After the split of seven Labour MP’s there is a never-ending supply of people overjoyed as ‘having something to vote for’ but the group of MP’s, who include Chuka Umunna, Luciana Berger and a bunch of MP’s most people won’t have heard of, are calling themselves The Independent Group. They propose to give voters a path away from the Corbyn led Labour Party by offering such policies as opposing Brexit and that’s pretty much it. There’s no policies beyond this and indeed, it looks as if they’re looking to see what ideas are popular then try to adopt them as ideas. This is something used by politicians with not a lot of actual principles which makes it unsurprising that they dabbled with the idea of asking Ruth Davidson to lead them. If you think Davidson is ”centrist” then you don’t know fuck all about Scottish politics.
In short there’s a real Harold Saxon vibe about the whole thing.
Even though there’s a clear opportunism on display, and even though barring a united opposition to Brexit there’s nothing these people stand for there’s some sympathy to be extended to some of them. Mike Gapes for example made some good points about Labour’s failure to deal with antisemitism, but it’d take a lot not to feel for Berger, a Jewish woman, heavily pregnant talking about how the party she’s given her life to has in some case, turned on her because she’s Jewish.
Yet the smart, brave thing to do would have to resign, fight by-elections and let the people decide instead of this abject cowardice to show they’re not just trying to stay in a job. In the meantime Labour make a bad day worse by readmitting Derek Hatton. The way this looks is simply awful as to many, Labour look less of a viable government or opposition but a party of protest. Just as they are here in Scotland where they’ve not been a viable party of government for a decade and won’t be for as long as I can see.
And yet all of this is self-inflicted by Labour. All of this could have been avoided. Had the leadership, and those in the media close to it, not been aiming for the sort of political purity of sixth form political groups, they’d now either be a viable opposition or even sitting in power but thanks to Brexit, we have a situation where the loose coalition that has been Labour is coming to an end and even though I wouldn’t ever vote for them again it is a sad time. I invested a number of years into the party as one would being from the north of Glasgow, but to see it shambling around spitting abuse at Jews, Catholics (Scotland only) or cheer on Brexit, a far right project, because they’d rather people lose jobs than put up an alternative, is galling.
But before Tories cheer, there’s talk of several of their MP’s joining this shapeless group as it too sees its loose internal coalitions crumble as Westminster politics starts to fall after centuries. For Scotland, the future lies elsewhere with allies in Europe as well as in some time in the future a sane whatever remains of the UK but it’s clear now that one of the things Brexit is doing is rewriting the system, & that would normally be a good thing, but at a time when extremist and populism is so rife, this is also horribly dangerous.