Jeremy Corbyn and the SNP 119

Today on my first full day back in Scotland (and only my fourth day in the UK in the past 8 weeks) I went to Jeremy Corbyn’s rally in Edinburgh. I have shared platforms with Jeremy, particularly for Stop the War, fairly frequently and had a number of conversations and email exchanges, but I would not claim to be a friend. I have the impression he is quite a private man.

I was impressed by Jeremy’s talk and by the energy in the room. Jeremy was at his strongest when referring to the need for basic human decency and respect in our treatment of those in need for aid from the state, including the homeless and refugees. His basic human empathy and compassion really shone through. He was contemptuous of austerity, marketisation and the neoliberal consensus. His denunciation of Iraq and of Trident galvanised the room. He can talk with a genuine moral authority. He is certainly not a great orator, but sincere and fluent.

All that you already know. But what to me was really interesting was the lack of focus on Scotland. Many (including I think Iain MacWhirter from a brief conversation afterwards) interpreted this as lack of interest in Scotland. I read it very differently.

Despite being surrounded by the most tribal of Labour cliques (including Katie Clark and Neil Findlay on the platform) Jeremy Corbyn said not one word – not one word – in favour of the union. His only mention of the SNP (not by name) was complimentary, in reference to their opposition to Osborne’s welfare cuts. He contrasted this with strong condemnation of the Labour establishment’s failure to oppose the welfare cuts. He then went on to call for united opposition across parties at Westminster, and suggested it would be great if working with other parties and a few Tory rebels, the first act of a reinvigorated opposition would be to halt the benefit cuts which would so damage the vulnerable. In short, Corbyn was plainly taking the hand proffered by Mhairi Black.

In looking for votes from Scottish Labour, I am not surprised nor concerned that Corbyn did not refer by name to cooperation with the SNP, but he could have meant nothing else.

Jeremy has for his political life been a strong advocate of a united Ireland and a doughty campaigner against the injustices heaped upon Republicans by the state. He is in no sense a unionist. He is certainly not a British nationalist. Doubtless he would prefer a left wing Scotland to help forge a socialist state within the United Kingdom, but I have no doubt whatsoever that he respects those of us who see Scottish independence as the same anti-Imperial struggle that motivates Irish republicanism.

In short, I am hopeful that a Corbyn leadership will moderate the tribal hatred between Labour and SNP which poisons Scottish politics. Whatever else you may think of Jeremy, he certainly is not a Red Tory. Whether he will be able to clear out the Red Tories who control Scottish Labour is a fascinating question. But I must say, that I am deeply saddened by some of the partisan attacks on Jeremy by fellow SNP members which I see online. Jeremy Corbyn is a good man. In the fight to end the obscenity of the extreme and burgeoning gap between rich and poor, to counter the dwindling of public provision and public ownership, Corbyn is on the side of the angels. As we would put it when I was young, we are on the same side of the barricade.

I still believe Scottish independence remains the key to social regeneration, and indeed had not the SNP shown you can defeat the neo-liberal consensus electorally, then the Corbyn phenomenon would never have happened. But I still claim Jeremy as my comrade, and am proud to do so.

119 thoughts on “Jeremy Corbyn and the SNP

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  • Republicofscotland

    “However there may be the best chance for winning a second referendum when he is inevitably defeated in England.”

    Onwards, I agree, when, not if Corbyn is elected as leader of the Labour party, the party itself will be so divided and strung out by infighting that it’s overall usefulness will be,negligible to say the least.

    Labour’s branch office in Scotland has already reached and surpassed that position, and is speedly heading into the category of irrelevance.

  • Dave Lawton

    What the hell are you talking about .I don’t have a Jewish peoples handbook.
    Maybe you don’t like like the truth. I will will reiterate again Klaus Fuchs
    is not Jewish full stop. What is it with you don’t you like admitting you made a mistake.
    Just Chill out.

  • Dave Lawton


    “@Germaine Greer made mincemeat of Burnham and the Con MP Matthew Hancock on Any Questions last night. Questions on fracking, immigration, Chilcot, etc.”

    Good on Germaine.The Counterculture strikes again.

  • Mary

    Now Smoothface does not want the ‘swarm of migrants’ (that should be ‘refugees seeking asylum’) ‘breaking into Britain’.

    Forty of these unfortunate humans have just been found dead, suffocated in the hold of a boat.

    ‘At least 40 migrants have died in an overcrowded boat in the Mediterranean, the Italian navy has said.

    Some 320 others were rescued when the vessel was intercepted off Libya.

    The dead were found in the fishing boat’s hold. It is thought they died after inhaling fumes from the engine, the rescue vessel’s captain said.’

  • Resident Dissident

    ‘Why Israel is so concerned about Corbyn’ was the title of the article I posted. It was NOT a question so did not need a question mark.

    Apologies – I thought it was your own work – please put in inverted commas next time. There was me thinking you were letting people make up their own minds – how silly of me.

  • Mary

    Brown is scheduled to pronounce on Jeremy tomorrow like Moses coming down from the mountaintop. What will he be saying? Three guesses.

    ‘A string of Scottish Labour heavyweights who have now left the political scene – Gordon Brown, John Reid, George Robertson, and George Foulkes – were all strong supporters of Israel.

    The association has both ethical roots and a hard political edge. Mr Brown, for instance, frequently traced his support to his father’s twice-yearly trips to Israel as chair of the Church of Scotland’s Israel Committee.’

    From an article in the JC in May just before the election. Those Liebour politicians were all being claimed by the JC as supporters of Israel.

    Why we should mourn the death of Labour in Scotland

    The JC obviously felt that there was little support for Israel from the SNP or the Scottish Cons.

  • Resident Dissident

    ‘A string of Scottish Labour heavyweights who have now left the political scene – Gordon Brown, John Reid, George Robertson, and George Foulkes – were all strong supporters of Israel.

    Perhaps they just found a few things other than Israel where they disagree with Jeremy Corbyn?

  • Onwards

    “Even if Nicola Sturgeon puts on her little red dress and wags her finger a lot there won’t be another referendum, regardless of the outcome of the next election.

    Oh yes and Corbyn will be standing throughout the country, not just England. It is the nationwide vote that will determine the outcome. Sorry to state the obvious, I’m sure it was just a careless error.”

    @ MJ

    So you don’t believe in democracy?
    If enough Scots want another referendum, and vote for a party proposing that, will the Tories REALLY stand in the way? What a gift that would be.
    The SNP would run a consultative referendum with a background of anger against Westminster.

    And if Corbyn is thrashed in England, it wouldn’t matter if the whole of Scotland voted for him. Proving the point that if Scots want real change, then they have to take it.

    Happy to help.

  • Resident Dissident

    “So funny. Chuka and Tristram as the Resistance.”

    Perhaps I will need to give them some training!

  • Ba'al Zevul

    Chuka and Tristram as the Resistance.>/i>

    That’ll be in the interests of party unity, no doubt.

    And Brown? Pure electoral gold for Corbyn, and an unwelcome reminder that Cooper’s married to Balls. Well, it’s win-win for the SNP. Either they’ll have someone south of the border with some common objectives, or the Labour Party will finally crash and burn. Pass the popcorn, please.

  • Suhayl Saadi

    Yes, it’s interesting that across social media, there seem to be lots of hasbara from all over the world, i.e. not just those living in the UK, who suddenly seem deeply interested in a domestic UK political party leadership election to do with a party in Opposition and all seem united in their disparagement of Jeremy Corbyn. No opinion is expressed on the other candidates; the agenda seems to be simply to attack Corbyn. They seem eager to compare this longstanding Labour MP and dyed-in-the-wool parliamentary democrat to Stalin, Hitler, the leader of Hezbollah, Darth Vader and the Bogey-Man. It’s so over-the-top, it’s absurd and somewhat hilarious. What are they afraid of? I have never before, in a UK party leadership election seen this level of interest from the massed ranks of Israel’s drum-majorettes in the past, or indeed from the advocates of any foreign state. Even if, to imagine for a moment, I were not a supporter of Corbyn, this, too, might well induce me to vote for Corbyn (if I were a Labour Party member).

  • John Goss

    Great post Craig.

    “In reality its irrelevant what Jeremy Corbyn’s views are in relation to the Union as the chances of him becoming Prime Minister are next to non existent, but even in the unlikely event that he did achieve some power please be under no illusion that he will centralise rather than decentralise power. The regimes he supports tend to be ones that centralise power. If you look at his economic programme you will see the central role he gives to a National Investment Bank in driving such growth.”

    Oh dear, oh dear. Those who turned the Labour Party into a neocon party are not happy that Labour might get back to grass-roots socialism. They prefer the Blairite mass-murdering, full austerity, US arse-licking mode of politics that has become the norm in this country. Well I hope he does become Prime Miniser, and if he does I hope he sends Resident Dissident, who claims to be a member of the labour Party, on a course to learn wha t Keir Hardie and the early Labour Party is really about.

  • lysias

    What are they afraid of? They are afraid that Israeli crimes might actually become a political issue in the UK.

    Which I devoutly hope happens, as that would be a long step to that also happening in my country of the U.S.

  • Elaine S

    A good piece Craig and I agree with you. I left Labour after 40 years in September, like many I knew that I, as a socialist was an outsider in this Labour that has changed so much and I finally took head out of sand and left. I had watched SNP over last 3 years when I was in Labour for Indy and the “enemies” Scottish Labour kept drilling into us were actually really great folk, they thought like me, got angry with the suffering inflicted on the vulnerable and I felt at home. I really wanted Labour to return to the left in an Indy Scotland but it never happened and the party north and south were a shocking disgrace. First time I seen and heard Jeremy on TV, having been brought up with some really good socialist PMs/MPs decades ago, the last being John Smith, I knew instantly that he was one of them, I think what he said many Labour or ex Labour folk recognised as absolutely genuine and he spoke socialist language and he connected, like Nicola absolutely connected with people and I sincerely hope he wins. He would have a real battle within, these centre right MPs won’t just accept a real Labour man to turn the party back to its roots, why in God’s name are that bunch of Tory lite folk allowed to use the name Labour,they are NOT Labour. They are panicking, they know any man who can stir the passion back into re-joining the party has not happened over the years before. The Red tories, the other candidates all try and make it sound like its infiltration/tactical voting but one of the reasons Labour lost in May was because people have been leaving the party in droves since Iraq, they know if Jeremy has stirred the passion of Labour folk again to do what Scotland has done and get politically active, especially the young folk….he WILL win the next election because Labour would win seats again, not lose more! We all know in Scotland how the tory press, the Red tory media, the likes of McTernan and co will lie,distort and scaremonger with hope people will panic and vote someone else actually believing Labour is heading for oblivion. Those Red Tories who are the ones responsible for losing members know Jeremy won’t suffer fools gladly, they won’t be able to fool their voters or the public and they won’t get away with half of the things they have gotten away with over the years. If they are panicking its because they know he can win in 2020 and he will take the party back to the left. After saying all that, Labour is still so divided, I can’t see it healing not as long as their are real backstabbers, dirttrickster in the party and I have absolutely no intention ever returning to the party. I really do see SNP as my party, I feel very at home and I really really have great trust in our MPs/MSPs and our Scottish Gov. I only have trust in Jeremy Corbyn and that is not enough for me ever to return.

  • Hieroglyph

    I keep hearing this idea that JC cannot be elected. I’m curious. Has there been a poll asking what people would vote, if JC was leader? I haven’t seen one. Has anyone else? If there a bunch of polls putting the Tories way in the lead, should JC be leader, that would be unfortunate, though not in itself a reason to not vote for JC; the issues at stake here are rather more important than merely winning the next election. However, the lack of evidence for the assertion ‘Labour Is Doomed Under JC’ is quite striking. Nu Lab types keep telling us he can’t win. Well, maybe. I don’t see any of those drones packing out halls though. And, the drones, it seems, can’t even win a leadership election, so how can they expect to win a general election? I remain open-minded on the possibility of JC being PM, I think it’s unlikely, but not impossible – and none of the 3 stooges has a cat in hell’s chance anyway.

    It’s a measure of how hard-right the media is that JC is being treated like a Trotskytist. It’s quite embarrassing actually. The Guardian for one has morphed into a kind of dismal mix of Daily Mail and Cosmopolitan, and their political journalism is just piss poor. I don’t know if this was always the case, and I’m just getting wise. Corbyn is a moderate mixed-economy guy, the kind of stooge a real Trot would have up against the wall, Come The Day. Oh, his message won’t reach large parts of Tory England, for sure, but the battle is always to persuade people to vote. They won’t vote for a Trot – elections are of course a bourgeoise affectation anyway – but a lot of people might vote for a guy who wants to nationalise the railways, and avoid stupid wars. The latter would seem to be a basic requirement for any PM, but apparently no longer.

    JC’s not the messiah – and this whole ‘leader’ model of politics is bullshit anyway – but he’s not a lunatic, unlike Blair, so good luck to him. Probably should avoid long walks though, not good for the health.

  • Paul Barbara

    Glad Craig and the majority of commenters are pro-Jeremy.
    I’ve been at meetings addressed by him for decades (being a Human Rights campaigner since the ’70’s), and he is always fighting injustice. That, of course, is why he is classed as ‘Anti-Semitic’ (which he assuredly is not). He is steadfastly against racial, religious or sexual preference targeting. But he steadfastly supports the Palestinians, and won’t be ‘kowtowing’ to the ‘Kingmakers’, money-bags or MSM presstitutes. If he becomes PM, there will be one veto or Abstention less in the Security Council on Israel/Palestine issues.
    The Daily Mail and Evening Standard have been printing almost daily attacks against Corbyn, many on the ‘anti-Semitic’ angle. As I put in part of a comment (which wasn’t printed) ‘Blimey! You can’t be serious, DM? Jeremy Corbyn went to EVERY Deir Yassin Memorial? What a geezer! I hope that inspires some of DM’s readers to do a bit of research on Deir Yassin. Even the Haganah leaders said the Deir Yassin massacre ‘”disgraced the cause of Jewish fighters and dishonoured Jewish arms and the Jewish flag.”
    To some, if you are for justice for the Palestinians, you must be anti-Semitic; just as if you are a 9/11 Truther, you are automatically classed with (if not as) anti-Semites.
    It’s decades since I gambled, but today I popped into a Coral’s bookies to check Jeremy’s odds, with the idea of perhaps having a ‘flutter’. I soon gave up that idea – Jeremy is 2-7!!! The bookies have certainly got him as the favourite!
    Another thing – Jeremy’s running-mate for Deputy Leader is Tom Watson, another good guy. He has campaigned to expose the plague of paedophilia in high places, and it’s cover-up.
    With both Craig and Jeremy against Trident and wars of aggression, I’ll try to sneak this in, as it has just come out (yesterday): ‘Post WW2 World Order: US Planned to Wipe USSR Out by Massive Nuclear Strike’:
    It might help to balance Craig’s hostility (possibly too strong – maybe ‘unfriendliness’ would be better) to Russia.

  • Paul Barbara

    Whether or not JC would win in a General Election, is in the ‘lap of the Gods’. What’s for sure is, over the next 5 years, if as looks certain he becomes Labour Leader, he is going to be a vociferous and credible Opposition, and spokesman for justice and fair play not just domestically, but in Foreign Affairs; no Iraqs, Libyas, Ukraines or Syrias will get any support from him or his ‘Shadow Cabinet’.

  • Paul Barbara

    Oh, yes, I forgot – for those who believe Jeremy has to prove his anti-Semitic credentials by nominating Netanyahu for the Nobel Peace Prize, I actually got this comment accepted by the Daily Mail: ‘I tend to agree with the DM/Evening Standard stance on Corbyn; we should let Netanyahu decide who the Labour Leader should be.’

  • Mary

    More of the BBC’s ‘news’ all written in the future tense. What would happen if G. Brown Esq fell under the proverbial Clapham omnibus and he never made the speech?

    Labour leadership: Gordon Brown to speak on party contest

    ‘Gordon Brown is to intervene…..’

    ‘He is also expected to say he strongly disagrees…..’

    ‘Mr Brown, the former prime minister, will deliver an address…..’

    Ms Walker can see into the future.

    ‘The BBC’s political correspondent Carole Walker said Mr Brown would not personally criticise Mr Corbyn, but will make it clear he strongly disagrees with many of his policies, and does not believe he could lead Labour back into government.

    It is unclear whether the former prime minister will declare his support for Ms Cooper – though it is understood he believes she is the best candidate to provide the leadership the party needs, our correspondent added.’

    To whom he will be speaking is not stated. LOL

  • Mary

    O/T It has taken the IPCC two and a half years to clear a West Yorks police inspector of any wrongdoing in the SaVile case. Of course they did.

    It was alleged originally that he contacted Surrey police to squelch their investigations into SaVile’s activities at a children’s home. This police inspector also acted as SaVile’s driver.

    Police officer cleared of ‘acting on behalf of’ Jimmy Savile
    8 hours ago

    The original report.

    Former police inspector investigated over Jimmy Savile
    20 February 2013

    Dame Janet Smith’s report into SaVile’s activities at the BBC has not seen the light of day.

    ‘Update – 1st May 2015

    The Dame Janet Smith Review’s Report is now finished.

    However, the Metropolitan Police has told the Review that it is concerned that publication of the Report now could prejudice its ongoing investigations into sexual abuse. As a result, Dame Janet has taken the decision that publication of the Report (and its delivery to the BBC) should be delayed. The BBC is aware of, and accepts, this decision.’

    As I say, we have a rotten stinking system in this country.

  • Suhayl Saadi

    Paul, great info., thanks for sharing it. It’s really good to know Tom Watson is Corbyn’s running-mate. Wrt Watson’s courageous and indefatigable work on exposing the rotten core of the British Establishment, some people – they know who they are – must be very concerned about that too.

    Macky, thanks.

    Naturally, I don’t think anyone is under any illusions about what they are, and will, be up against, even getting where they’ve got to is an achievement that has wrong-footed those in power. The iron, it seems, is hot. Let it be struck.

  • Resident Dissident

    Tom Watson is not Corbyn’s running mate.

    So the pumper of anti Semitic Rothschilds shit, the Holodomor and Katyn massacre denier, the supporter of Saddam and the Syrian monarchy, the one who called Ghadaffi a great socialist, the turner of a blind eye to human rights abuses in Cuba by the Castro regime, the friend of self confessed terrorists and the arse licker of Putin and his chosen oligarchs believes I need some reducation about Labour Party history. I wonder if he is now reinfiltrating the Party, by dishonestly signing the application form, so that he can play his part?

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