It’s not easy being Saint Dougie the Diminutive, all those party colleagues and Guardian writers looking at you expecting a miracle, and all you’ve got is a box of party tricks that are as transparent as cling film on a mouldy piece and cheese. The poor wee lambie can’t even stand on a box to make himself look more imposing, not since the Smugurph blagged it to go off on his eggy magnetic tour and the Kirk of Scotland hasn’t obliged him with a pulpit for ages. Labour’s very own wee skanktimonious sock puppet has been bouncing up and down excitedly in the columns of the Guardian again – because Severin Carroll is on his holidays and the paper has to mainline Labour press releases instead of cutting it with filler to pretend that they’re publishing their own copy.
The occasion of Dougie’s holier than thou bouncing was the news that during the next General Election the Tories – boo hiss – are set to outspend Labour – boo hiss – by a factor of three to one. This is because the Tories are even more successful at whoring themselves out to big business than Labour is, news which comes as something as a surprise to anyone who has followed Jim Murphy’s career or who has realised why skanktimonious isn’t a typo when it’s applied to Dougie Alexander. But undaunted, St Dougie the Dwaarfie, patron saint of crotchless knickers, is promising that Labour is going to beat the Tories in the ground war and will outnumber Tory activists by the same margin on the streets and chapping on the doors.
To be fair, this will not be hard to achieve in Dougie’s constituency where the Tories can be outnumbered three to one by Dougie, his alter ego as a creeping Jesus, and his sister. That is if his sister is still talking to him, but the knife that he plunged into Wendy’s back does act as a very convenient hanger for election posters. In Dougie’s constituency and across the rest of Scotland, outnumbering the Tories isn’t difficult. Pandas have famously achieved it. The difficulty will be outnumbering the SNP, who have been breeding prodigiously and are to Labour as rabbits are to pandas. The Tory activists are demoralised, says Dougie, who has clearly confused them with his own dwindling band of unhappy Labour campers.
Not that anyone really knows how many activists Labour has in Scotland, since the party refused to release the full voting figures from their coronation of St Jim the Haloed. However what we do know is that there are 475 elected Labour representatives in Scotland – MPs, MSPs, MEPs, and local councillors, so if active party membership is indeed around the 7000 mark as estimated by Stu Campbell on Wings Over Scotland, then 6.8% of Labour’s active members are elected politicians, and a sizeable whack of the remainder are either related to them or are their personal friends. Allowing for each elected representative to have a significant other and at least six relatives or friends – although in the case of Ian Davidson that’s probably stretching it considerably – then 54.4% of the Labour party in Scotland is made up of elected Labour politicians and their personal contacts. No wonder they were too embarrassed to release the actual figures. Labour in Scotland isn’t a party, it’s a private members club. That explains the crotchless knickers then.
Anyway, Dougie is determined that Labour is going to surf the tidal wave of public anger and that’s going to carry them to victory, neglecting to take into account the fact that much of that public anger is directed at Dougie and his pals. So Labour will indeed be surfing the wave, in much the same way that the Titanic surfed that iceberg, straight down to the bottom of a mid-Atlantic trench with no way out.
However Dougie tells us that Labour is “engaging with the anger”, although he’s not actually explained how. As a voter in Magrit Curran’s constituency, I have yet to witness anything that might lead me to believe that Magrit was engaging with the anger of local people – something she could achieve quite easily by being locked into a pillory at Parkhead Cross and having stale yum yums, custard pies, and past their sell by date cream cakes thrown at her. But nothing with jam in it, because Labour would combust spontaneously if it was ever confronted with real jam. Jam and Labour have never been seen together in the same room. Jam is Labour’s kryptonite. Only invisible mythical jam does it for Labour. And definitely not eggs. Eggs are vile and dangerous weapons of hatred and soufle destruction. You could have someone’s eye out with a flan. Just ask Jim Murphy. His entire career is built on egg based aggression.
Meanwhile the Smugurph himself has been touting his inventive auld schtick again. No, not his expenses claims, the claim that we need to vote Labour in order to keep out Davie Cameron. In Coatbridge and Methil – are there any Tories in Coatbridge and Methil? Voting Labour to keep out the Tories worked so well the last time, didn’t it, and Jim wants us to stick with a winning strategy. Winning for him, that is, the rest of us are screwed anyway. I seem to recall that we voted en masse for Labour at the General Election in 2010, Scotland returned 50 odd Labour MPs to Westminster – and in some cases they were extremely odd indeed, Wullie Bain, ’nuff said – and we signally failed to keep out Davie Cameron. However we did give Magrit Curran and the Smugurph some lovely expenses claims and a John Lewis list, so it was all worthwhile really.
Scotland voted Labour all the way through the 1980s and 90s, and we didn’t keep the Tories out. We voted Labour in 2010, and we didn’t keep the Tories out. Vote Labour to keep out the Tories is one of the most pernicious myths of Scottish politics. Apart from the myth that Labour is a left wing party and Jim Murphy is a socialist. Voting for an anti-Tory party like the SNP or the Greens is not going to increase Davie Cameron’s chances of electoral success, it’s not going to make a Tory government more likely. An SNP, or Scottish Green or Scottish Socialist MP (OK, so I can dream) is not going to support a Cameron government. And neither, unlike Jim Murphy’s Labour party, would they support Labour’s Tory austerity with a sad face policies.
Despite the frantic spinning of the likes of Dougie and the Scottish media, Labour has not enjoyed a bounce in the polls following the election of Jim Murphy as branch manager. We’ve seen Labour’s promises far too often before, and this time we see through the spin and the cant. 2015 looks like it’s going to be a momentous year. It’s going to be the year that Labour finally gets the message that Scottish voters have been sending it for the best part of ten years now. They’ll get the message when we vote the sorry lot of them out of office and replace them with politicians who prioritise the interests of Scotland and Scottish communities, not the City of London, the banks, and the defence industry. And no amount of excited spinning from a skanktimonious intellectual dwarf will change that. The Smugurph bounce is Labour’s final leap into a well deserved oblivion.
Happy New Year Dougie.