Politics & Current Affairs

GE 2015: Sturgeon, #DollGate and the Death of Dignity

Humza YousafIf truth is the first casualty of war then dignity is undoubtedly the first casualty of election campaigns.

I draw the reader’s attention to Exhibit A. Humza Yousaf (that’s Humza, by the way, John Pienaar. OK? Not Hamza), MSP for Glasgow and the Scottish Government’s Minister for Europe and International Development, thoughtfully drew my attention to the matter via his Facebook page.

While Scottish Labour canvassers have been, for some weeks now, begging their own voters to vote Tory to keep out the SNP in seats Labour can’t win (which, by now, is nearly all of them), Labour MP Tom Harris has provided a variation on the theme.

The ‘Honourable’ Member for Glasgow South, so terrified is he at his impending demise at the hands of the SNP, has sent a remarkable begging letter to his Tory-voting constituents. For those disinclined to read it in full, it may be summarised thus: ‘Dear Conservatives, please, please, please, save my arse from the skelping the Scottish working class is intent on delivering via the SNP.’

While your narrator awards the initiative maximum points for ingenuity and creativity, alas the complete absence of principle and dignity ensures an overall final score of zero.

Staying with the SNP and things Scottish, for a moment, The Scottish S*n distinguished itself still further in its quest to plumb new depths and go boldly where no toilet-dwelling excrescence has gone before in its latest attack on the First Minister. Determined to ensure that no barrel will remain unscraped in its efforts to serve the cause of its Unionist overlords, it ran a piece about Nicola Sturgeon’s psychopathic inclinations as evidenced by a childhood rammy with her sister involving a doll (currently trending on Twitter as #DollGate). The filth was quickly stirred with a disgusting allusion to matters intimate, allegedly involving the First Minister. Headlined The Scotweiler, the article included misogyny and sleazy smears and invasion of personal privacy all tied to that rag’s trademark reactionary hysteria and contempt for context, nuance and reference, never mind the truth.

Truly, the frothing hate, fear and loathing induced in establishment hearts by the formidable Sturgeon is as indicative of her coming triumph as the relentlessly apocalyptic Ashcroft polls.

Which reminds me; I must leave a note for the butler to get in a good Islay single malt to celebrate the ruin of all that The Scottish S*n holds dear, come May 7th.  One doubts that this England-dwelling exile will be alone in making such plans.

In other news The Jellyfish attacked the Eton Rifle for his responsibility in the recent deaths of refugees in the Mediterranean. The basis of the Jellyfish’s assault was two-fold. First, the government’s bombing of Libya, thus creating enormous numbers of homeless, terrified and fleeing people and, secondly, the government’s cutting of sea rescue resources; intended to discourage said people from trying to reach the UK.

He was responded to in kind by the Eton Rifle’s associates who accused him of making political capital of a human tragedy. I’m sure there must be many of us who find a politician making a political attack on a political opponent, regarding a political decision taken by said political opponent, for the purposes of political gain, somewhat unremarkable.

Sadly, the Jellyfish’s offensive was somewhat blunted by that most perennial of political phenomena; hypocrisy. Given that he and his party supported the mass murder of Libyan people and have been enthusiastically pursuing their own policy agenda to appease racists, this was, to be kind, not particularly well thought through.

We finish with a quick mention of the Democratic Unionist Party’s Jim Wells. Wells, as many will know, has the sort of homophobic form that borders on madness. Previously the instigator of the ‘Save Ulster from Sodomy’ campaign, Wells’ latest foray into bigotry and irrationality has attracted outrage. This week, at a hustings in South Down, the Northern Irish Health Minister said, “The facts show that you certainly don’t bring a child up in a homosexual relationship. That child is far more likely to be abused or neglected.”

However, no such ‘facts’ exist and these non-existent facts show nothing of the kind. Alternatively, there is strong emerging anecdotal evidence which shows that the children of Democratic Unionist parents run a real risk of becoming intolerant, homophobic, bigoted, raving right-wing, religious nut-case assholes.

‘Save the Six Counties’ Kiddies from C*nts’ anyone?

Politics & Current Affairs

Dear Katie

A lot of my friends believe you should be ignored. You, and the squalid lying rag for which you ‘write’, exist only to perpetuate yourselves and the hate-filled bile you, collectively, insist on vomiting upon the rest of us.

I have, hitherto, agreed. I don’t follow you on Twitter, I certainly don’t read the demented ravings you excrete on a depressingly regular basis and ignoring you has been a pleasure.

That changed, however, when a friend forcefully insisted I read your disgusting, breathtakingly-callous, assault on those fleeing for their lives and who ended up drowning in the Mediterranean scant days ago.

To refresh your memory you wrote: “Show me pictures of coffins, show me bodies floating in water, play violins and show me skinny people looking sad. I still don’t care.”

Well, look at this. Here’s a little girl floating in the water. She is, or rather was, a human little girlbeing. This pitiful wee scrap of humanity had probably been sustained on her terrifying journey by tales of the exciting new life that awaited her. As someone remarked on my Facebook feed, maybe she’s wearing her best dress. Her pretty outfit broken out just for special occasions. Only she never imagined that that occasion would be a water-logged funeral. Not just alone and terrified but actively hated, despised and loathed. By you.

When I look at this photograph all I can see is my beautiful granddaughter and it breaks me. Every fucking time. Imagining her there; dead, floating, alone. This little girl has haunted me from the second I saw this image. I doubt it will ever leave me. I wanted to stop what I was doing and rush to my granddaughter’s side and hug her and never let her go. I cried. More than once.

Anyone with any empathy at all will have had similar feelings. It’s the sort of thing we humans experience frequently. You, on the other hand, are the repugnant cesspit where humanity goes to die.

I’ve heard others say they wish violence upon you. I know that you’ve been reported to the police and others are howling for you to be sacked. What I’d like to do, however, is sit down with your children and read them your article and show them this photograph. And then I’d like to sit and watch you explain to them how you could write such things. But I couldn’t, really. I couldn’t inflict wanton cruelty on children. Unlike you. To sneer, to gloat, to glory in the deaths of children is an act in which only the sickest, most depraved and despicable could indulge.

And there, I suppose, is the real irony of your wretched existence. Your continuing survival partly depends upon the rest of us having the sort of decency and humanity you so evidently lack. And also, to be honest, because dealing with you as you deserve is illegal.

I truly pity your children. They don’t deserve you. No one deserves you. And one day, when you see the detestation and contempt in their eyes, when they look at you as though you’re something they’ve picked up on their shoes – and trust me; it will happen – it’ll still be more than you deserve. In the meantime, let’s hope none of your children ever end their days in terror, pain and suffering because that would be Karmic justice of the most dreadful kind, wouldn’t it?

Politics & Current Affairs

GE 2015: Manifesto Round-up

eddie memeThe madness that is Manifesto Week continues.

The traditional pre-election day dog-and-pony show, which no one should take too seriously, has underlined, yet again, just how surreal British politics has become.

The Jellyfish and his gang pleaded with business and the bosses to heed their earnest entreaties that they’d be the party of “fiscal responsibility.” Cuts would indeed continue, austerity is now a long-term tenant and those sensible Labour chaps would take every measure to calm the fears and nerves of those in the City and in the UK’s boardrooms.

At the same time The Eton Rifle’s cold class warriors asserted their intention to be the party of “working people”, a term no less sickly and patronising than Labour’s “working families.” Thatcher’s right-to-buy scheme would be extended, thirty hours per week of free childcare for three and four year olds would be on offer and Thatcher’s hideous “share-owning democracy” would be alive and well under the Tories.

Of course, we well know that only one of these parties is telling the truth and, sadly, it’s Labour. A point rather starkly made when Scottish Labour’s Jim Murphy assured voters that under Labour there would be no need for further cuts. If an end to austerity was what voters desired, well, no need to vote SNP; Labour, both its Anglo and Caledonian expressions, would sort that out for you.

The Jellyfish must surely have been aghast. Lest his prostration before the high priests of capital be in vain, boot-boy Chuka Umunna was dispatched to correct this deviation from the line. Reassuring the London bean-counters, contrary to Murphy’s increasingly desperate and plot-unravelling ravings, Labour’s Business Secretary cut Jimbo off at the knees. Umunna, a man with all the humanity and class-partisanship of an Excel spreadsheet stated firmly that cuts would continue. Before coolly, and with just the hint of a smirk, pointing out that “the leader of the Scottish Labour Party will not be in charge of the UK budget.” Only one of them is telling the truth and it certainly isn’t Murphy, who spent the following day in hiding, refusing to give any media interviews. In the unlikely event of anyone searching for a time to be sorry for Jimbo, this is about as close as it gets.

Meanwhile, the launch of the Tory manifesto gave The Eton Rifle the chance to pretend that the last five years didn’t happen. Forget the punitive, literally death-inducing, sanctions of the sick and disabled, subsistence-level wages, an entire generation of young people shut out of the housing market, rocketing numbers of food banks, soaring child poverty and full-time workers claiming more benefits than the unemployed, The Eton Rifle had a jolly wheeze in store. A reheated Thatcherism would liberate the working class and enable us all to share in the largesse naturally generated by unfettered free-market neoliberalism.

The Grubby Chancer and his Fib Dems, unquestioningly an unscrupulous and thoroughly nasty clot on an already diseased body politic, demonstrated, once more, an almost inhuman absence of shame.  Begging the electorate to allow him to continue in his role as bridesmaid, to whichever of the two vying brides ends up waltzing down the aisle to Downing Street, The Grubby Chancer was breathtaking.

He would, we were told, provide the Tories with a heart and Labour with a head, should the Fibs continue as coalition partners. A pithy sound-bite, to be sure, but one that will – please, God – gain no traction after a term spent licking Tory boots in between their periodic kicking of the poor and huddled masses.

The Green Party manifesto was met with predictable derision and hostility. After all, how outrageous to include a minimum wage that might actually lift the peasantry from economic serfdom, force the rich to shoulder some social responsibility and rid the UK of Trident. Bat-shit crazy, right?

And so to The Racist. A manifesto almost as long in the making as Guns ‘n’ Roses’ Chinese Democracy album, it was inevitable Farage’s treatise would underwhelm. What was unexpected, however, was hearing the party’s Suzanne Evans defend attacks from the right, while discussing her mob’s policy on immigration, on BBC Radio 5 Live, yesterday afternoon.

In closing, it’s a timely moment to consider Marx. Groucho, that is; not Karl. The comic genius once said that “Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies.” Let’s leave it there…

Thanks to Eddie Truman for the meme.

Politics & Current Affairs

GE 2015: Two Jags and Sturgeon’s Insurgents

bloody nationalistsFollowing the appearance of Plan B on Labour’s campaign trail, last week, Labour’s heavyweights of yesteryear continue to give us their twa bob’s worth. When your narrator uses the term ‘heavyweight’ you’d be forgiven for assuming this is meant in the political sense; to imply authority, credibility, and gravitas. Sadly, in the case presented here, a more literal interpretation edges the reader closer to accuracy.

Yes, Sunday was the turn of John ‘Two Jags’ Prescott to dispense his accumulated wisdom and instruct the unsophisticated electorate in matters of great import. And who better? Few have a more incisive grasp of the unsophisticated than Two Jags.

Judging matters purely on his column in Sunday’s Mirror, respect for the truth concerning I’actualité politique is evidently something with which the former Deputy Prime Minister is unconcerned.

Rehashing the recent smear of the First Minister, Two Jags effectively accused the French diplomats involved in the incident of lying. Desperate stuff indeed. His use of the term “Frenchman” was also instructive; the condescension and dismissive inelegance of the phrase matched only by its inaccuracy. Indeed, by most commonly accepted definitions of the word, the diplomat to whom the crassly blundering Two Jags referred was, in fact, female.

Pushing bravely on he likened Nicola Sturgeon to Margaret Thatcher, a comparison which could only induce tears of laughter or gasps of incredulity. Perhaps both. Given that his former laird and master, Plan B, was described by Thatcher herself as her “greatest achievement” this was the sort of nonsense that went beyond hypocrisy and into terrain hitherto occupied by only the most hysterical.

It is, however, par for the course, as they say. While Scottish Labour has exerted solar-grade quantities of energy in a hopeless bid to convince Scotland’s voters that a vote for the SNP is a vote for the Tories, Her Majesty’s loyal opposition are now pleading with voters to vote ‘tactically’ for the actual Tories, in a hopeless bid to stem the SNP rise. Plots have been well and truly misplaced in that increasingly bizarre place that is Labour’s North British branch office.

Today’s Mirror followed Two Jags’ demented havers with a front-page photo of The Jellyfish striving for his most statesman-like presentation. Incredibly, the headline read ‘My Pledge.’ Viewers in Scotland might wish to file The Jellyfish’s ‘Pledge’ alongside ‘the cheque’s in the post’ ‘the dog ate my homework’ and, of course, ‘The Vow.’

By contrast, The Independent gave space to Mz. Sturgeon. Space used wisely to impress, yet again, just how far the distance in class between her and her rivals stretches. Your narrator happily confesses to a certain subjectivity where the SNP, in general, and Mz. Sturgeon, in particular, are concerned. Nevertheless her assertion that “Labour’s answer in Scotland is not to represent the social democratic values their former voters support, but to mimic the Tory austerity they wrongly believe voters in England back” is impossible to dispute.

The reality is that Sturgeon’s insurgents represent a clearly progressive anti-austerity alternative that not only appeals to the majority of the electorate in Scotland, but, increasingly, to English voters, too. Illusions in bourgeois politicians and parties are foolish things to entertain, of course. Yet the SNP offers an end to Trident, the break-up of the Brit state and the slim possibility of dragging Labour onto the sort of turf for which its left-wing would have us believe their party was historically intended.

While The Jellyfish has explicitly ruled out a coalition with the SNP, it’s interesting to note he has done no such thing where the Tories are concerned. Also, speculation at the weekend, prompted perhaps by little more than bored hacks at The Independent with only thumbs to twiddle, nevertheless concerned a possible favourable reaction from Labour’s high command to the possibility of a coalition with The Grubby Chancer’s Fib Dems.

So what’s the problem, we might well ask, for Labour’s English lefties? Could it be that the vicious and blinding tribalism infecting Murphy’s mob is not simply a Scottish phenomenon?

Meanwhile Common Space’s Michael Gray reports on Ed Balls’ commitment to cut public spending across all the UK, which entirely contradicts Jim Murphy’s protestations that “there don’t have to be any further cuts.”

It’s almost as if Labour has learned absolutely nothing from the backfiring disaster of Project Fear…

Politics & Current Affairs

GE 2015: The Adventures of Baron Rockard and Other Tales

JRSeveral people are alleged to have said that art is never finished; it is merely abandoned. The natural modesty for which I’m renowned prevents me describing my own work in such terms. Nevertheless something of the essence of the phrase made itself felt, many times, during the writing of my latest book, Making Plans for Nigel: a Beginner’s Guide to Farage and UKIP.

On several occasions I deemed the book finished only to then learn of UKIP’s latest howler, scandal or, as the UK’s imperial overlords so eloquently term it, clusterfuck. All of which necessitated a hurried return to the keyboard to update the manuscript, thus ensuring it didn’t date before it had even been published. Sadly, my efforts in this regard, not unreasonably described as Herculean, were akin to King Canute’s legendary struggle with H2O. Almost by the hour new controversies broke, prompting this writer to consider the existence of a malicious deity whose sole pleasure was pushing under-pressure hacks to nervous breakdowns. All of which enables us to transition smoothly to UKIP’s current headline-grabber…

It appears that the party’s Bristol branch vice (groan) chairman John Langley (pictured above), who goes by the name of Baron Rockard (seriously), is also a porn star. As well as, variously, acting as producer, manager and casting agent within the, er, industry.

Space prevents a more detailed and serious examination of the issues thrown up by the news; the exploitation and comodification of women not least among them. However, the widely-published photograph of Baron Rockard looming over the shoulder of a trussed and gagged black woman accomplished what no amount of UKIP manifestos could; that of accurately and honestly revealing the party’s contempt for both BMEs and women. A conclusion that appears not unreasonable, given that the party’s official response to something it, apparently, already knew was that the Baron’s other career presented “no problem.”

In other news, The Jellyfish found himself under fire from The Eton Rifle’s heavier ordnance. Accused of stabbing his brother in the back by Michael Fallon, the Defence Secretary then went on to declare that this would mean The Jellyfish would also stab the nation in the back by junking Trident.

Such accusations confirm several things. Firstly, the personal and spiteful nature of Fallon’s remarks rather neatly underline why the Conservatives are known as the Nasty Party. Secondly, given the historical provenance of the phrase ‘stab in the back’ – something about which it stretches credulity to imagine the highly-educated and patrician Fallon is unaware – we are provided a further glimpse of the covert anti-Semitism that seems to be running in the background where the Tories’ attacks on The Jellyfish are concerned.

Finally, the idea that The Jellyfish has any intention whatsoever of ditching Trident, no matter how many SNP MPs make it to Westminster after May 7th, is the sole province of the deluded and deranged. Continuity Labour represents the same threat to the established order as it has always done; which is to say absolutely none at all.

Any sympathy one might feel for The Jellyfish, however, is tempered somewhat by recalling the craven and opportunist manner in which he scrambled aboard the media bandwagon during the recent attempts to smear Scotland’s First Minister.

Still, to be fair, there have – finally! – been the first faint signs that the testicular fortitude which, thus far, has eluded The Jellyfish might at last be located. Admittedly, one swallow doth not a summer make and all that but there was some small satisfaction to be gained basking in the bourgeois hysteria triggered by his announcement that Labour would abolish nom-dom status for those allergic to taxation.

In conclusion it would be almost negligent to avoid commenting on the latest polls, all of which – to one degree or another – continue to point to Scottish Labour’s near-total destruction at the hands of the SNP. The latest YouGov poll extrapolated current approval ratings and showed that the SNP would take fifty-three of Scotland’s fifty-nine seats, rendering Scottish Labour all but extinct. Obviously, other polls are available etc but it cannot be doubted that the outcome is inevitable. Only the extent of the carnage remains to be seen.

It might, then, be apposite to draw The Jellyfish’s attention to a remark by one of his political ancestors; Nye Bevan’s observation that those who stand in the middle of the road will be run over.  Alas, no matter how apposite it’s now too late for Scottish Labour. ‘Hell bloody mend them’ as my late ma might have said.

Politics & Current Affairs

GE 2015: Power and the Fear of Losing It

tony_blair_1553707cA lust for power does strange things to politicians. History has illustrated the point so depressingly frequently that only the most unglued would consider it a topic meriting further debate. GE 2015, however, is revealing in stark form the bizarre impact that the fear of losing, or not attaining, power has on our political class.

Take Labour, for example – not that the polls are suggesting many are going to – someone, probably several someones, decided it would be a good wheeze to wheel out Tony Blair (henceforth to be referred to by an abbreviation of his near-anagram, Tory Plan B) to give the Jellyfish’s campaign a boost.

Plan B, one of the nation’s leading war criminals, an impressive achievement given the stiff competition historically provided by the Empire on which the sun never set, is an unusual choice of popularity-booster. For starters, the Jellyfish’s desperate and forlorn bid to win the keys to Number. 10 rest mainly on him convincing us that the NHS is Labour’s uncontested home-turf. How novel, then, to draft in the man who did the unthinkable and first set in motion its demise at the hands of the market.

Still, say what you like about Plan B, while his messianic saviour-of-the-world shtick might well owe everything to narcissism and corruption by power, he at least avoids cutting a pitiful figure. Not so the Jellyfish, alas.  How broken must his judgement be, how great his desperation, how cheaply he must value dignity that he’d Tweet about the hugely-despised Plan B thus: “When a serious figure like Tony Blair warns UK national interest is threatened by a Tory 2nd term, people from all parties should take note.” One is almost moved to hug the poor wee fella. Or, as my good friend and comrade, Eddie Truman put it: “The dafty is reduced to punting the thoughts of a man who hates him.” Quite.

Meanwhile, in the land of my infant nurture, or God’s Own Country, as most know Scotland, Jim Murphy’s proximity to reality continues to be at great remove. His performance during the Scottish party leaders’ debate provided several examples but let’s restrict ourselves to just one: “Labour is the party of the common man and the common woman.” Which must be why common men and common women are flocking to the SNP in numbers not seen since the Israelites Exodus from Egypt.

He invited further disapproving frowns by sporting brown shoes with a gray suit, something for which, had I committed such a faux pas,  my much-missed mother would’ve skelped my arse. One doesn’t wish to be shallow, however, and reduce a man’s essence to his clothing and surface appearance. We confine that sort of behaviour to commentary regarding women, of course.

Another pal from North Britain, James Stuart, is clearly enjoying a Wonderful Life as the SNP insurgency shows as much sign of abating as The Eton Rifle not exploiting his sadly deceased son for cheap political gain. James observed, with some satisfaction, “Says a lot about the political environment in Scotland that all the unionist alliance leaders were trying to outflank Nicola Sturgeon from the left. You just know times are getting interesting when even Tory leader Ruth Davidson tries to come across as a bash-the-rich lefty!”

And yet the terror of losing power was revealed in its starkest form, thus far, by The Grubby Chancer. The pusillanimous Clegg, who effortlessly attains a standard for duplicity, opportunism and self-preservation best described as Olympian, is currently leading the pack in terms of gasp-inducing cheek.

The Grubby Chancer insisted that he and his band of Tory-supporting brigands represented the best chance of keeping any future coalition anchored to the centre ground. Indeed, if anchoring to the centre ground could be said to willingly aiding the Tories in quadrupling food banks, killing the sick and disabled and demonising the most vulnerable amongst us, then he’s certainly done that. Oh, and don’t forget tripling tuition fees. Mind you, in today’s Britain that pretty much is the centre ground so, aye; fair point, Cleggy.

Given that the Grubby Chancer is set to lose his Deputy Prime Minister’s job and, possibly, even his own Sheffield Hallam seat, his behaviour is perhaps understandable. Personally, it’s his family I feel sorry for. You can just imagine them begging him “Please don’t tell mam you’re Nick Clegg! She thinks you play the piano in a brothel.”

Politics & Current Affairs

GE 2015: A Very Caledonian Coup

surgFormer Deputy Leader of the Labour Party, Roy Hattersley, a man not noted for his fevered commitment to the communist cause, once advised that we should “never underestimate the British establishment’s ruthless determination to destroy its enemies.”

Sage advice, to be sure, and one wonders if Scotland’s First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, is familiar with the quote. If so, we can imagine her nodding in resigned agreement at the end of an extraordinary week.

She was branded by the Daily Mail as “The Most Dangerous Woman in Britain” – surely a badge of honour, awarded as it was by the notorious Hitler-worshipping rag? – and then wowed even English voters during the leaders’ debate on Thursday evening, topping the many resulting polls.

The events that followed, then, represented a certain inevitability. The SNP oppose austerity, oppose the scape-goating of immigrants and oppose the destruction of free education and the NHS. As someone remarked, in these reactionary times, that’s virtually the transitional programme.

Crucially, the SNP have tacked left under Sturgeon’s leadership and are now even more opposed to the establishment’s austerity consensus. Added, of course, to the party’s determination to see the end of the British state, as it is currently constituted, and their not insignificant commitment to ridding Scotland of Trident. Something it is inconceivable to imagine leaves the Brit state’s bosses on the other side of the Atlantic in a mood of unruffled equanimity.

Fitting, then, one supposes, that the Telegraph gives us a 2015 cover version of the Zinoviev affair. We can only imagine Dacre and the Daily Mail are kicking themselves for not thinking of it first.

The allegation that the First Minister told French diplomats she would prefer a Tory government to one headed by Ed Miliband has, by now, been so comprehensively debunked as to be worthy of little additional commentary.

What is worthy of further scrutiny, however, are the motives behind what is clearly a state-orchestrated fit-up and the reactions to it of, most especially, Scottish Labour.

It is mooted that the smear is plausible because, from a strategic point of view, a Tory government would actually suit the SNP. The thinking is that five more years of Cameron’s Eton Rifles hammering the poor and rolling out further punitive austerity measures would drive even more sickened and desperate Labour supporters into the arms of the SNP.

It’s nonsense on two counts. Firstly, the SNP’s primary objective is independence from the UK. That is far more likely to be achieved – or rather significant concessions towards it – with a battalion of SNP MPs twisting Miliband’s arm behind his back, in exchange for SNP support in a hung Westminster parliament, than it is by trying to get another Holyrood-organised referendum off the ground less than a year after the last one.

Secondly, given the polls unanimously predict an SNP wipe-out of Labour’s branch office in Scotland, who would really believe the SNP would counter such a bonkers strategy just for the sake of mopping up a few more disgruntled Labour voters?

The counter to this is: ah yes but the SNP threaten the Labour vote not the Tory vote! How does framing Nicola Sturgeon as a Tory stooge benefit the Tories and why on earth would they be unhappy with Labour losing votes to the SNP?

Such a question is beyond naïve. We’re talking far bigger stakes than mere party politics. We’re talking the break-up of the Brit state, the ejection of UK, ergo US, nuclear weapons from Scottish soil. And, of course, the shattering of the establishment’s austerity consensus of which Labour, in both its Anglo and Scottish expressions, is a crucial part. Labour is, not to overstate the case, an important plank of the Brit state’s self-defence mechanism and, in this sense, the Tories’ junior partner.

Finally, and feel free to fire accusations of naivety right back at this writer, Sturgeon and the bulk of the SNP are conviction politicians. No one is suggesting that they are the Bolsheviks reincarnated; indeed Richard Seymour makes the not unfair suggestion that the party shouldn’t even be labelled as ‘left’ but rather ‘progressive’. But for all that, on an essentially human level, Sturgeon represents a streak of decency and integrity almost extinct in British politics.

No, what we have here is a vengeful and frightened Brit state lashing out at its biggest threat. Project Fear: Part Two is well underway and there will be more to come. An uppity, lefty, female Jock having the cheek to take on the Brit state? We can be sure the Sir Humphreys are already massing.

Politics & Current Affairs

GE 2015: The Beautiful Game

threeBritish politicians, It’s not unreasonable to suggest, are not held in especially high regard; for reasons too numerous and wearyingly familiar to expound here. And yet last night’s leadership debate offered fresh delights. New opportunities to sharpen one’s contempt and indulge in some, as the parlance of the day would have it, LOLZ.

Watching The Grubby Chancer attack the Eton Rifle for his recent governmental record, for example, you’d be forgiven for assuming the Lib Dems had spent the last five years furiously manning the barricades and lobbing Molotov Cocktails into the bourgeois eateries where the 1922 Committee meets. Instead of, as we well know, actually being part of that government and rejecting any and every opportunity to withdraw Lib Dem support and see the coalition crumble.  It would, therefore, have been a most uncharitable soul who would’ve denied The Jellyfish his moment of unadulterated glee: “They’re blaming each other!” he exclaimed, before delivering, in all fairness, a truly great punch-line: “And they’re both right!”

The Racist, disconcertingly resembling a bellicose bullfrog more and more these days, is not a man to allow taste, decency or humanity to interfere in the serious business of demonising foreigners. His impressive resistance to those qualities displayed itself in even bolder form, however, when he insisted those AIDS-ridden dregs daring to come to the UK so they might just be able to, you know, live be denied. You just can’t fake the class a decent public school gives a chap.

The Lass from The Valleys was quickest off the mark suggesting The Racist be ashamed of himself. A suggestion that, one can only conclude, is as likely to be heeded as The Jellyfish declaring that “We will now proceed to construct the socialist order.”

Talking of lasses, there can be little doubt that Mz. Sturgeon was the surprise turn of the evening. So effective was she that those English persons previously given to bitching about Jocks coming down here and founding their national bank, sharing their penicillin, steam engines, telephones and whatnot, underwent conversions which could only be described as Damascene.

Yes, now it seems a significant number of our English brothers and sisters are demanding SNP candidates stand in the leafy Tory shires. One wag of my acquaintance going so far as to suggest the Scottish border be extended to the Watford Gap. Which would certainly make the phrase ‘the Deep South’ amusingly analogous…

The reaction of the Brit left was instructive. Once upon a time breaking up states, wrecking constitutions and so forth, was popular among communists, socialists and assorted revolutionaries. These days, seemingly, such things are passé. They’ve even got a new name for it: ‘pandering to nationalism’ they call it. As opposed, one can only presume, to pandering to the state, the Union and continuing austerity?

For example, twice The Jellyfish hung his head in what must be the closest thing to shame a machine politician can ever know. Firstly, on his assertion that under his premiership the minimum wage would rise to eight quid an hour by 2020, The Ozzie’s left-hook response of ten quid an hour landed the first of a number of embarrassing blows.

There was more. The Jellyfish, vainly scrambling for some lefty high-ground, insisted that corporate interests be allowed to make no more than five percent profit from the NHS. Whereupon the female trio successfully deployed outflanking manoeuvres stating that no profit at all should be made by anyone from the NHS. Ouch.

And that, in essence, was what really mattered about last night, insofar that such political beauty contests can ever be said to really matter. On one side The Eton Rifle, The Jellyfish and The Grubby Chancer comprise the Austerity All-Stars. On the other hand Progressive Social Democracy United with Captain Sturgeon as striker, Bennett spraying crosses from the left wing and Wood, in a holding mid-field role, offer an anti-austerity alternative.

Politics as the beautiful game eh? It could be…