The Tory peer Lord Ashcroft has released his long awaited polls of individual constituencies and shows that the new clearances are about to commence. Labour will be turfed out of the croft and left with the ashes. It’s almost as difficult for Labour to persuade Scottish voters to vote for it as it is for the BBC to find a clip from a 1970s episode of Top of the Pops that doesn’t feature a sex abuser.
The results are – unbelievably – even worse for Labour than previously thought. And some of us had a very low opinion of them to begin with. On these figures, Labour would even lose Coatbridge. That’s right, Coatbridge. For Labour to lose Coatbridge would be a humiliation like the US gold reserves at Fort Knox being robbed and cleared out by a 12 year old armed with a bent kirby grip. But there is more, there is schadenfreude with knobs on. Knobs like Anas Sarwar would lose the family seat that he inherited from his daddy, and Ian Davidson would be bayonetted out of his seat in Glasgow South West. News of which would set off rejoicing throughout the land as 1.6 million Yes voters cried out in unison “Ha Ha get it up ye.” Because Ian has taught us all the meaning of the words vindictive, graceless, and crass.
Wee Dougie Alexander who is masterminding Labour’s election campaign is going to have to mastermind a campaign to keep his own seat. This looks like being an even more difficult task than persuading voters in Scotland that Ed Miliband is not in fact made out of plasticene. Dougie’s particular brand of skanktimonious pontification is proving as tasty to the voters of Paisley as a six month old unrefrigerated meat pie.
On a personal note, the best news of all is that Magrit Curran would also be turfed off her stairheid in Glasgow East. Writing in Labour List as the party dissected the dire news, Labour blogger Mark Ferguson wrote that Magrit was one of the “quiet heroes” of the referendum campaign – but that was only true because her screeches had reached such a high pitch that they could only be heard by bats. On Wednesday the lovely Magrit tweeted from her stairheid, while she remains in possession of it, that the polls were difficult for Labour. Which is like saying that ebola makes you feel a bit peaky or that Attila the Hun occasionally displayed challenging behaviours.
The rapidly greying Mr Hi Jumpy was all over the telly screens on Wednesday telling anyone who would listen that the only people who would be pleased by these polls would be Davie Cameron and Osborne his pet iguana, desperately hoping that Scottish voters wouldn’t remember that they could be pleased about the polls for an entirely different set of reasons. All Jim has in his defence is a tired auld excuse about keeping out the Tories – because that worked so well in 2010 when Scotland voted Labour en masse and dismally failed to keep the Tories out of power. The truth is, as the truth always was, that the Tories will get into power if people vote Tory – and there’s precious little that Scotland’s voters can do to prevent people in other parts of the UK from voting Conservative if they see it as being in their interests to do so. But that’s how it works in this better together union, the calls for solidarity only flow one way.
Jim, who’s looking decreasingly smugurph with every passing day and every newly grey hair, is unable to offer Scots any positive reasons for voting Labour. For Jim it’s enough to put on a Scotland fitba shirt and promise that Labour’s the patriotic party. Like anyone is convinced by career politician Jim’s patronising attempts to ingratiate himself with working class voters by making like he’s a man of ra peepul as he mouths meaningless sound bites which are as devoid of content as he is devoid of principles. If Jim Murphy is a socialist, the Pope is the moderator of the Kirk’s general assembly.
Labour in Scotland long ago shafted their principles more deeply than a fracking drill. All that’s left is some noxious gas which bubbles to the surface every time Magrit, Anas or Jim open their gobs. The party has been hollowed out and cracked and fractured below the surface, in most of the supposedly rock solid Labour seats the constituency parties are moribund, consisting of a handful of local councillors and their relatives. Labour never had to contest these seats, they just took them for granted and weighed the Labour vote.
Now however the SNP has ten times or more the number of activists on the ground in Labour’s safest seats. And these activists have, for the most part, not started to campaign. When the door chapping and the canvassing starts for real, Labour is going to find itself outnumbered, outclassed, and out of office. And this time they won’t be able to bus in little helpers from south of the border, as they’ll be too busy fighting their own campaigns. So despite Jim Murphy’s fondly expressed hope that the polls will narrow as the election approaches, it’s just as likely that Labour will plummet even further.
But it’s not all bad news for Labour. Cheer up. It’s really bad news for the Lib Dems too. The Lib Dem vote has expired, the air gone out it and it’s shot across the room like a punctured Wullie Rennie balloon. It’s about the only time you’ll ever see the Lib Dems move purposefully, so make the most of it.
Danny Alexander, Osborne’s little suppository, is set to lose his seat in Inverness by a huge margin. Having spent the past five years implementing cuts with an unseemly amount of enthusiasm, the voters in his constituency are set to axe Danny with the same glee. Danny is not only going to get beaten, he’s going to get ground into dust by the very large rock he’ll have to hide under for the rest of his life. And no one, with the possible exception of Danny’s maw, will shed a tear for the passing of his political career.
Roll on May 7 – we cannae wait. Tick tock Jim, Wee Dougie, Magrit, Anas, Ian and the rest. Yer tea’s oot.