The Labour Party Doesn’t Work With Nationalists? Pull The Other One

Last night, Ed Miliband confirmed that he would not do a deal of any kind with the Scottish National Party. In the event of a hung parliament, Miliband and his Labour Party would seemingly prefer that the Tories formed the next government than seek a confidence and supply arrangement with the SNP. Yes, you read that correctly, Miliband is apparently happy to condemn the voters to five more years of Tory cruelty. Thanks a lot.

If the Labour Party has a problem with nationalism, then it is a selective problem. Labour has traditionally relied on the support of The Social Democratic and Labour Party of Northern Ireland – an Irish nationalist party. During the Lib-Lab pact of the late 1970s, the SDLP supported the Labour government of Jim Callaghan but withdrew their support over Sunny Jim’s concessions to the Ulster Unionist Party that gave them more seats. The SDLP voted with the Tories in the no confidence motion that triggered the 1979 general election. Yet it’s the SNP that is still castigated for ‘ushering in’ the Thatcher regime. This is nothing but a myth. The last time I checked, the SDLP still wanted a united Ireland too. During the 2010 election, there was even talk of Labour doing a coalition deal with the Lib Dems, the SDLP, the Alliance Party and the Greens. This came to nothing.

The SDLP was formed in 1970 from two parties: Gerry Fitt’s Republican Labour Party and the smaller, but no less nationalist, National Democratic Party. The latter practised abstentionism and the former disagreed with that position. The Republican Labour Party had, itself, been formed from Fitt’s Socialist Republican Party and Harry Diamond, the sole representative of the Irish Labour Party north of the border, who’d left that party to join Fitt’s party. Confused? Don’t be. The joke going around at the time was “two one-man parties had become a one two-man party”.

Curiously, in the Northern Ireland Assembly, the SDLP refused to do a deal with Sinn Féin (the third largest party in the 1918 General Election) and is now quietly supporting the Democratic Unionist Party and Ulster Unionist Party at Stormont.

SDLP rejects Sinn Fein’s proposal for a progressive pact.

SDLP rules out SF election pact to counter unionist deal.

SDLP ‘silent partners in unionist election pact

If the SDLP carries on at this rate, it will go the same way as Scottish Labour.

Labour also worked in coalition with Plaid Cymru in the Welsh Assembly from July 2007 to December 2009. It was called the One Wales agreement. My, what short memories we have!

The three main parties (and UKIP) seem content to alienate Scotland which, ironically, works against their best efforts to cling onto the decaying union. The attitude towards Scottish voters has been nothing short of contemptuous. It’s as if to say “If you vote SNP, we’re not going to listen to you”. It would seem that Labour is prepared to work with nationalist parties, as long as they’re not Scottish nationalists.

If the union is broken up, it will be mainly the fault of the three main parties (and UKIP) for whipping up fear and anti-Scottish hatred among English and Welsh voters.

Unionists: they can’t even shoot themselves in the foot properly.



Filed under General Election 2015, Labour Party, Political parties, Scottish National Party, Social Democratic and Labour Party

4 responses to “The Labour Party Doesn’t Work With Nationalists? Pull The Other One

  1. This contempt against Scottish voters is nothing new. Google the 1947 Covenant when 2 million Scots signed ‘asking’ for Home Rule, that was when the population was just 5 million, and it was just dismissed. The 1979 debacle of a referendum, when 52% voted yes, but English government said not enough I’m afraid, needs to be 40% of the total electorate to win, as if that’s possible. What party wouldn’t dream of a 40% mandate from the electorate. Then we have last years referendum when no international observers were allowed, no exit polls carried out, the NO side being given access to postal votes before the count and the list goes on.
    I’m a Scot who has lived the first 30 years in Scotland then the last 30 in England married to an Englishman. I voted and campaigned for the SNP before coming here and haven’t voted since, that is until this election. I live in a marginal where my labour mp took it from the Tories in 2010 but with only a 500 majority. I decided I was going to do my bit this time and vote labour, to try and keep the Tories out of government, and happy to do it, until I heard Miliband say more or less he’d rather see a Tory government than go in with SNP! I will still vote Labour on Thursday but its for all those that have suffered under IDS and austerity and not for the Labour party. They are loathed as are the Tories in Scotland and the same will happen here, sod the decefit and austerity, it is killing people.
    Have you seen this?
    I will never vote Lab again after Thurs.
    If the Scots can get rid of the Tories and now Labour from Scotland, just think what a population of 10 times more can do here in England. It is time for change but not going from one party to the other, that does not work, time to kick the lot of them into touch and start governing ourselves.
    Just a wee thought before I go, haven’t you heard of UDI Ed? Wonder if the English can do it too 😁

    • The unionists keep telling us how the union is an “equal partnership” but that’s a lie: it has never been equal. Westminster has been quite happy to use Scotland for its own ends, whether it’s North Sea oil or the young men it called up to fight in its imperial wars.

  2. Reblogged this on UNEMPLOYED IN TYNE & WEAR and commented:
    It’s an extremely strange stance to take, pre-election. All Miliband had to do was say; “Any coalition will depend on the results of the election – ask me again when we actually know the results”.

    Either he is anticipating defeat and is looking for a handy scapegoat in advance – “if you’d voted Lab rather than SNP the Tories wouldn’t be back in power”…

    Or maybe something else is going on behind the scenes ? Some kind of Con/Lab agreement, if not actual coalition ? At first sight that seems incredible, but Lab have much more in common with the tories nowadays than with SNP, Green, etc.

    That’s probably a wild summise… on the other hand, how many Lib Dem voters last time thought they would be instrumental in ushering in 5 years of austerity ?

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