Labour’s Soviet decline

The Labour Party’s vote seems to be melting faster than snow from a dyke.

I believe Tom Devine, the Scottish historian, has recently compared the speed of the decline of the Labour Party’s fortunes to that of the collapsing Soviet empire.

The Soviet empire. One minute standing firm against capitalisation, the next the Berlin Wall is down and there is a McDonalds restaurant in Pushkin Square, Moscow.

As quick as Tony Blair and New Labour scrapped the old Clause Four then! Here it is, a reminder of what Old Labour used to stand for, all those years ago:-

“To secure for all the workers by hand or by brain the full fruits of their industry and the most equitable distribution thereof that may be possible upon the basis of the common ownership of the means of production, distribution and exchange, and the best obtainable system of popular administration and control of each industry of service.”

With that change Tony Blair killed off Old Labour. And New Labour was born. But what of his successor Gordon Brown? He shows no signs of changing New Labour. And New Labour’s popularity is at an all time low and still sinking.

The latest opinion polls in the Telegraph makes grim reading for Labour MPs:-

UK Poll of voting intentions for the Westminster Government (YouGov).

Conservative 47 %
Labour 23 %
Liberal Democrats 18 %
Others 12 %

Obviously thats UK wide showing the Conservatives in a clear lead. That wouldn’t be replicated in Scotland.

Taking only the Scottish section of that Poll the voting intentions are as follows:-

SNP 41 % (43 Westminster seats)
Labour 25 % (7 Westminster seats)
Conservatives 19 % (4 Westminster seats)
LibDems 13 % (5 Westminster seats)
Others 2 (0)

41 seats would more than double the SNP target of 20 Westminster seats! It would also beat the halfway total that many a unionist Westminster MP has quoted as being needed for Scottish independence.

Referendum not needed then!

But that ratio of seats will probably never occur. This Scottish section was a small sample. Polls also have a habit of being wrong at the day of the election. Nevertheless it does show the Labour vote is falling spectacularly and they face a real fight on their hands for their Scottish seats.

When the Soviet empire crumbled and various independent countries took its place, the Communist vote struggled in Russian elections. Their high point in democratic elections was the 2nd round Presidential vote [3 July 1996] when they achieved 40.3 % (still second to Boris Yeltsin). But that seems a blip on an otherwise downwards path. In the recent Russian Presidential elections [2 March 2008] the Communist Party polled 17.72 %. Once an empire collapses, it seems its gone for good.

1996. That was the same year of Tony Blair’s manifesto “New Labour, New life for Britain”.

2008. Barring a miracle, it seems the New Labour project is in its death-throes. By the next election New life for Britain will be under a Conservative government. How long Scotland tholes that will be seen at the referendum.

Archaeologists need not worry though. I’m sure Hadrian’s Wall will be safe!

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