According to The Scotsman, Scottish Labour MSP candidate Iain Gray wants Labour to ‘team up’ with Conservative at Holyrood to try and beat the SNP.
They already have joined forces in the Calman Commission at Holyrood.
Currently the favourite to take over as leader, Iain Gray is the right wing candidate of Labour and has a strong pro-Westminster affliation.
Yet it is Westminster that is probably most against the plan.
Can they afford to have a pact with the Conservatives in Scotland and try to attack them in Westminster?
Wouldn’t that be another case of double standards?
And how would the few remaining disillusioned socalists react to such a pact? Or the trade unions?
For all that, I think for Labour Iain Gray’s idea of a pact with the Conservatives is worth considering.
For one thing, it is difficult to put a cigarette paper between Conservative and Labour policy these days. James Purnell’s draconian green paper on Social Security reform came from a Conservative think tank and went even further right in ideology than the Conservatives, for instance. Gordon Brown inviting Margaret Thatcher for tea and biscuits in Number 10 shows the Labour mindset.
For another, a pact with the Conservatives might finally lead to a coherent Unionist position in an attempt to argue for the continued existence of the union between Scotland and England. As I have argued before in The Tipping Point the lack of a coherent message means that as everyday passes the case for the union collapses among the electorate.
A Labour – Conservative pact might be the only way to save the Treaty of Union.
Whether it can save Labour in Scotland remains to be seen.