Tag Archive | The SNP

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

Mirrors Of Time 

​This poem was inspired by my good friend and current tartan tights man of the year Johnny Cypher as he gets ready to vote in his first General Election and has to make a choice between two contrasting visions of the future. In the poem I look back I hope with empathy at the 1983 UK General Election when I was in the same position Johnny is now. I’ve titled the poem Mirrors Of Time I hope you enjoy the read.  
Mirrors Of Time 

An intelligent thoughtful twenty something

contemplates his decision 

as yet unsure as to where he’ll place his cross on election day 

though he does know 

it won’t be for Theresa May 

and her selfish brand of conservatism

hatred and division are not his way 

he seeks to help others 

building bridges rather than barriers and walls 

he is aware of the fact 

his dreams may fall under a pile of ashes 

yet still he clings to them

hoping he might see change 

live in a better society 

than the one he has grown up in

this is someone who does something 

many people don’t 

he listens to opinions

in a way that others won’t 

taking an extra second to think things through 

before deciding what to do 

I understand him 

I respect his point of view 

I look back to 1983

and the women he knows 

can see herself 

through the mirrors of time 
© Gayle Smith 2017

The Press Wee Ruth And The Tory Truth And Deliberate Miscalculations (My Thoughts On The Scottish Local Elections)

This post is my personal take on the Scottish local elections  and now  that the dust is at last beginning to settle on them it is I think time to give my slant on the results  and explain why despite the fawning schophancy of a very compliant press and media deluding Ruth Davidson in to believing she had won these elections the results may not be as good as she thinks for herself or her party.

 I make this point because Tory expectations have been raised to what I think are unrealistic levels and this came through loud and clear as I followed the results on Twitter all through Friday from  morning till late afternoon. 

As a political campaigner it is fair to say that my twitter feed was buzzing during this period  as bit by bit we or at least of us who are actually interested discovered the composition of Scotland’s councils. There was I am sure some mixed feelings for activists of all hues as the picture from the results became clearer. Well as party members (whatever our party of choice) we will have friends standing for our parties and whisper it maybe even for some of our opponents. 

Yes it’s true,  elections are emotional times for all in party colours.   I make this point because those who are not involved in politics seem very quick to forget this and often tar everyone involved with the sane  heartless brush by commenting that they are all in it for themselves. This is not only untrue it is very unfair and if people knew how many hours potential candidates put in, in the run up to any election often after working in a full time or part time job they would be less inclined to parrot this nonsense.

As a member of the SNP it is fair to say that I had friends standing for election on Thursday many of whom were elected and some of whom were not and it broke my heart that due to injury I was unable to help out with the final push in the last week of the campaign or do my duty at a polling place on the day itself. Trust me with a badly sprained ankle it was hard enough to get to the polling station to cast my vote let alone do my usual shift for the party so being at home for most of the day meant I was unable to guage how the wards were going and catch up with the chat that is a feature of these occasions. 

As the first results came in it was evident that the SNP had  done well and held our ground in terms of vote share from the last council elections in 2012 though the electoral geography of our vote had shifted westward with gains in the Labour heartlands of Lanarkshire Renfrewshire and Glasgow and modest losses to the Conservatives  in what some would call the more traditional party strongholds in the north east of Scotland such as Angus where along with Dundee the party lost its overall majority’s  Perthshire, and Aberdeenshire. 

 To be fair these results weren’t entirely unexpected  especially since the Tories have been given a free ride by a unionist press desperate to dent the fortunes of the SNP in any way they can. It must really upset the powers that be that most of the conservative gains at least in terms of voters came not from the SNP but their fellow unionists in the Labour Party as those of a unionist mindset played musical chairs with the council seats in towns and cities from the Highlands to the Borders  Yet despite the large number of  conservative gains and downright lies on certain television channels that Tories had won Scotland  it was the SNP who energed victorious from these elections and winning 431 seats to the Conservatives 276. This means that the SNP 155 more councillors than the Conservatives. 

This is by any stretch of the imagination a significant victory for the party as when you compare like for  like elections this represents a five fold increase in the SNP majority over the second placed party from 2012 when they had only a 31 seat majority over The Labour Party. So this is not quite the fairytale comeback the Conservatives would have you believe. That however will not stop the press and media both in Scotland and in the UK from trying to peddle this non story as the greatest comeback since Lazarus. Make no mistake there are agenda’s play here as a  predominantly right wing establishment tries to rebrand Britishness to Scotland after what it sees as our disastrous flirtation with independence. They badly need the voters to believe the  story that the Tories are as popular in Scotland as they are in England and Wales. The results however give a slightly different narrative, and whilst it is true to say that they did make gains including some  in places one would never have thought of it is I think important to stress one key  fact which may have come in to play which may not be so beneficial to them in a General Election 

Younger Voters Often Ignore Local Elections But Older People Always  Vote 

A simple statement but nonetheless a true one, many younger voters don’t vote in local elections. This may be due to a combination of reasons including the following 

  1. Younger voters have busy lives and some of them may be busy with important college or university exams. 
  2. Many younger voters will have a heavy workload and will be trying to climb the career ladder  or out searching for employment 
  3. local government elections are seen as less relevant than national elections 
  4. you can’t get as excited over bin collections as you would over independence,  Fracking, or The NHS. 
  5. Some younger voters may feel disenfranchised and feel that no party speaks for them 

Any or all of these reasons can be applied to an individual’s circumstances as to why as a younger person may not have  voted on Thursday and there may be  half a million others I haven’t began to contemplate but whereas our younger voters may not have went to the polling booths our older voters  did and they did so in great numbers. Since the majority of older voters are pro union, this when combined with the voting system used at this election disproportionately assisted The Conservative Party and indeed to a significant extent The Labour Party which I believe it saved from electoral oblivion. This I think can only benefit the SNP at the forthcoming general election as I believe it will have shaken many of the SNP voters out of any complacency which may have been creeping in after 10 years as the dominant party in Scotland.  

There is no doubt that in my opinion even as an SNP member our party needed to be challenged to prevent it becoming stale. However few if any of us would have expected that the challenge to come from the right  especially  the hard right Conservative Party.  The fact that this council election saw the return of working class conservatism and saw Conservative councillors elected in Shettleston , and The Calton should be a worry. for all of us on the socially Liberal left and that this at least to some extent was due to the hard-line orange vote should be of significant concern to those voters on both sides of the constitutional debate who value the kind of inclusive society the Conservative  Party stand opposed to.

It  is my opinion that  those involved in politics  can  clearly see, that the incendiary language the unionist parties and in particular the Conservatives have been using to describe the prospect of a second  independence referendum has been framed to target this demographic  by a party  who due to their toxic stand on the independence issue need all the unionist votes they can get 

Whilst it’s true to say the SNP will be disappointed not to have gained overall control of the city the fact they have become the largest party in the city chambers cannot overlooked and is in itself a magnificent achievement of which the party can be justifiably proud. This result and many others throughout Scotland is I believe all the greater when one considers the toxic campaigns of both the Labour and Conservative parties who refused point blank to conduct debate  which actually mentioned local issues.  Instead both main Westminster parties showed what in my opinion amounts to  a hysterical obsession with independence. 

  Now whilst the almost constant reinforcement of this message through the press and media may have benefited the Conservatives to some extent it worked against Labour in pretty spectacular style and succeeded only in diminishing both their influence and profile in many of their staunchest heartlands. With a snap general election called for June I would suggest that this tactic has backfired in the sense that a Labour Party who are sitting in second place in most of the constituencies held by the SNP have now been upstaged by the Conservatives who despite both their  Scottish and UK leaders boasts are nowhere near to winning the majority of votes or seats in Scotland and Ruth Davidson and Theresa May  might be about to find out that they are nowhere near as popular as the press has led them to believe.Indeed the Conservative party are only the majority party in four council areas in the whole of Scotland whereas the SNP occupy that position in 16 councils and tied for control in another three, now pardon me for shining a light on the Tory spin machine but I think 16 is more than 4 just as I think 431 is more than 276.My reason for that is simple, when I went to school I actually learned to count. I also learned how to distinguish  fantasy from reality.  I don’t think the Scottish Conservatives can say the same. 

Yes it’s true to say they made the greatest number of gains but we start allow their supporters to eulogise on the virtues of Saint Ruth I should point out two important facts that the media are ignoring. I have already mentioned one of them but both need to be put out there so the public know the truth of this so-called Tory revival

These Are The Facts The Media Ignored 

 (1) The vast majority  of the Conservative vote increased were gained at the expense of The Labour Party whose more hard-line unionist voters voted to endorse Ruth Davidson’s message to send a message to the SNP that they didn’t want a second independence referendum.  This is despite the fact that local council authorities are powerless to stop such a referendum taking place 

(2) The Conservatives were starting from such a low start base having only polled 13%  in 2012 they could have a made as few as 50 gains and still promoted it as a revival. Indeed if we are honest about it all parties can find something to smile about and  some causes for concern as they analyse the numbers from the vote.

As for me, I have already said that this was an emotional election and that was due to the fact I knew so many good candidates who were primarily though  not exclusively  from the SNP.  Due to the results particularly in  Glasgow, I now have a number of friends who have been elected to serve their local communities and yes there were tears both of joy and sorrow as the results were declared. 

The Joy came for Christina Cannon and Graham Campbell in Springburn/Robroyston, Stephen Dornan in Govan, David McDonald in Pollok, Greg Hepburn, and Jennifer Layden in Calton, Laura Doherty and Michelle Ferns in Shettleston where the SNP got more councillors than The Conservatives despite what the  media would have you believe, and Elaine Ballantyne in my local ward of Baillieston. There were also personal  reasons to cheerful outside Glasgow with great results for Katy Loudoun in Cambuslang  East, and Lorraine Cameron in Paisley South West.

There were however even on a good night, some disappointments for me and my party. In my local ward  we lost a fantastic and hard working  councillor in David Turner who had served his community well since first being elected at a by-election in 2008. There were also  tears of sadness for two excellent first time candidates, Alex Kerr who lost out in Shettleston, and Linda Pike who suffered a similar fate in the  Calton. As members of my branch I know that both  Alex and Linda would have been hard working and committed councillors who would have made a real impact in their communities  but on this occasion at least it wasn’t to be. However I am sure both of them will continue to be great assets to the SNP in general and in the East End of Glasgow in particular.

Those defeats aside these elections were good for the SNP especially when you consider they are now a third term  government in the Scottish Parliament so I think claims by unionist politicians and their supporters that we have reached peak SNP are at best propaganda  and at worst competely deluded. Had this been true  I think the SNP would almost certainly have incurred at least the same scale of losses as the Labour Party and probably much worse. After all, we are told every day how bad they by a fanatical pro UK press how bad they are.  

There is however only one problem with this narrative and that is that at least 45% are becoming  incessantly bored by what  they see as unionist whining in which they paint a very bleak future of Scotland under the SNP  but offer precisely nothing in the way of alternative solutions and that is where the would be empress Ruth is found not to be wearing any new clothes but the second hand  rags of  the most hated UK Prime Minister in the history of the union.

The name of that Prime Minister in case Ruth needs reminding was Margaret  Hilda Thatcher. Now Ruth may like to delude herself that the Tories have moved on from those days but she is fooling only herself. You see no matter how badly the opinion formers try to shape our thoughts through the press ,wee Ruth and the Tory truth and deliberate  miscalculations . The statistics of these elections show the Conservatives whilst  doing well when compared with 2012 have at best improved only marginally since  last year’s Scottish Election and may not be as loved by the voters of Scotland as they are by the chattering classes in the unionist press and media. 
Till next time

Gayle  X

Breakfast Means Breakfast

Hey Readers

In her recent speech to the Conservative Party Conference  British Prime Minister Theresa May seemed to be under the delusion that she could stop Scotland from holding a second independence referendum  should we choose to do so, simply by sneering at us and shouting Brexit Means Brexit. Now far be it from me to put an unelected tyrant with no mandate in Scotland in her place but she needs to be told if there’s any sneering to be done we’re the ones who are going to do it.  Well at least we have a First Minister who has been democratically elected by our people and who but for a corrupt system of PR would be heading a second majority government. It is as a reminder to the Right Honourable Lady that she will never stop the people of Scotland exercising our democratic will that I have written this poem which takes a satirical look at the sinister anti Scottish undertones in her speech. I have titled it Breakfast Means Breakfast , I hope you enjoy the read.

Breakfast Means Breakfast

I had to tell them no
you can’t have lunch I forbid it
you must understand I’m in command
there is just one meal you’re getting
so don’t go forgetting
Breakfast means Breakfast
Now where are my chocolate digestives
I hope that Nicola and Kezia
haven’t been helping themselves
I’ll need to put their favourites on the top shelves
with that stuff I have to stash away from Boris
no wonder I gave him the job of dealing with Johnny Foreigner
but for now breakfast means breakfast
now where is my Belgian chocolate
damn I can’t remember where I hid it
all I know is I placed it
out of the reach of the children
this is my kingdom not theirs
It’s not fair they don’t like me
well except Ruth
the only one who accepts
my truth
lives by my rules
without question
the rest will just have to learn
what I say goes
I’m replacing Thistles with Roses
and Haggis with Tripe
I don’t care if they don’t like it
I’m banning shortbread and Irn Bru forever
this family is better together
they will not be allowed to leave home
I’m putting my foot down and stamping it loudly
because I’m proud to be head of this house
and no-one will take my position
this is my kingdom
and some tartan agitators
SNP Greens and and Leftie Labour
need to be told
nobody mocks my golden ambition
of a new Victorian age
where those who ruled commanded the stage
and those we ruled knew their place
we got the nice plates and the
the treats
and they got the scraps but  were content with their lot
why can’t the Scots see
this is the way it’s meant to be
I take holidays to Greece
whilst they have greasy diets
which will make them too fat to riot.
I need to keep them quiet
and remind them that no matter the time of day
they will do as I say
and breakfast means breakfast
they are getting no free lunches
yes I know their revenue pays
for my attack of the munchies
but that’s irrelevant
like the Welsh and all others
I don’t like they live in the servants, quarters
my world does have borders
to keep the foreigners out
they may be nice in there proper place
I wear French lace
and Italian leather
but my  family are better together
and they will come first at all times
I can’t decide whether to have
French or Spanish wine
with my Italian meal
It’s a tough decision
but I will make it my way
and the United Kingdom
will rejoice whatever do
as for the Scots they’ll be too busy finishing their cereal to care
eventually they’ll give up in despair
content themselves with one meal a day
and concede their irrational demands
they will love the breakfast menu
it will come decorated in red white and blue
what’s that ?
I heard the door shutting
someone’s left a note
it says thanks for nothing
we’re off out to the Cafe Euro
so don’t wait up we’re not coming back
we’re moving on
the diet is less restrictive
has more choice
and the menu is written in multitude of tongues
it’s the kind of place where breakfast is only served once a day
and doesn’t come with a side of attitudes

@ 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

No Offence

Hey Readers On day 27 of NaPoWriMo my poem tackles the thorny issue of the Offensive Behaviour Act. I write this poem  as a SNP member and a Celtic fan who believes that if you have best interests of your party and your country then you have to speak out and say when you see mistakes being made. Should my party win the coming election I believe to use a wee bit of football speak this gives us the chance to tackle the injustice of this act by repealing as early as possible and focusing on building a Scotland of fairness for all our citizens and let Irish-Scots play our part in it by singing our songs with purpose, passion, and pride I’ve titled it No Offence I hope you enjoy the read.

No Offence

A panic reaction to a media call for action
I originally thought it may have good intentions
but as I learned more
I began to know the score
on this badly drafted legislation
which has been and is still being used
as a cloak to disguise the veneer of anti Irish racism
in a land where no such problem
should exist
Scots irrespective of religion should be made aware of the fact
we share more in common
than the artificial division
centuries of being a part of the United Kingdom of Great Britain
has created
rigid unionists were for centuries
conditioned to hate there closest of kin
force fed a diet of fear and loathing
of Ireland and Irish culture
meanwhile vultures pecked their way
through the ignorance of those given nothing
but exercise in July
patronised as slaves
yet only too willing to serve the imperial cause
but what angers me is that this law
was passed by a party which cries freedom
the party I will support until we drape the coffin of Westminster
with the butcher’s apron it deserves
I serve humanity’s interests
I am Scottish not British
this comes from pragmatism
not misplaced pride
I will not deny my roots
or what Donegal has brought to the Clyde
the Irish Scots want to see a better Scotland
where we no longer accept selective tolerance
where one side of the football divide
are punished for singing our songs
whilst nothing is done to stop the opposition
from proudly proclaiming their Britishness
pardon me if this sounds like bitterness
but that kind of offensive behaviour offends my dignity
in this land of devolution
hard core unionists are the cause of
not the solution to our problems
why did my party not see
you can’t break the chains
of those who don’t want to be free
and punish those who lit the red white and blue torch paper 
with intimidation and death threats
it’s time to move on to the future
and let our people sing songs
which cause no offence
to anyone but proud Scots
who’ve never been proud
of Scotland

@ Gayle Smith 2016