How Desperate Are These Cretins.

'Religion may be a factor with a Baptist SNP candidate and a Labour one with an Irish name.'

-Paul Flynn MP on the Glasgow East By-election

Despite the fact sectarian voting patterns in Scotland broke down in Scotland in the mid 20th century and if they still exist at all it's barely a statistical blip, Welsh Labour MP Paul Flynn thinks sectarianism may have a bearing on the outcome of the Glasgow East by-election.

Presumably as he still thinks Labour will win he believes Catholic bigots will trot out for Margaret Curran and the black hearted Protestants will be split between the SNP, Tories and Lib Dems. Never in my thirty three years living in Glasgow have I ever heard anyone announcing their intention to vote along sectarian lines. The only anecdotal evidence I can find of it's existence are a few folk with grandparents who voted Tory to keep the Catholics out. Given the collapse of the Scottish Tory vote it's fair to assume that the Protestants of Scotland are taking into account issues other than the candidates background. As far as I can tell such attitudes reached something of a peak in the 20s and 30s and have been gradually dying out ever since.

According to the 2001 census 15:88% of Scotland's population are Roman Catholic 42.4% are Church of Scotland and 6.81% are other Christian. Add to that the 27.55% with no religious affiliation it doesn't seem likely that much voting goes on along sectarian lines. Unless of course he is implying that until fairly recently Labour were especially attractive to Protestants. Mind you, thinking of my own family I cannot think of a remaining Catholic Labour voter -they've been steadily abandoning Labour since the 1960's. In contrast our one remaining Labour voter is of a Protestant background.

Until reading Mr Flynn's remarks the religious backgrounds of the candidates hadn't entered my head, nor have I held anyone else mention them during the many lunchtime debates in work about who to vote for. Funnily enough people seem to be more upset about the abolition of the 10p tax rate and sleaze than the candidates belief or otherwise in transubstantiation.

I may be doing Mr Flynn a great disservice by suggesting that he knows about as much about sectarianism in the West of Scotland as I do about the Welsh language but given his disgraceful bid to save Labour's skin by trying to stir up religious bigotry I'm not inclined to hold back. I sincerely hope his insulting and offensive bid to mobilise the Catholic vote falls flat on it's arse.

Some good stuff from Will here.



Fidothedog said...

Consider the source: This is Paul Flynn the libel case loser, Paul Flynn the Fidel Castro fan, Paul Flynn who wanted to visit the Glorious Leader of North Korea.

Paul Flynn the eco loon who has been fisked by DK over his global warming,the same one who bangs on about MP's being in the pay of "big business" and yet fawns over Lloyds TSB.

Strange how when us workers were being laid off 3 years ago no one could get a hold of Flynn?

Paul Flynn who won't support pensioners on fixed pensions abroad, or lobby for the re-establishment of the link between pensions and earnings.

Yet he happily uses pensioners as a club to beat the Tories.

The same Paul Flynn who will not mention on his blog the scandals involving the local hospital the Royal Gwent.

In short a total arse.

Clairwil said...

I was previously unaware of this total arse. Labour are amazing aren't they? Just when you think you've found the biggest clown in the party they throw up a bigger one.

Will said...

It does seem to be a, well, I hesitate to call it a strategy, but still, it seems like the least bad word to use: divide the people into groups and pretend you're defending them against the nasty Tories/SNP/Keep Clackmannanshire Smiling Party who are part of the 'Other' group.

Maybe he's just used to living among people who still swallow the 'Labour is Your Party' line that he goes on to discuss. I wonder if the good people of Bettws have seen any progress in their lives after giving 'their party' their votes for so long?

Clairwil said...

'I wonder if the good people of Bettws have seen any progress in their lives after giving 'their party' their votes for so long?'

About as much as the good folk of the east end have I should imagine.

last year's girl said...

I do enjoy a skim of my mother's Scottish Catholic Observer on a weekly basis if only to keep my bile ducts in suitable working order, but I feel I should point out to this Paul Flynn that good Catholics are supposed to vote the SNP these days: they're partial to Alex Salmond's views on Catholic education and the Act of Settlement, plus he isn't Forcing Them To Close The Orphanages Or Let The Gays Have Their Children.

Anonymous said...

I remember canvassing for the SNP in the 1970's in a place we could, for the sake of argument, call Castlemilk in the South Side of Glasgow. On returning to the election office a canvasser new to the area told the following story.

A belligerent "chap" answered the door, looked at his SNP badge and announced "I'm no voting for you f***ing shower. You're all a shower of f***ing Timms."

"How do you make that out?" the canvasser replied, "It's simply not true."

"Well look at that William Wallace you lot are aye going on aboot. He wus a f***ing Timm. And so was that Robert the Bruce. He was a f***ing Timm too. Yu'r all f***ing Timms."

"But, but that was before the Reformation! We were all Roman Catholic then."


My friend then decided it was time for a sharp exit.

I sincerely hope you are right in your proposition that religion is no longer a factor in peoples' politial decision making process, but I doubt if we are yet at that stage. We can but live in hope.

P.S. Love the blog.

Clairwil said...

That's a brilliant story. I don't think there are many left who vote along the old prod =tory, catholic =labour lines. I'm not all convinced a sectarian block vote can be relied upon.

A devout Catholic might refuse to vote Labour over the Embryo bill, whereas a lapsed Catholic might take a different view. Recently the Catholic Chair of Young Labour because he felt the party had become anti-Catholic, however Ruth Kelly clearly hasn't felt the need to do so. Then as Last Years Girl points out above the Scottish Catholic Observer is currently supportive of the SNP -as with all papers some will support the editorial line, others will ignore it. It would take a miracle to form a Catholic block vote from that lot.

Surreptitious Evil said...

There is always Terry. Not a terribly good Catholic, if we choose to believe him, and not a terribly good member of the Labour Party, by his own proclamation.

I'd hate, however, for him to be seen as a role model, for good or bad. But that's just me :)

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