As we move to the 2015 United Kingdom General Election, I start to realise that this could well be the most important general election in the history of the United Kingdom. This series has attracted quite a lot of interest, for obvious reasons: to make everything easy to find, I’ve started an index.
With most New Labour MPs, it’s easy to argue the case for someone who will represent their constituents better. It’s no problem to point to the many things SNP MPs have voted for which New Labour did not, and argue that the heroic 6 set a precedent which won’t be neglected. Rattling off the great things the SNP is something I’ll be doing in the coming weeks. The Devo Files, though, are naturally focusing on any given MP’s record on devolution and other Scottish matters – and with too many, they’re just not cutting it.
Things are very, very different with Ian Davidson – for out of all the candidates, he is the one who I feel is a disgrace not only to Scottish politicians or people, but to the New Labour party itself. Think about what that means. This politician has done and said things that should have had him kicked out of the party years ago. This politician has acted like a thug, a bully, and an all-round reprobate. Most unforgivable of all, politician has taken deliberate and concerted actions which jeopardised the livelihoods of his own constituents. This is more than arguing the people of Glasgow South West deserve better – this is arguing that their current MP is a clear and present danger to their interests. In short…
Ian Davidson has to be stopped.
Back when I started the Devo Files in October last year, the SNP surge which has wrought such terror in the hearts of the Westminster Establishment was just a fluke: a poll or two here and there, so what, they thought; it doesn’t mean anything, they reasoned; it won’t continue over the next few months, they hoped. Yet here we are, on the 24th of March, and the SNP are still significantly ahead of every other party in Scotland despite the relentless Print-BBC-Westminster offensive.
Nonetheless, there are still some seats which have a substantial New Labour majority: Willie Bain, Jim Murphy, and a handful more are still tipped to keep their seat, on account of their votes being so high even a 20-point gain to the SNP might not be enough. With that in mind, let’s look at the constituency Thomas Widmann deemed one of the most formidable constituencies for the SNP – Dumfries & Galloway, whose current majordomo is Russell Brown.
What makes Mr Brown special? Let us delve into the Devo Files…
Beware the Ides of March. March is, as James Kelly says, the final month in the term of the ruinous Coalition government. Technically speaking, from the end of March to the election, those currently performing their duties as MPs will then be candidates. Their terms as MPs are over. Sovereignty is once again in the hands of the Scottish people – not total sovereignty, sadly, but at least enough for each constituency to choose who they want to represent them at Westminster.
Unlike the referendum, however, we’re not working on a single nationwide vote, but 59 smaller theatres of battle. The nature of First Past the Post means that even if 49% of votes went to the Honeydew Party and 51% to the Tomato Party, if that percentage was uniform across Scotland, it means the Honeydew Party wouldn’t have a single representative, and the Tomato Party would have them all. That’s bad enough for the people of Scotland, but worse when you remember that the UK Tomato Party might not gain a majority even if every Scottish constituency voted for them – all it would take is for 60 constituencies in England and Wales to vote Guava, and we’d get a Guava government. (I fear I may have let that metaphor run away from me.)
So what we have here are 59 battles*, for 59 chiefdoms. Each chiefdom has a different story, with different clans vying for control. They may have been SNP fortresses for decades, even since their very foundation; others may be comparatively recent SNP conquests; some may no longer exist. And there are many which have never flown the Clootie Dumpling flag. A resounding victory in one chiefdom does not necessarily translate to the total vote: there is no difference between a 51% result or a 100% result in this case. The 59 SNP clans cannot rely upon anyone but themselves. We cannot, must not, care whether the SNP retain their current 6 seats, or gain 12 seats, 20 seats, 30, 40, 50, 59. All we have to care about is one seat – the constituency where you live.
My chiefdom is Inverclyde. Right now we have a few local clans seeking to elect their greatest to send to Westminster as Inverclyde’s champion. I’ll look at each one in turn, but for now, it’s probably worth considering: just what is this election going to be about for the people of Inverclyde?
There are 9 MPs who are choosing not to contest their seat on the 7th of May: whether they are retiring, disgraced, or simply giant cowards, their Devo Files are essentially closed: whoever contests the seat, contests with a blank slate, with no previous record on their devolution votes. I shall list the 2010 MPs, and post links to their SNP successors.
I almost felt bad in posting this video. Then I remembered who Brian Donohoe is.
Brian Donohoe is what you’d expect from Scottish New Labour: former trade union official, went to Technical College, apprentice fitter & turner in the shipyards, engineer at a nuclear power plant. And, much like what you’d expect, he’s been in the party so long even he doesn’t seem to have realised that they’re not socialists any more.
In all the excitement about the polls and the news that the SNP membership has passed the 100,000 mark with only a few weeks to go, sometimes it’s all too easy to forget that the SNP already has a remarkable team in Westminster. Since 2010, Angus Robertson, Stewart Hosie, Michael Weir, Pete Wishart, Angus MacNeil, and Eilidh Whiteford have braved the den of inequity that is Westminster, where they could expect nothing but scorn, ridicule and outright hatred from the vast majority of their colleagues – not to mention explicit rejection of their motions by New Labour MPs as a matter of principle.
In tribute to the fine work of these MPs, I’m going to offer a quick run-down of their chances, and links to contact and support them.
And so we come to Willie Bain.
There comes a time when you can’t be sarcastic. You can’t muster up anything more than sheer contempt. Mr Bain exemplifies everything that is wrong with New Labour, and why they must not be allowed to represent their constituents any more. Anyone who would vote in favour of nuclear weapons when almost half the children in their constituency are suffering is an enemy of their own constituents. It’s as simple as that.