Wee Dougie Alexander, the political patron saint of holy wullies, has got himself a new job after being booted out by the voters of Paisley at the last election. The Guardian described Wee Dougie’s debacle as a shock defeat for the Labour party, but the only people shocked by it were Wee Dougie and the Westminions. The rest of us didn’t think it was shocking, we thought it was comedy karmic come-uppance.
After spending a few months avoiding a work assessment interview with the jobbie centre, Dougie has now been appointed as a poverty sermoniser for the only man on the planet with a bigger ego than your average former Labour shadow foreign secretary. Bono of U2 is paying Dougie a very large amount of money in order to allow Bono to believe that he’s a serious spokesperson on world poverty, and not just an ego with sunglasses and a back catalogue from the 1980s and 90s, which is the last time that U2 were relevant. Coincidentally the 1990s is also the last time that the Labour party were relevant, so you can see where the mutual attraction lies.
Dougie likes giving sermons, and Bono likes preaching, so it’s a match made in marketing heaven. Now Bono has another member of his entourage to take on the two planes he needs when he jets into a developing nation to hug an elderly person with a lip plug. One plane is required for Bono and his hangers on, the other is for the sunglasses and the hat. Although to be fair, Bono has listened to the critics who have pointed out the hypocrisy of jetting in on a private plane in search of a photo opportunity about poverty, and from now on the sunglasses and the hat will be flying economy.
Bono is the only person in the music business that even Chris Martin of Coldplay can feel superior to. He has a famously big ego. It is said in Ireland that the only difference between God and Bono is that God doesn’t wander around Dublin imagining he’s Bono. Although that’s a bit cruel, as Bono doesn’t wander around Dublin imagining he’s God, he’s got a luxury car with a private driver.
You’d also think that he might actually manage to find what he still hasn’t found what he’s looking for if he took off those pissing sunglasses. But at least he did finally explain why it is that he always wears sunglasses and a hat, even indoors. It’s because he’s a tit. Bono’s only redeeming feature is that he isn’t a middle aged man who calls himself The Edge. A middle aged wealthy man is as Edgy as a platinum credit card and a reservation in a posh restaurant. As edgy in fact as a former Labour foreign secretary with a penchant for writing pseudo-intellectual articles in the Scotsman about Scottish philosophers in which he manages to spell all the philosophers’ names wrongly.
It’s quite an appropriate appointment really. U2 are infamous for their tax arrangements, and Dougie was infamous for arranging tax laws so that very rich groups like U2 could avoid paying much tax. Then the two of them can get together and bewail the poverty and deprivation that’s caused because very rich people don’t pay their fair share of tax. They both made poverty history, for themselves. Bono can sing a wee song about it and get tons in royalty payments from Apple, and Dougie can jet off to a conference in a lovely hotel in an exotic location, and everyone is happy except the auld guy with the lip plug.
Now we can look forward to a range of Labour inspired songs from U2, like I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Voting For, How To Undismantle an Atomic Bomb, or Stuck in a Manifesto Commitment You Can’t Get Out Of. And if you’re exceptionally unlucky, the next time you buy an iPod, Apple will very kindly preload it with Dougie’s speeches to the General Assembly of the Kirk of Scotland.
It’s a bit of a come down, from being the man hailed as the next foreign secretary to becoming the man hailed as a groupie. Wee Dougie is the world’s most implausible rock chick. Sadly for the planet he’s got little option except helping to give Bono a donor boner after Dougie’s proposal to start a tribute act to the Carpenters failed to get off the ground when his sister told him that he’d have more success Calling Occupants of Interplanetary Craft than in getting her to work with him again.
It’s not entirely clear what expertise Wee Dougie has in reducing world poverty. You might think that if he’d been marginally more successful in reducing poverty in Paisley then he might have kept his job as an MP. But Dougie was more concerned with striding the world stage with very short legs and masterminding a disaster of a campaign for the Labour party. Completely screwing up what had been perceived as an excellent chance for the Labour party to get back into government might not seem to you or me to be a passport to a six figure salary, but clearly Bono thinks differently.
Likewise the BBC seem to believe that John McTernan is a political expert, which is true because he did after all mastermind the campaign that delivered the Labour party in Scotland its greatest defeat ever. That’s got to count for some sort of political expertise, even if only in reverse. And Jim Murphy, who is capable of starting a fight in an empty building and then nursing a grudge about it for decades, has been appointed as a peace envoy in the Caucasus.
The one sure fire way to end poverty is to have an unsuccessful career as a Unionist politician. At least you’ll never have to worry about your own personal poverty. Westminster politics is a career where the consequences of failure are indistinguishable from the consequences of success, and that is why our political system is in such a sorry state. Even when politicians are held to account at the ballot box, they just land some cushy post somewhere courtesy of the contacts they made during their time in office, or they get appointed to the House of Lords and continue to wield their baleful influence on our public life.
We might never be able to escape Bono’s ego, but there’s an escape route from Westminster, and it’s getting more attractive with every passing day. Labour might still haven’t found what it’s voting for, but the rest of us have. And it’s not Labour.
BARKING UP THE RIGHT TREE Barking Up the Right Tree has now been published and is an anthology of my articles for The National newspaper. You can submit an advance order for the book on the Vagabond Voices website at http://vagabondvoices.co.uk/?page_id=1993
Price is just £7.95 for 156 pages of doggy goodness. Order today!
A limited number of signed copies of the two volumes of the Collected Yaps is also still available. See below for order details.
Donate to the Dug This blog relies on your support and donations to keep going – I need to make a living, and have bills to pay. Clicking the donate button will allow you to make a payment directly to my Paypal account. You do not need a Paypal account yourself to make a donation. You can donate as little, or as much, as you want. Many thanks.
Order the Collected Yaps of the Wee Ginger Dug Vols 1 & 2 for only £21.90 for both volumes. A limited number of signed copies is still available, so get your order in now! P&P will be extra, approximately £3 per single volume or £4 for both sent together. If you only want to order one volume, please specify which. Single volumes are available for £10.95 per copy.
To order please send an email with WEE GINGER BOOK ORDER in the subject field to email@example.com giving your name, postal address, and email address and which volumes (1, 2 or both) you wish to order. I will contact you with details of how to make payment. Payment can be made by Paypal, or by cheque or bank transfer. Get your order in today – an ideal Christmas present!
Reblogged this on pictishbeastie.
11 O’clock Tick Tock
Outstanding! Hope you gave the dug a Bono after this 😀
excellent post Paul – On the theme that they still haven’t found what they’re looking for The Edge is, I’ve heard, into meditation or maybe that’s Clayton? Ex – boyfriend of Naomi C?
Bono is not popular in Dublin –
Bonioes still are hot favourites among Irish dugs!!So crack open a pack for Wee Ginger!!Scottish dugs like them too!
Reblogged this on Bampots Utd.
Ah, the Carpenters. I had tickets to see them at the Apollo, but unfortunately Karen was unwell and I never did get to see them live.
Every time I think you can’t surpass yourself you go and do it again.
The Bono hypocrisy to a tee.
I never liked U2 but was prepared to have a grudging respect for the success they had achieved.
Then I saw Bono trying to lecture me about the shame of poverty whilst wearing one grand sunglasses and from that point on I refused to listen to him ever again.
That wee Dougie sees this as a good career move tells you all you need to know about his ambition.
Wow, great post. It is just sooo topsy turvy, the world of politics and stardom, the talented very often land at the bottom and the shallow boneheads get to the top. Same as in the visual artworld, unless maybe you die, then someone might want to collect your years of hard slog artworks.
Mr bono is obviously doing his best to save the planet as well as the poor people.
Why do the rich turn into, (if not already before clasping fame and fortune,) such self seeking egoists.
We may never find out.
The rich don’t become self seeking egoists, self seeking egoists become rich because they cannot see that they could ever be wrong and bully others till they get their own way. Try Donald Trumpet as a prime example.
Good grief, one well heeled and holier than thou, the other is well holy and wears elevator heels.
A match made in marketing.
Didn’t realise Labour were actually looking for something to vote for.
MPs can’t vote from the pub which is probably why Labour abstain so much.
Now that I have heard your voice in Altered State, every time I read your post it will automatically be narrated by you. In my head. Like Morgan Freeman to God. The sound effect in my head is superb. Particularly this post.
‘Sadly for the planet he’s got little option except helping to give Bono a donor boner after Dougie’s proposal to start a tribute act to the Carpenters failed to get off the ground when his sister told him that he’d have more success Calling Occupants of Interplanetary Craft than in getting her to work with him again.’
Genius! Thank you.
What about UK bombing Syria?
Very quirky and very funny, you never disappoint ginger! Although your blog has convinced me we live in a world that is upside down, side to side, topsy turvey, shaken around and not to mention split in half and put back together wrong (all U2 songs)…….(they aren’t actually)…….(more weak comedy that only makes people groan)……
Great work Paul.
There’s an excellent article on Bono (with criticisms of a few other beneficent Westerners) by Monbiot from a couple of years ago in which he quotes: ‘Irish scholar Harry Browne maintains that “for nearly three decades as a public figure, Bono has been … amplifying elite discourses, advocating ineffective solutions, patronising the poor and kissing the arses of the rich and powerful”. His approach to Africa is “a slick mix of traditional missionary and commercial colonialism, in which the poor world exists as a task for the rich world to complete” ‘.
A great post as always. Thank you.
So Alexander and Murphy have found ‘work’. It mystifies me why anyone would employ them except to exploit their contacts. Do they have talents that I don’t see? No, I don’t think so. I think they are just a pair of fraudsters.
And of course McTernan, the great failure, is apparently still being paid as a freelance spokesperson for cynicism.
How can it be that Labour attracts such people? What is it about the Labour party that the people who inhabit it and its supposed aims are so at odds? It is one of the dividends of the demise of Labour that it has exposed the true nature of the beast. A political party that evolved supposedly to represent the interests of the disadvantaged was hijacked by the unscrupulous.
Alexander and Murphy should be doing voluntary work as penance for their past behaviour but that would imply that they had just got a bit lost along the way. It would also mean that they felt genuine remorse for taking advantage of the vulnerable and understood that getting rich on the backs of the poor while fraudulently claiming to care is despicable. I wonder if greed or egotism is at the root of their behaviour.
What about the rest of the Slabs who were booted out in May? Where are they now? Are they doing voluntary work? Maybe they are they helping in food banks. Maybe not.
Bona, on stage: “Every time I clap by hands, someone in Africa dies of poverty”.
Punter in audience: “Stop clapping your hands then”.
How Band Aid III (Ebola) was received by Africans says a lot about how “in touch” some have become.
I still enjoy U2s music, it’s one of the “day jobs” he ought to stick with.
Thanks for this Shagpile. The punter was giving Bono a subliminal message. I remember it happening and thinking how brilliant a reply it was. I believe there was a suitable adjective preceding the word “hands”, however.
What scares me is the thought that St Dougie will have to throw his knickers on-stage if Bono comes out with a particularly wise universal thought.
Brilliant, as usual sir
I thought it was just me who couldn’t stand Bono. It’s good to know i’m in good company.
Another brilliant post WGD. I so look forward to your posts more than any others.
“The one sure fire way to end poverty is to have an unsuccessful career as a Unionist politician. At least you’ll never have to worry about your own personal poverty. Westminster politics is a career where the consequences of failure are indistinguishable from the consequences of success, and that is why our political system is in such a sorry state.”
Very pertinent and says it all, really.
And… do groupies still have to sleep with the acts they’re following. Or are drugs and partying enough?
Well, there’s nothing I can add to previous voices which could elevate “His Bononess” higher than his ego!
Dougie will suit him to a T.
I take it you’ve heard of this Paul?
Even when supposedly in agreement with Mr Findlay, when the SNP could be seen as willing support, party political point scoring raises its head.
We’re talking about a vote on military action here and the first thought that crosses their minds is SNP bad.
Huge fan of your posts Paul, but the savaging of Bono doesn’t sit right with me.
He is indeed a bit of a knob, but he has saved thousands of lives, i am approaching 50 years old
and haven’t saved any yet. I have tried to twice, but sadly failed on both occasions.
Geldof raised 150 million through Live Aid ( including a £20 donation of mine).
Bono got the slate wiped clean of 30 billion of African debt.
And the tax issue? Are you guys happy with the way Westminster is spending your hard earned?
There are not many governments on the planet that i would be happy to contribute to, i would
be delighted to have a bit more control on how my contributions are squandered.
Many thanks for all the laughs and tears throughout the years Paul.
Your work is consistently brilliant.