Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Tommy Tommy Too-Tah, I said Too-Tah Too-Tah Tommy

Which is my way of saying that, after changing my mind about five times, I eventually voted for Tommy Sheppard in the SNP depute leadership election.  I have to say it was so much easier to make a choice two years ago - although we all knew that Nicola Sturgeon was about to take charge, she wasn't yet in harness, so that left the depute candidates some space to differ with each other on policy, and particularly on constitutional strategy.  Stewart Hosie's emphasis on making the SNP's 2015 general election campaign all about The Vow and Devo Max (which interestingly isn't quite what happened in the end, in spite of his victory) was very much in line with my own thinking at the time, so that was basically why I voted for him.

By contrast, there's been no vacancy at the top during this year's contest, so all of the candidates have had to be much more guarded about any differences they may privately have on strategy.  As you know, I'm on the hawkish end of the spectrum as far as the timing of a second independence referendum is concerned, so at the very least I'd like to know that I'm not voting for a depute who will be arguing behind the scenes for what I believe to be counter-productive caution.  But notwithstanding a hysterical article from James Millar in the New Statesman a couple of months ago which, on the basis of seemingly zero evidence, branded Sheppard a reckless 'separatist' and Angus Robertson a boringly realistic 'gradualist', I'm struggling to put a cigarette paper between the two men's stated views on a second indyref.  I did discover that Chris McEleny had rehearsed the theory of 'we need to have already won the referendum before we even dare hold it', which I consider to be completely misguided, so that put me off him somewhat.  But as far as the frontrunners were concerned, I was clearly going to have to use different criteria to decide.

Sheppard's pitch was mainly a series of suggestions about organisational reform, which all sounded attractive, but in all honesty I'm in no position to judge how feasible or wise they are.  One or two alarm bells rang in my head when he pledged to spend 10% of the party's income on the changes.  The obvious question is : would some of that money otherwise be better spent, perhaps on campaigning?  I simply don't know.

Although Sheppard is undoubtedly the candidate whose views on policy matters other than independence align most closely with my own, I also worried that he mainly appeals to the left-wing voters that Nicola Sturgeon already reaches, and that Sturgeon/Robertson might be the more balanced ticket.  And I certainly didn't take seriously the notion that Robertson would have too much on his plate if the burdens of the depute leadership were added to his duties as Westminster group leader.  It's entirely normal for parliamentary leaders to have other responsibilities, and in a sense Robertson currently has it quite easy in comparison to his counterparts in the other Westminster parties.

But in the end, I decided I was over-thinking things.  Sheppard is the most charismatic of the candidates, in my view, and as I agree with him about so much anyway, it would have been very odd not to vote for him.  Here is how I ranked the four candidates -

1. Tommy Sheppard
2. Angus Robertson
3. Alyn Smith
4. Chris McEleny

I'm sure most of you who are SNP members will already have voted, but if you haven't, you'd better get your skates on - voting is about to close!

32 comments:

  1. Glasgow Working Class 2October 11, 2016 at 10:54 PM

    Nat sis are now money grabbing redundant hypocrites. They want London Heathrow to be the main Scottish hub. Ye couldne make it up..... Lying scumbags conning the Scottish people.

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    1. GWC get a life and tell us something useful. zzzzzzzz
      Sleepy time for GWC

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    2. Glasgow Working Class 2October 11, 2016 at 11:47 PM

      Crawl intae yer pouch Nat si.

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    3. Time for some of the snivelling Britnat si hypocrite's greatest hits: The troll calls scottish people "jocks", advocates arming Leave campaigners, claimed Jo Cox's husband was a fascist, uses racial and ethnic slurs, pretends to be Labour (badly) while espousing far-right racist hate-speech, praises Theresa May and the tories and displays a perverted poisonous obsession with Scotland's First Minister & her predecessor.

      The Britnat si may trot off whimpering back to its right-wing authoritarian overlords whenever it's ready.

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    4. Who don't you crawl back under your rock Mr McGibbon. your trolling is getting even more tedious than it was before.

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  2. For my part, I was convinced by Angus' reference to a "town and country" reperesentation at the highest levels. As a Teuchter, I'm sometimes concerened that urban Lowland Scotland might dominate the party. The very reason why for most of my adult life I opposed the SNP...until the scales fell off my eyes during the referendum!

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  3. The same from me and pretty well for the same reasons.
    Tommy's background as a Labour organiser fit with his proposals and is probably the best speaker but not by much.
    All excellent candidates,we are lucky as a party to have so many talented people.

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  4. My voting & ranking concurred exactly with yours James.
    And largely for the same reasons too.
    I expect Angus to win though, which I'll have no qualms with either.

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  5. Glasgow Working Class 2October 11, 2016 at 11:59 PM

    Those wasters who contribute to themselves are being paid in excess of 70k a year from the taxpayer.

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    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    2. Seeing as you appear to have nothing to do except making petty comments on this blog maybe you could read this and give us all the benefut of your opinion. Considered please.

      http://thenewsdoctors.com/middle-eastern-refugee-flows-the-eu-syrian-energy-wars-and-silence-of-political-leaders-f-william-engdahl/

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    3. Asking our resident Britnat troll to give a 'considered ' opinion is like asking a bear to stop detracting in the woods!!

      Racist Britnat si, gwc2, the Tory sockpuppet only loves fscism Teresa-style! Even his medication no longer works.

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    4. DEFECATING in the woods!!

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    5. Yep. The Britnat si loves merciless Tory rule and has previously written about its desire for armed militias in every workplace. All the better to stifle dissent against auntie Cruella's overlordship.

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  6. Tommy Sheppards changes are unnecessary. He is trying to turn the SNP into Labour.

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    1. If you had an organisation of around 30,000 people that suddenly becomes 120,000,radical restructuring is required no matter what label you put on it.

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    2. Glasgow Working Class 2October 12, 2016 at 8:23 PM

      That just proves that a further 90k thick as shite Nat sis were around.

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    3. Yep. The Britnat si loves merciless Tory rule and has previously written about its desire for armed militias in every workplace. All the better to stifle dissent against auntie Cruella's overlordship.

      Delete
    4. Glasgow Working Class 2October 12, 2016 at 10:33 PM

      How does it feel being a knobend and apologist for the Nat sis?

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    5. Time for some of the snivelling Britnat si hypocrite's greatest hits: The troll calls scottish people "jocks", advocates arming Leave campaigners, claimed Jo Cox's husband was a fascist, uses racial and ethnic slurs, pretends to be Labour (badly) while espousing far-right racist hate-speech, praises Theresa May and the tories and displays a perverted poisonous obsession with Scotland's First Minister & her predecessor.

      The Britnat si may trot off whimpering back to its right-wing authoritarian overlords whenever it's ready.

      Delete
  7. I voted for Tommy too as did other party members in my family.

    As a former labour party organiser, appointed by John Smith and ousted by Tony Blair, Tommy will appeal to a huge tranche of voters who have only recently come around to seeing full independence as the only logical option for Scotland'e people to have any chance of improving their lot in life. He will also 'Know thine enemy' (SLAB of course) better than anyone else in this election contest. No small thing.

    His maiden speech was also memorable and he has that 'je ne sais crois' or charisma which is indefinable but you are really glad he is on your side.

    I also think that as the party now has circa 80,000 new members who joined after the 2014 Referendum, just as Tommy did, it is right & proper that one from that 'new blood' intake is represented at the highest level.

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    1. Glasgow Working Class 2October 13, 2016 at 8:30 PM

      Just as well you were ousted. Blair won three elections without you.

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    2. The Britnat si loves merciless Tory rule and has previously written about its desire for armed militias in every workplace. All the better to stifle dissent against auntie Cruella's overlordship.

      Delete
    3. Glasgow Working Class 2October 13, 2016 at 11:12 PM

      We have right wing Tartan Tory policies far to the right of the Blue Tories in Scotland. Knickerless dresses like Thatcher. No wonder the Tory busmen subsidise the Nat si fash. And the Trains!!!!

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    4. The Britnat si loves merciless Tory rule and has previously written about its desire for armed militias in every workplace. All the better to stifle dissent against auntie Cruella's overlordship.

      Delete
  8. I was thinking of voting for Tommy and I went to a hustings (in North of Scotland) but he didn't attend - neither did the Councillor. So I voted one and two for Angus and Alyn - who had gone to the effort to turn up.

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  9. I am not a member and my own view is does it matter who the deputy is. If the Policies aren't right then it doesn't make any difference to me who happens to win this contest.

    That aside I hope it isn't Angus Robertson as he is my MP and he comes across as an insufferably smug git! That didn't stop me voting for him at Brit GEs and more than once though.

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  10. I voted for Alyn Smith because of his eu credentials.

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  11. I voted for Tommy Sheppard as I wanted more input from Branch members although I expect Angus Robertson to win. We had 4 good candidates.

    Interesting poll in the Herald.

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