Wednesday, November 4, 2009

New Glasgow NE sensation - could David Kerr have been conceived outside the constituency?

I scarcely know whether to laugh or cry. Kezia Dugdale has devoted a blog post to triumphantly pointing out that Alex Salmond was technically wrong in his assertion that there are no maternity hospitals in Glasgow North-east, on the grounds that while there may be none today, there were two when David Kerr was born in 1973. "Arrogant bluster" from Salmond, Kezia calls it. Hmmm. To me, the First Minister's comment sounded more like an appropriately bemused response to one of the most desperate (not to mention barking mad) smear attempts in recent by-election history.

What on earth is Labour's point here? It's beyond dispute that David Kerr's family home at the time of his birth was in the constituency. Are people really supposed to take into account the exact grid location of a candidate's birth when determining his or her suitability to be the local MP? Kezia (astonishingly) seems to think so - it's hard to see what other interpretation you can place on her approving mention of the fact that the Labour candidate was born in Stobhill. David Kerr's mother must indeed be tormented with guilt that her perfidious show of disloyalty to the community by giving birth in Govan (gasp) has so blighted her son's career prospects thirty-six years later - unless of course David was personally directing the decision-making process from the womb, which is always a distinct possibility. But why stop at the birth? Have Labour not thought of setting their crack team of historical investigators on to the possibility that Kerr may also have been conceived outside the constituency, on a long weekend in Blackpool perhaps?

Back in the real world, I sometimes wonder if Labour activists ever stop and reflect for a moment on how all this petty, pedantic, sixth-form society point-scoring comes across to real people. I'll give them a hint - the main message it sends out is "we have an irrational, personal dislike of our opponents". Never a good image to project of yourself. And it was precisely by providing a positive, uplifting contrast to the relentless Labour "snarl" that the SNP were able to sneak victory at the last Scottish parliament election.


  1. It's a nonsense James. What if he'd been born in a shop doorway in Sauchiehall Street?

    Labour are scraping the bottom of the barrel. Have you heard Willie Bain's feeble interview on GMS earlier? He just doesn't seem to understand he's standing as an MP and not MSP.

    Here's the link. Around 1hr 41 minutes in:

  2. This election is becoming a joke. Surely the parties should be more interested in the issues of Glasgow NE than where candidates were born or work. Jeezo, politics is a dirty business yes, but this is just taking the mince. Good blog btw. :)

  3. D'ziet I completly agree! the parties are completly unable to provide any policies that have any relevence to those living in the GNE area...
    I think the point labour have made succesfully through this is that the SNP are prepared to lie and manage their facts in order to maintain a local boy image for their campaign. You are right though what needs addressed is the local issues facing those living in the area like the mortality rate is 54 yet in the rest of UK its nearer 77.
    personally John Smeaton is the only candidate actually tackling the local issues! provide me with a coherent approach from any of the other parties and I will be surprised.
    but good interesting blog for once!

  4. Subrosa, it was noticeable that the question he found hardest to answer was "do you think disgraced MPs should be given a seat in the House of Lords?" And that's one of the issues he actually would have a say in at Westminster!