I’ll start with a quick follow up from yesterday’s blog. Not long after I posted it the Record ran with “North Ayrshire Labour blast SNP councillors for resigning while leader holidays in Italy“. So the day after planning a coup to take over the Council he’s complaining that they got it without a fight. Labour and coups – you just know this will end up replacing piss ups and breweries.
But it gets better! Today the very same Councillor, Peter McNamara has announced he is standing down as leader of the Labour group. Admittedly he isn’t standing in next May’s elections, but you’d think he wold be looking forward to ending his political career on a high. Being the dedicated public servant that he is surely he should relish the challenge of the next 9 months. Or you could be of the opinion that he prefers carping from the sidelines rather than take responsibility.
So now on to what got me blogging tonight. The Herald has just run an article saying “More than 1,000 Labour councillors cite second indyref as they back Owen Smith for leader.” Now this from a letter written nationally, so I think the Herald may be exaggerating the IndyRef to some degree. I get the impression that a proportion of the English Labour party has written Scotland off and is just using it as another reason to bash Corbyn.
As much as I like Corbyn, he’s not come across as being pro-independence for Scotland so I think it’s fairly safe to assume that the councillors don’t like the idea of Labour in Westminster working with the SNP against the Tories.
The difference between the councillors and constituency party nominations are striking – Constituency Labour parties back Jeremy Corbyn by 285 nominations to 53. There is also a difference between Scotland and rUK, even taking into account that some Scottish constituencies are huge there appears to be a lot more support for Owen up here.
Now it may be the case – as we know Labour support has plummeted – that many of the left wingers have left to join the SNP/Greens or other left wing parties, leaving only the firm unionists and Blairites behind (and yes I do use Blairite as an insult).
It’s the whole BetterTogether issue again. At what fucking point will they realise that a supposed opposition party is meant to oppose. Yes they do it in Holyrood (if you call sniping opposition) but as it was so clearly spelt out:
If they are such staunch unionists surely Westminster should be a priority? It’s not like we haven’t got an ultra right-wing government in power.
People need an alternative to Tory austerity and Owen is not an alternative. It’s going to be a long time (if ever) before Labour recovers in Scotland, but Corbyn could ally with the SNP/Greens/Plaid maybe even the LibDems(!) It seem to me that many of these Blairites are quite happy to let the Tories run riot.
This leadership election is a final chance for Labour to decide which way it will go. Scottish Labour may see SNP Bad as the only issue, but as they have only recently reconfirmed their commitment to remain a branch office of the UK party I do wonder what will happen when Corbyn wins with his more progressive, less confrontational outlook again.
Image: Cultivation of the Abyss by Dravus-Ardoris, via DeviantArt