I covered Immigration recently and will do so again in a few days (probably) as the situation I spoke about seems to have exploded over the last few days.
Instead I’m going to cover something that popped up last week and again yesterday.
Jim Murphy, the shadow Secretary of State for International Development, has thrown his hat into the ring for the leadership of Scottish Labour after previously declaring that he had no intention of leaving Westminster.
Now however, he is officially taking his place in the contest for the leadership of the Scottish Labour party and this has the potential to build on comments made by the departing leader Johann Lamont who said that London treated Scotland like a branch office. She resigned after her general secretary was called down to London to be sacked London without anyone consulting her or even telling her it was going to happen.
She considered her position to be untenable and so she resigned and had a few choice words for Miliband and the London party. Can of worms opened.
The Tories are very much an English party, Labour have a strong showing in Scotland and are running Wales (into the ground), the Lib Dems run my corner of the world though given the way they are falling off the bottom of the polls that will change I hope.
North of the border the Tories have one whole MP, a remarkable fact, I’m sure they remark on it while sipping subsidized Champers with their subsidized lunches (on expenses) in the subsidized eating halls of Parliament.
Labour on the other hand has a sizeable number of MPs up there, enough that they would be facing almost permanent opposition status if they lost them. Given this the London mob have been keen to keep those MPs in place and this leads to part of the problem. Micromanagement.
The London based Labour leadership MUST keep those Scottish MPs, without them English Labour does not have the numbers to challenge the Tories, even with the Lib Dems though how many MPs the Lib Dems can expect after five years as willing lapdogs to the Nasty party is anyone’s guess.
So London seems to be working hard to keep Scottish Labour following the London agenda, the problem comes when Scotland has very different needs and attitudes to London.
Not so long ago we had the Scottish referendum, the SNP pushed hard for independence, London pushed hard for Scotland to stay in the Union. Which led to a problem, the government who most wanted Scotland to stay is Tory, as much as we dislike and hate the nasty party down here in England north of the border they feel even more strongly. So the Tories could not directly lead the stay together campaign, advisors told them to stay out of Scotland and not add their names to the campaign for fear of driving away supporters.
So the Tories let Brown and Co lead the Scottish referendum fight, Labour have much stronger contacts and could bring in something the Tories did not have, Scottish MPs. A number of well known Scots rolled north and added their voices to the better together case.
Gordon Brown was the biggest fish in this pond but Jim Murphy was very active across all of Scotland though he campaigned alone rather than as part of the London Labour machine.
The votes were counted, a massive percentage of the Scottish voters came out to vote and the majority decided to stay in the UK. A great many promises had been made about devolution of powers to Scotland if they stayed in the UK and to my mind this had an effect in swinging votes to stay.
The Tories let Labour front the better together campaign and promised to support the promises on devolution and more powers. Then blatantly said they were attaching conditions to devolution and rather than meet the promised deadline would in fact consider it sometime later on, maybe, when they had the time, after the next election, in a few years.
So far this has simply bubbled under the surface, people have gone back to their normal lives and the day to day worries of surviving in austerity Britain. But those promises have not been forgotten nor will they be, they will become one more thing that will be added to the pile come the elections next year.
There have been a lot of comments from various Quarters about how the SNP are finished, voters are leaving them, Alex Salmon is quitting and Labour will pick up the pieces. But, and this is a big but, Labour is facing the prospect of a huge backlash when people decide that the English politicians lied to them in order to secure a NO vote.
Enter Jim Murphy.
He has said that he wanted Gordon Brown to stand for the role, then when Gordon declined many MPs and Scottish people called on him to step in.
Labour insiders are talking about Mr Murphy coming in without any New Labour baggage.
Jim Murphy has said the following:
“I will hire and fire who I want. I am big enough and ugly enough and I am not going to be pushed around by anyone. If I am leader it is not for anyone else, in any other part of the United Kingdom, to tell me who I can employ in the Scottish Labour Party.
I'm not saying Johann was pushed around but that is the way it is going to be if I am in charge. I want more autonomy for the Scottish Labour Party.
The House of Commons will always be important but increasingly Holyrood is where the action is going to be and that is why I am making this move.”
Other Scottish commentators are warning of the dangers of ‘Westminster Candidates’ and of London interference.
Counter this with a quote from one of the other candidates for the job Sarah Boyack, “It's absolutely crucial that we get an Ed Miliband government elected”. Not a Labour government but a Miliband government, a man fairly unknown by the majority of Scottish voters and the man who is running the London party that treats Scotland as a branch office.
For years now the complaint has been made, and rightly so, that London and the London Political class is out of touch and disinterested with anything outside of the M25. Scotland is about as far from London as you can get and has very different needs and wants to London. But London seems to be trying to run the Scottish political party in exactly the same way as and following the same agenda as the London mob.
As Scotland waits for the promised devolution of power the last thing they want is going to be attempts to bring them more tightly under control of London. The Tories won’t give Scotland the freedom they want, Labour is afraid to give them that freedom in case it costs them the chance of getting back into government.
So it is coming down to who is looking out for Scotland and its people, it’s not London. With the rise and rise of UKIP I would like to see an independant Scotish Labour party, I would like to see the self serving political types in London having to earn votes and support and not taking voters for granted.
A separate party, looking after the needs and wants of Scotland but willing to stand with the English party IF doing so benefits the people north of the border is yet another step towards breaking the binary political situation that blights British politics.
So will Scottish Labour Devolve along with Scotland. I hope so.