Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Having a break from blogging, back later

Dear All

I am taking a break from blogging for a few weeks.

Have fun, I’m offski.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

Monday, June 28, 2010

Police Taser disabled bed-ridden 86-year-old woman in America, Scotland still awaiting first taser death, every time it is used brings us closer

Dear All

They say what happens in America eventually cross the Atlantic and ends up here.

American Police in Oklahoma have tasered an 86 year old woman while in her bed.

They allegedly pumped 50,000 volts through Lona Varner to subdue her.

She was in bed lying on her back.

The incident started off when her Grandson Lonnie Tinsley suspecting she had taken an overdose of pills, he called for an ambulance.

Next thing he knew ten police officers burst into her home, despite screaming ‘don’t Tase my granny’, one of the ten acting on orders from Officer Thomas Duran shot her.

As well as the 50,000 volt gift, Some of the ten officers at the scene are also accused of standing on the hose to Ms Varner’s oxygen mask ‘until she began to suffer oxygen deprivation’ in an attempt to calm her.

I am sure every 86 years old being deprived of oxygen feels 'calm'.

There is now a law suit by the family against police in Oklahoma for wrongful arrest, assault, battery and emotional distress.

The rationale for shooting seems bizarre; Officer Thomas Duran maintains the old woman took a ‘more aggressive posture in bed’.


It is then stated that Ms Varner pulled a kitchen knife from under her pillow and threatened to kill him, why she had a knife under her pillow remains to date a mystery.

But given the circumstances, it maybe submitted in evidence.

After getting tasered, she was then allegedly dragged from her bed and handcuffed by officers.

Then held at a mental hospital for six days!

At present Strathclyde Police is running a Taser pilot, so far no 86 year old woman has been tasered yet or pregnant woman.

Scotland is still waiting for its first taser death and every time it is used on the public brings us a step closer to that day.

At some point, a woman might be tasered while pregnant and lose her baby, everyone will do the usual politician thing of ‘how were we to know’, ‘deeply regretful’, ‘sorry’ blah blah blah.

The next Holyrood election gives politicians the chance to debate this issue and decide what kind of society we are seeking to have.

Anyone interested in civil liberties and human rights should reject this taser crap out of hand.

The use of the taser is unethical and immoral; the pilot should be scrapped immediately.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

'Two Pay Packets' Jack McConnell joins the House of Lords but plans to stay on as Labour MSP, no luck Motherwell and Wishaw

Dear All

Its bad news, Labour MSP Jack McConnell isn’t standing down after he takes his seat in the House of Lords.

The people in Motherwell and Wishaw are out of luck.

'Two pay packets' Jack must be over the moon, extra cash in expenses and chance to bounce around London.

As I said the people of his area will be out of luck with their out of touch MSP, normal service is no service.

I wonder how much effort he puts in to make their lives better!

McConnell was Scotland’s longest-serving First Minister and was awarded a life peerage in last month’s dissolution Honours List following the General Election.

He isn’t going with my title but has instead taken the title Lord McConnell of Glenscorrodale, the name of the family farm on Arran where he grew up.

More contempt for the people of his area, even Glaswegian bam Michael Martin chose to include in his title of the area where he was MP.

Watching McConnell was his lame duck wife, Bridget who runs Glasgow Life, the new name of Culture and Sport.

Glasgow life for the staff at the leisure quango means strike action as ‘Lady’ McConnell wants to change their pay and conditions.

The Lady of the Manor wants to make them poorer.

She gets circa £132k a year.

So, Lord McConnell who turns 50 will be fighting the ‘Pigsty’ constituency in May’s Holyrood election.

The joke is that McConnell is being described as a working peer; do the people of Motherwell and Wishaw feel they have got a good bargain?

Has he improved their lives?

McConnell says his new duties would not interfere with his role as an MSP.

He has a role?

Does that come with soup?

He said:

“In the past 18 months I’ve been able to maintain a good voting record in the Scottish Parliament and have an active record in my constituency as its MSP at the same time as I was spending up to two days a week either abroad or in London dealing with the agenda for post-conflict countries. So I have absolutely no doubt that in this first year it will be possible for me to be active in the Lords for part of the week and in the Scottish Parliament and my constituency for the rest of the week.”

Did he even consider being a full time MSP given he is paid a full time wage?

I think the people of Motherwell and Wishaw need to elect a better class of politician, one who will work completely for them.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

Tory Minister Iain Duncan Smith angers 'East Coast Weasel' Labour MSP Iain Gray by putting forward idea to increase social mobility for the poor

Dear All

The Labour Party has attacked the UK Government plans to relocate people from unemployment blackspots to places where there are jobs.

This is a good idea which could help the poorest in society achieve the type of social mobility which has effectively been curtailed under previous governments.

However, if the Tory/Lib Dem scheme is to be successful it must not be compulsory but should form part of a raft of measures that widen opportunities.

To no great surprise the Labour Party who has created gerrymandered welfare ghettos are opposed to anything which will break up their entrenched vote.

To simply move to another part of the country isn’t enough, people need training to acquire the skills and also more importantly they need access to housing.

Prior to the UK Westminster election, I said that the Work and Pensions Secretary should be Iain Duncan Smith.

He is a man with ideas and some understanding of the plight of the poor. In some respects some of what he is advocating is very good but he needs to take it further.

The Labour Party has said his idea smacks of Tebbit and a return to “get on your bike” policies of the Thatcher government.

Tebbit wasn’t known for his concern about the poor.

Duncan Smith said millions of people are effectively trapped in housing schemes where there is no work and are unable to move because they would lose their homes.

This is fact; his scheme allows people to go to the top of the housing list in another area hundreds of miles away, rather than giving up their right to a home.

Under the Labour Government, the lack of social mobility among the poorest in society like wealth was a stumbling block.

Duncan Smith acknowledges that Britain has one of the most static workforces in the western world.

He said:

“Often they are trapped in estates where there is no work near there and, because they have a lifetime tenure of that house, to go to work from east London to west London, or Bristol, or whatever is too much of a risk because if you upsticks and go you will have lost your right to your house.”

For the poor who have very little, fear of losing your home, the only thing you have left is very real indeed.

He added:

“The local council is going to tell you that you don’t have a right to a house there. The housing association is not going to give you one. We have to look at how we get that portability so that people can be more flexible, can look for work, can take the risk to do it.”

In 2002 as Tory Party leader, he visited Easterhouse in Glasgow which showed him how far Thatcherism got it wrong.

In a speech at the time to Tory conference, he said:

“If politicians cannot help the millions of people on estates like Easterhouse then ­politics has failed.”

‘East Coast Weasel’ Labour MSP Iain Gray rather than back hope and opportunity said the Tories didn’t understand the reality of life for those seeking work or living on low incomes.

Trying telling that to the people employed at the Glasgow Labour Council of shame who are facing being made redundant.

As usual ‘East Coast Weasel’ Labour MSP Iain Gray gets it completely wrong.

The idea by Iain Duncan Smith has merit and if it is done right with safeguards could be ‘not just a handout but a hand up’.

Anyone not backing this initiative is a fool.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Roll Deep - Good Times

Tory/Lib Dem Coalition Ministers announce launching of school 'Olympics', competitive sport is revived in England at grassroots level

Dear All

The Tories have come out with a policy for English schools, competitive sport is set to be revived.

To that end they are launching a national competition based around the Olympics.

The English initiative will be announced by the Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt and Education Secretary Michael Gove at the City of London Academy this Monday.

Since taking office the Tories have put forward a raft of initiatives which have merit, mind you when you spend 13 years in opposition, you are bound to think of something.

Essential they are trying to create a lasting sporting legacy after the 2012 London Olympics.

Competitive sport generally is coupled with accelerated learning of both a mental and physical level.

Education as I have always said is the key to success.

The schools competition will be funded directly by cash from the National Lottery but aside from the money, coaching will be involved, events covered by the initiative include a wide range of sports such as football, rugby, netball, golf, cricket, tennis, athletics, judo, gymnastics, swimming, table tennis, cycling and volleyball.

Sport does more than merely get you healthy; it encourages teamwork, dedication, respect for others and achieving technical excellence.

It in general it can be used to turn out better people.

2011 will see schools will compete against each other in district leagues, winning athletes and teams qualifying for up to 60 county finals, with the most talented then selected for national finals.

This can also be a route to higher education as some universities both here and abroad offer scholarships.

UK Culture Minister Jeremy Hunt said:

"I want to give a real boost to competitive sport in schools using the power of hosting the Olympic and Paralympic Games to encourage young people - whatever age or ability - to take part in this new competition. Sport - whether you win or lose - teaches young people great lessons for life. It encourages teamwork, dedication and striving to be the best that you can be."

Properly run and funded, this could see a grassroots revival for sport in England which for some could lead to a sporting career.

The Tories may have found a winning strategy in many ways to also tackle some of the pressing social problems affecting the young.

It is worth letting this run to see where it takes them.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

Tory/Lib Dem coalition plan interim cap on non-EU migrant workers coming to UK, they must also address the issue of illegal immigrants

Dear All

One of the issues that came up in the 2010 election was immigration.

You could say in part that the ‘Mrs. Duffy effect’ played a part in the downfall of Gordon Brown and the Labour Government.

The Tories have taken onboard that the continual surge in population has generated many problems.

It was always argued by the Labour Party that immigration was purely an economic issue to them but this subsequently turned out to be a lie.

The Labour Party was allowing unfettered immigration as part of their multi cultural experiment.

This angered a lot of people who couldn’t get jobs particularly the working class, it also allowed the BNP to gain ground in British Politics.

Trevor Phillips, head of the Equality and Human Rights Commission has even said that Labour's multiculturalism project has failed.

In some parts of Britain, ghettos have formed in places like Bradford and Govanhill in Glasgow creating an entrenched segregation to which some politicians play off. This has led to the rise of the 'race' politician who thinks they can deliver a certain section of the voting population to a political party.

Now the Tories are to introduce a temporary limit on the number of migrant workers from outside the EU being allowed into the UK.

They have a further idea of introducing a planned permanent cap.

Home Secretary Theresa May is to bring forward measures that will limit the number of workers to 24,100, a 5% drop between now and April 2011.

The Conservatives' election pledge to curb immigration survived the coalition agreement with the Liberal Democrats however it isn’t all a happy boat as some Tory ministers agree with certain business leaders that a rigid cap could harm the economy.

Julia Onslow-Cole, of PricewaterhouseCoopers says that every overseas national brought by firms into the UK cost them three times as much as hiring a resident worker.

Surely, it makes sense to train up people who are already here?

The Bangladesh Caterers' Association who represents 12,000 Asian restaurants across the UK say that the cap on immigration will have a serious effect on their ability to recruit skilled chefs from outside the EU to work in the UK.

Again, train up people already here.

Or is it that some unscrupulous employers want to exploit foreign nationals by forcing down pay and conditions for their profits.

Alp Mehmet, of MigrationWatchUK said the temporary limit was:

"a welcome sign that the government is starting as it means to continue".

He said:

"We need carefully to consider how net immigration will be brought down to tens of thousands - we believe about 40,000 is a realistic target - rather than the hundreds of thousands of the last 10 years, and is therefore good news for all our people, including immigrants and future immigrants. Immigration at the levels of the past decade is in no-one's interest."

Although political parties generalise by saying ‘we welcome everyone’, this is a platitude; the reality is they don’t.

The task facing the Tory Government is huge and goes beyond immigration; they need to be able to allow people from all sections from society to become stakeholders.

In that way society can rebalance itself and everyone here regardless of nationality can have a future according to their talents.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

Margo MacDonald raises the issue that Scotland needs a dedicated sports minister, she is quite correct, we need people healthier for longer

Dear All

Margo MacDonald has had an idea that Scotland should have its own dedicated Sports Minster.

Her idea is sensible because health and fitness has many advantages not least keeping an aging population healthier thus taking pressure of the Scottish NHS budget.

One in every three pounds of the Scottish budget goes on health.

This is unsustainable in the long term.

Is there a plan to deal with this other than cuts and restructuring by the political class?

Not really, we need to keep as many people out of the NHS as possibly by keeping them healthier for longer.

Since the Scottish Parliament was formed in 1999, sport has always been treated as a ‘second class’ issue both at national and local government level.

In Glasgow, Sport is thrown in with Culture so we get Culture and Sport; this translates to poor facilities for the public.

In the mind of politicians ‘new’ means good.

‘New’ doesn’t necessarily mean good because most politicians don’t understand what ‘good’ means in the first place.

No politician impresses me on the issue of sport; they turn up at photo shoots espousing how wonderful a new project is because they don’t know any better.

Instead of providing a proper sporting framework delivering opportunities, we get quangos which generate paper but not results to the end user, the public.

The Lothians MSP said:

"With a succession of very high-profile international contests coming to Scotland over the next five years, the time is right to give a sharper edge to the efforts that are already being made by Sportscotland and other organisations interested in sport."

This statement shows how Margo MacDonald is approaching her idea from the wrong angle.

Elite sport doesn’t attract people into exercise, studies done after events like the Olympics bare this out.

What will attract people into sport are education and the availability of trained personnel.

In most facilities, like Culture and Sport everything is geared towards the lowest common denominator. Staff with poor equipment don’t enhance their teaching experience because they do little more than inductions. Although Culture and Sport offer personal training, they don’t have the facilities to give a trainee a wider understanding of knowledge.

Education is the key once the hurdle of attendance has been dealt with successfully.

If you go to a sports centre, it’s the attendants/ fitness instructors who teach but what is missing?

Let us take the Gorbals Leisure Centre, shiny and new, very small fitness suite and no classroom.

Do leaflets on a stand constitute part of the learning experience?

Not really.

After the 2011 Holyrood election an opportunity will arise for a new government to revisit the issue of sport in a meaningful way and possibly include Margo MacDonald’s suggestion of a dedicated Sports Minister.

Politicians always want to take centre stage when Scotland has sporting success, trouble is they don’t want to stick around and do the hard work.

Mind you it is a bit hard when you don’t know what you are talking in the first place.

Holyrood has failed to deliver on sport and as such failed to tackle the issue of keeping older people healthier for longer.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

Friday, June 25, 2010

Here is a short course on how to commit Political murder 101 by Andrew Neil, a bit of research, a piece of paper and a pen can cause so much damage

Andrew Neil puts Labour MP Diane Abbott through a hard grilling on live television, she completely fails the test by refusing to answer questions

Dear All

Last night Labour MP Diane Abbott was grilled hard by Andrew Neil on the television programme, This Week.

Abbott is standing for the leadership of Labour Party.

To say that Andrew Neil asked incredibly awkward questions was an understatement.

He literally tore her apart on live television.

The question which caused the most problems for her was a statement she made previously about 'black mothers going to the wall for their children'.

When asked would she say the same attitude applied for white mothers, she wouldn’t reply.

Andrew Neil put it to her that her comment was racist, which drew the traditional politician’s no comment from her.

However for Diane Abbott who like some others entered politics on the back of the race issue, she cannot get round this particular minefield by refusal to answer.

It was a defining moment in her bid to be leader of the Labour Party and despite trying to laugh it off, she was clearly uncomfortable. Her sofa co pilot Michael Portillo was clearly also uncomfortable as he sat unable to defend her.

She was completely sunk last night without a trace.

I cannot believe anyone will see her as ‘unity’ candidate in any shape or form.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

Alex Fergusson MSP, Presiding Officer of the Scottish Parliament seeks re-election but only as Tory MSP in 2011

Dear All

Alex Fergusson is the current Presiding Officer of the Scottish Parliament.

He has held that post since 2007, prior to him taking the post, it was held by Lord Steel and George Reid who done one term in post before giving it up.

Fergusson wants to stand for re-election 2011, not as an independent but as a Tory Candidate.

To that end the Scottish Parliament's presiding officer has said he will give up the post if he is re-elected.

Currently Fergusson represents the Galloway and Upper Nithsdale constituency at Holyrood and wants to return to being an MSP.

He said of his stint in the big chair that he had "immensely enjoyed the privilege" of being presiding officer for the last three years.

Citing the post left little time for family life, he has come to the decision not put his name forward for the post if returned in 2011.

He said:

"I remain fully committed to the role for the duration of this parliament and will continue to carry out my presiding officer duties, as I have always tried to do, in an impartial and fair manner. However, balancing the roles of constituency member and presiding officer can leave little time for family life. After handing over to my successor, I look forward to being able to spend more time with my wife and family while focussing solely on constituency issues if I am fortunate enough to be re-elected to parliament."

It seems the curse of one term presiding officer strikes again!

Fergusson will now seek the Conservative Party nomination for the redrawn seat of Galloway and West Dumfriesshire.

If selected to stand again, he stands a good chance of being returned but in politics anything can happen.

However his majority last time was 3,333, not bad and he hasn’t like some other MSP’s put his foot his mouth.

Since the Holyrood Parliament was formed in 1999, there hasn’t been a Presiding Officer from the Labour Party take the chair, this could well change.

Might you, no one comes to instantly to mind as being fair and impartial or worthy.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

Scottish Police call for 24-hour detention of suspects as Scotland expected to lose Cadder Case at UK Supreme Court, this idea has merit

Dear All

People have rights and when society doesn’t respect their rights, governments will abuse their positions; we have seen this time and time again in Britain and elsewhere.

Recently the Cadder Case, a human rights case is going through the UK Supreme Court over whether Scotland should be forced to comply with Article Six of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) makes explicit reference to the right to representation.

At present under Scotland’s backward laws, a suspect can be questioned on his or her own by Police Officers during a six-hour period after being detained, but before being formally arrested.

In England since 1984, suspects have had the right to legal representation through-out all stages of their confinement.

The Cadder Case is a follow on from another European Case involving a Yusuf Salduz, his rights were violated as he did not have a lawyer present when questioned by Turkish police.

A re-trial was ordered.

The Cadder Case has caused wide spread panic in Scotland as Elish ‘Labour’ Angiolini fought hard to deny Scots their legal rights. Since Cadder raised its head, guidelines have been issued by Elish ‘Labour’ Angiolini which are designed to pre-empt a challenge under human rights legislation.

At the same time she is fighting against Cadder at the UK Supreme Court.

Given the explicit nature of Article Six and legal precedent across the border regarding rights of suspects, she will probably lose the legal argument and rightly so.

In order to address the problem, the proposed remedy by Police is time extension to the detention period in Scotland.

Assistant Chief Constable George Hamilton said:

“In some areas it may take an hour or more to get (suspects) to the station and it may take a couple of hours to get a solicitor there. That may be considered an undue delay. If we are going to formalise solicitor access, it is inevitable that there is a need to extend the detention period beyond six hours. We have not made representations to the Government on this yet but in other parts of the UK the general detention period is 24 hours. I would have thought that if we have a benchmark in neighbouring jurisdictions that seems to work we should be looking at the timescale quite seriously.”

I would have to agree with Hamilton, the time extension is viable if it is coupled with suspects getting their full rights under the Human Rights Act.

It is the duty of government to ensure that the judiciary process remains independent and has built in fairness so that people can have trust in it. This issue will possibly have a temporary fix until after the next Holyrood election when the party that is in charge can bring forward new proposals.

Fairness and equality benefits everyone, what a pity at present it takes a court case for this to happen.

This is Scotland 2010 still living in the dark ages, justice is devolved to Holyrood but hasn't evolved.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

What ever happened to transparency, accountability and honesty in public life, Glasgow Council of shame Provost Bob Winter asked to go

Dear All

It seems that Scotland’s civic figureheads are demanding their chauffeur-driven car expenses are kept secret, have they never heard of transparency?

Have they never heard about the Nolan Principles for conduct in public life?

Selflessness : Holders of public office should take decisions solely in terms of the public interest. They should not do so in order to gain financial or other material benefits for themselves, their family, or their friends.

Integrity : Holders of public office should not place themselves under any financial or other obligation to outside individuals or organisations that might influence them in the performance of their official duties.

Objectivity : In carrying out public business, including making public appointments, awarding contracts, or recommending individuals for rewards and benefits, holders of public office should make choices on merit.

Accountability : Holders of public office are accountable for their decisions and actions to the public and must submit themselves to whatever scrutiny is appropriate to their office.

Openness : Holders of public office should be as open as possible about all the decisions and actions that they take. They should give reasons for their decisions and restrict information only when the wider public interest clearly demands.

Honesty : Holders of public office have a duty to declare any private interests relating to their public duties and to take steps to resolve any conflicts arising in a way that protects the public interest.

Leadership : Holders of public office should promote and support these principles by leadership and example.

The call for secrecy comes as Labour Provost of shame at Glasgow City Council comes under further pressure over allegations regarding his used of taxpayer-funded car to transport him to a holiday home.

The Scottish Provosts’ Association is angry about new measures that the use of civic cars and the associated costs be publicly available and recorded as individual expenses.

They want to keep the ‘Winter doctrine’ which translates to ‘as directed’ on receipts.

Not good enough, its taxpayers’ money and not a taxi service.

Minutes from a recent meeting of the Provost organisation, they sought to muddy the water by claiming:

“there is continuing concern about the decision by the minister not now to exempt the publication of the use of chauffeur-driven cars by the civic heads” and that “there is also concern about the varied interpretation by different councils as to how this information is published”.

There should be a uniform standard across the board all over Scotland, self regulation clearly doesn’t work.

After an ill-tempered meeting of Glasgow’s full Council Lord Provost Bob Winter was asked to consider his position. In effect, he was asked to go and in my opinion the sooner the better. As reported in the press claims that the chauffeur bill for the lord provost’s office in April was £8324 and that we paid for Bob Winter to use the car to go to a family retreat in Bute.

Bute is outside the Glasgow City limits.

Now there are calls for an investigation in how Bob used the chauffeur-driven car, information asked at the Council meeting includes a a list of dates and times when he used the car, what were his official duties on those days, where they took place, and what time did they start and finish and what was the cost of each of these journeys.

A Glasgow Labour Council of shame spokesman said the Lord Provost’s statement made clear he was in favour of publishing expenses but not in the current format. This means he is comfortable to let the public know the cost but not what he is doing or where he goes.

Bob Winter should resign as Provost, his actions don’t in my opinion match what could reasonably be expect of a person holding public office and certainly don’t stack up against the Nolan Principles.

Winter is just another relic of the corrupt sleazy Council that has used Glasgow and its people as a ‘cash cow’; truly it is a Labour Council of shame.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Scottish Tory election 'mastermind' Michael Crow sacked, enters gunfight armed with a catapult and gets shot to pieces, mastermind?

Dear All

Michael Crow has been sacked, after the disaster of the Westminster election it doesn’t come as a surprise.

To be fair to Michael Crow, he took on an unwinnable task in a shooting war where he didn’t even have a good catapult to fire back with.

There will be no Tory revival in Scotland, no Cameron bounce.

The reason is quite simple, Scottish people have nothing in common with Tories.

Why would anyone in their right mind vote Scottish Tory?

That is the scale of task that Scottish Tories face, ingrained entrenchment of dislike bordering on hatred.

Crow was taken on to mastermind the Conservatives' General Election campaign in Scotland but he failed to understand the people he wanted and needed to connect with didn’t figure in his strategy.

He should have targeted the poor with policies to make their situation better; he and the Tories had little to say other than rhetoric and driving around in a battle bus.

A dead party running a dead campaign with a struggling public image!

There were of course Cameron and other high profile Tory visits but the Scottish Tories lack a superstar. The current cabinet make up shows Scotland as been given over to the Lib Dems out of sight and out of mind.

In Holyrood there is no star either, Annabel Goldie tries her best but she isn’t a First Minister and everyone behind her is cannon fodder.

I rate them as ‘Councillor plus’ not MSP material.

The party won just one Scottish seat on 6 May, this shows that despite being in politics there is a lack of understanding of how to engage voters.

I have never seen a Tory activist campaigning in my area in my life let alone a candidate out with election time, in fact during the Westminster election I didn’t see any of the Tories in my area, not even when I cast my vote at the Polling station.

Michael Crow said he was let go as director of strategy and communications due to "financial constraints".

You have to invest to make progress.

Scottish Conservative chairman and ex MI6 spy Andrew Fulton said Mr Crow had made a "massive contribution" to the party.

Did he?

One MP elected, is that massive?

One of the Tories best chances was East Renfrewshire, 14,000 strong core vote to build on, Richard ‘goofy’ Cook couldn’t make a difference so what was he doing for 5 years?

Was he out campaigning?

EX MI6 spy Andrew Fulton said:

"Michael has been an extremely effective and efficient director of strategy and communications for the Conservative Party in Scotland. He has made a massive contribution to the Conservative Party at both a Scottish and UK level and we are extremely grateful for all the hard work and expertise he brought to the organisation. The General Election campaign he helped run was extremely professional and well organised. Unfortunately, due to financial constraints we have to let him go, but we hope he will play a role in the future of the Conservative Party in some capacity."

A well run campaign is essential but what about pre election campaigning in branches?

Did he do a review of what others were up to?

If not, why not?

Surely, he didn’t leave this to chance on the day?

Michael Crow said:

"I have thoroughly enjoyed my time with the Conservative Party and wish everyone well in the UK government and in the upcoming Scottish Parliament elections”.

The Conservatives had set a target to return a total of 11 MPs to Westminster in the election and failed.

David Mundell emerged as the party's sole Scottish member of parliament.

Poor achievement but then it wasn’t Crow's fault.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

Staff at University of Guantanamo Bay pass vote of no confidence in corrupt foreigner Anton Muscatelli as Principal, no surprise there

Dear All

It seems that staff at the University of Guantanamo Bay Glasgow won a stay of execution in their fight to save 80 jobs.

As well as their victory (temp), the staff also passed a vote of no confidence in corrupt foreigner Anton Muscatelli, the university principal.

This isn’t surprising; you only have to read my blog and specifically this post:


This post is easy to understand and shows that corrupt foreigner Anton Muscatelli and the others specifically named are corrupt and untrustworthy.

I suspect that the reason for the climb down isn’t anything to do with Muscatelli’s sudden interest in the plight of those affected or anything to do with honour, the university is in surplus and he and his gang can afford the cushion that the £6 million brings.

Jobs will go one way or another, they will downsize the entire university and ask department to restructure in order to address the teaching load, I expect more teaching will be done by post grads filling in for staff leaving or retiring.

I also expect that the University of Guantanamo Bay will increase their foreign student intake at the expense of Scottish students currently enjoy free education.

So, as to the corrupt foreigner Muscatelli, now that a no confidence vote has been passed you would think his position would be untenable, that would be the case if you were dealing with a principled man.

Muscatelli was involved in covering up institutional bullying, harassment, discrimination, malpractice and criminal fraud, he is staying until such time as he has accrued enough money or another position becomes available.

For the last 30 years, every Principal of Glasgow University has come from the same private invitation only club, The Royal Society of Edinburgh.

This club’s members have pretty much got a monopoly on senior positions in the Scottish Higher Education system.

No one has investigated why.

No government, Westminster or Holyrood have spoken out.

No political party has acknowledged the problem.

How Scottish is a ‘Scottish’ University?

Today, the staff of Glasgow University won a temp victory, there will be losses but they will probably be spread over the entire campus as ‘restructuring’ process will soon emerge.

Muscatelli has bought time but at the end of the day, he is still a squalid little man unworthy to hold his current office, the lecturers were right to have no confidence in him, he is a rat.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

Labour Councillor of shame Gordon ‘free dinners’ Matheson says £40m of new cuts for Glasgow are coming down pipeline, Glaswegians suffer again

Dear All

When the Commonwealth Games were announced politicians from all parties cheered, I didn’t.


Because I knew that ordinary Glaswegians would suffer.

Now, the backlash has started as Glasgow’s residents will see cuts coming harder and sooner after the Labour Council of shame is having trouble balancing the books for the next financial year.

Money which could be used to shore up services and jobs will be diverted to the Games.

Typically the Labour Party has gone down the road of wanting the big white elephant project when everyone knows that there is an economic crisis.

City officials say that they will need £40 million in savings in 2011/12 to head off a cut to the money they are allocated from Government.

Glaswegians can expect savage cuts as the axe from Westminster trickles through to local government level.

As we as cuts to services, Glasgow City Council is shedding 4000 staff over the next three years, 4,000 people flung into the jobs market that is already saturated.

At present only few details have emerged from Wednesday’s emergency budget at Westminster so planning is difficult but expect the worse.

One thing which will become is a shrunken public sector; I would expect Glasgow to try and offload as many departments as possible to the private sector and create more Aleos.

One of the things which will suffer is public accountability which currently is the hallmark of the Aleos setup under the Steven ‘bin laden’ Purcell Empire. The ‘Prince of Powder’ had already started destroying infrastructure in Glasgow.

Glasgow is not the only Council facing cuts, Aberdeen is looking to save £120 million over the next five years, Inverclyde Council is also facing a £23 million pound hole to be plugged.

The leader of Glasgow Labour Council of shame Gordon Matheson is appealing for local authorities to be treated “equally and fairly”.

I find that an odd statement as I cannot remember an incident when Glasgow wasn’t treated equally and fairly, Glasgow gets the most per head of population of any council in Scotland.

Is Gordon ‘free dinners’ Matheson advocating that all Councils should get the same per head of population?

I don’t think so.

Glasgow’s problem is the Labour Council of shame has allowed itself to become a crony ridden cesspit where the ‘not so bright’ rise to the top based on Labour Party membership and connections.

There will be cuts but not the brains to generate profit; this is Glasgow City Council, a Council of shame.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Vandals set 250 fires in one weekend in Strathclyde, tying up resources and endangering innocent lives, the price of ‘fun’ is too high

Dear All

The Strathclyde Fire and Rescue arguably provide a valuable service to the people of the Strathclyde region.

When people have serious life threatening problems like drowning, car crashes or fires, they are the people running towards it to help.

Since April there have been 6400 fires, of which the majority have been set by young people and kids, one weekend alone see more than 250 deliberately set fires.

Typically bored kids with nothing to do and nowhere to go target rubbish, grassland and derelict buildings.

They start a fire and it gets out of control, what was done for a laugh sometimes turns deadly.

And it is not just their own lives put at risk by tying up the Strathclyde Fire and Rescue Service they also put others and those of the Firemen as well.

North Lanarkshire area commander Robert Scott said:

“There is a mistaken belief that deliberate fire-setting is only a nuisance. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Each deliberate fire ties up at least one appliance that may be needed at a house fire, for instance, or a serious road traffic collision. Each blue-light journey poses a potential risk to fire crews and other road users. Deliberate fires have a major financial cost for our service. I would call on communities throughout Strathclyde to help us and our partners to drive down fire-setting. Children and young people, who are responsible for most deliberate fires, should be warned about the dangers they pose to themselves and others.”

To raise awareness of the cost of their actions, a campaign has been targeted at the community, Strathclyde Fire & Rescue’s Deliberate Fire-Setting Campaign.

The aim is simple, take responsibility and don’t endanger people.

The stats are shocking

Coatbridge (657)
Motherwell (587)
Bellshill (356)
Cumbernauld (316)
Hamilton (612)
East Kilbride (255)
Pollok Glasgow (483)
Springburn (437)
Easterhouse (403)
Kilwinning (287)
Dreghorn (265)
Greenock (358)
Paisley (414)
Kilmarnock (429)
Clydebank (418)
Ayr (305

Most of these areas have high density of sink housing schemes where kids and young people have nothing to do and nowhere to go.

These are in mostly Labour controlled areas where they have run down facilities, closed community centres and sports facilities.

Not only have Labour failed to invest in communities they have also refused to invest in people.

Recently in Glasgow there was a tragic drowning of a little boy who had gone to the rescue of his friend in trouble, this incident was attended by Strathclyde Fire and Rescue who entered the water.

Isn’t about time to stop fire-raising and let the Firemen do their job?

They are there to help us, so help them, don’t start fires.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

'Sell push bike, go on the rob, sell weed, get a job', aspirational illegal drugs rep gets caught after police find his 'to do' list

Dear All

Aspiration is a word that politicians band about continuously as they seek the aspiration voter.

In place of lack of policies or commitment they talk about a better tomorrow when they don’t have ideas about how to improve today.

The stuff of dreams is like a rubbery dagger, very hard to penetrate the intended target.

Unemployed Thomas Franks is aspirational, single handedly forging a career in the pharmaceutical industry, only one problem as a ‘drugs rep’ his product was illegal.

The teenager has been arrested for drug-dealing after police found a hand-written 'to-do' list in his pocket which read:

'Go on the rob, sell weed'.

Classic multitasking combined with setting goals, time management, blue sky thinking and strategic planning.

His ‘to do’ was read out in court as follows:

'Sell push bike, go on the rob, sell weed, get a job.'

However his career is now on hold as Crawley Magistrates Court is dealing with his 21gms of cannabis found in his possession.

The court also heard that Franks needed to motivate himself to make money to get his PlayStation repaired.

Perhaps he should add to the list of ‘to do’, get a financial plan.

Iain Starke, his lawyer defending said Franks had learning difficulties, maybe a jolt in the right direction could turn him round as he seems to be in a desperate situation.

He told the court:

“Although my client disputes the weight of the cannabis found by police he was very co-operative when questioned and fully admitted he was supplying the drug. He has been affected by the recent split-up of his parent's marriage. He lives with his disabled father and frequently takes his younger brother and sister to and from school.”

So, what to do?

I don’t think prison is the answer in this case and would be of little benefit, perhaps some community service and career guidance heading towards a college course might be an suitable alternative.

When the Police seem sympathetic, a source said:

“To be honest everyone felt a little bit sorry for him”.

Magistrates have bailed Franks until probation and medical reports are prepared, he will be sentenced on June 28.

In this case, I would hope they might air on giving him a second chance to make the right choices instead of continual wrong ones.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Lecturers vote to strike at University of Guantanamo Bay, Glasgow over 85 job losses, corrupt foreigner Anton Muscatelli must resign now!

Dear All

The long running dispute at the University of Guantanamo Bay over job cuts hasn’t been settled. Glasgow University staff have voted to take industrial action over proposed job cuts.

Up to 85 university posts in teacher education, biomedical and life sciences and archaeology research are under threat as university senior management take the cowards way out and opt to make people unemployed to cut costs.

They don’t have the brains to turn a profit to save these people, too much like work.

Not only will people lose their jobs but given their specialities they will probably be forced to move home to seek work elsewhere.

The University and College Union (UCU) said 76% of 1,050 members voted to strike and 88.5% also voted for other types of industrial action.

There should do both, previously 250 people lost their jobs under the tenure of Scotch pervert Sir Muir Russell.

You can read how corrupt Russell is here.

As part of the ‘War on Muscatelli’, the corrupt foreigner running Glasgow University as Principals, staff may take measures like work-to-rule, not marking examination papers and disrupting Fresher's Week.

They might want to target the library and computing services, removal of these services causes real problems on campus.

The union says the result of the ballot is "a clear mandate for action".

The question is, winnable?

Unfortunately not, reason isn’t something that Muscatelli and co understand, how far are the staff prepared to stoop to win?

When you fight despicable people, you have to be as despicable as them. If they sink low then you have to sink lower.

I suspect there will be a token protest but in the end the entire university lecturer staff might not hang together on the issue of 85 job losses.

For far too long at Glasgow University, the wrong type of people has managed to get positions within the management.

At Glasgow University cronyism rules, senior university management will stick together; even to the extent of covering for others committing criminal acts!

Mary Senior, UCU Scottish official, said:

"There is a clear mandate for industrial action but we hope that the dispute can be resolved without recourse to strike action. The Glasgow University court cannot ignore its staff and must agree to work together to resolve the situation without forcing job cuts. The university is presently running at a surplus of over £6m a year and UCU members will no longer swallow financial problems as an excuse to sack staff."

Mary Senior doesn’t appear to know the true nature of Glasgow University.

It is truly rotten to the core there.

I met more scum there than I ever did on a housing estate.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

£300 an hour Business consultant to NHS Zahid Ali jailed as benefit cheat, from top to bottom this country is completely wrecked

Dear All

Some people seem to have everything and others have absolutely nothing.

I used to find it surprising that someone who has so much could mess it all up for the sake of greed.

Zahid Ali worked as an NHS management consultant.

He charged the taxpayer more than £300 per hour for his services.

£300 an hour!

It was for him not enough and now he has been jailed for fraudulently claiming thousands of pounds in benefits.

Zahid Ali claimed a total of about £15,000 in housing benefit, council tax benefit and Jobseeker's Allowance which he was not entitled to even though he owns properties in Dubai and lives in a £1milion Surrey mansion.

He deliberately failed to declare earnings of £212,000 between 2004 and 2008, which he made through his management consultancy company Coulsdon Limited.

At the same time he claimed benefits from Sutton Council, Reigate & Banstead Borough Council and the Department for Work and Pensions.

Croydon Crown Court heard the extent of his claims for housing benefit for two properties owned by his wife in the Surrey towns of Sutton and Coulsdon.

It seems that the richest in society can’t help themselves from wanting more and more.

While running their cottage industry the couple lived in a seven-bedroom gated property in Kingswood, Surrey, owned by Ali's parents-in-law.

As people scrimp by with next to nothing; Ali also owned a Mercedes, a Jeep and two properties in the United Arab Emirates along with all his other incomes.

He was jailed for nine months after pleading guilty to seven counts of benefit fraud.

Judge Heather Baucher said:

“Benefit payments are for vulnerable people - not to support people who are deeply greedy, manipulative and cunning.”

She added:

“I doubt this would have come to light unless you were caught red-handed. The investigations were both detailed and properly maintained throughout. Your housing benefit claim was false from the outset, where you deliberately provided false tenancy agreements, false letters from an alleged landlord, which involved careful, thoughtful planning.”

As well as his 9 months sentence he was ordered to pay costs of £3,000 to the prosecution, saying he was 'obviously a man of substantial means'.

Councillor John Drage, executive member for finance and efficiency at Sutton Council, said:

“It is shocking that a man with a decent job who is able to enjoy luxuries like flashy cars and foreign holiday homes would try to take money from those that really need it”.

Britain 2010.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

Jail term for two teenage thugs who abused undercover BBC TV reporters in Bristol, sentenced to two years in prison, broken Britain runs deep

Dear All

BBC Panorama every now and again pulls off a surprise into how broken Britain exists in every day to day life.

Journalists Amil Khan and Tamanna Rahman undertook an assignment to live among people on the Southmead estate in Bristol.

What they found was not pleasant but it is what to some extent what Britain has become, fractionalised and marginalised.

Sink estates exist all over this country where people have given up hope and have no stake in society.

They operate out with the rules of what is generally termed decent behaviour.

Effectively some people have become feral in nature.

When Amil Khan and Tamanna Rahman went to live in the Southmead estate, they encountered people like were met Sean Ganderton and Martin Durnell who systematically bullied and threatened them because they were outsiders.

The treatment they received at the hands of these thugs shows how far the UK has sunk and will continue to sink.

Two yobs who had nothing to do hurled a string of racist abuse at the undercover reporters during a BBC documentary over an eight week period.

For them that is normal behaviour; since that BBC documentary they have been charged and found guilty of racially aggravated harassment or putting people in fear of violence.

By pleading guilty they will automatically get a reduction in sentence.

Judge Michael Roach jailed Ganderton for two years and sent Durnell to youth custody for 21 months at Bristol Crown Court.

Society has shelved the problem but the Ganderstons and Durnells of this world aren’t going away.

Judge Michael Roach said:

“Your behaviour in this eight to ten-week period was utterly abhorrent. In a cowardly way you bullied and threatened the two people. On one occasion, Mr Ganderton, you punched Mr Khan. This behaviour can only justify a custodial sentence. It will not be tolerated. Whenever this behaviour comes to court, immediate custody will follow. I've no doubt Miss Rahman and Mr Khan were utterly distraught by what you did; and who could blame them?”

Jail was the correct sentence by Judge Michael Roach, society has a duty to protect individuals like Amil Khan and Tamanna Rahman but effectively we are closing the stable door after the horse has bolted.

Sean Ganderton and Martin Durnell were brought wrong, their parents and society failed them.
But the problem for Britain is that there are more people like Sean Ganderton and Martin Durnell out there who similarly think such behaviour is normal.

Two 11-year-old boys on the Southmead estate were also filmed giving the reporters abuse; they were given a curfew and parenting order respectively by the youth court.

They are the Sean Ganderton and Martin Durnell of tomorrow because even at 11 years old, they know that they have no future in society.

And that is the same for many up and down the country.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

More groups join the anti Taser protests with justifiable anger as Taser police told ‘you have immunity’, the anti list goes cross party and beyond

Dear All

In Scotland it seems there is a new twist to the Police Taser row which has been rumbling on for some time.

A new row has exploded about the use of Tasers by frontline police officers; in a nutshell a Police Officer can torture you using a Taser and be covered by Crown immunity.

All the officer has to say is that their actions were justifiable and necessary.

After uttering these words, they get the full backing of the Crown.

Now opposition politicians and civil rights groups have rightly reacted with alarm to the claim that officers are immune from prosecution. Such an approach they say would be dangerous and wrong.

The present position in Scotland is that Tasers are a matter for individual police, with a Holyrood election in little over a year away, opposition parties could make this an election issue and expect to win immediate public support.

Weight is added to the anti Taser argument last month when a 50-page legal report, by a leading QC commissioned by Amnesty International flagged up serious concerns about the Taser pilot.

Amnesty is calling for the Taser pilot to be suspended and have been supported by Labour and the Lib Dems.

Imagine even the Labour Party has seen the light.

And it isn’t just Amnesty that has backed calls for a halt, Alan Miller, chairman of Scotland’s Human Rights Commission, and Tam Baillie, the Children’s Commissioner have also gotten on board.

Tam Baillie getting something right is the equivalent to giving a monkey a typewriter and coming back later to find it has written Shakespeare.

Strathclyde Police at present want to protect the status quo and believe the pilot is lawful.

Legal opinion in the Aidan Report says different, it is also in my opinion highly unethical and immoral.

The Police have quite rightly concerns about the growing number of assaults but this can be dealt with in other ways.

John Watson, Scottish programme director for Amnesty International, said:

“Amnesty believes that Tasers have a role to play in modern policing but the right place for these weapons is in the hands of specialist and highly trained firearms officers rather than with ordinary officers on the beat.”

Tony Kelly, a well known human rights solicitor states that claiming Crown immunity for officers is wrong and does not remove the need to be compliant with the European Convention of Human Rights (ECHR).

He said:

“Police officers cannot claim Crown immunity. They hold office under the Crown; they swear allegiance to the sovereign. That does not make them servants of the Crown – a very peculiar position with very peculiar consequences. One need only pause for a moment to think of the consequences of police officers claiming immunity as Crown servants for the very notion of the rule of law. Would they be immune from prosecution and from civil suit? And why has it not been claimed thus far?”

Kelly made this devastating point:

“It has been unequivocally stated in the leading textbook on constitutional law that police officers are not servants of the Crown.”

It seems that this issue will not be going away and as I said could be used by opposition parties as part of their law and order strategy citing justice based on fairness.

The position in Scotland as it presently stands according to reports is that a Police Officer could effectively torture a person using a Taser and get away with it.

Who would have thought such a thing would be allowed in Scotland 2010.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

Monday, June 21, 2010

What price loyalty, Coalition Cabinet Minster Chris Huhne cheats behind his wife's back, family plays second fiddle to mistress

David Cameron brings in Labour Mafia Hitman John Hutton to 'kill' public sector pensions; angry John Prescott calls him a ‘collaborator’, ah buddies!

Dear All

When Blair came to power there was a lot of talk about the ‘big tent’ style of politics, Gordon Brown later tried the same thing but it was regarded by some as rather “creepy”.

The coalition Government’s big tent led by the Tories has been very clever, what better way to swing an axe than to bring in assassins from the enemy.

To that end Cameron has brought in former Labour Work and Pensions Secretary John Hutton and Frank Field to work on independent commissions.

Hutton is heading up an Independent Pensions Commission and Field heads up a Poverty Commission.

As I previously blogged there is little difference between a Tory and Labour MP.

The Tories are not dumb.

They can put their hands up and point to Labour when the axe swings and swing it must.

Hutton taking this new role has brought down the fury of some former colleagues who have branded him a ‘collaborator’.

And that is what he and Field both are ‘collaborators’, their work will strengthen the Tory/Lib Dem position in Government in the South.

In the North the Lib Dems have been given Scotland which has been neutralised and sidelined.

Such is the upset that this has caused that ‘Daft workie come good’ John Prescott is up in arms.

The Former deputy prime minister calls it an “unedifying spectacle” to see a “collaborator” chairing a commission with “the obvious aim to dismantle state pensions”.

Harsh words but both Hutton and Field don’t care.

Prescott said on his blog:

“They’ve now turned a Con-Lib Government to a ConLibLab one and made themselves human shields for the most savage and heartless Tory policies in 20 years.”

Hutton was made a peer in the Dissolution Honours list so Prescott, who also accepted will have lots to talk about on the red benches.

One traitor talking to another, let’s hope that there is a microphone near by to pick up what will be lively exchanges.

Tories are looking long term, everyone else can't see pass their nose.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

Steven ‘bin laden’ Purcell, self styled ‘Prince of Powder’ returns to Glasgow just in time to see his Aleo ‘empire’ crumble, welcome back

Dear All

Steven ‘bin laden’ Purcell has returned to the City of Glasgow after months of going into hiding and dodging the Police.

The reason for dodging the Police was that he admitted to taking cocaine publicly in a newspaper article.

That attempt at the sympathy vote hit the ground with a rather large thud.

After getting spotted in the city walking about with his trusty bottle of diet Irn bru he informed the press:

“I know there is no chance of a return to electoral politics. I have no wish to return to frontline politics”.

For Purcell drinking Irn bru must be a novelty when he was used to drinking taxpayer bought champagne.

In one night, the self styled ‘Prince of Powder’ and his cronies battered through 8 bottles of bubbly costing £400 at a Cordia event.

Taxpayers’ money!

Purcell was once tipped as a future First Minister by the press but I couldn’t see that myself despite the Council being a route to Holyrood.

Charles Gordon was a former head of the Labour council of shame and also Frank McAveety, they have had their ‘moments’.

Purcell says he wants to continue to work for the Labour Party in a voluntary role.

I see it as building back up his contacts so at some stage he will get a job in a Labour controlled body.

Purcell added:

“I am considering working for an MP during the summer, just to tide myself over. It would be purely back-office stuff – mailing, filing, photocopying”.

He was named as Councillor of the Year at last year’s Scottish Politician of the Year awards. This was in recognition for his role in delivering the Commonwealth Games to Glasgow and a guaranteed “living wage” to thousands of workers.

The Commonwealth Games are going to be massively over budget and the Glasgow taxpayer is already suffering because of schools, sports facilities and community centres being closed down.

Some legacy, maybe he should hand the award back.

Another part of the Steven ‘bin laden’ Purcell legacy was the guaranteed “living wage” to thousands of workers. The Council is trying to offload departments and as we have seen at Culture and Sport wanting to cut pay and conditions.

A Labour guarantee is worthless.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

Culture and Sport in £50k name change to ‘Glasgow life’, sounds like a sentence handed down at Glasgow murder trial

Dear All

A while ago I made a point about how the Glasgow Labour Party who runs the Labour Council of shame operates.

My question was why the best candidates for jobs and contracts in Glasgow seem to have connections to the Labour Party?

Not an unreasonable ask you may think given so much of Glasgow’s money has ended up in the pockets of the Labour Party, Labour Party members, relatives, associates and Labour donors.

Culture and Sport is in crisis, it is a council-owned company which wants to cut staff pay and conditions.

But as the cuts agenda figures in everyone’s mind at present, they have still found time to hand cash to a consultancy firm linked to one of its own board members.

Bless their little Labour Party cotton socks, every penny helps.

Culture and Sport is run if you can describe it as that by Bridget McConnell, wife of Jack McConnell.

The Staff are involved in a series of strikes, so much for her management skills.

So, £53,210 has been shipped over to a consultancy firm for a name change.

Sitting on the board is the millionaire banker Angus Grossart and both contracts, one for “strategic research” and the other focused on design and implementation have went to Edinburgh-based Tayburn Ltd.

Noble Grossart Ltd, the firm owned by Grossart is a major shareholder in Tayburn’s parent company.

The new name is ‘Glasgow Life’.

That’s it?

£53,210 buys the people of Glasgow, “strategic research”, two words and a logo?

How is this crap supposed to motivate people?

There is no buzz to it, ‘Glasgow Life’ sounds like a sentence handed down in a murder trial.

There are four independent directors of Culture and Sport:

The Rt Hon The Lord Macfarlane of Bearsden KT
Sir Angus Grossart
The Rt Hon George Reid
Mr Mel Young

How many of them live in Glasgow?

Why is that the people of Glasgow need independent directors who don’t live in our city to help run leisure facilities?

Is it because we are too poor, too wee and too stupid?

We must be to let £53, 210 walk out the door.

And finally, remember the £53,210 didn’t go to a Glasgow company.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

‘Catastrophic, Seismic, It could cause enormous disruption It’s hard to overstate its significance’, Elish ‘Labour’ Angiolini rails against fair trial

Dear All

It seems that Elish ‘Labour’ Angiolini thinks that giving people full access to their Article Six human rights will “catastrophic” effect on public confidence in the justice system.

Cases like the Shirley McKie case have already done that, in the McKie case everything humanely possible was done both legally and politically to deny this woman justice.

Confidence can only be restored in the justice system if the public knows that everyone who is a part of that system believes fully in a fair trial.

In 1984 in England a suspect was granted the right to have a lawyer present during questioning by the Police. 1984, we had a Tory Government, in Scotland a Tory Home Secretary and nothing happened, Scots weren’t granted equal rights.

13 years later, the Tories are beaten in the Labour landslide of 1997 and still Scots are treated like second class citizens in their own country, the excuse, we have a different legal system.

2 years later sees the Scottish Parliament established, rigged so Labour thought to allow them to keep power in coalition with their preferred partners the Scottish Lib Dems.

Law becomes a devolved issue with Labour in control but no change in policy, Labour holds the Parliament with the Lib Dems for two terms.

2007 sees the Labour/Lib Dem coalition lose control.

We now stand at 2010 and still no full Article Six rights for Scottish people.

At present the Cadder Case is at the UK Supreme Court, this is a human rights case.

Peter Cadder via his lawyers has challenged the way Police in Scotland can interview suspects without a lawyer being present for up to six hours before an arrest.

Last year also marked another important human rights case in Turkey involving a teenager called Yusuf Salduz who was questioned by Turkish security police.

This lead to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg ruling that access to a lawyer was part of the fundamental right to a fair trial.

Instead of arguing to defend the right to a fair trial, Elish ‘Labour’ Angiolini is fighting a rearguard action on the basis that if Scots are granted equal rights and justice, it will require 100,000 Scottish cases having to be reviewed and cause “enormous” disruption.

So, Angiolini goes to the UK Supreme Court not to defend people’s rights but to try and ensure the Crown Office maintain the status quo.

At the UK Supreme Court, Chairman Lord Hope; the Court’s deputy president made the point that Angiolini would need solutions to “avoid a complete collapse of the system and all the cases that lie in the past”.

Hope added:

“It’s an appalling prospect but we may find we have no alternative but to face up to that.”

Sir John Dyson, told Angiolini she seemed “very reluctant to face up to Salduz”.

It would seem that at the UK Supreme Court there is a forming consensus that the Scottish position doesn’t hold water. It would be illogical for the Court to deny Scots the same rights as enjoyed south of the border.

It would border on bizarre.

Dyson is an interesting character one of the rising stars in the Court of Appeal, Sir John Dyson has been tipped as a possible Master of the Rolls. Someone of note who held that position is Lord Denning who was known as a people’s judge. Media friendly and unpompous, he is the ideal public face of a modern judiciary expect to see more of him in the years to come.

So, the question remains should people expect and be entitled to a fair trial?

The answer should be yes.

Cadder is a significant case and will do more for Scottish justice than anything which has gone through Holyrood.

Various political parties in Scotland are seeking independence to that end they continue to present a financial argument.

The issue of justice is equally fundamental and no party seems to grasp that, if the people believe that Scotland will still be the same slimy corrupt place it currently is post independence, what is the incentive?

No political party has come out in favour of this fundamental principle which forms the basis of Cadder.

Eleanor Roosevelt once said:

Justice cannot be for one side alone, but must be for both.

The UK Supreme Court should rule in favour of Cadder but isn’t it a pity that Scots have to travel to England because no one in this country will grant them their rights properly.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Tam Baillie wants “A Right Blether” with kids to know what they want, it is easy, they want a range of options to learn and enjoy themselves

Dear All

Scotland has a children’s tsar.

The current Commissioner for Children and Young People is Tam Baillie.

He wants to know what children and young people want.

They want opportunities Mr. Baillie that is it in a broad brushstroke.

As part of a consultation thousands of pounds of public cash has been spent transforming Tam Baillie into a cartoon character in a project to tell youngsters what his job is.

But as I prefer to call it justifying his existence!

The consultation is called “A Right Blether” which will see Baillie travelling the country asking children how he can improve their lives.

He could start by lobbying for money to save Community Centres, pushing for the introduction of an Australian Kids Sports Programme, turning SportScotland in a national coaching qualification organisation, setting up an after school program for school children to learn academic interest courses like introduction to law, medicine and other subjects broadening horizons.

There are tons of ideas which children would want delivered which have value beyond learning.

So, in his search of knowledge Tam Baillie, the Commissioner for Children and Young People spent £26,000 on a package of promotional materials. £3,000 went on producing 40,000 badges, £3,300 on 10,000 bags and £1,400 on 2,500 stress balls.

Perhaps if children had decent facilities and activities to go to after school they wouldn’t need ‘stress balls’.

Freedom of information show the Commissioner and his 16-strong team’s promotional budget will be increased to more than £160,000 over the next year which is a sizeable chunk of change in any man’s language.

I think kids really want more than stickers, posters, badges, stress balls and bags.

They want someone who has ideas that will provide services and infrastructure so they can learn and enjoy.

Tory education spokeswoman Liz Smith said:

“I think a lot of parents would like to know where this money is actually going”.

It is going on useless ‘tat’.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

Legal challenge to UK entry ban by Muslim preacher Zakir Naik who says that ‘every Muslim should be a terrorist’, test for Tory/Lib Dem coalition

Dear All

It seems that a Muslim preacher banned by the home secretary from entering the UK for his "unacceptable behaviour" is to challenge the ruling in the courts.

Zakir Naik has said that 'every Muslim should be a terrorist' and wants a judicial review in the High Court.

So, is okay to say that 'every Muslim should be a terrorist'?

Does that fall within the province of banning someone for glorify terrorism, promote violence or encourage other serious crime?

I would say yes and the ban should stand and if needed be extra legislation brought on to the statute books to enforce such a ban.

Naik is based in Mumbai, India where he works for the Peace TV channel so calling for ‘every Muslim to be a terrorist’ must strike people as odd.

Theresa May has said that visiting the UK is "a privilege, not a right".

She is quite correct, we welcome people from different countries even if they don’t share our views, we only ask for acceptable behaviour and they don’t do anything that is a threat to national security, public order or the safety of citizens.

Freedom of speech is very important but carries with it responsibility on the part of the individual. Enticing people to be terrorists goes beyond what any reasonable person could argue falls within that remit.

After the ban, The Islamic Research Foundation tried to turn this in a race issue by making the following statements:

"It is deeply regrettable the British Government has bowed to pressure from sectarian and Islamophobic pressure groups by preventing the entry of Dr Zakir Naik, who has been visiting and delivering talks in the United Kingdom for the past 15 years”.

Zakir Naik, 'every Muslim should be a terrorist'.

“Dr Zakir Naik is undoubtedly an opponent of terrorism and as such has often spoken out against all acts of violence and violent extremism”.

Zakir Naik, 'every Muslim should be a terrorist'.

"He has emphatically and unequivocally condemned the killing of civilians and is one of the world's regular noted orators on this topic”.

Zakir Naik, 'every Muslim should be a terrorist'.

Perhaps fellows at The Islamic Research Foundation don’t quite keep themselves up to speed on all of Zakir Naik’s words of wisdom.

At a conference in Melbourne, senior writer and columnist Sushi Das commented:

"Naik extolled the moral and spiritual superiority of Islam and lampooned other faiths and the West in general", further criticising that Naik's words "fostered a spirit of separateness and reinforced prejudice".

And of course there is Website footage had shown the preacher making the claim that every Muslim should embrace terrorism.

Zakir Naik is legally entitled to his day in court and given the above comments made by him; I would think that a judicial review would find that the ban is proportionate and appropriate.

Telling people to be terrorists within their own country is out with what freedom of speech is generally recognised as being about.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University