Labour MP Jeremy Corbyn is standing to be leader of his party, there is a contest which also includes Andy Burnham, Liz Kendall and Yvette Cooper.
One of the massive mistakes of Ed Miliband during the 2015 Westminster election was to sit on the fence regarding doing a possible deal with the SNP.
The Labour team though that there might be a problem with the numbers and decided to hedge their bets.
Having done so, they totally undermined the Scottish Labour Party because people thought that it was okay to vote SNP because they would still get a Labour Government in the round.
Jeremy Corbyn cannot entertain any Labour-SNP alliance, if he does, he will see a re-run of Westminster 2015 for Labour.
Same mistake, different leader, same result.
Some time ago Corbyn talked about building bridges with Scottish Labour, this idea effective burns them. Imagine effectively talking up your opposition by default and fostering on their some type of credibility that they don’t actually have.
Asked in an interview by Novara Media if he would “rather see a Conservative majority government than a Labour-SNP coalition”, he replied:
“No, I wouldn’t. I would say I want there to be a Labour majority government”.
That is where he should have stopped, but when the issue of minority government was put to him, he blundered straight in and said he would consider working with other parties on a day-to-day arrangement or using a confidence and supply arrangement.
This means that the Scottish Nationalists would hold Jeremy Corbyn to ransom with the threat of voting down his policies and the Government possibly forcing a snap General election.
If that was done, Jeremy Corbyn would be out of government and most certainly out of the Labour leadership.
The SNP don’t do deals, they will keep taking and talking until they bleed Corbyn’s government dry.
Ed Miliband left it too late to save his election and leadership when he would not form a government if it meant doing any kind of deal with Nicola Sturgeon.
“Let me be plain. We’re not going to do a deal with the Scottish National Party; we’re not going to have a coalition, we’re not going to have a deal. Let me just say this to you: if it meant we weren’t going to be in government, not doing a coalition, not having a deal, then so be it. I am not going to sacrifice the future of our country, the unity of our country; I’m not going to give in to SNP demands around Trident, around the deficit or anything like that.”
After so much indecision by Miliband, he stood absolutely no chance of forming the next Governmen; he wasn’t just weak; he showed extraordinary bad judgment.
Alex Salmond is talking Corbyn up as a “serious politician”, who had clear-cut views. The SNP know that the other 3 Labour leadership contenders wouldn’t entertain the Nationalists at all.
Corbyn will either be the saviour of the Labour Party or he will be their next Michael Foot character who cannot lead the party to victory.
The SNP live in a delusion that Corbyn will plant ‘free money’ trees and they will reap the rewards on austerity, welfare cuts and Trident renewal.
Corbyn’s main rival is Andy Burnham who appears to have as a big idea, renationalise the railways. His re-nationalisation will be done by stealth as franchises run out and then will be taken back into public control.
Labour ‘s own internal research suggests anti-austerity policies are a vote loser with the public which rather suggests that it is political suicide to follow the same bad ideas floated by the SNP.
The Conservatives played a blinder raising the ghost of the SNP controlling a Labour Government, Labour MP Jeremy Corbyn might win the leadership but it looks highly doubtful if he follows behind the wake of the SNP that he will ever set foot in Number 10 as Prime Minister.
Labour MP Jeremy Corbyn cannot do a deal with the Nationalists; if he does he will lose the next Westminster election.
George Laird The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University