Is this the start of the break up of the Labour party? A new splinter group has formed called Red Shift, which is uncannily close to what would happen if you ate too many strawberries. It is composed of Liam Byrne, Shabana Mahmood, Heidi Alexander, Nik Dakin and Caroline Bradley. Some of you may remember the note that Liam left in the treasury when Labour lost to the Tory/Lib Dem coalition which said, “there was no money left.”
The splinter group seems to be composed of personalities from the far right of the Labour party. They have produced a report titled “Looking for a new England” in which they espouse their views of what went wrong for Labour during the recent election and how they can regain power. It would seem that the grand idea is to appeal to UKIP and Tory voters by adopting far right English Nationalist policies, but without the “hatred and bigotry of far right extremists.” They also identify the silver vote as a key group to win votes from. The policies they espouse would appear to be at odds with Corbynomics.
The report itself reads like a UKIP manifesto with phrases like, “We have to find new ways to accommodate a positive English nationalism and pride” and, “Put Labour firmly on the side of those big businesses”. These guys are further to the right than Tony Blair was.
Happily Scotland get’s a mention too, “Until Labour understands and embraces English identity the SNP threat and proposals on English votes for English laws will continue to damage Labour’s electoral prospects in English marginal seats.” So it would appear that they have already given up any hope of electoral success in Scotland, they seek only to, “build a majority in England.”
Is this right-wing splinter group just a wee plook on the face of Labour? Or is it the start of a huge, hard right boil which will erupt and spew puss all over the Labour party? Only time will tell.
The opinion polls make dire reading for the Lib Dems these days, with a projected 5% of the vote for the Scottish Parliamentary elections next year. So Wee Willie Rennie has jumped on the UK Labour Party’s Scottish Branch Manager’s wheeze to try to entice Yes voters back into the fold by allowing their MSPs to speak for Independence in the event of another independence referendum. Notice that the Umpa Lumpa’s will only be allowed to campaign for a Yes vote, not necessarily vote Yes.
They must think we’re daft. Who is going to trust these people? Remember that Wee Willie backs the self-confessed liar Alistair Carmichael. One of the newly ennobled Lib Dem peers, Malcolm Bruce, famously said, “If you are suggesting every MP who has never quite told the truth or even told a brazen lie, including cabinet ministers, including prime ministers, [should be removed] we would clear out the House of Commons very fast, I would suggest.” Why would anybody vote for the Liar Democrats? As for Kezia Dugdale, she lies on a daily basis. She doesn’t even blush these days. I wonder if the Conservative and Unionist party will come out with a similar ploy?
But what of it? Well it shows that the writing is on the wall for the Unionist parties. People just don’t trust them anymore. No amount of grand standing, no amount of positive media coverage is going to change people’s point of view. That’s why we are hearing them tell us that they may kind of support some idea of independence if the need arises in the future. I haven’t laughed this much since I heard of David Hameron’s porcine fellatio.
However, what it does show us is that the Scottish constitutional question is still very much alive. They are starting to realise that, if they want to survive another election, they will have to move with the current. That current is moving inexorably towards independence now. There is still much work to be done, but surely we have earned a brief moment to smile.
A recent IpsosMORI poll shows that 56% of Britons wish to remain within the EU, the highest proportion since 1999. The poll is a clear warning to the Tories and UKIP that their Euroscepticism is falling on deaf ears throughout the land, with even Tory support for continued membership above 50%.
Among the other parties 73% of Labour supporters and 82% of Lib Dem supporters favour continued membership. Unsurprisingly only 11% of UKIP supporters are in favour of remaining within the EU.
The new poll is a big blow for David Cameron, who is pushing for an in/out referendum on the issue in 2017 if the Tories are re-elected. He is responding to the threat of UKIP which has seen 2 Tory MPs defect to it in recent times. But it is clear that his message is not getting through to the majority of the population. Membership of the EU has always been one of the major fault lines of the Tory party.
The poll also shows that UKIP are not reaching the majority of the population with their xenophobic message.
Labour are marginally in the lead ahead of the next general election in 2015 but they are not immune from the threat of UKIP either which has lead to a further lurch to the right for the party with David Miliband announcing new controls on immigration if Labour are elected in 2015. But Labour supporters have traditionally been more in favour of immigration than the other parties.
Among Scottish people 60% were in favour of remaining within the EU. Unfortunately there were no breakdowns of political party affiliations within this segment of the poll.
There was no mention of this poll on the BBC, is this censorship by omission?