2017:Labour,the Elections and my opinions.

Here we are at the start of 2017 and it may prove to be an interesting year politically and potentially very very important for the YES movement with Brexit and the Council elections in May, but also very important for the Labour Party in Scotland. I am going to refrain from calling them British Labour in Scotland, or just BLiS anymore, as it has been done and dusted and most people either know or don’t care about the nature of the parties operations.

Scottish Labour currently control 11 councils either in a majority or minority administration, and 7 in coalition with other parties and independents. The SNP control 2 councils with a majority, 1 in minority and 5 in coalition. The others are a mix of independent and various make ups involving the Tories and Lib Dems.

In the last set of council elections in 2012 the SNP finished on 425 seats, Scottish Labour 394 seats, the Conservative and Yoon Party 115 seats and the Scottish Liberal Democrats 71 seats with 200 independent seats.

The last YouGov poll on the 1st December 2016 had voting intention figures for Holyrood as CON 25%, LAB 15%, LDEM 6%, SNP 48% for the constituency vote; CON 24%, LAB 14%, LDEM 6%, SNP 39%, GRN 11% for the regional vote. I couldn’t find any for the council elections, probably still too early, however it is not looking good for Scottish Labour at all when even their own polling, 30th December 2016, puts them on 15%, showing how accurate the yougov poll may turn out to be come May.

Scottish Labour are looking at a wipe out of council control, losing Glasgow City Council in the process. Now as far as I am concerned it doesn’t bother me, while Scotland badly needs decent opposition, Labour had a 100 years to make things better and they only went on to enrich themselves at our expense so I would not care if they went under as a party altogether to be honest, they deserve everything they get. I also believe that a straight fight between the SNP and the Tory Yoon Party is the surest way to independence as England continues to slip into Tory right-wing madness a little more everyday.

Dugdale is pretty much finished, it’s just a matter of time and a fantastic New Year would be Anus Sarwar getting the job, yes him of Holyrood not being a democratic place just before he was elected to Holyrood in an actual election. I believe Scottish Labour will come behind the Tory Yoons in the Council Election’s while Labour can’t win in England as the press won’t allow it, and the voters in the main don’t like Corbyn, those who might replace him are Red Tories, and why vote for the fake ones when you can have the really mental ones anyway. I also suspect we might see a General Election in 2017, esp if or when the Yoons get into real difficulty over Brexit and the EU tells them to go do one.

Is there any hope for the Labour Party in Scotland, not without a clear out and a message, neither of which appear to be on the horizon. You never know in Scottish Politics but surely the best chance for Labour in Scotland is to support independence, again not going to happen anytime soon. The Scottish Liberal Democrats will continue to decline under the ultra unionist Willie Rennie and the Tories will gain here and there no doubt and this will be portrayed as a sea change in Scotland and a mass revival.

It will be an interesting 2017 politically, we might see the virtual death of the Labour Party in Scotland and maybe even a new PM if May isn’t yoon enough with the EU. I don’t see Indy2 until 2019 /20 to be honest and that is probably fine with me as we should know by then what Brexit means, which will be either another referendum to stay in or WTO trade regulations which some believe might not be a bad thing.

Looking forward to a year of ranting.

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10 comments

  1. trispw

    Happy New Year, Bruce.

    I agree that Labour is in a mess.

    Their leadership has been terrible since Jack McConnel left in the huff.

    Each one has been worse than the one before, and the idiotic idea (of London) to push Murphy on them was suicide, as the election results showed.

    I don;t know what will happen, but I worry for democracy in Scotland as Labour become unelectable and the Tories are still so very far behind and too viscerally hated to be elected for some time yet. It may be that the Greens will provide an opposition to the SNP… and every government needs an opposition. It would be nice to have one that did open its mouth and speak before finding out the facts. And it would be nice to have one that made constructive criticism instead of yelling SNP baaaaaaaaad like sheep at every possible juncture.

    Brexit is tearing the UK apart and they really could have done with having a strong, clever and experienced leader to take them through it. Unfortunately, they have May.All the polling now shows that the Engish don;t want to leave Europe, but it’s too late for that, and a reversal would almost undoubtedly cause uproar in England. Nutall’s Nutjobs EDL, Britain First and BNP would have rioters on the streets. And we all know that a large percentage of rioters are there for the riot rather than the cause.

    But they have to deal with the fact that Gibraltar will be in a mess if it is hauled out of the EU, that Northern Ireland will have to have a raft of special measures or both it and the Republic will suffer And given that the Republic has a veto on any final deal, I’d suggest Mrs May and the fool she’s put in charge of Brexit get on with finding a way around that. The City of London will need special measures, and apparently, Japanese Car manufacturers have already secured them (although I can’t imagine how). With an almost two-thirds majority to stay in, I’m thinking that Scotland will have to be given concessions.

    They will have to go through with it, no matter how awful the outcome. No matter how dreadful the leadership. But how will the likes of May, Davis and Fox manage that? No talent there.

    Anyway, back in Scotland, Labour’s best hope would be to go out and listen to the people who used to vote Labour, in Dundee, Glasgow, and other post-industrial towns. What do THEY want? Because it doesn’t matter a damn what Labour wants if their core voters don’t want it.

    If they insist on trying to be the Tories and siding with them, they are finished. Many of their core working class vote left them when they did that in the referendum and since, and many of the people who had transferred to them from the Tories after the Tories nosedived in Scotland in the 80s, transferred back. (In fairness, those Tories who used to vote SNP when they were more right wing have also returned to the fold fearing a socialist Scotland.)

    Sarwar would simply continue the downward trend in quality of leadership. He nothing but a chancer.

    .

    • grumpyscottishman

      Tris

      Happy New Year. Labour are a shambles, they are a divided party now and it looks like many are departing for the Tories and those who were left leaning have joined or vote SNP. I totally agree we need really good opposition as the SNP, I believe , have become a little complacent at times but where does it come from, the Liberals are a shambles and as ultra unionist as Tories and what’s left of Labour. I think Labour will finish thrid in May, Dugdale will go and Sarwar might rise to the top, and they will continue to die. The only thing that will save Labour in my opinion is to come out for independence, even if it means breaking away, they would maybe have a chance then.

      I’m still not convinced Brexit will happen to be honest, it is such a mess. Elections in the EU will be interesting, Calatonia will add to the EU mess if, as expected they vote yes and declare UDI, which then puts the EU under real pressure. They don’t recognise it then they are going against the wishes of millions of EU citizens and if they do accept it then the SNP have a lot of food for thought. I appreciate Wings thinks this year will be boring but I just cannot agree.

      England is very split, I dont see May lasting without a GE to be honest. She is trying to play games waiting to see how things work out rather then setting the egenda, and like you say, her ministers have zero talent. What a mess and all of the UK’s own making, they put pomp, class and privilege above all else and the various parts of the UK have had enough in different ways. I don’t envy voters down South, at least we have an option if we are just brave and bold enough to take it.

      Gibralta may well hold a referendum to join Spain and I can see a united Ireland, all of this makes an independent Scotland more likely and that is fine with me. It will be an interesting and somewhat scary year and no one, even us bloggers, will be able to predict the outcome with any real degree of certainty.

      Thanks for commenting.

      Bruce

  2. sam

    Hi Tris and Grumpy Man

    As an aside, Tris I don’t think the polling reflects your opinion that most English people do not want to leave Europe. As with the June referendum (and indyref) opinions on both sides seem to have remained fairly stable. The link I give below seems to show polls within a margin of error that would reflect the referendum result.See here: http://ukpollingreport.co.uk/

    I know a few Labour people. They seem to me to know what opinion is in the party. There seems to be a split about Labour coalitions with Tories to try to keep power – at least where I live. Some want to do it – those already in power and others don’t. Thinking about independence seems a long way off for these folk. My guess is that the 15% support they currently seem to have will erode further. The people I know will stick with Labour forever – the less committed won’t.

    Happy New year to you both

    • grumpyscottishman

      Sam

      Happy New Year. I am not up on the polls in England and will have a look at your link but I agree with you that many in England still want to leave the EU, many seem to think it is the answer to all of their problems although as I have noted to Tris I am not convinced it will actually happen to be honest. So much can still go wrong and I would not be surprised if we are asked to vote again and it is a remain vote.

      Scottish labour are finished and will barely survive in England, it looks like there is yes and no in Scotland and right and left in England with the right winning, as they have mostly in the history of the UK I suppose. I don’t know many Scottish labour members anymore, those I did know have either joined the SNP or just left the party. Labour are so thick though, come out for independence and start to clear out the nutters like Dugdale, Grey and Sarwar and they are the natural party of Scotland, I know many people who vote SNP but it is not always as comfortable a vote for them as many think, I think many would love to be able to vote for an independent Scottish Labour Party that puts Scotland first and retains it’s internationlist views.

      Interesting times Sam.

      Thank you for reading my ill informed blog and for taking the time to comment, much appreciated.

      Bruce

  3. TB

    See the recent article by “AR Brown” in the Red Tory blog “Labour Hame” for a possible quantum shift in the way “Scottish” Labour could be presenting itself over the next year. The author, I think, is perhaps proxying for ultra-yoon Hothersall who may be attempting to pretend to swing to the polar opposite of where he and his awful blog are now. I wouldn’t believe it at all, but they need to do something really drastic (involving lots of pride-swallowing and dry heaving) to try to save what’s left of the party and Dugdale’s backside.

    I’m with those who believe that 2017’s going to be a boring one on the SNP front (they’ll be trying to say and do anything to avoid another independence rederendum, unfortunately) but I also think that “Scottish” Labour’s desperate antics in the days to come could be a source of very welcome hilarity.

  4. Anonymous

    TB

    I read the article but to be honest I’m not sure what can save Scottish Labour now. They are all over the place, let’s face it when you have to steal Liberal policy you really must be in trouble.

    I don’t think this year will be boring, so much can happen and some that could force the SNP to act quicker on the indy2 front although I won’t expect it.

    The SNP should clean up on the votes in the council elections but that may not lead to a lot of SNP councils due to the voting system. Labour might come behind the Tories and that will be funny, seeing Dugdale hang on for grim death while Sarwar hovers in the background.

    I’m sure we will all have a few things to talk about this year either way.

    Thanks for commenting.

    Bruce

  5. bjsalba

    I too think that triggering Article 50 is questionable but I am not sure that the EU27 will allow the UK government to procrastinate for much longer. They have made it abundandly clear that they will not tolerate UK to participation in the next EU Parliamentary elections.

    May has no choice to submit it by March 31st or face action by the EU. Article 7 comes to mind for starters.

    • grumpyscottishman

      Bsjalba

      I don’t know the ins and outs to be fair but there is that part of me that thinks it still might not happen. I appreciate that is slim but the whole thing is a mess and if the elections in the EU go badly then anything can happen.

      I would not be surprised in treaty change and we are asked to vote on it as a way of remaining. Time will tell and I am no expert.

      Thanks for commenting.

      Bruce

  6. Sod the System

    Lib Dems will do well in council elections. Especially in Fife and will make surprise gains in Dundee. Personally believe however that party politics shouldn’t matter at local level. Would not make everyone an independent but party politics ought to be less of a concern. It is only Labour who play party politics at local level refusing to vote with the SNP. To credit of Tory, Lib Dem and Greens they usually will vote for what is best.

    As far as Dundee goes I predict the SNP will lose their majority as most councillors have been totally incompetent and only make up the numbers. SNP will and are becoming Labour in many ways and are becoming complacent which needs to be avoided.

    • grumpyscottishman

      StS

      I agree the Lib Dems may make some gains as a result of voters fleeing Labour and the Tories, I think the SNP will remain the largest party in Dundee but may fall short of a majority. I also agree that parties should not be playing games at local level, I would happily have all independents or a very good number to ensure that the decisions taken are purely about local needs and little else. Scottish Labour will continue to play games but it won’t really matter as they are on the slippery slope to being the third party and maybe even fourth.

      Thanks for commenting.

      Bruce

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