This weekend is the party conference of a party that’s not a branch office or an accounting unit. And it’s actually being attended by real live human beings who are filling a large hall. Over 3000 folk have turned up to listen to politics on a Saturday morning in Glasgow in March, representatives of a truly Scottish party that now has 102,143 members and counting. Account for that, accounting unit. It’s a nation in motion and it’s not going to stop until it achieves the change we’ve demanded, the change that’s been promised. The change that Westminster said it would deliver but it reneged on. We’re going to take it from them.
Labour won’t give an account of how many members its accounting unit has, and the reason they won’t give an exact figure is because the number is embarrassingly low. 7,000 if they’re lucky, and counting down. Tick tock. And another one leaves. 6,999 / 102,144. It’s a number that is getting smaller every day as Labour’s dwindling band of non-elected activists give up in despair. Tick tock. It’s going to be 6,998 by the time I get to the end of this sentence. They have so few left that they can’t deliver their election propaganda and have to get the post office to do it. Tick tock. 6,997 / 102,145.
Compare and contrast the buzz in the packed hall with anything that the accounting units can manage. Labour’s carefully stage managed speeches before small gatherings of pre-selected safe types who won’t ask difficult questions. The tumbleweed in the Lib Dem room. The Tories who can’t count past one. Yet Scotland is engaged with politics, engaged with discussion and debate about its future. Politicians bewail and bemoan the public disenchantment with politics. Well here were are in Scotland enchanted with the possibilities this country has. We’re exciting and exciting, we’re alive to ideas, we’re more pregnant than a panda. But the Unionist politicians are scared and angry, because we’re not engaged with anything that the Smugurph has to offer. But then Jim is deeply unengaging. Would you want to be trapped in a lift with him? Nuff said. Tick tock, 6,996 / 102,146.
In a doomed effort to wrest some headlines from the force that really will shape Scotland’s general election, Gordie Broon today promised that this election would be the “social justice” election and promised all sorts of goodies for NHS Scotland. Gordie’s going to guarantee that, just like he guaranteed his precious vow, and just like he guaranteed to be the MP for Kirkcaldy. He’ll guarantee it by pissing off and delivering well paid speeches to rich business people. He’ll guarantee it by getting confused between powers that are devolved and those that are retained by Westminster. But that’s Gordie, confused and lost in a political wasteland of his own making. He still believes he’s the king over the water, the rest of us know that he drowned a long time ago. Tick tock, 6,995 / 102,147.
But today is Nicla’s day. She’s the good cop to Alicsammin’s bad cop, trapping the Westminster parties in a pincer movement, and grabbing them by the bollocks that they constantly spout. Alicsammin spent the week putting the shiters up them, now Nicla comes with the soothing balm that will dissolve the nasty haemorrhoids of Tory rule. She’s promising to be the constructive force for progressive politics that Labour once said it would be, but instead Labour turned into a bonfire of hope courtesy of Gordie and Tony Blair. Tick tock, 6,994 / 102,148.
Nicla showed why Labour hates the SNP so much, because she is promising the kind of policies that Labour used to promise when it was still a labour party when it really was the party of the workers’ expectations and hadn’t become what it is today, the party of managing the workers’ expectations. The difference is that Nicla means what she says. She means it when she says she wants a living wage, no privatisation in the NHS, no student fees, an end to Trident, abolishing the House of Lords, proportional representation, gender equality. And home rule, the promise made by Keir Hardie all those generations ago. We’ve been promised these things for decades, but Labour’s no closer to delivering them. The British Parliamentary Road to socialism ended in a PPI contract and a toll booth. It’s time to take matters out of Labour’s hands. It’s time to hold the accounting unit to account. Tick tock. 6,993 / 102,149.
The question Labour needs to answer is if the combined number of Labour and SNP MPs can attain a majority in Westminster then will Labour rule out letting Cameron back into power. Jim Murphy doesn’t want an answer to that question. Jim Murphy doesn’t want his accounting unit to be held to account. He doesn’t want to be forced to be the socialist he discovered that he must claim to be ever since he found out that being a Blairite was electoral poison. Nicla’s going to force him. Tick tock. 6,992 / 102,150.
So here we are. Standing at the gates of history. Standing at the door of change, pushing through. Nothing stands between us and destiny except Jim and his discredited lies, the tissue of mendacity that is all that holds back the Scottish tide. We only have to have the courage to walk through the portcullis of Westminster and Scotland will change the world. And we have that in abundance. Scotland has already changed forever, already crossed into the land of self-belief. We’re independent in our heads already, we’re independent in our hearts, we’re independent in our spirit – and that’s all we need. Tick tock. 6,991 / 102,151.
It’s too late to stop us. We’re already here. We are in your town, your street, your house. The numbers are counting the future, and the future is Scottish, the future is here. You are the future. Be it.
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