It’s rather too easy to blame this on Brexit. The deeper problem is how Brexit interacted with a longstanding sense that all factions of Labour, centrist or leftist, don’t like the party’s traditional voters.
Perhaps the real battle we should be watching isn’t in Scotland at all. Holyrood elections have the lacklustre aura of the foregone conclusion. Meanwhile, coastal, flyover and “red wall” England is continuing to remake British politics by refusing to return to the Labour Party.
Source Direct: Scotland and England’s Hart-lands
It’s interesting to compare Starmer’s lethargic opposition with events across the Atlantic. Joe Biden (nicknamed “Sleepy Joe”) is Starmer’s spiritual counterpart in more ways than one. But while Britain’s centre-left has snoozed through its alarms, Sleepy Joe has jolted awake.
Source Direct: Slothful Starmer and Sleepy Joe
“You can ignore certain names when they appear in the headlines and endeavour to forget about them – a prospect Blair should welcome, but obviously fears – or you can remember that when Blair speaks, he does so from atop a mountain of corpses.”
Sean Bell: You don’t need to care what Tony Blair thinks – just remember what he is
They’ve elected an affable new leader. They’ve focused on covid recovery rather than the constitution – theoretically, that’s what the aggregate voter demands. And rivals are in turmoil: the Conservatives embroiled in corruption scandals; pro-independence parties suffering an acute identity crisis. Everything should add up to Scottish Labour success
Source Direct Election Profile: Scottish Labour
The case for Scotland remaining in the Union will partly depend on the credibility of Westminster’s opposition. Can we even imagine a non-Conservative government?
Source Direct: Prince Charming
“This isn’t just about Labourism, but a much general culture of managerialism which has helped to empty the democratic content from Scottish, British and western politics in general.”
Analysis: The Starmer school of party management comes to Scotland
After the coronavirus, many optimistically predicted that Boris Johnson’s “Red Wall” hegemony would be swept away by waves of resistance. However, Keir Starmer has been in charge for a year, and Labour is now back down at 32 percent.
Source Direct: Steer Kalmer
Nobody was surprised to see Anas Sarwar sweep the vote. He was the predictable, centrist, unionist option.
Source Direct: The Indignity of Labour
It’s difficult to reconcile the jarring contradiction between the Labour we grew up with, still regarded as synonymous with the Scottish nation, and the deflated rump we see today, pleading with Scotland not to hate them.