We noted at the autumn 2012 reopening of Parliament that Scottish Labour were again attacking the SNP for being “obsessed” with the independence referendum at the expense of other matters of more direct concern to the people of Scotland. At that week’s FMQs, Johann Lamont also bitterly criticised Alex Salmond on the grounds of secrecy, with particular regard to future EU membership.
The implication, of course, is that were Labour in control of Holyrood they would be powering ahead with a dynamic programme of openly-declared policies. Now seems as good a time as any for a recap of what Scottish Labour’s positions currently are.
Known policies are highlighted in bold.
[UPDATED: 21st July 2013]
– on the constitution: “Vote for the status quo and we’ll change things at some undetermined point in the future, in some unspecified way or ways (even though we just spent several years on the Calman Commission/Scotland Bill, supposedly coming up with a settled and lasting position on devolution).”
– on a replacement form of local taxation: “We’ll get back to you on that.“
– on higher education funding: “We haven’t made a decision yet.“
– on fighting sectarianism: “We refuse to participate in the discussion.“
– on alcohol pricing: “We’re for doing something, but not this.“
– on gay marriage: “The time is right to consult on options.“
– on raising train fares above inflation: “We are both for and against this.“
– on maintaining/upgrading nuclear weapons: “the Labour Party has pledged its support for a ballistic [nuclear] missile-armed submarine platform based on continuous-at-sea deterrence.”
– on building a new generation of nuclear power stations: “We haven’t ruled new nuclear power in, but neither have we ruled it out.“
– on use of Scotland Bill taxation powers from 2016: “If you have got tax powers, you have to make a decision as to whether you would use them.“
– on maintaining universal benefits like prescriptions, personal care and bus travel for the elderly: “Once we have decided as a country what kind of public services we aspire to, then we must have an honest debate about affordability.“
If anyone has any more up-to-date information on these or any other Scottish Labour positions, please do send it in. In that event, you may wish to CC Johann Lamont.