The Govefish and the Baurheid doo

It’s Sunday, and Jim Murphy still hasn’t resigned. The half of Scotland who voted SNP on Thursday wants Jim to remain in post. Jim lost over 97% of Labour’s MPs, he could still repeat the trick with their MSPs next year. You’d think the Labour party in Scotland would have got rid of him by now, being tipped off by the fact that SNP supporters are so keen for Jim to stay, but Strathclyde Uni’s least successful student is still Labour’s Scottish branch manager even though one unnamed MSP told the Sunday Herald that Jim is as popular as herpes.

There is no cure for herpes, and it seems there is no cure for Jim either. There’s nothing in the rules of the Labour party that gives the other members the right to evict him. Labour’s increasingly desperate MSPs and cooncillors must rely on Jim’s grace and statesmanlike sense of personal responsibility to fall on his sword and resign for leading the party into its worst result since 1918. Now there’s a laugh. Jim Murphy and statesmanlike are two concepts that only ever appear in the same sentence if there’s a negative in there somewhere – like that negative there.

Jim Murphy’s like the office manager in the Full Monty who was too afraid to tell his wife he’d been made redundant, so he got up every day, put on a suit and took his sandwiches to a park bench where he managed the doos. As I type this, Jim is sitting on a park bench in Baurheid, telling the doos about his plans for a Labour recovery. I can still be First Minister you know, he told a particularly scabrous and vicious doo he mistook for John McTernan after it crapped on his head.

While all this is going on, Jim’s bosses dahn sarf are concluding that Labour’s problem was that it was trying to be too cuddly and compassionate and in fact if the party wants to be reelected they really need to be more Tory. Which means in turn that they’ve pretty much abandoned Scotland. The only hope for Labour in Scotland now is for them to secede from UK Labour and become a properly Scottish party. There’s a delicious irony, Labour in Scotland fought for a No result in the referendum and will end up having to declare its own independence because of it.

But Scotland has more serious problems than the light comedy relief of Jim’s and the Labour party’s self inflicted predicament. We’re faced with a right wing Tory government far more vicious than any Baurheid doo, and it’s going to crap on the heads of the poor and the vulnerable from a great height. Moreover this Tory government got into power in part by demonising Scotland as well as the usual suspects – the poor, the EU, and migrants.

Speaking on a personal level, as a gay man I was demonised by the Tory party in the 1980s during the Thatcher era, so am thrilled that as a Scot living in an era when gay rights are accepted as the norm that I’ve still got some of that demonic mojo going for me. Because let’s be honest here, if you scare the shiters out of the Tories, you must be doing something right. And now I’ve got all 5 million of you for company.

The Tory attack on civil liberties has already started. Theresa May remains as Home Secretary. She’s the woman who said that Scotland voting SNP would provoke the greatest crisis since the abdication and instead provoked the greatest outbreak of ridicule in the history of Twitter. She has introduced plans for a snoopers charter, allowing the security services access to emails and social media information. Nicky Morgan, who voted against gay marriage, is Equalities Minister. They keep telling us that irony is supposed to be a British virtue, but the Tories show no sign of comprehending it.

Meanwhile Michael Gove, half man half goldfish, has been appointed as the new Secretary of State for Justice. Gove had to flee from his native Aberdeen to Safetoryseatshire in England on account of the fact that even the Tory party in Scotland thought he was unelectable and was polluting the water of their goldfish bowl. Although to be fair, they’re pretty unelectable themselves. Despite the Action Krankie supposedly having a great election campaign, she saw a drop in the Tory vote to a mere 14.9%. So not that great a campaign. More tanks and soleros next time then Ruth.

The Govefish is a man who argued that abolishing hanging was a bad idea, criticised the investigation into police failings during the Stephen Lawrence murder investigation, and didn’t want an enquiry into Westminster paedophiles. Now he’s charged with abolishing the Human Rights Act and replacing it with some hauf-airsed “British Bill of Rights”, which you can be sure will take rights away from you and give them to your boss and to the state. Thankfully Michael Gove won’t be responsible for justice in Scotland, he will just be responsible for injustice throughout the UK.

The Scottish Government is obliged to comply with European Human Rights law, and human rights are devolved. According to legal blogger Lallands Peat Worrier, the Human Rights Act itself isn’t enshrined in the Scotland Act, but there are numerous legal strands connecting Scottish devolution with human rights legislation. Even with the active cooperation of the Scottish Government the Tories would find it neither easy nor straightforward to disentangle them, but there will be no cooperation, Cameron’s new British rights for British mince will run into the implacable opposition of a Scottish Parliament which will not roll over and allow the Tories to run roughshod over Scots law and an SNP which now has representation on every Commons committee. A legal mess is looming.

This is how the UK will end, amidst confusion and legal disputes as the Tories discover that the irresistible force of Westminster parliamentary sovereignty runs into the immovable object of Scottish popular sovereignty. Westminster says that parliament is sovereign and it can do as it pleases, meanwhile Scotland says that the people are sovereign and Westminster can bugger off. It’s going to be a rocky ride and we’re in for a whole lot more crap than can be produced by even the most scabrous Baurheid doo.

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41 comments on “The Govefish and the Baurheid doo

  1. Bugger (the Panda) says:

    There’s a delicious irony, Labour in Scotland fought for a No result in the referendum and will end up having to declare its own independence because of it.

    Just excellent! Karma is a bitch!

  2. gerry parker says:

    I don’t think that Scottish Labour could possibly become independent of UK Labour. They’re too wee ( less than 3,000 members), they’re too poor (and probably in debt if they have to take a share of the Uk party’s debt) and they’re definitely too stupid! (lots of evidence of that – take yer pick)

  3. Marconatrix says:

    They say you shouldn’t interrupt your enemy when he’s making a mistake, how about actually encouraging him. Set up a James Murphy Appreciation Society. Ply him with sarcastic praise (he may take it at face value, he’s vain enough), wildly cheer all his dumb speeches … Could be fun? Any bets on how long, moving in ever decreasing circles, it will take before he vanishes up his own arsehole with a final resounding ‘plop!’ ?

  4. heathermclean19 says:

    Wonderful as usual! How I look forward to reading your blogs! Fair cheers me up no end! Keep up the good work – your are a true Wordsmith and master of metaphor!

  5. gavin says:

    I said to a friend on the morning of the 8th. ‘ we are living through history now’. A revolution, without a shot fired, or even a banger going off.
    However, we are daily traduced in the media, and by the elite of our neighbours. That is sad and regrettable. I have lived in England, and like the English— just not as my rulers.
    However when our own, dear, BBC Hootsman have to resort to the wit and wisdom of Wee Baron, Joke McCoalbunker and Rhodesia’s very own Malkie Rifkind, the man who dumped on Rosyth, then the joke is on them.
    ‘ Campaigner of the decade’ award surely has to go to Johnnie McTernan— the man who sank a thousand shits ! In two hemispheres !

  6. […] The Govefish and the Baurheid doo. […]

  7. macart763 says:

    Couldn’t agree more Paul. Here’s where we find out why Scottish law was kept a separate entity and its already passed its first test:

    People have wondered just how much influence those Scottish MPs can wield? I think you’ve pretty much nailed it there – the committees and the law.🙂

  8. Stoops says:

    “the irresistible force of Westminster parliamentary sovereignty runs into the immovable object of Scottish popular sovereignty. “. Solid gold.

    Is herpes really not curable?

    • Weegiewarbler says:

      Nope. Treatable for symptoms, etc… but like diamonds, it’s forever ….. why, is there something you’d like to “share” – not actually share btw – with us?

      • Stoops says:

        F*ck! That’s not good news.

        Ah well, could be worse. A lifelone STD is preferable to Jim Murphy keeping his seat.

  9. patrickroden says:

    I tweeted a plea for Jim Murphy to stay, saying he hasn’t finished ‘the job’ yet.
    My new chant is: ‘Red Tories Out, But Jim Murphy In!’

  10. bedelsten says:

    Many thanks for recovering from Thursday night and considering what happens next.

    Englandshire politicians will underestimate the effect of the fifty six SNP MPs, who will for while be the only effective opposition, especially with a couple who are old hands at playing the long game and understand very well the procedural processes of the hoose beside the Thames. What fun.

    Whatever shenanigans lord snooty and his palls hope to get up to in the way of UK policies these will be overshadowed by the looming referendum on Europe, especially when business finally wakes up and makes the case for continued membership. The process has the potential to tear the party apart. Shame that.

    And whither the Smith Commission, federalism? It doesn’t matter. The most effective way to counter any perceived threat from north of Hadrian’s Wall would be to extend and embrace; create a truly federalised UK with proportional representation and an elected upper house to oversee the constituent federal parts of the UK, but this sounds so much like common sense it is unlikely to prevail and many, perhaps a majority this time, of and those living in Scotland will, at the next opportunity, seek to distance themselves.

    It may be a curse, but we do live in interesting times.

    • WRH2 says:

      I think we should be demanding Home Rule. Federalism would mean too much change in the whole of the UK like regional parliaments in England and I can’t see that happening any time soon. Home Rule would not be nearly as difficult and we would be on the road to independence. Then we can do a lot more here and without interference. It’s the way the Republic of Ireland gained its independence. Boris is in favour of this and seems to be breathing down Dave’s neck so we might have a bit of help from that quarter.

    • benmadigan says:

      doubt if a federal UK would work for several reasons . read about some of them here

  11. gerry parker says:

    Paul. Do you have a u tube video of the results announcement in Glasgow East?

    Do you know if anyone captured it for posterity?

    • xsticks says:

      Would it be on the Livesteam feeds from Thursday? The had one from the Emirates and one from Paisley. Not sure which of them the Glasgow East announcement would be made on. I’m afraid it was all a bit of a blur by that time. Not sure if that was the beer or the tears😀

  12. jeanc says:

    sadly I think your analysis re the ‘bumpy ride’ is all too accurate.

  13. seanair says:

    Does Murphy receive a “salary” for being Head of Slab? Could this be a reason for clinging on?

    • paulamrose says:

      Bet there’s plenty of scope for expenses!

    • weegingerdug says:

      There’s no salary for being head of SLab. But Murphy is clinging on because as branch office manager he can ensure he’ll be placed top of the list for SLab’s list vote in the Holyrood elections next year and so give himself a very good chance of getting elected as an MSP and back on the gravy train again.

      • gerry parker says:

        I’ll start working now to ensure the voters of Bellshill, Coatbridge and Chryston become aware of all the non unionist choices they have in the Scottish elections, and the options they have within the voting system. We’ve one to get rid of here and I want the voters to know more about the alternatives. Jim could find himself being in one of the smaller parties in opposition, behind the Scottish Socialist party and the greens.

        It isn’t over yet, I’m still annoyed at the referendum result.

  14. Johnny come lately says:

    I had thought, that the only way forward for labour in Scotland was to declare independence from Uk Labour and fight the Holyrood election on a ticket of homerule. I have read on another site that this option is not open to labour in Scotland because of funding. Apparently a party has to have at least 2 mps’s before it can qualify for funding from Westminster!
    I don’t think the councillers who registered the name ”Scottish labour” as a legal entity ever thought that such a situation could arise.
    As for federalism, forget it. Can’t work, wont work, because of the arithmatic. As for Homerule, forget that also, as change on such a scale is simply not in Wesminsters dna. Devolution, who wants it? Ther biggest deception ever perpatrated on the electorate, where the powers are loaned and not transferred, meaning that we have gotten bugger all. Sorry to be so negative, but full blown independence is the only way forward in my humble oplinion.

    • Sue de Nymme says:

      Could you expand on your statement, “As for federalism, forget it. Can’t work, wont work, because of the arithmetic.”? Personally, I can’t see any problem, so I would like to know your thoughts.

      • Sue Varley says:

        Don’t know about Johnny’s thoughts, but I don’t think federalism will work either.

        Problem is, as always, England being too big in comparison with everyone else put together. If Federal representation is by population share, we are back to England’s representatives making all decisions at a Federal UK level, since they will be able to outvote the other three parts very easily. I, and I expect a lot of others, would cry “Foul” since for issues deemed to be “Federal”, this is no improvement on where we are now.

        On the other hand if the federal parliament has equal representation for all 4 parts of UK, then England will object strenuously that with more than 80% of the electorate they are only getting 25% of the say. I have some sympathy with this view, by the way.

        There seems to be no appetite for a regional federalism of England itself to facilitate a more even federal system throughout the UK. I think there would be outright hostility to the idea if UK parliament tried to force it on the people of England simply to bring about a possibly no more stable system than we have now. It would be seen as pandering to the Scots, and/or to the EU. Many in England are already accusing EU of wanting to split England into regions for their own convenience.

        All of this is simply the mechanics of trying to set it up. Then there is the thorny issue of who would decide which were Federal matters, and which were for the individual countries to handle. Also should any of country in the federal UK have a veto over federal policy if all that country’s federal reps vote one way but lose to the majority. One obvious example springs to mind – Trident. Should Scotland be forced to host it, and share the cost, if a majority of Scots want it out? Then what about EU membership (I think Cameron will come to grief on this rock as it is, and the problems would not go away in a federal UK).

        The more I think about, the more I think it is unworkable.

        • platinum says:

          Surely the same problems would still exist in a Home Rule situation. We’d still be far outnumbered in leftover shared matters such as defence and foreign affairs, just as we are now, and if we had a veto, England would cry unfair.

          This is an insurmounable chasm that simply cannot be resolved in any other way than full independence.

      • benmadigan says:

        sue – see comment I left above as to why federalism is unlikely to work

        you might also like to have a look at these bits and pieces put together to provide a semblance of a whole . The entire set-up of the Union is resting on very, very, shaky foundations

  15. Yup Paul – like love (Not) Labour (Scottish branch) dies – but herpes lasts forever.

    And it’s amazing how they just don’t get it. They are still going around saying that we just didn’t hear their message rather than acknowledging that we heard it alright but just thought it was alot of pants.

    Talk about deluded.

  16. johnny come lately says:

    @sue de Nymme

    A federation is unworkable in Britain’s case because of the unequal size of the constituent parts. Federations are usually made up of nations/regions of roughly the same size, and therefore would have the same size of representation in a federal parliament.
    England has 84 % of the population therefore that would be reflected in the amount of representation it had in a federal parliament, which means it would still be England who decides everything. It would be grossly unfair to England and the English if England was given the same representation as Scotland and Wales, which is why I say it can’t work. It’s also one of the many reasons that Britain has never taken this avenue.

    • How does that square with the USA which seems to work quite well as a federal system? I am not an expert on these things and maybe the US isn’t as federal as I think it is.

    • Richard G says:

      I’ve been wondering if a federation would work, and perhaps the example of Germany suggests something could be done; . They have a system which allows for Bremen with a population of 600K and North Rhine Westphalia with 17M, which proportionally is a much greater variance than Scotland/England.

      There will be other examples out there to consider, and given that England would be our largest trading partner whether or not we achieve independence, perhaps this would be a good time to think about a workable interim political structure; anything would be an improvement.

      • Sue Varley says:

        Still don’t think the numbers add up when translated to UK. According to your link above, there are 16 states in Germany. So yes the largest outnumbers the smallest by a huge proportion, but there is a far greater spread across all 16 – there are 5 states with more than 6 million pop. so no one or even two states outweigh all the others in pop. (I haven’t done the sums, but the three largest probably marginally outnumber the rest, but their interests are just not going to align on all issues.) This plus the much greater number of component states makes it much more reasonable to not tie influence directly to pop. share of the states.

        Also, with 16 states, there are likely to be different cross-state agreements on different areas of policy where the majorities will change amongst the state groupings, this is just not the case for the 4 parts of the UK where England’s interest will dominate everything.

        Perhaps more important, I don’t think there is any will in Westminster for federalism, nor among the people of England after the media onslaught against Scotland over the referendum and the election.

  17. Jim is hoping to hang on to the job until 2016, so he can pop up on the list and get a seat in Holyrood. The minute he gives the job up, he’ll be cast out in the wilderness, and might not make it back into politics. He’s graced with one strand of luck. No one wants his job.

    He’s coming and going via the back door, or so rumour has it. He’s the most elusive politician without a scandal. No politician wants to avoid the press unless they are up to their necks in something. Mr Shouty is running from the press, refusing to resign, and holding out for a no score draw by getting something in 2016.

    I even managed a footballing reference. I must be a political force, like Jim…

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