Fantasy league politics

It’s a hard life being the leading candidate for branch office manager of the Labour party in Scotland. How exactly do you make a convincing and principled pitch for a job where the main requirement is that the post holder has neither convictions nor principles. It’s one of those philosophical paradoxes that would exercise a great intellect, only the job also means surrendering anything approaching intelligence, or indeed even common sense.

This week leading candidate Kezia has written an article for the Guardian spelling out her dream of abolishing the House of Lords and replacing it with an elected chamber which meets in Glasgow. This will piss off Michelle the Moan no end, as it will seriously impair her ability to take selfies on her verandah with a view of Tower Bridge. Selfies with a view of Greggs in Shettleston just don’t have quite the same social cachet. Although you can at least get a yum yum, which adds considerably more to the sum total of human happiness than anything Michelle has ever done. Logically then, the benches of the Lords should not be full of opinionated minor businesspersons who sook up to the Tories, but coconut buns and bread rolls. But the Lords went stale a long time ago.

Kezia thinks that her great idea will bring massive new job opportunities to Glasgow. Sex workers, bra suppliers, drug dealers and purveyors of brown envelopes would all see booming trade. Although to be fair, Glesca cooncil has already being doing sterling work in that department for years.

Sadly however, Kezia’s great idea has about as much chance of happening as Gordon Matheson getting through a car park without a twinge of embarrassment – or introducing the long promised city wide free wi-fi in time for the next election, seeing as how they didn’t manage it in time for the last. But then Kezia is merely continuing in the traditions of the Labour party in making promises that have no chance of ever seeing life outside the invisible jam jar.

Labour promised to abolish the House of Lords in its very first manifesto over 100 years ago. It took the party until 1997 to introduce legislation to reform the Lords – not to abolish it mind. Despite the crushing majority enjoyed by Tony Blair and the all singing all dancing promises that things could only get better, Labour replaced the unfair hereditary system with the only system that could be even less fair. Blair gave us a bloated upper chamber stuffed full of political placepersons, timeservers, party donors, and people who were being rewarded for services rendered to political parties, all of whom were appointed for life. There are actually dictatorships which have more of a fig leaf of democratic accountability than this.

So Kezia can make fine promises abour reforming the Lords which have the same political validity as daydreaming about what you’ll spend the millions on once you win the Euromillions lottery. You have about the same chance as winning the Euromillions jackpot as you do being struck by a meteorite, which makes both vastly more likely than the Labour party actually fulfilling its promises. Not that you’d know any of this from watching BBC Scotland, which is still fixated on NHS waiting times and calling for Nicola Sturgeon to apologise. Labour doing what it was set up to do over 100 years ago is as likely as BBC Scotland producing a news and current affairs programme that people actually want to watch.

Kezia’s making her big plans because Labour in Scotland has no plans. Neither Kezia nor the second runner wossiface want Labour in Scotland to become a real Scottish Labour party, neither will commit to the abolition of Trident, neither will say anything which contradicts the drones and automatons who run the party from London. Hope springs eternal, but not in the Labour party in Scotland, where only dopes spring eternal. All we get is the whoosh of the vacuum, filled only with grandiose ideas that will never come to pass and the constantly repeated mantra of SNP Bad.

After all, being Labour branch office manager in Scotland means that you have a boss whose job is defined by vacuity. With the exception of Jeremy Corbyn who is attracting so much oppobrium you’d think he was in the SNP, none of the leadership contenders want to say anything that’s remotely controversial, or which even has any content. This is most clearly illustrated by Liz Kendall, who is clearly going for a Barbie airhead approach to politics. This may be a post modern feminist statement, but it’s really just more likely that she’s terrified of saying anything that a Tory newspaper might find remotely contentious.

Liz has published a wee list of key aims for her leadership bid, aspirations which could easily be confused with the gushing breathy dreams of a contestant for Miss World. Liz wants to share power with the people, build a more caring society, and ensure a future of hope for our young people. None of this actually means anything, and it is as bereft of semantic content as Kezia’s aspirations for a Hoose of Lairds in Glesca are bereft of any connection to reality. That’s all we can expect in modern Britain, austerity, crap wages and working conditions, the demonisation of the poor and the marginalised, and happy clappy sound bites from politicians who wrap themselves in a flag while denying that they’re British nationalists.

But Liz is a well rounded leader to be, she also wants a national day of niceness every day, a wishing tree in every constituency office, blue skies in August, and little birds which sing in every branch twittering happiness as the little people skip gaily to their minimum wage jobs on zero hours contracts. Only this being Labour they’ll be little birds which sing and report back to Liz so that she can keep tabs on everyone. The Labour right being noted for its authoritarian tendencies. Liz wants a future where disabled and unemployed people are drowned in a vat of paperwork by smiling and caring people who are doing it for their own good.

Welcome to Britain 2015, going backwards not forwards, but we’re doing it with a happy soundbite and fantasy league politics. Don’t you feel proud?

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35 comments on “Fantasy league politics

  1. […] Fantasy league politics […]

  2. jimnarlene says:

    “Welcome to Britain 2015, going backwards not forwards, but we’re doing it with a happy soundbite and fantasy league politics. Don’t you feel proud?”

    Er! Not really, more sick than proud.

  3. macart763 says:

    No, I don’t feel proud Paul, I’m bloody terrified.

    EVEL, the marginalisation of Scottish representation and the discarding of what Scots thought they voted for in the referendum. The upgraded demonisation of all things Scottish by Westminster’s right wing politicians (Is there any other kind?) and their media. The ongoing assault on the poor through the latest budget to the tune of £12bn, the ongoing growth of foodbank culture, the taking back of renewable energy powers from Holyrood, the constitutional and economic bear trap that is the Smith commission agreement and the distinct possibility of more to come through both Autumn and Spring budgets.

    A parliament almost daily called into disrepute with the cover up of appalling crimes against the most defenceless in our society, the children in our care. Graft, lobbying for cash and position through patronage and let’s not forget the possibility of escalation and further engagements in middle eastern conflict, the ongoing immigration tragedy being enacted in Calais, that Britain’s economy is still built on a financial services bubble intent on repeating the same errors which brought us the 2008 crash and what you have is a recipe for yet more suffering waiting to happen. Oh and the minor detail that Gideon is selling off RBS shares for a loss. A huge clue as to the government’s desperation for cash and the urgency of off loading what could prove to be a major embarrassment should a second catastrophic crash occur within the lifetime of this parliament.

    So much has happened in the past ten months its almost impossible to keep track. But the essential question is, do we feel safe? Have we been ‘better together’? Do we feel confident that the government of the UK and its establishment parties have the backs and best interests of their electorate at heart? The answer, without a shadow of doubt, has to be a resounding no.

    • Quinie frae Angus says:

      What an excellent summary of the situation you have put together there, Macart. Thank you,

      • macart763 says:

        Its nothing we haven’t all watched transpire in the past ten months Quinie and as I say you could add a whole lot more to that wee list.

        It still leaves me utterly confused as to what people thought would happen by placing their future in the hands of that institution? THIS was always going to be the fallout of a NO vote. These two chambers have always behaved in this manner, its who and what they are. We had a relatively easy out from the whole mess and a chance to build something better served up on a platter by a government body actually willing to trust the public with an enormous responsibility. The chance to determine our own future and form of government.

        Now? Now it gets complicated and people are going to suffer in the interim, but its still in our own hands to change how we are governed. Its never too late. 😉

        • Grizzle McPuss says:

          Sorry Paul, Macart has pinched the dug basket today.

          Macart, a few thoughts come to mind, and I apologise upfront for the subject matter.

          I wholeheartedly agree about that ‘fear factor’ that you allude to.

          A case in point: I found myself listening to BBC RS news in the car going home yesterday (I know, I know…but better to hear what the enemy is saying…or not)

          There was a discussion with a journalist who has spent a considerable amount of time investigating the Jersey children’s homes. Since she started to get closer to some substance and a few well-known names, suddenly her visa (I think she’s American) starts to get curtailed.

          But, what she had to say about her work so far really got to me…

          Without exaggeration, I found myself feeling extremely emotional as she talked about children not only being abused, but going ‘missing’ from the homes. Often or not, these instances of missing children occurred after going out on boat trips courtesy of visiting patrons (Heath was mentioned). Apparently, missing children were put down as “having run off…they’re always doing that” (note – from an island?)

          Regardless, the point was / is; I’m filled with so many mixed emotions, anger being predominant, wondering what the hell has being going on in these islands of the UK?

          How has it got to the point that children have been apparently abused, mal-treated, and possibly murdered? And all this in the name of pleasuring those who have controlled the power over our lives.

          I’ve grown up in a world within the UK whereby just one single child going missing anywhere has us all focussed, anxious and concerned. But we are talking about many in these cases between Dolphin Square and Jersey.

          These same people in power, and their successors have dictated our lives, squandered our economy and bettered their own lives…and in the case of some of them, used ‘our’ children for their depraved activities into the bargain.

          Given the cover ups that have been in play between both Labour & Conservative governments over these issues, that’s where my genuine fears lie.

          If these accusations do indeed prove to be true, just think on what that says very loudly regarding the contempt that these figures of the Establishment hold for humanity, let alone children.

          And still…they hold the power today.

          It is surely not a case of ‘Better Together’ but more of ‘Better Away’?

          • macart763 says:

            The more comes to light, the more appalling and heart breaking it becomes. The sheer breadth of scandals surrounding that ‘house of government’ have become a particularly bad joke. They used our votes and our mandate for decades, governments of all stripes and they abused it all.

            As a partner we need no longer be parties to this. No more in my name Grizzle.

            We can do better.

    • Brian Fleming says:

      If Westminster’s already starting to claw back powers, shouldn’t we go for UDI now while OUR parliament still has control over the police? Or at least such an option should be in the SNP manifesto for next May.

      • macart763 says:

        I suspect they’d like nothing better Brian. UDI although an option open to our representatives is probably filed under ‘in case of emergency, break glass’. What the UK government are most afraid of IMO is the negotiated settlement which a referendum would bring. Its pretty much why they pulled out all the stops last year. They were terrified of having to get round that table. There is nothing more powerful than popular consensus and nothing more binding or likely to focus the attention of politicians than collective will. The SNP favour the route of democratic popular will, the referendum.

        I reckon that’s why their politicians and their press won’t let the issue go, 1. they’re looking to provoke 2. They’re fairly rattled by what the answer may be.

  4. gavin says:

    Wots your next manifesto going to say, Kez/ Ken/ Liz etc etc ?
    Que violins—-
    ” We want to teach the world to sing
    And furnish it with love”………..
    “Oh, and World peace– we want World peace”
    The Tim-heidit morons now rule.
    At least Barbie had a purpose .
    More than we can say for Kezia—-bag carrier for Foulkes and Spud. What an apprenticeship!
    And wotsisface.
    You know, yon waffley glaikit look’in fella.

  5. The sound bites lies delivered with a fixed glazed smile. Beginning to think all wannabe politicians are automations produced in the Disney workshops. A budget every 4 months to look forward too. The nightmare is never ending

  6. Skip_NC says:

    If the HoL does move to Glasgow, I’m trying to work how the State Opening would work. It would have to be in May, when Her Maj is at Holyrood. She can wave at her loyal subjects from the Scotrail State Coach. The HoL would have to be somewhere near Queen Street because doesn’t the trip from Edinburgh to Glasgow Central take about two hours? (I’ve been away from Scotland for too long, so maybe that’s changed.)

    But what of poor Black Rod? “Mr Speaker, Her Majesty requires that you attend her tomorrow in the Hise of Pairs. Flying boats are parked on the Thames for your convenience. Mr Skinner, I have your folding bed.”

    I have to wonder if I’ve put more thought into this than young Kezia.

    • hektorsmum says:

      Skip my boy I reckon the trip through the back rails to Glasgow Central still takes the same time, what do you want in this Better Together Scotland, progress. With the cuts in budget that cannot be tackled any time soon.

      • Skip_NC says:

        Actually, two hours to travel 40-odd miles in North Carolina would be an improvement here. When I moved to NC in 2004, the local council of a city the size of Edinburgh announced, with great fanfare, a major improvement to local bus service – the biggest one since they started running buses. Flyers were delivered to every house in the city and it was much talked about on the local news. The improvement was (drum roll please) Sunday service. But only from 10am ’till 6pm. I kid you not.

        Railways are only for moving goods. Passenger trains run on single-track lines and tend to run one way in the morning and the other in the evening

    • scotsgeoff says:

      Train? LOL.

      Imagine the taxi & helicopter expense claims from dat der Lon-Don to Glesga?

      They get limos for a 1 mile journey already FFS!

  7. hektorsmum says:

    Well I have been wondering how the Brave yet Foolish laasie, Kezia will cope with a left wing boss, but she seems to be saying she will not work with him. I would be interested to hear how she is to manage that considering she wants to remain in a Branch office.
    What can you do with the Muppets running things in this La la land that is Britain.

  8. Can’t wait to see who else Cameron ‘elevates’ to Lords. He wanted 100 new peers but was persuaded to ‘create’ circa 60! 40 Tory, 20 Labour & smattering of Libdems. Who from Better Together will get their just reward for scaremongering and lying to Scotland? There’s no shortage of such: Douglas Alexander, Alistair Darling, Anne Begg, Gordon Brown, Blair McDougall and all those BT donors: Douglas Flint, Glasgow-born HSBC chair, Ian Taylor, Harris Tweed industry & CEO Vitol Plc, Edinburgh-born crime writer C. J. Sansom (describes SNP as ‘dangerous’ (as if they are Daesh or something like that)!, engineering entrepreneur Alan Savage & , of course, muggle extraordinaire, J. K. Rowling.

    Now, Kezia in the Lords? I don’t think that’s in the offing, just yet..

  9. Wonder how long it will take Kezia to change direction if Corbyn is elected?

    Mmm…that quick?

    • gavin says:

      And the Pride of Morningside, also.
      A wee rebellion, quickly snuffed out.
      The Scottish Labour manifesto 2016—
      “We agree with whatever London decides, for whoever is Boss”.

  10. Gavin C Barrie says:

    Disappointed that Cameron has been persuaded to reduce new “Lords” to circa 60. Bigger the number, bigger the farce.

    Sewel walked due to “doing his own thing with prostitutes”, where are we with the “Lords” who were prepared to prostitute their duties to solemnly serve – for cash? Two recents, what’s their names? One wears specks.

  11. Not sure Murray will stay in post if Corbyn gets elected seeing as how Murray has already called Corbyn out.

    As or Kezia – why won’t she say who she it voting for/supporting in the UK leader election? Given that the ballot for UK closes almost a month after the Scottish result is known she is going to have to jump one way or another if she is elected or she is going to look very foolish.

    I see Andy “I blow with the wind” Burnham now wants to nationalise the railways as he tries to play catch up with Corbyn.

    Anyway not much point adding to Paul’s post or Macart’s first comment which nicely summarise it all really – “Battered Together”

    • macart763 says:

      The GE really only uncovered what we all knew about Labour for a long time Steve. Under the polish and the paint, the chassis was rotten and falling apart.

      Consecutively Thatcher and her greatest achievement ‘Blair’ effectively destroyed the dividing line between the Labour movement and Conservatism, leaving the traditional Labour vote completely disenfranchised. Labour’s trick in the intervening years was to convince their vote and core membership that there was still a difference worth voting for.

      What we now have is the eventual and entirely predictable outcome of this deception, a clash between the Labour voter and the Labour hierarchy for the future of their movement. Whatever happens in their leadership vote, Labour will never be the same. I’d say they are looking at a long, drawn out and messy internal battle as the two factions tear into each other.

      • Agreed – and it would surprise me if they actually split in two

      • Would NOT surprise me that should read!

        • macart763 says:

          It wouldn’t take much and wouldn’t surprise me if that was the eventual route of travel. In either event Labour look set to be at least another decade out of Downing street throughout this stramash. They’re almost invisible as opposition at the moment and by the time the dust settles on their dark night of the soul and dependent on outcome, they’ll still have to sit down and come up with a credible set of policies in opposition. For the English/Welsh and NI progressive vote, this is going to be a very long and very frustrating period.

          For Scotland? Well we’re pretty much in charge of our own destiny. Scotland is well served in terms of anti austerity thinking and opposition. We simply need more people to look to Holyrood, rather than Westminster, for their governance.

          • Steve Asaneilean says:

            True – but Holyrood needs to avoid becoming smug and complacent.

            There are many issues currently affecting Scotland which are entirely in the hands of SG to deal with but there seems to be a bit of a lack of vigor.

            Too much talk and not enough action at the moment whether it’s the recruitment implosion in parts of the NHS, the poor fabric of many public service facilities, the crumbling trunk roadnnetwork or the weak as water attempts at land reform.

            Don’t get me wrong I think on the whole SG is doing well bit I just sense of late they have taken the foot off the gas a wee bit and I would like to see them bear their teeth a bit more now.

            • macart763 says:

              Know what you mean. I understand the financial constraints of course, but sometimes you feel they’ve grown so used to their gradualist approach that it leaves them constantly revving with the handbrake on. Or that they are trying so hard to keep folk onside that sometimes they are avoiding knocking on doors you feel they should be kicking in.

              It also has to be said its the approach that has gained them the deserved credit they are due. The trick is in knowing when to cut loose I guess. Throw the radical policies out there and get cracking as it were. Not being used to this politics lark it can leave you puzzled at times and frustrated as hell four days out of seven.

  12. “I’d say they are looking at a long, drawn out and messy internal battle as the two factions tear into each other.”

    macart, I hope both sides take nae prisoners!.

  13. says:

    Reblogged this on Bampots Utd and commented:
    good luck to Jeremy a good member of the anti austerity movement defending the poor a principle forgot by the scottish Labour Party !

  14. Jan Cowan says:

    Great read, Paul, and comments superb also. Thankful to learn that Exaro journalists are getting the truth concerning appalling child abuse by Establishment figures out into the open at last. Westminster, Lords and Commons, have hit rock bottom. Long past time we were clear of the whole rotten set up.

    • Grizzle McPuss says:

      Much as it induces vomit to say so; credit to BBC RS for engaging in the matter of the Establishment child abuse scandal during their prime evening news slot for the second day running,

      Finally / hopefully this issue is being taken seriously and seeing the light of day at last.

  15. Gavin C Barrie says:

    I campaigned for Indy for reasons of dignity,economics, anti-UK foreign policy. The paedophiles scandal, if found to be concealed by the UK establishment, doubles my resolve.

  16. macart763 says:

    Cracking piece in the National today Paul.

    You’re on a roll. 🙂

  17. mixagemme says:

    Hey, Mosson! Have to say that Michelle has brought some pleasure to heterosexual men in the form of her “inspirational” lingerie. Sorry to be basic.
    Melbourne trams not available. Sorry, we did try.

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