04 April 2007

Mev Brown does it again

A few weeks ago I considered the future of NHSFirst, the party led by Mev Brown. Brown was the Tory candidate in Edinburgh East in the 2005 Westminster Election, an Independent in the Livingston By-Election a few months later, the UKIP candidate in Edinburgh Council's Murrayfield By-Election a few months after that, and the NHSFirst candidate in the Moray By-Election following that. Now it transpires that in Central Scotland, NHSFirst will stand on a joint ticket with Scottish Voice, the Party Political equivalent of Seinfeld (the show about nothing).

Meanwhile, while we're on the subject, Julie McAnulty revealed on my other blog, Scotland Decides, that she won't be standing on the Central Scotland Regional List after all: she'll be concentrating on the Constituency Vote in Coatbridge & Chryston. Also, the BBC report that retiring surgeon David Smith will be standing as an Independent health campaigner in Glasgow Cathcart. Oh, and I haven't heard what, if anything, Jean Turner thinks of NHSFirst.

Now, think about this: the independent health campaigners include Jean Turner, a former GP, Julie McAnulty, who I'm pretty sure is in effect a carer for her parents, and David Smith, a retiring surgeon. The NHSFirst candidate include a serial candidate and outgoing Labour member of Glasgow City Council Gaille McCann, and they now have backing from a former Tory donor. In short, NHSFirst is attracting political types, while those who have a link to health and/or the NHS stay as independents. What does that tell you?


silvia said...

Haha... I don't know what can be told!

Orsen Cathcart said...

Perhaps the difference between the pragmatists and the criminally naive?

Does Smith really think he has a hope after the pasting Pat Lally got at the Cartcart by-election on a Save the Hospital ticket? As for McAnulty, declared herself running over 6 months ago & is still a one-woman band.

Smith & McAnulty may as well go & flush £500 down the bog if they are going to stand without anything resembling a team or local support behind them. Don't applaud those wilfully stupid members of the middle class with more money than sense & treating elections as a fun game.

Will said...

Well, Orsen, 'pragmatism' is one way of describing Brown, but the word doesn't seem to do him justice somehow...

It's interesting that you have neglected to mention Jean Turner, who won Strathkelvin & Bearsden - whether she keeps it is another matter, but she goes into this election as the incumbent. Smith and McAnulty (but not Lally) have something important in common with Turner: they have a reason to care about the NHS and a logical axe to grind with a decline in local provision.

Brown, meanwhile, is on his third Party membership in two years, and I imagine that McCann's services are no longer required by Labour. I wonder if she would have made the switch if they were? Further, I've received allegations that Brown may have tried to stand as an SSCUP Candidate in Glasgow. I don't know whether or not that's true, but if it is, then it shows him in a very unflattering light.

I disagree with your conclusion: I see NHSFirst as a politicans' party, a vehicle for those whose ambitions have been thwarted elsewhere, avoided by those who care enough about the issue that they're willing to put their deposit where their mouth is.

Are Smith & McAnulty wilfully stupid? I doubt it. Are they treating elections as a fun game? Again, I doubt it. But the question is, how is Brown treating them?

Orsen Cathcart said...

Nothing "interesting" about missing out Dr Jean Turner: completely different circumstances.

She'd stood for the seat twice, the 2001 by-election as well as the 2003 Scottish GE. She won not only due to the health issue, but because Brian Fitzpatrick had proved a lousy MSP. There was also now no Green or SSP candidate - Jean Turner was their logical choice having finished second last time if they wanted to give Labour a sair face.

And of course, that's also Bearsden for you!

I have to admit though Will that your link to those allegations have set some alarm bells ringing after I'd read them.

(SCCUP National Committee? "Meetings"? This is a revelation and a half! If there is one thing that party is famous for, it is the lack of organisation: currently on its final warning with the Electoral Commission for failing to file their accounts yet again)

You mention Mev Brown having links, or attempting to have links with the SCCUP. According to that link you supplied here, McAnulty was in fact the SCCUP's Coatbridge organiser (couldn't follow the one on the other page though) until they fell out.

Now I'm not one for some of the half-baked conspiracies doing the rounds, but there does seem to be a lot of these "health campaigners" & "Save The NHS" parties mysteriously turning up in all shapes & sizes overnight, but mostly in seats where events have meant the SNP has a change of nicking a Labour seat in their heartlands.

Wasn't this the same last time with the SCCUP saving Labour's hides in several seats by siphoning off anti-Labour votes that might had gone SNP instead?And look what David M revealed about what they were up to in the end, the party that started because Labour didn't care enough for pensioners then wanting to go into alliance with them (if we take what he says at face value).

So are ANY of these characters genuine, just looking for a cushy number for the next 5 years, or are more dubious forces at work?

Who knows. What I do know is I'll not be voting for any of them - SNP for me, thank you!

Will said...

It was the SSP that prevented the SNP from doing better, and to be fair, there were a glut of health campaigners last time as well - including two parties on the Mid Scotland & Fife List (They wouldn't have got in even with a single party though - they were quite a few votes short of what they needed).

I tend to have respect for independent candidates though - especially in cases where they have a connection to the issue they're standing on. It's only in cases such as Brown where something doesn't seem quite right that I'll ask questions on here.

But as for my own leanings? I'm pro-SNP, too!

Ed said...

Most amusing about Mev. He posts on the Edinburgh Evening News regularly (yawn) and after a frenzied attack on Layba will then announce that he is focusing on 'addressing' Health and Policing issues.
Why then did he post this strange little number on the 'real policing' forum (run by a disgruntled ex-cop if it's not obvious) -
[Hi, I am with the NHSFirst party, and we are looking for contributions for policy effecting policing - the joint first biggest issue people consider when voting.

We would welcome and policy ideas, please feel free to email me,


Mev Brown]


Will said...

Ah, the joys of investigative blogging!