Labour Party

The Parkhead Townscape Heritage Initiative – Lest We Forget – Many Questions Unanswered

The Parkhead Townscape Heritage Initiative

1. Was a £4 million five year plan, with the aim of repairing and bringing back to use landmark buildings, vacant shop units and enhancement to the public realm. Other public funded bodies in the initiative included Glasgow City Council, East End Partnership, East End SIP, Communities Scotland, Celtic Football Club and Scottish Enterprise Glasgow.

2. Key historic buildings at Parkhead Cross were refurbished as part of a drive to breathe new life into the East End of the city. The Heritage Lottery Fund contributed £1.4 million – one of the largest single donations it had ever awarded – to specifically restore the 100 year old Edwardian style buildings that frame the Cross. Three former bank buildings, were renovated to bring empty floor space back into viable use and improve the overall streetscape.

3. To recap. Following submission of plans for the extensive re-building of their stadium in the mid 90s by Celtic FC . Glasgow District Council Planning Committee sold the club significant tracts of land namely Kinloch Street, Janefield Street and Dalriada Street for the princely sum of 1p.

4. The Planning Committee comprised thirteen members, eleven Labour, one SNP, and one Tory. The SNP member was so disgusted with the dealings of his own committee that he informed the Glasgow Herald that “the eleven Labour Councillors on the committee were either season ticket holders or share holders at Celtic Park. Eight of them both”. He further noted that, “if the eleven Councillors were shareholders in ICI and voted for lax planning consent on a petro – chemical plant, there would be criminal proceedings”. (This was also reported in Private Eye’s “Rotten Borough’s” column).

5. So, it is established that Glasgow District Council sold three streets, Dalriada Street, Janefield Street, and Kinloch Street to Celtic for a penny. Shortly after, the combined efforts of the Board of Scottish Enterprise (Glasgow) ie Paul Cooney, Wullie Haughey, Charlie Gordon, Stephen Purcell, etc….etc, together with the First Minister and Celtic season ticket and share holder, Jack McConnell ensured the Commonwealth Games would be centered on Celtic Park. Soon after information was released confirming that a new “Velodrome” would be constructed across the London Road together with a number of office blocks housing, “Sports Scotland” (to be relocated from Edinburgh).

6. Enter the full staffing compliment of “Culture and Sport Glasgow” who took up significant areas of the newly built office space. The Chief Executive of this public funded body on a salary in excess of £100K was Bridget McConnell, wife of Jack. Critics likened her appointment too, in football parlance, being akin to promoting a youth team stalwart directly to the Captaincy of the first team.

7. Still for some it made sense to centralise the decision making processes in one place. The offices would be able to host meetings of the many MPs, MSPs, MEPs, Councillors, and Chief Executive of Public Funded bodies involved in planning the games. And only a stones throw away just across London Road is Parkhead scheduled to be the sporting Centre of the Commonwealth for 3 weeks in the summer of 2014.

8. A completely disproportionate number of staff at Glasgow City Council – including those at top end of the salary scale such as Bridget McConnell – are RCs. Nearly all Labour councillors are RCs and few councillors are members of any other party.

9. Roman Catholic ex-Lord Provost Dr. Michael Kelly questioned the reasons behind this phenomenon a few years ago live on radio, the inference being the situation had arisen out of bigotry. Credit to him for being so open and honest.

10. Mosson’s wife was certainly not prepared to let taxpayers’ money go to waste during her husband’s stint as Provost, insisting on an increase in her dress allowance from £8,000 to £14,000 p.a. When questioned, she justified this by famously claiming “the people of Glasgow wouldn’t want to see me wearing the same outfit twice”. Mr Mosson was the inaugural Chairman of The Celtic Trust and perhaps unsurprisingly, made sure that the official limousine was at hand for his regular trips to Celtic Park, a policy that was also questioned by political opponents. Strangely, he never took the opportunity of visiting Ibrox.

11. Perhaps it is not surprising, therefore, that the motives driving the major figures “Jack McConnell, Ron Culley, Steven Purcell and Frank McAveety”, all regulars at Celtic Park and fronting the Commonwealth Games bid need to be openly discussed.

12. There are huge question marks over the £288m budget (80% to be paid by the Executive), given that the cost of the `indoor arena’ alone has recently escalated from an original £24m to £70m.

13. McConnell, a personal friend of Former Chairman of Scottish Enterprise, Willie Haughey met the “City Refrigeration Holdings” boss (and ex-Celtic director) Willie Haughey to discuss the M74 extension project, after which an initial £7.4m compensation award was increased to £16.5m – with Haughey subsequently donating £330,000 to the Labour Party.

14. Haughey is Scotland ‘s biggest single donor to Labour Party funds. He received £16 million of tax-payers money, approved by Jack McConnell, to relocate his business to facilitate the M74 extension……to Parkhead.

15. In contrast to the largesse being bestowed on the East End of Glasgow, SPT instructed Rangers that the club would have to fork out £500k if the old Ibrox station on the Central-Paisley line was ever to be re-opened.

16. When are our elected representatives in opposition going to ask some searching questions regarding the various deals surrounding East End regeneration, the Commonwealth Games bid, the M74 extension and the proposed rail/subway extensions? And the reason why the bulk of the “regeneration” is centred around a one mile radius of Celtic Park.

Labour Party

Silence in Sin City Glasgow Part 5 – 2014 – 2015 City Council In Need of Clear Out

1. March 1 2014; Glasgow’s homeless hostel scandal.

a. The appalling conditions in the Bellgrove hotel are a horrifying reminder of how we treat our poorest and most defeated citizens. You walk past it on the way to Celtic Park on a match day, barely noticing it but knowing that it exists in the city’s folklore as a last-chance saloon. That though, doesn’t even begin to describe the reality of it. The squalor and deprivation witnessed in this place made me ashamed to be Glaswegian.

b. Without repeating the crushing detail of John Ferguson’s brilliant report, the Bellgrove hotel is a place where men go to die, expiring in their own waste and choked by alcohol and drugs – 150 of them at any one time. This hellhole has a staff of two, presumably to keep the costs down. For the Bellgrove is a privately-run facility that rakes in several million pounds a year for the two city property magnates who own it. They make their money from the housing benefit these men receive each fortnight. Basically, the state hands over millions of pounds every year to this pair to keep its most embarrassing citizens away from polite society. “Don’t worry,” we say (and it is you and I) “keep them in as much filth as you like, we won’t be asking any questions.”

2. March 10 2014; Is the East End of Glasgow the NEW West End of Glasgow?

a. Take a stroll around the east end of Glasgow and it quickly becomes apparent that big changes are afoot – the roads are being resurfaced, new buildings are springing up as quickly as others are torn down, the park railings are getting a new brush of paint (Limmy will be delighted) and even the stations are getting wifi. There’s a sense of urgency about it all as well, with the much feted Commonwealth Games now just a few months away.

3. May 6 2014; Huge bill on fact-finding foreign tours.

a. Bosses at Strathclyde Partnership for Transport, (SPT) ran up hotel and travel bills totalling £38,000 while on two fact-finding trips. A seven-strong team from Strathclyde Partnership for Transport, headed by chief executive Gordon MacLennan, travelled to Canada and Europe to check out companies bidding for lucrative contracts to upgrade the Subway. The first trip in December involved visits to Canada, Spain and London while the second in February took them to Denmark, Switzerland and Austria. In 2010, then chief executive Ron Culley quit in the wake of a £120,000 expenses and travel scandal. The sum does not include the cost of expenses incurred during the visits.

4. July 25 2014; Frank McAveety chosen as Scottish Labour’s candidate in Glasgow Shettleston.

a. Councillor Frank McAveety is to contest the Glasgow Shettleston Scottish Parliament seat for Scottish Labour in 2016. McAveety, who represents the Shettleston ward on Glasgow City Council, was selected by local members at a meeting in Bridgeton last night. He said: ‘It is an absolute honour to have been selected as Scottish Labour’s candidate for Glasgow Shettleston.

Comment: Unbelievable. He just wont go away

5. August 14 2014; Glasgow City Council flog Victoria Park online

a. After recovering from the hangover of the Games, Glasgow City Council appear to be back on form with a vengeance this week; announcing the details of their plans to use Compulsory Purchase Orders to expand Buchanan Galleries or “the Buchanan Quarter” as nobody calls it (we’re running out of how many quarters the council thinks they can fit into their (w)hole) into an event bigger mass of glass and shopping. Today we learned that their alleged consultation over what to do with the playing fields in Victoria Park entered the “putting it on Gumtree” phase.

6. November 21 2014; Lolitican of the Year: Ten Gordon Matheson fails since 2013

a. Glasgow City Council leader Gordon Matheson was last night crowned “Scottish Local Politician of the Year” at the Herald’s annual awards ceremony. Since the event was held in Edinburgh, we thought it only fair to have a celebration right here in Gordon’s hometown. So we are delighted to welcome our good pal Nicki Minaj, to present the Excellent Matheson Award to A Thousand Flowers Lolitician of the Year, wee Gordo. Details of ten of his greatest cock-up’s from 2013. View the article.

7. December 14 2014; Audit Scotland investigating corruption involving the Celtic SLA at The Lennoxtown Initiative

a. I kept this back to allow Audit Scotland unimpeded time to do their investigation without being hassled by phone threats. This was issued well before the EU ‘cleared’ the State Aid against Celtic PLC for the Glasgow Celtic Council land transactions but has been sat on patiently. The reply above from Audit Scotland acknowledges that they are investigating the use of charity, The Lennoxtown Initiative, to hide and funnel payments back to Celtic PLC using the Celtic SLA and whether NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde (NHSGGC), East Dunbartonshire Council (EDC) and Scottish Enterprise (SE) performed their duties as public authorities in keeping track of the funds donated to The Lennoxtown Intiative and whether ‘value for money’ was obtained. Many other excellent expose’ articles on this blog.

8. January 1 2015; £500k pay-off to Glasgow ‘poverty campaigner’

a. Never let it be said that Glasgow lacks enterprise where it matters…The city has been rocked again by a scandal over the approval by Labour Councillors of a £500,000 “golden goodbye” to the former chief executive of the Glasgow East Regeneration Agency – a charity set up to alleviate poverty in one of the most deprived areas of the city. The exit package for Ronnie Saez comprised a “severance payment” of £42,000 and a £470,000 addition to his pension, which included a discretionary £208,000. The pension top-up is said to have come from a budget pot earmarked for the redevelopment of a school in Dalmarnock, a deprivation black spot. GERA was a registered charity, with a prime goal “to relieve and/or prevent poverty particularly among residents of East Glasgow”.

b. Three of the five GERA directors who approved the Saez deal were Labour city Councillors. They included James Coleman, a former deputy council leader who was the chair of the agency; the vice-chair Councillor Catherine McMaster; and George Redmond, who signed off the accounts. A subsequent report by the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator said the pay-out amounted to “misconduct” and was “wholly unacceptable”.

c. Sadly, this will confirm for many the governance of Glasgow as a dubious and shady old pals’ act. Given the need for vigilance over the disbursement of public funds and the activities of agencies registered as charities, the council must act swiftly and decisively to clear up the appalling impression left by this episode.

9. January 3 2015; Updated article A Scottish test for Ed Miliband this week –

a. The UK’s five richest families have more cash between them than the poorest 20 per cent of the entire population – some 12.6 million people. (Though note that none of the Big Five are Scottish.)

Labour Party

Silence in Sin City Glasgow Part 4 – 2013 A Year of Misconduct and Scandal

1. January 18 2013; City Council leader’s future in doubt over sex act

a. Glasgow City Council leader Gordon Matheson, 46, was apprehended by officers after they witnessed him carrying out the act in a car on the city’s south side. The council confirmed police reported the matter to the procurator fiscal but it has been decided no further action will be taken.

b. Comment

i. David: I’m not disagreeing with you about the facts concerning the case. I wasn’t there either. However, when you take into account the amount of scandals that seem to be flowing out of Glasgow City Council concerning corruption, strange goings on behind closed doors, police warning Labour leaders about cocaine, money going missing, dubious payments to people connected to the labour party and NO convictions it makes one think that there is something going on. The fact that NO one has appeared in court suggests that the ‘establishment’ doesn’t want this to happen. If that is the case then the whole system is corrupt to the core and is in need of a drastic make-over, and that is not going to happen under this current system. Just to add, according to news updates, that it seems that Mr. Matheson, himself, has admitted that he was involved in an illegal sex act so, I say again, why wasn’t he brought to justice?

2. January 18 2013; John Mason MSP – weekly video blog: Labour’s misconduct with public money

a. SNP MSP John Mason exposure of Councillors Coleman and Redmond requesting that they be removed from charities and boards, on which they represent Glasgow City Council.

3. January 21 2013 Council u-turns and abandons £15m George Square transformation

a. Glasgow City Council today bowed to popular demand and abandoned its widely condemned plan to spend £15m on transforming George Square. Leader Gordon Matheson said the city’s civic heart would now undergo a substantial facelift rather than a radical redesign. Details of the facelift are to be announced later, but it will include retaining the statues and grassed areas, and replacing the red tarmac.

4. January 23 2013; Architect attacks council over George Square fiasco

a. The acclaimed architect who won the ill-fated competition to redesign Glasgow’s George Square has accused the council’s leadership of incompetence and attempting to bully him out of the process. John McAslan attacked officials at Glasgow City Council as “not that bright” after they pulled the plug on the £15 million plans, despite spending in excess of £100,000 on the initiative. He said the debacle had given the local authority an unwelcome reputation among the world’s architecture and design community.

5. January 26 2013 Matheson scraps George Square revamp.

a. The Labour leader of Glasgow City Council told his fellow judges which design should win the competition to revamp the city’s George Square at the outset of the judging process, two independent council sources have told the Sunday Herald. And when the judges instead picked a design that Gordon Matheson strongly disliked, he scrapped the project in what the sources described as “a fit of pique”.

6. January 26 2013 Architect goes public on square

a. The acclaimed architect behind the scheme chosen for the redesign of George Square in Glasgow is planning to meet the public following the rejection of his plans by the council. John McAslan has demanded a meeting with city council leader Gordon Matheson after the council effectively scrapped the George Square competition. Mr McAslan, whose practice won the £15 million contest to revamp the square, accused Mr Matheson of playing political games. Now he plans to meet people in George Square to discuss what they want from the square following the council move.

7. March 31 2013; Thousands march and say ‘Axe the bedroom tax.’

a. The biggest protest rally Glasgow has seen in years had more than 3000 people marching from Glasgow Green to George Square, united in their opposition to the bedroom tax. Seasoned campaigners, families with their children and baby buggies, trade unionists, people in a wide variety of mobility carts and folk walking their dogs, took more than an hour to wend their way to the city centre. Many of them shouting: ‘Axe the tax.’ Facing the City Chambers, a series of speakers explained why their campaign was part of a wide strategy to protect the most vulnerable in the community.

b. Labour MP Ann McKechin, MSP Frank McAveety and Glasgow City Councillor George Redmond were among the group who marched. Arriving in George Square, Westminster MP Ann McKechin said to this website’s reporter: ‘I’m not surprised at this turnout. People are shocked by the scale of this unfair and unjust tax. The Westminster government doesn’t understand the full impact it will have.’

c. But Labour politicians were castigated by different speakers. Said one: ‘They might have marched near the front but it is inconsistent with what they are doing to the families they are victimising in the learning disability community in Glasgow. Glasgow City Council has these families on its hit list by closing three of the seven day centres they use.’ Campaigners against the closure of Glasgow’s day centres were out in force. Another speaker put it more bluntly: ‘Glasgow City Council should be ashamed of themselves. They have influence and power. They should tell all Housing Associations in Glasgow and Glasgow Housing Association that there must be no evictions in the city. We need to know who’s side they are on.’

7. April 23 2013; Matheson should ‘consider his position.

a. SNP Group Leader of Glasgow City Council, Graeme Hendry has urged Labour Council Leader Gordon Matheson to consider his position following a series of alleged offences while investigations are underway. Councillor Matheson is to be investigated by the Major Crimes Unit over alleged misconduct during the £100,000 contest to redesign George Square. He has been accused of trying to breach procurement law and coerce officers to do so. Councillor Graeme Hendry said: “Councillor Matheson has been accused of some very serious offences and it is only right and proper they are investigated by all the appropriate organisations including the Police. “It would be appropriate for Matheson to consider his position in the Council due to the great embarrassment he has caused the city, and the damage he has done to the Council’s relationship with the business community. Check out the many links contained in the SNP Newsletter. Scary stuff. Even if only 50% is true the Labour run City Council ae dammed.

8. May 14, 2013 Eleven Tales From Glasgow’s Quality Council

a. If New York is the city that never sleeps, Glasgow is the toon where some fly bastard is always up to something. The rot starts at the top, with the city council synonymous with corruption, cronyism and sheer incompetence. Labour have run the show for 60-odd years, almost as long as the Communist Party ran the Soviet Union, and all that power seems to have gone to their heads… alongside the cocaine (allegedly) (definitely true).

9. June 1 2013; SNP demands George Sq cash probe

a. The SNP last night called for Audit Scotland to investigate the financial side of the George Square redesign contest after claims Glasgow City Council paid judges thousands of pounds in expenses without receipts. The spending watchdog is already looking at the £100,000 competition as part of its annual audit of the council’s management. The contest ended in farce earlier this year after Labour council leader Gordon Matheson announced the revamp of the square had been scrapped just minutes after the judging panel had picked a design he detested, and had ranked his preferred option fourth out of six. Now it has emerged that the council paid two of the four external judges £6000 on top of their fees as “expenses” without asking for any receipts to justify the expenditure.

10. October 6 2013; Rampant Corruption Exposed

a. Unedited i-phone interview with Arthur Gemmell who travelled from Scotland to join the UK protests outside Royal Courts of Injustice on 4th October 2013. Arthur provides extremely interesting information exposing rampant corruption rife throughout Scotland and in particular within Glasgow City Council. He exposes the tactics used to evade liability when caught out.

11. November 15 2013; Campaigners accuse Glasgow City Council of corruption

a. The 100 Promises Campaign is the community campaign formed during the last local election to hold politicians to account. It took on the name when Labour was re-elected on the basis of its 100 Promises manifesto document.

b. The campaign has found corruption to be a barrier to the Council fulfilling its manifesto. After several occasions where corruption became a barrier to the Council enacting their promises the campaign decided to challenge this corruption.

c. The launch on Tuesday of the dossier will bring to light everything that the campaign has been made aware of. A press conference is being held in Johann Lamont’s constituency to draw attention to these issues at the highest level within Scottish Labour. Following the publication of the dossier, the dossier will be passed on to the police.

12. November 24 2013; Celtic FC getting sucked into the Labour Party Co-operative Bank Scandal

a. As well as the evolving local Glasgow scandal of Celtic receiving cheap land deals from a Scottish Labour controlled Glasgow City Council and Greater Glasgow Health Board. Celtic have been using that land as security to obtain cheap interest rate loans from the Labour riddled Co-operative Bank, most likely through former Chairman John Reid and Director Brian Wilson, both Labour party heavyweights. Now that’s what you call doubling up on corrupt leverage.

b. The Co-operative Bank, due the drug dealing antics of ex-chairman, ‘Crystal Methodist’ Paul Flowers, a Labour ex-Councillor, is soon to experience a forensic examination of it’s ‘policy’ of giving risky loans at low interest rates to Labour party connected entities. In 2006, when the Labour party was close to bankruptcy, the Co-Op Bank bailed the party out and in March this year gave them a loan of £1.2 million at the preferential low rate of 4%.

c. Compare this with Celtic’s Co-op Bank debt facility of £34 million at 1.5%. Celtic’s interest rate is ridiculously low and market loss-making. Obviously this has implications for UEFA’s FFP and SFA/SPFL, for both competitions, if Celtic has been seen to have been financially advantaged. Any investigation by either footballing body could involve the return of winnings, the cancelling of titles, loss of points and demotion for unfair advantages obtained during the period of the corruption. Celtic’s cheap Co-op Bank debt facility is still operating today.

13. November 28 2013; Co-op Bank slammed for dishing out £33m in cheap loans and overdrafts to Celtic Football Club

a. The Co-operative Bank has come under fire for dishing out £33.2million in cheap loans and overdrafts to Celtic Football Club, which was chaired by former Labour home secretary John Reid. MPs last night demanded an explanation for the rock bottom interest rates and accused the mutual of using the ‘hard-earned cash of millions of savers for political gain’. It is the latest twist in the row over the troubled lender’s links with the Labour Party.

b. Co-op’s hugely generous terms once again highlight the close links between the scandal-hit lender and the upper echelons of the Labour Party. The political connection has come under the spotlight after former Labour Councillor and former Co-op Bank chairman the Reverend Paul Flowers was caught out allegedly organising drug-fuelled orgies with rent boys.

See my post about the possible collapse of the Co-op Bank and the aftermath.

Labour Party

The Sin of Silence in Sin City Glasgow Part 3 – 2011-2012 Years of Scandal & Massive Pay-Offs

1. June 3 2011; Former MSP Frank McAveety urged to throw his hat into the ring as council candidate for Glasgow Council 2012. In reply to a lukewarm report indicating McAveety might return a local voter offered advice.

a. Anonymous; I found your recent post somewhat bemusing. I’m a committed and dedicated Labour Party activist and I can assure you that there is little support nor desire for Frank McAveety to play an active part in Labour Party politics especially in the east end of Glasgow. Whilst Frank certainly has an impressive curriculum vitae it is exactly that – an over exaggerated, selective account of his career littered with half-truths, lies and conveniently forgotten mishaps. Over Frank’s three terms as MSP for Shettleston the constituency has gone from being the safest Labour seat in Glasgow to the SNPs second home in Glasgow (after Glasgow Southside, a new constituency made up of a significant part of Frank’s previous constituency before boundary changes).

b. If Frank and his circle of sidekicks can’t see this as a major rejection by the electorate then he (and the Labour Party) are as out of touch and egotistical as the Scottish National Party have led the party to believe over recent months. The electorate want a representative who is committed to their constituents – not their own journey up the greasy political pole, and by-god Shettleston with its abhorrent health, crime and housing figures needs a representative who puts people before power. If any lessons are to be learned – this is it! Sadly these lessons haven’t. Selection panels haven’t even opened, candidates yet to be selected and votes won’t be cast of another year, yet there is speculation that Frank will take on the leadership of Glasgow City Council.

c. It is now time for Frank, and all of his Labour Party colleagues who lost their seat’s to start to show some humility and admit defeat. It is a politicians job to win elections – they failed! It is now time for our new thinkers, young talents and experienced activists to stand up and challenge the SNP, otherwise our Party will be even more stale in 5 years time than it was this year and there will be at least one more vote for the SNP – my vote!

2. September 11 2011; McAveety is held off Labour list amid probe.

a. Ex-Minister and MSP Frank McAveety has been kept off Labour’s approved list of candidates for next year’s municipal elections amid a police probe into financial irregularities as it emerges a businessman, once jailed for an alleged duty-free fraud was deselected. Labour’s Glasgow branch has ruled Mr McAveety will have to be re-interviewed following the news last week that a city Councillor and former aide of the ex-MSP for Shettleston had contacted police about the use of public money at his constituency office.

3. November 8 2011; Analysis: What on earth is going on in Glasgow Council?

a. It is hard to look at the line of extraordinary scandals which has trailed out of Glasgow City Council this year with anything other than utter bewilderment. What on earth is going on there? It is almost as if the political leaders of Scotland’s biggest city – those who should be setting an example in terms of public life for the rest of the city – have gone into collective meltdown. Each revelation has been bizarre and newsworthy on its own but it is worth putting them altogether, only then does a true picture emerge of what can only be described as a crisis.

4. November 13 2011; Council in ‘record pay-off’ scandal

A controversial quango boss who gave lucrative contracts to millionaire Labour donors is set to pocket Scotland’s biggest ever public sector ‘golden goodbye’. Willie Docherty, head of cash-strapped Scottish council’s arm’s-length firm, is in line to receive a staggering £615,000 when he steps down next year. Part of a special super-charged early retirement package, the prospective deal includes a £465,000 tax-free sum on top of his £150,000 salary – an annual wage higher than Prime Minister David Cameron. Mr Docherty, 55, the chief executive of City Building Glasgow, is no stranger to controversy, as he was closely linked to drugs shame former Glasgow City Council leader Steven Purcell and has faced repeated cronyism accusations because of his links with Labour.

As part of his pay-off, Mr Docherty is also rumoured to be in line to receive a 40 year service bonus despite only having 30 years with the council and its subsidiary. A former apprentice who grew up in Glasgow’s tough Castlemilk scheme, his wife Sadie is a Labour councillor in the city

5. February 10 2012; Wheels come off Glasgow Labour Council

Municipal politics often present an ugly, sordid spectacle, one that is mercilessly depicted in Private Eye’s Rotten Boroughs feature. Few present one as sordid as Glasgow City Council, which over decades has honed the traditional script elements of cronyism, petty nepotism, influence-peddling, individual venality and payoffs allied to huge profits to the external vultures – the beneficiaries of contract placements.

6. February 10 2012; Labour stares into the abyss – fear and panic in George Square

a. The Glasgow Labour ship is aground, holed below the waterline, but may float until May. To Labour Councillors – I have this to say – you can’t avoid risk either way, so make the smart bet – move to the SNP. You’ll be welcomed, and your constituents will understand – but only if you do it now, and spend the next ten weeks or so explaining and convincing them. If you truly believe in Glasgow, you MUST do it – and you can. Don’t be part of the collapse of Glasgow Labour – be part of the future of Scotland!

b. Comments;

i. arthurdaileys minder; The wheels are coming off the Glasgow Labour cart…….a long time coming.

ii. akoustixx; Dinosaurs reign no more!

iii. MrZambology; Libelous just now wait a couple of years and you’ll see it’s the truth. I stand by everything I said. Thanks for the advice Z.

iv. MrZambology; After the illegal war in Iraq, they should have disbanded. Socialism is alive and well in Scotland without them. The SNP and the people of Scotland don’t need them, they can run back to Westminster with their tails between their legs. Their scum as far as I am concerned.

7. February 13 2012; Labour Plunge New Depths In Glasgow in Blackmail Scandal

a. Congratulations are in order to Gordon Matheson, who took over from Labour criminal Stephen Purcell in a scandalous resignation involving drugs, gangs and blackmail, but which seemed to elicit little interest from the mainstream media or BBC Scotland. Matheson, who has never had a proper job, professed himself “delighted” to have pushed through the Glasgow budget, with its £43.000.000 cuts, including some Freddy Krugeresque jactitations of Glasgow City Council workers’ terms and conditions.

8. May 8 2012; Scottish Labour and Co-operative successful in Local Government Elections

a. Twenty four of the thirty Labour and Co-operative Party Candidates standing in Scottish Local Government elections have been elected in a very successful election for Scottish Labour. The four Labour and Co-operative candidates in Edinburgh, where Labour won the most seats and which has plans to become a Co-operative Council, were all elected as were all four candidates in Glasgow – which hopes to match the capital city’s Co-operative Council ambitions. In Glasgow, former Labour and Co-operative MSPs, Bill Butler and Frank McAveety were elected to the council.

9. July 21 2012; Glasgow City Council Nepotism – Jobs for the Boys

a. Glasgow Labour’s murky history is clearly not in the past after appointing a failed Labour politician to a post that is supposed to be politically neutral. Not only is he a former Labour minister, he also ran the council campaign in Glasgow and has aligned himself to ensure he gets a top spot. Earning a reported salary of just under £50,000 a year is yet another slap in the face to the people of Glasgow. The list of incompetence and jobs for the boys goes on. I’ve raised my concerns with the chief solicitor at the council. Tom McCabe has mastered the art of golden handshakes and has been handsomely rewarded for his part in the council campaign. This post is supposed to be non-political – what assurances can he make to the people of Glasgow that he will not be putting his allegiances to Labour first?”

10. August 21 2012; Glasgow appoints ‘Cycling Czar’.

a. Glasgow, Scotland’s largest city, has appointed a ‘Cycling Czar’ who will be tasked with increasing levels of leisure, commuting and sports cycling as the city looks to build on the cycling’s higher profile ahead of its own hosting of the Commonwealth Games in 2014. The man who will take on the new role is former Scottish Sports Minister Frank McAveety, a former Labour MSP who lost his seat at the last Holyrood elections. Mr McAveety plans to publish an updated cycling strategy for the city later this year.

Labour Party

The Sin of Silence in Sin City Glasgow Part 2 – 2010 A Year of Turmoil and Scandal

1. February 18 2010; SPT Chief Executive Ron Culley stands down after expenses row

a. Last week the Glasgow-based Regional Transit Agency lost its Chairman, Deputy Chairman and Chief Executive. Labour Councillors Alistair Watson and Davie McLachlan and Chief Executive Ron Culley after it emerged the quango had spent more than £117,573 on expenses, £49,000 of it on fact-finding trips around the world. They were ordered to stand down by their friend and colleague Steven Purcell, leader of Glasgow City Council.

b. Bob Wyllie, former BBC Scotland investigations editor and SPT’s Communications Director, also became embroiled in the controversy after The Sunday Times reported yesterday that he had claimed £773 for a trip to Manchester which coincided with Rangers’ appearance in the 2008 Uefa Cup Final.

c. Culley is a season ticket holder at Celtic Park , as are Willie Haughey, Steven Purcell and Frank McAveety. Jack McConnell is a regular guest.

d. Culley, Haughey and McAveety were at the forefront of the campaign for the M74 extension which improved Road links to Parkhead. 3 days after McConnell and McAveety announced the relocation of Sport Scotland to land adjacent to Celtic Park.

e. Culley, (as Chief Executive of Strathclyde Passenger Transport) recently issued a low-key statement declaring his intention to build a new £20 million train link to Parkhead jointly funded by SPT, GCC and The Scottish Executive. More recently Culley announced plans for a Glasgow Underground extension to Parkhead.

Click to access Culley.pdf

2. March 8 2010; Labour ‘visionary’ quits politics amid drugs blackmail scandal

a. One of the rising stars of New Labour – once hailed by Tony Blair as a ‘visionary’ – has quit politics amid a growing drugs scandal. Steven Purcell was seen as a talented young moderniser who was tipped for a glittering career in the party he joined aged just 14. But the 37-year-old has resigned as leader of Scotland’s biggest council, citing stress and exhaustion – amid lurid claims about his drug use. It emerged yesterday that the gay former Councillor had been warned by police last year about an underworld plot to blackmail him.

3. March 15 2010; Council firm in £10m ‘contracts for donor’ probe

a. A company created by former Glasgow City Council leader Steven Purcell is facing an independent audit after awarding around £10 million of contracts to a firm run by Labour’s biggest Scottish donor. City Building (Glasgow) LLP, an arm’s-length company set up by the Labour-run city council, awarded two large deals to City Refrigeration Holdings UK in 2007. The founder and boss of City Refrigeration is Willie Haughey, who has donated more than £1.1m to Labour since 2003. City Building, which replaced the council’s Building Services Department, was created in 2006 as a tax-efficient trading unit, which could bid for construction work beyond Glasgow, and now has a turnover of £180m and more than 2,000 employees.

4. March 23 2010 Stephen Purcell – What Did Gordon Brown Know and When?

a. A scandal far from London is edging closer and close to the door of Number 10. In amongst the plants and moans that normally take up the latter stages of PMQs there was a rare gem of a very intriguing question from the SNP’s Angus Robertson asking Gordon about a conference call to discuss the suitability of Labour’s disgraced cocaine king Steven Purcell as the candidate in the Glasgow East by-election in 2008.

i. A ‘Labour insider’ claimed: “At that point, rumours about Purcell had reached the party headquarters. So a discussion was had with him – and he was asked outright about the drug rumours. And after that, any idea of him being the candidate was Abandoned immediately.”

ii. Angus Robertson asked: “Given that the Prime Minister will have looked closely at the tragic case. Will he confirm whether a Downing Street staffer took part in a conference in July 2008 which discussed the suitability of Stephen Purcell?”

iii. Gordon Brown: “I know nothing of what he says but I shall look at it.”

b. Always one for a dodging a question, what was Gordon so coy about? Why so subdued? At the post-PMQ briefing afterwards Scottish journalists were palmed off with, “There are more important questions”. For once someone doing the briefing was correct. There are some very interesting questions still surrounding this case indeed.

c. Could it be that Brown knows more than he is letting on? The story of Steven Purcell’s resignation has led to a constant drip drip about just what was going on at Glasgow City Council and its relationship with big donors to the Labour party. The Scottish Sunday papers are having a field ay about big Labour donors and lucrative public sector contracts. Million pound deals, quango donors and Purcell linked to shady companies. And it goes further than that – blackmail and organised crime.

d. Other aspects worthy of follow-up is why the Scottish editors are so reluctant to get down and dirty and blow the lid of this story once and for all. It’s not like they didn’t know : “Politicians, journalists and lawyers alike, apparently, had direct or indirect knowledge for years about the personal habits of the leader of Glasgow City Council and chose to ignore it.” Great. But this whole saga has plenty more questions that are still needing to be answered. Not just about Labour donors getting taxpayers cash but about Labour donors and their connections with gangsters.

e. “The Digger”, a small A5 Glasgow news-sheet recently revealed that Labour donor James Mortimer is the uncle of the common law wife of a well known Glasgow gangster. As well as being a high profile attendee, along with the Prime Minister, at the Labour fundraising dinner the day before Steven Purcell’s little moment of crisis, Mr Mortimer has entertained some intriguingly high profile people at his, Club 29 in Glasgow.

f. Such links between the Scottish Labour party and the mob have been raising eyebrows for the last few years. Like the Red Rose Dinner attended by Labour First Minister Jack McConnell and John Reid. It was also attended by a drug dealer by the name of Justin McAlroy who ended up dead six days later. James Mortimer also attended that dinner. His father, Tommy McAlroy, who is a close friend of Labour whip Frank Roy, has also been implicated in drug baronetcy. And it’s also not the first time John Reid – a former Home Secretary for goodness sake – has had family connections reported that raise eyebrows – his father in law was arrested in a drugs bust.

g. So you might be getting an idea why Gordon Brown was not exactly keen on drawing attention to the UK media about a story which has him and numerous senior Labour leaders wining and dining with people who have some seriously dodgy connections and backgrounds. If its full implications broke before the sixth of May it may not just destroy Scottish Labour but bring down Brown. But there are three important questions that still remain unanswered over two weeks after these events broke. These are raised publicly in order that the media in London might do what Glasgow news editors have been too afraid to do.

i. Who is paying for Steven Purcell’s bills? Public relations, top media lawyers, stays in rehab clinics and lengthy trips abroad cost money and Steven is now unemployed – his whereabouts still unknown. Most of his money went up his nose so how is he paying his way. Why did he turn down the help the council’s media officers offered?

ii. Under Steven Purcell’s leadership of Glasgow City Council what deals have the council, City Building LLP and any other arms length organisations set up by the council done – particularly with major Labour donors like James Mortimer, Brian Dempsey and Willie Haughey?

iii. Who was sitting at the top table with Gordon Brown and Steven Purcell at the Labour party fundraiser the night before Steven Purcell’s announcement to his colleagues and did anything happen at the dinner to hasten his departure from the council?


a. Anonymous: “There have been hints that some Scottish newspapers have pulled their punches because editors have been too close to Steven Purcell or worse, have been cowed into submission by Peter Watson (of Levy & McRae) and PR firm Media House.”

b. Anonymous: This is explosive stuff.The newspapers in Scotland have been slow to react and as for the BBC ???? well they have put their heads in the sand in the hope it would go away. The best bet of this all coming out would be if the English media get a whiff of the scandal getting close to Gordon Brown. Gordon Brown was with Purcell the night before he resigned at a Labour party fundraiser. There is a huge story here unfortunately it won’t be the Scottish media who will expose it they are completely entwined with the Labour party in this country.

c. Anonymous: Good summary of the Purcell situation. Unfortunately any disclosures will have to come from the London media as the Scottish media have tried their best to bury the story, and has been hardly mentioned by the BBC.

d. Anonymous: Hopefully the Scottish Labour chickens in Ruin’s roost are coming home. But watch your back. Glasgow Caledonians have Sicilian friends. Ever wondered why frozen Glasgow has so many Italian ice cream parlours and pizza places?

e. cynicalHighlander: Its worse than you elude to when our subsidised public broadcaster in Scotland is suppressing this story as it acts as a Labour party media outlet up here.
The City is one of the most if not the most corrupt local authorities in the UK. We have one private firm City Buildings Ltd wholly owned by the Council buying two x £2,000 Tables at a fund raising function for Glasgow City Labour Party. We find one prominent Labour supporting businessman (donations supposedly into six figures) getting contracts even though it seems his company’s wasn’t the lower tender while in addition there are suggestions of some equally dodgy land deals

f. Its not new either :-when Parkhead Stadium was rebuilt in the 90s Planning Procedures were accelerated, building standards were shortcut. The relationship between Celtic Football Club (Chairman John Reid MP)and Glasgow City Labour Party gives off a stench. Mind you as I read on another blog two weeks ago, “if Gordon Brown nuked the Glasgow housing schemes, the survivors would still vote Labour”

g. cynicalHighlander: Anon “The Herald and Scotsman are both going bust. They wont ask questions because it is public sector advertising which is keeping them alive.” And who blocked the SNP from putting that advertising online all 3 unionist parties. I haven’t bought a newspaper for years as they only have copy and paste journalists rather than grass root journalism.

h. Anonymous: Something stinks in the naked city. Where’s Taggart when you need him.

i. Anonymous: The dinner is the key.

j. Anonymous: If the rumours are true. Do not think that when the influential conduct clandestine meetings in pub car parks with the less influential and socialise with them that it goes unnoticed. I feel that we are in the calmer waters just now but we are about to head into the squalls – The weather will change in the course of the election . I have a gut feeling that this is going to erupt soon, I would be willing to bet on it.

k. redcliffe62: The Scottish media know most, if not the entire, story. The question is, can the Tories get an editor to come over to the dark side, as a drop in labour’s vote will simply increase the number of SNP MP’s and that outcome is not one the Tories seem to want either. Glasgow Times and Herald cannot go against those that pay the bills. The Scotsman is a waste of time as well. The best hope is through McAlpine at the Times. She knows some of the facts, a good story two weeks out from the election methinks.

l. Anonymous: “What Did Gordon Know and When?” Not much and never.

m. Anonymous: City Building has always been corrupt from the time David Angus was the Director, Wullie Docherty has just continued this his taking over. Building Services used to hand back 11 million pounds surplus when part of the Council, now I understand they hand back 2 million, where has all the money gone? hired cars big rises in pay for certain people, how can it work when the head of City Building is married to a Councillor who recently took a large redundancy package from the GHA. Time Docherty went without any big payment.

6. March 28 2010; City Building scandal – Labour Party donor gets massive contract.

a. It seems that the Glasgow Labour Party scandal continues a pace. Another Labour donor has benefiting from contracts, this time from Labour controlled City Building. The news puts renewed pressure for the removal of Willie Docherty to stand down as head of City Building. Docherty is married to a Glasgow Labour Councillor Sadie Docherty. It seems that City Building (Glasgow) LLP has awarded a lucrative contract to AS Scaffolding Ltd. AS Scaffolding is run by Andrew Smillie whose family and firm has donated money to the Labour Party. This news must put pressure also back on Strathclyde Police and Audit Scotland to investigate Glasgow City Council and its ALEOs. People need to know has Labour controlled Glasgow City Council been funneling jobs and contracts to family, friends and associates of the Labour Party. Why are there so many high profile people with Labour Party connections heading Glasgow quangos?

7. April 2 2010; Anger as Glasgow City Council rejects calls for inquiry into Steven Purcell scandal

a. Scotland’s largest council were last night accused of a cover-up after rejecting a bid to have an inquiry into the Steven Purcell scandal. An SNP group motion asking for an independent investigation into “the practices and recent decisions of the council” was kicked out after the ruling Labour group were supported by Lib Dems in voting it down. The city’s SNP leader James Dornan claimed there was an urgent need to examine how former leader Purcell held his job despite it being known he’d admitted taking cocaine and heavy drinking. At a highly-charged meeting, the council instead backed an amendment saying there was no need for an inquiry. After the meeting, Dornan fumed: “The council do not want to be accused of a cover-up but this is how the decision might appear. “We are disappointed and believe a proper investigation should begin as soon as possible.”

8. April 6 2010; Lib-Lab pact veto inquiry into City Council

a. Councillor David Meikle, a Conservative Councillor on Glasgow City Council, on how his fellow Councillors have blocked an investigation into the Steven Purcell scandal. After weeks of speculation, rumour and allegation, Councillors finally got the chance to debate the recent scandal involving Purcell and Glasgow City Council. The Leader of the Opposition submitted a motion which called for a full statement by the acting Leader and an independent investigation into the affair. The motion was supported by the SNP, Green Party and me. However, after an hour long and bad tempered Council meeting, Labour and Liberal Democrat Councillors voted against the motion.

9. April 10 2010; Police probe former council leader Steven Purcell over £50k grant.

a. Drug shame council boss Steven Purcell is being probed over alleged corruption. It has been claimed the former Glasgow Council leader used undue influence to help friend and fellow Councillor Ruth Black win a £50,000 contract. An elite team of detectives are now investigating the claims, which it is understood follow a confidential tip-off this week to opposition SNP Councillors. The development is the first confirmed police involvement in the Purcell affair since his dramatic fall from grace last month. The 37-year-old political high-flier suffered a breakdown and details of his cocaine use emerged.

b. The Record understand a confidential source supplied the SNP with potentially incriminating information over the award of the running of the city’s publicly funded lesbian and gay drop-in centre. The Nats tipped off police, who put their Major Crimes and Terrorism Investigation Unit on the case. Officers are said to be examining claims about links between Purcell and Black, who friends say regularly socialised together. Glasgow City Council chief executive George Black and the council’s legal chief Ian Drummond have been made aware of the claims and ordered their own probe.

9. April 22 2010; John Mason Discusses Steven Purcell & Glasgow City Council

a. SNP Glasgow East Candidate John Mason discusses the recent allegations made against Glasgow City Council and former Council leader Steven Purcell, as well as Strathclyde Police’s decision to investigate matters, in his most recent video blog.

10. May 11 2010; Steven Purcell scandal refuses to disappear

a. Councillors in Glasgow have elected a new leader and hope the move will put an end to the recent revelations of sleaze and scandal which followed the resignation of former boss Steven Purcell. Councillor Matheson will now be handed the difficult task of rebuilding the reputation of the ruling Labour group on the council after the Purcell scandal saw it tainted by accusations of drug dealing, cronyism and links to the city’s criminal underworld. Openly gay and in a civil partnership with a long-standing partner, Mr Matheson admitted that there were “tough times ahead for the council” but insisted that he was “prepared to make the decisions”. Mr Matheson takes over from interim leader Jim Coleman, who has presided since the sudden departure of Mr Purcell, who resigned in March in one of the most bizarre political scandals of recent years.

11. June 4 2010; Steven Purcell quizzed by police over drug confession.

a. Disgraced former council boss Steven Purcell has been quizzed by police amid a probe into his admissions of drug-taking. The former Glasgow City Council leader spent several hours being questioned at a police station near his home. The probe is understood to be ongoing and is connected with his self-confessed cocaine use and other issues relating to his time as council leader. A family source said: “Steven returned home last week and was interviewed by Strathclyde Police about his admission of drug taking and other matters. “It was an intensive interview. We just have to wait and see what happens now.”

b. We revealed in April that detectives had launched an investigation into the ex-council boss. Police have been weighing up the case against the 37-year-old since he admitted in an interview that he took the class A drug. It is believed the inquiry will also cover allegations surrounding contracts awarded by the council. As well as questioning Purcell, who is believed to have been in Ireland, it’s thought detectives will quiz senior Councillors and top officials at the City Chambers. He could be reported to the procurator fiscal, who would decide if he should face trial. Purcell, who was tipped as a future first minister, stood down as Glasgow council leader in March, citing “stress and exhaustion”.

12. June 17 2010; Top Scots politician quits after lecherous comments about ‘dark, dusky’ girl, 15, in public gallery are picked up on parliament microphones

a. Labour MSP Frank McAveety has resigned from two high profile parliamentary positions after he was caught referring to a member of a parliamentary committee audience as “attractive” and “dark and dusky”.

b. McAveety is Labour’s former Sports Minister who championed the case for Sportscotland’s HQ to be relocated from Edinburgh to the Parkhead site of a new National Arena, despite 90% of Sportscotland’s employees expressing their desire to stay in Edinburgh,

c. McAveety is a season ticket holder at Celtic Park , as are Willie Haughey, Steven Purcell and Ron Culley. Jack McConnell is a regular guest.

d. McAveety, Haughey and Culley were at the forefront of the campaign for the M74 extension which improved Road links to Parkhead. 3 days after McConnell and McAveety announced the relocation of Sport Scotland to land adjacent to Celtic Park.

13. July 5 2010; Steven Purcell to take up new charity post.

a. Disgraced former Glasgow City Council leader Steven Purcell is to take up a role with a leading Scottish charity. Purcell resigned from his high-profile role in March amid drug and potential blackmail issues. But he will begin work for the Stewart and McKenna Foundation before the police probe into his activities is completed. The Daily Record exclusively revealed Purcell’s links to a Glasgow drop-in centre, The Castro gay and lesbian centre, on Saturday. It is frequented by convicted gun runner Paul Ferris and has other links to the Glasgow underworld.

b. In the wake of his resignation Purcell, 37, admitted to having “dabbled” with cocaine and underwent treatment at a rehab clinic. He had been touted as a political “star” and a possible future Labour leader in Scotland. Police began a probe in April but as yet no charges have been brought. Purcell has expressed an interest in doing voluntary work for charitable causes. The foundation was begun in 2004 by property developers Stephen McKenna and Allan Stewart. It funds charitable and social schemes in Burundi, Malawi, Kenya and even Moldova.

14. August 11 2010; What on earth is going on in Glasgow Council?

a. In February 2010, the gathering expenses furore at Strathclyde Partnership for Transport forces the resignation of chair Alistair Watson and chief executive Ron Culley.

b. In March 2010, Steven Purcell, the high-profile Labour Council leader resigns in the midst of a breakdown. He admits previous use of drugs and of being a potential blackmail target by Glasgow gangsters.

c. Controversy surrounds the publicly-owned company City Building, set up by Glasgow Council, and its donations to the Labour Party.

d. July 2010. Labour Councillor Ruth Black is sacked over financial irregularities at the council-funded gay and lesbian centre run by her.

e. August 2010. Labour Councillor Gilbert Davidson is arrested and charged for inappropriate behaviour towards fellow Councillors. It is claimed that Davidson sent offensive voice mails and text messages to former Lord Provost Liz Cameron. Davidson is suspended from the Labour group.

b. These bald facts are bad enough in themselves but, in many ways, they mask the real depth of the problems. The SPT controversy, for example, is much bigger than that simple line above suggests. It has always appeared to be a disturbing example of waywardness with expenses and an apparent disregard for taxpayers’ money which the public will no longer tolerate.

15. September 9 2010; MSP takes Glasgow City Council scandals to Holyrood

a. Anne McLaughlin, SNP MSP for the Glasgow region, has put down a motion to be debated in the Parliament about what she calls a “culture of silence” in Glasgow City Council’s Labour administration and amongst the party leadership. It comes on the back of the flood of scandals in Glasgow City Chambers in recent months. On top of this Labour Party Leader Iain Gray, and Shadow Scottish Secretary Jim Murphy MP, have ignored two letters from Glasgow SNP opposition leader Councillor James Dornan asking them to instigate an internal investigation within the Labour Party.

16. November 19 2010; What’s on the agenda tonight Councillors?

a. The convener of Scotland’s largest police authority was quizzed by cops after being nabbed in a well-known lovers’ lane with a married fellow Councillor. Officers went to investigate after spotting Stephen Curran and Anne McTaggart acting suspiciously in a car in Pollok Park, Glasgow, late at night.

Labour Party

The Sin of Silence in Sin City Glasgow Part 1- Up to 2008- Read it and Weep

1. The Sin of Silence in the Face of Wrong-Doing in Public Office Makes Cowards Out of Honest Men.

a. Glasgow City Council became one of the newly created single tier local authorities in 1996, under the Local Government etc. (Scotland) Act 1994,[1] with boundaries somewhat different from those of the City of Glasgow district of the Strathclyde region: parts of the Cambuslang and Halfway and Rutherglen and Fernhill areas were transferred from the city area to the new South Lanarkshire council area.

b. The district had been markedly expanded in 1975 under the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1973 to include: the former county of the city of Glasgow and a number of areas previously within the county of Lanark: Cambuslang (Central and North, and South lying outwith East Kilbride), Rutherglen (including the burgh of Rutherglen), part of a Carmunnock area (that lying outwith East Kilbride) and Baillieston, Carmyle, Garrowhill, Mount Vernon and Springboig.

c. Before the multi-seat 2007 election, there were 79 Councillors elected from 79 single-member wards by the plurality (first past the post) system of election. The result from this system was 69 of the 79 Councillors representing the Labour Party, although that party gained only around half the votes cast in the previous election to the council, and the Scottish National Party was represented by just four Councillors, despite gaining some 20% of the votes. There were also three Liberal Democrat Councillors, one Conservative Councillor, one Scottish Socialist Party Councillor, and one independent Councillor.

d. The most recent full council election took place on Thursday 3 May 2012. Labour retained overall majority control (45), with increased numbers for the Scottish National Party (27) and the Greens (5), while the Conservatives, Glasgow First and the Liberal Democrats each returned one Councillor. No Scottish Socialist Party, Solidarity or independent Councillors were returned.

2. September 24 1997; Labour Councillors face suspension

a. Allegations of corruption have swept through Labour councils across the country in the past few months. Labour is expected to take tough action against nine Glasgow Councillors accused of bringing the party into disrepute over allegations of junketing and misusing a council fund.
A report on the allegations is due to be presented today to Labour’s ruling National Executive Committee and is expected to show that there was widespread abuse in Glasgow of the way that conference trips and other visits were allocated to Councillors. It will also say that a special fund, the Common Good Fund, which is under the control of the provost, (the equivalent of mayor south of the border) was misused because it was used to allow Councillors to go on trips. The report is deeply critical of the whole management of the Labour- controlled council.

b. The report is based on interviews by a team of investigators with 37 of Labour’s 75 Councillors, but the publication of the report was delayed to ensure it did not interfere with the devolution vote. Four Councillors – Pat Lally, the provost, Bob Gould, the leader, Alex Mosson, the Deputy Provost, and Gordon MacDiarmid, the deputy leader – are all likely to be recommended for suspension. Five other Councillors, who do not hold senior positions on the council, are likely to be recommended for expulsion. Charges of bringing the party into disrepute are likely to be drawn up against all nine and passed to the party’s national constitutional committee which will decide what action to take.
Firm action is assured. Tony Blair is anxious to show that Labour will not tolerate sleaze in its ranks. Similar action is likely to be taken against Labour Councillors in Doncaster where investigations are being carried out by the police, the Labour party, the district auditor and the council itself.

3. January 25 1998; Labour’s wild west – Brian Deer investigates Glasgow politics

a. Tony Blair’s “New Labour” promised to sweep away the old ideology of a political party. In Labour’s Scottish heartlands and birthplace, traditional socialists were dealt with severely, as Brian Deer’s investigation revealed. This is the best in depth report on the sickness that was and still is the Labour run councils in the West of Scotland. 15 years after a clean-up, corruption and scandal are bye-words again.

4. May 18 1999; The past of Celtic Trust Chairman Alex Mosson

a. Convicted criminal Alex Mosson is the new Lord Provost of Glasgow. The Labour politician will become the public face of Scotland’s largest city despite convictions for assault and housebreaking. Colleagues in the Labour Group of Glasgow City Council voted by a clear majority for Mosson to take over the high-profile civic role, which will pay him pounds 24,000 a year of public money. Reformed alcoholic Mosson will also become Lord Lieutenant of Glasgow – the Queen’s official representative in the city. Last night, the 58-year-old said: ‘My colleagues have placed their trust in me and I won’t let them down. ‘I’m looking forward to working with a unified group and taking Glasgow into the Millennium. ‘I’ve overcome my past difficulties with the support of my family and today with the help of the Labour Party.’ It was revealed in the press that Mosson had been jailed for nine months for assault and six months for housebreaking.

b. 1999-2003 Alex Mosson – Lord Provost of Glasgow

i. It was the appointment in 1999 of Councillor Alex Mosson, who held the position of Lord Provost from then until 2003 that caused the biggest stir. A lifelong Celtic supporter, Mr. Mosson was the inaugural Chairman of The Celtic Trust and remained on the board of same for many years.

ii. He had four criminal convictions that led to custodial sentences. Two for housebreaking, one for assault and one for housebreaking with menaces (he tied-up and beat-up an elderly lady whose house he was robbing). In essence, he used to beat up and rob pensioners he later purported to represent as Lord Provost of Glasgow.

iii. At the time of his appointment as Lord Provost, otherwise unemployed Mosson lived in a plush Victorian home in Glasgow’s west end. It was said that his trade union involvement was farcical; he hadn’t worked for twenty-odd years – a full time Councillor on the make.

iv. Mosson’s wife (the then Lady Provost) caused uproar when she made an application and received an increase in her dress allowance from £8,000 to £14,000 per annum. She justified this by stating that the people of Glasgow wouldn’t want to be embarrassed by their Lady Provost appearing twice in the same outfit, in public on their behalf. His daughter also served as a Councillor.

v. The Mossons could be spotted as “guests of honour” at the Celtic Rally and their photographs were often to be found in The Celtic View, the peroxide Mrs. Mosson accompanying her husband whilst he received or presented awards. The four years of his tenure as Lord Provost cost the people of Glasgow a minimum of £250,000. In his case, crime would appear to pay.

vi. He caused further outrage when in 2005 after it was revealed that he used his taxpayer-funded chauffeur-driven car to attend Celtic Football Club matches, functions and supporters’ rallies during his time as Lord Provost. During that period, he attended no Rangers fixtures despite having an open invitation to visit Ibrox. His public engagements, revealed under Freedom of Information legislation, included the following:

vii. “36 Celtic home matches as Lord Provost; (Celtic) away matches at Paisley, Livingston and Liverpool; the testimonial ball, dinner and match held to mark the career of former Celtic player Tom Boyd; supporters’ rallies honouring Celtic captain Paul Lambert and former club physio Brian Scott; a Celtic charity event; a Celtic hall of fame dinner; a Celtic board meeting; an event in Ireland dedicated to ex-Celtic player Sean Fallon; a “civic lunch” in 1999 with the chief executive of Celtic; the funeral of former Celtic player Bobby Murdoch; an official council reception and lunch at the Corinthian in Glasgow, prior to the Republic of Ireland’s world cup match against Saudi Arabia.”

viii. As an impartial public servant sensitive to the views of all residents Mosson had an open invitation to attend football matches at both Parkhead and Ibrox, but chose only the former. Freedom of Information documents show that he attended no matches at Ibrox, while the small number of Rangers games he did attend involved Celtic as opponents. Of the six Ibrox functions identified from his list of engagements, Mosson failed to attend three of them. For all his Parkhead engagements, the City Daimler was put at Mossons disposal. The taxpayer funded his jaunts.

ix. After leaving office in 2003, he was appointed chair of the Glasgow Marketing Bureau, and promptly awarded a £200,000 contract to an established Glasgow business – The Trophy Centre which, at the time, was owned by a former Celtic Director (formerly owned by James Torbett – the monster at the head of the Celtic Boys Club child abuse scandal).

5. October 4 2004; ‘Piegate’ minister has his chips.

a. Frank McAveety may be left pondering whether a ministerial sacking, like revenge, is a dish best served cold. The Glasgow MSP once again finds himself without portfolio after being dumped by First Minister Jack McConnell for the second time. As culture minister, he found himself in the firing line over controversial cuts at Scottish Opera. But many feel that his downfall was hastened by a canteen dinner which left him late for parliament. That gaffe came only days after Mr McAveety was left with egg on his face after a two anti-war protestors were cleared of terrorizing him in the street. Mr McAveety said he had felt the “worst intimidation in his life” while canvassing on Glasgow’s south-side – but a sheriff said that he “must live a very sheltered life”.

6. June 14 2007; Former Boys And Girls Abused – Scandal of Kerelaw

a. Forty care workers preyed either sexually or physically on Scottish children in what is one of Britain’s biggest abuse scandals, a report will reveal today. A three-year investigation has found “a significant core of staff” at Kerelaw residential unit in Ayrshire were directly involved. They preyed on some of the most troubled and troubling youngsters in the country, sometimes in the full knowledge of colleagues and superiors amid “a culture of fear and collusion”. Glasgow City Council, which ran Kerelaw, will today publish its first full report on what happened at the school. It will also issue a chilling warning that some of the workers it believes were involved are still working in Scotland’s care sector.

7. June 22 2008; Council threatens to throw the book at author

a. Scotland’s biggest council and a former lord provost are threatening legal action over explosive claims in a new book that corruption and hypocrisy are widespread. Niall Walker, a former Liberal Democrat Councillor in Glasgow, has attempted to take revenge on his Labour enemies in a hard-hitting, self-published book which has made its way on to the shelves of at least one major bookstore in the city.

b. Halls Of Infamy, which is also available online, is littered with Walker’s claims of alleged malpractice he encountered during four years in the city chambers. But Glasgow City Council last night hit back, revealing it was consulting lawyers about whether to take action over the claims. Borders bookstore said it would decide tomorrow whether to remove the 4.95, 120-page paperback from its shelves.

8. 13 July 2008; Eleven Glasgow Labour Councillors Under Investigation

a. Eleven Labour Glasgow City Councillors, including Councillor George Ryan, who suddenly pulled out of the contest to represent Labour in the crucial Glasgow East by-election, were reported to the Standards on 18 June 2008 in connection with a controversial land deal in the city centre.

b. The complaint surrounded their conduct in relation to the controversial attempt to close down the 150 year old Paddy’s Market in the city and obtain land on which the market is currently located. The complaint which was submitted to the Standards Commission of Scotland by a representative of Paddy’s Market traders claimed that Councillor Ryan misled the council in a report he presented to the council’s Executive Committee which recommended the council purchase the head lease of the land where the market is situated and for the historic Paddy’s Market to be closed down.

c. The report which was presented by Councillor Ryan at a meeting on 20 March 2008, and subsequently led to the council’s endorsement of its recommendations, stated that the owners of the land had agreed to provide the lease at a reduced rate to the Council. However, the forty page complaint document submitted to the Standards Commission included information that clearly indicated that no such deal had been made with the council. Councillor Ryan also faces investigation for other breaches of the Code of Conduct in relation to this matter along with ten other high profile Glasgow City Council Labour Councillors including the Council leader, Steven Purcell.

d. Paddy’s Market representative, Brian Daly said: “This market has been here for over 150 years, and my family has been trading here for three generations. The Labour Councillors who are intent on closing us down have failed in their responsibilities as elected members to engage with us at any time in relation to this. They have, instead, chosen to make backroom decisions and bulldozer them through without any regard for the democratic process. “The whole affair has been one of misrepresentation of the facts to the public, the media and to the council itself. We live in a democratic society yet, some of those who we trust to carry out duties on our behalf have chosen to make decisions and disregard the wishes of the electorate.”

e. “Labour Councillors refused to share vital information with other elected members from other political parties who also represent this area or include them in the vital stages of the decision making process. Instead there has been a sustained approach by some Labour Councillors and council officials to make unsupported claims both in council and through the media locally in an attempt to gain public and council support for their project. “Elected members who behave in such a way should and must be held fully accountable for their actions, and whilst it would be inappropriate for me to preempt the findings of the Standard Commission investigation, I believe the evidence against those Councillors involved is pretty damning. We won’t put up with the bully boy tactics of the council any longer. We very much look forward to the outcome of the investigation.”

f. The other ten Labour Councillors have been reported to the Standards Commission are: Councillor Steven Purcell – Council Leader Councillor James Coleman – Deputy Leader of the Council Councillor Aileen Colleran – Council Business Manager Councillor Stephen Curran – City Treasurer Bailie Gordon Matheson – local Councillor for Paddy’s Market Bailie Hanzala Malik Councillor Stephen Doran Councillor Archie Graham Councillor Ruth Simpson Councillor Shaukat Butt.