If it’s a no the pressure is really on the Labour Party

If, God forgive, it’s a no vote in September; the pressure will really be on the unionist parties, but in particular the Labour Party, to deliver positive change in Scotland, change that makes people’s lives in Scotland better. So far what we have seen is a promise of more minor devolution if we vote no, but you can be rest assured that any changes will not be changes for the better if they take any real power away from Westminster. As has been noted many times ‘power devolved is power retained ‘.

We are being told that we will have additional powers over taxation in which the Scotland Act (2012) will also hand powers over for air guns, drink-driving and speeding limits, while bringing in the so-called additional rate of income tax and borrowing powers worth £5bn.

It will also devolve stamp duty, land tax and landfill tax, and give the Scottish Parliament a role in appointments in broadcasting and the Crown Estate.

In addition, there will be new procedures for Scottish criminal cases that go to the UK Supreme Court. None of these so-called powers do anything to enhance either the Scottish Parliament or our day-to-day lives, and that is where the pressure is on. The additional powers coming our way in 2017 or thereabouts, long enough for them to be removed in the event of a no vote, only add additional costs to the Scottish Government and Scottish people while ensuring that ‘power devolved is power retained’ is so very true.

The pressure in the event of a no vote though will be on the Labour Party in Scotland. I just don’t think that they really understand that, they haven’t really thought through their partnership, or should I say subservient role in campaigning on behalf of the Tories in Scotland. Labour, I believe, think that if it’s a no vote in September then the issue goes away forever, that the wee useless powers that only add to our administrative costs will be enough to bury nationalism and the democratic drive for change at the ground level. They believe that things go back to normal, Labour regain Holyrood, get to tweak systems, more likely making them worse and all of us worse off given their record to date, but that the natural order of their right to rule over Scots is returned and the madness since 2007 comes to an end.

They are wrong.

If Scots vote to remain a part of the United Kingdom they are going to expect real change, change that improves their lives on a daily basis. There will be an expectation on the Labour Party to end the unfairness of the changes to benefits which punish the poorest and most vulnerable, and to end the power of big business and the banks over our country and our daily lives. People will expect more meaningful decision-making to be made in Scotland that they can see the tangible results of in their communities, for their families, and in the country as a whole. There lies the problem for the Labour Party in Scotland; they can’t deliver any of it unless a) they are in power in Westminster which is looking more unlikely by the day and b) they can convince their colleagues within Labour nationally to back the proposals, again unlikely and why would they.

I believe the General Election next year is looking more and more likely to result in a coalition of the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats again. Austerity will continue to bite, it will actually be worse than it has been so far and Scotland will not be able to continue to fight against this, we will suffer cuts and they will hurt every single person outside the top 20%. Scotland I suspect will return a large majority of Labour MPs to Westminster and that is where the Labour Party in Scotland start to suffer big time in Scotland.

The failure to deliver real change will fall on Labour in Scotland, they will suffer at the Holyrood elections in 2016 and they will suffer in local elections, maybe even in Glasgow. The result they wish for might just be the worse result they ever face because when positive change does not happen there will be demands for another referendum, Westminster will resist and we will have to really fight for it, but there will be another referendum and it will result in YES vote.

I really believe that Scotland is on a path to independence that cannot be stopped anymore, it is not about if but when now for me, it’s just about the timing. The Labour Party, and to a lesser degree the Liberal Democrats, in Scotland, in signing up to the right-wing policies of the Tory right have signed, I believe, their own death certificates as parties in Scotland. Whatever you think of the SNP Government, or Alex Salmond, they have been the best Government we have had since the Scottish Parliament returned.

If I were a member of the Labour Party in Scotland I would be fearing a no vote, a no vote puts Lamont, Miliband, Curran and Murphy under the spotlight. They will be expected to deliver, they will be found out by the last remaining deniers in Scotland for what they really are, they are cowards and they are vacuous. The change that Scotland requires cannot and will not be delivered by a no vote, but real change might just come in the longer term when the failure of Labour in Scotland is laid to bare and no matter what the media do to hide their failure, and their shame, no one in Scotland will be able to deny the fact that we are and will never be better together, we can only be better apart.

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10 comments

  1. JimnArlene

    If there is a no vote, an outcome that should frighten every Scot. I believe no extra powers will be forth coming, a repeat of 79, it is more likely that powers will be withdrawn. Regardless of what Tory party wins in Westminster. We all know the only way to avoid this, doom laden, future is to vote YES. As for Labour in Scotland, I think they are a spent force, which is the real reason they are fighting so hard, to retain the union. They now need English votes, not Scots ones, to have any chance of power. Power to line their own pockets, not to build a fairer society, that is.

  2. grumpyscottishman

    Jim

    I totally agree , I dread to think what is coming our way in the event of a no and regret wont be enough if no voters win the day and wake up to the biggest mistake of their lives.

    Thanks for commenting.

    Bruce

  3. Papa.lindsay@ntlworld.com

    Believe you have as they say hit the nail on the head. Westminster establishment does not understand the paradyme shift that has taken in Scotland and it’s politics. In the event of a no vote all the unionist parties will put it down to a tremendous victory for GB and forget all about Scotland while trying to change the rules to their advantage, re any more of this referendum nonses. I don’t believe the London politicians have a clue about Scotland and it’s re awakening to politics.

    The SLAB contingent at Westminster will redouble their efforts for plunder and honours as they see the writing on the wall and they are aware that the SS Great Britain is sinking and it’s time to make up your mind if you are taking to the boats or going down with the rotten ship.

    The independnce course has been set, it’s only a matter of time, and it will not be long.

    • grumpyscottishman

      Papa

      I think Scotland is on a path to independence and that its just a matter of time now. The Labour party have fallen into a trap of their own making, they won’t be able to deliver the change that people seek like the end of austerity nd the attacks on the poor and vulnerable, once their voters at long last see that they are finished.

      Thanks for cocommenting.

      Bruce

  4. hektorsmum

    My thought for quite a while is that the Labour Party would be better off with a YES than the NO they seek. If and god forbid that we should be stupid enough to do so, they get their heart’s desire they will wish that it had never happened. They will have to come up with the goods this time and somehow I do not think they will get the uncritical acceptance they may seek. I do not think that those who voted YES will let them off lightly as per the dreadful time during the Thatcher years. People have changed since 2007, they see there is another way forward and it does not include Westminster.
    I refuse to be gloomy, I said way back that Westminster had a lot to bother them with this Referendum, we voted yes which was overturned but the dead in 1979, we voted yes in 1997 with a second question which Tony (spit) Blair put in to scupper it, in a high turnout and very over the bar. So they recognise we are not an easy mark, they are telling us porkies and hoping we are all stupid enough to fall for it. I do not think so.

    • grumpyscottishman

      Hektorsmum,

      I agree they can’t come up with goods and hopefully at long last their followers will see then for what they are, Tories in red. You sometimes hear Labour members say I won’t vote snp and I always say to them if they are truly socialists then why do they not vote ssp. I’m still thinking the vote is too close to call but I hope with all my being it’s a yes.

      Thanks for commenting.

      Bruce

  5. bjsalba

    Scotland’s vote has very little effect on who gets into power in Westminster, so it is hard to tell how the referendum result (regardless of whether it is a YES or a NO) will affect the next UK general election.

    It seems to me that DC has inveigled Labour into a no-win situation.

    If there is a YES vote, then DC can blame the lackluster campaign of Labour and the Lib-Dems – and whilst there may (after a bit of bloodletting) be resurgent Labour and/or Lib-Dem parties in Scotland to challenge the SNP (which may or may not fall apart once their main objective is attained). it will be of no help to Labour or Lib-Dems in rUK, it might even be seen as a boost for the Tories as so many rUK voters are convinced they subsidize us and the real consequences will not be apparent until after the General Election.

    If there is a NO vote, Labour will be seen by many erstwhile supporters (especially those who were persuaded to vote YES) as Tory Lackeys and given the same treatment as the Lib-Dems – especially once Westminster starts hacking away at Holyrood’s powers (which all parties are likely to do), Labour will no longer be able to feel they own Scotland.

    • Anonymous

      bjs

      Each scenario will present interesting repercussions for the unionist parties but I suspect that Labour will suffer most, esp. in the event of a no. I still think that either way Scotland is on a path to independence whatever happens, it really is a matter of time. Scotland is a left of centre country at the moment. Personally if it’s a no I really hope the Tories win the general election as the unionist parties are all tory and people will have to understand that the decisions they make have a huge impact on their lives, esp if England votes to take us all out of Europe whether we want that or not. A Tory government will make a clamour for another vote within a few years, a Labour win will allow the blind to pretend that things will somehow get better, I am not willing to let the nay sayers off the hook now.

      Thanks for commenting.

      Bruce

  6. Angry Weegie

    While I agree that the pressure will be on SLab to deliver after a no vote, and that their failure to do so will cost them in the polls, I don’t think another referendum will be as easy to achieve as you imply. The Scottish Government, by signing the Edinburgh agreement, have implicitly accepted that a legal referendum cannot be held without Westminster consent and it will probably be impossible to get that consent again. We’ll find ourselves in the same position as Catalonia and the only way forward will be some form of UDI, which will give Westminster all the excuse it needs to apply sanctions, or worse.

    Vote YES next month. It may be our only real chance.

    • Anonymous

      Angry

      I agree it will not be easy to get another referendum soon, I have noted that before, we will have to fight for it and I think we will. If it’s a no I hope it’s a Tory government next year, Labour just papers over the cracks and allows certain people off the hook and that should not be allowed to happen. But I just can’t see Labour winning enough seats to form a majority, it will be a Con Dem Government I suspect and that I also suspect will take us out of Europe and disgust a lot of people. There will be pain before the gain that’s for sure. I really pray for a YES though, even though I believe nothing can stop Scotland becoming independent it is just a matter of time, however I would prefer that now than the mess that will result and the fight we will have to go through. 2016/17 will be very important in the event of a no. If the SNP win Holyrood again with an even bigger majority which the polls hint that they might, and the English voters stupidly take us out of Europe then the fight will really begin and no matter what Westminster say if the vast majority of Scots demand another referendum there will be one wether they accept it or not. The guidance before the Edinburgh agreement was that the SNP could still hold an advisory vote, if say 70% or something voted YES in that type of vote there is no way Westminster or Scottish MPs could ignore it, they would be asking for serious civil unrest. Hopefully none of that happened and enough people see sense in sept.

      Thanks for commenting.

      bruce

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