Friday, August 31, 2012

Labour MP Diane Abbott rakes in £6,712 for eight appearances on BBC’s This Week; public complaint sees number to be cutback, sour grapes indeed!

Dear All

For many many years, we have seen politicians appear on TV regularly; Labour MP Diane Abbott who represents Hackney is one such person.

She is a regular on the BBC and particularly the television programme This Week hosted by Andrew Neil.

It’s a great show and she works well in the format with Andrew and ex Conservative MP Michael Portillo.

The show is a combination of gossip, comedy and highlight of going on in the Westminster Village, Europe and elsewhere.

Every appearance however of Diane Abbott is at a cost to the taxpayer since the BBC is funded by us.

For Abbott, This Week is like an ATM machine dishing out a ready source of cash to her onto of her MP’s salary.

It’s like a little cottage industry in some respects, now things have changed as the BBC has been ordered to stop paying Labour MP Diane Abbott so much.

She does make a packet by political show This Week more than £6,000 in appearance fees.

This situation apparently didn’t sit well with a member of the public who filed a complaint which was taken up by BBC Trust’s Editorial Standards Committee.

They did an investigation and the upshot is that they have upheld a complaint by a member of the public.

The committee says her appearances on the show have been “too frequent” since her promotion to the Labour front bench. When Diane Abbott was promoted to the front bench, she lost her regular slot on the show, and a regular cash cow, I was surprised because she makes a much better backbencher than a potential minister. However if Labour get back into power, she would get a ministerial salary short term loss for long term gain?

A risk but a reasonable gamble given the coalition is in trouble specifically the Lib Dems, their voters have deserted them.

In only eight appearances, she made £6,712 which is impressive stuff but it really does pale into insignificance to what she raked in as a regular on the show.

I suspect that the complaint against her is more to do with the number of appearances on the show than the cash, and in fairness to This Week she is a known entity to the producers and the public.

Sour grapes it seems might spoil the Blue Nun vintage but she will be back!

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Damning verdict on Scottish Justice under the SNP Government by top lawyer, “these are the kind of rules one expects to find in the third world."

Dear All

On occasion I do a bit of blogging on Scottish law and the lack of talent in the Scottish Parliament.

Here is a direct quote from Alistair Bonnington, a former honorary professor of law at Glasgow University:

"If you read the Scottish legislation, a lot of it looks as if it's been written by a primary school child. It really is embarrassing”.

It isn’t just the fact that it is badly written; it’s the concept behind the ideas that are disturbing, some people have no business in drafting and proposing law.

The reason is that they are out and out pricks who have no understanding of human rights, justice and so it seems law itself!

Bonnington goes on to add that Holyrood has inflicted more damage to Scots law since devolution than Westminster did in 300 years, and he is a leading lawyer.

Rather than the A Team, Holyrood has been filled up with the Z Team of politicians and they churn out shit such as the Offensive behaviour at fitba Act, done to meet a fitba season timetable, it is a piece of shit that should have been struck down by the SNP Government.

Sadly they didn’t and are probably proud of it.

Kenny MacAskill, Alex Salmond’s pal, ergo, a Cabinet filled out with his buddies, he never should have been appointed Justice Minister, but then the argument probably used by Salmond is that MacAskill is the best person for the job.

This begs the question how bad are the others?

Justice is a sham under the leadership of Kenny MacAskill, however unionists love him, he is a Stella reason for not voting for independence, he isn’t trusted, hence Scots will be voting to keep the UK Supreme Court as a backstop.

MacAskill’s judgement is warped, we saw this in Megrahi, we saw this in Cadder and we are seeing this in a whole host of other issues, including the ending of double jeopardy, a centuries-old tradition which prevented a person being tried twice for the same crime.

His attack on eroding legal aid is well known which includes effectively wanting to fine innocent people to appear at court.

You just can’t write enough about how bad justice is under his tenure.

Another sustained attack is the wanting to remove corroboration and the ban on juries being told about an accused person's previous convictions.

Effectively this means evidence is secondary to smearing and poisoning the jury, perhaps MacAskill thought because smearing works within the Scottish National Party, it is appropriate to roll it out into the legal profession.

And since the review of the law by Lord Carloway, he has been given his reward, pushed up the legal tree when he should have been persona non grata for his work.

Ironically SNP Ministers are currently consulting on how best to implement Lord Carloway's recommendations.

Bonnington added:

"Sadly it is not going too far to say that Holyrood has done more harm to Scots law than Westminster managed in more than 300 years."

And also he rightly attacked the one party state mentality of the SNP Government by saying that Scotland now had "Soviet-style laws on double jeopardy" and that the "established traditions of Scots law have been abandoned to fit in with right-wing tabloid thinking".

All of this erodes confidence in the legal system and confidence in government and gives people a reason not to vote SNP.

In looking what Holyrood has done, Bonnington said:

“these are the kind of rules one expects to find in the third world."

George Laird was right again, some people in Holyrood are really talentless and oh how it shows.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

Scottish Independence, Alex Salmond warned time to agree referendum deal is running out fast, SNP Govt looks weak and adrift, freebie for Salmond?

Dear All

Should Scotland be independent?

I believe the answer is yes, can independence be delivered by Yes Scotland in 2014.


And looking at the polls they are doing a bang up job of pushing support downwards at a rate of knots.

Last time I looked it was 27%.

Yes Scotland is seen by many as a crony ridden vehicle of the talentless under the control of the Scottish National Party by proxy.

At Westminster to compound the disaster there is concern about the fact that Braveheart Alex Salmond is dragging his feet.

So far the nuts and bolts of the referendum haven’t been fleshed out but that could be due to the lack of talent around Salmond.

If the First Minister thinks that if he leaves everything to the last minute not allowing people time to think he can bounce Scotland into a yes vote, he is sadly mistaken.

The way things are going there is talk about him failing to agree a deal with Westminster on a legally watertight referendum, which can only mean he knows he can’t win it!

Some people think this is an attempt to ensure there is no referendum at all.

If there is no referendum, not only is his position as First Minister untenable, his leadership of the Scottish National Party will be open to question by the rank and file.

And I don’t think the big smile; it was the nasty Westminster doing us down, lets all rally together and fight for Scotland act will work.

The unionists want the detail put to bed, if there isn’t the competence; then Westminster should step in and run the referendum on behalf of the Scottish people.

Racking up the pressure, Michael Moore, the Scottish Secretary said:

"It's time to crack on; time is pressing. The sooner we can get the process issues out of the way and get on to the 'Great Debate', the better for everyone and the less damaging the uncertainty will be."

The more this farce does on, the less support for independence we will see and have seen already.

As to the two issues of devo max and votes for 16 and 17-year-olds, this shows that there is real desperation to try and scrap together support.

Devo max has no political mandate and votes for 16 and 17-year-olds should also be a non starter.

Independence is a straightforward and simple proposition requiring one question; the sooner the wording is agreed the better. The way things are going this nonsense will end up in court and given the SNP Government’s track record, they might find they don’t have a case.

When I joined the Scottish National Party I assumed that all the people in it were quite bright, as a member that opinion has changed, there are a lot of really dim stupid people who think they are clever.

And their cleverness will one day see them back out on the street.

Salmond looks like a man paralysed by fear because he knows his popularity can’t carry independence.

At the independence march in September, we will see if the public turn up, I suspect we won’t be seeing hundreds of thousands of people, not for Salmond and not for Sturgeon.

Maybe they should turn to their poisonous little clique for ideas, after all they are bought and paid for, let's see if they can deliver the goods!

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

THE GUYVER - movie (1991)

Scotland’s unpopular Deputy First Minster Nicola Sturgeon oversees 1000 Scots health jobs going as numbers plunge to 2005 levels, major PR disaster

Dear All

Health is a flagship SNP policy but there is something coming down the pipeline.

Cuts, cuts, cuts!

You will no doubt have heard a lot of talk about efficiency savings in health which means posts are not being filled deliberately, and re-jig of the services has seen less people employed than before.

The stark reality of the health service under Nicola Sturgeon’s leadership is the number of nurses and midwives in the NHS are at its lowest for almost seven years.

The glory days of health as a flagship SNP policy have spectacularly crashed onto the rocks as official figures revealed yesterday.

At present there are 56,184 full-time nursing and midwifery staff across Scotland, the lowest number there has been since September 2005.

Health is now going backwards, independence is now going backwards and Nicola Sturgeon has the major input in both.

Is that just a co-incidence?

For the SNP Governemnt, it gets worse; the numbers show more than 2,000 less than September 2009.

Where did it all go wrong?

It all went wrong because SNP Ministers abandoned their portfolios, ran out of ideas and went chasing their independence dreams.

Cue music, the hills are alive with the sound of musik! As SNP Ministers think they are 'living the dream', they are going to find they are living a nightmare.

‘the hills are alive with the sound of musik!’

Although part of the reduction is offset by transfer as 100 nurses in the Highlands have become council employees as a result of plans to integrate health and social care in the area, the trend is worrying.

And more jobs losses are on the way as the NHS moves towards the target of cutting the number of senior managers by 25 per cent by 2015.

All the opposition politicians hit out at health secretary Nicola Sturgeon over the fall in the number of nurses and midwives, this is their time; previously it was hard to score political points against the SNP and Nicola Sturgeon.

But the goal is wide open and no one in the net, it’s a tap in.

Labour health spokeswoman Jackie Baillie said:

“We cannot allow the number of nurses, midwives and hospital staff to continue to plummet while the demands on our NHS grow.”

The Conservatives’ deputy leader, Jackson Carlaw, said the health secretary had previously pledged there would be no cuts to frontline services as a result of efficiency sayings.

Carlaw, also the Tories’ health spokesman, said:

“Health spending in Scotland is protected, so there is no excuse for the Scottish Government to aimlessly swing the axe at the nursing and midwifery headcount.”

Ms Sturgeon said:

“The NHS has been set a demanding target by reducing senior management posts by 25 per cent, but this reflects policy on keeping a tight rein on the pay bill for the highest earners during these challenging economic times. These figures demonstrate excellent progress and our expectation is that this target will be met earlier than anticipated. This will contribute to more than £100 million a year in non-clinical savings, which will be reinvested in frontline services.”

At present the Scottish Government is playing keepy ups with the health budget but Ms. Sturgeon should realise that glycogen in muscle tissue eventually burns out, dehydration and the build up of lactic acid in the working muscles leads to total failure of the organism.

Much like their budget, there is going to be a crash because the second term of the Scottish Government was never about independence; it was about public sector reform.

Public sector reform!

And as we are seeing there is clearly no agenda or vision to fix that bunny.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

BBC is accused of insulting Muslims with new sitcom Citizen Khan, outrageous show will either bomb or become a cult show, 1970’s style comedy returns

Dear All

The BBC has a new comedy called Citizen Khan.

How it ever got passed is a mystery as it guilty of using stereotypes about Asians in the most outlandish fashion.

I happened to catch a few minutes and thought was I watching a repeat of something made in the 1970’s of the Love thy Neighbour vintage.

So far the public has sent in 200 complaints and people say the programme takes the mickey out of Islam.

In one scene a Muslim girl is seen ready a gossip mag wearing make up only to pull on a hijab and start reading the Koran when she hears her father coming down the hall.

The father plays a Muslim community leader who said to his daughter that the reason he married her mother was because she looked cheap.

And to add further insult, earlier on the father produced his ‘master class’ on how to use toilet paper after buying a bumper load saying you can’t have too much.

The public were quick to respond with one viewer writing on a BBC’s messageboard:

“This is terrible stereotyping, ignorant and just dreadful.”

Another said:

“HIGHLY disappointed especially when her father walks in and she dis-respectfully opens the Koran!!”

However some people defended the show.

One said:

“People are reading too much in to Citizen Khan, especially the hijab thing, it happens!”

A BBC spokesman said:

“Citizen Khan has made a very positive start, launching successfully with 3.6million viewers and a 21.5 per cent share in a late-night slot”.

Presumably because it is a shock jock!

BBC spokesman added:

“New comedy always provokes differing reactions from the audience. The characters are comic creations and not meant to be representative of the community as a whole.
In a recent interview with BBC Breakfast, Mr Ray said the show was allowing the Muslim community to laugh at itself. I think it is a great opportunity, with Mr Khan as a Pakistani Muslim and the character, to take that kind of really rich content and laugh at ourselves and I am a firm believer in that.”

This programme will either bomb or become a cult programme, it has caused quite a stir and I am sure the writers will be keen to heighten their outrageous antics, after you have upset people, you crank it up seems to be the model.

Some people I know have said they would like to see a comedy about vote rigging in a political party by grubby little individuals set in Scotland.

The comedy would revolve around the leaders of a political party who use communities to get campaign contributions and in return ensure the community ‘leaders’ get candidacies in their party at election time.

The joke would be working class people who work as activists effectively being barred as candidates and used as lackeys to make way for people who don’t work. Each week little deals are done behind closed doors with the leaders who laugh behind the backs of those activists who work for them.

My friends said they would call it ‘Yours for Scotland’.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Taken 2 - International Trailer (2012) [HD]

SNP Cllr Billy McAllister blasts top cop after being labelled a 'time-waster', cllr refuses to believe Police that drug seizure was cannabis!

Dear All

It seems that SNP Councillor Billy McAllister needs a new topic to campaign on; actually he needs a few topics to campaign on.

He is seen by many as a one trick pony, and that pony is crime.

The result of this has led to him being labelled a 'time-waster' by Chief Superintendent Bob Hamilton of Strathclyde Police.

In an escalation of an on-going row the SNP Councillor now says he is being targeted by Strathclyde Police.

The press kinda built up Billy McAllister up as the ‘gang-busting’ councillor of Glasgow, but he isn’t, other than targeting the Lyons family, he is pretty silent about the other Glasgow gangs such as the Daniels and McGovern crime families.

Anyway, rather than getting the Police onboard, Chief Superintendent Bob Hamilton has allegedly told Glasgow City Council chiefs that Billy McAllister is a time-waster and therefore not worth dealing with.

And in an email to the council’s executive director Annemarie O’Donnell, he accused McAllister of “ranting” at a community council meeting.

Hamilton also claims that fellow SNP councillor Franny Scally, the ‘heir to Salmond’, then challenged McAllister over his criticism of police at the meeting.

Scally has since denied he was even there.

So, in steps the SNP MSP Bob Doris, a two time election loser to ‘take up the sword’ on behalf of his pal, Billy and urged Strathclyde Chief Constable Stephen House to act!

If I was House, any letter of Doris would be kicked back down the chain to division with a note saying ‘do not disturb’.

Doris said:

“Chief Superintendent Hamilton has clearly been given spurious information, which I am sure must be of concern to him. I would request that this is investigated and that the letter to Glasgow City Council is retracted.”

No action required!

It also appears that Hamilton complained to council chief executive George Black about a case in which a child found drugs.

Billy McAllister says he was told it was heroin but the Police claim that it was cannabis.

This raises the question, why would the Police lie, it wouldn’t make a difference to them, and I am pretty sure that the Police labs are more than able to spot the difference.

Hamilton’s complaint also said:

“I do not feel it is appropriate for an elected member to act in a manner that potentially could cause the fear of crime to increase by exaggerating the circumstances of an incident and failing to accept the facts when he is presented with them.”

Everyone likes a conspiracy theory but I don’t think Billy McAllister warrants someone spinning a story to him.

Billy McAllister said:

“Certain officers seem determined to shut me up because they don’t like that I hold the force to account.”

It would be better if Councillor McAllister was to understand that he isn’t Sherlock Holmes and to stay out of Police operational matters or he could end up looking like a laughing stock and a crank.

If he wishes to comment then perhaps after an active investigation is concluded would be more appropriate, when facts are established.

And the sooner he gets off the ‘gang buster councillor of Scotland’ mentality then perhaps everyone will be a lot happier.

McAllister should stay out of the 'Gerbil' case.

Can you imagine a scenario where criminals are doing drive by shootings and a Glasgow Councillor steps forward to protest then gets written up as the ‘gang banger busting councillor of Glasgow’ by the press.

Wee Jimmy to dearest:

‘Mammy is that the man who stops gang bangs’.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

Monday, August 27, 2012

Scotland turns out to boo Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP Cabinet over same sex marriage, Catholic Church escalates on-going campaign from the pulpit

Dear All

Last week saw the SNP Cabinet visit Renfrew and hundreds of people turned out to boo Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP Cabinet.

Hundreds of people!

Alex Salmond, the leader of the Scottish Government ducked into the event by way of a side door.

As you can see by the picture Nicola Sturgeon doesn’t appear to be happy, I don’t think she is bothered by the fact that people dislike her, but rather that people dislike her and prepared to do so publicly in the full glare of the press.

From the footage of the event inside, the SNP Cabinet looked distinctly uneasy sitting in their chairs.

Hundreds of people were booing Nicola Sturgeon over the campaign she led to legalise same sex marriage despite a majority responding to the consultation by the Government, who didn’t want the law changed, their protests came to nothing.

The banners say it all, ‘SNP not listening’, SNP ignored 64%, and ‘public snubbed by SNP’.

And that is the truth.

The majority were always going to be ignored by Nicola Sturgeon et al, the consultation I always thought would be a sham, and low and behold it was a sham.

George Laird was right again.

In an escalation Nicola Sturgeon is also effectively persona non grata with Cardinal Keith O’Brien; communication is only through officials on same sex marriage now.

But things aren’t improving; the Catholic Church has gone further as Catholic worshippers heard criticism of the Scottish Government’s gay marriage plans at Sunday services.

Priests took the unusual step of reading out loud a letter from leading bishops, a letter, which was read in all of Scotland’s 500 Catholic parishes. In effect the letter calls for followers to continue to act against efforts to “redefine” marriage.

And it is only a matter of time before the Catholic Church makes this issue as a defining reason in the independence referendum as they say they aren’t going away.

Unfortunately, the SNP leadership has misjudged the mood of the people who believe in God, God comes before Salmond and Sturgeon.

Cardinal Keith O’Brien, Scotland’s most senior Catholic churchman was absolutely right to break off discussions on the issue with First Minister Alex Salmond.

Church and State shouldn’t mix; Salmond and Sturgeon have crossed a line.

And for them there is no turning back, which will have an effect on their future hopes and dreams.

Cardinal O’Brien said:

“The church’s teaching on marriage is unequivocal. It is uniquely the union of a man and a woman and it is wrong that governments, politicians or parliaments should seek to alter or destroy that reality.”

He added:

“While we pray that our elected leaders will sustain rather than subvert marriage, we promise to continue to do everything we can to convince them that redefining marriage would be wrong for society.”

I think we can safely say that the Catholic Church will become vocal and there will be more protests in the pipeline and of course public booing of SNP Ministers which doesn’t bode well for the independence campaign.

Nicola Sturgeon said after announcing the government’s plans:

“In a country that aspires to be an equal and tolerant society, this is the right thing to do”.

Maybe she could practice what she preaches in her own party.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

The boat is sailing on Alex Salmond’s independence dream, anti NATO SNP CND group shows why people have no faith in party to defend Scotland

Dear All

In October we will see if stupidity in the Scottish National Party can be replaced by commonsense.

It’s a hard task because for the last 30 years the SNP has been a party having to scavenge for support and people to work for it.

So; it’s had to rely on an odd mix of people with a common thread, anti British establishment and its entire works!

Defending a nation is quite beyond the capabilities of some in the Scottish National Party as is honouring the military covenant to Scottish troops.

It is no surprise to me that there is a bid to stop a change to the SNP's anti-Nato policy.

Or who is involved in it.

The anti’s say they want to start a "grassroots movement" to defy Alex Salmond and the party leadership.

There are many reasons why a "grassroots movement” to oppose Salmond should be started but NATO isn’t one of them.

The current Scottish National Party leadership don’t believe in fairness, equality and social justice as I know from my personal experience.

I see the SNP leadership as anti working class and anti Glaswegian, again my personal experience.

To boost their chances at conference, the anti’s held a meeting of the Nationalists' Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament group in Glasgow.

The funny thing is that they believe their remit is to "educate" SNP members.

In that spirit they laid out what the proposed U-turn in policy could mean for the party and to its chances of securing a "yes" vote in the Scottish referendum on independence in 2014.

So, here is some education for the idiots!

In every Westminster General election, the Scottish National Party has had its political cunt kicked in by the public because the party isn’t seen as viable.

Every Westminster election!

Gareth Finn, SNP CND group convener, said the turnout at the seminar about 65 people, including MSPs John Finnie, Dave Thompson, Jean Urquhart, Sandra White and John Wilson was impressive.

65 people is impressive out of a circa 20,000 membership?

I have met Gareth Finn, he is a republican and as far as I am concerned just a little shit of a human being, a particularly unimpressive little man who came across to me as having a massive chip on his shoulder.

Finn said:

"The next step is for members to go back to their SNP branches with that information and pass it around. We want to expand the debate to a grassroots movement rather than just discussing it in the hierarchy of the party."

He added:

"The main issue is that Nato is a nuclear alliance and it doesn't fit in with our vision for Scotland. We are a prosperous and outward-looking country, I don't see why we need to be part of the alliance because I don't see any threat to Scotland. It's a challenge for those seeking to change party policy to inform us of where they see these threats coming from."

So speaks the greatest military strategist in nationalism, the view being particularly clear from Clydebank and of course, less we forget, Finn has probably seen war movies in his youth and therefore is probably able to analyse threats.

Unfortunately, the threats in the world are global and beyond his mental capabilities as a big chip small man republican.

In this blog I theme on a lack of talent in the Scottish National Party, and so far ten of the SNP's 67 MSPs have so far come out against the leadership's proposal.

Ten backward looking people holding MSP positions who aren’t willing to stand up for Scottish Soldiers, in a recent poll Scottish service personnel by a clear majority declared not to be in favour of joining the army of an independent Scotland.

And who can blame them when so many in the Scottish National Party are declaring they will fail to do everything to protect them from harm’s way.

Dave Thompson, MSP for Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch, said:

"We're better with our current policy because it's the right policy. You would need to ask Angus whether he thinks his policy is the right policy or is he purely following opinion polls that's not for me to say. He's got to come up with sound reasons."

How about every Westminster election result telling the SNP they aren’t trusted to defend our nation!

Many people see the sudden conversion to NATO as opportunism by Alex Salmond and Nicola Sturgeon, and who can blame them.

The anti’s have been busy and have passed round a briefing paper, Nationalist CND argue that changing policy could lose the SNP support and did not guarantee extra votes for independence.

It argued:

"It confuses the strategy and makes the SNP look cynical and lacking in moral courage. It alienates almost all active supporters of independence outside the SNP and will cause more conflict within the Yes campaign. It removes all differentiation between the SNP and the other parties. It does nothing to counter the media onslaught from those that oppose independence. In fact, tactically and strategically, it is hard to see what meaningful benefit it is meant to bring."
Alex Salmond should take the opportunity to wind down the independence or get into an argument with Westminster over wording and pull the referendum; he really does have to educate the Scottish National Party.

He could start with the University of Strathclyde poll carried out in May, which found 52% of SNP members surveyed wanted to remain in NATO.

Ruth Davidson, the Scottish Conservative leader, said:

"The ridiculed NATO stance is only one small element of SNP defence policy that is exceptionally weak."

Independence is looking increasingly remote as five independence polls show that momentum has stalled and is now going backwards; add to that bad decisions by Alex Salmond’s government, lack of a direction and policies coupled with arrogance that their own stupidity somehow equates to intelligence and 2014 will see everything crash down around their ears.

If NATO isn’t pushed through then it will be one more torpedo into the independence campaign, Scotland isn’t ready, the people aren’t ready and the Scottish National Party isn’t ready for independence.

But it doesn’t stop the party doing the changes which are so needed, 30 years of getting it wrong on NATO equals 30 years of not been seen as credible for Westminster. This change is long overdue and it isn’t the only thing wrong with Alex Salmond and Nicola Sturgeon’s brand of nationalism.

The chickens are now coming home to roost for the SNP.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

Friday, August 24, 2012

Braveheart Alex Salmond's Olympic 'success' in London criticised, £400k wasted, no deals signed and piggyback op missed, a new FM world record!

Dear All

If someone was asked to choose between paying £400,000 for ‘digs’ for a few weeks or paying nothing, which would you choose?

I would choose the free digs.

And I would especially choose the free digs if it was other people’s money I was spending.

Alex Salmond went to London for the Olympics but his attempt to set up what was dubbed his London ‘embassy’ resulted in wasting a monumental sum of public money.

His vanity project, his folly, our cost!

You could say the funny thing about arriving late, having a lack of planning and vision was that not a single business deal has been signed.

The SNP Government's Scotland House project during the 2012 Olympic Games was a flop.

All £400,000, bad idea, misjudged and totally out of touch, when the UK Government had offered up Dover House, the Scotland Office in Whitehall, for free.

Who turns down free digs?

I am sure that the plush Army and Navy Club, near Buckingham Palace is a really nice place, but in times of austerity it was the wrong place.

The UK Government ran its own British Business Embassy at Lancaster House. The difference was that it hosted 14 business summits, attracting 3000 business leaders and policymakers from around the world.

What Alex Salmond should have done was piggyback on that event thereby creating a better platform for Scotland.

He would have gotten Scotland’s message across much better and to a wider base.

It all adds up to what I have been saying for sometime, a genuine lack of talent in the Scottish National Party, if the party wasn't run as a clique, Salmond could hear the alternative view and he needs someone to say no more often.

And to show how badly Alex Salmond did with the little ‘Scotlander’ approach, a spokeswoman for UK Trade and Investment said the Business Embassy had been a great success with a business deal clinched every day.

Alex Salmond and his team couldn’t even pull off one during their entire time.

The UK Government agency running the Lancaster House events expects the economic benefit of the 2012 Games to total £13 billion.

£13 billion and how much of that will be coming to Scotland?

Previously in the SNP I was criticised unjustly because I was said to be unable to work in a team, but the truth of the SNP is that, it is they who are incapable of working in a team environment unless it is to their own personal advantage.

When certain elements turned the SNP into the nasty little poisonous clique it has become, they would eventually implode through their bad judgment.

Chickens are coming home to roost for Salmond and Sturgeon.

With unrealistic expectations Alex Salmond set himself up to fall flat on his face when quipped how for the 17 days of the 2012 Games the club would become a "little bit of England that is forever Scotland".

Scotland House very quickly became known as the venue that was largely deserted for much of the day.

Ironically many of the visitors were said to be officials transported down from Scotland. When there is a lack of preparation disaster surely follows, but that s the modern SNP leave everything to the last minute, do it rushed and do it botched.

And where applicable pass the buck to someone else to do their job.

As an SNP member, I have on many occasions been left in the lurch as the clique deserted me to do the ‘good’ stuff and kiss the arse of the leadership that 'they are fighting for Scotland'.

When asked about what deals had been done as a result of Scotland House, a Scottish Government spokesman said:

"Scotland House hosted over 80 events and attracted more than 3000 visitors. More than 500 business leaders attended events designed to bring Scottish businesses together with potential investors in Scotland with a range of business meetings and potentially lucrative introductions, laying the groundwork for potential new investment or new jobs in Scotland."

Patently the spokesman thought he was dealing stupid people, another flaw in the SNP but in the end when pressed he had to blurt out that:

"We have not made any deals from Scotland House."

And that pretty much highlights what I say about the Scottish Government, too much assumption, lacking in vision, a middle class clique, and unable to deliver beyond a certain level.

A real genuine lack of talent!

Margaret Curran, the Shadow Scottish Secretary said:

"Every month people across Scotland are trying to make ends meet and now we hear Alex Salmond's half-a-million pound vanity project has brought no money and no jobs to Scotland. People will be wondering if the SNP can be trusted with their taxes."

Ruth Davidson, the Scottish Conservative leader, said:

"This lavish ambassadorial-style party was supposed to generate business interest in Scotland but now we find not a single deal was signed. Alex Salmond may wish to present himself as some kind of presidential figure but must remember he still answers to the people of Scotland and he needs to explain why he wasted such a monumental sum of public money on this vain project."

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie said:

"This has turned out to be a very expensive vanity project for Alex Salmond. Even though Dover House was offered to him free of charge, he was determined to do his own thing even though it's cost us hundreds of thousands of pounds."

He added: "The UK Government built on the back of the Olympics and ran a very professional operation, which the Scottish Government could have directly benefited from but it preferred to do its own thing."

George Laird of the Scottish National Party said:

“Grab as much money and freebies and foreign junkets as you can Mr. Salmond, five opinion polls see independence support crashing through the floor and you don’t need to be a rocket scientist to figure out why”.

Not one single deal signed, £400,000 wasted, opportunity to piggybank on British Business Embassy botched.

Total failure to achieve any real objectives, a world record for a Scottish First Minister at an Olympics.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Scottish independence: the ‘slur’ on legal experts made by SNP Education Minister Mike Russell shows how panicked nationalists are becoming now!

Dear All

In Scottish politics smearing and the Scottish National Party go hand in hand, much like salt and vinegar or bread and butter.

The SNP Education Secretary Mike Russell has run into a spot of bother when he described the forum created by the Advocate General Lord Wallace as a “kangaroo” court.

Firstly, the panel isn’t a “kangaroo” court.

Which pretty much explains why education is such a shambles under the Scottish National Party, lack of thought before action, higher education is in need of major reform and all Mike Russell can do it tinker with edges like a child playing with his food.

An example of his window dressing is the new financial help that students can get, a bigger loan, which means they pay back a bigger loan.

This action means bursaries will decline alot in the region of £1,000.

And of course nothing of any real significance has been done in education but a lot of talk; meaningless talk without teeth.

To return to Wallace, he wasn’t a great Justice Minister by a long chalk, he was tossed the Advocate General’s job because Cameron was padding posts for the Lib Dems.

In probably recognising that his juridical credentials aren’t up to scratch, he went out and creating a forum of legal experts to advise him on the likely implications of independence.

The issues looked at are important and problematic to the Nationalists who are going about making assumptions backed up by nothing more than they want this and they want that, and they are entitled to this because…..

Independence does involve big major issues that the SNP appear not to have any answers for, and given the recent ‘Hell in the Pacific’ suffered by Nicola Sturgeon haven’t asked the questions.

Anyway Wallace has got his group of experts and is running with it, their remit and members has certainly rattled the nationalist camp to such an extent that Mike Russell, took to smearing it as a “kangaroo” court.

The SNP has form in smearing the UK judiciary as a long series of attacks shows, and in the major cases, it has been the SNP who have been slapped down hard, the Cadder Case is a prime example. The unwarranted attack on Lord Hope is another, that attacked was beyond the pale, and who can forget the Kenny MacAskill statement of ‘he who pays the piper calls the tune’.

I am a fan of the UK Supreme Court as many who regular read my blog know, they display the kind of flawless judgment that reminds me of Lord Denning, an icon of the UK judiciary.

In attacking the court when they didn’t get their own way, the SNP appeared petty, malicious and profoundly ignorant, having to have someone wipe their legal arse for them because they have shat themselves is however quite funny.

A stumbling block to be removed in the independence vote is devo max, or as many see it Alex Salmond’s political lifebelt, if the independence is lost and he gets nothing, people within the SNP will be questioning the strategy.

Five polls so far see independence support sinking, the latest is 27%.

A new low!

Independence is about one single issue, and the political manoeuvrings don’t display intelligence or skill, far from it, some see the independence campaign as a cronies campaign of Alex Salmond, Nicola Sturgeon, their middle class clique and assorted hangers on.

The public are talking to Alex Salmond and their message is pretty clear, it's no to independence under your vision.

By whinging about devo max, the SNP appear to think if that is shot down the support will move across to voting independence, how out of touch is that!

Wallace did make an important point in the Newsnight Scotland interview he did on Tuesday with Gordon Brewer when he said, leaving a club is a matter for you alone. If, however, you want to remain in the club but change the rules, all the other members are entitled to a say.

And it is for the committee; in this case Westminster who changes the rules of membership; not Holyrood, the tail doesn’t wag the dog.

Alex Salmond can’t deliver more devolution if he could we would have seen it via Holyrood.

The panic has sent in with the Scottish Nationalists, Russell running off at the mouth is a symptom of a wider panic which will sweep through the SNP as the deadline of the referendum draws nearer.

The campaign started badly, it is now sinking, the Scottish Government is paralysed, bad decisions are getting made, Yes Scotland is loaded with cronies and poll after poll is dreadful and of course all the other crap too numerous to mention.

Alex Salmond should remember:

“The light that burns twice as bright burns for half as long”.

And it’s all downhill now, if a coalition is possible between Labour and Lib Dems in 2016, the Lib Dems won’t do as they did previously, they will form a government and shut the SNP out. The SNP will have to hope that the Lib Dems and others continue to sink. If other parties revive themselves then the SNP will shed many of their floating voters.

Expect more smearing from the Scottish National Party elite and their hangers on, as the pressure mounts they will start to crack and vent.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Yes Scotland board member Pat Kane says SNP leadership Nato stance is "not a principled or honourable position", chickens come home for Salmond et al

Dear All

Here is a laugh; ‘leading’ independence campaigner Pat Kane has called the idea of Scotland seeking non-nuclear status within Nato "not a principled or honourable position".

Leading’ independence campaigner?

Pat Kane?

Is that a joke?

It must be a joke because I have never seen Pat Kane at any SNP by-election I attended.

Having said that I never saw his ex wife SNP MSP Joan McAlpine at any by-election I attended either.

And come to think of it, I never saw her attend a branch meeting when she was in the same branch as me or do a single day of activism for it.

The SNP seems to value people like these who aren’t willing to do the work but are willing to take the benefits.

Well Alex, you picked them, you’re stuck with them, good luck, they will be the people who will take you out of power.

Kane is a musician and writer and a former SNP member.

Despite that he was invited to the disastrous ‘Declaration of Cineworld’ launch and walked onto the board of Yes Scotland.

What does he know about campaigning?

I would say precious little.

Kane has stuck his oar in the water and said that NATO is "not a principled or honourable position" for the SNP.

However, he says the pro-independence camp would survive the shift in policy because everything would be up for grabs in an independence election two years after the referendum.

If the public think that the change of stance is opportunism and not genuine, they will not vote for independence. Awhile ago Alan Cochrane the journalist said publicly that the SNP would say anything to get what they want, you can judge for yourself the truth of that statement.

If the SNP doesn’t accept NATO then independence is done, it is completely finished and the campaign becomes a total sham.

The SNP CND conference in Glasgow reveals how out of touch with reality some in the party actually are, their recent event has caused a bit of a stir generating some interest. And following that they are planning similar events across the country.

The chickens are now coming home to roost for the Scottish National Party, what we are witnessing isn’t the birth of a nation, we aren’t living in the shadow of better days, we are witnessing decline.

We are witnessing a party pigeonhole themselves as unfit to lead an independent nation.

That is what the SNP CND group is doing in spades; they are laying out in clear concise detail why people shouldn’t vote for indendence.

Bill Ramsay, SNP CND organiser said:

"Unusually for a large mainstream party, the SNP still has in place a set of democratic structures which allows ordinary members a real say and a real voice”.

I don’t believe that from my personal experiences of the party.

Ramsay added:

"Probably because of this we are detecting a significant level of interest in the event due to take place on Saturday and we are already starting to think about organising similar events in other parts of the country to discuss what is not just a policy issue, but arguably an aspect of the party's very identity."

Many see the SNP’s identity as grudge, grievance and malcontent, opposition for the sake of opposition to build support from anyone by hitching their star to it.

Kane also said:

"I think there is a fundamental inconsistency between the SNP's identity as an anti-nuclear party, and membership of a military alliance which has, as one of its founding tenets, first-use of a nuclear deterrent. The argument from the SNP leadership is that NATO is a smorgasbord of options, you can decide not to participate in collective missions, you can refuse to have nuclear missiles on your soil, and still be regarded as a 'full' member. I don't think this is a principled or honourable position."

Could he be saying that independence is a waste of time because no one is capable of defending Scotland?

This part of his statement is funny:

A new nation which currently has nuclear weapons on its soil renouncing these weapons would offer "one chance to signal to the world our constructive, progressive, peace-oriented credentials".

Deluded, everyone will respect us because we are peace loving?

How many peace loving people in the world ended up getting killed because the political class was seen as weak by their enemies?

World War Two is a good example of what happens when the strong prey on the weak.

Pat Kane was quick to stress that he was offering his own views, not those of Yes Scotland, he said:

"I think the centre of gravity in Scottish policy is on the centre-left, so I'm looking forward to the arrival of Labour voters for independence, LibDem voters for independence, and other non-party-aligned organisations and individuals. Even within that range of supporters, we will have significant policy differences, and Nato membership may be one of them. But the idea that the proper horizon for life in Scotland should be an independent state is something that –if you're in the Yes campaign – you fundamentally agree on."

Don’t hold your breath; it isn’t independence on any terms.

His parting shot:

“I urge SNP members to reject the Robertson motion, but I am watching from the outside, alongside others who share the party's essential principle of independence for Scotland."

That’s right, you are watching from the sidelines because you deep down don’t want to do any real work, but you are quite happy to reap the benefits of the hard work of others much like your ex wife Joan McAlpine.

Who is Pat Kane?

Oh, that’s right he is part of the middle class clique attached to the SNP.

NATO is "not a principled or honourable position", well I am sure that Alex Salmond, Nicola Sturgeon and Angus Robertson will be happy to know they are supporting such an unprincipled agenda.


Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Open Letter to SNP MSP John Mason; will the feeling of becoming a NATO rebel match the feeling of losing independence and losing your seat?

Dear John

Have you heard the expression third time lucky?

In 2008 at the Glasgow East by-election, you won by 365 votes.

Your record at Westminster was pretty decent, you attended the debates, you spoke well and did what I expected.

After your election you stood down as a councillor and I caught up with you at a by-election, during our chat I said to you that you needed to do more to make the residents of Glasgow East know what you were up too.

You didn't do enough on that front.

Fast forward 2009, European election, we met again, at that election I told you again, that you need to do more to get people behind you in the area, the result of the election in your area showed a 60/40 split to Labour.

The tide had turned and I told you ahead of time, by months and months.

Then came 2010, your attempt to hold the seat, because you hadn't done enough to build yourself up in the community as a credible Westminster MP alternative to the Labour Party, it all came crashed down around your ears.

Margaret Curran won by circa 13,000 votes.

So, perhaps you are up for third time lucky on advice.

Don’t vote against NATO!

Take the 5% and cast it in favour, if you don’t, then you are effectively killing off the independence campaign stone dead.

The public aren’t going to vote for independence if the party is seen as a bunch of cranks that can’t defend us from attack.

And attack comes in many forms in warfare, not just the traditional approach.

If you join the number of SNP MSPs preparing to vote against leadership proposals to stay in NATO, you should speak at conference about winding down the independence campaign also.

Because it is another nail in the coffin!

NATO is too important, too strategic to ignore.

Voting against is also a slap in the face to Scottish service personnel because it sends out a strong message that the SNP don’t care enough about their safety.

Then there is military intelligence; where is that going to come from? Do you have an answer because unless you are part of the grid and therefore plugged in, you are getting nothing!

You never took onboard my advice before and lost an election when something could have been done to turn it around.

And of course my record of callings election is pretty good in the party.

Recently I yet again got it right on the Glasgow council Election saying it would be a Labour win.

And it was a Labour win and a majority.

In 2011 on the stage at the SECC, Frank McAveety lost his seat to you, while on stage he talked about the ‘resurrection’.

Your area, Bill Kidd and James Dornan’s are key targets for Labour, and they haven’t forgotten about you or the others.

In Sturgeon’s seat, she has the benefit as Deputy Leader of getting extra help from councillors to help her campaign and a healthy majority.

And of course the safety of the list, you don’t.

I predicted that the SNP would lose the Glasgow City Council Election, and are predicting you will lose independence and the Westminster election.

This is the SNP’s 1,2,3!

Come 2016, you are going to be under pressure, you have a grade one opponent, he is also building up his profile as a councillor and he has a brand name.

And the tide is turning against the SNP.

So, here is my advice, take your 5% and vote NATO.

The sudden change from the leadership is seen by many as opportunist, Scotland is keeping NATO; it is keeping Faslane and is squarely behind our Scottish soldiers.

The public won’t be breaking that covenant, not for Alex Salmond, not for Nicola Sturgeon and not for you, Jamie Hepburn, John Finnie, Sandra White, Jean Urquhart, Dave Thompson, Bob Doris, Marco Biagi, John Wilson.

And if you don’t want to see a ‘resurrection’ fable happening in Glasgow Shettleston then wise up pretty fast.

You are sowing the seeds of your own exit; remember how it felt getting kicked out onto the street in 2010 by the public.

They can do it again in 2016.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

Monday, August 20, 2012

What a carry on, ‘King’ Julian Assange taunts UK authorities from Ecuadorian Embassy balcony, it costs us £50k a day and dozens of police officers!

Dear All

Years ago I used to watch Carry On movies; they were an institution of the great tradition of slapstick comedy filmed at Pinewood Studios.

We know have ‘Carry on Assange’ running in the trendy West end in London starring Julian Assange as ‘the prisoner’.

British authorities want to arrest Julian Assange, he says no, and took refuge in the Ecuadorian Embassy.

The embassy being foreign soil means the Police cannot enter without the express permission of the Ambassador.

Assange entered the embassy and claimed asylum and he has been given it, propelled by the threat to enter and seize him.

It looks bad, plays bad and makes the British authorities look incompetent, the sensible thing to do is defuse the situation and back off. At present there is a heavy police presence and demonstrators outside getting nowhere fast.

If Assange steps out he can be arrested, but until he does, he is safe, Britain has said they will not allow him safe passage, after all, you don’t want to upset the Americans.

Especially if you want goodies on the lecture circuit post government.

So, like a King, WikiLeaks fugitive Julian Assange has emerged from hiding at the Ecuadorian Embassy to mock Britain’s threats to arrest him yesterday standing on the balcony waving and getting cheered.

In the tradition of sticking two fingers up to authority and ringed by police ready to apprehend him if he set foot on the pavement, the 41-year-old condemned his accusers and praised ‘courageous’ Ecuador for giving him asylum.

Well you would won’t you, and of course the Ecuadorians love this and it gets them free publicity into the bargain.

Julian Assange says he had taken a 'stand for justice' and praised the 'courageous South American nation' of Ecuador, which has granted him political asylum.

Assange is wanted in Sweden on rape and sex assault charges.

Personally, I think he should face his accusers in a court of law, however, the stumbling block appears to be the Americans; they want him badly for a prison cell for life.

Dozens of officers have surrounded the building for days to ensure he is not smuggled out, costing taxpayers £50,000 a day.

£50,000 a day wasted, if he stays a year, it would cost us £1,850,000.

This one type of carry on which is destine for a long run!

The Americans are thwarting justice; they should agree that Assange gets safe passage to Sweden and back to Britain.

If he gets tried and convicted he is finished, if he doesn’t there is always another day.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

Scottish National Party malcontents meet to stop SNP policy change on NATO, some people either need to grow up or shut the f*ck up!

Dear All

It seems that some of the Scottish National Party members are unhappy over a change in the shift towards NATO by the leadership.

Let me reassure them, their outright stupidity will take care of the independence referendum.

Leaving them free to continue as a bunch of malcontents with their little ‘Scotlander’ mindset!

Remember the old charge levelled against the Scotland?

Too wee, too poor, too stupid!

My view on NATO is clear, Scotland needs to be seen as a credible country; also I am pro Faslane, I want the nuclear sub base to remain intact.

This guarantees Scotland’s security.

The sad thing is that some SNP members are so provincially minded; they don’t have a real world view; they don’t know what it takes to run a nation and keep it secure.

So, we have not a gathering of the clans, but a ‘gathering of the malcontents’ who are effectively killing off their own independence campaign.

But they are too stupid to realise it. The charge ‘too stupid’ really does fit some people in the SNP like a glove.

If the NATO change is pushed through, it means continued membership of NATO will prevent Scotland getting rid of nuclear weapons, a good thing in many respects.

There are certain responsibilities to having NATO membership; it isn’t like being in a sweet shop picking only what you like.

This 'rebellion' and meeting by the anti’s is funny in a way, rather than running a tight ship, Alex Salmond’s malcontents are showing their true colours.

No political party should tolerate a CND group within its ranks, it is like militant tendency, a cancer that needs to be dug out and removed. Another piece of humour is that the anti’s have produced a ‘strategy’ document for the meeting in Glasgow.

Strategy, what a laugh!

The document cites the examples of Germany, the Netherlands and Belgium, all of which have voted to remove nuclear weapons from their soil, only to be thwarted by NATO.

And they don’t push the issue because politicians in those countries realise what the big picture actually is, defence of the West.

The SNP said an independent Scotland could remain in NATO but remain opposed to nuclear weapons.


If the SNP wishes to be seen as a serious political party then its pro NATO and retention of Faslane.

Imagine getting a letter asking you to be an SNP activist when you know fully that the campaign has been utterly destroyed by the stupidity of others who are so provincially minded.

I have no time for idiots, and it should be made clear at Conference that some people either need to grow up or shut the f*ck up!

There is a geniune lack of talent in the SNP and this incident shows coupled with 30 years of getting wrong on NATO how the party need to change.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

Cardinal Keith O’Brien breaks off talks with Alex Salmond over same sex marriage, Salmond heading towards persona non grata at Catholic Church

Dear All

It seems that First Minster Alex Salmond is building up quite a following, the only snag it is an unpopular following.

Same sex marriage has led to what has been described as ‘frosty’ relations between the Catholic Church and the Scottish Government.

It is said that Cardinal Keith O’Brien has decided to breaking off personal talks on the subject with First Minister.

Presumably after ignoring the wishes of the Catholic Church, Church of Scotland and the Muslim communities, Alex Salmond must have thought, give it a bit of time and it will be okay.

Apparently it isn’t, unfortunately the First Minister doesn’t realise that when you effectively ‘spit in the face’ of religious people, relationships change.

In what must be seen as an escalation Cardinal O’Brien, leader of Scotland’s 750,000 Catholics, has insisted that all formal communication between church and government in relation to gay weddings be conducted by officials.

In other words, Alex Salmond is becoming not a Saint but persona non grata. Of course there will still be dialogue but stinted.

The rift between the Catholic Church and SNP Government over the matter continues to widen and of course with 750,000 Voters potential listening to him, they could play an important role if they decide to enter the independence debate.

The pulpit is an excellent platform.

In a letter to Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, Cardinal O’Brien has asked for any future discussions on the subject to be conducted through officials.

Ms. Sturgeon is seen by many as the spearhead of the new same sex marriage law, much in the same way that then Labour MSP Wendy Alexander was when fronted her section 28 campaign that dogged the early days of devolution.

Her career nosedived.

Cardinal O’Brien hit the nail on the head when he said he believed that Alex Salmond’s administration has “completely ignored” the views of the Catholic Church.

They did, of course they allowed the pretence of a sham consultation to go ahead, they did the old ‘wrestling with weighty issues’ routine, in the end, the result was always going to be ignore the wishes of the majority.

They don’t care what your views are; they only care about pushing their agenda, lip service to the masses, the SNP Government stopped listening along time ago, and I should know I have personal experience.

The Scottish Government received almost 80,000 responses to its consultation, with more than two thirds opposed.

In trying to make light of the row and defuse it; a spokesman for Salmond insisted that he and the cardinal are still on speaking terms, saying the pair had recently enjoyed an “entirely amicable conversation on first name terms”.

Imagine if the Pope was to visit Scotland now, chances are there would be no public meeting, no photo op and possibly a note saying not welcome.

It is getting more lonely on the grassy knoll for Alex Salmond, Nicola Sturgeon and their middle class clique, each day more people are alienated by them, and ironically they still think they can turn this round.

People don't forget.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Drug deaths in Scotland reach highest ever level as Scotland’s incompetent Justice Minister Kenny MacAskill fails to get a grip, Alex’s pal, job safe!

Dear All

Drugs are a major problem in society, for past decades there has been a phoney war on drugs which has failed miserably.

Politicians quick to jump on the bandwagon all lined up to say no to drugs as part of their anti crime credentials.

The retention of the status quo has seen drug cartels flourish and develop great wealth which they channel to other illegal activities and into legitimate business thereby increasing their wealth.

The solution to the drugs problem remains as it always was, bankrupting the market, and you can only bankrupt the market if you are in the market.

That means legalisation of drugs!

The idea is something I blogged on in the past but it remains the only answer. It is said the drug trade is worth £3.5 bn in Scotland.

So, from a law enforcement point of view, a financial point of view, a political point of view and also health perspective, it’s the way to go.

And of course we free up much more time of the police and the courts.

On health, we are able to better monitor people offering help and the treatment they so desperately need.

The reason of inaction is clear; deaths from drug abuse have reached a record level in Scotland.

Whose fault is that?

Well, it is the fault of every single government at both Westminster and Holyrood.

Much is made when a little tiny piece of drug money is confiscated or even a car is seized in the case of Kevin "Gerbil" Carroll.

I have put the picture in so illustrate how totally lacking in ambition the present SNP Government is, to them, seizing that car was a such a big deal that even the Justice Minister got his photo op in.

Value £40k.

More than 580 people suffered a drug-related death last year, the highest total ever recorded and 20% more than the previous year's figure of 485.

This is the reality of not dealing properly with the drug problem by the current government, but to be fair to them they are paralysed and lacking in ideas, coupled with being scared.

Hence there is nothing new and certainly no solutions to solve the problem beyond the usual soundbytes.

One in every 100 deaths in Scotland last year was linked to drugs.

If the legalisation programme is introduced, many lives could be saved but unfortunately the SNP Government isn’t really a government for everyone.

Scotland's Community Safety Minister, Roseanna Cunningham, said no government had done more to address the legacy of decades of drug abuse than the SNP, and vowed to continue to tackle the tragedy.

Acknowledgement of decades and acknowledgement of incompetence, their ‘best’ just isn’t good enough, that’s the bottom line.

She added:

"Scotland has a legacy of drug misuse that stretches back decades, creating this upward 10-year trend in drug-related deaths."

Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson said 11 people a week on average were dying from the scourge of drugs and added:

"This appalling loss of life illustrates the human disaster that is the methadone programme. It would appear hundreds of families are being blighted by what is little more than legalised drug-taking on an industrial scale."

Ruth Davidson is trapped by dogma, in order to fund a new direction, a new source of revenue must be found for treatment, legalisation of drugs provides that money; it can provide better care and do so much. Politicians have always skirted round this issue, the reason is they don’t want to be labelled and attacked if legalisation is even thought of, easier to stay silent go along with the current dogma and blame others.

It is easy to continue as before and then stand up at conference to do the traditional law and order speech about how she would if elected would be; ‘tough on crime, tough on the causes of crime’.

Is it time that ‘tough’ was replaced by ‘smart’?

It is well known that sometimes in forestry the need may arise to burn down an area in order to make a firebreak, this way a problem can be contained and better managed.

Biba Brand, head of the Scottish Drug Forum's National Quality Development Programme said:

"Many of these people's lives have been chaotic, and their drug use has given them physical and mental health problems. Many have also had traumatic events in their lives”.

You can only fix these people’s problems if you get them in the system so that their lives can be turned around. These people aren’t the high flyers; they aren’t the future captains of industry or may not amount to anything because of their problems. However something can be done, should be done and needs to be done.


Deaths from drug abuse have reached a record level in Scotland.

Drug abuse is more than just a crime problem, it is a health problem and it needs to be tackled seriously, can anyone say it has when deaths are at record levels?

All the money from legalisation can be ploughed into treatment and community programmes which make society better.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

Friday, August 17, 2012

'Revenge is a dish best served cold' in Cardonald, Scottish news chief charged with Sheridan perjury, Tommy gets a boost but no resurrection

Dear All

One of the problems of ‘sticking it’ to someone is the chance that at a future date they may through circumstances get the chance to ‘stick it’ to you.

A former news editor of the News of the World Scotland has been arrested and charged with committing perjury during the trial of former MSP Tommy Sheridan.

Down in sunny Cardonald, the news must be greeted with joy by Tommy Sheridan as he seeks to get his political career back on track.

Douglas Wight has also been charged with conspiracy to hack telephones and there are other allegations of data protection offences to top it off.

Unfortunately, the guilt or innocence of Douglas Wight doesn’t in anyway subtract from his confession on tape or the witness statements.

So, Sheridan only hope is a technical dismissal or setting aside of the verdict as unsafe.

Sheridan has said he is innocent and given his situation he has nothing to lose and everything to possibly gain. If he was innocent that leaves his former colleagues who said he openly confessed in a sticky wicket because it means they may have committed perjury.

And another investigation would have to be set up.

We could never see the end of this, it’s like a loop, it keeps going round.

A statement from Strathclyde Police said:

"Officers of Operation Rubicon of Strathclyde Police arrested and charged an 39-year-old male with perjury before the High Court in Glasgow during the trial in 2010 of Tommy Sheridan, the former MSP, conspiracy (in Scotland) to hack telephones, multiple charges of conspiracy to obtain the personal data of members of the public in breach of the Data Protection Acts and individual offences under these Acts."

What does that all mean?

In plain language the Police think they have him bang to rights and are throwing the book at him, left out of the charges was walking on cracks in the street.

And of course, Wight may if advised by his lawyer seek to drag others into his situation as he attempts to climb out of it.

Namely, David Cameron's former communications chief Andy Coulson.

Coulson was arrested and charged with committing perjury at the same trial.

As a champagne socialist who uses the ‘brothers, sisters, and comrades’ approach to public speaking, Tommy Sheridan will be taking a keen interest to see how the plight of others can be used to help him in any appeal that he may mount.

Tommy Sheridan does bring a certain colour to a drab Scottish political scene, but any resurrection appears to be need of a miracle.
Does anyone know anyone who does miracles in the Glasgow area?

Anyone else’s guilt in the circus of Tommy Sheridan doesn’t prove his innocence just their guilt, and unfortunately it can’t be spun any other way, but good luck to him trying, someone might fall for it.

The court verdict if you subtract any alleged wrongdoing of News International people couldn’t effective the verdict because the confession on videotape and multiple witnesses to him doing it elsewhere at a meeting stands up.

And if the trial was re-run I think any jury would come to the same conclusion.

Still what else has Tommy Sheridan to do, he can’t go back and at present he can’t go forward, he is stuck.

But at lest he gets some satisfaction that he damaged News International in the same way they did to him. Someone might end up in the pokey possibly in the cell he done his bird!

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human rights at Glasgow University

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Ex Labour Councillor Michael Kelly says ‘Protests no longer have a place in our cities’, would he prefer the Spanish and Greek model of rioting?

Dear All

I can’t say I am a fan of Michael Kelly at all; he is a former Labour Councillor and Lord Provost of the City of Glasgow.

He has done a piece which he says that protests no longer have a place in our cities.

Protests are a useful safety value in society, they should never be banned in a healthy democracy, to do so is short sighted and unwise.

Many people want to take to the streets to protest, some of their causes attract widespread support, others less so, but whether your protest is deemed just or not, everyone should be treated equally.

Protests do have a downside, the cost money and tie up resources, they also disrupt life for ordinary citizens; my pet hate is being stuck behind an Orange Order parade on a bus.

Kelly says mass rallies are simply just a nuisance that have little political advantage, should this be the remit that politicians favour your cause?

It is said that Glasgow City Council wants to seek to rule out the use of George Square as a gathering or dispersal point for mass rallies. One can only wonder who came up with this crackpot badly thought-out idea!

Is there an alternative to protest?

Well, there is always rioting, as seen down south, widespread vandalism and destruction as a model.

Kelly says that the Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC) would not be happy if George Square was off limits, as they prepare for he describes as another dreary protest against the government’s austerity policies in October.

In Spain and Greece, people have adopted rioting and that model may progress northwards, so better a supervised protest with Police to ensure safety than a free for all.

There are some niceties to be observed.

Have you ever noticed that some old guys when they have a few quid in their skyrocket don’t give a f**k about the rights of others?

I don’t agree with his point that that mass rallies now are just a nuisance but they cost a city money, they are an unnecessary use of police time, they do disrupt the lives of too many.

But without a safety value to let off steam, much like a football match, we can see how quickly society can unravel and if it means being inconvenienced once in a while, it is a small price to pay for a functioning democracy.

When Kelly yaps about a diverse and free press, he is making the assumption that people’s protest will get written up, it doesn’t work that way, and the press isn’t ‘free’, it’s a business.

That boy Kelly talks some crap but this is a biscuit taker.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

Telling the truth is the currency of independence, does Alex Salmond and Nicola Sturgeon have lender of last resort status with the public?

Dear All

One of the things I theme on in the independence debate is the truth is the most powerful weapon.

Telling the truth shows integrity.

And the truth of the independence campaign is that the work to prepare Scotland for independence hasn’t been done.

This has led to the Scottish Government putting in place measures to ensure as much as humanly possible a cover up.

The cover up of the risks and information which should be readily available without even having to be asked for by the public on this subject, we should all be entitled to total transparency.

But in their wisdom, the SNP Government decided to hide their embarrassment at every opportunity.

This has lead to a rising tide of difficult questions which there are precious few answers coming back.

The reality of this will be that people will not even enter the conversion they will automatically reject independence.

And of course this could lead to a knock on effects in election post independence.

The problem is also compound by devo max, the last chance saloon that in part allows Alex Salmond to play the role of ‘standing up for Scotland’.

On devo max, Alex Salmond is like a little kid in a sweet shop pointing his digit and shouting ‘juice’ on impulse, he can’t define it, no one knows what it means and the public have a name for something which may or may not include specific powers.

Devo max therefore is a busted flush, it is the wrong time, the wrong place and the wrong strategy and it cannot be delivered by him.

Any additional powers have to be done through Westminster.

Now we know that Alex Salmond and his clique haven’t done the work, it does beg the question, what have they been doing with their time?

We already know they haven’t restructured the government, we already know they haven’t restructured their party and we already know they don’t have a blue print.

We do know however that ‘little groups’ have been setup as fronts and of course there is the empty vessel that is Yes Scotland which is just a platform to speak from allowing others to stand beside Salmond and co.

At the end of the day, everything has to be laid on the table and in a timely fashion, the Scottish Government has passed the deadline for that in my opinion, it’s too late and they have run out of time. It will be interesting to see them go through the motions but it will have little political significance when the campaign is analysed by academics.
The seeds of failure have already been planted and are springing up green shoots.

Alex Salmond is a good talker provided that he has the floor and no one is speaking back, but if he pressed on detail he will caved, a half decent debater could rip him a new arse for the way this campaign has been handled by continuing asking him questions he doesn’t have factual answers to.

Nicola Sturgeon got a taste of ‘hell in the pacific’ when Ruth Davidson blew her apart with a bow shot by pulling out the letter from the EU that showed the SNP have never contacted them about EU membership.

The continual assumptions of ‘entitlement’ which have no legal basis makes them look rather weak, copying other people’s work on defence shows a lack of depth and work ethic and, generally, other than just showbiz and slogans, beneath the surface there isn’t a lot.

And the questions keep mounting, the division of assets and liabilities, revenue and expenditure projections, defence and armed forces deployment, debt and deficit management, rates and levels of tax, financial regulation, employment law, English and Scottish contract law, Royal Mail, the future of the BBC, division of responsibility and management of UK government property and a host of other critical issues.

All must be signed off on ahead of time; there is a strand of thought in the nationalist camp that says everything can be decided after the vote. That isn’t good enough not when its people’s livelihoods and future on the line, and with a nasty poisonous untalented clique surrounding the leadership of Alex Salmond and Nicola Sturgeon, it is doubtful that people looking at them will sign off on independence.

These hangers on don’t have the ability to generate ideas for a new Scotland; some of them are just out and out clowns.

Since Alex Salmond has an interest in land, he should pick out a creek with a decent view because he is about to be up shit creek without a paddle, and since he maybe up there for something he should do the groundwork now for suitable site!

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Commons Speaker John Bercow pours petrol on the flames of discontent, MPs are 'embittered and resentful' over their failed political careers!

Dear All

In 2010, Gordon Brown knew he was on his way out the door, as a parting gift, Labour MPs voted in John Bercow as Commons Speaker.

He replaced Michael Martin who was unsuited for the task, things got so bad he had to go, not one of the Great Speakers of the House of Commons, no Betty Boothroyd by a long chalk.

So, in an act of spite for Labour’s man getting torpedoed, revenge was in the air, and Labour voted for John Bercow because Tories didn’t want him.

Bercow has had a shaky start and that has continued, just as Tories were kicking into Martin, Tories are kicking into Bercow.

In what must rate as a PR gaffe, John Bercow has taken a swipe at MPs who criticise him, accusing them of being ‘embittered and resentful’ because their own careers have stalled.

No love lost in the Chamber, but Bercow just isn’t another, he is the Speaker, the job carries responsibility and he should reframe from these types of attacks, they do him and the office he holds no credit.

Bercow got the job fairly, he stood and got elected; people should accept that, the motives of the voters could be called into question because it was ill will on their part.

The Buckingham MP said:

‘Sometimes people who perhaps haven’t achieved what they want to achieve in their political career can display some sign of resentment. Not necessarily because they themselves wanted to be Speaker, but because they feel, “Well, my talents haven’t been recognised. That fellow was a rather free-wheeling, independent-minded” – perhaps even, in their minds – “disloyal backbench member, and suddenly he pops up as Speaker. And we don’t like it”.’

Rather unfortunate to be pouring petrol on flames and then fanning it.

Funnily Bercow told BBC Radio 4’s The World At One that he did not bear any grudges towards MPs.

Such a thing shouldn’t have to be said.

And of course since it was Labour who elevated him, Bercow has faced accusations that he is unfairly harsh on Tories while favouring Labour during Commons exchanges.

It’s all about fairness and being seen to be fair.

Another disgraceful episode was allowing Labour MP Chris Bryant to call Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt a ‘liar’ and then failing to ask him to retract the insult. There are certain standards in the House that must be maintained to keep goodwill alive, Bercow was wrong to allow that to happen. He undermined his own authority in the process and gave fuel to the fore of discontent.

And of course, his wife has caused the Office of Speaker to be a mockery; she is a Labour activist and reality TV star.

And the press love to plaster her frequently in the headlines for her antics.

He really has a lot of work to do to rebuild bridges but by the same token, Cameron has allowed his crew to fester, he should stamp that out, but hasn’t, he is also to blame for the situation.

Finally, given the role of Speaker in the Commons, the Labour Party should reflect that sticking two fingers up to the Tories was also sticking two fingers up to the House itself and the public.

There was no need for such a petty display by them.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

Scottish independence: Devo-max option ‘could leave 2014 vote snarled in endless wrangling, time to be Braveheart rather than Faintheart!

Dear All

One singer one song; is a phrase sometimes used when people are steaming drunk.

The same concept could be applied to the Scottish independence referendum, one referendum; one question.

The idea of devo max is attractive to the Scottish National Party as a fallback position so the leadership can show something to its members to justify their efforts.

It is also seen an election gimmick by many, of the SNP doing their ‘standing up for Scotland’ number for 2016.

Devo max doesn’t have a political mandate at the ballot box, and it is something which Alex Salmond cannot deliver to the people.

Anything to do with more powers for Holyrood rests at Westminster, and the SNP has only six MPs out of the 650 in the House of Commons.

The tail cannot wag the dog.

The devo max option has run out of political steam, the longer Alex Salmond tries to hedge his bets, the weaker he looks and less stable his position becomes.

Down the road at Westminster, there isn’t brotherly love for Salmond, so his demands will be ignored and of course if he tries to go two questions without section 30, he stands a chance of legal action.

And if it goes to the UK Supreme Court, they will strike it down, and the defence of right of self determination nonsense won’t wash, he doesn’t have the legal case and he doesn’t have the moral case for devo max.

Westminster will cite the 2010 election.

The ability to present a legal argument doesn’t mean that you have a valid legal argument.

So, we have the situation that the Scottish government has no mandate to hold an independence referendum with a second question on increased Holyrood powers.

Alex Salmond got that titbit courtesy of a Commons report.

Scottish ministers in public ministers have said their preference is for a single question on independence in the 2014 referendum.

What they also say they are listening to ‘civic’ Scotland, if you don’t know who ‘civic’ Scotland in part is, that is SNP members who form wee groups and give themselves a name plus others who stand to benefit from climbing on the SNP bandwagon for their advantage.

And that isn’t a secret.

So rather than wasting everyone time trying to be clever, Alex Salmond and Nicola Sturgeon should accept reality, because people can see right through them.

It’s all or nothing; and if you lose then accept it and plan again.

June 2018 is my preferred date based on changes to the SNP and Scottish Government.

In October the question may become academic if NATO isn’t passed, that vote if it goes wrong, effectively signals the end of the campaign.

I am willing to give a speech in favour NATO, the SNP just have to ask me, because the SNP doesn’t have excellent debates.

Of course the campaign will continue but it will be a joke campaign that Yes Scotland will be running, no campaign can run when both feet are shot at the start of the race.

The Scottish Affairs Committee is currently comprised entirely of MPs from the three major pro-union parties, the Conservatives, Labour and Liberal Democrats, the SNP member claims she was threatened and left.

Unfortunately for her credibility, she has no witnesses and no evidence and no Police complaint.

And the SNP never replaced her which was a mistake on their part; therefore any objections aren’t part of the official record.

So rather having an official objection, we have nothing.

Another reason why devo max isn’t getting on the ballot paper is to make solid the no vote.

So, the question really comes down to, does Alex Salmond believe in his product?

If the answer is yes, get on with one question, if the answer is no, we will hear more of devo max from the SNP ‘listening’ to SNP supporters in their wee groups they have setup to be ‘civic’ Scotland and the hangers on.

People aren’t that stupid; perhaps someone should sit down with Alex Salmond and explain this concept to him.

Has the real panic set in yet Mr. Salmond?

Console yourself by grabbing as much First Minister money, freebies and foreign trips as you can, 'do for Scotland'.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Taken 2 - International Trailer (2012) [HD]

Ex Labour Prime Minister Gordon Brown issues a dire warning on the cost of independence, SNP Govt need to start public sector reform sharpish

Dear All

Awhile ago I went to the Big Debate held at the BBC in Glasgow, very interesting since I had never been in the BBC before.

The debate was centred on should Scotland be independent, speak for the unionists were Anas Sarwar and Ruth Davidson, opposing them Patrick Harvie and Nicola Sturgeon.

Surprisingly or maybe not, Patrick Harvie emerged form that debate very well indeed when he said that no one could foretell the future, it was refreshing honesty.

The greatest weapon in the independence debate is the truth, for example, Nicola Sturgeon was blown out of the water by Ruth Davidson when Davidson produced a letter that the SNP hadn’t as a government or opposition contacted the EU about Scottish membership.

She used the truth.

Jaws dropped in some quarters of the nationalist community, except mine, I knew for sometime that there was something entirely wrong going on behind the scenes.

Just as I was able to state prior to the election the SNP won’t win Glasgow, I am able to state they aren’t going to win independence, not the way they carry on at present.

As a side issue, Gordon Brown has returned to the political fray to stick his ten cents into the debate with an impassioned warning that independence after a referendum in 2014 would mean either higher taxes or cuts to public spending.

You may have noticed that George Laird was saying that the second term of this SNP Government should be about public sector reform.

In politics it helps to be visionary.

George Laird, humble Glaswegian pottering around the place.

Gordon Brown is as an ex former Prime Minister seeking his fortune and his career continuing by attending the Edinburgh International Book Festival, Tony Blair does something similar to earn a crust….. only his is a bigger crust.

Brown says that it is important to keep the Scottish and English qualities that had made Britain; one of the most fair countries in the world.

Britain isn’t fair; the gap between rich and poor is growing, high unemployment, social deprivation and it’s corrupt.

Recently some SNP Ministers have said that independence would end poverty in Scotland.

I don't know anyone serious about politics who takes that seriously, no country that is independence has ended poverty. I am to believe Alex Salmond and Nicola Sturgeon has a plan?

If they do could they please send me a copy, so I can go through every nut and bolt!

Brown has also dismissed the suggestion that the SNP could keep the monarchy, sterling and Nato membership if the country goes it alone and "pretend this would somehow soften the blow".

To look that these specific claims, an indy Scotland could keep the monarchy, personally I am in favour of it, we could use sterling but the Westminster Government wouldn’t give us lender of last resort status, so that a real problem if trouble hits. Then there is the issue of Nato, Scotland would have to join Nato, at present there is said to be a change in the anti Nato stance by the SNP.

And not before time, 30 years of getting it wrong, week in week out.

Anyway Brown said:

"If you break up the political union and the pooling and sharing involved in that, it's clear you will either have to cut public expenditure massively or tax people more. There is no escape from that."

He added:

"My worry about fiscal autonomy, which is now being proposed as the next stage of devolution, is that fiscal autonomy means more taxes in Scotland, not in a progressive way at all but simply to fill the gap that's left by not pooling and sharing the resources of the UK."

It is a reasonable point to make, however problems can be solved, the SNP Government hasn’t prepared for independence; all the stuff that should be done and any reasonable person would expect doesn’t exist.

If I said what would the make up of the government in an independent Scotland look like?

No one knows, no one has a blueprint, and no white paper or consultation documents naturally.

Brown’s argument is in part true, things in Britain are better than a banana republic, but he wobbled when he said Scotland brought to the Union its own qualities of justice and community rooted in the democratic intellect.

Try saying that in Pollok, Possil, Drumchapel, Castlemilk, Easterhouse and the numerous other sink estates where people have been abandoned and treated appallingly.

He cites the "pooling and sharing" of risks and resources, highlighting the crisis in Scottish banks RBS and HBOS in the same breath as Scots-born gold medal-winning Olympic cyclist Sir Chris Hoy, who represented Team GB.

But less we forget, the taxpayer got stuck with bill, services suffer and the effects trickle downwards. True, Scottish Olympic athletes have benefited from the funding, but does Joe Bloggs to the same tune?

I think not.

He further added:

"Break up the pooling and sharing and we will not be able to do what we have done with the Olympics."

That isn’t a reason to argue for independence………….. games!

Gordon Brown has done very well out of the Union, and of course his job depends on it continuing which is fair enough, self interest. There are good reasons for independence and there are good reasons for remaining in the UK. It will be for people to present their case based on fact and not fiction.

At present Scotland isn’t ready for independence.

And it will not be bounced into it either.

Finally, Gordon Brown sunk the UK, many people know he sold off Britain’s Gold at a reduced rate below market price, he failed to regulate the banks and generally his record was based on allowing ponzi schemes to run in London which spectacularly burst.

Hence we are all up shit creek without a paddle.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University