I know there have been loads of blogs exploring the benefits of independence to the Scottish Labour party. So what’s one more voice.
As an American involved in the independence referendum, I’ve been intrigued with the political divisions between the YES and NO camp. In many ways I just don’t understand many of the so-called “progressive” allegiances on the NO side. There is absolutely nothing progressive or socially democratic about the Westminster system. Doesn’t matter which party is in power, Westminster dictates a centre right agenda that puts finance, military and power over people.
Which is why I don’t understand the Scottish Labour official stance on independence. Let’s look at all the possible outcomes for Scottish Labour and supporting a NO vote.
1) The NOs win, and the Tories go on to win the next GE in 2015. Oh the anger. Look, another Tory government, that Scotland didn’t support. ‘But Scottish Labour, how the hell could you let this happen to us again?’ ‘You promised if we voted NO, you would win in 2015.’
Fast forward to 2016, Scottish Parliament elections and the public is furious with Scottish Labour. More cuts from a government we didn’t elect. Scottish Labour lose 50% of their seats in May 2016.
2) The NOs win, and Labour go on to win the next GE in 2015. ‘But wait a minute, Labour is going to cut even further and faster than the Tories?’ ‘Why were we not warned,’ Well actually there was a warning. Remember Rachel Reeves telling us, Labour will cut faster and further than the Tories.
Fast forward to 2016. The voters in Scotland are furious that Labour in Westminster are cutting social benefits even further than the Tories. Scottish Labour lose 60% of their seats in May 2016.
3) YES wins, but the standing Scottish Labour politicians were adamant in their support of a NO vote. Scottish voters are invigorated by the idea of an independent government, but want politicians who have supported that vision. The public look to the prominent figures in the Labour for independence and decide these are the people who believed in a better, fairer Scotland all along.
Fast forward to 2016, and all the Scottish Labour MSPs are replaced with members from Labour from independence.
Or it could be different Scottish Labour.
1) YES wins and Scottish Labour realised the best scenario for the people of Scotland is to have a government which fully reflected the public here. Scottish Labour once again embrace their social democratic roots of free university and prescription fees. While also supporting complete nuclear disarmament in Scotland.
Fast forward to 2016, and the public is excited that the old Scottish Labour Party is back. The win many more seats and perhaps even take over from the SNP.
I’m no professional political analyst, but why more members of Scottish Labour don’t see the error of supporting Westminster rule perplexes me. Perhaps they haven’t learned the lesson of the Scottish conservatives…
Now that’s a topic for another blog.