If there’s one thing that I thought would never appear in my diary of a Friday night it would be attendance at a Labour meeting. But go I did, and was I glad, for inspirational simply doesn’t say enough.
Now this was no ordinary Labour bash, or at least not as I might imagine one to be. There was no singing of The Red Flag, and no one addressed the gathering as brothers, or sisters for that matter. The only person I have heard do that is a certain Mr Sheridan, though in his case it adds to his already plentiful oratorical skills.
Alan Bissett it was who opened proceedings; a poem, delivered superbly; the audience hushed, then rapturous. Bissett it was, in that picture the other day, who said that voting No says to London ‘we don’t care – do to us what you please’. He’s not wrong. Then it was over to the politicos. Allan Grogan I have talked about before. Such good common sense. Carolyn Leckie was on too, former comrade of Brother Sheridan, but now flying the flag for wimmenfolk, and doing it well.
Then we had the star turn. 26 years a Labour member at Westminster, followed by 8 as an Independent at Holyrood. Dennis Canavan is of the Jimmy Reid school. Old Labour, traditional, principled, of the people and for the people. So we were reminded of what it was that saw Labour come into being, what they once stood for, back in the days before they left Reid and Canavan, and thousands more, behind; before they lost their scruples, and their balls. Dennis deserved his standing ovation, from an audience inspired.
For the Q&A after the break, of which I’ll talk later, they were joined by David Durkin and John McDonald. Durkin was another who brought hope, an insight into what’s happening with those that Labour think they own. For he’s a trade unionist. McDonald’s a professor, a think tank man, looking at the proposed Constitution.
Now what this august gathering have in common is a huge desire to make our society a better and fairer place, a more equal society, more prosperous too, for the benefit of our children and grandchildren. And uniting them in this drive is one word, Independence. And Labour hate them all for it.
There was a background too, a re-shuffle that day, of the opposition benches at Holyrood. Back comes Elmer, the finance role. The worst leader they ever had, before Johann that is, has a seat at the table. Darling’s man in Edinburgh perhaps. For Ken Macintosh dared criticise his leader-ene after her Something for Nothing disaster; and Darling squashed her idea of autonomy and now his man Elmer has Finance. But she’s supreme leader, or so we’re led to believe. Interesting times indeed.
And it all comes just as the Tories spread around the Something for Nothing message, and the two Ed’s, Labour’s hope for the future, buy into continued austerity, forgetting their roots in their quest for power; aiming only at the votes of middle-England, promising absolutely nothing, which is all they have to offer.
And the interval? Oh that was Citizen Smart, with his guitar, and his message. And here’s another song for you, the Bedroom Tax one. Enjoy.
So after all that there is hope for the future, a great deal of it. It is happening, and it’s happening with Labour’s grass roots, no matter how much they deny it; no matter the message of Project Fear as the No, Better Together mob is known internally. Roaming charges is the latest one for cross border scaremongering. That’s the charges that the EU will abolish before we even get to vote, an EU ruling that all the Project Fear parties signed up to just a couple of weeks ago. Oh dear.
The Red Flag was flying too, but this one had a white thistle in the corner. I like that.
Meanwhile here’s an excellent review of Labour’s position on Scotland, a timely posting over at Wings. The answer can only be the rampant opposition to anything from the SNP that this dithering bunch have entrenched themselves into. But as we’ve seen above, and as Rev Stu suggests, the members may not agree.