Saturday, 29 November 2014

Just stop it

Today Gordon Brown well raise himself up on his hind legs to give a speech to an audience of Labour councillors (does he ever give speeches to non-Labour party members I wonder?).  In this speech he will say that
politicians in Scotland must stop obsessing about constitutional change and focus on improving people's lives
He will also be saying that Labour are the only party who can tackle inequality while defending Scotland's place in the Union.

Of Glasgow's 7 MPs, 6 are currently from the Labour party.  Given that Glasgow as a whole voted Yes, you'd have to think that those MPs might be feeling a tad insecure about the next general election.  Hence Gordzilla is wheeled in to rally the troops, a bit of an irony given that's it's widely known that he himself is stepping down at the next election.  So much for fighting for those extra powers, eh Gordon?

The problem for Labour is that the SNP are now to the left of them and are a real electoral threat in May.  Nicola Sturgeon's speech outlining the Scottish Government's legislative programme for the coming year contained some interesting proposals (eg on land reform) and was widely seen as being several steps in the right direction.  She has also committed to using whatever powers the Scottish Government has to improve the lives of everyone in Scotland.  Point two of Gordon's theme is therefore already being addressed.

Thus, the only differentiator that Labour has is that it is a Unionist party, which gives it something of a dichotomy when addressing the Scottish electorate, given that a large percentage of them (and growing, if the polls are to be believed) are in favour of independence.  Falling back on the rhetoric of 'pooling and sharing' really isn't going to play well with that section of the electorate.

As for 'obsessing about constitutional change', I assume he means 'pursuing independence for Scotland'.  If so, why would the SNP, a party founded on the pursuit of Scottish Independence, give that up?  It's not as if they can't both pursue independence AND try to improve people's lives.  Or maybe it's Labour who can only do one thing at a time?

All this 'you lost, get over it, move on' stuff is really a giveaway that the traditional political parties were given the biggest fright of their lives by the referendum, to the point where they are terrified of another one.  After all, they didn't win this one by a huge margin, so the outcome of the next one is in no way guaranteed to be the one they want.  But however, much they hate it, constitutional change is coming, it's really becoming just a question of when.

No comments:

Post a Comment