The Labour Party in Scotland attracts and deserves ridicule. It pretends to be an autonomous organisation able to decide its own policies and strategy but in reality, it is a mere poodle of its master in London obediently carrying out orders best suited to the British Unionists.
In a rare moment of political lucidity the former Scottish Labour Party leader Johann Lamont, a British Unionist, felt compelled by years of London’s overbearing interference in her attempts to save the sinking Scottish Labour ship, to label the Scottish party as no more than a “branch office”.
She was the branch office’s 6th leader since 1999. They are now preparing to elect their 10th.
It was clear the branch office in Scotland was continuing to disintegrate and lose all relevance to the people of Scotland under the management of the most recent incumbent to resign, Richard Leonard, but I have already argued strenuously that the continued demise of Labour in Scotland, now in third place in Scotland behind the SNP and the Tories, had little to do with Leonard as an individual and much more to do with their stupid, cowardly and undemocratic stance on both independence and the holding of a second independence referendum. I predicted the end of Leonard’s leadership in September last year:
“His chances of leading Scottish Labour into the May 2021 election are akin to me recovering the need to use a hairbrush. My receding hairline is permanent, and Richard’s time leading Scottish Labour is over”.
The only surprise in last Friday’s announcement was he was not forced to stand down sooner.
Leonard Was Forced to Resign by Starmer Stormtroopers
The circumstances surrounding Leonard’s hurried resignation announcement are shrouded in murky Sir Starmer Labour shenanigans. Not content with suspending former UK leader Jeremy Corbyn from party membership, Starmer reneged on an agreement to readmit him and restore the party whip in parliament which is now subject to legal action by lawyers under Corbyn’s instructions.
Starmer has ordered thousands of Labour party members to be investigated pending suspension should they either defend Corbyn or criticise Israel for its ‘human rights abuses’ related to Palestine.
Senior Jewish Labour party members who express views consistent with the United Nations opinion that Israel is practicing apartheid in relation to its treatment of Palestinian citizens and believe criticism of Israel and defence of Corbyn are legitimate and justified have already found themselves suspended from party membership. So the story that Leonard was effectively instructed to jump or face the sack by Starmer and a collection of millionaire Labour donors is credible and believable and comments from existing Labour MSPs like Neil Findlay paint a picture of rancid nastiness which spells continued collapse for Labour in Scotland:
“Looks like those who have led a three-year campaign of briefings to journalists, leaks of private conversations and the constant feeding of stories to the media to bring down a decent and honest man have succeeded. These flinching cowards and sneering traitors make me sick”.
Labour Members in Scotland are ‘Sick’ of ‘Traitors’ – So Are the Rest of Us
If the ‘flinching cowards’ and ‘sneering traitors’ within the Labour party in Scotland make Labour party MSPs like Findlay ‘sick’, imagine how they make those of us who believe in a new, fairer, independent, and nuclear weapon free Scotland feel?
Sir Keir Starmer represents the rotten British Establishment through and through. Labour under his stewardship is now no more and no less than a bunch of red Tories. The socialists within that party should get out and form something with integrity and vision now or be saddled with a description they may not personally merit but which accurately depicts their political party. Leonard was an embarrassment to Starmer. While I have never considered Richard a leader, I have known him for over thirty years since our shared time at Stirling University. His views on how to achieve socialism and Scottish independence are not shared by me but he has often championed trade unionism and the right of Palestine to exist. Neither of those traits are consistent with Starmer’s Blair-like New Tory Labour party.
There are only two runners in the contest to manage the Scottish branch office of Starmer’s Labour, but the truth is the result at the end of February is already predetermined. The privately educated millionaire candidate Anas Sarwar will most likely trump the working-class alternative in the shape of Monica Lennon.
Sarwar has always been civil towards me to my face. I knew his millionaire dad Mohammed who became the UK’s first Muslim MP when he won the Glasgow Govan seat in 1997. We briefly served on Glasgow City Council together. Mr Sarwar always respected my active opposition to racism and campaigning for asylum seekers to be respected and welcomed to Scotland.
However, Mr Sarwar, like his son Anas, are loyal to the British Union and the failure of their multi-million-pound cash and carry empire to even pay the living wage highlighted just how thin their grasp of socialism actually is. Anas defence of the failure of the business empire he runs with his family to neither pay the living wage or facilitate trade union membership and recognition was frankly pathetic in 2018 and should prevent socialists and trade unionists in Scotland, from voting for him.
The Millionaire Privately Educated Candidate is Starmer’s Preference
Such trivial matters like wage levels for workers and trade union membership mean next to nothing in Starmer’s New Labour Tories so Sarwar is poised to become the 10th branch office leader of Labour in Scotland in six weeks’ time.
Both candidates are in their late thirties and both sit in the Scottish Parliament as List MSPs for Labour. However, the similarities in life experience are small. Anas was born into privilege and attended a private school in Glasgow before emerging from Glasgow University as a qualified dentist.
Monica Lennon had a more challenging upbringing in a Lanarkshire working class household scarred by alcohol abuse and marriage break-up but she has emerged as an articulate and passionate campaigner on drug misuse and health issues championing the ground-breaking Free Period Products (Scotland) Bill through the Scottish parliament as an anti-poverty measure.
She at least abstained rather than voting against the Referendums Bill legislation showing she may have more of an understanding of Scottish democracy and the right to IndyRef2 than her opponent but in truth her candidature is bound to fail as the Starmer deck is packed against her. His New Tory Labour party is not for working class socialists committed to radical anti-poverty measures, wealth redistribution and Scottish self-determination. Millionaire Anas is much more suited to the position.
Anas Sarwar may be elected the 10th branch office manager of Labour in Scotland over the last 22 year, but he will not reverse their decay. Whilst they wrap themselves up in the Union Jack of inherited privilege, wealth, and exploitation under the bloody heel of British Union imperialism they will never recover support from working class communities and young people whose vision of a better, fairer, nuclear weapon free and independent Scotland trumps their stale and failed agenda of a nasty British chauvinist and corrupt UK incorporated.