Firstly, sorry for the break in blogging, the campaigning for Paul Sweeney didn’t allow for me to get access to a computer. Plus, I was doing that campaign as a physical wreck, normally I would do the whole campaign, start to finish; this time round, carry too many injuries, I ended up starting late. The reason for this is that my previous surgery required me to be very careful about getting infection and ensure the wound was fully closed. I was a bit wary during the campaign because I knew my eye hadn’t fully settled down, add in a bad back and a really dodgy knee, well you get the picture.
The campaign in Glasgow North East was pretty good in terms of numbers through-out which says a lot about how keen everyone was to get Paul Sweeney re-elected. I would say that he is in a better position than any other Labour candidate in Glasgow. The Glasgow North East seat is a mixed bag of communities but Paul Sweeney is well known and respected. The SNP have lost their momentum and generally across Glasgow, you get the feel that the sand has slipped away from under the party. There is no ‘nationalist anger explodes’, even SNP voters are having doubts about voting SNP. The reason is Anne McLaughlin, her previous tenure as MP was a disaster politically for her, and the big majority created a false sense of security.
Paul Sweeney should retain the seat despite what the polls are saying nationally, the story I feel of this election will become about SNP slippage. I would expect Anne McLaughlin to get under 10,000, you can see why on twitter, she literally has no one to work for her and hence her relying on digital ads to plug the gap. She has no momentum and at hustings, she looked out of her depth and resigned to defeat. She is a former MP & MSP, who now says she is training people here & overseas n public speaking, confident leadership & political engagement. Anne McLaughlin isn’t good at public speaking, she lacks the ability to lead; she has no natural leadership about her. As to helping people with political engagement, the people of Glasgow North East who experienced her brand of political engagement decided to toss her out.
Glasgow North East…… Paul Sweeney for the win all the way!
A contest of minor interest to me is Kirkcaldy & Cowdenbeath, this area has a suspended SNP candidate Neale Hanvey who is being helped by SNP activists who decided to ignore their dreadful leader Nicola Sturgeon and still campaign for Hanvey. Nicola Sturgeon’s authority is meaningless; her plea to campaign at other seats which is code for Stephen Gethins had no traction. It is laughable that she is now appearing to attempt to resurrect her authority by making a second warning to SNP activists not to campaign. Sturgeon like McLaughlin is failing to realize that their position gave them authority and power. But when you are an SNP activist who wants nothing from Sturgeon, she has no power.
Basically SNP activists in Kirkcaldy & Cowdenbeath are sending two messages;
1/ Get stuffed
2/ We don’t give a monkey’s about your position
Oh how that must sting for Nicola Sturgeon, also a second warning, really?
If they won’t go to campaign for your cult member Gethins, no second or third or fourth intervention makes a different, the game is over. Kirkcaldy & Cowdenbeath is a marginal seat; all that separated the SNP from Labour was 259 votes. The result is anyone’s guess because we don’t see anything that the scandal has had an impact. So, deputy Scottish Labour leader Lesley Laird better get her skates on, and fight a blood and guts campaign like Paul Sweeney for very vote. Getting the win may for some people be enough, but the reality, Laird needs a couple of thousand as a majority. Not that this is an excuse for coasting is she gets in, more a solid building block to get a super majority.
Scottish Tory leader Jackson Carlaw last week urged Ms Sturgeon to show “real leadership” and discipline any SNP member who campaigned for Mr Hanvey during his suspension. If Hanvey gets in, no one will be getting disciplined, the SNP only act when forced by media pressure. Hanvay wins, he gets taken back into the fold and sent on a re-education course, which maybe he attends or doesn’t depending on who runs it.
In a weasly defence of failing authority Sturgeon said:
“I’ve been very clear, I’ve said it publicly, I’ll say it again - SNP members in that constituency should not be supporting his campaign, they should be going to other neighbouring constituencies to campaign for candidates there. The SNP could not have been clearer here, these are not easy situations for any party to find themselves in but you have to do the right thing. We’ve done the right thing here, I regret that we were in this position but he’s not an SNP candidate, he shouldn’t be using SNP materials, I haven’t seen any evidence of that, and that’s very clear.”
“We’ve taken that [decision] because we have zero tolerance to anti-Semitism and that’s the right and important decision and position we took. He’s not the SNP candidate in that constituency, but what happens after that is for a disciplinary process that is independent of me and I think it’s right that that’s allowed to take its course.”
Name an SNP jewish MSP or MP?
You will find that a hard research project because I don’t ever remember one, you’ll see Sein Fein, Muslim, LGBT and the rich, but no jewish representation or even a senior leadership person. Not even a token figure, much in the same way you have no Chinese MSP or MP in the SNP. Diversity stops at Sein Fein, Muslim, LGBT and the rich, the SNP is a party steeped in tokenism.
Finally, this is my second last post, tomorrow back to the hospital for surgery, then a period off blogging to rest my eye; then start back normally after the New Year. So, just the xmas blog to crack out, and an assessment of the election, the winners, the losers and the crying. And of course a lighthearted look at any portillo moments. This Thursday, 10 pm polls close and then the game’s afoot. So stock up on grub, it will be a long night as the various battles unfold. The battle of Glasgow North East, Stirling, East Renfrewshire and Ochil and South Perthshire, along with Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath, the ones to watch and laugh or cry over!
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University