Who is John Robertson?
John Webster Robertson is a British Labour Party politician, who has been the Member of Parliament (MP) for Glasgow North West since 2000.He left Shawlands Academy Secondary School and started work for the GPO (P.O. then British Telecom then BT). In December 1991, he was promoted to management where he stayed until he was granted Voluntary Release in September 2000 at the time he was elected to Westminster. He joined the Labour Party in 1984 and was first elected to parliament in 2000, at a by-election on 23 November following the death of Donald Dewar, the First Minister of Scotland. He was re-elected at the 2001 election, and after constituency boundaries were redrawn for the 2005 election, he was returned for the larger constituency of Glasgow North West.
He spends a great deal of his time at Westminster and is currently:
* Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Nuclear Energy Group. (1) (It appears he is pretty useless as chair. See the write off of a 22bn contract.)
* Chair of the all-party Parliamentary group on Communications (apComms).
* Chair of All Party Parliamentary Music Groups.
* Chair All Party Parliamentary Group on Nigeria and Angola.
(1) January 2015: The Unknown scandal of Confetti money
Last week the consortium holding a 22bn contract to clean up the Sellafield nuclear site was sacked. But this is just the end of a long and scandalous tale of corporate profit at UK taxpayers expense, and the active collusion of ministers and senior officials in fighting off Parliamentary scrutiny.
“It’s an appalling waste of public money. It’s like scattering confetti. Time extends and extends. I have looked at this two or three times now and every time I look at it the cost goes up – not in hundreds of millions, but in billions.” Margaret Hodge MP, chair of Parliamentary Public Accounts committee
On the day the big U-turn was announced, by chance Treasury Permanent Secretary, Sir Nicholas Macpherson, appeared before the Parliamentary Public Administration Select Committee inquiry on ‘Whitehall: capacity to address future challenges’, to be challenged by committee member Paul Flynn, asking: “Just as a general principle, are you happy for the public purse to take all the risk, as I pointed out as clearly as possible in 2008, and for the private company, a foreign company, to take any profit that will come out? Is that an abiding effort for the Treasury?”
Sir Nicholas Macpherson answered: “Put in those terms, I would never be happy with any contract like that. Ensuring that risk is borne in the right place is one of the biggest lessons of the financial crisis. I do not want to get into this individual issue, because I am not sufficiently informed about it.” http://data.parliament.uk/writtenevidence/committeeevidence.svc/evidencedocument/public-administration-committee/whitehall-capacity-to-address-future-challenges/oral/17510.html
Radio 4 Profile of – Sir Nicholas Macpherson
Largely unknown outside Whitehall, Sir Nicholas Macpherson, gained notiriety through his unprecedented written advice, in breach of the “Civil Service Code of Conduct” to the Chancellor denying Scotland the “bank of last resort” facility in the event of independence. As head of the Treasury since 2005, he was at the centre of Britain’s response to the global financial crisis. Chris Bowlby explains why he’s so influential, and how his involvement in the Scottish debate is informed by personal links as well as policy considerations. http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b04f8fbg
January 2015: Owners of sacked Sellafield contractor pocketed £145m
NMP had a 17-year deal to clean up waste from Sellafield but the consortium has been dumped from its contract to clean up Europe’s most hazardous nuclear waste site paid £145m in dividends despite criticism for wasting taxpayers’ money.
Energy secretary Ed Davey told Nuclear Management Partners (NMP), a venture between British engineer Amec, Areva of France and America’s URS, that it was being prematurely ditched from its 17-year deal to decommission Sellafield in Cumbria.
NMP was awarded the £22bn turnover deal in 2008 by the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA), the state-owned body responsible for dealing with decades of nuclear waste.
But it came under attack from the Public Accounts Committee as it emerged that most of its big projects were behind schedule, and NMP was relying on expensive contractors. It was also embroiled in an expenses scandal, most memorably a £715 taxi for an executive and a cat. http://www.thesundaytimes.co.uk/sto/business/Industry/article1508118.ece
Meanwhile, John Robertson MP, Labour chair of the All Party Nuclear Power Group (a nuclear cheerleader set-up) said on 16 January 2015, three days after Sellafield management were sacked: “The industry really has turned Parliament around. We do now have a political House singing from the same hymn sheet on nuclear power. We need to work hard to keep it that way!” In so saying, he revealed just how out of touch he and the pro-nuclear cheer-leaders in Parliament really are. http://paulflynnmp.typepad.com/my_weblog/2015/01/the-unknown-scandal-of-confetti-money.html
MPs Expenses Scandal: John Robertson was requested to pay back £2975 for excessive expenses claims including £1750 in petty cash. According to current records, he has not paid anything back.He also claimed £350 for a sat nav from Currys. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Robertson_%28Glasgow_politician%29
December 2000: MP stands by daughter accused of selling drugs in a nightclub.
John Robertson, 48, who became the MP for Glasgow Anniesland two weeks ago following the death of Donald Dewar, said 18-year-old Laura had offered to co-operate with a police inquiry.
In a statement released by the Labour Party, he added that he never imagined he would find himself in this situation and now understood what other families were going through.
Miss Robertson, a marketing assistant, allegedly sold two ecstasy tablets to a newspaper reporter at Bonkers nightclub in Glasgow.
The Glasgow Evening Times reported yesterday that the teenager said “no problem” when asked if she could supply drugs and held up five fingers to indicate the price of each tablet. Moments later she handed over two light brown tablets and change from a £20 note.
Its story added that when she was approached on Tuesday at a railway station a short distance from her family’s semi-detached home in Drumchapel, she said she could supply more ecstasy and admitted taking LSD.
Mr Roberston, who did not deny the story, said: “My daughter is an adult. She has taken legal advice and her lawyer has been in touch with the police offering to co-operate with any investigation.
As a father my first duty is to my daughter. I shall support her through this. We are a close family and will face this together.”
Would you believe it? He employs his daughter, Laura Robertson, as Secretary/Caseworker as detailed in: http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm/cmregmem/911/part2.htm Register of Members’ Financial Interests
November 2011: MP calls on Parliament to remember 5th November
A Labour MP has started a campaign to commemorate better the failed gunpowder plot by Guy Fawkes. According to the BBC, Labour MP for Glasgow North West, John Robertson,believes the current plaque honouring the date is insufficient because it is hidden from public view in a car park near a bike shed.
There is reasoning to the plaque’s location however; as it is located at the closest spot to the cellar, where Guy Fawkes’ 36 barrels of gunpowder were found 406 years ago. But Robertson wants Guy Fawkes’ foiled plot to blow up the House of Commons to be made visible to the general public. http://www.londonlovesbusiness.com/mp-calls-on-parliament-to-remember-5th-november/954.article
comment: What the hell has this to do with his constituency?
April 2010: John Robertson – I pulled the votes with bread & butter issues
John Robertson believes his message of bread-and-butter issues to the people of Glasgow North West saw him returned as the constituency’s MP. “We went everywhere. We took our message with us, put out our leaflets, we were in every polling station and we knocked on as many door as we could. ___ if you treat the electorate with contempt don’t be surprised if they bite you back.” http://www.localnewsglasgow.co.uk/tag/john-robertson/
April 2014: MP John Robertson Voted in favour of and defended the Con/Dem benefits cap
Critics argued the move to limit what working families, pensioners, and those on disability benefits can receive from the government would plunge hard-up families from some of the most impoverished areas of Scotland further into poverty. http://johnhilley.blogspot.co.uk/2014/03/welfare-betrayal-and-labouring-under.html (Another view of the nonsense)
But on Monday Robertson insisted nobody who was entitled to benefits would be left out and added that the new measures would hold the government accountable for their actions. He said: “You can’t stop people getting benefits. you only qualify only if you are entitled. That’s the rules. http://www.clydebankpost.co.uk/news/roundup/articles/2014/04/09/494391-mp-john-robertson-defends-benefits-cap-vote/
Maria Muir was scathing (on her blog) about the conduct of Robertson and his fellow Labour MP’s. Commenting Eilidh Whiteford (SNP) MP said: “The SNP voted against the welfare cap today because it piles yet more pain onto our poorest pensioners, carers, disabled people and low-income families. This cap is just a crude, blunt, instrument. It is shocking that so many Scottish Labour MPs have backed the Tories.” https://mariamuir.com/meet-32-scottish-labour-mps-voted-tory-welfare-cap/
March 2013: The Workfare Bill
6 of 6 (100%) of SNP MPs: Stewart Hosie (Dundee East), Angus MacNeil (Na h-Eileanan an Iar), Angus Robertson (Moray), Mike Weir (Angus), Eilidh Whiteford (Banff and Buchan), Pete Wishart (Perth and North Perthshire
7 of 40 (18%) Labour MPs: Katy Clark (North Ayrshire and Arran), Michael Connarty (Linlithgow and East Falkirk), Ian Davidson (Glasgow South West), Mark Lazarowicz (Edinburgh North and Leith), Jim McGovern (Dundee West), Sandra Osborne (Ayr, Carrick and Cumnock)
Jim Sheridan (Paisley and Renfrewshire North)
June 2014: John Robertson MP provided 99 reasons to say no to independence. http://www.redkelvin.org/972/99-reasons-to-say-no-thanks/
It is important to counter John Robertson’s spurious claims and this can be best achieved through the challenging arguments of his own colleagues. The guy needs locked up, gagged and put in a straight jacket! He is making an utter fool of himself and our nation! ” http://www.labourforindy.com/99_reasons ”
May 2007: John Roberston, Labour colleagues and Tory MP’s vote to put Westminster outside the law of the land
Today’s Third Reading debate on David Maclean’s Freedom of Information Amendment Bill has concluded with a vote in favour from a total of 78 Labour MPs and 18 Tories.
“Liberty” said; If they allow this Bill to pass into law, there are fears that parliamentarians wouldbe sending out a clear signal that they consider themselves to be above the law. Thiswould undermine the culture of open and transparent government which the Act was designed to create and severely damage the already eroding public trust andconfidence in the democratic process as a whole. http://www.taxpayersalliance.com/the_list_of_shame
Richard Wilson not best pleased with Robertson asserting he was simply seeking to find ways of preventing expenses claims information being released to the public. https://richardwilsonauthor.wordpress.com/2009/05/17/the-98-mps-who-tried-to-cover-up-their-expense-claims-by-exempting-themselves-from-the-freedom-of-information-act/
John Robertson MP rebelled against the Government most notably on one of the Amendment votes (Division No. 117) prior to the main Declaration of War – Iraq vote (Division No.118). This Amendment said: This House “believes that the case for war against Iraq has not yet been established, especially given the absence of specific United Nations authorisation; but, in the event that hostilities do commence, pledges its total support for the British forces”.
However, though he supported the view that the case for war had not been established and lacked UN authorisation, in the main vote which sought to authorise that the “United Kingdom should use all means necessary to ensure the disarmament of Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction”, in effect the vote which gave authorisation for war against Iraq, John Robertson voted Aye.
April 2015: A Landmark poll has suggested Labour MP Robertson will be shown the exit door at the forthcoming general election.
A spokesman for the 62-year-old Robertson told the Post: “Our position is very simple — it’s not a good poll for us. But by the same token, we’ve seen things in the last few weeks starting to move in our direction. We’ve got a big challenge ahead of us and we’re not taking any vote for granted, we never have taken any vote for granted. “We’re going to fight till 10pm on May 7 to make sure we can put across the message that only Labour can get rid of the Bedroom Tax, reduce energy prices and deliver the change we need to see. http://www.clydebankpost.co.uk/news/roundup/articles/2015/02/11/524133-labour-mps-to-fight-back-against-nationalist-polling-gains/
Comment: So that’s it!! The one specific offer for change is getting rid of the Bedroom Tax. Someone needs to tell Labour the Tax does not apply in Scotland since the SNP government took action, (not long after it was introduced) rendering it inapplicable in Scotland.