A kinder politics

A guest post by Samuel Miller

This week Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the Labour party, has been touring what he hopes are winnable marginal seats in Scotland. His intent, to raise his and his party’s profile north of the border and of course apparently do some damage to Labour’s political opponents along the way. So far, so logical. It’s what politicians do. Jeremy however, is different from other politicians. We know this because … well basically he said so.

“I want a kinder politics, a more caring society; don’t let them reduce you to believing in anything less,” and “Let’s get on with bringing values back into politics.” Jeremy Corbyn, 2015

In fact it’s been pretty much a major theme of his political rhetoric for the past two years, this call for kinder, more honest politics. Sounds great, don’t you think? Which is kind of at odds with some of the statements made so far. According to Jeremy – “The SNP government has the powers if it wants to use them to mitigate the effects of austerity, they chose not to.” So clearly, offsetting the bedroom tax, no tuition fees, no prescription charges and up until the beginning of the last parliamentary term, the freezing of council tax don’t count then. Also, and this is maybe just me, but in whose estimation are the powers of the Scottish government adequate enough to cope with the austerity measures of central government? A matter of opinion surely?

Jeremy also made statements on the levels of third world poverty and shortened life expectancy to be found in areas of Glasgow (not entirely clear whether he made any statement or posited a theory on the historic causes though). Housing shortage and under investment in rural communities also rated some concerned mention. There were also some pledges from Jeremy to invest in all of the above, though my fav quote has to be “I want to see a Labour government in Westminster to be able to fund Scotland the way it should be funded and empower housing associations and local authorities to improve their housing stock.” Uh Huh!

It’s nice that Jeremy made the suggestions and all, don’t you think? In fact it’s appreciated that he discovered these things happen in Scotland at all and that, as is right and proper, some degree of concern for same is being shown. How and ever, setting aside that the Scottish Government do have a programme and targets in place on pretty much all of the above, just what does ‘fund Scotland the way it should be funded’ imply d’you reckon? Does Jeremy think Scotland is underfunded? Why would he think such a thing? He has been aware of the Scotland bill debates, devolution and such over the past seventeen years or so surely? He is aware of the current constitutional settlement, yes/no? His party were somewhat heavily involved in the process after all. How precisely does he intend to work out what this proper funding should be? Once he’s done that, how will he get it through both houses and sell it to the electorate of the other nations that they should ‘fund’ Scotland even more? It’ll be quite a sell given the current toxic media attitude toward all things Scottish. A media attitude and narrative born of political affiliations and corporate interest it has to noted.

I’m hoping regular readers have also noted the language and terminology concerning Scotland by this point?

Going back to the first statement however, there are a few pertinent questions to ask Mr Corbyn. Why should the Scottish parliament be required to ‘mitigate’ anything? Haven’t the Scottish public paid taxes to ensure that central government is responsible for adequate and effective legislation in the first place? Why should Scotland’s electorate expect that portions of their budget allocation are used to rectify catastrophic economic errors and/or oppressive legislation from central government at all? Isn’t central government fit for purpose? Is Mr Corbyn suggesting that it’s not?

Moving on, there’s the matter of the branch office’s strategy over the past year (well, past several years really). Where does kinder more honest politics come into Labour’s constant, and I do mean constant, negative opinions of the performance of Scotland’s institutions and services fit in precisely? If Labour are to be believed, Scotland’s NHS and Rail services are on the verge of imminent collapse and in a state of perpetual crisis. Which is, y’know, strange because NHS Scotland have some pretty impressive performance stats and our Scotrail service appears to be doing rather well.

But still, a kinder, more honest politics.

Finally we come to THIS. Yes, I know. A federal solution. Something this site and a great many others have covered in some detail is the long promised, nay mythical, idyll of federalism.

“Everything is on the table.” (Jeremy Corbyn or David Cameron? I just can’t tell anymore.)

Two words for Mr Corbyn – Gordon Brown. Another two words if those fail to ring any bells – The VOW. (and the first smarty pants who suggests a further two will be sent to bed without any sweeties, mkay?)  Yet another reminder for Mr Corbyn to jog the old grey cells can be found HERE. That last example should put the tin hat on it as an issue.

When it comes to a kinder, more honest politics? I’d say it’s perhaps not enough to simply talk the talk.

About now, most folk could be forgiven for coming to the conclusion that so far as politics from the establishment parties are concerned, it is very much a case of business as usual.

0 thoughts on “A kinder politics

  1. Pingback: A kinder politics | speymouth

  2. Perhaps if he focused the Scottish Branch Office on separating themselves from their bestie Tory friends his words might, just might, mean a little more. But, really, he cannot deliver what he says.

  3. He might try examining Labour’s record in Scotland at house building, eh not a lot. In fact did labour not buy a peerage for McConnell with a billion sent back to Westminster, nope, sorry that was a mistake, they sent it back because they couldn’t find anything to spend it on, eh?

    • People need constantly to be reminded of this and similar Labour actions when they were in charge. Corbyn needs to have his nose rubbed in it, like the semi-housetrained fox he is.

  4. Mr Corbyn does not support the SNP or Scottish Independence. He said:

    “The links between Scotland and the rest of the UK are far deeper and stronger than those between the UK and the EU.

    Scotland leaving the UK would only amplify the harm of a brutal Tory Brexit”.

    Independence would mean turbo charged austerity”

    or IndyRef2

    “there is no appetite for yet another referendum”.

    https://eurofree3.wordpress.com/2017/05/21/corbyn-for-pm-its-a-great-british-thing/

    • “Scotland leaving the UK would only amplify the harm of a brutal Tory Brexit”.

      DOH! Do we care when the majority in Scotland voted remain?

      I hope that there’s a huge turnout for the Indy rally in Dunfermline today and hardly anybody for Corbyn as he does the rounds of the ‘nations and regions of England’ – his words.

      • Annie M that phrase summed up Corbyn’s attitude to Scotland. He sees it as just a region of England. He equates England with the UK He uses the knee-jerk phrase “Turbo charged austerity” whenever Scottish independence is mentioned without any thoughts or facts to back it up. He is just another London based unionist with no idea what is happening in Scotland.

  5. I think the shine is rapidly wearing off Labour’s great white hope. He did indeed sound convincing to begin with, I have to admit. So I can understand why so many were wooed to his cause. But hopefully by now enough of them have realised that sadly he’s just another ‘politician’, i.e. full of shite and will say anything and sell his own granny if need be for a handful of votes.

  6. Great stuff, Sam! I did think that JC stood for “a different kind of politics” and was happy to see him doing well in England, whilst reserving the right to abhor his attitude to Scotland. He has plummeted in my estimation on the back of this little jaunt – I really did think he was that rarest of creatures, an honest politician. More fool me!

    • Sorry, Wendy, Marco, he didn’t fool me for a second.
      He’s and old style Communist, Militant, whose role in the body politic has been to carp from the Loony Left sidelines.
      This 68 year old Islington boy must have cut quite figure touring the Frozen North.
      To the men here on Wee Ginger Dugdom, I have gastric flu so I’ll bow out now. I’m not worth a button.

        • Getting there, Wilma. Thanks for asking.
          Appetite, actually and metaphorically back to near normal.
          Bacon butty anyone? Like Scotland’s resources, wealth, and space in which to grow and breathe as anation, ther’s plenty of bacon to go around.
          We are within touching distance, Brexshit is about to hit the fan, probably WM’s preferred option.
          62% voted Remain; this is material change for Indyref2/
          Bisous, Wilma.

  7. We could just step down from the perception that there is a difference between red and blue tories. They have made it quite clear by their actions that it is one huge single monobloc of unionism, hell bent on squashing any call for decolonisation and opposed to any change in the status quo. Carrot and stick politics because both the red and the blue tories know that if independence comes along, England is economically shafted.

  8. In 2 weeks’ time (or sooner) JC’s Great British Patronising Tour of Jockland will have been forgotten. He offers Scotland nothing (and what he offers the rUK will never be accepted by them).

    Just because the ferrets in the Labour sack are not fighting at the moment does not mean that they are not preparing to do so again.

    JC will be a very small note in history by 2020.

  9. I think you are overestimation the Scottish voters ability to remember anything that happened over the last months never mind the last few years and take any responsibility for what happens to them.

  10. Oh christ where to start , i agree with the comment above ” short term memory loss ” everything labour in scotland has f/d up is there for all to see , and the list is endless.

    One thing that is the top of the list PFI , labours gift to scottish voters , the gift that keeps taking .

    Perhaps he dosent know that Labour fought tooth and nail to stop the scottish government getting more powers than were delivered re the smith commission , even the bloody tories were ready to vote through more powers .

    This clown & charleton follows the same line as kezia , they believe people here are totally stupid and won’t remember labour’s failures .

    Doesn’t it enter his head , taking seats from the tories might do him some good , how does he explain labour councils working with the tories to block the SNP who in many councils are the biggest party , now thats a conundrum Jeremy,explain that to voters vote labour get tory .

    • When I was in Dublin a good few years ago, it had the look and feel of a capital city, what with all the embassies and such like. Property prices seemed to reflect that too. It seemed to me, back then, that it was more affluent than say Edinburgh. Richard Murphy explains the multiplier effect quite well, though I would hate to stand on someones doorstep and try to explain just how much the SE of England benefits from it and the rest of the UK subsidises their cozy capitalist haven. The arguement he proposes is that GERS takes no account of the multiplier effect. It is a ‘wo

      • [Pressed the wrong button, continued…]

        rk in progress”

        Facinating to have GERS criticised from a different POV

    • The author is exactly correct. We already have what Corbyn is selling… a socially progressive government. What we don’t have are the powers of government to go along with that.

      Jeremy of course, would continue to deny Scotland’s population access to those powers. He is the kind of politician that he is, believes what he believes and his practice of politics is steeped in the Westminster UK system. That’s not worked out so well for the peoples of Scotland. The deprivation Jeremy ever so kindly pointed out in his wanders to date, was decades in the making. Did it never occur to him who held all the power and responsibility, all the duty of care over that period? The SNP are two and a bit parliamentary terms into power. An eye blink. The forward strides they’ve made with both arms tied behind their back is nothing short of remarkable. Prior to their current tenure in the big chair and with only experience of the gruesome twosome to call upon, I’d never have believed anyone capable of achieving what they have in office.

      We certainly have absolutely zero reason to ever again trust his local representation. Their track record in power over decades speaks for itself as does that of their head office in Westminster. One thing and one thing only will give Scotland’s electorate the choice that is theirs by right and allow them to create a government reflective of their will.

      Nice of the chap to wander out of his comfort zone and tell us lots of stuff we already knew about our own country right enough. How and ever, I think our government really could be more of a help to Mr Corbyn as independent friends. I’m not so sure he could trust his local franchise representation anywhere near as much.

  11. The problem really is that he is informed and briefed by the Scottish Branch office, who, as we know have their own take on things. I believe him to be well intentioned but critically ill informed.

    • He’s clearly so far out of his depth that he’d need a diving suit. But seriously, has he been indoctrinated to such an extent that he can’t look around and source information from all sides? I originally took him to be an intelligent man who could think for himself and adapt his strategy to the circumstances. Clearly not. This Scottish Trip has shown up clearly how rigid and London-centric his ‘Socialism’ is. Ha! If he really believed in half his principles he’d move to Scotland and join the SNP! (Though I’d rather he didn’t, he’s more use to us as he is, on the whole, maybe?)

  12. How can this man come to Scotland and tell us this is way we should go when this is the way we are going with the SNP surely he had a wee talk with the dug on the subject

  13. Both unionist parties need Scotlands resources.

    The Tories need them to prop up their disaster of a Neo-Liberalist economy they are planning, which is basically a Ponzi scheme to enrich the 1% and requires masses of raw materials and energy. Labour need the resources to power and finance the reforms that I think Corbyn genuinely wants to make.

    Either way, England is stuffed without the last nation of the Empire.

    • Stuffed indeed! Unless Scottish voters revert to type and start voting Labour again, JC has as much chance of getting elected as I have. This makes him desperate, which in turn is liable to make him very dangerous. I used to think he was an honourable man … now I hae ma doots!

  14. Especially after the nation’s and regions of England line basically saying england runs it all shut up end of asshole he is

  15. I’ve long speculated that Corbyn is an establishment plant and the longer time goes on, the surer I become.

    For decades the Labour and Conservative parties have been the good cop/bad cop of the British establishment.

    There is a lot of discontent with the establishment in England and particularly Scotland. There is a genuine threat to the British order. Hence we have JC attempting to neuter the SNP and not the Tories.

    Every time so called “mavericks” like Corbyn and Galloway go to meet Sinn Fein/Saddam/Palestinians etc, just remember that they will be reporting back to MI5/MI6.

    If you doubt this, just consider the platform people such as these are allowed. Real mavericks are not. See Willie Macrae.

  16. My take on Corbin always was that …
    If he was actually Prime Minister material then he should have advanced in his party sooner…. decades sooner, I mean talk about a late starter.
    So yes he’s is I think a sop to give the plebs something to vote for….
    Something that is no threat to the established order.

    As for being misinformed about Scotland…..well it’s his job to be informed.
    About a country that he wants to lead.
    He must know how badly his party are performing here
    So it’s no rocket science to work out that the Scottish branch are failing to reflect the views of the people of Scotland….ergo mibbi find another source of information.
    But he doesn’t bother to do that,he just parrots the same old shite we have heard a million times before.
    Naw he is no the answer for Scotland….he is just another part of the question!

    As Lanark has said… probably an establishment approved plant to keep the people believing that they can vote for a change that will never come.

    Hopefully one day after we have left, the English electorate will see how rotten to the core Westminster actually is and make a real change.
    But we need to go and right soon….we canny fix it for them,and we should withdraw our funding and stop enabling Westminster to hurt them.

  17. I’m not sure what value this sort of comment has. Corbyn knows he is lying. Pointing this out butters no parsnips because he knows that a useful percentage of people will believe him, and that is all that he requires. If people in Scotland didn’t believe the calculated lies told by Unionist politicians and their media claque we’d have been independent some considerable time ago.

    Alas, defeating liars is very difficult, as we have seen. I really wish I could suggest a solution but I can’t.

    • I agree. To an extent, we are often missing the point when we assume that some of the intractable voters are being gullible, unthinking recipients of media misinformation. The media manipulators are simply picking up formless beliefs and wishful thinking and feeding it back to them fully-formed and reconstructed for use. They actually want ” the sweet little lies” even if deep down they recognise the untruths.

      These voters will not come out of their bubble until reality crashes in and they have to wake up. Until then they are partly complicit in what the media puts out there. The media will keep on rinsing and repeating as long as it is proven to work with this section of the public. It is also a great help to the British Nationalists that they own most of the media and pump out the same unionist perspective so that this section of the electorate will be comfortably enveloped in constant confirmation bias. In this way they can steadfastly always avoid anything which might disturb their own prejudices.

  18. Its not that Corbyn sees Scotland as a region of England it is that a whole raft of supposed Scots see it as just that,look at any atlas anywhere and you will see Scotland on it what don,t they see.

  19. A mountain to climb convincing NO voters they were lied to , then them actually accepting it
    Or as the quote attributed to Mark Twain ” it is far easier to fool people than to get them to admit they were fooled ” no one wants to admit they were wrong and it takes skill to get them to accept it.

    I personally favour the head & throat methode a bit messy but gives instant satisfaction to the user.
    First you stick the nut on them , then you grab them by the throat , this while saying loudly yah stupid b/rd over and over again it’s amazing the relief it brings to the user instant Karma .

    Just in case the more fragile readers take offence it was in jest , please dont take it literally .

    • Not being a fragile reader, I did laugh at Robert Graham’s head and throat method which I have sometimes been tempted to use, but had to walk away instead so as not to give in to temptation.

      Perhaps you might also be amused by Derek Bateman’s satirical take on Corbyn’s visit. ‘A Trip Up North’ on http://derekbateman.scot/

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