Wednesday, February 10, 2010

SNP MSP Nicola Sturgeon finds it is not all fun in politics helping people but you have to take the rough with the smooth, that's the job

Dear All

The old saying 'it never rains but it pours'.

Scotland's deputy first minister is Nicola Sturgeon.

She represents sunny Govan and I think you could say with a certain conviction that she has been a good MSP for the people in the area.

As an MSP, she is obliged to help people when they get in trouble even if it is their own fault.

In her capacity as MSP for Govan, she has written a letter on behalf of 60 year old, Abdul Rauf, his problem is a substantial fraud from the Department of Work and Pensions.

Her letter on his behalf asks the Court to consider alternatives to a custodial sentence based on the poor health of Abdul Rauf.

In the letter, Nicola Sturgeon states;

"Mr Rauf has accepted his wrong doing and has experienced the consequences of it through the effect on his health, the distress caused to his family and the impact on his standing in his community."

The wrong doing was failing to declare owning a property worth £200,000 which he subsequently received £650 a month in rent while he claimed the benefits between 2001 and 2006.

He said it had “slipped his mind” while he claimed benefits!

Defence advocate Donald Findlay said his client would be able "to make full restitution to the government department involved" by selling one of his two properties.

Sheriff Alan MacKenzie told Rauf that a jail term was "at the forefront" of his mind but said he would defer sentence for three months and released him on bail.

One would hope that during this time, he will keep out of trouble.

As usual to cause trouble Scottish Labour leader Iain Gray said;

"If the facts of the case are as they appear and Nicola Sturgeon made such an appalling error of judgement she must resign”.

Is it an error of judgement to help a constituent in trouble?

Should Nicola Sturgeon only deal with nice people that come through the door?


She was elected to represent everyone and that means taking the rough with the smooth.

Gray added;

"Last week she was selling access to raise funds for the SNP. Now she is prepared to give a character reference for a convicted fraudster."

Although it doesn’t make any difference to Iain Gray, she wasn’t selling access for cash and she wasn’t giving a character reference.

She was asking that the Sheriff considers alternatives to imprisonment based on the man’s health problems.

A SNP spokesman called Gray's rant, "absurd", "beneath contempt" and an "extraordinarily ill-judged attack".

So, what should Nicola Sturgeon do the next time someone comes through the door seeking help as the architect of their own misfortune?

She should do exactly ‘what it says on the tin’ and help them.

As for Mr. Rauf, he would do well to remember that in future a higher standard of conduct is expected.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University


subrosa said...

Well said George.

George Laird said...

Hi Subrosa


Disgusting tactics by Iain Gray and the Labour Party to try and use a criminal case still in progress for party political reasons.

I have nothing but contempt for these people.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

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