Friday, November 17, 2017

Throbbergate part 5, the throbbing just won't stop, shamed and disgraced SNP Minister Mark McDonald has been suspended by the SNP after second allegation against him emerges, Nicola Sturgeon publicly backed him as an MSP, her judgement has been found to be wanting, party before victim, what a horrible creature she is and a poor excuse for a human being

Dear All

It seems that throbbergate just won’t stop throbbing, when Nicola Sturgeon backed disgraced former SNP Minister McDonald and cited him as a ‘good MSP’, another critical error of judgement on Sturgeon’s part was on display, it was party before victim.

So, what was the George Laird view, I said on the blog that Mark McDonald should be suspended.

The SNP refused to do so!

You would think that having got McDonald in for a ‘chat’, that someone would have asked ‘the question’….. is there any more issues that we should know about, after all since Sturgeon backed McDonald, she placed her neck on the line. And if you are sticking your neck, you want to know all the facts, up to and including the painful truth.

Now, we see that disgraced SNP MSP Mark McDonald has been suspended from SNP as it emerges that he faces a second complaint of inappropriate behaviour. It was only nine days since Nicola Sturgeon defended him publicly.

As I previously blogged, McDonald dubbed by some as the ‘poundland Harvey Weinstein’ is too toxic, and cited the case of Bill Walker who the parliament turned on rather quickly when allegations against him came to the fore.

Can Holyrood do no less with Mark McDonald?

The decision to dumped from the party after further allegations were lodged at the SNP HQ, now yet again, its Operation Save Nicola Sturgeon.

The reason for ‘Save Sturgeon'; is McDonald’s resignation was played down publicly by the First Minister, who said on November:

“Some may well have thought it was not serious enough to resign for.”

Well clearly events have moved on but what is interesting is how the SNP reacted early on to the second allegation, a Nats spokesman denied the story, saying:

“No complaint has been received.”

Now that story is changed to:

“Following new information being received by the SNP over the course of the last 24 hours relating to the behaviour of Mark McDonald, he has been suspended from both the parliamentary group and the party while further investigation takes place.
“In the interests of due process and appropriate confidentiality no further comment will be made.”

In the wake of the new revelations, I have found the perfect song on youtube to sum up the situation of ‘poundland Harvey Weinstein’; it is the classic by Chuck Berry. In a situation like this, the song by Elton John, ‘don’t go breaking my heart’ with Kiki Dee just won’t cut it, plus, I needed something to set the mood.

The SNP under Nicola Sturgeon is very much a ‘my ding-a-ling’ outfit, hardly the ‘civic and joyous’ experience that Salmond espoused.

So, yet again, why did Nicola Sturgeon appoint Mark McDonald as a Children’s Minister because we have to ask this question again and again and again? Of course bad judgment isn’t new when it comes to Nicola Sturgeon; there is enough of that to fill a library.

Anyway, I think I have also found the perfect song and singer which could fit Nicola Sturgeon to a tee.

Finally when pressed about whether female constituents of the ex-Children’s Minister should feel comfortable speaking to McDonald, Nicola Sturgeon boldly declared:

“I think people can and should”.

Given Mark McDonald has been suspended does that ‘advice’ still hold true?

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Immigration Debate and Racial Tensions in America (Johnny C. Taylor Pt. 2)

Dear All

One of the things you should do is get a broad range of views, if you haven't watched The Rubin Report, you are missing out.


The Black Community, Education, and Taking Down Statues (Johnny C. Taylor Pt. 1)

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Political Exodus: Alex Salmond new career is facing a major setback as major politicians in the UK decide to boycott his TV show on the Russian channel RT, already John Bercow the Commons Speaker pulls out, David Cameron won’t appear, even Nicola Sturgeon backed off, nice to have friends isn’t it!

Dear All

At some point in your life, you start new chapters, it happens to everyone, one thing doesn’t pan out and you move on to something else. When Alex Salmond among others in the SNP lost their seats at the General Election, it sent shockwaves through the SNP.

In the space of two years, the new party of the establishment had taken a massive hit as the SNP as a party lost the trust and respect of the voters. In some cases new SNP MPs saw their previous share of the vote fall dramatically.

In Glasgow, the SNP lost the seat of Glasgow North East by a mere 242 votes to Paul Sweeney, in other places like Glasgow South West and Glasgow East, the SNP held on by their finger tips.

When the news that Alex Salmond and Angus Robertson had lost their seats along with Tasmina Ahmed Shiekh, I must admit I was over the moon, if anyone deserved a Michael Portillo moment, these three chancers certainly did. On a personal note, in Glasgow North East, the SNP Candidate Anne McLaughlin crashed and burned, it was a campaign which I gave up all to see her go down in flames!

Salmond has went to try his hand at entertainment which we now see includes TV, the major and minor home grown TV stations in the UK aren’t touching him with a bargepole so Alex has signed up to the Russian Channel.

A major error of judgment given he is a privy council, but hey, a guy has got to earn a coin hasn’t he, he is too old to start an apprenticeship, and too old for labouring as well. Instead we see Alex Salmond doing what he does best, talk about how wonderful he is on his new show ‘The Alex Salmond Show’. You might think that having spent so much time in the House of Commons and Holyrood that Salmond would be heaving with top weight politicians but sadly for him, this isn’t the case.

The news is that Salmond is facing TV boycott as Commons Speaker John Bercow pulls out, Bercow who appeared at Salmond’s stage show doesn’t want to be on RT, the Russian channel. And the good news just keeps on coming, apparently his ‘friends’, his former cult members in the SNP Government, they don’t want to appear either as it is considered an error of judgment.

RT is an interesting channel, I have seen some stuff and it is very good, but when you view RT, you have to accept that it is widely seen as a mouthpiece of President Vladimir Putin. The channel is registered in the US as an arm of the Russian Government, there are of course some very nice Russians kicking about the place, I know two in passing, they aren’t interested in politics.

It seems that the boycott of Salmond’s new show is the ‘in thing to do’ as former Prime Minister David Cameron had been asked by Salmond in a phone call last week to appear on the show. If you watch Westminster regularly you will remember that David Cameron has no love at all for the SNP, in fact during PMQs, he once mouthed silently to Angus Robertson…. ‘will you fuck off’.

No love there methinks.

A senior Conservative hits the nail on the head when he said:

"It shows Salmond's total lack of self awareness. There's no way the former PM would do a Russia Today chat show with the nationalist leader, and Dave quite rightly told Alex to get stuffed. Alex is going after a lot of Tories and getting a lot of knock backs."

Yesterday Kenny MacAskill said that the UK Conservative Government should have given Alex Salmond a ‘job’, so he wouldn’t have needed to go on RT, this begs the question, why isn’t Nicola Sturgeon not giving Alex Salmond a job?

Finally, how long will it be before the Alex Salmond Show resembles a ‘poundland’ Borat episode? 

You have to wonder as well, how long it will be before Alex Salmond and Tasmina Ahmed Shiekh realises their show is well and truly over!

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

‘Putin’s puppet, former SNP leader Alex Salmond insists unpopular Nicola Sturgeon is poised to press the button on a second independence referendum, it is the same old tired rhetoric from a bunch of losers, Scottish independence was lost in 2014, the boat sailed and no trumped up nonsense over Brexit will change that piece of history, gone is gone!

Dear All

Have you ever watched a movie, where the bad guys press the button to cause a massive explosion and nothing happens?

If you have, you will see the look of the bad guys face as the hero busts in to kick his ass and he ends up dying in a horrible fashion, justice being done, the hero gets the girl, the music starts and they walk away to live happily ever after.

It seems that the bad guys in the shape of Scotland’s ‘jolly fat man’ Alex Salmond  who is called by some people, ‘Putin’s puppet’ is saying Nicola Sturgeon is ready to press second independence referendum button swiftly after Britain leaves EU.

Well, the button isn’t going to work, no matter how many times that SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon presses it, all she can do is make a request and as we know, there is no danger than she will be entertained in this term of the Westminster Parliament.

Theresa May has kicked the problem to beyond 2021, and if you have been paying attention to the polls and the trend, and the scandals, the SNP is falling, the trajectory is downwards.

I have done a good bit of campaigning, and I am very proud that in both referendums I was 100% right in my judgment of the right course of action. The SNP leaders at the time; were completely wrong, which is par for the course. Several years ago, I highlighted that the Scottish Independence boat had sailed, and no excuse like Brexit or any other trumped up story or event will change that scenario.

Now, we know the SNP isn’t an independence party, many people have woken up, to the fact the SNP want to give control of Scotland to an unelected group called the EU, a political organisation of 50,000 people.

In return, the senior SNP would be bought off with jobs and MEP slots, they would lead the ‘high life’ while ordinary Scots suffered greatly, we would be the Greece of the North, broke and depending on handouts.

What the SNP want is EU membership, failing that they want EU membership under the guise of the single market, all the cons and none of the pros for Scotland. The single market like the EU membership is a problem, a problem unfixed by the EU which is seeing a shift to the right which they dub the ‘far right’ in order to smear, in places like Poland, Hungary and in the Czech Republic, the people aren’t as EU friendly or willing to comply.

Former First Minister Alex Salmond has a TV show starting on the Russian channel RT, along with him comes Tasmina Ahmed Shiekh as a roving reporter, RT is registered in the US as a branch of the Russian Government. Salmond sounding about a second referendum is a ‘hello look at me’ event, he wants to stir up trouble and then sit back and benefit from it.
What is going to happen is that the Russians having taken Salmond as a novelty value useful idiot will realise that his ‘effect’ will be limited, and as to the content of his new show, he might think he is wonderful but this adventure will end up as a Wayne’s World caper before it dies a death. People will watch not for knowledge but for information to hang Salmond, Sturgeon and the SNP, which is why the SNP are saying no SNP ministers will be appearing on the show, now or in the future.

The people of Britain want control of their country back, they want our elected politicians to be accountable to us, this is normal, and problem for Britain is immigration especially illegal immigration which the EU under Merkel has seen explode in Europe which has been a disaster.

A German Army report predicts civil war in 20 years.

If there is a civil war, Nicola Sturgeon if she gets her way will have dragged Scotland into it, and brought many problems to our country, but as a childless leader, she doesn’t care about the future much like Salmond, another childless leader. One of the problems in Europe is the rise of childless leaders.

Here is a point of view on this topic of childless leaders.

Sturgeon might see Scottish independence as her ‘baby’ but she won’t be delivering it under her timetable if at all, Sturgeon told MSPs she will “reset” the timetable for another referendum, guess what, no authority to go forward with it. The SNP wanted a quick referendum between autumn 2018 and spring 2019, this was to try and get unionist pro EU voters in Scotland on board but that came to nothing. As to the nonsense and it is nonsense that another vote is still "likely" before the May 2021 Scottish Parliament election.

Absolutely no chance!

Absolutely no chance means that the next hurdle is the 2021 election which given the state of the political flux in Scotland would see the SNP lose their chance, and even if they get the Scottish Greens to go with them the math is that Nicola Sturgeon will not have enough votes to get a second referendum passed.

If Nicola Sturgeon fails to do this, her position in the SNP as leader becomes untenable, you could make the case that it is that way now with recent defeats, all self inflicted and scandal in the wings.

So, do I support hard Brexit?

The answer is yes, I do support hard Brexit, because I suspect that the British people don’t fancy being ripped off twice which is what the EU wants to do to the British people and has the support of the useful idiots in various parties.

51.9% of voters backed Brexit, if EU want to play silly games let them, when big business realises what the EU is doing, they will turn on them very quickly indeed, you may see a clear out. People like Angela Merkel don’t want to be caught in the middle of big business and angry German workers fearful of their jobs.

The SNP still haven’t woken up to the fact that Scotland has moved passed them, they are the past; a new future needs to be written, a future with the SNP out of power and out of government.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

Monday, November 13, 2017

Spotlight on an Uber Rat, Nicola Sturgeon downplayed the disgusting antics of former SNP minister Mark McDonald who now admits causing woman "considerable distress", at present disgraced ex minister is refusing to come to Holyrood, the situation is too toxic for Sturgeon not to suspended him now, Scots don't need a 'poundland Harvey Weinstein' as an MSP

Dear All

When SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon drastically downplayed the events of her former SNP minister Mark McDonald, you just knew there was more to the story, Sturgeon’s actions smelt to high heaven.

From 2012 till present, the SNP and particularly Nicola Sturgeon made a major play for the women’s vote in elections, in the referendum this was also fronted by Women for Independence which had heavy SNP involvement. In the aftermath of defeat, Nicola Sturgeon made a lot of noise about how women were under represented, not just in Holyrood but also elsewhere in Scotland’s public life. The idea was a cynical political ploy that suggested that Nicola Sturgeon valued women.

We now know that is a ‘crock of shit’.

The Mark McDonald scandal shows what I and many others have been hammering away at, the SNP is a cult, run by a cult for the benefit of the cult; sadly these people have managed to achieve the reins of power.

In light of recent events, we are now finding out that ex SNP Childcare Minister Mark McDonald is now receiving professional “support”, he is struggling to cope having put a woman through hell, who will believe this rubbish?

In trying to sell that crap, Nicola Sturgeon also backed him by saying his behaviour was of a kind “that some others may well have thought was not serious enough to resign”.

Sturgeon added:

“He's a good MSP and he will continue to be so."

Does this sound like an SNP leader who claims to be a staunch defender of women and their rights?

Of course, the SNP view women as a vote cache, people to be used and then discarded, the fact that Nicola Sturgeon has abandoned the victim shows the true calibre of Sturgeon and her mentality.

After going into hiding to escape the press for the last 10 days, McDonald said he would now be returning to work at his Aberdeen Donside constituency office but as the heat is still on him, he would not return to parliament for an unspecified “period of time”.

Like a rat, he will reappear when the ‘coast is clear’, whether that will be his judgment or his SNP handlers remains to be seen.

Although the actions of Mrk McDonald are disgusting, the spotlight needs to focus on why Nicola Sturgeon appears to be doing nothing, why isn’t Mark McDonald suspended for his conduct, clearly the woman is a victim, clearly she has suffered.

Why won’t Nicola Sturgeon punish Mark McDonald?

Why hasn’t Mark McDonald been suspended?

The questions surrounding throbbergate haven’t stopped, what happens if the woman takes McDonald to court, where will the SNP stand then?

Finally, I said the SNP was a ‘rat ship’, the fact this woman has been pushed to the brink lets you know what kind of people the SNP are producing to be elected representatives, clearly as I previously stated Mark McDonald needs to resign and a by-election needs to be held. In the case of Bill Walker, the parliament shunned him very quickly; can they do no less when Mark McDonald returns?

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Throbbergate Part 4, there needs to be a by-election in Donside Aberdeen, this is due to the behaviour of SNP MSP Mark McDonald, there has been a material change of circumstances in what the people of Donside voted for as a representative, no by-election shows Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP are running scared

Dear All

It seems that the spotlight is starting to shine on Nicola Sturgeon after being faced with renewed questions after she backed Mark McDonald to continue as an SNP MSP for Aberdeen Donside. As the scandal heightens, questions remain unanswered over why a Scottish Government children's minister Mark McDonald sent a suggestive text message to a woman which included a reference to a sex act.

Clearly this is not normal behaviour!

In fact this is extraordinary behaviour, and his political future is hanging by a thread, clearly there needs to be a by-election since there has been a ‘change of circumstances’ since he was elected. You may recall that the SNP cite a ‘change of circumstances’ to justify a Scottish referendum on Brexit, why not a by-election so that the voters of Donside can be heard?

What is Nicola Sturgeon so scared of?

Why aren’t we being told what the alleged suggested sexual act was?

The victim of Mark McDonald who made the complaint has insisted “people have to change. The bottom line in this is there’s no point in people coming forward if people don’t change. People have to change in the future. Apologies are all well and good but if it doesn’t change how people act. That’s why people have come forward. People don’t want this. I don’t want it.”

Reading this, it sounds like this poor defenceless woman has suffered greatly and she should seek not just help in the form of counselling but also legal help as well.

A spokesman for the Scottish Conservatives said:

“The longer this saga drags on, the more difficult the public will find it to accept Nicola Sturgeon’s knee-jerk explanation. Understandably, they wonder how it can be fine for him to continue as an MSP, but not fine for him to be a junior government minister.”

This is the nub of the matter, he patently cannot continue as an SNP MSP, the whip should have been withdrawn immediately but as we have seen with others, there is a lack of transparency and where Nicola Sturgeon is involved integrity as well. Nicola Sturgeon is a shallow hollow inept vacuous woman who will say anything, in this case backing Mark McDonald was a major mistake.

You can almost see the election leaflets next time round, and the hustings where person after person stands up to ask why Mark McDonald did what he did and does he think he is a person worthy of being an MSP.

A Labour source hit the nail on the head when they highlighted that McDonald's resignation had “created more questions than answers - namely what conduct he believes is unacceptable for a junior minister but not for an MSP”.

They added:

“Nicola Sturgeon doesn't seem to realise that being evasive on this issue is sending an awful message to the victims of abuse and harassment. This is not a level of transparency that many in the SNP will feel comfortable with.”

Nicola Sturgeon’s failure to act by not withdrawing the shows that she is a weak leader, she has managed to destroy the base for independence and she has destroyed her own credibility and voter base!

The public have had enough of Nicola Sturgeon and her toxic brand of civic nationalism along with her cohort of third rate politicians masquerading as ‘caring people’ with Scottish people’s interests at their heart.

Sturgeon told Holyrood McDonald had resigned over behaviour “some others may well have thought was not serious enough to resign”.

Scottish Government children's minister + female + text message with reference to a sex act = certain resignation, if Sturgeon knows some others who don’t grasp the situation, then they are just as deluded as her.

The Donside by-election needs to happen; let the voters decide due to a ‘change of circumstances’ in what was presented to the public by the SNP.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Throbbergate Part 3: unpopular Nicola Sturgeon appears to confess that her former minister Mark McDonald made certain women feel uncomfortable, SNP MSP goes into hiding, his office is shut down, and Sturgeon is defending him, Nicola Sturgeon failed to protect women, anyone asking the question……. Why?

Dear All

It may come as a surprise to you that Nicola Sturgeon is defending her former minister Mark McDonald as the Holyrood 'sex scandal' rumbles on, but not me, much like Alex Salmond getting on the wrong side of history is more or less a given with her.

Nicola Sturgeon picked Mark McDonald, and in this case, all roads not to Rome but back to her, it is her judgement which is flawed, now she has to defend him because she has to defend herself.

So, what should happen to Mark McDonald of the SNP?

Well the speculation continues to mount about his political future as it seems that he has failed to return to the Scottish Parliament or his Aberdeen Donside constituency office. When you get outed for your behaviour in the current climate, the only way is down, are the SNP secretly preparing for a by-election?

Mark McDonald of the SNP has admitted “inappropriate” previous behaviour, in the case of wife beater Bill Walker, he was shunned almost immediately by the parliament; can there be any less treatment in store for McDonald?

A Tory spokesman added:

“The public don’t understand how a minister could suddenly resign in the way he did, and for the SNP to expect everyone else to fill in the blanks. Mark McDonald going into hiding is hardly helping things.”

And you can add to the mix, we haven’t heard the accusations, and we haven’t heard from the victim, it seems that the ‘wall of silence’ benefits McDonald, but is he or the SNP playing for time, well I think many people would strongly suggest that is the case.

In trying to put a clean pair of heels behind her Nicola Sturgeon has decided to appoint a woman to the role vacated by McDonald, naming the Highlands and Islands MSP Maree Todd as his replacement.

Where it all falls down is when Sturgeon said he had "done the right thing and taken responsibility".

Did he have a choice, and what does taking responsibility means in the SNP anyway, it means nothing.

Sturgeon who doesn’t want a by-election added:

"He's a good MSP and he will continue to be so."

How can you be a good MSP if you leave public office as a minister in disgrace?

Sturgeon also mentioned in trying to spin NcDonald as a ‘good guy’:

"He has reflected on his behaviour having had things brought to his attention, aspects of his behaviour that he thought was humorous or friendly he now knows made certain women feel uncomfortable. He's done the right thing by taking responsibility for that. I'm not going to say any more about the detail of that because as well as Mark's position, these situations of course involve the privacy and confidentiality of women and if we are to encourage women to come forward and raise concerns then it's important that they know their privacy will be respected."

So, did Sturgeon just allegedly admitted that there is more than one victim, exactly how many victims of Mark McDonald are they and what positions do they hold at the Scottish Parliament?

It would appear that the SNP strategy is that Mark McDonald should go into hiding until he and the SNP think the heat has died down then reappear. An SNP spokesman said:

“Mark McDonald will be returning to parliament shortly and is continuing to serve his constituents in Aberdeen Donside.”

But, the big kick in the teeth is that a senior SNP source said he hoped Mr McDonald would be able to return as a minister in the future.

Has to resign due to alleged creepy behaviour and they think a return as a minister of the crown is possible?

No, and when the next election rolls round, McDonald will have a fight to keep the Donside seat because you be sure the women’s vote will take a hit, a big hit.

Finally, Nicola Sturgeon has made a great play about standing up for women, although those in the know think this is horseshit, which it is, the lack of action relating to Nicola Sturgeon doing anything about McDonald is very telling indeed. It shows yet again, that Nicola Sturgeon’s judgment is warped, and the SNP is still as I stated years ago, a ‘rat ship’.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

Monday, November 6, 2017

Throbbergate Part 2, SNP Leader Nicola Sturgeon’s bad judgement is laid bare as SNP close ranks around shamed minister Mark McDonald, mysterious sexual harassment allegations not shared with public, has a risk assessment been done, why haven’t we heard from the alleged victim, in the SNP it seems justice cannot be seen to be done, this stinks to high heaven

Dear All

The SNP have a thing about presenting themselves as Scotland’s saviours, the white knights who are beyond reproach, squeak clean and honourable. The truth is quite the opposite, the SNP is a party dripping with sleaze when it comes to sexual matters.

In the Scottish Parliament, there has been a development in the sexual harassment allegations sweeping through the Chamber.

No surprises where the first resignation has occurred, yes, you be right if you said SNP Government Minister.

Childcare Minister Mark McDonald who was said to be a ‘rising star’ (aren’t they all); has resigned over alleged “inappropriate” actions. What shows this stinks to high heaven is the SNP is closing ranks around the former shamed minister Mark McDonald, we are not getting to hear what the allegations are and we haven’t heard from the complainer.

Former Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale said:

“These revelations engulfing our political system are so rotten, even the clean up stinks.”

On social media SNP MSP Mark McDonald has been dubbed the ‘poundland Harvey Weinstein’, a reference to the sex fiend mogul who was outed in the press. Once the Holywood dam broke, it seems to have spilled over into UK politics and reached Scotland.

What the public need to know about the Aberdeen Donside SNP MSP are the allegations to that they can make a risk assessment on this individual, is it safe for their female family members?

Not to be told the allegations will not kill the story as Mark McDonald is currently said not to be resigning as an MSP. This raises other questions by his critics who highlight if his conduct was unacceptable for a government minister, why is he still continuing as an MSP?

Shouldn’t MSP have the standard as a minister?

As part of his defence, the Aberdeen Donside SNP MSP said that his behaviour was “humorous or attempting to be friendly” but apologised to “anyone I have upset”.

This doesn’t sound convincing to me.

Now, the Holyrood dam is said to be breaking, it seems that claims sexual harassment are rife in the Scottish Parliament according to sources, but what does it say that the SNP have close ranks on protecting Mark McDonald?

What does it say about Nicola Sturgeon’s judgement that she appointed a man as a childcare minister who ends up having to resign in disgrace?

What weight can be put on Nicola Sturgeon’s statement ‘men are the problem’ when she as the female leader allows Mark McDonald to remain in the party?

If you want to know the real Nicola Sturgeon, and not the fake presented to you, then her spokesman sums up Sturgeon perfectly when he said McDonald remained a “valuable” part of the SNP group at Holyrood.

Party before alleged victim?

The spokesman added:

“Mark has taken the right action in apologising and recognising that in his current role it would be inappropriate for him to remain in government.  He will continue to make a valuable contribution to parliament as the MSP for Aberdeen Donside.”

Sturgeon’s party was dragged further into scandal after it now has come to light that a second SNP MSP, Willie Coffey, was reported to Holyrood bosses after a civil servant complained about his alleged behaviour.

An administrative assistant complained of “inappropriate language” and “unsolicited attention” from the 59-year-old backbencher.

It seems that the problem in this case was made six months ago and centred on alleged approaches made by the Kilmarnock and Irvine Valley MSP in person and in email. 

When did Nicola Sturgeon know about this?

What action did the SNP take?

Was there an investigation by the SNP bosses?

Was the civil servant interviewed by the SNP?

A Scottish Labour source:

“Mark McDonald’s apology went down like a lead balloon. His resignation created more questions than answers - namely what conduct he believes is unacceptable for a junior minister but not for an MSP. This is not a level of transparency that many in the SNP will feel comfortable with.”

Something stinks to high heaven about Nicola Sturgeon’s judgement, another bad judgement in a series of bad judgements on handling crisis.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

Friday, November 3, 2017

Spanish judge has jailed Catalan politicians charged with sedition and rebellion, former President of Catalonia is subject to an EU arrest warrant along with 4 other ex ministers, holding an illegal vote has consequences and in this case, justice would be served by their imprisonment and a lifetime ban on holding public office

Dear All

A Spanish judge has rightly and legally jailed Catalan politicians who charged with sedition and rebellion. These people thought that they could get away with holding an illegal vote and bypassing the rule of law as if public office is some kind of game where they pull the strings.

Now these people are finding out differently.

It is also right and something which I suggested in passing that an EU arrest warrant is issued for the return to Spain of ousted president Carles Puigdemont and four of his ex-ministers.

It might have come as a shock to others that a Spanish judge has ordered nine former members of the government in Catalonia jailed while they are investigated over charges of sedition, rebellion and embezzlement but not me, it was always going to end up this way. Their actions have already caused civil unrest and they have threatened Spain’s national and economic security.

And you don’t get to do this and walk away with consequences!

So, what should happen to these people, well, I favour jail time around the 8 years, and a lifetime ban from standing for public office, these people aren’t martyrs they were involved in criminal acts.

Although Carles Puigdemont, the former president of Catalonia, and four other ex-Cabinet members are in Belgium and have ignored court summonses to appear for questioning, they are also going to find that they will have no EU allies. If they go the asylum route as suggested by some people, they will not get it, although this will buy them time, in the end, these people are going back to Spain whether they like it or not.

Since the EU remit doesn’t allow them to get involved in domestic politics and already refused to acknowledge the illegal Catalonia vote, Puigdemont will be getting a rude awakening into how the law actually works, and he won’t like it. When he does come back, he won’t be a hero, he will be someone rotting in a jail cell unless he makes bail and personally I wouldn’t grant bail for any of these people.

We are looking at a criminal case stemming from the declaration of independence the Parliament of Catalonia made on Friday.

Already a Defence lawyer called Jaume Alonso-Cuevillas said the decision to jail these people "lacked justification" and was "disproportionate". I would disagree, their actions could have led to civil war, it already led to violence and disorder so it is proportionate to jail as this sends a clear message, break the law and you will be arrested.

A lawyer for Puigdemont said his client will not be seeking asylum in Belgium probably because he told his client that the case would result in a loss for them, and whether Puigdemont cooperates with Belgian police and judicial authorities, he is getting returned, it isn’t open to debate.
Artur Mas, a former president of the Catalan government said:

"From the personal point of view and also for my personal experience, I don't think that there are all the guarantees to have a fair trial."

That is a mighty bold statement given that Spain is an EU member, and signed up to the European Convention on Human Rights, the facts of the case are plain and easy to follow, an illegal vote was held, and all the charges that follow from that are made because of the deliberate acts of the accused and other third parties.

It is an open and shut case.

Assumpcio Lailla, a former official with Catalonia's Democrats party, said she had travelled to Madrid joining around 100 other politicians and elected officials to show support to those investigated, this appears to be a gimmick and doesn’t deflect from the issue at hand. And if Assumpcio Lailla doesn’t quite get what is going on then she should get to court early and take up a seat and learn something.

Finally, it seems that the former President Puigdemont has reacted on Twitter to the jailing of nine members of his former Cabinet, posting that "the legitimate government of Catalonia has been jailed for its ideas". You would think given he has a lawyer in Belgium that he would have been instructed to keep his mouth shut.

Former President Puigdemont wants to go to jail it seems, luckily for him he might get his wish, given Spain’s past, a clear message must be sent out, the rule of law must be obeyed, if you doubt that in this case, then ask yourself why no one in the EU is willing to support Puigdemont.

He is a man without a future in politics.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Scottish Labour is going to redraw leadership ballot rules, too little too late and not good enough or far enough, multiple Muslim members join with common email addresses shows that there is a big problem to deal with, this is papering over a huge crack and trying to pretend it is fixed, guess what….. it isn’t

Dear All

Too little, too late and the effect will probably be minimal, Scottish Labour has decided to redraw the leadership ballot rules. The reason for this change at this late date is the revelation that multiple Muslims members have joined with the same common email addresses and mobile phone numbers.

This contest between Anas Sarwar and Richard Leonard has been shameful, but what it does show is the depths that some people will stoop to win an election, some people have commented the way the Sarwar Campaign have acted leaves a lot to be desired.

After this contest is over, there should be a review of the rules of election and changes made, one such change that is needed is once a leader has resigned, no person joining after that date should have a vote in the next leadership contest.

Under Human Rights, elections have to be free and fair, this contest maybe legal under the current rules but I would suspect that many people would question the issue of fairness, natural justice is important especially when a system is open to abuse, and the current system clearly is in Scottish Labour.

A Scottish Labour spokesperson said:

"The Procedures Committee has taken appropriate steps to ensure that everyone who has signed up for a vote and gone through the robust verification process has the opportunity to cast a ballot in the leadership election for their preferred candidate."

Although this may tick the boxes of justice being ‘seen to be done’; it certainly doesn’t reach that benchmark in my eyes, more a case of attempting to clean up a mess by papering over the cracks.

Guess what?

The cracks are still there!

The U turn on the rules now means that any Labour member or supporter who shares an email address will now be issued with a postal vote.

Guess what still open to abuse because the people to are the contact point will simply go round to the sign ups and get them to vote the way that they want, but they have been slightly put out.

To join online as a member, you need to supply a postal, email addresses, phone number and your bank details for direct debit purposes. It seems that in trying to be clever, there has been a higher proportion of the new sign-ups have the same mobile and email which are Muslims. Once you join the Labour Party, it can take up to 8 weeks to have your membership verified, this means you cannot get to attend the CLP meetings, I know this because when I asked for the dates, places and times of the CLP meetings I was told that I hadn’t been verified yet. I was however contacted by the CLP to do activism, but I thought as I am not verified as having a member’s rights, that the issue of activism for the CLP was a non starter.
In this contest, a number of local constituency parties have raised concerns about a pattern which has emerged because the delays have put obstacles in the way of verifying the new members.

You can be fairly certainly that most of the new members that have been sign up by one of the Campaign Teams will not be doing activism.

Would you like to take a 50/50 guess and ask yourself which group that is?

I don’t agree that party insiders also felt uncomfortable about the prospect of more than one electronic ballot being accessed by a single account, they should be happy because this flagged up a problem in Scottish Labour. Some people in an effort to be clever have been rather stupid, they outed themselves in a most spectacular way.

I wonder what will happen when these people ask others for help to work their area, what will be their reaction when they get told, you have lots of supporters, why don’t you go ask them to help you, why are you asking me.

A spokesman for the Scottish Conservatives said:

“Labour’s leadership contest has been an absolute farce. Given the coups, briefings, plots and racism rows, it’s no wonder the party is seeking a root and branch review.”

A spokesperson for the Sarwar campaign said:

"This is a matter for members of the Procedures Committee."

The Leonard campaign declined to comment and why should they, they are are on course to win this contest, 41 CLPs back Richard Leonard against 16 who back Anas Sarwar. Although my CLP in Pollok is backing Anas Sarwar, I am not, if I get my vote, it will go to Richard Leonard.

Finally, I don’t like the way this contest is being run, I don’t like the rules, and I don’t like the tactics used by Team Sarwar.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University