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Monday, 23 August 2010

Could I return to the Labour Party?

I am a former Labour voter and supporter, with  fifty years of voting Labour now behind me. The watershed was Iraq, and after several years of doubt about New Labour and the Blair Gang, I shifted my allegiance and my vote and joined the SNP as a party member.

As a converted sinner, that may make some long-term faithful party members uneasy that I might shift my allegiance back to Labour. Some of my blogs where I have discussed the need to convince loyal Labour supporters who are nonetheless in favour of Scotland’s independence that a vote for independence is not necessarily a vote for an SNP government – a very real aspect of the need to persuade Scots of other political persuasion to vote for independence in a referendum – have perhaps added to that unease.

So let me make my position clear. My primary objectives are now to achieve an independent Scotland and a nuclear-free Scotland, and nothing will now ever change those objectives. I currently see the SNP as the best political party for achieving these objectives, indeed the only party.

What circumstances could make me return to Labour?

1. The abandonment by the SNP of a firm commitment to independence and a nuclear-free Scotland. I have no inherent objection to gradualism in the strategy for achieving independence, since I don’t want the Party to get it wrong in a premature referendum, and effectively remove independence from the table for a generation. (I don’t have a generation left to me!)

2. That the Labour Party in Scotland severed its link to the UK party and committed to independence and a nuclear-free Scotland. (I would hope that the trades unions would do likewise.)

Since both these criteria are as likely to be met as Alex Salmond being made Lord Salmond of Lithgae, there is little danger of apostasy.

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