hugh penningtonProfessor Hugh Pennington tells us why he has launched an online petition calling on the Labour Party to end the suspension of the nine Aberdeen Labour councillors who are delivering Labour policies in the city.


I came to Aberdeen from Glasgow almost 40 years ago. I soon became aware of the big differences between them. Since then I have spent much time fighting central belt bias in organisations like the NHS.

It’s right and proper to compete with Glasgow and Edinburgh for resources. But for democratically elected Aberdeen councillors to be told what to do – or else – by a committee in Glasgow is very very different.

The Aberdeen nine are delivering Labour policies for the benefit of the citizens of Aberdeen – building houses and schools and maintaining a no compulsory redundancy policy. I am familiar with their work at a detailed level and have great admiration for their outstanding professionalism, as well as their long-standing dedication to Labour.

Their current coalition arrangement is needed to allow them to run a progressive administration in Aberdeen, which is what they are doing. I do not understand why they are being treated so shabbily, or why such treatment has gone on so long. It is providing ammunition to those who wish us harm.

While it is too late for the Scottish Executive Committee to heed Oliver Cromwell’s words to the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, “I beseech you, in the bowels of Christ, think it possible you may be mistaken”, by launching an online petition I am calling for the National Executive Committee to end the suspension of the Aberdeen nine and restore their full rights as Labour Party members without delay.


You can sign the petition here. Thank you.

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13 thoughts on “Support the Aberdeen Nine

  1. This petition is not a good idea it’s bad enough already that the councillors joined together with the Tories and now they should receive their just deserts which in my view would be expulsion from the party. In the event that Hugh Pennington ever tried to join the labour party then I would instead redirect and give him the address of central office Tory HQ as he is already supporting them with this online petition.

  2. I cannot support the Aberdeen Nine. They have blatantly ignored a decision of the Scottish Executive. if SEC were to accept that, then there would be absolute chaos after the next elections. Ours is a Democratic Socialist Party. If we ignore the internal democracy of our Party, then why should anyone trust us in the external democracy of elections. I have many times been unhappy with decisions of the NEC, the SEC, while a Councillor, my Party group, and even in leadership elections, my fellow Party members. However, I have always accepted the will of the majority while only arguing against it internally. I urge the Aberdeen Nine to do likewise

    1. Jim,
      I cant help think you must be feeling a little unesay after pressing ‘Post Comment’.
      The British Labour Party is fractured, looks like beyond repair. The Scottish Branch is a third place nonentity. And yet in Aberdeen of all places a small group of Labour councillors have been elected, and it appears from this article, are doing their best for the people that voted for them and those that did not. Were doing their best is more accuarate.
      What a wonderful irony. I am trying to find an anolgy to try and explain the scale of this absurd farce but I realise that is impossible. There isnt one.

      1. Richard, from where I am sitting, the Labour Party in Scotland is increasingly coming together under Richard Leonard. I live in North Ayrshire, where I see more and more good socialist policies make a difference every day for our people. Yes, we will have or squabbles, but in 40 years in the Party, I have never known any different. It’s just that we don’t hide ours behind smoke screens and diktats. Onwards and upwards, comrade, onwards and upwards

    1. Me Bungo,
      I ken that one. Fratrinising with the enemy.
      I know what your thinking Me Bungo; your thinking, have they not done so before? and, why is it wrong this time round? Sorry. Maybe Ted or Jim O’Neill can help.

  3. These councillors are doing what I suspect most of their electorate would like them to do – i.e. to work with others in the best interests of the people of Aberdeen

    1. No. They’ve made a deal with the devil simply to keep the SNP out of power. They would rather work with Tories than see their hated rivals lead the council. The best interests of the people of Aberdeen are a relatively low priority compared to that.

      1. The hatred for the SNP clouds the judgment of the Aberdeen councillors and then working in cahoots with the Tories is Toxic and does the Labour Party a disservice. It seems we take one step forward and two steps back until we get a grip of the hatred psyche of the SNP in our kernels we are doomed.

  4. The relatively new STV system in local government elections was always going to result in various alliances of parties and independents some more natural than others.

    The SEC laid down conditions for the “Aberdeen 9” to satisfy (such as anti-austerity and anti-poverty policies) in coalition which I believe they have done in full but yet this is still not enough. They have implemented their election manifesto in full (how many parties can say that?) but that is not enough, even though their manifesto was praised by senior party members before the 2017 elections.

    From the very outset this entire situation has been handled poorly – they have been suspended for 13 months – which in itself I understand is a breach of party policy. I’d far rather that Labour members were in power and able to implement their policies than shouting from the sidelines and impotently waving flags. I got into politics to make a real difference to real people not opine powerlessly in opposition. Oh and Labour were in a coalition in Aberdeen from 2012 – 2017 that included Tories – why was that okay then?

    1. And do you think the Tories get nothing out of this? Tory policies must be getting implemented to the detriment of Labour ones or they wouldn’t be sharing power with them. Is this an indication of Labour perhaps offering to share power with the Tories at Holyrood if they get the chance? Putting power and a blind hatred of the SNP before the best interests of Scotland? Comments on this thread would appear to make it a possibility.

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