None of the Above (NOTA)

Anyone reading this blog will know that I have been getting increasingly more frustrated with political parties and that has now reached the SNP also who have for a long time received the bulk of my votes. However, yesterday they finally just broke me with their decision to cave into the teaching profession unions, and at the same time inform the rest of the public sector they are of less value. I cannot, and will not accept that in any way, the result being I can’t see myself voting SNP in the future unless they renegotiate the salary and terms and conditions for the rest of the public sector giving them the value the deserve.

The dilemma for myself is that I have always taken voting seriously, made the attempt to read the party manifestos, learn a little about the candidates but have tended to go SNP in the main. Given that I now may not have anyone to vote for, and I would not want to spoil my paper, is it time for a none of the above party on the ballot. Many people don’t vote and I would not want to join their ranks but I will if I have to. I know that many of you will think I am being over emotional, not thinking it through, independence is the be all and end all and we have to swallow a bad taste on occasion to reach that goal, but for myself principle does matter in how I vote. I haven’t been impressed for a long time with the overall standard of our politicians but accepting that the SNP were better than the rest, yesterday that was shattered, at the end of the day they are really not when they are willing to betray trust.

I am also not being suckered by the likes of Labour , the Tories or the unionist media. I have no doubt they will be delighted if the SNP get into difficulty with public sector workers but again principle matters for me. The simple fact is that our politics is broken, there is little integrity in any party anymore and there needs to be a way to express that, and not by just spoiling your ballot paper. There should be a way for myself, and others for whatever reason, to make their feelings clear. I was even considering ending this blog, that might have even cheered up some people as well, but I wont do that. I am now a floating voter, if I vote at all, my vote is up for grabs but in the absence of anyone being worth voting for I would like to see a none of the above on the ballot.

I also think that the Scottish Government, and the SNP, are going to find out the hard way that their decision yesterday has lost them votes, it won’t increase the votes to the unionists all that much I imagine, but I spoke to people last night who are now saying they will spoil their ballot paper from now on, I might be one of them.

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17 Responses to None of the Above (NOTA)

  1. Maureen Potter says:

    This teacher’s dispute was orchestrated by the EIS who have always been pro Labour. There was no fair solution for the SNP so you could say they took the easy option but at the end of the day their main concern was for the education of the children in our schools and especially those who are about to sit major exams. By spoiling your paper or not voting you are playing into Labour/Tory hands! They will be rubbing their hands in glee as that was the real agenda behind the teacher’s strike. I am not in the SNP but I was a teacher for many years so I know how tired and unappreciated many feel at times. I also have sympathy for other public sector workers too but at the end of the day they are being betrayed not by the SNP but by the Unionist parties in London and their serfs here who jump through hoops to keep London happy at all costs!

    • Maureen
      It’s the principle for me. The SNP in their manifesto said they would treat everyone fairly and they haven’t done that. They have slapped every other public sector worker across the face, no one forced the SNP to cave in to the teaching unions demands knowing the anger this would bring about across the rest of the public sector, many of whom are losing their jobs due to cuts, I know many vital support staff in schools who are being told they no longer have jobs. I don’t blame the unions for fighting for the best deal and it may well have had a political element but again the SNP Government took this decision. I said last year, and wrote to all of my local politicians explaining that if they did this they would lose my vote. I know others did as well, so they have lost my vote because my principles I will not put to one side. I work in a very SNP office, 90% at least, I suspect that will be barely 20% on Monday and they have every right to feel angry and let down. They won’t shift party, they just won’t vote and the SNP have been warned that this would happen. They will also face strike action from the rest of the public sector and it will be all of their own making.

      Thanks for commenting.
      Bruce

      • Alan says:

        So what do you think the SNP should have done? Play out that scenario for us please. As I understand it, the EIS rejected the SNP’s best offer and was going to call a strike anyway.

        • Alan
          They should have stuck to their offer of 9.3% over 3 years for everyone. It was a fair offer that even the public would have agreed with, and if the EIS then went on strike the good will they claim to have had would have lasted 2 days and the SNP could at least have then took the moral high ground. They didn’t, they decided to slap every other public sector worker across the face and have now dug a hole so big this is just the start. I’ve spoken to many people here in Dundee and the anger they feel is real and if the Scottish Government don’t think this is going to effect them they are in for a surprise.

          Thanks for commenting.
          Bruce

        • Alan says:

          Fair enough.

          I don’t think the EIS strike was going to last two days if the SNP kept saying no to them, though. We do have a no deal Brexit looming in eighteen days now. A teacher’s strike does inflict disproportionate disruption – with only 1% of the population, they are nevertheless responsible for a further 10%(the schoolchildren) and during a strike those have to be cared for by parents or other relatives.

          There’s definitely an element of “clearing the decks” going on or I suspect the SNP would have stood firm and fought this. They just don’t have the power and resources to do that right now, because we’re not an independent country. Hell, they wouldn’t need to fight this if we were independent, they could just say “Ok, and 10% for the other public sector workers too.”

          Never, never forget how talented the British establishment is at fostering division and bitter infighting.

  2. greig12 says:

    This isn’t about principle Grumpy, this is personal. Where were you’re principles when the voluntary sector budgets were being squeezed to protect your conditions of service. Where were your principles when their staff were put on minimum wage because the councils cut their budgets. Did your principles compel you to stick up for these people? No because you either didn’t notice or worse, you didn’t care.

    This isn’t about principle Bruce it’s about you being in the huff and taking a strop. If you want to play mommy loves me best then don’t do it with independence. Theres a simple choice you either want independence for Scotland or you don’t and it’s starting to look like your in the latter camp.

    Principles my arse. Get a fucking grip.

    • Bruce says:

      Greig12
      I’ve argued against every cut to the voluntary sector. I just got awarded funding that I will use to hire a voluntary projects space rather than council that will pay their heating and lighting for the next year. When I was a homeless worker in Perth I voted against a pay rise for 3 years so we had a food budget for homeless people then went half time for my last year so my colleague Jackie didn’t lose her job so please don’t assume I haven’t tried over the years. I have done my best; I wouldgive up my pay award and in a minute if I could to save jobs so please don’t think this is purely personal and anyone who knows me would tell you all of that is true. So please don’t assume for one second you know me or can tell me to get a f grip as you say. Principles might not be something that means anything to yourself maybe but it does to me and I will never support any party that betrays them and I don’t give a hoot what anyone thinks. Am I angry damn right I am, I’m seeing people lose their jobs who shouldn’t be, they were promised no redundancy and they are getting it so please don’t lecture me or judge based on your standards because you just don’t know.

      Thanks for commenting.
      Bruce

      • greig12 says:

        Yes, I do know because I’ve been there, for a lot longer, in a greater variety of jobs and in a lot more councils than you I bet. I’m not talking out of the top of my head. This cant be about a pay rise or some notion of fairness because that’s a local issue. This is about the bigger picture and it’s worrying that you can’t see past your present problem. It’s about Independence for our country and you as a blogger have a certain amount of influence in that. I’m sure your a great guy and have done great work but right now you are in a position to damage the cause and your stance, at least to me, is coming accross as self centred and certainly not principled.

        You don’t have a monopoly on angry, there’s plenty to go round, there’s also plenty of shit that involves more than who’s getting a bigger pay rise than who. You need to keep your eye on the prize, you need to be Grumpy Scottish Man not Bitter Twisted Scottish Man because we need folk like you.

        Your useless like this.

        Calm doon.

        • Anonymous says:

          Greig12
          Possibly you have worked in more councils, my experience is a mix of council, voluntary sector and working abroad over the last 25 years. The fairness thing is important, and it went exactly as I said it would to my colleagues when we voted against the pay deal. I said that cosla would impose a deal on us before the Government agreed a deal with the teaching unions so that they did not have to pay the same deal, and that sadly is exactly what the Scottish Government did and Grieg I’m sorry that is a serious betrayal and I am not the only one who is feeling that way, and it will impact on the SNP esp locally. That will also be a mixture of anger and for many being lied to. You might not like that but how people feel about a party does impact on their vote, not everyone is a political saddo like many of us who soak it up.

          We’ll have to agree to disagree on the principle thing, many took the SNP at their word about the truth of their manifesto, myself included, and they made a proposition within that to treat the public sector fairly and then went back on their word to treat one part of it more fairly than the rest and esp the lowest paid. That makes me very angry and let down, betrayed even and I’m sure you understand that for me that is very difficult to swallow and very serious. It’s not about the pay rise for me, not the monetary value of it anyway, I’ve never really cared about that as I don’t live my life that way. It’s about doing what’s right for me and it is about fairness.

          Now independence I have supported since I was 16 years old I think, not because of some wondrous revelation about my country but because my Dad believed in it. I didn’t even understand what it really was until my 20s when I started to read more about Scottish history and the ways in which we had been manipulated and lied to for hundreds of years from Westminster. It was a slow burn for me. But you are correct, as you often are, I might have to hold my nose in future elections and vote for the SNP for the cause of independence, and I probably will while making it very clear that that is the one and only reason I am voting for them anymore. The blog I don;t see as that important, I have no idea how many people read it as I never look at the stats. Obviously people do but I would encourage them to read Wings, Munguin’s , Craig Murray and Scot Goes Pop to name a few. This blog has always just been about expressing opinion and people like yourself will have a bigger impact than I ever will.

          But either way this is where I am at, I will take on board what you have said as always, and I will think about it, it;s why I’m a Community Educator and not a teacher, I recognise I learn in many different ways and I’m thankful for that.

          Thanks again for commenting.
          Bruce

  3. 100%Yes says:

    All the SNP has done, is give the Labour party and the unions a stick to beat them with and beat them they will, I am not happy with the social divide between the rich and the poor in this country and i’m angry that my fellow Scots are having to sleep rough or in there cars then go out to work the next day to me we should all be pulling together so this divide between the rich and poor is fair. They will all come nocking at the SNP door if it’s right for one then why not all.

    • Anonymous says:

      100%Yes
      I agree the SNP have stupidly gave their opponents a stick to beat them with while making 70% of the public sector very angry, many of whom vote for them. My anger has abated a little since Friday and Grieg12 above has made a good point about independence being the main point and he is correct in that. I probably will have to hold my nose and continue to vote for them purely for the purpose of keeping independence on the table and a possibility while being very very clear that is all it’s for because they have betrayed many with this decision and fairness matters, principle matters, while I accept that not everyone will see their decision as breaking a principle, it is for me. The only way can begin to fix the wrongs of our country is independence though and you are spot on there while I can hope new political parties happen as a result as the ones we have are all a major disappointment now for me and I don’t have that much respect left for any of them. I do still think there has to be a none of the above though so that a protest vote is recognised and people have that option available to them.

      Thanks for commenting.
      Bruce

      • 100%Yes says:

        I understand as a SNP member what it mean to want Independence it’s all we talk about, but the SNP have a duty to deliver on the mandate and to deliver that mandate at the greatest time to achieve it. I can’t allow a party to own my vote and not deliver on the only reason I’m voting for them Independence. If the SNP don’t call this referendum this year the Yes movement has to move on from SNP, Scotland need a party that is dedicated to Independence before anything else, the unionist are eroding the very existence of Scotland as we speak and personally haven’t seen any strong leadership from Nicola Sturgeon on the Independence matters for years and to me that’s worrying.

  4. Bruce says:

    100%
    I understand your frustration as I share it although I am not a member of the party. I am hoping there is a cunning plan going on behind the scenes but I fear what will happen to the movement if an indy ref is not called soon. Any sort of kicking it further into the long grass will play into the British hands as I believe many will desert the SNP. I do think they are the best party at the moment to lead Scotland, the thought of the rest is really scary, but this week, in my opinion, they betrayed the majority of the public sector and did not treat them fairly as they said they would in their manifesto, betray the yes movement as a whole at your peril would be my message to them. I will probably vote SNP purely for indy but it will be by holding my nose and once independent they will never see my vote again as this week I feel betrayed by the party. I guess we have to wait and see but if they don’t call it then the movement has to take matters into their own hands, hit the streets and put pressure on every party.

    Thanks for commenting.,
    Bruce

  5. Mike Lothian says:

    I feel very much that they were damned either way, if they hadn’t caved the teachers would have went on strike (because who doesn’t like a payrise) – the unionists would have had a field day with that.

    They’d either say other teachers around the UK were happier in their jobs / had fewer issues with the changes to the curriculum hence why their unions accepted lower pay rises. Or argue the SNP weren’t supporting teachers enough despite education being the SNP’s number 1 stated priority.

    Now of course they’ll be accused of being a light touch and perhaps have opened the floodgates for other unions to do the same.

    Can you imagine the SNP asking for a section 30 order for another indyref with teachers on picket lines? We’d be deafened with the “get on with the day job” jibes.

    • Mike
      They probably were damned either way but to treat one part of the public sector more fairly than all of the rest was, in my opinion, a stupid move. Many people have said it was to avoid strikes which is an ill advised reason because what will happen now is the rest of the public sector will ballot, probably vote for strike action and then the schools will be closed anyway due to no support staff or jannies. It was a fight they could have avoided, not to mention the impact this will have on their vote as a lot of support comes from the public sector. They also had fairness as a core part of their manifesto and that has been shown to be untrue, add in the job loses in local authorities and I don’t think they could have handled this any more badly if they tried. I know a lot of people who are very angry, not one has mentioned money, but everyone has said they feel let down and betrayed.

      Thanks for commenting and sharing your opinion.

      Bruce

  6. ArtyHetty says:

    I was disappointed to read this article the other day. I am sure the SNP are not perfect, they don’t always make the right decisions, but they function with hands tied, sometimes both hands tied behind their backs, against huge odds. I will continue to vote for the SNP because they have done so much to keep Scotland’s head above water in the last ten years. SNP have mitigated so many horrendous UKBritnat gov attacks on the poorest and most vulnerable, they have invested in infrastructure, a new bridge, (absolutely crucial to Scotland’s economy!). They have taken steps to plug UKgov gaps for things like fibre broadband, a reserved power that WM hold over Scotland,ie telecommunications, like so many powers they weild over Scotland in fact.

    Many things give me good reason to vote SNP: Nurses bursaries retained, no tuition fees, bus passes for those 60 and over,
    ( it’s 65 or even 67, if at all in NE England), free prescriptions, investment in healthcare, education, renewables, building 100’s of houses re social housing, also a system where first time buyers can get a cheap mortgage, SNP have not privatised our water, they are setting up a fairer social security system, ( at least the ‘benefits’ that WM will allow to be devolved, not Universal credit, a disgrace to decency) just basically working FOR Scotland and not against. Crime is down, now, how many people do you know who’d prefer that there was MORE crime.

    When Labour were at the helm at Holyrood, they built 6 houses, yep, just 6 houses for the poorer people in Scotland. Labour sent BACK £1.5 BILLION to Westminster saying, ‘nothing to spend it on in Scotland’. Not hospitals? ( without landing the country in billions of £’s of debt for the next 30 years as Labour have done via their PFI vanity projects) Not education, oh I remember the schools and Labour council in Edinburgh, ‘nope no we cannot provide special needs for your children, tough! No money’. The knock on negative effects are lifelong btw. Labour privatised the non domestic part of Scottish Water, they were planning to privatise the domestic arm as well!!! Labour were a disgrace, wasting public money, they did nothing for Scotland, some of them ended up in the House of Lords, paid £300 a day. Utterly despicable they kept Scotland poor and begging knowing that communites were struggling, lives were ruined, and the oil, let’s not mention the oil!

    So I could go on, but we can be sure any Britnat government in Scotland would take us back to a terrible time, bad housing, no jobs, the young left on the scrap heap. the ones who could, leaving for London or elsewhere. Any Britnat gov in Scotland will ruin the country, they would take a wrecking ball to all that has been achieved in the last 10 years. It will take a heck of lot longer to repair 300+ years of Britnat rule, they are lying scheming thieves. We are up against it with 100% of the so called media being anti SNP and anti independence and by god will they set about us if they get a whiff of a win next indy ref. We need everyone we have to keep going, to stick together, and get behind SNP for Scoland’s sake. I don’t know what T. May has said to Nicola Sturgeon, they had a meeting a while ago, but suspect there were threats made btw. Tanks, army, sanctions, huge budget cuts to Scotland’s pocket money, and then, dismantling of Holyrood. Anything is possible with these nasty bullying Britnats and their dark money and dodgy pals around the globe.

    With Brexit looming, it’s going to get ugly. Let’s all stay on the same page as much as we can and not allow the Britnats to control the narrative and create divisions, because they will be rubbing their dirty paws together if they think there’s a chink in the armour of us Indy folk.

    • ArtyHetty
      First off thank you for such a detailed and thought out reply. I totally get that the SNP have shown good governance over the years overall, they have made mistakes, they all do but this one was easy to see coming. I blogged about the dangers of breaking the fairness agenda in pay awards in the public sector last year , many others also urged them not to treat one part more fairly than the rest and they didn’t listen. They announced this to great fanfare at a time when local authorities are paying off staff, many within schools. The also waited to announce this after Cosla had imposed a deal on all the other public sector staff, again couldn’t have been handled worse.

      The thing is it’s not about money. Everyone I know where I work is angry, demotivated and feel let down, and it has nothing to do with money. It really is about fairness and value. Everyone works very hard in the public sector, teachers included who also already have the best terms and conditions going. I’m a Community Educator, and work with young people, often the ones the schools don’t want to or can’t teach and I do it because I love it. Money doesn’t come into as far as why I do my job but fairness matters, principle matters, value matters.

      When I wrote the blog I was feeling very let down. And while I def think there needs to be a none of the above option I will probably vote SNP with the nose clasped to be honest because I feel very let down, like many of colleagues, but recognise that independence is our best hope.

      Thanks for commenting.
      Bruce

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