Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale says she is willing to let Corbynistas stand for Holyrood, Labour seeks new blood to tackle the SNP, pay a membership and take your chances, anyone think I should join and put myself forward?

Dear All

One of the things I wrote quite a lot on in the Scottish National Party was the need for Glasgow Labour to do a cull of councillors, not for party political reasons, but for the only reason that matter, some people weren’t doing their job.

And hadn’t been for years, some in the Glasgow Labour Group were using the City Chambers like it was a private club, and given the strength of the party with voters, at that time, no one could do anything about it.

Complaints fell on deaf ears.

2011 rolled by and the SNP won big at Holyrood, of the four campaigns I took part in, 3 people were elected and the fourth came within about 700 votes of putting Pollok MSP Johann Lamont out into the street.

The SNP felt they were on to a sure thing regards taking the council, the Labour Party was at a low point. Anyway, in case people don’t know the Labour Party read my blog along with many others, and the conclusion I came to was that a cull was needed.

Maybe it was coincidence but the Labour Party adopted the same thinking and about 20 councillors were put to the sword, although I didn’t agree with every choice made. This single act of being in fresh talent helped Labour win 44 out of 45 seats contested. In truth despite Labour’s many problems, the SNP in Glasgow made a woefully inept and totally out of her depth Nicola Sturgeon crony as their leader.

So, culls works, but they shouldn’t be used as a blunt sword or one size fits all, if someone is placed as a candidate it must be for a good reason. The only reason that matters is that they will work hard for the people they are elected to serve and in return this will help to elevate the Party in the minds of the public.

Just as a cull was needed for the 2012 council election, a cull was needed for Westminster 2015, that didn’t happened, and the results speak for themselves. People who were previously Labour voters said enough’s enough and swept away all but one Labour MP in Scotland.

Labour didn’t do their cull so the public did it for them.

Next election is in 2016, this is the Holyrood election, as part of the reform agenda by Kezia Dugdale, she is willing to let supporters of Jeremy Corbyn just in the door having joined Labour get a chance to become MSPs next May. New members can indeed reinvigorate Scottish Labour if you pick the right people. The question then becomes what is the ‘right people’, is it going to be the same type of people from the same type of places that has gone before, if so, it is doubtful that progress can be made.

Most people couldn’t name many Scottish Labour MPs before the Labour collapse in 2015, and the same applies to Labour MSPs facing the same fate in 2016.

What was the big original idea out of the mouth of your current MSP?
You probably don’t know and probably don’t even know who they are, were they are or what they stand for.   

Tens of thousands have joined Labour in recent weeks to vote in the leadership, you pay your £3 and that allows you to vote to elect the next leader of the Labour Party, who in all probability will be Jeremy Corbyn.

Under Labour rules, people must be members for a year before they can stand as candidates which is pretty standard for political parties. Given the current situation the
Scottish party recently changed its “exceptional circumstances” rule. I would imagine that is to ensure that if someone is talented then they don’t float off and stand as an independent or join someone else.

Political talent pool isn’t great in Scotland.

SNP MSP James Dornan said:

“Kezia Dugdale has her work cut out for her in attracting new blood to her party. Labour’s continued negativity, infighting and failure to stand up to the Tories leaves them with a gigantic credibility gap in the eyes of the Scottish public.”

I met James Dornan when he took part in a Gordon Brewer radio show in Townhead, he was cheeky to me, I thinking, I will abide just my time. So, when Gordon Brewer pointed for me to speak Labour, I ripped Dornan a new ass on the radio. Jim Murphy who had been jotting down something on paper stopped and looked up as the exchanged took place. Afterwards, Jim Murphy stopped by to say hello and commented on how angry James Dornan was.

I said, yes, he did look unhappy.

What Scottish Labour needs is people with a vision to turn the party’s fortunes around, it doesn’t matter whether they support Corbyn or anyone else, but is does matter that they support the people they were elected to serve. Because that’s the trick if Labour is to get a hearing with the voters.

The days of relying on voters to back Labour have now gone; now it is hard graft, and some people just aren’t up to the task. Paul Martin in Provan, Johann Lamont in Pollok; and Patricia Ferguson are facing the end of their careers. I wonder if they will be knocking on the door of Scottish general secretary Brian Roy to get a new campaigning model because the 2015 one appears rather defective.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University


Anonymous said...

Go for it George. We need politicians to look after the public. People who think things through. People who work hard.
In fact people who work clever.
That's you.

Terry Summers said...

Anyone think I should join and put myself forward?
Yes, I do. The SNP need to be taken down and there isn't time to create a new party to do it, so it makes sense to shore up what exists and turn it back into an effective machine. If Scottish Labour have any sense the should be looking for talent like you who have effectively skewered the SNP on their (lack of) policies and principles. I would also propose Kevin Hague (chokka blog)

Anonymous said...

go on have a bash and tell us how you get on.

G Laird said...

Hi Terry

Thanks for the endorsement.


Anonymous said...

Go for it George. We need people who aren't afraid to hold the SNP / govt to account.