24 April 2011

The Labour Party death-wish

OK, the latest opinion poll (in Scotland on Sunday) has confirmed that Labour is facing disaster in the elections, with fat Eck edging ever nearer an absolute majority. And you’re consoling yourself with the thought that a healthy thrashing might do Labour some good: a cleansing of the dross that clutters up the arteries of what was once a vibrant, wilful, campaigning organisation. Out of the miserable depths of defeat will emerge a phoenix, renewed in personnel and engaged in intelligent policy-making, ready to take on its opponents with refreshed vigour. No more complacency, no more tired reiteration of fatigued attitudes. Things can only get better. And all that …

Aye weel. Unfortunately, the debacle at the polls will likely leave in place the numpties, who have observed Buggins’ turn in their gradual elevation to the safer seats. They know that you don’t get on in the party by rocking the boat. Ideas are dangerous things; better to stick to the tried and true, even if it does not carry weight with the general population. What matters is keeping sweet with the party stalwarts. Like bed-blockers, they occupy for the sake of occupation. With the support of the local party hierarchies, they are an implacable obstacle to the emergence of new thinking.

Meanwhile, and since forever, those of independent minds and independent thinking are condemned to marginal seats, most likely to face obliteration at elections (or to have little chance from the outset). Out of office, they have little opportunity of influencing party policy. And why should they, the bed-blockers say; they haven’t served their time. You need to fulfil a minor office in the constituency party for twenty years, keeping your nose clean all the while, before you earn the right to seek to become an MSP.

It makes me weep ...

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