According to one theory, there is an infinite number of universes, which in turn means that all possible things which can potentially happen do in fact happen somewhere in the infinite multiverse, no matter how implausible or unlikely. There is a universe where there are actually more Tory MPs in Scotland than pandas, it’s one of the Hell Dimensions. There’s also a universe where Reporting Scotland is a really good news programme, although quantum physicists consider this less plausible than the universe where the Daily Mail publishes an editorial begging the UK Government to allow in more asylum seekers from countries which Westminster has invaded.
However yesterday we discovered we reside in perhaps the most singular universe of all, the blessed land where Gordon Brown actually tells the truth for once. No really, it did happen.
Gord has now admitted that he’s an ex-politician, something the rest of us have known for quite some time. You have to phase these things out gradually you know, so he’s still drawing his MP’s salary, and his expenses, and gaining contributions to his pension pot and pay offs. He gave up doing any work himself a long time ago.
But we must not be harsh on him, he’s really just practising the message that he preached while in high office. He’s privatised his constituency work by farming it out to office staff he pays for out of expenses. So he’s really a job creator and not a parasite.
Gord has lied for years on just about everything, mostly to himself, but also to the rest of us. He was the Labour Chancellor who proudly stuck to Tory spending plans and Tory attitudes to the jobless. He had a moral compass but it was really a device for telling the direction in which to sling some mud. He was the man with a plan who was going to put the Labour back into New Labour, but it turned out the only plan was how to get his paws on Tony Blair’s job. Gord approached politics like an obsessive Monroe bagger, once he’d reached the highest peak he didn’t know what to do with himself.
The blessed land where this miraculous truth telling occurred was not Scotland, that’s too ridiculous for any universe in which we’re not yet independent. It was Qatar. Gordie was doing what he does best when he’s not got a book to plug or an after-dinner speech to make for nothing more than his food, travel, lodgings and a very fat cheque. He does it all for charidee you know. He was punching above the weight of the constituents of Kirkaldy at an international summit on something terribly important, held at a posh and lavishly appointed conference and hotel centre. Conveniently somewhere warm where people think he’s the former prime minister ingliziya.
Removing themselves from being subject to difficult questions is the only demonstrable skill possessed by Scotland’s Labour politicians. They are experts in disappearing, world class in fact. It’s surprising that they didn’t demand hide and seek to be added to the list of Olympic sports when the games were held in London. Between Gordie Broon, Johann Lamont and Jim Murphy they’d have snapped up gold, silver and bronze. It would have given them an excuse to wrap themselves in Union flags and pose on the front of United with Labour leaflets. Only there aren’t any leaflets.
United with Labour is the invisible campaign for invisible politicians. Despite being launched with a fanfare of “that’ll show thae nats a thing or three” puffery from media hacks, Labour’s own campaign to save the Union in a way that doesn’t involve being photographed with Conservatives has managed to garner just 6 friends and 47 likes on its Facebook page. I almost felt sorry for it. Even Gary Glitter’s got more people who believe him than that.
Johann Lamont has learned well from Gordie, many would say she now surpasses the old master in the vanishing arts. It’s much harder for Johann to hide, since she’s rarely invited to international conferences in warm countries. No one in Labour’s London office seems to have heard of the supposed leader of the party in Scotland, she didn’t even figure on the CC list for the report into the goings on within the Falkirk constituency party, so it’s hardly surprising no international conference organisers have heard of her either.
After briefly emerging to have a wee gloat over a predictable Dunfermline by election result, chicken Johann has gone back into hiding in order to avoid being asked any questions about the flustercluck that was the role of Labour and the Unite union in the Grangemouth crisis. Labour and Unite spent the past few months attacking one another with the single minded fury of battery chickens on steroids determined to establish who ruled the roost. They forgot all about the Ineos fox intent on devouring Grangemouth’s wee chicks in high visibility jaickets.
For all that they preach that Scotland should demonstrate solidarity with workers in England, Labour’s pretty poor at showing solidarity with workers themselves. Grangemouth showed that Labour’s sole interest is Labour. Unite’s sorry role in the Grangemouth affair is nothing to be proud of either, but at least their basic point is correct. The Labour party was established by the union movement as a vehicle for workers’ rights. But the Labour party has transformed the union movement into a vehicle for the Labour party.
Now the Labour party rails against the evil inquities of avaricious foxes, but when in office Labour embarked on a fox breeding programme with all the enthusiasm of their Tory predecessors, and cut down the chicken wire protecting the coops saying it was a barrier to business. They muzzled the guard dogs and sold off the chicken sheds. They created the conditions that allowed Grangemouth to be so vulnerable.
Johann doesn’t want to answer any questions about this. And it’s terribly unfair of us to think she should. After all, it’s not like a Unite sponsored MSP and nominal leader of the Labour party in Scotland could possibly know anything about a major bitch-fest between Labour and Unite that ended up being the blue touch paper on a powder keg of petrochemicals.
Labour doesn’t want us to think about its role in leaving Scottish industry a sitting duck for any passing capitalist predator, a legacy of the ex-politician on a freebie to Qatar. Instead we must allow Johann to get back to doing what she does best. Lying down in a darkened room until she can think of something to accuse Alex Salmond of. It’s her only apparent purpose. She’s a fat lot of use for anything else.
Scotland’s Labour politicians have been known to submerge for weeks and months on end, only finally surfacing for a brief period, usually in order to accuse Alex Salmond of something. It’s a skill in which they are rivalled only by Nessie, except for the accusing Alex Salmond bit, although it is fair to say there are more plausible sightings of Nessie than Gordie or Johann. It’s also probably true that Nessie would be capable of giving a far more coherent account of herself, but that’s by the by.
However the similarities far outweigh the differences. All are elusive cold blooded reptilians, all have a reputation that is largely mythical, and all are easy to confuse with lumps of dead wood floating at an odd angle.
Johann Lamont is an ex-politician too, she’s just not admitted it yet. Perhaps in an independent Scotland a real Labour party can rise from the ashes of despair created by the current incarnation. It’s unlikely that Johann or Gordon will have any role in it, then perhaps they can disappear forever.