In a former post, I argued the case that we cannot realistically call opponents of Scottish independence ‘traitors’ for two reasons: first, Scotland is not yet an independent state. Second, there are only 5 million of us. Slightly more than Norway, a wee bit less than Denmark. Unless we plan to shoot people to improve the polls, those who disagree with us have to be persuaded, until those in favour of independence are in a healthy majority.
This means that the case must be made to those Scots, English, French, Chinese, Irish, Poles and Pakistanis living in Scotland that their quality of life would be vastly improved outside the financial and cultural straitjacket of the United Kingdom. To browbeat fence sitters by calling them traitors and fools sounds arrogant, and can only serve to harden attitudes.
Recent events, however, have changed my mind about one particular group of Scots. It is now beyond any reasonable doubt that the Scots of the Labour Party are traitors to their own people. I refrain from saying the ‘Scottish Labour Party’, an entity which does not actually exist. I mean the UK Labour Party in Scotland. (1)
If the post-Election negotiations proved nothing else, they proved this: that, knowing full well what the Tories will do to Scotland, a cabal of Scottish Labour Party members preferred to let the Tories back into power to wreak havoc on Scottish society, rather than work with the LibDems and Scottish and Welsh nationalists to form a progressive, social democratic alliance. They lined up to shoot down the idea of an anti-Tory alliance live on television. This while the leaders of their party were still in talks with the LibDems on forming a coalition.
No concessions on referendums or special powers were asked for by the SNP as a price, yet these Labour Scots slapped away the SNP hand, unwilling even to discuss the possibility of cooperation.
The central proposal on the table was to keep the Tories out. Yet it’s now clear for all to see that Labour’s priority was something quite different: to keep the Scottish Nationalists out.
So maybe now at last we can put to bed the tired old Labour mantra that the SNP let in Margaret Thatcher in 1979. In 2010, the Scots of the Labour Party – with living memory as a guide for what to expect from the Tories – walked away from a viable alternative UK government and let the Tories back into power. This government would have held a UK majority, just as Labour likes to claim that Unionist parties form a majority of opinion in Holyrood.
Think about what this means: that the Labour Party would rather sit out a decade in paid but impotent opposition under a UK Tory Government than give 1 second’s consideration to working with Scottish nationalists.
The Labour Party Scottish footsoldiers evidently have stronger attachment to their Westminster salaries, benefits, expenses, titles, privileges and pensions than their own people. Protecting those eking out a living in Scotland in the face of impending Tory cuts is a long way down their list of priorities.
So let us lay the blame for everything that now happens to Scotland under this Tory-LibDem regime fairly and squarely at the feet of the Labour Party in Scotland.
Thank you, Scots of the Labour Party, for putting Scotland’s head in the Tory noose.
(1) The London-based British Labour Party is probably in violation of British electoral law by representing their party in Scotland as the Scottish Labour Party, a name that is an invention of Labour’s spin doctors.
Labour MP admits being 'relieved' when Tories got in