The upside down world of the people’s party

The world has turned upside down. The sun rises in the west. Unionist hate trolls really are just bantering satirically. And the Tories are ahead of Labour in a Scottish opinion poll. The last time that happened rationing was still in force, the Scotsman was still a respected newspaper, and people thought that the BBC news was unbiased.

Mind you, the last time the Tories were ahead of Labour in an opinion poll in Scotland they were actually the largest party in a country which was still in thrall to sectarianism and deference. Scotland has changed, for the better, now the fact that the Tories are doing better than Labour has a lot more to do with how badly Labour is doing than any great rivival in the fortunes of the you’ll-have-had-your-teas. Ruth Davidson might be getting bigged up by the desperate echo chamber of the Scottish mainstream media, but the attractions of a Tory on a tank appeal to only a very minor segment of the Scottish population.

The new poll from Yougov puts the Tories on 20% and Labour on 19% in the constituency vote. The SNP on 50% still have quite a bit more of the vote share than the Tories and Labour combined, but these days in Scottish politics an SNP landslide is about as surprising as the A83 being blocked at the Rest and Be Thankful after a torrential downpour. The great Tory revival has seen their vote share increase by just a couple of percentage points, and since they were to begin with about as welcome as Jar Jar Binks at a Star Wars convention, their recovery still leaves them in the critical ward. The Tories remain as out of place in Scottish political sentiment as a raised toilet seat in a convent, so the puff artists of the right wing Scottish media would be wise not to get too excited. But then they’re too busy these days protecting their banteresque trollish pals on Twitter.

The real reason that the Tories have overtaken Labour is because Labour’s support is getting deflated even more quickly than James Kelly in a Holyrood debate. Sadly for Labour in Scotland the voters just don’t stop raining on the party’s chances of doing anything but sink even further into a big muddy puddle of despair. Fieldwork on the new opinion poll was carried out while Labour made its dramatic announcement that it was going to raise income tax on everyone, but without explaining clearly how it was going to compensate the low paid for the loss in their income.

Despite all the help that BBC Reporting Scotland can give them in the guise of unbiased reporting of independent think tanks that just happen to have Labour directors, Scotland’s voters are not impressed by a policy which entails taxing the low paid and then promising to compensate them by unspecified means. We’ve all heard Labour’s promises before. Labour doesn’t have a policy problem in Scotland. It has a trust problem. They’ve lied too often. They’ve taken Scotland for granted too often. The self-proclaimed people’s party has put party before people too often. People in Scotland look at Labour’s policies and they see a Donald Trump combover.

The policy was an attempt to woo back the SNP’s more left wing supporters, but no one was seduced by Jackie Baillie’s arithmetical prowess or James Kelly’s assertion that he was taken seriously as he attempted to probe the Scottish Government on its tax plans. The tragedy for Labour in Scotland is that the only time James Kelly gets anywhere near a probing is when he visits his proctologist. There are more people who take Zippy from Rainbow seriously than there are who think that the Labour MSP for Rutherglen is serious political heavyweight, and Zippy has got a hand up his backside too.

Despite totally independent and impartial think tanks which just happen to have former Labour advisors as their directors assuring us, via a BBC that doesn’t think its relevant to mention their links to Labour, that the tax policy is progressive, the public in Scotland clearly have different views. Left wing voters are not flocking back to Labour because the image of Labour politicians standing side by side with the Tories and gloating as the British establishment is seared into their memories. No one on the Scottish left is going to forgive Labour any time soon for turning its back on the working class communities that gave it birth. On the other side of the political spectrum the party’s attempts to position itself to the left of the SNP are only alienating those Unionist supporters who believed that Jim Murphy was dangerously socialist.

The only fight left in Labour is the fight amongst its politicians to secure themselves a place on the party’s regional lists. Conducted with a degree of bitterness that even makes normal party meetings seem like a 1960s love-in, failed Westminster politicians have been fighting no-mark MSPs in an attempt to save their political skins. It’s rumoured that Anas Sarwar is poised to take the first place on the party’s Glasgow list. When Anas Sarwar is your saviour, you’re already condemned to a well deserved perdition. When you try to assert that imposing income tax rises on the low paid as well as the better off is progressive, you’ve gone off on a linguistic tangent where words no longer mean what everyone else thinks they mean.

Meanwhile the Tories make their pitch to the diehard Loyalists, the Rangers fans, and the better off who are more concerned about the price of their properties than they are about the future of their country or the welfare of their fellow citizens. With its tax plans that leave the rich and big companies unaffected, Labour makes it easy for them. A fairer Scotland is not one where people on below average wages pay more in order to make up the shortfall caused by Tory cuts that Labour didn’t oppose. No wonder that the right wing Scottish press devotes acres of coverage to Labour’s plans.

While Labour ties itself in fiscal knots and substitutes assertion for reason, the Tories are positioning themselves as the only real Unionist party left. As the flute and whistle brigade march off to the Tories, Labour’s voter base crumbles even more, and the sun sets in the east on the upside down world of the people’s party.

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46 comments on “The upside down world of the people’s party

  1. […] Source: The upside down world of the people’s party […]

  2. IreneMac says:

    Absolutely perfect, spot on, couldn’t agree more. What a great start to the weekend. Thank you.

  3. Always a thoroughly entertaining read. Thank you WGD.
    ‘When Anas Sarwar is your saviour, you’re already condemned to a well deserved perdition.’

  4. Loveme2times says:

    The distance we all are from the MSM is so vast, they are so out of touch and it seems SLAB are just as bad. Words like “progressive” tax and then citing think tanks that we all find out within minutes on social media and stuffed full of their cohorts, the game is well and truly over for this horrible party and long may it continue.

    I would love just once for a SLAB politician to come out with something along the lines of, this policy of the SNP is actually a GOOD policy but we think we could make it a VERY GOOD policy, and here is the detail of how it will work. Until they start acknowledging the SNP are doing a good job and the vast majority and Scotland agree they are dead in the water.

  5. Patience is a Virtue says:

    Despite the Scottish Parliament already having determined the matter, it is quite disturbing, that the BBC continues in today’s broadcasting to ‘big-up’ Labour / Liberal party tax policy – clearly someone is not happy with the outcome….and wishes to inform the public how wrong and bad ignoring Labour/Liberal policy is – but that’s democracy for you.

    • Dan Huil says:

      The bbc, like the britnat newspapers, has given up on balanced reporting and is concentrating on saving what’s left of its core britnat vote.

  6. David S. Briggs says:

    I’m a Rangers fan and the chances of me voting Tory are worse than pigs flying along in formation at 14,000 feet.

    Vote SNP in the Constituency and List and help consign Unionism to the dutbin of history

  7. macart763M says:

    Y’know a few weeks back I was on a bit of a low. I’d been watching, with some distress, friends who support various parties within the yes movement get a bit on the short side with each other over voting intentions in the upcoming election (never been big on party politics). The press and unionist establishment were ramping up project fear2 to ridiculous degrees and a wall of doom and gloom was descending generally. As for other outside personal factors? Well, the least said the better, but by this point a now long term chest infection had set in with a vengeance and the kittens had fragged the bed in a twisted psychotic episode involving bowel movements and claws. Suffice it to say the black dog was setting in big time to the point where I was considering giving the interwebby a long rest.

    Its amazing though how an article can swing things to a polar opposite in a heartbeat, or in this case two articles. One left me in a cold rage and the other made me laugh like a drain, both made me realise there is no such thing as party politics till the job is finished. There is only working for what’s right and fighting on the side of the angels as a well thought of lady once said.

    Many thanks to our host.🙂

    • mumsyhugs says:

      Mumsyhugs by name and mumsyhugs to you Macart – take care of yourself!🙂

    • Hope you are feeling a bit more upbeat now mac. The rain put the kybosh on canvassing today, but the good news is, that despite their continual efforts, the state media’s propoganda still ain’t working.
      I won’t give away any information on our voter intention stats, we stopped doing that during the referendum, but suffice to say, at least in our constituency, we are well ahead, and if this trend continues until May, we should return our M.S.P with an increased majority.
      After a serious illness a few years ago I used to be asked by visiting nurses if I ever felt depressed. My usual reply was that I am lifelong Partick Thistle supporter, so I was not overly concerned about my health. Not true of course, and anyway I think most of them didn’t know who the Jags are, so my attempt at humour was lost.
      Please keep writing, because you are one of the best we have. You have the knack, the same as W.G.D, of not only getting to the hub of the matter, but doing so with humour, a skill which is all to rare.

    • Dan Huil says:

      January and February are always cold and miserable. Don’t worry, things are about to heat up.

    • macart763M says:

      Thanks guys I’m fine. There’s lots out there a damn sight worse off.

      A passing downer brought on by a perfect storm of infection and circumstance. Which all adds up to getting the coach to run onto the pitch wi the magic sponge.😀

    • benmadigan says:

      macart – I hope you are taking good care of yourself with that chest infection – these things can linger on and are very debilitating, particularly in the winter season!!
      A friend of mine took all summer to get over one last year
      All best wishes for a speedy recovery

    • Thepnr says:

      Many thanks Macart, everyone’s a winner. Your posts, WGD and all us Yes supporters.

      Chin up young in.

    • I think many of us felt that way in truth with the storms and perma-deluge not helping but aye; a week has been a long time and things appear to have perked up somewhat. The ‘leaking’ of SLAB’s list has injected great comedy to proceedings too. There’s a level of towering intellect therein that would find simultaneous walking and breathing a considerable challenge…

      • macart763M says:

        😀 LOL

        Ayup, clocked the ‘fresh faces’ on wings last night. Seems young Mr Sarwar Jnrs wee soiree did the trick for him, or some folk might think he’s a glutton for punishment.🙂

  8. Gavin.C.Barrie says:

    Meantime Blair Mc Dougall – remember him? – forwards the “analysis” that, switching from % to cash terms with ScotLabour’s tax raising plan, reveals that someone on £13K per annum will pay £19 more tax, and someone earning £200K will pay £2500 more tax. Per annum? Nor does he doesn’t mention the taxable £100 payback proposed by ScotLabour.

    Why he postulates on £13K and not £11K per annum, as does discussed at FM Question Time? And since he wishes to talk in cash terms. How many earners are on £13K per annum? And how many on £200K? Which leads us to quantification: gross contribution by low earners vs gross contribution by the big boys?

    What he doesn’t address is the obscenity that the earnings differential in Scotland can be £11K thro’ to £200K, and he is – presumably – a socialist.

  9. Dorothy Devine says:

    Just right Paul , but for one thing .

    Not only BBBC but STV whose news tonight consisted of a party political lowdown ( some words just fit!) on the progress of the labour list in Scotland.

    It then proceeded to the Calcutta cup – though I may have missed something while stirring the dinner – shortly followed by the ladies who occupied the jeans factory all those years ago ( no harm to them but the anniversary is the news where they are ) and then the Politician and whisky galore – nothing like being up to date eh?

    A complete farce.

  10. brewsed says:

    Elsewhere on the Internet an interesting comment was passed that, should the SLAB come third in May, one or more parts of the media could be inconsolate*, bereft of direction, lost without cause and, also, unable to justify the continued use SLAB for instant rent-a-quote or other SNPBaad diatribes. Which would be interesting. Would they, instead, turn to the tank-top party or the perfidious party? (Ignoring rise and shine, the verdant ones and others). Or, instead, turn to the party the majority of people voted for. For an answer let’s turn to the Scotland Editor at Pathetic Quay, the Honourable Sarah Smith, just returned from a pilgrimage to Iona to confer with her ancestors. No change there I expect.

    *As adjectives the difference between inconsolable and inconsolate is that inconsolable is not consolable while inconsolate is inconsolable. (Which doesn’t make sense to me, but it is off the Internet so it must be true)

  11. davidbsb says:

    Minor but perhaps not entirely irrelevant.

    The Conservatives were popular in the post war period in Scotland, but I believe the reason was less to do with sectarianism and deference. The post war nationalisations of swathes of Scottish industry led to central control from England. That was extremely unpopular in Scotland, and is believed to be why they anti nationalisation Conservatives were popular in the late 40’s early 50’s here.

    It is the perception of anti or pro Scotland positions which seems consistent here. Labour are fucked because they were – and continue to be – anti-Scottish. Thatcher was perceived to be anti.

    Some people act in their own narrow interest – some types of worker, some “income” groups. But it looks like a lot of Scots still care deeply about their country.

  12. Steve Asaneilean says:

    Can someone explain somethings to me please?

    According to the 2011 census only 28% of Scots own their own home. That means 72% don’t.

    Yet economic policy panders to this minority. Why?

    We have a report out today suggesting nearly half of all Scots have no prospect of ever owning their own home because they have been completely priced out of the market. Why is that accepted?

    We have a housing “market” that makes it possible for the value of your home to often double in a decade without you having to do anything much at all. Then when you sell it you might make a five or six figure profit on it yet you pay not one penny of tax on that profit/income. Why is that tolerated by the majority who will never be able to cash in in this way?

    When are we, as a society, going to start seeing houses as somewhere you live rather than as a cash cow investment?

    I just think that something which lines the pockets of a minority to the detriment of the majority shouldn’t be tolerated in a society which claims to be striving for fairness and equality.

    • Steve Mackie says:

      The correct figure is 63% compared to UK average of 70%

    • davidbsb says:

      Those two numbers don’t add up. If its 28% own in the census, and 63% own at the MOT, I would trust the census. However the census figure may be for those without a mortgage – who do own their home strictly speaking.

      Generally, the interest paid to buy a house over the years means you don’t really make a profit from any price increase – the banksters captured that. Then they sell it from under you to pay for your carer when you are too decrepit to do any more than vote No in a referendum.

      The only thing you can say with certainty is that we get shafted whatever we do. Home owner tenant.

  13. benmadigan says:

    @ Steve
    I was shocked at the low percentage of house ownership in Scotland. As far as regards property owners selling their houses – don’t they have to pay capital gains tax on the difference between buying and selling prices?

    However, overall I am not altogether convinced house ownership is the best social policy. Aspiring to ownership drives house prices well beyond their real value, eventually pushing ordinary working people out of towns and cities. (see London house bubble)

    Options on decent (very) long-term/permanent rents, with safeguards against eviction (particularly on farms), rent hikes etc seems to be best policy as it frees up so many people and their savings.

    With decent rents people find it easier to move if they get a job elsewhere in the country. They are free to use savings on what might otherwise be considered luxuries – home improvements, children’s education, extra heating and food if elderly etc.

    And even if they don’t manage to gather much in the way of any savings over their working lives, they have more peace of mind in their daily lives as they don’t have to worry about having a roof over their heads

    • Steve Asaneilean says:

      When you sell your principle property you do not have to pay any income or capital gains tax on any profit you make.

      In this way you can literally walk away with tens or hundreds of thousands of pounds without having done anything to earn that other than sit on a property for some years.

      I simply fail to see how that is in anyway just or fair.

      I think all profits on property should be subject to tax – not just “second” properties.

      I would also place a double council tax (or whatever replaces it) on all holiday homes which are empty for more than 6 months a year.

  14. Saor Alba says:

    “While Labour ties itself in fiscal knots and substitutes assertion for reason”.

    Brilliant Paul. This is the crux of Unionism. It is what all Unionist Party’s and media do. They assert. They have no idea whatever how to reason. They sold their soul to the Devil ages ago. For them there is no going back, but there is no future for them either.

  15. cameronmgb says:

    The bloody Tories will get sod all nowhere with THIS particular socialist, republican Rangers supporter.

  16. David Agnew says:

    Every party without exception has its lunatic fringe. But you tend to find that rarely does that fringe element come to define the goals and ideals of the main group. Increasingly – through the assistance of the MSM, the lunatic fringe of the union has been mainstreamed to such an extent, that they are now the voice of unionism. The ambassadors of UKOK. The prophets of Bettertogether.

    They march forwards and proceed to remind every yes voter why it was they voted yes in the first place. What amuses and disturbs in equal measure, is that they think Scottish labour should be rewarded with a vote for this stupidity. All the while Scottish labours vote is collapsing and the Tories become 2nd party by default.

    Meanwhile the Tories in WM are getting rattled. Sturgeon looks like she is going to tell Dave were to stick his new Scotland Bill. Poor old Dave, he really thought that the SNP and Scottish labour would fight like ferrets in a sack to get at these new “powers”. But the only one who does want them is Scottish labour – the party that isn’t going to win.

  17. Angry Weegie says:

    “There are more people who take Zippy from Rainbow seriously than there are who think that the Labour MSP for Rutherglen is serious political heavyweight, and Zippy has got a hand up his backside too.”

    The only reason Kelly hasn’t got a hand up his backside is that he can’t find it with his left hand and he’s using his right hand foe something else.

    • aplinal says:

      “The only reason Kelly hasn’t got a hand up his backside is that he can’t find it with his left hand and he’s using his right hand foe something else.”

      Writing out his expenses claims?

  18. political tourist says:

    Is the tory increase down to right wing Scots going back to their political home.
    Jim Murphy is gone and Corbyn running the show in London.
    Be interesting to see how well SLAB does in East Ren.

  19. Davy says:

    A very good article, and many thanks for the update on who controls the so-called independent think tanks, I did wonder yesterday where they appeared from to indorse labours tax rises.

  20. Davy says:

    I’m a Ranger’s fan and member of the SNP ,don’t mix us all up with some weans singing stuff they haven’t a clue about.

  21. Ken Waldron says:

    ” The Tories remain as out of place in Scottish political sentiment as a raised toilet seat in a convent..”

    Lol! Brilliant.

  22. katherine hamilton says:

    Excellent, Paul. I wonder who’s remaining to support Labour? The lefties (like me) have left to the SNP because of the betrayal. The righties are going Tory as that is what they always were.
    Talk of 16 to 19% in May I think is optimistic. Could be 8 to 10%.
    As I say,who’s left?

  23. says:

    Reblogged this on Bampots Utd.

  24. lanark says:

    My parents were members of the Labour Party their entire adult lives and I was raised with many of the old myths.

    I first voted SNP in 2007 but went back to Labour in 2010. My eyes were really opened during 2014 and of course I voted Yes. I for one will never, ever vote Labour again. The name “Red Tories” is entirely appropriate.

    An excellent article that sums them up brilliantly.

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