I’m reading “Blossom” at the moment. It’s about Scotland and it’s people and why we have such bad health and various other depressing issues although there is much positivity also. It was recommened to me by “Clarinda” and the book was written by Lesley Riddoch.
Early on in the book Lesley mentions “Old Labour” and not in a positive manner. I can see why she might think like that since, to younger people, Old Labour was fraught with internal wrangling, beset by unions ever eager to encourage strikes and subject to a bottom line which could not make the party electable.
To me “Old Labour” was certainly those things but not just those things. “Old Labour” was the vote of the workingman. It was a party in which working men could get a sense of hope that their working lives would be productive enough for them to have a comfortable lifestyle secure in the knowledge that their children would have a better life than they had.
In the 60s life wasn’t easy although things started to change for the better in the 70s or so it felt to me. My family life improved. We had proper holidays, we had a better car, the house was better decorated and warm, there was money to go out of an evening.
Mrs Thatcher came along and trimmed the wings of the unions and pushed “Old Labour “ away from electability. Whilst some of the things she did were undoubtedly damaging to the country, other things she did were good. Her experiment and the change to a “services economy” might have been a great idea for London but less so for Scotland where traditional industries were still the core. That was all lost. Gone.
But the Tories went eventually and along came New Labour. In order to become electable Tony and his mates moved to the right. In doing so they ripped up the old ways. Now everything was new and shiny. Well maybe for some but less for a lot more people.
The West of Scotland had a lot of heavy engineering before Mrs Thatcher and much less when Tony cane to power. You would have though that “Nu Labour” would have invested heavily in either supporting and renewing the traditional industries or investing in bringing new manufacturing jobs to that area.
Well they did. Unfortunately, they managed to import low skill jobs after Mrs Thatcher had exported high skill jobs. The workforce was to be retrained. What? Retrained to follow an entirely different type of life? No. Just enough retraining to be able to answer a telephone all day long and such like. A disaster waiting to happen.
They still vote for Labour in the West of Scotland as they have always done when they worked in the old traditional industries etc. in towns and villages all over Scotland. Why? They can’t bear to vote any other way? They have always voted Labour as had their parents and grandparents? Who would they vote for if they didn’t?
To a degree they have stopped voting altogether.
Labour has done nothing, NOTHING to invest in these communities although they were in power for two terms. Not to mention the number of local councils that are also Labour run.
Labour has failed even worse than Mrs Thatcher failed.
No amount of silly tactics such as taunting the Tories that they didn’t have a single woman on the front bench.
Is that the best they can do? Is that as far as their combined intellect can manage?
Look in the mirror Ed and I mean really look in the mirror.