Vote for the plaster, or vote for the cure

Kezia Dugdale finally got around to unveiling the Labour manifesto for Scotland yesterday, and it was received with rapturous applause and a renewed enthusiasm for the peepul’s party from the massed ranks of the Scottish working classes in Kezia’s imagination. That was jist fabby Kezia hen, said one of her synapses. Gaun yersel Kezia you’ve saved Labour’s arse and Jackie Baillie’s career, said another. From the depths of her limbic system came a surge of love and affection for the Labour party and a thousand Iain Greys danced along with a Subway sandwich and laughed and sang with joy for this time the stuffing would be knocked out the Nats. Neil Findlay punned his way across the stage to the uproarious applause and cheers of an adoring crowd, and Anas Sarwar managed to get through an entire debate without being supercilious or snide. Although admittedly that was because Kezia’s grand success had put out the gas on his leadership amibitions and for once he was lost for words. But still.

Former Yes voters got on their knees and raised their hands to the skies shouting, “I have seen the light! Praise the Labour for I have seen the light!” The lost sheep of Lanarkshire returned to the fold and realised that the Daily Record really is holy writ. Red roses cascaded from the heavens, and Kezia walked on a carpet of petals towards the glowing light of the First Ministerial podium. And the angels started to sing the Halleluiah Chorus in Gaelic and Scots until someone pointed out that singing in Scottish is dangerously nationalist and anyway, Scots isn’t a proper language because it doesn’t have a word for halleluiah.

And then Kezia woke up in the gutter of broken dreams alongside the ghost of Jim Murphy’s be-egged shirt, clutching that photie of him with a halo, all crushed in her hand, and she realised it was just a disconnect from reality produced by reading too many articles about Scottish politics in the Guardian. That’s what happens when you listen to puff pieces in the UK media. In the real world the manifesto was received with the sound of one hand clapping, but that just turned out to be James Kelly being slapped.

There’s more energy in a spent AA battery than there is in the Labour party in Scotland, a party which couldn’t even summon up a clap of the Duracell bunny’s cymbals with the aid of the entire wind farm output of Scotland. Ha, Labour would sniff, SNP wind farms are no use when the wind doesn’t blow. But that’s all you get from Labour, the empty wind of a blawbag on expenses and the disappointment of disillusion and deceit.

Labour has no ideas, no talent, and no clue. It doesn’t actually matter what policies their manifesto contains. What matters is the container. When the tin is electoral poison so are its contents, and Labour is a very poisonous tin indeed. They could promise the earth, and even have detailed fully costed plans which don’t involve Jackie Baillie’s arithmetic to show conclusively how they were going to pay for it, and still no one would believe them. When you’ve lied too often no one wants to believe you any more. When you’ve disappointed too often no one wants to trust you any more. When you’ve promised to change but still show the same tired old faces it’s tantamount to telling the electorate that you think they’re mugs. We’re the mugs they use to keep dipping into the trough.

This manifesto, Labour swears blind, is the most left wing manifesto on offer. No, really, honest. Look, it’s got red ink in it and everything. The Scottish leader that wanted the Blairite Liz Kendall to become leader of the UK party has all of a sudden morphed into Karla Marx after making the belated discovery that moving Labour to the right was electorally counter productive. Jim Murphy attempted the same trick, and look how well that turned out. His Guardian photo halo slipped and strangled him. You’d think that if Labour was sincere about moving to the left they might choose to be represented by people who can actually convince as left wingers. Yet here we are again a year on, and they’re still repeating the same mistakes.

The launch was overshadowed by a disastrous opinion poll released on the very same day. According to the poll for STV, the Tories are projected to overtake Labour as the second largest party, but not because the Tories are all of a sudden doing better than a non-EU approved toaster in David Coburn’s kitchen. It’s just that Labour is doing spectacularly badly. If the poll is borne out during the election just a week from today, the party will receive its worst result since the Second World War and the first time it will have come third since 1910. Labour is heading for a defeat of historic proportions, and no amount of manifesto tinkering is going to bring about a recovery in its fortunes.

When you can’t even hold your own against the Tories in a Scottish election, you might as well give up and go home. Yet Kezia maintains that all is well and smiles calmly. If she can keep her head while everyone around her is losing theirs and blaming it on her – perhaps she’s just underestimated the seriousness of the situation.

Labour’s big answer is to raise taxes so Scots can compensate for cuts imposed upon us by a Tory government that we didn’t vote for, a Tory government that Labour campaigned to keep us exposed to. And it claims that it’s offering the radical solution. The real radical solution is to campaign for Scotland never to be exposed to Tory governments that we didn’t vote for ever again. If Labour had included that in its manifesto then perhaps it might have been worth digesting. Instead we get a party that offers to put a plaster on the axe wounds inflicted on Scotland by the Tories, from the same party that held Scotland down while the Tories wielded the axe.

Don’t vote for the plaster, vote for the cure.

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41 comments on “Vote for the plaster, or vote for the cure

  1. jdman says:

    “Dont vote for the plaster vote for the cure”


    • Macart says:

      If you haven’t seen it already John, you have to click on the link I’ve posted.

      I’ll say no more than that. 😮

  2. Black Rab says:

    You got it Paul. People don’t get it, unfortunately. Yes, get rid of the system that eradicates a system that encourages crime rather than employ a corrupt system to dispose of it.

  3. […] Source: Vote for the plaster, or vote for the cure […]

  4. katherine hamilton says:

    One of your absolute best,sir. Short, pithy and oh so true. The opening para had me in stitches. In the context of Ms. Dugdales’ evisceration on STV last night, it could actually be true! I think she’ll wake up this morning and do a Colonel Kurtz-

    The horror, the horror. The Heart of Darkness indeed.

  5. Steve Bowers says:

    Excellent yet again Paul

  6. Macart says:

    That’s a superb piece of writing and oh so true.

    Did you catch the Ponsonby grilling of Kez last night Paul?

    One word – Nightmare

    I’ve seen a few politicos interviewed in my time and a fair few fillited and their balloons burst, but oh my mother and father, that was awful.

    If there are any children in the room, send them away. (R) rated material.

    • It’s as well you warned us, Macart.
      Ol’ Ponsonby’s on a roll, isn’t he?
      I loved the ‘only way to stop £3 billion in Tory cuts’ is to ..increase income tax to ‘hard working Scottish families’, to the tune of £3 billion.
      She really is that simple minded , isn’t she?
      Trident, squirm, shuffle, she sees no dichotomy between her being leader of the Scottish Branch Office, a multilateralist, at the head of a Branch Office which backed scrapping Trident at Conference. The people she purports to lead do not agree with one of her flagship policies. Fuck ’em, she seems to be saying. I’m the Leader. The Grand Panjandrum. Bow down before me.

      Is she really that stupid or is it megalomania?
      I know what’s best for the plebs.

      With a week to go, Labour in Scotland should be lining up all their Big Guns (sic), Alex Rowley, Iain Gray, Neil Findlay, Jenny Marra, Jackie Baillie, Johann Lamont, Sarah Boyack, and of course, Anas, and loading their brass monkeys with big anti Tory cannon balls, and firing a broadside at Ruth and Jackson, and Murdo, to take the fight to the party Up Here that is determined to destroy society, the Blue Tories.
      Unfortunately, those I list above are all Brown and Blair spawn, New Labour, neo conservatives , whose climb up the slippery pole was on the back of Mandelson’s rebrand of Labour as the ‘aspirational’ party. The Red Tories, at ease with ‘the filthy rich’.

      Kezia Dugdale is a Blair babe. Endov.

      They all have remarkably similar CV’s.
      Yoonie. Degree Politics or Law. Bag carriers for Brown or McLeish, then into Holyrood, most now on the list.

      May I give them a heads up? The sure fire way to fight Tory cuts is to vote for an anti austerity party, chaps.
      You may recall the Leader’s debate in the run up to last year’s UKGE.
      Only the SNP was advocating manageable borrowing , £180 billion if memory serves, rather than £30 billion cuts to the Welfare System, vital government services, and public service jobs.

      Of course Kezia, Jenny, Jackie, and Neil will not attack the Blue Tories. They are the Red Tories.
      Paper over the cracks, that should do it. As Ponsonby pointed out, if Ed Miliband had won, Ed Balls would be implementing the Labour £30 billion in cuts….
      Dugdale’s solution :- Tax Scottish workers, and let Mundell and Davidson off the hook.
      The Best of Both Worlds indeed.

      I seriously doubt for Labour’s future in Scotland.

      How’s the enquiry into LA corruption going, Police Scotland?

      There will be no let up. May 2017 is the next staging post on the Road to Independence. North Lanark, Glasgow DC, be afraid, be very afraid.

      • Macart says:

        Yes, I’m afraid they are that devoid of talent. We’ll avoid austerity, by imposing austerity with a sad face.

        A party who consider mitigation and offset as a default position, led by a branch manager who struggles to remember the basic detail of core policies in her own manifesto.

        Jaw dropping.

        • That she could not recall the number of jobs at Faslane working on Trident says it all. Even her own support team have hung her out to dry.

          • Brian Fleming says:

            But she has “a plan”, as she repeated ad nauseum in that interview. If it all goes pear-shaped, perhaps Slab’s next ‘leader’ should be Baldrick from Blackadder. He had numerous cunning plans, if I remember right.

            • lol ,Brian.
              She really does talk like a wee lassie out of her depth.
              We, the electorate have no interest in her ‘plan’ to Lazarus the New Labour brand Up here.
              She just doesn’t get it.

          • diabloandco says:

            To be fair to her and I struggle with that , she has had a variety of figures to choose from – anything from 11,000 to 9,000 to 695.

            What’s a girl to do?

            • I seem to remember that it was about 850 directly working on Trident who stayed in MOD accommodation Monday to Friday, then travelled home to England at the weekend.
              I could see why Kezia was kakking herself.
              JaBa the But , the Last of the Dumber Whine, seems to have absented herself from the fray.
              Or did somebody lock her in the broom cupboard with a carton of Walker’s Cheese and onion, and a litre bottle of coke?

    • Jan Cowan says:

      Unable to watch the whole interview – embarrassing. Truthfully, I felt sorry for Kez. I hope she watches it and reflects upon her position.

      • Macart says:

        Did you get as far as Bernard having to constantly repeat the question ‘would you sign the Claim of Right’, only to NOT receive an answer?


    • jimnarlene says:

      That was painful to watch. She clearly isn’t ready to come out of the shallow end, without her armbands; truly out of her depth.

      • Macart says:

        It was awful to watch, but you just couldn’t look away. It took me about three attempts to get to the end. True to form she saved the biggest howler till last and a complete evasion over Bernard’s question on signing the Claim of Right. The very cornerstone of Scottish democracy.

        Near as I can tell, her final answer boils down to ‘of course I recognise the sovereignty of the Scottish electorate, I’m just going to ignore it’. That and of course she continues to peddle the out and out LIE of ‘once in a life time’ referendum.

    • Patience is a Virtue says:

      A very clear nuanced position there from Labour !

  7. John Edgar says:

    No Vow like: Slab vows that as long as we are in the Union we will fight for you and defend you against our better together comrades, the Tories, who you did not vote for. We will pull more tax from the lowest paid yo compensate for austerity, Trident, pfi- schemes and UK vanity projects. To enable this to happen, do not vote to become independent to have governments you vote for. We, Slab, know we will never be in power in Holyrood, but yous need UK broad shoulders and drips from the sharing pool.
    This is our Vow, but where is Gordon, the deliverer?
    Sad day for Slab. If they sink below the sinking Tories, the portents were seen when Glasgow voted Yes.
    From Willie Ross to Kezia Dugdale, Lab, belatedly known as Slab to fool people, have been on the slide which rapidly went down hill after 2014. Soon, the only remnants thereof will be ennobled l, privileged Slab peers in the Lords. Ironic end to the former party of the working man and woman.

    • Robert Graham says:

      Yes good points , could you Imagine the total carnage that would result if our totally one sided biased media suddenly saw the light and told the truth for a change , these liars would disappear overnight , makes you yearn for a media like North Korea or Pravda in the old USSR.
      I doubt if we would fare any worse , but i guess we would miss the smiley face of our meja .

  8. Ruth says:

    Just brilliant!

  9. Albawoman says:

    Excellent piece of writing WGD. I laughed throughout. You are so expert at using humour to make political points. I watched Kezia last night. She used the notion of the great history of the Labour Party in Scotland. There is still this delusion that somehow the Slab lot are historically entitled to the vote.

    It will be interesting to read an objective history of the Labour Party in Scotland which was not written by Gordie Broon.

    Chapter One could be All Power Corrupts.

  10. Iain Ross says:

    Ah the ‘better together’ tax, great, so now we have to pay twice but it ok because we are get to be “British”. What would we do with out that comfort blanket eh?

    The thing I can’t stand about the Labour Party and in particular their Scottish division is they have always loved to wallow in the position of helplessness, crowing about the evil Tories and the need for social justice. Then came the referendum and it turned out that instead of a Scotland standing on its own two feet delivering left of centre policies and real change they preferred the Union and the British Establishment (Tories and all). Apparently the reason was related to International Socialism, which funnily enough is confined to the UK border, smelled much more like British Nationalism to me though.

    Then after the farce of the Smith Commission we have the ultimate irony, they try to get back to business as usual and start complaining about the Tories and the state of the UK. Only this time some how the SNP have morphed into the Tories as in the imaginary world of Labour the SNP actually have ‘super powers and control budgets and important stuff cos that what you get with the most devolvest toy parliament in the world’.

    To me the Labour Party do not want to make real change happen, they just want to be in power, and in power in a British context. They had the change to be part of change but blocked it, both independence and a federal UK. Now they are in the way along with their fellow Unionist travelers and that makes them all the same to me.

    Sometimes I struggle to work out who I like least the Tories or Labour. I have a degree of respect for the blue variety because at least they are honest about what they are all about. The hypocrisy of the red version (and let’s not forget the rarely spotted yellow version) just gives me the boak.

  11. Norma Slimmon says:

    Made me laugh out loud! A stunning piece

  12. John Edgar says:

    Asa Bennet in the Telegraph has, today, an article headed: Labour has a new leader, his name is David Cameron. DC has now teamed up with a former TUC wallah to promote benefits of the EU for the working man.
    What a transformation blue tory now red tory and vice versa. What do Ruth and Kezia think of that? It seems Corbyn is seen as lukewarm towards the EU
    ScotLab and ScotTory to become better united or yoons yoonited! Ruth and Kez slug it out for leadership.

  13. Pietro_McM says:

    “Instead we get a party that offers to put a plaster on the axe wounds inflicted on Scotland by the Tories, from the same party that held Scotland down while the Tories wielded the axe.”

    Spot on, Paul.

    And a deeply unpleasant sight it was. Hard for NuLabor to keep accusing the SNP of being, ‘tartan Tories’, when they were so enthusiastically acting as the real Tories’ butt-monkey proxies in Scotland.

  14. Jan Cowan says:

    Great stuff, Paul. Your last paragraph sums up all that those “feeders” have done to Scotland and how they plan to tie her people down for the rest of time.

    BOTH VOTES SNP on the 5th May.

  15. Jimbo says:

    I watched Dugdale’s interview with Ponsonby – What a disaster of an office manager she is.

    I don’t know who came up with their idea to tax the lowest paid via HMRC and then hand it back to them in a rebate from Scotland’s 32 local councils, but they obviously have some primary school weans helping formulate their policies.

    Why tax the lowest paid just to hand it back to them where your creating a situation that incurs extra cost to administer the rebate? What is the point? It would probably cost Labour more to administer the rebate through the 32 different councils than they’ll raise in tax.

    Why not just keep it simple? Do not tax the lowest paid then you won’t have to pay an army of people to hand them their money back.

    • Robert Graham says:

      agreed ,you see Kezia has a cunning plan to revive the fortunes of her dying party and reducing unemployment at a stroke, it is by proposing to employ all the folks in the soon to be closed Tax offices to handle these rebates , oops wee problem just popped up if i heard her rightly it was only in the first year , never mind the money saved by not employing these people processing this rebate can be added to the Air Passenger Duty that she has saved ,and this can go towards a great big party with fizzy stuff and things , Oh f/k i wish i had not said that they might add it as a last minute sweetener to lure the voters .

  16. hettyforindy says:

    Great piece, thanks. As for Kezia, she deserves no mercy, her hither and thither mode of politics, if we can even call it that, is a disaster and she is the final nail in the coffin for Liebour in Scotland. She is out of a job as of next week, join the unemployed BHS staff at the job centre Kez, this is 21st century UKok!

    • Brian Fleming says:

      But she leads “a completely autonomous par………….” Oh what the hell. A great read, Paul, and a very funny video Macart. Thanks to you both.

  17. Iain says:

    It’s very unfair to make the Head Girl do an interview with a grown-up.

    • Coolheads Prevail says:

      Och, it’s all right, Sally will hold her hand through the upcoming interview on Distorting Scotland.

  18. brianmchugheng says:

    Great writing. SNPx2 ☺

  19. I don’t think labour will really get it till next year and they (hopefully) lose their mandate in local government.

    • Ultimately Labour’s real problem is that they would rather Scotland had Tory government of England’s choosing than one of it’s own – as all Scots are increasingly realising.

  20. John Edgar says:

    If you want a good laugh, go the article by Martin Kettle on line in the Guardian, April,29. He postulates: “what next for Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP?” He acknowledges the current strength of the SNP and acknowledges the weakness of the opposition.
    Then comes the bit at the end – it shows a Westminster commentator out of his depth and out of touch as far as Scotland is concerned.
    He identifies that the Scottish opposition needs to “come together” and “reinvent itself”. So far so good. But then he goes on: ” A party with Labour’s policies led by a politician as authentic as the Tories’ RUTH DAVIDSON would get a lot of votes”.
    That left me speechless!

    • Robert Graham says:

      Thanks for drawing attention to this piece of totally mindless drivel and off the wall loony toons thoughts of a supposedly articulate educated person , christ do these nutjobs get paid for this junk oh god and when all else fails smears and all try stupidity that should go down well with the Unionist gang who are only differentiated by party name they are otherwise all the same hate SNP no real policies just not the SNP thats worked well so far eh? .

  21. Steve Asaneilean says:

    One thing Kezia did get right during her Ponsonby filleting was that (Not) Labour’s problems go back a long way.

    The endemic corruption and unethical behaviour of (Not) Labour local politicians and local authorities during the 60s, 70s and 80s was testament to that.

    All this culminating in the 90s with Monklandgate and the refusal by the the local MP and leader of the party, John Smith, to tackle it or even accept any responsibility.

    Then along came that amasser of grotesque wealth, Tony Blair, whose goal was to purge a Socialist party of anything resembling Socialism and the likes of Brown, Darling, Reid, Liddell and Wilson going along with it.

    I really think May 5th will show that in Scotland at least they are finished once and for all.

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