Gordie’s been intervening for the first time again. He intervenes for the first time on a regular basis, far more regularly than he could be arsed to turn up at the House of Commons and do his job when he was the MP for Kirkcaldy. All he did regularly after he lost his job as worst UK Prime Minister for a 100 years, and he had some pretty stiff competition, was to sulk. Anyway, now that he doesn’t have a constituency to ignore, he’s got a new career as an advisor to a US based asset management company which according to reports had previously paid him £50,000 for pacing up and down the carpet and delivering one of his self-regarding speeches. Gordie saved the banks you know, but more importantly he saved his bank balance.
Here in Scotland we are hugely blessed, because we get to partake of the wit and wisdom of Gordie for free. Admittedly there’s very little in the way of wit or wisdom in what Gordie has to say, but he’s all that the Labour party in Scotland have got that could pass for a statesman. And he certainly is a statesman, being a man and a bit of a state. Labour in Scotland has once again dragged Gordie out to wear out the carpets and save the Labour party because things worked out so well for them the last time he did it. No one listens to him any more, no one is interested in the promises and guarantees of a man who wouldn’t deliver on them even when he did have the power to do so.
The purpose of this week’s carpet pacing was to tell us how we need to stay a part of the EU. Most people in Scotland agree with this proposition, even though we may have deep reservations about how the European project has been carried out. Mainly that it all seems to be an exercise in self-promotion for the likes of Gordie and more concerned with the interests of big business than the interests of European citizens. However what people in Scotland like most about the EU is that it acts as a brake on the more swivel eyed tendencies of the Tories in Westminster. The EU is very far from perfect, but we get all sorts of guarantees as a result of EU membership, holiday entitlements, human rights, limits on the number of hours we can be forced to work a week, the right to travel freely and settle and work throughout the continent, and all that would be threatened if the UK left.
UKIP and the Europhobic tendency amongst the Tories want to leave the EU so that they can turn the UK into a sort of USA with worse weather and poorer food, a country where women have no maternity rights, workers are atomised and unprotected, you consider yourself lucky if you get two weeks leave a year, you live to work not work to live, and all so a small minority can get obscenely wealthy. Even within the EU the Tories have already taken us a long way down this path to pauperisation, a path which the right wing of the Labour party was happy to tread too. Outside the EU the brakes would be off and Scotland would lose a vital safeguard to protect us against the excesses of a far right wing government that less than 15% of us voted for.
Gordie warned that we must not let UKIP pull the same tricks during the referendum as the SNP. So presumably we must be on our guard against Nigel Farage speaking out in favour of increased immigration and greater integration with the rest of the world. Gordie wore down some more of the Axminster as he warmed to his theme that it was important to present a patriotic British case for staying in the EU, in a totally non-nationalist way of course. The defining characteristic of British nationalism is that it’s not nationalist at all, and that’s what makes us better than foreigners. The EU needs the UK to teach it what non-nationalist nationalism is all about, or something. Gordie’s speeches are full of more contradictions that a book of zen koans, only without the deep spiritual truths, being rooted in a meaningful philosophy, or any mastery of Asian martial arts.
He refused to give a direct answer to the big question for Scotland. Gordie doesn’t do direct answers that might show him up to be a hypocrite. If the rest of the UK votes to leave the EU but Scotland votes to stay then it would be morally wrong for Scotland to lose the benefits of EU membership despite the fact we’d voted to keep them, and despite the fact that Gordie was one of the people who was telling us in 2014 that we needed to remain a part of the UK in order to ensure our continuing membership of the EU. Even though Gordie refused to answer the question directly, he left it clear that he believes Scotland should be dragged out of Europe against its will. He’d rather that Scotland was left naked and exposed to the worst excesses of the Tories and the right wing of the Labour party than decide its own destiny. Scotland deciding its own destiny is bad nationalism, the UK deciding its own destiny isn’t nationalism at all.
What he did instead was to present an irrelevant case to illustrate his evasion. Gordie pointed out that during the 1975 European referendum, 58% of Scots voted for membership, but 68% did in the rest of the UK. No one suggested breaking up the UK then, he opined, oblivious to the fact that in both Scotland and the rest of the UK there was a clear majority in favour of Europe. Gordie clearly believes that we can’t count and don’t realise that 58% is a majority. It’s a larger majority that the Better Together campaign got during the Scottish referendum, so according to Gordie’s logic Scotland ought to be on the way to independence right now.
And in fact we are on the way to independence. We’re on our way to independence because all the promises and guarantees made by Gordie and his pals during the independence referendum campaign have proven to be as worn out and threadbare as the carpets that Gordie paces up and down on. Scotland is on its way to independence because of the lies of Westminster, and the self-serving hypocrisy of Gordon Brown. In May the Unionist parties will die a little more, and we’ll take one more step down the worn out carpet of Gordon’s lies towards independence.
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