Monday, November 28, 2011

Labour MP Tom Harris throws a political hand grenade in Scottish leadership race by saying ‘cataclysmic defeat was MSPs’ own fault’




















Dear All

Tom Harris has a point.

Most of the time, he is just grandstanding, but he is correct that the “cataclysmic” defeat at the Holyrood 2011 election was down to Labour MSPs.

For four years, they produced no real work, no vision and no policies worth a damn, it was spin and gimmicks and precious little else.

Let us take knife crime, fronted as a key Labour ‘priority’ during their time 2007 to 2011.

There was countless by-elections were this was used, petitions started but no private members bill.

But there was a daft slogan, ‘carry a knife; go to jail’.

The only problem was it was flawed in several respects, first, the policy changed the nature of law in Scotland; it made a person guilty until they proved their innocence.

Anti human rights and technically incompetent!

Secondly, it is for judges to decide appropriate sentencing not politicians that is what it means to have an independent judiciary.

Thirdly after the Labour Party realised how incompetent it was they changed the policy to anyone who was ‘convicted’ would be put in jail regardless of the circumstances.

Gordon Brewer ripped apart every Labour MSP on Newsnight Scotland and in particular Andy Kerr, who tried to pass off the incompetence by saying if Gordon Brewer was in the same situation, he wouldn’t be going to jail.

Brewer then lambasted Kerr on the point that the mandatory sentence was nothing of the sort.

Highly embarrassing someone of Kerr’s standing should be so ignorant not just on policy but law itself.

And that highlighted Labour’s problem between 2007 and 2011, no one was prepared to do the research and the work.

Substance was entirely replaced by spin.

This episode is a clear example of what was wrong in the Labour Party which led people to see the Labour Party at Holyrood as not a credible government in waiting.

Their campaign was so bad and ineffective to the point of incompetence; people who weren’t clever were running a campaign in which they thought they were.

Towards the end, it became a popularity contest were personalities took over, for the SNP that worked in their favour, but popularity comes and goes, it has to be more in politics, it is all about substance and vision.

The Labour Party in Scotland didn’t have either, hence we saw a massive landslide; the SNP built on their four years of delivery and the changes of using social media effectively.

Labour’s problem wasn’t just an isolated incident which could be looked at as ‘the problem’; it was right across the board, people, policies and strategy, all wrong.

So, as I say, Labour MP Tom Harris has a point when he talks about how Labour MSPs brought down a “cataclysmic” defeat on themselves by shutting their minds to new ideas.

They got into a rut by not working; it was almost like they thought they were ‘celebrities’ and Holyrood was a version of ‘I’m a celebrity’.

Well the public got them out of here!

As part of Tom Harris’s campaign to be Scottish Labour leader, he has sent an email to party members writing that the party is “too conservative” and unwilling to change.

He is calling for a radical shake-up of Labour north of the Border, he said:

“If we’re not careful, ‘That’s how we’ve done it in the past’ will be the epitaph carved on the gravestone of this party. We used to be a movement – now we’re a monolith. We say we want change – but only the kind of change with which we’re comfortable, change on our terms, not the electorate’s.”

That hits the nail on the head.

From being public servants, the Labour Party adopted a mentality that they were public rulers, sheer contempt oozed out right from the very bottom to the top.

Does Harris have a chance?

Well since he is allowed to take part, yes, he does, but does his message get home?

I think there is a lack of a debate, May was 6 months ago, and Labour in Holyrood just sits there, not knowing what to do, they are like drones.

There are only a handful of real politicians in Holyrood out of 129 MSPs.

It is shocking that so many people are just cannon fodder who are totally out of their depth.

Three people are standing for the leadership of ‘Scottish’ Labour, Tom Harris, Eastwood MSP Ken Macintosh and Glasgow Pollok MSP Johann Lamont.

The front runner is the worst candidate, Johann Lamont, if she is elected, then she should only do set pieces because she cannot think on her feet, countless Newsnight Scotland interviews show this.

I don’t believe the grassroots will take to her, Harris is the wrong guy in the wrong place at the wrong time, he is in Westminster and Labour needs a Holyrood leader in the chamber.

That leaves Ken Macintosh, the best of the worst.

Someone who has never held ministerial office but his claim to fame is that he isn’t Johann Lamont or Tom Harris.

If Harris was sitting in Holyrood, he would have had the time to build support but I think his chances are slim.

This could be an election were the worst candidate is the winner.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

Friday, November 25, 2011

Poster gets angry at George Laird for referring to List MSP Humza Yousaf as a Muslim MSP, standard set by the press and Muslim organisations













Dear Anon

“Why call him a Muslim MSP. He's an MSP just like the 128 others to whose religion you don't refer”.

To address your point

http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/politics/muslim-msp-angry-about-skin-colour-airport-check-1.1114880

Muslim MSP angry about ‘skin colour’ airport check

Written by Robbie Dinwoodie Chief Scottish Political Correspondent of Herald Scotland!

And also here:

http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/politics-news/2011/07/31/muslim-msp-humza-yousaf-s-fury-at-random-airport-check-86908-23310809/

Emma Smith, Sunday Mail

And here:

http://www.islamico.org/en/europe/muslim-member-of-scottish-parliament-angry-about-airport-check/

And here:

http://www.newsrt.co.uk/news/muslim-msp-angry-about-skin-colour-airport-check-253265.html

It is the job of the press and bloggers to be factually true, I attempt to operate to the same standards as the national press on my blog.

Can you tell me did you write in and complain to Herald Scotland or Sunday Mail or even the Muslim organisations who also called him a Muslim MSP?

Or are you holding me to a different set of standards?

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

Scottish Borders Council wants 32 representatives on the National Police Board; this is a ridiculous number and badly thought-out, where’s the vision?














Dear All

On the 4th September 2010, I went to a Scottish National Party event called the National Assembly.

It was to propose the Scottish National Police Force as a viable idea not just in terms of cost savings but in producing better operational efficiency.

In my vision for the new force, the existing boards would be kept, as is the case in the current 8 board set up.

Above that there would be the national board drawing members from the 8 boards plus additional members from outside.

The Police like most public organisations get their budgets from the Councils and Scottish Government, however I envisaged that there would be a commercial aspect to their work to help pay for their upkeep.

Asset seizures from criminals in some part should be ploughed back into the Police in someway to help pay for their own upkeep.

Although I proposed the national police force at Perth, other issues were also in my thinking, a nationally armed force and that in an independent Scotland, the security of airports and customs would be also part of their remit.

Under a separate division, this division would operate in much the same way as customs already do.

Visas etc would be dealt with by a division within the new Scottish Home Office.

Police wouldn’t have any input into the issue of visas so that the system was completely impartial to ensure public confidence. In other words the police could get the opportunity to deny entry based on someone’s individual prejudice.

The UK border agency staff would also be absorbed into the Scottish Police, again a separate division to create a seamless ring of protection around our borders and within our borders.

In my idea the max number sitting on the National board would be around 20, eight current local board members, 8 ‘outsiders’ appointed by Scottish Government and 4 Police Officers of various ranks. This number could be adjusted by consultation to get the right mix.

An idea has been floated that there should be a representative from each of the 32 local authorities in Scotland to be on any future national police board.

That is nonsense, we need a national police board that is large enough to do competent work but also small enough to have decision making manageable.

At one point someone floated another idea of a representative from every city and town, not bright and not workable.

Scottish Borders Council Lib Dem Councillor Graham Garvie has put forward a motion against any plans for an appointed board of 11 members.

11 people is too small a group and doesn’t take into account future expansion of the Police in a post independence scenario.

The system needs overcapacity to take up future capacity.

Opposition SNP members and council leader David Parker said representing all councils could be unwieldy and they are right but by the same token, they aren’t visionaries.

They don’t see the future, someone has to tell them and then they agree.

However, at Scottish Borders Council they were outvoted by a combination of Tory, Lib Dem, Borders Party and Independent members.

Whether they can see the future is also open to debate, they know that 11 members is the wrong number but by the same token, 32, is an excessive amount.

The Scottish National Police Force will go ahead but unfortunately; no one is realising that stage two reform must be started immediately.

I didn’t see any point at Perth of going overboard by giving the additional remits to my idea because some are post independence changes.

I kept it short enough so they could grasp the idea without being overly complicated but luckily financial pressures came along at the right time.

Stage two reform must be started immediately in the event of a yes vote, people will have questions on a range of topics before this vote, if the work is done fears can be addressed, if not, then it weakens the referendum campaign considerably.

It is all about having the factual answers to everything.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Herald letter writer states that society has changed and prisoners should serve the full jail term to which they were sentenced, tired old Tory dogma
















Dear All

I was on the Herald and came across a letter from David J Crawford which is quite interesting as he writes on penal reform.

He starts off by quoting Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill who opines that prisons should not be routinely used for short-term prisoners.

And he is right, short term prison sentences don’t work.

But David goes on by saying this short statement highlights the confusion that lies at the heart of the criminal justice system, and that is lack of clarity of purpose.

“Before one can start to question the length of sentences and where they should be served, one needs clarity as to why one imposes a custodial sentence. Offenders can be sent to prison on various pretexts; to punish them; to re-educate them; to protect society from their predations are some of them. There are many inadequate people sent to jail who should never be there. When one examines Scottish crime statistics it is however obvious that the majority of offences are caused by repeat offenders to whom the current system is no deterrent and which does not produce a significant improvement in their behaviour, so current practice just does not work. It may not be politically acceptable for an MSP to say so but most crime is carried out by a small sub-set of society and the overwhelming majority of us are innocent victims yet we suffer the financial burden of dealing with the problem”.

So, that is his statement to frame his argument, very much in the mould of former Tory MSP Bill Aitken School of ‘Hang Em High’.

The cost of prison is £40k a year to lock someone up; then afterwards the people are effectively unemployable and thrown on the scrap heap.

Hence with no prospects, no future and a pro active bar from the job market albeit menial jobs are on offer if available we have a cycle of crime that sees some people with 40, 50, 60 or 70 offences.

They don’t care because the penalty is free room and board if caught.

Where else in Scotland will the Government spend £40k on the under privileged?

As well as the cost of locking someone up, they aren’t in jobs and paying tax which is another part of the equation which should be taken into account, their chaotic lives spiral downwards and in some cases led to violence and murder.

David Crawford then wrote:

“The Scottish criminal justice system operates a revolving-door principle and Mr MacAskill is correct in saying that we need to close the door but it should be closed with “them” inside rather than outside”.

This doesn’t address the problem, in fact, it makes it worse, public finances are in serious trouble, there is a tsunami of cuts about to hit Scotland and then crime at a 35 year low will escalate upwards.

Before the end of the SNP Government’s term in office, crime will rise.

To try and address the problem, there are various little schemes to work with offenders but generally, it about getting a prisoner in a menial job to occupy their time.

But nothing above a certain level is offered.

David then comes to his point, after setting the stage:

“Instead of worrying about convicted criminals being sent to jail for short sentences he should be concentrating on making sure that society is protected from repeat offenders by ensuring that if they are handed down a sentence of four years they actually serve four years in prison”.

This fails to take into account that while in prison; society is trying to effect change which is the new buzzword in Scottish politics for the Glasgow City Council election next year.

Prison is there to punish and also re-educate but to do so carrots are needed as well as stick. There are sound reasons for allowing early release and being flexible helps the prisoners, the prison estate and the government.

“If we have overcrowded prisons because the estate was built for anticipated usage in the 20th century perhaps we should recognise that we are living in the 21st century and accept that society in general is completely different than it was years ago; perhaps more people need to be sent to jail and kept there”.

Such simplistic thinking may seem fine in the Scottish Tory fish pond but reality bites, £40k a year would be better spent providing these people with a future, we need to break the cycle of crime and we need radical reform of the justice system.

A lot of people don’t need to be in prison, but by the same token there are people whose crimes are so extreme they represent a threat to society and have to be detained.

David J Crawford put forward the logic of an immature student, and possible Tory candidate taking his first tender steps to be recognise as a ‘force’ in Scottish politics.

Unfortunately he isn’t a force; because he can only draw on old tired solutions, in a collapsing financial market, he hasn’t the imagination to be creative.

Prisoner reform requires an encompassing strategy.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Muslim MSP Humza Yousaf castigates opposition parties for not supporting SNP sectarian bill, Labour leads opposition to ‘unfit for purpose’ bill

















Dear All

The SNP move to placate and get opposition MSPs onboard regarding the Offensive Behaviour at Football and Threatening Communications (Scotland) Bill has failed.

The sweeter was introducing a freedom of expression clause.

By doing so, the Labour Party has stolen the high ground from out from under the SNP.

Now its all firmly about opposition to this ill-judged and ill-thought bill which is a disgrace and should be scrapped immediately.

It’s an embarrassment.

MSPs on Holyrood’s Justice Committee have voted for the clause.

Labour is right to maintain its opposition to the Bill by abstaining on amendments and insisted the legislation was not “fit for purpose”.

It’s junk, it’s a pig in a poke and one of the worst bills ever to pass through Holyrood chamber.

Justice spokesman James Kelly said Labour had abstained to let ministers reflect.

Kelly added Community Safety Minister Roseanna Cunningham had “not interacted with the process”.

On the 13th May, I met Nicola Sturgeon in the street and we chatted, one of the topics we discussed was the need for the continuation of consensus politics despite the majority achieved by the SNP.

Consensus politics at Holyrood is dead in much the same way that the respect agenda between Alex Salmond and David Cameron was a mere fig leaf.

The new freedom of expression clause covers communications such as messages sent over the internet which may contain insults or abuse of religious beliefs.

It’s the ‘get out of jail free’ clause because the SNP are desperate to get other parties onboard because when the problems surface they could point out that other parties voted for this as well.

Their ‘get out of jail free’ card, unfortunately all opposition parties think this is rubbish, including myself.

Roseanna Cunningham said:

“The intention of the amendment is not to prevent legitimate religion debate. It aims to prevent the kind of communication we saw last football season when individuals were threatened with harm.”

I thought it was a bribe.

Muslim MSP Humza Yousaf said:

“I do not think anyone voted for a Labour MSP so they could sit on their hands on the issue of sectarianism.”

Mr. Yousaf is quite right, however people didn’t vote for a Labour MSP to leave their brains outside the Committee room door either when vetting legislation.

It’s all about judgment Mr. Yousaf, not about being a party hack, maybe if you had exercised more judgment you won't have lost the Pollok MSP nomination by 54 to 29 votes. You can't have your cake and eat it on this issue and as to the 'bribe', well, pathetic.

Unfit for purpose, this bill should be scrapped, unfortunately it won’t, consensus is gone.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

St Andrews University probes Tory student group burning effigy of President Obama on a beach, reminds me of the KKK and the burning of black people
















Dear All

The Scottish Tories are in trouble, but then when are they not?

The latest piece of PR implosion is Tory Students at the University of St Andrews burning an effigy of Barack Obama.

Because racism is a serious issue in Britain, this may have not been the wise choice, where as it would not been news to burn an effigy of a white politician burning Obama is.

This smacks of KKK and white power in the minds of ordinary working class people.

If they had burnt Ed Miliband then again because he is Jewish that also would have been problem also but I understand they have already done that in the past.

It appears that Scottish Tory students at St Andrews have a annual Heretic Burning event where they pick someone and get a bonfire going and stick the effigy of that person on top.

The university said there were “very understandable concerns” of burning an effigy of America’s first black president.

It’s all about reputation; if it was an ordinary working class person who had risen up in society then the Professors probably wouldn’t have batted an eye lid.

Senior staff at the institution have asked to meet the president of the association, Matthew Marshall, to discuss the incident, he has already apologised and the university will be keen bury this issue quickly.

Sam Fowles, director of student representation of the Student Association, described it as “puerile behaviour” and added:

“I don’t believe this was a racist act. However, I don’t believe that makes it any less disgusting, regardless of what group it comes from.”

How Mr. Fowles has been able to come to the conclusion this wasn’t a racist act without the benefit of investigation shows how subjective opinion is replacing facts in British society.

I suspect his argument could be that white people have been burnt in the past on top of the bonfire.

Labour Chief Whip and MSP John Park, branded the effigy burning as “gravely offensive” with “unpleasant undertones”.

Park is an opportunist and part of the disastrous team who led Labour to defeat at the Holyrood 2011 election, not one of life’s great thinkers or orators.

In fact not great at anything!

Tory chief Matthew Marshall said:

“President Obama is an important ally to the British Government. It was a stupid thing to do and we apologise for any offence caused.”
He added the association’s annual tradition aims to pick a candidate who has contributed the most to left-wing politics and previous targets have included Gordon Brown, Ed Miliband and Alex Salmond.

A website message posted by Mr Marshall after the burning explained:

“Due to the poor performance of left-wing Labour candidates in the UK … the committee voted to adopt President Obama, as there is obviously no debate that he is an influential figure on the world stage, not least of all due to his performance in handling the recent financial crisis. On a personal note, as we were leaving there was a group of thuggish characters shouting abuse at us, amongst other derogatory terms this included ‘gays’ and ‘racists’.

Adding:

“Race is only an issue when people make it an issue. As Conservatives we welcome people of all backgrounds indiscriminately.”

And presumably they also are candidates for burning too.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

'Free expression clause' for the Offensive Behaviour at Football and Threatening Communications (Scotland) Bill is ‘get out of jail free card’













Dear All

Have you played Monopoly?

It is a board game in which you try and build a property empire.

One of the cards if you land on the appropriate spot is ‘get out of jail free’.

And that is what is about to be inserted into the Offensive Behaviour at Football and Threatening Communications (Scotland) Bill.

A clause protecting freedom of expression has been added which every lawyer preparing their case will home in on as the bedrock of their defence.

My client was fully in accordance with the law when calling people bastards because it was part of his right to freedom of expression enshrined in law.

‘Case closed and move there along please’!

So, what is the point of continuing with the Offensive Behaviour at Football and Threatening Communications (Scotland) Bill?

I would argue that it is at best poor law making and at worst incompetent.

Law must be built on firm building blocks like doing the necessary research, but the Offensive Behaviour at Football and Threatening Communications (Scotland) Bill has been rushed through to make sure it is in place to marry up with the football Calendar.

So, armchair warriors can sit tapping away on their computers insulting and abusing people’s religious beliefs.

Down at the football armed with pork pie and bovril, you can still get huckled if the Police deem it necessary.

Either the law applies everywhere or it applies nowhere, something defence teams will home in on and exploit.

MSPs on Holyrood's Justice Committee voted for the ‘get out of jail free’ clause during the second of three stages needed before the Offensive Behaviour at Football and Threatening Communications (Scotland) Bill can become law.

There are already provisions to deal with the problems of football matches disorder in law, as such this law is nonsense, ill judged, ill conceived, rushed and exceptional poor without the benefit of empirical research of a sufficient nature being done.

The Scottish Government has produced a law based on two football managers arguing in a football stadium.
Community Safety Minister Roseanna Cunningham, who is steering the Bill through Parliament, said:

"The intention of the amendment is not to prevent legitimate religion discussion and debate. It aims to prevent the kind of communication we saw last football season when individuals were threatened with serious harm. It is important that we remember that's what this is about."

Try looking up the Protection from Harassment Act 1997.

Labour MSPs have adopted the position of abstaining from discussion, in protest at the Scottish Government's approach to the legislation.

That is certainly a tactic, why give any credence whatsoever to shit law making.

The committee's only Liberal Democrat MSP also abstained from all but one key area of the bill.

The SNP has proposed two new offences through the Bill.

The first offence targets sectarian and threatening behaviour at and around football matches which is deemed likely to cause public disorder.

The second offence relates to threats or serious harm which are intended to stir up religious hatred on the internet or other communications.

The first offence can be dealt with under already existing public order legislation and the second is even less impressive because it relies on someone making a subjective opinion which any good lawyer will drive a truck through.

Juries will be reluctant to convict someone as we already seen at the John Wilson trial of being sectarian because it doesn’t sit well with the Scottish psyche. That is why this bill is poor conceived because it is written by middle class people incapable of understanding a certain section of the working class mentality as it relates to a football game atmosphere.

Forward?

No, stepping backwards in every sense.

The Holyrood Parliament would be greatly enhanced if we had real politicians instead of party hacks doing such puerile work.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

Monday, November 21, 2011

Lord Hope fires a legal broadside that 'anti English sentiment’ is threat to legal reform, the SNP Government needs to publicly back UK Supreme Court














Dear All

The UK Supreme Court is one of the benefits that Scottish people enjoy as part of the United Kingdom.

For those who follow the work of this body, it is hard to see a verdict delivered that was absolutely in tune with the both the letter of the law and the spirit.

Lord Hope, one of Britain’s most senior judges is in my mind heading towards the same status as Lord Denning, the former Master of the Rolls.

I regard his work so highly that if Scotland was independent I would wish Lord Hope to head up Scotland’s judiciary in a body similar to the UK Supreme Court.

Quite simply the seven judges who denied appeals on such issues as the Cadder case and Fraser have no place sitting doing appeals.

Lord Hope has warned of “corrosive anti-English sentiment” operating in Scotland’s courts; which I would agree with, he describes it as an obstacle to legal progress.

As a Scottish judge and deputy president of the UK Supreme Court, his words carry weight, but it is unfortunately that he has launched this unprecedented counter-attack on the Scottish Government.

We wouldn’t be in this situation if the Scottish Government led by Alex Salmond had cleaned up justice in the first place.

The spin by the SNP is that Alex Salmond and Kenny MacAskill are fighting to protect the Scottish justice system.

But you could look at this in another way that Alex Salmond and Kenny MacAskill are fighting to deny the human rights of ordinary Scottish people in taking their case to the UK Supreme Court.

That means that people wrongly convicted would be imprisoned because it is politically inconvenient.

It is never politically inconvenient to give people every chance if they claim a miscarriage of justice has taken place, quite the opposite in fact.

Many will see the comments by Lord Hope, a Scottish judge and deputy president of the UK Supreme Court, as an unprecedented counter-attack on the Scottish Government for its assault on the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court earlier this year.

Lord Hope warned against moves to limit the court’s ability to hear appeals against Scottish convictions.

Moves to make such appeals possible only if cases are sent to the Supreme Court by Scottish judges through a process known as certification have been backed by the Scottish Justice Secretary, Kenny MacAskill.

How wrong and out of touch he is morally.

After the row broke out publicly, the Scottish Government got four ‘wise men’ together to look at the issue.

I prefer to call them the four sycophants.

Their conclusions were predicted and cheap.

Bitch about the problem, deliver no real reform and go with the ‘poundland’ version of justice.

Cheap and not cheerful!

They came up with a Certification idea which is used by courts in England and Wales.

In other words the Appeal Court or other which has already denied justice then sits to see if a certificate is granted to go to the UK Supreme Court.

Human rights taken away and replaced by a certificate is bollocks.

Lord Hope said:

“Much has been made of the unfairness of the lack of certification in Scotland when such a system is in place in the other two jurisdictions [England and Wales, and Northern Ireland] but the comparison is not as sound as has been suggested. There is [in England and Wales] none of the feeling of antipathy towards cases being sent to London that lies just below the surface here in Scotland.”

It is unusual for someone as senior as Lord Hope to speak out and in such a fashion.

One of the wise men appointed by the Scottish Government was the retired high court judge Lord McCluskey who also criticised the Supreme Court.

The review followed the Cadder decision, in which Peter Cadder brought a challenge under the human rights act, which gave Scots the right to get immediate access to a lawyer, something that English people have enjoyed since the mid 80’s.

When the SNP took over Government in 2007 due to the implosion of the labour vote, they never carry out a review to fix this problem to bring Scotland into line with England.

We now have the hypocrisy that the Scottish Government want to bring Scotland into line with England when they were quite happy to deny justice and act as de facto an arm of the Crown and Procurator Fiscal Service.

The job of the Justice Minister is to be impartial, completely impartial and not side with either the defence or prosecution because of the issues of clarity and due process.

Lord Hope said the Cadder case had been a “catalyst” for change but said Lord McCluskey’s approach had not been “tactful” and that is quite right.

McCluskey’s ‘poundland’ solution is regrettable but understandable it is the politics of cleaning the toilet bowl, do it quickly, cheaply and with little regard to the outcome, be seen to be doing something and achieving nothing.

The Certificate scheme is bollocks, the Scottish Government can’t stop people going to the UK Supreme Court, the Westminster Government won’t back such an anti human rights move and this places the entire thing in a legal no man’s land.

In a finally parting shot, Lord Hope strongly disagreed with suggestions made by Scottish ministers that the Supreme Court was “routinely interfering in the Scottish system”.

Lord Hope said that it was never and is still not the intention of the court to be a “court of last resort in matters of Scots criminal law”.

The UK Supreme Court is only looking at miscarriages were there is a challenge under human rights.

So far, they are batting 100 over 100.

As a member of the Scottish National Party, I am signed up to fairness and equality while I remain a member; I prefer to leave the toadying and asslicking to others in my party who are so ably suit to the job, let them do the cheer leading around Alex Salmond and Kenny MacAskill.

I will not campaign against the UK Supreme Court because I could not in good conscience, justice seen to be done is far more important that internal party politics.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

Friday, November 18, 2011

Justice in chaos as plan to scrap cornerstone of Scottish justice system meets heavy criticism, Bar-L is overcrowded, can we get justice in Scotland?















Dear All

For some it is a ‘second’ home, free bed and board, no bills, free gym; free dental and free education.

Scotland’s premier University of Crime.

It is the one and only Bar- L, referred by some as the big hoose but commonly known as HMP Barlinnie.

However Barlinnie is too popular with ‘customers’ and Sheriffs; both groups simply love the place!

Scotland’s biggest jail needs to be demolished and rebuilt or completely redeveloped according to the prison’s watchdog and its governor.

The problem with Barlinnie is that it was built in a less enlightened time, were human rights and others issues weren’t a concern of the authorities.

HM Chief Inspector of Prisons, Brigadier Hugh Monro, says in his report that there is a need to redevelop the jail “as soon as possible”.

Overcrowding in Barlinnie is severe and poses real risk to prisoners which mean that programmes such as rehab face real difficulties.

The population yesterday stood at 1565, in a jail built and staffed to deal with 1018 inmates.

50% above capacity!

HMP Barlinnie governor Derek McGill says rising inmate numbers, which hit 1760 last year mean there is “no option” but to knock down and rebuild the jail or find a new site.

I think the sensible thing to do would be to build a new prison rather than try to do a major overhaul of the current site.

I think we can stand losing this piece of Scottish history.

We need a greater debate on the people we are sending to prison and for what, for some, it’s a cheap hotel.

And an occupational hazard!

Monro told said:

“Barlinnie and Cornton Vale are in dreadful condition. We need to see evidence that proposals to redevelop them are being brought forward now rather than waiting for the budget to improve. It is not fit for purpose, the education centre has three classrooms for 1500 people. I get disappointed when I see so little action, not from the prison itself but from the Scottish Prison Service headquarters. I don’t think it is right that people ignore advice and do nothing. This is not a third world country.”

Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill said:

“I welcome this report which shows Barlinnie is running efficiently and effectively albeit in challenging circumstances. The Chief Inspector commented that this is one of the most positive reports he has written and I commend the work of Barlinnie’s dedicated staff and management. I am committed to building a prison service for the 21st century and the opening of HMP Low Moss in March 2012 will help relieve some of the overcrowding pressures faced at Barlinnie and the wider prison estate.”

If the Justice Sec is ‘committed’ to building a prison service for the 21st century, why are people living like pigs, stacked up like tinned meat on a supermarket shelf?

I am not a Kenny MacAskill supporter and never have been, typically when there is a damaging incident for the SNP Scottish Government, it comes out of Justice.

Megrahi, Cadder and Nat Fraser immediately spring to mind, the Cadder case was about the denial of human rights under Kenny MacAskill’s watch, which incidentally he fought tooth and nail to preserve when better legal minds showed him the error of his flawed and warped logic.

The UK Supreme Court attack was an utter disgrace as MacAskill overstepped the mark.

“He who pays the piper!”

In Justice, “He who pays the piper!” is entitled to fuck all.

I previously blogged on why the SNP Government was totally wrong in their approach and was proven correct at every turn, that was so easy!

I don’t see Kenny McAskill as the Justice Sec but rather as the Minister for the Crown Prosecution Service only, a Justice Minister should be impartial, his actions show otherwise.

And now we are going to have another argument and guess what and where that will be taking place?

Justice!

This time, it is over the Carloway Report and in particular the issue of corroboration.

Already Senators of the College of Justice, Scotland’s High Court judges said the loss of this “key safeguard” would “weaken” the system and could lead to more miscarriages of justice.

If the SNP don’t sort out justice, then we will have to build more prisons because as well as the guilty, we will be locking up the innocent.

No justice means no independence.

If I was elected First Minister of Scotland, I would make Alex Neil as my Justice Minister, give him a free hand and the brief that his actions are solely to make justice impartial and beyond the interference of Government.

Then we would have a justice system of the 21st Century for the 21st Century.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University









Dear All

The SNP continue going from strength to strength in the face of poor opposition.

Ken Andrew was chosen to represent the Hillhead ward in Glasgow in a by-election on Thursday.

This wasn’t unexpected, when a sitting councillor dies, the party usually hold the seat.

Mr. Andrew takes over the Hillhead Ward from Councillor George Roberts who died recently aged 68.

After being elected the new councillor said he was "delighted" to be elected after winning a by-election.

By-elections are odd because more human resources are put into them that normal so the result isn’t hugely significant by any means.

SNP 1026 votes
Labour 945 votes
Greens 435 votes
Conservatives 372 votes
Lib Dems 307 votes
UKIP Scotland 36 votes
Britannica 11

What is interesting is the exceptionally poor turn out of only 13.65%.

This result puts the SNP in a healthy position for the Glasgow City Council elections next year.

However, the low turn out and the circumstances in which it happened will not reveal anything.

The death of a sitting Councillor in the Bishopbriggs South Ward produced a Labour Councillor.

Mr Andrew said:

"I am delighted, and proud, to have been elected to represent the people of Hillhead”.

Adding:

"After the tragic death of George Roberts I know that I have big boots to fill, but it is a challenge I am looking forward to. I would like to thank the people of Hillhead for giving me the opportunity to represent everyone in the area. I would also like to thank my campaign team and all those who made this election win possible."

The difference between the Labour Party and the SNP was only 81 votes.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

U2 - Where The Streets Have No Name

Former Labour councillor attacks Strathclyde Police over Celtic complaint saying they went behind Celtic’s back, haven’t IQ’s dropped a lot recently














Dear All

This is a cracker and another example of ignorance.

Michael Kelly was a former Labour Councillor at Glasgow City Council, and also a former director at Celtic Football Club, the Labour Party ‘social club’ in the East End of Glasgow.

He is unhappy.

His unhappiness centres round the claim that police force had gone “behind Celtic’s back” when they notified European football bodies of alleged pro-IRA chants at a recent football match.

At this point you have to stop reading this post and keep re–reading the above paragraph again and again.

The idea that the Police should seek Celtic’s permission before forwarding a complaint is bizarre in the extreme.

He has claimed on STV’s Scotland Tonight that the chants were examples of “political expression”.

Fuck off with that shite.

For that to even wash, which it doesn't, Sein Fein would have to be standing in Scotland in elections.

And he went further that singing pro-IRA chants was not a criminal offence and said:

“I defend their right to sing them”.

Maybe he thinks that there is a human right to sing sectarian songs, would the defence be ‘grandfather’ rights?

Mr. Kelly has also attacked the Scottish government’s plan to bring in legislation to tackle sectarianism in football describing it as an attack on free speech.

It isn’t an attack on free speech because there isn’t a human right to be sectarian; however I don’t agree with the legalisation myself because it is not the way I would tackle this problem.

And I think that a jury would be reluctant to convict using this new law as it stands.

A football matches there is a peculiar mentality among the supporters, it revokes around basically calling other team’s supporters, cunts, bastards and scumbags.

You could argue this a ‘healthy’ expression of pent up anger and a stop value for society letting people blow off steam by being malicious.

Much in the same way that SNP MSP Staff member and wife of Glasgow List MSP Humza Yousaf, Gail Lythgoe let her anger get the better of her when she defamed a Labour MP Ian Davidson by saying that he had a ‘history of bullying’.

She later stated she regretted her disgusting behaviour.

People should learn that education is the only way to deal with this problem, we can never stop sectarianism in much the same way we cannot stop any other crime.

Kelly’s point that:

“people have the right to be offensive if they want to be”.

That is bollocks and isn’t a human right either, we allow free speech as a human right but part of the deal is that people must exercise judgment.

If they don’t exercise judgment then they leave themselves open to due process of law.

In being sectarian, people are making a pro active choice to break the law of the land, and therefore should pay the penalty.

You could argue that inside a football stadium people should be allowed to vent to get things off their chest and for some, its part of the enjoyment of attending the game.

It remains a public order matter and judgment by the Police; however Police should also exercise judgment because of the issue of crowd safety of others.

The way to tackle sectarianism is to close Glasgow Rangers and Glasgow Celtic completely, although such a remedy is incredibly harsh because it penalises ordinary fans who just want to enjoy the game and the atmosphere, part of which is throwing abuse about the place to needle the opposition.

A football game of the old firm could be summed as two sets of fans calling each other bastards for 90 minutes, a period of 45 minutes followed a break to get food, drink and use the bathroom, followed by another 45 minutes of calling the opposition bastards before going home all happy.

That is football in the West of Scotland as it relates to Celtic and Rangers.

And no law is going to change that, even involuntary knee jerk legalisation.

Michael Kelly hasn’t a case.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

Willie Rennie says Marriage does not belong to the Church, it belongs to society, how utterly wrong, civil marriage is a MK2 event in public’s eyes














Dear All

I found an interest post on Caron’s Musings, a Liberal Democrat supporting blog.

So, I stuck up this ditto in reply to that piece.

‘Dear Caron

Marriage belongs to the Church not society, Willie Rennie is wrong.

The fact that society allows civil marriage to be recognised by the State is something I support, but it is very much a MK2 event in terms of social status.

Could you imagine the Royal Wedding done in a Registry Office?

However, we all know what we are talking about on this issue which politicians skirt round by saying no church should be forced.

We are talking gay marriage in Churches and Mosques.

Let me ask you a question as an ardent supporter, do you support gay marriage in Churches?

I suspect you would immediately say yes; they are seen as a ‘soft target’.

I would then ask you do you support gay marriage in Mosques.

They are seen as a ‘hard target’.

Would you write a blog post on supporting gay marriage in Mosques?

I suspect you would have a serious think about putting ‘pen to paper’ on that but perhaps you will prove me wrong.

The ‘right’ of marriage in a religious church or organisations isn’t a human right, even for heterosexual couples, it is a gift.

So, this isn’t a human rights issue or even an issue of freedom were religious organisations are concerned because they aren’t asking for it.

There is no human right to force yourself on others to do something for you in this context, am I correct?

And the Pope in Rome isn’t doing to change over 2,000 years of Christian faith and belief for Alex Salmond, Willie Rennie, Nicola Sturgeon, Iain Gray or any other social engineering politician who wants votes under the guise of equality trying to promise gay marriage in church which cannot be delivered.

So, this ‘consultation’ which is a sham will produce civil marriage but not marriage in a church or mosque, although some ‘religious’ groups may allow it, it will be a ‘law’ that people cannot be accessed without consent.

And that consent will not be forthcoming anytime soon from Rome!

This is about clearing up State prejudice which all political parties supported until recently.

’ I want’ isn’t the same as ‘I am entitled to’, that is why politicians are 100% lukewarm on the issue of religious marriage.

It comes under ‘matter of conscience’, so they don’t have to say anything.

Unfortunately in this country so many don't understand what human rights are, which is a great pity all round.

When people try to be all things to all men, they usually end up being relevant to no one.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University’

I find it odd that Atheists politicians think it is acceptable to piss on people’s religious faith under the guise of equality to ram down their social engineering agenda on those who do.

Politicians are trying to tread a careful line thinking they can keep both camps happy, so the compromise is civil marriage for the gay community with the add on that any Church or religious organisation will be allowed to conduct ceremonies.

As I say, it is a law that cannot be accessed, so that part of the law is a sham and worthy of contempt, an inaccessible law which requires third party consent isn’t law and therefore not a human right.

What a great pity we live in a country where such ignorance of human rights is so rampant.

I wonder what kind of reception the First Minister Alex Salmond or his Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon would get in the Glasgow Central Mosque if they made a speech supporting gay marriage for Muslim couples in that Mosque.

We have separation of Church and State for good reason.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University’

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Principals are concerned about speed of college reforms but still had presence of mind to ask for more money for transitional arrangements!





















Dear All

Money is getting tighter, budgets are getting cut and reform is on the cards.

But what type of reform is needed?

George Laird radical reform, that type of reform, education is a thorny issue for any government and it is important to get it right.

Teachers at present are up in arms over changes to their pay and conditions, threatening strike action over the McCormac report.

Now, it’s the turn of College Principals who are turning on the SNP Government over the speed of reforms to the further education sector.

Whether that will be successful is doubtful, while the Police and Fire Services benefit from concentration into single entities, it isn’t advisable for education.

Diversity is the key to a multi option education sector.

Having spent 20 years in higher education on the sidelines watching the world go by, I am able to see the sector for what it is.

Unimpressive!

Little fiefdoms and empire building without real benefits to the taxpayer!

A black hole that is getting bigger sucking public money up without any real safeguards which any reasonable person would expect!

The Scottish Government reforms are said to favour wholesale mergers.

This is a market we don’t want to shrink, because it has potential.

Principals say they need more time to plan for the future and typically they are calling for extra cash to fund the work for future change.

Ideally, it would be smarter if universities were slimmed down, the College sector expanded and the introduction of community colleges similar to the Australian model but re-tweaked.

John Spencer, convener of Scotland’s Colleges, said:

“Colleges remain concerned at the proposed pace of the reforms. The paper proposes to fund regional groupings of colleges that do not yet exist, and the timescale for delivery allows very little time to plan and create those partnerships.”
Well John, you better get working faster, how he has said that it is good news that transitional arrangements would need to be put in place to support colleges through the reforms.

Duh brain!

Spencer added:

“We hope to see those arrangements supported by a dedicated additional sum of money, protecting both places for students and against destabilising any institutions.”

The consultation paper follows the publication in September of a report on reforms of post-16 education by Michael Russell, the Education Secretary.

Finance Secretary John Swinney has announced savage cuts of £74 million to the college sector by 2014/15.

This means that jobs losses and course cuts will be needed because the higher education sector is so unbalanced in favour of universities.

The Scottish Funding Council needs to be split if colleges are to be better served and funded properly.

Again diversity in education is the key to success.

The consultation paper states:

“Our expectation is that where major campuses currently exist they will remain. But in some regions there will be commun-ities that are not currently well served. It will create opportunities for colleges in many regions to work more cost-efficiently, for example, through the sharing of services, mergers or collaboration.”

In academia, the tendency is to go on evidence based work rather than subjective opinion, wishful thinking provokes scorn rightly in learned circles.

If the document is correct it paints a scenario that Scotland’s 38 colleges should be grouped together into 10 regions.

Unusually the thinking is said to be geared towards areas where there was a greater need for further education because of low school staying-on rates, fewer people going to university, or a legacy of low skills.

Not a criteria that I would used, too simplistic, you don’t build a stable round a horse, it’s the other way round, you build the stable then stable the horse.

Because it is custom made!

2 years at the human rights abusing Glasgow University stuck in the university penal colony of Garscube (Vet School) taught me that.

One thing which I did mention regarding colleges previously was the move towards going ‘real’ courses and transferring the fluff to community colleges set to be social inclusive for families.

The document has several options for the new regional funding model, including full merger or a looser federation of colleges run by a joint board.

Other option which isn’t viable is the notion of a “lead college” model where colleges in an area agree that one college is funded, but has a contractual arrangement with other colleges in the region to deliver courses.

Where is the security of employment for the staff?

That option is bullshit.

The likely scenario is the collaboration between colleges where the Scottish Funding Council would continue to fund each college in an area directly.

Politically this is probably the best option as it requires little thought and can be easily done and retains a sense of autonomy.

Mike Russell, the education sec said:

“The intentions of our post-16 reform agenda are ... to ensure education and training is more sharply aligned with the needs of learners and employers. Regionalisation offers many opportunities: it can strengthen the role and influence of colleges in local communities, help promote more coherent planning and delivery and ensure sustainable funding.”

I wonder if that is based on evidence or just subjective opinion.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

Monday, November 14, 2011

Ong Bak (2003) trailer

Teachers’ Union issues strike warning over proposed reforms on their pay and conditions, expect this in the long grass till after May elections!
















Dear All

It’s time to forget the ‘Winter of Discontent’ and prepare for discontent for the foreseeable future, four seasons.

The financial markets are based on fraud and are collapsing.

As austerity kicks in Scotland, people will be losing their jobs, we will have talk about cost savings and restructure, but at the end of the day, people are getting the boot or having their pay cut in real terms.

No singing or dancing or spin will change that fact.

People who leave a job will see that job simply vanish; it isn’t a job loss in the tradition sense but it is still a loss.

No one will be replacing them as budgets get cut.

Teachers’ representatives are up in arms at present and have called for a ballot on industrial action.

Their reason for strike action is in response if the Scottish Government moves to change their daily hours and working conditions.

The Scottish Government won’t be increase pay or conditions, rather the opposite as the money is drying up.

This reminds me of Greece, were the workers ended up on the streets as pay cuts and higher standards of living drove the population to the brink.

Greece is ruined.

In Scotland, members of the Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS), the country’s largest teaching union say they will ‘hit the barricades’ and strike if controversial plans outlined in the McCormac Review were brought into force.

Reviews are generally carried out by a university professor who usually doesn’t work in the sector that is being cut.

The reason is to give the illusion of independence and fairness.

It’s allows politicians to say, ‘it’s not me Gov, it’s him and I had nothing to do with it’.

That won’t cut any ice with the Teachers.

Discussions on the new deal for teaching are due to take place between the Scottish Negotiating Committee for Teachers (SNCT), the Scottish Government and the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities early next year.

I can see that being postponed for political reasons to beyond the May Council elections.

The EIS is already planning to oppose the plans and has done up a motion at a special general meeting in Edinburgh.

The motion states:

“Any outcome of SNCT negotiations on the recommendations of the McCormac Report should be subject to a ballot of those members who are covered by the provisions of the SNCT Handbook and, if rejected, any attempt to impose changes will be opposed using industrial action if necessary.”

It seems that this is one fight that the Scottish Government should kick into the long grass till after the Council elections.

You can’t sell screwing people out of money and making their life harder and sell it as something positive on a doorstep.

This is one fight that will produce no winners but will leave a bad taste in the mouth.

Maybe the Scottish Government should have gone with my higher education idea to reform education from primary to university.

I think the Education Sec Mike Russell will not win any friends out of this 'adventure' into education.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

Glasgow University product and Tory aide Colin James Taylor drops Ruth Davidson in the sh*t over sectarian tweet, the job just isn’t working out!













Dear All

It seems that sectarianism is a hot topic at the present moment in political parties.

First we had the Sectarian Bill passed at Holyrood and condemned by all opposition political parties as crap legislation.

I personally would never have gone down this road regarding this Bill.

Next we had a former SNP MSP staff member called Mark Hirst who raises issues with his blog.

http://holyroodconfessions.blogspot.com/

Interesting read so, I put it on my blog list.

Of the late Billy Wolfe, he calls him, “Willie Wolfe, "Bigoted and anti-Catholic.”

I think that is a fair assessment of the former SNP leader, my Labour Party friends who are Catholic despised him with passion.

They still think the Scottish National Party is anti Catholic.

We, now arrive at new Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson.

Just elected and everything is all turning sour for her, she should never have been elected leader of the Scottish Tories.

Her new problem is Colin James Taylor, who is employed at the public’s expense in the Tory Press and Research Unit (PRU) at Holyrood.

What has he been doing?

Posting song lyrics on Twitter glorifying Northern Irish terrorist group, the Ulster Volunteer Force!

Taylor is another Glasgow University product.

He referred to Celtic Football Club as “tims” on the popular blogging website.

And he is a Rangers fan from Belfast and a former president of the student Conservative Association at the human rights abusing Glasgow University.

I remember from my time at Glasgow University, the place wasn’t tolerant by any means, wretched is the best way to describe it.

On Saturday, February 19, this year he posted lines from a notorious song.

‘Here Lies a Soldier’, about a UVF member awaiting execution.

“Don’t bury me, in Erin’s Fenian vallies [sic]. Oh take me home, to Ulster let me rest ...” he wrote.

Although he did not tweet the rest of the verse, it runs: “And on my gravestone carve a simple message, here lies a soldier of the UVF.”

Educated and a bigot, there are many like him spawned from Glasgow University.

His twitter name is “Ulsterexile” if anyone wants to read his musings.

Most of his posts are about his time at the human rights abusing organisation are about the tat of uni, his studies, video games and football.

Interesting he says he was “called a bigot before”.

It seems that politics is a nasty game.

When the Tories found out what, Taylor was up to, his Twitter and Facebook accounts disappeared.

Because the press will probably go through everything, searching for more stuff!

As to Taylor, the Tories last night issued Taylor with a “formal warning”, but left him in post.

Ruth Davidson is a Glasgow University product the same as Taylor, so no surprises that he wasn’t sacked.

It’s a middle class clique in Scottish politics.

For the Labour Party, who have probably the biggest Catholic following in the West of Scotland, Labour MSP James Kelly said:

“This is an insufficient response. In any other workplace a person who be out on their ear for this. There needs to be a proper investigation and disciplinary proceedings.”

I hope James Kelly isn’t holding his breath of this issue, it’s going nowhere unless there is worse down the road.

A spokesman for the Scottish Tories said:

“The comments which appeared on Colin Taylor’s Twitter account predate his employment with the Scottish Conservative MSP Group in the Scottish Parliament. His comments were immature and inappropriate. The allegations against Mr Taylor have been fully investigated and he has been issued with a formal warning. Mr Taylor deeply regrets the comments and he apologises for any offense he has caused.”

The leadership job doesn’t seem to be working out for Ruth Davidson.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Shocking CCTV footage of thug swinging a cat by the tail as he dances down street highlights how cruel and callous the UK has become as a society













Dear All

You have probably heard the old saying that there wasn’t room enough to swing a cat.

Usually in relation to modern housing which box rooms are presented as an extra bedroom.

Britain is a broken society; more and more people simply don’t give a fuck anymore.

And why should they when they see how corrupt the political class has become.

Prison isn’t prison anymore.

It is free bed and board, free dental, free medical, free telly, free gym and free education.

Want a degree, commit a serious crime and by pass the £9,000 a year fees.

One example of how low some people have sunk is found in the CCTV footage of a thug dancing down the street while swinging a cat by its tail.

Expect him on the X Factor anytime soon if he develops swing a lion by the tail.

There is no reason for cruelty to animals, and if people are willing to exhibit this type of behaviour they could progress to similar cruelty towards people.

What reason other than warped ‘fun’ would someone swing a black cat at arms length nearly smashing its head on the pavement.

In a case like this, there is a need for prison for a very long followed by a life ban on keeping animals and being in a house or dwelling were animals live.

During the savage attack the cat's head nearly smashed against the pavement which could have killed it.

The animal, named Mowgli has been left in a 'very distressed state' according to sources.

Police have launched an appeal to catch the man after a pub landlord sent the footage to the RSPCA.

The terrified cat eventually managed to break free and run away before returning its owner.

A spokeswoman for the RSPCA said:

“The owner lives in the basement flat of the pub and her cat has the run of the neighbourhood. The landlord recognised Mowgli on the CCTV and he later came home in a very distressed state and has not left the flat since”.

Britain is full of people like this who have no respect for anything or anyone; this is the real face of Britain walking about the place.

In various walks of life there are people like this right through society from top to bottom who are just c*nts, that’s all they are.

Britain is a corrupt society but no one seems to be able to set the reset button to a kinder age were manners matter and people took pride in being decent to others.

Now, its all gone, we are supposed to be better than animals; this shows an ugly side which is going to become ‘mainstream’ as society breaks down.

What turned this man into an utter disgrace?

Could it be the way he was brought up in the ‘system’?

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

Tory leader Ruth (CPU) Davidson appoints leadership rivals to posts; Murdo Fraser gets shunted in Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee, humiliation!
















Dear All

Scottish Tory ‘leader’ Ruth (CPU) Davidson has hit the ground running only to fall flat on her face in her appointment of ‘team’.

The first big mistake was to appoint the ‘colourful’ Jackson Carlaw as the deputy leader.

Murdo Fraser, the revious deputy leader has been publicly humiliated, as a close watcher of the Scottish political pool; he has done well in that role.

Jackson Carlaw was repeatedly outed for making racist jokes at a Tory manifesto launch.

And now he is a deputy leader.

To show that she is politically unaware, he has put David McLetchie into justice.

He previous had to resign as leader over his taxi fiasco.

And now he is a justice spokesman.

For the real leader, Murdo Fraser, he gets convener of Holyrood's Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee.

A soggy biscuit of a post, talk about spite.

Margaret Mitchell, who unsurprisingly finished last in the leadership contest, has been appointed frontbench spokeswoman for local government and planning.

She said that none of the other candidates represented her views.

Davidson said:

"I am delighted to unveil my parliamentary team. I believe it's a strong team which plays to the talents of the members, and will prove well able to hold the government to account."

David McLetchie in justice; think about it!

Mr Carlaw said:

"I will be proud to serve as deputy leader of the Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party and will support Ruth's leadership both in Holyrood and with the important job of helping to reshape the party. This is a period of great change for our party and we will ensure that all of our members at every level are able to come together and contribute to the way we move forward."

Buzzword, ‘Change’!

Each Tory MSP was given a role, apart from John Scott who serves as a deputy presiding officer at the Scottish Parliament.

I imagine some would have preferred a roll and bacon instead.

Davidson's campaign manager was the feeble minded John Lamont, who was bounced out of justice like a rubber ball, a failure.

He gets made chief whip.

Other appointments are Liz Smith staying with the education brief, she supports screw the working class by charging them tuition fees making it impossible for them to break through and earn a decent wage and job.

Gavin Brown keeps finance, former presiding officer Alex Fergusson takes rural affairs and David McLetchie has wrongly been placed into the justice brief.

It’s the team of the damned led by the not wanted.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Nick Cohen writes about ‘The Strange Death of Scottish Nationalism’, should Scotland join the Euro, I can’t see anyone wanting to join that toxic mix!











Dear All

There are many hurdles before Scotland can even think about joining the Eurozone.

As a member of the Scottish National Party, the issue of getting a successful vote for independence springs to mind.

That isn’t guaranteed by a long chalk.

But to return to the issue by Nick Cohen, at the Spectator, of course Alex Salmond is right to say if he truly believes it, that:

'I think there are good arguments for joining the euro, but you can only do that when the euro system was stabilised and only when it was to Scotland's economic advantage’.

Unfortunately, the euro cannot be stabilised and given so many countries are in it, there lays the problem.

It would be nice if the euro could be permanently stable but it won’t be; I am sure that Mr. Salmond knows this, so would he leave it if it became unstable and not in Scotland’s economic interests?

If he does, is there a plan ‘Mac B’ for that?

How long would it take him to make up his mind on that question?

If he leaves would his ‘heir in waiting’ Nicola Sturgeon do it if the current situation faced her?

I would suspect that once we are in there won’t be the political will to reverse out of any problems, it takes someone with courage to say, enough is enough.

And we can’t join, leave, re-join, leave, re-join like some basket case.

I am very much pro European in nature, but there are many aspects of the European experiment that are wrong, just like in Scotland, I regard the system as corrupt.

So, at present would it be entirely wrong for Britain to join the euro and entirely wrong for an independent Scotland to join the euro.

No matter what political party holds power.

The system is fatally flawed because external influences (the bankers) effectively control the money supply by their stranglehold on credit and liquidity.

QE is nonsense in my opinion, it fixes nothing.

Scotland would probably end up like Greece, Spain, Portugal and Italy; we have too big a public sector, out dated models of service, a poor record of reform and sadly no one with any brains to propose something better.

Because if we had we would have heard it by now.

And the sooner people realise that we can’t grow our way out of trouble the sooner a recovery plan with real stable roots can take hold.

Growth is a killer.

That may seem odd but consider this; too many people have put pressure on the current system to near collapse.

Austerity is going to be followed by sheer austerity for the bottom 99% of the population.

The nations within the union need to tackle the internal migration and immigration problems between countries, banking reform, local government reform and a whole host of other rather nasty issues which are going to be very painful.

I haven’t heard anyone in my own party talking about reform as I understand it and as it needs to happen in local government.

But I heard someone do an ‘Obama’ during an interview by parroting out the word ‘change’, my heart sank, change what exactly I thought?

The person kept talking and still I was no wiser.

All together now ‘CHANGE’.

Mind you, there is the reform of the Police and Fire Service to be made into national services.

I proposed that on the 4th September 2010 at the SNP National Assembly in Perth.

I am speaking in a personal capacity and as a humble Glaswegian pottering about the place.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

‘Hell in Holyrood’, Tory Carpetbagger Ruth Davidson forced on the back foot after first MSP meeting, probation and told stop gloating over victory!









Dear All

Just in the door and already on probation.

This is the damning verdict of new Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson, the carpetbagger who was ready to abandon Scotland and try to jump into a safe seat previously held by Julie Kirkbride.

Julie Kirkbride and her husband were exposed during the Westminster expenses scandal for each claiming second homes allowance on both their properties, thereby living entirely rent free.

Davidson threw here hat into the ring following her incredibly poor showing in the Glasgow North East by-election.

She has an uphill struggle to win over her Holyrood colleagues when the best man lost; Murdo Fraser is the King in waiting.

In politics the best sometimes don’t get the opportunities, because politics is run as a middle class clique.

Already coming out of her first group meeting and Miss Carpetbagger was forced to defend herself against claims that members of her party are against her.

And so they should, she isn’t the right person for the party, let alone the country, no one is looking at Ruth Davidson and saying she is First Minister material, she is publicly unelectable.

That is as much a fact as it can be.

She maybe like others maybe able to position herself to her advantage; but the tale of the tape at the ballot box proves time and time again, the public don’t want her.

As someone with an interest in politics, I get to see up close those people who try and try again only to be rejected by the people.

In a show of bravado, she triumphantly declares that she is in charge of her party, but lets us see if they will come out and work for her.

She will be having more than one Holyrood group meeting were she will be getting dragged over the coals.

That meeting was probably uncomfortable for her as Murdo Fraser; the true leader has to sit there knowing he has the support of the MSP Group.

Senior Tories have said Davidson is on probation; unfortunately her probation cannot be revoked.

And the fact she has to be told to back off from her attitude that “we are the masters now” in the wake of her victory will not be forgotten.

You can only be a master if those people will work for you; if they don’t then you are just another arsehole with a title.

Davidson has had a laugh but will she get the last laugh?
I expect her to do the PR routine while she needs to build allies around her camp fire, then she start the process of ‘assisting’ to try and de-select her opposition.

Under the banner of bring in fresh talent and a load of rhetoric about dynamism and vision of new blood.

Yes, the Scottish Tories have a real problem as Paul McBride says:

“They have replaced one nice woman with one not so very nice woman."

Carpetbagger Publicly Unelectable!

Ruth(CPU)Davidson.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

Monday, November 7, 2011

After Greece, Silvio Berlusconi comes under threat as euro turmoil hits Italy, the national assets lined up to be sold off, sovereignty under threat




















Dear All

I am every much pro Europe, I have enjoyed the times I spent in Europe both in Germany and Belgium.

The European Union is a good idea, but there are problems, the single currency idea is good in principle but operates badly in practice.

All currency experiences highs and lows but the crisis facing Europe is severe that the whole eurozone is in danger of meltdown.

We are waiting for the Greek default in entirety, this is their only way forward, from the ashes they can rebuild, but they can’t do so until that happens.

The contagion will spread, by default it must, Spain, Portugal and Italy are others in trouble.

And the chaos could drag Britain back into recession, we aren’t moving forward but rather backwards, double dip recession draws closer despite the austerity we face now and it is going to get even worse.

Italy is the next domino to fall; Rome's borrowing costs have hit a 14-year high.

The euro wasn’t designed to cope with this, in monetary policy you have to look at worst case scenario, patently no one was.

Italy stands as the Europe’s third biggest economy, managed into the ground and teetering on the brink of financial collapse.

The political turmoil has seen bad tempers flare up among politicians, to the point of fights in parliament.

The focus must be shifted from bailing out bankers but unless there is a new political class, it won’t, the problem has no solution, under the current set up.

Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi faces the fight of his political life as a fierce battle to keep his job in a series of crunch parliamentary votes this week takes place.

People are saying his departure could ease pressure on Italy from the financial markets.

It won’t, it doesn’t matter who drives Italy onto the rocks, but it does matter who will try and re-float the country afterwards.

No country in Europe has what could be described as a strong economy except Germany, who have done well out of the developed European nations in relative terms.

They have problems too in banking but they still have a powerful industrial base.

And that is what needs to happen in the Eurozone, every country needs to restructure to develop their industrial base, it can’t be done by relying on financial services built on ponzi schemes trading fraudulent in derivatives.

We are where we are because of fraudulent banking practice.
The markets are controlled so that bankers make money either way.

When Shares fall bankers can make money and when they rise they can make money as well.

Italy is ripe for asset stripping in the same way that Greece was set up to fall, then bailed with more debt to trap them, forcing them to sell off national assets at knock down prices.

Politicians in Athens were locked in talks over who would replace Prime Minister George Papandreou who has effectively let down the people. They are looking for someone who will lead the country in delivering a tough austerity package.

This is the EU-IMF bailout which will see more rioting in the streets as people say enough is enough.

There is a tsunami coming of political unrest coming across Europe as people turn on their governments.

The various occupy movements will be the tip of a volcano of public anger.

European Central Bank has stepped in to buy bonds in a bid to shore up confidence but it is a stop gap measure, the plaster on the leg that is hanging by a thread to the body.

Italy's finance minister Giulio Tremonti has already told colleagues how Rome plans to implement its own austerity package including selling off public assets and changing employment laws.

The same model used in Greece to asset strip the country.

Berlusconi is a problem for Italy but he is not ‘the’ problem facing Italy in its austerity reforms.

The sooner there is a euro wide default co-ordinated by all governments then control of countries can be wrestled back from the bankers and into the hands of the people.

It must be done at the exact same time in all members states.

Then the process of rebuilding a stronger Europe can begin, the political will required is massive in scope, things have to get worse before they can get better.

But at least there will be a future and democracy rising from the ashes.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

Ruth Davidson gets elected Scottish Tory leader, top QC resigns stating: "They have replaced one nice woman with one not so very nice woman."













Dear All

Ruth Davidson has been elected the Scottish Tories new leader that was a serious mistake.

For other parties such as the SNP, it is a gift, Davidson’s election effectively neutralises the Tories completely.

Not that they had much of a support anyway but they did have a brand name, unfortunately for them its so toxic that as Murdo Fraser put it, they have to start again.

The first piece of bad news is that a high-profile QC, Paul McBride has left the Scottish Conservatives with a quick sideswipe at Davidson.

Paul McBride very quickly resigned after Ruth Davidson was elected.

Already a vote of no confidence in her, she is a carpetbagger.

Ruth Davidson is publicly unelectable and has only been a list MSP since May this year.

She has no experience to speak of, the rank and file members made a mistake, they took the guff that as the ‘fresh faced’ candidate she has vision.

No she doesn’t.

McBride was holding back when he fired off a broadside at Davidson's campaign manager, MSP John Lamont, who is also the party's justice spokesman.

He is pathetic in that role, tried old dogma.

McBride said:

"The Scottish Conservative party stands for nothing and opposes everything, they are in terminal decline."

An excellent analogy of the current unsustainable situation facing the Tories!

And he gets better on a roll with a sharp witty putdown:

"They have replaced one nice woman with one not so very nice woman."

Although not a fan of McBride, he does on occasion travel the path of George Laird radical vision and thinking.

McBride later added:

"The Scottish Tories are no friends of the people of Scotland”.

We knew that since the days of Thatcher.

"The MSP group is divided and dysfunctional. Their only policy is to oppose everything and contribute nothing. Half the membership wants the party abolished and 87% of the electorate despise them. Their naked opportunism regarding the minimum pricing bill and the offensive behaviour bill demonstrates why they will remain unelectable."

McBride homes in on issues close to his heart, but their whole social policies don’t connect with ordinary people at all.

Ruth Davidson is a leader with no MSP mandate, she is the cuckoo in the nest; she will not change the Scottish Tories’ fortunes.

To repeat Paul McBride again, because it is so good:

"They have replaced one nice woman with one not so very nice woman."

Quite so sir!

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Labour MP Tom Harris launches his leadership campaign with suicide note: “I'm no Labour carpetbagger”, not a single MSP supports his bid





















Dear All

You could say that Labour MP Tom Harris is hedging his bets in wanting to be the Labour Leader of the new ‘independent’ Scottish Labour Party.

If Scotland votes to be independent, he would lose his seat at Westminster, and would find it incredibly difficult to get in somewhere, but as leader, he would be found a seat probably in his own back yard of Cathcart or in the Glasgow area.

He is the wrong man, at the wrong time in the wrong place.

As such, he hasn’t the traction and is an underdog candidate, but he is still better than Johann Lamont, the Glasgow University product who is simply woeful.

Woeful!

Harris instead of fighting the good fight has been fighting a rearguard action to claims he is simply a "carpetbagger."

Tom Harris is a carpetbagger, albeit he wants to stay in the same area as he current holds for Westminster.

To show that the Holyrood clique haven’t warmed to him, he has failed to win the backing of any MSP for his bid to become the first unified leader of Labour`s Scottish Westminster and Holyrood politicians.

Not a single MSP on the Holyrood Labour benches is going to move over to his camp, they will probably back the only candidate in the race, Ken Macintosh.

And Ken Macintosh is the right man in the right place at the right time.

Is it destiny?

No; sheer luck and circumstance.

At his campaign launch in Edinburgh, Harris launch an attack at his new ‘disciples’ by saying MSPs are willing to "tolerate an MP standing in this contest" but "seem to have decided, collectively, that it would be unacceptable for an MP actually to win".

He said:

"I fear they will not understand why an important and influential section of the Scottish Labour party seems to believe that the number of letters after a candidate's name trumps all those qualifications."

I don’t think I feel the love in either direction.

Harris said:

"I am a Scottish politician. I represent a Glasgow constituency. I`m as Scottish as any other Scottish politician in my party as others. But there are sensitivities here. The point I`m trying to make is I really don`t care about them, about the sensitivities not the MSPs. I don`t care about this view that they`re worried about how the media will see this."

His campaign launch included a suicide note it seems.

And to think this guy was a press officer, surely he realises how to spin?

So, it’s Ken ‘interesting’ Macintosh for the Labour leadership all the way.

I can’t see Harris winning, he can argue and has a presence but he doesn’t appear to have any friends to back his cause.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde Health Board refuse to prescribe the ‘Miracle drug’ Eculizumab to Joyce Juszczak, corrupt Scotland at its best?













Dear All

By now, you will have noticed how corrupt Scotland has become.

The case of Joyce Juszczak is a very good example of this as it highlights in detail the workings of NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde (NHSGGC).

As Scotland wants to move towards an independent future Joyce Juszczak will be one of the forgotten victims.

She is going to be allowed to die a horrible painful death by those in authority.

It is a death sentence in a land that doesn’t allow capital punishment.

Her only hope lies with English people, if Joyce moves to England, then she can get the “miracle” drug eculizumab for paroxysmal nocturnal haemoglobinuria (PNH).

If she stays in Scotland, it is a slow painful death, is anyone going to do the right thing?

Not it appears in this country, she isn’t socially connected, her face doesn’t fit; she is working class.

She is working class denied a chance to live by a middle class run NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde (NHSGGC).


‘Oh flower of Scotland, when will we see your like again’.

Joyce has a rare and potentially deadly condition which destroys red blood cells and leaves victims at risk of kidney failure and potentially fatal blood clots.

Red blood cells carry oxygen around the body. The more of these cells destroyed the harder it is to move and to breathe properly.

Experts say eculizumab is a potentially life-saving drug that prevents the need for regular blood transfusions in two-thirds of patients and virtually abolishing the risk of clotting.

And she isn’t getting it.

Specialists handling Mrs Juszczak’s case have said she should be receiving the treatment.

Her symptoms are now more advanced, the need is more desperate, however, the board, which had previously turned her down, is refusing to budge.

So, the Scottish Government should sack these bastards immediately.

Ms Hardie, Joyce Juszczak said:

“NHSGGC has issued a death sentence on my mum. We are completely devastated with the news”.

Adding:
“We could not believe it had the insensitivity of comparing my mum’s life-saving drug with the equivalent of 10 nursing jobs, and to clearly state our case would not be considered unless my mum has a thrombosis or her blood count falls dangerously low.”

Health isn’t a numbers game.

What use is having a devolved health service, if we can help Joyce Juszczak?

Why are we letting her die?

To save £250,000 a year!

What a great pity that the only solution for Joyce Juszczak is to move to England so that the English can save her life.

If she remains in Scotland, it appears no one is going to help her.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Guest post: Glasgow Councillor Andy Muir writes to set the record straight on his future involvement in Glasgow City Council














Dear George,

Contrary to certain newspaper articles, as I have not indicated my intention to resign or will resign, I plan to attend all meetings of the City of Glasgow Licensing Board as a Board Member under the terms set out in the Licensing (Scotland) Act 2005.

Before reaching this decision I consulted with the Chief Solicitor to Glasgow City Council and have been advised I act within the Licensing (Scotland ) Act 2005.

Moreover, I had this advice confirmed with an external legal licensing lawyer.

However, seeing as I was not consulted in any manner, has the Labour Group and the Business Manager acted within the terms of the said Act?

Yours sincerely

Councillor Andy Muir
Scottish Labour
Glasgow City Council