What may be remarkable about the ongoing travails of British Labour in Scotland (BLiS) is just how unremarkable it is. It seems like only yesterday when they bestrode Scottish politics like a behemoth. Now, only the BBC believes that BLiS is the main force in Scottish politics – despite being the third party at Holyrood and having only one MP. Outside the media bubble, who really cares?
Quite striking also is the idea that there is some way back for BLiS. The naive notion that, out of the fog of factional war, some figure will emerge to unite the “party” and restore it to the status to which it feels entitled. This is surely a triumph of faith over facts.
Nobody can even imagine what a functioning BLiS would look like. It’s a certainty nobody among the leadership can do so. They can all too easily picture themselves in the positions of power which they believe to be theirs by right. But there is no vision. No plan. No thought as to what they might do with political power should it somehow become theirs.
The media are obsessed with the question of what might bring BLiS back from the brink. They ponder the identity of the Messianic figure who might rescue the “party”. They speculate about the possibility of some novel formulation of policy that will be the platform for a spectacular revival. BBC Scotland, in particular, keeps BLiS on life-support; feeding them the oxygen of publicity and shielding them from the infection of truth; affording BLiS the privileges of the sentient entity they once were in the hope that this alone might restore them from their persistent vegetative state.
But outside the BBC and BLiS itself, does anybody really care? Other than British nationalists desperate to get back to the simplicity of a truly British politics free of the complications of popular democratic dissent, is there anybody who doesn’t want that life-support switched off?
The British political establishment’s influence and power in Scotland is waning rapidly. As a branch office of one of the parties of the British establishment, British Labour in Scotland was bound to decline as the old order passes. Some nostalgia is to be expected. But there comes a time when we just have to move on.Views: 2274
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