Right after Labour got a mauling in Bradford, we had top party officials like Deputy Leader, Harriet Harman, stating the party will need to hold a 'proper inquiry' into George Galloway's win after a 36% swing to Respect. You don't need an inquiry, Harriet, you just need to listen to the voters, and as to George Galloway's spectacular victory, well, the answer's in the party name, Respect, something the Labour party has shown very little of recently to the people they expect to keep coming out and voting for them.
So, what has a local English by-election defeat got to do with Scotland? Interference, mostly, the fact that the control freakery of the Westminster Labour machine is causing so much mistrust and disarray in so many local Labour councils in Scotland that long serving Labour councillors, many who have served their community well, are beginning to jump ship faster than Italian cruise ship Captains. How can the big-wigs of the party at London Labour HQ come up to Scotland and decide which candidate will best suit the party in a local council election here, when they can't even get it right in an English by-election they should have won by just turning up?
The problems in Glasgow are rife, so many councillors have walked out, resigned, or defected that Labour no longer have a majority in the city council. Now we hear that in Midlothian, they've also lost control of another of their strongholds. There's also deep murmurs of discontent in North Lanarkshire, cosy deals with the Tories in Stirling, so it seems we don't have an issue of a few disgruntled councillors and a mere suspicion of something whiffy by once diehard Labour voters, we have an ongoing implosion of the party throughout Scotland. The Scottish Labour party, whether through fear of their London masters, or incompetence, ineptitude, or deliberate collusion, have recently been as politically effective as a band-aid on a decapitation victim - and talking about losing yer heid stunts, Scottish Labour leader, Johann Lamont, dragging elderly people from their sick bed into the Scottish Parliament to make a moan about NHS blankets was the finest own goal since Gerry Ratner called his own products 'total crap'. Whatever happened to Ratner's?
So, why am I even remotely concerned about Scottish Labour? Well, in the very week that one of the ex-Labour stalwarts I have real respect and admiration for, Dennis Canavan, comes out in support of Scottish Independence, even though it was his own Labour party that deselected him, forcing him to run, and win, as an independent MSP, it gives me hope that a few more of the talented, progressive, and rigidly back-boned, members of the Scottish Labour party, that I also have some respect for, will stand up for their principles and consider fighting for social justice and fair social values outside of a party that has blatantly lost touch with the very meaning of those words.
"Having spent all of his political life campaigning on matters of social justice, Mr Canavan rightly points out that the powers of independence can lead to a more socially just Scotland.
Rather than Tory rule from Westminster, it would be much better if the decisions affecting Scotland were taken by those who care about Scotland most - the people living here." (source)
With the London Labour party looking more like another coalition partner of the Tories, even standing proudly shoulder to shoulder with them, like Brian Donohoe, Labour MP, they show scant regard for anyone who in the past voted for a party that they thought might have had a smidgeon of the socialist principles remaining that they once enshrined. Scottish Labour is now tainted with the same rank stink of acquiescence and quisling underhandedness that the Tory Human shields, the Lib-Dems have.
The local elections are coming soon. There must be more than a few Labour councillors and candidates living in dread of the approach. They must know that they are going to be pummelled in the local elections just as thoroughly as Imran Hussain, their candidate, was in the Bradford West by-election. The question is, to the talent that is left in the Scottish Labour party, do you hang around with Captain Lamont, and her motley crew, and end up going down with the ship, or jump overboard, and either find another ship with a more positive direction and wind in its sails, or create your own new ship, far removed and never again linked to the Scottish Labour party that has continually let down voters year after year after year?
There are some talented people in the Scottish Labour party, unfortunately they are no longer allowed to grow and shine, they are being choked and constrained and forced against what they stand for and believe in, forced to line up and collaborate with the Tories. Labour on the left of them, Lib-Dems on the right, the Tory party has human shields, or defensive puppets, covering every flank now. It is not an inquiry the Labour party needs, Harriet, it is a letter of apology to all of the voters they have betrayed. The Scottish Labour party has already fallen so low, and is so under the foot of London Labour, there really is scant hope left for it. Total detachment from Labour HQ in London is possibly no longer an option, or one that any voter with any commonsense in Scotland would believe. Perhaps a new Scottish Independent Labour party is a possibility, a phoenix from the ashes that renews and promotes the true values of old Labour, but together with the new purpose of promoting an independent Scotland, and working with the other pro independence parties in Scotland till that goal is achieved.
After May, some exasperated voters may send out the lifeboats, and it will be up to the survivors, the ones with talent and conviction, and belief, whether to sink with the dregs of the party, or swim for a new boat. Scotland can live without the Scottish Labour party. The sooner the Scottish Labour party begins to realise that, and come to terms with it, the better.
Mr Canavan, launched a strongly worded attack on his former party, accusing it of promoting the “preservation of the union ahead of social justice”.
“I’ll be voting ‘yes’ to independence. That’s based on my experience at Westminster and as an MSP that most politicians at Westminster ignore the people of Scotland." (source)