2007 - 2022

Labour – a shambolic, incoherent and chaotic mess

CS4LQhiW4AIDzpjDebating the next genertaion of nuclear weapons is causing a headache for Kezia Dugdale’s ‘revived’ Scottish Labour Party. Two wonderfully unhinged posts by Labour “big guns” merit mention in this morning’s dispatches. First up Jamie Ross points us to Tom Harris, erstwhile mastermind of Scottish labour’s ‘social media strategy’ who is delving deep into his fury-chest to bring us this spectacular Facebook meltdown (pictured right). “Anti West Fury Chimps” – presumably these are related to “Cheese-Eating Surrender Monkeys”?

At Holyrood today SLabour will of course face the first major test of its new policy against Trident renewal with one of its most senior MSPs in open revolt and the party facing accusations that it is in a “shambolic, incoherent and chaotic mess.”

In developments that are an advance on the previous ‘deliberately vague’ policy platform – Labour are now entering new phase of spectacular incoherence.

‘Take a Fresh Look’ appears to be in meltdown as one of the parties senior front-bench figures explains that “the vote in Scotland doesn’t matter”. Of course we knew that after Angela Eagle told BBC Radio 4’s World at One yesterday: “This does not change UK Labour party policy. Defence is not a devolved matter so Labour party policy on this must be set at a national level.”

CS35OgLWIAAKyPHJackie Baillie – the Dumbarton MSP and spokeswoman on public services and wealth creation, confirmed that she would be voting against the Labour position. Baillie’s position seems predicated on protecting jobs rather than some masterful geopolitical analysis of how WMD work or have value in a military sense, or indeed are morally defensible. £167 billion and rising is a very expensive YOP scheme, but the wider problems of incoherence are clear.

The Scottish Labour vote, by a big big majority is a funny thing. It makes you wonder what the 70% of members were doing for the last few years. Were they bitterly defending a policy they secretly found morally repugnant? If so, what else are they just going long with for short-term political gain now?

In a sense of course Baillie is right. A devolved Scottish party can’t really have autonomy on matters that are retained to Westminster. But all this does is expose the shambolic nature of Scottish Labour’s constitutional impotence and the harsh reality that Jackie’s omnicidal job creation wheeze props ups few hundred jobs at the expense of our national security,  and renders Scotland a convenient pawn in Britain’s vainglorious search for meaning in the 21s Century.


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  1. Clive Scott says:

    If Jackie Baillie is the answer we’re doomed, doomed I say.

  2. Lawrie says:

    I wondered about the costs of UK defence spending, the foreign war and costs of Trident replacement. These things have a cost in Billions, 167 Billion in the case of Trident. But is that the real monetary and economic cost? There must be a larger cost associated with the decision to spend on these things, clear direct costs in the case of Iraq war since we have all kinds of regional instability, migrations and refugees that follow from this, + also in Trident replacement, which must have clean up and future security costs. In addition to this what is the fate of the pound spent on Trident compared to the pound spent on something else in the economy? the pound spent on e.g. R and D, or industry, or on Education brings a return, which then can be re invested, or leads to more wealth. The pound spent on defence i suspect probably stops there and does not. The pound spent on making e.g. tidal turbines brings a return – cheaper energy/helps the economy – the pound spent on a missile does not. On one side there is a positive multiplier, and on the other a negative multiplier? Long term the effects must be severe, compared to economies that have saner levels of defence spending.

  3. john young says:

    Read a report on one of the alternative news outlets that the cost in monetary terms of the Iraqi/Afghanistan invasions was circa £37.5billion.

  4. baronesssamedi says:

    The 70% are either trying to beat the SNP at their own game or they’re Yes voters at heart

  5. bill fraser says:

    If Labor are truly anti nuclear/Tridant they must come out pf their shells and show the Scottish people their intent..a bit clearer and more often.

  6. David MacGille-Mhuire says:

    JaBa leading – or signalling – an ultra-Blairite coup in the “Jockistan” BritLab accounting unit in a do-or-die bid to retain their infiltrator hegemony and imperialist agenda?

    Or, is she simply in a huff because her faction got their bahookies well skelped by rank-and-file, Jock “insurrectionists” in the northern Bantustan propaganda branch organ – quiescent – she has amply sat upon for so long?

    Maybe, given the arch-opportunist she is, a bit of both and some sleekit more.

    Whatever and on the back of the “Preth” shambles plus the spelling afflicted video topping the wall of silence Ms Dugdale faced on live TV (and all the rest of the meltdown), looks like they are terminally fcuked in “Scotchland”.

    Scotched, in effect.

  7. Monty says:

    Far from representing a meltdown I think Tom Harris’s remarks are if anything understated.

  8. Drew Campbell says:

    The arguments against spending (at least) £6 billion a year on our “independent nuclear deterrent” are very well rehearsed here and elsewhere so we’ll take those as read. The only point of interest is whether we’re seeing a manifestation of a genuine shift in Labour Party politics.

    As far as I can tell there’s no momentum behind Corbyn. Perhaps I’m underestimating the guy – as did all his leadership opponents – but however sound his basic principles he seems singularly unable to articulate any kind socialist vision for a 21st century country. Nothing about radical reform of our democracy or a fairer, more imaginative taxation for the elusive mutlinationals, nothing about revitalising and rebalancing the economy away from financial services to reflect modern life, nothing about how we actually achieve a greener, saner society. Getting rid of Trident is a completely winnable argument and key to building both a new left consensus and his own credibility. That means, of course, there are formidable forces mounted against it so a half-hearted passing of a motion at a sparsely attended, depressed conference of Labour in Scotland isn’t going to inspire anyone.

    Jackie Baillie, Kezia Dugdale et al appear to be biding their time for the day their leader is removed. Sad to say Corbyn has waited his entire political life to be in such a position of influence and it looks like he doesn’t know what to do with it.

  9. gavin says:

    Ask yourself–what motivates Scottish Labour these days?
    They have got the fright of their lives at the ballot box, but are split between left, right and centre.
    There is little common ground on ideology. So they find it difficult to ALL say “we favour more Home Rule”, or “we are against WMD’s” —–because they ALL don’t.
    But some are willing to appear pro this, or anti that, if it wins them votes.
    Anti Trident looked a no-brainer at first because they could posture all they wanted, but the Big Boys would make the final decision. And no, Baillie is not one of them.
    Gardham, in the Herald, stupidly thinks Scottish Labour are now “exciting”, because they have actual debates about issues they have no control, and want no control, over. But the public is watching this shambles and are bound to be, not impressed.

  10. Douglas Robertson says:

    Can it really be the case that securing the nuke jobs at Faslane is at a cost of £14m per job? What other jobs could we be creating at that price?

    1. Wul says:

      Maybe we could fix the recurring landslides on the A83 “Rest & Be Thankful” road. Pay the road workers, say £0.5m/yr each. Seems cheap.

  11. John Edgar says:

    Labour in Scotland are after the May election Janus-like in action at one and the same time. Looking back to the cosy subservient role within the Union and peering forward trying to create an autonomous party with a Scottish focus. The trouble is that they are trapped in the glaur of inconsistency. Dugdale does not want total autonomy, simply “more”, a wee bit more autonomy, whatever that is. So Scotlab lurch from one vain attempt to show that they are Scottish hoping to lull the electorate north of the Tweed into believing they have changed. Yet, their “know better together” southern branch keep slapping them down publicly in the unionist msm. It makes one cringe. What was formerly covert is now open and well documented. There is only one avenue left for the northern branch members. Go independent in an indepenent Scotland. Say aye, not naw!

  12. C Rober says:

    Keir Hardie , how they love to bring his name out , reminding the northern branch voters that without him there would have been no Labour party as such , yet somehow forget his thoughts on “home rule”.

    Donald Dewar , whom those his friends stabbed his cadaver in his back standing in front of his statue , possibly to harness the eco energy of his grave turning as some form of turbine , also privately wanted at the very least home rule , FFA and of course independence.

    Brown , we know where his bread is buttered , but not where his pieces of silver are.

    Darling , always the Englishman , happy to take income from those wishing to privatise the NHS , yet said it would only be safe in the Union.

    Jim Murphy , puppet to the masters , sheep in headlights.

    Johann Lamont , best thing she ever did for the people of Scotland was to state that the party was ruled by the English office. But definately one of the last real labour folk in Scotland.

    So where does that leave us , with Kez?

    You know when you are in school and the teacher has a pet , well thats her , all too eager to repeat verbatim what the teacher says , not actually understanding the text , as has been proven many times when corrected and she just keeps on repeating.

    Slab is dead , unless Corbyn starts the cull asap , and of course that it then becomes what Hardie set out for …. a party for the workers and self rule. Ironically in this way closes some of the doors to the Ukip vote in England through promising them the same.

    Trident , cant get my head around that unions will back trident , for its members , or not back it against its members , but when you consider that the 800 jobs are being tax payer funded , then just what could that money be better spent on.

    I have no simpathy for those workers , having seen what happened to the mass employment of Steel , Coal and Shipyards dissapear , especially when those jobs are filled with incomers….there I said it , incomers , floodgates opened for terrorist supporting nationalistic facist accusations.

    As for Ms Baillie , her jotters are ready , the electorate wants another in her place , a Scottish Labour candidate….that is at least the view of those I have spoken too in her constituency. No surpise that she is the MSP for the area with Trident then.

  13. willie says:

    A rabble might be a succinct description of the dying Labour Party.

    And with many of the Westminster Labour MPs ready to walk over to the Tories its crystal clear that Labour are finished.

  14. Alf Baird says:

    You can already detect a feeling of political oblivion from the faces of the remaining Labour MSP’s sitting at Holyrood. Next May they will become merely a rump, much like the Tories and LibDems. The Scottish people will make it so. The question then is, what will the SNP do with their dominant electoral position in Scotland? Will they, as Alan Cumming put it so eloquently, continue to be “shat on” by Westminster? Or will they roar like lions?

    1. willie says:

      I think the time to be ‘ shat upon’ is drawing to a close.

      The treachery of the Better Together alliance was the straw that broke the camels back.

  15. Penny says:

    Some answer must be given to the argument made by Baillie and the unions: we need the jobs trident brings. One answer is to use the money to make other jobs. Not surprisingly Baillie and the unions do not trust the promise. Another answer is to say this: why should we pay to keep jobs that support a project whose substantive purpose is to kill everyone within a 500 mile radius? To which the reply must be: lots of jobs kill people. Or some other answer. The idea that these jobs have a privileged place in our political and social communities is perhaps the better question to begin with: why are your jobs privileged whilst those of carers, teachers, junior doctors and so forth are up for grabs? Haven’t seen any Faslane for better schools banners lately.

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