It was the Scottish Lib Dem conference this weekend, held in the big cupboard off the upstairs back room of the Bus Driver’s Arms pub in Kelty. Once the buckets and spare mops had been moved out of the way, and the cleaner had found somewhere else to put the toilet paper that wasn’t being used to write speeches on, the packed delegate got down to the serious business of saying how bad the SNP is. It’s very very bad, in case you were wondering. The SNP divides the country by having policies that they put to the people for a democratic vote and then allowing them to debate them and choose whetherr they want to support them. Shocking behaviour, dividing people with their vile democracy and participation.
The Lib Dems are outraged that nearly half the polis in Scotland are pissed off with their jobs, although they’re not so keen to admit that the reason the polis aren’t happy is because of the changes to pensions introduced by Danny Alexander. Danny used to be an MP, now he’s a ministerial car-less has-been in search of a past to have had. The Lib Dems also think that there are not enough women Lib Dems holding elected office, although to be fair before you can have women MPs or MSPs you really need to be able to win some elections. Danny Alexander has a lot to do with that, perhaps they ought to take it up with him.
The highlight of the conference, that’s highlight in the same way that a plook is a prominence on an arse cheek, was Wullie Rennie’s speech. The leader of the party in Scotland made a keynote speech to the light switch because no one else was listening. The light switch wasn’t listening either but was too polite to turn off. The speech was a heartfelt plea for Scottish people not to keep discussing all the things that Wullie doesn’t want to talk about, like independence or Alistair Carmichael or why the party hasn’t paid the polis for protecting them from the wrath of the public when they were fully fledged Tory enablers. Wullie’s been feeling left out of the national conversation on account of the fact that the nation pays about as much attention to the Lib Dems as Sepp Blatter does to the opinions of Roy of the Rovers on corruption in fitba.
Wullie has the solution to the fact that the electorate of Scotland care as much about the Lib Dems as the BBC weather department cartographers do about equal area projection. The Lib Dems can become relevant again if everyone else in Scotland changes their mind about what’s important and agrees with what Wullie and the Lib Dems think is important. Then the Lib Dems can keep on being the same. This is the sort of insight and strategic thinking that led to Wullie getting the gig as leader of the party in the first place, that and the fact that there was no one else left.
Scotland should really be talking about other things, Lib Dem things, Wullie Rennie things, like the SNP being bad, the timetable of the number 17 from Cowdenbeath, and Alistair Carmichael being a poor put upon sowel who’s being unfairly subject to a witchhunt just for smearing slurring and lying through his teeth in order to influence an election result. If only Scotland could stop talking about how we’re being screwed over by a Tory government that only a tiny minority of Scots voted for, about how our MPs have been made second class, and how the poor are being made to pay for the sins of the rich. If only Scotland could stop discussing how the Labour party under Jeremy Corbyn and Kezia Dugdale is as effective a protection against the depredations of the Tories as a burst condom at an orgy. We cans solve these problems with independence, but Wullie wants Scotland to stop having these conversations, then we can get back to listening to him. It’s like being told our problem isn’t the hurricane that’s destroying our homes, it’s the beans we had for dinner making us fart.
The only interesting thing about the Lib Dems is what they don’t want us to talk about. And that’s the impending court case which Alisdair Carmichael is going to have to face. His defence is that while he may be a liar liar with his pants on fire, it’s only his political pants that are combustible, and that makes it all perfectly OK. Anyway, he’s apologised for it, so we should just move on. This is another interesting feature of politicians, they’re allowed to tell political lies, and when they’re caught out it’s us who are in the wrong for expecting them to take responsibility over and above a grudging partial apology hedged around with qualifications.
Tony Blair is attempting this trick at the moment, as he makes a partial apologetic non-apology for everyone else being more to blame for Iraq than he is. Tony is making this apologoid in the hope that by the time the Chilcot Inquiry findings are published, the public will have accepted his contrition and will have moved on. Although by the time the Chilcot Inquiry findings are published continental drift will have pushed Australia into collision with Asia, the ice caps will have melted, re-frozen, and melted again – but the Labour party in Scotland still won’t have evolved intelligence, or indeed a spine, and the Lib Dems will still be as irrelevant as Wullie Rennie popping up at the end of Furst Meenister’s Questions like the and finally segment at the end of the news.
The only useful thing about the Lib Dems is to act as a warning to other political parties about what happens when a political party loses its relevance and its purpose. The Labour party in Scotland should examine them carefully, that’s their future, staring at them in Wullie Rennie’s pleading eyes. The Lib Dems were once the dominant party across much of Scotland, they were the establishment, a power in the land. Now they’re a pathetic remnant, farting in a hurricane.
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