Coffee House

Keep Gordon Brown out of the battle for Scotland

15 October 2012

10:54 AM

15 October 2012

10:54 AM

I used to be a barman in a pub in Rosyth, where David Cameron is visiting today, and it’s hardly a hotbed of separatism. Its dockyard is not just a reminder of the many defence jobs the Union brings, but of what happens when the work shrinks and the jobs go.

Many of the locals in Cleos were unemployed ex-dockyard workers, and I spent a good chunk of my life hearing them tell me about life and politics. All of them derided the idea of an independent Scotland: they saw it as a quixotic bet that a family man could not afford to place. Mind you, they had a burning hatred for obfuscating politicians who spoke down to them. This was a solidly Labour seat, and had been since Gordon Brown settled down (and even married) a couple of miles away in North Queensferry. But when the boundary review came along, the Liberal Democrats challenged. Brown didn’t fancy what looked like a contested election, Brown found that the new seat he’d be living in had more Liberal Democrats than he felt comfortable with.

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Not for the last time, Brown bottled it. Lewis Moonie in the neighbouring constituency suddenly found himself being fitted for ermine. The terminally ill Rachel Squire contested the new Dunfermline and West Fife, and Brown did try to help in the by-election a few months later. But he did it in a way that lectured the locals about all manner of things, reeling of statistics in a way that was designed up pummel people into submission. Labour lost the seat, and Brown ended up living in a Liberal Democrat constituency in an SNP-run country and working in a Tory-controlled city. This should have told Labour something about his effect on elections. Luckily for the Scottish Labour Party, Brown focused on England in 2010 and Dunfermline and West Fife reverted to being a Labour safe seat.

That Brown wants a role in the ‘better together’ pro-union campaign is the best news Alex Salmond has had in ages. Now that the question has been settled, the unionists need to make a quick and discreet executive decision: no Brown.

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Show comments
  • terregles2

    Gordon thinks Scottish Independence would be bad for the Scots but then he also thought an illegal invasion of Iraq would be good for Iraq.

  • http://www.facebook.com/marian.deevoy Marian Deevoy

    \frassie old boy, you are few years late with your doing down of Gordon Brown. It was at its peak when the Murdoch press (who had a large axe to grind with Gordon,and are now,approx £1b later, regretting it) were sure that they could lead Cameron to victory. How silly of them, and how silly of you.

  • David

    Dreadful, dreadful man – as the by-election tale illustrates.
    His hypocricy knows no bounds. There are now just 2 Churches of Scotland left in London; the one I attend is quite close to Downing Street. A Brown brother attends sometimes, but not Gordon; nor did his sons come to Sunday School.
    No problem – free choice.
    But, when election time comes around in April 2010, guess who pops up, en famille – for the cameras naturally – attending a Methodist Chapel near the City.
    The Church of his father – who he was never slow to quote in aid – was clearly ruled too Scottish for the voters’ taste.
    Awful man.

  • Hexhamgeezer

    Mr Nelson, ywhat did those horny handed sons of toil think of Europe?
    In the CIU I worked in the language would strip paint regarding the Euritits.

  • igor1st

    Gordon has as much right to vote as any other Scot….but, on the other hand there may just be some one whose vote will neutralise his..

  • London Calling

    “If its brown…flush it down”. problem is Gordon always manages to pop up time and time again…I fear it will end in tears…:)

    PS
    So Fraser knows how to pull a pint, I would never have guessed. That may come in useful if there’s a Bar staff shortage at one of your conventions…:O

    • Austin Barry

      If Gordon ever retires and opens a pub, called perhaps “The Bearded Man”, in an obscure part of Britain, say Edinburgh, he could employ Fraser as his barman to regale English tourists in an indecipherable accent about when he was a deep cover socialist mole working for something called, mysteriously, The Speccie.

  • dorothy wilson

    We should keep Gordon Brown out of everything. Can’t we find a posting for him as ambassador to some remote country – Outer Mongolia might just do.

  • Judy

    What could be better than having Gordon Brown permanently removed from the English political scene by helping to secure a massive vote for an independent Scotland by campaigning in person and prominently for the unionist cause? Along with him would go a rather large number of Scottish Labour MPs and their seats, thereby achieving ample compensation for the LibDems’ betrayal of their commitment to support long overdue boundary changes that would otherwise have given the Tories up to 20 extra MPs. True poetic justice! Come on Gordon, you know you want to!

  • Middle aged cyber-nat

    That’s cruel Fraser, Gordon is the best they’ve got!

  • wrinkledweasel

    Iain Martin, writing in today’s Telegraph, makes the inescapable point on the issue: membership of the EU. He cites Ireland as an example. It has always seemed odd to me that Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness think that being told what to do by Brussels is better than being told what to do by Westminster.

    Ditto, Alex Salmond. I am broadly pro-nationalist, being English and resident in Scotland for the past ten years and the choice that is about to be offered is no choice at all. I suppose that a significant vote in favour of the SNP would send a message to Westminster, but thereafter it’s going to be straight bananas and the threat of Somali refugees.

    What will save Scotland, ultimately, from becoming more “British” (and by that I mean the silly human rights laws, the flood of undesirables and fines for leaving wheelie bins in the wrong place is the Scots themselves. Give them credit for having a bit more common sense and weather that is so bad, even the Romanian beggars cannot stand it.

    • HooksLaw

      An independent Scotland in the EU and the Euro and signed up for Schengen. Who’s going to vote for that?

  • Daniel Maris

    Why are commentators saying Scotland alone will have to reapply for EU membership in the event of a pro-independence vote?

    The UK is fundamentally a union of the Scottish and English states, in legal terms. If Scotland leaves, the union is dissolved and there are two successor states England (with Wales and Northern Ireland) and Scotland.

    • http://www.coffeehousewall.co.uk/ Coffeehousewall

      You are mistaken.

    • HooksLaw

      The very fact of Scotland ‘leaving’ means that the rump UK maintains the status quo, it is not a successor state.
      So sadly for you we would stay in the EU.

      • fubarroso

        In that case we must support Sinn Féin in their battle for independence in the North and persuade Plaid Cymru to go for it too!

      • Daniel Maris

        That’s stuff from the pavement you scrape off your shoe, HooksLaw. You don’t “leave” a freely entered into union anymore than you “leave” a marriage. What happens is that the union is dissolved. So it is with England and Scotland. If England agrees to Scotland becoming independent (and no one claims she won’t if the Scots vote to go their own way) then the union is dissolved and both England and Scotland become successor states. England might call itself “The UK” but that is about as meaningful as Serbia and Montenegro calling themselves “Yugoslavia”.

  • Bruce

    “I used to be a barman in a pub in Rosyth” so your carreer peaked early.

  • Steerage

    Having casually conceded on voters’ age (which means a UK precedent has been set) I hope the referendum ‘single’ question is wisely phrased.
    In Northern Ireland in 1972 the border poll question was in two parts to avoid bias – essentially Do you want to stay in the UK/Do you want to join the Republic?

  • Steerage

    Having casually conceded on voters’ age (which means a UK precedent has been set) I hope the referendum ‘single’ question is wisely phrased.
    In Northern Ireland in 1972 the border poll question was in two parts to avoid bias – essentially Do you want to stay in the UK/Do you want to join the Republic?

    • HooksLaw

      The voting age i think is a devolved scottish issue and so no precedent for national elections. No doubt if a future Labour govt felt it was in their interests then they would try to bring it in for national elections

  • Bryan Dunleavy

    Those of us south of the border, who are not being given a vote about whether we want to keep the union or not, are minded to tell them to “sod off!” In which case I am quite happy to see Gordon Brown plough on to the second achievement of his dismal career (the first being to keep Tony Blair from taking us into the Euro), namely, to encourage more Scots to vote for separation.

    • telemachus

      You forget his pivotal role in getting the most progressive administration for a century elected

      • Ruby Duck

        The coalition ?

        • telemachus

          No 1997

  • Bryan Dunleavy

    Those of us south of the border, who are not being given a vote about whether we want to keep the union or not, are minded to tell them to “sod off!” In which case I am quite happy to see Gordon Brown plough on to the second achievement of his dismal career (the first being to keep Tony Blair from taking us into the Euro), namely, to encourage more Scots to vote for separation.

  • wrinkledweasel

    Please, please let it be true.

    Incidentally, I had to chuckle about references elsewhere at the CH about Alistair Darling being a rampant Trot or at least an unreconstructed lefty. He’s also a Europhile, as is Alex Salmond.

    It doesn’t seem like a lot of choice is being offered to the people of Scotland; either a lefty Europhile with a Saltire, or another lefty Europhile with a Union Jack.

    So what, exactly, is the point of a referendum?

  • wrinkledweasel

    Please, please let it be true.

    Incidentally, I had to chuckle about references elsewhere at the CH about Alistair Darling being a rampant Trot or at least an unreconstructed lefty. He’s also a Europhile, as is Alex Salmond.

    It doesn’t seem like a lot of choice is being offered to the people of Scotland; either a lefty Europhile with a Saltire, or another lefty Europhile with a Union Jack.

    So what, exactly, is the point of a referendum?

  • http://twitter.com/adlingtonj John Adlington

    There seem to be a lot of Scots getting pretty animated about this independence thing, particularly the ones keen on the status quo.

    As an Englishman I can see independence as a very attractive option for both Scotland and the rest of the UK so please do roll out Jock McBroon.

  • Fergus Pickering

    Why are we discussing this?. Salmond has lost the vote. The whole thing is quite irrelevant since Cameron stitched up that fat one over the question to be asked in the referendum. Even the schoolchildren’s vote won’t save him now. A pity really. I was looking forward to permanent Tory Hegemony south of the border.

    • dalai guevara

      Bang on, Fergus – you are the first to notice this important detail. The game is up, the deal is done. Now, it baffles me that Europhobes in Britain criticise the ‘back room’ dealings of power, when what we have just witnessed today are the ‘back room’ dealings of power.

  • Wilhelm

    Why has Cyclops disappeared from view ? Here is the highlight of his career, Gillian Duffy, Rochdale, note the disdain and utter contempt he has for a traditional labour voter. Brown finally got his comeuppance

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CTr8IVWBuPE

  • Wilhelm

    Why has Cyclops disappeared from view ? Here is the highlight of his career, Gillian Duffy, Rochdale, note the disdain and utter contempt he has for a traditional labour voter. Brown finally got his comeuppance

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CTr8IVWBuPE

  • Alefrith

    I personally think that what you have just described is, in the opinion of myself and many other englishmen, a perfectly good reason for employing Jonah in that role.
    Think about it, England gets a rebalance of the Labour gerrymander without the Libdums and for the scots the right of self determination with a straight Labour v SNP fight for control.It’s a win win for all and the icing on the cake is that Brown has finally done something to help us for all the wrong reasons.

    • telemachus

      Cept you are wrong
      Most Scots in fact admire the son of the manse

      • Hexhamgeezer

        T i T

  • Heartless etc.,

    “Keep Gordon Brown out” will suffice.

  • EnglishWarlord

    Westminster has made a dog mess out of England and Gordon Brown helped create that mess. The Scottish people should look across the border and look at Englsh towns and cities. England is being destroyed socially and culturally. Run for your lives Scotland only freedom can save you from the terrible fate that awaits riot torn England.

    • Wilhelm

      The SNP is all for black and muslim immigration and multiculturalism, labour and the SNP are two sides of the same coin, both leftwing

      The further away whites live from blacks and muslims ( like Scotland, Sweden, Canada, New Zealand ) the more ignorant, liberal and ” let’s all hold hands and sing Kumbaya my Lord round the campfire ” Eloi like they are about black and muslim culture ( the high crime rates, riots, sharia law, halal, honour killings, gang rapes, etc etc )

      Dr Frank Ellis talking about the Sovietization of Britain, Liberal Totalitarianism and the destruction of England.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GVc4Fp5PnAM

      • telemachus

        What the hell has Scottish devolution to do with the Blacks and Muslims?
        I do hope that whatever the result we can have a clean campaign

        • Wilhelm

          What’s upsetting you ?

          • telemachus

            Scotland is important to a big Westminster Majority
            Please do not upset them into thinking we are a bunch of racists

    • Wilhelm

      The SNP is all for black and muslim immigration and multiculturalism, labour and the SNP are two sides of the same coin, both leftwing

      The further away whites live from blacks and muslims ( like Scotland, Sweden, Canada, New Zealand ) the more ignorant, liberal and ” let’s all hold hands and sing Kumbaya my Lord round the campfire ” Eloi like they are about black and muslim culture ( the high crime rates, riots, sharia law, halal, honour killings, gang rapes, etc etc )

      Dr Frank Ellis talking about the Sovietization of Britain, Liberal Totalitarianism and the destruction of England.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GVc4Fp5PnAM

  • RKing

    Don’t be a spoilsport Fraser. Just think how dull it would be without Gordo in there screwing things up.
    But I wouldn’t fret too much because he’s probably abroad somewhere lecturing on how he saved the world and telling them to sell off gold cheap.
    Doubt if he really understands what devolution is about anyway.
    He’s not the brightest you know!

    • The Crunge

      Well said. The United Kingdom brought together by our visceral loathing of Gordon Brown destroyer of Pensions, the Economy, social fabric etc etc

      • telemachus

        Not heard from you for a bit.
        See above. He created a welthy Nation and a hugely responsive caring Health Service approaching Aneurin Bevan’s vision.
        Revanchist Revisionists wish to airbrush this.
        PS he was also in favour of a dynamic multicultural society

        • fubarroso

          He created a welthy Nation

          He nigh on bankrupted us!!

          ..and a hugely responsive caring Health Service

          Tell that to the thousands left on trolleys in A&E for hours on end!

          • telemachus

            Now
            Gordon for example brought the hip waiting list down from ‘5 years to three months.
            He facilitated the replacement of thousands of beds in dilapidated huts by state of the art facilities
            The point is this is by and large what the Scots think

        • fubarroso

          PS he was also in favour of a dynamic multicultural society

          Trouble is the people of this country aren’t in favour. Did he think to ask them? Did he ****

          • telemachus

            Those who think are and see the benefits

        • David B

          Built on a mountain of debt that eventually collapsed under its own weight.

          • telemachus

            Debt is doing the US little harm and at least they are growing
            Grow and the tax receipts will take care of the deficit and the debt

            • David B

              The US has also sorted out its banks while our’s remain stuck in the supposedly “imported” banking crises. They are now lending while our’s are in a mess unable to lend because their balance sheets are devistated.

              Growth does not appear “as if by magic”. It has to be built. We need to decide what we want a consumer boom like we had in 2005 to 2007 or do we want a manufacturing, export lead growth just like the early 90’s that the Major government handed to Brown only for him to sell it down the river for his own political ends.

              • telemachus

                First
                The current banking problems here at least part result from the inadequate financial environment created by the Osborne fiscal straight jacket
                Second
                You are correct that growth has to be built.
                The Balls Build for Growth would be a start

                • David B

                  The current banking problems stem from the poorly thought out tri party method of regulation, lax credit in the period to 2007 and the the governments forcing the banks to buy government debt to fund the spending spree of 2008 to 2010, the wrong policy approach to bank bail out. All this occurred under brown. Yes Osburn could reduce the capital requirements imposed by brown, increasing the amount banks can lend to the private sector.

                  As for the balls plan, well the name says it all. It is a policy to simply line the consumers pocket and let them spend and hope the punch bowl can be spiked for longer this time!

    • telemachus

      You Jest.
      But some folks have very short memories.
      Gordon was the most successful Chancellor in 100 years and presided over the greatest boom for Scots and English that these 2 great countries have known.
      Only terminated by Subprime from the US.
      But yes, then he did go on to save not only our banks but the global banking system.
      *
      I am not sure the Scots do not see Gordon with the affection that the little englanders clearly do not

      • fubarroso

        You are really taking the p**s aren’t you? No one could actually believe that! Almost every Labour voter I’ve talked to so far thinks he was a walking disaster!

        • telemachus

          No doubt you refer to some of the fly by night new labour deadwoods most of whom have fled to UKIP where they belong.

          • http://sadbutmadlad.com/ SadButMadLad

            Now I know you are just trolling. Tories go to UKIP not Labour. Labour go to the LibDems if given a choice of jumping ship.

            • telemachus

              You are quite wrong
              There are a whole load of Tony Blair Tories who will not now dream of voting Tory again
              There are also hoards of little englanders in the ranks of those armchair ex Blair voters

      • David B

        Why do u insist on the fiction of the banking crises being imported. Northern Rock only lent in the UK market. The majority of RBS lending was in UK. Lloyds TSB was a bank that had survived the first round until every rule was broken to get it to take over HBOS (saving Brown’s bacon) who’s UK mortgage book had gone south.

        The “saving of the world” has left us with a debt that is larger than the national debt and has been kept of the national accounts by using accounting policies (adopted by Brown) that Enron directors would have been ashamed of. The deal negotiated allowed the banks to pay big bonus without reference to the biggest shareholder US.

        Remember this deal was fully supported by both Ed’s.

        I suspect he will be remembered as the worst chancellor throwing massive sums at unreconstructed public services leaving massive debt and the biggest consumer boom and bust in history

      • Hexhamgeezer

        Tit

        • Hexhamgeezer

          tele not DB btw
          disqus disgusting

  • dalai guevara

    Westminster unite! Let the periphery know it can only lose if it went for the UKIP-Britain-in-Europe option.

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