The Blairites in UK Labour, if Lord Mandelson was to be believed, kinda sorta issued a détente over Corbyn’s leadership. Anyone surprised to learn that they, erm, lied?
When Corbyn became leader I said that SNP support could well get dented. But I also commented that Corbyn didn’t seem to have his head around Scottish appetites for more devolved powers or independence.
In developments, it seems he’s been getting advice on Scottish affairs from that redoubtable or incurable, depending on your perspective, Blairite from Scotland, Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale (and her crew).
That means Corbyn is making unsubstantiated and rather stupid claims about the SNP that will win him and the Labour Party absolutely no support in the up-coming Holyrood elections. Now, I doubt that any SNP members in Westminster will bother to set him straight before those elections in June. Why would they? The Mandleson mob must be fair sniggering up their sleeves if their ‘pull the plug now chaps!’ plan is to wait for a Corbyn led Labour Party to tank in either bye elections or more substantial elections.
Corbyn has repeated his claims that the SNP aren’t really anti-austerity. He’s pointed to the privatisation of both rail and Calmac ferries as proof of these claims. He also – among other one-liners – pointed to a lack of house-building (flags don’t build houses ) and falling numbers of college students to reveal the apparent disingenuousness of the SNP.
Okay. Rail was privatised in 1993 before the Holyrood parliament even existed and it’s now against the law for the Scottish Parliament/government to contest tenders. (Alex Salmon, the then SNP leader in Westminster spoke against the initial privatisation)
Calmac (the ferry service for the Western Isles) was put out to tender because it had to be under EU Community guidelines on state aid to maritime transport. It’s still owned by the Scottish Government.
On college places, the Scottish Funding Council reported that –
A substantial fall in student numbers was expected as SFC moved away from funding very short programmes of study (under 10 hours) and leisure programmes in favour of more substantial courses designed to improve the student’s employment prospects.
The actual fall in total numbers has been less than 0.5% a year for 7 years alongside the scrapping a £2000 ‘graduation endowment fee’ in the context of a shrinking budget allocation from the UK parliament.
A snap-shot on housing – the SNP government built 1232 council houses (ie, called state houses in NZ) during 2013 while the previous Lib/Dem-Labour government built 6 over their entire time in office. Or by way of further contrast, official data apparently shows that the Blair and Brown governments built 7,870 council houses in England and Wales over the course of 13 years.
Meanwhile, in spite of Corbyn claiming that the SNP is cutting local government expenditure, it transpires that they overfunded local authorities by £165 million through compensation for Scottish government policy that froze the council tax.
Finally, it seems that no-one can pinpoint the privatisation of services Corbyn claims the SNP is pursuing.
Anyway, as someone who wants to see Jeremy Corbyn succeed, I can only concur with the advise offered by the website ‘Wings Over Scotland’
Maybe check anything Kezia Dugdale tells you before you go on telly with it.
Update. Things we don’t remember. An ill-advised ‘jumping on the bandwagon’ by shadow Chancellor John McDonnell at the Labour Party conference. The comments below the vid offer insight to where Labour in Scotland are headed with this type of nonsense.