Cast your minds back to the 2015 GE, to a time when UKIP was riding high in the polls. The Tories used a wonderful scare tactic to get voters back into the Tory fold: “vote UKIP and you’ll get Miliband and Sturgeon”. Well, Miliband is no longer there. We have Corbyn instead but we still have Sturgeon and the SNP – as anyone knows full well who has watched debates in the HoC!
In this latest Anti-Brexit plot a Labour Big Wig plots with the SNP’s Sturgeon to stop Brexit.
The title of the article in the paywalled Times is somewhat prevaricating: “Labour and SNP hint at pact to oust Boris Johnson before no-deal Brexit” (link, paywalled) but then the author, Henry Zeffman, jumps right in:
“Labour and the SNP moved towards a pact last night that would seek to oust Boris Johnson as the parties prepared for an autumn election. John McDonnell, the shadow chancellor, said that Labour would not block a second referendum on Scottish independence, in a significant shift of policy.
Nicola Sturgeon, the Scottish first minister and SNP leader, opened the door to a “progressive alliance” with Labour if the two parties were able to form a majority after a general election. Ms Sturgeon said she was “no great fan” of Jeremy Corbyn, especially on Brexit, but that she would sign up to a pact that “could lock the Tories out of government”. Westminster is on high alert for Labour to table a vote of no confidence in Mr Johnson when MPs return next month.” (link, paywalled)
SNP and Labour united in their hatred of the Tories, in their wish to see them defeated – and equally united in their disregard for the 17.4 Leave voters! The hypocrisy, especially of Labour – it burns. See for yourselves:
“Hours after Ms Sturgeon’s comments, Mr McDonnell, who is Mr Corbyn’s closest ally, said that the question of another independence poll should not be decided by the “English parliament”. The shadow chancellor’s intervention goes further than Mr Corbyn, who has previously said he will decide what to do once Ms Sturgeon had requested a referendum. […]
Speaking at the Edinburgh Fringe, Mr McDonnell said: “It will be for the Scottish parliament and the Scottish people to decide that. They will take a view about whether they want another referendum. Nicola Sturgeon said by late next year or the beginning of 2021.”
He told the broadcaster Iain Dale: “We would not block something like that. We would let the Scottish people decide. That’s democracy. There are other views within the party but that’s our view.” (link, paywalled)
There you have it: the ‘Scottish People’ should decide, that’s ‘democracy’ – but the EU referendum must be re-run, because ‘The People’™ need another vote, and there must be no ‘Tory Brexit’. Why is it that politicians who are now so keen on second referenda because ‘The People’™ must have a say are unwilling to accept the will of the people when the referendum result is against them? Like the IndyRef, like the EU Referendum? To continue:
“Mr McDonnell’s stance contradicts the position of Richard Leonard, the Scottish Labour leader. In March Mr Leonard said that if a Labour government took power in Westminster it would refuse to grant a Section 30 order, which gives Holyrood the power to hold another independence vote.
The shadow chancellor said yesterday: “The Scottish parliament will come to a considered view on that and they will submit that to the government and the English parliament itself. If the Scottish people decide they want a referendum that’s for them.”
The No campaign won the Scottish independence referendum in September 2014 by 55 to 45 per cent. Mr Murray told PoliticsHome: “These are utterly irresponsible comments that betray our party’s values. The Labour Party is an internationalist party founded on a vision of solidarity and we should never seek to appease nationalists.”
He added: “John McDonnell has even bought into the nationalist narrative that Westminster is an ‘English parliament’ — an insult to the hard work by Scottish MPs from every party.
“We were promised that the 2014 referendum was once in a generation, and we have a duty to hold the nationalists to their promise by firmly opposing a divisive second referendum. But one of the architects of the Corbyn project that is destroying the Labour Party now appears willing to destroy our United Kingdom with thoughtless rants at the [Edinburgh] festival.” (link, paywalled)
Ah, but that was then – this is now, and McDonnell, perhaps hopeful of replacing Corbyn or at least to be the puppet master of a Corbyn replacement, is quite clear: there can be other opinions, but he’s got the power and therefore this will be Labour’s policy – to get rid of the Tory Government. Moving on:
“Ruth Davidson, the Scottish Conservative leader, leapt on the remarks. “I feel for those Labour voters that stood side by side with major figures of their party and against the forces of nationalism in 2014. Know that the Scottish Tories will always stand up for our United Kingdom.”
Ms Sturgeon suggested she would join forces with Mr Corbyn against the Conservatives, although she attacked his approach to Brexit and said that a full coalition was not her intention.
After Ms Sturgeon’s party wiped out all but one of Labour’s MPs in Scotland — Mr Murray — at the 2015 election, one of Labour’s most viable paths to a majority at Westminster involves an alliance with the SNP. Ms Sturgeon told The Guardian on Tuesday: “We would always want to be part of a progressive alternative to a Tory government.” (link, paywalled)
That is what this is about: not Brexit, not even a 2nd referendum, no: it’s about getting the Tories out and Labour in, with a coalition government with the SNP. So ‘progressive’! Dripping with affirming the will of ‘The People’™ while disregarding with contempt the will the actual people have already expressed. Here are the maths which lie behind this latest plot:
“If a vote of no confidence were passed, there would be a 14-day period for MPs to try to pass a motion of confidence in a new prime minister, although some in Downing Street believe that Mr Johnson could refuse to quit. If no new government were formed, a general election would be triggered. At present there are 247 Labour MPs and 35 SNP MPs, which combined is 29 fewer than the 311 Conservative MPs. A poll conducted by Lord Ashcroft after Mr Johnson’s visit to Scotland last week put support for independence at 46 per cent and opposition at 43 per cent.”
A Labour spokesman said: “John McDonnell was clearly not advocating a second independence referendum. He made clear the huge benefit a UK Labour government will bring for the people of Scotland. Labour stands for an end to the status quo in the UK: economically, politically and constitutionally.” (link, paywalled)
You just have to love the spin put on this plot by a Labour ‘spokesman’ – no name given which is a good thing because his or her attempt to make black look white is, well, admirable.
But heed the warning about ‘an end to the status quo’ under a Labour government. I’ll interpret this as an end to the Union, with ‘progressive governments’ in Westminster, Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast.
Brexit? Ah no – we’ll stay in, the will of the ‘People’™ to be discarded with contempt.