FALKIRK FIASCO EXPOSES PARTY’S PLUMMETING MEMBERSHIP IN SCOTLAND
Commenting on the fiasco engulfing Labour following the row over the party’s Westminster selection process in Falkirk, SNP leader and First Minister Alex Salmond MSP said:
“Labour’s meltdown over its selection procedure in Falkirk has sent Ed Miliband’s leadership into a tailspin.
“But it also exposes the empty rhetoric at the heart of claims that Scottish Labour is in charge of its own affairs – and the silence of the party leadership north of the border.
“We were told after Johann Lamont was elected leader that Labour had changed their procedures so that she was in charge of the party in Scotland, including being responsible for Scottish Labour MPs.
“But now it turns out that is not true, and we are told that all of Labour’s ‘Westminster selections’, including those in Scotland, come under the ‘UK Labour Party rule book’.
“Johann Lamont has stood by silent and immobilised while Labour have imploded in Falkirk. It has exposed the total pretence that she leads Labour in Scotland. It is London Labour who have been in control as Falkirk Labour spin out of control
“It is time for Johann Lamont to break her silence on Labour’s Civil War “
Mr Salmond added:
“The other aspect which Labour’s Falkirk fiasco exposes is the party’s plummeting membership in Scotland.
“The only defence against the kind of candidate selection rigging allegations engulfing Labour in Falkirk is a healthy party membership at all levels, to guard against rotten borough syndrome and ensure local branch votes cannot be artificially skewed. That applies whichever candidates have been responsible.
“The SNP’s membership is booming, and we recently celebrated our 25,000th member joining the party. In contrast, Labour’s membership declined by more than 50 per cent between 1997 and 2011.
“The bottom line in all of this – which the utter shambles of Labour’s civil war should not obscure – is that the people of Falkirk deserve proper parliamentary representation. They deserve far better than Labour have offered since they tried and failed to stop Dennis Canavan becoming an MSP.”