Monday 15 March 2021

The best known opposition politician in Scotland


Last summer the Pro UK cause was in trouble. The opposition leaders at Holyrood were anonymous and ineffective. Nicola Sturgeon’s popularity was increasing daily due to her being on TV every day with party political broadcasts masquerading as Covid information briefings. Both the SNP and Scottish independence were comfortably ahead in the polls. Many supposedly Pro UK journalists were about ready to give up. If we surrender nicely Nicola will you let us continue to write in an independent Scotland? But one man wasn’t about to give up. That man was George Galloway.

All for Unity, originally founded by Mr Galloway as Alliance for Unity was decisive in turning the mood around. The RAF roundel logo began to appear regularly on social media. The SNP was the target and a few of us began to strafe them with ever increasing accuracy. Behind the scenes a group of some of the best Pro UK thinkers began to share ideas. We encouraged each other when polling wasn’t so great. We devised strategies for taking on the SNP. We were the opposition.

I began to write more as did people like Jill Stephenson, Tom Gallagher, Jamie Blackett and Mark Devlin who founded the brilliant Majority site ( which has gained such valuable publicity with its #ResignSturgeon banners and fly past. But none of us are exactly well known. We needed someone who could take on Sturgeon. That person was George Galloway.

There are two problems with the opposition leadership in Scotland. They are anonymous and useless.  A year ago, Scottish Labour were led by Richard Leonard now they are led by Anas Sarwar, but not one Scot in a hundred could name both of them. The Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross is more famous for being a referee than for being a politician and has done little to improve the chances of the Conservatives since taking over last year. Willie Rennie of the Lib Dems has not obviously achieved anything since becoming leader in 2016. Is it any wonder that recent polling says that George Galloway is the best-known opposition politician in Scotland?

The poll, which was conducted between 4th March and 8th March asked 1100 Scottish voters about the best known Scottish opposition politician. George Galloway came out ahead of Douglas Ross, Anas Sarwar, Willie Rennie and the others. This is all the more remarkable because All for Unity has barely been mentioned in the press or on TV since it was founded. It has been as if there has been a coordinated effort to protect the established parties or rather to protect the SNP.

Holyrood has become a cosy club where everyone has a comfortable, not too difficult job and where preserving your salary and perks appears to be more important than actually getting rid of the SNP. It is this above all that Mr Galloway wants to change. If you think Nicola Sturgeon gets a hard time in Holyrood now, just wait until you see the man who took on the US Senate and won, eat Sturgeon rather than kippers for breakfast.

Mr Galloway rightly points out that the Scottish nationalists fear him the most. It is not merely because he is still a major figure in British politics, more importantly he thinks for himself and isn’t scared to voice an opinion even if it is unpopular. It is for this reason that like Tony Benn, George Galloway is liked by many who disagree with his politics. Mr Galloway believes in things. He has character and is completely unlike the clones that fill the seats in the Scottish Parliament. He is respected as someone who came from a Dundee tenement and made himself into one of the best debaters of his generation. And he’s not finished yet.

Few indeed are the Labour politicians who are still active from the time when Mr Galloway first entered Westminster. They left the field to the Scottish nationalists. But put Mr Galloway on a horse and give him a lance and he might just deal with the boil that is the SNP.

Since All for Unity began, there have been those who were negative, those who wrote off its chances, those who hoped if they ignored us, we would go away. But there is a reason we are not going away. It’s because All for Unity is needed to get people like George Galloway and Jamie Blackett and many others into the Scottish Parliament.

These people come from many different political backgrounds from the Left to the Right, but they share one idea. They are all willing to work with other parties so that Scotland has a chance of getting rid of the SNP and so we can all relax from the continual threat to our country that the Scottish independence poses.

I have seen a draft of the All for Unity manifesto and it contains some of the best ideas I have seen for making Scotland a better place to live. They are sensible ideas that can be shared by people from all political backgrounds and none. If only the other Pro UK parties had the guts to write such a document, but we are likely to get more of the same tedium that they have been producing for years.

If the Scottish Conservatives, Labour and the Lib Dems were going to get rid of the SNP, they would have done so already. The problem is not merely that they are unwilling to work together it’s that most of their politicians are second rate mediocrities. It’s because we need to do better that we need George Galloway and All for Unity. We can’t just keep repeating the same tactics hoping that this time they will get rid of the SNP. They won’t.

Lots of people ask me how to vote? Well the answer is simple.

In the constituency vote choose the Pro UK party that has the best chance of winning where you live.

In the list vote choose All for Unity.

SNP support has recently begun to fall. We can take advantage of this if we work together. Every vote for All for Unity will make it more likely that the best known opposition politician in Scotland, George Galloway, will be in Holyrood holding Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP to account. He will certainly do a better job than either Rennie, Ross or Sarwar.

Make sure your vote hits the target. Let Sir George of Galloway enter the lists and his lance will not kill dragons, but it might just skewer a sturgeon.