I’m almost sorry – almost – that the next month will be spent, instead of arguing politics with my fellow man, writing the first draft of my next work.
With the general election just the other side of NaNoCamp, I’ll be taking a wee hiatus from the merry cut and thrust of the Westmonster parties screaming in unbridled xenophobic terror at the thought that some uppity jocks might actually be elected. In an election. By voters, many of whom are also Scots of some sort.
Of course, since I’ll be writing about the Victorians, I imagine the outpourings of David Camerong, whatshisnameagain Clegg and the human Milliband will feed somehow into what I’m writing.
And of course, there’s Jim Murphy, a man so determined to refuse to admit Labour are finished in Scotland, he’s trying to bring back glue-sniffing at football matches. Anybody who “can’t remember” whether they’ve sniffed glue or not is a liar, take it from me. I haven’t used toluene since 1980 and I still remember it VERY vividly indeed.
I wonder if I’ll miss Murphy’s idiotic pronouncements? Probably not. Or Nicola Sturgeon being attacked with Gestapo-like efficiency about having both clothes and hair – while not having kids.
For the last twenty years or so, elections have been fought, not on policies but on the moral vacuum at the heart of your opponent’s soul. There’s been no refutation of anything Salmond or Sturgeon have to say, just the sort of refusal-to-understand, hands-up-in-horror approach the tabloids have to child killers. We’ve seen Sturgeon as Miley Cyrus, so what’s next? Alex ‘n’ Nicola as the Moors Murderers? The Wests? Venables and Thompson? Or is that too far from the racist stereotypes the media are pushing?
It’s bizarre, watching a general election being fought where none of the main parties have anything worthwhile to add, but simply spew vitriol over everybody else. Hysterical, though.
What all these unionist commentators are all missing is, the SNP have long been regarded as harmless eccentrics in Scotland. Their followers are traditionally the wackos and crazed loners that you don’t mind saying ‘hello’ to in the pub, but that you try to avoid getting into conversation proper with. Like most fetishists, they had nothing else in their lives – or to talk about.
So how did they suddenly end up with one hundred thousand members, clear policies of social justice and led by brilliant strategists? Nature as ever, abhors a vacuum and that’s what Westminster politics has evolved into. Scotland’s voted Labour ‘to keep the tories out’ and been rewarded by three Thatchers, a Major and now Cameron. During the eighties, as Kinnock swerved to the right, following the trail of breadcrumbs dropped by The People’s Princess, Margaret Thatcher, the likes of Blair and Murphy came up the food-chain, learning how politics worked. As Ken Livingstone said at the time, “Thatcher’s greatest triumph was to convince just enough of the electorate that there was no sensible alternative to her policies.” And that’s the lesson Tony Blair and Jim Murphy learned at her knee.
There is no difference nowadays between the red tories and their blue equivalent. There’s even been talk of a Labour/Conservative coalition. Now that I’d pay to see! Both parties pissing over their core supporters from a great height, sharing power – y’know the way Cameron ‘shared’ it with poor wee whatshisnameagain Clegg – and doubling the SNP’s support while they’re at it.