Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Angry nationalists set to challenge leadership over policy change on NATO, some nationalists really don’t have a clue how to defend a nation!















Dear All

Some people looking at the Scottish National Party believe that they don’t want independence.

You can’t get independence unless you win over the working class people of Scotland.

In order to do so, the public need a vision.

On the SNP Channel for years the vision has warped, hence the SNP leadership is forced to fix it now, what should have been fixed decades ago wasn’t.

So much is wrong with nationalism that it is hard to know where to start, you could start at cronyism, you could start at lack of vision; you could start at the lack of talent below Salmond and Sturgeon.

In fact fixing nationalism is a task in itself, requiring a lot of work.

Too much work to be ready by 2014.

The SNP Government isn't ready for independence, the Scottish National Party isn’t ready for independence and the people of Scotland aren’t buying.

Nationalism is run as a poisonous nasty little clique from my personal experience of it; here is a comment today from a SNP supporting cybernat to me:

“You are becoming more and more rabid and unstable why don't you go and stand in the sea and do us all a favour and shut your big fat fucking ugly face”.

The comment is on:

http://glasgowunihumanrights.blogspot.fr/2012/07/first-hell-in-pacific-now-hell-in-bute.html

This is unacceptable face of modern nationalism in 2012, the middle class clique are angry, cowardly and threatening!

So, in attempting to fix the problems, the SNP leadership has decided that it is time to ditch the ridiculous outdated policy on NATO.

I blogged that the policy was nonsense before the SNP leadership came to the George Laird view, and as Alex Salmond and the leadership know, George Laird is always right.

The funny thing is that rebel Nationalists are now plotting to block a move by the SNP’s defence spokesman, Angus Robertson, to scrap the long-standing anti-Nato stance at the annual party conference this autumn.

Quite simply, any MSP who fails to back this after signing up to standing orders should be disciplined, this isn’t a matter of conscience; these people have been bought.

It is said that SNP MSP Dave Thompson and the SNP trade union group have begun work on how to stop the policy shift.

They say the policy shift has angered some grass-roots activists.

Grass-roots activists?

Thompson, together with the SNP’s union and CND groups, is planning to lodge an amendment calling for an independent Scotland’s relations with Nato to be decided by the Scottish people.

You can forget that shit!

This isn’t open to discussion; maybe Thompson and Jamie Hepburn another deluded soul are working on a plan to surrender Scotland to enemy forces in the event of an attack.

This is obviously a job for the Chief Whip to remind the MSP Group, they follow standing orders and if they aren’t going to follow those orders then they should be suspended and disciplined.

John Duffy head of the 500-member SNP trade union group has confirmed he is working with members of the SNP Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament and other party figures in the run-up to conference on how to defeat the move by the leadership.

Someone else who is deluded as well, no NATO means no Independence.

Thompson said:

“We accept that an independent Scotland would inherit Nato membership, but it should be up to the Scottish people after a referendum whether we remain as members. I’d argue that the SNP position going into the next election in 2016 if we win independence should be that we will not be members of Nato.

Adding:

“A number of people are interested in backing such an amendment and my name will be attached it. I hope that a number of individuals and SNP branches will back it, as well as other elected members. It would delete that part of the motion in Angus Robertson’s name that talks about Nato and substitute the words with something that effectively says it should be up to the Scottish people whether we are in Nato. It will also say that the SNP should have a position at the 2016 election of not being in Nato.”

Maybe it is time that the SNP stopped being a run as a clique, this is what happens; stupid ideas are allowed to get free rein.

Duffy said:

“Our group’s concern first and foremost is about removing Trident. Nato is a nuclear umbrella, and if we look at non-nuclear states in the alliance, they can end up having nuclear weapons on their soil. The key point we’ll be making is that if we are to remain in Nato, then it would make it harder to get rid of Trident.”

Conservative MSP Murdo Fraser said:

“It’s clear that the SNP leadership is desperately trying to change a policy they know is unpopular with the wider public and which will encourage people to vote against independence.

“However, there are those among the hardline grass roots who would view a commitment to Nato as a betrayal of everything they have been fighting for. Whichever way this turns out, the SNP’s pro-independence campaign will be the loser.”

And if people like Thompson, Hepburn and Duffy get their way they will have completely undermined the chances of a successful campaign, effectively grass-roots activists would face the equivalent of being pissed on from above and being told that is 'rain' hitting their backs.

Labour MSP John Park, a former union official at the Rosyth dockyard, claimed the SNP trade unionists’ stance showed they were “out of touch”.

Not a fan of Park by any means but he is right, the SNP trade unionists are wrong.

He said:

“Trade unions organise among defence workers, including those on the Clyde, and the SNP trade union group does not appear to take this on board at all.”

NATO is a key cornerstone of military defence, relevant today as when it was first set up.

One thing that ‘shop steward’ Duffy can’t answer is where Scotland is going to get military and civilian intelligence if it is not plugged into NATO?

Maybe from his local chippie! Maybe from the newsagent! Maybe from the local supermarket or maybe popping down the pub and asking does anyone know if the Russians are invading this weekend!

Maybe he knows a guy who knows a guy who knows a guy whose sister got shagged on holiday aboard and someone spilled the beans!

No NATO no independence and while we are at it time to ditch the nonsense of removing nukes from Faslane, this would guarantee Scotland’s security. Any problems and NATO would back us to the hilt.

Its time the SNP had a more worldly view, a George Laird view.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

The Big Freebie, First Minster Alex Salmond and the SNP Government spend £400k on their ‘London Embassy’, £25k a day of taxpayers money wasted













Dear All

We are in a period of austerity, times are tough, ordinary working class people are suffering.

But luckily, the SNP Government has managed to find £400,000 during the Olympics to hiring out the Pall Mall club in London.

£400,000!

SNP ministers have disclosed that £25,000 of taxpayers’ money is being spent every single day of the Olympics on the gentlemen’s club.

The gentleman’s club is so that First Minister Alex Salmond can meet rich people, businessmen and dignitaries.

Not surprising the cost of the venue has angered opposition parties.

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie said:

“The SNP government spent £400,000 because it won’t work with the UK government. It is ridiculous that the Scottish taxpayer has to bear the brunt of a rivalry spawned and propagated by the SNP. Dover House is one of the UK Government’s finest buildings.”

An alternative venue, Scotland Office’s Dover House which is only half a mile away on Whitehall was rejected.

Alex Salmond officially opened Scotland House which he has jokingly dubbed his “London embassy” before the Olympics opening ceremony on Friday.

At the reception for the rich entertainment was provided by Lulu and The Proclaimers.

A spokesman for the Scottish Executive said the cost compared favourably to the £315,000 spent on a ‘Scotland House’ in Delhi during the 2010 Commonwealth Games.

Ironically the joke, if you can take a joke from spending £400,000 which could have been better spent helping the poor is that Alex Salmond won’t be opening a London Embassy after the independence referendum vote in 2014.

The polls place that fantasy beyond his reach!

Hopefully the First Minister will grab as much freebies as possible and enjoy the trip; the poor are paying and suffering.

If the First Minister has time, he should visit the Imperial War Museum down at Elephant and Castle, I go there every time I go to London to remember all the brave servicemen and women who lost their lives defending this country.

As he looks at the exhibits, he should reflect on wasting £25k a day.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

Monday, July 30, 2012

First, ‘Hell in the Pacific’, now ‘Hell in Bute House’; SNP Govt can’t answer 19 key questions on indy, ‘we’ll get back to you’














Dear All

First there was ’Hell in the Pacific’ when Tory Leader Ruth Davidson blew Nicola Sturgeon apart by producing ‘the letter of destiny’ that the SNP Government hadn't contacted the EU about membership.

It was a bad night for nationalism.

Following that car crash which saw Nicola Sturgeon reduced to banging the freedom drum, the unionist parties saw a crack the size of the Grand Canyon in the SNP Government.

Nothing has been done to prepare Scotland for independence, not even asking basic questions, restructuring the government and producing a blue print.

There is nothing but vague promises.

One promise that is ridiculous made by the SNP Government is that independence will end poverty in Scotland.

No one believes that because no independent country has ever accomplished that task, even the rich countries have people living in squalor.

Alex Salmond and Nicola Sturgeon can end poverty?

Where’s their blueprint?

It doesn’t exist.

Now that unionist politicians have the bit between their teeth, they are going on the attack against SNP Ministers who are under pressure to answer questions.

Conservative chief whip John Lamont has submitted a raft of queries hoping for “clarity” on a wide range of important issues.

The 19 “key questions” on independence, covering crucial areas such as pensions, banking and the monarchy are important to ordinary working class people.

The response was what many people are now coming to expect from the SNP Government, each one was returned unanswered last week, with seven senior ministers all saying they need more time to come up with a response.

Seven SNP Ministers and they can’t come up with a response.

In ducking the issues and not providing the answers, the SNP Government is now firmly on the back foot, the polls are bad; Alex Salmond is looking increasingly desperate and tired.

This is a Scottish Government that looks heartless and hopeless.

Questions are varied but one asks if Scots would be able to pick up a state pension if they moved from an independent Scotland to England, Wales or Northern Ireland, and which government would pay it.

Surely that is an easy question?

Another questioned how nuclear waste would be stored and disposed of, as Scotland may no longer have access to the Sellafield plant, in Cumbria.

What is the answer Mr. Salmond? He doesn’t know because he hasn't taken the time to think through all the questions and issues.

Too much time is spent on celebrity politics, attending events, watching cartoons and freeloading.

Currently the SNP Government are soaking up the freebies at the Olympics. Tragic, it is like watching a starving man attacking a plate of nosh with a piece of bread soaking up the gravy while making audible noises.

Conservative chief whip John Lamont said:

“It is cases like this where the SNP’s incapacity to see through its vision becomes horribly clear. Within these questions lie some of the most important issues a country could face, and people need answers”.

Voters in Glasgow have already had a taste of ‘I don’t know’ when the former Glasgow SNP leader Allison Hunter stated prior to the Council Election that she hadn’t thought about any policies.

5 years at the council and where was the rolling plan?

Glasgow SNP paid the price of being unprepared.

Lamont also fired into other areas such as banking regulation, Scottish banknotes, the National Grid, benefits and national insurance, vehicle licensing, a North Sea oil fund and the military.

One asked if an independent Scotland would have a written constitution and whether it would include the option to become a republic.

When the replies came back four weeks later after the questions were lodged, each one was returned unanswered. No fewer than seven ministers, including Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and Finance Secretary John Swinney, failed to provide any details.

Lamont makes a point when he says:

“Time is rolling on, and still the First Minister cannot provide any real detail for the people of Scotland in critical areas such as defence and the economy. How are the Scottish public supposed to take the most important decision the country has faced in more than 300 years if they are not in possession of all the facts? They need to know what is proposed.”

In reply First Minister Alex Salmond said:

“We will publish a detailed White Paper next year which will set out the structure of an independent Scotland, and will enable people to make an informed choice in the referendum.”

Too late, it seems that the former 79 Group member has run out of time, 79 is definitely out of time.

If the SNP Government think that this 10 to midnight plays with the voters, they have got that strategy incredibly wrong.

The SNP have by their own actions already locked Scotland into a no vote, the sensible move is to cancel the independence referendum until the work is done; June 2018 remains my preferred date for the referendum.

Independence can’t be won by spin and by the time Alex Salmond publishes his white paper, working class Scots will have completely tuned out.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

Scotland for Marriage considers forming a political party to get their voice heard in Holyrood, next stop Glasgow Southside, Nicola Sturgeon’s seat?















Dear All

It seems that the SNP Government could be spawning a new political party since the launch of their same sex marriage announcements.

Opponents of same sex marriage are said to be actively considering setting up their own political party to channel their discontent.

If such a project was to take root in order for it to be viable it would be better if the Catholic Church, Church of Scotland and the Muslim Communities formed a tri party pact.

This would ensure a wide range of views around what they see as common cause.

I recently blogged how the Catholic Church should consider putting forward their own candidates for Holyrood because they feel their voices aren't being heard.

The Scotland for Marriage Campaign is looking at a model used by the “Family First” party formed in Australia in 2001.

Politics isn’t religion, and if the idea is to be successful then they will need to learn the skills of political campaigning.

In the SNP Government consultation recently the majority of people responded by saying no, despite that the SNP Government pressed ahead.

I said previously the consultation would be a sham, George Laird was right again; the SNP Government has stopped listening along time ago to the ordinary people.

Without any political party backing the status quo, the Scotland for Marriage campaign candidates could put themselves forward for election but if they are serious they have to start to form and importantly plan now.

Recently disaffected Labour Councillors stood under the banner of Glasgow First, but it wasn’t a successful campaign, it lacked depth and wasn’t successful, only one candidate returned.

Successful political campaigns in the modern era have to have a modern flexible approach.

One source said:

“The Family Party was formed in Australia for similar purposes and they have had some influence. There has been some discussion about that.”

With two-thirds of the 77,000 people who replied to the consultation on same-sex marriage opposing the reform, if a proper structure is set up and key areas targeted they could cause problems.

Muslim leaders warned last night that the decision would be likely to alienate voters from the political process now that they had seen ministers go against the majority opinion.

In ignoring the majority, the SNP Government set a dangerous precedent; they showed that they don’t care how many people object to their policies because they have a majority.

If the new political party gets off the ground, then it could see the return of rainbow politics to Holyrood.

And of course Solidarity, the SSP, the Lib Dems and Tories, they all need new strategy, particularly Solidarity and the SSP.

This is the key to a hung parliament.

Votes can be taken off any party, no one remains popular forever.

If I was the campaign director, I would suggest a tri faith coalition of Catholic, Protestant and Muslim faiths and specifically target Glasgow Southside which has substantial Catholic, Protestant and Muslim communities. This is what any decent political campaign director would do to get the brand established.

I am sure that all political parties and their members would welcome the inclusion of a new party into the current stale political arena.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Kenny MacAskill, the man who released the biggest mass murderer in Scottish history seeks to change his ‘legacy’, interfering fair trials!




















Dear All

Yet again, the SNP Government is disgracing itself, and not unsurprisingly, it’s the Justice Minister Kenny MacAskill again.

The latest blunder of perverse judgement is they think people who have disposable income of £68 a week must make a financial contribution to a trial.

This is morally wrong and corrupt thinking.

The right to a fair trial, Article Six is crucial to a decent society.

What MacAskill is proposing is to effectively shut out many of the poor from accessing lawyers.

The Law Society of Scotland says this is unfair.

The sign of a government in serious trouble is bad law, MacAskill who released the biggest mass murderer in Scottish history is a drowning man; he wants to escape his legacy.

His legacy is that he released the biggest mass murderer in Scottish history.

The tenure of him as Justice Minister has been criticised by many, things got so bad he even had to say he supported human rights in response to the Cadder Case.

In the Cadder Case, MacAskill did everything in his power to deny human rights, in what must be one of the most disgraceful exhibitions in Scottish Government history.

The Law Society is rightly up in arms; Solicitors claim they could become unpaid debt collectors as a result of proposed legislation.

Oliver Adair, convener of the society’s legal negotiation team, said the legislation would leave them as unpaid debt collectors and insisted that the Scottish Legal Aid Board should be the “obvious body” for collecting such money.

The Scottish Government is hell bent on creating enemies; their draft legislation is geared towards saving £3.9 million from the legal aid budget.

But the impact will be that accused people will simply go without lawyers to trial, thus miscarriages of justice will happen.

This is clearly an anti human rights measure, effectively innocent people have to pay to prove themselves innocent.

For the guilty, they are going to prison so they won’t be unduly worried and in some cases the Solicitors will never get their money.

Justice secretary Kenny MacAskill has said that it is “right and proper that those who can afford to pay towards the cost of their legal defence costs do so”.

This is from a man with warped judgement who released the biggest mass murderer in Scottish history from prison and then allowed him to leave Scotland’s jurisdiction.

I don’t believe he knows the meaning of right and proper.

Adair also said the society agrees that those who can afford to contribute should do so, but said:

“The Bill proposes that the threshold for determining whether a contribution is payable should be £68 disposable income a week. We do not believe that is a realistic amount from which to expect anybody to pay towards their legal costs.

“We also have concerns around some of the areas which would be included in disposable income calculations, such as disability living allowance and war pensions. This would mean some of the most vulnerable people who rely on legal aid could have to pay a sizeable contribution towards the cost of their defence directly from their benefit payments.

“The Bill as its stands would leave solicitors as unpaid public debt collectors.

“The Scottish Legal Aid Board is the obvious body for collecting the contributions. After all, they already collect contributions in civil legal aid cases and have procedures in place to carry out large-scale collection of contributions.”

Ian Hamilton of Stone of Destiny fame said awhile ago that Kenny MacAskill was unfit to be the Justice Minister of Scotland and should resign.

He shouldn’t be allowed to resign, he should be sacked by Alex Salmond, the Salmond Government is weak and ineffectual, too many bad decisions are coming out, too many errors of judgement, no vision, no ideas and it seems no sustainable future.

All Kenny MacAskill is doing is weakening a country.

His job is safe however, Alex Salmond isn’t running a government, he is running a ‘country club’ for his rich pals and how that shows as they get free rein to commit any obscenity in public office.

More independence votes lost and importantly more people turning against the SNP.

This is what happens when you appoint a grubby little ambulance chaser to high political office.

They just disgrace themselves.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

Friday, July 27, 2012

Alex Salmond: Let’s cheer on ‘Scolympians’ instead of Team GB, unstatesmanlike behaviour sees First Minster ridiculed for being petty by public











Dear All

Alex Salmond has entered into the Olympic mood by going for Gold; he wins the first Gold medal of the games by being petty.

Despite entering the competition late, the First Minister took to the blocks, composed himself, looked down the track and waited for the starting gun.

The sound of the gun was deafening as Alex Salmond exploded out of the blocks and crossed the line first, his arms flung up in the air, he quickly wrapping himself in the Scottish flag to loud booing by the public.

You would think that Alex Salmond would understand that as First Minster, he should at all times act statesmanlike, wishing only the Scottish Athletes success makes him look utterly petty and small minded.

Who in their right mind could have thought this was a good idea, doesn’t this show that there is a lack of talent in the SNP Government?

Mr Salmond was wrong to issue a good luck message urging everyone to cheer on the “Scolympians”, he should have been inclusive.

What he should have done was to wish the Team GB every success possible and state how he believed that Scotland would yet again make an important contribution.

He would then appear statesmanlike and get his point across of how Scotland plays an important part in world sport.

But no, why not just use what was described as an inelegant combination of the words “Scottish” and “Olympians” and then stand back and get ridiculed by the many.

It is said that his hopes of the term catching on appeared to have foundered, with people on Twitter debating whether it sounded more like an illness or a race of villains from the First Minister’s beloved Star Trek.

Perhaps in future the First Minister will heed that ‘the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.’

That was said by Spock in the Wrath of Khan which I am sure the First Minister has seen.

To the famous quote, no, check that infamous quote:

“The eyes of the world are on the Olympics and the whole of Scotland is united in supporting our Olympians and Paralympians – our ‘Scolympians’ – to go for gold.”

In football, the set piece is sometimes better, perhaps the First Minister needs to remember that, or he could go to the athletic track and hurl crap from the discus circle and get panned.

And it gets worse; SNP ministers joined in and posted online a video with a more lengthy good luck message that featured contributions from Mike Russell, John Swinney, Kenny MacAskill, Nicola Sturgeon and Salmond himself.

None mentioned Team GB.

Maybe they just forgot because they are so provincial minded in their outlook.

Clearly the SNP leadership don’t believe in being team players.

This is rather sad, still if malcontent ever becomes an Olympic Sport then I suppose Alex Salmond can get his tracksuit out, but he will probably want to carry the flag and be photographed and stand on the podiums regardless who wins in any event.

One point that does concern me, can Alex Salmond train at altitude?

Given that the independence referendum vote is such a high bar to get over, will he make it?

Or will he realise that he should just be competing in the intermural league of devolved Holyrood where the bar is set pretty low!

Maybe the First Minister should ask someone to explain the responsibilities of what being part of a team entails, since his middle class clique clearly seems unaware.

This probably explains why the vast bulk of the party won't do activism for him, my experience from what I have seen on my travels.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

Braveheart Alex Salmond’s future relies on trying to turn traditional Labour voters if he expects to win his independence referendum, not a chance!













Dear All

If you follow Scottish politics then you will be aware that the vote can be fluid and has been for some time.

People view certain types of elections differently.

In 2007, the outrage of the Westminster expenses scandal saw a shift in public opinion away from the Labour Party thus allowing the first SNP Government to be formed.

In the years 2007 to 2011; the Labour Party in Holyrood put up a disgraceful performance as an opposition effectively doing nothing, engaging in spin and providing weak leadership in many areas.

When they went back to the electorate, well the result speaks for itself.

A large part of Alex Salmond’s electoral success in the past two Holyrood elections is based not on the SNP’s popularity rather it is based on Labour’s unpopularity which saw vast numbers of former Labour Voters temporary switch.

Council tax freeze and free prescriptions were useful carrots to help them on their journey.

Step back to 2010, the 3rd year of SNP Government and a General Election for Westminster, Alex Salmond proclaims that with a Gordon Brown Labour administration falling apart that a hung parliament is possible. The SNP, he said could win 20 seats off Labour to form a Celtic block.

He aimed and got no additional MPs.

Why did he get nothing?

It was quite simple, ‘elect a local champion’ from what I saw was nothing about electing a local champion coupled with the historic distrust that voters have in electing the SNP to Westminster.

The result showed Labour’s strong electoral performance in Scotland at the 2010 general election, Holyrood polls aside, the SNP can’t assume their success will be replicated in all tests of public opinion.

Professor John Curtice has spoken on this extensive on television.

To win independence, many obstacles remain; the main problems are lack of a work ethic, no blue print, no real policies and a poor strategy in thinking that ‘Alex Salmond for First Minister’ has any meaning in an international context.

There isn’t enough time to do everything that is needed to prepare Scotland for independence, the SNP have been going for circa eight decades and no one had the foresight to produce a Scottish blue print of the new Scotland.

Alex Salmond’s future success is linked to trying to appeal to “Old Labour”-inclined voters.

In the past at Westminster elections the answer is no, and it isn’t just no, it is rock solid not even willing to listen to you no!

So, despite that Salmond is locked into a direct pitch to them which is a key plank of his strategy in attempting to win support for the independence cause.

He is offering nothing, saying effectively nothing will change and offers no new vision.

What is his selling point?

Nothing!

Literally he doesn’t get that substance is more important as spin, and his middle class clique are too stupid to say anything.

Labour has had a tough time, their own making, based on stupidity and arrogance, in the Glasgow Council Election of 2012, they realised that in order to shut out the Nationalists, they had to cull deadwood.

And that is what they done, high risk but it worked.

The Labour Party won a majority, rock solid, in part Team Sturgeon boosted their chances tremendously by a lame and inept campaign.

How bad?

They could even produce their manifesto with a cover sheet on it, and let’s not talk about the pap that formed the contents.

Down the road, the relative success of Ed Miliband in rebuilding the Labour Party at UK level suggests Alex Salmond may struggle to get Scottish voters to back independence.

I would expect that Labour will be selling hard that Ed’s the man in 2015, an election which is up in the air.

And if anyone is stupid enough to think that hating Tories is enough reason to vote for independence they don’t quite grasp the situation properly.

In spinning away Alex Salmond is making claims, that independent Scotland would never elect a centre-right government.

That is subjective opinion based on hot air even within the SNP there is a centre-right element in the north of Scotland.

Claims that Scotland would have a nation where the NHS, education and public services would forever be protected from Thatcherite-style policies.

That’s just hot air as well; it is based on the SNP being the party of government forever and ever.

Back to Glasgow, Alex Salmond never managed to sell his message to a receptive audience in traditional Labour strongholds such as Glasgow.

Out of 79 seats, the SNP got 27, and this is on the back of a Labour administration in chaos, showing weak leadership and seen as crony ridden.

Despite all that, the public looking at what the SNP were offering said a resounding no!

And if you know Glasgow SNP, you can understand why they were able to see right through them.

On many levels Alex Salmond is effectively sailing the Titanic 2, either he will run independence onto the iceberg of public opinion or the unionists will move the iceberg of public opinion into the path of his Titanic and rip the keel wide open.

Scotland isn’t ready for independence, Holyrood isn’t ready for independence, the SNP isn’t ready for independence and the public haven’t been convinced.

Alex Salmond may think he can turn all of the above around in two years, he can’t.

He is just kidding himself on; like he did in 2010 when he said he would get 20 MPs, behind him he relies on his untalented ‘Yes men’ and they are just not up to the task.

People will be going back to Labour for two simple reasons, the work hasn’t been done and the SNP isn’t trusted at Westminster level.

And ‘Alex Salmond for First Minister’, balloons, spin and a wee Scottish flag on a stick to wave about aren’t going to change that.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Isn’t it time faith groups upgraded their political operations on a par with political parties, Catholic Church MSPs for Holyrood?














Dear All

Yesterday saw the SNP Government commit to same sex marriage.

As you can see by the picture, Nicola Sturgeon is overjoyed, especially since in the area she currently represents there are such huge Catholic and Muslim communities.

When I think back to the past where politics and religion didn’t mix, I am reminded of Wendy Alexander, the former Labour MSP and leader.

She was a high flyer.

But when the flak started coming up from the ground, her career like a B17 went down in flames.

SNP ministers have faced down the huge campaign organised by leading faith groups and decided to press ahead with plans to legalise same-sex marriage regardless.

They also set a precedent when they decided to ignore the majority of people who replied to their consultation, who were against it, mentioned by Gordon Brewer on Newsnight Scotland.

I said previously I believed the consultation was a sham and would be ignored.

George Laird right again.

Having your voice heard is meaningless unless it suits the political agenda of the party in power to agree with you and act on it.

If you caught Nicola Sturgeon’s Newsnight Scotland interview, you could be asking yourself, why wasn’t she celebrating and giving an upbeat interview?

After all, she said that legalising same sex marriage was the "right thing to do".

I blogged on how under human rights there was a case for the LGBT community to have the same rights under the State as everyone else accessing civil marriage.

Because that is what equality is about!

And of course down in England, David Cameron has given his support to plans for same-sex civil marriage ceremonies.

A spokesman for the Catholic Church in Scotland said:

"The Scottish Government is embarking on a dangerous social experiment on a massive scale."

Campaign group Scotland For Marriage, an umbrella group has condemned the "ill-conceived and poorly thought out" plan as it is being brought in "with no consideration for the views of the vast majority in the country".

Ms Sturgeon said:

"It is the intention of the Scottish Government to bring forward legislation to legalise same-sex marriage. We believe that in a country that aspires to be an equal and tolerant society, as we do in Scotland, then this is the right thing to do."

Maybe its time that the Catholic Church and other faith groups started standing for elected public office and building a political power base in their own right since their views in the end don’t actually count.

The Churches have members, the social connections, the networks; the community support already, they just need to appoint people to run proper political campaigns based on the politics of reality.

If done properly, they could sway an election because political parties aren’t as clever or popular as they would have you believe.

And I have met many people in politics who I wouldn’t think twice about putting out in the street or trying to stop getting elected.

Religious organisations need to understand that it is time to upgrade their political operations to the same level as mainstream parties, that way their voice can be heard inside Holyrood.

It is time that faith groups stopped being bystanders and outsiders in politics.

Finally, I don't think Alex Salmond and Nicola Sturgeon will be seeing the Pope anytime soon, persona non grata now I suspect!

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Braveheart Alex Salmond ‘looks forward to regular meetings’ with man accused of being a homophobe, times changed in Scottish National Party?














Dear All

No sooner is he in the door than Bishop Tartaglia, the current Bishop of Paisley has run into controversy.

Awhile ago I did a post on the death of David Cairns who was formerly the MP for Inverclyde, Cairns by all accounts was a good MP, popular and well respected in the House of Commons and his community.

Unfortunately he died very young at 44 years of age of acute pancreatitis in hospital last May in London; it was a sad loss to Scotland and politics as a whole.

Bishop Tartaglia reminds me of the insensitive remarks of former SNP member Alan Clayton who I also blogged for his inappropriate remarks when a young guy died outside the Glasgow City Chambers, not in possession of the facts.

In put his foot firmly in his mouth the archbishop-elect apparently said on the Cairns issue at a conference at Oxford University;

"If what I have heard is true about the relationship between the physical and mental health of gay men, if it is true then society is being very quiet about it”.

Adding:

"Recently in Scotland there was a gay Catholic MP who died at the age of 44 or so and nobody said anything. And why his body should just shut down at that age? Obviously he could have had a disease that would have killed anybody. But you seem to hear so many stories about this kind of thing, but society won't address it."

Mr Cairns's partner, Dermot Kehoe, said the "deeply painful" remarks added to the grief and pain felt by him and Mr Cairns's family.

Mr Kehoe added;

"David died of pancreatitis; a gallstone blocked his pancreatic tract. So that's what happened to David, which could have happened to anybody. To take a personal tragedy like this and seek to use it to make a political point, it's more than upsetting, it's deeply painful.

“David and his family were parishioners and are parishioners of the bishop and he may have things he wants to say, based on scripture or based on theology about the issue of equal marriage. But to speak in this way in complete ignorance, not knowing any of the facts either about David's life or about his medical condition, is just an unacceptable way for someone to behave who seeks to show moral leadership.

"It's added to our grief and our pain."

Mr Kehoe called on the archbishop-elect to "understand what he has done and why is it wrong, why to take David's life and to tell people that David died because of his lifestyle when that is simply not true and there are no facts to support that".

He said:

"I want him to show contrition for that and to apologise."

Anyone can die from acute pancreatitis so the Bishop was wrong, because the Bishop didn’t have the facts, he just spouted off.

He should apologise.

In the political sphere Braveheart Alex Salmond was quick to offer his congratulations on the appointment of Bishop Tartaglia as the new Archbishop of Glasgow.

He said:

"Our country's newest Archbishop has already played a distinguished role across Scotland and Scottish society as a whole. His pride at being appointed in his native city will be matched by the pride he felt in the Diocese of Paisley, which he dutifully served as Bishop for nearly seven years.

"It is in that role that I have met Bishop Tartaglia and discussed with him the importance of celebrating the contribution that the Catholic Church, along with other churches and faiths, has made to Scottish life.

"I congratulate him on this richly deserved appointment and I look forward to meeting him regularly in the months ahead."

It seems that Alex Salmond is keen to lavish praise and buddy up with someone branded a homophobe.

How times have changed in the SNP of late, presumably Alex Salmond is keen to try and repair the damage that the equal marriage row is causing the SNP and their attempts to win back the Catholic vote for the independence referendum and beyond.

A SNP First Minister looking forward to regularly meeting someone accused of being a homophobe?

And the praise, it is so high too!

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Phone hacking scandal sees Rebekah Brooks and Andy Coulson among eight facing charges, Milly Dowler case is still a lightening rod of public anger!















Dear All

Phone hacking started out as the actions of a ‘rogue’ reporter at the news of the World, the News International Group was quick to apologise and hoped the thing would die down.

The News International Group has brought to the public domain many scandals, outed many people that needed to be exposed, a lot of good was done; unfortunately some people didn’t when to stop at the ‘public interest’ test.

When a culture becomes so rotten; it will eventually implode whether it is in business or politics.

Press and politicians need each other by the phone hacking scandal has set new boundaries at least for the foreseeable future.

The Murdoch Empire is persona non grata in the Westminster Village, highly toxic; they have lost many an ear which was normally open to them.

For those who did nothing wrong, they are getting punished along with the guilty by association.

So far, eight people have been charged in relation to phone hacking, including former Sun editor Rebekah Brooks.

Previously Rupert Murdoch stood by her, but he seems to be absent now.

Along with Brooks, Andy Coulson, who was working for David Cameron until January last year is in a spot of bother!

‘Does he look bothered’?

I think we can safety say yes on that front.

Eight people are facing a total of 19 charges.

Brooks will face two charges, one relating to the alleged accessing of murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler’s phone messages.

Coulson, is also accused in relation to allegedly hacking into Milly’s phone, Crown Prosecution Service legal adviser Alison Levitt QC said.

The others are Stuart Kuttner, Glenn Mulcaire, Greg Miskiw, Ian Edmondson, Neville Thurlbeck and James Weatherup.

Five others of the 13 people referred to the CPS will face no further action, they must be so happy.

Ms Levitt said:

“All, with the exception of Glenn Mulcaire, will be charged with conspiring to intercept communications without lawful authority, from 3 October, 2000, to 9, August 2006.


“The communications in question are the voicemail messages of well-known people and/or those associated with them. There is a schedule containing the names of over 600 people whom the prosecution will say are the victims of this offence.”

For the current government, this also looks bad in that some of the accused are known to David Cameron personally and he did hire Andy Coulson but on the recommendation of George Osborne.

The Milly Dowler case is still the lightening rod of this unusual event and such things will probably figure in the minds of any jury since pound to a penny the CPS are going to mention that one.

So many people got hacked that it is said to run into thousands as the news hungry Murdoch Press targeted celebs and politicians among the alleged victims such as David Blunkett, Charles Clarke, John Prescott, and Tessa Jowell, footballer Wayne Rooney and former England manager Sven-Goran Eriksson.

And as everyone likes showbiz, Hollywood stars Jude Law, Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt, and celebrities Calum Best, Abigail Titmuss, John Leslie, Delia Smith, Sadie Frost, Sienna Miller, Sir Paul McCartney and Heather Mills, were also named as alleged victims in the charge sheets.

Ironically, the biggest story is still to come as the accused face their day in court and when the verdict is read out, expect a big splash.

The Murdoch crew did a lot of good but besides having that ability; they also did a lot of evil as well.

And that is a great pity.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

Monday, July 23, 2012

Panic sets in SNP ranks as Nats realise Alex Salmond isn’t going to win indy, George Laird right again, Salmond’s untalented clique has no answers!












Dear All

It seems that the devo max is still firmly fixed in the minds of the Scottish National Party as a senior Nationalist MSP; Linda Fabiani says Westminster should pass a fallback devolution law.

The idea is that the new law would apply if Scots reject independence.

This will be taken by many as another clear sign that Alex Salmond and his middle class clique’s bottle has crashed, and they see the writing on the wall.

And the writing is already on the wall if they read my blog, Alex Salmond is going to lose the Scottish Independence referendum.

Day one after the vote, the First Minister won’t be munching on ‘freedom fries’ but rather he will be told ‘he has had his chips’!

The latest intervention is exactly what I have been saying for sometime regarding the deepening panic in SNP ranks about the outcome of the referendum which has been botched even before the disaster that was the 'Decalartion of Cineworld'.

Ms. Fabiani is only a symptom of what must be happening behind closed doors, MSP's fearing for their own seats in 2016.

So, devo max, there many reasons why this request will be turned down flat, the tide has turned for the SNP, they are fighting on a platform of grudge, grievance and malcontent towards Westminster and they are picking fights with the Scottish people.

So, who are they fighting with?

Well, the list grows, Catholics, Protestants, Muslims, Westminster, Orange Lodge, Catholic Church, Scottish people, Tories, Labour, Lib Dems, drinkers and even their own SNP activists.

Alex’s clique is heading for a downfall of their own making.

Back to a panicked Ms. Fabiani, she has asked Westminster to spell out what additional powers would be devolved to Scotland in the event of a 'No' vote in the independence referendum.

The reason this won’t be done is that Westminster would see this disadvantaging other political parties in the run up to the General Election in 2015 and if anything additional does come, it can’t come before the Holyrood 2016 either, again for the same reason.

And if another reason is needed, why nothing will be coming anytime soon, unionist parties only have to look at the bad decisions being made, the SNP’s leadership popularity is going downhill.

Willie Rennie, the leader of the Scottish LibDems, said:

"You can feel the waves of panic emanating from SNP HQ. They spend more time now arguing for our policy than they do their own."

Labour MSP Patricia Ferguson said:

"When SNP MSPs start planning for defeat, you can bet they know that defeat is just around the corner. The fact that the SNP are now accepting that independence is less popular than devolution is another nail in the coffin of the Yes campaign."

Poll after poll shows that there is no momentum and things are going backwards, the reason is the current clique isn’t good enough.

If we take the Glasgow Council Election which was of such vital importance that election was entirely ruined as Team Sturgeon put forward arguably the weakest leader in the history of Glasgow SNP, with Allison Hunter as the figurehead.

In the end the SNP didn’t even come close to winning.

There is no pressure on the unionist parties who will step up the gears as their campaign continues, they plan to push straight through to the Westminster 2015 election, expect reserved issues to feature strongly in their campaign.

As the panic sets in more in the SNP ranks, we can expect to see more and more being made on the devo max front.

The reality is the SNP isn’t going to be fighting on their battleground but on the unionists, and the way the polls are going and the way the Scottish National Party is acting, it will be not Scotland against England, not unionist against nationalist but rather Alex Salmond’s middle class clique against the people of Scotland.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

Saturday, July 21, 2012

SNP Government criticised for deliberately withholding public information, what happened to open and transparent government Alex Salmond?














Dear All

One of the ways you can judge the strength of a government is how open and transparent it is to the people.

“If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear” is an old adage.

The SNP Government seems to be falling apart, inward looking and on the back foot now.

The information watchdog Rosemary Agnew has expressed her “disappointment” at the Scottish Government withholding public information.

This is a sign of a government in trouble, ooking jaded and tired.

SNP Ministers have withheld 18 Health and Social Care Directorate internal audit reports from publication.

This is despite “strongly worded advice” from the Information Watchdog to reconsider.

This is bad government and also bad strategy.

The underlining reason will be seen by many as a government in crisis that is rapidly becoming ‘heartless and hopeless’.

Agnew criticised ministers for attempting to adopt a “class-based blanket approach” to non-disclosure, which contradicted her own advice, that of the courts, and even the government’s own internal guidance.

The people have a right to know and many will see secrecy as a tool to cover up incompetence and lack of a work ethic to tackle the real issues facing Scotland.

In an intervention that is highly embarrassing it has been concluded that most of the information was appropriate for release.

Te news of the SNP Government adopting secrecy is great news for Labour and a massive boost, they described the ruling as a “significant intervention” which “should embarrass SNP ministers”.

A spokeswoman for the commissioner said:

“The commissioner’s decision expresses disappointment that the ministers continued to seek to exempt the information in its entirety throughout her investigation, despite a 2007 Court of Session ruling which considered and rejected a similar blanket approach.”

Ministers were given advance notice of the likely outcome of her deliberations if they continued to pursue general arguments against disclosure, and were given “strongly worded advice to reconsider their position”.

A Scottish Government spokeswoman said:

“We are aware of the Commissioner’s decision and are complying with her findings.”
Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie said:
“This SNP government has an unhealthy addiction to secrecy.”

Withholding information is wrong, it is a clear sign of a government in decline that has lost its way, Alex Salmond talks a lot about a fair, open and transparent society, seems that doesn’t apply to the majority of people, just those in the SNP middle class clique.

Trust is a key factor in independence; the SNP Government is losing the trust of the public.

The clock is ticking down to defeat in the independence referendum, and the work to ensure that defeat is in part the way that Alex Salmond is allowing the Scottish Government to operate.

This government is going to end up the same way as Gordon Brown's, disaster after disaster and all self made to a spectacular implosion.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

Pot calling the kettle black, SNP anger at ‘Jobs for the boys’ row at Glasgow City Council, mouths firmly shut however on SNP Cllrs two jobbers!















Dear All

We know that Scotland is a morally bankrupt country, we know that cronyism is rife and we know at Glasgow City Council under the Labour Party; that sometimes the ‘best’ candidate for a job is always the Labour candidate or the relative of a Labour member or the associate attached to the Labour Party.

It’s a historic return to business as usual.

People shouldn’t be surprised that a former Labour government minister Tom McCabe is at the centre of a cronyism row after landing a lucrative policy role with Glasgow City Council.

They shouldn’t be surprised at all.

Graeme Hendry, leader of the Glasgow SNP Group, said:

“Glasgow Labour’s murky history is clearly not in the past after appointing a failed Labour politician to a post that is supposed to be politically neutral.

“Not only is he a former Labour minister, he also ran the council campaign in Glasgow and has aligned himself to ensure he gets a top spot.

“Earning a reported salary of just under £50,000 a year is yet another slap in the face to the people of Glasgow. The list of incompetence and jobs for the boys goes on. I’ve raised my concerns with the chief solicitor at the council.

“This post is supposed to be non-political what assurances can he make to the people of Glasgow that he will not be putting his allegiances to Labour first?”

I am not going to condemn the Labour Party for this, the reason why is that I don’t believe now that if the shoe was on the other foot the Scottish National Party would be any different in Glasgow.

What possibly upsets the SNP is that McCabe played such a key role in Labour’s successful local council election campaign in Glasgow.

The SNP was utterly humiliated as Cllr Allison Hunter of Team Sturgeon led Glasgow SNP to a crushing defeat.

In her own area where I live the SNP got one seat, Govan, seen a heartland in the Sturgeon Empire.

For everyone’s information I prior to the election thought that Adams, Thomas and Dornan plus one SNP would be the result, George Laird right again.

Despite everything being up for grabs, the SNP couldn’t wrestle control from Gordon ‘free dinners’ Matheson who rose to the challenge.

In a hustings, he did a classic ‘why why why won’t the SNP leader stand up for Glasgow?’

Catch it on youtube, its classic.

Anyway, I can’t condemn the Labour Party for cronyism not when I see employees of SNP MSPs standing in same areas that they already work in and get paid a taxpayer’s funded salary.

Effectively these people get two taxpayer funded salaries, but that's 'okay' because their SNP members.

The SNP made a great deal of Labour MSP Hanzala Malik being both in Holyrood and on Glasgow City Council saying he should step down.

It’s a different tune when it’s the Glasgow SNP clique.

In Glasgow, some people I spoke to describe the SNP campaign as a ‘cronies election’.

Although Glaswegians will not approve of this, there is nothing that can be done and to be perfectly frank I don’t see the Scottish National Party in Glasgow being any different because of their ‘two jobbers’.

McCabe will be working really hard because it gives him options, a return to his seat next Holyrood election and to shut the SNP out in 2017.

Luckily for McCabe, he will have help……… Team Sturgeon!

And less we forget, unlike some Glasgow SNP councillors, McCabe only has one taxpayer funded job to their two.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

Friday, July 20, 2012

Luke Mitchell makes a new appeal to gain freedom as several senior legal experts help prepare his case for free, justice must be seen to be done















Dear All

Justice is a cornerstone of any decent society, the right to a fair trial goes way beyond the individual people who are involved in a court case.

The Luke Mitchell case is one case where the case relied entirely on circumstantial evidence.

If you are an outsider just looking at it, you can have legitimate doubts on the fairness on his trial and subsequent verdict of guilt.

Murder is a horrible crime, someone killed Jodi and whoever did that should spend the rest of their life behind bars; child killers represent a special threat to society.

To show the depth and strength of feeling that Luke Mitchell wasn’t treated properly, several legal experts worked behind the scenes on an application to the SCCRC.

The SCCRC is the body that probes potential miscarriages of justice; their remit means they can refer cases back to the Appeal Court if they feel there are grounds that warrant it.

In the case of Luke Mitchell, this is a case that should go back because there are legal points that cause concern over the fairness of Mitchell's trial.

To run through what those concerns are they include:

1/ the way eye-witness evidence was used.

2/ the circumstances of his police interviews when he was aged just 15.

3/ the prosecution's use of "prejudicial evidence", such as his disputed interest in the musician Marilyn Manson and his music.

I watch war movies, but that doesn’t mean I want to invade a country.

The list above is all fair stuff to go on, but the last point should interest everyone, the use of prejudicial evidence which amounts to poisoning the jury, something that the SNP Government has been looking at to extend to other court cases.

Luke Mitchell has always maintained his innocence and people believe him so much that there is a campaign ongoing to clear his name.

Campaigner Sandra Lean, who has spearheaded the SCCRC application, said:

"This is a vital new step in our fight to clear Luke's name. The commission will have the opportunity to review the case in its entirety."

Mrs Lean has led the campaign along with Mitchell's mother, Corinne.

People aren’t giving up.

Interestingly both Mitchell and his mother, who provided his alibi, have passed lie detector tests.

Mrs Lean said:

"The polygraph results are not admissible in court but we have included them in the application so investigators have the full picture.

"We believe the police became fixated upon Luke and had a closed mind about other potential suspects.

"We have found photographic evidence that shows one local man linked to the case after the trial bore a remarkable resemblance to Luke. Pictures of them both from around the time of the murder have been submitted to show the striking similarity, particularly in their hairstyles.

"This could cast doubt on the evidence of eyewitnesses who claim to have seen Luke near the scene at the time of the murder."

Mrs Lean added:

"No DNA from Luke was found on Jodi but there were unidentified samples and one male DNA match from blood on her clothing. This was put down to an innocent transfer of DNA because, it was claimed, she had borrowed a soiled garment from another person.

"There are other potential suspects. We are not saying any of them were responsible for the crime, but we are pointing out our belief that police should have looked further afield than Luke. There are other concerns, including the way the crime scene was managed and the manner of the police questioning of Luke."

If we think back to the Jo Yeates murder, the landlord was singled out not on the basis of evidence against him, but purely on the basis of two points:

1/ He looked weird.

2/ He had a bad haircut.

Once those two fixed points were firmly implanted in the minds of the press, they went after him and the police dropped in behind their convoy.

In the end the landlord was innocent, completely innocent and the evidence against him was purely circumstantial.

In the Shirley McKie case, there was another print found that the scene, it took about 14 years for her fight to be over. In the Mitchell case, we should remember no DNA from Luke Mitchell was found on Jodi’s body but there were unidentified samples and one male DNA match from blood on her clothing.

This is a case that has to go to the Appeal Court, it is not enough that justice is done; it also has to be seen to be done.

Every miscarriage of justice weakens the justice system and society as a whole.

Finally, isn’t it time that First Minister Alex Salmond appointed a Justice Secretary who doesn’t side with the Crown Office?

Maybe if he had in the first place there would be more due diligence on the part of the Prosecutors.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Thatcher snatched the milk, now Sturgeon is basically, under the guise of healthcare, doing a windfall tax that benefit large supermarkets















Dear All

When the SNP Government decided to introduce the ‘Sturgeon Tax’ which will hit the poorest in society disproportionately I thought disaster.

The ‘Sturgeon Tax’ rather than being collected to be used to benefit society in providing additional funding for projects to change society for the better, the money went straight into the pockets of big businesses.

The rich!

And to make matters worse the ‘Sturgeon Tax’ has built in unfairness at its core, innocent people were being punished for the actions of a disruptive minority.

Plain unfairness which everyone could see at a glance!

This measure sailed on as an un-listening and increasingly out of touch SNP Government with a majority pushed their flagship proposal through.

Now, with the SNP Government clearly on the skids, the minimum price for alcohol is to face a legal challenge from the drinks industry.

The Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) aims to opposing the plans and by default is sticking for the ‘little guy’.

SWA say their measures will include legal action.

The Scottish Government wants a minimum price of 50p a unit; this is unfair to poor working class people.

Health secretary Nicola Sturgeon says the measures are needed to address Scotland’s chronic alcohol problem.

It seems that some people may feel Ms. Sturgeon may think that Scots can’t be educated and therefore the ‘stick’ is needed.

In the tale of Robin Hood, he rob the rich to give to the poor, in the case of the Scottish Government, they rob the poor to give to the rich.

Clearly, Ms. Sturgeon hasn’t watched the classic 1938 The Adventures of Robin Hood starring Errol Flynn.

Or if she had she didn’t understand the narrative.

The drinks industry leaders say that minimum pricing falls foul of European Union competition law and believe a legal challenge is likely to succeed.

Until we see the nuts and bolts of that case, we will all be none the wiser, but a technical challenge should be necessary, the SNP should have recognised this is an fair and counter-productive measure.

Gavin Partington, of the Wine and Spirits Trade Association (WSTA), said:
“We are working together with the SWA and other trade bodies at a European level to actually spread news about what’s happening in Scotland and to communicate to other trade associations about what the Scottish Government has legislated for. There is a widespread agreement around this issue.”

He added:

“It’s highly likely that there will be this legal challenge [and] that that legal challenge is likely to be successful.”

For people in the SNP like Alex Salmond, Nicola Sturgeon and Joan McAlpine, getting their hands on bevvy isn’t a problem, they are on big money, but poor people aren’t, they will use up more of their income.

Working class people don’t forget when bad things are done against them; come the independence vote, people will be remembering all too clearly.

Day by day, this is a government that is increasingly out of touch with ordinary people, once the panic sets in that independence isn’t possible, it will spread like wildfire, a stressed SNP leadership might take to the drink.

And drink and crying don't mix!

This term of the SNP Government will be remembered for being heartless and hopeless.

Thatcher snatched the milk, Sturgeon snatched the bevvy!

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

George Laird keeps pulling in the big names, BBC, OECD, Houses Of Parliament, Irish Government, all keen to read how future history should be shaped














Dear All

In the beginning, this blog in its first year of scribbling away; got in the region of 10 thousand people stopping by.

As time went on and I got more practice, it jumped in the second year to 60 thousand.

Some cybernats call this blog largely ignored and poorly written.

So, periodically, I put up some of the institutions who stop by to see what the George Laird opinion is.

Here are some of the recent organisations that have visited.

From the BBC to OECD, from the Houses of Parliament to Dreamworks Animation SanFrancesco, from collges to uni’s, from banking to Councils, even the Irish Government have turned up.

Slaughter And May, London international law firm (81.144.140.102)

University Of Manchester (130.88.155.64)

Glasgow Caledonian University (193.62.251.13)

Barclays Bank Plc, London (157.83.125.12)

Lockheed Martin Corporation, Denver USA (192.31.106.158)

Dreamworks Animation Skg San Francesco (208.71.59.32)

University Of Strathclyde, Glasgow (130.159.12.30)

Houses Of Parliament, London (194.60.38.10)

British Broadcasting Corporatio, London (132.185.144.122)

Page White & Farrer London (62.49.88.89)

British Broadcasting Corporation, London (132.185.144.123) Again!

Pricewaterhousecoopers Gts Uk, London (164.143.244.33)

University Of London Federal Library Coordinating (194.66.92.69)

Societe Libanaise Pour Le Developpement Et La Reco, Lebanon

University Of Newcastle Upon Tyne (128.240.233.197) Newcastle upon Tyne

University Of Manchester (130.88.141.237)

Dell Computers (163.244.62.211)

Andover College, Andover, England (212.219.143.50)

Campus Network For University Of Warwick (137.205.80.226)

British Broadcasting Corporation, London (132.185.144.124)

Business, Enterprise And Regulatory Reform, London (164.36.44.4)

Investment Property Databank Ltd, London (62.173.89.34)

Comic Relief, London (62.6.159.62)

Istituto Internazionale Per L'unificazione Diritto, Rome (94.86.67.62)

Newsquest Media Group Ltd (93.174.8.253)

Imperial College London (155.198.236.109)

London Metropolitan University (163.167.121.62)

Irish Government (137.191.228.162)

University Of Cambridge (131.111.216.48)

Imperial College London (155.198.232.19)

The University Of Bristol (137.222.21.161)

British Broadcasting Corporation, London (132.185.240.124)

Edinburgh University (129.215.25.208)

Health & Safety Executive, Liverpool (81.144.162.227)

Jpmorgan Chase & Co. Hong Kong (170.148.132.135)

Associated Newspapers Ltd, London (195.234.243.2)

Oecd - Organisation For Economic Co-operation And Development (78.41.129.27)

Netherlands Cancer Institute, Amsterdam (194.171.7.38)

Campus Network, Cork, Ireland (143.239.81.229)

Council Of The Baltic Sea States, Stockholm (213.115.141.244)

Houses Of Parliament, London (194.60.38.198)

Queen Mary And Westfield College, London (138.37.96.139)

University Of Eastern Finland, Kuopio, Finland (193.167.240.205)

Glasgow City Council (195.11.198.1)

Enjoy!

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

Scotland in double dip recession, indy stalled, SNP Government paralysed, no public sector reform started, and George Laird right again!













Dear All

And here is the news, Scotland is in recession.

And the bad news is things are going to get worse.

When the cuts really start to bite, we will see many jobs in the public sector not being filled.

Departments will shrink and service will suffer.

The construction industry in Scotland has been hit particularly badly; property is too expensive due to the housing bubble.

Houses are over priced by about 40% of what many see as their true value.

Wages haven’t kept pace.

The fall in GDP is going to go further down, we see for the second successive quarter Scotland follows the UK economy into double-dip recession.

Did I say many many moons ago that Britain was going to go into double dip recession?

Yes, I did.

George Laird was right again.

The UK officially returned to recession in April, when first-quarter GDP fell 0.2%, the slide has started for many reasons, banking and debt are chiefly to blame, but you could throw in the failure of government both nationally and locally to reform.

Unsurprisingly, there are no genuine ideas floating around Scotland politically to solve the big problems, no political will at all.

Scotland as a country is paralysed.

The Federation of Small Businesses said it is unsurprising that Scotland has re-entered recession, it was always going to happen.

Andy Willox, policy convener, said:

“We can take some comfort from the fact that Scotland’s economic contraction looks smaller than the rest of the UK. However, we still need every part of government to shelve the distractions and focus on growth. Holyrood and local government can play their part by focusing enterprise support on building the business base and on expanding the private sector job market.”

Mr. Wilcox's wish will not come true, radical reform is needed, we are talking major projects that require full time attention at Holyrood and council level and everyone is off chasing or opposing independence.

Holyrood 2011 to 2016 will probably go do in history as one of the worst periods of devolved government in history.

Alex Salmond's problems just got bigger and he better start finding solutions.

Independence should be abandoned and public sector reform started immediately.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

It is now time for a world wide ban of depleted Uranium weapon systems; the case of Fallujah in Iraq is a modern horror story of nuclear genocide

















Dear All

Many people think that the killing of civilians using nuclear weapons ended after the Second World War and the dropping of the bombs on Hiroshima and Nagaski.

It didn’t.

Since the military is in the public mind, I would like to do a piece on depleted Uranium.

What is DU?

Depleted Uranium is a waste product of the nuclear enrichment process use in modern warfare.

18 countries have DU in their arsenals such as the UK, US, France, Russia, China, Greece, Turkey, Thailand, Taiwan, Israel, Bahrain, Egypt, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, India, Belarus, Pakistan and Oman.

The smaller countries bought these weapon systems from the US.

It is a war crime by any stretch of the imagination that these weapons are used at all, and the effects on population areas such as in Iraq bear witness to that.

Is there a case for a world wide ban, mostly certainly, one place stands out as a modern horror; Fallujah.

Fallujah is in Iraq and came under intense bombing and shelling during the war, while American soldiers cheered loudly as depleted Uranium shells hit buildings, they were also cheering their own cancer as a wall of death swept towards them.

Many American soldiers came back from Iraq only to die from cancer caused by depleted Uranium.

But for the people of Fallujah, a tragic legacy was to come as babies were born deformed.

The picture on this post is scarcely believable but this is the reality of using depleted Uranium in modern warfare in civilian areas.

So, how does it work?

DU is used as the ‘penetrator’ fired from a weapon system as a long dart at the core of the weapon in armour piercing tank rounds and bullets.

It is usually alloyed with another metal. When DU munitions strike a hard target the penetrator sheds around 20% of its mass, creating a fine dust of DU, burning at extremely high temperatures.

It is deadly.

Uranium has a half life of 4.5 billion years, so DU released into the environment will be a hazard for unimaginable timescales.

It is time that the US showed leadership again and a start could be banning all depleted uranium weapon systems in its forces.

The evidence is there, the pictures speak for themselves, unimaginable horror not seen since the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagaski.

Just because we don’t see the mushroom cloud and large scale detonation of the A bomb, lets us also not forget that it's nuclear weapons, that is what depleted Uranium is.

The picture paints more than a thousand words and every word should be no to this type of nuclear warfare!

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

Scottish National Party reveals plans for policy switch on NATO, 30 years of having the wrong policy, George Laird right again and ahead of curve!














Dear All

If you are a regular reader of this blog, you will know that I am pro independence and also pro NATO.

For 30 years, the Scottish National Party has been wrong in its policy and hostility to the Nato nuclear alliance.

Plain wrong and totally out of touch!

Recently a cybernat claiming to be an SNP party member was questioning my talent.

So, just to refresh:

George Laird proposed the Scottish National Police Force and the Scottish National Fire Service in September 2010 at the SNP National Assembly in Perth.

Also I gave a talk on social media and one of the people there went on to do a presentation to the SNP on social media and was given a job which changed the way party produced media.

And…. a while ago I wrote a report on how the SNP needed to create local ambassadors in the community, and now there are plans for local ambassadors, a variation of my original idea.

And….. to draw the point to a close for the bigots who doubt my talent, I never did a single day on the disastrous Glasgow SNP Campaign to win the city council and never contributed a single idea, the results speak for themselves.

A complete and utter shambles lead by the talentless crew of Team Sturgeon!

Anyway, back to NATO, the alliance isn’t just a military alliance, it stretches beyond that, it is the key cornerstone of Western defence which is just as relevant now as in the Cold War.

The SNP leadership know that there are many obstacles to independence, defence is one; the plan for defence must be credible.

At present there isn’t a plan, beyond saying they will copy others work, this takes no account of what Scottish Foreign policy will be in the future. There is also the mechanics of structure which haven’t been dealt with and also the question of why the majority Scottish soldiers serving in the British Armed forces in a recent unofficial poll said they don’t want to serve in new Scottish army.

Many SNP rank and file members who oppose NATO clearly don’t care for the lives of Scottish servicemen and women, if they did, they would be doing everything to protect them.

In an attempt to get the proposed change through, at the annual conference in Perth, the carrot would be "subject to agreement on withdrawal of Trident from Scotland".

That is nonsense as well, aside from the economic argument for local people; the primary argument is that allowing Faslane to continue as a nuclear base would strengthen Scotland's position as an independent country.

Any problems and the Calvary from the US would be coming over the hill so fast it would make your head spin.

When many people stood up at conference and talk crap on NATO, they painted themselves into a corner, but the end of student politics is now coming to be seen for what it is disastrous.

Scotland must be pro NATO and pro nuclear subs in Faslane.

Where will Scotland get military intelligence from if it isn’t part of NATO?

Clearly no one was thinking about that!

The change of policy if it goes through is about making independence viable on the referendum ballot paper.

But there has to be more, a lot more done.

The resolution for change is being proposed by Angus Robertson, the party's leader at Westminster and its spokesman on defence.

Robertson calls the proposed resolution the party's "first significant defence policy update in 10 years, which at its heart prepares for better defence decision-making in Scotland".

He is by default saying the SNP was using the wrong policy.

George Laird right again……… must be because I have talent.

At present, the SNP’s laughable policy to favour co-operation with international alliances, such as Nato, through the Partnership for Peace programme; a similar position to countries like Sweden and Austria is bollocks.

The leadership's resolution says:

"The SNP wishes Scotland to fulfil its Treaty obligations with Nato”.

That means allowing nuclear weapons to pass through Scotland.

It adds:

"An SNP Government will maintain Nato membership subject to an agreement that Scotland will not host nuclear weapons and Nato continues to respect the right of members to only take part in UN-sanctioned operations."

This means not allowing nuclear weapons to pass through Scotland.

Like independence, it’s all or nothing.

Margaret Curran, the Shadow Secretary of State for Scotland, said:

"Today's rushed plans for defending Scotland are confused at best and negligent at worst. Scotland's defence policy should be determined by the facts and evidence, not dreamt up by Angus Robertson on the back of an envelope. This is yet more spin and speculation from the SNP as they struggle to answer questions about Scotland's future. They haven't come up with the answers Scots are looking for, and now they're beginning to realise it."

Sir Menzies Campbell, the former LibDem said:

"For all the time I have been in Parliament, the SNP has been vehemently opposed to membership of Nato. This policy, if approved, does not make sense. It is based on a doubtful assumption Scotland would automatically inherit all of the Treaty obligations entered into by the UK. It's hardly likely that Nato, which acts by unanimity, would accept Scotland on such conditions."

He added:

"An independent Scotland, on these assumptions, would want the shelter of a nuclear umbrella but without the responsibility."

Ruth Davidson, the Scottish Conservative leader, described the Nato resolution as "staggering", coming as it did from a party "so furiously against the concept of nuclear deterrent".

She added:

"Much like its misguided stance on the EU, the SNP seems to think an independent Scotland would be waved through to join Nato automatically if they reverse their decades-long opposition to the Alliance. They are making it up as they go along."

So, in order to be credible, the resolution should be changed to accept everything that goes with being a NATO member.

Anything less is a mixed message which will be seen as pure spinning for independence.

Perhaps the SNP should invite me to speak on NATO and let the membership get put straight.

I don’t think I would be holding back on anything.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

Monday, July 16, 2012

Pressure mounts on First Minister Alex Salmond to drop the disastrous devo max question from ballot paper, it’s a defeatist attitude, all or nothing!













Dear All

In the James Bond movie, Thunderball starring Sean Connery, there was a memorable scene set in a casino:

007: "Yes, I thought I saw a, spectre, at your shoulder."

Largo: "What makes you say that?"

007: "The spectre of defeat....that your luck was due to change."

The reality is Alex Salmond and the Scottish National Party, the public tide has turned as more people are coming out against the second question which has been branded as ‘defeatist’.

Former SNP leader Gordon Wilson has branded it defeatist and goes further to say that the second question has drained public support and showed ministers believed they could not win outright.

Given the current disastrous strategy which lacks substance, policy and vision, the independence vote is dead in the water.

Others see what Alex Salmond’s middle class clique cannot or will not own up to, and each day there are more converts to the anti second question.

It’s either all or nothing.

Things are so bad now, that even the pro-nationalist Scottish Independence Convention, fronted by Elaine C Smith is attacking First Minister Alex Salmond to reject a "meaningless" second question.

Alex Salmond is looking increasingly isolated over the referendum; it’s just him and his clique.

And his clique isn’t very bright, more people are noticing that as disaster after disaster becomes the trademark of this Scottish Government’s term in office.

Gordon Wilson fired a broadside when he said:

"There is only one reason why they would do so, defeatism, stemming from a belief that they can't deliver a Yes vote for independence."

The independence launch was a flop, but even worse than that debacle was the fact that the work need to be done…… wasn’t!

People that I know in the party were shocked when Nicola Sturgeon experienced ‘hell in the pacific’ when Ruth Davidson produced a letter that the Scottish Government never contacted the EU about the legality of Scottish membership.

We now also see Professor Stephen Tierney, who will advise the Scottish Government on the referendum suggesting two questions could be seen as a ploy by the public.

For unionist politicians this is manor from heaven, Patricia Ferguson, Scottish Labour's constitutional spokeswoman, said:

"Alex Salmond is looking increasingly isolated in his campaign for a fall-back option on the referendum as a consensus builds around a single question. When the academic he has hired to have oversight of the referendum tells Alex Salmond this is just a ploy, it's time he started listening and got on with asking people straight whether they want to break up Britain or not."

The Scottish Government feebly hit back by saying ministers had always said they would take a broad range of views into account before making a decision.

I don’t think many people will believe that statement.

Devo max is all about saving certain people in the SNP from embarrassment and members asking questions about the failure to win independence, by claiming that devo max is a victory.

Many see it as ‘carrot’ for the Holyrood 2016 Campaign under the ‘standing up for Scotland’ theme.

But devo max isn’t within the providence of Holyrood to deliver; it is a bogus question out with the legal remit of Holyrood.

Prime Minister David Cameron has already pledged extra powers for Scotland but only if it rejects independence in the referendum, and he isn’t saying what those powers will be.

Perhaps Mr. Salmond should go and get his own house in order before he starts off to claim a nation.

In his own party, there isn’t fairness, equality and social justice, bullying is rife and he hasn’t stamped out a poisonous nasty clique which has grown up round the leadership.

So far, the public having looked at what is going on have said a resounding no!

To quote The Reverent Ian Paisley:

“No, no, no!”

Finally, here is some abuse sent anonymously to my blog by a cybernat:

“George, why don't you just accept that you are despised by your former colleagues in the SNP - which is why you gained a single vote in a free and fair candidate election? You clearly can't accept that the SNP does not have the same view of your "talent" as you do. Why don't you you just leave the SNP? They don'f want you. I am under no impression that you will not publish this comment. But you will read it. And hopefully you will leave the SNP - every branch you have been in has either kicked you out or tried to. Your behaviour is weird and erratic. You will never be an SNP candidate. Please leave our party”.

This is why independence is dead; the Scottish National Party is run as a poisonous nasty little clique.

Apparently asking for your rights as a party member is deemed by some as “weird and erratic” behaviour.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

How many kidney operations could be bought from all the taxpayers' money to be used to fight the Court case in Stilher FOI request?













Dear All

Two wrongs don’t make a right is a universal truth acknowledged by many people thought-out the world as self evident.

Rather than tell the truth SNP ministers willing go to court to contest a landmark ruling that they must publicly state if they have asked for advice on whether an independent Scotland could join the European Union.

The request was made under the Freedom of Information Act.

It isn’t a difficult question, it either yes or no.

But what does it say that SNP Ministers don’t think that the people of Scotland should be treated equally?

The Scottish National Party talks a lot about fairness, equality and social justice; they have used that theme to highlight the failings of Westminster and unionist politicians when they were in opposition and in government.

They say that an independent Scotland would be a better, fairer, transparent and more open society.

Why should anyone believe that now, when the ‘little people’ have to have knowledge kept away from them for their own “good”?

Stephen Noon who is an SNP member and has a guiding hand in the failing Yes Scotland campaign puts forward a defence of denying of the FOI request.

He simply says it is in effect ‘okay’ for the Scottish Government to fail to comply with the law; on the basis those others who do it and get away with it are the British Government!

He even cites the classic line:

“a clear case of 'don't do what I do, do what I say”.

So what is the difference between the Westminster Government and the Scottish Government treating people with contempt?

Absolutely nothing!

It seems that equality in the SNP Government means that everyone is equal but some people are ‘more’ equal, they get more rights than the average citizen.

The reason for the failure to tell the truth is that the SNP believe that it isn’t in the public interest for the public to know the truth.

Apparently it is a bit like rich food, poor people can’t handle it, only the ‘special’ people in Alex Salmond’s clique can do that.

As an SNP member who has met a good few of these people, I can’t say I am impressed with their mental abilities.

In generally the only extraordinary ability I have seen is the ability to do simple tasks and attribute these tasks as having the same level of ability of a genius of Einstein.

It isn’t clever to be seen as untrustworthy and secretive, and to add insult to injury, using taxpayers’ cash to do so.

The Scottish Government has promised it would contest the order, claiming that in refusing to say even if it had advice; it was following the example of the Westminster government.

And these are the same people who can’t work out why independence has stalled and is now going backwards.

It’s because you’re thick, have short term vision, and don’t understand what you are doing.

So far sitting on the sidelines watching the independence debacle is rather like watching the SNP activists digging a hole, as each spade full of earth is thrown out, the leadership of the SNP standing above are shovelling earth back in on top of their own activists.

Was the Commissioner, Rosemary Agnew right to rule in favour of disclosure?

Yes, is the short answer!

Labour MEP Catherine Stihler has accused the SNP of a “shameless cover-up” and of applying for a “Salmond super injunction” against Scots.

And all this free bad publicity is the direct result of the Scottish Government, no one else can take the credit for this.

Stihler added:

“This shameless cover-up will cost hundreds of thousands of pounds and may not even be settled before the referendum takes place. The SNP are using taxpayer’s money to keep anything to do with independence secret. Not only are they refusing to give people facts, they are actively going to court to hide them. Either it is bad news for their assertions, or they don’t have any legal advice on EU membership. By arguing that people are not entitled to know such a basic point, the Scottish Government are effectively applying for a Salmond super-injunction against the people of Scotland.”

Mr. Noon in his article on his blog doesn’t condemn the SNP Government but he does have a few choice words for the fact he is denied the information.

What has happened here is the realisation is that those who get into government treat people with utter contempt while at the same time thinking how clever they are having done so.

Is this the new Scotland that is on offer?

I think many people will only too keen to get to the ballot box on the day of the independence referendum to ensure that they pass up Alex Salmond’s and his middle class clique’s offer.

Another utter PR disaster for the SNP Government, who are looking more and more like an inept and hopeless government who are completely out of touch with the people.

The right thing to do is release the information, set the right path and stay on it, be a government of principle.

The pity is this won’t happen; too many untalented people in the SNP clique will not bring forward the ‘wisdom of crowds’.

Stupidity really is a poor substitute for intelligence.

How many independence votes did this episode lose?

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University