The Don Quixotes of the Arran ferry

The great Spanish writer Miguel Cervantes gained literary immortality for his novel Don Quixote, the tale of an errant knight who famously battled against windmills which he claimed were monsters, something he had in common with Donald Trump. Don Quixote tried to compensate for the low esteem in which his compatriots held him by winning mighty victories against imaginary enemies. But you don’t have to go back to classical Spanish literature in order to see delusion in action, there are more modern examples of the serially incompetent who claim to win imaginary victories in order to compensate for the contempt in which the public hold you. And here in Scotland we have the Labour party, its cheerleaders in the Daily Record, and the Don Quixotes of the Arran ferry.

Back in the dim and distant past in 2005, when Scotland was too wee and too stupid to have a proper government and we just had a Scottish Executive instead, back when the d’Hondt electoral system was working as its designers intended and was producing Labour Lib Dem coaltions, back when the Unionists had the power to convince the public that their victories over windmills really were the defeat of monsters, the CalMac contract came up for renewal. Our Labour masters put the contract out to tender, as they were obliged to do under EU law. The Daily Record didn’t mount a campaign to save CalMac, the Labour party was only doing what the law told it to do. The executive put out a press release saying that you can’t have a government breaking the law now, can you. We’re as upset about it as you are, but our hands are tied. It’s not our fault. And since the SNP wasn’t in power at the time, they couldn’t blame the SNP for it, so that was that.

Fast forward a decade, and the CalMac contract came up for renewal again. Cue Labour wailing and weeping and gnashing of teeth and the appearance of a monstruous windmill in the shape of an SNP government that Labour claimed was hell bent on selling off a beloved Scottish institution whose contract Labour had put out to tender just a few years before. “The SNP want to sell off CalMac to Serco, the basterts!” cried Don Quixote from the bar of the Stornoway ferry, pitching and rolling and staggering even though the Minch was for once as smooth as Wee Dougie Alexander’s baby bum like cheeks. It’s just that pitching and rolling and staggering is Labour’s normal means of locomotion these days.

Labour then started a campaign to pressurise the Scottish Government to do what Labour wouldn’t do ten years earlier because Labour said it was illegal. How very dare you not break what we told you just a wee while back there was the law, they said, hoping that since that uncomfortable fact wouldn’t be mentioned in the pages of the Daily Record that no one would be able to remember something that happened not that long ago. However since Scottish Unionism is the political philosophy that is dependent on the public forgetting what Unionist politicians were promising just last week, you can understand why they thought it was a reasonable step to take.

After all, Ruth Davidson fought an entire election campaign on the basis of trying to get people to forget that she’s a Tory and an apologist for Davie Cameron and £7 billion extra of cuts to the Scottish budget. When you have the collective amnesia of the Scottish Unionist press on board, you can try to make any leaky auld ship look like it’s a brand new ferry. Ruth Davidson’s little band of buffalo riders and their pals in the press have been acting like they won the Scottish election even though they came a very distant second. They’re about to discover that their boat won’t float and they’re doomed to spend the next five years screaming SNP bad. The only ship that’s been torpedoed here is their own.

You can bet a ticket to Rothesay that if the SNP had indeed said that it wasn’t going to put the CalMac contract out to tender and it was going to break the law, that the Labour party would have cheerfully got into the same boat as the Tories to fire a broadside at the illegal actions of the Holyrood administration would have done their utmost to sink the entire Scottish Government. The truth of the matter is that all that the Labour party is interested in is in scoring a few cheap political points using whatever it is that comes to hand at the moment. They don’t have a long term strategy, unless incompetence counts as a strategy. It’s their incompetence that has reduced them to their current dire straits.

Labour are serially incompetent, so they need to find imaginary victories in order to have any victories at all. They are now in such a state that they couldn’t score a victory against a light bulb. How many Labour MSPs does it take to change a lightbulb? All 23 of them. One to arrange a PFI contract to get a company his mate runs to lease a bulb from and then charge the public through the nose for generations to come for a new light fitting, five to make excuses for the new light fitting falling out of the ceiling, ten to claim it on expenses, and the rest to blame the SNP for James Kelly falling flat on his face in the darkness.

It now transpires that there was no real threat to CalMac’s contract as the private company in contention admits that its bid was not realistic. That hasn’t stopped Labour and its pals in the Daily Record crowing that it was them wot won it. Sure they did, they tilted at a windmill and told us it was a mighty monster. The original Don Quixote had his faithful servant Sancho Panza to burst his bubble and bring him back down to earth. Labour and the Tories don’t have that, all they have is the puffery of a Unionist media. But their bubble has already burst, and all the hot air in the world won’t float the Don Quixotes of the Arran ferry. They’re on their way to the bottom. Unlike Cervantes’ great creation, these Don Quixotes are destined for oblivion.

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20 comments on “The Don Quixotes of the Arran ferry

  1. So the question is, do I continue to buy a hot chocolate for 2 scotpounds every time i get on the ferry, in support of mother Alba? Or maybe bring my own mint tea bags for a sugar free dose of hot water?

  2. Conan the Librarian™ says:

    Pitching, rolling and staggering is certainly how George Foulkes gets around.

  3. John Edgar says:

    Pitching, rolling and staggering. Is that the same as pooling and sharing with the broad shoulders of the union/Union dragging you down? I suppose Gordon will be working on another book: “My pool, my share!”
    Did Kezia intervene in this or has she gone quiet? Has Gordon worked out another Vow? And has Ruth found another antic?

  4. Tinto Chiel says:

    ” How very dare you not break what we told you just a wee while back there was the law, they said, hoping that since that uncomfortable fact wouldn’t be mentioned in the pages of the Daily Record that no one would be able to remember something that happened not that long ago.”

    Another WGD scorcher to underline the hypocrisy and stupidity of British Labour in S______d. They are so far beneath contempt and out-of-date they will surface shortly in Van Diemen’s land.

    The only strategy the Yoons have left is to rely on the goldfish memory of the Scottish electorate by manipulating MSM and Vichy Vision, it seems. Very much the law of diminishing returns, I think.

    And now you seem to have acquired your own wee bacon roll, Paul.


  5. Alasdair Macdonald says:

    Mr Dug,

    I had meant to correct your spelling some time ago, but have only got round to it now. It is ‘BASTURTS’, not ‘baste rats’. When used as an adjective it is ‘BASTERN’.

    • Alasdair Macdonald says:

      Aaargh! Bastern Autocorrect! Not ‘baste rats’ a culinary activity in restaurants for dugs, but ‘basterts’. Apologies for wasting your time.

  6. Macart says:

    The Daily Record editorial staff and the Labour party have made a laughing stock of themselves over monsters that never were. They gambled, as you say, that no one remembered their own experience ten years earlier and that no one is familiar with the tendering laws.

    A stupid, crass and thoughtless attempt to score political points and they used Cal Mac’s workforce, as per usual, to sell their narrative. Their faux triumphalism endangering the very outcome they claim to have sought in the first place. They didn’t care about the workforce They didn’t care about the public they were misleading. They only ever cared about their objective. The attempt to discredit and destabilize, in any way possible, the Scottish Government.

    Their actions have no other purpose (since they were never required) and they speak volumes about the nature of those who took part in the farce. A non existent vow and a non existent monster.

    Labour and the old media… politics UK style.

    • Saor Alba says:

      Spot on again Macart. It’s getting near time for the rest of the Scottish electorate to realise that the Unionist parties don’t give a flying fcuk about them, but only about their own miserable selves.

      • Macart says:

        Its been well dissected by Stuart Campbell, Derek Bateman and our own host. There was never any need for the supposed interventions of either the Labour party or the media.The process was a matter of legal precedent and requirement, and of the two bidders, only one met the criteria. The SNP could have used the result to their benefit in the recent election, but chose not to, much to their credit. They released the result as and when required to. They followed the tendering process to the letter and no more can be asked of the government than that. The result therefore is beyond reproach.

        Only through the frankly ill considered actions of those attempting to claim some faux reflected glory could the result possibly be called into question. Were I a Cal Mac employee, I’d be somewhat unhappy with certain folk claiming to have pressured a government into a political decision.

  7. fraser says:

    No puedes hacer rafting si no llevas puesto un salvavidas.

    • mogabee says:

      Does that mean that SLabour are chancing their arm? If so you’re right!🙂

      • fraser says:

        It is beyond taking a chance mogabee, it is a kamikezia hate ritual hoping that the unionist msm can hypnotize the Scottish populace into forgetting we are educated and forget the real Truth .. forget the real Truth .. forget the real Truth .. forget the real Truth🙂

        • douglas clark says:

          I was going to pick you up on your spelling, then I saw what you did!

          kamikezia ought to be added to dictionaries.

  8. mogabee says:

    Don Quixotes was a favourite book many years ago. It’s a better story than the one SLabour are trying to write!

  9. douglas clark says:

    ‘Tis a shame that all your epistles are not shoved through the letterboxes of the uninformed folk that voted no. The informed that voted no are beneath contempt.

    More power to your paw!

  10. douglas clark says:

    O)r what the canine equivalent of an elbow is!

  11. punklin says:

    Thank you WGD. Cervantes would be proud!

  12. Steve Asaneilean says:

    What I found most galling was that the DR and (Not) Labour got in such a “it was us what won it” froth that I have yet to hear either of them congratulating the hard work of the Calmac staff for securing the contract – because even if Serco were never really at the races Calmac still had to up their game to secure the contract by meeting the tender requirements.

    As such anyone who uses their services regularly, as I do, can hopefully look forward to improvements (though personally I think it’s impossible to improve on a Calmac fried egg roll).

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