Sunday, February 04, 2007

SCOTLAND ON SUNDAY

GERALD WARNER


On reading the Scotland on Sunday today I noticed a rather obnoxious article by the 'journalist' above, and thought that I would do my own research to find out if he was real, or if he was a joke column. Turns out that he is real! Bit scary I know anyone reading his materials has to think that the man is seriously out of touch with reality.

The comments that politician means 'scum' was not just offensive but a little scary, this guy is one of two things a failed political candidate or someone who never had the courage of his convictions to stand up and get involved. I personally would link him to the first, his suggestion that the Labour Government has 'maimed the most successful evolved constitution on the earth', so evolved is our constitution that it no one ever bothered to write it down! He similarly suggests that Margaret Thatcher was there for a purpose, what purpose I hear you ask, to kill the spirit of hard working British Citizens?

No apparently that was a bonus, her purpose was 'to implement a historic and ultimately global agenda' Her purpose was to raise unemployment, destroy our national industries and impose the Poll Tax on the people of Scotland, all with the help of the SNP in Westminster.

The author was right about one thing, the difference between Thatcher and the Labour Government could not be starker, while the Labour Government helps it's citizens, presides over the greatest level of economic growth in a generation, the lowest unemployment rate in a generation, a renewed and better NHS and better educational opportunities for everyone to name but a few differences, Thatcher and her pals destroyed our national identity, our national industries and decimated the hopes and dreams of millions of Scots not to mention decimating local government finance.

12 comments:

Tenement Tory said...

The only workers Maggie Thatcher broke where the decrepit, lazy so and so's who ran their own employers into the ground with their inefficient ways and so-called Spanish working practices.

Hard-working Britons you call them? Don't make me laugh.

Look at the Inland Revenue tradies who were on strike on the 31st, for instance.

While us in the private sector bursted our balls working until 6pm preparing tax returns for clients who looked like they were going to miss the lodgement deadline, the very people we were preparing the information for, were out fannying about with picket lines.

So we had no one to lodge the documents with. Wonder how many people got a £100 fine for missing that deadline, because no one was there to process the lodgements on the last day of lodging? That's selfishness, that's greed, and that's the hallmark of a Britain from a bygone era which even Labour stalwarts like Gordon Brown and Tony Blair will never, ever let us return to.

Rayleen Kelly said...

You have obviously never worked in a factory, or down a coal mine if you think that the people Thatcher broke were lazy or decrepit.


As for your comment on the latest strike, no one who's office for filing the forms was closed due to the strike will be charged the £100 fine as long as they filed the forms the next day, I am not sure if this escaped your notice or if you are being more than a little mischievous here, either way it is wrong for you to suggest other wise, given that you seem to be suggesting here that you work in an accounting firm of some description. Is this the information you gave clients?

Shotgun said...

What is most scary is that you may believe a little of the utter twaddle you have written.

You are not old enough to remember this great country and the basket case it was after the last Labour Government and the unions had finished with it in 1979, but you feel qualified to do so?

I can address and refute everything you have said, and without even doing any research.

You and your ilk have destroyed the UK, and continue to do so by supporting Bliar...YOU have kept him in power and he is more Tory than Thatcher ever dreamed of being...you are worse than any Tory ever in history.

Rayleen Kelly said...

Shotgun:- You say you can refute the claims I have made without evidence, but you don't!

'You and your ilk have destroyed the UK' and what 'ilk' would that be exactly, a Trade Unionist? A Labour Party Member? Or someone who cares about the most vulnerable in society, something you certainly cannot say about Thatcher. You say that Blair is more Conservative than Thatcher but I don't remember a national minimum wage being a Conservative Policy, I don't remember free concessionary travel for the elderly being a Conservative Policy and I certainly don't remember the winter fuel payment being a Tory policy maybe you should look again.

Rayleen Kelly said...

Jan:- Quick answer I will not be blog rolling the requested website I have removed your comment so that I am in no way connected with it.

Shotgun said...

Okay dear, let's make a quick start on your comments to me, then move on to your original post and see if ou can answer back in a rational way.

'You and your ilk have destroyed the UK' and what 'ilk' would that be exactly, a Trade Unionist? A Labour Party Member?

That would be just about right. The trades unions destroyed the UK, almost entirely, in the seventies along with the Labour party. You and your 'ilk' go on ad infinitum about the Tory interest rates in the ate eighties during a world recession, but ignore the late seventies and inflation and interest rates that the Tories inherited in 1979. Look at those figures objectively.

Or someone who cares about the most vulnerable in society, something you certainly cannot say about Thatcher.

Why not? The tax burden on the poor fell dramatically under Thatcher, and under Thatcher Family Credit was introduced. Look up the figures yourself. Since 1997 the tax burden has fell massively more on the poorest than on the richest. How does tax on fuel and road tax etc. affect the rich?

You say that Blair is more Conservative than Thatcher but I don't remember a national minimum wage being a Conservative Policy

Big deal...most people earned that anyways.

I don't remember free concessionary travel for the elderly being a Conservative Policy

It wasn't because it was already in place and had been for many years...don't be brainwashed into believing otherwise.

and I certainly don't remember the winter fuel payment being a Tory policy maybe you should look again.

So what? It is peanuts!!! Look at how the pensions have been devalued in real terms since 1997! The fuel payment doesn't even begin to cover that cost, not to mention the added basg to pensioners of the rise in Council Tax or the way they have been taxed out of their properties.

It wasn't Tory policy to make people pay for their education, but it is Labours It wasn't the Tory policy to make people pay to use the roads they already paid for, but it is Labours It wasn't Tory policy to privatise education but it is Labours It wasn't Tory policy to privatise the NHS but it is Labours It wasn't Tory policy to destroy the pensions of the hardest workers of society, tens of millions of them but it is Labours etc. etc. etc.

BLAIR IS A TORY!!

Shall I carry on with your original post?

Her purpose was to raise unemployment,

Unemployment is higher now than at any time during Thatchers time if we include the Disability list, which has risen by 2 million, since 1997. Please tell me you are not taken in by this Rayleen and don't see this for what it is? You want respect as a Labour councillor I will give it to you, but not if you delude yourself. This is also where a working, and objective, knowledge of the UK in the late seventies is useful.

destroy our national industries

Like coal and steel?

Coal was already destroyed and was in terminal decline. Here's a couple of real facts for you about the coal industry; in 1980 UK coal cost £160 a ton on average to take out of the ground, and was sold at £90 as this was the maximum. The coal industry was the first billion pound annual subsidy ever paid (could you see Bliar doing that today?) British coal miners were the highest paid manual workers ever in history, anywhere on the planet...and that is a little known fact, but a fact all the same.

The miners strike as you know it was actaully the third in two years. Thatcher had caved in to their demands twice, but refused the thrid time unless there was a majority ballot taken... but Scargill refused to hold ANY ballot and the strike in 1982 began Scargill was determined for his own political ends to have a national strike. Did you know all that Rayleen? I don't need to lie. Why do you think a second union was formed at that time? Why do you think 50% of the miners were scabs and went back only weeks into the strike? The strike was broken not by Thatcher or Scargill but by a judge who ordered a ballot and the ballot went against Scargill.

Prescott, during the Kyoto agreements, effectively shut down the UK's remaining coal industry and use.

As to steel...this is what Bliar said to Bush a few years ago, and he did during the US steel tarriffs argument with the EU..."the UK steel industry went through a long and painful, but neccesary reform in the late 80's and is now the most efficient in the world, and the US steel industry must do the same..." So Bliar thought it was necessarry, and who am I to argue with him when he agrees with me?

while the Labour Government helps it's citizens,

Really? In what way?

presides over the greatest level of economic growth in a generation,

The first four years of which were under the Tories...and then Brown followed Toru economic policy for at least the first two years of his Chancellorship...at best he followed the Tories lead.

Don't disappoint me Rayleen by ignoring this snippet.

the lowest unemployment rate in a generation,

While having the highest rate of unemployment EVER for other reasons, i.e. disability etc.

Stop peddling this line an dregain self respect...you don't have to be your Dad.

a renewed and better NHS...

So you haven't been following the news for a while eh?

and better educational opportunities for everyone

As long as they are willing to go into crippling debt for the rest of their lives to pay for their state education...yep, that was Labour too, the Labour party you are a part of.

I suppose I should stop there because it is both too easy a target and very, very sad that you may really believe all this rubbish, but I don't believe you do and I believe you are just following your Dads line.

You see Rayleen, a combination of my background and my experience has formed my views. I am not a Tory, but I recognise where the Tories took us from in 1979, having been there, especially in Scotland. I'll tell you a brief one:

I grew up in Dundee. I was born in Anfield Row, then grew up in Anfield Street..you know the type of place...six flats up a close three storeys high, or you might not know them? Our flat was one bedroom, one living room, a kitchen and a toilet; no bath, no hot water, and there was eight of us altogether...mum, dad and six kids. Big old granite closes that led directly onto a cobbled street with gas lamps that were lit every night and snuffed every morning. We went for a bath, to the baths, and when the new swimming pool opened a shower. My playgrounds were slums and derelict closes. Th jute mills were right across the road and you permanently stunk of the stuff.

That was my first real memories of a Labour controlled UK in the seventies just prior to Thatcher...so if your dad wants to fill your head with quaint pictures of the glorious struggle against oppression, then that is the picture to imagine in your head of a Labour Government and what they brought. Along with power cuts, strikes, loans from the IMF because the UK was broke, literally, etc. etc. etc.

When Thatcher came in it changed a great deal and that is why, despite some mistakes, she simply kept winning.

You should ponder that lot before making any other great pontificating posts about how glorious Labour is and was and how bad the Tories were. You have grown up feeling and gaining the benefit of how the Tories took us out of national bankruptcy and curbed the worst excesses of the unions and the likes of Scargill who cared nothing for the workers, but more for their own ideology.

BTW: My brother was a real red militant Labour councillor in Dundee, so I know, intimately what I'm talking about. I'll give you some genuine advice Rayleen: don't let your dads prejudices and ideological bankruptcy make you a laughing stock. People don't have to lie as it is patently obvious that Bliar is a far right Tory who has hoodwinked the Labour party. His father was a Tory who only gave up his membership when Bliar became PM, and Bliar at University was a Tory activist; he only came to Labour because they promised him a safe seat, or at least Tony Benn did as his mentor at CND...he had actually tried to stand as a Tory!

I'm being genuinely kind when I say I think your dad is a fool and deluded, and he should if he had any real political self respect, resign as a Labour member and join the SSP, or stand as an independant socialist.

Anyway, enough and I think that's enough for you to ponder on if you bother to, though I will keep a copy.

Rayleen Kelly said...

Shotgun:

1. It was not the Trade Unions that destroyed the Country nor was it the Labour Party, you are right though that many people do not put the interests rates and unemployment record under Thatcher in it's proper historical context, so why don't we give it a go here.

1.11 According to the figures from the bank of England the average interest rate during the Conservative years of 1979 to 1997 was 11%, the average interest rate of the Labour Government from 1997 to date is 5.6% almost half! Even if you look at the first nine years of the Conservative Government and the first nine years of the Labour Government, low and behold you find the same pattern emerging.

1.12 No doubt you will try and blame this on the Callaghan Government but on taking office the interest rate was 14% and from this point on until 1978 the rate decreased.

1.13 Over the same period the RPI was an average of 6.4 for the Conservative years and during the Labour Period the average is 2.8, sounding familiar?

2. The tax burden on the poor: It is not just about how much money you are being charged in taxes, this is offset by how much you are being helped, the term 'tax burden' does not cover how much utility people get out of the higher taxation. I suppose when unemployment reached 13% in Scotland in the 80's this was part of the 'tax burden' falling for the poor as they were not actually paying tax because they could not find a job.

3. If most people were already earning the national minimum wage why were the Conservatives suggesting before it's introduction that it would destroy thousands of businesses and plunge the UK into mass unemployment? The answer most people were not already earning this amount, I have had quite a few low paid jobs and prior to the national wage most if not all of them paid under this rate.

4. Tory policies versus Labour Policies we could swap insults all day, but I think you will find that it is the Conservatives who broke the link between pensions and earnings. I think you will find that the elderly do not think that the Winter fuel payments are peanuts as you call it, it is an almost everyday occurrence that an elderly person tells you that they are delighted with the help from the Labour Government, a lot still to do, but a lot done as well.

To My Original Post ...

I don't believe I need to qualify my statements, was unemployment at 13% in the 1980's in Scotland? Yes. Is it currently around 4% in Scotland? Yes. is that 9% of a difference? yes! Your point on the different measures of calculation are moot, the levels are the levels are the levels, if you cannot do more that trot out the usual non argument of you are fiddling the figures then you have lost the argument. I similarly remember Thatcher being accused of the same thing in her day!

Coal miners were the highest paid manual workers for a reason, did you risk black lung (Coal Workers Pneumoconiosis CWP) in your job? Did you risk death each day by cave in? There were many other nations that subsidised their coal mining industry more than the UK, in fact Germany at the moment heavily subsidises it's coal industry, albeit with the caveat that the industry will be winding down, with Government support, so workers will not simply be cast aside as Thatcher did.

Not to make you look even more silly but, the Miners strike was 1984 not 1982, it almost happened in 1981 but did not take place until 1984.

You have an interesting view of History, I marched in rallies during the Miners strike and Arthur Scargill was there at many of them. The situation as I understand it was that the reason that many of the strikers voted to go back to work (98 for 91 against) was that money had run out they could no longer afford to strike, despite support from other unions. Although the strike was illegal it did not stop the overwhelming majority of miners going on strike, this is all you need to know in order to see the strength of feeling and the outcome of such a ballot would have been.

Blair may have said this but the difference between the Labour Government and the Conservatives is that the Blair Government would never have decimated a national industry of over 30,000 workers without having an action plan in place to support, retrain and economically regenerate the areas in question.

OK go back and look at the Labour Gains posts on this blog I have better things to do with my time than re write what is already here.

Go back to the original information on the interest rates and inflation rates and then have a look at the Bank of England webpage under the statistics page, get back to me after you have studied it.

I am not my father but just because you don't understand or agree with the figures doesn't mean that they are not true.

OK let me tell you my story I grew up in Shortroods in Paisley one of the most deprived areas in Scotland at that time, I went to the local primary school and high school. I was in primary school when Thatcher stole the milk from the classroom, I was there when my friends parents were out of work and unlikely to find new employment. I was there when my father helped collect the toys for the miners children at Christmas, I went on the marches and I chanted the slogans, what is more I understood the issues and believed what I was saying.
I was brought up to say exactly what I believe and have a mind of my own, I regularly disagree with my father and he will tell you that I am argumentative but, he knows that I research my arguments and formulate my own opinions. An example of this is that I did not join the Labour Party until I was 18, and before I did I researched the different parties, their policies and positions and their representatives, I also contacted each party and asked for more information with a view to joining, the Labour Party was the only one that responded!

I grew up through a time of record breaking national unemployment, high interest rates, decimation of Local Government finance, and a belief in the individual to the detriment of the collective responsibility that we all have to each other and the planet.

Your assertion that I just do what my daddy tells me is laughable and ANYONE who knows me will tell you this! You may think that my father is a fool and deluded I don't agree, but I don't think you were expecting me to. I wonder if I would think the same of you if I had the full picture about you?
I would, however, like to thank you for the civility of the language used in this post, having checked out your blog I appreciate how much of an effort it must have taken.

I am interested though have you ever stood for election and put your theories where your mouth/typing fingers are?

Rayleen Kelly said...

Can I ask that the comments are slightly shorter than the last two (I know one was mine) remember ...

'Brevity is the soul of wit'

Shotgun said...

1. It was not the Trade Unions that destroyed the Country nor was it the Labour Party, you are right though that many people do not put the interests rates and unemployment record under Thatcher in it's proper historical context, so why don't we give it a go here....etc. etc. on unemployment...

So you are comparing raw unemployment figures and taking nothing else into consideration? Teh fact that the amount of people on disablity has almost quadrupled has no bearing?

1.11 According to the figures from the bank of England the average interest rate during the Conservative years of 1979 to 1997 was 11%, the average interest rate of the Labour Government from 1997 to date is 5.6% almost half! Even if you look at the first nine years of the Conservative Government and the first nine years of the Labour Government, low and behold you find the same pattern emerging.

Do you not realise just how bad this makes you look when we put this into proper context? For a start the average interest rate for mortgages is 6.8% and rises and falls with the actual rate, but no matter let's use the 5.6% rate.

For a start, the average house price during the Tory years was 22k, and if we take the average interest rate that makes an average payment of £2420 annually, and then we need to take into consideration that MIRAS was in existence during that whole period so helped many poorer mortgage payers immensely.

Now we look at an average house price during the Labour years of 126k, and then an interest rate of 5.6% and tyhat equates to an everage annual payment of £7056, and then remind us EXACTLY who scrapped MIRAS and hit the poorest mortgage payers hardest? Before you say that it benefited the rich, MIRAS was only payable for the first 10k I think, so the rich wouldn't benefot at all in real terms as compared to the poor.

Now please explain why those figures are so wonderful for anyone but the rich who have no mortgage?

1.12 No doubt you will try and blame this on the Callaghan Government but on taking office the interest rate was 14% and from this point on until 1978 the rate decreased.

Of course because there was a hell of lot mnore than just interest rates that was so badly wrong during the Wilson and Callaghan years. Are you saying that inflation was low? Are you saying we did not have to go begging the IMF for a loan to stop the UK going bankrupt?

Bliar and Labour are still today, ten years after the Tories left power, blaming Thatcher for all the ills of the UK today.

1.13 Over the same period the RPI was an average of 6.4 for the Conservative years and during the Labour Period the average is 2.8, sounding familiar?

The RPI has been changed...try and regain some self respect and stop trying to push this vote grabbing dishonesty.

2. The tax burden on the poor: It is not just about how much money you are being charged in taxes, this is offset by how much you are being helped, the term 'tax burden' does not cover how much utility people get out of the higher taxation. I suppose when unemployment reached 13% in Scotland in the 80's this was part of the 'tax burden' falling for the poor as they were not actually paying tax because they could not find a job.

According to the OECD, not me, the UK now has the most draconian tax regime in it's history and is taxed more heavily in real terms than ever in its history, and because Bliar and Brown have doggedly refused to raise the rate of tax for the rich and middle class the poor have been hit hardest...and a good socialist would recognise this.

3. If most people were already earning the national minimum wage why were the Conservatives suggesting before it's introduction that it would destroy thousands of businesses and plunge the UK into mass unemployment?

Because it did and would if put forward at the figure proposed by the TUC and originally agreed by Labour, but as it was it was made so low as to be almost worthless, as it is today, but many Labour supporters failed to spot this.

The answer most people were not already earning this amount, I have had quite a few low paid jobs and prior to the national wage most if not all of them paid under this rate.

You didn't need it before because your taxes were lower.

You seem to forget that for Giovernment it was a no lose situation because Government did not pay below that figure anyways. And here'sa snippet for you Rayleen that again comes from the OECD; the value of an hours work in employment offices in the UK went overnight from £7.28 to less than a £5 as all employers took advantage of the minimum wage to pay, simply, the MINIMUM wage. Think about that.

4. Tory policies versus Labour Policies we could swap insults all day,

I haven't insulted you at all. Why do you refuse to address the issues?

but I think you will find that it is the Conservatives who broke the link between pensions and earnings.

Yes it was and they introduced SERPS to replace it, which was, I think you'll find, finally scrapped in all its forms by Labour.

I think you will find that the elderly do not think that the Winter fuel payments are peanuts as you call it, it is an almost everyday occurrence that an elderly person tells you that they are delighted with the help from the Labour Government, a lot still to do, but a lot done as well.

So why are they now the biggest pressure group lobbying aginst it and to have the money placed into a decent pension instead? Ask them if they want a winter fuel payment or a decent pension then see the reply you get and it won't be to demand the winter fuel payment be retained.

I don't believe I need to qualify my statements, was unemployment at 13% in the 1980's in Scotland? Yes. Is it currently around 4% in Scotland? Yes. is that 9% of a difference? yes! Your point on the different measures of calculation are moot,

No they are not moot; it is fact and every time you polay this silly card you lose another tranche of voters and members for the Labour party.

the levels are the levels are the levels, if you cannot do more that trot out the usual non argument of you are fiddling the figures then you have lost the argument. I similarly remember Thatcher being accused of the same thing in her day!

The levels are the levels etc.....? Are you kidding me on? Are you honestly suggesting that the only figure that is of any relevance is the figure as published and no other? I'm not trying to insult you Rayleen, but if this is what you are saying then you are not fit to serve your constituents as they deserve better than petty party politics from their representatives.

Coal miners were the highest paid manual workers for a reason, did you risk black lung (Coal Workers Pneumoconio...etc. etc.

Big deal? Many people in many walks of life risk their lives each and every day but never got paid a fraction of what these VOLUNTARY miners were paid. That is not an argument for subsidising something that nobody wanted.

Not to make you look even more silly but, the Miners strike was 1984 not 1982, it almost happened in 1981 but did not take place until 1984.

Fair enough, I made the mistake as I was writing..typos happen...maybe I was thinking of the Falklands and when I risked my life for a hell of lot less pay than they got.

Although the strike was illegal it did not stop the overwhelming majority of miners going on strike, this is all you need to know in order to see the strength of feeling and the outcome of such a ballot would have been.

Your view of history is very different too Rayleen to mine, and most other histories written from an unbiased POV, and I was there and understanding of it from an adult POV...my wife is from Nottinghamshire/Derbyshire.

If this was such a massive success with such massive support, why were there so many scabs and even a rival union formed by miners?

Blair may have said this but the difference between the Labour Government and the Conservatives is that the Blair Government would never have decimated a national industry of over 30,000 workers wit

LLLMMMAAAOOOOO!!!!!!!

Bliar put 30,000 postal workers out of work just a few short years ago, and without any action plan, but they did get a chance at another job on minimum wages...

Bliar said it was necessary, and he is your leader, and the steel workers did get redundancy payments...just like the postal workers.

As to retraining and regeneration...I live in Deeside and it was showered with money. But you don't want to hear that do you?

OK go back and look at the Labour Gains posts on this blog I have better things to do with my time than re write what is already here.

Is that like Labour gains massively from new members etc.?

OK let me tell you my story I grew up in Shortroods in Paisley one of the most deprived areas in Scotland at that time, I went to the local primary school and high school. I was in primary school when Thatcher stole the milk from the classroom, I was there when my friends parents were out of work and unlikely to find new employment. I was there when my.........

I wish I had had your upbringing while I grew up under a Labour administration...that would have been really nice.

Your assertion that I just do what my daddy tells me is laughable and ANYONE who knows me will tell you this!

I did not assert that at all; I think you blindly follow your fathers line, and you have proved that to an extent here.

You may think that my father is a fool and deluded I don't agree, but I don't think you were expecting me to.

I do think that because he represents, as do you, someone and a party that is worse in every singlke respect than that which you both claim to hate so much: the Tory party and Thatcher.

I wonder if I would think the same of you if I had the full picture about you?

Perhaps.

I would, however, like to thank you for the civility of the language used in this post, having checked out your blog I appreciate how much of an effort it must have taken.

Not at all...my blog is nothing but a vent of spleen and a rant, and I make no bones that it is anything but.

I am interested though have you ever stood for election and put your theories where your mouth/typing fingers are?

I wasn't aware that I had put forward any theories. But the reason I have never stood for office is because I have never found the time between being in the armed forces and working to keep my family. I might yet decide to stand as a councillor in my local area because our present incumbent is useless and only pops his head out at election time.

If I did stand it would be as an independant devoted to bettering the local area, and it most certainly would not be to promote the aggrandisement of any political party.

I have twice now taken your points and answered them in some detail, while you have avoided the points I made. I can and will answer all thesis you put forward, but it becomes boring when you don't do the same and merely stick to your line.

Sorry if this is long, but how else could it be?

RightForScotland said...

One piece of advice I found on the net and have tried to stick to is not to go into great long debates on comment threads. It is said that it is better to post new articles to deal with these simply because RSS readers and other tools will drive more traffic to your site.

Any chance of the last two posts becoming an article?

Rayleen, at least you enter into debate and you should be congratulated for it.

Rayleen Kelly said...

RightForScotland (RFS): asks if there is any chance of the last two comments (From Myself and Shotgun) being turned into an article on my blog, honest answer probably as Shotgun has sent another equally long and tiresome comment yesterday (I did get it but thought better of publishing yet another mile long answer. I will be answering the questions asked by Shotgun in both these comments and the additional one by shotgun in a separate post, I wouldn't normally do this but it is an important topic so it will appear soon. Thanks for the interest.

Rayleen Kelly said...

Shotgun: Shorter posts and I will answer it, but I really don't have time a little busy representing my constituents, be assured though I will return to this subject in an article and will take on board your points in it, hopefully you will get involved in the forthcoming article as well.

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