2007 - 2021

You are a Virus



‘Zombie Nationalist accuses Democracy Movement of being a Contagion’. Okay, that needs to be filed under the heading ‘Headlines from an Imaginary Press’ but yesterday marked a new low as Johann Lamont littered her speech at Labour Conference with some extraordinary language about Salmond v Scotland and referring to fellow Scots as a disease.Yesterday Margaret Curran took up the attack and today, no doubt, Jim Murphy will focus, not on spelling out the positive case for the Union but on attacking the Scottish democracy movement.

From The Survivors to I am Legend, from The Road to The Green Death  tales of apocylpse and plague have been a constant motif of contemporary culture. From Spengler’s themes of decay, decline to the culture of fear from AIDS and nuclear Armageddon this idea has been constant.

But for the leader of Labour in Scotland to 
Johann to call nationalism “a virus that has affected so many nations and done so much harm” and accuses the SNP of “corroding politics” leaves many people incredulous. This from the people who constantly refer to the ‘poverty of debate’. She said:

For the Nationalists the misery of the people isn’t a wrong to be corrected – it is a chance to be exploited. For them, grievance is not to be addressed – it is to be nurtured,” she said. And that cynicism, that calculation which leaves families suffering now is a price worth paying if it translates into votes next September. It’s a cynicism which corrodes our politics. It should create in us a revulsion.

As Bill Macdonald writes in The Scotsman this morning:

“I read with sadness and concern Johann Lamont’s speech to the Labour Party conference in which she descended into the depths of the gutter in describing the desire of her fellow Scots for independence as a virus polluting the debate on the future of Scotland.

Such nastiness has no place in the mature debate that many proud Scots have entered into, and she should be ashamed of herself.”

While others have taken perhaps the better response which is to treat such comments with glee:

“The Independence VIRUS! Symptoms include: thinking for yourself, having faith in your abilities, not being terrified by the future. #indyref “

First this week we were described as peripheral, now we are a virus. Things can only get better?

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  1. George Gunn says:

    This is a leader of a party in opposition… to what, exactly? The people?

    1. douglas clark says:

      Fourteen words, says it all.

  2. Albalha says:

    Utterly desperate and bankrupt politics.
    On the making light of it, someone posted on twitter that due to over indulging on Saturday, after the march, they didn’t go to work saying they’d come down with ‘the nationalist virus’.

  3. Welsh Siôn says:

    Thought for the day. Johann Lamont says that nationalism is a virus.

    I agree.

    Let’s make the desire to be independent contagious.

  4. alharron says:

    So a party leader talks about nationalism being a virus.

    Under a banner reading “One Nation.”

    No rebuttal necessary.

    1. James Coleman says:

      One Nation, Ein Reich??

  5. Murray McCallum says:

    Johann needs to get herself on a World speaking tour based on the nationalist “virus” theme. Kicking off in the USA she could visit the former UKOK colonies that caught this particular virus. Her powers of persuasion will encourage self-loathing on a massive scale and return these countries to direct rule from the motherland. Global, non nationalist, “One Nation” rule.

  6. Wullie says:

    Lamont & Curran, two of MacBeth’s witches, compete with Barrowland faces after a dizzy. How well I know that look. The only thing missing is the chewing gum.
    James VI would have made short work of the perr o them.
    The resort to character assasination by crones with no character themselves, ignores the fact that if Alex (heaven forfend) fell under a bus, the campaign for independence would carry on.
    This panic is about career politicians who have clawed their way up through the Labour ranks into well paid positions who now realise that the rug is about to be pulled from under them. They might even have to look for work.

    1. Hey I went to the Barrowland back in the sixties,just for the dancing of course,and the odd lumber but never wi’coupns like them two,would have stayed innocent if that was all that was there LOL.

    2. James Coleman says:

      “Lamont & Curran, two of MacBeth’s witches, compete with Barrowland faces after a dizzy”

      I love it. And this:

      “about career politicians who have clawed their way up through the Labour ranks”

      According to Damian McBride it is red in the claw. Sorry for mixed metaphor.

  7. Juteman says:

    Her words, and the demonizing of the poor, are scarily similar to 1930’s Germany. British National Socialism is alive and well in the present day Labour party.

  8. Mike says:

    I’ve caught the virus and I’m contagious. Yippee

    [The virus theme, was used in 1930`s Germany. The ex teacher should have known this, surely.]

  9. Iain Ross says:

    She should keep in mind that there is no cure for a virus!

  10. Aye and we are the virus to decimate your type of Brit nationalists.

  11. I’m Y.E.S. Positive.

    Am I going to get arrested by the police for intentionally infecting people with the YES virus? I know it’s illegal under English law, but is it okay in Scotland?

  12. I can’t believe she actually said that. Thanks for writing about it. Your article inspired me to make a couple of spoof posters, featuring Johann. I’m still laughing at them now, which can’t be right.

  13. A2 says:

    At the risk of using some negative imagery in the most positive way. Is Johann admitting that this “virus will spread, duplicate eventually infecting and taking over the body of the host, that there can be no inoculation

  14. muttley79 says:

    This just gives the growing impression that SLAB are under real pressure, both internally and externally. No political strategist worth his salt would think to attack a rival party, which received 45% of the vote only two years ago, in this way. This is desperate, extremely bitter stuff from Lamont. The hatred of Scottish nationalism from SLAB’s leading elected representatives is toxic, and is reaching unprecedented levels. I honestly believe that they will soon start directly comparing the SNP with the NSDAP, and Salmond with Hitler. They have hinted at this in the past (Anne Moffat for example), but I expect the torrent of bile to swell from next year at the latest. To insult all independence supporters in this manner, (around 35 per cent/+40 per cent according to the polls), is in electoral terms sheer madness. It is irrational in the extreme. The No campaign constantly conflate the SNP with the entire independence movement (even though it is patently rubbish), so they can’t really deny that they are not denigrating all independence supporters. Lamont’s rhetoric is appalling and extreme. It does not look as though they will reflect on how bad it is either.

  15. The talent these people have for projection of their own sins onto their opponents is truly staggering.

  16. She said this with a humungous banner behind her proclaiming ‘One Nation’
    Panto season has come early. ‘It’s behind you Johann BEHIND YOU!’

  17. Paul Cochrane says:

    Can I be a retrovirus? Always liked those wee cheeky chappies!

  18. sheila says:

    The Scottish Labour Party don’t seem to have twigged that post-Independence, they stand a pretty good chance of becoming the government. Or at least they did, before they started this process of poisoning their own well..

    Have they perhaps decided that making enemies of all their potential voters in 2016 (whichever way the vote goes in 2014) is better than acting like grown up and responsible people offering real alternative visions for Scotland?

    Maybe we should be asking Scottish Labour and the Bitter Together campaign what THEY would do about pensions, welfare, currency etc etc in an independent Scotland, given that they and the parties they represent could form at least a part of government in such an independent Scotland; rather than their feeble “ochone, it’ll no work, we’d better no” winges…

    1. James Coleman says:

      You really are an optimist. What you are seeing are the death throes of the ‘Scottish’ Labour Party. If we gain Independence SL’s smearing, vilious (just made it up) and bilious performance during the campaign will condemn them to the boondocks like the Tories now. Though the latter might make a comeback.

      1. sheila says:

        I would be delighted to see the end of the Scottish Labour Party – they have become more pointless and out of touch and mean and petty-spirited with every new leader; still not grasping that the days of tribal voting are long gone.
        I was trying to encourage the Yes campaign to ask the No parties what THEY would do with an independent Scotland – I want to see all possible visions for an independent Scotland (the “Being”) to invigorate us into thinking of the possibles our country could become – I would argue that getting people to think about and FEEL the options that COULD be possible is the best way to turn a mebbe to a YES!

  19. douglas clark says:

    There is something sadly wrong with a labour politician spouting this rubbish.

    A lot of us have given labour a freaking lifetime to make a difference. It is as though we were infected with a pacifistic virus that allowed us to settle for second best as if it was all we could expect. No more! It is frankly wrongful for anyone to claim to be a socialist and allow the combination of wealth divergence and the completely disgusting culture of jobs for the sake of it that describes a society gone wrong. The article over of Munguin’s Republic –


    – that deals with ATOS, etc just crystallised for me a state where, probably minimum wage people use an algorithm to keep people below minimum wage in their place. It is frankly disgusting that we are exploited by Westminster politicians in this manner. And by high placed and well renumerated civil servants who think this is a strategy.

    We ought to be better than that.

    I am sick and tired of having people who are merely on the greasy pole to wealth and power telling me what is wrong with me. They are Orwellian tricksters playing me and you for fools.

    There is a heck of a lot more wrong with them, than there is with me, or you, dear reader. And I am no angel.

  20. douglas clark says:

    Not – “We ought to be better than that.”

    It ought to have read:

    “We are better than that”

    I trust our society to crush that sort of nonsense stone dead. For Scots do not like that sort of thing. Given a yes vote, we can cast that sort of thinking into the bin.

    I have never, ever, liked politicians like Lamont and Curran that appear to me to have risen from a swamp and have assumed that that is all that matters. Frankly I cannot imagine what fools gave them a path to the top.

    They stand, it seems to me, for nothing other than themselves and a Labour Party that is unrecognisable as anything socialist. It seems very odd to me that universalism is challenged from the left,

    What is the point in having a party that looks like a duck, quacks like a duck and waddles like a duck? But speaks with a Glasgow accent?

    Perhaps it is a Conservative, camouflaged to float about in Victoria Park. For they seem to have the same ambitions and they have very little to do with thee or me. Bottom feeding the lot of them!

  21. ronald alexander mcdonald says:

    She’s a moron who spreads her bile of hatred and has nothing to offer the people of Scotland.

    Talk about sticking a red rosette on a Gorilla. I wouldn’t insult Gorillas when comparing them to Lamont and Curran.

  22. James Morton says:

    this is exactly what McLeish was on about. The descent into…madness I guess you can call it, as the no campaign becomes more absurd with its pronouncements every day. I don’t think he thought a Scottish labour politician would ever have stooped so low as to label a political party they are opposed to and its voters as a virus. It disgusted and horrified me in equal measure. To see the Scottish labour party become this wretched thing makes me more anxious about the future than the so called uncertainty of independence.

    But then there is the absurdity of the argument. She is so deluded that she fails to see that the world is comprised of nations who have nationalism in one form or another. I’d sack her speech writer, then I’d sack her. For fuck sake Scotland do not let this woman ever do more than pass wind in holyrood, the idea of her passing policy scares me rigid.

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