At the very moment that Jeremy Corbyn gave a rousing speech to the Labour party conference in Brighton and said that the party had never been more united, supporters of Richard Leonard, one of the candidates for leadership of the party’s Scottish accounting unit, released a statement to the press entitled “Comment on Jackie Baillie pish”. Only they spelled it “coment”, because the SNP has been in charge of Scottish education for years now and naebdie can spell any more. It’s all Nicola Sturgeon’s fault really.
In consequence, the past couple of days Scotland has witnessed the glorious sight of politicians in the parlie and commentators on the telly trying to mention Jackie Baillie’s role in Labour’s latest bout of self-destructive warfare without mentioning the word pish after a Labour press officer dribbled it all over a press statement to the Telegraph. Although to be fair this is an organ which has been known to be a conduit of gallons of Jackie Baillie in the past. So it was only reasonable.
The press officer responsible for the email, Stephen Low, a former BBC journalist, was apparently a volunteer in Richard Leonard’s campaign. Perhaps he learned about journalistic pish from Reporting Scotland. According to a report in The National today, Stephen is no longer working on the campaign. He wasn’t available for comment, or even coment. Maybe he was away for a quick Jackie Baillie. And there’s Holyrood this week having a wee conflab about the need for respectful language in politics. Oops. That’s turned out to be a whole bucketful of Jackie Baillie hasn’t it.
The pish which the “coment” had been in response to was a statement made by the lovely Jackie in support of Anas Sarwar, after deputy leader Alex Rowley had been caught on tape expressing support for Richard Leonard, even though as interim leader he’s officially supposed to be neutral in the leadership campaign. But it was worse than that, it was clear that there had been some sort of attempt to get rid of Kezia Dugdale, who had clearly jumped before she was pushed. That’s Labour in Scotland for you. They don’t much like the Tories, even though they’ll do deals with them on the sly. They really really hate the SNP. But they reserve their unadulterated venom for one another.
There was Jezza down in Brighton talking about how Labour was all singing from the same song sheet like one of Gareth Malone’s choirs off the telly, the Red Army one, and at the exact same time the Labour party in Scotland manage to make a sack of angry ferrets seem like a tree full of sloths suffering from an overdose of valium. We already knew that Jeremy has as much a clue about what’s going on in Scotland as Jackie Baillie does about numeracy, but this just lit it all up in big sparkly fairy lights for all the world to see.
The woman herself was pure Jackie Baillied off. Although probably not so much by any embarrassment caused to Jeremy Corbyn. She was one of Kezia’s supporters, and now her favoured candidate Anas hasn’t been having a great campaign, despite – or more likely because of – his entering the contest with the assumption that the leadership ought to be handed to him on a wholesale platter. Ever since, he’s had to firefight one problem after another, from his decision to send his kids to a private school, to his family company not paying the living wage or recognising trade unions, to his having dinner with a businessman accused of VAT fraud whom he praised as Scotland’s Donald Trump like that was a good thing.
Jackie only thought she was helping. “Richard [Leonard] must urgently answer questions about his role in this plot,” she demanded, and went on to accuse Alex Rowley of hypocrisy and betraying Labour members, saying that he needed to clarify if he had played any role in the plot to unseat Kezia Dugdale.
Alex for his part was equally raging and denied that there was any plot. That was just his opponents taking the Jackie Baillie. The only plot I’m involved in is a plot to get rid of the SNP, he insisted. So not to get rid of the Tories then. Nice to know where Labour’s priorities lie.
Don’t you feel terribly sorry for Jackie? I do, in the exact same way that I feel sorry for Paul Nuttall. He got caught talking a load of pish and was called out for it, and now he’s a byword for a Walter Mitty figure who doesn’t know the difference between something he once saw in a comic and real life. Mind you, we all saw Jacob Rees-Mogg as posh boy Cuthbert in the Bash Street Kids comic, so fair’s fair.
Jackie Baillie was previously best known for her liberal interpretation of arithmetic and her firm belief that numeracy is the interpretive dance of politics, and also for her attempts to persuade the people of Scotland that the entire point of hosting weapons of mass destruction on the Clyde was to keep open a medium sized Tesco Express in the Helensburgh area. But now she’s become a byword for micturition and taking the Jackie Baillie out of the Labour party has become one of Scotland’s favourite sports. Now whenever some apologist for British nationalism that thinks they’re not a nationalist at all is spouting off on social media all you need to do is to tell them to stop talking such Jackie Baillie.
All over the country people are telling their significant other, “Gaunnie pause the movie while I take the dug oot fur a quick Jackie Baillie.” Politicians are due to debate the mess and upset experienced by people who live near pubs and nightclubs who are subjected to Jackie Baillied patrons leaving the licenced premises and having a quick Jackie Baillie up their close. “I’m sick fed up of having to clean up that Jackie Baillie ootside ma front door,” said one distressed Dumbarton resident. I had to stop writing this blog article after Jackie Baillieing masel laughing at the self-inflicted disaster of the Labour party in Scotland.
The Wee Ginger Dug has got a new domain name, thanks to Indy Poster Boy, Colin Dunn @Zarkwan. http://www.indyposterboy.scot/ You can now access this blog simply by typing www.weegingerdug.scot into the address bar of your browser, the old address continues to function, the new one redirects to the blog. The advantage of the new address is that it’s a lot easier to remember if you want to include a link to the blog in leaflets, posters, or simply to tell a friend about it. Many thanks to Colin.
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