By a Newsnet reporter

The Scottish Labour party is today facing the prospect of a split within its ranks over its stance on the independence debate.

A new website, Labour for Independence, has been created by party member Allan Grogan who has become disillusioned over the party’s attitude to independence.  Mr Grogan says that there are others within the party who share his views.

Mr Grogan’s Facebook page has been visited by 24,000 people in its first week and has 334 indications of approval from visitors – more than Scottish Labour’s own site.

The Labour party member, who has been an active supporter of Labour for many years, said he had spoken to others within the party in Scotland and was convinced there was a genuine appetite for independence, claiming that many were becoming disillusioned with the party overall.

"There are many in the Labour party who seek and support an independent Scotland.

"There are also many supporters who once were Labour but have lost faith or moved political ideology because of a Labour party more concerned with middle England than their core bases, especially Scotland."

The move by Mr Grogan has been welcomed by the head of pro-independence campaign group Yes Scotland, Blair Jenkins.  

Mr Jenkins said: "When I accepted the position of chief executive of Yes Scotland, I made it clear that I wanted the campaign to provide the kind of high-quality information that the people of Scotland will need in order to make the right choice.

"To be able to do that, I am determined to build a strong team and organisation and I am confident that the people who fill the four senior positions being advertised will be of the highest calibre and expertise."

He added: "We know there are many voters, of all political persuasions and none, who support an independent Scotland.  In fact, the principle of independence for Scotland is above and beyond any party political interests.

"It's the people's referendum.  Whether people support Labour, the Conservatives, the SNP, the Greens or any other party, there are many who are attracted by the possibilities that independence offers to build and shape the kind of society that is in line with their core beliefs and values."

He continued: "Another major plus side of independence is the prospect of the best of the talent from the various parties serving at Holyrood rather than Westminster."

Responding to the apparent split, Labour MSP Richard Baker said: "Labour members have the right to bring policy suggestions to conference where they can be debated.  However, as we are focused on social justice in the widest sense, we believe that we all achieve more together than apart.

"I also note that the website has lots of support from SNP backers, but lacks any real support from within our own ranks.  Scottish Labour will fight to keep Britain together because we believe that we are stronger together."

Commenting on Mr Grogan's move, SNP’s Christina McKelvie MSP said:

"People of all parties and none are warming to the idea of an independent Scotland.

"It is only fair and democratic that grassroots Labour members should be given the opportunity to discuss the merits of voting Yes to an independent Scotland in 2014.

"Johann Lamont and the Labour Party in Scotland leadership’s sponsored silence on Trident, abandonment of free higher education and anti-independence pact with Tories is leaving them looking very lost indeed. It is little wonder the people of Scotland are looking elsewhere for politicians to reflect their views and values."

The signs of support for independence amongst Labour party members in Scotland follows analysis of a recent poll that shows the SNP with strong support amongst all sections of Scottish society.

The poll, carried out by Panelbase on behalf of the Sunday Times and Real Radio Scotland, showed the SNP's lead is particularly strong amongst the groups characterised as C2 and DE by the pollsters, comprising skilled and unskilled manual workers, and the lowest earners.  These groups were traditionally regarded as forming the core of Labour's vote in Scotland.

The SNP also maintains a strong lead over its rivals when the results are broken down according to age, gender, and type of home.  Such strong leads for a single party across every polling category is thought to be unprecedented.


# Dowanhill 2012-07-30 11:59
I read about this in the Scotsman this morning. Fantastic news! It really show's how inept the Scottish Leadership is when they can't even listen to their own members?
# Jimbo 2012-07-30 12:10
I see they've also got an Online petition going:

"We have organised an online petition to send to Joanne Lamont in regards to a vote for Labour members about supporting independence. Please take the time to sign the petition."

Their Facebook page can be accessed here:
# UpSpake 2012-07-30 12:14
This is only to be expected. The iron fist of London Labour will do more to push independent minded Labour voters away to this grouping than anything else.
The Union as we know it is finished, the fragmentation of the Unionist parties and or meltdown, however way you look at it is the changing demographics of Scotland.
This is territory completely unknown to the MSM and in particular - BBC Scotland who probably take their 'instructions' from London Labour as opposed to that rabble that chooses to call itself 'Scottish Labour' which we all know there is no such thing ?.
# oldfoggie 2012-07-30 12:27
I am very very happy to hear that Labour in Scotland has seen the light and welcome their support to the Independence cause, however I am sceptical about the Labour and other Unionist MPs being allowed into the , fold they have always been self seeking greedy individuals with no Scrouples so they will not be welcome in my books the MSPs in the Scottish parliament I really do not trust so they must be judged on their actions and deeds.
# Silverytay 2012-07-30 12:39
As an ex labour activist and trade union rep I welcome this move within the labour party in Scotland .
If the labour party in Scotland want to start attracting ex members like me back to the fold , they have to start a clear out of the nepotism and corruption that exists within the party in Scotland .
Hopefully after Independence we will have a Scottish labour party that is true to its roots .
# PrideoftheClyde 2012-07-30 12:58
Great to hear the grassroots taking the brave decision to stand up for what they believe in. Especially in a party where dissent isn't normally tolerated. As a former member of the Labour party I can confirm that there are many members in favour of an independent Scotland. Sadly, too many of these people are too afraid to say so.

Unionism isn't at the heart of what the Labour party (used to) stands for. It is called the Labour Party, not the Labour and Unionst Party. Only one major party in the UK has 'unionist' in its name. No prizes for guessing which one.
# call me dave 2012-07-30 13:27
So the Scottish tectonic plates grind and jar a little bit more and the small cracks in the Labour party open a bit wider to create a schism which will result in a Yes vote.

Some said it was inevitable and they may be proved right.

Roll on 2014.

This new north sea windfarm 9 miles east of Fife any maps?
# sneckedagain 2012-07-30 13:54
Ten years ago more than half the respondents identifying as Labour supporters opted for indpendence in a questionaire we distributed to 25,000 homes in this constituency (and on which we got a 12% return).
The fault line in Scottish politics is independence support in the Labour party and the new polarisation of independece against dependence instead of left against right is exposing this.
# Old Smokey 2012-07-30 14:35
Im very pleased at this. I have been a Labour supporter most of my life, up until Blair when I became disillusioned with Labour. Ive always wanted Independence for Scotland, but Labour have always supressed this. I know others who feel the same
# Glenbuchat 2012-07-30 14:39
It is rather hard to believe that Mr Grogan represents any significant body of opinion within the Scottish Labour Party. Indeed, it is doubtful if he represents anyone other than himself.

There has never been anything to prevent a local branch or constituency organisation, or for that matter an affiliated trade union, from placing a pro independence motion before conference. No such motion has ever been forthcoming. Were there a genuine groundswell of support for independence within the ranks of the Labour Party then, with respect, the spokesperson would not be some unknown but rather a significant player within the labour and trade union movement.

In truth, there is a far more significant group of SNP supporters who are not yet convinced of the case for independence and, dare I say it, some SNP members who seem more keen on option 2 rather than independence.

A Facebook page and a wee website are not, in themselves, any evidence of a split within Labour ranks or any seismic shift in the balance of Scottish. politics.
# Old Smokey 2012-07-30 14:53
Oh dear a bit humped are we
Face facts there are MANY Labour supporters like myself who want independence. This has been supressed and swept under the carpet for so long.
You and you ilk keep coming up with the
rhetoric of ' placing a pro independence motion before conference' Have news for you WE DO NOT NEED CONFERENCE OR ANY BILGE from the Labour hierarchy. What you advocate is just another method that Labour use to control the supporters . Vacent promises of 'take it up at conference' (which funnily is what that idiot Richard Baker stated in the Scotsman). But strangely it gets sidelined at conference.
I really have had a gutful of people like you coming up with the 'take it up at conference' line.
Well sorry its TOO LATE!!!!!!!!!
# Glenbuchat 2012-07-30 15:35
No one would deny consistent polling evidence which suggests a significant minority of Labour supporters may also support independence. The same polls show an even greater proportion of SNP supporters who would vote no in any referendum.

What does not exist,except in the imagination of Mr Grogan and the author of this article, is any significant split within the ranks of Labour Party members. There is a range of opinion on the level of devolved powers and a healthy debate on such.

For those who cleave to the idea that independence is the cure all there is a clear political option, the SNP. When the so called "Labour for Independence" can name a single supporter who is an active Labour member known outside the confines of his front room I might just take this non-story seriously.
# Roll_On_2011 2012-07-30 16:33

There is a range of opinion on the level of devolved powers and a healthy debate on such.

Aye, I have just been on the NuLabour Hame site to discuss those options. Alas the site is dead and the only trace that it was ever there is the tumbleweed blowing across the site.

By the way Glen, whilst you are here, can you enlighten us how NuLabour in Scotland are now ‘doing their own thing’, from what I can see there have been no changes in the NEC to reflect that position.

After all it is the NEC that runs the day to day business of the NuLabour Party and its Northern Branch in Scotland.
# Louperdowg 2012-07-30 15:25
I think that you might be in for a wee surprise, Glenbuchat.
# Davy 2012-07-31 09:43
Aye Glenbuchat, from small acorns do mighty oaks grow, Mr Grogan may not represent a significant body of opinion within labour to your knowledge, or maybe what you do not want to acknowledge, but its a start.

And who knows maybe its the kickstart for a new labour party (Scotland).
# Leswil 2012-07-30 14:42
Quiet, is this a voice of sanity I hear!!
# wee folding bike 2012-07-30 15:03
It might be simpler for these guys to leave the Labour party and join a left of center party which is in favour of independence.
# hiorta 2012-07-30 15:11
wfb, that is their perfect solution and one that would confirm their credibility as being genuine.
For a long time our country has been in the grip of political and religious neanderthals, who do nothing other than try to control the thinking of their fellows - by manipulation of some kind, usually.
# Mark MacLachlan 2012-07-30 15:10
# the wallace 2012-07-30 15:23
Glenbucket,pull in yer petted lip pal,ive been on this face book page and its not just allan grogan,This is a very good fb page which is growing quickly and has many good honset socialist on it who want and will fight for freedom,i know they are also going to attend the big independence march in september,with their labour banners flying beside the snp banners and saltires will be a very significant moral boost for the yes campaign,and god knowes we might even get some tory and liberals for independence people too,and i for one welcome them all, for they are our kinsmen who want freedom for scotland and thats good enough for me.May i also suggest that you all on here visit the labour voters for independence fb page and welcom them to the fight for they shall also need a wee moral boost from the rest of us. SAOR ALBA.
# gt-cri 2012-07-30 15:24
Personally, I don't think it matters what party YES supporters are members of or support.

The fact they are YES supporters is good enough for me (and the cause). We all know the current parties will re-align themselves after the event; so what's wrong with anyone declaring their support for Independence? We all have just the one vote!
# twinpowr 2012-07-30 15:25
This is but the start of a left/right split that will continue until and for a few years after independence as the respective political fations realign themselves to their preferred stance.

If the credibility of Allan Grogan is to be believed and I know little of the man to think anything else at this juncture, then his actions will indeed be the measure of him and he will be forever judged on them if he turns out to be less than the credible persons he is publicly highlighting himself to be.
# Aucheorn 2012-07-30 16:58
We'll find out when he addresses marchers in September.
# Edulis 2012-07-30 16:58
At some point in the debate, we will need a genuine cross-party group of senior figures to stand together on a platform and demonstrate that this choice in front of us is a choice to shape Scotland starting with a clean slate. That concept of a fresh start compared to arthritic Westminster is what will make the difference.
# Roll_On_2011 2012-07-30 17:35
OT - Breaking news:

Independence referendum faces year’s delay:

The independence referendum could be delayed by a year because of stalemate between Westminster and Holyrood over a second question on ballot papers.

Prime Minister David Cameron will devolve the powers needed to hold a legal referendum to Holyrood, but on the condition that Alex Salmond agrees there should be one question asking for a straight yes or no to independence.

# Old Smokey 2012-07-30 17:54
Just another false story put out by the unionists. Seen same story verbatum in another unionist paper
# ScotFree1320 2012-07-30 18:59
Not that It matters. There can be only one question because Holyrood can't and Westminster won't deliver Devo-anything. Westminster's stubbornness will be their undoing.
# bringiton 2012-07-30 20:17
Legally binding means that Westmister gives it's agreement that whatever the people of Scotland decide in the referendum will be upheld by them.
This is the conundrum of our quasi constitutional system where the parliament in London can overrule a democratic decision of the people of Scotland should it so wish (and has done so in many occasions in the past).
If they are seen as blocking the democratic mandate of our people,then there will be repercussions for them.
A poker game is in progress between London and Edinburgh and my money is on Scotland winning out.
Democratic mandate will always triumph over entrenched centralist positions.
# Mark 2012-07-30 17:53
Well done to these guys for having the backbone to stand up for what they believe in - independence.
I know all the unionists have their fingers crossed hoping we will not vote Yes but.
Surely a Yes vote will mean the end of the Labour Party, a proper socialist party will emerge from the SNP as there are very few socialist left in the Labour Party.
Tories in Scotland will adapt to the independence as Murdo Fraser has already tried to set up a Scottish Tory Party.
As for the LibDems, I don't see how they are going to recover after selling their souls to be in Power.
# forrabest 2012-07-30 18:44
Good news, indeed for the Yes campaign. It may bring some students and other young people on board. Their website is very interesting
# Mad Jock McMad 2012-07-30 18:50
I have a serius problem with what ever sort of 'Labour' emerges post independence.

On the current politcal map of Scotland Labour are now a rightwing party espousing views on healthcare, welfare and much more which are at odds with the people of Scotland's declared wishes for a social democratic nation.

Politically the SNP have filled the left of centre void left by New Labour with the SNP's conservative take on socialism which so infuriates the likes of Gerry Hassan.

So where will Scottish Labour reposition itself? To the left of the SNP current lie the Greens who hold to more old Labour norms and on the extreme left lies the SSP. Just where would an old Labour style Scottish Party find its home?

There is a reliance on the idea the SNP will spin off right, left and centre on achieving its aim of independence. I no longer believe this will happen.

In the main because the SNP is reliant on its membership for two thirds of its funding and is in no way as susceptible as the Scottish Labour retread to external influence from 'donors', the STUC and the unions that would seek to fund it and manipulate the party - a political version of 'Glasgow Rangers' if you will.

My experience of the SNP at branch and constituency level is it remains as thrawn as the Scots themselves.

Attempts by the SNP Edinburgh HQ to lay down the law - for example over the use of the term 'cybernat' - are met with derision if they are window dressing, not substantive and the local MSPs have it made very clear to them why branches and consituencies will be ignoring them. The membership only wish three things, in my experience, from our elected SNP Officers: sensible governance of Scotland's best interests, using the best ideas no matter who proposes them and a 100% committment to the party's core aim of independence for Scotland.

The real questions for a future Scottish (Newco)Labour Party is just what will it stand for and how will it be different from the corrupt, self serving and chrony ridden party it currently is?

How will it survive the internecene fight for its life with the, in with the cement, political dinosaurs in Glasgow and the West?
# Independista 2012-07-30 19:46
Perhaps New Scottish Labour will re-appear as Newco Scottish Labour- in a league of their own!!
OT. Someone asked about how to personalise their Firefox browser recently. Try this
Every time you go online you have a saltire and YES across the top of your browser. Brilliant!!
# Holebender 2012-07-30 20:40
I recommend using YesScotland2 as the text colour is much more readable than it is in my first attempt.
# Indy_Scot 2012-07-30 20:49
The only thing about this that surprises me is that it has taken Labour this long to realise that they would be better off under Independence.
# Angus 2012-07-30 20:50
Great news.
Independence is for everyone.
# From The Suburbs 2012-07-30 22:28
Predictably there was zilch coverage of this story on our TV news channels - which is the source where the majority of voters form their political opinions.

Also no mention on our TV screens of the UK government creating an anti independence propaganda post for a Treasury official at taxpayers expense.
# cardrossian 2012-07-31 05:56
Don't be fooled. These people who have been stabbing Scotland in the back for years will have no moral right to stand for election after independence. They have no more wish for independence today than they had yesterday. What they do have is a fear of losing their lucrative jobs and having to go back into the workplace to earn a living. Just remember that leopards do NOT change their spots. If they wanted to be part of a left wing independent government they only have to join the SNP. The fact that they are not doing, shows that they have no real committment to independence. I am quite sure that any genuine independence seekers however will also be welcomed by the SDA.
# sneckedagain 2012-07-31 09:44
I am more than satisfied that independence seekers can presently be jointly members of the SNP and the non party Independence Convention or may be members of the Greens or our Socialist parties or may promote independence in other major parties to which they belong (such as the new Labour for Independence group).
In my half century in the SNP I have always been aware that the SNP is a very broad church generously accommodating views right across the political spectrum.
I will accept the Scotland that the people of Scotland decide on after independence.
Till that point I would urge nationalists to join the SNP and the YES campaign
# proudscot 2012-07-31 12:24
Maybe Glenbuchat would be more supportive of Allan Grogan's new group, if he renamed it Labour For Separation? Just a thought.
# Davy 2012-08-02 09:50
Quoting proudscot:
Maybe Glenbuchat would be more supportive of Allan Grogan's new group, if he renamed it Labour For Separation? Just a thought.


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