2007 - 2022

No Mean City

By  Mike Small

Several things can be true at the same time.

The following statements are all true:

  1. The incident in Glasgow today was disgraceful.

  2. It has nothing to do with SNP and nothing to do with ‘nationalism’. Alex Thomson’s on-the-spot reporting tells us this.

  3. Everybody has the right to be listened to.

  4. Murphy is a walking Honeytrap. Don’t get stuck in. He is over. He is a busted flush. He is a dead man walking. All he wants to do is have incidents like this, it’s all he has to work with.

  5. If your not angry you’re not paying attention. Anger is an energy, as Johnny Lydon once said. The anger on the streets is nothing compared with the institutional violence meted out by the British State and their allies against the poorest sections of our society. Being angry isn’t just legitimate, it’s essential.

  6. We need to move beyond oppositional politics. The focus can’t be just about being against Jim Murphy, or against the Tories. This is a political dead-end.

  7. You can protest peacefully. You can protest creatively. Shouting isn’t violence.

  8. Jim Murphy isn’t the problem.

  9. The politicians don’t like it when their thin veneer of constructed political reality is disrupted. That’s all the more reason to disrupt it. This isn’t a studio.

  10. I don’t give a fuck what Eddie Izzard thinks about my country.




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  1. Stevie says:

    Well said Mike. I look forward to a critically self aware and radical year ahead, starting on Friday when the bread and circuses run out

  2. Darth Murphy – I always thought he had turned to the Dark Side.

  3. david says:

    Well said. All true, I would move 10) up the list a bit.

    1. bellacaledonia says:


  4. emilytom67 says:

    Alex Thomson didn,t refer to any of the lies and vitriol poured on Scots/Scotland did he.

  5. Alex Buchan says:

    I’m not sure if Alex Thomson has changed his bog post but it doesn’t tally with what how you’re describing it Mike. He says that the fact that they are voting SNP means they are SNP supporters. He also calls it the ugly side of nationalism. On the main Channel News web page he’s updated his report making it far more hard hitting saying:

    Free speech was unquestionably denied in Glasgow today. It was ugly and it was perpetrated by people who say they will vote SNP.

    And it was undeniably intimidating to some.

    He also said Jim Murphy will be pleased, that he must have known this would happen and its about the last chance he’s got left to make an impact.

    This kind of thing is playing into Murphy’s hands.

    1. Don Macleod says:

      I agree Alex. I normally respect Alex Thomson’s reporting. In this instance I do not. I posted a comment on his blog report but this has not yet been published. –

      As i read the first part of this report I thought ‘Yes, good getting to the facts – these people describe themselves as socialist, marxist etc’. No surprise that Jim Murphy would describe them as nationalist. I am surprised and disappointed however that you lay the responsibility for this deplorable behaviour with the SNP. You heard directly from Nicola Sturgeon on that yet you continue to describe these people as the ‘ugly fringe’ of the SNP. They are nothing to do with the SNP. The fact that they said they were intending voting SNP is their democratic choice. Beyond ludicrous to suggest that the SNP and indeed any party has the power or ability to vet each and every intending voter.
      I also saw your report on Channel 4 news this evening. You close this report with a call again to the SNP ‘to name and shame’ these people. Firstly, Please refer back to your interview with Nicola – these people are NOT connected to the SNP. Secondly you can refer to the BBC report that identifies that ‘The protest was organised by Sean Clerkin, who described his group as “anti-austerity campaigners”.
      He told the BBC that details of the event had been passed to him by a disillusioned member of the Labour Party in East Renfrewshire.’

    2. For five quid I can go on Labour’s website and join the party. Once I get my membership card I could go out and do all sorts of violent things, like put a young woman campaigning for the SNP in A&E, throw bottles and full cans of Irn Bru at people waiting to hear Nicola Sturgeon or follow an Orange Order march and then throw stuff at the windows of an SNP office and threaten the person inside so she has to lock herself in until the police arrive. (Not that anti-SNP protesters would do any of those things, would they? I am sure I would have seen the reports on the television news) Would that mean that the Labour Party was responsible for my actions? Or that my actions were the actions of the Labour Party? Of course not. No more than the actions a few protesters are the actions of the SNP regardless of how they intend to vote or whether they have joined the party.

  6. Alistair Davidson says:

    Couldn’t agree more Mike, it’s much more telling when Murphy is filmed addressing empty streets with his bussed-in rentamob acolytes behind him. It’s time to disengage with this temptation to vent justifiable anger and with the labour/snpout tweeters. It plays into their hands.

  7. Dan Huil says:

    I think we all new something like this was going to be manufactured before Thursday. The MSM’s eagerness to “report” this “riot” is no surprise either. No doubt tomorrow’s unionist press will be even more hyperbolic. It’s what the unionist media does.

  8. Drew Campbell says:

    Of course it plays into their hands, indeed it was constructed to do so. All acts repeat their greatest hits, this was Murphy reworking his “Egg-stained hero of the Union’ schtick. After all, it turned his career around after years of obscurity.

    Sean Clerkin asserts he was tipped off by a “mole” from East Renfrewshire’s Labour branch. Played like a harp might be a better description but Sean played his part to a tee. And in front of a Celebrity National Treasure too!

    I agree with all your points, Mike. It was indeed disgraceful. But ‘The Imperial Master’ was still very funny.

    1. Well said, Drew, agree with all of this. Murphy just had to manufacture some kind of incident like this, and every still of Murphy shows him grinning fundilymundily, as his plan comes to.fruition.

      I used to like Izzard until he abandoned the day job to traipse around with the Butchers Apron wrapped around his neck, acting as hysterical prop to Murphy.

      What a bloody pathetic farce.

      Good piece, Mike.

  9. broadbield says:

    Sorry, but I’ve had enough of “Free Speech” and a “Free Press” where it means free to lie, smear, frighten, libel, insult, bully, destroy lives and reputations and when the facts don’t fit to simply make it up. Murphy is the unacceptable face of New Labour – a man who helped his unionist pals in the Tory party, big business, finance, civil service, the UK Establishment etc steal the Referendum and steal Scotland’s chance of a better and fairer future. A man who supports illegal wars, austerity, the PFI mortgages around the necks of public services, cosying up to finance mega-millionaires who bust the economy and were rewarded by Brown and Darling with huge amounts of public funds so they could continue making their obscene millions, while the poor, the vulnerable, the unemployed are punished. A man who likes to hector and bully but not engage in debate. A man who was in a Labour government which continued Thatcher’s regressive, worker-bashing neo-liberal policies handing out largesse to the rich and powerful. A man whose party now promises, without the slightest hint of irony, to do all the things it failed to do while in government and expects us simpletons to believe them.

    Sorry, but he wants freedom of speech for himself only and packs it in when he’s heckled. That used to be called the hustings where those giving it out expected to get it back from those who disagreed with them.

  10. bringiton says:

    Celebrity endorsement no longer cuts it,or rather it should be said,has much impact.
    Unscrupulous,unprincipled opportunist politicians throughout the ages have staged events to their advantage,except usually it’s an excuse for invading a country that doesn’t want to be invaded.
    Murphy thinks it is OK to shout down his political opponents during a “debate” but not OK when he is on the receiving end of that sort of behavior.
    Suck it up.
    What’s sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.
    If he wants people to behave in a dignified,civilised manner then he needs to mend his ways and not adopt the Westminster mantra of “doing unto others (Davidson comes to mind) before they do unto you”.

  11. Eddie says:

    Murphy orchestrated the whole thing. It is all he has left and he probably asked Izzard to where a skirt. He was hoping for a scene but for what I saw on facebook, there were very few people there and most of them were Labour supporters. Murphy is a slimebag and does not care how low he has to stoop to try and get votes. In my mind anyone who votes for him has to be brain dead

  12. Andy Dewar says:

    I wish the Election was over hacked off with this nonsense. I voted Yes I am an SNP voter but just cant believe we are going to get a landslide I think its overstated and labour(Red Tories) will use dirty tricks to win voters. I still believe there are many silent unionists will do anything to get the SNP out. I witnessed what looked like a Labour stall in Perth on Saturday saying tactical voting sad bastards. come on the SNP 20- to 30 seats is all I think we will get but I live in hope of more.

    1. Jim Bennett says:

      Hi Andy,
      If you think Labour will be the biggest party in Scotland, you can get 165-1 on Betfair. SNP winning every Scottish seat is only 6-1. Betfair has a track record of calling it right!
      Chin up, man!

  13. It may be worth remembering how outdoor election meetings in the British tradition actually worked. Here is how it worked for Churchill:

    “Churchill’s aversion to outdoor speaking may have been shaped in part by his experiences at the 1908 Dundee by-election, when his outdoor meetings were wrecked by a female suffrage campaigner wielding a large railway porter’s bell. With both the crowd and the law on her side, the Liberal stewards were powerless to act and Churchill’s outdoor meetings collapsed into farce.” (Jon Lawrence, ‘Electing Our Masters’ 2009; Oxford: OUP; Ch.3, p.74).

    In the 18th and 19th centuries British elections were a good deal rougher.

    1. MBC says:

      I quite agree. We have become too soft. But there are other differences. I think Churchill and others attempting such street corner politics in the past would not have sought to bully and browbeat their audiences as Murphy does, but to reason and argue with them.

  14. Dan Huil says:

    Great picture on WOS. Greenock this morning. Says it all.


    1. douglas clark says:

      Dan Huil,

      WOS, has a comment on that, if you’ve not seen it:


      More worrying than I thought.

      It is worth blowing the picture up to full size, the chapon the left looks utterly flummuxed!

  15. douglas clark says:

    I expect what you meant was this:

    1. It wasn’t disgraceful. If you set up your stall in a public place, you should expect to be challenged.

    2. So what? It was people expressing their democratic right, when challenged in a public place to answer back.

    3. Well yes, so do the people. It is not just about politicians rights, it is about peoples rights too.

    4. Murphy does what Murphy does. It is ridiculous to agree with his tactics and it is just wrong to see any sort of challenge as threatening behaviour when it is pretty clear that none happened.

    5. Agreed.

    6. The ‘dead end’ as you put it is entirely of his own creation. He revels in it, you and I do not.

    7. Correct.

    8. Well, who is the problem? He has no influence whatsoever on Westminster Labour, he says things that even they baulk at. He is frankly a loose cannon. (I have no sympathy for Mr Milliband either.)

    9. Correct. If you face the public, it might be an idea to have something to say to them that is even slightly positive. I refer us back to 1. This could be a continual loop.

    10. Agreed.

  16. junius45 says:

    Izzard or Murphy, which one is the overblown tart?

  17. Jacqueline Gallacher says:

    Eddie Izzard seems to be under the illusion that if Scotland votes for Labour we won’t get a Tory government, he obviously knows nothing of politics in Scotland.

  18. Freedom of the press, is at best a Romantic abstraction which is regularly cited as being somehow noble and virtuous by those who would deceive us. Excepting the date and price, all content in every publication, is and and always has been, contaminated by partisan interest.

    Counsel of the Damned, of course. But nonetheless, as near to “true” as we are likely to get. Discerning readers have always known this to be the case, surely? The state of terror engendered in our being by the words of the sociopathic/enemy hack is an absurd victory of the irrational. Research thus far, has proved incapable of definitively telling us what the true weight and influence of journalistic endeavour might be. Given the futility of the task, this should surprise nobody.

    It might simply be that those hacks writing counter of a given zeitgeist will influence a tiny few while their embedded fellows and their narrative will be read and considered as relevant to the pertaining “reality”. The largely neo-liberal sympathising press has, with its relentless pro-union narrative,trained all guns on the S.N.P.. If, on Friday morning the S.N.P. can be said to have won an historic victory, then talk of paradigm shift might be possible. The main stream media would be the last source to be congratulated regarding their power and influence in such a scenario. Their power, or lack of it, will become clear.

    Some of the smarter pro-union hacks may have already smelled the breeze. Wasn’t that a tartan shirt that I saw the man from The Spectator wearing on T.V. the other evening?

  19. Morvern McMurray says:

    izzard will look back his flirtation with labour in Scotland, with shame and embarrassment.

    What has izzard to offer Scotland?

    Seemingly the dead hand of labour, a hand round our throats many of us have fought years to remove, through the ballot box mr izzard.

    When izzard speaks of the evils of nationalism, he seems to overlook the Falklands, Iraq or Libya, follies of british nationalism.

    He also seems to overlook recent history when a large country’s politicians said to the people of a small country seeking independence via democratic means, you leave us and we will economically ruin you, ensure you have no friends and leave you defenceless?

    izzard should have a quite moments refection and evaluate the progressive movement he is trying to destroy through misinformation and lies versus status quo is he trying to maintain through misinformation and lies.

    He will come to conclusion he is a multi millionare red tory british nationalist!

  20. Big Jock says:

    Murphy is out to save his own skin. Slab have already said they are only in contention in half their seats. So they have lost 20. Being realistic let’s say they get 50% of the others. That means they are looking at keeping 11 seats or less. The SNP will tale 20 plus another 10. Thats 30 they have six and will take another 6 from Tories and Libs. Minimum seats for SNP 42.

    So that’s an incredible turnaround.

    Murphy sees hard line Tory unionists going to Labour in East Ren. Murphy thinks right we need to get these unionists, who are essentially anti Scottish to switch to Labour. So he creates a situation where nationalists appear to be street thugs. He knows they aren’t ,we know they aren’t and the media know its a stunt. But Joe public Tory thinks,bloody Scottish nationalists attacking one of our unionist friends.

    Result Jim the true Brit gets more Tories to switch and he hangs onto his job by proxy.

    I still think he will lose his seat ,but he has nowhere else to go. Charlatans don’t win in the end they get found out. I sense a big fall for Jim on Thursday!

  21. macart763 says:

    Well said Mike.

  22. David Allan says:

    Murphy appeared on call Kaye last week and in a rambling reply to a caller question he told a blatant lie on air – claiming his family were forced to emigrate as a result of the Thatcher era . When in fact his family emigrated the year Thatcher was elected , he left in 79!

    This from his wilkipedia entry – “Early life[edit]Murphy was born in Glasgow and raised in a flat in the Arden. He was educated at St. Robert Bellarmine School in Glasgow until 1979, when he and his family emigrated to Cape Town, South Africa, after his father became unemployed. In Cape Town, he attended Milnerton High School”.

    In 1985, Murphy returned to Scotland aged 18 to avoid having to serve in the South African Defence Force.[3] He studied Politics and European Law at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow. He was a student at Strathclyde for 9 years, but did not graduate from the university.[4][5]”

    The guy is an embarassment to Scottish Politics how he has survived reflects badly on our media who continually ignore his persistent dishonesty. MSM Journalists should all hang their heads in shame.
    Inevitably the Politics of corruption go hand in hand with dishonesty when will the media wake up to their responsibilities.

    Murphy encapsulates all that I despise in the British Westminster Political System.

    His constituents will be mocked and ridiculed should he be re-elected. Barrhead wake-up!

    1. Fed up with the Lies and Propaganda of the London Media Industrial Complex says:

      Murphy, a careerist, an opportunist, a lackey, absolutely no convictions, even his fwiends find him detestable, in the corrupt mafia world of Liebour party politics, he’ll go far !!

  23. Wrench says:

    Have to disagree with the idea that shouting is uniformly non-violent protest. Shouting from a respectful distance, or from across the street isn’t a violent protest. Shouting in people’s faces, at the distance seen in the Herald’s photos, is nothing but thuggish intimidation, attempting to provoke the recipient who inevitably ends up drenched in spittle. It seems to be a favoured tactic of those who want to have a a square go but don’t want to throw the first punch.

    This kind of thing achieves nothing and only serves to risk having some Labour switchers move back, having seen an unrepresentative face of Scottish nationalism. It’s compounded by the transphobic abuse being aimed at Izzard in such worthy forums as the Scotsman’s comments section and Facebook.

    What I find most dispicble is that we, as a movement, have utterly owned the idea of new politics. We have championed votes at 16 and hailed involvement of kids in the campaigns (as in the above photo). Yet, an awful lot of people seem utterly unfazed that the two demos attended by the same megaphone-wielding numpty have resulted in kids being taken away in floods of tears. Well done – that’s likely to be a memory that defines politics for an awful lot for those kids. Bully boys screaming abuse at mummy and daddy or heckling members of the public going into a community centre.

    We’re meant to be better than this, not perpetrating the same old shite and adopting the young team’s tactics.

    1. bellacaledonia says:

      I agree with you Wrench, we are meant to be better than this and no it’s not achieving anything.

  24. Let’s hope the media give good coverage to the young girl up from Leeds to canvass for SNP, and whilst doing so was attacked and ended up in A & E getting stitches. If we are forced to witness the horrible scenes of violence poor old Fundilymundily had to endure, I’m sure we also want to know what went on with this young girl, who has had STITCHES.

  25. Darien says:

    The whole incident was clearly fabricated by Murphy and his unethical ‘advisors’ and helpers in Scottish Labour. This is a form of fraudulent incitement and should be considered a criminal offence given the possibility for such planned events to lead to potential civil unrest, either directly or indirectly (i.e. through further media manipulation of the event), and which in turn renders the media a willing accomplice, as reflected in the widespread reporting of this apparent fraud as fact. One would think at the very least this matter requires investigation by the relevant authorities.

  26. Clicky Steve says:

    “3. Everybody has the right to be listened to.”

    They do? Says who? People have the right to speak, but there’s no reason why anybody should listen.

  27. Lochside says:

    Wrench..if you take your opinions from the Herald’s coverage, I’m afraid you’re a fool. Gardham lied about ‘weeping children’ and as for ‘transphobic comments’..puleese!

    What you should be concerned about is the British media conspiring with Labour to concoct a bogus’ event ‘designed to slur a legitimate political party and make that ‘event’ into a ‘riot’.

    The grotesque lies being stated, not spun, by James Cook, Alex Thomson et al goes beyond journalistic licence. This incident is in microcosm a perfect example of the Fascist State in operation. A process that we are now understanding ourselves to be living under.

    In the same week that OO thugs attack and terrorise a lone woman in a Partick SNP hub and on the same day an English Asian woman is assaulted by right wing racists in Paisley while canvassing for the SNP, and ending up with stitches in A&E, the media are deaf and dumb.

    This pattern has been repeated throughout the Referendum and now in the GE. As expected, BBC Scotland on this morning’s ‘Call Kaye’ reinforced and repeated the lies concerning what happened yesterday. They allow a caller to define the 4 or 5 protestors as ‘national socialists’ without demur. The callers, as ever, are predominantly anti-Snp and screened to be so.

    The fact that yesterday was a set up is as plain as the smirk on Murphy’s ugly mug. His raison d’etre for a dragged up Izzard being there was to manufacture ‘transphobic’ and any vitriol that could be used against the SNP, despite them not being there. Izzard is a despicable hypocrite and has no interest in Scotland other than using Murphy’s charade to get further exposure in the London media.

    We are stuck with a corrupt phalanx of media pimps and prostitutes polluting our airwaves for the moment. From Friday, I pray we will be able to separate them from British control and get these mouthpieces under Scotland’s control.

    1. manandboy says:

      On the money, Lochside. The whole thing was a production for TV Newsrooms. Nothing that happened was not in the script. Sean Clerkin being there was vital to the story. His excuse that he was tipped off is hard to believe. More likely he did it for the money. Nothing that Murphy said was reported. The ‘scuffle’ was everything; it was the object of the exercise. Clerkin played his part perfectly, alongside Murphy. They could have been dancing it was so well choreographed. Alex Thompson for once dropped the ball and let himself down badly. All produced and directed by John Boothman and Ken McQuarrie at Pacific Quay.

      Independence without control of broadcasting and the postal vote, will be like climbing the north face of the Eiger in January with only a pair of flip flops and a toothpick.

  28. Connor Mcewen says:

    Spot on Lochside

  29. Connor Mcewen says:

    For those interested in re-cycling FREEPOST;
    Conservative Party Foundation
    SW1P 4DP

    No charges incurred except to Tory coffers

  30. Shame the old Glasgow Apollo is no more. If Eddie Izzard had been able to appear there he would know what real heckling is.

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