Sunday, 8 February 2009

It is no use saying, 'We are doing our best.'

It is no use saying, 'We are doing our best.' You have got to succeed in doing what is necessary*

I mentioned my nephew on my post of Thursday, in the last of my trilogy of blogs on our PMs "British jobs for British workers" ill fated sound byte.

My nephew called me on Friday evening to let me know that his employer had gone into receivership and the entire workforce were now unemployed.

British jobs?

The Scottish SNP administration and Labour again prove that they are no more in control of our economy than Canute of the tide.

And it's personal now

*Winston Churchill


  1. In what way can the Scottish government control jobs? They don't even have control over Scotland finances.

    Sorry to hear about your nephew. Sadly I think it'll get worse before it gets better.

  2. Subrosa, the SNP administration do have a budget (£33bn). You cannot have it both ways, when Labour would not back the budget we heard from the SNP that 35000 jobs were at risk. There has been a massive increase in administration costs (about £50 million) and none of the promised savings in central costs. The SNP control Local Authorities and Enterprise (John Swinney is Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Sustainable Growth after all). The SNPs biggest donors have asked for a meeting to express their unhappiness with the administration - 26000 jobs in construstion gone recently. A simple solution would be to stimulate Local Authority construction projects - they are esponsible for 50% of our economy after all.

  3. I meet and hear from people often now. Who are out of work on short time working, worried over losing their job.

    You know all living the effects of this recession. An apart from yourself none of the other posters
    have or seem to show any personal experience.

    Indicates to me they probably don't live in the real(hard times)
    world and hence their fascination with the imagery of Nationalism.

  4. I understand your point Clara. Central government costs will never be reduced in less than 2 years it would take at least 10 years to crack that nut in my opinion. Of course the SNP must get a move on with their system of financing our infrastructure, they've had long enough now to get something in place.

    Niko I've had personal experience of redundancy at the last recession. I object to you saying I don't live in the real world because I do - very much so. Unfortunately for many, this recession will be much worse than in the 80s.

    I work Niko, I need to work to survive but I'm fortunate I'm self employed. After my redundancy experience I looked hard at the skills I would need should I ever need to start my own business. The skills I was short of I learned, lots of hard work, long hours and expense but it has proven to be one of the better things I've done.

  5. Hey all,

    I agree that it takes some time Subrosa, but the SNP were pretty unequivocal about reducing government size, but short of reducing the number of cabinet secretariats not much else has happened (in fact numbers employed, and costs, in the Public sector have increased).

    I think the one-upmanship thing is a red herring, I guess as politically inclined folks we should concentrate on the one thing we can all agree on; putting pressure on the whoever is in power to take it seriously, it really is the most pernicious form of social destruction - mass unemployment and a dwindling industrial sector.

  6. Clara,

    With respect, the three biggest donors are not seeking a meeting to "express their disappointment" - that was a slant put on it by the Scotman's journalist. In fact, Brian Souter, the only one they quoted, said the exact opposite and Tom Farmer disassociated himself with the article.

    As for Nikos's remarks about hard times we, not for the first time under a unionist government, are having to tighten our belts and having to face a situation not of our own making and well outwith our control due to incompetence and, dare I say it, financial stupidity and arrogance.

  7. Brownlie

    For some its not a question of "tighten our belts" they have not got a belt to tighten.

    Yep unionists fault again i note not one single Independent nation throughout the entire Globe is experiencing this recession.

    In fact having full fiscal control they have every single one avoided this calamity.

  8. Nikos

    Because of successive unionist, yes unionist, government's aspirations and pretensions to be a "world power" literally billions of pounds are spent on arms and military activities that would have put the country in a better position to ride out the recession.

    At present a good number of "prudent" - I do like that word - independent country are in a much better position than the UK.

  9. Brownlie & Niko
    surely that's an illogical argument - every country by definition is a sovereign or independent nation - so every one struggling and every one fairing well meets your criteria?

    Independence will not solve any problems short term, but it is a natural knee jerk - and waiting for it could be an excuse for inaction. Surely, given that we will not be given a choice until 2010/11, we should concentrate on what is best in the meantime - people are losing jobs. The SNP have an opportunity to use what power they have under the current constitutional arrangements to justify their assertions of the benefits of self government by taking action that will go some way to proving that. But as yet I see no evidence of benefits through partial devolution - how would full devolution be better?

    There are plenty of unionists that could be convinced, and as yet are not.

    The SNP are not putting a compelling or cogent case forward. Don't believe the polls that survey 0.017% of the population - that is a statistical nonsense.

  10. Many Labour Unionists voted SNP - because they were completely disillusioned with Blair et Brown, and felt that the SNP could not be worse and may even have a point They still wait with bated breath to be convinced of the independence argument...

  11. Clara,

    To be quite honest, you seem to be propogating the union mantra of stating that the desire for independence is a "knee-jerk" reaction which, the unionists hope, is only a short-term rebellion against a government in troubled times. Such false hopes will come back to bite them on the ... back-side.

    Such a reaction is not short-term but has been building up, slowly but surely, over a number of years whilst the Labour government were squandering money and precious little was done for the individuals who voted them in as the "party of the people".

    This Uk government is far further from the people than even that of Thatcher and, given the size of their majority, they have ridden rough-shod over the wishes of the voters in Scotland over things like the Iraq invasion, nuclear power stations, ID cards, PFI etc etc.

    Because of this autocratic and self-serving rule from Westminster more and more Scots are seeing themselves as a minor inconvenience, far removed from the decision making process, to the unionist parties who will make the odd condescending visits when elections are due.

    When was the last time Gordon Brown and Darling made themselves available to his constituents and/or Scottish voters?

    Interesting you should equate waiting for independence with inaction. It would be not be extremely difficult to replicate, by dint of inaction, exactly what the Labour Government has done for its traditional supporters for the past decade.

    You pose the question "how would full devolution be better"? I think there is an increasing general recognition, even among unionist politicians who contribute to the Calman Review, that the Scottish Government, without control of its own finances, can do very little to ease the current climate. Thus, hamstrung as they are at present there is so much to do, but, frustratingly, they do not have the resources to address the problems that years of Labour inaction has generated.

    Yes, polls are only conducted through a small portion of the electorate but they, generally, reflect the popularity or otherwise of political parties.

  12. Hi Brownlie, thank you for such a comprehensive answer - I find often when I pose difficult questions SNP supporters shy away. Amusingly my mum telephoned me last night to give me a hard time for beating up the SNP in my piece about the National Conversation and this one - I come from a long line of Nationalists, so am at a disadvantage from the get go.

    I don't believe I am perpetuating anything - it is a fact that the SNP vote in 2007 was aided and abetted by a knee jerk reaction by unionist Labour voters, and many of them expressed a desire to punish Labour for just the disconnect you identify (worse than Thatcher being the most compelling) - take that from one such individual. But for many of us it was also an opportunity to explore the calls for independence, which can be an attractive when compared to be the status quo. I myself attended the SNP conferences and met some of the Ministers, MSPs and activists - and in the main they are genuine, well intentioned campaigners. But the SNP is not a political ideaology it is a single issue party bringing together disparate political philosophies to one end - to campaign for an independent Scotland, and as such any voter could find common ground somewhere within its folds.

    Is that good enough? I have asked myself that question many times; if the SNP use the opportunity afforded them to bring forward a convincing case for independence and deliver on that, they will disband and Scotland will revert to type - Labour/Socialist domination with Libs and Tories banished to outside the central belt. I read the entire National Conversation white paper on publication, and talked to other disillusioned politicos at the Aviemore conference - we were all impressed and genuinely found ourselves impressed and secretly hopeful that Alex and his team could deliver.

    What has happened since? Not a lot, other than playing politics, increased public expenditure and another Commission that goes part way to full devolution (perhaps). The SNP should forget about "a little more power" or a little longer to sort things out, that is exactly the kind of games that Labour have used since 97 in their pernicious removal of our liberties and unsavoury policy initiatives - that affect every subject of the UK, not just Scots. In my experience no matter how long a political party has power, or how much additional power they acquire things do not get better - the opposite in fact.

    The SNP should be a steady hand at the tiller for Scotland, and enjoy this opportunity to dominate the Scottish political stage and get on with convincing the infantilised central belt Labour voting classes that a vote for independence is the right thing. Not get bogged down in the quagmire of non-productive posturing and infighting.

    I might even vote for independence if they do.

  13. Clara,

    There is no reason to believe that the SNP would fold their tents and creep off into the desert leaving the Labour party free rein in the Scottish oasis.

    For one thing, their policies are far removed from that of New Labour and more voters, for whatever reason, voted for the SNP than Labour when Labour were much more popular than they are at present or are likely to be in the near future.

    The SNP's policy of non-nuclear, non-invasion of country etc etc are far removed from that of Labour and are more in tune with the Scottish public.

    Strangely enough I attended Labour conferences and, indeed, worked for the Labour party.

    Sad to say, the "comrades" of that time have done the proverbial u-turn and now adopt policies like pro-nuclear, PFI, etc which they strongly and publicly opposed at one time.

    If voters realised what goes on at conferences, sponsored by organisations hoping to, and succeeding in, influencing government policies and thereby profit from governmental largesse, they would be even more cynical than they are at present.

    If Labour were to dominate in an independent Scotland there would have to be a radical change in policies, in attitudes, in style and in presentation.

    In other words they would have to turn full circle and go back to the Labour of the people, and for the people, rather than the Labour of the politicians and the rich who have prospered greatly through the New Labour policies.

  14. 'But the SNP is not a political ideaology it is a single issue party bringing together disparate political philosophies to one end - to campaign for an independent Scotland, and as such any voter could find common ground somewhere within its folds.'

    Clara, I'm weary of hearing the SNP called a single issue party. In what way is it single issue? You could call the tories, labour and libdems single issue parties as their wish is to cling onto the union at all costs.

    Too much brainwashing by the unionists I think Clara but thankfully the Scots are wakening to the propaganda.