I see there are more calls for the mythical beast known as ‘Scottish Labour’ to ditch Unionism and embrace independence. Former BBC reporter Paul Mason and writer & broadcaster Lesley Riddoch are the latest.
I admire the optimism of these people. But it’s misplaced. Asking Labour in Scotland to back independence is like asking a fish to stop swimming. Labour in Scotland can’t ever come out in support Scottish independence for the simple reason that it exists solely to oppose it.
Since 2007 the Labour party in Scotland has manoeuvred every key political issue into an anti-SNP battering ram. It started off with the Edinburgh Trams fiasco, continued with the release of Megrahi and then the replacement of the council tax. Remember it was threats by Gordon Brown’s UK led Labour government that helped scupper SNP plans for a Local Income Tax.
Even the health of the nation was weaponised by Labour when the party came out against minimum price of alcohol. Labour MSPs were more interested in preventing the Nats from receiving praise for a life-saving policy than they were with the health of their constituents.
The party adopted those stances at a time when a return to power appeared feasible. These days British Labour in Scotland has sunk to third place behind the ‘toxic Tories’ and is expected to lose control of its last remaining vestiges of power – local authorities – at next May’s council elections. Labour will never again attain power in Scotland.
What the media refers to as ‘Scottish Labour’ is now little more than an anti-independence guerrilla group which wraps its uber-Unionism up in left-wing soundbites. The latest is a regurgitation of the income tax rise proposed by Dugdale at the last Scottish election. The electorate roundly rejected her idea.
Dugdale of course cares little for the Scottish electorate. We learned as much during that same election campaign when she was asked by STV’s Bernard Ponsonby if she would respect the result of the Holyrood election if it showed support for a second referendum.
He said: “Your party believes in the sovereignty of the people. If the First Minister in her manifesto seeks a mandate for it and gets a mandate for it, will you respect that?”. The Scottish Labour leader immediately replied, “No”.
The entity led by Kezia Dugdale has no purpose other than to present the pro-Union media with headlines attacking the SNP. It will advocate policies it knows would damage Scotland if those policies can be utilised in the anti-SNP/Indy narrative.
Brexit is just the latest example of something potentially very damaging to Scotland that Scottish Labour thinks is better than having independence. Listen to her as she is interviewed on SKY news as she again ignores the will of the Scottish electorate and insists we should merely accept being dragged out of the EU.
Dugdale of course once claimed Brexit, where Scotland was dragged out of the EU against its will, was something that could persuade her to consider independence. Asked whether she could argue against the UK so Scotland could stay in the EU, she replied: “Possibly. It’s not inconceivable.”
That interview emerged during the Scottish election campaign. The naïve Dugdale quickly ‘clarified’ her comments. The clarification was widely reported by BBC Scotland – another London controlled branch office.
The clarification didn’t prevent hard-line Labour supporting Unionists from moving en-masse to Ruth Davidson’s ‘Union at all costs’ Scottish Tory party. Labour dropped to third place in the Holyrood election as a result.
The ‘Scottish Labour’ party will never have autonomy for as long as the Union endures. It cannot survive without subsidies from south of the border. It has to oppose independence for itself and for Scotland if the cash is to continue to flow. It is, in every sense of the word, a colonial organisation.
As I write this there are news bulletins on Radio Scotland which inform me that Kezia Dugdale has re-affirmed her opposition to a second independence referendum. The bulletins are repeated every half hour. This is considered the key part of her speech to the Labour party conference.
There’s more chance of me advocating a No vote in Indyref2 and then going on to vote Tory in the UK election than there is of the puppet party and its puppet leader embracing independence for Scotland.
Readers may be interested to know that my book, ‘London Calling: How the BBC stole the Referendum’ is once again available in paperback. Order here: LondonCalling.scot