A guest post by Eric Rice
Of the thirty-two Local Authorities in Scotland, there are only five remaining where the Labour Party now commands an overall majority. True, there are a number of additional Councils where Labour hold a minority rule, or share the reins of power in a two-party or multi-party coalition, but the Authorities where the party which once dominated Scottish Politics remain in charge has been whittled down to just five.
Countable, literally, on the fingers of one hand.
If the latest TNS Polling data is to be believed, with the SNP commanding 60% of the Holyrood Constituency seats in 2016, and 50% of the Regional list seats, then these five lonely outposts may well turn out to be the Last Bastions of Labour control in Scotland after the Holyrood elections.
Shoogly indeed is the peg whereupon the remaining Scottish Labour Jaikeths Hangeth…
But it gets worse. These last remaining Labour strongholds – West Dumbartonshire, Renfrewshire, North Lanarkshire, South Lanarkshire and Glasgow City – all fell to the SNP during #GE2015.
And with Council elections looming in 2017, Labour has further to fall, and greater humiliation to endure, if it doesn’t change its tune, and fast.
It’s gone beyond “Project Fear”, or the monotonous, predictable echo-chamber of “SNP Bad!!”. The National Labour Party, as well as the Scottish Branch, is leaderless and directionless, and although Kezia is at least trying to do a reasonable impression of a Party Leader, she does lack what one may generously refer to as “gravitas“. (Is it just me, or does she bring out in anyone else a bizarre mental tick whereby it seems everything she says is somehow preceded by the phrase “my mum telt me that…”)
But the UK Party’s knee-jerk response to the #GE2015 wipeout was to immediately tack right (or as Mandy has it, “return to the Centre”). The leadership contenders have begun making dog-whistle anti-immigration remarks in a naked attempt to win back lost UKIP votes. They’ve ruled out the idea of a truly independent (sorry, Kez – meant to say “autonomous”) Scottish Party. They want to be the party of “aspiration”, for chrissakes…
What about the Party of the Foodbank User? Of the desperate? The Sanctioned? The bedroom taxed? The hopeless, helpless and hungry??
Instead, they rail on and on and on, not just about how bad and incompetent the SNP are, but about how duped their supporters are for voting for them.
Every day, my facebook feed brings up some post or another from one or two of my stalwart Labour friends linking some vitriolic article caricaturing SNP supporters as blind, deluded, ovine, brainwashed hordes who brook no dissent, are mind-controlled by some fiendish Caledonian Thought-Police, and generally act as if we’ve been assimilated by some monolithic, McStalinist Tartan Borg.
Enough ae yer pish!
Pretty much everyone I know on the pro-indy, pro-Yes, pro-SNP side is left-leaning, progressive, politically engaged with some kind of background in activism. Most, not all. Many were local musicians who organised benefit gigs for the Miner’s Strike, went on anti-Thatcher protests and Poll-Tax rallies. Pretty much all marched or protested against Blair’s War in 2003. They wish for stability, opportunity to work, provide for their families and an end to the erosion of public services.
None trust Labour to deliver that any more.
For now, their trust is in the SNP, and the Party leaders and elected members will be held to account, because we’ve all now seen exactly what happens when you put your political trust in rosette-wearing simians of any colour…
What are you going to say and who are you going to blame and where are you going to go in 2017 if the trend continues and even those five slim outposts where you still hold sway crumble and fall?
The fingers of one hand, guys.
What will you do if even that gets Pandafied?