At least we have an acknowledgement, of sorts, from British Labour in Scotland (BLiS) that it is not a real party. Which means, of course, that they have been practising a gross deceit on the Scottish electorate for decades. But we’re supposed to just forget that. Just as we’re supposed to forget their alliance with the Tories; and their involvement in the despicable “Project Fear” campaign; and their determination to defend the power, privilege and patronage of the British state’s ruling elites regardless of the cost to Scotland and its people.
We are supposed to forget their ineptitude in government, so starkly illustrated by the scandal of PFI.
We are supposed to forget their failure even in opposition which allowed the Tories to portray themselves as a more effective alternative.
We are supposed to forget the infamous “Vow”, and how BLiS connived with their Tory allies to ensure that powers continue to be withheld from Scotland’s democratically elected parliament.
We are supposed to forget the smears and the lies and the sneering contempt for the people of Scotland and democracy itself.
I do not forget! I do not forgive! I will NEVER trust BLiS! I CANNOT trust BLiS! I am a rational, pragmatic, moderately intelligent and passably well-informed individual. I have no reason to trust BLiS.
This inexorable distrust extends to any assurances about “reform” or “change”. We’ve heard it all before. We hear it every time BLiS is on the receiving end of another stinging rebuke from Scotland’s voters. The promises to “listen and learn” are loudly trumpeted. But not loudly enough to drown out the whining insistence that it’s not their fault. That it’s the voters that have got it wrong.
The rote assurances about “change” are sucked dry of any credibility by the arrogant sense of entitlement that persists regardless of how forcibly BLiS is reminded by the electorate that they are entitled to precisely nothing; that they must earn the trust of the people of Scotland.
How might BLiS go about starting what will necessarily be a protracted and arduous process of persuading people that they are fit to be trusted? Even if we allow that the rather too tenuous acknowledgement of BLiS’s actual “branch office” status is a potential start to that process, what must follow is something massively more than mere cosmetic tinkering.
When we ask what it will take to rehabilitate BLiS in the eyes of Scotland’s voters, we inevitably tend to the realisation that, whatever it might be, it is vastly more than the current leadership is prepared to even contemplate. Looking at it as dispassionately as we are able, the unavoidable conclusion is that BLiS is inherently, structurally, systemically incapable of regaining any relevance in Scotland’s politics – never mind any significance.
Even if a political space existed for something akin to the Labour of old; even if that territory had not already been occupied by the SNP and others, it seems beyond the realms of possibility that BLiS might be capable of adapting to fill that space. BLiS has even surrendered the ground of ideological British nationalism to the Tories.
Increasingly, we have to wonder whether there is any reason for BLiS to exist.
One thing is absolutely certain, however. Any attempt to find a place in Scottish politics for BLiS is doomed to failure so long as it carries the taint of the “old guard”. If acknowledging that it isn’t a real political party is the first step on the road to recovery, then the next step must be a merciless purge of all those associated with the BLiS that is synonymous with betrayal and failure.Views: 3949
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