Friday, December 21, 2012

Merry Xmas and a Happy New Year to you and your family, be safe, don't drink and drive and enjoy the holidays





















Dear All

It is that time of the year again so without further ado, merry Xmas and a happy New Year to you and your family when it comes!

I would like to thank all the people who took the opportunity to drop by the blog to read and comment.

I would also like to thank those who read my stories and posted them elsewhere and linked it to the blog, which means I must be doing something right.

Toryhoose published two of my articles which was fun.

And to the press who keep rolling by to get the George Laird view.

All in all, a good year blogging, next year will be better as I have development plans for the blog.

So, thanks and see you next year, the battle for truth will be starting early.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Scottish Labour leader Johann Lamont sends the strongest signal yet that she hasn’t any vision for higher education beyond spewing soundbytes, no answers, no solutions, and for everything else there is Mastercard!




















Dear All

Scottish Labour leader Johann Lamont doesn’t want to be First Minister of Scotland.

Although she was educated in the university sector, she has no idea how to secure its future or that of the college sector.

But she does say she is willing to listen which is code for ‘someone give me a policy’.

The SNP has a flagship policy of free university tuition, the past Labour has supported this, the ‘good times’ however are over, in the education sector there is much wrong, but it cannot be pinned on free tuition.

Universities have been allowed to develop into mini fiefdoms which grow and as they were allowed to grow they sucked up funding.

The Scottish Funding Council provides funding for universities and colleges, it is slanted in favour of universities, just check their committees.

I support splitting the council into two distinct bodies, Scottish Funding Council (universities) and Scottish Funding Council (colleges), that way colleges can be allowed to flourish.

The college sector has always been underfunded to the betterment of universities, but it is the college sector which needs to grow.

Universities need slimmed down.

The old model of three tier education is unsustainable, which is why I came up with four tier, university, college, community college and schools.

Community college isn’t a new thing; however I propose that the Community colleges are run by councils to generate revenue for them. Community Colleges would be based in schools at nights and during summer break. Money would come from different stakeholders and the public.

Four tier Education could be the way of the future, government just don’t know it yet.

To return to Ms. Lamont, she says that free tuition is starving colleges of cash, could she provide evidence for this? Surely it can be based on the assumption that if universities charged then extra money would be available to the college sector?

Where’s the proof?

In fact where is any of the work which supports her position?

The problem of college cuts is more complex than just free tuition, if free tuition goes, it doesn’t translate to saving the sector, all it does is shore up the same rotten corrupt system for a bit longer.

In playing the blame game, Alex Salmond accused Ms Lamont of being part of a “Labour-Tory alliance” on the issue.

I don’t see an alliance, all I see is the Tories taking the least line of resistance and being policy lite on this matter, it’s a major overhaul that is needed in the sector.

Since it is near Xmas, Salmond brought up the ghost of David Cameron, education is devolved, Cameron has no role in this, but speaking of anglicisation, who is it who is bring Scots law into line with England?

No points, its Alex Salmond and the Scottish National Party Government.

It seems that Salmond has climbed into bed with the Tories as well.

If Lamont keeps going with her disastrous policies changes, the only thing in her stocking will be her feet.

Big ideas and radical overhaul is needed, and all Johann Lamont can do is cry wolf.

It is almost like she doesn’t want Labour to win at the next Holyrood election, maybe Labour MSPs will notice too, Ken Macintosh is looking increasingly like the man who can change Labour’s fortunes, either that or Ms. Lamont better get new help in and do what she is told.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Scottish independence: Michael Moore drops an early xmas present into Alex Salmond and Nicola Sturgeon by saying Bank of England will not back Scotland as lender of last resort, indy campaign sinking due to gross stupidity!




















Dear All

If I said AAA to most people in a supermarket, I would probably get directed to the place where the batteries are stored.

Having said that ....... AAA is important to Scotland, thise credit rating is important in whether investors looking at Scotland see it as viable.

It would also allow Scotland to get better terms when applying for loans and selling bonds in the markets.

Scottish Secretary Michael Moore and by the same token the Westminster don’t wish the UK to break up, Scotland has assets beyond oil.

He has given the strongest indication yet that the Bank of England would not be the lender of last resort for an independent Scotland.

In truth, I always say hope for the best but plan for the worst.

Sadly, the SNP Government and the Scottish National Party hasn’t planned for anything, no plan A and no plan B.

To put it in context, recent Yes Scotland put up an advert for a job, the jist is that the person or persons doing it has to find new facts why independence is attractive.

This is a bit like putting the cart before the horse.

In the beginning there should be a vision, Salmond and Sturgeon don’t have one, then there comes the plan, from what I see and hear, there isn’t much of that either. Once you have the plan, then you research and build up from that. You put in the foundations and from the bottom go upwards.

Yes Scotland is starting at the roof and trying to go downwards, which explains why the whole thing is a shambles. Only now they want someone to find facts? This is a general sense of why the whole independence campaign is not relevant to ordinary working class Scots.

But to return to Mr. Moore, his stint at the crease is proving most illuminating as he told the  House of Lords committee investigating the economic impact of independence, it was “extremely unlikely” that the rest of the UK would agree to the Bank of England acting as Scotland’s central bank.

No lender of last resort facility was expected, in fact it was pretty much staring the SNP in the face, the idea should now be for a Scottish Pound, but we are miles away from bunny in any real sense.

Because there isn’t a plan!
All the ‘work’ done by the independence campaign has been wasted, everyone wasted their time, nothing was accomplished; it was a pile of shit.

Here is a quote from Alex Salmond:

“My problem is that I have too many talented people and not enough Cabinet positions”.

Have you seen the movie Animal House?

If so you will remember this:

‘cough cough blow job, blowjob.... cough cough eat me eat me’!

The ‘talent’ has pissed this campaign right up against the wall, from the un-historic start at the ‘Declaration of Cineworld’ to the EU ‘liargate’ debacle.

Moore says next year that the Treasury will produce a whitepaper to confirm this view; he has a vision, is producing a plan and is finding the facts. That’s how it works; Yes Scotland should take note.

Recently SNP Finance secretary John Swinney damaged his own credibility by saying that he had been in talks with the Bank, this was later denied by the Bank, they said they answered technical questions, which they say doesn’t amount to a dialogue.

In embellishing events and having that shot to shit, it undermines one of the key claims of the SNP and Yes Scotland campaign over economic security for an independent Scotland.

When we go it alone, we have to prepare to go it alone, it’s called planning, something certain people are incapable of doing because the SNP as said by many, including Jim Sillars is run as a one man band.

The SNP think that if they keep saying something it will become true, maybe in the world of their clique that happens, history is rewritten to suit, but in the real world, when they have no power, they are onto plums.  

The claim that the Bank of England would continue to be the lender of last resort for Scotland was first made by Mr Salmond in January.

Did Salmond have anything which he could produce which would be regarded as an agreement?

No, like the short term politician and lightweight he is, he said something to get him out of a jam, he winged it, now he has been winged and is falling.

Another cracker of entitlement was parroted out by Scotland’s unpopular Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon that Scotland would have a territorial seat on the Bank’s board.

Did Nicola Sturgeon have an agreement or hint that this would be possible?

No, she has nothing but hot air as she vented on this subject. Subsequently that idea put forward by her as ‘reasonable’ has been shot to shit.

Yesterday at the Lords economic affairs committee Mr Moore said:

“The Bank of England as a lender of last resort is I think highly unlikely to be an acceptable position for the rest of the UK.”

He added:

“The SNP Scottish Government simply asserts that it will happen, but the rest of the UK will need to be generous in spirit and intent for that to be done.”

The independence campaign can survive many things but it can’t survive the continual assumptions put forward as facts, it can’t survive lying or the breach of trust, it cannot survive without firstly a vision, a plan and filling in the blanks with evidence, commonly known as facts.

Proper planning prevents piss poor performance!

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Scottish Labour leader Johann Lamont calls for an end to free tuition at university, Lamont seeks to pull the ladder up from the poorest in society, Labour needs Ken Macintosh as leader to win Holyrood 2016
















Dear All

Johann Lamont has decided to lay out her plans to continue as opposition leader in Holyrood.

Her plan is simple, get policies that are vote losers and place them in front of the public.

The latest stone dead killed in the water proposal centres on the issue of free higher education.

There is no such thing as free higher education, it is paid for by all of us out of general taxation but what it does do is allow people in poor and deprived areas to get up and out.

We have seen countless reports and heard countless instances that poor students are less likely to get accepted at university and those who do get in, it is a few.

St Andrews record of admitting the poorest students tells you all you need to know about the glass ceiling.

Johann Lamont has started a ‘debate’, the debate however is when Ken Macintosh will take over the leadership of Scottish Labour from her.

Lamont starts off her proposal by saying that students should pay a ‘modest contribution’ but as we have seen down south, it starts small and then grows.

£9,000 a year is charged in some universities down south.

Another part of Ms. Lamont’s ‘strategy to lose’ is to end universal services such as free prescriptions.

And as well as that other ideas just a return to the graduate endowment is "the most obvious option" has been floated.

That idea was floated and sunk by public opinion.

In a speech to mark her first anniversary as Labour leader which the successes can be measured by the SNP putting their foot in their mouths, she has produced a vision of enlightenment.

It is true that a conversation about how free higher education is funded and the disgraceful way the SNP has botched the college sector, but she has no answers.

One retired college principal described Labour`s review of universal services as "courageous". Funny how people find their voice while exiting the building, courageous, is that what Ms. Lamont is?

Where is the courage of her convictions?

If she had courage she would have something to show the rest of us, no apparently she hasn’t, others have to fight the battle and she steps in at the end takes the credit.

Lamont isn’t the future of the Scottish Labour Party, she is the past, Macintosh represents the future and the only way they can return to power at Holyrood.

A student member of the Labour Party has warned that tuition fees could be "the tipping point" for some students and discourage them from pursuing their education.

And also voting Labour, there is a third way to solve higher education; it is called four tier education which I have written about and blogged on previously.

Ms Lamont said: "We don't support up-front tuition fees because people perceive that as a barrier.

We just support back end tuition which is a barrier?

Lamont added:

"But we also have to recognise that, currently, the tuition-fees policy is being paid for by colleges. That is simply not sustainable and I think we need to have an honesty about how we perhaps make sure that those with the broadest shoulders bear the greater burden."

The broadest shoulders being universities themselves which need to be slimmed down from the ‘days of empire building’ in various CAPU units where expansion without thought was allowed to occur without an adequate plan!

She added:

"This argument is sometimes framed as: you are either in favour of free education or you are not”.

As someone who benefit from free education she apparently wants to ‘pull the ladder up’ from the poorest getting in.

Her ‘plan’ in the round is to keep the current broken corrupt system and transfer the problem onto students, it’s called screwing people out of money.

Lamont highlights by saying:

“I'm saying we need to have a much more mature debate about what is actually happening and a modest contribution."

Will she support retrospective fees so that the full cost of her education can be reclaimed?

Maybe someone should ask her!

Let’s go back a step and return to Ian Graham, retired principal of Glasgow`s John Wheatley College, he said:

"In the period since my retirement a year ago, I have witnessed the virtual dismemberment of Scotland's colleges. It is really an attempt by the current Government to maintain the fiction that it is possible to have free services in Scotland without cost."

The problem with the current SNP Government is that Alex Salmond appointed a loser called Mike Russell who is another one of his cronies who hasn’t an intellectual pot to piss in.

His tenure of education has been ruinous as he tries to shore up the same corrupt broken system that Lamont wants to keep afloat.

She is right to criticise Russell but less we forget, she is also in the same leaky boat, the only difference is she is paddling in a different wrong direction to Russell.

Universities need slimmed down, the college sector needs revamped and allowed to grow, a new tier of community colleges needs set up and secondary and primary education reviewed.

Ian Graham has described universal services as "a cruel and wicked deception" which is "unsustainable" in the current circumstances.

He added:

"Johann Lamont has not dodged the hard issues. She has made some courageous statements about the sustainability of free services."

But is totally vacuous regarding fixing it.

Ms. Lamont clear has an agenda not to move into Bute House, she must want her weekends free, she can have this by step back and allowing Ken Macintosh to become leader of Scottish Labour.

Lamonts should face up to the real hard choices and that involves her stepping down as Labour leader.

She can waffle on playing the ‘concern citizen’ who shafts the poor but in the end, she is producing vote losing policies and taking Labour into a cul de sac.

Maybe if she had less of a ‘ball’ at Glasgow University we would be treated to this unimaginative crap.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

Monday, December 17, 2012

Scottish independence: Nicola Sturgeon tries to rewrite Scottish history both ancient and modern; her Herald piece on EU is a master class in babbling nonsense, she says nothing, offers nothing and Tory scaremongers, SNP Govt sinking like the Titanic




















Dear All

Scotland’s unpopular Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon is looking increasingly desperate and ineffectual in the Scottish independence debate.

If there was a prize for grasping at straws, she could be nominated; the independence campaign under her leadership has all gone sideways, not in a slide to left or the right, but in a slide straight into the political shitter.

In her Herald article she starts off by telling us that:

“Scotland is an ancient European nation”.

By that token does that mean the eastern European states which joined the EU were also ‘ancient European nations’ but they just didn’t know it, it is ludicrous to start a serious discussion playing to sentiment.

Ms. Sturgeon playing for the sympathy vote before the end of her first sentence; screams the act of someone desperate and needy.

In her case, no one is coming to help her, it’s just her, Salmond, their nasty vile poisonous clique and hangers on that will be sitting on the ‘grassy knoll’, which incidentally according to her is ancient and European and a nation.

Scots won’t be voting for the United States of Salmond.

“That simple truth, perhaps more than any other, undermines the recent ludicrous scaremongering of the anti-independence parties in relation to our place in the European family of nations”.

Sadly, Ms. Sturgeon is trying to rewrite history, both ancient and modern and failing on both counts, the Sun newspaper, courted by the SNP recently printed ‘EU Liar’, front page regarding Alex Salmond. It seems that ‘scaremongering’ if it is to be called that, is based on the truth.

So what is the truth?

The truth is that the SNP Government and the Scottish National Party have done sweet FA, absolutely sweet FA to prepare Scotland for independence or even produce a rolling blue print, in their entire history.

Salmond and Sturgeon are just making it up as they are going along from crisis to crisis, all of their own making. Jim Sillars, former SNP Deputy said that the SNP is a one man band, many people will agree with that sentiment, there isn’t the talent in the party because it is as I previous blogged, it is run as a nasty poisonous clique.

It is particularly odious in Glasgow where Nicola Sturgeon is trying to build her little ‘empire’.... with the little people.

Time for a quote; ‘it’s not where you come from but where you are going’, Bashir Ahmed.

Apparently this Sturgeon piece is the exact opposite which many in the SNP espoused, Alan Cochrane of the Telegraph says that the SNP will say anything to get what they want which is a pretty unprincipled stance.

“For centuries Scotland was an independent European country, trading with our near neighbours on the Continent. And while that long pre-dated the modern European Union, the point is this: those same trading and economic considerations mean the EU and its constituent partners will want Scotland to continue in membership”.

Assumption, and not based on fact.

The Spanish have problems, Catalonia, it isn’t in their interest to support the SNP, then there are other parts of the EU such as our Flemish cousins equally unhappy about their situation.

“Why on Earth would they not, given the huge resources and advantages that Scotland brings to the European table?”

The answer to this question is that the EU already has Scotland’s assets to draw on via the UK’s membership.

The question is what does the Scottish National Party have to bring to the table that isn’t already there?

Nothing!

“Our greatest asset as a nation always has been and always will be our people and their ingenuity, but Scotland also has enormous natural resources. And it is stretching credibility beyond breaking point to attempt to suggest, as some do, that Scotland – already an integral part of the club for four decades – would be excluded when we have such vast assets. Scotland has around 90% of the EU's oil reserves and a huge share of the Continent's renewable energy, as well as some of the richest fishing grounds in Europe”.

Again is being offered something you already have a good bargaining chip?

Ms. Sturgeon offers nothing, she has nothing, and she is willing to give up what is there by negotiating it away.

Ms. Sturgeon is a lawyer, worked and trained as a lawyer; she is making an offer on behalf of her client that offer in its entirety amounts to nothing!

“Would Brussels really want to lose such assets at a time when energy security is one of the dominating political and economic issues of the early 21st century? Would Spanish, French and Portuguese fishermen want to be blocked from fishing the lucrative waters in Scotland's sectors of the North Sea and West Atlantic?”

There is according to her no danger of that happening; didn’t Ms. Sturgeon say that Scotland’s EU membership would be automatic?

Now, lets us turn to something utter disingenuous and divorced from reality which highlights how badly out of touch Ms. Sturgeon is.

“Realpolitik is a German concept and it found perhaps one of its greatest modern expressions in the country which gave birth to the term. When the Berlin Wall fell in late 1989, few at that point would have expected a united Germany to be part of the then European Community within less than 12 months – but that is exactly what happened when German reunification took place on October 3, 1990. Overnight, East Germany, which had been subject to Communist rule for four decades, became part of the Brussels club, despite stringent rules for new members which say a functioning market economy and a well-established democracy are fundamental prerequisites for membership. Realpolitik – hard-headed political considerations – meant that the former East Germany was in.

What is so annoying about this utter fantasy version of Realpolitik is that it fails to address reality but more importantly law.

Germany is an EU member, when the Berlin wall fell, Germany increased its size by re-unification; re-unification was not a matter for the EU because it was an issue of German sovereignty.

This is quite the opposite situation in the UK with the SNP wanting Scotland to leave the UK.

The UK solely holds the EU contract; Ms. Sturgeon should know this as it is simple contract law.

Once Scotland leaves it becomes a new State and a new State according to Mr. Barroso has to apply to join the EU.

For years the SNP based their EU stance on a false premise of supposed rights citing that since Scots had been citizens for 40 years they would keep that citizenship.

That isn’t true and Ms. Sturgeon should know that isn’t true, so why is she saying this?

Some in the unionist camp may opine that Ms. Sturgeon is attempting to deceive the Scottish people. When asked would Scotland have to re-negotiate EU membership she said no.

Now her position is yes, but yes because it is under the microscope, fantasy politics had to be replaced by Realpolitik because she didn’t have a leg to stand on legally.

But EU membership for Scotland isn’t just a legal matter, it is also a political decision, the UK wasn’t allowed into the EU club for many years, being denied membership by De Gaulle.

What plans are in place if someone objects?

Nothing!  

“How much more straightforward is Scotland's case, given our 40 years of existing membership, which by definition means we already meet the required criteria. The attempts by some in the anti-independence camp to conflate the argument surrounding the East German precedent in an attempt to draw comparisons between that country and modern Scotland are truly pathetic and simply betray the utter paucity of their arguments”.

Sadly, she fails to understand that Scotland doesn’t have a membership, I am talking about law here, everything to do with membership rest solely with Westminster.

“As a joint paper published earlier this year by the Royal Society of Edinburgh and the British Academy put it: "There is no reason why an independent Scotland would fail to meet the Copenhagen criteria (the basic standards required to be eligible for EU membership, including democratic governance, the upholding of human rights and a functioning market economy). That same paper also observed that an independent Scotland's continued EU membership is "unlikely to be opposed".

What does this paper mean?

It means the same and carries as much weight as the guy standing next to you in the pub.

Now let’s look at some ‘nuts and bolts’ leaving aside some of Ms. Sturgeon’s ‘decorations’ to pad it out.

“Our consistent position – as attested to by documents published since 2007 – is that the specific terms of Scotland's continued EU membership will need to be negotiated”.

According to reports she previously said that membership would be automatic and there would be no need to negotiate. Perhaps she can’t remember what she says and when she says it, luckily for her, her unionist colleagues in the spirit of being helpful accessed the record.

“And while it is perfectly reasonable to argue that we would jointly inherit the existing UK opt-outs on the single currency and Schengen, it is nevertheless the case that on the question of the euro, for example, there is effectively a double-lock – there are other EU countries which have not adopted the single currency and have no intention of doing so, with Sweden perhaps the best example, that no nation can be forced into euro membership. And on Schengen, opting to stay out and instead co-operate with Ireland and the rest of the UK in the Common Travel Area is a justifiable proposition that, given their position in other circumstances, our EU partners would understand”.

Perfectly reasonable doesn’t mean anything in a legal sense, Scotland wouldn’t inherit any of the existing UK opt outs, this although an argument is just fantasy on her part. Since the climb down by Salmond and Sturgeon as they are busy themselves trying to re-write history, they accept negotiations will take place.

If the EU will not move its stance that new members join the Euro, what’s plan B?

There is no plan B and there is no plan A either by Ms. Sturgeon.

In grasping to anything, she highlights David Cameron who said:

"There are countries in the European Union who have no early or immediate or indeed longer-than-that prospects of joining the euro, and I think that is the important point."

That is because they are on their arse financially, and as we see in Greece and Spain, the Euro is so unstable, it is literally tearing those countries apart.

Cameron has problems in his own neck of the woods from Tory Eurosceptics who want a referendum and Britain out. So, he is forced to say what he needs to say to get breathing room.

His discomfort is hardly what Ms. Sturgeon should be betting the farm on as evidence!

And it is feeble politics to stagger into anti Tory territory rhetoric much like a Christmas Carol of the ghost of Christmas past, did she waving metal chains over this part of her piece and go ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh while making circular motions?   

"The opinion of European Commission President Barroso is important and is to be respected, as I said to Holyrood last week. However, it is by no means the only or the decisive opinion in the matter of Scotland's future in Europe".

The only opinion that Salmond listens to is his own, the SNP was a protest movement that became a political party which then became a clique, I don't see respect for the opinions of others high on Salmond's radar. 

In ending her diatribe of fantasy, anti Tory rhetoric and the ‘Devine right of Salmondism’, Ms. Sturgeon is in no danger of usurping JK Rowling as a writer of fiction as she attempts to weave fact and fantasy and appear ‘perfectly reasonable’.

We have seen the ghost of Christmas past, we have seen the ghost of Christmas present and Scots will have a pretty good idea of what the ghost of Christmas future has in store for Ms. Sturgeon.

Her future is that her goose is cooked.

Maybe she should go back to health and kick Tiny Tim’s crutch away, then write another diatribe of that what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger!

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Scottish independence: Scotland’s gormless and inept Justice Minister Kenny MacAskill’s bungling leads to Lawyers pull out of vital legal aid scheme; MacAskill tries to escape the Megarhi shame by denying human rights to accused poor people!
















Dear All

The campaign by lawyers against the SNP Government for trying to deny the poor access to justice continues apace.

The latest escalation sees hundreds of Edinburgh solicitors pulled out of a vital legal aid scheme; this means they will take no part in the Police Station Duty Scheme for Edinburgh Sheriff Court in the first quarter of 2013.

The problem is Scotland’s inept and incompetent Justice Minister Kenny MacAskill, who is just Salmond’s crony; he is pocketing a ministerial salary while being out of his depth and out of touch.

Although Scotland hasn’t had a proper Justice Minister since 2007, this latest incompetence cannot and will not remove the stain of Megrahi from MacAskill’s record.

He carries that shame to the grave.

The Edinburgh Bar Association (EBA) has 31 firms in its and their withdrawal throws justice into chaos, Police station detainees are entitled to access to legal advice, they can only be held for a maximum of 24 hours.

This provision has to be available day or night.

No Lawyers means Police will be forced to wait to interview suspects, possibly this could result in more injustices happening; and all because MacAskill wanted to save a few miserable pennies.

It is expected as a racing certainty that other associations will climb onboard and follow the EBA example to protest at controversial plans by the Scottish Government to change legal aid.

A spokesman for the Scottish Government said:

"This action by the EBA, which seeks to put the criminal justice system at risk for the convenience of solicitors, is extremely disappointing and attacking the police station duty scheme in this way is totally unjustified."

Fuck you sycophant.

Unsurprisingly the Scottish Legal Aid Board (Slab), which runs the Police duty scheme, added that action "appears to risk damage to the justice system". Lukewarm response and trying to tread a thin line, but slightly edging towards the government, at least in public!

Cameron Tait, EBA president, said the action may cause delays in policing.

In a letter to Slab, he said:

"This is in protest at the planned expansion of contributions in criminal legal assistance and their collection. It is also a protest against the position adopted by Slab and the Justice Secretary in the public domain over these issues. This Association is of the view that Slab and the Scottish Government are making little secret of the lack of value they attach to the service which is provided to the public and to the Criminal Justice System as a whole by the independent criminal bar in Scotland."

At a recent lawyers meeting which touched on independence, they were asked who supported indy, according to reports, not a single hand in the room went up.

Not a single hand!

Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill wants those with a disposable income of £82 a week or more to pay a contribution to their legal aid, but lawyers claim this will limit access to justice.

This means an innocent person at the start of proceedings is effectively fined for being innocent.

What kind of justice is that?

Justice in the SNP Government is largely seen a joke, the idea that Scottish people looking at what is happening are going to vote for independence when MacAskill is fashioning a Justice system fit for a third world country is risible.

Mr Tait added:

"Slab and Government ministers refuse to discuss sensible alternatives for collection of summary contributions. We believe it is clear that Slab is now directing Government policy, is capable of riding roughshod over the considered views of Parliamentary Committees, and is pursuing a policy of attrition against the independent criminal bar."

As a minority government the SNP was forced to constrain their stupidity, however a majority has allowed them to show utter contempt for people and human rights, Alex Salmond has outstayed his welcome among Scots.

Some people tell me they are embarrassed when they meet new political people to tell them they are in the Scottish National Party, I can understand why.

The talent and the caliber are not there at the top, the majority has allowed this to come out.

This quote by Winston Churchill sums Kenny MacAskill rather well:

"I had hoped that we were hurling a wildcat onto the shore, but all we got was a stranded whale." 

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow university

Friday, December 14, 2012

Glee- get it right- song for people running Yes Scotland


Fresh doubt cast on SNP plans to keep the pound as Scotland’s unpopular Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon tries to cover up double U turns on the EU and pound, Salmond and Sturgeon have lost the plot totally


















Dear All

Along long time ago, I can still remember when that music used to make me smile!

And also I still remember saying and blogging that the SNP Government needed to plan for a Scottish Pound.

Given the recent driving off a cliff of the independence campaign by Alex Salmond and Nicola Sturgeon, it appears that George Laird is right again.

When Alex Salmond and co decided that they won’t ‘scare the horses’ by saying people won’t notice a difference in an independent Scotland, he got the strategy wrong.

Time for a quote by Salmond:

“My problem is that I have too many talented people and not enough Cabinet positions”.

For ‘talent’ read ‘cronies’ and now we are seeing how unprepared, lacking in vision and forward thinking the SNP Government actually is, double U turn on Europe served with side orders of untrustworthiness and a garnished deception.

So, up pops Mark Allen, he says that an independent Scotland would need to create its own currency rather than enter a monetary union with the UK.

If Scotland is ever to become independent then it cannot surrender fiscal sovereignty to London.

Mark Allan, has gave advice to the Monetary Policy Committee, he is questioning the SNP's plans to keep the pound in a briefing paper for investors issued by the global asset management giant.

Fair enough, how can investors have confidence when the Scottish Government cannot guarantee anything?

At present Scotland’s unpopular Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon is trying to put the genie back in the bottle, a genie called incompetence, she is failing, in her attempt she roped in other SNP Ministers to support her stance which is bogus and unsubstantiated crap.

Ms. Sturgeon said an independent Scotland would have to negotiate with the EU on the euro, border controls and keeping a share of Britain's cash rebate. As to the rebate, Scotland isn’t entitled to a share because the contract is with Westminster, and any discussions on that must include them, and they aren’t going to give that up.

 The AXA report by Allen said:

"An independent Scotland almost certainly means a new currency."

George Laird right again!

Allen also highlights issues over national debt running into billions, and the fact that there is North Sea oil production falling.

The SNP put a lot of store in oil buoying them up and talk of an oil fund which seems bizarre, not in the concept but on the execution since the financial arrangements haven’t been set to see whether an oil fund like Norway is possible.

If we are talking about an oil fund, we are talking about a higher taxation Scotland under the SNP.

Yesterday saw another SNP claim bite the dust as the Bank of England dismissed the SNP claim of dialogue with Holyrood over a possible sterling zone.

Alex Salmond is making his Ministers look like buffoons with his untenable positions on several issues.

 Mr Allan claimed:

"First Minister Alex Salmond said an independent Scotland would continue using sterling, effectively giving birth to a 'sterling zone'. I doubt this will be possible."

He makes the argument that down the road the Bank of England if and it is only an if, they went along it would be under strict conditions.

He added:

"Given the Scottish Parliament already has substantial autonomy on domestic issues, if the first act of an independent Scotland was to surrender almost all fiscal sovereignty to London in order to continue using sterling, one could reasonably ask: what was the point of independence”?

So, again, we are getting questions about Salmond’s integrity as he faced questions on his plan to join a currency union his spokesman has declined to give details of the contacts or what questions had been asked.

Apparently ordinary Scots are viewed as too stupid to know by the SNP Government.

 A spokesman for the pro-UK Better Together campaign said the AXA document "concludes that the case for independence is nonsensical and the case for staying together with the rest of the UK is strong".

 Scottish LibDem leader Willie Rennie said:

"This report highlights the idiosyncrasy of the SNP's fiscal policy for an independent Scotland, whereby a fiscal stability pact would mean spending decisions could be controlled by a foreign bank."

Another day and more disastrous news which will lead many in the independence campaign to conclude that Alex Salmond and Nicola Sturgeon have played the people and them for fools.

Nicola Sturgeon in a video said something along the lines, 'don’t wake up the day after independence vote and ask if there was something more you could have done.’ 

I would say to her, like you done at health leaving 1,000 cancer patients up shit creek!

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Scottish independence: Bank of England denies talks have been held with SNP over currency, how much longer will this stupidity by the SNP Government go on; independence needs to be built on trust, Salmond and Sturgeon are a liability to indy campaign
















Dear All

With the SNP’s EU debacle taking centre stage as Scotland’s unpopular Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon tries desperately to find a foothold, there is also another equally damaging issue of trust in the SNP Government looming.

The Bank of England has now denied entering a dialogue with the Scottish Government over its plans for an independent Scotland to form a currency union with the UK.

Is monetary union important?

Yes, absolutely and it appears yet again that Alex Salmond and Nicola Sturgeon hasn’t done the work.

Yet again assumption by SNP Ministers is that they will ask for something and therefore they will get everything they want.

In an embarrassing development, the Bank of England hasrejected comments by SNP Finance Secretary John Swinney who said the Government had been involved in a "very helpful dialogue" with the Bank over the Nationalists' key policy to keep the pound.

There has according to the Bank been no dialogue.

Mr Swinney said he had been in contact with the Bank as he gave evidence to the House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee on Tuesday. The upshot of this is his remarks were interpreted as the start of talks between the Scottish Government and the Bank.

Very quickly, the Bank of England has moved to counter by saying:

"The Bank of England did no more than answer technical questions from representatives of the Scottish Government. We have not entered a dialogue about the possibility of changing monetary arrangements for Scotland in future."

As we are seeing, the independence campaign and the Scottish Government are falling apart; the trust has gone in both.

You could say that the independence campaign hasn’t started yet, because the SNP hasn’t managed to work out the ground rules which need to be firmly based in transparency and trust.

The SNP Government wants an independent Scotland to enter a currency union with the rest of the UK to keep the pound, that as an idea seems fine, but what if they say no?

What if the EU demands Scotland joins the Euro?

Where’s the plan McB?
The whole independence campaign is a vacuum of no substance, people campaigning for independence don’t actually know what proposition they are campaigning for, and neither does Salmond or Sturgeon.

Independence demands a special campaign unlike the SNP has ever done, and as we see each week, its crap founded on crap.

SNP claim it would be welcomed into a new "sterling zone".

Where is the agreement from Westminster?

There is none, its assumption presented as fact.

Another badly handled aspect of this Sterling debacle is that SNP Ministers believe an independent Scotland would be entitled to a seat on the Bank of England's monetary policy committee.

To which an answer has come back in the shape of ‘piss off, you’re getting nothing’.

If and it is only an if that Scotland gets monetary union with England, Scots can’t set their own interest rates and no guarantee on lender of last resort either has been established.

Critics of the plan claim it would leave an independent Scotland with less influence over macro-economic policy than it enjoys at present.

Westminster because of our present set up has to cope with a few niceties in that regard.
  
Addressing the Lords committee, Mr Swinney said the Scottish Government had been in a "very helpful dialogue" with the Bank about plans for monetary union.

He insisted the "points raised by the bank" would "inform the model we bring forward".

Asked by Labour peer Lord Hollick why the Bank of England should act as lender of last resort to a foreign country, he said:

"It would be of interest to the Bank because the Scottish economy would be contributing to the sterling zone."

Labour's Shadow Scottish Secretary Margaret Curran claimed Mr Swinney had been "economical with the truth".

She said:

"He tried to mislead not just the House of Lords but the people of Scotland when he claimed he was in dialogue with the Bank on an independent Scotland keeping the pound. The Bank of England has now made clear that no such dialogue has taken place”.

Curran added:

"They misled the people of Scotland on whether they had EU advice. They misled the people of Scotland on our membership of the European Union. Now John Swinney has joined Nicola Sturgeon and Alex Salmond in wilfully misleading the people of Scotland on something as basic as the currency we should have."

This continue theme of opposition parties about the lack of honesty of SNP Ministers making claims which turn out to be untrue must stop.

Alex Salmond and co think they are being very clever with the English language as they seek to change their story citing everyone has got it wrong this is what they really meant.

Poll after poll sees the people of Scotland turning away from them as the no vote becomes more solid, I expect it to grow because at it heart there are several issues that need addressed which never were.

The campaign for Scottish independence is on course to fail; this is because of Alex Salmond and Nicola Sturgeon.

What has happened up till now has been a disgrace; there is no joined up thinking between the SNP, SNP Government and Yes Scotland.

Scotland’s unpopular Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon is the ‘independence chief’, in 2014; her failures will raise questions whether she should be leader of the SNP when Alex Salmond steps down.

Personally the thought of Sturgeon and her nasty little clique run the SNP will see support for the party drop like a stone, Sturgeon is an analogue politician in a digital age, she isn’t a solution; she is part of the problem.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

The Housemartins - Happy Hour ....... don't believe her!


Scottish independence: President Jose Manuel Barroso may snub Scotland’s unpopular Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, ‘not tonight dear members only’!




















Dear All

It appears that my assertion that the EU may blow out the SNP over EU talks regarding independence may prove correct.

After President Jose Manuel Barroso made his statement that Scotland if it leaves the UK would be a third country and therefore must apply as a new state to join the EU, the SNP have been fighting a losing damage limitation action.

Scotland’s unpopular Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced she would seek ‘urgent talks’ with the EU.

Barroso’s position is difficult because he must not appear to be involving himself in the internal matters of the UK, that isn’t his role or the role of the Commission regarding independence.

At present, President Jose Manuel Barroso may snub talks with Nicola Sturgeon.

What can he say to her other than point her in the direction of the rules?

Pretty much nothing, this is a dog and pony show so that Nicola Sturgeon can appear effective but the truth is, on this issue she is in the wrong along with the entire SNP Government.

Whatever guff Salmond says they all fall in line and parrot the most outrageous rot.

So, the EC's top official will not respond to the Deputy First Minister's request for several days as he weighs up the request and presumably have a look at the lay of the land. If he says yes, then other people like Catalonia will demand talks, then there is the Flemish question to be considered.

It’s a can of worms; the safe option is to not open the can.

Brussels regards the request for talks by the Scottish Government as "political."

That being the case, it looks like Ms. Sturgeon will not be getting her daily dose of publicity seeking from Europe, which is a shame because the Christmas markets in Belgium are said to be pretty good. And she could also take an entourage with her to try and create the impression that she is a future world leader like her boss does.

In a letter sent on Monday, Ms Sturgeon called for urgent talks with President Barroso after declaring he was wrong to suggest a newly independent Scotland would have to apply for EU membership and negotiate conditions with other Members states.

What is Nicola Sturgeon’s EU experience?

Sod all it appears, perhaps she was relying on her legal eagle experience sharpened in Drumchapel Law Centre.

If so, she is onto plums, the position is only not clear for idiots; it’s a simple contract issue at its heart, despite the SNP bogus claims of things not being clear.

Sturgeon wanted face-to-face talks, face saving talks in fact to cover up the fact that Alex Salmond and the SNP never bothered their arse to do the work they should have done.

The idea that Barroso would want to listen to Ms. Sturgeon’s inane drivel as she presses the SNP's claim that an independent Scotland would remain in the EU and inherit crucial UK opt-out on the euro single currency and Schengen free travel area will certainly not appeal to him and raises problems.

Mark Gray, a spokesman for President Barroso, said:

"The President has made clear throughout he was not dealing with a specific situation, be that Scotland or Catalonia or anywhere else."

An EC source said:

"Holding talks would be a political question in itself, we cannot pre-empt his decision."

And with the Spanish situation on his own doorstep pressing, he doesn’t want to go down as the man who started the disintegration of member states.

Barroso should send her homeward to think again!

He can do nothing and he can agree nothing, the sooner the SNP kills this story the better, SNP members must be getting embarrassed how utterly incompetent this SNP Government has become under Salmond and Sturgeon’s leadership.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Scottish independence: Alex Salmond gets slapped down hard by Barroso over EU membership claims; Salmond’s lost the plot as Nicola Sturgeon tries face saving exercise, its game over!




















Dear All

It seems that the weight of public opinion and international opinion is pretty damning, Scotland if it leaves the UK will also lose EU membership.

The SNP position is that Scotland would after separation remain a member, sadly, law doesn’t work that way.

Alex Salmond and Nicola Sturgeon articulate that since we have been EU citizens for 40 years that automatically continues.

But let us look at this scenario, if the UK leaves the EU; that would mean Scotland leaves the EU. The argument put forward by nationalists re 40 years of citizenship wouldn’t matter in law. This also means if Scotland leaves the UK, our membership automatically ceases to exist.

Alastair Darling, the Labour MP and Better together says it could takes years to sort out and with the president of the European Commission Jose Manuel Barroso saying one part of a member state, like the UK, became a separate country then it would have to apply to join the international club.

Rather than accepting the facts, Scotland’s unpopular Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon wants urgent talks, she will get nowhere, the EU will not open negations with SNP Ministers before Scotland became independent because it would be tampering with the internal matters of the UK.

And foreign policy is reserved to Westminster.

Nicola Sturgeon cannot deliver anything on this matter, it is wasted effort and quite frankly embarrassing, no means no.

Barroso comments are a huge blow to Alex Salmond who has repeatedly insisted Scotland would remain in the EU if it was independent. This latest debacle is one in a series of policy statements which people are now questioning seriously.

We can’t get in as an independent country unless we are independent first.

Mr Barroso rejected SNP claims that talks over Scotland’s terms of membership would take place from “within” the EU, arguing that legally it would be an entirely new state. So the Sturgeon position is nonsense, it is a dog and pony show, completely meaningless and devoid of substance.

We all know that a go-it-alone nation would have to negotiate its terms of entry from scratch.

That means several issues pop up like the euro, the Schengen free movement agreement, and Margaret Thatcher’s rebate.

We are not legally entitled to the rebate that is a deal between Westminster and the EU.

Conservative leader Ruth Davidson said:

“Alex Salmond’s assertions and attempts to hoodwink people have now been laid bare for all to see.”

Prime Minister David Cameron yesterday said the president’s intervention was “significant” and Mr Salmond could not “have his cake and eat it”.          

Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said SNP ministers did not agree with the president’s view and called for “early talks” with the commission.

What are they legally bound to talk about?

She added:

“We have always said that the specific terms of Scotland’s continued EU membership as an independent nation will be negotiated.”

I think people will remember the SNP position as Scotland will remain in the EU and negotiate terms from within.

What a climb down and backtracking from Nicola Sturgeon now.

Labour constitution spokeswoman Patricia Ferguson said:

“The consequences of having to reapply to join the EU and losing the UK opt-outs could mean an independent Scotland adopting the euro and having to set up border controls with England.”

When this issue popped up, the SNP was quick to claim that it was part of a “fabricated story”, now we see that this “fabricated story” is as solid as the Rock of Gibraltar. Rather than establishing facts, the SNP jumped the gun only to end up look like fools again.

As Alex Salmond famously said:

“My problem is that I have too many talented people and not enough Cabinet positions”.

A whole Cabinet and they can’t understand a contract!

It’s time to drop the charade and move on, this battle has been lost, continuing only makes the SNP Government seem more devious and untrustworthy in the eyes of the public, they have been told third party, in the eyes of the people, the proposition has been established.

We leave the UK; we aren’t EU members anymore and must re-apply from scratch.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University