This time next Thursday, I’ll be at the Waterfront Leisure Complex. The polls will be closed. The ballots will be gathered. And we wait for the count.
And New Labour have begun their operation. I’m all but certain a goodly number of the “hardened campaigners” Miliband procured to send up north will be doorstepping Kilmacolm and Inverkip and the West End. Will they behave as they did during the referendum – lying to the elderly about their pensions being ended, advising them not to interact with other canvassers in any way, hinting at disaster without overtly making it up whole-cloth? New Labour are already lying through their teeth – about the largest party forming the government, about what SNP candidates did or didn’t say, about how the SNP can somehow force FFR or another referendum on the people of Scotland. It’s what they do. And they’re out in force.
But why are New Labour fighting so hard to keep Inverclyde? We only represent a small proportion of Scots: we aren’t the richest or most powerful or most productive constituency; Iain McKenzie is hardly a mighty conquest compared to a Murphy or Curran or Hood. It has to be reiterated: Gordon Brown came here. The last New Labour Prime Minister, the Big Beast, the Iron Chancellor – his first port of call was the Clyde. Douglas Alexander opened the New Labour campaign hub – that’s the man in charge of the entire New Labour party’s campaign. Polls show a much smaller gap between New Labour and the SNP than other parts of the country – parts where New Labour may as well give up. Here they have a chance, and they’re giving it everything they’ve got – because Inverclyde may well be one of the few fights they have a chance of winning.
It’s gotten to the point where Inverclyde Council Leader Stephen McCabe is casting New Labour as the underdogs in Inverclyde.
— Stephen McCabe (@kilmacolm1) March 21, 2015
— Stephen McCabe (@kilmacolm1) April 8, 2015
It is clear from our canvassing today that we can win this election in Inverclyde but we need your help comrades… pic.twitter.com/N7URXUdaNR
— Stephen McCabe (@kilmacolm1) April 22, 2015
Labour can win Inverclyde? New Labour, who have reigned over Inverclyde for 80 years, have to fight, fight and fight again for every vote? New Labour, who have Inverclyde’s MP, MSP, and 9 Councillors of 20, actually need help against the SNP?
Changed days indeed.
Yet it was the same during the referendum, wasn’t it? Yes Inverclyde had a multitude of open, public events. We had Yes in the Park. We had the walk on the waterfront. We had fun days, open days, fundraisers, all while New Labour hid their heroes behind closed doors in darkened cinemas and secure locations. The dramatic difference in those pictures belies just how close this election will be.
Enough of this. Everyone who voted Yes must vote SNP: after the way New Labour treated Labour for Independence, why on earth would you go back? All the first-time voters disheartened by the referendum must vote SNP if they want a chance to make Scotland better within the UK. All those No voters who want Devomax, or Home Rule, or any variation therein must vote SNP if they truly want the change Scots desperately need.
The SNP are closer to winning Inverclyde than they ever were before. I don’t want a photo-finish, or a slight lead, I want as many people as possible to vote SNP for the simple reason that I think the SNP are the only party with the intention of going to Westminster to actually change things. New Labour have zero incentive to do so, and plenty to actually curb back devolution or cut funding to Scotland. The other parties don’t have a chance in Inverclyde.
See the background image of this blog? I took the picture. It’s the sky above Inverclyde. The view in Inverclyde is the equal of any sight this wondrous island has to offer. The people of Inverclyde are talented, compassionate, intelligent and dedicated. Inverclyde is incredible, yet it’s been left by the wayside. 80 years of wasted potential. I’ve had enough.
Inverclyde could be so much more.
Let’s make it so.