Andy MacMillan says Scottish Labour must resist any steps towards a “progressive alliance” with the SNP, and warns members to beware of a Trojan horse.
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. But if the Scottish Labour Party backs the new Act of Union policy to the hilt, then the UK Labour Party will be obliged to follow suit.
54 thoughts on “London calling”
“Scottish Labour will then have every right to expect unconditional support”
“But if the Scottish Labour Party backs the new Act of Union policy to the hilt, then the UK Labour Party will be OBLIGED to follow suit.”
Ah ha ha ha ,
FFS, You’re living the fantasy right there in those words. British Labour have cast Slabbers adrift and all your all your SNP bad rhetoric is worthless as the electorate don’t believe anything you say any more (did you REALLY, no, REEAAALLY allude to the shoddy school builds by your rich industry ripoff pals !!!???).
The SNP have much to fear from a reconstituted, redistributive United Kingdom.
I think you must have been watching too much Newsnight Scotland.
Newsnight Scotland; the SNP’s very own tribute show, where every “guest” supports the nats and dearly love to pontificate about an imaginary 2nd independence referendum.
Nevertheless, back in the real word, the SNP are taking you on a ride to nowhere.
There isn’t going to be a 2nd indyref.
Face the facts, it’s over.
“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.”
If nothing matters but Labour then what Labour stands for is Labour and nothing else. Why would that encourage anybody to vote Labour Andy?
“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”
Perhaps they feel that there are in fact more important things in life than serving the Labour party Andy?
“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,”
Thats sounds like a very bleak depressing grievance filled bitter divisive and small minded Nationalistic thing to say Andy.
Then it was demented rant rave rant again rave again til we came to this wee gem.
“The SNP have built a wall between Scottish Labour and the people of Scotland.”
Its seems Andy has discovered a universe where the SNP magically transformed the Labour party from traditional socialists to Red Tories because they wanted to chase the traditional Tory vote in the South East of England.
Then it was gibber gibber gibber til here.
“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.”
A redistribution that sees the wealth of the UK not only travel North to South but from the 99% to the 1% and Andy wants labour to take credit for it.
He then forgot that Labour is now the party of privatisation. Of PFI and PPP. The redistribution of wealth from the public to the private sector.
And then he forgot that he is a strong supporter of BREXIT! Taking Scotland out of a something larger Union with 500 million people.
And it finishes off with the Devo Max vow again.
Classic Andy really a work of art!
“Classic Andy really a work of art!”
You’re welcome Andy. Its people such as yourself which help to keep Labour exactly where they belong to be.
Inequality Briefing revealed a couple of years ago that the UK is the most UNEQUAL country in Northern Europe.
London is the RICHEST region in N Europe, with more billionaires than anywhere else.
9 of the 10 POOREST regions in N Europe are in the UK.
So how is that wealth retribution going, Andy? Not very well, it would seem.
A New Act of Union?
What does that even mean?
Who would support it, and how exactly would it be implemented? Time scale?
Seems like its just more waffle and bullshit to me. Its what has landed Scottish Labour in the merde already.
At the next election, Scottish Labour look destined to have zero MP’s.
In that circumstance why wouldn’t southern progressive MP’s not have an understanding with the SNP? They have had one with the SDLP for decades and the sky hasn’t fallen in.
Inequality Briefing article.—-Data compiled by Eurostat using GDP per head, and utilising the “Power Purchasing Standard”. to equalise different currencies.
“Inequality Briefing revealed a couple of years ago that the UK is the most UNEQUAL country in Northern Europe.”
I think you mean we are marginally behind Germany, but never mind.
…and the SNP are making inequality worse in Scotland. The council tax freeze and HE funding are making the rich richer at the expense of the poor. The growing attainment gap looks set to hold back a generation. Now the Tories and the SNP are working together to cut APD and delay the transfer of welfare powers to Scotland.
Yes, the Tories are to blame for many things…. but the SNP are their wee helpers in Scotland!
You do know that we still get the UK news up here in Scotland, we see reports every other day about the cuts the Tories are making & the impact they are having & BTW we also see the times Labour abstained when they should have been opposing the Tory cuts.
Do you honestly think voters are gullible enough to fall for the line that Tory cuts in England are all the SNP’s fault when they impact Scotland?
Do you honestly think that with control over health, education, transport, economic development, local government and a huge range of tax and spend decisions including the setting of each separate rate of income tax, the SNP can credibly pretend that all of these cuts are the fault of the Tories?
For as long as the Tories hold the purse strings & the Scottish Govt have to base their budget on what pocket money Westminster gives them, yes I do.
£30 billion is pocket money? The ability to raise billions more in taxation should they choose to is irrelevant? It’s a strange version of reality you inhabit.
Duncan, I cannot figure out why our English neighbours wanted Brexit.
Why, as you and your Tory chums daily remind us, we have HUGE economic powers with which we can grow our economy, solve all welfare issues, all vested in the ability to raise or lower income tax. And London has so many MORE powers over fiscal and economic matters! Wow!
Even Mundell tells us we can control Scottish IMMIGRATION with tax varying powers!!!!.
Did no one tell Treeza May, when she was at the Home Office?
You might thing being a wee bit better than the Tories is good enough, but I don’t.
Scott, wasnt a council tax freeze first introduced by a Labour Glasgow council?
Wasn’t a council tax freeze in Scottish Labours manifesto?
Didn’t Labour veto welfare powers to Scotland in the Smith Commision?
How is the attainment gap doing in Glasgow, a council run by Labour for decades?
There is also an attainment gap in England, where the Labour run North is doing much less well, educationally, than the South.
There is also in England the disturbing modern issue of white “British” boys doing well in infancy but very poorly as they go through their school life. A cultural thing? I don’t know.
Does it also affect Scotland, where most boys are white “British”? Again, I don’t know, but the superior know-it-all tones of the Unionist politicians on this issue is looking like an ostrich response.
Scott—“marginally behind Germany”—-you mean Germany also has the wealthiest region (like London?) and 9 out of 10 of the poorest regions? How does that work then?
Check the league table you quoted.
Freezing the council tax affected everybody who own their own property and those who have to pay council tax along with their rent dues. In other words it wasn’t a targeted tax freeze it was a generic progressive tax freeze which reached and helped millions across Scotland at all income levels.
Just the facts Scott just the facts.
Cut APD eh? The Rascals! And they did it for everybody not just the rich. That’s the galling part for Labour eh Scott?
Lets see if we can top that with a look at how Labour and the Conservatives share in ideology.
They both support Trident renewal.
They both support Privatisation of public services.
They both support Tuition fees
They both support Targeting austerity cuts at the welfare system.
They both support means testing benefits.
They both support imposing prescription charges.
They both support increasing the influence of the House of Lords.
They both support decreasing Scottish representation within the House of commons.
They both support warmongering.
They both support cutting conventional defence spending.
They both support the idea of Devo Nano minus for Scotland Wales and NI.
They both support the idea of taking Scotland and NI out of the EU via Brexit.
They both support deals in the desert with despots and regimes linked to war crimes.
They both support the idea that its better to have a Conservative Government rule Scotland from Westminster than a Labour Government in power over an Independent Scotland.
Kind of puts it into perspective eh Scott?
Freezing council tax and cutting APD disproportionately benefits the richest.
We both know that though.
Your other points are post-truth irrelevance.
I’m at a complete loss to see what the SNP would gain from any sort of deal with Labour.
Yeah……….it’s a real mystery.
Ok first, if you thought “Scott Arthur’s” article was a load of pish, and that “Jim O’Neill” resides on a planet far far far away, you would not be alone, but after reading Andy’s article it makes them look a wee bittie normal.
His ‘new act of union’ appears to be labours new ‘magic money tree’ , vote for this and all our worries and woes will just disappear. Their is of course a few mentions of SNPBAD then a few more, followed by a few more yet again.
But I think my favourite is the “their are no more loyal labour party supporters anywhere than Scottish labour party supporters”. ??? Would these be the same people who voted against their party leader on mass just recently, you know the one’s who put their names to a petition calling for the resignation of their party leader.
It must be a new definition of loyal with labour.
I suppose the Labour Party is so very different from the SNP that it can be very hard to get a grasp of things.
We are loyal to the Labour Party; but no one is bigger than the Party. That includes the leader.
We also have many different opinions that we are always free to express.
In contrast, you SNP followers elevate your leader to demagogue status. What your leader decrees is always gospel, every word is golden and must be obeyed.
There can be no deviation; there can be no free thinking; there can be only one voice in the democratic dictatorship that is the SNP.
Davy, you’re half way there, step away from the dark side, walk towards the light and join us in the Scottish Labour Party, as we chase our dream of a new redistributive union within our beloved United Kingdom.
“We are loyal to the labour party; but no one is bigger than the Party. ” and that says it all about labour.”
Well I am loyal to my party the SNP, but to all of us nothing is bigger than Scotland and it comes first and foremost every time.
“What your leader decrees is always gospel”
What your leader decrees is always fantasy !!!
“There can be no free thinking”
I suggest you watch our conference’s compared to yours, apart from their being about 20 times more people at ours, their is 20 times more debate and argument at our conference than you will ever seen at a labour conference.
a “new redistributive union” as big a fantasy/dream as your “new act of union”, as for joining the labour party I would rather eat my own balls, it would be less painfull.
I choose hope and a positive future for my family and my nation, that’s why I vote SNP, I have faith in my country and its people. I refuse to be mired in dishonestly of unionist politics, who put themselves and their party first, and refuse to stand up for an independent Scotland because you don’t have the fucking balls.
When you finally disappear the country will say good riddance.
people living outside London a financial powerhouse. I think reacted to that in part by voting brexit
People who suggest Labour and the SNP could do a deal don’t understand the SNP. They don’t understand what they are doing to public services in Scotland.They don’t understand that the SNP and Tories agree on so much in Scotland (e.g. APD cuts) because of their noisy posturing in London. They don’t understand that the SNP have only one goal, but no ideology to underpin it.
The good news is that John McDonnell understands the SNP:
John McDonnell doesn’t even mention the SNP in the above article.
He’s clear that he does not want at deal with any party.
John McDonnell does NOT mention the SNP. He ONLY talks about the Liberal Democrats and the Greens.
Where does he mention the SNP?
Aye Scott, the people don’t “understand” anything in scottish labour’s world, but funnily enough they do understand the tories have only one real opposition down in Westminster and that’s the SNP.
They also understand that the SNP will always put Scotland and its people first, and they also understand the SNP are not run by leaders down in London who put Scotland second to their parties everytime.
But one thing the people of Scotland really “understand” is you don’t trust labour.
Yeah, the the SNP are great at opposing the SNP in London. They are not so good at providing an alternative to Tory austerity in Scotland though are they?
“Before we kick off let’s get one thing clear”
The opening gambit of the bully bar room intellectual. Then the rant commences. To upward turning eyes.
I think this particular rave comes with a “between the lines” indication of a sleeper violence born of protracted frustration. More overtly …”we will fight to take our country back, door by door, street by street.”
MacMillan’s rant is all about division. It ironically promotes the “toxic position” he attempts to caution against. Hatred, ignorance, and sectarianism (his words) are born of such division.
I’m just not your cup of tea. Am I?
Take a tip, as you obviously prefer sentimental slop, you had best stick with reading your “Kailyard” books.
“The Kailyard school of Scottish fiction 1880-1914 has been considered to be an overly sentimental representation of Scottish life, cleansed of real problems and issues that affected the people, but proved for a time extremely popular.”
Anyway, away you go and snuggle up in front of an open fire, with a “wee dram” and read a poem or two by your fascist friend Hugh MacDiarmid.
Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear.
“But if the Scottish Labour Party backs the new Act of Union policy to the hilt, then the UK Labour Party will be obliged to follow suit.”
Really? Kezia wants a new act to create a federal entity comprised of Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and English regions. So the Labour Party in Scotland can decide that England should be broken into regions can it? Maybe English voters would prefer England as a whole to be a single political entity – but you think what the Labour Party in Scotland decides should be accepted by the rest of the UK?
“The dream shall never die”
“The SNP’s weasel words of friendship and partnership towards the Scottish Labour Party should be resisted and dismissed at every turn.”
The SNP is not interested in any sort of partnership with the Labour Party in Scotland which, remember, only has a single MP. They might be interested in having a deal to help the Labour Party kick the Tories out of power after the next election.
But, of course, some arch Unionists would prefer to have a Conservative government in Westminster than see Labour and the SNP working together to keep them out.
In 2014 the people of Scotland voted to remain part of the UK.
In 2015 the people of the UK voted for a Tory Government.
That’s how democracy works; you don’t always get the result you want.
Do you get it now?
@Duncan, when it has to fund health, education, transport, economic development, local government, etc, etc, etc, £30bn from Westminster isn’t the bottomless well you seem to think it is.
Of course it isn’t. It isn’t “pocket money” either, is it. And it seems to be enough to allow the SNP to continually announce new investment in various areas, like they did this week with new teachers, while completely ignoring the fact that overall they slashed teacher numbers. For some reason people like you are happy to blame all cuts on “Westminster” and yet praise all spending as SNP largesse. Why is that?
Its pocket money when you compare it with Scotlands Full fiscal potential income though eh Duncan?
The teacher slashing was reported to be instigated at local government level Duncan and only in Local council areas controlled by Labour and the Conservatives.
So its not true that people are blaming it all on Westminster cuts they also have the local Labour and Conservative local authorities to rightfully blame as well.
I had thought that there might be a chance for Scottish Labour to recover within the next ten years, at least to 30% or so, but this truly dreadful piece by Andy MacMillan convinces me that the game is up: you lot are looking at sub 10%.
If MacMillan was an isolated voice it would not matter, but all the evidence points to him accurately reflecting what is left of your shattered party. The door slowly closes on what was once a mighty Scottish institution. Sad in a way, but also a refreshing new start. The country has moved on, and is still moving.
Andy if the Scottish Labour Party back the Act of Union Policy to the hilt and the Labour Party UK opposes it at the Labour Party UK conference what happens next?
If this were to happen, both the Scottish and UK Labour Party’s would be pretty much washed up.
If this deal doesn’t go through, it’s game over, there would be no way back for the Labour Party.
Scotland would then polarise between the SNP and the Tories.
Andy If the worse case scenario happens then what happens next for the Scottish Labour Party heirachy and the rank and file members and what will you do.
If the UK Labour Party do not back the New Act of Union policy after its adoption by the Scottish Party, it would be the ultimate the snub. It would then pave the way for an electoral “progressive alliance” between the Labour Party and the SNP at the next General Election.
Some would be ok with this in the Scottish Labour Party, the majority would not. My guess would be that a much smaller (than even now) pro independence Scottish Labour Party would emerge, a sycophantic lap dog, poodle party, subservient to the SNP. This capitulation on independence would probably get dressed up as “home rule”.
Many members would probably, hold their noses and go along with it. I wouldn’t be happy about it and would challenge those responsible for the capitulation.
All in all, it wouldn’t be good.
‘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.’
I am glad to hear a Labour figure raise the issue of hatred, ignorance and sectarianism.
One of the reasons why I stopped voting Labour in local council elections was because of reports that weren’t denied, that Labour run council’s were flirting with the Orange Order in recent years and in some cases Labour councils have been funding their activities.
In 2009 Michael MacMahon, the Labour MSP for Hamilton North and Bellshill at the time told the Scotsman newspaper:
“I have a good relationship with the Orange Order. They understand the importance of the Union and they understand the threat.”
While prior to the 2012 local elections the then leader of Glasgow City Council appeared at an electoral hustings organised by the Orange Order and hinted he would do a u-turn over clamping down on the number of parades.
In the same year public funds were used in Labour run Glasgow to organise street parties for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.
And as recently as this year Labour run Falkirk council used public money to help the Orange Order hold parades
This is a worrying trend. I respect the Orange Order’s right to freedom of expression but I don’t think Labour should be working with them or using public money to help fund their activities.
I totally agree with you Drew.
Sectarianism has no place in civilised society, never mind mainstream Scottish politics.
Politicians of all party’s who encourage and condone religious bigotry should be shown the door.
The West of Scotland is an open sewer in this respect. The Scottish State always has and continues to; propagate religious division by keeping children and families separated through the education system.
This separation on the grounds of religious faith, through the educational system, is tantamount to State sponsored apartheid.
The Scottish State, oblivious to the hypocrisy, then takes the pious high moral stance of criminalising people for singing sectarian songs at football matches.
The very same self-righteous Scottish State that helped to create the sectarian monster in the first place!
You couldn’t make it up.
The sectarian monster you describe made its way to Scotland from Ireland. it was created when the UK state divided Ireland in spite of a clear Democratic mandate for an Independent Ireland.
You’re clearly one of these “Loyalists” with an unreasoned unfathomable hatred for the idea of Catholic schooling.
Sectarianism in Scotland is practiced mostly by members of the Orange Lodge. They keep alive a period of history that should be put to rest. They are a dinosaur out of time and place with no reasonable need to exist at all.
The Scottish State you refer to is pre SNP. Too many Labour and Conservative councils populated by members of this vile organisation. Too many past Labour MPs in Scotland with close affiliation to this vile organisation.
And of course they were very prominent and loud in their support for “Better Together” Many of its members participating in the George Square violence on the 19th Sept.
Strong links with all kinds of right wing extremist groups such as the SDL EDL and BNP.
You were kind of trying to project this vile sectarian bigotry onto Catholicism and the present Scottish Government in your little rant there Andy.
Really disingenuous of you but not altogether unexpected or surprising.
I don’t have much time for religion of any shape or form. Religion causes too much trouble in the world.
I don’t see why the State should be a vehicle for religious indoctrination of any kind. Faith schools just add to the problem of separated communities, blind intolerance and mindless bigotry.
Labour, SNP and the Tories are all guilty on this matter; they’re all as bad as one another.
I would disagree that sectarianism can be blamed on faith schools. There are separate Catholic and Church of England schools down south and this han’t caused the same sort of problems associated with sectarianism as in Scotland.
Many of these problems are historical and cultural and the root cause was discrimination against Irish immigration to Scotland. This was evident in many different levels of society, in the workplace and even by the Church of Scotland. So the schools can’t really be blamed for bigotry, although seperate educations probably exacerbated the situation.
Personally I think religion is a private matter for in the home or a place of worship and there should be a complete separation of Church and State, so there shouldn’t be a role for religion in the education system.
As the Queen is the Head of State and Supreme Governor of the Church of England, I would argue there is a major conflict of interest here in her role as defender of the faith. My preference is for a presidential republic but I’m unlikely to see that in my lifetime.
The UK, through archbishops and bishops in the House of Lords, is one of the few countries in the world where unelected clerics have power to influence legislation, alongside the likes of Iran. That’s not company I want to keep.
Agreed, Drew, sectarianism isn’t caused by separate faith schools – but I strongly believe it is perpetuated by them. England didn’t have a sectarian problem to be perpetuated, which is why it isn’t seen there.
We are all born atheists, with no dislike for any grouping in society. All bigotry is taught.
While I agree it would be a brave politician to challenge the role of religious schools in Scotland.
Both this SNP administration and the last labour one seem to have run from that particular fight.
“I would disagree that sectarianism can be blamed on faith schools. There are separate Catholic and Church of England schools down south and this han’t caused the same sort of problems associated with sectarianism as in Scotland”
In England faith schools are few and far between. People are not as strictly segregated as in the West Coast of Scotland, where we operate a system of cultural apartheid throughout our education system.
Here are a couple of quotes from Kezia’s speech
“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.”
“As Andrew Haldane, the Chief Economist at the Bank of England, warned last week, the inequality gap between different regions of the UK has widened over time.”
Can you spot the contradiction?
In the meantime I look forward to another classic Kezia backflip.
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