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The Stone Wall Strategy

500So, 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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12 comments to “The Stone Wall Strategy”
  1. edstone ha ha i wonder who suggested that statesman like gesture to him i guess it must have been willie rennie who on tonights BBC leaders debate acted like one of those glove puppets the ones who when you pull the little string it goes squawk squawk in his case it was referendum referendum referendum like a bloody demented parrot maybe his earpiece link to base was stuck

  2. Thanks so much for an excellent summing up of the election thus far. It has been so entertainting and a lot of it borders on the surreal! I mean a stone as reminder of vague, unmeasurable targets.

    Fantastic piece though.

  3. I think you have bigged up Johan LAMONT somewhat with her having so much foresight.

    “Johann Lamont jumped because she was one of the few in the party with the foresight to see the wrecking ball on its way.”

    The only wrecking ball she saw was one named NICOLA who would not have held back as ALEX did from letting her know how Un-genetically programmed she was to lead anything, let alone a political party.

    “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.”

    It did not stop HER from sharing the same platform, & smiling happily, NOT something she was known for in Holyrood, Christ her slapped could turn sour milk, NOPE! She was as happy as Curran & all the rest of them to stand with the Blue TORIES against SCOTLAND.

    “Sick of her own position being undermined, she wasn’t willing to be the patsy when Labour reaped the whirlwind and so she went.”

    Her position had been undermined from the minute she took over from hapless Gray. Hell she could not come up with a decent question of her own back.

    She not only read from the script produced for her, she stuck to it rigidly. Even knowing she was like a broken record, stuck but repeating over & over. But when her masters said jump, she just asked, how high?

    NO way was anyone in the Labour Party in SCOTLAND going to have a free reign to actually think for themself. Last time that happened, it cost Wendy ALEXANDER a brother. When she did break with protocol, with her BRING it ON.

    Lamont, was scared to say NO or defy her masters down in London. And she knew once they got rid of the closest person to her in Holyrood, that SHE WAS going to be next, so yes, she did jump ship. But only because she knew she was about to be pushed.

    All that aside, great read…

    • Absolutely, she was in effect pushed, she was ineffective, dispensible, Jola followed orders. Bet she still got a nice pay off and pension, not so for the many people on zero hours or less, waste of space trougher.

  4. 1. I think that you are confusing Ed Miliband with David Cameron with respect to his lack of respect for constituent parts of the UK. However, when Ed M campaigned in Scotland during IndyRef he was assaulted by the Nats, Jim Murphy has been assaulted a number of times. Maybe Nicola Sturgeon should control her Nationalist thugs, including the CyberNats and Neil Hay. The Nats are meant to be in Government – have some professionalism.
    2. Lamont was ineffectual. I am still angry about her comments about the Branch Office …. for sure Westminster do largely control things they are the headquartered there, most of the MPs are English. What does she expect? For a long time Scots MPs have been disproportionately represented within the Labour party … and there are a fair few Scots representing English constituencies. Would an English MSP be selected? MSPs with English grannies do not count.
    3. I am shocked at the continued anger at the Labour party sharing a stage with the Tories. What did they expect? Left to the Tories the IndyRef would have been lost, with only Ruth Davidson leading the charge as it were. They have insufficient funds to have led an independent campaign. I hardly think that they expected the betrayal of David Cameron the following morning though, otherwise they would not have gone along with it. Even though Miliband doesn’t have a lot of knowledge of Scotland, Alistair Darling headed the campaign and other prominent Scots were involved. I actually hold them culpable. But I do think that the Scots are being overly emotional about this, judging it as some great betrayal – both the Labour party and the Conservative party (although I am not convinced that the Conservative don’t actually want to be rid of Scotland but can’t say so obviously) are unionist parties. It made sense for them to campaign together. It soon fell apart when Cameron divulged his true colours though, which have been further shown during this election campaign.
    4. Your comments that a vote for the SNP isn’t effectively a vote for the Tories is bizarre, maybe not in Holyrood but at Westminster it is. A vote for the SNP which removes a Labour MP reduces the chance of Labour forming a government. You in Scotland might be quite happy for a Tory government down here (although it reduces funds for essential services in Scotland via Barnett but you might actually have to use your tax raising powers and be unpopular then rather than blaming it on the government down south). I personally live in a safe Labour seat but under the yoke of a Tory council which has been massacring local services, but somehow found the funds to issue a £4million loan to Lancashire Cricket Club for a new hotel.

  5. Jackie Ogden:

    Your post is so full of arrant nonsense that I’ll do no more than leave it here for others to dismantle.

    But here’s an answer to one of your ludicrous assertions.

    Mike Russell, of the SNP, an MSP in this parliament, was born in Bromley.

    Christian Allard, another MSP from the SNP, was born in France.

    Indeed, across the benches in the Scottish Parliament you can hear multiple languages spoken from Italian to Urdu.

    Your bigotry is showing with even that simple statement which bears no relationship to reality.

  6. Jackie Ogden: you write that Ed Miliband and Jim Murphy have been assaulted and that ‘Maybe Nicola Sturgeon should control her Nationalist thugs’.
    Why do you attribute them to be ‘her’ thugs’? That is slander, unless demonstrably true.

    Any thuggery would be an affront to responsible law-abiding Scots (the great majority) and no favour to the SNP. Any assault of course would be open to criminal prosecution.
    If you had witnessed any such an assault in person; or if you possessed any actual evidence that Nicola Sturgeon approved it and orchestrated it (rather than merely your own unsubstantiated allegation that this is so) – then of course your duty would be clear: to come forward with what you know, i.e. to go to the police and make a statement. So… Have you done so?

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