Today was a day which showed up the best and the worst of this election campaign.
Nicola Sturgeon was met by huge enthusiastic good natured crowds on each of her flying stops.
I popped into Greenock to see how she would be received by the people of Inverclyde.
She was due to be there at half past one, but didn’t make it until an hour and a half later. She had evidently been held up by selfies with everyone between Fife and Inverclyde.
Irrespective of the delay, the crowd amounting to about 500 in my estimation, all just stood peacefully and in good humour while they waited her arrival.
The crowd was truly representative of Scottish society. Grannies and Grandpas, Mums and Dads, young lads and lassies, children and toddlers and babies in buggys. Men in suits, the homeless, the unemployed and the employed.
At one point a bin lorry came into Clyde Square and did a lap of honour, tooting its horn and the occupants all enthusiastically waving at the waiting people.
There were two union jack protesters standing by themselves but nobody in the huge crowd gave them any hassel… All that happened was a dad and his young kiddy stood in front of them with a saltire, to loud cheers from the crowd.
Another wee lassie of about 3years dressed in yellow, with a tiny saltire did a wee dance while shouting S N P, S N P… My the next generation of SNP supporters are starting early.
Eventually word spread that Nicola had arrived, and soon there was the sight of a small phalanx of people walking down the road, with the diminutive figure of the First Minister dressed in a red suit in the middle of it.
Soon she arrived in amongst the crowd, and a massive cheer erupted.
She took the time to talk to as many as possible, and had lots of selfies taken..
I left at that point, but I am told that on her next stop in Largs 2000 were already awaiting her, before she finished the day in Dumfries.
All in all, a hugely popular and trouble free walkabout everywhere she has gone so far.
Earlier in the day, trouble was brewing in Glasgow with FundilyMundily Murphy.
The first I knew of it was a BBC news report that stated chaos was breaking loose on the streets of Glasgow. James Cook reported “Absolute chaos on the streets of Glasgow as Jim Murphy and Eddie Izzard try to be heard over protestors.”
“Eddie Izzard condemns “violent” and “aggressive” protestors at Labour campaign event in Glasgow”
Channel 4s Alex Thompson retweeted the following.
I say Jim Murphy is to be commended for taking to the streets and facing those happy to deny free speech…
None said they were members of the SNP but all voted Yes and most said they would vote SNP on Thursday…
One thing is clear – someone is tipping off “Scottish resistance” and “class activists” to Miliband event Friday and today’s event today
Protesters told me they are not SNP members but “people of Glasgow” and “working class activists”
Given the actions of 4 anti-free-speech protesters – today’s event could turn out to be a master stroke by ScotLab
With disrupters shouting in his face JM says “This is the ugly face or nationalism”
So as far as the tv media are concerned….It is all the fault of the SNP, yet none of those protesting belong to the SNP, nor are they Nationalists.
Thomson in his Channel 4 report tonight went further..
He began by saying “So – let’s get the language right. I spoke to most of the key disrupters and asked how they should be described. They described themselves as “socialist”, “class activist”, “people of Glasgow”, “Marxist” and “nearly Marxist”.
Doesn’t sound like SNP to me, but Thomson disagrees.
None used the word “nationalist” until I asked about that. Then all said they were not members of the SNP – but all said they would vote SNP on Thursday.
And that is why what Jim Murphy did today is maybe one of the most effective single pieces of campaigning of the entire British election.
Because free speech was unquestionably denied on Buchanan Street today. It was ugly and it was perpetrated by people who say they will vote SNP.”
“And that is a problem for the SNP. The disrupters said they would vote SNP, ergo they are SNP supporters (whatever else they may be).”
On meeting Nicola Sturgeon in Largs later, Nicola said..
“what happened in Glasgow today was “disgraceful” and “nothing to do with the SNP. All parties have the right to be listened to respectfully.”
But that was not a good enough answer..oh no..
Thomson concludes ”
Of course every mass movement attracts its ugly fringe and the party cannot be expected to police those outwith its membership.
But maybe it’s about time it got its supporters to these events and made some attempt to police an anti-democratic fringe who are – they tell me – also its supporters come Thursday.”
Absolute nonsense of course… No way can the SNP possibly be held responsible for every person that decides to vote for them on Thursday…
These people are not members of the SNP, nor do they even claim to be Nationalists.
Indeed Sean Clerkin and his crew are well known agitators, and turn up at political events all over the place for their own ends… They are very well known, and they are not SNP, no matter what Alex Thomson might say.
Of course this has all been turned to make the SNP the scapegoats, even though they are an entirely innocent party in this regard.
It doesn’t stop the headlines….oh no….
The Daily Telegraph
Eddie Izzard and Jim Murphy abused by Scottish Nationalists at Labour campaign event
The Daily Mail
Did Scottish nationalist thugs get a tip-off from Nicola’s SNP so they could stage Glasgow ambush? Labour claims ugly attack on leader Jim Murphy was a setup
- Mob of nationalist supporters confronted the Scottish Labour leader Jim Murphy campaigning with Eddie Izzard
- One young girl was left in tears by the aggressive scenes which also saw activists caught up in a violent scrum
- Shouts of ‘traitor’ and ‘warmongering scum’ were screamed by protesters in Glasgow’s St Enoch Square
- Mr Murphy slammed ‘the ugly face of aggressive nationalism’ and said Scotland did not belong to one party
- Labour leader’s chief of staff John McTernan claimed one of Nicola Sturgeon’s aides had tipped off the protesters
- Campbell Gunn – the First Minister’s special advisor – today insisted the allegation was ‘absolutely untrue’
“There were scuffles involving Labour Party supporters and their opponents in the city centre.
Protesters, who played loud music and shouted “Red Tories out”, drowned out Mr Murphy as he tried to speak.
The protest was organised by Sean Clerkin, who described his group as “anti-austerity campaigners”.
He told the BBC that details of the event had been passed to him by a disillusioned member of the Labour Party in East Renfrewshire.”
But is there more to all of this than meets the eye?
This morning before all this rabble rousing took place a prominent Labour activist tweeted the following..
Where does the truth lie I wonder?
This whole event looks like it was a deliberate set up, and the usual suspects gladly accepted the invitation, result all round.. Media gets a buzz, SNP get hammered, and Labour walk away with smiles all over their faces.
This has McTernans fingerprints all over it…. Dirty politics to deflect from the fact that they have no policies and are losing the argument..
Watch out for more of this type of rubbish between now and thursday.