Friday, July 25, 2008

What we need to learn from the Fall of Glasgow East

The result:

• John Mason, SNP - 11,277
• Margaret Curran, Labour - 10,912
• Davena Rankin, Conservative - 1,639
• Ian Robertson, Lib Dem - 915
• Frances Curran, Scottish Socialist Party - 555
• Tricia McLeish, Solidarity - 512
• Dr Eileen Duke, Scottish Greens - 232
• Chris Creighton, Independent - 67
• Hamish Howitt, Freedom 4 Choice - 65
Turnout 42.25%

As I’ve said before, a nationalist victory in this particular battle could, if the right lessons are learnt, actually help us in our long-term aim which is to keep the integrity and unity of our nation intact.

But those lessons need to be learnt and quick:

1.Brown is a dead-man walking, at the minute our biggest liability.
A complete incompetent as a leader, Salmond and the forces of Scottish separatism cannot be defeated with him at the helm. He’s got to go, although I don’t think we’ll have to wait too long on that one to be honest.

2.Scottish Labour must take a long, hard, cold look at itself.
For the sake of all their MP and MSA wage packets and expense claims if nothing else. The days of relying on then old sectarian and class certainties have gone- the last two by-elections have proven that. Accept you are no longer the dominating force in Scottish politics- you (and we, as Unionists) now have an enemy who, with infinitely less resources, is running rings around you. Time for a bit of thinking, reflection and self-analysis.

3.The Unionist, political, business and media Establishment needs to stop pontificating from its ivory tower and join the real battle on the streets.
Your wider image at the minute stinks- a self-serving elite giving the impression that the Union is there solely for your own selfish benefit. Start getting your hands dirty in the places where the actual debate for hearts and minds is taking place; yes you might have to "encounter" Mr Joe Public- deal with it.

4.The turnout here was 42%.
When that remaining 58% wake up this morning will they be pleased that they now have an MP whose version of a “free, independent and proud” Scottish nationalism includes:

a. Criticising a Glasgow school because their World Cup 2006 display included too many red and white St George flags?
b. Trying to block a Glasgow street being named after the architect of devolution, Donald Dewar who died in 2000.?

If they are, or aren’t bothered one way or the other, then quite frankly they deserve each other and I and other Unionists won’t be wasting anymore time worrying about you sleepwalking into Salmond’s trap. If you do still want to stay British, then get off your lazy arses and start showing it; if not, then goodbye-go without our best wishes.

5."Yet our best trained, best educated, best equipped, best prepared troops refuse to fight! Matter of fact, it's safe to say that they would rather switch than fight!"
“Fight the Power”- Public Enemy

The SNP are controlling the most stable minority administration in Europe- how they’ve managed that?
Simple, the Scottish Tories have shown they would rather bend over for Alex and his minority administration inflicting collateral damage on Labour than stand true to their Unionist heritage . The Conservatives are now a truly UK party with enormous financial, PR and intellectual resources- the Scottish Tories are (or at least should be) an integral part of that organisation- an unceasing, unwavering campaign should now be waged against the nationalists on all fronts- no more passengers and no more collaboration in any form with any party whose ultimate target is the destruction of our nation.

5.Finally, linked to point 4).
Online, be it in the comments-zones in newspapers like The Scotsman, in the nationwide online arenas like "Our Kingdom", in the lower blog regions, Unionism is being absolutely overrun and slaughtered by its nationalist critics. It seems sometimes that there's only about half dozen or so of us Unionists from Northern Ireland who're the only ones in the blogosphere caring enough about the continuance of the United Kingdom to devote the time needed each day to put our case across to the wider audience.
Well then, are we, in reality, on our own?
If not, then when are we going to see a bit more online help from our brothers in England, Scotland and Wales?

22 comments:

wildgoose said...

When did the English receive any support for our objections to the unfair Devolution Acts that turned us into second class citizens?

I myself have written to MPs, including Lady Sylvia Hermon - and not even received the courtesy of a reply.

That of course, was when I was still a Unionist trying to undo some of the damage Devolution has caused.

And what was the response when I (and others) tried to defend the Union and oppose a Nationalist breakup of the UK?

The most virulent anti-English objections came from "Unionists" (Colonialists) determined to suppress England and the English "for the sake of the Union". Cameron extolling the "Scottish blood in his veins" and saying he would stand up for Scotland against the "sour-faced little Englanders" being a case in point.

Well done.

I now longer care whether the Union lives or dies providing that my 3 children can grow up as full citizens of the country they live in rather than being denied political equality with the rest of the Union.

And I am not alone. In my experience, my attitudes are increasing typical.

We are the canaries in the coal mine, the great mass of English opinion is slowly following behind us.

I said at the election before last that the matter would be decided one way or another by the end of the next Parliament.

I've yet to see anything to persuade me I'm wrong.

tally said...

Unionists including those from Northern Ireland have and still are very keen to regionalise England for their own ends.
Unionists have wiped England off the map and England is not even represented on the british council.
Why should any one English back this union?

O'Neill said...

I myself have written to MPs, including Lady Sylvia Hermon - and not even received the courtesy of a reply.

Wildgoose
The exact point I was making about the Unionist elite.

Tally

Unionists including those from Northern Ireland have and still are very keen to regionalise England for their own ends.

I'm an integrationist which in Northern Ireland terms means I'll be dancing on Stormont's grave when the whole sorry shebang (hopefully soon) breathes its last corrupt breath.

IMO a true Unionist position means that you must logically oppose asymmetrical devolution.

Why you should back the Union?
The answer to that simply depends on how highly you value your Britishness

Toque said...

You're living in the past. Devolution in Northern Ireland may be reversed (with guns and bombs) but it won't be through an intergrationist approach because people on the mainland aren't interested. And you will never get the Scots and Welsh to relinquish their devolved powers. Never, not in your wildest dreams.

An integrationist approach is complete unionist fantasy (I think only UKIP advocate that). And what if Stormont is dissolved; you will be integrating with England, not Scotland and Wales where public opinion demands further political separation.

The question is, given devolution as a fact how do we make the union a democratic and fair one that respects the different identities of the UK fairly.

If that can't be achieved then it's over.

Chekov said...

"because people on the mainland aren't interested."

Except David Cameron who wishes to have Northern Ireland MPs in his government.

A good assessment O'Neill. I've added a few thoughts on my own blog.

wildgoose said...

Except David Cameron...who can see full well what the likely result of the next General Election is going to be.

The Tories will win overwhelmingly in England. If they're lucky they'll have 3 seats in Scotland, and something similar in Wales - and the "Welsh" seats are likely to be in Monmouthshire, i.e. really ENGLAND, in any event.

So how does he avoid the accusation of the Tories being the "English" Party? (Which they most certainly are not, they have singularly failed to defend England and the English).

Simple. Do the same as Gordon Brown.

The Northern Ireland "Unionists" have shown themselves over the "42 Days" legislation to be easily bribed and suddenly the Tories are the only party who can claim representation across the whole of the UK.

Cynical?

Or just realistic?

Toque said...

Cameron is in it for himself.

O'Neill, in all seriousness, why not start a unionist blog-ring, a British Bulldag version of the Witanagemot Club?

I'm sure Cicero's Songs would be your first recruit.

Zenobia said...

I agree with the above comments. When you can show that the union is worth defending, when you can defend the reason why the english have to continue under democratic discrimination, when you can explain why two tiers of politicians are find for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland - but out of the question for England THEN and only then will I consider the continuation of the union.

Until then I will we fighting for the establishment of an English Parliament with might and main.

zenobia said...

Strong emotion fuddles the fingers - "I will be fightining for the establishment of the English Parliament with might and main - and rather better typing!"

tally said...

I can remember about 30 years ago, an Irish politician (forget who) said that in the end England would tire of the union. He was right.

wildgoose said...

And having tired of the Union, how to extricate Englnd gracefully?

Well, I suppose this would be a good start.

wildgoose said...

s/Englnd/England/

Must learn to preview...

(And probably not assume people understand the Unix vi editor commands, but heh...)

tony said...

Can u hear the Unionists sing?..............nawoh, nawoh. Can u hear the Unionists sing? Canny here a friggin thing...........Nawoh oh oh oh ooooooooooooooh.

Ya beautie!

O'Neill said...

You're living in the past. Devolution in Northern Ireland may be reversed (with guns and bombs) but it won't be through an intergrationist approach because people on the mainland aren't interested.

Toque,

No, I'll make a prediction here and now, the devolved government in NI will have crashed before the end of the year without a gun or bomb in sight.

It's just a question who has their breakdown first, Brown or Stormont-the Executive hasn't met for over 6weeks and the inevitable consequences of having two parties with directly competing forms of ethno-nationalism in "coaltion" are now manifest.

And you will never get the Scots and Welsh to relinquish their devolved powers. Never, not in your wildest dreams.

"Never" is a long time. 15 years ago it probably would have seemed to many Unionists that there would never be nationalists in government in Scotland, Wales and NI. I'll admit it's a longterm project but remember there remain significant minorities within both labour and the Conservatives that were dragged kicking and screaming into devolution. Those elements remain and as they see the rise in the SNP and Plaid Cymru (to a much lesser extent) will gain in strength. Similarly, get rid of Brown and wait until the minority Scottish administration's honeymoon ends (and it will, inevitably, nobody can be that lucky for 4 years) and we're looking at a different picture.

Two short-term crucial targets are Salmond's referendum and the Welsh referendum re the granting of greater powers. If we can smash the nationalists in both, then we can start putting doubts in right minds about how far the devolution experiment should be taken.

Not an easy task, but certainly not, given the right circumstances, unachievable.

O'Neill, in all seriousness, why not start a unionist blog-ring, a British Bulldag version of the Witanagemot Club?

Strange you should say that, I got an interesting Email tonight about how we can strengthen the Unionist blogosphere...

O'Neill said...

tony
With that kind of reaction looks like we're losing the intellectual argument anyway;)

And you weren't confident pre-election enough to put your money on SNP this time, what kind of odds would you want for a "Yes" referendum vote?
If they're reasonable enough, I might offer you them- all proceeds to charity.

tony said...

Bookies have cut the odds from 25's down to 20/1. It is a 4 year wait but will think about it. A hundred returns 2 G, quite a good return.

I changed my mind about our chances a few days before the vote. There were simply so few people I was speaking to or seeing on TV or listening to the radio who were saying that they were going to vote Labour. All were either undecided or voting SNP. I put a patriotic tenner on @ 9/4 and am on record @ slugger for doing so.................the sweetest money since I went big on Hearts to beat Rangers in the Scottish cup final many moons ago.

Hadn't you guys better make up with your fellow countrymen before we burst the bubble that is UK inc.?

O'Neill said...

Bookies have cut the odds from 25's down to 20/1.

20/1 in a two horse race???!!
And it's only two years away if Salmond gets his way.

Hadn't you guys better make up with your fellow countrymen before we burst the bubble that is UK inc.?

From this thread it looks like we need to make up with at least some of our fellow countryman before they burst the bubble that is Uk inc.

tony said...

You do realise that you are Irish, don't you oneil?

>>20/1 in a two horse race???!!
And it's only two years away if Salmond gets his way.<<

Should the Scottish people get their way you mean. Aren't you in danger of personalising your Unionist arguments, or lack there of, hence the implied attacks on Salmond, here and in the previous months. He is a good leader, obviously an astute strategist ans extremely personable. However you discount the settled will of the Scottish people in all of this.

Just yesterday I was discussing putting a big note on independence with she who must be obeyed. The papers are full of stories about big money being put on it. I think i will before the odds reduce to nothing.

Don't you think it was a spectacular result for the cause? Lol!

O'Neill said...

You do realise that you are Irish, don't you oneil?
Yes of course I do and I'm proud of it...but I also have the extra bonus of being British.

I can't put it better than Michael McGimpsey:

As I see it, I'm an Irish Unionist. I'm Irish, that's my race if you like. My identity is British, because that is the way I have been brought up, and I identify with Britain and there are historical bonds, psychological bonds, emotional bonds, all the rest of it you know. I'm not so much anti-united Ireland as I am pro-Union with Britain, and I would be quite prepared to take a united Ireland tomorrow, if somehow the whole of Ireland could have some form of Union grafted [on] . . .

Hen Ferchetan said...

Interesting your comment about nationalists overuning the Unionists online - the exact same thing has been noticed in the Welsh blogosphere this week after the last three non-politician Labour blogs closing down in ther past month. Everyone's noting that apart from 1 or 2 noticable exeptions from the Tories and Libs, every blog that is a declared support of one party is now Plaid Cymru.

See here: http://amlwchmagor.blogspot.com/2008/07/calling-all-labourites.html

O'Neill said...

Yes, I read your post on that HF. I'm also finally getting round to answering your meme!

Hen Ferchetan said...

Ian Paisley - good call!