Monday, 18 July 2016

Shadow Muppets

Tim Farron has dug up the old chestnut about "a new party of the centre left", whatever that is.

Like the "party to the right of the Tories", that one never quite dies, no matter how hard it tries to do so from time to time.

Although it sounds particularly odd coming from the Leader of a party that barely a year ago was in coalition with the Conservatives in pursuit of remorseless domestic austerity and a highly aggressive foreign policy.

UKIP's ageing stalwarts are positioning themselves to take over from the extremely elderly remnant of the Communist Party: "Next time, Doris, next time." But next time never comes.

Notice that they are both talking about the same section of the electorate. As, up to a point, is Tim Farron.

Meanwhile, someone called Kezia Dugdale has named someone called Ian Murray, who is apparently a Member of Parliament, to what she is pleased to call her Shadow Cabinet.

If Dugdale can have a Shadow Cabinet, then so can absolutely anyone at all.

Henceforth, we are told, she will "talk to London" through Murray. To whom in London, exactly? I bet that no one there talks back to her.

Dave Anderson is the Shadow Secretary of State for Scotland, although he does not sit for a Scottish seat.

He is also rather an interesting choice as the Shadow Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, a position that, like that which it shadows, has never, ever been held by an MP for a Northern Irish constituency.

In Scotland, Jeremy Corbyn has connections coming out of his ears. It is just that they are either not in the Labour Party, or nowhere near its decayed committee system.

No one in any section of the wider Labour Movement seems to miss the Scottish Labour Party much, if at all.

But its endless delusions of grandeur offer a rich future seam of comedy, tragedy and farce.

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