The Problem is Independence

So Richard Leonard is gone, who you may ask. I appreciate there will be a million blogs about this today and many better than this one which will forensically take Leonard’s leadership apart and talk about his many perceived failures, the back stabbers, Sir Keir Starmer etc. I heard him on the radio, and others, this morning but they don’t get it at all. The issue is the constitutional debate and policy. Richard Leonard may well be a decent man as many say but he was a poor communicator, never really seemed to be prepared and seemed to forget what was devolved and what wasn’t. But as bad as he was a branch manager the simple fact is that Scottish Labour will go no where until they come on board with the wishes of most of Scotland for real meaningful change, and have policies that reflect that. To just say no to a referendum, to bang on about federalism, to deny democracy and scream SNP bad, nationalists bad, is a record that has been on a loop for 20 years, we have moved on and Scottish Labour haven’t.

Now I suspect they might go for Sarwar and that would be the gift that keeps giving but if they just want to have a real go at Nicola Sturgeon once a week then they will go for Baillie as I do think she would make life more of a challenge at FMQs but that will still only work for so long. Scottish Labour need to at the very least back a referendum now, but they won’t I would imagine. They are as trapped as Labour in England are, they have no alternative ideas to the Tories, they can’t out right wing the Tories and they can’t go left because most of their left voters have either turned right or resigned from the party. They can’t be progressive because the media won’t let them and they can’t stand on a policy of federalism because England doesn’t want it. Starmer is a huge mistake and the rest of their front bench offend most people so where does that leave Labour and the branches. If I were the Unions with money to back someone I would be looking at doing something different, maybe joining with the Liberals and bringing back an SDP type party that can be a centre left party because let’s be honest Labour are over and they are not coming back.

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10 Responses to The Problem is Independence

  1. Anonymous says:

    Baillie a big risk if they went with her, tiny majority, but I expect she would be top of a list anyway.

    • Anon

      I think Jackie Baillie will have gotten more popular with her attendance at the Harassment Enquiry where she has by far been the most effective in getting answers and allowing the witnesses to dig holes for themselves, she has been very effective at showing up lies but we call them corrections now. I am no fan of Baillie at all or her politics but she would be more of a match for Nicola Sturgeon and would maybe be good for Nicola Sturgeon as she would have to up her game big time or be taken apart in some ways but you are correct she has a thin majority and would need to be on the list.

      Thanks for commenting and stay safe. Bruce


      • Anonymous says:

        yes, I agree with you.

        I am not a fan of hers at all but cannot deny she is a good parliamentarian and can more than hold her own during debates. It could be what labour need to win some votes, someone who is a bit more competent and can take the Government to task in the chamber.

        Let’s face it is does not matter who they pick you will not like them, but they are not after your vote, they are after fed up light tories and a small % of the SNP vote who are pro UK but vote SNP for Holyrood (those people do exist).

        If Labour managed 25 seats in the election they would have had a good night (they are on 24 just now and all things considered, holding that and managing to become ther 2nd party again would be a good night for them).

        A good night for each party:

        SNP: majority (anything less is a bad election)
        Tory: Staying 2nd largest
        Labour: Becomign 2nd largest
        Green: Staying 4th largest AND any seat increase (Harvey and Greer are horrible excuses for humans though)
        Lib Dem: Becming 4th largest OR any seat increase
        Reform UK: 1 seat is a good night for them, but I can see them getting around 3 or 4.

        All other parties will not get any seats.

        • Anon

          I think if Scottish Labour don’t keep at least what they have then it is pretty much over but a leader like Baillie might sway some back from the Tories. The Tories don’t really care all that much they know they won’t do well, if they get the belter vote they will be happy but I think they might lose seats. The Scottish Lib Dems will struggle to make an impact and again might just keep what they have as they are so low profile now with poor leadership and no decent MSP/MPs to be honest. Greens have lost a lot of good will in the YES movement due to their support for GRA and the Hate Bill as they stand right now so I would not be surprised if they actually lose a couple of seats to ISP who I think could do something as they become more known. Reform UK might get a seat but I would be surprised to be honest, their vote is maybe too spread out. The SNP might get a majority as one last throw of the dice for many in the YES community and because people don’t feel they have anyone else to vote for but I do think it is last chance saloon as far as many are concerned. They will lose list votes to ISP but wither this is enough to win ISP seats who knows but it could happen.

          Thanks for commenting and please stay safe. Bruce


          • Willie John says:

            There used to be a list calculator ( that worked out how votes for other parties could affect the results but it seems to have disappeared.

            Anyone know what happened to it?

            • Willie

              Sorry I can’t help you with that one.

              Thanks for commenting and please stay safe. Bruce


            • Alan D says:

              Lots of them stopped working after 2016.

     is “usable” for 2021 – it has slots for two parties(UKIP and Brexit) in addition to the five elected parties. Brexit can be used for Michelle Ballantyne’s Reform lot. That leaves UKIP free to use for other parties.

              The unionist contortions of the past week has assuaged my concerns about the Yes split. Reform UK will do far more damage to the Tories than ISP ever could. Michelle must be really pissed off to shaft the Tories this way!

              • Alan

                I agree, Reform can only hurt the Tories. A new leader for Labour in Scotland can also only really hurt the Tories. The Liberals will stay pretty much as is and I think the Greens could take a hit with the potential of ISP maybe benefitting from that. The SNP will do fine this time but last chance saloon for the current leadership of the SNP I suspect.

                Thanks for commenting.

                Sent from my iPhone

  2. Alan D says:

    Bruce, have you seen Neil Findlay’s version of events inside the Scottish Labour tent? It provides some insights into why Baillie won’t be saving their bacon.

    “It was a group of millionaire potential party donors who delivered the fatal blow. It is reported that at a meeting held on Wednesday night—at which Angela Rayner, Jackie Baillie, and Ian Murray met with wealthy peers and donors—it was made clear that no money would be donated unless Leonard was removed and Anas Sarwar installed as leader. This was, I understand, reported to Starmer who then called Richard and asked him to stand down.”

    Obviously, to be taken with a pinch of salt. Very interesting, nonetheless.

    • Alan

      Probably true and thanks for sharing. It wouldn’t surprise me if they went with Sarwar, millionaire rich kid from a rich family who pay poverty pay to their employees, that is the Labour Party now. The real Labour Party died the day John Smith died and he wasn’t even that left wing. Labour are just Tory lightish and they make me sick. They are over now and only cling on because of union money.

      Thanks for commenting.

      Sent from my iPhone

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