Two ways Labour can oppose SNP in the local elections

mark-lazarowiczFormer Edinburgh MP Mark Lazarowicz compares two potential approaches to the local election campaign.

 

There are two ways in which Scottish Labour can oppose the SNP in the upcoming local government elections.

 

Option 1:

  • Campaign on a positive agenda for the local council area.
  • Highlight each candidate’s programme for their own ward.
  • Point out SNP government failures in local government – for example lack of finance, educational achievement, over-centralisation, shortage of homelessness accommodation, failure to tackle poor urban air quality, lots more money for motorways and bridges but not so much for cycling, walking, and buses – but recognise that there have also been successes and achievements.
  • Promote positive policies for local government across Scotland.
  • Highlight the hard work and achievements of local councillors (if they don’t have any, change the councillor!).

Result: election is focused on local issues, the SNP government’s record is scrutinised, some hope for success if the local Labour programme meets local needs and the local record deserves it.

 

Option 2:

  • Run round in circles getting hysterical about ‘#indyref2’.
  • Imply (either directly or by nod-and-a-wink) that everyone in the SNP/Yes campaign is motivated by racism or xenophobia.
  • Spend all day on social media searching for cybernats with 3 followers on Twitter and 8 facebook friends who’ve said something outrageous and then denounce them as widely as possible.
  • Claim that the SNP government has done ‘nothing’ progressive in 10 years.

Result: local elections ignore local issues and become polarised between pro-independence and pro-union sides; Labour effectively writes off half the voters, and gets ‘trumped’ by the Tories as the most pro-union party; Labour gets squeezed between the Tories and the SNP.

 

I wonder which option might be best?

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68 thoughts on “Two ways Labour can oppose SNP in the local elections

    1. So the idea is to chase the votes of only half the electorate then Scott? I vote for you as campaign manager.

      1. Nope. Elections are about winning votes, only populist parties chase them. I know for a fact that people who back independence will vote for me.

        1. Is that why Labour try to be 3 different populist parties in the UK Scott?
          Scottish labour English Labour and Welsh Labour?

        2. I look forward to discussing your lack of success after the elections Scott.

          1. Whereas “Mike” is nothing but an angry ranting keyboard warrior. More power to your elbow, Scott.

        3. Gonna be an interesting election campaign watching Scott Arthur’s “Winning vote” strategy as he seduces the pro Indy vote with his anti Indy rhetoric.

        4. Nobody with a pulse and a brain will vote for a racist pretend doctor.

          Is that not a crime btw? Pretending to be an MD for financial gain when you are in actual fact a doctor of sewage?

    2. Just so I am not mistaken DrScottArthur thinks, it should be Option 1 but the most important thing is the first point of Option 2.
      I think there may be trouble ahead.

        1. Indeed, a rather typically dishonest interpretation from Richard I thought. That type is determined to stoke a grievance whether justified or not.

        2. “Option 1 with a clear statement opposing #IndyRef2”

          “Just so I am not mistaken DrScottArthur thinks, it should be Option 1 but the most important thing is the first point of Option 2.”

          “Who said it was “the most important thing”? Who even implied that?”

          I see where Mark might get the idea that folk have the memory of a Goldfish..

        3. You did DrScott, Quote your words, “Option 1 with a clear statement opposing #IndyRef2”. March 3rd 0702hrs. See above.

          Mark Lazarowicz lays out two options on a Labour website, he implores Labour activists, to do the right thing for the greater good.

          His question – “How should Labour approach the May local elections?” Mr Lazorowicz proposes two options.

          Option 1: ‘promote successes and achievements’. ‘Promote positive policies for local government across Scotland.’ ‘Highlight the hard work and achievements of local councillors’.

          Option2 : Dont ‘Run round in circles getting hysterical about ‘#indyref2’’.
          Dont ‘Imply (either directly or by nod-and-a-wink) that everyone in the SNP/Yes campaign is motivated by racism or xenophobia’.
          Dont ‘Spend all day on social media searching for cybernats with 3 followers’. and finally, dont ‘Claim that the SNP government has done ‘nothing’ progressive in 10 years.’

          Two options. Black or white, a butchers clever to a side of beef. Right no wrong.

          When Mark Lazarowicz proposes two options, as he does and this is my point DrScottThinks, if there are only two options, in logic, they are not options, if there is only two to choose from, they are, alternatives. It is one or it is the other. You cannot claim to support option 1 and then say that the important principle of option 2 is upper most in your considerations.

          1. You smoking the same thing Mike is smoking, Richard?

            Nowhere did Scott say the important principle of option 2 is “upper most in my considerations”. Just as nowhere did he say it was “the most important thing”.

            Are neither of you capable of reading, or is it just that you’re incapable of honest debate?

    3. Wouldn’t that be similar to the Conservatives confusing and contradictory message they announced at the weekend?

      ‘The SNP are too obsessed with the constitution and have neglected local services. Please use elections about local services to send a message to the SNP that people don’t want a second referendum.’

      Mark is right, it has to be about local services OR the constitution but it shouldn’t be both.

      For the record I want to vote Labour in the local elections (the first time I’ll have cast a vote for Labour since the GE in 2010).

      The local services where I live, particularly schools, are in good shape and have been rebuilt under the Labour administration so they deserve to stay in office.

      However, the sitting Labour Council leader has spent the last 5 years denoucing the Council tax freeze in his regular column in the local newspaper.

      Guess what he has announced as his flagship policy? To continue the Council tax freeze.

      Because of this bonkers, not to mention hypocritical stance, I’m considering voting Lib Dem/Green or anyone else proposing a rise in Council tax.

    4. Scott, your default setting is option 2. If you tried option 1 you’d get a nose-bleed.

      Still, happy to be proved wrong. Could you begin by discussing Mark’s “….but recognise that there have also been successes and achievements” please?

    5. Apologise for inflicting the tram on Edinburgh putting 4,000 council workers on the dole maybe?

    6. Cake option “eat” with a clear statement recommending cake option “have”.

  1. “Point out SNP government failures in local government – for example lack of finance, educational achievement, over-centralisation, shortage of homelessness accommodation, failure to tackle poor urban air quality, lots more money for motorways and bridges but not so much for cycling, walking, and buses – but recognise that there have also been successes and achievements.”

    Not sure how effective this strategy will be in labour controlled councils. People will only point out Labours failures at local level within these wards Mark.

    “Promote positive policies for local government across Scotland.”

    Its dead easy to promote positive policies Mark the trick is getting folk to believe in your credibility to deliver them. Labour has no credibility currency anywhere in the UK. You blew it all away when you had decades of unbridled control at local level with a track record of failure and non delivery not to mention massive tax hikes.

    “Highlight the hard work and achievements of local councillors (if they don’t have any, change the councillor!).”

    You want to change every labour councillor in Scotland? Just before the local elections? Really? Wow thats Bold in a euthanasia kind of way.

    Result: election is focused on local issues, the SNP government’s record is scrutinised, some hope for success if the local Labour programme meets local needs and the local record deserves it.

    Folk are going to remember the SNP froze the council tax for 9 years Mark. They will also remember Labour increased local taxation every single year way above the rate of inflation.

    “Claim that the SNP government has done ‘nothing’ progressive in 10 years.”

    Why dont you just flat out tell Labour members to lie their arses off Mark? The most progressive thing the SNP has ever done is to remove Labour from power in Scotland. Now thats progress everybody will recognise.

    Seems your only strategy is to once again employ meaningless rhetoric bare faced lies and pretend you have a local track record to be proud of in the vain hope that the voters will have the memories of a Goldfish.

  2. After Khans antics and Dugdales denial, any labourite knocking my door will regret it. Demonising half the population before canvassing is nothing short of madness. This party cannot help but stumble from one disaster to the next so am betting option two will be employed with vigour.

    1. Taylor, my ward is not usual. There are three seats and only one SNP candidate standing. Not giving Labour your second vote helps the Tories win the other seats

  3. Come on lets face reality here. The ONLY strategy Labour will employ will be to get back into bed with the Tories in order to chase the second and third votes tactically trying to exploit the STV system.

    Its there ONLY option because of their track record in local Government.

      1. Again, I don’t understand how your reply rebuts the original comment. You have effectively just confirmed Mike’s point.

        1. If you don’t understand my point, you don’t understand the STV voting system. Most candidates need 2nd preference votes to get elected. That’s not about “getting in bed” with anyone.

          Are the SNP not accepting transfers from Tory voters?

  4. Mark Lazarowicz,
    I know your appealing to Labour activists and I can see that requires a certain simplicity of discourse but I find this piece more than annoying. To lay out two options, one sensible and the other ridiculous is patronising. Read it again. See what you think?

    1. I think the point that Mark is making is that Labour for the most part have been using option 2 and if they ever want to be listened to again they need to start using option 1.

      The problem for Labour though, is that a lot of their ‘people’ have been using option 2 for so long that they chose activists/MSP’s etc, based on their ability to be an option 2 type of person.

      I think it will take a genuine ‘clearing up of the dead wood’ and replacing them with people who know how to engage with people, without insults or lies or the pedantic nonsense that most Slab types now fall back on, before anyone who has left labour will be daft enough to listen to Slab again, let alone return to them.

      So it will need the present labour liars and drones, to except that they have been rejected by Scotland, and agree to allow themselves to be replaced by people who have not been tarnished with these traits, for Slab to have any chance of a comeback in Scotland.

      Not going to happen, is it!

  5. “Whereas “Mike” is nothing but an angry ranting keyboard warrior. More power to your elbow, Scott.”

    I prefer the term “Touch Typist” myself.

    Pity its folk like me Labour has to convince in order to get back on track in Scotland though eh?

  6. “Win or lose, at least I am willing to stand up for what I believe in.”

    See there’s your problem right there. You’re supposed to be standing for what your local ward believes in.

    Public service is not based on the principle of having the public serve you.

    1. No he isn’t, you political illiterate. He’s standing for Labour values and asking for the support of voters in his ward for those values. He’s not standing as a delegate, he’s standing as a representative.

      1. Jesus H Christ you people are still campaigning in the 80s.

        In spite of where you are today you still believe the strategy to run with is to spew rhetoric and make strings of promises everybody knows you have no intention of keeping.
        It worked in the past because there was only a single corrupt media source spreading the mince around like manure in a garden.
        But in this day and age of alternate media you cant get away with it anymore. Christ you use the internet every single fucking day and you still havent cottoned on to its power and influence.

        I laughed the other day at FMQs when Ruth Davidison and poundshop Ruth Davidson both attacked the SNP for their principle of consultation.

        Labour still hasnt grasped the concept that the SNPs success is based on their ability to focus on doing what people want them to do not dictate to people an intent and tell them to take it or leave it.

        “Labour values”? Labour change their values more times than most folk change their socks. Nobody can keep up with the latest version of “Labour values”. Nor do they understand how they’re so different between the various constituent parts of the UK.

        I do I understand it all too well. You’re just terminally corrupt. Thats why I said you’re ONLY strategy will be to work with the Tories again to tactically give and take your second or third vote choices and use the STV system to save yer sorry arses.

      2. “No he isn’t, you political illiterate. He’s standing for Labour values”

        He just stated he was standing on his OWN VALUES! Cant you read?

        1. He said he was standing up for what he believes in, which is Labour values.

          And calm down, Mike, you’ll do yourself a mischief.

          1. Not according to his You tube activity which shows he believes in UKIP values.

          1. Labour doesnt have values Scott Labour is a collective mafia of individuals not a sentient entity. Therefore the values belong to the individuals not the collective.
            What you’re in effect saying is that you dont have any values of your own but your happy to take on whatever values the collective have because for you its all about the membership not the duty.

            The term for that attitude is “self serving”.

          2. Nope, what I’m saying is that I believe in the redistribution of wealth and opportunity.

            The last Labour government took hundreds of thousands of people out of poverty and helped them reach their potential.

            I joined Labour in 2014 as there’s still too much poverty in Scotland and only Labour is serious about tackling it.

            The problems we see in education in Scotland today will ensure many Scots don’t get the chance in life they deserve. That breaks my heart.

          3. “Labour values”. What does that even mean?
            Here’s a few things that spring to mind.
            The ethnic cleansing of Diego Garcia to make a military base for the Yanks.
            Market structures. Foundation Trusts. GP Consortia. Private enterprise bidding for NHS contracts—all introduced in England by a Labour Government.
            WMDs based just up the road from Glasgow, for decades one of Europe’s poorest cities while administered by Labour.
            How about Academy Schools-another good Labour wheeze?
            Selling arms to third world countries so they could fight each other (Iran/Iraq).
            Invading third world countries when they dont do what they are told.
            Selling Peerages.
            Taking up Peerages in an institution you claimed you would abolish a century ago.
            Fighting tooth and nail against any serious powers being devolved to Scottish democratic control.
            Fighting tooth and nail to stop a fair distribution of Scottish licence fee money being spent in Scotland.

            That is just off the top of my head. The list is probably endless.

          4. In the face of it, Scotland has had enough of so-called labour values, its nothing but the values of putting the labour party first.

            But fortunately Scotland has recognised what Labour is and I am sure they will do the same to labour as they did in the two past elections.

            Stuff them.

          5. Yep, what did Scottish Labour governments ever do for us? Apart from free bus travel, free personal care and a smoking ban what did they do?

            By contrast, it only took the SNP ten years to run down education and divide Scotland. If only Labour had thought of that!

  7. “Nowhere did Scott say the important principle of option 2 is “upper most in my considerations”. Just as nowhere did he say it was “the most important thing”.

    Nowhere has anybody claimed he did. He denied “IMPLYING” it.

  8. With an attempt at irony, I was suggesting Scottish Labour should focus on local issues, and policy affecting local government for the local elections; and not make ‘indyref2’ a focus of its campaigning. Thanks for all your comments!

    1. In what Yooniverse are local matters not influenced directly by the constitution of the UK Mark? What local issues are not affected by the fact that Scotland has a Devolved Government and not a fully Independent Government Mark?

    2. I think the response to your post demonstrated a complete obsession about the constitution from both sides which pretty much proved your point!

    3. And you had a decent stab at it Mark, however I have saw Slab admitting they are ‘doing something wrong’ several times before, and just when yu think they are about to start the journey back to political relevance in Scotland, they seem to bury their heads, or rather I suspect they are told to bury their heads from London, and they go back to the politics of either trying to con Scots into voting for them with lies, or the downright smearing of their political opponents, which is usually the SNP or anyone who expresses a desire for self determination.

      So I’m afraid you are wasting your time with this Mark

  9. I think I will join in the fun . of course I am with option 1 . Local Elections are exactly that local people local issues. Here in North Ayrshire we will be asking a few questions . 1 why after a by election defeat did the SNP give up control of the council without being forced to and let Labour take control. 2 we will point out not all SNP councillors agreed with the decision. 3 the council leader was on holiday when the decision to reset the party was taken . Reset was the word the SNP used. 1 of their councillors refused to go got forced out. 4 we will be pointing out when NAC got the latest reduction from the Scottish Government this time over 9 million the SNP thought it was a good deal. They would have taken it. The incoming Labour Administration said no and got over 3 million back. This and other matters are local issues . This is what local elections are about local issues . Not Brexit Indy or anything else. And folks the public will tell us that no matter what party you are in or support

  10. Let me bring you up to speed an independence referendum will be announced at the SNP conference in 2 weeks time and everybody regardless of political parties will make that their priority of course it could be an indicator as to who does well at the local elections if SNP win Glasow and most of the other local councils then it could indicate they will win the referendum and Scottish Labour Party may become obsolete which would be a shame.

    1. I dont think so. It might but I think Nicola will wait until we get a clearer indication on which direction Brexit is going.
      Brexit is going to be a major campaigning issue so we need to know where to set our stall. The harder the Brexit the more support for Independence.
      So don’t be too surprised if Indyref 2 isn’t kicked off at the conference.

      1. I disagree this time you will be happy to know that the celebrities both Scottish and English are anti Brexit and in favour of Scottish Independence even labour stalwart Eddie Izzard has changed his tune and I expect Bob Geldof to come steaming up the Clyde in support for Scottish Independence. I know that the right wing newspapers are pro union but the main stream media commentators at the BBC are anti Brexit and in favour of Scottish independence I expect that if JK Rowling comes out in support of Scottish independence then Duncan and the Dr would follow so its Happy Days.

        1. Can you provide evidence that Eddie Izzard is in favour of Scottish independence please Ted? Thanks.

          1. Has he recovered yet from his day out in Glasgow with Jim Murphy? Genuine question.

          2. I was in the Dog & Duck in Bateman street just around the corner from Soho theatre in mid January when I heard loud party enter and Eddie was holding court he was wearing a pink fluffy Beret and was the centre of attention he was going on about his show coming up in March and then started banging on about Brexit and having a pop at Corbyn and said that if he was Scottish then this time around he would support independence because of UK leaving the EU he is not a Happy Bunny.

          3. This is excellent. Not exactly evidence, but an excellent anecdote.

  11. “Nope, what I’m saying is that I believe in the redistribution of wealth and opportunity.”

    As a result of over 10 years Labour Government and more than 20 years Conservative Government the top 1% in the UK enjoys more wealth than the bottom 50%. The UK record on wealth distribution is one of the worst in the developed world thanks in no small part to Labour under Blair and Brown.

    “The last Labour government took hundreds of thousands of people out of poverty and helped them reach their potential.”

    That is a pure unadulterated willfull bare faced lie. Labour took NOBODY out of poverty not a single individual. You can prove me wrong by naming just 1 of them.

    “I joined Labour in 2014 as there’s still too much poverty in Scotland and only Labour is serious about tackling it.”

    By cutting 12 billion from welfare and benefits? By renewing Trident? imposing prescription charges? imposing Tuition fees? increasing everybodies taxation? imposing wage freezes? By warmongering? By making more Life peers in the House of Lords? by abstaining instead of opposing Tory policy and ideology? Through privatisation? By transferring public funding to the private sector via PFI PPP?

    “The problems we see in education in Scotland today will ensure many Scots don’t get the chance in life they deserve. That breaks my heart.”

    People like you thrive on ignorance its the only way you get your empty rhetoric across. What would break your heart is educated people seeing right through you and preventing you from self serving yer worthless arse off.

    Nothing but willfull empty rhetoric and bare faced lying. The hallmark of your Labour official wannabe.

  12. “Yep, what did Scottish Labour governments ever do for us? Apart from free bus travel, free personal care and a smoking ban what did they do?

    “By contrast, it only took the SNP ten years to run down education and divide Scotland. If only Labour had thought of that!”

    That 12 billion labour were planning on cutting from Welfare Scott would that have affected bus travel and personal care by any chance?

    Are Labour councils not cutting free bus travel and free personal care in ALL of their wards Scott? Im seeing cuts to free personal care in every Labour ward Scott.

  13. Amazingly, I will now agree with Dr Scott on something. Sorry Mike, Dr Scott is right to say he will stand on his own/Labour values and hope to persuade the electorate to back him. Anyone who stands on supposed “local values” that contradict their own is an opportunist. In any election, candidates should stand on their own/Party values and then let the voters decide who best represents them. It may be an idealist view but never-the-less ….

    Again, amazingly, I will agree with another Unionist. Mr Lazarowicz is correct in his analysis. Though, in my opinion, rather than showing two possible options, he is effectively comparing the “ideal” (option 1) with the reality (option 2). The Labour hierarchy’s antithesis towards the SNP trumps everything else to them. Even the good of the country.

    Where I metaphorically spat out my cornflakes was when Dr Scott claimed only Labour were serious about tackling poverty in Scotland. What!!! Even at the height of the last Labour Govt at Westminster, poverty in Scotland was up to 10x the levels seen in our small, independent neighbours. If Labour are so serious about tackling poverty in Scotland, why are they insisting on maintaining a Union that has singularly failed to alleviate it …. ever.

  14. On purely local issues in my council area I would much prefer Labour to the SNP.

    But one thing that both the Labour and SNP commentators seem to agree on is that the constitution should play a part a major part the local elections.

    And on that basis I’ll be voting SNP.

  15. “Amazingly, I will now agree with Dr Scott on something. Sorry Mike, Dr Scott is right to say he will stand on his own/Labour values”

    Which implies that he would no longer support Labour if their values diverged.

    Since 2014 Labour have been pro austerity and anti austerity for tax increases and against tax increases for tuition fees and against tuition fees for Trident renewal and against Trident renewal it supports Federation in Scotland but is against it in England.

    Scott Arthur would have a microbe of credibility if Labours “Values” werent all over the place and subject to review almost on a weekly basis.

    I have no idea what Labours values are today or what they will be tomorrow and neither does Scott Arthur.

    But that unimportant because he’s willing to clone his own values to Labours no matter what they are if it gets him a chance at public office and an opportunity to self serve within his community.

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