ANAS Sarwar has confirmed that Scottish Labour’s long-standing policy of self-destruction will continue in 2022.

The branch office boss rejected a report that appeared in the Sunday Times from a "senior party source" saying that pro-independence candidates would be allowed to stand for the party in Scotland's upcoming council elections.

Of course, that’s underselling the stubbornness and contempt for democracy. The party’s derision for self-determination extends even to opposing those who back Scotland’s right to merely have a say on its future – as Hollie Cameron knows only too well.

The National:

Scottish Labour MSP Mercedes Villalba tweeted at the time Cameron was removed as a candidate: “If Scottish Labour members who support another Scottish independence referendum are ineligible to stand as candidates, that could exclude 57% of the membership. Good enough for subs, good enough to stand. No two-tier membership.”

Yesterday, Villalba called for Jeremy Corbyn to be readmitted to Labour. Keir Starmer has kept the party whip withheld from the once Labour leader.

Corbyn had been suspended from Labour in the wake of his response to a report from a human rights watchdog that found the party broke equality laws in relation to its handling of antisemitism complaints. That suspension was lifted, but he remains an independent.

On Villalba’s call, Sarwar said; “I am not interested in past leaders." He also urged Corbyn to apologise to Jewish communities.

Returning to the issue of Labour and independence, the idea that Sarwar is “not interested in past leaders” will be an interesting one to revisit when Gordon Brown is inevitably wheeled out once again to deliver an identical warning of the dangers of a Yes vote and to explain why federalism will bring salvation for all, etc. Seeing all the headlines this morning talking about a fossil being found, you could hardly be blamed for thinking it was that time of the year.

Perhaps Brownhog Day can be retired, though, with Sarwar proving himself perfectly capable of carrying the baton with the same morbid consistency as the ex-PM himself.

"On the question directly of candidates, we will be a pro-UK party standing for a reformed and renewed UK, and all our candidates would be expected to abide by that manifesto, so that we can have a Prime Minister that is for the whole of the United Kingdom,” he explained.

“Whoever was doing the story on Sunday probably doesn't have as much of an understanding of Scottish politics as I, or people on this call, do.”

Given that Scottish Labour’s leadership seem to exist in a dark void beyond linear time, unable to recognise their party’s plummeting number of seats or that situations can change, maybe we shouldn’t laugh too much at Sarwar boasting of his “understanding of Scottish politics” ... one week after his branch office’s Twitter account made a huge gaffe.

“The clock is ticking but Scots aren't being paid for their time under the SNP. A staggering £1.4 billion of unpaid overtime was racked up in one year alone. A fair day's pay for a fair day's work should be at the heart of our economy,” wrote @ScottishLabour.

Employment law is a power reserved to Westminster, and Scottish Labour had explicitly pushed for that to be the case in the Smith Commission. Fundamental misunderstandings of devolution were meant to be reserved to Richard Leonard's leadership, but all the same errors are still being made by the party today.

Scotland needs change – or we risk being dragged down further by a corrupt Westminster propped up by blinkered attitudes such as the one exhibited by Sarwar.

This piece is an extract from today’s REAL Scottish Politics newsletter, which is emailed out at 7pm every weekday with a round-up of the day's top stories and exclusive analysis from the Wee Ginger Dug. Today's analysis was by The Jouker.

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