Getting Something for Nothing

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.
Thank You!

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…

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About auldacquaintance

I am not a member of any political party. I am however a strong supporter of Scots Independence. Any views which I express in this Blog are purely my own. This Blog intends to be a place where I will be putting my views on Scots Independence. It will primarily concern itself with the upcoming Referendum In Scotland. However It will also be somewhat diverse in the range of day to day issues which are evident to me in modern day Scotland. Not all of it will be political, and indeed may take me off into avenues I am not even aware of yet. Please come and join in on this journey, and any comments are welcome provided they are not abusive! All the best from a new acquaintance! Rod
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6 Responses to Getting Something for Nothing

  1. Hen Broon says:

    I cannot get the vision of Jocky Wilson out of me head when ever I see her. Jimmy Spankie ex of Grampian TV fame told a story about Jocky. He was tasked to interview him after he had won his first big darts competition. He had never heard the name before. However when he came in to the studio as a warm up question he asked him. “Well Jocky how did you think you played there.” Jocky thought for a second before answering. “Fucking shite.” It took quite some time to complete the interview.

    Lamont is rally quiet pathetic with no political merit what ever. She would struggle to be a decent councillor. God help Scotland if she ever became First Minister.

  2. Nice to see you re-animated,aye saw her on both channels same stuff identical stuff.Did I hear the interviewer at the start5 say “Well Johan just ,in your own words,tell us the answers to the questions you want us to ask”

  3. Brian Hill says:

    I couldn’t make sense of this piece until the final ‘utopian dream’ para appeared. I saw speech and both interviews which consisted mainly of Ms Lamont lambasting the SNP policies since 2007 but offering only fluff and nonsense as to what her party would do instead.

    Despite valiant efforts from Mr STV and Isabel Fraser to ‘tease’ out an answer to any number of questions on tuition fees, council tax et al Lamont blustered on through her own mountain of self produced candy floss, policy free tosh.

    A First Minister in waiting? I really don’t think so, do you?

    VOTE YES

    PS. Great rally eh. 10,000 at least but even if only 1000 it was a major spectacle and has clearly sent the unionists into a tail spin. And if they think they have won a victory over a single question the poor loves have played right into our hands. Bless you Mr Moore and co.

  4. Arbroath 1320 says:

    There was a headline once, in the SUN I think, that said “Will the last person to leave please switch out the lights.” This was at the time of the G.E. that Neil Kinnock was convinced he had won.

    Well I think we should reprise the headline. This individual is the WORST example of a party I have EVER seen. In fact since McConnell I believe each successive “leader” has actually been WORSE that their predecessor, and so it continues with this MUPPET.

    Lamont is only capable of making attacks on Alex Salmond and following in the footsteps of Willie Bain, him of the “we oppose EVERTHING the S.N.P. stands for.” mantra. Anyone would expect someone of Lamont’s standing who has just made a speech such as yesterday’s would assume that they ACTUALLY had answers to questions she herself has asked. Not a whisper, but we WILL get answers AFTER the referendum. Well knock me down with a feather. I’ll rest a lot easier in my bed at night knowing THAT!

  5. Morag says:

    Regarding the number on the march, it shouldn’t be that difficult to establish, because there are two videos right there on YouTube showing the march going past.


    This one was taken by someone who seems to have been marching quite near the front, then as the march is going down the Mound he decides to switch to making a record, turns the camera round, and records pretty much all the rest as the marchers come down the hill. It seems to finish just as the end of the march is heaving into sight.


    This one is taken as the marchers enter Princes Street Gardens to descend the steps. It’s harder to count because of the camera angle, a Socialist Worker seller in the way, and the fact that the camera only shows half the entrance most of the time. However it does reveal that the other video misses a full ten minutes at the beginning.

    I don’t know of anyone who has actually sat down and counted the marchers using these videos, but it is obviously possible. An accurate count would at least show how many marched, although those who went straight to the rally without marching obviously would have to be estimated on top. Is anyone up for spending some time actually counting?

    There are some really nice pics here showing the Ross arena during the speeches.
    http://www.alexaitchison.co.uk/index.php/project/march-for-independence/
    The official maximun permitted standing in the fenced and gated arena is in fact 3,000 people. (I don’t know what that “12,500” figure is talking about – the entire Gardens?) However, those who are familiar with sell-out ticketed events in the arena say that from the photos it’s clear to them that it was very much fuller than that on Saturday. Some have said there were at least twice the permitted number inside the gated enclosure.

    The fact is, the police seem to have been expecting a much smaller crowd. Pre-event estimates were apparently for between 2,000 and 5,000, with 7,000 mentioned as a “wildest dreams” figure. The police apparently set their own numbers to cope with a rally of up to 5,000, which under the circumstances seems very reasonable. They weren’t counting people entering the gated enclosure at all, at the beginning. Much later they started directing marchers away from the gates and around to the area of the gardens to the rear and side where a good view can still be obtained. In fact a lot of people had chosen that option before the police started enforcing it. Nevertheless I saw two people climb over the fence at the back to get into the arena after having been turned away.

    There is a comparative picture (full and empty) showing how many more were outside the arena than in.
    http://www.vetpath.co.uk/netpics/indymarch.pdf
    I’d say maybe half again outside the arena as inside, at a wild approximation.

    Everyone I’ve spoken to with experience in estimating crowds has put that lot at well over 5,000, and realistically probably approaching 10,000. The organisers themselves claim to have been counting at several points, and came up with a figure of 9,500. If that’s right, and it would seem to be, there appear to have been between 6,000 and 7,000 people actually inside the gated enclosure at the Ross bandstand, and between 2,000 and 3,000 in the gardens outside the perimiter. As I said, the official maximum standing capacity of the Ross theatre is 3,000.

    The Hillsborough report came out only the previous week. Then on Saturday the police, who were expecting far fewer to attend, gaily allowed the marchers to flood into the fenced terracing of the Ross theatre until it was at least twice its permitted capacity. Is anyone surprised they then played down the numbers?

    I’m not suggesting it was dangerous. I was in there, and it didn’t feel at all dangerous. The photos show even the people at the front as smiling and enjoying themselves. It’s pretty up close and personal though!

    Another thing. There have been persistent attempts to claim that the march was a disappointment, and that far more were expected or hoped for. (This seems to be based on comparing the police estimate of 5,000 with the “wildest dreams” hope for 7,000.) The question to be asked is, if the organisers had expected more people than actually showed up, WHERE WERE THEY INTENDING TO PUT THEM? Would the police even have authorised a significantly bigger march than actually happened to terminate at the Ross theatre, capacity 3,000, even allowing for there being a lot of overspill space in the surrounding gardens? The place was absolutely MOBBED, and there’s no getting away from it.

    These people could always get back to us if the Bitter Together campaign ever manage to organise a march that makes it into four figures. Rumour has it they’ve tried to organise marches but had to cancel due to lack of support. In contrast Saturday’s march was the largest ever pro-independence rally in Scotland. The numbers were exceeded only by a few big gatherings in the past, when crowds were protesting against things they were very angry about, such as the poll tax. Comparisons with Barcelona are preposterous. This wasn’t a protest march. This was just a friendly get-together to show willing, and it was barely advertised. The SNP didn’t promote it to their members. Quite a lot of people I spoke to didn’t even know it was happening. This wasn’t even the warm-up.

  6. bigbuachaille says:

    Johann’s speech was completely obliterated in the 2 later TV interviews by her palpable inability to handle debate. She was clearly ingoherent when pressed, as she was by John Mackay, on Trident, and her recourse to bluster and repeating rehearsed phrases when talking at (because it certainly wasn’t with) Isabel Fraser, was squirmingly nauseous to witness.
    We were left in no doubt as to just why Johann had been kept away from TV interviews for so long, now lampooned so regularly online and especially in http://www.bbc.scotlandshire.co.uk/ .
    Johann could easliy have reduced her 2000+ words to : Aspirations are oot the windae; we’re hingin on tae Trident; and we HATE THE SNP., and are NO GOANIE STOP HATIN THEM.
    Welcome back to your blog.

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