Sunday, 27 September 2015

A house divided.

Following on from my review of the book 'Project Fear: How an Unlikely Alliance Left a Kingdom United but a Country Divided', I came across this article in the Guardian, which has an in-depth inside story of Jeremy Corbyns leadership campaign.  Reading it, I was very much reminded of the Project Fear campaign, as it appears to have been based on a similar foundation of winging it, chaos and Labour's habit of in-fighting.  Even now, one of the first things that Jeremy Corbyn mentions at the Labour Party conference is that he doesn't intend to be pushed out by his opponents within his own party and fully intends to become Prime Minister at the next election.  Confidence-inspiring it isn't.

Mr Corbyn was on the Andrew Marr Show on the BBC this morning giving an interview, during which he said that the SNP are responsible for privatising Calmac, privatisation of ScotRail, cutting college places and privatising services, all of which claims are expertly demolished by Wings Over Scotland.  Mr Corbyn admits that he doesn't know much about Scottish politics, but it might be a good idea if he didn't rely on Kezia Dugdale for his information, which always boils down to 'SNP Bad', as demonstrated this morning.

Ms Dugdale herself  is blaming the previous four leaders for Labour's troubles in Scotland.  She says that Labour's problem has been that it has listened too much to what the voters wanted but has not translated that listening into action, something which Ms Dugdale intends to remedy during her tenure as leader.  She intends that the party in Scotland should actually make changes that the voters want rather than just listening and doing nothing.  As evidence of this she points to
new conference arrangements giving more say to members, reopening regional candidate selections to bring in fresh talent, and reformed portfolios for her front bench team.
These are all very fine, but they are really of interest to political activists, not your average voter in the High Street.

All this talk of listening and acting is quite reminiscent of Jim Murphy in his 'policy of the day' phase during the General Election campaign.  This resulted in policies such as wanting to change the law which currently band alcohol at football matches and the like.

Really this goes to show that Labour still haven't learned their lesson in Scotland.  Rather than knee-jerk responses and vague sentiments such as
We stand for a Scotland where every young person can get on in life, no matter how much money their parents have. I will change my party so that once again, together, we can change our country.
they really need to start thinking about what they stand for and what policies they therefore need to implement to achieve that.  They also need to sort out their internal politics, whether by putting together policies they can all agree on or by splitting into two parties.

It's said that a house divided against itself falls.   Labour's current status is very much of a house divided against itself, and the fall will not be long in coming unless they can find something to agree on.

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