Sunday, 14 December 2014

Scottish labour listening-nae chance!

So the surprise election in Scotland has produced the surprise result!Jim Murphy has won the leadership of the Scottish labour Party
They have succeeded all expecations and elected a mutton pie with no mutton in it!
They had a chance,albeit a small one of electing a leader in Neil Findlay who had a connection with the traditional working class base in Scotland-9 of the affiliated trade unions wanted Findlay-but naw, the parliamentarians and the diminishing band of party members voted for the Trident loving,trade union hating,austerity embracing,vegetable(sorry vegetarian!)

The seventh leader in 14 years, it seems they change leader almost as frequently as Northampton Labour group on the Borough Council-and pribably with the same effect!

It seems to me that they learned nothing from the referendum.They relied on an unholy alliance of Tories,Lib-Dems and bankers to ensurev a No vote.It seems that they never noticed that their traditional bases of support, Glasgow, the west coast, and Dundee rejected the No campaign, and even worse from Labour's point of view-the young people of Scotland.
What sort of message does the Murphy acendancy send out to the people of Scotland so recently energised by the political debate of the referendum campaign?
Back to politics as usual!
And the new leader-why he isn't even a MSP- he sits in Westminster and will graciously let the people know next year his future plans.
Presumably he hoping that some old doddery Labour MSP will fall off his perch or another will generously give up his seat in Holyrood in exchange for....?
A nice wee peerage!
Murphy is the worst sort of Labour politician,self serving arrogant and about forty years too late.
I joined the Labour Party forty odd years ago, when there was still hope for a change and fight left in the party.There was a hunger for change that grew, not from the comfy benches of Westminster but in the workplaces-where the party still had factory branches and close links with the Trade Unions, and in the local councils where the fight against Tory policies was strongest.
Clay Cross,Liverpool,Lambeth,Glasgow,Sheffield,Greater London
Labour councillors lived and worked in their communities and were elected by their neighbours.the party didn't 'parachute' favoured sons and daughters into 'safe' seats-neither municipal or Westminster (well that's not strictly true, the Regional Organisation often manoeuvred favoured sons and daughters into winnable seats)
But it was still a different party,and there was always hope that something good might emerge.
To think that all that energy and hope would end up in the shape of Murphy and his clones throughout the collapsing structure of the party.
I(ndeed last week Northampton Party lost one of the finest community politicians I have known in my lifetime.Geoff Howes joined Duston labour Party at the age of 16.He was a Castle Ward Councillor for 25 years and never once swerved away from his commitment to the people he represented or the cause he believed in.
He stood up for his party when the going was tough and to admit to being a Labour Party activist was often difficult if not downright impossible.
Geoff led the labour group, was mayor and in 2001 was made an Honorary Freeman of the town.As chair of the finance commirree he scrutined spending with a forensic skill ,he held officers to account, but he also ensured that important voluntary groups like Women's Aid were supported.He instituted three year financial settlements that in many cases ensured survival.
He was expelled in 2009 for a minor infringement, and until his death was kept out of the party he gave his life to.
In the event their tribute was mean spirited and grudging,and that just about sums up the modern Labour Party.

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