Sunday 17 November 2013

Pam for Falkirk

I had set off on Friday to write a mega blog on the state of the printed media in Scotland. And indeed the world.

As it turned out, through a combination of attending a lecture by Lord Hope on the development of Scottish influence in the Supreme Court on Saturday and then seeing Saints seeing off Ross County for the second time of asking today, the blog wasn't finished anyway.

But, never mind that, my efforts have more urgency tonight.

Falkirk is a mess. It's been a mess since Dennis was bumped off the approved list of candidates in 1998.

The one and only time I was ever looked upon with favour by "the leadership" was when they asked me to stand there at that time. I told them to get lost as Dennis was and remains my comrade, despite his present company. And anyway, any candidate against Dennis would have got gubbed.

But in 2007 Dennis announced he would be standing down and I did throw my hat into the Labour ring. With Dennis's support. And that of Campbell Christie. But not, unfortunately, the support of the local cooncillor whose immediate family made up a majority of the residual Party membership. And who, understandably, intended to vote for him. Blood is thicker than water.

However, in that process I met, for the very first time, a remarkable young woman, Pam Duncan. I'm sorry if that sounds patronising but at the time I was entitled to patronise her. For I was a many times rejected Labour Candidate and she was just a wee lassie having her first go.

But, and I say this in absolutely sincerity, in all my failed attempts to be a Labour Candidate, there is only one occasion on which, given a vote myself, I would have voted for somebody else. And this was it.

She is in a wheelchair. And as somebody in a wheelchair she is a disability rights campaigner. As she is entitled, indeed obviously, should be. But, once she is in company who see no reason to penalise her for that, she seeks no further favour. She is, and I can pay her no greater compliment than this, a Labour woman. One of ours. Just that.

So, Falkirk Labour members. I ask you this. No harm to your local woman councillor but do you think she would even have even a chance anywhere else? No harm to Karen Whitefield but having lost one safe Labour seat.......No harm to Monica Lennon, who undoubtedly will get a better chance elsewhere and deserve it.

When people cast their vote here I ask them this. We want rid of Eric Joyce. And we want to hold this seat. But who is the only candidate with whom the Labour Party would call, with any real sincerity, for Joyce to immediately resign?

Pam for Falkirk. It is staring us in the face.

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