Union­ists’ vic­tory is a dis­tor­tion

Rutherglen Reformer - - Reformer View -

The prob­lem with the postRe­f­er­en­dum “just move on” line is that it de­mands a level of brain-wipe that is just not pos­si­ble.

The Union­ists won the vote, but the means by which they gained their “vic­tory” will dis­tort Scot­tish pol­i­tics for years.

They lied. Re­peat­edly, from top to bot­tom of their cam­paign, and were never called out for it by a com­pli­ant and sym­pa­thetic mass me­dia which almost uni­ver­sally sup­ported the No cam­paign. They lied about the cur­rency, yet when Alas­tair Dar­ling was forced to ad­mit it, con­tin­ued ly­ing any­way. They made ev­ery ef­fort to por­tray Scot­land as a bas­ket case econ­omy re­liant on hand-outs from Eng­land even though they knew this to be false. They lied about pen­sions. They lied about likely ar­range­ments for or­gan do­na­tion should Scot­land be­come in­de­pen­dent. They dis­torted the facts about re­search fund­ing.

I could go on, but why bother? The point is made that the Union­ist case was one of fear, lies and dis­tor­tion to en­sure a No vote. The main driv­ing force be­hind this cam­paign was the Labour Party, an or­gan­i­sa­tion for which ly­ing has clearly be­come sec­ond na­ture. In 2010, the Labour cam­paign in Scot­land pushed the line that only they could stop the To­ries dis­man­tling our NHS and at­tack­ing our ed­u­ca­tion ser­vices. Of course, dur­ing the Ref­er­en­dum cam­paign, they said the op­po­site: that th­ese are de­volved and can’t be touched by West­min­ster. More ly­ing!

De­spite be­ing non­sen­si­cal, the 2010 pro­pa­ganda line worked: Labour de­fended the 39 seats it still held from the 2005 elec­tion and re­gained two lost in by-elec­tions. It didn’t work in Eng­land though, and the To­ries formed the gov­ern­ment thanks to that other part of the Bet­ter To­gether axis, the Lib Dems. Of course, even if Labour had won ev­ery West­min­ster seat in Scot­land, the To­ries would still have formed the gov­ern­ment. Scot­land hasn’t made a dif­fer­ence to West­min­ster elec­toral arith­metic since 1974, when I was still at pri­mary school.

The fact of Labour’s 2010 Gen­eral Elec­tion line be­ing false was be­lat­edly recog­nised and they were ham­mered at the 2011 Scot­tish Par­lia­ment elec­tions, peo­ple recog­nis­ing that the SNP were a bet­ter bet to de­fend their in­ter­ests than Labour. Labour have made it clear that they will adopt Tory fis­cal plans if suc­cess­ful in 2015 and both are now rac­ing to the right in Eng­land, ter­ri­fied of los­ing votes to UKIP. In Scot­land, vot­ers are look­ing in a dis­tinctly dif­fer­ent di­rec­tion and hav­ing alien­ated a mas­sive swathe of po­ten­tial support by their dis­grace­ful con­duct dur­ing the ref­er­en­dum cam­paign and cosy re­la­tion­ship with the To­ries, Labour may well hit a lower level of support in 2015 than 2011.

The best es­ti­mate is that 37 per cent of peo­ple who voted Labour in 2010 voted Yes. Mem­bers have been leav­ing the Party and trade union mem­bers are ac­tively with­draw­ing pay­ment of the po­lit­i­cal levy. Now even Jo­hann La­mont has re­signed, de­scrib­ing the Labour Party in Scot­land as be­ing treated like a branch of­fice and stat­ing “We must be al­lowed to make our own de­ci­sions and con­trol our own re­sources.” Is she for real? That is pre­cisely what the Yes cam­paign wanted for our coun­try. Labour politi­cians have no sense of irony or shame. Hope­fully many of them will be seek­ing new em­ploy­ment come next May. David Steven­son, 47 Cairns Road, Cam­bus­lang.

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