Thursday, 30 April 2015

Will Miliband punish Scotland for abandoning his party?

If Labour were to be decimated in Scotland  would they abandon the country altogether and simply concentrate on wining in England and Wales

This seems to be a tactic advocated by Labour Uncut where an anonymous contributor  has advocated  the scraping the Barnett formula

He or she writes
Seemingly, there is little Ed Miliband can now do to diminish the threat posed by the SNP’s remarkable insurgency. Poll after poll shows Labour facing a total wipe-out in Scotland. It isn’t a case of just losing badly; this is the stuff of total annihilation.
Meanwhile, the Conservative campaign thinks it’s on to something by warning that a minority Labour government, reliant on a bloc of SNP votes, will be a bad deal for England. As a message, it’s an exocet targeted at voters in battleground seats south of the border, where the prospect of the Scottish tail wagging the English dog seems iniquitous.

Ed Miliband can’t fix the first problem; what will be, will be. Scottish Labour is going down in flames. The bigger question for Labour strategists is whether its woes in Scotland are cyclical, the tail-end of the vortex generated by last autumn’s referendum on independence, or a more structural shift. Has the SNP now eclipsed Labour as the social democratic voice of Scots, as they contrast their simple promise to end austerity with Labour’s more complicated (and more realistic) UK-wide offer?
Although Labour’s campaign in Scotland is doomed, it can still use its setback to address its second problem: showing the SNP would not be left calling the shots.
All the party needs is a popular measure that confronts the Tory narrative that Miliband is in Sturgeon’s pocket. Something that shows Labour can make tough choices and, crucially, reassures voters in English marginals that it’s is on their side.
There is a policy proposal that fits the bill, a magic bull
 There is a policy proposal that fits the bill, a magic bullet Labour can fire that hits all these targets: scrap the Barnett Formula.There is no-one in British politics who can make a plausible case for a public spending formula that sees a fifth more spent on Scotland than England. The only reason it has not been amended out of history by now is down to decades of political inertia and a tactical belief that it would add grist to the nationalists’ mill in the run-up to last autumn’s referendum.
Well, to mix metaphors, that ship has sailed. Now, in the interests of good government, let alone basic fairness, the formula has no place and its demise is timely, regardless of the election. But it remains a powerful card for Miliband to play. By coming out now and arguing that the Barnett Formula is outdated and unfair has no electoral downside for Labour. The Scottish party’s fortunes simply can’t get any lower.
So while scrapping Barnett would be unpopular with Scottish voters, it would be a bold, transformative move that showed Ed Miliband was primarily concerned with hard-pressed English taxpayers. (Furthermore, it would even amount to a clear Labour spending cut).

We can only assume this is a tongue in cheek argument  

It would make what may be a protest vote albeit the biggest one ever permanent  and increase calls for another referendum which a combined Tory-Labour  would find that it this time would  have to refuse the Scottish Parliament because it would almost definitely lead to a YES

 vote.

The reason it was granted last time was largely due to the fact that Cameron  expected a decisive NO vote that would end any call for Independence for  a generation.

That is why Westminster did not allow a third option of major Devo-Max  (Yes tautology) which would have probably led to a Yes vote for that option.

No one and I mean No one could have predicted after the NO vote last year would lead the landslide for the SNP next week,

The Union will be shaken to the core after May 7th  how they react  will be much of the story of the next parliament but punishing the Scots for daring to break a century of loyalty to Labour in particular is not the answer, 




1 comment:

  1. You missed the last four paragraphs, it's the final I find encouraging …

    “The scale of Labour’s electoral problems in Scotland could take years to fix, but the party can still make impending electoral disaster bend to its advantage by scrapping Barnett. To paraphrase the theologian Reinhold Niebuhr, Labour needs the serenity to accept the things it cannot change, the courage to change the things it can and the wisdom to know the difference.”

    The problem in Wales is not underfunding, it's the way funds are used, in Scotland, Wales and NI and certain areas of England there is very definitely overfunding, equality should be the name of the game, proportional representation would help to gain political equality.

    John Tyler

    ReplyDelete