I know I said I didn’t want to give the Other Party any more advertising, but sometimes, something comes along that just minces yer heid.
It has emerged that 1,000 Councillors from across the UK have pledged their support to Owen Smith. You’ll never guess why.
The stakes couldn’t be higher. Our country faces an existential threat from nationalists and poor-bashing Tories. A new Scottish referendum is on the horizon. This is no time for (the Other Party) to keep fighting itself. The next general election has already begun. Owen Smith, with his experience, especially as Shadow Secretary of State fighting austerity, has a firm grasp of the issues and will be prepared to lead our party from day one.
Our party needs a leader who can win and is principled. That’s why we need your support in backing Owen Smith.
“A new Scottish referendum is on the horizon.” It’s interesting, that sense of inevitability, given how everyone and their dog is so adamant that Theresa May would not allow a second indyref – as if it was in her giftie gie.
Of those 1,000 Councillors, 26 (2.6%) represent a Scottish council area:
Cllr Angela Taylor, Aberdeen
Cllr Barney Crockett, Aberdeen
Cllr George Adam, Aberdeen
Cllr Jenny Laing, Aberdeen
Cllr Scott Carle, Aberdeen
Cllr William Young, Aberdeen
Cllr Kenneth Earle, Clackmannanshire
Cllr Maureen Henry, East Dunbartonshire
Cllr Rhondda Geekie, East Dunbartonshire
Cllr Margaret Libberton, East Lothian
Cllr Jim Goodfellow, East Lothian
Cllr Jim Fletcher, East Renfrewshire
Cllr Alan Lafferty, East Renfrewshire
Cllr James Adams, Glasgow
Cllr Martin Neill, Glasgow
Cllr Elizabeth McAllister, Highland
Cllr Jimmy Gray, Highland
Cllr Roger Saxon, Highland
Cllr Deidre Mackay, Highland
Cllr Sean Morton, Moray
Cllr Harry McGuigan, North Lanarkshire
Cllr Callum Gillies, Perth & Kinross
Cllr Rita Miller, South Ayrshire
Cllr Andrew Carmichael, South Lanarkshire
Cllr Margaret Cooper, South Lanarkshire
Cllr David McBride, West Dumbartonshire
2.6% of 1,000 Councillors is not a lot – which is all the more surprising, given that there are currently 396 Councillors of that party currently serving.
What about the CLP nominations?
I make that 23 for Corbyn, 17 for Smith: the rest didn’t put anyone forward. That’s just about 42% of the Scottish CLPs that voted going for Smith – the UK equivalent is 15%. Indeed, 32% of all Owen’s Smith’s CLP nominations came from Scottish CLPs. (Also of interest: Inverclyde’s CLP nominated Mr Smith. Keep a note, fellow Clydesiders.)
However, on the question of independence, many of the fundamental questions that were unresolved and unanswered in 2014, remain so. Not least the question of currency. What we don’t need today is more turmoil, more upheaval and more economic chaos.
From their perspective, the referendum was less than two years ago; it had a long enough campaign; opinion polls don’t show the 60% people keep saying the SNP are looking for; that the UK dragging Scotland out of the EU despite Scotland having the highest Remain vote of any constituent nation after using EU membership as a pillar of the Better Together Campaign isn’t a big enough change to justify a second indyref.
What does Mr Smith think about re-running referendums, then?
Owen Smith to offer referendum on Brexit deal if elected Labour leader
And then we should give them another chance. That does mean a second referendum or a general election when the terms are clear. The Labour government should be committing to that.
I think there are many people out there who voted in good faith for Brexit and who felt they were doing the right thing for their families and their communities and I respect them for taking that decision.
But I think a lot of people I know are now saying to themselves, ‘It wasn’t the right decision.’ A lot of people are angry that they were quite clearly misled by the Brexit campaign.
So. Announcing your intentions of re-running a referendum on European Union membership a matter of weeks after the first vote is necessary, because people voted in good faith for what they perceived as the right thing for their families and communities, and now think “it wasn’t the right decision,” and were “quite clearly misled” by the winning campaign. Everyone endorsing Owen Smith, then – that is, the 17 CLPs, 26 councillors, and presumably whole tens of voters – is endorsing a candidate who will offer a second EU referendum… and it hasn’t even been two months, let alone two years.
But re-running a referendum on Scottish Independence, when every single poll has shown an increase in support for independence compared to the official referendum result, with several showing even an outright majority? When Better Together activists, advisers, journalists, councillors, MSPs, former First Ministers, and former MPs are either considering or outright campaigning for independence? When the mere option of holding a second Independence referendum in the event of a Leave vote was an explicit manifesto commitment of the SNP – a manifesto which saw them elected to an unprecedented third term? And, most of all, that European Union membership was one of the central issues of that independence referendum – particularly the notion that a Yes vote would threaten it, whereas a No vote would secure it? That, friends, is completely unacceptable. For some reason.
Re-run of Indyref: bad. Re-run of EUref: good. Some might wonder if it’s because they won the first, but lost the second: I couldn’t possibly comment.
If the Other Party want to treat themselves as autonomous and distinct from the UK Party, well, they’re doing a grand job of it. The routing of the Other Party may have started in 2007 – but the job isn’t done yet. And it isn’t the SNP, or the Nats, or the independence movement who are figuratively driving them into the wilderness – it’s the people of Scotland. The people who used to vote for them, but are thoroughly sick and tired of the doublespeak, the doublethink, the pettiness, the mendacity, the crying wolf, the entitlement, and the outright incompetence of the people they used to trust. The only running the Scottish branch of the party should be doing – re- or otherwise – is towards the hills.
Hey, I feel a song coming on…