Sometimes my alter ego ‘Mad Jock’ sometimes goes ‘off on one’ and from the extremes of his madness, touches down on planet sanity for a few brief seconds before flying back off into the surreal world of honesty, fairness and egalitarianism he likes to live in.
Mad Jock commented that Labour were looking increasingly isolated at Holyrood, after the budget debacle, and Labour’s voting tactics lacked any form of common sense (even abstaining would not have been as stupid as voting against) courtesy of the irrational dominance of their ‘SNP hate glands’.
The wheels are falling off Labour’s bus. Elmer has no where to hide from the Megrahi revelations ( as he is Murphy and Brown’s creature), the Scottish Tories are starting to get a bit sick of CHQ’s meddling and control freakery and some Tories are starting to think that Fiscal Autonomy is not a bad idea. The Libdems .... well they are just hanging on above the MSP qualifying vote share at present.
Having been tipped off by a friend in the Fife Labour Party – which detests Glasgow Labour with a passion – I followed the whole Moffat fiasco for ‘Labour List’ commenting on the machinations going on and the damage this was causing to the party locally.
If we go back to the Anne Moffat’s de-selection stramash in East Lothian that threatened to implode the local constituency party and look at what the East Lothian Courier, previously to 2007 having had an editorial line that was pro Labour, was now saying:
· Anne Moffat was a ‘Blair babe’ union official parachuted into the seat against the wishes of the local party
· On the first occasion her expenses looked a bit excessive the local party had moved to de-select. The National Executive refused her removal and Murphy was sent in to sort the problem out – basically tell the local party to get back into their box. Moffat stated that Murphy had been very helpful in settling the grievances of both sides.
· The next occasion was in 2005 when again the local party sought to deselect her as the hue and cry began over her expenses. East Lothian Labour is still hurting from the clear cases of jobs for the boys and girls exposed when the SNP /Libdems took council control in 2007. Then there were the revelations about the Labour Council chucking Iain Gray ‘back handers’ and freebies against electoral law. The farce of the previous East Lothian Council CEO and his Labour authorised pay off which eventually the new council got curtailed in a deal that saw them drop legal proceedings against the CEO for contractual irregularities – it was suggested, though never proven as it did not go to court, that the CEO’s new house locally was courtesy of a land deal and planning permission massage.
· Again the NEC said ‘No’ using the Unison block vote but that was not OK this time around for the Local Party which was now split with only minority support for Moffat. This time Murphy and Elmer were sent in to gain some form of holding agreement, damage limitation and sought to have the Local Party vote in the only Labour Club that would still allow elements of Moffat’s support entry. This time Moffat made clear that Murphy and Elmer were out to get her – she posited that Elmer was the candidate in waiting when she went. In the end the vote was taken at a neutral venue in Haddington and Moffat was gone. Yet it turned out she had already been given ‘ill health early retirement’ by the Labour whips - a nice little earner to be sure. Marshall mark 2 – and leaves a concern that she knows where many of the East Lothian Labour skeletons are hiding and her silence was ‘bought’ in Labour’s traditional manner.
Now it might be said that this could be a case of smoke with out fire but it is common knowledge that after the Wendy debacle (a Blairite) Brown pounded his clunking fist on the table and Gray (a Brownite) was foisted on the party in Scotland. It raises the question if part of the deal was that Murphy (a flip-flop merchant par excellence) would get the Scottish Office if he ensured the West Coast Labour Mafia’s support for Elmer. Brown has his puppet, Murphy gets to control Elmer’s strings for the West of Scotland Mafia and everyone is happy. Maybe we are right in questioning Elmer’s ‘lack of knowledge’ of the UK Labour Party’s wishes as Elmer’s puppet masters are now fully exposed in their dishonesty over Megrahi.
Forget her expenses, she was an unreformed ‘Blairite’ so Moffat went on Brown and Murphy’s say so– Elmer did what he was told to, unwaveringly and unquestioningly. So Mad Jock had some good evidence for his comment that Elmer, “ ...would not go for a pee with out Brown or Murphy’s say so.”
The next question is what did the Tories and Libdems see as an advantage of siding with their mortal foe the SNP and voting with them on the budget?
Again the Tories and Libdems could have chosen, with a more politically astute Labour party to abstain. The budget would still have gone through by a clear majority with only the two Greens opposing.
I have been made aware that lots of Scottish Tory folk from the P.O. down are not happy with London CHQ’s assumption of control and finances over the party in Scotland. One who, if cut through middle would say ‘UK Union for Ever’, has said that my views on fiscal autonomy are now not that far apart from his own. There is also a group based around Lord Forsyth that are concerned that Cameron’s proposed forcing of the amendments to the Scotland Bill will signal the end of the Union they believe so whole heartedly in. Many of the Tory backs woods men and women in Scotland resent the accusations around their failure to increase the number of Tory MP’s from Scotland. They consider that Calman was an albatross around their neck and like the ancient mariner were struggling to get their message across. English ‘High Tories’ of the likes of Matthew Parris are openly admitting the growing split and distancing that is growing between Westminster and Scotland. Parris suggested in a piece in the Times suggests it may be no bad thing for the Conservatives in Scotland to break with London because ‘London just does not understand post devolution Scotland’.
As to the Libdems: their position is still best described in a cartoon that appeared ( I think) in the Scotsman post 1997 – it had Donald Dewar ( trousers around his ankles) climbing into bed with Jim Wallace (who was wearing a bra, skimpy knickers, suspenders and stockings) saying, “.. and just how much is this going to cost me?”.