Fresh starts and an Atlantic of tears

Congratulations are in order to Kezia Dugdale on her election as branch manager of the Labour party in Scotland. So let’s congratulate her in the inimitable style of her own tweets. Well done Kezia, it’s just a shame that your party’s life is made really difficult by the SNP. Former deputy to the previous leader and body double for First Minister’s Questions Kezia says that her victory means that the Labour party in Scotland can have a fresh start without the baggage of the past. She’ll now be moaning at Nicola Sturgeon in the capacity of party leader, and not as Jim’s stand-in, so that’s totally different and completely unlike anything that went before.

The good news is that three of Scotland’s main political parties are now led by women, although since Scotland is, according to Labour’s complaints, now a one party state we really should discount Kezia and Ruth Davidson. Of course Scotland isn’t a one party state. There are no barriers in the way of opposition parties. They can form and campaign freely. They enjoy an unfair advantage in terms of press and media coverage – Labour in particular gets media coverage, and especially television exposure, out of all proportion to its shrivelled membership base and its hauf airsed representation. Scotland is that most peculiar type of one party state, it’s only a one party state because the opposition parties are crap. However we’ve now reached the point where the opposition parties, and Labour in particular, are so shite that they’re reduced to blaming the SNP for their own shiteyness. The SNP are apparently so bad that they make all the other parties even worse. That’s a special kind of bad that is. Just by sitting in the same parliament as the SNP, Labour magically disintegrates like sodden used toilet paper.

But back to Kezia’s moment of glory, such as it is. Being elected leader of the Labour party in Scotland is like winning a contest to inhale a bag of farts and then speak in public with a squeaky voice. You get to lead such luminaries as GORDON! MATHESON! who in a mercy as small as his talents failed to get the post of deputy leadership. Since GORDON! has been forced to stand down as leader of Glesca Cooncil, the chances of him continuing to pursue his political career are now about as good as Liz Kendall’s under Jeremy Corbyn, so it’s not all bad news.

It has been wondered about the SNP whether there has ever been a party which has enjoyed such massive support from the public with such poor support from the media. Outside a real one party state, as opposed to the one party state of Labour’s bitter complaints, has there ever been a part like Labour which enjoys such massive support from the media with such poor support from the public?

So how many votes did Kezia get then? The media announced that she received an impressive 72.1% of votes cast, but Labour won’t say how many votes were cast, and the Scottish media isn’t inclined to press them on the matter. Best not to intrude on private grief eh? Craig Murray has published on his blog that he hears from a reputable source that Kezia got a mere 5,217 votes, which means that the active membership of the Labour party in Scotland is a bawhair over the 7,000 mark. Probably fewer than that, as some electors had more than one vote.

Craig Murray points out that after he published the 5,217 figure, he was contacted by a senior person in Labour who claimed that the number was wrong and Kezia had received a higher number of votes, but the person wouldn’t say what that higher number was. Far be it from me to suggest that a senior member of the Labour party in Scotland might tell lies, so that must make the true figure 5,218.

The real reason that Labour hasn’t published the exact number of votes cast in their Scottish branch manager election is the same reason as the last time they had a leadership election. Labour’s Scottish leadership elections are coming so thick and fast – but mostly thick – these days that pretty soon they’ll be held every few days and the Sunday Mail can rename itself Labour Leader Weekly. Every time they have an election another little part of their support dwindles and dies. They don’t publish the figures for the election because the number is an embarrassment. If the number wasn’t an embarrassment then they’d have no problem saying what it was.

Jim Murphy claimed that Labour in Scotland had “about 20,000” members. We now know that’s “about” in the same sense that the pile of scrunched up leadership ballot papers is about the height of Ben Nevis. Or that Gordon Matheson’s tears of self pity after losing both the deputy leadership and leadership of Glesca Cooncil contain about as much salt water as the Atlantic Ocean. Oh wait, that’s probably true.

Labour’s real problem is that it claims to be the party of a mass movement but the mass has moved elsewhere. Labour is no longer the party of anything but careerists and greasy pole climbers who seek to manage public expectations on behalf of the establishment. If Labour wants to get away from the failures of the past and start afresh, then they need to start being honest with the people they expect to trust them with their votes. Because if Labour can’t trust us, then why the hell should we trust them?

You’d think a fresh start from a discredited party that wants to wipe the slate clean and begin to restore trust and honesty with the electorate might just start with being honest and truthful about its own elections. How do they expect the people of Scotland to trust Labour with their votes when Labour doesn’t trust the people enough to tell us how many vote in their own elections? Instead what Labour is telling us is that saving its own face and protecting itself from its own embarrassment is more important to the party than honesty and transparency with the public. That’s not a fresh start, that’s an attempt to brush the past under the carpet and pretend it’s not there.

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39 comments on “Fresh starts and an Atlantic of tears

  1. BampotsUtd.wordpress.com says:

    Reblogged this on Bampots Utd.

  2. BampotsUtd.wordpress.com says:

    It will be great seeing them rejected from local office in May se 16 it will be the start of a new beginnings for our community’s and services 62% last poll the momentum just keeps building its the best time ever to be political in Scotland all the fear created hope of change and the new media shines a bright light on it all for people to evidence not some smoke filled room in Fleet Street !
    Out the box forever !

  3. BampotsUtd.wordpress.com says:

    https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2015/08/kezia-dugdale-got-just-5217-votes/

    It’s all hush hush about the numbers so much for political transparency hope it’s ok to add link a thought it relevant to article it reminds me of the iliosion of grandeur !

  4. […] Fresh starts and an Atlantic of tears. […]

  5. […] Fresh starts and an Atlantic of tears […]

  6. Hugh Kirk says:

    Congratulations are in order. Winning a hard fought battle and coming out on top of an outstanding field of competitors. Must prepare now for the next leaders election to be held soon after May 2016.

  7. What does the dug think aboot the GMO ban, which has every scientist in the country (including me) foaming at the mouth? It even damages the nutrient value of farmed salmon, I kid you not: http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/13593424.SNP_s_GM_ban__may_scupper_fish_feed_plan_to_boost_heart_health_/?ref=ebln

    • weegingerdug says:

      My issue with GMO isn’t scientific, it’s political. It gives big corporations patents on our food supply, and that’s bit of a worry.

      • Indeed, a very real concern. But that is true of any proprietary seeds whatsoever.

        • Morag says:

          Might as well ban vaccines, because someone might make a profit selling them and there are rumours a couple of people have suffered adverse reactions.

          • Vaccines are not a necessary to life only an aid to prolong it, or make it more ‘normal’ for a much longer period than it would of been whereas food is a daily basic necessity for ones very existence so your analogy has no basis.

        • No it is not have a look at poor Indian farmers who are not allowed to save their own home grown seed because of Monsanto’s rights over there provenance. Soil only contain X amount of nutrients and minerals and what GM does is exploit that capacity by having to depend on imported nutrients and minerals for any crop to survive so enslaving the land owner to these snake oil people.

          Have a look at the land around the Mississippi river and see the soil erosion consequences of trying to increase yields from a set piece of land six feet in some places. Have a look at the dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico caused by this erosion and increased pollution all to aid the few at the expense of the majority.

          • You need a history lesson. If you don’t like high yielding grain (I think that’s your complaint) check out famine predictions when the world was half its present population, Norman Borlaug and the Green Revolution. If you don’t like bad agricultural policies, neither do I, but that’s nothing to do with GM. Benefit of the few? Bollocks; benefit of the billions we can now feed that 50 years ago we feared we couldn’t. Or do you deny that food is a benefit?

            • My apologies to everyone for feeding a troll. I just hadn’t seen CH’s earlier comment, or I would have refrained.

            • No I don’t need history lessons what I need is common sense in your understanding the basics of what a plant needs in relation to what the growing medium(soil) you are asking it to grow let alone the climatic conditions.

              Lets take Bananas as an example of a GM crop. All Bananas grown now are of one genus meaning that there are no natural variations to provide any genetic material available to avail a complete wipe out of that plant if or when a disease such as Phytophthora or other pathogen overcomes man’s arrogance in there perceived dominance over the natural world.

              Glad to be called a troll such as a nonentity as yourself good sir.

              • Ealasaid says:

                I also have big reservations about GM foods. The ecology of this planet is not well enough understood yet. All the interactions, cause and effect and knock on effect, in the natural environment are not known yet let alone understood.

                We only have one planet that is already changing with climate change. We should be very careful what we release into the environment that we cannot necessarily call back and eradicate if necessary. We also have to be careful that we do not eradicate something we need (e.g. pollinators). How many mistakes can we afford?

                Another excellent piece Paul. Keep up the good work.

        • No it is not have a look at poor Indian farmers who are not allowed to save their own home grown seed because of Monsanto’s rights over there provenance. Soil only contain X amount of nutrients and minerals and what GM does is exploit that capacity by having to depend on imported nutrients and minerals for any crop to survive so enslaving the land owner to these snake oil people.

          Have a look at the land around the Mississippi river and see the soil erosion consequences of trying to increase yields from a set piece of land six feet in some places. Have a look at the dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico caused by this erosion and increased pollution all to aid the few at the expense of the majority.

        • problem is, one global corporation has a huge monopoly, supplying around 75% seed worldwide, most of which is GM (low nutritional value, environmental effects, and heavier pesticide use which is destroying all the pollinators and will lead to the destruction of our ability to grow food at all). One corporation which already has its TTIP-type deal signed and sealed. Farmers have difficulty obtaining seed from elsewhere. And a secret deal was made to lift EU ban on dangerous chemicals associated with all of thi. See iScot mag for more details.

      • Jan Cowan says:

        With you there, Paul.

    • should be a wee snippet about GMO on iScot magazine website in next day or so, maybe already up. iScot running a campaign re effects of pesticides which are far more intensively used on GM crops, not to mention GM crops have lower nutritional value – scientific evidence to show this. Please support the iScot indigogo fundraiser so more folks can read WGD’s words of wisdom! Hard copies can be more easily made available than blog and web pages to get the message out there, Scotland is wealthy, successful, talented and exceptionally well-endowed, no need whatsoever to hang on Westminster’s apron strings!

  8. macart763 says:

    Yeah,Kezia Dugdale as a prospective First Minister of Scotland….

    Mwahahahahahahahaha! 😀

    Mibbie no.

  9. Liz White says:

    Well said, if labour can’t even be honest with themselves then they have no hope.

  10. Morag says:

    Hmmm. The Scottish criminal justice system is happy to see an innocent man (Abdelbaset al-Megrahi) carry the blame for a crime he demonstrably didn’t commit. Indeed the Crown Office is currently playing every dirty trick in its repertoire to ensure that his name is not legally cleared.

    What on earth makes you think the same bunch of brown-nosing troughers would have the slightest interest in holding Tony Blair to account?

  11. Paul “Outside a real one party state, as opposed to the one party state of Labour’s bitter complaints, has there ever been a part like Labour which enjoys such massive support from the media with such poor support from the public?”

    Yes, in Venezuela during Chavez tenure.

  12. Quarmby says:

    “She’ll now be moaning at Nicola Sturgeon in the capacity of party leader”

    She’s no ‘party leader’ – the contest for leader of the Labour Party is still ongoing in England, where the Party is based. Dugdale is merely the latest in a rapid succession of branch managers of what the Labour Party regards as their Scottish regional office. Let’s not help the buggers keep perpetuating the myth that there’s a party called ‘Scottish Labour’.

  13. Albawoman says:

    Thank you WGD you are so spot on. The Labour lot still seem to think they have an entitlement to the vote in Scotland. It must be a form of delusion. I look forward to your observations on the forthcoming Kezia Saga.

  14. Itchybiscuit says:

    I really think there’s an opening here for a wee series of articles.

    You could call them ‘The Political Diaries of Kezia Dugdale, 33 and a bit’.

    Sorry, I’m SNP Baaaad.

  15. WRH2 says:

    I’d like to suggest to “Scottish Labour” that they might want to adopt the song, “We’re on the road to nowhere”. Seems apt!

  16. daibhidhdeux says:

    CW: Re Chavez “example”: Pulled that one out of your anus, eh?

  17. Brian Fleming says:

    “The good news is that three of Scotland’s main political parties are now led by women…”

    Paul, why is that good news? Why on earth is two of Scotland’s (sic) parties being led by the likes of Davidson and Dugdale good news?

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