Who Should Represent Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath?

Local activist, Dougie Grant, reflects on the fallout from the Neale Hanvey controversy in Fife. With the issues of employment and health and environmental justice very live in the constituency the question is a live one.

You can watch hustings between the candidates here.

In the Kirkcaldy & Cowdenbeath constituency with the General Election fast approaching, pro Indy supporters have a dilemma – vote SNP or vote Green to unseat Lesley Laird (who recently, due to a lack of Labour activists, had to make a plea to friends and family to help her campaign?).

At the start of the campaign, most would have thought that with a strong candidate and a strong pro Indy message the SNP would have taken the seat back from Labour.

But now, after allegations of anti-Semitism against the SNP candidate, Neale Hanvey, the SNP have withdrawn their support for him.

When the story broke, there was confusion. Do Yessers concentrate the pro Yes vote on the Green candidate, Scott Rutherford? Is the “SNP” candidate withdrawing? That would have left a clear run for the Greens and the return of a pro Independence MP to Westminster. Will Neale Hanvey stand as an Independent, pending an investigation?

Scottish Green candidate Scott Rutherford stated:

Last night, Hanvey Tweeted an apology and announced that he intends to continue – so what now?

Local activist Grant Buttars:

“What is striking is that while the SNP have taken welcome and decisive action here, where were they when Hanvey was being rightly called out for transphobic comments a few weeks ago? The fight against bigotry cannot be selective. The independence vote should now swing firmly behind Green candidate, Scott Rutherford, who has an excellent profile and record as a local activist and would provide a strong voice for the constituency at Westminster”.

“I’m still clueless as to who we support. A lot of people still seem to think Neale can still win” is the opinion of another activist, Craig Dempsey.

Comments among Yes voters on Twitter have ranged from “Sorry Scott but all this will do is split the vote and allow Lesley Laird to be a shoe in”, to “supporting the Greens would send the right message about the values of the independence movement“.

And probably most tellingly “Many people in Kirkcaldy won’t know about this and still vote SNP – voting Green could make it more likely Labour take the seat. It’s (sic) a right mess”.

Only time will tell.




Comments (10)

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  1. India Osaka says:

    No part of Fife — not even Cowdenbeath — deserves be represented by an idiot who compares LGBT people to pedophiles and spreads antisemitic content online. The SNP branches that thought this man was anything other than a liability need to get their head checked. That so many of their members would continue to say they will vote for someone their party has emphatically rejected says a lot about their values; or lack of them.

    1. Julian Smith says:

      Sorry, your allegations don’t ring true with me. Can you give references to back them up?

      1. India Osaka says:

        “Sorry, your allegations don’t ring true with me. Can you give references to back them up?”

        I’m not sure how to best reference Hanvey’s antisemitic statements. He has admitted to that, but then he has gone on to endorse tweets that claim that he was stitched up and tweets that argue that ‘there was nothing anti-semitic in any of yer posts’ and ‘we are getting a wee bit too precious’ over antisemitism (One example, you can find more: https://twitter.com/seumasabheinn/status/1200150514358509574). Some of his supporters are arguing that his critics ‘need to exterminated from the party before everyone who disagrees with them find themselves up on a charge of antisemitism’ (That’s here: https://twitter.com/bridgesforindy/status/1200471553722454026).

        Pink Saltire ( https://pinksaltire.com/2019/11/08/women-not-being-heard-as-snp-candidate-defends-his-gra-concerns/) approached him to discuss his comments on LGBT people and, in turn, CommonSpace’s Caitlin Logan picked up on profoundly troubling aspects of his statement to PS ( https://twitter.com/_CaitLogan/status/1193628384334688256)

        Right now he is running targeted facebook ads that claim he’s still an SNP candidate (here’s one from this morning https://imgur.com/a/26Um5cQ ) and using the #VoteSNP tag to drive traffic towards his new crowdfunder where he, again, works to associate himself with the party he’s been kicked out of.

        Some have said that Neale didn’t know the image of George Soros as a sinister puppet master manipulating the world’s leaders was antisemitic. I don’t think that’s an endorsement, but replacing one problem with another: an MP’s job is all about judgment.

  2. gerry gribbons says:

    I have not been privileged to know intimately what all the facts are here merely what Mr Hanvey has declared and I will not judge a person on that basis. The First Minister publicly stated her proposed support for labour subject to her red lines in the event of a hung parliament and it is well known the status there when it comes to anti semitism and of course Mr Corbyn’s reluctance to convey any apology. Mr Hanvey is standing as a Pro Indy candidate and as such I am more than happy to lend him my vote and support at the GE.

    1. Gary says:

      Corbyn *has* apologised for it, and anybody who doesn’t think he’s absolutely clear in his opposition to any form of racism should take their yellow-tinted glasses off – you’re suggesting that a guy who’s been accused personally of anti-semitism and transphobia should get a free pass because he supports independence, which is, frankly, not a great look.

      There’s also no reason Corbyn should keep apologising every time somebody makes a ludicrously over-blown, hyper-partisan attack on him which is exactly what the Andrew Neil thing was all about. Could Labour have handled the situation better? Yes? Does that make Corbyn some sort of anti-semite himself, or the Labour party inherently a threat to Jews? Of course not, and given the whining about the anti-SNP coverage in Scotland people should maybe extend the same skepticism regarding media coverage beyond their own chosen side.

      1. SleepingDog says:

        @Gary, and Jeremy Corbyn’s expressed wishes to democratise the BBC may also have something to do with their hostility (a democratisation that would also benefit the SNP’s coverage), delivered at the Alternative Mactaggart Lecture of the Edinburgh TV Festival 2018. I have not watched it, summarised here:
        The Medialens people go into more detail in their accessibly-written book Propaganda Blitz: How the Corporate Media Distort Reality (2018).

      2. India Osaka says:

        “Corbyn *has* apologised for it, and anybody who doesn’t think he’s absolutely clear in his opposition to any form of racism should take their yellow-tinted glasses off – you’re suggesting that a guy who’s been accused personally of anti-semitism and transphobia should get a free pass because he supports independence, which is, frankly, not a great look.”

        Boom! By ignoring Hanvey’s behaviour, feigning ignorance of it and the calls of the SNP’s leadership to stop campaigning for him, all that local yessers are doing is demonstrating to people in Fife and the rest of Scotland — this is a national story — that their ‘progressive values’ are as skewed as the BBC weathermap.

  3. SleepingDog says:

    If it is the case that, according to a European Union report on fossil fuel subsidies:
    “In recent years, the UK oil and gas industry has received £176m more annually in government support than it paid in taxes”
    how much are corporate owners of facilities like those at Mossmorran getting from public funds? Money that these companies are putting into chickenfeed charitable donations, school trips and relentless propaganda:
    “Almost £60,000 in donations will have been given out to Fife schools, organisations and charities by ExxonMobil’s Fife Ethylene Plant (FEP) by the end of this year.
    “And local organisations are being encouraged to contact the plant as soon as possible with details of forthcoming projects and events which could benefit from some help.
    “Over the past nine months the Mossmorran-based plant has handed out grants, in both cash and kind, to over 30 worthy causes to help them buy everything from food and clothing to science equipment, defibrillators and even Christmas lights.”
    So is the taxpayer paying for their own deception and poisoning by world-class polluters and plastic-pushers, aided by mainstream media?

  4. Derek Henry says:

    How about a remainer that thinks the EU is Scotland’s saviour ?

    Make sure the candidate is a liberal and metropolitan middle class with a right good dose of GROUPTHINK.

    You could paint the candidate the colour beige from head to toe and make them wear size 46 clown shoes that squeak when they walk.

    Censor everything they say and assign two thought police to walk either side of the candidate making sure the only people the candidate can crack a joke about is the white working class.

    Allow the candidate to divide voters into red, blue, green, yellow and orange. Then divide them into different ages, skin colour, nationality, religious beliefs and sexual orientation. Finally divide them into the employed and unemployed just so change can really happen.

    Yeah, that should do the trick.

    1. This is getting really tedious Derek. You’ve been given several warnings about your tone – and dominating every single article with the same message over and over. This is a final warning. Have some respect for others views and change the tone of your comments or you’ll be removed.

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