Despite having a poseur streak a mile and a half wide, and a large collection of vintage suits, I don’t care what Jezza wears. I don’t care if he wears a tie, I don’t care if he does up his top shirt button. It’s the content that matters, not the packaging. Scotland was expecting the delivery of a socialist package from Jezza, we didn’t mind what the wrapping was like.
We thought Jeremy Corbyn with his white beard was the socialist Santa, he was going to deliver all sorts of goodies for the good boys and girls who, despite the frequent disappointments, really believed in the pot-holed Great British Parliamentary Road to Socialism.
And after all the excitement, after all the hype, and us waiting up all night like weans expecting a prezzie, we tear off the recycled wrapping to discover that Jezza has given Scotland Ian Murray – the MP for the people’s republic of Morningside, a man who makes a plastic action figure appear animated. But there’s other prezzies lurking in the package, there’s Tommy McAvoy, who’s not even evolved enough to count as a dinosaur, an arsonist, and a random Welsh guy who no one has ever heard of. Not even in Wales.
I’ve not been so disappointed since I was a wean and my granny gave me a big box containing my birthday present and I ripped it open to discover a pair of purple crimplene trousers, some nylon socks three sizes too wee, and a t-shirt bearing a golliwog logo. Mind you, my granny was an avowedly racist bigot, she was the one you were allowed to shove aff the bus. On top of that she was possibly the only person in the history of the universe with a poorer sense of style than Jeremy Corbyn.
Jezza doesn’t care how things look. Which is fine. But not caring how it looks that you’ve appointed Tommy McAvoy as your Scotland spokesperson in the Lords isn’t fine at all. Tommy McAvoy represents all that is wrong with the Labour party in Scotland, the cronyism, the entitlement, the expenses claims, the sheer unpleasantness. And I’ve not even mentioned the implacable opposition to any equal rights for Lesbian and Gay people. So thanks for that Jez.
No one knows why Wayne David has been appointed to the Scotland team, not even Wayne, although he may once have visited Rothesay on holiday. Wayne has a lower profile in Scotland than a limbo dancer who’s suffered a tragic accident with a road roller, and his profile in Wales isn’t any higher. His qualification for the Scotland brief would appear to consist of being a Celtic type, and viewed from Islington North there’s not much difference anyway. He’ll do, said the Labour leadership, he talks funny just like a Jock.
The new team who are going to bring Scotland back to the Labour party look very much like the old team, the Shadow Scottish secretary who looks like one of those rubber stress toys that you squeeze and their eyes pop out, the theropod notable only for evolving the concept of nest-feathering, and a random leek. The face of the new politics looks suspiciously like the old one. The Corbyn bandwagon has only just started and it’s already being shaken apart on the potholed road, heavily rutted by generations of time servers.
But that’s not all, as a bonus prize we’ve got Charlie Falconer, who has never held an elected position in his life and who owes his high office to once having shared a flat with Tony Blair. After over 10 years in office and an illegal war, the rest of the public are now equally familiar with Tony’s brown stained underpants, so it’s unclear what advantages Charlie possesses.
This wasn’t the worst though. Appointing Burn Mike Look At The Pretty Fire 85+/Watson of Invergowrie as your education spokesperson is a far worse faux pas than not doing up your shirt properly at the Cenotaph. It looks really bad because it is really bad. He’s a convicted arsonist who was sentenced to 20 months in prison and served eight for attempting to burn down a hotel full of people. The judge at the time said that he was a danger to the public. Yet despite this glowing record, Mike remains a member of the Labour party, and now he’s a member of the Labour party who has high office. He’s a beacon of socialism, apparently. And if you want to argue that he’s served his time and ought to be forgiven, then just ask yourself how outraged you’d be if Cameron had appointed an arsonist to his cabinet, to sit alongside the sociopaths and psychopaths who are already there.
I now find myself in the very uncomfortable position of agreeing with Fraser Nelson, the editor of the right wing Spectator and escapee from the Bide a Wee Home for North British Elocution where he sadly contracted a terminal case of irritable vowel syndrome. Agreeing with Fraser has hitherto been as implausible as Ruth Davidson saying that she doesn’t really like tanks, Iain Duncan Smith actually practising some of the Christian charity that he self-righteously preaches about, or Fluffy Mundell making a public statement that doesn’t make you want to slap him.
Fraser published a piece in his right wing scream sheet claiming that the Corbynet looked less like the fresh face of a new look at British politics, and a lot more like the results of scraping the bottom of a barrel of bad apples for foul smelling gunge. The truth is, large sections of the Labour party refuse to serve under Jezza, because they don’t want to be tainted when the entire project comes crashing down in a shower of socialist recriminations. Those politicans are the disease of Labour, if they don’t want to serve under a leader voted in by a large majority of party members and supporters, it’s them who are in the wrong party. Labour can’t help us if it won’t help itself. It’s not that there are bad apples in the Labour party, it’s that the entire orchard is rotten. It needs to be burned down so something fresh and new can grow. Perhaps that will be the real service provided by Mike Watson.
Meanwhile here in Scotland we already have our own democratic resistance movement, one which has already withstood the flames. This time last year the independence movement was under attack, literally. Unionist thugs attacked independence supporters on the streets of Glasgow, and the media dismissed it. If it had been independence supporters physically assaulting Unionists, they’d have been calling for the imposition of martial law. We survived all that, and we’re still here, still laughing, still singing, still marching. Today is the anniversary of the day that we started to fight back.
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