Citizen Cuddis returns with a special Election Guide
Is trying to predict the outcome of the 2015 General Election making you feel as if the overhead camshaft of your brain’s reality-grasping sprocket has come unhinged?
Do you believe that cage-fighting pensioner Peter Pastitt (‘Have Zimmer Will Travel’) has more chance of surviving 15 rounds with ‘Knuckles’ O’Hooligan than you have of casting a meaningful vote in May?
If you answered ‘yes’ to both these questions then our Election Guide for the Politically Baffled is essential reading. It’ll give you all the information you need to cast a humdinger of a vote when the time comes.
You’ll need to grasp the Twilight Zone properties of tactical voting. We’ll come to that in good time. But first you’ll need to understand what each of the parties stands for. Difficult, because most of them are as much in the dark as you are. The brief thumbnail sketches below should help you sort dumb from dumber and dumber from dumbest.
Scottish Branch of the Labour Party
The Scottish branch of the Labour party suffers from a chronic identity crisis of Jekyll and Hyde proportions. There is an almost unquenchable public desire to sweep aside its leader’s shape-shifting polly-wolly-doodle-ism (for want of a better word) in favour of truth-based politics. Until that happens let’s simplify the situation.
If we liken the Westminster Labour party to the Royal Mail then the Scottish Branch of the Labour party is a sub post office and the current sub-postmistress is Jim Murphy, a man with the gravitas of Norman Wisdom and the intellect of a Galapagos Hen. The sub sub postmistress is Kezia Dugdale.
The sub post office’s objective is to recapture votes from people they have taken for granted since 1953 and who have been abandoning the party in their droves since the referendum. In politics such an objective is called a ‘challenge’ (See also ‘difficult decision’). So difficult in fact that this Herculean project has been dubbed Whistling Chicken, on the grounds that there is more chance of teaching a chicken to whistle than of re-capturing a single vote.
The current post mistress, Spud Murphy, claims that his sub post office’s policies for the most part differ radically from those of the Conservatives except where Spud plays Castor to Ruth Davidson’s Pollux (surely that should be Bollux? Ed.) on matters such as Trident renewal, benefit sanctions, austerity and their common desire to wipe from the face of the planet, anyone earning less than £80,000 and/or not driving a Land Rover Evoque.
Spud’s sub post office has bonded with the Tories over £30 billion of additional welfare cuts in a splurge of mutual neoliberal bonhomie. Although, to be fair to Spud, he has promised to mitigate this ‘difficult decision’ with compassion.
Under newly proposed sub post office rules, those weakened by sanction-induced under-nourishment will no longer have to crawl on their hands and knees unaided to the nearest food bank.
From 2016, Job Seekers will be compelled to undergo regular physical fitness tests. JSA claimants deemed to be in ruddy good health (anyone with a pulse) will be contractually obliged to drag sanctioned colleagues to the nearest food bank by the scruffs of their unwashed benefit scrounging necks.
Gordon Broon—more Bette Midler than bete noire—is the grande dame and patron saint of the Labour Party. Mr Broon specialises in unkept promises and is a fluent speaker of waffle-bollocks. He promises voters that in exchange for the mere surrender of their critical faculties and the general abandonment of everything they have ever believed in, or lived for, they’ll get the Irn Broon Electoral Lucky Bag.
Broon’s Lucky Bag is as insubstantial as steam, exists only in the void between Broon’s ears and comprises seven-tenths of very little. The Lucky Bag contains yer Basic Vow, a Vow plus, Smith squared, five pledges for the price of four and the powerhousiest parliament in Christendom (Remember, the powerhousiness of your parliament may go down as well as up). Oh, and there’s a slack handful of M&M’s thrown in for good measure too.
Look out for an enhanced version of the Lucky Bag—the Irn Broon Electoral Lucky Bag Squared perhaps—if the party finds itself on the brink of extinction in Scotland three hours before the polls close.
Exciting new powers coming Scotland’s way will include road sign governance and full fiscal control over the DCELB (The Dundee Cake Export Licensing Board). This dilution of the Broon’s original magnum opus—The Vow— is a consequence of Lord Smiffy’s Ginger-Rogers-quality fancy political footwork. And of the undemocratic interference by the 790 unelected spongers who recently harrumphed it up a constitutional cul-de-sac in the Lords.
The political equivalent of orcs. Their patron saint is the anti-Christ. Their long-term economic plan is to crush the poor under the iron-tracked, neoliberal panzerkraftwagen of the Establishment. They have made a manifesto pledge to render the long-term unemployed into glue during the course of the next parliament.
Think wind-powered butter churns, home-knitted vegetable lasagne, free-range mince and weekly Dandelion and Burdock enemas. Members are encouraged to sell their houses, buy a yurt from Lidl and move to the top of Ben Nevis, from where they should commute to work by hang-glider and come home on a llama.
A party with nothing to say and next to no one to say it to. As their Scottish leader, Big Bill Rennie told Newsnet, “I admit it. We don’t have anything to say. But we’ve had nothing to say before and we’re still here…not saying it”.
The BBC’s Gordon Brew-up used Willie Rennie as a punch-bag after the recent, thinly attended Lib Dem conference in Aberdeen, saying, ’Your conference made a seance look like a hootenanny. I haven’t seen so much tumbleweed since I last watched John Ford’s Cowpokes of Dry Gulch.’
Xenophobic weirdos politically imploding with the frequency of Albanian-made Christmas tree lights.
A progressive party led by Nicla. They have 105,000 members and have waited 300 years for independence. They actually care about their fellow Scots. Which is nice.
We’re cooking with Scottish gas now folks. Just two more issues to discuss—tactical voting and Project Fear II— and we are ready to take that polling booth by storm.
It has become fashionable to scoff at those who would vote SNP simply because they think they will do a great job of representing Scotland’s interests at Westminster. Better to vote Labour, they say, to avoid getting the Tories. This form of dodgy voting is called Realpolitik. To those readers who think Realpolitik beat Benfica on penalties in the 1974 European Cup final, I say this: You really should have stuck in more at school and perhaps you’d have avoided working at Poundland on a minimum hours contract now. Personally I am undecided whether tactical voting quite butters my scone.
Having said that, tactical voting might be worth considering in a few special cases. Say for example you are a Willie Rennie enthusiast. You might decide—not unreasonably—to vote Monster Raving Looney in the belief that this will return a Lib Dem government with a stonking majority.
If so, you’ve covered your bets. If the Lib Dems get a clear majority, you can start dancing round the Maypole. On the other hand, if your bold move accidentally ushers in a minority Conservative government propped up by lunatics, leaving Willie Rennie on Job Seekers Allowance, you still win, because the Monster Raving Looney’s policies differ from those of the Lib Dems only to the extent that one trouser leg differs from the other.
‘Of Ghosties and Ghoulies’: Project Fear II
Fear is a natural emotion and we need to understand its role in politics if we are to be good and true at all times. Had our ancestors lacked fear, they’d have millennia ago become extinct; salami-sliced into Neanderthal fritters by razor-taloned velociraptors. This is because when confronted by psychopathic lizards the appropriate gene pool protection strategy is to run like buggery in the general direction of away. Those who didn’t get this, got sliced.
Fear arises from two main sources. One minor—our reptilian brain stem. One major—the BBC. I haven’t slept a wink since the BBC spread a rumour that Nicla was Beelzebub in human form. I contacted the balanced broadcaster hoping to have the rumour quashed. They offered me their balanced-reporting fact of the day—that ‘every SNP member has suckled at the teats of the nine-horned beast.’
You now have all you need to decide where to put your cross on the ballot paper. Do your worst.