Heroes of the Revolution

If Labour has rediscovered its soul, is it time to ask why it lost its voice in the indyref? How is it that 70 per cent of delegates to the Scottish conference can vote against renewal of Trident a year after the referendum but managed to stay silent during it?

What kind of proud Scottish socialist now cheering the anti-nuclear vote was so cowed last year that he couldn’t lift his head and raise his voice on what he now claims is a touchstone issue?

I cheered Stephen Low of Unison who moved the motion. ‘Its purpose is to detonate a nuclear warhead above a city, killing everyone in its radius. There are other facts about Trident, but that’s the central one, and one we should never forget.

When it comes to the real threats to this country, things like terrorism, things like cyber attacks, things like climate change, Trident is utterly, utterly useless.

We shouldn’t want Trident renewal even if it were free, but of course it is not free, it comes at an utterly bewildering cost. This is a life and death decision. Let’s choose life, let’s choose to be the change we want to see in the world, let’s cancel Trident renewal.’

That’s what we could have done with in 2014 yet Stephen was a dogged No voter and his union stayed neutral. Trident may only be one policy area and there are of course many reasons for opposing independence (mostly that it’s a class struggle not a borders issue), but the anti-nuke fervour whipped up by the Labour unilateralists today is in stark contrast to their vow of silence then. The surest and quickest route to removal of this utterly, utterly useless weapon was to take the decision out of the hands of Westminster and his Labour Unionist establishment MPs. Presumably the answer is that when it came to the indyref, getting rid of Trident and stopping its renewal were less important than retaining the British state. The morality of a mass civilian killing machine and its bewildering cost was of less importance than the morality of Whitehall keeping charge of both defence and the welfare of working class Scots. Solidarity, comrades, even if it kills us…

Many of Stephen’s own members will now face benefit cutbacks because remaining in the UK allowed the election of a ruthless Tory government. To a Nationalist, the Labour maneuvering in order to accuse the SNP of not caring about the punishment of the working poor and their children is another example of the cowardice of the ‘socialists’. Confronted with an absolute means of ending Tory governments for good, they stayed silent and got into bed with those same Tories – not forgetting the other bedfellows from UKIP, the National Front, the BNP and the Orange Order. Now there’s a broad church…

Now that the hard decision is out of the way, they return to game-playing with a promise of dubious legality predicated on sunshine arithmetic as if politics were to them just a game of charades. In order to make the case for ‘restoring the cuts in full’ they must rely on the same Tories to pretend the powers exist to do so, just as they are combining to force either budget cuts or income tax rises on the Scottish government as a means of damaging the Nationalists. Labour and the Tories in Better Together didn’t end on September 19 last year.

Where were Kezia’s class warriors when Ian Taylor’s £500,000 cheque hit the campaign account? I looked in vain, and appealed here, for Labour voices to be raised against immoral donations from a source that is an affront to human decency given the genesis of Taylor’s Vitoil fortune. Douglas Alexander gave a limp quote more concerned that Taylor was a large-scale Tory donor and Henry McLeish, again, was the sole identifiable Labour sources to speak out. We saw the Labour hierarchy, fists clenched, singing the Red Flag in Perth. Did they put their fingers in their ears and hum when Darling accepted the Vitoil money?

The truth is that, however they parade humanitarian and socialist principle, Labour prefer to be out of power and under the Tory thumb every two decades than really standing up for Scots. When your principal policy is bending the knee to your betters and using your tax pounds to make good their brutal cuts, you’ve already lost. This is the debilitating game Scotland is sick of playing…making good Westminster’s failures and watching as they reduce our politicians to this shallow posturing. David Mundell is now running rings round Labour, making them jump through hoops to reduce the impact of his Tory plans while getting them to do his dirty work of attacking the SNP on an area where there is agreement in principle between them and Labour.

I doubt if real socialists anywhere else could define a more demeaning condition than having your strings pulled by David Mundell. Such is Labour’s soul.

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28 thoughts on “Heroes of the Revolution

  1. Labour have no soul, and never have I was a shop steward in the shipyards on the Clyde and I never once voted labour I could see through them away back then they are all out for themselves only and always have been they will never change

  2. Good article, Derek, and a very astute line of questioning.

    Party before country, pocket before principals…

    It was ever the Labour party way.

    If truth be told, I honestly believe that Labour were so deluded as to think that Ed Miliband would win the General Election, that’s why they were so keen to endorse a No vote.

    They were banking on the unpopularity of Call Me Dave to sweep Labour into power.

    Yes, Dave is unpopular, but Middle England were always going to stick with the devil they knew, rather than risk ‘socialism’ being inflicted upon them by a man who looked incapable of organising a funeral in a graveyard, never mind run Britain.

    Labour is still stuck in the two party mind set. Once the Tories have had their 5 or 10 years, then it’ll be our turn, was probably their line of reasoning.

    Despite their General Election massacre in Scotland, Labour still talk and act as though they have a God given right to run Scotland.

    Long may they continue to think like that.

  3. Our share of the £200 Billion needed by the British state to spend on weapons of mass murder would be something around £18 Billion.
    For that money we could probably replace our Food Banks with M&S and no longer require tax credits or any other Westminster wheeze designed to paper over the cracks in their anti poor strategy (anti poor not anti poverty).
    All that Labour in Scotland are doing is to demonstrate,for those who weren’t already aware,that in this “union” Scottish voices don’t count and that major decisions about Scottish affairs continue to be dictated by English MPs at Westminster.

  4. As Blair Paterson says above (Not) Labour long ago sold their soul to the neo-liberal devil.

    Their “stick of rock” has the word “hypocrisy” running right through it.

    Their latest wheeze is not just to try and trip up the SNP and hoodwink the public – it’s worse than that.

    They are, as you say, still in step with their Better Together allies only now the goal is to undermine the whole institution that is the Scottish Government and it is profoundly anti-democratic.

    I only hope that enough Scots can see through it all long enough to see them off once and for all.

  5. Derek I regret that I haven’t until now, commented on your column. However in this particular case I feel you have identified something which until the referendum wasn’t obvious to labour voters. The ease with which labour was able to slide comfortably in between the sheets with the Tories, was actually quite shocking to many of their unquestioning voters. Those whose fathers and forefathers had voted and who’s dog and budgie both voted labour. They suddenly saw what millions of others had been telling them for decades – labour is only concerned for itself and it’s leaders. The gravy train must not be derailed. So British is best and Scots can just lump it.

  6. Are we seeing the death agony of Labour ? Or will they hang on ? Time, surely for someone to administer the coup de grace.

  7. His Union, Unison, did not stay neutral as it donated both to Bitter Together and Labour.

  8. Hamish@6.46

    Slabs just desserts:

    Firing Squad execution-Holyrood elections May 2016

    Coup de grace-Council elections 2017.

    That’s if there hasn’t been a revolution before then-which is looking increasingly likely.

    Scottish Government needs to reject Smith Commission for the hand job that it is and Trident should be unilaterally rejected by a majority of Scottish MP’s and MSP’s fot the affront to Scotland that it is

    End of.

  9. I really don’t see anyway back for Labour. I never voted for them but I should be red through and through, a union member, an ex shop steward and coming from a long line of Glasgow Labour voters, any like me were SNP before the Indy ref the ones who have crossed over more recently won’t be forgiving and forgetting any time soon. The party is pulling apart, there will always be a devout section but the vast majority are deserting them now. The more socialist moving to the SNP and other indepence supporting parties and the hardcore unionists are drifting towards the Tories, not because the like Tory policies just out of hatred of SNP. I gave up on Labour before I could vote but I am a little sad because I still believe in the trade union movement and why it needed a political party but they ruined it, chewed it up and shat it out, so I won’t lose any sleep over their demise. I am a GMB member and pulled out the political fund from day one, after the Trident issue I am seriously considering joining another union

  10. An excellent article, very well written and a pleasure to read. I was sickened listening to some of the speeches after everything that had gone before.

    Glad you can still see Labour and Tory machinations for what they are since some other writers, supposedly on this side of the line, (Scotland supporting and unbiased I mean) have become myopic of vision and snarky of voice. Very glad we still have you, Derek.

  11. There is a certain pointlessness now to all that is SLAB. They have become a player in a marriage that is failing and cannot be saved. Their love affair with the Scottish electorate is nearly over. Promises of better things to come and “we are listening” have been treated with dismissive “Aye right!” and “heard it all afore”. Sure, they will have wee flurries of happiness, but this will be more to do with “see they are just as bad as us”. There really is nothing that they can offer the electorate to gain back our affection. They have blown it BIG TIME. The Holyrood elections will see things spiraling further downward as the offer of” Vote for us and we can change Scotland for the better” is rejected. Ach well all …. it couldna last forever.

  12. Talking about getting your strings pulled …

    Do I understand this correctly?

    The Tories voted to cut tax credits ?
    Labour abstained when they could have voted against ?
    Labour now want the Scottish Govt to use the Scottish budget to mitigate the shortfall ?

    The media think this is great ?

    Meanwhile I never voted for Tory tax cuts
    I never voted for Labour abstensions
    I will indirectly have services cut because that money will have to be used instead of being spent on something else

    Have I got it right ? My vote counts for what ?

    Meanwhile Jacquie Baillie with the word welfare in her title votes to renew Trident ?

    So what will my vote be worth against Trident ?

    Begins with hee and ends in haw .

    Democracy ? I’m ashamed of what is going on in this country .

    • Great piece, Derek.
      Great response, PQs

      I’ve been reading Derek’s blog for just over a year now and I detect an increasing agitation among comments. Weary of being insulted by both Labour and their pals in the media, things appear to be coming to a head. We have all the facts, figures and stats to shoot-down any of the falsehoods and lies perpetrated by an ‘almost’ corrupt political enemy in Scotland, and yet we continue to be marginalised on a daily-basis.

      Roll-on next May, I’m sure the devastation inflicted upon the blind-and-will-not-see of Labour’s Scottish branch will placate us for another spell. We won’t be placated for ever.

      • Jackie Bailie lost it oan the telly last night by constantly interrupting and talking over Alex Neil with her nonsense ad lies on Tax credit and air landing charges which won’t come into effect for a couple of years and Osbourne still has to make his final report on the matter. Confused? So was the Trident lover and “saviour” of the Vale of Leven..

    • By cutting out Trident costs you could afford to give every worker £m and still have billions over. Even if she was a genuine Multilateralist she would still have find alternative employment in the unlikely event of every other nuclear power turning peaceful Besides, most of the English employees would be replaced in Engerland by the MOD if the Trident moved South. That is if Engerland does not go Nimbyist on them.

  13. You forgot to mention that the STUC wanted employment law and Health and Safety law to be devolved at the Smith commission lab refused and indeed threatened to walk out
    They left there brothers and sisters in the hands of Westminster who plan to take away the right to strike and leave the EHRA if possible thats the unions reward for their blind loyalty to Labour shafted Labour will and have always put party before people or Scotland even its trade unionists

    • The Tame Unions have always policed the workforces for Labour Pay Freezes and austerity and acted as a cash machine for Labour. Even if you persist and are lucky enough to contract out of the political levy the money goes instead to a “political fund” and guess which party it is spent on?

  14. dennis mclaughlin

    Labour want to see Scotland and it’s SNP Party destroyed utterly….
    Milliband threw us all to the dogs in May,because of the hatred his party has of the SNP.
    We must destroy the present branch office next May,only then mabye the remaining ashes will reconsider an independent Scottish Labour Party.

  15. Scottish Labour have once again misunderstood the ‘optics’ of what their attacks on the SNP.

    They see tax credits and the Scottish Government’s dilemma of whether to increase taxes and/or make cuts in other areas in order to compensate for Tory cuts as an open goal. It’s the perfect opportunity to argue that the SNP aren’t really as left wing as they say they are. Labour can promise to make up the difference knowing full well that they won’t get into power, leaving them with the chance to kick the SNP who actually need to come up with a workable solution to a very difficult fiscal and legislative problem.

    But Labour’s mistake lies in how this line of attack positions them. First off, they’re supposed to be anti-austerity, so their real anger should be directed at the Tories and their arbitrary deficit reduction program which has spawned these tax credit cuts. Of course Labour will say that they are indeed strongly opposed to Tory cuts, but I’ve just seen Jackie Baillie on Scotland 2015 muttering “shame on you Alex Neil” while said the following; “We will ensure that… these working people, who are among the poorest people in Scotland, do not lose out as a result of these Tory tax credit cuts”

    Does she really think anybody at home was nodding along thinking “Yeah, you should be ashamed of yourself Neil”?

    This epitomises the dynamic that’s undermined Labour as a political force in Scotland. Alex Neil gets to go on telly and have a dig at the Tories and promise to stick up for Scotland, while Jackie Baillie sits there having a go at the SNP. It’s what happened at the last Holyrood election, during the referendum, and during the general election campaign. It doesn’t work, and they should know this by now.

    But due to a heady mix of stupidity and a genuine hatred for the SNP, Scottish Labour just can’t help themselves. They’re like a cat pouncing on the dot from a laser pointer; it doesn’t matter how many times they come away with paws full of fresh air, they always take the bait again next time.

  16. Kevin, I fear you are right. The frustration is palpable.

  17. Keep the heid, pals. We’re getting there. Tick-tock.

  18. Probably your best blog ever, Derek. While in the past I may have disagreed, slightly, with some of your views, you have really hit several nails on the head with this article.
    Your anger at the sheer hypocrisy of the people who conspired to deprive us of our independence, and their lying behaviour that continues to be given prominence by the M.S.M to this day, comes through in spades.
    The good news is that on the doorsteps we are still getting the phrase, ” I used to vote Labour, but they stood with the tories during the referendum and I cannot forgive them for that betrayal”.
    As has been said above, hopefully, we can deal them another blow next year, and end their dominance of local government in 2017. And then on to independence.

  19. Well said Derek.

    Just to underline the point, here is a vid of SQ posted by Peter Curran.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lAiRAjVrrT0&app=desktop

    This is the reality of Better Togetherness and the No vote.

    Those who place party and the machinery of state before the needs and aspirations of people should have no part in public service. A country isn’t state symbolism or jingoism and its not party ideologies. It is nothing without the people.

    If you cannot or are unwilling to follow the direction of your people, if you cannot reflect or represent their needs and concerns, then you are not the folks for the job. Before party politics and ideologies comes a duty of care, of simply doing the right thing by all those under your care, from the least advantaged on up.

    Not rocket science really.

  20. Super piece Derek. The penultimate paragraph should be put on billboards all over the country.

  21. Derek, can you blog like this more often, please.
    It is vital that words from people like you are used to keep the Independence machine oiled and lubricated.

    Regarding Labour; they are nothing more than NeoLiberal Right Wing Tories, it’s just that the IndyRef forced their mask to slip thus revealing the chilling menace that lay beneath. Tories Together.

  22. I’ve never seen Nicola Sturgeon so angry and fed up with Dugdale at FMQs today. Her sole question was Tax Credits and how was the Scottish government going to mitigate the cuts.

    Mundell, can’t stand the man. Watched his sneering attitude towards the SNP at Scottish Questions yesterday – a session which is becoming harder and harder to watch. He seems to forget that his condecension is also towards 50% of the Scottish population who voted for the SNP MPs.

  23. Was doing a wee bit of research tonight over broken promises to Scotland this is the Scottish home rule bill passed in 1913 it still delivers more than the present Scotland Bill, we are going backwards it makes you realise just how short of what the Vow promised is being delivered
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-29048884

  24. Good article. Goes straight to the heart of the matter. Scottish Labour continues to choose unworkable, populist policies over the fight to stop these cuts in the first place.

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