Friday, February 21, 2014

Liam O’Hare who was removed as a Youth Engagement Officer for Scottish indy gets support from Union leaders and reform groups, since when is “f*ck the Police” a political view, Glasgow City Council gets it right to remove him from the neutral post

Dear All

I have in the past given Glasgow City Council run by the Labour Party a bit of flak, and probably will in future if I think it is called for.

That being said, Glasgow City Council is right to pulling funding for its electoral registration youth engagement officer because of the political opinions of the post's holder!

Although Union leaders and reform groups have condemned the axing of a post encouraging teenagers to vote in the referendum, the person Liam O'Hare is not suited to the post.

If you hold a post such as this you can’t say 'F*** the cops' after you are appointed to the position.

A city council spokeswoman said:

"It is simply not appropriate for someone who is employed to engage with young people to say 'F*** the cops' on a publicly accessible forum and made after his appointment with Bite the Ballot. We would not accept this from our own employees and will not accept this from a consultant."

He is the person who caused his own downfall.

It is a bit like standing for elected public office, when you get in you have to moderate your language.

That’s the deal.

O’hare interestingly is part of a London-based organisation called ‘Bite the Ballot’.

Maybe he should have bit the bullet on his swearing.

So, do union leaders and reform groups have a case, in this instance, no, they don’t.

The referendum needs to be above reproach as do people playing an active role in whatever capacity.

Saying ‘f*ck the Police’ isn’t a political opinion.   

Details of Liam O'Hare's comments on social media sites were published last week.

He also took the time to include branding the Tories as "scum" and taking part in a an infamous demonstration against Ukip last year which was splattered all over the papers.

On Facebook page, O’hare’s was reported to have included comments about the Union flag as "that blood-stained imperialist flag".

When the storm broke, Glasgow City Council moved rather quickly to distance themselves from O'Hare.

I find the open letter signed by Unite's Scottish secretary Pat Rafferty, NUS Scotland president Gordon Maloney and Willie Sullivan, director of the Electoral Reform Society Scotland to be odd as they accused the council of discrimination.

They added:

"With the Scottish independence referendum approaching, and particularly with 16 and 17-year-olds being eligible to vote for the first time, it is essential that young people are provided with the correct information on the voting procedure. The Youth Engagement Officer was set to visit every school in Glasgow over the coming months as well as engaging with universities, colleges and youth groups. The fact that funding has been pulled due to a political campaign by a tabloid newspaper is frankly unacceptable”.

Actually, it was a news story and in the public interest, no one forced O’Hare once appointed to continue his diatribe against people he disliked.

He did that all by himself.

They also said:

"In a democratic society, everyone has a right to hold personal political opinions and unless there is evidence that these have affected the integrity of their work then action should not be taken. This simply amounts to discrimination."

Since when is saying, “f*ck the Police” a political view?

O’hare is a Yes campaigner and connected to Radical independence, although that doesn’t disqualify him from the post of Youth Engagement Officer, his views after taking up the post do.

In this case, Glasgow City Council got it right.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University


Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

spot on as usual George

Anonymous said...

good article George, I have no opinion one way or the other on his removal.