The clunking fist has clunked again. Gordie’s gone and punched above his weight right through the middle of Alistair Darling’s carefully contrived strategy to frighten seven shades of shite out of Scotland. BBC Scotland’s Westminster correspondent has been speaking to Labour MPs, and they’re not best pleased. Not displeased about Ali trying to terrify their constituents, they’re fine with that. Scaring the ordinaries is part of the job when you’re an unaccountable Labour MP in a safe Scottish seat, the worst that will ever happen to your career is getting bumped up to the Lords. No, they’re displeased that Gordie’s stuffed himself like a buttplug in the diarrhoea production plan.
Some have tutted. A couple raised an eyebrow. But largely they screamed traditional Scottish miffednesses – most of which start with words beginning with f, and contain words starting with a c and ending with a t. Someone said Gordie was a bit silly. That was probably St Dougie the Diminutive, because it would spoil his Holy Wullie image to swear at a reporter. He is however looking up Bible verses containing references to arses.
The reason for the ire is that Project Fear ignored Alicsammin’s repeated demands that it was only reasonable that the First Minister of Scotland should debate with the Prime Minister of Scotland, and had ridden out the resultant fireworks. Gordie’s just relit the blue touch paper by doing the unthinkable – conceding that Alicsammin might actually have a valid point. This breaks the first rule in the Project Fear playbook, which was carefully written out by Alistair in green crayon large enough even for Gordie to read it. But Gordie was too busy hiding under his sulking rock and wouldn’t come out until he was offered a speaking engagement where he got star billing.
The calls for Davie Cameron to get kicked from one end of a debating chamber to another by Alicsammin now have Gordie’s voice in support. The guy who was in Davie Cameron’s job before him thinks that Davie ought to man up and sacrifice his dignity for Britain. Lots of people in Scotland think that too, but mainly because we relish the prospect of witnessing Davie the PR man having the pee ripped out him and rammed up his Rs.
The Labour party is now frantically seeking a stool softener for Gordon. Anything, in fact, that will help to flush him away, even a loo brush would do but Alistair has refused to supply the badger hair even though diving into toilets in search of putrid rot is his sole area of expertise outside expenses maximisation. Gordie has taken it upon himself to be the Saviour of the Union and to point out all Alistair’s errors in the process, and everyone else’s. But mainly pointing out Alistair’s, because getting one up on an entry on his ever lengthening list of Them What Done Him Wrong is how Gordie understands politics.
It is conceivably possible that Gordon Brown and Alistair Darling are the same person. They never appear in the same room together, and rumours persist that Gordon is what Alistair turns into after he’s been hit on the heid by a flying Nokia. What’s harder to conceptualise however, is how Gordon thinks he can be the reasonable Dr Jekyll to Alistair’s nasty Mr Hyde when both of them are equally monstrous.
Gordie’s been making some very unhelpful statements. In his interview with whoever believes he still possesses a nanogramme of credibility – essentially Gordie, his wife, and the UK media – he demonstrated his usual out-of-touch sensitivity to anything that he can’t take credit for himself, saying:
“I think the nationalists want people to think it’s Scotland versus Britain or Scotland versus England. And I think sometimes the government itself has fallen into this trap.”
Which isn’t actually true. It’s the No campaign that wants independence supporters to make out it’s about Scotland versus Britain or Scotland versus England, and Labour is caught up to its scrawny neck in the maws of that trap just as much as the Tories. They’re really quite upset that the Yes campaign hasn’t obliged, so they’ve decided to act as though it was true anyway, in the hope that it will become true if they repeat it often enough.
This is a tactic which is doomed to failure, as anyone who has stood in a newsagents shop clutching a worthless scratchcard will realise. It doesn’t matter how may times you assure the shopkeeper you have won the jackpot, it doesn’t alter the fact that your card shows only a lemon and an unlucky number. The only payout you’re going to get is a Labour MP worded expression of miffedness and an instruction to leave the premises and go and commit an auto-erotic sexual act, which is pretty much the payout Scotland’s voters have been delivering to the No campaign.
But the big problem faced by Project Fear is that Gordie, one of the starring ogres in the Unionist Horror Show, has decided that he’d prefer to be played by Shrek in the slasher movie version – Mike Myers being possibly the only Holywood actor whose Scottish accent is less contrived than Gordon’s. Gordie believes that Project Fear needs to be less ogresome, and should try to persuade Scots of the benefits of a diet of mouldy slugs instead of scaring us with claims that there would be no slugs at all after independence.
So as a result, and as if No Future wasn’t unconvincing enough, Scottish voters are faced with four competing versions of nawness. There’s the devonotatall of official Labour, the devohaha-we-out-devoed-Labour-and-it-wisnae-hard of the Tories, the federal fairyland of the Last of the Lib Dems, and now Gordie’s endogenous devo growth theory – which grows like a bleeding polyp up Alistair’s bum. There is theoretically a fifth version, but Nigel Farage hasn’t told Jibberjabber the Hutt what it is yet – although it promises to be a version of the Lib Dems’ federal fairyland but set in a Narnia that Romanians need an entry visa for.
The only commonality all four possess is that they have an equal chance of successfully negotiating the Commons and the Lords and passing into law, as much chance as the four flavours of ogre icecream, Gordie’s mouldy slug, Alistair’s sour grapes, Tory spoiler and the Lib Dem’s no-we-are-still-here-actually, have of surviving the mince-frying glares of an increasingly impatient Scottish public.
The No campaign was already hopelessly divided and at odds with itself. Gordie’s just opened up a new crack in the not-so-united front. Poor Gordie, he used to have a reputation as a clunking fist, now he’s a clunking fistula.