In an understandably rather panicked response to the large numbers defecting from Labour to the SNP, both in membership and, according to the latest poll from Lord Ashcroft, in voting intentions, Jim Murphy implored voters to remember that a vote for the SNP is a vote taken away from Labour, and this removes the chance that :Labour will be forming the next government.
Vote SNP, Get Tory ….
This is bollocks, to out it politely. :Desperate bollocks at that.
1. Every time the rest of the UK has voted for a Conservative government, Scotland has voted for Labour, and still got Tory
2. A vote for the SNP is a vote for the SNP. Whether they end up forming a Coalition government with Labour, or end up being a vociferous oppostion, their track record indicates that they would do both jobs a) more effectively than Labour has managed in either Holyrood or Westminster and b) promoting social justice and social democratic values and policies more effectively than Labour has managed in either Holyrood or Westminster.
If Labour is going to make themselves electable in Scotland again, they have some harsh lessons to learn.
a) The Scottish electorate are, rightly, angry about Labour’s Westminster-led opposition to independence in the referendum. Labour had the chance to be a part of Scottish history – to perhaps even lead the first independent Scottish parliament. To steer Scotland into an independent future as a small, wealthy, social democratic nation at the heart of Europe. They blew it in favour of hanging onto their Westminster priorities and their neo-liberal policies.
b) The anti-SNP stance is getting old, and very unpopular, fast. Accusing people who genuinely were voting for what they believed to be a better future for their country ‘Nazis’ is a huge mistake. Support for independence came from a wide range of groups: social democrats, feminists, environmentalists, disabled people, young people….they (and many who voted against independence but wanted further powers to be devolved to Scotland) were shocked at appalled at Labour’s scaremongering, bullying tactics prior to the referendum, and their failure to push for the full range of devolved powers in the Smith Commission afterwards.
c) There is a real appetite for a genuine left wing, social democratic party that supports a universal welfare state, fights for equality and fairness, and has an alternative vision to neo-liberal austerity led social divisions. That isn’t run by elites out of touch with ordinary people, but by consensus, partnership and responsible shared governance. Labour could, SHOULD, be that party, but it isn’t. This is why people are defecting in droves to support the SNP, the Greens and Plaid Cymru. The nation has changed, and politics needs to change. If you want supporters back, Labour, get policies and ideals people can support.
Vote SNP, Vote Green, Vote Plaid Cymru and get women leaders, parties that are committed to social justice, parties who can work in coalitions to achieve fair and progressive policies…..not parties run by elites with their own self interest at heart fighting over the centre-right.
People want justice, people want change.
Labour needs to change – or lose.