In an arithmetic defying display of preemptive petulance, no doubt encouraged by the resounding ‘meh’ with which Gordie Broon’s constitutional tinkering was received, Labour leader Keir Starmer is getting his excuses in early. If his party is unable to form a government following the next UK General Election, this will all be the fault of Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP, not the fault of a Labour leader who has wholeheartedly espoused the Conservatives’ hardline Brexit, in the process alienating the millions of remain voters in England, and who is trying to out-nasty Suella Braverman in his desire to be vile to desperate undocumented migrants.
Aping all the worst policies of the Tories in order to appeal to English nationalists in Brexit supporting constituencies in northern England is not giving the electorate a choice. It’s depriving the electorate of choice and is effectively disenfranchising not only Scotland but that majority in England which thinks that Brexit was a mistake.
As polling expert John Curtice noted last week, Labour has effectively abandoned Scotland, making a tactical decision to pander to the English nationalism of the Brexit supporting constituencies in England which it lost to the Conservatives in 2019 and to sideline the interests of a Scotland in which Brexit is as popular as a bridie at a vegan wedding. But if Labour doesn’t need Scotland, Scotland sure as hell doesn’t need Labour.
So if Starmer fails to win a Commons majority with his Tory lite policies he will only have himself to blame, it’s not Nicola Sturgeon who does not want membership of the EU, the single market and customs union and has set her face against the reintroduction of freedom of movement. That would be Starmer. It’s not Nicola Sturgeon who is denying Scottish democracy and lecturing Scots on what their priorities ought to be, that would also be Starmer. It’s not Nicola Sturgeon who is insisting that the UK is a voluntary union but is refusing to say what the democratic route to another referendum is. That would be Starmer too.
Yet this man in his Tory-esque arrogance demands that Scotland’s electorate must vote for him in order to get the Tories out, so that Scotland can be ignored and treated with contempt by a different English nationalist party that denies that it is a party of English nationalism. Vote for the other cheek of the same arse that’s crapping all over democracy in Scotland is hardly a very appealing message, but that’s the reality of what Starmer is offering.
Starmer for, all his channelling of Tony Blair reincarnated as the pub bore droning on about his collection of novelty golf tees, is very much old Labour. It’s his way or no way. He lives in terror of finding himself in need of support from a more progressive party like the SNP, a party which won’t assist him with his centre-right migrant hating Brexit loving agenda.
In an interview with LBC radio on Monday the left cheek ruled out doing any deals withe the SNP in the event of a hung parliament – and then had the total cheek of blaming the SNP for allowing in a Conservative government. This is the very same Labour party which is propping up the Tories in local authorities across Scotland, yet wants people in Scotland to vote Labour to protect themselves from the Conservatives whom Labour is enabling and whose policies Labour is copying. Starmer would rather see the Tories in power than respect Scottish democracy and the rights of those in Scotland to choose their own future. And then he has the gall to blame the SNP and the voters of Scotland for the consequences that he himself has made in order to pursue the English nationalist vote.
Starmer claimed the the challenges facing the UK “Ukraine and security, a pandemic, how we grow our economy, the climate crisis … these are issues which will be better met as a union of four nations going forward together.” After dismissing Scotland’s voters and Scotland’s concerns, he preaches about four nations working together.
But as we all know now, the UK is not a Union, it is a unitary state in which the smaller nations are compelled to do what the largest union decides, and in which they have no means of ensuring that their interests and concerns are taken into account. This is a union in the exact same way that Lex Luthor is in a partnership with his minions. That arrangement suits Lex Luthor just fine, but it’s the minions who get sacrificed on the altar of his vanity. The UK is not a union, it’s the not so super villain Westminster and its minions.
We all know that how Scotland votes makes very little difference in determining the Westminster government. Westminster is set up to ensure that what England wants England gets, at least within the constraints of the unfair and unrepresentative first past the post voting system, which allows a party which wins less than 50% of votes cast to end up with a crushing majority in the Commons. Scotland’s 59 seats can only hope to make a difference when the balance of power amongst MPs elected to represent seats in England is very finely balanced. Even if Scotland had voted for a Labour MP in every one of its 59 Westminster seats in 2019, Boris Johnson would still have a crushing majority in the Commons, and Scotland would still be every bit as marginalised and ignored, more so in fact. Labour only pays attention to Scotland when it fears the rise of support for independence. That’s the only reason we got Gordie Broon’s non-alcoholic constitutional review, or rather Labour’s promise to consult on constitutional review, as long as it didn’t change anything important.
Labour’s much vaunted constitutional review had this to say about reform of the House of Commons, the ground zero of British constitutional and political dysfunction : ……….. The sound of no hands clapping. Vote Labour and nothing is going to change. As the SNP’s new Westminster deputy leader Mhairi Black said: “The choice facing Scots at the next election is between an escape from the broken Westminster system with independence or the same old chaos and destruction we’re forced to live through right now as part of that system.” At the next General Election Scotland can show a Starmer that doesn’t need Scotland that it doesn’t need Starmer.
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