Ed Miliband: ‘I’m not going to have a Labour government if it means deals or coalitions with the SNP.’
Will these words go on Ed’s political tombstone?
Whoever thought it would come to this? Whoever could have imagined the people of Scotland would ever have to collectively pinch themselves. ‘He didn’t say that, did he?’ He did. He really did. This is not a dream. This is the reality of the union. Pinch yourself once more.
Faced with those pesky northerners screaming out for change by voting for the SNP, Ed – a strong sort, not one to be bullied by pesky Britain breakers – rules out working with them. The democratic will of the Scottish people – so beloved, part of a family of nations – gets thrown onto the scrapheap the moment the jocks deviate from the chosen path of righteousness.
No matter the nuance of the situation or the fact that real politik will come into play after the votes are counted; Ed Miliband, leader of the British Labour Party, insinuated he’d rather let David Cameron and the Tories in than work with the SNP. It doesn’t matter that another referendum isn’t currently on the table or that the SNP’s FFA plans would clearly get outvoted in the Commons. The SNP are the monster coming down from the vile north and proud British patriots won’t work with them. That sound? That was Jim Murphy battering his head against a wall. ‘Don’t say that, Ed! DON’T SAY THAT!’
The soundbite is out there and no amount of back-peddling will save Scottish Labour now. ‘But Ed wasn’t speaking to Scotland!’ cry the defenders of the Labour bandwagon. He might not have been speaking to Scotland but by jove was it listening. The message rang loud and clear: Scotland is only allowed to vote how Westminster wants it to and if it does anything else it will get punished by these petulant, short-sighted children who call themselves ‘politicians’. Feel the love, Scotland. Feel the love.
It can be no clearer now that Miliband is not leadership material. He has allowed himself to bullied by the right-wing Tory press at every occasion. He is a leaf on the wind but he does not soar, merely floats about, devoid of anything resembling conviction or purpose.
I had high hopes for Ed Miliband. I rather naively thought that he would stand up and show the British people how this union could work.
‘The people of Scotland have shown that they desire change and while I encourage them to vote for Labour, I make it clear, here and now, that if elected, my government will work with anyone who seeks to kick out the Tories and fight for a better future for all the people of Britain. The people of Scotland voted to stay in this union so let us show them that radical change can be achieved within the union. Let us show the people of this great nation that another fairer, more equal Britain is possible.’
Words not spoken. Ideas not shared. The path that was not taken.
Ed Miliband could have roused the English left, stood tall against the system he proclaims to want to improve and he could have led the way. Yet he has not. The Labour Party revealing itself once more to be the hollowed-out shell of its former self, devoid of passion, belief or a radical bone. So long, Ed. You may be around after May 7th but your chance at redemption has passed. Scotland remembers. It also has the internet. I should point out your promise to deliver Devo-Max after the No vote. We dreamt that though, right?
Now we come to the latest faux outrage of Labour’s northern branch office. A few numpties shout down Jim Murphy and Eddie Izzard in a public space in Glasgow and the media implodes. It was ‘absolute chaos’ as four ‘radical nationalists’ drowned out a bussed-in Scottish Labour rent-a-mob and the ever-so-compliant entourage of Scottish media luvvies. Cataclysm and chaos reigned in the papers and on the news reports. The vile nationalists chased poor defenceless Jim Murphy away. The bullies. Sturgeon must condemn. This is the Scotland you will get if you vote for the SNP.
Spare us the hyperbole. Spare us your faux-outrage. Sean Clerkin and few other zoomers who shouted down Murphy represent nobody but themselves. Yet the slavish media reported the ‘carnage’ with barely an ounce of journalism in sight. Painting Sean Clerkin and his mob as ‘nationalists’ – a deliberate ploy to tarnish the SNP – overlooks the fact that Clerkin has protested AGAINST the SNP at various events. Never let the facts get in the way of a good nat-bashing session though. Oh, how utterly tiresome this election has become. Some may call it ‘bias’ or ‘impartiality’. I say it just isn’t bloody good enough.
And while we should be careful not to lump in the good eggs with the bad ones by shouting ‘media bias’ at every opportunity, it’d be nice if some of the more reasonable journalists would stop apologising for this level of absolute idiocy. Yes, you are a journalist as well but this sort of hyperbolic pish does your profession no favours.
For once it would be nice if someone in the mainstream press called out the Scottish Labour Party on their hypocrisy. They condemn a few idiots shouting them down in a public space while they are utterly silent on the true face of British nationalism in Scotland. The ugly, violent face which rioted in George Square on September 19th after No won the referendum. The nationalism which forced an SNP activist to lock herself in a campaign office out of fear for her safety. These incidents have plenty of evidence to back them up. Yet the media remain strangely silent.
Scottish Labour cry foul of ‘cybernat abuse’ online while they take no action against the notorious trolls and online ‘abusers’ in their own party, highlighting their lack of integrity, their manufactured outrage.
Monday’s events were a ‘denial of freedom of speech’ they cry, apparently not aware of the definition of the term. Jim has the freedom to shout at his merry band of followers but people have a right to protest. I don’t like shouting over people and feel it’s counter-productive but claiming it’s an ‘attack on democracy’ is downright idiotic. Jim shouts and bawls on the tele and in the street. Pot please meet the fucking kettle.
Because the fact of the matter is they don’t really want people in the street to have freedom of speech. They want us all to shut up and eat our cereal. To listen with childish wonder as Saint Jim Murphy comes down from the mountain – and Gordon is resurrected from his coffin once more – to impart wisdom onto us mere mortals. Instead of facing up to their own failings, their own party’s inability to engage with the electorate, Scottish Labour wail and gnash at the reality. The people of Scotland are no longer doing what they’re told and how it stings.
This narrative of the nats being against democracy goes hand-on-hand with hacks and politicos spouting the ‘dividing the country’ line. It paints a picture of a Scotland on the brink of a violent civil war: carnage, chaos and cataclysm. It’s nothing of the sort. Most people’s experience of politics in this country is civilised, inspired even. Yet Scottish Labour and the unionist parties push these narratives purely because people are not doing what Scottish Labour want them to. They’ve lost hold of the leash and they resent it with such vehemence that they blind themselves to everything else. Scotland is theirs to play with. How dare anyone else – especially nationalists – take their ball away from them. It’s so unfair. Watch clips of Kevin the Teenager from Harry Enfield and you get an accurate summation of their behaviour.
The polls have showed consistent support for the SNP while Scottish Labour trails behind. The scaremongering hasn’t worked. The cheap stage-managed ‘rallies’ and PR stunts haven’t worked. Too many people in Scotland are ‘awake’ now. Too many have peeled behind the curtain, have taken to the internet in search of answers. ‘The SNP are really bad!’ being plastered over Reporting Scotland is not enough any more. A majority of Scottish people are demanding change. They are demanding a stronger voice in a Westminster system that they no longer believe works for them. The writing is on the wall for Scottish Labour and instead of offering a positive vision, instead of giving people hope, they throw their toys and slam down their sippy-cups in mock outrage that the plebs are ruining their cushy game.
I don’t know about you but I’ve become very tired of the mainstream press’ coverage of this election campaign. It has been dull and uninspired at best and damn right insulting at worst. Misleading headlines and obfuscation of facts. Endless reems of personal attacks with no grown-up discussion of policy. This has been an election of cardboard cut-outs and mud.
If there is celebrations in Scotland at the demise of the Scottish Labour party come May 8th then the only people to blame will be Scottish Labour. There’s real anger out there, real frustration at the continual farce of a party many people voted for the majority of their lives.
The Scottish people and the people of Britain deserve better than the coverage they have been getting.
Bringing out Project Fear’s greatest hits and playing them on a loop is just insulting to our intelligence. I just pray there won’t be another John Barrowman video. If there are celebrations among the nationalists and former Labour voters when Scottish Labour MPs lose their seats then that reaction, the release of so much anger and frustration, falls squarely on the Scottish Labour Party. You’ve taken the people of Scotland for granted for far too long and they know it.
So let’s get this general election over with and continue to push for change as this ancient establishment creaks and groans against the surging tide battering its walls.
We’re not asking for much. Grown-up discussion on policy, balanced reporting and fair representation.
Such relatively simple things but you’d think, judging by the reaction, we’d demanded the Moon.
Surely it has to be better than this?
Surely there’s more to the union than this?