John Ruddy says Labour contests elections in order to make lives better, and in local government winning the power to do that means forging coalition deals with other parties.

 

The purpose of the Labour party is to win power in order to deliver the change that makes the lives of working people better. It should be obvious, but sadly it seems that we need to restate it. It’s right there in Clause 1 of our constitution, and is as true in the council chamber as it is at Holyrood or Westminster.

In the recent local government campaign, local Labour parties across Scotland drew up their manifestos, reflecting our common Labour values but with policies and priorities that meet local needs. Some would have built on the work of an outgoing Labour-led council, while others would have sought to address the legacy of our opponents. And going into this election, everyone would have known there was very little chance of any party, in any council, getting the opportunity to run a majority in order to implement their policies unmodified. It was true under the old First Past the Post system, and its even more the case with the Single Transferable Vote system delivering results that better reflect the choices of the public.

So once the votes have been cast, and the verdicts given, it is up to Labour councillors up and down the country to find a way to implement as much as possible of their local manifesto pledges. In some councils this wont be possible, as there may not be enough Labour councillors to have influence. But in others we may be in a position to dictate to other parties. Everywhere will be different, and local circumstances, and local personalities will all play a part.

And here is whether another part of our constitution comes into play: Clause 4 says we achieve more together than we do alone. With so many councils lacking a single party majority, we can only achieve Labour policies by working together with others. We can only implement the good things, and just as importantly prevent others implementing the bad things, by being in power.

The best people to strike that balance, to decide which things are more important than others and what compromises need to be made, are the local people on the ground – the councillors and activists who worked to deliver the votes that got the party into its position of influence.

For many years Scottish Labour has been accused of being a “branch office” of London, working at the beck and call of the party in England. Recent rule changes placed power over policy, selections and much more squarely in Scottish Labour’s hands. So just as the party in Scotland is best placed to make decisions about Scotland, so the party in Edinburgh, Aberdeen or Dumfries is best placed to make the decisions about their communities, and how best to represent them.

That’s why each local party writes its own manifesto and runs its own campaign. The alternative is to have Labour’s ruling Scottish Executive Committee write the manifesto for each and every council in the country, manage the local negotiations and only form an administration if it is implemented in full.

The choice is ours. One option is to always be sat on the sidelines, carping at those with power but never taking on responsibility, never actually standing up for those we represent, and ultimately letting down the people who need Labour values and Labour policies the most. The other option is to seek power through compromise. For without power, we cannot serve. And a chance to serve, that is all we ask.

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76 thoughts on “A chance to serve

  1. Sometimes you read an article that leaves you stupified. No mean feat in these heady days of political tsunamis.
    With every passing day , Scottish Labour contradicts the truism that altruism is at the core of it’s DNA.
    The evidence is of course to the contrary.
    The scramble to hold on to the coffers in Aberdeen and willingness to form anti SNP alliances in many areas, contradicts this authors assertions.
    In fact Labour is delusional.
    Only a short time ago it stood againt SNP universalism and for means testing., Now it claims it believed in universalism all along and it is Socialist to do so.
    Furthermore they call the SNP the ”Tartan Tories’ for also embracing it. Yet only Labour are willing to embrace local alliances with their supposed polar opposites. Something Duncan, our centrist host called for in his recent article.
    The truth is Labour are obsessed with unionism and consumed with hatred of the SNP.
    In many areas on the ground this conflict is bubbling through as constitutional alliances with The Tories.
    Scottish Labour are talking the talk of progessiveness but one look at Aberdeen and it’s not difficult to see their real motivation.
    Sadly this has nothing to do with advancing social justice.

  2. No matter how you try to spin it, Labour asked voters in Aberdeen to vote for those ideas & values you mentioned on a clear understanding, repeated regularly by Kezia that there would be no deals with the Tories.

    Labour voters in Aberdeen have been betrayed & the Red Tory epithet has never been more fitting. The councilors who did this must be permanently expelled, not just a short term suspension in the hope that people forget what they’ve done. Otherwise how can Labour ever again condemn the Lib Dems for propping up a Tory govt at Westminster when they’ll have done the exact same thing at local Govt level.

  3. I read this with interest and couldn’t help but notice that there is no mention that Labour councillors are forming coalitions with Conservatives. In the past as a Labour voter, I would NEVER have envisaged any Labour candidate agreeing with or working with a Conservative, and today the form of Conservatism on display is even more right-wing.

    It seems we have fallen down the rabbit hole. You won’t win back my vote by these actions, and this for attempt at justifying them.

    1. So how about SNP Councillors doing a deal with the Conservatives. Don’ see any move by Nicola to suspend them!

  4. Defeating the National Socialists “transcends” everything.

      1. The Scottish Labour Party is infested with both fully blown and closet nationalists.

        They should be shown the door.

        The SNP can have them.

        1. So you’re not a Nationalist then Andy? You don’t recognise or acknowledge your own National identity?

        2. Andy,
          How bitter are you? Scottish Labour, you reckon, are infested by nationalists. (that is nasty terminolgy. That is how proper National Socialism, Nazi style spoke. I am surprised Duncan let you away with it).
          You think, (in Andy’s world) that you can just open the door and they will all leave. Andy says ‘get out, your not welcome any more’. Problem solved.
          Lets say for the fun of it Scottish Labour is ‘infested’ with nationalists. How are they going to vote next month? Not Labour, them being nationalists, theyre going to vote SNP. Whiich leaves the few, the very few, staunch Scottish Labour Unionists, defending the ramparts of the branch office, how are they going to vote? having nothing left to believe in, except a pathilogical hatred of the SNP, no brainer that one, they are going to vote Tory.
          I bet you, Andy, I bet you anyting you want, if you were to be honest, and have the balls to admit it, you are about to vote for The Conservative Party for the first time in your life. You know how I know this? because I know that you know. Labour are dead.

          1. “I bet you, Andy, I bet you anyting you want, if you were to be honest, and have the balls to admit it, you are about to vote for The Conservative Party for the first time in your life.”

            Richard

            As said before, on more than one occasion……………I would vote for a Tory, a Liberal or even a dancing dog; if they were best placed to boot the SNP OUT.

            And I would urge anyone else who is serious about defeating the anti democratic fascist SNP, to do the same.

            Got it?

          2. “Andy,
            How bitter are you? Scottish Labour, you reckon, are infested by nationalists. (that is nasty terminolgy. That is how proper National Socialism, Nazi style spoke. I am surprised Duncan let you away with it).
            You think, (in Andy’s world) that you can just open the door and they will all leave. Andy says ‘get out, your not welcome any more’. Problem solved.”

            Richard

            The Scottish Labour Party is infested with Scottish nationalists; just like this comments section!

            We have a fifth column of nats trying to destroy us from within. They should be shown the door.

            If you’re a National Socialist the SNP is the party for you; there’s no place for you in the Scottish Labour Party, as we’re committed to remaining part of our beloved United Kingdom.

            To sum it up;

            We’re Better Together and you’re Bitter Together.

            Labour dead?……in your dreams……….
            ……only in your wildest dreams…..

    1. Who are the National Socialists you speak of? Your mendacity is definitely “transcendent” but is a real indication of the desperation of your ilk.

        1. The only people who believe that are rockets who have no self-awareness of the fact that it is actually themselves who espouse the policies of national socialists.

        2. Andy, I’ve looked at your comments for quite a time now and always put off commenting. However, I find myself now having to ask, in a spirit of genuine enquiry: do you have mental health issues?

          1. Mic11 & Gordon

            In the Second World War – when Hitler’s Nazis were threatening to invade our beloved United Kingdom.

            Labour, Conservatives and Liberals stood together, shoulder to shoulder, in unity to form a National Government to defend our great nation against the SNP’s sister party – The National Socialist German Workers’ Party (Nazi Party).

            The SNP were itching to deal with the Nazis and to run Scotland as a puppet dictatorship on their behalf.

            http://www.scotsman.com/news/mi5-file-links-former-snp-leader-to-nazi-plan-1-1103305

            I would vote for a Tory, a Liberal or even a dancing dog; if they were best placed to boot the SNP OUT.

        3. Then why is every single far-right, fascist, and neo-Nazi group active in the UK today proudly and vocally Unionist in their politics? This is obvious to anyone who keeps their eyes open. The names are a bit of a giveaway. British National Party, British National Front, Britain First, Britannica Party, Traditional Britain Group…

          The flag they tend to wave (the Union Jack) is also a useful wee clue to where their Loyalties lie.

          Even in the run-up to WW2, by far the most dangerous and subversive Nazi sympathizer in Scotland was Captain Archibald Maule Ramsay.

          He was an Ayrshire MP for the Scottish Unionist Party:

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Archibald_Maule_Ramsay#The_Right_Club

          1. BobDobbalina

            FACT – The SNP are Europe’s oldest surviving fascist party.

            FACT – The SNP were a sister party of The National Socialist German Workers’ Party (Nazi Party).

            FACT – The SNP were planning to run Scotland as a puppet Vichy style dictatorship on the Nazis behalf.

            The BNP, THE NF, Britain First………they would be beside themselves, give their right arms, be cock a hoop………..to have the genuine fascist/Nazi pedigree of the SNP.

            Stronger For Scotland?

            Pass the sick bag.

        4. Essentially what you are saying is that those who support SNP/national self-determination are not normal people (of the less than desirable ‘type’). What an utterly deluded and strategically stupid insult. Many SNP/Independence voters once voted Labour.

  5. I wonder whether I might offer a comment from a Labour party member, before the torrent of SNP abuse spews forth against this ill advised article?

    It suggests that compromise is a good thing in this instance-presumably you had the Aberdeen fiasco at the front of your thoughts. The implication being that with power you will get some Labour policies in. Will not compromise mean that you also gain some Tory policies as well? Of course it will. This to you is a price worth paying for power.

    Kez has stood against this because she recognises that fact. She also recognises that in the eyes of the people who voted for Labour this would be a profound betrayal. She also recognises the long term costs to Labours identity.

    John, I know little about you, but would infer the following–you are a Progress supporter, you are strongly anti Corbyn and that the Labour manifesto has many aspects (especially Nationalisation) which disturb you. That last suggestion may be an inference too far. Why not let us know

    Those who oppose coalitions with the Tories are not crazy left wing fantasists but realists. They are those who truly want a Labour victory. Your self image may be as a pragmatist. In fact you are losing touch with your values.

    1. The Aberdeen debacle must be a fascinating thing to watch, Adrian, for those Labour councillors in East Lothian who had been running the council in coalition with the Tories for the past 5 years. I wonder if now, in retrospect, they question whether cooperating with the Conservative party was a price worth paying for power (amongst other things to bring in parking charges in beach car parks) or whether they lost touch with their values, just a bit. I believe they now plan to run a minority administration, bless them. Better late than never. Who do you think managed to put a bit of backbone into them, Jeremy or Kezia?

      1. And for those SNP councillors in South Ayrshire who had been in coalition with the Tories there. Including one Councillor Sturgeon. Did they lose their values, or does this hyperbole only apply to Labour folk?

        1. I’m not sure what that this has to do with the SNP.

          However, as a somewhat senior local authority Union rep I can safely say that the Labour/Tory coalition that has run my council for the last 10 years has spawned the most Thatcherite management ethos I’ve ever encountered, and I worked for HMG in the 1980s.

          1. Jim explicitly criticised the decision made in 2012 to go into coalition with Tories. I think it’s highly relevant to point out that the SNP made the same decision in 2012 in a different council area. Jim suggested the 2012 decision meant Labour had lost their values. I asked the perfectly reasonable question as to whether the same applied to the SNP.

            I’m not sure why you think your opinion of a different council area is more relevant than mine?

  6. The irony is that the Tories are doing everything they can to lose the election while Labour does everything it can to prevent the Tories losing the election.

  7. Welcome to the wonderful world of Kezia Dugdale, where constant bad judgement somehow passes for “principled” leadership.

    A truly crazy, frightening world; where politically correct virtue signalling and the appeasement of the SNP reign supreme.

    A world, where no matter how bad it gets, we can all look “forward”, to the certainty of Kezia’s continued “leadership” until at least 2021.

    Welcome to Labour Hell.

  8. Welcome to the wonderful world of Alex Rowley, a mystical twilight zone, where claiming to be neither a “nationalist” nor a “unionist” is passes for logical thought.

    A madcap world; where you can “marvel” at Alex’s unique brand of crypto nationalism, as he constantly seeks to undermine the “leadership” of Kezia Dugdale.

    A world, where no matter how bad it gets, we can all look “forward”, to the certainty of Kezia’s continued “leadership”, because………. at least she isn’t Alex Rowley.

    Welcome to Labour Hell.

    It’s like playing Russian roulette with a fully loaded gun.

  9. I think I have finally figured out this article, it is for labour “power before your principles” and there we go, straight forward labour values.

  10. Trying to defend the indefensible. Why bother?

    You have just made the Labour party in Scotland look even more hopeless. It is another nail in your coffin and further progress towards Scotland having a political system even more our of sync with the rest of the UK. I was a member, but would rather gouge my eyes out with a rust spoon that vote for these unprincipled and deceitful ‘Labour’ members.

  11. “So just as the party in Scotland is best placed to make decisions about Scotland,” – once again delusion among Scottish Labour supporters. The party in Scotland is a branch office (according to the Electoral Commission). Therefore, there can only be 1 manifesto and that comes from the Labour Party (UK).

    1. I wonder how you will explain it, therefore, when the Scottish manifesto is launched next week?

      1. Will “the Scottish Manifesto” back the renewal of Trident; a UK Labour policy, with lots of defence moneys scattered around to ensure very good engineering and techie jobs all round England, building and refitting the boats and warheads.—-OR–
        —– not back the renewal of Trident; a Scottish Labour policy, where there are very few actual Scottish jobs involved (mostly cooks, cleaners and security guards on the base) and the policy endangers a huge part of Scotland’s population?

        Then we can see if the party in Scotland is a branch of the Labour party (UK) or is a self governing entity.

      2. If it is truly independent manifesto it will differ with the UK manifesto thereby being easily ripped apart by opponents as confusing, or it will be identical rendering a waste of time & scarce Scottish Labour party resources.

      3. There is no Scottish labour manifesto. You are the same party in Scotland, England, and Wales. Same manifesto, Same paedophiles, same racists, Same war criminals.

        Same old english wanksocket Duncan. Just fuck the fuck out of my country.

    2. Actually not true, Gordon. the Electoral Commission accepts the Scottish Labour Party as an acceptable depiction on the ballot papers.

      1. Maybe as a “depiction” but it’s still just the one party – the UK party.

  12. Can I point out the blindingly obvious. At local level, you shouldn’t really be able to put a fag paper between the SNP and Labour on most policies. Both parties are centre left. You should be able to park a bus between Labour and the Tories, however. Tories are NOT centre left.

    These blatantly obvious facts are the reason people are especially up in arms about this particular scenario (coupled of course with the stench of a political stitch up given the comparative number of councillors gained).

    The Lib Dems should also take a hard look at themselves for ruling out power sharing with the SNP and allowing a Tory administration instead. people are annoyed at this precisely because they don’t want local politics to be about the constitution, but policy. Of course, sometimes the numbers dictate an unlikely or non-ideal coalition is necessary – not so here.

    1. The SNP isn’t centre left in national politics though. It has spent ten years slashing taxes and slashing public services. It has redistributed wealth from the poor to the rich, and it got the backing of the Tories both in opposing Labour’s progressive tax plans and in pushing through its own APD tax cut plans. The SNP nationally has been a conveyor belt for Tory cuts because they believe that’s how they persuade people to vote for independence. Even in local government this is partly echoed – it was the SNP who championed privatising refuse provision in the 2007-2012 administration in Edinburgh, and they were only persuaded to dump the policy at the eleventh hour by Labour. That said, the Lab/SNP coalition from 2012 to 2017 was successful, and delivered the bulk of the Labour manifesto pledges, because indeed on local issues there are many things in common between the parties. It’s not about national politics.

      1. So we’re agreed, The Aberdeen councillors have made a grave error of judgement that damages the party?

        1. I am personally surprised at this.
          Dugdale has dug a huge hole for herself with her colleagues who are, of a matter of course, mostly Blairites in Scotland. Labour councillors in Scotland have built a reputation for being self serving and pompous ( not all; there are many first class people as well).
          It hasnt mattered for years as local government was mostly off the radar, but now its a new wound for Labour to bleed support out of. Who, in Aberdeen, will vote for them now?
          Perhaps Dugdale is throwing in the towel?

          1. Being a Blairite should still make you closer to the SNP, politically, than the Tories. Indeed, as Duncan argues the SNP have been largely centrist as opposed to left-wing during government.

            I have a fair amount of sympathy for Dugdale here, what else can she do but condemn and uphold the party policy. She can’t stop 9 belligerent councillors defying democracy and becoming independents despite standing under the Labour banner…

          2. Callum, when I was somewhat younger than I am now, Scottish Labour was a by-word for solidarity and cohesion: sure there were internal disputes about direction and policy, but in public there was a united front. Now it’s like herding cats, both in Scotland and the UK.
            Corbyn will lose this election with the delighted cheers of many Labour MPs ringing in the background.
            I cannot see any future for him or Dugdale as leaders, but that won’t be the end of it. There is a lack of political cohesion, of social empathy for those Labour seeks to represent, of basic loyalty to the “party”, of any sense of common direction of travel.
            Will those who backed Corbyn back any new leader, given how he has been treated by MPs?
            Scotland is even worse. Dugdale cannot survive but who is there to replace her? Every party has factions and wings, but labour is like a Maoist party, with revolution round every corner.

      2. What do you mean ‘slashing taxes’?
        You can’t be talking about the council tax freeze surely?
        As you well know the Labour party supported it!
        Meanwhile Corbyn is busy copying many of the univeralist policies of the SNP.

      3. “The SNP isn’t centre left in national politics though”

        So why is Labour able to claim their manifesto is centre left when all of their centre left policies within the manifesto have been policy in Scotland since 2007?

        1. What you say isn’t true, Mike. And I weary of telling you that.

      4. I really don’t know what you would have the SNP do about the Tory cuts. Is there an adequate solution? I think it’s really difficult to ask Scots to pay more taxes just to get their heads back to where they’d be pre-Tory cut without knowing what’s happening in the next budget. It’s just such an odd system with Barnet consequentials…takes no account of need at all.

        I’m genuinely all ears. What’s the solution?

        As far as I see it, Labour and the SNP are more or less the same party apart from the constitution (bar a few on either side). Would be good to see them working together for normal people. Together they could really push the Tories out. I don’t see why everyone has to be so hateful.

        1. I don’t understand why people find this such a tricky question. The Tories have cut taxes. They’ve increased tax bands and reduced tax burdens on people. The SNP have done the same with council tax. Every year an explicit and deliberate decision to reduce the incomes of government. They both sell this as relieving the burden of working people. They both cut public services as a result of having less money to spend. Oddly, one gets applauded and the other gets upbraided. The electorate is fickle.

          If you want to prevent teacher shortages, overcrowded classrooms, underfunded NHS services, public sector pay freezes and so on and so on, you have to start bringing more money in.

          Both the SNP and the Tories say they want to do this by growing the economy. The Tories tell us everything will look up once we unhook ourselves from the terrible clutches of the EU. The SNP tell us everything will look up if we detach ourselves from the dead hand of Westminster. Handily this allows them off the hook when, in government, they fail to grow the economy.

          Labour wants to grow the economy too, of course. We don’t think that separating ourselves from our major markets is the way to do that, but then neither could any rational human. But we also recognise that without reversing some of the endless Tory and SNP tax cuts we simply won’t be able to deliver the public services that so many working and non-working people rely on.

          Here’s the bottom line: the SNP have sold us the line for a decade that if only they had the right powers, they could show how much better off Scotland could be. And every time major new tax and spend powers were brought in, they’ve said it’s not enough. Labour has pointed out what you can now do with the tax and spend powers of the Scottish Parliament, and people like you, who profess to hate the tax cutting ideology of the Tories, persist in saying that it would be unfair to reverse even a tiny amount the Tory tax cutting policies. Can you explain it?

          It’s extremely difficult to see the SNP in government as anything more than a con. They have the power to increase spending but they actively prefer to cut it as long as the people continue to believe that it’s the fault of Westminster. Because their only aim is independence, and blaming an “other” is at the heart of nationalism. What I don’t understand is why clearly intelligent people like yourself don’t see it. Which part of this argument do you dispute? Do you really think reversing *some* Tory tax cuts would be unfair? Do you really think the Scottish Parliament doesn’t have enough powers?

          I really don’t know what you would have me say. Labour argues for better public services, and to reverse the endless tax cuts and spending cuts of the Tories and the SNP. How can you possibly argue against them?

          1. I think it’s easier to have a real, long term tax policy when you control the size of the grant as well.

            They don’t control the grant.

            The Scotland Act is a dog’s dinner and doesn’t allow for proper responsibility or accountability. Both sides can legitimately blame the other.

            I believe the Council tax has been increased in my area.

            Yes, I do not believe people on less than 30k should be paying more in taxes than they currently are.

            I’m also not convinced budgetting by any party is done with much sense other than looking at % ups and downs from the previous year. Very little work seems to be done on what priorities actually cost.

            I’m merely sympathetic to the view that Labour and the SNP should work together. The Tories are far worse. We can have a referendum on the issue of indepedence, it’s upto the people, but once the Tories are in, we don’t’ get a referendum on what they want to do to various aspects of our lives.

            Neither the SNP or Labour are perfect but I think they probably try their best for people. The Tories try their best with a world view that doesn’t understand normal people.

  13. I’m puzzled by this article. Labour doesn’t have any councillors in Aberdeen.

  14. As a labour party member. I don’t understand how any deals can or should be done with Tories. The councillors in Aberdeen you knew what would happen . Our Leader Kezia has been seriously undermined by this. If deals have to be done then anyone but the tories

    1. I can understand that position if the same prohibition is applied to deals with the SNP. After all we’ve been arguing, correctly, for several years that the SNP are choosing to pass on Tory austerity rather than using the extensive powers at their disposal to reverse it. It was the SNP who cut council budgets in February by £167m, not the Tories. So if there are to be no deals with Tories, how can there be deals with the SNP?

      1. What specific power can the SNP use to reverse Westminster Tory policy Duncan? Surely the place to oppose Westminster imposed policy is in Westminster? Something Labour continually ideologically fails to do.
        The cuts imposed across the whole of the UK are a direct result of Labour failing to oppose the policies who instead abstain or vote for the cuts.
        You’ve been told this many times already but continue to ignore all reality because reality doesn’t look on Labour with favour. Reality condemns Labour across the whole of the UK.

        1. Reality is that the Tories have a majority in Westminster, Mike. Labour voted against the policies you claim to oppose, not that you care about honesty, but we didn’t have enough votes to stop them. That’s the same reason why when the SNP vote against stuff it doesn’t stop it happening. You don;t seem to blame them for basic arithmetic; why do you blame Labour for it? Feel free not to answer, I am fairly fed up of your vacuous witterings today.

          1. Labour abstains when it should oppose as a result they have failed to stop Tory welfare policy because the numbers could have been on the side of the dissenters.
            Another reality you choose to deny because you’re as corrupt and dishonest as the worst kind of people you find in politics and everybody is sick and tired of people like you infesting political discourse with wilful horseshit.

          2. The numbers could not have been on the side of the dissenters because the Tories have a MAJORITY.

          3. Difference is that Unionists want Scotland to be ruled by the Westminster parliament, even when it has a very right-wing Tory majority intent on doing great damage.

      2. Sorry Duncan I cant agree on this. Margaret Thatcher destroyed Scotland. In 83 after surviving 6 rounds of redundancy I was laid off the factory was closing. I remember on the last day as we lined up at the pay office we were singing aye yell go and we shall overcome. I also remember a conversation I had with a workmate he said this place will still be here long after we are gone
        When the factory closed I met the owner of the shop just outside the gate. I told him what had happened. He said right away that’s my business gone and it was along with the rest of that industrial estate.
        I was fed up with complaining about unemployment so I decided to do something about it I joined the labour party in those days we used to take to the streets to campaign against unemployment and to support the NHS.
        We don’t seem to do these things now.
        I am 62 and still very bitter about the tories . I saw grown men crying when they lost their job . They had families to feed. I walked along a road crying at 2am when we got paid off . I swore never again.
        That factory in the mid nineties while working for the council they decided to knock it down . I was not involved but I was sent to show the wrecking crew round the factory .I stood on the spot where I had that conversation years earlier. I remembered that conversation
        One of my pals like me a life long labour voter has said a few times . During the miners strike if the SNP had not been a wasted vote we might have done it to protect our selves .
        Well the SNP are no longer a wasted vote they are in power at Holyrood and 50 odd MPS at Westminster has anybody sat down and worked out how it happened.
        Having said all that there are young people in my CLP coming through full of enthusiasm fighting and winning elections . Our manifesto is something I have been waiting years for .
        I have experienced to many tory budgets .The NATS to their shame did pass on the Austerity cuts at Holyrood . One way to bring that home to them is to engage at a local level to keep the tories out

        1. I think maybe you misunderstood my meaning, David. I was saying I can understand barring deals with the Tories on the basis that they are imposing austerity if we also bar deals with the SNP on the basis they are imposing austerity.

          It makes little sense to me to do one but not the other.

          1. We saw on Sunday night what happens when political leaders meet the public. Our FM had trouble coping. The nurse nailed her its a pity they then said things about her and had to apologize . I was also very impressed with the man who spoke of his mental health problems. I cant to this day talk to tories I wish it was different .I don’t like being so bitter.
            I cant forget what Maggie did and she got away with it. Now we are on our way out of Europe and if they get a big majority at the election Mother Tereasa will take us back to Maggie.
            But we will still be in there fighting

          2. David, I never suffered to any degree under Thatcher but so many did. Moreover, we still live with her legacy. The truth is that until now, that legacy has not been fundamentally challenged. Indeed Mr Blair (two days ago) talked about her as ‘a towering political figure’ and said ‘I always thought my job was to build on some of the things she did rather than reverse them’ he also said she had been ‘immensely kind’ to him. So that is OK then..

            The problem has been that her mantra of ‘there is no alternative’ had largely been accepted in the Labour party despite some positive policies here and there. Sadly I fear those in Progress will not accept the Manifesto (they rarely talk about it)- a document which does in essence challenge A Thatcherite view. Progress MP’s plotted against Brown and even regarded Miliband as too left wing!

            I would be ever so pleased to hear Ian Murray talk about the Manifesto in positive terms and delighted to hear some ringing approval from Duncan either here or on his Twitter account.

            Corbyn has offered something new and hope-filled–and I only hope the Labour party will not go backwards.

      3. Once again I remind people that the Labour minority administration in North Ayrshire ruled out any deals with the Tories, who created austerity, and the SNP, who supported massive cuts to our services AND we have evidence that the SNP had a meeting with the Tory group leader looking for a deal. But in Nicola’s back yard nothing has been said. Funny that! Eh?

        1. Correct And both the Tories and the SNP have refused to comment .Labour as they said they would did no deals and are running the administration.

  15. It would be good if there were less party politics in local elections. Okay, i’m sure they all have their political biases but I wish candidates put forward their ideas for the town and worked to it as far as possible. Party politics kills all of this.

    By the by, I’m genuinely so disappointed Scottish Labour is making Unionism more of an issue than solidarity. You can’t our Union Jack the Tories and nor would I ever hope Labour of the working people would.

  16. Adrian thanks for your comment. I have been waiting years for that manifesto. Jeremy Corbyn for all his faults has not put a foot wrong in this campaign

  17. Its funny how theirs not a comment or article on this site about Jeremy Corbyns visit to Scotland this week and how he chapped the feet right oot fa under Scottish Labour with his willingness to accept Scotland’s people have a right to another referendum.

    Quite unlike fellow Scot and labour leader Kezia Dugdale, who will try and block her fellow Scots from that democratic right.

    Scottish Labour, you wallow in your own shame.

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