God I hate computers. I really hate computers. I spent much of the weekend metaphorically wrestling with a recalcitrant laptop, which on Sunday morning decided to die completely. On the other hand I now have a spotless living room, because as the old saying goes a clean house is a sign of a broken computer. After calling assorted geeks in vain for help, I had to go out and spend a shedload of money that I was saving up for a holiday to go and buy a new laptop. The feelings I have for computers are a real and visceral hatred, an evil contempt matched only by the malignity of a computer’s feelings towards humanity.
Computers are the Labour party of technology, they promise you the earth and leave you with nothing but disappointment and empty pockets after forcing you to waste frustrating hours chasing solutions to your problems that turn out to be useless, producing nothing but a soulless despair at the futility of it all. God I hate computers.
And talking of hate, proof if nothing else that I could get a job writing links for telly presenters if it wasn’t for the fact that the BBC hates me, Michelle the Moan has been moaning again in the papers about how the independence supporting half of Scotland hates her. That’s not true. In order to be worthy of hatred you have to be important or significant, or at the very least impinge onto the consciousness in a meaningful way, like a computer or that really annoying guy from Storage Wars that you’d love to padlock in a storage locker and throw away the key. Michelle, who is to Scottish politics as Joey Essex is to quantum mechanics, just isn’t worthy of hate.
I no more hate Michelle than I hate a wee whining mosquito buzzing about the room. The difference being that the mozzie is harder to ignore, and also probably has better formed views on Scottish politics. Chelle’s expressed belief that the pro-indy half of Scotland hates her is just more attention seeking, and in any case she needn’t worry about Scotland’s yes voters. The half of the country that voted no isn’t too keen on her either.
Scotland has far more important issues to deal with than Chelle’s ego, although you’d be hard pressed to know that by looking at the papers. Faced with the likelihood of a second majority SNP government the Unionist media seems to have collectively demanded their baw back and don’t want to play any more. Which is fair enough, all those highly paid columnists writing their articles about how awfie awful the SNP is and nae bugger pays them a blind bit of notice. There you are, slaving away at your keyboard to unveil all the SNPbadness there is in the world and the only feedback you get from Scotland is a voicemail message saying “We’re very sorry but we’re busy working towards independence right now. Please get back to us so we can ignore you some other time.” It must be a hard life fancying yourself as an opinion former and then discovering that only thing you’re able to form is a surly pout and a pettit lip.
But it’s not just Scotland’s unionist commentators who are feeling ignored. A very real important issue, one which is certainly no laughing matter for those concerned, is the way in which the future of the Clyde shipworkers is being ignored by the Ministry of Defence. Sadly this is nothing new, Scotland has been ignored by Whitehall for generations, and the only time they pay us any attention is when they think that we’re about to vote for independence. You’d think that everyone in Scotland would have learned that lesson by now, but we still have a way to go before it’s got through to everyone. Some people it’s never going to get through to, like Labour party politicians and activists, but they’re heading for extinction even more quickly than the rapidly ageing Tories.
Lie after lie, the promises of the Unionists lie broken and bleeding in the path of Westminster’s disdain. Labour in Scotland is now mounting a campaign to save the shipyards from Tory cuts, that would be the same Labour party which swore blind during the independence referendum that only a no vote could save the shipyard workers’ jobs and mounted a campaign to ensure that the shipyard workers were left exposed to the whims of Whitehall. That would be the same Labour party that campaigned to leave Scotland exposed to the icy gusts of the Tory gales.
It was less than two years ago that Labour was campaigning to keep Scotland exposed to the risk of Conservative rule. They think that we’ve forgotten. They don’t get to run to us now greeting about the evil effects of Tory rule, because it was them who promised and swore blind and vowed in order to allow the Tories to keep destroying the working class communities that Labour claimed to stand behind. But they only ended up destroying themselves. Labour stood behind them right enough, they put the workers in the firing line and sheltered behind them. They campaigned against a solution that would have seen the yards diversify, and insisted that they remain a vulnerable monoculture subject to the MoD. The only use for Labour now is a donor if Scotland needs a heart transplant, Labour’s has never been used. If we wanted to kill ourselves we could climb up the ego of a Labour politician and then jump down to their IQ.
There’s no way back for them now, you don’t get to pose as the party of the workers after you’ve campaigned to leave the workers exposed to a system which doesn’t give a toss about the workers’ jobs, their futures, or their families. If more jobs are lost on the Clyde we’ll know who to blame. And we won’t forget. Labour blaming the Tories for job losses and spending cuts is like the rat blaming the flea for the plague.
The Labour party allegedly has software which is supposed to help it win elections. If at first you don’t succeed you’ve got a lot in common with the Labour party in Scotland. It’s clearly as broken as my old laptop. Computer says no.
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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