Mhairi Black’s maiden speech

Written By: - Date published: 3:09 pm, July 15th, 2015 - 39 comments
Categories: class war, International, uk politics - Tags: ,

39 comments on “Mhairi Black’s maiden speech”

  1. Rosie 1

    Wow what a woman! She has wisdom, insight, knowledge and confidence well beyond her twenty years.

    (Maybe they excel in raising confident determined young women in Scotland. Check out the vision and strength of Cat Boyds argument for an independent Scotland , prior to their referendum. First posted on The Standard by Bill, I think:

    Three things that stuck with me from Mhairi Black’s speech was the plight of beneficiaries who constantly have the threat of sanction hanging over them, and Mhairi’s really sad personal story of the man she knew, the rise of foodbanks and how this is a failure of the welfare system (and isn’t that exactly what we see here!), and how it’s the “signpost” politicians that leave the legacies, not the weathervane ones, who only seek to ride the polls of popularity but who everyone forgets about later.

    To be a signpost politician would take some guts as you’re not always going to say popular things, but you will be the one to steer socially necessary change. I think that’s what Mhairi Black may be aiming for.

    All power to her.

    • weka 1.1

      Inspiring speech. I found the man’s story moving, almost unbearable actually, because I know we’re well on the path to that culture of despising poor people and treating them like shit.

      • Rosie 1.1.1

        She used the story well, respected the man’s personal dignity, expressed his experience vividly and didn’t abuse it.
        His story was heartbreaking. Everytime I hear things like this I feel that familiar feeling of rage and sorrow. What makes that worse, is that his story isn’t isolated and it is truly
        a modern day global story.

  2. Paul 2

    The SNP got 56 out of 59 seats because Labour stopped representing working people’s hopes and ideals.
    A pertinent reminder to Labour in NZ as it handles the housing crisis in Auckland.
    Support the people against international capital.

    • Northsider 2.1

      Most if the current labour leadership is London went straight from with PPEs from Oxbridge to roles in ministerial offices or to party HQ researcher roles. After a while they becomes someone’s favourite and get shoehorned into a safe seat which they had never visited previously,

      Sounds familiar?

  3. Shona 3

    Telling it like it is. ! Great to hear!

    • ianmac 3.1

      What a great speech. She said what I think and the united Opposition is a great plan – signpost actually.

  4. dukeofurl 4

    I was expecting something about her own path in life. maybe her family, and those who guided her journey or inspired her.

    However that is all a blank canvas, and we got a stock political stump speech.

    Is it the case in our parliament that a standard political speech is frowned on for a maiden speech ?

  5. Bill 5

    Maybe this is what happens when you have a party with a fair number of working class people in it, as opposed to a workers party chock-a with professional middle class or careerist types who (by and large) have different life experiences to those of the people they seek to represent?

    • dukeofurl 5.1

      Oh… Bill its not 1934 anymore.

      Expanding access to higher education wasnt intended to condemn the sons or daughters of toolmakers to continue life on the shop floor.

      Ive have a professional background but that doesnt mean I havent spent time in a machine shop, package plant, bottom of a trench laying drains, or a call centre.

      But from this speech from Mhairi, we have no idea if she cared for a sick mother, studied art history at St Andrews.

      But I just looked it up and unfortunately for Bill , she isnt authentic either

      “Born in Paisley in 1994, Black was educated at Lourdes Secondary School, Glasgow, and the University of Glasgow, where she was awarded a First-class honours degree in Politics and Public Policy in June 2015”

      Sounds like Phil Goff, except she wasnt turfed out of home at 16 and went to work in the freezing works before later studying and getting a degree.

      I think I know now the reason why no personal story, joining the SNP early in life and student life drinking Buckys isnt all that enthralling

      • just saying 5.1.1

        Phil Goff grew up in a unique time of social mobility. If he’d grown-up in Papatoetoe today, his life would likely have taken a very different trajectory. He certainly didn’t get to where he is today because of any great talent other than arse-licking the wealthy, if you can call that a talent.
        As it is, he seems to have failed to notice those who were not as fortunate as himself on his way to the one percent and his very well-feathered nest. If he ever had any principles he sold them out long ago.
        Luckily Mairi is made of better stuff, intellectually and morally, and is a much better speaker and politician to boot.

        • dukeofurl

          Really ?
          She’s led a sheltered life, a selective secondary school and straight into university ( and no doubt the SNP at the same time).

          Where is the Struggle st ? hasnt mentioned a single night eating cold food out of a can.

          Could it be YOU are projecting your wishes and desires onto a talented and able woman.
          Im sure UK labour have plenty in their ranks with a similar story of life revolving around politics at an early age.

          Does she have any personal story she wants to tell ? At the moment she sounds like 90% of political studies graduates.
          Nicola Sturgeon is a law graduate and worked as a solicitor before becoming an MP.
          Where is this party of the working class who have swept Scotland or are they as Bill put it ” chock-a with professional middle class or careerist types who (by and large) have different life experiences to those of the people they represent”

          • just saying

            Where did I suggest anything about her upbringing. I don’t know and I suspect neither do you, other than her schooling.
            You made a comparison with Phil Goff, I continued along that track.
            Btw, at the time, 16 was a pretty ordinary time to leave home.

            • dukeofurl

              Since you know little about her background but assume much:

              “Luckily Mairi is made of better stuff, intellectually and morally”

              Let me enlighten you.

              “I was born in Paisley and have lived all my life there. I am a season ticket holder for Partick Thistle and have always been an ardent fan of football since becoming one of the first girls to play on my Primary School football team. I am also a great lover of music through both playing many instruments and listening to it. ”

              Her father a retired teacher ( tainted by being one of BIlls despised middle class) but its all good;
              “Ms Black said she comes from a politically interested family, but it was not until last year’s independence referendum that she and her father started to go out and get actively involved.”

              Miss Black also faced criticism for her social media accounts where she used obscene language while posting about her love of Smirnoff Ice and and waking up beside cans of Tennents lager and pizza.

              No wonder we got the standard stump speech in the Commons, an otherwise unremarkable middle class scotswoman, who was perhaps the class swot.

              She was still studying for her final papers while sitting in the Commons, I’d be tempted to tell her ‘ You dont really need that anymore, its not helping your constituents and you have all the ‘politics’ you’ll ever need around you.’

              • mickysavage

                Geez dukeofurl this is one of the best speeches I have seen from a Parliamentarian and you choose to attack the background of the speaker because she was not poor enough.


                • Rosie

                  +1 mickey.

                  I’d love a Mhairi Black in our Parliament.

                  I’d heard her name before, during the UK elections but this is the first time I’ve heard her speak. I’ve gone back a second time to listen. I’m just so impressed by her.

                  • mickysavage

                    Our closest equivalent is Carmel Sepuloni … And I really loved the William Wallace reference. Really tickled …

                    • Rosie

                      Carmel Sepuloni was great on Back Benches the other night. She’s very personable and completely on the level. No nonsense but also a very approachable person. Good skills.

                      I also liked the William Wallace reference from Mhairi Black. It made me smile. Part of it’s effectiveness was the delivery. Her fellow MP’s liked it too.

                • dukeofurl

                  It was clear no one has any idea about this woman, and since she chose not to give ‘her story’ I thought I would do the public service bit and find out.
                  Personally I think its great a very young but gifted student happened to be in the right place at the right time.

                  THis was Bills comment ( about the SNP)
                  “this is what happens when you have a party with a fair number of working class people in it”

                  or randomly


                  Im not the one disappointed that the SNP is thin on the ground with working class Mps in Holyrood and Westminster

                  Some would say graduates are the lifeblood of any social democratic party.

                  AS for maiden speeches, looking back Im sure this was better, much better
                  “I am proud of the fact that my secondary education was not paid for by the taxpayers of New Zealand but by the farmers of Canterbury and Hawke’s Bay. ”

                  • weka

                    duke appears to believe that only middle class people go to university and you can’t be a teacher if come from a working class background.

                  • mickysavage

                    You know what dou?

                    I was born of the working class. My dad was a boilermaker and my mum raised five kids.

                    My two daughters are rather middle class, having been raised in a middle class household with a lawyer father and a teacher mother. Looks like they had a not dissimilar childhood to Mhairi.

                    They are amongst the best chances the human race has in the future given their independently reached commitment to improve the world. They are a real delight to me because in their own way they are each doing what they can to make the world a better place.

                    You seem to be saying that somehow because of Mhairi’s background she cannot be the real deal. Tell that to my daughters. Then be prepared for the onslaught.

                    And your turgid use of Mhairi’s social media posting is, how do I put this in a moderate way, clear evidence that you are a real dickhead. If a teenager does not have some sort of embarrassing social media stuff about them by the age of 20 then they have not lived.

                    • dukeofurl

                      Thats great , sounds like my family.

                      If you notice it was Bill who held his nose over those ‘professional middle class’ type politicians’ Direct your outrage to him.

                      Im NOT saying shes not the real deal,she is what she is .

                      I provided much of her own words.

                      Its your description as turgid surprises me . This what students do. No great surprises. Professional politicians would say shes off message, but to her age group it would be seen as ‘authentic’

                      She has a very similar background to those who reach parliament in any social democratic party.

                    • mickysavage

                      No she is not. Believe me I have a very clear vision of what happens locally and Mhairi is not the sort of candidate the party infrastructure would deliver.

                    • dukeofurl

                      Certainly her young age is completely different, closest we would have is Mike Moore.
                      Just flicked through labour Mps backgrounds and seems mostly those who are graduates or other managerial background. Going through the SNP is much the same ( they have two parliaments worth).
                      That she is a gifted graduate in political science would be a lot like Phil Goff and even Helen Clark.

                    • weka

                      duke, Bill didn’t say what you claim, and you are trying to undermine Black.

                      Lots of reasons in this thread to call you a dickhead.

                    • mickysavage

                      Ok I should retract my earlier comment. She still appeals way more than most careerist mps although time will obviously provide an acid test.

          • Bill

            So she went to a council secondary school. (Hardly ‘selective’ insofar as many Scottish schools are Catholic)

            She attained a degree at University and would never have been able to afford University fees (she herself is on record on that point) , but then, tertiary education is still free in Scotland.

            btw – in future, if you quote me, then actually quote me and don’t omit any qualifiers I include. It’s called ‘being dishonest’.

            Now, what’s your fucking beef? Oh, that’s right. SNP bad.

            • dukeofurl

              So you didnt say this about the SNP ?
              ” this is what happens when you have a party with a fair number of working class people in it, as opposed to a workers party chock-a with professional middle class or careerist types who (by and large) have different life experiences to those of the people they seek to represent?”

              Love to know which SNP you are talking about, is there another one?
              …..’workers party chock-a with professional middle class or careerist types”…. sounds pretty condescending to me ? If Im incorrect here what would you say it is ?
              BTW this Alec Salmonds bio
              “He attended Linlithgow Academy before studying at St Andrew’s University, where he graduated with a joint honours MA in Economics and History.”

              The truth is you know very little about the people in the SNP, and as Ive previously covered very little about their policies ( no need to cover here).
              Lourdes Secondary a council school ?
              The Scottish Catholic Education Service thinks highly of their school

              SNP is fine, its a standard social democratic party, just wipe the stars from your eyes.

  6. mickysavage 6

    Her comment about politicians who are signposts and politicians who are weathervanes was very apt. The video of Tony Benn saying this is below

    • Rosie 6.1

      Thinking about these signpost vs weathervanes or weathercocks as they refer to them (and we certainly do have some politicians who really are ‘cocks’………), the signposts are the natural leaders, they are pointing in a direction and saying “come with me”. They may be the more charismatic style leader or at least a persuasive and strong type who can sweep people up into a movement, and be alongside those people. Not in a creepy cult like way, but in a sense of collective hope and purpose.

      More a traditional old fashioned poli but the sort that we really need to help get us back on our feet and repair decades of damage.

      Those weathervanes on the other hand are the modern crosby textor sorts. It doesn’t pay for them to have vision. Vision and purpose carries the risk of being responsible for seeing that vision to its end, and that’s, you know, hard work. The easiest way to keep the voters sweet is by responding to the polling with non committal utterances that work well as a sound bite or headline and herd your followers with empty words that they never think too much about.

      • mickysavage 6.1.1

        Even worse the weathervanes can pretend to be signposts and attract support because they seem to stand for something. But when you strip out the language and analyse the reality they stand for something entirely different …

  7. thechangeling 7

    That woman truely rocks!

  8. McFlock 8

    that was a damned good speech.

  9. Peter 9

    I could not agree more with her, (I did not leave the Labour party it left me) and that’s why they will not get my vote again and so say most of my friends.

  10. millsy 10

    One to watch.

  11. cogito 11

    What a fantastic speech. Brought tears to my eyes…. and from a 20 year old.

  12. JeevesPOnzi 12

    “From the heart-”

    the exclusive domain of people who care about others.

  13. Northsider 13

    The SNP continues to have a “commanding lead” over Labour, according to the latest opinion poll.
    The study, by TNS BMRB, found that 60% of those who gave a preference said they would be supporting the SNP in the constituency ballot in next year’s Holyrood election.

    Meanwhile, 51% said they would back Nicola Sturgeon’s party in the regional vote, according to the poll.

    That compares to Labour’s support levels of 20% in the constituency vote and 21% in the regional ballot.

    However, Tom Costley, head of TNS Scotland, said backing for Labour may change after the party elects new Scottish and UK leaders to replace Jim Murphy and Ed Miliband respectively.

    The Conservatives came in third in terms of support, polling 14% in terms of the constituency vote and 13% in the regional ballot. Meanwhile, 5% of people backed the Liberal Democrats in both the constituency and regional votes, while the Scottish Greens polled 7% in the regional section of ballot.

    Two thirds (66%) of those surveyed said they were certain to vote in next May’s Holyrood elections, compared to the 50% who voted in the last Scottish election in 2011.

    Almost all of those (97%) who backed the SNP in this year’s general election said they would be voting for Ms Sturgeon’s party in the constituency ballot in the Holyrood election, while 85% of those who voted Labour in May plan on doing so next year.

    Mr Costley added: “As would have been expected, political opinion in Scotland appears to be quite stable, with the SNP in a commanding lead over the other parties. Our survey also suggests that the SNP vote may be holding together more strongly than the Labour vote.

    “However, given that Labour is still in the process of choosing new UK and Scottish leaders, the picture may change later in the year when the leaders of all the parties set out their stalls at their autumn conferences.”

    He added: “It is worth noting that the SNP lead among younger voters continues to be especially strong – 73% of those aged 16-34 who express a party preference say they intend to vote SNP, against 12% backing Labour.

    “After our last poll, Kezia Dugdale, one of the contenders for the leadership of Scottish Labour, warned her party that its relative weakness among younger voters meant that ‘we may not be at the bottom of where the Labour Party could get to in Scottish public life. There might be another storm coming’.”

    SNP business convener Derek Mackay MSP said: “This is another very encouraging poll for the SNP, showing extraordinary levels of support for the party after more than eight years in government – and is a vote of confidence in the strong start that the new SNP MPs have made in standing up for Scotland’s interests at Westminster.

    “But we take absolutely nothing for granted, and will work hard every day between now and next year’s Holyrood election to retain the trust of people right across Scotland as we look to build on our record of delivery and success over the last eight years.”

    He added: “Since coming to office in 2007, we have frozen council tax, protected free higher education, scrapped prescription charges, boosted apprenticeship numbers by almost 60%, protected free personal care, maintained the concessionary travel scheme, increased Scotland’s health budget to record levels, and protected those hardest hit by unfair Tory welfare cuts.

    “All this has been in the face of massive Westminster cuts to our budget.

    “There is still more to do and, if re-elected in 2016, the SNP will build on our strong record and deliver further improvements.

    “As First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has already outlined, by 2020 we will deliver 30 hours of free childcare – almost doubling the current provision of 16 hours – and continue to protect our NHS.

    “We will also continue to use the powers we have to strengthen and grow the Scottish economy – and push the case at Westminster for the further powers we need to create more and better jobs and to tackle poverty and inequality.”

    From The Scotsman

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