Big trouble in Labour’s last strongholds

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By Alistair Whyte

Labour are in turmoil, both in Glasgow and in Lanarkshire.  These two councils have been Labour Strongholds for decades.  I live in Cumbernauld, North Lanarkshire. 

Even in the days before North Lanarkshire, Cumbernauld belonged to Cumbernauld & Kilsyth District Council, and at a higher level, Dumbartonshire.

By Alistair Whyte

Labour are in turmoil, both in Glasgow and in Lanarkshire.  These two councils have been Labour Strongholds for decades.  I live in Cumbernauld, North Lanarkshire. 

Even in the days before North Lanarkshire, Cumbernauld belonged to Cumbernauld & Kilsyth District Council, and at a higher level, Dumbartonshire.

Johann Lamont has been in the Job as Scottish Labour leader a little over 4 months and as not gone down well with the Scottish public.  She is neither a good politician or a good leader.

With Glasgow Labour councillors dropping like flies, and losing their majority for the first time in almost 40 years, it would seem the writing is spray painted on the walls of the Glasgow City Chambers, and the SNP continue to make headway.

Likewise in North Lanarkshire the election, if you are to believe hearsay, has already been won.  Labour have all but admitted that it is likely that they will lose North Lanarkshire to the SNP.

I say let’s not count our chickens.  When you have held onto the constituency for as long as Labour has, letting go is not as simple as it may first seem.  The voting public in these areas are often afraid of change and will continue to vote Labour, not because they think they are doing a good job, or because they like them, but because that’s the way they have always voted.  That’s the way their parents voted and their parents before them.  They are afraid of change, and for some it is better the devil you know.

These are the people we must try and convince that there is something new, something better worth trying.  After all what do they have to lose.

Some Labour councillors in Glasgow have started defecting to the SNP, for the simple reason that they can see that independence is now a truly viable option.  With the May elections fast approaching, do Labour have anything left in the tank to see the election through?  Will they be in control of Glasgow by the time the votes are counted?  If not then it will be the most embarrassing defeat Labour have encountered, and for some it will be the first time in living memory that they will wake up to a different council, a council that in all probability will be SNP.

So if the SNP manage an historic win in the Glasgow and North Lanarkshire, where does that leave Johann Lamont?  As previously said she is still wet behind her leadership ears and many of the defecting Glasgow councillors are from her own constituency in Pollok.  I think if Glasgow falls, she will have no alternative but to resign.

If she resigns who can take her place?  The total and utter ineptitude of the entire Scottish Labour Party, from the North to the South makes it difficult to pick anyone that could realistically take the hot seat and make Labour, at the very least, a party that can offer the SNP some dignified opposition

If it is to be just the SNP as the only viable party in Scotland, then that is not a good thing.  As a Nationalist, I look to the other parties to provide good solid arguments against the policies being put forward by the SNP, but at the moment there are none.

So I leave you with two questions.  Will the SNP win in either Glasgow, North Lanarkshire or both? And if so, should Johann Lamont just cut her losses and ship out?