Wednesday, May 31, 2017

SNP Fake Popularity; Nicola Sturgeon's approval ratings totally collapses, as Scots see through the carefully stage managed construct to make Sturgeon likeable, she is the least popular leader in Holyrood, how long before SNP members start wearing, ‘I hate Nicola, I hate that horrible cow’ T shirts?

Dear All

First up, sorry for the gap in blogging, things have been a bit hectic of late, it wasn’t by choice; I was getting pulled in so many different directions that my time got used up, all in a good cause tho.

I hope you liked my cgi clip; the scene is from a movie called Nemesis which I added cgi effects to enhance it. It was something I did to give myself some R&R, and get back to studying.

Anyway……… back to work!

One thing which many people know is that eventually everyone comes around to the George Laird view, it just takes them a bit longer, some people say the journey is the important which can be true but also sometimes, getting the answer provided can be time saving.

Nicola Sturgeon is a fake, in my opinion, she is a horrible nasty individual, and despite the time, effort and money to make her look like a mother, make her look like she is caring, make her look like she is easy going and funny, it doesn’t work.

In the end, your true nature shines through because when you play act, you cannot always remain in character 24/7. You might have noticed that I like to use a certain picture of Nicola Sturgeon growling as she plants herself in a chair in Bute House, the look in the eyes, tells you everything you need to know about Nicola Sturgeon.

As I was former in the SNP, I came across her, and despite my best intention to give her the benefit of the doubt, I couldn’t bring myself to like her. My initial reaction was that she gave off a really bad vibe, something which I noticed in her 2011 campaign because I spent some time there.

For years, I said openly, unpopular Nicola Sturgeon, to which many people didn’t agree with, because the SNP machine did a make over which had a degree of success. The organised events of ‘everyone loves Nicola’ and the endless supply of kids pushed into her arms for the press to take a picture of, was just spin, hype and electioneering. When I went to a Pollok SNP socials and Nicola Sturgeon was there, she wouldn’t stay long, she did the chitchat with members, then did the informal speech and after that finished; she simply disappeared. This was the same format I witnessed repeatedly over the years.

The old saying that ‘time waits for no man’ has arrived for Nicola Sturgeon, because the false image has fallen apart, Sturgeon’s personal approval ratings have collapsed since last year. The artificial construct made for her to appear as a ‘loving kind person’ has been shown up for what it is hollow.

I have great pleasure in introducing the real Nicola Sturgeon, the least popular leader at Holyrood.

A new survey for STV found the First Minister’s ratings had fallen from +14 to -4 since September. The reality is that people are sick to death of Nicola Sturgeon and her nonsense, weak leadership, inept government and obsession with a second independence referendum.

Everything has a time and a place, 2014 was the wrong time for a referendum which I said would fail and I was proven to be correct. There might have been a chance in 2018 as I blogged on in the past but by going too early, lying, not doing the work, having buffoons as candidates put the spanner in the works.

2018, the real window back then as a date is now closed because of everything which transpired from 2012 onwards.

In ye olde days, Nicola Sturgeon was seen as a horrible wee bastard that no one liked but despite that she climbed the SNP ladder because of her ability to shout and scream, the press latched onto her and the SNP promoted her but as we now know in 2017, in the cold light of day, she has become a “divisive” figure on the doorstep. In Govanhill, the slum she couldn’t be bothered to fix as the MSP, many people hated her with a passion which is why she is ‘away’. When she was representing part of Govan, I met some women who hated her guts with the same passion displayed in Govanhill.  

The joke of the election is that Nicola Sturgeon is now seen as a liability to the Nationalist cause, but as we all know, there isn’t talent waiting behind her, the rot has set in, whether other parties can take advantage of this is their concern.

Sturgeon has peaked!

Just as Alex Salmond marched the SNP up the hill in 2014 referendum, then lost and had to march them back down again, Sturgeon has out of options, she isn’t delivering indyref 2, people are asked to back non entities who aren’t going to be good constituency MPs and there is no direction, everything Sturgeon touches ends in disaster.

A projection by the Electoral Calculus website says that the SNP are projected to hold 50 of the 56 seats in won in 2015 that might pan out, but it doesn’t in my opinion take into account enough the shift not just in public opinion but also the new energy that some people and parties have for places where they think they can do the business. In East Renfrewshire, the Conservatives are putting ‘everything and the kitchen sink’ in for a win.

The campaign in East Renfrewshire is run like a by-election, although on paper we have a 3 horse race, Labour trailing in third, the front runner is Paul Masterton for the Conservatives. Blair MacDougall is rated by the bookies as a 10/1 shot, the SNP in second, and Conservatives 4/6.

What do the bookies know?

The important thing in this election, the thing what is needed most is the introduction of more choice, hardly any independents standing which is a real shame; the snap election has effectively disadvantaged them completely. If I had the money, and more importantly the time, because to stand you need at least a good two years to get round the constituency, I won’t mind standing for Westminster.

Finally, the SNP will probably win the majority of seats according to the polling, but this doesn’t work to Scotland’s advantage, constitution politics are a road to nowhere, while the SNP hype up indyref 2 nothing gets done, we get bad representatives at Westminster and there is no constructive dialogue.

And we need constructive dialogue, something beyond Nicola Sturgeon’s mental grasp!

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Money’s too tight to mention: Scotland’s unpopular SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon is forced to rely on state public funds as big donors dry up, even the SNP membership are unwilling to stick their hands in pockets for Sturgeon, I guess the staged managed attempt to make Nicola ‘likeable’ has died a slow painful death, I wonder is she willing to consider the very popular and organised Romanian style begging for funds?

Dear All

It seems with unpopular Nicola Sturgeon at the helm of the Scottish National Party, a raft of scandals involving elected representatives and supporters, people don’t want to back the SNP with their cold hard cash.

This is good news, but not for Scottish Labour, major donors are simply refusing to back them as well, this is party of the political shift in Scotland, were people are looking around for a new party of the centre right, the void in Scottish politics is becoming so obvious.

The SNP as we have yet again seen from the nurse scandal is a group of small minded nasty little people. The fact that money is drying up for them is a good sign, the SNP in power, in government has been a bad thing in an overall fashion, but there have been some plus benefits.

It can’t have escaped your notice that some parties have been politically wiped out over several elections, 2015 and 2016 were watershed moments in Scottish politics, although the disaster was mostly at the expense of Scottish Labour, it was an event that as I mentioned needed to happen.

Scottish politics is desperately in need of more choice, a more rainbow colouring which allows voters more value for their vote. Two party politics might have been replaced by three party politics but still that isn’t enough.

The wider public seeing that the SNP has not declared a significant cash donation from a member of the public in six months and has to go cap in hand to the State for funding to operate tells a story. The Nationalists brag how big their membership is but clearly under Nicola Sturgeon’s inept leadership, even the members are unwilling to put their hand in the pocket.

It kind of puts the fake staged managed popularity of Nicola Sturgeon into perspective does it not?

Data from the Electoral Commission figures shows Nicola Sturgeon’s party had the lowest donations of any major party in the first quarter of 2017, at just £3300. It seems that the ‘Bank of Weir’ just isn’t there anymore and as such the SNP need “Short money” from the House of Commons to keep the ball rolling.

If you don’t know what ‘short money’ is, it is cash given to all opposition parties to help their costs and is based on MP numbers, we have an opportunity in Scotland by using tactical voting to help drive this funding stream downwards. In Scotland, groups like Scotland’s Big Voice have developed the tactical voting wheel to help show people which candidate is the best person to stop in the SNP. In Glasgow, that would be voting Labour, in places like Perth and East Renfrewshire, the best bet is to vote Scottish Conservative.

I urge all people who are pro UK in a seat where the political party isn’t traditionally the one they usually vote for to consider the tactical vote, already polling suggests that 15% of Scots are considering and will do this option.

One of the other things which isn’t talk about much is the use of tactical activism, people helping and assisting various people in different parties to get into public office. Kezia Dugdale called for “tactical voting” from Conservatives to help win seats for Labour but didn’t follow through with urging Labour voters to vote Conservatives. Kezia made another blunder political blunder, in fact, her plea of just asking Conservatives to vote Labour without asking Labour voters to do likewise is just risible.

I will be tactically voting in Glasgow South West for Scottish Labour.

On the other side of the financial coin, the Scottish Conservatives seem to be doing okay for cash, Scottish Tory fundraiser Sir Jack Harvie gave the Conservatives £20,000 in his own right and another £20,000 through a business.

The ‘blue team’ is doing well, the smart money, voters and activists seem to be sensing that the Conservatives are doing well, in fact you have to wonder what some Labour candidates whose campaigns are little better than paper would pay to even get a sniff at those resources.

Finally, as a public figure, I am announcing that the agreement that I had to do campaigning in Glasgow South West for Scottish Labour no longer exists, I have contacted Matt Kerr, the candidate and his election agent John Kane to inform them that I will not be back and to wish them good luck.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

What Pisses Me Off About The Ariana Grande Terrorist Attack, do you want to be popular or do you want to live, Stefan Molyneux asks a question in wake of Manchester terror act

Manchester Terror attack, 22 innocent people dead and 59 injured as suicide bomber goes on massive killing spree at pop concert, a year ago, I was blogging on how Islamic terrorists would target large soft targets such as concerts, my next prediction is that they will move on to target schools, terrorists show they have no concern about murdering children

Dear All

Last year, I wrote a blog post, on how terrorism would evolve in Europe, as I also previously wrote, the terrorists would make much use of vehicles in terror attacks, by doing so; they could hide in plain sight till they stuck.

When I wrote the above post, I was keen to stress that the terrorists would look for large soft targets in order to maximise the death toll they wanted to inflict on innocent members of the public. No one would be safe; men, women and children would all be seen as enemies.

So, here are some things I said back then:

“I stated in my post of 19th July that violence in Europe would escalate upwards, and that you could expect attacks at large soft targets, football matches, concerts and ultimately schools”.

Last night in Manchester, there was a terrorist attack which so far has killed 22 innocent people, and 59 others have been injured according to reports.

I said in various blog post that ultimately schools would be targeted because I recognised that the terrorists would wish to single out children to be killed. The concert last night in Manchester was attended by a great many children and young people.

So, what is the terrorist goal?

The goal is to bring the war in the Middle East directly into Europe to make it like Lebanon, create potential battlefields all around. The terrorists have been assisted in their aims by Angela Merkel who opened the flood gates to Europe and allowed direct importation of Islamic terrorists onto the mainland.

Europe can never be safe now, not while politicians like Angela Merkel hold political office, when Wilders and Le Pen failed in their bids to lead their countries, I wasn’t surprised, as I remarked at the time to various people; their bids are too early. Europe will travel further right politically, just as the Islamic terrorists kill, bomb and main, the next big step due to the failure of the political class will be……. domestic indigenous terrorists, race and religion based.

If you happened to have studied the Second World War beyond the war movies, the likelihood is that ‘resistance’ groups will be formed, they will get weapons, training and murder will be paid back with murder.

Everyone is shocked by the attack in Manchester, so many dead and injured; everyone’s immediate thoughts are what assistance can be provided for them, which is the right thing to do. In the aftermath, things may go on as normal, but they aren’t normal, Berlin, Nice, Paris, London and now Manchester should prompt people to challenge the political class for their failures right across Europe.

I would say that Europe is looking for a leader, not someone who is a unity leader but someone to reset Europe back to a time where people felt safe. In order to do that, the measures that are needed to be put in place will end up draconian. It was said that in times of trouble, the Romans would select a man to be charged to defend the city, whatever needed to be done wasn’t questioned, it was simply acted upon.

Normally, on a day like this a few people would be out campaigning in the General election, in light of Manchester, and  as a sign of respect, all General Election campaigning has been suspended, which is the right thing to do.

When, it comes to security, although you can take lots of precautions to defend a fixed position, those plans become weakened in open spaces because you can defend everywhere. Security at the Manchester Arena was mostly joe public types acting as Stewards with SIA badges, ordinary people making a few quid showing people to seats, checking tickets, providing information and first aid, but they aren’t geared up for this type of security.

In various security agencies in Britain, they will be working flat out in connection with the police; we can only hope that they get all the resources they need to get to the bottom of this terrorist incident. We live in an age, an age which is dangerous, although the terrorist plan for a war in Europe is crude, it could be effective on many levels. They want Muslims born in European countries to join their murder campaign in Europe, so that multiple solo acts of terrorism can be carried out to heighten fear and distrust.

The Prime Minister has announced that the security services believe they know the identity of the bomber in the suicide attack, the investigation into this will hopefully find out if he was solely involved or acting with others who may have assisted him. The suicide bomber deliberately chose the place where he could cause "maximum carnage" and because it was a pop concert, he knew he was killing children. Reports mention a 23 year old man has been arrested at this point in an operation carried by police.

Britain mourns today for the victims and we wait to find out further details of who is responsible.

Finally, you may remember in the past when I trotted out my idea for a national Police force back in 2010; stage two was arming the police. Britain needs to move to an armed force, and policing needs to evolve due to the nature of terrorism. We should have an armed officer at all schools at key times, because sooner or later, we can expect the terrorists to turn up there to catch children out in the open.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

Monday, May 22, 2017

Nicola Sturgeon squirms during nurse's tirade on pay (21May17)

The leadership Question: Kezia Dugdale’s got a series of major problems; as Scottish Labour donors don’t want to give party any donations during the General Election, members failing to turn out to be activists, not enough help and support given to candidates, and non party members of the public leading Labour sessions, and worse is to come, we haven’t had the result of GE17 yet

Dear All

It isn’t a huge secret that Scottish Labour is struggling in this election, this election caught them on the hop, I am sure given the choice; the party would rather not be fighting it at this present time. I have said it before and I will say it again, the Scottish Labour Party is in no fit state to campaign. I am not going to go into certain people’s campaigns because that would be unfair to them, but the overall picture is of a party that has simply lost its way.

Last Thursday, I wrote a blog post on the suspending of the 9 Labour Councillors in Aberdeen by Scottish Labour, at the time, I said this was a bad judgement, and it would be felt and go into the Westminster campaign.

“Kezia Dugdale just dropped a huge rock into the Labour pond which will have consequences for her and the party outwith the Labour Party”.

If you are familiar with the Law of Unintended Consequences, there has been some for Kezia Dugdale. 

I will give you the short and blunt version, Scottish Labour fucked up big style!

One of Scottish Labour’s biggest donors has said he will not hand over any money for the General Election campaign, if there is a price for stupid, the wider Labour Party are paying for it in spades via the leadership. Another unintended consequences; more in the shape of ammo is that Momentum (Corbyn support group) will benefit enormously as Kezia’s decision goes well beyond internal party politics; it affects the governance of Scotland.

What Kezia Dugdale should have done was allowed Aberdeen Labour Councillors to chart their own course and not interfere in local democracy, you could add that her action, an unintended consequence shows Scottish Labour doesn’t support local democracy or trust its elected officials.

Alan Massie, the North East tycoon bankrolled Kezia Dugdale’s leadership campaign, whether he regrets that investment is open to speculation, prior to getting elected leader, Alan Massie knew Kezia’s track record in the disaster of the 2015 Westminster campaign, and things haven’t got better, they only get worse.

If you read my blog, I talk on occasion about ‘the political economy’, this is made up for 3 key ingredients, ‘money, people and resources’, people aren’t willing to be donors to the Scottish Labour Party, people aren’t willing to vote Labour, members of the party aren’t willing to be activists, and resources are scarce and talent hasn’t been developed. Some candidates also haven’t been getting the logistical support they need and should have readily available from HQ.

It is a right fucking mess!

I have no problem with Alan Massie speaking out and what he does with his money is entirely his business, but there are decent candidates for Labour, perhaps, he should consider directly funding them rather than a general contribution, to me this makes sense in the short term.

Long term, I said before, Scottish Labour needs to go back to bare metal, and some people need to be removed from various positions because they are just crap, they are seriously getting in the way of any possible revival.   

Massie said Labour’s decision to ban a coalition with the Conservatives is “ridiculous”, this was my immediate thought. Labour needs to reach out across constitutional lines, and has failed to do so. Either they are so stupid in their understanding of politics (they could make that argument) or the leadership is just effectively and actively supporting the SNP by default, Labour indy supporters aren’t coming back, Scottish Labour has let the people down.

The public spoke in 2015, spoke in 2016 and spoke in 2017, and they will be speaking twice this year, and the message was loud and clear, you aren’t supporting the public, supporting the UK and aren’t behaving like a credible party.

Massie said:

“I am not going to give any more until we see the direction of the party after June 8.”

The direction of the party after June 8 in the short term is to go nowhere, elections are years away, and because candidate selection starts at the wrong time, effectively the party’s activists base will simply disappear. Of course there will be the odd by-election here and there, but the gap in campaigning will probably not be used wisely. Without leadership, there can’t be teambuilding, and without teamwork there can be no prospect of returns to Holyrood and Westminster.

Some of the office staff needs to be removed, maybe given the option of being retrained or simply sidelined totally.

When Kezia Dugdale kicked out the Aberdeen 9, she said:

“This isn’t about positions or gold medals around the necks of councillors, this is about the job Labour councillors are elected to do – to protect public services, to invest in and defend public services.”

Question to Kezia, why is a Glasgow Labour Councillor asking me as a member of the public to deliver his newsletter, effectively doing part his job in the ward he supposedly represents?

There are several hundred members in his CLP, but he wants a member of the public to work for him?

Where are the members?

Why won’t they come out for him?

Is it because they have no faith that he will defend public services?

One of the other really big donors to Scottish Labour is businessman Willie Haughey, he is loaded and seen as Labour’s most generous donor from Scotland. Haughey has come out and blasted the SEC decision Dugdale staunchly defends.

He said:

“It is ridiculous the SEC never supported the deal.”

He added the Labour/Tory agreement ensured all the party’s manifesto commitments would be implemented:

“I think the party has got this so wrong. The criteria were all met and they have erred on their own policy.”

A spokesman for Scottish Labour said: 

“Labour’s approach has been clear and consistent: we absolutely cannot do any deal with another party if it would result in further austerity being imposed on local communities”. 

Scottish Labour jumped into bed with the SNP which has imposed austerity on communities, either the spokesman is unaware of politics in Scotland or they are just stupid and helping to bury the party in Scotland.

Finally, when I stood for selection to be a Labour Candidate, I was told I didn’t understand leadership, yesterday as a member of the public; I was leading a Labour Team which came out to do Pollok. I even setup and pre-planned the next event so that it could be done in the most effective and efficient way possible for the CLP..... they then went to Parkhead for the fitba, I went to Glasgow North East to work as a team player to do a canvass.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University    

Friday, May 19, 2017

The long grass: Theresa May rules out second Scottish referendum for at least another five years, for the entire next term of Westminster, Nicola Sturgeon will just be a depressed ‘wallflower’, is this the end of Nicola Sturgeon’s career now that the momentum has been effectively stopped dead in its tracks

Dear All

Like me you are probably someone who values straight talking, you might not always like what you hear but you can certainly value the truth.

A home truth which has just come down the pipeline is that Theresa May has signalled that if on the 8th June, the Conservatives win the Westminster election, there will be no second Scottish independence referendum going to be allowed for the entirety of the next Westminster Parliament.

This statement is huge.

Theresa May has also dropped another gem that any referendum would also need public consent.

Nicola Sturgeon is now someone who is treading water, the news effectively kills independence campaigning stone dead as you would see in a short campaign, and a long campaign of 5 years plus is too long to sustain interest. Politics by its every nature requires the agenda to move on.

And the only game in town is……….. governance!

Years ago, I highlighted the need for the SNP to use their second term for National and Local government reform, and as indy is out the window, the Nationalists who are on the slide will be forced to do the day job.

A recent poll sees all parties having a rise in their vote for Westminster; however, no one who is a back marker in their constituency has effectively leapfrogged over others by this revelation.

If nothing happens next term, the date of the next possible chance slides to around 2022, then you have talks about when, where and who gets to vote. EU Nationals still here will not get the vote, Brexit will be done and dusted by then and as such they will be excluded from the franchise. I assume I will in 2022 be writing a post on the SNP leader whoever that is squealing of rigged vote.

The reason for Theresa May dropping the bombshell is to court traditional Labour supporters to her cause but also to set in motion what I suspect is a plan to win the Holyrood campaign, so that the Conservatives form the administration in Edinburgh. There will be a few years before the next big election which means that all efforts by the Conservatives will be geared towards that aim.

Although the SNP will want to keep talking indy, this will bomb with the public, everything has its time, and if you miss your chance, you can’t guarantee a second shot.

Although the Conservatives have a plan, in many places in Scotland, they are still not able to operate effectively on the ground, it isn’t a secret, you by even casual research can see which constituencies have just ‘paper candidates’.

How do you do that?

Take a candidate’s name, and then cross reference that with the nearest key target seat for the Conservatives. What you will see in places like twitter is that the candidate in the ‘paper’ area is campaigning a lot in the key marginal. Then check for evidence of them campaigning in their seat, the results might surprise you.

Resources are scarce and putting all your eggs in one basket isn’t new, on the blog I said that Scottish Labour needed to adopt a similar policy in Glasgow. James Kelly, their campaign manager flagged up two seats for Labour in Glasgow, Glasgow South West and Glasgow East.

There hasn’t been a huge influx into Glasgow South West to assist the Labour candidate and I doubt Labour even had a meeting to make a policy for activists to work in other areas.

Basically, it seems it is every man for him or herself; time to start swimming!

I bumped into Thomas Haddow, Conservative Candidate last night in town, he told me, he was happy enough the way his campaigning was going, and he had roped in his family to help out. In Glasgow South West, it comes down however to a two horse race despite a Conservative rise in the voting intentions.

This campaign is a short campaign so if you haven’t got a lot of people and resources, you are down to relying on the brand. In Glasgow South West, although the brand for Conservatives is established as a name, they need to go door to door which is very time consuming and there isn’t enough of that left before the vote. I would say good luck to Thomas, he is willing to give it a go and that is the important thing, areas have to be developed, so reality is that there needs to be a Conservative Councillor first to open expectations for Holyrood and Westminster.

Finally, the news that Scottish independence is effectively gone till beyond 2022 is a huge body blow to Nicola Sturgeon, perhaps much more than she knows, expect her to scream long and loud, gnashing of teeth, knickers to be twisted, collective whines as the ‘cult’ gather round Nicola’s feet expecting a miracle.

And miracles are off the menu!

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University   

Thursday, May 18, 2017

CHRIS CORNELL - YOU KNOW MY NAME (Casino Royale Soundtrack) RIP Chris, Bond music legend

Scottish Labour: Kezia Dugdale has made a huge mistake as Scottish Labour suspends entire Labour Council team over coalition deal with Tories in Aberdeen, this disaster will ripple into the General Election Campaign as people won’t understand why the Labour Party won’t support a pro UK council, things just got much worse!

Dear All

To say that the Scottish Labour Party is going through a tough time would be an understatement, at the present moment the leadership is just plain lost. 2015, the worst result in Labour history for a 100 years, 2016, lost the Holyrood election badly, and to add insult to continual self inflicted injury got pushed into third party by the Scottish Conservatives.

Hats off to the Scottish Conservatives, they played a blinder when Kezia Dugdale dropped the ball on the question of support for the Union. Having lost Labour voters who supported independence, Kezia also managed to alienate pro UK Labour voters who simply went over to the Scottish Conservatives.

A remarkable achievement which left many people baffled as the leadership was effective destroying large swathes of the core working class vote. Kezia went on to try and repair the damage, but that didn’t work out. Labour members don’t want to come out, donors don’t want to donate, and some candidates are struggling to get their campaigns off the ground because they aren’t getting enough support from Labour HQ.

I have said it once and I will say it again, the Scottish Labour Party is in no fit state to campaign, this isn’t just an observation, it is the reality on the ground. Kezia was pretty clear that she is opposed to a second independence, that she wants Conservative votes, and is pro Uk. If you take that as is, you are lead to the conclusion that the important thing is to limit and curtail the power of the SNP spreading.

We have just had the council election which was to see Scottish Labour do badly; they don’t control a single council with an overall majority. So, in order to get local governance moving deals have to be made depending on the make up of each individual council.

This brings us to what happened yesterday, Kezia Dugdale just dropped a huge rock into the Labour pond which will have consequences for her and the party outwith the Labour Party. Labour has suspended their entire council team over a deal to work in coalition with Aberdeen Conservatives.

Having set a deadline yesterday of 5 pm for the Labour Group to quit the coalition, this passed and not one of the Labour Councillors stepped away. Everyone stayed put, we now see them being unjustly suspended for in effect supporting a pro UK council, if Kezia thought this act was strong leadership, she is sadly mistaken, she made a rod for her own back, and there is no positive out of her action for her party. The news was warmly welcomed by Scottish Conservative Leader Ruth Davidson who tweeted a welcome.

I was wondering how to fix this problem because this could impact the Labour General Election campaign because it sends out the message that Scottish Labour under Kezia Dugdale do not support the Union. If anyone who was a pro UK Labour voter sees this act, they will think twice when casting their vote for Scottish Labour. The only solution is for kezia Dugdale to realise that local democracy cannot be run top down from Labour HQ, we have already seen result after result of complete abject failure in elections. Although Labour has pushed through some howlers on policy, this episode is incredible even by their standards. It goes without saying to do this in the midst of an election I sheer madness, Kezia just cut the legs off the Labour campaign, if that hasn’;t sunk in, she only has to wait a few weeks till June 8th to see the reality of what this action costs.

Kezia Dugdale has said that she will not resign as Scottish Labour leader even her party if suffers a complete wipe-out in the General Election but you can be sure when the results come in, that many people in momentum will be furnished with enough ammo to openly call for her to go.

Although she said she intends to stay on until at least the next Holyrood election in 2021 “no matter what the outcome” at this election, she could be setting the Labour up for about 15 to 20 years in the wilderness. One thing that the Scottish Conservatives can speak with experience on is what that feels like to be a fringe party.

Awhile back, I put myself forward for selection as a councillor but was told I didn’t know enough about the council or leadership, so I walked, it wasn’t worth arguing with people who didn’t understand leadership and also I was told that Labour HQ didn’t like my blog.

I am going to demonstrate what true leadership is, I am not doing to talk about how I gave suggestions to a 2017 candidate to maximise their vote, I am not going to talk about how I taught a Labour campaign organiser how to do an area more effectively, no, that wouldn’t drive my point home which I wish to sincerely express.

True leadership is the ability to state the truth without having to pander to the feelings of any inadequate who happens to think leadership can be learned out of a book, leadership is something you are born with, and given so few Labour members are willing to come out, this tells you all you need to know about certain individuals who lead the party.

If I was going to give Scottish Labour tips on campaigning, a quick one would be buy a watch and attend campaign sessions 10 minutes prior to the start of the activity. The ‘dick’ like behaviour of turning up 15, 25 and 30 minutes after the event starts is a key reason why teamwork doesn’t exist, and why their brand of leadership stinks to high heaven.

Recently a councillor asked me whether I would be willing to come back to the Labour Party; I said ‘what for?’ I mean what is in it for me as a highly experienced campaigner to be treated as an outsider to be used as a form of cheap labour so others can sit at home while others work on their behalf.

In the event of a second independence referendum, I would not willingly choose to campaign with Scottish Labour in a second referendum even if I did rejoin that party, not after what I witnessed in Pollok in 2014. In all likelihood if there is a pro UK campaign set up to fight this next referendum, I would probably end up running that group in Pollok.

In previous posts I said that Scottish Labour had further to fall, the council elections proved my point, the Westminster election doesn’t look good, the Electoral Calculus current puts Scottish Labour on winning no seats. Scottish Conservatives on the other hand have a shot at about 10 to 14 seats right across Scotland. Places like East Renfrewshire which was previously held by Jim Murphy, have collapsed for Labour, their candidate Blair MacDougall is 10/1 to take the seat, with Paul Masterton coming in at 4/6, the SNP odds are 6/4. Bookies don’t like to give away money but 10/1 for Scottish Labour shows that being a long shot is rapidly the status quo for the party.

Yesterday’s decision wasn’t leadership when Scottish Labour removed every single councillor, it was just bad judgement, who in Scottish Labour has the task of saying to Kezia Dugdale, the word no, because the way things are going that should be a salaried position.

Finally, Scottish Labour runs with a slogan 'stronger together' maybe it is time to practice what they preach because slogans don't win elections. substance does! Let Labour Groups make their own decisions so people can see local democracy functions as it should. 

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University    

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

A simple man of quite un-extraordinary talent, Glasgow University Principal Anton Muscatelli, Nicola Sturgeon's EU adviser warns of "pretty catastrophic" Brexit, Scotland reels as Anton makes statements of the bleeding obvious, the wisdom of Scots hasn't been pushed forward, a trip to the library or the pub could get you the same wisdom, and at least at the pub you could get smashed and talk about the footie!

Dear All

Sometimes when you give an idiot a title, they think they know everything, today; I would like to focus on the rubbish spout by Anton Muscatelli. You may not be familiar with him but this character is Principal of the University of Glasgow. One of the phoney jobs he has is the chair of the First Minister’s standing council on Europe.

The SNP policy during Brexit was to remain, that didn’t work out as Nicola Sturgeon backed the wrong horse, then after she stopped squeaking, her next tactic was to demand separate access to the single market.

Why is this important, because the single market means that Scotland would be operating a different policy from the rest of the Uk and this would also mean Scotland would be allowed to continue to have freedom of movement. This policy by the SNP would also mean a hard border would have to be established within the UK.

Westminster rightly rejected that idea totally.

One of the funny developments in recent days is the idea floated that Nicola Sturgeon would have a seat at the Brexit talks, which is just fantasy, the UK Government will not have her on their team, questions of trust arise. As we also know, the SNP isn’t very good at working with others which completely in my opinion puts the notion of getting access to Brexit talks beyond her.

Nicola Sturgeon will not be allowed to go grandstanding, relegated to the sidelines; she will just be an interested spectator.

So, lets to Muscatelli, and his ‘wisdom’ he says at a breakfast meeting, presumably while scoffing his English breakfast that a quick trade deal with the EU was “complete fantasy”.

Well done Anton, that stint in education has certainly served you well, but statements of the bleeding obvious don’t count as wisdom. Here is some other wisdom, if you stick your hand in a fire it will get burnt, I don’t see anyone inviting me to a breakfast to pass on this gem but I thought I would throw it out there.

Another gem is use a rubber while having sex or you might get someone up the duff, really I could do this type of Muscatelli wisdom all day!

As to his claim of Brexit will be “pretty catastrophic” impact on the UK unless the free movement of people continues for several years, the UK will survive, there will be immigration, but there won’t be open borders. It will be for the country to decide who to let him, and legislation already exists to get skilled workers in. What needs to end is the influx of low skilled workers displacing working class people from jobs; this is dangerous for society, in many ways.

Muscatelli has no worries with money, or having a place to stay, he makes a packet, in ye olde days of my time at Glasgow University, the Principal also had an on call chauffeur to cart his arse about, it was flashy expensive car. And of course, in ye olde days, Musctaelli wasn’t living in the slums or deprived areas of Glasgow, he lived of the Switchback Road in Sunny Bearsden. Plus as Principal he also got cut rate sports facilities to use.

Perhaps Anton Muscatelli could speak to this aspect of freedom of movement which sees working class people displaced from job opportunities.

He and other experts had a “duty” to point out the flaws in a hard Brexit that would take the UK out the EU single market according to him.  Maybe he can point out the flaws of the UK allowing itself to be screwed by the EU, since ‘duty’ seems to be to at the forefront of his mind.

So, what I take from Muscatelli’s waffling is a single word, transition, it is bleeding obvious that there will be a transition as a new system comes online but equally there will be a cut off date. People of the UK can still go to Europe, and many of the scare stories are just that to frighten people.

Ask yourself how many people in the UK benefit from freedom of movement, if this is as Muscatelli says so important, what are the numbers, the bulk of the population aren’t involved in freedom of movement anyway. Freedom of movements only helps the rich suppress wages and conditions for workers.

If talks take longer than two years…… who cares; the direction of travel is the important issue, not steering and parking in cul de sac to satisfy someone’s whims. The most important issue of Brexit is sovereignty and the return of control to Westminster so that we the people have the right to choose who governs us and when necessary removed them via the ballot box.

Democracy in the EU is a joke, and not a funny one, the diktats of imposing migrant quotas coming out of Berlin and Brussels sees other countries rail against this; attacks on sovereignty by stealth are equally as bad as any other form of oppression.

One thing which I agree on is when Tom Harris who led the Brexit campaign in Scotland Brexit would force politicians to “put their money where their mouth is” and train people properly for jobs rather than rely on EU migrants. Bring in people from outside destroys internal social cohesion because it alienates those affect who are marginalised. Any country must invest in its own people rather than taking the cheap option of importing migrants. In certain areas such as medicine, there is a strong case for having diversity due to the nature of research and advancement; the same cannot be said at the low skilled worker end of the spectrum.

How does low skilled migrants benefit working class people chasing the same job, does more competition help them?

If so how?

How does competing with hundreds of people help you?

 Tom Harris added:

“For the first time our politicians are living in an environment where there is at least a possibility that if we don't train up Scottish youngsters to fulfil those roles we may not be able to rely on an unending supply of foreign workers to do those jobs for us. It puts a huge amount of pressure on politicians and it's something we should welcome, that for the first time in a generation these politicians are actually going to have to put their money where their mouth is and actually deliver on training of the indigenous population. They've been allowed to ignore that for too long because they've always been aware the safety net of EU immigration has been there.”

So, for decades, the bottom line is that politicians have abandoned the very people they purport to serve; this is why politicians are held in utter contempt by many people.

To prove my point, this morning, I was campaigning for a candidate, street stall stuff, no big deal, early morning, as I was trying to hand a person a leaflet, the individual who I had never met told me to ‘fuck off’.

I don’t know about you, but telling people to fuck off before 9 am isn’t on, you would need to wait till after dinner time, had someone do something bad to you and be having a really bad day for me to go down that road.

Finally, Dr Peter Bennie, chair of the British Medical Association in Scotland, said Scotland could build on a very limited existing ability to have different migration policies in different parts of the UK.

He said:

“There's a UK shortage occupation list, which includes a number of medical specialities where we simply don't have enough home graduates to fill those places at present. There's a separate and additional Scottish shortage occupation list, which includes additional specialities. It seems to me that works very smoothly already for non-EU, non-EEA citizens. Therefore we've got at least the bones of that kind of structure, and I think it could work.”

We should be producing our own home grown medics, much more than we do now, so I agree with Bennie and what he said about the existing provisions and the need for improvement in educating our young people.

Finally, as Muscatelli sits on standing council on Europe, some may take his wittering seriously, but at the end of the day, if you go down the pub, you could get another opinion. Although some people class him as an ‘expert’ I don’t, opinion maybe fact and then again it may not be fact.

Yours sincerely

George Laird

The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Death of a Monster, Ian Brady; the Moors Murderer is dead, his crimes were of such unspeakable evil that no one will mourn his passing, the signs he was evil flagged up early in his life as in his youth, he tortured cats

Dear All

Lots of people have grown up in very grime surroundings in this country, and they turned out alright, unfortunately others did not, Ian Brady was always be known as a mass murderer who committed such vile acts the term monster will apply to him. While growing up, he didn’t develop into an ordinary individual; he was a person who practiced evil. Brady’s crimes shocked and appalled the British people, people who commit child murder are the worst of people.

Although he lived in Glasgow, he also lived in Greater Manchester but in both locations, people were wary of him, some dubbed him Dracula and others the undertaker.

Brady went on to murder five innocent children, and in May 1966 he was convicted along with Myra Hindley, of murdering 10-year-old Lesley Ann Downey and 17-year-old Edward Evans. He was a person who was deemed too dangerous ever to even be considered for release. It was right that Ian Brady was never allowed to see freedom, the names of his victim such as Lesley Ann Downey, Edward Evans and John Kilbride only experienced a small taste of it before Brady and Hindley robbed them of it.

The evidence presented in the trial of Lesley Ann Downey, was a little girl stripped naked, bound and gagged, and a tape recording of her begging for help and asking to be allowed home to her mother. Lesley was repeatedly tortured and sexually assaulted by Brady and Hindley before being brutally murdered. If you think of the scope of his crimes, you cannot help but get angry; to do this type of activity requires a person to be devoid of humanity. Lesley’s cries reduced the judge, jury, spectators and even hardened police officers to tears during the trial. People like Brady, a monster are always used in the debate on capital punishment, as an argument to bring hanging. Hanging is a ghastly business, if you take the time to view youtube, you can see examples of people being hanged, Nazis war criminals, although the event seems peaceful, the event is also charged with emotion which you can see in the faces of the people attending the event.

Taking human life isn’t pleasant, even when done in the judicial sense of the state exercise the right in law. I am anti capital punishment; I can never support hanging, not because I have sympathy to people who do evil, but because miscarriages of justice rendering a final solution cannot be undone. In many countries, people like Brady would be hanged in front of a cheering crowd along with Myra Hindley and no one would mourn their loss to society.

Brady was to escape the hangman in Britain as the Death penalty was abolished just months earlier. As with some types of serial killers, Brady and Hindley kept a trophy of their killings. Hindley holding her pet dog and posing for pictures on the edge of one of the victims, no doubt she was proud of what she had done, and she had enjoyed it. Although Lord Longford, the great prison reform campaigner was to visit Hindley in jail and advocate on her behalf, she was equally as guilty as Brady, she was a monster as well.

The work done by police on the murder of Evans on October 7 1965 was to bring about the evil pairs downfall, Brady had made the mistake of trying to rope in another person, in this case Hindley's brother-in-law David Smith. What Smith must thought when he saw Brady hacking to death Evans with an axe is anyone’s guess but clearly he had witness horror beyond belief and the next day, he went straight to the police.

In 1987 Brady was to reveal information regarding the murders of Pauline Reade, 16, and Keith Bennett, 12, but was never tried for the crimes. Everyone knew Brady would never be let out into society.

The Moors Murderers, Ian Brady and Myra Hindley are now dead, Hindley died in November 2002 after suffering respiratory failure following a heart attack and now Brady is gone.

No one is mourning their loss.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Flames in the Hood, a George Laird production

Dear All

This is test material which I haven't finished yet, but I wanted to put it up to show you that with a bit of time, patience and learning, you can do a lot.

I would like to run through how I did this, compositing, is a bit like layers on a cake, the bottom layer in this case is the clip which I used which is called the 'plate' in film terms, and the fire and smoke are the layers, as you can see I have some layers behind others. This is to give an impression of depth.

The first thing I did was to 3d motion track the clip, when you do this, you create markers, when you find a marker where you want to put digital assets (smoke and fire), you then need to create a 3d camera and what is called a null object. The best way to explain what a null object is, think of a nail being hammered into a wall in a room, you walk in and place your jacket on the nail, When you stand at the door you can physically see where your jacket is in 3d space.

When you bring in your digital assets which are 2d, you have to make them into 3d layers, this is done by simply checking a box. So, you get to the place in the timeline where you want the clip, import it and then parent the clip to the null object. This basically allows your clip to stay exactly in the same place when the camera pans across the shot as I have done here.

All the assets you see in this clip are all parented to the same null object, then I just move them into position by using the XYZ arrows and scaling the clips either up or down to fit the location where they are placed.

Then, once you are happy, you can turn all the layers into a single clip and render it out into a movie format, I tend to use MP4.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

Friday, May 12, 2017

Open Letter to Anon, after a lifetime of voting Labour, 45 years, you have doubts, so here is an idea, why don’t you volunteer to campaign for a few days for the person who you feel best represents you and your community, you will quickly get a sense of the worth of a candidate beyond any information presented in a leaflet posted through your door, try doing street stalls, very educational and easy to do

Dear Anon

“I am very conflicted having voted labour at every election for the past 45 years and having recently joined the party to vote against Corbyn as leader. I have no doubt he is committed to his political viewpoint for altruistic reasons, I disagree great difficulty with his positions on trident, stop the war, nationalisation and a number of other issues, but that is OK. What I cannot get past is his support over many decades for the IRA, even during the period it was actively bombing and killing British citizens”.

Recently, my friends at a night out were talking me, and how I could support certain people or a certain party at a certain time. The truth of politics is that no party stays the same, an example is the SNP on NATO; decades spent being anti NATO then to suddenly change for independence, not because of recognition of the policy being wrong but for votes. You won’t find a perfect party which allows you to agree on every policy.

As to Corbyn, when I was in Labour, I voted for him, second time around, previously I wasn’t in the party. I know that he has shortcomings; the biggest ones are defence and foreign affairs. On his domestic front, he fares much better, however, there is an issue of trust, which when you consider the Brexit question and his problems with the ‘progress’ crowd, makes people nervous. A majority voted Leave, which I maintain was the correct thing to do, in years to come; it will shown I contend that leaving the EU was in the economic and national security interest. Europe has opened the door to serious problems regarding security, terrorism has been imported.

When you joined Labour to vote against Corbyn, you made a personal choice, like I did, although I voted for him, his past re the support of IRA was something which I didn’t like. Although people shouldn’t forget the past, we have to live in the present so we have to solve the problems of the present. The Conservatives in the shape of John Major started a dialogue with the IRA because they recognised that the terror campaign has run its course and the people on both sides didn’t support it. Ireland is a great place, and there was a price paid for peace, before and after Good Friday, politics is about compromise when the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few. You wouldn’t want to see Ireland return to the problems of the troubles anymore than anyone else would.

“How can I believe that the British public could be persuaded to vote Labour with the prospect him as PM and McDonnel as Chancellor????”

At election time, you get an ‘offer’, this is called the manifesto, in that document you are presented with a series of proposed changes, some people have said to me that they do like some of the ideas in this document. I haven’t had a change to read it. At the same time other parties give you their offer. You must weight up several things, when you consider voting I would suggest, chiefly the candidate, will that person represent you properly and sincerely if you have a problem. In Scotland, Labour crashed due to neglect of the people they were chosen to represent. Non-representation killed Labour in Scotland, took time, took decades, but they were operating their own agenda which wasn’t in sync with the public. This isn’t exclusive to just some in the Labour Party. You should also look at the manifesto, does their offer make sense to you; are there things which void their offer? Also what is their track record not just in your area but how they have operated as a government in the past? Politics in Scotland is in flux, I think more and more that the key thing which people want is representation, if you can’t get it from the candidate, you won’t get it from them as an MP. Labour losing all but one of their seats shows the problems in the party go beyond a few people, Labour needs to be taken back to bare metal back to the principles of Keir Hardie.

“If, as with Michael Foot, we have a Labour leader who present a persona that can be easily caricatured by the media, even the best Manifesto will not be able to cut through and win an election”.

That is a fair point, the leader should be respected, not just by the media, but also by the public and their fellow MPs. Jeremy Corbyn as I see it has a job, not to win the election, his job was to prepare people to come through the party so that a viable government in waiting gives the people a choice. I think although he does well with the grassroots, he has a connection problem because he isn’t seen by some as the next PM.

“With no prospect of winning an election with this leadership Labour will be a party of protest not government. The left have long wished to take over control of the Labour party, they have it now, but it is destroying the it as a party of government”.

Think of this, who was it that brought in the bedroom tax and the WCA, the ATOS scandal?

It was the Labour Party, if you have never been on the receiving end of bad government department decisions, you have missed an experience. Very unpleasant and socially destructive to not just the person but also a community; Labour wants to fix some of the problems which they created. This is a theme with them; it seems being kicked out of government makes some people more ‘caring’. Rachel Reeves famously said that Labour Party wasn’t the party of the unemployed, this fails to taken into account that many unemployed gave up their time to help the party at elections.    

Rachel Reeves….. what a scumbag!

“Will there be a modern day Gang of 4 to split the Left and guarantee Tory hegemony for 20 years, I hope not. The Salmond managed to do this on a smaller scale undermining Labour national campaign in 2015 and Sturgeon has had a big hand in rehabilitating the Conservatives in HR2016 & LG2017”.

Well spotted, the SNP want independence, they see more of a chance if the Labour Party in Scotland is marginalised; however, they didn’t calculate that there would be a Conservative revival in Scotland. Kezia made several huge mistakes, she upset Nationalist Labour voters and then Unionist Labour voters, which is why Labour in Scotland crashed. If she had set fire to the Labour HQ in Glasgow, that would have been the cherry on top of the icing cake. Kezia’s lack of support for the Union didn’t just cost her votes; it also cost her donations from wealthy backers. You can add to it, the activist base has crashed, members don’t want come out, and lifelong Labour votes would rather vote SNP than put an X beside a Labour candidate’s name.

  “If we ever want to see Socialist government in UK Labour needs to regain Scotland from the SNP, how do you do this with the current offering and leadership?”

100% agree with your statement, the second part how to ‘fix’ Labour, first thing to recognise is that Labour isn’t in a fit state to campaign. Every branch and CLP needs to have a review done on its operation, because to regain Scotland, you need to fix everything at the bottom and work your way upwards. Someone or a team needs to write a report on the operations of every branch and CLP. I have seen Labour training videos, honestly they are awful; Labour needs a virtual training series of videos on how to do all aspects of campaigning like a fly on a wall series, done professionally. I don’t know if you remember Jim Murphy’s claim that he ‘fixed’ Labour, no he didn’t.

Labour needs a new campaign model and a new structure for teaching, and having popped in to a session for prospective councillors, I wasn’t impressed; a guy reading off a Laptop screen with bad graphics doesn’t a teaching session make. Some people need to be removed from positions because they aren’t very good at it. So, all office staff need to be reviewed, what they do, and how and when it is done, a creation of a dedicated teaching team who operate a system which allows various learning outcomes to be achieved, so there is a universal standard, and allowing lateral thinking to create hybrid campaigns which don’t have to seek permission to operate during elections. Custom campaigns should be allowed in each area because although certain themes are universal, certain areas throw up challenges.

“With the ammunition SNP have stored up for opposition parties to use over the past 10 years Sturgeon should be slaughtered every FMQ's, Ruth Davison lands some good ones but no knock out blows, Kezia much less effective”.

2007, Labour loses Holyrood, from that date to 2011; they didn’t do any work of real importance at Holyrood. Post 2011, they didn’t learn, they didn’t change, so slaughtered again in 2016. And to return for a second to 2015, that campaign was bollocks, I saw months out that Labour thought that presenting crumbs to people would turn them back to Labour.

Is the most pressing social problem in Scotland, people getting an alcoholic drink at a football match?

Finally, I would encourage you to vote for the person who you personally feel will represent you and your area, you must make that decision, you will base your vote on one or more factors but you should vote, and get as many people to vote as well. I would also say volunteer to do a bit of time for the candidate you wish to vote for. You don’t need a vast amount of experience but it will let you see a side of politics which perhaps you haven’t seen before. Be dispassionate as you look at the campaign unfolding, you will get a sense of whether candidate is worth your time and your vote. How a candidate treats people helping them is a reflection on how they will treat others if elected. I can tell you this; one person who I campaigned for will not be getting my services in the future.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Your life not safe in Nicola Sturgeon's hands, SNP Health scare fiasco comes back bite the Nationalists as their scaremongering over Brexit leads foreign medics to consider whether they have a future in Scotland, 200 GPs are wondering if they are doing to have to quit their Scottish posts, Westminster will not be deporting a single doctor from our NHS, and they won’t be used as pawns either

Dear All

During the course of 20 years at Glasgow University, I met a ton of medics, and as a fitness instructor, I knew some people very well, some of these people are working in the NHS as GPs and other types of specialists. Training to become a doctor is a five year gig which demands a lot of time studying, going to hospitals and GP practices. One female medic during her summer went to a hospital in Malta to get experience of delivering babies.

As to the female medic, she graduated but her boyfriend dumped her and cleaned out their flat and even took the light bulbs, moral of that story, don't date an engineer.When she told me that story I burst out laughing, as I noted laughter is the best medicine to her. I also mentioned I was sorry for her, she was in my dealings with her a really great person to know. 

Medicine is a profession that opens lots of doors, it is something which is like an international passport, if you are a doctor and you wish to live in another country then having a doctor’s qualification is a huge bonus. Governments recognise the value of medical qualifications, and the bodies that represent the profession are taken seriously in high circles.

In Scotland, the health service has been badly managed by the Scottish National Party while in Government; the ‘rot’ started when Alex Salmond appointed Nicola Sturgeon as Health Secretary and boldly declared that health was a flagship priority. Like many people back in 2007, I was hoodwinked into believing this was true. The reality was that Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP narrowed their focus to certain targets while the rest of the service slipped downwards.

Nicola Sturgeon is now First Minister but her tenure at health planted the seeds of disaster which simply grew, no nipping in the bud from Nicola. We have had various crises in health, A&E crisis, Cancer waiting time’s crisis, Operations cancelled crisis, GP crisis, midwife crisis, nursing crisis, lack of surgeons crisis, bed blocking crisis, people left with no blankets crisis.

We have a new super hospital in Glasgow; sadly one of the biggest problems is that it is too small to cope with the volume in A&E, what was the SNP response by Nicola Sturgeon’s pal, Shona Robison?

Too many sick people were using the service!

In December 2014, I nearly died; I went to A&E with a life threatening illness and was kicked out as a time waster and told to go to my doctor. The triage nurse and the doctor at A&E nearly killed me by denying me treatment and didn’t even give me a physical examination. I was forced to wait 55 hours during which time I was in incredible physical pain. I returned to the hospital with a letter from my GP, within 10 minutes of handing this over, I was dragged past a huge queue of people and treated. The symptoms I told my GP were enough to give him the information he needed along with a quick ‘prod’ to know what was wrong. I was told to immediately get back to the hospital.

I was unfortunate to get sick at the height of the A&E crisis at the Southern General, many ill people got turned away only to find their stories making headlines in the Daily Record. My return to hospital was surreal, after the initial treatment in A&E, I was told that I wasn’t going anywhere and I was to be admitted as a patient. I was kept in for 5 days as they were concerned about my kidney function which had been frying in toxic blood for some considerable time, along with other issues. When I was released, I was just at the start of my troubles which became a running saga of failures. Asked to go back in two weeks, this was cancelled and I wasn’t informed, the medical supplies given to me to cover this period which had to be ordered in were running out and I had to end up getting an emergency prescription and then to try to hunt round Glasgow desperately trying to get the supplies. Having left me in the lurch, the hospital when I went back refused to help me with more supplies after they had cancelled my appointment…. and to make matters worse, my GP went on holiday!

If it hadn’t been for my friends making their time available to run me about, I would have been in serious trouble. After I came out of hospital, I was so ill that even little old ladies using walking sticks would blow right pass me like Olympic athletes. The old saying ‘couldn’t walk the length of himself really did apply to me. To add insult to injury, my back seized up partially on the 23rd December, Xmas that year was a nightmare, if they say there is a point when you hit rock bottom, I had reached it physically. My time was a series of cancelled appointments, no information and feeling low. The next piece of bad news dropped as they put me through a huge battery of tests because they were concerned I might have cancer, my weight was falling like a stone and they couldn’t understand why.

In 2015, I was to get an operation, only to be told near the date that it was to be cancelled, I was offered another date but not with the same surgeon, if I didn’t take that date, I was told I could wait up to 3 more months. From the start of my illness to getting operated on, it took 27 weeks, and given the treatment I was getting, I didn’t want to hang around, so jumped in feet first and said I would take the new appointment. My new surgeon was Dr. Hasan Qazi, when we did our doctor/ patient chat, he asked me did I have an question, so I said that I had purposely not looked up what was involved in the surgery but I did have one question.

So, can you guess the question?

I asked him straight to his face, ‘I have just one question, are you any good at this’, he burst out laughing and said ‘don’t you worry I will take care of you’. He put me at ease, and strangely I had no more worries after that, prior to getting to hospital I was a nervous wreck, fear of the unknown. I get to the hospital then it was like a dream, I am feeling like I am a spectator. Dr. Hasan Qazi probably more than anyone in medicine gave me back something I had lost, he gave me back hope, I wasn’t out of the woods after surgery, I spent 3 weeks solid with blood pouring out me every 15 minutes but I had turned a corner. In 2015, I wasn’t politically active, as I said the medical problems had physically wrecked me, so the election campaign that year was for me just a spectator sport.

2016, I return to politics, that year, I did the campaign of Johann Lamont which strangely for me I made my sole campaign for various reasons, normally I campaign in more than one so I get a feel of how a party is doing with the public, and it also helps my posts as a by-product. 2016 was also the year of Brexit, and being a known campaigner, I was asked to ‘fix’ the Brexit campaign which got off to a shaky start in Glasgow. The Brexit campaign on day one of me attending saw a dramatic rise in volume as I explained to the group that we aren’t involved in a passive activity. The Brexit campaign in Buchanan Street was one of the most successful parts of Brexit in Scotland. It lead to me being made an official Brexit spokesman and it also saw me getting one of my bucket list ticked off; being a panellist on the Gordon Brewer radio show. Brexit for some people focused on a single issue but the prime reason which all other reasons were just symptoms was sovereignty. We as a people must have the right to hold people to account who make our laws, the European Union has lost its way; it is anti country and anti worker. I knew campaigning for Brexit was morally right, and politically correct, cut through the nonsense of both sides, and the sovereignty issue sticks out like a sore thumb.

Brexit threw up many scare stories, one of the chief ones is deportation; today we see a report by Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) that 200 family doctors could leave their jobs. If they did this would put pressure on an already badly managed and failing health service. The reality is that no doctor currently working in Scotland or indeed Britain has anything to fear after Brexit, no European doctor prior to us joining the then ‘Common Market’ in 1973 had any fear either. In medicine, due to the nature of the profession, it sees doctors crisscross the world learning, teaching and practicing. Once passed medical school training still continues for medics, they go on to do many courses to learn new skills and also update existing.

If as the NHS says that half of all Edinburgh GP practices might soon be forced to turn away new patients as the lack of family doctors heaped further pressure on practices. This is more an argument for controlled immigration, better forward planning and the medics telling Nicola Sturgeon to ‘get her act together’ regarding funding. Scotland is still a great place to work for a doctor, we have five exceptional medical schools in Scotland, who churned out very good students, after spending 20 years at University of Glasgow, I met a ton of them.

At present there is a GP shortage, the blame doesn’t rest with the NHS, the blames lies with the Scottish Government, we shouldn’t have a GP crisis, not in a country like Scotland, but the SNP aren’t focused on government, they are focused on independence. Is there a case for a permanent task force in government to go recruiting, probably not happen, ideas aren’t an SNP strong point!

In October, Nicola Sturgeon who boldly pledged £500 million for primary care has only handed over half that amount so far, given the extra money handed over by Westminster, you have to ask, where the hell is the money being diverted to?

Dr Miles Mack, chairman of the RCGP said:

“The full £500m promised to GPs and health centres by the first minister in October could be clearly outlined for the GP service, to show medical students a career with a bright future”.

So, it seems that there are many problems in medicine but I would strongly suggest there is no problem at all for any European doctor currently practicing in Scotland regards to their status in the country or their status in their current position. I would expect total cross party support for them without exception. These scare stories are a distraction and unhelpful, the purpose of Brexit was to reclaim sovereignty so that we can hold our elected politicians to account at the ballot box. Any fair minded person wouldn't have any truck with dragging up this rubbish, but sadly the SNP leadership aren’t fair minded people, the Nationalists have latched onto scare stories in an attempt to garner votes. 

It is the type of petty mean spirited politics which thrive under the SNP so easily.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University