Bedecked in a tartan scarf in order to disguise himself as a native, Jeremy Corbyn came to Scotstoun in Glasgow today. It even has Scot in the name, how more Scottish do you want him to get? Not Scottish enough that the Labour party will respect the democratic will of the Scottish electorate if the SNP wins the General Election in Scotland – but tartan scarf! It’s the McCringe tartan, that’s Labour’s clan. Sadly it wasn’t enough for one local resident, a well known Christian fundamentalist extremist who supports Boris Johnson and thinks that Jesus wants us to hate on Muslims and gay people.
The Labour leader managed to muddy the waters of the stagnant pool which constitutes Labour’s policy on Scotland, but then this is Jeremy Corbyn here. No one looks at Jezza for a 10 second soundbite that plays well on the tellybox. What you get is a detailed exposition complete with footnotes, which is based on an extended metaphor about seizing the means of production in a Bolivian vicuña farm. And even then he manages to sound really bored when he’s telling you, despite the fact that socialism as it relates to the Latin American peasantry would be his specialist subject on Mastermind.
Anyway, the key point that he wanted to get across to his Scottish audience was that there would be no Scottish independence referendum within Labour’s first term in office. At the rate the Labour party is going, we’ll be lucky to have a Labour first term in office before the end of the 21st century. But let’s be kind and assume that Labour does manage to win the election, Jezza just told us that Scotland won’t be getting another independence referendum for at least five years.
There was the sound of screeching brakes from the Labour party’s press office afterwards, when a press release clarified that Labour’s position could change if the SNP win a majority in the Holyrood election in 2021, adding that the Labour leader didn’t think that the SNP could win a majority in 2021.
However when pressed by a journalist what he’d do if the SNP win a substantial majority of seats in the General Election, Corbyn sort of maybe perhaps possibly hummed and hawed a bit. “If the SNP win the majority of seats that’s the election of those MPs,” he said. Because apparently those MPs won’t be elected on any sort of a mandate at all. What we can be quite sure of is that there’s going to be many more SNP MPs in Scotland than Labour ones. Labour’s going to be lucky to hang onto a single seat, so they have no moral or democratic right to lecture Scotland on what Scotland can get.
Neither can the Tories, although that doesn’t stop them. The Tory policy on Scotland is Scotland gets what Westminster tells it, and if that means that Scotland can’t get another independence referendum until a majority of English MPs say so, then that’s just tough for Scotland. Precious union. The most perfect union of nations ever. Waugh waugh fnaugh fnaugh. Insert weak pun here. Fnaugh fnaugh waugh waugh.
We get plenty of soundbites from Boris Johnson. We also get some seriously dodgy analogies. In what was billed as his first keynote speech of the election campaign, the Prime Minister likened Brexit to a Pot Noodle. “It’s ready to go, just add water, stir in pot … it’s there,” he told us. Although it’s not as bad an analogy as some of his others. Like a pot noodle Brexit is unpalatable, tasteless, and cheap and nasty. It promises you a tasty meal and you end up with a disgusting mess that you can’t swallow and which you end up tossing in the bin. A few years ago someone said that pot noodle was the “slag of snacks”, and in the exact same way Brexit is the slag of politics.
Like all pronouncements from this Prime Minister, the latest speech was a confection of lies, wrapped up in a bow of deceit. Again he asserted as a fact that there’s a deal between Labour and the SNP. Although to be fair to Boris Johnson, not all of his speech was lies. Some of it was waffle, and some of it was racist dogwhistling. We even got British jobs for British workers. Still, it will play well to the kind of person who thinks that Scotland should just sit down, shut up, and do what its betters tell it. Which isn’t the likes of you or me.
The highlight of the speech, well I say highlight, was when Boris Johnson said that having referendums on the EU and Scottish independence would be “onanism”. There’s floods in Yorkshire, a report on Russian funding of the Brexit campaign and the Tory party that he’s hiding, he’s denying basic democratic principles in Scotland, and he chooses to talk about masturbation. Not so much throwing a dead cat on the table as throwing your schlong. And what he’s done in effect is to call those seeking another EU referendum or another Scottish referendum “wankers”. If he’s not talking about spilling seed he’s talking about spaffing it against a wall. That’s where British politics is at these days.
Back in the world of the grown ups, the SNP like the Lib Dems before them, have started legal action against the unconscionable decision of the UK broadcasters to exclude them from debates. The action of the broadcasters is particularly indefensible in Scotland, where the SNP is by far and away the largest party. Scotland is not merely some region. It’s one of the constituent nations of the UK, moreover it’s a nation which was denied the right to have control of broadcasting by Tony Blair’s government – despite a promise that broadcasting would be a devolved power. So it’s a double perversion of democratic debate for Scottish political distinctiveness to be drowned out by the issues and parties which dominate in England.
We can have the man whose commitment to Scotland consists of donning a tartan scarf. We can have a childish former public schoolboy with an obsession with masturbation. Neither of them respect Scotland. We need more grown ups in politics, not these no-marks and chancers. Some of the SNP candidates need your support. Please give generously to their crowdfunders.
Philippa Whitford – Philippa is a breast cancer surgeon who cares passionately about the defence of our NHS. The NHS is under threat like never before, we need people in Westminster who are able to speak up for NHS workers and service users articulately and knowledgeably. Help to re-elect her as MP for Central Ayrshire.
Anne McLaughlin – Anne is a tireless campaigner for local people in one of the most deprived constituencies in the whole of the UK. She previously served as MP between 2015 and 2017, her passion and commitment both to Glasgow North East and to Scottish independence make her the ideal person to return as MP.
David Linden – David is my local MP, representing Glasgow East. This is an area blighted by poverty and deprivation. It needs a strong local voice who will fight for the people of the East End. David was elected in 2017 on the slimmest of majorities, let’s make sure that he gets a landslide this time.
I’ll be punting a few other crowdfunders for SNP candidates over the next few days.
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