Saturday, March 06, 2010


There I was sailing along writing posts and swatting away critical comments effortlessly; (comments years ago were tougher; perhaps it gets easier with time as you see very little which is genuinely new) Then; out of left field an anonymous writer on Friday, March 05, 2010 6:04:00 PM – wrote to me and concluded with a challenge to me to devote an article on the theme of “Socialism V Electability” a topic which another commenter had raised previously; I should not have tempted fate because here it was, this was original.
It niggled at me for a couple of days; probably because it relates to something which very few people in any walk of life manage to avoid namely; what are you prepared to do or say to achieve something that you want? What hitherto precious things; beliefs or ideas are malleable to you? It’s a massive field and one which covers every feature of life but; for obvious reasons I will stick to politics. The struggle and yearning for power is at the core of all politics and the question of what you are prepared to do to achieve that power is a very valid one. Venial to Mortal are the sins and misdemeanours which politicians commit for power; from telling a constituent a white lie to get their vote to lying to the country about dodgy billionaires like Hague / Cameron/ Ashcroft illustrates this (I couldn't help myself)

The example I give is deliberate; I give it to show the massive variation which is caused by the desire for power and I believe that it also shows that the higher the stakes are i.e. becoming the Govt. the more ready and disposed some people are to doing such things. Clearly your own position on the political spectrum will affect how you look at compromises made by power seekers. The choice can be painful and stark and I think that with most people involved it’s a matter of a list of what individuals see as the big issues to them. Obvious examples at least to me and in no particular order are; peace; I believe in the struggle for world peace it’s a massive issue; racism; sectarianism - anything other than complete opposition to racism/sectarianism is another; capital punishment; any move to reintroduce the death penalty would be a resigning matter; immigration any move to forced repatriation is the same; nationalism; an evil creed, any move toward it and I would go. There might be more you can’t tell until they happen sometimes such as conflicts / wars etc.

Socialism V Electability? it’s almost impossible to answer; if you want to see a Socialist society you have to be prepared to compromise because it is a long march not a sprint. A revolution today would see us all dead on the left such is the power of the establishment and the propaganda of the media so, we compromise and try to win bit by bit; I know no other way to do it. Like most people I have become more pragmatic as I grow older but my goal has never changed; I know that there will be people who read this and will send me comments asking perfectly legitimate questions about Iraq; Afghanistan; Trident etc. should I have quit because of these things? Should I have quit because of Blair? Mandleson? Perhaps I should have set a deadline for the complete abolition of the Lords and the Monarchy and quit if it was not met?

Why do I stay when I am so opposed to our lack of action on Palestine and our subservience to America? I can only say in my defence that I believe most strongly in fighting for what I believe and the best place to do that is the Labour Party; the above issues are massive and I have compromised on them I believe that to be a measure of how important politics is; quite simply you stand and fight and hope for success or you take your ball and go home but one thing is certain; if you take up ‘keepy uppy’ in the garden you will never influence anything. That is the reason that I am not only still here but why I urge people to join the Labour Party; it’s the same reason that Michael Foot stayed and guys like Tony Benn; Dennis Skinner and Ken Livingston etc. are still here with me.


Oakwood said...

I genuinely believe that 99% of people who go into politics do so because they feel passionately about something(s) and believe that they can do a better job than person who currently holds the electoral mandate, irrespective of their political colour.

I also believe that when politicians do become used to their positions many do become arrogant and self serving and consolidate the positions with a “white lie” to the electorate or by being non-committal on contentious issues. There are many politicians up and down he country who believe that only they have the answers, despite belonging to a political party who have been in power for decades when they reality is that they are more likely to be part of the problem.

You mention “the power of the establishment and the propaganda of the media” and in my view this is the biggest threat to freedom and democracy whether it is the control of The SUN & Daily Record in Scotland or more globally, the EU or the Bildeberg group.

Wee Eck has realised this too through the SNP’s negotiations with STV to use taxpayer money to advertise the SNP Government. Even so, it has to be said that the Labour party paid the Daily Record thousands over the year for advertising that was disproportionate to other media outlets but 2 wrongs don’t make a right.

You also mention the likes of Michael Foot & Tony Benn, Dennis Skinner and Ken Livingston but what did any of they really achieve. Collectively there must be around 200 years service to the Labour party and the only thing I can think of is congestion charging in central London by a drunken wife beater.

Anonymous said...

"British jobs for British workers!" If that's not nationalism, then what the hell is? Time for you to leave the Labour Party, Terry. Time to find a party more suited to your beliefs.

Cllr Terry Kelly said...

“believe that they can do a better job than person who currently holds the electoral mandate, irrespective of their political colour”

I disagree, most of the people I know in politics are in it because of political belief; a philosophy; like Socialism.

“Wee Eck”

If he did this he was guilty of wrongdoing; the Labour Party are at liberty like all other parties to advertise with whom they please.

Your last para. is drivel; no one individual achieves anything in politics on their own; you have to look at what the party has done and these people and me and many others from the leaflet deliverer to the PM are part of it.

Cllr Terry Kelly said...

(Anonymous) 13:43
“Time to find a party more suited to your beliefs”

I think you will have heard me say this before; there is no other party of the left. The PM’s phrase was just an unfortunate slip; if you think he is any kind of nationalist you are at the wrong event here.

Anonymous said...

Councillor at 8'07

Call me picky, but I think I would prefer my PM not to make 'unfortunate slips.'

Cllr Terry Kelly said...

(Anonymous) 07/03/10
You obviously expect high standards right? it’s not as if he is under any pressure and he has plenty of time on his hands; you would expect better.

Anonymous said...

Terry, I have to say that I genuinely struggle to see how you as a socialist can stay in the Labour Party.

You argue that its the best vehicle for social change and that compromises must be made, but this simply is not true - sure everyone has to accept some compromises, but compromises like going to war for example should never ever be made. Similarly,compromises like nuclear weapons should never ever be made. I put it to you that these kinds of compromises and others represent a kind of Faustian pact that it is impossible to escape from, leaving the party unable to be an effective vehicle for social change.

I would like to ask you two questions, which I have avoided for ages. Do you seriosuly believe that the current Labour Party represents your views? Do you really think that this party, not the Labour party as was, but this party as it is, is a genuine vehicle for real progressive change?

Anonymous said...

Councillor at 2.17

Councillor, this is the man with his finger on the nuclear button.

If, under pressure, he makes another 'unfortunate slip' and says 'Yes' instead of 'No,' we could have teensy weensy problem.

Byeck said...

Morning, Coucillor, just back from holiday in Castro's Paradise. You don't want to go there, you really dont.
But, catching up on your ramblings, noted a comment saying the writer had 'misunderstood' your views on Kennedy.
Your response implied you had no time for the family, but, and correct me if I'm wrong, I think I remember you calling them 'secular saints!'
Any comment?

Cllr Terry Kelly said...

(Byeck) 10:48
Your memory fails you; I said that when growing up myself and my brothers were encouraged to think of them as ‘secular saints’ the Irish catholic thing, we later learned different.
If you think Cuba is bad you are not getting out enough; try the Red Road Flats in Glasgow.

Cllr Terry Kelly said...

(Anonymous) 10:39
I never thought of that now I’m scared.

Cllr Terry Kelly said...

“sure everyone has to accept some compromises”

That’s true Jimmy yours are whether to have scrambled or boiled eggs.

“Do you seriosuly believe that the current Labour Party represents your views?”

It represents some and some it doesn’t; that has always been the case; I have a deep mistrust of political parties where everyone agrees; I could not for instance have stood by and watched my party cynically use and manipulate Mrs. Rose Gentle for its own ends; that was stomach churning populism of the lowest order.

“this party as it is, is a genuine vehicle for real progressive change” ?

Yes and what's more it is the only one we have got; the public have given up trying to work out which of you lot are the “Judean front” or the “People’s front for Judea” there is a credibility problem here Jimmy.

Byeck said...

Kelly @ 11.53
Wrong, Councillor! Your exact quote, Aug 2009, reads 'My brothers and I REGARDED them (the Kennedy's) as secular saints.'

Re-writing history again, are we?

Cllr Terry Kelly said...


Byeck said...

Kelly 11.03

Kelly caught lying, hung by his own archives and the best he comes back with is 'Pathetic!'

To quote Jamesie to Rab C Nesbitt, 'It takes a big man to bend over, take it up the **** and apologise when he gets it wrong!'

Go on, Terry, say 'Sorry.' Do it for Rab and I'll give you a -metaphorical - man-hug!

Cllr Terry Kelly said...

Even more pathetic.

mags said...

More people need to get into politics locally because they are in it for the right reasons. Perhaps if all local councillors were independant they would make the right decisions and not worry about towing the party line!!

Cllr Terry Kelly said...

(mags) 10/03/10
If all 40 Renfrewshire councillors were independent you would have 40 different opinions and nothing would ever get done.