Monday 28 September 2009


Times are certainly difficult for Labour in Scotland. An average of polls over the last year show that the SNP are running at 37% with Labour trailing at 29%. The two minor parties are running 14% and 13%. I’m not a huge fan of political polls, regardless of the kind of news they are delivering, but as big a difference as this over averaged over a year must tell us something.

For the London elections too, the contest is a two horse race. Under Jim Murphy, support for Labour has fallen by 5%.

This week as Laurel and Hardy, better know and Murphy and Gray, prepare for and rehearse their joint act for a bit of light relief at the Labour Party Conference, they must react with some dismay to the kind of stories that a desperate English Labour Party are putting about. After all it is they, and not the English who face a by-election in the next few months.

So Mr Milliband thinks that this is a good time to point out that there is not that much difference between Labour and the Conservatives. Of course wee Ed is right. What will change if we get the Tories? Trident? Afghanistan and funding of the war there? Cuts? Referendum of Scotland’s future? Reduction in Scotland’s pocket money from London? Work for Incapacity Benefits? Council Tax? Private Finance for Schools and Hospitals? Nope, certainly none of these. The truth is we will notice very little difference.

So much so that the Right Hon the Noble Lord Mandleson (och I’ll not bother with all of his title, it would take up the whole article). Suffice to say that his First Secretaryness has let it be known that he is available for work with the Tories. Are these people preparing for coalition government in an attempt to keep the SNP and Liberals from forming the next government?

Going into the by-election would the comedy double act care to let us know if they agree with their senior colleagues? Do they agree that the Tories and Labour are more or less the same party? Are they happy to offer their services to this party? (And would the Tories want them?)
Btw. Why are these two in the picture leaning over to the side? And who is that bloke with Jim Murphy? Answers on a postcard.


  1. Well that’s a new one on me. I guessed that a number of the Scottish Labour dross MPs once booted out, would be looking for space on the party list to become MSPs and thus stay on the gravy train and lower the tone of Labour in Scotland even lower (into minus figures). While the English Labour garbage would be clambering for seats in the House of Lords (an element of that from some of the Scottish crap too). But making themselves available to the Tories? That’s just great, what a strategy, they could have their membership cards on Etchisketch® and just rub it out and fill in the blank each time.

  2. I have to say I cannae think of one Scottish Labour MP who I would like to see in Parliament. Not one. There are a few LibDems I could cope with, Kennedy in particular.

    And then, with Independence looming, the question has to be asked, what will happen to all the 'Scottish' Lords and Ladies? I say 'Scottish' cos they don't actually represent any constituency. If they are Life Peers do they stay there, even if we have nothing more to do with Westminster? Do they kick out all Lords with a Scottish connection, or just those who were Scottish MPs.

    I suppose it all depends on how the English deal with their own Independence.

  3. Munguin.

    It seems that Mandleson would do anything to stay "important". (Let's hope he doesn't want to become President of Scotland!)

    As Mandleson is a very very clever politician maybe Mr Cameron would be happy to have him on side, rather than opposing.

    I think it would be quite easy for most of the right wing of the Labour Party to cross the floor just as Mr Churchill did when he saw no future for himself in the fastly disappearing Liberal Party. Do you see any similarity in the situation?

  4. SP....

    No, I can't think of any I'd want to see in Edinburgh either. And I agree that Mr Kennedy might be able to make something of the rabble of Lib Dems and provide some joined up opposition.

    Interesting question about what would happen to the Scottish Lords. How do you define someone as a Scottish Lord? For example what about Foulkes? He's actually English (born in Shropshire and went to school in Hertforshire), but he is Baron Foulkes of Cumnock because he was an MP for that area, and has gone on to make a pest of himself in our Parliament. Is he a Scottish Lord or an English one?

    It would be interesting if any readers have legal knowledge that would answer this question.

  5. Tris...

    I watched part of the news at 1pm and Iain Gray made a speech. The hall seats about 3,000 but your lucky if 200 were in the hall.

    Before Gray was up mantering (new word) the Skull Murphy was up and made no mention of the SNP, that was kept for Gray.

    So your right, they are Laurel and Hardy.

    Labour are indeed like the Toffs and it is hard to tell the difference although Cameron will scrap ID cards which im for.

    Mandelson can say what he wants, lets face it what has he got to lose ? He is not an MP so he is just an unelected spiv.

  6. Spook

    The waste of money on the unworkable ID cards complete with dodgy technology was a farce. If Cameron ditches them, it will certainly be a plus as far as I'm concerned. (If)

    Yeah, Mandleson is probably scared that he will be left without a job when Labour loses the election. To be fair to the bloke, revolting though he is, he is a hard worker and he loves power. He probably reckons that by the time Labour get back in, if ever, he will be too old to be a part of it.

    Let's be honest too. With the exception of Ken Clarke there's no one in the shadow cabinet who knows their arse from their elbow. They may know what knives and forks to use at the Mansion House, what dinner jacket to wear at Buckingham Palace and how to dress for Ascot, but they are bugger all use to anyone for anything else. Lord Meddlesome might be able to steer them through, just like he has with Jimmy Snot.

  7. Good point, Mandy is a hard grafter and your right about the Toffs. They don't have much experience and the Big Beast is, well a big beast.

    I think Cameron will have to come clean on some of his polices and i don't think most people trust them yet. Only time will tell and they have about 8 months.