Would any other ‘party’ leader have survived the debacle of yesterday’s manifesto launch, never mind the humiliation of trailing the toxic Tories in the polls? The fact that Dugdale is, not only still in the job, but being lauded as a great leader, is yet another symptom of the catastrophic disorder that has afflicted British Labour in Scotland BLiS) for what seems like decades. They are getting it wrong in ways so numerous and so appalling that it is increasingly difficult to put the pretendy wee party’s decline down to mere ineptitude. Things could hardly be worse if there were a cabal of saboteurs infiltrated into key positions and working to bring down the entire edifice.
And they don’t appear to be aware. They genuinely don’t seem to realise how they are perceived by the world outside the bubble of party loyalists and media sycophants which surround the assorted cliques within the organisation. Pandered to by the state broadcaster and the corporate press, it is easy for Dugdale and her ‘team’ to get carried away with a false sense of significance.
Even as it disintegrates under the weight of a catalogue of flaws and failings, BLiS is treated as if it was the very beating heart of Scotland’s politics, only momentarily fallen from its rightful place in the affections of the electorate. It’s current parlous state is regarded as a blip. A decade-long blip that shows not the slightest indication of turning around.
And where the terminal decline of BLiS is recognised at all, we are expected to grieve. We are supposed to see it as a tragedy. It’s as if a Scottish politics without BLiS is so unthinkable its corrupt corpse must be kept in the room, propped up in a chair, so as to make us complete. It’s as if the demise of BLiS would be the end, as no ‘proper’ politics could proceed without them.
Why should we mourn what surely is the passing of a political force which so evidently no longer has any relevance to a Scottish politics transformed by the experience of having a real government and by the realisation of the power of popular sovereignty as exercised in the first independence referendum?
Why should we be at all saddened by the demise of a ‘party’ that exemplifies a politics which belongs to a different time? A time of deference to the ruling elites of the British state. A time before the people found a voice with which to challenge the stultifying conformity of British politics. A time, not necessarily before Scotland’s politics was different, but before we found the confidence to declare that difference.
Why should we succumb to sentimentality and nostalgia? What debt do we owe this lot? What is their entitlement? From what does it derive? Even if we allow that BLiS may have done some good in the past, what have they done for us lately? What might they ever do for us?
Why should there be a place reserved at the top table for this withered appendage of a party of the British establishment? Is it not right that this place should be earned, and not awarded by some pretentious elite? Can BLiS be said to be earning that place?
If BLiS dies, will it really matter? When BLiS dies, will Scotland be any the poorer for it?
There is much talk now of renewal and revival in Scottish politics. If the death of British Labour in Scotland is part of that process, should we not embrace it?Views: 2013
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