By Allan Grogan, Labour for Independence
In his indelible quest for the approval of Middle England, Labour leader Ed Miliband declared that both old and New Labour have lost relevance, Yet the values of Real Labour are very much at the heart of issues faced north and south of the border and should not be summarily dismissed in the quest for a Disraeli-esque Britain
In his first speech of 2013, our party leader spoke of how New Labour were right to break away from the Labour party of the 80's but failed to stand up to vested interests which allured the party for much of their spell in government.
"New Labour rightly broke from old Labour and celebrated the power of private enterprise to energise our country,
"New Labour, unlike old Labour, pioneered the idea of rights and responsibilities. From crime to welfare to antisocial behaviour, New Labour was clear that we owe duties to each other as citizens."
This speaks of a party desperate of the middle England vote. So sure are Labour that we are in the process of a one-term Government that Ed Miliband has already begun circling the wagons around the issues that matter to the voters he needs.
"I bow to nobody in my celebration of the multi-ethnic, diverse nature of Britain. But high levels of migration were having huge effects on the lives of people in Britain – and too often those in power seemed not to accept this. The fact that they didn't explains partly why people turned against us in the last general election."
The truth is that while this will play to his election market, it doesn't reflect the issues or values of the people of Scotland.
What Mr Miliband propagates is neither a new vision or a return to old politik, rather he seeks a vision of 'Tory lite' a brand of politics which will cut your benefits, will keep you in economic strife but will remember your name along the way.
This kind of sycophantic nonsense appeals to the 24 hour television and 24 second attention span of most who hear the message. The vision of politicians who pat you on the head with one hand while stealing your wallet with the other is surely close at hand.
In truth it does nothing for the people they are supposed to represent. While the Tories laugh while inflicting their mutilation on society we expect the Labour party to fight for those without a voice, yet Liam Byrne is quite shocking in saying...
"Let's face the tough truth – that many people on the doorstep felt that too often we were for shirkers no workers."
This semblance of what is, in name only, a Labour party not only saddens but breaks the heart of anyone who once went to a doorstep for it.
What Mr Miliband and the rest of the current echelon have failed to take note of is, the more they appeal to London and Middle England, the less they appeal to their roots of Northern England and Scotland. It is in these areas we see a demand for Real Labour, a desire to live by a code not based on greed or selfishness, rather one of community and distribution. These codes are much more aligned to the One Nation/Big Society that either of the two may promise.
Yet in this, we see perhaps the biggest obstacle on the left for Scottish independence. Is the suffering of the working man in Glasgow not the same as the working man of Liverpool?
While it is true we share more with our friends in Northern England than the south do, we know that a Real Labour utopia will never come into effect in the U.K. The fact we cannot help our friends in NE does not mean we should not have for ourselves what most in our country seek.
The socialist argument of brotherhood should be muted by the opportunity to have a real social society regardless of national boundaries. We should use independence and the freedom afforded us, to be a shining beacon in a region of cuts, despair and bad economic policy.
Many people, on many sites have claimed that Labour cannot win a U.K. election without Scotland, this is why the H.Q. are part of the Better Together campaign. This is of course wrong, Labour could win the next election without Scotland, it will probably have to, the truth is that the current Labour party of the U.K. no longer reflects the people of Scotland. Yes vote or not the current track of jump right and ask questions later will not sit long with a country too smart to be fooled by tory sheep in red wool.
Desraelis vision of a one nation Britain, no longer reflects the differences between the stretches of this Isle. This was obvious by the welfare vote which passed 324-268 in Westminster, yet the Scottish vote read 46-11 against.
Surely it is clear that we no longer are held by the ties of the empire but rather, what is best for the people around us.
The current Scottish Labour Party and The Labour Party no longer reflect the ideals, needs and wants of the Scottish people, yet this does not mean that the Labour message is not important or wanted in the country.
We have already seen through our early stages of our community campaigning, that there is a desire for a strong, real, Labour party within Scotland. A party which promotes the benefits of this nation, who stands in defence of it, who would never claim that we are too small, too daft, too stupid to have our own nation.
We as Scots have such a negative opinion of ourselves, yet it is worth remembering Churchill's words when he said;
"Of all the small nations on earth, perhaps only the ancient Greeks surpass the Scots in their contribution to mankind."
We as a nation, can make it on our own, we can survive, and thrive as an independent state.
The visions of a Labour party once been, is why many in Scotland still vote Labour, myself included. But we need a Labour party which represents us and the ideals of a Real Labour.
The decision to fight against your own party is a lot like the decision on the referendum. We know the best way forward, we know what must be done, yet some stall at the final gate.
Real Labour can only be returned in an independent Scotland, free from the tyranny of the Tories, free from the shackles of New Labour and free from a Westminster bastardisation of Keir Hardie's dream.
Walk through the gates, into the life you dreamed your world could be.
Please think differently, think Labour for Independence.