An open letter to those on the left who support the Progressive Alliance.
Okay, your pals in the SNP have just announced official support for a third runway at Heathrow.
Yes, I know what you’re going to say: “It’s only been reported in the MainStream Media. ‘The Canary’ hasn’t confirmed it. And even if it is true, the third runway could be a Mossad-inspired false-flag operation.” But take my word for it: it’s true. And I think we can safely rule out any involvement by Mossad.
The timing of the announcement simply couldn’t be better. Only five days ago the leaders of the SNP, the Greens and Plaid Cymru had one of their periodic get-togethers. They described it as:
“An occasion for us to restate the importance of working together to resist the Tories’ toxic politics, and to make the case for a better future for our people and communities.”
Whoever chose to include the word “toxic” in that statement must be already regretting it.
By the way, have you ever thought why Labour never gets an invite to these SNP-Green-Plaid-Cymru get-togethers? Has it ever occurred to you that the alliance these people want to build is as much – and maybe even more so – an anti-Labour one as an anti-Tory one?
Anyway, for your benefit, here’s how SNP ‘progressive alliance’ politics work in practice:
On 5 October the SNP bigs up working together with the Greens. But just five days later they commit themselves to vote against one of the Greens’ most basic policies (“a disaster for climate change”), a policy that was a central plank of their London mayoral campaign.
As for that promise of “a better future for our people and our communities”, there are two possibilities you can take your pick from.
Either the small print included the qualification: “unless you live anywhere near Heathrow Airport flight paths.” Or it was just so much empty flannel (just like those SNP anti-austerity promises in which you have such illusions).
But every cloud has a silver lining, even if that’s not the most appropriate metaphor to use in a letter about an SNP-backed plan to increase greenhouse gas emissions at Heathrow by 70%.
SNP support for a third runway at Heathrow – “We want the best deal for Scotland” – will strengthen its bonds of friendship with its natural allies: the Tories, the right wing of the Labour Party, and big business.
As the “Independent” reported as long ago as June of last year:
“The Tories have a wafer-thin majority, and many MPs would join Mr. Johnson in voting against. Support from the SNP would allow the PM to claim he was acting in the interests of the entire UK. Conservative ministers and the SNP … could be very comfortable in each other’s company (in the same division lobby).”
(Yes, I know the “Independent” is MSM. Even so, they sometimes do get things right. And they also publish articles by Robert Fisk. So they can’t be all bad.)
More recently, while attention has inevitably focused on your concerns about a Tel-Aviv-based Zionist conspiracy to undermine Jeremy Corbyn, out in the real world Labour right-wingers are using the issue of Heathrow expansion to undermine Corbyn.
At the end of last month the “Independent” (see above justification for quoting MSM) reported:
“Rebel MPs plan to try to bounce their party into backing a third runway at Heathrow Airport, even without the support of Jeremy Corbyn. They will call a vote of all Labour peers on an aviatation report drawn up by backbenchers who sit on the PLP transport committee.”
Chair of the transport committee is Smith-supporter Gavin Shuker. According to Shuker:
“On a number of key issues, on Syria, on Trident and others, we have dodged the question people have put to us about where we stand. I don’t think that anyone should be surprised that we’re going to utilise those (right-wing-controlled PLP committees) to make sure that we have a clear position.”
And then there’s the SNP’s big business pals, such as HAHL, the company which owns Heathrow Airport.
In the first six months of this year it had pre-tax profits of £75 millions. But HAHL is nothing if not a caring company. Only last year, for example, it donated £10,000 to Dreamflight (“provides children with serious illness or disability with their holiday of a lifetime”).
But even its generosity to sick children pales into insignificance compared to its generosity to the SNP. As the “Guardian” has reported:
“Throughout the SNP’s conference, which begins in Glasgow on Thursday, Heathrow will operate a ‘private, airport-style lounge’ with a free bar to promote the benefits of the expansion to Scotland, as it did at last year’s event in Aberdeen.”
(Yes, I know the “Guardian” is MSM as well. And, yes, I know that it carries opinion pieces by the Israeli ambassador to Britain and, even worse, by Owen Jones. But they sometimes get things rights as well.)
In the light of the SNP Government’s official support for a third runway, I think we can all safely assume that the free champagne will be in full flow in Glasgow this week!
There’s nothing new in the backstabbing political calculations which lie behind the SNP’s support for a third runway at Heathrow. It’s just the latest example of what their ‘progressive’ policies are all about.
And don’t say that no-one tried to warn you about this kind of thing.
An article commissioned from members of Momentum Scotland for the special issue of “Red Pepper” on sale at “The World Transformed” event at Labour Party conference spelt out the SNP’s record in words so simple that even supporters of a ‘progressive alliance’ would be able to understand them.
It’s just a pity that the article was spiked and replaced by one from SNP MSP Kenny MacAskill, which, unsurprisingly, did not contain the same, or any, criticisms of the SNP’s politics.
Still, maybe now you’d like to finally wake up from your dreamworld ‘progressive alliance’ with the SNP. If it helps, take a trip round the communities who live under the Heathrow flight paths and see what they think of the SNP and your ‘progressive alliance’.
You could also have a chat with the local MP. His name is John McDonnell. In fact, this is what you could say to him:
“John, I know that the SNP have allied with the Tories, the Labour right and big business to support something which you have been campaigning against for many years. I know that SNP support for a third runway will be used by the Labour right to isolate and undermine you and Jeremy.
But, even so, don’t you think it would be a really good idea to have a progressive alliance with the SNP? By the way, Paul Mason supports the idea. So it must make sense.”
• The author is a member of Glasgow Momentum.
'Yes, I know what you’re going to say: “It’s only been reported in the MainStream Media. ‘The Canary’ hasn’t confirmed it. And even if it is true, the third runway could be a Mossad-inspired false-flag operation.” But take my word for it: it’s true. And I think we can safely rule out any involvement by Mossad.'
I'm not sure how useful basically starting this open letter with badly characaturing then ridiculing it's intended audience is, a general tone which goes all the way through. I don't even support a progressive alliance, but I found it off-putting, if I did support a progressive alliance this would be even more of a barrier to convincing me. In fact, it comes across as not trying to convince anyone, but merely to poke fun. If you haven't come across certain critical ideas, it really isn't obvious what is wrong with the idea of the progressive alliance, so supporting it doesn't make people stupid, or worthy of being written off. What happened to 'patient persuation' and all that?
Sorry to be critical of the writing rather than the content, but it's really a barrier to people engaging with the content, and is offputting - the content itself is otherwise interesting.
What you write would be fair enough if the ‘Open Letter’ were a serious attempt at an ‘Open Letter’. But it isn’t. In fact, it was written primarily for a Scottish left audience, although anyone else is welcome to read it and comment on it.
It was written as an expression of our contempt for those sections of the non-Scottish left who clearly have no understanding of the SNP’s politics and yet advocate a ‘progressive alliance’ with the SNP.
As we’ve pointed out in other articles, the SNP is the most undemocratic party in Britain. In nine years in power at Holyrood it has not implemented a single redistributive measure. Scottish education and the NHS have nosedived under the SNP, resulting in a growth of class-based inequalities in those areas. Its ‘opposition’ to austerity consists of implementing it.
Between 2011 and 2014 the SNP talked about nothing but an independence referendum. Between 2014 and 2016 it talked about nothing but another referendum. At its current conference it has now promised to talk about nothing but another referendum for the next four years. That cuts across and stifles attempts to raise class politics. And that suits the SNP perfectly.
And yet people on the left advocate a ‘progressive alliance’ with a party which amounts to New Labour with a Saltire.
Even worse, when ‘The World Transformed’ commissions an article arguing against a ‘progressive alliance’, TWT and “Red Pepper” then refuse to print it. This is followed up by Charlie Clark from London Momentum speaking at the ‘Radical’ Independence Conference in support of Scottish independence and an alliance between Momentum and RIC.
But RIC is on record as wanting to “wipe out Labour” in Scotland. In Unite its members have formed a particularly vile and very non-progressive alliance with the bureaucracy to try to crush the United Left Scotland. And Charlie Clark is so ignorant about Scottish politics that he even claimed that “the independence movement was a major inspiration behind the Corbyn movement.”
As for Paul Mason, during the Holyrood election campaign he spoke at a RISE meeting in support of independence for Scotland and an SNP-Green-RISE coalition government. While Mason was coming out with such words of wisdom, Momentum in Scotland was campaigning for a Labour vote.
Sure, people can have political disagreements about a ‘progressive alliance’ (and lots of other things – that’s politics). But what we have here is a systematic pattern of the class-struggle Scottish left being sidelined and censured by advocates of a ‘progressive alliance’. And these people are meant to be on our side!