Scottish Labour would love to sweep Brexit under the carpet | Autonomy Scotland

Scottish Labour would love to sweep Brexit under the carpet

Kezia Dugdale

Kezia Dugdale

We keep publishing articles about how Scottish Labour have positioned themselves in a strategic no man’s land. Regardless of the question Labour seem to adopt the role of feckless middleman between the Tories and the SNP. This is most obvious on the big issue of the day and for some time now Scottish politics has been dominated by the constitutional question. Brexit has turned that question into a crises and Labour seem to excel at consistently offering the public no solutions. They act like they hope the conundrum will just go away if they ignore it long enough.

I understand that Labour want to stay in the EU and the UK but at some point they need to realise that they can’t have both. Labour need to have answers that reflect this dire reality but they seem content to be living in a fantasy world. The overall effect of their behaviour gives the impression that they don’t or can’t grasp the seriousness of the situation.

Today they have managed to highlight their ineptitude in the space of two articles.

The first in the Daily Record details how Labour have ruled our supporting a second independence referendum. It contains the following quote from Kezia Dugdale.

We’ve been very clear, there is a very clear statement in the manifesto that we put before the Scottish people in May which is the foundation of this alternative programme for government that we’re putting forward today and how we’ll conduct ourselves over the five years of the next parliament. We’re opposed to a second referendum in the lifetime of this parliament

It is fair enough to not support a second independence referendum however to say that they wont do so due to a manifesto commitment made in May shows a distinct lack of flexibility. The massive material change in circumstances that is Brexit gives them more than enough leeway to change policy. Ruling out a referendum is a strategic blunder that really only gives them one option in the future when Brexit becomes a reality.

In another report printed in the Herald Dugdale brands the Tories ‘Scotland’s Brexit Party‘.

We are the only party that wants what the Scottish people want – a strong Scotland inside the UK and maintaining our relationship with Europe. Ruth Davidson cannot escape the fact that her party is taking us headlong on a path out of the EU. We saw that clearly from yesterday’s political cabinet at Chequers. A path that, at worst, will weaken our economy and, at best, will create years of instability.

The obvious problem with Labour’s position is that by ruling out a second independence referendum then they by default become another Brexit Party. Except unlike the Tories they look like an indecisive and delusional Brexit Party. A party who don’t want it but are going to go along with it anyway because they have ruled out the only valid alternative.

They may want what the Scottish people want but, as normal, what the nation wants isn’t an option.

Scottish Labour favour some sort of pie in the sky federal solution that is just not being offered by anyone in any position to make it work. Sooner or later Scottish Labour are going to stand by helpless as the UK leaves the EU. They will carp on the sidelines as we also leave the Common Market and our economy takes a nosedive. By ruling out a second referendum they have resigned themselves to becoming compliant whiners.

Dugdale goes onto say:

After years of constitutional debate, it is time for the First Minister and all Scottish Government ministers to focus on the job of reforming and investing in our public services, and getting people back to work

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If Brexit hadn’t happened I would agree with Dugdale. I really wanted this parliament to be about making Scotland better by using the powers of the Scottish Parliament. I thought a successful term of consensus politics would be a great advert for independence, but Brexit changes all of that.

Scottish Labour look like they have no idea how serious this all is and offer no solution other than distraction and the power of wishful thinking. They just want to plod on as if nothing has happening and hope for the best. Until they offer clarity and direction on this issue they will continue to decline.

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