15 March 2017

Divorcing the Scottish Labour Party

The Labour Party in Scotland should become a wholly independent organisation.

Jeremy Corbyn’s position on the question of a second Scottish independence referendum is utterly muddled, though it is unclear whether he is at fault or the mainstream media. But cutting through the confusion, his opinion seems to be this: Scotland should be allowed to have a referendum if it wants one, but it should not want one. In short, Corbyn has hitched himself to Unionism, and believes that, despite the Scottish rejection of Brexit in the April 2016 referendum, Scotland, as part of the UK, should be taken out of the EU against its will.

In taking that line Corbyn has fallen into step with the fiercely Unionist Scottish Labour Party leadership, the body which has sunk Labour in the last decade from Scotland’s dominant force into a measly third-placed party. Scottish Labour leader, Kezia Dugdale, is strongly anti-Corbyn, as is Ian Murray, Scotland’s sole Labour MP. They won't help Corbyn to achieve anything.

Of course, it’s not up to Corbyn to tell Scotland that the country should be independent, any more than it is up to him to say that it should not be. That issue is for Scotland alone to decide. But Corbyn could, and should, disassociate himself from the Scottish Labour Party, and declare that Scottish Labour ought to be a wholly independent organisation. But sadly I don’t think Corbyn will take that step.

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