Dear Martin

Dear Martin,

Thank you very much for your lovely letter which was sent out in a mail shot from the Labour party. Oh look, I said to myself, a letter from that guy who plays the hobbit in the movies and it’s addressed to me personally. But sadly the only wizardry on display was the magic of mail merge, and that wasn’t quite enough to convince me that you had actually sat down and directed yourself personally to my concerns. George Osborne might do a convincing impression of Sauron, but this isn’t Middle Earth and Ed Miliband sure as hell isn’t Gandalf. Middle Earth is a fantasy invented by a middle class guy from Oxford University, just like the claim of the modern Labour party to be a party of the left, come to think of it.

Thank you for assuming that I’m too thick to cope with the complexities of modern politics and require everything to be reduced to a binary opposition between Labour and the Tories. It’s that kind of patronising attitude that has caused Labour to lose Scotland. You are offering a fantasy Martin, a story for children like dragons and orcs. In the real world, the one we actually live in as opposed to the fantasy one where Labour lives, we have other choices, and we can make our own minds up about what our choices are. There are other ways to resist the Tories. Labour thinks it can resist the Tories by aping them, by turning itself into little monkeys who perform tricks for the Conservative press and offer working class people the occasional peanut. That’s not resistance, and even a hobbit should realise that.

Despite what you say I’m not confused by different parties claiming different things, I can weigh up multiple options. And I can see that the simplistic choice you offer on behalf of the Labour party is a false one. But then you don’t need to be a mental giant to resist the dubious charms of Jim Murphy. You don’t need to be an Oxford don to see through Magrit Curran’s lies. You don’t need the wisdom of Gandalf to be unconvinced by Ed.

Labour can claim what they like, and even if they were offering a winning lottery ticket for every voter, a free foreign holiday and a guaranteed shag with someone who is actually attractive and who doesn’t look like your average politician, I won’t believe them if I don’t trust them. And that’s your problem right there Martin. I don’t trust the Labour party as far as I could throw it. And I could throw it as far as missile strike in Baghdad. I could throw Labour as far as an ATOS assessment. I could throw Labour as far as Ed Balls and his promise not to undo any of George Osborne’s cuts. Labour has been promising invisible jam at every election I can remember, yet as soon as they get into power they morph into Murphy.

The choice I want to make is to prevent Labour from behaving like it has always done, to make Labour behave like a Labour party should. Voting Labour in Scotland doesn’t offer me that choice, all voting Labour offers is a return to being side-lined, marginalised, ignored and patronised. I choose to hold Labour to account. I choose another way, a Scottish way.

The Labour party started in Scotland you say. And that would be true. And values of community, compassion and fairness still hold true you say. And that would be true as well, only they’ve got little or nothing to with the Labour party in Scotland. Labour sold those values down a PFI river decades ago, then contracted them out to ATOS for a profit. Because Martin, all those cruel and horrible things that the Tories pursue with gusto, Labour wants to keep them – the creeping privatisations, the disability assessments, the benefits caps, the demonisation of the poor, the dispossessed, the migrants, the worship of weapons of mass destruction. In Middle Earth Labour would be on the side of the orcs. Look at Jim Murphy and you can see they already are.

The Labour party was born in Scotland, and it will die in Scotland too. There’s a poetic circularity to that if nothing else. Labour moved away from the communities that gave it root, and migrated to the City of London. Seduced by the precious ring of capital that promised absolute power, Labour deprived itself of its roots. So Labour shrivelled and died, cut off from the communities that gave it life and meaning and purpose. There is no point or purpose to the Labour party any more. They stand for nothing but power for power’s sake, the party of careerists who don’t know the difference between principles and press releases.

But those values of community, compassion, and fairness that you speak of Martin, they do still hold true, and unlike Labour they are alive and strong and breathing in the communities that gave birth to the Labour party. Like most in Scotland I hold them dear. It’s just that they are no longer to be found in the Labour party. Us hobbits, us wee folk with our hairy Caledonian legs, we’ve created another party where we can express those values.

Today Martin, this Monday April 20, another party presented its manifesto to the electorate in Scotland. It is a manifesto that Labour would once have been proud to present. It promises social justice, and fairness and compassion and community. It promises to resist weapons of mass destruction, to fight for the disabled, to include the excluded, to bring tolerance and sense to the media’s racist hysteria about immigration. It’s a manifesto that promises to do all the things that Labour used to offer but never followed through on. Those things that Labour no longer even offers. It’s a manifesto for Scotland, not a manifesto for the Tory press.

And unlike Labour’s litany of lies and broken promises and shattered dreams – I can actually believe it. It’s a manifesto that comes from a party that promises to lock out the Tories and to keep Labour on track. It’s a party that really is a mass movement, born in Scotland’s communities, unlike Labour’s hollowed out shell, focus grouped to death. It’s a party that can make sure that Labour has a spine, because Labour needs a moral conscience. When the Labour leadership are left to their own devices they find their moral conscience in Daily Mail editorials, and then they hope to convince us with children’s tales of orcs and hobbits presented by starry eyed stars. But we have our feet on the Scottish ground.

I vote for moral conscience, I vote for hope, I vote for compassion and care. And that Martin, is why I’m voting SNP.

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Schrodinger’s Labour

We’re in that period before Christmas when the prezzies have already been wrapped up in an Ashcroft poll and put under the tree. Have we got that Murph E Coyote doll we asked for? The one that runs off the canyon edge keeping aloft on its own frantic spinning, only to fall and land with a resounding splat in a dustcloud of McTernans. The special edition Scottish Labour model, the one that comes with additional features, like extra hubris and a smug look that can be wiped off its face. It’s one of those toys that are only fun when you smash them.

There’s a Murph E Coyote shaped package under the tree, and when you shake it it’s got that reassuring death rattle. It’s certainly looking good, for those who want substantial more power for Scotland if not for James Francis Murphy BA Politics (failed). But is it really the prezzie we long for, or will we be disappointed and only get a pair of hand knitted Westminster featherbedders. The signs are good, but we won’t know for sure until we open the prezzie on May 7. In the meantime we’ve got a Schrodinger’s Murph – Labour in Scotland is quantum, neither alive nor dead but in both states simultaneously.

The living death of zombie Labour was illustrated in the obsessive knee jerking of Kezia Dugdale when interviewed on Sunday’s BBC Politics show. She was asked about the manifesto that Labour launched on Friday. The Dugless one was asked by Gordon Brewer about the cuts that Labour has said they’ll have to introduce. No matter how he phrased the question, no matter what he asked or how he asked it, her answer to every question about Labour policy was, “The SNP is really bad and have bad questions to answer badly. The bad bad SNP are really bad. The SNP want Full Fiscal Autonomy and that’s bad. The bad SNP have bad questions to answer. The SNP want another referendum and that’s bad. Did I say that the SNP are really badly bad and have to answer bad questions, because the SNP are really bad. That’s how bad they are, really bad, SNP bad. And finally, because this is an important point, I’d just like to mention that the SNP are really bad. I have so answered your question Gordon.” Badly.

Kezia and the Labour party are too dense to realise that answering criticisms of their party with attacks on another party is an implicit acceptance on the proposition. When the only answer to the question – “Just how rubbish is your party?” is “But the SNP are more rubbish.” You are accepting that your own party is rubbish and expecting people to listen to an attack originating from a party which tacitly acknowledges that it’s rubbish. But then we already know that Labour is rubbish. That’s why they’re doing so poorly in the polls.

A woman who couldn’t answer demanded that others answer so no one would notice she had no answers of her own. But we did notice, we do notice. We notice how bad Labour is. They don’t stand for anything except keeping their careers, and hating the SNP. And they only hate the SNP because the SNP threatens their careers. It’s not even a principled hatred.

In a desperate attempt to gain some purchase, Labour churns out policies from John McTernan’s ACME catalog of spin, but it makes no difference. The reason is that Labour doesn’t have a policy problem. It has a trust problem. It doesn’t matter what policies you have if no one believes a word you say. And that lack of trust isn’t down to the Murphoid one, although having a man who is a serial political cross dresser in charge really isn’t helping Labour’s bid for believability any.

It doesn’t matter how many easy rides Jim gets in the media, no one will trust Labour until the party reforms itself. Labour has already been given numerous chances to reform itself, 2007, 2011, 2014 – and Labour’s “reform” was to give us Jim Murphy. Jim Murphy is the Stars in their Political Eyes addict who wowed the metrocommentariat with his impressions. Today Matthew, Jim has painted his face blue and is wearing a Scotland shirt, next week he’s donned a frock and is channelling Rosa Luxemburg. The week after that he’ll be manning the barricades in the Paris Commune with a pile of Irn Bru crates. The week before the election he’ll be camped out in a battery farm in the hope that someone throws an egg at him. But when you remove the hastily applied make up and the costumes, underneath Jim is still the Blairite chancer that he’s always been. I know that, you know that, the dug knows that, we all know that.

It’s so bad for Labour that the Sunday Herald has reported that Jim Murphy has sought legal advice on whether he can remain as leader of the tattered remnants of Labour in Scotland if he loses his own seat. The Smugurphy one denies that he’s asked for legal advice on the issue. But then he would, wouldn’t he. There have been rumours of wriggle room in the clause in the constitution that says that a candidate for election to leadership must be an elected politician, but the rules are silent on what happens if a successful candidate loses their seat afterwards. In Jim’s world it would be perfectly acceptable for a totally discredited leader to retain his position, but then he was totally discredited before he was elected, so to be fair there would be no real change there.

We are living in historic times. The death of the Labour party is being foretold in the signs and portents of polls and Kezias. Labour isn’t spinning, it’s a death spiral.

We can’t take anything for granted. The polls are stupendously good for those who want to break the back of the old ways of doing things in Scotland, the secret deals and handshakes, the cosy agreements, the old boys’ network, the careerists with a cushy seat for life. The polls are gobsmackingly good, unbelievably good, but the only vote that counts is the one on May 7.

Let’s keep working. Let’s open Schrodinger’s box and find Labour’s cat has expired. Let’s see the cartoon until the end, and watch the coyote run off the cliff and fall to its doom in the dust. Labour in Scotland May 7 2015, that’s all folks!

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Jim Murphy, still big in Japan

We’re surrounded by morons. It’s official, it’s in the newspapers and on the telly. Or rather, it is the newspapers and the telly. They’re morons, idiots, fools, balloons, numpties, muppets, clowns, dumb as soup, thick as congealed mince. The metromedia is dominated today by reports that Nicla offered Ed a coalition and got her proposal spurned, like the ugly sister begging the handsome prince to marry her. But that’s not what happened. I was watching. Many of you would also have been watching, or you saw it on the news later.

For starters Ed Miliband is no handsome prince, he barely qualifies as a frog. He’s got the stary eyes off pat though. But far more importantly than Ed’s amphibious qualities we saw the exchange for ourselves and there was no offer of any coalition. But still we’re being told there was. So it’s either that we’re surrounded by morons with the comprehension skills of baboons with dementia, or the media is deliberately misreporting what happened – it’s hard to decide which of those two scenarios is worse. Although, come to think of it, they’re not mutually exclusive.

But then the traditional media holds up a mirror to the traditional politicians, and the politicians are morons who tell lies and who don’t even have the good grace to look ashamed when they get caught out. They just delete their Tweets and wait for the next spin of the news cycle, rinse, repeat. James Frances Murphy BA Politics (failed) was at it again today, launching Labour’s Scottish manifesto at an invitation only event in a secret location in the East End of Glasgow which no East Enders had been invited to. The little people’s presence isn’t required, Jim knows what working class Scots think because he goes to fitba matches and sits in the directors’ box along with John Reid. Whatever happened to John Reid? The only man in the Labour party less popular than Jim, at least until May 8.

Today the Murph E Coyote is saying, “We can’t have rewards for the few and insecurity for the many.” And that Jim, right there, is precisely why the Labour vote in Scotland has collapsed. Being one of the few who gets rewarded and refuses to accept all responsibility for anything that goes wrong, the spinning pawed one would know a lot about that. Just how are those expenses claims and London private land-lording doing Jim, hmm? Being lectured on fairness and equality by Jim Murphy is like being lectured on ethical journalism by Andy Coulson.

Labour had 13 years of crushing majorities to prevent the few being rewarded while the many grew increasingly insecure. Instead we got zero hours contracts, bankers running riot, student fees, creeping privatisation, PFI, social mobility reduced and a widening chasm opened up between the richest and the rest of society – and Jim voted enthusiastically for all of it. Then during the referendum campaign last year the Labour party forgot about the Internationale and sang the God Save the Queen with the Tories while Jim responded to an egg like it was a suicide bomber with ebola. Now when Jim’s political career is disappearing up his own backside more rapidly than Jim climbed up the backside of Tony Blair, he suddenly discovers he’s a socialist. This is an announcement as believable as Katie Hopkins joining the Workers Revolutionary Party.

Labour’s Scottish manifesto launch was dominated, not by the many flavours of invisible promisory jam which were being larded about like profit forecasts at a pyramid sellers’ convention, but by dire warnings about the SNP. Labour is obsessed. They are so consumed with hatred and fear of the SNP that they are still trapped in a time warp in 1979.

For everyone under the age of 40, 1979 was when SNP MPs voted against Jim Callaghan’s Labour government in a vote of confidence. This came after Labour had shafted Scotland in the infamous 1979 referendum on very limited home rule, but in Labourland this betrayal has been airbrushed out of history just like Wee Dougie Alexander’s Tweets. In his memoirs, Callaghan himself laid the blame for his government’s demise on a number of his own backbenchers. However in the mythology of the Labour party, which is incapable of accepting that it might have any blame for anything at all, it’s all the fault of the SNP that in the subsequent General Election, millions of people voted Tory. It certainly wasn’t the fault of the Labour party for being unelectable.

Being trapped in the 1970s explains a number of things about Jim. It explains his condescending Mad Man debating tactics when faced with a woman opponent for starters. It also explains his decision to wrap himself in tartan, as he’s convinced himself that he’s a member of the Bay City Rollers and will be able to keep up his career long shag a-lang with his expenses claims. Never mind Jim, once we’ve voted you out of office you can disappear from public view, and in your occasional appearances in Where are they now? articles in the Daily Record, illustrated with your trademark halo backlighting, you can boast that you’re still big in Japan and are booked to appear in Fukushima, juggling eggs for a few yen.

Jim only gets away with it because he is rarely subjected to forensic examination, such is the deference the Labour party has traditionally enjoyed in Scotland from a media that doesn’t bother to report accurately even those things we’ve all seen for ourselves. A media that misuses words. A media that doesn’t take care with words is a media that chancers like Jim can use to deceive. Taking Labour in Scotland seriously is a crime against words.

We have a media which doesn’t care about words, yet words are supposed to be the stock in trade of writers and reporters. It’s like a builder who doesn’t give a shit about the building materials they use. And then the house falls down trapping us in the rubble while the builder walks away. We need a new one, a solid one, a sturdy one, and with our words, we are building a new media all by ourselves, fighting tabloids with tablets. Because words are important, words are magic. Watch them make careerist chancers disappear.

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Please tell me this is the last one

Oh God, I don’t want to sit through this. There are navels to be defluffed, and wet paint that needs to be stared at. This debate is going to be very similar to the last one in at least one major respect, Davie Cameron didn’t say anything in that one either. Nick Clegg didn’t get invited after Davie Cameron decided he was going to spend the evening washing his hair and combing it carefully to cover up his bald patch. That’s because no one agrees with Nick any more.

Anyway, I missed the beginning of the debate, but Nigel Farage still thinks everything is the fault of immigrants. Immigrants and Scottish people. He doesn’t know where Hadrian’s Wall is. It’s not clear why he’s so obsessed with it, seeing as how it’s both entirely within England and was built by Italian immigrants from the EU.

Ed waffled on a bit, Nicla said – “I don’t say there’s no difference between Labour and the Tories. I say there’s not enough difference … We want to get rid of the Tories but not replace them with Tory lite.” Ouch. That’s him telt.

The fag paper between the Tories and Labour was illustrated in the following question, about housing policy. Nicla got a lot of applause for saying that social housing needs to be protected for those who need it.

Ed’s not opposed to the right to buy, he just doesn’t like the Tory policy because of woo. And costings. And woo. And isn’t Davie Cameron a bit slimy. Which is trueish, but wooish. His fingers have a life of their own. It’s entirely possible that Ed’s fingers could get elected PM but the rest of him not be.

Nigel says everyone is stupid. The panel is stupid and the audience is stupid. No one understands housing policy except him. He’s been in business so he knows these things, not like the audience, who are stupid. But Nigel is too stupid to realise that pissing off the audience is not how to win debates. Anyway, it’s still all the fault of immigrants. And Hadrian’s Wall.

Nicla tells him that in his wee world everything is the fault of immigrants. She slaps him down and tells him tae shut his geggie. This is about protecting the supply of social housing and not throwing money away on building houses that get sold off and become unavailable to people who need them. Nicla is kicking serious ass in this debate.

We’re onto Trident now. Nigel likes Trident because it’s phallic, like him in his dreams. He doesn’t care that it costs a lot of money. Big dicks are priceless, aren’t they Nigel.

Nicla, Leanne, and Natalie don’t want Trident. Nicla says that this island nation doesn’t have a single maritime patrol aircraft. The money would be better spent on conventional defence. And she can think of thousands of things that the £100 billion cost of Trident could be better spent on. Like NHS treatment to remove the superglue from Ed’s fingers.

Ed’s staring at the camera trying to look sincere. It’s not a look he fakes convincingly. I’m still creeped out by it. Ed wants to keep Trident too. Because the world is uncertain and so is he. Ed brings up ISIS. Leanne asks does he really think that Trident defends us from ISIS? Ed says no. Then blames Leanne for bringing up ISIS. Then he admits it was him who brought it up and said he wouldn’t press the nuclear button against ISIS. Someone’s not really thought this through Ed, and it’s not Leanne.

Oooh it’s the immigrants question. Nigel will be so happy. First up is Natalie who points out that she herself is an immigrant and like the great majority of immigrants she makes a positive contribution to this country. Nicla makes a plea for the debate not to be driven by the intolerance and prejudice of Nigel and brings up a few facts. Ed’s staring at the camera again, making decisively chopping hand gestures and not saying any much at all. Nigel says everyone is ganging up on him and being nasty, it’s probably because they’re all immigrants. Leanne says, you abuse immigrants and then complain that you’re being abused, get you. Slagging off Nigel sounds so great in her accent. I’m starting to develop a crush on Leanne – Leanne hen, this gay man would consider turning for you.

This debate is a whole lot less shouty that the other ones. So all that shouty bad tempered incoherence must be Jim Murphy’s fault then. That explains a lot. In the quiet of this debate you could hear the hiss of the last bit of air escaping from Jim’s balloon. And now we know how civilised politics can be when they don’t have Tories or Jim Murphy in them.

Typical, I write that paragraph and then they get all shouty. More precisely Nigel and Ed get shouty. Nigel points out that that Ed’s party introduced privatisation in the NHS. Ed retorts that Nigel wants the UK to have a US style insurance system. The Dimbleby tells them to shut it.

The next question is about what deals or agreements the parties would consider after the election. Nigel says he wants a referendum to get out of the EU, which is a way of saying that he’ll back the Tories.

Nicla says the most important deal for her is a deal with the Scottish people to make sure our voices are heard in Westminster. And she will never ever do a deal with the Tories. She wants Ed to replace the Tories with something different, something better. If he’s prepared to be better, she’s prepared to work with him. Leanne and Natalie say the same. Go girls! Get yer act together Ed. People want progressive change, they want fairness, they want justice. Labour won’t deliver that if it gets a majority. Labour needs three women to hold it to account.

Ed tries to distance himself. He’s got fundamental disagreements with Nicla because she wants to break up the country. He’s appealing to Tory voters, just like Labour has always done.

Nicla says she doesn’t know what he’s talking about. The referendum was last year. This is about getting shot of the Tories. This is an opportunity to deliver an alternative to austerity. Let’s deliver real change, not pretend change. Ed comes back with the biggest party lie. Nicla demands he says that he will commit to an anti Tory bloc. Ed won’t and with that puts a final nail into Jim Murphy’s coffin. Nicla says – don’t turn your back on a chance to kick David Cameron out – and gets a big cheer.

Nicla has owned this debate. There were four big losers tonight, Nigel and three who weren’t even there. Davie Cameron, Nick Clegg – and Jim Murphy has lost it big time, stabbed in the back and hung out to dry by his own party leader.

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Toad hall and the tenants’ buy out

The Lib Dems and UKIP launched their manifestos on Wednesday, and nobody in Scotland gave a toss. Nigel Farage is still a bawbag who blames everything on immigrants, and no one agrees with Nick – who blames everything on Alicsammin. Nigel Farage blames quite a few things on Alicsammin too, because Alicsammin is Scottish and Scottish people who don’t prioritise being British and bow to the mighty absolute sovereignty of Westminster are just the same as foreigners and immigrants. Plus Scottish people speak funny and so do foreigners and immigrants. David Coburn speaks funny too, but Nigel is quite happy to accept him. That’s because Jibberjabber the Hutt croaks a mixture of English and toady.

David Coburn appeared on Scotland Tonight to croak about the UKIP manifesto to Bernard Ponsonby, although it soon transpired that only one of them had actually read and understood the manifesto, and it wasn’t Jibberjabber the Hutt. Bernard ate him alive, and that can’t be good for the cholesterol levels. Besides, isn’t eating amphibians a bit French? That means Bernard is probably an immigrant, and it transpires that in UKIPworld everything is all the fault of immigrants, as well as the SNP. More specifically it’s the fault of immigrant SNP members with HIV and Muslim names.

The main thing to be extracted from the interview, apart from Coburn’s spinal column, was an admission from the croaky one that under UKIP Scotland faces £5 billion in cuts over and above of the austerity cuts we’re going to get courtesy of Labour or the Tories. What’s going to be cut? Bernard looked very fierce. The toady looked for a rock to crawl under but failed to find one. Immigrants are going to be cut. And Nicla Sturgeon’s salary. Apart from that he didn’t have a clue, but then he didn’t have a clue about anything else either, so this was scarcely a revelation. Eventually he ribbitted that it would be up to the Scottish Government. But it was all the fault of people who don’t respect the armed forces, and the SNP, and especially immigrants.

Not being able to blame immigrants, Nick just blames Alicsammin. Do you want Alicsammin to have a seat in the UK cabinet, eh? Eh? Do you? Well do you? Nick asked insistently like a bar drunk who blames all his misfortunes on the fact that the Bullingdon bad boys tied him up, poured a gallon of gut rot down his throat, and forced him to pish in his pants. Because if Alicsammin gets a seat in the cabinet there will be a rain of toads. Poisonous toads, rebellious toads, not toadying toads, and that would be a very bad thing, because it would mean no one would have any need for Nick. Oh how he longs for the 2010 election when he won all those debates and everyone agreed with him.

Alicsammin isn’t going to be in the UK cabinet, he’d rather poke his eyes out with a rusty knitting needle than do a Cleggie and take the blame for Labour’s shortcomings. This is the difference between a master political strategist and a master debater. Much better to wield the rusty knitting needle from the outside, and use it to jag Labour in the bum to make sure they don’t get too comfortable and forget their vows to Scotland. Ach Nick son, if only you’d done that with Davie, you might not be pishing your pants now and Danny Alexander might even not be so odiously unelectable.

Well OK, maybe not that last bit. There is an infinite number of universes in the multiverse, and Danny is odiously unelectable in all of them. There is one alternative universe where Danny is still odiously unelectable, but he does have Blair McDougall and David Coburn as best mates and John McTernan is their wee hanger on. That’s a really crappy alternative universe and the other alternative universes prefer to pretend it’s not there and never invite it to dinner. There’s a petition on to change the laws of physics and abolish it. There’s also a petition on to abolish Danny Alexander on the grounds that he is supremely pointless as well as odious. That one has a lot more signatures.

There was more pointless odiosity on display in Glasgow today when Davie Cameron appeared with the Action Krankie in order to launch the Tories’ Scottish manifesto. No really, they think people are going to vote for them. In Scotland. We’re in alternate universe territory again. Davie has come to warn us that the SNP are in bed with Labour. Labour wants us to believe that the SNP are in bed with the Tories. The Lib Dems want us to think that the SNP are in bed with both parties simultaneously, and UKIP think the SNP are in bed with immigrants.

In the poker game of politics the Tories have matched Labour’s bid of an Ed Bawsbag with a Goveslobber, and will raise it with an Iain Duncan Smith crap sandwich with extra sanctions. Labour are not much fazed by this, since in the odiousness stakes they have a Smugurphy, Anas the hereditary MP for Govan, Magrit, Ian Bayonette Davidson, Tom the Blairite Harris, and the no mark who called Nicla a wee lassie with a tin hat. All the Tories have is an Action Krankie and a solitary MP whose sole contribution to politics is doubling up as a panda impersonator.

No one in Scotland really cares what’s in the Scottish Tory manifesto, but for what it’s worth, the Tories promise to give Scotland smugness, condescension, and a guarantee of contemptuous dismissal. They’re hoping that this will trump Labour’s offer, which will be unveiled the morra, because Labour will most likely offer only the smugness and condescension – although to be fair they also have a bucketload of taking us for granted.

In England and Wales, the Tories also want to extend the right to buy to housing association properties, although so far they’ve not shown any interest in extending the right to buy to the tenants of those annoying people who appear on BBC daytime property programmes. Since housing is devolved they can’t do that in Scotland, although the Scottish electorate do seem quite intent on taking ownership of the House of Commons. We’ll buy out Davie on May 7 when Scotland holds the balance of power in Toad Hall. That’s a sitting tenants’ buy out that will put the fear of god into all the Unionist parties.

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The silence of the bams

Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha … and breathe … hahahahahahahahaha. That’s been me for the past day and a half. The Murph E Coyote has looked down past his frantically spinning paws and has seen that he’s supported by nothing more substantial than the thin air of a BBC Scotland broadcast. Now Jim is plummeting into the canyon and taking the rest of the Labour party in Scotland with him. We’re just waiting for the cloud of dust and the satisfying smack of schadenfreude. Never has a political career come to such an embarrassing end since Iain Gray was waylaid by a cheese baguette and the baked goods of the grassroots.

The wheels have come off the Labour battlebus which was being driven by James Francis Murphy BA Politics (failed) yet still the bus has managed run into a ditch and flatten a kitten in the process. The wheels themselves have run Jim over and splattered his career like a hedgehog wearing a vote Labour rosette that took a wee daunner down the M74 into Jimmy Hood’s constituency. And that doesn’t even begin to describe the multiple flusterclucks which have beset Jim’s campaign to save the Labour party in Scotland as a springboard for his career.

A poor week started with the slagathon screaming match which BBC Scotland glorified with the title debate, in which Jim managed to show less self control than a serial fantasist with chronic diarrhoea and a sensitivity to women’s issues last seen in a caveman dragging his trophy wife out of the cave by her hair. It was such a gobsmackingly poor performance that not even the usual suspects could defend it on the interwebbies. And this particular episode has still to be reflected in a Scottish opinion poll. No wonder Kezia Dugdale was looking even more miserable than she usually does.

This was followed by an opinion poll which showed Labour’s support is being haemorrhaged more quickly than one of Hannibal Lector’s dinner guests. The pro-independence SNP and the Scottish Greens have between them the support of 55%. Oh the delicious irony. Iain Gray was done in by a sandwich, this is Jim’s yum yums of democracy.

Despite a near total onslaught of policy initiatives, promises of free jam for everyone, and the dubious claim that the Labour party in Scotland won’t implement any cuts, Labour is still losing support. The thing is it doesn’t matter what you say, promise or claim, if it comes out of the mouth of a man no one trusts then it’s not going to be believed. And no one trusts Jim. No one. A 1970s Radio One DJ at a girl guides’ party is more trusted.

And then the last tattered remnants of Jim’s trustworthiness were put through a mincer, diced, sliced, freeze dried and pounded into dust then blown out the window by his own party leaders. He was quite pointedly told by the big boys dahn sarf that he doesn’t get to say what cuts there will be. That’s Ed Baws who gets to decide that. Slap, kapowie, blam.

Jim was so affronted after being slapped about by Ed Baws and fried by Chuckie that he refused to appear on STV’s Scotland Tonight. And this is a man who makes the cast members of TOWIE seem camera shy. Instead he had to stay in and wash his rapidly greying hair, at least that part of it which he hasn’t torn out yet. It was the silence of the bams. His embarrassment was as terminal as Reporting Scotland story about the NHS. Which is a shame, because his glowing slapped face is the only red thing about him and displaying it might have made some viewers believe his claim to be a socialist, at least those who are would believe that Rylan had written a scientific paper about the application of quantum physics to teeth whitening and that the Large Hadron Collider is actually a tanning shop in Southend on Sea.

Which explains a lot – Jim’s the Rylan of politics, all presentation and brain dead content. Although to be fair Rylan does have better hair and teeth. If you take away the hair and teeth there would be nothing left of Rylan at all except a supreme lack of self awareness. And this is also true of Jim Murphy.

By Tuesday @JimforScotland was trying to get back on his feet, in the same way that a drunk man with his pants round his ankles tries to get back on his feet after falling face first in the gutter. Jim adopted the Twitter handle @JimforScotland in order to persuade the Rylan’s of this world that he puts the interests of Scotland first, although a more accurate Twitter handle for him would be @JimforJim. Jim has only ever put Jim’s interests first, and that’s the reason why he took the gig as branch manager of Labour’s Scottish accounting unit in the first place.

Before taking the job, @JimforJim had backed the wrong horse in the Labour leadership race. Jim had pinned his colours to the mast of the wrong Miliband. When the one with the superglued fingers took over, he demoted Jim, who saw that his career prospects were sinking more quickly than Iain Gray doing the breaststroke with a bread stick. @JimforJim decided to take over the Scottish branch of the party, and merrily set about undermining Johann Lamont – although to be fair Johann had long since excavated the basement all by herself – while skanktimoniously preaching that the party needed to be united and calling for people to stop briefing against one another. Except Jim, who was the one doing most of the briefing.

The poor wee sowel believed his own hype. The Scottish press wouldn’t subject him to any serious scrutiny, and Jim could then take credit for saving the Scottish party to use it as his own personal power base just like Gordie before him. Then he could launch his own campaign for the Labour leadership after Ed lost the General Election. That’s what he really means by @JimforScotland. But the best laid plans of mice and Murphs gang aft agley. Jim has silenced Labour in Scotland forever. The silence of the bams.

Hahahahahahaha … and breathe …

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All your base are belong to us Jim

James Francis Murphy BA Politics (failed)’s sharply honed political instincts are being borne out. He told us there would be a late surge in Labour’s vote, and he’s right. There is indeed a late surge in the Labour vote, it’s just the surge is in the opposite direction from the one he was hoping for. On Monday another Scottish opinion poll was published, showing that the SNP are on 52%, yes you did read that right, and the Greens on 3%. That’s an increase of 6% in the SNP’s vote share, and a corresponding drop of 6% in Labour’s. Some projections based on these figures would leave Labour with just two seats in Scotland, neither of which would be Jim Murphy’s. Fears and smears end in tears Jim, and now all your base are belong to us.

If this poll is right, then 55% of the Scottish vote is going to pro-independence parties. But evil cybernats and those who would do ill to Wee Dougie Alexander’s career shouldn’t get too excited. Some of the fieldwork was carried out before the hauf-arsed attempt to smear Nicla as a Tory lover, and all of it was before Sunday’s hammy rammy ding dong when Jim Murphy made a complete and utter arse out himself, schmoozed up to the Action Krankie, and pissed off more than half the women in the country and a sizeable chunk of the men. There could be more Scottish surginess yet to come. It looks like Jim’s going to be joining Wee Wullie Rennie on the number 19 to Kelty, via Cowdenbeath and extinction.

Yesterday I saw a wee forlorn group of Labour canvassers. There were four of them, and they didn’t look like they were wildly enthusiastic about their task. At least one of them was a local cooncillor. They’re hopelessly outnumbered by the SNP canvassers locally, and the official campaign has only just got started. The SNP seem to outnumber Labour on the ground by about ten to one, and this time Labour can’t bus supporters up from dahn sarf to boost their numbers.

Also on Monday Labour unveiled its manifesto for the General Election. It was a “let’s not scare off potential Tory voters” kind of manifesto. Jim Murphy was hoping that buried somewhere in the fine print there was a wee proviso stating “except for viewers in Scotland”, because for the past couple of months he has been telling anyone who would listen that there won’t be any cuts in Scotland. We can grow the economy, Jim said, no need for cuts, he said. While slagging off Nicla Sturgeon for saying remarkably similar things.

Unfortunately for Jim Ed Baws rummaged around in his chancellorial bawsbag and stated that Scotland can’t be exempt from spending cuts under a Labour government. Jim’s leadership of the Scottish accounting unit has been turned into a yolk by his own party leadership.

Being exhausted after his recent media performances, Jim didn’t make it to the manifesto launch, all that patronising takes it out of him. It was left to Ed Miliband to look snide instead, which he achieved by imagining he was confronted with a bacon sandwich and a press photographer. Desperate to avoid looking like a suicide bomber with a pointy finger, Ed did his wavy superglued hand thing, and promised voters that he could be as nasty as any Tory could. But he’d do it with a sad face, because Labour’s the caring cuts, austerity, and sooking up to bankers party. The manifesto itself was an exercise in management wankspeak, full of words like synergy, proactive, and going forward into blandness.

Chuka Umunna – Labour’s business and pensions spokesperson – was interviewed by the assembled reporters while he was standing in front of a Labour campaign coach plastered in progressive Labour slogans like “Foreigners are bad”, and “We promise to look sad when we cut your benefit.” Pointedly, with a sharp stick he was poking in the ribs of the Scottish branch office, Chuka tossed a few more eggs at Jim and said, “The leader of the Scottish party will not be in charge of the UK budget.”

And if you looked very carefully you could see Jim’s legs poking out from beneath the wheels of the bus, along with the splattered hopes of Labour saving its Scottish seats and a pile of broken eggshells.

Clearly, the Labour leadership – that will be the real Labour leadership and not Jim’s imaginary branch office variety – have decided that the party in Scotland is a lost cause. They can only lose 41 seats in Scotland, but many more seats are at play in England. Since the only way they can save any seats in Scotland is to adopt policies that will make them lose the support of the Tory press in England, and they crave Tory media approval like an SNPout zoomer craves a smear, Jim gets the off. So Chuka chucks Jim under the battlebus in return for a sympathetic story in the Express about how the Labour candidate in some marginal seat in Toryshireland is distantly related to Princess Di. And order and balance is restored to the universe.

Jim sees Labour’s private polling and their canvass returns. This may be the reason for his increasingly hysterical public performances. Jim’s day starts with a look at the figures showing his career prospects are plummeting faster than Jackie Baillie in pursuit of an NHS scare story, and that’s distressing for him since his career is the only principle he’s ever stuck firm to. In fact it’s the only principle he’s ever known. It’s why he went into politics in the first place. Without his political career Jim has got nothing left. He could try to make folksy railway documentaries like Michael Portillo. But Jim touring the country on an Irn Bru crate batting away eggs with a Bradshaw guide has already been done. Besides, the Caledonian Express has already left the station and left Jim behind, shouting angrily at pensioners.

Jim’s assured himself a place in the history books. It’s just not the place he wanted. He’ll be remembered as the man who killed the Labour party in Scotland, sacrificed on the altar of Jim’s career. Only he won’t save his career either. All your base are belong to us Jim.

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