Douglas Alexander isn’t the kind of person who usually ends up being Weekly Wanker – you’ll struggle to find any tales of punch-ups, off colour comments, him giving constituents the fingers or well…anything. He’s so outwardly inoffensive it’s fucking obscene.
Alexander has a track record of fighting losing battles, having managed both Gordon Brown’s failed bid to cling on as PM last time round and the Labour leadership bid of Miliband…David Miliband that is. Having quickly switched siblings, wee Dougie is now presiding over Ed Milibland’s troubled bid for Number 10.
As heid of strategy, he’s in charge of Labour’s campaign message. Thus far, this has included Ed Balls declaring his love for George Osbourne’s budget, Scottish activists telling people to vote Tory to keep the #SNPout and Shadow Secretary for Work & Pensions Secretary, Rachel Reeves, talking about how Labour doesn’t want to represent anyone who’s unemployed.
In his former job at the Scotland office, he oversaw the Holyrood election in which nearly 150,000 ballots were spoiled. An official investigation concluded there was “a notable level of party self interest evident in ministerial decision-making.” It also noted that there was ample evidence to suggest this would result in a confusing fuck up but that this was ignored by ministers, with voters being treated as “an afterthought.” If the latest polls are anything to go by, Dougie’s best hope of staying in employment may yet be finding new methods to disenfranchise large numbers of Scottish voters.
Alexander probably seemed like a safe choice for Deadhead Ed a few years back, he has a majority of over 16.000 in his Paisley and Renfrewshire South constituency. 2014 changed all that; a year in which Douglas and Labour lined up with the Tories, over and over again, inside and outside parliament.
Of course, it would be completely unfair to imply that Alexander’s forays into being a massive Tory are a recent occurrence, given how consistently evil he was while in Government. Despite earning a scholarship to study abroad and not paying the University of Edinburgh for his own degree, he graduated to the front benches of the Labour Government which imposed tuition fees on students in England and Wales. The former solicitor and erstwhile Secretary of State for International Development was a keen supporter of the illegal invasion of Iraq, which has led to such international developments as, erm, ISIS. No wonder he voted to oppose any inquiry into the conflict.
Wee Dougie has had a belter of a year, even by his own standards – skipping parliament on the day a motion on the Bedroom Tax was being debated, abstaining during a fracking vote and supporting a motion committing a future Labour Government to austerity.
So who knows why Labour are now more unpopular than they’ve been in their history? Step forward, Douglas Alexander, to tell us it’s all the fault of Facebook and social media, which is leading to voters being uniformed.
Thanks to the wonders of the internet, people can now use Google, like I just did, to check the voting records of Labour MPs. Polling data from the referendum campaign suggests that those who had spent most time researching and educating themselves were more likely to vote Yes. In contrast, Scottish Labour coined the phrase, “if you don’t know, vote no,” a rallying cry for informed discourse if ever there was one.
As well as access to information, social media has also allowed more direct access to those in power. These days, when politicians use the fact they once stood next to a banner for half an hour back in August 2012 as evidence they were somehow involved in a campaign to save the children’s Ward of the Royal Alexandria Hospital, this can happen…
Sources close to the Kids Need Our Ward campaign were keen to emphasise that while the campaign was non-party political, and Labour activists had been involved at local level, Mr Alexander had never attended any of their meetings.
It’s probably safest for people like Douglas Alexander to stick to more traditional forms of political engagement, like producing this “hand written” letter for his constituents, made in, erm, Northumberland.
Clearly Dougie longs for the days when most Scots got their news from the Daily Record, who have been on hand on a seemingly daily basis for the last few months to give a platform to Mr Alexander – to tell us Miliband will be PM, that “Labour values” are worth defending and enthralling readers with his views about hit US show, “House of Cards.”
It must be difficult if your job is to make Ed Miliband look like a future statesman, given that he struggles to look competent eating a piece. Instead of blaming Facebook or cybernats for Labour’s disastrous election campaign maybe Douglas Alexander should look a little closer to home, at the man running Labour’s disastrous election campaign, Douglas Alexander.
Perhaps it was the referendum, Iraq, austerity, fracking or the fact information is now more freely exchanged online. Who knows which of the many, grubby hands his party has played over the year is most responsible for where they are now. But the cards are about to come crashing down. Better order up some box sets Dougie, you’re gonnae have a lot of free time on your hands come May 8th.
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