Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Is it just me...?

Reading the papers over the last few days I have become increasingly convinced that Scotland has moved to a parallel dimension, a kind of looking-glass world in which nothing is what it seems.

The leadership contest for the Scottish Labour party for one.  When Johann Lamont resigned, lobbing grenades as she went, one of her points was that Labour in Scotland is controlled by London and has no autonomy in deciding policies better suited for Scotland, thus rendering the leader's position untenable.  A few days later and we find that the person being touted as the preferred choice for next leader is Jim Murphy, an MP and member of Ed Milliband's shadow cabinet.  Furthermore we have Anas Sarwar declaring that he intends to continue as deputy to the new leader, and that it would be absolutely fine for Labour in Scotland to have two MPs in charge.  Now I may be missing something here, but wouldn't that prove that Ms Lamont was right about the control resting with London?  Mind you, we Scots are not genetically programmed to make political decisions, so what would we know?

Then we had John McTernan in a bizarre article in the Scotsman, in which he declares

ROUTED in their homelands. A leader so beleaguered he has had to resign. No credible domestic policy agenda. In danger of irrelevance in Scotland at the next General Election. These are disastrous times for Scotland’s party.

I mean, of course, the Scottish National Party. I have just described the parlous state they are in.

 Eh?  Since when could gaining 57,000 new members in a month be described as a 'parlous state'?  And he's clearly missed the recent polls showing voting intentions for the next general election, in which the SNP are leading in Scotland.  He also says
There is no electoral victory available by moving to the Left of the Labour Party
I'll just leave that one there shall I?

Next we have David Cameron stamping his feet over the £1.7 billion pound bill the UK has been sent by the EU, telling us all that there's no way the UK is going to pay it.  Is this the same David Cameron who told Scotland it would be an international pariah if it gained independence and didn't take a share of the UK national debt, since it would make it a debt defaulter.  And now he's proposing to default on this bill. Part of the Better Together campaign was that the UK means pooling and sharing of assets and risks.  This is the same thing writ large - pooling and sharing within Europe, where better-off countries help out the less well-off.  But apparently that's different. 

Finally we have Stephen Gough, the Naked Rambler, losing his case at the European Court of Human Rights, where he claimed that his being arrested and jailed in Scotland for hiking in the buff violated his human rights.  He lost his case, but the thing that struck me as very strange was that one of the grounds on which he put forward his claim was article 8 - the right to privacy.  This article also covers matters such as the right to freedom of expression, which I assume is what he was claiming had been violated, but when I heard on the radio that he was claiming his right to privacy had been breached my brain give a little sigh and decided the world had finally gone mad.

I think I need to go and lie down for a bit.  Maybe normal service will have been resumed when I get back up.

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