Scottish Labour must stop being seen as ‘indistinguishable from the Tories’

Can Kezia Dugdale throw off the "Red Tory" label with which the SNP has branded Scottish Labour?

Can Kezia Dugdale throw off the “Red Tory” label with which the SNP has branded Scottish Labour?

The headline should come as no surprise to anybody who has read the pro-SNP comments sent to This Blog.

The SNP has made a very good job of painting Scottish Labour blue since the ‘Better Together’ campaign, in which Labour unwisely campaigned alongside the Conservatives to keep Scotland in the United Kingdom.

The campaign was successful but it allowed the SNP to brand Labour north of the border as “Red Tories”.

Ironically, the SNP’s own victories in last year’s general election should serve as a blueprint for Scottish Labour’s comeback strategy.

Labour needs to reclaim its socialist credentials.

It needs to challenge the SNP on that party’s own claims.

And it needs to expose the SNP on that party’s failings.

If Kezia Dugdale and the Scottish Labour leadership don’t have the stomach for the job, not only will they fail – they’ll deserve to.

The Scottish Labour party is seen as “indistinguishable from the Conservatives” to voters north of the border, a leaked report commissioned by the party has found.

The previously unreleased Mattinson Report, commissioned by Labour and leaked to ITV News, says voters in England do not know what the party stands for.

In Scotland, however, the party is said to face different problems, some of which appear to stem from the decision to campaign shoulder-to-shoulder with the Tories during the 2014 independence referendum.

There, the party is seen as “an incompetent version of the Tories” by voters, who have switched from once-dominant Labour to the SNP en masse.

Under former leader Jim Murphy Scottish Labour lost all but one of its Westminster seats to the Scottish National Party.

Source: Labour seen as ‘indistinguishable from the Tories’ to Scottish voters, leaked internal report warns | UK Politics | News | The Independent

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6 thoughts on “Scottish Labour must stop being seen as ‘indistinguishable from the Tories’

  1. ian725

    I thought most people here in England believed that Labour had slipped to the right of center. Other than those of us who support Gentleman Jim of course. This I feel is one of the reasons that there is so much flak against Corbyn from the media and indeed from within Labour itself. As for Scotland I humbly admit to political ignorance other than that which we receive through the media. However I do remember continual flak against the SNP from all of the main parties over the years and that only seems to have driven the people towards the SNP. I hope and trust that the same will work for Gentleman Jim.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      Yup, Labour had slipped to the right.
      Nationally, in the general election, Labour was still the best choice but in Scotland, the SNP had managed to steal left-wing credibility away from Labour, as a direct consequence of both the perceived drift to the right and the propagandised “Red Tory” labelling the nationalist party attached to Scottish Labour. That’s why I wrote what I think Scottish Labour needs to do.
      I have deep concerns about the Scottish party’s ability to make the necessary changes.
      Who’s Gentleman Jim, by the way? If you mean Murphy, he’s been gone for nearly a year.

  2. mohandeer

    Scotland is an area of vast expanse with a much lower ratio of people and they have their own set of problems. People in the North of England have a vast population but little or no industry, hence the need for the northern powerhouse. Scotland’s Labour stuck with the manifesto Labour of Westminster set up and it had no appeal whatsoever to Scotland and didn’t go anywhere near far enough to persuade the Geordies, Yorkshire men and pretty much anyone north of the Humber that the LP had their best interests in mind. The whole campaign as weak, watereed down right wing thinking. Had JC led the party with his manifesto contained in Corbynomics and done his campaigning pre May in Ed Milliband’s stead, the vote in England might have been very different and certainly in Scotland, the LP would not have lost the seats they did. Of course I am assuming that the LP would have had the wisdom to adopt JC’s thinking, oh dear, how stupid of me.

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