Labour have reacted swiftly to suggestions they have no visibility in the spate of historical commemorations filling up the calendar…Flodden, the First World War, Bannockburn and Armed Forces Day.
Not to be outdone, they’re planning a full-scale re-enactment of Iain Gray’s hasty retreat from Central Station and dash into the Subway sandwich shop during the last election.
“When you consider the sacrifices made at Flodden and the heroics of Scots at Bannockburn, it’s wrong to omit the Subway Scandal from the hall of fame,” said a spokesman. “If we can re-enact Bannockburn to please the Nats, surely Iain’s unflinching retreat in the face a highly organised ambush deserves the same respect.”
It was the seminal moment in Labour’s worst ever election defeat and the party want to turn it round on the SNP by showing they’re not afraid of their past. “The Nats ignored Flodden because they got a hiding,” said a Labour official. “But we’re prepared to face up to the truth – this was the single most abject, cowardly, humiliating, ill-conceived, toe-curling episode in modern Labour history. It was the worst since Dalintober Street. And we’re proud of it.”
Proud? “It demonstrates that we had a two-stage policy at the time. Phase One – Cut. Phase Two – Run. And we stuck to it no matter what. A lesser man would have shrank in the face of vicious intimidation by the wifeys of the Co-op lunch club and *Sean Clerkin with his duffle bag loaded with No Tory Cuts posters. But Iain remained stoically on course on behalf of the people and the party. Nelson Mandela would have done the same.”
Labour say it is also deeply symbolic that the debacle occured on Union Street and was a clear demonstration of all the Union stood for. “Beating a hasty retreat in the face of enraged natives is a long tradition of Empire and shows that we will twist and turn and duck and dive to save the Union. We will never stand up to be counted when the going gets tough and that’s the difference between us and the separatists.”
The re-enactment will feature the Iain Gray Subway Special created by the shop ladies in memory of the day. It is yellow inside and a bit runny.
*To be fair, journalists across Scotland also run in terror from Sean whose nickname is The Limpet. Once he gets your number he never lets go. You get sucked into a vortex of long harangues in which he speaks without breathing until your eyes glaze. The BBC newsroom has a panic button which sets off an imitation fire alarm. “Sorry, Sean. Building’s on fire. Must go”, is commonly heard.