A week ago householders in parts of Govanhill received a letter from the Labour leader Iain Gray inviting residents-and their families to a meeting on Monday 2nd May at the Victoria Halls in Coplaw Street.
A number of local residents decided to take up this kind invitation.
The letter instructed those who wished to attend to ‘phone and register’, which we did.
When we arrived for the meeting, there were a couple of Labour Party workers at the doors checking people’s names against a list as they arrived. The list was almost superfluous as most of those attending were well heeled, well scrubbed Labour Party hacks who arrived in cars , the majority of which I’m convinced didn’t even come from the local area – and if anyone in the Labour Party claims otherwise – prove it! You’ve got the list!
In the vestibule a zealous wee Party worker with a checklist was alarmed when she heard that my son and I had the same forename and surname. She seemed to regard this as some sort of underhand trick. She was also worried about our family and friends who were with us, and started asking a string of questions.
As none of the Party faithful had been interrogated in this manner at the door, my son reminded her that we had all registered for the meeting as required, and as our names were on her list, why were we being quizzed? This really freaked her out and we were instructed to wait where we were while she went and fetched a couple of colleagues.
After another round of questions she asked us to leave. I replied that we had been invited and accepted the invitation and so would rather stay. After a brief confab with her pals she told us in a slightly smug and superior manner that our invitations were now withdrawn.
Well, as you can imagine we were beside ourselves with anxiety and trepidation!
She had played her trump card, and what a winner! She had pulled the red Labour carpet from under our feet!
We had come particularly to hear her esteemed leader and legendary runner, the Lion Rampant himself – Fearless Ian Gray.
We wanted to hear more from the man who had walked (or ran) the killing fields of Cambodia etc.
We wanted to sit at his feet in admiration, to bask in his glory and feel the comforting warmth of his courage around us like a woolly red blanket, to listen with awe and childlike wonder to further tales of derring-do.
We had come so close to realising our dreams only to have our hopes dashed by this naughty (but nice) wee lassie telling us to leave!
Wounded by this cruel rejection, in an act of wilful disobedience we gave her the only reply we could – we said “Naw!”
This really brought out the democrat in her, and her pretty little face turned scary and spiteful. “Well, in that case we will call the Police”. She said this with such an air of confidence and authority that for a moment we were afraid she had her own personal rapid response unit in her commodious, yet stylish handbag.
We knew of course that the Labour Party, as the party of law and order, were very quick to call on the strong arm of the Law to suppress anyone who doesn’t agree with them – they are famous for it! But to threaten constituents a few days before an election seems a bit silly. After all, surely the idea is to win the voting public over, not jail them!
We told the wee lassie and her pals that we were staying for the meeting but we might phone a couple of news desks to see if we couldn’t get a some journalists down to Coplaw Street to witness Labour Party hospitality and canvassing techniques in action.
A few minutes later the pals reappeared minus the wee lassie.
They told us we could stay, as long as we promised not to cause trouble! (Like threatening people with arrest perhaps?)
We assured them we had come only to ask a few questions, a daily, non-alarming occurrence in many democratic societies.
They still looked a bit uncomfortable. It was clear that the idea of democracy scared them; they were not used to this kind of reckless freedom in the Labour Party. But while they were struggling with this new and difficult concept, they allowed their guard to slip a little bit, and offered us belated tea and biscuits.
Despite still smarting from the recent threat of jail we showed our ability to forgive and forget and even dispensed some light-hearted humour in exchange for their refreshment and non-chocolate super-saver biscuits.
We were allowed to sit at the back of the small hall. All the front seats had been taken by the Party faithful and a very few local residents who had managed to avoid the nets.
The crowd were gossiping amongst themselves for a few minutes then suddenly the chattering died down and we became aware of a powerful entity in the room.
Our hearts leapt; could this be the great man: his Gray Eminence? But no, it was a lesser entity – still a powerful being nevertheless, as you could tell by his well scrubbed New Labour cheeks which shone with health and vitality – but not Gray the greyhound.
Despite this the worshippers gave him a well-rehearsed welcome.
This was Stephen Curran, Labour’s candidate in the forthcoming election. He was a jovial mixture of affability and insincerity. The flock liked him and baaad in approval.
He acknowledged their subservience by waving the palms of his hands to his audience to reassure them they were empty.
Like any good games show host he knew how to work the crowd, addressing most of them personally. He kept them waiting just long enough; then at the right moment gave them what they were there for.
The low reverential murmur grew in volume until it sounded like a busy beehive, then suddenly without warning, like a young god appearing on a sunbeam (the hall lights were unnecessarily bright) the Gray Man appeared before us.
The faithful could hardly believe it! The Gray Man had descended into their very midst! They could almost touch him!
Some of the worst affected actually dared to touch him! And were instantly cured of all doubts and the ability to think!
The applause and adoration of his followers, the true believers, had assumed orgiastic proportions, and many of them had inadvertently cum in their pants!
As newcomers we had expected to fall under the Gray Man’s spell – his charisma and dynamism are legendary – but this spectacle, this nauseating, sycophantic grovelling display by his worshippers, which would be extremely distasteful to any right minded self-respecting person – even us – helped to pull us back from the brink just in time.
Immediately the scales fell away from our eyes. We realised we could not possibly vote for or support the Gray Man‘s policies or any of his representatives on earth. We saw that his supporters had obviously been hypnotised, possibly even drugged by unseen hands. This was no way to treat voters or change society.
When the followers had stopped twitching and started breathing normally again the meeting began. The Gray Man and his familiar uttered spells in the guise of meaningless speeches and sedated the true believers who applauded obediently at the right bits.
Even the non believers like us were not immune from the soporific effect of the Gray Man and his disciples’ evil magic and a few times almost lost the will to live.
Despite this we managed to get in a few questions between us. One of our number managed to question the Gray Man’s Party’s murderous and illegal activities in pursuit of oil, but the Gray Man blamed it on his previous boss, who (he agreed), although he had killed lots of people, did it with the best of intentions.
A few other questions we fielded, regarding criminals inside Parliament and the incredible disappearing man Steven Purcell ex -Glasgow Cooncil, were clumsily kicked into the sidelines by New Labour’s New Stephen.
Further difficult questions which we demanded answers to were blatantly ignored, despite the word transparency being used repeatedly throughout the stage show by Gray and his acolyte.
At the end of the meeting we were berated by some of the Party hacks and told off for our bad manners!
Obviously the whole jamboree was never intended to be a public meeting although Scottish Labour will try to make out that it was in any forthcoming propaganda material.
The event was a tightly controlled, back-slapping, morale-boosting get together for the opportunistic adherents of New Labour who can pretend they are doing it all for us.
The reason that people attending the event were vetted was to ensure that the Party faithful would be in the majority and therefore would definitely outnumber any non-Labour elements.
This is necessary because the Labour Party cannot subject their leader Iain Gray to any demonstration of genuine public dissent in case he does a runner! Remember he legged it from a posse of pensioners and mothers during a recent badly managed P.R. event in Central Station.
Well, Man in Gray, as the saying goes, you can run but you can’t hide.
You might try to hide behind your shiny New Labour opportunist gang, but the general public can see through you as they see through the gaping holes in your phoney policies.
At one time the Labour Party did represent working class interests, but not anymore. Now New Labour represents themselves and their business pals.
New Labour doesn’t care about individuals or communities or people’s needs and desires. They have lost all contact with that. They see Councils as businesses and themselves as managers. They are managers who run businesses.
Of course they make sure they get a bosses salary with the golden handshake at the end of it; New Labour are the New Bosses.
The unfeeling, uncaring supporters of New Labour have been complicit in an illegal war responsible for the deaths of countless innocent men, women and children. Not only Iraqis and Afghans but British and Allied personnel, some of them no more than children themselves.
I would ask New Labour Party members these questions: Have you no pity? Have you no compassion? Can you even understand the meaning of empathy?
Is it so hard to realise that these children could be your children? Can you imagine your own child or grandchild screaming in agony and being powerless to help them?
Don’t just think about it, or imagine it, feel it.
Almost every Labour Party member you speak to denies supporting the war in Iraq. In that case – how did it happen?
If it happened without your consent – the murder ofinnocent people for Christ’s sake - why the hell are you still in the Labour Party?
If you care for others and have any shred of decency and dignity – why are you still in the Labour Party?
If you call yourself a socialist – why are you still in the Labour Party?
Leave the rats to go down with the sinking ship; you don’t need to go down with them.
-Tony Milliband – Ed and David’s anarchic lesser known kid brother