A ‘statement’ from the ‘Labour Party’

“Ladies and gentlemen, comrades, members of the press. Today I will make a statement about the future of the Scottish Labour Party. After Thursday’s crushing and embarrassing defeat it is time to review, refresh and look anew at where our great party and movement goes from here. This is our worse defeat for over a century and I can not even start to express how much it hurts to get beat by the Conservatives.

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Comrades, because of this it simply can not be business as usual. We have to properly assess where it has gone wrong, identify and acknowledge the mistakes that we have made and then vow to put them right. It will be a painful and long process, but if we do not undertake this journey we will be marooned for ever in a hopeless no-mans land without any means of escape.

Comrades, our decline has been historic, structural and perhaps even inevitable. It may be convenient to try and blame events south of the border and our London leadership for our defeat but we would simply be kidding ourselves on. It is much more than that.

For the past 10 years the Scottish Labour Party has been at least 10 steps behind the ambitions of the people that we were once so proud to represent, and who have now deserted us. We have tried to disparage their ambition, neuter it and hold it back. We stood with their historic political opponents and we were observed with a mixture of contempt and bemusement for doing so. We must never stand with the Conservatives ever again to tell the people of Scotland what they can not do. In the first of the many acknowledgements of the mistakes we have made – let me openly apologise to our former supporters for working hand in glove with the Tories in the independence referendum.

Comrades, as we survey the wreckage of our electoral fortunes we have to go further to win back the trust of the people that we were once so proud to represent. As your leader, I pledge to you that we will now consider all constitutional options for the future of our wonderful nation. I pledge to you that I will commission a review of our opposition to independence and if it finds that this is what our nation requires I will support it wholeheartedly and redefine our party and bring it into line with the aspirations of the people we used to represent. It is time, comrades, to put our opposition to independence aside, to look at the national interest and to work for a new and better future for all the people of Scotland.

Comrades, the question of the constitution defines Scottish politics and it will continue to define it for decades to come. Quite simply we have to make a choice where we are in this debate. Uncertainty and a wish that it will simply go away will no longer suffice, as we have seen. Comrades, we now have to get on the right side in this debate. The side of the Union is now almost exclusively the prerogative of the Tories; of their Westminster Government and its attacks on the poor and the vulnerable, of their austerity. It was our former communities that rejected that vision, that overwhelming voted for something different, that we effectively ceded to the SNP. Comrades look at the results of the other evening, our most catastrophic defeats were in the areas that voted Yes in the referendum.

Our journey to regain their trust will be long and painful but it will begin with being on their side. There will inevitably be suspicion and mistrust and there will be lots of bridges to build but we must engineer a way back to their affections. Remaining a unionist party has almost killed us and we must now resurrect our fortunes by aligning ourselves with our former supporters.

It was the Labour Party that delivered the Scottish Parliament. It is the Labour Party that has, throughout the decades, championed the values of social justice and equality. We can build on these fine founding principles in an independent Scotland – an independent Scotland that we can shape according to our values.

We have to redefine ourselves and build new alliances to move forward. We will continue to oppose the SNP when necessary but this will not be on the issue of the constitution. Let us put the dreadful last few years behind us and start to build a new genuinely Scottish Labour Party out of these ashes. A Scottish Labour party that believes in the abilities of this nation and its people and a nation that should proudly take its place in the world as a self governing independent country. Ladies and Gentlemen, members of the press, comrades, thank you for listening”

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39 thoughts on “A ‘statement’ from the ‘Labour Party’

  1. Ann Forbes

    O/T – the Scottish Labour Party was on my ballot paper – it doesn’t seem to be a registered Party ( Electoral Commission website ) . Do you know if this is legal ?

    Reply
  2. Brian Macdonald

    If this is to be taken seriously, then Scottish Labour has to be a new party, registered in Scotland, with no ties to the party down south. Otherwise, you have no power.

    Reply
  3. Mary Brown

    Standing with the Tories and not acknowledging Scotland as a nation was political suicide. Apart from that Labour MPs were elected for years in the poorest constituencies in ?Scotland and they continued to be poor. Little it seemed was done to try to improve things and Labour ( a once great political party) took the electorate for granted.

    Reply
  4. Jimbo

    The independence movement has come a long way in the past 10 years. I remember the highs back in ’74 when we had 11 SNP MPs elected to Westminster. Those of us of who were independently minded thought then that we might be on the way – only to be shot down at the next election. How things have changed since then.

    I think that devolution bringing government closer to the people, coupled with the superb quality of the 2007 and 2011 SNP Scottish governments and the constant negativity and fearmongering in the lead up to the referendum finally opened the eyes of a great many of Scotland’s people to just how shallow and self serving the Unionist parties actually are.

    Labour took the decision to be the Tory’s mouthpiece in the run up to the referendum. They then embarked upon a campaign of negativity and scare-mongering that was so contemptuous of the people of Scotland as to be insulting to their intelligence. They spent two years insulting us and demeaning us with their too wee, too poor, too stupid rhetoric, then seem genuinely confused as to why their vote has plummeted. Labour’s problems are easily solved – hopefully no-one tells them how to go about it.

    Reply
  5. laughlan smith

    close the barn door after all your horses have bolted why dont you. you have a choice now, side with the tories trying to impose westminster on the scots or help protect them from their bigest threat, westminster

    Reply
  6. Gordon Kilgour

    They knew what they were doing when they stood shoulder to shoulder with the Tories, knowing full well the contempt with which the Tory Party is held in Scotland. To apologise now, only when they see how the Scottish people hold them in equal contempt, is meaningless and will not change the view of the masses. Labour and Tory are now indistinguishable from each other in their disregard for the wishes of the Scottish people.

    Reply
  7. Bob Knight

    First they have to become truly independent themselves, and cut ties with labour UK. Only then will the people of Scotland believe that they aren’t taking their policies and orders from London. Until then, they are dead in the water.

    Reply
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  9. Sandra (@Sandybbfan)

    You won’t be able to do what you have promised when you still have Kezia (That’s not true Nicola) Dugdale as leader. Labour never lifted anyone out of poverty, whole area’s of Scotland have stayed poor because of Labour and Westminster. I really don’t know how you can fix yourselves.

    Reply
  10. Clydebuilt

    Pete.
    Obviously this us what Dugdale or successor should say. However if this becomes their line then are they adopting it for self preservation, or because they believe Independence is in Scotland’s best interest?

    Reply
  11. Mathie Wallace

    This is a welcome approach, if indeed it is a genuine attempt to unite those on the left of centre politics in Scotland, as it will ultimately benefit Scottish Labour, and more importantly the majority of socialist voters in Scotland.
    The psephologist on STV’s election programme, commenting on the massive discrepancies in results between adjoining constituencies that couldn’t be logically explained, said that it looked like some Labour supporters had been “putting a clothes peg on their nose and voting Tory, as they saw the SNP as ‘the enemy’ and this was their way of stopping them.” (My enemies’ enemy is my friend?)
    It is hard to believe that Labour voters would chose to vote with their hated enemies – the Tories – (again), against their own best interests – a left of centre SNP government!
    BBC news said yesterday, “It could be decades before Labour (in Westminster) would be in power again”. If this is the case, Scottish Labour continuing to vote for the Union, to prop up an impotent Westminster Labour opposition, would be totally against the best interests of their constituents for years to come, if not decades!!!!!!!!
    At present Scottish Labour’s stance on the constitution means that if they are lucky, the socialist punters who continue to vote Labour in Scotland, MAY get a socialist government in Westminster after 4 or 8 or 12 years! For the rest of the time they get Tory austerity, EVEL, illegal wars and the obscene cost of replacing Trident forced upon them! So even although Scotland, as a whole, may vote socialist, we frequently get Tory ideology forced upon us because that is what the +50 million south of the border want.
    Scottish Labour cannot continue to play political Russian roulette supporting the Union and Westminster, to the detriment of Scottish voters. Also, Scottish Labour management needs to start putting the concerns and needs of the socialist voters in Scotland above those of their Westminster masters. It is no longer acceptable for them to ignore the blindingly obvious fact: IF the goal of Scottish Labour MSPs is to serve their constituents to the best of their ability, they need to endorse Scottish independence and deliver a truly Scottish Labour government at Holyrood.
    Anything less, means Scottish Labour is truly irrelevant.

    Reply
  12. valerierooney

    Umm, no offence, but you are years too late, or was that deliberate? Those dregs sitting in Holyrood, will now be working their redundancy notice. It’s a great gig, no expectations of them, decent salaries, work out your next career move over 5 years. Sweet.
    On to the Councils now.

    Reply
  13. ewenart

    Can the Labour Leopard change its spots? Perhaps THAT leopard is not evolved enough to do so…can such talk change reality? I do not think so!

    Reply
  14. Dr Jim

    Yep, I’m patting myself on the back having predicted every word of this, I should have had some money on it at the bookies

    Reply
  15. David Mannion

    Lets see them register a party called the “Scottish Labour Party” then. Because there isn’t one registered at the moment. Until they become an autonomous, financially independent party they will still have to dance to Westminster’s fiddle.

    Reply
    1. Clydebuilt

      The Scottish Branch of the Red Tories rely on funding fron England. They can’t secure enough funding from Scotland. Who gives a shit where this party are registered or if they becomrpe an independent party. For decades they have put their party and careers before Scots. They have no part to play in Scotland till after Independence.

      Reply
  16. Hugh

    Cant read this after the second “comrades”. Cant you be left without harping back to communism?

    Reply
  17. keithffarrell

    To change labour you need to first get out of this ruled by Westminster mindset you are stuck in. Register a party called Scottish labour. Not be a branch office.
    Then you need to go back to your values. Your blues used to be looking after the people. That’s why you started the NHS.
    Getting out of this supporting the conservatives to the extent where the people see no difference between yourselves and the Tories.
    Join up with the party that fights for the people, give the SNP the support it deserves to build a better Scotland

    Reply
  18. Sooz

    It is their only option. I’m putting cynicism aside and will be open to their overtures for a more collaborative relationship in Holyrood on independence, although nothing will sway me from the SNP. Nothing.

    People will find it hard to forget the vicious slurs against Indy people, and Ian Smart, Ian Davidson and others of their mindset will kick and scream and shout betrayal at Scottish Labour. But what good did their gross insults do? What benefit did they bring to Scottish Labour and how much fuel did their comments add to the mass defection from Labour to the SNP?

    Independence is inevitable. Ruth is deluded if she hopes to stand in its way and she now has an even higher mountain to face if she tries.

    Reply
  19. Pete wishart is a lunatic

    When are you going to join the real world? How are you an MP? Scotland overwhelmingly voted No as did Perth and Kinross.

    Reply
  20. John Thomson

    Last few years behind us. Try last 60 years, but alas they are thick and will not take this last and final opportunity to redefine there imperial party, they will be missed but history will not forget or forgive them

    Reply
  21. Political Tourist

    Afraid it’s over for Labour in Scotland.
    Whole working class constituencies lost.
    Seriously, Glasgow Provan Glasgow North East chasing Labour out the place.
    The only one talking any sense is Henry McLeish.
    Sad.
    But the world and Scotland moves on.

    Reply
  22. Dave Lad

    You and all your liebour ” Comrades ” are history. Your no comrade of mine and many, many more working class human beings who you helped to betray…….The few sad souls still supporting your party who are not yet wise to your treachory will soon follow the route of us who now support our SNP ” the party you and your tory comrades ” strived to destroy. God bless the SNP. – – – – Long live Scotland – – – – –

    Reply
  23. Donald Laing

    Now that Labour has been emasculated at Holyrood as an effective political force
    there is now a chance for them to be reborn as a re- constituted
    wholly independant Scottish Labour Party. To stay as they are at present is hardly an option The choice is yours to make Labour!

    Reply
  24. Scottish Republican

    Some of the more working class communities are crying out for jobs – Labour just said ‘Dinna vote Tory’ but didn’t provide an alternative. There’s only so long you can run that line before folks go ‘Okay, you got my vote – where’s ma job….?’

    As for the self styled ‘Leader of the Opposition’ at Holyrood, that shows how in the Westminster mindset Davidson is – there is no ‘opposition’ at Holyrood. It is designed to be consensual chamber. The consensus appears to be with a (slightly) chastened SNP minority.

    The real fear I have is that with Davidson and her odious laissez-faire free marketeer Tories constantly pecking from the right where absolutely everything provided by the public sector is of no use whatsoever, they will push the SNP hard and fast to the right, and the more exposure they get, the more people will listen and think ‘Oh aye, right enough’.

    I heard a really alarming suggestion from the Education and Culture committee (for example) when a Tory MSP suggested that business should be involved in education – I don’t mean by that that businesses shouldn’t be allowed in schools to inform students of job opportunities, but this was a Tory calling for schools to be run for profit – for private profit…

    I really dread to think what would happen to Scotland if the Tories ever had their way up here…. it would be a blitzkrieg of demoralisation of teachers, nurses, the whole lot to the point where they would just push them out the profession altogether. Of course public education needs reformed, and of course there are really hard biting public sector decisions to be made, but the obsession with austerity is just complete and utter lunacy and show the complete and utter disconnect of politicians in Westminster from the reality on the streets.

    The difference independence will make is that Scotland will be able to forge its own path – if that CHOOSES to be more free market, so be it; if it CHOOSES to be more socialist in outlook, so be it; if it CHOOSES to be more liberal, if it CHOOSES to be more Green so be it, but the point is won’t, at any point, have to have the lunacy that is the Austerity cult imposed on it.

    Reply
  25. drsmithii

    I have a suggestion – cut out the ‘Comrade’ crap – almost every paragraph begins with it and it is so outdated that all it says is “welcome to the early 20th century”. Such language makes the Labour party look more like a dusty artifact in a museum than a modern political party.

    Reply
  26. Jon Marshall

    Not sure it will go this way… too many left in the Labour party would be satisfied with the demise of their once great party for the sake of the Union. See comments from a certain Labour councilor in the Herald as an example of that. so it is Union before party now with principle and people long gone

    Reply
    1. Donald Laing

      It’s up to them, those in charge appear to have a suicide wish. I dont believe for half a second the rank & file feel like that, time to throw them out.

      Reply
  27. Mike

    Henry McLeish is to independence what George Michael was to the gay community for many years – in the closet about his feelings, although everyone knows what his true position is. I hope when he finally does come out as pro-indy it’s not in anywhere near as compromising as it was for old George 😉

    Reply
  28. Angus

    The media are now backing the Tories as Labour is no longer the Establishment’s hope in Scotland.
    Tories are trying to Ulstercize Scottish politics. Much of their support is a mix between Toffs, Lairds and Loyalist thugs.
    It’s going to be an interesting new phase, and I hope the average person can see what a nasty piece of work Ruth and her Loyalists really are.
    I was disgusted at Murdo Fraser going on about now having the opposition strength to now take away the sectarian laws at football, so people can sing all their songs, especially the Hello Hello song, no doubt his favourite and the only song he knows apart from God save his Queen.
    I wonder if he would like to face the mother of a 15 year Celtic fan who had his throat slashed by a Loyalist thug?
    My pet hates sectarianism, nuclear weapons, wars against innocent people in the Middle East, a political system based on class and not on ability. 4 wings of the Tory party, the LabServativeDemUkips

    Reply
  29. ronald alexander mcdonald

    They are hopeless basket cases.
    They will have a meeting with regard to the constitution. The conclusion will be to adopt a hard line to Independence. It delivered for the tories.

    No more powers. We have several super new powers coming. A line in the sand!

    Reply
  30. Weegiewarbler

    Bwahahahaha…. in the words of every ex-SLab voter in Scotland – “aye, right!”. I really don’t think this present crowd can do it. They need to go to the wall and be replaced by a truly socialist, independence supporting party. These ones will never be trustworthy or trusted.

    Reply

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