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Showing posts with label Scottish Parliamentary election May 5th. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Scottish Parliamentary election May 5th. Show all posts

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

My thanks to the Labour teams who are helping the SNP to victory on May 5th

Gratitude is one of the most pleasant of the emotions and I wish to express mine to the Labour team who have not only given the SNP a commanding lead in the polls, but have consolidated it in the last couple of days. If an SNP administration is returned to Holyrood after May 5th, not only I, but the Scottish people will be in your debt for the service you have rendered to the nation.

THE STATEGIC TEAM

Colin Smyth - Scottish General Secretary

Rami Okasha - Head of strategy, policy and communications

Simon Pia - Special adviser to Rami Okasha at Holyrood

John Park - Campaign director

THE KEY FRONT BENCH TEAM

Andy Kerr - finance spokesperson

Jackie Baillie - health spokesperson

Richard Baker - justice  spokesperson

THE KEY UK POLITICAL ADVISERS

Ed Miliband - Leader of the Labour Party and Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition.

David Cameron - Prime Minister of the UK.

Peter Hain, Chris Huhne and Michael Howard, for their expert highlighting on Question Time why Alex Salmond was the right First Minister for Scotland and for the NHS, creating during the debate the real possibility of his being given the freedom of the City of Liverpool, a great heartland of the working class and one of the great cities of the UK.

THE SCOTTISH PRESS TEAM

The Herald, The Scotsman, The Scottish Daily Mail, The Scottish Express, The Scottish Daily Record

(N.B. The Scottish Sun has played a significant role in the campaign to re-elect the SNP, but since they were not part of the Labour Team, I regret that I cannot mention them in this panegyric.)

THE CELEBRITY TEAM

Eddie Izzard - English comedian, film actor and would-be politician.

Lord George Foulkes - politician and media personality, with an instinctive but largely unconscious gift for comedy.

THE CRIMINAL TEAM

Prudence prevents me from listing the Labour MPs and Lords who have been sentenced to jail terms for criminal offences. I must also refrain from naming the near-criminal team - rather larger - who were guilty of stealing from the taxpayer through fraudulent expenses claims but who were not prosecuted. Nonetheless, I am grateful to them, anonymous though they must remain.

THE COUNCIL TEAM

A special mention must go to the controlling Labour Group in Glasgow City Council, who - from Steven Purcell through the ALEOs, to the public-spirited clearance of working class Glaswegians in Dalmarnock who were impeding the Commonwealth Games development and the astronomical profits of rich developers by misguidedly trying to get a fair price for their homes - showed what half a century of Labour control of Glasgow was really all about.

THE TRADES UNION TEAM

Special thanks to most  of the trades union leaders, who in brave defiance of a mountain of facts showing that the Labour Party has been consistently bad for Scotland, and the rising chorus of dissent from a large number of their members, demonstrated that the career paths of full-time officials and dogged loyalty to the Labour Party and Westminster were infinitely more important to them than the jobs and living standards of the people of Scotland



POSTSCRIPT
Thanks in advance to Ed 'the Ballsup' Balls, Westminster English MP who has just arrived in Scotland to offer additional help to the Scottish National Party. Don't think we're not grateful, Ed - you might just secure the SNP an overall majority. But we won't count our chickens ...

Monday, 25 April 2011

Iain Gray’s obsession - independence

If I may quote myself, from yesterday’s blog -

The Scottish National Party’s raison d'être is the independence of the Scottish nation by the free democratic choice of the people of Scotland, a choice that will be offered to them during the life of the next Scottish Parliament, the electorate and May the 5th permitting.

Could anything be clearer than that? One would think not, but it is not clear enough for Iain Gray. But then, not much is clear to Iain Gray, as his flagship policies and dodgy statistics have made abundantly evident over the last few weeks.

Gray has now adopted the advice, offered by several commentators anxious to help him revive his campaign, to ‘go negative’ and attack Alex Salmond and the SNP on the independence issue. Let me explore the rationale behind this. I hope Kenny Farquarson of Scotland on Sunday will forgive me for using some of his arguments in yesterday’s paper to aid me in this.

Kenny’s first paragraph in his first of six steps is very revealing, and I think it may fairly be taken as representative of the Unionist opposition arguments. (The red highlighting is mine.)

1.Talk up independence. No-one predicted that this was going to be a factor in this election. But with the polls now pointing to an SNP-Green majority at Holyrood - and consequently a majority for a referendum - independence is now front and centre.

This paragraph fascinated me by its realpolitik frankness. It doesn’t need any decoding, just paraphrasing - “We unionists thought they were going to lose and now they might win - time to panic!

In the next part of the argument, I will use Kenny’s figures, even though they can be challenged, because frankly, they suit me. (I can do realpolitik too!)

The problem for Salmond is that only a third of Scots favour breaking up the UK. In fact, more than one in four SNP voters is against independence.

First, a purely technical point. Scotland securing its independence would not ‘break up the UK’ - it would become, de facto, the United Kingdom of England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Of course, it would lost that term highly valued by unionists, Great Britain, and continuing to call the England and Wales part British would not be entirely accurate, except perhaps geographically.

The problem with Kenny’s stats is that they are actually a problem for Iain Gray, Annabel Goldie and Tavish Scott, David Cameron and Ed Miliband, not Alex Salmond, and for a couple of very good reasons.

1. If the stats are accurate, then Iain Gray and his fellow unionists have nothing to fear from a referendum, since the Scottish electorate would reject independence by a substantial majority, one that wouldn’t even requiring playing around with the rules after the event, as happened the last time. Iain Gray’s best strategy would then be to adopt the Wendy Principle, and demand that the First Minister “bring it on". Independence would then perhaps be off the agenda for a generation.

2. If Alex Salmond believes the stats, he has two choices - either renege on his explicit promise to ask the Parliament to let the Scottish people decide within the life of the Parliament, or go ahead in the full knowledge that he would lose.

All of these options should logically be attractive to Iain Gray and the unionist, but there is a worm in the unionist apple - they don’t believe the figures themselves, and they fear that a referendum might just yield a majority for an independence vote.

This leaves them with the difficulty that they appear to be denying the Scottish people their right to choose, including those voters who are against independence - unionists.

In the past, the unionist politicians have attempted to deflect the flak on the basis that the Scottish Government can’t afford the costs of a referendum, and that the time and resources devoted to it are a diversion from other more pressing matters. Whatever force this argument might have had, it is now totally discredited because the UK ConLib Coalition are fighting like ferrets in a sack over the AV - Yes  or No referendum - costly, damaging to the unity of the UK government (it may precipitate a general election later this year) at a critical time for the economy, and one for which there was no demand whatsoever from the electorate, who are treating it as a great irrelevancy.

The Scottish electorate are not fools - they can see who is obsessed by an independence referendum, and it is patently not Alex Salmond, but Iain Gray.

Alex Salmond consistent focus is - and always has been - the Scottish economy, effective public services and law and order, employment, renewable energy and a revitalised Scottish private sector.

Nationalists have waited a long time for independence, and although they have their eye on that bright horizon one day, their focus right now is to get Scotland out of the monumental mess created by the Labour Party over decades, the last Westminster Labour Government’s disastrous incompetence in running - I would say ruining - the economy, and the lethal compounding of these giant problems by the inept and squabbling coalition, now on the verge of breakup within the year.

I have a closing word for all Scots voters. You are currently near a watershed on May 5th in a great historical process, one that has ramifications, not just for Scotland, but for everyone who lives in these isles, for the people of Ireland, for Europe and for American foreign policy, and therefore for the world.

It is a process that has been taking place for centuries - the unstoppable urge of a people for independence, for their right to stand up as free men and women in their own nation and run their own affairs. The natural state of a nation is democratic independence by the will of its people.

Be sure to be part of that great liberating process in Scotland - vote for the Scottish National Party on both ballot papers on May 5th. Two simple crosses will determine your future - make the right choices.

Both Votes SNP

Monday, 4 April 2011

Senior LibDem endorses Alex Salmond for First Minister


The message couldn't be clearer - any disillusioned LibDems thinking of voting Labour - Don't!

Things are bad enough without finding Iain Gray as FM of Scotland. Your core values are safer with Alex Salmond and the SNP than with the nuclear, anti-renewables, expedient, warmongering  Labour nonentities.

Their Government destroyed the British economy - don't let them ruin Scotland.

Judge carefully how you vote, depending on your constituency - John Farquhar Munro's message doesn't need much decoding ...

Vote tactically if that's how you see it, but for God's sake, don't vote Labour.

Vote for Scotland and what you believe in.

Sunday, 20 February 2011

Iain Gray, Scotland’s Invisible Man, is nailed to the floor over the Megrahi Release by Isabel Fraser

The Politics Show Scotland, with the superb Isabel Fraser in the chair.

Iain Gray, Scotland's invisible man, is again pinned to the floor on his Holyrood party's hypocrisy over the Megrahi release. He waffles about what he knew, what he says he didn't know, what he said and didn't say to Gordon Brown, and tries to maintain the utterly ludicrous position that Scottish Labour had a shred of independence from their London-based party and Westminster bosses.

A puppet trying to pretend that his strings weren't pulled ...

He attempts, yet again, to muddy the water over slopping out, trying to maintain the ConLib, Labour UK and unionist media desperate attempt to limit the damage - initially caused by the Wikileaks disclosure of their dirty double-dealing  - by smearing the SNP, but is nailed on the vital timescale discrepancy that is the gaping hole in the UK lie.

But the polls would indicate that Labour has been rumbled, and the Scottish people will trust their ain folk. The Middle East is convulsed by oppressed peoples trying to throw off corrupt dictators. Scotland is under the heel of a corrupt democracy, the United Kingdom, but only needs the ballot box to get the hell out from under it.

Vote for your ain folk on May 5th, Scots - vote SNP - the only party that acts solely in the interests of Scots and Scotland, while playing a full, moral part in the European and the international communities.