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LOLLOL LoveLove

Sex toys, imposters and warm receptions

Jamie Blackett’s Election Diary

Jamie and George on the campaign trail in Hawick. Photo: Ian Masterton

“You know there was no word for dildo in Gaelic until the SNP invented one? They have paid translators to come up with the full suite of words to cater for all sexual tastes.” The breadth of George’s grasp of current affairs never ceases to amaze me. We are blethering in a café in Stranraer on our soap box tour of the South of Scotland. This conflation of the SNP’s fake Gaelicisation, warped morality and waste of taxpayers’ money would have been a gift for opposition politicians and the media in most countries. The fact that it has barely permeated the public consciousness in Scotland, let alone provoked an outcry, is yet another reason why Holyrood needs George Galloway in there speaking out against the SNP’s corruption of society. 

Incidentally, just in case you are wondering, the Gaelic for sex toy is dèideag gnè.  

***

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. The Alliance for Unity picked up a parody account shortly after we set up our Twitter account last July, no doubt part of the SNP’s black ops armoury. In an act of symmetry, another one popped up a few days ago for the final week of the campaign; ‘AllForUnity2’ purported to be a hardline unionist account but we smelt a rat straight away when it posted a meme of British redcoats bayoneting Highlanders at Culloden. Twitter acted quickly and removed the account but it was another reminder of how untruthful politics have become in the post-modernist age.

***

It has been an enjoyable challenge finding something location-appropriate to say in each town in a short YouTube video. They are filmed live so there is no room for any bloomers for the Christmas edition. In Hawick, I stand on the soapbox and start, “Today we are in”…..my mind wants to say Langholm as we have just been discussing the birthplace of the Anglophobic nationalist poet Hugh MacDiarmid (not his real name)…but luckily my mouth says, “Hawick”. 

In Lockerbie, I have an opportunity to talk about the Battle of Dryfe Sands where the Johnstones butchered 700 Maxwells in 1593, a reminder of the sectarian strife that divided the South of Scotland prior to the Union of the Crowns, and which has now been rekindled by Sturgeon’s divisive separatism. Outside Castle Douglas Mart, I am on familiar ground and able to talk about how our livestock industries would be pole-axed by the imposition of a hard border at Gretna. Stranraer provided the backdrop of the Irish Sea and the invisible, but nevertheless real hard border, that stubborn EU negotiators bequeathed as a memento of Brexit. 

I hope they have given the many thousands of viewers on George’s YouTube channel a window on this forgotten corner of Scotland. But I don’t think Border TV presenters need to worry about their jobs. Speaking of Border TV, we are predicted to win at least one seat in the South of Scotland but they have steadfastly refused to interview us. Why?

***

Our tour has been very revealing. Our opponents, both Nationalist and Unionist, have been keen to promote a narrative that dismisses All for Unity as a party that no one has ever heard of, a ‘Twitter-only party,’ and predicts that we won’t get any votes. 

Well, if the people who happened to be in the high streets when we passed through are in any way representative, we are going to exceed all expectations. We were astonished by how many people said that they were voting for us. In Hawick, the endless stream of people wanting selfies with George (his Mother of All Talk Shows has a lot of listeners) is completely at odds with the pessimistic narrative – the local café owner even insisted on nabbing one of our posters to put in his window.

But the man from the Times who followed us wrote a lukewarm piece in the paper anyway, consisting mainly of Tory quotes accusing us of splitting their vote. This is not just a delusion —  the diverse band of malcontents pledging us their votes has barely a Tory among them – it is a conceit. 

I suspect, though it may never be proved, that when the votes are counted, we will have provided a useful service by gathering up pro-UK votes from across the political spectrum from people who are disenchanted by all the major parties and would otherwise either not have voted, or given their second vote to one of the many no-hoper ‘none of the above’ parties on the list.

***

In Loanhead we stop to pay our respects at the Miners’ Memorial. The freelance photographer with us gets a rare exclusive of the top of George’s head as he removes his fedora and bows his head for a moment’s silence. I’m beginning to think that not even his wife, Gayatri has seen him without his hat on.

The memorial has etched on it the words “The True Price of Coal.” There are fifteen names, an average of one fatality every two years and it is a poignant reminder of the sacrifices made below ground at Bilston Glen Colliery. George moves away and mounts his soapbox for a speech to camera on the doctrines of unity and solidarity that underpin his twin creeds of trade unionism and the union of Great Britain. 

We are standing near a busy T-junction and as they pass us, one car in three gives us a toot on their horns and the thumbs up. It’s an encouraging sign.                                        

***

One heartening feature has been the number of people who have said that they have voted SNP regularly hitherto but won’t be this time. The young mother in Stranraer spoke for many of them when she spat out the words, “They done nothing for us. Look at it. There’s nothing here for my weans.” 

Driving through what we assume to be fertile SNP housing schemes, there is a marked absence of yellow posters in windows. Only about one person in thirty waves away our leaflets with the protestation that they are SNP voters. Could the polls be wrong? George has fifty years of campaigning under his belt, including some spectacular upsets in Glasgow, Bradford and Bethnal Green, and is feeling optimistic. 

If the SNP get back into power on a minority of the vote I will be very angry. The three old unionist parties have spent their time arguing over second, third and fourth places. They have barely contested the constituencies and instead focused on chasing ‘peach votes’ so that their candidates can slide back into their opposition sinecures on the list. 

The Tories pride themselves on having stopped an outright SNP majority last time, yet the SNP/Green coalition has been far worse for Scotland than when they governed alone. You can say what you like about All for Unity, but we are the only party that is actually campaigning to get the SNP and their Green ‘Gardening Section’ out on Thursday. To be continued.

Jamie Blackett is leader of All for Unity (the Alliance for Unity). Follow him on Twitter @Jamie_Blackett.


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Written by Jamie Blackett

Jamie Blackett farms in Galloway and is the author of Red Rag to a Bull, Rural Life in an Urban Age (Quiller). Follow him on Twitter: @Jamie_Blackett

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Cameron’s folly

Fish & chips and tactical votes