I have been away from my blog for a few weeks, due to a combination of events. However, political life has been going on as usual, and much I haven’t been able to comment about.
The YES march for Independence last weekend was highly successful,and brought together a wide swathe of Scottish society and political groups, and a vast number of ordinary Scots, for the event.
Various reports to the actual numbers in attendance conflict wildly.
If you are the BBC or of the Unionist persuasion, there was less than 5000 marchers. On the other hand we have had figures of 9500, and 11,600 mentioned by those in the YES camp.
Which was it? certainly from the pictures alone in Princess Street gardens in the bandstand area which officially holds 12,500…It is clear from the evidence of our eyes that it was well in excess of the less than half full statements the Unionists reported. And actually close to capacity. Therefore a very credible turnout of around the 10,000 mark.
Well done to all who organised and attended and contributed to it!
Lets at least double the amount for next years event!
What brings me out of my enforced hibernation tonight, is something else entirely.
Johann Lamont actually spoke! She gave a speech about what Labour policy was about,and meant for Scotland. She was clear, concise, reasoned, and positive about the direction of Scottish Labour for the people of Scotland.
It was a truly remarkable speech full of Labour values, and Social justice, and fairness for all. She gave her full support for the poorest in society, and how Labour in Scotland was going to make their lives all a bit more bearable in these hard times.
She attacked vehemently and vigorously the disgraceful policies of the Tory Lib Dem coalition.
She attacked the cruelty of the deprivations they are inflicting on the poorest and sickest and the disabled in our society.
She asked how dare they take their austerity measures out on those who had nothing whatsoever to do with inflicting these dreadful economic conditions upon all of us, while reducing the taxes and contributions of the very richest and most able to afford their share.
Ms Lamont even took the time to make a direct apology for the previous Labour governments compliance and conspiracy in creating these dreadful conditions, and vowed that never again would Labour be seen to be on the side of the market capitalists at the expense of the poor.
It was a speech which reminded me so much of the likes of Hardie,and Bevan, full of conviction, and with radical thoughts of improving our society for all.
For the first time in many a long year, here was a Labour politician who actually believed in the Labour movements core values. It was truly Inspirational.
Lamont had obviously been listening very carefully to Dennis Canavans speech to the pro independence march on Saturday, and had had realised that this Labour man, who she and her ilk had thrown out of the party for retaining his ideals, had been right all along.
For she began her speech echoing his words.. ” I am not a Nationalist, I am an Internationalist” And she went on to say that she had come to believe that Scotland was best served as being its own Nation again, making it’s own decisions, and choices, whilst working in harmony with all our friends across the world, for the betterment of all. Labour would again follow the principles of Hardie and build on them. Not only would Labour embrace Home Rule for Scotland again, but would do so in the most effective way, by supporting the right of the Scottish people to their Independence.
Let us make a just society, based of the social values which most Scots are all so familiar with. Let us use all our own resources,let us manage them without interference, Let us use our natural Scottish resourcefulness to better our country and our Society, she said.
She then went on to detail some of these areas which were of universal importance, and how she would defend Scotlands right to hold them dear.
Let there be properly funded care for the elderly and the infirm. Let there be the continuation of free bus travel, to enable them to get out and about in their communities. Let there be free education for our young, so that they may be educated and better able to improve our country with their learning and taxes.
Let us continue with free prescriptions for all, so that no one is denied the medicine they need to get better because of cost.
She further pointed out that under the old system of payment, it actually cost more to administer the scheme, than what any payments brought in.
In these times of difficulty, she announced that she fully supported the freezing of the council tax,to take some of the pressure off the most hard pressed. No more of these previous Labour U turns of Yes we want increase, no we don’t, yes we do, no we don’t. But a clear decisive policy to stick to, until they could think of better alternatives to put in place.
She agreed to retain the same extra 1000 police officers in place, as it had proved be a successful measure in reducing crime, except those committed by Westminster Mps. But we can’t have everything can we?
And finally, yes finally! After much silence on the matter since she had become Labours Scottish leader.. She confirmed that she was entirely against Nuclear weapons, and she confirmed that Labour would demand herewith and without any further delay, the removal of Trident from Scottish waters.
As I watched her performance on Newsnight Scotland later in the evening last night… I was out of my seat cheering!! What a stateswoman Scottish Labour had unearthed! She was fully in charge of her brief, she was clear and concise and confident with her answers. She gave us all hope for a positive outcome for our country.
Truly here was someone we could all look up to, and she evaded no difficult question and met them all head on. There was no prevarication from this woman at all.
To hell with these Tory policies of charging for health, education,the elderly, and denigrating the poor. We shall have none it, she said!
No more shall the rich benefit on the backs of the weak.
This sense of false entitlement shall end, now!
Labour Mps shall not leave their communities never to be seen for 4 years as they live the high life in London, claiming every expense they can lay their hands on and getting caught up in drunken brawls in the subsidised speakers bar in Westminster.
They shall not live high on the Hog, while their communities suffer deprivation and degeneration and ill health.
This Getting something while doing nothing will have to stop now!
I go to sleep with a glad heart tonight. Thank you Johann Lamont, you have regained our trust. The people of Scotland are honoured to have such a public servant as Labours leader, and we thank you, for at last bringing Labours principles back into clear focus.
It was only then that I woke up from dozing and my Utopian dream.
None of the above was true at all.. And Ms Lamont had actually done the complete opposite, and had sold the remainder of Scottish Labours clothes,and they had finally become Tories…