British Labour’s sole electoral strategy in Scotland is to provide former British Labour in Scotland (BLiS) voters with an excuse to ‘come home’. In the election just past that excuse was Jeremy Corbyn. This was BLiS saying to their disaffected supporters, “Look! We’ve repainted your room the way you always liked it!”. That didn’t work. It failed to tempt back the voters BLiS lost to the SNP. A rethink was required.
The trouble with this is that BLiS isn’t really equipped for rethinking. or any kind of thinking. For the past decade or so they’ve got by on knee-jerk reactions powered by an intellect-crippling resentment of the SNP. That’s what drove them to collude with the Tories in Project Fear, as the anti-independence campaign in the 2014 referendum came to be called. In that campaign, it wasn’t so much their devotion to the British state’s structures of powers, privilege and patronage which drove BLiS as their mindless hatred of the party which, as they saw it, had deprived them of their rightful status. The hard-line Unionism was still there, of course. But, unlike the British Conservative & Unionist Party in Scotland (BCUPS), this was overlayed with corrosive rancour towards the SNP.
Subsequently, BLiS reacted to the fact that the 2014 No vote didn’t cause the SNP to evaporate, not by developing a new electoral strategy of its own, but by trying to out-Brit the Tories. They watched as Ruth Davidson was crowned Queen of the BritNats and thought they might compete for that crown. So they engaged with BCUPS in a contest to see which could win the support – and votes – of the staunchest British Nationalists. And they lost again. !n the 2017 UK general election, the Ruth Davidson No Democracy Unless We Are Guaranteed To Win Party hoovered up all the rabid Unionist votes.
The point being that BLiS will jump on any bandwagon that looks like it might take them back to the good old days of uncomplicated two-party politics and BLiS hegemony in Scotland. And that is what they are doing now.
You can’t be a British politician in Scotland unless you have a turning circle no bigger than your shoe size. Look at how, in 2011 with the first SNP administration and the inevitability of a referendum, the British parties squatting in the Scottish Parliament went overnight from being fervently opposed to a constitutional referendum to the beneficent Brits whose natural inclination was to grant the lovely Scottish people their democratic wish. Look too at how some of those British politicians went into the 2016 EU referendum as avid Remainers only to emerge as the maddest of Mad Brexiteers.
So, it is no real surprise to find BLiS changing their tune on a new independence referendum. Yesterday’s divisive catastrophe for Scotland will, by week’s end, be an essential exercise in democracy that will heal wounds and bring the country together blah blah blah. BLiS has always been in favour of a new referendum just as Oceania has always been at war with Eastasia.
British Labour will betray Scotland. That simple statement has become one of the great truisms of Scottish politics. Like the BBC’s British Nationalist propaganda and John Curtice’s dandruff, British Labour’ duplicity is a fact of Scottish political life. If BLiS is jumping on the indyref2 bandwagon it is only to be in a better position to put a spoke in the wheels of Scotland’s independence campaign. We trust BLiS at our collective peril.
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6 thoughts on “Trust not the Brit! For he is as a snake in the grass!”
Excellent. Any organisation with the word “British” in it can never be trusted. The “Britishness” of things is so enmeshed that it is normal. This is what so many simply do not understand.
I live in the constituency now represented by a cardboard nonentity whose only policy was to defeat the SNP, and who was victorious only because more Tories swung to her than Labour supporters to Mr Gethins. I feel this as a great loss both to the SNP’s throng at Westminster and to the constituency, for not only was he an excellent constituency MP, he was a most articulate spokesperson and held his own very well against the ravages of establishment hacks.
But apart from that, the disappointing result here in NE Fife is overshadowed by the euphoria elsewhere in the country. But there is a lesson here: beware of the LIbDems, they will not so easily change their only policy from stopping the SNP to supporting independence and they will willingly act as a proxy Tory party. For that is exactly what they did here. I know for a fact that the only campaigning work done by the Tory candidate here was discretely to implore his natural voters to lend support to the LibDem candidate – an ex copper – while of course publicly proclaiming that his was the party best placed to defeat the SNP.
What happened here is a sign that although there are indeed many Labour supporters in favour of independence, there are precious few LibDems who feel the same.
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There should be a “not” “… the LibDems will not so easily change their policy …”
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I’ll edit that so you don’t get folk jumping down your throat.
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It looks much better now thanks 🙂
Thanks Peter! Insightful as always!
I have made not of Labour’s policy to Scotland, compared with Kashmir in another place, previously.
It is interesting, that Labour support the right of Self Determination for Kashmir, and that stance actually alienated some Indian origin voters. A bit like some others, who feel they must support Israel, regardless of the fact they don’t actually live there!
But when it comes to Scotland, Labour have been totally opposed to Independence, and the very right of Scotland to have that decision made in Scotland.
We don;t hear ex Labour MP P.Sweeney rave on about having a Federal structure for Kashmir. But he thinks that is what might suit Scotland… based on London ideas of control, that is!
Richard Leonard, is now doing what Johann Lamont, and Kezy Dugdale did before him, and say they will “listen” but then goes on to say, we still need to be part of UK too!
The fact is, Labour has not changed, and we cannot trust anyone in Labour who claims they do want change.
Labour have learned absolutely nothing for what has gone on in Scotland the past few years.
They have learned nothing from their insane hatred of Independence, or even the very suggestion there is a vote on the matter.
We don’t want a rehashed Labour Party, stuffed with many opposed Independence, now pretending, to “care”, but we need a completely new pro Independence political Party, who will replace Labour, and not have these treacherous politicians in it, who betrayed this country.
Labour in Scotland, fully deserve to wiped out.
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