Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Is Scottish Labour losing credibility, Kezia Dugdale says she ‘has sympathy’ with Labour MEP David Martin’s stance on independence, as Scottish Labour’s core vote has collapsed, sending ‘mixed messages’ will turn off voters, you can’t ride two horses at the same time, and a lack of a proper narrative is killing the party, Scottish Labour can’t just be a party of complaining about SNP failures

Dear All

I have no problem with people being interested in their own self interest; it’s only natural and human to be concerned about your future. Labour MEP David Martin has had a very bright past, for years; he was paid a very high salary and expenses for going to the European Parliament as a British MEP.

On the 14th June 1984, he was elected as Member of the European Parliament for Lothians, when the revamp happened; he was elected in 10 June 1999 as Member of the European Parliament for Scotland.

So, he has had about 33 years of serve in the European Parliament, a good life and I assume a happy life. The vote for Brexit held on 23 rd June 2016 changed his happy little world, the next day; he saw his career come to a screeching halt.

Labour MEP David Martin is losing is job, people losing their jobs is nothing new, it happens, no one has a job for life in this country. Having been paid for 35 years a great deal of money, it now seems that David Martin is saying that he is considering voting for Scottish independence if Britain comes away with a bad Brexit deal.

Scotland has six MEPs, if independent and using Estonia as a rough guide, we might have considerably more, maybe 18 or thereabouts. How many MEPs you have per country is calculated by a mathematical formula known as D'Hondt.

As we all know Brexit is going ahead and in the light of this someone people are making up their minds about their future, so when David Martin confirmed that he is no longer ideologically opposed to independence, I wonder now he is losing his job, Scottish Labour has collapsed at Westminster and Holyrood, whether he is hedging his bets in the long term that Scottish independence might happen.

Let me help Labour MEP David Martin out, if he wishes to jump and join the SNP, then they have a website where he can fill in his application, and with 35 years of experience of the EU, they will welcome you. Chances of getting into Westminster currently stand at about, give or take….. Zero.

Chances of being into Holyrood with probably very little brand name or activism plus the list system being swamped, give or take…. Zero.

Chances of standing in the council elections….. missed the boat, deadline for applications have closed.

Chances of getting a job in the European Parliament, depends on connections, but certainly no chance of the same salary and expenses.

Labour MEP David Martin has a decision to make, stand or jump from the Scottish Labour Party; he wouldn’t be the first elected representative to jump to the SNP if he decides to go and certainly not the last. I can understand David Martin’s position and I am sure many Brexit campaigners feel sorry for his personal situation but he has had a great run at it, his shift is over.

Scottish Labour’s problems are widely known, in some respects they mirror David Martin’s position, there they were rolling along huge support, and then in 2014, then a huge part of their base of working class people of Scotland voted for independence. The tipping point was 2014 in the mindset of the people against Scottish Labour, they felt more than letdown, they felt betrayed, betrayed by the Blair Faction which calls its self ‘progress’, progress can be described as middle class university educated Tories who aren’t in the Conservative Party.

Do you know who the vanguard of the proletariat is?

It is the working class, somewhere along the line, the Labour Party got hijacked by middle class university graduates like Blair and from there, the road to decline started, these people weren’t interested in helping the poor.

The Labour Party brought regressive measures such as the bedroom tax which has unjustly affected the poorest in society who are already sitting with nothing. Of course, now we have an awakening that this is a bad thing because the Conservatives are in Government at Westminster.

If the Blair Faction were sitting in government, the Labour Party wouldn’t be doing anything about this injustice, they would say that hard decisions need to be made, not affecting them, but affecting the poorest. The idea of tackling the biggest single issue of abuse such as corporations not paying their correct and fair share of tax remains just a talking point.

Sadly for the Labour Party, corporations can’t vote, people do, and in Scotland there is a huge amount of angry people kicking about the place. Have you ever been so angry that you are beyond being ‘well fucked off’?

This is a huge section of the people of Scotland in regards to their new relationship with the Labour Party. When you as a national party with a long history of social democracy and change sit at 14% of the vote facing off against a centre right SNP wearing temp ‘socialist’ clothes for convenience, you have no one to blame but yourself.

Scottish Labour isn’t in the position that it is in because there is a deep yearning for independence, no, Scottish Labour is here because of bad elected representatives, people elected who didn’t want to work for their constituents if their problem was either too hard, too time consuming or was for example against a current Labour administration. I am and was not surprised when the Scottish Labour Party fell, in 2015, in February after watching the Scottish Labour Campaign for several weeks, there was only one valid conclusion to make.     

“Fucking it all up, Labour Leader Jim Murphy has run into trouble, his ‘fitba’ campaign isn’t the substance that will attract Labour voters back, Jim Murphy, go see the 10 year old little boy who got bottled by Celtic fans and ask him should alcohol be re-introduced at football matches, Scotland has changed politically, Murphy needs to address that now”.

Scottish Labour went to an angry electorate crying out for social justice and change and offered them a crumb off a five course. The public looked at this crumb with disbelief and said ‘is that it; is that all my vote is worth, nothing to make my life better just this crap’?

In 2015, the Scottish Labour was wiped out, completely destroyed at the ballot box, there then followed a period of public soul searching which didn’t amount to anything. Then in 2016 came the hugely damaging Labour Party leadership contest as the Blair Faction tried to oust Jeremy Corbyn.

In Scotland, the Scottish Labour already doing incredibly badly was effective shutdown, no CLP could meet, nothing could get properly planned, no work could get done, in the run up to the Holyrood election, this wasn’t just bad management; it was political suicide. The defeat at Holyrood was always going to happen, if you were looking for a feelgood positive story from me at that time to spin for Scottish Labour, there isn’t one on the blog.

There was nothing positive to write about Scottish Labour who hadn’t addressed their failure to reconnect to their core vote. Beyond talk of change there was no change, even senior Labour people ditched campaigning for a ‘good night out’, there was ‘drinkies’ and then onward to a show afterwards. I often wonder those activists who stuck it out what were their thoughts when they found out what was doing on.

Scottish Labour’s campaign of 2016 could be described as a shambles, it lack pretty much everything, people, money and resources, not only were the voters not willing to engage neither were Labour Party members.   

As the storm continued in Labour, leader Kezia Dugdale had to make a choice, bearing in mind that people wanted rid of the Blair Faction politics, she wrongly decides to pick Owen Smith, the ‘progress’ candidate, lots of people in Scottish Labour vote Smith because a huge amount of people simply left. The phrase I didn’t leave Labour, Labour left me’ applies, or to be more apt, the party was hijacked by the middle class, and guess what 2015 and 2016 saw the people of Scotland do what Scottish Labour won’t do, and go rid of these people via the ballot box.

Kezia Dugdale made a mistake in the past saying she could consider voting for independence, there was then a half hearted attempt to show she was committed to the Unioner mind may have been focused not by political argument but more by the fact that major Labour donors were not financially supporting the party. I find it incredible now that Kezia Dugdale can effective return to the same mistake by saying that she ‘has sympathy’ with MEP’s stance on independence.

Kezia lost a lot of Unionist votes which cost her the role as the head of the official opposition, who would have ever thought that the Scottish Tories who spent about circa 35 years in the wilderness would become the official opposition.

Hats off to the Scottish Tories, they played a blinder, they played the pro UK card, and picked up enough votes to get a second list MSP in Glasgow.

David Martin’s statement of the UK “could cease to exist” after Brexit is nonsense, the thing about the Union is that in time of need, the Union evolves, there is always scope for that, the push by some towards federalism isn’t coming anytime soon but there is a certain interest by some people.

On federalism, I see no appetite in Scotland for this, there isn’t even a discussion on the political agenda or by the public, at present, it is a ‘what if’. Kezia Dugdale is backing federalism but she is effectively having a conversation with herself, as she seeks to rebuild Scottish Labour’s fortunes.

So far, the ideas coming out by Scottish Labour aren’t capturing the imagination, they are in part still living in denial; they think people will end up hating the SNP and then come back to them, but they should remember people have long memories which the Tories know all too well.

The Tories were in the wilderness for circa 35 years, is Scottish Labour willing to wait that long under Kezia?

How many chances and long will Scottish Labour give Kezia Dugdale?

One thing that Kezia Dugdale needs to do immediately is not send out mixed messages, you can’t be sympathetic and unsympathetic; David Martin is leaving the European Parliament, all energies needs to focus ensuring a good deal for Brexit, this is all about national unity in time of crisis.

It is a time to forget party politics.

Scottish Labour needs to find a narrative, and that narrative cannot about just complaining about SNP mistakes, if Kezia Dugdale also cannot rebuild the Scottish Labour Party, then she better get used to not being the leader of the opposition in Holyrood.

Finally, in the days of old, people like Nye Bevan produced the greatest of the Labour Party’s policies which became the NHS, it is now time that Scottish Labour realised that they need policies of such vision, they have used up the goodwill associated with the Labour brand, now they personally will have to produce.

No one will be settling for crumbs anymore.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University


RMR said...

It strikes me that David Martin sums up all that is wrong with many career politicians in general and Scottish Labour ones in particular. It looks to me that all he really cares about is preserving his cushy career and he couldn`t care less about the British people. At a time when you would hope our leaders and representatives would step up to the mark and fight the political battle of their lives to get the best for the UK; what we get instead is a bunch of pathetic, self serving, back stabbers like David Martin.

Anonymous said...

Lie@bour. Opportunist elite scum who treated the working class even worse than the Toaries. Apart from a few low IQ nepotistic public sectors trough eaters. Nobody over 45 will ever vote that trash again.

Al C said...

As I said before, I reckon this is a problem in the left in general. In the U.S. as well. Corbyn - for all his faults - has wisely moved away from this and though I doubt his capabilities or whether I would vote for him, I think he has a few good points, this being one.

Anonymous said...


Aldo said...

I can't bring myself to vote for Labour in the upcoming elections. Previously I would have considered giving them my 2nd or 3rd preference - but their constant flirting with nationalism disgusts me. Scottish Labour now needs to die quickly and its remaining supporters decant to parties who truly value the union.