Jim Murphy BA Politics (failed) wants us not to vote against Labour in anger. I’d just like to take a few minutes out of a busy day spent beelin’ to assure Jim that there are very few voters left in Scotland who will vote against the party in anger. Anger is not a strong enough word for what yer average Scottish voter feels for the Labour party in Scotland and what it has become. Anger doesn’t begin to describe it.
Speaking for myself, I left anger behind a long time ago when Blair invaded Iraq and Jim cheered along. I took a wee detour by contempt when Labour let the bankers off their leash and Jim urged them on. I spent some time in apoplexy when Labour introduced the creeping back door privatisation of PPI contracts and Jim gave it his support. I had a holiday in derision when Gordie saved the world and Jim claimed some reflected glory. I made a stop over in invective when Jim stood on an Irn Bru crate shoulder to shoulder with the Tories during the referendum campaign. And now Jim, now, I’m in that cold quiet place of clarity that tells me your party must be culled and your career killed off. I’m way past angry.
Labour only knows smear and fear, the disgrace is all theirs. The smears don’t work any more and all that the likes of Wee Dougie Alexander can do is to delete the evidence of his complicity in smear and hope that no one remembers. But we do remember Dougie. And we’ll still remember in a few short weeks time when we get to give you a verdict. It will be a sentence that’s hard for Labour.
They can’t say we didn’t warn them. We warned them in 2007 and they promised they’d listen and change. They did neither. We gave them an almighty kicking in 2011 and they promised they’d listen and they’d change. They did neither. We put them on probation with the result of the independence referendum, and they went back to their old duplicity and lies. Their condition is terminal, and it’s time to terminate them.
When the Labour party in Scotland chose Jim as its leader, it was the sad and sorry fag end of a party which had sucked all the life out of itself and the communities it claimed to represent. Jim’s leadership is the cold dout in Labour’s ashtray, the stale smell of Labour’s decay and death, a party that’s incapable of even recognising what its core voters long for and aspire to, never mind representing them. If anything resembling Labour’s socialism, or even social democracy, is to be reborn then it can only come out of the scattered ashes of a party that traduced the hopes and aspirations of an entire people over three generations. Labour in Scotland must be killed off so something new can be born.
Jim’s making a plea for us not to vote Labour out as a protest, but to cast a positive vote for change. That’s exactly what we’re going to do, and that’s exactly why we’ll be voting to keep Jim’s party out of office and to destroy and thoroughly discredit its current leadership and its entire modus operandi. We’re doing it out of hope, the scales have fallen from our eyes and we can see the monster Labour has become, dressed in the tattered rags of a party that once stood for the poor, the marginalised, the dispossessed. Modern Labour serves for nothing except itself and a discredited cosy wee establishment that’s had it all its own way for far too long. Labour’s jockocracy and Uncle Tammery is dead, and in this election Scotland is going to finish it off for good.
Jim bewails the apathy and disengagement he sees in the most politically involved nation in Europe. But it’s not that we’re not disengaged from politics, we’re disengaged from Jim and his politics of passivity, the politics of the little people sitting back quietly and consuming what the likes of Jim tell us the agenda has to be. Fuck that Jim. The political life of a nation is not something we will sit back and lap up while it’s dished out to us by the fast food toxicity of the Labour party in Scotland. We’ll be telling you what the menu is Jim, we’ll set the agenda and you will jump and you will deliver. Or you can put on your jogging pants and jog off. But you jogged off into the twilight a long time ago, it’s only now you’ve just realised that no one has followed you into your dead end.
In Jim Murphy’s mental universe the electorate of Scotland is apathetic. That view only serves to show just how hopelessly out of touch the Labour leadership is, trapped in its hall of mirrors, admiring its own reflection and thinking it’s being perceptive.
During the independence referendum there was an explosion of political activity from all sorts of people who had never been politically involved in their lives. The referendum taught us that politics is not a spectator sport, it’s fun for all the family. To politic is an active verb, a transitive but we are not its objects. We are the agents of change, the medium and the message. The membership figures of the SNP, the Greens and the Scottish Socialists have gone through the roof while Labour withers and dies, the Tories collect their pensions and the Lib Dems go extinct. Non party organisations flourish, the Common Weal, the National Collective, and a self made media gives space to voices that were silenced before by the suffocating conformity of a complacent mainstream media. This is Jim’s apathy.
The people of Scotland are active agents on their own political stage. We are not Jim’s passive consumers, we are not the respectful audience at the play we’re not allowed to write. We’re the actors, and we’re the stars. We’re upstaging you Jim. And we will not be getting back into our seats any time soon. Get used to it. We are the future and we’re here now.
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