Independence supporter Wynn Thorne argues that Corbyn was right, that the centre ground is not fruitful for Labour, and that it may be time for the party to split.

For many years now, I have become increasingly disillusioned with the Labour Party. Since Blair, Labour seems to have degenerated from a left wing party representing working class interests to a middle class party albeit with a conscience. Perhaps the fault was mine and the party was always,  just as Benn said, “a party with socialists in it”. Now, I wonder if it can even BE a party with socialists in it.

The party has meandered, left, right, and centre, to settle in a lake of  liberalism. There seems to be no place for socialists now except to make up membership numbers. We talk of debate but there is ample evidence that the debate has ended, the vote has been taken and the socialists lost. Labour seems concerned with managing capitalism, not changing the system. Is there any possibility that socialists can shape the party in a way that is consistent with socialist principles? 

The removal of Clause IV defined the moment the party started its drift away to the centre. Corbyn, no matter what you think of him, led the last stand of socialism in the party and the party actively worked against it. The media supports the story that 2019 was Labour’s worst defeat since 1935 but actually in terms of percentage votes and seats it wasn’t as bad as Milliband nor Brown and was only 3 points adrift of Blair in 2005. Yes, this can be seen in terms of Corbyn being the ‘only other option in town’ but it was an option that gained almost as much support as Blair when Blair had Scotland and a party backing him, and Corbyn, it seems, didn’t.

True, like Brown and Milliband, Corbyn lost elections, but throughout his leadership, Labour in general and Corbyn in particular endured misrepresentation and falsehoods in print and TV media. That Corbyn lacked essential qualities required by a leader is not in doubt but this also suggests that Labour’s move to the left resonated with the public. Certainly, Labour membership increased to 552,000 by January 2018, an increase of 198,000 since just before the 2015 election. Compare that to those Blair and Brown years which saw membership fall from 407,000 in 1997 to 109,000 in 2004 and saw Scotland move away from Labour and the  “Tory Lite” and ‘Tory’s with red ties’ labels becoming attached to the party. Interestingly, when Labour membership surges under a socialist agenda the word ‘entryism’ appears in the media, when it occurs under a centrist the word ‘popular’ appears.

Presently, Sir Keir Starmer wants the party to return to the centre – to me, this is a big mistake. Blair’s personal and media appeal allowed him to move the party into the Conservative territory without resistance, but the simple question always was: why vote soft conservative when you can vote for the real thing? Labour’s move to centre makes it vulnerable to voter return to ‘the real thing’. As a socialist I believe that the centre ground is NOT where the interests of the working class is best served. By pursuing these policies the party leaves its once core vote voiceless and moves so far from the concepts of socialism that there is no more room for debate.

Corbyn’s approach in 2017 offered hope to those who had toyed with voting BNP, UKIP and Brexit Party – people were returning to a Labour Party that was talking for and to them. The working class needs a voice and during the Blair and Brown years in my view Labour ceased to be it. I don’t even like the SNP – there is little to choose politically between them and Labour – but they offer the hope of independence and change.

For socialists, there is the need to be that voice. Managing capitalism isn’t in the interests of the working class – it retains the privileges and wealth of the vested interests, the corporations, the rich. Socialism is about changing society. Its about reshaping the whole structure of our country to put the wealth of the nation in the hands of all. Sir Keir Starmer’s return to the centre, recent revelations about internal machinations of party officers, and indeed the historical actions of the right in removing left-wingers from the party (even Aneurin Bevan and Stafford Cripps had this) makes it seem as though a move to the right is okay, but a move to the left means sanctions. From the outside it seems as if the Labour party is putting up a sign on the door saying ‘No Socialists Please’.

Before the party returns to the politics of the centre, one must not forget what Labour did back in those Blair and Brown years. That ‘glorious period’ saw Blair and Brown preside over privatisation in schools and hospitals, the introduction of the disastrous Public Finance Initiative, the introduction of academy schools in England, retention of of Thatcher’s anti-union laws, no action against zero hours contracts, introduction of university fees, massive expansion of CCTV surveillance cameras, even lower social housing construction than Thatcher, the disgraceful relaxation of gambling laws and the increasing need for food banks. Meanwhile average wages fell, and the cost of living went up. As retiring Unison union leader Dave Prentis later said, “Labour built the bridge that the Tories are marching over.” .

And then there were the wars… 

Only in 2017 did the party make inroads into working class support once more. Scotland was already lost to the SNP and the right had already put its cap down in the working class areas of England. Hope, change and someone to listen to them was what the people were looking for and Corbyn’s manifesto offered that. A move to the centre is a move away from those people. Labour cannot wrest the poor and working class vote away from the populist or the right by offering ‘no-change’ whilst lecturing them.  I for one don’t recognise anyone in the Labour Party that I can relate to including those on the left – where are the working class?

Right wing policies are clear and offer change, and linked to Brexit change is the obvious outcome of voting for the right. When Corbyn offered no clear Brexit position and the media denigrated Labour policies and highlighted internal party wrangling, it was easy for the right to mop up votes using the ‘scapegoat’ of the EU. Socialism offers a counter-argument to right-wing populism. It offers clear policies that offer change to people’s lives. The population can see that structural change is possible and that there is hope that inequality will be reduced, social mobility improved and that wealth will be redistributed fairly.

We live in a country that still has an unelected upper chamber, an unelected head of state, country houses with massive estates owned by wealthy individuals and families for whom the status quo offers security, better life chances and for want of a better word ‘perks’, on a grand scale. Is socialism welcome in the Labour Party? I don’t know, but moving to the centre makes Labour a party that protects the interests of the rich as much as it claims to champion the poor. Socialism, by its very nature, is incompatible with that political position. You cannot have it both ways. The constant in-fighting which has made the party apparently less attractive to voters has dogged Labour over the years and with the centrists now acting against socialists is it time for the parting of the ways? Would it be better for socialists to move on and form their own party even if it fails? Perhaps a Labour party free of socialists would be beneficial to the centrists?  What is certain is that the UK needs an effective, coherent opposition but a divided Labour party makes that prospect difficult.

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30 thoughts on “Parting of the ways?

  1. As a life long Labour voter I have to disagree with a few of your points even though I agree with other parts of the piece, Corbyn lost a large part of the vote not solely because he was left wing but because of his stance on Sinn Fein / IRA perceived or not it was a factor and the rife antisemitism in the party that comes with left wing politics.

    I voted labour again in 2019 with crossed fingers and gagging a little.

    I note also some of the policy you criticise such as PFI , tuition fees etc , yet the SFT replacement for PFI is costing Scotlands billions more over 35 – 40 year periods than PFI , then look at tuition fees which has succeeded in removing Scotlands children from college education, limiting the numbers of Scot’s many with straight As into higher education is surely not a good thing , and also succeeded in the SNP insidious policy of allowing Latvians to claim tuition fees but not the English , nationalism at it’s best it seems.

    Is it okay for nationalists to copy Labour policy and then criticise Labour for that policy ? Irony and hypocrisy is lost on Scottish nationalism and it’s support it seems.

    Blair and Brown have much to be criticised for but policy such as minimum wage , living wage , tax credits , child tax credits , winter fuel allowance and much more lifted millions of Britons out of poverty, don’t let the good be lost in the bad.

    You then mention the war, I consider myself left of centre as much as the war was just not right to go into , these things still gnaw at me today how does a modern democracy deal with dictators, do we just sit idly by and watch Saddam kill 250,000 + Kurdish citizens, as long as we get the trade ? There has to be a reckoning for those dictators but it has to be UN led, modern western democracy has to look at trade and simply not trade with nations that are dictator run and kill their own, should we should only trade with nations who give their people the vote ?

    Lets be honest the SNP sent more Scottish people to their deaths into care homes than Blair or Brown did in Iraq or Afghanistan , add to the fact forced DNRs and refusing people treatment to boot, but Scotland seems to have lost it’s conscience, with the social media cybernats defending even the death of their fellow citizens in defence of the SNP and that is sickening. It is flag waving nationalism at it’s worse.

    As for socialist policy , Britain has rejected it and to say it has been lost to the SNP in Scotland is not quite true , they are a mixed bag of policy, both far left and far right I read somewhere and it seems very apt, the SNP talk Left but act Right , they are in effect insidiously totalitarian , named person and the current hate bill are classic right wing dictator moves , remove freedom were you can, their teachings at school if the family party videos and summary’s are fact, are nothing less than shocking and left wing as is the transgender movement in the party, also within the SNP party machine were no policy or member can be criticised it is run with a mix Franco and Stalin discipline!

    What in my humble opinion Labour need is a more solid outlook on how to help the less fortunate in society , Venezuelan type socialism will not wash in the UK , if far left socialists accept that premise first, then maybe they can influence how some of the socialist policy’s can help the needy, by creating wealth and using the extra money to help the needy could be the way , that was lost by Blair and Brown at the end. The Laffer curve has its merits and needs to be understood by the wider left wing , the more money raised in UK revenue could and should mean more for the NHS, elderly and welfare etc. It may be hard for the left of the Labour party to hear but this can only be achieved by a low tax big business society , hopefully Kier brings this to the table, what we now need is Labour in Scotland to do as the Tories have and look to a new leader, then look to Ian Murray and get him to lead the campaigns in Scotland , if anyone knows how to win constituency’s in Scotland Ian Murray does.

    There is also the danger that the Conservatives in Scotland can do what Boris did in England a Boris who I see as more of a social conservative and they could do this with a Douglas Ross and Ruth Davidson back in the fold , both are very savvy politicians who have shown the have the measure of the SNP at Westminster and the FM / SNP at Holyrood.

    If Labour do not act soon then it is goodbye Holyrood for a generation.

    1. “The Laffer Curve has it’s merits” and Douglas Ross and Ruth Davidson “are both very savvy politicians who have shown the have the measure of the SNP at Westminster and the FM/SNP at Holyrood”. With material like that you must be gutted that the Edinburgh Fringe had to be cancelled this year. The Laffer Curve has been rigourously debunked on umpteen occasions and to suggest, even for a laugh, that Ross or Davidson have any substance is beyond risible.

      1. Low tax culture in England has brought in more revenue whilst high tax under the SNP has brought in less revenue in Scotland .

        Under Ruth the Tories did very well in Scotland and Ross does have the measure of them at Westminster go watch the video were he schools the SNP on the so called power grab they lied about!

        1. The tax burden in England is far higher than it is in Scotland though. They pay far more in council tax they pay more in basic income tax and have an added burden of having to pay higher education fees bridge tolls and prescriptions. Kezia Dugdale did Ruth Davidsons job for her it was Dugdale who won those election seats for the Tories not Davidson.
          Looks like its not just Douglas Ross who enjoys re-writing history.
          And why would anybody believe a word that comes out of the mouth of Ruth Davidson who has been caught lying consistently inbetween flip flopping on principles she never had.

        2. Presumably you’re talking about income tax without actually realising that only acounts for around a quarter of the tax take. Given that Scotland has virtually no control at all over the tax regime you cannot seriously try to compare Scotland with the UK. The tories did not do well under Davidson (Ruth…wtf???). They scarcely did better than the widely despised Thatcher.

        3. You are a very odd labour supporter mate….You write like a working class, central belt loyalist….. however, that aside taxes are higher in england….at least get that right.

    2. The more I read your post the more I became convinced you are actually a Tory. Then you bring up the Laffer Curve and advocate a ‘low tax big business society, and any lingering doubts were removed.

      1. Tell me if low tax etc does not bring in more revenue how come it works in England whilst higher tax in Scotland brings in less ?

    3. Well if you want to know how badly Labour are going to do next election, just read this comment by “Alan Parker”.

      It shows complete delusion.

      1. That was the point ! Unless Labour change leader and use Ian Murray they will be fourth if they are lucky .

    4. Can you be seriously suggesting that the Scottish government deliberately sent patients from hospitals into care homes “to their deaths”? What on earth have you been reading or who have you been listening to in order to accept that propaganda?
      It’s very easy to be wise after the event and no doubt if these patients had been left in hospitals and had contracted Covid there, you’d have been screaming about that too. You know fine that the fear was that hospitals would be overwhelmed by Covid patients and that, at that time, tests were only available for patients showing symptoms – this was SAGE advice at the time.
      As for “forced DNRs and refusing people treatment”, where is your evidence? I know it was front-page news but that doesn’t make it true. Doctors tried unsuccessfully to resuscitate my father, not a Covid patient, and must have broken every rib as he had osteoporosis – I can only hope that he was beyond feeling pain very quickly. We all need to think carefully about whether we want a DNR order and what kind of end of life experience we want, probably long before we get there.

    5. Hello Alan sorry for taking so long to reply but you put a lot in here for me to unpick and respond to. Starting with your first point, I don’t know what effect the past support by Corbyn and MacDonald of Sinn Fein/IRA had on the popularity of Labour under Corbyn but I accept that it did rankle with some. However, I don’t think it contributed much to the result, as the ‘Irish divide’ doesn’t play down in England nor in Wales, I think it is really up here it has a foothold – which has diminished over time – and Scotland was already lost to the SNP. I am also not sure about the extent of the party’s association with antisemitism either. I am no expert on this but compare the media coverage of this with the dearth of reporting over Islamophobia in the conservative party and the overtly racist comments by our Prime Minister. In all honesty I would say that I don’t think of Corbyn as an anti-semite but its a bit of a minefield and I don’t know.

      With regard to the SFT, college tuition fees etc. my article was not contextualised by the SNP versus Labour or even about Scotland versus the UK it was only concerned with socialists in the Labour party. As I said, I don’t even like the SNP but I support independence. To put this in a nutshell, I don’t expect anything from the SNP as its only underlying rationale is independence. Its a bit left at times, a bit right and a bit centre – a bit like Labour. But, I did expect more from Labour (probably wrongly), I expected that since the ideology underpinning Labour was socialism that it would be consistent with that perspective. I did expect that as it often trumpets its historical successes and highlights its great personalities such as Tony Benn and Aneurin Bevan that it would at least still be fighting for labour – the labour movement – the people – the poor. And under Blair and Brown it didn’t – they worked with business not for us. I worked on zero hours contracts. One of Blair’s first speeches to conference was about getting rid of them – and I am still waiting. As for tax credits “benefit payments to support people with children or who are in work but on low incomes” they are a subsidy to employers who pay low wages – the other side of the coin to food banks. The minmum wage was a good thing but didn’t affect folk on zero hours contracts. Winter Fuel Allowance? Why are we in such a state that the goverment picks up the tab to pay for the elderly and infirm to make it through the winter? WFA goes into their hands for a second and then onto the big six. These are all examples of Labour taking public money and routing into the hands of the private sector via us, the middlemen and women.

      I agree with you about the dilema over war. How DO we deal with dictators? But another question we need to answer is why do we favour and support some? The real problem with Iraq was that we didn’t need to go there and there were no weapons of mass destruction and we were misled. By our prime minister. Mr. Tony Blair. Labour.

      I don’t agree with your comment about deaths into care homes as this is a fairly European wide disaster. Its bad in England, Scotland, Wales, Sweden and Spain to name a few. As I said though I am not keen on the SNP but they are not independence.

      I don’t think I said socialism has been lost to the SNP – I don’t expect the SNP to be socialist because they are not. They now have socialists in it but Tories too I dare say. The issue I was highlighting is that Labour now seems to be a party that doesn’t want socialists in it and if they are in it to shut up. I don’t agree that Britain has rejected socialism. Socialism helped push the Labour party into the position of being the main opposition to the conservatives in terms of choice in general elections pushing the Liberals into third – and now they reject it?

      As to the SNP and the named person act, the current hate bill and the gender recognition act these are policies which require better scrutiny but whether they are undesirable depends on where you come from. For example, I was against the named person act but a friend of mine was shocked when I voiced that opinion as they had been subjected to serious physical abuse when a child by alcoholic parents. In honesty, I was still against it as I think the cons outweigh the pros but I didn’t have the experience my friend had. As to the SNP party machine that is their problem. The Labour party has its own – see the leaked report.

      I agree that when powerless socialists should try to influence policy but I do not think that socialists should retire to this position. Our forebears fought a much harder battle to get rights we should not allow the media or spin make us see socialism only as an outdated idea that never got a chance. Socialism is a decent and robust ideology that can hep sort a lot of the problems of inequality in our country including the constitutional institutional privilege and advantages of the rich.

      You make a good case for the low tax economy and the benefits it can bring but if you look deeper what we see is that raising taxes can only result in reduced revenue if folk and companies avoid, shelter or evade it. What you suggest is that we comply with these interests and shape our society to placate their greed and dishonesty. I cannot agree with that.

      Labour need to have a definitive position that marks it our from being just a different flavour from conservative and liberal but to me presently, it tastes the same.

  2. Thanks for this article – much of it resonates with my own experience of the Labour Party and, though I now vote SNP in the hope of a second independence referendum, I wish I could return as a member of the Labour Party.

    I first joined Labour when Michael Foot was leader and the fight was to get rid of Thatcher and all that she represented. I believed that Scotland should have its own parliament and was reassured that Labour appeared to have got rid of most of those who had worked so hard against Labour being able to deliver devolution in the 1970s. I was excited by Labour’s vision and became very active in trying to build support for the party. I felt despair in 1983, 1987 and again in 1992 when I watched as Labour won in Scotland but yet lost because England backed the Conservatives. As Labour then reacted to these election losses by moving to the right, especially under Blair, I stayed active for the sole reason that Labour was at least not reversing on its devolution proposals. Labour then won in 1997 and devolution was successfully delivered. I felt elated but also empty at the same time: delighted that something historic had been achieved but also aware that Labour had nothing more to offer me. I left Labour when it tried to stop Dennis Canavan becoming a MSP and joined the SSP in 2000 though I gave up and left active politics when that party imploded several years later.

    So today I feel without a political home. I am a socialist but now believe that full independence is necessary for Scotland to become the type of country I believe it should be. The SNP is the biggest pro-independence party but not socialist. The Labour Party prefers to see Scotland governed by the Tories as part of the UK than become an independent country. I would love to be part of a serious political party committed to fighting for an independent socialist Scotland. If ‘Scottish’ Labour could break away and become a separate party, it has the potential to become that party, and then in turn, to become a governing party in an independent Scotland. That is a vision worth fighting for.

    1. Hello Graeme
      I think I come from the same sort of place as you. I had to be very careful to erase the word ‘we’ from the article every-so-often and replace it with ‘Labour’. Like yourself I have no real political home. I always found the far left a bit too much for me – it surprises me that some think of my position these days as being far left. I always thought it was normal. Almost everyone I grew up with had similar views. The New Labour political position I had always thought of as being the domain of the Liberal Party. I had a soft spot for the Liberals when young as I thought they always tried to create a fairer society but it was always fairness with an unbalanced status quo – which in turn means permanent inequality. The Dennis Canavan thing also surprised me and then, with the likes of Douglas Alexander telling me what I should be thinking, and not listening to what I and others were thinking and saying, left me in no doubt that Labour was becoming disassociated with my ideas of what it was meant to stand for.

  3. Labours problem is it still wants to be a UK wide party when the political spectrum across the UK has diverged to polar opposites. Labour tries to pretend its a social Democratic party in Scotland a Conservative party in England and a populous party in Wales and manages to convince nobody.
    Time for Labour and the Tories and the Lib Dems to recognise the political reality that there is no UK any longer that ship has sailed.
    Independence is now the preferred choice in Scotland England and NI only Wales needs to be convinced a little bit more. Its only a political elite within the English establishment that wants to hold onto the archaic fantasy of a UK and a populous support in Wales.
    It is indeed time for Labour to split but it needs to split along the constitutional divide that has fractured the UK. Time for the emergence of a REAL Scottish Labour party not some English branch office.

    1. Hello Dave
      I think if Scottish Labour had been open to dialogue with the population of Scotland over its position regarding independence then it could have started to understand the way the people feel. Continuingly just telling us we are wrong and reacting against the SNP is a bottomless pit of misadventure. With regard to the UK, I agree that there are forces amongst the population of all countries in the UK that are tired of its monochromatic political establishment: Labour Conservative, Liberal Democrat – all in the centre saying the same things and tinkering around the constitutional wealth and equality imbalance. The right have free rein in England. They can seem dynamic with a promise of something different and after a while people will be tempted. Never mind Farage and his promotion by the media Hazel Blears warned of this way back in 2008:

      http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/7743290.stm

      https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/labour/3499326/Hazel-Blears-Mainstream-politicians-to-blame-for-rise-of-the-BNP.html

      Socialism offers a counterbalance to the right – just, at least, the hope of something better. At the same time the UK needs an effective opposition and the Labour Party’s in-fighting stops it from being so. Maybe we need the right left divorce – I don’t know. But personally, the choice between a buffoon on one side and a sort of middle manager on the other side fighting over the centre ground is not an enthralling contest and certainly does not offer any ‘hope’, just more of the same. Its independence for me.

  4. Sadly, you’re dead right.
    The Labour Party never managed to attract a majority of voters, though it attracted most of those who thought of themselves as working class.
    On the other hand avowedly “socialist” parties have only ever attracted vanishingly small numbers of voters (though in other countries Communists and “national” socialists had greater success).
    I can’t see any future in the combination of nationalism and socialism here in Scotland.
    It’s time for socialists to give up on electoral politics and stick to agitation, though a forum for the development of left-wing ideas would be welcome.
    Revivifying the unions would be a priority topic for such a think tank
    What the Labour Party will do in Scotland is a big problem, given that the Tories have the unionist vote and the SNP has a good part of the social democratic vote sewn up, albeit not firmly.
    An un-national social democratic party anyone?
    But your main point is crucial.
    The socialists, national or otherwise should split off.

    1. Hello Cambusken.
      Thanks for your comments. I don’t think it is quite as dire a situation as you suggest. I agree Labour attracted most of those who thought of themselves as working class, but I feel that this was due to the misapprehension that Labour was socialist – I thought so, my parents thought so, my friends thought so. If Scotland becomes independent I can see a new horizon for socialism. In one fell swoop the constitutional farce of the Monarchy, the Lords, first past the post can be solved. No-one is going to suggest starting off a new country by picking a family to represent it as head of state, and to hand over most of the wealth and land of the nation to another bunch of families and let the poor pay for it. I cannot see how the UK can sort out those ‘Great British traditions’ within my lifetime. I agree with your idea of a forum for the development of left-wing ideas but I feel socialists are needed in electoral politics in order to represent those who have no political capital, no political champion, those who are just consigned to the politically correct policy afterthought.

  5. Wynn,
    For those that like to think of themselves as socialists (whatever socialism in the 21st century means), your analysis of the present state of leftwing politics in the UK makes pretty depressing reading. But I think it is a lot worse than you articulate. My reading of the Labour Party now is that it is no longer a functioning political party, instead, at best, it is a one man band. It retains the name ‘The Labour Party’ but it is now in reality, The Sr Keir Starmer Party. The Party machine is broken. FUBAR. Unrepairable.
    Where did it all go wrong? That is the question. First it has to be acknowledged that for a political party that calls itself ‘socialist’ or ‘left of centre’ (again whatever that might mean), and aspires to form a government to manage a capitalist economy that in itself is going to be problematic.
    And then there is ‘legacy’, as in history. What has previous Labour governments done for us? How far shall I go back? Callaghan and The Union ‘barons’ of the 70s? Too far. Lets fast forward to Tony and Gordon. What is the first thing you think about when the name Tony Blair comes to mind? Margaret Thatcher’s greatest achievement? Well that is what Thatcher boasted, but no, its ‘Iraq and weapons of mass destruction’. A war criminal, still strutting his stuff.
    Gordon and his moral compass? What do think a focus group would write on the white board when the name of the MP for Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath is presented to them? I will leave that to your imagination.
    But here is the really funny thing Wynn; we could have had it. We could have got rid of all of it, we could have all the things a good socialist dreams of. The House of Lords, privilege, The Royal Family, Trident, Eton posh boy’s nepotism, useless aircraft carriers. We could have rid ourselves of the lot. We could have here, in Scotland, now, a small successful northern European nation like all the others.
    But we chose not to. We decided that it was Better Together. And there is no getting away from it: it was Scottish Labour that saved the union. There is no argument here, if were not for Scottish Labour’s determination to stand shoulder to shoulder with their fellow unionists in the Conservative and Unionist Party Scotland would now be an independent country. I find the irony of that, laid aside your angst for ‘socialism’ quite funny.
    Anyway, back to your final question, “Would it be better for socialists to move on and form their own party even if it fails? You can do what you like as far as I’m concerned. I don’t give a damn. In the meantime I hope your new leader heaps as much misery, embarrassment and shame on you and on your fellow old deluded lefties as is humanly possible.

    1. Wynn isn’t a Labour member, Richard, which makes your bitter nonsense even more ludicrous. Your faith in the ideas that independence would magically solve Scotland’s problems really is baffling. But that’s faith for you.

      1. It would solve Scotlands present problems which all stem from being restrained by the limitations of Devolution. New problems will arise along the same lines that other Independent states endure but there is no life without problems Duncan.

        1. The idea that Scotland’s present problems all stem from being restrained by the limitations of devolution is genuinely surreal.

          1. But you cant articulate why though eh?
            Scotland cant utilise its entire resources assets economy or legislative potential because we are forced to abdicate most of it to a foreign Government in a foreign country who chooses to utilise them for their own priorities none of which include Scotland.
            How can this situation not be problematic for any Government in Scotland trying to run Scotland with whats left? How can no reversing this situation not be the answer to this problem?

          2. That would be terrible if it were true. But it’s not true. It’s a crock.

      2. Read the last para of Wynn’s article again. Whether Wynn is a member or not he longs for an effective left wing Labour Party.
        And with regard to your second point, have you ever been to Norway, Denmark, Holland, Belgium or Iceland?

      3. Scotland’s problems are entirely down to your country..A quick google of the GDP of Denmark, of Eire of Norway tells anyone with a functioning brain that your country has been a disaster for the economic wellbeing of Scotland…You have tried over the last 50 years to make scots, feckless whilst raping our natural resources. When i say raping, you have pissed them up against a wall.

    2. Hello Richard,
      Thanks for your very detailed argument over the problems of Labour and the UK. As Duncan said I am not a party member and I support independence but I cannot help having my heart-felt ‘associations’ with the Labour party.

      I am a socialist and socialism is just the same in the 21st century as it ever was. Do not let the popular media make you think anything else. Our forebears had a much harder fight to face in order to make the achievements they did, but the fight for the interests of the working class is continual not a ladder with rungs only going up. Blair changed it all and I agree with what you say about him. I also agree that the party is broken just now. I cannot go into it here at length but we are being mis-served by a poor quality media that tries to compress everything into personalities rather than complex political analysis. Its Starmer versus Johnston now. Corbyn got a do-ing. Its Eubank, Watson and Benn politics. The reason I suggest a split is that the UK needs some kind of opposition that is coherent and that the press will find it difficult to undermine at important points in their usual way. Labour have many easy targets for the press.

      I have to say I completely agree with you when you say “we could have had it. We could have got rid of all of it, we could have all the things a good socialist dreams of. The House of Lords, privilege, The Royal Family, Trident, Eton posh boy’s nepotism, useless aircraft carriers. We could have rid ourselves of the lot.” and I agree that “We could have here, in Scotland, now, a small successful northern European nation like all the others… And there is no getting away from it: it was Scottish Labour that saved the union.”

      I just wish that it was as you say. However, it is never over unless you surrender and I think there are many who are unwilling to do so.

      As for being a deluded lefty I would rather be one of them than a centrist fighting with three or four other parties for the same territory. But I am not a deluded lefty, I am a socialist.

  6. Left–right–middle–Tory–Red Tory–Brit nat–Scot nat–Brexit–independence. Labels we stick on things.
    Instead of looking at labels, start asking questions.
    Why do working people vote for parties/people working against their own interests?
    There are constant themes running through the media (owned by a handful of rich oligarchs), and in political discourse. These tend to reference immigration–bad. The EU–bad. Scottish independence –bad. Trade unions–bad. Income tax rises—bad. Deflection and distraction. This conditions people to slew their own interests to worry about areas that have no importance to their lives. I was on holiday a few years ago, and met a nice couple from the North East (of Scotland) who made a BIG Deal about migrants. I asked how many were in their area—none, but they read about it in the Daily Mail–East Europeans getting smuggled in in lorries, boats. Yet the North East NEEDS seasonal migrant labour to pick fruit.

    We live in a time where the rich have got a LOT richer over the last 40 years—this while wages have stagnated under ALL governments. Utility companies are sold off, and bills rise beyond the control of the very people who payed to establish these enterprises. Money moves from area to area of the globe, looking for the cheapest labour, the safest environment for doing business (often dictatorships) and the lowest taxes. Money accumulates in tax havens (see the Panama Papers), beyond the reach of governments (we are told, though often these tax havens are British flagged). How did Labour politicians become overnight millionaires?

    Boris is a popular man down south, and he is prodded daily by the media to remind him he can be replaced. He is a showman; Blondie; everybody’s pal, faux bonhomie and speaking in riddles, while his chums fill their pockets and plot the next lowering of economic/safety/health standards in the UK. Wages will stay low. Jobs will go and robots will work 24/7. London( and the Tory party) is awash with dodgy money—roubles from Russia oligarchs, monies syphoned out of Africa by Dictators, Chinese tech billionaires, drug money from everywhere etc.
    But the “New Singapore” for workers will be more like Bangalore, divorced from EU standards, in hock to a US President.
    Will this England stop voting Tory? If the media have anything to do with it–then NO!.

    I will vote for Scottish self government. Small countries are more nimble and better regulated. That will at least give my children a chance to maintain/ improve their lives.

    1. Hello Gavin
      You are right. One of the things that gets me about globalisation is the movement of manufacturing to the cheapest cost base state. We have also had the ‘benefit’ of an army of itinerant cheap labour to pick up on to keep our economies growing until they got too dear – soon it might be others – and the world keeps turning. Do we need cheap labour? Yes, because we do not pay enough, haven’t done for a long time and capitalists require them to make money. Sorting that out is a very big problem.

      The right plays the immigrant card very well. So do others British Jobs for British workers – cripes! But who was it in this UK that benefitted from these things? Companies, individuals and other interests – not me. It might have trickled down to me but the drips and crumbs I can do without. We can get rid of much of the burden on our society if we have the political will, but I cannot see Sir Keir Starmer, Boris Johnston, Ed Davey or Layla Moran as candidates to make these changes. It needs something else.

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