I’m a Nat – I’m a Natalist

On Friday evening I went to a fundraiser in Shettleston for the SNP’s candidate for Glasgow East Westminster seat in May. A hall full of highly motivated people, all of whom are going to give up their time and their energy to campaign over the coming weeks and ensure that Labour gets its come uppance. Many of them – like me – had no involvement in organised politics before the referendum campaign.

Natalie McGarry will be a fantastic MP for the East End, she’s intelligent, educated, and passionate. Admittedly the current incumbent sets the bar pretty low – a pint of milk that has been left in the sun for a fortnight has more culture than Magrit Curran. And a hedgehog that has been flattened by the wheels of a 40 tonne artic would show more in the way of life and vitality. But naturally Natalie’s vitality is no fallacy. She deserves to win because of her positive qualities, and not just because this part of the world desperately needs to jetison Labour’s useless time servers.

Natalie was one of the founder members of Women for Independence, which sought to create a space for women’s voices in the traditionally male dominated world of politics. After all, there’s no point in getting independence if it just means we’re going to keep doing everything the same. Thanks to Natalie and the other women involved in the creation of Women for Independence, the voices of women were heard loud and clear during the referendum campaign, and continue to be heard afterwards.

Women like Natalie are making a difference and building a new Scotland, one that’s outward looking, tolerant, and progressive. I had a wee chat with Natalie, and she told me that she’d been invited to the Basque Country and Catalonia to talk to independence activists there who feel they have much to learn from the Scottish experience. But she’s forgone the trip to Bilbao and Barcelona in order to chap on doors in Baillieston and Barlanark, there’s dedication for you. The East End is more important for once.

Scotland is a country where families were kept together by strong women, Natalie and the other women of Women for Independence made sure that those strong women have a strong voice too. Compare and contrast: Magrit Curran’s main contribution to women’s role in politics would appear be denouncing anyone who criticises her as misogynistic.

The anger at Labour in the East End of Glasgow is palpable. The party that campaigned alongside the Tories in order to scare Scots into a No vote and the continuing risk of Tory governments now tells us that we must vote for them to keep the Tories out. That would be the Tories who cheered Alistair Darling when he addressed the Conservative conference. That would be the Tories that we failed to keep out even though Scotland returned a huge majority of Labour MPs the last time.

Just talking to neighbours and people I know locally, the feeling is that Labour is in for an even bigger kicking than the Ashcroft poll suggested. People who are still going to stick with Labour are thin on the ground. People who are determined to kick Labour out are numerous and vocal. And the hundreds of enthused and energetic activists in attendance on Friday haven’t even started yet. Where are Labour’s activists? Where’s their energy and enthusiasm? Where’s their big idea? They’re nowhere to be seen. All Labout has left is desperation and their praying mantra of lies: “Vote for us to keep out the Tories.”

Labour has nothing to offer, just more of the same. The Tories take an axe to public spending and do it with glee. Labour gives us Tory policies and tells us with a solemn face that it’s for our own good. That’s the only difference between them. The happy face and the sad face on the Westminster theatre of charades. Shettleston Road will still be depressed and down at heel, worry lines etched into harrassed faces, just like it was when I was a wean, just like it is now. It’s time for a change. And in the East End that change is Natalie McGarry. Natalie will go to Westminster and say “haw you”. Magrit Curran goes to Westminster and says “haw me”.

This time Scotland is important. This time attention will be paid. The reason is not because we’re going to vote Labour like we’ve always done. It’s because we’re not going to vote Labour. Vote Labour to be ignored, to be marginalised, to be left on a shelf gathering dust. Vote Labour so Scotland can be a decorative wee tartan box of trinkets that allows British nationalists to pretend that their nationalism is the non-nationalism. No one can hear you scream in the vacuum they create.

No more. The reason Scotland is attracting attention is because we’re going to vote for what’s best for Scotland. We’re going to vote not to be ignored. We’re going to vote to speak for ourselves and not to have others claim to speak for us and tell us what is in our best interest. We’re going to decide that for ourselves, all across Scotland, not just in Glasgow East. We’re going to vote to hold the balance of power in this Better Together union, and we’re going to vote to ensure that vows are kept and delivered according to our understanding and convenience – not that of the Westminster parties.

People in this part of the world have voted Labour far too long, and the party takes us for granted. But political parties are like nappies, they need to be changed regularly, and for the exact same reasons. Glasgow East deserves better than a party that reeks of rot, corruption and decay, and an MP who is best known for looking like a bad smell. Natalie’s got my vote, and I’m not a member of the SNP, I’m not an SNP activist – I didn’t even vote for them for most of my adult life.

I’m not a Nationalist, I’m a Natalist, and on 7 May 2015 I’ll mark my cross beside Natalie’s name, and I’ll vote for something better. I’m voting for change.

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27 comments on “I’m a Nat – I’m a Natalist

  1. Janis says:

    Great article, as always. Thanks.

  2. macart763 says:

    (Cheers and whoops) H’raaay!🙂

  3. begoniapink says:

    excellent as usual

  4. mumsyhugs says:

    Wish this could be recorded and played loud and clear fae the back of a van wi loudspeakers driving round and about! Great stuff Paul🙂

  5. les hunter says:

    Hi, love the nappy metaphor and I am going to pinch it. I will, however, suggest that Labour should be changed because, like a nappy, it’s full of faeces, Keep up the good woek, Les

  6. Steven Marwick says:

    If I had known you were at the adoption meeting I would have sought you out to say hi.🙂 Great piece, as usual.

  7. squirrelknutz says:

    Glasgow East is my constituency & I’ll be right next to you at the ballot box. In fact I can fill my car with like minded voters from my wee family, none of whom have ever voted SNP in a GE.

    Let’s all work to make this happen. Many in Scotland can’t manage in the current climate. Imagine the devastation another 5yrs of austerity will bring!

  8. hektorsmum says:

    Paul, you look after that wee lassie, I have known and worked for both her parents in the SNP. Natalie was too wee to remember me, but having grown up with the SNP and with her parents work ethic you have a great lassie there who given the chance will do you all proud.

  9. Albaman says:

    This ought to appear in “The National”, I’ll forward it to the editor, it’s too good, not to be read by thousands.

  10. Bibbit says:

    I donated £50 to the election fund to get rid of Magrit. At first, I thought: I can’t possibly afford that much! But then I thought, ‘How will I feel if I have to suffer listening to lying, self-server Magrit, for another 5 years”? Suddenly it seemed the best £50 I would ever spend in my life, and I’d just have to cut back for a while. And you! Keep sticking it to Liebour’s Scottish Accountancy Unit and mocking their hypocrisy and deceit. Don’t ever give up and remember you are Scotland’s ‘mocking bird’, and as Harper Lee said, ‘It’s a sin to kill a mocking bird’. I just love your blog and will donate whenever I can.

  11. Albaman says:

    P.S. hope your other followers do the same forwarding.

  12. Ricky says:

    Always a joy to read your articles Paul.

    The best humour anywhere . Donation on it’s way. Well worth the money.

  13. Jan Cowan says:

    I agree with mumsyhugs. Your words should be shouted from the rooftops. Wonderful!

  14. Sore feet says:

    Motivated we certainly are! Having knocked on hundreds of doors over the last couple of weeks, I can confirm that people are indeed “angry” at labour. Indeed I would say they are fckin raging! Disgusted, insulted, betrayed and most of all ABSOLUTELY DETERMINED to vote SNP. Roll on May!
    P.s wasn’t hardeep funny as fcuk🙂

  15. Sore feet says:

    Yes we are highly motivated Paul. After chapping hundreds of doors over the past weeks, I can confirm that former labour voters are angry. In fact I would go so far as to say they are fckin ragin! Disgusted, insulted, betrayed are the words I’m hearing on the doorsteps. Project fear mark 2 is just not working for labour. Rather, the constant lies, spin, and promises that they are not in a position to keep are fanning the flames of hostility to magrits lot. Roll on May!
    P.s hardeep was funny as fck. Jim the fandan, brilliant.

  16. Albawoman says:


  17. Albawoman says:

    Thank you so much for your top class writing. If I were Magrit Curran I would be ashamed to go anywhere near the constituency she has so failed. All those wasted years.

  18. INDEPENDENT says:

    Once again Paul a truly brilliant summing up of the feelings and growing aspirations of all believers in the new dawning.
    Bring on the 7th May.

  19. Good post. I donated £50 to Natalie’s campaign. I really hope you’re right about Margaret getting kicked out – it’ll be a great thing for Glasgow. Would be nice to see others like Sarwar also getting the boot. My worry is, even despite the Ashcroft constituency poll, per constituency things will go closer to the wire as we get nearer May the 7th. People who may be don’t knows being persuaded to buy back into the lies again. On the various Labour campaigning related Twitter accounts, they are claiming they’re still getting ‘warm’ responses in Glasgow, including in the East. Hopefully that’s mostly just their own spin. We just need people to stick to their convictions for only 2 months now, and for any No voters who are GE don’t knows to realise that Labour are just the same as the Tories and that it’s in our own best interest to get as many SNP MPs into the commons as we can get.

    You may also be interested to know that apparently even in Murphy’s East Renfrewshire, which only returned 37% for Yes, the SNP are getting really good responses, including in the posh areas that will be much harder to win over:

    How glorious would it be if Murphy lost his seat?! Realistically though, I’m not going to hold my breath for it happening.

    • weegingerdug says:

      I believe that East Renfrewshire is one of the seats being polled for the next round of Ashcroft polling. So we ought to get a better idea of just how shoogly is the peg that Jim’s coat is on.

      • Apparently Labour have also been doing a lot of their own internal polling in East Renfrewshire. It would be plausible that the results of that have influenced Murphy’s decision to defend the seat. He’s totally messing the constituents around by being evasive with respect to whether or not he’ll serve the full term (he didn’t commit when asked outright), since being an MP seems to conflict with him getting into Holyrood in 2016. This just shows he has his own best interest at heart, and not that of his constituents; hopefully the East Renfrewshire voters will be shrewd enough to recognise that and vote him out.

  20. liz says:

    Thing about Murphy is, he has hired a shop in Barrhead because I think his internal polling might be showing that’s the area where there is a big swing from traditional Lab to SNP.

    He will be oiling his way around there for the next 2 months and we need to hope folk don’t fall for his ‘promises’ or give Lab ‘just one more chance’

    • Hmm, that’s interesting. It’s not surprising that areas like Barrhead and Neilston have huge swings, since those are the working class areas I would guess make up the vast majority of the 37% Yes vote for the constituency. So setting up a shop there implies he wants to expend a lot of effort trying to win back Yes voters, and that these areas *could* be enough to swing the balance for the whole constituency. Hopefully, winning back those voters is largely a lost cause.

      The rest of East Renfrewshire are the posh middle class areas (I’ve seen MSM patronisingly refer to them as ‘affluent’ areas) like Clarkston, Busby and Newton Mearns, where there might even be a lot of Tory support. I wonder if their polling told them they don’t have to bother so much with these areas? It’s to be expected they would be much harder to shift toward the SNP, but at least according to that campaigner I linked to, the response even in the posh areas is positive.

      In terms of people falling for Labour lies, I’m hoping in general this will be limited to No voters who are don’t knows for the GE. Hopefully the overwhelming majority of Yes voters will be able to carry their convictions for just another couple of months. Even somebody as charismatic as Murphy hopefully won’t be able to penetrate their resolve.

      Roll on May 7th…🙂

  21. smiling vulture says:

    Gordon Brown speech tonight about saving North Sea Oil,under the guise of a Westminster Oil grab ,has me raging.1st time I’ve felt real anger,can’t wait for May 7th.

    given small donation to wee dug and natalie

    • liz says:

      I am also blazing angry at that one. The ever faithful MSM/BBC will spin this as nationalisation when in fact he wants to give control over Nth Sea oil to the UK gov.

      What have we done to deserve this eejit?

  22. Cracking article, Paul. Politically wrongheaded, of course, but a great piece of writing.

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