The ‘F’ word rears its head again: Federalism and Labour Gerry HassanScottish Review, March 13th 2019 One political principle unites not just the Labour Party from Jeremy Corbyn to Tom Watson but also the Conservative Party - from Theresa May to the most ultra-Brexiteers in the Jacob Rees-Mogg faction. That principle is a belief in parliamentary sovereignty: which for all its elevated sound actually means the right of governments to do what they like and not be bound by things like the rule of law, human rights or what previous administrations have done. It is of course a
Jeremy Corbyn in Scotland: What he should say about Broken BritainGerry HassanNew Statesman, August 23rd 2018 Jeremy Corbyn is in Scotland. He has problems understanding Scotland and the changing dynamics of the UK. Here is the speech he should give while here. The backdrop to this speech is that Corbyn and his team have not been seen to understand Scotland or understand its distinct politics. The Scottish party, despite making six gains at last year’s general election (up from one seat in 2015), finished third in the polls, and no sign of recovery under Richard Leonard’s leadership looks
Kezia Dugdale and the Jungle that is the Scottish Labour ‘Family’Gerry HassanScottish Review, November 22nd 2017 The big story of the last few days in certain quarters hasn’t been Zimbabwe, allegations of child sexploitation in Govanhill on Glasgow’s Southside, the saving of BiFab, or the election of Richard Leonard as Scottish Labour’s ninth leader. And not even Alex Salmond’s weekly programme on ‘Russia Today’. Instead our airwaves, papers and social media have been obsessed with news that Kezia Dugdale, Scottish Labour’s outgoing leader, will appear in the TV reality show ‘I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here’.
Labour could be the future but is feeling a bit too self-satisfied with itself Gerry HassanScottish Review, September 26th 2017 This week the Labour Party Conference gathered in Brighton. It hasn’t been in such good spirits for many a year - with the highest membership of any party in Europe, and the biggest increase in its vote in a UK general election since 1945. The spirit in many respects is a little too upbeat. Corbyn’s Labour did not actually win the June election, despite Theresa May’s campaign being the most inept by a major party in living memory.
Scottish Labour after Dugdale and what comes next?Gerry HassanScottish Review, August 30th 2017 Scottish Labour used to offer certainty. It had its differences and divisions, but it was in the business of running Scotland, dominating local government and town halls, and was concerned with administration, holding office and doing practical things. That seems a long time ago. Where did it all go wrong for Scottish Labour? The resignation of Kezia Dugdale means the party has gone through a staggering eight leaders in eighteen years, and will by the end of this year have a ninth. Scottish Labour’s neverending
Does the appeal of Corbyn in Scotland hold the keys to Downing Street?Gerry HassanThe Guardian Comment, August 28th 2017 Jeremy Corbyn has been causing waves in Scotland, as he has been across the entire UK. A five-day visit has seen him get lots of coverage and in places crowds, while annoying his political opponents. It wasn’t always so. Pre-election Corbyn had written Scotland off as hostile and unfriendly territory. Now it is back in play – after six Labour gains in June from the SNP, along with a small rise in their vote - all against everyone’s expectations.
The Limits of the Ruth Davidson Show Gerry HassanScottish Review, June 21st 2017 These are times of change. An election that shocked. Parties in crisis. And a world which never seems to stop in terms of news, surprises and tragedy. Scotland isn’t immune to this. But one take as we come up for two weeks after the election has been that the Tories are back and that this is all due to the appeal of Ruth Davidson. And then there is the secondary story of Scottish Labour showing that it isn’t dead, and has possibly even come off
A new era of Scottish politics has begun: The Forward March of the SNP Halted?Gerry HassanScottish Review, June 14th 2017 There was a UK election last week. We have the semblance of a UK Government, but underneath all this there remains little that could be called British politics. This was a four nations UK election. Each gave a different party a conditional victory. The SNP were the most popular party in Scotland with 36.9% of the vote. The Tories were the biggest force in England with 45.6%. Labour were by far the strongest party in Wales with
Build It and They Will Come: Scotland and Independence after the electionGerry HassanBella Caledonia, June 13th 2017 The 2017 election marks the end of an era of Scottish politics. The immediate shadow of the 2014 indyref dominating everything is over. As is the age of the Big Tent, omnipotent SNP carrying all before it. The re-emergence of the Scottish Tories and the stalling of the retreat of Scottish Labour has confounded many Nationalists. Not only is the post-2014 indyref environment over, so too is politics defined by the constant invoking of Thatcher and Blair. No matter the depths
The Winner Doesn’t Take It All: Phoney War or the Beginning of a New Era?Gerry HassanScottish Review, May 10th 2017 Scotland’s permanent political campaign continued last week with the local elections. These were important for who runs Scotland’s 32 councils, local services and what passes for the remnants of local government, after decades of centralisation under Labour, Tories and SNP. But the stakes were higher than usual with the impending UK general election. Everybody could claim some spoils. The SNP ‘won’ - finishing with most votes and seats. The Tories made significant gains in votes and seats. Labour