I'd like to take this opportunity to introduce you all to the bad boy of Paisley politics Councillor Terry Kelly. He was brought to my attention by the lovely boys over at the Scottish Blogging Round Up and the charming Mr MacNumpty.
It's hard to know where to start. For some reason Mr Clairwil and I were reduced to tears of helpless laughter at the phrase 'I am a socialist' under his photo. I don't know why I find it so hilarious but every time I think about it I giggle like a loon. The fun doesn't stop there some of the posts are pure gold. At first I suspected it might be a spoof blog, a send up of the archetypal Scottish Labour balloon, but a phone call to one his constituents confirms that it is indeed real. Mind you, his predecessor was much worse (links to crime, missing money-the usual Labour snouts in trough stuff). If these 'good socialists' put as much effort into enriching the people as they do into lining their own pockets we'd all be living in solid gold council housing and each have a private jet in the driveway.
Curiously our Terry refers to 'Paisley's shame' as a period when the SNP and the Tories were running the show. Whilst I'm no fan of the Tories and am fairly unimpressed by the SNP, I would have thought that he'd find the dodgy dealings of his fellow party members far more shameful than the electorate failing to share his views. Then again I grew out that that phase of thinking everyone who has different politics to you is evil when I was about sixteen, unfortunately Councillor Kelly seems to have given up developing mentally at some point during adolescence. The cliche goes that you could get a monkey in a Labour rosette elected in the West Of Scotland, having read our Tezza's blog I am now convinced that you could easily dispense with the monkey and get the rosette elected. Incidentally if anyone is interested I was thinking of putting an old shoe up as an alternative Labour candidate at the next election to see how many votes it would get, if you can help please get in touch.
Councillor Kelly has something of a bee in his bonnet about gay rights, so much so that he is very cross with the SNP who he reckons are anti-gay because one of their MSP's is a Mormon and has arranged work experience for Mormons from Brigham Young University, which being Christian takes a dim view of the whole gay thing. He also reckons that Ruth Kelly's position in the Labour Party is 'untenable' because she takes a dim view of the gays. I think we have now established that our Tezza does not like people that don't like the gays. Fair enough except he declares that Fidel Castro is his hero. This puzzles me because I am reliably informed by Peter Tatchell that Mr Castro doesn't like the gays at all 'there are no homosexuals in the countryside' according to Fidel. I'm no expert but wasn't Fidel running the show when homosexuality was punishable by four years imprisonment or when failure to inform the authorities one's child was gay was considered a 'crime against the revolution'. To be fair things have eased up a bit in Cuba, nowadays they just imprison flamboyant homosexuals for twelve months and fine the rest. Like I say I'm no expert but if I were a gay Cuban I wouldn't be feeling very welcome at all under the rule of Councillor Kelly's hero (more here if you're interested).
I did wonder if Councillor Kelly's tough stance on gay rights might be more to do with scoring points against the SNP, than any sincere principle. After all he does take a very dim view of Scottish Nationalism and it would appear Scottishness generally. I hate to point the finger so I'll move on to his rampant anti-Scottish stance. According to our elected friend anyone who likes any of the following is 'in a bad way' ; Kilts (£600), Haggis (not as good as curry), St Andrew (a flag apparently), Robert Burns (2nd rate plagiarist), whisky (the national drinks are apparently Irn-Bru and Buckfast). I am not for a moment arguing that one has to like any of these things, far from it. Try as I might I cannot drink whisky without being sick, I once brought shame on Scotland by demonstrating this in front several English people who were downing it by the bottle and displaying no ill effects. Needless to say they were as amused as I was embarrassed. Sadly I do not have the figure for a kilt, nor it has to be said the inclination to wear one. I am however 'in a bad way' according to Councillor Kelly I like a bit of vegetarian Haggis, I like Burns, I rather like the Scottish flag and I have nothing against good old St Andrew, he's as good a saint as any other, though arguably not as exciting as England's dragon slayer.
This reference to Burns being 'second rate' and a 'plagiarist' crops up several times on Councillor Kelly's blog. He doesn't actually take the time to tell us who he considers a first rate poet or inform the reader which of Burn's poems were plagiarized and from whom. This is unfortunate because it makes him look like he's just put it in to annoy nationalists and admirers of Burns work rather than as a piece of informed comment. As he doesn't explain I can only guess that what he describes as plagiarism is Burns' use of traditional folk tunes and so on in his work. Alan touches on this in last years Burns Night post on his blog . I strongly recommend you read Alan's post, it is excellent, though be careful about reading it too soon after visiting Councillor Kelly's blog. I just did and it's left me feeling a bit disorientated as if I'd just gone from reading the back of a lavatory door to the collected works of Jane Austen in less than sixty seconds.
He is also unimpressed by the idea that the Golden Eagle should be declared Scotland's national bird, preferring the more common Starling. From reading his blog I can only presume that this is because the idea of Scotland being associated with anything beautiful, majestic and impressive is an anathema to him. God help us, if that clown were in charge, the Highlands would be turned into a car park and Loch Lomond filled in. Look at his cheery tone as he elevates downmarket Irn Bru and Buckfast over whisky as the national drink. God forbid Scotland should excel at anything above the gutter, God forbid that we should aspire to anything or be proud of a homegrown industry producing a world class spirit. I have long given up expecting anything from our elected representatives but he could at least hide his contempt, he could at least pretend he's trying to improve things. I'd suggest he leaves Scotland since he clearly despises it so much however to inflict this absurdity on another nation could only be interpreted as a grave insult and may lead to war. A keen anti-racist like Councillor Kelly might also want to bear in mind that running down one's own country and it's traditions all the time and writing respectfully of other countries is more likely to get peoples backs up than make them more welcoming to Polish and other migrants. Just a thought.
His post on Housing Stock Transfer is another gem. He's hopping mad that the people of Renfrewshire voted against it. Who does he blame for this outrage? Not himself and his council chums for failing to convince the electorate. Reading Councillor Kelly's blog one soon learns that everything bad that happens is the fault of the SNP, the Conservatives or the SSP. On this occasion it's the SSP to blame by er campaigning for a No vote and being believed by more of the electorate that those campaigning for a Yes vote. You can't blame him for thinking the electorate are stupid given that they elected him, I must admit the thought has crossed my mind, but he carries on like they've been hypnotised by the SS as he calls them. Of course it doesn't enter his head that people might have been a bit put off housing stock transfer after the GHA started sequestrating poverty stricken home owners who couldn't pay for repairs in 12months or less. It's been some years since I read Marx but is bankrupting poor people and making them homeless, strictly speaking, Socialist? I'm no expert but I don't think it is. He also blames the SSP because the Labour controlled council were so confident of a Yes vote they hadn't bothered to think up a plan b in the event of a No vote. Actually I rather like that, from now on anything that I fail to do will be Rosie Kane's fault. Tee Hee imagine her surprise when I invoice her next time I get bank charges after a financial mishap.
Finally and most staggering of all for me was his reaction to his constituency being named as the worst place to live in Scotland. You'd think he'd be affronted, but no. It is all the fault of Thatcher and the SNP. Ferguslie Park like most working class communities in Scotland took an awful battering under the Tories. However it might be nice if after ten years in government and in control of Renfrewshire Council, not to mention a majority in the Scottish Parliament the Labour Party took some responsibility for the state of the place. I wouldn't mind but you never hear them say 'we'll be unable to make any difference unless we're elected for four hundred years'. The Tories made the mess, Labour were elected in a triumph of optimism over common bloody sense to clean it up not whine about the SNP, the SSP or the sodding Tories.
All this begs the question, what is the Labour Party actually for? Despite being elected they are powerless to do anything without being thwarted by the opposition. Having read Mr Kelly's blog I suggest we all just cut out the middle man and elect the opposition party of your choice. It's a vast conspiracy from right to far left so there's something for everyone. If they're going to be in the background sabotaging things we might as well elect them to keep a better eye on the blighters.
Update -News of Tezzabaws' gold standard idiocy has spread;
Brit Blog Round Up
Scottish Blog Round Up
Someone very kindly sent me this Councillor Kelly v Science and this Councillor Kelly v The Mormons (for an anti- sectarian Catholic, he doesn't seem to have much time for other Christian sects).