Is Former First Minister Bashing Scotland Or IS He Right To Say That Scotland IS “Stuck In Treacle”?

Is Former First Minister Bashing Scotland Or IS He Right To Say That Scotland IS “Stuck In Treacle”?

From the Daily Record…

A former First Minister has claimed Scotland is “worse than it ever has been” due to the constitutional standoff over independence.

Jack McConnell said the country is “struck in treacle” and he does not know how to get out of it.

The former Scottish Labour leader served as First Minister from 2001 until narrowly losing the 2007 election to the SNP.

His administration pushed through the smoking ban in public places and focused on education reform, international aid and combating sectarianism.

Although a [lifetime] advocate of devolution, McConnell gave a downbeat assessment of the state of Scottish politics since the independence referendum in a recent interview.

Speaking to Holyrood magazine, he said: “I just find the polarisation of politics, and of debate since the referendum in 2014, has now got us essentially stuck. We’re really no further forward than we were in the autumn of 2014.

“Putting the pandemic to one side, almost nothing has changed in Scotland since the referendum.”

He said there is “no potential” in the immediate future to improve public services as “all we are doing is waiting for the next referendum”.

McConnell said: “I think we’re in a situation now where probably Scotland is worse than it has ever been. And I find that just incredibly sad. I’m really, really, sad.”

On the drugs death emergency, he said: “The drugs issue, for example, yes, it is complicated, but we’ll be no further forward on it, I guarantee you, by this time next year.”

He added: “The idea of devolution was to create better public debate in Scotland and more accountability. And it seems to me that we’ve ended up in a place where we have the opposite. And I don’t know how to change that.

“Right now, I genuinely feel like we are stuck in treacle and I don’t know how we get out of it.”

He also spoke at length about the decline of Scottish Labour, which has gone backwards at every Holyrood election:

McConnell said there had been a “real split” after 1999 between Labour MSPs who believed in devolution and MPs who found it “difficult to come to terms” with the Parliament.

He said: “I have always talked about the four nations, I always talked about the United Kingdom, rather than Britain.

“I strongly objected when different Labour leaders in the post-Blair era talked about one nation and not four nations.”  Click here to read at source…

Editor writes…

As a point of interest, I once attended a diocesan meeting in Motherwell, where a well known historian quoted Jack McConnell on the subject of the oft-criticised “sectarian problem” in Scotland – McConnell had allegedly opined that we don’t have a “sectarian problem”, we have an “anti-Catholic problem” in Scotland.  For the record, Mr McConnell is not a Catholic.

That suggests that the former First Minister has the ability to be objective and honest in his appraisal of issues affecting the country.  But is he right about the years since the independence referendum in 2014 – has nothing really changed?  If so, why are the Scottish Bishops not speaking out about the matters which affect us all, Catholics and non-Catholics alike.

The US bishops have just failed – painfully publicly – to uphold Catholic teaching on abortion by refusing to apply Canon 915 which prohibits those causing public scandal from approaching for Holy Communion during Mass.  Game, set and match to Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi.  But, make no mistake about it, the Scottish Bishops are likewise failing to apply Church law to pro-abortion politicians, causing untold scandal to the faithful and endangering souls, including the souls of the pro-abortion politicians themselves.  They just avoid broadcasting the fact in the mainstream media.

Hence, I find myself agreeing with Jack McConnell;  Scotland is much worse now that it’s ever been and it really IS stuck in treacle and doesn’t know how to get out of it.  The same is true of the Catholic Church. The key question, then, has to be – what, if anything, can be done about that treacle?

Comments (21)

  • Pat McKay

    As requested, I’m reposting the tale about my ‘no entry without face-nappy’ experience ….

    You will no doubt be aware that Mass attendance on Holy Days of Obligation has been temporarily suspended. However, on All Saints Day I made a special effort to try attending Holy Mass at a nearby chapel. Despite having donned my ‘I am exempt’ lanyard, to my astonishment I was flatly denied access by some officious git of a pass-keeper.

    …’This is a private chapel and WE make the rules’…. was the response I got when I pointed out that the natural pores in face-nappies are 10 times BIGGER than any virus, also that this ‘coronavirus’ tyranny would never end until we all stop complying with it. I could cheerfully have given this dictator a right-hander, except I was in a holy place and didn’t want to cause an ugly scene. So, I ‘bit the bullet’ and left, fuming.

    Incidentally, there’s nothing ‘private’ about them when they’re selling their Christmas raffle tickets. They’ve had their very last from ME. Prior to March 2020, when all this ‘3 weeks to flatten the curve’ started, absolutely anyone could have attended Mass in this place – and was of course expected to contribute when the hat was passed around!

    But wait, there’s more …. I actually complained to Police Scotland about the matter, as I considered this action had contravened the Disability Discrimination Act, 2010. Police Scotland immediately tried to pass the buck onto the Local Government Authority, who promptly passed it back to THEM c/w snotty e-mail (I have a copy). Farcical!

    The official response from Police Scotland …..’the disability discrimination act 2010 is not for police to enforce, the onus is on the person who feels discriminated against to contact the organisation/person whom they feel has been at fault, at such time mediation should be undertaken and a plan for reasonable adjustments to be made’…..(ends) This does rather beg the question – what’s the point of having laws if Police Scotland can’t be bothered enforcing them?

    Is Scotland the pits? From this experience, I would say a resounding AYE!

    November 18, 2021 at 3:46 pm
    • Lily

      Pat McKay,

      I’m not so sure about “temporarily suspended”. I think the Scottish clergy are now in favour of not enforcing the Sunday/Holyday obligation at all – ever.

      Whoever that gatekeeper was, he was breaking the law. He has no authority to deny anybody entrance to a church, whether it’s a “private chapel” or not – I’ve never heard of such a thing. Even if it’s a convent chapel or the shrine at Carfin (I assume you are in Scotland, so that’s the only places I can think of where you would find “private” chapels) it is not above the law. I’m forgetting that in some parts of Scotland people call a Catholic church a “chapel” and they call the Protestant church a “church” but a chapel is strictly speaking a small church inside another building, such as a convent or a monastery. If you are talking about your local parish church, I hope you have already complained to your PP.

      I think you should definitely write to your bishop and report that man, and the priest if he won’t reprimand the man. I would demand a fulsome apology.

      November 18, 2021 at 7:23 pm
      • Nicky

        I agree – they’ve stopped the obligation for good. That’s really obvious.

        November 18, 2021 at 9:57 pm
    • editor


      It’s a pity the name of the church isn’t given – and the name of the bossy parishioner, if you know it.

      I will send the link to the Bishop tomorrow (I believe it’s Toal, but correct me if I’m wrong – before I send the link!) However, without specifics like the name of the parish, he’s got a cast iron excuse to do nothing.

      November 18, 2021 at 10:28 pm
    • Laura

      Pat McKay,

      When I attended a Glasgow parish a few months back, I also met with an officious woman throwing her stupid weight about. She was cocooned in a little square, with tables on every side of her to keep her away from the rest of us. All that was missing was the bell and the call “unclean! unclean!”

      The buck stops with the priest, though, so I’ve never been back to that church since and have to plans to return there again.

      November 20, 2021 at 1:32 pm
    • editor

      Pat McKay,

      As you know, I emailed the priest in charge about this incident, and I am very touched at his humble reply, an edited version of which follows…

      Thanks for your email. … I am not aware of this until today when I read an email from [Pat McKay] who said he is laying an official complaint about the incident. I have already apologised to him and promised that I will investigate this and get back to him. I regret this ever happened. The person in question has no right to turn someone who has an exempt card away. Anyway, I assure you that this will be looked into to avoid it happening again.

      Thanks for your concern and for letting us know.

      I replied to Father to thank him for his speedy and humble response to my email, so that is the end of the matter, as far as we are concerned.

      Let any officious bully-types out there, however, take notice, that if such incidents come to our attention, we will (a) encourage the person concerned to lodge an official complaint and (b) we will support said complaint by sending the priest the link to any commentary on it, on this blog.

      November 20, 2021 at 4:28 pm
  • Faith of Our Fathers

    Pat just my Opinion. But I wonder if your complaint would have been dealt differently had you been a member of the Alphabet Squad. Or God forgive me a Moslem.
    But as I said it’s Just an Opinion, and you will obviously know the Old Saying about Opinions ?

    November 18, 2021 at 4:03 pm
    • Lily

      Faith of our Fathers,

      I don’t think many Moslems would be trying to attend Mass on All Saints LOL!

      November 18, 2021 at 7:24 pm
      • Nicky


        You never know – I read in one report about the Liverpool bombing that there had been a rush on “Christian converts” who really weren’t converts at all. It didn’t stop the tabloids from publishing headlines about the bomber being a Christian convert!

        November 18, 2021 at 9:56 pm
  • Lily

    I do agree with Jack McConnell that Scotland is “stuck in treacle” and doesn’t know how to get out. That’s why the SNP keep banging on about independence, it’s putting off the day of reckoning for them.

    As for the Catholic Church in Scotland – that’s over, IMHO.

    November 18, 2021 at 7:25 pm
    • Laura


      I agree, the Church in Scotland is finished. It’s hardly likely to recover from 18 months of people being told there is no obligation to attend Sunday Mass, that God is not among the essentials of life.

      When we get a good pope who consecrates Russia as requested at Fatima, then we’ll see the restoring of the Church begin and these false shepherds, wolves in sheep’s clothing, face retribution. Until then, this is only a good time for people who like treacle, LOL!

      November 20, 2021 at 1:34 pm
  • Frankier

    I wouldn`t be kidded by anything Jack McConnell had to say about anti-catholicism in Scotland. He had the power, and still has to a certain extent, to do something about it and did hee-haw.

    I remember him accepting the opportunity to go to Rome for the investiture (?) of Cardinal Winning despite the fact that, as he stated at the time, he was an atheist. He decided to go along anyway for the freebie, looking at it, I would assume, as an exercise in hocus-pocus, a phrase which was used around that time
    in derogatory terms for the Holy sacrifice of the Mass.

    November 18, 2021 at 9:56 pm
    • Nicky

      Well, at least he admitted that there was anti-Catholicism. Just because he’s an atheist doesn’t mean he hadn’t noticed. They say that the onlooker sees the best of the game.

      Again, just because he didn’t fix it doesn’t mean he didn’t know about it – when did you ever hear of any politician fixing a problem, LOL!

      November 18, 2021 at 9:59 pm
      • Frankier


        What made you say that “just because he is an atheist doesn`t mean he `hadn`t
        noticed” ? I didn`t state he “hadn`t noticed”. Obviously he had “noticed”, otherwise
        he would hardly have stated it.

        My meaning was that he didn`t even need to mention it at all. As first minister (not worthy of capitals) he could have made moves to eliminate it in Scotland. As a self employed builder during his time in command, and even long before it, I had occasion
        to report the local and regional (Strathclyde) authorities to him and my local MP, for whom I voted), for blatant anti-catholic discrimination and it was a total waste of time. There were the odd, decent men in charge who got me when they (without boasting) wanted a good job done but they were few and far between.

        By the grace of God, however, I was always fit and healthy and the 100 miles + trips I had to make almost every day for years to get work from the larger, private construction companys didn`t do me any harm and I was able to survive nicely.

        This is the reason I made comment here.

        The reason I knew he was an atheist is because he immediately announced the fact when he was on his way to Rome for the ordination of Cardinal Winning. He maybe didn`t believe n God but that didn`t put him off accepting a freebie at the taxpayers expense. There were plenty on catholic MPs, or even protestant, who would gladly
        have filled in for him and that way he would maybe have had time to respond to my letters, which he never ever did.

        November 19, 2021 at 4:09 pm
      • Michaela


        I think they’re nearly all atheists, the Scottish politicians – even the ones who claim to be either Catholic or Protestant, with few exceptions in the latter category. The Catholics are nearly always “in name only”, while some of the Protestants (e.g. John Mason) have spoken up for Bible teachings on abortion, same-sex and “trans” issues.

        Your comment is interesting, coming from your own personal experience. I hope that sort of bigotry is now dead, if only out of the fear of being accused of a hate crime, LOL!

        November 19, 2021 at 6:56 pm
  • Michaela

    Jack McConnell is definitely right about the dismal state of Scotland today, not that he hasn’t played his own part in making it dismal.

    Politics and religion are inextricably bound up in Scotland, with the Bishops always on the Marxist side, whether Labour, in the past, or SNP now, so they’re never going to be warning the people against the cultural Marxism around us.

    November 19, 2021 at 6:50 pm
  • Josephine

    I’ve just read this on the Conservative Woman website about the puppeteers behind Sturgeon.

    November 20, 2021 at 10:36 am
    • Laura


      that was a very interesting read about Sturgeon – things just get worse and worse all the time.

      November 20, 2021 at 1:36 pm
  • crofterlady

    Talking about useless bishops, have other bloggers seen the Ridiculous pastoral letter on Catholic Education which was issued at the weekend. Are they utterly deluded or what? Extolling the virtues of Catholic schools etc., when the majority of pupils lapse when the leave, if not before! I spoke to a lapsed young woman yesterday to say that I had prayed in the graveyard for her deceased father. I mentioned the Holy Souls and the month of the Holy Souls. Her eyes glazed over uncomprehendingly so I asked her if she knew about Plenary Indulgences. She didn’t. The product of our great Catholic schools!

    November 22, 2021 at 3:20 pm
  • gabriel syme

    Jack McConnell is definitely right about Scotland and its 3rd rate Parliament.

    As he was a central figure in its creation and early days, I can understand his sadness.

    He was a Labour MP and I have always had a low opinion of Labour – Baroness Thatcher is more my taste – but it speaks volumes for standards now, that a former Labour politician is now seen as an insightful voice of reason. Back in the day, a monkey would get elected in Scotland, if it wore a Labour rosette. (Now the monkeys have switched to the SNP).

    Devolution has been a complete failure. I voted for it as a naive and idealistic student, a major regret I have in life. In retrospect, I cannot fathom how (at the time) I felt the dopes and chancers who make up the Scottish political class could achieve anything other than dismal failure.

    While making Scotland the highest taxed part of the UK, devolution has delivered the lowest standards of everything within my own lifetime (and I’m starting to get on a bit!).

    The Parliament is an embarrassment, full of weirdos, idiots and perverts. It is capable of nothing, beyond pandering to LGBT groups and making things more expensive. Taking money from people is their sole policy idea, applied to every situation. Its speciality is legislating in the realms of fiction: with topics such as “trans people” and lies that women seeking abortions are “harassed” outside clinics.

    We holidayed in England this year – I have always liked England, but the stark difference between the two nations now would make you weep. You didn’t need a sign to tell you that you were back in Scotland, suddenly everything just seemed so very dirty, neglected and run down.

    Very sad. I would leave Scotland in 2 seconds flat without a backward glance, but for my wife and her desire to be near her mother and family etc (women eh? haha!).

    November 22, 2021 at 9:30 pm

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