Jim O’Neill says the snap general election shows the arrogance of the Prime Minister, and the First Minister’s attitude shows her hubris. Labour must stand up to them both.


So, in the middle of the local authority elections, which only Labour seem to be making about the delivery of local services, and Nicola seems to trying to drown in another demand for Indyref2, the bold Theresa, who time and again (watch my lips) said there would be no General Election until 2020, called a General Election for June 8, THIS YEAR!. Of course, it had nothing to do with the current polling gap with Labour. Such is the arrogance of power that brought down David Cameron and now has the potential to do serious damage to Theresa May.

So, in UK terms, what should this election be about? First it should be about the arrogance of the Prime Minister. She lied to us about never holding an election until 2020. She lied to us about looking after the “just about managing”. She lied to us about opposing Brexit, when she was never seen during the campaign. She lied to us about a Brexit for all of the British people, the 48% as well as the 52%. Of course, we are now faced with the hardest of hard Brexits, already alienating our 27 closest allies in the world. She lied about a compassionate Conservatism, while developing benefit plans that demand that women prove they have been raped before being eligible for benefits.

So, in UK terms the election is about the trustworthiness of Theresa May and her government, developing into the most right-wing government we have seen since just after the 1914-18 war. Can we trust anything she says? My view is no, and I hope that comrades in England and Wales can shout this from the hills and promote the string of fine policies that have come out of Corbyn’s office over the past two weeks. You would think that they had psychically received advanced warning of this “snap” election.

Meanwhile, in Scotland, we have a different task. While we can make all the same points to Ruth Davidson and her cohorts, we are faced with the fact that we have only one Westminster seat in Scotland. Our success or failure will be assessed by our ability to increase our number of MPs – to start the comeback. At the same time, we are fighting a vital local government election which some (misguided and excitable) commentators suggest will lead to the end of the Labour Party in Scotland. Nicola Sturgeon has already stated that this will be about the primacy of the Scottish Parliament in calling another Indyref. This makes her government’s performance fair game.

OK. First, the economy is tanking. In the last period it declined by 0.25% taking it to the verge of recession. The new whizz kid Finance Minister, Derek Mackay, blamed Brexit but the rest of the UK increased by 4.8% under the same Brexit conditions. Go figure. The heath service, the jewel in our crown, is tanking. I know. Two of my siblings are nurses and the SNP have been so good at managing the sector that they have induced the least likely trade union to strike, to consult the least likely group of workers to strike: nurses. That is true quality management! And transport is tanking. Strike action is being considered on the Virgin East Coast route, and the Ardrossan and Arran decision had to be taken by the Cabinet Secretary, Keith Brown, rather than the Transport Minister, Humza Yousaf. (Where was he?)

Meanwhile, where was Nicola through all this chaos? Sunning herself in California trying to convince a bunch of young American students that Indyref2 (or 3 or 4) was essential. Then she appeared at an event in New York under a massive backdrop saying “Queen of Scots”. Talk about hubris. And her Social Security Secretary has gone quiet about what the Scottish Government will do about the rape clause, given their new powers over benefits.

All of these questions are relevant during the Westminster election and must be put to the candidates. Get yourself down to a hustings and watch them try to bluster their way out. The arrogance of the governments of both Nicola and Theresa deserved to be exposed.

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23 thoughts on “Arrogance and elections

  1. Labour will be very lucky to retain its sole MP. It is now time for Labour voters to decide whether they wish to back the hard-right, pro-Brexit, unionism of the Tories, or the SNP vision for Scotland

  2. Good stuff Jim. May and Sturgeon are mirror images, both trying to find a way to subvert the will of the people.

    1. Alex,
      “…..both trying to find a way to subvert the will of the people”. Rubbish. Is that the best Labour can do. Even you don’t believe that.
      May is taking her chance to gain a big overall majority at a time when the opposition has never been so weak. Sturgeon is having to react to circumstances not of her making (Brexit and now a GE). So far she has played her hand well.
      It will be interesting to see how NS plays this. There is already a clamour on nationalists websites to use it (GE) as a referendum, put one statement on the SNP manifesto, something along the lines of, ‘a vote for this candidate is a vote for Scottish independence’. I cannot see why the nationalists will not do this. I think there will be an increasing demand from SNP members and supporters for the GE to be used as indyref2. Why would they not?
      One thing I am sure of, by the 9 June The Labour Party as it is presently convened will be irrelevant in British politics.

    2. You remind me of Dylan Thomas, Alex, raging against the dying of the light.

  3. “So, in the middle of the local authority elections, which only Labour seem to be making about the delivery of local services,” Have you read any of the leaflets going through the doors Jim? Every Labour leaflet I’ve seen mentions independence, none of the SNP one’s do.

    1. I would if I had actually seen an SNP leaflet through my door. I know, however, that Labour is currently delivering its fourth leaflet of the campaign, along with a personalised one to postal voters, while the SNP have so far only delivered one (and that not everywhere) SNP arrogance or poverty Jim?

      1. Must be where you live Jim, I’m in Glasgow & haven’t even seen a Labour team out canvassing yet, the SNP have been by twice. Once with a leaflet & then to ask how we’ll vote, they also have a stall out near me every weekend. Although to be fair Labour were invisible in Glasgow, even when they were the dominant party.

        Anyway on those 4 leaflets, how many times do they mention independence?

        1. The four leaflets are Labour and refer exclusively to the North Ayrshire Council issues. Independence is not on the ballot!

  4. Oh and the SNP promises are a watered down version of the Labour Budget. Don’t they have their own ideas?

      1. You read these promises, Mike. If not shut up and go away, you, as usual, have nothing to say!

  5. Labour could and should have opposed an election under the Fixed Term parliament act. They didn’t.
    Labour should have opposed Article 50. They didn’t.
    Labour PREFERS a Tory government at Westminster to Scots running there own affairs. So stop whining about Social Security changes that Tories enact and which Hollywood cannot change. There is only so much patching can be done without destroying the economy with taxation. Perhaps you could itemise your spending commitments so far, Jim, and how much is required in taxation to pay for them.
    Labour is close to having zero representation at Wextminster. If Mr Murray falls then few would weep for him I understand, but Labour was once a proud advocate of Scottish Home Rule (Dominion Status ) under Keir Hardie. Perhaps in time, it could be so again.
    Though it’s preference seems to be a mini me Red Tory party.

  6. “And her Social Security Secretary has gone quiet about what the Scottish Government will do about the rape clause, given their new powers over benefits.”
    The fact that you, along with Ruthie tank commander think that this is just about paying the benefit shows just how low you’ve sunk. You should think burning shame of yourself

    1. Heids…wrong again. The Scottish Government have the power to remove the outrageous rape clause in Scotland. Labour has said they would do it. Why haven’t the SNP

  7. Well the Labour Leaflets in my area mention local issues . I was phone polled by the SNP . Question no 1 how will you vote at the local election. No 2 how did you vote at the last Indy Ref . No 3 how will you vote at the next Indy ref. That was before the Indy vote at Holyrood . The local elections are very important . They are the elections the SNP don’t want to talk about. 2 out of 3 questions about Indy in a poll that was supposed to be about the local election. People in my area are fed up listening to our FM when in Scotland carping on about Indy and that Indy vote at Holyrood took the biscuit. We feel she should have been concentrating on local issues. We feel there is no need for another vote. I have spoken to the Nats and they are getting the same message I am.
    We now know the Scottish Government before the 14 ref they considered setting up a Scottish Central Bank costing 50 million. If they had told us that the result might have been different.
    Our PM told us no election repeatedly. She went for a walk over Easter . Our PM had a vision . In that vision she saw Jeremy Corbyn in coalition with Tim and Nicola trying to govern the country. So to avoid this disaster our PM rides to our rescue by calling an election. Maybe in her vision she saw something else , Maybe she would have to explain why her ministers in the 6 months after brexit spent more than 1.3 million on overseas travel. 25 trips to the USA and 13 to China. I wander if her vision also reminded her this is a fixed term parliament. In the political world Labour could not vote to keep the tories in power .In the real world its another election people don’t want.2 other people in our recent past have called votes we did not want Alec Salmond and David Cameron

  8. “Our success or failure will be assessed by our ability to increase our number of MPs – to start the comeback. ” a post from fantasy island, Jim. You aren’t going to come back, you’re finished, both in a Scottish and U.K. context. You now have a simple choice to make. You can stay with Brexit Britain, a low skill, low wage, low service, northern hemisphere Singapore/Hong Kong dependent on financial services and fiscal transfers to fund what’s left of the state; except that the passporting rights aren’t going to be there, and financial institutions are already moving out. If you listen closely, you can hear Hamburg, Paris, and even Dublin rubbing their hands together.
    Or you can vote for self governance. Crunch time.

  9. I’d support Jim for leader after the election.
    At least he’s trying..

      1. After Murphy and Dugdale its hard to imagine that things could get even worse, but to have Jim O’Neil as Branch Office manager?
        God helps those who help themselves, we are told.
        Is there no one left in Scottish Labour with vision, and the ability to see further than the end of Ruth Davidson’s nose? Wake up and become a relevant SCOTTISH political party again.
        People WANT change, but they don’t want to go back to the sleazy, expenses-grubbing, useless, indolent, lobby-fodder jobsworthies of yesteryear. The very same useless gits who got THEMSELVES voted out by the electorate.
        And Glasgow council are going to go the same way, for the same reasons.
        Scottish Labour today looks very much like Scottish Labour of ten years a go, and the same as Scottish Labour of twenty years ago.
        The same old crap, from crap people who have been around since Glasgow was a notorious, *bungs-r-us* Corporation!

        1. In North Ayrshire The SNP administration resigned after losing a by election . They quit while their council leader was on holiday. Another SNP councillor refused to go got forced out. Some of them are not standing again. The SNP provost quit and set they had to reset the party. Whatever that means The dreaded enemy then took over and set the budget . The new SNP leader supported the new budget. They claimed it as theirs. Does that the include the council tax increase. The silence from the FM was deafening.

        2. Gavin, have a wee look at the North Ayrshire Labour manifesto on the North Ayrshire Labour FB site. There is no comparative set of ideas from any other Party. At least we are trying

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