Saturday, 25 October 2014

Open Letter to Labour List

Dear Labour List,

Having damned Ms Lamont with faint praise may be it is time to wake the Labour Party up to just exactly how close to the end Scotch Labour now is.

I read Mr Russell havering ignorantly about the SNP on Labour List this week, then John McTernan having a hissy fit about the SNP in the Scotsman, this says only one thing to me - Labour are stuck in the past and can not deal with the increasing pace of change in Scottish Politics. Labour are still stuck fighting Blairite Jim Murphy vs McCluskey's Unite battles in Scotland. The axing of Ian Price stinks of Jim Murphy backstabbing to get rid of Lamont who is in the Unite Camp.

Labour wonks in London have to wake up to the fact - Scots do not zip up the back. A message the Scottish electorate have been trying to get through to them since 2007 when Brown's response to an SNP minority government at Holyrood was to have a hissy fit, cancel the Peterhead CO2 capture project and hack £22 million out of the Scottish Budget.

Labour's continuing response to the growth of SNP support in Scotland has not changed since 2007; Brown, Darling, Murphy, Hood, Davidson, Alexander et al are still throwing their toys out of the pram and in denial about what is happening in Scotland. Not even hanging on to their jobs in Westminster by their finger nails in a 11:9 vote has focused their minds. To anyone who has watched Jim Murphy in action in what he sees as his 'Scottish Fiefdom' the only word to describe his behaviour with respect to Scotland is - ignorant.

Here's why Brown will not turn up in Holyrood - Jim Murphy will block it with Darling's support. Darling is not an option as he would cement Labour's Scotch region's terminal decline - the talk in Scotland is just how at risk Darling is to an SNP swing in May 2015.

So who does that leave?

Jackie (I can not keep to my brief) Baillie, Iain (The Grey) Gray, Keiza (I'll go native) Dugdale, McCliesh (that would be a clear sign of desperation), Wendy 'Planet Brain' Alexander, Lord 'Gorgeous' George Foulkes, Jack (I'm off to Malawi, honest) McConnell ... just who in Labour's Scotch Region can cope with Nicola Sturgeon and a cohesive and confident SNP Party at Holyrood?
YouGov recently had Labour in Scotland 1% point lower than the Conservatives in Scottish GE voting share.

In 2006 I wrote an article in Labour List warning of the disaster which was coming for its Scotch Region if the rise in SNP support was not countered by moves to meet the declared wish of Scots in poll after poll for fiscal autonomy.

Labour is now where it is because it took its eyes off Scotland on the presumption their Scottish electorate would continue to vote for monkeys wearing red rosettes to keep the Tories out.
Murphy and McCluskey's power struggle over the Falkirk selection process and the
risk it caused to 10,000+ jobs in and related to the Grangemouth refinery opened a lot of ordinary 'Labour' peoples' eyes to just what the 'Party' actually thought of Scotland. The Better Together Campaign was the final breaking point, for many, as Labour's Scotch MPs lied and fought for their seats of privilege on a Tory ticket: not in the best interests of the Scottish people. Lamont's sense of being stabbed in the back by London is a reflection of how many ex-Labour supporters in Scotland now feel.

Time for Labour List readers to face up to reality with respect to Scotland. Labour is in decline, possibly terminal, as the distinctly socialist Scottish Green Party grows in strength and membership - now over 6,000 members. The conservative Scots in the middle are happy with the SNP (social democrat / left of centre policy base) in Government in Scotland - they play a steady hand and are seen putting Scotland first and foremost in a way none of the Lab-Lib coalitions at Holyrood ever did.

The problems for Labour in Scotland are deep seated, the party is split along Jim Murphy / McCluskey lines, there are further cracks between the West Coast and East coast wings of the party, with out funds from London the Scottish Region is on its fiscal uppers, the active membership is in decline as seen in the need to bus in Labour supporters from England during the recent Tory paid for referendum campaign. Labour is up against a level of continuing political activism I have never seen in Scotland in my 60 years on the planet - little of it Labour friendly.

Labour can not paper over these cracks because they are now ever widening fault lines in Scotland which will only increase to gap as Mr Miliband chases the Tory's and UKIP ever rightwards. In 2006, in an article to Labour List, I asked the Labour party to take a long hard look at itself before it lost out to the SNP in Scotland; in 2014 I am now telling the Labour Party it is about be terminally damaged in Scotland if it does not embrace full fiscal autonomy for Holyrood and end Jim Murphy's malign hegemony over its the Scotch region.

1 comment:

  1. Well as Labour are unlikely to do anything serious to recover their activists. They are thirled to London Labour and ahem International Socialism. Would rather see Scotland remain poor whilst Westminster squanders billions on grandiose projects in London and Southern England. The idea that they may have to pay for projects like London Sewers and HS2, as they are all UK projects, when Scotland has to find the money to fund the dualing of the A9 from it's pocket money. Then of course there are the endless wars. No Labour whether in England, Wales or Scotland is all the same party, relentlessly right wing because it has to compete in the part of England which votes in the Government. It is never going to accommodate those Constituents who have always voted them in and will pray they continue to do so. After the Referendum I am still not holding my breath that regardless of the numbers joining the SNP, much will change.