Corbyn’s solution is to create ‘federal’ Scottish Labour party with significant autonomy:
Britain’s opposition Labour Party haemorrhaged Scottish voters and seats in this year’s General Election but newly installed leader Jeremy Corbyn may have a novel new way to get Scots back on the party’s side.
His idea is to hive off Scottish Labour altogether, meaning that the party north of the border will be able to propose tailor-made policies that are more attractive to voters in Scotland.
Policies on welfare and Trident, Britain’s nuclear weapons programme, are said to be targeted by Scottish Labour.
Corbyn, who won by a landslide leadership victory vote just over a month ago, told The Sunday Times that he is aiming to create a “federal” party in Scotland.
Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale supports this idea as she aims to tell parliament on Monday that Labour will seek greater “autonomy” in Scotland and use the powers of Holyrood [the capitol district of Edinburgh, Scotland] to have greater control over policies such as welfare.
Not everyone in Labour is happy about. One source inside the party’s National Executive Committee told The Times, “This looks worryingly like Jeremy Corbyn and Kezia Dugdale are trying to sneak through a secret plan to break up the Labour party.”
The Labour Party depends on voter support from Scotland. Usually, according to electoral data, Scots vote for the Scottish National Party or Labour. In 2010, Scottish voter support for Labour cratered and the party lost 91 seats across Britain. The Scottish National Party stayed the same with only 6 seats.
However, the Scottish referendum in September 2014 boosted support for the SNP. In the 2015 General Election, Labour was more or less wiped out in Scotland, and the SNP gained 50 seats. The former Scottish Labour leader Johann Lamont resigned a month after the referendum and quipped that the Labour party north of the border was being treated like a “branch office.”
So, Corbyn’s plans to create a federal party seems to be a good idea to win back voters.
Labour has taken Scotland for granted for decades, and in the last election, they literally ran against Scotland, publicly refusing to deal with the Scottish National Party under any circumstances, even if it means that Labour would be unable to form a coalition government.
Obviously, there are some issues where there is little common ground (Trident) but the campaigns run by Labour for the last generation have all been about being a little bit nicer than the Conservatives, while remaining in the pocket of the financial interests in the City of London.
Once the banksters blew up the world, that whole “Fellating banksters while not being quite so awful as the Conservatives,” schtick has gotten old.
It has the additional advantage of jamming up the “New Labour” pukes, because any resurgence of the party’s fortunes has to involve Scotland, and the right wing of the party has now been forced to put themselves into an even deeper hole.
It’s actually a pretty savvy move.