Storm clouds billow and the wind moans as we peer at the ghostly outline of the castle, black against the inky night. Through the woods torn by the gale, a desperate figure struggles onwards clutching a small bundle. It is the life-enhancing serum, the last chance for survival of the disfigured bag of bones barely breathing inside the coffin lying open in the damp dungeon. Will the traveller make it on time or is this the moment when, finally, the blood-sucking bag of corruption croaks and dies in its deserted stronghold?
It probably will require a stake through the heart to finish off Scottish Labour and even then, you feel, a spindly hand will reach up and grip the side of the coffin. That’s what makes horror movies so much fun – you never quite know.
Today’s Ashcroft polling
dispels any lingering doubt about how dire Labour’s position is, demonstrating that the excuses that his first round of Scottish seats were all in known Yes voting areas were unfounded – his selection of eight seats this time is just as bad with the biggest swing of all from Labour to the SNP in the totemic Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath ‘stronghold’ of Gordon Brown.
It doesn’t mean this is how we will actually vote, it’s true but it does show how the Scots are thinking and there’s little difference in reality between Labour, Lib Dem and Tory seats as if to confirm that it is the entire Westminster hell hole that is being rejected with the added relish of a revenge vote by defecting Labour people sickened at what their true party has become.
It’s an unfortunate link to mention the Unionist journalist Jenny Hjul in a piece about horror films but she is in the Herald today announcing the piece de resistance of the No movement…a pro-Union coalition to encourage anti-SNP tactical voting. Yes, the people who boasted they were better educated than Yessers are showing just how stupid they are by repeating the same mistakes. Scotland in Union will be Better Together Mark Two. Same people, same outlook, same doomed policy of pretending to have common interests when to the voters they clearly are an alliance made in Hell.
Telling Labour people they must vote Tory or that Tories now find it acceptable to vote Labour is death on a stick in Scotland. The message is now 35 years old but the diehard Britnats are still living in the Tory-voting 1960’s. Watch out for former Army officers, investment bankers, landowners and vested interests telling us that saving Britain is more important than party – even if it means Ed Miliband ‘destroying the economy’.
This chimes with David Torrance’s increasingly desperate Unionist pleas that ‘Britain isn’t broken’.
(Strange I thought that was the phrase of his party leader David Cameron before the election). We are to believe that this is a great country – just discount the evidence…of benefits so low they are in breach of Council of Europe civil rights levels…of social mobility going backwards…of inequality levels nearly the worst in the OECD…old people dying of neglect…young people abused by organised gangs and ignored by the authorities…of disabled support denied…of food banks…grasping politicians prostituting themselves…facilitating and accepting evidence from torture…unsustainable debt…failed pensions…even letting down allies by failing to defend the country properly.
But all this to the true believers is not a negative but a matter of pride, above party politics and above policy. You’re welcome.
But I suspect the very people they wish to help – the Jim Murphys with their own team of Better Together retreads – will groan with despair as the grisly spectre of the No campaign looms again over Scotland. Murphy may wish people privately to hold their nose and vote against the Nats but he can’t defend either Labour members doing that or Tories backing him. Oh, the exquisite torture.
The Hjul piece is also a reminder of what is not at stake this time and that’s independence. Much as readers here would like it to be and much as Alex Salmond hints there may still be a way, this is explicitly not a vote for independence. That was settled last September and the result accepted – by most. There will be no Westminster deal that delivers independence ‘by the front, back or side door’. The SNP’s objective is to wrest powers from Whitehall to be used within the Union context – that’s the settled will of the Scottish people.
Following the precedent of the referendum, there can’t be any move towards independence without a second one, nor should there be. (There is a distinct possibility that the conditions which make that happen could emerge – see previous post).
This is a no-risk vote, just like voting for the SNP in 2011which many did in the knowledge that they would have a separate say on independence if they elected an SNP government. This May is not about a vote to bring Scotland out of the UK but to make sure the Scots get what most have wanted all along – maximum autonomy within the UK.
Labour people can see that a vote for the SNP will provide support to remove the Tories and replace them with a Labour government that will be obliged to deliver for Scotland on extra powers – it is the perfect solution (unless Labour voters really do dislike Miliband enough).
There is nothing guaranteed to add to Labour’s discomfort more than bringing back from the dead the Better Together ghouls who so revolted Scots last year. This could be the first time the sequel is actually better than the original.by