Sunday, 27 July 2008

Reforming the Union and the Parties

Neither the Labour party nor the Conservative party can expect to win seats for the Westminster parliament in Scotland. A Conservative government in Westminster will drive the Scottish independence movement further forward, and faster than any other stimulus. The seeming inevitability of a Conservative victory, should there be a general election, will see Labour's Scottish heartlands following Glasgow East in voting for a government that can stand up for them against Tory London rule.

This is the end of Labour as a serious power contender, at least as the Party is constituted at the moment. Whether it is possible to build a truly Scottish Labour party, as opposed to the Westminster appendix currently masquerading in the part, depends on the Scottish National Party being budged from the centre left ground it is holding so successfully. For the moment, it seems unlikely. And where is the English Labour movement and its Party to find its lost Scottish support? Wales? The indications from every recent election suggest that only the lack of a serious Welsh-oriented centre left party, for Plaid is not that, is leaving Labour some seats.

The Conservatives need a policy for re-ordering United Kingdom member country relations to maintain the Union and reassure Scotland that there will be no more Westminster diktats or interference in Scotland's choices on how it is governed. The Labour party's 'devolution' and its 'Britain of the countries and the regions' policy is a clear and absolute failure, and they must rethink all they have implemented both wittingly and unwittingly in their destructive years. For Labour too, there will have to be a re-ordering of the Party itself to end the authoritarianism and centralisation of power in the Executive that is the defining characteristic of New Labour.

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