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.


One reply on “The Sin of Silence in Sin City Glasgow Part 1- Up to 2008- Read it and Weep”

Ashamed that Alex Mosson is related to me. They thought they were the best when the family split several generations ago!!! Just shows who was the better people.


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