Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Political Combat; if a snap Westminster election was called tomorrow, polling would suggest that the Scottish Conservatives would do well in Scotland having 11 seats, three times as many seats as Scottish Labour, who would drop from 7 to 4 seats, this means there would be no Jeremy Corbyn as Prime Minister

Dear All

Elections are a funny business because the public can be fickle, when the Westminster expenses row blew into the open; it ushered in the SNP as the government in Scotland back in 2007. A minority government, then through good PR, the SNP crafted a false image of competence which wasn’t the reality; many people including myself were taken in. The outcome of the 2011 election was a majority for the SNP, this was never supposed to happen in Holyrood but it did, and then everything in government of any real note stopped happening.

I would say that from 2012 to present day, the SNP government has been a failure to act, a failure to change, chiefly everything was abandoned for their Scottish independence bid. 2015 saw the SNP sweep the board because of an angry electorate who supported the SNP, less than two years later, the 56 SNP MPs found at the snap election of 2017, that their popularity had dropped to 35. 

The 35 SNP MPs found a different political landscape to sit in, Brexit had happened and their place at Westminster and indeed in Holyrood was looking irrelevant. Events were happening but the SNP found them being marginalised, this was due to their attitude towards Westminster.

In 2017, like in 2011, I found myself in four election campaigns, in both those elections; I managed to help 3 out of 4 candidates cross the line to win.

In some cases that was a hard slog, but it is what it is, in political campaigning in a polarised environment you have to keep your wits about you.

According to a poll, the Scottish Conservatives would win almost three times as many Scottish seats as Labour; this is on the basis if there was a general election held tomorrow. The Electoral Calculus website predicts The Scottish Conservatives would get 11 seats, while Scottish Labour would get just four with 27 per cent share of the vote. Having hit rock bottom in 2015, anything upwards for Scottish Labour must be seen as progress or luck or disaffection with the SNP, or a combination of any of those variables.

At present, there are 13 Scottish Conservative MPs in Scotland, they have benefited from the swing away from Scottish Labour who under Kezia Dugdale looked weak in the Union. There are 7 MPs from the Scottish Labour Party and 4 from the Liberal Democrats. In Glasgow North East, the winning majority was 242 votes, a close result which was due to an extraordinary effort by the activists who came out to support Paul Sweeney, although he doubted he would win, I didn’t at all. Sitting on 242 votes extra is a win, but if Scottish Labour was to end up on 4 seats, Glasgow North East would have to be a Labour priority in Glasgow to the exclusion of all other seats in the city.

Here is a wiki list of whose who as an MP.

The forecast, I feel is wrong, was based on crunching polls over the last two months involving more than 3000 people. I don’t see the SNP doing well, but by the same token, I don’t see that the effort has been put in by others on the ground to make an impact especially from Scottish Labour. There still seems to be a lack of a vision from Scottish Labour which has ended up talking in clich├ęs.

A Scottish Labour spokesperson said:

“This research confirms that it is Labour - under the leadership of Richard Leonard and Jeremy Corbyn - who are now the clear alternative to Tory austerity and SNP complacency.”

If a snap election was held tomorrow, I think the bookies would have their money on a Conservative victory. Scottish Labour back in 2015 was in no fit state to campaign, hence they got slaughtered, in 2016, nothing much changed, in 2017, the Scottish Labour Party benefited from disaffection by voters towards the SNP.

Hardly a winning strategy!

The Electoral Reform Society campaigns for a more proportional voting system, however, there won’t be the change that they want, people like First Past The Post, at least in Westminster elections. If you look at the trash that gets in on the Holyrood list system, you can see the appeal.

Although the Electoral Calculus used polls covering 10,000 people to forecast Labour would come 0.2 per cent ahead in vote share in a snap election, I don’t see that being reflective of the actual result, although as I mentioned the Conservatives would be the bookies choice by a huge margin. Their management of Brexit may not be razzle dazzle but it is competent, and the public won’t sign up to various Labour politicians’ plans for staying in the single market or the customs union.

Willie Sullivan, Director of Electoral Reform Society Scotland, said:

“This analysis shows that Westminster’s democratic deficit continues to get worse. This situation would be absurd- but not unprecedented. Two elections in the second half of the last century produced ‘wrong winner’ results. Now it looks like it could happen in Scotland. That’s not democracy, and does all of Scotland a disservice.”

Mr Sullivan added:

London’s broken electoral system is holding back the will of voters. It is simply unacceptable that in the 21st century, we still face the prospect of the largest party winning fewer votes than the other side.”

People always talk about the will of the voters especially when they don’t like the results they see at the ballot box, and as Mr Sullivan was ex Labour in so far as my understanding, people may wonder if his vision is clouded.

Nancy Platts of the trade union reform group Politics for the Many added:

“For Labour to potentially secure more than a quarter of the vote in Scotland but get just 7 per cent of seats is a sign of just how rigged Westminster’s voting system really is. The system looks increasingly rigged against working people’s voices, with the Tories unfairly benefitting from the vote-wasting machine that is ‘First Past the Post’.

Platts added:

“This analysis showing just how unfit for purpose the one-person-takes-all electoral system has become – serving the old boys’ network while workers’ interests are trampled on.”

No one compels people to vote, there is no law to force you to do so, moving the goal posts because you don’t like the way the game is played is risible, I don’t remember the Labour Party calling for election reform when in 1997, the Labour Party swept into power. If political parties want your vote they should work for your vote, they shouldn’t take it for granted because they say they are ‘Labour’ or ‘Conservative’ or Lib Dem’, if they don’t serve you why vote for them.

Too many people are disengaged from politics and voting which is why we have such a bad political system, and the wrong people getting in. Every person standing for election for Westminster or Holyrood should win their seat in the area they are standing in by a majority of the vote.

I would abolish the list system entirely at Holyrood.

The law on UK-wide elections is reserved to Westminster, I see no reason to change it because I like many would have a suspicion that ‘change’ would indeed lead to the vote being ‘rigged’ in favour of ‘centre left’ parties. Scotland still remains in political flux, parties like Scottish Labour who could count on having secured heartlands can’t do that any more; they have to work for it now if they want the win.

I have noticed that one thing which is sparse on the ground is experienced political activists who are willing to come out and do the ‘long haul’ for Labour on the doorstep. The Scottish Conservatives have a spring in their step due to their success, after being so long in the wilderness, they don’t want to go back onto the back foot and return to being the third party of Scotland.

Finally; this quote by a Scottish Labour spokesperson is too good to pass up, they said:

“This research confirms that it is Labour - under the leadership of Richard Leonard and Jeremy Corbyn - who are now the clear alternative to Tory austerity and SNP complacency.”

Presumably they are discounting the Lib Dems and Scottish Greens, of course, if you asked them what the ‘clear alternative’ actually meant, they couldn’t tell you, not a sound strategy for future success.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

Monday, March 19, 2018

SNP lost the Battle of Brexit, Nicola Sturgeon personally humiliated as UK and EU agree basis of two-year transition deal on Brexit, the SNP are totally irrelevant in UK domestic and international politics, Nicola Sturgeon doesn’t have a future as she drags the SNP ever downwards in the polls, in local news ex SNP MP Alex Salmond pulls in 10 viewers on his RT show, being politically irrelevant hurts, when she doing an RT show?

Dear All

Money talks, for those who thought like Nicola Sturgeon that Brexit could be reversed, they are now looking at the old grey dawn of failure. There is no going back, no trick, no ten to midnight solution, the people voted leave and leave it is. Nicola Sturgeon racks up another failed battle in her war for independence.

The UK and EU have agreed the basis of a transition deal.

This deal means that the UK being bound to Brussels’ rules for almost two years after Brexit, this will annoy some of the Hard Brexitters but the majority of people will see the direction of travel as positive.

It was always going to happen that a deal would be thrashed out, the EU was never in a strong bargaining position; they needed the UK’s money.

After we leave, you will see a change in the EU, they will need to reinvent themselves on a structural level, they have no choice. As well as external threats, the EU is on a collision course with Member States within it own organisation..

The Brexit talks haven’t been open as many would wish due to the nature of the discussions between David Davis and Michel Barnier but that was to be expected, some people were flipping their lid as if we were being cheated out of Brexit. The deal is a compromise, it was always going to be so after intensive talks, now all the major sticking points have been dealt with, this will allow European leaders to sign up to this at regular meeting on Thursday.

The red herring of the hard border of Northern Ireland have been pushed to the side for now, so much for it being a sticking point. The deal is good news in the immediate and long term; however we can expect to see some pretty miserable people walking about spreading doom and gloom. The money markets have responded well to the news with the pound jumping by almost one per cent against the dollar to 1.40 US dollars.

The draft deal means EU citizens arriving in the UK during the transition period will enjoy "the same rights and guarantees" as those present before Brexit. This will upset the Hard Brexit people but along with the UK would be able to negotiate – but not enact - trade agreements with outside countries during transition.

Where does leave the other opposition parties such as Labour and the SNP, well Labour will see the reality and get on board, the SNP won’t, Nicola Sturgeon will play the game of this can be reversed even at this late date, knowing full well it can’t. The SNP have played no role in Brexit, their position was unhelpful; they excluded themselves from talks by acting in a petty childish manner.

The EU is a long and complicated organisation which is stuffed with rules, regulations and treaties, untangling from it was always going to be a slog, but today’s news is positive, the direction of travel was set long ago, this is a clear marker on that road that we are going to out.

Europe is heading towards a dark place; the migrant crisis is a symptom of a much greater social problem within European countries, the rise of the right in many countries is an expression of dissatisfaction of the political elite and with Brussels. The European project is in danger of collapse, what purpose does this organisation serve now? The EU is an anti democratic, anti country, anti worker ‘cartel’ which cloaks itself in ‘social justice’ to cover up the real truth.

The people that run the EU are all about oppression.

Finally, we are seeing the dawning of the end of the UK’s membership of the EU, much like people are seeing the dawning of the end of Alex Salmond’s credibility on RT. A tipping point was reached in the minds of the UK public about the nature of the EU, and now we are seeing the same disapproval coming from the press regarding Alex Salmond’s show on RT. The harsh reality for Alex Salmond is that he is on RT is because no respectable TV Company would want to touch his show with a bargepole!

The legacy he managed to create has been squandered as he fights to stay in the limelight; the light must be on him as he has made his Faustian pact with Putin’s Russian propaganda channel. It is said that one repeat of his show on RT only managed to attract 10 people. 

When you are seen as a Kremlin stooge, the realisation of how bitter life can be will eventually sink in. The end of the UK’s membership is much like the end of Alex Salmond as a political force, long overdue and can’t come soon enough.

To end your days seen as a stooge, no glory there!

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

Friday, March 16, 2018

The Stooge of Kremlin, Alex Salmond, failing SNP star denies he works for Kremlin "propaganda" channel, the thing about the ‘useful idiot’ is that they cannot see that they are being used, they are the stooge; they are the disposal relic, how long will it before Alex Salmond is seen as a 'Scottish Lord HawHaw'?

Dear All

The term ‘useful idiot’ is going the rounds in connection with falling star Alex Salmond, cast out by the electorate; he has desperately tried to forge a career as a TV Pundit. One of the things which I have observed is despite his high status as First Minister, since leaving office, no one appears to want his services in Fortune 500 companies. Of course we should mention the bid to install him as chairman of a newspaper group, but his opportunity to do that met with opposition.

It seems that when high profile SNP politicians step down, no one of note beats a path to their door, they end up as ‘elder statesmen’ twiddling their thumbs or other body parts.

So, what is a useful idiot and does it apply to Alex Salmond, the host of a TV show on the Russian Channel called RT. 

The best description I found is from wiki, In political jargon, a useful idiot is a derogatory term for a person perceived as a propagandist for a cause the goals of which they are not fully aware, and who is used cynically by the leaders of the cause.

The cause in this case is Russian propaganda; RT is a tool of the Russian State which is used in warfare, not guns, bombs and bullets but ‘informational warfare’. The idea is basic, disinformation and sowing of doubt, manipulation of domestic politics in other countries and cause division. There is of course ‘informational warfare’ practiced by other countries as well, whether they are in the East or the West.

You are told certain things and you are not told certain things in order to manipulate you into believing a view of the world which might not match reality. The biggest failure of ‘informational warfare’ occurred during the Brexit vote, despite all the mainstream political parties supporting the EU, the public did not!

Since being ripped brutally away from the ‘public purse’ Alex Salmond has been a lost soul, he is on the margins of public life and for a man who loves the limelight; this has been a brutal experience. In order to keep himself as a ‘star’, he has done a book, a radio phone in, went on the road with a variety act, he has been joined by a new sidekick, Tasmina Ahmed-Shiekh who the public decided to put out of their misery as their MP.

Prior to the nerve gas attack in the UK, Alex Salmond was roundly criticised by others for joining a Kremlin propaganda machine, even by people in his own party, but since he wasn’t getting other real offers, no BBC, no ITV, no SKY, the failing star decided to go with the ‘bargain bucket’ which is RT.

Nothing like starting at the bottom, however in Salmond’s case, he is starting at the bottom and staying there, no Jonathan Ross prime TV show for him on the BBC. To see Alex Salmond defend a Kremlin propaganda machine in the wake of its owner launching the first offensive nerve agent attack in Europe since World War II isn’t just bad judgement it is incredibly bizarre.

So bizarre that the question of is he right in the head springs to mind!

In his defence that Salmond isn’t a stooge, he fell into the classic RT trap, he used his show to flag up ‘gay’ rights, in Russia being a homosexual is a risky business as the Russians aren’t tolerant.

In fact, they would kick your head in, especially in Russia.

As balance, Salmond also decided to flag up that in the Commonwealth, some countries like Russia also aren’t as tolerant, you could put this down to that there aren’t many homosexual politicians in positions of power as there are in British politics. The best of disinformation is bait and switch, in Salmond’s case; he used clips of UK MPs agreeing Russia was behind the Salisbury attack. then, the switch followed with a couple of guests on to sow doubts.

Salmond introduced a “former MI5 officer” Annie Machon; her previous insights include the US government blowing up the Pentagon on 9/11, and British spooks having Lady Di “taken out” in a pro-Israel plot. Next up, the next guest’s theory was that “rogue operators” might have been “freelancing”, in the press, the idea of the Russian mafia being behind the attempted murder has been floated about the place.

Given that some of the Russian mafia apparently work the Kremlin, you would have thought if they were doing to bump people off, then perhaps the traditional way would have served better, a bullet through the back of the head.

Of course employing gangsters does have a drawback, they aren’t professionals, and given that the victims in the nerve gas are still living, you have to wonder would a professional be so sloppy?

So, we have the Kremlin, we have gangsters, we have a Russian propaganda channel called RT and we have Alex Salmond, the designated ‘useful idiot’ who protests because he can flag up ‘gay’ rights. The thing about the ‘useful idiot’ is that they cannot see that they are being used, they are the stooge; they are the disposal relic.

Given what has transpired, the UK allies have rallied round; the SNP and now Kremlin stooge Alex Salmond didn’t, at the close of his show he said:

“Until next week, I hope, goodbye for now.”

He had his goodbye on 19th September 2014, although he had a curtain call for Westminster in 2015, that gig was probably his last there, now he is Salmondski, gun for hire, the rouble collector.

James Dornan has said he won’t go on RT, SNP MSP joins party boycott of Alex Salmond's Kremlin TV station, it is highly doubtful that Russian President Putin has been informed or would care. It seems even in the SNP, Alex Salmond’s ‘audience is shrinking!

Finally, whatever did happen to Lord Hawhaw?

Russia Calling, Russia calling’, this is Alex Salmond

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

From Russia with Love, Russian made nerve gas incident backlash sees UK Prime Minister Theresa May kicking out 23 Russian "undeclared intelligence officers in biggest expulsion for 30 over years, I think is safe to assume that the British people aren’t happy, so, can we expect a Russian ‘tit for tat’ war in retaliation or are the Russians’ smart enough to keep their heads down?

Dear All

There you are, you slog your guts out in the Russian Foreign Service then hit the jackpot with a plum posting to the UK, and you think life is great, plenty to see, plenty to do, and you get a chance to do some spying to justify your existence.

Then someone comes along using a Russian-made nerve agent attempts to murder Sergei Skripal and his daughter, and then others get affected and bob’s your uncle, you have a shit storm at your door and you done nothing.

The attempted murder of Sergei Skripal was a big no no, bad concept, bad idea and the kicker, using a Russian-made nerve agent, a receipt for disaster. And that is what we have here, a disaster for the Russians.

The UK is to expel 23 Russian diplomats; they have a week to leave having been identified as "undeclared intelligence officers". As the old saying goes, that’s gotta hurt, after all, most of these people, if not all probably had nothing to do with the attempted murder of Sergei Skripal.

One would imagine that the 23 are feeling hard done by; I know I would in a situation that like, of course, the expulsion of 23 Russian diplomats from the UK is necessary. Use of a Russian-made nerve agent isn’t just unacceptable use of force it is squarely in the ball park of terrorism.

Yesterday on twitter, I ventured the notion that if the Russian Ambassador was deported then, he should not go alone on the flight home, there should be lots going with him.

23 Russian diplomats or "undeclared intelligence officers" or spies fit into the category of ‘lots’.

Russia denies being involved in the attempted murder of Sergei Skripal, well they better have a good story on how their military grade Russian-made nerve agent ended up being used in the UK. Can anyone just wander in and pick up nerve gas and sail out the door in Russia? As expected the Russians have adopted the standard and predictable line of ‘not us gov’. The The Russian Embassy said the expulsion of 23 diplomats was "unacceptable, unjustified and short-sighted".

How us?

Having 23 "undeclared intelligence officers" sent home or out the door would only be "unacceptable, unjustified and short-sighted if they had nothing to do with it, but Moscow refuses to explain how a Russian-made nerve agent was used on a former spy in Salisbury.

This is no time to be cute!

To show how serious this situation is and it is serious, The PM also revoked an invitation to Russia's foreign minister, and said the Royal Family would not attend the Fifa World Cup later this year.

Former spy Mr Skripal is 66, and his daughter, Yulia Skripal, 33, remain critically ill, since he was a prisoner exchange, he has no value, killing him is meaningless, at 66 years old, his death serves no purpose. If the Russians had hanged on, natural causes would have done the job for them. As to targeting his daughter, well, that’s rather careless isn’t it, it rather suggests that some people have been watching too many Spy movies and think they are a Russian James Bond.

The PM is sending a strong signal to the Russians which they need to sit up and take notice of, yes, the security services knew of "undeclared intelligence officers"  but as we also have our "undeclared intelligence officers" wandering around Moscow drinking vodka and presumably shagging Russian birds, everyone was pretty much happy.  

Now, the UK is not happy which means:

The expulsion of 23 diplomats - who have one week to leave
Increased checks on private flights, customs and freight
The freezing of Russian state assets where there is evidence they may be used to threaten the life or property of UK nationals or residents
Ministers and Royal Family to boycott the Fifa World Cup in Russia later this year
The suspension of all planned high level bi-lateral contacts between the UK and Russia
Plans to consider new laws to increase defences against "hostile state activity"

I guess, 23 "undeclared intelligence officers" from the UK will be heading home as well, I would assume they are just as unhappy as their Russian counterparts, maybe they bump into each other in Moscow Airport and discuss who was the bastard that fucked it up for all of them.   

The current tact of Moscow is rather stupid, sarcasm, contempt, threats and defiance isn’t the way to go; something appears to have seriously gone wrong on so many levels. It seems that Putin’s Russia is in need of a tune up, the Cold War is over, is there any point in a new one, especially in this day and age. The Wall has come down, the landscape is changed, and we are supposed to be living in an age of co-operation, at least on the surface.

The UK foreign office has updated its advice on travel to Russia, saying "heightened political tensions" mean Britons should "be aware of the possibility of anti-British sentiment or harassment at this time". I think that is code for the Russian State and its various arms, the ordinary Russian is much like your ordinary person anywhere; they don’t have time for this type of crap. The PM says its was "tragic" that Russian President Vladimir Putin had "chosen to act in this way", Putin is ex KGB.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has accused Britain of "playing politics", well have they, the Russian response is not what the people of the UK would expect from them in a matter of such seriousness, murder is never a game and to use a Russian-made nerve agent, that’s called advertising, and in case the ‘dumb’ Brits didn’t get it, RT, the Russian Channel crowing that Britain wasn’t a safe place for spies, well that’s just pouring petrol on an out of control fire. The UK is to brief the UN Security Council on the investigation and also updated Nato's North Atlantic Council. At the meeting, Nato allies expressed "deep concern" at the use of a nerve agent and said it was a "clear breach of international norms and agreements".

Although 23 Russian "undeclared intelligence officers are getting kicked out which will result in a ‘tit for tat’, we should remember that the UK didn’t start this, whoever did this the Russians need to find them and remove them. Skripal came to the UK in 2010 as part of a "spy swap" after he had been convicted by Russia of passing information to MI6, as such he was off limits as was his daughter, a deal was made which has been broken.

Finally; Skripal was no use as an asset or even as a target now, he is a British citizen, by his conviction, the Russians had their victory.

This episode now makes that a loss.

As to those Russian staff in the Embassy in London, well, they can expect to be followed about by the UK Security Services who will be taken a more profound interest in their comings and goings.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

In defense of free speech: “If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear”, the oppression of ideas and free speech is becoming normalised, from nasty little hater thugs to state discrimination, we are living in a society which has to change

Dear All

One of the things which make the United Kingdom the place it is in the world; is the defence of free speech, but in order to defend it, you have to recognise that in order to protect your right, you have to protect the right of people who you oppose.

Westminster is called the ‘Mother of all Parliaments, a cradle of democracy, but increasingly we are seen the rise of a political doctrine that makes it acceptable to ban people for ‘thought crimes.

In academia, a person can say that child molesters are innocent and not criminals, keep his job and cite academic freedom, and jog on, still spouting this nonsense with no consequences.

In the same educational environment, we seeing people getting “No-platforming”, not allowed to get the same opportunities to put their view points across. Speakers with whom we fundamentally disagree can suggest that force ought to prevail over free speech and no one bats an eye on the left. 

Acadia University in Wolfville, Nova Scotia, recently announced that it was investigating Professor of Psychology. Rick Mehta had a number of complaints over controversial comments he made in his class.

Was he proposing sex with children, humping dead bodies or promoting incest, no, it seems that his view on the value of multiculturalism along with the existence of gender inequality in the workplace provoke a few reactions.

Multiculturalism is a recognised failure of the left and the trendy liberals, a social engineering experiment gone badly wrong, not just in the UK but right across Europe.

Here is a story which highlights how badly.

Look at what happened to Sarah Champion, Labour MP for Rotherham, who was sacked from the shadow front bench for exercising her right to free speech and telling the truth.

Sacked for telling the truth, what does that say about values and social justice?

Amina Lone, a Muslim councillor from Birmingham, who rightly defended Champion but was then told she cannot stand for re-election, where was equality, fairness and social justice there?

In places like Germany and through-out Europe, we have seen the effect of the migrant crisis. Breitbart is a good source of news to witness a decline of the western values.

Jordan Peterson provokes a similar reaction; his interview with Cathy Newman is a classic piece of what happens when a trendy liberal gets destroyed in an interview.

There is a war on, a war set to continue, not just about free speech but also about political control and how it is used.

Austrian Identitarian leader Martin Sellner was detained and refused entry to Britain, he was handcuffed, held in a detention centre for three days and then along with his journalist girlfriend deported.

Had he committed a crime?

Originally, the Identitarian leader was scheduled to speak at a conference organised by UKIP youth wing Young Independence that got cancelled, so he was going to go to Hyde Park and stand on his soapbox, and follow a tradition of dissent and speak there. If a British person had spoken the same words as Sellner, he wouldn’t have committed any crime, so was his deportation a racist act under the guise of being undesirable.

Brittany Pettibone was refused entry into the UK on the basis that she wanted to attend her boyfriend’s speech and also as a journalist, she had plans to interview former English Defence League leader Tommy Robinson.

Here is a classic example of oppression to follow on from above; Wilfrid Laurier was the site of controversy generated last fall by a graduate student’s decision to show the class she was tutoring. During the class a five-minute clip of Professor Jordan Peterson speaking in the context of a discussion on a local television newsmagazine shown about the use of gender pronouns.  

Lindsay Shepherd was brought into a meeting with the course director and two senior administrators and up-braided for her action, which was likened to the dissemination of Nazi propaganda. The course director decided that it was appropriate to lie that one or more students had complained.

Sadly for the three Social Warriors, we know the intimate details of this supposedly private conversation because Shepherd secretly taped and then subsequently disclosed it causing quite a stir.

An investigation revealed that there had, in fact, been no student complaints whatsoever.

Suppression of free speech is everywhere, our democracy is under threat, social cohesion is under threat and yes, our values are under threat as well, if people in authority think it is acceptable to appoint themselves as guardians of what you are allowed to say, we are heading to a black place.

Finally, George Orwell, the author of the book 1984 famously said:

“If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.”

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

Monday, March 12, 2018

SNP Human Stink Bomb: disgraced MSP Mark McDonald says he is ‘morally justified’ in returning to Holyrood, McDonald is now a leper living a delusion of fitting back in, Nicola Sturgeon better get use to the stink, it is going to be pretty whiffy in Holyrood for the next three years, McDonald is there for the £200k, this comeback is to feed the weans!

Dear All

It is Monday, just another Monday in a series of Mondays as we navigate the politics lows that is Holyrood but today is different, disgraced Mark McDonald returned.

Holyrood was built, a slogan was uttered, and pretty soon, hope died pretty much after its birth.

“There shall be a Scottish Parliament”!

What the declaration missed out that it would be filled with dross, and petty politics and incompetence would be its hallmark. What the place needs is shamed and former SNP MSP Mark McDonald is the poster boy.

McDonald has the solemn task to ‘stink’ the place up to high heaven, to lower the tone of this dump even further, he is doing it for the ‘weans’, not the weans of Scotland but his two, daddy needs to bring home the bacon so they can scoff it.

Mark McDonald is back!

One thing which he shouldn’t be doing is giving speeches on being “morally justified” given he has already held his hands up to admitting inappropriate behaviour towards women.

“Morally justified” and inappropriate behaviour towards women, can someone square that circle for me, and the rest of Scotland. As he is back, he faces the realisation that for the next few years until the next Holyrood election, he is a leper. He will be an independent MSP in more ways that one, then he has the pressure, which has been mounting to step down from his Aberdeen Donside seat. I don’t see Nicola’s pals doing this; the likely contenders will be the Salmond clique, in their quest for the ‘Return of the King’.

Nicola Sturgeon has urged the MSP to leave Holyrood because the stink of McDonald makes her rather whiffy as well, she publicly backed McDonald as a good MSP, and she has to say this in case Alex Salmond acts up if she doesn’t show enough enthusiasm.

This is her on TV.

The discomfort is her trying to distance herself and failing miserably.

Apparently Mark McDonald wants to demonstrate he has changed, well given this is out in the public domain, he has little choice but to watch his step in Holyrood and elsewhere, he will be under a microscope for the rest of his tenure. He will be keeping his trap shut and his phone under wraps. Three women are said to have identified “persistent” behaviour, which included inappropriate and unwanted text messages, unwanted attention and exploiting his position of power.

Oh, exploiting his position of power.

 McDonald said:

“Morally I can justify it because, as I have said, my approach to this has been to own the mistakes that I have made but to demonstrate that I have learned from them and that I am capable of changing as a result of those. I am asking people to afford me that opportunity, and I hope that people will do that. I accept that many relationships are going to have to be rebuilt – some people will want nothing to do with me and I have to regretfully accept that, but there are some people who I think will want to offer me that opportunity to demonstrate that I’ve learned from this and that I’ve changed.”

He added:

“I want to be able to demonstrate that my behaviour has changed and I am not sure that doing that through a by-election campaign is the appropriate way to do it.”

Well, that kind of puts the kibosh on Alex Salmond’s hopes of attempting to mount a comeback to politics.  

One of the people who also wish Mark McDonald gone is James Dornan, James Dornan is standing to be deputy leader so his intervention could be seen as a self serving plea for votes for his chances to be Sturgeon’s number 2.

Dornan said:

“He should certainly never set foot in the Scottish Parliament again and I will be making an official complaint on Monday to the parliamentary authorities to ask for his removal from the parliament to be considered.”

So, what will happen if there is an official complaint?

Nothing, that’s right, absolutely nothing!

Another candidate for Deputy, Economy Secretary Keith Brown told Good Morning Scotland on McDonald:

“I think the position is if you concede the point that you have acted inappropriately and you think that has been sufficiently bad that you have to resign as an SNP MSP, I think the logic of that means that you should resign as an MSP as well.”

Everyone following the Sturgeon line, Holyrood better get use to the stink of Mark McDonald, maybe someone could buy him out if they have £200k, but I suspect that he would want a top up above that an extra £200k. I don’t see him wanting to step down and lose three years wages.

Finally, using Mark McDonald as a plank to get votes for candidates in the deputy leadership will be seen by the candidates as morally justified, but the reality is that Dornan and Brown are just picking the meat of a political corpse. 

This act shows how shallow the SNP are as a party collective, they all operate to the same low standards. Mark McDonald is in disgrace, if he has "changed", it doesn’t matter, he wouldn’t be rebuilding relationships that is just fantasy, especially in the SNP Cult, the worker ants don’t have independent thought.

The word from Sturgeon is banishment.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

Thursday, March 8, 2018

SNP White Trash: a tale of two ‘Nationalist heroes’ Mark McDonald and Mhairi Black both lower the tone of Holyrood and Westminster, Scots experience the price of dreadful political poverty and deprivation in their constituencies being represented by these two clowns, the Scottish National Party political swamp needs drained

Dear All

It seems there is a new campaign in Scotland, the campaign is to remove elected sleazy SNP MSP Mark McDonald from Holyrood, as part of the you’re not welcome here initiative, there is a possibility that McDonald will be getting a new office. Sadly for him, it appears that he is to be shunted into one of Holyrood’s worst. Yesterday, when I was discussing the ‘problem’, I mentioned an open plan office in the main foyer as a possible solution.

It seems my idea of an open plan in the main foyer or a suitable broom cupboard has been updated to a notoriously noisy office on the ground floor of the parliament, from this office McDonald can watch the world go by. One thing that he might do if he is given this office is buy a pair of headphones; it appears that Labour MSP Daniel Johnson found the nose so bad he asked to be moved.

Although unpopular Nicola Sturgeon has led the charge to say McDonald is welcome, I suppose everyone is waiting for Scottish Green MSP Patrick Harvie to speak out with condemnation.

Where is Scottish Green MSP Patrick Harvie?

In order to try and put as much clear water between Mark McDonald and Nicola Sturgeon, the SNP has made it clear to parliament bosses that they do not want Mr McDonald to return to his office on the fourth floor. McDonald would be the sandwich between MSPs Kate Forbes and Richard Lyle.

Being an outcast Mark McDonald will be probably eating alone, sitting alone, and stared at, but hey if you want the £200,000 in wages you gotta be tough. At the age of 37, his political career is dead, and his employment prospects would appear to be zero or damn close to it.

As well as politicians making it clear that Mark McDonald shouldn’t be in Parliament others have joined the ‘call to arms’, Alison Rowat of Herald Scotland said:

“As a self-style “independent” MSP. One foot in, one foot out, doing the hokey-cokey with the rules and there is nothing the Parliament or his constituents can do about it for now”.

No love there from Alison Rowat.

What Holyrood needs is a shake up, this is because when you look at the MSPs, you are left with the question, is that it, is this the best that Scotland has to offer, a bunch of virtual signallers who operate to their own agendas. Mark McDonald sitting in Holyrood by default could ‘stink’ the place up, instead of a breath of fresh air, an unhealthy dose of shit to choke maybe what the place needs.

One thing that interests me is how Alison Rowat completely focuses on hanging one guilty person out to dry, and does even consider ripping off on Nicola Sturgeon who shielded McDonald. In the movies, it is important to define the ‘bad guy’ earlier on, in this case, the other ‘bad guys’ seem to be ignored as we get the time honoured proposition that this is all about one bad apple.

20% of staff at Holyrood claimed they have been ‘victims’, so where are the rest of the bad apples?

And who are they?

 One thing, I do agree with is what Labour MSP Rhoda Grant said:

“Mark MacDonald was elected as an SNP member and therefore has space allocated to him in their offices and on their benches – he should remain in those spaces. The SNP cannot simply try to foist him off on other parties.”

Well done Rhoda, Mark McDonald ‘stinking’ up the fourth floor for the SNP would be entirely delicious, all the po faced buddies giving him the ‘silent treatment’ led by Nicola Sturgeon, oh to be a fly on the wall.

A Scottish Parliament spokeswoman said:

“Discussions around the practical arrangements for Mark McDonald's return are currently taking place. This includes a change of room. These discussions are ongoing and no decision has been taken.”

Now, yesterday, I was subject to Nationalist abuse, of course this isn’t new in the past I have suffered from this problem before, it seems the angry cybernat brigade didn’t like my views of the facts that the SNP had failed to protect food security in Scotland. I was called a ‘prick’ and a ‘fud’ and one keen mind suggested when I said I was busy that I was watching ‘Pornhub’ with a box of tissues masturbating. I was actually doing yesterday’s article while have a chat with someone at the same time, and trying to juggle that with a bit of studying.

Yesterday also saw the media praise Mhairi Black for a “powerful speech” after she took the opportunity to lower the standing of the Westminster Parliament by using foul language.

During a parliamentary debate on misogyny on the eve of International Women’s Day, she told MPs:

"I struggle to see any joke in being systematically called a dyke, a rug-muncher, a slut, a whore, a scruffy bint”.

She added:

"I've been told you can't put lipstick on a pig, let the dirty bitch each shit and die. I could soften some of this by talking about the c-word but the reality is there is no softening when you're targeted with these words and you're left reading them on my screen every day, day in, day out - she needs a kick in the cunt, guttural cunt, ugly cunt, wee animal cunt; there is no softening just how sexualised and misogynistic the abuse is."

Mhairi Black also mentioned that she had been contacted by a man she had never heard of before who told her:

"I've pumped some ugly birds in my time but I just wouldn't."

What this person is saying is that Ms. Black who is a lesbian has no SMV; SMV is sexual market value which is talk about by a group of men who follow something which is called Mgtow.

The premise of MGtow is tell men don’t get married, and ‘pump and dump’, plus don’t spend a nickel on a woman, also if she has kids stay clear of her with a bargepole since why play for another man’s kids. There is a lot more to this movement which is a response to the feminism movement. If Mgtow appeals to you there is more stuff online to read and watch.

What the guy is saying when he told Ms. Black:

"I've pumped some ugly birds in my time but I just wouldn't."

This is clearly stating that in his eyes she has no sexual market value to him, she might think that she is this young dynamic professional social justice warrior socialist, but it seems many people aren’t buying it. This coupled with her actions has led many people to despise her hence she doesn’t get called ‘nice things’.

There is a lot of anger out there in politics, and if I recall Ms Black wanted people to make a distinction between Mhairi Black the person and Mhairi Black the politician as if they were two separate things. I was wondering using her analogy could she make a distinction between Fred West, the next door neighbour and Fred West, the serial killer who tortured, murdered and chopped up people?

When Mhairi Black decided not to fight to save the children’s ward in Paisley, her take was that she wasn’t an MSP, but on election night you don’t see the returning officer say that ‘And Mhairi Black has been elected by the people of Paisley to represent them on reserved matters to Westminster’.

This is a difficult piece to write because I want to open up the debate on something which is clearly a tricky subject to talk about.

When people refer to Mhair Black as ‘cunt’, they are using what is regional dialect which imparts the proposition that in Scotland, she is acting stupid. I would therefore suggest that people would dispute her claim of misogynistic abuse, citing that cunt is equally applicable to both men and women.

Finally, I am sure that people would want ask Mhairi Black the question, do you believe in equality, if her answer was yes, then clearly she is getting it.  

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

An Angry Bitter Woman Scorned, Brutal and Uncaring SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon is ‘dumped’ by disgraced ex SNP Minister Mark McDonald, in a ‘tit for tat’ war; Sturgeon says that McDonald is unwelcome in Holyrood Parliament, for £200,000 in wages, McDonald won’t be paying attention to Sturgeon’s demands for resignation, too late to play the 'moral guardian'

Dear All

Something happened yesterday, after disgraced ex SNP Minister Mark McDonald resigned from the SNP, an angry bitter Nicola Sturgeon appeared on TV. After being ‘dumped’ by him, in a rambling interview Sturgeon couldn’t look the interviewer in the eye, although she did 'look by relax' to see if the interviewer was buying her story. 

It was a panic stricken Sturgeon firmly on the back foot trying to assert some kind of moral authority and leadership, and failing dramatically at both!

So, bitter Nicola gets ‘dumped’ and then she goes on TV to say that Mark McDonald is not welcome at the Holyrood Parliament.

Who is she to speak for the Parliament?

Isn’t Nicola Sturgeon a bit late to the party to get on her high horse and start to promote herself as the ‘moral guardian of the universe’?

The fact of the matter is that Nicola Sturgeon personally backed this loser which she wants to now erase by calling for him to resign as a MSP.

Nicola Sturgeon said:

"He was elected as an SNP MSP. If his behaviour is such that he himself considers he cannot continue as an SNP MSP, then it would be appropriate to give his constituents the opportunity to elect a new MSP"

Sturgeon get ‘dumped’ and now she starts a bitter ‘tit for tat’ war, doesn’t look like Nicola Sturgeon can count on McDonald’s vote in future. Mark McDonald formally resigned from the SNP on Tuesday; but he stands to collect £200,000 in pay before the 2021 Holyrood election, so it is highly doubtful that he cares what Sturgeon thinks.

Think about it £200,000 or resign and get next to nothing, plus a lengthy spell of unemployment, plus McDonald has two kids and a wife to support, what happened to ‘caring Nicola’, the mask seems to have slipped rather badly.

Oh what about the children Nicola?

It is standard OP for the SNP to want to bury their mistakes, if you look at others they were discarded pretty quickly from the party, as the SNP is run like a Cult, even inner circle members can be sacrificed if they endanger the ‘rat ship’.     

The real bonus of this unhappy episode is that Nicola Sturgeon, initially downplayed what McDonald’s was doing and his behaviour, and publicly backed him by saying said he would continue to be a “good MSP”. Now, given the revelations, she is forced to do a 180 and try to distance herself by saying he was no longer welcome at parliament.

In attempting to shore up her position and that of her sleazy party, she added the SNP would be “very optimistic” of holding Mr McDonald’s seat in a by-election. Personally I wonder about this, my thoughts are this, this guy wasn’t a rank and file MSP, he was a minister in her government, plus when you add in how toxic Alex Salmond is, you would have to think that the SNP would want to field a woman candidate.

This would be the SNP trying to create an air of clearing the decks. If this was the case, that wouldn’t go down too well with Salmond since he doesn’t like being out of the limelight, plus his media career can’t be described as having taken off.

Alex Salmond's services wouldn't be required if a by-election is going to take place, even a win for the SNP is a miserable result if Salmond is the winner.

Although the SNP beat the Scottish Conservatives by a huge margin, 11,630 votes in 2016; the Conservatives have had a boost right across the north east which technically means that Donside seat is now far more marginal. 

Who would get in if a by-election happened would depend on how the McDonald scandal played on the doorstep, let’s face it, there would be only one issue in that by-election.

Labour MSP Rhoda Grant said:

"Mark McDonald decided his conduct was not fit for a minister or an SNP MSP - but somehow it is acceptable for an MSP without party affiliation. People in Aberdeen Donside will rightly question that."

Conservative MSP Alexander Burnett also called for McDonald to quit as an MSP, so there is momentum and will for a by-election. As I mentioned earlier, McDonald’s future is very bleak and there is the £200,000 in wages to think about, I doubt he will want to give that up anything soon. By remaining an MSP, Mark McDonald will effectively ‘stink’ the place up at Holyrood and further lower its standing with the public. Bill Walker tried to hang on but in the end his problems were too great and he left.

Conservative MSP Alexander Burnett added:

“The SNP now need to come clean and publish the report into his behaviour so that the public can judge whether he is fit to remain as an MSP.”

As McDonald sits on the backbenches when he returns next week, it will be a constant major embarrassment for Nicola Sturgeon, there won’t be closure since the report into McDonald isn’t being fully published. This leaves many questions unanswered about the content of the messages, the timescale and intensity of his harassment, and whether any SNP MSPs defended him or decided to challenged his accusers in private.

Although McDonald says he is coming back, he is already pencilled in to be a pariah, no party wants his office nearby them, perhaps open plan in the main foyer or a suitable broom cupboard maybe found.

Finally, Nicola Sturgeon TV interview was a personally disaster for her, her open warfare on Mark McDonald may have ticked a lot of boxes for some, however, he could be the albatross that could bring down the SNP.

And end Sturgeon’s leadership, and as a bonus, scupper many votes for the party which is in decline, that would be terminal decline not a blip. 

The bitterness in Sturgeon’s TV was plain for all to see, the realisation that she is not in control of her own party, and can’t influence events will lead many to question when a leadership challenge will happen. Such a challenge will probably come from those who current aren't expressing a desire to be tied to her leadership.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Political Death of an SNP MSP, Sleaze probe ex-Children’s Minister Mark McDonald dramatically quits the SNP but hangs on for dear life to the Holyrood gravy train after vowing to stay on as an independent MSP, where is the integrity and personal honour after claims by four women against him?

Dear All

It seems that sleazy SNP Children’s Minister Mark McDonald has decided to leave the Scottish National Party, he has quit!

Before people like Alex Salmond gets all warn and mushy about standing in the Donside by-election and think how wonderful it is to get taxpayer expenses again, there is a spot of bad news, Mark McDonald isn’t resigning from Holyrood! McDonald is staying on as an independent MSP on the back benches; he will continue to draw his salary in the shadows in order to help Nicola Sturgeon prevent a Salmond resurrection.

This is a tragic blow to Alex Salmond, he is still out in the cold taking the Russian rouble along with his sidekick, Tasmina Ahmed-Shiekh. One thing which I have been saying to others is that there is a long time before there is going to be another election either at Holyrood or Westminster.

Anyway, there is a question now that Mark McDonald has quit the SNP, how can a man stay on as an independent MSP after complaints concerning his conduct and behaviour relating to four women?

If we think back to another SNP 'hero' Bill Walker, another Nicola Sturgeon fan, after allegations of his behaviour concerning women, it all ended rather badly, trial, conviction and jail.

Are the women now going to go to the Police?

Are we going to see a sleaze trial?

As we all know sex in politics which emerges into the public domain doesn’t play well, especially when we have a fat specky guy who has to answer for his conduct. McDonald resigned as a minister last November, the SNP dragged out the investigation into him hoping that the heat would die down.

Nicola Sturgeon vouched personally for Mark McDonald.    

The finding of a report conducted by private investigators is said to be damning.

A source said an internal report into accusations against the married dad had been completed and examined by senior figures.

They said:

“The stuff in that document proves a pattern of behaviour”.

A pattern of behaviour, oh not good reading for some!  

They added:

“We have got to start acting quickly. We don’t want people to think we are hiding something.”

In an act of defiance, Mark McDonald said:

“I will resume my parliamentary duties next week”

So, what safeguards will the Holyrood Parliament have to put in place now when Mark McDonald returns?

Will security have to escort him everywhere?

Will women feel safe and be allowed panic rooms?

Will McDonald be allowed to travel in a Holyrood lift if women alone are using it?

Will Mark McDonald be barred from the bars and restaurants?

Will Nicola’s sidekick Patrick Harvie lead the condemnation and demand he leaves Holyrood?

There is an air of sleaze surrounding Holyrood, ex SNP MSP Mark McDonald has emerged as the poster boy, but he won’t quit; to be fair, no one is going to want to employ his ass in the future.

Mark McDonald’s political career is dead and buried at the next election.

Finally the profoundly bad judgment of Nicola Sturgeon has been laid bare naked yet again, we must all remember that she personally vouched for Mark McDonald as a ‘good MSP’, given what has happened, it is clear that her political future much like Mark McDonald has to end.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

Monday, March 5, 2018

Scottish Labour Political Warfare in Dundee: Kezia Dugdale uses Brexit as a stick in the long running ‘Momentum Vs Progress’ battle for control of Scottish Labour, Brexit is happening and the direction of travel is clear, we aren’t staying in the single market, Kezia makes another bad political judgement

Dear All

Kezia Dugdale had a dreadful time as the former leader of the Labour Party, the problem was that she made a spectacular amount of bad judgments which blew in her face and made her look weak and out of touch.

Kezia Dugdale should never have put herself forward for leadership, but she did and history is already written on this period. You could say she picked the wrong time in Labour’s history, the trend was downwards, and saw the party become the ‘third party’ at Holyrood.

When she left and then did a spot on TV in ‘I’m a celebrity get me out of here’, she was condemned by many in Labour, personally, I said at the time, I had no problem with her doing it, or the fact that she was getting paid, in her case, it was said to be £70,000.

Well, a girl’s gotta eat!

Kezia Dugdale resigned as leader, jumped before she was pushed, however she made the decision to go, which is why I am surprised that Kezia Dugdale has declared war on Richard Leonard over Brexit. The question of bad judgment arises not just from the time but also on the issue of running a campaign doomed to failure.

A campaign in support of single market membership is a loser!

Richard Leonard as far as I am aware didn’t have anything to do demise of Kezia Dugdale, so her timing of trying to inflict a damaging defeat on his leadership of Scottish Labour is uncalled for. Kezia talked about loyalty, so why attempt to cause a scene for a fierce clash over the EU at Scottish Labour's annual conference in Dundee.

At the conference in Dundee, Party delegates will be asked to support a pig in a poke, called the single market, the stance of her campaign, Scottish Labour for the Single Market.

A campaign in support of single market membership is a loser!

Given that is the reality, what can Kezia Dugdale achieve from her campaign, nothing positive, in fact there is a downside, that is her rebuilding her career in Scottish Labour and be a contender for a Shadow Cabinet position. This campaign to me which is doomed appears to be all about undermining the leader, and as Leonard backs Jeremy Corbyn, this seems to be a continuation of Momentum Vs Progress fight.

As to the Labour’s position coming from Jeremy Corbyn, the customs union doesn’t look too good either, so one side of the party you have an unacceptable position for the British people in the single market, and on the other, a restrictive customs union. The Labour Party has singularly failed to understand the direction of travel that was clearly voted for on the 23rd June 2016…… leave the European Union!

Dugdale's campaign seeks to undermine the claims that Corbyn's policy shift did not go far enough, she wants free movement of goods, services, money and people, the issue of freedom of movement, uncontrolled immigration hasn’t worked, it has worked right across the EU, you chuck the migrant crisis and you can see the importation of the problems which is leading Europe to the brink.

The Campaign is co-chaired by Dugdale, Edinburgh South MP Ian Murray and Catherine Stihler , a Scottish Labour MEP, Catherine is going to have to find another job, because no matter what she does, her job as an MEP is toast. Catherine Stihler would be better served seeking a candidacy for Westminster or Holyrood.

One claim which is odd; is the claim that single market membership is the only way to tackle austerity, protect jobs, and defend workers' rights.

That is bullshit and to show you that single market membership doesn’t protect jobs or defend workers’ rights, here is a link, a court case.

Dugdale said:

"Jeremy Corbyn’s welcome decision to support a customs union puts clear blue water between us and the Tories, however – if we are to leave the EU – the least-worst option for limiting the damage caused by a Tory Brexit is to also remain in the single market. This is the only way to tackle austerity, protect jobs, and defend our hard-won rights for workers and consumers. Scottish Labour can lead the way and help persuade our party to ensure the UK permanently remains in the single market.”

Pat Rafferty of Scotland's biggest trade union, Unite said of Dugdale’s campaign that seeking to undermine him.

He said:

"It's a continuation of people trying to undermine the leaders of the Labour Party at Scottish and UK level. I'm pretty sure that when Kez was leader someone launching a campaign a week before Scottish Labour conference wouldn't have been something that was welcome."

Leonard said he was "relaxed" about Dugdale's campaign launch and that he welcomes discussion and dissent.

The fight in Dundee is a non event, it isn’t going to go anywhere, wouldn’t move events forward the Labour Party, but then some people already know this.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University