Galloway Officially Announces Candidacy for Holyrood

images1.jpgAt a press conference in Glasgow yesterday George Galloway officially declared his candidacy for the Scottish elections on May 5, intending to stand as a Glasgow list MSP.

George Galloway has a long record of representing the people of Glasgow, doing so as an MP from 1987 to 2003, before he was expelled from the Labour Party for his opposition to the war in Iraq. He later co-founded the Respect party in England and was elected Member of Parliament for Bethnal Green and Bow on an antiwar ticket at the 2005 general election.

Even his enemies cannot deny that Galloway is a political figure of international stature. His annual itinerary of speaking engagements takes him across the globe and sees him fill venues wherever he appears. Known as an unbending opponent of imperialism, colonialism and war, his record as a campaigner is second to none. The Mariam Appeal which he co-founded in 1988 was undertaken to highlight the suffering of the Iraqi people as a result of the sanctions that were crippling the country and which according to UNICEF were directly responsible for the deaths of up to half a million children under the age of five.

Galloway was later accused of profiting directly from the Saddam regime when documents implicating him in corruption surrounding the Oil For Food Program were supposedly found in Iraq after the 2003 invasion by US and British military forces. Galloway brought legal proceedings against both the Daily Telegraph and Christian Science Monitor, which both carried the allegations, and won substantial damages. In 2005 he appeared before a Senate sub-committee hearing in Washington to answer further allegations of impropriety. Not only did he roundly refute the allegations that were put to him, it is universally recognised that in the process he also succeeded in winning a significant moral victory for the antiwar movement.

In 2009 he co-founded Viva Palestina, a pro-Palestinian charity which has since successfully organised five humanitarian aid convoys to the besieged Palestinians of Gaza, each managing to break the siege in the face of determined opposition from both the Israeli and Egyptian governments. In 2010 George Galloway and his close colleague and friend Ron McKay were deported from Egypt after successfully leading an aid convoy comprising 200 vehicles into Gaza. They were both banned from the country.

Galloway was also banned from entering Canada during a North American speaking tour in 2009 by the Canadian government, citing security concerns due to his activities with Viva Palestina. Accused of sponsoring terrorism, Galloway took the Canadian government to court and succeeded in having the ban rescinded. He is currently in the process of suing the Canadian government for damages.

At yesterday’s press conference Galloway described the current crop of MSPs at Holyrood as “stumblebums” and “nonentities” who don’t believe in anything and said “they have no conception of how life-changing politics can be”.

Last week a story appeared in the Herald newspaper that Gail Sheridan was set to stand at the top of a Glasgow list after attempts to persuade George Galloway to stand with her on the same list were spurned. This created a brief period of frisson in the media over the possibility it may have precipitated an acrimonious fall out between George and Tommy Sheridan, who’ve been close friends and supporters of one another for many years.

However an official Solidarity statement which later appeared, recognising Galloway’s record as a political campaigner and in which Tommy Sheridan urged support for Galloway’s candidacy on the part of those voters in Glasgow who feel for whatever reason unable to vote for Solidarity on May 5, confirmed that no such rupture in relations had taken place.

Galloway reaffirmed his continued support for Sheridan in a TV interview and later in his weekly column in the Daily Record.

George Galloway is known to be in favour of a referendum on the issue of Scottish independence but is opposed to the break-up of Britain. He intends standing on what he describes as “real Labour values” and as a determined opponent of the ConDem cuts.

88 comments on “Galloway Officially Announces Candidacy for Holyrood

  1. Legal Watch on said:

    Some of the best bits from the Herald article

    Speaking at a press conference in the city, he said that if Mrs Sheridan had stood, as had been discussed, as his number two on a party list, his campaign would have become a referendum on her husband.

    He added: “Much as I love Tommy and feel sorry for what has happened to him, I really think that would be a bad idea.”

    Mr Sheridan, who is awaiting sentence for perjury, said his party may still fight alongside Mr Galloway during the election campaign. He said: “Should a link up with George and Respect not prove possible, we would obviously urge Glasgow citizens to back the Solidarity list with their second vote. But, should they not be convinced to do so, would also welcome the election of George to represent Glasgow.”

    Mr Galloway, who earned a degree of notoriety when he dressed as a cat on the Big Brother television show, said he was not seeking to become an MSP because he needed the wages but because he had “something to offer politically to Glasgow and the Parliament”.

  2. anon no longer on said:

    I’m sure the other political parties would prefer to have Mrs Sheridan as an MSP than Mr Galloway.

    The most likely scenario though is that neither will be elected.

    Thanks, Tommy.

  3. #3 If you are Scottish is that your opinion of the large number (if not a majority) of your compatriots (including working class compatriots) who are not in favour of independence that they are British nationalist unionist scumbags?

    The idea that it’s somehow progressive to browbeat people into supporting independence (as opposed to autonomy and the right to make the decision one way or another) is frankly laughable to most Scottish people I know. But I suppose they’re Brit traitors and not really Scottish eh?

    It’s interesting as an aside that over-proportionally Scots of Irish Catholic heritage tend to be less keen on independence than their Protestant counterparts.

    The position for the left in Scotland and England should be for the right of the Scottish people to decide, and mutual respect between those who favour independence and those who don’t.

  4. Uncle Albert on said:

    Top stuff from George at the launch (from the Herald report):

    “It’s my view that too many in Holyrood would regard the term nonentity as an accolade”

    “When I watch Alex Salmond and Iain Gray together it’s the political equivalent of the Krankies, the big guy patronising the half-pint who thinks that Clause 4 is the latest follow-up Christmas movie.”

    George said he would argue for more powers for Holyrood, fight Westminster cuts with his “bare teeth”, support a referendum on independence and bring real Labour values to Scotland.

    It’s just what Holyrood needs.

  5. David Ellis on said:

    I think this is excellent news. Galloway appears to have been able to transcend the pointless civil war in the left of labour sects in Scotland and the way is now clear for him to stand on an anti-imperialist, anti-cuts, pro-Palestinian ticket. He is a thorn in the side of the Labour and TU bureaucrats whose opposition to imperialist war is otherwise known as support and whose mobilisation against the cuts so far has been blether, navel gazing and agreement.

    All socialists in Scotland should get behind his candidacy as a way of bringing the working class into political conflict with the official New Labour leadership. Many will have specific disagreements with Galloway but none can deny that his record of anti-war struggle makes his a voice that deserves neigh demands a platform. Whatever disagreements we have whether on Scottish independence or which forces will lead the Arab revolution or whatever it may be there is no reason for these to prevent an unambiguous call for the Scottish working class to support Galloway’s candidacy. The SSP for instance should announce its support immediately and use it to overcome its sectarian sickness. It can support Galloway and still put its own programme where it differs from his, gain the benefits of his profile and not even have to take orders from him as he’s not in your party. It is what is known in the trade as a win-win situation. Who knows it may even help to raise sympathy for some of your own candidates who lets face it are not exactly riding high in the polls.

    The left of labour and indeed the labour left should be looking to get Galloway back on a major public platform where he can be the voice of the anti-war movement, of the Palestinians and from where he can sound the anti-cuts message.

  6. Gall Oglaigh on said:

    Vanya theres a big difference between a working class person who is not convinced on independence and Galloway.For all his sectarian catholicism Galloway has a lot in common with an Orange Order member when it comes to his hostility to Scottish independence and his hatred of the Gaelic tongue and culture. Gallowayis a mllionaire unionist British nationalist scumbag and utter traitor to his class and nation.

  7. “It’s interesting as an aside that over-proportionally Scots of Irish Catholic heritage tend to be less keen on independence than their Protestant counterparts.”

    Vanya, Care to share the evidence underpinning that?

  8. jim mclean on said:

    11# I believe the evidence points the other way, the support for independence is stronger among the protestant community than the Irish diaspora, the SNP is the embodiement of the middle class Scottish Protestant. The Irish diaspora is Labour in the majority.

  9. jim mclean on said:

    14# should have gone to spec savers, vanya is right,will post evidence later If I can be arsed. Buy the Airdre and Coatbridge local rags or check them on line, look at the voting results for the area, its the best example of the sectarian split in scottish politics.

  10. anon no longer on said:

    #14 jim mclean

    The point Galloway makes is that the Union did help protect the Irish Catholic immigrant population of Scotland from the worst excesses of anti Catholic prejudice in Presbyterian Scotland.

  11. Gall Oglaigh on said:

    The two groups in Scottish society which have increased support for independence most are Scottish Catholics and Scottish Muslims.

    The Orange Order has instructed its membership to support Labour as the best option for defending the union and the continuation of the British state. Galloway is keeping bad Brit company. The Royal imperialist loyalist Labour Party in Scotlandshire should bring the contemptible little scumbag back into their corrupt ranks.

  12. A comment from Socialist Party member Doug Lowe was just deleted, as it was one of the most sectarian and red-baiting comments that has ever been posted here. Pure Harrys Place.

    Someone from the Socialist Party should have a word with him.

  13. Galloway seems to be a candidate in search of a party. Surely something is back to front here. At least Gail Sheridan is going through democratic process, and seeking nomination and selection from her party, so that she can be held accountable by her party if she is selected, and when she is elected. Who will George Galloway be accountable to?

    These are more than constitutional niceties, they are democratic principles that keep help socialist leaders in check – we support a party and a programme, and we select the best candidate to do the job of promoting that programme to the electorate, the candidate is not bigger than the party, the party is not a vehicle for a single individual, no matter how good his record.

  14. former ssp on said:

    “Galloway has a lot in common with an Orange Order member when it comes to his hostility to Scottish independence and his hatred of the Gaelic tongue and culture.”

    so because Galloway opposes the Union and so do the Orange Order then that meanshe has a lot in common with them, what a load of nonsense. Lots of progressive people oppose independence and lots of right wing people support it, to lump everyone who is against it together like that is just stupid.

    also, when was the last time that ANY politican of ANY stripe tried to save the Gaelic language? Nobody does because it’s not really an issue outwith small communities outwith the Central belt

  15. Martel on said:

    #22 However Galloway does have a good chance of getting elected.

    I think Sheridan’s candidacy will only prevent that.

    Regardless of specific disagreements people have with Galloway I am sure most of us would rather see a Scottish Pariament with him rather than without him.

    If only for the issues that Galloway would force the parliament to consider.

  16. #21 I hope you are now deleting all sectarian ‘red baiting’ comments from now on and not making any more yourself, unless you really have been specially commissioned to pour petrol on the bonfire of the Scottish left.

  17. Gall Oglaigh on said:

    Former SSP if you are a Galloway fan then i think you are easily led by this chancer and if you oppose Scottish independence then by default you support the continuation of the imperialist, reactionary and thoroughly neo liberal capitalist state. On both counts you arent much of a socialist.

  18. Gall Oglaigh on said:

    Your British road to socialism is a roundabout. A workers republic is my vision of Scottish independence.
    Fuckoff then ya brit arse licker/kisser.

  19. anon no longer on said:

    #26 Gall Oglaigh

    Whereas if Scotland leaves the Union it will be none of those things.

    You’re either at the wind up or you’re as thick as pig shit.

  20. jim mclean on said:

    20# The advice issued by the Orange Order in the 80’s was clearly to support whatever party could defeat the Tories, be it Liberal, SNP or Labour in opposition to Thatcher and the Anglo Irish agreement. The recent statement by the Grand Lodge, which I missed, has significantly moved towards Labour but just falls short of all out support instead relies on members to decide at a constituency level. I’ll have to get out the maps again and see if there is a change comes May and find out if the Orange vote still exists. Notice they claim some of the success for the Glenrothes by election. I like your name, as a descendent of one of the minor Gail Ogliach families the Gallowglass were quite willing to support the Tudors and set up the Plantations, oh well.
    As an opponent of Independence do I support the continuation of the imperialist, reactionary and thoroughly neo liberal capitalist state, no.
    Do you support an independence movement entirely funded by Christian fundamentalists and homophobes, for the only Party that can bring Independence is the SNP and they are rich men’s puppets.

  21. Darkness at Noon on said:

    @David Ellis:

    “is now clear for him to stand on an anti-imperialist, anti-cuts, pro-Palestinian ticket”

    Yes, just what Glasgow and Scotland need.

  22. #30
    Do you support an independence movement entirely funded by Christian fundamentalists and homophobes, for the only Party that can bring Independence is the SNP and they are rich men’s puppets.
    – I suppose that is a change from Tom Gallagher’s smears that the SNP are a bunch of racist neo-nazis.

    Recent Scottish opinion polls record a fall in support for Lib Dems and Tories with the unionist Labour Party as the main gainers from this – which doesn’t surprise me as the Labour are well to the right of the SNP.

  23. anon no longer on said:

    #33 joe kane

    The areas of Scotland that used to be the Tory bedrock areas are now the SNP’s bedrock areas.

    That should tell you something about them and who they appeal to.

  24. Gall Oglaigh on said:

    Anon no longer i come from one of the most solid working class communities in Scotland, it has broken from weighing the Labour vote to being very close to an SNP majority area. 70 years of Labour corruption, cronyism and hegemony broken. Things change.

  25. #34
    The areas of Scotland that used to be the Tory bedrock areas are now the SNP’s bedrock areas.
    – Maybe the right-wing Labour supporting Scottish corporate media ought to start enlightening the working class Scottish proles they’re voting for a political party every bit as right-wing as the Tories.

    Why would anyone in Scotland want to vote Tory when they can just easily vote for the right-wing war criminals of the Scottish Labour Party.

    That should tell you something about them and who they appeal to.
    – Which traditional tory policies do you have in mind – independence perhaps?

  26. #36
    The corruption in the Glasgow Labour Party alone is mind-numbing.

    I do notice the trotting out of the stale old Labour Party propaganada from about 30-40 years ago about how the SNP are ‘Tartan Tories’.

    The reason they can’t deploy that anymore is because the Labour Party today are every bit as right-wing as the Tories ever were or ever could be.

    Any Tory that risks voting SNP these days risk putting the bedrock of Tory unionism at risk – it was ok back when voting SNP was a way of keeping Labour out, but not anymore.

  27. anon no longer on said:

    joe kane

    I think the fact that the traditional tory voters in the NE and Perth& kinross etc are now happy to vote SNP suggests that any idea that an independent scotland would be left wing is, in the words of comrade mather ‘delusional nonsense’.

  28. #41
    Sorry if I can’t share your utopian ideals about what is possible in the here and now.

    I don’t think anyone, except yourself maybe, is expecting a revolutionary state to be elected into power in the forthcoming Scottish Parliamentary elections.

    A fan of Maggie – another thing the he and the SNP has in common with Blair and Brown.
    – Homophobes, christian fundamentalists, fans of Maggie Thatcher, and neo-nazi racists. No wonder nobody likes the SNP.

    In conversation with… Alex Salmond
    Ian Dale
    Total Politics

  29. The Scotsman Poll:

    “Would you vote for Gail Sheridan?”

    I note the poll result now stands at:

    18% Yes – 82% No

    With all the usual caveats about nonsensical poll inaccuracy of self selective polls Solidarity appear from the bare facts of that poll to have a relatively popular socialist candidate in Gail – if they choose her.

    Certainly Solidarity could say tommorow that the only poll to have been issued so shows she has significant support.

    The same paper shows support for the Tories and Lib Dems collapsing so its interesting times ahead.

    A principled socialist; an active trade unionist; a fine public speaker; fearless; steadfast in the face of the state; bold; loyal; a vibrant personality.

    Lets not forget she was recently legally proven to be honest as the day is long with the theft and perjury charges being thrown out.

    Gail has a formal stamp of approval of innocence from a senior judge no less and an apology from the police will be on the way shortly no doubt.

    So a good candidate. No reasonable doubt about that.

    There is a debate on her possible candidacy and how to deal with the perjury trial issue on James Doleman’s Sheridantrial.blogspot.com.

    It includes contributions from a wider political circle than the many fine radicals who lurk here that people may find interesting.

  30. Is there a technical problem with having a Respect candidacy, or is it really just down to Galloway to decide for himself?

  31. anon no longer on said:

    Pog mo thoin

    Galloway has a much better chance of being elected than the others (who, let’s be honest, have no chance whatsoever).

    I detect a bit of a dog in the manger politics in all of this.

  32. Andy newman on said:

    #21 A further fractious comment by Socialist Party member Jim Lowe has just been deleted, continuing in the same sectarian and red-baiting disruptive manner as the earlier comment by Doug Lowe.

    Does the Socialist Party really think this is a good advert for their politics?

  33. 44. I’m fascinated to know what they posted, and how it was more offensive than some of the other posts in this thread. The bar here has been set very high.

  34. anon no longer on said:

    #41 Peter

    ‘Lets not forget she was recently legally proven to be honest as the day is long with the theft and perjury charges being thrown out.

    Gail has a formal stamp of approval of innocence from a senior judge no less and an apology from the police will be on the way shortly no doubt.’

    Guffaw. Guffaw.

    Herein lies the weakness of her candidature. What does she say when someone asks her about the shopping trip for the wedding dress (who,where and when)?

    Mibaes you can play scrabble on t’internet. One player in Glasgow, the other in Miami.

  35. Graham Day on said:

    The corruption in the Glasgow Labour Party alone is mind-numbing.

    Care to back that up with facts, or are you scared of being sued?

  36. “Galloway the millionaire,unionist,Churchill loving, British nationalist scumbag”.

    Is what Doug and Jim posted really more scurrillous than this?

    What exactly made their comments so intolerable in comparison?

  37. River – I have emailed you what we wrote. Newman keeps deleting my messages so we cannot defend ourselves against his baseless and hysterical attacks.

  38. #49 Newman can’t answer that question because he is using his power to delete messages to make baseless allegations against me and Doug. Newman has proved himself to be quite the Stalinist we always thought he was.

  39. Having read Doug and Jim’s posts over email, I would suggest that Andy reinstates them, and lets his readers judge for themselves whether they are ‘red baiting’, or any more worthy of deletion than the many highly offensive posts that are tolerated here.

  40. jim mclean on said:

    Of course many are coming to the position that you have to be a crook to enter Scottish Politics.

  41. Gall Oglaigh on said:

    Scottish Republican is spot on, in that link. Labour are full of gangster connections in Glasgow, brown envelopes rule. Bunch of fat blowhards and wanks.

  42. Alan Ji on said:

    Gail Sheridan seems to have spent most of her adult life playing number 2 to an arrogant macho so-and-so.

    Now, can some one tell me why any woman would consider an offer to make the same mistake again?

  43. Graham Day on said:

    @51, jim mclean, yeah, it’s terrible, working class guy grows up with some dodgy characters, tries to get out and fails. At the end of the day, Stephen Purcell is a decent guy.

    Anyway, that’s an individual, it doesn’t prove that – quote – corruption in the Glasgow Labour Party alone is mind-numbing – unquote – does it? And how many recent threads on this blog have been dedicated to someone who maybe shouldn’t have gone to the courts? As Galloway has said, if you’re squeaky clean then you’re taking a risk. And how many of us are squeaky clean?

    As for the link, well, it seems to be a bit of a cybernat nest, doesn’t it?

  44. Graham Day on said:

    #56 “Gall Oglaigh” Scottish Republican is spot on, in that link. Labour are full of gangster connections in Glasgow, brown envelopes rule.

    Oh dear, an anonymous poster with non-specific smears. I know, gallowglass, that the likes of you get an easy ride on English left blogs (I don’t know why), and that probably makes you think you’re special, but in this case, just put up or shut up. And do it under your own name.

  45. I did not know the Gorgeous one liked Churchill. So he has some sense after all. Same taste in cigars. Strange how Churchill is hated by the far left. He by helping to defeat old Adolf saved the far left from extinction. They are now doing a good job extinguishing themselves. MUGS ONE AND ALL.

  46. #48
    The corruption in the Glasgow Labour Party alone is mind-numbing.

    Care to back that up with facts, or are you scared of being sued?
    – Obviously you don’t keep up with the news on the Scottish media.

    I’m not surprised you’ve missed all the stories of Scottish Labour Party corruption. Blink and you’d miss them. They don’t get prolonged air time to say the least – unlike some other Scottish politicians and their supposed wrong-doings, who never seem to be out of the Scottish corporate media’s sights for a single day.

    #58
    cybernat nest
    – That’s my first sighting of this new corporate unionist label for anyone who dares use the internet and vote SNP at the same time.
    Why don’t you call SNP voters ‘tartan tories’ anymore?

  47. 26# “if you oppose Scottish independence then by default you support the continuation of the imperialist, reactionary and thoroughly neo liberal capitalist state”

    There’s no “by default” about it. Your conclusion is in no way a logical consequence of the premise.

    As Socialists we should recognise that the people of Scotland have a right to national independence if the majority of them want it. If they do, then we should support that demand. However, whether we should be arguing for such independence ourselves is a different matter, & is highly debatable. It should surely be a question of judging the political consequences of Scottish independence on Scotland, the remainder of the UK, & the world. That’s a complex question & shouldn’t be reduced to romantic nationalist nonsense & name-calling (“Brit arse licker”, etc).

    “A workers republic is my vision of Scottish independence.”

    But it isn’t Alex Salmond & the SNP’s vision of Scottish independence, is it? What Salmond apparently wants is to be like the Republic of Ireland, except not a republic (& not partitioned, presumably). That is, a state no less reactionary & neo-liberal/capitalist than the current UK. Not to mention an even bigger economic disaster. As for imperialism, the likeliest thing is that Scotland under the SNP would be even more servile to US foreign policy than Britain is now, & would continue to send Scottish soldiers to kill & die in NATO’s wars, & we’d have a Scottish airforce complete with saltire markings to do the bombing.

    Personally, I’d far rather see a workers’ republic of 60 million people than one of 5 million people, but either way, the only way we’ll get one in Scotland or Britain is through a revolution.

  48. #59
    These Labour Party corruption scandals have been rumbling on since early last year and yet Graham Day is challanging people to prove them.

    Obvioulsy you’re a well-informed observer of the Scottish political scene Graham.

  49. #62
    What Alex Salmond wants after independence is neither here nor there -that will be decided by the voters of an independent Scotland.

    Why would you want the UK to be joined to a nation of people who are as right-wing as you are making the Scots out to be – it doesn’t make much sense. But then, unionist lies never do.

    An independent Scotland will be to the left of anything in Westminster – just like it is now in fact.

  50. Graham Day on said:

    #61, joe kane I notice you’re still not putting your name to any specific allegations against specific people.

    But no, you’re probably right, the only reason we don’t know about it is because of a big “media conspiracy”. The only reason the Scottish working class vote Labour, rather than for King Alex and his bawheid army, is because they’re being “conned”.

    Doesn’t really say much for your political analysis. Thank goodness, because you nat types have diverted more than enough good people down your particular dead end.

    And if you’re in Scotland and using the internet, and you’re not familiar with the term “cybernat” then you really should (metaphorically) get out more (so to speak).

  51. jim mclean on said:

    58# jim mclean, yeah, it’s terrible, working class guy grows up with some dodgy characters, tries to get out and fails. At the end of the day, Stephen Purcell is a decent guy.

    You know I never slag off anyone for their personal life, cocaine should be legal, if I were looking at it from a personal point of view I would say, sorry pal, blew the politics bit, try something else. Yet do you know any other working class kid that would get a tip off from the most senior members of the DS, no his position within Labour protected him, the Labour Party protected him,yet the party was coming down on working class kids while Tom McGraw, John Reid and Jack McConnell were playing happy families at a Red Rose Dinner.

  52. Graham Day on said:

    #63, no joe, I’m just challenging you to prove them, by statements of undisputed fact rather than snide innuendo.

    Piss or get off the pot.

  53. Anonymous on said:

    #62 so you want an independent scotland in a world that is totally socialis thent? By which point the nation state would be ceasing to exist? Or do you want a “nicer” capitalist state socialist scotland run on behalf of the workers? Cos thats gonna happen in a capitalist world isnt it?

  54. “cybernat nest
    – That’s my first sighting of this new corporate unionist label for anyone who dares use the internet and vote SNP at the same time.”

    I tend to agree Joe and it does tend to devalue the posts of those who use it. It comes across as lazy.

    Its a matter of public record that Stephen Purcell while Council Leader bought cocaine from gangsters and comsumed it with them. The Polis marked his card. He might well be a lovely bloke but most cokeheads aren’t.

  55. Graham Day on said:

    #66 jim maclean, so are you suggesting that the Labour Party issued an instruction to the police that they should ignore a serious criminal offence?

    That’s a pretty serious allegation, outside of the blogosphere you would be expected to back it up. I don’t see why this part of the blogosphere should be any different, so I look forward to seeing your evidence.

    Put up or shut up, bud.

  56. anon no longer on said:

    #37 joe kane

    ‘The corruption in the Glasgow Labour Party alone is mind-numbing.’

    Well something certainly does appear to have numbed yours.

    Though I’m not altogether convinced that the culprit is corruption in the Glasgow Labour Party.

  57. Graham Day on said:

    #70, what I meant was “I don’t see why this part of the blogosphere should be any different from the real world”. Obviously…

    #71, the culprit probably is Glasgow Labour Party, because they – like Labour throughout the working class parts of Scotland – keep winning elections even though joe kane has scientifically proven (on a laptop computer!) that that shouldn’t happen.

  58. #64

    “What Alex Salmond wants after independence is neither here nor there”

    But he’s the leader of the Scottish National Party, & representative of the party’s politics & ideology. In a (semi-)independent Scotland, the SNP would likely be 1 of the main parties. The (neo-liberal) politics of 1 of the likely government/main ‘opposition’ parties is “neither here nor there”?

    “-that will be decided by the voters of an independent Scotland.”

    How do you work that 1 out? Do you think capitalist states are perfectly functioning democracies where policy is decided by the will of the majority? Or do you think that an independent Scotland under the SNP is not going to be a capitalist state ruled in the interests of the capitalist class (both Scottish & international)? Or what? Is there any reason to believe that an independent Scotland would be more effectively democratic than the current UK?

    “Why would you want the UK to be joined to a nation of people who are as right-wing as you are making the Scots out to be?”

    Where did I “make out” that the Scots as a ‘nation’ are particularly right-wing? Only in your imagination. However, nor do I believe that the Scots are particularly left-wing as a ‘nation’, as Scottish left-nationialists like to pretend.

    I’m Scottish & live in Scotland, incidentally.

    “But then, unionist lies never do”

    I’m sorry, was I not clear enough? I have absolutely no committment to the unity of the British state in principle. The question is what would be the political consequences of Scottish independence? But why bother even trying to think that through when you can just call anyone who disagrees with you names? I’m not a “unionist”, I’m just increasingly sceptical as to what Scottish independence (or more specifically the kind of Scottish “independence” we can realistically expect from the SNP) would actually achieve in terms of Socialism or anti-imperialism, how it would benefit the working class in Scotland, & beyond.

    “An independent Scotland will be to the left of anything in Westminster”

    On what basis do you make that assertion? WHY would it be more left-wing?

    “just like it is now in fact.”

    Like WHAT is now? Are you referring to the Scottish working class? If so, then yes, they are more left-wing than “anything in Westminster”, as are the English & Welsh working class (in general, obviously, not every individual worker).

    Or are you referring to the Scottish section of the ruling class (the capitalists, politicians, etc)? In which case, no.

    This is exactly the problem with fucking nationalism: it conflates the 2.

    #68

    What the hell are you gibbering about? To be honest, I don’t much care IN PRINCIPLE whether Scotland is independent or not. If the majority of Scots want national independence, then fine; if not, that’s fine as well. I have no commitment to either the British ‘nation’ or the Scottish ‘nation’, but to my class & to international Socialism.

    The question then is what would be the consequences of Scottish indpendence?

  59. The Labour Party will continue to in a democratic manner represent the Scottish people. The mafia corrupt loony lefties will as usual hang about and take the LEFTover SCRAPS.

  60. #60
    Thanks SA.

    Just to say, I was replying to the usual anti-SNP nonsense with some actual facts about the state of the Labour Party in Scotland. I wish Mr Purcell well and hope he is in better health and is recovering ok.

    Like many, I have the greatest respect for George Galloway, Tommy Sheridan and Solidarity, as well as the SSP and wish them well in the forthcoming elections.

    I can’t be bothered with this obnoxious blow-hard Graham Day, nor this JN who thinks I should be interested in their earnest views. I’ve got better things to do with my time.

  61. Zhou Enlai on said:

    “The question then is what would be the consequences of Scottish indpendence?”

    BREAKING THE BRITISH STATE
    http://www.scottishcommunists.org.uk/literature/breaking-the-british-state

    “In Scotland today the link to the British State is being questioned as never before. People see manufacturing plants closing on a weekly basis and their sons and daughters once more having to seek employment hundreds of miles away in the south of England. They witness Scottish soldiers being killed overseas defending the interests of British oil companies. Simultaneously they see these very same oil companies dis-investing themselves of assets off Scotland’s coast. This is why the question is being asked: why Scotland cannot be free – free to fulfil the socialist aspirations of the founders of the Labour Movement in Scotland, of Keir Hardie, John Maclean and Willie Gallacher.

    This pamphlet considers how this freedom can be achieved: whether it must be preceded by achieving a politically independent Scottish state – or whether such freedom depends on first breaking the political grip of the rich and powerful at British level.”

  62. “Like many, I have the greatest respect for George Galloway, Tommy Sheridan and Solidarity, as well as the SSP and wish them well in the forthcoming elections.”

    I’m sure that won’t please everybody, but it is a very refreshing and generous position, whose sentiment we could do with a lot more of. Well done.

  63. Joe Kane,

    Can you “be bothered” to come up with even 1 good reason why Socialists should be in favour of Scottish independence as such (rather than just the right of the people of Scotland to it, IF they want it)? Do you have time in your clearly hectic schedule to explain how this might benefit the working class in Scotland or anywhere else? Or why you assume that an “indpendent” capitalist Scotland would be any less neo-liberal & imperialist than Britain?

  64. #80 Let’s see if I can help Joe Kane here. How about 3 good reasons: 1.DEMOCRACY – The Scottish & English revolutions of 1637-1660 and UK reforms of 1832 and onwards have left many tasks incomplete. We are still not a popualr republic.
    2. Scotland’s balances of class forces is historically different to the dominant political balance in England & wales (particularly the south and east of England which domniantes UK economics and politics
    3. DEVOLUTION is clearly incomplete and throws up many logical democractic inconsistances and violations of the right to self determination such as a) Scottish Westminster MPs voting to introduce reactionary cuts and counter-reforms to English education and health services which they don’t legislate for in Scotland, because MSPs do that at Holyrood. b) Having the country’s budget and tax levels set by another parliament over which Scottish voters have little control (we send only 54 MPs I think) it is illogical and anti-democratic. c) The cuts agenda is imposed by LibDem and Tory govt Cabinet MPs (on a programmes most Scots never voted for – despite the presence of LibDems Michael Moore and Danny Alexander) on the Scottish Parliament whose SNP Govt then imposes on Scottish councils leading to up to 100,000 poitential job losses d) Scots have never voted Tory in any numbers since 1951. Each time a UK Tory government is elected in England it violates the democratic majority will in Scotland (Labour and SNP). e) SNP Govt has been progressive on social issues – abolishing tuition fees, road tolls and prescription charges, increasing numbers of teachers and police, keeping A&Es open and refusing New Labour’s NHS reforms; while opposing war in Iraq and Afghanistan, Dungavel and racist treatment of asylum seekers; supporting trade union rights; and freezing the council tax. It also supports setting up a sovereign wealth fund from remaining oil revenues like Norway has which stopped itself going into recession; f) Meanwhile SNP were trying (but failing thanks to the Unionist parties majority in parliament) to replace it with a local income tax but reactionary on business tax cuts, free market policies and the Tory cuts to public services.
    Calman set-up by the unionist parties has recoignised the logic of giving more fiscal taxation and other powers to Holyrood so the process of a steadily more sovereign Scottish Parliament is a near future reality. Even Tories and LibDems favour fiscal autonomy – raising the taxes spent in Scotland and ending the annual bout of English national chauvinism about Scots dependency and Scots anti-English chauvinism having being a parental-guidance parliament.

    An independent capitalist Scotland would not be any socialist partadise but it certainly would be a more progressive place. As a pro-EU party – an SNP governed independent Scotland would not be pro-US but pro-EU. It could mean Scots troops in say Kosovo theoretically but the control the Holyrood parliament over the Govt means it could veto any govt attempt to go to war should it have the powers. Hope that’s some food for thought as this message is too long.

  65. Now a wee word about GG and Solidarity – It was clear from the Glasgow Central Mosque rally for Friends of Al-Aqsa Palestine campaign that GG is only at the very early stages of his launch. He has not yet set-up a local electoral organisation in Glasgow. His 2 press officers were alone in handing out flyers for the George4Glasgow campaign. Though he is rightly strongly appealing to South Asian Muslim and anti-war activists, in that community he’s gonna takes votes away from the SNP who’ll probably lose Nicola Sturgeon’s Govan constituency seat to Labour. GG’s right in his assessment that Labour list votes will be wasted. There’ll also be a swing to Labour in Glasgow (partly for left-wing anti-cuts or anti-Tory reasons) which GG hopes to benefit from. His strategy is clearly based on that of Ken Livingstone when he ran for and won the London Mayoralty as a independent candidate borrowing Labour votes until he was re-admitted. GG’s realisation is that as a unionist party Labour will thank him for helping the SNP lose both a constituency seat and a list seat in Glasgow.

    Solidarity will be choosing whether the party stands or to support the STUSC coalition we’ve supported thus far – at the conference next weekend. GG’s clearly angling for non-far left votes but he will inevitably pull at least some far-left voters away from us. However, if Labour politicians break a habit of a lifetime and call on their voters to give a 2nd preference to other parties or candidates, then GG will definitely get in.

    Solidarity if it stood either way – independently or as part of STUSC – would still need a recogniseable lead candidate. I know that TS and GS have not made any decisions about standing, neither has the party, but clearly we are the only far-left socialist force capable of getting anywhere near gaining a seat in May. Having got TS to 4% in 2007 I think were GS to stand there is a good chance she’d win.

    And for those who underestimate the Glasgow public, if they want a consistant anti-capitalist, pro-worker, anti-cuts voice at Holyrood – they know there’s only one place to go and that’s us. There’s also no reason why GS supporters and Solidarity supporters can’t advocate 2nd preferences for each others candidacies.

  66. jim mclean on said:

    85# perhaps but with George openly separating himself from the brand name Sheridan and openly making reference to his long term friendship with the stronger brand names Sarwar and Smith, who knows. Then with Labour on the verge of topping 50% on the polls, who knows, a Labour list vote could very well go to GG. As the condems have targeted Labour strongholds in London the SNP are being accused of doing the same by slashing Glasgow’s budget at a rate higher than elsewhere in Scotland. So the story so far is GG has separated himself from the Left Nationalists, he has identified himself with Mohamed Sarwar, Glasgow Celtic and John Smith and calls for disaffected Liberals and soft nationaliststo lend him his vote.
    http://blogs.dailyrecord.co.uk/georgegalloway/2011/01/back-me-all-the-way-to-holyrood.html#more

  67. faultylpgic on said:

    I do wonder what Ovenden and Hoveman make of GG saying Tommy is too left wing etc etc? Do they ever think ummmmm? maybe all is not rosy in this garden.

  68. The Undertaker on said:

    #89 An interesting question but I think Rob and Kevin made a clear choice certainly career wise to throw their lot in with Galloway ,they are far from stupid and must have known Galloway at heart is no revolutionary indeed he belongs to a long tradition of soft( and not so soft) stalinist scottish Labourism.
    #90 Larry I don’t know what you had for breakfast but ‘Lions used and abused by a donkey’ is that the latest SSP video release ?

  69. anon no longer on said:

    Why was Mrs Sheridan so anxious to be Mr Galloway’s running mate if he’s such a donkey?

  70. 94 – but if you were in Scotland, what were you doing invading someone else’s homeland by interfering in politics in England?

  71. 96 – “her heavy arse”. Who’s she? And why were you interfering in the politics of someone else’s homeland?

  72. 98 – curiouser. Who’s she? Who are you talking to? And why were you interfering in politics outwith your homeland?

  73. 100 – ok. So we sort of have an answer to the first question – you think Respect standing in elections in Scotland makes them “fucking interlopers” at the same time as maintaining that you “have always said that Respect should have a presence in Scotland.” That’s clear. Not. So how about the answers to the other two questions – the one about the woman you think has a “heavy arse” and why you keep addressing comments to someone called George?

    On second thoughts, and on a serious note. This is clearly causing you some distress. So don’t feel obliged to comment.