Friday, May 12, 2017

Open Letter to Anon, after a lifetime of voting Labour, 45 years, you have doubts, so here is an idea, why don’t you volunteer to campaign for a few days for the person who you feel best represents you and your community, you will quickly get a sense of the worth of a candidate beyond any information presented in a leaflet posted through your door, try doing street stalls, very educational and easy to do

Dear Anon

“I am very conflicted having voted labour at every election for the past 45 years and having recently joined the party to vote against Corbyn as leader. I have no doubt he is committed to his political viewpoint for altruistic reasons, I disagree great difficulty with his positions on trident, stop the war, nationalisation and a number of other issues, but that is OK. What I cannot get past is his support over many decades for the IRA, even during the period it was actively bombing and killing British citizens”.

Recently, my friends at a night out were talking me, and how I could support certain people or a certain party at a certain time. The truth of politics is that no party stays the same, an example is the SNP on NATO; decades spent being anti NATO then to suddenly change for independence, not because of recognition of the policy being wrong but for votes. You won’t find a perfect party which allows you to agree on every policy.

As to Corbyn, when I was in Labour, I voted for him, second time around, previously I wasn’t in the party. I know that he has shortcomings; the biggest ones are defence and foreign affairs. On his domestic front, he fares much better, however, there is an issue of trust, which when you consider the Brexit question and his problems with the ‘progress’ crowd, makes people nervous. A majority voted Leave, which I maintain was the correct thing to do, in years to come; it will shown I contend that leaving the EU was in the economic and national security interest. Europe has opened the door to serious problems regarding security, terrorism has been imported.

When you joined Labour to vote against Corbyn, you made a personal choice, like I did, although I voted for him, his past re the support of IRA was something which I didn’t like. Although people shouldn’t forget the past, we have to live in the present so we have to solve the problems of the present. The Conservatives in the shape of John Major started a dialogue with the IRA because they recognised that the terror campaign has run its course and the people on both sides didn’t support it. Ireland is a great place, and there was a price paid for peace, before and after Good Friday, politics is about compromise when the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few. You wouldn’t want to see Ireland return to the problems of the troubles anymore than anyone else would.

“How can I believe that the British public could be persuaded to vote Labour with the prospect him as PM and McDonnel as Chancellor????”

At election time, you get an ‘offer’, this is called the manifesto, in that document you are presented with a series of proposed changes, some people have said to me that they do like some of the ideas in this document. I haven’t had a change to read it. At the same time other parties give you their offer. You must weight up several things, when you consider voting I would suggest, chiefly the candidate, will that person represent you properly and sincerely if you have a problem. In Scotland, Labour crashed due to neglect of the people they were chosen to represent. Non-representation killed Labour in Scotland, took time, took decades, but they were operating their own agenda which wasn’t in sync with the public. This isn’t exclusive to just some in the Labour Party. You should also look at the manifesto, does their offer make sense to you; are there things which void their offer? Also what is their track record not just in your area but how they have operated as a government in the past? Politics in Scotland is in flux, I think more and more that the key thing which people want is representation, if you can’t get it from the candidate, you won’t get it from them as an MP. Labour losing all but one of their seats shows the problems in the party go beyond a few people, Labour needs to be taken back to bare metal back to the principles of Keir Hardie.

“If, as with Michael Foot, we have a Labour leader who present a persona that can be easily caricatured by the media, even the best Manifesto will not be able to cut through and win an election”.

That is a fair point, the leader should be respected, not just by the media, but also by the public and their fellow MPs. Jeremy Corbyn as I see it has a job, not to win the election, his job was to prepare people to come through the party so that a viable government in waiting gives the people a choice. I think although he does well with the grassroots, he has a connection problem because he isn’t seen by some as the next PM.

“With no prospect of winning an election with this leadership Labour will be a party of protest not government. The left have long wished to take over control of the Labour party, they have it now, but it is destroying the it as a party of government”.

Think of this, who was it that brought in the bedroom tax and the WCA, the ATOS scandal?

It was the Labour Party, if you have never been on the receiving end of bad government department decisions, you have missed an experience. Very unpleasant and socially destructive to not just the person but also a community; Labour wants to fix some of the problems which they created. This is a theme with them; it seems being kicked out of government makes some people more ‘caring’. Rachel Reeves famously said that Labour Party wasn’t the party of the unemployed, this fails to taken into account that many unemployed gave up their time to help the party at elections.    

Rachel Reeves….. what a scumbag!

“Will there be a modern day Gang of 4 to split the Left and guarantee Tory hegemony for 20 years, I hope not. The Salmond managed to do this on a smaller scale undermining Labour national campaign in 2015 and Sturgeon has had a big hand in rehabilitating the Conservatives in HR2016 & LG2017”.

Well spotted, the SNP want independence, they see more of a chance if the Labour Party in Scotland is marginalised; however, they didn’t calculate that there would be a Conservative revival in Scotland. Kezia made several huge mistakes, she upset Nationalist Labour voters and then Unionist Labour voters, which is why Labour in Scotland crashed. If she had set fire to the Labour HQ in Glasgow, that would have been the cherry on top of the icing cake. Kezia’s lack of support for the Union didn’t just cost her votes; it also cost her donations from wealthy backers. You can add to it, the activist base has crashed, members don’t want come out, and lifelong Labour votes would rather vote SNP than put an X beside a Labour candidate’s name.

  “If we ever want to see Socialist government in UK Labour needs to regain Scotland from the SNP, how do you do this with the current offering and leadership?”

100% agree with your statement, the second part how to ‘fix’ Labour, first thing to recognise is that Labour isn’t in a fit state to campaign. Every branch and CLP needs to have a review done on its operation, because to regain Scotland, you need to fix everything at the bottom and work your way upwards. Someone or a team needs to write a report on the operations of every branch and CLP. I have seen Labour training videos, honestly they are awful; Labour needs a virtual training series of videos on how to do all aspects of campaigning like a fly on a wall series, done professionally. I don’t know if you remember Jim Murphy’s claim that he ‘fixed’ Labour, no he didn’t.

Labour needs a new campaign model and a new structure for teaching, and having popped in to a session for prospective councillors, I wasn’t impressed; a guy reading off a Laptop screen with bad graphics doesn’t a teaching session make. Some people need to be removed from positions because they aren’t very good at it. So, all office staff need to be reviewed, what they do, and how and when it is done, a creation of a dedicated teaching team who operate a system which allows various learning outcomes to be achieved, so there is a universal standard, and allowing lateral thinking to create hybrid campaigns which don’t have to seek permission to operate during elections. Custom campaigns should be allowed in each area because although certain themes are universal, certain areas throw up challenges.

“With the ammunition SNP have stored up for opposition parties to use over the past 10 years Sturgeon should be slaughtered every FMQ's, Ruth Davison lands some good ones but no knock out blows, Kezia much less effective”.

2007, Labour loses Holyrood, from that date to 2011; they didn’t do any work of real importance at Holyrood. Post 2011, they didn’t learn, they didn’t change, so slaughtered again in 2016. And to return for a second to 2015, that campaign was bollocks, I saw months out that Labour thought that presenting crumbs to people would turn them back to Labour.

Is the most pressing social problem in Scotland, people getting an alcoholic drink at a football match?

Finally, I would encourage you to vote for the person who you personally feel will represent you and your area, you must make that decision, you will base your vote on one or more factors but you should vote, and get as many people to vote as well. I would also say volunteer to do a bit of time for the candidate you wish to vote for. You don’t need a vast amount of experience but it will let you see a side of politics which perhaps you haven’t seen before. Be dispassionate as you look at the campaign unfolding, you will get a sense of whether candidate is worth your time and your vote. How a candidate treats people helping them is a reflection on how they will treat others if elected. I can tell you this; one person who I campaigned for will not be getting my services in the future.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University


Richard said...

George you say we should look at the present not the past actions however corbyn has been saying these things on IRA etc for decades. Even in the last few years since becoming leader he hasn't really addressed these issues but tried to play both side of argument thus ensuring no can really understand his stance, that's not just on IRA either.

His stance on NATO is extremely worrying which must be worrying our allies also.

He constantly contradicts himself and party policy, his close shadow cabinet members also constantly contradict policy with their and corbyn true beliefs.

Ideology seems to be at the centre of everything they want, what's worrying more is that McDonnell is even more hard left than Jeremy and he will be in charge of the treasury.

Under this current labour leadership I will not vote for labour again.

Sherbie. said...

Corbyn IS the problem for the Labour party,, it was ALWAYS PREDICTABLE. Get rid of him NOW to stand ANY chance of a revival.

Anonymous said...

great piece georgieboy

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your reply to my post. I will be voting Labour as the alternative is a young lady who has demonstrated her ineptitude in Parliament over the past two years and when I had need to write to her for help with an issue failed to respond adequately.
My support for my party hasn't wavered, my despair is the track record of the current leadership and how this opens my party up to ridicule the problem.
Since my first post the Labour Manifesto has been leaked, From what I have seen of it I am largely happy. I think re-nationalisation of rail is entirely feasible at reasonable cost t the state, Power Generation and distribution would be a bigger reach, but in all this one problem remain the Corbyn/McDonell stick with which the party will be beaten

G Laird said...

Dear Anon

The important thing I always stress on a doorstep is that a person should vote for who they believe in, or they think is the best option of the bunch.

The problem with the SNP getting elected to places like Westminster is that they are out of their depth, instead of using this is a learning experience they set their face to the wind and just act up.

This isn't what Scotland needs but sadly it is what we have been reduced to.


Auld Jock said...

Hello George

It's an easy choice for me. The mp here is ian blackford. We hear he has some 6 jobs so he is clearly besotted by money. He recently covered up the snp part of the sign above his office so it seems he is embarrassed by being linked to the snp. This is Charles Kennedy' s old constituency and I am unlikely to forget how the snp behaved towards him. Sure he had problems. We all do. But he was a good constituency mp. If you asked for help, he would give it. Labour and the tories are non starters here but the lib dems are close enough to win if the snp vote sags. The only thing which would please me more than seeing him lose would be seeing slim boy fat salmond lose.

Auld Jock

G Laird said...

Hi Auld Jock

On Facebook, I was commenting about the treatment of Charles Kennedy, it was one of the most shameful episodes by the Nationalists, which should have saw everyone involved kicked out of the SNP.

As I said on Facebook, I would banned every Nationalist from the SNP from attending, right up to and including Sturgeon.


Smudge said...

I would say that Sturgeon is the lowest of the low George,,, pure trash, for allowing such hateful TURDS to destroy Scotland.