Scottish Labour branches seeking debate on independence with breakaway group
Friday, 30 November 2012 08:00
By a Newsnet reporter
Labour for Independence (LFI) has taken the first step into entering discussions with Scottish Labour Party members over the party’s stance on independence.
Yesterday, Thursday 29th of November, LFI West Coast Co-ordinator Alex Bell was asked to take part in a discussion on independence at the Strathkelvin Labour branch.
At the meeting Mr Bell told the group, the referendum no longer represents a choice between David Cameron and Alex Salmond.
Mr Bell said: “Independence gives us a third option, an option which returns Labour to the people, to the core of our founding principles. A ‘Canavan’ option if you will.”
Mr Bell then went on to criticise New Labour’s ‘focus group’ approach which he claimed had shackled the Scottish Labour party. The LFI official argued that only independence could break these chains.
Labour for Independence founder Allan Grogan has hailed the meeting as a turning point within the Scottish Labour party.
Mr Grogan said “I think it shows that there is unrest within the party as to how the independence decision was made. I hope that this will be the first of many such meetings around the country.”
Before the event a defiant Mr Bell commented: “It’s clear that many in Labour are deeply unhappy with the direction the party is taking us. We’ll have this debate whether the party leadership like it or not.”
Labour For Independence was set up by Scottish Labour Party member Allan Grogan who became frustrated at the continual refusal of party bosses to acknowledge support among a sizeable number of Labour party supporters for independence.
Alex Bell is a Labour party member from North Ayrshire. He is a former branch secretary, CLP treasurer and NUPE shop steward. Alex currently works as West Coast Co-ordinator and Labour members’ liaison for Labour for Independence.
Labour for Independence is a rapidly growing group within the Scottish Labour party. On social media sites it has over 1500 Facebook likes, over 1000 twitter followers and over 25,000 website hits. The group has also begun to recruit ambassadors around the country which is already expanding the groups reach into communities.