Ed’s mini band

Ed Miliband and the Labour shadow cabinet have tried a new variant on the drive-by unionist technique. Not for them the Tory trick of sending up a cabinet meenister to Scotland, spraying a few dud bullets then running away again before anyone noticed they’re there and ridiculed them. Oh no. Labour is different from the Tories. Their entire shadow cabinet came up to Scotland and ran away again without even bothering with the dud bullets. They just went straight to being ridiculed.

Fortunately for Labour’s self destructive visit, the ongoing self destruction of the CBI took most of the headlines. Just today the Sunday Herald reported that CBI’s Scotlandshire director Ian McMillan is to get his jotters. Or rather, he’s taking early retirement, it was planned months ago, no really, and announcing it this weekend so everyone assumes he’s carrying the can is just more poor timing and honest mistaking on the part of the CBI’s bosses.

But back to Ed. According to the ever loyal Severin Carrell writing in the Guardian, Ed made an important speech at a meeting at an undisclosed location in darkest Lanarkshire – which was later identified as a community hall in Muirhouse in Motherwell where Ed was heckled on the way in and on the way out again.

Sevvie Bull-As-Stories lived up to his reputation as the Guardian’s guff correspondent, vailantly pretending that Ed and the Labour party haven’t lost their balls in the long Scottish grass. Although if they lost Ed Balls that might be a good start to finding their way back. Sevvie was keen to show Ed was engaging with the great unwashed, that would be us, and told us that the audience at the meeting was made up of no voters, yes voters and don’t knows. But the only bogie Labour scored was the one dangling from their nose, the one that makes the rest of us feel a bit nauseus to look at them.

Sevvie described the event as a public meeting, which is true and not remotely misleading – but only if you think public means “by private invitation only” and that the Royal Troon is a cooncil golf course which allows everyone to join even if they don’t have a dick. Labour’s leadership would have no problem with membership, seeing as how it’s full of them.

But of course Labour is the peepul’s party and is open to everyone, even those without a penis. Or indeed those without any apparent sense of shame. So any Labour event is public by definition, including the shadowy shadow cabinet meeting later held behind locked doors at a secret secret venue in Glasgow. Shadow cabinet meetings are pretty pointless at the best of times, but making a big deal about taking the shadow cabinet to Scotland – see they’re so in touch with our concerns – then not telling anyone where you’re holding the meeting, not even the tame media, not allowing anyone to ask any questions, and not telling anyone what was discussed piles up enough pointlessness to keep Alexander Armstrong and Richard Osman in trading witty banter for at least an entire 45 minute programme.

What wasn’t so clear from Sevvie’s not at all misleading report was that the audience consisted entirely of Labour loyalists, of people who haven’t ripped up their club membership cards after 13 years of Blair, Brown, illegal wars, and the party being intensely relaxed about a tiny minority getting extremely rich and blagging subsidised drinkies at the 19th hole. Yet Ed failed to convince even these long suffering sowels. His performance was distinctly below par. And that’s the last of the golfing references. I hate the bloody game anyway. I also hate the games Labour plays, but you’ve probably worked that out for yourselves by now.

The people in the audience weren’t just any auld punters. They’re the front line troops that Better Together is relying on to go round chapping on doors, handing out leaflets in the streets, and trying to persuade the rest of us of the case for the Union. Reliance upon Labour’s footsoldiers was a core part of their top down strategy. Many of them will be taking an active role in the campaign, handing out leaflets and chapping on doors. Unfortunately for Ed they’ll be campaigning for a yes vote.

So you can understand why Sevvie wanted to stress the publicky public overtly open nature of an internal Labour gathering. Because if a meeting of Labour loyalists is producing an audience of yes voters and don’t knows, Better Together is totally screwed. But that’s what happens when you try to build a national campaign from the top down, the roof falls in on you.

Meanwhile, Better Together’s resident space hopper, Blair McDougall, was tweeting excitedly that there was “big news” in the indy ref campaign. He wasn’t talking about Ed, no one was. He wasn’t talking about the CBI, hoping that particular story would go into early retirement with Ian McMillan. Blair’s big news was that Frank Roy, the Labour MP for Motherwell, was going to be the new campaign manager, and he was responsible for Labour winning the General Election in 2010, at least in Scotland. At least if you believe Blair.

Frankie’s opposed to gay marriage, and even though the matter is devolved to Holyrood, he voted against allowing gay people in England and Wales to get married. He has managed to absent himself from a long series of votes on issues concerning lesbian and gay equality. Including the vote to abolish the infamous Section 28, a piece of Thatcherite hate legislation that criminalised the “promotion” of homosexuality by public bodies. Frankie has had multiple chances to consign hate laws to the bin, but didn’t avail himself of the opportunity. I’m sure I recently heard someone severely criticising the Yes campaign for accepting a donation from Brian Souter who campaigned to retain that homophobic legislation. Perhaps Blair will remind us who it was.

Frankie has truly fearsome powers of persuasion. In February he debated independence with the other other Blair, the Jenkins one, in front of his home crowd in Motherwell. In its report on the event, which members of the public without Labour party membership cards were actually allowed entry to, the Record sniffed that the no campaign really was in trouble if all those apathetic unionists out there couldn’t be bothered to show up. But it’s possibly just as well that they didn’t, as the paper also reported that towards the end of the debate an English member of the audience stood up and announced that Frankie’s woeful arguments had convinced him to switch from nailed on no to supporting yes.

All the pillars of Better Together’s campaign strategy are crumbling one by one. The CBI will not provide firing cover under a camouflage net of neutrality, Labour’s foot soldiers have deserted or mutinied, and the man just appointed to persuade us to switch from yes to no can’t even persuade no voters to support him. Ed’s mini band gets smaller and smaller every day.

The truth is, if it wasn’t for the likes of Severin and his media pals desperately trying to breathe life into the corpse, Better Together would have been cremated months ago.


15 comments on “Ed’s mini band

  1. Capella says:

    Frank who?

  2. Eilean says:

    I know that community hall in Muirhouse. It is named after a former Labour councilor “Isa Money” Honestly I’m no making that up! Although the Isa Money comunity hall is in a high density population area it is up the back of a scheme and well off the beaten track. Im surprised half of them didn’t get lost trying to find it. Muirhouse is close by the Shields Rd. high flats. The big ones on your right as you drive up the M74. I have a fondness for these flats. Whenever I have driven home after a long journey I see the flats and know that I will be home in jig time.

    Win or lose this referendum it sure has exposed Labour in general and Scotland in particular for what they are. I am not a Labour voter but I feel sorry for genuine Labour supporters that have been betrayed by their own party. Is it a betrayal or just pure incompetence or perhaps both. Who knows. Anyway even if there is a no vote I can’t imagine “Scottish” Labour in its present form surviving for long.

    I can’t think of any current Labour MP or MSP that I would let run a bath never mind a country, not a single one!

  3. chicmac says:

    Frankie Woes To Holyrood.

  4. chicmac says:

    Maybe Severin Snape is the ultimate mole? Pretending to be on the dark side but really working for the light side, even sacrificing himself for the cause in the end.

    Always think the best of folk peeps.

  5. Aberdeen Lass says:

    Ed’s mini band describes Labour in Scotland perfectly. They have shown themselves to have absolutely no redeeming features at all.
    “Bogie noses r us” right enough, I’m still laughing at the thought!

  6. The photograph, alongside Severin’s article, of Ed speaking showed an audience of young people dragged along for the occasion, looking bored out their skulls, and wondering how much longer they needed to sit there. They weren’t an audience — they were scenery.

    Am still wondering what the purpose of it was. Secret meetings compared to the Scottish government well-advertised events with questions, and even an invitation to join cabinet members afterwards for a cup of tea and a biscuit and informal chat.

    • bringiton says:

      It’s how the Westminster mind set works.
      Nothing exists in the real world beyond the TV cameras and friendly journalists.
      Media manipulation is entirely what they are about which is one of the main reasons why they are losing the referendum debate.
      Public meetings and internet freedom have bypassed their media machinery and now leave them Nowhere to go.
      The internet in particular has allowed citizen soapboxing which hasn’t been seen on this scale for several generations.
      The 1960’s TV show “Lost in Space” had a robot which used to flail it’s arms around and shout “Danger Danger” or “Warning Warning” which sums up for me where the No campaign are at.

  7. smiling vulture says:

    The Pro Union press today(sorry everyday)(every paper) bar declaration of Arbroath is full of smear,innuendo.i fear margo,s ask bitter divisions to be healed,nation to seek a unity of purpose whatever the result.

    Scotland being trashed,day in,day out is leaving a scar

  8. liz says:

    ‘They just went straight to being ridiculed’ – LOL.

    What really gets to me though is that folk in places like Motherwell will still vote for them.

    It’s like a religion or supporting a football team – through thick and thin.

    Also you can’t argue with blind ignorance.
    I was following a twitter exchange with the Rev and a woman who is against a yes because of the too wee, etc who lives in Norway at the moment who doesn’t believe that Scotland owns the oil and is worried about us not getting into the EU – irony overload.

  9. macart763M says:

    It had been trumpeted for a couple of weeks prior to arrival, this shadow cabinet visit. This was going to show us how much Labour take this referendum seriously. What we get is a closed doors top secret spam fest with the demoralised party faithful. Sound bites duly reported by another of the faithful natch.

    If anything this ‘visit’ is every bit as insulting as Cameron’s and on other levels even worse. No open address or forum. No opportunity for public question and answer and no real respect shown to the wider Scottish electorate. Some game changer.

    Its as clear as day our only value to parliamentary Labour is excess seats in a majority government. They couldn’t give a stuff for the plight of the people they were charged to be a voice for and represent. We gave these people our votes loyally for decades to be rewarded with food bank culture and poverty. God, some of the very worst affected areas are Labour constituencies. Why didn’t Ed take his ‘team’ on a little walk about some of these constituencies and talk to people on the street? Perhaps he doesn’t feel comfortable? The wee soul.

    It couldn’t have been made any plainer to us IMO. We’re cannon fodder for Westminster power and that’s all that matters to the likes of Miliband, Balls & Co.

    • Yep, dead right Mac. But it’s still not them I’m bothered about, it’s the “proud scots” who get my goat. I know it’s too much to hope for that these despicable creatures who take delight in rubbishing their country at every opportunity will disappear in an independent Scotland, but here’s hoping.

      • macart763M says:

        The Robertsons, Davidsons and Currans are running out of time. We win this, they can stay and put their money where their mouth is or they can sling it and hope that Westminster Labour will reward their efforts on behalf of the party.

        Be interesting to see just what regard their leadership holds for them.

  10. […] Ed Miliband and the Labour shadow cabinet have tried a new variant on the drive-by unionist technique. Not for them the Tory trick of sending up a cabinet meenister to Scotland, spraying a few dud …  […]

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