Various polls are showing a number of significant Labour point losses within Scotland to the SNP, which is how many of us imagined it would be after the referendum. However, May’s election could be one that is solidly outwith Labour’s grasp. With the newly elected Scottish leader Jim Murphy and the recently announced backing of Tony ‘Cruise Missile’ Blair, Labour are set to continue the campaign of retaking Scotland and uniting the rest of the UK against Cameron’s Austerity government.
If only Jim Murphy didn’t shout lies in the streets. If only Labour weren’t backed by whom many argue is a war criminal, their ex-leader Tony Blair. If only various MP and MSP’s didn’t spear head fear campaigns alongside Tories in the Scottish referendum and then have the audacity to back Cameron’s Austerity cuts in the commons…
I seriously question Scottish Labours commitment to the Scottish people and acknowledge their biggest challenge for the general election is to repair the damage done through their ‘scorched earth’ referendum campaign. Once you start regaining that trust, you then need to prove that are you are willing to deliver on previous promises, that you won’t turn your back and your ministers will do everything in their power to put their constituents first. Finally you need to come to terms with the changed political landscape in Scotland and fully commit to evolving the Scottish branch to continually meet the demands of the voters and keep them for generations to come.
However there is no such political party called Scottish Labour, there is just Labour, whose goal is to win a general election and secure power within the UK. This means that any Labour candidate that gets elected in Scotland will most likely be voting with the party and against what is best for their constituency… How can they honestly expect the Scottish people to go along with this when labour will pander to the kind of politics that is shifting ever more to the right as years pass by? How many of us will compromise our ethics to vote in a party that will only ever appease the few? With all this in mind, how are they campaigning to keep our votes?
The Campaign of Lies
We all expect politicians to lie because no one is going to introduce a law that penalises broken promises and shattered hope anytime soon (and the penal code of which would be a semantic nightmare). So we take their biggest promises with a pinch of salt and we vote in hope of having a better country a few years down the line (The least optimistic voting for who will do the least damage). However how can we take the word of ‘Scottish’ Labour with anything other than a scornful look and gritted teeth?
For months we heard over and over that our NHS wouldn’t be secure if we voted Yes, now they need our vote in the general election we are being told over and over that the NHS is under threat from the SNP. If that wasn’t infuriating enough, The Labour Party are putting out almost identical tweets blaming the state of the NHS on the Tories. Do they honestly think that most of Scotland believe that cuts to the Scottish budget won’t affect the Scottish NHS? Are they seriously deluded enough to believe this campaign will improve their current reputation? Maybe someone involved with the Scottish Labour twitter has been watching too many movies and assumes we’ll start associating the SNP with Tories if they put out enough generic material through the 2 twitter accounts?
To paraphrase a fallen Labour branch leader, maybe the Scottish people aren’t genetically programmed to notice political lies and smear campaigns… Maybe therein lies our problem with making political decisions.
The generic material and endless NHS buzz word posters is one thing but they are going out of their way to tweet blatant lies, which fails with the most basic of fact checking. Did you know that the single biggest party during an election gets to form the next government? No? Because it’s not true. However, did you know that saying FACT: makes anything true? No? However Scottish Labour would have us believe it. Although I can’t say for certain how a government will be formed until the votes are counted, rest assured just because a party gets the most votes does not mean they get first dibs… the Liberal Democrats were also in talks with labour before siding conservative. If only labour were truly dedicated to keeping the Tories out of power and negotiated with Nick Clegg a little bit harder, we wouldn’t be sitting waist deep in austerity cuts. Independent searches and a number of creditable sites and sources will lead everyone to the same conclusion. It is almost as if Scottish Labour are assuming we don’t have access to a basic search engine like Google or are even capable of fact checking the nonsense they are coming out with. As much as the blatant lies annoy me, what I find infuriating is Labour’s lack of knowledge about modern social networking and how information is travelling. How can they honestly get us to believe that they know what is best when large parts of our economy now rely heavily on E-Commerce and some companies communicating almost exclusively through online media.
I hate arguing this point too, because it almost feels like I’m talking down in the same way they are talking down to me… maybe I’m trying to save us all the embarrassment of having to listen to any of it, in the hopes that whoever is controlling the Scottish Labour account will listen to this blog instead of the hundreds of other features they’ve already passed on…
The big one… The vow.
This one is just beyond belief… The Daily Record is adamant it’s delivered from as early as the 21st of November, almost a week ahead of the Smith Commission. Scottish Labour’s twitter feed on the 22nd January says its being delivered, something they reiterated on February 2nd, the same day they announced a pledge reported in the BBC as “the Vow Plus”. However on the 6th of December Scottish Labour Falkirk said that the vow was “promised, voted for & delivered”. The 27th of November Scottish Labour quoted Jackie Baillie MSP saying the vow “has been delivered, ahead of Schedule” – This was the day the Smith Commission was released, falling massively short of expectations. On the 30th of October, Gordon Brown calls for 100,000 signatures to petition Westminster keep promises on devolution, showing everyone that Labour had no control whatsoever over the entire situation. As if it wasn’t clear from the 16th of October when images of a near empty commons were shown as he tabled his debate for the UK-Scotland relationship.
Not only have they been releasing contradictory information on their sites and social media accounts they are blissfully ignorant to the fact that the Smith Commission can be found online and deeply debated in every news media and the majority agree that the vow is still to be delivered. They keep hammering in the message that they are dedicated to the vow and as soon as that didn’t work they then decided to upgrade to The Vow 2.0, believing the first was what won them the referendum. Like a child they are covering lies with bigger and bigger ones.
My Local Liar
I’ll give them one thing, the commitment to the lie is brilliant with almost every MP holding ranks and re-broadcasting as much of it as they can to social media. I questioned my local MP Michael McCann’s support of the “Tory Austerity” cuts, saying that in my future Scotland “my local MP doesn’t Support Tory cuts then point to someone else” in response to him attributing cuts to Nick Clegg, to which he replied that his voting for the cuts where “another SNP lie”. He voted for them, he’s mentioned on several sites that keep records of MP’s votes as having voted in favour. The leader of Scottish Labour supported Labour’s decision to vote for these cuts (remember now, cuts he voted for – let’s drive that point home).
Please Stop… but don’t.
As much as I do want them to stop this campaign of lies, at the end of the day they are ensuring that my hopes for Scotland will be met. Scottish votes must go to the candidates that will speak up for us and ensure that a Scottish voice isn’t lost in the crowd; Labour cannot deliver.