The rationality of rage

There’s an article in today’s Guardian in which assorted Labour party figures bewail the supposedly irrational rage that their candidates encounter on the doorstep in Scotland. The public is so angry that punters refuse even to take Labour’s literature, regarding it as radioactive waste, poisonous and contaminating. See thae voters, they’re mad so they are. What have Labour ever done to deserve this? It makes no sense to the Guardian columnists and the party hierarchy. It’s not the party which is wrong, it’s the people. It’s not Labour which has gone astray, it’s Scotland.

The anger and contempt with which Labour is met is everyone’s fault but Labour’s – Wee Dougie Alexander thinks it’s down to a European-wide phenomenon of anti-government feeling exacerbated by the banking crisis which in Scotland, as elsewhere in Europe, has found expression in a populist nationalism. And at that point we all stop listening.

It’s got fuck all to do with that Dougie. It’s because we know that Scotland isn’t important enough to the Labour party for you to prioritise what Scottish voters want. It’s got everything to do with voters in Scotland being sick fed up of a Labour party which has taken us for granted for generations while it ignores our wishes and sooks up to Tory voters in Middle England in an attempt to get into power. It’s got everything to do with Labour turning itself into a vehicle for government which has no clue what to do once it gets into power except to pander to the right wing press and the financial services industry of the City of London. You had your 13 years of crushing Labour majorities under Blair and Brown Dougie. And you blew it.

Dougie, the root cause for Scotland’s rage against Labour lies squarely with the Labour party. It lies with you Dougie, and with the rest of the sorry misbegotten bunch of placepersons, triangulators, schemers, pseudo-intellectuals, despair mongerers and party balloons who sit for Labour in Scotland. Dougie’s rationale is “big boys done it and ran away” dressed up in the cant of pseudo-sophisticated sophistry.

Rage is a rational response to politicians who don’t know the difference between truth and play dough. Rage is right when faced with an MP who thinks turning up for a photo shoot means they can take credit for a community campaign. Rage is the responsible response to those who have taken a party born in the struggle for social justice and turned it into a party of managing working class aspirations on behalf of the bosses. Rage is reasonable when confronted with a political class which is incapable of a straight answer to the simplest of questions. Jim Murphy couldn’t even answer the question “do you want sugar with your tea” without uttering the words, “Look, I hope you don’t mind.”

I do mind Jim. I mind that you can’t say whether you intend to resign your seat in East Renfrew in order to stand for Holyrood. I mind that you are unable to tell us exactly what cuts your party is planning. I mind that you manipulate facts to suit your arguments, I mind that you patronise, I mind that you interrupt, I mind that you went to work on an egg. I mind that you lie about socialism. I mind that you have no political principles beyond saving your sorry career. I mind that you’re really using mind in the Scots sense and hoping we can’t remember your expenses claims, your cheerleading for wars, your obsession with phallus shaped missiles. But we do fucking mind, as you will be reminded. And we’re going to remind Labour that rage is righteous.

Rage is what happens when a people feel betrayed. It’s the justified anger of the thrice scorned, the correct reply to the wrong question, it’s the four minute warning to a party that’s turned its back on the communities that gave it birth. And even now, despite the howling klaxons, Labour still can’t hear, still doesn’t want to listen.

The sirens shriek the death of Labour, and here we bloody go again with Gordie Broon being dragged out to vow things. Gordon Brown is getting increasingly like one of those elderly incontinent yappy wee dugs drooling in its toothless jaws as it tries to gain some purchase on your leg so it can shaft you – vowvowvowvow. He’s promising all sorts of sweeties if only we vote Labour. That’s the Gordie who was going to personally supervise the vow he swore before the referendum in front of the mass rank of an invited audience of a Labour supporter, some reporters from friendly newspapers and a BBC camera. That one didn’t end well, but here he is intervening for the first time again – only this time it’s just rank.

This intervention is the last throw of the dice of a party that’s gone beyond desperate. They’re dragging out the pensionscarer again to speak in a closed locked room to a rank of reporters replacing a rally. A retiring MP with no power to do anything except remind us how useless he was the last time he made a vow.

This time Gordie is promising £5000 for every foodbank in Scotland. Is he going to personally ensure that promise is kept too? He’s not promising to abolish food banks, he’s not promising an end to the punitive benefits regime and the demonisation of the poor and needy. He’s not promising to listen and learn. He’s sure as hell not vowing that Labour will change. In Labour’s eyes it doesn’t need to change, it’s us who need to change. Labour wants us to change back into the tame controlled flock of the unthinking that bends over to act as a footstool for its political ambitions.

So all we are left with is rage. Our rage will be the death of Labour in Scotland. Watch us, watch us kill off Labour with the laughter of the justified and the scorn of those who’ve been ignored too long. We’ve already pushed the party out of our hearts, now we stand on the edge of Labour’s precipice, waiting for the satisfying splat of crushed careers. Our rage is rational. Our rage is reasonable. Our rage is cool, calm, and considered. And such rage, directed, will change the world.

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72 comments on “The rationality of rage

  1. Maggie Craig says:

    Hi, haven’t commented for a while but reading and agreeing every day, with the occasional splutter of my breakfast toast and marmalade. Couldn’t agree more with this. How sad is it that the party of Keir Hardie, James Maxton, Mary Barbour and all those folk who were passionate about fighting poverty and achieving social justice has come to this? But as someone said to us at the weekend: “Scotland hasn’t deserted Labour, Labour has deserted us.” Roll on the 7th May.

  2. Rik McHarg says:

    Bang on bang on bang on. This is it – more like this. Truth is power.

  3. Justin Fayre says:

    I thought Gregg Moodie’s depuction of Gordzilla,was excellent.
    The toothless barking of barking broon is beyond brilliant
    Well done you.

  4. Justin Fayre says:

    Depuction?..oops..depiction. SORRY

  5. Fiona says:

    I am not sure about this. We only have the labour party’s word for it that they are meeting rage. I don’t really trust them even on this. Rage could only be there if folk cared about them. Some of us, at least, have gone well beyond that.

    I wouldn’t take a leaflet from a labour canvasser: not because I am angry. Because I will not read their stuff since it is utterly irrelevant to where I am now, and because I live 3 up and see no reason to take responsibility for recycling their rubbish. They do that for themselves in the normal course and can continue to do so, for me

  6. Gobsmackingingly wonderfully liberating. Brilliant.

    Here’s a serious thought – Can your ‘letters’ be transposed into the spoken word/voice for 2 reasons: 1. to reach, or give exposure to a far wider audience. and 2. to really express the controlled visceral rage at being patronised for decades by this useless class of professional politicians/sales(wo)men? Thinking the power of David Hayman and the great dictator speech.

    Just a thought. You must have tried it. See what it sounds like? Spoken, it becomes LIVE.

    • Nigel Mace says:

      I rather agree about getting some of your pieces recorded, Paul – and especially this one. It has the litany like quality that would really suit declamation – and it made me recall J’accuse. Very, very well said.

  7. This and Hardeep’s dropkick of a Tory tosser on ‘This Week’ last night have really made my day. We’re on to the bastards now – why don’t they just go away, shut up and take a long hard look at themselves?

    • Jan Cowan says:

      …..”just go away” will do me, Richard. I’ve had more than enough of their ridiculous lies.
      Glad, Paul, you reminded D Alexander of his disgraceful attempt to take credit for a community campaign. “Son of the Manse”? Some hope. I only hope he’s ashamed of his deceitful conduct.

  8. gerry parker says:

    ” Our rage is cool, calm, and considered. And such rage, directed, will change the world. ”

    Perfect description.

  9. Hargaret Modge says:

    Out and about in the sunshine yesterday we heard this rage.
    Wearing a wee SNP badge made folk tell us of their rage at the Labour party without us having to ask. They too said that they gave them hell on the doorstep and sent them packing.
    And this was in some of the sleepiest wee Borders towns. Folk are plain fed-up and prepared to show their anger.

    • Irene Danks says:

      I was leafleting yesterday in a (what used to be) Labour stronghold. A woman came up and asked me for a leaflet! Okay, she was a supporter, joined (like me) after the referendum. But this is Falkirk. Where Eric Joyce was shoed-in time after time. Where there’s a Labour/Tory council, where the obligatory monkey with a red rosette has traditionally been selected then elected. We are no longer their voting fodder.

      • Steve Bowers says:

        Hi Irene, I was out canvassing in Stonehaven yesterday afternoon, of the six people that were in, one was labour the rest were all SNP, it was such a buzz chapping on the doors in this LibDem stronghold.

        • jdman says:

          Paul its blogs like this that puts the fire back in our bellies and keeps us fortified, your a truly great man!

          Steve I was out putting leaflets through doors in Lochgelly yesterday, the heart of Gordon Browns (ex) fiefdom and a group of people were sitting in the sunshine, and passing my leaflet to the woman, she said “dinne waste yer time pal, this street is solid SNP go hame and enjoy the sunshine, and later a man railed against his parents voting no and said “if they could go back and vote again they would change their vote to yes they’re so disgusted at the attitude of the Labour party”

  10. Stoops says:

    Love it. I’ve never felt so empowered, there’s a spring in my step and vengeance in my heart.

  11. macart763 says:

    Last para says it all for me. Doffed my bunnet so many times on this site I’ve just binned it.

    For Labour in Scotland, Karma is coming to town.

    They’ve earned it.

  12. imacg says:

    oh what a belter, please promise to keep it up after we pulverise the c’s..!!

  13. Elaine Gillies says:

    Wow…This is you at your best Paul. Fantastic. Want to print it out and distribute it round the doors for all to see. Share widely folks, this demands lots of attention

  14. mary docherty says:

    Och Wee Dug ..Vowvowvowvow !!!! Pure class it’s a look he’s gonnie be stuck wi’. Great writing !!

  15. Dan Huil says:

    The Guardian et al: they just don’t get it. Peel away all the condescending, leftist rhetoric and you’ll find another London-centric British nationalist.

  16. JaceF says:

    lol. they finally raised the flaccid member of Gordon for one last (until the next) go at it, they must have shipped in super strength vowagra.

  17. Your blog brightens my days just by the logic of your insightful remedy for all the con parties garbage and lies. Thank you

  18. […] The rationality of rage […]

  19. barpe4 says:

    A great night, last night, the Smurph floundering under pressure from yet another Labour interviewer on Scotland2015, followed by Hardeep putting the boot into that Tory Historian on This Week.

    Slept like a baby after that!!

  20. Alex Waugh says:

    I punched the air, “YES!!!!” and then burst into tears. I am so proud to be Scottish right now!

  21. mumsyhugs says:

    I just love your writing Paul! I’m sure we all read your words and can feel the passion just roaring at us off the page – I wish there was a way of introducing sound to your articles so they could be heard not just read.

    Hugs tae the dug xx

  22. daibhidhdeux says:

    A slow burning fuse over generations this rage ignited and set to explode come the last UKGE (?) in two weeks approx: “Fire in the hole!” say the numerous, consecutive polls; and it would take a bluidy fool to ignore the warnings and hang about if of reactionary Unionist persuasion as the voting in the polling booths consigns them to obliteration.

    Never a more democratic revolutionary act by a sovereign people who cut some slack to the establishment because of the last minute “Vow” as an act of simple charity and sense of genuine fair play and giving the Scots re-independence oppositional Westminster establishment a fair crack of the whip:

    Now irrevocably and very publicly exposed as manipulative, self-serving, and treacherous to the mega nth degree yet again but with a profound difference: Modern communication technologies help folk do their research and evidence-based rebuttals in “Nano Time” – samizdat on steroids and almost faster than the speed of light and feeding into the other dimension of face-to-face contact and leafleting, etc,

    The BritNats, a sorry assemblage of opportunists stuck in the Deep Dark Ages of a collective, British Empire parasitic psyche.

    To be technical for a moment and please forgive me, they – this sorry lot – are about to be fcuked into democratic extinction.

    • babygodmother says:

      Couldn’t have said it better myself, even No voters turning against them. Murphy doomed (please, if there is a God). He’s my MP. My mum voted No in ref, just sent postal vote back. Big fat X beside SNP! Come the revolution…!!!

      Thanks Paul for fabulous blog, put into words what we’re all saying in our heads

  23. crantara says:

    Excuse me. I’ll have you know that I received a letter from Mr Alexander ON HOUSE OF COMMONS PAPER dontcha know informing me that 3 shops in my area were to be refurbished.That’s 3 shops. Refurbished and probably painted.Mibbe even the windows washed,both sides, and yet you deride and decry this 21st century Bismark.Shame sir.

  24. gavin says:

    Alas, my rage at Labour dissipated long ago. Rage would imply some residual attatchment to them, but in my case that is gone. What is left is indifference to their fate.
    Indifference to a Party, generations of us have placed our faith in. A Party which has taken our faith, and rewarded us with contempt and patronising indifference.—-“Scotland, who cares ?” snigger the indolent fops on the Green Benches.
    A Party which, 40 years after THEY were told Scotland could be ’embassassingly rich’, now gloat that Scotland is bankrupt.
    Even though it has been successive Labour and Tory Governments who have ‘managed’ our wealth—-to Scotland’s detriment.
    Indifference—-THAT is what will end Labour, and hucksters like Murphy.

  25. jimnarlene says:

    Our rage is rational. Our rage is reasonable. Our rage is cool, calm, and considered. And such rage, directed, will change the world.

    Sums it up, perfectly.

  26. Tris says:

    Brilliant Paul. Vote Labour and I will personally guarantee each food bank in Scotland between 1 and 3 days food supply. Fuck yeah, every thing will be be peachy then.

  27. Saor Alba says:

    In today’s National, Gordon Brown is reported as making yet more promises (more money for food banks) which he has absolutely no authority to make and Labour would not keep anyway. Does anyone believe this charlatan any more? He has no credibility left whatsoever.
    He is also quoted as saying “One of the most damning statistics is that Scotland now have more relying on food banks than London, despite London having a smaller population.”
    He omits to say that this occurred under British rule and typically blames the Scottish Government. As far as I am aware, welfare has not been devolved to Scotland. The SNP have already provided more than £1 million to support food banks, but are more interested in creating the conditions to make sure that food banks are not needed in the future. Also, Brown’s record in Government was utterly shambolic, both for Scotland and the rest of the UK. He is a dinosaur, just like the rest of the Labour Party, living on spin and untruths.

    • Fiona says:

      Indeed. It is chilling how what is acceptable shifts by degrees. You see it all the time, and foodbanks is just the latest example. Now we are vying to see who can give them most support, instead of recognising that their existence is an affront to civilisation, Now we are arguing whether it is true that a million use them, with Full Fact showing that it is one million uses, not one million users. Who gives a stuff if one million instances of folk going hungry means one million people going hungry once in a year, or 250,000 going hungry 4 times in a year?

      This is the way the centre shifted to the far right: by wee increments, and the decency of people who are temperamentally inclined to compromise, faced with people who see compromise as weakness, and instead of stepping forward to meet the other half way, step back when a concession is made

      You cannot reason with such people. You can only oppose

  28. xsticks says:

    “See thae voters, they’re mad so they are.”

    Aye, Slab, you’d better believe it.

    Wonderful stuff as always Paul.

    Chucked in a wee donation to help keep the dug fed.

  29. daibhidhdeux says:

    Babygodmother et al
    The referendum didn’t quite do it but has sent something more powerful into play – your mum an exemplar of that, BGM.

    Trust this coming UKGE vote will put an end to all these wicked shenanigans by the Brits, and the world will be a place much closer to kindness and goodness for it (as some of my English friends and colleagues argue).

  30. A Meringue says:

    Gordon Brown, the abominable No man!

    Utterly scunnert with the whole damn lot of them.

  31. JGedd says:

    Oh, I did enjoy that, Paul. A genuine blast of righteous anger. If Jim and Magrit were ever to be caught in that anger it would scour the hide off them.

    That made me start thinking – that the media’s role in all of this has been to render the voters impotent and to act as a protective buffer for Labour politicians. The Praetorian Guard of the media have them insulated from the real voters and as long as they behave, they will continue to be protected. Behind that barrier Labour politicians became lazy and cynical,but now a cold wind is blowing….. Tory grandees must have secretly smirked at how cheaply they were bought.

    It seems that the people’s anger has at last found a way to be heard, directly into their lugs and the ballot box, at last by-passing the media. It would be great if it means the end of the media’s power to bend the will of the electorate. I can’t get out much at the moment so I have to rely on sites like this to let me know what’s happening on the doorstep. Let’s hope that there is a wind of change blowing all the way to the corridors of Westminster.

  32. Easwald says:

    No doubt Lord Gordon will supply the promised one million from his own speaker’s and director’s fees once he is free from the constraints of being a member of the mother (sic) of parliaments – just like his old boss. Well, that’s what we have to assume since he has just invented the policy yet again.

  33. katherine hamilton says:

    I read this straight after the “End of excuses” on WoS. The sheer weight of what we continue tobe up against is breathtaking still. If Mr Alexander wants just a current reason for the rage, read the rags that the Rev has read for us. See the Labour faces plastered all over them. See the lies, deceit and downright infamy therein. There’s yer source, Mr Alexander. We’ve had enough and the Dug’s righteous anger lays it all out. Hope you read this, Mr Alexander. We’ve had enough.

  34. adam591 says:

    Superb. I shall print a copy and go to a hilltop and roar it into the wind.

  35. I wonder what party will replace Labour in Scotland. Will a Scottish Labour party emerge that is distinct from London. If SNP effects an electoral wipe-out of all the other Scottish parties, how will politics in Scotland develop? Will it be an effective single party system or will the other parties revive themselves? Thoughts?

    • Ellie Fiddes says:

      I believe many people may have taken up the viewpoint “lets get control of our own home first and foremost – then we can set it to order as we want it.” I don’t personally agree with all SNP policies, but I see little point in voting for any other party as long as power to dictate what happens in Scotland on a daily basis lies elsewhere. Their hands are pretty much tied in what they can do at the moment, under Westminster. A free independent Scottish parliament with real power would inevitably generate political diversity and engagement.

      • JGedd says:

        Agreed. Once there is independence I think that there would be a realignment of politics and there would be new coalitions of interests, the natural outcome of PR. Freed from the distorting dominance of Westminster and the City of London there would be new options open to us.

        What I am wary of is SNP MPs getting bedded down in the HoC over a protracted battle for more powers. The Byzantine machinations of Westminster can slowly throttle enthusiasm for a common goal. That way lies frustration and fractiousness and division. We have to hope for a quick resolution. Perhaps Cameron’s announcement of EVEL within 100 days.could supply the impetus to independence?

  36. barpe4 says:

    It would be good to see the end of Slab, but we are up against an enormous media ‘machine’ that will be going ape for the next two weeks. It is shown today that all the print media are almost all against the SNP (even the National was a bit of a disgrace today, not fully enquiring into the Edinburgh candidate’s ‘offence’).

    I sincerely hope the internet can balance matters, but many people still take daily papers, and are influenced by headlines. Without independent broadcasting we are at a very serious disadvantage – in wartime you always take down the broadcasters first, so that you control the message. But how can one deal with the BBC?

  37. Shiprex says:

    Spot on Dug
    Somehow after the splat in the short and medium term there must be a further shove of the nation away from Britannia. This time for good and hopefully on good terms but if the WM fuktards aren’t for that then at least stoke the English up with support for their movements away from Neoliberalism

  38. fillofficer says:

    all emotions covered, as usual, brilliant stuff, stop & I will hunt u down

  39. Ken Waldron says:

    One correction: “A retiring MP”: he’s already retired.
    You’re even better when angry… Love every word!

  40. Rhisiart Gwilym says:

    This post surpasses even the best of the raging, passionate pieces the dug has published before, Paul! Give him (er, him?) a pound of sausages from me, fried in duck fat. And please accept my profound respect for yourself as well. One of you two has a makar’s gift with words; makes the posts even more searingly – and seeringly – powerful. Keep sluggin’ bro!

    PS: I would donate to the dug, but all the spare cash from my pension goes to sustain my closest people, who are struggling pretty badly with these times. And anything left over from helping them goes to Animals Asia Foundation, and International Animal Rescue, to help save the bears from the dreadful lives inflicted on them by the dancing-bear and bile-bear trades, respectively in India and China, and the smaller countries around them. I hope the dug won’t mind it. As a good Scots socialist, I guess he’ll show solidarity.

  41. Ian says:

    Just in case we run out of good reasons to despise what labour has become, they offer up another ‘lets work with Heseltine’.

  42. Brown promised £5,000 for 171 food banks – I did a quick sum; the generosity of Brown equates to nine ( 9!! ) tins of beans for every food bank user in Scotland ( 120,000 users ).

    Given it’s not in their manifesto and Brown is no longer an MP, this promise will not be kept ( surprise surprise! ).

    If you’re going to tempt people with a lie you should make it a decently big lie, it makes no sense to promise 9 tins of f==cking beans.

    Why not try.. Vote Labour for luxury cruise to five star restaurant in Bermuda for everyone earning less than £65K.

    • Polscot says:

      You are simply using mathematics, reason, market research and logic to decide what a tin of beans is worth. To some people it might represent 9 tins of beans for every food bank user, but to New Labour (do they still exist?) it might not amount to a Hill of Beans.

      Maybe Gordon would like to place an equivalent sum in escrow (5000 x 171 = 855 000 – would be a very good start) and show a real commitment to the cause? Then if the next Labour government cannot deliver, he can be sure that his commitment, vow, promise, BFF, etc would this time definitely be delivered. If that works, next he could escrow the value of the vow?

  43. Steve Asaneilean says:

    Thanks Paul for expressing in this stunning piece the righteous and indignant anger felt by so many of us.

    (Not) Labour had a once in a lifetime opportunity and 13 years to make the biggest positive difference in the lives of those who have least but they threw it away in an orgy of illegal wars, dodgy financial deregulation, and self-indulgent guff so that when they were forced out of Westminster government in 2010 the gap between rich and poor was greater than at any time since the Great Depression.

    They betrayed almost every last element of socialism, social justice and equality – slaughtered on an alter of spin doctors and sound bites.

    They deserve nothing but rage and opprobrium until they get down on their knees and say sorry to the bottom 40% they cast adrift to the whims of Clotho, Lachesis and Atropos.

  44. Noel Chidwick says:

    I think I’m at the stage now with all the rubbish and the nonsense that Labour spout where there’s no other response to make except to point at them and laugh.

  45. carthannas says:

    Don’t really know what to say, just want to add my admiration. Dìreach math dhà rìribh mar as abhaist!

  46. Thanks for the inspiring words, Paul. After a 7-month gap you have pushed me to create another poster on my Hope Over Fear blog. Mair power tae yer elbow!

  47. nuhup913 says:

    There is a Spectre haunting Labour…..obliteration!

  48. WRH2 says:

    Brilliant writing as always. I remember the night the Tories in Scotland died and I hope May 7th will see Labour go the same way.

  49. Ian says:

    It is true that Labour, unquestionably, took their Scottish support for granted but the realistic and probable outcome of the election doesn’t fill me with hope that things will be any better than it is now.

  50. MolliBlum says:

    Every time I think this is the best piece of writing ever from WGD, along comes an even better one…. vowvowvowvow! 😉

  51. Mik says:

    Jesus Mosson, who rattled your cage today?

  52. Gary Mckay says:

    if scotland is so important to the labour party why have they jim murphy in charge of thier campaign. no brainer. and why does mili]-bland not make a better effort to go out and meet scottish voters. i think they know the games up. and mps like murphy will not matter after they lose their seats. labour are just blood sucking tories of the worst kind with nothing but false hope. waste of eveyones time.
    i dont think about this election much this ones easy to predict its 5 years up the road that really matters. the two major parties are going to be much weakend by ukip the greens will get stronger and libdems will no doubt come back a bit. as well as all the nationilst parties doing well throughout the uk. so what kind of a deal will we have then. isnt it time to bin first past the post.

  53. Drew says:

    The truth is Labour aren’t going to be wiped out in Scotland, only as a Westminster representation. They’re lucky to have Holyrood, which they themselves created as a PR shop, designed to keep the SNP at bay there, well that backfired on them to an extent. It’s going to be interesting to see how many “oot o’ a joab” MPs will kick the erses of incumbent MSPs oot o’ chairs to seat themselves at Holyrood.

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