Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Scottish Labour's big problem

Earlier on, as a result of some interesting posts on the Twitter, I was having a look at the expulsion of Alex Salmond from the semi-elected parliament in London in 1988 after his vociferous criticism of the British finance minister, Nigel Lawson, and his quite despicable introduction of the short-lived Poll Tax at the same time as lowering Corporation Tax to the lowest level since the war.

The Scottish Labour Party (or, to be accurate, that branch of the British Labour Party which operates semi-autonomously in Scotland) makes great mileage out of its opposition to the Thatcher régime. Indeed, it is so proud of its opposition to Thatcher, that it fought the General Election in May against her.

For his "crime" of criticising the Thatcher régime in Westminster, the Thatcherite Tory government's front bench, to a man, voted to expel Salmond - a relatively new MP, from the Chamber. It seems a very Pyongyangian response to parliamentary opposition.

Naturally, the cadre of Scottish Labour members - you'll remember, those who made so much of rejecting Thatcher and all her empty words - would have relished, nay, savoured, supporting opposition to her administration.

Strangely, Hansard of the day tells a rather different story. It tells a story of Scottish Labour members standing - literally - shoulder-to-shoulder with the Thatcher régime against the lone voice of Scottish opposition.

There are a few names which stand out*:

  • Gordon Brown (remains a Scottish Labour parliamentarian, apparently)
  • St Donald of Dewar
  • the policeman-battering drunk George Foulkes (remains a Scottish Labour parliamentarian)
  • Sam "What's An Examination System?" Galbraith
  • Martin O'Neill (remains a Scottish Labour parliamentarian...and chairman of the Nuclear Industry Association - no wonder Johann Lamont doesn't know which way to turn on nuclear!)
  • war criminal, "Dr" John Reid, whose favourite pastime is to holiday with fellow war criminals such as Radovan Karadžić
  • George Robertson

amongst others.

This might appear to be very much an historic post - a dig at Scottish Labour MPs rushing breathlessly into the lobbies to vote with Thatcher and her entire Cabinet in order to deny the people of Banff and Buchan their democratic voice in what was then Scotland's only means of representation.

It's not merely historic, though. Many of the Labour MPs who cuddled into the warm embrace of Thatcher are still active in politics just now. The violent thug George Foulkes is extremely active, working against Scotland's interests and for Cameron's Coalition in the affront to democracy which is the British assembly's upper house.

And it leads to an excruciating question for Scottish Labour and Johann Lamont (below).

Soon, there will be a referendum on whether Scotland should resume the normal state of affairs and return to the family of independent states.

Johann Lamont, yesterday

Lamont's Labour has to make a choice.

Do they campaign for Scotland to be governed, from London, by a Conservative Party for whom the Scottish electorate returned a solitary MP at the last election?

Or do they campaign for Scotland to be governed, from Edinburgh, by a government selected by the Scottish people - and with the electoral history of Scotland, it would appear that this would be Labour more often than not?

It would appear to be a total no-brainer.

But given their shameful history of filtering into the lobbies with Thatcher, Brittan, Forsyth and the rest of those vomit-inducing names from the worst excesses of Thatcherism, one might be justified in expecting the Labour party to campaign "No to Independence; Yes to Cameron's Coalition".

* and there are all too few which stand out for the right reasons. David Lambie and Dennis Canavan were alone amongst Scottish Labour MPs in voting with Scotland rather than Thatcher. The latter, when democracy came to Scotland in 1999, was forbidden for standing for Holyrood for the Labour Party in an act of spite and revenge. He defeated the official Labour candidate handsomely - showing, if more proof was needed, that the electorate will support those who stand up for their principles and their country.

No comments:

Post a Comment