Monday, October 18, 2010

Labour's presumption comes unstuck

I was on Twitter for the first time in ages today, and I was intrigued to spot this so-called "top tweet" from the sainted Kezia Dugdale -

"Ha - "Let's stick together" is an unfortunate theme tune for #SNPConf in light of commitment to breaking up Britain!"

Now, I'm quite sure Kezia and her Labour retweeters were convinced they had spotted a connection there that would never have occurred to a Nat in a million years - but in fact the very first thing that leapt out at me when I heard the choice of 'theme tune' was that it's near-identical in sentiment to Altogether Now, Labour's pick for the 1999 election when they were attempting to draw a sharp distinction between their own values and the SNP's plans for "divorce" (yawn). Given the care that goes into these decisions, I doubt the similarity is entirely a coincidence, and all I can say is - what a stroke of absolute genius. It boldly colonises campaigning territory that Labour always presumptuously imagined to be its very own - unity, cohesion, solidarity.

The party election broadcasts that accompanied The Farm's ditty in 1999 were, if I recall, somewhat stomach-churning, featuring lots of images of Donald Dewar tugging his forlock (figuratively speaking) in the presence of Tony Blair. The intended message could hardly have been less subtle - "working together" and "cooperation" meant that devolution could only be a cosmetic development, with the old chain of command remaining exactly as it was before. I'd say it was high time that the Scottish electorate were presented with a rather more inspiring vision of national solidarity than an intention to defer to the wisdom of grown-ups in London at every conceivable opportunity.

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