A mirror, cracked: Scottish Labour splits in exactly the opposite way to Westminster

Kezia Dugdale and Jeremy Corbyn: Was she planning to stab him in the back at the Scottish Labour Conference in 2015, when this photo was taken? [Image: Press Association.]

Kezia Dugdale and Jeremy Corbyn: Was she planning to stab him in the back at the Scottish Labour Conference in 2015, when this photo was taken? [Image: Press Association.]

It seems one Labour leader who may actually be replaced in the near future is Kezia Dugdale.

It’s common knowledge (isn’t it?) that she has said if she were in Jeremy Corbyn’s position and had lost the support of 80 per cent of her MSPs, she could not do her job – implying that he should resign. Fine words coming from a person whose own political nous secured the loss of half her party’s seats in the Scottish Parliament less than two months ago.

Some commentators took this to mean that Scottish MSPs were opposed to Corbyn en masse. It turns out they aren’t.

A statement signed by Scottish Labour’s deputy leader, Alex Rowley MSP, has made it crystal clear that he supports Mr Corbyn to the hilt – along with 12 other Labour MSPs – the majority of the party’s 23 remaining Scottish Parliament members.

So Scottish Labour MSPs have divided with the majority in favour of Mr Corbyn – a reversed mirror-image of the situation in Westminster. In this matter, at least, Ms Dugdale has lost the confidence of 56 per cent of her MSPs.

In an opinion piece on his own site, Mr Rowley explained his opinions in detail. His thinking is excellent as you can see for yourself:

Following the Brexit vote Labour had a duty to show leadership in a time of great upheaval. Our MPs should have put the blame squarely on those who called for this referendum and ran campaigns of mistruths and hate. The Tories have divided our country, jeopardised our economy and allowed far-right extremists to feel justified in attacking people on our streets.

Regardless of their opinion of Jeremy Corbyn, there was a responsibility on every Labour MP to be a collective strong UK opposition offering leadership and direction. We are witnessing the Tories at their weakest, in turmoil over a leadership election whilst the UK is leaderless, and now we sadly find ourselves in the same situation.

The Labour Party should have been speaking up for our country, putting Labour values first and working with nations, regions and cities to find a way forward. Instead we now look even weaker and more divided than the Tories.

Even if those within the Labour Party who think Corbyn’s leadership is weak were right (I personally don’t think they are), they had an obligation to the country to put their views aside to address the immediate crisis.

We must stand united in comradeship and ensure that we do everything within our power to protect the country at this time. Every option must be explored.

Scotland voted to remain in Europe and there is a determination in Scotland’s Parliament to get the best deal for Scotland. Over the coming days, weeks and months we must chart a way through to achieve this. It is clear that those who fought the case for Brexit have no plan, and the sorry sight of Westminster’s main parties imploding on themselves gives little cause for optimism.

I plea to all MPs, especially Labour, to face up to the immediate challenges our countries in the UK are facing, leave the internal party politics at the door and unite to find a way through the economic, social and constitutional crisis the UK now finds itself in.

“We must stand united in comradeship and ensure that we do everything within our power to protect the country at this time.”

The vast majority of the Labour Party – north and south of the border, in Northern Ireland and, I hope, in Wales – is united. The people putting the brakes on an effective strategy for the UK are 172 MPs who still have the nerve to say they represent the Labour Party.

They don’t. If they can’t rejoin the rest of us (and, given their actions over the past week, this seems likely), they should leave.

Alternatively, they will be pushed. Many constituency parties are already passing ‘no confidence’ motions in them and will take steps to remove them as soon as they are able.


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8 thoughts on “A mirror, cracked: Scottish Labour splits in exactly the opposite way to Westminster

  1. Nick

    i never liked her sad really. As for Jeremy i will speak with his office on Monday i have spoken before and they like me

    i will try to get him to stand down he’s bound to listen to me ?

    he cant be prime minister just as i could never be. it doesn’t matter how great you are if your face doesn’t fit it’s all over and that has always been the way in the uk

    as i say Jeremy will see that i’m right and step down. as to who could take over for labour and win to form a goverment (no one) sad to say

    this country has moved so far from the left to the extreme right and Jeremy and labour have moved also from left to extreme right in many areas and you now have this labour/ukip/ mix of people in the country mixing with a labour/conservative mix of people

    which in turn has left Jeremy and those like myself very isolated and on the verge of extinction

    1. jeffrey davies

      i dearly hope not nick i hope he goes onto win a election to say your face doesnt fit is that the kettle calling the pot black he is labour with enough support behind him then he win through but to give up nay fight these parasites the greedie ones who do not care about the peasant but them selves jeff3

      1. Nick

        it is my own personal dealings with a lifetime of how people think

        i hope i am wrong as a old timer but my gut instinct is that he would have to convince conservative voters in the south of eengland where i live and there is no way he could do that to bbecome prime minister

        i couldn’t and that’s with a lifetime of local service to the community

        in the next general election many labour and conservative voters will vote for UKIP and it will depend on how many move over into this political ideology of gloom

        once the racist card has surfaced it takes years to put it back into the bottle

    2. Jessie

      It is necessary that all of those on the corporate/bankster/privateer gravy train who are very afraid of Jeremy becoming PM have to keep saying that he is unelectable, supported by their vile right-wing media, constantly making up wild slurs.

      While in the real world his support continues to swell, because many of us are fed up with ‘the suits’ sucking upon our life blood. Giving to themselves every benefit, while removing the means for others to live, or at least making it darn difficult.

      Jeremy has in fact given the party a new lease of life, and it is all of those tory-sympathising MPs who are not caring how much they damage the Labour Party that are the ones who need to go, as it is they who have been making it unelectable. Why bother with Tory-lite when you can have the real thing?

      Around here, in the midst of an oppressive southern Conservatism, Jeremy’s face is looking really good – much better than anyone else they can produce – and with a much bigger following than those whose faces do ‘fit’ into the Westminster gallery of failing-us politicians.

  2. Florence

    Having been to an extraordinary CLP meeting in West Wales this evening, the support for Corbyn was unanimous. Not one person spoke against him, the resolutions supporting Corbyn were passed unanimously, and there was a tremendous buzz that unity brings to those with a common purpose. So at least here, Mike, Wales Labour members are united.

    1. Nick

      well lets hope your right it’s the way the bbc does it’s reporting which is mainly to blame by keep bumping in to labour voters with the “we’re full up” mentality and corbyn should stand down when the reality is he not to blame for any of the EU debacle

  3. Josh

    The article is totally inaccurate . The statement it referred to signed by 12 MSPs was calling for Corbyn to go and backed Kezia Dugdale !!! Only person on the way out I suspect is Rowley

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