Saturday, 7 September 2013

Grotesque Chaos in the Bedroom

Perhaps they should play Neil Kinnock's 1985 Bournemouth Labour Conference speech on a loop at the next Scottish Labour conference.

Embarrassed Labour folk have been wittering on in newspaper comments, Twitter etc. about the Tory Bedroom Tax. What's this Tory bedroom tax? The policy was introduced by Labour, the Tories merely extended it from the private rented to the public rented sector. 

UK Labour won't commit to reversing it as Milliband courts the swivel-eyed loons of middle England.
Scottish Labour's great plan? Take £50M from elsewhere in the Scottish budget to pay the rent arrears of those affected by an extension of Labour's own tax! "Grotesque chaos" doesn't even begin to cover it.  Would Scottish Labour continue to advocate this in Scotland if a post 2015 UK Labour Government (fat chance!) continued to impose the tax?
The Bedroom Tax has raised its head after an execrable performance by the Scottish Deputy Labour leader Anas Sarwar in a head-to-head "debate" with SNP Deputy leader Nicola Sturgeon on STV.  Well, Sturgeon debated, Sarwar just stuck to his Labour Press Office script, interrupted incessantly and refused to answer any questions, well he did answer one: He promised that if Labour were in office they would repeal the Bedroom Tax. Repeal an extension of their own policy!  Just as over on the BBC Johann Lamont was refusing to make such a commitment and a day after Ed Milliband had refused to be drawn on such a commitment at PMQs.

Sarwar wasn't short on theatrics, though. His first effort was to brandish the long-discredited, manufactured, Mickey Mouse "Top Secret" Scottish Government finance discussion document.

His second even more laughable stunt was to brandish a pen and what purported to be a Bill for Nicola to sign there and then to bring Scottish Labour's grotesque Bedroom Tax mitigation proposal into effect. Was he promoting Ms Sturgeon from Deputy SNP Leader to HM The Queen? Might not the Scottish Parliament wish to at least debate his "Bill" before Queen Nicola gave it the Royal Assent?  Of course not, because there is no such Bill. The Scottish Parliament website lists 16 current proposals for Members' Bills and none of them have anything to do with the Bedroom Tax.  Furthermore, even if it was introduced, such a Bill would cause such a stooshie between Holyrood and Westminster, its passage would be manna from heaven for Yes Scotland.

So now not only do we have a former Labour Prime Mentalist who doesn't understand the Sovereignty of the Westminster Parliament, we have a Deputy Scottish Labour leader who thinks he can appoint Nicola Sturgeon as Queen on a telly programme and invite her to give Royal Assent to a non-existent "Bill"!

So it seems just as Nicola Sturgeon was attacking Sarwar for doing the Tories' dirty work for them, Nicola was doing Johann Lamont's dirty work for her: Johann's rival has made such an arse of himself he is no longer a rival.  So far on Twitter only one Labour colleague has offered anything approaching support to Sarwar after his car crash performance. Sarwar has resorted to doing a Calman and claiming abuse as members of the public question him on Twitter about his lamentable performance. It seems questioning a unionist is the new definition of abuse.
The "debate" is worth watching purely to watch a career crash and burn. I'll leave you with my summing up in the mode of one of the memes of last week #indyrefpoetry:

Last night on STV Govan's hereditary MP With his scripted glossolalia Did more for Free Caledonia Than half of the SNP.

See also:

Wings over Scotland

Errors & Omissions Expected.
One Man and His Props.
159 Seconds in Glasgow.
The Judges' Decision.
Back to the Future.