102,143 and counting

This weekend is the party conference of a party that’s not a branch office or an accounting unit. And it’s actually being attended by real live human beings who are filling a large hall. Over 3000 folk have turned up to listen to politics on a Saturday morning in Glasgow in March, representatives of a truly Scottish party that now has 102,143 members and counting. Account for that, accounting unit. It’s a nation in motion and it’s not going to stop until it achieves the change we’ve demanded, the change that’s been promised. The change that Westminster said it would deliver but it reneged on. We’re going to take it from them.

Labour won’t give an account of how many members its accounting unit has, and the reason they won’t give an exact figure is because the number is embarrassingly low. 7,000 if they’re lucky, and counting down. Tick tock. And another one leaves. 6,999 / 102,144. It’s a number that is getting smaller every day as Labour’s dwindling band of non-elected activists give up in despair. Tick tock. It’s going to be 6,998 by the time I get to the end of this sentence. They have so few left that they can’t deliver their election propaganda and have to get the post office to do it. Tick tock. 6,997 / 102,145.

Compare and contrast the buzz in the packed hall with anything that the accounting units can manage. Labour’s carefully stage managed speeches before small gatherings of pre-selected safe types who won’t ask difficult questions. The tumbleweed in the Lib Dem room. The Tories who can’t count past one. Yet Scotland is engaged with politics, engaged with discussion and debate about its future. Politicians bewail and bemoan the public disenchantment with politics. Well here were are in Scotland enchanted with the possibilities this country has. We’re exciting and exciting, we’re alive to ideas, we’re more pregnant than a panda. But the Unionist politicians are scared and angry, because we’re not engaged with anything that the Smugurph has to offer. But then Jim is deeply unengaging. Would you want to be trapped in a lift with him? Nuff said. Tick tock, 6,996 / 102,146.

In a doomed effort to wrest some headlines from the force that really will shape Scotland’s general election, Gordie Broon today promised that this election would be the “social justice” election and promised all sorts of goodies for NHS Scotland. Gordie’s going to guarantee that, just like he guaranteed his precious vow, and just like he guaranteed to be the MP for Kirkcaldy. He’ll guarantee it by pissing off and delivering well paid speeches to rich business people. He’ll guarantee it by getting confused between powers that are devolved and those that are retained by Westminster. But that’s Gordie, confused and lost in a political wasteland of his own making. He still believes he’s the king over the water, the rest of us know that he drowned a long time ago. Tick tock, 6,995 / 102,147.

But today is Nicla’s day. She’s the good cop to Alicsammin’s bad cop, trapping the Westminster parties in a pincer movement, and grabbing them by the bollocks that they constantly spout. Alicsammin spent the week putting the shiters up them, now Nicla comes with the soothing balm that will dissolve the nasty haemorrhoids of Tory rule. She’s promising to be the constructive force for progressive politics that Labour once said it would be, but instead Labour turned into a bonfire of hope courtesy of Gordie and Tony Blair. Tick tock, 6,994 / 102,148.

Nicla showed why Labour hates the SNP so much, because she is promising the kind of policies that Labour used to promise when it was still a labour party when it really was the party of the workers’ expectations and hadn’t become what it is today, the party of managing the workers’ expectations. The difference is that Nicla means what she says. She means it when she says she wants a living wage, no privatisation in the NHS, no student fees, an end to Trident, abolishing the House of Lords, proportional representation, gender equality. And home rule, the promise made by Keir Hardie all those generations ago. We’ve been promised these things for decades, but Labour’s no closer to delivering them. The British Parliamentary Road to socialism ended in a PPI contract and a toll booth. It’s time to take matters out of Labour’s hands. It’s time to hold the accounting unit to account. Tick tock. 6,993 / 102,149.

The question Labour needs to answer is if the combined number of Labour and SNP MPs can attain a majority in Westminster then will Labour rule out letting Cameron back into power. Jim Murphy doesn’t want an answer to that question. Jim Murphy doesn’t want his accounting unit to be held to account. He doesn’t want to be forced to be the socialist he discovered that he must claim to be ever since he found out that being a Blairite was electoral poison. Nicla’s going to force him. Tick tock. 6,992 / 102,150.

So here we are. Standing at the gates of history. Standing at the door of change, pushing through. Nothing stands between us and destiny except Jim and his discredited lies, the tissue of mendacity that is all that holds back the Scottish tide. We only have to have the courage to walk through the portcullis of Westminster and Scotland will change the world. And we have that in abundance. Scotland has already changed forever, already crossed into the land of self-belief. We’re independent in our heads already, we’re independent in our hearts, we’re independent in our spirit – and that’s all we need. Tick tock. 6,991 / 102,151.

It’s too late to stop us. We’re already here. We are in your town, your street, your house. The numbers are counting the future, and the future is Scottish, the future is here. You are the future. Be it.

Tick tock.

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21 comments on “102,143 and counting

  1. jimnarlene says:


  2. […] 102,143 and counting […]

  3. WRH2 says:

    Jimnarlene got in with the very word I was going to use to describe this latest piece. Inspirational indeed! What a day we’ve had. Humza’s opening speech, Nicola’s rallying call and now the Dug’s great piece. I makes me want to get out and knock doors but I’ll maybe leave it till tomorrow. I don’t think many would be happy to have me at their doors at 10pm. There again, you never know!

  4. MoJo says:

    fantastic – feeling so proud to be a Scot today….. lets hold on to this feeling of hope and confidence.. it is all we need to make everything possible. Thank you for capturing this moment so eloquently…… you are indeed documenting history…….

  5. dougiekdy says:

    Just gets better and better and better. Wee donation for the WGD;-)

  6. mealer says:

    Absolute cracker! Time to tell Murphy to get out of Scotlands way.

  7. scotsgeoff says:

    ‘They have so few left that they canโ€™t deliver their election propaganda and have to get the post office to do it.’

    Didn’t they get the Royal Mail to deliver their votes too?

    Just askin. seems the posties must’ve been on strike in Glenrothes
    for the by-election recently. ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. Robert Graham says:

    Labours park it poster truck illegally parked outside the SNP conference today was strangely picked out by surprise surprise our very own BBC funny that eh ? Just a coincidence don’t you think!

  9. Dinna_fash says:

    Good to see the wee dug coming on in leaps and bounds.
    Your last 3-4 articles have been tops.
    Also, thanks for spicing up the National๐Ÿ˜€

  10. macart763m says:

    That’s the second best speech I’ve encountered in the last twenty four hours.๐Ÿ˜‰

  11. Steve Asaneilean says:

    It’s all grand but we need to do more. Let’s not let WM distract us too much (sorry if that is heretical to some).

    Let’s focus on what needs changed here and now. Let’s not wait for change to be done to us.

    We don’t need top down answers – we need bottom up action.

    Get out there; stand on the streets and protest; lobby your politicians; hassle your journalists. Tell everyone and anyone that our social and economic inequality isn’t good enough. Tell everyone our shocking health and life expectancy figures aren’t good enough. Tell everyone our declining educational standards aren’t good enough. Tell everyone the SG’s proposed land reform Bill isn’t good enough.

    Then come up with local solutions, push them through, put them into action. Lead policy – don’t follow it.

    Demonstrate that we are the country we claim to want to be.

  12. Fillofficer says:

    Fantastically emotive words indeed. We can almost smell the passion. Constantly anticipate your every post. Lights up the day. Many thanks

  13. SCED300 says:

    Labour would like to be that Conference hall. They would like to be with Women for Indy, Commonweal, RIC, the Greens, maybe even the Scottish Socialists; and those great rallies outside Hollyrood, in George Square, and in the pub meeting/talks, such as I went to, meeting David Babbs of 38 Degrees.
    But they are not part of that; they are with the Daily Record, the Telegraph, BBC, the ‘make it illegal to hold another referendum’, ‘change the voting so SNP cannot ever form a majority again’, ‘partition Scotland so it is economically unviable’, ‘bayonet the Yes wounded’, ‘destroy the viruses’, establishment.

  14. Angry Weegie says:

    Great article, again. Really captures the slow demise of SLab as a political force.

    As an aside, I saw a quote from a journalist who said that a local Labour councillor had told him that SLab had less than 2000 members. Unfortunately, can’t remember where I saw it. However, on the sole basis that it’s such a small number, I’m convinced it must be right, so I’m happy to quote it every time there’s talk about SLab numbers.

  15. macmitch says:


  16. YESGUY says:

    Outstanding Paul.

    What a laugh throughout and the numbers , wow๐Ÿ˜€ You deserve an award for this.

    I put this up there with Derek Bateman’s “Tough Love” . ( if you haven’t read it your missing something).

    Inspiring indeed.

    Donation on Tuesday Paul. We cannot put a price on your humour and wit. It’s put many a tear in our eyes. And always leaves you with a smile๐Ÿ™‚

    Superb Sir.

  17. Whitburnsfinest says:

    So, having read and researched more on the 40% rule/amendment/national disgrace and how it came about, I’m even more disgusted with Westminster, Labour, unionism and all the other associated crap than I was before.

    I took myself out of political activism for a long time, as I had no energy to keep the fire going in my belly.

    Now, that fire is back and it’s angry. I’m back and I’m fucking angry.

    Let’s. Fucking. Do. This.

  18. aitchbee says:

    Another 650 new members overnight. The trickle may be turning into a torrent…

  19. wee e says:

    ” Alicsammin spent the week putting the shiters up them, now Nicla comes with the soothing balm that will dissolve the nasty haemorrhoids of Tory rule.” What a gem. I love your writing.๐Ÿ˜€

  20. Paul Wilson says:

    Labour gave up any notions of being socialist the day they took the ermine.

  21. Maureen says:

    Brilliant paul as ever. Donation coming. Keep up the great work.

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