Getting up from the back of the bus

What do you call it when you throw a party and no one comes? You call it Labour’s Scottish accounting unit. On the advice of folk like John McTernan, the leaders of the Labour party in Scotland threw social democracy down a privatised toilet in pursuit of a triangulated Tory jobbie, and now all that’s left are the skid marks on Jim Murphy’s Y-fronts. This is not an enticing prospect for any voter, and they’re staying away in droves. Scotland has taken the claes peg off its nose, and has reached for the electoral dettol instead. It’s guaranteed to kill 99% of careerists’ careers stone dead.

The UK media has now woken up to the fact that the electorate of Scotland has collectively decided that it won’t be laundering Labour’s soiled pants any longer, and has reacted with a hysterical panic which isn’t just borderline racist. It has long since crossed that border and is deep into kitsch kilt tinfoil glengarry territory. You could seek an explanation from the Guardian’s cartoonist and specialist in Uncle Tammery, Steve Bell, but that wouldn’t help much because he thinks denial is a tributary of declyde.

It’s predictable that supporters of invisible British nationalism of the Labour party variety might be appalled by their party’s impending annihilation, but the Conservative media is equally outraged. However it’s not that Tory leaning newspapers are disgusted and appalled that the Labour party is in deep trouble. Causing deep trouble for Labour the sort of thing that Tory leaning newspapers strive for.

What they’re really upset about is that Labour is in such deep trouble that they now have the same electoral prospects as the Scottish Conservatives. The only consolation for both Labour and the Tories is that their chances of re-election are marginally better than Danny Alexander’s, although not by much. The real disgust of the Unionist media is that Scotland has turned its back on all the Unionist parties, and is seeking to have a distinctive voice of its own in the next Westminster Parliament.

This is, apparently, a very bad thing as it portends rampaging hordes of ginger rodents, Nicla doing an impression of Mylie’s wrecking ball, and foaming rivers of blood. It’s all got terribly biblical all of a sudden. Apart from Nicla on her Mylieball. The worst thing of all is that the UK is relying on Ed Miliband and Davie Cameron to do a Moses routine and lead the Union out of the wilderness and part the rising wild waters of the red sea of Scottish anger.

So much for lovebombing and telling us how the UK needed a Scottish voice in it. I seem to recall that just a few short months ago we were being told that Britain just wouldn’t be Britain unless it had a Scotland in it. Our colourful kiltish characteristics and folk dances were an integral part of this Island Story, or at least of Steve Bell’s cartoons in the Guardian. They needed us, they loved us. Please please don’t go. Now however what we discover is that what they meant was – shut up, don’t get up out of your seat at the back of the bus, and you may get some cereal shortly.

But the passengers have already got out of their seats at the back of Labour’s Scotland battlebus and are advancing down the aisle intent on wresting the steering wheel from Jim Murphy’s hands. The only question remaining is just how much of an electoral kicking the party is going to get.

Writing in his blog this week, Eric Joyce had some sage advice for Labour in Scotland. That’s how low Labour has fallen. A disgraced MP with a propensity to alcohol fuelled violence is now their moral conscience. Eric believes that the only hope for Labour in Scotland is for it to become a real Scottish Labour Party, and to argue for the continuance of Scotland within the UK from the perspective of a truly Scottish social democratic party which is independent of Labour south of the border. But, he adds, even that is only going to be possible if Jim Murphy’s band of placepersons, careerists, and dinosaurs manage to cling on to at least a couple of dozen seats in May’s election. To be reduced to two dozen seats would represent a massive historic defeat for Labour in Scotland, but the polls suggest that even that seems to be hopelessly optimistic.

Eric thinks that if the polling figures are borne out, and Labour is reduced to a rump of less than 20 seats – and many polls point to Labour’s seat tally being down in single figures – the, he says, the game is a bogey for the Unionist parties. Labour’s only hope would be to reinvent itself entirely as a Scottish party advocating full home rule or independence – taking the party back to its historic roots. Because that’s what Labour stood for when it was founded over 100 years ago. Labour then wanted to see Scotland with Home Rule, to have a similar status to Canada or Australia, self governing dominions of the crown. It’s taken over 100 years of the failed experiment of the British Parliamentary Road to Socialism to bring Labour back to where it began.

Meanwhile today saw the release of the GERS figures, for government expenditure and revenues in Scotland. There’s been the usual smugness from the usual suspects, who are hoping somehow that a poor set of figures will make Scottish voters keep quiet and still at the back of the bus. I’ve said this before, but it’s worth repeating. Let’s take the Unionist crowing at face value. Scotland runs a massive deficit and has a dangerously unbalanced economy which is over-dependent on the plummeting price of oil. Oh my god we’re a basket case, and only the tender mercies of Westminster save us from penury.

However to claim that this is an argument against full fiscal autonomy or independence overlooks the pointing finger. The Scotland with its massive energy resources, both fossil and renewable, its fertile land, its copious rainful which means that the Scots word for drought refers not to a shortage of water but to the desire to have a wee dram, its abundance of food supplies, its highly educated populace, its diverse industries, its tourism, its world class universities, its ancient democratic traditions, its situation in a quiet and geopolitically stable and peaceful part of the globe. That Scotland. That Scotland is too poor and helpless to govern itself, too poor even to have devo max and fiscal autonomy within the UK. So whose fault is it that that Scotland is in such a lamentable financial state? Oh yeah – that would be Westminster and the Unionist parties who took what were the raw materials for one of the most successful nations on the planet and turned it into a feckless basket case. And they want us to reward them for that.

Let’s get up from our seats at the back of the bus. Let’s whack the bus driver over the head with a packet of cereal, and let’s start having some influence about the direction of the journey we are on. Let’s keep scaring the columnists in the UK media. Because when we scare them, they pay attention.

There’s only one way to do that, and it’s not by voting Labour.

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31 comments on “Getting up from the back of the bus

  1. Yep. Let’s keep up being bolshy because it’s the only time they even acknowledge our existence. I feel like I’ve been shat on more than once too often now and I’m sick of having to be nice about it. I’m sick of walking into places down here and socially inept total strangers hearing my voice and proclaiming “E’s A JOCK!” like I’d accidentally wandered onto a Whites Only beach in 1950s Durban!

  2. Rosa Alba Macdonald says:

    Aptly, below your blog, an Ad for HSBC. HA.

  3. Janis says:

    As ever a great article. Murphy skid marks, loved it. Your view of Scotland is spot on and I think as a nation we are weakening up to the realisation that we will no longer be taken for mugs.

  4. […] Getting up from the back of the bus […]

  5. WRH2 says:

    Brilliant as usual. A donation on its way.

  6. macart763 says:

    What they’re doing in the English variations of the press is especially poisonous. Stirring racial hatred to undermine confidence in any party not part of the establishment. Pretty grim.

    The damage this will cause? We can’t even begin to quantify at this point, but basically stir the shit so that someone gets to sit in number ten for five years. What kind of heartless monster does that? What system breeds that kind of insanely callous nature? The one we tried so desperately to wean people from.

    This is what people voted to be part of? To be made second class citizens in their own home? To be insulted on a daily basis, made to be a bogie man to scare the English electorate? And then there’s the columnists, cartoonists, broadcasters willingly enabling this Westminster narrative of the barbaric ginger neds coming to rule them. FFS how can anyone check their kisser in the mirror knowing they’ve taken part in this? Is the wage cheque that fucking good? Is must be some number to buy that amount of conscience.

    Whatever else happens on May 7, get out of bed and get down to that polling station. Put your mark in the box marked SNP and get some protection for Scotland in the house of commons, because these people are not going to stop what they’re doing anytime soon. They will justify the most punitive legislation they can on the least able to defend themselves by any means necessary. The intent of the current wave of anti Scottish hysteria will ensure that no one will raise a finger in protest at any such legislation from the other UK partners. They have a debt to pay off and they’ve underwritten it with your future.

  7. Iain Hill says:

    Strange to see Mr Joyce arise as from the dead.

    Look, the game’s a bogey. I detest the sordid caricature of nationalism promoted by Steve Bell anyway, but the vast majority of us dedicated to Labour’s overthrow are not nationalists. We are furious ex Labourites.

    We grew up in a social democratic country with generous, mature Labour policies and expected nothin ever to change. We would vote for them all our lives. I am approaching 70 and it has been a real wrench to separate at this stage.

    We have not become a bunch of rabid caber tossers. Labour in Scotland has abandoned us, not the other way around, and they are the tossers.

    We placed all our hopes in them, and our expectations, but it is only realistic to recognise now that our beloved ship is sunk, its cargo thrown overboard by a feckless gang of greedy neoliberal self seekers without an ounce of principle among them. Bless Major Eric (may be recover from his troubles), but at least he has had a job, he has made a realcontribution.

    Murphy’s 9 years as Student in Residence at a college may be a record in itself, but worse still is that he does not yet seem to have left these days, with his juvenile, shallow posturing and lack of any political talent but that of tonelessly repeating the same old long- exposed mantras aimed at the politically unaware. Well, we are aware now.

    Aware that you have destroyed our real valued Scottish Labour Party, and our anger is burning. We need to cleanse the stables totally, and perhaps then build a new idealistic party for the benefit of the people, of the people, and supported by the people.

    Till then, goodbye, and we will make the best of the social democratic parties we have.

  8. Iain Hill says:

    PS tried to donate, but no acknowledgement from Paypal!

  9. Richard Smith says:

    One has to hope that, in the bleak morning light of May 8th, one of Murphy’s lieutenants will have had the foresight to leave a tin of Buckie and a large free range egg in the fridge in the Bath Street bunker, and that Jim will have the wit to do the decent thing.

    • Giesabrek says:

      Now that IS funny! I can pistuire a drunk Murphy slung over his desk, egg in hand, his lieutenants standing by watching and telling him it’s for the good of the country, before he swiftly raises said egg to smash against his forehead!🙂

  10. fillofficer says:

    fantastic, meaningful & heartfelt as usual. you should also voice record each post, delivered like an oration, ending in a crescendo. people would listen

  11. Thank you for another interesting and entertaining column .. Didn’t have a scooby about Labour’s historic home rule roots.

  12. cearc says:

    ‘Let’s get up from our seats at the back of the bus. Let’s whack the bus driver over the head with a packet of cereal,’

    Ahhh, you’re trying to get featured in the Mail/ Record to raise your evil, abusive, cybernat profile.

    Good business plan!

  13. Johnny come lately says:

    Excellent article. Of course the headlines, demeaning photo shopped images, derogatory and outrageous cartoons strips and sniping instead of political commentary are not aimed at a Scottish audience. It is (without disguise) a desperate attempt to get Cameron elected with a overall majority. This is a desperate, almost painful attempt at imposing project fear on the English electorate.
    The similarities of the campaigns (referendum and GE) are striking. Smearing, disinformation, scaremongering, personal attacks and abuse have replaced policies, manifestos, political discussion and debate.
    Some have pointed out that this behavior could prove counterproductive. The question is, will it prove counterproductive in the long term or the short term.
    Imo the damage in the long term will be irreparable. Desperate stuff from desperate people!

  14. hektorsmum says:

    I remember Paul you saying before the referendum vote that we would not be getting back into the shortbread tin any time soon. Those were prophetic words. we certainly aren’t and that is the problem for Westminster. Stuck as they are in the 18th/19th Century they thought that once they cheated to beat us that would be the end.
    Well they ken this noo, it isnae gawn to happen.

  15. Giesabrek says:

    Before the referendum I was concerned that the tone of the unionists and their press was so negative that if Scotland didn’t gain it’s independence last September that irreparable damage would be done to the relationship between Scotland and rUK (i.e. London/Westminster), that instead of parting on reasonably good terms, it would become more acrimonious and bitter before the inevitable finally came and Scotland finally chose independence.

    Seems my concern underestimated how rapidly the relationship would sour and how nasty the English press would become. This is only going to end in one result, sooner or later, and with the way Westminster and it’s puppet press are going, it’s going to be a long time before Scotland and rUK will be on friendly terms at the government level. It’s Ireland all over again (though hopefully without the violence).

    • Giesabrek says:

      Please forgive the wrong use of it’s in places above – should have given it a careful review before posting (to make matters worse it’s one of my own personal bugbears!)

  16. kat hamilton says:

    thank you paul, wish we could put a leaflet of your wise words through the doors and make the proud but nats, and ive always voted labour types at least think over their actions.though im sure that 25-30percent will never move on to progressive politics alas…at least i did my part and returned to sender the red tories literature, cough, which graced my letter box today…not a canvasser or activist in sight, just the postie doing the dirty work. what can you expect…try and get a few quid to the dug soon. need more of the vote snp get scotland to go through the letter boxes and neutralise the troughers message..

  17. melvin penman says:

    Hi Paul

    In the next few weeks your contribution is critical to Scotland. I hope you have the time and will to press on. Don’t be surprised if the BBC try to discredit you and wings ,they have a desire to lie and threaten democracy. If the SNP do win the vast majority of Scottish seats in a couple of months time. You should be very proud of your part in the revolution.

  18. Lewis Thomson says:

    The Ginger Dug has the right of it as usual.

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