2009: Local reaction in Glasgow North East following resignation of Michael Martin
a. No one walking through Mr Martin’s constituency of Glasgow North East yesterday could have failed to note the stark contrast between the deprivation on the streets, and the stories of refurnished second homes and thousand-pound food bills that have been front-page fare for the past two weeks.
b. The gap between the haves and the have-nots has always been incendiary in politics. It is what brought Labour to power in the first place. Now, as the voters look around, they see that, for all the promises, the reality of their own lives bears no comparison with the luxuries to which their MPs have grown accustomed. That is why the anger is so palpable, the desire for electoral revenge almost tangible.
c. One woman, approached by a Times reporter yesterday, summed up the mood of disillusion in this way: “After I have paid my bills I have nothing. I can’t afford to buy my TV licence. The people at the social tell us that teabags are luxuries and then you hear what the MPs spend their money on, and Michael Martin has been protecting them. I would never vote for Labour again.” This is the voice that Labour should have been listening to, but it is a voice that it has ceased to hear. http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/columnists/magnus_linklater/article6322269.ece
d. “I’ve known Michael Martin for 37 years, his son Paul as well, but I’m not going to use my vote at all until this whole thing is sorted out, and I have voted Labour all my life,” said Jean Deighan, 60, a hotel housekeeper.
e. The expenses scandal was “disgusting. It’s theft on a grand scale,” said James Love, 69, a former joiner. Like many others, Martin’s failure to police the Commons has crystallized Love’s mounting resentment about Labour’s wider performance: local issues like the closure of Stobhill hospital by the last Labour-Lib Dem government in Edinburgh and of three primary schools by Glasgow’s Labour council have been sharpened.
f. “He has been an MP here for years and years, but to be honest with you, you could put a monkey up here for Labour, and they would get in. I hope not now. I’ve no longer got any faith in Labour,” he said. http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2009/may/19/michael-martin-glasgow
2009: Preliminary Jousting in the months following the resignation of the sitting MP, Mr Martin.
a. Labour Party accused of “running scared” of voters for leaving Glasgow residents without an MP for at least another four months by refusing to trigger the Parliamentary mechanism needed for an election.
b. Harriet Harman, the Leader of the House, insisted that the poll caused by the resignation of Michael Martin, the former Speaker, over the expenses scandal could not take place during the school holidays. The SNP attempted to force an earlier election by calling a vote in the House of Commons to move the writ straight away, which would have meant a poll in mid-August, but lost by 111 votes.
c. The SNP questioned why the Norwich North poll could go ahead on 23 July, when the Glasgow North East election was being delayed until October. The answer was that the Labour Party wished to be sure as many of their voters were at home and not away on holiday.
d. The real reason was that Gordon Brown considered time would be a healer and any delay in holding the by-election would be a good thing hopefully taking the heat out of the situation.
e. So the electorate were callously denied representation in Westminster for nearly 5 months. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/scotland/5880631/Glasgow-North-East-by-election-delayed-until-November.html
2009: Glasgow North East November By-Election – Voters Voice Their Opinions
a. It is impossible for any candidate, other than Labour to win this constituency over, there are so many blinker wearing Labour supporters but It would be satisfying to see an honest socialist returned to Westminster. The best way forward is with the SNP but, on this occasion the candidate they have selected has not endeared himself to the electorate.
b. The Labour Party has had 74 years to get it right but what do we see? once thriving communities, with plenty of work, allowed to fester and rot with properties bulldozed to the ground and communities destroyed. Where the busiest places are the food bank and the Welfare office.
c. Not because people are idle or stupid, but because there is no employment for any of the many trades formally guaranteed work in the now destroyed engineering works and supporting industries. Those fortunate enough to find work locally are primarily women who work for a pittance in the local supermarket.
d. What is badly needed is a massive investment in the area improving housing, reintroducing manufacturing industries, eliminating drug dealing criminals and helping addicts to recover, helping the elderly and the sick, numbers of which the area has many more than the national average.There is a lot of anger here about Michael Martin and the labour Party the consequence of which is apathy.
e. If there’s any part of Glasgow with, “No Mean City” gouged on its forearm in sharpened Biro, it is Glasgow North East. The constituency, taking in a slice of Bishopbriggs in the north to the fringes of the city centre in the south, brings new shades of meaning to fearsome; it is urban squalor in every hue, an area that looks as if it is helping police with their enquiries.
f. The UK Polling Report guide says Glasgow North East is one of the “most degraded, deprived and crime-ridden parts” of the country. Come here and you are left supposing it was just being diplomatic, though, as you shuttle between the mean, flatlining shopping centres and the vast science fiction interzone of the Red Road flats.
g. I have been following the Labour campaign quite closely – it seems to rest solely on attacking the SNP – not much is said about making Glasgow North East a better place for the people that live there.
h. I read an article which said that 60% of the homes in the constituency are ‘workless’ – when not a family member is in paid employment. The labour candidate for Glasgow North East has been the local party secretary since 1999 under the previous regime of the now infamous Michael Martin MP.
i. I cannot find much about the expenses scandal in relation to Mr Bain. But during his tenure as secretary he will no doubt have known about the employment of Mr Martin’s family where they employed his wife, daughter and son in the local constituency.
j. On the campaign front the only comment I can find from Mr Bain is that he has promised that if elected he will not claim ‘lavish’ expenses.
k. I wonder if you knew that the previous incumbent MP of Glasgow NE spent £1400 in limousine hire to visit Celtic Park and a few other places during his time as an MP – the driver waited outside. perhaps Mr Bain went to Parkhead as well – the SNP should start asking questions! http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics…eltic-Park.html
l. Glasgow North East is a very deprived area where those, people who bother to vote, tend to opt out, by voting Labour without thinking why. Lies, damn lies and politics. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ikO4SPOCo4k
2009: Glasgow North East, 1999-2009. A collection of photos taken in Glasgow North East from 1999 to 2009 set to the song ‘Killermont Street’ by Roddie Frame of Aztec Camera. The song tells of the harsh personal, social and economic effects of the decline of heavy industry in Glasgow http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WZXxtDG6AT0
2009: Willie Bain Labour Party – Official Election Biography
a. William (Willie) Bain 37y MP Glasgow North East – was elected in a by-election November 2009, (following the forced retirement of Speaker Michael Martin) and re-elected in the general election of 2010. He was born, educated, brought up, and has always lived in in the constituency.
b. He was born in Stobhill Hospital, grew up on the Carron estate in Springburn, and went to St Roch’s RC Secondary School. His dad William was a lift engineer and his mum Catherine was a payroll clerk. They both live in the same house Willie grew up in.
c. Willie was the first person in his family to go to university, and he studied law at the University of Strathclyde. He decided not to become a lawyer to but to stay in education, where he taught public law for thirteen years, first at the University of Strathclyde and then London South Bank University.
2009: Aftermath of the By-election – Claims of voting fraud – benefiting Willie Bain
a. The by-election, in Labour’s safest seat in Scotland, was caused by the resignation of the former Commons speaker, Michael Martin. In 2005, Labour candidate Michael Martin took the seat with 15,153 votes.
This time the Labour candidate, Willie Bain, took the seat with 12,231 votes. The Scottish National Party came a poor second with 4120 votes. It is suspected that Labour Party’s Willie Bain may have benefited from vote fraud;
Police are investigating reports of voting fraud with multiple voting at polling stations. At the St Denis’s polling station, police were called in by staff after voters turned up to be told their vote has already been cast. “We have had three incidents at polling stations today where voters turned up and their name had already been crossed off,” said a council spokesman.
Glasgow City Council and The Scotsman claimed that over 6,000 people registered for postal votes in Glasgow North East, which is 10 percent of eligible voters. (Surely not that many people are bed ridden or in absentia, even in Glasgow North East?)
The Scottish National Party’s Alex Salmond, “told the Guardian that he had been very surprised at the large number of late postal vote applications submitted in this campaign. “Around 1,100 were made in the three days before applications closed. Equally chilling is the revelation that over 4000 extra voters have been added to the electoral register in the last month, accounting for 25% of those that voted.” http://aangirfan.blogspot.co.uk/2009/11/vote-fraud-in-uk-by-election-in-glasgow.html
2009: Just Where Does Willie Bain Live?
a. During the campaign, at every opportunity Willie Bain described himself as residing in the constituency but, strangely, he held a post as a lecturer in London where he worked part time (three days per week). He told the press that he stayed at his mothers place in Springburn, Glasgow, when not in London.
b. I don’t know how he managed to afford to travel home every week when working in London yet living in Glasgow. Surely lecturers wages are not that great, so they keep telling us, and yet he can afford to do this constant traveling and be able to live in London as well.
c. I, “happened” to visit Hammersmith & Fulham town hall and, “happened” to notice a William Bain living at an address given as his place of residence in London and found he was registered to vote in Hammersmith & Fulham.
d. Yet, the Labour party in Glasgow denied that William Bain was registered to vote in London. No Scottish media reporter has ever asked Willie Bain this question. What is so important about this question? Willie Bain founded his campaign on his insistence that he lived in the Glasgow NE constituency and was, therefore, a local.
e. He also used this ‘fact’ to attack the SNP candidate for not being local. This would be something that could have been easily checked by any Scottish media investigative reporter.
f. However, the Scottish media, in my opinion, have been consistent in not asking any probing questions to any Scottish Labour MP or MSP. Make of that what you will. http://wwwthepartysover.blogspot.co.uk/2009/11/questions-wee-willie-bain-isnt-even.html
2009 – The secretary knows where the ……. are buried
a. Willie is registered as secretary of the Glasgow North East Constituency Labour Party and its predecessor constituency, Glasgow Springburn, from 1999 to 2009.
b. In his address He stated “I am deeply honoured to be elected as Glasgow North East’s MP. I have already begun the work of standing up for families and children in my constituency at Westminster. Politicians have to keep in touch with the people who elect them, and that’s why I’m working hard in the constituency too.”
c. “I will never claim lavish expenses and never milk the system. We know the next General Election is a straight choice between Labour and the Tories – the SNP are irrelevant in that debate.”
d. “Growing up in Glasgow, we know the devastation caused by the Tory years. We saw the poverty, the mass unemployment, a whole generation and a whole city written off, pensioners living in freezing conditions with no dignity. It made me angry then and it makes me angry now.”
e. Apparently though, he lives here and cares deeply about all these things and wants to do something about the problems. So why hasn’t he? He’s Secretary of the Labour Party in the constituency, worked closely with Michael Martin and Paul Martin, the “dynamic” father and son duo who seem pretty satisfied with their track records (even if nobody else is), indeed his party has been in charge there for SEVENTY FOUR YEARS.
f. So why does he SUDDENLY want to do something about it? If he cared that much he’d have spoken out before now. As secretary of Labour, Willie Bain colluded in the complacency that resulted in people here having to put up with higher rates of drug and alcohol addiction and deaths, higher rates of heart disease, lower life expectancy. http://indygalgoestoholyrood.blogspot.co.uk/2009/11/hypocrisy-of-willie-bain.html
2009: Willie Bain believes his by-election victory can trigger a revival in The Labour Party’s fortunes.
a. On being sworn into the House of Commons on Wednesday, 18 November he said, ‘These are tough times, but I was enormously encouraged by what happened last week. We have come through a lot as a party and as a nation with the recession, the expenses scandal and a breakdown of trust in politicians.”
b. Willie was keen to point out that the Action Plan he campaigned on was already in the early stages of formation. His aim is to access a share of the £1b Jobs Fund from central government and use it in Glasgow. ‘I was at Downing Street on Wednesday and the Prime Minister and I agreed the big issue is about jobs.
c. We discussed the need to get more jobs investment in Glasgow in particular. ‘Once my office is up and running I’ll be working with people from the council, voluntary groups and local businesses to set up the jobs summit.
d. “There is money at Westminster, but we need to bring the bids together to allow the money to be released. Unemployment is at 12% in this constituency so it’s so important that we get in there in the next six months and make sure that the money is spent.”
c. Willie has now resigned from his job at the South Bank University in London where he was a law lecturer. If ever there has been a time for MPs to be squeaky-clean then that time is now. Something it would appear Willie has taken note of.
d. He insisted he has no plans of buying a property and he will continue to stay at his folks house in Springburn. He said; ‘The Members Services Office explained the various issues including living arrangements. ‘The person that was going through it with me explained that the current expenses system allows you to purchase a house and have the mortgage interest paid for by the House.
e. ‘But he looked at my face and sensed the disapproval, and said ‘I suspect you’re not going to do that are you?’ ‘People are angry that MPs have been able to benefit through this and I wont be doing that.’
2009: Accomodation in London
a.”The hotel near Euston Station that I stayed in three times a week when I was working in London is the same hotel that I am happy to stay in now when I’m down there.” Didn’t last long. He now rents a flat and recovers all expenditure.
b. The Kelly recommendation, which aims to stop Westminster politicians profiting from their London homes, comes into play at the next general election and is fully supported by Willie.
c. He said ‘I’m all for the Kelly Recommendation and argued throughout the campaign that it should be brought in immediately. It should also be applied to the Scottish Parliament.’ http://www.localnewsglasgow.co.uk/tag/willie-bain/
2009: Darling snub to Scotland undermines Willie Bain and Scottish Labour – Doris calls on Bain not to fall
a. Following news that the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Alasdair Darling, has snubbed cross party calls in Scotland to accelerate capital expenditure to support Scottish jobs and the housing sector, SNP MSP for Glasgow Bob Doris commented: “Willie Bain, the new Labour MP for Glasgow North East supported SNP calls for capital acceleration.
b. “Failure to accelerate capital expenditure to Scotland by the UK Labour Government despite cross party support north of the border is a real slap in the face for Scotland. It will put at risk 5,000 Scottish jobs and do nothing to stimulate the Scottish economy.
c. “This may be Mr Bain’s first real test. Will he hide on the Commons back benches or will he stand up for his constituents?
d. “I call on Willie Bain and his Labour colleagues in Glasgow to join the SNP in condemning Alasdair Darling’s decision. At a stroke Brown and Darling have shown that voting Labour in Scotland delivers nothing from the UK Government. Voters who supported Mr Bain in the Glasgow North East by election will be watching with interest.”
e. “Labour’s ‘tell them what they want to hear’ style of election campaigning will start to unravel quickly if he refuses to do the decent thing.” He did nothing.http://www.glasgowsnp.org/MSPs/Bob_Doris_MSPDarling_snub_to_Scotland_undermines_Willie_Bain_and_Scottish_Labour/
2010: Electoral Commission Rebukes Prime Minster Brown and the labour Government.
a. Britain’s election watchdog has issued an unprecedented rebuke to the Labour Party over the four-and-a-half-month delay in holding the Glasgow North East by-election. The Electoral Commission pointed out in its report that no constituency in the UK had been without an MP for a longer period in the past 35 years.
b. The by-election was staged after Michael Martin, the former Commons Speaker, decided to stand down as an MP in the wake of the expenses scandal. http://www.electoralcommission.org.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0006/86883/Glasgow-NE-report-final-web.pdf
2011: The sordid attack by Scottish MPs on Scotland’s freedom – with help from English MPs http://moridura.blogspot.co.uk/search/label/Willie%20Bain
2012: Willie Bain attempts to discredit Scottish Independence
a. Yet another Labour Party stalwart has jumped into the breach to try and stem the tide of opinion in favour of Scottish Independence. This time it is Willie Bain, Westminster MP and Shadow Scotland Office Minister. This latest effort appears in Labour List which is a grassroots Labour Party online site.
b. Willie’s offering has the title “Why the Left should beware Salmond-onomics” which is presumably meant to be an attempt at witticism. If you have the stomach for it you can read the whole piece here.
c. Now the first thing to be said is that a left wing critique of current SNP economic policies would be a most welcome contribution. Alas, Willie Bain’s piece is no such thing. It is one more blatant attempt to discredit Scottish Independence.
d. What is interesting about this piece is that Bain makes not attempt to present a positive case for the Union, but simply asserts again and again that Scotland is too wee and too poor to be a successful state in its own right. http://alister-rutherford.blogspot.co.uk/2012/02/another-labour-mp-attempts-to-discredit.html
2012: Liar Liar Pants on Fire.
a. I am enraged at the bare faced lies of Willie Bain (Labour)who yet again pops up and tells the world that Scotland is being damaged by the prospect of an independence referendum in that companies are not investing here. This is the 3rd time I have heard this odious little man deliberately lying on national TV and getting away with it.
b. It is no more than a malicious attempt at causing damage to Scotland. This is the kind of wickedness and propaganda that the anti scotland parties are now getting away with it. Angus McNeil had a wide open goal with Bain and failed utterly to hold him to account. He should have publicly called him a liar and forced him to either provide the evidence or withdraw his treacherous propaganda.
c. It really is time for the SNP to stick the boot in to these liars. As it is Bain and Macmillan’s lies and propaganda that will do the damage if it is not stopped. These people would sooner see Scotland in eternal penury than independent.
d. What a disgrace. http://bletherwithbriancomments.blogspot.co.uk/2012/02/willie-bain-liar.html
2012: Ed Balls: The Labour Party will vote against the government’s higher rate tax change next week
a. We will vote against the 50p change. It is the wrong tax cut at the wrong time. I have always said that no tax rate is set in stone, but how can anyone believe it is right to take tax credits from working families. But they did not turn up to vote!!!!!!!!!!
2012: There is a long-standing PLP convention that we do not support SNP motions – we will oppose the Finance Bill & lay amendments.
This week saw the leak of a document that showed the depths of Labour tribalism. A gift to oppose the Tories tax cut for millionaires was rejected by Labour because it would mean siding with Plaid Cymru and the SNP.
According to a tweet by Labour’s shadow Scotland office minister Willie Bain MP, it was revealed that the Tory budget which will benefit the UK’s millionaires was not opposed because it “is a long-standing PLP convention that we do not support SNP motions”.
The SNP’s Stewart Hosie commented: “Even when it came to voting against a Tory tax cut for millionaires, Labour could not put its resentment of the SNP aside in the interests of ordinary working people. “Mr Bain’s comments are a very sad indictment of Labour and his party’s failure, to put people before narrow politics, will rebound very badly on them.” https://twitter.com/William_Bain/status/184744679122796544
Comment. Straight from the horses mouth. Regardless of merit and benefit to the constituents the Labour Party in Scotland will vote against the SNP. Reckless and stupidity beyond the pale. The Party apparently hates the SNP more than it loves Scotland.
2012: Further confirmation of the, “Bain Principle”
a. The minority SNP administration in Stirling was prevented from passing a budget earlier this year by the combined forces of Labour and Conservatives who then joined to propose and pass a budget with a 1% Council Tax reduction. This saved householders pennies each week but cost the Council millions of pounds.
b. The Unionists did so, spitefully, in the belief that a majority SNP administration post-election would suffer politically in attempting to provide council services on a reduced budget and, no doubt, introduce service cuts.
c. This was a strange one. Throughout the election there were cries from Unionist party activists that the SNP was fighting a national campaign while they were fighting on local issues. This despite a plethora of election leaflets being produced with slogans like ‘Save the Union’, ‘Don’t Split Up the UK’ and similar.
d. And, when questioned by the media about the Tory-Labour coalition in Stirling (when SNP and Labour policy locally are similar) Labour Group Leader Corrie McChord stated he couldn’t work with the SNP. ‘It’s the big question of separation,’ he said.
e. Well, Mr McChord (and Mr Bain), as a member of the SNP Dunblane & Bridge of Allan branch which is part of the Stirling council area, I can confirm we have no local plans to separate from either the UK or the rest of Scotland.
f. So, the reason you can’t work with the SNP locally is because of a national issue? Or could it be that in the run up to 2014, with the symbolism of Stirling Castle, the Wallace Monument and Bannockburn, it was decided Stirling could just not be in SNP hands?
g. I tried to point this out to the (Honourable) Member for Glasgow North East. “I understand that. Local ‘circumstances’ according to Stirling Labour leader was ‘separation’.” I received no response from my MP. I don’t expect one either.
i. I know he’s a busy man and probably had to run off somewhere. With his tail between his legs. Labour ‘principles’ exposed yet again. The Bain Principle intact.
2012: The Benefits System
a. Can Scotland afford its benefit system? The only thing we know for certain is that the devastated and impoverished Springburn constituency has never been able to afford its Labour MPs, who for generations have done nothing for Springburn, but a helluva lot for themselves – witness Lord Martin, the disgraced former Speaker who presided over the expenses scandal that ripped off the taxpayer. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=44V9jH1ZeIM
b. Radio Interview – Vote No and Benefits Go – Blair Jenkins and Willie Bain – Scotland’s Welfare – Why oh why will SNP MPs when they are on the national airwaves not nail these liars? Willie has a weakness. He has a pathological hatred of the SNP. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9qGEO2V2O-g#t=45
September 2012: MP’s claiming 250,000 a day in tax free expenses
The amount of money claimed by MPs in expenses rose by almost a quarter in 12 months as they hit nearly £90 million in 2011-12, with three Scottish MPs in the top five claimants including Glasgow North East Labour MP Willie Bain, with £180,923.70.
If anyone had any doubts why Labour and the Liberals want to remain in the union then this is it, it’s not that it is good for Scotland, it’s because it’s good for Labour and Liberal Gravy Train Commuters .
Glasgow North East MP Willie Bain and his fellow MP’s have choices to make, do they vote YES for Scotland’s Independence knowing full well that it is what is best for Scotland but at the same time kissing goodbye to their £70,000 salary and their £181,000 in expenses (Christmas and Turkey spring to mind) in fact is there not a conflict of interest here, c’mon good people of Scotland, over the years we have watched thousands of honest hard working miners, shipbuilders, steelworkers , mill workers and many more put out to grass, is it not time to put our MP’s out to grass, I hope that in future Scot’s like me will think that every time a Scottish MP is asked if Scotland will be better off Independent and the answer is NO, they are only really looking after their own self interests. http://www.scotsman.com/news/mps-claiming-250-000-a-day-in-expenses-1-2510665
2013: Labour Plan to Make Benefits a “Human Right”
a. Willie admitted it would be a lot easier for Labour to do a deal with Vince Cable he says a Lib-Lab coalition would make welfare benefits a “human right”:
b. “Sadiq asked me to do this and Jon Cruddas is keen on this as well is to look at whether economic and social rights can be put into law. At the moment the human rights act just deals with civil political rights.
c. It needs really careful handling because I think the politics of this would be the Tories would say it’s a scroungers charter, helping skivers….we might just talk about having a commission on it. It might need a commission after the election…that’s something again where there’d be a communality with the Libs.” http://order-order.com/tag/labour-party/page/3/
2013: Is Willie Bain, Labour MP, good for Glasgow North East?
a. Glasgow NE is one of the most deprived constituencies in the United Kingdom. (Milton, Ashfield, Keppochhill, Royston, Cowlairs, Springburn, Wallacewell, Milnbank, Dennistoun, Carntyne, Robroyston, and Gartcraig).
b. Willie Bain voted along with the Conservatives to continue austerity. Will that help those that live there? Well, it will not affect his £200,000 a year expenses and £66,000 salary.
c. “Many Scottish Labour representatives have told us that they put party loyalty above all else, even expressly against their own beliefs, the interests of Scotland and the people who elected them.”
d. The MP last year admitted that he would still oppose Scottish independence even if he was completely convinced that it would benefit the people of Scotland.
e.Willie Bain also called for the renewal of Trident. The costs of which are still rising (£130 billion), the MOD is already placing orders for, but which has not been fully voted on in Westminster. https://www.kiltr.com/rdw-glass/1781480746
2013: Labour tying themselves in knots over the bedroom tax
Labour’s refusal to commit to scrapping the Bedroom Tax has been described today as symptomatic of the knots that the party is tying itself in over their partnership with the Tories in the No campaign. Appearing on Good Morning Scotland today (Wednesday), Labour Shadow Scotland Office Minister Willie Bain repeatedly refused to reveal where his party stands on abolishing the Bedroom Tax, stating that Labour would not make commitments until the 2015 general election – and he refused even to criticise Tory Work & Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith.
2014: The 30 Scottish Labour MP’s That Voted For Osborne’s Welfare Cap
a. So what did these ‘weekend socialists’ do when they returned to the day job at Westminster? Well, they voted with the Tories to put a cap on the amount of money the Government can spend on the welfare budget.
b. A callous, reprehensible and regressive measure that will once again disadvantage the poorest in our communities. A stupid, crude, blunt instrument to hammer the poor. Way to go comrade.
c. As a service to you, here is the list of those ‘weekend socialists’ who voted with the Tories to cap the level of spending allocated to helping the poorest in our community. These are the ‘weekend socialist 30’. You can put them up there with the 10 bedroom tax skivers from last year.
I don’t know why anyone finds this particularly surprising. After all, we are talking about a party which abstained en masse, when the ConDems changed the law retrospectively to validate their workfare program. The days when the Labour Party could be relied upon to support the poorest in society are long since gone.
I asked my MP Jim Murphy to explain his party’s actions, and as you’d expect, my inbox remained empty!
Labour haven’t just lost their way, they have chosen the path of being ‘Tory Light’ to pick up disgruntled Conservative voters. They’re leaning to the right like the Tower of Pisa!
It’s beyond me why Labour don’t just formally join the London coalition government, then the three shades of Toryism could work together to find the money to make Trident seem more affordable. Labour members must be so proud of their elected representatives. More proof that we are certainly Better Together.en this path of being ‘Tory Light’ to pick up disgruntled Conservative voters.
What I don’t fully understand is why all of a sudden it has become almost a crime in some people’s eyes to claim any sort of benefit when we’re allowing banks and large corporations to avoid paying tax. I did hear that some hedge fund managers, who had a tax break in last years budget, have recently donated almost £1.5 million to the Tory party. Is this sort of ‘corruption’ as commonplace as it seems to be these days?
2014: The crisis for the Labour Party resulting from the recent Independence Referendum seems to be worsening.
a. Not only did voters in the traditional Labour heartlands of Glasgow, West Dunbartonshire and North Lanarkshire reject Labour’s advice to vote No. long-standing members of the Labour Party have resigned in recent months claiming Labour has abandoned the most vulnerable people in our communities.
b. Many local members have been expressing their unease about Labour’s attitude to Welfare. Whilst no one has any time for those who seek to abuse the welfare system, we have consistently raised concerns about the bad way benefit cuts are affecting people who are sick, disabled and out of work through no fault of their own.
c. The growth in the use of food banks is evidence of the impact these cuts are having on many local people, so the fact that Labour’s shadow work & pensions secretary Rachel Reeves has promised a future Labour Government will be tougher than the Tories on benefits has angered many traditional Labour supporters.
d. The final straw for some came earlier this year when Labour Members of Parliament, including local MPs Willie Bain, Anne McKechin & Margaret Curran, voted in favour of the George Osborne’s benefits cap. This was despite the fact that Save the Children and other Charities warned the cap would put 345,000 children in the UK into poverty in the space of four years.
e. I assume Johann Lamont’s defenders of the people in the Labour Party will oppose this move by the government on the grounds of their principled stance, as explained by Willie Bain MP, that Labour oppose everything that the SNP propose.
f. When asked to explain her reasoning Ms Curran said, ‘The Welfare Cap is not about cutting people’s benefits, it’s about accountability. Breaching the cap, which applies to overall social security spending not household income, will not mean that benefits suddenly stop or are reduced, just that the Government of the day has to explain why it has happened.
g. I am perfectly relaxed about a future Labour Government being held accountable for how it uses taxpayers money. I am also confident that a future Labour Government can drastically reduce the overall social security bill without cuts; by increasing and strengthening the minimum wage, getting people back to work, building more homes and reforming the private rented sector. We have also said that we will abolish the unfair bedroom tax, which may end up costing more than it saves.’
h. Others take a rather different view. Their analysis is that the Labour Party is terrified of any accusation about being soft on benefits and that the Party would rather buy into the myth that all people who receive benefits of whatever description are scroungers. For all the talk of supporting “hard working families” many people find themselves reliant on benefits through an accident, illness or redundancy.
i. The conclusion some have reached is that Labour are no longer standing up for people who find themselves in this type of situation and this could explain why many didn’t follow the party line in the referendum vote. Local feelings are running high and it will be interesting to see whether this level of disillusionment continues at the General Election in 2015. http://thegenn.co.uk/local-mps-at-centre-of-storm/
2014: Willie Bain calls for reconciliation after referendum
No sooner had Willie Bain called for reconciliation than people were tweeting how their elderly parents had been TOLD BY HIM they would lose their pensions if they voted Yes. derekbateman.co.uk/
Contrast the foregoing with this.
2004: MP’s Increase Their Pensions By 25%
a. MPs have awarded themselves a massive pension rise under new rules sneaked through on Monday. Their pay-outs – partly funded by the taxpayer – will climb by 25 per cent. The details were released just as Gordon Brown was unveiling his three-year spending review.
b. The move is a brutal snub to the millions of ordinary people struggling to save for retirement amid the deepening pensions crisis. Both the Treasury and the Department of Work and Pensions warned against the increase.
c. But the move went ahead – and was quietly revealed by Commons Leader Robin Cook in a written Parliamentary answer. He disclosed that MPs, who earn £55,118 a year, will see their pension entitlement increase by a quarter with immediate effect.
d. But the boost to the Commons pension fund comes as firms throughout the country are scrapping such final salary schemes, which pay a fixed income according to salary at retirement. They have been replaced by more risky and less generous schemes based on stock market performance.
e. With the devastating falls in the market, millions of workers now fear retirement poverty. The Treasury has been accused of aggravating the crisis with higher taxes on pension funds. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-128712/MPs-pensions-25.html
2014: MP’s exempt themselves from changes to pension state pension age
a. In the coalition agreement, the Tories and Liberal Democrats said changes to the retirement age for women wouldn’t take place until at least 2020:
“We will phase out the default retirement age and hold a review to set the date at which the state pension age starts to rise to 66, although it will not be sooner than 2016 for men and 2020 for women.”
b. Unsurprisingly however, the coalition have broken the agreement. They’ve announced that changes to the State Pension Age would be brought in much sooner than they promised – with less than two years’ notice in some cases. This leaves tens of thousands of women approaching retirement age without a pension they’d planned for – sometimes for as long as 6 years.
c. A lot of men are also facing much longer waits for a state pension than they’d budgeted for.
d. Mind you – Lib Dem and Tory MPs aren’t daft. Unlike everyone else – they’ve made sure MPs close to retirement got a ten year exemption to changes in their own pensions https://tompride.wordpress.com/2014/05/03/tory-and-lib-dem-mps-exempt-themselves-from-changes-to-state-pension-age/
Late Breaking information about Willie Bain ( Q. How many Labour MPs does it take to change a light bulb? A. None. Labour never change anything.)
a. Willie Bain was a graduate teaching assistant at the Law School in the University of Strathclyde from approximately March 2001 to March 2005. It is likely that this was not his primary role there, instead this role (sometimes some face-to-face tutoring to assist busy lecturers, but generally a bit of dogsbody) was probably as an aside to his studies for a PhD.
b. Bain does not use the title, “Dr” it looks like he was unsuccessful in gaining a doctorate, if he did in fact study for one. This may explain why he had to get a job in London, as without a PhD, he would struggle to get a job as a law lecturer in Glasgow, never mind the senior lecturing post he claims he had at London’s South Bank University.
b. Also germane is the fact that his qualification is listed simply as LLB, rather than LLB (Hons), which he would be entitled to if he had had successfully completed an honours degree and not a general. More failure perhaps?
c. Regardless, if Bain had studied for a 3 or 4 year degree after school then he should have graduated about 15 years ago (1994). Instead – assuming he went directly from studying to being a GTA, as normal – he became a GTA approx 7 years later.
d. why?? Where are those 7 years? What did he do? Can anyone find the missing years. He is a bit of an enigma. Posted by; Pure Jamie of the glasgowguide forum
Apart from salary what does Willie cost the taxpayer?
2010-2011 total. £35,035
i. Accommodation in London. True to his word he booked into a hotel on each occasion he attended parliament. £7,595
ii. Constituency costs. (Rental Admin). £13,861
iii. Travel Costs. Almost exclusively flights to and from London. £13,580
2011-2012 total £61,923
i. Accommodation in London. Rented a furnished flat. Cost £1,450 monthly plus rates, council tax, electricity, Insurance, telephone, tv licence. Total cost for year £19,099.
ii. Constituency Costs. (Rental Admin). £20,048
iii. Travel Costs. Almost exclusively flights to and from London but now claiming for Heathrow to London and underground travel. £22,776
2012-2013 total £59,656
i. Accommodation in London. Rental costs increased to £1,600 monthly plus rates, council tax, electricity, Insurance, telephone, tv licence. Total cost for year £20,831.
ii. Constituency costs. (Rental Admin) £16,370
iii. Travel Costs. Almost exclusively flights to and from London but now claiming for Heathrow to London and underground travel. £22,455
2013-2014 total £184,909 (includes staff costs)
i. Accommodation in London. Rental costs increased to £1,600 monthly plus rates, council tax, electricity, Insurance, telephone, tv licence. Total cost for year £20,100.
ii. Constituency costs. (Rental Admin) £17,373
iii. Staffing Costs. £127,247
iv. Travel Costs. Almost exclusively flights to and from London but now claiming for Heathrow to London and underground travel. £20,190