Nationalist thugs in Scotland will boost Scottish Labour’s vote

by Atul Hatwal

Today, Jim Murphy showed why he is a strong leader. Unlike either David Cameron or Ed Miliband, he took his campaign to the streets to meet ordinary voters. It was the type of bold, smart politics that this election has lacked.

It was bold because rather than hiding away behind a lectern, at a ticketed event, protected by a ring of security, Jim Murphy had the courage to stand up and make his case at Glasgow’s St Enoch Square.

He knew that nationalist thugs would be there to shout him down. They always are. That they would try to deny his right to free speech and disrupt a peaceful political gathering.

But still he did it. Because democracy matters and speaking to voters, real people not the adoring activists bussed in for most political rallies, is the lifeblood of politics.

The intimidation and abuse that Jim Murphy experienced were a vivid demonstration of the dark side of Scottish nationalism.

And this is why it was smart, as well as brave, politics.

Media reports of this type of confrontation are more persuasive than any speech by a Scottish Labour politician on the dangers of an unchecked nationalist Raj in Scotland.

Not just for wavering Labour voters, but Tories and Lib Dems too, it shows how freedom of speech, the right to express a pro-union argument or even just a non-nationalist case, is under threat.

To resist the SNP surge, Labour needs the support of Tory and Lib Dem voters. In most Scottish seats, the Tories and Lib Dems don’t stand a chance. The choice is simple: Labour or the SNP. The pictures on today’s news make a powerful case for these voters to lend their votes to Labour to turn back the nationalist tide.

In the final days of this campaign, if Scottish Labour can clearly define itself as the pro-union party, the party that speaks for the 55% who rejected independence in the referendum last year, it can hang on to a swathe of Scottish seats that pollsters have written off.

Seats that the party desperately needs if Ed Miliband is to have any hope of making it into Downing street.

Atul Hatwal is editor of Uncut

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42 Responses to “Nationalist thugs in Scotland will boost Scottish Labour’s vote”

  1. Tafia says:

    And your take on the antics of Labour in Wales disrupting Plaid electioneering dressed in fox costumes and hounding them (no pun) for an entiore day?

  2. swatantra says:

    I take issue with the term ‘Nationalist thugs’. These weirdos have little to do with the SNP and I am sure that Nicola would disown them straight away.’
    But I do agree that Jim is the right leader to sort Scots Labour and rebuild it from scratch for the 2016 Holyrood Elections. As he will be seatless on Thursday, he may contemplate standing for Holyrood and forget about Westminster altogether.

  3. So why did East Renfrewshire Labour party tip the wink to some of the alledged “SNP nationalist thugs” where Murphy would be?

    Sean Clerkin: “I was told by members of the Labour Party in East Renfrewshire at 8:30 this morning”

    Staged, desperate, photo-op if ever i saw it.

  4. Robert Walker says:

    Nationalist thugs ? It was a guy with a megaphone and another on a bike playing some music via a loud speaker !! Scottish Labour really need to have a long hard look at themselves if they want to be taken seriously by the Scottish public ever again. With social media, stunts like this are easily exposed for the sham that they are. If Jim Murphy wants to show Eddie Izzard the ugly side of Nationalism he should point him in the direction of the multiple videos available online of the Better Together ‘ celebrations on George sq the day after the referendum. British Nationalism in all it’s glory.

  5. Tafia says:

    Sean Clerkin and his crew are not SNP as most of Scotland knows (what England thinks is irrelevant as England doesn’t vote in Scotland). They are a group known as ‘Scottish Resistance’.

    It will have as much impact on Scotland’s voting as some English aristo dropping a brat. Probably less.

  6. Cadogan Enright says:

    Presumably you are referring to the Union-Jack waving combat 18 members in Greenock led by orange order member John Montgomery laying in wait for Nicola Sturgeon? see

    do we have to mention how many labour councillors are in the orange order?

    Or the SNP canvasser who was hospitalized today

    Or the many other attacks involving violence on peaceful civic nationalists in the last few days?

    none of which were reported on the BBC

    Instead, protesters invited by Labour are presented as some sort of threat?

    Shame on you all

    Cllr Cadogan Enright

  7. Al says:

    You guys realise you’ll have to live with these lies for the rest of your lives, right?

    The only violence and intimidation going on in Scotland is being perpetrated by those opposed to independence, with the full complicity of the media and the political establishment (‘Scottish Labour’).

    Print something approaching the truth.

  8. Cadogan enright says:

    Another English girl attacked by BNP today while canvassing for SNP

  9. jdman says:

    “Jim Murphy had the courage to stand up and make his case at Glasgow’s St Enoch Square.”

    Dont talk rubbish, he was talking to his hangers on ,the passersby couldn’t have cared less and wouldn’t have been able to stand and listen since when anyone did the liggers were pushing them away,

    “He knew that nationalist thugs would be there to shout him down”

    He knew those people (thugs?) would be there because he made sure they would know, as far as the use of the word “thugs” is concerned that suggests violence, as far as Im aware they small group of non aligned people (not SNP) who turned up were outnumbered by about eight to one by Murphys crew so they didn’t exactly come “team handed looking for trouble did they? but as far as “thugs are concerned
    why dont you make a comment on this ?
    Wings Over Scotland retweeted
    sonny grewal ‏@moylesno1fan 10 hrs10 hours ago
    Some morons from a certain right wing party decided to attack me while i was canvassing. Had to go to A and E for stiches,

    No? thought not.

  10. Mr Akira Origami says:

    This type of thugery shouldn’t be allowed in Britain.

    UKIP are now demanding police forces take a “zero tolerance” approach to this kind of behaviour and “establish a political crimes unit”.

  11. Mr Akira Origami says:

    “Nicola Sturgeon has warned that the next British government could be illegitimate if it fails to include “Scottish voices” as she stepped up demands for a post-election deal with Labour.”

    Hey Nicola! If there are 2 Labour MPS one Libdem MP and one Conservative MP elected in Scotland, they will represent the voice of Scotland.

    Don’t forget Nicola you are not even standing in the British General Election – this is not a Holyrood election. Get back to reality love and start planning the next Scottish independence referendum campaign. You have killed off Labour in Scotland, you won’t kill off Labour in England. (Unless Ed is a complete tosser)

  12. Ex Labour says:

    I suspect this article was more aimed at getting the Tories and LD’s to support Labour. The Tories need the SNP to win and win big, so they wont get behind a “Vote Labour” strategy. Its not in their interests.

    The main thrust is that any anti unionist party will have no legitimacy in Westminster in trying to formulate (or dictate listening to Sturgeon) UK policy. The Tories are then clear to push through EVEL thus putting Siliband in a tight spot between the looney left elements of Labour and the Blairites.

  13. Richard T says:

    So there we have it, the Nat line is that 1) the ranters have nothing to do with the SNP, 2) it’s all a dastardly Unionist black op and 3) Look over there! The BNP are worse!

    All good clean fun.

    Anyway: “To resist the SNP surge, Labour needs the support of Tory and Lib Dem voters. In most Scottish seats, the Tories and Lib Dems don’t stand a chance. The choice is simple: Labour or the SNP.”

    So by implication, Lab voters should be backing LD or Con here in BerRoxSel?

  14. Robert Walker says:

    Richard T , that there is exactly why so many Scots Labour voters are ditching the party in their droves, it was bad enough watching labour working in tandem with the Tories during the Indy ref. To now see them scraping the bottom of the barrel by appealing for Tory votes to retain power is for many, the final straw.

  15. Madasafish says:

    I understand that the SNP have suspended one member over the incident.

  16. Mr Akira Origami says:

    Why didn’t Labour support the SNP and the Yes vote? Ed was saying stick with us be part of a Great Britain. He was saying the Scots will be worse off if they had independence.

    Ed’s probably had enough of Mel Gibson impersonators. He will probably encourage a yes vote in the next Scottish indepence referendum.

    Why doesen’t the SNP have a revolution – they don’t appear to like democracy that much.

    In his defence……..Ed was right, the people of Scotland voted NO.

    The SNP lost the referendum and are becoming a nasty irritation in British politics.

    If the SNP can’t organise a revolution,why doesn’t the SNP ask the rest of Britain for a referendum to get rid of you. I’m sure the consensus would be a positive result for the SNP.

  17. Heidstaethefire says:

    “He knew that nationalist thugs would be there to shout him down.” He certainly did, because a member of East Renfrewshire Labour Party phoned them at 8.30 that morning to tell them, and they hadn’t the wit to spot a set up. Makes you wonder.

  18. Mr Akira Origami says:

    Jim Murphy has said: “He will not be silenced by nationalist mobs.”

    There are now reports that Jim Murphy has taken inspiration from Sasha Baron Cohen and will run down Princess Street in Edinburgh with Union Jack hotpants on the final day of the election campaign, in a last chance attempt at standing up against the nationalists.

    Ed has said, he will do it if Jim hasn’t got the Balls.

  19. Madasafish says:

    It would now appear the SNP have suspended two members over the affair.

    Perhaps those who claimed above it was all a SLAB plot would like to apologise for making false claims and lying?

    If not, then they have zero credibility.

  20. Tafia says:

    Don’t forget Nicola you are not even standing in the British General Election – this is not a Holyrood election.

    Sturgeon is the party leader of the SNP. If any other political party wishes to speak to the SNP about support in Parliament it is her they have to speak to.Incidentally, she will be in London on Friday to attend the VE celebrations, and will be there all weekend along with her negotiating team who have been in London since late last week ‘in talks’ already but with whom has not yet been unearthed by the Times. It’s party leaders and party officials that decide what’s what in any inter-party deals, not elected MPs – it’s none of their business.

    You apparently have no idea of what happens on Thursday and the aftermath. Thursday is only to vote for an MP to Parliament and that is all. Government is by appointment and is not voted on by the electorate – in fact it has nothing to do with them. The sole purpose of a general election is to vote for an MP and that is all. In fact neither the PM nor any Cabinet Ministers even have to be MPs and not only that, there isn’t even a requirement for a PM so long as there is a Cabinet.

    Madasafish, the two SNP members were suspended over a separate incident at the same rally. They were shouting ‘murderer’, ‘warmonger’ and ‘red tory etc’ at Murphy and that bit consisted of a total 5 protesters shouting (including the two now suspended, two watching and four handing out SNP leaflets. The one the press latched onto wasn’t that one, it was the one with the loudspeaker etc by the anarchists Scottish Resistance and the famous picture of their Sean Clerkin screaming in Murphy’s face while an anarchist known as Empire Biscuit drowned Murphy out by playing excerpts from the Sound Of Music via a sound system mounted on a bicycle. There was also a protest by the Scottish Greens which, like them, went largely unnoticed and a journalist who was hit with a placard by a Labour activist is the only act of violence that took place.

    That said, if I was Murphy I would be worried – have you seen the photos of the crowd listening to him and Izzard? less than 100 people (about 20 of which were Labour Party activists), during the day, with a major celebrity, in a city centre.

  21. Mr Akira Origami says:

    Tafia…..”Talks” about what? Nicola Sturgeon stands for indepenence, the primary aim of the SNP.

    How can you plan economic stabily in Britain for the future, when you have a secessionist party in the cabinet.

    Nicola won’t be in Parliment, she is a Scottish MSP. On the other hand, Jim Murphy, if he is still alive and get’s elected will.

    The SNP have got nothing to offer Britain except instability.

    Oh yes, and blackmail…..

    “The Scottish National party could push for a second vote on independence if the next UK government implements tough spending and welfare cuts, the party’s deputy leader has suggested.

    Stewart Hosie, a close ally of the SNP leader, Nicola Sturgeon, said pressure from Scottish voters for a new referendum would be hard to resist if Westminster failed to accommodate the SNP’s spending plans.”

    Are the SNP are telling the electorate of Britain they are the party of prudence? We heard that from Gordon….enough already.

  22. Tafia says:

    I fail to see why you seem surprised that the SNP are persuing a policy of independence. That is what they will continue to do until they get it so for you to think it that unusual you need to bring it up says far more about you than them.

    How can you plan economic stabily in Britain for the future, when you have a secessionist party in the cabinet. You don’t actually have the faintest idea about what you are on about do you. The SNP would only be allocated Cabinet positions if whoever attempts to form the next government wants them in a Coalition. As it stands not even the SNP want a Coalition, preferring a far looser arrangement of Confidence & Supply – for which you don’t get Cabinet seats.

    Whether the SNP plays any part of the next UK government a C&S is entirely up to the people trying to form a government and in order to negotiate it they will negotiate with Sturgeon. You canot make agreements with other parties – even informal ones, without coinsulting the party leadership. That to difficult for you to understand? It has nothing to do with mere voters. They cease to be of any relevance at 10pm Thursday night.

    What the SNP have to offer the people of Britain is neither here nor there and of no relevance – come Friday the only thing that is of relevance is the number of seats they can provide to support or vote down a Queens Speech and that is all the politicians of both Labour and the Tories will be bothered about.

    Incidentally, Labour already rely on the northern Irish SDLPs MPs to vote with them – and the SDLP are a nationalist party, seeking to leave the UK. Labour were also in coalition with Plaid Cymru in the Assembly for a time – and Plaid are a nationalist party seeking to leave the UK also.

    Are the SNP are telling the electorate of Britain they are the party of prudence? They never have – quite the opposite. They are against further austerity. Full stop.

    As for blackmail – any form of political alliance between 2 or more parties is gong to involve a significant amount of blackmail by all side concerned.

    If Labour take Office, to govern effectively they will be looking for support from the SNP, Plaid, SDLP & Greens. They simply have no choice.

    Likewise the Tories will need the Lib Dems, DUP & UKIP (and possibly UUP as well). They simply have no choice either.

    So it boils down to the ambitions of two men – Cameron & Miliband – and how much each is willing to concede to get to Number 10. And it looks on current projections that whoever it is is going to have to concede a considerable chunk of their manifesto.

    Whether or not there will be another referendum in the next few years will not be decided this week – it will be decided in the Holyrood elections next year. If the SNP stand with it in their Holyrood manifesto and gain a majority, then they have the authority persue one.

  23. Robert Walker says: .. Here’s what actually happened, judge for yourselves.

  24. Tafia says:

    There you go Akiri, explained especially for you in terms a child can understand.

    Note two things:-

    That the current PM and the current Cabinet remain as such until Cameron resigns.
    That inter party negotiations are conducted by party officials.

    Understand it now? It’s very simple. To rely on the SNP bloc vote at Westminster will require negotiating with the SNP leader – Sturgeon. The fact she isn’t an MP has got absolutely nothing to do with it in any way, shape or form. Likewise iif Labour wish to rely on the Plaid vote they will have to talk to Leanne Wood – and she’s not an MP either.

    Jesus Christ, to think people died to get you the vote.

  25. Mr Akira Origami says:

    So funny!

    I liked the woman pointing out that the Sound of Music was an anti-Nazi film.

    Well done that woman, for standing up with decency and dignity to that SNP idiot.

  26. Mr Akira Origami says:

    Tafia….you stand for Welsh nationalism. Having an unstable British economy is right up your street.

    You are a passionate nationalist and embrace national socialism. I am afraid you will live with disappointment and bitterness here in Wales.

    ” The latest Welsh opinion poll shows Labour on 40%, Tories 25%, Ukip 14%, Plaid 11% and the Greens and Liberal Democrats both on 5%. Support for Welsh independence, Plaid’s signature policy, is on a mere 6%. There is nothing to suggest Plaid is about to improve on the three Westminster seats it is defending; it may even lose one.”

    This sums up the intellectual capacity of your leader. ” – her official biography still lists her interests as “learning Welsh, and gardening.”

    “one Labour strategist bluntly describes her as “an asset to us.”

    Don’t be a bitter and disappointed national socialist, there is something you can do!

    Move to Scotland………”.So long, farewell, auf Wiedersehen, good night”.

    PS…people did die to get the vote and the huge majority of them don’t vote for national socialism. (although some folks in Europe tried it once, resulting in a catastrophic conclusion)

    Let’s not forget Hugh MacDiarmid: Hugh MacDiarmid, still hallowed as Scotland’s foremost nationalist poet, argued in the 1930s that Nazism should be a model for Scottish socialist nationalists; in 1940 he wrote a poem admitting that if London should be destroyed by bombs, “I hardly care”. He later became an ardent supporter of the Soviet Union – a fact that, appallingly, excuses his earlier sympathies in the eyes of his admirers.

    Now when London is threatened
    With devastation from the air
    I realise, horror atrophying me,
    That I hardly care.

    In the position we are now in I would prefer a Labour/Conservative coalition.

    Britons must resist national socialism! You know it makes sense……………..

  27. Madasafish says:

    I notice no SNP supporters have apologised.

    Tells you all you need to know about their lack of decency and common courtesy..

  28. uglyfatbloke says:

    So let’s see if I’ve got this right?
    Labour voters should always vote Labour because then they are voting for what they believe in and every vote for Labour counts. Other voters should sacrifice their beliefs for the greater good and therefore vote Labour to keep the tories out?
    Also; if they don’t vote for the party that wins their vote will be wasted – unlike a Labour vote which always counts however hopeless the situation may be.
    FPTP is a fair electoral system because it can give one party 80% of the seats for 40% of the votes. Obviously it ‘s not fair in Scotland if Labour is losing, but it’s a national treasure if Labour is winning.
    Jim Murphy should be protected when he stands on street corners and rants through a bullhorn because that is free speech. Nobody should be able to shout back at him because that’s hooligan mob-mentality.
    It’s a great thing for the whole country for Jim to put on his sepulchral voice and talk nonsense and it’s a betrayal of our democratic values if anyone disagrees with him – though it won’t much matter since he’ll just talk over them anyway.
    It’s only right that he should puff himself up and complain when somebody calls him a liar just because he’s not been telling the truth, but fortunately BBC journalists will allow him to pontificate as much as he likes.
    In extreme cases a TV presenter may raise their hand to make it look as if they are asking Jim to extend the courtesy that he demands from everyone else to everyone else, but they must not and will not prevent him form applying the bully-boy tactics that have carried him to where he is now.
    Jim inherited a weak position and has – by the sheer force of his personality – made things worse to the point of humiliating disaster. Until quite recently I really did n’t think the gnats stood a hope in hell of getting a majority of Scottish seats, but Jim has turned me round on that.

  29. Tafia says:

    Unfortunately Mr Origami , you do as you always do and tit yourself big time and pick something without looking at things first. Not only was that poll an ‘outlier’ when you look at other polling done at the same time by other companies, but it was done prior to that article – which iorself was published in the April 6th edition.

    As for independence, that is not an issue this election however you should have done your cross referencing and found that 12 months before Scotlands referendum, Yes was only on 12%. And look what’s happened since. Likewise you should also have found out that when given a straight Yes or No in Wales with no other options, the last poll was Yes 32% nearly three times higher than when Yes Scotland had when it started out.

    But that’s your problem – you blunder i which on twatter and f**kbook is easy to get away with, but on an avowedly political site people check and look and cross reference and analyse – which undoes you everytime. (plus your basic knowledge of politics and political procedure is laughably poor – you don’t even understand the basics, Definate UKIP garbage is all you are))

    @Madasafish – I agree. There is absolutely no excuse for subjecting innocent people to the Sound of Music – it borders on being a war crime. Only one other question remains unanswered – why does Izzard look like a grotesque caricature of Nicola Sturgeon.

    And the only political party that trys to claim that Plaid and the SNP is the BNP – which doesn’t bode well for people’s opinions of you.

  30. swatantra says:

    Almost as many fruitcakes as UKIP? Nicola must weed them out, before the SNP is brought into disrepute.

  31. Greta says:

    Excuse me, for this contribution, but as somebody living in Germany, the campaigning parties start to be like versions of Fred Karno´s army?
    Is Labour pro – or con – referendum, is SNP pro-Euro but against the union? Are the tories pro referendum, but europhiles or rather eurosceptics and against a referendum, not to mention what they think about the Scottish Independence and other separatist movements, are Lib Dems europhiles but also pro SNP, but without the option of a referendum for independence in near future: A Scottish Independence Party without Independence in its agenda. Is the enemy of my enemy my friend – who wants to have a coalition with UkIP?
    Anyway, immigration is on top of all parties agendas. And, of course, the EU – especially France and Germany – the beginning and end of all misery.

    A hung parliament seems likely? SNP could act as kingmakers from the North, although Milliband ruled out a coalition, but not the prospect of working on a vote-by-vote basis, if so the case. Many researcher on Britain`s political and economic prospect outline a rather complex – challenging – future. Whichever party or combination wins, there are these pending, familiar economic problems to be faced. I.e.: even if the current growth is sustained, living standards as measured by average GDP per head are likely to be below those in 2007, the beginning of the financial crisis (2007 -2008).
    Another familiar problem, that the new government will have to face, is the gap in incomes, wealth and every other measure of welfare both between the regions of the country and between socio-economic groups is wide and shows little sign of narrowing. Manufacturing is likely to have shrunk further as a proportion of GDP to no more than 10 per cent. In times of turmoils, populistic and nationalistic parties gain momentum. Who, then, can offer the right policies to make the national economy grow on a sustainable basis? Nationalistic Separatists, who will have to face the same structural problems in their regions as today, caused by the decline of the industries there, but having to govern without subsidies from Westminster? Or Eurosceptic, right wing parties, who believe, that the source of all evil lies in EU membership / immigrations? Again the question is: who will pay for all the – necessary – public spending, i.a. on healthcare, R& D, pensions etc.? How can anybody in times of ageing workforce and in the prospect of pension crisis deny the need of an inflow of young immigrant workers? Can the British economy thrive outside the EU?
    What if “most of our problems are not caused by Brussels, but by chronic British short-termism, inadequate management, sloth, low skills and a culture of easy gratification and under-investment”, as Boris Johnson once said, before positioning himself as one of the most Eurosceptic senior politicians in the Conservative party.
    Referring to UKIP´s campaign on stopping / controlling immigration and leaving EU, it should be mentioned, that regulations and immigration rules already exist, that are not the same in every EU country. This is because most EU countries have both EU rules and their own national rules, as i.e. Ireland and the United Kingdom choose, on a case-by-case basis, whether or not to adopt EU rules on immigration, visa and asylum policies. (
    Bringing in a new migration legislation in Britain, with stricter rules on benefit and ground of appeal, as Milliband promises, if labour wins, is therefore a viable option to handle this problem on a national level without having to leave the club for that reason and for good.
    The economy is the key battleground in the election. UK went from a major industry led nation to a service nation, with banking as the main industry. The manufacturing-oriented North has been suffering from a constant decline. Unemployment is heavily concentrated in these areas of the country. Would it not make sense to encourage new manufacturing sites in these areas, offer people work opportunities and the possibility to keep their costs low, avoiding high cost-base in the South East of the UK? The revival of manufacturing, integrating new technologies and innovations, recurring on younger think tanks, encouraging start-ups etc. and by thus triggering local development – all these are possible projects supported by the EU Regional Fund. This kind of activity would also help to achieve the necessary rebalancing of the economy away from the excessive dominance of financial services. Beyond a narrow-minded nationalistic ideology and a parochial, insular identity, either separatistic or populistic, there are better options and strategies to create a new, thriving and cultural diverse society, which is the – as a matter of a fact anyway the world we live in, like it or dislike it. The uprise of populistic and separatistic movements in Europe shows that the tractional parties has to rethink and reshape their profiles and stand up against all hate propaganda, offering an outward-looking, confident policy with long-term programs and perspectives.

  32. Tafia says:

    correction And the only political party that trys to claim that Plaid and the SNP is the BNP

    Should read And the only political party that trys to claim that Plaid and the SNP is national socialist is the BNP – which doesn’t bode well for people’s opinions of you

  33. Tafia says:

    A nice read Greta however some of the points you make are based on not knowing how things work here.

    For example but having to govern without subsidies from Westminster? You refer there to a thing known on UK as the Barnett Formula or Barnett Consequentials. This is an extremely complex system that is supposed to transfer wealth from one part of the UK to another to equal it out and was designed in the late 1970s. It doesn’t work. It’s virtually impossible to work out how they arrive at the figures and the figures themselves can be interpreted a multitude of different ways as they are in the main unquantifiable suppositions. As a result in some cases fairly wealth areas are recipients and fairly poor areas are contributors. Even the amount each region is paying in is open to debate. Look at it one way and Scotland is a net recipient, look at it another and they are a net contributor of 6% of their GDP. Wales likewise can be viewed as either a net recipient or breaking even dependent on how you look at the figures – same with Northern Ireland. It’s a mess that needs serious reform but nobody dares do it in case it’s their areas that end up losing money.

    Anyway, immigration is on top of all parties agendas. No it isn’t. And there is even arguing about what constitutes immigration. For example internal immigration – ie from other EU countries, is not liked because they, as EU nationals, have immediate access to benefits, housing assistance and low wage supplements. External immigrants have a considerable amount so poorly educated as to be unemployable. As a result they go straight on benefits and remain there, then years later bring over elderly relatives etc . We have ended up with so many unskilled immigrants (from both the EU and outside the EU), who are willing to work for low pay, that our native low-skilled population is priced out of the job market. Then the employers abuse the government pays wage subsidies for low pay (tax credits) so the employers are quite content to continue paying low pay. Most people in the UK want access to the benefits system by non-UK nationals restricted to those who have been here several years first and have worked and paid in to the system. This is easy to do with non-EU immigrants, but will require the consent of Brussels for EU immigrants.

    These are just two examples. There are several other differences between what you think our reality is and what our reality really is and I’m sure others will point out.

  34. Mr Akira Origami says:


    “and look what happened since” – A lot of unhappy SNP folk who haven’t sobered up from the elation of the night before the independence referendum election and who are now finding it difficult to accept democracy. I have nothing against separists movements in Britain. Let them have their referendum and accept it’s outcome.

    PS…If English speaking South Wales had a referendum on leaving the rest of Wales and the outcome was to become independent, would you accept that?

    There is a lingual/cultural/political divide in Wales. South Wales could in theory have a basis for autonomy in a federal system in Britain. Perhaps even a Welsh, West/ East divide? (I’m not sure how Pembrokeshire would react. Maybe “The Party for Pembrokeshire”?)

    Pembrokeshire could follow the aspirations of Cornish folk:

    “The historic Nation of Cornwall has its own distinct identity, language and heritage. As one of the four nations inhabiting the British mainland, Cornwall has the same right to self-determination as England, Scotland and Wales. Mebyon Kernow is leading the campaign for the creation of a National Assembly for Cornwall, with the necessary powers to unlock Cornwall’s true potential.”

    Tafia, you are in favour of an independent Wales. Trouble is, Wales would become financially worse off and there would be no going back.

    What do you think of the concept of Tribal Fedralism for Britain.

    We could all be happy!

    “Better separate and together” could be the new mantra for a forward looking Britain.

  35. Mr Akira Origami says:


    “what our reality really is”?

    Politics in Britain is becoming quite Kafkaesque. We can’t see outside the goldfish bowl – it’s got all misted up.

    We don’t know much about German politics but if you had to vote in Britain today who would you give your vote to?

  36. Greta says:

    … Mr. Origami…. tricky question… most likely, Green or Labour, I guess, even if I think Cameron is not too bad as PM. What do you think of a Grand Coalition? Do you prefer it to a minority government? Given that no party will get an outright majority? From the statements made in the campaign there is no coalition arrangement that would be both feasible and possible. Most probably, there will be a minority government reliant on a case-by-case basis on agreement with smaller parties. This can work and has many advantages but it may leave the UK hostage to what will almost certainly be the largest third-party; the SNP. The alternative is of course a Grand Coalition between the Labour and Conservative parties.
    In case of a Grand Coalition, would there be many defections to other parties, notably from Conservatives to UKip? Nationalism is the big issue for minority groups. Scottish Nationalism is a big issue for the Scots and ‘UK Nationalism’ (?) the big issue for UKip and some Conservatives and Unionists. Most of the UK would rather Scotland stayed in the Union or frankly do not care (judging by polls). The position of both Labour and Tory leadership is unequivocally to keep the Union. So a Grand Coalition would have no problem nullifying the SNP. But how about the question of the UK in the EU?
    Polls have the for-and-against exit from the EU quite balanced. Moreover, the polls quickly swing against exit if there has been repatriation of powers. Both parties pay lip service to this except that the CP has promised a referendum, whilst Labour has not. The Tory leadership are not really anti-EU but must appease the UKip inclined that are still voting Conservative. A Grand Coalition would give them a great excuse to dodge this bullet whilst feigning indignation.

    And as to reality…..The world, as we perceive it, is our own invention. Heinz von Foerster (1988) The Invented Reality p.45–46

  37. Greta says:

    If everybody would agree that their current reality is a reality, and that what we essentially share is our capacity for constructing a reality, then perhaps we could all agree on a meta-agreement for computing a reality that would mean survival and dignity for everyone on the planet, rather than each group being sold on a particular way of doing things.
    Varela (1975) in: Anne Waldman eds. (1975) The Coevolution quarterly. Nr. 8-12

    Of course, I am an observer from the outside and therefore always thankful for information
    about realities from inside. My methods of getting information are the usual ones: through
    the Media of the UK, research sources and interviews. In a globalised world and in times
    of the Internet it is quite easy to gain knowledge from different types or sources, collecting,
    comparing and analysing the information, which nonetheless will be biased as it is
    produced by other human beings. Reality remains socially constructed.
    immigration: having followed the election I´d rather say that migration – worldwide and
    from EU – has been an issue in the campaigns, besides, of course, economy, leadership
    and NHS. What is the position of Plaid Cymru on this issue?
    The definition of an immigrant is an internationally recognised one and is anyone who moves to another country for at least a year. (though in other contexts there is no consensus on the term ´migrant`)
    Net long-term migration to the UK was estimated to be 298,000 in the year ending
    September 2014, a statistically significant increase from 210,000 in the previous 12
    months, but below the peak of 320,000 in the year ending June 2005.
    624,000 people immigrated to the UK in the year ending September 2014, a statistically
    significant increase from 530,000 in the previous 12 months. There were statistically
    significant increases for immigration of non-EU citizens (up 49,000 to 292,000) and EU
    (non-British) citizens (up 43,000 to 251,000). Immigration of British citizens increased by
    4,000 to 82,000, but this change was not statistically significant.
    271,000 people immigrated for work in the year ending September 2014, a statistically
    significant increase of 54,000 compared with a year earlier. This continues the rise since
    the year ending June 2012. The increase over the past year applied to both non-EU and
    EU (non-British) citizens, as well as British citizens. However, only the increase for non-EU
    citizens was statistically significant.
    37,000 Romanian and Bulgarian (EU2) citizens immigrated to the UK in the year ending
    September 2014, a statistically significant increase from 24,000 in the previous 12 months.
    Of these, 27,000 were coming for work, a rise of 10,000 on year ending September 2013,
    but this increase itself was not statistically significant.

    On January 1st 2014 Britain, with Germany, the Netherlands and six other EU countries,
    fully opened its labour market to Bulgarian and Romanian workers as transitional
    controls expired. The predicted hordes have not arrived: 32,000 came in the year to June
    2014 compared with 18,000 in the previous year. This is 6% of total immigration and
    27.000 came for work.
    EU ‘migrants’ are of course not necessarily migrants. This would only be the case if they
    applied for British Citizenship. They need not do so as they can work in the UK without
    doing so. The ‘wave of migration’ fear, perpetuated by UKip, is a sleight of mind. The
    people coming here to work may well return to their country of origin in due course and
    without a change of citizenship. The strong inward flow of workers that Britain have
    experienced since 2010 should not be extrapolated. This was an unusual period in which
    the countries of the eurozone experienced high levels of unemployment and the UK had
    strong employment growth. Moreover, one should ask what would have happened if these
    EU workers had not come since, despite the ‘waves’, UK unemployment still fell
    appreciably? Wages might well be higher but only because there would have been labour
    and skill shortages. Indeed in some respects there still are such shortages.
    Various studies have been assessing the fiscal costs and benefits of A 8 migration to the
    UK (and in comparison to other countries in the EU). Taking in account, that all data sets
    are by the day of publishing already outdated, the results show a positive net fiscal
    contribution of immigrants in the past. A8 immigrants are also more likely to participate in
    the labour market, and have higher employment rates than natives, on average. Again,
    each entry cohort increases their employment rates substantially after arrival, with much
    higher employment rates after about 4 years. Looking upon statistics in other EU
    countries, the picture is averagely slightly less positive (with exceptions).
    *Subsidies: The Barnett Formula might be a complex system, but it is not rocket science
    no insult intended.
    The crucial point is rather that it is controversial system, due to the fact that public
    spending per head is considerably different in different parts of the UK. (i.e.20 %higher in
    Scotland than in England). That´s left some countries feeling short changed,especially in
    Wales, where overall GDP remains lower than any other part
    of the UK.
    As Dr E. Roy says:
    Barnett has been criticised over the years on the basis of accountability, equity and
    fairness. These criticisms and calls for review culminated in 2008, with the formation of the
    Calman and Holtham Commissions in Scotland and Wales, respectively.
    The Holtman Commission found out that Wales is currently underfunded with £ 300 per year.
    As I have understood, Plaid Cymru will demand equal funding for Wales and
    Scotland in any Westminster coalition.

  38. Mr Akira Origami says:


    Grand coalitions come about in a national crisis, for instance: war, depression or to keep out parties of the far left or right out of government.

    We are in a strange position now in Britain where a regional party wants to break away. There is some debate going on whether the SNP could be describe as right or left. The Conservatives would say they are right and Labour would say they are left. If Labour would go into coalition with the SNP it could destabalise the country and the economy,

    Personally I think that the SNP should be ignored by Labour. The SNP could only gain more momentum as a force in Scottish politics. They would have 2 agendas.

    1. To complete their independence threat.

    2. To blackmail Labour into their policies which have not been discussed in the mainstream parties. If Labour started implementing SNP policies and it proved disastrous to the economy, it could marginalise them in the future. .

    SNP are as alien to Labour as are the Conservatives to Labour. Better the devil you know scenario.

    If there was a grand coalition, it could come together in the best interests of economic growth and a plan to pay the national debt off over a number of years.

    I would like to see ED and Dave either side of the House of Commons in a coalition. Could even get people interested in politics and an insight into understanding how the economy works. Debate would be fierce for agreement about the best policy to deal with the crisis. It would make for great TV viewing!

    The question of EU? A referendum I suppose, like what Scotland has had.

    “.The world, as we perceive it, is our own invention”…..different animals see the world differently. The Conservatives see the world differently from Labour – Two truths.

    Perhaps if they came to the middle ground, the centre, some kind of consensual truth could evolve?

    PS….and who would you put your cross down for on the day – Greens or Labour?

  39. Tafia says:

    The definition of an immigrant is an internationally recognised one and is anyone who moves to another country for at least a year.

    You will not find many politicians, media or people in the UK who would support that definition. The bulk of the UK class anyone who comes here to live – whether to work or not – as an immigrant the minute they get here, even EU citizens from other EU countries whether the EU likes it or not. And they resent them having access to the benefits system, wage subsidies, public housing, state schools for their kids and the NHS.

    Largely academic now. Cameron pledged to exclude them – EU and non-EU from the system for 4 years and that if they had no job to send then out of the country – again even EU ones.

    In addition, his victory with a majority means there will be a referendum on staying in the EU sometime in 2017.

    He is also going to attempt to buy-off the Scots before the Holyrood elections next year and if that fails they will almost certainly get their second referendum & leave.

    England will be given some form of devolution as well and Wales is going to have more given to it whether it wants it or not by decree as opposed to choice (secretly I suspect he intends to destroy Labour in Wales by showing them up to be inept – which won’t be difficult. It’s no secret that Plaid and the Welsh tories find it easier to work with each other than Welsh Labour so it would suit both parties to accelerate the demise of Welsh Labour).

    And his plan to redraw and balance the constituencies – thwarted by his partners in the last coalition and meaning a more even spread of population in each which in turn means fewer seats in Wales, Scotland & Northern Ireland, will now go ahead – meaning it will probably be a very very long time before Labour get back into Number 10 – if ever.

  40. Mr Akira Origami says:

    ” It’s no secret that Plaid and the Welsh tories find it easier to work with each other than Welsh Labour so it would suit both parties to accelerate the demise of Welsh Labour).”

    Both are anti-Labour, but lets not forget:

    Welsh Conservatives are unionists – Plaid Cymru are Secessionists.

    A future coalition could never be considered………

  41. Greta says:

    In discussing immigration different politicians and several segments of UK press have employed a frame that have proved effective for radical right-wing parties elsewhere in Europe, depicting migrants as only a costly and cultural problem. Despite the hysteric ant-immigration coverage of some tabloids like The Sun (notable the use of dehumanizing metaphors) and Daily Express et al., the majority of people are fully capable holding a variety of nuanced positions to it. It is, therefore, a mistaken assumption that whoever talks toughest will be most likely to connect with them. Most claims made about migrants and their impact on the economy and public finance have little basis in fact. (For example: EU immigrants from EU – 15 countries contribituted 64% more in taxes than they received in public benefits, immigrants from Central and Eastern EU countries 12 % more).
    There has been a general failure by political leader – Labour and Conservatives – to challenge myths and misconceptions about immigration. Especially Conservatives have sought to gain political capital by appearing tough on this issue. The fact that the debate on it has become entangled with UK membership of EU does not help either to establish a public discourse that avoids shrill, national and populistic tones.
    On measuring devolution and the impact on the economy ….
    For example Wales: Is Wales better off now than 15 years ago? It depends which indicators are used…GDP, unemployment rate, GVA etc…
    As to the gap of funding, would independence help solving it?
    Apart from the Welsh government there are other organizations that determine whether the Welsh economy thrives, as UK government (taxes, welfare payments), the Bank of England (monetary policy, interest rates), the European Union (economic aid for West Wales and the Valleys), the World Bank and International Monetary Fond, not to forget the impact of changes of policy by multinational cooperation around the world.

  42. Greta says:

    Is devolution – as Tony Blair once said – the best way to avoid the break-up of Britain, to reject separatists and federalism because England is too big compared with the other nations, whereas a balance between parts is required in a federal state? Can the promise to enable Scotalnd and Wales to have self-government within the UK be delivered without institutional changes in the structure of devolution? How to tackle the asymmetry in the devolution project?
    Devolving power to the UK nations and major cities is a good idea but without a country-level electoral reform it risks institutionalizing rather than empowering local government.

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