Monday, June 13, 2011
SNP Group Leader Allison Hunter says Glasgow can truly be ours at the Council elections in 2012, to win, the SNP need city wide plan
For sometime I have been blogging about ‘the central Scotland question.’
For the avoidance of doubt, I found a post on the Scotsman I wrote in June 2008.
Even back then, I could identify the key to unlock Scotland as an independent country of the future.
In May, the SNP achieved a landslide of epic proportions to achieve a second term in office.
The next big challenge is Glasgow, taking it off the Glasgow Labour Party; it is as important a fight as Holyrood and should be treated as such.
To rip Glasgow out of the hands of Labour would be an incredible blow to their psyche; it would put the world on its head.
In order to capitalise on the growing support for independence, the SNP have to be active more than they have been ever before.
That means staking a claim right in the centre of Glasgow by setting up a stall.
But not just a stall in the traditional sense, key points in the city should be targeted to market, ‘the plan’, what the SNP Group in Glasgow will do when they take the reins of power.
Other aspects of a city location are that SNP Candidates for election can come down and try out their speaking skills in public.
The SNP can also hand out relevant literature promoting grassroots and campaigns beyond normal politics.
For example raising awareness of charities such as heart, homeless and cancer, it is time to go beyond just the political message.
Community is the key.
Councillor Allison Hunter believes Glasgow will become a national battleground in the run-up to the 2012 local government elections.
She is right, if Glasgow falls, it is the same as the fall of Rome, the entire Labour empire in Scotland goes with it.
And Labour knows it.
The SNP should be able to increase its current numbers at the 2012 election; a key focus must be public sector reform.
A lot of people have become rich in Glasgow because of their connections to the Labour Party.
The city is literally drowning under bad management and the right hand is unaware what the right is doing.
Given recent success, pundits on the news front believe Glasgow could fall to the SNP, and yes, they are right but only if there is a city wide plan.
Many believe the intervention of Alex Salmond in the issue of an east end care centre and the flexing of financial muscles regarding the Commonwealth Games is the clearest indication the SNP is already on an election footing.
Well, at least thinking about it.
At present, there is a huge gulf between the people and the authority with citizens always feeling the council does not listen and they are right, this has always been the case, now it’s out in the open.
Some of the Labour Councillors of shame think their election to public office means membership of a private club.
This is Labour Councillor Gerald Leonard gifts from the city council website.
Saga Radio, March 2007 - Bottle of whisky (donated to charity) - £12.00.
City Building, 23/12/07 - Gift Voucher - £100.
City Building, 20.4.08 - PFA Event - £70.00.
City Building, 25.4.08 - Global Citizenship Charity Event - £50.00.
City Building, 26.4.08 - Strathclyde Fire & Rescue Charity Event - £65.00.
City Building, 7.11.08 - GERA Charity Event - £50.00.
City Building, 23/12/08 - Gift Voucher - £100.
City Building, 16.1.09 - Prince & Princess of Wales Hospice Charity Burns Supper - £55.00.
City Building, 23.1.09 - Labour Party Dinner - £80.00.
City Building, 26.3.09 - Prince & Princess of Wales Hospice Charity Event - £60.00.
City Building, 24.4.09 - Press fund Charity Event - £60.00.
City Building, 3.5.09 - PFA Event - £70.00.
City Building, 8.10.09 - Glasgow Business Awards - £65.00.
City Building, 28.10.09 - Herald Society Awards - £70.00.
City Building, 9.09.09 - APSE Conference - £398.00.
City Building, 13.11.09 - Prince & Princess of Wales Hospice Charity Event - £60.00.
City Building, 15.11.09 - SFA Hall of Fame Event - £70.00.
City Building, 23/12/09 - Gift voucher - £100.
City Building, 29.1.10 - Lord Provost Charity Burns Supper - £75.00.
City Building, 12.2.10 - Press Fund Charity Event - £60.00.
City Building 28.04.08 St Andrew's Sporting Club.-Unknown
City Building 23.10.08 Chamber of Commerce Business Awards-Unknown
City Building 14.11.08 Hospice Charity Event-Unknown.
City Building 16.11.08 SFA Hall of Fame - Unknown.
City Building 30.01.09 Lord Provost's Charity Burns Supper-Unknown.
City Building 15.03.09 Scottish League Cup Final -Unknown.
City Building 25.06.09 BME Awards -Unknown.
City Building 28.10.09 GO Awards (Herald) -Unknown
City Buildingm 25.02.10 Labour Party Dinner -Unknown.
SEMSA AGM - 07.01.2011-Dinner- £20
And on top of that, he gets his Councillor salary plus, money for suiting on Glasgow Clyde Regeneration - £11,093 per annum and City Property LLP - £6,335 per annum.
Something is wrong in the state of Glasgow.
This is just Gerald Leonard but you can check the register of interests of others, some people have done extremely well out of being a councillor.
Except the people!
Possil, Arden, Darnley, Castlemilk, Esterhouse and Pollok haven’t faired so well, yes there has been improvements in terms of housing and infrastructure but not enough done in these highly deprived areas.
Some places are a shocker.
Glasgow Labour are waking up to the unthinkable in less than 11 months, Labour Councillors in many wards will be gone.
So, they will find themselves in the position of fighting not just the SNP but each other as well.
The Labour voting pool is sinking and shrinking.
However, winning Glasgow outright is a tough ask for the SNP.
Allison Hunter says the SNP group had the capacity to win the city but refused to be held as a hostage to fortune on whether it would take the council.
But, she did say that in the event of no party winning an overall majority in the council she would be receptive to coalition talks with other political groups.
Allison Hunter also said:
“It’s too early to speak about manifesto or policy commitments but there is a crying need for the people of Glasgow to be reconnected with the city council.
One issue for the SNP to focus on is the current Labour leader, Gordon ‘free dinners’ Matheson, who was the head of education during the controversial school closures programme two years ago.
“School closures is the obvious thing. There was a consultation, the people had their say and then the council did what it wanted.”
When you wield the axe, sometimes it can bounce back and clunk you on the head, too much short term thinking is Labour’s problem.
If Labour is forced to fight on their record of screwing people or even defend it, they are lost, they simply don’t get it.
The proof of that particular pudding are the deprived areas of the city of Glasgow that in some ways have been completely abandoned by the Labour Party.
Except at voting time, when they come round and expect our votes as a right.
These people have got to go.
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University