The Messiah by the Squinty Bridge

If devolution is a journey, can Dougie Alexander please tell us the destination? Otherwise we’re on a mystery tour. I went on a mystery tour once. It was all very exciting. We got on the coach and were taken to a mock historical tourist trap to be fleeced by vendors of overpriced tat, before being taken back to where we started and being dumped at a bus stop after the last privatised bus of the day had already gone. And then I had to walk home in the rain, poorer, pissed off, exhausted, and considerably more cynical than I had been at the beginning. Which anyone who knows me will tell you is quite an achievement. So exactly like Dougie’s devolution journey then.

Dougie’s been taking the Proud Scot pills again. He loves all sorts of stuff about Scotland that’s not going to change whether we’re independent or not, like the scenery, and things that happened 200-odd years ago. He cites a pair of Scottish Enlightenment philosophers, and their contrasting views on the human condition.

Francis Hutchison’s [sic] argument that humanity finds its contentment in the contribution we each make to the well-being of our neighbour contrasting with Lord Kaimes’s [sic] view that our human condition is to crave what the other owns, and the structures, and so the peace, of society are built on the laws we create to protect what we possess.

Dougie prefers Hutcheson’s Better Together caring and sharing over the implied selfish materialism of the Lord Kames nats. It’s the lookit my ProudScotBut intellectual credentials intro into the main gig. Which would have been more convincing if Dougie had spelled their names right, but still, points for trying. The wee sowel’s been making one of his plaintive pleas for solidarity again. He does that because half the Labour party hates him, and the other half is his sister.

Mind you, Hutcheson was born in Ireland, and is buried in Dublin where he spent much of his life. His work was influential to the later foundation of the Society of United Irishmen, an early forerunner of the Irish republican movement, which sought to unite Catholic and Protestant in the goal of an Irish state for the benefit of all. Kames was yer actual diehard Unionist who had Benjamin Franklin as a penpal. He tried to persuade Franklin of the benefits of Union, but Franklin was unconvinced. Perhaps Dougie ought to have thought his examples through a bit more carefully before citing them like IQ baubles. It’s Wendy that’s the one with the galactic intelligence, isn’t it?

The Scotsman helpfully illustrated the piece with a photie of Dougie in a Christ-like pose with the Squinty Bridge forming his halo. He’s a martyr for the Union, offering himself for sacrifice to the vinegar tipped spears of the cybernat centurions. He’s the saviour of devo and will redeem Scotland’s sinful worship of the devil of independence. He’s the walker on the waters of Better Together’s effluent. Yea, verily, he is the forgiving son of the vengeful Gord. And he will die a death, but will rise again, and again, as often as the Scotsman keeps printing his solidarity sales pitch. Which appears to be weekly from now until September.

But at least he’s trying to pitch a positive case. It’s just a shame he’s got such poor material to work with. He’s reduced to saying that no is positive, and getting anyone to believe that is a bigger miracle than entertaining a wedding party in Canna when all you’ve got is the bitter water of crocodile tears.

Dougie, what with him being an expert on solidarity and everything because he likes Irish philosophers, tells us:

Solidarity, if it is anything, is about never giving in or simply giving up. There’s nothing positive or progressive about walking away from the ideal or the practice of solidarity.

Only no one is suggesting that, cept maybe in Dougie’s head. Solidarity, if it is anything, is about doing more than making meaningless gestures, it’s about more than being the moral compass that Gordie lost. Scotland remaining within the union is meaningless gestural solidarity. It cannot protect the poor and marginalised of the rest of the UK from Conservative rule, and it subjects Scotland to decades long bouts of Tory governments that we didn’t vote for.

No one, least of all supporters of Scottish independence, is proposing to “give up” on the struggle for social equality, for the fair distribution of wealth, for opportunities for all. Solidarity, if it means anything, means recognising that some strategies are not working, have not worked for a long time, and show no signs that they’ll start working within the lifetime of anyone alive today. The British Parliamentary Road to socialism was crucified a long time ago, but it will take more than a miracle to bring it back from the dead. And looking at the front bench of the Labour party it’s difficult to discern anyone with godlike powers. It sure as hell isn’t Dougie.

Scotland, as Dougie points out, contributes 10% of the UK’s income with just 8% of its population. He tells us that this is something to be proud of, and it is. He tells us solidarity dictates that we should share our good fortune, because he has the moral authority of Christ by a Squinty Bridge. It’s just a terrible shame who we’re sharing it with. If we were sharing our good fortune with the poor and the marginalised in the rest of the UK that would indeed be just fine and dandy and supersolidaritocious. But we’re not sharing it with them though, are we.  Dougie’s not the Messiah, he’s just a very naughty boy.  Which I only wrote because a Life of Brian reference is obligatory in this sort of context.

We’re sharing our good fortune with London transport infrastructure, with bank bailouts, with tax cuts for millionaires, with defence contractors, with ATOS and G4S, with Trident and with the Westminster gravy train. And for those people, Scotland, along with Northern England, Wales, and just about everywhere outside boardrooms in the south east and the corridors of Westminster, are the gift that keeps on giving. We’ve been giving so long they now see it as an entitlement, and they take a bigger slice of the pie with every passing year. The UK is now one of the most unequal countries in the developed world.  Social and economic inequality in the UK is now worse than at any time since WW2.  The UK only got less equal during Labour’s 13 years in office, when Dougie held various cabinet posts.

It probably counts as monstering to point out that Dougie and the Parliamentary Labour party are amongst the recipients in this deal. Calling upon others to make a meaningless gesture which keeps you in a job at great cost to those making the gesture is the exact opposite of solidarity. It’s the liquidisation of hope.

I don’t think that’s what Jesus would do Dougie. Unlike Dougie, I’m not a Christian, but I seem to recall the teaching that Jesus died for our sins. Dougie wants Scotland to die for the Labour party’s.

25 comments on “The Messiah by the Squinty Bridge

  1. […] The Messiah by the Squinty Bridge […]

  2. Maggie Craig says:

    Well, “the never to be forgotten” Francis Hutcheson wouldn’t have supported the Jacobites in 1745 but I don’t think he’d be in the Better Together camp in 2014. He believed and taught that citizens living under a tyrannical regime shouldn’t only be expected to rebel, it was their duty to rebel. I’m not suggesting that we’re living under a tyrannical regime but I’d extrapolate that to: if the United Kingdom isn’t working any more, let’s stand up and demand a new settlement, ie independence for Scotland and encouragement to other parts of the UK who want and need more autonomy.

  3. diabloandco says:

    Your tempting me to go and look at the god awful Scotsman – I can’t , I musn’t I promised myself never to go there again! Mindful of blood pressure.

    But D.Alexander with a halo????oooh!

  4. hektorsmum says:

    Well I am glad you looked into the Scotsman, I did my best yesterday with a little look at the Daily Telegraph, oooh, now that was awful enough but I have not be into the Scotsman in so many years unless I have had an invitation from someone. I loved the idea of Dougie, the naughty boy am I correct in saying he has made a mess of every campaign he has been in charge of, so BT should be more careful. Gordon the useless one day and the equally useless Dougie the next. Alistair you’re jobs safe for now.

  5. I had thought David Cameron was God’s anointed. Now I’m horribly confused.

    I don’t think Dougie will ever grow into these headphones. I notice the caption describes him as “Danny”, an easy mistake to make.

    • The only reason Cameron, Miliband, and their acolytes have found God in what they are now telling us is a Christian country, is because Farage is going to decimate their vote, in England, on the 22nd, May.

  6. Douglas (NOT Alexander) says:

    I agree and think that is exactly what we should do once we have power over our own finance: Targeted foreign aid to the most needy in rUK.
    We would need the same approach as is used for dodgy regimes elsewhere -ensuring the aid goes directly to the needy and not to the government for the rich (or to be spent on arms).
    An Independent Scotland that is philanthropic and outward looking will make it harder for the elite to maintain the illusion that nothing can be done for the poor -where ever they are.

    • bearinorkney says:

      They would stop funding the needy and quite happily allow the SG to do it. They shouldn’t be encouraged.

      • Douglas (NOT Alexander) says:

        Fair enough, I’d forgotten that they have no shame… Red Cross Parcels, food banks and the like. I still think any aid should go direct rather than through government channels… aid will be needed when this house of cards collapses

  7. JimW says:

    “Solidarity, if it is anything, is about never giving in or simply giving up. There’s nothing positive or progressive about walking away from the ideal or the practice of solidarity.”

    If Douglas Alexander thinks this is what is happening he doesn’t really understand the strength or direction of the movement at all. It is not about giving up or walking away from anything. It more a case of galloping towards a promising and exciting future where we can choose our own direction, choose our own friends, and choose what kind of country we want to live in. There will even be space in it for Douglas Alexander.

  8. xsticks says:

    Have the whole unionist camp taken up religion in an attempt to salve their selfish consciences? Do they think that they can somehow claim the moral high ground through indirect religious references? If there was a Christian God he’d be turning in his grave at the hypocracy of the UK OK unionists. Can’t get rid of them quick enough. Especially Dougie and his labour lot.

  9. macart763 says:

    That’s a beaut Paul.

    Douglas Alexander is right. We do generate more than our fair share for our population size. People should ask themselves though, why this has proven of absolutely no benefit to their lives in Scotland. Better yet Mr Alexander should explain, in his best holier than thou voice, just why sharing this excess and abundance has resulted in the poor being criminalised and the birth of food bank culture.

    I wonder if he’d cite your own list of reasons Paul or whether he’d bugger off back to his Westminster cubby hole to compose his next sermon on solidarity? I don’t think the lad’s answered a single question for the whole of the campaign to date far as I know. He’s shouted over a lot of people. He’s shouted loads of questions at others. He’s shouted his sermons to any passing media hack or broadcaster, but quietly listening and answering a few? Not so much.

  10. yerkitbreeks says:

    It was a pleasure yesterday to see all of Scotland’s local ( MSP ) politicians laud something Scottish together – Margo. At least they had that in common.

    On the other hand what have the MPs in common with us as judged by the diatribes mainly from Labour. It emphasises the disconnect that grows from obtaining a safe seat guaranteed by monochrome voters. Living for years in Kent I saw first hand the same effect with Tory ones ( Patrick Mayhew, John Stanley, Geoffrey Johnston Smith etc ) also groomed for power and inserted into safe seats but who often couldn’t be arsed to answer a letter from a constituent on a local issue.

    Alexander’s behaviour is therefore nothing surprising – he simply hasn’t bothered to explore the grassroots nature of what’s happening up here.

    The recent religious thing by the way is nothing more than a ploy to keep tories from absconding to UKIP next month.

  11. Nigel Mace says:

    Splendid throughout. Do I begin to detect that the whole BT outfit from Downing Street to Kirkcaldy is deeply infected with the disabling assumption that this cannot happen to them – just as Scottish Labour have still not adjusted to being out of office? The semi-conscious complacency of the article in today’s Herald seems to mirror this, which is what also seems to lurk behind the new (I mean fresh – not that other thing) Labour assault on Scottish opinion. I suspect we’re in no mood to be mugged.

  12. […] The Messiah by the Squinty Bridge. […]

  13. James Coleman says:

    “It’s Wendy that’s the one with the galactic intelligence, isn’t it?”:

    and it shows as Dougie tries to keep up by using big words and quotes by ancient philosophers.

    A really excellent article. Shows the Dug is far cleverer than the Doug.

  14. wee e says:

    He’s a martyr for the Union, offering himself for sacrifice to the vinegar tipped spears of the cybernat centurions.

    O god! Independence has all the best writers. In knots, here.

  15. smiling vulture says:

    spelt names wrong—-HA,HA,HA

  16. liz says:

    Wee Dougie has the dubious distinction of being MP for Paisley when it became the only town in the UK to suffer a credit crash during the credit boom years, when labour were in power.

    Ego the size of a planet.

  17. […] If devolution is a journey, can Dougie Alexander please tell us the destination? Otherwise we're on a mystery tour. I went on a mystery tour once. It was all very exciting. We got on the coach and …  […]

  18. […] He bangs the drum for a system that has failed and continues to fail, that is endlessly imaginative at finding ways to make the wealthiest in our society even more obscenely rich and yet demonizes the weakest in our society for the simple failure of not being lucky enough to have been born into wealth. A system that happily stole territory from the Scotland Dougie claims to love so much. I applaud the attempt to be positive but again feel sorrow at the intellectual bankruptcy and dishonesty (he even screws up on the philosophical front). […]

  19. chicmac says:

    TBF to Dougie, he did put the knife into GB (Gordon Broon that is). Unfortunately that seems to have been as ineffectual as chibbing Banquo’s ghost.

    Sadly, the magic formula to extinguish that particular manifestation of the undead is elusive. Wooden stakes, silver bullets, have all been tired and failed. Perhaps a bullet made from gold (sold off at record lows) might do the trick.🙂

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