Scotland

‘What could actually get worse?’

First published on Progressonline 

Labour’s lead role in the Better Together campaign represents a huge, yet untapped, opportunity for our party. People previously uninterested in politics, or whose primary attachment was to another party, turned out to campaign, wearing our stickers and T-shirts. One GP I met when canvassing was wearing a Labour ‘No’ campaign T-shirt. I asked if he was a member. ‘No, to be honest I move between Labour and the Tories but I wanted to help. Now I have met the new candidate I am seriously considering joining Labour,’ came the reply. (more…)

Nice to feel wanted

First published in Progress magazine

English marginals need real attention

During the course of a campaign that ran at full speed for longer than can reasonably be expected, Better Together mobilised members of both the frontbench and the backbenches of Labour’s Westminster and Holyrood teams in the effort to save the union. Both the official ‘No’ campaign and the Labour party pulled in resources to combat the nationalists. In the last few months organisers were moved from southern English target seats as far away as Plymouth, key campaigners were moved from English and Welsh marginals and in the last week of the campaign regional offices across the country upped sticks and were out knocking doors for our Scottish cousins. Indeed, from Hogmanay onwards I was the lucky recipient of increasingly panicked texts and emails about venturing north to help the Better Together campaign.

This was no doubt the right thing to do but it does prompt several avenues of questioning. (more…)