Wednesday, July 07, 2010


About 6 weeks ago at a full council meeting Renfrewshire Councillors heard a quite unexpected declaration which rather puzzled us all: I didn’t give it much thought at the time except to join in with some joking about it. We have in our midst at Renfrewshire Council 2 rather exotic creatures: objects of great curiosity and humour: they are Tories you see, rather like finding a hen with teeth or a rocking horse’s s***e. The aforementioned ‘statement’ made by Cllr. Clues was that he and the rest of his party (Cllr. Langlands) were not in fact ‘Tories’ at all: and were in fact members of the Conservative and Unionist Party, I know what you are thinking: a nice snappy modern title for a nice snappy modern party right? Anyway we pondered the implication of this to no avail: we could not figure out what provoked this rather surprising affirmation: I’m sure that they know that everyone including themselves uses Tory so: what’s his angle I thought what’s he up to?

Here we are now 6 weeks on and the newspapers are carrying stories about an upheaval in the old Tory Party, I think I’m right in saying the oldest political party in the world, let’s call them the C.U.P. from now on and not offend the Renfrewshire 2 O.K. ? The aged Party has to modernise we are hearing: time to clear out the old guard and introduce young blood. Even Annabelle’s impeccably tailored jaiket hangs on a shoogly peg is the latest wisdom. Would you ‘Adam n Eve it’? I do hope what I am about to say does not harm her but: I feel obliged to leap to her defence and indeed to the defence of Cllr. Langlands. I’m sure he will also be feeling the cold breeze of change on his neck and I know him well enough to know that he will not mind me mentioning that he is no ‘spring chicken’ either albeit much younger than me. Some of these young whippersnappers might even have him in their sights (no names no pack drill) I say to him in all sincerity, Ian: people have crossed the floor before: it would be “pro bono publico” old chap.

Annabelle would be a public loss: politics would be less engaging without the self deprecating humour and rapier wit which she demonstrates with such ease, her drollness and impeccable comic timing make her a kind of Tory Party Chic Murray: Salmond (the spiv) fears no one in the chamber as much as her. Despite my own public political opinions I think the C.U.P. would be making a mistake to “ditch the pilot” as it were: she is the most popular C.U.P. / Tory politician in Scotland since eh: since: ah: since: O.K. I’ll abandon that search.

I raise this now because as I read the papers about the wished-for reinvention of the old “Tory” party I also noted the proposals for ‘rebranding ‘as well: yes indeed there are some who would change the name but: I find this confusing. Are they advocating changing the name of the C.U.P. as Cllr. Clues and Cllr. Langlands insist on calling it or are they referring to changing it from the name Tory which of course everyone else calls it. I fear they are being a wee bit disingenuous here and what they are not quite ready to say is that these ground-breaking discussions will relate to Scotland only: for reasons which are utterly obvious to those hardy souls who still fly the C.U.P./Tory flag despite recurring electoral humiliations. I will not rehearse the reasons for these defeats out of compassion for my 2 Renfrewshire Council colleagues: notwithstanding this I would not want to forego the occasional cordial discussions we have. Without our 2 C.U.P. / Tories I would not be able to have an intelligent exchange or engage in affable banter with anyone out with my Labour Colleagues.

In a spirit of good will then I would like you the readers of this blog to join with me in suggesting a new name for the C.U.P. / Tory Party: I know that our 2 Cllrs. read the blog occasionally and I would like them to feel free to use any names suggested: this invitation comes with a caveat though: any suggestion which is profane: lurid: blasphemous or offensive will not be printed even if it is accurate.

I am quite fascinated by this name change caper as I went through something similar some years back when New Labour was invented by ‘Tony the great wizard’ I don’t remember being asked for my view on this: perhaps they guessed it: and I still don’t know if the name New Labour has any proper validity: it doesn’t with me you will be shaken to learn. I wonder if I have just got myself into trouble there. Anyway I am a member of the Labour Party: have been for approx. 40 years and I have never used the term New Labour and I’m not about to start now: I prefer to say when asked “I am a member of the Labour Party and a Socialist” if others can say New Labour then I can say Labour and Socialist: that’s fair enough isn’t it?


Jim said...

Quite right Terry, you clearly have no connection whatsoever with the now entirely discredited 'New Labour' movement and more power to you for having the guts to say so.

The sooner the rest of the Labour party returns to it's core values and stops pandering to those power crazed, bit-city wide boy, money merchants the better we'll all be.

Imagine a country where the rights and lifestyle of the common working man were the highest priority, rather than one which thinks we should gratefully lie at the root of the tree waiting for the excretions of the rich to fall upon us...

Cllr Terry Kelly said...

(Jim) 10:13
Jim, there are thousands like me in the Labour Party and we need thousands more: the Labour Party remains the only vehicle in our society where there is any real hope of change toward a better fairer system: a Socialist system.

We are witnessing yet again the catastrophic failure of Capitalism and the poor are about to pay the price again.

We have to give up trying to change Capitalism or manage it better: we need to destroy it.

Jim said...

Terry, it was when the Labour party, under Blair, Campbell and Mandelson embraced the city of London and Thatcher's ill-founded economics of greed, that I and so many others were turned away from it.

Alas, it seems nothing more than a conduit for student activists with no life experience to fast track themselves into Parliament. I despair at the state of British politics and our so called establishment.

You may point to what you might consider successes of the recent Labour government. Unfortunately it's lasting legacy will be the illegal Iraq war and the debacle that is Afghanistan. The deregulation of the city, allowing those sharks to gorge themselves on imaginary money at our eventual expense, was also a Labour failure. The Tories can't knock any of those things because it's exactly how they would have behaved... in effect, we've had umpteen years of pseudo-Tory governance from London and we're signed up for umpteen more... Like I say, I despair!

Cllr Terry Kelly said...

(Jim) 12:13

“You may point to what you might consider successes of the recent Labour government”

There have been successes and failures but: we should never lose sight of the achievements of the labour Party over its 100 year history.

“Unfortunately it's lasting legacy will be the illegal Iraq war and the debacle that is Afghanistan”

I think its lasting legacy will be the NHS: the slum clearances: the building of millions of decent houses for working people which were affordable: making it possible for hundreds of thousands of working class youngsters to get to university etc. etc.

“in effect, we've had umpteen years of pseudo-Tory governance from London”

London has absolutely no locus in this, the Govt. can come from anywhere. You will still have the left / right battle. The combined populations of Manchester: Birmingham and Liverpool are roughly the same as Scotland and these places are Labour: the worst lousy right wing b******s I ever met in my life were Scots. the reason for that is simple I live here.

Jim said...

Terry, you're right. My examples are perhaps too here & now to be lasting (although we've been in Afghanistan for longer than WWII now), the truly lasting legacy of the Labour party will surely be the NHS - the envy of healthcare systems around the world; not that it now couldn't learn a thing or 2 from other systems, but it's inception was the sort of trailblazing initiative that the Tories dare not even dream of.

Alas, the modern Labour party bears little relation to that party, having been highjacked by intellectual lightweights and bullies.

Whilst the Tories and the Lib -dems battle for the mantle of 'toughest' slashing our service and the prospects of our children, the Tories in disguise who now want to lead the Labour party, suddenly remembering that they should never have gone to war in Iraq or given all our money to the bankers, are simply arguing that they'd make different shaped cuts... none want to cut the Trident abomination though. The single one big cut that would make so many others unnecessary!

That would be the Labour party bearing some remote resemblance to the Labour party I could support!