A letter from a lost voter

thomas stewartThomas Stewart is a student from Edinburgh, who wrote to Labour Hame following the election, and we’re grateful for his permission to publish the letter.

 

I did not write this to gloat and rant. I wrote this to try and help you understand those who feel abandoned by you. I apologise if it rubs salt into wounds that must still be aching. I know you must have heard all of this before. I just felt I needed to say it.

Like so many who voted for the SNP on the 7th, I feel deep sorrow for what has become of Labour in Scotland. I passionately supported an SNP vote in this election and as I did for a YES vote last September (even if I was only won over to the cause of independence around this time last year).

I felt you deserved to lose almost all of your MPs and cheered excitedly as one after another 40 of them fell. You deserved to lose this election, and lose it badly, and you’ll deserve to lose next year as well. But this does not mean the end of your party

I am 22 years old, and although I was too young to vote in 2010 I would have voted Labour if I could have. More pertinently when I did vote for the first time in 2011 I voted for you. When the SNP was sweeping all before it I voted Labour. If you can’t win me back there’s no hope of you ever winning an election in Scotland in a lifetime – never mind within the foreseeable future.

I want to have a situation where I can look at Labour and the SNP on an equal footing and support whoever seems best in each individual election, but you’re not on an equal footing at the moment. The Nationalists appear better than you in every conceivable way. But it doesn’t have to be this way.

I’m dumbfounded that as I write this Jim Murphy remains your leader – the man is poison. I’m sure you must have all known by October at the latest that the SNP were going to win a landslide, I certainly did, but there was no way it had to be anywhere near as bad as it was. You could have should have saved maybe half a dozen MPs, if you’d played a blinder you could have crept into double figures. Although the Nationalists had a great campaign, helped of course by the anti-Scottish rhetoric coming from across the border, much of this is down to Murphy himself.

I have only ever met one person, including some who were still backing Labour even this year, who thought Jim Murphy was doing a good job of leading your party. They were an ‘SNPout’ Tory supporting ultra-Unionist who ended up tactically voting Lib Dem. This is not a demographic to build upon.

Your campaign, and Murphy’s role in it, was as awful as it was inconsistent. When he was playing at being Tommy Sheridan-lite he appeared woefully insincere. When he was rambling about football and bizarre policy ideas like bringing booze back to matches he appeared ridiculous. Then in the dying day of the campaign when he returned to ultra-Unionism and second referendum ranting he appeared divorced from centre-left Scotland. You have to get rid of him, and you have to do it fast and clean.

But the biggest problem of all is that I have literally no idea who you are and what you stand for any more. If you’d asked me as recently as 2012 I’d have had an idea – even if you had problems it was clear what Scottish Labour was. Today I often wonder if you in the party even know.

Now is the time for you to look inwardly and decide who your are and what you want to be. Decide that first and then look outwardly at what the Scottish people are saying and try to see how you can fit your self image with the mood of the country. For the love of God stop defining yourself solely against the SNP – whether you like it or not they are a popular party for a reason and have stolen the clothes that you wore in the past. It is perhaps a good idea to be more like the SNP, not less.

Whilst it is not my place to say what I think your party should be I can say what I would love to see in the years to come. You don’t need to become a radical socialist party, although at least matching the SNP blow for blow on centre-left social democratic policies would be nice. You should have a structural advantage here – after this apocalyptic election its the SNP who have to appeal across society, and you can concentrate on trying to win back a niche of those open to policies further to the left than a party with national appeal can reach. Don’t tell me you do this right now. You don’t.

You don’t need to change your view on independence. Although I disagree with you that doesn’t mean I will always vote for a pro-independence party even if it does mean I will almost certainly vote YES again in any future referendum.

You do need to stop defending the constitutional status quo. Its time to make the party a crusade for Home Rule, Devo-Max, whatever you want to call it – the maximum possible amount of self government for Scotland. No, that doesn’t mean the Smith Commission recommendations. If we can get an adequate measure of Home Rule in Scotland then whilst many of us will still support independence in theory, we will be satisfied not to push for it in practice. Its the only way of saving your union and doing what is right by Scotland at the same time.

You do need to get your priorities straight when it comes down to what country you represent. Enough of this Murphy era ‘Jimmy-hat faux-nationalism’. People like the SNP because their loyalty is to Scotland and nothing else, and whilst you can never match this entirely you can make it clear that for Scottish Labour, Scotland comes first and Britain a very distant second. Total separation of Scottish and London Labour would be a big step in that direction.

Accept that you are going to lose next year, and probably do worse than 2011. That ship has already sailed. This doesn’t matter, it’s more important that you begin to build for the future. If you don’t there won’t be a Scottish Labour Party worthy of the name within a decade.

I may support the SNP at the moment, but my support is conditional and I want a Labour Party capable of being a credible opposition and an alternative. You simply aren’t one at the moment, and you have to realise this fact.

You have had warnings in 2007, 2011, 2014 and now 2015. Its time to start listening.

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30 thoughts on “A letter from a lost voter

  1. Great letter, Thomas. Expresses what many of us feel.

    There was a common consensus among voters that the main motivation behind Labour’s decision to back a No vote, and then to oppose Devo Max, was an awareness that they needed 40-odd Scottish MPs to have any chance of a Westminster majority. Now that ship has sailed, will we see a major shift on the UK constitution from Labour?

  2. I agree with much of this. I am an older ex Labour supporter and I believe the Labour malaise is much deeper than stated here. Jonathan Powell summed it up by saying that Labour in Scotland had become so powerful that it became rotten. I believe Scotland will clear the Parliament and the Councils of Labour and then rebuild. Tories will once again turn to anti-Scottish rhetoric so I fear for the Union but Labour can come back even in an independent Scotland which is by instinct left of centre.

  3. As a lifelong (until this election) Labour supporter until now, and an academic whose job it is to study the effect of social polices, I could not agree more with this. I disagreed with Scottish Labour on independence – I thought it would make sense for it to be the second party in a small, wealthy, social democratic country, and maybe even rule it once the euphoria had died down – and though I was slightly shocked at the unwarranted loyalty to WM & career over the country & values, I understood it. But the attitude since – the constant SNP-sniping when you should have been asking yourselves – why are they winning to social justice arguments? hang on, why are we not making the economic argument AGAINST austerity like a lot of left wing – and neoliberal – economists are doing? Why can we not tap into the feelings of aspiration AND social justice that are the characteristics of the people that would naturally support us? You need to take a long hard look at your party and LEARN from the SNP instead of bashing them – they are not racists, they appeal because they are in touch with the people and their priorities, and not afraid to stand up to Westminster and the media. You need to redefine Labour as the party OF THE PEOPLE – and not just ‘hard working’ people, but abandon austerity, bring back universalism (this benefits the middle AND the working classes), get rid of welfare sanctions, push for free higher education (never mind that it benefits the middle classes) support the public sector, take equalities seriously, stand up for Scotland – properly, devo max not mealy mouthed broken vows and Smith Commission compromises, fight PROPERLY for devo max AND Scotland AND the poor AND the public sector and you will win back those you have lost. I *want* to be able to vote for you – I was pro independence because I saw it was an opportunity to create a small social democratic country that broke free of the neoliberal stranglehold WM has on policy – but atm you are not a party I can trust – you lied to us, you let Ed Milliband be frankly racist about us, and you punish the very people I voted for Labour to protect. Learn so we can vote for you again. Please. don’t listen to spin doctors from London, listen to the Scottish people.

  4. A letter which does not reflect the bitterness and anger I feel towards Labour these days, it does however reflect how I feel they can and should change.
    Winning me back is a ship that may well have sailed but it is people like me that Labour needs to try hard for.
    As a lifelong socialist and TU official and the son of a Clyde yards TU convener I have my own bitter past with Labour who put me on the streets for 9 weeks in a national strike with little or no justification for doing so.
    Add to that Blair and the New Labour project and it makes me a lost cause….but I don’t hate Labour….I want them back.
    I need them back.

  5. Good piece.
    I’m an SNP supporter but believe that an effective opposition party is crucial to democracy.
    This piece nails many legitimate points but a basic problem for Labour in Scotland would be that there would be little mileage in being more like the SNP because we already have a popular, successful and well established one – why vote for a party that is like the SNP when you could just vote SNP ?

    If Labour in Scotland can successfully square that circle, then they may have a chance at recovery.

    Maybe a name change would be useful – the name ‘Scottish Labour’ comes with (to many people) the negative subtext of ‘branch office’ and ‘controlled by London Labour’.
    Retaining the ‘Scottish Labour’ name could be a drag-weight to future credible change as it looks like London Labour may be moving towards resurrecting the ghost of Tony Blair in an effort to find a successful strategy going forward.
    (not sure that this would play if adopted Labour in Scotland)

    It will be very interesting to see what form this new reconstructed Scottish Labour party will take. Time will tell.

  6. Interesting stance.

    Whilst I dont fully agree that Labour are so different to the SNP and nor are their policies not centre left in a number of areas, I think the point about being perceived as not ‘for Scotland’ rings true (I’ve said it myself a number of times).

    I agree that a pro-union/pro-federal Scotland is a way forward. The trouble is that if Labour now decide that is their tact then it looks like a cheap ploy, especially after years of appearing to fight against it.

    Plus – if Jim Murphy goes, then who replaces him? Kezia is not ready yet,and is being tarnished by being Jim’s deputy – so who else is there? Neil Findlay is gone. Dougie Alexander maybe?

  7. As someone who voted Labour on Thursday but who voted Yes in the referendum (yes, we exist too!), there are two key changes I think Scottish Labour needs to reverse the trend of losing voters to the SNP.

    1) As the letter above suggests, a split from the UK wide party would help. It is possible to share values but there needs to be a recognition that the direction of politics and therefore successful policies in England are at odds with the political direction of “traditional” Labour voters in England. This does not mean that many of the core values are different, but the political noise post-GE in England is that moving “back” towards New Labour rhetoric and policies is required. That is not going to go down well in Scotland. An independent Scottish Labour party could fight on its core values and specific policies in Scotland while agreeing to support the UK Labour Party at Westminster.
    This may not be that different to the present situation given we have a separate Scottish Parliament – but the perception at least among many is that Labour in Scotland is in tow to Labour in England – the “branch office” insult.

    2) If Scottish Labour can at least make themselves suitably distinct from the UK wide party, then the other change is the more radical one. I think Scottish Labour needs to declare itself neutral on the issue of Scottish Independence.
    I appreciate that that may be too big a jump for many within Scottish Labour right now. I also appreciate that it may be at odds with what those people see as one of their core values. The political reality however is that a number of people who are traditional Labour voters voted Yes in the referendum and now see the SNP as standing up for them even within the UK. The threat of “nationalism” and independence is not going away if the divide in Scotland remains. For Labour to represent the people that it traditionally represents, it needs to accept that the people it fights for are divided on the question of Scottish independence. It might win some of them back if it sends the message that it will fight for those people whether we’re part of the UK or not.

    The SNP are the dominant political force in Scotland and, wearing Labour clothes or not, are convincing a huge number of people that they best represent them. The best way Labour can change that is to actually represent those people, and in the current and indeed forseeable climate at least, is to be prepared to accept that some/many of those people are ultimately heart set on independence at some stage. The SNP just cleaned up at an election partly by saying that it wasn’t about independence. Scottish Labour might do better by moving on from that fight too.

  8. For me the killing blow for Jim Murphy was when UK labour had to issue corrections regarding cuts. Imagine that, a politician lying so much that his own party had to slap him down, because he was damaging their campaign.

    Love her or hate her Sturgeon give people a plain speaking leader, that is what is wrong with Murphy, its shouting, patronizing, spin and antics. That may have worked in the 80s and 90s, but we want substance.

    You have to win back those who voted yes, they are passionate, will always vote. Having a leader who refered to that 45% of voters as a virus is not going to help. He is an anchor who will drag down the labour party, time to let it go.

  9. “You don’t need to become a radical socialist party, although at least matching the SNP blow for blow on centre-left social democratic policies would be nice.”

    It has escaped young master Stewarts notice that the only genuine centre left social democratic policies the SNP have ever fielded were the ones they recently lifted from Labours Manifesto. What else has he gotten wrong.

    “Although the Nationalists had a great campaign, helped of course by the anti-Scottish rhetoric coming from across the border”
    Anti Scottish rhetoric which the SNP in no small way assisted by dashing around England telling English voters that the SNP would “Hold the Power” in westminster. What could possibly go wrong eh?

    How proportion of the 36% of the Scottish electorate who bought into the SNP rhetoric now find themselves with a degree of buyers remorse.

    1. Gareth you are proving what the young guy says. You can’t accept defeat and are blaming and sniping at the SNP. Some people never learn.

  10. I agree with most of what’s been said,but would also add they must get rid of the attitude that they will vote against any proposal from the SNP no matter how good it is for Scotland and not caring what harm their opposition is causing to the people of Scotland.Surely Scotland and it’s people must come first before the parties hurt pride and feelings..

  11. The very reason I am member of the Labour Party is because I want to support a movement that *does not* put ” Scotland… first and Britain a very distant second.”

    I joined a movement that puts people first; equality, social justice first and opportunities at the forefront and nationality; identity and geographic location a very, very distant last. I voted labour because I wanted to get an administration that would put people first *regardless* of their postcode.

    If that is at odds with the political wind in a region, then arguably, so be it. One of the SNP’s greatest achievements is being all things to all people without having to justify any of them. The SNP are so popular they can say or do anything. Does the Labour Party *really* want to be like that? Do Labour voters/members *really* want that? Does labour want to be a party that can offer populist gestures which will get them votes at continual expense to their core beliefs? (You may argue new labour was this, of course!)

    I think the writer is correct in some regards – the political ground has changed beneath Labour – and has been for some time. Labour is still there, hanging onto what they see as their beliefs, for what is becoming a left-leaning minority of progressive voters who don’t see flags as important; but for a majority across the UK their identity is now more important to them. Sad but true.

    If you need proof of this you only need to look at the election results. Labour offered an “old labour”, left of centre manifesto across the whole of the UK with strong redistributory policies and a costed alternative to austerity; and it was trounced at the ballot box. The alternative of populist nationalism on both sides of the line between the Solway Firth and Tweed mouth was accepted with open arms.

    I don’t think making the only difference between the SNP and Labour being the colour of their rosettes is an answer. I *do* think that the writer has it wrong in one respect- people *did* know what Labour stood for – they just don’t want it anymore. The politics of identity are winning.

    1. “I joined a movement that puts people first; equality, social justice first and opportunities at the forefront and nationality; identity and geographic location a very, very distant last.”

      Really? I must have miss the redistributive policies that would have funnelled money to Dublin, Calais, Oslo and Antwerp. The call for the abolition of all borders and world government. I swore I’d read the manifesto, but no sign of it.

      I’m sorry, but this crap doesn’t wash. You joined a movement that self defines in terms of the British state. Accepting the british state as the ‘standard’ polity unit for the making of political decisions is NOT a neutral position. It NEVER has been. It may not be blood an soil Britihs Nationalism, or ethnic or racist, but it is a British Nationalist position – albeit, at it’s best (i.e. when you aren’t doing odd anti-immigration mugs) a civic british nationalist postion.

      I mean, seriously, how could you have a ‘tough control on immigration’ stance and then for second claim nationality and geography don’t matter?? It’s pure cognitive dissonance!

  12. I agree very much with the last comment. The rise of nationalism sickens me. I voted Labour and will do so again. The SNP are happy to wear left clothes as it suits them just now in the cause of their larger priority – independence. It suits them there being a Tory government in power for the same reason. We don’t need a lurch to the right – or to the left from Labour. What we do need is leaders capable of articulating and communicating what the party stands for, reminding people of its achievements and batting away some of the baseless political rhetoric from Tories and SNP in particular. On these counts the leadership and the party both across the UK and in Scotland failed spectacularly. Milliband was an extremely poor communicator with almost no charisma and his attacks on the Tories didn’t even get as far as a dead sheep savaging.
    I really despair. We have a population seemingly thinking that simplistic answers like nationalism are the cure all for every problem. They will ultimately be disillusioned by that. The Labour Party, the party that truly represents the interests of ordinary working people, needs to get its collective finger out.
    In the recent election they were squeezed by the Nats promises of paradise in Scotland and by an entirely expected counter reaction in England to the rise of the SNP. Sturgeon et all knew entirely what they were doing when they talked about backing a Labour government and at the same time “dictating” to the UK Parliament. I for one despite voting Labour was unsurprised that the Tories got back in given the squeeze on Labour from two fronts. That was always going to be a tough fight, but it was made almost impossible by having such poor leadership.

  13. This letter chills me.

    As someone from a solidly Labour area in the former coalfield heartland of England, an area just as devastated to see a Tory government as anywhere in any other part of the UK, I would be devastated if Scottish Labour decided that the fight on behalf of kids in poverty in Scotland came first, and the fight for the kids in poverty round here came “a very distant second”.

    Not just because I believe it would mean that by standing apart, by allowing our cause to stop being a common one, we reduce the chances of being able to help those kids both North and South of the border.

    But because it would be Thatcher’s ultimate triumph. Scotland – who’ve shown the way in solidarity for so long – becoming the country of “help ourselves first”. “Make sure we’re OK.” “Look after number one.”” “Anyone else? A distant second. A very distant second.”

    If that happens, if this nationalism that’s anathema to socialism prevails, I fear we’re all lost.

    1. But why should we not help ourselves? We waited across 18 years of Thatcher/Major for our southern neighbours to catch on. You didn’t. Election after election, England voted for Tories while Scotland rejected them. And now we have watched as England lurched to the right. 54% voted for UCONKIP. In Scotland this combined vote was 17%. We can’t wait for you guys. See sense, and you can join us. Vote Tory and you must live with the consequences. The Labour governments of 1964 and January 1974 would have been lost without Scottish Labour MPs. It’s costing too much to continue in the union. Goodbye! We tried. We waited. This time you must be lost to us forever.

      1. Here’s my problem with this: neither “Scotland” nor “England” voted a single way, not in this election nor in any election in recent times, and any analysis which rests on the idea that they did falls immediately. Hell, even in this most recent SNP landslide, the majority of Scots voted for a party other than the SNP, and the Scottish Tory vote held up with over 430,000 Scots voting for them.

        But more fundamentally, comparison of results in Scotland and England is absurd. Scotland is 59 seats. England is 533 seats. Compare Scotland’s 59 seats to to London’s 73 seats, perhaps. That is a more rational comparison. Or compare us to NW England (75 seats) or NE England (29 seats). When you start doing that, you’ll see what a nonsense it is to claim that “England” voted Tory. Parts of England did. England as a whole most certainly did not.

        This is the same old lie about political differences happening at Berwick. It wasn’t true during the referendum and it’s still not true now. We have far more in common than we do to divide us.

  14. We need to listen to voices like this more. Whilst the text gives lots of reasons why Tom wanted to vote against Labour (and Jim Murphy), there is little about why we voted for SNP. This gives cause for hope.

    Tom does say “People like the SNP because their loyalty is to Scotland and nothing else”. Loyalty to Scotland is fine, but that is worth nothing if they are not delivering in government.

  15. I have to agree with many of the sentiments you articulate in your letter,some of them are what and clearly many others in the scottish electorate feel.
    Unlike yourself ive never voted Labour,was brought up in a staunch labour area amongst a Labour voting family but the Iraq war changed my politics in many ways so my ‘X’ has done to other parties since.

    I was a first time SNP voter in the election and indeed was active in campaigning,leaflet drops,manning polling station last Thursday.
    I’m a socialist somewhere to the left of Fidel Castro,many in the SNP define their politics very differently,it’s definitely a mixed marriage.
    I’ve never considered myself a nationalist of the see you Jimmy,bagpipes and shortbread type,I vote that way because I don’t trust either of the two parties who control Westminster.
    Neither do I see much benefit in Scotland being dictated too by English voters when clearly the two countries are politically very different,as evidenced by their huge combined vote for two right wing parties on Thursday.

    Another huge own goal for scottish labour was the negative campaigning and seemingly endless vitriol directed towards the SNP.
    It was bordering on obsession at time and was very off putting.
    Whoever thought it was a good idea for scots labour people to jump gleefully on that made up ‘memogate’ story from a Tory paper about Nicola Sturgeon needs a skelp about the ear.
    It was posted and tweeted manically by many connected with Scots Labour then blew up in your faces,was very embarrassing and gave impression,given the source,of Labour/Tory working together against SNP.

    Don’t underestimate as well the impact in working class communities,awakened from political apathy by the indyref,who have dutifully voted Labour for decades.
    Labour can’t run away from the fact that in scotland,all the most deprived areas are places that have been under their control (council,MPs etc) since time began,people have woke up and looked around asking ‘why after voting Labour 70 years here,has nothing improved?’.
    Providing answers to that and changing the complacent attitude Labour had towards those areas might begin some semblance of a recovery for your party.

    Can we please be spared also this ‘we aren’t nationalists’ mantra too.
    A party that campaigns on immigration control,even selling crass coffee mugs proclaiming it,can’t pretend it doesn’t have a whiff of nationalism about it.
    It doesn’t speak of international worker unity anyway.
    It’s still nationalism if your solidarity ends at Dover instead of Dumfries.

  16. @John Michael White.

    Scottish Labour put unionism above socialism.

    And an extreme type of unionism at that, in which Devo-Max was resisted instead of embraced, and the SNP was ridiculously portrayed by many of our activists as a 1930’s Nazi party.
    Surely, if Scotland has Devo-Max / Federalism, then Tory governments in England become less relevant as Scotland can elect socialist politicians with the powers to set our own policies, and reject others such as the bedroom tax.

    Why should Scotland have to suffer the full impact of another 5-10 years of Tory governments, when they only have 1 MP ?
    Why should we have to go along with the upcoming Blairite second coming?

    Most Labour people that live in the north of England would surely understand that. It would actually seem selfish in trying to stop us make changes.

    Devo-Max wouldn’t prevent Scottish MP’s contributing towards a future UK Labour government if that is your concern. But right now we are heading towards full independence in another few years if nothing changes. People will only put up with so much.

  17. I am another former Labour Party member (20 years) who is now an active member of the SNP. I am constantly puzzled by what I read from Scottish Labour about ‘nationalism’. Could someone explain why support for a national border at the Tweed makes me a ‘nationalist’, while one at the English Channel does not?
    I’m no more a ‘nationalist’ than Ed Miliband. Of course I care about workers on Tyneside, and in Peru (where I have family) and in Yemen, and everywhere else. And I am convinced that an independent Scotland will be a damn sight more ‘internationalist’ in outlook than post-imperial Britain will ever be.

    1. You hit the nail on the head. Using ‘nationalism’ as a shorthand for ‘Scottish nationalism’ is simply a way of hiding the underlying ‘British nationalism’ of the Labour establishment. We really need to move on from this.

    2. The idea that Britain is one nation (and that we are all “North Brits”) is hopefully long dead and buried.

      The difference to me is between a nationalist vision as expressed by Alex Salmond that “the people who live in Scotland are best placed to make the decisions that effect Scotland” with an internationalist vision that accepts that decisions taken in London will often effect Scotland, but only to the good if we have influence.

      Building our multi-national, multi-ethnic and multi-religious state will be for all our benefit, where as the nationalist dream of breaking up the UK will be a regressive step.

  18. Well written young man.

    Labour are bitching and crying.
    They are besides themselves with grief over the hammering they got in Scotland.
    Ignoring all the signs in Scotland they lied and cheated us out of our independence.

    I announced at the time, and every time I spoke to a Labour “Better Together” Campaigner, that the reason Labour wanted us to “Stay Together” was the fact that they relied on the Scottish Seats in a General Election to give them enough seats to get into parliament.

    Conservative Governments have been formed with only one seat in SCotland, they DO NOT need Scotland to be a Majority Government in Westminster and have never done so.

    I also advised Labourites to rethink their position and Break Away from Westminster and become a true Scottish Labour Party and not the Labour Party In Scotland.
    I also advised them in no uncertain terms what would happen if they went down the road of supporting Miliband.

    Miliband stood up the day after the Referendum was lost and made public the fact that he had no intention of keeping the promises made to Scotland by Cameron, Miliband and Clegg (Clegg, a blood sucking insect in SCotland).

    What he suffered as a result was as sure as being shot in the front line if you stood up in front of your enemy without a bullet proof vest.

    When Miliband drew his gun in this quick draw contest he shot himself in the foot firing his gun prematurely.

    Labour voters, must do what they told us to do when we lost the referendum, “shut up, you lost, you were defeated outright, accept the result and get on with your lives.”

    Personally, I think you got what you outright deserved, a good kick in the teeth.

    I have an old well phrased American saying that says it all, “Payback is a bitch, aint it.”

    1. I’m fascinated by the assertion that Miliband allegedly stood up the day after the referendum and said he wouldn’t keep the promises made. My recollection is that he confirmed he would do exactly what was promised. Can you elucidate how you have found in this a betrayal? Thanks.

      1. He’s maybe confusing Milliband and Cameron. It’s an easy mistake to make – posh Oxford PPE boys ;-).

  19. Very well said. What, indeed, does Scottish Labour stand for? I know what the SNP campaigned for: an end to austerity, no Trident renewal, more powers for Holyrood. I know what the Scottish Greens campaigned for: an end to austerity, no Trident renewal, public services in public hands, more powers to communities, £10 minimum wage by 2020. (Incidentally, Scottish Greens are an independent party, separate from the Green Party in England and Wales.) What did SLabour campaign for again? Booze at the football? Something about 1000 elephants, or maybe nurses? Largest party forms the government? £8 minimum wage at some point in the fuzzy future?

  20. The old saying that springs to my mind is ,Fool me once,shame on you ,Fool me twice ,Shame on Me. Well Labour not just in Scotland but throughout the UK have changed so much in the last 20 years they are no longer looking after the people they are looking after each other and their own political career and need a complete clearout from top to bottom .If that does not happen they cannot expect to continue pulling the wool over our eyes and DO NOT DESERVE ANY FURTHER BLIND LOYALTY

  21. Fine words Sir.

    The problem, as I see it, however is that within a unitary party Labour cannot triangulate right to pick up disaffected moderate Conservative voters at a UK level whilst simultaneously triangulating left to pick up SNP voters in Scotland. The two strategies are mutually exclusive. Nor can it avoid having to triangulate at all within a FPTP election structure.

    2015 has borne the fruits of this flawed strategy. No longer able to “out-Tory” the Tories, it lost England. Trying to do so, lost Scotland too.

    At least one of two things need to change to relieve this pressure.

    a) Break the Labour party into independent parties across the nations and allow each full reign for independent policy.

    b) Join the campaign for UK wide electoral reform and some form of PR so that people can actually vote for policies and parties can campaign on something a little more solid than “Vote X, Get Y”.

    https://thecommongreen.wordpress.com/2015/03/05/under-fptp/

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