I do not wish to be too negative here but this election has probably come when the Labour Party are the worst prepared than they have ever been for a General Election Battle. Theresa May knows this well and has seized upon this as the moment to pounce. However this is not a reflection of Mr Corbyn’s leadership it is simply that the Labour Party is itself in turmoil. Corbyn although appearing strong has failed so far to take ownership of the Party or to steer it in the direction that the membership want. He has failed so far to live up to his left wing promise and is struggling to appease both the growing left and diminishing right in his Party. The Labour Party is struggling with an Identity Crisis and amidst this we now have a General Election to fight. However there may yet be a twist in the story and the election of Trump in the USA is a reminder that there are no certainties. Corbyn could still claim a victory of sorts if he diminishes Theresa May’s majority in the House of Commons and/or if he wins back the Scottish Labour Vote: so even in defeat he could theoretically win something in this battle. Would this be enough to help him retain leadership of the Labour Party well this remains to be seen and in any case who could really follow him?
In the May 2015 General Election the Tories exploited the Scottish People’s desire to get independence for Scotland. In truth Cameron was dependent upon the hope that people would vote for the SNP as a protest vote or at least to split the vote and divide what were traditional loyalties of the Scottish People towards the Labour Movement. There is some truth though that Miliband offered nothing more that a wet version of the Labour Party during this period but this is only a small part of the equation. Alex Salmond in his quest to become ‘King of Scotland’ simply took his eye off the ball and failed to grasp that he was nothing more than a Tory Puppet being used to undermine Labour’s overall position in Scotland.
The 2017 General Election is not a vote for Devolution for Scotland: it’s about which political party governs the United Kingdom in the meantime
In truth the Labour Party need to do better in Scotland and the only way they can do is to give the Scottish people what they want: which is a referendum on Scottish Independence. This is to avoid this General Election in 2017 simply becoming an opportunity to get this referendum regarding their independence and a vote simply about regional politics/issues or devolution. The SNP are in reality a single issue Party so the Labour Party need to blunt Sturgeon’s sword and steal the rug from under her and her Party by offering the Scottish people the very thing and only thing that the SNP can really offer. Once this is done and promised by Labour in a Manifesto Pledge then Scotland can get to grips with the real political issues that face not only Scotland but the whole of the United Kingdom.
If this can be achieved by Jeremy Corbyn and his Labour Party then if there were to be a swing back to Labour in Scotland then even if Labour were to loose the General Election it may still be possible to increase Labour’s seats and thus reduce the Conservative’s majority in Parliament. This could be seen as a miscalculation by Theresa May and a significant loss if her majority were actually to be decreased in a General Election of her own calling. The Labour Party have a great deal to gain by stealing the show from the SNP in Scotland by playing Sturgeon at her own game. In the same way the Scots have to answer questions about why they have let the Tories in at the last General Election by taking their focus off what happens to the rest of the United Kingdom by simply focusing on their own needs in a General Election situation. General Election’s should not simply be about regional politics and attempting to get the most out of it for yourself and your locality: you need to see the bigger picture by establishing a Government that will bring about not just localised improvements but improvements across the whole of the United Kingdom, this is a given up until the day when devolution does actually occur. In the last election the focus on regional politics simply let the Tories in to have a greater share of the vote than they have historically held. This situation simply gifted the last election to the Tories and gave the a much stronger position in Parliament than they actually deserve. Scotland and the Labour Party need to get it right this time for the sake of the greater good in the United Kingdom.
Here we will be looking at whether or not Jeremy Corbyn really plans to change the Labour Party into a left wing political party with socialist principles or whether it has just been a stunt to gain the left wing support he needed to retain the leadership.
The first clue is to have a look at who has been selected to his shadow cabinet and who has been chosen for the front bench. We need to look at these candidates in detail and see on what basis they were selected and whether or not they are committed to socialist left wing or whether they are moderates loyal to the principles of Tony Blair. A good leader will surround himself with people he can trust to be loyal to his cause. Change can only result from commitment and hard work from people who are loyal to the cause and who actually believe that the cause is worthwhile. Mr Corbyn has suggested that he wants the Labour Party to return to it’s traditional values and socialist principles. The only way to achieve this is by electing the right people available to do the job and surrounding himself with the right team. So has Mr Corbyn selected wisely?
Should the Labour Party split? The answer to this is probably yes. I was reminded of this only a few days ago when I had an disagreement with my Partner’s father. Both of us have been Labour forever and would never change but we have such a difference of opinion as to what direction the Labour Party should take and where it should stand in the political spectrum which reminded me that this is the current status quo in the Labour movement as it stands. It was as though we both voted for 2 separate and unconnected political parties. Both of us had ideas about what the Labour Party should represent but both our ideas had nothing in common with each other they were so dissimilar and disjunctive.
Since winning another Labour Party Leadership Challenge it may appear to some that Jeremy Corbyn is unassailable. He may even believe so himself. It appears that the promise of change and a possible swing to the left helped propel Jeremy Corbyn back into the leadership post. In my opinion this was because he came across as the most left wing of the candidates. He had a longer left wing legacy that the newcomers. However so far we have seen nothing that radical from Mr Corbyn and nothing really that justifies all the left wing support he received to secure him another term as the Leader of the Labour Party.