BLiS: A nostalgic indulgence

This morning, Len McCluskey must be looking at the response from British Labour in Scotland (BLiS) to his remarks and shaking his head in dismay. He gets it. He realises the utter vacuousness of the ‘socialist solidarity’ argument, which was pretty much the only thing that distinguished BLiS from its Tory allies during the first independence referendum campaign. He recognises that national borders are no impediment to cooperation among individuals, groups and communities bound together by a commonality of interests, purposes or sympathies. While he obviously doesn’t say so explicitly, he knows that the ‘threat’ to solidarity among people of good conscience in Grimsby and Glasgow was one of the many deceitful notions contrived by ideological unionists determined to preserve the Union at any cost.

This morning, Len McCluskey will read the words churned out by some BLiS automaton and he will realise, if he hadn’t already done so, the extent to which so-called ‘Scottish Labour’ is a lost cause. He will see that the simple good sense and plain truth he speaks isn’t getting through the thick cocoon of resentful entitlement in which the pretendy wee party has wrapped itself ever since Scotland’s people decided the SNP was a better option.

He will see that BLiS persists in its contemptuous habit of telling the voters what they want rather than listening to what they demand.

He will see that BLiS yet pretends to a status that it no longer enjoys; encouraged as it may be in this delusion by sycophantic media which treat even the most abysmally failed BLiS has-beens with a deference due to politicians who have actually obtained a mandate from the electorate.

He will see that BLiS still adheres to the threadbare dogma of devolution and the pretence that it is about facilitating good governance in Scotland rather than frustrating it.

He will see that BLiS continues to allow itself to be led by the nose as the branch office uncritically embraces the Tory narrative of the SNP as ‘untouchable’, so forestalling the possibility of a progressive alliance to deny the Tories power at Westminster.

He will see that BLiS, unable to break with the old rivalries of a British system that is only tangentially relevant within Scotland’s distinctive political culture, has allowed itself to be lured into meeting and competing with the Ruth Davidson (Don’t Mention Conservatives) Party in the tawdry arena of shrill, jingoistic and increasingly hateful British nationalism.

Len McCluskey will see all of this, and he will be overcome by despair.

However, those in Scotland who are not tenacious BLiS loyalists have no cause to be despondent. Mr Cluskey may find it difficult to imagine a political environment without British Labour, but we have not only imagined it, we have gone a long way towards making it our new reality. Clinging to BLiS is a nostalgic indulgence that Scotland simply cannot afford. We have to move on.

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