Anas Sarwar Anas Sarwar at deputy leadership hustings, Photo: Scottish Labour Flickr / cropped from original / licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0, linked at bottom of article

Anas Sarwar is following Sir Keir Starmer’s footsteps in expunging every vestige of progressive thought in the Labour Party, reports Vladimir Unkovski-Korica

News emerged yesterday that Holly Cameron, a socialist standing for Scottish Labour for the Glasgow Kelvin constituency, will no longer be running.

There has been no official reason given but it is clear that the Scottish party’s executive committee was reacting to Cameron’s interview for the Sunday National.

In it, Cameron had reaffirmed the Scottish Policy Forum’s affirmation that the people of Scotland have a right to decide on their future.

But newly elected leader Sarwar has gone public arguing that Scotland should not have a referendum until Scotland has recovered from the pandemic.

Cameron acknowledged that there were different views in the party about the timing of any referendum but stated her own opinion that, ‘I think we can consider our constitution and rebuild after Covid if there is the political will to do that.’

In response to Cameron’s interview, Sarwar said that ‘we actually need a unified Labour Party serious about rebuilding our country’.

The meaning of his response became quickly clear. Cameron was swiftly ‘re-interviewed’ and dropped as a candidate, apparently without her CLP even being officially informed.

To put things in context, Labour came third in the constituency in the 2016 election, behind the SNP and the Greens, two pro-independence parties.

Its unionist positioning will not win it elections. Dropping Cameron has little to do with winning elections, and much more to do with disciplining the left.

In this sense, Sarwar’s Scottish Labour is following in the footsteps of Starmer’s UK Labour, which has suspended Corbyn’s membership of the PLP, disciplined some who spoke out against this, and recently undemocratically dropped left wing candidates in places like Liverpool.

There is little hope for a left resurgence through the Labour Party. Its leadership is bent on expunging every vestige of progressive thought in order to prevent another left wing leader ever taking control.

Hope for progressives on the left lies in working together to build extra-parliamentary struggles involving working class people that can take on the might of the British state. In Scotland, there will be many opportunities to do so, from COP26 to the grassroots demand for Scottish independence.

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Vladimir Unkovski-Korica

Vladimir Unkovski-Korica is a member of Marks21 in Serbia and a supporter of Counterfire. He is on the editorial board of LeftEast and teaches at the University of Glasgow.