It is the greatest irony that the Scottish Labour Party was the first estate of Scotland to be given autonomy from English Control. What Corbyn must now do to stop Scottish Labour harming him in London is give the rest of Scotland autonomy.
As Jeremy Corbyn entered many of our radar screens after the Scottish independence referendum we could be forgiven for seeing in the social movement that has built up around him a serious threat to the independence movement here in Scotland. With a groundswell of popular working class support behind him he has seen off one parliamentary party revolt after another, and has now secured his place as leader of the Labour Party. His brand of left class conscious politicking is the political voice most familiar to working class, traditional Labour voting Scotland, and so his arrival on the scene might well have been a chance for a revolution within Labour to take the wind out of the sails of the Scottish independence movement.
Three things have prevented this coup from being a success; Yes Scotland had already beaten him to secure the support of the left strongholds of urban Scotland, Corbyn himself has remained a committed unionist, and Scottish Labour has – to a man – defected from the left to the hard right. What this means on the ground is that Labour voters in Scotland don’t have the chance to vote for the same Labour Party anymore. What they have to content themselves with is a Tory puppet that happens to know the lyrics of the Red Flag. True Corbynite leftism in Scotland is only to be found in the independence movement, and it is sad that Corbyn is still unable to see this.
Scottish Labour’s newfound autonomy ensures that the independence movement is safe from the appeal of the Corbynite revolution, but Jeremy Corbyn continues to find himself anything but safe. He does have the overwhelming support of the English Labour rank and file, but the structures of the party and his parliamentary colleagues are still waiting, knives drawn, on the steps of the senate. The harsh reality is that he needs more than the support of the masses to stay king of the castle. Britain has always known how to deal with the masses. What Corbyn needs are real political allies – people who can protect him in exchange for his much needed help.
Of course this is the Scottish National Party. In giving effective Home Rule to the Scottish Labour Party he has guaranteed a fifth column of Blairite resistance north of the border, a nest of vipers with access to his enemies in Westminster over which he has surrendered control. He has handed the thieves his backdoor keys. He has lost Scottish Labour and perhaps his only sure way of declawing it now is by working with the SNP and the Scottish independence movement to cut Scotland off from Westminster altogether.