Hey everyone. In the latest twist in the independence debate Yes Scotland have gained a significant morale boost with the defection of Glasgow’s only Independent councillor Stephen Dornan from Better Together.
Councillor Dornan who represents the Govan Ward and has done since he was first elected as Labour councillor for what was then the Drumoyne ward in 1995 is a man who was until recently active in his support for Better Together and had campaigned alongside leading Labour Party figures such as Ian Davidson, Anas Sarwar, Margaret Curran and party leader Johann Lamont in the pro union campaign
This news will be a devastating blow to better together as Mr Dornan is a hugely popular local figure in the Greater Govan area and his popularity and charisma will be of great benefit to yes in persuading those who see themselves as traditional socialists and who may be as yet undecided but reluctant to align themselves with the SNP on whom they are not too keen but who are willing to be opened to persuasion on the idea if they could find someone who would speak the language of independence with a working class Glasgow accent. Well now they have their man and believe me in Stephen Dornan they have a powerful advocate for change.
A committed supporter of the trade union movement Stephen Dornan is a man of principle and powerful passionate politics in the mould of the real Labour movement. Now he stands on the same side as great socialists such as the late Jimmy Reid and the great John McLean former Govan MP Jim Sillars, and the chairman of Yes Scotland and former Labour MP Dennis Canavan. Like him these are men who knew difficult times who were and in the case of Sillars and Canavan still are fighting for a better fairer Scotland which has room for all of Jock Tamson’s bairns no matter where they were they were born. Stephen Dornan however like so many in the yes campaign will I am sure not settle just for a fairer Scotland, for important though that will be to him he won’t want stop there he will want an independent Scotland to have a strong voice on the international stage and campaign for a better world which declares that the only wars worth fighting are on poverty, inequality, and injustice in whatever forms it takes.
You may ask how come I have such knowledge on the yes campaign’s latest member? My answer is a simple one, you see I have known Stephen Dornan for 22 years first meeting him in 1992 when he brought the younger of his two sons to a drama group of which I was a member and regard him as a friend. Though our paths haven’t crossed as much in recent years as once was the case I still know Stevie Dornan the man not just Stevie Dornan the politician. This is why I know that he is a politician who believes in what is best for his local community as well as looking at the bigger picture from the national or indeed international perspectives.
Stephen Dornan is the kind of man better together could not afford to lose. A former Labour chief whip on Glasgow city council this is a man who has excellent oratory skills which he will be putting to good use to persuade undecided voters to start their own journeys to yes. In his statement declaring his switch Mr Dornan said his main reason for deciding to vote yes was to save the National Health Service which he fears will be in grave danger if we vote to remain in the UK due to the market driven health reforms currently taking place in England. If anyone questions him on this he could direct them to a poem on you tube by my fellow performance poet Rachel Amey which tells the story of what is happening to NHS England believe this makes for uncomfortable but in my opinion very necessary viewing for all those undecided voters who have yet to make their decisions on how to cast their vote.
Having forecast the end of the NHS Mr Dornan delivered
another bitter blow to better together when he claimed that only a yes vote could save the Govan shipyard, In a direct rebuke to better together he stated that the yard could diversify and do other things but he went as far as to say to that ‘the Govan yard will be dead by 2019 if Scotland votes no’. This directly contradicts the better together message that the shipbuilding industry is safe in the unionists hands. I never did believe that message and neither does a man who knows Govan well and has represented the area for almost 20 years. Bearing these facts in mind I think I would sooner believe Stephen Dornan than better together who will say whatever they need to keep their place on the Westminster expenses express.
The fact that Stephen Dornan is no friend of the SNP is actually a very good thing for our campaign as we enter the crucial last 40 days. You see this detracts from the unionist message that it’s all about Alex Salmond and the SNP and therefore substantially dilutes their argument giving it a lot less power and weakening its credibility at a time when it was most needed. The yes campaign is an all embracing campaign which welcomes people from all parties and none who wish to work together in the name of a better Scotland which will play a full part in the global family of nations. Now Stephen Dornan joins our team and a man of his calibre is a very welcome addition, an independent thinker he is a very effective communicator who will be an important asset in winning our nation for our people.
You know, one of the most unfair allegations I have heard made against those of us in the yes campaign is that we are too middle class. This is nonsense and is usually made by those who haven’t engaged in debate with us,and as a working class girl made good I have to say that I find this kind of ill informed comment makes me very angry. No-one however, can throw that line at Stephen Dornan. If you cut this man he will bleed the deepest shade of red and he will tell you that this shade of red was made in the streets of Govan. I know the authenticity of that comment because I know the man who made it and I am heartened to see a community champion and a fighter for fairness saying yes with a working class accent.
Love And Best Wishes