Monday, May 22, 2017

The leadership Question: Kezia Dugdale’s got a series of major problems; as Scottish Labour donors don’t want to give party any donations during the General Election, members failing to turn out to be activists, not enough help and support given to candidates, and non party members of the public leading Labour sessions, and worse is to come, we haven’t had the result of GE17 yet

Dear All

It isn’t a huge secret that Scottish Labour is struggling in this election, this election caught them on the hop, I am sure given the choice; the party would rather not be fighting it at this present time. I have said it before and I will say it again, the Scottish Labour Party is in no fit state to campaign. I am not going to go into certain people’s campaigns because that would be unfair to them, but the overall picture is of a party that has simply lost its way.

Last Thursday, I wrote a blog post on the suspending of the 9 Labour Councillors in Aberdeen by Scottish Labour, at the time, I said this was a bad judgement, and it would be felt and go into the Westminster campaign.

“Kezia Dugdale just dropped a huge rock into the Labour pond which will have consequences for her and the party outwith the Labour Party”.

If you are familiar with the Law of Unintended Consequences, there has been some for Kezia Dugdale. 

I will give you the short and blunt version, Scottish Labour fucked up big style!

One of Scottish Labour’s biggest donors has said he will not hand over any money for the General Election campaign, if there is a price for stupid, the wider Labour Party are paying for it in spades via the leadership. Another unintended consequences; more in the shape of ammo is that Momentum (Corbyn support group) will benefit enormously as Kezia’s decision goes well beyond internal party politics; it affects the governance of Scotland.

What Kezia Dugdale should have done was allowed Aberdeen Labour Councillors to chart their own course and not interfere in local democracy, you could add that her action, an unintended consequence shows Scottish Labour doesn’t support local democracy or trust its elected officials.

Alan Massie, the North East tycoon bankrolled Kezia Dugdale’s leadership campaign, whether he regrets that investment is open to speculation, prior to getting elected leader, Alan Massie knew Kezia’s track record in the disaster of the 2015 Westminster campaign, and things haven’t got better, they only get worse.

If you read my blog, I talk on occasion about ‘the political economy’, this is made up for 3 key ingredients, ‘money, people and resources’, people aren’t willing to be donors to the Scottish Labour Party, people aren’t willing to vote Labour, members of the party aren’t willing to be activists, and resources are scarce and talent hasn’t been developed. Some candidates also haven’t been getting the logistical support they need and should have readily available from HQ.

It is a right fucking mess!

I have no problem with Alan Massie speaking out and what he does with his money is entirely his business, but there are decent candidates for Labour, perhaps, he should consider directly funding them rather than a general contribution, to me this makes sense in the short term.

Long term, I said before, Scottish Labour needs to go back to bare metal, and some people need to be removed from various positions because they are just crap, they are seriously getting in the way of any possible revival.   

Massie said Labour’s decision to ban a coalition with the Conservatives is “ridiculous”, this was my immediate thought. Labour needs to reach out across constitutional lines, and has failed to do so. Either they are so stupid in their understanding of politics (they could make that argument) or the leadership is just effectively and actively supporting the SNP by default, Labour indy supporters aren’t coming back, Scottish Labour has let the people down.

The public spoke in 2015, spoke in 2016 and spoke in 2017, and they will be speaking twice this year, and the message was loud and clear, you aren’t supporting the public, supporting the UK and aren’t behaving like a credible party.

Massie said:

“I am not going to give any more until we see the direction of the party after June 8.”

The direction of the party after June 8 in the short term is to go nowhere, elections are years away, and because candidate selection starts at the wrong time, effectively the party’s activists base will simply disappear. Of course there will be the odd by-election here and there, but the gap in campaigning will probably not be used wisely. Without leadership, there can’t be teambuilding, and without teamwork there can be no prospect of returns to Holyrood and Westminster.

Some of the office staff needs to be removed, maybe given the option of being retrained or simply sidelined totally.

When Kezia Dugdale kicked out the Aberdeen 9, she said:

“This isn’t about positions or gold medals around the necks of councillors, this is about the job Labour councillors are elected to do – to protect public services, to invest in and defend public services.”

Question to Kezia, why is a Glasgow Labour Councillor asking me as a member of the public to deliver his newsletter, effectively doing part his job in the ward he supposedly represents?

There are several hundred members in his CLP, but he wants a member of the public to work for him?

Where are the members?

Why won’t they come out for him?

Is it because they have no faith that he will defend public services?

One of the other really big donors to Scottish Labour is businessman Willie Haughey, he is loaded and seen as Labour’s most generous donor from Scotland. Haughey has come out and blasted the SEC decision Dugdale staunchly defends.

He said:

“It is ridiculous the SEC never supported the deal.”

He added the Labour/Tory agreement ensured all the party’s manifesto commitments would be implemented:

“I think the party has got this so wrong. The criteria were all met and they have erred on their own policy.”

A spokesman for Scottish Labour said: 

“Labour’s approach has been clear and consistent: we absolutely cannot do any deal with another party if it would result in further austerity being imposed on local communities”. 

Scottish Labour jumped into bed with the SNP which has imposed austerity on communities, either the spokesman is unaware of politics in Scotland or they are just stupid and helping to bury the party in Scotland.

Finally, when I stood for selection to be a Labour Candidate, I was told I didn’t understand leadership, yesterday as a member of the public; I was leading a Labour Team which came out to do Pollok. I even setup and pre-planned the next event so that it could be done in the most effective and efficient way possible for the CLP..... they then went to Parkhead for the fitba, I went to Glasgow North East to work as a team player to do a canvass.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University    


Ben L said...

I think you're right, George, about it being a mistake for Kezia Dugdale to suspend the Aberdeen councillors. Local politics should be left to the parties at local level. The trouble is, it was a knee jerk decision taken by Dugdale to distance Labour from the Tories, given Sturgeon's very successful and hypocritical campaign to link Labour with the Tories.

I consider myself a very left wing voter, but even I'm getting fed up with Sturgeon's constant ranting about the "disgraceful etc" Tories. Has she forgotten that she was Deputy FM of a government which had a confidence & supply agreement with the Conservatives at Holyrood? Or that 2 councils (East Ayrshire and I think Dumfries & Galloway) were in SNP/Tory coalitions for the last 5 years? Dugdale should just ignore Sturgeon's hypocrisy instead of running scared of it.

I live in North Ayrshire, and Labour and the SNP got 11 councillors each (along with 7 Tories and 4 independents). So it went to a vote last week of all the councillors to decide who formed the administration. The SNP got 11 votes, Labour got 16. I understand that 4 conservatives and an independent voted for Labour to form the administration. I can only assume the other 3 conservatives and 3 independents abstained. Sturgeon herself subsequently tweeted that Labour only won the leadership with Tory votes. Does she think that democratically elected councillors shouldn't be allowed to vote unless they vote with the SNP?

Since then, North Ayrshire Labour and SNP councillors have been acting like children on twitter - "You's only won with Tory votes!", "Naw we didnae, but you's had a secret meeting wi the Tories!", "Naw we didnae" - it's bloody pathetic! They're all terrified of being seen to be working with the Tories, and it's Sturgeon herself who's caused this.

I'd never vote for the Tories myself, but a lot of people in Scotland are now doing so, and Sturgeon is hypocritically demonising these people for daring to exercise their democratic right and vote for the party they want, and Kezia Dugdale's Labour is falling for it hook, line and sinker.

davemcwish said...

I found it interesting to compare the fate of the Aberdeen with where I used to live in East Renfrewshire. Not having lived in Scotland for quite a while it seems that Toxic Tories meme still holds sway. Lab+Con+Ind (Aberdeen), to oppose SNP minority administration, is bad, but SNP+Lab+Ind (East Renfrewshire), to oppose Tory minority administration, is good.

Given what's happened it looks like Scottish Labour are happy to prop up the SNP. What's the rationale then for a voter, unhappy with SNP (locally/nationally), to vote Lab ?

davemcwish said...

I found it interesting to compare the fate of the Aberdeen with where I used to live in East Renfrewshire. Not having lived in Scotland for quite a while it seems that Toxic Tories meme still holds sway. Lab+Con+Ind (Aberdeen), to oppose SNP minority administration, is bad, but SNP+Lab+Ind (East Renfrewshire), to oppose Tory minority administration, is good.

Given what's happened it looks like Scottish Labour are happy to prop up the SNP. What's the rationale then for a voter, unhappy with SNP (locally/nationally), to vote Lab ?

Al C said...

I strongly suspect that Labour is going to lose. They've put people off with this champagne socialist rubbish, and despite Jeremy Corbyn's best efforts to turn the party away from this, they've still rubbed people up the wrong way. He doesn't seem to be particularly effective as a leader because the party is tearing itself apart inside, and Scottish Labour at the moment is as much use as a chocolate fireguard. Unless the pollsters are wrong or something dramatic and game-changing happens, I don't see Labour winning here.

Anonymous said...

these fucking moronic cunts will work with the SNP but not the TOOOOAAAARIES .

The SNP have fucking humped them intimidated them lied about them and physically and cyber attacked them to destroy them and they will work with them rather than the TOAAAAARIES.

KD is an example of what happens when you pick vacuous cunts drawn up by wan tited lezzer groups wanting to portray the "correct " public FACE RATHER THAN SOMONE WHO MAY BE COMPETANT ...IE Mr Laird.

Vote Labour get SNP/IRA


If you cant publish it Georgieboy no prob
Angry Crookie

D. Stewart said...

Says it all really Mr Laird. A hollowed out, useless party machine with no direction.

Anonymous said...

After Blair/Broon, nobody can trust Labour. Sturgeon is just a dribbling lunatic. So it’s Ruth for me.I voted Toarie in the council elections and i will be voting them in the general election.

G Laird said...

Hi Dave

If you were still there I would say vote Paul Masterton who is the Conservative Candidate.

If you live in Glasgow North East, consider Paul Sweeney, Labour.

If you live in Glasgow South West, consider Matt Kerr, labour.


G Laird said...

Hi Angry Crookie

Well, you certainly have a strong view.


G Laird said...

Hi Ben L

I think Scottish Labour aren't going to happy with this election, the results and how it was run, I know what a good campaign is, and what a bad campaign is also, tons of expereince, there is a lack of direction in Scottish Labour, and you are right let people do local democracy.

If I was in charge, I would only step if something wasn't legal.