Following right along from my last posting, the Scottish middle class appears to have started a campaign to stop the SNP at all costs, and is using the Labour Party to do it. For it's part, Labour seems to be encouraging tactical voting, even if it means advising people to vote against Labour's own candidates. Needless to say, Labour has denied all knowledge of these dastardly schemes, but they would, wouldn't they?
As Labour slumps in the polls, the middle class have decided that they had better vote Labour to try and stop the rot. They don't have much choice because the Liberal-Democrats will be lucky if they save two out of their current eleven seats and the Tories, who hold one seat in Scotland, are bumping along on around fifteen percent of the vote. Since neither of them holds out much hope, the argument goes that the middle class should put aside their minimal differences with Labour and vote to keep the SNP at bay. Think of it as blue Tories voting for what has already become the red Tory party...
Scotland in Union, a new astroturfing movement is in the process of being set up and their website should go live later on this week. Astroturfing is all about creating a fake grass roots movement, and it is something that the No campaign tried during the referendum campaign with their Vote No to Borders wheeze. The same people who fronted that earlier group are involved with Scotland in Union, but as with Vote No To Borders, we can confidently predict that the money and organisation are both coming from London.
How can we be sure that Labour really is giving tacit approval to all this? Well, just look at the unguarded comments from some of their senior figures that the party has had to disown. Robert McNeill was the Vice-Chairman of East Lothian Constituency Labour Party until he was forced to resign over this graphic display he sent out to the world so that people could tell which party to vote for to stop the SNP. The fact that this scheme involves people voting against his own party and that this is against Labour's rules is not something that seemed to have entered his mind.
Former Labour MP George Foulkes who is now a member of the House of Lords sent this delightful missive out to his followers:
I could go on, but what's the point? The web is pretty full of these unofficial attempts to stop a left wing party from gaining seats by a party that still tries to pretend that is is the voice of the Scottish working class.
All this starts to make sense when we recall the contempt that more than one senior Labour figure has demonstrated for the working class over recent months. Last year we mentioned Kathy Wiles, who managed to survive one full day as the party's candidate for Angus until her loathing for the people whose votes she would need became apparent:
What has become clear from other questions that have been asked during polling exercises is that those reliant on benefits (but not pensioners) believe that they will be better off under independence, while those working believe that they will be worse off- in other words working households feel they will be required to foot the bill for the SNP's left-wing welfare policies.
In other words, my earlier argument that Labour is on track to become the voice of Scottish privilege appears to have a lot going for it. I suppose we should just say that Labour will still represent the estates, its just that they will be the landed ones rather than the council variety.