Friday, September 30, 2016

What represents Leadership in the modern Labour Party, people charting their own course are seen as leaders when in fact they are just functionaries pretending to be, there is no such thing as a fair weather leader, maybe the Labour Party need to learn that concept

Dear All

Do you know what leadership is?

If you look it up online you get:

‘Leadership, the action of leading a group of people or an organization, or the ability to do this’.

Now, do you know what team work is?

‘Teamwork, the combined action of a group, especially when effective and efficient’.

In politics, if helps if you have three things, leadership ability, be able to work as part of a team and last but not least have vision with and the ability to adapt.

The big Labour Councils in Scotland decided that being part of Cosla, the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities was a bad thing and detrimental to their areas. So, South Lanarkshire, Glasgow, Aberdeen and Renfrewshire wanted to go their own way, at the time, I thought this was unusual.

Now, we have Eddie McAvoy, Labour leader of South Lanarkshire, saying there "may be merit" in his authority rejoining Cosla.

So, is McAvoy failing to demonstrate teamwork or is McAvoy demonstrating leadership?

Have a think about this and see what answer you come up with!

Scottish Labour in the past has had a rather bad habit of pushing through ideas at various levels in local government only to do rather embarrassing U turns, the one that really sticks with me is former MSP Paul Martin wanting to scrap hospital parking charges brought in under Labour PFI schemes. Now when in opposition he was outrage the charges he helped bring in affecting people actually affected people.

Why was it right to bring in PFI charges in the first place then wrong later on?

Was Paul Martin MSP demonstrating leadership by bring the charges in or leadership for campaigning to get rid of them, did he demonstrate teamwork both campaigning for and later against the thing which he supported?

At present the Labour Party has just come through a very bad leadership contest which solved nothing, Jeremy Corbyn is still the leader as the membership decided rightly to back him over Owen Smith.

I voted for Jeremy Corbyn, it wasn’t on policy or on him as an individual, it was the underhanded manner of 172 Labour MPs who decided as a group that members didn’t matter and that they had the ‘right’ to get rid of a duly elected leader.

Did the 172 Labour MPs who were part of what was termed by some ‘the coup’ demonstrate leadership?

Did Labour member Michael Foster who went to court to knock Jeremy Corbyn off the ballot paper was he demonstrating leadership?

At various levels of the Labour Party, post Corbyn victory there have been calls for unity, but the reality is although there is talk to unite the party, the party isn’t united, there isn’t a strategy all the way up and down the line.

So, why is Eddie McAvoy, Labour leader of South Lanarkshire breaking ranks with Glasgow, Aberdeen and Renfrewshire?

He and others decided on a course of action, remain united, now it seems that the commitment to that concept appears to be deserting him.

In 2017, there are the council elections, after suffering defeat after defeat, the Labour Party in some quarters appear to be planning for defeat, which begs the question, what type of leadership is that being demonstrated?

The phrase ‘managing expectations” is rather telling because it suggests that an air of doom and gloom has entered their thinking, why should people follow leaders who aren’t able to show leadership when the times go bad?

A leader should be able to function even when circumstances are adverse, it seems that some in the Labour Party think that getting elected and kicked out is part and parcel of being on a merry go round, you wait to get your turn.

In the past, the public were used to ping pong politics between the two main parties, while ping pong politics flourished the real losers were the public, with no real external competition no matter who got in the people didn’t get a choice.

The election of Jeremy Corbyn has given people in the Labour Party something that they haven’t had for some time, that thing is hope. Of course winning the leadership of the Labour Party doesn’t mean or translate as being able to win a General election. To win an election you have to have board appeal which is why I want to mention Labour MP Diane Abbott, Abbott recently decided to call Brexit voters ‘Bigots’.

Is Diane Abbott demonstrating leadership?

Is Diane Abbott demonstrating teamwork in that she is promoting the party in the best possible light to future voters?

Stop a moment and think this through.

How did Diane Abbott ever get passed as a candidate to be an MP?

If her comments were a one off, you might forgive and forget, but she has a history of saying stupid things.

Here is an article relating to her conduct:

Diane Abbott ran for the Labour leadership in 2010, the Membership marked her down as I recall Abbott was eliminated in the first round of voting after securing 7.24% of votes.

Last night on Questiontime, the columnist Rod Liddle said something rather stark about the leadership of the Labour Party, he said they live in a ‘bubble’, and they don’t give a shit about anyone’s opinions other than themselves. This is strong stuff, in Scotland, the Scottish Labour had to find out the hard way at the ballot box what failing to deliver, failing to lead actually meant, Westminster 2015 was the worst defeat in Scottish Labour history, 2016; the public sent the Scottish Labour Party another message, the worst defeat in the history of Holyrood.

We now have the Council elections of 2017 coming up, if you have been reading the blog for some time, you will know prior to me joining the Labour Party, I made a public commitment to stand as a candidate in the 2017 Council elections. 

After doing a bit of research I decided to look into the backgrounds of those who I maybe colleagues of if I get elected. I wouldn't characterise some people as demonstrating leadership something I was failed recently by the Labour Party selection.

Anyway I found this also:

Now, do I break a promise I publicly made to stand as a candidate in this election, if anyone thinks the answer is yes, then clearly they don’t know me or what leadership is.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University 

Thursday, September 29, 2016

The Great SNP Escape from Govanhill continues, unpopular SNP Leader Nicola Sturgeon abandons her office and flees as rat infestation is found in her office, what about the residents you failed to help, they can't move Nicola!!!

Out of her depth, Scotland’s unpopular First Minster Nicola Sturgeon is rebuffed by Westminster as they lay down the law, No special migration deal for Scotland following Brexit vote, UK acts swiftly to prevent fears of mini migrant crisis developing in UK, Sturgeon is incapable of leadership

Dear All

When the historic vote on the membership of European Union took place, unpopular Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP backed the unelected and unaccountable EU elite who are firmly in the pockets of the large corporations and big business.

What was the Brexit vote about, this is an issue being looked at by the London School of Economics, the symptom are well known such as immigration, EU corruption, EU red tape, all just symptoms.

The real issue is sovereignty.

Sovereignty isn’t just a matter for the UK, this is fast becoming the number one topic in Europe; already there is talk about a new reform vision of Europe. In places like Austria, the issue of national identity is starting to find an audience, in France, the issue has traction, in Germany; Angela Merkel by her own stupidity has lost the goodwill of the German people and her party voters and seats in various elected bodies.

Europe is set for change, in Scotland, we have Nicola Sturgeon playing ‘catch up’ on Europe still cling to an EU dream which day by day is dying, you don’t set a nation towards a failed project like the EU, but Sturgeon is driven by dogma.

When the result of Brexit came in and the Leave campaign won hands down, the shockwaves rippled not just in Europe but in the UK, almost immediately the Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP tried to portray Scotland as voting Yes to the EU in what was a UK wide vote.

Then Nicola Sturgeon was saying that she would block Brexit as if this jumped up little irrelevant individual held any sway with the UK Government.

Even now, Sturgeon talked about a constitutional crisis over Brexit going to the UK Supreme Court as if that case had a snowball’s chance in hell.

Brexit is coming!

A minor whine of the SNP has been immigration whether it is getting full control or the minor issue of the student visa post degree work experience racket.

Anything to cause trouble seems to be the motto!

But the winds are now blowing against Sturgeon and her ilk, the UK Government has said that the SNP Government will get no special migration deal following the Brexit vote. This speaks volumes, the issue of the single market is a hot potato and the end of free movement is a central issue for the Conservatives to take on-board.

Sometime ago, I recommended that the EU needed to adopt an internal EU immigration policy, I have from time to time repeated this call, some of my other ideas such the EU wide Border Force have been adopted, people seem to be thinking along the same lines as me, except I think of it first.

Freedom of movement isn’t controlled in the EU, it ignores the needs of Members States and it impinges of sovereignty, it has to go. My position on immigration is that immigration is good; too much immigration however is bad and destroys social cohesion for all of society. The migrant crisis has been a disaster for Europe; even Merkel admits too late she got it wrong, because now her political future is on the line.

Actually Merkel has used up all her political capital, she is a liability now, already inside in her own people are turning on her.      
Nicola Sturgeon is a poorman’s Angela Merkel, she even tries to mimic her hand gestures but Sturgeon is an out and out fraud, she is a ‘hollow man’ someone in politics who has no real beliefs, other than her failed independence dream now dead and buried for at least 30 years or more.

Talk of new Scottish Independence referendum in 2018 by Alex Salmond et al all a pipe dream, a delusion and utter rubbish.

Sturgeon said in a speech that avoiding limits on migration from Europe was crucial for Scotland; a “country that has an imperative to grow our population” in order to deal with a skills gap in its workforce and an ageing population.

As to the skills gap, the SNP had damaged the prospects of indigenous people to get skills as the cuts to the college sector clearly show, The SNP apparently wanted to grow Scotland’s population by 1 million people, one person in every six would be a foreigner. There aren’t the jobs, housing, and infrastructure to support the SNP immigration plans.

If Scotland is flooded by cheap unskilled labour, then the problems of Europe will be not a distance memory in a faraway land, but right on our doorstep, will Scotland be the Scotland we know?

No, it would be utterly destroyed.

SNP civic nationalism is a fraud;, it is about telling people who are not Scots that by Nicola’s magic wand she grants them citizenship, a tactic of the regressive left to form voter caches.

Westminster will not bend to the SNP’s demands, they will be rejected out of hand, not even a crumb or a sop to Sturgeon but a form no; immigration must and should be a reserve matter.

This week, Sturgeon wrongly has said there was “no clear mandate for a hard Brexit,” and that retaining membership of the European single market with free movement of people appeared the “most obvious consensus position that we should try to work towards”.

Wrong on both counts, a majority of the people in a UK wide vote for Brexit; and as to freedom of movement and the single market, as I mentioned freedom of movement must end and access to the single market should not depend on being blackmailed.

Nicola Sturgeon is not a statesman, speaking of emigration; it appears that Ms. Sturgeon has decided to flee the Govanhill hellhole by crossing the psychological barrier of Cathcart Road, it wasn’t war, it wasn’t a mini migrant crisis, apparently not having fixed her slum; the place she was camped out in became rat infested.

It is laughable to me that Nicola Sturgeon should even raise the migration and control over borders in intergovernmental discussions. You have to wonder as the Westminster politicians sit there listening to her babble, on whether or not they are thinking as many do in Scotland.


You don’t give a kid matches in case they burn the house down why should Sturgeon be given control of immigration to cause a mini migrant crisis in the UK.

The SNP are a party of protest, they are not a party of government, their failure on devolved issues is clearly and widely known, I don’t see allowing Sturgeon to create an unregulated highway into the UK for migrants as being a realistic prospect.

After all you don’t as I said give a kid matches, nor would you give a drunk car keys, so why would you want to give a totally shallow hollow woman who is entirely vacuous, inept, fake, insincere and untrustworthy more power which would end up abused.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Having Fun Natalie, Glasgow East MP Natalie McGarry is charged by Police Scotland with several criminal offences relating to alleged fraud from organisations such as the SNP GRA and Women for Independence, the charges include embezzlement of funds, breach of trust and an offence under the Scottish Independence Referendum Act 2013

Dear All

There I was sitting about yesterday when a text pops up on my phone, to my surprise the text told me that Glasgow East MP Natalie McGarry had been charged by police in connection with alleged fraud.

I have said it before and I will say it again, in my opinion Natalie McGarry is unfit to be an MP, what a huge mistake unpopular Nicola Sturgeon made backing her, what a huge mistake the SNP made in selecting her.

In June 2013, I wrote a blog post about the SNP’s attempts to win over Conservatives; it wasn’t a hatchet job on her but an assessment that she was wrong.

What happened next came as a real surprise as I had never to my knowledge had a run in with her.

Natalie McGarry then decided to link my blog to a hate account run by her associate Tommy Ball who operated a twitter account called @georgemlaird.

I found this:

I've made it! At last I've been designated non-Jedi by the great sage that is @georgemlaird Want a laugh? Here ya go:

McGarry who socialised with Tommy Ball who (later ended up being convicted) tried to pass off his account as mine on the twitter social media platform. The account by Tommy Ball was all about branding me a paedophile, Ball as I mentioned in the past also attempted Identity theft.

Natalie McGarry is Nicola Sturgeon’s pal, and I was being targeted by those who surround Nicola Sturgeon, her nasty vicious southside clique.

So, we have a Nationalist MP in the shape of Natalie McGarry, her mother is or was an SNP Cllr, her auntie was the Presiding Officer at Holyrood, and the SNP is filled with many little family dynasties.

One of the things in politics that you must do is be accountable and the way to be accountable is to follow the rules to the letter, especially if there are a legal aspect or you are the custodian of finances or assets.

Natalie McGarry was part of the group which founded Women for Independence which was like many phoney little groups setup by SNP members and their allies. Having been given a title, the press put Natalie McGarry on the TV and Radio as ‘Natalie McGarry, Women for Independence’.

I faced off against her myself on BBC Radio 5 Live on ‘White Paper Day’, a truly underwhelming affair, not the BBC event but the SNP launch, my thoughts on this were explained in this blog post.

Before I forget, Nicola Sturgeon saw me that day over at Holyrood and when she saw me her head went straight down, no angry wee Nat routine towards George Laird, her feral Southside mob were doing that task.

At the close of the programme, guests get to do a final pitch, I did my pitch on trust; people didn’t trust Alex Salmond or his Government, instead of putting her own pitch, Natalie McGarry was forced to defend Salmond with a miserable reply.

I won!

Natalie McGarry ‘s tenure as an MP hasn’t been impressive, quite the opposite, everything you do and everything you say gets picked over by your opponents, and McGarry made a name for herself for all the wrong reasons. She used twitter to smear not just me, but also people as famous as JK Rowling, that didn’t go down too well. And then there was the smearing of Alistair Cameron who is a director of Scotland in Union, that incident went nuclear very quickly in the press. Natalie McGarry was forced to apologise and pay a sum of money to charity.

I never got to name Natalie McGarry in open court because Tommy Ball pled guilty to get a reduced sentence, but yesterday across the road from me at Govan Police Station Natalie McGarry has been charged by the police in connection with alleged fraud.

The criminal charges relate to a five-figure sum missing from the Women for Independence group and the SNP’s Glasgow Regional Association.

The surprise one for me is the SNP’s Glasgow Regional Association which previously McGarry was the Convenor, but when I blogged on the Cowdenbeath By-election Special, I remarked that there were some people I was told in the SNP who were rooting for a Labour victory, not just any old Nat but the real die hard division.

Natalie McGarry had imploded the SNP vote by about 50%, politics a funny old game you have to laugh.

McGarry's solicitor is Aamer Anwar, I remember this clown from my Glasgow University days, anyway he said:

"I can confirm that Natalie McGarry MP attended voluntarily with myself as her solicitor this morning at Govan Police Station”.

I like the use of the word ‘voluntarily’, it kind of implies that she had a choice in the matter, like it was a meeting of the minds and a cosy wee affair, it wasn’t!

Anwar added:   

"Following an interview, she was charged this afternoon with several alleged offences including embezzlement of funds, breach of trust and an offence under the Scottish Independence Referendum Act 2013”.

Can you feel the cosyness?

Me neither!

Anwar’s final pitch is:

"She was released and will now be the subject of a report to the Procurator Fiscal. There will be no further comment.”

The Police release people so as not to clog up the jails, and as to the “no further comment”, this is standard advice by a lawyer to keep your mouth shut.

Nicola Sturgeon who backed Natalie McGarry has said the accusations are “very serious”, well if you are charged with several alleged offences including embezzlement of funds, breach of trust and an offence under the Scottish Independence Referendum Act 2013, you can’t fault Nicola Sturgeon for stating the bleeding obvious.

I wonder if the SNP MPs will be keeping their distance now the Police have stepped up a gear or they will wrap their arms around McGarry and do a ‘she is oor Nat’ routine?

In May this year, Police Scotland began investigating a second complaint against McGarry, after the SNP’s Glasgow Regional Association reported around £4000 unaccounted for. The amount doesn’t interest me in this aspect of the case, who filed the complaint with Police Scotland; does, previously McGarry was SNP Convenor from 2011 till 2015. I remember her being installed as Convenor when the former member stepped down. Instead of thanking him for his efforts, the feeling in the room that night was to ‘bad mouth’ him by some of Nicola Sturgeon’s southside clique.

I don’t by enlarge attend court cases, when Tommy Sheridan’s was on trial I took an interest in it but never went to court to see the action unfold, if Natalie McGarry is taken to court by the Procurator Fiscal, you can be damn sure I will be attending this one!

Under the Representation of the People Act any MP jailed in the UK for more than a year is disqualified from membership of the House of Commons and their seat will be vacated.

Finally, Natalie McGarry, who was elected as the SNP member for Glasgow East in May 2015 is denying any wrongdoing.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

City heli flight explosion over the Clyde - a George Laird Production

Living in a bubble: Kezia Dugdale’s 'autonomy' plans appear to be getting passed by the Labour Conference, dire warnings are given about the death of the Scottish Labour Party in Scotland, a future George Laird article will be on the subject of ‘I told you so’ when the reforms make no difference at all to the Scottish public

Dear All

Scottish Labour will die in Scotland!

This is a pretty big statement to make but the truth is it will not, at present it is no secret that the party has and is doing very badly as I mentioned in an earlier post. Voters have dumped the party, members by enlarge won’t come out to be activists, donors don’t want to fund the party as they have previously done.

But you have to look past the symptoms and get to the main problem.

So, what is the problem?

When did the problem start?

What did Labour do to fix it?

So, let’s get started the problem is that people were selected as candidates who then became elected officials and because Labour was so dominate with huge majorities they decided that as the people’s representatives they really didn’t want to help the people.

This wasn’t just at policy level, it went right down to the individual voter who turned up at a surgery for help and if they had a time consuming complaint then they were blown off.  Unsurprisingly; the disenchanted decided to look to others; who offered to help them, every ‘dissatisfied customer’ was a voter lost and probably that of their family as well.

When did this start, decades ago, yes; some people really did fail to service their constituency for whatever reason, then came the resentment which was unleashed during the Scottish Independence Referendum. People wanted someone to blame for the failure to provide a better society, better hospitals schools, university and college access and a whole host of other social issues. In a novel approach the Scottish Labour Party simply carried on with their agenda which wasn’t the people’s agenda.

The proof is the Westminster and Holyrood results…….. wiped out!

What did Scottish Labour do to fix it, we had soundbites, soundbites that told us that things had changed things had been fixed, and blah blah blah. If Scottish Labour had been ‘fixed’ prior to the elections of 2015 and 2016, why did they lose?

We now have a proposal for Kezia Dugdale's 'autonomy' plans with the dire warning that if these plans are blocked then this could kill off Labour in Scotland.


I read somewhere that these reforms have been on the go for a decade which begs the question are these Kezia Dugdale’s reforms or are they someone else’s reforms and she is just fronting them?

Regardless who is the author, I would like to mention something which I said earlier in another post, I believe these plans are all about a push towards a federal UK system.

Some people believe that a federal UK system will save the Union. Others believe that there is a need for a new Treaty of Union.

Part of the reforms is for Scotland to have undemocratic representation on the Labour Party NEC, which means Scottish voters don’t get a vote.

One of the ways to kill off a party is if members feel they are excluded from democracy within the party they are a member of, I agree with Unite boss Len McCluskey, who is an ally of Jeremy Corbyn that seats should be elected democratically by Labour members.

When Johann Lamont said she was leaving as leader of Scottish Labour, it created a stir, on the way out the door; she said that London Labour were treating Scotland like a "branch office". Labour MP Ian Murray said that her comment had "completely destroyed" the party north of the Border, I disagree what Lamont said was badly said, it was a symptom of the problem that Scottish Labour had built up for themselves for decades.

Kezia Dugdale after her two major defeats of 2015 and 2016 said Labour’s problems didn’t happen overnight but had built up over decades.

Under the proposed changes the Scottish Labour Party would be in charge of Westminster candidate selection in Scotland and policy for the first time, I have no problem with the candidate selection part as long as it doesn’t discriminate, but the part on policy is wrong, the bottom line is this, you cannot serve two masters.

If a Scottish Candidate is told to be anti-Trident by Kezia Dugdale and the Westminster whips need them to be pro Trident in a voting lobby this means a Labour Westminster Government would have to rely on ‘others’ such as the Tory opposition to get UK defence plans approved.

If the Labour Party in Scotland thinks that mimicking the SNP is the road back to power then someone is seriously deluded, what goes up must come down, in this case with Scottish Labour falling, they still have a long way to go down if they carry on acting like it is business as usual.

For the avoidance of doubt, these reforms may make a section of the Labour Party in Scotland ‘happy’ but in a wider sense out on the ground face to face with a voter they are meaningless.

People aren’t voting Labour in the same numbers as they did in the past because a middle class university educated or trade union candidate was approved in London.

They aren’t voting because they have been utterly failed on issues such as lack of housing, education apartheid of the poor, lack of social mobility, introduction of bedroom tax, the discrimination of the disabled by the DWP, lack of jobs, bad decisions on PFI, bad candidates who ripped the piss out of voters and a whole host of other little gems.

Before I forget, there is a pre-Turkey project in the pipeline which in the past was called GARL which is a vanity project and huge waste of money, killed off previous by the SNP Government, Scottish Labour is backing it apparently despite a previous report that it would be a colossal waste of public money and be underused by the public.

If anyone had any brains they would ditch this scheme, but stay tuned, stupidity may find a way to push it on to us!  

So, the ‘problem’ is solvable but that requires real effort, the first thing is to rebuild the party in Scotland, so far nothing has been done on that, so far there isn’t much about policy change coming from the Scottish Labour Party other than this ‘fluff’.

I wonder how you stand on a doorstep and sell to a voter that person who didn’t represent you when you want help last time is the best person for your vote on the basis they were selected in Scotland and they are local.

On a doorstep you get all kinds of reactions from voters……. and fuck off is one of them.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

Monday, September 26, 2016

Charge, the cgi war scene- a George Laird Production

Dear All

Have you ever been given a task or had to learn something and hadn't a scoobie?

I got myself Photoshop to help me learn about set extensions, set extensions are a way of enhancing your scene in a movie when you can't afford to build the real thing like actual sets which are expensive. So, I created this set extension picture as a learning project and then afterwards thought I wouldn't mind using it in a clip.

I brought the picture into after effects and added in some fire and smoke assets, then I thought, I wouldn't mind some sort of action, so I got what is called an obj sequence which when animated gives the impression of movement. An Obj sequence can be used in various software programmes then rendered out, but if you don't get the position right you have to scrap it and start back at the drawing board.

As luck would have it I used a plug in, in after effects which allowed me to put the animation where I wanted it, then created a 3d camera to fine tune the position of the troops as they charged across the field. I then created what is called an obscure matte so that the troops appear to be behind the big rock on the right side which gives the illusion of depth.

Then using keyframes, I animated what is called the Z position to move the troops forward which gives the appearance that they are running along charging towards an enemy, the obj sequence only gives them the ability to move on the same spot, key framing and the Z position allows them forward motion, hence you see them running across.

The sound was a clip which I found online which was an MP4 sound clip converted to be an MP3 clip which found on youtube some time ago.

For ages, I was stumped using photoshop then I went to a website that sells matte paintings, watch their videos and others and something just clicked, I am not an expert but at least I have a better understanding then I previously did.

Everyone should try and learn something through-out their life just to keep up with technology, you never know when it might come in useful.

Anyway, hope you enjoy the clip.


Going, Going, Gone, high profile former Westminster Candidate Braden Davy defects to the Scottish Conservatives citing the Labour Party is ‘weak’ on Scottish independence, after Kezia Dugdale said she could support independence voters left, activists don’t want to come out and key donors aren’t funding the party, I think that could be classed as a major mistake which will come back to further haunt the party

Dear All

During the EU referendum, I fought on the side of the Vote Leave campaign; in fact I attended the launch in the Central Station Hotel in Glasgow where a UK Government Minister gave a brief talk.

The event was reasonably well attended considering it was setup on the hoof, there were a couple of other speakers, Tom Harris, the ex Labour MP was the person in charge in Scotland for Vote Leave.

Prior to the launch taking place, I had been campaigning in Glasgow helping to found and setup the Glasgow Street stall, I was specifically asked to attend this event because one of the core people wanted my input as a campaigner.

The first day, I turned up, the work rate went through the roof, previously years ago I used to be; Glasgow SNP’s top activist, I was pretty well known as a campaigner. Afterwards, I gave the person running the event my take on what they were doing, what needed to be changed and future ideas for the stall on Buchanan Street; I was doing most of the talking at that meeting. Later on after the meeting ended the person who asked me to help thanked me for my efforts, both on the day and the advice afterwards, because it wasn’t their speciality. 

Once up and running, the Buchanan Street stall churned out thousands of leaflets each week to the Glasgow public, new people turned up to join in, and the event was gaining momentum. In fact the biggest success story of Leave Campaigning in Glasgow was the street stall which one PhD student who had campaigned in Kent said was much better run and more professional.     
At Buchanan Street stall, the press popped by in various guises from home and aboard, the public certainly did, and so did the opposition in the shape of the Labour Party and the SNP. In areas were people adopted my campaigning methods in the City of Glasgow, the Vote Leave share was over 40%. My area of Pollok had the second highest Leave vote in Glasgow at 40.8%; for the most part I did all the heavy lifting myself but I did organise and plan a day for some visitors. In other areas where people didn’t follow my methods of campaigning, the vote hovered around the 30% mark and even dropped as low as 20% in Glasgow North. 

So, you might ask why the difference?

At the Glasgow launch, I stood up to speak, where I pointed out the stark realities of life, there was a lack of time, people and resources, therefore I suggested that a traditional campaign wouldn’t be possible and that to generate the highest vote possible, certain activities which had a low yield of contact with the voters might need to be abandoned. If you check the results and percentages you will see….. George Laird right again!

Incidentally politics isn’t that hard to do, I find it quite easy when it comes to campaign planning, referendums aren’t the same as elections and to that end you have to treat them differently, for a start there is no ‘candidate’ in a local area. Next up you find that pre-organisation is generally lacking which means no ground operation until what is termed the short campaign is up and running. Depending on the issue; you maybe thrown together with people who any other day of the week you would be politically attacking on a whole range of issues!

Vote Leave had people from the Labour Party, SNP and the Scottish Conservatives’; Ukip weren’t included which led them to run their own operation in Scotland. Then you have other organisations such as Leave. EU which really did understand what I had been trying to get across to Vote Leave at the Glasgow launch.

The Assistant Director of Vote Leave in Scotland was Braden Davy, he was a previously a staffer for the office of Anne Begg who was a Labour MP in Aberdeen. As well as being a staffer, he stood against Alex Salmond in the Gordon constituency. One of the things that political parties like to do is ‘try’ people out in no hope constituencies and see how they do, no surprise but Braden Davy lost.

So, after a really bad Scottish independence referendum, the Scottish Labour Party found itself in the nightmare of Westminster 2015, lost all but one seat in Scotland. Then comes Holyrood 2016 election, another disaster of biblical proportions for the party and to add a cherry to the cake, 23rd June was the Brexit vote, Labour was on the wrong side of the argument again.

Having done Brexit as Assistant Director of Vote Leave in Scotland, Braden Davy has decided to ditch the Scottish Labour Party and defect to the Scottish Conservatives. Davy has cited party’s perceived softness on independence, which might be a reference to Kezia Dugdale saying she could see herself vote for Scottish independence. This comment which she might have seen as a way to reach out to Labour voters who backed indy was to backfire rather badly on her. Unionist Labour voters dumped Scottish Labour and voted Conservative which is why there are two Conservative list MSPs in Glasgow now.

Oh and the ‘biggie’, the Scottish Labour Party is now the third party in Holyrood.

So, is there any silver lining for the Labour Party out this defection to the Scottish Conservatives?

Before I forget, Braden Davy said that there are more people in Scottish Labour who are going to defect to the Scottish Conservatives, I have seen no evidence if that is the case, and generally I would say at a push given what are the elected representatives at present, don’t see any of them jumping ship unless it is to the SNP! 

If there is any crumb of comfort from this wee story, it is that Braden Davy isn’t a very good political campaigner or strategist in my opinion. During the Vote Leave campaign, Davy wanted to enact a system for data collection which was so ‘time consuming’ to be a fool’s errand. If you don’t campaign, let me fill you in, a typical day of campaigning is a two hour slot, if you go canvassing you may if lucky manage to talk to about 20 to 30 people per hour and that is really pushing it to an extreme. So, in a session you might talk to 40 people over the two hours which isn’t very many in the way of contacts or even having a meaningful conversation. At Buchanan Street stall, one person managed to hand out about 900 leaflets in a three hour period, basically one every 12 seconds.

If you do the arithmetic, what is better, maybe 60 people in a three hour stint or 900 people in the same time frame?

When Braden Davy decided he wanted to push ahead with his voter id nonsense, the people on the ground in Glasgow and elsewhere weren’t happy, it was independently decided by some groups to dump voter id as a means of campaigning. I would also say to go back to something I wrote earlier, in areas where people used my campaign methods the vote was over 40%.

It seems that Braden Davy hasn’t been happy with Scottish Labour for sometime, and given the state of the party at present, perhaps he sees no chance electorally of getting into public office, especially at Westminster and Holyrood level. Earlier this year, the Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale was rejected by the voters in her area by a rather large margin, in Pollok former Labour leader was rejected by voters by similarly a rather large margin as well. 

When Davy stood as a candidate his election leaflet said:

“Only Labour can stop the Tories.”

It also stated: 

“In Gordon, the only way to make sure the Tories don’t form the next Government is to vote Scottish Labour.”

Its just rhetoric that you get on election leaflets which is why so many people get turned off when they get a leaflet pushed through their door.

One tweet which he stuck up on twitter was a tad risky; he tweeted next to a picture of Labour-supporting transvestite Eddie Izzard sarcastically:

“I just don’t understand why Labour can’t connect to the working class anymore.”

Personally I don’t think the reason is anything to do with Eddie Izzard more to do with a perceived lack of representation by those who were put into power who subsequently failed to hold up their end of the bargain when a constituent sought help. If you piss off a lot of people don’t be surprised when they turn their back on you when you need their help in return, what goes around comes around. 

To return to the Scottish Independence question, Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale was rightly criticised during the campaign after saying it was “not inconceivable” she could back independence if it secured Scotland’s place in the EU.

What possessed her to say this is beyond me, but there have been consequences which haven’t stopped rippling yet, the party ended up fighting a losing battle to hold onto second place at Holyrood and also helped the Tories who benefited by a huge margin which wasn’t down to anything other that the mistake by Kezia Dugdale.

A Ratner’s moment! 

Just as the voters have done a runner, so have other people, such as members failing to come out and be activists, but also there might be a cash crisis down the line as people like Alan Massie, a party donor have said Dugdale has to “do more” to back the Union.

Kezia Dugdale has since written a piece in a daily newspaper opposing a second independence referendum but is that enough, if you are saying you stand for one thing and the next minute you change your mind, people wonder about your credibility. As I said in earlier posts, Kezia Dugdale made a mistake backing Owen Smith, she then made a mistake saying Jeremy Corbyn couldn’t win an election; she has since backtracked on this statement in a short period of time as well. And then she has her own troubles as the momentum crowd in Scotland want her gone as leader, if she does badly in the Council elections in 2017, the pressure will be on for her to step down as leader.

A spokesman for the Scottish Conservatives said:

"The message sent to Labour during the Scottish election was clear, they are very much now a bit-part player. Now, with more people leaving Labour to come to us, we're in a better position than ever to be the strong opposition people elected us to be."

I don’t know about you but I would think that Scottish Labour should seriously think twice about rejecting me as a candidate for public office, I seem to have the uncanny knack for getting things right. This isn’t a sales pitch to those Labour members who read the blog or the staffers who may or not trot by scanning the blog for information on the George Laird view; I would say it is about facing reality.

The reality is this, there isn’t much difference between the Scottish Labour Party, the SNP, the Scottish Conservatives or the Lib Dems which is why people can so easily move from party to party. 

After being rejected by Scottish Labour, I have had two offers of help if I wish to stand for public office as an independent, one organisation previously supplied people to help Labour candidates. The other offer is to be involved in the setting up of a group for people who wish to stand as independents for Glasgow City Council in 2017. 

Apparently I am if I wish to be, the campaign director and a candidate of this new organisation, this is a real dilemma, do I stay as a Labour Party member delivering leaflets or do I take a campaign director's role and candidate’s position?

Finally, the Scottish Conservatives may think because Davy has a good CV which ticks several boxes, middle class, uni, staffer, assistant director, Royal Navy Reserve etc etc and that they have picked up a 'bargain', actually the reality is that they haven’t, yes, folks it is really is pig in a poke time, but they just don’t know it yet. 

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University 

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Friday, September 23, 2016

The War is On: Labour hopes of power could hinge on a Tory deal as polling figures show council election meltdown for the Labour Party in Glasgow, in local news, trust is an issue for Glasgow Labour as internal Party documents are leaked to the press, if you didn’t know better, you might think someone is sabotaging the party for an SNP win

Dear All

If someone in the Scottish Labour Party had said about a decade ago that a current Glasgow City Council Labour Group would jump into bed with the Tories you would have thought that you have lost your mind.

Some time ago in a chat with a Conservative, we ended up talking about the Glasgow Council Elections and he said to me given the success of Holyrood 2016 and the rise in the Conservative vote in the City, he could thought the 4 or 5 seats could be picked up by his party.

A decade ago such a conclusion would have be dismissed out of hand, but Scotland is in political flux, the big loser in the whirlwind is of course the Labour Party.

The Glasgow Labour Party is having a difficult time it had a bad Scottish Independence referendum losing in every area of the city.

Incidentally while in Pollok through-out the campaign no one from Pollok CLP campaign out to work with the Better Together Team.

Imagine it, 9, yes 9 elected members of the Labour Party in the Pollok Constituency and they never did a single day with the Better Together Team made up mostly of people who were members of any political party.

Westminster 2015 saw Pollok lost to the SNP, I always wondered if the then Labour MP Ian Davidson ever considered that working could or might have saved his job.

Holyrood 2016 again in Pollok another SNP victory, Johann Lamont lost badly in a Labour campaign which several people described as a ‘shambles’. Personally I have done a lot of campaigning and this campaign wasn’t good, leaderless, rudderless and not inclusive. It started late, didn’t have enough people, money and resources.

If there was a plan then it was a bad one.

The Labour Party needs to up its game, which is why it is a surprise to me that instead of being down to the business of fixing things, they are planning for defeat, or ‘managing expectations’ as they so delicately put it,

If there is a power meltdown, hopes of Labour continuing as the administration could rest on a Tory deal within the city.

It is said that the party is so sure of defeat that they have internal documents show it preparing for an electoral meltdown.

I wasn’t aware of this development but now that I am I don’t have much faith that appeal to stand as councillor for the Labour Party will come to much given that since they failed on me failure to demonstrate leadership that they don’t actually know what leadership is themselves.

Am I a leader, simple put yes, I have been in leadership positions before such as when I taught at Glasgow University running classes and most recently as Glasgow Spokesman for Leave.EU.

I didn’t volunteer for the role as Glasgow Spokesman for Leave.EU, I was specifically chosen by Dr Tom Walker who travelled right across the country to a meeting specifically to offer me the post. You may remember that I did the BBC Big Debate which is hosted by Gordon Brewer up against Ming Campbell, the elder statesman of the Lib Dems and SNP MEP Alyn Smith.

I and Brian Monteith won that debate hands down, you should have seen the face of Alyn Smith afterwards he was raging.

Some areas of Glasgow is predicted to drop by about two thirds of what it was polling in local government elections less than a decade ago, so you might ask why the massive drop?

It isn’t just because of the Scottish Independence vote, no; resentment has built up for some considerable time against elected Labour representatives.

It seems the part time attitude, failure to deliver and having a big vote to rely on had made some people adopt a couldn’t care less attitude to the punters.

But the tide has turned and people realise that that they can switch their vote to anyone, the Tories played the Union card and scooped up a hell of a lot which is why there are 2 list MSPs in the City of Glasgow.

Adam Tomkins and Annie Wells!

Cllr McAveety of the Labour Party and leader of Glasgow City Council said:

"This is ridiculous. I know what the Tories did to Glasgow and I know what damage their current policies are doing again. They will be nowhere near power next May. The reality is that this election will be a straight fight between Labour and the SNP. A straight fight between a party that will put Glasgow first or a part obsessed with another referendum. We are fighting to win and deliver for our city."

Does Frank remember the shock on his face in 2011 when he got put out in the street, I do, I remember him on the platform at the SECC giving his resurrection speech of he will be back.

Well, he didn’t come back in 2016.

In 2012, the Labour Party officials in London came up to Glasgow to do a cull, that was a success despite them getting some people wrongly put out, I was calling for this for years beforehand. The cull should have been extended to MPs and MSPs, that didn’t happen and we all know how that turned out.

Glasgow is up for grabs, the Labour Party organisers have a problem, the old ways of doing things is gone, you can’t rely on the public just to give you their vote anymore, you have to go out and earn it and not just at election time during the short campaign.

The Labour Party knows it has lost voters, they know that they have lost activists and they also know that they have lost donations from high profile donors; so are they about to lose the City of Glasgow to the SNP?

One ray of hope in the gloom is that the SNP opposition is incredibly poor in Glasgow, filled with non-entities but they wouldn’t be fronting the campaign, they will be standing around Nicola Sturgeon.

Someone in the Labour Party has apparently leaked internal documents show it preparing for an electoral meltdown.

It appears that not everyone is as trustworthy as they should be.

Finally as to my appeal to be a candidate, I do hope I get someone who understands what leadership actually is, part of leadership is about making tough choices and if I have to make a tough choice then you can be damn sure I will without giving it a second thought.

Yours Sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Convincing the public, convincing the members, Scottish Labour autonomy reforms blasted as 'cosmetic' as Kezia Dugdale signals "the biggest changes to how Scottish Labour is run in a generation", the proof will be whether Labour members will come out for the party for the 2017 Council Elections

Dear All

The Scottish Labour Party is said to be in the process of being ‘fully autonomous’ within the Labour Party.

Do you remember when the members had a vote to see if they wanted this move to take place?

I don’t and I am a member, when I say I am a member, I mean I pay the party money for a membership, but haven’t attended a CLP meeting during my entire time as none have taken place.

In fact I have to say I haven’t felt very welcome since I was put into the Pollok CLP, so prior to going along I looked them up and found this article.

When I did my first day with the CLP it was at Govan Cross, the Sun was shining, it was 14th November 2015; the Tax Credit was on the go. I found the event on the Scottish Labour Party event page so popped along. I didn’t expect a warm welcome as a new member and to no surprise I didn’t get it, after being given some leaflets by a councillor I handed them out to the public. The SNP turned up and managed to get the Labour Party to stop campaigning because of the Paris attacks, what happened is that the SNP did a picture op with the Labour Party and I was the only member of the party to be not asked and excluded.

When I ran out of leaflets I wandered over to be told that the Labour Party had decided to stop campaigning but no one could be bothered to cross the street to tell me this, the ‘event’ such as it was lasted circa 19 minutes.

First impressions count, and I wasn't impressed, an event lasting 19 minutes which I gave up an entire morning to attend.    

The Holyrood election was on the 5th of May 2016, it is now the 22nd of September, for nearly 5 months the Pollok CLP has done nothing in the way of campaigning in the Pollok area. During the Holyrood election, I found out again to no surprise that out of circa 220 members, about 95% of them didn’t turn up to do activism for the candidate Johann Lamont.

She lost rather badly; it could have been much worse however I ended up doing Govan myself, when I asked who was doing Govan, a former Labour heartland I was told no one. I took the decision to do it myself so that as wide an area could get covered.

The move towards Scottish Labour getting autonomy reforms has been hailed as putting Scottish Labour on track but others view the move as  'cosmetic', what good is autonomy when the activist base has collapsed?

Will more people come out and be activists because of this move?

The party's National Executive Committee (NEC) agreed that it will be handed control over policy, constituency parties and candidate selections for Westminster, this might worry supporters of Jeremy Corbyn in Scotland as the party is seen by some to be led by the right wing of the party.

When Johann Lamont resigned as Scottish leader in 2014, she said that the Scottish Party was being treated like a "branch office from London", the flare up was the removal of Scottish General Secretary Ian Price, were being taken by bosses in London without input from her.

Many people have commented that there is no such as the Scottish Labour Party, that is true, the Labour Party is registered with the electoral commission but not a separate Scottish Party.

Kezia Dugdale has said that the planned move is "the biggest changes to how Scottish Labour is run in a generation."

Previously, Jim Murphy with her as his deputy said that he had ‘fixed’ Scottish Labour, and promptly led the party to the worse defeat in about 100 years, all Westminster seats bar one held by the party wiped out.

I have little faith in claims made by people who have to keep saying they have ‘fixed’ the party repeatedly.

How many goes does it take to get it right?

Holyrood 2016, pushed Labour into third place by the Tories, a lot of that was based on Kezia Dugdale’s misstep by saying she could vote for independence, this was to try and win back Labour voters from the SNP that backfired; she didn’t get them back and lost many Unionist Labour voters as well.

An interesting thing popped up on the radar regarding the lack of funding from Labour donors.

If the voters have deserted the party, if the members aren’t willing to be activists and if the Labour donors don’t want to give donations, does anyone serious think that being ‘fully autonomous’ within the Labour Party is the solution to the problems.

Ms Dugdale said:

"I’m pleased to say that we have the agreement of Labour’s NEC for our autonomy proposals. These will be the biggest changes we’ve seen to how the Scottish Labour Party is run in a generation. It means Scottish Labour is now on track to become fully autonomous within the UK Labour Party."

Some people have concerns that the NEC seat is a ploy to have a built in anti Corbyn majority but I am wondering if the move to being ‘fully autonomous’ is in fact the gearing up towards federalism in the UK further down the line.

Either way I doubt the changes mean anything significant at grassroots level with members who will continue to act as they see fit on whether or not they wish to involve themselves in elections.

My experience in Pollok CLP is that if you want an event to start on time, have the job done properly then best to pre-plan it all out, and then do it yourself, otherwise you might end up being treated like you are a fucking arsehole and be left standing in the street 30 minutes past the start time.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University  

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

The Contest That Solved Nothing; Polls close in the bitter nasty Labour leadership contest between Jeremy Corbyn and Owen Smith, Corbyn is on course for a landslide victory as Smith fails to make headway, a battle is won but the civil war will continue

Dear All

The great battle of who is to lead the Labour Party has now drawn to an end as the polls have now officially closed.

And the winner by a landslide prior to an announcement is probably odds on to be Jeremy Corbyn.

The bitter fight between the right and left of the Labour Party was never in doubt as the right tried to scrap together anyone but Corbyn candidate.

First the right’s candidate Angela Eagle came spouting rubbish, claiming that she was a ‘strong’ Labour woman only to run off with her tail between her legs and making accusations against people in the party.

Her CLP membership no doubt when they get back together will want to field their ‘anyone but Angela Eagle’ candidate.

Next Owen Smith, the candidate seen as ‘the big business’ corporation man who didn’t impress, fought like a loser, had only soundbites and of course managed to have Corbyn’s policies as his own needed a patch up.

This has been a "long and bruising" campaign which was entirely pointless, the right of the Labour Party wanted to force out Jeremy Corbyn, they campaigned against him as leader right from the start, the 172 Labour MPs who failed to support him are a disgrace.

In the public domain it has been stated that the ‘coup’ didn’t just happen after Brexit, it was planned out for months beforehand. How could 172 Labour MPs feel that the Labour membership shouldn’t have a say in the direction and leadership of the party they are members of is beyond me.

So, what did they feel the role of a member is, is it to provide cheap labour while they enact Tory policies which punish the poorest and most vulnerable in society just so these people could get into political office?

Is that what the right of the Labour Party now stands for supporting big business at the expense of the poor, if that is the case why vote Labour to get Tory policies when you can have the genuine thing by voting Tory.

Many people see no difference between the right of the Labour Party and the Conservative Party, in Scotland, the shift away from Labour has been an on-going and sustained, the catalyst to abandon the party was the Scottish Independence referendum. People in working class areas saw no future in voting for elected Labour representatives who had completely failed them time and time again.

So, they took their votes, abandoned the party and looked elsewhere, finding the SNP as a protest vehicle, the great wipe out of Westminster 2015 was of the right wing control Labour Party in Scotland.

The wipe out of the Holyrood 2016 election was of the right wing control Labour Party in Scotland.

And guess what we know have the 2017 Council elections in Scotland where the right wing of the Labour Party is planning for defeat or as they say ‘managing expectations’.

Although Corbyn is holding out the peace pipe, his supporters aren’t, they have a new task and that is to get momentum supporting candidates put into public office and already there is talk about a new Labour leader in Scotland to replace Kezia Dugdale.

Kezia Dugdale backed the wrong candidate, getting it wrong is bad enough but getting it wrong and being Scottish Labour leader is a real problem, some people in the Corbyn camp wouldn’t be forgetting her pledge to Owen Smith.

Why did I vote Corbyn?

This contest was nasty, Corbyn was treated badly and I don’t like coups especially when the person attempting to be forced out hasn’t crossed their rubicon. The right of the Labour Party could have sat back and watch events unfold and waited, they didn’t, they thought the drip drip effect of resignations would see a new leader in, it didn’t.

Now the left is mobilised in the party, centred round ‘momentum’ much in the same way that the right wing of the Labour Party is centred round the Progress Crowd!

Whether as Progress has a limited appeal, momentum has the opposite, they want ordinary people to join them; Progress is all about the 1%, the middle class self-styled university educated elite who don’t think twice about supporting Tory policies saying that ‘hard choices’ must be made by the poor.

Brexit is a clear example how the 1% middle class self-styled university educated elite got it spectacularly wrong.

A recent YouGov poll for The Times predicts Jeremy Corbyn win by 62% of the vote but the problem doesn’t end there, the right will not accept Corbyn, you can only wonder who the next contender they will send out as challenger.

I would have expected that Hillary Benn would have stood as a candidate, but where is Hillary Benn?

Benn is nowhere to be seen, in fact the right wing of the Labour Party have been careful to keep the focus all on Owen Smith and to some degree Angela Eagle when she was a candidate.

But there will be other people who will come forward to challenge Jeremy Corbyn, either before the next election or after it, especially if there is a defeat and the Tories win.

In politics, not only can you not trust the opposition, you also cannot trust your own colleagues in your own party because of factions, political unity is an illusion feed to the masses to dupe them.

640,000 people are eligible to vote in the election, the fact that 172 Labour MPs thought that they should be able to overrule the 640,000 is something which needs to be dealt with, democracy must be as wide as possible in the Labour Party for the benefit of all.

So far the talk of the PLP wanting to have sole control of who is elected to the shadow Cabinet is now on the political agenda, why should members be cut of who the representative is in a shadow portfolio that is entirely wrong.

Finally Owen Smith said:

“I'm particularly honoured that over 5,000 people have donated their time and efforts to this campaign”.

5,000 out of a party of 640,000 doesn’t seem like popularity to me.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Reclaiming the word ‘Dyke’, SNP MP Joanna Cherry says 'regrets' offence caused by homophobic slur at independence event which she called "hilariously irreverent satire", it seems SNP MPs can use specific homophobic language and get away with it under Nicola Sturgeon’s weak leadership, where’s the suspension Nicola?

Dear All

It has been said and with some justification that the current crop of SNP MPs aren’t very good, in fact you could put hand on heart and say what a disgrace to Scotland they are.

From the moment they hit Westminster right up to the present they have been a feral mob whether in the House of Commons acting like fools or beyond acting like fools.

The SNP do show the public one thing, anyone can be an MP regardless of talent or not, you don’t need brains, you don’t need merit, you don’t need ability in the SNP, it is purely a matter of does your face fits.

SNP MP Joanna Cherry is in the spotlight at present for tweeting enjoyment at what was dubbed "hilariously irreverent satire" from the comedy group Witsherface. This group did a spoof rap battle at Sunday's Scottish Independence Convention in Glasgow with a character called "Ruth 'Dykey' D".

Although the arts are and tend to be liberal, the political context of the event cannot be ignored nor the target which in this case is Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson.
During the rap, the character went on to make a series of inappropriate sexual comments to someone playing the 22-year-old SNP MP Mhairi Black, who is also LGBT. Black, the MP also has an act, playing the character of someone who is working class while staying in an expensive middle class house in Ralston. You could argue that is more like humour as she ‘rips the piss’ out of the punters in Paisley while playing one of the ‘mucker’ brigade.

I have met Ruth Davidson a couple in passing, mostly at politics things where I say a quick hi in passing, so what she must have made of this ‘event’ is anyone’s guess.

So, what is Joanna Cherry’s claim to fame, what makes her a ‘Nationalist’?

During the Scottish independence she  set up the "Lawyers for Yes" campaign group, this was SNP trying to convince the legal profession to back independence which incidentally they didn’t.

Lawyers for Yes, Poles for Yes, French for Yes, Rangers for Yes, Celtic for Yes, Youth for Yes, LGBT for Yes all add up to one thing……. Shit, a con trick to try and create voter caches which doesn’t work.

The multi organisation idea was to give the false impression that Alex Salmond and Nicola Sturgeon had a whole country in their corner and that they were leading them to independence when the opposite was true.

Salmond and Sturgeon were a pair of con merchants who tried to dupe people into putting their financial future on the line and that of their kids, on a bet, a bet that was to be seen later on to be made on a totally flawed prospectus.

Scotland if independent right now would be bankrupt and add to it, the lifeline that the SNP wanted from the EU wouldn’t exist, another lie feed to the masses. Four EU countries already have expressed their desire to block Scotland from joining the EU.


Internal domestic politics in their own countries which they wish to keep in check.

So lets get back to SNP MP Joanna Cherry, she has decided to say that she ‘regrets’ any offence caused, but you have to ask is this the same as apologising?

Clearly the answer in my opinion is no, her rationale is that she was among the ‘gay’ women who had reclaimed the term and she now 'used it proudly.'

She added:

"I understand others are not comfortable with it and while the event and performance were not organised by me or the SNP I regret the offence that was caused."

Cherry can ‘claim’ what she wants but charity Stonewall Scotland condemning use of the word 'dyke' which it cites as a specific example of homophobic language.

So, there you are, there is an SNP MP called Joanna Cherry who says she is actively  using the term ‘dyke’ which is regarded as  homophobic language and Nicola Sturgeon is quite happy and willing to sit back and let that happen.

The SNP membership love to smear and brand people homophobic now senior members get carte blanche to toss the word ‘dyke’ about the place when it suits them.

A spokesman for the SNP said:

"We condemn any form of homophobia - this was not an SNP event."

Oh someone is a tad sensitive it seems.

Finally, will Joanna Cherry be disciplined for what she did by the SNP leadership, the answer is probably no, the Civic Nationalists are a bunch of hypocrites.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

Monday, September 19, 2016

Scottish Labour Councillor Mary Lockhart who backs independence sticks her ‘jackboot’ right in it by doing a post on Facebook which suggests linking party's officials to Nazis, she is angry about the Labour Party ‘purge’ so quoted Pastor Neimoller’s famous poem

Dear All

In politics it is helpful if you have a public profile, as the old saying goes can’t do any harm.

Recently, Mary Lockhart was elected to public office as Scottish Labour Councillor in a recent by-election, at the time; some people questioned her choice as candidate as she had been a pro-independence supporter.

Now, the new elected Councillor hits the headlines, not on the issue of independence but because of a Facebook post said to likening party officials to Nazis. The decision for her hard hitting post was due to what some people call ‘the purge’.

Not as in the movie, but a more gentler purge, suspend people’s membership which would make them ineligible to vote in the leadership election. A lot of people have voiced opinion on ‘the purge’ and it has created a lot of anger in the party as accustaions fly back and forward.

The contest between Jeremy Corbyn and Owen Smith isn’t a great one, from the start it started off very nasty and that is how it will end, Jeremy Corbyn is on course to win, although he says that he will work with people in the PLP, you can expect his crew not to. The contest was a bad idea but it went ahead, the right of the Labour Party expected Corbyn to resign when the PLP did their famous drip drip drip of resignations.

That backfired spectacularly.

Angela Eagle said she was a strong labour woman then promptly abandoned her campaign making accusations which probably will not be forgotten or forgiven by her CLP.

The contest is over, the next order of business is de-selection, it is right that the people who are elected should face a challenge at very election whether they be Councillor, MSP or MP.

No one should have a job for life, it is undemocratic.

Apparently some people feel that this is wrong that an MP should have to be selected at every election, I don’t, who represents an area should be decided by the membership of the party who are living in that area.

Anyway back to Mary Lockhart, her post on Facebook used the famous poem by Pastor Martin Niemöller about Nazis persecution.

Apparently she is protesting a decision to ban a number of Labour members from voting which led to her saying:

“Who will they expel next? I have friends who are genuinely fearful!”

Is being banned or suspended a really big deal?

Well, if you look at it in context during an election, the answer is yes, there is actually such a thing as the Labour Party compliance unit, this is a bunch of people who investigate alleged wrongdoing and then come to a decision on whether or not there is a case for taking it further to some sort of hearing.

Check it out here, the money is pretty decent from where I sit and wades in at £34,061.77 with an annual fixed sum allowance of £1003 per annum.

And given the size of the party and some of the elements in it, you might have a pretty busy time of it but on the other side of the coin; you will meet a hell of a lot of people.

Mary Lockhart posted:

"First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me."

I take it that ‘them’ in this case would be a visit by the Compliance Officers who will probably say get that post ripped down and don’t be so stupid in future. If she had named anyone by name, she might be on a sticky wicket for a disciplinary perhaps as she would have to justify her comments.

Scottish Labour said that the comparison was “unacceptable”.

Scottish Conservative MSP Murdo Fraser said:

"It shows just how much of a state the Labour is in when newly elected councillors are suggesting colleagues are Nazis."

A Lib Dem spokesman said:

most people manage to resolve arguments without elected officials comparing apparatchiks to the Nazis".

A Scottish Labour spokesman said:

"This kind of comparison is unacceptable. All elected representatives and party members have a duty to conduct themselves in an appropriate manner."

Lockhart has since apologised for any offence caused.

In a statement, she said:

"I have found Pastor Neimoller’s most widely quoted poem inspiring since I first encountered it when the Rector of my school used it as a text on which to base his address at a school assembly. It is, in my view, a poem about having the courage to speak up for others experiencing adversity, whether you agree with their views or not, and it seems to me to underline some of the fundamental values of the Labour Party, namely solidarity. “In posting it on Facebook, I had no intention of implying that suspensions or expulsions from the Labour Party were comparable to the Holocaust, or to the deliberate extermination of Jewish people, Lutherans, disabled people, and homosexuals which cast a long shadow over the 20th Century and beyond. I am deeply sorry if the post, in solidarity with a friend whose membership has been suspended, was interpreted as making such a comparison”.

When elected to public office, Scottish Labour deputy leader Alex Rowley hailed Mary Lockhart getting in as a “watershed moment” for Labour to field an openly pro-independence candidate.

I guess he won’t be ‘hailing’ very much about this episode.

Finally, if you have an eye for detail, and like investigations, then compliance officer might just be the job for you.

Yours sincerely

George Laird 
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Unpopular or what, SNP Leader Nicola Sturgeon’s fake SNP manufactured popularity hits the skids with an incredible 12 point drop as public turn away from her, is the slide going to continue or can the SNP prop her up to get over the 2017 Council elections?

Dear All

Yesterday Nick Clegg was wittering on about how difficult it would be to fight a second indyref because of the Brexit situation.

What a difference a day makes!

A new poll shows that the Brexit vote has not increased demand for second independence referendum, the SNP have high their peak, they have been buoyed up by the resentment of voters and being the vessel of a protest vote.

But over time, their popularity will fade; their record in government will do for them coupled with the lack of headway by the leadership over independence.

As I mentioned Scotland is in political flux, the old established order is crumbling and people aren’t as loyal to parties as they previously were, after all, what is the difference; the days of the Great Debate are a relic of a forgotten past.

Out goes vision, in comes tat and micromanagement by people bereft of ideas, in a country beset by problems, nothing is fixed and nothing is getting achieved.

In what must be consider startling from the Ipsos MORI poll for STV News opposition leader Ruth Davidson has overtaken the First Minister in satisfaction ratings, the Tories spent circa 35 years in the political wilderness.

Their USP which they played to get back into frontline politics was unionism, as they leeched voters away from other parties who went ‘wishy washy’ on the union, the Tories stepped in and hovered up the votes.

One of the major victims of the leeching was the Scottish Labour Party, pushed into third place by the Tories under Ruth Davidson.

52% supported remaining in the UK while 48% back independence, some do because of dogma, others do for love of country but there is a huge group who basically hate the English and Scottish independence is their proxy vehicle to help them achieve this.

When the issue of timing was thrown in the mix, the news becomes even worse for unpopular Nicola Sturgeon who is pretty pegged to holding an independence referendum as leader.

Something she can’t deliver and she knows it.

Support for a second ballot in the next two years is only just able to hit the 41%, mark while 54% opposed a re-run.

The window of opportunity only lasts a certain time in politics, because all politicians have a shelf life if they promise something and don’t deliver or deliver and don’t get the result they expected.

Check out David Cameron, promises an EU referendum, probably expected to win it like the Scottish independence one and he blew it. When for a stunt called re-negotiation in Europe and the EU leaders just dug in and said no, crumbs were offered and when this was presented to the British people, they had had enough.

Leaving Europe would be a bad thing, but we aren’t leaving Europe, we are leaving the European Union a political organisation which is anti-country and anti-worker. Time will show how this was in the national interest with the issues of national security and economic security at the forefront.

I suppose the interest part of the polling which interests me and probably some others is that Nicola Sturgeon’s SNP manufactured popularity has fallen by a huge 12 percentage point drop.

The reason is failure in government, not doing the day job and vacuous, inept and shallow, you cannot fool the people all the time, is a well-known saying, the chickens are coming home to roost for her, and not just in the Constituency she part time represents badly, Govanhill is a slum.

Mark Diffley, director at Ipsos MORI Scotland, said:

"The summer was dominated by the fallout from the Brexit vote and the impact it may have on support for independence. It is clear from this poll that, despite the UK-wide vote contradicting the wishes of the majority in Scotland, Brexit has not resulted in a surge in support for independence. However, at 48% among committed voters, it remains entirely possible that a second referendum campaign could be won by supporters of independence."

Never a dull moment, and with the Council elections in 2017 getting prep up, Scotland’s council seats are up for grabs, the SNP is slipping can their fake manufactured popularity carried over from 2014 hang on or will the slippage create opportunities for others.

The SNP better start to 'break out' the young kids for Nicola Sturgeon to hug and do 'selfies' with, the illusion of 'caring Nicola must be wearing rather thin now, maybe a top up is required!

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University