George Galloway on Scottish referendum: Labour's lost strongholds

September 19, 2014
Glasgow, a traditional Labour stronghold, voted Yes. © innoxiuss
Glasgow, a traditional Labour stronghold, voted Yes. © innoxiuss

It was a close run thing, if a mere five per cent had voted differently then we would be having a very different conversation today. A very large number of people voted Yes due to a hatred of the Tories, neoliberal economics and neocon foreign policy. The Labour party now has to seriously consider its situation and devise a strategy for winning those voters back.

Two results in particular stand out for me; Glasgow and North Lanarkshire, which in the past were traditional Labour strongholds, voted Yes. There are two priorities now for Labour In Scotland—one is getting the Tories out of power next May and the second is wresting control of the Scottish parliament back from the SNP. As long as the SNP controls Holyrood they will be in a strong position to try this again.

Gordon Brown was magnificent in this campaign. He came off the subs bench, (why was here there in the first place?) and scored the winning goal. The people of Britain made a mistake in replacing him with Lord Snooty, and the next phase for him must surely be to stand as Labour’s candidate for First Minister in the Scottish parliament [the next Scottish general election is scheduled for 5th May 2016]. I hope he is prepared to do that.

There will be a rear-guard action by some Tories backwoodsmen, or Redwood’s men, but the three main parties I believe will keep to their pledge to offer further devolved powers by the agreed timetable, they would be playing with fire if they did not, Westminster’s position is far too fragile for any such games. Clearly, there now needs to be a complete rejigging of British constitutional arrangements. I look forward to having my say in that. I'm ready to help Labour in the task of winning the Scottish parliament back and I'm waiting for their call.