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Post by Pettytyrant101 on Thu Aug 08, 2019 6:57 pm

{{ That's a bloody big question Dave!!  Shocked  This will be pretty potted Dave, a broad strokes covering of events if you will.

Basically from post-war until the late 1980's Labour were Scottish politics.
They were the party of the working man and of the Unions and their members- which in Scotland meant a lot at that time- we were the heart of UK shipbuilding employing thousands of men, and of steel and coal industries as well as the fisheries, and when we got to the 70's there was an oil industry to add to that.
People felt they had a real say and effect, at work you went to the Union meetings, you voted on policy and aims, the Union reps took it to local councillors, Labour MP's and the like, and usually, if the Unions felt strongly about it, it would be adopted as Labour party policy.
But when that all fell apart starting in the late 70's and ending when Thatcher effectively dismantled Scotland's entire manufacturing base, leaving just the fisheries and some token shipbuilding, mainly for the UK govenrment Navy, it pulled up the means for common working person in Scotland to interact and effect politics directly, and it undermined peoples faith in Labour to defend them, their livelihoods or their families from Thatcher and the Tories. Many felt betrayed and as much of the fault for why these industries became unprofitable and a burden instead of a boom, much of the blame was laid at the feet of Union demands, and Labour was standing accused of being in the Unions pockets.

Nevertheless when I was growing up in the 80' it was usual to hear at election time variations on things like, 'they didn't count the Labour vote, they just weighed it' or 'you could stick a red rosette (for Labour) on a pig and it would still win by a landslide.'

Scotland, and in particular its industrial heartlands, Glasgow and its surrounds, were still 100% Labour heartlands in the face of Thatchers seeming cruelty to Scotland. People didn't see another viable option to oppose her.

The SNP however began moving at this time from a joke fringe tartan party of no note or worth towards something resembling a real political party, and they started to get a few seats. When Winnie Ewing, a rather glamorous female SNP candidate, and formidable politician, won a seat in the heartlands of Labour in Glasgow it was the first real warning shot across the bows that old ties were beginning to break down.

I mentioned Labour basically was Scottish politics, and this went on for decades. The result however was complacency, and worse corruption and cronyism, and as more of this unfolded, the scandals at various Labour councils emerged it, took away peoples certainty in Labour as being on their side. And without the old allegiances the Unions and the industrial sites had offered people were starting to ask awkward questions about what exactly Labour had been doing with all this control and power all these years, given how bad things seemed to have got and their failure to stop Thatcher.

This state of affairs, the SNP making small but significant gains, peoples trust and faith in Labour being lowly undermined continued on for some time. Then luckily for Labour something new happened. Westminster Labour got a new leader, John Smith, and he was Scottish. And popular, and more importantly clearly left of centre, which went down well in Scotland. Sadly as he was heading to what everyone felt was a certain win in the next general election he died from a heart attack.

Now briefly I need to mention Labour before Smith, it was crazy lefty time basically. I mean forget Corbyn, or Sanders in the US, we had Michael Foot, looked like a crazy science teacher and very left of centre. As a result he never won a single General Election against Thatcher and retired from the leadership eventually defeated. He was followed by Kinnock, only a slightly bit less left than Foot but more presentable and affable, but it turned out, just as unelectable in the face of Thatcher. And he often was overridden on decisions by the massive Union vote at Labour conference, who were still Foot levels of leftiness. And so was open to accusations of being in the Unions pocket too.

Now the backlash to Foot from within Westminster Labour (there only was Westminster Labour, there was yet no devolved parliament and no Scottish Labour) came from the Scottish wing. Smith was the head of it, they were still clearly left of centre, but on a whole host of things that had been Foot's downfall- particualry free enterprise and business (Foot would have nationalised everything) they were moderates, centralists. And they also planned to disentangle the Labour party from the now very unpopular remains of the Unions, who had retained all their influence and power over Labours voting systems but no longer had the membership to back it up.

Behind Smith in order of command came Gordon Brown, Tony Blair and Robin Cook.
And between them they plotted what to do with Smiths demise. Brown was supposed to be the successor, but Blair had the patter and the looks an the ease in front of a crowd that was felt was needed. And so Blair became Labour leader.

After Thatcher and Major, Blair seemed a ray of left of centre sunshine. He won in a landslide and his popularity was no less in Scotland.  labour in Scotland were back, but at a cost, with the growing success of the SNP in the intervening time cries for a devolved Scottish Parliament had been too loud to ignore- the bribe Blair offered Scotland for its votes was that parliament.
And naturally its very first government was Labour, who had after-all delivered it as promised.

But the Scottish Parliament did not prove a good place for Labour. Donald Dewar, the 'father of the Parliament passed away, his successor as First Minister Henry Mcleish got caught with his hand in the till and left in disgrace, the first of many screw ups to follow by Scottish Labour.


At this point Labour were in an interesting position, the newly formed Scottish Labour party had a chance to move on from the past, start fresh, and fight back against the slow rising tide of SNP nicking their seats.
And then Blair decided joining Bush in a war was a good idea. And as Blairs policies domestically swung more right of centre than left, more big business than small man, combined with the ongoing calamity that became the Iraq war and civil war Blair's popularity plummeted like a stone.

In Scotland this hit Labour hard, combined with the SNP adopting more socialist left leaning policies whilst maintaining a pro capitalist pro-business position in the markets made the SNP more attractive than Labour, who seemed to have lost their roots as a socialist party and people didn't trust on the economy as Blair's Labour govenrment did what Labour do and overspent.

Another issue was the best Scottish labour minds did not go to the Scottish Parliament, viewing it as little more than a big local council, and the Scottish Labour Party as, in the words of of one ex-Scottish Labour leader, they treated it as a 'branch office' of the 'real' Labour party in London.

So whilst all the best Labour people went to London, all the best SNP politicians and Lib Dem politicians and Green politicians stayed in Scotland in its parliament. And frankly week after week Labour had the floor wiped with them.

The other problem was people increasingly could see that there was an irrelevancy to Scottish Labour- Scottish Labour voted to remove nuclear weapons from the Clyde, Westminster Labour who would actually decide what happened to them said no we are keeping them, end of conversation (to this day that position remains the same). And as more policy decision were taken by Scottish Labour that were at odds with policy of Westminster they were always overridden by Westminster (part of the reason for the angry letter on the current situation is because of this long standing resentment in Scottish Labour to being treated as a branch office and having their policies ignored)

Labour now had a hugely unpopular PM in London, a hugely unpopular war none of the Scottish Labour MP's supported, but none of whom could say so publicly, and all the old ways of being in contact with their working class voters, the unions, the industrial sites, were long gone by now. Increasingly no one knew what they stood for, or if them standing for something mattered anyway if London Labour just ignored what they voted for anyway.

In this mess the SNP seemed to be the only real genuine voice speaking for Scotland. They had a clear ambition, but they were seemingly happen to wait for that and just get on with running the country within devolution as best they good, with policies that leaned left and appealed to the lost working class Labour voters. And having stolen that ground of representing the working and middle classes - working class through social policies, middle class through strong policing and strong support for business - Labour were increasingly left looking like a party that no one quite knew any more who they were representing in society, who they were standing for any more. They had lost their connections with their core voters, lost the means to communicate directly with them, and they had nothing to appeal to the middle class voter.

The eventual outcome of that was the massive SNP landslide which saw them into power and from which they have yet to be removed.

In the meantime Scottish Labour have gone through more leaders than most can remember the names of, switched policies like someone shuffling a deck of cards and been constantly adrift, undermined, or left out the loop, as in the recent case with a 2nd referendum, by Westminster Labour.

Even during the last referendum it was clear Labour didn't know where they stood- officially they stood for the Union, but that meant Scottish Labour MP's sharing platforms, standing trying to look happy friends with Tories, and they couldn't prevent a large splinter group, 'Labour for Independence breaking off from the party for the duration of the referendum, and current polling has about 40% of Scottish Labour voters in favour of independence. Highlighting that problem for Scottish Labour.

So the current mess is a result of all this- and yes really, this is the short overview version! }}

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Post by David H on Thu Aug 08, 2019 10:21 pm

{{ So the current mess is a result of all this- and yes really, this is the short overview version! }}

Wow! Shocked

So basically a once proud and powerful party, now irrelevant, that can't seem to find their voice except to muster the occasional crabbit flareup when people ignore them?

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Post by Pettytyrant101 on Thu Aug 08, 2019 11:10 pm

{{ That would be about it, yes }}

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Post by Pettytyrant101 on Fri Aug 09, 2019 2:21 am

{{ The Scottish Sun's editorial pretty much sums things up neatly


'It is a bizarre tangle. In a bid to claim its independence from London, Scottish Labour is demanding the right to prevent Scotland from claiming independence from London....What on earth are the voters meant to make of this?
And how can Labour speak for Scotland when its MSPs can’t even speak to each other?'

The Daily Record, a Labour supporting paper is even more scathing in it assessment of Scottish Labour and its leader. }}

'Scottish Labour came a humiliating fifth in the recent European Parliament elections and could well end up with zero MPs in any snap general election.
Labour can’t win power without Scotland but it also can’t win in Scotland...since that worst ever election result in May, Labour have essentially been invisible in Scottish public life.
When Lord Ashcroft published a shock poll on Monday showing a majority of Scots back independence, Labour didn’t even bother issuing an official response.
Few observers noticed the omission and even fewer cared.
Labour’s opinion on the biggest Scottish political news story of the summer was, frankly, irrelevant.
Now even Labour’s shadow chancellor is wilfully ignoring Scottish Labour’s position on the independence issue.
When your own colleagues think you’re an irrelevance it’s probably time to give it up.'

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Post by David H on Fri Aug 09, 2019 10:11 am

It's sad really, given the history. Sad
You have to wonder if things might have been different if only the Bush family hadn't decided to take us all adventuring in the Middle East, and invited Blair along for the sport. Mad

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Post by Pettytyrant101 on Fri Aug 09, 2019 10:31 am

{{ The massive unpopularity of Blair and the Iraq war by the end of it was a big factor in accelerating Scottish Labours decline, but the rot was long set already at a more local level.
The decades of running Scotland's local councillors, and cronyism, covering each others backs and corruption that it led too, as well as just good old fashioned mismanagement of public money and incompetence (which happens when the guy in charge only got the job because he's the son of your brother or some such!)and when they set up the Scottish parliament, though Labour introduced it, they never took it seriously or gave it any regard, viewing it as a big local council with the real relevance all remaining at Westminster, a huge miscalculation that left them way behind their opponents in the Scottish parliament who had focused almost exclusively on establishing it and themselves in it.
And of course we have Corbyn, whilst Scots like the left wing social policy stuff, he has no trust on the economy or competence, he cant make a decision and we hate that, hate people who haver- watch Sturgeon, she can be disagreed with, argued with but one thing you will never be is unsure of where she stands or what she thinks on any subject, Scots like that, we dont like havering and Corbyn is a world champion at it! And though Scots like social plans and left of centre policy- we dont like just chucking money about (see also why the SNP are as publicly the party of business as they are the working class, and why when Scottish Labour still had a voice, they could dub the SNP the 'Tartan Tories' in attempt to tar them with the Tory brand). Corbyn however ad by extension wider Labour is just not seen as credible when it comes to the money side of things or decision making. Worse though, even more than Blair he has made Labour so England, and so London centric in particular that it seems now more like a London party than a UK one. Existing in this weird London bubble, reflecting only London labour views and addressing London centric issues which pretty much lack meaning outside of London in the wider UK.

Scottish Labour has fallen into obscurity, Westminster Labour into distant irrelevancy. }}

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Post by Pettytyrant101 on Fri Aug 09, 2019 11:34 am

{{ The weird thing about this is not the why of why Labour have changed position on a 2nd referendum at Westminster- they've just done the adding up and think that Scottish Labour are going to lose seats to the SNP if there is a sudden snap election (which is quite possible on both counts) and that they wont be able to form a majority government in Westminster, meaning they will need an  arrangement with someone else, and the SNP are very likely to have a nice hefty block of MP's there ready to back a minority Labour government on the basis of a 2nd referendum, that makes sense - no what's weird about this is why they've done it this way.

Why do it without first consulting Scottish Labour, why announce it seemingly out the blue in an interview at the Edinburgh fringe festival? (and we know it wasn't a slip as he came right back out after Scottish Labour protested and repeated it adding he had Crobyns backing), but why do it this way?
I could maybe understand it if this was Boris and Davidson- she hates him, he has no love for her but he cant get rid of her, going round her would make sense if he wanted to get something done she opposes.
But Labour? Leonard, leader of Scottish Labour is a loyal Corybnite, he has backed his leader at every turn and without compromise. In fact about the only thing anyone who even knows who he is knows about him is that he is a left leaning Corbynite. Outwardly at least he seems a utterly dedicated loyal General to the Corbyn cause, leading Scottish Labour in tandem with Corbyn's vision of a left of centre more socialist UK.
So why stab him so publicly and brutally in the back? In fact it wasn't even in the back, more like in the face! Was this really the best way they could think of to do this? Something's off here! Mmmm?  Suspect }}

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Post by Pettytyrant101 on Fri Aug 09, 2019 3:59 pm

{{ A Scottish MP trying to defend Scottish Labours position, and denounce the policy change- going so far as to say its not really a policy change! Note also how he tries to pass off what was said as being off the cuff, almost a slip of the tongue- which is simply denying the facts as the Shadow Chancellor repeated the statement in a second interview and said Corbyn supported it. In fairness the interviewer does try to pull him up on it, but he just ignores that and keeps at it anyway! }}


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Post by Pettytyrant101 on Fri Aug 09, 2019 4:24 pm

{{ Apparently- completely nothing do with any of the above (cough ) - }}

'The most senior official in the Scottish Labour party has stepped down.
General Secretary Brian Roy said he was leaving to pursue a new challenge after five years in the post. '

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Post by David H on Fri Aug 09, 2019 6:18 pm

General Secretary Brian Roy said he was leaving to pursue a new challenge after five years in the post. '
If I were in his shoes I might seriously consider gardening.... flower

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Post by Bluebottle on Fri Aug 09, 2019 6:49 pm

Aside from the lack of knowledge of the nature of Denmark-Norway (a Danish absolute monarchy ruled from Copenhagen) this is pretty good:

https://amp.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/aug/09/independence-scotland-inevitable-scot-nicola-sturgeon

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Post by Mrs Figg on Sat Aug 10, 2019 2:17 pm

I think London Labour has given up on Scotland and that's why McDonut was so blasé about a second referendum, they don't mind if Scotland becomes Independent. It would be inevitable anyway if Corbyn went for a Labour brexit lite, which I still think he thinks is on the cards, that's why I haven't renewed my membership until they get Starmer or Cooper in the top job. Corbyn is useless.

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Post by Forest Shepherd on Sat Aug 17, 2019 6:08 am

Yikes, what's with the Scottish Parliament building Petty? The design is... questionable at the very least.

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Post by halfwise on Sat Aug 17, 2019 11:47 am

it has its points. Mainly points of confusion, to be sure. Clearly designed by committee.

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Post by malickfan on Tue Aug 20, 2019 8:45 pm

Forest Shepherd wrote:Yikes, what's with the Scottish Parliament building Petty? The design is... questionable at the very least.

FREEDOM!!!! [4] - Page 32 The-Scottish-parliament-012

Shocked scratch I'm feeling kinds dizzy just looking at that photo...

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Post by Eldy on Wed Aug 21, 2019 7:59 pm

halfwise wrote:it has its points.  Mainly points of confusion, to be sure.  Clearly designed by committee.

I seriously doubt that many committees would get behind someone that unconventional. The combination of disparate features in a single building is a common feature of postmodern architecture, not something that institutions known for blandness and compromise would be likely to settle on. The architect behind it, Enric Miralles, was also a reasonably big name and the building was well-received in professional circles, winning the UK's most prestigious architectural prize the year after its completion.
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Post by Forest Shepherd on Thu Aug 22, 2019 2:11 am

Must have bribed them all with bucky or something.

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Post by Pettytyrant101 on Thu Aug 22, 2019 6:47 am

{{ Its a beautiful building, particularly on the inside where all the lighting effects come together.
The design is inspired among other things by Scotland's shipbuilding history, if you look carefully you'll notice that the roofing is shaped like boat keels. Definitely worth a visit if your ever in Edinburgh. }}

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Post by Pettytyrant101 on Fri Aug 30, 2019 1:03 pm

{{ There has just been a by-election, in Shetland. Or as its otherwise known- the safest seat in Scotland.
The Lib Dems have held the seat for so long its possible there is none left alive who remember when they didn't.
Not only that they have always held it well, even winning genuine majorities of over 50% of the vote there in recent times.

And whilst the SNP put a lot of fight into challenging it, the lib Dems won the seat again.

This has led the press to coo saying things like it showed there is no appetite for a 2nd independence referendum, the people reject the SNP nationalism.
And the winning lib dem candidate said,

"Shetland has once again rejected Scottish nationalism and shown that it has not been taken in by the bullying tactics."

But that's not the whole story, not by a long shot.
At the last election the libs won with 46% of the vote. They won this time on less than half there previous votes. Beating the SNP by just over a 1000 votes.

That represents a 14% swing to the SNP in the safest seat in Scotland.

Were even half that swing to be repressed at a general election across the country most Labour and almost every Tory seat would vanish from the map.

Whilst publicly the Unionist parties and press are cheering this as a victory its really a massive warning shot to them.


In other Scottish politics news the immediate fall out from Ruth's departure as Tory leader is stories being leaked to the press by the Scottish Tories that they need more autonomy from Westminster Tories.
This is understandable- they have built their brand around Ruth's version of conservatism in Scotland, not Boris's version or the other right wingers of the Tory party. And they have seen what happen to Scottish Labour at the ballot box for failing to have a voice in Scotland that spoke for Scotland.

A good deal of judgement can be passed on Boris in his choice here- if he puts a Boris lackey in place and refuses more autonomy- after all the SNP will have fun, 'Tories want Independence from Westminster but don't want Scotland to have it!'- or if he lets Scottish Tories choose their own and gives them more autonomy, it'll say a lot about what sort of leader he will be post Brexit.}}

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Post by Mrs Figg on Fri Aug 30, 2019 2:02 pm

Now the Tories have lost Ruth lets hope they will be wiped out in the next general election, looks like Indy ref2 just got closer. Good luck I hope Scotland gets its freedom from the Tory dictatorship. I reckon if Scotland remains in the EU there is going to be the last few minutes of The Day After Tomorrow over the border. Razz

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Post by malickfan on Fri Aug 30, 2019 2:47 pm

Wish I could get freedom from the Tories dictatorship...IIRC my parliamentary constituency has been held by the Tories (or their predecessors) continuously since 1885 , and looking at wiki its more likely for Petty to start a fan club for the Hobbit films than for us to have a sudden swing to Labour or Liberal Democrats:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fareham_(UK_Parliament_constituency)

Sad  Mad  Extremely Crabbit  Banghead

Why do I even bother voting? Few of my friends do, and demographics don't do us any favours, I can think of at least four retirement homes within a ten minute walk of my house, and I think we had a EDL rally a year or two back in town.

I think Fareham was around 55-58% in favour of Leave in 2016, and judging from the people I know/conversations I've had in the last few years I doubt that has changed much.




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The Thorin: An Unexpected Rewrite December 2012 (I was on the money apparently)
The Tauriel: Desolation of Canon December 2013 (Accurate again!)
The Sod-it! : Battling my Indifference December 2014 (You know what they say, third time's the charm)

Well, that was worth the wait wasn't it  Suspect


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Post by Mrs Figg on Fri Aug 30, 2019 10:32 pm

malickfan wrote:Wish I could get freedom from the Tories dictatorship...IIRC my parliamentary constituency has been held by the Tories (or their predecessors) continuously since 1885 , and looking at wiki its more likely for Petty to start a fan club for the Hobbit films than for us to have a sudden swing to Labour or Liberal Democrats:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fareham_(UK_Parliament_constituency)

Sad  Mad  Extremely Crabbit  Banghead

Why do I even bother voting? Few of my friends do, and demographics don't do us any favours, I can think of at least four retirement homes within a ten minute walk of my house, and I think we had a EDL rally a year or two back in town.

I think Fareham was around 55-58% in favour of Leave in 2016, and judging from the people I know/conversations I've had in the last few years I doubt that has changed much.




Its up to you young people to stop the retired kippers from ruining the country for you. Never stop voting and tell your mates to vote too. If you give up you let them win. Never let them win, its time to fight back. Even small things help, signing petitions to joining marches, anything is better than inertia.

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Post by Bluebottle on Sat Aug 31, 2019 8:25 pm

Pettytyrant101 wrote:{{ Its a beautiful building, particularly on the inside where all the lighting effects come together.
The design is inspired among other things by Scotland's shipbuilding history, if you look carefully you'll notice that the roofing is shaped like boat keels. Definitely worth a visit if your ever in Edinburgh. }}

Does indeed seem worth a visit. Nod

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Post by Bluebottle on Sat Aug 31, 2019 8:25 pm


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Post by Pettytyrant101 on Sat Aug 31, 2019 10:16 pm

{{ I was pretty close then Blue! Very Happy -

'after all the SNP will have fun, 'Tories want Independence from Westminster but don't want Scotland to have it!' - me

'If the Tories are about to demand independence for themselves, while seeking to deny Scotland the same option, they will end up in a very big and confused mess.'- Sturgeon

And was definitely right that the SNP would have fun with the idea. Which is probably why Boris will decide not to let them.
But if he does that he risks tying Scottish Tories back in peoples minds with Westminster Tories- the very thing the Scottish Tory party is trying to avoid as it spells electoral disaster. }}}}}




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