Ahead of the Progress campaign tour to Scotland’s central belt, Richard Angell – director of Progress and founder of @Lab3seats – outlines why UK Labour are keen to rally round.
The result in Scotland in May 2015 was a blow for everyone in the Labour movement. No one predicted it would be a near total wipeout. In Scotland itself fellow members are left with nearly no parliamentary representation and were plunged into not one but two leadership elections. Now you are straight back in the firing line trying to make the case for Labour against a resilient and insurgent Scottish National party.
You have had to take the loss, feel the pain and do it all again. Doorstep by doorstep. And, if some accounts are true, the environment seems even more aggressive towards us than last May, which in turn was worse than the referendum before it. I hear your pain. (more…)
Update: Unite’s Jennie Formby replies on LabourList
Last week, I – and 2,000 others – were followed by a new Twitter account, Break the Link. Using Progress branding, it claims to represent the views of members of the organisation of which I am the director. It purports to be for those who want to sever Labour’s relationship with the unions.
However, I suspect that Break the Link – which was last active at the time when Aslef and the GMB were attempting to ban Progress – is actually a false flag: a none-too-subtle attempt to detract from our analysis of how Labour comes back from its devastating election defeat by painting Progress as somehow anti-union. Perhaps those behind Break the Link were also the authors of the anonymous dossier about Progress, full of smears and inaccuracies, which somehow found itself in the hands of every CLP secretary and many councillors in early 2012? (more…)
Demos, in their recent work in association with Creative Commons looking at voter engagement across Europe, has some important recommendations for anyone worried about the health of our democracy. The report, debated under the hashtag #LikeShareVote, took a particular interest in social media and how it shapes and influences the debate.
The report found that ‘anti-EU populists dominated conversations on Twitter’, which only confirms what most will already know or assume. In addition it was found that ‘policies are discussed, but primarily through the lens of individual personalities.’ These two phenomena are worrying and sound remarkably like the situation in Scotland back in the run up to September.
If Britain gets itself into a referendum on EU membership, the Brexit cyberbullies might be to the next parliament, what the cybernats have been to this. (more…)