Ed Miliband should resign if Scotland votes Yes

by Samuel Dale

It’s Friday September 19th, Alex Salmond is walking onto a podium in Edinburgh with Saltires waving all around him.

The autumn sunshine glistens as the camera pans to Nicola Sturgeon’s tears of joy as the lifelong dream of Scottish independence has become a reality.

It was nail-bitingly close but the polls narrowed in the final days.

Labour voters swung it with a 51-49 victory for the Yes campaign.

The UK is in shock. The markets are in turmoil as confusion reigns over currency, the EU, debt, financial regulation, tax and much else.

Next year’s general election has been rendered almost meaningless.

The UK has lost 8 million citizens in one stroke. It’s economic power catastrophically diminished. Already the blame game has begun with many calling for David Cameron to quit.

He has presided over the break-up of the UK and already he is struggling to get a grip on the ensuing chaos.

But what more could he do? Despised in Scotland he had, rightly, kept an arms’ length from the campaign only intervening in a careful, limited way.

So what about Alistair Darling? He led the Better Together campaign, taking part in public debates with Alex Salmond.

He must take some blame for a very winnable campaign that failed.

But the most blame would have to go to one man: Ed Miliband.

It was the hapless Labour campaign for the Scottish Parliament in 2011 that let the SNP in power.
It is a disaster that Miliband oversaw but has never been fully held to account for within Labour circles.

For the SNP to gain a majority required Labour ineptitude on a grand scale.

Ever since, Labour has provided woeful opposition to the SNP in Scotland.

Since the referendum campaign began it has been crystal clear that Labour voters would decide the vote.

Unlike David Cameron, Miliband had a chance to convince his own supporters and turn the referendum.

He did not intervene often enough or effectively in the campaign.

The consequences for Labour are severe. Shadow ministers such as Douglas Alexander and Gregg McClymont will not be MPs for much longer.

Stalwarts such as Alistair Darling and Gordon Brown have no official future in the UK parliament.

Losing dozens of MPs, Labour will find it much, much harder to gain power in the UK. It’s heartlands have been moved to another country.

All this was entirely preventable if the party had kept it’s eye on the ball north of the border.
And if it provided better opposition to the SNP and convinced it’s own supporters during the referendum campaign.

Labour lost this crucial campaign and Ed Miliband should pay the price and resign.

Sam Dale is a financial and political journalist

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19 Responses to “Ed Miliband should resign if Scotland votes Yes”

  1. Jane says:

    Sadly, I have to agree with you.

  2. LB says:

    The UK has lost 8 million citizens in one stroke. It’s economic power catastrophically diminished

    Nope, its increased. We don’t have to carry the dead weight of Scotland.

    And if we need the oil, just take a leaf out of the American play book. Invade and steal it.

  3. Tafia says:

    This evening Brown announced that legislation for devo-max will be rushed through by Janouary 2015. Then n the next breath said Labour disagreed with the tories proposals (which are more ‘max; than Labour want). F***ing shambles. Keep your trap shut until you have a unified message that all of No agrees to.

  4. Tony B says:

    Another piece on Labour Uncut attacking Ed. There’s a surprise. Next week we will have an article calling on Ed Miliband to resign if it rains in November.

  5. 07052015 says:

    Well normal anti miliband stuff -you werent at uni with dan hodges by any chance.

    Penny has dropped with the scots that many ,prob a majority of the english are hellbent in coming out of the EU.Carswell defection and all those rumours about others proves it.They know that were the UK to leave the EU a form of Thatcherism would return to westminster.

    So if they vote yes now they are jumping before they are pushed.

    But if ,as I expect there is a small majority for NO then dont expect the scots and maybe NI and even the welsh to want to stay with the english in the event ofa departure from the EU..The EU ,inc the euro,in time will prove an attractive home for all three as it does for many small countries.

    So yes all the westminster elite will have failed but it is the prospect of leaving the EU which will prove crucial and that is hardly milibands fault.

  6. John Jones says:

    Erm, 5 million citizens. And sort out the difference between “it’s” and “its” while you’re at it.

    As to the thesis, it’s too superficial. Miliband isn’t blameless but longer-lasting errors by Labour have also played a key role.

    One is the tendency to treat Scottish politics as an auction (enshrined in the devolution system Labour introduced, with a parliament spending but not raising money, effectively inviting Scottish politicians to compete by making ever more generous promises without having to send the resulting bill to their voters): what’s happened in this campaign is that Labour has found itself out-bid by the Nationalists and it has no answer to its own supporters quite rationally going with what sounds like the highest offer (especially to people whom Labour has successfuly de-sensitised to awkward questions about affordability)

    Another is, as Tam Dalyell has been saying for 40 years, that devolution was always going to make independence not only less frightening but for many people the obvious next step. Labour, or at least George Robertson famously, thought it was killing Nationalism by pushing devolution. In reality it was creating a platform for it which Salmond has, of course, expertly exploited.

    Third, it was Scottish Labour in the 80s and 90s that ran the “no mandate” campaigns against Thatcher and Major. It sounded good at the time and was effective as an anti-Tory weapon. However, given the divergent voting patterns in Scotland and England, “no mandate” was also logically an anti-Unionist slogan too. Arguing that Westminster rule in Scotland is illegitimate was always a high-risk strategy for Labour with the Nationalists around to take advantage. They have done so in spades.

    Finally, Labour politicians haven’t sounded like convincing British patriotism since the days of Bevin. Most squirm when pride in country is brought up and are much more comfortable hand-wringing about Britain and Britishness than singing its praises. How then can Labour successfully lead a plausible and sincere defence of Britishness to its own core voters that would compete with the bold, confident patriotism about Scottishness on offer from the SNP?

    None of THAT is Miliband’s fault and when we’re weighing up responsibility for what may be about to happen (Thatcher, the Poll Tax, Ravenscraig and the rest also in the balance) Ed’s by no means the Labour figure most to blame for it.

  7. Dave Roberts. says:

    Let’s try and put things in perspective. Firstly the political fall out. I can’t see how Cameron will take any flack. What influence do the Tories have in Scotland any more? Virtually no MPs, how many exactly? How many councils do they control? Their influence is minimal so Cameron will be able to say there wasn’t much he could do in a country which has more or less rejected his party.

    Miliband is in big trouble. He has displayed a total lack of leadership in this as in just about everything else. If the Labour Party can’t influence the voters to say no in Scotland then what is being said is that it and its leadership are being ignored, and that’s after an all out all the stops effort.

    What then is the point of voting Labour in the UK? The loss of the Scots Labour MPs means a more or less permanent Tory majority in England, something that as no doubt not escaped the attention of both Cameron and Miliband.

  8. Fred says:

    “Keep your trap shut until you have a unified message that all of No agrees to.”

    How very authoritarian.
    How very left wing.
    How very Labour.

  9. Ex labour says:

    Miliband should resign anyway, completely out of his depth.

    I agree with John Jones and Dave Roberts. Its a win/win for the Conservatives. Labour will be decimated by the loss of all its MP’s in Scottish constituencies, leaving the way open for the Conservatives to hold sway in Westminster for a long time. The Conservatives will also be able to forget somewhere which cares nothing for them.

    As I understand it should there be a Yes vote. The 2015 GE continues as normal and will elect Scottish MP’s but they will not be allowed to vote on virtually anything. Even if Labour win the GE and form the government they will be out-voted on many occassions with the Scottish block nullified.

  10. John Reid says:

    Tony b,if I was Ed, I would resign and put myself up for re election, as he would have been elected leader on Votes from members Scotland as well as the rest of the UK, but he would only be contesting the next election ,in England and Wales

  11. Tafia says:

    Fred says:
    September 9, 2014 at 11:43 am
    “Keep your trap shut until you have a unified message that all of No agrees to.”

    How very authoritarian.
    How very left wing.
    How very Labour.

    Since I wrote that the political commentators have picked up on exactly the same thing and say it shows that the No camp can’t even produce a unified stance and will push even more don’t knows to Yes.

    Incidentally I vote Plaid Cymru.

  12. steve says:

    Ex labour: “Miliband should resign anyway”

    Well said.

    And following Ed’s resignation the best option for Labour MPs will be to enter into a coalition with the Tories. The Tories will surely offer a number of significant cabinet positions in return.

    And let’s be honest, it’s not as if there’s a great deal of difference in policy between to the two main parties.

    The important thing is to win power and if that means a coalition with the Tories, then so be it.

  13. Tubby Isaacs says:

    I’m now more convinced that this site is just about causing trouble for Ed Miliband. Wish they’d chuck you out so you can join the Lib Dems. Public wouldn’t care at all.

    The losses of seats in 2011.

    Labour -7.
    Tories -5
    Lib Dems -12.

    How you get from that to “one man” being responsible, God only knows. But if you do, it’s Nick Clegg very clearly.

    Ed Miliband has never been the leader of Scottish Labour anyway. Scottish Labour elected Lamont.

    “Measured” Cameron has made a fool of himself. Kept Devo-Max off the ballot paper. And has shown by his general absence that the UK government is utterly irrelevant.

    The leader of the Oppositon can’t do anything. Clue in the title.

    Woeful article.

  14. bob says:

    Just listened to Miliband live on Sky. It’s all the Tories fault, it was a party political rant, invoking the bedroom tax, Thatcherism and all the reasons to vote Yes. This speech was ill judged and not addressing the Vote, but trying to keep Labour MPs in the Westminster Parliament.

  15. Tafia says:

    The leader of the Oppositon can’t do anything. Clue in the title.

    The Pax Politica was that the No campaign would be fronted by Labour and bankrolled by Tory.

  16. Mike Homfray says:

    What a ridiculous article.

    Ed Miliband wasn’t in charge of the Yes campaign – the Scottish Labour party ran it

    And the terms of the referendum were sorted out by David Cameron who, complacently , thought that it would be no contest

    Let’s hope common sense prevails and the No campaign wins. Most of you lot probably want it to be yes so you could get rid of Ed Miliband. Tell you what – if you dislike him so much, how about joining a party whose leader you do like?

  17. Tafia says:

    Ed Miliband wasn’t in charge of the Yes campaign – the Scottish Labour party ran it

    So the Scottish Labour Party takes no direction from Labour London, none from NEC, doesn’t pool funding, doesn’t pool ‘talent’, don’t help with campaigning etc etc

  18. swatantra says:

    I think most people would be happy if EdM just resigned, fullstop. But he won’t, because Labour could actually win the GE by default, not because EdM is a brilliant leader and has a armfull of Reforms which can change the nature of Britain into a more egalitarian, fairer and just Society but because the the Coalition are in the deepest mire, and most peop.le know it.

  19. John reid says:

    Well said Tafia, in reply to Mike Homfray

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