Saturday, September 12, 2015

Corbyn and the SNP's new playbook

"Jez we can!", they cried and Jez they've got.  Good grief!  With the results just in, I think there's already rather too many people taking the piss.  Top of the list are fans of the Labour party's most prolific rebel saying the party needs to pull together.  It goes without saying those who follow their past example rather than heeding their latest injunction are probably already being denounced for their treasonous ways.

Also near the top of the list are nationalists, like my SNP-supporting friend and colleague, who told me that he thought the Corbyn surge was a good thing for Labour.  This is really too much.  This is a party who correctly saw the Labour party as one of the key British institutions standing in their way of power in Scotland and their wider goal of independence so have done everything in their power to destroy it - and having done so in May's election, have danced on its Scottish grave with great vim and gusto.  Can't say I can really blame them but what is pretty offensive is their claim to be the guardians of the soul of the Labour party.  We had all of these people claiming that they were backing the SNP, not because they were nationalists (heaven forfend!), but because Labour was too right wing.  I don't believe for a moment that any strategist in the SNP seriously worries about losing many of these votes because I would assume any such strategist worth his or her salt understands perfectly well that the SNP's success in May would not have been possible if it had to depend on left wing votes.

Rather, I'd assume the SNP are delighted with Corbyn's victory.  I know I would be, if was in the SNP.  Their genius is that they combine triangulation with Corbynite rhetoric when it suits them, which it did in the West of Scotland.  They are the Blairite party par excellence in UK politics today and it is, to me anyway, utterly inconceivable that a Corbyn-lead Labour party will be a match for them.  Instead, the script is going to go something like this, "We disagree with Jeremy Corbyn on some things but we're both against austerity and Trident.  Look what happens to someone in England who shares these views we've been so awesomely successful with in Scotland.  Look what happens to him in his own party!  Just shows how very different our two nations are..."

Here's a preview.  This is the line we'll get on a loop.

The SNP's path to the mainstream - supporting EU and NATO membership - is now more difficult for the Corbyn Labour party, whether he comes out in favour of these or not, and that is the state the Labour party has got itself into.

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