The fury of a patient people

Another batch of Ashcroft opinion polls in individual constituencies were released on Wednesday, and they could hardly have been worse for the Unionist parties. They were in fact so bad that even Reporting Scotland had to mention them, so that was pretty bad indeed.

The Smugurph was de-smugged as the softly spoken Jim was drowned in a tsunami of treacly goodness, although not good for Jim. Jim actually got off comparatively lightly, as the Ashcroft poll in his seat showed that he had a lead of 1%. This is well within the margin of error, so to all intents and purposes Jim’s tied with the SNP – a remarkable fact in a seat which until recently had a Tory majority. It’s even less comforting for him when you look at the raw polling data. Strip away the statistical conjuring employed by all polling companies to take account of previous voting behaviour, the gender, income and age of respondents, and what star sign they are, and you find that Jim was well behind. Just a tiny push more, and the Blairite who claims he’s a socialist, the supporter of nuclear weapons who claims he’s a disarmer, could lose his seat. That would be karma for the political chameleon.

Magrit’s stairheid was rammyless and if you stood quiet and still you could hear the sound of distant sobs and neighbours complaining that she never took her turn with the mop, she just polluted the close with her sense of entitlement, so they’ve swept her away themselves. Wee Wullie Bain has run off back to his maw’s, and Ian Davidson is wounded and limping away from the bayonet that’s going to finish off his career in a few short weeks.

The big beast Gordie Broon saw the biggest beasting in his seat. In Kirkcaldy there’s a projected swing of over 30% to the SNP, which will see Gordie’s successor come far behind the SNP. People in Fife would quite like an MP who actually turns up and represents them. Now there would be a novelty. Kirkcaldy deserves an MP who realises that his job is to speak in the Commons on behalf of the people who voted for him, not to swan off and give highly paid speeches for a charidee that exists only to enable the MP to continue to swan off and give more highly paid speeches in expensive conference centres. Gordie Broon’s the man of the people, the former leader of the people’s party, who will only speak in front of vetted or paying audiences. He never saw the irony.

Over in Paisley Dougie Alexander desperately tried to take credit for keeping a hospital ward open in the hope that reflected credit might buy him a vote from some people who hadn’t heard he’d played no part in the campaign to save the ward – he just turned up for the photie. Dougie’s career is on life support and he needs all the help he can get. The Labour machine is going to be unplugged very soon, a visit to the Dignitas clinic is the only dignity they’ve got.

The Murph E Coyote keeps up with the spin as he leaves the cliff edge far behind. The McTernan Acme Policy Catalogue is raided for yet another cunning wheeze, but nothing works. All Jim has left is repeating the stale lie that the largest party forms the government and voting SNP reduces Labour’s chances of being the largest party. That’s not how the House of Commons works, and Jim knows that full well. He’s just hoping that you, me, the woman on the 60 bus and the guy in the queue at the post office don’t. But we know better. What do you do when the lies don’t work any more Jim? What do you do?

But the weeping and wailing and gnashing of wallies was not confined to Labour. The wallies of the Lib Dems discovered that they’re even more screwed than Labour is, which is a bit like finding out that you’re even less popular in auditions for Britain’s Got Talent than a dysentery virus doing an impression of a zombie apocalypse. Although it must be said that Labour do an extremely convincing impression of a zombie apocalypse. Anyone who has actually seen Gordie Broon give one of his speeches knows just how good they are at that, which is probably why they’re always by invitation only.

Charlie Kennedy made the realisation that he was going to have a lot more free time to muse over whether if he’d had given himself less free time while serving as an MP then perhaps he just might not have lost it. But it’s even worse for fellow Lib Dem Robert Smith (no, I’ve never heard of him either) who some years ago was given a knighthood for services to being a nonentity. Boabie discovered that he’s going to be paying a double price for his shortcomings. It’s bad enough that he’s a Lib Dem, and Lib Dems are now a byword for “lying scheming duplicitous gits who’ll sell their soul for a ministerial motor”, but Boabie also has a profile flatter than road kill and is about to turn into road kill himself. Sucking Boabie isn’t just going to be beaten by the SNP, his vote share was lower than the Conservatives. That’s like discovering that you’re less welcome than Hannibal Lector turning up at a vegetarian dinner party with a recipe for home made liver pate.

Not that the Tories have anything to crow about, down in the Borders Scotland’s only Tory panda is staring extinction in the face. Davie Mundell, is tied with the SNP in his seat. Just a couple votes more for Emma Harper, and she can consign the panda to oblivion.

These polls are all the more remarkable for the simple reason that the campaigning hasn’t even started yet. Even on generous estimates of party membership for the Unionist parties, the SNP all by itself can count on three or four times the entire combined total of members of Labour, the Scottish Tories and the Lib Dems. And that’s assuming that Labour’s supposed members are as motivated and energised as the SNPs, and that the Tories can supply enough zimmer frames to get their membership out of the care home. The SNP’s members and activists have barely started chapping on doors yet.

So if you’re a Yes voter and you live in David Mundell or Jim Smugurphy’s constituency – or indeed anywhere else in Scotland – get out and get active. Support the candidate with the best chance of unseating your local unionist placeholder. Let’s wipe the slate clean.

The English poet John Dryden once wrote: beware the fury of a patient man. Scotland has been patient far too long. The fury of a patient people is about to arrive.

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38 comments on “The fury of a patient people

  1. Bill Hume says:

    My reaction to this, I can only liken to a theatre critic’s review from years ago. “I laughed ’till the tears ran down my legs”…….er….actually, while being fairly senile…… y-fronts are still dry……. but only just. Keep it Up Paul, Scotland needs you.

  2. Absolutely brilliant Paul! I’m laughing out loud with tears streaming down my face! Your blogs just keep getting better and better! Love it!

  3. handclapping says:

    “the weeping and wailing and gnashing of wallies” is as fine a piece as Dryden ever wrote.

    Give Ginger a hug

  4. Quinie frae Angus says:

    “Boabie has a profile flatter than roadkill”……”

    “The McTernan Acme Policy Catalogue is raided for yet another cunning wheeze”

    I too was laughing out loud at this! What a hilarious and oh-so-accurate post!

    They really just do NOT know what to do with themselves, or with these polls. They have never before been in this position – i.e. the position of having their entitlements taken away from them.

  5. abesto says:

    A pedant writes:

  6. abesto says:

    A pedant writes: Sir Robert Smith has no knighthood. He is a baronet, a form of hereditary title popularised by James VI&I as a way of raising funds.. Sir Robert Hill Smith, 3rd Baronet, inherited the title from his father, who own obscure father had been awarded the title.

    So it wrong to describe Sir Robert as having “given a knighthood for services to being a nonentity”. That overstates the achievement of a man who is in, in truth, merely the grandson of a nonentity.

    I trust that you will issue a clarification and correction with due prominence

    • weegingerdug says:

      I apologise profusely to nonentities everywhere.

    • Bugger (the Panda) says:

      Sir MARK Thatcher. The case for the prosecution rests.

    • Ro Bell says:

      Yes, but does he pay his taxes or like the rest of the peerage keep them along with the sex offender Sir Kitty Richards someplace in the warmth of a Caribbean Island? I am sure that the Scots “nobility” have confused money with orchids and are trying even as I type to get their Comparettia falcata to bloom in a bank vault in Troon.

  7. macart763 says:

    Great post Paul.

    Fury is hopefully understating it understating it though.

    That would be too kind. 🙂

  8. punklin says:

    Brilliant – again! The Hannibal Lector line had me laughing the most.

    A warning – please please everyone if you can-can-vass, do. And if you can-cam-paign, do. And I mean with real life people in closes and streets, not just online. We must take nothing for granted. Remember how gutted you felt on the 19 Sept? Make sure 8 May is different. For once the polls are in our favour but we mustn’t, can’t ,accept them as the truth. Only door-chapping, engagement and persuasion will do.

    • Nail on head, punklin. We,ve been on the streets since November and the response has been good with a lot of people switching their allegiance to the S.N.P. We have a large Labour majority, almost 14,000 to overturn, so as you say we are taking nothing for granted. Like you, I don’t want another disappointment as happened on the 19th, September, so we will be working as hard as we can to make sure that doesn’t happen.

    • benmadigan says:

      totally agree punklin .i really hope all scotsmen and women will be out there pulling the votes in. The only numberl that counts in the one on 8th May. so it’s up to everyone to make the polls come true!
      On another note – thanks to Paul for a wonderful blog. It’s a joy to read every time

  9. Janis says:

    Once again a great article. Loved every word. Clever and articulate. I would never miss a new blog.

  10. jdman says:

    “The McTernan Acme Policy Catalogue ” Woohahahahahahaha,
    I see The Great Gordos successor has started as he means to go on (snigger)

    Labours candidate for Kirkcaldy Kenny Selbie says

    “I think there’s a lack of understanding by the electorate about Labour’s message”

    There you go we’re to blame again

  11. Ohamgawd. “a dysentery virus doing an impression of a zombie apocalypse.” I’m collapsed with laughter. Brilliant.

  12. Morning coffee poured. Article read slowly. Yes, every dog has its day and the lying, scheming Labour lot are that dog and its day has been had. Incredible how they can all be caricatured – each and every one I’d hold in the same utter contempt. Caricature is all they’re worth and is in reality the only way to accurately describe them. Loved the Saramago image of stairheid Magrit being swept away by her neighbours! Beautiful. Yes, retribution is coming for all their sins against the electorate.Who is that whispering chimera they call Murphy? Who is/was Dugdale? Tumbleweed. Tumbleweed.

  13. aitchbee says:

    In The National today there’s a special report from Glasgow Central constituency, in which Anas Sarwar says ‘I want to make sure by accident that we don’t end up with a Tory government’. Such a flattering view of the electorate. So stupid that they will accidentally put their cross against the SNP candidate when everyone knows they meant to put it against the Labour one.

    Maybe Labour’s next strategy will be to claim that every vote for the SNP is clearly accidental, just a slip of the pen, and the vote should clearly be counted in the Labour pile 😉

  14. Derick Tulloch says:

    Outstanding. Getting my tenner’s worth!

  15. Bugger (the Panda) says:

    I think it is in the morning’s National, a photo of the blessed Margrit with another no mark soon-to=be-in-the-past MP walking down a pedestrian shopping street with Eddie Izzard!

    That;s they way you’ll get the great underwashed to vote for you, ya tube.

    The Labour Party, collectively and individually, have lost the plot.

    It is like something out of the French Revolution run up.

    Bring out the tumbril and let’s get these public executions live and on action replay diffused throughout the World. Pour encourager les autres.

    • hektorsmum says:

      A man after my own heart Panda. where do we start getting the tumbrils, I am sure I can get a sharpish knife.

    • Ken MacColl says:

      But this report states that Magrit is an MSP . I’ll bet she wishes she was! Then she would be able to milk the system for one more year.

      Tick tock tick tock

  16. hektorsmum says:

    I needed a laugh this morning, stressed out, dog in the Vet having had an cataract op, and now sitting waiting on finding out what price I will get for my house, so your wonderful sense of the ridiculous that is much of the politics in Scotland today just made me laugh out loud. Keep up the good work Paul and can I add how much I enjoyed both your articles in the iScot. I had never heard of the Norn Language until with some sort of serendipity I have just read the fourth Huw Cullan book this week and Shirley McKay used it with a character from Orkney.

  17. Vince says:

    Great article as usual. My concern is that if even the SNP do very well at the election, those who have offended the Scottish people the most – Curran, Alexander, Alexander, Murphy, Carmichael and Davidson etc. might still be left standing. They are the one’s who deserve to go first. Let’s hope we manage that.

  18. ians1320 says:

    Sent from Samsung tablet

  19. JimW says:

    You are quite right, Paul. Reporting Scotland were forced to mention the latest poll, but they couldn’t actually bring themselves to say what it’s findings were, and a stranger might have been forgiven for thinking that it was really quite bad news for the SNP.

  20. Pam McMahon says:

    Superb, as per. I wish we had somebody like you writing about the apparently entrenched Lib Dems up here in the north. It’s like an alternative universe up here, where the soft Tory vote keeps people like Charles Kennedy, Danny Alexander, Whathisname the cardboard cut-out of Orkney and my own MP, (Lord) John Thurso sitting on their bank accounts in Westminster.

    • Connor Mcewen says:

      Did not realise there is broadband up there. Cameron and the other two of the unholy trinity from Westminster told me I could not write or type words so I believed them.So the pensioners and the farmworkers in Pictish Britain will only believe what they read in the Daily Congraph and
      Daily Wreck.

      • Pam McMahon says:

        No, we’re still relying on smoke signals so I’m glad mine are still getting through, because I’ve nearly smoked myself to death here. Never mind, I can go and add to the A&E crisis when both lungs collaspse.

  21. Steve Bowers says:

    Donation done, keep up the good work Paul, hope you’re coping with things.

  22. Flash says:

    I predict that none of the above will lose their seats, as: (a) there’ll be six and a half million postal votes & (b) several fire alarms at key polling stations…

  23. Ken Waldron says:

    Wonderful 🙂

  24. ” the SNP all by itself can count on three or four times the entire combined total of members of Labour, the Scottish Tories and the Lib Dems”

    And that doesn’t count the non-members, that still want to see the Westminster machine in London or the Labour in Scotland taken down a peg or twenty.

  25. Hoss Mackintosh says:

    Paul, another great post.

    I am one of the patient men. I have waited over 40 years to see the SNP win at Westminster and hopefully this will come to pass in May.

    I am very patient – it may be another five or ten years but we will win our freedom back.

    Of that I am sure.

  26. Nigel Mace says:

    The Dryden is spot on and adapts beautifully. Spare a thought too for the hapless so-called ‘nice-guy’ Michael Moore and his colourless Tory colleague cum challenger (who doesn’t like to say Tory too much on his leaflets) John Lamont in Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk. The former who has, unlike real nice guys, voted 99.5% of the time the straight Tory ticket at Westminster and has topped decades of LibDem uselessness by being the Tory his voters voted to keep out; the latter is known as the 5 minute man – this being the time taken for another pointless photo-op, after which he’s rarely seen at the same site again for years. Come 7th May, two more for the green wheelie bin Lamont is daft enough to think Borderers will care more about than his party’s trashing of the nation’s economy. Perhaps they should all found a club – or a consultancy even – a sort of balancing act to the Proclaimers; let’s call them The Remainders. Any offers?

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