Saturday, July 19, 2008

Content Warning

Those of a normal, courteous and gracious disposition may find the following scenes disturbing and offensive.

Let's make sure that if we have to endure this sort of shrill, partisan nonsense in the early hours of Friday morning, that Ms. Curran has to wait until after the SNP candidate has finished his speech before she gets her turn...


Bill said...

Hi Richard

I'm not sure what point you are trying to demonstrate here.

As you know, I'm sure, I have no love for either the SNP or the Labour Party, and I obviously have no personal knowledge of what may have happened during the count earlier that night. So as far as the argy-bargying that has been going on between Labour and SNP supporters for the past couple of weeks, I think I can claim relative impartiality - one is no worse, and no better than the other, both Parties are pretty awful (in my opinion). Obviously I write this from a right-of-centre perspective, as one who is not currently a member of the Party he would otherwise wholeheartedly support if the world was a different place, although perhaps that may change fairly soon (my status as a non-member, that is). OK, with that preamble out of the way:

Given that the Returning Officer prefaced his announcement of the results with a pretty stern lecture to those present to 'behave themselves' one can imagine that there must have been some considerable friction earlier.

I also observe the following:
When the first result was announced (the winner, as it so happens, because her name happened to come first in the alphabet), there was relative silence in the hall. Same goes for the seocnd (Christian) candidate's result. Same for the third (LibDem) candidate's result.

The fourth result was for the SNP candidate. After this, the silence was broken. There was clapping and cheering, presumably from SNP supporters. I did not detect any booing, or certainly not so much that it was terribly obvious to me.

The fifth result was the Conservative candidate's, after which there was a little clapping and a few cheers, presumably from his supporters.

During the winner's speech there was some cheering and clapping, also some booing. I did not, as someone who loathes everything Labour stands for, find her speech to be 'shrill'. It may have been 'nonsense', assuming that her accusation of 'intimidation' by SNP persons earlier in the evening was also 'nonsense', but given the Returning Officer's statement before announcing the results it sounds at least possible to me that what she stated was no more than the truth.

Were you there that evening yourself, or do you have other video evidence of what happened there earlier that evening, to support your contention that her speech included 'partisan nonsense', rather than simply a simple, but blunt, statement of what had occurred earlier?

I am sorry to have banged on about this, but I do wonder if your own partisanship has not influenced your interpretation of the events shown in that video-clip.

Of course, none of this changes the fact that the Labour candidate this time around at Glasgow West has made some demonstrably false and risible statements in the last 10 days or so. I have written nothing in my own blog about this bye-election so far, because I have no personal knowledge of the area and the two most likely candidates to win are from Parties I find very little to choose between (in terms of my dislike for what they stand for in their different ways ;) ). The only two things I would say are that if the Labour candidate wins it will demonstrate very clearly that the electorate there are every bit as ... well they deserve all they get! If, on the other hand, the SNP person wins then it will represent a cataclysmic result for Labour, although it is difficult to say whether this might be replicated at a Scottish of Westminster election; bye-elections are rarely a very reliable indicator of what might happen at a national election. Who knows?

Bill said...

Silly me!

I've just realised I referred to 'Glasgow West' rather than 'Glasgow East', and I don't even have the excuse that I could never tell my left from right at primary school (a fellow-pupil had to put a coin in one of her gym-shoes so she could remember which was which).

Richard Thomson said...

Hi Bill,

No, I wasn't at the Glasgow count (I was in Dundee), so my sources are second-hand, albeit sources I would consider highly reliable.

There was a lot of needle at the Glasgow count, though for the most part it seemed to be between Labour and the trots. However, once at the podium, Ms Curran took the opportunity on live television to slate the SNP, knowing full well that the cameras would have moved on by the time the SNP candidate was given the chance to speak.

'Nonsense' is what the accusation was. 'Partisan' is how I would describe her behaviour in this instance. 'Shrill', on the other hand, remains a matter of perception.

As for a point? Merely to show how poorly she behaved in victory, and expressing a view that I'd rather hear her speak after the SNP candidate on Friday - implying my preference for an SNP victory. I wouldn't have thought that bit would come as much of a surprise? :-)

Bill said...

implying my preference for an SNP victory

No, obviously that part is not a surprise ;) . I suppose your informants for the goings-on at the Baillieston count were, like you, SNP supporters and that no SNP supporter was in any way involved in the shenanigans earlier in the evening (that is what your comment response would seem to imply)? If someone from another political party (i.e. not the SNP, Labour or, since you mention them, the 'trots') was to confirm that analysis, from first-hand knowledge, then that might be different, but on the sole basis of what is included in the video-clip, the basis of your posting after all, I am unwilling to assume that what you assert to be the case is so.

It's of course natural that passions run high between rival political parties and their supporters during the run-up to elections, but forgive me for trying to take a rather more dispassionate if not (if I am to be scrupulously honest) absolutely neutral[*] view of what partisans of one side or the other say at such times.

* - I can think of a few high-profile SNP people whose intellects, if not their political beliefs, I greatly respect, whereas I can think of none amongst Labour people, certainly not amongst those who are currently active in politics, for whom I have much else but contempt.

Richard Thomson said...

I am unwilling to assume that what you assert to be the case is so

Fair do's.

Don't get me wrong, Bill - every party has its share of eejits, the SNP included, and I can't vouch for the behaviour of every single representative at a count I wasn't at. However, the balance of opinion which reached me, and not just form SNP folk, was that the aggro was not primarily between Labour and the SNP, but that that was the direction in which several Labour candidates opted to direct their fire during their victory speeches.

As far as I'm concerned, the only thing worse than a bad loser is a bad winner. Ms Curran, in my opinion, would on past evidence appear to fit effortlessly into the latter category.

Bill said...

However, the balance of opinion which reached me, and not just form SNP folk, was that the aggro was not primarily between Labour and the SNP, but that that was the direction in which several Labour candidates opted to direct their fire during their victory speeches.

Fair enough :)

She is undoubtedly a 'machine politician' of the worst kind and it seems none too bright either.

Indygal said...

Well I can vouch for every single member who was at the Glasgow count because I was one of them and there was not a single SNP member involved in anything. It was Solidarity or the SSP, can't remember which, who were fighting with Labour activists. I repeat "not a SINGLE SNP member was involved in it". And we were gobsmacked when Curran and also I think the Anniesland MSP got up and blamed us. Trust me, they KNEW it was nothing to do with us. They were smirking with their pals afterwards and I heard some of the Labour activists laughing about how it was better to get a nationalist the blame than a kid on nationalist. These people are cynical manipulaters who will say and do anything to stop us. Furthermore the big group of females who were with Mohammed Sarwar and Gordon Jackson that evening, had to be told by the police to behave themselves. Their behaviour was shameful.

Richard Thomson said...

Thanks for that, Anne.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Indygall for putting the record straight. I have not been active now in the SNP (though still an ardent supporter and voter) for many years and I can confirm that the Labour Party activists' behavour can be dreadful at times. I still remember the bruises in my ribs and feet from their antics at the school gates and within the Kelvin Hall. This is a long-standing problem with Labour in Glasgow.