16 July 2008

Can we believe anything this woman says?

Much has already been made of Margaret Curran's attempt to pass a 67-year-old Labour activist off as a 93-year-old war veteran. Much has already been made of the MSP for Glasgow Baillieston's amnesia regarding where she lives.

But I want to take a look at this other gem:

"I voted in the Scottish Parliament for us to have a second resolution at the... em... United Nations, um, em, and that's what I'll be doing. Thank you."

Well, aside from the sheer absurdity of supporting a second UN resolution on possible action in Iraq five years after that action happened, is that actually true?

This is what Margaret Curran backed in January 2003:

That the Parliament endorses notes the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1441 as unanimously adopted by the Security Council; agrees that the Government of Iraq must comply fully with all the provisions of that resolution and that, if it fails to do so, the Security Council should meet in order to consider the situation and the need for full compliance; notes that a further material breach of Iraq's obligations under resolution 1441 will be reported to the Security Council for assessment; further notes that responsibility for policy on this matter lies with Her Majesty's Government, and also notes the current support given to the Middle East peace process by Her Majesty's Government, and extends its full support to our armed forces if, as a consequence of an Iraqi failure to comply, military action should prove necessary.

Two months later, she voted for this:

That the Parliament believes that the authority of the United Nations is crucial to resolving conflicts in the Middle East, that Saddam Hussein is a danger to the international community, the region and his own people and that Saddam Hussein should co-operate fully with the implementation of UN resolution 1441 and notes the objective of Her Majesty's Government to secure a further resolution in the UN Security Council before any military intervention, registers its concern that the report published by the International Development Committee of the House of Commons concludes that insufficient emphasis has been placed on the humanitarian implications of military action in Iraq and urges Her Majesty's Government, in co-operation with the United Nations, aid agencies and other governments, to address this as a matter of priority.

At no point did she ever vote in favour of a second resolution. She merely voted to note that there were attempts to get one. So, she's lied. Again.

Margaret Curran's campaign is so far based on two things: the first appears to be crime, which she is (mercifully) against, but is a devolved issue so something she could have dealt with having been an MSP for nine years and sitting round the Cabinet table for five of them - is she saying that it's only now become a problem, or does she have a reason why she needs to get elected to the wrong parliament to do anything about it?.

But the second pillar of her campaign is this: lies. Lie after lie afer lie, whether it's about the identity who she's photographed with, her voting record at Holyrood, or even where she lives.

At this rate, if she gets to the Commons, her nose will reach all the way to the Lords.


Shug Niggurath said...

I can't see her losing. Not on grounds of competency, or by being even the least worst candidate.

Just because she's fighting in a seat with a 13000 majority. It's a tall order.

To crack the obvious joke, the SNP putting up a Mason was always going to be a cross to bear for them too. There is a certain tribalist attitude (the same one that makes Rangers stop selling Pepperami's) that I can see causing the SNP problems simply on the name of the candidate.

But, she doesn't deserve to win. Not only because her party deserves a real kick in the teeth, but because someone who is so willing to make up trivia, and hide behind lies doesn't deserve to represent anyone else's interests.

I still cannot see how Labour can loss this though, unless of course we end up with a picture of Gordon Brown with a Union Jack behind him banging on about British tests on the telly.

Will said...


"...unless of course we end up with a picture of Gordon Brown with a Union Jack behind him banging on about British tests on the telly."

Now, the way Brown's handled himself up to now, he might just try that, believing that on this, the 1,583,407th occasion that he's attempted it, it might just work.

So for now, I live in hope!

But what baffles me is, if she feels she has to lie to make herself electable, why lie about things that can be checked easily? That's when you look like a liar AND an idiot, for getting caught out.

It's arrogance, pure and simple. She thinks she won't get caught out.

Sean Connery for President said...

J. Arthur, your points are more than fair but surely you are missing one vital ingedient here.

The SNP won the last Holyrood election based on positiveness, without the negative yah-boo politics of old. Giving Ms Curran a kicking for minor misdemeanors is not the way forward. Her shortcomings are worthwhile mentioning in passing, but should not form the basis of a campaign. Doing that just makes the SNP as bad as SLAB.

Will said...

SCfP - a fair point, well made. However, I quibble with your definition of Margaret Curran's increasingly lengthy list of departures from the truth as "minor misdemeanours". Rather, I think her own actions are in themselves the most damning indictment of her character, and what Glasgow East might expect of her as a potential MP.

We're entering a testing time for any politician, and in a place like Glasgow East that faces such well-documented challenges anyway that there's a real need for voters to know what the people who want to represent them are about and what they think will help turn things around. Now, that's the most important box to tick, and John Mason ticks it.

But when Margaret Curran is willing to tell porkies so frequently, and worse still, on things that can be checked, then even more baffingly, do the same thing over and over again, it's only natural to ask the questions.

The wider SNP campaign is far broader than Margaret Curran's web of deceit and we can be in no doubt about the things that John Mason stands for, but here on the online fringe of the debate, there's room to put the spotlight on the misleading statements emanating from the Labour candidate.

And there is an absolute need to flag this up as no one in the MSM bothered to check that Curran was telling the truth.

Blagger1 said...

J, you're a political anorak par excellene. How much of a comparison is there here, with the Glasgow Garscadden by-election of 1978. Superficially there are similarities - doomed-looking Labour government, SNP on a roll, combative candidate parachuted in to defend rock-solid Labour seat - will we see Curran feted like Dewar in years to come for "holding the line", as Labour would put it?

Will said...

Blagger1 - I've thought about my answer to your question, and I've put my response up here.