Vow Academy, the sequel

There’s really no need for anyone to be confused about Labour’s stance on devolution, it’s really quite simple. During the early part of the referendum campaign Labour wasn’t going to offer Scotland any more devolution because it was a simple Yes or No question and Scotland could like what it had or lump it.

During the latter part of the referendum campaign Labour vowed that Scotland was going to get a devo maxy home rule that was just a baw hair short of full frontal federalism. You may have thought this was connected with a narrowing in the opinion polls and panic in the Unionist camp as they thought that Scotland was going for the ‘lump it’ option, but if that was the case your mind was clearly being warped by non-approved sources of information, like facts and things.

Following the referendum and the squeaky bum No vote, Labour tried to remove as many powers as possible from the Vow without collapsing it entirely, or more accurately by trying to ensure that its collapse could be blamed on someone else. The Labour Accounting Unit if Scotland spent their time during the Smith Commission consultation process playing devolution jenga. This wasn’t actually that difficult, as the Vow consisted of highly non-specific promises to begin with. Even so, Labour made sure that Scotland wouldn’t have control of the minimum wage or most benefits. You’ll have had yer devomax then, said Labour smugurphly, and added that these were the very bestest extra powers it was possible to have. And something about pooling and sharing, which was mentioned every couple of minutes as it’s clearly important for Jim Murphy’s expenses claims. That’s a vow fulfilled and we’ll be having no more of that separatist nonsense as it upsets Magrit Curran and Wee Wullie Bain.

Now however the very bestest possible devo maxiest turns out not to be the very bestest or the most maxiest after all, because on Monday Jim Murphy – and some superannuated geezer called Gordie – vowed that if Scotland votes Labour in May we’ll be in for super devo double plus good. It was not explained why this new offer of a super devo gob stopper that we can sook on for years without it ever losing its flavour was presented by a back bench MP who has already announced that he will be stepping down from the Parliament he’s scarcely attended for the past few years. Neither was it explained why we are supposed to be reassured about the worth of this new vow when the self-same ex-politician who promised to supervise the last vow now doesn’t think that the last vow delivers anything like enough. Gordie swore blind the last time that the Smith Commission was going to deliver “near federalism”. So this time presumably Labour is going to deliver “almost right on top of federalism but not quite there yet, we just need to stop off at Celtic Park for some photo ops so Jim can pretend he’s normal”.

But Labour’s attitude to Gordon Brown’s political worth is similar to the attitude of the producers of the Police Academy movies to comedy. They’ll keep dragging the old joke out even though we all stopped laughing years ago. In the next instalment, Vow Academy III, Gordon and Jim will suffer a series of supposedly hilarious misadventures as they try to ensure that the bumbling Captain Miliband is elected to the city council and will save their careers. Which also formed the plot line for Vow Academy I and II.

This new plotline, sorry offer, is entirely unconnected with any opinion polls you may have seen recently which show that more people believe that Elvis is alive and well and working in a chippie in Montrose than believe that Jim Murphy is an effective leader of Labour’s North British Accounting Unit, or AU for short. In a supplementary question about the trustworthiness of party and accounting unit leaders, a large majority of those polled said that if they shook hands with Jim, the first thing they’d do afterwards would be to count their fingers. Or at least the offer is unconnected with the polls in the same way that Magrit Curran opposed fracking. The electorate have taken all this on board, and May’s vote is looking like it’s going to be a weapon of Mag’s destruction.

By a happy coincidence, AU is also the generally accepted abbreviation for Astronomical Unit, the average distance between the Earth and the Sun. This is also a rough measure of the distance Labour has to make up in the opinion polls if it is to have any chance at all of overtaking the SNP and clinging on to its majority of Scotland’s Westminster seats.

The promise of new improved all singing all dancing powers is Labour’s master strategy to win back disaffected Labour voters by reminding them how much Labour has screwed them over in the past. It’s a stroke of genius, or just a stroke. Certainly it’s a product of brain death as Labour’s neurones fail to fire. It’s a clear and simple message which tells voters to vote Labour because Labour failed to meet their expectations the last time – but this time they really really mean it, pinky promise sure they do.

The new pretendy offer of new pretendy powers which Labour swore blind were not needed just a couple of months ago smacks of desperation, like a junky promising to give up the smack if we’ll only give him a tenner for a wee bag of powers that’s been cut with all sorts of rubbish.

Labour’s upping of its devo offers is a lesson to the people of Scotland that if we keep voting ABLY (Anyone But Labour’s Yobs) Labour will keep promising more and more in an effort to entice us back into the fold. And that’s the thing about folds, it’s where sheep are held before being slaughtered. So the offers are best ignored. It makes far more sense to vote SNP in May safe in the knowledge that the SNP will hold Labour’s feet to the fire in order to get them to implement what Labour promised to implement anyway – and then some. Because we all know by now that if we vote Labour, Labour will only backtrack and deliver a tiny fraction of what they promised and will go back to treating the voters like sheep.


34 comments on “Vow Academy, the sequel

  1. aitchbee says:

    ‘May’s vote is looking like it’s going to be a weapon of Mag’s destruction’

    I actually lol’d at this one – is there a prize for the best pun in an indy blog?

    Labour are running about like headless chickens at the moment, looking for that silver bullet that’s going to bring everyone back into the fold. First it was ‘pooling and sharing, better together, no thanks’, now it’s all Mrs Doyle – ‘You’ll have some more powers. Go on. Just a little bit more, you won’t even notice you’ve got them.’

    It gives the game away though – they have no interest in Scotland, just in the seats that could give them power in Westminster. Mr High Jumpy coming over all tartan just isn’t going to cut it for the voters, and, it appears, isn’t doing a lot for the Labour party either, given the speed with which the not-so-secret weapon named Gordzilla has been deployed.

    • jdman says:

      ” ‘You’ll have some more powers. Go on. Just a little bit more, you won’t even notice you’ve got them.’”

      Do you have any biscuits with that Mrs Doyle?
      I like the chocolate ones.

  2. jdman says:

    Brilliant Paul
    “devolution jenga” Woohahahah,
    “a weapon of Mag’s destruction.” priceless
    “treating the voters like sheep.”
    Treating the voters like shit.
    fixed that for you.

  3. scotsgeoff says:

    I only hope enough people see through all the nonsense this time because
    as sure as eggs are eggs the BBC, the Record & other mainstream media
    outlets will be punting the Vow II guff until May.

    Witness last night’s Gordon Brown ‘interview’ that was the equivalent of
    a child sitting on Santa’s knee being told what’s coming for Christmas.

  4. Janis says:

    Labour really think we are all idiots. They are trying to serve us vow2, was the vow1 unsuccessful. I’d like to hear that from jumpy’s mouth.

  5. diabloandco says:

    There are more Woooo! tales on the Herald website from the man with the upside down smile who has consistently delivered ” Labour – luvverly ,SNP – nasty separatist articles.”

    Thank goodness for you , my sanity would be much impaired if you didn’t arrive in my inbox.


  6. andygm1 says:

    I could leave a comment, but how could I improve on perfection?

    Kerp ’em coming Paul!

  7. Nana says:

    ” a weapon of Mag’s destruction”

    Paul you crack me up, you really do.

  8. Fairliered says:

    One of your best yet.
    I will have to stop reading this on the train. People are giving me funny looks and are preparing to move to the next coach.
    How can we get your blog in front of wavering slabbers?

  9. bjsalba says:

    I don’t know if it is a coincidence, but my (Lib-Dem) MP has just put out a “Newspaper” with not one, but two photos of himself, bucket in hand in front of sheep.

    They have also taken up the SNP bad, we good mantra from Labour. Can’t they come up with a slogan of their own?


  10. Chris stewart says:

    Excellent stuff as usual – I do worry that trad labour voters still have their hands over their lugs shouting “la la la” so they can’t hear – hoping all this snp stuff will just go away and leave them be.

  11. hektorsmum says:

    Brilliant Paul, Superannuated Broon, well he is in for his final salary pension, more than he left the rest of the country.

  12. macart763 says:

    Labour will not and cannot deliver anything. Setting aside the issue of trust in Labour, and let’s face it, trusting any Labour politician is an exercise in futility and stupidity beyond words, but setting that aside… The very machinery of Westminster parliament means that they would still be reliant on the good will of the other parties, both houses and the will of the establishment to deliver anything.

    They are fully paid up members of the establishment themselves however, so no harm, no foul there then. They carry and pose no political threat whatsoever as our representation to Commons. Labour chaired the now infamous SASC FFS. Their remit and full intent was to deny Scotland any powers which would damage the standing of the Westminster parliament or the treaty of union and why? Very simple, because a Scotland with full or even near full economic control of its own resources or population would quickly diverge in policy and positive economic circumstance. Far easier to turn a tug than a tanker when you’re heading for the rocks. The end result of any positive economic, social reforms performance would inevitably be independence. A growing optimism and confidence in your politics, your governance, your life style and life chances. The establishment requires our resources, our tax take to help with that pooling and sharing thing doncha know.

    Some may say, well what’s the diff if you send down SNP representation instead of Labour, they’ll find the same systemic hurdles, the same resistance? You have to remember the nature of the treaty of union and what Westminster is in essence. Its a bipartite international treaty with representation of the two signatories sharing the decision making process for the whole. In truth with five hundred and odd MPs the larger partner makes most of the decisions, but in essence with block pro Scotland representation in Westminster and an SNP government in Holyrood, Westminster can’t do diddly to force legislation of any kind on Scotland. It requires WILLING representation to pass legislation on Scotland. THAT is horse trading power and THAT is the difference.

    What you will get with a large block of SNP representation is Westminster doing what it always should have been doing, being a place where the partners meet to ‘negotiate’ what each partner is willing to give to govern and move the whole forward. If we have to move forward with this union for the moment (mutters) what would you rather? Labour northern branch doing what Labour central tells it to do with your votes, taxes, resources? Or would you rather your SNP representation had the power and the intent to negotiate the best deal possible whilst protecting your interests?

    • Yes, and hopefully a large SNP contingent will help stir up the folks south of the border and get the message across that there is a different way of doing things, a way that actually gives people more say in how their lives are shaped. There are already rumblings about an English parliament. A double-decker busload of SNP MPs could help shape thinking on that and the benefits of a looser federation of countries and regions of England. And from there it’s a much smaller step to indy.

      • macart763 says:

        That is the situation we hope will result. The UK has in actual fact always had the government that the bulk of the population voted for (the bulk being the English electorate), but that doesn’t alter the fact that they’ve always been short changed just as we have. A two horse race where the owners fix the results by coming to a gentleman’s agreement is no race at all. The colour of the rosette hasn’t mattered for decades, if ever. The elitist establishment have owned the party sitting in the big chair at all times. If they couldn’t bend/subvert a political movement to its will they actively set about undermining and destroying it.

        Under Blair especially, Labour bought into establishment politics big time and wilfully set about abandoning any left of centre politics in favour of becoming a party which appealed to the corporate elite. A party centred on winning elections by patronage rather than policy or ideal. They didn’t lose their way, they always knew exactly where they were and where they wanted to be.

        What that bus load of SNP MPs can do is use their seats and leverage to ensure that we ring the best devolution deal possible. A deal with real economy changing teeth which the Scottish government can exploit to improve the lot of the Scottish electorate. If we can show the UK electorate by example that a better way exists and is workable, then they will indeed begin to ask questions, very pointed ones, of their parties and their system. I suspect the answers will prove extremely uncomfortable for Westminster politicians in general. Such a scenario has the potential to change the face of politics across these islands as we know it.

  13. deedee says:

    Will there be another vow before May? is it like a series, sort of 50 Shades of Brown – well we all know what’s Brown and that’s what they’re full of.

  14. Nice piece. So should I wait for the box set before buying? :))

  15. Joe Baxter says:

    Another masterful article, yon wee dug epitomises consistency.

  16. Gavin C Barrie says:

    Hold Labour’s feet to the fire – only the feet?

  17. david agnew says:

    Poor old labour. Stuck with a jobbie on a stick called the smith commission, decide to paint it gold and try again. Who knows, they even give a free copy of Gordon Brown’s magnum opus, “I’m a proud Scot, but I’d rather be English – I mean British”

    We need to vote them out, open the windows and get the smell of their stupidity out of the room.

  18. Jan Cowan says:

    Thanks, Paul and thank you for pointing us towards iScot. Beautiful magazine. Enjoyed your article there too and lovely to see wee Ginger’s portrait at the top of the page!

  19. Yes, indeed. Open the window and let the foul air out. I have probably never wanted time to pass so quickly, just for the amusement value alone come May. But next time round they’ll say, ‘ah but your votes don’t count’ or whatever. The establishment will fix it as usual.

  20. Steve Bowers says:

    Heymin, fit iver happened to WGD, The Book ?

  21. A Meringue says:

    Talking of sheep and one called Shaun in particular. Take a swatch at this. Aardman Animations seems to have a new character that looks very familiar. I laughed my arse off at this!


  22. kat hamilton says:

    time we reminded the scottish electorate of gordon and jims shambolic intentions and the contempt they have for the public. i.e. brains of mince to vote for the north branch office after the indy refs march with the unionists. makes my bloood boil they are trying everything to undermine democracy. lets do wide spread leaflets and door step challenges so we can stop them in their tracks..lets start now, never too early for a worthy cause…

  23. Andrea says:

    Even the most stupid Scottish voter is not as stupid as the Labour Party elite think they are….are they…?

  24. Neil Burke says:

    Elvis is in Montrose?

  25. smiling vulture says:

    Vow –as close to home/rule federal union as possible/////squeeze ma balls-on STV after NO vote is in the bag Gord ” Vow was a timetable”.

    a liar to Scots never to be trusted

  26. How do we get journalists from the National or iScot invited to Gordo’s press events so they can ask some real questions?

  27. Steve Asaneilean says:

    In order for Labour to guarantee to do anything they require two things come May 8th – an outright Commons majority and within that a majority of MPs who support more devolution for Scotland.
    They haven’t got a cat’s chance in Hell of achieving either. The only way they will even have a whiff of power will be with the support of others, most notably in all likelihood the SNP.
    So why vote for middle-man deceivers when you can just vote SNP who really may be able to deliver. What have you got to lose?

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