The party which ran away

Are there any principles left in the moral vacuity that has replaced the Labour party? Is there anything that can be said that will get through to the party’s bankrupt leadership? Are there any barbs sharp enough to pierce the elephant’s hide of complacency that surrounds Labour’s sense of entitlement? On the showing up the party gave itself in the House of Commons on Monday night, the answer to all three questions is clearly no. Edward VIII had more principles than Labour do, that’s how low Labour has sunk.

Just 48 Labour MPs had enough of a moral conscience remaining to vote against the Tories’ swingeing and ideologically driven cuts to the benefits system. The rest are the St Augustines of political opposition – every night they get down on their knees to worship Mammon and pray that their god grants the strength to resist the Tories – but not yet. Let’s be clear here, the it wasn’t the poor, the disabled, or carers who caused the economic crisis. It wasn’t the low paid who caused the national debt to soar. It was the fault of the banks and their unregulated casino, it was the fault of rich corporations and individuals who have systematically avoided paying their fair share. And it was the fault of the Tories and the Labour party for allowing this sorry state of affairs to come to pass. And now as the Tories seek to punish the poor for the sins of the rich, Labour washes its hands in crocodile tears and says it does nothing for our own good. Labour dishonours our grandparents who founded that once great party. It traduces the memory of our struggles. Labour has betrayed the people it once stood for.

Only 48 Labour MPs remembered that they were elected to oppose. Scotland’s sole Labour MP wasn’t one of them. Did the residents of Edinburgh South elect him to oppose the Tories by acquiescing to them? That’s what Ian seems to believe. More SNP MPs than Labour MPs voted against the Tories’ vicious vindictiveness. Her Majesty’s Opposition think their official title means that they can only oppose things that her maj and her Hitler saluting benefits claiming family of spongers would oppose.

If you’re unemployed, Labour won’t give you an income you can live on until you find work. If you’re a carer, Labour doesn’t care about you. If you’re disabled, Labour wants you to stand on your own feet and will kick away your crutches. There was a time, a long time ago in a galaxy far far away, that Labour was the party that defended those who didn’t have the resources to defend themselves. Now it’s the party of the Death Star and the benefits sanction. It’s the party of the shallow, the materialists, the selfish. Labour is only the party of No when No means telling Scotland it can’t govern itself.

Only a fifth of Labour’s MPs have a vestigial remnant of a moral purpose, have a memory of what their party once stood for. Only a tiny minority of Labour MPs could look Mary Barbour in the eye. Only a tiny minority of Labour MPs can still claim to be the heirs to the Red Clydesiders. Labour wants to be the party for people who want a second holiday to Portugal and riding lessons for the teenage daughter. Labour wants to be the Tory party. That means that the malaise that Labour suffers from is worse than penis envy, they suffer from arsehole envy.

The best you can say about the rest of the Labour party is that at least some of the party’s MPs had the decency to turn up and abstain in person and stare their non-vote in its metaphorical blind eye. There are invertebrates with more of a spine, snakes with more legs to stand on. In the modern Labour party, it’s a rebel MP who is the one to vote against Tory benefits cuts. A rebel MP, think on that. That’s what happens when you try to run a country and formulate policy based on what focus groups in Croydon tell you.

You expect this sort of thing from Tories. Tories are callous and insensitive, however well preened the hairdos of their press apologists. The Tories kill the poor while Labour looks the other way, and tries to claim that looking the other way is a principled stance. The principle being – I’m going to walk past this mugging in the street without doing anything in solidarity with people who haven’t been mugged. Someone needs to stand up for the non-mugging non-victims.

Ah but, say the Labour apologists, we’d have lost the vote anyway so it makes no difference. But that’s not true, it would have made no difference to the outcome of the vote, but it would have made a hell of a difference to the tattered reputation of a pathetic excuse for a party. People might just actually have thought that Labour had some balls, and not the Tory budgeting Ed kind. People might have realised that Labour still stood for something. But now they know that Labour stands for nothing except a hauf-airsed petty fogging power grab, and when that fails they cower under a rock like the moral cowards they are. Labour is a party that no longer sings about keeping the red flag flying, the only flag they fly is a white one. They won’t oppose anything if it risks resulting in a bad headline in the Daily Mail.

308 Tories voted in favour. 128 MPs opposed, the SNP, Plaid, the 48 Labour MPs with a conscience. 308 minus 128 is 180, and more than 180 Labour MPs abstained. Oh but because of pairing we’d still have lost, the Labour apologists bleat. Excuses about the cosy gentleman’s pairing arrangement cut no ice when you’re starving out on the streets in a bitterly cold winter. It’s not the job of Labour to enter into cosy arrangements with the Tories, it’s their job to make life difficult for them. But Labour don’t want to do that if the Daily Telegraph objects. That’s what makes Labour unfit for purpose.

Labour’s spinelessness is why we didn’t vote for them in Scotland – on this showing we’ll never vote for them again. Labour recovery? Even BBC Scotland can’t even start dreaming of that until there’s a glimmer of hope that Labour might just do its bloody job. But we don’t need Labour to oppose the Tories any more – we have the SNP and the Greens for that, and that’s why Labour is going the way of the Union. The demise of Labour is the demise of the UK.

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48 comments on “The party which ran away

  1. The collapse of Labour even north of the border should be no cause for celebration, since a healthy political system requires a vibrant opposition.

    We here may have even more cause for concern about what might happen south of the border. With Labour following the LIbDems over the precipice, consider the alternatives. And, at least until we have our own country with their own currency and our own central bank (otherwise look at what is happening to Greece), all of this matters to us very, very much.

    • Jim Morris says:

      It is the job of the electorate to keep the elected accountable, a loyal opposition is tautological: when push comes to shove the loyal over-rides the opposition.

    • Melvin Penman says:

      Be sure that there will be a new War with (put name in here)to keep the peasants busy dying for queen and country. The Falklands II anyone…

  2. with OUR own currency

    • Melvin Penman says:

      I agree ,we need to make this policy in the Scottish elections, Scottish currency in the EU. P.s No need for referendum either, the may election should be the referendum.

      • oscartaime says:

        The Catalan independence alliance certainly appears to be taking the stand that a suitably large vote in their “normal” elections will be considered a vote for independence. Then again they are not allowed to have a referendum and nor will we be allowed another if it looks like they’ll loose next time. Here’s hoping they pull it off because then a lot of the questions about the EU & currency will have to be resolved.

  3. No-one can blame Pete Wishart for his “cheeky and tendentious” question about seating arrangements after this debacle! These so-called Labour MPs are a disgrace to the Labour Movement and unworthy of the title “Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition”. Opposition? This word – like Socialism – seems to have been dropped from their lexicon!

    • Saor Alba says:

      The only opposition comes from the SNP, Greens, Plaid and 48 Labour MP’s with a conscience still remaining. Labour are rotten to the core and the saprophytes are moving in to hasten the decay. Hence the stench.

  4. Iain Hill says:

    Excellent piece. Sending you a donation. You deserve it for persevering in attacking this bunch of lost souls. Do they think they were elected for their personal talents? For being pretty? They have completely forgotten the poor, their raison d’être , and deserve only to disintegrate.

  5. Justin Fayre says:

    And meanwhile hundreds of thousands of once proud Labour supporters give up on politics in disgust

  6. macart763 says:

    For abstain see under ‘support’.

    Our recovering economy is a sham. Tenuous growth built on the same finacial sector and criteria which brought us the 2008 crash. Anyone remembering Balls and Osborne sharing a sofa during the referendum, Miliband’s statements on austerity measures equally if not even more harsh than that of the Conservatives, can tell you exactly what state of affairs the state’s finances are in.

    Deficit reduction? With a climbing structural debt? And underwritten with what? Us.

    That’s all, just us. People’s future, our taxes, some resources. No manufacturing base to speak of, no huge balance on exports, just a massive financial sector peddling perceptions. Vast wealth concentrated in a small percentage of hands who have absolutely no fucking intention of trickling anything downward. Grippy doesn’t begin to describe the nature of that beast. Their nature is to take, take, take and then take some more. Oh and if they screw up? Someone else pays the bill.

    As a unitary state the UK is pretty much in the crapper big time. So what to do? Slash and burn, go back to the bank of UK public PLC. Trim the state you don’t want, abandon care where you can. Abandon people whom you feel don’t matter and who you don’t want to pay for. Sticking plasters.

    It doesn’t make the debt go away. It doesn’t bring those in your charge together. It doesn’t tackle the root cause of your problem. There is certainly no intention to tackle that root problem, those people are quite comfy thanks. No, it simply puts off the awful day when that next screw up hits and the bank of UK public PLC are asked to foot the bill again. But what happens when the bank is empty?

    All of the original ‘fat’ has been trimmed. The poor and dispossessed can’t become any more poor or dispossessed. The pain travels up the societal food chain and on and on it goes. One party stripped the UKs ability to support itself in favour of a new and lucrative economic model as they saw it, financial sector gambling and resource management, trickle down economics. The other instead of reversing this damage bought into what they saw as an easy money pipe dream. I suppose they reckoned they could use their opposition’s model to fund their programmes, their idea of how the country should be run. They were wrong and the rest is current history.

    They didn’t use the system, it used them and made them over in its own image. In pursuit of power, they bought into it willingly and it rewrote them into a more favourable and manageable entity. Now? You couldn’t tell red from blue on a bet, the corporate world gets the government it wants in place regardless and we get to pay for it.

    Much like the referendum, the fix was in long before anyone went near that chamber for the vote. The vast majority of parliamentary Labour had decided to support the government and the establishment.

    Bought and paid for.

    • Well said Macart
      What on earth are folk voting for Liebour thinking now? Westminster is a one party state. How much worse must austerity measures get – land sale off at rock bottom prices, fracking, further measures against the poor? The British showing their true colours to its own people, something foreign countries have endured and know too well.
      Saor Alba gu braith, SNP must put Indy ref on manifesto with no set date. Gloves are off now. Now where did I put my pitchfork?

    • Guga says:

      You know what they say about the “trickle down theory of wealth redistribution”, it means that the rich piss down on the poor from a great height.

    • Justin Fayre says:

      Absolutely brilliant comment as usual.
      I only found this out yesterday.

      Capita sends out two quarterly statements:-

      1. To Shareholders – ‘Everythings rosy. Business is booming. Acquisitions going ahead as planned. Great pleasure in announcing bumber dividend to Shareholders’

      2. To Workers:- ‘Regret to announce times are tough. Country still gripped by austerity. Sad to state 0% salary increase for 5th year running. In addition, Bonus for reaching targets now abolished due to same constraints.

      They either don’t realise or just don’t care that a tiny handful of their employees are also shareholders

      • macart763 says:

        Twas ever thus Justin and naw they really don’t. (care that is)

        More importantly in terms of government, the people ARE the shareholders of UK PLC. At some point our employees are going to have to be held accountable for fecking up the business and answer to those shareholders.

    • hektorsmum says:

      I expect to see the middle classes in a few more years not to be as comfortable as they are now, I think the next target is what I would technically describe as the lower Middle classes, those who have attained their own homes, the two cars possibly two holidays a year to be badly hit. Right now they have the frozen child benefit to be contended with. I have said this would happen since 2008, this austerity is no more than a readjustment of wealth back to those who were used to having enough to waste on decorating their homes extravagantly and building all those huge expensive houses, whilst the rest of us got by in hovels. This was about reducing workers rights and boy haven’t they got that grabbed by the neck. More people are now being paid slave wages.
      You are also right about the bought and paid for or the threatened.

      • macart763 says:

        They’ve hit the poor, the disabled and the working poor (my bracket). As of last night they’ve wrung the cloth near dry in those demographics. As you correctly point out, next up Gideon and his chums across the chamber will turn their sights upon the lower middle class more directly. The small businessman will already be feeling the pinch since their market (us) is already disappearing from high street spending, (an indirect fallout). As those businesses begin to falter or fold, their suppliers will begin to falter and so the snowball begins to roll downhill.

        Its only going to get worse, much worse.

    • Alison Grant says:

      Thank you for your measured and informative critique of the state of the UK’s economic woes. The next step I fear is a war , that should keep a lot of dissenting voices either locked up or frightened to go over their doorstep in case they will be denounced as traitors

  7. May their arse have more boils than the sky has stars.

  8. ScottishLass says:

    Wings has tackled this “pairing” farce…….

  9. […] The party which ran away […]

  10. Daisy Walker says:

    To the tune of ‘what a friend we have in Jesus’…

    What’s the point in voting Labour
    They will only just abstain
    Except when claiming their expenses
    That they do time and time again
    They were only flipping houses
    They were only starting wars
    Not a Socialist amongst them
    Sold out to the House of Lords

    What’s the point in voting Labour
    They will only just abstain
    Red and Blue they stand together
    Red and Blue they are the same
    Not a single spine amongst them
    Not a moral compass too
    Not a hint of shame between them
    Red and Blue tories through and through

    What’s the point in voting Labour
    They will only just abstain
    Except when voting for their pay rise
    Then these fuckers have no shame
    Blame the poor and the disabled
    Blame the migrants at the docks
    But most of all when all else fails you
    Blame it on the bloody Jocks

    What’s the point in voting Labour
    They will only just abstain
    Except when claiming their expenses
    That they do time and time again
    They were only flipping houses
    They were only starting wars
    Not a Socialist amongst them
    Sold out to the House of Lords

    • Guga says:

      Excellent Daisy. If you don’t mind I’ll pass your poem on to various friends of mine.

      • Daisy Walker says:

        Glad you like the song Guga, pass it along to anyone who cares to sing it, very welcome. Slight amendment, insert the word ‘they’ in front of ‘blame’ in second last verse and change the word ‘you’ to ‘them’ in the line, ‘but most of all when all else fails you’
        Cheerie the noo.

    • Alison Grant says:

      Priceless. They may take our but money they canny take our humour

  11. Thanks WGD, I am mad as hell over this sorry 1 Party government.

  12. david agnew says:

    Aresehole envy? I almost coughed up a lung when I read that one. But still – there is a disturbing air of verisimilitude about it. A little too close to the mark. They are a hole in search of an Arse – is another one i read somewhere recently. They have decided to be the Tories arsehole it seems.

    When they are not saying “but we lost the election! so why bother” – they’re trying to blame it on “pairing”. 308 tories turned up to vote out of 312. If labour was “pairing” with another party – who was it? My only conclusion it that they were pairing with each other.

    they’re a bigger bum that 10 arses as my old gran used to say of the terminally stupid. I think its an apt description of labour.

    UK labour – once a tool of the labour movement. Now a collection of useless tools with arsehole envy.

  13. Davie Latto says:

    Excellent article. Well argued. The daft/funny/tragic thing is that Labour says it abstained to “avoid falling into George Osbourne’s trap”!
    They cannot grasp that their abstention WAS George Osbourne’s trap.
    Is there a Labour MP left that has ever had to go to a pawnshop? God help us all.

  14. And the Shadow Secretary of Scotland lies on camera by saying he opposed it. He and the rest of the abstainers are a shower of amoral, careerist opportunists with not a single principle between them.

    • The Scottish Play says:

      To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow,
      Creeps in this petty pace from day to day..

      …………………….until ……Thurs. 5th May 2016 ….and what is to follow.

      • Melvin Penman says:

        SNP should announce clearly that the may ELECTION IS THE REFERENDUM, no need for delays, or there will be no govt land left in Scotland all sold to spivs and carpet baggers.(see G Osborne for definition)

  15. If there were 308 Tories voting for it, THERE WAS NO PAIRING ARRANGEMENT!

    This was put out on twitter last night by Labour apologists, but the numbers don’t add up.

    And, pairing only works when one side is voting for and one against. Labour’s official position was to abstain, therefore, THERE COULD BE NO PAIRING ARRANGMENT!

  16. Ian Brooksbank says:

    Are the so called loyal opposition not in fact paid to oppose? If they don’t actually do so then what is the point of them being in Parliament?

  17. Carole Oattes says:

    Well done Daisy they are fools but greedy fools, they will be found out by their voters.

  18. says:

    Reblogged this on Bampots Utd.

  19. gn2 says:

    Nevermind, once brother Corbyn is leader things will get better.
    Things can only get better… surely…?

  20. Grizzle McPuss says:

    As usual, good critique Paul.

    I have but one point to pick up though. You allude to not so much a penis, but arsehole envy.

    I would protest that both these items are extremely useful objects, not to be loosely compared with the wholly inept and pointless subjects of your essay.

    Were it not for the fact that appendix (anatomy) doesn’t carry the same gravitas, then I would declare the Labour Party are as much use as the “vermiform”.

    (Note: The term “vermiform” comes from Latin and means “worm-shaped”…so it does have some appropriateness. And as some of us know, the appendix can be highly irritating requiring removal from the otherwise healthy system)

    Joking aside though, it absolutely beggars belief the actions that the New Labour Party visibly takes, continuing to adopt and justify the neo-liberal agenda as it has done for ~20 years.

    As has been stated many times by others; when you consider the origins and founding principles of the Labour movement, it is nothing short of pissing over the now dust-adorned banners, nay graves of those ‘brothers & sisters’ who fought so tenaciously in order to ensure the provision of universal care and rights for the weaker sections of our communities.

    Given the contempt recently witnessed in WM against the struggling sections of the electorate, the astounding contradiction of Andy Burnham after the welfare vote and then all ‘iced’ as a turd cake by John McTernan…I foresee troubles ahead with our fellow citizens of similar ilk south of the Border. Not too soon they will fully awake to the utter disdain to which they are now held in by the Labour Party, those who previously and yet naively were seen as their apparent saviours.

    Labour is dead…long live…The SNP

  21. JGedd says:

    Excellent as usual WGD. In so many telling phrases in your piece there is one observation in particular which, for me, is key to the state of the present Labour party and it lies in the past. That is, ” They won’t oppose anything if it risks resulting in a bad headline in the Daily Mail.”

    In the 80s, the massed ranks of the media really began to show their power and, led by Murdoch, exercised it on behalf of the establishment, against the trade union movement and the Labour party. After their traducing of Michael Foot’s reputation and stealing away an election – thought to be in the bag – from Kinnock, the Labour party shivered in its socks before the media. Their answer was Blair who was promoted as the media’s darling. It was obvious to anyone who observed it, that Blair was the media’s candidate for the leadership, even before John Smith died. We all know what happened then and as soon as Blair became Prime Minister, he demonstrated his true politics, moving the Labour party ever rightwards.

    As a result of all this, the careerists in the Labour party became transfixed by the media ( and due to the revolving door of the establishment, they often have served in the media themselves, with all the contacts and connections which intermingle with the Tories.) The Labour party is not afraid of the Tory party or George Osborne, but of the media. Personal greed and moral laziness did the rest. The political version of necrotizing fasciitis which took hold in the 80s is now finishing them off.

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