Analysis Breaking

Blairites make move in Scotland with attempt to depose Leonard on day Scottish Labour wins care victory

Right not satisfied with retaking English party – how long before Welsh right-wingers do similar?

Right-wingers in Scottish Labour are making their move to topple leader Richard Leonard. In a move reminiscent of the coordinated 2016 resignations that failed to remove Jeremy Corbyn and which the SKWAWKBOX was told several weeks ago was in preparation, a right-wing MSP has resigned from Leonard’s front bench to join two other MSPs in calling for Leonard to step down – and they’ve chosen a day on which Leonard won a significant victory for the people of Scotland to do it.

The trio are citing Labour’s low ratings in Scotland, but neglect – of course – to recognise that Labour was destroyed in Scotland by two of their own: right-wingers Jim Murphy and Kezia Dugdale, who led the party to the 2015 disaster in which it lost 40 of its 41 seats. A disastrous decision by the Labour right in Scotland, to join the Tories on a platform campaigning for a no vote in the Scottish independence referendum, threw away a dominance that had seen Labour win the largest share of the vote in Scotland for more than half a century.

Even the 2017 Corbyn surge was only able to partially reverse that catastrophe and the gains were undone in 2019 after two more years of right-wing sabotage – but, as in England, the right now wants to rewrite history and blame disaster on the left.

Leonard has pointed out the cynicism of the move in his response to the Blairite manoeuvres, saying:

It is deeply disappointing that disgruntled MSPs who never supported my leadership would choose the day when the Scottish Government finally accepted a Labour policy demand of ten years – for a National Care Service – to try and wage an internal war.

I am leading Scottish Labour into the 2021 elections on a platform of building a National Care Service, establishing a quality Jobs Guarantee Scheme and reviving Scotland’s economy with a Green New Deal.

If any party representative thinks an internal faction fight is more important than this agenda, they will have to answer to the party members and the voters whom we serve.

Leading left-wing MSPs Rhoda Grant and Neil Findlay have publicly backed Leonard, with Findlay accusing the right-wingers of ‘plotting and front-stabbing’ driven by manoeuvres over list selection placings in Scotland’s proportional representation voting system.

The Labour right destroyed Labour in Scotland and has long withered the party’s standing in Wales, just as they did in England. How long before the Welsh Blairites make their own move to prevent the reconstruction of the party there and rule over the ruins?

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  1. Scotland was lost by Ed Miliband. He had the affrontery to take a trainload of Blairites with him and tell the Scots how to vote in IndyRef1. Didn’t go down well (and that’s being polite!). I felt at the time that it was foolish to back up the Tories. I was wrong – it was far, far worse than that. They won’t come back to Labour for another right wing apologist in Starmer.

  2. Well said Joe. Labour lost Scotland in2014, because it stood shoulder to shoulder with the Tories in the unionist alliance ‘Better Together’. It had nothing to do with ‘left’ or ‘right’. (Typical clueless Skwawky).
    The blame (for Labour’s demise in Scotland) lies with Gordon Brown, and Ed Miliband. Miliband signed a pathetic and worthless ‘Pledge’ days before the Scottish independence referendum in 2014, alongside David Cameron and Nick Clegg. ‘The Pledge’, it guaranteed Scotland would remain in the EU, only, if Scotland voted No to independence in our referendum.
    Is it any wonder Labour are toxic in Scotland. Scotland belongs to the SNP now. The opposition? The Conservative and Unionist Party. Labour has lost 50 Scottish MPs for good.

    1. How’s “The Vow” and its signatories doing now? Can’t say that I have heard much about it, which is surprising because in 2014 IMMEDIATELY prior to the vote, it was quite the thing. Indeed virtually signed in blood!

    2. Had Scotland voted Yes they would’ve left the Eu anyway and hd to have spent money creating institutions to be ready as an accession member state.. leaving from the UK outside at least they are ready to become one they just now need to set the independent institutions in

  3. Either they obviously haven’t learnt from the near-extinction event that was dugdale, or they have a death wish…Or more likely, both.

  4. Despite my name I don’t know Scotland (or even Glasgow) at all well.
    I do remember constantly pleading as a little kid for more tales of Red Clydeside from my grandfather – a hard-drinking, hard-gambling, shiftless, abusive, razor-wielding, stereotypical 5’2″ Weegee according to my apolitical father.
    I feel lucky to have had both those examples to help me choose my own path.

    1. Your right David, you don’t know Scotland. And when you don’t a subject my best advice is don’t say anything. You wouldn’t want to give the impression that you are a unwitting bigoted racist.

      1. And when you don’t [know] a subject my best advice is don’t say anything.

        You need to follow your own advice then, dicky, seeing as it’s obvious you know nothing about anything – and you don’t know enough about that.

      2. When I need advice on Scotland from a semiliterate moron I’ll squeeze it out of your head.

      3. Oh – and Labour lost Scotland progressively over decades by taking it for granted.
        The dismissive and arrogant “Who else are they going to vote for?” of the Blairite right.
        And it IS a left/right issue.
        EVERYTHING is a left/right issue until neoliberalism is beaten and erased from history.

  5. Murphy and Dugdale, hard-nosed Centrist thirdwayers extraordinaire, marginalised Labour in Scotland. Miliband, the leader who brought us the Falkirk Fiasco, together with ‘saviour’ of capitalism, Gordon Brown, let them do it.

    This is how politically inept and electorally incompetent the labourRight are.

    Richard Leonard is Labour’s Best Hope.

  6. Always amazed at how shit politicians are at politics
    In present climate Labour need to go with
    In the event of No Deal Labour will be four square behind a referendum and Scottish independence

  7. I wonder how all those Starmer fans will twist this to their call for party unity? Oh that’s right it’s only when the left are seeking change that we need party unity.

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