More or less since the morning of 19 September 2014, the Unionist parties in Scotland have kept up an unceasing chorus of “You lost! Accept it!” directed at the entire Yes movement, but primarily the SNP (despite the SNP having never to date disputed the result or called for a re-run of the referendum).
Readers may not be entirely astonished to discover this morning that at least as far as Scottish Labour are concerned, that principle only applies to other people.
Because we’re pretty sure there’s already a name for when political parties set out an “alternative programme of government”.
This is the demented, McCarthyite state of madness the Labour Party has reached:
This is a party now openly rejecting anyone as a member who has ever supported any other party. We’d take a minute to try to explain to them how the arithmetic of that one works out, but they’re a long, long way beyond the grasp of reason now.
The Scottish media has worked itself into an indignant froth over the last few days about the appearance of Sputnik News – an Edinburgh-based arm of a publicly-owned, state-run Russian news agency, fronted by (among others) former Dateline Scotland and NewsShaft stars Jack Foster and Carolyn Scott.
(Any resemblance to publicly-owned, state-run national news agencies of questionable impartiality in other countries is of course entirely coincidental and totally different.)
The Sunday Herald ran a bizarre smear piece yesterday on the pair’s past fundraising initiatives for their two previous projects (which were obviously completely unrelated to Sputnik), and today’s Times has an even weirder column by Melanie Reid in which Foster and Scott are directly and startlingly compared to the Cuban Missile Crisis:
We tried, for the purposes of satire, to think of another country that played host to nuclear missiles that were controversially imposed on it by an external government, but unfortunately we couldn’t come up with anything. Sorry about that.
The UK is currently a non-functioning democracy. The Prime Minister has handed in his notice and has no nominated successor. The leader of the Opposition has just been served with a vote of no confidence by 80% of his own MPs. Parliamentarians are openly discussing overturning the result of a democratic referendum. People are pretending that Angela Eagle is a credible future Prime Minister.
The people (of England) have spoken, and their elected representatives are freaking out all over the shop.
Several senior Labour and Liberal Democrat MPs have openly called for the result of a democratic referendum to be overturned by Parliament against the wishes of voters. The Prime Minister has quit, the Chancellor is expected to follow on Monday, and half of the Labour shadow cabinet is apparently doing it as we speak, after Jeremy Corbyn fired Hilary Benn for planning a coup.
(Apparently including Ian Murray, the shadow Scottish Secretary who’s also the only Scottish Labour MP at Westminster, putting the party in the farcical position of having to find itself a spokesman on Scottish affairs who either sits in an English or Welsh seat or is an unelected lord.)
Labour MPs are also demanding Corbyn’s head, in essence for the crime of his being hugely popular with the party’s membership for reflecting the old-fashioned left-wing ideology and views that they actually believe in, rather than the “moderate” neo-Tory position of Blairite parliamentarians. Corbyn shows no sign of going.
Over the past few days, readers, we haven’t been able to avoid noticing a recurring theme among Unionist types on social media – namely that the Holyrood election results are proof that support for independence is declining.
But it’s not until you ask them to explain that it gets completely mental.
You win a historic third election with a second massive landslide, getting more than twice as many seats as your nearest challenger – the first time such a thing has ever happened in a Holyrood election – on the back of what’s (self-evidently) by and large a very popular policy programme and record, and before you’ve even taken your seats in the chamber all the parties you just thrashed out of sight line up to explain how you’ve been doing everything wrong.
And as alliances go, they don’t get much less holy.