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Somewhere in North Queensferry, says JOHN McGURK, a grey-haired burly figure is looking out towards the Forth Bridge wondering where life has gone wrong.

He's pacing up and down clunking his fist into the palm of his left hand and muttering under his breath.

Suddenly, he picks up a telephone and dials a secret number. He waits impatiently to hear a buzz-buzz and then a click indicating an answer.

(To be read in a rather upper-class voice)

Hello... Mr Osborne's private line.

(To be read in a rather loud, angry voice.)

Is he there?

I beg your pardon...who is this speaking please?

You know damn well who this is! Get yer boss on the line now!

I'm so sorry. I really can't interrupt the Chancellor unless I know who's speaking and why you're calling.

It's Gordon!

Gordon?...Gordon who?

It's Brown you idiot!...Gordon Brown! You weren't as stupid a month ago when you wanted me to save the union!

Ahh... Mr Brown...How very nice to speak with you again. How are you?

Never mind that!...Where's Osborne? Get him on the phone!

I'm so dreadfully sorry Mr Brown but... I'm afraid Mr Osborne is not available.

Not available! Look (expletive deleted)... you tell yer boss that I need to speak with him.

And tell him he's a double crossing (expletive deleted) (expletive deleted)!!

This may not be exactly accurate but, then again, now that Gordon realises that he's been duped, it may not be that far from reality.

What is surely 100% accurate is that little over a month since the Scottish independence referendum, the Labour party in Scotland is in one hell of a mess.

Gordon Brown certainly helped save the union - -and David Cameron's neck to boot - by galvanising treacherous Labour supporters to vote ‘No’ and by fixing up The Vow which, apparently, guaranteed Scotland more devolution.

But what was supposedly Devo-Max is starting to look more like TKMaxx ---that cut-price store where you rummage around in the hope of finding a good deal but generally end up disappointed.

After all he did, the former Prime Minister is most certainly disappointed with Conservative proposals to link any more powers for the Scottish Parliament with English devolution to try and keep UKIP at bay.

He has described it as a “trap” for Scottish MPs who would be denied voting rights on English matters at Westminster thus making it extremely difficult for any future Labour government to maintain office.

“This is what will put the union at risk”, said Gordon, who declared angrily: “In my view a vow, once written, cannot be casually rewritten or revised.”

And implying that Cameron has reneged on the pledge he said: “To be clear, in my discussions prior to the referendum, no party leader ever suggested that any further caveats, conditions or even considerations would be introduced then, or later, into The Vow.”

What is astonishing is that Gordon appears to have felt he could trust Cameron and Osborne in the first place.

If Labour supporters in Scotland were losing faith before the referendum, the events of the past month are hardly going to attract them back into the fold.

SNP membership has surged from 25,652 to more than 82,000 while in some areas like Glasgow, it's apparently risen by 500 per cent; Nat headquarters says it can't keep up with the number of applications.

Compare these numbers to the current membership of the Labour Party in Scotland, now said to be around 13,000.

Even at the height of the Blair government in 1998, the party had only 31,000 members in Scotland.

Naturally, during these difficult days for Labour, there's much to be gained from one of their own giving them a good kicking when they're down.

Enter the former First Minister (now Lord) Jack McConnell who announced over the weekend that Labour in Scotland had lost its way and that he could no longer keep schtum: Jack had to “break his silence”, poor man.

Never mind: Scottish Labour's Margaret Curran is racing to the rescue and will visit ten key Scottish constituencies to listen to and learn from Labour's grass roots.

Ms Curran, who hopes she will become the Scottish Secretary of State following the general election next May, has announced that Scottish Labour is ditching the party of the past and is returning to its socialist principles of equality, re-distribution and social justice.

One wonders if she's mentioned any of this to the London leadership.

It's just a pity that during these 10 years, Mr Miliband and Mr Balls were at the heart of guiding Labour's strategy.

In fact, wasn't Ed Miliband responsible for writing the party's unsuccessful general election manifesto in 2010 while Ed Balls was a key member of the cabinet who formulated much of Labour's failed economic strategy?

It can therefore be safely concluded that there's only one small flaw in this mighty plan to revive Scottish Labour.... it's not going to work.

Back in North Queensferry... if Gordon did actually make that phone call, it's very likely that he's still waiting for George Osborne's reply…


John McGurk was editor of The Scotsman and Scotland on Sunday and was managing editor of The Daily Telegraph.

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