I must deal with the Colin Deans defection before the sad little story is consigned to the history books. Colin Deans was an SNP councillor in Glasgow who, on Friday, defected to Labour. So now he's a Labour councillor. Now normally I would focus on what a ridiculously huge leap it must take for someone to do that. I can see it happening the other way (and more frequently it does), that someone who wasn't sure about Independence, over time, becomes more comfortable with the idea and eventually is committed enough to it to join the SNP. But the other way round is decidedly odd. However, I'm not really going to bother examining this in any detail because we're not just talking about any SNP cllr here, we're talking about Colin Deans.
And let me tell you, there are few folk in the SNP sorry to see him go. Trust me, I would not say that of many of our people, it's not just fighting talk and I'm not trying to be cruel to the man (albeit a man with rhino skin). I'm simply stating it as it is. Were he simply incompetent but a nice person I'd be more sensitive. Colin Deans, however, was an electoral liability because his massive ego could not believe his election had anything to do with the SNP but everything to do with Deans: The Man! Party policy? What's that? There was only Deans policy for this one. Constituents' needs? Who cares about that? Certainly not Cllr Deans.
This all started when he was disciplined by the group for writing to an Irish Diaspora group in his ward attacking the Irish in Scotland (yep all of them!) for Scotland not being Independent yet! Seriously. I mean if he wants to take that line, he may as well attack the majority of his fellow Scots because they've not got us Independent yet either. And as for how he's going to muddle along with his new Labour colleagues (who actively and often viciously campaign AGAINST Independence) I'm really not sure. (Looking forward to finding out though.)
Back to the Irish - they were naturally deeply offended and complained about him. This was not (from what I'm now hearing) the first major complaint against him. The result was that the group decided, democratically, to remove him from his spokesperson post. His response. He went on holiday. When he came back he said he was resigning, was given time to think it over (clearly bullying behaviour!), thought it over and decided to join the Labour Party - something he'd apparently been discussing for weeks with them. He took a big strop that's all, and the reason was because for Cllr Deans, it's all about him, it's not about the constituents, it's not about policies, Independence, the Party he was elected to represent, it was all about Colin Deans: The Ego.
Last thing I want to say is the accusation that Cllr Deans was bullied. I considered not mentioning this because he's talking about my friends and I do not want to draw attention to not very nice things being said about my friends. However, the accusation has appeared in so many newspapers that I feel I must say something. And that something is .... absolute crap! Now I know that it's not just wee timid folk who can be bullied, I understand that and my argument is little to do with the fact that Colin is a BIG, LOUD (EXTREMELY LOUD), CONFIDENT guy.
Rather, my argument is that I know who he's accused of bullying him and it's not just untrue, it's incredibly unfair because the two people he's mentioned have bent over backwards to work with Cllr Deans. It's not been easy because he is so LOUD and unreasonable but they've been patient and understanding and very tolerant. However, you cannot expect other SNP cllrs to keep taking the flack when one of their group continually insults constituents, does little work and seems to spend more time line dancing in the U S of A than getting on with the job of being a councillor. And yet ... when he did his final act of resigning from the group, once again they showed patience and gave him an opportunity to rethink. Personally I'd have said "yes please, sign on the dotted line now before you change your mind"! They (these two big bullies) are clearly better people than I. So they gave him a chance and next morning, they found out from the press that he'd joined the British Unionist Labour Party. The ultimate betrayal!
Ironically, I said to one of our councillors yesterday, it may not be long before we all get to like Colin because he'll cause major problems for Labour and that's definitely one of the ways to "win friends and influence people" in the SNP! As one said to me yesterday, "Deans in the Labour Party will be like King Kong in chains, he will not be able to control himself and before long he'll break free of those chains and run riot in that party too"! For the Labour Party in Glasgow to accept him as one of theirs after the way in which he insulted the Irish community, is wrong, it's stupid and it's quite clearly just so they can get the press hit. All I'll say to them is good luck but you just wait and see ...