A real Scottish Labour Party?  Maybes aye maybes naw

The extremely disappointing UK general election result for Labour has led to some in their Scottish branch office to look at the option of creating a separate Labour Party in Scotland.  Leading this charge has been Labour list MSPs Neil Findlay and Monica Lennon, with the latter highlighting her thoughts on the issue in the Daily Record recently.

monica lennon splitTheir theory is that the British Labour party in Scotland was tarnished by the policies of the London based Labour party, which resulted in them losing all but one seat in Scotland.  Their concern was that the Scottish leader was isolated and his policy statements were often contradicted by Labour spokespeople from London, including Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell.  Their solution is to split the Scottish section from the London party and form an autonomous Scottish Labour Party, one that can form its own policy ideas.  This would mean raising their own funds, persuading trade unions to affiliate and voting with their sister party (London Labour) – if persuaded.  It would be seen as a bold move but will the current Labour leadership go for it?   Ms Lennon has submitted these proposals to the Labour party’s review of last month’s elections but already she’s stated that this isn’t about supporting independence (which she opposes) but about having decisions about Scotland’s future taking place in Scotland rather than Westminster.

Some Labour sources have already dismissed this argument, fearing that advocating separate structures within the party lessens any credibility in supporting devolution rather than independence.  The British Labour Party in Scotland has had some form of devolved structures within the London Labour party, with its own executive committee and its own policy making body, however any policies made are routinely ignored in UK terms.  It seems Labour is struggling to adapt to devolution and, after 20 years of the Scottish Parliament, appear to have hit the buffers when it comes to offering distinctive policies for the Scottish electorate.  For instance, during the UK general election the London led Labour party was pursuing a policy agenda which simply lifted SNP policies which Labour MSPs had repeatedly campaigned and voted against!

It’s unlikely a review led by the same people who were in charge of Labour’s disastrous general election campaign will amount to much. The idea that the Labour party in Scotland could attempt some greater form of separation is fanciful, the Scottish branch office relies too heavily on its income from London – and during Scottish elections it also relies heavily on Labour members from other parts of the UK to come up to campaign for them.  It is however, ironic that at least some Labour politicians (and I suspect more of their members) are now effectively arguing not for further devolution of the Scottish branch from London Labour but are effectively suggesting independence for their branch!  At least now the argument that decisions made about Scotland’s future should be taken in Scotland is taking hold within the Labour party.

Whether this move is a genuine attempt to reflect modern Scotland and the desire for more powers or whether its simply a feeble attempt to raise profiles and perhaps simply save the jobs of current politicians we will just have to wait and see.

Can’t see the Wood for the Trees!

The poor state of UK politics can be highlighted in the reactions of the two main Brit Nat parties to their hammering at the local elections in England.

The final tally of results from these elections show that the main pro-Brexit parties were hammered with voters abandoning them in droves.  The Conservatives were the biggest losers with 1,334 councillors lost as well as control of 44 councils, Labour lost 82 councillors and control of 6 councils while UKIP lost 145 councillors.  All these parties are advocating Brexit but it seemed the voters reacted to that by ditching their candidates.  On the other hand the Lib Dems gained 703 councillors and control of 10 councils while the Greens gained 194 councillors.  Both these parties are unequivocally pro-EU.

There were also 612 Independent councillors elected but as they represented a range of views its difficult to extrapolate how the election of these councillors can feed into the Brexit debate.

Of course, there are many reasons why people vote for one candidate over another.  There is also the common problem of voters basing their decision on national rather than local issues – this has always been a problem for local elections where it is difficult for local candidates to get their message across compared to the mainstream media’s obsession with national figures and issues.

However, from the results it is clear that parties supporting Brexit got hammered and those supporting the EU won significant gains.  In any normal country this would be an indication that the public is turning against Brexit and it’s time to think again about this decisive issue.  But in the UK that’s not the case.  Both Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn are claiming voters turned against them because they weren’t pro-Brexit enough!  They both claimed that the results showed they have to make Brexit happen faster rather than apply the brakes and look again at this issue. This really is a case of the lunatics taking over the asylum – you don’t like my policy so I’m going to force it through faster – they both appear to be thinking!

Scotland has an opportunity of escaping from this madhouse and that’s by grabbing independence.  Another benefit of Independence is we get away from the liars in British politics (well at least some of them) such as Boris Johnston – the MP most Tories want as their next leader and our Prime Minister.  Bumbling Boris has a habit of making a fool of himself but this time he tweeted that he’d already voted in the local elections and encouraged others to get out and vote.  Very admirable until you realise he stays in London and there were no local elections in London! The tweet was swiftly removed but, as usual, someone grabbed a copy of it.  You have to ask yourself if Boris can so easily lie about voting in a non-existent election what else is he capable of lying about?  It’s difficult to understand why this clown hasn’t been kicked out of Parliament for his lies, maybe that’s a reflection on the UK Parliament, the UK media or simply UK politics in general.