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Richard Leonard resigns as leader of Scottish Labour 16:19 - Jan 14 with 672 viewstractordownsouth

Shame it didn't work out for him, but probably the right thing to do because Labour were set to finish 3rd again, which is poor.

I know it won't happen but I genuinely think Gordon Brown would be a great shout as a short term option. His speech was credited by some as the winning moment for the unionists in the 2014 referendum, and he managed to increase the Labour vote in Scotland by 2.5% in 2010, despite the huge national swing away from the party.

I'm not a Scot but it seems like Labour suffers from a lack of recognisable figures within Scottish politics. If Brown were to lead Labour into becoming the main party of opposition to the SNP, he could then pass the leadership onto a new figure halfway through the parliamentary term, and the new leader would enjoy a bit more of the limelight.

Like I said, it's an unlikely idea (and probably unpopular on here) but I think there's method to my madness.

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Richard Leonard resigns as leader of Scottish Labour on 16:40 - Jan 14 with 471 viewsgordon

The problem for Labour in Scotland is very, very simple - the party supports the union, but a large majority of people who want progressive politics in Scotland support Independence.

By being opposed to Independence, and standing little chance of getting into power themselves Labour are effectively legitimising a very unpopular conservative party's right to wield power over a nation that (on the whole) resents it.

Gordon Brown can do whatever nice speeches he wants, but Labour will continue to be a minor party in Scotland unless they back Independence.
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Richard Leonard resigns as leader of Scottish Labour on 16:48 - Jan 14 with 452 viewstractordownsouth

Richard Leonard resigns as leader of Scottish Labour on 16:40 - Jan 14 by gordon

The problem for Labour in Scotland is very, very simple - the party supports the union, but a large majority of people who want progressive politics in Scotland support Independence.

By being opposed to Independence, and standing little chance of getting into power themselves Labour are effectively legitimising a very unpopular conservative party's right to wield power over a nation that (on the whole) resents it.

Gordon Brown can do whatever nice speeches he wants, but Labour will continue to be a minor party in Scotland unless they back Independence.


I think soft unionism is the way to go. Labour shouldn’t ever back independence but being in favour of more devolved powers (and specifying where) would give the party a foot in both camps and would give scope to take votes both from centrist Tories who dislike Johnson and the nationalists who dislike the SNP’s decision to prioritise ideology over policy.

I suppose there is a risk of it being a repeat of the Brexit halfway house, but there’s not really anywhere else to go. I can’t imagine many of the non-Labour unionists will back the party if it is staunchly unionist, because they have the Tories for that, whereas backing independence would be a disaster for the party both sides of the border.

Again I’m not a Scottish expert, but that’s essentially the position Labour has taken in Wales, which fends off the threat from Plaid and the Tories.

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Richard Leonard resigns as leader of Scottish Labour on 16:51 - Jan 14 with 445 viewsgiant_ullaa

Richard Leonard resigns as leader of Scottish Labour on 16:48 - Jan 14 by tractordownsouth

I think soft unionism is the way to go. Labour shouldn’t ever back independence but being in favour of more devolved powers (and specifying where) would give the party a foot in both camps and would give scope to take votes both from centrist Tories who dislike Johnson and the nationalists who dislike the SNP’s decision to prioritise ideology over policy.

I suppose there is a risk of it being a repeat of the Brexit halfway house, but there’s not really anywhere else to go. I can’t imagine many of the non-Labour unionists will back the party if it is staunchly unionist, because they have the Tories for that, whereas backing independence would be a disaster for the party both sides of the border.

Again I’m not a Scottish expert, but that’s essentially the position Labour has taken in Wales, which fends off the threat from Plaid and the Tories.


Has there been any talk of disbanding the Scottish now-minor parties to create an alliance against nationalism? Or is that just an impossibility?

Has anyone ever looked at their own postings for last day or so? Oh my... so sorry.
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Richard Leonard resigns as leader of Scottish Labour on 16:54 - Jan 14 with 441 viewsDarth_Koont

Richard Leonard resigns as leader of Scottish Labour on 16:40 - Jan 14 by gordon

The problem for Labour in Scotland is very, very simple - the party supports the union, but a large majority of people who want progressive politics in Scotland support Independence.

By being opposed to Independence, and standing little chance of getting into power themselves Labour are effectively legitimising a very unpopular conservative party's right to wield power over a nation that (on the whole) resents it.

Gordon Brown can do whatever nice speeches he wants, but Labour will continue to be a minor party in Scotland unless they back Independence.


Exactly.

They’re now even more between a rock and a hard place with the national Labour Party being bluntly unionist and increasingly likely to be non-progressive too. I suspect the only real long-term hope for Labour in Scotland is post-Independence.

They should cut their losses and push for independence like the Scottish Greens and that way stay relevant.
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Richard Leonard resigns as leader of Scottish Labour on 16:57 - Jan 14 with 426 viewsgordon

Richard Leonard resigns as leader of Scottish Labour on 16:48 - Jan 14 by tractordownsouth

I think soft unionism is the way to go. Labour shouldn’t ever back independence but being in favour of more devolved powers (and specifying where) would give the party a foot in both camps and would give scope to take votes both from centrist Tories who dislike Johnson and the nationalists who dislike the SNP’s decision to prioritise ideology over policy.

I suppose there is a risk of it being a repeat of the Brexit halfway house, but there’s not really anywhere else to go. I can’t imagine many of the non-Labour unionists will back the party if it is staunchly unionist, because they have the Tories for that, whereas backing independence would be a disaster for the party both sides of the border.

Again I’m not a Scottish expert, but that’s essentially the position Labour has taken in Wales, which fends off the threat from Plaid and the Tories.


Well, Labour's performance has been absolutely disastrous since the Independence vote in 2014, and 'Soft unionism' is precisely the problem - unionists aren't usually that soft in Scotland!

I'd also expect the Welsh labour vote to collapse in the same way that the Scottish Labour vote has done if support for Welsh independence grows.
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Richard Leonard resigns as leader of Scottish Labour on 17:01 - Jan 14 with 415 viewstractordownsouth

Richard Leonard resigns as leader of Scottish Labour on 16:54 - Jan 14 by Darth_Koont

Exactly.

They’re now even more between a rock and a hard place with the national Labour Party being bluntly unionist and increasingly likely to be non-progressive too. I suspect the only real long-term hope for Labour in Scotland is post-Independence.

They should cut their losses and push for independence like the Scottish Greens and that way stay relevant.


From a UK perspecrive, how's that going to work long term ? It just pushes Labour further out of power in the UK. And if a Labour-backed independence campaign won the referendum, the Tories will accuse the party of breaking up the UK.

Backing independence might help gain some seats in the short term, but won't be enough to win a majority in Holyrood (or even a pluraliity) and it'll do nothing beyond that because it will have UK-wide consequences. I think following the Welsh Labour blue print would be more successful - but the party needs to be at least the main opposition for that message to get out.

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Richard Leonard resigns as leader of Scottish Labour on 17:04 - Jan 14 with 406 viewsDarth_Koont

Richard Leonard resigns as leader of Scottish Labour on 17:01 - Jan 14 by tractordownsouth

From a UK perspecrive, how's that going to work long term ? It just pushes Labour further out of power in the UK. And if a Labour-backed independence campaign won the referendum, the Tories will accuse the party of breaking up the UK.

Backing independence might help gain some seats in the short term, but won't be enough to win a majority in Holyrood (or even a pluraliity) and it'll do nothing beyond that because it will have UK-wide consequences. I think following the Welsh Labour blue print would be more successful - but the party needs to be at least the main opposition for that message to get out.


It won’t work for the UK as a whole. But that ship has sailed.

Labour made the mistake of taking Scotland for granted for decades. Time to look forward now.
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Richard Leonard resigns as leader of Scottish Labour on 17:04 - Jan 14 with 405 viewstractordownsouth

Richard Leonard resigns as leader of Scottish Labour on 16:57 - Jan 14 by gordon

Well, Labour's performance has been absolutely disastrous since the Independence vote in 2014, and 'Soft unionism' is precisely the problem - unionists aren't usually that soft in Scotland!

I'd also expect the Welsh labour vote to collapse in the same way that the Scottish Labour vote has done if support for Welsh independence grows.


The solution to both problems is to actually get a UK Westminster government. It wouldn't completely destroy the SNP/Plaid support because it's more complicated than that, but I think that having a left of centre government (which is where most independence supporters sit on the spectrum in both Wales and Scotland) would reduce the nationalist momentum because the stark difference in voting behaviour would be ended for the first time in 15 years.

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Richard Leonard resigns as leader of Scottish Labour on 17:06 - Jan 14 with 399 viewsDarth_Koont

Richard Leonard resigns as leader of Scottish Labour on 17:04 - Jan 14 by tractordownsouth

The solution to both problems is to actually get a UK Westminster government. It wouldn't completely destroy the SNP/Plaid support because it's more complicated than that, but I think that having a left of centre government (which is where most independence supporters sit on the spectrum in both Wales and Scotland) would reduce the nationalist momentum because the stark difference in voting behaviour would be ended for the first time in 15 years.


“Left of centre government” in Westminster?

No chance.
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Richard Leonard resigns as leader of Scottish Labour on 17:06 - Jan 14 with 398 viewstractordownsouth

Richard Leonard resigns as leader of Scottish Labour on 17:04 - Jan 14 by Darth_Koont

It won’t work for the UK as a whole. But that ship has sailed.

Labour made the mistake of taking Scotland for granted for decades. Time to look forward now.


If it doesn't work for both Scotland and the UK, then it's a counter productive stategy for the UK Labour Party to adopt.

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Richard Leonard resigns as leader of Scottish Labour on 17:07 - Jan 14 with 392 viewstractordownsouth

Richard Leonard resigns as leader of Scottish Labour on 17:06 - Jan 14 by Darth_Koont

“Left of centre government” in Westminster?

No chance.


I mean there was one for 13 years just over a decade ago... It might not have been left wing enough for you, but it was still left of centre.

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Richard Leonard resigns as leader of Scottish Labour on 17:08 - Jan 14 with 390 viewsDarth_Koont

Richard Leonard resigns as leader of Scottish Labour on 17:06 - Jan 14 by tractordownsouth

If it doesn't work for both Scotland and the UK, then it's a counter productive stategy for the UK Labour Party to adopt.


I’m talking about socialist/social democratic politics in Scotland. If a Labour movement wants any clout in Scotland then following the UK Labour Party agenda won’t work.
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Richard Leonard resigns as leader of Scottish Labour on 17:10 - Jan 14 with 381 viewsgordon

Richard Leonard resigns as leader of Scottish Labour on 17:01 - Jan 14 by tractordownsouth

From a UK perspecrive, how's that going to work long term ? It just pushes Labour further out of power in the UK. And if a Labour-backed independence campaign won the referendum, the Tories will accuse the party of breaking up the UK.

Backing independence might help gain some seats in the short term, but won't be enough to win a majority in Holyrood (or even a pluraliity) and it'll do nothing beyond that because it will have UK-wide consequences. I think following the Welsh Labour blue print would be more successful - but the party needs to be at least the main opposition for that message to get out.


The Labour party opposing self-determination in Scotland to give themselves a better shot at winning in Westminster isn't really a vote-winning strategy in Scotland, lol.
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Richard Leonard resigns as leader of Scottish Labour on 17:17 - Jan 14 with 360 viewstractordownsouth

Richard Leonard resigns as leader of Scottish Labour on 17:10 - Jan 14 by gordon

The Labour party opposing self-determination in Scotland to give themselves a better shot at winning in Westminster isn't really a vote-winning strategy in Scotland, lol.


That shouldn't be the message - the message should be focused on how the achievements of the last Labour government benefited Scotland within the Union.

I was merely pointing out to Darth that it wouldn't be sensible for the UK Labour Party to advocate the break up of the UK.

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Richard Leonard resigns as leader of Scottish Labour on 17:17 - Jan 14 with 358 viewsDarth_Koont

Richard Leonard resigns as leader of Scottish Labour on 17:07 - Jan 14 by tractordownsouth

I mean there was one for 13 years just over a decade ago... It might not have been left wing enough for you, but it was still left of centre.


Blair’s government really wasn’t left of centre. It was centre-right in measurable terms from how it saw the economy, how it spent its money and how it saw the world. And their socially liberal policies aren’t left per se.

Similar to Merkel in Germany but with a neoliberal fetish and a bit too much imperialism thrown in.
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Richard Leonard resigns as leader of Scottish Labour on 17:19 - Jan 14 with 351 viewsgordon

Richard Leonard resigns as leader of Scottish Labour on 17:17 - Jan 14 by tractordownsouth

That shouldn't be the message - the message should be focused on how the achievements of the last Labour government benefited Scotland within the Union.

I was merely pointing out to Darth that it wouldn't be sensible for the UK Labour Party to advocate the break up of the UK.


It sounds like you'd benefit from talking to Scottish people and finding out a bit about their opinions etc.
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Richard Leonard resigns as leader of Scottish Labour on 17:22 - Jan 14 with 345 viewsgordon

Richard Leonard resigns as leader of Scottish Labour on 17:17 - Jan 14 by Darth_Koont

Blair’s government really wasn’t left of centre. It was centre-right in measurable terms from how it saw the economy, how it spent its money and how it saw the world. And their socially liberal policies aren’t left per se.

Similar to Merkel in Germany but with a neoliberal fetish and a bit too much imperialism thrown in.


I'm actually quite looking forward to seeing this new Scottish Labour strategy of having Gordon Brown in charge to talk about the great things that Tony Blair did for Scotland.
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Richard Leonard resigns as leader of Scottish Labour on 17:22 - Jan 14 with 345 viewsDarth_Koont

Richard Leonard resigns as leader of Scottish Labour on 17:17 - Jan 14 by tractordownsouth

That shouldn't be the message - the message should be focused on how the achievements of the last Labour government benefited Scotland within the Union.

I was merely pointing out to Darth that it wouldn't be sensible for the UK Labour Party to advocate the break up of the UK.


The last Labour government was a letdown in Scotland.

Please don’t try the same tactic on the Red Wall in England or in Wales. It needs the sort of mea culpa that Brown gave when he admitted that they didn’t do enough (anything?) over 13 years to address systemic and structural imbalances.
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Richard Leonard resigns as leader of Scottish Labour on 17:38 - Jan 14 with 323 viewstractordownsouth

Richard Leonard resigns as leader of Scottish Labour on 17:19 - Jan 14 by gordon

It sounds like you'd benefit from talking to Scottish people and finding out a bit about their opinions etc.


I agree, I'm not Scottish so I'm happy to bow to others superior knowledge on the issues. I'm not advocacting a return to Blairism ( in Scotland or the UK as a whole) but equally not sure how independence is viable for the party. It's a difficult balancing act with regards to a lot of issues - for example Labour can't become EU rejoiners, because it would make the next GE a Brexit culture war, which plays into the Tories' hands, but such a stance would be more attractive in the Holyrood elections.

I'm not pretending to have any definitive answers, but can't see the independence or pro EU positions being beneficial as they will only deepen the divisions between Scotland and the rest of the UK. Nonetheless it's pretty grim as it is , so there needs to be a clear strategy from whoever succeeds Leonard.

I have a uni essay to write (ironically about national identity and voting behaviour in Wales) so will try not to procrastinate on here for much longer this evening!

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Richard Leonard resigns as leader of Scottish Labour on 17:44 - Jan 14 with 311 viewstractordownsouth

Richard Leonard resigns as leader of Scottish Labour on 17:22 - Jan 14 by Darth_Koont

The last Labour government was a letdown in Scotland.

Please don’t try the same tactic on the Red Wall in England or in Wales. It needs the sort of mea culpa that Brown gave when he admitted that they didn’t do enough (anything?) over 13 years to address systemic and structural imbalances.


When you say they "didn’t do enough over 13 years to address systemic and structural imbalances" what specifically do you mean by that?

Again, not denying that wasn't the case ( the Blair/Brown govts could have gone further) but I see you use this phrase quite often without explaining which policies you'd have liked to see. Much of the stuff that was done was reversed by the Tories, but that's surely the reality of having a Parliament that cannot bind it's successors?

Right I definitely need to do my work now!

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Richard Leonard resigns as leader of Scottish Labour on 17:52 - Jan 14 with 297 viewsDarth_Koont

Richard Leonard resigns as leader of Scottish Labour on 17:44 - Jan 14 by tractordownsouth

When you say they "didn’t do enough over 13 years to address systemic and structural imbalances" what specifically do you mean by that?

Again, not denying that wasn't the case ( the Blair/Brown govts could have gone further) but I see you use this phrase quite often without explaining which policies you'd have liked to see. Much of the stuff that was done was reversed by the Tories, but that's surely the reality of having a Parliament that cannot bind it's successors?

Right I definitely need to do my work now!


I’ll see if I can find it. It’s pretty much what Brown said verbatim.

I’m not surprised it wasn’t picked up on more by our media. Puts the Blair Golden Age myth in a harsher, more realistic light and the Tory governments have been even worse. So nothing for the fanboys there.
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Richard Leonard resigns as leader of Scottish Labour on 17:55 - Jan 14 with 294 viewsgordon

Richard Leonard resigns as leader of Scottish Labour on 17:38 - Jan 14 by tractordownsouth

I agree, I'm not Scottish so I'm happy to bow to others superior knowledge on the issues. I'm not advocacting a return to Blairism ( in Scotland or the UK as a whole) but equally not sure how independence is viable for the party. It's a difficult balancing act with regards to a lot of issues - for example Labour can't become EU rejoiners, because it would make the next GE a Brexit culture war, which plays into the Tories' hands, but such a stance would be more attractive in the Holyrood elections.

I'm not pretending to have any definitive answers, but can't see the independence or pro EU positions being beneficial as they will only deepen the divisions between Scotland and the rest of the UK. Nonetheless it's pretty grim as it is , so there needs to be a clear strategy from whoever succeeds Leonard.

I have a uni essay to write (ironically about national identity and voting behaviour in Wales) so will try not to procrastinate on here for much longer this evening!


But can you imagine supporting the UK Labour party if you were told that their policies had to be based on what was best for the French Labour party? It probably wouldn't occur to you to support such a party, and that's pretty much how people feel about Scottish Labour now.

Added to that, the revulsion amongst Scottish progressive voters about a) the Iraq war and b) senior labour politicians being happy to campaign alongside some of the most duplicitous, lying c*nts that England could ever conjure up in the Independence Referendum means that it's about a whole lot more than 'getting the message right'.
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Richard Leonard resigns as leader of Scottish Labour on 17:58 - Jan 14 with 288 viewsgordon

Richard Leonard resigns as leader of Scottish Labour on 17:52 - Jan 14 by Darth_Koont

I’ll see if I can find it. It’s pretty much what Brown said verbatim.

I’m not surprised it wasn’t picked up on more by our media. Puts the Blair Golden Age myth in a harsher, more realistic light and the Tory governments have been even worse. So nothing for the fanboys there.


Regardless, Tony Blair isn't very popular in Scotland!

Would be like Labour trying to win votes from the Tories in England by appointing Michel Barnier as European spokesperson.
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Richard Leonard resigns as leader of Scottish Labour on 18:03 - Jan 14 with 284 viewsgiant_ullaa

Richard Leonard resigns as leader of Scottish Labour on 17:10 - Jan 14 by gordon

The Labour party opposing self-determination in Scotland to give themselves a better shot at winning in Westminster isn't really a vote-winning strategy in Scotland, lol.


if that's true, it really is time Scotland went its own way and left English lefties to the good fight.

Can't blame them for jumping ship after Brexit, but thanks for the comradship all the same, chaps.

Has anyone ever looked at their own postings for last day or so? Oh my... so sorry.
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Richard Leonard resigns as leader of Scottish Labour on 18:08 - Jan 14 with 271 viewsgordon

Richard Leonard resigns as leader of Scottish Labour on 18:03 - Jan 14 by giant_ullaa

if that's true, it really is time Scotland went its own way and left English lefties to the good fight.

Can't blame them for jumping ship after Brexit, but thanks for the comradship all the same, chaps.


Yes, for Scottish Labour, it's a tough, tough old gig - progressive parties don't tend to win very many votes by opposing progressive politics.
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