Thursday 9 July 2015


When I was a lad, a primary school pupil, my dad took me out campaigning.  I was a shy kid and didn't exactly put myself forward but I was spat on by Labour activists.  These weren't the dainty spits of a lady disposing of an insect which had found its way into her mouth, these were great gobs that were summoned from their feet, that echoed in the top of their nostrils and the back of their throats, that produced green and sticky and unpleasant stuff.  And these grown men gobbed on me - a boy, a primary school pupil - and smirked with satisfaction and walked on to hand out leaflets to people who had watched them do that.

There was a guy with us who was a bit less quick understanding things in life.  They taunted him until his father took him home - time after time.

When I was an election agent a dead cat was nailed to my door with SNP leaflets in its mouth.  When I was a candidate shit wrapped in my leaflets was posted through my door.

I've seen polling station boards stolen or burned or urinated on, I've seen activists hounded off of polling stations through threats of violence to their families.  I've seen voters told that Labour would know how they voted.

I've seen bad things happen in elections but I'm just glad that I grew up before Twitter was here because someone might have said something bad about me!