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Eyes wide shut

Posted on June 27, 2012 by

On the few occasions we’ve bothered reading Better Nation in recent times, it’s usually been as a result of something posted by Kirsty Connell. She’s penned several thoughtful, interesting blogs since joining the editorial team, and we’ve even tweeted a few of them before now. Today’s piece, in which she explains why she’s finally lapsing her membership of the Labour Party, is unmissable.

We won’t keep you from it, but there’s one enormously telling phrase in particular in the post. Connell dates many of her doubts about Labour back to a traumatic experience when campaigning in the famous Westminster by-election in Glasgow East, a deprived area whose troubles she attributes to “a Thatcherite government [which] strangled funds to a Labour-led council”. Perhaps it’s some last remnant of tribal loyalty which prevents Kirsty from coming out and saying it: the “Thatcherite” government strangling those funds went under the banner of the Labour Party.

The Glasgow East by-election took place in 2008. By then, the “Labour” government of Tony Blair and Gordon Brown had already been in power at Westminster for 11 years. Even as the party’s support reaches all-time lows in Scotland, a dogged hardcore of wilfully-blind loyalists continues to desperately gloss over the fact that Labour long ago abandoned most of the honourable socialist values and principles on which it was founded and surrendered to Thatcherite ideology in order to grab power. We rejoice that one more member, in a long and continuing line, has seen through the deception, and hope that the others will one day choose to open their eyes too.

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6 to “Eyes wide shut”

  1. jimmyarab

    I’ve always wondered why people keep voting for Labour when you look at the squalor that 70 years of Labour have brought to parts of Glasgow.
    Throw in their illegal wars and siphoning off of money to their friends in the PFI rackets and it becomes even more bizarre.
    The main answer is probably the support of the press, especially the BBC. Elmer got an easy run despite being incompetent and lacking  any empathy or ability to inspire. Mrs Krankie and her friends in the Tory and Liberal party will get a similar easy ride in the Unionist media in the run up to the referendum on independence.
    Hopefully blogs such as this will wake people up to the corporate media stranglehold and put out the truth so ensuring more people wake up. 
    The attacks on blogs show how worried they really are.

  2. YesYesYes

    I agree that this is welcome and I wish that there were more in the Scottish Labour party like her. Although she’s clearly opposed to independence, she doesn’t seem to be blinded by slavish British nationalism. Whilst not an avid reader of Better Nation either, I do try to keep an eye on it, and there has been a discernible even-handedness in many of her posts that, given her party affiliation, is refreshing. I’m surprised that Scottish Labour haven’t knocked this out of her by now, so good for her.
    Having said that, maybe it’s the old sceptic in me but I’m always a bit dubious about people who advertise the fact that their membership of a party has lapsed rather than ended. Labour is currently conducting a Policy Review. It wouldn’t surprise me – and this seems to me to be one reasonable interpretation of her post – that once that Review has been completed, Kirsty will have an epiphany and discover that some semblance of ‘true’ Labour is back, all will be forgiven and she will advertise this belief on Better Nation. Indeed, it seems to me that there are many in Scottish Labour who are hoping that Jon Cruddas and his chums will give them something to cheer about in this respect. There are probably many others in Scottish Labour who, unlike Kirsty, are waiting to be told what they think by London Labour’s Policy Review.
    I’m not doubting the sincerity of what she says about her experience in Glasgow East, and I certainly wouldn’t disagree with the points she makes about Ed Miliband’s shameful immigration speech last week. But, to refer briefly back to the subject of that other (in)famous thread yesterday, I’d be a bit more cautious before accepting the motives of someone who remained in Scottish Labour after the Iraq war, but who would have us believe that some shite and graffiti on a close in Glasgow and an offensive (albeit deeply offensive) speech by Ed Miliband has caused her to question her membership of her party. It doesn’t quite ring true to me. 

  3. YesYesYes

    Classic own-goal question from Scottish Labour MP, Frank Roy, at Prime Minister’s Question Time, asking the Tories if they’ll apologise for their part in the decline of the steel industry at Ravenscraig. Classic British answer from David Cameron I thought, replying that we should celebrate the return of the steel industry at Teeside in the north of England. In other words, the former steelworkers at Ravenscraig can go fuck themselves, let’s all celebrate the fact that steel workers in Teeside have got jobs. Yet another reminder that we really are, better together.  

  4. Arbroath1320

    What’s thay you say YYY?
    There’s been a decline in the steel industry at Ravenscraig!
    Quick someone had better phone the Lamentable one. Does she know that Ravenscraig is in decline? She needs to be told of this great uncovering of the truth immediately. She needs to be told so she can get her “attack” questions on this subject ready for tomorrows F.M.Q.’s
    Boy she’ll really have the F.M. reeling with her questions over this news! 😆

  5. YesYesYes

    Quite, though I hear that she might lead with the closure of British Leyland at Bathgate!
    But crikey, when Scottish Labour told us that they cared as much about the workers of Teeside as they did about the workers of North Lanarkshire, we didn’t think that they meant this.
    Don’t you think that there’s something demeaning about listening to all these Scottish Labour MPs at Westminster begging a Tory government to show Scotland some mercy? I think Cameron has it about right with his unofficial reply: ‘Why the fuck should I, after all, we’re all better together, aren’t we?’

  6. Arbroath1320

    Oh no! British Leyland have shut their Bathgate plant down! What am I to do? My Austin Princess needs a few bits and pieces, where am I going to get them now? 😆
    Don’t forget YYY, Labour M.P.’s from Scotland are going to have to be very nice to the Tories for the next few years, after all it is the Tories who are bankrolling the Labour Anti Independence Campaign as.k.a. Bitter Together. You don’t think it is called BITTER TOGETHER for nothing do you? 😆

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