Saturday, 11 February 2012

A Conversation with Hazel Lewery

Hazel Lewry

You know what worries me most? After independence, who is going to fill the political vacuum ... where are the really sensible and well grounded politicians going to come from? If this is the best lab/tory can offer, what hope is there?

Perhaps all these inept union lackies will bugger off to Westminster and some fine people who've been held at bay by them will come to the fore.

Peter Thomson

Labour's Scottish Region is to all intents and purposes dead - the growing rankling at the control from London is wide spread, as is the foisting of 'preferred candidates' on constituency parties. The manipulators in the background (Murphy and Alexander) failed to understand the message from the debacle in the East Lothian Constituency party over Mowat's re-selection in 2009. They have carried on with business as usual which ultimately lead them to the 2011 disaster at Holyrood.

It is clear from the rancour and settling of old scores in Glasgow over the recent deselection of councillors, no lessons have been learned as epitomised by the widespread bullying which is the norm in Glasgow City Chambers and is no longer having the lid kept on it by a sympathetic media (all except BBC Scotland).

The real question is - Is there anything worth while saving in Labour's Scottish region as at all levels it appears bankrupt of ideas, of cash, of political ambition for Scotland and in denial of its roots and the people and values it claims to represent?

Peter Thomson

‎Hazel in answer to your original question. The effective opposition to the SNP will continue to come from folk like us either as the electorate or some of us may feel the need to step up to the plate and establish a new left of centre party in Scotland, one which understands what its aims are, aims which are based on continuing the social democratic core which informs the people of Scotland who they are - the idea of 'We're aa Jock Tamson's bairns'.

This maybe in the SNP as the current cohesion breaks up in the aftermath of independence or it maybe the SNP's natural place is to take over the old fashioned liberal consensus and move right of centre but the certainty is the SNP post independence will be a very different party as the weakly attached edges spin off.

I would suggest the Scottish Socialists will continue to have a voice at Holyrood along with the Greens, yet will the Scottish Tories re-emerge phoenix like via the Scottish Democratic Alliance or will the term 'Tory / Conservative' remain so politically poisonous that it will die on independence.

This will not shake down until the end of the first four year term of an independent Scottish Parliament is my view - then we, the sovereign people, will decide how we begin to shape Scotland's new political horizon. Just as we have done cannily from 2007 up to now.

Hazel Lewry

‎Peter, the SDA bother me somewhat.

I Have read their idea of a "written constitution".
But any potential constitution that enshrines use of martial law is proposing perpetuation of the state by any means - rather than responding to the fundamental issues creating the percieved "need" for the unrest in the first place.

Any proposing a constitution advocating at any point the use of martial law would NEVER see my vote, as they are fundamentally depriving me of my sovereign and democratic rights.

Hazel Lewry

I've just rechecked the SDA website.. they've changed it. Their offensive mutterings about martial law are gone - the Justice, Law and Order part is now "article under preparation"... still, makes me feel very uneasy!

Peter Thomson

Hazel - the SDA are now being challenged to define who and what they are - currently they are the opposite of Labour in Scotland - they have not put themselves to the electorate but at least they do have policies for an independent Scotland which they are establishing and reviewing.

My take is the SDA are hoping the 'Tories', who backed Murdo in the recent leadership election, will bring their seats and financial clout in behind the SDA - that is where I see the dilemma for current 'devo-max' leaning Tories, do they give up on their 'Conservative' brand and become SDA or will a new party be created by their amalgamation

For what its worth, I see a Tory / SDA Alliance becoming the home for the Libdems and New Labour diehards but I suggest the new party will reject the more extreme variant of neo-liberal capitalism model current at Westminster and seek the return of Tory 'one nation' politics in the Scottish arena.

Ultimately the two main parties will be a right of centre Tory / SDA and a left of centre SNP. Whether the Forsythean Tories create a Scottish version of UKIP to promote their neo-liberal ideals will be interesting while as I said before on the 'old fashioned left' will be the Greens and the Scottish Socialist Party.

The reallity for me is that the three Unionist parties will be unelectable on independence, die a death and a SDA re-birth their best hope of retaining their seats.

(To be continued)

1 comment:

  1. I entirely agree, Peter. The old labels are toxic. With the Independence barrier out of the way, only the most diehard fossils would continue to support Labour - the natural home of most would be a left-of-centre SNP. "Tory" and "Conservative" carry too much baggage as labels, and, anyway, the only brand of Conservatism that has had any popularity in Scotland was the "One nation" variety - a bit paternalist for my liking, but at least giving the impression of being well-intentioned. If the SDA try a bit harder to achieve a democratic mind-set ("Martial law" indeed!), then they could usefully scoop up the LibDems as well as the more open-minded Tories. Proportional representation should allow room for the smaller parties, although a desire for more influence may steer them in the direction of some form of alliance. One thing is for certain: the whole Independence struggle should be a warning to any future Scottish parties not to neglect any part of the country, otherwise I can see Gaelic Confederation and Norse Alliance parties jumping out of the woodwork!