Watson regurgitates language that caused Labour’s 2015 collapse in Scotland in order to attack McDonnell, but lambasted by Scottish left for trying to create division
Labour’s notional deputy leader Tom Watson has made another ill-advised video in an attempt to attack Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell, after McDonnell said Labour “would not block” a second independence referendum as it would “be for the Scottish Parliament and the Scottish people to decide”.
But to do it, Watson obliviously vomited up the same kind of ‘Project Fear’ language that was perceived by many Scots during the 2014 referendum campaign as putting Ed Miliband’s Labour on the side of the Tory elite, leading to the loss of forty of Labour’s forty-one parliamentary seats in Scotland in the 2015 general election. Only the ‘Corbyn surge’ in 2017 saw Labour stage some kind of recovery.
Watson put out a video dominated by forecasts of ‘turbocharged austerity’, ‘threat’ and ‘disruption’ if Scotland separated from the UK – and added shameless hypocrisy to the mix.
Not only does Watson want to deprive Scots of another referendum while he is constantly demanding a new one on the EU, but he appealed to the democratic mandate of Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard to support it – even though he routinely ignores the mandate of the twice – overwhelmingly – elected Jeremy Corbyn. Of course, Scottish Labour also has its own deputy leader and is entitled to look askance at Watson bypassing her with his condescending video.
The video was quickly criticised by actual Scottish socialists, as CfS (Campaign for Socialism, Scotland’s sister-organisation to Momentum) attacked Watson for “trying to create [division]” and for his “opportunistic drumbeating”:
Yet again Watson has demonstrated that so-called centrists never learn – or choose not to learn – the obvious lessons from their disasters. Aligning Labour with the Tory Establishment in 2014 shredded Labour’s parliamentary presence in Scotland a year later, yet now Watson is vomiting up exactly the kind of language that caused the collapse in order to attack John McDonnell and, indirectly, Jeremy Corbyn.
The only question is whether he’s ignorant, simply doesn’t care – or actively wants to damage Labour in Scotland as he’s damaged it in England and Wales.
Place your bets…
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