Monday, 12 September 2011
The Battle For Glasgow
The Labour party's review of their Scottish branch has been made public with its staunchest supporter, the Daily Record, calling it the 'biggest shake-up in a century'.
As with any shake-up though, once the agitation stops, the elements will return to their natural position. The Murphy/Boyack review contains little substance but it does alter the administration of the party in Scotland with the intention of giving more powers to the new leader, changing their constituency network and, according to the Record, 'a move to cut ties with the UK party'.
If the idea is to break away from the UK party - although the review does not propose a separate federal party in Scotland - surely Labour in England, Wales and N Ireland need to be renamed. Of course that won't happen because Labour in Scotland will continue to be an integral part of UK Labour. It's inconceivable that London Labour will cast off Scotland because without its support from north of the border the party would be unelectable in Westminster. Rather amusingly, the proposed changes have to be approved by the UK party at their conference in Liverpool in a few weeks time. Will Ed Miliband sign his own death warrant? Of course not.
Labour's reason for tinkering with their Scottish branch's constitution is not for the sake of Scots, but a desperate attempt to hold onto their fiefdom - Glasgow. Without their 50 year stranglehold on Glaswegian politics they would become as insignificant as the Tories and the Libdems. Give Murdo Fraser his due, he sees the Tories problem as one involving the whole of Scotland, whereas Jim Murphy and Sarah Boyack have concentrated only on the west.
I've no experience of west coast politics and rely upon other sources for information, but 'dirty tricks' and 'murky dealings' within the City Chambers (pictured) are often mentioned.
The battle between Labour and the SNP for Glasgow will be arduous and it won't be easy for the SNP to break Labour's monopoly, particularly when they have a prominent member such as Ari Mack publicly accusing his fellow local party members of 'paranoia, conspiracy theories, mental illness and downright stupidity'. The use of such language is unforgivable and Mr Mack should be shown a red card.