Sunday, 8 February 2015

Lag monster

Today it has been revealed in the Sunday Herald that Jim Murphy is going to try to turn Labour in Scotland into the party for Yes.  Their target is the 190,381voters who voted for Labour in the last general election but voted Yes to independence.

As an aside, how exactly are they going to contact this very specific number of voters?  Can they actually be identified, or are they proposing to doorstep anyone and everyone in the hope that they speak to them all?  The former case would be pretty chilling, and the latter an unenviable task, given the scarcity of boots on the ground for Labour in Scotland.  But I digress.

It strikes me that Labour in Scotland are always one campaign behind.  They fought the referendum as if it was a general election, and now they propose to fight the general election as if it was the referendum.  Possibly they need their connection to reality rebooted, although I doubt it will improve their ping.  What they really need is a new strategy, consisting of policies they believe in...hang on, what am I saying?  Labour in Scotland lost their principles long ago, and now their policies are designed, chameleon-like, simply to keep their MPs in power.

In many ways, a rout for Labour in Scotland in May might be the best thing that could happen to them,  It would allow space for a new party or parties to arise from the ashes, to provide credible opposition to the SNP.  One that would not have the tremendous drag of London holding them back, and which was truly independent. So maybe the answer is not for them to fear a massive defeat but to embrace it, regroup and regrow.  Under their current leadership, however, I can't see this happening.  Not while there is power and an expense account at stake, which their MPs have become accustomed to and consider a right.

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