Wednesday, 2 June 2010

The Labour Culture of the West

As many regular readers know I live in the east of Scotland where the politics, these days, are very different from the West.

It can be very difficult for me to understand why the west of Scotland, particularly Glasgow and the surrounding areas, continue to vote labour when they are the party which have kept so many in poverty. Yet the people vote for them.

Outlander has written his personal account of trying hard to understand why his father votes labour. Do have a read of it here. It doesn't answer many questions but where I firmly agree is in the SNP's tactics. They really must improve their skills in countering labour lies. I've suggested this for some time now yet there seems to be no progress.

It's time the SNP started practicing some tricks - dirty tricks.


Alex said...

Hi Rosie,
I read Outlander's post and enjoyed it. Having grown up in Glasgow's poorer parts I can recognise much of what he's saying. I don't think it's that difficult to change the votes though. Let's face it Tommy Sheridan showed that if you have conviction they'll switch votes.

I agree entirely with you about the SNP failing to connect. I think the party needs to structure itself to diversify its strategies. We need some bruisers with real political battle scars in there to take on these shysters.

I remember the argument that the best strategy was to win everywhere in Scotland then surround Glasgow which will be the last place to fall. Come on Winnie, the clyde basin represents 3 million people. You go for that constituency and try to adapt the message for the rest of Scotland.

The SNP just doesn't have the brand to instil much enthusiasm in the West. Perhaps the party needs to federalise somewhat. The West needs campaigning, exposing fraud and local visibility.

And certainly internet campaigning should be maximised because the media isn't going to help.

Antisthenes said...

Labour have long since given up explaining policies as they know that does not win them votes. They know they can count on their core voters about 28% of the electorate in England anyway more of course in Scotland to them policies don't matter just being Labour is enough. For the rest and they only need another 10% or so of them to win ( and there is far more than that percentage in the population who are gullible enough to fall for any old scam) can be won over with lies and enticing promises that they have no intention of keeping. So while all the other parties concentrate on spreading the word about what they truly believe in Labour carries on with honing their skill in mendacity and obfuscation so now they are the undisputed champions at it. So the choice for the SNP is ditch enticing people with what they believe in sell their soul to the devil and get stuck in trade lie for lie and deceit for deceit. Remembering they have to come from behind on this skill and have a lot to learn.

In case you are wondering why I am taking the liberty of commenting on Scottish affairs. I would defend that right on one not being an Englishman, two being a person born in Wales of Scottish ancestry. If however you think I am taking too much of a liberty I apologies and will refrain from doing so in the future.

subrosa said...

Hi Alex, it was Outlander who inspired my brief post because I found it touching.

The SNP are leaving it late to make any impact for next year Alex. They really have to start shouting now.

To be fair they're perhaps concentrating on us receiving more fiscal powers, but they have strong activists and they should have a strong campaign department which should be much more high profile.

Just putting notices on their website is not enough. Yes there are bloggers who are SNP members, but they tow the party line. More is needed from the SNP. Surely by now they've learned some of labour's tricks.

subrosa said...

Bonsoir Antisthenes. :) I appreciate the SNP have a lot to learn, but surely they've learned something in the past 3 years.

Please do comment Antisthenes. It's very important views of the situation here are heard from all angles. Sometimes it's hard to see the wood for the trees when you're sitting in the forest.

Antisthenes said...

Subrosa, ça va? vous êtes très gentil, vivez longtemps l'écossais.

subrosa said...

Merci bien Antisthenes. After 7 years of French at school that's about my limit these days. :)

Macheath said...

I wouldn't hold out much hope for weaning the Western Scots off Labour, at least not in this millennium; Scottish history repeatedly shows that once a tribal loyalty is established it goes far deeper than reason will ever reach.

Alex Porter said...

I think they're trying not to come across like opposition and give off the smell of 'party of government' - that only works for a while and then the gloves have to come off.

Another problem is that MSPs like 'aspiring' bloggers are moulded into the image of, if you know what I mean. Compliant carreerism..

Yeh, they need a political animal in charge of campaigning. Alex Neil would do the trick, what's he up to these days?

I think they should try internet campaigning having things like independence debates videos with members, intellectuals, actors business people, punters etc. And even cartooon lampoons and so on. These can go viral.. Alternative media is a must for a party with few MSM friends. I'm sure there are designers, programmers, diretors, producers, writers around who would set this kind of thing up for the cause.. You're right, a little website ain't gonnie cut it.

I had the idea a while back of a comment board moderated by like-minded bloggers. Naturally with links to participating blogs of course. This comment board would see bloggers posting tv clips, newspaper headlines and so on and inviting critical analysis and input. Naturally guest articles, and posts on strategy would feature regularly. Something independent of the party.. The idea is to gather the force of the bloggers into force against the dark side;) Is that a goer?

subrosa said...

You may well be right Macheath. Maybe it's labour which needs to support independence - of course that's wishful thinking. But, if they get kept out of UK politics for quite a few elections, who knows?

subrosa said...

Morning Alex. Alex Neil is in charge of housing isn't he? He would sort it but I doubt if Alex Salmond would give the nod of that. Don't forget they're not the bestest of pals.

I'm sure the SNP could produce quite a professional group to do what you suggest. In the past they've had free of very cheap labour from top class professionals who are supporters and I doubt if that's changed in recent years.

Along the lines of ARSSE you mean? Good idea but didn't someone try that not so long ago and it didn't take off. Maybe Brian Taylor's blog would be a good place to ask too. I couldn't help with the techy side but I'd certainly do my best to encourage my readers to contribute if they could.

Mrs Rigby said...

We lived, for quite some time, a little further north than you, and had friends/colleagues in Glasgow. the places are worlds apart, as you say.

It's an historical mindset isn't it? Same applies in port cities such as Liverpool/Hull/Grimsby etc, in parts of London and the old mill towns of Lancashire/Yorkshire etc. It can be traced back to the 1800s and earlier, when 'working people' had no job security, lots of incomers/immigrants seeking work living in awful accommodation and desperate poverty.

Central Government did do a lot of good, the Unions probably did more - and people were grateful. Some of their descendents could no more vote for any other party than they could fly to the moon, and these days there's always some evil boss/politician who can be blamed for their own hardship/bad luck. Some Lancashire/Yorkshire people (people we know) still truly believe everybody in London is rich and therefore are 'against them'. Same must, surely, apply to Glasgow and Edinburgh?

But, as Outlander says, the thinking younger generation are making their own decisions, and so are the wimmin. If the SNP wants to make inroads they need publicity, if the main media won't give it to them then they need stories in magazines, in free papers, on local radio. People do still talk face to face, internet has speeded things up, and whispering campaigns and youtube virals travel incredibly fast these days.

They need to attract 'attractive' individuals too, populist 'local' people who appear to relate to local problems. As Alex says, there's also the need for "need some bruisers with real political battle scars".

Hamish said...

My French is as bad as yours,
but did a previous poster mean to imply that you are masculine?

To the point, I disagree that the SNP should resort to dirty tricks.
The SNP have a proud record of rejecting those tactics and I hope they continue to do so.

Alex Porter said...

Hi Hamish,
I think 'dirty tricks' needs a bit of defining. If it means misrepresentation then no, if it means being politically ruthless then yes.

Unfortunately the SNP have a recent poor record on lacking ruthlessness..

I remember Sillar's Goven by-election win. He outed Labour's populist propaganda ruthlessly and the people turned to him. No lies just saying it like it is - directly.

The Bradford and Bingly nats should analyse policy and let the political bruisers do the campaigning..

Alex Porter said...

Just souding out. Not sure if I have the time to put it together anyway.

What about ARSSE? What happened and why did it fail? Do you know?


Antisthenes said...

Hamish, thank you for pointing that out and if you are right my apologies to Subrosa.

I may live in France but my French linguistic skills leave a lot to be desired. I am amused to find that when I speak to French people and they realise that I am not really understanding what they are saying that they adopt the British manner of speaking the same thing louder. Funnily enough I find it helps me and the pleasure I see on my interlocutor's face as they see the dawning of understanding on mine is equally as pleasurable to me.

RantinRab said...

An excellent, excellent post. I live the west of Scotland life and it is sickening the way Labour is ingrained into the psyche.

I see a glimmer of hope as some youngsters see Labour for what they are.

I may do a wee post like your good self.

subrosa said...

It is historical in many ways Mrs R. People have a romantic memory of workers sacrificing everything for their trade. Of course labour today wouldn't dream of that because the important issue with unions is that the bosses are paid extraordinary amounts of money plus so many perks.

Somehow some think labour will find them the job of their dreams too.

All rather sad really.

I too am pleased to see the younger generations questioning now. We need to keep highlighting this as it's the younger ones who may be able to explain to their own families what labour is really like today.

I love the word 'bruiser'. It was one of my father's favourite words.

subrosa said...

Hamish, I said dirty not filthy. Labour are much more than dirty.

subrosa said...

Alex, I wasn't expecting you to start a forum. Sorry to mislead you. I somehow recall someone did start one last year.

Perhaps you could ask on Blether with Brian. One of the commenters there would know I'm sure.

ARSSE is the military forum and it's alive and well. Possibly one of the most successful forums in the UK.

subrosa said...

Antisthenes, I didn't notice and I'm sure Hamish wasn't correcting your grammar. He was possibly showing just how pathetic my French is after all that schooling. :)

The Germans were more tolerant with me. When they realised I didn't understand, they used to slow down and articulate every consonant and vowel.

subrosa said...

Please do Rab. Outlander would be tickled pink. (Do bloggers get tickled pink?)

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