When Mr Corbyn came to Scotland to welcome yet another new incumbent to the leadership of the Scottish Branch of the British Labour Party, both of them talked, frankly, a load of guff about ‘a far away country full of people about whom they apparently knew nothing’ to paraphrase Mr Chamberlain.
The massive clanger, of course, was the demand from Mr Leonard that the Scottish government must take back Scottish Water into public ownership. To do that of course, the Scottish government would first have to sell it off to private enterprise, something that wasn’t done before.
A common theme from Labour is that the Scottish government has done nothing to alleviate the effects of austerity imposed on the poor (but not the rich), by the British Tories [a party of government (in the UK) and opposition (in Scotland) you’d have been excused for thinking that two supposedly left wingers would have been anxious to ridicule, particularly given that they ARE ridiculous].
I’ve always excused Corbyn’s ignorance of Scotland (he didn’t for example, know that there was such a thing as Scots Law), because he is a London MP who has always been just that: a back-bencher mainly concerned with his London constituents (and from what a hear, a damned good one too).
On the other hand, although Mr Leonard is an Englishman, he has been resident in Scotland for some time. He has been a member of the Scottish parliament for a couple of years now and he has just become the leader of Labour’s Scottish branch. It would be reasonable to expect him to know something of what’s going on here.
Perhaps Mr Corbyn and Mr Leonard might like to take a look at what Scotland has done with its limited powers and compare them with what the Welsh LABOUR government has done with their, albeit more limited, powers.
And remember that the government here had to fight for the power to use money to help the poor. It didn’t just happen.
Justified opposition to government policy is essential, wherever it is from: Labour, Tory or Greens. Carping for the sake of carping is no substitute for it. Corbyn, at least, we know, is better than that. And the public deserves better than the current state of affairs.
Democratic governance works when a government is held to account by oppositions attempting to get the best for the country, rather than trying to score cheap political points, especially with incorrect information and lies.
I’m sure they don’t lie on purpose. They just seem not to know.
A course of instruction from someone who does know how things work in this country and is aware of what has been done with the powers we have and what will be done with the powers we are yet to get, might be a good idea, because, at the moment, it looks like the blind are leading the blind and it’s more than a little laughable.
The SNP can’t go on in power forever. No party ever does. But the chronic lack of talent, ability and know how in the current Labour Party leaves us with the horrifying prospect that, when that time comes, it may be the Tories that replace the SNP. A fate to be avoided at any cost.
Lest you should be in any doubt about that, I leave you with this: