Meanwhile, youth unemployment spirals out of control.
Not only will the SNP guarantee a free education for all, they provide free prescriptions, a council tax freeze,protect our NHS and Police force from English Privatization. and create training opportunities for all 16-19 year olds. Which Labour voted against!
Is it acceptable that families are trapped in sub-standard or inappropriate homes because we cannot meet the shortfall in housing demand?
Is it acceptable that first time buyers are shut out of the property market because of a lack of investment in affordable housing?
Is it acceptable that 30,000 construction workers lost their jobs last year because we are not providing work for them?
In Alex Salmond’s progressive Scotland, the housing budget was cut by nearly a third while the waiting lists and the dole queues get longer.
None of the above is acceptable, but it was a Labour Government in Holyrood under which housing completely stagnated to almost non existence. The Likes of Labour controlled Glasgow Council got shot of all its housing stock to a private housing agency.
The SNP have invested heavily in capital investment, and created new house building, and are working on creating affordable housing, giving much needed work for the construction industry,and making housing available for families.
All budgets have been cut, but if left to Labour we would be in a horrendously worse situation still.
The dole queues land at Labours feet. It is hard to do anything with a UK government giving you much reduced pocket money, and whose fault is that? Not the SNPs.
And why we desperately need to control our own resources!
If Scotland is going to get the progressive government which embodies Scotland’s values the only party that can deliver that is the Scottish Labour Party
Haud oan jist a minit….. Did you not just say about SNPs progressive government the following “Progressive is one of those words politicians use – I prefer plain and simple fair”
Then you rattled on about fairness, or rather Unfairness. With a whole catalogue of dubious complaints against the SNP.
Now that you have got all that fairness/unfairness out of your system, you are back to ditching fairness for yourselves and calling yourself progressive? Whatever happened to your preference for the word fair?
What you really mean is that the SNP are unfair, and you are progressive? Ha….so much for progressiveness when all you speak of is negative and unfair, while offering not a jot of solution, or what you would actually do if left with the disaster you dumped on the Scottish Government and the whole of the Uk.
It is asserted that no one is putting forward the positive case for Scotland remaining in the UK. That’s not true. We do. But its not just us. The SNP do it almost every day.
They do it when they say that Scotland needs to keep sterling. They do it when they say that our crucial energy sector needs the support of UK consumers’ investment to grow.
They do it when they say our shipyards would need Royal Navy contracts to stay open.
My question is this: if even the SNP acknowledge that Scotland needs the UK for a stable currency, a growing energy market and to keep our defence industries why would we contemplate leaving it?
The SNP most certainly do not put forward a positive case for remaining in the UK, and certainly not almost every day. How many whoppers can you possibly fit into a speech?
I have already explained the reasoning behind the precedence for staying initially in Sterling, but monetary unions exist between countries all over the world. We could use the dollar if we wanted to, but it makes better sense initially to stay with Sterling as our economies are similar.
Its nothing whatsoever to do with our energy sector needing UK consumer investment, where do you get that fantasy from? The rUK desperately needs our energy for a much larger population base, and they will have to purchase it, or run out! Same with our water.
The ship yards do not need Royal navy contracts to remain open, what have we got at the moment from the M.O.D who are cutting back severely, and ditching contracts.
Tell me…the 4.9 billion order for 4 large Royal Navy supply ships, where did they go? You know the ones your Labour government signed the contract off on. did they go to Scottish yards? No.
Who did you give them to? Ahh….South Korea, wasn’t it.
We do build ships,yes…We could have built these ones too.
But no…While bad mouthing the Scottish Government for giving a Steel contract for the Forth Road bridge, which you were earlier, for something we cannot do anymore…You go giving this huge contract away to a country not far away from China. More hypocrisy.
Does that help answer why we want to leave your Union? Lies, fraud and deception.
I have not even mentioned the McCrone report…..GO read it, you kept it top secret!! Fraudsters.
The Scottish Labour Party is the party which is radical on the constitution. The Party which delivered devolution. A referendum within four months of being elected in 1997 and the Scottish Parliament open for business two years later.
All the parties in Scotland apart form the Tories canvassed for devolution.And we the people of Scotland voted for it.
But tell me, who gerrymandered the devolution vote of 2o years earlier? Forcing a 40% rule of the total population…Yes..It was Labour. You are not the party of Devolution, it was forced on you, and Blair likened it to an English Parish Council.
We need to examine whether tax competition is in the interests of the people of Scotland. If that competition is wasteful, if it leads to a race to the bottom, if it leads to less money for public services – is that in the interests of the people of Scotland?
I will not be seduced into the place where which powers you demand is a test of political virility. Where calling for corporation tax to be devolved somehow makes you harder, or more Scottish, or even more progressive.
It won’t be in the interests of Scotland if the only people who benefit are big business, and it won’t be more progressive if it means we spend less on public services, on caring for the vulnerable and giving opportunity to the disadvantaged.
Why did the Labour party agree to look at Corporation tax being devolved to Northern Ireland so it could compete with the South of Ireland? To make them more competitive.
Neither you nor the tories want to give us the same power, unless you have a gun held to your head.
Of course control of tax is in Scottish Interests, indeed full tax powers are. But your precious Uk is screwed without the Billions which flow into Westminsters coffers every year from us.
Plus If we lowered Corporation tax, we wont be the losers, more International Investment would come into an already attractive Scotland. It is nonsense to say that the people or the Country would lose out by such Investment. With Investment comes jobs, comes more wealth.comes better provisions for the people, as long as we don’t manage tax like the UK does!
I believe that power lies with the Scottish people, and it is for the people of Scotland to decide how that power should be used in the interests of the Scottish people.
The question is not what powers should Scotland claw back, but which powers should we share. How do we share power in a way that best benefits Scotland. What do we share with our neighbours to our mutual benefit.
You may say that the power lies with the Scottish people,and that it is for the Scottish people to decide, but you don’t believe it.
If you truly believed it, or if the UK parties believed it, you would be happy for the Scottish people to decide on whether they wanted further devolution on the ballot paper. But you don’t want to give them that choice, because the power will be taken away from London. So much for the integrity of your words.
Whether pooling tax raising powers isn’t in our interests. We have as part of our union one of the richest international hubs in the world – London.
My question is this, is it in the interests of Scotland to enter into tax competition with London, or as someone who has a progressive vision for Scotland, is it better to have a unified tax policy which redistributes wealth to where it is needed most?
Ahh redistribution of wealth, just as long as it all goes to London.
Why did you not just say so?
The debate on tax powers has to go beyond the cartoon politics of Alex Salmond.
Cartoon politics indeed, but not from Alex Salmond.
You and the Labour party remind me of the roadrunner cartoon, where you play the part of Wily Coyote trying all sorts of useless attempts to try and blow up roadrunner, but you just blow yourselves up at every turn….while roadrunner has once more run rings round you without even trying….I think you must get your politics out of an ACME box too.
It is almost too painful to watch if it were not so funny at times.
And our values have influenced the modern UK. Scottish values of community, where we believe that is one part of the community is in need, others should come to their aid.
That is the essence of how the UK operates.
Scotland gets more of the UK resources not out of charity, or because of weakness but because with less than a tenth of the population but a third of the land mass we need more.
Here we go again….We have to go to their aid.
What follows is utter tripe.
We don’t get more of the UKs resources, we contribute more than we receive, and that is without taking oil into the equation.
So we certainly don’t get any charity, but it could be said we involuntarily are made to give it.
Even the Tory Government has been forced to concede this point, so who is are you talking to, and why continue to lie about it,when we all know now?
She went on to give a load of guff about the Royal bank bail out at this point, and its the same tired argument that we couldn’t have bailed them out, and we would have had to go with begging bowl to England..Rubbish… The Uk never even bailed them out, we acted as guarantor..nothing more. The Royal Bank is no longer a Scottish Company it is International, and its debts would be settled in its countries of operation, barely any of its trade is done in Scotland, but London would be highly at risk.
The Bank of Scotland which she doesn’t mention, had previously been taken over by Halifax, and it was Halifax’s toxic mortgage business which put it into trouble,and the same rules apply.
But let me tell you one phrase which really is meaningless. North of the border. And here is another one. South of the border.
Because we have no border. We haven’t had one for three hundred years. And without a border, has Scottish identity flourished or diminished?
We don’t need a border to be Scottish. We don’t need a border to flourish. What we need is a commitment to Scottish values.
Somebody please tell this woman…We do have a border, and if you go into England it says welcome to England, and likewise the other way.
Just because we entered into a Union, we didn’t do away with our border, nor give up our Country. Indeed the Sea Border was sneakily changed by Tony Blair back in 1999 when they pinched 6000sq miles of Scottish waters and claimed them for England.
She mentioned the SNP 7 times and Alex Salmond 18 times, you would have thought the speech was about Alex Salmond and the SNP not Labour.
She still managed to avoid any positive policies or direction for Labour, and no solutions to anything, but she has arranged for yet another Unionist party Consultation on Devolution.
It just goes to show, if you have no policies… attack the man.
Unfortunately for Labour and the rest of them, Independence is not centered on Alex Salmond or the SNP, it belongs as right to the Scottish people, and we will have it, no matter what nonsense they come out with.