Captain Caveman and the shock of the new

Labour’s hierarchy, the careerists and the SPADs, the spin doctors and the politics grads, are in full scale panic mode this week. Headless chickens have been known to run around more calmly and with a greater sense of purpose. The cliques in charge of the Labour party these past 20 years have suddenly discovered that their corpse like grasp on the party is rotting away and the token leftie might actually win the election.

Curse this democracy and one member one vote business. Having changed the voting system to reduce the power of the unions, the Labour leadership has now made the shocking realisation that some Labour members actually believe in all that stuff about socialism and fairness and redistribution of wealth and holding the banks and the corporations to account for the financial crisis they’ve caused, instead of blaming the poor and the marginalised. The road to hell is paved with self serving intentions and right wing machinations.

According to a Yougov poll, Jeremy Corbyn is well ahead in an election he wasn’t supposed to win. He wasn’t even supposed to make any significant impression in the leadership contest. He was supposed to come in a poor fourth, trailing behind Liz Kendall and her Blairite nostrums. He was there as socialist window dressing, a red sop to the membership, a little dash of red colourant to remind Labour of its roots. Jeremy’s real role in the election contest, according to the bland plastic people who make up the rest of the field, was to say left wing things that they could reject so they could appear sensible and middle of the road. He was there so that none of them would have to look left wing. Jeremy’s job was to give Liz, Andy, and Yvette someone to point a finger at and say socialism bad, so they’d get a marginally more sympathetic write up in an unsympathetic press.

But that’s not what’s happening. For those of us in Scotland this is popcorn time, as we sit back and watch the Westminster Labour party implode under the weight of its own self-delusion just as we watched its Scottish branch office do over the course of the past year. But the real worry is that whereas Labour in Scotland collapsed under the crushing weight of the SNP and the Greens and SSP and the well articulated aspirations of a highly politicised populace who knew what they wanted and knew how to vote in order to get it, Labour in England implodes into a vacuum. There’s nothing else left in the English body politic except the heartlessness of the Tories and the vultures of UKIP.

If Labour in England collapse there’s nothing to replace them. The SNP are going to have to do the job of the opposition in England too – is that what Better Together meant by Scotland punching above its weight as a part of the UK? Probably not.

The problem for Labour is that none of the four leadership contenders is a convincing leader, and if UK wide opinion polls are anything to go by, none are heading for 10 Downing Street at the next UK General Election. Labour looks set for a period in the wilderness while it rediscovers its soul and its purpose. So the question is will it find that soul and purpose under the management of the same plastic identikit politicians who brought it to this sorry pass, or will it find it with a leader who is likely to prove as unelectable as Michael Foot, but who will actively oppose the Tories and give the shattered party a sense of purpose again.

Meanwhile in Scotland we’re faced with a different set of questions. With a Labour party that’s not going to be re-electable in 2020, we have the very real and very scary prospect of George Osborne or Boris Johnson as the next UK Prime Minister – assuming that Cameron stands down before the next election as he has previously hinted. Is that the Union that No voters want to remain a part of, a dystopian hell of privileged elites and excluded masses, stretching ahead of us like a high speed railway that we are denied a ticket on. The UK train’s destination is off a privatised cliff. We need to change track, we need to take control of our own destiny.

Meanwhile a demon from the past popped up to tell Labour where it’s all going wrong. The war mongerer responsible, the soul-eater, the spirit crusher, the man who put morality through the blender of Iraq then waltzed off in a flurry of consultancies. Tony Blair gave a speech about the future of the party, and apparently didn’t even charge for it this time. But then near bankrupt Labour doesn’t have pockets as deep as Kazakhstani dictators. Tone created a Labour party in his own image and wants it to stay that way. Because soul-less money grabbing war mongerers are so progressive.

He also had a wee dig at the only effective political opposition left in the UK, the SNP. Tone said:
“When they talk about it being new politics, it is the oldest politics in the world. It’s the politics of the first caveman council, when the caveman came out from a council where there were difficult decisions and pointed with his club across the forest and said: ‘They’re the problem, over there, that’s the problem.’ It’s blaming someone else.”

And this would be true, because the topic of the first caveman council was the fact that them over there across the forest were eating people’s brains because they were unevolved apes with a sense of entitlement the size of a mammoth. We’re still opposing the brain eaters, Tone thinks the proper path is to eat brains too. Of course it’s not “new” politics, because we saw how Tony defined new when he rebranded a social democratic party as New Labour. Then what he did was nothing new. Greed, avarice, wars and invasions are the oldest politics of all. Blair gave us the shock and horror of the new Labour. He can keep his new, we want no part of it.

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31 comments on “Captain Caveman and the shock of the new

  1. Fiona says:

    I think this is the best thing you have written, WGD. You always speak for many, but this speaks for everyone appalled by the neoliberals whose only aim is to reinstate feudalism

    • The Scottish Play says:

      All Hail! again… best was in today’s paper – the BBC dares not speak its name ..regarding the disease afflicting the Labour Party..

      In tribute ….(don’t ahoot the messenger)…

      Sawney bean a few minutes… and the Labour caveman came out from a council where there were difficult decisions …..and pointed with his club across the forest.. to North Britain and said: ….’gonorrhoea lectus?’ then …and the reply came back..

      …..naw. !!!…..


      …..we’re just gonnae naw.

  2. Be fair! If Labour does move back to the Left, it faces disaster at the polls. You know, just like the SNP. Whereas if Labour continues on its present path, it can look forward to the same glorious future as the LibDems.

  3. […] Captain Caveman and the shock of the new […]

  4. Fillofficer says:

    That twat drove me out of interest in politics for years till indieref !! My expectations of his labour government were so quickly dashed, I just turned off, disgusted. Him & Gordy squabblin ower the top job was farcical & suicidal, Bliar must have known that. Tory plant eh ? Why he feels he must interject now is a mystery. Maybe runnin oot o pals !!

  5. James Barr Gardner says:

    I think this is basically yet another con in the same vein as the Vow. Left candidate gets in (as a caretaker) to weather the storms for next two or three years then guess what! Yes you have got it in one, a blairite will come out the woodwork as liebore leader, job done, con worked again! Sorry most folk can now spot these cons a mile off. Red tolies as well as blue are now discredited. Lets vote SNP consistently for the next two years, lets all work towards the 2nd Referendum. We’ve all had enough crap from the wastemonster elitists. Go Scotland let’s do it especially for our kids and grandchildren.

  6. daibhidhdeux says:

    Tories, capitalism’s ace striker. Labour, the goalkeeper regardless of who wears the captain’s arm-band.

    LibDems and other Unionist WM parties, mid-field “canon fodder”.

    A bas! Enough!

    An end to the faux Union and its decaying, imperialist pretensions.

    The people of Scotland fully sovereign again and getting on with the democratic job to put the world to shame for its deficit in this respect.

    I wish Mr Corbyn well given his seeming socialist credentials and his record of support of a re-unified Ireland, but wonder what is his stance vis a vis England’s lebensraum policy towards Scotland (and Wales)?

    Whatever his views are, ultimately, England needs to put its own house in order, leave the rest of the world alone, and de-imperialize

    • gus1940 says:

      If Corbyn wins and maintains his support for a United Ireland it will pose a problem for supporters of a certain football club as to which party to to vote for.

  7. Margo Sharp says:

    Well said wee dug. Ashamed to have been part of a Labour party for 25 years that list its way so drastically in a short period of time.
    Blair and Brown were the wrecking crew and there’s no one left with big enough cojones to stand up for the people.
    Heart broken 😥

  8. Frank Lynch says:

    Much of what Corbyn advocates is the retention of Blair’s legacy, working families’ tax credits etc, while his opponents in the leadership race are going the way of crocodile teared Tory-lite abolition of the above; yet he’s calling those who advocate New Labour’s previous policies as morons: so what does that say of his last time in office?

    As to nationalists and cavemen, Labour has already gone the way of the dinosaurs, in that it will soon be extinct.

  9. Grizzle McPuss says:

    You do wonder…

    If Mr Corbyn does indeed manage to become elected Labour leader; let’s just presume for a moment that this is indeed the result of the true popular party vote, reflecting actual appetite in rUK for a more left of centre political view.

    Hence, contrary to punted agenda-driven MSM commentary, the masses in rUK and the Labour Party are actually no different to us here in Scotland in wanting to reject the right-wing, ‘Thatcher-with-a-twist’ neo-liberal agenda which has manifested over the past 30 years.

    What could result is that those up and coming Labour members and PPC who actually have roots based upon traditional socialist ideals, and are either deliberately prevented or discouraged to raise their heads, could in fact surface with a modicum of confidence, and thereby become the future management of the Labour Party.

    “Sometimes you need to engage ‘reverse’ when you have taken the wrong turning”

    But, as much as I respect Mr Corbyn and his stance against the current general flow of apparent party policy, I cannot see him take the keys of ‘No 10’

    For Salmond 2014, replace with Corbyn 2015 and you’ll see how far his campaign to Downing Street will go with the MSM vitriol against him.

    One can only hope that for the sake of political representation and balance for our fellow citizens down south, that a worthy new leader who represents the people as opposed to the ‘agenda’ materialises from the newly inspired ranks and takes the lead from Mr Corbyn.

    Otherwise, I fear that without reference to the actual sentiments of the populace, and being devoid of an SNP-type alternative, the rumblings in rUK will manifest into something altogether quite ugly.
    Meanwhile thousands will continue to suffer the fallout of right-wing dogma served cold & sour, and regardless of our personal Indy stance, none of us I’m sure would wish that to continue for anyone undeserving.

  10. macart763 says:

    First class Paul.

    Blair doesn’t really do irony, does he?

    Now if you had to name a party that does do grievance, cultivates a culture of blame, othering, societal division, tribalist hatred and jealously guards its hegemony through naked fear mongering and intimidation…

    A party that directs and manipulates rather than serves and represents, well that would be the party that Tony built.

    How and ever he merely finished the job in style, the rot had set in long before a young Tone slithered onto the scene. Back to the days of the Callaghan govt. when a rebellious group of MPs set about undermining their own PM. Mr Callaghan had a few choice words to say about that himself in his own memoirs. Even in Scotland with names which were supposedly to be revered in our own political anals we find that all was not as first portrayed to the Scottish electorate. We find that the Labour hierarchy were well aware of the bounty of the North Sea and were in full agreement with the house on the need to bury the McCrone report for fear it would aid the independence cause and strengthen the arguments of the SNP.

    A cold, calculated decision had been made even then by parliamentary Labour to mislead the population of a nation partner in the union, for their own good of course and the protection of the state. Then we come to the near present and the ultimate betrayal of a union partner by Mr Blair in the redrawing of the maritime border from Berwick. No permission was asked of the people of Scotland. No manifesto commitment which could be examined by the electorate. Our borders, our sovereign rights were simply stepped on like a bug in the name of what precisely? What was the benefit to the people of Scotland when in 1999 Tony Blair aided and abetted by Scottish Labour MPs stole 6000mls of our seabed? Never really had an answer to that and frankly I never expect to hear one from Labour.

    I think we’re done with liars, warmongers and users. We have a country to rebuild.

  11. Iain says:

    It is sad that the ‘No’ voters have left us in this situation, I would like to think that this is not what many of them had hoped for however I am not so sure, no doubt many just shrug their shoulders and let the ‘cringe’ kick in or don’t really care as long as they are still getting their two week break in the sun.

    What I find rather disappointing is the feeling of helplessness, that we (the Yes side) are aimlessly drifting. It is all fine and well that we have all the SNP MPs but the reality is that in the bent British system they can do little more than make noise.

    Yes then can achieve occasional successes but these are just peanuts. The ground we stand on is being destroyed daily by the Tories and there is nothing that can be done about it. My wife works for the Scot Govt in Renewable Energy and the decisions taken in the last few days by the Tories are basically going to strangle this industry at birth, it is almost if they are doing it deliberately to spite us. It is become apparent that they are happy to provide huge subsidies to Nuclear (to be delivered by foreign multinationals) but they are not interested in creating a industry that could provide thousands of high skilled jobs in their “own country”, jobs that would also provide a manufacturing base to allow as to export to the rest of the world. It is also the case they are happy to build an interconnector to Norway to get their energy ()which interestingly bypasses Scotland) but are not prepared to provide interconnectors to our own islands thus denying people proper access to the grid and killing off any potential renewable projects (chicken and egg syndrome).

    And the sad thing is that how many people know any of this? Despite press releases from the Scot Govt and Scottish Renewables the right wing media simply ignore it and continue with their obsession with austerity and how the key goal is providing ‘croydon man’ with cheap lecy bills and helping the nimbies from having to look at all those ghastly turbines. Of course the best the BBC could manage was a crappy statement that Sturgeon was complaining (i.e. moaning) again about the Tories, no analysis, no insight, no journalism.

    So where do we go from here? I think the SNP have to put something concrete in the manifesto for next year’s Holyrood election, at minimum the have to put a commit in their about FFA and if we don’t get it then go for indyref2. This can not go on, Corbyn or no Corbyn.

    • david agnew says:

      Many no voters are horrified by what is happening, but some are thrilled at what is happening. There are labour, lib-dem and Tory voters in that melting pot. Many who voted labour are projecting their anger at the SNP and the SNP voter. If only we had kept the faith and kept voting labour and it would have been brilliant, or so the argument goes. But their party needlessly and recklessly pushed a large chunk of their vote into the arms of the SNP. The NO campaign, didn’t win over any YES voters and clearly didn’t think they needed to get YES voters to be reconciled with being British. You could have ignored the YES vote if it had been 80/20 like they claimed it would be. You can’t ignore 45% when you’ve pushed it into the camp of one party. 55%/45% – Its 5% away from a 50/50 split. It was no more an endorsement of Union than it could been for independence had the score been reversed. Why the NO camp thought the YES camp should/would go away and accept being British is all the more peculiar.

      No attempt to win over the YES camp. No plan for even considering a plan on how to plan on winning back those people who voted yes. The one significant achievement of better together campaign was to increase the voting power a party who could only command a 1/5th of the Scottish vote. It now has 50%.
      It drove a wedge between those who wanted independence and those who didn’t. The plan was to ignore the yes vote after securing a no vote. But that was predicated on the notion that the NO vote would be significantly larger – 70/30 – 80/20. There never was and will not be, a plan to reconcile yes with no. The no vote was to be a fait accompli. The sheer majority of the no vote would silence the yes vote. It didn’t matter what the poor yes voter would think. It simply didn’t matter at all.

      The Union was to be defended by arguing for a unique Scottish inability to handle its affairs. Scotland was slowly separated from Britain and reduced to the state of a mendicant nation living on handouts. Needing Britain’s broad shoulders to allow us to be taken seriously, whether it was sport, cultural or economic and political Scotland was nothing without Britain. Pragmatic unionism taken to its extreme. But it was all built on the notion that labour would win. Of course it would win…can you imagine anyone in labour losing to the likes of Cameron, Osborne and IDS? Pfft…the very idea is laughable.

      The unthinkable happens. Cameron is determined to inflict the levels of damage a no vote was meant to save Scotland from. Be it pensions, welfare for the sick, the elderly, the most vulnerable. Education, investment. Our role in the wider world standing on the shoulders of the UK giant…all of it under threat…from westminster.

      So where do No voters on the labour side hang their British values on to, now that pragmatic unionism has been killed off?

  12. […] Captain Caveman and the shock of the new. […]

  13. Jan Cowan says:

    With you totally, Paul. And as everyone is stressing, it’s time to sort things in our own country before it’s too late. Imperative. We must gain independence from WM.

  14. diabloandco says:

    Wasn’t the Blair creature looking creepy? He gets more like the Grinch with every outing.

    Paul , brilliant as usual – will need to catch up with you to chuck some gelt your way.

    • weegingerdug says:

      Am going to Helensburgh tomorrow to the wee gathering in the Clyde Bar. Starts around 7pm, and I’ll be bringing the dug. Would be nice to see you there if you can make it.

  15. Steve Asaneilean says:

    Posted this elsewhere but worth recounting here.

    Last weekend I was brunching in a nice café on pancakes and maple syrup. They had a selection of magazines and newspapers to read. But no one was picking up the “Sunday Guardian” (i. e. Observer) so I took it.

    Inside it devoted several pages to explaining why (Not) Labour needed to move to the right to become New Labour again. They described this, without a hint of irony, as moving to the centre ground.

    They advocated Liz Kendall – Oxbridge graduate, former think tank emploee and former special adviser – as the one likely to deliver.

    Throughout their coverage there was not a single mention of the fact that (Not) Labour was annihilated in Scotland by a party to the left of them – a party opposed to austerity, pro-nationalisation, anti WMDs, etc. (sound familiar Not Labour? ).

    This “lefty” party secured the biggest share of the Scottish vote in living memory.

    I said out loud in the middle of the cafe “they still don’t get it”. The neighbouring tables thought I was a bit mad (not an unfair assessment really).

    We are fed the line that you cannot win elections from the left. The SNP put a lie to that assumption. The good people in England have never really been given the choice in the last half century so how can we know which way they would jump given a genuine choice? Just imagine that they were and that they were galvanised to vote by the same passion shown by the likes of RIC here…

    • Indeed, the time the LibDems were strongest was when they were seen as outflanking New Labour to the Left. And look what happened to them electorally when they turned Tory.

  16. Dave Hansell says:

    The ‘caveman’ jibe from Blair seems to be part of a wider narrative which is seeking to redefine what is acceptable and unacceptable debate, both written and verbal.

    Blair also sought to present any deviation from the neo liberal orthodoxy and it’s fetishism with Orwellian permanent austerity as not only extreme left wing but also reactionary and therefore beyond the pale. He could well have been reading direct from any copy of so called newspapers like the Sun and the Mail produced over the last several decades.

    In this regard Blair is joined by other leading members of the current Labour Party in effectively lumping together voters who voted SNP and/or Yes in the Independence Referendum with Labour Party members (or anyone else for that matter) wanting to vote for the kind of programme which Corbyn represents. Given that much of what Corbyn proposes would have barely raised an eyebrow from Thatcher tells you all you need to know about those like Kendal and others who take this position, some of whom have stated openly they would not serve in a Corbyn Shadow Cabinet.

    But why is this important?

    It’s important because, like Cameron this week, it is trying to redefine what is classed as “extremism”, narrowing what is and is not acceptable. Camerons speech this week lays down yet another marker, putting forward a position which denies reality by rejecting any narrative which links action and reaction between the invasion, bombing, and destabilisation of Middle Eastern Countries and what is defined as ‘terrorism’ . In this narrative any written or spoken linkage of the two is presented as little different from a terrorist act. ‘Terrorism’ here being defined narrowly to exclude any deaths, injuries and destruction caused by UK/US and other camp followers actions in invading, bombing and destabilising other Countries in the Middle East and North Africa.

    This wider narrative, subscribed to by much, if not all, of the hierarchies of the three traditional Westminster Parties and the media hacks who parrot this narrative, is not just reclassifying SNP and/or Yes voters and Labour Party members who reject the neo liberal agenda as non bona fide members of the public and second class citizens, at best. It is also seeking to classify anyone and everyone who does not subscribe to the programme in the same way. Which by the definition of those who advocate it, in whichever of the three Westminster gangs following the same cult they happen to be located, includes about 75% of the UK population.

    This position is little different from that played out in Greece recently by the Troika. Reading the text of the one sided agreement it is clear that caving in to the economic terrorism being imposed on the a Greeks was not sufficient. Not by a long margin. The ‘agreement’ forced the Greek Government to sign up to the program and effectively recant any notion of an alternative to the parasitic neo liberal faith. The one thing the mardy arses cannot abide is a good example, therefore the Greeks and everyone else watching had to be taught that any alternative will not be tolerated,at any price.

    But it goes further in that any articulation of opposition or even contradiction of the one true faith, whether it is about austerity, an imperial foreign policy, corporate greed, and economic orthodoxy, is classed as ‘extremism’. This is not too far away in terms of pushing that narrative to equating any articulation of dissent, along with those doing the articulating, with ‘terrorism’ and ‘terrorists.’

    Whatever ones thoughts are about the Labour Party, it’s hierarchy, it’s activists, it’s members, it is merely one vehicle in which this scene is being played out. The key problem for the Labour Party is that far too many within it see The Party as THE ends rather than A means. Although it should be noted that this clearly does not include those defined by people like Blair as requiring a ‘transplant.’

    This gives scope and room for those given the Mark of Blair/Caine, whether they are affiliated to or with any particular political Party or simply one of those seventy odd per cent of the populace no longer considered ‘worth it’ as bona fide members of the public due to their defined ‘extremist views’, to work together rather than apart and divided in pursuit of more progressive agendas.

    • Doug Porteous says:

      David a well written piece as are most of the posts on here. What really intrigued me was your use of ‘Mardy Arse’ an expression that I have only found in the English West Midlands and in particular Staffordshire where I lived of and on for ten years.

      • Dave Hansell says:


        I’ve no idea of the origins of the word Mardy or which part of these islands can lay claim to it. It was a common term in the Sheffield I grew up in during the 1960’s.

        • weegingerdug says:

          Apparently it’s derived from marred + the adjective suffix -y

          I do love an etymology question.

          • Doug Porteous says:

            Hi again Dug and Dave thanks for that. In Staffordshire I always took Mardy to mean miserable as in unhappy or downcast.

            • Dave Hansell says:

              That’s interesting Doug because I’ve always understood the term was a description of someone who was always belly aching, sticking their bottom lip out and throwing their rattle out of the pram because they could not get their own way all the time.

              The former professional tennis player John Mcanroe was exceptionaly gifted in this regard for example.

              • Iain says:

                Environs of Manchester / Lancs. still widely used ‘A weak willed person, a softie.(derrog. = ‘southern softie’) , spineless, not prepared to take any risk/action that might cause even the slightest of harm / pain … extremely tim’rous , yes = ‘child-like’ /not getting your way … = ‘mardarse’ or simply ‘maaaard’…

  17. kat hamilton says:

    surely the autumn snp conference has to give hope to the its supporters that the status quo we have at present cannot continue and a second indy ref must be proposed for at least 2020.what is preventing the silent majority, cough, from seeing the reality of welfare cuts, fracking, no green energy funding, far right agenda and the broken vows of brown, darling and their cohorts. why cant they give they believe in their own nation. makes me despair that we can ever leave this rotten corpse of a union.

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