2007 - 2022

The Trouble with Corbyn

Jeremy Corbyn has said he will be “campaigning for real change” as he prepares to take his tour of constituencies across Scotland. Of the 64 seats Labour needs to win to secure a parliamentary majority, 18 – are in Scotland. Mr Corbyn is pledging to cross the country from “Govan to Stornoway” later this week as he holds a series of campaign events speaking to voters in key target seats.

But what does “real change” look like in Scotland?

Phantom Power films spoke to Alan Bissett on the difficulties with supporting Corbyn in a Scottish context, the contradictions on Ireland, Brexit and Trident …



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Comments (9)

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  1. Nick gethins says:

    Great analysis by Alan.

    I do get why many in the independence movement might have been attracted to the whole Corbyn phenomena but that movement has also done nothing, zero, to empower and answer the desire even for some autonomy.

    Being Unionist, the Labour party could have said right full control of broadcasting, energy policy, tax, etc. They gave nothing. Scotland will always be at the mercy of the will of the English electorate by maintaining the union. And that will for 4 decades has been right, where greed and power of the corporation come first.

    So aye a vote for the Labour party is a vote for the continuity of the British state.

    Despite being a good man, and having many policies I agree with a vote for the Labour party ultimately keeps the people of Scotland powerless.

    1. Culturewars says:


      Yes, I feel so powerless right now, always have done.

  2. jimnarlene says:

    Eh? 18 of the seats he needs to win a GE are in Scotland?
    I’d suggest he needs to win in England, as history shows us if Labour do not win in England, they do not win at all.
    It’s the basic mathematics of the make up of Westminster.

  3. Canto says:

    Corbyn is UK establishment. Corbyn bottled it on Trident. Corbyn is a UKIP voter chaser.
    Corbyn speaks for the democratic rights of all nations but is blind to Scotland that has suffered Tories and right wing Labour.
    Corbyn has exactly zero answers for Scotland
    Ask him

  4. MBC says:

    I remember Jack Straw being asked around the time of the 2015 general election (which already feels like a decade ago) about the propspects for Labour ever winning a UK general election if the SNP won so many ‘Labour’ seats in Scotland.

    And he replied (very confidently) that Labour had almost always won UK elections on the back English seats and would do so again.

    If you study it, there turns out to be only one occasion that Scottish Labour votes actually affected the outcome of a UK general election, and that was the 1964 general election that ushered in Harold Wilson’s minority government.

    And as a minority government it was so weak and fractured it achieved very little.

    So voting Labour in Scotland achieves very little, either for the UK outcome or for Scotland. Once in power, on the back of English votes, Scotland returns to the back of the queue in any Labour government.

    Labour can only win if it wins in England. Scotland and Wales do not affect the outcome.

    Corbyn is an old style Brit Nat imperialist who regards Scotland and Wales as part of the English empire. His coming to Scotland to campaign is malevolent.

  5. Monty says:

    Corbyn is another leader looking backwards or than forwards. If he was unable to see that the best way forward for the left was to remain in the U.K. and put aside his past beliefs last year he is a liability not an asset. it is increasingly feeling like all the main parties are seeking refuge in the past no one has any ideas for a better future.

  6. Frank says:

    It is also worth remembering that no one votes for Jeremy Corbyn in Scotland. A Labour vote in Scotland is a vote for Scottish Labour and an endorsement of their opposition to indy-ref2. I’m also really disappointed – although not surprised, to see leading lights in the Radical Independence Campaign vote Labour.

  7. Malcolm McMaster says:

    Mr Corbyn, why is Scotland less deserving than Ireland or less deserving than any other nation in the world in securing its freedom and independence?

    1. bringiton says:

      Because in order for Scotland to get democratic governance,the British state has to be diminished.
      We now see that British Labour solidarity with fellow workers stops at the English Channel and that makes them no less national than the SNP.
      No more lectures from “socialists” in the British Labour party about narrow minded nationalism.
      In effect,Corbyn is a leader of a party which seeks to look after the interests of people in England and there is no issye with that.
      It is when they come to Scotland and pretend that they also have Scotland’s interests at heart (we rely on England’s largesse to survive apparently) that there is a problem.
      He should stick to looking after his own country’s interests and leave us Scots to look after ours.

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