Veteran readers of this site will know how hard it is to nail Scottish Labour down on a policy for just about anything. So when we suggested earlier today that the party DID have a (sort of) firm policy on something – namely calling on the Scottish Government to bring forward legislation to stop people being evicted over bedroom-tax arrears – we probably shouldn’t have been surprised to be contacted within minutes by a Scottish Labour press officer angrily insisting that it didn’t.
ALAN LAING: Show me the press release from SLab which calls for a ban on evictions due to increase arrears?
WINGS OVER SCOTLAND: Are you saying that’s NOT policy? Do you have a policy? If so, let me know what it is and I’ll happily correct.
AL: You wrote that SLab has a specific policy proposal relating to evictions. Don’t assert – prove. Show me where you get it from.
WOS: I can’t see where I wrote such a thing. I said “Labour has been agitating…”, which is clearly true. However, as I said, I’m happy to provide clarity by outlining Scottish Labour’s official position if you let me know what it is.
AL: “agitating for some time for the Scottish Government to make such a policy law nationwide” – don’t selectively quote yourself.
WOS: You know there’s a 140-character limit on Twitter, right? I included “…” to show incomplete quoting.
AL: [You said] “enacting a policy Labour themselves have loudly called for” – prove that assertion or stop making stuff up.
WOS: Um, the Dundee Labour councillors called for it, as reported by the Courier and linked in my piece.
AL: Substantiate that entire sentence – both parts! You can’t. Our position is clear. But it’s convenient for you to ignore it.
WOS: If your position is clear, why are you going to so much trouble to NOT tell me what it is?
AL: Read every Labour MP’s speech on it, listen to PMQs and read SLab press releases. It’s clear.
WOS: Oh, that’s glorious. Have you been taking evasion lessons from Duncan Hothersall? Why is your policy a secret? Why do I have to apparently spend all day on Google to find out what it is? But how’s this for starters?
WOS: Or are she and the Dundee Labour councillors loose cannons acting without party approval?
WOS: Once again: so are Dundee Labour councillors and Katy Clark MP acting without the approval of the party in calling for the Scottish Government to enact a no-evictions policy? A simple “Yes” or “No” will be fine. Because otherwise it seems reasonable to assume they’re representing the party when they do so.
AL: Don’t I even get a thank you for saving you sitting on Google all day by pointing you to front pages of Labour websites?
WOS: As noted in the original piece, I already knew Labour were loudly proclaiming their opposition to the bedroom tax. The point was that when given an opportunity to actually DO something, they ducked it in favour of Nat-bashing.
AL: I guess that’s as close to a “thank you” as I’ll get. Shame you were confused about what it was. Glad I could set it straight.
WOS: So what you’re saying is that it IS Labour policy to complain about the bedroom tax but not actually do anything about it?
AL: [no reply]
So there you have it. Scottish Labour DOES NOT have a policy of calling on the Scottish Government to enact anti-eviction legislation for bedroom-tax arrears, and when Scottish Labour MPs and Dundee Labour councillors demand the Scottish Government brings forward such a law, they are definitely NOT representing Labour, even when they do it in their capacity as Labour elected representatives at council meetings or on their official Labour websites.
We apologise for any errors.