Corbyn impact comes at once in Scotland – forcing First Minister to get on with indy

The prospect of a Scottish Labour party re-energised by its new Leader, Jeremy Corbyn, has had an astonishingly immediate effect.

A clearly panicked First Minister tried at once to diminish Mr Corbyn, saying that his election meant that the continuing lack of an opposition to the Conservatives in Westminster might see people decide that the only way to get away from Conservative governments was Scottish independence.

That Ms Sturgeon so quickly used the ‘i’ word – which has figured seldom in her vocabulary of late – was an indicator of concern at the potential galvanic for Labour north of the border in the widespread excitement at new politics from which the SNP themselves benefited in and since indyref 1.

This seems to have been the start of a headlong acceleration by the First Minsiter to protect the SNP/indy vote from the possibility of a Labour revival.

The SNP went on reveal late tonight that it will lay out its intentions for indyref 2 in its manifesto for the 2016 Scottish Election. That manifesto is to spell out in more detail what the change to which material circumstances would trigger indyref 2.

That is, of course, not actually the same thing as setting out a timetable to a second push for indy. Tonight’s statement may well have been designed to lure the SNP grassroots into thinking they’re getting more than they may in this manifesto. If the manifesto tuns out to commit to a 2021 push, this cannot actually be promised, events being events. Only a commitment to a 2016 mandate will offer the grassroots anything they can feel secure in having; and a major material change is likely to be the evidence in the election of massively increased support for the SNP and for the indyref proposition in the manifesto.

It is also possible that the SNP move tonight is principally an attempt to take back quickly the publicity initiative, to divert attention away from Corbyn and back to the SNP, without any apparent commitment- which might galvanise the opposition too early.

As we said earlier today in looking at the impacts on Scottish Labour of Corbyn’s breathtaking victory, he has stolen the SNP’s media thunder. He is now the new kid on the block of new politics, of departure from the norm, of popular exhilaration at the prospect of change; and his accession has seen the Labor membership accelerate to a level it has apparently never seen before.

The SNP are not used to being upstaged in the buzz factor.

An attempt to retake the initiative in going for media and popular attention in this publicising of an apparent but rather ambiguous commitment to a push for indyref 2 in the 2016 manifesto seems less a prepared strategy and more a panic response. The SNP do not normally push out major news to the media late at night. Sky put it out in its late news preview. BBC Scotland had it later, around 23.30.

The SNP are, though, canny strategists.

There has already been tension between those who see that 2016 is their best and possibly last chance to capitalise on the strength of the momentum they have built, with Sturgeon and Swinney who, for similar and different reasons, have been hesitant, to say the least, on a return to the indy issue for the time being.

The arrival on the scene today of Corbyn is yet another factor that can be calculated progressively to erode the extent of the SNPs current dominance – adding to the gambler’s wisdom of going for indy now rather than later.

This sudden public shift in the First Minister’s position on indyref 2 is without question a powerful indication of the capacity Jeremy Corbyn has to make the kind of difference to Scottish Labour that would be to the SNP’s material disadvantage.

In fact, Corbyn may be the unanticipated ‘material change’ which would lead Ms Sturgeon to give the go ahead for indyref 2 – and she may not be wrong in her assessment.

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Related Articles & Comments

  • Lots of good points here, I like this bit,
    “There has already been tension between those who see that 2016 is their best and possibly last chance to capitalise on the strength of the momentum they have built, with Sturgeon and Swinney who, for similar and different reasons, have been hesitant, to say the least, on a return to the indy issue for the time being.”
    You know what they say, ‘He who hesitates is lost’.
    I’ve been guilty of criticising Jim Sillars over the years as a disruptive force in the Independence movement, but he seemed to have his finger on the pulse in the last few months while the SNP team wallowed in their newly appointed importance, and the English were roused from their media induced slumber.
    The horse has bolted and Nicola runs out to bolt the door.
    It’s almost as if Corbyn was invented to re-awaken Labour, especially in Scotland, but seeing what is being put out by the media and the Tory Party makes that hard, but not impossible to believe.
    http://x.mail.conservatives.com/ats/msg.aspx?sg1=2b08caaaed2e20d512fb1f012c095546
    https://twitter.com/Conservatives
    What do they mean when they say that the elected Leader of the Opposition is a threat to National Security. Is that him on the “target” list? Have the Tories committed Hari-Kiri? Will the Red Tide sweep over them and the SNP?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 4

    Murdoch MacKenzie September 13, 2015 9:37 am Reply
    • ‘The threat to national security’ could well have an unintended meaning – a threat to the ‘financial services’ establishment securing their very fat profits (sometimes by the sort of chicanery that ‘fixed’ the exchange rates, and might even itself be the biggest long-term threat to national security).

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2

      Robert Wakeham September 13, 2015 3:51 pm Reply
    • They mean that,as he regards enemies of his country as his “friends”,he is untrustworthy.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

      parkie September 14, 2015 7:33 pm Reply
  • The election of Mr Corbyn raises a huge problem for Jackie Baillie. No longer can she guarantee Faslane as a nuclear base if people vote Labour. All those Tories and Liberal voters in H &L who have voted for her in droves in the past at Holyrood elections have some thinking to do.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 2

    Graeme McCormick September 13, 2015 9:49 am Reply
    • Aye! But politicians have a habit of changing their anti-NATO stances once they get comfortable with the Establishment.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 2

      Murdoch MacKenzie September 13, 2015 10:55 am Reply
      • Corbyn ‘get comfortable with the establishment’? – If you sawed the man in half I think that you’d find ‘awkward squad’ printed right through, and his recent invitation to other members of the ‘faithful’ to work-share with him the pleasures of attacking Cameron at Prime Minister’s Question Time makes me wonder if he’d really rather like to lead the Labour opposition from the back benches.
        Time will tell, but surely not only will former traditional labour voters in Scotland be wondering if there’s a wiser alternative to the SNP (and the one-party state), the less traditional new-labour voters throughout Britain might start taking a hard look at the currently down at luck Lib Dems.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 3

        Robert Wakeham September 13, 2015 4:03 pm Reply
    • Jackie Baillie has nothing to worry about here, Graeme – nor does Helensburgh and Lomond.
      Trident and Faslane are not a binary either/or.
      An anti-Trident stance is not a pacifist stance. It is opposed to the humanitarian and environmental consequences of a massively destructive weapon.
      If the UK does not go through the Trident contract ‘main gate’ next year [which in the way these contracts and the spending commitments that follow ‘initial gate’ approval, is extremely unlikely], the recalibration of its defence strategy will mean the building of a different submarine fleet, possibly running more of the Astute class of hunter killers off the production line.
      It would not mean a smaller Faslane, just one without Vanguard replacements [for which different submarines – like more Astutes would be substituted]; and one with conventional and not nuclear warheads stored at Coulport.
      The threat to Faslane is not the loss of Trident but the loss of membership of the UK.
      And the loss of Trident would unquestionably mean a more effective and better resourced defence force, with the reallocation of its massive cost to defence – as well as to other needy public services.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 5

      newsroom September 13, 2015 1:16 pm Reply
  • People are tired of uncertainty, this could well be a case of damn ed if you do and damn ed if you don’t.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 5

    Richard September 13, 2015 11:11 am Reply
  • newsroom– a wee secret …. we will have a second referendum on independence and we don’t need Corbyn for that. Lets get the EU one out of the way first and see what happens. As for Jackie (BAG HANDLER)Baillie she will agree with her Branch Leader who now agrees with her UK leader.
    Nice seeing labour moving to snp policy.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 3

    No Cheese Here September 13, 2015 2:52 pm Reply
    • There is a very real possibility that the SNP could put the indy vote at genuine risk if they lashed indyref 2 to the EU membership issue.
      Meshing two issues about which a fair proportion of the nationalist/separatist vote may have conflicting views would be a hostage to fortune, either way.
      Today Germany temporarily suspended its participation in the key Schengen Agreement [open borders]. That has been done because the country is overrun with the steady flow of incoming refugees and cannot cope, so is taking time out to prepare for the next group before reopening the border with Austria to receive them.
      This weakens the position of Schengen – to which the UK did not sign up – because it is an admission that there may have to be limits to the ‘open borders’ policy.
      This may lead to more voters in the UK choosing to stay in the EU since today’s situation is evidence that a member state may vary its commitments in extraordinary circumstances.
      If the SNP passes on its 2016 indy opportunity in favour of a possible [but not certain] indyref 2 IF the UK votes to leave the EU and Scotland individually votes to stay in:
      – where does it leave indyref 2 if the UK votes to stay IN – as it is more rather than less likely to do?
      And, if Scotland voted to LEAVE where the rest of the UK voted to stay in:
      – where would that leave the First Minister’s insistence that action may only result from the EU Referendum if all four components of the UK have voted the same way?
      This tying of indyref 2 to the unpredictable outcome of a second issue has never been a clever move – from the SNP’s own perspective.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 3

      newsroom September 13, 2015 8:28 pm Reply
  • It’s an interesting move by Sturgeon, but I’m not sure whether it’s a slightly panicked announcement or some clever ploy. My instinct says the latter, however on reflection. not so sure.

    If you consider that a large number of Yes voters were Labour (or former) voters, then Corbyn gives them a home again (the crowd who proclaimed hilariously that Labour left them, they didn’t leave Labour)- goodness – Mhairi Black should be considering her position now, as one of the ‘Labour left me’ proclaimers. With the Scottish 2016 elections coming up, will they stick with the SNP, or come back home to Labour? Given how few people actually think the SNP are doing a good job, I get a strong feeling that the lead the SNP have been enjoying might just start to slip…

    At the end of the day, Corbyn talks a good talk, and will out ‘left wing’ the SNP all day long. I don’t think he’s credible PM material, but I don’t buy the hype that he’s taking Labour back to the dark ages. Much better a good opposition for 4 years than appalling opposition – and I reckon Corbyn will be a good leader of the opposition.

    So, faced with a choice in 2016 of the left talking but centre acting SNP, or the left talking Labour – this is where the battle ground is now…

    And so bringing back to the point of the article – Sturgeon must know this and see the clock ticking. She MUST keep these ex-Labour people on board, and they ONLY way she can do it is by the promise of Indy. And so, she makes up this vague nonsense, knowing full well that if the battle was to be fought tmrw, the Pro-UK camp would be in a very very strong position.

    THe EU issue – might just be her biggest folly. Salmond is trying the Trident one as a ‘material issue’, but we voted No knowing full well that a ‘No# meant Trident, and so is would be very hard to argue that the UK parliament voting for Trident renewal that we knew about when we voted No is a material change.

    Now, where is keitho, JnrTick, willie etc…they are prime candidates for rejoining Labour – they have no reason not to since Corbyn is probably more left wing than the SNP. Sorry – ‘certainly’ more left wing.

    As for Jackie Baillie’s position – I expect she will maintain that position, and quite rightly. The worst thing about the SNP is the fact that individuals do not have the right to think or object – SNP rebels do not exist, and that’s one key reason Scottish politics is so unproductive and unhealthy.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 3

    JB September 13, 2015 9:20 pm Reply
  • New new Labour will now out-left the left leaning SNP who will start to look like the right leaning party. I’m fascinated to see how SNP deal with this one.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 4

    Jerry McIver September 14, 2015 8:25 am Reply
  • Something is wrong. Why are all the SNP sorts not on here proclaiming Corbyns election as a victory for tackling equality, poverty and fairness? Maybe because no longer can the silly ‘Red Tories’ line be used!? Maybe because with Labour rapidly going more left wing than the SNP, they can no longer be a target for their supporters venom? It’s got to be said that the SNP fan boys and girls became absolutely obsessed with Labout, how it needed to change…well, they got their wish. The politics of grievance have nothing to feed on!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 3

    JB September 14, 2015 12:32 pm Reply
    • JB is that for John Bullcrap

      Never been a Labour Party Member so how can I rejoin?
      I am a Socialist who gave up on UK Ltd years ago.
      I have been a card carrying SNP member for many years.
      My 3 year plan is to sit back and watch the Labour yuppie/ blairite/champagne shower knife the Corbynites in the back all with the aid of the right wing media. This will be followed up with a further Labour leadership election both in Scotland and the UK.
      Kezia is already dizzy with the amount of u-turns she has made. There is no one ready to take over Scottish Labour, you only have to look at the lack of quality in their ranks. They are in big trouble.
      Meanwhile the Tories will continue to give the working class a kicking and single out Scotland for especially hard treatment.
      The Scottish people will give an overwhelming “YES” at the next referendum.
      I argued my case on the doorsteps at the last referendum, next time the ‘YES ‘ campaign might not have to work so hard and but will achieve a handsome victory.
      It is no longer down to Labour, they are done. Sadly it is now down to the Tories, they will fail Scotland.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 4

      keitho September 14, 2015 4:01 pm Reply
    • “Something is wrong”, I think that could be right, but not with regard to the SNP. I nearly crashed the car yesterday when the radio said he had taken Falconer into his cabinet. It definitely feels like “something is wrong” right enough.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

      Murdoch MacKenzie September 14, 2015 10:00 pm Reply
  • Says a lot about you keitho – rather than support Corbyn, it sounds like you are looking forward to him failing…socialist my arse.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 3

    JB September 14, 2015 5:32 pm Reply
  • I welcome Corbyn with open arms.

    Personally I don’t give a toss if he sings the anthem or not. That’s not the gauge of a political leader as far as I am concerned.

    He supports growth over austerity. He is focused on dealing with the deficit through higher taxes for those who can afford it and, in particular targeting tax evasion.

    He wants to renationalise the railways and scrap HS2. Stimulate the economy through quantitative easing for investment rather than for financial institutions. He wouldn’t replace trident. Wants to introduce a national education service, favours rent controls and more aggressive policies on increased housing, favours bringing energy companies under public control.

    He also wants a United Ireland and to do away with PFI schemes.

    I have no problem with any of that. He could whistle The theme music to CHiPs as far as I am concerned.

    I know there are more key policies than those i have listed above but if i went tgrpugh them all my post would be even more boring tham it already is! He also has policies I am less enamoured by. Unlike some I would never support every policy of any leader or party.

    Britain needs more politicians like him, not less.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 4

    Integrity? September 16, 2015 6:15 pm Reply
    • I could try argue what I do and don’t agree with about Corbyn, but really, that’s neither here nor there. What I do agree with wholeheartedly is your last line Integrity?

      If the Tories ignore or ridicule him, they are planning their own downfall. Think what the SNP once were and where they are now. A new world of politics is opening up.

      You heard it here first – Jeremy Corbyn is the English equivalent of Alex Salmond (including the love him or hate him bit).

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2

      JB September 16, 2015 10:54 pm Reply
  • In my opinion Jeremy Corbyn has lost the plot.
    He appoints fire raiser Lord Mike Watson who was jailed for 16 months as a result of setting the curtains on fire at Prestonfield House as his Education Minister in the House of Lords and a vegan as his shadow Agricultural Minister at Westminster.
    It looks like the lunatics have taken over the asylum.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

    Treble T September 25, 2015 10:05 pm Reply
    • I can’t recollect ever hearing what motivated the hon. Lord Watson in his little fire-raising escapade.
      If he was simply drunk as a lord, and this was a totally out of character one-off aberration, fair enough – otherwise he should have been barred from political activity for the rest of his life.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

      Robert Wakeham September 25, 2015 11:05 pm Reply
      • I was shocked, like I guess everyone was, to hear of lord Watson’s selection by Corbyn. I have since read that Watson is judged to be a reformed character who deserves to get another chance.
        People do the most stupid things when they have drunk too much and he undoubtedly acted stupidly and dangerously. If he has indeed earned his rehabilitation, it is very brave of Corbyn to have made this choice.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

        Murdoch MacKenzie September 25, 2015 11:52 pm Reply
  • Corbin is a unionist!
    End of.
    Labour are history and so is the Union soon.
    Up the Unicorn!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Hugh Jazz September 26, 2015 4:52 pm Reply
  • Oh,I just love this little unionist outpost!
    Desperate folks on here spouting Imperialistic Garbage!
    Priceless!!!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Hugh Jazz September 26, 2015 9:09 pm Reply

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