Archive for May, 2015
All your questions answered about John McTernan, ace political strategist and spin doctor employed by Labour’s Scottish branch office as saviour to Jim Murphy, and to guide Labour in Scotland to a victorious win at the General Election – not.
Question: What’s his background?
Answer: Scots assume he’s a Scot but he was born in London in 1959. He was policy adviser for the ex-BBC Radio Scotland dead-head James Boyle who gave us the moribund anti-creative Creative Scotland. Later he became special adviser to Harriet Harmon when she was in charge of Social Security.
Q: Programmed by Labour from the get-go? A: There’s more. He was a Labour UK adviser on health, welfare, regeneration, defence and Scotland; and was Tony Blair’s director of political operations. As director of communications…
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Are you sitting comfortably? This past week has given us a few significant news stories. There’s the Royal Navy whistle-blower who has revealed that weapons designed to blow up half the planet and turn the other half into a radioactive wasteland are a disaster waiting to happen. In another example of rank insanity the Labour party in Scotland continues on its descent into self obsessed madness, although it had snapped the elastic band of nutjobbery quite some time ago. Now it’s twanging the ends on its forehead thinking that Ken Macintosh is the great new idea. Meanwhile the Tories are about to embark on an all out assault on our civil and human rights, introduce a snoopers’ charter and cut off the legs of the unemployed in order to teach them to stand on their own two feet. What passes for business as usual in this Great British northern province…
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So the Cameron one has deigned to bestow a visit upon the little Scottish people, who are decidedly unimpressed with his munificence. Caledonian ingrates. Davie promised, nay swore blind, that he’d look at proposals for further devolution. What more do those Pictish types want eh? David Cameron is actually going to think about Scottish devolution, and according to the fervid UK media, that’s pretty much a guarantee that he’s going to offer a new devolution settlement and kill Scottish nationalism stone dead again. In fact it’s cast iron and as solid as a vow from Gordie Broon, because that worked out so well for them the last time. Gordie promised all sorts of amazing super-powers, although the only one which materialised was the power of invisibility, and he kept that one for himself.
Mind you, a promise to look at something isn’t quite the same as a promise to commit…
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Not that anyone believed that the Royals were really politically neutral anyway. The only other institution which has an entire department of the BBC devoted to fawning over it is the Labour party in Scotland. They’re deep in mourning over at Pacific Quay. Following the party’s annihilation at the polls last week, rumour has it that John Boothman is writing letters in spindly black writing to government ministers asking for a state funeral to be presented by Nicholas Witchell.
The letters were all written between 2004 and 2005, when Alistair Darling was Scottish Secretary of State. But the Prince Over the Twatter didn’t write to Alistair, he only wrote on topics he cares about, like Patagonian toothfish, the albatross around his neck, murdering badgers, and homoeopathic medicine. This tells us all we need to know about how much he cares about Scotland, but then he’s not exactly Prince Popular here…
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It’s Sunday, and Jim Murphy still hasn’t resigned. The half of Scotland who voted SNP on Thursday wants Jim to remain in post. Jim lost over 97% of Labour’s MPs, he could still repeat the trick with their MSPs next year. You’d think the Labour party in Scotland would have got rid of him by now, being tipped off by the fact that SNP supporters are so keen for Jim to stay, but Strathclyde Uni’s least successful student is still Labour’s Scottish branch manager even though one unnamed MSP told the Sunday Herald that Jim is as popular as herpes.
There is no cure for herpes, and it seems there is no cure for Jim either. There’s nothing in the rules of the Labour party that gives the other members the right to evict him. Labour’s increasingly desperate MSPs and cooncillors must rely on Jim’s grace and statesmanlike sense of…
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