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Corbyn’s victory: A second front opens against the British Establishment

Image courtesy of Rachel MacLean

Image courtesy of Rachel MacLean

The result of the Labour leadership contest is a political earthquake that ranks up there with any in British political history. The tremors will be felt for a long time to come. It opens up a second front in the battle against the neoliberal establishment in Westminster the first front being the independence referendum and the subsequent continuation of a powerful pro-independence bulwark in Scotland that has marginalised Scottish unionists to the periphery.

The second front obviously takes a different form – Corbyn after all is for maintaining the union – but it draws in many of the same characteristics: a popular movement against the political establishment and corporate elites, and their ideological sycophants in the media.

For the progressive independence movement in Scotland, it is important that we work with those across the UK who want to intensify the problems for the Tories. That should mean a renewed anti-austerity movement across the UK combined with an even stronger and more diverse pro-independence movement in Scotland. Put simply: ‘divide the state – unite the movement’.

Arguments against austerity

Austerity has been a supremely powerful weapon in further entrenching elite rule in the UK and in weakening working class organisation. But the Tories are overstretching themselves – and could pay the price for this.

The economic ‘recovery’ is weak and vulnerable, and the means by which the economy has been stabilised – pumping money into ailing banks and re-inflating the housing bubble – makes the UK among the most susceptible to another financial crisis, which is highly possible within this term of the Tory government.

In such circumstances, the economics of austerity could be exposed, and a UK Labour leader willing to challenge it directly, as well as widespread fatigue with cuts – which have now been going on for half a decade – could be a powder-keg.

At the level of UK strategy, it makes sense to build relationships which generate mutual support between pro-independence campaigners and Corbyn supporters. That would bring ‘divide the state – unite the movement’ to life. One place where this could manifest itself on the streets outside the Tory conference in Manchester.

Scotland and Corbyn

It doesn’t matter where you live in the UK. If you hated Blair and support socialist principles then Corbyn and the left of the party taking over is a hugely exciting development. But there will not be a transfer of Corbynism to Scottish Labour, and to understand this you need to understand the relationship between Corbynism and grassroots movements.

Central to Corbyn’s view of the Labour Party is that it should be part of a broader movement. Normally in traditional Labour circles this refers to the unions. But Corbyn has a broader conception of the movement. He is an ardent supporter of the anti-war and pro-Palestine movement and instinctively looks towards campaigning organisations rather than big business as sources of political pressure. He is very much a product of the movement. His campaign rallies could have been Stop the War meetings or People’s Assembly forums. In England, partly as a result of the antiquated voting system, much of the left had been waiting for this moment. Too difficult to build a new party to challenge for government from the Left, the only hope is for a socialist to lead the Labour Party. That is one reason why Corbyn has a chance at turning Labour into a social movement in England. The base exists, and is prepared to mobilise. Just look at the over two hundred thousand who voted for him.

But in Scotland the situation is the opposite of this. Here Labour are in ruins – they have no credibility with grassroots movements whatsoever, standing utterly opposed to the biggest one in Scotland’s history – the Yes movement. They have split generationally with a massive section of their base and cannot win it back. The national question runs deep into every issue in Scottish politics. It is the reference point for all political discussion and it is fused into a stabilised mass movement determined to have and win another referendum.

The point is this: the left wing politics of Corbyn and the social movement organisation that embodies Corbynism are unable to be realised by the Scottish Labour Party.

It is likely that the situation will worsen further for Labour in Scotland. They are set to lose MSPs left right and centre.

But many people in Scotland are inspired by Corbyn’s authenticity in standing for solid socialist principles and his complete opposition to austerity. He has a systematically anti-establishment world view – opposed to the monarchy and Nato – and socialist outlook – for taxing the rich and democratic public ownership – that the SNP could not claim to stand for.

For the radical left in Scotland to be viable it needs to shed the out-dated elements of British unionism that Corbyn still believes in. It was a big mistake for Corbyn to come to Scotland and not just say that he was opposed to independence, but state that there wouldn’t be another referendum if he was Prime Minister – it sounded like more of the same from UK political leader’s, not ‘a new kind of politics’. Corbyn should know that the people of Scotland will decide if there’s another referendum, not him or any other UK politician.

And the pro-independence left must rapidly develop a distinctive voice – something that combines the best of Corbynism and the independence movement and that coherently shows that the SNP alone is not the only section of the independence movement. Diversity, radicalism and dynamism is needed to ensure that a coalition of forces advocating independence and socialist policies emerges in the next Scottish Parliament.

For everyone on the radical left, politics in the UK today is an exciting but hugely complex time. Guiding principles are needed to carve a path through: standing with those in England who want to fight the British establishment and have expressed this through the Corbyn movement, while maintaining and strengthening the first front of the independence movement is one way of mobilising he resources of the left in general to maximum effect in the immediate battle with the Tory government and in the strategic importance of winning Independence. Make no mistake – the radical left is going to be central in the years to come.


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  1. Dougie Blackwood says:

    Do you really see the Tory establishment allowing Corbyn anywhere near Downing Street?

    Did you watch the “News” tonight? it was a first step in a character assassination program that will run and run. I saw two versions, both introduced by “Veteren Left Winger Corbyn” that included several renditions of “The Red Flag”, pictures of Che Guevara, a reference to “Comrade Corbyn” an interview with Ken Livingstone, a reference to Arthur Scargill numerous touchstone throwbacks to a period that was characterised, but not called as “the Winter Of Discontent”.

    Make no mistake; Corbyn will never be elected as Prime Minister while the mainstream Media has another frightener to throw at him and the voters. Tell me I’m wrong and say why.

    1. Alistair Livingston says:

      I think why you are wrong is in this part of Jonathon’s post :

      The economic ‘recovery’ is weak and vulnerable, and the means by which the economy has been stabilised – pumping money into ailing banks and re-inflating the housing bubble – makes the UK among the most susceptible to another financial crisis, which is highly possible within this term of the Tory government.
      In such circumstances, the economics of austerity could be exposed, and a UK Labour leader willing to challenge it directly, as well as widespread fatigue with cuts – which have now been going on for half a decade – could be a powder-keg.

      Corbyn’s election represents a shift in what John Prescott once called ‘the tectonic plates’. From a Scottish perspective in may seem like a minor earthquake but it has galvanised my English radical friends in a way I have never seen before. For the past 35 years they have felt crushed by the apparent inevitability of Margaret Thatcher’s ‘There is no alternative’. Now there is one and they are on fire with the belief that another England is possible.

      1. Dougie Blackwood says:

        I would like to believe you are right in the tectonic plates stuff but if there is another crash, which I believe to be highly likely, the MIGRANTS will get the blame. They will be portrayed as coming here and stealing all our jobs, health, social housing and costing us too much in upkeep.

        There is always another target for blame, never those that get us into the mire in the first place.

    2. Valerie says:

      You’re not wrong! It will be entertainment in the meantime, as to whether it’s the media/establishment putting the boot in, or his own party. Within 10 mins of his election, the tickertape at the bottom of the news coverage announced Jamie’s Reeds resignation as a shadow health minister. They couldn’t leave it for the Sunday papers, eh?
      I feel a bit sorry for those south of the Border that may be buoyed up with something akin to hope, but they haven’t seen what we’ve seen from Labour – yet.

    3. Justin Kenrick says:

      Never say never. We’ll see if you’re wrong and see why. Of course he will have everything the establishment can throw, thrown against him; but we’ll also see whether the public change the narrative just as they have done over the refugees.

      Corbyn’s sutuation reminds me of the story of Churchill before the war – a derided lone voice marginalised by his own party, but who (unlike the others) had a consistent voice of warning over Hitler. Come the time . . . We’ll see

    4. Alan says:

      As Nicola was quick to point out he’s leading what is likely to be a “deeply and bitterly divided Labour party”. If this is a second front against the “neoliberal establishment” it seems likely to be a highly ineffective one.

      Socialism has no answer for neoliberalism because, as Foucault pointed out many years ago, it lacks a governmental rationality to implement its utopian ideals.

      1. Frank says:

        Actually, Foucault’s thinking on socialism was problematic; his reference to socialism and governmentality was made with a specific context in mind; the French General Election of the early 1980s, and I think he made the point about ‘governmentality’ in relation to the ‘Socialist Party’ in France, compared to say socialism in general, although you are right in pointing out that he was critical of utopias.

        1. Alan says:

          I would have to look it up but the discussion of socialism I had in mind appears in The Birth of Biopolitics. I believe it is in Chaper 4, around page 91 and involves a much broader discussion than French socialism. He specifically refers to Western European socialism and Eastern European / Soviet style socialism e.g. socialism under Schmidt versus Honecker.

          1. Frank says:

            You are right Alan he does talk about Communism, but his writings on governmentality and socialism were patchy, and not very well developed, obviously, due to the fact that these were lectures notes published after his death. But his lectures on neoliberalism are all the more fascinating given the fact that he was writing in 1978. I sometimes get the impression that Foucault’s moral position on neoliberalism was deliberately ambivalent.

          2. Alan says:

            I agree a lot of the ideas in the lectures are somewhat underdeveloped, which is what one would expect, but he often frames things in ways that are refreshing and lead down all sorts of interesting paths. There have been some discussions recently on his position in relationship to neoliberalism. I think the most intelligent commentary I have read on these is Colin Gordon’s (PDF). I myself read Foucault as taking the position that there is always some sort of structuring practices that create possibilities and impossibilities. There isn’t a utopia, a pure world of freedom to which one can escape. There is always power and resistance and resistance in turn folds into new practices and new orders. It seems to be very unlikely a return to socialism, what we know as socialism from the past, will be what replaces the various things, often themselves evolving, that are given the label ‘neoliberalism’. Something new will emerge from the contradictions. It may not be better. We should worry greatly about corporations and governments tagging, collecting and processing massive amounts of population data (Foucault describes the genesis of this in the first lectures of Security, Territory, Population). Orwell only had an inkling of what would be possible. PKD’s darkest , drug-fueled, paranoid imaginings may be more prescient.

    5. Broadbield says:

      I think you’re right Dougie: the people who rule England aren’t the political parties, they are the Establishment, the money men, the City bankers and financiers, the press barons, the old and new aristocracy, the products of public schools, the lawyers, judiciary, monarchists, the BofE, the right-wing think tanks, the foreign billionaires buying up London and an assortment of hangers-on who’ve never had it so good and aren’t going to give up everything they’ve won stuffing the poor and driving down workers’ rights and wages for the past 40 years.

      And the worst thing is, they’ve persuaded a huge majority of the 99% that they are right.

      1. Robert S says:

        We`ll see.
        There is a lot going on beyond the UK right now with a lot of instability in the global financial markets.
        There seem to be more than a few people who know what they`re talking about who are predicting an immenent stock market crash in the USA even worse than what we`ve seen in living memory. worse even than 1929.
        If that happens then you can imagine that we`ll also be hit here, a lot of the money types will be loosing their shirts and the great Tory `recovery` will be exposed for the lie it always was.

  2. Justin Kenrick says:

    ‘Divide the state – unite the movement’

    An excellent and simple compass to orientate by as we navigate the postcapitalist territory.

    The cynicism of those who accused the Yes movement of not caring about those beyond Scotland’s borders, and the cynicism of those who want the movement that backed Corbyn to fail, are both a product of the hopelessness generated by the media they deride.

    But we have far greater hope than that media bargained for. Not because we have faith in leaders, but because we can see the desperate state the world is in for so many people, we are inspired by those we see daring to take action, and we see no choice but to stand up and be counted. And standing up we find we are no longer alone. And whatever the outcome, how good it is to be alive again, to dare to care rather than succumb to a hopelessness that is – in the end – all that protects the powerful from us restoring our world.

    1. Matt Seattle says:

      Best reply in the Comments section imo. SNP is itself a ‘broad church’, there are right-wing as well as left-wing Independentistas, as there are right-wing as well as left-wing Labourites.

      From what I can have seen J Corbyn does not ‘get’ Scotland, but from what I have seen of him on other matters he should be able to learn to, and to take the hand of friendship so graciously offered by Mhairi Black and join with SNP against the Tories.

      I know Labour in Scotland still have historic support, but ideologically they are deid dugs, thanks in no small part to a certain “adviser”. I wonder who was *actually* pulling those strings?

    2. James Dow A voice from the diaspora says:

      Scots have no obligation of care in regards to England, considering the abuse and misuse Scotland has endure from England for nigh on a thousand years.

      1. Jezmerga says:

        England was a republic until it had yet another Stuart absolutist forced upon it. But enjoy your perceived victimhood. Do anything for Scotland except live there eh boyo?

  3. deewal says:

    Can’t we just concentrate on Scotland and Independence ?

    *ugger Westminster and Tory’s fight with Labour. Independence is about as Radical as it get’s.

    We have our hands full just attaining that.

  4. Will says:

    The camera panned in on Kezia Dugdales face just after Jeremy Corbyn was announced as the new leader and the look on here face was like she had lost a £10 note very sourpuss indeed. I dont want to intrude on private grief but here is how it goes, the Labour Party is split in two and there will be infighting from the off between the two sides which are the Blairites and the Corbynites. As for the Scottish Labour Section as it is referred to on Wikipedia well Kezia Dugdale will side with the Blairites and the Corbynites will be dissapointed as they will find that Alex Rowley can’t make a decision and stick to it so he will sit on the fence and remain neutral. Meanwhile the SNP will establish themselves as the main opposition fighting the Tories and in doing so will garner even more support for what is the inevitable outcome an Independent Scotland. SNP is the best for me.

    1. JBS says:

      Me too. Come next May I’ll be voting SNP twice – constituency and list.

  5. Darby O'Gill says:

    Interesting to see how democracy works in the Labour Party. Corbyn wins an overwhelming victory on a left-wing agenda, and seven Shadow Cabinet Ministers resign in protest against their members clearly-expressed views. Presumably they will now be resigning from the Labour Party.

    1. Thomas Cosgrove says:

      Never have so many ill-gotten toys been thrown out of so few high end prams.
      Expect the Labour Party to gradually waken up to itself and for hard line Blairites to be marginalized as the realisation of the orientation of the butter on the bread dawns.

  6. ed says:

    wrong time wrong outlook, Keir Hardy is gone, politicis have moved on, corbyn is a good and princpled man but it has always held true that you dont fight a war on the last war’s tactics.
    clenched fist behind Corbyn on the BBC news coverage, gives totaly the wrong mesage.

  7. Kenzie says:

    Not only poor Kezia had a face that seemed to say she had found a tanner after losing a shilling. But you have to admire the monumental effort of Andy Burnham in fighting back the tears. You also had to admire the other “colleagues” who, in congratulating Corbyn showed that individually and severally, thay have mair faces than the toon hall clock.

    1. 1314 says:

      It’s ‘jointly and severally’. I take it you’re not a lawyer – this does not make you a bad person.

    2. Iain says:

      Why do the words Andy Burnham and unprincipled shit seem to hang so well together?

  8. Jim Monaghan says:

    Excellent piece. What Corbyn can do is give the wider movement a voice in the halls of Westminster. Scottish Labour can’t do that as they only have one seat. This is a boost to the left in Scottish Labour, as was the Findlay campaign. But it is a much longer road back for them and they might not have much left in terms of political representation after the 2016 holyrood elections and 2017 council elections.

  9. kailyard rules says:

    FFS. There is no Scottish Labour Party. A pedantic point you say? Let’s just call it what it is. The Labour Party in Scotland.

  10. JBS says:

    My own view is that anyone who genuinely believes that unionism has been crushed in Scotland – that there is not still considerable support for the Labour Party in Scotland – is a fool.

    I reckon, though, that most supporters of Scottish independence are not fools…

  11. Jean says:

    I’m assuming that most of the contributors one here are young people with fire in the bellies……does my heart good. After so long in the wilderness it is wonderful to see the young with soething to fight for. Alright we have to try to persuade the Corbynits that Scotish Independence is the way to go, a bit of a job I know but at least we are dealing wth reasonable people who can see the perspective we are coming from. The fight for the true left has begun in earnest. Jimmy Reed…….god it hurts, I remember this mountian of a man back in the day when he had a pair, before he hadn’t sold out, it still hurts.

    1. kailyard rules says:

      I’m assuming you are referring to the late and great Jimmy Reid.? Jimmy “I did not leave the Labour Party the Labour Party left me” Reid. Sold out to who or whom exactly? You denigrate the man.

      1. Jean says:

        Sorry, sorry, sorry…….yes of course I did meant thee Jimmy Reid…….I’ve been away for some time now and was not aware that he had passed…….mai culpa, mai culpa, mai mamima culpa……(spelling, was never great at Latin).

    2. John Mooney says:

      Jean, are you seriously stating that Jimmy Reid “SOLD OUT”? Dear God what bloody planet are you on!The man had more integrity in his big toe than many of the so called “Socialist”on these forums profess to have,as for Corbyn good luck to him but alas his comments with regard to Scottish independence is a momentous mistake on his part,but I do wish him well in England as the vitriol and backstabbing has begun with a vengeance amongst his own party1

      1. Jean says:

        Please see above badly spelt but heart felt statement of contrition. As for the rest of you comment about Corbyn I agree whole heartily.

  12. Lochside says:

    Does anyone believe that Kezia is not capable of turning her coat again and donning a ‘radical’ one which pretends to out flank the SNP? ….ably assisted by the BBC in Scotland…..they did it for years before the ‘wipeout’..postering and lying…apparently at odds with HQ. won’t they just try the same tactic under Corbyn?

    Let’s face it they have no scruples,policies or principles anyway! We must get the message over that Corbyn is just more of the same old Unionist Anglo Saxon domination of our country and its destiny.

    1. Alex Beveridge says:

      Absolutely Lochside. Out on the street in about an hour. Let’s see if we get asked about it on the doorsteps.

    2. Jezmerga says:

      The south of Scotland, the bit where everyone bloody lives, has always been Anglo-Saxon peasantry ruled by an Anglo-Norman-dash-of-Gaelic aristocracy. The major Celtic heritage in the West of Scotland comes from Ireland in the 19th century, but no more than Manchester or Liverpool.

      Lothian rule is Anglo Saxon rule.

  13. Alasdair McTaggart says:

    Corbyn is the same man today as he was six months ago. He succeeded frankly because of the poverty of talent in the labour party and that he had a simple message that he stuck to. His opponents were career focused and focus group manufactured, with no charisma or leadership capability – three utterly useless stooges.

    Already there are plots to remove Corbyn, some colleagues won’t work with him others who stabbed him in the back (dugdale in the guardian), are now hailing their saviour with gritted teeth.

    Now the press will start, this will not be pretty and it will be personal.

    Can the SNP work with Corbyn, I sincerely hope so, he will need sideline those in his party whose strategy is to oppose the SNP on everything.

    As for Scotland, Corbyn is a unionist and therefore seeks to see trident, inequality and poverty persist in Scotland as that is the price to maintain union. He will not win back votes labour lost to the tories and will never be elected to PM. He does not have the support of his parliamentary party, they will seek to undermine him. What evidence do I have for this? What have they and the labour establishment figures been doing for the past four months! Why would Scots gamble on labour when their leader will never become PM, he is past retirement age and at the fag end of a patchy career of endless opposition?

  14. Go for it says:

    One premiership of Corbyn will not stop the Tories come back with a vengeance in future. I think we need to think long term when it comes to Scotland’s future.

  15. Penny says:

    Corbyn’s election gives the Tories a motive to inflict further misery on the poor and Scotland : a divided opposition. It may cause Osborne to ‘over-reach’ –how exactly is not clear but Barnet comes to mind. If, however, the Blairites show their true opportunist colours, they will not divide the party but use it as a vehicle for exit to the neo-liberal civil-sphere including (but not limited to) advocating for arms merchants, advocating for peace, advocating for …whatever pays, you get the drift. So I do not expect a split. That could create an opening for the opportunists to ‘betray’ for pay–that is join w the Tories in return for promised posts in the Lords or civil-sphere opportunities.
    It is a dangerous time for the poor, that is all I can get from these runes.

  16. David MacGille-Mhuire says:

    In the fandango of ju-ju bones and flaccid muscle of this commentary, my eye eye caught something about the – and I paraphrase – the “complexity” of direct democratic action (again – perhaps – inaccurately grasped).

    Am curious, and have been recently more so inquisitive about the editorial line your publication is taking.

    Have you ditched Mike Small in favor of Kevin Williamson as editor-in-chief?

    I was going to say “No problem”, but, am afraid, I have to say “Get a grip. troops” and get yourselves back into a movement of grass-roots action bound to the constitutional and bread and butter concerns of the citizens of Scotland leading to a re-molding of Europe and world democracy, too.

    Or, to quickly sum up. have you become a Trotskyite/faux anarchist simulacrum?

    I trust and hope not.

    It has suddenly struck me that I asked this almost same question prior to the Referendum when I also indicated that I was a Workers Party of Scotland member and still am and still wish for genuine, non-sectarian resolution to this appalling imperialist situation which has enveloped us since the foisted Treaty (pace MacLean, Lygate, Christie et al).

    Thoughts genuine?


  17. john young says:

    Reading Owen Jones,s book “The Establishment” captures it all for me,it should be introduced in the school curriculum along with “proper”history of Scotland,we are not educated to a level of understanding/questioning of the state we accepted what our parents and schools taught us and they were blissful in their ignorance,not only does Corbyn have a mountain to climb so have we,oh so many of our kin up here have swallowed the Unionist mantra hook line sinker,has anyone ever tried to discuss factual matters with them,it fries your brain to think that they are so fcuking blind.

  18. John says:

    Corbyn may have grass roots support but very few Labour MPs back him. We will see how many of his MPs vote with him, but if his own deputy won’t back him on removal of Trident it doesn’t look promising. I think he will have to compromise and that will be his and Labour’s downfall.

    1. bringiton says:

      When you aspire to be the government of the British state,there is a certain amount of baggage that comes with it.
      That will,of course,include the concept of the indivisibility of that state not to mention the indefatigability of the head of state.
      Rule Britannia.

  19. Mikeyboy says:

    Sometime soon interest rates will have to go up. once that happens the house of cards that is the English housing market will implode. Rising house prices are the only thing that most English folk look at regarding the economy.

    Osbourne introduced the first time buyers thing a few months before the GE to keep the housing market afloat and it worked, they scraped in. Once house prices start to fall hundreds of thousands if not millions of English property owners will go into negative equity and/or become unable to afford the increased mortgage payments.

    Due to the fragility of the UK economy the fall in house prices will have a domino effect on the rest of the economy and the sh*t will really hit the fan. God only knows what will happen but business as usual it will definitely not be.

    1. HerewardAwake! says:

      House of cards is quite right, Mikeyboy, the whole rotten edifice of right-wing greed and selfishness is teetering over an abyss of chaos and disaster. Sadly, we’ll probably all be sucked into this midden whilst the rich and powerful bail out to their offshore deposits and tax-free islands. But in the meantime good luck to Jeremy Corbyn, he’s certainly got them rattled.

  20. Will says:

    Let’s see how Muesli Muncher stands up against Ham Head at the next PMQs, anyway I couldn’t care less about these two I always look forward to the ever reliable and polished questions from Angus Robertson SNP a top man doing a grand job.
    SNP is best for me.

  21. Peter A Bell says:

    The idea of a “second front” challenging neoliberal orthodoxy is certainly appealing. But the idea that Jeremy Corbyn might represent such a movement is, perhaps, a triumph of passion over pragmatism. And the idea that “Corbymania” in any way mirrors the Yes movement is Scotland is, frankly, quite ludicrous.

    In order to qualify as a force which might challenge the British establishment Corby’s clique would require effective power. It has none. Or, at least, very little. It would be a mistake to imagine that a democratic mandate means anything much in the context of the British political system. Corbyn represents a small faction. He will be marginalised and sidelined and by-passed by a British Labour Party which is as much a part of the British establishment as the Tories. The old guard will have no hesitation whatever in colluding with their Tory partners to make life as difficult as possible for Corbyn and anybody who sides with him.

    Superficially, the Corbyn thing may appear to have some of the characteristics of the Yes campaign. But look beyond the hype and what you see is something distinctly less impressive. The Corbyn thing (I am reluctant to call it a “movement”) is tiny and weak. The Yes campaign mobilised or motivated close to half the population of Scotland. Jeremy Corbyn won the backing of a few thousand. Yes supporters poured massive resources into the Yes campaign. Corbyn supporters paid three quid to join his fan club.

    But the main distinction between the Corbyn thing and the Yes campaign is that the latter has a unifying core purpose which the former lacks. The Yes campaign united diverse strands of political opinion around the common aim of bringing Scotland’s government home. Those who gave their support to Corbyn and who clamour around him now have no such clear, coherent shared objective. At best, they cling to a vague hope of non-specific change.

    I’m sure the SNP group at Westminster will make the most of any support it can get from Corbyn’s lot as they seek to oppose Tory policies. But the notion that Corbyn’s elevation might signal the rise of some political alternative to the SNP is utter nonsense. The SNP remains the political agency of the independence movement in Scotland and the only party with the potential to deliver independence. A vote for British Labour still means a vote for the union. And a vote for the union means a vote for the structures of power, privilege and patronage which define the British state.

  22. Morven McMath says:

    Second front?

    How can this be when he has appointed Lord Faulkner to his shadow cabinet.

    So much for a new broom, etc.

    What next, appoint Lord Darling, Lord Watson or Lord Foukes to head up a review of the constitution?

    Under Corbyn it would appear that the more things change, the more the stay the same!

    The rebel with a cause has become a rebel without a cause!

  23. Peter Clive says:

    The encirclement of the establishment is possible …


  24. Darby O'Gill says:

    Morven McMath, remember the old saying ‘ Keep your friends close and your enemies closer.’ Besides, its just possible that Lord Faulkner and Andy Burnham would like to come back from the dark side and should be given the chance.

  25. douglas clark says:

    its just possible that Lord Faulkner and Andy Burnham would like to come back from the dark side and should be given the chance.

    No, not at all.

    1. Darby O'Gill says:

      How do you know more than Jeremy Corbyn?

  26. Morven McMath says:

    Evidently silence met Corbyn when he met with the labour party in Westminster this evening and hit a downward trajectory when he said he did not know what would happen at the cenotaph on 11/11.

    Mutterings are that his Westminster colleagues will get rid within 18 months.

    Anyone heard from Tony or Gordon?

  27. c rober says:

    Unless he removes Labour support , ie the party monicker from those already returned to parliament in the GE from his opposers , then he will always have be watching over his back , not exactly something conducicive as the dyed in the wool Blairites will simply say nothing and bide their time for the night of the long knives.

    I will reserve my Judgement on him until there is mainstream answers from him on the Future of Hollyrood and Scottish independence , I do think for England though he is the asnwer.

    But for Scotland FFA is enough for me , if he backs it my quid is in the post for membership , where a union is indeed a union and is an equal partnership . The middle ground that could lead to an almost independence , well its just enough to keep a union , or should that be redress it to fairness , and was if one remembers correctly one of the reasons why Blair came to power , ie promising Hollyrood to the Scots Labour voter.

    But as long as any true decision making power in Scotland remains reserved by Westminster , therefore Corbyn supporting it , then still no red card in my wallet.

    The SNP should now be asking to meet and Greet with him on this asap , before aiding them in Westminster , after all the voter did remove all but one Labour Mp in Scotland for a reason .

    If Corbyn is fool enough to ignore that Slab has , like Labour in England lost its core , then rather than hope to return any sort of power in Scotland , then SLAB is still doomed and ELAB should amputate at the knee before another version rises to replace it – rather than to continue and control the wan thats left and simply hope for more returned in 2020.

    Through running against the Socialist veneer that is the SNP , an on paper socialism , he therefore has to adopt the enemy values , and lets face it the SNP is more than an enemy to the Labour Party in Scotland than any other party , but perhaps less of an enemy than those within his own party , and remember that the ultimate driving core for the SNP voter is Indy , thus the only lesser option is for him to offer FFA as the Party mandate to return any sort of Labour candidates in Scotland….both at Hollyrood or importantly for him Westminster , at least for the short term.

    Surely he cant fail to notice that Labour policy during indy killed the Party in Scoland , if he hasnt then he is less of a politician than the voter is giving him credit for. But where was his thoughts then ?

    Silence is not an option. Its up to the SNP to out him asap.

  28. Gordon Adam says:

    You could call this a second front, but I’d prefer to call it the same front.

    This is where I find there’s a bit of a divide in people I speak to. For some people, the independence campaign was purely about independence – they wanted Scotland to be a separate country full stop (whether it’s a fairer country, a more prosperous country, a better country or anything else was a side issue to be worked out later after the battle was won). For others the independence campaign wasn’t so much about independence as it was about the politics of the left (whatever flag we live under is the side issue, what matters is that our society is fairer and we end inequality).

    A lot of those in the second camp like myself voted Yes because it chimed with our long-standing commitment to left-wing politics, not because of Scottish identity or any love of Scottish nationalism. I voted Yes because I saw it as the most realistic route to the kind of society I want to live in from the two options put on the ballot paper. Now that we have one of the two major parties in the UK seemingly committed to genuine left-wing policies it alters the calculation for me.

    I’ve always seen the SNP as a necessary evil to be discarded at the point of independence and replaced with something that looks a bit like Jeremy Corbyn, so I’m still not 100% sure why I’d need them if Corbyn could enter government in Westminster. Corbyn winning in 2020 wouldn’t just change politics in Scotland, it could completely rewrite politics across Europe – one of the major European countries led by a left-wing government committed to ending austerity and promoting pacifism on the global stage. It might not happen, but if there’s even a chance he could win that election then he has my backing.

    What we’re going to see now though is a great deal of activity from those in the first camp of Yes voters telling us why we should reject Corbyn (or merely tolerate him at arm’s length in a “Scottish Green Party” kind of way) and maintain the focus on independence. Of course we’re also going to see that for the simple reason that the SNP and Labour can never be allies in the long-term – and the SNP have a large body of passionate supporters who are motivated by their party’s interests as much as anything else. The two parties are directly competing for seats/power in Scotland and I can certainly see a point at which each camp will have to pick their side (whether they still support independence or not).

    1. C Rober says:

      Same thinking as myself.

      I wonder just how many that were/are pro indy have changed towards FFA ala devo max?

      After all the option for indy is another union , but with even bigger players that have used that union to prosper , ie the EU and Germany/France , whom have prospered at the expense of the Southern European Countries – through buying up for a song the manufacturing and utility base within their “partners” borders , and of course stealthy “freedom of movement” taxes like tolls for their partners exports that have to travel through them to market.

      For me , a long term Red CLyde labour man , has seen no real labour option since the early 90s , I was educated quite a few decades back by a SNP councillor on politics , and another whom was Irish Republican on modern studies , they were more socialist in the early 80s than even todays Socialist National Party ….

      The likes of Jimmy Reid I just dont see in Corbyn , or even the truthful version of Dewars dream not the one verbosed by those Labour Mps now replaced in Westminster – on order of Milliband.

      There is a lot of squeaky bums in labour today , and a few union reps and councillors ready to replace Corbyns internal enemy…. it is sad that in MAY some old gaurd Labour in Scotland lost their jobs in Westminster …. I am sure Corbyn will know them personally and expedidite their relocation if needed.

      If a day is a long time in politics , then a year must be an eon.

  29. Frank says:

    Rather than the opening up of a second front, Corbyn’s win, is good news for the union, and if we are to think in these terms, unionism. I can remember the left of the SNP and the yes campaign saying throughout the referendum that the best way to defend ‘labour values’ was to vote yes. Now we have a Labour leader who truly believes in these values. This is a game changer. I am becoming more convinced that the future of the British state is to be found in federalism, as opposed to the nationalist versus unionist narrative.

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