Is it a case of vote Labour, get Tory, or is it more a case of, vote Labour, become Tory? It certainly seems to be the case, that to vote Labour, you no longer get Labour, or what any self-respecting and upstanding member of the old guard, of the traditional Labour party, would expect of a party with Labour in the name.
It must be quite unsettling to be a life long Labour voter in Scotland in this day and age. Especially if you're old enough to remember the Thatcher era in Scotland. From the wholesale destruction of heavy industry, the decimation of coal mining, and the imposition of the hated poll tax. To have voted most loyally for the party that you believe is the most anti-Tory in Scotland, yet to find that your party of preference is forging alliances up and down the country with that very same Tory party, which was responsible for so much suffering and misery, in the communities across Scotland, in the recent past - It must feel like a betrayal.
"With the number of alliances between Labour and Tory increasing across Scotland’s local authorities, there are fears that Conservative influence may be exaggerated despite the party suffering a drop in voter support." (Source)
Can it really be true, surely not, how can such hated enemies, with such vastly contradicting policies, be getting under the duvet together and touching toes, surely such a coupling can bring no good? Can anything of benefit come of this unholy alliance for the Labour voter?
Well, says Johann Lamont: "'Free' university education in Scotland is holding back youngsters."
"Alex Salmond’s flagship policy of a ‘free’ university education for all Scottish students is holding back some of the country’s most talented youngsters, the Labour leader will argue today." (Source)
"It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open one's mouth and remove all doubt." - Er no, that last quote wasn't Lamont, it just springs to mind whenever I hear her speak. It was actually Abraham Lincoln who said that.
Already the spawning of illegitimate profferings are being condescendingly put forth. The Borg work in mysterious ways
I suppose in my scepticism, I may not see, but there may be an abundance of justifiable reasons, why so many Labour activists campaigned so vigorously against Tory policies, yet so soon after the local election results, are now becoming Best Friends Forever with their so recently hated Tory adversaries. Forgive me if I cannot think of any at the moment (A thought just struck me: perhaps the grassroots Labour activists weren't enlightened, about the new regard the leadership of the party now has for the Tories - could they have been as hoodwinked as the actual voters? - Well, as the saying goes, 'Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me').
"Rather than let the SNP into power locally, Labour are doing deals with the Tories who they vowed to protect voters from during the election." (Source)
There are communities North and South, East and West, in Scotland today, that have still not recovered from the last time the Tories had the power to sharpen an axe here, and wield it so mercilessly in hacking at the social fabric and industrial well-being of a country of people they had no regard for.
The apparent rush of Scottish Labour to assimilate with the Tories in so many areas of Scotland though, should not be such a surprise. It is not about voters, it is not about local services, it is not about the improvement in the lives of everyday people. It is only about the self-preservation of the so-called elite, of a once great party, against what they see is a greater threat.
"Labour's opposition to Westminster austerity cuts has been questioned after the party agreed several more formal coalitions with the Tory party in councils across Scotland. The Labour-Tory pacts have moved the SNP to argue that Labour is not committed to progressive politics." (Source)
It seems there is only one hymn sheet in Scottish politics at the moment, that is the 'Do Down the SNP at any Cost Hymn Sheet' and so it has to be shared by the Tories, Labour, and the Lib-Dems (at the cost of photo-copying the New
Policy for all, perhaps the remaining Lib-Dems can share a copy).
So, Lamont is already proposing a Clegg with regard to charging future Scottish students £9,000 a year for an education. How far are Scottish Labour going to go down this road? How long before she is proposing Tory English NHS policy in Scotland? How long before Johann and Ruth are chairing combined brain-storming sessions on how to best put the latest round of Westminster austerity cuts in a positive light? (Does 'we're all in this together' mean sharing future branch meetings, now that's an efficient way to save resources!).
Perhaps there is some hidden agenda I am not aware of here: "Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer" - Sun Tzu. But, doesn't that mean watch your enemy, not capitulate and agree with them?
"Your culture will adapt to service us. Resistance is futile." - Borg
"You will be assimilated." - Borg
There is something vaguely familiar here. David Cameron must be rubbing his hands with glee at this moment in time, any thought he may have had that Labour in Scotland may have been a threat to the Tory agenda must be falling to the wayside.
"I'm going to be as radical a social reformer as Mrs Thatcher was an economic reformer..." - David Cameron (source)
"We are the Borg. Lower your shields and surrender your ships. We will add your biological and technological distinctiveness to our own. Your culture will adapt to service us. Resistance is futile." - Borg (Source)
It doesn't have to be death or assimilation. There is another way. Spring away from a party that has lost its way, and start a new and fresh, and untainted party, with all the positive aspects the Labour party once had, but without the tarnished name and connections...
We Are Borg: