Vote for Richard Arkless in Dumfries & Galloway

On Saturday evening I am doing an event in Stranraer for Richard Arkless who is standing as the SNP candidate in the Dumfries and Galloway constituency. I first met him some years ago, and was delighted to be given the opportunity to do my wee bit to help him win back the seat from the Tories. Richard was elected as MP for the area in the SNP landslide of 2015, but lost the seat to our current Governor General Alister Jack in 2017. He’s hoping to retake the seat, and then the area can be represented by someone who actually gives a toss for local people and local issues.

According to Polimapper UK, 55% of voters in the Dumfries and Galloway constituency voted to remain in the EU. Despite that, Alister Jack has been one of the most vocal supporters of a hard leave, and loud in his support for Boris Johnson’s deal, in the process running roughshod over the wishes of his own constituency. Boris Johnson’s deal is one which gives advantages to Northern Ireland, meaning that it will have closer ties to the EU which Scotland will be deprived of. That’s a real issue in that part of Scotland closest to Ireland and the site of the major ferry crossings between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK. Thanks to Boris Johnson’s deal, companies will choose to invest and create jobs in Northern Ireland rather than in the South West of Scotland. Alister Jack is just fine with that.

Alister Jack is vocal in his support for leaving the EU, and even refuses to take crashing out with no deal off the table. Such a development would be a total disaster for Dumfries and Galloway, for Scotland, and for the entire UK. But Alister is considerably less vocal in his support for local people and local issues. In the past year he’s spoken in just 4 debates in the Commons, well below average for MPs. In the last year that Richard Arkless was an MP, he spoke in 52 debates, well above average for MPs. There’s only one out of the two who can be bothered to get up onto his feet and speak out on behalf of the people of Dumfries and Galloway. It’s not Alister Jack.

Alister Jack can’t be bothered to speak for the people of Dumfries and Galloway. As Scottish Secretary of State he can’t be bothered to speak for the people of Scotland. But he wants to make sure that the people of Scotland are silenced. He is determined to ensure that the people of Scotland will not be allowed to voice an opinion on the state of the UK, that UK which is a radically different proposition from the one that was sold to us in 2014. The Scottish Conservatives once supported remaining in the EU, now they support leaving. It’s fine for them to change their minds, but they want to ensure that Scotland can’t change its mind about the UK.

Perhaps you have concerns about Scottish independence. That’s fine. Perhaps you will never support Scottish independence. That’s fine too. But this isn’t an election in which the subject of independence will be decided. What this election is about is the nature of the UK. Is the UK really a union of nations? Or is it a unitary state in which the views and voice of Scotland can be cancelled out and silenced by a Prime Minister and a party which Scotland didn’t elect? The Conservatives seek to undermine Scottish democracy, and by doing so they seek to destroy the understanding which has always underpinned Scottish Unionism, the belief that Scotland is a voluntary part of a union of nations.

If you believe that Scotland has an absolute right to choose its own path, voting for Richard Arkless is a no-brainer, even if you do support leaving the EU. If Scotland is to leave the EU, then that must be as a result of a decision made in Scotland and implemented by a government which is concerned to get the best possible outcome for the people of Scotland, not a Conservative government which will cheerfully sell out Scotland’s fishing communities and agriculture in order to win some advantages for the City of London. They did it before in 1974 when Ted Heath sold out the fishing industry, and they will do it again.

If you believe that the UK really is a family of nations, then in this election you must lend your vote to the SNP, because they are the only party who can unseat a Conservative MP who seeks to transform the UK into a prison, and take the UK out of the EU. In this election, the SNP simply seek to assert the right of Scotland to decide its own future. And that’s the fundamental issue here. Scotland can either choose its own future, or it can have its future chosen for it by Boris Johnson and an Alister Jack who can’t even be bothered to get up onto his feet and speak for the people of Dumfries and Galloway in the House of Commons.

The Tories want this election to be about Brexit. They seek a majority in order to impose their own vision of a hard line Brexit which will damage Scotland’s economy, its future, its prospects and will cut us off from Europe. Make no mistake, the Conservatives do not seek to take the UK out of the EU in order to improve employment and consumer rights. They want us out of the EU so that they can complete their transformation of the UK into a tax haven for the superrich, where public services are cut to the bone, and where working people have little or no rights or protection. Expect to see more foodbanks, more homeless people begging on the streets, more kids going to school hungry, more pressures on public services. Expect to see the minority of wealthy people increase their wealth and privilege. Expect to see Scotland treated with disdain, marginalised, and ignored.

Every Conservative MP who we can unseat is one less Conservative who will give Boris Johnson free rein. We’ve already seen the contempt with which he treats democracy and Parliament when he’s the leader of a minority government. The damage and havoc that he can wreak with a majority doesn’t bear thinking about. Unseating the Conservative Scotland Secretary would send the strongest possible message to Boris Johnson that Scotland doesn’t want him, doesn’t want his Brexit, and doesn’t want his racism, his misogyny, and his homophobia. It sends the strongest possible message that Scotland demands the right to decide its own future, and demands a right to have its say on Brexit. Only the SNP can unseat Alister Jack in Dumfries and Galloway. Richard Arkless is one of the good guys, a local man who cares passionately about the area where he was born, brought up, and raises his family. Vote for the good guy.  Vote for Richard, and vote to give yourself a voice.

I will be speaking at an event in support of Richard in Stranraer on Saturday. It’s at 7pm in the Coronation Day Centre, Whitsun Avenue, Stranraer. Please come along and meet the dug! I’ll be there too. And as well as copies of my latest book, I will also be presenting a new map – the very first detailed Gaelic map of Galloway ever published. Copies of both the book and the new map will be available for sale on the night, as well as copies of the Gaelic map of Scotland.

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28 thoughts on “Vote for Richard Arkless in Dumfries & Galloway

  1. Yeah if you live in the area vote for Richard Arkless to rid Scotland, not just Dumfries and Galloway, of Alister Union Jack.

    Additionally vote for Iain Blackford, Ross, Skye and Lochaber, to prevent corrupt Harrow, Libdem, taking over. Harrow who’s using the late Charles Kennedy to win the seat. How low can you go?

  2. Paul, If I make it along with the DGP4Indy Battle Bus, any chance of a clebrity photo with you and the dug next to the can. You’d be joining a hall of fame which includes Angus MacFadyen, Richard Arkless and Nicola Sturgeon.

  3. Well said Paul.

    A Conservative majority means we are likely to see the NHS sold off to American healthcare companies.

    I doubt you’d find a Conservative politician who would admit such a plan, but if past actions are indicative of future performance, it is a reasonable assumption to make.

    After all, ‘UK officials discussed NHS at ‘secret’ meetings with US drug companies as part of trade talks’

    Not convinced yet? Well, see how many UK Parliamentarians have financial interests in healthcare companies:

    If someone wants to go around scaring pensioners, the sale of the NHS is a far more real threat than Gordon Brown and Archie MacPherson’s lie that they would lose their pensions in 2014 (even after a UK government official confirmed that UK pensions would continue to be paid after independence).

  4. “But this isn’t an election in which the subject of independence will be decided”
    That point needs hammered home relentlessly, Indy2 is a scottish peoples vote after this shambolic disgrace are deprived of the right to lie on our behalf without redress. Right now the greatest danger is the elephant without a room Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson, and his almost invisible Scottish apologist Alister Jack…

    Good luck at the Stranraer do, and all the very best to Richard….

  5. Banners are appearing in farmers’ fields around D&G saying vote for Alister Jack, against indyref2. It’s the only policy he’s got.

    • Mmmm!!

      I like the SNP and are happy to support them now and after we get independence. However if SG makes self id legal and do not stop supporting this gender neutral rubbish then my support will end on Independence Day.

      • To me, Wings has not been an ‘independence’ site for a while, Mr Campbell is simply pushing his own political/gender agenda, and has lost me.

        Nicola is the best politician in the UK, by a mile, and a week before a crucial GE vote, he seeks to overthrow her?? He’s been ‘got at’, unfortunately.

  6. I never fail to be impressed by the amount of work you do for the cause of Scottish independence. You set a very high bar that I very much doubt many get anywhere near. Thank you.

  7. This may be a Brexit election in general terms but in East Renfrewshire not one of the many Tory leaflets I have had stuck through my letterbox mention leaving the EU. Not one word on Brexit.

    East Renfrewshire voted 74% to remain. The sitting Tory MP Masterton could not bring himself to vote against a no deal Brexit. In my book that is not representing your constituents. He is more interested in his political career than anything else. If you live in East Renfrewshire please help to end his career – vote SNP.

  8. Brilliant blog post, thank you. I am an exiled Doonhamer these days in Edinburgh but I think I would actually cry happy tears if I woke up on 13 December and my auld home constituency of DCT and also Alister Jack’s were transformed into a bonnie shade of yellow. .

  9. Aye Cubby

    Everything so far in East Renfrewshire from the tory wean has been ‘We’ve told her once that there will be no independent Scotland’.
    Says he’s a busy representative of the constituents.
    A list of performance by says he was 368th in the league table of the 650 members.
    Strange that not ONE piece of paper from the LieDems has arrived.
    My one communication to him got NO reply, I asked him if he had given up on the idea of Democracy since his constituents voted by a large percentage in a very large turn out to remain in the EU.
    I for one will be casting my vote for Kirsten.

    • Yes nothing from Swinsons wee Willie – not one leaflet. Even British labour put a leaflet through the letterbox. The Tories must be about 5 leaflets – not sure exactly could be more. Two of them were posted to my personal address. They seem to be spending their Russian money.

      One leaflet from Kirsten Oswald SNP.

      We voted remain in the EU and we meant it as well.

      Vote SNP and get rid of diddies like Masterton for ever.

      • And how did Ms Swinson manage tonight (?) with Mr Neill?

        Will Mr Kavanagh have saved us the bother of watching it?

  10. Richard is not the only one in D & G there is also an SNP candidate, Amanda Burgauer is standing against Mr Mundell & she could use a plug, she stands for Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweedale so dont leave it at Richard

    • Sorry, of course I support Amanda as well. when I was using the term Dumfries and Galloway I was referring to the name of the constituency where Richard is standing, not the local authority of the same name which also includes parts of the constituency where Amanda is standing. I should have made that clear.

  11. Can’t understand how constituencies like Dumfries and Galloway which are big on farming can possibly vote for a man who wants to impair their business by taking them out of the EU market !

    I know that in some parts of Scotland , sadly , toffs like Jack are still looked up to , but when his fantasy about leaving the biggest market for your goods is highly likely to make you poorer then f*ck doffing the cap to him and his ilk !
    Stand up and vote for YOUR interests and not the tax-avoiding millionaire who won’t even speak up for you at Westminster – look at his voting record !

    • Its the same in Angus, a large farming area.

      I think some of it stems back to the historically ingrained Tory-farmer meme but I suspect most of the problem is that farmers work such long hours and when at home have to fill in such complex time-consuming paperwork that they simply have no time to avail themselves of the actual facts by doing their own on line research. They are certainly not going to get the facts from the box in the corner or their politically primed unions.

      • P.S. They are not the only informationally disadvantaged group targeted by Tory vote miners, Fishermen is another, the elderly is another, working class communities in the North of England is a relatively new kid on the block for them.

    • D&G is a quiet backwater bypassed physically and politically, where else could Ken Dodd’s “Diddyland” concept have been given any credence?
      D&G was Tory for decades, initially through deference to employers, one which morphed into perceptions of continuity and “a safe pair of hands”, even when Beeching severed the area’s principle artery the Paddy Line.
      George Thomson’s 1974 Galloway election for SNP shook Tory complacency to it’s core, and despite boundary changes since, Tories have lost and won, there are no longer safe Tory seats either side of Dumfries.
      Tories have had to sell every GE in Scotland over the last decade as an independence issue to divert attention from their calamitous governance, Mundell survived on that ticket, Jack is attempting the same tactic.
      This time Johnson and his motley crew are the elephant in the room, for Jack the “tax-avoiding millionaire” it is the millstone around his neck.
      When even traditional Tories are getting the jitters, that is where the conversation must be relentlessly returned, their nightmare before Christmas…

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