Coffee House

Can Ed Miliband save the Union?

27 April 2014

1:50 PM

27 April 2014

1:50 PM

When Ed Miliband goes to Scotland and declares that ‘It is Labour that’s got to win this referendum’ it is a statement of political reality as much as it is braggadocio. The Tories have only one MP north of the border and the Liberal Democrats are the fourth party in the Scottish parliament. If this vote is to be won, Labour—as by far the largest Unionist party—will have to get the No camp over the line.

Ed Miliband’s decision to take the entire shadow Cabinet to Glasgow last week was meant to show that UK Labour is now engaging fully in this battle. Miliband himself thinks that he has come up with an argument for the Union that is distinctly Labour. It is that an independent Scotland would, as Alex Salmond’s commitment to a 3p cut in corporation tax shows, end up engaging in tax competition with the rump of the United Kingdom over who could offer the lowest rates to businesses and the wealthy.

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Now, if you’re on the centre-right of politics this might not seem like such a bad thing. But this idea is anathema to the left and that is the sentiment that Miliband wants to connect with. He wants the cause of the Union to be the cause of social justice.

One consequence of Miliband’s position is that devo-max is off the table. He was quite clear to me that he would not agree to any devolution deal that encouraged the Scots to undercut the rest of the UK on tax.

Watching Miliband in Scotland on Friday, I was struck by how passionate he was about this argument and the Union. It is, obviously, in Labour’s interests to keep Scotland in the UK—Scottish MPs could well be the difference between Miliband becoming Prime Minister or not. But Miliband’s desire to win this referendum does seem to go beyond party politics. As he put it to me, ‘I don’t want my kids to think this is a foreign country’.

To date, the Unionist campaign in Scotland has been too negative and has suffered from an enthusiasm deficit compared to the Nationalists. The challenge for Miliband is to turn both of those things around.

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Show comments
  • CharlietheChump

    Milliband to save the Union. It’s all over then. Bye bye Jocks.

  • Fergus Pickering

    Miliband is on the case. The Union is doomed!

  • saffrin

    Incredible. Miliband thinks he can influence a vote in a country that rejected his party out of hand in the 2010 General Election.
    Labour really do live in their own tiny little cloistered world.

    • Richard T

      Er, Labour got 42% of the Scottish vote in 2010, roughly 2x the SNP (which in turn was only a few % above the Tory result).

      • saffrin

        Just looked it up thanks.
        Odd that, I distinctly remember the papers saying Labour got devastated.

  • MichtyMe

    Miliband ain’t a Unionist, with one nation there can’t have a Union, two required.

  • Terry Field

    Labour are political poison. These people are dangerous and anyone with sanity would run a mile from them
    One nation.
    One big joke.
    The triumph of Salmond would put an end to the inbuilt Labour majority. They know it.
    For this and for every good reason, Scotland needs to take itself into a separate state.
    Better together!
    We are not better with Labour. In no way are we better with Labour.

  • ChuckieStane

    One nation Labour? Won’t let candidates stand in NI, the red diagonals in the flag are gone and the blue faded.

    They still see Scotland as their fiefdom and still can’t see Scotland is moving on.

  • Redrose82

    Of course Ed is desperate for the No campaign to succeed. Without his Jock MPs he has no chance of becoming Prime Minister and we would probably never see another Labour government.

  • Greenslime

    Let them go. Let them detach themselves from a highly successful union where the ties between us run long and deep and let them join the The Peoples United Socialist States of Europe (if they are permitted to do so) and, if they manage to do that, then to adopt the Euro (probably whether they want to or not). Then, after a while, wonder why they did it.
    One benefit for us will be less whining (well probably not, but we won’t have to listen to it). But the best benefit of all will be 41 less Labour MPs and 11 less LibDems. That should have all of us campaigning with the SNP.

  • MichtyMe

    On this “foreign country” stuff from Miliband. In 1949 a Labour Government passed the Ireland Act which declared that “the Republic of Ireland is not a foreign country for the purposes of any law in force in any part of the United Kingdom” Would not let the Irish be the foreigners that they wished to be.

  • Tony_E

    Miliband’s intervention will not prove decisive.

    However, I think the yes campaign is desperately over stated, in that when asked I think a lot of Scots don’t want to say openly that they don’t want independence.

    I will only believe that the majority are really for independence when they go into the booths and vote for it.

    • GreyNag

      Prior to the Edinburgh Agreement numerous polls asked Scots what they wanted. If I remember correctly Devo Max had 66%, Independence 18% and the Status Quo 14%.
      Cameron in his wisdom decided that the option of Devo Max should not appear on the referendum ballot paper. In my eyes he is denying the wishes of 2/3rds of Scots. How can this be democracy in action?

      • Blindsideflanker

        How can it be democracy in action when no English people get a say in devo max something that will beggar their rights and make the West Lothian Question an even greater anomaly.

        • GreyNag

          Well that would be up to people in England to lobby for Devo Max if they wanted it.

          • Blindsideflanker

            If Scots want independence that is up to them, though the terms of the divorce aren’t. Devo Max though seeks to change the terms of a constitutional settlement that belongs to us all, and as such we have a right to have a say on it.

            • GreyNag

              What constitutional settlement would that be? Basically what you are saying is that Scotland must remain in an uneven Union and abide by the rules of the larger partner.
              Devo Max is basically Scotland being more responsible i.e., looking after everything apart from Defense and Foreign Affairs and would have guaranteed the continuation of the UK.
              It would be Federalism similar to most other western democracies, such as USA, Canada, Australia, Germany etc. Westminster prefers centralised control rather than to modernise.

              • Andy

                The ‘uneven union’ is where Scottish MPs, and thus voters, are able to meddle in purely English affairs. This is what we have now and it is totally and utterly unacceptable, but this was Labour’s creation so it kept 41 MPs meddling away. I favour a more federal structure but for that we need compromise and goodwill and I aint seen much of that coming from Scotland of late.

                • GreyNag

                  Exactly it is Labour that does any meddling. The SNP have a policy not to take part in debates or votes that do not affect Scotland. A similar undertaking from Labour, Libdems and the solitary Tory from Scotland would solve the issue.
                  It is really one for the individual parties to sort out.

                • Andy

                  No. We need an English Parliament with exactly the same powers as Scotlands. Problem solved.

                • GreyNag

                  From posts I have read from Northerners, England needs several regional parliaments or assemblies i.e., Federalism a la Germany. A system, by the way, that was designed by our forefathers.

                • Andy

                  The Fascists tried that one and the people of the North East said ‘No’. But whatever that is for us to decide, not Scots.

                • GreyNag

                  I agree 100% it is for the people of the North East to decide, but I don’t understand your response The Fascists tried that one and the people of the North East said ‘No’. .

                • Andy

                  It is for the people of England to decide these things, not Scots. As I said, the Fascist Labour Party asked the North East if they wanted an assembly and they said No.

              • Blindsideflanker

                There is only one area of an uneven Union, the one called the West Lothian question. And yes it is impossible to have any sense of a Union if the Scots are continuously rewriting the rules to suit themselves, even if it beggars the rest.

                If the Scots want independence, fine, that is up to the Scots. But the Constituion of the UK belongs to all of us, and not a Scottish play thing.

      • Tony_E

        P
        The Devo Max option was not offered because by and large, England is already dis-satisfied with the current arrangement.

        There would be no profit in DevoMax, only to see the Union fracture from the English side only a few years later with the formation of an English Parliament, leading to the same desire for full independence of the English.

        Labour cannot have the West Lothian question answered, because even when it doesn’t have that many Scots MPs, it creates a higher hurdle for the Conservatives to jump over in terms of majority, giving them the opportunity to form a broader coalition of the left.

      • Richard T

        Devo Max was not offered as a referendum option because: politically, the SNP had a mandate for an Independence referendum, not a lucky dip of alternatives; democratically, there was a clear preference for a Y/N question; and practically, there was no way of actually defining what the phrase might mean in concrete terms without a protracted and detailed process of consultation and negotiation, an effective impossibility over Eck’s timetable.

  • anyfool

    Can Ed Miliband save the Union?
    No. it is now probably doomed.
    Labour is definitely doomed in Scotland, it might take a few years but these chancers have been telling the Scottish people that they were incapable of running their own country while at the same time threatening them with hostile trade and financial acts by the rUK Westminster government.
    That will be in the back of peoples minds up in Scotland regardless of the result, that the Tories and Limp Dems did the same is irrelevant, theLimp Dems are just about finished and the Tories have nothing worthwhile to lose, they were expected to oppose.
    Labour if they get back in power at Westminster will have a choice , should they use what if any money is available to try to buy back their support in Scotland or keep paying the Danegeld to their new imported core vote from the Third World, they maybe able to do one for a short time, they cannot do both.

    • Inverted Meniscus

      You have to admit it is fun watching Miliband wet his pants over Scottish independence as the potential for electoral destruction hits this preposterous little hypocrite squarely between the eyes.

      • anyfool

        Yes it is, it will be even more fun watching as its base in Scotland unravels.
        Their private polling up there must be really bad for them to jump in like this, Darlings puerile campaign cannot be the only reason.

  • Kitty MLB

    As others have said Labour were the ones to sow these seeds,
    their party have until recently dominated Scotland and wrecked
    Scotland, unrepresenting Scotland and the SNP found their way.
    They then patronize Scotland by having Brown make a speech
    just because he is Scottish and Labour, and a Scottish Labour
    person ls Leading the campaign.
    And now the lame duck fool of Westminster is heading for
    Scotland…I wonder if he can avoid his anti Tory rubbish.
    We all know why he is worried, the SNP and UKIP
    Taking Labour votes.

    • Mynydd

      Mr Cameron has lost control of his back benchers, has lost control of his ministers over HS2, has lost half of his party membership, so now the lame duck of Westminster is heading for Scotland. Why? Labour and SNP have already taken all his votes and reduced the Conservative and Unionist party in Scotland to just one MP

      • Kitty MLB

        Fortunately Conservative backbenchers are not
        pavlov dogs and are individuals who work hard
        for their constituancies. Considering all the cloak
        and dagger, and knives in the back that Labour were
        guilty of with a majority ,our backbenchers are angels.
        Yes we know that Scotland is basically socialist but
        its too late for Miliband , he will be a laughing stock
        in Scotland, but lets wait and see shall we.

    • Blindsideflanker

      And didn’t they by half. All this stems back to Labour playing politically fast and loose with identity politics back in the 1980’s, just to get themselves a tranche of Scottish elected MPs. But the nasty, chippy, nationalist genie they released then , they have lost control of now.

      • Kitty MLB

        Yes indeed, but there are also internal battles
        within Scotland , with nationalists considered
        quislings and traitors by those who wish for
        independence.

  • asalord

    ‘I don’t want my kids to think this is a foreign country’.

    The xenophobia of British nationalists like Miliband is there for all to see.

    • Hexhamgeezer

      As he put it to me, ‘I don’t want my kids to think this is a foreign country’

      Lets just call it ‘rubbing the right-ons faces in it’

  • you_kid

    This is shocking news.
    Milliband will demonstrate in the Scottish question his Prime Ministerial abilities. It is down to him to keep the union alive, not DC. That is the bitter truth. What this means will slowly but surely sink in:
    1- the Union is preserved: a certain Labour government in 2015
    2- the Union is not saved: still a certain Labour government as it is he who has tried his best, not the incumbent. No party in charge losing Scotland will be reelected.

  • Grey Wolf

    One nation Labour. What does that even mean? Sounds ridiculous to me.

    Social Justice. That is the other idiotic, vacuous term. How can you even build a political platform on it?

    Just a tiny query – did Labour acquire Speccie yesterday? I didn’t get the memo.

  • Tom Tom

    Miliband is barely credible and Salmond looks ten times the man. Really Miliband is simply a North London boy whose father was Belgian and he comes over as a Poirot figure a bit distant from Everyday England or Scotland

    • Grey Wolf

      Distant but well trained in the Frankfurt School of cultural Marxism. Those guys are at the top rung of every mainstream political party in this land.

    • Andy

      As I recall the odious p*llock Ralph Miliband was born in Belgium but was actually Polish. The idiot Ed Miliband is Polish by decent, not British.

    • Mike Purves

      Poirot had far more ‘leetle grey cells’ than Miliband.

  • Colonel Mustard

    Another rent-seeking online propaganda job specifically for the Euro elections in May:-

    http://www.w4mpjobs.org/JobDetails.aspx?jobid=45223

    “You will work closely with International Alert’s Communications and Europe Teams, and be responsible for running a short-term social media campaign (#EUnify) to counter racist and xenophobic discourse in the UK in the run-up to the European elections.”

    Translation: You will troll propaganda for the EU and smear UKIP and their supporters on blogs.

  • swatnan

    This Independence issue is not really a Party political thing. Its more serious than that.

  • itdoesntaddup

    So the message is Labour is one nation …. Scotland.

    • In2minds

      No really, under Labour it’s more like one nation but many ghettos

  • Smithersjones2013

    Of course Miliband’s passionate about the Union. He might not ever become Prime Minister if Scotland votes yes…….

  • In2minds

    Alex Salmond got his chance because so many people in Scotland are sick of
    the Labour party.

  • Realpolitik

    Scotland: Milipead is only worrying about votes, Salmond wants to be further in the EU.

    Make your choice.

    • @PhilKean1

      And if the Liberal-left stupidly and dangerously allow the Scots to share our sacred Sterling, Scottish Socialists will contend that that gives them a veto on the rest of Britain ever leaving the EU.

      The Jocks want to leave, then they adopt the Euro or strike up their own currency. NO WAY will we sit still while they negotiate their way into sharing Sterling.
      .

      • Kitty MLB

        I cannot see why Scotland would want to keep the pound or how its possible. To start with you cannot just demand one, you would need
        the agreement with other parties and Scotland’s fiscal policy will be in the control of a foreign land and he would not have power over the fiscal levers that he is always going on about.
        This is also not real independence. Mr Salmond would always need
        to have dealings with a even more distant Westminster and with the
        loathsome Tories- and the rest of the UK will not allow this anyway,
        its not fair, especially as Scotland will become our competition in
        regards to business and investment.
        They can create their own currency or join the EU, mind you
        the EU will be after lots of money.. so watch out.

        • Wessex Man

          The only way out of the squalid parties giving an Independent Scotland all that Alex SDalmond wants is to vote UKip next month and in a years time!

          • Kitty MLB

            Alex Salmond is promising a land of milk and honey, he is promising everything under the sun, they do not give a toss
            about what happens after the vote, this is the only vote the SNP ( the name is on the tin) need to win and afterwards
            its game over.
            Mind you I wouldn’t mind us having a vote for independence
            from Westminster and will not miss any of those atrocious
            Labour MP’s in fact what with those MP’s going back to Scotland and
            UKIP taking the Northern Voters.. its game over for socialism
            in England..Hmmm !

          • Kitty MLB

            You and I will agree to disagree on this I think,
            when this place turns into a battlefield next
            year we will also disagree, but I promise not
            to slay you, old kippery comrade.

        • @PhilKean1

          But staying in the EU isn’t real independence. In fact, they are assured of complete dictatorship by the EU once they lose the shield of having real Conservatives fighting for their democratic rights.

          And of course you are right. It isn’t possible under logical and common sense principles to share our currency with Scotland – especially a Scotland run by unrestrained Socialists.

          But we aren’t led by people who Govern by such principles. Rather, it is by people who will do whatever it takes to arrive at a political solution that prolongs their tenure in office.
          .

          • Kitty MLB

            Yes indeed Phil, Scotland have a lot of wealth
            because of oil and the EU will think of Scotland
            as its main piggybank without England to protect her. What happens when all the natural
            resourses run out. And foreign owned businesses relocate.

            • @PhilKean1

              Banking and pension businesses will be relocating before the ink is dry on the Treaty transferring responsibility for Governing Scotland from a semi-independent UK to an authoritarian EU.

              And the oil and gas tank is already close to running on empty.
              .

  • Holly

    When Ed Miliband goes to Scotland, many in the Labour party/England give a collective sigh of relief…However short lived, once he starts talking.

  • Colonel Mustard

    I do wish bubble dwellers wouldn’t buy into bogus Labour terminology like ‘social justice’. There is nothing just in what they have in mind at all, which is to penalise aspiration and success to pay for Big(ger) Government and their rent-seeking client groups. The plight of the poor and disadvantaged won’t be addressed by building tiers of taxpayer funded bureaucrats on top of them to churn out politically correct propaganda and to hold endless right-on meetings to make Gordon’s knot even bigger and more complex. The only people to benefit from that are their specially favoured minority “victim” groups who have to be molly coddled and massaged with an ever changing lexicon of ‘acceptable’ buzz words to describe them. Not the majority trying to make the best of their lives and to get on with them which is where the real struggle exists.

    • Holly

      They have to fill their pages with something.

    • HookesLaw

      ‘bubble dwellers’ that’s a laugh. The biggest bubble is full of loony kippers.

      • Colonel Mustard

        Wrong enemy again Hooky!

      • Wessex Man

        Any comments about the Mayor of Swindon objectionable remarks that in the end brought down this truly truly nasty loony Tory?

    • Ooh!MePurse!

      Extremely well put, sir.

  • Holly

    It’s Labour that’s got to win the referendum.
    Pity they were so abysmal in Scotland, the Scottish people elected Alex Salmond!

    It’s Labour who ‘saved the world of finance.
    Pity they helped screw it up in the first place.

    It’s Labour that have to fix the economy.
    Pity they allowed the banking industry to ‘fix’ innovative ways to rob their customers, and brought the country to it’s knees.

    It’s Labour that are a ‘safe pair of hands’ where the NHS is concerned.
    Pity they allowed it to become something worse than what is available in developing countries…Even AFTER lobbing loads of money at it.

    It’s Labour who will educate your children properly.
    Pity they educated an entire generation, who were virtually unemployable.

    Labour, Labour, Labour eh!
    Unfit to be seen/heard in public, as we are still trying to recover from their last stint at ‘saving Britain/UK.
    Did I mention I detest Labour and all they pretend with weasel words to stand for?

    • HookesLaw

      It was labour who let the devolution cat out of the bag in the first place

      • Wessex Man

        and your nasty party that is going to preside over the breakup of the UK, not that I object to that but it’s quite ironic that The Conservative and Unionist Party is working so hard to ensure that Scotland leave, oh yes!

    • Kitty MLB

      Holly, there are people in Scotland who are worried that the SNP will take
      Scotland back to live in a socialism in perpetuity like in the 70s these are those
      who are not heard, and yet there are real concerns-I mentioned
      last week about a list of 10 questions that Scottish people have for Mr Salmond that he has not answered ( and got told off by Mr Tulloch for repeating recycled Scottish questions)

  • @PhilKean1

    .
    The Irony of the century.

    Speculation that a Labour leader may save the Union from the Labour instigated political misadventure that created the situation in which the Scottish people could vote to leave.
    .

    • Holly

      The bods in the room listening to this pill-ock will have clung on to his every word.
      Staring up at the stage/podium with their tilted heads, and puppy dog eyes.

      Enough to put one off their roast beef & Yorkshire puds!

      • @PhilKean1

        I mean, not only the potential break-up of the Union. Labour’s hands are on every bad thing that has happened or that we are currently experiencing.

        Just listened to a radio debate where teachers and pupils are concerned about the near total break-down of order in British classrooms.

        Just remember back to when Blair’s Labour spent a large amount of their time legislating to remove parental, educational, social and legal discipline from under-eighteens.
        .

        • Holly

          We have no option but to allow the people to decide what THEY want, however it came to being.
          Labour are indeed responsible for the mess.

          • @PhilKean1

            It is a shame that Cameron drew the wrong conclusion after a largely politically-ignorant British electorate voted them in at 3 elections.

            Aspiring to be like his mentor, Tony Blair, was not enough, it seems. He also thought that the Tory party needed to become Britain’s 3rd Socialist force to become electable.

            Hence the promise to stick to Labour’s spending plans, increasing the foreign aid budget and imposing Gay Marriage, amongst other acts of insanity.
            .

            • HookesLaw

              Ah gay marriage again, no need to bring that up, we already know what an outragious bogot you are.

              Cameron and the Tories have simply done what Blair ran away from, reformed welfare education health and pensions and local govt.

              Thickos like you just want to let labour back in.

              • Wessex Man

                Keeping up the Tory standards of debate still then Hooky!

              • Colonel Mustard

                It is Cameron who has been letting Labour back in Hooky. He is a muppet. And if Labour win in 2015 it will be Cameron who is responsible. He could have led the right instead of dividing it.

                http://order-order.com/2014/04/27/ukip-winning-despite-media-attacks/

                • Kitty MLB

                  The idea of Labour getting back in by default considering all the damage they created and that student politician and twit
                  Miliband becoming the First Minister of The Queen and representing the United Kingdom is absolutely ludicrous.
                  The first duty of Conservatives is to protect this country
                  from ‘ real’ socialism, and with Miliband it will be just like his hero Marx.
                  I think there will be another coalition of sorts, but not with the Lib Dems, they are history.

                • Mynydd

                  If Labour were so bad why did Mr Cameron fail to win an overall majority in 2010?. If Mr Miliband is so bad why has Mr Cameron failed to over take him in the opinion polls? When Mr Cameron took his PPE at Oxford he studied the teaching of Marx, so does that make Marx a hero to Mr Cameron?

                • Andy

                  Easy. A. He ran a poor campaign, and B. the electoral system is heavily weighted in favour of Labour, which the Boundary Review spoilt by the petulant child Clegg only partially addressed. In 2005 Blair got 35.2% and 355 seats. In 2010 Cameron got 36.1% and 306 seats. There is your answer.

                • Mynydd

                  The electoral system heavily weighted in favour of Labour didn’t stop Mrs Thatcher and Mr Major winning overall majorities.

                • Andy

                  I would suggest you study the topic a little more. For example if you take Chris Bryant’s seat and block it together with any other to which it abuts you still don’t get a seat the same size as the Isle of Wight. And that is the problem – the size of seats has been allowed to get out of kilter and this needs to be addressed immediately.

                • Colonel Mustard

                  Here we go again.

                  2005 Labour 2.8% more votes than Tories but gained 157 more seats.

                  2010 Tories 7.1% more votes than Labour but gained only 48 more seats.

                  Tories three times more votes but a third of the gains. The system is badly skewed in favour of Labour and should have been reformed.

                • Inverted Meniscus

                  I am new to this game but along with Telemachus, Mynydd is clearly the Labour stooge of choice for this blog and unlikely to be swayed by anything so inconvenient as the truth. I also notice that this particular Labour Troll blames Margaret Thatcher for everything bad from the Napoleonic wars onwards. Nice try but I suspect it is a wasted effort with this mindless idiot.

                • Inverted Meniscus

                  That was over 35 years ago in the case of Margaret Thatcher. The point is that constituency sizes have changed in the intervening years. Are you deliberately stupid?

                • Fergus Pickering

                  Of course he is deliberately stupid. He’s a lefty.

                • DWWolds

                  Because the boundaries were not so unfair then. They need to be changed on a periodic basis because of population changes.

                • Kitty MLB

                  Oh I shall answer ( regardless of not being a Cameroon,dislike him but utterly loath new-Labour)
                  Considering how many seats the Conservatives
                  lost when Blair deceived the country, Cameron
                  won an astounding amount back.
                  You forget your unfair advantage that the Lib
                  Dems approve of, and they stole votes by
                  deceiving students, Brown wouldn’t have had
                  enough seats even with his ‘ rainbow coalition’.
                  Labour are only just behind the Conservstives
                  in the polls enjoying the insignificance and
                  invisibility of opposition, and lying to try
                  and stay popular. They will soon remind us
                  of why they are the opposition when the
                  spotlight is back on them.

                • Mynydd

                  You seem to forget that in 2010 the Lib Dems under Mr Clegg actually lost seats, with most going to the Conservative party. The deceiving of students occurred after Mr Clegg joined up with Mr Cameron after the votes were counted, remember the rose garden, so could not have help Labour in the 2010 election, however 2015 will be another matter students have a long memory.

                • Kitty MLB

                  Voters have an even longer memory.
                  Labour have been constantly gerrymandering
                  they have taken no responsibility and have
                  not apologised. Miliband is still a blank
                  sheet of paper in Browns notebook, he
                  has not returned labour to the working classes
                  who labour insult and to add salt to the wounds they have Balls as shadow chancellor
                  they also have no answer as Osborne has
                  been proved right.
                  And the Lib Dem entire campaign was based
                  around students,they seemed to be constantly
                  with students. You are right about the
                  loathesome rose garden moment though.

                • Holly

                  Some of them now have jobs…

                • Colonel Mustard

                  “When Mr Cameron took his PPE at Oxford he studied the teaching of Marx, so does that make Marx a hero to Mr Cameron?”

                  Probably. He’s certainly not a conservative.

                • Inverted Meniscus

                  By your fatuous ‘logic’ any person who has studied Hitler and Stalin would automatically regard them as heroes. The Conservatives failed to win outright in 2010 because electoral mathematics favour Labour. It requires thousands fewer votes to become a Labour MP than it does a Conservative MP. Had
                  Labour polled the same percentage of votes as the Tories in 2010 they would have won a substantial majority, a ridiculous situation.

                • Fergus Pickering

                  O God. That one again. Labour won 29% of the vote. The Tories have never done as badly. Cameron won a greater percentage of the vote than Labour last time out. But I don’t know why I bother.

                • Holly

                  If Labour were so good why did nothing work as it should have done, why was so much of the public sector/economy talked up, when it was/had already hit the buffers, when the public kicked them out in 2010?

                • Ooh!MePurse!

                  I also spent a considerable amount of time studying Marxism. Is he a hero of mine? Far from it! Quite the opposite!

                • Kitty MLB

                  I am very pleased to hear that, and that as
                  a teacher you don’t support the unions,
                  a bit of a rebel are you 🙂

                • Ooh!MePurse!

                  I have a rebellious streak when it comes to politics. Imagine being a Tory in the politics department of Sheffield University! In the 1980s!

                  I’m a member of the teaching union called Voice – we will never let down our pupils by going on strike.

                • DWWolds

                  One reason was that a gullible public were taken in by Clegg. What a disaster that has turned out to be. Another was the unfair situation with constituency boundaries. You should ask yourself why Labour voted against the change that would have made those boundaries more equitable.

                • Terry Field

                  The British are politically dysfunctional; there is no broad-based centrist party in Britain, and this reflects the us and them culture of the place. The truly dreadful maladministration of the state since 1945 is an international joke.
                  The socialists have vast numbers of effectively unemployed, very ill-educated, dreadfully poor people who will vote for the collectivist party simply to ensure the continuation of their pay-check.
                  The British have mostly lost any sense of prudent economic management, in stark contrast to better-managed and more successful states.
                  It has descended to become an essentially proletarian culture; the vast majority are bereft of assets, and incomes for the majority are very low. it has little real economic activity, as evidenced by the trade figures, and its currency is higher because the brakes are expected to be put on at a very early stage of ‘recovery'(haha) because there is little excess capacity.
                  Your are stupid and your idiotic question about Marx illustrates that quite adequately.

              • Tom Tom

                How they have reformed pensions is beyond ken – it is a huge unfunded liability that will not be honoured

              • Andy

                But the prat has failed to address the West Lothian Question.

              • Barakzai

                Ah, Pavlov’s dog is barking again . . .

                The crassness of your hero’s re-definition of ‘marriage’ has now produced a spat between him and Clegg over who can be ‘civilly partnered.’

                When will you wake up and realise that Dave and his circle’s politically inept embrace of PC equality is fundamentally socialist?

              • @PhilKean1

                Insulting real Conservatives seems to be your stock-in-trade.

                I suppose it cuts no ice with you that I disagree with nearly everything you post.
                .

                • Fergus Pickering

                  What on earth is a real conservative as opposed to a conservative? Does it mean more right wing? WasHarold Macmillan a real conservative? Or Benjamin Disraeli?

                • @PhilKean1

                  Err, a simple example.

                  David Cameron isn’t a Conservative, and yet he leads the Conservative party.
                  .

                • Kitty MLB

                  David Cameron as you and I have said many times at ConHome is a Liberal Democrat at heart and would make an
                  excellent leader of that party.

                • Fergus Pickering

                  But who IS a conservative. I mean a living conservative.

            • Fergus Pickering

              Why is Gay Marriage insane? Most countries in Europe have t. In a few years all will.

          • Tom Tom

            It is not a mess. Northern Ireland Act 1998 has provision for referendum whenever the Secretary of State chooses on Union…..if it is good enough for Ulster it is good enough for Scotland

          • Mynydd

            What mess is that then

            • Holly

              That would be the complete mess Labour have made of just about everything,….Including, their arrogant belief that no other party could ever win a majority in Scotland….
              Oh dear. Never mind hen.

              When they all stay quiet for a while the mood in the country seems to ‘pick-up’, and we all get on with living.
              Then one of them comes up with a few pleasantries, and hey, here we all are, trying to work out whether this is something solid that Labour can try and garnish a few point lead with in the polls.

              One or two is neither here nor there, and quite frankly meaningless.

        • Wessex Man

          erm yes, 24 hours to save the NHS- Education education education!

          Buried under the cover of trying to smear Ukip for the last two weeks, the analysis by the Office of Budget Responsibility – Gordon Brown’s tax raid on pensions which caused our country’s pension schemes to collapse is £118 billion!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

          Imagine how much more pensioners now in poverty would be spending to boost the economy, Pension Trusts investing in British Industry sensibly rather than wasting it all as Brown, Balls and Miliband Did.

          Now Milibad is going to save the Union, Lord help us!

          • Inverted Meniscus

            Spot on. I could not believe that they let Brown out of his strait jacket to spout his hypocritical garbage.

          • @PhilKean1

            Hard to think of anything good done by the previous Labour regime.
            As an animal lover, I support the hunting ban. Though saying this normally gets me negative marks. Oh, and the smoking ban. Other than those two, nothing but unmitigated destruction and maladministration.
            .

            • Inverted Meniscus

              Yeah it was a fantastically productive thirteen years…not!

            • Fergus Pickering

              Ah, you’re a ban-lover. You think government exists to ban things. Gotcha!

              • @PhilKean1

                Just inhumane cruelty to animals and subjecting non-smokers to other peoples’s smoke.

                But there was an amicable way round the smoking ban. Licensed premises could have applied for a smoking, or non-smoking licence, and been required to strictly abide by the definition of the one they chose.

                This would mean that pubs and restaurants would have had the option of making a business decision that they thought suited them, and given punters the option of going smoking or non-smoking.

                Other than these, I am passionately against nanny-statism. 🙂
                .

                • Jabez Foodbotham

                  But was that ever a real option? I thought the key argument of the anti-camp was that bar staff would be exposed to second-hand smoke at their place of work. So that would have torpedoed any kind of smoking premises unless it was unstaffed.

                • @PhilKean1

                  Certainly one of the options.

                  And my idea would have given people the option of working in either a smoking or non-smoking environment. Same as customers.
                  Sort of like when we choose to eat and drink in a certain style of eatery.

                  Come on, AI detect a certain liking of my idea 🙂
                  .

                • Fergus Pickering

                  OK!

            • Shazza

              As I never fail to remind posters,

              LABOUR aka THE PARTY OF MASS DESTRUCTION

        • Mynydd

          When the teachers and pupils were debating the total break-down of order in British classrooms, they must really mean English classrooms, because Scottish, Welsh, and Northern Irish education is devolved and therefore are under the legislation of the respective governments. So what has Mr Gove been doing in England for the last four years, that’s plenty of time to change any law that is demeaned harmfully to the wellbeing of the English classroom.

          • Inverted Meniscus

            He is promoting higher standards and greater parental choice. Looking at the standards of public healthcare and education in Wales, I think we will stay with what we have thank you.

          • @PhilKean1

            English classrooms, if you wish.

            Not even Mr Gove can undo the damage Labour did in this respect.
            In fact, not ONLY are this bunch not trying to undo all those things which made it impossible for parents and teachers to enforce discipline on unruly kids, but – if you saw a couple of weeks ago – they are even bringing in a law that could see parents prosecuted if they are accused of not showing enough love.

            I mean, Cameron took wanting to be the Heir to Blair a bit too literally.
            .

            • Ooh!MePurse!

              Actually Phil they have undone some of the Labour rules on school discipline. Perhaps not enough yet but it has made a difference.

              • @PhilKean1

                Not according to the teachers who are struggling to cope with ill-discipline and violence.
                .

            • Fergus Pickering

              Love for your children can often mean a smack on the head.

              • @PhilKean1

                Yes, tough love.
                .

        • LeoLeo

          “Blair’s Labour spent a large amount of their time legislating to remove parental, educational, social and legal discipline from under eighteens”

          Social discipline is largely gone I’ll grant you but there are very few legal restrictions on me disciplining my children at home or the school exercising appropriate control. In many ways their school day is more tightly monitored and regimented than mine was in the Eighties.

          There are a lot of families and schools out there where children are not controlled but it is not because the appropriate legal authority doesn’t exist.

    • The_Missing_Think

      Yet most UKIP supporters and the Tories, are shoulder to shoulder with Labour, battling to save 59 Scottish Labour seats, just so that Labour could do it all again one day.

      Whlist they moan… ‘who in their right mind would vote Labour?’.

      I view such irrational, contradictary political anti-logic, as the ironic answer, to the ‘how did we end up here’ question.

      • @PhilKean1

        People not in their right minds?

        I hate the Socialist SNP and can never forgive the Scots for helping to keep Labour in office for 13 years, but we are a small nation that will be seriously diminished if Scotland leaves. One way of looking at things.

        But I think we should fix the problems in England and the UK’s problems will fix themselves.
        The Pro-EU Liberal-left have totally dominated politics for far too long. I suggest that we need to break that domination in 2014 and 2015.
        .

        • ChuckieStane

          Labour would have been in power for the 13 years without Scotland so maybe ease off the hatred.

          • @PhilKean1

            I hate Socialists wherever they trade.
            .

        • The_Missing_Think

          “One way of looking at things.”
          _____

          My logics conclude it’s two ways, (1) you (rightly IMO) openly detest the product of the union – Scottish MPs effortlessly dominating English politics – yet you insist on helping to keep the status quo thriving (2), instead of wanting to despatch it, when a once in a lifetime opportunity arises.

          I used to like whacking myself on the head with a cricket bat, but I’d get these terrible headaches and bruises, so I went to the doctor with my cricket bat and demonstrated the problem, he took the cricket bat off me, and I’ve been fine ever since.

          Why d’you think that is?

    • Andy

      It was the Fascist Labour Party that f*cked it up in the first place, purely for their own self interest. And they got that wrong.

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