Just as you’ve vented one Etna’s worth of eruption because Johann Lamont has been being disingenuous with the actualité, she goes and does it again, even worse this time. She’s Scotland’s very own renewable resource of splenetic bile. If we could harness all the energy produced by people overcome by an urge to hurl a shoe at the telly when the wummin appears, the UK government wouldn’t have to bribe the Chinese to build a nuclear reactor in Somerset.
It’s not that Johann is a chancer that gets me, nor even that her political dance moves are executed with the grace and elegance of a brain damaged elephant on rusty roller blades. I can live with the fact that she wears the permanent expression of a person who’s holding in a fart in case it’s a wet one. I can even forgive her for having less intellectual depth than a children’s TV continuity announcer and the vision of an actor in a Specsavers advert.
But what really gets my goat is the way she imagines she can rewrite the past, and expects us not to remember what she really did or said. Or more commonly, didn’t say or didn’t do.
Just last Sunday she denied that she’d ever said Scotland was a “something for nothing” country despite copious evidence to the contrary – up to and including videos. Now in this week’s Furst Meinisters Questions, Johann has accused Alex Salmond of going off on holiday during the Grangemouth dispute, while she was valiantly saving the plant single handed.
It was only last week for feck’s sake. Does she really think we don’t remember what really happened? The events that unfolded allowed us to compare and contrast how the three political factions vying for the trust of the Scottish people – the Scottish Government, the UK Government, and the Labour party – dealt with a major threat to the future of the Scottish economy. And Johann did not come out of it well.
The Scottish Government had a plan A. It was to do all they could to get Unite and the representatives of the Evil One to sit down and negotiate in order to keep the plant open and save the threatened jobs. The Eck also had a plan B, in case plan A went tits-up, to find a buyer for the plant so it could be kept open and save the threatened jobs. He had been in talks with just such a potential buyer. There was even a hint there may be a plan C, in the shape of a promise that an independent Scottish government would nationalise the plant so it could be kept open and save the threatened jobs.
The UK government also had a plan A which was essentially the same as Eck’s plan A, the only difference being that Tories think Jim Ratcliffe is a jolly good chappie and UK Plc needs more of his entrepreneurial spirit. The UK government had a plan B too. Admittedly it was, “Well, there’s always the Job Centre,” but at least it constituted some sort of statement on what might happen next. Plan C? What? By this time they were too busy discussing the Royal Christening and had lost interest. Who cares about Grangemouth, didn’t Kate look gorgeous?
Johann and the Labour party had no plan at all. She didn’t even get as far as Season One Episode One of Sesame Street in the lettering of plans. She had no idea how to achieve any sort of solution. Her sole contribution to resolving the crisis was to shriek that Jim Ratcliffe is an evil bastert. However just about everyone in Scotland had already formed that opinion without Johann’s input. Jim Ratcliffe knew that too. The only question is why Johann imagined that he was going to back down because she was doing her beloved impression of a stairheid rammy. Like it’s worked so well on Eck. But Johann doesn’t answer questions, so we’ll never know.
Only one of these three players is not responsible for the state of the UK energy sector, and only one does not have or did not once have the powers to regulate the sector to prevent the Grangemouth crisis from arising in the first place. Only one was not responsible for allowing the carnivores of capital to devour Scottish workers’ futures, and selling off all state assets in order to sook up to the City of London. Can you guess which one children? Because Johann bloody Lamont can’t.
Johann Lamont managed to make less of a positive contribution towards solving the Grangemouth crisis than the actual fucking Tories. Indictments don’t come much stronger than that.
When Johann denied she said Scotland was a something for nothing country, she was referring to something that took place a whole year ago. And if you try and peer out of the furthest corner of your eye aided by the wholesale consumption of alcohol, pills, and herbal cigarettes after you’ve sacrificed a goat to the goddess of amnesia, you might just be able to persuade yourself that people will have forgotten that you said it, and forgotten that you’d called a press conference so they could hear you say it, and forgotten that it provoked a storm of anger and protests and derision that was all over the telly and the papers until your press guy leaned on the media to shut up with the story.
But now she wants us to forget something that just happened last week. Believing in Johann Lamont now requires short term memory loss as well as a Stalinesque facility for airbrushing last year’s press conferences so they no longer contain the phrase “something for nothing”. Goldfish have better memories than that.
There are only two real possibilities here. Either Johann Lamont is a liar of sociopathic proportions, who just doesn’t give a shit whether people believe her or not, or she has lost all grip on reality, has long since teetered off the brink of sanity and is now in freefall imagining herself to have superhuman powers to change the fabric of reality. Of course, these are not mutually exclusive categories.
Whatever, she is unfit for public office. If she had even a nanogramme of self-awareness she would resign immediately, and offer her job to someone far more reliable, capable and trustworthy. Like Eric Joyce or Jar Jar Binks.
Under Lamont Labour has no policies. It has commissions that won’t report back until after the independence referendum. It has condemnations of Alex Salmond aplenty, although many are invented and most are spurious. And it has the deep frozen silence of the vacuum of outer space. Labour gave up speaking the truth to Scotland many years ago. Now instead of a social democratic (never mind socialist) party fighting for the rights of workers we get the pathetic self-serving vacuities of Lamontism instead. Johann will go back to hiding away wherever it is she goes when she’s avoiding the contradictions thrown up by her many attempts to change the recent past, and she will say nothing at all.
But as the Russian poet Yevgeny Yevtushenko said, “When the truth is replaced by silence, the silence is a lie.” Every time Johann Lamont is unavailable for questions, she is lying to the people of Scotland.