Friday, July 25, 2008

Glasgow East - putting the result in perspective

There are few more annoying sights in life than a gloating Scottish nationalist. Apart from, maybe, a room full of them. I was struck by the lack of dignity of their victory celebrations in Glasgow East, with their candidate doing a wee victory dance before the recount had even been declared. It was kind of Rambo come embarrassing middle aged male relative dancing at a wedding. Compare and contrast with the way Willie Rennie reacted when he won the Dunfermline and West Fife by election. Sure, he recognised the political earthquake he had caused, but he did so in a way which showed humility and gratitude at receiving the trust of the people.

The voters in Glasgow East had a choice between a Government which had kicked the poorest people there with the 10p tax, benefit cuts and had nothing to offer except more rising food and fuel costs and its Scottish counterpart which is nothing but hot air. Removal of tolls on the Forth Road Bridge and a minor cut in prescription charges isn't really that much to show for a year in office. I guess a blast of hot air is nice in the middle of a wet and miserable Summer, but the SNP bubble will soon burst if the Government doesn't start making real progress on the issues which concern people - housing, education, health and crime.

I suspect Labour and the SNP will have spent close to the £100,000 limit each on their campaigns. The Liberal Democrats will have spent a tiny fraction of that. Ian Robertson was a good candidate with a fantastic team around him - but there's just no way he could compte with that sort of money being spent by the others. However, I am sure that this campaign is not going to be the last we will hear from him. He has actually listened to the concerns of local people and I am sure that he will continue to campaign on issues like the Parkhead fire station long after the by election circus has left town.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

One of my friends stayed in Dunfermline during yor histoic victory! He stated to me more recently that he'd never vote LibDem ever again because of what he observed from the say anything, do anything campaign run by the LibDem team.

Maybe Willie wasn't up for a victory dance as he felt a litte dirty on how the victory was won!

Caron said...

I was there for the entire campaign in Dunfermline and was very proud of it. We ran against the £4 toll the discredited bridge board was planning to introduce - it was very quickly dropped as a result of our campaign and tolls have now been abolished, the redevelopment of the town centre, which is now slowly but surely making progress and the hospital which Willie has been working tirelessly on since.

It's a pity your friend doesn't stay in Dunfermline any more as he might notice a big difference, not least in having a campaigning, hardworking MP and MSP team as well as lots more Lib Dem councillors who do their best to serve their constituents well.

JPJ2 said...

I advise Willie Rennie to defect to the SNP if he wants to hold his seat :-)

Caron said...

The SNP and the Conservatives haven't a hope in Dunfermline - it's between Labour and Willie.

If the SNP couldn't win the by-election, they certainly haven't got a chance in the General Election.

Anonymous said...

Just a minor correction. You said Ian was a good candidate with a fantastic team: my own impression was that he was a fantastic candidate with a good team. Ian's performance on the televised debates was better than many candidate ministers I have seen interviewed, while I have some DEEP misgivings about some aspects of the campaign strategy (though nothing to do with what the above anonymous has to say).

I met Will Rennie in the GE campaign (I was down south for the by-election, unfortunately) and though I only spoke to him briefly found him to be a very pleasant, very clued up chap whom I'm proud to be in the same party as.

Anonymous said...

"I suspect Labour and the SNP will have spent close to the £100,000 limit each on their campaigns."

I'm not sure about Labour, but we're fairly positive that the SNP did, yes. This may have been the reason Mason was as nervous as he was on TV as he had a lot of pressure on him. If Labour spent significantly more than we did, there was little evidence of it (though I'd agree they'd have been mad not to).

Caron said...

Anonymous (the second one down), I agree that Ian was one of the best by election candidates I've ever seen. He was so good in all his media performances.

Anonymous 3 - do you really think Labour and us spent about the same - I'd be very surprised.

Anonymous said...

God! caron how sanctimonius can you get? imagine a triumphalist gnat shock horror, remember Willie had run hunerds of winning campaigns and knows how to behave, Mason's probably just don the cooncil once, did you check out the saltire ties tasteful what and remember it was me that coined the phrase tectonic

Indygal said...

It's funny you know, because I was at the count myself and apart from one moment of excitement from John when he jumped up (I think he's entitled) the entire SNP team kept our excitement pretty much under wraps. You know we have to put up with a lot of crap at counts and it would have been understandable if some of our members had taken the opportunity to return the nonsense we've had to put up with in the past but we didn't. And to say we did is nothing more than sour grapes from you Caron. Do you not think we wanted to jump up and down for joy? We saved that for the announcement but we felt like doing it all night. And the reason was because we were so proud of the people of the East End for standing up to Labour at last. It wasn't a case of "we've won, nah, nah, nah, nah, nah" as you are suggesting (John Mason is the LEAST likely person to behave like that) - no, it was a case of being grateful that the people of the East End have put their trust in us, it was a case of admiring their guts in finally telling Labour to take a hike and it was a case of being happy that we now have an opportunity to do something about the East End. You may think your party is holier than thou and the only party that cares about the people of Scotland but remember, you're also the party that allowed the Labour Executive to trundle along "managing" the country for 8 years rather than actually doing something to improve it.

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