Chances of Labour-SNP alliance are dwindling due to nationalists’ own strategy


Now even shadow cabinet members are speaking openly against any alliance with the SNP, post-election.

Vox Political has previously reported on Labour backbenchers’ concerns that any link with the Scottish nationalists would make a future Labour government vulnerable to a partner who would walk out when it best suited them – and least suited Labour.

Now it seems this concern has spread to shadow minister. Andrew Rawnsley has reported in The Guardian: “A growing number within the shadow cabinet … are urging a much more emphatically anti-SNP message.

“One of them says that Labour now needs to say ‘loud and clear’ that it would not treat with the nationalists as ‘a party that wants to tear the United Kingdom apart’.

“Another agrees: ‘We’re going to have to say no deal with the SNP.’

“It is also necessary, they argue, to disabuse Scottish voters of the notion that voting SNP will give them a perfect world in which David Cameron is thrown out of Number 10 and Scots hold sway at Westminster.

“Senior Labour figures also contend that striking any sort of bargain with the SNP would be such a strategic mistake that they should never countenance doing one anyway.

“Says a member of the shadow cabinet: ‘If we do a deal with the nationalists, my fear is that it will not just be the end of the Labour party in Scotland, it will be the end of the Labour party in England.’”

This is bad news indeed for supporters of the nationalist party, who were banking on being able to tell Scottish voters that Labour was a spent force in their country – and then convince them that voting SNP would give them a strong voice in an alliance with the same party in Westminster. It isn’t logical, but that’s what they’ve been saying.

And the nationalists are now finding themselves in bed with the Conservative Party, in their attacks on Labour.

North of the border, the SNP tells voters Labour is too similar to the Tories (this is, of course, a lie).

South of the border, the Tories are telling voters Labour is too willing to ally with the nationalists.

The two claims are mutually exclusive. A party that was similar to the Tories would never ally with the SNP, and the SNP would never ally with a party that was similar to the Tories.

But that doesn’t matter because they are being made to different sets of voters. It’s only when these fictions are presented side-by-side that they look as ridiculous as they really are.

Either way, the result will be the same, if voters are persuaded by these false arguments. As Rawnsley writes: “The Tories and SNP suggest that a vote for the nationalists will be a vote for a Labour government. The reverse is much more likely to be the case.

“What a mighty irony it would be if voting SNP were to put David Cameron back in Downing Street.

That outcome might secretly delight the leadership of the SNP.

It is rather more doubtful that it would please many of the Scots currently saying they plan to vote nationalist.

Follow me on Twitter: @MidWalesMike

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43 thoughts on “Chances of Labour-SNP alliance are dwindling due to nationalists’ own strategy

  1. paulrutherford8

    Curiously… or perhaps ‘eventually’ is a better word… I had two SNP supporters on twitter telling me, after some [ahem], ‘debate’ that they would be quite happy with a Tory-led government in Westminster.

    According to them, that would enable Scotland to be run by the SNP.

    I don’t quite follow their logic on that. All I can think is that they are extremely confused about who actually runs the UK. Perhaps they believe Holyrood has more powers than they do?

    Maybe they’ve been ‘blinded’ by the apparent hatred for Labour being fuelled by all sides as you say? Whatever the reasoning, those tweets did worry me.

  2. Joan Edington

    What I find a bit confusing is Labour in Scotland telling voters in constituencies that would never have voted Labour to vote Tory to keep the SNP out. I’m not sure how that is supposed to reduce the Tory numbers at Westminster.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      Was it Labour in Scotland, or just one Labour member?
      Was there a press release from Labour saying “If you’re in a non-Labour-voting constituency, vote Tory to keep out the SNP” – which I would find very odd – or was it just some loose cannon on his own Twitter feed?

      1. Joan Edington

        It was Jim Murphy himself and you can’t get higher up the pecking order than him. Mind you, he has just had to back down on another of his classics this week. He said that Scottish Labour would scrap the bedroom tax in Scotland. He doesn’t seem to know that it was scrapped (at least funded by the Scottish Government) a year ago.

      2. Mike Sivier Post author

        Are you sure it wasn’t this Robert James McNiell?
        I’ll have a look for this about Murphy – the media are bound to have had fun with it.
        The Scottish Government has not scrapped the Bedroom Tax as this is not within its power. Murphy’s promise refers to Labour’s commitment to scrap the Bedroom Tax throughout the United Kingdom. Then the Scottish government will not have to pay it on behalf of Scottish citizens – so Murphy was very definitely not lying and you need to do your research.

      3. Joan Edington

        Apologies for the first part of my last answer. It was not Murphy himself who made the suggestion, rather one of his policy team. I would suggest that he does something about the team in that case.

      4. Joan Edington

        As a follow-up Mike. Billy Bragg’s Facebook page has a copy of the actual tactical voting tweet in question, although it has now been deleted like so many more. It’s the latest posting on his timeline at the moment.

      5. Joan Edington

        Labour Party Rules, Chapter 2, Clause 1, 4A.
        A member of the partywho joins and/ or supports a political organisation other than an official Labour group or other unit of the party, or supports any candidate who stands against an official Labour candidate, or publicly declares their intent to stand against a Labour candidate, shall automatically be ineligible to be or remain a party member, subject to the provisions of Chapter 6.I.2 below of the disciplinary rules.
        Bye, bye McNeill, vice-chair of a Labour/Tory coalition constituency.

      6. Mike Sivier Post author

        “Vice-chair of a Labour/Tory coalition constituency”?
        That’s a bit desperate, isn’t it – trying to tie this person into that silly SNP narrative about Labour being in bed with the Tories.
        As we can see from the article, the only party in bed with the Tories at the moment is the SNP, for the purposes of battering – you guessed it – Labour.
        Wake up to the reality of your situation, please, Joan.

  3. Callum

    What do you reckon to the actions of Robert James McNiell (a member of Scottish Labour’s Policy Forum) earlier today tweeting to encourage Labour supporters to vote Tory and LibDem in certain constituencies (before he deleted his twitter – not the first time Scottish Labour have deleted things they’ve put online in the last couple of weeks mind you)?

    This really makes me confident that Labour are not in cahoots with the Tories, what with encouraging us to vote for Tories (sarcasm). Surely in any possible scenario a vote for SNP must at least by somewhat better for Labour than a vote for Tories – yet we get them peddling this crap!

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      Following on from my reply to Joan, I would say that this was one loose cannon, probably speaking his mind on his own Twitter feed.
      If I was a member of Scottish Labour, I would never have suggested that anyone vote Tory, which makes this behaviour extremely suspicious.
      Is it possible that this person was hacked?

      Labour isn’t “in cahoots with” the Tories. Look back over 115 years of enmity and you’ll see how ridiculous such claims must be.
      You are right that voting SNP is better than voting Tory – voting MRL is better than voting Tory.
      Don’t confuse one person’s activity with Labour policy – and I would strongly advise you not to encourage other people to make that mistake.

  4. jaypot2012

    I vote SNP because I believe it is the best party for Scotland. We want Independence and we will get it. The SNP actually do care about the people here, and they do what they can to be fair to everybody. The SNP would NEVER help the Tories and do not want Cameron back in.
    So the SNP want the best for Scotland, is that wrong? Tell me, who wants the best for the rUK?

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      To be a Westminster Parliamentary party, the SNP will have to be a party that care’s about the people here in Wales, in Cornwall, Swindon, Manchester and – yes – London, and everywhere else in the United Kingdom, though. They can’t be that and be pushing for independence all the time.
      That’s why it’s not a good idea to go into any kind of deal with them – they can’t be trusted to act in the best interests of the people of the United Kingdom. Obviously.

      1. Dale

        Have you seen the rest of this blog? What exactly makes you think that Tory austerity, or Labour austerity-lite (You won’t believe it’s not austerity!) are policies in favour of the interests of the people?

        One would have thought that rather obvious, yet apparently it needs spelled out.

      2. Mike Sivier Post author

        There’s just no way to convince some people.
        I wrote the rest of this blog (barring a few guest pieces). I know the differences between Tory and Labour plans, and I know that Labour will improve living standards hugely for the vast majority of the citizens of the UK. I can’t say everybody because I cannot foresee all eventualities. Rights that have been taken away will be returned; unjust taxes will be repealed; the economy will be stimulated into growth – real growth rather than the pretence we have seen from George Osborne.
        If you want to know what a Labour government will be like, look at Attlee’s post-World War II administration – economy stimulated, debts paid down, living standards improved. Not perfect – because nothing ever is – but moving in the right direction. The British people, bribed by Tories, cut him off too soon but you can see the direction of travel.
        Oh, but you think you already know what it will be like, don’t you?

      3. paulrutherford8

        Its also true that the Tories are very unlikely to offer Scotland – or Wales – any more ‘independence’ than they already have.

        Labour have categorically stated that if they gain power, they will devolve far more powers to Holyrood and Cardiff Bay – as well as to the various regions of England.

        I doubt many Scots will be happy if the Tories do get back in: it will be a disaster for us all.

  5. Thomas

    So if the Lib Dems get most of their MPs voted out, and noone will be in a coalition with the SNP, who will govern the country?

      1. Mike Sivier Post author

        Who says Labour can’t afford to contest any elections?
        If a second election is necessitated, Labour will have achievements to support its case – and, yes, it’ll have the money, too.

  6. george trist

    It makes not bit of difference which of the tories red, blue, yellow are in control none if them have any concern about Scotland other than it being a cash cow for a failing ruk. I personally don’t think it makes any difference and I dkny want a coalition either. We need Scotland as an independent Nation asap and the SNP are the only way to achieve this.

    Ps it is no lie that red and blue are both the same as they have all but a few policies if diffence.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      Scotland still gets more from the rest of the UK than it gives back. The claim that it gave more has been debunked.
      Scottish tax revenue and the amount spent on Scotland.

      As for your claim that Labour are Red Tories – that’s straight from the SNP songsheet and a blatant lie. With every new policy announced by Ed Miliband and his team, any claim to similarity crumbles still further. But you are a great ally of the Conservative Party – Lynton Crosby has been trying to push that “They’re all the same” lie for months.

  7. Gary

    I am unsurprised. For Labour to go into a campaign doing anything else but this would be suicidal. They have to maximise confidence to maximise votes. In reality it is quite likely they will have the option to form government only by doing a deal with SNP. Would they refuse it? How would they justify this to voters?

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      It’s entirely possible to run a minority government, getting support from other parties on a confidence-and-supply basis – at least in the short term. Then, after some good, helpful policies are in place, it’s possible to call another election and seek to form a majority government.
      If that’s how it has to be, then there it is.

  8. Jim Round

    Mike, I have to say I admire your belief in the Labour Party, I just don’t share your enthusiasm.
    I hope you are proved right in what you say about what Labour will do if elected, but I also think that they WOULD do a deal with the SNP if it meant getting into power.
    I’m sure that a few backbench Lib Dems said they wouldn’t go into a coalition with the Tories, but we are talking about politicians here, most of whom would sell their own Grandmother to get elected.
    I live in an area with a Labour MP who is as much use as a Chocolate teapot, and that’s from personal experience unfortunately.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      I live in an area with a Lib Dem MP who’s about as much use as you say your Labour MP is. But my local Labour candidate is against Trident, against fracking and has differences with his own party’s policies on social security and immigration.
      Now, imagine what might happen if a few more Labour candidates like him get into the House of Commons.

      1. Joan Edington

        I’d like to see a few more of that style too. I’m just sad that all Labour MPs in Scotland will have become tarred by the Darling/Brown/Murphy brush and we will lose Katy Clark, one of those said few.

      2. Joan Edington

        Should have said “may lose”. Hopefully I am wrong. I am not one of those blinkered Nats who can’t recognise a decent MP from another party. Having used my union vote to elect her as deputy leader and ending up with the useless Dugdale, I’m afraid I am right though.

      3. Jim Round

        Sounds like he has something approaching LABOUR values, my point is, why be part of a party that, for the most part, you don’t agree with?

      4. Mike Sivier Post author

        He does agree with Labour for the most part. As for the rest – all parties change over time. Labour is currently changing back to what it should be, away from Blairite neoliberalism.

  9. Padi Phillips

    Once again you seem to be living in cloud cuckoo land. Labour may huff and puff and try and convince us all that they do not have similar policies to the Tories, but the sad fact is they have done nothing, nada, in the past 36 years to reverse the march of neo-liberal economics, have involved us in illegal wars, and have colluded with the Tories in the scapegoating of the sick and unemployed. In fact, none of the welfare policies currently being pursued by the present government were introduced by this government, apart from Univeral Credit, which no doubt Labour will persist with. Labour also colluded with the Tories in calling for a No vote in the Scottish Referendum. We could also say more – Labour under Tony Blair repealed Clause 4 calling for the public ownership of industry, and also never even considered repealing the dreadful anti-union legislation passed by the Tories in the Thatcher years.

    If Labour had any principals whatsoever they would be championing the cause of Scottish independence, as no doubt would Keir Hardie if he had still been around – okay, maybe we could split a few hairs on this, as he was on favour of Dominion status for Scotland, Ireland and Wales, but that would have given all three a similar status to Canada, Australia, New Zealand and a few other places in what was prior to 1939 the imperial structure – basically all had parity to one another as sovereign states. That much of the support given to the Yes campaign was more about social justice than independence per se is very telling.

    It’s unlikely that Labour will be able to govern, should it be fortunate enough to be able to form a minority government after May 7th without forming some kind of coalition with the SNP – let’s not forget that the first devolution referendums in Scotland and Wales were forced on a weak Labour government that relied on both the SNP and Plaid Cymru for any kind of validity – and that was an SNP far weaker than the SNP of today. I’m only saddened that Plaid Cymru isn’t in a stronger position than it is – I don’t think they are any where near radical enough, but I think they should actually be doing a better job of being an opposition in Cardiff Bay than they are. Labour in Cardiff Bay are pitifully inadequate for the needs of Wales, merely doing what successive Labour donkeys have done in Wales and that is implement Westminster policies, with nary a murmer when it’s been a Tory government in Westminster, and with delight when it’s been a Labour government.

    I have never voted Labour as I think they are worse scum than the Tories, at least you know what you are getting with a Tory, you expect a Tory to be quite nasty. With Labour you never know what you are getting… no, that’s not strictly true, you know that Labour will stab you in the back if you are an ordinary working person.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      Labour doesn’t have similar policies to the Tories, though.
      You twist your way through a very elaborate (and lengthy) argument, but the plain facts are available for anybody to see – so they don’t need to read your fabrication. You might believe it but it’s still a work of fiction.
      Regarding the welfare element of Labour policy, I should point out that I have my own issues with this, but that doesn’t make your claims any more valid – most lies have an element of truth in them, in order to trap the unwary.
      Here’s a huge lie: “The first devolution referendums in Scotland and Wales were forced on a weak Labour government that relied on both the SNP and Plaid Cymru for any kind of validity.” You refer of course to the Labour government of 1997-2001, which won the election in an enormous landslide victory, took 418 seats, and didn’t need anybody’s help to do whatever it wanted.
      Your comments about the Labour government in Cardiff Bay are similarly risible.

      1. Padi Phillips

        I’ll never agree that Labour don’t have similar polices to the Tories, especially considering the last Labour period in government from 1997 to 2010 resulted in Labour pursuing exactly the same greed inspired neo-liberal economic policies introduced by the Tories during the Thatcher and subsequnet years. You may believe that what I say is fabrication, but I, and many, many thousands of people know otherwise. In this present government Labour has either remained silent of tacilty supported many of the moves by the Tories to scapegoat the poor, the sick and the unemployed for the sins of the bankers, (who, it must be pointed out, were allowed to do this by politicians, and as it was under Labour’s watch when the crisis finally happened, they must carry most of the responsibility for bailing out the banks instead of doing the right thing, as did Iceland and letting the banks go bankrupt and fall into state hands and the bankers jailed). Anyone but a complete fool could have seen the banking crash coming for years.

        Far from ‘twisting my way’ as you put it, I merely strung together some well known facts. It’s a FACT that Labour did nothing in it’s 13 years in office between 1997 – 2010 to reverse the anti-union legisaltion passed by the Tories. Likewise it’s a FACT that Labour did nothing to seriously alleviate poverty. Labour may have introduced the National Minimum Wage, (but set at a derisory low, poverty wage level) and then gone on to subsidise exploitative employers with Tax Credits. It’s also a FACT that Blair repealed Clause 4, (though that had to be admitted, was just a fiction, as the Labour Party had by then sold out to the Big Business likes of Murdoch et al), and it’s a FACT that Blair took the UK into an illegal war, not only by lying to Parliament, and to the people, but also expressly against the wishes of the people, some 2 million of whom demonstrated on the streets of London to that effect.

        Another fact that you seem to (conveniently?) forget is Keir Hardie’s support, nay, promotion of the idea of Home Rule, which I have to emphasise would have conferred much more control over domestic affairs to Wales, Scotland and Ireland. That commitment disappeared in 1945.

        Far from being a huge lie, my assertion that the FIRST devolution referendum was largely a result of the then weak Labour government’s grip on power, and I did not ‘of course’ refer to the Labour government of 1997-2001, but that of 1974 – 79. Proof positive that Labour supporters have short memories? Or maybe it’s just amnesia. Perhaps it could also be that you have some issues with basic literacy, as I referred to a weak Labour government, as well as the FIRST devolution referendum of 1979. Whatever else it may have been, Labour certainly had a huge majority in 1997, so in no way could be described as weak, even if it chose not to use that power for good in the way that so many had hoped.

        You suggest that my arguments are risible, but let’s remember one of your comments to the effect that the changes to be made by incoming Labour government could be equal to that of the Atlee government of 1945 – now that’s risible, and also deeply insulting, as we know that will not be the case. There are (sadly) no politicians anywhere in the UK, and certainly not in the current Labour Party of the calibre of Nye Bevan or Ernest Bevin.

        The late, great Gwyn Alf Williams once stated that it’s not as if the Labour Party wasn’t at one time progressive, it’s just that it stopped being progressive.

        I think that only a Labour true believer such as yourself, or the equally deluded Kitty Jones could believe that Labour will be the saviours of mankind, (or at least the UK, maybe).

        I don’t still don’t think that Labour will be able to form a viable government if they win the election without the support of either the SNP or the LibDems – and though you vehemently deny it, it wouldn’t come as a shock if Labour were to form a coalition with the Tories, after all, it’s the party that Labour are closest to, and no amount of delusional verbiage on yours, or Kitty Jones’ part will convince me otherwise.

        If Labour turns into a Makhnovist inspired political entity overnight, then it might be taken seriously by me, and get my support, but I guess that there would have to be a blue moon for that to happen.

      2. Mike Sivier Post author

        You think Labour is similar to the Conservative Party? Then why is Labour forcing a vote on MPs’ second jobs today, when David Cameron doesn’t want to know? Why is Labour planning to repeal the Bedroom Tax and the Health and Social Care Act? Why has Labour banned fracking in Wales, and why did it work so hard to restrict it in England, when other parties pinned their hopes to a hopeless motion for a moratorium?

        Your reliance on criticism of New Labour is a weakness because New Labour no longer exists. Tony Blair believed in Third Way politics – neoliberal economic policies coupled with left-wing social policies. That doesn’t work and Labour has turned away from that now. The only people who still discuss Labour in those terms are people who hope to gain something from it.

        And don’t try to tell people what I believe.

        Your comment about Labour being silent or tacitly supporting Tory moves to victimise the poor is a blatant lie. Why would the Tories themselves complain so loudly that Labour has opposed each and every single one of their so-called ‘reforms’?

        Why is Labour responsible for the misdeeds of the bankers? Weren’t those financial wizards old enough to answer for their own actions? It’s only because we have a Conservative-led government that this hasn’t happened. Nobody saw the bank crash coming, it seems. Look at the IMF’s predictions, right before it happened.

        You say Labour did nothing about poverty. Labour lifted 900,000 pensioners out of poverty, along with 500,000 children – and measures were put in place to lift around a further 500,000 children out of poverty. The Conservative-led Coalition reversed the child poverty measures.

        Oh, you meant a referendum from 1974? Are you laying the sins of its fathers at the feet of the current Labour Party again, then? I was nine years old at the time, so it must have passed me by. As the matter was completely insignificant for the rest of my life until you raised it, I don’t think there’s any justification for your criticism of me.

        Anyway, let’s have a look at that referendum. Labour passed an act of Parliament that would give Scotland its own legislative assembly (as a sop to the SNP for helping prop up Callaghan’s ever-weakening government), if the Scottish people approved the move in a referendum requiring only 40 per cent of the electorate to give its approval – and only 32.9 per cent voted in favour.

        No, I don’t have issues with basic literacy, although I see you have issues with basic courtesy. I merely deduced from the tone and accuracy of your comment that you were trying to suggest that the Labour government of the 1990s was not as strong as it actually was. Look at your comment here, saying that government “chose not to use that power for good”. Did you put a date on the referendum you mentioned? No. Trying to set a little trap, were you?

        Your arguments are risible. You try to give them validity by couching the lies with a few carefully-chosen facts that support your claims, but anyone can see through that tactic.

        I did not say changes by an incoming Labour government “could be equal” to those of the Attlee government; I said Labour is looking to that period as an example and knows that it needs to do something similarly impressive. It seems unlikely that any such acts will be recognised as such until historians have a chance to reappraise it, at some point in the future, however.

        I didn’t say Labour would be “the saviours of mankind”. Nor am I the “true believer” that your own belief demands I must be. I see Labour for what it is.

        Your claim that Labour might form an alliance with the Tories as “the party that Labour are closest to” – now, that’s really deluded! If you really believe that, and aren’t just claiming it to persuade the easily-led, then you are ignoring reality on a day-to-day basis. That takes a considerable amount of self-brainwashing!

        I guess Labour will just have to live without your vote. It is to be hoped that nothing you have said here, or in your previous comment, is persuasive enough to convince anybody else against Labour. That would be a tragedy.

      3. Joan Edington

        Mike, just to clarify your statement that only 32% of the electorate voted for devolution in 1979, this was because of the stitch-up of the vote. When had any referendum/election been decided on the total electorate rather than the turnout. Under normal voting procedures the referendum would have been successful with 51.6% of turnout.

      4. Mike Sivier Post author

        Picture the scene if you can – the ‘No’ voters up in arms because a Scottish Assembly was approved at the wish of only 32.9 per cent of the electorate. The backlash builds up over the following few months, with ‘anti-nationalism’ and a pattern of civil disobedience making the new assembly and its measures unworkable. The whole debacle sets Scottish Nationalism back by decades and leaves a stain on history that leaves a bad taste in Scottish mouths, possibly for centuries to come.

        You had a lucky escape there, didn’t you?

      5. Joan Edington

        Backlash? Oh how I wish that the UK population had guts enough to provide the backlash you suggest would have followed a 32% electorate vote resulting in a call for Scottish devolution. How come there wasn’t instant rioting in the street when the Tories took over on 36.1% of turnout, 25.5% of electorate. Bring it on!

  10. Padi Phillips

    Oh dear, I do seem to have touched a nerve! I don’t try an tell anyone what you believe as it’s patently obviuous that you are are a Labour true believer – despite your denials, otherwise you wouldn’t be spouting the vitriol you do against anyone but the Labour Party.

    New Labour may not be officially in existence, but anyone but a Labour true beliver would have some difficulty in actually realising that this might be the case. if it walks like New Labour, talks like New Labour than it more than likely is New Labour.

    Could the Labour Party not force a vote on MP’s second jobs and still seem even remotely credible? A failure to pick up on this would have made Red Ed look even more ineffectual than he seems to be.

    If Labour opposed all the welfare reforms they must have been very quiet about it, as they certainly didn’t attempt to mobilise support or call for public opposition to the reforms and yes, they did collude with the Tories by demanding that Labour MPs abstain in the vote on retrospective welfare legistation in March 2013. There were, however some 40 odd Labour MPs who had the decency and principles to vote against that nasty piece of legislation. Labour may not have had a majority in this Parliamentary session, but they certainly had enough representation to have defeated all the repressive legislation proposed by the Tories, if Labour had sought to ally themselves with the SNP, Plaid Cymru and the Greens. But that would have perhaps signalled a radicalism that Labour apparently seems reluctant to embrace.

    I don’t need to persuade anyone that a vote for Labour is a vote as good as a vote for a Tory or a LibDem. I am certainly of that opinion, and I know beyond any doubt that tjose around me in the union I belong to are perhaps even more vehemently opposed to Labour than I am, and also would not be surprised by anything the Labour Party chose to do. Even forming a coalition with the Tories, as they did in the run up to the Scottish independence referendum – Labour is as guilty as the Tories, UKIP, the LibDems and the BNP in wanting to preserve the remnants of empire that is the UK. I may be a nationalist, (but not in a nation-state sense) with a small n, but I know that Labour is as imperialist as the Tories. If Labour had any principals at all they would be putting their energies fully towards making a real difference in Wales and Scotland by supporting at least a far more radical form of devolution than they do. But we know that Labour at heart is a deeply imperialist organisation, vehemently opposed to any kind of separatist movement, even those like Scotland where a significant amount of support was from people who would be Labour’s natural support – only the people no longer trust Labour, and realise that they had to scare the living daylights out of the Labour Party. It’s significant that the SNP is now more than four times the size it was on Septemer 18th, and it was an extremely close result when it is considered that the Yes campaign had to face the united imperialist forces of the Tories and their Labour and LibDem allies, together with the mainstream media anti-independence propaganda machine and the Yes campaign achieved 45% of the vote on a 90 odd per cent turnout. That people do not trust Westminster politicians is evident from the growth in the SNP was post referendum, maybe as a result from the realisation that the Westminter regime took the Scottish people for fools and failed to deliver on the promises. People in Scotland now realise that they have failed in scaring Labour into acting in any radical way, and that they now have to drive that message home by giving Labour a drubbing in the General Election. Perhaps on May 8th the penny might finally drop for the Labour leadership that they can no longer take the electorate for fools.

    I’ve never voted Labour, and I hope I’m never faced with a situation where I have to vote Labour for example to keep out a BNP candidate, Labour is in no way radical enough, democratic enough, or principled enough. There are some members who buck that trend, but my question to them is why do they remain members.

    I have little doubt that even if Labour forms the next government it will be by a slender majority, if they even get a majority. People by and large are beginning to realise that politicians can’t be trusted. There may be a vote forced by Labour today over second jobs, but if Labour had been pro-active over this it would have had rules against this for it’s own members a long time ago. I’m guessing that this is merely a cynical way of having a go at the Tories, as a points scoring excercise as we come up to voting day – similar to the national lottery, but less exciting and with only a booby prize: the government always gets in.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      Again, there you go telling everyone what I believe – that I’m “a Labour true believer”. Wanting it to be that way doesn’t make it so. I don’t “spout” – and I certainly don’t “spout” “vitriol”. You are trying to spread disinformation about my articles.

      I could go into all that stuff you’ve written about Labour but I really can’t be bothered. I’ve debunked most, if not all, of it already.

      What I find most noticeable about your comment – about all your comments – is that, while you’re perfectly to do to Labour what you claim I’ve been doing to lots of other parties – sink the knife in…

      … you don’t have a lot to say about the wonderful policies of the SNP that you support so ardently.

  11. Padi Phillips

    I’m sure I could find a lot that I don’t like about the SNP, much as those who know me know that I am very critical of Plaid Cymru, which I vote for, in despair I may add. If I am at all positive about the SNP it is because I find them the acceptable face of opposition, perhaps representing some of the more tradional values of the Labour Party, which, it would seem, is what many former Labour supporters in Scotland also think. (Amd not a few in England too) I generally have little regard for politicians, and my belief is can be summed up by that saying about it being always obvious when a politician is lying: their lips move.

    Okay, I’m prepared to accept that you are not a Labour true believer, but to be quite honest I find it very hard to see that anything else is the case. I take no issue about you spouting vitriol, that is your right, and i was just pointing it out, but you do seem somewhat less than vocal about Labour’s shortcomings – of which there are plenty, as I have pointed out. You may think you have debunked what I have said about the Labour Party, and it’s policies, but I’m not sure that matters of fact can ever be debunked, just the interpretation, which I haven’t tried to do. And if I have, my conclusions are hardly unique, as many others have come to similar conclusions.

    I hardly need to spread misinformation about your articles, and I’m not sure that I do; that certainly isn’t my intention. I certainly disagree with you, that much is obvious. But do you truly believe that people will swallow tired old inducement to vote Labour, despite their abject failings, and everything will be alright?

    I think that many people will probably hold their noses and vote Labour, not because they have better policies than the Tories, but simply because they aren’t (quite) Tories, which is basically a counsel of despair. Maybe if Labour had done some really amazing things in the 13 years they were in office between ’97 and 2010 and made it damn near impossible for the Tories to easily unravel things subsequently then maybe the electorate would be a little more enthusiastic about the prospect of a Labour victory and politics in general. But Labour didn’t make it hard for the Tories, they made most of the policies that the Tories now continue, apart from Universal Credit.

    In the end it doesn’t really matter who gets into government post May 7th, ordinary people are still going to be sacrificed on the alter of failed neo-liberal economics. Labour has signed up to another £30 bn of austerity cuts, and has vowed to be nastier than the Tories on the unemployed (and conceivably the sick and disabled too). Have they, for instance, promised to abolish benefit sanctions? No, though to be fair, Labour didn’t abolish sanctions after they gained power in 1997. But that didn’t stop sanctions being used for the first time on a relatively large scale after 1997. Can Labour really be indifferent to the potential votes of some 3 million votes? (c. 2m offical unemployed and c. 1m not in work or claiming benefits). OK, so Labour doesn’t expect many of that group to go out and vote for anyone… one wonders why? Read a few claimant focussed blogs and it becomes obvious that very many feel that they have been grievously let down by Labour.

    I hope that I am completely wrong about Labour, but as anyone else, I can only go on past performance, which doesn’t bode well. I’ll never be a Labour supporter for several fundamental reasons, mainly that they aren’t radical enough, but if they do start to go in what I (and many thousands of others) consider to be the right direction I’ll be amongst those who, probably very grudgingly, acknowledge and commend that fact.

    DISCLAIMER: Don’t believe anything I say, look stuff up and make up your own minds about it all, and any interpretations I may have made. I state my opinion, which isn’t the truth, it’s just my opinion. Mr Sivier seems to accord me far more influence than I myself would credit myself with – and I’d regard anyone who unquestioningly allowed themselves to be influenced by me with some concern.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      Regarding the things I have debunked. Matters which you call fact were proven not to be fact. An assertion cannot be proven to be true just because many other people believe it – it just means that many people are mistaken. For example, you repeat the claim that Labour has “signed up to another £30bn of austerity cuts” – this is a lie put about by the Greens and seized by the SNP and its supporters. Labour hasn’t done anything of the sort. You’ll have read my article Setting the record straight on Sturgeon’s fiscal policy, so you’ll know this to be correct. But that lie gets repeated in Vox Political comment columns on a regular basis, showing that, if “many feel that they have been grievously let down by Labour”, they might have been grievously misinformed by other people with an anti-Labour agenda.

      I do not agree with you about Labour’s past performance – look at your failure over poverty and bear in mind that I have a very long list of Labour achievements which I have published before.

      No, I don’t accord you a great amount of influence. This is one of the most popular political blogs, but the social media remain a very small part of the media as a whole – and as a commenter, you’ll be read by fewer people than read the article. However, if you influence even one person to do something ill-advised on the basis of disinformation, then you will have done that person a great disservice and that is what I wish to prevent. It is necessary to admit that opinions such as yours are out there, but important to demonstrate that they are based mostly on hot air.

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