The people’s party that chose to stand against the people

Well now we know. The only thing that Labour in Scotland stands for is defending the Union, and they’re even prepared to go into coalition with the Tories in order to do so. Mind you, we knew that already, but this week we had confirmation that Labour doesn’t exist in order to protect working people from the depredations of the Tories. It exists in order to protect the Unionist political settlement that leaves working people vulnerable to the depredations of the Tories because if there’s no such settlement then Labour can’t claim that it exists in order to protect working people from the depredations of the Tories.

It’s a bit like Van Helsing going into a coalition with Dracula to stave off the villagers with the torches and pitchforks because in a world without vampires vampire hunters are needed as much as the Workers’ Revolutionary Party needs Ruth Davidson to stand outside a branch of Primark on a wet Saturday morning flogging copies of its newspaper. Or indeed needed as much as anyone on the planet needs Michael Gove anywhere, anytime. When push comes to shove, the Van Helsings of the Labour party in Scotland are on the side of the vampires, not the peasants. Labour is a vampire enabler. Without the threat of blood sucking Tories, Labour is pointless. The don’t want a cure for the condition that sickens the Scottish body politic. They want it to remain chronic, with frequent relapses, because then they can claim that they’re the medicine that provides temporary relief.

According to reports in the papers this week, internal polling for the Labour party in Scotland shows that support for the party has collapsed in what used to to be its traditional heartlands. A large number of former Labour supporters have switched to the Tories instead. Those would presumably be those for whom red white and bluenoses, royalty, and hating immigrants are more important than silly little things like social justice, equality, and challenging discrimination and bigotry.

But Labour has only got itself to blame for the haemorrhaging of its support to the Tories, because if it’s going to pitch itself as a Unionist party which puts the Union first and foremost then its voters who put the Union as their main priority are likely to switch to a party that’s even more hardline Unionist than Labour is. No one knows what Labour stands for except opposing the SNP, least of all Labour itself. There’s no point to the party. Except as a job creation scheme for Labour politicians. They told us to vote No in 2014 so that they could deliver social justice and pooling and sharing throughout the UK. But that proved to be a bust so now they want us to prop up Unionist parties in local authorities instead. They’re no longer that fussed about the content of the Unionism, it’s the fact that it’s Unionist that’s the only important consideration. Labour has no intention of standing up for the majority of Scots who voted to remain a part of the EU. They’d rather throw their lot in with a Tory party that’s reinvented itself as Ukip.

Unsurprisingly, the party is now making Wullie Rennie look like he’s got his finger on the popular pulse. It is polling so poorly in councils where it was formerly unchallengeable that the leadership has allegedly decided to concentrate funding for the local election campaign in those districts where there’s a chance that Labour can form a coalition with the Tories. Anything, but anything, to avoid going into coalition with the SNP and the Greens. Anything, but anything, so that they can keep warning about vampires. Labour would rather complain that the SNP government with its budget that is fixed is passing on Tory cuts to Scottish local authorities than complain about the Tory cuts. And Labour is one of the main reasons that the Scottish government’s budget is fixed in the first place and that it has no option but to pass on the cuts to its budget imposed on it by a Westminster government. That’s exactly how Labour arranged it. That’s exactly how Labour designed it.

Labour’s paying the price now for its hypocrisy and deceit. First they were defeated in Holyrood, then they were destroyed at Westminster, now they’re going to lose control of their last remaining councils. Scottish politics are a battle between the progressive social democratic and green politics of the independence movement, and the reactionary conservatism of the Union. Now Labour is reduced to pleading for the introduction of home rule and a fully autonomous Scottish branch office, all those things that they told us they’d achieved years ago. Vote Labour, vote for a lie. Vote for a promise that never fulfilled. Vote for deception, vote to bang your head against a brick wall that’s been built by company whose boss is a crony of your local Labour cooncil leader.

Labour chose the Union. They chose reaction. They chose conservatism. They chose to wave a red white and blue fleg and claim that they’re not nationalist while seeking to defend and protect one of the most viciously nationalist and xenophobic political systems in Western Europe. But you don’t stop being a nationalist just because you claim that you’re not a nationalist. You don’t become progressive just because you say you are. You have to act that way too. Labour’s actions, its repeated abstentions when it comes to protecting the poor and the vulnerable, its decision to attack Jeremy Corbyn instead of attacking the Tories when they were divided and leaderless, all prove that Labour’s unfit for purpose. Unless that purpose is keeping out of power a party with which they agree on most issues except the constitution. But the truth is that they’re not even any good at that either.

Now Labour is paying the price for the votes it borrowed, the false promises it made. The tectonic plates of Scottish politics are completing their realignment, and crushing the life out of what remains of a party that has long since lost any sense of what it stands for. You can have the Union, and the Union is a Tory creature, a xenophobic reactionary dystopia that looks out for the bosses and the rich, or you can have progressive social democratic politics which look out for the poor and the vulnerable, but you can’t have both. The people’s party chose to stand against the people. Labour chose the wrong side, and with its demise we’re one step closer to independence.

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48 comments on “The people’s party that chose to stand against the people

  1. John MacKinnon says:

    Yes. I had a couple of slices of kezia and cheese this morning for breakfast.

  2. Thepnr says:

    Nicely put. Labour on the rack screaming for mercy. They’ll get no mercy from me.

    They’ll have got what they deserve.

  3. John Page says:

    What are the Greens and SNP going to do to ensure that Labour doesn’t play the Union card to form a coalition with the Tories in Glasgow next May?

    • daibhidhdeux says:

      Apologies, John, but a wee bit like… nope, now got your point. And a very fair one, indeed.

    • davidbsb says:

      I only have to win the wards in my council, so I have not studied Glasgow City. However a quick glance at the council shows it currently has 21 wards. Presently 5 of those are 3 member wards and the rest 4 members. In 2017 that will become 23 wards with 7 being 3-members.

      In the present council only one of the 3 -member wards returns 2 SNP to 1 Labour. 3 of the others are 2L & 1SNP . One ward has a C a L and an S. Most of the 4 member wards have 2 Labour and a variety of others.

      In our local area ( central belt, not Glasgow ) the STV votes tended to be cast such that Labour got a big 1st preference. The redistribution of their second preferences usually got the second Labour candidate elected. So the two Labour yins get elected early on and the rest of the parties pick up their seats on the transfers.

      This time out there appears to be an increase to 23 wards and to 85 councillors. So 43 is a majority.

      If it is the case in Glasgow City that the voters are going to vote SNP in the numbers they did at Holyrood and at Westminster, then the liklihood is strong that the 16 x 4 member wards will elect 2 SNP each. If the SNP can then take 2 seats in most of the 3 Member wards they will have a majority in the council. If they fall short – and actually it may not be a bad idea even if they get the majority – then the Greens will almost certainly have at least 3 or 4 councillors who may be prepared to act in the interests of Glasgow before party.

      So in the City Of Glasgow, it is entirely possible that the coalition is Green and Yellow – Not Red and Blue ( and how appropriate too ). So I rather suspect that this diversion of funds is going to be to areas outside Glasgow. Bet that will go down well with the members.

      I stress, I am only familiar with my own council. This is a very quick glance I have taken.

  4. emilytom67 says:

    Why don,t they just stand up and tell those left among thei rsupporters that we are a party of coalition coalition with and acceptance of right wing tory policies,it shows you how thick some unionists are that despite everything that the tories have carried out against working people they will continue to support them.

  5. Arthur thomson says:

    You tell it just as it is. Slab is further exposed as the reactionary organisation it has been for at least half a century. Exploiters of the common people. Dedicated to living off the backs of the poor. And Corbyn’s mealy mouthed attempts at resurrecting Labour by empty words promoting a failed political doctrine are no better.

    We have come so far and I live in hope that, one by one, people in Scotland will see through these charlatans and reject them and the uncivilised society they stand for.

    • daibhidhdeux says:

      The Deil tak you Arthur as an happy clapping optimist on the “for at least half a century” assertion re these opportunists who hijacked everything progressive and socialist and anti-imperialist at the turn of the 19th/20th century.

      An epoch much more radical in many ways than now.

      They, with the clinical backing of the Fabians set out from the get go with BritGov back-up, to do just so; and have gotten away with it by the skin of their teeth until very recently.

      But now the worm seems to be turning again and bringing on the historical, constitutional, political, and human rights end game to the whole Union fraud.

      Have a grand New Year and may next year be a cracker:)

      • Muscleguy says:

        Indeed, like the clan chiefs afore them, Labour’s decision to accept ermine and stuff out the Lords made them into an establishment party.

        The SNP having watched both processes has wisely decided not to play that game. Not a No10 minister told Angus Robertson the SNP were ‘anti democratic’ for not putting people forward for an unelected talking shop.

        Translation: you won’t let us corrupt you so you are not playing our game, but your own. Shame on you.

        Yes2

  6. donald6 says:

    Labour is already in coalition in Stirling and other councils and outorying the official Tories. They existed only to gain office at any cost and are now paying for that. Social meejah is answering them back and their Tory owning meejah bosses.

  7. diabloandco says:

    How foolish can they get – rhetorical question.

    Surely no-one with a sparking neuron can vote for these people or for the Ruth Davidson party ?

    It just isn’t funny any more – if betrayal , lies and grovelling ever was.

  8. […] Wee Ginger Dug The people’s party that chose to stand against the people […]

  9. This takes me back a couple of years when we had started canvassing for the 2015 General Election, wondering, a few months after the disappointment of the Scottish Referendum, how we could overturn a near 16,000 Labour majority.
    Then it happened. In areas which previously had been the undisputed heartlands of the Labour Party we began to hear the phrase, often repeated, ” they stood with the tories and we will never vote for them again”. It resulted in an overwhelming victory for the S.N.P candidate.
    So the news today can only be good news for those of us who will shortly be out on the streets, chapping doors, hoping to clear out the last strongholds of a throughly discredited political party.

  10. Tinto Chiel says:

    Great stuff, Paul. A forensic dismantling of a party that has always put its interests before the people’s.

    And you can spell “haemorrhaging”.

    But that bit about Wee Willie Winking having his finger on the popular pulse?

    Oh, ah’m no’ sure, no’ sure at all…..

    A Happy New Year to you and all the best in 2017.

  11. Alan Finlayson says:

    Well said! Let’s hope we see Labour councillors going incontinent at the local council elections, they don’t like continents, let’s also hope Ruth and Co mop up the dregs from the Orange order flute bands and other bigots, eventually they will destroy themselves with in fighting just like Labour has done.

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

  12. Therapymum says:

    I am currently still a Labour Party member, voted for independence and to remain in the EU. I don’t know why I am still a member of the Labour Party, as I have felt completely disenfranchised for at least 12 years, but probably being brought up in a strongly Labour environment and agreeing with the values Labour used to stand for, it’s difficult to withdraw now in my late 60s. I have to say, however, that I agree with every word of this.
    I watched Labour campaigning for No and participating in Project Fear, and disagreed, I watched Johann Lamont being superseded by Jim Murphy, and disagreed. I watched the backstabbing of Ed Milliband by the party and the media with disbelief, and the debacle of the even worse backstabbing since the election (twice) of Jeremy Corbyn with horror, disagreeing with the (in my opinion) worst planned and timed coup in political history.
    You are absolutely right about the current approach of Scottish Labour. It’s almost as though the SNP is seen as being “the enemy” and therefore must be resisted, despite whether the policies and discussions the SNP bring forward are to the benefit of Scotland and its people including Labour Party supporters. I have been astonished by the way Labour has voted in many of the debates, as it cuts across many of the values I believe that the party has held for 80 years. Scottish Labour are almost completely ignoring the fact that the SG has a budget fixed by Westminster and that budget is being limited – by the Union, the very people they now appear to be in bed with. No wonder party support has fallen so dramatically.

    • Thepnr says:

      A brave post Therapymum. I was like you but eventually caved in. The Labour party I once believed in had gone and I had to admit that to myself. Now i only believe in the best for Scotland that is all. I mean all of Scotland and parties mean absolutely nothing to me now.

      I’ll trust those the most that show me they deserve and respect my trust.

      • Therapymum says:

        Thanks for that. And to the other responders to my post. Macart, you are right. Labour left me. I was so hopeful after 1997, but by the next election I was questioning policy and direction, especially with Iraq, and haven’t vote Labour since. I felt like a traitor, so it’s good to know how many others feel the same. All the best to everyone for the New Year. Wha’s like us!

    • Macart says:

      Well said Therapymum.

      You weren’t the only one. I grew up in Labour heart land, so many of us did and we ‘believed’. Believed as only those raised in the coal belt or Clydeside could believe.

      It hurt to watch what became of a once great movement. When the professional political class, the careerists and the champagne socialists corrupted and co opted Labour, made it a vehicle to power for powers sake, it was truly heart breaking.

      Just remember that you didn’t leave Labour. It left you. It left all of us.

      • Steve Asaneilean says:

        Same for me. What did it for me was the abject failure of (Not) Labour to capitalise on the overwhelming majority and sense of good will they had in 1997.

        They could have done anything radical – scrap the Lords (admittedly it’s hardly radical getting rid of an unelected legislature in a supposed democracy); genuinely tackling inequality; scrapping nuclear weapons; or whatever – and the people would have supported them.

        Instead they chose to fight illegal wars, “liberate” the bankers, allow the gap between rich and poor to widen and feather their own nests (look at Mr Blair’s £21 million property portfolio or Mr Darling, the Trotskyist who became a millionaire Lord).

        There was a common phrase during Indyref1 – “I didn’t leave Labour they left me”. In reality beyond their own office bearers and professional politicians, they left all of us.

        Their membership of only a few thousand should tell them that but it’s hard to tell anyone anything they don’t want to hear.

        There’s none so blind as cannae see – and none so deaf as willnae listen.

        • Macart says:

          Pretty much so Steve.

          As you’re aware from my posts over the past few years, for me it was a decision made only a little earlier, but it amounted to the same sense of disenchantment and disappointment.

          The current situation wasn’t so difficult to predict either tbh. If a party refuses to see, refuses to listen, fails to protect their charges or fulfill their duty of care, then people will remove their support and place it with those they feel who will.

          Folk saw politics as it was practised UK style and didn’t like what they saw or experienced. They told all the parties including Labour. They gave them chance after chance to change their ways or face the consequences. Folk stuck with them through thick or thin, right or wrong in the hopes they would get back on track. It was their choice to make and they chose poorly.

          When you beat people about the head with the media, insult, intimidate, lie, smear or manipulate and consider that the ‘rough and tumble’ of politics. When you legislate to suit yourself, your system of government, your agenda, rather than the needs of your electorate. When all of that is done without care for the societal cohesion of your population, for people, then you are no longer fit to either govern or represent others.

    • Richard Shearer says:

      I am 64 and echo your comment above. I voted Labour all my life until a few years ago. I will not vote for them again

  13. grumpydubai says:

    Well said Therapymum and the PNR. My father was labour and my mother Tory. I once made the mistake of voting Labour but when I have voted it has been for any other party and obviously more recently for SNP although I will not join any political party. At 66, I only want my Country back.

  14. Alba woman says:

    I gave up any belief in Labour many moons ago. I was on the frontline before this decision.

    The first thing I learned was how much elected members despised their electorate. They considered themselves the anointed ones who had seen the real value of Labour ie getting elected as a councillor. This brought many favours, status and jaunts all over the world.

    Decisions were discussed by the senior guys in the gents at around 11am. Hip flasks at the ready for the morning top up.

    A report by independent consultants called for after public pressure,resulted in the shredding of said report. Only the executive had access to the report which was never seen or heard of again.

    Most of the executive group members time was taken up with covering up mistakes, neglect and goings on with contracts. Dissent was dealt with by punishing not only the local councillor but their electorate.

    I fled the scene totally exhausted but reasonably physically and mentally intact. Other colleagues were not so fortunate.

    Removing Labour from local councils is a task many years in the waiting. I am so looking forward to the battle.

  15. smilingvulture says:

    scottish referendum

    bbc , 2nd debate

    Alex Salmond asked Alistair Darling

    Does Scottish have the resources wealth to be a independent country?

    Alistair was a rabbit in headlights,wouldn’t say yes or no

    the right answer

    yes, as part of the Union,Scotland with all its resources can make the union richer

    Labour are so terrified saying Scotland can easily stand on its own two feet,they stick with wee,poor

  16. smilingvulture says:

    forgot to say he hesitated for about 4 secs,the longest of his life

  17. Macart says:

    A great post Paul.

    Spring cleaning is due. An unpleasant, but entirely necessary and essential task. March with the triggering of A50 and May with the cooncil elections.

    Tick tock

  18. GFEH; WUGHIU WREUGHIE RUGH IEERIG HIERGHIE UHGFH DBJFBHW JFBK JEFK EJFWKEJF;WKJF;KWJF !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Words just can’t describe…

    – also re Therapymum’s post – an anonymous long-serving local Labour Councillor i know (and decent 60+ guy with heart in the right place) is standing down next year as he’s had enough of the lie that is slab and Kezia.

  19. Brian Powell says:

    I still can’t get a handle on what Labour think is going to happen when they do this? Given that their aim is holding onto any power they can, I can only imagine that they think they just need to do these deals long enough to see the end of the SNP, then they will get all back.
    However they seemed to have missed they are now a poor third place in Scotland and the Tories will hold the upper hand.
    If they worked against the Tories in the future, what then, they would have no other allies. The ready made alliance that was possible with the SNP and other Yes voters will be long gone. Rightly, no one trusts Labour now.

  20. Steve Asaneilean says:

    They know that more than three quarters of Scotland’s voters will not vote for them.

    They have decided that defence of the Union trumps all. But that puts them in a scrap with the Tories for the unionist vote and in that fight there’s only ever going to be one winner.

    I really see no way back for them unless they embrace independence or a quasi version of that such as Crown Dependency status like Man, Guernsey and Jersey, all of which are more independent than we are.

    • Saor Alba says:

      I see no way back for them – full stop. There is no “unless”.
      They have used up all their chances.
      Happy New Year to all.

  21. scotsgeoff says:

    And the media (esp BBC Scotland) will continue to push a Labour agenda whether they have any MPs, MSPs or control any Councils.

    Holding power to account is a mantra followed by the media only when that power is not held by their pals. If the media had truly been impartial & got into investigative journalism & reported real news on behalf of the people Labour, for one, would have been ousted years ago.

  22. mumsyhugs says:

    When I reached the age I could vote, I asked my old dad for his views and advice. He just said “Labour is for the working man, the Tories for the bosses.” But by the time he passed away, he was an SNP voter – and that was 17 years ago and by then he’d been voting SNP for years. He always said he wasn’t a clever man, but he was the salt of the earth and had a fair bit of common sense. In other words, he had already sensed that the people were being conned by the very people who were supposed to be protecting them. He was obviously ahead of his time and I loved him and still miss him and his wisdom every day. The price for Labour’s betrayal is finally coming to fruition – karma. 🙂

  23. Macart says:

    A very good new year when it comes folks. Let’s see if we can move from ‘peak hate’ to ‘peak hope’ in 2017. 🙂

  24. Robert Graham says:

    Well you seem to have covered all points Paul nothing much to add , all these years wasted by Labour sending useless Mps south to be told what to do ,how to act ,and not for the benefit of the poor souls who voted for and trusted them , a clear deception.
    Are the people who still now back this band of total liers even after all the times they have been pissed on , are these people blind or just totally bloody stupid , probably a rhetorical question My best wishes to all for next year its going to be a bumpy one .

  25. Kupo says:

    Mayday, mayday elections. Mayday, mayday elections. May must march, come article 50, May must march, come article 50.

    This got me thinking of a little ditty, but using these words instead.

    Thanks Macart at 10.38pm.

  26. The Red and Blue Tories are morphing into a single issue party. They are obsessed about the constitution.
    Since both are arch right Unionist sects now, and are now openly touting ‘tactical voting’ come May, surely they should meld into one neo liberal comfortable with the filthy rich Democratic Unionist Party; DUP for short?
    Kezia Dugdale is to Socialism what King Herod was to Child Care.
    New Labour is dead; the corpse is still giving off quite a whiff.
    LA elections? SNP, 1, 2, and 3.
    I shall not record a preference against any other party’s name.
    A Guid New Year tae Yin an’ Aw, and mony may Ye see.

  27. David Agnew says:

    To paraphrase JJ Hunsecker: Having a dig at Scottish labour these days is like shooting a mosquito with an elephant gun. Your dead Scottish Labour, get yourself buried.

  28. emilytom67 says:

    You have to understand that the “establishment” in Britain have been around for a thousand years or so,they know how to play the game they know the weakness of human nature”greed/self interest” the know that our “working class heroes” will all fall at the first hurdle,they welcome the mos stalwart of them in the knowledge that once the blandishments are offered they will weaken,the conquered the world on “baubbles/bangles/beads” a proven tactic,remember “Gorbals Mick” the “labour speaker” representing one of the poorest areas in Europe Springburn not Gorbals,he was flouncing about with a pair of womens knickers on his head thinking “I,ve made it” oh how they fcuking laughed,another one snared,it is so so easy for them,they just sit back and let out the rope.Whether you agreed with Arthur Scargill or not,they secretly admired him because he couldn,t be bought,nor Mick McGahey but they sidelined them anyhoo,remember the representative of the “democratic union of mineworkers” from Nottingham Roy something or other well he had tea with Mrs T,lavished and praised then when he delivered dumped never to be seen or heard from again,you would go on and on but they hold the aces and boy they fcuking know it,just look at the “Orange Order” so blind that they cannot see they are being shafted,royally stuffed in every way,it would make you weep.

  29. douglasclark says:

    Frankly, I care not a toss for the Orange Order. And I am no Catholic either. This risible division suits folk that would divide us rather than unite us.I have no sympathy with any of them.

    • Saor Alba says:

      It is right up the Establishment’s street and the ignorant always fall for it. The “great religious divide” has been skilfully manufactured to keep the “peasants at bay”. Money and Power are the twin Gods of the Establishment.

  30. Clachangowk says:

    In our local council Tories and Labour coalition in charge; result – nothing significant decided for the last 4 years because they cannot agree on anything. Some of the few Labour councillors standing again indicate they would not be averse to working with the snp.

    Even if Labour votes drop they will still have a number of councillors thanks to STV. Fascinating to think that Labour HQ will be encouraging their supporters to vote Tory locally, while the last thing their prospective councillors will want after the election is to work with the Tories

  31. emilytom67 says:

    Douglasclark,hundreds of years ago in NI when it looked like both sides Catholic/Protestant would unite,the then government were at a loss,they asked general Sir George Knox what to do,he replied I will play the Orange card don,t worry,the rest is as they say history.

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