Monday, December 30, 2019

Darth Vader igniting his light saber - A George Laird Production

Dear All

Happy New Year when it comes tomorrow night, be safe, be warm, don't drink and drive, and stay away from the dark side.


Tuesday, December 17, 2019

The Xmas Blog;, the last post of the year. Merry Xmas and a Happy New Year to you and your family when it comes, be safe, don't drink and drive, enjoy the holidays and if you get the chance, do a good deed, there is always hope even in the darkest of time

Dear All

In this year, I have seen both ups and downs, hope and disaster, in fact, this year has been as much of a trial for me as 2014. Near the end of 2014, I nearly died, 2019, woke up to the fact that all of a sudden, I was going blind. I managed to beat the odds in 2014, and it seems as if I will again God willing.

It is amazing how much we take things for granted such as eyesight, but when ‘the lights start going out’, it is a major wakeup call in your later life. So, huge thanks to my surgeons who jumped in, done the business, and hopefully gave me the tools to fight another day.

And less we forget, we are always in a fight against the darkness.

Since this is the Xmas blog post, the last of this year, I wanted to keep it to hope, the election and what needs to be said about that can wait till next year. I was thinking; it wouldn’t be appropriate to try and merge these two events together because the tone would be off.

Needless to say, I did learn something about others while out campaigning and viewing online even although I was a physical wreck, and in a lot of pain. In my youth, I used to teach students to observe others, because people doing it wrong are a valuable training aid. Knowing how to do it right comes in part from knowing how others have done it wrong.

It is that time of the year again so without further ado; Merry Xmas and a happy New Year to you and your family when it comes!

Previously in a Xmas blog, I wrote that the winds of change are starting to be felt not just in Scotland but right across Europe. The 2019 winds of change certainly have changed the UK for the better. What Brexit will deliver are opportunities; that will benefit the many, it will take time but the good news is that the EU is not controlling our destiny, we are.

I would like to thank all the people who took the opportunity to drop by the blog to read and comment on the stories posted, 2020 will also be a time of change as the political debate will change to take account of the new mandate of the UK government.

I would also like to thank those who read my stories and decided to post them elsewhere and then linked it to my blog, which means I must be doing something right again.

I would also like to thank the BBC in London for dropping by this year again, I do commentating on TV and radio, hint, hint hint, but alas they dinnae call, they dinnae write and they dinnae send a taxi.

And I wanted to thank the print press who also keep rolling by to see the George Laird view on the world, and who strangely never comment much on my views if at all.

All in all, it was a good year blogging; I saw many of my predictions on Europe unfolded before my eyes because as I stated during the campaign, this was a Brexit Election.

Finally, see you all next year; the battle for truth will be starting early yet, if you want to drive, don’t drink, if you can help someone take that opportunity because you don’t want to miss it, and remember what the true meaning of Xmas is selfless and giving.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

The Election Storm; Nicola Sturgeon sees the sand crumbling beneath the feet of SNP candidates, Glasgow North East to re-elect Labour’s Paul Sweeney, backfoot Sturgeon forced to repeat warning over suspended SNP candidate on Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath, there is no respect for Sturgeon’s authority in the SNP, we are looking at rot

Dear All

Firstly, sorry for the break in blogging, the campaigning for Paul Sweeney didn’t allow for me to get access to a computer. Plus, I was doing that campaign as a physical wreck, normally I would do the whole campaign, start to finish; this time round, carry too many injuries, I ended up starting late. The reason for this is that my previous surgery required me to be very careful about getting infection and ensure the wound was fully closed. I was a bit wary during the campaign because I knew my eye hadn’t fully settled down, add in a bad back and a really dodgy knee, well you get the picture.

The campaign in Glasgow North East was pretty good in terms of numbers through-out which says a lot about how keen everyone was to get Paul Sweeney re-elected. I would say that he is in a better position than any other Labour candidate in Glasgow. The Glasgow North East seat is a mixed bag of communities but Paul Sweeney is well known and respected. The SNP have lost their momentum and generally across Glasgow, you get the feel that the sand has slipped away from under the party. There is no ‘nationalist anger explodes’, even SNP voters are having doubts about voting SNP. The reason is Anne McLaughlin, her previous tenure as MP was a disaster politically for her, and the big majority created a false sense of security.

Paul Sweeney should retain the seat despite what the polls are saying nationally, the story I feel of this election will become about SNP slippage. I would expect Anne McLaughlin to get under 10,000, you can see why on twitter, she literally has no one to work for her and hence her relying on digital ads to plug the gap. She has no momentum and at hustings, she looked out of her depth and resigned to defeat. She is a former MP & MSP, who now says she is training people here & overseas n public speaking, confident leadership & political engagement. Anne McLaughlin isn’t good at public speaking, she lacks the ability to lead; she has no natural leadership about her. As to helping people with political engagement, the people of Glasgow North East who experienced her brand of political engagement decided to toss her out.

Glasgow North East…… Paul Sweeney for the win all the way!

A contest of minor interest to me is Kirkcaldy & Cowdenbeath, this area has a suspended SNP candidate Neale Hanvey who is being helped by SNP activists who decided to ignore their dreadful leader Nicola Sturgeon and still campaign for Hanvey. Nicola Sturgeon’s authority is meaningless; her plea to campaign at other seats which is code for Stephen Gethins had no traction. It is laughable that she is now appearing to attempt to resurrect her authority by making a second warning to SNP activists not to campaign. Sturgeon like McLaughlin is failing to realize that their position gave them authority and power. But when you are an SNP activist who wants nothing from Sturgeon, she has no power.

Basically SNP activists in Kirkcaldy & Cowdenbeath are sending two messages;

1/ Get stuffed
2/ We don’t give a monkey’s about your position

Oh how that must sting for Nicola Sturgeon, also a second warning, really?

If they won’t go to campaign for your cult member Gethins, no second or third or fourth intervention makes a different, the game is over. Kirkcaldy & Cowdenbeath is a marginal seat; all that separated the SNP from Labour was 259 votes. The result is anyone’s guess because we don’t see anything that the scandal has had an impact. So, deputy Scottish Labour leader Lesley Laird better get her skates on, and fight a blood and guts campaign like Paul Sweeney for very vote. Getting the win may for some people be enough, but the reality, Laird needs a couple of thousand as a majority. Not that this is an excuse for coasting is she gets in, more a solid building block to get a super majority.

Scottish Tory leader Jackson Carlaw last week urged Ms Sturgeon to show “real leadership” and discipline any SNP member who campaigned for Mr Hanvey during his suspension. If Hanvey gets in, no one will be getting disciplined, the SNP only act when forced by media pressure. Hanvay wins, he gets taken back into the fold and sent on a re-education course, which maybe he attends or doesn’t depending on who runs it.

In a weasly defence of failing authority Sturgeon said:

“I’ve been very clear, I’ve said it publicly, I’ll say it again - SNP members in that constituency should not be supporting his campaign, they should be going to other neighbouring constituencies to campaign for candidates there. The SNP could not have been clearer here, these are not easy situations for any party to find themselves in but you have to do the right thing. We’ve done the right thing here, I regret that we were in this position but he’s not an SNP candidate, he shouldn’t be using SNP materials, I haven’t seen any evidence of that, and that’s very clear.”

She added:

“We’ve taken that [decision] because we have zero tolerance to anti-Semitism and that’s the right and important decision and position we took. He’s not the SNP candidate in that constituency, but what happens after that is for a disciplinary process that is independent of me and I think it’s right that that’s allowed to take its course.”

Name an SNP jewish MSP or MP?

You will find that a hard research project because I don’t ever remember one, you’ll see Sein Fein, Muslim, LGBT and the rich, but no jewish representation or even a senior leadership person. Not even a token figure, much in the same way you have no Chinese MSP or MP in the SNP. Diversity stops at Sein Fein, Muslim, LGBT and the rich, the SNP is a party steeped in tokenism.

Finally, this is my second last post, tomorrow back to the hospital for surgery, then a period off blogging to rest my eye; then start back normally after the New Year. So, just the xmas blog to crack out, and an assessment of the election, the winners, the losers and the crying. And of course a lighthearted look at any portillo moments. This Thursday, 10 pm polls close and then the game’s afoot. So stock up on grub, it will be a long night as the various battles unfold. The battle of Glasgow North East, Stirling, East Renfrewshire and Ochil and South Perthshire, along with Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath, the ones to watch and laugh or cry over!

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Shaken Not Stirred, Labour Candidate Paul Sweeney on course to win Glasgow North East as the SNP failed to put a worthy candidate up for the seat, when is Anne McLaughlin going to realise that she is fighting the ‘Best of British’, Labour campaign in North East of Glasgow is cruising towards an increased majority

Dear All

Nothing says Xmas more than opening your prezzies, scoffing down a turkey dinner, hearing the Queen's speech and watching the Bond movie on Xmas day. One thing which has been sadly lacking is the spirit of Xmas from the UK for quite some time. It is almost like the TV channels find it a chore to remember what Xmas is about and what is means beyond mere trinkets.

This Xmas will usher in a new government, who that will be depends on what happens between now and the 10 pm on the 12th December. It will be down to two men, Boris Johnson or Jeremy Corbyn, my contribution in this little drama is to support Paul Sweeney, the Labour Candidate for Glasgow North East as best I can.

And, this time round, this is a hard election for me, not mentally but physically, I am physically wrecked, knee and back both gubbed and seeing with only one good eye. I was hobbling along today, I looked up to see the Sun reflect of a building with huge glass panels. The bad eye was looking at the equivalent of a lighthouse in heavy fog where the light when you look at it blinds everything out.

Today, I am resting up because the body sadly is breaking down, quite a bit, so I am having to rest up and pace myself which is not really my style when it comes to campaigning. I am only doing one campaign in this election which is a novelty for me as last time when I did the Westminster campaigning, it was 4. Two conservative and two Labour, which might seem odd, as people are brought up to believe that the fight is between the left and the right. But it isn't that simple, there are shades of grey. Being in Paul Sweeney's campaign is great, the activists are very upbeat and really up for the fight ahead as is the candidate.

In this election, I can see the sands shift from under the SNP despite the polls, despite the hype and despite the bookies odds. I don't think this election will be as good for the SNP as Nicola Sturgeon hopes. You could say that her and her government are carrying to much baggage and people know it. They will still come out as the largest party, because they play the emotional card to whip up people's anger. At some stage in the future, the anger will literally burn out and the those who backed Sturgeon will question why the SNP government are so bad at protecting Scots.

And they won't accept Westminster as an answer.

Madame Shouty will be facing dissent, it is already taking place, Nicola Sturgeon urges SNP members not to campaign for axed Fife candidate, their response is effectively get it up you. It seems rebellion is rife. Sturgeon having had to dump a candidate wants SNP members to shore Stephen Gethins who is slated to lose his seat. SNP activists are standing by their suspended candidate, Neale Harvey. He is fighting to win Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath from Labour's Lesley Laird. Harvey is suspended in the event he wins, he will get back into the party, the investigation will be a memory.

To leave politics aside, I want you to watch the Bond trailer as well, it is great, and it highlights why Daniel Craig must continue as 007. The new Bond trailer is just a taste of great British action at its best. The film will be released in the UK on April 3, 2020, at that time, equipped with two good eyes, I am going to see it at Cineworld. When Daniel Craig was first proposed as Bond, many people didn't think he was up to the task, I thought differently. When Casino Royale came out, the critics were silenced and dumbfounded by how good Daniel Craig is. In the other movies, you will find a line by Moneypenny, where she says, 'it looks like you are just getting started'. I would like to see Daniel Craig in at least another 3 movies. The new movie is titled 'No Time to Die', and I would venture that for Daniel Craig, no time to quit. James Bond is king, other action heroes come and go, but Bond is forever.

What Bond does is make people feel proud to be British, the best of British, and takes us back to an era when all the values of what that means run deep in our national psyche. The franchise started in 1962, the year of my birth with the incredible Dr. No. Sean Connery was 007, he set the style of movies and is so iconic in the Bond universe and rightly so. Many others have played Bond, but no one at that time in 1962 could have done a better job than Sean Connery. In the present era, Daniel Craig raised the bar in 2006. I remember buy the DVD in Asda when first released for £7, what a bargain, next day they put the price up.

Finally, tomorrow, I will be limping back out to campaign, shaken but not stirred, because the people of Glasgow North East need Paul Sweeney back as their Labour MP and people's champion. Not something which you could associate with the SNP candidate Anne McLaughlin, being a people's champion.

Mind you, I could see an opening for Anne as a minor Bond villain given that she wouldn't be getting elected on the 12th December 2019, obviously she would have to play the part of someone doing an admin role. She isn't up to being a star nor an MP.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

SNP, the Political Party that failed Scottish kids; International tests see record low results for Scottish school pupils, Scotland was famous for the enlightenment, well the lights are going out under the SNP, and the children of Scotland are paying the ‘forever bill’ of a lost generation, their future has been robbed from them, a bitter pill for parents to swallow

Dear All

Once Scottish education was held up as a beacon of excellence, and rightly so, Scotland had not just world class universities but also world class schools. Scotland has done much to invent the modern world as we know it.

Without Scots churning out ideas, our world wouldn’t be as we know it, so we have a proud history to look back on, but after 12 years of SNP rule at Holyrood, we as a country are going backwards. It would be simple to just write off what is been done and neglected and just tag it as stupidity. The SNP have used the government machine as a vehicle not for improvements to our society but for independence campaigning. If there is a price for stupidity, the ordinary Scot has more than paid that particular bill in full. Right across the board, we are failing as a country and as a people.

This is entirely due to the SNP leadership.

In the big departments of state, health education and law and order, the shameful neglect of policy is replaced by short term vision, no real objectives and sound bites. The Scottish NHS makes the news because of failures, failure to manage, failure to treat and failure to accept responsibility.  As to law and order, when Nicola Sturgeon put Humza Yousaf in charge, the joke was verging on too much, it seems membership of the Sturgeon cabal was the only qualification for high office.

When the SNP brought in ‘curriculum for excellence’ it almost seemed that the SNP leadership where intent in destroying the life chances of Scottish kids on an industrial scale. The facts speak for themselves; those at the bottom of society who needed education as the lifeline to escape poverty were having that pulled away from them. CoE has been a disaster, it was known it was a disaster, but the SNP leadership had this pressed ahead by education chiefs as they sat back.

So, why does the SNP want a country of underachievers?

I would suggest the answer is simple; they need this as a reason to push for control of immigration, in this way they can make the case for skilled immigrants such as doctors, dentists and engineers. But, and there is always a ‘but’, we would also get a criminal element in an SNP immigration free for all. The SNP with a low educated population would also see to create division, rather than accept they are to blame, they would blame Westminster. Some people have bought into this nonsense, just as they bought into the lie that the Scottish NHS was under threat of being sold off to the Americans.

The SNP leadership are the enemies of stability, peace, advancement and opportunity in Scotland, no amount of fake ‘nationalist anger explodes’ crap can hide this in the mist of deception. The truth of failure in education is factual, international education tests have reported record low results in science and maths among Scottish school pupils. Scotland, the country that built the modern world, now produces kids with such poor education, we would be lucky to see them construct a shed in the back garden. When we look at key indicators, we find that pupils are performing substantially worse in all three subjects of reading, maths and science than they did in 2000.

Scotland is a country moving backwards because we elected stupid people to political office who either don’t listen, don’t grasp or don’t comprehend what experts are telling them to advance the abilities of our kids. Given the SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon isn’t interested in kids unless they are a prop for a photo op, is it any surprise that efforts to close the attainment gap between rich and poor pupils appear to have stalled?

I have been blogging for years regarding how Scottish kids from disadvantaged backgrounds are being shut out of getting higher education. We keep getting fobbed off by the SNP leadership and people like Universities Scotland, the mouthpiece of the universities that they are doing their best. Clearly this is just sound bites to deflect media attention because return to the status quo.

Where exactly are the champions of the poor in the SNP Government?

They don’t exist!

Education Secretary John Swinney said the results were “very encouraging” and stressed PISA only shows part of the picture, Swinney has been a disaster in education, he doesn’t know what he is doing, and he doesn’t have the will to act. When Swinney went from finance to education, I thought he wouldn’t understand it, the concept what was needed, an education system where pupils had the ability to break down subjects because they had been taught the most important skill that everyone should learn. What is that skill?

The skill is the ability to analyze.

The ability to analyse is what famous Scottish inventors had, with the ability to investigate a problem and find the ideal solution in a timely, efficient manner. This is what is needed at the heart of every Scottish kid’s education.

Scottish Conservative education spokeswoman Liz Smith said:

“This is damning evidence revealing the full extent of the SNP’s shameful 12 years running down Scotland’s schools. Nicola Sturgeon asked to be judged on education. This summer saw the fourth consecutive year of decline in Higher pass rates and now the SNP is presiding over the worst ever PISA results in both maths and science. In reading, where it should be acknowledged that there is encouraging improvement since 2015, the score is still lower than the 2012 result and considerably lower than the score in 2000. Nicola Sturgeon’s obsession with a second divisive referendum has come at a high cost to our schools.
Performance in maths and science is absolutely vital for the future of Scotland's  economy and for industries such as engineering and IT”.

Smith added:

“These results are a humiliation for the SNP and they also mean that the potential of Scotland’s economy has been tarnished. After the last set of poor PISA results, the SNP said that the curriculum had to change. Yet these results are a new low and we know there have been many failings within the delivery of the Curriculum for Excellence. It is not just time to change the curriculum but also to change the government in Scotland.”

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie said the results were “appalling”.

He said:

“Scotland used to have one of the best education systems in the world, but under the SNP its now just average. Scottish teachers have been messed about for too long. John Swinney has refused to listen to them. Support in their classrooms has been cut to the bone and they simply don't believe in the policies being imposed on them, not least the national testing of four and five-year-olds. Nicola Sturgeon once claimed education was her top priority, but nobody is now in any doubt that the SNP will always put independence first no matter the cost. Their chief civil servant has warned another independence campaign will lead to the 'de-prioritisation' of domestic policy, but the SNP simply don't care about the damage and distraction it will cause.”

In what must be the most deluded excuse, SNP Education Sec John Swinney said:

“These are very encouraging results and the latest sign that our education reforms are working. Scottish schools are improving and this international study confirms that”.

Finally, when you find that pupils are performing substantially worse in all three subjects of reading, maths and science than they did in 2000, how can Swinney’s statement make sense. He is like Nero, fiddling while Rome burns down around him, Swinney isn’t a stupid man, I have met him, but I would say his cowardice in allowing this situation to continue because an inability to accept responsibility is rather damning. Scotland was also famous for the enlightenment, well the lights are going out, and the children of Scotland are paying the bill.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

Thursday, November 28, 2019

Nationalist False Flag Season; Second SNP constituency office targeted by graffiti vandals in overnight attack, is there an election on because something smells rather fishy, given that support is moving away from the SNP in key marginal seats, has someone been a bit too clever in an attempt to generate ‘Nationalist Victimhood’?

Dear All

Do you remember a youtube video of an idiot sitting in a van saying that he had been contacted, told to go to a location by someone he didn’t know and then found indy votes not counted?

The video made a minor sensation, through-out the video the man kept saying he wasn’t going to go to the Police.

Why not go to the Police?

Why not take it to an elected SNP MSP?

That little episode was a crock of ‘you know what’, it might have had a touch of comedic value, in that the ‘presenter’ was clearly targeting the really gullible, to stoke up anger and outrage. Guy phones him up and tells him to go to a bin, what a pity he didn’t climb in and make himself useful as rubbish.

False flags are used by governments, politicians and others to practice deceit on the public, one of the most famous is the Gleiwitz incident used by the Nazis.

The Nazis were masters of propaganda

False flags are designed to make someone or groups appear as the victims, which is why I have linked to this youtube video.

This documentary was carefully shot to show woman and kids in danger, being persecuted for nothing, to provoke anger. Think back to the press continually saying ‘Nationalist anger explodes’ in Scotland in the SNP’s drive to create victimhood. Just after the 2014 result, the claims of vote rigging surfaced about the counts being rigged.

They were not rigged, not a single claim was correct; no one involved in the count ever was prosecuted.

I want to put a question to you, have you noticed that this election is a quiet election in the main? The campaign rolls on but I see a subtle shift away from the SNP, the ground is slipping from under their feet.

And they are worried.

30 out of 35 SNP are marginal which means a slight push could see a cascade of SNP losses; one such marginal is Motherwell and Wishaw, that seat last time was won by 318 votes. Of course that was then and this is now, however the point I want to make is the SNP share is going down. All Labour in theory has to do is hold their vote and add a little more and if the SNP vote continues to dip, Marion Fellowes, the SNP candidate loses the seat.

A few days ago, we learned of an attack on SNP MSP Aileen Campbell, she is what I call one of the 'disappeared ones’, someone who is a minister but so low key, no one notices her. So, when her office in Carluke was ’attacked’, I saw the story but didn’t pay much attention to it. Now the office of Marion Fellowes who is the incumbent MP at Motherwell and Wishaw has been attacked with apparently the same modius operandi.

Call me old fashioned but I don't believe for a minute that pro UK Scots did this at all.

The SNP goon squad have a culture of presenting themselves as 'victims', so we have both "attacks" apparently sprayed with 'SNPOUT' which is a hastag used on twitter and a pro UK Facebook group, and with red spray paint.

Could it be that some SNP supporting idiot or group has been too clever?

With the polls now shifting for Scottish Labour, have SNP canvassing returns not been as expected for the Nicola Sturgeon Cult. Is Westminster, now a distant dream for some of them? There is a shift, we have gone from the prediction to only one Labour MP expected to hold his seat to two in a recent poll. I think if the trend continues over the next fortnight, we might get a few more upsets to the SNP bandwagon.

Police Scotland said:

"We are also aware of vandalism to a constituency office in Carluke which happened around the same time. These are not currently being treated as linked but we are keeping an open mind".

I think they should open their mind further; this has all the ingredients of a false flag operation.

1/ Target SNP women
2/ Use name of pro UK Facebook group
3/ The surprisingly strange toned down "abuse"
4/ Same apparent MO at both locations
5/ Same tactics used by Nazis which the SNP use in their creation of the ‘cult of the leader’ who rails against supposed victimhood of Scots.

Which is why I come back to this video because I don’t believe these attacks were by pro UK people, to me, something is off; it feels odd!

Finally, the narrative of the attacks on SNP women, the fact that these ‘attacks’ aren’t simply directed at Westminster candidates but appear to be targeted at the entire SNP as a group, should make people perk up and take notice. Another hallmark of the Nationalist cause is their firm belief in everyone else being an idiot who can’t work out what is going on. Well in this election, I reckon I can see what is going on. I see the SNP support slipping, and I don’t see this dramatic ten to midnight attempt at victimhood washing with the Scottish public either because it looks odd, feels odd, and has all the ingredients of a false flag operation.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

SNP Carpetbagger Humiliation; SNP candidate John Nicolson standing in Ochil & South Perthshire repeatedly booed by Perthshire residents after forgetting which seat he is standing in at a hustings at Alloa town hall, when you have younger pictures of yourself on your election leaflets, you show yourself up as a vain pompous fool, now he speaks to confirm it with this gaffe

Dear All

In politics, there is such a thing as a ‘Portillo moment’, named after Michael Portillo who was famously beaten in a Westminster in 1997 by Stephen Twigg.

You could say that losing his seat made Michael Portillo a better person, such is life; it’s fickle. Portillo moments are general welcomed when a candidate is seen as a pompous arse. One such character who deserves a Portillo moment is John Nicolson, the SNP candidate in Conservative-held Ochil & South Perthshire. He is so up himself that on election night, I will be like many hoping that he doesn’t win the seat. Ochil & South Perthshire is just a meal ticket for John Nicolson, he is a carpet bagger parachuted in by the SNP because he is part of the Nicola Sturgeon clique. The previous carpet bagger was Tasmina Ahmed-Shiekh who was removed by the SNP after a scandal.

I have campaigned with her, not the greatest activist I have ever worked with, but she ticks certain boxes which is why the SNP promoted her. She was close to Nicola Sturgeon and then Alex Salmond. After her fall from grace, she joined Alex Salmond and together, they founded Slainte Media, a production company behind The Alex Salmond Show, and regularly co-hosts the programme on RT. Tasmina sounds like someone who should be on a shopping channel selling cheap vacuum cleaners.

In the event that Alex Salmond survives his current problems, he will probably take Tasmina on his coat tails and challenge for the SNP leadership. Tasmina was part of the Court of King Alex in Westminster, not a real political player just someone with a big gob and apparently a nickname at Westminster…. ‘Tedious’.

So much to say and nothing worth hearing!

Now that Tasmina is gone, a Sturgeon ally dropped into Ochil & South Perthshire, the vain and pompous John Nicholson. A man who appears to like putting a younger picture of himself on his election leaflets. And for your entertainment, I reworked his election leaflet, so how would you describe him? Always tricky; people so sensitive, especially when it comes to age, well, I will try.

John Nicolson looks like an old fart!

The election is in full swing albeit, a quiet affair so far from all parties, the SNP are in hiding, especially after Nicola Sturgeon got a hiding off Andrew Neil. Despite the quiet, SNP candidate Nicholson has been branded a “laughing stock” after he told voters at a hustings last night that he was standing in another seat. Ochil & South Perthshire is just a meal ticket to him; he apparently stays in Bearsden, Glasgow and London. Post-election, even if he was to win the seat he would stay in Bearsden, Glasgow and London. He is a carpet bagger, such people are generally un-welcome but in his case, he was booed after declaring that only he could win in East Dunbartonshire.

Not the thing to say as a candidate in Ochil & South Perthshire.

Speaking at a hustings in Alloa town hall last night, he told his audience:

“Please trust me with your vote on December the 12th. As you know, only the Scottish National party can beat the Tories here in East Dunbartonshire."

Despite boos and jeers from the crowd; he appeared oblivious to his mistake, he said later this was a slip of the tongue.

Tory MSP Murdo Fraser said:

“John Nicolson is now a laughing stock.” 

Well, not a revelation to me, but welcomed as others might think he is someone to watch, and he isn’t.

Murdo added:

"It's well known he was parachuted in to Ochil and South Perthshire last month by Nicola Sturgeon. You'd think by know that he would have worked out where he was. People have had enough of SNP placemen thinking they can walk in with a God-given right to a seat. In two weeks’ time, voters in Ochil and South Perthshire can tell Mr Nicolson to go home and think again - assuming he can find his way there."

I hope that on election, I can watch on TV and see him lose, and the smile wiped off his face as he is sent packing back to the Sturgeon camp. With so much unpleasantness about to hit the SNP with the upcoming Salmond trial, he along with some others will be earmarked to be wheeled out to comment on what happens or comes next. The MP slot would be used to give him status, when this buffoon speaks; he needs a title to fall back on as he is just a Sturgeon placeman.  

So, what are Nicholson’s chances?

Luke Graham of the Conservative Party won the seat in 2017 with a credible majority of 3,359 votes, so not an easy climb for the SNP despite them targeting the seat. Although the SNP are good at by-elections due to drawing in people from elsewhere but with so many SNP marginal seats, help from outside maybe limited. I expect that Nicola Sturgeon and the usual suspects of government ministers will be visiting to make Nicholson seem important. That said he is only important to Nicola Sturgeon, as a human political bullet magnet during the Alex Salmond trial.

I see Conservative incumbent Luke Graham as the clear favourite in this scenario; however, this is a complex election with Brexit overshadowing it. How do people of Ochil and South Perthshire feel about Brexit, presumably after all the fuss, they want a government that can get Brexit done. Luke Graham also has the advantage of his incumbency and ‘long campaigning’ to build his brand. I would rate his chances as 60/40 or slightly better. The SNP have worked the area to win the seat but Tasmina rather queered the pitch with her troubles.

In a statement, Nicolson said: 

“I made a slip of the tongue. We’re all human”.

True, we are all human but also some of us are an arse which seems a perfect fit for Nicholson and his travelling circus.

He added:

"On December 12th voters in Ochil and South Perthshire will face the choice between a Tory candidate prepared to do whatever Boris Johnson tells him - trading away Scotland’s NHS to Donald Trump and taking Scotland out of the EU. Or an SNP candidate who will act to protect Scotland from Boris Johnson and ensure we have a choice over our future.”

The NHS is totally devolved in Scotland and controlled by the SNP, so his scaremongering is simply project fear in the hope that voters don’t wise up. Sadly, although the SNP seem to think people are idiots, they will probably be getting a shock in Ochil and South Perthshire as Nicola’s pal gets cast out like an old broken record.

Finally, if there is any justice in the world, the incumbent Luke Graham should hold his seat, and with the SNP tide of support going out right across Scotland, he is well placed to do the win. After Nicholson gets beaten, I doubt people of Ochil and South Perthshire will ever see him against as he disappears back to Bearsden and London. No doubt appearing at his next carpet bagger placement, assuming Nicola Sturgeon is still around.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University  

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

SNP Have Lost Moral Authority; SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon left grim-faced as BBC interviewer Andrew Neil ruthlessly rips apart her record as SNP leader and First Minister, Andrew Neil shamed Nicola Sturgeon 10 times in just 43 seconds during car crash interview, her performance was cold, callous and lacking in empathy

Dear All

Andrew Neil is a supberb interviewer who is worthy of being named alongside the greats, like Sir Robin Day, Brian Walden and Jeremy Paxman. If you sit in front of these people, you have to be up to the mark. They are always prepared, well researched and professional.

Last night was the ‘big fight’, Andrew Neil Vs Nicola Sturgeon. 

Although the SNP leader and her govt get an easy ride in Scotland by the cowed press, there comes a time when you run into the best. Nicola Sturgeon was utterly shamed 10 times in just 43 seconds, during her car crash TV interview. Words like annihilation are a good fit for what happened to Sturgeon. Even her expensive media training was useless, as the lack of empathy showed as Andrew Neil reel off a list of failures, and you could see she was stressed by the event.

Yesterday was the day that Nicola Sturgeon lost the moral authority in the Westminster 2019 election.

Andrew Neil listed her failures:

"Only two of your eight waiting time targets are being hit, you’ve been in for a long while.
"You haven’t hit the A&E target since 2017”.

"The two-month cancer target you haven’t hit since 2013”.

"Children are dying in a new Glasgow hospital because the water is contaminated, perhaps by pigeon droppings”.

"A new multi-million pound Edinburgh hospital should of opened in 2012 is still unfit to open. You can’t even get the ventilation system to work."

He continued:

"You’ve got the worse drug addiction problem in Europe. But you cut drug treatment budgets by 15 million”.

During this interview, you can notice that Nicola Sturgeon sat there impassive, the lack of empathy oozing out of her, but the real bullet which hit home personally was the line by Andrew Neil:

"You've called for legislation to protect the NHS from Donald Trump, maybe the NHS needs legislation to protect it from Nicola Sturgeon!"

The artificial shine was stripped away from Nicola Sturgeon by a master interviewer, the fake SNP image of in control and know everything was blown apart, the reality exposed, ‘knows nothing, does nothing and doesn’t care’.

When it came to the issue of currency, break-up of the UK and EU membership, Andrew Neil said:

"In this situation, we are talking about England and the rest of the UK would no longer be in the EU, you would still be using the pound but you wouldn’t have monetary union. You’re seriously saying you would try and join the EU using a currency of a country that is no longer in the EU? Brussels wouldn’t allow that to happen."

What the SNP propose to do which is fairly obvious is attempt to trick people that they will still use the pound in a fabled post indy Scotland, the truth is they would do so until they setup a new currency, that would be the job of a Scottish Central Bank.

Their ‘Our Pound’ strategy is a big lie to deceive people at the ballot box.

You can’t join the EU if you don’t have your own separate currency, that’s the EU rules, and they aren’t open to fudge. So, the SNP always wanted right from the start to ditch the pound. They also wanted a quick indyref 2 in the hope they could simply transfer while the UK still had EU membership. That isn’t allowed within the EU rules either while Scotland is part of the UK. The SNP are lying to the people of Scotland, they aren’t the party of independence; they are a party of interdependence. The SNP see the EU as a big networking opportunity for power, wealth and advancement.

Round it out to simple……… greed!

And they are quite happy to stab Scotland in the back along with the population.

Look closely at Nicola Sturgeon during this interview, all the traits that former consul-general to Edinburgh, Miguel Angel Vecino spotted are all there, “distant and cold”, as well as lacking empathy. You should replay this clip a few times to dial into it, when the drug deaths are mentioned and the fact she cut the treatment money, her facial expression remains absolutely blank.

For years, I talked about ‘unpopular’ Nicola Sturgeon which differed from the fake image that was presented to the world. The construct of the SNP caring superwoman is a mirage, rather like a coat of paint on a condemned building. The child hugging Nicola Sturgeon has been exposed, she will still continue using kids as props, her promotion of certain minority groups, but what she cannot get is the majority of the people of Scotland to back her. The SNP treat the governance of Scotland as a part time concern, a vehicle to get power, money and a platform for their indy cause. And while the SNP continue with this approach and taken no responsibility people suffer.

People like the family of Milly Main.

There is a cost to independence and SNP neglect, but the SNP aren’t paying that price, Scottish kids like Milly Main are, and so are drug addicts who can’t get treatment because of deliberate cuts to funding. 

Lots of people are calling for Jeane Freeman, the health sec to resign, but I am not.


I blame in part SNP MSP Shona Robison, the then Health Sec who was a liability in the job, and allowed to continue in it because she and Nicola Sturgeon are ‘pals’. 

Both Robison and Sturgeon are to blame for the mess of the Scottish NHS. If anyone should resign, look to Sturgeon and Robison as candidates but neither will. Scotland is living in a dark time, and until we rid ourselves of this inept SNP government, we will not move forward as a country.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

Monday, November 25, 2019

The Human Factor; First Scottish election poll predicts electoral wipeout for Labour in Scotland, polling says only one seat, data and analysis are good indicators, but one thing you cannot rule out of the mix is the emotional element swimming about in the back of people’s minds, so watch Glasgow North East and Glasgow East for Labour wins

Dear All

I said it before, and I will say it again, the Labour Party needs to change its policy on Brexit, if proof was needed, the continual polls show that the Conservative Party are clearly in the lead by a substantial margin with their policy. So, for the cheap seats, the Labour Party needs to be pro Brexit, without this, there can be no level playing field. From a Scottish perspective, the first Scottish opinion poll is proving more than disappointing to Scottish Labour. If this polling holds up, the data suggests the party stands to lose all but one of its seats in Scotland. Although personally, I think there is an area of margin within this result. In Glasgow, there are many marginal seats, and to say that of the seven seats held by Labour in Scotland, only Edinburgh South's incumbent Ian Murray would return to the House of Commons doesn’t paint the full picture.

I would also expect Labour incumbent Paul Sweeney to hold Glasgow North East.

I also expect Scottish Labour would possibly be in a good position to secure a second seat at Glasgow East. Why Glasgow East, well, the SNP Candidate David Linden in securing more TV exposure just comes across as weak, brainwashed and clueless.

Andrew Neil of the BBC literally destroyed David Linden on policy and substance.

Why do people think they can walk into an interview with Andrew Neil and just waffle? The youtube clip is a rather painful lesson on the dangers of being unprepared and facing an expert interviewer. If you don’t know your subject, don’t cross into unknown territory and expect safe passage. David Linden wanted to up his profile, and he did, he came across as clueless, rather than garnering votes, I think his appearance harmed his chances of holding onto the seat. He could be one of the minor SNP scalps to fall on the 12th December.

I think, there is a better than average chance of two seats in Glasgow being won by Scottish Labour, not reflected in the polls nor at the bookies.

Data and analysis are good indicators, but one thing you cannot rule out of the mix is the emotional element swimming about in the back of people’s minds. The Panelbase study for the Sunday Times predicting a wipeout for Scottish Labour is nothing new. Prior to winning his seat in 2017, Labour candidate Paul Sweeney was 16/1 at the bookies, he was at the start of that campaign thinking a good night was to cut into the SNP majority, but I knew different.

Glasgow North East of all the seats in Glasgow; was the only seat in Glasgow I said would fall in 2017.

George Laird right again.

This election is more complex than the 2017 variety, but you can look beyond analysis towards the human factor or ‘feel’ you get from canvassing, general chatting and more importantly listening. Politicians love to talk, but if you don’t listen to your audience, you are missing the wider picture. Strathclyde University Professor Sir John Curtice says, the SNP are on course for another electoral win in Scotland, his opinion is that they will see their seats rise from 35 to 41. This is still a decent result but nowhere near the 2015 result of 56 MPs. The dam was broken by Conservatives and Labour in 2017, but the ability to capitalise or develop the brand over the last two and half years hasn’t fully exploited.
The pitch by both Labour and Conservative should be that they can deliver want the SNP cannot from Westminster, this is a strength the SNP don’t have, and will never have, the SNP cannot shape Scotland, only the parties of the Union can do this.

So, why aren’t they doing this?

Because no one is thinking this, that’s why.

Panelbase puts the SNP on 40%, the Conservatives on 28%, Labour on 20%, and the Liberal Democrats on 11%. It is easy to notice a bounce in the step of the Scottish Conservatives, and 28% must bhoy them up no end, but Scottish Labour on 20% must set heads scratching.

After all, their manifesto has a lot of appeal to it.

One million Scots voted for Brexit, and they had the whole Scottish establishment ranged against them, their voices have been ignored. They will be keen to vote for a party that can win a seat, and deliver Brexit. The Brexit Party chances in Scotland are in my opinion … nil. Yes, Brexit Party candidates are standing but they don’t have enough people to mount a Westminster campaign, and importantly, they will have no ‘long campaigning’ behind them in communities. Their votes per seat will probably average out in line with what Ukip would get on a good night.

If you look at this election, the SNP is running the same campaign against Scottish Labour that it did in 2015 and 2017, convincing Labour voters that they will work with Jeremy Corbyn to put a Labour Government in. But the fly in the ointment is that a Labour government must give them what they want when they want it. Basically a blackmail-esque type of arrangement, and not even subtle about it!  The trick, or ploy however isn’t about putting a Labour govt in but merely a device to shut Labour out of Scottish seats.

The Scottish Labour Party hasn’t ever addressed this SNP trick of them hijacking traditional Labour voters, but they need to. Scottish Labour needs to go backwards, backwards to the days of John Smith, not just for inspiration but also for faith. The lessons of 2015 and 2017 haven’t been learned, and if you can’t learn from the past, your chances of having a future are diminished.

If you want more painful reading on Labour’s plight, then I suggest this article.

The Conservatives are on track to win the general election with 349 MPs, how many of them from Scotland are reckoned to be about 12, down one from 2017.

Finally, is it too late for the Labour Party to alter course on Brexit? Without a level playing field, the chances of a Labour govt seem remote. A landslide by the Conservatives will be a sore lesson for the Labour Party to learn about Brexit. Especially if they are sitting in Westminster with a predicted 213 seats, and only one MP in Scotland. Personally, I think we are looking at more than one Labour MP in Scotland, I don't have feel of SNP return to the heyday of 2015. I am thinking that two Labour MPs will emerge from Glasgow, Glasgow North East and Glasgow East on the night of the count. 

They will have to work their socks off for the win, but it is doable.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

Thursday, November 21, 2019

Hell hath no Fury; former SNP leader Alex Salmond accused of sexual offences against 10 women, “I’m innocent and will defend myself vigorously, but the only place to do that is in this court, and that’s what we will do” says former FM, 2020, it will be interesting to see who walks into the Court House in Edinburgh to accuse Alex Salmond, given we are certainly seeing a trial

Dear All

Today, the political focus is on one event, although there are others taking place, Former SNP Minister Alex Salmond has appeared in court over a series of alleged sex crimes against ten women. In the past, the impression given by the SNP was of two complaints, now more details are emerging. Although Alex Salmond didn’t enter a plea, the former Labour MSP, Gordon Jackson QC representing him said he would be pleading not guilty.

Alex Salmond didn’t speak during the 15 minute hearing before Lady Dorrian, the Lord Justice Clerk. 

The trial has been fixed by Lady Dorrian for March 9 2020, which is expected to last 4 weeks, so what is Salmond accused of with these ten women?

According to the indictment, the charges against Mr Salmond are:

The indecent assault “on various occasions” of a woman in 2008 in Glasgow and the sexual assault of the same woman in an Edinburgh nightclub in 2010 or 2011

The indecent assault of a second woman in Bute House in late 2010

The sexual assault of a third woman in a motor vehicle in Edinburgh in February 2011

The sexual assault of a fourth woman on “various occasions” between 2011 and 2013 in Bute House, the Scottish Parliament and elsewhere

The sexual assault of a fifth woman in Bute House in October 2013 by attempting to kiss her foot

The sexual assault of a sixth woman at Bute House in late 2013 and then the sexual assault  of the same woman “with intent to rape” on a different occasion at Bute House in late 2013 

The sexual assault of a seventh woman at a Glasgow restaurant in March 2012 and the sexual assault of the same woman at Bute House in April 2014

The sexual assault of an eighth woman at Bute House in May 2014 and then the attempted rape of the same woman at Bute House in June the same year

The sexual assault of a ninth woman at Bute House in September 2014

The sexual assault of a tenth woman at Stirling Castle in November 2014 

Salmond was charged originally with slightly different group offences when he appeared during a brief private hearing at Edinburgh Sheriff Court on January 24. Then the charges included two charges of attempted rape, nine of sexual assault, two of indecent assault and one breach of the peace. The Crown has decided to adjust the charges in the hope of winning this case. Like many people, I have met Alex Salmond, my first chat with him was in a trailer, in the kitchen where I was getting a bite to eat after finishing campaigning. The election was the 2008 Glasgow East by-election, he came in, sat down and we started chatting away. He was very chatty, speaking of his time in politics, the campaign in the East and other things of general chitchat. The world has moved on since 2008 for him, no longer First Minister, no longer in politics and working on a show for the RT Channel.

I would at other elections and by-elections meet him, and he always made a point of saying hello, which surprised me, but it appears he has a good memory for activists. I find it is hard to wrap my head round these allegations against him, and I am so anti SNP. Just like in elections and in court, the outcome is never certain; the task if this goes before a jury is not one that I would relish.  

The persona of Alex Salmond will overshadow this trial.

Interestingly, Nicola Sturgeon would was effectively jointed at the hip with Alex Salmond says she wants to see 'justice done'.  

She said:

“The only thing I would say, as First Minister, and as an ordinary citizen, is that my only interest is in seeing justice done, whatever that may be, but that of course is a matter for the courts with all due process.”

Nicola Sturgeon when asked declined to say whether she had been cited as a witness, she knows the defendant but I wonder just how many of the accusers she knows, and how close they are from her.

Sturgeon added:

“There will come a point where you will have questions and I will be very willing and very keen to answer all of those questions, but that time for reasons you understand is not now.”

“Very willing and very keen”?

If Nicola Sturgeon made that statement to me, I would wonder how far back her alleged knowledge goes, in my mind, someone who is “very willing and very keen” is someone I would want questioned under oath.

Wouldn’t you?

Especially when you remember Nicola Sturgeon's mantra of 'I know nothing about nothing'.

In his statement to the press outside, Alex Salmond repeated he was innocent, he didn’t look subdued, nor did he look worried, of course he has had media training on how to present himself in front of the cameras. This going to be a big event in 2020, how damaging it will be for those involved will be played out in court and reported by the press and other media. With Nicola Sturgeon not getting any referendums in 2020, the huge spotlight will be shining on the SNP.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Man without a Panzer; Brexit Party candidate Colin Mitchelson gets 15 minutes of fame for his picture of him wearing Nazi-era German helmet row and not using real name in election, he is standing in Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath, but I doubt his chances of winning….. his deposit back, he is a paper candidate in my opinion, making up the numbers, and trying to displace Labour from winning the seat

Dear All

One thing, you tend to notice in politics is those who are willing to work, and those who don’t when it comes to activism, basically some people think they are ‘managers’ when in fact, everyone should be an activist. When it comes to campaigning, it really is all hands on deck, there are no passengers, passengers bring the team spirit down, they are a nuisance who really should be some place else.

During the early part of the year, I left the Labour Party after being headhunted to do the Brexit Party campaign; this gave me an opportunity to help others learn about how to be a campaigner. The EU election, for me, was a hoot, as it turned out, I was needed to do campaigning all over Glasgow and the West of Scotland, I even made it down as far as Gretna and Dumfries on the border. During the Glasgow stint of campaign on Argyle Street, the lead candidate along with some other candidates turned up for a ‘meet and greet’ the people. Tagging along with them was their ‘minder’.

When I asked who this guy who just stood there not taking part, I was told he was Mr M, which I found was odd, who rattles about keeping their name a secret, it was un-usual behaviour, even for politics. Not only did this person not campaign, he didn’t even make an attempt to engage with the activists, which was why I noticed him stick out like a sore thumb. Now, he appears to have gone from minder to being a Brexit Party candidate. His name is Colin Mitchelson, aka Mr M, he is an ex soldier, and in this election, he is contesting Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath. It seems however that he is not using his real name in the election, instead calling himself Mitch William.

Given he was to me, an odd character, looking nervous and disengaged, I doubt his chances in winning Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath, or being anything other than a paper candidate. As well as being the candidate, he is also is listed as the election agent for Mitch William, but both men are the same person. The reason he is making the press, is that a photo was found of him posing in a Nazi-era German helmet, and sunglasses, presumably no one had access to a Panzer Mk IV or even a King Tiger tank.

Mitchelson, used to be an aide for eccentric former UKIP MEP David Coburn, Coburn in this election is urge all Brexit minded people to vote Conservative, probably even in Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath. Scottish Green candidate Scott Rutherford said:

“People are telling me this election is important because it is electing an MP that could sit for five years. They want someone who will take issues seriously like the climate emergency and the future of Mossmorran. It’s not a fancy dress competition.”

If you want people to take you seriously, why would you be the Scottish Green Party, the proxy party for the SNP?  No Scottish Green will be elected to Westminster in this election, like Mitchelson, the best they can hope for is not to lose their deposit.

£500 is still £500.  

A spokesperson for Fife Council said:

“Mr Mitchelson is standing under his commonly used name of “Mitch Williams”, However, there’s no such provision for agents in relation to commonly used names - they must give their full names, which he has done. As a result he will appear on the ballot paper with one name but is on the list of agents under a different name.”

A spokesman for the Brexit Party said:

“‘Mitch’ is what the candidate is known as. William is a middle name. Our lawyers tell us it is not uncommon to use a name other than that on one’s birth certificate.”

Basically, he hasn’t broken any rules other than looking like an oddball; of course, he isn’t the first and won’t be the last person in this election to look stupid. The Lib Dems and the toy parrot running sketch was filmed; Mitchelson’s stupidity is just a picture. And the use of cheap sunglasses, along with the helmet reminds me of ‘oddball’ in Kelly’s Heroes’. The real fight in Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath is between Labour and SNP, Labour’s candidate is Lesley Laird who is fighting off an SNP challenge. Colin Mitchelson is just making up the numbers, along with the Scottish Green candidate, however the Brexit Party tactic is to displace as many sitting MPs  as possible, so his mission is to get Labour voters to switch to the Brexit Party.

Cause and effect could be, he lets the SNP in by default.

Finally, Colin Mitchelson is an odd fish, and as such, I think the public will go off him pretty quickly, assuming he actually campaigns in this seat. I think he is a paper candidate; he certainly didn’t strike me as a people person.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Re-elect Labour Candidate Paul Sweeney 2019 - A George Laird Production

Not Good Enough, lame duck SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon halted from appearing in the leader’s debate, correct decision by broadcaster, Boris Johnson says "I will never do a TV debate with Nicola Sturgeon", it is bad enough standing beside her, Sturgeon’s mad old auntie routine has had its day

Dear All

The agony of being the leader of a regional party is telling on Nicola Sturgeon, after being frozen of the ITV debate, Boris Johnson has ruled out ever debating with Nicola Sturgeon. This is a classic case of you’re not good enough and you’re never going to be Prime Minister. The humiliation for Nicola Sturgeon and the effect on any future post FM career is palpable, after political office of FM, the elevator travels only one way….. down!

In the battle between the Prime Minister and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, Nicola Sturgeon thought she could barge her way in and subject us all to a grievance mongering session about Scottish independence. How that plan has failed, now like the rest of the public, she can watch the leaders debate from the cheap seats.

Boris Johnson says he is well up for the contest tonight and declared he was “pumped” and “coiled like a spring”, but this isn’t the X Factor or Britain’s Got Talent, this is for something much bigger, a country. With this be the showman vs the schoolteacher, or will both be tearing lumps out of each other. Live TV can either make you or break you, especially if you run off at the mouth and get carried away with yourself.

Conservatives have a big poll lead, but as the Ratner’s moment showed on TV, when you have everything to lose, sometimes you can. Will this be a cautious Boris Johnson tonight with toned down rhetoric, first impressions count. Will Jeremy Corbyn go on the offensive after a mountain of bad press stories, or will both feel each other out.

Now, that Nicola Sturgeon has been sidelined, the SNP are laughingly claiming the two main party leaders were scared of Ms Sturgeon. Westminster politicians aren’t scared of the SNP at either the House of Commons or in Holyrood. The power as always lies in the corridors of Westminster, not a Cult room in Bute House, the SNP vote share is dropping.

In blowing off a request that Nicola Sturgeon appear in tonight’s debate, Boris Johnson drove the knife in by saying:

“Once Nicola Sturgeon takes leadership of a party in Parliament and is a serious contender to be prime minister of the UK; that would be the appropriate moment.”

Regional politician Nicola Sturgeon would not be a big fish in the pond of Westminster politics, and shouting loud and over people, her fav tactic wouldn’t be entertained. She would be a lowly worker ant, in a very small ant nest. Westminster is populated with the Court of King Alex, so don’t expect the red carpet, think more someone attempting to pull the rug out from under her feet….. and that’s just her own lot.

The Court case to get Nicola Sturgeon on TV failed, the muppets funded it, even although it was a total loser and pay the price, lost their money, and lost their integrity. You have to ask yourself, why fight a case when you haven’t a leg to stand on. The Joan of Arc mantra doesn’t work for Nicola Sturgeon, just like the child hugging photo ops, they are so cringe worthy as to appear needy and desperate.  

Although blown out at the big fight, ITV is due to host a seven-party debate on 1 December, although Mr Johnson and Mr Corbyn have not committed to taking part. I think Boris Johnson will be a no show, this tactic worked for him before on his rise to fame.

Finally after some thought, I have returned to the front line yet again to campaign against the SNP in order to help someone retain their seat. Returning after a health scare is always a bit sketchy but I was surprised how well I kept up. It will take me a few days to get back to full campaigning mode but I think I will be up to it. Sometimes you have to come off the bench and get back on the playing field, this campaign has a personal aspect for me as well. In politics, they call this ‘unfinished business’, and I have unfinished business with this SNP candidate.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

Monday, November 18, 2019

Countdown to the referendum, the video that didn't age well - A George Laird Production

The Battle for Scotland; Scotland is the land of the marginal seat, important to Labour, important to the Conservatives, the Labour Party fortunes for forming a majority government are tied to success of the Scottish Party, but with a yougov poll of a 12% vote share for Scottish Labour, polls, bookies and John Curtice don’t fancy their chances anytime soon

Dear All

The battle for the UK is really for the Labour Party, the battle of Scotland, although, you might not think so, given the TV coverage seems to be focused on what happens down south. One thing for certain is that either Boris Johnson or Jeremy Corbyn will be rolling in 10 Downing Street on the 13th December. In order for Jeremy Corbyn to do that neat trick, he must take back Scottish seats lost to the SNP. Is that possible, well technically given that 30 out of 35 seats currently held by the SNP are marginal, the answer is yes. However, the problem is not a technical issue, but one of events, personalities and policies.

If you take the time to look at polling, the Conservatives from a UK perspective dominate, a recent poll of 17% lead has put a spring in their step; even the Scottish Conservatives seem to be rather upbeat in this election. Big poll leads have an unfortunate tendency to whittle away, so it will be interesting to see if that can be achieved by a Labour revival, especially in Scotland. Scotland may appear a sideshow due to the SNP being so dominate but they are also skating on thin ice. The SNP have for some time seen their voter share drop at elections, but not enough to let other parties win seats.

Given there are so many marginal seats dotted around the place, being the incumbent may on the surface be great but it is like a tree branch which you can hear cracking under you, some hear the cracking more than others. As well as polling, if you look at the bookies you would think that the SNP has this election in the bag, in Glasgow, not a single Labour MP is expected to be elected, but polling and the bookies aren’t everything. There are the issues of loyalty and emotion which could play in this election as well. Glasgow North East elected a Labour MP in 2017, against the polling and against the bookies, overturning the biggest SNP majority in the city.

Labour candidate Paul Sweeney is standing again, this time round, he has a good track record to point to as well as thousands of satisfied residents who helped with problems. His campaign will attract attention given that this time, the SNP will be putting in a bigger effort to unseat him. 2015 saw Scottish Labour effectively wiped out, the SNP won 56 MPs, the result of an emotional vote, 2017 saw the number drop to 35 MPs. So, the SNP aren’t as strong as many will think, 30 of the 35 seats the SNP currently holds are marginal, with Labour the principal challenger in as many as 22 of them.

One thing in this election is that we will see surprises thrown up, when and where is unclear but somewhere someone who everyone thought was fireproof will end up getting burned. And if I had my way of putting someone to the torch, it would be Ian Blackford, the pompous fool who took Charles Kennedy’s seat. This is one character which people say that the Labour and Conservatives should stand aside for the Lib Dems. Tactical voting is being promoted in this election however, the political parties of the Union haven’t gotten on board with this other than asking voters from other parties to lend them their vote. The Conservatives have for a few weeks been pushing this line, how people will respond, we will see at the ballot box.

Given we have so many marginal seats in Scotland, Eight of the thirteen seats won by the Conservatives and six of the seven seats that Labour took back, the outcome in these marginal seats matter for both the Conservatives and Labour Parties. There is a long way to go in this election, and although the Conservatives appear 10 points min ahead, the task for Labour it seems is to deny Boris Johnson a majority, that appears to me to be their goal. You can see already that certain people are under strain, and with the tension expect to mount, you will at least be entertained if not enlightened in this election.

This is still the Brexit Election, this is the obstacle that the Labour Party must get around!

Interestingly, if the Labour Party in Scotland had a magical night on the 12 December and recaptured all of the 22 marginal seats where it is second to the SNP, the political landscape of the UK would be in touching distance of being changed. Labour would need just over a three-point swing from the Conservatives in the rest of the UK to win an overall majority. If, they didn’t achieve any of that, then Labour would see the task as much harder, having to claw back 6 % in the rest of the UK. This is why Scotland is so important for the Labour Party fortunes, in a lesser extent important to the Conservatives. The 13 seats won by the Scottish Conservatives meant that Theresa May was able to do a deal with the DUP after she went to the polls, although I thought an early election was a case of bad timing for her, and it was.

Finally, the most recent Scottish polling, conducted in mid-October by YouGov, put the SNP on 42%, the Conservatives were on 22%, the Liberal Democrats, 13 and Labour, on 12%. Looking at the Labour polling of 12% is scarcely believable, but a reflection on what is and has to come in Scottish Labour …… a purge, a change of direction, a new campaigning model and a more dynamic work record of CLPs and activists. The Labour Party needs to be campaigning full time, all the time, much in the same way that the Conservatives will need to do if they still want to attempt Holyrood 2021. Campaigning is like puppies, not just for xmas, but all year round.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University