Friday, May 06, 2011

Scottish Election: Labour Offer SFA

A leadership entirely out of touch with the needs of the consumer.

A belligerent refusal to listen to any sort of reason.

An arrogant belief that it doesn’t matter how badly you build it, they’ll come anyway. Because, hey, that’s what they’ve always done.

A fixation with how things are done “down south” with no apparent realisation that Scotland’s experience and England’s experience no longer bear direct comparison.

An inability to bring even basic articulacy to the simplest of messages.

An internal structure that’s not fit for purpose.

A jobs for the boys culture that rewards loyalty over ability.

A resistance to change of any sort.

An ignorant aversion to learning the lessons of the past and a delight in revelling in that ignorance.

A suffocating negativity.

May 5th 2011.

The day Scottish Labour finally morphed into the SFA.

Maybe even worse.

Somewhere in a laboratory in Haddington a crazed scientist has taken George Peat’s least attractive traits, added them to the less charismatic and inspiring strands of Neil Doncaster’s personality and created Iain Gray.

Like the SFA, like the SPL, there were then people within Scottish Labour who saw in this absurd concotion a man capable of leading, of inspiring, of getting things back on track.

And, just like the Scottish footballing authorities, we look on and say “hell mend them.”

This was a drubbing, a hammering, a blootering. A walloping.

Just a few weeks ago Labour led in the polls. Defending a lead they chose, with Iain Gray, to play Coco the Clown in goals, pausing only to bathe his big clownish hands in butter before sending him to the field.

Faced with a historically dominant force Alex Salmond’s SNP have overcome not only the weight of electoral tradition but the electoral system itself to grind Labour into the ground.

This is Dundee United winning the SPL by 40 points and connecting with the fans of every other club in the country along the way.

Not all Salmond’s own work.

He benefitted from the Liberal Democrats becoming the electoral equivalent of Auchenshoogle under-10s competing in the Champions League.

And Annabel Goldie – the Conservative’s very own Craig Brown – found her unique mix of common sense, whimsy and Women’s Institute scones fell short.

Salmond made a mockery of the prediction that he'd need to rely on the breakthrough of smaller parties to build a pro-independence majority. Just as well as support for the Greens drifted away like a Hamilton Accies crowd.

But let’s ca’ canny here.

There’s no footballing equivalent of Salmond, no comparable personality who can grab the opportunity and no democratic process that allows us to deliver to George Peat the weighty boot up the backside both he and Iain Gray so richly deserve.

An impressive achievement for Salmond and his party – come on, it’s really his show - though.

Mind you, if you think it’s strange how people with zero experience of professional football can infiltrate the higher echelons of the SFA’s byzantine structures just wait until you see the make up of this parliament.

Labour have been driven back so far they’re relying on regional list candidates, the rejects and leftovers, a motley crew indeed. The SNP’s success means they will be drawing on a hitherto unexplored talent pool.

A seismic shift but one unlikey to be accompanied by an immediate injection of quality. This could be the Holyrood version of Scotland sending a team made up of Dundee’s ballboys to the World Cup.

A new dawn, a new day. And interesting times ahead.

Salmond’s mission, should he choose to accept it (and he probably will, given the monumental boost that already sizeable ego has just been given) is simple.

Time for him to prove that Scotland only win the World Cup when the SNP are in government.

We’re waiting, Eck.