So there’s this politician who is constantly intervening for the first time in the election campaign. Yes, it’s Gordie Broon again, only this time he’s not saving the wuld or even the banks, he’s not even saving the Union. The wuld, in case you were wondering, is the world where Gordie lives. It doesn’t seem to be planet Earth. It’s the wuld where Gordie is a superhero, the same wuld where the Daily Record is published. It’s the wuld where people believe in Gordie’s estimation of himself.
This time Gordie’s intervening in the campaign in order to save Wee Dougie Alexander’s career. It’s a bit of a come down, but then Gordie’s stock has been in decline for a while. He intervenes in election campaign for the first time to give Labour a quick thrill, and then goes away for a day or so before coming back to intervene for the first time again. Gordie is in and out more frequently than a vibrator on a pogo stick. Only this time the batteries are dead.
Gordie’s services are required by the wee skanktimonious one as his parliamentary career is about to be shafted by a lassie who was two when Dougie was first elected as an MP in 1997. This is happening despite Wee Dougie being a giant on Labour’s stage, at least when he can wrest the Irn Bru crates off Jim. Dougie has designs on the post of foreign secretary, but he’s discovered that he’s alien to most of his own constituents. So in an effort to appear at least vaguely human, he’s called for help from Gordie, the only man in Labour who’s more of a space cadet than Dougie or Jim Murphy.
Gordie’s spaceship landed in Elderslie, where Gordatron Prime made an important and headline grabbing intervention in the election campaign which consisted, as it always does, of delivering a speech in front of a tiny invited audience of party loyalists, some telly cameras, and a few reporters. The speech has of course already been released to trusted journalists, who can then conveniently report what he will say, and then again what he actually said. This gives Gordie two bites of the intervention cherry, which is as close to a double orgasm as Labour’s ever likely to get. And both of them would be faked.
Gordie is retired, but not retiring, and holds no position within the party he speaks to, or rather at. Gordie only does monologues, he doesn’t answer questions – certainly not about that vow – and he won’t ever appear in front of the unvetted punters on whose behalf he claims to speak. Because the punters might beg to disagree. Gordie doesn’t like it when people disagree, because he’d have to go off script. Spontaneity is not covered by the pre-released press release, and Gordie might call someone a bigot.
This time the massed rank of the Labour supporter was treated to a disquistion on the evil SNP. Which was pretty much the same as the last speech Gordie made, and the one before that, and the one before that. Anyway, this time Gordie wanted us to know that the SNP was evil because they might put having another referendum in their manifesto in a different election entirely to the one we’re having, and then people in Scotland might vote for it. And this would be a very bad thing. And wrong. And not a good thing. It would be eh, democracy, and we can’t be having that. Gordie knows what’s good for us. Don’t think for yourself, it only leads to SNPness.
Instead of deciding things for ourselves, Scottish voters would be much better off listening to Gordie. He’s vowing that if we vote for the Labour party then they’ll guarantee to write a letter inviting companies to a conference to talk about maybe taking on a few unemployed people on work placements instead of sanctioning their benefits. However there will be tea and biscuits, at the conference that is, not for the folk who might have their benefits sanctioned, who will be expected to bring their own pieces. Gordie isn’t guaranteeing that Labour will put an end to benefits sanctions, but Gordie did give a guarantee that he will ensure that the letters are stamped and taken to the post box, and that’s a vow. A second class vow, but then so was the last one.
Gordie also promised to abolish exploitative zero hours contracts, which is exactly what Labour was promising in 1997, when Gordie was going to be chancellor and might have been able to do something about zero hours contracts. So we’re only 18 years late, but then he was too busy putting an end to boom and bust before having to save the wuld from going bust. However now that the wuld has been saved, and most of us are bust, he’s going to personally guarantee that Jim Murphy will write a letter inviting businesses to another conference where they can discuss what “exploitative” means in relation to zero hours contracts. Then they kick the whole thing into the long grass just like they did in 1997.
Mainly however, Gordie wanted us to know that only by voting Labour can we be safe from the Tories. Except of course those Tories that the Labour party is going to invite into government as advisors, like Michael Heseltine. So presumably Labour’s only going to save us from exploitative Tories, and not those deemed to be non-exploitative by Ed Balls and Chuka Umunna. If Labour does managed to secure a majority, their government is already shaping up to be as Laboury as the Blair and Broon combo, and we all know how that one turned out.
This charade gets repeated with turgid regularity in the pages of the Scottish press and on the screens of Scottish broadcasters. It’s the same with Jim Murphy BA Politics (failed) and his mass outdoor rallies of a wee group of what look like Labour studenty types. It’s always the same wee group waving the same wee cardboard slogans. The camera is kept in close, no long shots to show us the truth of the massness of the rally.
Con-tricks and make believe are Labour’s stock in trade. They only get away with it because the media colludes and is an active participant in the charade. But no one believes either of them any more. The lies and deceit hung in the air in the stale atmosphere of a closed meeting, locked away behind closed doors. Locked away like a coffin. The media reports are Labour’s obituary from Elderslie.
Today in Glasgow there were two mass rallies that really were mass rallies, the people of Scotland are building a new political reality, and building a new media. We have no need of Gordie and his stale promises. Life moves on in the streets, and Labour’s left behind. We won’t look back. The future is already here.
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