My week began in a seriously weird way * and ended, as a Scot with little understanding of grammar might say, ‘even weirderer.’ Politicians shouted ‘squirrel’ in all directions, their utterances nuttier than a squirrel’s turd. ( * See previous essay, A Weird Week.)
For a start, we had two annual conferences held in Scotland, one for the Labour party and its affiliate, BBC Scotland, and one for the Conservative party, and its affiliate, the Scottish press. It was difficult to tell them apart. Impossible, really. Reading from identical mantra was confusing: ‘pity the poor because it’s the poor’s fault they are poor’ being somewhat circumlocutory logic.
Egalitarian to the letter they detest all foreigners equally, unless rich depositing trillions into the City of London’s corrupt coffers, or buying up London property without paying taxes they do not have to pay because avoidance is legally approved by the UK Treasury, an institution happy to help any foreigner avoid tax. “This way to our HSBC office, sir.” And both parties promised millions to help students get into more debt, having voted to impose higher education fees in the first place.
Miliband told his Labour supporters to vote Labour, and Cameron told his Tory supporters to vote Conservative, a total waste of time and money, if you ask me, because they could just as easily have stated the bleeding obvious on Skype from Westminster or sent a cheesy Blackpool postcard.
Meanwhile, the cadaverous representative on Earth of the British Labour party’s Scottish branch, Jim Murphy, looked increasingly wacky and witless as he contemplated the wipe-out of his beloved rulers of Scots, and his career. Fewer Labour MPs in Scotland than there are Ukip MPs included his own shaky seat, a punishment for Labour’s enthusiastic support of British imperialism set against Scotland’s political aspirations.
Murphy’s unbelievable volte face on every principle he has ever held, the same he used to abuse the movement for self-governance, left voters stunned. How can he parade it and not think anybody notices?
He will argue he has the courage of his contradictions. Had Murphy told us before the Referendum Jesus walked on water, today he would tell us it was ice.
Both prime minister Cameron and Labour’s Miliband said a vote for the other party was a vote for the SNP, and if the SNP get most votes then the other party would get into Westminster. Practising democracy is not a public right, it’s an abhorrent thought, an abomination. Furthermore, if the SNP get all the votes and thus all Scottish seats, Tories and Labour will ensure the SNP – meaning Scotland – do not have any influence on the United Kingdom of which Scotland is a part and partner. They will defy the will of the people by joining forces, Labour with Tory, a government of national unity, or put another way, rival mobster gangs agreeing a truce to carve up a third territory.
A government of national unity was immediately interpreted by the population as an illegal bunch of unrepresentative wankers telling the electorate no matter who they vote for they will still get what Westminster wants, so like it and lump it.
By Friday, increasingly obvious to politico watchers, was the madness of politicians claiming the only clear and present danger to the United Kingdom is the will of a large portion of its electorate. Power must always lie with Westminster and English foreign policy. It voters do not do as they are told they will find they are powerless to alter matters.
Suddenly all those warm, fluffy celebrities imploring Scotland to stay in the United Kingdom and, (in their hackneyed words) retain a great marriage because they love us, sounded more like denying rape, Your Honour, because ‘Scotland was a willing partner.’
Both leaders, Miliband and Cameron, spoke with posh English public school accents through their nose, and both wobbly leaders allowed apparently revered old figures to make hate speeches to assembled faithful followers sitting in sparsely populated auditoria.
One in particular, David Hamilton, confusingly from Dalkeith, an ex-miner and Labour MP about to retire, whose physiognomy resembled the coal face he once worked at, exuded a mentality still fighting Nazi Germany.
The word ‘socialism’ didn’t pass his lips once. (That squares with his vote for £30 billion more of austerity cuts.) Instead, he whipped up a froth of frenzy denouncing the invading army. “Let’s stick it to the bloody SNP!” was his too late ‘I’ll see you in hell’ death rattle, as if delegates were about to stick it to born-again vegetarians, or cat lovers, and needed expert guidance as to the correct target. Some members of the audience grimaced with embarrassment.
A political party without a manifesto whose only policy is, ‘punch Scots who oppose us,’ isn’t likely to draw new adherents to the cause. One supposes Hamilton has a long-suffering wife used to his Stalinist rants. “What dae Ah want? Ah want ma dinner. When dae Ah want it? Ah want it noo!” (Thumps kitchen table.)
“We are going to miss him,” wept Iain Gray, wondering who Hamilton was.
No one had heard of him, not even his Midlothian constituents, surprised to learn they were represented at Westminster. Only the bruised man he allegedly assaulted during the miner’s strike remembered him. You can imagine the whispers that went around the audience as Hamilton left the podium. “Ach, you cannae beat an auld school diehard fer stickin’ it tae the enemy.” True, and old diehards should be beaten with a stick until they acknowledge they live in the 21st century.
The week got weirder still. A video clip surfaced showing Scottish Labour group spinaroo meister John McTernan on a panel at a Conservative meeting.
He is seen without his circus ringmaster costume advocating more privatisation, a policy once anathema to socialists, and how it was “A good thing [Margaret Thatcher] did what she did” to the UK economy. When he said ‘economy’ he meant people.
There he was, calmly, obsequiously, telling right-wing Tories he too was really a right-wing Tory, and by thumping implication, his Labour party loved right-wing orthodoxy. Observers might have been forgiven for thinking they were attending a session of Socialists Anonymous. “My name is John McTernan, and I am a socialist.”
“What else would [McTernan] say at a Tory conference?” came the stupefying response from a Labour party spokesperson. Well, how about, “Let’s stick it tae the Tories!” No? Oh, of course, I forgot. They are one and the same these days. The Laboratory Party.
You can always tell a London politician from a normal politician by the company he keeps: his bank and his rent boys.
The Westminster paedophile case reared its ugly rump again when it was admitted that incriminating files naming names thought long-lost had been discovered, but Her Majesty’s government was not going to release them to the press or the victim’s lawyers. This piece of impure protecting past impure was met with derision from all quarters of the public. “It’s disgusting,” said one hapless victim of the well-organised paedophile ring. Presumably Scotland Yard detectives, thoroughly dischuffed at all the official hindrance they are encountering into their investigations, are busy sharpening stakes to drive through the hearts of those politicians they know to be filthy, lying kiddy fiddling scum.
Some poor woman elected as leader of the English Green party suffered a brain freeze – no doubt a result of climate change – when interviewed on radio, faking a choking cough and cold as the excuse she could not answer simple questions, such as, what is your name? Ah, the hard questions first.
Meanwhile, every half-baked Unionist hack predicted the end of civilisation as we know it should the SNP gain too many seats. The end of the broken United Kingdom. The world has always been ending. The date depends on when you came into it.
“Do not let them break up our country!” they screamed, omitting to signify which country they were talking about, but reminding us the British Isles is England and only England as far as England is concerned. Is it not unnerving to understand at last that they do not give a damn about Scotland, never have, never will, so long as Scotland remains docile?
To cap my thoroughly weird week Ukip was expected to become the second largest party in England after the General Election in May. That defender of warm beer, cancer from fags, (not an Etonian fag) no abortion for women raped or for any other unwanted pregnancy, and repatriation of all people with weird skin colour. Ukip will rise almost to the top, ‘toppling the Liberal-Democrats’. Should it happen it signifies that the English electorate has given up all hope, and will rather vote for one of the worst racist parties in British history, next to Sir Oswald Mosley’s 1932 ‘Blackshirts,’ the British Union of Fascists, because all the others are insane.
Somewhere among all the insanity were retired generals, and politicians with shares in armament companies, exhorting us to bomb the Ukraine, Russia, Isis, Afghanistan – forgetting we are there to protect theft of valuable minerals and a planned oil pipe line – and naturally, bomb Scotland.
As I said, a really, really weird week.