Will Scottish Labour Do or Die?

I rarely predict anything but this is, I think, a special moment in the history of the Labour Party in Scotland.

There was a real Scottish Labour Party once.

R B Cunninghame Graham, a strong supporter of Scottish independence, was its first MP, having defected from the Liberals in 1888, but by 1895 it had dissolved itself and most members followed Keir Hardie into the British Independent Labour Party.

In 2019, Monica Lennon, above, defied the whip and abstained in a vote on a second Scottish independence referendum. She is thought to be, at least, in favour of the proposal and perhaps, as a younger member, less rigid in her thinking.

Perhaps she has come to realise that, with the repeated return of the Right in the UK Labour Party, over the last hundred years and more, that only support for independence offers the prospect of the survival of a Labour party in Scotland?

Quite a significant part of the current SNP support used to vote Labour. Many will still have a form of attachment to it. If the party leadership came out firmly for independence, some would return.

There would, of course, be a small risk of splitting the pro-Independence vote in May but it’s probably too early for such a seismic change to be implemented and come the 2nd Referendum, later in the year or in 2022, SNP and Labour on the same platform would be an irresistible force.

This will be, I predict, an historic time. If the Scottish Labour membership choose Anas Sarwar, a return to Blairism and the UK in isolation, they are doomed to a slow death and to oblivion. If they choose Lennon, they might, just might, stop the decline and gradually become a credible presence in Scottish politics again.

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13 thoughts on “Will Scottish Labour Do or Die?

  1. Only having 23 intensifies the disconnect between their MSPs, party membership and the electorate.

    The MSPs are more likely to support Anas. So if Monica wins are they actually going to give them the time and space to take the party in a new direction (it’ll take longer than 4 months)?

    If they know what’s good for then, they will. If you look at Scottish Labour’s past form they won’t.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Given who BBC sScotland has been interviewing ‘to give us a sense of what Scottish Labour needs to do’ – “Lord” McConnell, “Dame” Anne Maguire and Brian Wilson – I think it is clear that there will be ‘no change’ in Scottish Labour’s stance: British Nationalist, Blairite/Thatcherite, centralising, dirigiste. Sarwar will be installed.

    Neil Finlay’s angry statements after Mr Leonard “resigned” indicates a degree of dissatisfaction in the ranks. But, those ranks are so depleted anyway, that Labour has very little to choose from – one MP, and around 20 MSPs, several of whom are retiring in May, and little that is visionary or inspiring on the Holyrood benches. It has little local government talent.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. They will die!

    177 Labour Lords led by a Knight of the Realm will ensure the “leader” of the branch is a loyal Unionist.
    They speak socialist words, wave a socialist flag and sing a socialist song but their actions are to drink champagne, abstain and await their turn at the trough.

    Better Together lifted the thin veil hiding these Red Tories forever.

    Those socialists in the Lords are screaming “…don’t rock the boat”

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Can’t happen. ‘Scottish Labour’ cannot have policies or positions on reserved matters which differ in any way from the policies and positions of British Labour. Were they to go into an election campaign on such a basis they would be breaking electoral law which prohibits parties from having different manifestos for different constituencies or parts of the UK.

    ‘Scottish Labour’ is not a real political party. With the help of the media it has been deceiving the people of Scotland for decades.

    Nor is it realistic to expect British Labour in Scotland (BLiS) and the SNP to share a platform in the next couple of decades, never mind the next couple of years. And then only if there is a fairly rigorous purge of the old guard – those whose implacable hatred of the SNP overrides even considerations of political expediency.

    There was another genuine Scottish Labour Party formed by Jim Sillars and Alex Neil among others and active for about five years from 1976. Maybe it’ll be third time lucky. But there’s no sign of anybody ready to go for it. Which is surprising. Because not only could a pro-independence Scottish Labour Party pick up a few votes this year it would be well prepared for the situation post-independence when the present fake Scottish Labour Party will be barred from standing candidates owing to it not being a Scottish political party.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. They could, of course, ask for a share of Labour’s assets to set up an independent party. They could also seek affiliation of the Scottish branches of trade unions and the Co-operative movement.

        However, I suspect that the great egalitarians and defenders of justice (knights of the realm?) and equity of the Labour Party would ignore them. I suspect that since so many of the high heid yins in Scottish trade Union sections are also Labour tribalists with their eye on places in the hierarchy of UK wide trade unions, that will be another ‘naw!’


  5. London HQ’d Labour branch in Scotland sold out after devolution. They had ten years to improve the lives of the Scottish people, what did they do? Sent £billions back to WESTMINSTER saying ‘nothing to spend it on in Scotland’. Then they plunged Scottish councils into ‘debt’ with their PFI scam, a ‘debt’ still being paid to this day.
    Labour ran Glasgow city council like the Mafia. Dreadful for the people of that great city.
    Labour are not Labour in Scotland, same as in England. Difference is in Scotland, they work against the interests of their country. They take their orders from London.
    This is why devolution is a half baked system at best, and it’s why only independence will bring true democracy to Scotland. You can’t have a next door neighbour dictating to the point of controlling policy (and everything else they do) of parties sitting in your parliament, because they are instructed, and under orders to work in the interests of that next door country. Its just daft.
    Devolution was only meant to con the people of Scotland into keeping the BritNat status quo, not boost their confidence, and definitely not designed to create a sense of autonomy. So, Labour branch in Scotland will continue to take their orders from London, and not in any way work in the interests of Scotland.
    It’s a situation that cannot continue, it’s dysfunctional and after 300+ years of being under the thumb of the BritNat state, Scotland deserves better. England also needs independence, they can then make decisions about how they want their country to
    function, and leave Scotland to do the same.
    Labour as they are now have nothing to offer the people of Scotland. The UK has nothing that Scotland needs really, other than to have a decent neighbour, and not a bullying, overbearing, thuggish prison guard as is the case now. It’s quite simple really.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. The only REAL reality for this branch office bag o weasels is eventually and sooner that they think
      Via the ballot box a effective eviction notice is served upon them as they have no place or right to set foot and operate on my land
      As a citizen of Scotland
      I am Not
      A subject
      Therefore i refuse to be subjected to their outpourings directed from London
      Awa wi these weasels,lackeys,lap dogs, traitors,self interested , greedy, and utterly useless contemptible creeps


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