Scottish Defections Rock Labour
Following yesterday’s news of the Lib Dem PPC for Chelsea and Fulham joining the Conservatives, today I hear that a longstanding Labour supporter called McBride has defected. Fortunately it is top Scottish QC Paul McBride not Damian (the author of the email smears); we would not want the former aide to Gordon Brown in our party.
In a damning statement McBride says “I have been a supporter of Labour all my life. However, I now find myself in a position where I can no longer support a party that is serially mendacious and incompetent….The sooner there is a change of Government the better and David Cameron is that change.”
McBride has endorsed Scottish Conservative Leader Annabel Goldie and will be addressing the Scottish Conservative Conference next month. He will also now advise the party on legal matters.
In a further blow to Labour’s rapidly shrinking base in the business community, Scottish lingerie millionairess Michelle Mone has withdrawn her support (no pun intented) for the party.
These defections are doubly significant for being Scottish. Until recently Labour have dominated Scotland, almost like an old-fashioned one-party state. However, the SNP have made serious inroads into Labour support and now (as I predicted in an earlier post) the Conservatives are doing the same.
Labour has become increasingly reliant on business donations to keep their party afloat as Union contributions have shrunk. They will also find that it will become increasingly difficult to finance their party conferences as business support melts away.
It was one of the noticeable consequences of the post 1997 Labour ascendency that the number of trade stands and sponsored receptions at Conservative conferences plummeted as business leaders switched their support to Labour as the party of Government. Conservative conferences became a rather hollow affair as a result. However, last year’s Conference in Birmingham was notable for its number of stands and the buzz about the place.
Businesses survive and flourish by reading the movement of the market and the movement in the political market is no different. The next few Labour Conferences will be pretty lean affairs I would suspect.