Jeremy Corbyn would be a great PM, so please don’t vote for Scottish Labour
I’ve heard quite a few independence supporters talking about voting Labour in the last few days.
I get the reasons why. Many Yes voters, myself included are not the hard-line nationalists we are often made out to be. We are progressives who see independence as a means to an end. We think that an independent Scotland is a fast-track to a better political system. One that is more representative and inclusive and therefore one that will lead to policies that benefit the many and not the few.
Part of what drives independence supporters like us is the realisation that the UK system is broken. It returns governments most people don’t want. Governments that are not accountable and this results in decisions being made that mainly benefit the people at the top.
Most independence supporters want a better system and Jeremy Corbyn has given a lot of people hope that we can solve the institutional problems at UK level.
It is a common refrain among Yes voters that they see the SNP as a means to an end. Now Corbyn pops up with a manifesto that is far closer to their brand of politics. Corbyn who almost everyone, including myself wrote off, is speedily closing the gap in the opinion polls. If he were to be elected PM he really does have a chance of making the radical political changes that need to be implemented to make the UK system fit for purpose again. I can see why people find that attractive.
That said, even though I feel politically close to the Yes voting Corbynistas.
Even though I share a lot of Corbyn’s goals. Even though I would like nothing more than to see him become PM. I will not be voting for Scottish Labour. In my opinion doing so in Scotland would make Corbyn’s vision less likely to occur.
Here are my reasons.
- The goal of progressives should be to minimise the number of Tories elected. Labour don’t have much of a chance of winning most Scottish seats. So therefore, a vote for Scottish Labour by progressives is a vote for Tories in most areas. In some places, where the Tories don’t have a chance you could probably do it safely, but in many seats you will be inadvertently delivering May that increased majority she craves.
- Labour MPs that do have a chance such as Ian Murray have been in open rebellion against Corbyn since he took over. There has been more resistance to Corbyn within his own party than via the Tories. So why elect people who have shown no desire to support Corbyn, want him ousted and have been dismissive of his policies?
- It’s not just candidates like Murray. From the top Scottish Labour have it in for Corbyn. Kezia Dugdale refused to back her leader when the party tried to oust him in 2016 saying, “I don’t think Jeremy can unite our party and lead us into government. He cannot appeal to a broad enough section of voters to win an election”.
- While his own party wont back his policies the SNP will. Both Jeremy Corbyn and Nicola Sturgeon have confirmed that they will work together in a confidence and supply arrangement in the event of a hung parliament. This is important if you would like to see a more progressive UK as the most important policy for bringing that about would be electoral reform. Everything else would flow from that. Corbyn has been a backer of Proportional Representation and has talked about a Federal UK system. However, the Labour manifesto has no clear commitment to deliver these changes. The SNP have promised to deliver voting reform if they gain power, so Labour relying on SNP votes might be just the situation needed to bring about the change you want.
- Jeremy Corbyn seems open to the idea of a second independence referendum whereas Scottish Labour have completely ruled it out. Now this is important even if you are a soft Yes voter as the lever formed by the threat of independence makes progressive UK reform more likely to happen. The more threatened Westminster is the more likely it will be that change will occur.
- Also there is the small matter of Brexit. A Labour government forced to work with the SNP will help secure better options for Scotland with regards to leaving the EU. For instance, Sturgeon had previously argued that Scotland could remain in the EU Single Market even while remaining part of the UK. Scenarios like this become more likely with a strong SNP presence in a hung parliament. Even if this is not possible, the SNP will be a good influence for making Brexit as soft as possible and for ensuring Scottish interests are looked after.
- Finally, although Corbyn has a chance he is still an outsider. The Tories are still most likely to win another majority. In that scenario I would rather have a strong SNP presence as Labour MPs in the recent past have had a bad habit of waving through harsh Tory policies. It is hard to dispute that the SNP have done a good job holding the government to account in the Commons. Check out our earlier blog for proof of this.
You can help keep the site going by DONATING via paypal.
Support AUTONOMYSCOTLAND for FREE by doing your Amazon shopping through this link (bookmark it!).
You can also help by commenting, sharing the blogs and joining our newsletter.
I’m voting Labour, but thanks for the advice.
I’m getting tired of SNP voters telling me a vote for Labour is a vote for the Tories. Complete nonsense.
I voted yes in 2014.
I’m voting Labour this time. Because of the POLICIES.
Their policies will be undone by the next Tory government if they don’t deliver electoral reform. Something they haven’t promised to do in their manifesto.
And, of course progressive voters voting Labour can deliver the Tories. Although it depends on the seat. In most seats it will just be a wasted vote as Labour don’t have a chance in most seats. Again because of the electoral system.
If you want to improve the chance of those policies actually being enacted, you’ll vote tactically. If you’re voting Labour just because you identify with Labour, then you’re doing it for Feelings, not Policies.
I agree! See my comments above… Let’s be clear, voting snp will allow the tories to take your region as the snp will take you back into the eu which practises austerity on steroids so there is no difference between the two. Voting SNP/tory is the same if you can only see it. They have only borrowed socialist clothing for the time being as they need it to get independence through..it is a short term commitment until they get independence and then go back in the EU..the eu is a financially colonialist organisation and you will be powerless..so tell me… Read more »
The idea that Labour is socialist is a complete and utter joke. They are a Neo-Liberal party with a socialist leader they hate. If, in the unlikely circumstance Corbyn gets elected, the system will conspire against him as will about two thirds of his own party who don’t agree with him. I’m a Green party member but the System means that voting Green is a wasted vote. The same as voting Labour is a wasted vote in most Scottish seats as Labour are so far behind. However, If you read the blog, it isn’t really saying vote SNP for independence.… Read more »
We’ve just witnessed Scottish Labour falling over themselves to go into coalition with the Tories in councils across Scotland. Councils which have no say on independence, but do control housing, schools, care & other vital public services.
That’s the grassroots putting their own greed and thirst for power ahead of any principle.
Excuse my ignorance, but please tell me how you have arrived at this conclusion. Any links to back up what you are saying would be appreciated.
A friend had this to say to me, and I tend to agree… “You should still vote labour..it would be an absolute shame if labour won enough seats in england and wales only to be undone by the snp..vote labour in scotland or she will use this for a referendum..it is the only way forward..if all labour voters voted labour in scoltland instead of voting SNP then we have a chance to take a few seats which will be the difference to us taking power without having to beg the snp…vote labour……there is no difference between the SNP and tory..as… Read more »
The EU can’t force austerity of Scotland or the UK as we are not in the Euro. Austerity was forced on the UK by the Tories and the Lib Dems and Labour supported it. That’s because Labour is still full of Blairites who hate Corbyn. Also, this election has nothing to do with independence. The mandate for indyref2 comes from the Scottish Parliament. As it did in 2011. The last time a referendum was arranged, the SNP only had 6 MPs in Westminster. They will have around 50 next time. So, if Westminister elections are about independence then please explain… Read more »
I will vote SNP 🙂 Most of what is in the Labour Manifesto, the SNP have already achieved. I don’t want to throw that down the drain by voting labour incase not enough in England vote Labour (as they tend to do) and then we are stuck with the Tories and a smaller SNP support system. The SNP do well for me and I personally know my MP. I believe they really connect with the public, I hope it will be difficult to unseat them. And as for the comment I seen here stating “The Tories and the SNP are… Read more »
As an English guy and proud member of the “United” Kingdom can I say thanks guys. You are just throwing us to the lions.
It think your own fellow countrymen/women consistently voting Tory and now voting for Brexit is more of an issue. In Scotland, we consistently reject them and get lumped with them. We are tired of being thrown to the lions because of the voting power of our larger neighbour. This all comes down to elecoral refrom which is the thrust of this particular blog. If the system is changed to a proportional one then nobody gets thrown to the lions. I am saying you are more likely to get electoral reform if Corbyn has to work with the SNP. That is… Read more »
Oh dear, this article is so wrong. “Labour MPs in the recent past have had a bad habit of waving through harsh Tory policies” is not true, especially under Corbyn. The SNP claim that is the real opposition in Westminster is just nonsense. It has been Labour opposition and tactics which have forced the Tories to make so many U-turns. In government the SNP shows no sign of being leftwing. It is centralising, imposes austerity on the NHS and local government, sustains the regressive Council Tax; and in terms of future policy it wants to cut tax on business and… Read more »
So was it SNP MPs in Westminster that voted to bomb Syria, or Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya for that matter? Is it the SNP who support trident? Was it the SNP who voted for Tory austerity budgets? Was it the SNP who supported the Benefit Cap? Was it the SNP who waived through May’s hard Brexit? Was it the SNP who failed to vote against the Bedroom Tax? No it was Labour, many of the current MPs who you want to get reelected. I actually provided you with a link at the end of the blog to the policies the… Read more »
I heard Nicola Sturgeon saying, on national tv, unprompted “Jeremy Corbyn is not a credible alternative Prime Minister.” No one had even asked her. I couldn’t believe my ears.