The Fingers of One Hand

A guest post by Eric Rice

Of the thirty-two Local Authorities in Scotland, there are only five remaining where the Labour Party now commands an overall majority. True, there are a number of additional Councils where Labour hold a minority rule, or share the reins of power in a two-party or multi-party coalition, but the Authorities where the party which once dominated Scottish Politics remain in charge has been whittled down to just five.

Countable, literally, on the fingers of one hand.

If the latest TNS Polling data is to be believed, with the SNP commanding 60% of the Holyrood Constituency seats in 2016, and 50% of the Regional list seats, then these five lonely outposts may well turn out to be the Last Bastions of Labour control in Scotland after the Holyrood elections.

Shoogly indeed is the peg whereupon the remaining Scottish Labour Jaikeths Hangeth…

But it gets worse. These last remaining Labour strongholds –  West Dumbartonshire, Renfrewshire, North Lanarkshire, South Lanarkshire and Glasgow City – all fell to the SNP during #GE2015.

And with Council elections looming in 2017, Labour has further to fall, and greater humiliation to endure, if it doesn’t change its tune, and fast.

It’s gone beyond “Project Fear”, or the monotonous, predictable echo-chamber of “SNP Bad!!”. The National Labour Party, as well as the Scottish Branch, is leaderless and directionless, and although Kezia is at least trying to do a reasonable impression of a Party Leader, she does lack what one may generously refer to as “gravitas“. (Is it just me, or does she bring out in anyone else a bizarre mental tick whereby it seems everything she says is somehow preceded by the phrase “my mum telt me that…”)

But the UK Party’s knee-jerk response to the #GE2015 wipeout was to immediately tack right (or as Mandy has it, “return to the Centre”). The leadership contenders have begun making dog-whistle anti-immigration remarks in a naked attempt to win back lost UKIP votes. They’ve ruled out the idea of a truly independent (sorry, Kez – meant to say “autonomous”) Scottish Party. They want to be the party of “aspiration”, for chrissakes…

What about the Party of the Foodbank User? Of the desperate? The Sanctioned? The bedroom taxed? The hopeless, helpless and hungry??

Instead, they rail on and on and on, not just about how bad and incompetent the SNP are, but about how duped their supporters are for voting for them.

Every day, my facebook feed brings up some post or another from one or two of my stalwart Labour friends linking some vitriolic article caricaturing SNP supporters as blind, deluded, ovine, brainwashed hordes who brook no dissent, are mind-controlled by some fiendish Caledonian Thought-Police, and generally act as if we’ve been assimilated by some monolithic, McStalinist Tartan Borg.


Enough ae yer pish!

Pretty much everyone I know on the pro-indy, pro-Yes, pro-SNP side is left-leaning, progressive, politically engaged with some kind of background in activism. Most, not all. Many were local musicians who organised benefit gigs for the Miner’s Strike, went on anti-Thatcher protests and Poll-Tax rallies. Pretty much all marched or protested against Blair’s War in 2003. They wish for stability, opportunity to work, provide for their families and an end to the erosion of public services.

None trust Labour to deliver that any more.

For now, their trust is in the SNP, and the Party leaders and elected members will be held to account, because we’ve all now seen exactly what happens when you put your political trust in rosette-wearing simians of any colour…

What are you going to say and who are you going to blame and where are you going to go in 2017 if the trend continues and even those five slim outposts where you still hold sway crumble and fall?

The fingers of one hand, guys.

What will you do if even that gets Pandafied?

45 comments on “The Fingers of One Hand

  1. jdman says:

    Roll on 2017!

  2. Bugger (the Panda) says:

    I wish people would stop using my name in vain. Very vexing.

  3. Bugger (the Panda) says:

    The cry will go up that we are turning into a one Party state. If it is a democratic decision of the People of Scotland to lend their support to their governance by the SNP, it is just that democratic.

    The other Parties, whoever they will be will have to up their offer and fulfill the Peoples’ aspirations.

    Frankly, after decades of lying and spin I cannot see the current lots being able to do that.

    As the SNP is defining a new politics in Scotland so must the new political aspirants do so too.

    • The people who utter that mantra fail to see that the UK has been a One Party State for 35 years…

      • Bugger (the Panda) says:

        Especially now, they are manifest publically as two cheeks of the same arse. The LibDems are one these sub atomic particles which can exist on either of the two cheeks at the same time.

    • macart763 says:

      Well said Panda. 🙂

      It is that simple. Its been a sellers market for an awful long time. What our current political system seems either incapable of, or unwilling to understand is that the buyers (us) have become fair seek o’ it. We’re looking for a new deal and best tender gets preference. 🙂

    • The Scottish Play says:

      Will the lies stretch to the crack of doom?

      There are more Pandas here in this blog [which is a good thing] than Unionist MPs remain in the whole of Scotland.

      The Shadow Secretary of State for Scotland is from the Party formerly known as Labour – how can this be?- how can the Party formerly known as Labour be deemed the Official Opposition in Scotland with only one MP?

      How can Labour be considered an ‘Opposition’ when they are not even prepared to vote against the current Conservative Government at Westminster on apparently any matter? – (they seem to have a terminal case of SNPBaditis or perhaps it is SNPReallyBaditis) and just can’t bring themselves to vote for anything that is true or just [unless of course another just conflict in the Middle East comes along needs their backing]. Bedroom Tax IS bad, really bad – but Labour not prepared to vote against it. Austerity IS bad, really bad…affects the poor, the sick, those who need assistance – perhaps something Labour may wish to rectify? – apparently not. The Labour Party as we know is now just / has become a sect of the Conservative Party – Dennis Skinner, on occasions, aside.

      With 56 SNP MPs in Westminster the role of Scottish Secretary of State (and Shadow Secretary of State) needs to be ‘discussed’ on every occasion – if all 59 MPS in Scotland were SNP – I suppose a Conservative Secretary of State would still be imposed (unelected) or is that the only circumstance Scotland gets a Secretary State from the majority (Scottish) Party – doubt it
      i.e there appears no circumstances in which the SNP would be recognised as either the legitimate democratically elected Party (or even the democratically elected Opposition in respect of this role) -other than putting up MPs across rUK of course – but let’s be too hasty in that or moving in haste in removing these most essential of roles – not before the current incumbents have murraythanfundellymundelly hacked everyone off.

      • Bugger (the Panda) says:

        I feel that we are in the Wonderland of Alice. Not taken there by the SNP because we who support them are very much of this World.

        It is Labour who have fallen down the hole of their own making leaving us behind to pick up the pieces of carnage they have bequeathed.

        They are still there, still trying to shout up the hole at us, telling us everything will just great if we join down the hole and join them again. Nay chance. We are in the light now and are staying here.

        I feel they can never get back up the hole, not now, not ever, because the SNP are quietly pouring quick setting cement down it to ensure so.

        Darwinism works at the organisational as well as the species level. It is not just about evolutionary advancement but of extinction as well.
        So, farwell and good riddance.

  4. ross says:

    Well said.
    Theyll have run out of people to fight their corner.

  5. Margo Sharp says:

    Agree with all of the above. As an exasperated resident of West Dunbartonshire I have watched the ruling clowncillors waste considerable funds on pie in the sky schemes i,e. trying to turn our lovely green spaces into monstrous buildings to educate our young people. People power soon put paid to that idea! Not to be outdone, more millions wasted on outside advisors who don’t know their ass from their elbow about our area and recommend other looney tune schemes.
    Bring on the revolution, sooner rather than later!

  6. […] The Fingers of One Hand […]

  7. […] The Fingers of One Hand. […]

  8. daibhidhdeux says:

    Great piece of analysis.

    Seems the Dug has spawned a pack of acute commentators in his stravaiging about his territory of the body politics of Alba and the imploding UK: Well done all during his wee break from the kennel.

    Now, certainly, mair dugs scrivening about and gnawing away at the cracked bones of the “Union” than there are Unionist pandas gumming at the aforesaid’s withered shoots ( pace, BtP).

    Five fingers left on the corrupt SLAB cats-paw in “Jocklandistan”, eh? The other amputated by the veterinary intervention of the democratic will by the sovereign people of Scotland.

    Five arthritic claws turning inwards on themselves and scratching their paw pads red raw: Not a pretty sight.

    Trust the next surgical interventions are Holyrood and the council elections rapidly followed by putting this tick-infested beast to sleep with our re-independence.

    This would only be a humane kindness all around.

  9. Steve Bowers says:

    One of the things I’m finding most interesting about all this is that SNP supporters may well end up picking their own opposition to an SNP Government next year with our second vote. Interesting but weird.

  10. mary docherty says:

    One hand clapping !!Tick tock 2017 !!

  11. vronsky says:

    @Steve Bowers

    A very perceptive comment. But be sure to familiarise yourself with James Kelly’s warnings on tactical voting over at Scot GoesPop.

    • Illy says:


      The only thing voting Green on the list will do is cause Hollyrood to have an SNP/Green coalition, instead of an SNP majority.

      If that’s what you want, then by all means vote Green on the list. Just be aware that that’s what you’re voting for.

      There’s no way the Greens will become the opposition by stealing SNP list votes. They need to steal Unionist votes to do that.

      • Jan Cowan says:

        Have to say I scan the lot and choose SNP………regardless. Always. And will continue to do so until we have an Independent Scotland.
        Good article, Eric. Thank you.

  12. gavin says:

    And yet, and yet—-there is not a BBC Scotland or Radio Scotland news report that goes out without an uncritical mention of Labour . If the SNP ( or Scottish government ) are in the mix at all, then its a knocking copy piece.
    I don’t think it will be Kez’s Mum giving her advice, more likely to be Baron Lord Foulkes. I saw Labour’s ” General George ” in the throngs, gathering for Dugdale’s launch.
    The hall was reportedly “packed” with about 50 people; juxtapose that with the thousands on the streets of Glasgow protesting austerity.
    This 50 is out of a Party which Dugdale claims has 15,500 members—presumable 15,000 or so, are not active.

  13. The Vole says:

    Reblogged this on The Orkney Vole.

  14. lastchancetoshine says:

    Although i probably fit your description, it’s a little too far to say I put my trust in the SNP, as Nicola herself put it, she is a politician after all. That however is a good thing as they have my full support, which, for as long as I don’t trust them cannot be taken for granted. Therefore they have to deliver (or at least strive to do so in difficult circumstances, I don’t expect miracles).

    PS – Thanks for reminding me of this little ditty

  15. David Agnew says:

    Enough to make you weep. From a Party that was a tool of the labour movement, to a party of tools.

    They are not even effective in opposition. Too afraid in Westminster to be seen to holding a position that looks left wing. Too demented in Holyrood to do anything but screech SNP BAD.
    Ill served by a UK and Scottish media that just parrots what labour are already getting wrong.
    No one in the party or the MSM, has enough critical faculties left to realise that what they are doing is killing the labour party…north and south of the border.

    Are we really saying then, that no one in Labour appreciates that this approach drove more than half of their vote into the arms of the SNP? Are they really settling for the excuse that we were somehow duped. Do they think getting commentators and various unionist concern trolls to attack us with cod psychology and infer that we are just stupid, is going to work for them?

    Sadly the evidence says that is exactly the position they are in.

    When Thatcher made that fatal error of thinking she could marginalise and ignore Scotland, in the afterglow of a narrow referendum win…the Tory party in Scotland suffered for it. Not all at once to be sure, but it ultimately paid the price. On the wrong side of history and spouting the old bollocks that saw it get it a boot up its arse. Its important to remember that it was only the Tory party that failed that day. On May the 7th of 2015 it was British party politics that failed in Scotland. I really don’t think they are going to be able to extract their heads from out of their arses in time to save their precious union.

  16. Itchybiscuit says:

    I well remember when Labour in Scotland were flying high. Lucky Jack was the FM and at every single FMQ’s he would studiously avoid answering any SNP questions and basically flip off whoever was asking the question.

    Now at the time, I thought aren’t Labour in Scotland a bunch of w*nkers? Well, now they’re down to merely a handful in terms of representation in Scottish political life we can safely say that they really are only capable of the ‘five finger shuffle’. ;o)

  17. hektorsmum says:

    It should not have happened but then when people begin to feel entitled to something they stop believing and Labour stopped believing in anything other than their entitlement. I am only, to quote a certain lady, astonished it took the electorate so long to see what was in front of their faces. Thank heavens we had the Referendum because it opened so many peoples eyes and their minds to the truth, Labour were not working, but not in the iron lady’s manner but for those they were supposed to work for, their Constituents.
    Let us hope we get a good clean out 2016 followed by an thorough tip out in 2017. We may then get a look at the books in Glasgow.

  18. Steve Asaneilean says:

    I know one should listen to the content rather than focus on the way it is said BUT every time poor Kezia opens her mouth all I can see and hear is a whinging impression of Kevin the Teenager (YouTube it if you don’t know what I mean).

    Sadly because of my own prejudice I cannot take seriously anything she says.

    Oh, and next time anyone from (Not) Labour talks about Scotland being a one party state (are you listening Brian? ) just ask them what was Scotland 15 years ago when (Not) Labour were in charge of most major Scottish local authorities, Holyrood and Westminster? Or are one party states okay as long as it’s (Not) Labour in charge?

  19. GavinC Barrie says:

    Kezia Dugdale was “apprenticed” to Foulkes, and accepted the Deputy Dug role with Murphy.

    You are judged by the company you keep.

  20. benmadigan says:

    Shoogly indeed is the peg whereupon the remaining Scottish Labour Jaikeths Hangeth…

    loved that line – and the rest of the article!!!

  21. Maureen says:

    Good one Eric. Also to Macart and Elizabeth and all who reply to the wee dug thanks- Its nice to know i’am among like thinking fellow countrymen/women. The wee dug will be proud. Labour I hope sinks without a trace, I for one will be happy to dance on its grave.

    • Pam McMahon says:

      Will join you in your dancin’, unless it decides to be buried at sea, jumping off a Cal Mac ferry.

  22. Eric Rice says:

    Thanks to everyone who commented for the positive responses, and thanks also to WeeGingerDug for publishing the article.
    Proud to be a WGD contributor

  23. bowanarrow says:

    GREAT, feel better already. THANK YOU.

  24. punklin says:

    more than one miner went on the miners’ strike x ) – :

  25. morvenm2014 says:

    Great article. Very cheering. So much for transferring powers to councils to bypass the Scottish Parliament. Another cunning plan bites the dust.

  26. Labour needs to be purged out of Westminster (1 to go)-Holyrood-next on the list-then 2017 for the council’s.

    Kill the germs or they’ll just grow back.

    • Bugger (the Panda) says:

      Petennial weeds. Sent from my BlackBerry 10 smartphone. From: Wee Ginger DugSent: Monday, 22 June 2015 16:50To: innerbearsden@gmail.comReply To: Wee Ginger DugSubject: [New comment] The Fingers of One Hand

      a:hover { color: red; } a { text-decoration: none; color: #0088cc; }

      a.primaryactionlink:link, a.primaryactionlink:visited { background-color: #2585B2; color: #fff; } a.primaryactionlink:hover, a.primaryactionlink:active { background-color: #11729E !important; color: #fff !important; }

      /* @media only screen and (max-device-width: 480px) { .post { min-width: 700px !important; } } */

      thomaspotter2014 commented: “Labour needs to be purged out of Westminster (1 to go)-Holyrood-next on the list-then 2017 for the council’s.

      Kill the germs or they’ll just grow back.”

  27. AdamH says:

    Its about time that someone pointed out that redrawing Scotland’s political map won’t finished till 2017. When you have the (old) setup where a labour candidate was guaranteed to be elected then (obviously) if you wanted to have a career in politics the key audience to satisfy was the party not the electorate. We need to sweep out as many of the old career politicians as possible. I suspect that many of them will retire as soon as they find they are not in power any more. Until that happens Slab has no chance of coming back to life and leaving the Zombie state. When being (or trying to be) a Slab councillor is something to do because you believe in it and not something you do because you want a sinecure, then there might be a glimmering of hope for Slab. They might need to be quick about it or the role of opposition may move away from them for ever.

  28. artyHetty says:

    Read ‘ScotGoesPop’ blog today, for the ins and outs of tactical voting and the poss consquences for 2016, what we don’t want is a majority anti Indy result for Holyrood and it could happen if people do not inform themselves?

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