In case you missed it, last week a chink of light appeared that Labour can at least begin its much-needed fightback in Scotland.
In elections for the ‘CLP’ (constituency Labour party) section of the Scottish Executive Committee (SEC), Momentum-slate candidates wonwon 5 of 8 places, leaving the party’s Left just short of an overall majority on the committee.
With the SEC’s two youth-delegate places both up for grabs in May, a good result there would give the Left a reliable majority on key issues.
This is bad news for Kezia Dugdale, the leader of the Scottish party – but essential news for any hopes of a Labour comeback. In Scotland, even more than in England, Blairism is a ‘busted flush’ and, in spite of attempts to pin the blame for the party’s predicament on Jeremy Corbyn (like everything else wrong with the world), Labour’s parliamentary disaster in Scotland occurred well before he was even on the radar – and the right-wing Ms Dugdale shows no signs whatever of being able to improve that situation.
A majority-left SEC is likely to embolden a challenger – and a more-aware Scottish membership means Ms Dugdale would be unlikely to command enough support to retain her leadership.
With her impediment out of the way, Scottish Labour can begin the long, slow, painful struggle to rebuild its significance north of the border.
The news also bodes well for Labour in the rest of the country. Dudgale took advantage of the unlawful and deeply damaging changes to the composition of the National Executive Committee (NEC) to appoint herself to it and has been instrumental in it continuing to block the democratic will of the membership rather than promoting it. As one NEC member described a recent meeting:
The Right on the NEC were very angry that we were daring to stand up for…members.
A new leader of the Scottish Labour Party would mean one less blocking, anti-democratic member of the NEC. Change is clearly needed desperately – for the sake of the party in both nations.
The SEC result is also great news for Momentum. That organisation’s troubles are not yet over, but the result shows that it is still relevant and needed – and that it can galvanise support in a way that would be less likely to happen if it didn’t exist. Let’s hope those troubles are resolved fully after the approaching Momentum elections for regional members of its Coordinating Committee.
And the fact that the Left can pull off a significant victory like this on what is not easy territory at the moment should encourage Labour’s majority left-wing members that, contrary to the best efforts of the media and Establishment (even within Labour) to discourage them and portray the wheels as wobbling, the way forward to a better future for Labour and for the people of the UK can still be opened. Nil desperandum.
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