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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