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Scottish Labour. On the Cusp?

Written By: - Date published: 6:02 pm, August 30th, 2017 - 17 comments
Categories: labour, Left, liberalism, political parties, politicans, social democracy - Tags: , ,

Kezia Dugdale is gone. That’s very good news. Depending on how the next leader of the Scottish Labour Party is chosen, they may be on their way back. Correspondingly, the SNP may well be about to take a serious dive.

Dugdale was a Blairite, a “Third Way” acolyte – a liberal. And the SNP merely filled the space that UK Labour left empty in its rush to the supposed centre. I honestly thought Scottish Labour was dead after recent electoral routs in Scotland. But then UK Labour moved left with Corbyn. And even with Dugdale holding the reins, Scottish Labour got a “Jeza” bump in the UK Election just been. Just a shame then, that Scottish Labour under Kezia Dugdale cozied up with the Scottish Tories in an effort to bring down the SNP instead of fighting a UK election campaign – and wound up delivering Theresa May to Downing Street.

Anyway.

How many more times does it need to be illustrated by example that Liberalism is dead and that a break to the social democratic left is a break to the future?

Macron – France’s centrist equivalent to NZs Jacinda Ardern –  (ie, a liberal masquerading as something embodying meaningful change), is tanking in the polls. He’s down to 40% approval rating only four months after the mainstream media veritably wet it pants at the prospect, and then the reality, of President Macron.

Trudeau, another from the same camp of pretenders, is about 8 points ahead of the Tories, but only on 42%. Meanwhile, the New Democratic Party NDP who traditionally sit to the left of Trudeau’s Liberal Party, and whose leftist rhetoric Trudeau nicked last election, has just tripled its membership in the run up to a leadership vote.

Ring any bells?

I’m still looking at three more years of governance by Liberalism in NZ. Then hopefully, thankfully, it’ll be over.

 

17 comments on “Scottish Labour. On the Cusp?”

  1. ScottGN 1

    Jesus Bill. Rust never sleeps eh?

  2. Roy 2

    Shows why we need a strong GP presence. Just so old ‘Cindy doesn’t get tempted by the shadows, the auld labouria.

  3. tracey 3

    I hope to God you are right. But this wont die anytime soon cos too many with lots of money and influence have too much to lose

  4. swordfish 4

    Who will be the next Scottish Labour leader? Runners and riders after Kezia Dugdale’s shock resignation (a few key passages)

    So who might replace Kezia Dugdale? And how are the possible candidates aligned with Labour’s leader? Here are some of the biggest hitters north of the border.

    The Corbynistas

    Neil Findlay

    A powerful ally of Jeremy Corbyn in Scotland, Neil Findlay is the Labour left’s most experienced performer in Holyrood …

    Mr Findlay has long called for “clear red water” between Scottish Labour and Nicola Sturgeon’s SNP and has won the support of many of the same forces that back Jeremy Corbyn as a result …

    Alex Rowley

    Scottish Labour’s current Acting Leader, Alex Rowley was elected as Kezia Dugdale’s deputy just two years ago.

    In that time the former Fife Council chief has set himself up as a close ally of Jeremy Corbyn in Scotland, alongside Neil Findlay, and was seen by many as one of a number of voices increasingly critical of Ms Dugdale inside Holyrood.

    Rowley made his name in Scottish politics as Gordon Brown’s fixer in his native Fife, and has previously served Scottish Labour’s General Secretary …

    Richard Leonard

    Newly elected to the Scottish Parliament in 2016, Richard Leonard is a long fixture of the party’s left wing.

    Perhaps an unlikely candidate in this election, but his generally pro-Corbyn politics and commitment to talking up socialist causes has seen him talked up as a compromise candidate if the left’s leading candidates – Neil Findlay or Alex Rowley – do not stand.

    Speeches on state of Scotland’s industry and other popular leftwing issues have seen him develop into a favourite of the young Corbyn inspired left that many think will decide this election.

    The Blairites

    Anas Sarwar

    The son of the UK’s first Muslim MP, Mr Sarwar was elected to the Scottish Parliament a year later and has served in the health brief ever since.

    A competent media performer in a party that has lost a lot of big names, Sarwar’s stint as Deputy Leader means he has a larger public profile than many of his potential opponents.

    But the moderate MSP was among those who signed a letter asking Corbyn to consider his position in the wake of last year’s Brexit referendum.

    The 34-year-old is known to be ambitious, but hasn’t put his head above the parapet – yet.

    Jackie Baillie

    A Scottish Parliament heavyweight, Jackie Baillie has played a pivotal role in the rise – and fall – of most Scottish Labour leaders since devolution.

    An arch moderate, many credit her passionate defence of Trident and the union for her success in holding her Dumbarton constituency against all comers.

    A harsh Corbyn critic, Mrs Baillie has served in almost every role in Scottish Labour’s front bench team – bar Leader or Deputy.

    Allies in the Corbyn sceptic PLP are understood to be asking Baillie to consider throwing her hat in the ring.

    http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/who-next-scottish-labour-leader-11079540#ICID=sharebar_twitter

    • Bill 4.1

      If Scottish Labour moves to a UK Labour election process, it will make all the difference. At the moment, (as far as I understand it) Scottish Labour Party members have no say in deciding the leadership of the party.

      • swordfish 4.1.1

        More generally …. In virtually all UK Poll breakdowns / cross-tabs on various issues … Scots are always the most Left-leaning (followed by Londoners and voters in Northern England). From support for Corbyn to Public Ownership to Scrapping Trident to Redistribution of Wealth.

        Last year on BBC Question Time, some Tory-leaning “expert” commentator confidently asserted that the idea of Scots tending Left was pure mythology … that all the evidence suggested otherwise. I thought Utter Bullshit !. Unfortunately, no-one challenged her.

        I sometimes come across suggestions that the Scots may be Economic Leftists but are conservative on Moral issues. But, from the data I’ve seen, I have real doubts about even that assertion.

    • gadfly 4.2

      Neil Findlay distinguished himself during the independence referendum working closely with the broader left and fighting for an position oriented squarely at working people. Against SNP opportunism and Tory austerity: Class before Nation!

  5. dukeofurl 5

    “Scottish Labour under Kezia Dugdale cozied up with the Scottish Tories in an effort to bring down the SNP instead of fighting a UK election campaign – and wound up delivering Theresa May to Downing Street.”

    Cough..cough.. the SNP has been fighting the Scottish Labour for decades and suddenly they should be helping the SNP ?

    May stayed in Downing street because she improved their vote by 4.6% in England and 13.7% in Scotland
    Labours vote only improved by 2.8% in Scotland ( in England it was 10.3%)

    So its clearly false that Scottish Labours (small) rise helped the Conservatives when the SNP vote fell by 13.1% i Scotland.

    A little bit of Arithmetic goes a long way for those who dont understand election results
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Results_breakdown_of_the_United_Kingdom_general_election,_2017

    A 13% drop in voter support tells you something. Even on the other side of the world we can tell that Sturgeon has finally shut up about another independence referendum. The Scots have told her to put a sock in it

    • adam 5.1

      And the people who did not vote because the actions of the labour party dukeofurl?

      Where are they in you magical statistics?

      But by all means keep defending liberalism, it’s good to know the enemy.

    • Bill 5.2

      Numbers and some understanding around why people voted the way they did are two completely different things DoF.

      You care to explain the huge Tory gains in Scotland without reference to the dual Labour/Tory campaign waged against the SNP? Nah. Thought not.

      • dukeofurl 5.2.1

        The voters are the ones who decide the result. Thats what elections are about.

        The huge Tory gains were because the SNP were seen as not representing the voters. I pointed out the small swing to labour, you keep ignoring that FACT

        Was it labour that made these voters tick conservative ? It was a massive swing !

        If you wrote crime novels , reviewers would pan them as totally implausible.

        • Bill 5.2.1.1

          Kezia teamed up with Ruth and is on record stating that in some seats only the Tories could stop the SNP.

          Thing is, it was a UK election that was being fought with the idea of defeating the Tories. Except of course in Scotland, where Scottish Labour jumped into bed with them.

          Another dynamic that was at play is the sectarian divide in Scotland. Protestants tend more towards being unionist than Catholics and their view is informed, not by politics, but by religion.

          Then there’s the fact that Kezia is widely regarded as prime cut idiocy. And she and others were repeatedly stating that Corbyn didn’t have a shit show.

          So, having been encouraged by both establishment parties to vote against the SNP, who do you think targetted voters would give their tick to? A party led by a woman widely regarded as an idiot, or to a party led by a woman widely seen as a smart operator?

          Kezia didn’t see that coming and Ruth must have been laughing her socks off at Kezia’s gullibility in thinking she could rebuild Scottish Labour with such a game play.

          Anyway. Scottish Labour are probably on their way back now. Many SNP voters can now vote Labour and get the social democratic policies they were looking for without having to take on the whole independence thing.

          The SNP will survive and be a healthy presence in Scottish politics. The Tories will fade away again. And the Scottish electorate will be in the enviable position of having two left leaning social democratic parties to vote for in an mmp environment.

          • dukeofurl 5.2.1.1.1

            You refuse to accept what the numbers say.

            Swing to labour 2.8% ( if that was a poll result you could expect that from the margin of error)

            Swing to Conservatives 13.7%

            All the politico- babble doesnt make the labour party campaign grow the conservative vote that that much ( which is matched by the swing away from SNP by 13.1 %
            Thats a drop of 475,000 votes from 2015 from the SNP, most of whom didnt go to labour

            Conservatives are now the second party in Scotland by votes. That is all directly due to the SNP management since 2015

  6. weka 6

    Bit distracted by the election but the thing that interests me about NZ is how this will play out given MMP (so not just Labour) and that we don’t have a traditional LW party to the left of Labour but a green one.

    If we get a strong Green presence in govt I think there will be an opening to push them to step up on rejecting neoliberalism. Bad news is the number of people potentially moving their vote from Green to Labour for this election which suggests a sizeable chunk of people happy with the status quo so long as it’s more socially minded.

  7. SpaceMonkey 7

    Absolutely spot on. This next Labour Government on it’s own will not achieve meaningful change for the better. It is shackled by Liberalism, which means to be shackled by the banks. NZ will get a softer more presentable shade of same old.

    • dukeofurl 7.1

      Hello have you been awake for 30 years?

      Labour is a centre left party not socialist left. Its both centre and left.
      Stupid expectations about some sort of radical change are batty.

      • Bill 7.1.1

        NZ Labour is a party of Liberalism.

        Liberalism by definiton cannot be “left” (it denies the existence of class by dint of its denial over the systemic nature of capitalist exploitation.)

        The best you can get from Liberalism is more compassion. And on that front, I’d say Gareth Morgan is more of a compassionately liberal than NZ Labour.

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