Tuesday, December 10, 2019

The Election Storm; Nicola Sturgeon sees the sand crumbling beneath the feet of SNP candidates, Glasgow North East to re-elect Labour’s Paul Sweeney, backfoot Sturgeon forced to repeat warning over suspended SNP candidate on Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath, there is no respect for Sturgeon’s authority in the SNP, we are looking at rot

Dear All

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.”

She added:

“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!

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University


Anonymous said...

Just watched Mike Russell on News night. What an arrogant git. I'm doing a late night on Thurs. My prediction is a hung parly with SNP getting about 40 seats, but losing Blackford which will be wonderful. Hope everything goes well George.

Anonymous said...

Hi George, thanks for cheering me up by telling me that ground is crumbling beneath Sturgeon's feet. I hope this true on Friday the thirteenth

Anonymous said...

Would a hung parliament suit the SNP and can you see them doing a deal with labour?

Anonymous said...

It is always possible that Sturgeon's warning about not working for the suspended SNP candidate was merely for public consumption and the SNP activists were privately told to carry on. If she was serious party HQ could have taken over and put a padlock on the local office, but no.

Anonymous said...

SNP may have 48 seats, but they have less than 50% of the vote, so there is no surge for independence. If there is an indyref2 they will probably fail, and that will really screw them.

ScotchedEarth said...

(Too bad about the result, esp. after all your efforts, George.)

Less than a third30.65%—of the electorate, anon (8:19am); so no mandate for anything more important than setting bus fares.
But, anon, losing indyref2 won’t ‘screw them’, they’ll simply demand indyref3 then 4, etc. But if we allow a second ref., we’ll have lost our best argument: that it is without historical and international (EU notoriously excepted) precedent to have repeated constitutional referendums within a mere few years of each other.
Hold the SNP to the Edinburgh Agreement that Salmond and Sturgeon both signed agreeing to respect the result; hold them to their repeated promises that 2014 was a ‘once in a generation/lifetime’ opportunity—and show them up as liars whose words and even solemn signatures cannot be trusted.

Note how the various failed attempts of US Democrats to remove Trump have caused them to pause not even once, they just carry on without embarrassment or apology.

A democracy can only function if the losing side accepts its loss; various losing sides refusing to accept their defeats and attempting to subvert democratic outcomes will result in the extinguishing of democracy if such destructive sentiments are not firmly confronted.

Devolution has manifestly failed in its stated aims of settling nationalist aspirations and decentralising power, instead promoting petty-nationalism across our Kingdom and simply ‘off-centralising’ power (quasi-national police, fire service, etc). And as I have argued here before, it was the wrong devolution model. But removing Holyrood will not only allow us to enjoy (again) better, cheaper and more efficient government, it will also deprive the SNP of a platform they do not deserve, and will very much help to put them back in their box—for good.

Anonymous said...

After the Blair/Broon betrayal and what looked like a Labour recovery. I was shocked with Corbyn's attitude towards the leave voters with that second vote nonsense. It has been an eye opener election in Scotland. I was expecting Lie@bour to get hammered in England, Wales and Scotland but the SNP gains in Scotland and the Tory loses is surely pointing to something else.
I believe the people of Scotland want to live under a different system. A country with decency, respect, humanity and a rejection of austerity, poverty, food banks, zero hour contracts and all the rest of the neo-liberal mince we are being forced to live under.

How wee Nippy achieves an alternative, we'll just have to wait and see.

P.S sorry about your pal losing, he was real Labour.

G Laird said...

Dear Anon

"P.S sorry about your pal losing, he was real Labour."

I was gutted for him, he didn't deserve to lose, and his replacement will fail the people of Glasgow North East 10 fold.

Some times justice isn't done.