Who else feels like Howard Beale, the newscaster in the film Network who goes off his rocker and hangs out of a window screaming “I’m as mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore!”

Personally, I’ve just booked air tickets to leave the country for a month because, post general election and pre-Labour party leadership contest, I’ve come to the conclusion that I just want it all to  go away.

It was hardly surprising that Chuka chucked it citing intense media scrutiny including stories that his father had been the victim of a political assassination in Nigeria; that he could be involved in a financial scandal; that he was a member of a “boys’ club” where he buys bottles of cognac for up to £3,500 and, naturally, questions about his sexuality since he is unmarried.

The bookie’s favourite claimed he couldn’t stand much more either and who could blame him.

But it can’t be as simple as that for someone who so obviously dreams of becoming Prime Minister and entering Downing Street as “Britain’s Obama”.

Surely more believable, and much more understandable, is that he quickly came to the conclusion that he would be putting his head into a Labour party noose which would be quickly tightened until he gasped for mercy.

Five years of torture leading a party riven by internal warfare, only to end up being defeated by Boris Johnston in the 2020 general election, was clearly just too much to bear. Fortunately, Chuka came to his senses just in time.

That old dinosaur Len McCluskey, the leader of Unite, the most powerful trade union in the land, also can’t stand much more it seems.  He’s even talking about putting his union’s money into the coffers of the SNP following that public slagging match with the now exiled Jim Murphy.

Even poor old Jim, after a brave last stand which would have impressed General George Custer, finally came to the conclusion that he couldn’t stand much more and resigned as leader of the Scottish Labour Party.

There was a petition going the rounds in an attempt to garner public support for him to stay which prompted Nicola Sturgeon to ask “Where do I sign!” but in the end he realised that he was a goner. After all, he has a better chance of being selected as Mr Universe than winning the 2016 Holyrood election.

Jim, in a parting shot against Len McCluskey, is now determined on revenge by curbing the union’s power in choosing the next Labour leader. He wants to get the party to accept a one-member-one-vote system to replace block votes thus ensuring that the internal Labour war will go on, and on.

It would be more sensible if he booked a flight to Ibiza where he could sit and sulk in the villa recently vacated by Ed Miliband.

So the path is now clear for Andy Burnham or Yvette Cooper, both embedded with the old guard and associated with Labour’s defeats. The other candidates, Liz Kendall, Mary Creagh and Tristram Hunt appear to be busier polishing their TV performances than creating a new vision to take Labour back to power.

Labour will need an 8% swing to win again. Even if they got back the 56 of the 59 seats won by the SNP in Scotland they would still be unable to form a majority government.

Besides, how can they simultaneously appeal to left wing voters in Scotland and the north of England and the more centre right voters in the Home counties?

Perhaps their only prospect is to form independent parties north and south of the border but, frankly, a new leader who can take them to victory is nowhere in sight.

Fresh-faced Kezia Dugdale, the current deputy leader at Holyrood, is the preferred choice to take over in Scotland.

Now here’s something semi-interesting: she has a very similar background to Jim Murphy having never worked outside of politics.

Like Jim, she worked for the National Union of Students but, thankfully, unlike Jim, (who spent nine years at university without a gaining a degree) she did graduate.

Kezia, 33, who was head girl at Harris Academy in Dundee, studied law and completed a Masters in public policy at the University of Edinburgh.

So far so good. But her only other job has been as office manager and adviser to that old war horse Lord Foulkes while he was in the Scottish Parliament.

She was selected for the Labour List and became an MSP in 2011 but she is also a member of the Unite union….oops!

Who else can’t take much more of this?

Just like madman Howard Beale, please….the nation deserves a break!





Be the first to write a comment.

Letters to the Editor