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.
I found it difficult to get involved in campaigning this time around. Campaigning with the SNP is very different compared to campaigning with Yes: there are all sorts of party protocols and regulations and whatnot, there are policies that I may or may not agree with, there are partisan considerations which I might not be interested in. But let’s keep it simple: what are political parties for? To further a political cause and enact policy according to common views.
Keir Hardie’s original Labour party was founded to be the political arm of the Trade Union movement; the Scottish Socialist Party are the political arm of the Socialist movement; the Scottish Green Party is the political arm of the environmental movement.
What does that make the SNP? The political arm of the Scottish independence movement.
So with ten days to go with the election, I figure I may as well make a go of it: why SNP?
Well, that’s 2 weeks to the election that could change everything. I might be scarce until then, because I’m going to be working dawn to dusk to get this man elected.
This man is Ronnie Cowan, and he wants to be the first ever SNP MP to represent Inverclyde in the UK Parliament. This fantastic video was directed by the Bafta-winning director David Newbigging, and I am proud & privileged to have played a part in making it… mostly holding heavy equipment up in high winds praying I don’t break something, but I’m part of the team, my arms’ll stop aching eventually. Continue reading
I think I must’ve only talked to Iain McKenzie a few times since his election in 2011. Back then, I wasn’t very political. I still bought into the apathetic “voting doesn’t make any difference anyway” myth, after seeing New Labour destroying civil liberties under Tony Blair and then wrecking the economy under Gordon Brown, with the only alternative being either the Tories, or the Lib Dems. We all know how that turned out. But the referendum – a referendum which, it must never be forgotten, New Labour, the NeoLibDems, and the Tories all tried to stop from taking place at all – changed all that. I started reading up, researching, enquiring.
So, six months following the referendum Mr McKenzie, as well as dozens more New Labour candidates, have sent leaflets like this through the doors of thousands of homes in Scotland. They’re all extremely similar to each other, with a few localised bits and pieces. Six months after the referendum, I’m confident that I don’t think I’ll be going back into the cave. I’ll be looking at the shadows on Mr McKenzie’s leaflet, and telling you what is really casting them.
For your consideration, I offer a transcription of the opening statements made by the candidates in the 8th April debate in the Greenock Town Hall. You can listen to the entire thing here at Inverclyde Radio (direct link). Rather than comment directly on what the candidates say (that’s coming up in another post), I’ll put in a few links you might want to read up on. After trying out several audio programs without success, I resorted to typing it out like a savage. Any errors, comments (or suggestions for audio software, seriously I don’t think I can manage to type out the next hour of the program with my sloth-like fingers), please let me know.
(Disclaimer: this is a post in which I big up the SNP, because I’m an SNP member who supports an SNP candidate for Inverclyde and advocates SNP policies and aims. Don’t say that you’re surprised.
I plan on doing a more in-depth appraisal of the debate when Inverclyde Radio puts it on again tomorrow, so here are my immediate thoughts.)
I am aware that many object to the severity of my language; but is there not cause for severity? I will be as harsh as truth, and as uncompromising as justice. On this subject, I do not wish to think, or to speak, or write, with moderation. No! no! Tell a man whose house is on fire to give a moderate alarm; tell him to moderately rescue his wife from the hands of the ravisher; tell the mother to gradually extricate her babe from the fire into which it has fallen; — but urge me not to use moderation in a cause like the present. I am in earnest — I will not equivocate — I will not excuse — I will not retreat a single inch — AND I WILL BE HEARD. The apathy of the people is enough to make every statue leap from its pedestal, and to hasten the resurrection of the dead.
– William Lloyd Garrison, “To the Public”, No. 1 (1 January 1831)
We’re in the final month of the 2015 General Election campaign, and we’re already seeing some bewildering madness. Tories say a vote for SNP is a vote for Labour while Labour say the opposite; a phantom memo came and went like a thief in the night; a New Labour defector to SNP defects back to New Labour – then he didn’t – then he did… It’s getting weird and wild, is what I’m saying.
A lot of things have been said about the SNP candidate for Inverclyde, Ronnie Cowan. One common refrain is that he is somehow scared of debates, on account of his initial disinterest in taking part in a series of debates organised by the Conservative candidate George Jabbour. (Yet even then, he did, in fact, agree to two debates, on the 13th and 24th of April, which makes the “he’s scared to debate” meme all the more confusing). His reasoning was simple, and stated in the Greenock Telegraph: he would engage in debates closer to the election period, and that he saw no benefits to earlier debates, especially with the manifesto then-unpublished. So of course, despite Mr Cowan spending the better part of 2 years doing little else but debate as the Yes Inverclyde campaign manager, be it in the shop or on the doorsteps, his reluctance to indulge a Tory’s demands has been spun into something it most assuredly isn’t. Why else would I have backed Ronnie Cowan as SNP candidate if I thought he wasn’t up to debate?
His performance last night should put that misapprehension to rest.
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.