Thursday 31 March 2016

Killing politics

I am 65 years old. In the, slightly more than, half a century that I have been politically aware, I cannot recall a time when ‘we’ were not in the midst of an economic crisis; on the verge of and economic crisis; or struggling to recover from an economic crisis. In all circumstances, the measures commended as the solution to the economic crisis; the means of avoiding it; or the way to ‘safeguard the recovery’ varied, not according to the nature of the crisis, but in line with the personal and partisan interests of the person doing the commending.

There’s rarely anything new in politics. There’s just different ways of presenting the same old crap. The faces change… slightly. But the message remains the same. Be afraid!

Be afraid that you will lose whatever you have. Be afraid that you will lose relative to some other individual or group. Be afraid that things will get worse. Be afraid that you will miss out on an opportunity to make things better.

Be afraid to choose. Be afraid to decide. Be afraid to act. Be afraid to do none of these.

Politics, which should be a contest of dreams, hopes and aspirations has become, instead, a battlefield of nightmares. The dreamers, whose visions of a better community, a better society, or a better world, once inspired endeavours to realise that better community, society or world, are now mocked as woolly-minded fantasists or vilified as dangerous radicals.

To speak of such things as hope and aspiration is to be relegated to the fringes, well away from the ‘real’ politics. Politics has become the near-exclusive province of the pedlars of doom. Once we might have been lifted up by ambitious reformers – bright of eye, big of heart and bearing bold messages of promise and potential and possibility. Now, we are daily brought down by the purveyors of despair and their pebble-eyed, abacus-hearted priesthood of economic orthodoxy.

Alistair Darling is an arse. I guess that’s what I was leading up to. But the statement that this or that British politician is an arse is such a commonplace that some preamble seemed to be required. He’s an arse.

During the first referendum campaign, Darling’s role was to present blatant lies and patent nonsense with a desperately dull, desultory, droning delivery that his operators hoped would lend the authority of a dispassionate automaton to the dishonest drivel oozing out of his head. Many of you will recall that his favourite gobbet of untruth as being the maliciously inane fiction that an independent Scotland would have been liable for the full cost of bailing-out the nominally ‘Scottish’ banks. A plainly false claim that was, of course, never challenged.

The British establishment rewards its loyal servants, and Darling has now been moved from storage in a dusty cupboard at British Labour HQ to the rather more salubrious surroundings of the home for discarded political whores within the precincts of the Palace of Westminster. From whence he can be dragged to recite some portentous scripted pish at the press of that button located just below the slot with the sign saying, “Insert thirty pieces of silver here!”.

What words of wisdom is the ‘Arse That Saved The World’ bestowing on us now? What pearl of profound witlessness is he casting before the plebeian swine? Turns out ‘wur doomed’ again! Who would have thought it? If we don’t do what Darling has been instructed to tell us to do, a bad thing will happen that is worse than the bad thing that will happen if we do (or don’t do) the other thing which some other Darling-thing is telling us is the only way to avoid bad things happening that are worse than the bad things that are going to happen regardless of what we do – or don’t do.
Specifically, the cost of your mortgage will rise if you vote to leave the EU.

Are your knees jerking yet?

A question occurs to me when I hear this. It’s a question that often popped into my mind during the first referendum campaign when I heard the latest pernicious propaganda from Project Fear. Does Darling know that he’s talking nonsense? Or does he actually believe this stuff? Is he a liar? Or is he just unbelievably stupid?

Just as it was obvious to any thinking person that independent Scotland would NOT have been burdened with the cost of rescuing criminally incompetent bankers (for reasons I long since wearied of explaining), so it is just as glaringly obvious that mortgage rates are going to rise regardless of anything else that happens. That’s because there is no other way for them to go. The only way really is up.

Is Darling aware of this? Has it occurred to him? Does it matter? Would he read the script supplied for him anyway?

It’s of no consequence whether there is any truth in the script. It doesn’t even have to make sense. The only consideration is that it is a message of fear. For such is the language of a politics that has been left a dessicated, hollowed-out husk, sucked dry of all dreams, hopes and aspirations. A politics that has been stripped of any relevance to people. A politics that is lost to us – unless we seize it back. And soon.

This article was first published at Indyref2.


  1. "Is he a liar? Or is he just unbelievably stupid?"

    Or is he both? Who can tell with the (mainly) Labour "big beasts". At least with the BLiS lot, you can be sure it's both.

  2. 'It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it'. A quote by Upton Sinclair.

    Though it could be more apt to apply it to downright lies from politicians who ride the gravy train, which has many carriages and never ending tracks.

    Not sure how some people sleep at night, quite frankly.

  3. Darling is like those actors who take part in idiot commercials. He does and says these things because he is told to by the people who pay him.

    I often wonder if these people ever look at their own performance and reflect.

    I doubt it, they would have to confront the fact that they would do anything for money.


  4. Peter I agree with everything you have written and said about Darling and the other troughers, unfortunately it now doesn't matter, the problem was and is that the independence supporter rep A Salmond DID NOT show these fear mongering arseholes up for what they are, he did not have answers enough to convince the undecided, IMHO they didn't win, we lost,and there lies the problem.

    Our representatives are not stupid, but they were very badly prepared, they should have forseen every possible negative that would have been thrown at them and countered with their positive answers. To me the indy was lost in large part to A Salmonds inability to answer convincingly the monetary question, instead unlike him he allowed the arsehole Darling to get him on the back foot, which resulted in the rest of the arseholes taking up the baton.
    The SNP's continual argument that Scotland is totally financially independently solvent, and oil is a bonus has never been proven to Scottish people and that to me is a massive problem, the Scottish Government has to produce information redily understandable to all, of Scotlands income and expenditure without the oil figures, and if it can be proven that we are not a financial basket case we at least have a chance of converting some undecided voters.

    Until that happens the unionists do not have to do anything,they have the ability of the status quo, horrendous tho it is, we have to convince people through providing proof, that we are NOT better together, Scotland can do better.
    I have read many of your comments on other sites and I think the Scottish Government should set up forums to engage people like yourself to come forward with suggestions and ideas to progress independence,and also to point out mistakes and how to do it better. Scotland has a wealth of talent and it should be accessed properly

    1. We've been through this countless times since the first referendum. And the reality doesn't change no matter how often or how vigorously it is misrepresented. That reality is that there was nothing wrong with the Yes campaign's message. The problem was that we were unable to adequately convey that message to the people of Scotland due to the power of the British state's propaganda machine.

      If we want evidence of this, we need look no further than your own remarks regarding the currency issue. Because what you refer to is NOT the Scottish Government's position, but the media's distorted portrayal of that position. The Scottish Government's actual position was entirely reasonable and perfectly sound in both economic and constitutional terms. It was neither the ideal solution for Scotland, nor the ideal solution for the rest of the UK (rUK). But maintaining the currency union, at least as an indefinite interim measure, was the compromise which best served both nations.

      It was the threat to abolish the currency union in an act of petulant revenge that you should be questioning. But, instead, you dutifully follow the line laid down for you by the mainstream media.

      Likewise with the matter of oil. The Scottish Government has been proven right - in the most spectacular, if in some way regrettable, manner. The oil price collapse has had only a barely perceptible impact on Scotland's economy. The unionists and their friends in the media were hoping that it would ruin us. They were sorely disappointed. Despite the massive and precipitous fall in oil revenues, Scotland's economy contracted by less than 1%.

      And yet you appear unaware of this. Why? Because the media buried the information under an avalanche of economically illiterate drivel about a £15bn deficit. Or was it £10bn? Who knows? When you're just making up the figures as you go along they could be anything.

      The point is that all the information needed to recognise the brazen dishonesty of the On campaign was available. But it had to be sought out, whereas the disinformation of the anti-independence campaign was rammed down our throats every minute of every day in an effort at mass deception unprecedented in peacetime.

      There is absolutely nothing wrong with the case for independence. The economic stuff is a distraction. This is a constitutional issue. And the constitutional case is unchallengeable. We will be better prepared next time. But it will not be a case of altering the message so much as improving the delivery.

      There have been significant changes in both the mainstream and the alternative media over the last couple of years. We won't get fooled again. So long as those who aspire to the restoration of Scotland's rightful constitutional status desist from echoing the British establishment's grinding negativity and start helping to spread the positive message of the Yes movement.

  5. My remarks regarding the currency issue are what I have been hearing comments from undecided and naysayers, I was aware of Salmond's stance and the correctness of it, my problem with it was that he allowed Darling and others to put him on the back foot, he was not IMO agressive enough, he did not respond that legally and morally the rUK could not stop an I Scotland using sterling and should have pointed out the pettiness more forcefully by ridiculing Darling and Osborne by the usual ( it's my baw and your no playing with it anymore and am taking it away )

    Unfortunately, maybe not, you have picked me up wrongly, I most certainly did not fall for the shit put out by the mainstream media, I investigated information where I could, I visited many sites and blogs, I even commented on a few, the position I refered to re finances and solvency above I still adhere to
    Great, Scotland and the SG are proving in a positive way that yes we are not a basket case we can survive without the great benefit of oil, but as you say this is hindsight, my point was, that not enough evidence was forthcoming at that time to persuade the undecided, I disagree that the economic case is a distraction, unfortunately most voters are mostly focused on keeping their heads above water and they need the reassurance that their quality of life will not go down the toilet Anyway we will I hope agree to disagree
    I and my family voted for independence and the SNP, and will continue to do so because we believe that Scotland is being governed better and fairer, but and it is a big but, we are not sycophants we don't think that everything the SNP does is super duper,if they make a mistake they should be held to account, some of the websites i have been on are fanatical,
    with any dissent ridiculed,the SNP are doing a good job just now but just like any other party they have to have their feet held to the fire to make sure they continue to do so

    1. Oh dear! You claim to have "investigated information", but are evidently unaware that Alex Salmond and others made the very arguments that you claim they didn't. And very forcefully.

      Everything you say is an echo of what was peddled by the mainstream media at the time. Even using the same stock phrases.

      I'd ask you to point me to one example of somebody claiming that "everything the SNP does is super duper", but I long since learned what a waste of time that is.

  6. OK Peter it's your baw and you can interpret or misinterpret my comments as you see fit, and you can be as confrontational as you want,i was commenting that in my opinion A S and the SNP obviously did not reassure the electorate enough, irrespective of the, I know, massive biased onslaught they faced, hopefully your assertion that it will be delivered better next time will come to fruition.

    All the best