Friday 6 May 2016

The Scottish Labour collapse

The result of the Scottish Parliamentary election was a clear victory for the SNP, who will form their third consecutive government. The Scottish Green Party did very well to significantly increase their representation, including the election of the land reform campaigner Andy Wightman and Scotland's youngest ever MSP Ross Greer.

The Liberal Democrats managed to avoid even more losses, but the biggest story was the collapse in the Labour Party vote from 2011, and the significant increase in the Tory vote. Apparently the 2016 Scottish Parliament election is the first non-EU election since the 1930s in which the Tories have won more Scottish seats than Labour.

Even before the first results were announced bitter Blairite politicians like the former Dunfirmline and West Fife MP Thomas Docherty were chelping from the sidelines that Labour's catastrophic results in Scotland were all the fault of Jeremy Corbyn.

It's absolutely staggering to see someone like Thomas Docherty trying to blame Labour's Scottish Parliament collapse on Jeremy Corbyn when he knows perfectly well that the damage was done during Ed Miliband's leadership. Can he really have forgotten that he was one of the 40 Scottish Labour MPs to lose their Westminster seats during the 2015 General Election massacre

Can Docherty really have forgotten that this catastrophic performance (the worst collapse in British electoral history) came about as a result of Ed Miliband's strategically inept decision to push Ed Balls' ludicrous "austerity-lite" agenda in Scotland (which allowed the SNP to gleefully present themselves as the only alternative to Tory austerity). Such an inept campaign strategy would have been bad enough in isolation, but after Labour spent a couple of years publicly French-kissing the Tories during the independence debate, it was positively suicidal.

Expecting Jeremy Corbyn to be able to instantly undo damage like that would be wishful enough, but when he's lumbered with an extremely limited Scottish Labour leader like Kezia Dugdale, expecting any kind of phoenix-like Scottish Labour recovery isn't just wishful thinking, it's downright delusional.

The SNP winning a third term and the election of several more Green MSPs are definite positives from the 2016 Scottish Parliament election, but the strong performance of the Tories in Scotland really is concerning. Back in 2015 the English electorate punished the Lib-Dems for propping up David Cameron's malicious and incompetent government by ...err ... replacing most of the Lib-Dem MPs with Tory ones! This time around it's the Scottish electorate punishing Labour for the way they cosied up to the Tories during the independence referendum and parroted Tory economic policy during the 2015 General Election campaign by ... err ... allowing the Tories to overtake Labour and become the official opposition in the Scottish parliament!

Anyone who was expecting Jeremy Corbyn to somehow find a magical fix to repair the collapse in Labour support in Scotland must be delusional, but then it's pretty obvious that the bitter Blairites knew perfectly well that a miraculous recovery in Scotland would have been completely impossible, no matter who was in charge, but they simply can't resist attacking Jeremy Corbyn and trying to prescribe the centre-right Blairite snake oil that destroyed Scottish Labour as the miracle cure to save Scottish Labour.

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