Tag Archives: SNP

London Calling

Before we kick off, let’s get one thing clear.

You might be a big fan of Tony Benn. You may well be a big fan of Tony Blair. You could even be a big fan of Tony Bennett or Tony Blackburn for all that I care. Whether you’re left, right or centre, it doesn’t matter a jot; all that really matters is that we’re all Labour through and through.

Furthermore, let’s get something else absolutely crystal clear: there are no more loyal Labour Party supporters anywhere than Scottish Labour Party supporters. Over the past few years we have kept going through thin and thinner. Yes, we are down, but we’re certainly not out.

The past is in the past and the future is yet to come. Today in Scotland we’re running a poor third to the SNP and the Tories. We have lost the confidence of the people. But the future the SNP offer to the people of Scotland is a bleak and depressing one, built on grievance, bitterness, division, small minded nationalism, constantly playing the victim, glass always half empty and wallowing self pity. And the SNP want to be friends and partners with every nation, everyone and anyone will do, just as long as it’s not our nearest neighbours.

Scotland is travelling down a very dark road. The SNP’s republicanism and the Tories brand of unionism have the potential to become a deeply entrenched and insoluble toxic position. It is a fertile breeding ground for hatred, ignorance and sectarianism.

If the SNP were to succeed in their quest to destroy the Scottish Labour Party, Scotland would be trapped in a deeply damaging political stalemate with no alternative route of exit. The SNP’s weasel words of friendship and partnership towards the Scottish Labour Party should be resisted and dismissed at every turn.

However, if we unite together as Labour, work hard and offer a positive vision for the future of Scotland, I have no doubt that we will win again.

The SNP have built a wall between Scottish Labour and the people of Scotland. It’s a wall built with no foundations and made out of shoddy lies and deceptions. Nevertheless, we cannot afford to wait for the wall to fall down, or allow the SNP the slightest opportunity to shore it up. Together, we will demolish the nationalists’ wall, brick by rotten brick. Together, we will fight to take our country back, door by door and street by street.

“I am proud – immensely proud – to have fought to keep the UK together in 2014. I was proud because it was a Labour argument I was making. The UK provides the redistribution of wealth that defines our entire Labour movement, and it provides the protection for public finance in Scotland that comes from being part of something larger. Something good. Something worth fighting for.”

Kezia Dugdale is absolutely correct with this statement. Our party’s goal of redistributing wealth throughout the United Kingdom is the one policy that really sets us apart from the SNP and the Tories. The SNP are unable to redistribute wealth throughout the UK. They are only interested in independence. The Tories are unwilling to redistribute wealth throughout the UK. They want to keep the wealth amongst their rich friends. Only the Labour Party is willing and able to redistribute wealth amongst all UK citizens.

However, there are people in the UK Labour Party that have a very different agenda from Kezia Dugdale. The Labour Party leadership in London is convinced that a general election will be called sooner rather than later, and they’re very concerned about the “Scottish problem”. They believe that, at best, Scottish Labour will win no more than a few seats at the next general election, and they are seeking a quick fix.

A number of close associates of the UK Labour leadership have publicly supported a “progressive alliance” with the SNP at the next general election:

  • Diane Abbott – Labour Shadow Home Secretary
  • Dave Anderson – Labour Shadow Secretary of State for Scotland
  • Clive Lewis – Labour Shadow Secretary of State for Business
  • Len McCluskey – General Secretary of Unite the Union

Whatever your political leanings, be they left right or centre, it is imperative that everyone involved in the Scottish Labour Party fully backs and supports the new Act of Union.

When it is endorsed by our party conference next February, Scottish Labour will then have every right to expect unconditional support, commitment and backing from the UK Labour Party for this new Act of Union. This will then become the undisputed policy position from which we fight the next general election.

The only realistic avenue left for the SNP to gain independence was by the deployment of a Trojan horse through the Labour Party. If the Scottish Labour Party backs the new Act of Union policy to the hilt, then the UK Labour Party will surely be obliged to follow suit.

“Though cowards flinch and traitors sneer, we’ll keep the red flag flying here.”

We are Scottish Labour. Unity is strength. There will be no sweetheart deals with the SNP.

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Scottish Labour Party – Election 2016 – The Post Mortem

I have written this article as I think something really is fundamentally wrong with the Scottish Labour Party.

At the 2015 General Election everyone took a tanking from the SNP.

At the 2016 Scottish Parliament Election it was only Scottish Labour that got mangled up. We can’t simply gloss over this and pretend that we are moving in the right direction. It’s obvious to everyone and their dog that we’re going nowhere.

First and foremost, the big obvious mistake is that our leader Kezia Dugdale had the wobbles and went all soft on the Union, this one fatal blunder was totally devastating, nevertheless, it’s one amongst many, so let’s move it along.

In the last Scottish Parliament 2011-2016 we let a few things through without kicking up enough of a stink.

Alarm bells really should off started ringing with the creation of Police Scotland. In 2013 the eight regional Scottish police forces were taken out of local authority democratic control and combined into one unit under the direct control of the SNP Government.

The Council Tax freeze is an affront to local democracy and should have been challenged more robustly.

The SNP’s Named Person Scheme is a direct assault on the western democratic liberal tradition. This truly chilling Orwellian nightmare, guising as child protection should never have been supported by the Scottish Labour Party.

This is the backdrop as we entered the 2016 election year and all of the above factors are within the remit or influence of the Scottish Labour Party.

When you fight an election you need a good battle plan and a good selection of weapons at your disposal. Sadly in this election we had neither.

Much more should have been made of the SNP’s overwhelming desire to centralise control, taking power away from local authorities and placing it into the hands of the SNP Scottish Government.

The plan for battle should have been organised around both the positive message of the Scottish Labour Party and a negative message of our opponents, especially the SNP.

Unfortunately our positive message was not all that positive and we balked at sticking the boot into the SNP, activists were repeatedly told that the “SNP Bad” stuff doesn’t work and that there was to be no negative campaigning. Thus we ended up with a dreadful cliché of a campaign, with our leader aping and copying much of the SNP’s act, such as being photographed with loads of little kids and having “kids not cuts” instead of “bairns not bombs”.

Then we had the “penny on tax” for education, this really is a desperate old policy, which is routinely pulled out by failing political parties. This policy was so bad on so many levels that it’s difficult to comprehend any wisdom behind it.

We are the Labour Party, historically we built our strength on our ability to fight, and we grew out of the union movement, which was basically a protection racket for working people. With truisms like, “give us a shilling and we will get an extra pound on your wages”, coupled with “a fair days work for a fair days pay” it is little wonder so many people wanted to join unions.  There was a simple truth in the phrase “unity is strength” it actually meant something in those days.

Anyway, the point is that our movement was a success, because it put money into people’s pockets, that’s why we became popular. It might not be the pretty sanitised romantic version of our history that so many like to foster, indeed many seem to think that our story started with the creation of the NHS, they don’t seem to realise that this was a destination point.

So here we are Scotland 2016, the councils we still control have yet another council tax freeze and we have to cut services and pay off workers. It’s worth remembering that these councils are democratically elected and that the people voted us in to deliver these services. Therefore it’s an affront to democracy to not allow councils to either raise or cut council tax as they see fit, if the people don’t like it they can vote the council out.

If we were going to raise tax anywhere it should have been in the councils we control, we should have fought the SNP over this matter. We should have sent out a strong and clear message that a Labour council will fight for local democracy and defend services. Sadly, this did not happen and the Scottish Labour Party leadership lay down to the SNP. In effect the Labour controlled Scottish councils were sacrificed on the mantle for the 2016 Scottish Parliament elections.

Of all the positive things we could have offered the electorate we came up with a tax rise. It’s like here come this labour mob again and they just can’t wait to get their hands into your pockets!

We could have said something like, we will build X amount of council houses, we will pay employers part of the benefit money to take on the unemployed, we will create enterprise departments to bring in inward investment and jobs, we will get everyone working which will in turn raise enough overall tax to have both a penny tax cut and improve public services. There are so many positive things that we should and could have proposed, but simply failed to do.

Trying to campaign in this election was a feat in itself; you needed a fair bit of front to knock the doors of with our message. This wasn’t helped by the fact that our manifesto wasn’t released until the week before the election. Basically you were going round the doors with the candidate’s leaflet (which was printed well in advance) with no policies on it. When you asked “why is this?” you got the answer that “they don’t want to bring the manifesto out early in case the SNP copy it”! When the manifesto eventually surfaced the “big” surprise policy was a breakfast club in every school, stone me, that will get them queuing for miles outside every polling station.

So there you have it, we are a party that supports the union but then again we may support independence, you might not earn much, in fact you may well be part of the working poor, but never mind we will slam some more tax on you. We think it’s a good idea to launch our manifesto after the postal votes have been cast. Furthermore, we’re not too concerned about the creation of a police state, or having every family spied upon, all these things really don’t bother us too much. We are also pretty relaxed about letting the SNP decimate our council services and local democracy. To top it off, one of our flagship policies seems to be putting out a bowl of cornflakes for school kids.

Vote Scottish Labour?

Say No to the SNP Named Person scheme

The SNP Named Person scheme will take effect on Scottish families from this August. This deeply sinister, mandatory scheme has been brought in under the guise of “child protection”.

School children will be encouraged to imagine Scotland as a garden, with each child as a special plant growing within it. All the adults in a child’s life, including their parents are to be “gardeners”, while the state-appointed Named Person will fulfil the role of “Head Gardener”.

The “Head Gardener” will be the most important person in a child’s life. The child’s parents will have no right to any information shared between the “Head Gardener” and their child. The SNP government is currently gathering “survey” information about children and their parents in selected primary schools. Unfortunately, this is only the thin end of the wedge, as today’s voluntary anonymous “survey” will soon be tomorrow’s compulsory fact file.

The state has no business interfering with family life to this degree, not even under the emotive pretext of child protection. To make every child a ward of the state is tantamount to operating a spy ring. This practice was last seen in Hitler’s Germany and Stalin’s Russia. The SNP Named Person scheme amounts to gross state interference in family life. Its purpose seems to be to mould the hearts and minds of children into the image of the state. All freedom-loving citizens have a duty to oppose this heinous totalitarian legislation.

Why are parents not taking to the streets over this issue? Perhaps because most parents do not know about this policy and if they do, they are genuinely terrified of complaining or refusing to cooperate. Many parents fear dissent will heighten the risk of having their names blacklisted, or their child being flagged up a on a social work register.

We all have a duty to protect the rights of parents. So grandparents, aunts, uncles, family and friends, who do not have young children, should help to stand up for parents who cannot act, for fear of being victimised.

The SNP are taking the people of Scotland to a very dark place.