Well, whoever would have thought it? A near wipe-out of Labour’s Scottish stronghold. Looking back, we can see the seeds were sown a long time ago. Labour lost contact with the people, we lost the vision thing, and we lost the plot. Now what’s needed is a free-standing Scottish Labour party, able to fight in Scottish streets on its own terms and fully signed up to the British project as well for Westminster purposes.
We need a vision of fraternity that looks throughout Britain and beyond. The broad left, which organises and cares for everyone – the wealthy will always look after themselves – finds common cause with everyone in the world who struggles. This is far deeper and broader than anything the nationalists have. They want to conflate aspiration, which we all have, into the answer YES to a different question: ‘Would Scotland be better off as a separate unit outside Great Britain?’ The case is not made, because it can’t be. Our responsibilities and opportunities are best served in a vibrant small island without internal borders.
The danger is, if they get much more free headway they will persuade people who would lose out in a separated Scotland that there is nothing better to vote for. The task facing the Labour party is big and it’s urgent.