What happened and Where are we now?

Everyone who knows me or has read this blog know that I have no love for the Labour Party, unionism, and the branch office of Scottish Labour. Two days after the General Election I have been thinking about why they lost so badly, and in Labour heartlands in England. I have also looked at the other parties and where I feel we are at now.

The pundits, who mostly talk a lot of rubbish, are saying the reasons for the Labour defeat were a

Confused brexit message – I agree with this one actually. They tried to play both sides and lost. They needed to be one or the other and to be honest they really needed to accept the result wither they liked it or not. Just look at the Lib Dems, as far as England was concerned they wanted the result respected so anything other than coming out for leave was a vote loser in the main in relation to winning seats.

Manifesto There was too much in the manifesto and no clear picture on how the many pledges would be paid for. I don’t really agree with this one, I thought their manifesto was clear overall and many of the policies even I could support in the main but they needed to strike a balance between growing the economy and having a fair tax policy that also encouraged growth. It came across as the old Red Labour policy of envy and division not fairness and decency. They needed to show how it would make a difference in the local communities on a practical basis, how it would effect local people.

Corbyn People didn’t like Jeremy Corbyn. I would agree with this overall but he could never win given the media onslaught that he faced on a daily basis from what we all know is an extreme right wing press in the main in the UK. There is no question that most of the stories about Labour were negative in both print and on tv media and that Boris Johnson got an easy ride.

Scottish Labour Are dead and will remain dead until they embrace the need for another referendum and in reality need to come out for independence. What is left in Scotland might as well just join the Tories and in Richard Leonard they have the worst possible leader but he will stay as no one will want it anyway.

Labour for me were never going to win because they were not going to be allowed to win, they had to overcome an incredible amount of ignorance, and lets be honest racism in England in their former heartlands. The Tories in the Labour party did not help with people like Tony Blair telling Labour members not to vote Labour, really. Labour lost to an English nationalism that is truly frightening and the ignorance of what people in England believe England is and can be.

The Liberal Democrats

Why did the Liberal Democrats do so badly as far as winning seats? I think that’s actually pretty easy to be honest.

Jo Swinson Huge mistake for me. A politician with a shocking voting record, a real sense of entitlement and arrogant to name but a few. Jo Swinson is not likeable in any shape or form. Even thought their share of the vote went up this was in spite of Jo Swinson not because of her. I just don’t think anyone will miss her at all other than the likes of Jardine, Rennie and the vacuous Alex Cole Hamilton in Scotland, all equally unlike able.

BrexitSaying that you will cancel Brexit if you win a majority. Who the hell in the LIBERAL DEMOCRATS thought that was a good policy in England, or anywhere for that matter. All this did was inflame English nationalism and allowed the tin pot nationalists out of their box.

Tactical Voting The party reached out for the remain vote while saying but we won’t do a deal with Labour, we won’t do a deal with the Scottish National Party, leaving only a deal with the Tories in the main, what a stupid policy to make. Demanding that Labour get rid of Jeremy Corbyn and the SNP give up on independence, really. How stupid could you be while also admitting Labour Tories and Tory Tories into the Lib Dems.

The Conservatives

What the F. Johnson is a proven liar, misogynist, racist, hates the poor and makes Donald Trump look reasonable. How on earth did this horrible man and horrific party win the election in England.

Brexit The Tories reached out to the right wing nationalism of England, the nationalism that was unleashed by the vote to leave the EU purely on the basis of misguided views of the empire, that the problems of the north of England were caused by dirty foreigners and they believed the bile of the right wing press. The people who abandoned decency for the lies of the Tory Party and their racists are in for a huge surprise. Maybe not in the short term but in long term the poor are going to pay in England and pay big time.

The Tories have no policy that they were willing to share and got the easiest ride I have ever seen from the media in a general election. This lack of scrutiny let us all down and we will live to regret this in long term, sadly that includes Scotland too.

The Scottish National Party

Had an incredible night, increase in seats and increase in vote. The party are now the main party of opposition in Westminster while Labour and the Liberals are trying to sort themselves out.

Stop Brexit This may have resulted in some additional votes but is a noose around the parties neck in the longer term as they will not be able to stop brexit. I didn’t agree with the policy and blogged about it in various ways.

An Independence Referendum This is why I voted for the SNP and why many people I know voted for the SNP. The pledge to hold a referendum in 2020 however will not be kept, or even in 2021 and there could be a danger of frustration creeping in with some in the YES movement, but I think given the state of the union in Scotland, the Tories in power, the state of Labour they will keep the good will until at least the Holyrood election in 2021.

Boris Johnson Is a help to the SNP in the main as he is hated overall in Scotland but all this does is take us back to the 80’s when we had Thatcher. There is a danger that the Tories do actually spend money in Scotland and things improve in some small way which will give soft no’s all the excuse they need to vote no along with the scare stories on the economy, the currency and the border which will play big and questions that the SNP have not answered to this point for many in Scotland. Of course the media will always say they have not answered these questions so the party need to find a way to overcome this and things like the damp squid of Progress Scotland are not the answer.

2021 Holyrood Election The simple fact is we are going to have to give the SNP another mandate wither we like it or not and we know that will not be easy under the current electoral system. We need to be looking at an alternative yes party to try and maximise the list vote in any way we can, Stuart Campbell is correct irrespective of what James Kelly and fervent yessers say.

I don’t think much has changed really other than we have the most right wing Tory Government in Westminster with a majority. It’s horrific in every way, but we have been here before and it doesn’t make a referendum more likely, in fact it makes it more difficult in the short to medium term. I am now resigned to the fact we will not be having another referendum before 2024 as a close friend has argued for as long as I can remember and I believe he’s correct and that maybe is not a bad thing (very hard to write that) given the argument for independence is still not being won in the eyes of at least half the voters in Scotland.

The SNP need to answer the questions above in some way as they will the basis of the next Project Fear, it won’t be easy to do that in the face of a hostile press and a hostile Westminster but they have to find a way to do this for all our sakes. I have now pretty much resigned myself to the fact that we are going to have to play the long game, I actually think that is what the SNP want to do anyway and will have the Tories to blame for any change in strategy.

Sorry for the long blog but I’ve had a chance to think about things and this is the best I can come up with, I would really like to know what others think as now is the time to get thinking an get planning.

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8 Responses to What happened and Where are we now?

  1. Anonymous says:

    Much I agree with, if Labour want to even try to recover support here they would have to support independence, they would have to become a truly Scottish Party. I do not see it coming. My take on support for independence to rise means sadly that those firmly entrenched in the Union will have to be hurt financially by Brexit and that I think is the major way we can get our Independence. Too many complacent people sitting in what they see as secure jobs, nice houses, happy and do not want that to change. Only pain will change many of them. These were not all old people by the way, many were the thirty, or even twenty somethings.

    • Anon Yes I think you’re correct. People who don’t remember Thatcher are going to have to suffer what many of us have never forgotten so we are going to have to play the long game, I don’t like to say it but what choice do we have. I don’t think a court case will resolve anything from what I have I have read so we are all going to have to suffer the Tories and hope that it shifts enough people over for change.

      Thanks for commenting. Bruce

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  2. Alan Morrison says:

    I think (and I know you hope) you are wrong on the timing of the next referendum and in doing so you underestimate Sturgeon again. The law due to be passed on Thursday moves the goal posts and Sturgeon needs the referendum in 2020 to get a similar bounce in the 2021 Holyrood election to the 2015 General Election.

    The Stop Brexit message, I think, was in part to gather the Remain vote and keep the LDs down but was mostly a long term strategy showing our pro EU credentials to help our eventual membership application.

    There is a lot more going on beneath the surface and there are no real in depth analysis of political strategy in any media these days so it is easy to overlook.

    • Alan I don’t underestimate Nicola Sturgeon, she did incredibly well but from my own friends who voted for the SNP none raised Brexit as the issue. Everything I’ve read about potential legal action says it won’t work, a friend who is also a lawyer and seriously into politics doesn’t seem it could work. The referendum bill going through parliament, if it passes, will not be allowed to hold a referendum on independence as the Tories will just either challenge the act or amend the Scotland Act arguing constitutional issues are reserved. We are in interesting times and yes I would prefer a referendum as soon as possible I just can’t for the life of me see how it can happen any time soon.

      Thanks for commenting. Bruce

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  3. Gordie says:

    Maggie Thatchers politicians were telling folk not to vote Tory. I wonder what we are in for?

  4. Gordie says:

    Your account of the parties mirrors my own.
    When do the Scot lab politicians join the Indy bandwagon? 130yr old promises of more jam/home rule won’t cut it now surely?

    • Geordie Scottish Labour are over now. I can’t see anyway back for them. The SNP will try to act as they have to, if I were the Tories I would agree to the referendum and gone the debate 6 weeks, they would win. However I don’t think they have the balls so we need to get ready to the long game I suspect.

      Thanks for commenting. Bruce

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