Nicola Sturgeon and Kezia Dugdale may have been making some points on Thursday during Furst Meenister’s Questions, but no one really noticed. You can always be certain about Kezia’s points, which are always SNP bad and delivered in a very whiny voice that is so high pitched that it would make mosquitos grate their teeth if they had any. It was something about education, which was entirely appropriate seeing as how a particular Labour MSP was behaving like he was a six year old in the school ground arguing over who’s turn it was to have a sook of the joob joobs. And amazingly, it wasn’t even James Kelly this time.
When Nicola Sturgeon was speaking about Labour’s shiny new tax policy and how it was basically a load of auld bollocks that would impose tax rises on low paid workers, Neil Findlay MSP called out “Liar!” The Presiding Officer Tricia Marwick asked whoever was responsible to fess up, but for possibly the first time in his political career Neil had discovered the benefits of staying schtum. He sat there and boldly said nothing at all, hoping to remain as anonymous as a spanner.
She ought to have told the entire Labour contingent that they’d sit there until someone confessed, while she told them that whoever was responsible was spoiling it for all the other boys and girls. It would only be fair, if you are going to treat the national parliament like it was a kids’ slanging match, you should be treated like a six year old and sent to bed without any pudding.
Naturally our state broadcaster managed to get through its entire episode of Reporting Where The Little Jockish People Are without mentioning the incident. Nothing that portrays the Labour party in a bad light is allowed to make it onto the main Scottish news in case it detracts from the important message that the SNP are really, really, bad. But that doesn’t mean it didn’t happen. Labour MSPs are allowed to act like six year olds in parliament and call out childish insults from the safety of a crowd. If he wanted to call out childish insults he should get himself a blog, or at least become a journalist who tweets under a pseudonym.
It was quite appropriate that all this happened on the day that scientists at Glasgow University announced that they’d been instrumental in the discovery of gravity waves emanating from the collision of two black holes in a far distant galaxy. Scientists have been searching for the elusive waves for decades. It took the light from the explosion 2.5 billion years to reach the Earth, which if nothing else is at least a shorter time frame than the wait for Kezia Dugdale to announce a coherent and properly costed tax policy. If only the scientists had thought to examine the Labour party in Scotland the gravity waves would have been discovered much sooner as the scientists would have got a close up view of an implosion of massively dense objects disappearing into nothingness amidst a poisonous radioactive haze on a weekly basis.
It’s all Labour knows how to do, when they’re not slinging abuse at the SNP they’re slinging abuse at one another. Just about the only people that Labour doesn’t sling abuse at are the Tories even though abusing Tories is the easiest thing in the world because they do so much that’s abusable. Even junior doctors who aren’t gynaecologists know a Hunt when they see one. Not that they get to see him very often, the English Health Secretary has refused all invitations to an interview with Channel 4 since he got his job and only finally consented to one when the presenters took to mentioning how long he’d been dodging an interview at the end of every segment about the English NHS crisis.
The Tories are destroying the NHS in England, they’re destroying the devolution process with a fiscal settlement that they’ve admitted will cost Scotland £3 billion, although they’ve made a revised offer and will now give Scotland a packet of stale hobnobs – but not the chocolate ones – and a pre-sooked joob joob. You’d think this would give a supposedly left wing Labour politician plenty to get his invective teeth into, but Neil would rather call out childish insults against the leader of the only party that actually provides a consistent opposition to the Tories.
Neil’s got previous for arse-wipery. Some months back he Tweeted something about SNP MP Pete Wishart, only Neil with his flair for the art of invective called him Wete Pishart. Oh how we all laughed. Neil had been up all night with a Scrabble set working that one out. You might imagine that a man whose name is an anagram of I’ll Die Fanny would think twice before going down the let’s rearrange the letters road, but Neil’s problem is that he suffers from a neurological condition that causes him to open his gob before stopping to wonder whether what he’s about to say is either witty, or accurate, or indeed whether it will make him sound like a complete and utter trump-nugget farting his way into political ridicule.
Neil’s now facing disciplinary action. Probably something like having to write out “I must not call Nicola Sturgeon a liar during FMQs” a thousand times. Or he could be kept in for detention after Parliament has finished for the day and have to write an essay about how it’s not big or clever to call people names in Parliament. Although if Labour was prevented from name calling they would be left without anything at all to say. Which wouldn’t be such a bad idea really.
Having been caught out, Neil eventually issued an apology for the unparliamentary language “attributed to me” and said he wanted to replace the word liar with dishonest. That’s the classy kind of apology we’ve come to know and love from Labour. He can’t even take responsibility for words that he used himself, he has to qualify them as words that other, and presumably evilly vile SNPish, people had attributed to him. It’s a mealy mouthed non-apology apology. A sincere apology from a Labour politician would be as amazing a discovery as a gravity wave. As things stand, Neil is as sincere in his apology as his party is sincere in their regret that they stood alongside the Tories in the referendum campaign. It’s that insincerity that is causing the voters to turn away from Neil’s party, and which means that many of his colleagues won’t be returning after May to hear him call out childish insults at FMQs.
After May, Labour in Scotland will be as difficult to detect as a gravity wave, imploded in a black hole of their own creation, lost in the cold and the darkness far far away.
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