Monday, April 18, 2016
Scottish Labour, a troubled past and an uncertain future, new Poll says the Labour brand is so toxic that it is putting off Scots voters, isn’t it amazing how some people have the inability to learn from the past mistakes, if Kezia Dugdale comes third at Holyrood 2016, she has no future as leader of Scottish Labour
In 2015, I was sitting out politics on the side lines due to serious illness, in 2014, I did the Better Together campaign in Pollok, and attended some events in Glasgow, got a few invites to hear some people speak.
On two occasions I got invited to go hear Gordon Brown deliver a speech, the first one was a Labour event at the City Halls in Glasgow, so to give myself a break from the campaign trail I went to see it.
I found to my surprise that I enjoyed the event, this was because of the speech by Gordon Brown, in fact when I got a second invite to the Emirates Arena, I decided to go again, it was a different speech but still highly entertaining.
For decades the Labour Party has been the dominant force in Scottish politics, for this reason some of the people picked to represent Labour in public office decided that they really didn’t have to try to look after the people in the area they were elected in.
In politics, if a politician doesn’t want to help you, they just don’t because they can always rely on the block vote that Labour had in constituencies.
Now they can’t, if the Scottish Labour Party wants to win Westminster and Holyrood seats they have to work for it now, they have to rebuild the Party and they have to encourage more people to be active.
Last year the Scottish Labour Party got wiped out in the General election; that was for a number of reasons such as poor campaign, tripe presented as policies, bad candidates who should have been removed and a lack of a work ethic.
The resentment by the voters solved a problem for the Labour Party that they were unable or unwilling to do for themselves, get rid of deadwood. Jim Murphy said that he had ‘fixed’ the Labour Party in a speech that Labour had changed, what exactly was that change?
We now sit in 2016 and the Labour brand is still putting off Scots voters, according to a new poll, however as a campaigner, I for 99% of my time never really experience a negative reaction on the doorstep. Yesterday I was out on the campaign trail all by myself campaign in the Pollok Constituency.
Labour it seems has lost the art of campaigning, something which I pointed out to someone in another party when I asked him to look at an event I attended where a former Labour Staffer was doing a ‘management’ role.
BMG Research who ran a poll found that:
“The results are clear; in Scotland, it would seem, the Labour party brand is toxic.”
It is expected that like last year the Labour Party will not do so well at the ballot box, and as buses like elections come in three’s it might mean in 2017, the Labour Party will see current many councillors swept out of power.
I attended my local community council recently, two councillors were in attendance, one SNP and the other Labour; during the meeting the issue of concerts in Bellahouston Park was raised. To my surprise I found out that the Labour Council didn’t charge DF Concerts a fee for using the park and worse still did even cover their costs to reinstate the park post event.
During the meeting the SNP Councillor said he was there to do what the community council asked, that wasn’t the same impression that the Labour Councillor gave, he seemed to reject the very idea that someone could raise the idea of charging a fee or recover the costs of damage to the park.
It seems that the Labour Party is still in Status Quo mode, 2015 didn’t happen, 2016 which might well be as bad is looking increasingly likely to happen, and 2017 might see the Glasgow Labour Council swept out if they don’t change their attitude. In a period of austerity and cuts, the council don't see the potential of making money from a profitable concert company.
You couldn’t make it up, my friend’s mother, in her 70’s, heart and lung problem, a spiral facture of the femur had to wait over two years to get a stair lift, and was forced during that time to sleep in the living room. I made the point how many stair lifts would a fee charged to DF Concerts have bought for the Council?
The Labour Party has a kids not Cuts campaign, this all about putting a penny on income tax to offset cuts, the idea is popular with voters but not as well when you mention it is a Scottish Labour Party policy.
It seems that the Scottish voters haven’t forgiven the Labour Party; some people say that is because they joined forces with the Tories during the Better Together Campaign. I don’t for a second think this was the case, the Labour Party’s problems in Scotland were built up over decades and the cause were some of the people elected, whether it be scandal or laziness.
Now the ‘houses of cards’ has come crashing down round their ears.
A Scottish Labour spokesman said:
"This election is about how we use the new powers of the Scottish Parliament to stop the cuts and invest in public services. People were promised the referendum was a once in a generation vote and the SNP should stick to that promise. Instead of rerunning the arguments of the past every party should focus on the future. This poll confirms strong support for Kezia Dugdale's plan for fairer taxes, including a 50p top rate of tax for the richest 1 per cent, to stop the cuts and invest in education. Faced with the choice between using the powers of the Scottish Parliament to invest in our economy or carrying on with the SNP's cuts, Labour will use the powers."
There comes a time when people stop listening to you in politics, then they stop voting for you, and then there is a rapid decline in party fortunes. If the Scottish Labour plan is to wait till the SNP become unpopular as a strategy they might find they will have as long as wait as the Tories had done after being cast in the wilderness for 40 years.
The Labour Party need to get beyond the sound bite of ‘we’re listening’ and start grasping the nettle of ‘we’re doing what you asked’!
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University