Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Today in history : Never say never again

Neil Kinnock :

Remember how you felt on that dreadful morning of June the 10th.  Just remember how you felt then, and think to yourselves : June the 9th, 1983.  Never, ever again will we experience that.

To all intents and purposes, they have just experienced "that" all over again, and why?  Because they thought that the "realism" and "maturity" of staying in touch with what the electorate actually wants is only required when the electorate in question is centre-right and located in the southern third of Britain. 

In contrast to 1983, there is very little sign that the shock of a crushing defeat has taught Labour any kind of lesson.  Quite the reverse - the prescription for recovery in Scotland seems to be to "do what we just did all over again, and expect a different result next time".  Apparently it's the Scottish electorate that got it wrong, not Labour.

17 comments:

  1. Quite.
    I'm sure the UK will split before too long because there seems to be an unbridgeable conceptual gulf between Scottish political life and that of England, or maybe I should say, that of the London-based parties. This was neatly captured in Yvette Cooper coming up to Scotland to tell us there's no need for a CSU-style Scots Labour party, which would probably be the party's only real hope of a meaningful future.
    In a similar vein, when I hear politicians like Tim Farron railing against "nationalism" in Scotland as if it's some self-evident evil, rather than the progressive, open movement it actually is, I'm struck by this sense of two political worlds, moving apart, talking a different language.
    Labour - and the whole London-based political class - just doesn't get Scotland, and that's why I think we're now living through the dying days of the UK.

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  2. Labour finished in Scotland. A bit like an ash tray on a motorbike.SNP fill the gap,.on independence a right wing party will be needed neither group will be labelled Tory or labour that's two offensive

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  3. "do what we just did all over again, and expect a different result next time".


    Those whom the Gods would destroy..........

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  4. James, there is a TNS poll for Holyrood that is now circulating around twitter.

    SNP 60%
    LAB 19%
    CON 15%
    LD 3%

    is for the Constituency vote and

    SNP 50%
    LAB 19%
    CON 14%
    GRN 10%
    LD 5%
    UKIP 2%

    for the list vote

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    1. Man that was quick! :-)

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  5. Looks like we have a Holyrood poll:

    Mike Smithson ‏@MSmithsonPB 10 mins10 minutes ago
    New TNS poll for next May's Holyrood elections has constituency vote
    SNP 60%
    LAB 19%
    CON 15%
    LD 3%

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  6. OK, any analysis of what the means for seats, particularly the effect of the list vote?

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    1. SNP increased majority. Greens up from 2 to 10. Combined pro-indy parties with 64% of MSPs.

      http://www.scotlandvotes.com/holyrood

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    2. I'm more interested in whether the SNP have a secure overall majority on their own, than on how many "pro-indy" MSPs there are in total. If the SNP gets >70 seats, then whatever else happens is icing on the cake.

      More pro-independence MSPs on the opposition side is fine, but I'd be very concerned if the SNP majority was lost and the party had to go into a coalition or confidence and supply deal to continue in government. That doesn't look likely at the moment, thankfully.

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  7. If Lab, Con and LD combined to form one 'Scottish Unionist Party' they'd have a minimum base of 33% and probably poll more than that in elections. No idea why they haven't done that yet. Perhaps Labour has to die first before they see the light.

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    1. What would their manifesto look like, I wonder?
      I doubt that 33% would remain after reading it.

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    2. How would that look to Labour voters in Northern England?

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    3. >>What would their manifesto look like, I wonder?.

      'Unionism and following whatever government the rest of the UK chooses' I guess. It might well cheese off conservative unionists, or social democrat unionists, but it seems to me that unionism is fast becoming the only thing left keeping people in these parties. They might as well merge.

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    4. Any mergers involving the Conservative and Unionist Party which continues to use the Unionist label would be easily branded as Tories, especially as that party's primary objective would essentially be to support the UK Government. Which looks likely to be Tory for at least the next ten years.

      A minimum of 33% seems overly generous in that light. And in any case is below the 37% combined they seem to be scraping up on the regional poll, which loses up to six seats. It might also deprive them of any third and fourth party privileges and tactics used in Holyrood(such as FMQs - Dugdale, Davidson and Rennie's questions would be condensed). Additionally, they lose much of their brand recognition and tribal voters.

      My guess, if this does happen, is there would be a maximum of 30%, depending who they pick as leader, for at least one or two terms while they build themselves up.

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    5. How would the BBC manage to justify their 3 against 1 panel discussions if there's only one Unionist Party opposing the SNP? It'll never happen for that reason alone.

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    6. It couldn't happen for a lot of reasons. They would effectively cease to 3 separate parties and would become the UK continuity party. It would have no function other than to keep Scotland in the UK. What London party whip would it take. Tory? Labour? Would it switch between the two depending on who won that time round? How would it actually campaign on this basis, what could it possibly offer the electorate other than concessions. Lastly what london party would want to work with them, a party that is the very definition of a fair weather friend?

      It would also kill off the larger part of labours core vote in Scotland. One conceit too far for even the most tribal of labour voters to swallow.

      It could try to be like the Scottish Unionists of old and take the Tory whip, but that's not popular anymore, its why they lost so much ground to labour.

      Their best chance was to ensure that the smith commission delivered in full, no strings or vetos attached. And Westminster blew it.

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  8. Labour drops below 20% for both constituency and list voting intentions? Not looking good for them at all. If they are not careful, the tories will catch them up (imagine that).
    Looking good for the greens though.

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