Saturday, October 25, 2014

Scottish Labour Leader Johann Lamont resigns as leader, she stands down with immediate effect, citing Ed Miliband and those around him treat Scotland as a “branch office”, Labour’s Scottish troubles just got a whole lot deeper, Labour needs new talent

Dear All

Scottish Labour leader Johann Lamont has resigned with immediate effect.

In leaving the post as leader she has accused the UK party of treating Scotland like a "branch office".

The Labour Party in Scotland is now at a crossroads, when you look up at the sign posts there is really only one name stands out within the MSP ranks Ken Macintosh.

The other alternative is that Labour elect someone who is a big Westminster hitter such as Jim Murphy or Gordon Brown, both had very successful independence campaigns.

In an ideal world, a replacement would have come from the MSP ranks, but the choice is so poor.

And you can add to it that Scottish Labour can’t be just a name anymore because as Lamont found out key decisions, including the removal of Scottish Labour general secretary Ian Price, were made without her input.

During the Yes campaign, her constituency Pollok returned the highest Yes vote in Glasgow so Johann Lamont has other problems to consider like holding onto the seat in 2016. 26.802 people voted Yes and Lamont’s vote in 2011 was 10.875.

As she has resigned as leader, she will find the extra help in constituency at election will also disappear, which means she really does face a long hard slog all the way.

The 56-year-old MSP indicated in her decision to resign that she had "had enough" well her troubles are just starting in her own backyard.

As to the removal of Scottish Labour general secretary Ian Price, it wasn’t a secret that the Labour campaign was poor on the ground, and it wasn’t a secret that equally Better Together suffered in Glasgow because of it.

Something had to be done with or without her input.

MP Anas Sarwar has become interim leader of the party north of the border while a successor is being chosen.

Former Scottish Labour first ministers, Henry McLeish and Jack McConnell, spoke to the BBC about the big problems that now faced their party.

Like loss of direction, lack of policy and drift, matters haven’t been helped by the infighting to rebrand Labour by people unhappy about the way the party was going.

Lord McConnell said he was "very, very angry" and insisted that the UK leadership had serious questions to answer.

Henry McLeish added Scottish Labour was facing a crisis following a decade of decline, this was in part caused by a total disconnection with the people who found out something rather incredible, you go complain to your elected Labour member and then you don’t get help.

This is one of the reasons why so many people are turned off by Scottish Labour.

In a parting shot Lamont described some Labour MPs as "dinosaurs" who failed to recognise that "Scotland has changed forever" after September's referendum.

She told the newspaper:

"Scotland has chosen to remain in partnership with our neighbours in the UK. But Scotland is distinct and colleagues must recognise that. There is a danger of Scottish politics being between two sets of dinosaurs - the Nationalists who can't accept they were rejected by the people, and some colleagues at Westminster who think nothing has changed."

I would have to agree with that, things have changed but there isn’t a will to accept that in Labour.

Lamont added:

"Party members up and down the country, voters on the doors, have spoken to me about the change they want. And that's a Scottish Labour Party which reflects their views. That's what I have been trying to build. However, some wanted me to become the issue. The Scottish Labour Party and its renewal are more important than me. That's why I am standing down - so that debate our country demands can take place."

In her resignation letter to Jamie Glackin, chair of the Scottish Labour Party, she said:

"In order that we can have the real discussion about how we take Scottish Labour forward, I believe it would be best if I took myself out of the equation and stepped down as leader."

As they say never a dull moment in politics.

Henry McLeish says the resignation was evidence of his party in crisis, he is right, in very party there is a rise and fall; the trouble is that renewal can forestall that process if the Labour Party in Scotland can re-invent itself.

And the re-invention is returning to it socialist roots which have been abandoned along with the ethos of public service.

McLeish added:

"This crisis in Labour didn't happen yesterday - this has been a decade now of decline. We've seen that they [Labour] have failed to match the other parties in terms of devolution commission reports and of course we have had this suffocating control of Westminster during this period. And this leads to the need for a very different modern Labour Party as we go ahead."

That sounds fine but the real nub is disconnect with people they are supposed to represent, the Labour Party’s business getting satisfied customers in the areas they represent, can they honestly say are pro active in doing that?

I am sure that many people in the Yes campaign will be very happy today, but they should remember that Lamont took out Alex Salmond prior to stepping down.

As to my own feelings about her resignation, I am neither happy nor unhappy by this event, I once went to Johann Lamont with a complaint, it was a genuine complaint, and it got tossed in the bin.

I got no help.

The Labour Party need to do something major to sort out their problems which is a bit hard in a party struggling and on a downward slope at present!

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

Friday, October 24, 2014

Glasgow SNP deputy leader Billy McAllister suspended from party after being charged with alleged homophobic breach of the peace, but the real question is, why does the Scottish National Party value the rights of heterosexuals less, is it because unpopular Nicola Sturgeon is in charge?

Dear All

During the Scottish independence campaign the Scottish National Party refused to suspend SNP Deputy Leader Billy McAllister when he was charged by the Police for threatening a disabled man.

It sent out a message SNP not interested in crime against disabled people.

That was Round One; Councillor McAllister went to Glasgow Sheriff Court and was fined £200.

Here is my video

Now, the deputy leader of the SNP in Glasgow has been suspended by his party over an alleged homophobic incident.

So, why is it he was suspended for an alleged homophobic incident but not suspended for breaking the law by threatening a disabled man by the SNP?

Is that not utter hypocrisy on the part of unpopular Nicola Sturgeon?

Why does the Scottish National Party value heterosexual people less in Glasgow?

Time for a quote:

“The Scottish National Party isn’t a party of fairness, equality and social justice. As I said previously, if you are a white working class and heterosexual you are shit out of luck dealing with the Sturgeon Empire”.

Round Two in the career of ‘battling Billy’ sees Councillor Billy McAllister being reported to prosecutors for an alleged homophobic breach of the peace in Glasgow in August.

I wonder will he run off to Australia again?

How many times can a man hide in Australia before it becomes a farce?

The latest incident is alleged to have happened during an altercation on Maryhill Road in Glasgow on August 26. As well as McAllister, a 47-year-old man was also reported to the procurator fiscal over an alleged assault during the same incident.

I said years ago, that the fault lay squarely on the shoulders of Allison Hunter a former Sturgeon crony who was appointed leader of the SNP Group at the Council. Her tenure was a disaster which saw the SNP failed to win the Glasgow City Council election in 2012. Hunter was a horrible mean spirited individual with a massive chip on her shoulder who had little skills in the way of leadership and was completely unsuitable to be a leader of men.

Hunter certainly wasn’t officer material and I should know, I trained people for Sandhurst (that’s a military academy).

The situation in Glasgow SNP, everything is run for the benefit of unpopular Nicola Sturgeon, but making Allison Hunter a leader was a grave error.

In Govan when you ask people did they know who the SNP Councillor was, you would get many different types of replies, but the main one was …… ‘who’.

Councillor Hunter as well as being useless at leadership, failing to inspire was one of the laziest people I had ever met doing activism in the Pollok Constituency despite being an elected official. In her own ward she hardly ever came out to work with the Pollok SNP branch.

In her dealing with SNP Councillors as we are seeing Allison Hunter was also pathetic beyond belief, she allowed the SNP Group to become little more than a rabble of malcontents. The SNP Group did nothing of note during her reign as leader, in a tv interview in the run up to the Glasgow City Council el;ection in 2012, she was asked what have the SNP done for Glasgow?

She mentioned roads, then she mentioned the new Hospital in Govan, then she ran out of ‘achievements’ and went back to mentioning roads. Hunter is part responsible for McAllister’s behavior which should have been clamped down on years ago.

To show how inept Allison Hunter was, check out this youtube video of her being easily defeated by Gordon ‘free dinners’ Matheson, leader of the Glasgow City Council.

An SNP spokesman going through the motions on McAllister said:

"Councillor McAllister has been suspended from the SNP group and as a member of the SNP until such time as due legal process has been completed."

A Police Scotland spokeswoman said:

"A 47-year-old man was reported to the procurator fiscal for an alleged assault and a 60-year-old man was reported to the procurator fiscal for an alleged homophobic breach of the peace.

She added:

"The alleged incident happened during an altercation on Maryhill Road, Glasgow, on August 26."

Councillor McAllister is currently unavailable for comment; he might be at the Travel Agent booking a flight to Australia.

This incident although mildly interesting it does a raise an interesting question, why does the Scottish National Party value the human rights of heterosexuals less?

Is it because unpopular Nicola Sturgeon is in charge in Glasgow?

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

Thursday, October 23, 2014

UKIP continue to lead in Rochester and Strood by-election, new poll places Mark Reckless on 43% of the vote, Conservatives are on 30% and Labour trail badly on 21%, if Ukip wins this second by-election Nigel Farage will certainly be in a strong position come the election and the TV debates

Dear All

Douglas Carswell pulled off an extraordinary feat in the Clacton by-election despite not having to take the chance of standing since he was already elected to Westminster.

But he did and won by a huge amount over his nearest rival.

Carswell defeated to Ukip who are seeing their star on the rise through-out Britain.

Ukip’s next test is to win the Rochester by-election and according to the latest opinion poll, it appears they maybe on track to pull that off.

Carswell win will certainly help in Rochester where ordinary working class people are starting to understand politics much; you don’t have to vote for a mainstream party any more.

This new found wisdom means that things are going to become very difficult for Labour, the Tories and the Lib Dems.

Why vote for a party and when you need help you get told to fuck off or ignored and then realise the party you voted for won’t lift a finger to get the elected member to act.

A ComRes survey has found Ukip well ahead of the Conservatives among voters in Rochester.

Their candidate is the former Conservative MP Mark Reckless who might not be so reckless as his name suggests.

Four in 10 of those who voted for David Cameron’s party in 2010 now plan to switch, so they must have a reason. Cameron has promised a referendum on the EU which they thought must have been enough to hold their voters and stop Ukip in its tracks.

In politics the overall picture matters, so voters have been let down not just on Europe but also on domestic matters such as welfare, you can push people only so far then you lose them forever.

On domestic matters and on social policies the Conservative Government is effectively digging their grave politically. They don’t think or care or realise how they treat people matters, can you imagine the stupidity of punishing people then asking them to vote for you!

It isn’t smart politics.   

The new poll has put Ukip on a healthy 43 percent of the vote which is a mountain for other parties to try and climb. The Conservatives are on 30 percent and the Labour Party trails in third on 21 percent.

It rather looks like a two horse race between Ukip and the Conservatives, having already lost a seat, losing a second certainly will trigger soul searching down at Tory HQ.

And down at the Labour HQ because they equally will see their supporters shift across to Ukip.

Ukip backs tighter immigration controls along with an EU exit, although all parties say they are coming round to tighter immigration controls, it maybe not enough to convince people. In the early days of Ukip, the supporters of the main parties tried to simply dismiss them as ‘racist’, that is ‘normal’ in politics when you can’t or won’t debate the issues of concerns of the voters. In their arrogance political parties who have a ruling elite thought they could simply count on people to just keep voting as they have always done.

Not any more it seems.

Two weeks ago Ukip won its first elected seat in parliament, given the mood of the British people; it looks highly likely this won’t be the last, with the likelihood of another coalition government. Ukip could hold a very interesting position in British politics.

Nigel Farage is looking very much like the man on the move.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Conservative deputy presiding officer at the Scottish Parliament John Scott says the mood right for “reconciliation” after Scottish independence referendum, does he do paint and decorating, because trying to paper over a crack with shit doesn’t produce a good finish

Dear All

One of the things which I commented on was how there would be ‘an act’ by the mainstream political parties of coming together for the ‘sake of Scotland’.

Apparently the Conservative deputy presiding officer at the Scottish Parliament John Scott has decided that the time is right for a mood of reconciliation. He bases this on the fact that the country approaches Remembrance Day.

Perhaps as he stood in Ypres, he was overcome by the emotion of it all, there will be a political coming together but that is to maintain the status quo on the surface at least. The Scottish independence campaign will be remembered as Alex Salmond and unpopular Nicola Sturgeon’s greatest political failure.

Aside from that it will also be remembered for the vast hatred generated by Nationalists and their allies against people campaigning to stay within the Union.

Getting all weepy eyed isn’t going to fix that, there is and there will be no reconciliation other than the sham by politicians.

I don’t know what planet John Scott inhabits but it isn’t the one I am standing on. Perhaps during this campaign he was spared the hate campaign directed towards him and doesn’t understand how deep it goes.

The fight on 18th September wasn’t about independence it was about stopping fascist Scotland rising.  It was about stopping Scottish working class people becoming even more second class citizens than they already are. It was all about fighting the ‘big lie’.

John Scott:

“There is a tremendous feeling of connection with all of our brave Scottish ancestors who gave their lives for the freedom and democracy.”

He added:

“Today is indicative of the sense of reconciliation across what we previously knew as the British Isles, but today the Scots, the Irish, the English and the Welsh have come together to commemorate those who were there to be counted and stood up for the freedoms that it was felt necessary to stand up for 100 years ago. I believe there is now a mood of reconciliation in Scotland following the referendum allowing us in Scotland to move forward and build with the new powers that we believe will come to Scotland and build a new and more prosperous Scotland.”

Firstly, just because there is a ceremony doesn’t change a thing, and secondly, we already know that no one is working to build a new and more prosperous Scotland.

Perhaps John Scott needs to spend time looking at how the poor and disadvantaged are treated and how nothing is done to help but plenty is done to make their situation worse. The Tory Government did a great job in helping deliver a Yes vote in Glasgow by their actions.

By actions I mean Government policy to punish the poor, now lots of people are politically active and they want another referendum, not on the basis of ‘milk and honey’ that as we all know doesn’t exist, but to get rid of English rule.

The central belt Nationalist campaign was seen by many as ‘hate the English’ vote Yes.

It maybe with the decline of the Labour Party that a new referendum will be held in under 10 years whether Westminster likes it or not.

Westminster was given a final chance.

Currently the Labour Party is going through some type of soul searching exercise and infighting as they try to “discover their roots”, however it is highly doubtful that this will be successful in my opinion without a fundamental culture change in how they operate.

Changing their name won’t help.

The Union maybe saved at present however the Labour Party needs to wake up to internal political executions of elected members.

That's assuming they are interested in survival. 

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

Monday, October 20, 2014

Scottish independence, the price of Brent crude oil has fallen through the floor hovering at around $86 a barrel, if Scotland had voted Yes, rich people like Alex Salmond and unpopular Nicola Sturgeon would be okay, but the poor and disadvantaged would be in dire straits, George Laird helped save Scotland for a better day…… no thanks required

Dear All

We are now about a month on since Alex Salmond, unpopular Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP were defeated by the people of Scotland.

And what sore losers they are and have become.

2,001,926 had the sense not to believe the lies of Salmond and Sturgeon which pumped out that a land of milk and honey was there for the taking by marking an X in the Yes box.

1,617,989 people which is 44.7% of the population got sucked in to the ‘big lie’.

In the Labour heartlands, the Nationalists had a hate the English campaign which proved to be most successful in poorer areas of Scotland such as Glasgow, Dundee, North Lanarkshire and West Dunbartonshire all voted Yes.

The Yes crowd won only 4 out of 32 areas.

In the SNP heartlands, which might have been expected to turn out for the SNP, the people decided not to back Salmond and that was a spectacular failure.

A lot of the lies used were based on economics and issues tied to it.

As several people and organizations gave out warnings especially on Oil and its price, Alex Salmond simply dismissed their opinion as politically-motivated “stuff and nonsense”.

Salmond has a habit of getting it wrong.

The Scottish National Party is a deeply ignorant party so their bid for independence was always going to fail; it was seen by many as a bid based on hatred of the English but couch in the language of “Westminster”.

Well now it is time that the 1,617,989 Yes people woke up and get back into the world of reality, the reality is that oil prices prove the financial case for independence was based on false premises.

What you heard screamed in public by Alex Salmond and unpopular Nicola Sturgeon was rather different to what was being said in private by John Swinney. Swinney’s briefing to Scottish Cabinet colleagues warned that falling oil revenues could jeopardise an independent Scotland’s ability to pay pensions and benefits.

In poor areas, the gullible were sucked in to believing that their benefits were going to be boosted, the reality is that their benefits would be getting cut, services would be getting cut, food banks wouldn’t be ended they would be increasing as would the numbers using them.

There is nothing unusual about people in parties such as the SNP conning the poor, what is remarkable is that people still vote for them. Scots need to wake up to the fact that they shouldn’t be loyal to any party.

Tribalism and cronyism is why nothing gets done and the poor in Salmond and Sturgeon’s Scotland are no better off.

Alex Salmond and unpopular Nicola Sturgeon are not going to help the white working class much in the same way as other parties have let them down badly. 

A few Sunday’s ago, I was at George Square to see what the ‘hope over fear’ rally was about, it isn’t about helping the poor, it is about helping Tommy Sheridan trying to revamp his image.

Sheridan is playing a role nothing more screaming about the rich and how independence will continue. Obviously it will continue as many people have a vested interest and draw a wage out of it.

To return to Oil, the price of Brent crude oil is hovering at around $86 a barrel.

You might remember Salmond dismissing anyone who spoke out by him saying that Investment would pour into the North Sea.

He added:

“Even with a cautious estimate of oil prices remaining at $113 a barrel, it’s clear that Scottish oil and gas could generate three times more than official estimates”.

The oil price having plummeted by 20 per cent since June, so what was Plan B to fix that, why there was no Plan B, just like there was no other plans, and if Scots had voted Yes, Salmond couldn’t have turned the country around into an economic powerhouse in under 18 months.

What does that mean?

In layman terms Salmond and Sturgeon would have entirely fucked this country and its people, and then blamed the English because let us get it right, nothing is ever their fault.

People like Alex Salmond and unpopular Nicola Sturgeon aren’t remotely concerned about the implications of independence for Scotland or Scots residing within it, if you and your family suffer that isn’t their problem; it’s yours! Both rich Alex and rich Nicola who crave out a living ‘standing up for Scotland’ will getting their money first and all of it. They will tell any lie, ignore all warnings and disparage anyone who got in their road and stand back as the Nationalist attack dogs smear people.

So, you can be glad that people like me came out and fought to save Scotland for a better day. There was never any chance of the land of milk and honey being given to the poor, the task is to educate them to that fact.

The referendum changed Scotland but not all for the better, but one plus is that political parties in the unionist camp are now under extreme pressure to start to help people. If they don’t change and by change I don’t mean the name change suggested by the Independent Labour Party mob, there will be no such thing as ‘heartlands’ anymore.

I still believe that there is room for a new political party of the centre right which can take votes from everybody, in 2015, the Westminster election will take place, that result should prove interesting because it may it more noticeable that the new party of Scotland is needed.

You can't trust Alex Salmond and you can't trust unpopular Nicola Sturgeon, learn the lesson now!

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

Friday, October 17, 2014

Further evidence uncovered that Alex Salmond’s claim that he had “too many talented people” in the SNP was completely bogus rubbish, Scotland ‘needs direct EU representation’ says SNP MSP Fiona Hyslop, try winning an independence referendum first dear, the rules of the EU don’t allow it!

Dear All

Talking rubbish can be great fun, chew the fat, having a blether or spinning a yarn can all be very good in the right setting.

SNP MSP Fiona Hyslop says Scotland should be given direct representation in the European Union and other international bodies in the package of powers currently being negotiated by the Smith Commission.

Firstly, this isn’t within the power of the Smith Commission, this is also not in the gift of the UK Government either, it is however extraordinary ignorance.

The EU is made up of members States; those member States have the right to seen people as elected MEPs to the European Parliament. Scotland has six MEPs, Two Labour, two SNP, one Ukip and one Conservative.

There is no provision for part of a country in this case Scotland to be recognised as a member in its own right while not having a distinct membership.

Legally what Fiona Hyslop is saying is bullshit.

Laughingly Hyslop has trotted out this ignorant ill thought-out rubbish to a Brussels think-tank, I have been to Belgium, I recommend the country and the chocolate. It is also a great place to feed the ducks as I recall. 

That happy episode was more productive that Hyslop’s journey of fantasy.

Scottish interests are currently represented in the Council of Europe and other international state gatherings by UK ministers.

It is and remains a closed shop, it is closed shop run by rules and regulations.

If and I do say if the Smith Commission and then the UK Government went along with this crap, it would never in a million years pass at the EU given other member States having a veto, it is a receipt for internal social disorder.

Nationalists believe Scotland should have its own voice in the EU and internationally; and even take the lead role “in areas such as fisheries, where Scotland has the predominant interest within the UK”, by Scotland they mean the SNP.

The SNP also believe in independence and couldn’t deliver on that either, so belief is one thing, reality is something else. If the SNP want their own voice in the EU and internationally, then they need to win an independence referendum.


And that is as they say the ‘end of the story’.

Having lost the vote, the SNP say Scottish ministers say the Smith Commission must live up to pre-referendum unionist pledges of “devo max”.

There weren’t pledges of “devo max”, this is the SNP trying to hoodwink voters and cause trouble.

Additional powers were offered but that isn’t why people voted No, people voted No because they didn’t trust Alex Salmond and unpopular Nicola Sturgeon. The Nats are trying to make out this was widely interpreted by people as the devolution of all powers but foreign affairs and defence.

The Smith Commission will have an offer, but there will be a limit to get to and not beyond.

During Hyslop’s jaunt she told the European Policy Centre that the package of powers must also include an element of direct foreign representation as well.

She said:

“Following the referendum, proposals for new powers will be developed by a Commission established by the UK Government and headed by Lord Smith of Kelvin. The important point here is that we are looking for powers for a purpose. We want to reflect Scottish views of the world with the aims of improving the lives of people in Scotland and contributing as a good global citizen. We are making the case that additional powers should include specific competence for Scotland to act directly in the European Union, and internationally, to improve Scotland’s sustainable economic performance, maintain the integrity of Scottish Government policy in its areas of responsibility and make a distinctive contribution to global challenges. Scotland’s relationship with the European Union is particularly important in this new debate”.

Unpopular Nicola Sturgeon will be getting nothing in relation to this idea. Sturgeon is a caretaker leader, she will do her 10 years or so eating strawberries and cream sitting in the Royal box at Wimbledon before the less than gifted click on to the fact, she isn’t leading them to independence.

Then she will piss off.

The less than gifted will then gather round a new Messiah promising to lead them to the “Promised Land” and the cycle will be repeated again.

Scotland won’t sign up to an SNP agenda for independence; and as Ms. Hyslop clear demonstrates she is completely out of her depth on foreign affairs. Prior to this ‘job’ which she now has she had to be removed from the education brief because she was deemed incompetent by many people who vocally complained about her performance!

As to her comment about:

“Scotland remains an outward facing nation, keen to share our talents, goods and ideas with those around the world”.

I would agree that Scotland is talented but she isn’t and neither is the Scottish National Party, in a party of 80,000 not a single person stood up and told her not to spout this shite.

Not a single person.

I don’t know about you but that certainly tells a story!

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University