Usually you can find Unionist monkeys up every tree, chucking poo at the SNP with the aid of the Daily Record, and gibbering more embarrassing nonsense than Donald Trump with a microphone as they planked their arses on a safe seat. Now it seems like the once ubiquitous Unionist monkey is an endangered species. The jungle is awfully quiet these days, the monkeys are nowhere to be seen. The not at all celebrities of the Unionist establishment have got out of here, and we haven’t even needed to sit through hours of Ant and Dec in order to achieve it.
Chancers, careerists, con-merchants on the make, they all used to dream about landing a nice wee number as a Labour constituency MP or MSP. The selection procedures for the Scottish Parliament elections should be coming to a close by now, but there’s a shortage of Unionist sacrificial monkeys. Labour sources report that the party can’t find enough candidates for every constituency seat in Scotland as those who do fancy a career as a monkey with a red rosette fight one another for a place on the list instead. It used to be that a Labour constituency seat was a passport to a cushy career for life with a nice expenses account. In years to come people will write psychological horror novels about the misbegotten souls who actually aspired to become George Foulkes. Then they’ll make a movie about it and a wide eyed child actor will say to the camera – I see dead political careers.
Being selected as a Labour candidate for a constituency in Scotland is now an open invitation to a counselling session with Haley Joel Osment, so Labour’s wannabes are fighting it out over the limited number of places on the list. Sitting MSPs, rejected MPs, and former cooncil leaders are playing musical chairs with the last remaining list seats, each one hoping that they can get their bum on a place while the media band is still playing the Internationale. Each one is trying to shove the others out the way before the music stops for good and all that’s left for the Labour party in Scotland is the silence of the vacuum between James Kelly’s ears.
Reports in the press now however say that Labour is struggling to find quality candidates. Although when you look at Anas Sarwar, Jackie Bailley, and Gordon Matheson you really do have to wonder about the definition of “quality”. The only characteristic that Labour’s representatives excel in is the thickness and shininess of their brass necks. The party has been without any meaningful purpose since Tony Blair was elected party leader. Labour became a party that sought power for power’s sake, but now they’re out of power in Westminster and in Holyrood and there’s no realistic prospect of them getting back into power any time soon. The party is running out across the chasm of public trust supported by nothing but the hot air of media puffery and the self-regard of a political class that hopes its inflated sense of its own worth will substitute for policies, talent, and ability.
Labour is having such problems getting itself elected anywhere that George Foulkes has proposed in the House of Lords that the Scotland Bill should be amended to give Scotland its own upper chamber to revise and control the legislation coming out of Holyrood. George thinks it’s dangerous that we have the SNP in control in the Scottish Parliament, although he wasn’t overly concerned about a one party state when Labour was in charge in Scotland’s large cities, in Holyrood, and in Westminster too. George isn’t so much worried about democracy in Scotland as he is in finding way that his party colleagues can keep their grasp on the gravy train.
It’s not just Labour that is struggling to find electable candidates. The Tories are also have problems, although even if the Tories were able to persuade the Dalai Lama to stand for them he’d still struggle to get elected. Mind you, if the Tories were able to persuade the Dalai Lama to stand for them then they wouldn’t be Tories. Anyway the thought of Davie Mundell dressed in his mammy’s best orange curtains is too disconcerting. That’s not the sort of Orange that the Tories are traditionally associated with in Scotland. And it’s because of that association that the Tories have reportedly been making an effort to find younger and trendier candidates. Which still doesn’t explain why they’ve chosen Adam Tomkins, who’s about as with it and trendy as your grandfather dancing at a One Direction concert.
Given the implosion of recriminations and self-loathing that passes for a Labour party in Scotland, capable of nothing except fighting itself and sending out press releases containing nothing but the words “SNP” and “bad”, Ruth Davidson hopes to position the Tories as the largest opposition party to the SNP. If that does happen, it won’t be because Scottish voters are persuaded by the dubious charms of apologists for George Osborne, Iain Duncan Smith and Davie Cameron, it will be because the arse finally falls out of the Labour party. The Tories’ vote continues to drop as its elderly supporters shuffle off to the Orange walk in the sky and the great cosmic tea room where net curtains are twitched for all eternity. Doing crap but getting into second place because someone else is even more crap than you are isn’t much of a victory, but it’s the best the Tories can hope for.
Then there’s the Lib Dems, whose fate is sealed irrespective of the outcome of the court case against Alistair Carmichael. The verdict is due to be delivered tomorrow, and it’s going to be a verdict on British democracy. Either the judges will rule that it’s wrong that Carmichael lied, and order a fresh election which will likely wash away the last Lib Dem stronghold in Scotland, or they’ll rule that on a legal technicality it’s OK for our politicians to lie to the voters. In either event, the Lib Dems are ruled to be liars.
It’s not healthy for Scotland not to have an effective opposition, but the truth is that Scotland IS the opposition to the corrupt and morally bankrupt rule of the British establishment. Normal politics will not be restored until independence, that’s the only way we’ll get a healthy political ecosystem.
I’m off for a few days visiting first thing on Thursday morning, so there will be no updates to the blog until Wednesday of next week.
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