Reasons to be cheerful… one, two, three

10269360_10154927389390118_5539080808494383588_nKenneth Fleming gives us three reasons to be cheerful about the Labour Party, in Scotland and across the UK.

 

So, Labour’s predicted summer of confronting hard truths in dark places is well underway. Things are a bit rough. Indeed, there is nothing to possibly be positive about in the Labour Party, right?

Wrong. Here are a few reasons to be cheerful. Continue reading

The scary warnings and the 21st century unlikely moderniser

lesley brennanA longer read for a Friday, in two parts:
Dundee Labour councillor and economist Lesley Brennan looks at Jeremy Corbyn, New Labour and the changing face of UK politics, and argues that Corbyn is the right choice for Labour leader.

 

Part 1

Over the last month, I have been truly gobsmacked by the some of the assertions made relating to Jeremy Corbyn and his supporters, particularly the hysteria of the last week. I am a Labour councillor in Dundee and an economist. In the 2010 leadership election, I supported Andy Burnham; however, I now believe Jeremy has the vision and characteristics that a majority of the electorate will vote for. I worked in academia before entering the world of consultancy. I consider myself as neither ‘hard left’ nor a moron. I have been reflecting and questioning my values and decision to vote for Jeremy, given the furore. Anyway, I was curious to explore these assertions. I have jotted down my thoughts and findings, but as the piece became longer and longer, I decided to split it. So, here’s Part 1. Continue reading

Pete Wishart’s bid for the Scottish Labour leadership

pete wishartPete Wishart, SNP MP for Perth and North Perthshire, has written a pretend speech as if he was standing for leadership of Scottish Labour. He has been kind enough to agree to share it with Labour Hame’s readers. He thinks there’s a key policy shift that will turn around the party’s fortunes. Have a guess what it is.

 

“Ladies and gentlemen, comrades, members of the press. Today I announce my candidacy for the leadership of the Labour Party of Scotland. These are exciting and challenging times. After that crushing defeat in May, it is time to rebuild and renew, to slay sacred cows and chart a new way ahead.

Yes, our disastrous defeat in May was down to poor leadership and a total failure to connect with the people of Scotland. But more than that, we were beaten so comprehensively because of a more fundamental problem, and that is for the past 10 years the Scottish Labour Party has been at least 10 steps behind the ambitions of the Scottish people. We have tried to disparage that ambition, neuter it and hold it back. With me as your leader, we will never be put in that position again. I promise to you to work with the grain of Scotland’s constitutional ambitions.

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A practical policy for the next Scottish Labour government

OSheila Gilmore, formerly MP for Edinburgh East, draws on her long experience of the city’s housing infrastructure to propose a practical step Labour can take in government to improve people’s lives.

 

In the 1970s and 1980s, new housing associations played a crucial role in helping Edinburgh remain a city with a mixed residential population, by enabling substantial areas of the traditional tenements ringing Edinburgh’s centre to get a renewed lease of life.

Dunedin and Canmore (now joined but originally separate) started work in 1975 in the Gorgie and Dalry areas. Edinvar, closely associated in its early days with the University area, helped to ensure that the Southside did not become a glorified university campus. Port of Leith and Lorne Housing Associations performed a similar role in Leith. This was an inspired combination of preserving our built heritage and providing affordable rented housing.

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They were better than us

political-trevor057Professor Trevor Davies says Labour’s challenge, in Scotland and the UK, is to be better at doing the business of politics.

 

Like most of us, I’m still trying to think through the reasons for the political cataclysm that engulfed Labour in May – in Scotland and to a lesser extent in the rest of the UK.  And one conclusion strikes me – the others, SNP, Tories, Greens, were simply better than us.  They were, and are, better politicians, better at doing the business of politics.  We were and are lousy at it.

George Osborne, averagely smart as he is, is a terrible Chancellor.  He has floored the growing economy he inherited, failed to put the public finances back in shape and fixed into place shocking inequality.  Yet all he had to do was set a simple trap in Parliament over part of the social security system and we march straight into it, arms flailing.

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Pathology and political amnesia

Vince paperVince Mills, Chair of the Scottish Labour Campaign for Socialism, and a contributor to Morning Star, The Citizen, Tribune and The Red Paper on Scotland, challenges criticisms of Jeremy Corbyn and offers a different view of Labour’s recent history.

 

As many of the left, like Neil Findlay in the Daily Record (23rd July), had anticipated, the attacks on Jeremy Corbyn have intensified. Indeed, the attacks on Jeremy personally from one Labour MP has outdone the gutter press, while the attacks on Labour’s electoral process itself have brought new meaning to the word ‘hypocrisy’.

Years of pursuit by the Blairite right of one member one vote and primaries, where supporters can select Labour candidates, should according to these very Blairites be reversed overnight because the potential result does not suit the ‘aspirations’ – and how they love that word – of Labour’s existing and wannabe elite.

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Time for a bit more respect

barrie cunningBarrie Cunning of Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk CLP says he won’t be voting for Jeremy Corbyn, but the personal and bitter attacks need to end. We’re a democratic party.

 

Am I the only Labour member who is getting fed up with the leadership election and the apparent divide that seems to be taking place within the party? I joined the Labour Party because I believe in the core principles of equality, fairness, solidarity and – not to forget – democracy. What concerns me the most is that whilst the leadership contest continues the party is becoming more divided. The left and the right are at loggerheads with one another, which is fine, but what isn’t fine is when it becomes more than just a difference in ideology, but a personal attack.

A few nights ago John McTernan said on Newsnight that the MPs who nominated Jeremy Corbyn were “morons”, and Tony Blair said that those whose hearts were with Corbyn needed “a transplant”. Blair added that we couldn’t win power if it was on a “traditional leftist platform”. Tony Blair’s comments are starting to sound like a bitter ex member of a band who always feels the need to let everyone know he was the best front man and everyone else is secondary.

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