Labour, mair shite than maist

A few months ago just before the Holyrood elections I passed a Labour canvasser in the streets of the East End of Glasgow, trying to persuade a young woman to vote for his discredited party. “Nae chance,” said the woman, “youse are mair shite than maist.”

Labour’s keeching itself about next year’s council elections. They see the writing on the wall, and the writing says, “See youse, youse are mair shite than maist.” This week we learned that the Labour controllers of Glesca Cooncil won’t authorise any more pro-independence rallies unless each is policed by five hundred stewards and fulfils the same obligations required of Orange Walks and fascist demonstrations. Labour wants to place the entirely peaceful and trouble free independence events into the same category as events which are invariably associated with public order offences, because the independence movement is a huge threat to the order that’s presided over by Labour. And besides, there were martyrs to the cause of saving the Union, Jim Murphy’s shirt needed to be laundered and that was a thousand times worse than the rampaging Unionist fascists in George Square in the aftermath of the indyref.

For decades Labour has gripped Glasgow as the symbol of its God given right to rule over Scotland. On Thursday there was a by-election in the city, in a ward which at the last election had given 60% of votes to Labour. And Labour lost. There have been a number of other by-elections recently which were technically Labour gains, but in all those the party actually saw swings against it. Even in North Lanarkshire where the local SNP is almost as dysfunctional as Labour is, there was a significant swing towards the SNP from Labour.

Local elections in Scotland have multimember constituencies. A by-election is caused when one of the members elected for that ward resigns or passes away. That means that the party which garnered the largest amount of votes in the original election has an advantage in the by-election. So if an SNP councillor resigns or passes away, Labour is most likely to take the seat in the subsequent by-election if Labour had taken the largest number of votes in the previous multimember election. And this is what happened in recent by-elections described as Labour gains. Labour won the seat even though they actually lost votes. Labour and its allies has tried hard to paint these gains as a sign that the party is on the road to recovery, but the truth is that they are pointers to Labour’s continuing decline. Sometimes when you win you’re really losing.

On Thursday night Labour’s decline became a rout. Not even the fact that they had a large majority of votes in the last council elections in the ward was enough to save them. The party lost what had been the second safest ward in the city for them. Because the people of Glasgow look upon the creature that Labour has become, and they think to themselves, “mair shite than maist”. Labour was, and remains, a party that’s incapable of change, incapable of seeing the error of its own ways, incapable of doing anything except repeating the same old discredited tactics in the hope that eventually they’ll produce a different outcome. It’s not the fault of Labour that they’re losing votes, it’s the fault of the voters.

We had an example of Labour cooncillor demonstrating the obtuse and wilful stupidity of Labour the other night on social media. Labour cooncillor for North Ayrshire Alex Gallagher is quite convinced that the SNP has recruited supporters and votes on the basis of appealing to anti-English racism. He’s equally convinced that if Scotland votes for independence this will be terrible, because we will turn our relatives in the rest of the UK into foreigners. In Labourlalaland being foreign is a bad thing, but it’s the SNP which is racist.

There is of course no evidence to Cooncillor Gallagher’s view that the SNP are motivated by anti-English racism. There’s only his own political prejudice, one which conveniently plays into an English racist trope about the Scots – that we have no culture or identity other than an atavistic hatred of the English. We aren’t defined by the content of Scottish culture, but rather we are defined by our relationship to England. It’s a dangerous road to go down, as it fosters the very real anti-Scottish prejudice that lurks not far below the surface of English right wing politicians. You’d think Cooncillor Gallagher should know that, but then he’s clearly not blessed with the ability to do much in the way of joined up thinking, as is amply demonstrated by his remarks about how how relatives in England and Wales would become foreigners to us.

The obvious immediate rejoinder is to ask what sort of a person believes that if their relatives in England have a different passport from them then it must negatively affect their family relationships. Why, that would be a person who is an anti-English racist. It would be a fool who put paperwork before family ties. It would be a shallow idiot who believed that citizenship was more important than love. It would be a Labour cooncillor from North Ayrshire who’s seeking to score a cheap political point but who merely illustrates that he paddles in the shallow end of the intellectual pool. If you sincerely believe that your relationships with your family will be negatively affected because they hold a different passport, then that’s an argument for family therapy and counselling. Because it means that you have some sort of deep rooted emotional difficulty.

The truth of course is that your family in England will not become foreigners to you after Scottish independence. They won’t become foreigners because the chances are that they too will be elegible for Scottish citizenship. They won’t become foreigners because unless the rUK government decides to make radical changes to British citizenship laws, Scots will remain entitled to British citizenship after independence. The only people who might lose their right to British citizenship will be a generation of children born in Scotland after independence to people who were themselves born in Scotland after independence – and they’re hardly likely to care. Everyone currently alive, and their children, will retain their right to British citizenship, unless Westminster decides to strip us all of it. We’d just get a Scottish passport too.

Meanwhile we’re all being stripped of our European citizenship, and Labour has nothing to say. Instead they prefer to complain that the SNP are anti-English racists while they themselves play on a fear of foreigners. And as the most right wing Tory government in memory stirs up the fires of racism and xenophobia, Labour in Glasgow considers doing a deal with them in order to cling onto power. And that’s why they’re going to lose their grip on Glasgow just as they’ve lost it on Scotland. Labour needs to listen to the more sensible voices within its diminished ranks in Scotland, the ones that say that the only way back is for Labour to embrace independence. Because if it doesn’t the party’s epitaph is going to be “They were mair shite than maist.”

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44 comments on “Labour, mair shite than maist

  1. Alex Clark says:

    You know sometimes you think that you and all that agree with you are not making a difference. But you are and this young womans spiel to a Labour activist shows that you are.

    We are not in a bubble and the word is getting out, she was right and we have been saying the same thing for a while now.

    Labour in Scotland ARE “are mair shite than maist.”.

  2. Cloggins says:

    Absolutely brilliant analysis. The tories, meanwhile, are making an effort to go into history as “mair shite than shite”.

  3. John Edgar says:

    Corbyn has now a Shadow Cabinet and the Shadow SoSfS is also the Shadow SoSfNI!! Wales has its own Shadow SoS.
    What noo, Kezia Dugdale?
    So much for Slab’s status? Downgraded and sidelined.

  4. I’m keeping my powder dry on Fat Frankie the Pieman, and the WoS New Labour flyboys.
    Late winter is the time to start unpicking 50 years of corruption and graft, when we turn our guns (nice bellicose allusion there) on the fat greedy Unionist Councils and their corrupt regimes.
    We elected Chris Cunningham as our councillor yesterday, and it felt feckin’ amazing. Another brick in the PFI wall.
    We’re coming for the gravy trainers big time. Get the shredders working.
    Any bets there will be not a few resignations among the Executives of fat lazy councils throughout the land come Jan 2017?
    MacAveety and company, something wicked this way comes.

  5. Les Bremner says:

    I worked in the same company as Alex Gallagher, and over the past 40 years he hasn’t changed a bit. Whether this is stable and predictable and therefore comforting, or an indication that mainstream Labour voters will not change is debatable.

    However, here is the full Twitter or, as he put it, Twiter.

    “Twiterstorm tonight. Apparently many Nats don’t undersatand that ‘independence’ would mean that their English realtives would be foreigners.”

    I would love to know if a realtive is the opposite of an imaginarytive. And, who is the d in ‘under satan d’?

    • katherine hamilton says:

      Too much juice, I fear.

      • katherine hamilton says:

        Sorry pressed go too quickly. Wanted to say the Labour Twitterati over the last few days reminds me so much of the film Downfall, as the third Reich’s cognosenti realise the game is up.
        Party time with lots of juice. Also the horror of what they have done. Yes, Mr. Gallagher, your complicity with the now exposed true Tories is a horror.

        There is redemption, of course.

        Please join us.

    • Bruce Moglia says:

      I’ve had Gallagher’s slate marked over the long number of years I used to read the Herald. His letters were frequent and always displayed a visceral hatred of the SNP.. I am delighted that the Wee Ginger Dug has sniffed him out and got its fangs buried deeply in his sanctimonious arse.

      • The Edge Gym says:

        Note to self – never read the Dug or responses while at work – I just guffawed out loud and drew weird glances. Thanks to the Dug, as always, and to Bruce for that visual image.

  6. Margaret says:

    Remember this was stairheid rammy Currans stated concern for her sons prior to Indy Ref It must be a labour thing

  7. Tinto Chiel says:

    When I look at what the Establishment has done down south, stoking the fires of racism and xenophobia to try to mask their gross incompetence and imminent rapid decline, I repeat my mantra:
    “Oh, how I wish to be foreign…..”

  8. Macart says:

    Yer on a roll.🙂

    Glasgow’s Labour council have just blinked. The marches and meetings in Glasgow this year have been extremely embarrassing to Labour and yer average political unionist in general. Well attended, peaceful, and above all, highly visible.

    They highlighted the lie that was the media and political trope of no one wants another indyref. They embarrassed the established order and did so with a typical gallus swagger.

    Labour’s response? Typical, petulant and inevitably useless. We’ll gather wherever we have to. There are many other cities in Scotland and hopefully after next May the Glesca cooncil won’t be a problem either.🙂

    The people of Glasgow, the people of Scotland, won’t be told where they can and cannot have a peaceful celebration of their democratic rights.

    • Patience is a Virtue says:

      They would have been ‘even more visible’ of course if the live-stream cameras in George Square had not mysteriously ceased to work (I feel sure this is less likely to occur under an SNP administration) – what can be done to rectify this?

      – the Police drone cameras watching from a distance recently overlooking Glasgow Green seemed to have been working fine though – a big wave and hello as always from those O’ Independent mind to all those watching.

    • Alan Mackay says:

      but who gonna put the cctv aff, (sorry accidently bump into the wire and put of)?? will liebore be allowed a ceremonial pittin aff o the cctv on indy days at Freedom Square? citing, if anything.

  9. lanark says:

    You would think that Labour folk would remember the Ireland Act of 1948. It was about the last time their party stood for anything.

  10. brianmchugheng says:

    There was an council by-election a few months ago and my Unionist leaning boss made a point of noting that it was the SNP wot had lost it and that it was Nicola Sturgeons dad no less… I made sure I made the point above and showed my boss the result🙂 …

    SNP 1,164
    Lab 1,029
    Con 639
    Soc Lab 131
    Green 94
    LD 48
    Turnout was 20.9%.

    Easy win for me.😀

  11. Jimbo says:

    “This week we learned that the Labour controllers of Glesca Cooncil won’t authorise any more pro-independence rallies unless each is policed by five hundred stewards and fulfils the same obligations required of Orange Walks and fascist demonstrations.”

    Seems like Labour put a bit of thought into something at last. Laying a trap and setting up trouble for the new 2017 council administration.

    When they lose control of the council next year and the new administration overturns the decision to ban pro-independence rallies they’ll have the OO and the fascists out in force in a fit of pique causing trouble at said rallies because of how unfair it is to them.

  12. Iain More says:

    Maybe some wit has said it already but one way round Glesga Cooncils ruling is to make everybody at the next Indy rally a steward.

    I would challenge any Yoon hack in Scotland to say that they don’t have erm foreigners in their family already. You know all those folks part of the Scots Diaspora. I can count on erm foreign family members in Oz, NZ, Canada, USA, France, Norway, Catalonia and Brazil. Are they advocating we goosestep I mean invade all those places to erm place them under London’s jackboot to make them un-foreign.

    I would guess and say that every family in Scotland has members of it that have emigrated so successful has the Yoon nuthouse that is UKOK been in driving them out.

    • Jan Cowan says:

      Yes Iain, a good point. I have foreign family members in Oz, USA, Canada, Norway and (soon to be foreign) England. Never occurred to me to check their passports before allowing them over the doorstep!

      • As long as you don’t let any Scots into your house, Jan. They’ll smash your toilet and steal your cutlery.
        As you can see, I’m still boiling mad at the Blancmange’s slur on her fellow Scots.

        • Robert Graham says:

          always good for a laugh ruthie eh , that baw face spitting pish at every opportunity and kissing the arse of everyone south of the tweed just to get noticed , she will come back to earth with a bump when she learns she will be bunched in with the rest of the jocks if push comes to shove , just another useful idiot , as noted by Rabbie Burns “bought and sold for English gold” and hated by both sides .

  13. Jan Cowan says:

    Labour never made much of an impression in our area. We’ve moved from Tory to Lib/Dem to SNP. So we’ve been spared the “plastic” socialists who seemingly, for the moment at least, appear to rule Glasgow. It must be sickening for the real socialists who pinned their hopes on so many worthwhile left-wing people of the past. BUT, they can now join the YES supporters!

  14. davidbsb says:

    My sister is in Canada. She’s no a foreigner. Neither is my brother in law in London. No matter where I am in the world I am always a Scot.

    What a silly notion. A border makes your kin foreigners. What kind of zoomer would even think like that?

  15. Andimac says:

    See Labour – see Glesca – couldnae git a blowjob in a car park!

  16. mealer says:

    But did the young lady get off her backside and vote that discredited party out?

  17. Luigi says:

    So, being a “foreigner” must be a terrible thing. How awful if you were not blessed to be born in Britain (or even Scotland, which is considered by the cringers to be a sort of second class Britain – better than being “foreign I suppose). Foreigner Bad. This says a lot more about the yoon Labour mindset than it does about the SNP.

  18. Luigi says:

    Sigh. The Uncle Tom (Uncle Jock?) mentality thrives in Yoon Scotland:

    “I’m a proud Scot. I may be inferior to the Anglo-Saxons (who I admire greatly), but I’m a second class Brit so that makes me superior to the rest of you.”

    “Bloody foreigners!”

  19. annelawrie says:

    I can be in Freedom Square if I want to. I can walk there from Glasgow Green if I want to. If someone else is doing the same thing, at the same time, that’s ok. If thousands are doing the same thing at the same time – maybe it’s just a coincidence. Just sayin’

  20. AAD says:

    Talking of George Square and demonstrations! I am sickened by this decision. I don’t buy their rotten papers so how can I ignore them more???

  21. David Agnew says:

    As i’ve said before: The minute they let Osborne make that “Sermon on the Pound” and imply that Scotland lives off pocket money from England, Scottish labour were doomed. That speech fed into that under current of anti-Scot sentiment in Westminster and meant that by voting no, you were voting to keep your English pocket money. I could never accept Britishness on those terms, not now, not ever and so to did a lot of former labour voters.

    I turned my back on Britishness and British values because I can’t and will not buy into that narrative. When historians come to talk about this, I think they will settle on Osborne’s speech. Not just for leading to the ultimate collapse of the union but the death of labour in Scotland.

    Even in an independent Scotland, I don’t think there will be anything calling itself labour for many generations.

  22. I’ll chum you tae Anne!

  23. Tarisgal says:

    Oh! You folk going to be in Glesga Green that day? Funny… I am too! Yeah… coincidence or what?😉

  24. Labour need to be routed in all and every council election.
    Their is an aprehension that SNP will take these new territories just when the mismanagement and PFI debts become extremely difficult to handle.
    Better in their safe hands at any rate.
    As for Osbourne’s speech about not sharing the Pound Sterling it looks like that’s smashed the Pound’s credibility and his precious Union.
    Amen to that.

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