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The unanswerable question

Posted on July 02, 2013 by

If you ever want to make a Labour activist in Scotland uncomfortable and desperate to change the subject, there’s always been an easy way to do it in a single sentence:

“If the Tories are as bad as you say, why is it better for Scotland to be governed by them for six years out of every ten, even though we never vote for them?”

cameronosborne

We’ve been asking that one for years now and never had an answer, for the very good reason that there is only one honest reply – one “Scottish Labour” can never admit.

There are, of course, all sorts of different evasions of the answer:

“It’s a false choice!”
(Is it? Why?)

“You can’t make a major decision because you don’t like one party!”
(Can’t we? Says who? Why just get rid of the Tories for five years when with a single vote we could get rid of them for 50?)

“You can’t say that Scotland will never vote Tory in the future!”
(The last half-century of unbroken opposition seems a pretty good guide, but even if it did, fair enough – we’d still be getting the government WE voted for.)

“You can’t abandon poor people in Birmingham to the Tories!”
(We’d be doing no such thing. England is perfectly capable of electing Labour governments any time it wants to without our help.)

But you’ll never hear the only true response, which is that Labour doesn’t consider Scotland to be a country. Countries choose their own governments. Scotland and England can both elect Labour governments – and have done so in very recent memory, in 2003 and 2005 respectively – but only by forcing them together into the UK does Scotland ever get a Tory one.

So from a Labour perspective, why oppose independence? Why force Scotland to submit to regular Tory rule when it gains you nothing, because it makes basically no difference whatsoever to your chances of being elected or even forming a majority in England? Is the microscopically tiny possibility of tipping the balance of power at Westminster worth condeming your own Scottish voters to entire generations of Tory misery, like the one they endured for 18 years between 1979 and 1997? What’s the point? Who benefits?

The answer to that one, of course, is the parliamentary Labour Party, and those with ambitions to join its ranks. The only people who gain anything from forcing Scotland and the rest of the UK into a single electoral entity are Labour’s Scottish MPs (who get lucrative jobs and sometimes the thrill of power), and its MSPs (a hapless D-team who would otherwise get nowhere near Holyrood, because the current Westminster MPs would move north and take their seats).

For the sake of that tiny group of 70-odd people, and absolutely nobody else in Britain, Labour doggedly refuses Scotland’s 5.3 million inhabitants the right to have the governments they vote for. There is no other rational defence of the position – if Labour believes only it can truly protect Scots from the Tories, it can do that far better by ensuring that voters in the south-east of England can never force a Conservative government on Scotland, rather than doing so around 60% of the time.

Actually, we mis-speak. There’s one other group of people who benefit from Labour’s position – the Tories, who get to regularly control Scotland’s oil revenues and its disproportionately high tax receipts despite consistently winning only laughably tiny levels of support north of the border. Margaret Thatcher’s governments couldn’t have destroyed manufacturing industry and the trade unions without Scottish oil money propping up the cost of unemployment benefits.

darlinggoldie

For Labour, the strains of holding this untenable, illogical standpoint have been growing ever since the referendum became a reality. When Scots actually being able to vote for independence was only an abstract idea, thought unachievable under an electoral system designed to ensure no party – but especially the SNP – could achieve a Holyrood majority, it could be held at bay as an irrelevant ideological indulgence.

But when the Nats broke the system in 2011, Labour were suddenly forced to confront the unthinkable, and ever-larger cracks are showing. A piece buried sneakily in today’s Scotsman underneath a completely different story reports that local Labour parties are beginning to rebel against the idea of campaigning with the Tories:

“Senior figures within Scottish Labour are refusing to get involved in the anti-independence Better Together campaign, amid rising concerns about Conservative involvement in the group.

Labour politicians at Holyrood and Westminster, as well as Scottish trade union officials, have stayed away from the cross-party campaign. Labour MP Katy Clark said there was ‘no advantage’ to the party in co-operating with the Tories in parts of Scotland.

Labour MSP Elaine Smith, a deputy presiding officer, said her constituency party in Coatbridge and Chryston had decided not to get involved with Better Together.

There was also opposition to involvement in Better Together from two senior trade union officials. Richard Leonard, Scotland organiser for the GMB, said: ‘When the Tories are attacking the poorest in society, it’s pretty difficult to sit with them and to argue for a progressive Scotland.'”

Such comments barely mask the wider truth that grassroots Labour supporters are beginning to see. It’s not the people of Scotland and the rest of the UK who are “Better Together”, but the Labour and Conservative parties. At the Parliamentary level, as we’ve examined above, both are served well by the status quo, because both get something out of the deal.

But on the ground, the illusion is rapidly collapsing. Labour has already mounted a desperate attempt at distraction by forming “United With Labour” – a meaningless false-fronted shell entity with no website, no Twitter account, no Facebook page, no organisational structure, no office address, no list of directors, nothing at all to signify its existence except the natty badges now worn by Labour’s Scottish members when they appear on TV instead of “Better Together” ones.

(Except poor Alistair Darling, of course, obliged to retain a zombie Labour presence in what the BBC described as a “campaign run by the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats” and sent off to receive humiliating standing ovations at Tory conferences.)

But with over 14 months still to go, there will be no hiding the dead whale in the paddling pool by referendum day. In growing numbers, ordinary Labour members and supporters are starting to smell the stench. And when the tattered, threadbare sheet finally comes down and they find out what (and who) they’re really fighting for, we suspect the trickle of deserters and conscientious objectors may become a flood.

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    1. 03 07 13 07:51

      The Red Flag | laidbackviews

    54 to “The unanswerable question”

    1. Caroline Corfield says:

      It’s that pink – sorry puce jaikit again! Embdy a fan of Warehouse 13? I think that jaikit requires rubber gloves and off electro static bag. 

    2. Keef says:

      It’s already happening. Labour for Independence, Liberals for Independence, women for Independence, The Postal Union, etc. There are many more people waking up at grass roots level. So what if the ‘Insert any media name here’ choose not to publish it. It is still happening and by God it is growing at a rapid rate of knots.

    3. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “It’s that pink – sorry puce jaikit again!”

      It really is starting to look like some sort of uniform. I noticed Ruth Davidson wore it at that Tory conference too.

    4. “But you’ll never hear the only true one, which is that Labour doesn’t consider Scotland to be a country.”
       
      This quote shows what I think the whole debate can be boiled down to, which is two questions.
      1) Do you think that countries should make their own decisions? and 2) Do you think Scotland is a country?
      The only way I can understand a no vote is if you answer no to either one or both of those questions.

    5. Desimond says:

      Tories Win/Win
      Labour – Lose/Lose
      In the words of World Party “How could it come to this
      ..
      Many years ago
      Eck
      Looked out through a glassless window
      All that he could see
      Was Ba-bylon
      Beautiful green fields
      and dreams
      and learned to measure the stars
      but there was a worry in his heart
      He said
      How could it come to this?
      We’re really worried about living
      How could it come to this?
      Yeah we really wanna know about this
      Is it like today?
      Oh-oh-oh
      Then there followed days of Slab, Tories and repulsions
      Greed just looks the same
      When you open the veins
      And sometimes it was fear, power or reason as the next big lie
      but the furrowed brow never left his face
      He said
      How could it come to this?
      We’re really living in a landslide
      How could it come to this?
      Labour we really wanna know about this
      Is it like today?
      Oh-oh-oh
      Then there came a day
      Jock, woke up, and threw of the Slabbered smock
      He said No to Broon, No to Broon
      Now, for the Broon,  balloon
      now he’s out in space
      Hey, denying all the problems caused
      Gord comes face to face with God
      He say
      How could it come to this
      I’m really worried about my kingdom
      How did it come to this
      Ecks really killing me you know
      It isn’t just a day
      Oh-oh-oh
      Is it like today?
      Eh-oh-oh
      Is it like today?
      Oh Bang!

    6. tom says:

      An idiot on Mailonline – I know, there are only idiots there – made the baffling claim that someone could not be Scottish because Scotland was not a country but part of Britain and so they had to be…ENGLISH!!

    7. EmbraBoffin says:

      You might want to update the link to the LabourForIndy website, its now at:
       
      http://www.labourforindy.com/

    8. Training Day says:

      “But you’ll never hear the only true one, which is that Labour doesn’t consider Scotland to be a country”

      Beat me to it Horace.  Nail. head. Hits.  The vicious, insidious pied piper of cybernattery drowns a few rats again 😉
       
       

    9. Breastplate says:

      My opinion had been for some time that the worst we could do in the referendum was a very narrow defeat and the best would be a landslide victory.
      I believe this because out of all my family and their spouses, my friends and my family’s friends ( I stopped counting at 50 ).I know of only 2 people who have said they will vote no. Pretty sure they’ll change their mind too.
      90% of those people are in Glasgow.
      We will win at a canter.

    10. The Man in the Jar says:

      “It’s that pink – sorry puce jaikit again!”
      Don’t forget Gillespie at Glastonbury! 🙂

    11. Ericmac says:

      Your time has come, Darling.
      Nothing stinks like a stinky whale
       

    12. ianbrotherhood says:

       
      “If the Tories are as bad as you say, why is it better for Scotland to be governed by them five years out of every ten, even though we never vote for them?”
       
      Does anyone remember the usual MSM suspects asking a ScotLab person that very question, or anything close to it?
       
      Of course, it’d be futile to go looking for a question containing ‘we’, but you know what I mean…what’s the nearest anyone can recall?

    13. Max says:

      Recognise them for what they are:
       
      They are all ‘Little Britishers’ – Scots who deliberately talk down Scotland in order to retain an unequal union that benefits only themselves.
       
      Scottish Labour – Red Little Britishers
      Scottish Tories – Blue Little Britishers
      Scottish Lib Dems – Shitty Little Britishers
       
      All Little Britishers in name, in what they say and in what they do.  
       

    14. Borage says:

      There was an excellent turnout at the RIC Leith meeting yesterday with about 130 in attendance. More and more people are beginning to take an interest and see independence as the only vehicle for change – and a lot of these people would have been Labour activists once upon a time. 
       
      That a new ‘fringe’ group can put more activists on the ground than Better Together says a lot about how the campaign is going.

    15. Rod Mac says:

      I think that the YES Campaign needs to give more and more prominence to the Labour for indy grouping.
      I think it is imperative to reach out to the I have always been a Labour man and who better than LFI?

    16. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      Interestingly, the Scotsman has now given the piece its own proper story:

      http://www.scotsman.com/the-scotsman/politics/labour-figures-shun-better-together-over-tory-role-1-2985642

    17. Murray McCallum says:

      I hope the Labour for Independence movement really starts to get some traction. Seems to me that the roots of the Labour movement lie in challenging an unfair status quo rather than meekly conforming with it.

    18. ronald alexander mcdonald says:

      Breastplate
      Interesting. I was born in Aberdeen, brought up in Edinburgh and have lived in the west for 20 years. I always thought Glasgow was the natural city for Independence, despite all the unionist baggage. I may be in a minority, but I’m confident of a Glasgow YES vote.
      I live in East Renfrewshire (a hub of unionism) but even here I’m sensing a shift to Independence. This is based mostly by my daily trips to the local park with my dog. I’m naturally a nosy bugger and never hesitate to ask peoples’ opinions.   

    19. Seanair says:

      Rev Stu
      You confirm my belief that it’s as selfish as that—-labour politicians unwilling to give up the trips to London and the peeerages (Foulkes, Martin, Reid etc)., even if the Tories are in permanent government. 
      “Ah love the smell of ermine in the morning” 

    20. Melissa Murray says:

      Ironically, I think a NO vote next year has the potential to make SLAB the next Scottish Tories.
      The NO camp wins in 2014, and LAB win the GE in 2015. But after 6 months it becomes obvious that Ed & Ed aren’t any different than Dave & Gideon. So people in Scotland think, WTF, LAB, and vote for SNP in even bigger numbers in 2016. Scottish Labour now have fewer MSPs than the Scottish cons. 
      This is what I believe is the outcome for SLAB in the event of a NO vote.

    21. I would say your argument held true until 1997, Rev.  However, The jaikit is not pink or puce, it’s Fuschia – as in Fuschia’ll be able to squeeze a fag paper between our policies.

      The UK voted Labour in their millions in 1997 and got Tory Blair. As the Labour leadership now desperately tries to out-swivel the Tories on the right to capture swing voters in SE England, all I suspect they’ll succeed in doing is alienating their core support in Northern England which will turn to the populist UKIP with its ‘easy’ solutions and anti-political class rhetoric in droves.

      Oddly enough I’ve had 2 internet conversations with English folk banging the Better Together drum who, when challenged to look at it from a Scottish perspective, have ended up considering an independent Mercia and Cumbria rejoining Scotland respectively!

    22. Our society is split, Proud Scots and Brainwashed Brits, your right Rev, they do not see Scotland as a country, disgusting and shameful the whole lot of them.
      Roll on next year when they will be consigned to history, the most shameful part of Scottish history to date.

    23. Wayne says:

      I agree with much of this, and Labour does have a major identity crisis on this issue.  In London they are decrying everything the Tories do, unless of course when they are saying they would/will do the same.  When they are politicking here we are being told of course that we must keep the union, and ‘Project Fear’ is running on overdrive churning out scare stories.
       
      The real question is why is there such a lack of a positive case for the Union?  The answer of course is that it is in no-one’s interests for such a case to be put forward, as it would lead to the referendum becoming party-political.  Labour and Tories can’t campaign on common policies as they have very few, nor can they put together a shared vision of Union, because this is inherently disputed.  All they have in common is self-interest in maintaining the status quo, and this is achieved by scaring the Scottish voters with every possible tactic possible.  Sadly, at this moment, this nuclear option seems to be working fantastically well.  There may well be murmurings of discontent at all levels within Labour but I can’t see this spilling over enough to have any decisive impact.

    24. Desimond says:

      Mellisa…I think its a Win/Win for SNP. if they get YES, whoopee…if its a NO, more people will be educated in how inept the others are and start to come around to changing their ways. Scottish labour…yesterdays men.

    25. Mosstrooper says:

      O/T (a bit) I have just filled in my application for an Australian Visa (visiting number one daughter) and noticed that where it is asked country of birth, nationality etc. they have now included Scotland as a choice. Looks like the world is about to wake up to the possibility of an independent Scotland. Woo Hoo for the Aussies

    26. ianbrotherhood says:

       
      Here’s a seldom-viewed clip of Sally Magnusson sort of, well, nearly kind of almost asking it…
       
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F_RL5ooy4s4

    27. Wayne – Nigh-on all the Labour & Tory policies are identical, with the exception that Labour would go further in slashing Welfare than even the Tories dare.
      This “we’ll not be seen with them in BT” nonsense is pure window dressing to keep up the sham that Westminster politics offers voters alternative policies. It doesn’t – alternative parties yes, but they both have the same policies bought and paid for by vested interests.

    28. Desimond says:

      Last “song” for today..David Bowie on Scottish Labour
      ..
      There’s a brand new dance
      But I don’t know it’s name
      That people from bad homes
      Do again and again
      It’s big and it’s grand
      We’re Full of tension and fear
      They aspire over there but we don’t do that here
      [CHORUS]
      Passion! Turn from the left
      Passion! Turn to the right
      Oooh, Passion!
      We are the goon squad
      And we’re coming to town
      Beep-beep
      Beep-beep
      Listen to me – don’t listen to me
      Talk to me – don’t talk to me
      March with me – don’t march with me, no
      Beep-beep
      There’s a brand new talk,
      But it’s not very clear
      That people from Slab homes
      Are talking this year
      It’s loud and tasteless
      And I’ve heard it before
      You shout it while you’re marching
      O’er the whole job floor
      Oh bop, passion
      [CHORUS]
      Listen to me – don’t listen to me
      Talk to me – don’t talk to me
      March with me – don’t march with me, no
      Beep-beep
      Beep-beep
      Oh, bop, do do do do do do do do
      Pa-pa-pa-p-passion
      Oh, bop, do do do do do do do do
      Pa-pa-pa-p-passion
      Im La-la la la la la la-la

    29. Cath says:

      “This is what I believe is the outcome for SLAB in the event of a NO vote.”
       
      I agree it’s the outcome if they get into Westminster in 2015. I’m not that hopeful. Ed Milliband is truly dire, Labour in general offer nothing to the electorate and appear to be at war with the unions as well. The Tory media will rip them apart in the run up to the 2015 election. Meanwhile those who should be their heartlands are sick of them right across the UK with a new NHS party emerging, new left groupings etc. Those people will look for alternatives, UKIP will take votes off them in some places from people just desperate for an alternative. And Scotland is an unknown quantity. If there’s been a NO vote, there’s a good chance people will already be waking up to the despair and disappointment that will create. Those of us who were on the Yes side are unlikely to vote Labour any time soon, and there may well be folk who voted no realising they were lied to by then.
       
      So there’s a fair chance we’ll be looking at a full Tory government, another ConDem coalition or a Tory-UKIP coalition.
       
      In that case, what will Labour do? Where will Scottish Labour be? They will have lost any right to complain about what that government is doing in or to Scotland, because they’ve spent years fighting for that outcome where Scotland is powerless against the government in Westminster. And whinging from them about Westminster after a No vote in the referendum will fall on pretty deaf ears in Scotland. So what’s their point? It’s hard to see their point right now other than being a Tory/Westminster mouthpiece in Scotland. Once they’ve fulfilled that useful idiot role, what then?

    30. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “Beep-beep
      Beep-beep
      Oh, bop, do do do do do do do do
      Pa-pa-pa-p-passion
      Oh, bop, do do do do do do do do
      Pa-pa-pa-p-passion
      Im La-la la la la la la-la”

      Lordy, did I start a website for this?

    31. Turnbull Drier says:

      There is something that I’m struggling to get my head round…
       
      Clearly there is a Yes and No campaign, which were registered as Yes Scotland and Better Together with the appropriate body.
       
      They have to abide by the rules set for them concerning donations etc..
      So where do United with Labour (http://www.scottishlabour.org.uk/campaigns/entry/united-with-labour) fit into this because they are clearly fundraising off the back of the SLAB web site.
      So, do the same rules apply??
      Anybody?

    32. Vronsky says:

      “Lordy, did I start a website for this?”
       
      Serves you right – you turned up your nose at Spem in Alium.

    33. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “There is something that I’m struggling to get my head round…

      Clearly there is a Yes and No campaign, which were registered as Yes Scotland and Better Together with the appropriate body.

      They have to abide by the rules set for them concerning donations etc..
      So where do United with Labour (http://www.scottishlabour.org.uk/campaigns/entry/united-with-labour) fit into this because they are clearly fundraising off the back of the SLAB web site.
      So, do the same rules apply??
      Anybody?”

      This is exactly what I asked back at the group’s launch, in a post I linked to in the piece. DOESN’T ANYONE EVER AARGGHH?

      http://wingsoverscotland.com/move-over-darling/

    34. Interesting piece in (of all places) The Scottish Sun on Labour’s woes.

    35. Desimond says:

      Lordy, did I start a website for this?….no need for that.

    36. Hetty says:

      ‘Proud to be Scottish and proud to be british’ is the usual twaddle spouted that I have come across. I don’t think these people actually know what it is that makes a country a country. 

    37. Scaraben says:

      @Roddy Macdonald
      This “we’ll not be seen with them in BT” nonsense is pure window dressing to keep up the sham that Westminster politics offers voters alternative policies.
       
      Agreed. The UK is a shamocracy, where democratic forms of government are nullified by the dominance of parties which offer no real choice and do not genuinely represent the electorate. In this respect, as in others, it is following the example of the USA, which is well on the way to becoming a corporate fascist police state run for the benefit of billionaires.
       
      Labour and the Tories remind me of the story I heard many years ago of someone who went to watch professional wrestling; one contest appeared to be a real grudge match between two wrestlers who hated each other. Later, he saw the the same two wrestlers at a local chip shop, seemingly the best of pals.

    38. Boorach says:

      At the risk of outraging the Rev. I reckon we nominate Chubby Checker’s ‘Lets Twist Again’ as BT’s campaign theme song. 🙂

    39. John Lyons says:

      United with Labour, the truth team and countless others are just ways of pumping money into the campaign on behalf of the no team.
       
      The Unionists think they can buy Scotland because they themselves can be bought and because it was done before in the early 18th century.
      But back then they only had to buy a few nobles. Now every man woman and a fair few children (Who aren’t sixteen yet!) will have thier say.
       
      I am reminded of a BBC program where they followed a Tory around Dumfries. He met a single mother and pointed out to her she’d be financially better off if she voted Tory. Her response was along the lines of “I don’t care, you Tories ruined this country and I’ll never vote for you.” The poor Tory (Irony not intended!) simply could not believe that someone would vote in against thier own personal financial gain and opt instead for something that’s good for the whole of society.
      Sums them up.

    40. Vincent McDee says:

      Wonderful link Desimond.
      I particularly delight in Nicoll’s
      “And if Unite is sufficiently fed up, what will they do with all that money? Is it possible they might choose to support a party which does believe in the things they believe in?
      Is there a party that believes in keeping bus passes and opposing the bedroom tax?
      Is there a party which hasn’t ruled out pay rises for public sector workers?
      Why, yes, there is. And it’s not Labour.”

      Read more: http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/scottishnews/4991699/Labour-party-are-risking-disaster-if-they-dont-unite.html#ixzz2XtIf3X8D

    41. Gordon Bain says:

      What a brilliant post Rev! I agree with every word.
       
      @ Horace – in a nutshell!

    42. proudscot says:

      The prospect of current Labour MPs rushing back to Scotland in order to contest seats in an independent Scotland’s parliament, is indeed a possibility. Always assuming of course, that the current Labour MSP incumbents would willingly give up their seats to accommodate these newly unemployed carpetbaggers and ("Quizmaster" - Ed)s.

      I must admit it would be interesting to witness the thuggish Iain Davidson attempting to verbally bully Oor Nicola, or for that matter the likes of Roseanna Cunningham, Christine Graham, or the formidable Margo MacDonald! I also wonder whether wee Dougie Alexander would fare any better in crossing verbal swords with Alex Salmond than his sister was, before she fell on her sword after being soundly defeated by the First Minister – like her fellow failed Labour leaders, McConnell and Gray.

    43. HandandShrimp says:

      It’s actually closer to 6 in every 10 years since 1945
       
      Just saying like

    44. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “It’s actually closer to 6 in every 10 years since 1945”

      Spookily enough had just edited the piece – the same ratio crops up if you count from the end of WW1 (ie just before the first ever Labour government), or if you count only the reign of the current Queen. Seems consistent.

    45. The Man in the Jar says:

      @proudscot
      “Willingly” what makes you think that they will be given the choice. I think that they have been told already that if it is a yes vote then it is back to the toon council for the MSPs and the toon councillors will be out of a job. Just a wee incentive like!

    46. Turnbull Drier says:

      This is exactly what I asked back at the group’s launch, in a post I linked to in the piece. DOESN’T ANYONE EVER AARGGHH?
      http://wingsoverscotland.com/move-over-darling/
       
      ok ok ok … wow.. someone needs a little lie down and some cammomile tea 😉
       
      So… Does anybody know the answer then? 😛

    47. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “So… Does anybody know the answer then?”

      I think it’s safe to assume from the total lack of information or discernible organisational structure that it’s wholly contained within the Labour Party, and doesn’t exist in any sense in its own right. It’s just a brand name.

    48. Turnbull Drier says:

      I think it’s safe to assume from the total lack of information or discernible organisational structure that it’s wholly contained within the Labour Party, and doesn’t exist in any sense in its own right. It’s just a brand name.
       
       
      Although they are still utilising it to fund raise off.. seems a bit cheeky if you ask me.

    49. Andy-B says:

      Another good piece Rev,
      Only independence will let Scottish political parties, become real, and meaningful parties in Scotland and not Westminster puppets.

    50. Donald Kerr says:

      Better Together has given the Tories a voice they never had in Scotland.

    51. ScottishLeaf says:

      Very good article, I think you’ve managed to encapsulate the ‘debate’ very nicely there. 
      The lack of a positive case for the union is very striking and personally I think Yes are missing a trick by not highlighting this to better effect. 
       

    52. AnneDon says:

      The Labour figureheads are not rebelling, they are refusing to be seen with Better Together badges on tv for the sake of their careers.
       
      The footsoldiers, however, are regularly inviting Labour For Indy to their local meetings, are ignoring the figureheads.
       

    53. Patrician says:

      I have said this before on this site. SLAB taking charge of the Better Together campaign must have had them dancing in Tory HQ in London.  There is no way the Tories could have believed their luck when not only did SLAB sign up but also agreed to be the public face of the campaign.  This was always going to be win-win situation for the Tories.  
       
      When Scotland votes yes, then: the Tories can blame the Labour party for the break up of the UK; The number of Labour MPs will be reduced overnight (no need for a coalition at that point);  and as a parting shot they will destroy Labour as a force in Scotland.
       
      If Scotland votes no, then: They can blame Labour for keeping the whinging Scots in the UK; The campaign in Scotland will become so bitter that Scotland will vote in fewer and fewer Labour MPs, especially after the Tories win the 2015 UK general election; They will ensure that Holyrood never has the powers to call a referendum again, these powers will be reserved to Westminster.
       
      The day SLAB joined the Better Together campaign they ensured their own destruction, regardless of the outcome of the referendum.  After a yes vote there will be a swift end as the party collapses in on itself with infighting.  After a no vote it will drag on for a few years slowly disintegrating as voters abandon them and there is no chance for their members of getting into power in Holyrood or Westminster.
       
      SLAB should never have touched BT but instead set up their own campaign.  That campaign could have been arguing for a devo max option, whether they believed in it or not.  This would have covered the yes or no outcomes of the referendum and allowed the party to survive.  However, SLAB were so blinded by tribalistic hatred of the SNP that they took the stupid option.

    54. Doug Daniel says:

      Wow, the Scotsman article is absolutely littered with spelling mistakes, missing words, stray words and generally awful grammar. I’d be embarrassed to have my name on the byline!



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