ANOTHER day, another division within the Labour Party's Scottish Optional Identity Mark which  won't be trumpeted, or indeed mentioned, by BBC Scotland. And there are already existing divisions between London and the branch office.

Anas Sarwar continues to insist that he opposes the appalling two-child benefit cap introduced by the Conservatives – even though Keir Starmer has said that a Labour government will not seek to abolish it.

A majority of Labour MSPs voted in favour of the Scottish Gender Recognition Reform Bill, and although Starmer had initially supported the introduction of a similar measure in England, he now says he opposes it.

Meanwhile the policy of the Labour party in Scotland, on this topic as well as the issue of the two-child benefit cap, appears to be not to mention it in the hope that no one notices. It’s a tactic in which the Labour party appears to be aided and abetted by the news editors at Pacific Quay – who gleefully report on any divisions, real or imagined, within the ranks of the SNP.

Labour: the 'party of devolution'

Now another division has emerged, one which goes to the very heart of Labour’s claim to be the party of devolution.

Anas Sarwar was claiming as recently as February of this year that the Labour party is committed to granting more powers to the Scottish Parliament. In particular, he said that he was in favour of giving the Scottish Parliament the power to raise the minimum wage in Scotland.

Sarwar also stated that he was in favour of the devolution of employment law, as advocated by the STUC. Labour in Scotland also supported the devolution of employment rights in their 2021 manifesto for the Scottish Parliament election.

READ MORE: Angela Rayner slammed for ruling out devolution of employment law to Holyrood

Yet in August this year, Angela Rayner, Labour's deputy leader, insisted that employment law would not be devolved, claiming that Labour's “new deal” for workers would be sufficient.

It now looks as though Sarwar has been overruled by the uber-Unionists who dictate the Labour party's policy towards Scotland. It is not just control of employment law and the minimum wage that the Labour party will not devolve to the Scottish Parliament, it is any new power at all.

Ian Murray (below), the current shadow Scotland secretary who is expected to become the secretary of state in a future Labour government, has categorically ruled out any more powers being devolved to Holyrood.

The National: Shadow Scottish secretary Ian Murray speaking during the Labour Party Conference in Liverpool

Murray has declared that the Labour party's commission on devolution is not about giving more power to Holyrood, instead the Scottish focus of the commission is about taking power away from Holyrood and giving it to local authorities instead, while it is also looking at increasing the powers of the English regions.

What this tells us is that the assault on the Scottish Parliament started under the Conservatives will continue under a future Labour Government.

This is because neither Labour nor the Conservatives can trust the people of Scotland to vote for obedient British nationalist parties that will not try to challenge the absolute authority of Westminster. As such, they are both determined to undermine the Scottish Parliament and to deal instead with dozens of smaller and weaker local authorities in which they have a better chance of holding power – at least in some of them.

READ MORE: SNP councillor resigns membership amid 'New Scot' comment row

It is a classic example of the dictum of Julius Caesar: divide and rule. It is what the British state, both in its Labour and Conservative incarnations, has in store for what it regards as its restless northern province.

Under either a Labour government or a Conservative one, all that Scotland can look forward to is a gradual bypassing and undermining of its parliament, with the ultimate aim of neutering it as a political threat to a British Government. Because neither Labour nor the Conservatives are prepared to accept the electoral choices of the people of Scotland, they will destroy the very reason it was established in the first place.

The message to Scotland from Labour and the Tories is clear: you can have your pretendy wee parliament, but only if you don't rock the boat and vote in a manner that the British establishment approves of.

A weekend of independence events

The SNP party conference starts in Aberdeen on Sunday. The key focus will be to agree on a strategy which will enthuse and motivate independence supporters to come out and vote. As Labour, as much as the Tories, demonstrate an intention to intensify the British nationalist assault on the Scottish Parliament, the need for the SNP to present a credible and convincing route map to independence has never been more pressing.

This weekend will also see a major pro-independence event, the formation of a human chain stretching along the canal route that runs across the Forth-Clyde isthmus which marks the geographical division between the north and south of Scotland.

READ MORE: Everything you need to know about the Chain of Freedom this Saturday

The Chain of Freedom will commence at noon on Saturday and will run from the Falkirk Wheel on the Union canal, which despite its name has nothing to do with the supposed Union of 1707, running along the Forth and Clyde canal to Bowling on the north bank of the Clyde, west of Glasgow.

Organisers estimate that some 50,000 people are expected to attend, making it one of the biggest and highest profile pro-independence events for years.

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.

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