Wednesday, 30 July 2008
Honestly what are these people Trinny and Susannah all about? They devoted an hour to a programme that helped shopaholics shop a little less and shopaphobes shop a little more. Now we're not talking about shopping to feed starving children or anything important, instead we're worshipping the act of clothes shopping. There were women crying and saying they couldn't bear to shop - here's my solution, don't bloomin well shop then! Go online, buy out of a catalogue or just make do with what you've got.
Worst thing though was that they used a neurosurgeon who attached something to each shopper's head to measure their emotions when shopping. That told the ones who hated it that they weren't happy. It also told the one who loved shopping that, in actual fact, she wasn't happy. She says she is but the skull cap with the electrodes says different! What a waste of the neurosurgeon's time - he could be off saving someone from a brain tumour instead of waffling on about this nonsense.
Aaaargh, that's it, no more TV for me. There will be no trivial pleasures left at this rate, I can't even enjoy magazines these days. What's happened?! Oh, and that has just reminded me that I DO have something worth doing. I bought a copy of Lewis Grassic Gibbon's Sunset Song today. Not read it since I was 16 but a quick glance reminded me how easily I can get lost in this book. So that's exactly what I'm going to do - I'm off to get lost!
"we're in Norway"!
"What?"! asks my sister.
"We're in Norway" repeats Doreen.
"What on earth are you doing in Norway?" exclaims the sis.
"No, Janet, we're AN HOUR AWAY" replies an exasperated Doreen. Just thought I'd share it with ye all :-)
Tuesday, 29 July 2008
Par example this, en France.
This was the New York State of Mind.
"Schock fur Brown" is how it was described in Deutschland.
And the reports from Down Under.
"Humiliation" according to this Spanish newspaper.
Fox News picked up on it too.
"Labour in freefall" as far as the Swiss are concerned.
"A bleak weekend for Blair" according to reports in New Zealand.
Scotland has "dealt Brown a blow" according to Boston journalists.
Finally, not speaking a word of Italian, I have no idea what this says but I did recognise the word Glasgow ...
Talking of recognition and Glasgow, who in the world would have cared far less noticed if Labour had won? Nobody gets excited about more of the same and we only ever seem to make people sit up and take notice when we start standing up for ourselves and voting SNP. They can't even use the argument any more that people are voting for the opposition because we're halfway through an electoral term. They can't use that argument because the SNP is NOT the opposition in Scotland, it's the government. Scotland has much to offer the world and the world is watching and waiting with interest - let's not let them or ourselves down any longer!
Monday, 28 July 2008
Sunday, 27 July 2008
Trouble was, there was no-one else there but that's nothing new for Lesley, she's quite happy to talk to herself from time to time. Certainly happier talking to herself than some of the new friends she's acquired since arriving in Belfast. She went on a protest against George Bush when he visited a couple of months back and made the grave error of giving her number to some "socialists" she met there. They've not stopped phoning since and it's driving her mad. Apparently they call up and say "we're going to watch a video about the miners' strike in nineteen canteen, do you fancy coming?"! Lesley is genuinely quite shocked and almost offended that they think she'd spend her Saturday night doing that. I laughed as she was telling me this particularly as she described them as lovely people but "you know the type, all grungy, not very streetwise and STILL like Nirvana"! As I say I laughed and kept to myself the fact that the best party I ever had was in January when a big group of us watched by election coverage from 1988 and 1989! But that's different ... isn't it?
Saturday, 26 July 2008
It's been long hours but thankfully not quite as long as the last couple of days. I think I've averaged about 6 hours sleep a night until now (more than some of my colleagues I should point out) but on eve of poll (Wednesday) I took work home with me and got to bed around 1.30am before getting up at 5.15 again! By 6.30am the campaign rooms were packed with activists waiting to find out what polling place they were going to!
The work was then non stop throughout the day until polls closed at 10pm when those of us who were counting agents had to race along to the counting of the votes. That went on till 3am whereupon we had to do another mad dash along to the pub where our party was taking place - hundreds of activists were waiting to greet John Mason as the new MP and we couldn't let them down even thought the pub had long since stopped serving even soft drinks!!As we were all leaving at 3.30am we got a call to say Alex and Moira Salmond were on their way through. Well, we obviously wanted to see them so we stayed. Finally we got home at 5am.
I was staying chez Bellgrove Belle but I still had to get online and email photos of the count to the editor of the Scots Independent who was going to print the following day. I think it was about 6am that I finally put my head on the pillow. Not for long though. We had to be at the press conference for 12 noon and then it was off to the campaign rooms to clear them out. Which brings me to getting home last night at 6.30pm.
So what I'm trying to say is that it may be for different reasons to yer Crystal woman, but the fact that I'm awake at four o'clock in the morning, is hardly surprising! Right, will attempt more sleep so that I'm bright and breezy for Bellgrove Belle's hen night later today ...
Friday, 25 July 2008
What I will say is that we have done exceptionally well. I don’t know if we’ve won. I genuinely can’t say. All I will tell you is that we’re all smiling and the other main party isn’t. If we’ve not won we’ve taken them close. The atmosphere here is incredible. In some ways it’s making things worse for us that the other parties keep coming up and asking when the party’s organised for!!! I am keeping my fingers crossed and I am very very excited …
Thursday, 24 July 2008
Wednesday, 23 July 2008
Elaine C Smith was out on the campaign trail in Glasgow East yesterday - supporting the SNP obviously. We went to the same drama school, the Royal Scottish Academy of Music & Drama, a few years apart. It was funny to chat to Elaine and discover we had very similar experiences at the RSAMD - and we shared our likes and dislikes of lecturers :-) We compared notes and yes, the same one who was the king of conceit in Elaine's day had not improved any by the time I met him. And the one who peered down the top of the girls' leotards hadn't calmed down any, I was able to tell her. Anyway it was great to meet Elaine and more importantly, the voters loved her and listened when she told them she'd be voting SNP.
Monday, 21 July 2008
You have to ask the question whose side are THEY on producing leaflets like this. Two of the quotes are from the Daily Record so clearly reflecting the thoughts of the people - NOT! The middle quote from John Mason is "I see very little difference between a Tory government and a Labour government". I imagine most folk in Glasgow East will simply think "me neither"!
It's the Glasgow Fair and we're in holiday mode here at the SNP By-Election HQ. No that doesn't mean we're stopping working - in fact, we got a record number of members for a weekday in today. All it means is we're currently delivering a "Wish you were Here" postcard to the voters - it's from the Labour Candidate to the
Labour Prime Minister who has been absent from the entire by election campaign. Of course it shows GB and his role model Lady Thatcher. I'll leave you with a reminder of that quote from Pa Broon:
"I admire the fact that she is a conviction politician ... I am a conviction politician like her."
Sunday, 20 July 2008
Martin Compston, I love you!
Any polling company that conducts its Glasgow East opinion poll in the neighbouring RUTHERGLEN constituency is, as my dad would have said, FULL OF TUMSHIES!!!
Yes, it's true. SNP councillor Gordon Clark, who lives in Rutherglen, called me at Campaign HQ the other night to tell me he'd just been asked by PSO how he was voting in the Glasgow East by election. The caller was heard to tell his supervisor that he had hundreds of 0141 647 .... numbers to call. Anyway, there is only one poll that counts and that is the one taking place this Thursday. Speaking of which, better get back to work ....
Saturday, 19 July 2008
Friday, 18 July 2008
Tonight on the Newsnight Scotland candidate debate, Margaret Curran Labour MSP for the area was forced to admit that she didn't know where the Labour MP's constituency office for the same area was! What?! They shared a huge number of constituents, they are representatives of the same party, they should have been working hand in hand for the people of the East End of Glasgow but if she didn't know where his office was, I'm forced to wonder if she even knew his name! Unbelievable!
Is there anything equivocal about this statement? If anyone has any doubt about his pro Independence stance they're going to have to explain it to me because there ain't no doubt as far as I'm concerned.
Thursday, 17 July 2008
These guys have done some tremendous work including a peer education project in South Africa and you can see some of the photos of that project here. John Mason made the point that we are too keen to condemn all young people and these guys demonstrate that we're wrong to do that.
I was listening to a Radio Scotland discussion on crime and one journalist said she lived in the East End. Her area wasn't particularly affected but often as she sat on the train home she passed groups of youths standing looking scary at the Red Road flats. Big deal. Now I know that for many people, particularly older people, it can feel threatening just to pass a large group of young people but it's important to realise that more often than not they're doing nothing wrong and mean no harm.
I am staying chez Tartan Hero whilst he's away (combination of house sitting and being too tired to drive home to Greenock some nights) and it's not the least scary place I've stayed in I have to say. But the other night when I got home at 10.30pm there was a ferocious looking mutt in the front garden. It was a pit bull terrier and it was locked into the garden but I had to go via the garden to get into the close. I'm not a dog person and I'm definitely not a frothing-at-the-mouth-kind-of-a-dog person. So I sat in the car for a while wondering what to do. I spotted a "gang" of teenagers further up the road and they were shouting (excitedly, not aggressively) and swearing a fair bit. I can imagine they'd be intimidating to older people.
I was too tired to be intimidated and I asked them if they knew whose dog it was. They did and they reassured me it wouldn't touch me. But it didn't. Reassure me that is. They realised I was nervous and immediately went into the garden and held onto the dog so I could get into the close. "Just let us know when you're in the house missus" they called after me "and we'll let him go". And that's what they did. I shouted out the window to thank them and they were still holding onto the dog for me. Now these guys looked like troublemakers, but they were really polite friendly and helpful to me. Chances are the "gangs" hanging about the Red Road flats are mostly the same.
Projects like the one above are the kind of things that stop kids getting into too much mischief but let's remember that the majority of kids are not getting into trouble. And hanging about in big groups of other young people happens when there's nothing else to do. But it doesn't necessarily mean trouble is looming.
The hazards of being a politico - Cllr Alison Thewliss aka Bellgrove Belle was delivering leaflets in her ward part of Glasgow East the other night when she got bitten by a dog. She went to hospital and got herself bandaged up - we were all thankful it was her right hand as she's getting married in a couple of weeks and we haven't seen the ring yet but we don't reckon it'll fit over a bandage. Anyway worse was to come when it became infected yesterday and the hospital decided to keep her in overnight. Hopefully she'll be back fit and well today so we can tell her about her hen night that we've organised in her absence ;-) Ah, the things we do to get our message across!
Wednesday, 16 July 2008
Tuesday, 15 July 2008
Monday, 14 July 2008
Saturday, 12 July 2008
Can't tell you how good today was. I can't tell you because it was indescribable but also because I am too tired. I'm sure every person in this photo will sleep soundly tonight - it's been a long day. (More pics here btw.) But when several hundred of your fellow members are out campaigning across the constituency it certainly gives you a good feeling.
It all ran like clockwork. From 10am members were in and out delivering leaflets and putting up posters (pity whoever has to take them down because there are thousands!) And from 11 onwards we'd teams of members canvassing right across the East End.
So at lunchtime we thought it only right to give them a little break. Many of them came back for our BBQ and "rally" where Alex Salmond and John Mason addressed the crowds. We were then treated to a performance by Laura McGhee, a singer/ songwriter/ musician from Glasgow who is a big supporter of the Party.
And after that? Back out to work. One member said to me tonight that he drove round the constituency this morning and EVERY SINGLE street corner had people with SNP carrier bags - a military operation he called it.
That's exactly how it feels - like a military operation with a regiment of dedicated footsoldiers :-) Tonight, they'll be footsoldiers with very sore feet I'm sure.
Friday, 11 July 2008
Wednesday, 9 July 2008
Lorraine Davidson reckoned that such is the hostility between members that we cannot walk down the same street without hurling abuse. That's not quite true. We've grown up a lot in Scottish politics over the last decade and I can't remember the last time I witnessed that kind of antagonism. I will admit, however, that feelings run deep.
From my point of view, I just don't get it. I do not understand why anyone would campaign for the Labour Party. I've often watched them (well, okay, not often seeing as you rarely see them!) and wondered if they really and truly believe what they are saying. Is it that they see a career for themselves? Do they have an emotional attachment to the Party?
I could understand the latter - I am deeply emotionally attached to the SNP and if we ditched our principles in the way that the Labour Party has, it would break my heart and I'd struggle to accept it was really happening. So it would take me time to extricate myself from it. I guess I would stay for a time, hoping, praying, no doubt campaigning for a return to the principles on which we were founded. (This is all hypothetical you understand because it just wouldn't happen in the SNP.)
But I don't honestly think that I would be out there campaigning and faking it. And that's what I think Labour activists MUST be doing. It MUST be fake. They can't seriously have joined the party as unilateralists, as socialists and not know that something has gone terribly wrong with the Labour movement - for example, the Iraq war; for example, Son of Trident!
Anyway back to the point. Political activists get so caught up in the politicking that they forget - political opponents may be arch enemies, their voters are not. Your average Labour voter in Glasgow East has no problem with your average SNP voter and vice versa. If you ask a Labour voter who their second choice would be, I bet you most of them will say the SNP and again, vice versa. Ask an SNP member who their second choice would be and you'll find few who'd tell you Labour - more likely it'll be any party other than Labour. Any party other than the Tories too mind you. Any party other than ... hmmmm, gets difficult for us.
But the voters are not caught up in the fundamental principles in the way that we all are, it's just not that black and white for them. Probably because they've got LIVES unlike the rest of us!! I think perhaps the SNP learned this lesson in the not too distant past and that's why we probably run more positive campaigns than any other party these days. Highlighting the failings of other parties is an important part of campaigning, slagging them off just because we don't like them, is not. I hope we continue in that vein and it would be something the other parties would do well to remember too.
Tuesday, 8 July 2008
Monday, 7 July 2008
Saturday, 5 July 2008
But not quite too tired to blog. The reason I'm tired is because I'm working full time as the campaign co-ordinator for the Glasgow East by election - for the SNP obviously. There's not much time for sleep and absolutely NO time for daydreaming which is always more troubling for me. Not this time however. I am loving every single minute of the campaign. I emailed members today and asked them to eat, sleep and breathe the Glasgow East by election and that's what myself and everyone else in the campaign team and in the local branches has been doing since Monday. It's been fantastic so far and today was an incredible day. We'd hundreds of members out campaigning across the constituency (including Alex Salmond, above) despite the torrential rain. They were drookit but they didn't care. They'd come back for more work and after a quick cup of tea they were right back out again. Anyway it was a great day and we're all going to sleep well tonight before getting up early tomorrow to start again - we've little more than two weeks to get our sensational victory so there will be no rest for the foreseeable future ...
Tomorrow, Alex Salmond will be touring the East End of Glasgow with our fantastic candidate (or 'hard line' as the Daily Record described him) Cllr John Mason. The Labour Party have cancelled their campaign day tomorrow! I'm liking the way this election is going so far ...
Friday, 4 July 2008
He's just added his considered opinion - oh no, wait a minute, that wasn't an opinion, it was stated as fact - that: "they" (us, the Scots) "have a terrific chippiness".
"I don't think they're THAT chippy are they?" chips in Diane Abbot.
"Oh yes, they're certainly chippy but it's the smaller nation thing isn't it?" declares Mr Know-it-all before going on to prove his point by telling us that the "Catalans are awfully chippy vis a vis the Castillians".
Feeling kinda chippy myself now but would like to point out that recognising the injustice of a situation where a much larger neighbouring country has more say in your nation's affairs than you do, is not chippy, it's just smart. And it doesn't make us chippy, it simply makes us determined to restore justice. Which is precisely what Scottish Independence is all about.
Patronising comments from people who reckon they can sum up the character of an entire nation are extremely irritating. Still not sure I'd say I am now feeling chippy. Pissed off is more to the point! At least Sandi Thom made sense when she pointed out it was just as likely there were chippy Welsh and English folk as chippy Scots!
Thursday, 3 July 2008
Wednesday, 2 July 2008
Tuesday, 1 July 2008
But wait till you hear this. We reach the 60mph zone and I do what any normal person would do (if the conditions are right - and they were) and speed up to 60. Now that DID make him apoplectic judging by the contortions on his face. Like I said, not pretty Mr Landrover Driver and completely unjustified seeing as I was going at 40 in the 40mph zone and 60 in the 60mph zone. He then sped up to whatever speed which was breaking the law but I guess that'll be my fault an' all. Anyway just a little trivia in the midst of all this by election fever. Speaking of which - must go!