For the Record

We all know that the traditional Scottish media is pants, and the Daily Record is the skidmarks. Today on page 10 the paper published a wee moany press release by Magrit Curran – the dangleberry of the Labour party – about a short piece I’d written in support of Natalie McGarry who is standing against Magrit in Glasgow East.

The paper did not see fit to contact me about the story, and describes me as “an SNP blogger”. This is incorrect – as I have said on this blog on numerous occasions previously, I am not an SNP member and do not write at the behest of the SNP. I wrote the piece supporting Natalie in a personal capacity. If the Record had seen fit to engage in the most fundilymundily journalism and contacted me instead of printing a Labour press release verbatim, they’d have known that. Och, journalism and the Daily Record, what am I thinking? Still, it’s hugely pleasing to know that I’m getting under Magrit’s skin, an enormous delight to discover that my words wound her.

Magrit thinks my words are patronising and insulting to the people of Glasgow East. Coming from a woman who has spent her entire career patronising and insulting the intelligence of the people of Glasgow East, and the rest of Scotland, this is pretty rich. But before going on to patronise and insult Magrit, here’s the piece I wrote for Natalie. You can judge for yourselves.

We have a choice before us with this election. Walk down Shettleston Road, take a stroll through Tollcross Park, and you can see the drawn faces of a people who have been abandoned, betrayed by those for whom aspiration means leaving Glasgow East behind, a place to be from not a place to be a part of. One choice is passivity, we can choose to sit back and bemoan the fact that Glasgow East is known for low life expectancy, for poverty, for substance abuse, for multiple social deprivation.

Passivity means that we can vote as we’ve always done, as our grandparents did, and sit back in hopelessness and despair, lost amongst the drawn faces in Tollcross Park – or we can choose to stand tall and shout. We can demand. We can choose to make our vibrant voices heard, we can choose to be loud, to be gallus. We can choose to be the proud grandchildren of those who created a movement for change, a force for social justice. And we can choose to do that again.

Here and now, we can start to create a future our grandchildren can be proud of, and Natalie McGarry is the woman who will be the voice of that future.

Not all politicians are the same. Natalie McGarry’s aspiration is be a part of this community, to be of it not from it, to carry its message to the corridors of power, to speak truth and be an agent of change, an agent of social justice.

This is a time for change. This is a time for making a difference. This is a time for grasping the thistle of the future. Be the change, be the difference, make the future. Scotland’s future rests in your hands, in your vote and voice. Be active, be a force, be a strong voice.

Dare to hope.

Vote SNP, vote for Natalie McGarry.

Magrit thinks it’s insulting and patronising to point out that people who suffer the effects of her misrule and the misrule of the Tories are pained and damaged because of it. She’s the one who campaigned in order to keep Scotland at risk of Tory rule, she’s the one who danced and clapped as Davie Cameron prepared his EVEL speech.

Running to the Record to complain about my words is a sign of her pathetic desperation, a risible attempt to manufacture sympathy for herself on the backs of those whose benefits have been sanctioned, who walk the cold and hungry miles to a food bank, who wrap themselves in blankets because they have no money for the meter. Those are the people Magrit should be fighting for, but no, she’d rather complain to the Record that someone from her own constituency, someone who unlike her actually lives in the East End, has dared to point them out to her. That’s why Magrit is a hypocrite. Away with you Magrit, back to yer big hoose in Newlands.

Magrit says that the people of the East End need hope. She says I insult them. How dare you speak to us about hope. We do have hope for the future Magrit. We are hopeful of a future that doesn’t have you in it. You are a barrier to progress, a blockage that needs to be flushed out and flushed away. You are the voice of a sclerotic establishment that promises a privatised sticking plaster on the gaping wounds of a community whose soul your party has ripped out.

But now the pressure is rising. Magrit can feel it, she can feel it about to burst and take her career with it. So she runs to the Record with her whiny press releases. And when Magrit is flushed away the cheers from Glasgow East will be heard all the way to Westminster. No one here wants you Magrit. You can trust me on that one. I live in Glasgow East, you don’t. I talk to real people who live here, you live in the manufactured bubble of press releases and media events attended only by party hacks. You know nothing Magrit, but even you in your place of ignorance can feel the tremors of the earthquake that’s coming.

Magrit’s panicking now, and in her panic she reveals herself as a woman bereft of poetry, absent from any finer feeling, lacking in compassion, and a stranger to the truth. The only thing Magrit has ever felt any passion for is her expenses claims and her public standing. We’re going to take those things from her.

It’s not that the blood is slowly dripping out of Magrit’s career, it’s spurting from the jugular and she’s drowning in it. Tick tock Magrit, just two days to go. The pale and drawn face will be yours. The lost and lonely figure will be yours. Focus group that.

You’ll have many years ahead of you to enjoy your obscurity Magrit. But you won’t enjoy it anything like as much as we will.

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Just another manic Fundilymundily

Following from a disastrous weekend, Jim Murphy has had a manic fundilymundily. On one of his megaphonic irn bru crate assisted standabouts in Glasgow, yelling at passers by who don’t give a toss, he was met by an equally small group of independence supporters yelling at Labour politicians and activists who don’t give a toss either. And Eddie Izzard was there too, for extra glam and star appeal. Although for some bizarre reason Eddie thought that extra glam meant doing what was, to be fair, a pretty good impression of Johann Lamont. Some handbags were drawn at dawn – or at least before noon – there was allegedly a bit of shoving, there was definitely a spot of yelling, and it was the Smugurph’s egg moment all over again, this time with lipstick. Help help, Jim’s being oppressed and underdoggy. Vote for him out of sympathy.

How very dare the punters not stand in silent reverence to listen to the words of the Rev Jim, for Jim preacheth the path to salvation. At least the salvation of his career. Indeed in the last few days of the campaign saving Jim’s career is what Labour is all about. Jim and Wee Dougie and Magrit. The rest of the Labour party is being left to its own devices. This is why Jim has been banging on about another fundilymundily referendum, he’s hoping to attract the support of Tory voters in the Mearns. Only the Tories can save Jim now. Jim doesn’t do irony, so it’s just as well that the rest of us do.

But instead of quiet reverence and grateful oohs at how convincing Eddie is at impersonating Johann, there was carnage. This is what happens when people stop listening to Labour you know, the very fabric of the universe unravels and chaos results. 30 Labour activists and four protesters are capable of bringing civilisation to its knees. Jim is all that stands between Scotland and the ravenous horde of a campaigner seeking a Subway moment. Although he did bugger off in a car as soon as the telly cameras had got some close up photies to make the crowd look bigger than it really was. So he didn’t do that much standing up. Jim’s job is done as soon as the BBC cameraman says it’s a wrap. And not the sort of wrap you get in Subway.

Jim was delighted as it distracted attention from the fact he was fundilymundily humiliated by Ruth Davidson in Sunday’s debate. The Action Krankie prefaced her remarks with an apology for being about to use unparliamentary language, and all over Scotland ears pricked up in the eager anticipation that Ruthie was about to call Jim a dickhead. But as it turned out she only called him a liar to his face. Which is just fair comment and considerably milder than what everyone else calls him, and all across Scotland ears sagged and people went “Och, is that it.”

“How very dare you,” replied Jim, offended that someone had said out loud what everyone has been thinking for years, like a man with a bad toupee who’s just been told that he’s wearing a lovely hat. Although he was even more offended that the Tory voters in the Mearns might be listening to Ruthie and not to him.

However the real highlight of the debate was Jim’s invention of a new word, no one is very sure what the word means, but no one cares. Very little that Jim says makes any sense anyway, but for the first time in his career Labour’s branch officer manager has actually made a positive contribution to Scottish public life. But by fundilymundily all was forgotten as the telly moved on to carnage rioting and outrage. Some Glaswegian people got shouty, and this is news. And, brace yourself, someone dropped a placard. No really. That’s littering that is, and that’s a crime. It’s a national disgrace.

It was Sean Clerkin who was giving Jim a run for his expenses claims in the shouty department. It is news that Sean Clerkin is shouty like it’s news that the Kardashians are botoxified attention seekers. Sean is indeed the Khloe Kardashian of the independence movement. Sean is best known, indeed is only known, for his confrontation of Iain Gray in a Subway sandwich shop in 2011. In an attempt at a sequel, Sean decided to confront Jim Murphy outside a subway station, megamouth to megamouth. Sean has also done his shouty demonstrating thing against the SNP, with whom he’s had a number of run ins. This won’t prevent the UK media from demanding that Nicla apologise for his behaviour.

According to the BBC, a minor outbreak of subrammyness, far less threatening than the scenes you’ll see outside just about every nightclub in the city on a Saturday night, was “absolute chaos on the streets of Glasgow”. This is the very same broadcaster which saw fit to describe the real violence and assaults perpetrated on Yes campaigners by baying Unionist mobs of fascists as “disturbances”. So not absolutely chaotic then.

However fundilymundily’s rammyette, according to the Scottish media, eagerly seeking something to discredit the evil nationalists, was the worst outbreak of street violence since the Siege of Constantinople in 1453. That one saw the collapse of a civilisation as well, although to be honest, describing the Labour party in Scotland as civilised is a bit of a stretch. Admittedly, so is describing them as sentient.

There has been a depressing litany of bad behaviour on the part of Unionists, bad behaviour which has actually resulted in real violence, court cases and convictions. There has been nothing comparable from the nasty nats. Yet the media focusses almost exclusively on the shoutiness of only one side, and it’s not the ones with a real track record of violence or spouting hatred. That’s what happens when an establishment is under threat, it lashes out, but its lashing out is entirely reasonable because the establishment – by definition – takes it upon itself to define what is or is not reasonable. In a desperate attempt to save themselves they’re trying to re-run the referendum campaign and whip up a few Tories to save Jim’s skin.

It’s not going to work, the establishment’s fundilymundily days are numbered.

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Edhenge

It’s the final straight before the big vote, and Ed Miliband is channelling Spinal Tap and has turned the dial up to 11. He’s even got something to offer literalists who struggle with the concept of metaphor. Hell yeah it’s set in stone. He’s promised that if he’s elected he’ll commission a big structure with Labour’s manifesto promises carved into stone, which he’ll erect in the rose gardens at the back of 10 Downing Street. Ed’s wee spinning munchkins will dance around it while crooning his greatest hit – It’s my party and I’ll lie if I want to. It’s going to be a permanent symbol of Ed’s commitment to cheap publicity stunts which achieve precisely nothing. So pretty much like the last Labour government then.

It’s the perfect symbol of the modern UK and what the welcoming place has become – a massive stone face bearing the legend Controls on Immigration. But of course it’s really a tombstone representing the death of common sense and decency, although they died in the Labour party a very long time ago.

Most people would settle for a potting shed or garden gnomes, but not Ed. Labour has already got lots of small tasteless plastic people. But it is a shame that the idea was ruled out as it would kill two birds with one stone, many of them will be redundant by the end of the week and they could take up a productive career as a blight on Ed’s garden instead of a blight on Scottish public life. Magrit Curran could sit with a wee plastic pole and fish for her expenses. The great thing about garden gnomes is that they never catch anything and have to sit motionless and silent. So there’s already three reasons why we’d love Magrit to take the gig.

Ed said that the stone would symbolise his commitment to keep his pledges and rebuild trust in British politics, a bit like Rory the Tory’s big pile of chucky stanes which was supposed to symbolise the eternal union between our two blesséd countries and which promptly vanished as soon as the independence referendum was out of the way. We can trust that Ed’s big stane will be equally irrelevant and impermanent, and within a week of the election it will be tied around the feet of the party’s Scottish strategists as they are tossed off the Labour boat as the recriminations get into full swing.

It’s very much in the tradition of Labour statements, presented in private before selected and invitation only audiences in venues that are not accessible to the general public. Only this time it’s in stone. It’s Edhenge, a big thick stone faced waste of space – a sort of Gordon Brown without any moving parts or expensive expenses claims, but about as sentient.

Sadly Edhenge won’t be coming with an altar stone upon which Jim Murphy can be disembowelled by the druid Iandavidsonix as a sacrifice to Shallogimmix, the Celtic god of Labour manifesto commitments and publicity stunts. Ian has already volunteered for the job, because Labour likes to get its infighting started early. I might have voted for that. But not to worry, the Labour party is doing a sterling job of bayonetting itself and Jim without any assistance. Originally the plan called for them to build a wicker man and stuff it full of straw, before setting fire to it and allowing it to combust in a bonfire of its own vanity, but they’ve already got Anas Sarwar as a vain self-regarding straw man whose career is in ashes, so it was deemed superfluous.

Edhenge is all a bit grandiose and over-compensatory for a man who struggled with a bacon sandwich. Just because it’s a big heavy lump doesn’t mean it’s got gravitas Ed. You can’t manufacture political solidity, you can’t fake sincerity. If Ed had really wanted a garden monument to keep him on his toes and not just some cheap publicity stunt that would generate a photo opportunity, he could have promised that he’d dig up the Downing Street rose garden and turn it into vegetable allotments to remind him that there are people in this country who can’t feed themselves and who have to rely on food banks because of government policies. If Ed really did have gravitas and sincerity he could have sworn that he’d only allow the roses to return once food banks had been abolished and that in the meantime he’d be spending all his working time working to abolish them, and all his spare time down on the allotment growing potatoes.

Ed is King Milibandias, look on his works ye mighty and giggle uncontrollably for a bit. The technical term for a useless hunk of stone that you plonk in your garden for decorative purposes is a folly. And a monumental folly is also a good description of Ed’s electoral strategy and his decision to tell Scotland and Wales that their votes only count if they vote for Westminster approved parties – otherwise he’s going to let the Tories get into power. Who is advising this clown?

Seriously. Ed Miliband is surrounded by people who thought this was a good idea, and not one of them thought to say “You do realise this is going to make us look like total idiots, don’t you?” Not one. And we’re supposed to trust this guy’s judgement?

Possibly the big stick of Edhenge rock is intended to be one of the obelisks from 2001, and its mere presence will impart sentience upon the rock bangers and head bangers surrounding it who will rapidly evolve into self aware beings. It will certainly raise the average IQ of the advisors who thought it was a good idea.

But it’s far too late for Labour to evolve into intelligent life, and Labour self-awareness died the day that they elected Tony Blair as party leader. On the eve of an election – they commission a tombstone. That’s the only symbolism that people will take from this latest idiocy.

Labour may be building a tombstone for itself, but its death will still go unmourned.

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Greeting wee weans

Ed Miliband, the guy threatening to disembowel himself with a rolled up copy of the Daily Mail if Scotland votes SNP, came on a visit to Glasgow on Friday. It was a desperate attempt to shore up the rapidly collapsing dam holding up the Labour vote in Scotland, despite the fact that Ed has taken his finger out the dyke and then attacked it with a pneumatic drill. Perhaps that explains why Ed holds his hands in interviews like he’s slammed his fingers in the door.

Before the usual Labour mass rally – that’s the special Labour definition of mass rally, a small group of invited Labour party activists and the press – Ed gave a speech while outside protesters played the theme song to the Muppet Show. Which was unfair on the Muppets. Although like Labour their glory days are long in the past, the Muppets are actually remembered with affection and do still have fans that don’t work for them.

Ed wants us to think about our grandparents and how they would have voted and cast our vote accordingly. My late grandmother was a racist auld bigot who thought that African people rejected the Empire out of sheer pig headed ungratefulness. While Ed is certainly not a racist, I suspect that his understanding of why Scots are rejecting the Labour party is about as sophisticated as my grandmother’s understanding of colonialism in mid 20th century Africa.

Some in the party have a more Victorian understanding. Jack McConnell, the man they call Joke for a reason, told the Guardian that even if the combined number of Labour and SNP MPs is greater, if the Tories are larger than Labour then Labour would have to allow Cameron to form a government. Jack thinks making statements like this are helpful to Labour in Scotland. No, really. If the natives don’t do what the colonial governors want, they must be punished. If Labour and the SNP combined do form a majority in the Commons after Thursday’s vote, Jack’s comments will be repeated ad nauseam in the Tory press along with similar comments from Jim Murphy. But then the bitter-enders of Scottish Labour and their South African educated leader are willing to destroy Ed’s chances of replacing the Tories in their pathetic attempts to cling onto their own privilege and preference.

But Labour has let out a collective sigh of relief because the telly has forgotten there’s an election on because Willnkate had a baby. You may have noticed. Mostly the nation was grateful and happy because it meant that Nicholas Witchell could piss off and go home. Nicholas practically had an orgasm on the BBC news, so thrilled was he to be the centre of attention again. When there are no Royal events going on, Nicholas is kept in a coffin in the basement of Broadcasting House where he’s kept alive on a drip feeding him Royal Wedding memorabilia that’s been put through a blender.

The new Royal baby can’t be leapfrogged, said Nicholas, breathlessly reporting from his fire escape, as though the Windsors were world leaders in the struggle for women’s rights. A tiny rich minority who are handed privilege on a plate because they have a penis will be joined by a tiny rich minority who are handed privilege on a plate because they have a vagina. So no leapfrogging there then. The new Royal Succession Act doesn’t mention anything about swings and roundabouts.

Nicholas has been standing outside that hospital doorway for weeks now, but they’re still not letting him in. He’s wearing a pink and blue tie, which is the BBC’s definition of unbiased. Poor Nick has to stand outside with the red white and blue bedecked obsessives that he struggles not to call fans or stalkers, while telling us that this is a really private moment for Willnkate that’s receiving 24 hour rolling news coverage. Some of these people have a fashion sense that make Orange marchers look tasteful and understated. Some even have boas.

Over on Sky, his drag act equivalent Kay Burley was dangerously close to exploding. She keeps telling us how quickly it all happened, and you can sense her immense disappointment because she had been expecting to milk this for hours, if not days. This has taken us all by surprise says Kay, because Kay wasn’t paying attention in sex-ed classes at school and didn’t realise that pregnant women give birth.

Both Nicholas and Kay were gushing and hyperventilating to such an extent I was waiting for the security services to rush over at any moment and surround the pair of them with yellow tape before fingering them with a robot and then blowing them up safely. I would actually watch that. Hell, I’d pay to watch that.

Now there’s frantic speculation about what the sprog is going to be called. David Cameron reportedly wants them to call her Nicola in the hope that it might persuade Scotland that the UK loves us. She won’t be called Nicola after Nicholas Witchell, if she was named after Nicholas Witchell they’d have to call her Sycophancia, and that would be cruel. Others say the wean will be called Margaret Rose after the Queen’s sister, because the child can be given a role model by naming her after a gin-soaked wastrel who never did anything useful her entire life. Although to be fair, that’s a good description of the entire Royal family.

Attention then turns to how the new sprog’s brother will take the news. That’s easy enough to answer, he’ll act like a small toddler. Which is exactly how the UK media has been reacting to the news too, complete with wetting itself. Actually, that’s pretty much how the Labour party and the UK media have been reacting to the prominence of Scotland and the rise of the SNP in the General Election as well – with jealousy, stamping of feet and temper tantrums and throwing its toys out of the pram.

An aged and demented political party dies after succumbing to the sclerosis of the British establishment, and TV news greets the birth of an aristocrat who is a part of the British establishment from day one. That sums up where the UK is going, and why it’s in desperate need of reform. We need to vote for real change on Thursday. Let’s make them greet like wee weans.

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The last squawk

Oh furgodssake. I was planning an evening putting my feet up, scoffing at the debates on the telly like a normal person, and then having an early night with a box set of Battlestar Galactica and a meringue, and Ed Miliband only goes and spoils it all by putting the final nail in Jim Murphy’s coffin. So I have to write something, and there’s me been resisting temptation all day.

So, deep in the rain forests of South America, linguists discovered a parrot that was the last speaker of a language whose human users had long since died out. All that’s known of this language are a few words squawked by a parrot which has no idea what they mean. And that’s also a fair description of socialism and the Labour party in Scotland. But parrots at least can have bright red plumage, there’s nothing red left about Labour.

It hasn’t been easy resisting the temptation to blog something. Labour is the satirical gift that keeps on giving. First off there was David Blunkett complaining that the biggest threat to democracy was that people in Scotland aren’t listening to Labour any more, and not you know, that Labour should maybe be listening to Scottish people. In Blunkettworld it’s the job of the electorate to listen to political parties. If he believes that then it explains a whole lot about Labour’s behaviour when in office, and illustrates perfectly why Labour needs to be held to account by a big bloc of SNP MPs standing over them with a voting lobby baseball bat.

Then Jim Murphy had a car crash of an interview on Reporting Scotland with Sally Magnusson. In the normal scheme of things a Labour politician getting a rough ride on Reporting Scotland is like the princess complaining that there’s a pea under her pile of mattresses. However Jim’s been lying in Labour’s pee for so long that even Reporting Scotland can no longer ignore the stench. Jim spent the entire interview not answering any of the questions Sally put to him, preferring instead to squawk about Davie Cameron rubbing his hands in glee at the prospect of Scotland voting for a party that hates him even more than Labour does. This may make sense in Jim’s universe, but it doesn’t in anyone else’s. Sally didn’t give him a cracker, and a few more undecided voters decided that they weren’t going to vote for Jim’s bonhomie of the bonfire, smugging while Labour burns.

So there was that, and then came the leader interviews on Question Time when Davie, Nick and Ed faced questions from punters. All of them were keen to let us know that they hold no truck with any deals with the SNP because the SNP are communist nazi feminist misogynists who want to break up this great country of ours. Now there are some languages, some of which may be spoken by parrots in the Amazon, which have more than one word for “our”. There’s the our in the sense of “belonging you me, you, and others”, and there’s the our in the sense of “belonging to me and others but not you”. UK politicians demonstrate a new sense of the word our in the phrase “this great country of ours”, and that would be “belonging to me and others but not Scottish people”. Because they’re all quite determined that Scottish voters will get no say in how it’s governed.

Just when you thought that Labour in Scotland was already closer to an extinction event and deeper in the doo doo than a paralytic parrot with dysentry, Ed Miliband went and made it worse. No really, it was possible to do that and Ed did. Hell yeah. He tied the Murphmacaw up in a sack full of bricks and tossed him in the Union Canal. Then he jumped up and down on top of the sack to make sure that it sank to the bottom, getting himself half drowned in the process.

Ed said that he would prefer that there was a Tory government than do any sort of deal with the SNP. All over Scotland people were saying – did he say what I thought he said? Eh? Did that actually happen there? Noooo. Here put that telly on rewind and let me hear that bit again. Well in the name of the wee man. He did so. He did so say that. The last remnants of Labour support shrivelled and died from shame and embarrassment and the twitter trolls retreated under their bridge just as the bridge collapsed. Labour’s last supporters fell silent and you could hear a feather drip canal watter. Vote Labour or Ed and the Labour party will make damn sure you get the Tories to punish you for daring to think for yourself. And you thought extorsion was illegal.

He did try to backtrack a bit, and if you looked at the fine print he hadn’t actually ruled out anything much. The SNP have already ruled out a coalition, Ed has now ruled out a confidence and supply deal. So we are left with the possiblity of a minority government where Labour has to try and pass more than gall stones, and it can only do that by not pissing off other parties whose support it’s going to need. So not off to a good start then. Labour doesn’t know how to share.

But there was no doubt about the sentiment – one shared by all three party leaders – Scotland isn’t welcome in the Union if it doesn’t behave itself and vote the way Westminster wants. So there you have it. Remember all that guff last year about families of nations and Scotland punching above its weight and being valued and loved? Remember Ed telling us that if he was Prime Minister he’d give Scotland home rule? Ed Miliband is still more afraid of the Tory press than he is of five million pissed off Scottish people. It’s up to us now to show him who he really needs to be scared of.

The Union is a dead parrot, and it’s blue.

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