Labour’s abortion of devolution

The Labour party, that would be the same party that promised Scotland home rule and the nearest thing to federalism possible this side of the black hole at the centre of the galaxy, has decided that it doesn’t want Scotland to have much in the way of home rule at all. Their commitment to devolution has vanished into a black hole, and all that is left is the pale shadow of Gordie Broon perched forever on the event horizon, waving a tattered copy of that front page of the Daily Record, their shame preserved for an eternity.

Since the Tories have now, reluctantly, conceded to devolve control of abortion law to the Scottish Parliament, Labour has decided to use its representation in the unelected House of Lords to block it. It’s an abortion of their previous promises and their claim to be the real party of devolution, but as far as devolution is concerned Labour has always been more interested in wielding a bent coat hanger up a dark back alley out of sight of the voters they lied to than allowing home rule to gestate. Labour wants to abort the process of devolution, and if they can’t do that they’ll strangle it at birth.

Labour views devolution as a means to empower the Labour party and not as an empowerment of the Scottish people. They screwed Scotland over in the 1970s with the 40% rule, and were only grudgingly persuaded of the need for devolution after the traumas of the Thatcher years. Even then Labour saw a Scottish parliament as a way in which it could maintain a power base during the fallow periods when it was out of power in Westminster, not as a means of political self-expression for Scotland. The Scottish parliament was designed as a means of political self-expression for Labour. Now they’re out of power in both Westminster and Holyrood, but they’re still playing their old games with the people of Scotland. Too bad for them that we see through them.

No real reason has been given by Labour as to why they oppose giving a parliament in which the leaders of the three largest parties are women control of women’s reproduction rights. Vague waffle is noised to the effect that it would be wrong to allow different abortion laws in different parts of the UK, but that’s already what happens. There is no such thing as a UK wide abortion law. The Northern Irish Assembly has control of abortion law, and has done since it was established, which is why abortion is illegal in the province.

The real reason that Labour doesn’t want Holyrood to have control over abortion law is because not so deep down in the psyche of the Parliamentary Labour Party, Scotland is a land of howling Presbyterians who hang up budgies’ swings so they can’t break the Sabbath, and devotees of Opus Dei who believe that pregnancy can be avoided by saying more novenas and whipping yourself with rosary beads. The metropolitan types who inhabit Islington’s wine bars are unclear on the difference between Ballymena and Balmaha.

The leading lights of Labour have an image of Scotland that remains stuck in the 1950s where the role of the wee wummin is to get the tea. London is full of metropolitan Scots who ran away decades ago and whose image of Scotland remains trapped in the past that they fled to escape. It’s understandable that Labour’s movers and shakers think that Scotland is a backwater which has managed to avoid the campaigns for civil liberties and social equality that shaped the 20th century. You only have to look at Labour’s Scottish dinosaurs that until so recently had their arses firmly ensconsed in what they thought were sinecures for life. Their image of Scotland was formed by Jimmy Wray, Michael Martin and Tommy McAvoy.

Labour’s grandees think that Scotland is too primitive and provincial. They believe that our Parliament with its female First Minister and leader of the opposition and its lesbian leader of the Conservatives require the tender administrations of a Tory dominated Parliament with its 19th century voting system and its sclerotic lordy appendage in order to drag us into the light of civilisation. We’re not capable of recognising women’s rights ourselves you see, we need Westminster to teach us how the grown ups behave in the 21st century, otherwise the only role for Scotland’s women would be barefoot and pregnant and deep frying Mars bars. Labour’s current refusal to devolve abortion law is patronisingly racist, plain and simple.

Scotland has changed. It’s Labour which hasn’t. Scotland has moved on and built a sense of itself as a modern outward looking northern European nation. Labour is stuck in the past, inward looking and insular. Labour represents the provincialism that says Scots don’t need independence because working class Scots have more in common with working class people in Manchester or Bristol than we do with the lairds and business owners of Scotland. But Labour doesn’t want working class Scots to recognise that what we share with working class Manchester we also share with working class Dublin, with working class Barcelona, with working class Warsaw.

Scotland looks out to the world as a modern European nation that respects the rights of women, of lesbian and gay people and the non-binary gendered, of ethnic minorities, of people with disabilities. Labour wants to trap us in a past of patronage where we beg for the crumbs of progress that fall from the restaurant tables of Islington. We don’t need Westminster to tell us that a woman has the right to choose. We don’t need Westminster to tell us that lesbian and gay people have a right to equality. We don’t need a parliament that scrapes the barrel of democratic legitimacy to tell us what is right and what is good.

A movement that seeks the sovereignty of Scotland also recognises that a woman has sovereignty over her own body. The sovereignty of Scotland is based in the sovereignty of the self. The referendum campaign taught Scotland that the personal is political and liberation starts with the self. And we’re liberating ourselves from the dead hand of the Labour party in Scotland, the aborters of progress.

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31 comments on “Labour’s abortion of devolution

  1. Truly great perception Paul and always a joy to read your razor sharp take on what’s going down apart from Slab.

    Top blogger gold star.

  2. The Obscurantist Alliance that brings together the two opposite poles of Christianity in Scotland has already started campaigning about this. They will lose. And the conversation that we will have on this subject will only hasten that their demise.

  3. […] Labour’s abortion of devolution […]

  4. Jimbo says:

    But, but….Gordon Brown guaranteed it, so they will deliver it.

  5. Bill Hume. says:

    Oh God, you are so good when you are angry…………….I’m beginning to regret being straight!!

  6. Saor Alba says:

    “You only have to look at Labour’s Scottish dinosaurs that until so recently had their arses firmly ensconsed in what they thought were sinecures for life”.

    Brilliant stuff. It’s like musical chairs with SLAB now, hoping to keep their arses on a seat – any seat. Chasing list votes like they needed a drip for their wasting carcasses. Their sins are coming back to bite them on said arses. The in-fighting will begin again soon. Utter wasters!

    Their only real function now, is to deflect attention away from the equally talentless, faceless and self-serving Blue Tories and Lib Dems. None of them care for the Scottish people, but only for themselves and then their Party’s. They have no concept of democracy or of society and have been shafting the Scottish people for too long.

  7. Saor Alba says:

    On ‘Business for Scotland’ today – ‘New figures confirm that Scotland would have been £8.3 billion better off as an independent country” – an article by Michael Gray, which is very worth reading. Clear and concise.

  8. Albawoman says:

    WGD. How dare these people tell the women of Scotland that they cannot have the power to shape and inform a societal and personal decision that involves intense, informed consideration.

  9. AFewHomeTruths says:

    This is a passionate and rivetingly good analysis of a moribund and morally corrupt system of patronage, whose continued existence is the only thing that matters to its followers.

    It campaigned for No so that its Tory friends could still ruin Scotland. It currently is trying to persuade Scots of some kind of link between SNP and Tories in the hope enough will vote Labour to enable them to form a coalition with the Tories. You couldn’t write a book with the plotline because no-one would think it credible.

    If ever an organisation outlived its usefulness this is it.

  10. macart763M says:

    Cracker Paul.

    “Labour views devolution as a means to empower the Labour party and not as an empowerment of the Scottish people.”


    Labour’s devolution journey is bullshit and always has been. There is NO devolution journey. As far as Labour is concerned devolution is a political tool, a bribe, carrot on the end of a stick. They use devolution as a means of buying electoral success. They bribe us with our own property, for make no mistake those powers are the basic human rights of every person in any nation worth the name. Last I looked, rights aren’t a serving suggestion, or a guide. The clue is in the name.

    We have the ‘right’ to determine our own governance.

    Accept no substitutes (or political wonk speak).

  11. I have nothing to add other than this expression of failure and awe.

  12. CapnAndy. says:

    The Abortion thing is interesting, not for the debate itself, but for what’s happened. At the mere mention of abortion being devolved, and Nicola Sturgeon saying she’s not minded to change anything for now. We have a number of right wing, anti abortion organisations getting press coverage, telling us how wicked Scotland is and that devolution of abortion must not happen. The Southern is to be picketed 24/7. Back to divide and conquer again. Call me paranoid, but I suspect various spooks are up to their necks in this.

  13. An outstanding piece of writing; one of your very best Paul.

    And that’s saying something!

  14. Steve Asaneilean says:

    Regardless on your views about termination of pregnancy, there is no logic in not allowing the people of Scotland (through their elected representatives in Holyrood) to decide on what is appropriate for Scotland.

    (Not) Labour have never truly believed in devolution. Even when Home Rule was being touted by Keir Hardie they did nothing to deliver it even when they had the chance.

    Central control is in their DNA whether it be local authorities or national Government. Always has been.

  15. Mike Annis says:

    Excellent read and good points.. It even taught me sclerotic.

  16. gavin says:

    Excellent piece, Paul. Nailed it.

    The thing is, the Brit Nats have been largely wiped out in the Commons. However they still have dozen upon dozen unelected Peers in the House of Cronies.
    There have been comments made down south about the Lib Dems having a hundred Peers, yet only a handful of elected MP’s.
    That should also go for the Brit Nat Lords and Ladies from Scotland.

  17. Dug – you help keep me sane!

  18. Capella says:

    Excellent statement of the actuality. Yvette Cooper’s horrified face in the Commons at the very idea that Scotland might manage abortion law illustrated Labour arrogance perfectly.

  19. Accurate, meaningful, inspirational!! Superb breakdown of Slab and the rest of the Tory party!! Excellent Paul.

  20. The UK Government throwing their toys out of the pram about the UN legally binding judgement about Assange, the ongoing rammy with 53’000 junior doctors, the impending Brexit referendum, the constant dick waving warmongering in the Middle East, the irks about Human Rights legislation and all economists blaming the abject economic failure of the towel folder’s austerity for £1’500’000’000’000 debt, should be enough to show to any sentient human being that it’s England and its chosen government going the wrong way.
    Isolated, isolationist, pedantic, narrow minded, obnoxious, little spoilt brats whining because the entire world and its dogs is telling them off.
    England 2016 is too close to early 20th century Germany for me to be comfortable with.

  21. Joe Kinnear says:

    Of course Labour is a party of parasites. Scotland will never be truly free until we are rid of the Labour party and their dismal ethos. However, as a passionate independence supporter I do dislike the assumption that I must, ipso facto, be some sort of left-liberal. I am not a liberal – I am a radical communitarian – and moreover the independence movement needs to have a space for social conservatives. Whatever one’s views on abortion etc., it’s the people of Scotland that should decide such matters in Scotland.

  22. JGedd says:

    Every time that you think that Labour can’t cross any more thresholds into idiocy, they blunder on with their clown boots. ( Clown boots are a bit like jackboots only they don’t fit and have two left feet.) Let’s hope that they plummet to the bottom soon.

    Only Labour could think of confounding with a pretend liberalism to thwart freedom of choice in one country. (Skewered nicely with searing sarcasm WGD. As you say, they display a constant ignorance of Scotland now.) The defenders of the union are becoming ever more ridiculous.

  23. Sooz says:

    In other SLAB news, they are now complaining that the SNP is entirely and personally responsible for the decline in the playing of bagpipes, basically because Scottish schools are not nailing the playing of the pipes to the curriculum with vast enough coverage, or some such rot.

    But wait. According to some in SLAB, Scotland does not have a culture or a language worth noting. If so, should bagpipe lessons therefore not be introduced as a subject across these undemocratically sceptred isles – preferably right next to Boris Johnson’s house?

    Whatever next, for god’s sake. What’s the next crime to be laid at the foot of the SNP while SLAB stamps about with its arms crossed, huffing and puffing theatrically and pretending to be outraged.

    • Sandra says:

      Just read an article entitled “Jocks out to steal our docs” which popped up on my news feed. Apparently, according to one of the rag gutter press, Scottish Government is out to recruit the striking English junior doctors, enticing them to abandon English NHS and move to Scotland
      You really couldn’t make it up. SNP BAAD AGAIN

  24. macart763 says:

    You may have heard already, but Carmichael denied punitive costs. He’ll be looking for either a. a rich donor or b. doon the back of the sofa

    One or t’other. 🙂

    • mumsyhugs says:

      Aye karma – ain’t life a b***h! 🙂 🙂

      • macart763M says:

        All he had to do was resign at first hint of bother, force a rerun of the ballot and if folk still wanted him, he’d have been re-elected. If not, then not, but cost to any and all would have been £0.

        As for his supportive parliamentary chums? I think the court’s summation on the character of the man says as much about them as him. Lib dems apparently don’t see a problem with politics as it is practiced in the UK. (shrugs)

        I suspect the next victims of thone Karma thingy might be wee Wullie and his pals. 🙂

        • mumsyhugs says:

          And couldn’t happen to a more deserving bunch! Please make it so! 🙂

        • Steve Asaneilean says:

          Yup Macart – anyone who says they support Carmichael are supporting someone who, according to one of the highest courts in the land, lied.

          By default they condone his behaviour and are as guilty as he is on that basis.

          He has no honour. If he had he would have, as you suggest, resigned and let the people decide if they wished to be represented by someone who lied to boost his owname position and simultaneously tarnish the reputation of others.


          • macart763M says:

            The worst part Steve, was his intention to pursue his own constituents for punitive costs in the face of the damning summation of the court. He won his decision on a point of legality. Had he known any kind of humility and honesty, he’d have left it at that knowing that the moral case had been well and truly won by his opposition.

            His choice.

  25. 1314 says:

    A quick look through comments has not revealed the quote of the article –

    ‘The sovereignty of Scotland is based in the sovereignty of the self.’

    My own argument over the years has been that the so called sovereignty of parliament is manufactured by those who have found themselves in a position of control and, wishing to maintain that position, argue that sovereignty comes from the top down.

    In fact, of course, we all have our personal sovereignty/independence and we can, if we chose, decide to join in an expression of collective sovereignty.

    Collective sovereignty has won through, in the past, in bloody revolution. Wouldn’t it have been a fine thing if we, in September 2014, had asserted our collective sovereignty with nothing worse than half an omelette?

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