To say that the Scottish Labour Party is going through a tough time would be an understatement, at the present moment the leadership is just plain lost. 2015, the worst result in Labour history for a 100 years, 2016, lost the Holyrood election badly, and to add insult to continual self inflicted injury got pushed into third party by the Scottish Conservatives.
Hats off to the Scottish Conservatives, they played a blinder when Kezia Dugdale dropped the ball on the question of support for the
Union. Having lost Labour voters who supported
independence, Kezia also managed to alienate pro UK Labour voters who simply
went over to the Scottish Conservatives.
A remarkable achievement which left many people baffled as the leadership was effective destroying large swathes of the core working class vote. Kezia went on to try and repair the damage, but that didn’t work out. Labour members don’t want to come out, donors don’t want to donate, and some candidates are struggling to get their campaigns off the ground because they aren’t getting enough support from Labour HQ.
I have said it once and I will say it again, the Scottish Labour Party is in no fit state to campaign, this isn’t just an observation, it is the reality on the ground. Kezia was pretty clear that she is opposed to a second independence, that she wants Conservative votes, and is pro
Uk. If you take
that as is, you are lead to the conclusion that the important thing is to limit
and curtail the power of the SNP spreading.
We have just had the council election which was to see Scottish Labour do badly; they don’t control a single council with an overall majority. So, in order to get local governance moving deals have to be made depending on the make up of each individual council.
This brings us to what happened yesterday, Kezia Dugdale just dropped a huge rock into the Labour pond which will have consequences for her and the party outwith the Labour Party. Labour has suspended their entire council team over a deal to work in coalition with Aberdeen Conservatives.
Having set a deadline yesterday of 5 pm for the Labour Group to quit the coalition, this passed and not one of the Labour Councillors stepped away. Everyone stayed put, we now see them being unjustly suspended for in effect supporting a pro UK council, if Kezia thought this act was strong leadership, she is sadly mistaken, she made a rod for her own back, and there is no positive out of her action for her party. The news was warmly welcomed by Scottish Conservative Leader Ruth Davidson who tweeted a welcome.
I was wondering how to fix this problem because this could impact the Labour General Election campaign because it sends out the message that Scottish Labour under Kezia Dugdale do not support the
If anyone who was a pro UK Labour voter sees this act, they will think twice
when casting their vote for Scottish Labour. The only solution is for kezia
Dugdale to realise that local democracy cannot be run top down from Labour HQ,
we have already seen result after result of complete abject failure in
elections. Although Labour has pushed through some howlers on policy, this
episode is incredible even by their standards. It goes without saying to do
this in the midst of an election I sheer madness, Kezia just cut the legs off
the Labour campaign, if that hasn’;t sunk in, she only has to wait a few weeks
till June 8th to see the reality of what this action costs.
Kezia Dugdale has said that she will not resign as Scottish Labour leader even her party if suffers a complete wipe-out in the General Election but you can be sure when the results come in, that many people in momentum will be furnished with enough ammo to openly call for her to go.
Although she said she intends to stay on until at least the next Holyrood election in 2021 “no matter what the outcome” at this election, she could be setting the Labour up for about 15 to 20 years in the wilderness. One thing that the Scottish Conservatives can speak with experience on is what that feels like to be a fringe party.
Awhile back, I put myself forward for selection as a councillor but was told I didn’t know enough about the council or leadership, so I walked, it wasn’t worth arguing with people who didn’t understand leadership and also I was told that Labour HQ didn’t like my blog.
I am going to demonstrate what true leadership is, I am not doing to talk about how I gave suggestions to a 2017 candidate to maximise their vote, I am not going to talk about how I taught a Labour campaign organiser how to do an area more effectively, no, that wouldn’t drive my point home which I wish to sincerely express.
True leadership is the ability to state the truth without having to pander to the feelings of any inadequate who happens to think leadership can be learned out of a book, leadership is something you are born with, and given so few Labour members are willing to come out, this tells you all you need to know about certain individuals who lead the party.
If I was going to give Scottish Labour tips on campaigning, a quick one would be buy a watch and attend campaign sessions 10 minutes prior to the start of the activity. The ‘dick’ like behaviour of turning up 15, 25 and 30 minutes after the event starts is a key reason why teamwork doesn’t exist, and why their brand of leadership stinks to high heaven.
Recently a councillor asked me whether I would be willing to come back to the Labour Party; I said ‘what for?’ I mean what is in it for me as a highly experienced campaigner to be treated as an outsider to be used as a form of cheap labour so others can sit at home while others work on their behalf.
In the event of a second independence referendum, I would not willingly choose to campaign with Scottish Labour in a second referendum even if I did rejoin that party, not after what I witnessed in Pollok in 2014. In all likelihood if there is a pro
UK campaign set up to fight this next
referendum, I would probably end up running that group in Pollok.
In previous posts I said that Scottish Labour had further to fall, the council elections proved my point, the Westminster election doesn’t look good, the Electoral Calculus current puts Scottish Labour on winning no seats. Scottish Conservatives on the other hand have a shot at about 10 to 14 seats right across
Places like East Renfrewshire which was
previously held by Jim Murphy, have collapsed for Labour, their candidate Blair
MacDougall is 10/1 to take the seat, with Paul Masterton coming in at 4/6, the
SNP odds are 6/4. Bookies don’t like to give away money but 10/1 for Scottish
Labour shows that being a long shot is rapidly the status quo for the party.
Yesterday’s decision wasn’t leadership when Scottish Labour removed every single councillor, it was just bad judgement, who in Scottish Labour has the task of saying to Kezia Dugdale, the word no, because the way things are going that should be a salaried position.
Finally, Scottish Labour runs with a slogan 'stronger together' maybe it is time to practice what they preach because slogans don't win elections. substance does! Let Labour Groups make their own decisions so people can see local democracy functions as it should.
The Campaign for Human Rights at