independence – self-determination – autonomy

Don’t Mention the War

sainsbury2As I write this it is nearly a whole 48 hours since a Labour MP has quit from one post or another, tossing a grenade behind them as they leave. These ‘concerned comrades’ are upset that the party’s membership exercised their democratic right to choose a leader under the “one member – one vote” system, so now they are taking extreme action to save the party from electoral defeat in 2020. Yes, I know, they lost the election in 2015 and 2010 as well but this is different. This time, the election is already lost 4 years in advance and, just to make sure that this prediction is correct, it is the duty of upstanding moderates to destroy any chance of an election victory in order to return the party to being the election-losing party it was more comfortable with.

Some of them are upset at John McDonnel labeling them “hard right”. These are the same people who regularly describe the MP that the members have chosen to lead the party as “hard left”. It is a quite simple spectrum – the greeting-faced Blairites are the polar opposite of Corbyn, the opposite of hard left is? But never mind the left, they hate those in the centre too. This mob have a sense of entitlement, they have operated as minions to the rulers for decades and were waiting their step up to the cabinet, followed by a nice fat consultancy when they lose their seat , arranged through some bloke that they met at the Henry Jackson Society’s Valentine Day Disco at Annabelles.

They were pure raging when Ed Miliband won the previous leadership election and were happy to let Miliband change the election process, assuming that the view from Progress Towers was correct and the members would put the gang back in charge, as was their right. They then proceeded to undermine Ed’s election campaign with claims of him being too left wing or hostile to business.

They were also squealing like pigs when they didn’t get their way in selecting the Scottish Labour Candidate to replace Major Disaster in Falkirk in 2013. Their appointed representative of all things moderate back then was Gregor Poynton, lobbyist with Portland Communications, where his workmates include Michael Portillo, Alistair Campbell and former spin doctors to Tony Blair, David Wallace and Steve Morris. At that time, Unite the Union and Tom Watson were their enemies.

Jim Murphy was Watson’s assassin, forcing the staunch party loyalist to step down from his position as Deputy Chair. The Unite candidate Karie Murphy worked in Watson’s office. Meanwhile, over in Murphy’s Shadow Defence office, his deputy was Gemma Doyle. Doyle is another member of the Henry Jackson Society and married to Poynton! When Murphy won the Labour leadership election in 2014, his team included Doyle, Poynton, the entire Better Together backroom staff and Blair MacDougall. Thankfully that foothold was short-lived, and Murphy was punted after the election wipe-out last year. Although he did the typical Progress thing, he had to be dragged out squealing, like a sore loser on the X factor auditions shouting “you will all regret this – I will be bigger than all of y’all”.

Of course this wasn’t even the start of that battle, the Labour hard right still blame Watson for bringing down Blair in 2006. But I would be here for days telling the whole story of this shower and by the time I had finished writing, a few more unknowns will have resigned from some committee that nobody even knew existed – one by one – counted in by Laura Kuenssberg.

You see, we are not talking about a natural ‘flip side’ of the Labour left in the supposed broad church, we are looking at entryists – the very thing they accuse others of. The uniting factor is Progress, funded by Lord Sainsbury (pictured astride his steed – who used to fund the Labour Party until he went in the huff when the revolutionary Marxist Ed Miliband was elected leader) a pernicious sore that took control of Labour, lost control, and are now refusing to accept defeat. Noses will be cut off and feet will be shot before they will accept that the members have the right to shape the future direction of the party.

They have embarked on a strategy of the self-fulfilling prophecy. It’s a simple game – You predict that Labour cannot win an election unless your clique are in charge , and then do everything in your power to make sure Labour don’t win the election. And when the prediction comes true, the ‘told you so’ brigade are waiting to move back in.

But why would they do that? Is it worth winning a wrecked party? Why would people who are clearly quite clever (in a Montgomery Burns sort of way) go down this road, as the risk is too great if it all went wrong. Well, it isn’t really a risk to them; there is always that cushty number with a bank or PR company waiting. And, of course there is plan B (or plan A?). And it’s not a new plan.

Guardian journalist and nominal Labour supporter Polly Toynbee is one of Corbyn’s biggest critics. She is predicting doom and gloom, just as she was in the 1980’s. Of course, back in the 80’s, Polly was one of those who exercised plan B/A, leaving the party to help form the new Social Democratic Party (SDP). That party was made possible by the generosity of their largest donor, who virtually bankrolled the new party. You know where this is going don’t you? Yes, you are right, that benefactor was Lord Sainsbury – the same man who donated £16m to New Labour between 1996 and 2006, who stopped funding Labour because Ed was too red, and now props up the Progress office to the tune of £280k per year.

Make no mistake, these rats have their exit holes marked, they have options, so they are indifferent to whatever damage is left in their wake, it’s their party, they paid for it, and they’ll cry if they want to.

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26 Comments

  • Colin Spence 9 months ago

    Kinda sums up "the establishment" nicely. Perhaps scrapping House of Lords would remove one escape route for those rejected at the ballot box, and remove "pounds for peerages"

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  • tickle 9 months ago

    great article. ta. what a pack of pricks they are.

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  • Brus MacGallah 9 months ago

    Laura Kuenssberg #LadyHawHaw

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  • Terence 9 months ago

    Perfectly explained well done.The political situation across the uk is terrible there is no democracy just a pretence ,it's very difficult to know wh o is who and which politicians are in it together.Then of course you have the big players the lords who unelected run the country from behind the scenes and out of the reach of any normal fair and honest regulation.The uk political machine is too far down this road it's had several hundred years unopposed during which time it has perfected it's underhand dishonesty .The people of uk cannot stop it,I believe the only thing we can do is start afresh and that means leaving the uk Scottish politics will be smaller and easier for the people of Scotland to manage.Roll on independence.England Wales and NI will benefit from the break up of uk as well.

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  • Redgauntlet 9 months ago

    Exactly, Jim Monaghan....when the left does it, they call it "entryism" and when the neo-liberals do it from the right, they call it "New Labour"....the graveyards of Scotland must churning with men turning in their graves...what a sorry sight they are....

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  • Jo 9 months ago

    And they call themselves "moderates". Frightening really, eh?

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  • dunderheid 8 months ago

    If you are going to lecture about democracy it is better you understand it first...the Labour MPs so disenchanted with Corbyn were not voted to represent the members of the Labour party but their constituents who quite clearly do not agree with the vast majority of the hard left agenda the current membership espouses. Therefore those MPs are quite within their rights and in fact I would go as far as to say should be encouraged to stand up for the views of those constituents even if that contradicts the current view of the party membership or leadership.

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    • C Rober 8 months ago

      Ah if only they did stick up for the constituents , those that empowered them with voting for them in the first place , SLAB did toe the party line under Milliband - as seen by the rejection by the same voters soon after. And thanks to JL being honest on her departure as leader , probably the last true socialist among them , it was only proven what everyone already knew , branch office.

      Corbyn will never be PM.

      Labour south of the border has a few figureheads to shuffle before it becomes electable again in enough numbers for a majority , but it will never be in any serious form of power in Scotland without offering full autonomy , even if that means as being part of the Union - but somewhat along the Lines of the EU itself.

      The National Labour party view on the future of the union itself recently , the NEW ACT OF UNION , with its opt in and vetos , has further removed any Labour votes in Scotland , it is therefore up to the future SLAB candidates to DEMAND separation from the party Proper South of the border. But I fear they will toe the line , even if that means they remain unelectable.

      As long as Corbyn does not offer what the English voter wants , ie casting off those scroungers North of Carlisle , then he offers nothing to the people that voted Blair , which are the ones that put Labour into no10 , not Scotland. He knows this , as does the party. His silence on SLAB and Scotland , either indy or FFA is deafening.

      Dugdale offers nothing to traditional Scottish Labour voters , Baillie whom everyone knwos will be promoted by the national party next , will only hasten its demise further , so whom is left (pun intended). Those that are still in a job dont want the top job , those that want the job clearly are the last the party should want as a leader.

      If I were the Labour Party leadership I would be watching Mhari Black very carefully , she is the token Socialist of the SNP , and either finding more of her , or recruiting her should be their priority. At least a bit like benching a forward in Scottish football - after buying them from the same league competitors.

      Had SLAB and Labour proper any inkling on Indy , any interest in keeping the party alive in Scotland , then she would have , nay is , perfect Labour material - to bring the party into the Scottish fold once more , back to the heyday , Marty McFLy politics , BTTF.

      Give her a term as SNP in Westminster with the SNP , let her shine or dim , then decide whether to offer her a term within Labour with a promise of leading it , and long before the SNP night of the long knives.... which will happen sooner rather than later.

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      • Crubag 8 months ago

        Interesting proposition re MB, and I think any such star signing would need to be brought in before they'd spent any time in the tangle of post-socialist politics. I tjink the Jeremy project is largely about changing the party, not winning elections. That will be his legacy.

        I think SNP discipline will largely hold, while there is still the promise of advancement. But they can't avoid governing, i.e. compromising, and more idealistic cohorts may go elsewhere and re-energise existign or start new parties.

        As the establishment party I think the SNP will develop its own core offer, probably centre right economically with targeted social conscience measures. I don't think it will break up into any constituent parts post-independence as members like me once thought.

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        • Jim_McIntyre 8 months ago

          The problem with Labour is that they are so fundamentally stupid. There is no hope in pretending they will change. They don't know how to use the constitution for any goals unlike the Tories and their top brass are so afraid of independence they have totally screwed themselves. The only Corbynite MSP Neil Findlay and the Trade Union laws are a great example of that. Just last month after Labour bend over backwards to keep employment and Trade Union law reserved, they complain that Holyrood can't legislate on it. All a Corbynite PM will do is try a half-arsed attempt at a renationalisation. Then there was the 1979 Callaghan government refusing a Scottish Assembly.

          As for the SNP being centre-right? Behave yersel. The influx of new members are all left-wing. They believe in universalism, Labour are still dithering on these issues in Scotland and tuition fees will NEVER be revoked in England. Thanks to Labour. They were - last I checked - still arguing tuition fees was a left-wing policy. Even if Corbyn can "reform" the Labour Party there is absolutely no point in pretending the old Bennites were purer than snow or revolutionary back in the 70s. At a high level there was the odd well-meaning apartchiks but were still filled with local bigmen who ran their petty feifdoms. The old BT, British Rail and British Gas were not as bad as everyone made out but none of them will come back.

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          • Crubag 8 months ago

            Yes, the new influx are apparently more left, but the membership don't make policy - otherwise we'd have a much more radical land reform bill.

            The party line has been largely pro-business, whether Trump, fracking (interesting internal tensions there), APD or corporation tax.

            Given the need to keep the No-voting SNP heartlands onside, I don't see that changing any time soon. What effect that has on membership, and Labour had a similar spring under Blair, remains to be seen.

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          • Jim_McIntyre 8 months ago

            The SNP support and have supported universalism, the Labour Party don't and Corbyn can't. It is as simple as that.

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  • Carmel Townsend 8 months ago

    There may be many constituents of the right wing Labour MPs who don't like the "hard Left", but that doesn't mean they have the right to destabilise an elected leader of the Opposition.
    Many of us don't like Cameron (29 per cent of the vote) and thousands of us loathed Blair and his hard Right policies, but we were and are stuck with them. "Democracy is the worst form of government - except for all the others." Winston Churchill.

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    • Thrawn 8 months ago

      Destabilise him like criticise his policies in public and vote against him....a bit like Jeremy Corbyn was famous for as a backbencher. Look if the Labour party of Blair, Brown and Miliband could accept someone who publicly repudiated their policies as much as Corbyn I can't see why it is unfair to expect him to tolerate the same from those who disagree with his leadership....Plus I thought it was the dawn of a "new politics"

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    • C Rober 8 months ago

      I cant really understand why Churchill is held in high regard as a British politician , were it not for the war he would have been just another Tory aristocrat in Westminster. War was something that he sought out in his youth , cultured as a politician , and nurtured as a game of chess - sometimes as punishment for ex colonies.

      Opposed home rule for India , no doubt were he alive today would have done the same for Scotland , did the same with Ireland until he realised the Empire were fighting on too many fronts. Given his history in setting up BP definitely would never have allowed Scotland to go it alone.

      Helped to create Israel - as the British lost its power in Palestine.

      Gassing Kurds , no better than Saddam.

      Called Islamic followers like dogs with rabies if they opposed British empire , yet thanked the minority Islamic fighters that aided the empire against their kind.

      Deployed troops to Wales , Liverpool and Glasgow to quash riots and strikers.

      He was a man saddened by the demise of empire , whom tried to prolong it , held to high regard for helping to defeat the rise of another in WWII , and where the truth is obfuscated for it.

      "History will be kind to me , for I intended to be the one to write it" , was perhaps the more obvious qoute.

      That is until real a historian or two come along and redresses the establishment redactions , highlighting his lifelong belief on eugenics , especially on monarchy rules the poor , and aristocratic political Wasp rules the rest , especially so if their skin is dark - beliefs that were little different than the very Nazis themselves ironically.

      I really should stop reading autobiographies , it has done nothing but highlight my heroes were far from it , even if the consensus were the establishment norm of the time.

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  • George Gunn 8 months ago

    Democracy is a thing we have to look forward to. The tragedy of Labour is the tragedy of the UK. In Scotland we will have to exit this, pursued by bear or not, but we owe it to our selves to have a politics that is not corrupt, that is representative and can be changed by the will of the people and not some rich oligarch. There was a rainbow over the Pentland Firth today. The world is beautiful.

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  • Crubag 8 months ago

    It's not a pretty sight, and given extra fuel by the House of Lords and the greater opportunities for patronage with more and larger public bodies.

    But the SNP is in the process of becoming the new Scottish establishment, with all the good and bad that entails: politics as a career, the need to please superiors to get on, the revolving door between politics and lobbying.

    I think the positive side is more political agreements expressed in public, as with Labour and Conservatives.

    For the SNP it is still early, they haven't yet accumulated the cohort of end-of-service/reached as high as they're going operators that the others have, but decisions on totemic issues such as radical land reform, beaver, fracking, or indy2 could lead to more public differences.

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    • Jim_McIntyre 8 months ago

      Casting the SNP as the establishment shows how desperate the Labourites have become considering every establishment journal and Tories hate the SNP far more than the Labour Party.

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      • Crubag 8 months ago

        Think what the hallmarks of an establishment are. They choose public appointments, so their views become embedded in public institutions regardless of future election results, politicians and staff join the lobbying industry to lobby friends and colleagues, people - even politicians of other parties - who are seeking personal opportunities join the party to get ahead.

        The SNP has some way to go to overturn the deadweight of the previous Labour establishment in Scotland, but I can't see them making a comeback. In 10-15 years it will be SNP members and supporters who will be in with the bricks

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        • Jim_McIntyre 8 months ago

          Except they don't hold any positions of authority in terms of business, the media, defence and the economy (corporate sector) because they are all reserved. They do not even have control over science and technology. So, you are talking about a couple very narrow sectors of the Scottish economy (Health and the Police) which are very unlikely to be staffed with SNP apparatchiks, even at the low levels where Unite are dominant.

          More to the point, if you are seriously suggesting as the Labourite seems to be, that the Scottish Conservatives - and to a lesser extent Labour - are genuinely anti-establishment, you're a fucking idiot. I agree Corbynites might be getting as rough a treatment as the SNP but for them to claim the SNP are the establishment would only demonstrate how confused they are.

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        • Jim_McIntyre 8 months ago

          It is a confused argument you are making. Scottish Nationalists do not even control the major corporate sectors nor do they represent the major land owners in Scotland. Then there is all those reserved interests comprising science and technology industries, defence industries and other major economic and financial interests.

          You are left with health and the police. Even "Labour" will have more appointees in the police and NHS by virtue of Unite. With SNP intake in the Trade Unions increasing you might be able to formulate an argument that the TU 'barons' back the SNP. The money still flows to Labour and the TUs are not what they used to be.

          More to the point - are you seriously suggesting the Conservatives are an anti-establishment party in Scotland?

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          • Crubag 8 months ago

            The Labour party never controlled big business or monied interests either, but both find a common interest in the exercise of power, and so grow closer together.

            To give only one example, Trump happened under both the Labour and SNP watch.

            Or for a contemporary example, there is a review of the planning sysyem underway, will it rebalance the system to communities and away from developers? I'd predict we will see:
            - fast-track decision-making for developers
            - developers keep their right of appeal, but no right of appeal granted for communities

            I'd be happy to be proved wrong, but I think we will see the same interpenetration of interests as with the previous establishment.

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          • Jim_McIntyre 8 months ago

            Labour used to be part of the establishment through their trade union links. The argument Union money is cleaner than City money I accepted.

            Blair tried to cultivate links with the City and so too did the SNP. However, the SNP do not have full control of the economy so will fail to do attract big money. If your argument is that the SNP or a Blairite organisation COULD become the establishment in Scotland if we became independent it would make sense. The fact remains the UK establishment is not Scottish and it is a bit silly claiming we do when we are continually told we voted to remain in the UK.

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  • Jim Bennett 8 months ago

    Good article, Jim.

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  • Duncan MacNairn 8 months ago

    When did the labour party decide that one of the fundamental reasons for keeping and renewing trident is jobs.

    Here was me stupid, I thought the twin reasons "for" were defence and and a deterrent with the twin reasons "against" being morality and opportunity cost?

    This to me shows labour at its absolute worst and most cynical, by this rational we should still be bating bears and burning witches!

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    • C Rober 8 months ago

      So we hear the jobs to be protected in Scotland amount to some 6000 , both on site and of course in the locale that are depending on those pockets.

      Personally I dont see the value in protecting jobs that are dependent on WMD , and then we have the other argument that its also protecting UK jobs in a larger number , not as labour would have you believe purely Scottish jobs.

      The unions can go and take a jump , where was their power after Labour failed its promises to reindustrialise Scotland during the reign of Thatcher , did they hold Blair and Brown to those promises .... no.

      I would like to see the demographic makeup of those in employment with trident in Scotland , and see just how Scottish it really is. Is it really worth the cost of rendering the most populated part of Scotland uninhabitable like MAChernobyl , for the income of a negligible number. I dont think so.

      Given the repeated warnings from SEPA , and of course the lack of any power to do a thing about those warnings , then just let Trident go to Portsmouth along with the jobs , but then again not so long ago the yards there let go 2000.

      Then we can talk fracking the Clyde , which has the correct geology , and of course oil hidden away by successive Tory and Labour Govts , the same that Labour lied about once more pre indy , plus we dont need to fund trident itself - another saving.

      6000 jobs , with trade skill sets , yeah they will be out of work for long. The only losers would be the banks holding their Mortgages for those sandstone villas 30 mins away - with the German car and Landrover in the Driveway.

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