I’ve come over all Labour party this week, scabby, lazy, and only interested in my own comfort. I’ve got an excuse – my psoriasis has flared up again – but the Labour party’s condition is terminal. I decided we need to make labourparty a word – it describes self-absorbed selfish people who only do what suits themselves but who hypocritically make out that what suits them just so happens to be in the interests of everyone else and we ought to be grateful to them. But then I remembered there’s already a word for that – and that word is jimmurphy.
I’ve been asked to do some public speaking and campaigning during the run up to the General Election. A friend who’s involved with the SNP branch in Glasgow East has asked me to give a few speeches in support of their candidate – who has yet to be selected. Glasgow East is where I live and while I’m not an SNP member, it’s only the SNP which has any chance of taking the seat from the inbumbent – no that’s not a typo – the fragrant Magrit Curran (she reeks of complacency and entitlement). An imbumbent is a careerist seat-warmer, in case you were wondering. I’m not that keen on public speaking, but I agreed, because if it would help to separate Magrit from her expenses claims I’d run down Shettleston Road naked with a red rose up my bum while towing a life sized cardboard effigy of Jim Murphy and asking everyone I pass the only question of any relevance about the Smugurph – battery or free range?
My friend said she thought it might be wiser if I did a wee speech instead though.
Another Labour imbumbent is Frank Doran, MP for Aiberdeen North, or at least for the men. Frank is a byword for pomposity and entitlement, having pissed off the staff of the House of Commons some years ago when a committee he chaired ruled that MPs have the right to jump the queue in the canteen. Scottish Labour MPs are busy and important people, those expenses forms take ages to fill in you know.
Frank’s in a spot of bother after he said in the Commons that the post of Fisheries Minister was not a job for a woman. He was clearly confused by the meaning of the feminist slogan: a woman without a man is like a fish without a bicycle. Mind you, a Scottish Westminster constituency without a Labour MP is like an intestine without a tapeworm. Anyway, in a botched attempt to get his foot out of his gob, Frank claimed that his remark wasn’t sexist because he “knows the fishing industry” – so in other words it’s the people who work in the fishing industry who are the sexist neanderthals, not him. Frank’s not sexist, he just thinks his constituents are. Well saved there then Frankie boy. Perhaps he could discuss it with the Norwegian Minister for Fisheries, Elisabeth Aspaker.
Of course the duties of the Fisheries Minister are not solely concerned with representing men on boats, the minister represents the entire fishing industry. There are many jobs within the industry which were traditionally filled by women – like filletting and gutting fish, shellfish, and molluscs like the Labour MP for Aiberdeen North.
But of course the big imbumbent news is the election of the Smugurph and Keezha the Daily Mail’s Overcoat Pin Up as branch manager and deputy branch manager. Jim got 55.77% according to a press release which conveniently neglects to tell us what he got 55.77% of. In Labour’s Byzantine system of voting where some people get three votes, this is by no means clear. 55.77% of apologists for Tony Blair? 55.77% of people whose brains have been surgically removed and replaced with a banana mush?
To make things a bit simpler, so that the likes of Magrit Curran or Frank Doran can understand them, it was also reported somewhere or other – I did have a link but the dug ate it – that 60.4% of Labour members voted for the Smugurph. This is not much better. 60.4% of what number? When you don’t give a detailed breakdown of total votes cast, you are not reporting on a democratic election, you’re reporting the result of a farce. 60.4% is meaningless unless we’re told what it’s 60.4% of. But then the Labour party in Scotland has been a meaningless farce for a very long time now, so I suppose it’s appropriate.
So just how many people did actually vote for Jim Murphy? Labour doesn’t want to tell us. No detailed breakdown of the votes has been published for the very good reason that it would reveal that the party Jim is leading most probably has fewer members than the number of employees of Scotmid. Scotmid employs over 5000 people in Scotland – how many active members does Labour have? This means that Scotmid branch managers are leaders in a bigger and far more influential organisation.
It is clear to everyone that a party only goes to such lengths to hide its membership figures if its membership figures are an embarrassment. Why else be so coy? If Labour had enjoyed a massive boost in membership following the referendum campaign that we are told Jim acquited himself and free range hens so well in, the party would have been sure to tell us. It’s equally an embarrassment that the supine Scottish media does not pursue them on this peculiar omission of information which is vital to the proper functioning of any supposedly democratic election. But fearlessly investigating how long it takes to turn a Labour press release into published copy by changing the intro and adding a couple of words at the end then accusing the SNP of something – that’s the extent of the investigation that the Scottish media subjects Labour to. And they think we’re impressed by this.
Labour’s great hope for saving itself from the kicking they’re about to receive for allowing the party to be taken over by right wing Westminster based careerists who are bereft of anything that can be described as a political priniciple is to choose as party branch manager a right wing Westminster based careerist who is bereft of anything that can be described as a political principle. A careerist who has received the support of an embarrassingly small number of people, the few who have yet to resign in disgust from a party which long ago lost anything that might pass for self-respect and replaced it with Magrit Curran. But the Smugurph is the darling of the BBC and will be the subject of glowing reports from gushing reporters, and that’s all that matters.