Red pandas and pop tarts

The red panda is a real thing. It’s much smaller beastie than the better known giant panda, but it’s only marginally less endangered. According to Wikipedia, the red panda faces extinction because of habitat fragmentation, inbreeding, and poaching – which by a happy set of coincidences also form the reasons why the red pandas of the Labour party in Scotland are also staring extinction in the face. No one is really sure what sort of creature a red panda is, but it looks like some sort of weasel, a bit like Ian Davidson with a full head of ginger hair. Real red pandas are much cuter than Jim Murphy however, but then so is a snake in the grass slithering through dog mess.

Red pandadom beckons after STV published an IPSOS Mori opinion poll of voting intentions in next year’s Westminster revenge match – when the voters on Scotland get to boot the Westminster political parties in the glands as punishment for being a bunch of self-serving self-regarding self-abusers. The poll, fieldwork for which was carried out as Johann Lamont resigned as branch office manager, shows that the SNP stand to receive a whopping 52% of votes in Scotland. The SNP enjoy a lead of 29% over Labour – meaning that the SNP’s lead is greater than Labour’s entire vote share of 23%. Translated into seats, Labour would be left with just four MPs in Scotland, which makes the red pandas marginally less endangered than the giant pandas of the Tory party – just like the real pandas. Spooky, and just in time for Halloween.

The poor polling news was compounded by another poll from YouGov which was only marginally less desperate for Labour. Like the desperation difference between wanting to throw yourself off a cliff, and wanting to throw yourself off a cliff after you’ve slit your wrists. If translated into seats, YouGov’s poll would give Labour just ten useless bench occupiers.

Despite the dire polling figures, Labour isn’t toast. Toast is home made and often organic. Labour is a pop tart, chock full of artificial ingredients which appeals only to those with no political taste buds. Labour is likewise filled with a red coloured goo which bears the same relationship to socialism as the contents of a pop tart do to real fruit. And the Labour leadership’s favourite Gordon Ramsay stand-in who will rescue this culinary disaster zone while swearing a lot is apparently Jim Murphy – a right wing, ultra-Blairite, Iraq war supporting, expenses junky, egg magnet.

Jim promises that if he’s elected as branch manager, he will stop Labour in Scotland from self-harming and will put an end to its obsessional in-fighting. And this is true, because it’s Jim and his pals who’ve been engaging in most of the self-harming and obsessional in-fighting by briefing against Johann and anyone else that Jim thinks stands between him and his career plans.

I did have to laugh though, when Jim said that the Labour party needed to find some passion again. Jim and the rest of the sorry careerists who pride themselves on “professional” politics are precisely those who have leeched anything resembling passion from politics, with their focus groups and triangulation. There is however plenty of passion in Scottish politics – it’s just a pity for Labour that it’s the passion of those who are intent on bringing about the long overdue demise of a Labour party that’s become a parody of its former self, a party that’s as progressive as a pop tart with imaginary jam.

Labour is now facing another election – it’s going to have to elect a new deputy branch manager following the resignation of Anas Sarwar. Anas has resigned in order to remove the inevitable objection to Jim Murphy’s election which would have led to both the branch manager and the deputy branch manager being Westminster MPs. Anas is an obedient little Labour placeperson, he does what his daddy tells him, and he does what Jim Murphy tells him too.

Anas’ resignation as deputy manager of Scotmid conveniently delays the need for Jim to find a safe Holyrood seeat. This is very handy for two reasons. Firstly because there’s no such thing as a safe Labour seat at Holyrood any more, and secondly – as pointed out by Lallands Peat Worrier – the plan mooted by some senior party figures for a Labour MSP who plans to retire in 2016 to be persuaded to stand down a year earlier is a non-starter because it would mean that he or she would lose their pension rights. And it would force an election purely for reasons internal to Labour, a situation which the voting public is unlikely to look kindly upon, all the more so when they are already looking on Labour as kindly as an axe wielding maniac who’s just given up smoking. Over ten days now – in case you’re wondering. But I’ve never knowingly wielded an axe. Just a sharp tongue.

The root cause of this seismic shift in Labour’s Westminster electoral prospects is that Scotland’s voters have finally decided that the well established tactic of differential voting in Holyrood and Westminster elections is an idea whose time is past. There is no point in voting Labour in Westminster elections in order to keep the Tories out for a number of reasons – not the least of which being that Labour stood shoulder to shoulder with the Tories throughout the referendum campaign. And if there is little chance that Labour can win the election in England, then there is absolutely no point at all voting Labour in Scotland in order to protect ourselves from Tory governments. We’re going to get the Tories anyway, whether that’s yer actual Tory basterts, or a Labour party that apes Tory policies in order to sook up to Tory leaning voters in English marginal constituencies.

It’s not that Scottish tactical voting is dead – it’s just that it’s got a whole lot smarter. There’s nothing Labour can do to turn things around, you can’t turn around a sinking ship. The only question remaining is the scale of their defeat. Labour’s tea is oot – they’re being served burned pop tarts and red pandas.



39 comments on “Red pandas and pop tarts

  1. Mick Pork says:

    “Egg magnet” Perfect. 🙂 Wish I had thought of that one.

  2. […] Red pandas and pop tarts […]

  3. macart763 says:

    Open ended memo to parliamentary Labour (they’re good a reading memos). 🙂

    On that referendum thing plus the small matter of several decades of neglect and mismanagement of your electorate.

    We know what you did, we know why you did it and worse, we know how you did it. You really weren’t too fussy about who you slept around with were you? You prostituted yourselves to an establishment and a system your founders fought tooth and claw against. You abandoned those who gave you their trust. People who trusted you to protect them from that establishment and its system of government.

    You’re tea’s oot.

  4. A Meringue says:

    It is almost 3am and I have just recently woken up on the sofa. (I had visitors last night that stayed late) And I must confess that I was expecting to read about a punch-up at the Scotland branch of the Labour parties Gala dinner held in Glasgow tonight where I expect pop tarts would have been high on the menu. Sadly I am disappointed. I thought at least someone would have had a fight over whose turn it was to set fire to the curtains. 😦 I imagine that a lot of the aforesaid pop tarts were consumed through gritted teeth. I am however cheered by the resignation of the hereditary MP, expenses junkie and well known sleazebag Sarwar. Oh dear how sad never mind! Not that it matters much as the BBC will have one less reason to have him on TV as often but since when have the BBC been reasonable.

    I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Labour party (Scotland branch) for such wonderful entertainment. Their spectacular implosion is providing me with a real tonic to combat the referendum blues. Hell mend the lot of you!

  5. Andrea says:

    panda monium right enough….

  6. diabloandco says:

    Does anyone actually associate the word ” passion” with Mr Murphy?
    He presumably thinks ” LOUD” = ” passion” and he can only achieve that with a megaphone and the protection of half a dozen supporters ( with or without eggs)

  7. aitchbee says:

    I think the main course at the Gala Dinner last night may have been goose (thoroughly cooked) 😉

  8. If you had been following some if the tweets from the serving staff last night – you would see that what was mostly served up last night were loads of random “spitters” …. if you need to know what they are just be rude to your next waitress and wait to see what she serves up (blanch!!)

  9. I find it condemning to note that all these labour careerists adopt the inauthentic language of 1980’s business people and also sound as if they are Bliarite (war criminal) clones. We WILL do this… WE WILL… do that…. WE WILL REDOUBLE OUR EFFORTS – where did all that redoubling of effort get you to Mr. Reid? yes you’d have been better off praying. Anyway, the point is NOBODY BELIEVES all that tosh. They must think we are stupid. Every time I see Death-Head I want to be physically sick. Labour still think that policies come from leadership and we the voters are interested in this. This is how far adrift they are. – they’ve no chance.

  10. Apparently Spud blew a kiss at the protesters last night. Nae wonder he is despised even in his own party!

  11. Dave Hansell says:

    Just an observation from south of the wall:

    It seems to me that the key difference between a political party like the current SNP and the Labour Party (New, Old or Traditional) is exclusivity.

    What struck me following the recent referendum, both before the vote and since, is the willingness of the SNP to work politically with other parties, groups and even non aligned individuals on the basis of a common aim. The starting point is the ends not the means. The whole approach is based on doing the business, getting the job done, not quibbling about who has exclusive rights to do that job.

    In contrast the Labour Party, in all its manifestations, seems trapped in a tribalism mentality where the objective is not getting the job done but ensuring that only one tribe, the Labour Party, has any legitimate rights to do that job. Anyone not part of the Tufty Club is considered suspect, and is excluded.

    In this twilight world getting the job done and achieving the objective is either bottom of the list or not even on it. The only thing that matters is The Party and beating anyone or anything which is not The Party. This approach is a breeding ground for sociopathic careerists and alienation for everyone else who comes into contact with it.

    In that respect Labour are no different to the sectarianists of parties like the SWP and similar who, despite claims to be opposed to competitive capitalism and in favour of cooperative values nevertheless revert to competitive mode when faced with fellow sectarians in other similar groupings.

    Cooperating with others of a like mind towards shared objectives with no preconditions about which gang you are in is the only way forward. Using rhetoric such as turning the Party around tells the listener and reader that nothing has, or likely to be, changed and that the only thing that matters is the gang.

    In that one aspect of its collective character the Labour Party is destined to decline further. Particularly so in a scenario where the SNP and other like minded Parties and Groups continue to work together for common aims without insisting that any one group should be the only vehicle through which to deliver those aims or claiming the right to be the only, exclusive, game in town.

    • hektorsmum says:

      Dave Hansell, I think you have a very clear vision of what the Labour Party is and why it will diminish in future. Unable to see what they are doing wrong and if in fact they are doing anything wrong, hence it is all the SNP’s fault.
      Many of us see their failings and have for many years. Both my Husband and I have always said we should have been natural Labour supporters given our background but we have never been attracted to them. We have, I admit always been of the Nationalist bent but Labour have used their support dreadfully and now cannot see a clear way out.
      They would have been better working on the same side as the SNP, but they fell for the foul embrace of the Tories. So short sided trying to keep their position and money, they are likely to have neither. Hence the reason for Jim Murphy and his haste to get into Holyrood.

  12. hektorsmum says:

    Well Paul you did not say one word wrong except I like Red Panda’s and I would not really want to see them extinct. Now I hate Red Tories and certainly want them extinct. Mr Murphy is about as bad as they get, well unless you look at Gordon Brown and Brown is quite sick making.
    I laughed like a drain this morning when I discovered there had been yet another resignation, Remind me, who won?

  13. As brilliant as ever…!

    • James says:

      yes Hek, a tiny oversight, but I agree red pandas are pretty cute and they don’t deserve to have any association . There must be nearly extinct snakes, slithering about in the grass, out there ? Personally I’d have chosen creepy crawlies, preferably ones that live underground and we don’t ever have the misfortune of seeing one.

      • hektorsmum says:

        Well James, I am Mum really, Hek is the Pug. Creepy crawlies are a higher form of life than the Labour Party I would not even class them along with snakes, they have a job to do, Labour, well what do they do?

      • JGedd says:

        There is a fungus – several species actually, with the same lifestyle – called Ophiocordyceps camponoti-balzani which inhabits the brains of ants, causing them to act like zombies and move to a location at the right height on a tree where the fungus can grow and release its spores. There are many forms of life with what seem to us horrific ways of seeking nutrients from others and living out their life cycle parasitically. Sometimes they do call to mind human behaviour too, if not literally!

      • Steve Asaneilean says:

        I love snakes and am appalled they should be tarred with the Labour brush.

  14. I’m not sure Murphy ever intends giving up his Westminster seat voluntarily. I suspect he’s been forced into the leadership post because of the two opinion polls, and ordered to do something, anything to resurrect Scottish Labour’s chances next May. And I suspect no-one concerned will be squeamish about how that is achieved.

    Thereafter, Murphy has choices. If Labour are returned to Westminster he will want either to ingratiate himself and say what great work he has done delivering the party from extinction in Scotland, in the hope of a cabinet post, or if his advances are rebuffed he may return to the back benches to foment anger and a plot to oust Milliband and replace him with Jim.

    If Labour goes down to the Tories, then Ed can’t last, and Jim will be in there stirring and scheming to become the new leader. If he wins, dire for Labour. If he fails, then as a last resort he has Holyrood to fall back on in 2016.

    And yes, Dave Hansell is correct. The referendum taught the SNP the value of working alongside others – whether parties, businesses, organisations or individuals. This is not going to change because the SNP realises this engagement is the only way Scotland’s economy can grow to the benefit of all. Labour politicians and many members are totally blinded by their hatred of the SNP, and the need to reassert their own authority over Scotland – to protect their own positions, keep the poor in poverty, and the rich in the lifestyles to which they have become accustomed.

    • hektorsmum says:

      You and Dave, both with a clear vision of what is wrong with Labour, now we better bury this. Do not want them to find away out of it.

    • jdman says:

      I have a question?
      Whit if Murphy does become Labour leader, what happens if by some miracle they win a GE, how will he be prime minister when the tories have said that Scottish MP’s wont be able to hold any state positions such as prime minister jus askin s’all?

  15. VikingsDottir says:

    The last thing Jim Murphy personifies is ‘passion.’ Why do I feel like having him hear my confession whenever I see him? He should have a cassock on. The thought of him blowing a kiss is unimaginable.

  16. jake says:

    I followed your Red Panda link to wikipedia where I was informed amongst other things that

    “The species is generally quiet except for some twittering, tweeting, and whistling communication sounds.”

    and that

    ” It sleeps stretched out on a branch …..”

    I note too that they can stand on their own back feet for anything up to 10 seconds, are excellent climbers and enjoy eggs!

    I understand they are related to skunks and weasels.

    • Brian Fleming says:

      Damn it. I nearly spilled my coffee there. Thanks, Jake. You’ve brightened up my afternoon.

  17. arthur thomson says:

    Thank you as always Paul.

  18. Pat McClay says:

    Red pandas are my favourite animal! (Though 3 yr old son said it was ‘just a big cat’). They don’t deserve to be compared to weasels – Labour or otherwise. – Sorry, I’ll read the rest now…

  19. Calgacus says:

    Well done Paul on getting to double figures.The worst is over!

  20. Steve Asaneilean says:

    Remember the wee tongue twister for kids – say red lorry, yellow lorry quickly?
    Well can I suggest that for GE2015, and in honour of our LabLib friends, we change it to red Tory, yellow Tory said quickly?

  21. nigel says:

    Lets be clear about this folks!

    There will NEVER be another referendum on independence.

    Thats a given.

    Only reason Cameron give us one in the first place was because he thought that we would only get circa 30% of the vote, as the polls were indicating at the time.

    However, as the polls got up to nearer 45%, london panicked, and offered the Scots “major new powers.”

    The Scots, for reasons most of us fail to comprehend, voted for the status quo, thus giving up the right to becoming the 15th wealthiest country on the planet!


    And if you poor deluded souls think for one nanosecond that “significant new powers” will be given to our “pretendy parliament” (controlling not one ha”penny of our own resources), then you definitely need to be looked at by a psychiatrist!!

    We are now well and truly “back in our little box” and no amount of shouting “we wiz robbed” will alter the fact that london will continue to shaft us for evermore.

    The fact the SNP have quadrupled their membership is neither here nor there, from a london viewpoint. All it means, locally, is that SLAB will die a painful death at the ballot boxes here, to the SNP’s advantage.

    The only way ANY progress will happen is if Scotland decides to grow a backbone and go down the Irish route of freedom.

    General Post Office, Glasgow, anyone??

    • James says:

      ha ha he he ho ho 🙂 you never fail to amuse me nige, you start off by saying “Lets be clear about this folks!”, then you rant on a bit (as usual insulting Scottish people) however nothing that you said was clear at all ?

      You finish off by saying “The only way ANY progress will happen is if Scotland decides to grow a backbone and go down the Irish route of freedom.” I was wondering if you were going to practice what you preach(sometime soon perhaps) and go down the irish route yersel ?

    • weegingerdug says:

      No one is shouting “We wuz robbed” Nigel – at least I certainly am not. And I disagree that with you that there will never be another referendum on independence – oh yes there will. Maybe not for a couple of years, but it most assuredly will come to pass. Westminster can’t stop it even if, in a fit of madness, they pass a law making it illegal to have another indy ref. Politics dear boy, politics. Politics ALWAYS trumps the law.

      Suggesting armed insurrection is A) deeply unhelpful, B) moronic, and C) illegal. Please refrain from making such comments in future. In the meantime you are going into pre-moderation. I’m not going to risk legal hassles just so you can mouth off. I hope I’ve made myself clear.

  22. alistairliv says:

    That is the fifth time tonight I have seen Nigel’s rant- he posted it on Scot Goes Pop, Derek Bateman’s blog, Lallans Peat Worrier and Wings Over Scotland. All word for word the same. And all posted with a few minutes of each other at 7.30 pm.

    • Brian Fleming says:

      Makes one wonder who, or what, is Nigel. if genuine, he needs to calm down. if an agent provocateur, he needs to ……….

  23. I’ve already got him down as a provocateur. Away back tae the Met, son.

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