What’s the price of failure? If you fail in your marriage your significant other will become significant in a divorce courty sort of way. If you fail to impress in a job interview you’ll find yourself having to impress in a job centre interview. And if you’re a Westminster politician who fails at their job you’ll get handed a nice title and a made up name and very often a job for life too. The UK dishonours system is proof that British governments are the only organisms which rot from the top down.
Having wowed us with Lady McMoan and her peerage for Unionist Trolling during the independence referendum, it has now transpired that a number of political losers, has beens, and also rans are to be rewarded for their failure. The good voters of Inverness and surrounding districts might have thought that by deserting Danny Alexander en masse so he ended up in a poor third place in what had formerly been a stronghold for his party, that they were giving him such a showing up that he’d crawl under a rock and never dare to show his face again. But think again minions, Danny is getting a knighthood for services to Tory toadying and gleeful austeritising. All we need now is for Magrit Curran to be made a Dame for the pantomime to be complete. Only no one shouts out “they’re behind you” to the Labour party in Scotland since they’re the ones in last place.
To be fair, much as we all enjoy castigating the one who is a disgrace to ginger haired-ness everywhere, Danny didn’t single handedly destroy the Lib Dems as a credible political force. He had help. Help like Menzies Campbell who decided not to stand as an MP in May partly on the grounds that he’s older than the democratic franchise, but mainly because he knew he was going to get gubbed. And gubbed is precisely what happened to the Lib Dems in the Mingin one’s old seat. But never fear, we’ve now got Lord Mingin of Fife to help protect the establishment against democracy and from the choices expressed by the likes of you and me in the ballot box. He’s looking forward to speaking in the House of Lords and regaling them with tales of when he found out that fire had been invented. He plans to use this exciting new invention to burn down any chance of home rule for Scotland.
None of this should come as any surprise. The British establishment always rewards its own failures. Back in the 1990s Michael Forsyth was leader of the Scottish Tories and presided over that party’s annihilation. During the 1997 General Election the voters of Scotland said in no uncertain terms that we didn’t want Michael, we didn’t want his party, and we didn’t want his party’s policies. The Tories lost every single seat.
This is failure of a truly abject variety. You can’t do any worse at your job. If he was a teacher he’d have been subject to a banning order and would not be allowed within 200 metres of a school. If he was a doctor he’d have been struck off and wouldn’t even be allowed to sell bottles of vitamins and healing crystals. But he’s a politician so Michael was rewarded with a seat in the Lords where he still casts his malign influence on Scottish public life and affects our laws and legislation.
Where there are no consequences for failure then there is no incentive to do a good job. All there is is an incentive to line one’s own pockets, to climb the greasy career pole, or please the powerful who hand out rewards and directorships like dog chews to the good boys and girls who beg nicely, give a paw, and snarl and bark at the proles.
It’s not just the lamentable Lib Dems who have been rewarded for their inadequacies. We’re also getting Lord Darling of Naw Ye Cannae. Just when you thought that you’d never have to listen to one of his blinking expositions ever again, he’s coming back for a sequel. This time with ermine. Ali’s still smarting that Gordie Broon took the credit for saving the Union, but relieved that it’s likewise Gordie who’s coping the blame for the Vow that failed to wow. Gordie isn’t getting a peerage, but only because no one knows where he’s hiding. There’s another failure that no one responsible is paying the price for, it’s the people of Scotland who are copping it.
Scotland’s voters signalled their displeasure at the General Election in May by pandificating all the Unionist parties. Since receiving that almighty kick in the nads, the Unionist parties have displayed no sign that the pain signals have connected with anything approaching a higher brain function. They continue to act precisely as they did before, ignoring the democratically expressed will of the Scottish people and rewarding themselves for their failure. We can only conclude that they do not possess any conscious awareness and are in fact brain dead. All that is left is to demolish what little is remaining and pour electoral paraquat over the smouldering ruins. If they are incapable of learning the lesson of failure, all we can do is to cut them out of the game.
In the latest opinion poll of voting intentions for Holyrood next year, it looks as though that’s exactly what Scotland is going to do. Gobsmackingly, the SNP is on 62%. The SNP and the Greens could between them take well over 80 of the seats in the Scottish Parliament. Labour is set to lose all its constituency seats. The new leader’s great idea is to bound over the deep chasm facing the party in two leaps. The Tories remain in the slough of Scottish irrelevance to which they were consigned by Michael Forsyth. Meanwhile it’s entirely possible that the Lib Dems will be wiped out in Scotland and Wullie Rennie will go back to driving the bus to Kelty.
Phase one is almost complete: removing the parties of the Union from Scottish politics. Phase two will soon begin: removing Scottish politics from the Union. That will be the real price of Westminster failure.
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