Has anyone seen Kezia? She’s as elusive as Johann Lamont was when she was branch office manager of Labour in Scotland. Kezia is as elusive as Jim Murphy was ubiquitous. Every day Jim stood on an Irn Bru crate before the fawning ranks of the Scottish press to announce policies on things like the exploration of Mars and how alien life forms seeking to parasitise humanity would be totally different from a Labour MP’s expense claims. Jim’s policies may well have been as fictitious as the existence of the Scottish Labour party, but the one thing you couldn’t accuse him of was being shy of proferring an opinion – even if that opinion was invariably that the SNP was terribly, terribly bad, and that in Jim’s view Jim was the best thing to happen to Scotland since the country emerged from underneath the melting glaciers at the end of the Ice Age and people started to complain about the rain.
Kezia doesn’t do opinions, plural. If you trawl through all of Kezia’s public pronouncements you’ll find that she’s only got a single opinion on everything. That opinion is that the SNP is terribly, terribly bad. She’s quite keen to offer that opinion, but not to offer any others because other opinions might involve some joined up thinking, and joined up thinking is hard. Far easier just to blame the SNP.
Labour is currently looking to blame the SNP for the closure of the Forth Road Bridge, even though it was the Labour party that voted against building a second road crossing and then spent all its time criticising the Scottish government for the decision to use Chinese steel in the new bridge even though it was the actions of successive UK governments – including Labour ones – which ensured that there’s no Scottish steel industry capable of supplying the kind of steel required for a new bridge. The UK media is now investigating whether it was the decision of the SNP to vote against war in Syria that caused the unleashing of the Kraken to attack the bridge. The closure of the bridge sparked off hundreds of jokes on Twitter from Edinburghers about how Fife was now shut of from civilisation with no escape from Gordie Broon. It is however terribly unseemly of the capital’s residents to gloat as it should be pointed out that Amazon’s warehouse is on the Fife side. So Seasons Greetings Edinburgh online shoppers, your Christmas is in Kirkcaldy.
Anyone who lives in Scotland and has ever turned on the BBC knows by now that absolutely everything is the fault of the SNP, including the extinction on the dinosaurs whose footprints were recently discovered on Skye. Although to be fair the SNP are responsible for the extinction of Labour dinosaurs, although despite the SNP asteroid which wiped Labour from the electoral map in May, Labour’s dinosaurs seem to be as unkilloffable as an annoying character in a leading BBC sci fi programme and continue to stalk our TV screens. It’s said that after the body expires it takes the brain a few seconds to realise that it’s dead. It’s been several months since the Labour party in Scotland was decapitated, yet its mouth still won’t stop moving, proving that both the Labour party and the Scottish media are exceedingly slow on the uptake and have less intelligence than a corpse.
While we are all fully versed by now in the myriad ways in which the SNP is exceedingly bad, what we don’t know is what Labour’s policy is on just about any topic you care to mention that doesn’t involve blaming the SNP. Does anyone know what the policy of the Labour party in Scotland is about going to war in Syria? Since even the Daily Mail struggles to lay the blame at the door of Nicola Sturgeon, Kezia hasn’t said, and no one in the normally eager Scottish media has bothered to ask her. They’ve been far too busy hounding Natalie McGarry, because probable accountancy errors in the accounts of a non-profit organisation are far far more important than finding out whether the second largest political party in Scotland has a view on whether or not Scotland should be going to war.
We’re not supposed to question our political masters’ decision to take us to war. This is because it’s the act of a statesperson to take the decision to risk civilian deaths and to destroy a foreign country for no other reason than a tokenistic exercise in making the UK look good in the eyes of its allies, whereas it’s bullying and disrespectful of ordinary punters to demand that the same legislators explain and justify their actions.
Meanwhile the Herald newspaper crowed that “Scottish fighter jets” were to be involved in airstrikes on Syrian targets. And there was us thinking that Scotland didn’t vote to become independent last year so there’s no such thing as a Scottish fighter jet, just RAF fighter jets. If they were Scottish fighter jets then it would be Scotland’s elected representatives who decided whether or not they’d be involved in airstrikes. But 57 of Scotland’s MPs voted against taking action in Syria. The misuse of language is a pathetic attempt by Unionists to make out that Scotland is punching above its weight and is involved in world affairs only thanks to our subordination to Westminster.
If they’re really Scottish fighter jets then Trident missiles on the Clyde must also be Scottish nukes – so why can we not get rid of them? Because the truth is, as any child could tell a Unionist journalist, that Scotland has no control at all. Scotland doesn’t decide whether this country goes to war or not, Scotland doesn’t decide whether to have nukes or not. Scotland does as its told, and no amount of media spin is going to put a positive gloss on that sorry state of affairs.
Holding the Labour party to account falls through the cracks in the Unionist case for the Union. They’re the last Unionist party with any support in Scotland, and that support is more corroded and cracked than the pillars on the Forth Road Bridge. Unlike the Forth Bridge, there’s no amount of duct tape that can repair Labour’s fortunes, although if we could tape it over their mouths when they launch into another bleat of SNPbaaaad then the world would be a happier place. All that’s left for Labour and the Union is to slowly fall into the sea of Scottish indifference, and be washed away on the tide of public opinion, taking the Union with them. It’s getting closer every day.
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
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