Tag Archive | Jeremy Corbyn

After The Votes Were Counted The Result Was A Night Of Mixed Emotions

​This will not be an easy post to write nor indeed should it be. As I look back on the events of last Thursday evening it is I hope with a cool head that I review the results of the UK General Election and in particular what it means for the politics of Scotland. 

Having won 56 of the 59 Scottish seats in the election of  2015 it is I think fair to say that for the SNP this was always going to be a difficult night and I say that openly and with a Scottish National Party card in my purse. The fact this was a snap election called by Conservative Prime Minister Theresa May to get a mandate for her hard Brexit strategy seemed to wrong foot my party who just didn’t seem prepared for it or the fight it was going to bring. After all the only elections we were supposed to be fighting this year were of the local council variety. 

Talking of the council elections these should have given the SNP a warning of just how dirty  all the unionist parties were prepared to fight. The fact that there were all sorts of tactical voting arrangements in place to defeat SNP candidates should have sent a flashing amber light straight to SNP headquarters and the fact that it didn’t seem to do this is something I find very alarming indeed. All through the council election campaign all three leaders of the pro UK parties were talking of nothing else but the threat of  a second divisive independence referendum and a willing press and media allowed them the space to do so. 

It is my  opinion that the SNP were far too civilised on this issue and we should have went for the throat in a much more assertive manner with all of our pro union opponents and we should have went for Ruth Davidson in particular far harder than  we did and not let her get away with her outrageous and disgraceful behaviour against our democratically elected First Minister.  Ever since last year’s Scottish election Davidson has been acting as if she had won that election, and not the SNP. This should have been held up to ridicule and Davidson should have been forced to defend her Conservative policies rather than get away Brit free with  her one issue campaign on defending  her precious union. 

Now whilst this may be perceived as bias by those concerned I am more concerned  about our apparent lack of fight in meeting this ridiculous claim head on and forcing the unionists on to the back foot.  This must be at least to some extent responsible for our loses on Thursday night as more than any other  party SNP voters need to be inspired by a campaign that motivates them to vote and to me at least that didn’t happen this time 

The matter of tactical voting wasn’t taken anywhere near as seriously as it should have been by the SNP and it  wasn’t just unionists who were  doing it. There were in my opinion three groups of yes voters who exercised their own version of independence and  anyone who says this didn’t happen is denying reality. These groups were left leaning yes voters who voted Labour for Jeremy Corbyn and his vision of a fairer society, Yexit voters in rural areas especially but not exclusively in the North of Scotland , this was a group of voters who voted yes for independence in 2014 but voted to leave the European Union, and the stay at home voters who will always vote SNP when they go out to vote  but who if they feel the party has let them down or are not doing enough in key areas and have not been engaged by the manifesto or contacted by local activists  may exercise their democratic right to withhold their vote and there is no doubt that all three of these factors played against the party on this occasion.

 This however, could have been migitgated at local level if we had been a bit bolder in holding the unionist patties feet to the fire and challenging them on the authenticity and indeed sincerity of their views. For example we should have sought to make much more of the internal Labour Party fued between Jeremy Corbyn and his Scottish party leader Kezia Dugdale and highlighted the fact that far from being  Corbynistas the vast majority of the Scottish candidates had more in common with Kez than they did with Jez. 

Whilst I’m not sure it would have prevented any of our loses to Labour with the possible exception of Glasgow North East, I do believe that such tactics might have firmed up our majorities in a significant number of the seats we managed to hold thus making it easier to defend them at the next election. Instead of that it may well be the case though I hope it isn’t, that we have to go in to that election with the kind of fire fighting strategy aimed at avoiding a whole swathe of loses to Labour in what used to be their heartland seats.  It is my opinion that should this be the case the SNP will be looking at a return of between 18 -23 seats maximum and on a really bad night we could go down as low as 8-12. However if as I think we should, we take a more assertive line against our opponents I see no reason why we can’t win between 44-48 seats at the  next election. 

I believe we have to go down this road as I think there are dangers in playing too nice. Let’s face it we campaigned as the nice party in this election and it didn’t work and to be honest I don’t see it working in  future .  You can call me alarmist if you like, but I prefer realistic. You see I learned from the best my like lecturer in electoral behaviour Malcolm Dickson who did the System Three polls for the Herald and our resident professor who at that time gave guest lectures which I always made sure to attend. I am of course talking about the voice of elections in Scotland John Curtice who I am sure would happy to see one of his former students exercising such caution in their forecasting 

If  my caution is justified and born of out of both experience and I hope reason, my party’s caution was to some extent dictated by the fact that this was a Westminster election and the fact that the Labour Party under Jeremy Corbyn produced by their recent standards a radical manifesto which captured the imagination of voters throughout the UK and had I not been a member of the SNP and been so emotionally committed to my party and our ultimate aim of independence I could easily have been one of the yes voters who could have loaned my vote to Labour Party to get Jeremy Corbyn elected as Prime Minister.

The other key reasons for my party’s caution was the fact that having won an unrealistically high number of seats it was always going to be a night when the unionist voters would indulge themselves in a wee bit of tactical voting to get rid of some of our most talented and high profile MP’s whilst the media predicted the end of the road for our Westminster leader Angus Robertson who lost his Moray seat to the Conservatives, Callum Kerr and Richard Arkless who were the victims of a Conservative clean sweep in the Border constituencies Kirsteen Oswald whose East Renfrewshire seat once the safest Tory seat in Scotland returned to its natural home for the first time since the days of Alan Stewart, Stuart Donaldson in Kincardine And West Aberdeenshire and Pete Wishart who ironically enough fulfilled my  prediction and held on in Perth and North Perthshire. They didn’t pick up on others which were definitely on my vulnerable list such as Angus , Stirling, Ochil And South Perthshire,  and potentially Alex Salmond’s Gordon constituency  though I thought this was likely to be a Liberal Democrat gain rather than a Tory one.  

I have to say that the more the campaign went the more concerned I became for the SNP candidates who were fighting a difficult election on an agenda over which they had little control. At the beginning of the campaign I rather optimistically predicted that the Conservatives would get no more  than six seats and may even be lucky to get that. It is however fair to say that as the campaign progressed I began to see the direction of travel and it wasn’t travelling in our direction and even as a lifetime optimist I started to think the scale of our loses could be and in all probability would be far heavier than I first thought. Indeed on the morning of the election I forecast to a friend that my prediction for my party was between 38-44 seats, a far cry from the 48-52 seats most of my friends and even some sections of the press believed we would win. 

All things consideredthis  election was not a good one for the SNP or at least not on the surface , but if I take a closer look at it from a more personal perspective I think it could be discribed as a night of mixed emotions for me and my party. Yes we lost some serious big hitters from our ranks but  make no mistake we are a party with plenty of talent in our ranks and I hope that honourable members such as Alison Thewliss,  Chris Stephens,  Joanna Cherry , Lisa Cameron,  Mhairi Black ,  Stephen  Gethins , Stewart MacDonald , Tommy Sheppard and others will be given the chance to shine in this parliament and by doing so demonstrate the wealth of highly skilled representatives we have at our disposal.  
It is I think fair to say  that despite our  loses most of which were inevitable for a party in the mid term of a third term Scottish Government, and in an election when UK politics has been more polarised  than at any time since the 1980’s the SNP still won the Scottish part of this election. I believe to do this in the face of an unprecedented and vicious press and media onslaught represents a truly remarkable achievement from which we should take quiet satisfaction. You see by removing what they see as our most talented MP’s the Conservatives may actually have accidentally strengthened our hand as with no Angus or Alex to cast in the role of the bogeyman it will be so much harder for them cast us as a two man team now than was previously the case. 

Looking back on the  events of the night I have to say that after the votes were counted it was a night of mixed emotions.  From a personal  perspective I had as good an election as was going to be possible given the circumstances as  I watched with pride the return of several of my closest  political allies to serve as their constituency  MPs and my reputation for fairness and accuracy   as a political  pundit was vindicated by my early morning election day prediction being uncomfortably close to the truth 

Meanwhile with regards to the gains  made by the pro UK parties I will await with interest the verdict on the new Labour and Tory intake and how many of them will actually be up to the job. I suggest that it may not be quite as many as they think and once they have to talk on  issues other than their obsessive hatred of the SNP and independence they may  be found out for what they are and the SNP stand  best  placed to benefit from such a scenario.

 At the beginning of this campaign all the unionist leaders in Scotland said they wanted to send Nicola Sturgeon a message, and to a certain extent they got their wish. It is my opinion however, that sometimes people should be careful what they wish for as they may actually get it and find to their horror that it might  not be as good as they think.  

Till next time 

Gayle X

When It Comes To Independence Some People Are Really Obsessed.  

After seven weeks of campaigning it’s finally here election day 2017. Depending on who you are talking to this election has been about Brexit , A Fairer Britain , and Nicola Sturgeon’s Obsession With independence. It’s also been about the Environment, a Second European Union Referendum, and Nicola Sturgeon’s obsession with independence. 

Other topics for discussion have included the Dementia Tax Jeremy Corbyn’s ‘dealings’ I prefer to call them peace negotiations,  with the IRA, and Nicola Sturgeon’s obsession with independence. Have you detected a theme yet ? I think I have and it’s this according to the unionist parties and their friends in the press Nicola Sturgeon has an obsession with independence. 

Reality however paints a slightly different picture. Far from Nicola Sturgeon having an obsession with independence it is in fact the unionists who are obsessed by the right of the Scotland to at any time determine our future god knows they’ve mentioned it often enough In every campaign leaflet in every party political broadcast and in every televised news bulletin the burning question at least according to the interviewer wasn’t Theresa May’s refusal to take part in debates or Jeremy Corbyn’s suitability for the job of Prime Minister , it was yes you’ve guessed it Nicola Sturgeon’s obsession with independence

 This to me is nothing of short of propaganda of the type that Josef Goebbels would have proud to call his own. It was the same all through the recent council election campaign when unionists of all political hues pleaded for votes on the grounds it send a message to Nicola Sturgeon that Scotland didn’t want what they referred to as another divisive independence referendum even local councils have absolutely no power to stop such a referendum from ever taking place should the Scottish parliament decide to hold one. Still one mustn’t let the truth get in the way of the unionists plan to bring Scotland to heel. 

This constant drip feeding to the most gullible and misinformed section of the public is bound to have had an impact on how they were persuaded to vote. Fortunately I am too well educated to fall for this toxic nonsense but many other people particularly in the older demographic are not so lucky and will tend to take these comments as if they were handed to them on tablets of stone. You see some people really are obsessed with independence and guess what there not in the SNP 

Till next time. 

Gayle X

Tartan Sheep 

Hey Readers Though primarily about the speeches made by Sadiq Khan and  Jeremy Corbyn to the Labour Party’s Scottish conference, this poem could be about the attitude of any British Government Minister or potential  candidate for that job  in my lifetime. 

Whether Labour or Tory it makes no difference to me, the attitude these people have to Scotland  is at best insulting and at worst a damnable disgrace and before you ask does that include the Scottish ones, let me tell you it most certainly does.  Indeed, I suggest that it is even more relevant to them than it is to Jeremy Corbyn, as all Corbyn did by not chastening the mayor of London for his ill informed remarks about the SNP was give me the opportunity to write it. 

Trust me that was like giving Henrik Larsson an open goal and like Henrik I wasn’t going to miss. I have given this poem the title Tartan Sheep as that is how the Labour Party treated their Scottish vote for years and before the rise of the SNP it was how the Tory Party treated the entire Scottish electorate. I have a funny feeling that this will not be an easy read for pro unionist friends with the possible exception of the Liberal Democrats but if you voted yes in the last independence referendum or have moved across to that view since I think you’ll  a much more enjoyable read. 

Tartan Sheep 

This is the voice of your colonial master 

I’m visiting you to pretend I care 

and to tell you that those who love their country 

would never seek to divide it

we are a united kingdom and that is how it will stay 

I won’t let little things 

like pretending to be a socialist 
get in the way of patronising you 

for the red white and blue 

look  I came up all the way from Westminster

to give you this lecture 

this makes me a very important person 

in the United Kingdom

which I will fight to make sure you are kept in 

whether you like it or not 

after all your only Scots 

so don’t get ideas above your station 

which by the way 

is wherever Westminster tells you it should be 

listen to me you don’t need the SNP 

you are tartan sheep who need to come my pen

otherwise I’ll never make number 10 

and become prime minister 

I mean you don’t want to be branded racists or fascists  

why would you vote nationalist 

when you can have me 

and my friends to tell you 

what to do

we know what’s best for your little land 

what part of that do you not understand ?

I repeat why vote nationalist 

when you can have me 

now I don’t know but to me at least 

the answer was clear 

I prefer the politics of hope 

to those of fearing others

and I don’t like being patronised 

by those who believe 

they can place limits on what I am capable of achieving 

I believe in myself and in abilities 

to get things done 

and will never settle for poverty 

I don’t want to be an outpost 

a distant colony only visited for votes 

when those who claim to be our masters 

think there is something in it for them 

the only number 10 I want to know about is a bus 

trust me this union disgusts me  

with it’s titles, gongs , and privilege

  used as bait to trap the gullible 

 as far as I’m concerned 

the Labour and Conservative parties

are and have always been

 two checks of the same backside 

how can you have pride in a land 

whose head of state is an unelected monarch

who knows nothing of the real world 

this is not something I can be proud of

if anything it makes me feel shame 

I want Scotland to be an independent  nation 

for egalitarian reasons 

you see I’m not dividing my country 

I’m reclaiming it 

the Britain the unionists talk about 

doesn’t exist 

it is no more than a colonial myth 

their establishment have rammed down our throats 
to suit their Westminster agenda 

with the no surrender brigade 

used as Britannia’s little helpers 

with orange flutes and Nazi salutes 

encouraged by unionists 

in the name of being better together

we saw their behaviour in George Square 

yet these are the people who claim to care

and have the nerve to say 

 that no-one who loves their country 

would seek to divide it 

but the problem with that argument

which the flat earth society 

refuse to see 

is that the united kingdom 

is a not a country it is a union of nations 

so you cannot divide what doesn’t exist 

meanwhile Westminster like a modern day Oliver Twist 

begs Scotland saying please 

can we have some more of your assests 

well if you don’t give us what we want 

we’ll call you racists and fascists 

only this time their threats fall on deaf ears

as nobody wants to listen 

we have our own ambitions and priorities 

and at the dawn of a new democracy 

our voice is getting stronger 

we are tartan sheep no longer 

we are moving on to build 

a better country 

the journey is already underway 

@ Gayle Smith 2017 

 Political Musings On  Valentine’s Day 

Hey Readers Since this is Valentine’s Day  I thought I would write a Valentine’s themed poem to send a few tongue in cheek messagees  to our political leaders and influencers though like all humour you may find some grains of truth in my carefully selected words.  So here goes with a short selection of rhymes for those who’ve been making the news. I’ve titled this poem Political Musings On Valentine’s Day I hope you enjoy the read. 

Political Musings On Valentine’s Day. 
Nigel had a British card 

and Nigel liked his Brexit

when I saw him ín club UK 

I ran towards the exit.
Tony loved really loved himself 

and waved his Union Jack 

until I finally handcuffed him 

for crimes against Iraq. 
Humza Yousaf works so hard 

and never ever complains 

so make his Valentine’s day complete

but please don’t mention trains.
With Mhairi’s Paisley patterned chat 

the voters hearts were melted 

I have to say it made my day 

when Labour got black belted.
 David  Cameron looks so lost 

he seems in great distress 

In fact I think it’s fair to say 

the man’s an Eton mess .
I’ve got a job for Gordon Brown 

so bring him up  from the attic 

he’s rearranging deckchairs  

and he’s starting on Titanic .

 
Jeremy Corbyn seems ok 

his favourite colour is red 

but Kezia ran to the Daily Mail  

when she found him under the bed.

 

Boris lost the Tory job 

but  Boris had a plan 

forget the honey monster now 

it’s time for Wheatabix man.
Ruth was so pleased with her Westminster card 

that she told rebel Scots to calm down 

until a fortune teller claimed

she would soon get a job as a clown 

 
The Lib Dems say Tim’s the man 

their Valentine has no fears 

they claim the future has a name 

It’s called the Farron years. 
I honestly like Willie Rennie

he always e-mails me 

but Nicola Sturgeon has no fears

I’ll stay with the SNP.
 My  Valentine’s message to Michael Gove

concerns the state of the press 

If you believe The National’s bad 

you’ve not read The Daily Express 
 

To Murdo Fraser I will send 

a song to be respected 

Alice Cooper will tell him 

that when voters speak 

he’ll never be Elected.
If you ask a non Tory our favourite month 

I know just what we’ll say 

in unison we’ll answer June 

well we can’t wait to get rid of May.
To Better Together on Valentine’s Day 
with a thank you for telling our story  

this has card has been sent by the BBC 

with love from Jackanory 

@ Gayle Smith 2017 

Footnote

Hey Readers

This poem is my reaction to Jeremy Corbyn’s speech at the Labour Party conference. It was a speech in which Scotland a country in which Labour has to make gains to win a UK general election was virtually ignored getting only one mention in a 40 minute speech. Now as an SNP member that suits me fine because I know you don’t win seats by ignoring target voters.

Whilst I agreed with a reasonable amount of what Mr Corbyn said when addressing more general themes I couldn’t help but think as I caught up with the speech on internet of the old Bananarama song from the 1980’s It Ain’t What You Do It’s The Way That You Do It. You see it’s my view that by ignoring Scotland he is conceding Scotland to the SNP because it may have finally dawned on him that the UK is finally reaching its sell by date despite his earlier comments that not only will there be no second independence referendum but there will be no more devolution either.

Personally I find these comments laughable as shows just how far British Labour will go to preserve an outdated constitutional arrangement which in my opinion has more to do with feudalism than the federalism we were promised by another Labour leader when he vowed to save his united kingdom .Yes he really was that far up his own backside.

Now while Jeremy Corbyn is a much better more principled man than that particular individual will ever be, I can’t help but feel he made a big mistake in not at least giving Scotland a bit more coverage. You see it may send out a message to the people of Scotland but the message it’s sending is more like a distress signal than appeal to be trusted with our votes. It is for this reason that I have written this poem and have given it the title Footnote I hope you enjoy the read.

Footnote

One mention in a 40 minute speech
when it came to local elections
Labour it seems still haven’t got over
what they see as a tartan insurrection
when insurgents claimed what they viewed
as their private property
this is democracy Westminster style
where chameleons smile when they need our votes
then change the colour of their coat
before most have even noticed the difference
they once told us resistance was futile
they were our only hope
now having got the Scotland they want to see
an obedient colony of a multi national PLC
we are dismissed
as no more than a footnote
since rejecting them
so decisively in recent elections
by taking slow and steady steps
Scotland will eventually regain our independence
take our place in the modern world
as a democratic nation
we will create a society worthy of the name
not blaming our neighbours for mistakes we know were ours
using our powers wisely we will build a caring compassionate country
which has no place for ugly politics
where many are left to struggle
whilst the few pool and share the resources between themselves
we will place no part of Scotland on the shelf
out of reach of ambitions and hopes
which should be common currency for all
we will not build walls we prefer to leave that to others
who believe in the narrowness of limits
that’s what defines them as British
It was after all a British Labour Prime Minister
who talked of British jobs for British workers
and another though of a different hue
who referred to strivers and shrikers
it was a former Labour cabinet minister
who called for a ban
on Muslim women wearing the burka
and another who claimed Scotland has no culture
yet was content to feed off our votes
to maintain his lavish lifestyle
pretending to be a socialist for crown and union jackary
well it had to be done to earn his ermine robes
this uniform of rogues
which the Labour Party
keep promising to abolish but never do
is what weds so many to the red white and blue
and the imperialist past of a corporation
which plundered other nations
for their financial gain
now having done the same to us
we are ignored
fed lies and deception
they still can’t get over the tartan insurrection
we are now just a footnote in their speeches
one has to wonder
if recovery is beyond their reach
if they have written us off
knowing that no matter what they say
we are no longer listening
and sooner than they think
the chameleon who continually changes colour
from red, to pink then to lilac then the most conservative shade of blue
before trying to change back to red
will and it has to be said be no more
than a footnote in our history.

@ Gayle Smith 2016

Why Britain Must Wish For A Leader Like Nicola

Hey Readers

As Frankie Boyle recently observed in one of his sharp, snappy tweets it is amusing to watch a country whose motto is keep calm
and carry on go in to a full blown meltdown. It is of course potentially at least  even more amusing if unlike myself you don’t have friends who are of opposing political viewpoints when the country concerned is the United Kingdom. This is a country whose political establishment have a smug, sanctimonious , attitude to those they perceive to be too much like Johnny Foreigner and not quite good enough to be
like them and has lead to it becoming the pariah state of Europe.

It is exactly that kind of establishment thinking which has led to the xenophobia which was a major factor in the Brexit vote which shocked both Europe and the world in the early hours of Friday 24th June. This is a vote which will despite the delusions of some in the chattering classes be forced to honour the democratic will of the people of England and Wales and leave the European Union which if truth be told it has never felt comfortable being a part of. 

Note I say this vote is the democratic will of the people of England and Wales, I make this point as the other nations of the United Kingdom Scotland and Northern Ireland voted in large numbers to remain in Europe. The United Kingdom is less united than it has ever been at in its history.

So how do I regard this discontent in my country ? Well I need to select my words carefully at this momentous time in our shared history as I realise many people will be hurting and the last thing I would want to do as add to the pain they will undoubtedly be feeling.

To an extent I share their sadness even if Britishness has never been my identity of choice. Though I am and have always been a supporter of Scottish independence it gives me no comfort to see the country I have always lived in even if I’ve never quite called it home in such a state of flux.

There is a lot of talk in the press and media and amongst politicians as to how we by which they mean they can reunite the United Kingdom. What they haven’t done however is make any dignified attempt at leading this country they want to unite. Both the Conservative and Labour parties have imploded in the last few days with the only causalities being democracy and the British people who put their trust 

Firstly let’s look at the Conservatives. The party of government have in my opinion a moral duty to lead the country and give it a sense of both purpose and direction this government are providing neither and there panic reaction to the events of the last few days have shown that they are more divided than even their worst critics had suspected.

 Whilst Boris Johnson celebrates a vote to travel back in time faster than Doctor Who’s tardis there are many  Conservatives for whom the Brexit vote was an unmitigated disaster and that starts at the top of the party as David Cameron announced on Friday that he intends to stand down as Prime Minister in October in the light of this result. With his right hand man and Chancellor, George Osborne not seen for days both the conservative party and the country are lacking the leadership which is so badly needed at this time.

Now you would think that with the Conservatives so badly divided over Europe and the resignation of David Cameron as Prime Minister the Labour Party would seize this god given opportunity and present themselves as a united and capable opposition to show the country (Britain) they are not only fit for purpose but fit for government. Instead as I shift my attention to their problems I see a party whose elite political class hereby by known as Westminster MP’s which has more in common with lemmings than left wingers. I view with a mixture of amusement and a disdain an egocentric group of fanatics who are still loyal to the former leader Tony Blair and who serving their Tory masters rather than their own constituents choose this moment to stick the knife in to their current leader Jeremy Corbyn by resigning from a number of shadow cabinet and junior shadow ministerial posts.

This in my opinion is act of treachery and betrayal in fact, it’s worse than that it is an act of collective insanity and confirms my belief that madness is not confined to King George. These people seem to forget it is less than a year since Jeremy Corbyn was elected leader of the Labour Party with over 60 percent of the vote

The most high profile of these petulant and pompous politicians include Angela Eagle, Hilary Benn, and Labour’s Shadow Secretary Ian Murray. I must admit I find Murray’s resignation particularly amusing as he only got the job because he was Labour’s only Scottish MP after they were routed at last year’s UK election by the SNP. For Ian Murray to say that Jeremy Corbyn isn’t up to the job of being leader of the Labour Party and that people don’t see him as capable of winning a general election is I think an extreme example of putting your ego before the good of your party and the country especially with Labour at least in England and Wales being ahead in the polls.

Now I have been informed by some of the chattering classes that the reason for Labour using this opportunity to get rid of Corbyn is because the party are on war footing and have to be ready to fight a snap election which could be held at any minute. Personally I think these people are badly in need of a reality check as under The Fixed Term Parliament Act there is no need for any election snap or otherwise to be held until 2020 no matter how much they may want one. If anything, history has proven there that when a Prime Minister leaves office their successor is usually in no hurry to test their electoral popularity and as recent history has shown John Major, and Gordon Brown both of whom became Prime Minister at the mid point of a parliamentary term served the full time available to them in order to enhance their credibility and gain a reputation for being a competent leader of both their party and the country. To me merits of this strategy are debatable, though history will show whether you agree with his politics or not it was a lot more effective for Major than it was for Brown.

Party politics aside with both of the main UK parties in turmoil. I can’t help but think that many voters in the rest of the nations of the UK must be wishing their party of choice had a leader like the first minister of Scotland and my party leader Nicola Sturgeon. An excellent debater who is politically engaged with the voters Ms Sturgeon is universally admired by her own party members and has earned respect across party lines. This is a leader who actually leads as from the front and has a growing reputation as a stateswoman because of it. Calm and assured under pressure Nicola Sturgeon is exactly the kind of leader Britain needs at this time in its history. What a pity they don’t have a leader of her calibre.

Love And Best Wishes
Gayle X

A Reason To Remain (Why I Voted To Stay In The European Union )

Hey Readers

As today is day of the European Union referendum this post is by necessity a wee bit shorter than usual. No matter what else transpires in the next few hours this has been a historic day for the people of Scotland and the greater British isles as decision day was finally upon us and soon we will know whether the future of our country whichever version of it you identity with is in or out of the European Union. However no matter how historic or not you may think this referendum may be, it proves the truth of words of the chorus of Bucks Fizz Eurovision classic of 1981 which says I think you will find that there comes a time for making your mind up and today was the day you had to do exactly that.

Make no mistake the choice you made when you went to your local polling station will be one of the most important you make for many years and possibly even for decades.  This is in my opinion a choice between moving forward with friends and comrades throughout Europe or a journey back to a land that time forgot in a Tory time machine where Boris Johnson would be Prime Minister and Michael Gove would probably be chancellor.

Trust me if you think Cameron and Osbourne are bad these two and their not so merry men would make them look like paid up members of the Liberal Democrats.  My apologies to my Liberal Democrat friends but I think you know where we are heading with this one.

You know matter how uncomfortable I may have felt in agreeing with the last four Prime Ministers of the united kingdom Sir John Major, Tony Blair, Gordon Brown, and the current incumbent David Cameron and believe me I felt very uncomfortable about it I was not prepared to hand my country or my neighbours countries over to the likes of Nigel Farage and the Daily Mail whose disgraceful anti immigrant attitudes shame both Britain and humanity. This to me would have been an act of wanton destruction the consequences of which could be devastating for many people not to mention communities throughout this collection of nations. Thankfully I had Nicola Sturgeon, Alex Salmond, Patrick Harvie , Jeremy Corbyn , and Willie Rennie arguing the case to stay in and fight for a better Europe.

To me this referendum was about more , much more than just the economy. It was about the values I have had all my political life. It was about making a statement as to the kind of country and the kind of society I want to live in and that is a society built upon the rocks of equality, fairness and inclusion. It is a society which accepts and embraces difference and values the diversity it brings to our people.

There is however a more fundamental truth as to why I voted in the way I did and it is that I don’t want Scotland or for as long as we are part of it, Britain left to the mercies of these hard-line right wing lunatics who would strip us of our human rights without a second thought. These people are the kind of people for whom compassion is a dirty word and society doesn’t exist outside the Bullingdon Club.

As a transsexual woman I am terrified of being isolated from Europe. I don’t want to be part of a remote island on the fringes of reality I want my country to be  forward thinking, socially progressive and outward looking. I want us to be where the real decisions are made not sitting on the sidelines congratulating ourselves on how wonderful we are whilst no-one else is actually listening to a single word we say.

You see in September 2014 I rejected the dark forces of what I saw as the insular xenophobia and narrow minded politics of British nationalism when I proudly voted yes for independence. Today I rejected those same dark forces once again and for that reason and many others I found a reason to remain in The European Union and grasped it in the hope of building a better Europe. On this historic day  I voted remain and I hope you did same.

Love And Best Wishes
Gayle X