Happy New Year 2017, hope you had a nice time and everything went well.
I was in two minds whether or not to fire up a blog post today since earlier I was at a funeral, my friend’s dad. It was a sombre time as my friend’s mum had passed away a week before his dad died. It was a small gathering but I wanted to go to show support for the family at what is a difficult time.
Mr. William Brown was a joiner; I had known him in passing since early 1980’s when I used to go to Bellahouston Sports Centre to do karate with his son.
A nice guy, old time Labour voter!
My last post of 2016 was on Scottish Labour which is in a real mess, at present there are elections on the go to the Scottish Executive Committee, I wouldn’t be voting as I am no longer a member but a candidate for the Pollok Ward in Glasgow. I purchased my first election materials for the campaign……. Whoopee!
Anyway let’s talk turkey, the Scottish Labour Party are between a rock and hard place, the Scottish Party have been wiped out at Westminster, in order to make a comeback, they need to change substantially, better leaders, better candidates and better policies.
Someone who has a vision who unities the Corbyn left with the Blairite faction; not an easy task, easier to drawn up policy than pull off that trick in my opinion. If the Labour Party down south work with the SNP, they are cutting their own throats politically, the reality of life is that you cannot work with the SNP.
The Fabian Society who I don’t trust as far as I could throw them says that Labour has no prospect of winning the next general election outright, and should consider an alliance with other parties.
Well, they got that part right on there being no prospect of winning the next general election outright, Jeremy Corbyn’s stance on immigration killed that stone dead when he said he wants to keep freedom of movement. Jeremy Corbyn is better on domestic policy than he is on foreign affairs. An alliance with the SNP is the road to disaster as the outcome is already written; the SNP would attempt to hold any Labour Government hostage.
Scottish Labour needs to solve its own problems, and as the collapse continues, you cannot help feel that 2017 will see them wiped off the face of the earth, and also in the next two elections for Westminster and Holyrood.
No one wants to work for the Scottish Labour Party.
The basic problem with the Scottish Labour Party is leadership, everything else wrong is basically held up by this flaw. Fundamentally the party doesn’t know how to campaign, the activist base isn’t knowledgeable and the party structures aren’t dynamic. There have been some ideas, the social media and Leaders classes but all this will be for nothing unless those who go through these courses can plan and think better.
People get awfully sick of being just used to deliver leaflets or the dreadful way that canvassing is carried out in the party.
The Fabian Society is nothing more than a think tank for the Blair mob; their basic idea like Blair is to hold the centre-ground of British politics, and to appeal to those who voted both Leave and Remain on Brexit. The Blair crowd playing to the crowd on immigration to cosy up to the Lave camp is pitiful, let’s get it right, these people didn’t give a toss for immigration control in past, now the winds of change have happened, they suddenly get it?
The idea of a grand collation which see Labour, the SNP and the Lib Dems as partners is an acceptance of Scotland being lost for the Labour Party. The wipe out for the Westminster MPs to be replaced by the SNP was always on the cards, 2014, gave people the notion to say to Scottish Labour that they have failed.
What did Scottish Labour do?
It didn’t listen, Jim Murphy started off his 2015 campaign with the biggest ‘social justice’ issue of our time, the Fitba Act.
He then followed up that success with, you guessed it; get a drink at a football match! My blog post of Feb 2015 was written after a few weeks of sitting fuming at the contempt that Scottish Labour had held the public in. There was Scottish Labour thinking the public was ‘daft bastards’ and the public decided to put them out on the street.
My opinion at the time and which I still hold was serves them right, it didn’t matter that trash got in like Natalie McGarry, what was important that a lesson was taught, and the more painful the better.
Did Scottish Labour learn from that?
2016, back to the polls, and more fitba sh*t, if it didn’t work the first time, which led to the biggest defeat in Scottish Labour history why did anyone think it would work second time around?
The Fabian Society in my opinion by its intervention wants to undermine Corbyn, if he doesn’t change he will kill off his chances anyway for remaining leader, you know that the Blair crowd are keen to get rid of him. Like Scottish Labour, they think failed ideas work second time round, they don’t.
Before the 2015 general election, Nicola Sturgeon offered to help put Ed Miliband into Downing Street. The Labour Party sat on the fence and when it was too late and they had killed off any chance of winning, they came out against the SNP idea.
Too little too late to save the election!
The Tories played a blinder saying that the Labour Party would have to dance to the SNP’s tune and produced billboard posters of the then Labour leader in Alex Salmond’s pocket.
It worked; the Tories were smart enough to recognise people’s fear.
Labour MSP Anas Sarwar said talk of a progressive alliance with the SNP was “laughable” but as an MSP, he doesn’t speak for Corbyn but I doubt that Corbyn or his advisors are so stupid as to cosy up to Nicola Sturgeon. Nicola Sturgeon has overplayed her hand on Scottish independence; she has literally nowhere to go.
Labour MSP Anas Sarwar said:
“The SNP is not a progressive party. There have been no redistributive polices from the SNP in government. Under the SNP, Tory austerity is simply being passed on in Scotland, with the Nationalists planning a £327million cut to valued local services in 2017. There is also nothing progressive about seeking to break away from the rest of the UK - our biggest trading partner. The SNP doesn’t want an alliance with Labour – it hates the Labour Party and believes its destruction and continuation of Tory government in Westminster is the route to independence. People across the UK should spend less time focusing on Nicola Sturgeon’s grandstanding and look at what is actually happening in Scotland and the SNP’s record in government.”
The key point of his statement is the SNP hates the Labour Party. This is because both of them are fishing in the same pond for the same fish, the working class vote, Sturgeon’s problem is that time is against her, yes, incompetence does take its toll so the drip drip effect applies here. The trouble for voters is who to jump to as a credible opposition, the Tories gained Labour voters because of the Union but that is a temp measure for them, the vote is in flux.
Of Scottish Labour’s problems, Anas Sarwar said:
"It's a serious warning and quite rightly the Fabian Society say the roots of Labour's problem pre-date Jeremy Corbyn. These are big challenges for Labour but I do not see the answer to Labour's challenge as being to team up with the Liberal Democrats, the Greens and a rag-bag of other parties."
The solution is that Scottish Labour needs a Nye Bevan moment.
In past there were Labour Politicians who stood not just on the Scottish domestic stage but also on the World stage, at present there isn’t anyone who can fit that description, what we get is a series on populist ‘tat’ shovelled out as being meaningful but in reality instantly forgotten.
The Labour Party allowed Scottish Labour to chart their own course and then the party collapsed in Scotland.
There are no deals as Anas Sarwar says to be done with the SNP at Westminster or indeed anywhere else, maybe Kezia Dugdale better start to bring forward more ideas to reform the way the Labour Party operates and get people who want to deliver for the people. And the sooner she gets in gear the better, the momentum crowd want rid of her asap….
Never a dull moment in Scottish Labour, I imagine that panic is running wild in Glasgow City Chambers as the council election approaches.
To show how bad the problems in the Labour Party are; Jeremy Corbyn apparently doesn't consult Tom Watson on strategy decisions according to Watson, I wouldn’t either in Corbyn’s position, not even the time of day would he get out of me after his carry on.
Finally vote George Laird for Glasgow Pollok 2017, the real alternative voice for the people of Pollok.
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University