So, not satisfied with telling the people of Scotland that they no longer matter to Labour, Ed Miliband has moved forward and told the people of Wales the same thing.
The Westminster message has never been clearer; vote the way you are told or else.
We, in Scotland, expect this. We saw the contempt of Labour during the referendum, where the same people who are warning us about the dangers of a Tory government were standing, toe-to-toe with them, and were co-conspirators in making sure that, with less than a week to go, there is a clear and present danger of us ending up with one.
See, this is what makes the last few weeks so galling.
Here we have Murphy telling us that voting for the SNP is taking a risk that David Cameron will wind up in 10 Downing Street.
Even if it were not a flat-out and blatant lie, he has some brass neck trying to make out that we in the 45% will somehow be at fault if this country is saddled with that appalling result.
The 55% are responsible for that, and he was one of the principle architects of their “victory” – you know, the one they are presently choking on.
We wanted shot of all of this.
We wanted to neuter that risk forever, by making it irrelevant to Scotland which of those two loathsome bastards made it to that fabled House of Horror.
We bear not one iota of the responsibility for the constitutional shambles the whole of this island is going to have to contend with when this is done.
All of this is especially amusing when one considers that the two “main parties” have so much in common that they are doing their bit for each other, in order to keep the SNP out.
This is like The Sun’s north and south of the border endorsement scandal in triplicate.
We are told this is the closest election of a generation and we have Labour doing the work of the Tories and the Tories doing the work of Labour … and each telling their natural supporters that the SNP – not the other party – represent the biggest threat.
Ponder that for a second.
This is no longer about Ed Miliband versus David Cameron.
Added to the list of things they agree on is that Scotland must not have a voice.
And so we have Murphy, the leader of Labour in Scotland, looking like he might hold on to his seat with Tory votes … if we wanted a perfect analogy for how tightly wound these two are there would be no better one than that, except perhaps for Miliband himself telling us he’d rather have Cameron in Downing Street than have to do business with Nicola.
This weekend, in London, Michael Gove and his travelling circus picketed a Labour event, each of them dressed in an SNP t-shirt and a Nicola Sturgeon mask. Forget for a moment how amazing it is that the woman we’re told will have no influence has dictated the terms of this whole election when she’s not even on the ballot … think, for a minute, about Gove’s barmy army.
If the SNP repeated the trick, at a Labour or Tory event, with the opposition slogan on their shirts and masks of the Glorious Leader on they would get invited in for tea and biscuits. Indeed, one friend of mine swears blind she saw the two parties sharing a stall in the south side of Glasgow over the weekend and another said the two parties were campaigning virtually hand-in-glove in Paisley.
I would not be remotely surprised if these things were true.
I find it particularly worrying that, with the election only days away, we’re also in the land of the Dark Arts, with letters doing the rounds purporting to be from the SNP’s national office, but suggesting the party favours a deal with David Cameron and urging people to vote Tory.
Bizarre? Yes, except that these are doing the rounds in seats where the SNP have huge leads … and therefore can only help one party, and that’s Labour.
We’re also seeing letters from “members of the public” being sent out bearing the “dear neighbour” headline, purporting to be from residents who live in the same streets. These are asking people to vote Labour and are obviously mass produced, but fundamentally fraudulent and misleading.
I strongly suspect that as we go into the last week there will be things that will shock us, but as I ponder it all I find myself singing an old song; “Don’t worry about a thing, cause every little thing is gonna be alright.”
And why am I doing that?
Because we’ve outfoxed them and outgunned them here.
The stone wall strategy is a disaster for them, and plays right into our hands.
There are many potential consequences of this election but I was only genuinely nervous of one of them; that Miliband might be savvy enough to present the SNP with a choice they didn’t want to make. Come and be partners and let us prove to you, and your supporters, that London does not hate you and the union works.
It would have been a fraud, of course, but had he tried it he would have put us in the very position he has boxed himself into right now, one with no clear route of escape, one where every possible choice is a bad one, fraught with dangers.
The union has been revealed for what it is, and what we said it was all along; a confidence trick.
A despicably weighted arrangement where we and our brothers and sisters in Wales are considered an afterthought if we’re considered at all.
Cameron did that, on the day after the referendum, when he couldn’t bring himself to be conciliatory and generous to Scotland but instead leapt straight into politicking and used it as an excuse to hammer punch Labour by offering English Votes for English Laws.
Yet many of us predicted that very thing.
It was, to me, an obvious move, an open goal even a Third Division striker with a hangover couldn’t have failed to put the ball in.
Labour allowed it by the way they shamefully tried to play politics with the issue first, taking credit for The Vow, which, again, as predicted, turned out to be little more than The Daily Record’s version of collectable bog roll.
Within Labour, some saw the writing on the wall.
Johann Lamont jumped because she was one of the few in the party with the foresight to see the wrecking ball on its way.
I never rated her, not even slightly, but she knew the events of the referendum would haunt them, in particular, the sight of Labour and the Tories glued together. The election was going to be devastating.
Sick of her own position being undermined, she wasn’t willing to be the patsy when Labour reaped the whirlwind and so she went.
Labour could have used that as an opportunity to change direction, but they lacked even the first clue how to do that, and so they embraced the full horror of what was on its way and elected the one person guaranteed to make their position worse.
Their every act since has dug the grave a little deeper.
I have never seen a political campaign that has had so many mistakes on the side of the main parties.
But Labour’s performance in it has been truly abysmal, and Nicola’s stated intention to support a Labour government – even a minority one – on a case by case basis has raised an extraordinary possibility, especially when coupled with the Fixed Term Parliaments Act.
Miliband has spent so long in this campaign telling the constituent parts of Britain to sod off that he may find himself truly a leader without a country.
Despised in Scotland, rejected in Wales and defeated in England, he could end up lacking a mandate to govern any of them on his own merits, and if he maintains his intransigent position, the stone wall, there will be times, as a consequence, when he might well find himself unable to govern at all on any matter affecting only English constituencies.
This would have the perverse effect of turning the leader of the opposition into a de-facto Prime Minister of a vastly reduced parliament.
The Fixed Term Parliaments Act would lock Labour and its leader into this dreadful – and self-inflicted – Hell for a term of five years, after which they would probably be out of power for a generation, as Scotland marched off into the sunset.
See Nicola, as it turns out, knows even more than the media commentators and those who say she won’t wield power could ever have believed.
As long as the SNP continues to support Labour in confidence motions, the party, once in office, is stuck there unless it commits hari-kari and voluntarily hands over power to the Tories … and cue electoral oblivion.
I am no longer so sure that Scotland would punish the SNP for bringing a Labour administration to its knees, particularly if they had the alibi of having voted to keep it in office … and the Labour leader himself decided to step down.
So, lashed from the left by the SNP and lashed from the right by a media that despises him … if Miliband meant what he said about not wanting a government if it came with SNP “strings” attached you could perhaps understand why he feels like that.
It won’t save him.
If he decides not to form a government he will be ousted and whomever takes over in his place will simply bide their time and when the first major Tory bill is defeated by the parliament he or she will make their move and be Prime Minister instead. Whether they are any more amendable to a deal than he is would decide how long they stayed there.
All this would be no less than Miliband deserves.
Even as I write this social media – and the mainstream press with it – is almost convulsed with laughing disbelief at his latest publicity stunt; the Rock of Ed, his decision to have the key points of the Labour manifesto chiselled in stone, which, he says, will sit in the garden at Downing Street as a reminder of what Labour has promised to do.
If one had been commissioned to create a monument to mediocrity, this would be it, so says much of the media’s commentary.
Yet to many of us, it looks like something that is profound in a way Miliband doubtless never intended.
People online have christened it The EdStone, and that’s exactly what it looks like; a giant grave marker on which is carved their epitaph.
It is, in fact, a beautiful thing and he’s even signed it so that future generations will know who it was that destroyed not only Labour but the British state itself.
This is what the once majestic political party of the left has been reduced to; advertising, nine feet high, their lack of a single clue as to what constitutes a transformative policy, as well as their own intolerance towards immigrants.
There are four days to go.
As they’ve failed to see the writing on the wall, now it’s going to crash down around them.
Once again, people of Scotland, bring on your wrecking ball.
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