THE traditional image of death is a black-cowled skeleton carrying a scythe. In the case of the Labour party it’s orange-skinned with tombstone teeth, and it carries a consultancy contract with a Central Asian dictator when it’s not justifying Israeli bombing campaigns in Gaza. Now he whose name must not be mentioned has intervened in the election campaign to give Ed Miliband his full support.

Someone must have said his name three times out loud while turning anti-clockwise, and now Miliband has received the endorsement of death. Ed’s tried not to notice, in case anyone reminds him Ed Balls used to be a Tory too. It’s not unremittingly negative. Tony Blair is still quite a bit more left-wing than Jim Murphy; he also has less incontinent eyebrows and his eyes aren’t quite so staringly mad.

Tony warned against the dangers of Scottish independence. Escaping the clutches of the likes of Tony would be bad for Scotland: we’d no longer have him to put in a good word for us with Central Asian dictators. And the oil price is dropping so Tony thinks independence is a no-no, although he was still opposed last year when oil was riding high. Clearly the price of oil is as relevant as the price of a bag of sugar. The Unionists do keep going on about the plummeting price – the logical corollary is that there must be a price at which independence becomes a moral and economic necessity. Perhaps they should tell us what that is, then? Don’t go holding your petrol pump for an answer.

But Tony was far more concerned Scottish independence would relegate Britain from the premier league of nations. The UK needs Scotland’s resources so it can keep playing keepie-uppie with the Americans. And now we know where Jim Murphy gets his love of fitba references from. He learned everything he knows on the knee of Tony Blair, playing with balls.

No-one in the modern Labour party likes to mention Blair, not even Jim, although they’ll bring up every other figure from Labour’s past – with the possible exception of Neil Kinnock. Aneurin Bevan, Harold Wilson, John Smith, they all get dragged out from time to time to lend some credibility to a party that’s as plausible as a black moustache on an audience member at a political debate. But not Tory Blair. He’s too close to the fake-moustache truth of modern Labour, the black evil smear on Labour’s lying lips.

Tony Blair, let us not forget – even though Labour would like us to – was by far Labour’s most successful leader, taking the party to three election victories in a row, winning large absolute majorities every time. He did it by sacrificing the chickens of his spineless back-benchers on the altar of the Satans of the City.

When Labour got into power in 1997 after the long, dark decade-and-a-half of Tory rule, that seemingly endless winter of the soul and hibernation of hope, Tony had a majority of 179 seats. We celebrated, we rejoiced. Spring had arrived and hope could flourish. Change was in the air. In 2001 he won with a majority of 167. Tony had the power to do anything that Labour wanted, the entire British state lay prostrate at the party’s feet. Labour had delivered the working classes’ huddled masses to the promised land. But the British Parliamentary Road to Socialism died in a missile blast on the way to Baghdad, Labour with it. Hope, too, crushed in the rubble.

Back in 1997 we were still doe-eyed and hopeful. We’d kept the faith throughout the long, dark winter. We’d gone through the tunnel and stepped out into the light of Tony’s dazzling teeth. Labour were going to abolish the House of Lords and reform the electoral system. They were going to wipe out zero-hours contracts.

They were going to tackle tax evasion and bring the City of London to heel. They were going to give Scotland Home Rule. Labour were going to do all the things that they tells us they’re going to do this time. That’s the real reason Tony Blair is the man who cannot be mentioned, and not because he’s the Middle East Peace envoy who applauds wars.

Only this time the promises are not made with Tony’s doe eyes and fake bonhomie, they come to us courtesy of the staring eyes of Jim Murphy and his dancing eyebrows which promise every flavour of jam to every man, woman and child. Jim Murphy, the Labour Party’s peace envoy to Scotland. Jim gives us his word, the man who thinks the neoconservative Henry Jackson Society is a leading light in the struggle for social justice.

Throw in a few fitba references Jim, and then we’ll be convinced. Keepie-uppie, Celtic, sweating while the goalposts shift. Well colour me confident, heid-the-baw Jim. Jim is what happens when the politics of Tony Blair de-evolve and return to the primordial slime.

Tony Blair is why Labour can’t be trusted with the absolute power that a Westminster majority grants. He showed us that once Labour gets total power they forget what they’re supposed to stand for. Jim and his kaleidoscope of promises are another symptom of Labour’s old disease. And that’s why we can’t let them get total power ever again. Scotland needs to hold Labour to account.

Labour in Scotland are staring into the abyss eroded by Tony’s lies, Gordie’s delusions and vows, the cheers for Alistair Darling at the Tory conference, by Jim’s eyebrows. In a few short weeks the voters of Scotland will push them over the edge, and once they fall there will be no way back – their grave marked by the tombstone teeth of Tony.