Saturday, 25 October 2014

What should Scottish Labour do?

There is much talk in the Scottish media about a crisis in Scottish Labour. Some of it is of course froth (is the Scottish Daily Mail where we would seek advice in our best interest?). But some of it is substantial – based on the post-poll evidence, anything between 30-40% of Labour voters voted Yes in the referendum.

Peter A Bell's insight:

Peter Russell nicely illustrates the insanity that grips British Labour in Scotland. For only serious mental defect can explain his claim to be on the side of democracy whilst simultaneously demanding that the people of Scotland should be denied one of the most fundamental democratic rights - the right of self-determination.

Further evidence of Russell’s delusional state can be found in pretty much every paragraph of his demented diatribe. He genuinely seems to believe that the way to win back the 30-40% of labour supporters who voted Yes is to tell them that their opinions are worthless and their aspirations meaningless.

Russell also appears to believe that “Scottish” labour’s problems are merely presentational. It is not that the party needs to change. It is just that the public perception of the party has to be altered. The party is right. The people are wrong.

The problem with British Labour in Scotland is, not that it is seen as “Scotland’s UK party of social democracy”, but that it is not seen as a party of social democracy at all. It is seen as “Scotland’s party of the British establishment”. This is a party which happily allied itself with the Tories in defence of the ruling elites of the British state. A British state which, itself, is increasingly regarded as the very antithesis of social democracy.

Tellingly, Russell sees being “Scotland’s party of Scotland” as a very, very bad thing. There is, to his deranged way of thinking, no worse sin than for a party to seek a mandate from the electorate on the basis of a commitment to serve the interests of that electorate. All of which is explained by the fact that British Labour in Scotland persistently equates its own narrow interests with those of the nation as a whole. What’s good for “Scottish” Labour is good for Scotland. Fewer and fewer people are prepared to accept this partisan arrogance.

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