Alicsammin’s memoir of the referendum campaign is now in the shops, and it promises to be infinitely more readable than Alan Cockring’s self-serving reminisces, although that’s not difficult. The Japanese language instructions for setting up a Unix based server dedicated to accountacy programs and paint timing sequences are more readable than anything that issues from the poison pen of the Cockring. And a whole lot wittier. I mean seriously Alan, if you want to do a character assassination, attack a person’s character – making snide references to personal appearance just doesn’t cut it ya overweight beardie fashion disaster with a bad haircut.
Onieweys, according to Alicsammin, it was the Labour party which turned his dad into an SNP voter. Samminsenior’s not alone there. The SNP looks like it’s going to receive the votes of almost two million people on Scotland’s electoral register and about 1,999,999 of them were turned into SNP voters by the Labour party. In Samminsenior’s case, the conversion was achieved many years ago by a Labour canvasser possessed of the wit and charm of Alan Cockring, who referred to the SNP as the Scottish Nose Pickers. Samminsenior was so offended by the childish bile that he’s voted SNP ever since.
For many of the rest of the almost two million, the conversion was also achieved by Labour bile and spite. It wasn’t always as overtly childish as the Nose Pickers line, for many it was the Bain Principle. It was accidently revealed in some Labour emails by Glasgow MP Wee Wullie Ah Stey Wi Ma Maw Bain that the Parliamentary Labour party has a policy of not backing or supporting any SNP motion in the House of Commons – even if it’s one that Labour does otherwise agree with. The fact it was put forward by the SNP is enough for Labour to act like the political equivalent of a nine year old school kid with a grudge against a more popular girl, although that’s being terribly unfair to the emotional maturity of nine year olds. The SNP’s just ugly, and it smells, and it’s not all that. Who does it think it is eh?
There’s only so much of it a sane grown up person can take before insisting that the biliousness one buggers off to its bedroom with no telly or mobile phone or tablet until it shuts up and learns the meaning of the phrase good grace. The SNP just has more friends than Labour does, and until Labour learns to accept that that’s Labour’s own fault, Labour will not succeed in winning any of its friends back. Now its left solely with the sympathy of people like the Tory Alan Cockring and John McTernan, who isn’t actually a Tory but might as well be. By your friends shall ye be known, or some such 1940s homespun philosophy. Labour has some very unattractive friends.
Many modern SNP supporters have not altered their political principles. In this fact alone they are alienated from a Labour party which doesn’t have any principles. They still believe in equality, fairness, and looking after the poor and the weak in society. Labour doesn’t seem to believe in any of that any more. In an interview with the Guardian on Tuesday Labour’s Rachel Reeves, the party’s work and pensions spokesperson, said something worth quoting in full: “We are not the party of people on benefits. We don’t want to be seen, and we’re not, the party to represent those who are out of work. Labour are a party of working people, formed for and by working people.”
So if you’re unlucky enough to be out of work, Labour won’t even pretend to represent you. This quote came in an article ostensibly about how Ms Reeves would implement measures to reduce dependency on foodbanks. But she’s not going to do that by representing people who are out of work. She won’t do it by listening to them and seeking to ensure that their voices are heard at the highest levels of government. Labour will merely look upon them charitably, after first having judged whether they are suitable recipients of charity.
That attitude is precisely why so many in Scotland have turned their backs on the Labour party. Labour has become the party of the haves, the party of those who jealously hold on to what they have themselves. Labour has become the party of those who, when asked to think about the future of their country, thought about the price of their car insurance and told themselves that they were merely being realistic and level headed. Labour is the party of those whose horizons stretch no further than the nearest shopping centre, whose aspirations go no higher than an economy flight to New York for a weekend’s break. Labour’s aspirations are those of a supersucker cylinder vacuum cleaner. Labour’s vision is the vision of a designer specs store and its dreams are those of a mattress shop. Labour has no poetry in its soul. It has no soul. But we still do.
That’s why hundreds of thousands of voters in this country have abandoned Labour. They have no nobility, nothing to be proud of, no hope, no future. Labour offers the same materialistic future as the Tories, where things only have value and worth if they can be denominated in pounds and pence. It dances in a triangulation dance with the Tories, calculated steps that take it ever rightwards, off the edge of our souls. So ordinary voters with love in the hearts and spirit in their songs say to the Labour party – triangulate my arse.
We don’t want to be told that it’s wrong to dream. We don’t want to hear those who tell us there is no hope. We will not leave behind those who are worse off than ourselves and consign them to the charity of the uncharitable.
It’s not so much that the SNP has won Scotland’s heart – it’s that Labour has lost it. And it’s lost it for good.
The Dug goes National
The dug had a meeting today with the editor of the National – and as of this Thursday will be writing a weekly column in your Scottish national newspaper in addition to the monthly column in iScot magazine. And of course this blog! I’d just like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has donated to the blog over the past few weeks. It means I’m now able to dedicate myself to writing for a living – and will continue to make sure that the blog is my first priority!
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