The Labour party has expelled a member in Glasgow because he said on social media that he intended to vote SNP at the election. That’s fair enough you might think, when you join a political party you should support that party and not tell folk you’re going to vote for someone else. Otherwise it would be like working for a sweetie shop and telling potential customers that soor plooms are really bad for their teeth and their health and they ought to munch on some healthy alternatives instead. In fact it’s exactly like that, as it is also true that voting for Labour’s Scottish soor plooms makes us toothless, and in excess can lead to a political diabetic coma. So it really is just as well that Scotland opted for the politically healthy alternative.
Anyway, this isn’t going to be one of those hand wringing articles about what Labour needs to do in order to win back voters. Although we’ve really not had enough of those had we? No, this is just a blog for pointing and mocking, because I’m one of those nasty and divisive nationalists that Daily Mail journalist Chris Deerin greets about in his offensively nasty and divisive articles. Deerin and his pals in the cosy wee testosterone driven clique of the Scottish media pack are now greeting that another journalist, Derek Bateman, has broken the omerta and has called him out for it. Apparently it’s wrong to criticise what a journalist writes, even when that journalist writes keech.
I’ve gone way past wanting Labour to get its act together, now I just want it gone for good, which in Deerin’s world probably makes me an enemy of freedom of speech. But then I understand that while freedom of speech gives a journalist the right to say offensive things, I also understand that it also gives everyone else the right to tell that journalist that they’re being a dickhead.
Chris Deerin writes articles that no English journalist could write because they would – rightly – be accused of racism, but just because you’re Scottish it doesn’t give you a free pass and automatic immunity from spouting anti-Scottish racism. It just makes you an Uncle Tam. Some of the most offensive homophobia has originated from the mouths and pens of people who are themselves gay – it’s called internalised homophobia. When you live in a society which denigrates and demeans gay people, you can take on those attitudes yourself. Social norms are contagious. Clearly you can get internalised Scottophobia as well, and it manifests itself in abundance in the tortured scribblings of the Unionist Scots of the UK media, living and working as they do in an environment whose social norms require that Scotland and its inhabitants are regularly demeaned and denigrated. They should be more objects of scorn and pity than of anger.
But back to Labour’s dickheads and the institutionalised self-harm that passes for internal Labour party politics. Apparently without any attempt to allow the expelled party member to have a say, a letter was sent to an individual in Glasgow South telling him he was out of the party because he’d stated on social media that he was going to vote for “the Scottish Nationalist Party”. The letter came from Labour’s “compliance officer” in Newcastle, who was clearly unaware that the name is Scottish National Party. And there was us thinking that Scottish Labour was totally autonomous and self-governing. Is that not what Jim Murphy assured us during the election campaign? But now we find out that members are expelled on the say-so of a compliance officer in UK Labour – and without any opportunity to defend themselves.
It’s certainly the case that party members shouldn’t be advocating support for other parties during an election campaign. The SNP wouldn’t look kindly upon a party member who was telling people to vote Labour instead of SNP. But there’s a big but, a butt that’s bigger even than some of the Scottophobic airses who write for the Daily Mail or the Telegraph. During the election campaign there were prominent Labour members who were urging people to vote for the Lib Dems or even the Tories in order to keep out the SNP. There was even a wee group of Labour canvassers in Perth who were assisting the local Conservatives. There were Labour candidates in these seats. Have those Labour people received letters from the compliance officer too? You can put money on the likelihood that they won’t have. It’s only SNPBad that is capable of provoking Labour’s knee jerk condemnation.
You’d think that a party that was losing its life blood more quickly than an extra in a Hammer Horror movie would look for a Dr Van Helsing instead of lying in a pity bath and slashing its arteries. Just how many members does Labour have left in Scotland? It’s not like they can afford to expel the few they have left. After the leadership election which lumbered us all with Jim Murphy, the party refused to release the actual number of members who had participated in the vote – and our supine and spineless media refused to pursue them on the matter. That would be those journalists who are immune from criticism. Instead they accepted at face value Jim Murphy’s insistence that the party has “around 20,000” members. And they had straight faces at the time.
Just a few days after Labour’s catastrophic performance in the General Election, Ian Bayonetting the Wounded Davidson stated in an article in the Scotsman that many Labour members in Scotland were not really members at all, and added that the real membership figures were “so low as to be embarrassing”. So it’s obvious that Labour needs to be engaging with its diminishing membership and discovering why they’re not inclined to vote for the party. Instead it just wants to indulge in a bout of self-inflicted rhinectomy to teach its face a lesson.
Meanwhile the Scottish media, if it wants to retain any credibility at all, must press the party to reveal its real membership statistics when it announces the result of its next leadership contest. But that’s about as likely to happen as Labour getting over its knee jerk SNPBadness and embarking on a collaborative and constructive opposition to the real threat – a Conservative government. Scotland has chosen the SNP to oppose the Tories, and now we’re choosing to build a new media as well.
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