New Labour’s Franco Adventure 151

My friend Mike Arnott of Dundee TUC has done more than anybody to record the story of the outstanding Dundonian contribution to the early war against fascism; seventeen men from Dundee died in the International Brigade.

I wonder what they would think about the alliance between the right wing Spanish “Popular Party” and the Tories plus, reportedly, New Labour to plan a demand for the expulsion of an independent Scotland from the European Union?

New Labour’s commitment to keeping Trident in Scotland, to ending free prescriptions and to imposing university tuition fees makes it, I suppose, unremarkable that they would feel comfortable in this company.

The Tories have today denied that they have made any formal deal on a united front against Scottish and Catalonian independence, while acknowledging that meetings between the Scottish Tories and the Popular Party have taken place. (To discuss what else, one wonders? Property prices on Tory retirement homes in Spain?)

151 thoughts on “New Labour’s Franco Adventure

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  • Mary

    Some preliminary US war game?

    US Says Iran Fired on US Drone Over Gulf

    Associated Press

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The Pentagon says an Iranian military plane fired upon, but did not hit, an unarmed U.S. drone aircraft a week ago in what a spokesman said was international airspace over the Persian Gulf.

    Pentagon press secretary George Little disclosed the incident was disclosed Thursday.

    Little said the drone aircraft was performing “routine surveillance” and was about 16 miles off the Iranian coast when an Iranian SU-25 warplane intercepted it and opened fire. He said it was the first time an unmanned U.S. aircraft was shot at in international airspace over the Gulf.

    Little said the U.S. informed the Iranians that it would continue to conduct such surveillance flights in international airspace.

    © 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved

  • Fred

    “US Says Iran Fired on US Drone Over Gulf”

    Did they say what they would do if they found an Iranian drone 16 mile off the Eastern Seaboard?

  • Komodo

    During the Cold War we didn’t shoot down Soviet overflights within UK airspace. We just waved them politely away. We didn’t want to jeopardise our overflights of them, did we?

    Anyway, I think the US would be better employed surveilling its dear little friend on the Med, which is far more likely to initiate a war. A drone strike on the fascist Liebermann would also be in order. That man’s global trouble.

  • Fred


    Given the fact that the SNP are going to great lengths to convince people that everything will remain the same after independence, even to the extent of telling downright lies then using taxpayer’s money in an attempt to prevent the people of Scotland hearing the truth, suggest two things to you?

    One that the people of Scotland actually like things the way they are and two that the SNP will say anything they think will help them win a referendum then do as they like when it’s too late?

  • Donald

    ‘the SNP will say anything they think will help them win a referendum then do as they like when it’s too late?’

    Like ‘Labour’, you mean?

    Yeah, politicos are all c**ts.

  • Fred

    Yes, like Labour, Tories and now it seems Liberals.
    Salmond is an oil economist, wonder where the revolving door is going to drop him after he sells Scotland to the highest bidder.

  • craig Post author


    I did indeed get on very well indeed with Gordon Wilson and liked him immensely. I last saw Edith and Hordon in 2007.

    I am very sad indeed about these things he has been saying for a few months now. He will be furious if I said that in his mid seventies he is suffering effects of ageing; but he was always one of the personally kindest and above all most tolerant people you could know and got on very well with openly gay students in the students union. He fought for Scottish nationalism when it was a “dead” cause, and was involved with pirate radio stations, moving transmitters to hide then from the police, and with the group who stole the Stone of Scone.

    I will always regard him as a friend, but am very sorry about this stance he is taking.

  • Dreoilin


    Good to see you popping in. Glad you’re ok – Tech let us know.
    (which reminds me, Jon is very quiet for some reason)

  • Komodo

    Yes, Salmond is a self-promoter.

    His abilities in that line were unreservedly put to the service of the cause he sincerely believed in. Without Salmond, I feel safe in saying, the SNP would still be worrying about whether it would get six seats in Scotland next time. He enthused and energised the debate, and transfused a much-needed self-confidence into party members.

    Yes, Salmond was an oil economist.

    Which gave him a plausibility in advancing the economic case not possessed either by his peers or his opponents. Without an economic case, the independence argument collapses.

    If and when he leaves politics, as far as I am concerned, he is welcome to enter any field he likes. And be handed as much cash – he’s probably worth it – as he likes. The SNP is a social-democratic party, sure, but if Salmond had not guided away from the doctrinaire left, it would not be what it is today. Fair play to the man, please.

  • guest


    Let us fast forward in time, we will say that Scotland has gained its independence, the SNP win the first election in an independent Scotland, within a short period of time you will coming on here and saying how bad the SNP are. You did it after you said Obama was the change we need, you did it after you said the Lib Dems were the change we need. Wake up Craig, the WHOLE political system is corrupt, they have all been bought!, wake up.

  • resident dissident

    There was a time when nationalism was seen as being the antithesis of socialist/progressive politics – reading the comments here this is clearly no longer the case and many have gone over to the dark side. Why has this happened?

  • resident dissident

    I might also add that not a few aren’t above waving religous banners as well as national flags.

  • resident dissident

    “Yes, like Labour, Tories and now it seems Liberals.
    Salmond is an oil economist, wonder where the revolving door is going to drop him after he sells Scotland to the highest bidder.”

    By quite a lot of reports he is also quite keen on a flutter or two.

  • Komodo

    There was a time when nationalism was seen as being the antithesis of socialist/progressive politics – reading the comments here this is clearly no longer the case and many have gone over to the dark side. Why has this happened?

    Nationalism has always found support among the working class. As has socialism. There’s never been a clear divide. The leftward side of Old Labour had quite a romantic relationship with Basque and even Irish nationalism. There’s actually no contradiction at all.

    By quite a lot of reports he is also quite keen on a flutter or two.


    I don’t know if his bookie hates him or not, but his political gambles have a way of paying off.

  • Fred


    The SNP came to power by default, Thatcher screwed it for the Conservatives and Blair screwed it for Labour. Don’t for one minute think everyone voting SNP was voting for independence. The sneaky charlatans are now merging all the Scottish police forces into one and it is no secret that one of the main reasons is to try and create a sense of Scottish national identity. Note “create”, as far as many in Scotland are concerned the part of Scotland where Edinburgh and Glasgow are situated is practically England anyway, vast areas of Scotland relate more to their Norse and Irish heritage than they do to the Lowland Scot. They haven’t forgotten who it was sold them out in 1707 and I don’t think they are in any doubts about who is trying to do it again.

  • DoNNyDarKo

    Fred , the SNP came to power through democracy and Robert Burns told the story how English gold bought England a Union with Scotland.
    People have been voting SNP for years for one reason. Independence. It is the raison d’etre for the SNP ,and always has been.The SNP have increased their vote because they managed to deliver promises despite being a minority party in power.They have actually improved Scotland, whilst still fighting for Scotland in the cesspit of Westminster.
    I have never met anyone who thinks that anywhere north of the border is anything but Scotland. Where do you collect your views ? As for Norse and Irish values, think again. The Shetlands and Orkney have their own traditions for sure, but have more in common with the fishing communities around Scotland than Scandinavia or Ireland.Come to Scotland !! We have Asian , Italian and Polish that are as Scottish as I am.
    You are completely misinformed !

  • Fred

    Resident Dissident

    Nationalism has always been a means for the few to control the many, flags are used to shrinkwrap peoples brains before they go and as shrouds on their coffins when they return. It is playing on man’s instincts to be part of a tribe, his desire to belong, was a time when it was a matter of survival, evolution hasn’t caught up yet.

    Note the weasel words chosen for the referendum “Do you agree that Scotland should be an independent country?”. Are you one of the gang? Are you with everyone else? Why not just have two words, “Independent” and “Union” then let people put a cross next to the one they prefer? Because they know they are going to have to use every trick in the book to force the wishes of the minority onto the majority.

  • Mary

    Windbag replies to innuendo. No smoke without fire, usually.

    Full statement from Lord McAlpine…we’ll have more on this on today’s #wato @BBCRadio4

    Press statement issued by Lord McAlpine
    Over the last several days it has become apparent to me that a number of ill- or uninformed commentators have been using blogs and other internet media outlets to accuse me of being the senior Conservative Party figure from the days of Margaret Thatcher’s leadership who is guilty of sexually abusing young residents of a children’s home in Wrexham, North Wales in the 1970’s and 1980’s.
    It has additionally become apparent to me that a number of broadcasters and newspapers have, without expressly naming me, also been alleging that a senior Conservative Party figure from that time was guilty of or suspected of being guilty of the sexual abuse of residents of this children’s home.
    It is obvious that there must be a substantial number of people who saw that I had been identified in the internet publications as this guilty man and who subsequently saw or heard the broadcasts or read the newspapers in question and reasonably inferred that the allegation of guilt in those broadcasts and newspapers attached to me.

    blah blah etc


    Is he a Scot or has he just got a Scottish name?

  • Fred


    So if the only reason people vote SNP is independence how come they only managed to get one MP into Parliament prior to the finding of North Sea oil and he only lasted 3 months?

  • Ken

    Why should Scotland want to remain in the EU? As an independent country their position would be very strong, with lots of issues that could be traded off to ensure that Scottish policy was implemented. For instance if London wants to keep the nuclear submarines in the country then the price that Edinburgh could exact would be very high indeed. Does the USA want to keep Scotland in NATO? My guess is probably yes, so the Scots can ask the Americans to bitch slap Spain into line if they are determined to stay in the EU. I could make the point that Spain has a large fishing fleet and will want to keep it in Scottish waters rather than see it sunk by the new Royal Scottish Navy, but what’s the point? You get the idea that Scotland holds a good hand.

  • Komodo

    What Donny said. (I’m an English ex-long-term resident of his excellent country) Most of the Scottish population is to be found in the big cities. In which, do please try suggesting to the man in the street that he is, consequently, English. The SNP has always stood for independence, and has never concealed the fact. (I’m an ex-member of that, too) And how else does anyone get into power but when the opposition screws up?

    Incidentally, it was John Smith who pledged a devolution vote. Ironic that just about the only pledge Blair never broke was someone else’s, innit?

    History here:

    (written before devolution was agreed)

  • Komodo

    Fred: A good question. The answer is the same as that to “why do you think the UK government is even prepared to contemplate an independence referendum now that the easy North Sea oil has gone?”

    Yes, follow the money. But it’s the same motivation for all.

  • oddie

    Mary –

    Wither, Sheldon Adelson?
    “For a guy who made his fortune from gambling, Sheldon Adelson sure is a lousy better.” That’s the popular refrain going around these post-election days, as a multi-million dollar foray into the 2012 election season ended with a loss for nearly every candidate backed by casino-mogul Adelson.
    In addition to Mitt Romney’s failed presidential bid, Adelson backed, among others, the congressional run of Rabbi-turned-attention vacuum Shmuley Boteach, and the reelection campaign for Representative Allen West, who once insisted “If Joseph Goebbels was around, he’d be very proud of the Democrat party.” However, when the dust settled on the morning of November 7th, seven of the eight candidates supported by Adelson had lost. The only “win” in Adelson’s column was Dean Heller, the incumbent senator from Nevada; Adelson’s home state in which he pulls quite a bit of weight…
    Prior to this election, Adelson’s political influence was felt most acutely in Israel, where the Adelson-owned Israel Ha’yom newspaper is referred to as “Bibi-ton” for its lock-step support of prime minister Bibi Netanyanu and his right wing government. Then came the supreme court’s Citizens United ruling, which opened the doors for individuals to donate unlimited funds toward Super-Political Action Committees here in the U.S…

    Key members of the Congressional ‘Islamophobia caucus’ swept from Congress

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