I caught the end of Johann Lamont giving her speech at the Scottish Labour Party Conference. It was the usual nastiness and negativity – so ubiquitous with JL as to be unremarkable, though still unpleasant.
In my opinion she took the completely wrong approach – she was preaching to the choir in the hall, with starry-eyed references to the labour movement of old. When she drew cheers by evoking Labour’s achievements like the NHS and the welfare state, it just drew attention to how much they are trading on very old glories (like the English mentioning the 1966 World Cup, which she also bizarrely touched on). The rows of portly middle-aged male apparatchiks in the hall warmed themselves in the glowing memory of their movement’s glorious past.
Meanwhile, anyone not hidebound by blind allegiance to a party, and with any desire to seek real change from the mess we are in knows that independence is the only game in town. We are the radical party – they are the new conservatives. People are wrong when they talk of there being no conservatives in an Independent Scottish Parliament. They will exist, but under a new name – The Labour Party.
Near the end of her speech she made one particularly shocking statement. It seems that the drive for national self-determination; the desire to govern ourselves; the ambition to seize the reins of power so we can achieve real change in our society, is all just a ‘Grievance looking for a Cause’.
Shame on her, and what a pity for those decent Labour Party members who must be squirming and wishing they could go back to being members of the progressive, radical wing of politics that their party was of old, not the mean, spiteful, servile and fearful sham of a party which they inhabit nowadays. They lost their cause a long time ago, and they are Yesterday’s Men.