Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Scottish independence: SNP Minister Mike Russell accused of allegedly ‘bullying’ and ‘intimidating’ an innocent man with a disability out of his job, resignation required now!

Dear All

Did you catch Newsnight Scotland last night?

It seems that Kirk Ramsay, a man with a disability was allegedly bullied and intimidated out of his job by SNP Education Secretary Mike Russell.

While listening to the events described, it is clear that SNP Education Secretary Mike Russell’s position as Education Secretary is untenable.

Mike Russell should resign or be sacked.

Kirk Ramsay was invited to a secret meeting by Russell, he wasn’t told the purpose, not given an agenda in advance, the secret meeting was held after office hours, and Russell had three Scottish Government employees in the room.

Mr. Ramsay was effectively ambushed.

This raises questions.

Why was a secret meeting held?

Who were the Scottish Government employees?

Where any of the employees special advisors?

Did any of the employees hold membership of the SNP?

Did any of the employees speak during the meeting?

Did any of the employees take notes?

Did the employees know the agenda of the meeting prior to it taking place?

Was this an official meeting?

If it wasn’t an official meeting why did they take part?

Where they paid since it was after normal working hours?

Given that Kirk Ramsay had done nothing wrong, why was he called to a meeting with SNP Minister Mike Russell at all?

Did SNP Minister Mike Russell say during the meeting that if he had the power he would fire Ramsay from his job?

Is that bullying?

Is it acceptable that a man with a disability using an aid to help him cope with his work should be discriminated against in this way?

After watching the Newsnight Scotland interview, I agree with Hugh Henry that an inquiry by the education committee of Holyrood is required. Today we see a cross party group of opposition MSPs signing a joint letter calling for an inquiry into the resignation of Kirk Ramsay.

For some time I have commented that the Scottish National Party has been run as a nasty poisonous little clique under the leadership of Alex Salmond and Nicola Sturgeon.

This isn’t the first time that Mike Russell has faced allegations of bullying, but this time, he has appeared to have overstepped the mark, if Alex Salmond doesn’t sack him or if Russell doesn’t resign, people will assume that Salmond himself condones the ‘bullying’ of people with disabilities.

Mike Russell’s time as Education Minister is over, prior to this distasteful event, his sheer incompetence in the education brief and the loss of 80,000 colleges places should have sent him packing long ago. Add to it the disastrous ill-judged merger programme coupled with a general sense of a portfolio that is rudderless and without purpose.

If in a devolved government an SNP Minster thinks that they can get away with ‘bullying’ a man with a disability who has done nothing wrong, what can we expect if Scotland becomes independent under Salmond and Sturgeon?

Mike Russell should be sacked, Kirk Ramsay had done nothing wrong.

If Russell remains in post by the end of the week, Alex Salmond’s position as SNP Leader and First Minister is untenable, he becomes a politically dead man walking and so does the independence campaign.

This is Mike Russell's Gillian Duffy moment, the moment his ministerial career effectively ended in the eyes of the Scottish public via his own mouth.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

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