Wednesday, November 25, 2020

No sense of Decency, No Sense of Honour, Nicola Sturgeon's government continue to withhold evidence from Alex Salmond inquiry, Sturgeon's SNP is also accused of smear against former First Minister in an SNP Briefing Paper, Sturgeon and the SNP make Scotland's public life feel dirty and unclean, they refuse to respect the will of parliament, Holyrood is held in contempt by them, it is time for a new government in 2021, let's make that happen for all of Scotland

Dear All

No democracy can be healthy if the Government cannot be held to account, in a situation where it cannot act with honour, the job of the opposition becomes even more crucial. In Scotland, we are living under a tin pot dictator called Nicola Sturgeon. She is destroying Scotland from both the top down and the ground up. You could argue that she is destroying the country in the belief that Scots with nothing will give her their votes in the same way as many disadvantaged working class people have done in the past. Her government however is a sham, her cabinet is just window dressing, and we find ourselves in a rather odd place. Sturgeon acts as if she was the President of Scotland. In this era, she and her government are destroying small businesses with their 'voodoo mumbo jumbo' science regarding lockdowns and restrictions. There is also another thing which is being destroyed and that is the tiny wee bit of credibly that the Scottish Parliament has. Sturgeon and her SNP advisors are desperate to stop the truth coming out about their role in the Alex Salmond affair. They don't want people to know anything of note, they don't want witnesses to be interviewed, they want to suppress documents and evidence.

The Scottish Government is tainted, its tainted because there is a sizeable number of Scottish people that believe that the SNP Government attempted to destroy an innocence man using the powers of the State. We know that they acted illegally, that's proven, we know that those who acted illegally are still in their jobs, and we know that in the both 'trials' that Alex Salmond was put through that Nicola Sturgeon was extremely close to some of the women who were Salmond's accusers. How close Nicola Sturgeon was to them is suppressed by the Court of the Criminal Trial who granted these women anonymity. Everything is being done so the public never knows the full extent of what some people openly call a 'conspiracy'. And I think looking at the actions of the senior SNP Government Ministers, it's hard not to simply dismiss their views.

But the truth will eventually come out, like a pebble rolling down a hill, truth as a momentum all of its own. The Alex Salmond inquiry at Holyrood was setup to fail by the SNP, but despite this, their inquiry is toxic for Sturgeon. Sturgeon's advisors are doing everything to limit its effectiveness and shut it down. As the Salmond inquiry plods on, Nicola Sturgeon is facing an unprecedented second Holyrood defeat over her refusal to release Scottish Government legal advice. Already prior to the vote on a Conservative motion, the law firm acting for Salmond has accused the SNP of defaming them and Salmond. This was alleged to have been done in a SNP research briefing circulated among the party's MSPs. This raises many questions such as who is the author or authors of this document? Who do they work directly or indirectly for? Did someone tell them what to write in relation to Salmond and his legal team? Who vetted this document prior to it being sent to the party's MSPs? Did Nicola Sturgeon, her team or any SNP Minister sign it off as ready for publication? These are all questions which just keep on coming in the light of the Salmond inquiry doing its work.

The Scottish Conservatives have put forward a motion to parliament demanding that the legal advice later today, having already voted 63-54 in favour of release on November 4. Nicola Sturgeon's government aren't going to act in good faith, you could tell this when they said that they will release material 'relevant' to the inquiry. They decide what they consider relevant which is so open to abuse, this is why Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross has said his party may launch legal action if the Government continues to withhold the material. So, why the delay, of course the SNP and Nicola Sturgeon will use Coronavirus as their shield to hide behind, but the reality covid doesn't stop the Scottish Government working. And never has, although some people say 'conspiracy', I think everyone bar the Sturgeon cabal would recognise 'cover up' as a viable description of what is going on.

This raises the question, who are they covering up for?

The Scottish Labour Party has joined the Scottish Conservatives calls for the release of the withheld documents saying that the three weeks of inaction by the Government since the first vote was "appalling". Despite Sturgeon promising the inquiry they would get access to anything they wanted, this isn't true. Nicola Sturgeon is doing what she is doing best, lying, being deceitful and untrustworthy, but the deeper the SNP dig to conceal evidence, the deep her problems become. Nicola Sturgeon has been called a 'liar' by Scottish MSP Oliver Mundell, but he is only one of many who openly do this, his niche was saying this in Parliament and getting it on the official record. How did Nicola Sturgeon end up in this mess, arrogance and contempt would be high on the list of probable causes, the Nationalists think they are smart, and at the same time they view others as stupid, when this mentality plays out, it's their stupidity which ends up on display. The concept that Alex Salmond would just walk away shows the level of their IQ and thought processes.

The idea that a rigged Holyrood investigation into Salmond would ever be successful defies belief. Using the mechanism of government was the biggest mistake ever because it they had to fight on evidence and within the law. If Sturgeon was smart, she could have simply blocked Salmond as a candidate, instead of evidence and law, Team Sturgeon could have used a panel of stooges to reject him with subjective opinion. But they wanted to destroy Alex Salmond, they wanted him found guilty, and if he had been, a Court would have sent him to prison, but the SNP couldn't rig a jury.

In a fresh motion the Scottish Tories said the Government should “respect the will of the Parliament by providing the legal advice without any further delay”. This is in part comedy, the SNP use the “respect the will of the Parliament” gag all the time, to have it flung back in their face is hilarious. When the SNP talk about “respect the will of the Parliament”, what they are actually talking about is respecting the will of President Sturgeon. Sturgeon is one 'President' who doesn't command respect. When I look at Deputy First Minister John Swinney, I see a man who is effectively involved in something rather dirty that even he seems ashamed to be part of it.

Labour MSP Jackie Baillie said:

“It is appalling that three weeks after the Scottish Parliament instructed the Scottish government to hand over the legal advice, nothing has happened. This is treating the Scottish Parliament and the Committee with complete contempt. The Scottish government has tried every trick in the book to obstruct the work of the Committee, the latest episode of which is to withhold the legal advice they received in their botched handling of the judicial review.

“This cannot continue. The Scottish government must today state its willingness to publish the legal advice. The secrecy must end.”

I think that fighting the SNP on their ground, their court and their rules is a waste of time, I think parties should go the Court route, parliament isn't respected by the SNP and never was, to them, it's a vehicle and platform to promote independence. If you judge the SNP on their parliamentary, what Bills have they brought forth which were a game changer in creating business, or making people's lives better, where are the big ideas? Here is a link to the Scottish Parliament website so you can look at Bills that they have passed, you pick a year a random and ask yourself, is that it? Pick another year, and ask yourself, why is it such low grade pap which is making onto the statute books and why so few Bills at that?  

Finally, just as the SNP has no goodwill towards Westminster, all their actions demonstrate clearly no goodwill towards Holyrood either. The Salmond inquiry is toxic for the SNP and Nicola Sturgeon, she is hated by the diehard Nationalists, and the pro UK aren't going to be throwing her a lifeline anytime soon. What does it say that Sturgeon jumps to the aid of buffoon Ian Blackford over what some people was bullying, accusations of 'bullying' an English photographer. I would say, she is so short of allies that she is forced to cling to fools, years ago, I called the SNP a 'rat ship', can anyone say I wasn't spot on in that assessment? As to Blackford, fresh from his "bullying" row, he is back doing what he does best, making a fool of himself publicly. His latest gaffe is to attack Prime Minister Boris Johnson over the UK's contribution in foreign aid, and to be told by the PM, 'We're second biggest donor in G7!' Yet again, we have an SNP MP facing total humiliation because they are arrogant and stupid, and don't know what they are talking about beyond bite size chunks of information. The SNP are noted to have picked bad people to help them, and also bad candidates because they represent no threat to the leadership, in fact for the most part, they are tied to the Sturgeon regime for a living. Anyone who thinks the SNP will suddenly act honourably in the Salmond inquiry is living a delusion, and when the people in charge will not act with honour, like liquid, it will travel downwards to others.

Roll on Court action methinks!

Yours sincerely

George Laird                                                                                                                        The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

Monday, November 23, 2020

The NeverEnding Story of Political Self Harm in Scottish Labour, why isn't Scottish Labour not treating every by-election as a priority, Clackmannanshire East, 195 people vote for Scottish Labour, does the party need better organisers, how does Anas Sarwar constitutional gaffe help Labour progress, and the Battle for Pollok, Scottish Conservatives Party select Dr. Craig Ross, 25 years in education teaching politics, Nicola Sturgeon's straw man, Humza Yousaf wouldn't like this Conservative selection, especially in a TV debate

Dear All

A couple of stories caught my eye over the weekend, one of them was the Ward by-election result in Clackmannanshire East. The population  according to online data which I found is said to be roughly 8,710, as Wards go, this isn't a big ward by any means. What is interesting about the result is there appears to be a straight sizeable swop from the Scottish Labour Party to the Scottish Conservatives. I would hazard a guess and say this is because the Scottish Labour Party is weak when it comes to defence of the United Kingdom. Too many mixed messages coming out which do the party no good at all and leave voters angry. The Conservatives polled 51% of the vote, up by 9.7%, the SNP came second with 32% and Scottish Labour came third on 8.1%, on a turnout of 35%.

In previous articles, I have highlighted that Scottish Labour which had a national vote share of 20% had further to fall if steps where not taken in re-organising how it campaigns. In politics, when parties get either a good or bad result, they will try and put an even more positive spin on it. No one wants to be seen as an abject loser politically. The parties could for example focus on how many votes they got, how much of the percentage share they got, or even if there was a rise in their percentage share. Everything said post result has one objective to make you think they are relevant and worth listening too.

From 20% of the vote, the Scottish Labour Party dropped to 8.1%, only 195 people out of roughly 8,710 eligible to vote thought Scottish Labour was worth their vote. Myself, when it comes to voting, I don't like to deal in spin, or gloss, because putting a brave face on it, isn't a viable long term strategy especially for a party in decline. The brutal truth of the Clackmannanshire East by-election is that the 195 people who voted Scottish Labour is 2.24 % of population of 8710 in the ward. let that number sink in, 2.24%. Given the role that council services play in our lives, that percentage is absolutely staggering, especially for a major UK party such as the Labour Party. I would say that Scottish Labour organisers should be at every by-election to either assist, run it or help out in any capacity the CLP deems fit.

Traditionally council by-elections have low turns, this one was 35%, but the news wasn't all bad, the Scottish Conservative candidate polled 1,226 votes, Denis Coyne 'walked it' as they say. In the bigger elections such as Holyrood and Westminster, voters will turn out in greater numbers, but equal status should be extended to council elections by the public. Sadly, the public view 'the council' as a lesser body despite the wide ranging powers they have in the lives of original people. Although there is much talk about 'grassroots' in Scottish Labour, there isn't enough credit given to the bulk of elected Labour members, the Councillors. Instead the press et all are all wrongly Holyrood fixated. Scottish Labour Councillors are the ones carrying the load for Scottish Labour, not the MSPs and not the sole Labour MP in Edinburgh.

Scottish Labour if you didn't know has a team of paid organisers, and it's about time that Scottish Labour HQ made better use of them, the route out of the party's difficulties is in part one of education. Scottish Labour need better trained activists. Education isn't the only issue plaguing the party, recently Labour MSP Anas Sarwar said as Scottish Labour’s new constitution spokesman that the party will oppose an independence referendum until at least 2026. When I read his statement, my first thought was WTF, this stands for 'What the Fuck', and WTF is right, what does that mean, does it mean after 2026, Scottish Labour may change its mind in relation to a Scottish referendum? Does Scottish Labour not grasp the rank stupidity of supporting indyref 2 and then saying they will campaign against it? How well did that work out for them during the Brexit referendum. I don't think they do grasp it, Scottish Labour is supposed to be a pro UK Party, the only thing which statements like this from Anas actually do is to alienate pro UK Labour voters in Scottish Labour, and make them vote for other parties.

Kezia Dugdale famously made the "mistake" of saying she could see a reason under certain circumstances for voting for Scottish independence. This act of self harm caused so much damage to the party, and her saying it was no small matter as future results at the next council election showed.

Where is Scottish Labour's commitment to the United Kingdom?

There was a vote in 2014, and the Scottish people voted decisively to remain part of the UK.

What we have here is the classic nonsense of trying to 'ride two horses at the same time', Scottish Labour has done this before and well just look where the party is now. People can argue over different opinions, but you cannot argue with a ballot box result. Clackmannanshire East is definitive for Scottish Labour, it's a failure to recognise that every election no matter how small is important to them now, just as a Holyrood by-election would be. Anas Sarwar said it is up to the people of Scotland to decide their future, but added that Labour will not support indyref 2 for the whole of the next Holyrood term.

This prompted a fellow Labour MSP Neil Findlay to ask:

"When did this become policy? Where was the debate? This is just making stuff up on the hoof."

Anas Sarwar's position is incoherent, if his goal is to wreck Scottish Labour's voter base in order to oust Richard Leonard as leader, this is the way to go. Anas was not picked by Richard Leonard when he became leader to be in the Scottish Shadow Cabinet, he was also stripped of his health brief. He recently joined the Shadow Cabinet again and was appointed Shadow Constitution minister. Was Richard Leonard's judgement right to appoint him to this post, well the simple answer is no. If anything, Leonard should have reappointed him back to shadow health sec. The Scottish Labour leader said:

"I am delighted to welcome back my friend Anas Sarwar to the Shadow Cabinet".

Given how bitter the leadership contest was in 2017, how much stock do you put in Richard Leonard saying Anas is his 'friend', especially after he previously fired him and sent him to the back benches?

Leonard added:

"In his new role as Shadow Constitution minister. Anas will be part of a forward looking and united Scottish Labour frontbench at Holyrood, which will hold Nicola Sturgeon's government to account over its failures in handling the Covid pandemic and promote Scottish Labour's transformative programme ahead of next year's election."

Labour's transformative programme?

This must be a secret because nothing I have received from the party during this entire year hints at any transformative programme. I know nothing of, who is running, when it is happening, what the content is, who is going to deliver it locally or online, and when it starts. It seems Scottish Labour leaders fall into a trap of saying they are going to 'fix' Scottish Labour then fail to do so. Jim Murphy famously said he had 'fixed' Scottish Labour then promptly lost to the SNP who won 56 Westminster seats in the 2015 election. I still remember my post 12 weeks out from that election day called, 'fucking it all up', and in the aftermath of just a single Labour MP being elected in Scotland, the title of that post was spot on.   

Everyone knows the right wing of Scottish Labour want Leonard out, they think they can experience a return to the glory days of Blairism. The problem is, Blairism worked because people were ignorant of what Blair was all about, and his lies, the people aren't going to be tricked again. New Labour is dead to the people of Scotland, but the right wing of the party lives in denial, New Labour in Scotland created 'Anti Labour' among people who were traditional core Labour voters. The people want political leaders to stand by them in times of need, Blairism offers elected people as ineffective 'line managers'. The SNP was ideally placed to be the vessel for the Scottish people's protest vote, and over time the protest vote has found no reason to return to the Labour fold. Scottish Labour didn't put its house in order, so people left it to collapse, its historical fact.

The other story which caught my attention was someone being selected as candidate for the Scottish Conservatives, someone smart. Dr Craig Ross has been selected to run as the Scottish Conservative Candidate for Pollok. I have known Craig Ross since my early days at Glasgow University when he studied politics. If Craig gets into a political debate with Humza Yousaf, he will wipe the floor with him easily. Craig was a politics lecturer and we had so many chats on politics, he is quick, knowledgeable and can think on his feet, if elected, I could see him being appointed as Minister of Education if Douglas Ross becomes FM. One of the things which he imparted to me early on when we talked about education was that the core skill to teach young people was how to analyse. He explained by teaching this skill at school, students would become better students with a deeper understanding of the subjects they were learning. By having the skill to analyse a person could break down a subject and therefore learn at a faster rate.

There is of course a big hurdle in front of him, 2016, the Conservative candidate Thomas Haddow was able to get 2563 votes. The SNP won the seat with 15,316 votes, so Craig Ross certainly has a mountain to climb in Pollok. The Scottish Labour vote in 2016 under Johann Lamont was 8,834, a drop of 15.9% from the previous election, this is because she didn't work the area in the long campaign. Another handicap was also the majority of membership of Pollok CLP wouldn't come out and work for her. Her campaign surprised me in that it was very badly run and organised. I had to ask for campaigning meetings to take place so people could have the feeling of being involved, and be part of the process. This is something that her campaign manager should have done but didn't, he ditched the campaign early to chase an employment opportunity. If I hadn't done the Govan part of the Glasgow Pollok Constituency myself on her behalf, no one would have. I personally was surprised that someone who had such a high profile in Scottish Labour couldn't get people to help her out regularly through-out her campaign. I did 31 days of double shift campaigning for her. In Govan alone, I did 15 days by myself and was told no one was available to help out. In fact, if I had another 5 campaigning days, I would have made it down to Govan Cross and nearly would done the entire area.

As far as I am aware, no candidate has been selected to stand in Pollok for Scottish Labour just yet, there has been no hustings held, no information of any kind to members that anyone has put themselves forward. If Johann Lamont stands as the candidate, I will not be doing her campaign, back in 2016, she made me a promise then reneged on it. I put a lot of stock in trust, if a person doesn't hold up their commitment by accident or misfortune, I don't hold bias against them. I demonstrated goodwill to Lamont in campaigning for her, she effectively spat in my face. Well, lesson learned about Johann Lamont and her integrity, to be clear since 2016, Johann Lamont has never apologised for her conduct towards me. On election night 2016, she was shocked to see me in counting hall, five months earlier, I had arranged to have an alternative plan to get a ticket to the count. That said I wanted to give Johann Lamont every benefit of the doubt to prove me wrong, but she acted as I predicted.     

So, what about Dr Craig Ross, I found a link to a video he made, it gives you a sense of the depth he will bring to the Scottish Conservatives. I think when you listen to him, you will readily understand that he has a sense of where Scotland is politically and what is needed to basically drag us back out of the mud. He has a depth which many of our political class lack, and 25 years of teaching politics makes him well suited and well read to speak on a wide range of issues.

In a debate between Dr Craig Ross and Humza Yousaf, you will see how out of his depth Humza really is, Humza isn't someone who can talk about issues of substance. We can only hope that this encounter is on TV, you can then at least enjoy it with the rest of the family. Politically, Humza Yousaf is a man of straw, his use to the SNP is limited, he is tied firmly to Sturgeon's apron strings. He operates in a very limited narrative, ask him questions and you will soon see how shallow he is on policy. I have no idea who Scottish Labour will have as a candidate in Pollok but they will be faced with a three way fight for the seat, and not an easy ride. On one side the SNP dominate with numbers on the ground, on the other side the Scottish Conservatives have a formidable candidate in Dr. Craig Ross who has lived and breathed politics most of his life, and can fight his corner. In the middle will be the Scottish Labour candidate who won't be able to equal the numbers of the SNP or the intellect of  Dr. Craig Ross. On an operational level, the Scottish Labour candidate will have to cope with a CLP which has effectively crashed in terms of activism. I know all this because I spelt out the changes which need to happen to Pollok CLP prior to covid closing everything down. One of the changes which I said need to happen was the outright rejection of any candidate who is also a list candidate.

Finally, it could be a very lively campaign in Glasgow Pollok in 2021.

Yours sincerely

George Laird                                                                                                                        The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

'Stockholm Syndrome' in Scotland, senior Scottish Conservatives have branded Boris Johnson a 'liability' after the PM has said 'devolution has been a disaster', why should it take the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom to say publicly something which everyone knows and has known for years, certain Scottish Conservatives have spent too long in a broken Scottish political system that they have become normalised to it, they appear to misunderstand what their business is, and what product they are selling, and to whom

Dear All

It has always been said that the Conservative Party is the party of business, I think most people would acknowledge that point even if they don't like the relationship between the Conservatives and 'big business'. I have never been a businessman, never own a business so my view is of someone who is on the sidelines. In business, you need to understand several things, you need to know your product, you need to know how to price, market and deliver your product so that your business 'flows'. This isn't rocket science, some items require specialised advertising if they target a niche market. You want as large a customer base has possible, and of course, you want repeat business from customers. If all this sounds plausible then we are on the same page mentally, there are other factors to be sure to take into account such as location and other variables, but in general, you should have a business plan which appeals to your 'core' market and build on that base.

So, what happens, if a new team takes over and trashes the plan of appealing to your core market?

The best example that I can come up which shows how disastrous thinking can ruin a business model is 'Star Wars'. Certain types of movies achieve an almost zen like quality among its followers, they allow the customer to extend beyond the cinematic experience of watching the movie. Star Wars does this, Star Trek does this also and so does The Rocky Horror Picture Show. The first Star Wars movie set a tone which had an almost mystical quality to it, a story of good versus evil, a story of a journey leading to self sacrifice and public service on behalf of others. George Lucas, the creator and director understood his 'product' because he could immerse himself in a world he created. Star Wars was a collaborative process involving many people, but undoubtedly it was George Lucas vision.

When Disney bought the rights to Star Wars, they failed to recognise or understand what the vision was. The last three Star Wars movies not only were bad, they were awful, and the people who made them showed utter contempt for the 'core' base. Rian Johnson who changed the franchise didn't understand his market, and he didn't understand his duty to the source material.

One guy who 'gets it' in the Star Wars universe is Jon Favreau, his series called The Mandelorian, it is starting its second series, it's a fan favourite, and Favreau achieved all this because he knew he had to cater for the 'core' base. Simply put get them and everyone else will follow because the product is so good. Why will they follow, because even if they don't respect the lore, they can appreciate a well made and crafted storyline, and show. This is a quite a long intro but I want you to get is how important it is to understand business and the various aspects to market for success. The same principles apply to any business, and politics is a business, the products are parties, policies and people, that is what is being sold to you as a 'customer'.

Recently, Boris Johnson said that 'devolution has been a disaster' for Scotland. So, is he right? If he is right, why has his remarks caused such an upset, and the next question is his claim backed up by proof? If we take it we aren't relying on his opinion, we're therefore forced to look at facts as they relate to the party in charge of Scotland, the SNP and the people involved in running it and the SNP Scottish Government. At this point, it would be easy to just type of a mountain of information, all of it freely available in the public domain. I have chosen one website to give you a taste of the disaster that Boris Johnson has been alluding to which could have more added to it.    

And like any good movie, there is a sequel.

Devolution under the SNP has been broken, the Scottish Government has been corrupted and has been used as a battering ram to attack Westminster. The real purpose of devolution was to make the lives of Scottish people better, by the notion that decisions taken locally would be better managed to suit local issues. Under the SNP, and assuming you clicked on the links above to read about the carnage caused by them in public office and life, you can see this is not so. Devolution isn't just a disaster as Boris says, it has failed and failed miserably, we have a second rate parliament that is filled with third rate politicians. It's a clown's circus which needs abolished, it's a parliament that cannot provide an effective opposition, it can't hold the SNP Government to account, and it is ultimately held in contempt by the SNP because they control the levers of the Scottish Government. One thing the Salmond inquiry teaches us is how much the SNP are willing to ignore the will of parliament to allow it to function properly.

What I find incredible is that senior Scottish Conservatives claim that Boris Johnson is a liability for saying something which they should have said years ago. In truth, it's the senior Scottish Conservatives who don't understand Scotland, if they did, they wouldn't have spent 40 years in the political wilderness. The party became viable because people, voters gave them a chance after the decline of Scottish Labour under Kezia Dugdale. Kezia made the Scottish Conservatives a vessel for the pro UK vote after saying she could see a reason under certain circumstances to vote for Scottish Independence. It wasn't good marketing that uplifted the Conservatives in Scotland but rather right place and right time. The fact that there appears to be several senior party sources willing to say that the Prime Minister was “making life difficult” for them ahead of the Holyrood election is interesting. It begs a question, why haven't you been making life difficult for the SNP over the past 13 years that they have been in power?

Why haven't the Scottish Conservatives been making life difficult for the SNP, why has it took Boris Johnson and the UK Party to do that for them?

Again, and for the avoidance of doubt, devolution has been a "disaster" and was the “biggest mistake” of former Prime Minister Tony Blair. Blair thought he could set up a rigged parliament that the SNP could take part in but could never win, in order to quell support for independence. The reality is that his planners didn't notice the flaws in the rigged system which has led to the current constitutional crisis. Although Boris Johnson’s official spokesman has attempted to clarify what Boris meant when he made the remarks at a meeting with northern English MPs, he added Boris will “be the voice of the majority of Scots” and said he “fully supported devolution”. Personally, I wouldn't have backtracked, devolution can never work if the SNP controls the levers of power in the Government and Parliament of Scotland. It is unlikely that the SNP is ever going to change its modus operandi of preaching hate and division, in this climate, how is devolution going to work?

Boris' spokesman said:

“This government continues to put the union at the heart of all that we do. Now more than ever is the time for the United Kingdom to be pulling together to focus on defeating this virus. The PM has been clear that he thinks the four corners of the UK are stronger together and he will be the voice of the majority of Scottish people who voted decisively to keep the UK together, and he will always stand against those trying to separate the United Kingdom. He is very clear that he rejects the SNP’s call to break up the UK”.

So, where does that leave Douglas Ross as Scottish leader, well if you read online comments, the people that Douglas Ross needs to reach out to the 'core' pro UK vote aren't happy with him. I think unhappy rather dilutes the strength of feeling they currently have towards him, some people have even gone onto contact him directly on twitter. There is a thing called the 80/20 rule, 20% of your customers buy 80% of your product, to me it seems that Douglas Ross thinks like Rian Johnson, who was more interested in the 80% who only buy 20%. If Douglas Ross loses his 'core' vote, he will be in trouble at the next Holyrood election. It's the 20% who are the magnet to pull in other votes because they 'believe'. I believe that Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross is wrong, and he is wrong to have communicated his anger over the remarks directly to Boris over something he should have said himself. Is there anything that Holyrood is doing which couldn't have been done if the Scottish Parliament didn't exist and Westminster had control? I would venture very little indeed, all the services that currently operate like the Health Service, Education and law would also still operate.

Ross did say:

“Devolution is not the problem, the nationalist administration in Edinburgh is the problem because they use the tools of devolution and the levers of power, not to benefit, every single individual in every single community right across Scotland, but to further their aim to separate Scotland from the rest of the United Kingdom. The SNP will use anything they can to further the ambition to separate Scotland from the rest of the United Kingdom, and to take the focus away from their domestic record.”

Nothing he said there is unknown to the Scottish public.

A Conservative source said:

“This is not what we need right now, six months from the elections. Boris is turning in to a liability, and he needs to stop talking about issues that he clearly does not understand. Devolution has not been a disaster by any means, and while I think he is talking about the way it has been weaponised by the SNP, it isn’t coming across like that.”

If the Scottish Conservative pitch at the next Holyrood election is not a platform to fix a broken system, then could someone let me what it is, in the comment section. Devolution from 1999 to 2007 didn't work properly either, so what is Douglas Ross' plan? If it is change the deck chairs and seating, and remove constant indyref 2 from the Scottish Government, yes, he can halt that if he wins. But people will be looking beyond that and prior to the election, they are looking for "proof", the ten foot big as shit, balls in your face truth. If the proof isn't forthcoming or no one can grasp what the public needs, then it won't be Boris who failed to win Scotland at the election, it will be Douglas Ross. A bad 2021, and a bad 2024 for Douglas Ross will make his position as leader untenable. He has already had a public argument with his boss which his core customers didn't like one bit. He also fails to grasp that his customers can take their business elsewhere, there are other viable alternatives as it relates to the Holyrood 'list' in 2021.

Finally, I hope that the way I have framed this blog post has some educational value to you to ponder on. As someone who can step back and look at things as they are, some things are emerging which I am sure pro UK supporters didn't expect. There are senior Scottish Conservatives who have spent too much within their political bubble.They have lost perspective. They might know the 'ins and out' of the Holyrood system but they seem blinded by reality both socially and politically. The cause is having spent too much time in a broken system, it has become normalised to them. I have previously talked about the Holyrood 'list' system having created in effect a 'hostage' mentality for parties MSPs, I stand by that opinion. I read what senior Scottish Conservatives have said about Boris and I think 'Stockholm Syndrome'. Boris is right, devolution has been a disaster because when it was setup the concept was wrong. Maybe the senior Scottish Conservatives need a refresher course in business, and then a course in, 'who votes for you' and they better learn quick, six months till an election! 

Yours sincerely

George Laird                                                                                                                        The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

A SNP Fool and his Mouth; SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford angers die hard Nationalists as he spouts indyref 2 in 2021to Lesley Riddoch, Blackford let's slip his real aim is to get people to vote for Nicola Sturgeon's SNP in the next Holyrood election, there has been an awakening, the SNP clique have used people as cheap labour and skimmed them of their cash, how long till SNP members realise that they need to vote against Sturgeon, and then drain the SNP swamp?

Dear All

Yesterday's timely post was all about how certain sections of the SNP are wheeled out to galvanise people to be voters and activists, then to con them, to use them, to treat people who support Scottish independence as 'MUGs'. As far as I understand it, there is no term for those whom Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP have duped into work for them as activists. These activists have expectations, chiefly they want the SNP to get a Section 30 order for another referendum. So, let's give these 'gullible' people a term, a term which they can rally round, 'Yes Mugs'. Yes Mugs need to to learn that they're walking on a one way street, the SNP will continually take from them. as much and as long as possible, of their resources.

Before we continue, where is the indyref 2 cash donated to the SNP by ordinary people?  

There are two speakers in this youtube video, I am not fans of either, but in this exchange, Lesley Riddoch tries to nail 'jelly' to a wall without little success. You wonder after watching SNP MP Ian Blackford in action did Riddoch have a 'material change' as regards the SNP leadership?

I find it interesting how people are 'getting it' now, as I have previously written about how the SNP has been 'playing' people over years. In the interview on youtube, Blackford was unable to answer even the most basic questions, his theme was clear, beg people to work for the SNP at the Holyrood election in 2021. Why should he even have to ask this? What has happened, well, one thing he steered clear of, is that rather a lot of SNP members aren't willing to support the leadership of Nicola Sturgeon. When people leave so goes their free labour to do the campaigning, and so too goes their money. There seems to be a mood that the exodus from the SNP is now a real thing, of course many things drive it, firstly, people know that Nicola Sturgeon and the rest of the leadership aren't campaigning for Scottish independence. It took them awhile to figure that bunny out but they got there eventually. Secondly, Alex Salmond and what people term 'the conspiracy' to destroy him, his reputation and career.

The 'Alphabet women' haven't been forgotten by the Yes movement, or by Salmond's allies of senior SNP, and the rank and file SNP movement. No one is forgetting what happened because there is burning and pressing need for justice, and in those of a lesser IQ who aren't willing to do the deep dive beyond the glitzy headlines, they just want 'revenge'. They want revenge on Nicola Sturgeon, Leslie Evans, the cabal in the SNP Government and every 'alphabet women', they want removed from public office whether they be an elected politician or a civil servant. You see people who back a 'cause' all have a common belief, they believe in in the 'purity' of it. Nicola Sturgeon and the 'Alphabet women' have been effectively accused of polluting the purity of the Yes movement. Sturgeon has certainly in the eyes of diehard Nationalists crossed an unforgiveable line which no apology can ever be accepted. In the eyes of diehard Nationalists, Nicola Sturgeon must fall, she has to resign as First Minister and as SNP leader. But Sturgeon has a problem, in her post FM world, she wouldn't be welcome in Scotland, and she wouldn't be welcome in the rest of the UK, maybe the Welsh would or possibly 'keep a light on' for Nicola due to her 'woke credentials'.

Throughout this interview, Blackford is a man who came across as bland, he had nothing to say of note, he had no vision, and his offer to work with the Yes movement sound all rather hollow to me and interestingly to indy supporters. His real pitch was about keeping an SNP clique in power so as to not alter their luxury lifestyle. Blackford is also smart enough to know that a fall from grace from Holyrood by the SNP happens, it is also a fall from grace eventually for those who occupy a Westminster seat. Blackford's interest to me came across as self preservation, it is clear that Blackford has no plan to make indyref 2 happen, neither does Nicola Sturgeon. And if you want the clues, to follow the breadcrumbs all the way home, you look at the agenda of the SNP Conference. It's a Conference designed to dodge issues, to give the appearance of unity, and to firefight, the flames of indyref 2, which have already been snuffed out by Nicola Sturgeon's 'cold water' approach. Never ask for something in politics that you cannot deliver or get, but Sturgeon is forced to ask for a Section 30 order in 2021, and she will be publicly humiliated when the answer is no!  

Do you think that in the wake of 'No' that the SNP will be open to Boris Johnson's love in? What the SNP plan to do in 2021 is drama, they won't be indyref 2 campaigning on the doorsteps, and Blackford said as much as he touted the 'new campaigning', it's all to be done digital. Digital campaigning does play an effective part but did Blackford let slip that Holyrood 2021 is doing to be a political restricted campaign, I think he did. I think the SNP wants a digital election because Sturgeon intends to keep lockdown in Scotland doing well into next year. I think she will try to ban normal campaigning which could see a legal challenge from smaller parties who would suffer most. Scottish Labour certainly doesn't want to go the route of a digital campaign given the state of their polling which is under 20% depending on where you source information.  

In order to rally decline in support, the only option the SNP will have to resort to is crisis, they will manufacture grievance with Westminster in a rather public way. Of course, mass walks are out as the SNP at present have only been allowed 3 people in the Chamber of the House of Commons. 

2021 is the year of SNP public dramas!

The real drama however will not be seen, Salmond's allies are a pipeline of info out of the party, we could see them pulling out all the stops as the SNP becomes a leaking vessel. It will drip drip drip, because it is probably likely that the SNP will still be the largest party in Holyrood. Whether they gain a majority is a source of speculation because recently pro UK parties particularly the Scottish Conservatives have received blowback due to the comments of their Scottish leader Douglas Ross. People are angry with Douglas Ross, some people call him an appeaser of the SNP, are shades of Neville Chamberlain about to be pin on him? The mood is growing in pro UK ranks for what I would describe as 'endless political war', people have had enough and they want a fight with the Nationalists, not a couple of political punches by politicians and then let them all be friends in the Holyrood canteen. They want new people in the Chamber at Holyrood not willing to back down to Nicola Sturgeon and the rest of her puppet cabinet.

Finally, there will no indyref 2 in 2021, Blackford is rallying the troops because Holyrood MSPs are seen as compromised, if you wait at the 'political bus stop', you will see Angus McNeil and Mhairi Black come along with the same garbage. You can sense the angry of die hard nationalists is real, you can see the rejection of the SNP leadership as a slow process which is like the pebble on the start of its journey down the mountain. Given enough time the pebble hitting off others causes a momentum which will be hard to get out of the way. Nicola Sturgeon is a woman playing for time, and time is against her, if she ends up as a minority leader of the Scottish government, her mode of operation will be to do the 'foreign countries' circuit, failed leaders do this so as to not face the public. But before all the chaos starts, someone needs to find a pebble, find a mountain, find the path they want the pebble to take and then wait. They  are waiting for the SNP leadership to be in the descent path and then drop it, and wait and watch. 

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University   

Monday, November 16, 2020

The Great SNP Con Trick; SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon relies on 'gullible Scots' to support and fund the party, here is how it works, the Westminster SNP faction calls for Scottish independence referendums to 'rally the troops', while the SNP Holyrood Group stays silent because of their dreadful record in government, every election is based on false promises that Nicola Sturgeon has no intention or power to deliver, it's the same con trick at every single election, whatever happened to the canny Scot?

Dear All

Have you ever wondered why the SNP keeps saying now, that a fresh Scottish independence vote must happen next year? On side of the equation, SNP Leader Nicola Sturgeon is dogged by huge political scandals, finance and care homes come to mind immediately. But the biggests of the scandals must be the one that relates to Alex Salmond, this will emerge forefront once the tide of coronavirus subsides. Coronavirus for Nicola Sturgeon has been a godsend, it allows her not to be held to account, it allows her SNP Government to not held to account, and for her importantly, it buys time. Over many months, people have been complaining about the Nicola Sturgeon BBC broadcasts, they are SNP party political broadcasts under the guise of Covid briefings. I mentioned this right from the start, it took other people in politics several months to twig to that idea. The BBC in Scotland has failed to do its public broadcast duty and remit as it relates to The Nicola Sturgeon TV Show. As she dominates the TV, other party leaders are not given parity in air time, next year's election due to this, is in effect being unduly influenced, or you could say, it's being outright 'rigged' to favour one person.

The main theme of the SNP campaign of 2021 will be Nicola Sturgeon, so a question which should occupy you is, when will opposition start normal political campaigning?

Next year's election despite what the SNP say is not a vote for Scottish independence, nor is it a mandate for a referendum, this is the big lie that Nicola Sturgeon and others will be selling to the public ad nauseam until polling day. It's a rather large smokescreen to get her five more years as First Minister, five more years pay, perks and attention seeking. The field of who will contest that election however will not be normal, on both the Nationalist and pro Uk, new players will also take part. What effect these new players will have on the results as it relates to the list, is yet to be determined. As to constituency seats, you will not see much in the way of change such as the political tsunami which happened in 2011. Different people are angry for different reasons with the main parties contesting this election and they have good reasons. They are angry at the SNP, and Sturgeon in particular for pushing independence on to a back burner, and others are angry at the pro UK parties for being an incredibly weak opposition in defence of the United Kingdom. Chuck covid restrictions into the mix and you can't see the opposition parties even making any prolonged efforts to even appear as a 'government in waiting'.

I would like to touch on the issue briefly of Boris Johnson campaign in Scotland, let's say for the exercise, he heeds what some Scottish Conservatives say and stays away entirely. If the Scottish Conservatives lose badly, don't even come close to winning Holyrood, what future is there for Douglas Ross remaining leader? Even if he hangs on to the title official opposition leader but the Conservative vote is marginally up or down for various reasons, where does he go? Does he hang around till 2024 and make a stab at Westminster in the hope of a good showing? And what if that result is shows little or no movement towards progress at that Westminster election? Saying 'no' to Boris Johnson campaigning in Scotland places Douglas Ross as a hostage to fortune. He understands this I am sure, and he has already said he isn't giving up his part time job as a football referee unless he becomes First Minister. Politics is like poker, when you want to 'win the pot', you have to go 'all in'. Can anyone reasonably say that Douglas Ross has gone 'all in' politically for Scotland at present? Douglas Ross hasn't, he fails to understand that he has to commit first to the Scottish voters, not the other way round.            

So, where is the mantra of indyref 2 next year coming from? Well predictably, it comes from a source which has no power to implement anything. It comes from someone who is an even bigger fool that SNP candidate, and Sturgeon ally, Angus Robertson. SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford has 'demanded' a fresh independence referendum next year, Blackford is a man who has no credibility or respect from his peers at Westminster. He is what working class people would term in layman's terms a 'banger'. Ian Blackford can insist all he likes that a victory for the SNP at May Holyrood elections would be a mandate, but legally it isn't. None of the pro UK opposition parties are also making his ridiculous claim on mandates, no one is buying into his illusion because it's a simply a mere rallying cry to get people to work for the SNP. As it stands at present, pro UK opposition parties are set to do badly, because the people who are elected in the main parties are weak, ineffective and cannot get or hold public trust. There has been abject failure of pro UK opposition parties to build trust with the public, they have effective retreated into a political bubble making clich├ęs remarks to anyone who will care to listen to them. Can you name the Shadow Cabinets of either the Scottish Labour or Scottish Conservatives, I suspect you cannot. The reason you can't is for the most part, their lack of ability to get themselves noticed, and secondly to produce policies that stir your imagination and thirdly, you have stopped taking an interest in them.

If they can't be interested to promote their Shadow Cabinet jobs and policies, why would you as a member of the public be interested?

In response to the SNP mantra of second mandate next year for indy, ex PM Gordon Brown has entered the fray and insisted Nicola Sturgeon should be focused on coronavirus crisis. What we are seeing as members of the public is an 'echo chamber' in operation which has no relevance to the people of Scotland. Politics in Scotland has been reduced to a TV soap opera in which we are invited to buy into the everyday lives of rich middle class folk. It's River City on steroids, they want you to hear their opinions when in fact they should be listening to yours as a member of the public. The era of public service has long since died, can you name a 'people's champion' in Scottish politics?  No, you can't because these people weren't selected because they want to stand up for the people, but rather they were selected because they are 'cogs'. They are little people who fit into a party machine. As 'cogs', they haven't moved Scotland forward, one person who has expressed this notion of the rich middle political class failing the working class is Andrew Neil, formerly of the BBC.

After listening to what he said, and the response of the Sturgeon's ally, Alyn Smith, you see what the priorities of the SNP are, and it isn't the people of Scotland. For the SNP, an anti English party which someone people have dubbed, the 'Yes Racists', it's all about money, power and status. Here is an example of how an SNP Government funded NGO operates which has angered ordinary people.

The SNP isn't an independence party, they want to leave the UK to immediately hand over power and Scotland's resources in return for a seat at the European Union table. One thing that Blackford has said is that indyref 2 has been delayed, this is a lie. It's a lie because permission was never given by Westminster to hold a second referendum, you can't delay something you have no power to do. All of what Blackford says is a smokescreen to galvanise what I would describe as the 'gullible'. The SNP need the 'gullible' mainly working class to knock doors and deliver leaflets, they need to given the impression that they are a community based and community orientated party. If you look at various parts of Glasgow, you will know this is a lie, in poor areas, the SNP solely link to local organisations to infiltrate and exploit them for publicity, they say the 'support'. This is like a football fan supporting a football team, all the big decisions and direction, they have no part of.

I am surprised that 'alarm' is said to be suddenly growing in Westminster, because the main opposition parties have had over 13 years to get their act together. They had 13 years as it relates to their operations in Scotland to change. Scottish Labour has an ongoing pressing need to reform, but they steadfastly refuse to do so. Why haven't they done so? The same people who the public have rejected time and time again remain in situ. If you are a failed Scottish Labour MSP, you just become a failed Scottish Labour MP candidate, or future Councillor candidate if you need the money and are confident the system will get you in. The lack of effective opposition is appalling in this country. The lack of organised campaigning is appalling, the lack of resources which should be supplied to people in order to campaign is appalling. Why is it that Scottish Labour thinks that poor people who are activists have the resources to do phone canvassing and run up a high telephone bill? If people are supplying their labour to effective do an office job for the party, then shouldn't they be supplied the equipment? Cheap labour is hard to find, free labour is nearly impossible, so shouldn't Scottish Labour value unpaid activism more, after all, it's their most important campaign resource.

For some time, the Scottish public have been bombarded with polls commissioned by Nationalists to generate inter4est in indyref 2. These polls are running in a 'culture of hate' which the SNP have generated against the English, and particularly Boris Johnson. Instead of believe the lie that the English Tories are to blame for all Scotland's ills, focus on the people responsible for the destruction of Scotland. Who are these people? They are Nicola Sturgeon, Jeane Freeman, John Swinney, Humaz Yousaf, Shirley Anne Somerville, Fiona Hyslop, Kate Forbes, Fergus Ewing, Michael Matheson, Roseanna Cunningham and Aileen Campbell, along with other people who are laughing called 'Ministers', the full list of these people can be found here. Everyone of them played a part in Scotland's demise as a nation both economically and socially, but the press don't tell you that in depth, they skim the surface of the Nationalist septic tank without diving in.

To be clear, Nicola Sturgeon doesn't have grounds or the power to hold a referendum 'quickly'  or in the medium or long term without a Section 30 order from Westminster. There will no Scottish referendum in 2021, or during the next term of Westminster or Holyrood. So, what will there be, there will be SNP propaganda and one sided Nationalist polls to attempt to keep a flow of money to the SNP coffers. The SNP based their election strategy on 'hate the English', so Boris' attempted and ultimately futile love in with Nicola Sturgeon will as I previous wrote be doomed to abject failure. The SNP fear the changes of Brexit, they fear Westminster delivering for Scots, and they fear being cut out of the equation, they want to be the middle man between Westminster and Scots. Westminster needs to start direct funding and contact between them and ordinary Scots as it relates not just to business but other areas of opportunity. While the SNP control everything, Scotland can't breathe, the new paradigm must take that into account so it can destroyed. Westminster needs to downgrade contact with Nicola Sturgeon, Boris should never again, meet her on Scottish soil on her terms, and on her ground.                                

As I have mentioned before also, we have a weak opposition in Scotland, it has been identified as well by others who noticed the continual inability of unionists politicians to mobilise people, and their own members, and their inability to get across their messages about the benefits of keeping the centuries-old alliance. The United Kingdom isn't perfect, it has faults, but those faults pale into insignificance when stacked up against Scotland out of the UK family of Nations. The lack of suitable people to promote the UK benefits in Scotland has also been identified as a recurring problem. The solution to that problem is that new people must come forward and promote 'Global UK' in Scotland, Westminster must prime Scotland to be a land of opportunities for investors and Scots, something that the SNP has no interest or ability to do. 13 years of power by the SNP has led to the gaps in education and wealth becoming wider. Not once has the SNP under Nicola Sturgeon ever closed or narrowed that gap despite her meaningless pledge that education is a priority.

Finally, SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford said:

'To be able to be respectful to those who are not currently with us that we're appealing to join us; about that denial of democracy that is currently taking place and to affirm that it is the sovereign right of the people of Scotland to determine their own future; and come what may, we will prevail.'

During the last indyref in 2014, the Nationalists and their fan boys and so called allies rather a hate campaign which set the tone for the campaign. Scots who had been ignorant to the ways of the SNP got an educational experience of what lurks under the surface of the Nationalist cause. No one will be 'joining' the Nationalists, and if you look at SNP beyond looking for £600,000 indyref 2 cash donations, you will see  why some have extrapolated that tens of thousands of people have left the SNP. As the SNP bleeds members, you can see why they are shouting about a quick referendum, it's to stir up interest, protect Nicola Sturgeon and stem the loss of donations from a party that is morally bankrupt. The SNP clique will use any dirty trick to stem their losses and hold on to power at Holyrood. Calling for 'indyref 2' is now akin to crying 'wolf', it has been done too many times now by the SNP Westminster Group, but do you hear the same volume from the SNP MSPs? You don't, the reason why is that the SNP are duping their voters. They are relying on the 'hate' they manufactured to make people make an emotional vote in their favour. Imagine what will happen when the voters wake up and understand the concept of how they were played for fools? When the sea change happens, you will see less and less of Nicola Sturgeon appearances with ordinary people, she will revert to stage managed appearances were her audiences are handpicked and pre-vetted. Post Covid, expect to see Nicola Sturgeon travelling around Europe and elsewhere, when this happens as it previously did, you will know that Sturgeon is in trouble again in Scotland.

Yours sincerely

George Laird                                                                                                                              The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University 

Friday, November 13, 2020

All Change At Number 10, Dominic Cummings to leave Downing St at the end of the year thus enabling PM Boris Johnson to 'reset' his Government in the post Brexit era, as 'Global UK' goes online next year, attention must now surely turn towards the next major fight in UK politics which cannot be ignored, for the Conservatives, it is to tear down the 'yellow wall' of the SNP in Scotland, can Scottish leader Douglas Ross and the Scottish Conservatives crack the Holyrood nut in 2021, one thing is certain, they will need the help of Boris Johnson

Dear All

If you were to name some of the key players who helped deliver Brexit in this country, you would put Nigel Farage at the lost of the list, and closely followed by Dominic Cummings. As history will record, these two people were in the right place at the right time and did the UK a great service. Of course their place in history won't have been possible if then PM David Cameron hadn't been so out of touch with the mood of the British people. As the Brexit transition period draws to a close, it seems the winds of change will also be sweeping through Number 10. Lee Cain, an advisor has gone, he was a close ally of Dominic Cummings, and now Cummings himself is said to be departing at the end of the year. Are there other people who will also be leaving, well that story is still to unfold, but these key departures allow PM Boris Johnson the chance to reset his administration according to a senior Conservative. Just as Brexit was important, the next big fight for the Conservatives is to destroy what some people call the 'yellow wall'. The 'yellow wall' is the SNP, but the fight to get rid of them is vastly different than the Brexit fight. The reasons are many but a key difference is the Conservatives have to fight individual elections in Scotland and not a referendum.  

One thing which will not happen despite being touted, and is a road to nowhere is that idea that Boris Johnson can rebuild relations with the SNP Government. Given the way that the SNP operate, Johnson and his advisors must surely know that cooperation is dead. Building relations with them is a myth and handing over of more powers doesn't change the mindset in Scotland one bit. The SNP have been  effectively using 'hate speech' to build up their vote, instead of using the word, 'English' as the cause of all Scotland's ills, they use the word, 'Westminster'. The SNP could and should be called an 'exotic' version of the BNP. Out of one side of their mouth they preach diversity, out the opposite side, they preach hatred, hatred of England, hatred of English people, and hatred of Conservatives. Anyone think that Boris Johnson can turn that around? If so, a better question would be could Boris Johnson tame a rabid dog with a few biscuits and a jolly disposition?

The answer to both questions is No!

Boris cannot turn the SNP into a cooperative body of government working towards mutual ends. The SNP cannot be bought off, they can't be reasoned with, they only 'take', they don't give back or work for the common good. So, there is no benchmark in which active negotiations with them produce positive results unless it is in the SNP's interests. For years, the UK Government of all colours has left the 'Scottish problem' to fester. The lack of 'boots on the ground' has left the SNP as the dominate party in Scotland. The SNP seized of the opportunity of the Westminster expenses scandal and concentrated their power by the shift in the voter base. Rather than upping their game, the opposition parties fell back and became ineffective, they were willing to settle for less as the elections results to the Scottish parliament shows time and time again.

Due to the 'list' system at Holyrood, those elected have a double edge sword against them, if they do nothing chances are they can keep their list seats, if they campaign properly, they might win FPTP seats in which case, a list MSP may be out of a job. In many respects it's a bit like the period at dusk where your eyes can't see properly in the dark or light, this has caused what I would describe as a 'list' mentality in the opposition parties. Outside of parliament, their influence is mainly confined to social media, and this includes their activities pre Covid. While the SNP beavered away in constituencies doing the talking and being seen on the ground, the opposition parties were scarce.

The only way effective campaigning from the opposition parties can happen is if those on the list system can experience the 'fear of loss'. I believe that all MSPs should only be eligible and allowed by law only two terms on the list before they are rotated off it. This would boost campaigning and those who refuse to work, well their party and the public will take care of them.

Isn't time we had better MSPs?

When I say better, I don't mean qualifications, I mean commitment to work harder in their areas. I would also end the practice of people standing in constituencies also standing on the list. The only way to take Scotland back from the SNP is to fight for it. Parties need to win back the voters who felt that the opposite parties didn't speak for them, didn't represent them and, establish the ethos of public service back into politics. At present in Scotland, the Scottish public know that SNP politicians put 'party before country'  at every turn, but as they see no one viable, they keep voting SNP. In return for their votes, the SNP offer election bribes, not because they feel generous or kind or worldly, but because they clicked a few pounds thrown at the masses can buy you the government of Scotland.

Two things set the SNP on the path to power, the Westminster expenses scandal and the Council tax freeze. Over the years, they add other incentives, not a lot but just enough to retain power. Whitehall insiders really don't know Scottish politics, they don't grasp the why of how voters drifted away from them and gave the SNP power. They went into every Scottish election post 2007 with manifestos which were all about them, not the people. 2015 Westminster, Jim Murphy 'offers' Scotland policies that he cannot implement as a centre piece of his election campaign for Scottish Labour. To me nothing explains it better than a post I wrote in Feb 2015, it was aptly titled, 'Fucking it all up'.   

And that was exactly what Jim Murphy and Kezia Dugdale did to the Scottish Labour campaign which ushered in 56 SNP MPs. My contribution to that Labour campaign was nil, serious illness sidelined me. 12 weeks before the ballot, I knew Scottish Labour's campaign would see them wiped off the face of the political map in Scotland. What surprises me is that Jim Murphy, his campaigning team and Scottish Labour HQ couldn't, and they were supposed to be the 'experts'. The result for Scottish Labour was to hold one single seat, which Ian Murray did in Edinburgh because of the unionist vote in his area, Conservatives and Lib Dems gave him their votes. His support for Hearts also helped him as the Scottish Labour vote crumbled away to dust. This wasn't Scottish Labour's finest hour, it was a major embarrassment which post election, the party didn't learn from.      

As I said above, it is a waste of time to deal with the SNP, if the Conservatives want power in Scotland, they need to 'cut out the middle man'  and go straight to the people. There is no opportunity to change the tone and style of the UK Government regarding Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP by thinking a softer approach works. The UK Government need to be more professional and active in promoting themselves in Scotland. Also they need to shout from the rooftops what they are doing, and even more active in offering and making people aware of every single resource, grants, loans and specialised help which is available to enrich their lives. This is the tack that the UK Government should take as part of its 'Global UK' strategy for Scotland, not just help to businesses, but also directly to people. They need to shut down the SNP and force them to do the 'day job', the UK Government has to go into competition with the SNP, head to head, 365 days a year.

Help people and then tell their stories to all of Scotland!

SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon’s argument for another Scottish independence referendum in the near future should be drowned out by the UK. Alister Jack, the Scottish Secretary has said that as far as the Conservative Government was concerned it would be 25 years before a second poll on Scotland’s future should take place. In 25 years from now the pretend parliament will still be a debating chamber for student union politics. By the time that 2039 rolls around, there will be no heavyweights in the SNP. Alex Salmond and Nicola Sturgeon will be probably be gone, or incapable of campaigning. Nicola Sturgeon is the last dodo when she falls and that is looking increasingly likely, the SNP will be fractionalised  by 'woke' activists pushing gender politics and critical race theory to anyone who will listen. The SNP is a party in decline because once they got power, they abused power for selfish ends.

As we wait to find out what 'goodies' are in the publication of The Dunlop Report, on strengthening the Union, along with the review on intergovernmental relations.  If it doesn't grasp the full extent breakdown and thinks 'candy for the weans' solves everything, it will be just another report to gather dust. It doesn't matter to the SNP how well Scotland is treated, they would simply claim any good done for Scotland because the SNP 'fought' for it from Westminster. What is needed is a fight on Scottish soil, some people call it 'parking your tanks on someone's lawn'. Everything according to the SNP is not good enough, and it started long before Brexit and even the UK Internal Market Bill. The SNP calls this Bill a power grab of powers that they never had at Holyrood because they were until recently enacted by the EU.

I see the change at Number 10 as positive, Cummings had a job to do, it is now ending, Brexit is now ending, 'Global UK'  will now have a different set of priorities to do, and it's right that the new era starts with a fresh team for the PM. One part of tackling the 'yellow wall' was hinted at by Michael Gove who said that the UK Government wanted to “reset” relations with the SNP and improve it through “constant repair and renovation”. Everyone except the SNP recognises that devolution is broken in Scotland, and the SNP have overstepped the mark. Part of repair and renovation is to recognise that the UK Government needs to have more accountability how the SNP is spending money. It's time to ensure that UK money earmarked for certain people and projects is actually used on them. If the SNP won't pass on money to business or people, there is a case that this should be done by the Scotland Office. This is a part of the UK Government which I have for years highlighted needs enlarging and with a new remit. A start has been made in that direction in Edinburgh, but it is time to crank up the machine to a level which the SNP cannot compete with, if not all you can expect a shuffling of deck chairs at Holyrood, and some different people waiting in line at the canteen who call themselves MSPs!

Finally, Scottish actor Sean Connery recently passed away at the age of 90, I was a fan of his Bond movies, and some of his later work, which include one of his best performances in The Hunt for Red October. Connery also did a movie with Kevin Costner and Robert De Niro called, The 'Untouchables'. In that movie there is a quote by Costner to De Niro in the court at the end of the movie which is rather  apt for the situation in Scotland.

"Never stop, never stop fighting till the fight is done".

Whose up for a fight?

Yours sincerely

George Laird                                                                                                                        The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

Thursday, November 12, 2020

The Sordid Conspiracy of Silence to Protect Sturgeon; Nicola Sturgeon's SNP Government says it has no information on 'forgotten' earlier bombshell meeting which Sturgeon was told Salmond was being investigated over sexual allegations by her government, Sturgeon 'forgot', evidence is being withheld, evidence is being removed and erased, and evidence of who removed meeting from Nicola Sturgeon's diary isn't recorded, how many people believe that Alex Salmond was a victim of a conspiracy, and the SNP Government are involved in an active cover up to suppress the truth?

Dear All 

There is a side benefit for Scots regarding the trials of Alex Salmond which you should notice and remember, you now know the extent of how utter corrupt the SNP Government is. The inquiry into the Scottish Government's handling of the affair is a scandal. It seems that those who tried to railroad and destroy Alex Salmond's career, reputation and liberty are hell bent on remaining in the shadows and getting away with it. As to the role that Nicola Sturgeon has played in this affair, that is still to be determined, but there is a spotlight on her, Leslie Evans and her husband, SNP CEO Peter Murrell, and let's not forget the 'Alphabet women'. The attempt to destroy Salmond using Scottish Government legislation was a 'one shot deal', not that it has been found to be illegal. Why would so many highly educated people put a piece of legislation in place, this is a question which you should ask yourself. If they are prepared to act illegally to someone of Salmond's status, they are willing to do it to anyone. Salmond has become a lightening rod to show up corruption in Scottish Government. 

The inquiry at the Scottish Parliament isn't going to be allowed to do its job properly, that much is clear from what has so far taken place. SNP Leader Nicola Sturgeon and her SNP cabal think they are above the law because they hold executive power in the land. While they do, and Westminster doesn't interfere, they are safe for the moment. One thing that tin pot dictators and political cult leaders don't get it seems is that when they eventually step down, their shield of protection vanishes. It will vanish from Nicola Sturgeon, the only hope her cabal has is to integrate themselves with the next leader for protection. One thing through-out this inquiry is that Nicola Sturgeon has been keen to stress her innocence of wrong doing, the most ignorant woman in Scottish politics apparently has a defence that she knows 'nothing about nothing ever'! 

It seems that the SNP Government has decided to follow what now must be termed the 'Sturgeon Mantra' as it is pleading ignorance about the bombshell meeting at which Nicola Sturgeon was told of sexual misconduct claims against Alex Salmond. Their take is that the Government “holds no information” about the incident, all these people surrounding Sturgeon attending meetings with her, managing her press, holding her bag and no one is taking or recording notes? This begs the question, do they take notes and record other meetings, if so, what made the Alex Salmond meeting so special that they felt that no record must be kept? It seems that evidence in the inquiry at Holyrood must be forced out by those investigating these events, but apparently it isn't being voluntary given. 

Why doesn't the people in the SNP Government want to speak the truth? 

What we do know is that a meeting took place, we know this because it has been forced out of Nicola Sturgeon by politicians at Holyrood. Fast forward to this point in the time line and the  Scottish Government claims not to know where the meeting took place. One thing to observe is that you cannot just walk into the Scottish Parliament off the street, there are checks to get you in as a member of the public. Once inside, you simply just can't walk about anywhere, there is a security force in the building, we know that Salmond was inside the building because there will be a record of that. And, we know from Sturgeon that a meeting took place as she describes it, “in my office at the Scottish Parliament”. Another interesting part of the puzzle is that the Salmond meeting was later “removed” from the FM’s diary. This begs the questions of who is tampering with the official record of the First Minister, did they act alone, where they told to alter the record and what role did Nicola Sturgeon play in any of this? The meeting has been claimed to be 'party business' and it is expressly forbidden to conduct party business on the estate of the Holyrood parliament. It seems if breaking the rules isn't just confined to the Scottish Government, it is practiced within the Scottish parliament itself. You get a sense of the contempt the SNP hold Scotland and its people in when they put themselves above the people and the rules. 

Someone who is doing rather well at ferreting out the painful truth is Labour MSP Jackie Baillie, she has repeatedly dogged the SNP Government asking for information. In her attempts to get the truth of the matters at hand, she tabled five written questions about the incident, she received the same “no information” answer to them all from parliament minister Graeme Dey. Where has the information gone, it may not be thought of as usual that a document or record is misplaced, what when an entire record and its timeline has been deliberately sanitised that should set alarms bells running. Jackie Baillie is right to say that there is a “pervasive culture of secrecy”. You can also understand why the SNP Government show a willingness to take extreme measures to protect Nicola Sturgeon. If Sturgeon falls, circumstances change then so goes their protection, and although the SNP have no problem using people, they have no problem in throwing them under a bus to save their skins. You might also ask, why does SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon need protection if she has done nothing wrong? 

We already know that Sturgeon told MSPs she had three meetings and two calls with Alex Salmond while he was being investigated by her officials. Sturgeon claims that the first was on April 2, 2018 at her home in Glasgow. I suppose Salmond's mistake was having faith in Nicola Sturgeon, something I think he has been cured of forever. It has been now been established that Sturgeon was told March 29, 2018 by Salmond’s former chief of staff, Geoff Aberdein, in a meeting in her Holyrood office. So, why would Sturgeon forget to tell MSPs about the earlier meeting. If someone walked into your office and told you that your mentor of 30 years was accused of being sexually inappropriate would you simply forget that? How many people do you think that Nicola Sturgeon would feel the need to tell? Given the SNP try to micromanage the news in Scotland about them, how many do you feel would be in a meeting to composite not just hers but the SNP's response?  

Sturgeon said she had “forgotten” about her meeting with Mr Aberdein, despite the toxic nature of the discussion, as it had been “in the midst of a busy day” after FMQs. Do you believe that explanation? I don't know about you, but given the low grade volumetric tripe spewed out at Holyrood, I don't think anything would make me forget that in a hurry. Her failure to mention the meeting to MSPs should be a resignation matter, not because of what she said, but where she said it. If people lie in parliament or too parliament, it undermines democracy and when they hold the reins of power, anyone who lies is untenable to remain as a Government Minister of the Crown. The questions that Jackie Baillie is asking are important, she asked when the meeting was first placed in the ministerial diary, by whom and whose instruction; when it was removed from the ministerial diary, by whom and on whose instruction; where the meeting took place; the purpose of the meeting and who arranged it; and whether there were any prior meetings between Ms Sturgeon and Mr Aberdein, and if so what was discussed. 

The idea that no answers are available to her as a member of the 'Salmond inquiry' is patently nonsense. 

In reply to the first question, SNP MSP Graeme Dey said: 

“The Scottish Government holds no information.” 

In reply to the rest, he then referred Ms Baillie to his answer to the first question. 

Ms Baillie said: 

“This is just the latest example of the pervasive culture of secrecy in the Scottish Government and the lengths to which they will go to protect the reputation of the First Minister. By failing to answer these legitimate and necessary questions, the Scottish Government has displayed a contempt for transparency and utter disdain for the work of the Committee. This is symbolic of the obstruction that the Committee has faced and the toxic political culture that the SNP government has created and nurtured. Try as they might, the truth will out and I will use everything at my disposal to ensure that this sordid episode in Scottish political history is exposed.” 

Some people might conclude that that this whole affair shows how utterly corrupt the SNP Government is, and clearly many people think that Alex Salmond was the victim of a conspiracy to get him. In the aftermath of both Salmond 'trials', that idea I think was cemented in their minds. This piece on the Wings over Scotland website maybe of some interest to you regarding Nicola Sturgeon's Chief of Staff Liz Lloyd, she is someone who the Salmond supporters have taken a keen interest in as well, she is the 'gatekeeper' to Sturgeon. 


Finally, evidence is being withheld from the Holyrood parliament and the public, we know that now. How many people have access to and could alter the diary of Nicola Sturgeon? Very few people indeed, so the suspects of who remove the Salmond meeting from the diary is very limited indeed are we to believe the few people who can access where never interviewed re Jackie Baillies request for information? Nicola Sturgeon has been branded a liar by many including an MSP, her husband Peter Murrell faces calls to be sacked on multiple issues including the Salmond affair. Nicola Sturgeon is also very close to those who denied Alex Salmond justice and also to certain members of the 'alphabet women' who sought to destroy him and put him in prison. What the public don't know is how close Sturgeon is to them as they shield their identity via protection from the court. This scandal isn't going away as demonstrated by SNP MP Kenny MacAskill who also is a Salmond supporter. He is doing something however which may take down the Sturgeon Empire, he has taken an ultra keen interest in where circa £600,000 donated specifically to fight indyref 2 has gone. Money may make the world go round, but it can also take people down, and once the dominos start falling, the speed of collapse will shock you.

Yours sincerely

George Laird                                                                                                                                The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University