Thursday, January 7, 2016
Politically offside: Labour MSP James Kelly has launched bid to scrap SNP football legislation’, given the disaster of the Scottish Labour campaign of 2015, the worse since 1918, isn’t there a more important injustice worthy of a members bill, Scotland has changed, people want big and radical, not small ideas of dubious worth to attempt to create a vote cache, maybe he should hedge his bets and check ‘situations vacant’
Do you remember when Jim Murphy started the Scottish Labour bid to win the 2015 Westminster election?
He started off talking about football, although football is hugely popular, it isn’t really the burning issue of injustice in Scotland.
Have a think for a minute, and see how many injustices you can come up with that are needed to be fixed in Scotland and more of a priority.
And then ask yourself whether someone getting an alcoholic drink at a football march or the much hated Offensive Behaviour at Football and Threatening Communications Act should take precedence.
The OBA is bad law.
In fact, this bill as I have commented on before should be removed from the books, not because of the campaign by others who don’t like it, but solely on the basis of it being bad law.
Legislation based on a knee jerk reaction by Alex Salmond and the SNP which all other parties won’t support, even the Scottish Greens were a firm no. This all started over an incident between football managers Ally McCoist and Neil Lennon which could have escalated into violence in the crowd. It seems these people think that stadning in a football ground gives them some kind of special immunity from being 'lifted' by the Police, it doesn't.
Instead of a new bill, the Scottish Government should have stressed to Police that behaviour like that in a football ground will see you arrested, no matter who you are or who special you think you are.
The Celtic Trust has had a running campaign against the bill, one of their people who stood against me in the Govan by-election, as an independent, is now standing I believe for Holyrood under the Labour banner.
He had about a dozen people helping him in Govan and got 52 votes, I had no one helping me and I got 103 votes. Being a one trick pony is a hard sell in politics and especially when people wonder if you will use public office as a platform to mouth off about your personal grievance.
As someone standing on the sidelines during 2015 election, I thought the Labour campaign was just awful, I mean who starts off a campaign doing tat and expects to be taken seriously?
Three months before the vote, I wrote my blog post; ‘fucking it all up’ and that came to pass in such a spectacular fashion.
The worse defeat for the Scottish Labour Party since 1918.
Labour was left with one MP in Scotland.
I read something recently which was hell of amusing, it was the former Labour MP Ian Davidson complaining about how Jim Murphy had given the impression he was ‘holding the fort’ to secure Labour victory for him and others. Murphy was doing his standing on a soapbox routine which drew the wrath of the cybernats and the attention of the press. However, it surely must have dawned on Ian Davidson that some guy, any guy on his soapbox isn’t enough; you have to work for the area you represent and carry your share of the load.
If Ian Davidson has anyone to blame then he should part blame himself, handing out wee medals in the Govan Press to pensioners isn’t really activism, turning up late as I observed on several occasions during the Better Together campaign isn’t acceptable, and telling a constituent, ‘you write the letter and I will sign it’ isn’t exactly the ‘help’ you would expect from an MP when someone has a problem.
I have said this before but it worth pointing out, during my time in Pollok for Better Together, not one elected Labour member in the Pollok Constituency came out to assist the group covering the area.
That was seven Labour councillors, an MP and an MSP.
Pollok returned the highest Yes vote in Glasgow, however it took the SNP using about 30/40 people to achieve that, the Better Together team number about 5/6 people on the ground.
Labour MSP James Kelly is I understand the business manager for Labour at Holyrood, he wants to bring forward bring forward a member’s bill to overturn the Offensive Behaviour at Football and Threatening Communications Act. As such he is seeking support and of course there is an election in the offing, he thinks this is a vote winner.
Did he some how miss the 2015 election and how it was conducted?
Getting rid of the OBA is a housekeeping matter, it doesn’t need a fanfare, and certainly isn’t worth pursuing during the election campaign. People keep banding around the word ‘radical’ in politics but the reality is that few are.
Where are the big ideas of the type that Labour made their reputation on?
Ideas like the welfare state or the NHS, ideas that created part of British history, what do we have now, pap about fitba; talk about scraping the bottom of the barrel.
Labour has a policy forum; each candidate should have at least one idea of real substance to present in this election.
Scottish Labour is now facing a tough election, again, but unless people start to get their act together, they might find out in May 2016 that the Scottish public might not wish to even give them a hearing.
2015 was a watershed moment for Scottish Labour because it showed that those who thought they were in a safe seat for life, they know there is no such thing any more.
If James Kelly cannot come up with anything better than a bill to remove the Offensive Behaviour at Football and Threatening Communications Act, then he is clearly out of step with the new political landscape in Scotland.
I mean fitba……. Ffs!
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University