So, according to Margaret Curran, Labour in Scotland is going to ditch the legacy of Tony Blair and return to its “socialist principles” ahead of the UK election next May.
Mrs Curran says Ed Miliband is going to stand up to big business.
In an article for Scotland on Sunday, the most junior member of the shadow cabinet appears to have been given the job reversing the direction of Labour, which is odd, given that at their recent party conference, far more senior members of the party were talking about more austerity than the Tories, being tougher on benefits than the Tories, and a minimum wage of £8 per hour by 2020, a laughable ambition when a decent living wage must be around £10 an hour in 2014.
By Margaret says, without a flicker of a smile:
“The socialist principles of equality, redistribution and social justice need to shape our politics as much today as they did when I joined the party.”
She is on tour… a bit like Nicola Sturgeon, laying out what she thinks Labour stands for. She will talk in traditional Labour strongholds that voted Yes in last month’s referendum in an effort to win back the party’s core support.
Around a third of Labour supporters voted Yes in the September referendum.
Curran’s piece trots out a load of words that actually say nothing at all:
“When we see a country divided, we should not be satisfied" (erm no, we should not... so, what have we been doing about this division in our society Margaret?) "It should make us work even harder to bring our country together." (So are we going to start doing that now, after 40 years of division since Thatcher? Oh well, better late than never.)
“We have a leader across the UK who has learned the lessons of Iraq and opposed military action in Syria" (but not Libya, and not Iraq again), "who refuses to kowtow to vested interests like the banks and the energy companies and who believes that politics is about building a movement of working people to change our country.” (No, you don't. You have a weak man with absolutely no ideas whose confidence is torn to shreds, whom few like, and who is generally considered to be weird!)
As usual Labour is fighting the wrong election.
Scottish Labour may feel that to save itself and the well paid jobs of its MPs, MSPs and other officials, it must move to the left to win back the votes of the people it was created to represent, but the problem is, and this is fundamental to the whole independence debate is… "Scottish Labour, so what?"
When it comes to the UK, what exactly is the importance of Scottish Labour?
Well, of course in UK electoral terms they represent somewhere in the order of 40 fairly solid Labour seats. And given the current state of politics where there is little between the two major UK parties, that is the difference between 10 Downing Street, and mixing with President Obama adn the King of Saudi Arabia on the one hand, and back to the back benches, having failed for Ed, with the added embarrassment that his brother might have succeeded.
In her article for SoS, Curran says that her “number one priority” as Secretary of State for Scotland would be a Scottish Jobs Guarantee and getting the country’s young people “back to work”. (Novel idea. No one has ever thought of that before!)
She insists that “That means ending exploitative zero-hours’ contracts and starting to increase the minimum wage to £8 an hour". (No, it means increasing the minimum wage to £10 an hour pretty much right away, and that could never happen, not even under the SNP! Companies just wouldn't stand for it, prices would rocket and those without wages would starve unless benefits and pensions were dramatically increased...like that's gonna happen!)
She goes on: "And we will show exactly whose side we are on by freezing energy prices and reforming the energy market once and for all. Even with less money, we will change the country for good.” (You mean renationalise it? No, I thought not. So how can you regulate it? It's in a market.)
Maggie, it's all words. They sound pretty but unless you're 18 you've heard them all before, every 4 or 5 years.
Most of your suggestions are unworkable and in any case, the minute you have these 40 MPs to bolster your chances of forming a government every single policy will be ditched in favour of keeping the bankers and the City happy.
Nice try, but we aren't all muppets.