Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Desperate times call for desperate measures; Kezia Dugdale sees Scottish Labour donations collapse in her first year as leader; party donors like activists and voters are deserting the party in droves as Kezia heads towards her third major political defeat in May’s Council elections, Scottish Labour needs to go back to ‘bare metal’, better policies, better trained activists, and better candidates

Dear All

Trouble is a bit like grief, when it comes, it hurts; the Scottish Labour Party is in deep trouble, although they give the public appearance of being confident, they are on a continual downward spiral.

What does a party need to work?

It needs an understanding of what I have blogged on for years, an understanding of the political economy.

So, what is the political economy, the economy is based on people, money and resources. At present, the Scottish Labour Party is going in the wrong direction, Kezia Dugdale for reasons best known to her has made a lot of mistakes, and she keeps making a lot of mistakes.

Here are some of the big ones in no order of preference:

1/ Failed to back Jeremy Corbyn as leader in post
2/ Failed to support Jeremy Corbyn in his leadership bid
3/ Failed to remain neutral during the US Presidential election
4/ Failed to support Brexit
5/ Failed to understand that Trident must be supported by Scottish Labour

You could go and do a list on the minor ones but you would end up nitpicking.

Political Parties rise and fall, that is the nature of politics, some organisations reach and end date, however, it generally isn’t seen as helpful when the leadership is accelerating the process.

People like to be associated with success, and the Scottish Labour Party was a success story in terms of holding onto power, now the downward spiral has started, a lot of “Labour” people have quietly disappeared.

Ask yourself this, where are all the big names in Scottish Labour who sat in the Parliaments of Westminster and Holyrood now?

They have gone; they aren’t out pounding the streets for a Labour victory week in week out, they aren’t contributing to the party in a meaningful sense; they aren’t in the press doing set pieces on issues of the day.

Scottish Labour cannot survive on 15 minutes of FMQs and a few set piece setups promoting various organisations at the Scottish Parliament.

Scottish Labour is too Holyrood focussed as a party because that is where the leadership sits.

Kezia Dugdale has made a huge load of mistakes, but mistakes as we all know are part of the learning process, and the process also involves not repeating mistakes, when you don’t learn, you suffer.

People have walked away from Scottish Labour; I saw this as a Labour activist doing the Holyrood 2016 campaign. It was a surprise to me how few people wanted to support the campaign of Johann Lamont which only picked up in the last week, how few days the Councillors and former MP put into this seat. I thought the Scottish Labour Party would have a slick operation for campaigning on the ground, they didn’t.

Who would have thought that Kezia Dugdale would lose the position as official leader of the opposition?

I did, and I blogged on it.

Just as people have walked away from the party along with me, so has the cash given to the Scottish Labour Party!

Investing in a collapsing market is never a good idea unless you know the market is about to turn, in Scottish Labour’s case, there is no green shoots revival in sight.

Latest poll is 14%, this means 86% of Scots aren’t willing to back a Labour Party in Scotland which is going under the direction of Kezia Dugdale’s policies. I am not surprised that Scottish Labour donations collapse in Dugdale's first year as leader. She has spent too much time relying on the 15 minutes of FMQs as a platform, it is an ineffective media, most Scots don’t turn in, and it is for all intensive purposes worthless.

Clearly Scottish Labour cannot continue to suffer catastrophic drops in donations because the party needs to go through a revival, not just of policies but equally of people. The Blair faction control Scottish Labour, they are the gate keepers but with donations continuing to fall, some of the staff and party officers need to be removed.

Last year, the lack of cash severely hampered their ability to fight the Holyrood  election; in Pollok, they spent a pitiful amount on leaflets and I am not sure if they even had a budget for media, or even thought of the idea.

This week is the party conference in Perth, I got a thing asking me to go but as I am standing as an independent, I really couldn’t attend, could I?

Figures published show that Kezia Dugdale’s first full year as leader was the party’s worst for donations since 2009.

In 2015, the party had donations of just under £600,000.
In 2016 it was just over £100,000

Scottish Labour ended 2016 with a deficit of £104,000, and the bad news continues as the party’s reserves also slumped below £160,000, their lowest level since 2003.

The numbers are bad, but what is equally bad is the denial of where the blame lies, a Labour source stated:

"Donations to the party across the entire UK have dried up since Jeremy Corbyn became leader. Scottish Labour is no different. People are not donating while Jeremy is leader."

I don’t believe that Jeremy Corbyn is the reason for the continual decline in donations to Scottish Labour, nor do I believe that the rot started with him in Scotland. Scottish Labour’s problems had festered for years as Jim Murphy aptly mentioned when he took over as Leader in Scotland.

The real reason which Scottish Labour has to address, is their failure to develop not just the organisation but the policies, but they want to be autonomous and they effectively got their wish, we now see that they are having ‘start up’ problems.

The party’s latest accounts, which cover the year to 31 December 2016, show that the party’s slide in the polls mirrors a massive deterioration in its finances. It also makes it pretty clear that a sharp loss of confidence among donors in the party in Scotland under Ms Dugdale and her deputy Alex Rowley watch is really their fault.

If it wasn’t for the polling and sharing of resources by the UK Party, then the situation would be even worse for Scottish Labour than it is at present.

It is time that Scottish Labour started producing policies at Conferences and have a rolling agenda for Government in waiting.

Do you know what Scottish Labour stands for?


Join the club; you are in the same boat as the membership, not just the rank and file, even senior people who have been candidates!

A Scottish Labour spokesperson said:

“Every Labour politician who is elected fights for working people”.

That isn’t true, and by just trotting out this patronising statement, they insult the intelligence of the people of Scotland which is why they have been wiped out in the last two major elections.

Why did people vote to get rid of Scottish Labour?

Because they weren’t representing ordinary people, the tipping point was reached, as one Labour report stated, there isn’t a core vote anymore for the Labour Party.

Kezia Dugdale needs a narrative, not a series of short term populist statements and not allowing the status quo to continue of people failing to produce, she needs to get better activists, and she needs policies to sell on the doorstep and not rhetoric. The Scottish Labour Party has traded off the legacy of the political giants of the past whop created the welfare state and the NHS, but these people are gone, and what replaced them aren’t Nye Bevan or John Smith figures.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

A Scottish Labour spokesperson said:

“Every Labour politician who is elected fights against working people”

lie@bour are scum, if they had power, the unemployed would be in work camps.