Uncaring Craig Miller – Labour Party Parliamentary Assistant to Dr Simpson – Hung His Nurse – Model Girlfriend Out to Dry

 

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Nurse Suzanne Hunter

 

 

4 September 2014: – Better Together Team member Suzanne Hunter issued a statement through the, “No” campaign official blog

“As a nurse I understand the health issues that affect families across Scotland. I also understand that the higher level of public spending in Scotland gives us an advantage in getting to the root cause of these issues. After all, that public spending allows us to tackle the specific needs of Scotland with the allocation of that spending being decided by the Scottish Parliament.

Like every Scot, I’m incredibly proud of our NHS. Since 1999 the NHS has been under control of the Scottish Parliament. The decisions about how the public spending on Scottish hospitals is made in Scotland by people who understand the specific health concerns that affect us. The Scottish Parliament enjoys devolved powers over the NHS in Scotland – so it will be future Scottish Parliaments which decide the shape of our service.

Since devolution meant that all decisions over the health system in Scotland were made here in Scotland, we’ve made huge strides in improving the health of people in this country. We’ve seen a ban introduced on smoking in public places as well as the introduction of free personal care for our elderly. As part of the UK, Scotland’s yearly health spending is over £200 per person higher than it is in England.

So far so good but now the twaddle:

Yet under separation, impartial experts suggest that Scotland would face between £3 billion and £10 billion worth of cuts or tax rises. Even the NHS could not escape the inevitable cuts that would come from such an upheaval in our public finances.

I want to see that investment continue to tackle health inequalities in Scotland. I don’t want to see problems worsened by cuts to the budget to fund separation.

The NHS epitomises Scottish and British values in one institution. We care for our vulnerable and sick with no questions asked and no charged levied. These values would persist in a separate Scotland but our means to realise them might not.

Under devolution we can steer Scotland’s NHS in the direction we want it to go but backed up by the larger UK economy. As part of the UK, Scottish patients can get the best of both worlds: excellent treatment in this country’s hospitals while also having access to specialist treatment our families need across the UK.

Only separation puts this at risk. As a nurse I understand the health issues that affect families across Scotland. I also understand that the higher level of public spending in Scotland gives us an advantage in getting to the root cause of these issues.

https://web.archive.org/web/20140914213127/http://bettertogether.net/blog/entry/the-economics-of-independence-sometimes-its-the-funding-that-matters-most

 

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Comment: Suzanne nailed her colours to the mast of, “Better Together” which was entirely proper since whilst identiying herself as a nurse she was not in uniform and had every right to express her opinion since it was entirely apolitical.

The referendum over and done with Suzanne got off the fence and openly declared her allegiance, (when off-duty) to the labour Party.

This took her into the political world and her activities required careful handling on the part of her political masters so as to ensure her new public profile did not place her at risk of contravening any of the many rules of conduct to which her employment and profession bind her.

They failed in many respects and when Suzanne was exposed, ducked and dived and dodged and weaved, seeking to wrap their failures in a cloak of anonymity.

When this strategy failed they released the dogs of war against the person that displayed excellent integrity at the time he shared the information with his blog readers.

 

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25 February 2015: The undeniable

Below to the left is part of a Scottish Labour election leaflet that’s currently being put through Scottish letterboxes, featuring an alleged quote from an alleged NHS Scotland nurse identified as “Suzanne” from Clackmannanshire. On the right is the “CastingNow” profile of an actress named only as “Suzanne” from Clackmannanshire, who describes herself saying: “I’m very good at making people believe things which aren’t true hence why I’ve always been told to pursue acting.”

 

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Let us examine the leaflets:

While they have very similarly-shaped faces and features, we have no idea whether the two Suzannes are the same person or if it’s just a strange and potentially amusing coincidence. But the point is, there’s no way of finding out. Labour Suzanne doesn’t talk much like a normal person. She talks, curiously enough, exactly like a political party leaflet.

She appears in her NHS uniform, something that numerous NHS employees have told us is not permitted for real nurses because it would link NHS Scotland itself to a party-political campaign. (We haven’t yet been able to find out for sure if such actions are banned, partly because NHS Scotland weirdly doesn’t seem to have a website, but it’d be unusual for any public-sector employee to be allowed to promote a party while in uniform.

But while not specifically prohibiting politics, the Scottish NHS dress code does stipulate that staff should in general not wear their uniform off-duty.)

Neither of our two Suzannes has a surname, making them difficult to verify, although Labour’s ostensibly shows her face so it can’t be in order to protect her identity.

Nowhere on the leaflet does it suggest that the photo has been posed by an actress. And we know that the law permits political parties to lie freely in election literature.

So it would be perfectly possible for Scottish Labour to have put an actress in an NHS uniform, invented a completely fake quote for her to say, and put it on a leaflet to create the impression that NHS staff backed Labour, all without ever admitting that not a single word of it was actually true.

We haven’t a clue whether that’s the case here or not. But we suspect we’re not alone in being disturbed by the fact that if it was we’d have no way of knowing. Alone among advertisers, political parties can invent fake people out of thin air, create opinions for them, and pass them off as being absolutely real without any fear of detection. (Unless they make a completely incompetent arse of it, of course.)

It’s an odd way to run a democracy. We can only hope that if Labour ever finds itself in a position to implement Jim Murphy’s “1000 more nurses than however many the SNP say” pledge, none of them will be imaginary. http://wingsoverscotland.com/the-unrefuteables/
Comment:

But Suzanne  is a close personal friend of Craig Miller who works for Dr Richard Simpson MSP, Shadow public health Minister for the Labour Party.   https://twitter.com/craigmiller1986

 

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The nurse and the model are one and the same, she temps for the Sonia Scott Model Agency. http://www.alltalentuk.co.uk/?action=listingview&listingID=417

 

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The views she expresses in the numerous leaflets, now in circulation might well be heartfelt but she was unprofessional expressing them through Labour Party leaflet campaigns whilst wearing the full uniform of an NHS nurse a clear breach of protocol.

 

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Further evidence she his both persons is contained in two posts to her friend Aaron Harper, from Auchie: http://archive.bebo.com/Profile.jsp?MemberId=2224510768

 

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Aaron Harper

 

 

Post 1: Love for u… I’m still nursing, wouldn’t give that up, have a mortgage 2 pay haha. I’m only modelling in my spare time, have a few jobs lined up. Just fancy doing something 2 make me feel good about myself and the extra cash will be nice 2 ha. Wot u doing with urself now a days? U still living in Sauchie? x

 

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Post 2: The story?! Come on Aaron, u know the story, start 2 finish. Haha Wasn’t satisfied with treating heart attacks, wanted 2 be the cause of them 2 haha. Wot u been up 2? Any half naked pics u want 2 show me??? xxx

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25 February 2015: Thrown to the wolves

Before we start, let’s make this plain: we will NOT be submitting any sort of complaint to any healthcare body regarding what we’re about to discuss, and we ask readers not to either. When push comes to shove, we don’t want nurses losing their jobs. Once again, we reiterate: we will not be submitting any complaints and we urge readers not to either. But contrary to Unionist and media assertion, this site does NOT control every angry cybernat in Scotland.

These leaflets have been put through untold thousands of doors and disseminated widely online. The information is already out there and there’s nothing we can do to stop it. We just wish Scottish Labour felt the same way. Earlier today we ran a piece exploring a theme we’ve covered several times on Wings – the unique freedom of political parties to lie with impunity. By way of example we showed a Scottish Labour election leaflet depicting an NHS nurse, who we suggested might been posed by an actress, for several reasons outlined in the article.

 

 

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The broad point having been made, we were happy to leave it at that. But this afternoon Scottish Labour’s shadow health minister, Dr Richard Simpson, posted the above tweet, angrily insisting that the woman in the leaflet WAS a real Scottish NHS nurse. A number of alert readers tracked her down on several “Better Together” leaflets, and it became apparent that her full name was Suzanne Duncan. Ms Duncan was an active participant in the No campaign. She even appeared in her own blog on the “Better Together” website, talking about the NHS and how it was devolved to Scotland.

This clear understanding of the principles of devolution makes it slightly odd that Suzanne is also to be seen on an election leaflet, saying that she’ll be voting for Scottish Labour in a WESTMINSTER election “because they’re the only party who can get rid of the Tories and pull our NHS back from the brink”.

She also appeared in a BT leaflet alongside the claim that a No vote would “secure the future of the NHS” – though we should note that those words aren’t attributed to her directly – and in several others from the No camp.

 

 

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But all this is by the by. Suzanne Duncan is perfectly entitled to believe and campaign for whatever political ends she likes, no matter how confused. She is, after all, hardly alone in Labour when it comes to telling Scots that the NHS was totally safe as long as Scotland stayed in the Union, then suddenly deciding that, having won that No vote, it was in deadly peril after all.

Hurray! Scotland voted No! The NHS is safe, right? Oh. But as we say, that’s all fine. Lying, as we established in this morning’s piece, is something political parties are allowed to do.

 

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But for NHS employees to campaign for political parties in identifiable NHS uniforms, not so much. That, we presume, is why all the “Better Together” material featuring Nurse Duncan was very careful to cover up the NHS Scotland logo on her tunic.

Scottish Labour, however, aren’t that competent or conscientious. None of which would have mattered if Richard Simpson had been able to keep his mouth shut. Anyone who saw our article would have come away thinking she was probably an actress and leaving it at that. But by compounding Labour’s ineptitude in leaving the logo on the leaflet, by insisting on shouting all over the internet that in fact she’s a real nurse, Simpson (and his equally brainless parliamentary assistant Craig Miller) have dropped poor Suzanne Duncan right in it.  https://twitter.com/Craigmiller1986/status/472337169747820544

 

 

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Once again, we reiterate: we will not be submitting any complaints and we urge readers not to either. But contrary to Unionist and media assertion, this site does NOT control every angry cybernat in Scotland. These leaflets have been put through untold thousands of doors and disseminated widely online. The information is already out there and there’s nothing we can do to stop it. http://www.sehd.scot.nhs.uk/mels/CEL2010_42.pdf   http://www.nmc-uk.org/Documents/Standards/The-code-A4-20100406.pdf paras 59-61

 

We hope – sincerely – that nobody is bitter and poisoned enough to act maliciously. But if they do, the responsibility for it will lie squarely with the hate-blinded, tribal idiots of Scottish Labour, and with Dr Richard Simpson.

When your crazed loathing of the SNP has driven you so demented you start risking the livelihoods of young Scottish nurses, perhaps it’s time you stopped and had a long hard look at yourself in a mirror. http://wingsoverscotland.com/thrown-to-the-wolves/

 

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25 February 2015: The Daily Record attacks: Wings Over Scotland website fuels hatred and paranoia

The vicious underbelly to the independence campaign was on display again in an unwarranted attack on an NHS nurse who happens to have appeared on a Labour leaflet. Suzanne Hunter is the latest victim of a campaign being waged on behalf of Scottish nationalism from Somerset, 300 miles away. She is not a Labour Party member or activist, just a decent woman who cares passionately about the NHS.

 

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The Wings Over Scotland website seized on Suzanne’s photograph and published it next to the casting profile of an actress, hinting that they may be the same person. The two women do not look like each other in any way, but the mere suggestion of being duped was enough to trigger a torrent of vile abuse against an innocent woman from unthinking cybernats. This brand of politics isn’t unique to Scotland, though it has no parallel in the rest of the UK. It has echoes of far-right US Republicanism that seeks to undermine anyone with an opposite view by inciting online mobs, hatred and vilification.

 

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This is a world of conspiracy theories, hatred and paranoia. This is a brand of nationalism that seeks to peddle falsehoods and unfounded allegations against anyone who isn’t a believer. It is nasty, sewage politics that debases public life. And yet the Wings Over Scotland is cited as an authoritative source by some leading SNP figures who really should know better. Newspapers are quite properly accountable – in public – for any mistakes they make. Indeed, we carry such a correction on our website’s home page today.

Those who peddle insults from cyberspace aren’t bound by the same standards of accuracy and responsibility. Yet they are, for better or worse, associated with a nationalist movement that will inevitably be judged by the company it keeps. With friends like these, no nationalist needs to make up enemies.

 

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Comment: The content of the Daily Record article is poorly presented and contains many errors of fact:

“she is not a Labour Party member or activist, just a decent woman who cares passionately about the NHS.”

Almost entirely incorrect, the only part which has a ring of truth is her decency and passion for the NHS. She is actively involved providing support to the labour Party and their general election campaign, witnessed by her active participation, posing for political leaflets and allowing added comment critical of her employers, to be attributed to herself.

“The Wings Over Scotland website seized on Suzanne’s photograph and published it next to the casting profile of an actress, hinting that they may be the same person. The two women do not look like each other in any way, but the mere suggestion of being duped was enough to trigger a torrent of vile abuse against an innocent woman from unthinking cybernats”

 

suzanne

 

Factually incorrect. Comment about her photograph and the casting profile of an actress does not hint that they are one and the same person. It categorically states that they are the same person, which is indeed the truth. Suzanne moonlights from her position as a nurse and works for the, “Sonia Scott Agency”.

“Newspapers are quite properly accountable – in public – for any mistakes they make. Indeed, we carry such a correction on our website’s home page today.”

I fully expect another, “correction” will be forthcoming in view of the foregoing untruths.

 

 

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26 February 2015: The comical furore about The Nurse Who Definitely Isn’t An Actress shows no signs of making sense any time soon.

24 hours and several demented pages of hysterical tabloid shrieking later, we’re still not sure whether a No activist and Labour supporter from Clackmannanshire is called Suzanne Duncan (as “Better Together” called her until at least June last year) or “Suzanne Hunter” (as the Daily Record calls her), though a bit of Facebook detective work suggests the latter. We do at least seem to have cleared up her employment history, as the Daily Record has now very quietly and subtly changed its article of last night, which claimed she’d worked for eight years at a hospital that’s only been open for five. But a whole bundle of other questions remain unanswered.

The most immediately intriguing is “Who’s been Photoshopping her uniform?” Below are three pictures of Suzanne. The one on the left is from a “Better Together” leaflet from last year, the middle one is from a Labour “vote No” leaflet just before the referendum, and the one on the right is from Labour’s NHS leaflet of this week.

 

 

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We say “three pictures”, but in fact they’re clearly all the same one. You can tell by the crease lines on her tunic, the position of her watch clip and, well, everything else. But there’s one significant difference. Where “Better Together” appear to have airbrushed out the NHS Scotland logo, presumably to stop the nurse getting in trouble for politicising her job in contravention of the rules for public-sector employees, Scottish Labour haven’t bothered. (At first, judging by a poorer-quality scan, we suspected that they might have crudely Photoshopped the logo ON, but the one above from a high-resolution original looks like the real version.)

Nurses are entitled to hold any political views they like, and to campaign for them in their spare time like anyone else, but they’re not supposed to do so in uniform. By carelessly failing to edit out the logo, and by then ensuring that the offending picture was blared all across the internet and the print media, Scottish Labour and the Daily Record have used her and then abandoned her up a creek without a paddle. But we pointed all that out yesterday, along with the reason.

The Record gives around three times as much space to its screaming, fuming editorial about a website suggesting a political party might have used an actress on a leaflet as it does to “correcting”, in a tiny box under the weather and the lottery numbers, the fact that it told Scots a TWENTY BILLION POUND lie on its front page just a few months ago, and inquisitive readers might wonder why.

 

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There isn’t even the pretence of a fauxpology, or an explanation of how a senior political journalist could have so spectacularly misinterpreted the Smith Commission as to imagine that the UK government was going to hand Scotland an annual £20bn bonanza of free extra cash in the midst of savage austerity. While the Record explodes with fabricated rage across a full-page story and a lead editorial about someone saying they didn’t know if two people were the same or not – risking a nurse’s livelihood as they do so – they bury in a corner the fact that they told a gigantic front-page lie about a sum of money that would cover the entire yearly budget of NHS Scotland twice over, and they don’t even say sorry.

The Record bleats that sites like this one “aren’t bound by the same standards of accuracy and responsibility” that newspapers are. But we said absolutely nothing about Suzanne Duncan/Hunter that was inaccurate, and we didn’t insult or abuse her in any way. Unlike the Record and Scottish Labour, we didn’t put her job on the line. We have nothing to apologise for. The Daily Record, meanwhile, very much does, but it doesn’t seem to want to, and the toothless press watchdog is happy to let it off with a microscopic weasel-worded “correction” no bigger than the NHS Scotland logo that Scottish Labour forgot to airbrush off a nurse’s uniform.

And the reason for the massive smokescreen might be that the Record’s lie about the Smith Commission is still present on its website. On this page, at the time of writing, you can still see the paragraph claiming a 50% boost to the Holyrood budget which was deleted from the original story after we alerted IPSO, and which the Record admits isn’t true.

 

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Also there is the equally-false line about “billions of pounds of extra tax and spending” which can still be found on the “corrected” original page – which this morning carries no notification whatsoever of the correction, despite IPSO saying that it would. So to recap: the Record’s original page still carries a major lie, another page on its website features that lie as well as an even bigger one that the paper claimed to have removed, and there are no links on either of them to the pitiful “correction”. Readers of the paper’s website will still come away with the completely wrong impression that the Smith Commission proposals would mean billions of pounds more for Scotland.

We’re not even going to get into the wider morality of being lectured on ethics by the newspaper group responsible for mass-scale phone hacking or the commonplace intimidation of innocent members of the public. But we promise the Daily Record that it can monster us as much as it likes. We’re going to keep right on watching it, along with the rest of the Scottish press, and every time it lies to the people of Scotland we’ll be there to tell them about it. http://wingsoverscotland.com/the-plot-stupids/

 

 

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26 February 2015: the-nurse-who-wasnt-an-actress/

Suzanne Hunter States: “I have been made out to be a hypocrite, like someone who represents myself to be something I’m not.” Probably just another coincidence, we imagine.

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http://wingsoverscotland.com/the-nurse-who-wasnt-an-actress/

 

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27 February 2015: Ranting cybernats who posted hate messages about young NHS nurse are slapped down by First Minister

The First Minister today slapped down cybernats who tried to get a young nurse hauled over the coals for appearing on a Labour political leaflet. Nicola Sturgeon said Suzanne Hunter was entitled to express her own views on the NHS – despite trolls on the Wings Over Scotland website demanding she be disciplined by hospital bosses. The furore broke after site’s founder Stuart Campbell posted a photo of Suzanne, 28, alongside an actress, who looked nothing like her, and suggested they could be the same person.

 

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The false comparison sparked a host of bullying comments and vicious accusations that Suzanne, an NHS hospital nurse for the last eight years, was a fraud. Speaking through her official spokesman, Sturgeon condemned the bullies and distanced herself from Campbell.

The spokesman said of Suzanne: “It’s entirely acceptable for her to have a political view.” He went on: “The First Minister has repeatedly, unequivocally condemned abuse of any kind whoever the victim, whoever the perpetrator. You cannot be more categoric than than. “She condemns it. Full stop.”

http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/politics/ranting-cybernats-who-posted-hate-5239329

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Comment: I read over many comments posted to the blog article. A very small minority, from many hundreds of posts may have voiced contrary views but they were speedily asked to moderate their opinions by others in compliance with the wishes of the blog owner so as not to upscale matters. I take issue with the comment of the Daily Record, “The false comparison sparked a host of bullying comments and vicious accusations that Suzanne, an NHS hospital nurse for the last eight years, was a fraud”.

 

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At no time did anyone accuse Suzanne of being a fraud. Quite the reverse. All those who participated expressed the view that Suzanne had been badly let down by her Labour Party masters who should not have compromised her nursing career, posting party political brochures nationwide with her featuring prominently dressed in her Nursing uniform whilst participating in political activities in contravention of the NHS dress code and professional standards of behaviour which expressly forbid it.

 

 

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NHS Nurse and part time actress Suzanne Hunter

Labour Party Property Rental Scam – Labour MP’s Recover Costs of Rental From The Taxpayer – Monies Received Are Transferred To the Labour Party. Millions To Labour Annually And They Pay No tax

 

They way they were

 

 

 

 

Labour Party rents property To Labour MP’s who recover the cost of said rental from the taxpayer

Expenses scandals just will not go away – Labour Party rents property To Labour MP’s who recover the cost of said rental from the taxpayer – monies received go back to labour, nice one, and we are talking millions annually. The SNP highlighted, in 2001 the hypocrisy of the practice. But Westminster continued with and expanded the activities. Adding insult to the abuse of the taxpayer LLP, the Labour Party company responsible failed to pay any form of tax in the last 8 years.

 

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14 February 1977; Hansard- Westminster Labour Party Properties Ltd.

Mr. Ridley – asked the Secretary of State for Trade if he will initiate an inquiry under Section 32 of the Companies Act 1967 into the affairs of Labour Party Properties Ltd.

Mr. Clinton Davis – This is a company limited by guarantee and, in the absence of issued share capital, the directors cannot be in breach of the disclosure provisions of Section 32 of the 1967 Act. There are, therefore, no grounds for such an inquiry.

Mr. Ridley – Is the hon. Gentleman aware that in addition to this problem the company seems to have been appallingly badly managed, leading to possible negligence by the directors? Now that it is insolvent and probably trading illegally, does he not think that he should put aside any party bias and appoint inspectors to see what has gone wrong in this disastrous example of a property flop? Full report here: http://hansard.millbanksystems.com/commons/1977/feb/14/labour-party-properties-ltd#column_13

 

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9 December 2001; MPs’ rent funds Labour’s £6.5m property company

Expenses claimed by Labour MPs to pay rent on their offices have helped a subsidiary of the party build a property portfolio worth nearly £6.5 million. Labour Party Properties Ltd is wholly owned by the party and is registered at its Millbank headquarters in London. It owns in excess of 20 UK offices that are let to MPs.

Much of the money to buy property comes from Rent paid by the House of Commons fees office or the allowances office of the Scottish Parliament. Labour says no money is transferred from the company to the Labour Party, though there is nothing to prevent it using the funds as collateral, a Millbank spokesman said this was not happening. ‘The assets are not used for securing our overdraft or any other finance,’ he said. LPP manager said the company sold properties, ‘from time to time’, but added that any profit stayed within the company. The company, which had a rental income of £320,000 in 2000, made a loss of £70,000 last year compared with a profit of £42,000 in 1999. This could be down to purchases made.

Mid Lothian Labour MSP Rhona Brankin rents her council-owned constituency office in Dalkeith through LPP, but claims it saves the taxpayer money because it means the rent is cheaper. The company, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Labour Party, owns the constituency offices of Aberdeen South MP Anne Begg, and Kilmarnock and Loudoun MP Des Browne. It is selling a property in West Bromwich, valued at the end of last year at £84,000 – up £20,000 since December 1999.

 

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An SNP Spokesman said, ‘This is quite unacceptable. The reality is that purchase of property for profit by the Labour Party is being done using public funds. It has happened in individual constituencies from time to time, but this is a national scheme which has been going on for years and nobody knew anything.’ http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2001/dec/09/scotland.devolution

 

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22 August 2013; Labour’s property firm paid no tax for eight years

LLP, a property company run by the Labour Party has paid no tax in eight years, despite earning millions of pounds in rental revenues.The company last paid tax in 2003, when its bill was £22,000. It recorded profits in 2006 and 2009, but did not pay any tax in those years thanks to carried-forward losses.

Experts said the administration costs appeared to be unusually high and said that a property portfolio of that size, if operated on commercial terms, could normally be expected to make a return of around 3-4 per cent a year. Last year’s administrative expenses of £305,000 included a £36,000 administration charge to the Labour Party, £37,000 in staffing costs, £2,000 of auditor’s costs and £100,000 in other ‘legal and professional’ charges. The company also paid £70,000 in interest on a £3.5m loan from the Labour Party.

 

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“Someone is making some fat money out of them. These are high, high costs,” said one commercial mortgage broker who reviewed the accounts. A tax accountant added: “The administrative expenses look very high for the rental income. That is the reason they have not been paying any tax, because the rental income does not cover the costs.”. A Labour Party spokesman declined to say why it did not cut its administrative costs. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/labour/10260728/Labours-property-firm-paid-no-tax-for-eight-years.html

 

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23 August 2013; HMRC asked to investigate expenses that gave Labour firm eight taxless years

Charlie Elphicke, a former tax lawyer, has written to HMRC to ask whether it will open an investigation into Labour Party Properties Ltd (LPPL), a property investment firm wholly owned by the party which operates a £6.3m rental portfolio. Yesterday the Daily Telegraph revealed the firm, whose directors include Iain McNicol, Labour’s General Secretary, received £8.7m in rents between 2004 and 2011 but paid no corporation tax after reporting a string of losses.

In the two years where the company made a profit, carried-over losses meant it paid no tax. It last paid tax in 2003. The Labour Party insisted the firm had done nothing to intentionally cut its tax bill. Ed Miliband has frequently attacked corporate giants including Starbucks and Google who are accused of failing to pay their full share of tax through artificial structures.

Mr Elphicke, the MP for Dover and Deal, has asked Lin Homer, the chief executive of HRMC, to investigate a series of “administration expenses” that wiped out the company’s profit. Last year the company earned £1.19m in rental income. Property expenses came to £1.14m leaving a gross profit of £49,000. But administrative expenses of £305,000 meant the company recorded a loss of £256,000. As a result, it paid no tax. Those charges included a £36,000 ‘administration charge’ to the Labour Party, £70,000 interest on a £3.5m loan from the Labour Party, £100,000 in legal and professional charges, £2,000 auditing fees and £37,000 in staffing costs.

 

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Experts said those costs appeared “very high” for a company of this size, which under normal circumstances should create a profit of 3 to 4 per cent a year. In a letter sent this afternoon Mr Elphicke said: “The level of tax avoidance by multinational enterprises and big businesses is a deep concern to me. Having reviewed the Labour Party Properties Ltd accounts a number of issues have arisen which I believe HMRC should investigate.” “The administrative costs were why no tax had to be paid. In view of this, has HMRC verified that the costs are appropriate and justifiable?”

He added: “While I understand that the normal procedure is for companies to file their accounts on trust, after auditing. However I believe HMRC have the power to make enquiries and investigate where expenses are claimed that throw up anomalies. Can you therefore let me know whether HMRC has undertaken an investigation and, if not, whether it now will to ensure that this company has paid its fair share of taxes.” http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/labour/10263347/HMRC-asked-to-investigate-expenses-that-gave-Labour-firm-eight-taxless-years.html

 

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14 November 2013; Re-Renting Name and Shame: 62 Labour Re-Renters

Rushanara Ali: Tower Hamlets Labour Party
Adrian Bailey: Labour Party Properties Ltd
Hugh Bayley: City of York Constituency Labour Party
Tom Blenkinsop: Guisborough Labour Party
Ben Bradshaw: Exeter Labour Party
Lyn Brown: West Ham Constituency Labour Party
Russell Brown: Labour Party Properties Ltd
Chris Bryant: Rhondda Labour Party
Karen Buck: Westminster North Constituency Labour Party
Ronnie Campbell: Blyth Valley Constituency Labour Party
Martin Caton: Gower Constituency Labour Party
Michael Connarty: Linithgow and East Falkirk Labour Party
Rosie Cooper: West Lancashire Constituency Labour Party
Mary Creagh: Labour Party Properties Ltd
Stella Creasy: Walthamstow Constituency Labour Party
Nic Dakin: Labour Party Properties Ltd
Geraint Davies: Swansea West Labour Party
John Denham: Labour Party Properties Ltd
Brian Donohoe: Ayrshire Central Labour Party
Jim Dowd: Lewisham West & Penge Labour Party
Clive Efford: Eltham Labour Party
Paul Farrelly: Newcastle-under-Lyme Labour Party
Mike Gapes: Labour Hall Ilford Ltd
Helen Goodman: Bishop Auckland Labour Party
Peter Hain: Neath Constituency Labour Party
Fabian Hamilton: Leeds North East Labour Party
Kelvin Hopkins: Luton Labour Parties
Cathy Jamieson: Labour Party Properties Ltd
Graham Jones: Hyndburn Constituency Labour Party
Tessa Jowell: Dulwich and West Norwood Labour Party
Alan Keen: Feltham and Heston Labour Party
Liz Kendall: Leicester West Labour Party
Sadiq Khan: Tooting Labour Party
Ian Lavery: Wansbeck Constituency Labour Party
Andrew Love: Edmonton Labour Party Trust
Fiona Mactaggart: Slough Labour Memorial Hall Ltd
Seema Malhotra: Feltham and Heston Labour Party
Kerry McCarthy: Labour Party Properties Ltd
Siobhain McDonagh: Merton and Morden Labour Halls Ltd
John McDonnell: Hayes Labour Hall
Ann McGuire: Labour Party Properties Ltd
Fiona O’Donnell: East Lothian Labour Party
Albert Owen: Ynys Mon Constituency Labour Party
Teresa Pearce: Erith & Thamesmead Labour Party
Toby Perkins: Chesterfield Labour Club
Dawn Primarolo: Bristol South Labour Party
Yasmin Qureshi: Bolton District Labour Party
Nick Raynsford: Greenwich and Woolwich Labour Party
Chris Ruane: Labour Party Properties Ltd
Gavin Shuker: Luton Labour Properties Ltd
Andy Slaughter: Hammersmith Labour Party
Nick Smith: Blaenau Gwent Labour Party
John Spellar: Brandhall Labour Club Ltd
Gareth Thomas: Harrow West Labour Party
Emily Thornberry: Islington South Labour Party
Karl Turner: East Hull Labour Party
Tom Watson: Labour Party Properties Ltd
Alan Whitehead: Labour Party Properties Ltd
Rosie Winterton: Doncaster Labour Club
Mike Wood: Spenborough Labour Parties
John Woodcock: Barrow and Furness Labour Party
Iain Wright: Hartlepool Labour Party

12 funnel taxpayer cash to the imaginatively-named “Labour Party Properties Ltd” http://order-order.com/2013/11/14/re-renting-name-and-shame-62-labour-re-renters/

 

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Battle For The Hearts And Minds Of Dundee – Supporters Air Their Views And The SNP Is Winning The Argument

HIGHLAND HEARTBEAT

 

29 January 2015: Brian Cox’s defection to the SNP is a hammer blow for Jim Murphy and Labour

Given the enthusiasm with which Brian Cox campaigned for a Yes vote during the referendum campaign, his decision to quit Labour for the SNP may not seem surprising. It is significant, though that Jim Murphy has made big play of wanting his party to be a place both Yes and No voters feel comfortable since becoming leader north of the border. His mantra has been that Labour values still run strong and people should put constitutional politics to one side and focus on other policies. Cox’s decision to quit – slamming the party’s, “empty rhetoric” accusing it of selling out in the process – severely dents those hopes.

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Providing voice overs for Tony Blair and Jack McConnell during previous election campaigns means Cox has by no means been a back seat supporter of Labour. And, as one of the most popular and effective celebrities when it came to campaigning for independence, his defection to the SNP is a hammer blow to Labour’s narrative. It is another blow to the party as it fights for its electoral life amid desperate polling figures for May’s general election. The Holywood actor’s declaration may not in itself seem shocking or significant, but it symbolises much bigger issues. http://www.thecourier.co.uk/opinion/blogs/kieran-andrews/brian-cox-s-defection-to-the-snp-is-a-hammer-blow-for-jim-murphy-and-labour-1.812899

 

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The aforementioned article generated a fair bit of heat amongst the Dundee electorate and this makes the content of interest to all who are interested in bringing an end to Murphy’s ambitions in Scotland

SNP
What do they expect. The abuse by labour directed at the yes campaign was vile. They expect people to just forget? NEVER going to happen!

 

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Labour
Absolutely pathetic, he is an idiot who will never be affected by the Tartan tory cuts and nasty policies like the cutting of early years teaching assistants in Dundee ten minutes later they increased their perks of power the councils hospitality budget. Our children’s route out of poverty sacrificed at the cost of free booze and buffets for SNP supporters. 4000 cut in hospital beds 4000 + cuts in teachers 2000 less nurses, bedroom tax con for 10 months ” we don’t have the powers to fund it then after relentless pressure from Scottish Labour Party the voluntary sector campaign groups and those the SNP elected members left the city to avoid facing the bin the bedroom tax group. They caved in and agreed to fund it in full no change in powers

SNP
You are a fool, worse a fool who appears unwilling or unable to retain any level of fact in your quest to blame everything on the SNP in an idiotic attempt to sustain the sinking ship that is the Labour Part in Scotland. Wake up man they have deserted their core supporters in favour of middle England, the Bankers and Thatcherism!

 

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Labour
I note you are not disputing the cuts in teachers, NHS beds, teaching assistants, of course you can’t as they are a matter of public record therefore one is left with the assumption that you are not being affected by the tartan tory cuts therefore are only interested in the Tartan tory propaganda. Maybe it would help you if you actually got out and spoke to the real people of Scotland who are not falling for your propaganda they believe what they are experiencing and seeing with their own eyes.

SNP
He is well known for his nastiness aimed at Yes voting Scots…he is a disgraces as a person. Folk don’t like him because he is just plain ignorant.

SNP
Who do you blame for the NHS fiasco and Education fiascos in England? Both worse than Scotland has experienced!

 

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Labour
You can’t argue with his remarks about “SNP elected members” – they are facts! I note that everyone who voted “no” is labelled as having viciously attacked independence voters etc- childish, really. Comments below are ridiculous, as in the reference to £1.3 trillion debt. The UK, especially Scotland, has been living beyond its means for years. Free prescriptions, free university places, higher grant per capita from Westminster, etc. It doesn’t grow on trees.

Where would an independent Scotland be right now with oil at $48 pb? Think of it – revenue from oil on the floor, higher unemployment, more social benefit claims, Clyde-side dead from lack of orders, power supplies in jeopardy with frackingforbidden and over-reliance on renewables – this in a country as cold as Scotland! I sometimes think I’m reading the Beano when I review SNP promises.

Just for once, answer the oil question, as this was the issue on which an independent Scotland’s future was predicated – and which you were warned was a very dangerous policy, given the volatility in the price of oil. A great country with several million of decent, well-educated people, is in danger of becoming a laughing stock, and all because porridge eaters swallowed Salmond’s lies, hook, line and sinker. You should be ashamed, very ashamed.

 

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SNP
what a load of drivel! You don’t mention the six figure MP expense claims or the £1.5 trillion national debt? SNP to blame for that as well?

Labour
The debt that was the result of the Labour government deciding to protect our economy, our banks, our saving, our industry and businesses. The only other choice was survival of the fittest and the wealthy.

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SNP
It was the result of WESTMINSTER the national debt! Started by liebour and multiplied by Tory. Nothing to do with SNP. Just as liebour refused to vote against austerity or fracking! Voted liebour all my life NEVER EVER AGAIN. Red Tory, sold their soul. Hence the 50%+ SNP support being polled

SNP
Utter nonsense Norway has a £600bn oil fund while thanks to Westminster mismanagement Scotland as part of the UK has a £1.5trn debt.

Labour
It’s your national debt too, the answer is simple and patently obvious. England has a population around 12 times that of Scotland and the patient premium is lower than that allocated to Scotland.

 

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Labour
The “expense claims” is garbage, as there are 600 plus MPs at Westminster, with many from the SW, NW and the NE, not to mention Wales, Scotland and NI. And of course, there’s Wee

Eck! Do you think only rich people should be allowed to enter parliament, thereby obviating the need for expenses? I could give you a dozen better reasons for arguing against the Union than that. You can do better than that, surely?

 

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SNP
What a load of opinionated drivel. I get expenses in my job but lucky if I need more then 5k per annum! I work half the year away from home! There is a huge difference

between REASONABLE expenses and Westminster expenses! as for the national debt, it us a DISGRACE the UK is in this mess when you compare us to Norway! The UK is finished, fact.

SNP
how ironic you pounce on the bedroom tax! people being made homeless on the breadline and idiots like you moan about the snp helping them! you shouldn’t be allowed to breed mate! people like you should be ejected to live south of the border. see hire much more you will have to moan about then! balloon

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LABOUR
I note that you are yet another Tartan tory that cannot make a comment without personal abuse I also note you have no answers to the fact that the tartan tories have had the power from day one to mitigate its affects on the Scottish people, by doing as the Northern Irish assembly have done they have stuck up for their electorate by refusing to implement the bedroom tax until they have exhausted all legal options open to them. Unlike the tartan tories who spent millions on ensuring that the Scottish people did not receive access to information about SNP policies through freedom of information requests.

In a perfect example the coverup of the massive escalation in V&A costs with regards to the bedroom tax they also could have changed Scottish law to make it illegal for any Scottish social landlord to evict any of their tenants for specificly bedroom tax debt. And their No1 priority policy if there was a yes win would have been a 3% tax cut for multi national companies and lest we forget or forgive them for their treacherous vote against the living wage being implemented in Scotland

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SNP
The “bedroom tax” was imposed on Scotland by a Westminster Government that Scotland did not vote for and despite the majority of our MP’s at Westminster opposing the measure.

Despite this Labour stood shoulder to shoulder with the Tory party to inform Scots we were “better together” and should vote no. Labour prefer Tory rule from London to Socialist rule from Edinburgh. In regards to corporation tax cuts that is again utter hypocrisy from Labour considering Gordon Brown cut corporation tax from 33-28%, a 5% cut the same as George Osborne! Indeed Gordon Brown is on record as stating he wanted to cut it MORE. He stated: “We have cut corporation tax twice and I want to go further,” he said. “We will reduce the tax again when we are able.” http://www.­telegraph.co.uk/fina­nce/economics/278926­4/Gordon-Brown-tries­-to-win-over-directo­rs-with-tax-reductio­n-pledge.html

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As for the living wage utter hypocrisy from Labour considering in November 2014 a proposal by SNP councillors to pay local authority apprentices the Living Wage in Greenock was thrown out by a Labour-controlled council committee. http://ww­w.greenocktelegraph.­co.uk/news/greenock/­articles/2014/11/26/­517095-bid-to-pay-li­ving-wage-to-apprent­ices-rejected/ In regards to the supposed “V&A” cover up that is nothing but a Labour lie as demonstrated by the complete lack of hard evidence presented.

SNP
Abuse? Oh come you sensitive little thing. That’s not abuse. Abuse is very different indeed.

SNP
I like many others was a card carrying member of the Labour party and senior Trade union activist, I felt physically sick when one of the Thatcherite Blair’s first acts was to praise Thatcher and invite her to tea at Downing Street. Protect our banks? he and that numb nut Brown deregulated the banks and set off a chain reaction that led to the UK’s involvement in the sub prime banking crash et al. As to NHS cuts our budget is cut from Westminster as a consequential of the Barnet Formula in proportion to what is spent in England and Wales. Why is it so difficult for the likes of you to grasp this simple concept?

 

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Labour
Bedroom tax is wrong, very wrong, but even you must see the logic behind trying to find bigger houses for families than having them occupied by single people. I’ve just seen a programme about it this morning and the black lady who eventually moved to a smaller house wanted to give up her 3 bedrooms to a family, providing she could find a smaller house, which she eventually did.your comment, mentions expenses. It depends on where you live and how you decide to manage the distance. Thatcher introduced the system because she was afraid of public reaction to a pay rise for MPs. The answer is to pay them on a par with their Euro counterparts and abolish expenses altogether. But what would the likes of you say?

 

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I spent years abroad on detachments to Italy and Germany where we stayed in hotels and were given an allowance for meals. My son worked for Adobe and was always away from home and his expenses were astronomical. Don’t know the details of your case so I can’t really comment. I agree, their expenses are over the top, but every Scottish MP got them too.
Me? I’d raise their pay and abolish expenses. Trouble is, those who live far away would suffer..

SNP
Scottish Government could not offset the bedroom tax as it was a RESERVED matter and permission had to be granted by Westminster and the money was deducted from the block grant

SNP
You see the problem mate – they don’t understand how things are done. As for the comments before yours, well there is no use arguing with them. They want everything and they want it now, regardless of cost or affordability. They are both logically and economically bankrupt!

 

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SNP
I’ll bet you didn’t describe him as an idiot when he supported labour or did you?

SNP
Calling Scottish Labour the Tartan Tories is not very nice Douglas but you may well be accurate….Labours shift to the right since Blair made me leave

SNP
I am an SNP supporter. Please tell me where I can get my free booze and buffet. I have never seen them; you didn’t just make that up, did you?

5belkl
As if to prove your point, he is right on the case. Sadly he has obviously never heard the saying, “Better that people believe you to be a fool,than open your mouth and prove it. “Could have been written for him, except he is not important enough, outwith his own self importance. I’ve tried to read his post again but still cannot make any sense of it, he just jumps from one rant to another with no reference to any proof. But then,I suppose when you have the egg man on your side, proof and truth are not obiglatory.

SNP
Jim Murphy promised to hire Yes voters as part of his team but he surrounded himself with rabid unionists like John McTernan, Blair McDougall and Susan Dalgety. You simply cannot work with such people.

SNP
And we’ll not forget their campaign as regards the pensioners. They were telling OAP’s that they wouldn’t have a pension if it was a yes vote. We were alerted to an old lady in Ayrshire that was so scared by this that she was stockpiling food. Thankfully AGE Scotland got involved through seeing our comments on facebook and they brought in the Social Services to help the old dear. However, she was just one that was brought to our attention, think of the thousands that’ll have suffered in silence. Labour, it doesn’t matter what you do and say now, you can NEVER wash that stain away. I ask everyone to vote SNP so that we can get rid of Labour in Scotland and push for home rule.

 

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Labour
Yet more of your evil Nasty propaganda I spoke to hundreds of pensioners before the referendum and not one mentioned anything abou labour saying anything about losing their pensions what they were complaining about was being called traitors for refusing to put up yes stickers,

SNP
Are you mad. Did you even listen to anything during the campaign? The threat of losing pensions was brought up again and again by, “bitter together”. Did you go through the entire referendum campaign with your eyes and ears closed?

Labour
Whereas the SNP were telling pensioners the NHS was going to be privatised into oblivion if we voted No. Has that happened yet?

SNP
Not yet. Please hold…….

 

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SNP
No such thing as Scottish Labour it just does not exist as a legal entity

SNP
It’s like British Gas & Scottish Gas owned by Centrica, & labour are full of gas !!

Labour
What was that you said about personal abuse in a comment?????

SNP
Congratulations, for joining the rest of us who are sick of the manipulations to get a majority in Westminster.

SNP
I spoke to lots of pensioners through my work during the referendum campaign and many of them said they couldn’t vote Yes because their pensions would stop!!! I tried to tell them otherwise but one or 2 of them had been cold-called by representatives from the labour party and told exactly that over the phone. It doesn’t take long for news to spread in the elderly community and even the ones who might have preferred to vote Yes would be pressured not to by friends. A disgusting tactic, that will Never be forgotten!!!

 

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Labour
Absolute rubbish pensioners I spoke to on the phones on the doorstep and in the streets were all complaining about SNp calling them ttraitors because they refused to put yes stickers in their windows and abused in the streets for refusing to wear yes stickers,

SNP
The pensioners I spoke to and ones I know were scared witless by “project fear” not because of yes poster or badge wearing refusal

SNP
any further out of touch mate and you would be in orbit.

Labour
Vote tartan tory guaranteed to get english tories all shaking hands and big cheesy smiles on the telly and in pictures in the newspapers together.

 

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SNP
We feel your pain mate, Labour being rejected by Brian Cox. Your party, whatever you call yourself or present yourself, are the problem and not the answer to Scotland’s needs. Labour no longer represent us, its policies do not reflect our concerns, aspirations and hopes, and the bargain you made with the Tories during the referendum have made it and you irrelevant. Many more will make the journey that Brian Cox has taken. I doubt you ever will.

SNP
Tartan Tory I thought we were extreme left wing according to the press. Do you actually live on planet earth, or in a bubble

SNP
Obviously it is not Planet Earth as he is always bubbling.

SNP
Tartan Tory? That highlights your idiotic mindset. The Scottish National Party are the only left of centre party in Scotland if not the UK the rest are blue Tories, red Tories, yellow tories and UKIP Tories. Wake up man!

Labour
So the Scottish Socialist Party, Greens, Respect, etc. don’t exist? All are far more left-wing than the SNP.

 

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SNP
Better tartan Tory than red

SNP
Care to comment on your hero McGovern’s recent behaviour, re not voting on bedroom tax issue? Or will this be another tumbleweed moment for you. And on fracking as well.Never mind he will soon have more time on his hands.Maybe his glorious leader will show him a few keepy up tricks.

SNP
Are you proud of labour’s support of the tories austerity bills?

SNP
What about there refusal to back the amendment to devolve fracking to Holyrood? Does that fill you with pride?

SNP
Let’s go back to when the labour party turned into the Tory party… Do/did you support the changing of Clause IV?

SNP
You have a cheek describing the SNP as “Tartan Tory” considering it was LABOUR MP Alistair Darling who was given a standing ovation at the 2013 Tory conference. http://w­ww.scotsman.com/news­/politics/top-storie­s/scots-tories-give-­alistair-darling-sta­nding-ovation-1-2960­255

 

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SNP
You might want to drag yourself out of the 1980s and into this century. The ‘Tartan Tory’ smear stopped working decades ago. At least find a smear that is relevant to today’s Scottish politics.

SNP
The real people are about to obliterate the labour party’s Scottish branch. Those are the real people speaking.

SNP
Wow this guy is in complete denial and delusion. Having spent 2 years cheek by jowl campaigning with the Tories , using Tory money and Labour mouthpieces then to refer to SNP as Tartan Tories is beyond parody.

SNP
Had Brian Cox decided to stay with Labour that would have been a far bigger blow to us.

SNP
Brian Cox is merely reflecting the almost total disillusionment of most Scottish Labour members/voters and their overwhelming repugnance at SLAB getting into bed with the Tories during the Referendum.

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SNP
Johann Lamont’s resignation – and her very true description of what Scottish Labour had become, which she spat out on her departure – followed by Murphy’s fairy-tale reinvention of his part in Better Together (Not a Unionist???????), allied to his employment of gutter trash like McTernan and McDougall, only re-emphasize just how low that Party has fallen, up here.

SLAB are finished in Scotland and have just been defined by the UK Electorate Commission, no less, as nothing more than an “Accounting Unit” for Westminster Labour. They are merely a lowly branch office of Ed’s London HQ, with Murphy achieving the public status of a ridiculous Westminster Glove-Puppet. Every­thing is controlled from down south and their priority will always be to get Milliband elected – nothing else. Scotland will, as usual, be just a wee afterthought. No wonder Cox left this discredited, derided and despicable shambles.

 

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SNP
If Murphy had honestly wanted to bring Yes voters back to Labour, his hiring of John McTernan who is well known for his vicious attacks on Yes voters was, to put it mildly, a strange decision.

Labour
What year is this? 2015? Brian Cox joining the SNP is not significant or surprising any more. Furthermore, it makes no difference – he lives in New York. Very big joke and obviously stage-managed. Cox has been defacto SNP for years. Surprised it made the news, and I’m not joking He voted for Salmond in 2011: http://news.stv.­tv/scotland/241730-s­cottish-film-legend-­cox-dumps-labour-for­-snp/ Nothing to do with the Yes campaign – he was already voting SNP. Will he now finally decided to come out of tax exile in NewYork

Labour
An actor who spent the last year openly arguing against Labour and for independence is joining the SNP. Why is this news again?

 

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Labour Party At War – Fallout From Resignation Of Lamont – Hardman Ian Davidson Gives Murphy the Glasgow Kiss

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The purpose of this post is to reflect on events of late October 2014, only a few short weeks after the referendum in which the Unionist labour Party, together with their full partners the Tory and Liberal/democratic Parties, the unbiased Civil Service, the BBC, just about every other media outlet, the banks, corporate businesses and many other Unionist factions emerged victorious.

In the weeks after the referendum the 1.6 million that voted for independence analysed the outcome and although feeling betrayed and cheated by the negative fear driven campaigning of, the Unionist parties that made up, Better Together, accepted defeat.

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But, near despair was tempered by the promise, (from the leaders of, Better Together) of a devolution of significant new powers to the Scottish parliament within months.

In January 2015, The “Smith” report was duly compiled, savagely doctored, removing anything of note then sent down to London for acceptance. It has not been accepted and it appears there will not be a transfer of anything of note to Scotland for many a year. So Scotland got stuffed again, as many yes voters feared would be the case.

Arthur's Seat March and Rally

Another fallout from the referendum was the resignation of Johann lamont who attacked Ed Miliband and the controlling labour Party Heirarchy in London.

Following her departure there was a short leadership contest and Jim Murphy took up the post of leader of the labour party in Scotland. In his first public statement he said that he was the undisputed leader of the Scottish Labour Party, (which officially does not exist) and he would not take instructions from London.

 

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Ed Miliband was quick to set him right when he added detail to Murphy’s outburst stating, for the record that Jim’s powers applied only to aspects of scottish politics that were fully devolved to the Scottish parliament. In all other matters he would take instructions from London. So no change Jim. He was blethering as only Murphy can.

Reflecting on the Coup and the roles of the key players it is opportune to return to the time Johann Lamont resigned so that the views of others, including many Scottish labour Party supporters might be viewed. The post might be long but it is informative.

 

ed and jim

29 October 2014: Lamont was the victim of a Murphy coup, claims Labour MP Ian Davidson

In a scathing attack, veteran Glasgow South MP Ian Davidson said Johann Lamont, who quit as leader last Friday, had been treated shamefully by the shadow international development secretary’s allies, who conducted a whispering campaign against her. He did not name Jim Murphy, but in a bid to derail his leadership ambitions, Davidson said it would be “absurd” for Labour to elect a Scottish party leader who had never previously considered a role at Holyrood.

Davidson spoke out as Sarah Boyack, Scottish Labour’s former transport minister, announced she was standing for the top job while sources confirmed Mr Murphy’s intention to throw his hat in the ring, probably before the end of the week. Meanwhile, friends of Kezia Dugdale, Scottish Labour’s highly rated education spokeswoman, said she was keen to stand for deputy leader if a vacancy arose.

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Davidson said: “We are in the middle of a coup. “It’s not Star Wars: Return of the Sith but it’s certainly the return of the Blairites and the Network.” He said the Network, a faction of Labour figures on the right of the party in the late 1990s, had always resented Ms Lamont’s election as leader in 2011. He added:  “There is an extent to which she has been treated as a wee lassie. “Because they could not pull her strings, they ignored her and went around her.”  In a clear attack on the East Renfrewshire MP he said:  “I don’t think we can have an MP as leader who has not expressed a previous interest in standing for Holyrood, but only wants to go in as leader.” Davidson, seen as cautious about devolution in the past, also said Scottish Labour should choose the next Secretary of State for Scotland if Ed Miliband wins the UK General Election next May.

http://www.heraldscotland.com/politics/scottish-politics/lamont-was-the-victim-of-a-murphy-coup-claims-labour-mp.25722918

Puppet on a string

Comments:

Dear, dear there seems to be a lot of scrambling going on behind scenes. Will this suit Mr Murphy and how is Mr Sarwar bearing up now that he has discovered the “coup” is designed to take him out as well? What a bunch?

shettlestonhouse

Looks like Ian Davidson was bang on when he said; “The debate will go on in the sense there is a large number of wounded still to be bayoneted …” We just assumed he meant the Yes voters and parties – doh!

Isn’t it wonderful when a sinister comment comes back to bite them in the bahoochie? Bayonetting their own seems to be a labour pastime – not to mention bayonetting their own toes.

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Don’t knock it, there’s good material for a television series here.  ‘The Sith Of It’? Malcolm Tucker would have field day with this lot. Sith Happens.

Jack & Victor would’nt be able to make this sorry bunch of Nobody’s seem funny. Dire Straits sums them up.

sarwarbrownlamont

To see where all this leads and the ‘real’ forces at work, look into the background to Julia Gillard’s defeat in Australia.

They remind of the tv comedy show The Adams Family. With Murphy acting as LURCH. Come to think of it,its fits like a glove (THING. )As labour have been Lurching from Left to Right for years. It seems the labour family are in big trouble. The left does not Trust the right Let the battle begin! ps, The losers here are the Scottish public-AGAIN.

Would that be the “coup” that’s pronounced “cowp” ?

vision murphy

Perhaps it’s ‘chicken coup’…

Well hopefully Eggy Murphy will get egg on his face … again!!!

That’s the yesser spirit “egg them on” No time for Murphy whatsoever. He’s a thoroughly despicable person who appears to be calm but , has a foul temper. However violence is NOT the answer.

iandavidson

Have a think about what’s happening here. They are almost certainly building Murphy up to be a pantomime villain so that he can then be defeated by losing the contest to a Scottish MSP. This will demonstrate that Westminster doesn’t control Scottish labour and so it will emerge “renewed”. Slightly machiavellian but exactly what you’d expect from them. If Murphy wins then its just pure incompetence.

IRAQ

That would just put lipstick on the pig. It wouldn’t take long for UK Labour in Scotland to revert to type – ie – pure ham.

Findlay has just flung his hat into the ring, should he be elected all he has to do is call it as it is, that he is there as a representative of New Labour Scotland

Eh, jaw hangs down, mouth agape. I thought Ian Davidson and Jim Murphy were close, got that wrong. And Ian Davidson effectively confirms the existence of the shadowy “Network”.

fear murphy
I’m at a loss for words. That’s unusual! Here, I’ll let Davidson speak about Lamont: “Because they could not pull her strings, they ignored her and went around her.”

Don’t worry it is not the first time you got it wrong, we are getting used to it

Not as wrong as the ex Scottish Labour voters who previously trusted this gaggle of political hypocrites and unscrupulous chancers.

jim murphy mormons

Completely concur .. and I say that as a Labour voter of some 30 years standing.

Almost everyone I know Ross who voted Labour in the past now say that they are ex-Labour. I have never known such anger against any party except perhaps the Thatcher government.

Hear Hear I say as an ex Labour voter and party member. I opted out when Blair called our young men to arms based on a lie. When I mentioned this I was berated by a labour councillor on this forum saying this person had no respect for me for doing this. I’m guessing this person is losing respect for many now. Or maybe this person should take a close look at what the party has become and rethink the blind support for a party that can no longer call itself a party of the people.

murphy nuc

last time I voted Labour was when Blair first got in. I lost faith in them then and would never consider voting for them again. They have made their bed, let them lie in the squalor of it

Me too – not the party that guys like my da busted a gut for

brown pocketmoney

this gaggle are keen to talk now they never opened their beaks before the referendum

We now have a chance to see if “sane” voices prevail or are silenced. I’ll quote from my late post on another column if you’ll indulge me: “Two starker candidates there could not be. If Jim Murphy’s hired, his job will be to keep the war going with the “nats” and try to put them in their place. On the other hand, in Sarah Boyack there’s a danger that peace might break out in the Scottish Parliament. Sturgeon might actually like her ! If you look at previous exchanges between them they have more the atmosphere of planning a school trip than deep rooted tribal sparring. The parliament might actually turn into an constructive, industrious place that the people of Scotland admired. Apart from anything else, both of them are concerned about eradicating poverty and Boyack’s got a bee in her bonnet about climate change and renewables – not exactly the SNP’s most exposed flank.

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Can’t see the (London) Labour hierarchy letting that happen ! (But if they did, I wouldn’t complain).

‘gaggle of political hypocrites and unscrupulous chancers’. Brand Labour defined! Well done PC.

“We”? That would be you who, you and Charlie?

Plus just over 2million:

Douglas Alexander2

Can’t say I’m surprised From the false man of the people with the Iron Bru crates to the oft repeated “it’s only a dry cleaning bill” when asked about the egg on his shirt by the supine media, to the visceral dislike of any dissenting voices, the flipping , Iraq ……..the list goes on. Of course the irony of him standing given the comments made about autonomy and dinosaurs by Lamont is lost on both him and his Network apparatchiks or maybe it’s just ignored.

Stick it in the washing machine like everyone else ! 😃

alexander1

Typical Labour Party. I don’t think Murphy will be much better than Lamont as the labour leader. Murphy will just be London’s yes man in Scotland and the only reason I can think he would be interested in taking up the position is a promise of a lordship in the future. You know the usual carrot for a labour politician.

you do him down sir and I’m sure he’ll be the best branch office manager of a branch office party in a branch office country that Labour have ever had.

baillie 2

I see where you`re going there..just twigged.

Took you a while.

Bang on, that goes for all National parties, all strings are pulled in Westminster, none of them can be trusted by the people of Scotland!!

I am perfectly sure that there are Labour MSPs in Holyrood who are supportive of independence. They may have hated the SNP in the past but if that had any courage or principles

balls3

whatsoever, they should now join the SNP. Scotland and the rest of the UK are moving in different directions, and it is not going to stop. They have different needs, a different socio – economic structure and a different demographic. We are also a different country!

balls6

“It’s not Star Wars: Return of the Sith but it’s certainly the return of the Blairites and the Network.”Ian Davidson of all people. Well, Mr Davidson, as you well know, Sith Happens. This is developing into a monumental struggle between the Left and Ultra right of the Labour Party, not only in Scotland, but also rUK. If only these dissenters had voiced their protests before the referendum, they would be at the forefront of a Reborn Scottish Socialist Labour Party by now, and possibly be heading towards government in an independent Scotland, where they could actually deliver social democratic policies in May 2016. It’s never to late , Mr Davidson. I predict the offer of a Lairdship in an attempt to smother his and other Left Wing protests. I hope Murphy completes the Network’s treacherous and not so covert coup d’état; a gift to the cause of full independence if he pulls off this mad bloody takeover. ‘How like a fawning Publican he looks.’ ‘The Network’ ; The Establishment?

I fear the same hapless bunch might just have brought the same self serving hypocrisy to an Independent Scotland. They have to be wiped out. Prisoners should be taken though, not ‘bayoneted’.

There would be one difference. We Scots citizens could hold their feet to the fire, and ensure they kept their manifesto promises/vows/pledges….A government of the people, by the people, and instantly accountable to the people of Scotland. No more FPTP jiggery pokery, no HoL undemocratic second Chamber, no London/SE Establishment pulling the strings, no more 59 against 591 democratic deficit, parliamentarians Up Here bound by our written constitution. I consider it unthinkable that any political party Up Here could U turn on, say, tuition fees, or privatise our NHS, or sell off the Postal Service, without the democratic PR consensus of the citizens of Scotland. As I observe, why wait ’til now, when the (loaded) die have been cast? Independence is coming sooner than later, and Westminster is inadvertently (sic) accelerating the day. Perhaps the Davidsons and the McConnells of this world realise that now. We can but hope.

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Murphy should be in jail. It is absolutely essential that everyone in Scotland becomes aware of how much this man has cost/stolen from the taxpayer.

Please folks look at Murphy’s long association with the Anglo-American right-wing thing tank The Henry Jackson Society. Just look it up ; its a frightening collection of ex CIA/ British security plus some of the most conservative US political commentators and Tory right-wingers and Murphy is their favourite Labour voice.

blair-gadaffi Just Good friends

What a bunch of back stabbers who sold out our country, sold out our poor and who are selling out each other. wonderful, isn’t it?!

I have been convinced for a long time that for Scotland to move forward and become independent Labour must be wiped out as a political force. A Yes vote would have allowed this lot to avoid taking responsibility for their rhetoric as part of the no campaign and even increase their power at Holyrood – all sins forgiven. That would clearly have been a disaster. One of the best things to stem from a no vote, and having to wait a few more years for independence, is that it gives Labour time to destroy itself once and for all and join the Tories and Libdems on the scrap heap. The unfolding events will serve as an eye opener to those that still had faith in Labour – many of whom must now regret voting no.

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Never thought of that. Sadly, you may have a point. In which case we may yet see Jim Murphy join the SNP!

I, for one would not take in any of these Lieburtroffers, but there may be some Labour MSPs that I would welcome – now!

I think Murphy is politically closer to the Tories than the SNP to be honest…

Something tells me his application would ‘go astray’.

Onto the ‘No’ table’? Temporarily,of course.

File 13…. Permanently! …. Please.

Future headline ……… “Labour MSP s defect en masse to SNP!” in order to preserve their personal interests!

Very unlikely, he is a right wing politician and serves the elitists and for self gain, he cannot be trusted!!

Jim Murphy try – as if he would ever be accepted

freinds-reunited2

I am impressed. I had no idea it was an organised coup. I had imagined in my innocence that the ladies brakes finally failed and she simply ran out of control.
Didn’t Iain Macwhirter predict Murphy for this job some time ago?

I recall it being mentioned before the referendum!

Ian Davidson should be aware by now that Westminster Labour will always attempt to control the party in Scotland. He must also be aware that this means that they will always have to march to an English agenda. This will be a right wing agenda. The only way out of this greedy, self seeking, neo liberalist hegemony is an independent Scotland. Get real Mr Davidson. This ‘Union’ is a farce!

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Having read some quotes attributed to Ian Davidson before the referendum i agree 100% Douglas

Is Kezia Dugdale going to be the first of those who wouldn’t stand for leader to stand for the deputy post ?
If this happens then we can see why “Scottish” Labour was willing to take a back seat during the two years of the referendum campaign. Scotland is poorly served by Labour politicians who prefer to be lead rather than take the lead.

I think none of the youngsters want the job at the moment. After all it will only be leading the party through the doldrums of opposition for the next few years. They’re young enough to wait and see if a recovery gives them some chance of real power later on. Of course it might be they don’t want to get on the wrong side of Mr Murphy.

baillie15

I think you’re right and the first line of your post says it all. Many of the youngsters were elected in 2011 and are still learning the ropes. I would be surprised if any of them are interested in the Deputy’s job either especially if Mr Murphy wins as it would be one of them who would have to ‘run’ the party from Holyrood under his directions from Westminster.

Perhaps they have been warned off by Murphy’s secret police.

They have either socialist interest to expound or not, maturity will follow, if they cant speak up now they never will.

I suppose I’m, rather cynically, assuming their interest is in power rather than socialism.

_1159728_frankroy150

Deadly poison flows around Labour arteries. Every day more is fed into the system. Is it little wonder we hear Alistair Darling wants out. Perhaps he cannot face the possible humiliation of loosing his seat next May? So nice to be warm and cosy in the House of Lords.

Yes, the New Year Honours list is going to be fascinating (u=nless they make them wait a while).

republicandarling

whats the betting he knows he is going to be in the house of lords next year for services rendered in the referendum after all it runs in the family his uncle was a sir and a tory mp Ladbrokes widnae gie you a bet on it

Great to see them all better together as one big happy family!

You reap what you sow, by voting no.

Nice one!

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What does Labour hope to achieve here? Do they think they endear themselves to an electorate whose insight has come on leaps and bounds in the past two years? I would never have predicted before 18 September that Labour would start to disintegrate so quickly and spectacularly, but the benefit of hindsight shows that the arguments presented by Scottish Labour during the campaign were bogus and designed to bolster itself rather than its nation. Do they seriously think Jim Murphy is going to turn their fortunes round, when he was the most vociferous No campaigner out there? If he thinks an egg was bad enough, wait till he sees the pelters coming his way.

you recently said you were quite new to this stuff. This is good, because it gives you a fresh and less jaundiced perspective.

“The benefit of hindsight shows that the arguments presented by Scottish Labour during the campaign were bogus and designed to bolster itself rather than its nation.” Some of us auld yins could see this – there isn’t really much that’s new in politics (and politicians) – only the details.

prescottre

This is where the SNP has the edge. A friend of mine said in the 1980s (of the SNP), “We’re just enthusiastic amateurs compared with two professional machines”. Things have changed a bit since then, but they still have freshness and enthusiasm lacking in the others.

Ach, we’ll look back on these posts in 20 years and say the same about the SNP! See – I’m getting the hang of it now!

try months instead of years!

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I think the SNP…you know, the party that’s tripled its membership in the past few weeks (with, granted, all the problems of expectation over experience this causes) must bow its head in deference to Labour in the backstabbing, infighting and, to quote Mr Davidson, “bayoneting the wounded” championships. Gold medals all round!

As they say in football “you only sing when you’re winning”, mind you having lost the referendum it’s not that great a victory. First sign of defeat and the knives will be out.

I remember the truculence of Will Carling, the England Rugby captain of the 1990s. Win, lose or draw his bottom lip still tripped him up. I wonder if there’s a parallel?

straw2
Wrong again

Yes you can turn a good amateur into a very good professional. Best thing you can do with a bad professional is sack ´em

The SNP also survived and grew because of courage and principles. Apply that to the self serving hypocrites of Labour and you find an empty space waiting desperately to be filled.

Labour: Life with the Borgias, this is turning into Scotland’s favourite soap. What next? Having disposed of his rivals one by one, prince Jim has power torn from his grasp as Cardinal Tony Blair makes a shock return to politics? I hope someone is keeping notes for the docudrama after the election disaster of 2016.

BlairMugshot

I really hope and pray this man becomes leader of what has now become the Scottish joke. As a woman I cannot wait to see how the London media try to sell him to the electorate particularly as the hate campaign against Alex Salmond included the assertion that women did not like him.

miaow but I like it

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Well done Ian Davidson! (Now there are words that I never thought I would write!) We now see just what a parcel of self serving rogues the Labour party really are. It is though quite amusing to see that parcel unravelling in the way that it is. Karma?

Labour – One big happy family.

I hear the sound of bayonets being sharpened.

no, it’s daggers for the backs of their ‘friends’

Steak -knives tomorrow night ‘is this a dagger I see before me’?

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Im delighted, anything that shatters Labour is fine with me, They took us as a bunch of fools who would vote Labour indefinately, the only thing on their mind was the expenses trough, Jim Murphy a carreer politico with big ambitions at the trough.

The labour party even hate themselves. There like a rabid dog. It will bite anyone.

Ian Davidson did stand for Scottish Labour’s leader against Johann when she was elected, so maybe he is thinking of throwing his hat into the ring also. He might think his Westminster seat is not a certainty in the general election but as Scottish leader he could get into Holyrood as top of the list on the PR vote. It’s a nice fall back job if the GE goes against him.

baillie2

No, Davidson stood as deputy leader.

Sadly. Sadly. Sadly. Sounds about right.

Mr Davidson had better watch his back as he may find out that he is one of the wounded that is to be “bayoneted”. Lol

glad to see all you assorted tories enjoying yourself in this discussion

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It would be a mistake to think that only Tories would celebrate the demise of this odious collective.

Does that include the Green and Socialist assorted Tories? Perhaps not, as, after all the Green Party, the SSP and indeed the SNP weren’t standing shoulder to shoulder on the same platform as the Conservative and Unionist Party only a few weeks ago. Had you forgotten?

Really? I’ve voted SNP in the past because I wanted to vote for a left wing party. What other serious choice did I have? Labour? Oh dear, I’ll crack the jokes if you don’t mind…

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It is understandable Tom that you no longer recognise a discussion amongst socialists. Not something you will be privy to often, indeed ever.

Not very original or at all accurate. The only riposte that a wounded Labour supporter has is to name call. The SNP is a far more socialist party than Labour currently are. I for one should be a ‘natural’ Labour voter, post Independence, but could never support candidates like Davidson or Murphy or Baillie or Doyle. Please let Labour clean up its act.

And they are having a Gala Dinner tomorrow! Will it be plastic tumblers and spoons only?

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Four fish suppers and a bottle of Irn Bru. They’re certainly out of knives.

Tears before bedtime!

This all might make interesting reading at breakfast,and bring a little hilarity at lunchtime,but I would think that what the Scottish people want in a political party at Holyrood,is one that can confidently, form a government with its leadership present in the Scottish parliament,and with policies in place that have been thought out specifically for the benefit of Scotland and it’s people, not a rag,tag and bobtail leadership of childlike adolescence whose loyalty is in another place and hasn’t been elected into Holyrood by anyone on the Scottish electoral role.

 

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I thought Holyrood belonged to the Scottish people,not the British Labour Party,I think the manner in which Scotland is being treated by the Ed Miliband gang of thieves it’s time we removed for good this party from our country before we lose our right to elect our own Msp’s

This from the man who advocates bayoneting the wounded and is a ‘veteran’ of the Labour hegemony which sold out Scotland under the banner of keeping the Conservatives out of Westminster and them in. A strategy that failed miserably for Scotland whether they won Westminster or not.

Murphy is the best bet for the future of an independent Scotland. He will split the Labour asunder as people like Davidson and Findlay rally the unions behind the Left and Murphy will seek the support of the Right, Blairites. In the interest of the Labour Party in Scotland, Murphy should and might NOT decide to stand but I sincerely hope he does!

backstabbers

I think the New Labour and Unionist Party in Scotland is a mixed bag. There is a very small number of probable socialists or at least social-democrats who work hard for their constituents and fewer still who actively listen to their views. We see the likely candidates in Scotland in their voting patterns; they’ll be the ones who are willing to vote against the Party line – and remember the Party line will always be that of the Westminster Party (New Labour and Unionist Branch). To a certain degree, I think these individuals deserve credit for apparently trying to act on their principles within a party that years ago became part of the Westminster machine. I would have much greater actual respect for these individuals if they acknowledged their party was no longer the party of the people and that now actively sees voters as a means to their end. That end is always power at westminster in the interests of the westminster machine.

I watched and heard Sarah Boyack being interviewed yesterday. She showed skill in avoiding giving any straight answers to direct questions and saying nothing at all that might upset anyone. She has been an elected member at the Scottish Parliament since it was reconvened in 1999. She might have commitment to Scottish interests and recognise the need for autonomy to allow these interests to be properly addressed. Yesterday’s interviews and statements have no clue. Haviing said all that, I think it likely that Murphy will be the nominal leader of a non existent entity since there is no actual Scottish Labour to lead in the first place. He will most certainly ensure it stays that way. I have some confidence that he will switch potential voters off in 2015 and 2016.

bain13

Taking an overview of recent happenings, the Labour Party, which we doubt works primarily for the people in UK, has worked more for themselves and the benefit of the European Union and the development of the far left wing socialist governments of the modern 27 countries in the EU.
On the positive side the red flag doesn’t show bloodstains. It would appear that Mr Ed is still thinking what he should do about this debauchle. Lack of leadership seems to be endemic, if ever there was a time for clear direction from the top it is now, but there is none. The queue for second place is growing! Why? Because first place has been taken and the “boss” will be absent so only looking after the branch shop is available. Nice job for a local they are genetically suited! Roll on May!

Such a delightful spectacle it is to watch one deeply unpleasant, misogynistic bully of a man attack a war-mongering creep of a man. So typically undignified, so very “Scottish” Labour.

brown3

It all derives from their deep sense of entitlement. They are like the Conservatives, believing they have a right to rule.

As another Labour MP panics about the safety of their cosy Westminster seat, the move towards independence is a little easier with every day that passes. With Labour’s ‘family’, indulging in a stair heid rammy daily, the Scottish people can judge whether the Labour party serves us or itself.

Murphy is the least of the least as far as “trust” is concerned, and THAT is really saying something.

The man has always come across as disingenuous and I wouldn’t trust him to go for the shopping, let alone run the party in Scotland. (Mind you as a willing lieutenant of Westminster).

McConnell in kilt

Can we have a Thick of It, please,AI? Malcolm Tucker being sent up to Scotland. Peter C can take a break from Doctor Who.

This is fascinating. Ian Davidson has gone from being a blustering bully who unfairly attacked an innocent BBC presenter to a “hero” in the eyes of certain individuals on this thread just because he attacks the labour party. Still if nothing else it gives the usual suspects the opportunity for their usual Orwellian 2 minute hate, enjoy!

He does lift the lid on the back stabbing and infighting in the labour party. This wont come as news to most of us but nevertheless, it’s important to reveal the type of people that make up the Scottish (lol) Labour and Unionist party.

Jim, if you can interpret “hero” in the words “deeply unpleasant, misogynistic bully of a man” I would suggest you need to re-read 1984 as the subtle nuances of Newspeak appear to have gone so far over your head they are a danger to air traffic.

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What is more fascinating is how you seem to suggest that several attacks on the hypocricy of the man, and more than a bit of pathos and irony in posts, you interpret as being SNP supporters finding a ‘hero’.

More than fascinating, its amazing.

Jim Murphy is clearly a very divisive character. So can he win when he has created all sorts of enemies at Westminster, Holyrood, within the unions and probably the party’s rank-and-file.

We seem to be at the start of an “Anyone but Murphy” campaign.

McTernan

Labour are expert marksmen when the target is their own foot.

Even when it’s firmly in their own mouths!

Until some of these Labour MPs start putting themselves forward for seats in the Scottish Parliament anything they say will mean little.

Please, please, as a reward from the Three Amigos and future family stability, the leader of the Scottish Branch of Labour United should be an MSP. That would be the decent thing to do and leave the MPs in United London.

baillie5

“It’s not Star Wars: Return of the Sith but it’s certainly the return of the Blairites and the Network.”

Classic!

On a serious note Jim Murphy is the embodiment of London Labour control. Johann Lamont tried to be independent of London Labour but London has undermined her forcing her to leave then they can parachute their own placeman in.

Unwittingly, this could be the final nail in labours coffin.

Perhaps due to his invisibility and failure to lead on this debacle Ed Milliband should now consider his position as leader of the British Labour Party ? He has been ineffective and has had no input except for undermining the former leader of the Scottish branch of his organisation so therefore surely he should stand down and leave his party in the hands of someone who would treat the whole party equally ?

labour & National Front

He is silently witnessing the fragmentation of the party he is supposed to be leading ?

Although I have no great regard for Johann Lamont as a politician I really believe that the Labour Party, particularly in Scotland, will come to thank her for exposing this whole debacle snd forcing them to face up to it and sort it out although I can’t see how installing Jim Murphy as Scottish “leader” will assist in any transformation ?

Of course he is silent, as just like Mr Sarwar on a recent TV show, he doesn’t know the names of any MSPs except his targetted Ms Lamont, so how could he phone anyone except his MPs in London.

Michael Portillo once said that in politics the people you had to fear the most were your closest colleagues. I suspect that Lamont has been Labour’s Aunt Sally right from the start making her an easy target for those who set out to demonise and misrepresent her. Some of her apparent gaffes could only be explained in those terms. Those who know her hold her in high regard as an intelligent principled woman.

buchcnan

There are some really horrible people in the Scottish branch of the Labour Party.

Copied from today’s Herald diary ( I hope I’m allowed to do this) Some of my coffee made it’s way on to the table when I read it. Famous film quotes altered to sum up the body-swerving goings on over standing for the Labour party leadership in Scotland. “I’m not Spartacus. He’s Spartacus.”

We’re still checking the rumour that the Grand Central Hotel in Glasgow, where Scottish Labour is holding its gala dinner tomorrow night, has specially ordered plastic cutlery for the occasion.

I do not think that Jim Murphy will be elected if he decides to stand. I feel it could be that at last those with the vote will remember the principles of their founding fathers. Jim Murphy certainly does not adhere to them. If I am wrong then I think it will hasten the demise of a once proud political party because there would be no place in it for Scots who uphold socialist values and there could be another flood of disillusioned people ready to join those who have already decided enough is enough and have defected to one of the SSP, the Greens, or the SNP.

We live in interesting times.

McTernan again

It seems to me that this is a healthy development for Scottish Labour that people who have the inside story are speaking out and telling the truth as they see it. Frankly, I’d be astonished if Scottish Labour could have its new leader in place and get away with pretending that none of this has happened, in the lead up to the Westminster and Holyrood elections. We would wish our political representatives of whatever hue to be trusted and trustworthy, capable and focused on the needs of Scotland, rather than engaged in an unseemly brawl and being an utter embarrassment to us. Where is their attention at the moment? On their own political careers, or the Smith Commission and Scotland’s future? And they dare to lecture Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP.

I would like to officially rule myself out of the running for Leader of the North Britain Labour party.

You would have to join it first, but maybe they are getting so desperate now that they will waive even that condition!

I also rule myself out, as I believe in doing an honest, decent days work for a fair pay and I look down on anyone who screws a fortune out of their expenses.

Well said Sir

 

trust

Does not matter who is the leader in a so called Scottish Labour, Labour, Torries and Dems are National Parties, controlled by MEP’s in Westminster, the people of Scotland are finally wakening to the fact and no matter how you dress them up or re-name any of these parties, In a nut shell, they are NOT Scottish Parties !! How can the people born or raised in Scotland possibly trust any of them, the only way to get the best for Scotland is to back a Party that represents only Scotland!!

For the first and only time in my life I’m in agreement with Ian Davidson. Mummy! I’m frightened. Cuddle me.

So Davidson doesn’t want Spud to be pseudo-leader in Scotland. Probably feart that if he tries to threaten him, Jim might lamp him one.

The disintegration of Labour goes on. I like how Sarwar was saying that, as interim leader, it was his job to help hold the Labour ‘family’ together, and work for the betterment of the party.

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Then someone suggested that if Murphy becomes Scottish leader, Sarwar should really give up the deputy leader post because it would be crazy to have both posts filled by Westminster MP’s, he says, ‘there’s no obstacle to two MPs emerging as leader and deputy of the Scottish Labour Party’. Just how inept, self-serving and stupid can you be?

This wasn’t mentioned on BBC Scotland early news today. Hmmm.

In light of Ms Lamont’s resignation and Mr Davidson’s allegation that the there was a whispering campaign against her and subsequent coup instigate by Mr Murphy I have a question for Mr Davidson. If this is in fact true the Labour MSP’s in Holyrood must have been aware for quite some time there was a major problem therefore what did he and indeed they do to support Ms Lamont. It is fine for Mr Davidson to point his finger but I put it to him that by taking no action they are all complicit in the whole affair. Did they in fact know if they sat back and did nothing their chance would come to lead the Labour Party in Scotland. However, given what Ms Lamont had to say about Westminster the job has become so toxic they have been hoisted by their own petard. I like many I’m sure would like to know the answer.

bainprinciple

So Murphy is now toast? Ah, but will he defy his own law and land jammie side up?

I suspect that many people from the SNP, the Tories and the Lib Dems will be rooting for Jim.

I suspect also that many now in the Labour party and the unions will be horrified by the prospect of Murphy becoming leader.

For if there is one person who can destroy Scottish Labour from within then it has to be Spud.

Backstabbing in the “People’s Party” – never!

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Pardon me if I find it hard to believe my eyes when I read of Ian Davidson riding to the rescue of a damsel in distress. It seems totally out of character. I suspect that, rather than defending a member of the fairer sex (is that phrase permitted these days?), he is using the alleged mistreatment of Ms Lamont as a smokescreen to advance a more personal agenda. I doubt whether anyone who has had the dubious pleasure of meeting Mr Davidson would include altruism in a list of his personal characteristics.

That’s true, among his other charms this ignoramus was accused of doing this; “The remarks from Mr Davidson were exposed by Dr Eileidh Whiteford and witnessed by other MPs and committee officials. Mr Davidson’s alleged threat to give Dr Whiteford “a doing”, and his subsequent – and bewildering – clarification that his remark was “not intended as a sexual threat” underscore the extent of persistent sexism rooted in political and parliamentary culture”. Yuk! Davidson is a very, very unlikely knight in shining armour.

Why do London Labour not appoint one of their own as a “Colonial Governor” for the Scottish party? It would be a nice well paid sinecure of a job, ruling from the South with no obligation to ever visit Scotland.

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Davidson is hoping for a coup of his own by getting his puppet Neil Findlay elected

If the labour party is a family its the Corleon family and Ian Davidson is Luca Brazi ,with Alistair Darling as Freido Corleon .

Things didn’t work out too well for them. There was something fishy in both cases as I recall. Now if life mimicked art…..

Davidson is no friend of lamont he has his own agenda

Glasgow South West Labour MP Ian Davidson puts the boot into his notional superior not once but twice in today’s papers. In the Daily Record he savages her proposals to devolve income tax to Scotland in the event of a No vote, echoing this site’s warnings that the price of such powers would be the ending of the Barnett Formula, costing Scotland billions of pounds without control over North Sea oil revenues to compensate. We welcome Mr Davidson’s confirmation of our analysis. But he wasn’t quite finished with Johann yet. Over in the Herald, Davidson, who lost the election to be Scottish Labour’s deputy leader in 2011 to Anas Sarwar, calls for the election to be re-run in the light of the UK party’s proposed changes to leadership election rules. As “deputy leader of Labour in Scotland” is an essentially meaningless role, we’re going to credit Ian Davidson with slightly higher motives than a second shot at securing the position for himself. (He is, after all, chairman of the Scottish Affairs Committee at Westminster, a rather loftier perch in the Labour hierarchy.)

brown

The only plausible reason for making the suggestion would therefore appear to be a thinly-veiled vote of no confidence in Johann Lamont’s stewardship of the Scottish branch. The new rules would almost certainly see her ejected, as she was elected primarily by the trade union vote whose influence would be diminished by Ed Miliband’s reforms, and we’re sure Mr Davidson knows that full well.”

Just reading that Kezia is interested in standing for the Deputy post when it isn’t up for grabs. My isn’t she learning young to jump on the band wagon when people already in posts are being forced out of them. Not a good sign from this “rising star” that she’s clearly up for doing that to Sarwar. Both the SNP and Labour have strong followings in the Scottish-Asian community. I think what is being done to Sarwar will not go down well in the section which backs Labour.

brown sellout

This is the squad that told a pack of lies to the electorate about their true motives for maintaining the union. I hope they realise that there is an election coming up soon and we will not forget how treacherous these people are.

The decent labour people left need to dump this party their anti everything accept the London establishment, Lords in ermine what is there left to determine.

And still nothing from Mr Milliband he seems to care not one jot what is going on under his ‘leadership’. Or is it the case that it is ‘for the people of Scotland to decide’ to quote his chum Mr Cameron. Makes you wonder if he’ll turn up to tomorrow nights dinner or will he have an excuse not to face the people of Glasgow. I hear egg and had yer chips are on the menu.

I’m not a fan of Mr Davidson,but I think he’s got this one right

bain9

Its all getting funnier as each day goes by..goodbye Unionists

London won’t allow Murphy to stand unless Miliband can stitch it up for him to win, in other words the London bosses want to know the results before the votes are cast,a bit like Scotland’s referendum.

Ian “bayonet the wounded” Davidson voicing criticism of Labour backstabbing!

Does anyone else see the hypocrisy in this?

He is the “King of the backstabbers” and was verbally abusive to Dr Whiteford some time back!

What a laugh! Typical Labour…”All mouth and trousers”!

Next time…Vote “Yes”!

Is it too early to feel smug about labour coming apart at the seams or would that be in bad taste, I’ll go for smug and live with it.

 

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The 2017 General Election – Westminster and Its Acolyte Unionist Politicians In Scotland Do Truthiness Extremely Well – But Scots Are Wiser Now Than They Were In 2014

 

 

 

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In a few weeks the Scottish electorate will once more be asked to vote, this time electing individuals to serve as Members of Parliament at Westminster. The 2017 General Election presents Scots with an opportunity to ensure their voices are heard, listened to and acted upon at Westminster.

This has not been the case previously due to the structure of politics within the UK which markedly favoured political parties heavily influenced by UK agendas.

But Scotland, the “tail end Charlie” is now placed to bring about change.

 

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The unionist parties response will be harsh. Disinformation, lies, predictions of doom and disaster will feature in all sections of the media. Scots will need to absorb all of the nonsense then hit back sending 59 SNP MP’s down to London.

It is of no consequence to Scotland which of the Unionist parties forms the next UK government. Each is determined upon a course of austerity further increasing the misery of Scot’s.

A large body of SNP MP’s will provide balance ensuring options other than austerity are considered, which will not be the case otherwise.

 

 

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The key period of 2017, requires the sum of  £300 Billion, (borrowed by the Labour government in 2008) is to be paid back to the Rothschild’s World bank.

But monthly borrowing from the IMF and other sources by the Tory’s routinely exceeds £25 billion leaving only one source available to gather the money to repay the loan.

The UK taxpayer. The next few years will bring about austerity plus. Many sacred cows will be slaughtered upon the altar of need. Pensions, welfare, health, capital building projects, defence and other aspects of expenditure will be brutally cut.

The  return of £300 Billion is not negotiable. But even repaying the aforesaid loan will still leave the UK  £1.9 Trillion  in debt. Clearing this will take around 30 years.

What a legacy incompetent Unionist governments and bankers are passing onto our children.  But the richest 1% will remain outside the austerity agenda. The poor will get poorer and the rich get richer.

 

 

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It is also important to review events of the past few years so that the context of the 2017 General Election can be established.

The levels of incompetence of the last Unionist governments, in particular in the period 1997 – 2017 has been such to bring the UK to it’s knees financially and Scot’s do not need to accept this in the future.

 

Steve Bell 11.09.14

 
The 2014 Independence Referendum is a good place to start – The Better Together unionist campaign – Conduct of Alistair Darling and the Civil Service

Alistair Darling orchestrated (together with his Unionist Labour, Tory and Lib-Dem friends) a, “campaign of disinformation and fear” against the Scottish electorate for nearly 2 years ending September 2014.

The scale of deceit visited upon the Scottish nation by “Better Together” supported by the entire might of Westminster has unravelled over the months since the referendum.

 

Cabinet Secretary Sir Jeremy Heywood was awarded a knighthood the day before he took up his post

 

One of the most disappointing aspects was the key role of the supposedly unbiased Civil Service, (which has a charter expressly forbidding civil servants from participating in any political activities, including referendums)

But civil servant and Permanent Secretary at the Treasury, Sir Nick MacPherson quite blatantly abandoned any notion of impartiality in his supposedly unsolicited letter to the Chancellor of the Exchequer 6 months before the referendum advising against any monetary arrangement sharing sterling with an independent Scotland and in his later triumphant address at the inaugural meeting of the Strand Group on 19 January 2015.

 

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Recapping events; In presenting his speech, ‘The Treasury and the Union’, at the inaugural meeting of the Strand Group on 19 January 2015, MacPherson said that in cases, such as last September’s Scottish referendum, the rules of civil service impartiality, “do not apply”.

MacPherson also defended the significant role assisting the, “Better Together” campaign the Treasury played in the referendum stating that, “Her Majesty’s Treasury is by its nature a unionist institution.The clue is in the name.

” Responding to comments made by former cabinet secretary Lord O’Donnell, who congratulated the civil service for remaining independent throughout the referendum, MacPherson stressed that the civil service was not independent, as it served the government of the day.

 

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SNP Treasury spokesperson Stewart Hoise MP said: “These comments are astounding.This is a very serious admission and it begs the question – when will this UK government next abandon impartiality? “We expect the highest standards from senior civil servants.

With this admission, it is clear they have fallen short. I have written to Sir Jeremy Heywood demanding answers on under what circumstances it is acceptable for the rules of impartiality to be suspended?” (Note: waste of pen, ink and paper since Heywood orchestrated the entire campaign of disinformation, lies and blocking tactics.)

 

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He added: “The civil service code states that as a civil servant, you ‘are expected to carry out your role with dedication and a commitment to the civil service and its core values: integrity, honesty, objectivity and impartiality,’ which is ‘acting solely according to the merits of the case and serving equally well governments of different political persuasions.

At a time when the UK and Scottish Governments should be able to work in good faith on more powers, this raises serious questions about Scotland’s ability to have any confidence in the role of the Treasury.”

http://www.civilserviceworld.com/articles/news/nicholas-macpherson-under-fire-snp-over-%E2%80%9Castounding%E2%80%9D-comments-civil-service

 

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Trust me I saved the nation, (helped here and there by Gordon brown) says Darling

Now back to Alistair Darling and his damming display of utter incompetence as Chancellor of the Exchequer at the time of the banking crisis.

He claimed, in a television broadcast in the course of the referendum campaign the first he knew of any problems with the Royal Bank of Scotland etc. was when he received a telephone call, at home, watching television and the actions he then took had saved the nation.

He finished his selling pitch asking the Scottish public to trust Westminster and reject independence.

Which, bludgeoned by lies it subsequently did, by a margin so small it could only be attributed to, “fear” cold-heartedly instilled in the minds of the electorate.

 

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The Financial crisis of 2007/2008 – Did Alstair Darling, as he claimed really save the nation?

For more than a century the British Treasury was the most feared, powerful and respected of all government departments.

It wielded near-dictatorial powers, and its superbly trained officials were famed for their intellectual ferocity and rigour.

The tradition of Treasury excellence was of inestimable value to Britain, meaning that it was well equipped to cope with financial disasters such as the secondary banking collapse of the mid-1970s when dozens of small banks faced bankruptcy, or with Black Wednesday in 1992 when all looked lost as sterling was driven out of the Exchange Rate Mechanism.

 

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In 2008, however, Britain faced an economic and financial crisis on a scale far outweighing even the catastrophes of the 1970s and 1990s.

This time the Treasury was utterly unable to cope. Indeed, it faced the greatest crisis of confidence in its history.

Two glaring examples of Treasury ineptitude surfaced courtesy of a National Audit Office report into the banking crisis.

 

Alistair Darling

 

The First was the revelation that during the crisis the Treasury paid no less than £150 million for Advice from Goldman Sachs.

Goldman Sachs, (operating as a gigantic global hedge fund) was subsequently exposed as one of the architects of the near collapse of the global economic system.

Goldman Sachs, had been heavily involved, since 2006 betting against the continued expansion of the American Sub-prime mortgage market whilst advising British banking institutions to buy into it.

When it did and it collapsed the company made a fortune from losses incurred by many of the UK’s banks. Ripped off twice, crazy.

The Treasury also spent an additional £80 million on consultancy fees with other large city firms relating to the bailouts of HBOS and the Royal Bank of Scotland.

 

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Even in recent years Goldman Sachs, (now converted to banking status) has attracted widespread criticism.

In 2009, it was described as “a great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money”.

Compounding the injustice, the Con-Dem government, apparently having learned nothing from events of the past, contracted Goldman Sachs for a large fee, to provide advice in the matter of the sale of a large chunk of the Post Office.

It convinced ministers to sell the Royal Mail at the end of 2013 at a knock-down price losing the taxpayer more than £1 billion when its shares soared.

It later emerged that another arm of Goldman Sachs made up to £12 million through buying and selling the shares. What a rip off.

 

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In all previous financial crises it would have been unthinkable for the Treasury to contract out this kind of highly sensitive work to the private sector.

Apart from the obvious conflicts of interest involved, it would have been regarded as insulting to the highly trained Treasury officials whose job it is to sort out financial problems.

But such has been the degradation of Treasury competence and morale under Gordon Brown, Alistair Darling and the department’s supine civil servant, Permanent Secretary Nick MacPherson that it was considered routine to sub-contract out the work, which ought to have been meat and drink to Treasury mandarins.

 

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The National Audit Office report contained a second and equally devastating, example of Treasury ineptitude.

Even after the collapse of Lehman Brothers, Treasury officials were clueless about what was going on in financial markets.

It revealed that in the week before the near collapse of the Royal Bank of Scotland in October 2008, internal documentation prepared by the Treasury suggested that RBS’s capital position was “reasonably strong.”

In other words, even as late as October 2008, and therefore after the collapse of Lehman Brothers, Alistair Darling and his Treasury officials were clueless about what was going on in financial markets.

 

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This was quite simply terrifying – it showed that something had gone fundamentally wrong at the heart of British government.

But Treasury naivety and incompetence did not stop there. For the fact was that the Department had lost any notion of what was happening to the real economy.

The failure was on such a scale that it amounted to negligence – for what it showed was that Mr Darling had been in no position to make the hugely important economic judgements that the country desperately needed at a time of crisis.

But Alistair Darling was never forced to own up to the Treasury’s consistent failure to grip the nature and scale of the economic recession.

 

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In the aftershock of the subsequent deep recession, from 2008 – 2017 millions of people throughout the world have lost their jobs, homes, livelihood, families and in many cases their lives.

Protesters have been locked up as the powers of government have been deployed against them.

What is galling is that those who caused the crisis escaped any sanctions instead pocketing very large amounts of money, extending the two finger salute to anyone that might dare to complain.

 

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It was heartbreaking in September 2014 when 55% of Scots voted to remain with the rotten Westminster system of government.

But so long as there are Scot’s supporting retention of financial systems giving financial rewards and control to the richest 1% of society there is little hope for those most in need of assistance.

 

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Summary

For the purpose of briefing, taking as a starting point the budget statement of March 2008, (In retrospect a dangerously complacent event).

Neither Darling nor his Treasury officials showed even the remotest awareness that the UK was starting to plunge into the gravest economic recession since World War II.

The hapless Darling blithely – and inexcusably – predicted comfortable growth rates of 2 per cent or more for years ahead.

Incredibly Darling had still not woken up six months later, when he delivered a pre-budget statement in December 2008.

His statement, made in the wake of the global financial collapse, can only be described as an act of the purest fantasy.

Everything about it was wrong. He predicted that economic recovery would begin in the summer of 2009 and that the overall downturn in growth for the year would be limited to ‘much less than 1%.

But the IMF forecast that the British economy would contract by a mammoth 4.4 per cent in 2009.

The OECD, predicted an even more gloomy contraction rate of 4.7 per cent.

Both were correct. Darling was just as far out of his depth when he discussed future borrowing.

In the 2008 pre-budget report he predicted a shortfall of just £118 billion for the current financial year – the true figure was nearer £200 billion.

 

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The Treasury has consistently proven that it hasn’t the faintest idea of what is going on, either when it comes to the health of financial systems or the wider British economy.

So it is incapable of giving wise or even sensible policy advice, because the premise which would govern such advice has been shown to be fantastical and wholly incorrect.

The sorry truth is that, at a time when the UK faced the most desperate economic crisis in living memory, the Treasury was unable either to understand what was going on or to come up with an adequate response.

Prime Minister Gordon Brown was even more misleading.

In November 2008 he said ebulliently, “the Chancellor is leading the rest of the world taking us out of this recession.”

 

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There are two primary reasons for this disaster.

The first is the legacy of Gordon Brown’s ten-year period at the Treasury, which ended in July 2007.

Brown was certainly an intellectually dominant Chancellor and he made some sensible decisions, of which the granting of independence to the Bank of England was the most astute.

But his modus operandi proved to be a disaster.

Over a period of years, Brown’s suppression of original thought, and encouragement of of a tiny clique, destroyed the Treasury spirit.

He insisted on surrounding himself with a small, closed group of trusted cronies, such as his economic adviser, Ed Balls.

 

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Meanwhile, Treasury officials who did their constitutional duty giving impartial advice or telling the truth about Britain’s economic position were frozen out.

In some cases their careers were ruined. Over a period of years Brown’s suppression of original thought, and encouragement of a tiny clique, destroyed the Treasury esprit de corps.

By the time that Alistair Darling took over the Treasury in 2007, morale was at rock bottom and this once great national institution had been hollowed out to become a shadow of its former self.

 

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Matters were made worse by Darling’s sheer cowardice as Chancellor.

Senior Treasury officials reported he succumbed to pressure from Gordon Brown to project a more optimistic outlook than was justified by the facts.

Recently, however, it is said Darling had become more assertive and that there had been some bruising rows.

Nevertheless, a grave problem persisted. The Treasury was no longer ‘fit for purpose’, quoting the damning phrase once used by Cabinet Minister, John Reid about the Home Office.

This would be a matter of grave concern at any time, let alone a moment of grave economic crisis. So much damage inflicted upon a once great institution by New Labour.
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-1233368/PETER-OBORNE-A-rudderless-economy-great-treasury-thats-fit-purpose.html#ixzz3SQOh3c1W

 

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The Infamous Sun Editorial of Saturday 21 February 2015

According to Cameron there existed the prospect of Ed Miliband in Downing Street with Alex Salmond at the back door.  All reminiscent of the 2014 referendum campaign.

Remember Project Fear? Well this looks a lot like Project Fear Mark2. And there’ll be lots more of this before the polls open in June.

During the independence referendum the Tories used every trick in the book in a bid to sway voters. They won the day but getting more Scots to vote Tory? That looks a great deal tougher.

So,  the Westminster Tories, despite saying at the start that they would not participate in the referendum campaign actively orchestrated events from Downing Street, London..

The Sun is also implicated since despite knowing all about the, “campaign of fear” it did nothing to expose it to the public in Scotland preferring to remain quiet in support of the Unionist parties abandoning the very people, (the readership) that relied on it for honest reporting of events pertaining to the referendum.

Very sad. The Sun promised to fight for Scotland but when the chips were down  Murdoch was found wanting.

 

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Argyll & Bute – Alan Reid – Runs His Constituency Like A Chessmaster – It’s Checkmate And Your Out My Wee Friend

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Alan Reid was born in Ayr and presently resides in Dunoon. He entered politics as a councillor on Renfrewshire District Council from 1988-96 then contested without success for Paisley South in 1992 and Dumbarton in 1997. Presently the Liberal Democrat Member of Parliament for Argyll and Bute he was elected at his fourth attempt in the 2001 general election. He was re-elected MP for Arygll and Bute in May 2010 with a majority of 3,431.

Educated at Ayr Academy and the University of Strathclyde he gained a BSc in Mathematics. Prior to his election to the House of Commons he worked for the University of Glasgow as a computer project manager. He remains a member of the AUT (Association of University Teachers). His interests include chess [he is reputedly Westminster’s most accomplished player], walking and reading.

From 2005-07 he joined the Department of Trade & Industry team. He was a Junior Whip and Scottish Spokesperson on Common Fisheries Policy Reform, 2001-05, and a member of the Select Committees on Broadcasting, 2001-05. In 2007 he became Shadow Northern Ireland and Scotland Minister and continues to do so under Nick Clegg.

 

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What his constituents think of him

* Alan Reid, Political Realist ? – After a 100 days of this new government the title of this piece should be changed to Alan Reid, the Invisible Man.
There have been more sightings of Gordon Brown than there has been of Alan Reid ! Having said that I did spot this rather rare speices in its natural environment, at the Bute cattle show last Wednesday. He was with Allison Hay, looking very uncomforable so he was, wandering aimlessly around the show, speaking to no one, for over an hour, an art form in itself, until George Llyons showed up to take them by the hand. Poor old Allison, what has she gotten herself into.

* I will do his job and only claim half of the expenses he does ! And vote not to renew Trident !

* The letter was in fact highly critical of him – in fact I’ve never written anything which, taken in context, could be construed as even remotely supportive of him in terms of how effective he is. If he really wanted to use quotes from me about himself he could have used the following: “utter hypocrisy”, “Mr Reid is reluctant to let a bandwagon pass him without seizing the opportunity to jump upon it…….”, “he is not lacking in brass neck….” “Mr Reid’s memory is somewhat akin to that of a goldfish when it comes to recollecting uncomfortable truths, and he is clearly a man whom it is impossible to embarrass….” And last, and perhaps most prescient: “I never cease to be amazed at the effrontery of Mr Reid…”

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* I just read the title of this piece again. “Political realist?” Political fantasist more like it and in actual fact the lies he tells in his latest leaflets have now become deeply offensive. We may rue the day that we decided to run a positive campaign and not go down to that level and get involved in any tit for tat with our opponents.

* I voted for Alan at the last election and the guy was given his chance and failed miserably. It is also disappointing that he failed to put himself forward and debate along with the other candidates on For Argyll this year. But then perhaps this also would have found him wanting, so perhaps that was the smart move for his perspective. As things stand I know more about Mike Mackenzie thanks to For Argyll than I do about what Alan Reid has done for Argyll in the last 5 years. Pretty sure it is nothing but he does get himself in front of every camera in Argyll and beyond. That would take a bit of time.

* Just to pick up on a point that Bill above makes. I have been a Lib dem voter in the pass and have voted for both George Lyon and Alan Reid, but George forgot where Bute was once he got elected and, has I have said above, what has Alan achieved. Don’t get me wrong I find Alan to b a plesant man and I alway say hello and take his hand, I just don’t believe he is the right politician for Argyll and Bute.

* Yes, Ron. I can hardly believe he has been trying to take credit for the fabulous Skycon development on the basis probably that he wrote a letter of support at some point. The work was done by Jim Mather, John Swinney,the Council and the Enterprise Board. As far as I can ascertain all Alan Reid did was get the good news sneaked out to him by a friend (we know who) and leak it to the press before the official announcement.

* Dave you make a pertinent point regarding Alan Reid’s leaflet however what I find distasteful is taking the credit for other peoples work (including my own and that of my colleagues!)

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* I have to say I am very surprised that For Argyll allowed such a huge puff for Alan Reid considering he has refused to take part in the widely appreciated political debates on For Argyll. I am more surprised that anyone would think that expenses of almost £150,000 per annum on top of his salary should be thought moderate for somebody who only goes to Parliament two days a week, This is about three times what Jamie McGrigor has taken in expenses and over four times what Jim Mather has taken in expenses. The fact that nearly everybody else at Westminster is jostling at the expenses trough makes it no less reprehensible. What I really am concerned with however is the number of downright lies in Alan Reid’s latest brightly coloured delivery to all housholds. I am surprised that For Argyll hasn’t pulled him up on them. I console myself with the thought that these are the lies of a desperate man.

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* Surely no-one can forget the unbelievable claims from the George Lyons/Alan Reid duo with photographs from all Argyll & Bute claiming credit for things to which they had contributed absolutely nothing. Alan Reid still tries this on in his literature following in the footsteps of his mentor George Lyons. He has never actually been in power to do anything really constructive for the County but has just carped from the sidelines. I will never forget the `spoof` in an SNP publication when they had a picture of The Great Wall Of China fronted by the duo claiming credit for it`s construction! It was absolutely superb! Well let`s hope that Alan will follow in George`s footsteps once again and shuffle aside to let someone with a real interest in Argyll & Bute and Scotland to take up the position of our MP who will work constructively with our MSP Jim Mather.

* Mr Reid may have been a highly visiable MP but what has he achieved. We all know what he does, writes lots and lots of letters, as he is fond of telling us in the letters page of the local papers and in his parlimentary report ( £5000 a report, 7 reports in the last year ) but what has he achieved in this time has a MP. I heard him talking on Bute FM on Friday afternoon and while there were a few subjects he mentioned that could be questionable, one that did stand out was SKYCON. To hear him speak you would of thought that he had single handily brought them to Kintyre, no mention of Jim Mather amd the other agencies, modest man that he is.

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* Another subject mentioned was his expenses. I was not surprised to hear that he is in the top 20% of MP’s expenses especially after the article in last weeks Daily Mail, reporting on the leaked internal Lib Dem document telling their own MP’s to claim has much as possible. What did surprise me was that Mr Reid has a second home in Cardross while having a registered address a few miles away in Dunoon. I was under the impression that a second home was for MP’s who lived long distances from Westminster and needed a base from which to live and work while at the parliament. This means that we, has tax payers, are paying Mr Reid two sets of expenses, one set for his second home and one set for for his B & B costs while down in London.

* He is near the top of MPs expenses and this maybe pays for all these cloured reports he keeps posting to absolutely everybody telling us about all the letters he has written which seems to be all he does.

18/09/13 Steve Bell Lib Dems defence

 

* Alan Reid spoke in Parliament, in support of the introduction of Identity Cards . A Labour wag (Lord George Foulkes I think it was) called out “So we can know who you are!” to huge amusement all round. How true. Rarely seen or heard in Westminster. As Winnie Ewing once said, ” Unionists go to Westminster to settle down; nationalists go there to settle up.” http://forargyll.com/2010/04/alan-reid-the-political-realist/

 

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May 2008; The abortion act update

In the abortion amendments to the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill (now Act), Alan Reid voted for the abortion time limit to be lowered to 22 weeks against scientific and medical consensus which is currently 24 weeks. After four separate parliamentary votes on varying time limits, the majority of MPs voted to keep the abortion time limit at 24 weeks, in keeping with scientific and medical consensus, hence no abortion amendments were added to the bill.

 

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May 2009; Scottish MP Alan Reid claimed £1,580 for B&Bs and hotels near home: MPs’ expenses

Alan Reid, Liberal Democrat MP for Argyll and Bute, put through bills for 30 overnight stays in seaside towns and lochside villages over four years, many during the parliamentary summer recess. The MP was told that he was not allowed to use public funds to pay for hotel rooms within his constituency, but the following year he submitted receipts for further stays in the same places and was paid in full. Since then he has purchased accomodation in Cardross, also within his constituency, as his second home and claims mortgage interest payments and council tax. However he has continued to charge taxpayers for his stays in pretty fishing towns within Argyll and Bute. He says his unusual claims are a result of the geography of his constituency which includes several islands and areas which are more easily accessible by ferries than by road.

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The Green Book, which lays out the rules for MPs, states that they are not meant to claim for hotels in their constituency if they have a home there, or if they also claim mortgage interest payments on a second home. Overnight stays in their constituency are allowed if MPs finds themselves on parliamentary duties and too far away to get home at night. Justifying his claims Reid said: “Unfortunately, on occasion it is impractical to travel home at night; even within my own constituency due to a lack of ferries. The Fees Office sometimes rejected my claims due to a lack of understanding of the geography of my constituency. I have usually challenged these rejections and any challenge has succeeded.

He said that his designated second home was close enough to Glasgow that he could stay there after late night flights from London. “This arrangement has been approved by fees officers because of the clause in the Green Book which allows for overnight stays in the constituency whilst on parliamentary business away from the main home if impractical to travel to main home,” he said. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/mps-expenses/5314680/Scottish-MP-Alan-Reid-claimed-1580-for-BandBs-and-hotels-near-home-MPs-expenses.html

 

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Informed constituency opinion:

I am sorry.The notion that we should shell out for a second home for an MP because he’s sometime home late is ludicrous. The second home allowance was introduced to allow MPs to have a place close to Westminster, not a second house in the same constituency. I take it he is not up before dawn every day to get back to Westminster from Cardross. We are talking about occasional late journeys home. There are several hotels at Glasgow Airport including a budget one. There are ferries to Dunoon up to midnight of Friday and Saturdays and up to 10 oclock other days. Glasgow Airport to Gourock ferry is a 25 minute run. Most hard working MPs travel back to their constituencies on Fridays and they have all day to do so. I’m sorry but these excuses are nonsense and will do Mr Reid no good at all. Better come up with something better pretty sharply. I wouldn’t like to think Mr Reid is merely acquiring property with the taxpayers assistance.

I think it is most unfortunate that Alan Reid appears to have bent the rules here to own a second house in the same constituency. This is not what was intended by providing this facility for MPs. What was intended was for them to have somewhere to put their heads down after late night sittings in the London parliament. It does him or his party no credit to be classed along with other major party MPs as a user of the McTrough. http://forargyll.info/2009/05/apology-we-misled-you-on-the-expenses-record-of-alan-reid-mp/

You saying Alan Reid “who doesn’t even have a second home” check your facts before spouting off. He has a second home at Cardross an hours drive from his own home in Dunoon so he wont need to catch CalMac ferry 20min from Glasgow airport or spend the night in the motel at the airport if he is on a late flight.

OK, according to the AA it’s 1 3/4 hrs from Dunoon to Cardross, but more to the point it’s on highland roads (from memory, single track at some points, definately single carriageway and not roads you’d want to drive at night.)

No problem with him staying overnight on the isles when on constituency business. My heart bleeds for him driving on the third world roads of Argyll. But why am I paying him to have a second home.

I don’t think there’s anything necessarily wrong with having a second home in the same constituency – provided it was purchased to minimise the cost of B&Bs. Are you suggesting this is not the case?

Yes I am suggesting this is not the case I am saying the house is a nestegg, picked for its location near the golf course why not a flat in oban (the gateway to the isles) to save the two hour drive home after coming off the late ferry or after a surgery in one of Argylls largest towns

 

17/09/13 Steve Bell on Lib dem conference

 

Alex you make a good argument for the Daily Telegraph people. Why is he claming all the bed & Breakfast costs if he has a second home to prevent this OR why has he a second home (in his constituency ( I have no problems if he had one in Westminster)) when he is able to justly claim bed & breakfast costs. Apologies for the rant but study the local area map and idenyify the second home at Cardross then list some points justifying the location.

I can understand why Reid would require to live somewhere when in London when at his work, but why is he allowed to have a home in Dunoon (as reported in the local paper) and a second home in Cardross for which he claims 2nd home allowance and is also claiming hotel bills for when in London. B & B’s in a constituency like Argyll & Bute are understandable but a second home in Cardross which as the crow flies can’t be any more than 12 miles from Dunoon. Admitedly if in Dunoon to reach the airport it is easier to cross the Clyde by ferry but is possible to drive by road, and the distance from Glasgow Airport to Cardross is comparable to the distance from the airport to the ferry terminal and the ferries run until 11.30pm. Instead of claiming for a 2nd home in Cardross which he states he uses when he cannot get back to Dunoon it would be much cheaper to stay in the airport motel on the very rare occasions this might be necessary.

Donald, don’t apologise, it’s a perfectly good point. I can’t edit the map (well, I could, but only with big splodgy hand-drawn arrows) cos it’s off Wikipedia, but I will include Reid in a, “possible questions outstanding” post either tomorrow or Friday. The delay is that we don’t know how the party machine intends to investigate the allegations against Lib/Dem MPs, but some decisions are expected (not before time) on Friday. http://www.libdemvoice.org/the-telegraph-should-apologise-to-andrew-george-and-alan-reid-14471.html

 

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Afternote: The justification advanced by Reid for his purchase of a second home is that on occasion on returning from London he might miss the last ferry home to Dunoon. That’s it. But the frequency of his attendance at Westminster gives lie to the foregoing. Records indicate he is in London on average twice weekly. In the event he misses the last ferry he should simply book into the airport motel cost around £40,

April 2010; Alan Reid supports the changes- cuts could endanger nuclear safety, warns MoD report – and the Westminster government is determined to centralise the entire UK submarine fleet in the Clyde – A nightmare scenario

The safety of the nuclear bombs and submarines on the Clyde is being increasingly jeopardised by the UK government’s spending cuts, a Ministry of Defence (MoD) report has warned. The public, military personnel and the environment could be put at risk of accidental explosions, spillages or radiation leaks, according to a new assessment by the MoD’s internal watchdog, the Defence Nuclear Environment and Safety Board.

A summary of the board’s report for 2010 by its chairman, Howard Mathers, says that safety issues “present a risk that it will become increasingly difficult to maintain that the defence nuclear programmes are being managed with due regard for the protection of the workforce, the public and the environment.” The report by Mathers, posted on the MoD’s website without announcement, warns that there is a “lack of adequate resource to deliver the Defence nuclear programmes safely”. There is an “adverse trend in resources’, Mathers points out, “which I expect will become yet more painful. ”Mathers added that “the frequency and significance of incidents remain too high as a result of poor control of work”. The principal dangers in the medium term, he says, “are the adequacy of resources, both money and staff complement, and the maintenance of a sustainable cadre of suitably competent staff.” The assessment by Mathers is the latest in a series of warnings from within the MoD about the impact of cutbacks on nuclear safety. It comes in the wake of reports last week that UK defence ministers had decided to hand over the management of the nuclear bomb base at Coulport on Loch Long to a group of private companies, including the US arms dealer Lockheed Martin.

 

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The MoD was accused by one of its former senior safety officials of allowing defence cuts to “trump” safety. Lessons from previous reports had been “ignored”, said Fred Dawson, who was head of the MoD’s radiation protection policy team before he retired in 2009. “Decisions were taken in the defence review without a proper consideration of their impact on safety generally and nuclear safety in particular,” Dawson said. “The ability of the MoD’s internal regulator to do its? job is being compromised by the lack resources.”

Trade unions, politicians and disarmament campaigners warned that public safety would be endangered because companies could be tempted to cut corners. A motion expressing concern was lodged in the Scottish parliament by the SNP MSP, Bill Kidd.

The Coulport sell-off was also condemned as “absolutely horrific” by the SNP minister and newly-elected MSP for neighbouring Argyll and Bute, Michael Russell. “The privatisation of weapons of mass destruction is a policy without precedent and can only be described as both foolhardy and reckless,” he said.

The move, however, was defended by the local Liberal Democrat MP, Alan Reid, who pointed out that the site would still be owned by the MoD. “The Labour Party started the privatisation of our nuclear deterrent,” he said. “This is a continuation of the process begun by Labour.” http://caledonianmercury.com/tag/alan-reid

 

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April 2010; Alan Reid two faced on this one – Lib Dem campaign diary – Local post office’s up for closure

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Tavish Scott joined Alison Hay, Scottish Liberal Democrat candidate for Argyll and Bute and Alan Reid, Liberal Democrat MP for Argyll and Bute at Connel post office in Oban to campaign on the party’s plan to continue the Post Office Diversification Fund.

Commenting, Tavish Scott said: “The Connel post office is a local store, cafe, paper shop and a post office. We want to see more post offices growing their businesses and cementing their place at their heart of their local community. “They are a genuine lifeline for many vulnerable and older people in particular. We need to protect these services.”

Scottish Greens dismissed this claim, however, pointing to the privatisation of Royal Mail being championed by Vince Cable. Legislation to enable Royal Mail to be privatised is just weeks away from completing its passage through Westminster. Greens argue that the Royal Mail is a vital public service that should stay in public hands.

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Patrick Harvie, the Greens’ candidate in Glasgow, said: “It’s bare-faced cheek for Liberal Democrats to be posing outside post offices pretending to care about them while Uncle Vince Cable in Westminster is getting ready to sell off the Royal Mail for a short-term profit. It’s time for the Lib Dems to understand that we are talking about a genuine public service, not just some indistinguishable commercial operation, and that if they had any principles whatsoever they’d be opposing these daft plans.”
http://caledonianmercury.com/tag/alan-reid+&cd=28&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=uk

Afternote: Vince Cable duly sold off a major slice of the Post Office to hedge funds, and rich Tory speculators who made a killing on the stock exchange selling off their cheaply purchased shares gaining profit, upwards of 30% profit. The state lost £billions. Well done Vince. The public were not allowed to purchase shares as part of the process although some were allocated to Post Office staff. A disgraceful act of savage sabotage of a well run organisation.

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March 2012; The Health and Social Care Bill -Alan Reid votes with the Tory party to introduce the Bill

The Bill had previously been sent to the House of Lords for approval. As is usually the case the Bill was returned unapproved together with many proposals for change. Of major concern was the content of the, “Transitional Risk Register” which contained objective comment assessing risks associated with the proposed changes. The register would be available within two weeks, but the Con/Dem coalition government was determined to vote the Bill through without reference to the Register. A debate was conducted and the government won. The Lib/Dems voted with the Tory Party. http://goingtowork.org.uk/how-mps-voted-on-the-health-and-social-care-bill/ http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201212/cmhansrd/cm120319/debtext/120319-0001.htm#1203196000003

 

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January 2013; HS2 decision is symptomatic of London’s attitude to Scotland

Douglas Chapman wrote

Scottish taxpayers must be wondering why they are paying the equivalent of £2000 per head for a high-speed rail track that only reaches as far north as Leeds. The Westminster government has pinned its hopes on HS2 which it believes can help grow the economy and bring wealth to other areas outwith the south-east of England. Disappointingly, its plans do not include Scotland. For those who think we are better off remaining part of the UK, this is a great example of the way the London-centric UK thinks about the rest of us. As far as they are concerned, we can wait longer than any other part of the UK, and by their own reasoning, our economic development can be put on hold. In the meantime, we will be paying up front. To date the UK has no HS2 plan or guarantees for Scotland. No wonder the Scottish Government, local councils and the business community are demanding that HS2 is delivered in Scotland sooner rather than later.

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Reply Alan Reid MP

I was very disappointed to read the attacks on this major investment as insufficient. Critics should realise that these attacks simply encourage those Tory MPs who are out to scupper high-speed rail. The announcement will extend the high-speed line from London as far as Manchester and Leeds, and the Westminster Government wants to see the line completed.

Christine Goldie added comment

I Enjoyed a walk with friends on a beautiful October day round the village of Waddesdon in Oxfordshire. A fellow walker discussed the plans for HS2, confirmed by our Westminster Government. The same walker was not in favour of Scottish independence. I can see why. Better to keep hold of Scotland, and benefit from the vast taxation revenues generated by her whisky and oil. And, while you’re at it, let us completely ignore her when it comes plans for a high-speed railway, costing in excess of £30 billion. Perhaps some Scots will be too daft to notice the rank injustice. Union dividend? You bet. England is revelling in it. I sympathise greatly with my walking companion whose truly beautiful rural English countryside will eventually be destroyed to let fast trains hurtle through, just to get folk into London more quickly – because, make no mistake, that’s what it is really all about. But I wonder if my walking companion spares any thought for Scotland. I doubt it. http://www.heraldscotland.com/comment/letters/hs2-decision-is-symptomatic-of-londons-attitude-to-scotland.20050641

 

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March 2013; How Scottish MPs Voted on the Workfare Bill – Alan Reid voted for the change

The Westminster Con/Dem government passed the Jobseekers (Back to Work Schemes) Bill, which included a clause that retroactively changed the law to prevent back payment of approximately £130 million worth of benefits that had been found by a court decision to have been wrongly withheld. So the poor jobseekers lost out twice.
http://blog.scottishelections.org.uk/2013/03/how-scottish-mps-voted-on-workfare-bill.html

 

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September 2013; Bedroom Tax DOES breach human rights and should be scrapped, says the United Nations in landmark decision

hated bedroom tax breaches human rights and should be scrapped, a top UN official will demand today. Special rapporteur Raquel Rolnik will call on the Con-Dems to scrap their decision to cut benefits to tenants with a spare room. She will say the policy breaches the basic right to housing as there are not enough smaller properties for tenants to move into. Rolnik is ready to reveal her findings today after an unprecedented two-week tour of the UK meeting campaigners, bedroom tax victims and officials. http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/scottish-news/bedroom-tax-breach-human-rights-2265755

 

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November 2013; Alan Reid rents his £12,000 P/A constituency office from the Lib/Dem Party

The data from the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority shows six Lib/Dem MPs for Scotland – Inverness MP Danny Alexander, Gordon MP Sir Malcolm Bruce, Ross, Skye and Lochaber MP Charles Kennedy, Western Isles MP Angus MacNeil, Argyll and Bute MP Alan Reid and Moray MP Angus Robertson.

Authority chairman Sir Ian Kennedy said: “Our rules allow MPs to rent from a political party, but we require an extra assurance from MPs if they do so – an independent valuation that the lease represents the market rate. “As part of a broad review of accommodation support, the authority will consider whether, even if the individual leases are appropriate, the cumulative effect means we need to reconsider this aspect of the rules.” (Approximate annual income from the state to the Lib/Dem Party £80-100,000). Jonathan Isaby, of the Taxpayers Alliance, said: “It’s effectively a back-door subsidy to political parties.” http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:_VPFk2K2TOUJ:https://www.pressandjournal.co.uk/fp/uncategorized/27001/mps-renting-from-parties/+&cd=47&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=uk

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November 2013; Bedroom Tax: Cowardly Scots Lib Dems vote against Labour motion to scrap hated spare room policy

Spineless Lib Dems last night refused to take a stand against the hated bedroom tax. Seven of the party’s Scottish MPs voted against a Labour motion to scrap the spare room subsidy. The other four, (including Alan Reid) didn’t even bother to turn up. http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/politics/bedroom-tax-cowardly-scots-lib-2786124

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December 2013; Tory Government likes to show contempt for the poor its policies have created.

Tory ministers once again revealed their true nasty colours in the Commons. the full 3 hour disgraceful debate. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kSQgw9K6FT8

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December 2013; Food Bank in Campbeltown?

bumpkinsville: asked the Campbeltown Courier, regarding the current debate for the need for a foodbank in the town, if our MP Alan Reid would care to comment on why he voted no in the House of Commons recently for an investigation into their need and use, and all I received as a reply was this, copied and pasted verbatim from my email :

The answer: Subject: Re: Campbeltown Courier – Thanks Alan for explanation, people will see and hear what they want to hear – or jump to the wrong conclusions. A pitfall of your job. I won’t pursue the matter. Graham.

bumpkinsville: Can only assume from “Graham” not even replying to me personally, his decision not to share Alan’s requested explanation with me, and help me not jump to “the wrong conclusions” and his perhaps sycophantic, “A pitfall of your job” *doffs cap, that our local scandalsheet may perhaps have political affiliations? After all, I only wanted to know why MP for Argyll Alan Reid wasn’t interested in having an enquiry into the need for foodbanks, when one was being suggested for the town. “Graham” clearly feels that whatever Alan Reid MP’s explanation, we don’t need to know what it was, and anyway he’s not going to “pursue the matter”. Let the readers of the Campbeltown Courier “jump to the wrong conclusions” because “Graham” isn’t going to publish anything that may enlighten them. Anyone care to comment?

bumpkinsville follow up: I just received another response from “Graham” this afternoon, maybe he saw my earlier post maybe not, either way Argyll MP Alan Reid doesn’t really answer the question, and it still doesn’t explain Graham’s bizarre response not only to him but to me. He didn’t even say “that’s not what she asked you.” He just said “a pitfall of your job” (m’lud) can you believe the sycophancy? Not exactly hard-nosed journalism. It is disgraceful on both their behalves. Neither of them were interested in.

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This is what I just received from Graham…Below is the response I received from Alan Reid: I totally object to bumpkinsville’s claim that because I voted against Labour’s proposal for a 20 month freeze on energy prices. I don’t care if people have enough to eat. On the 18th December 2013, 294 UK MPs including Alan Reid voted against Labour’s request to hold an investigation into Hunger and Food Poverty in the United Kingdom. People are struggling to pay their energy bills, but it’s obvious that the energy companies would get round Labour’s daft freeze idea by putting their prices up before the freeze started and putting them up again when the freeze ends. Instead, the coalition Government are reducing people’s energy bills by an average of £50 a year by removing taxes on energy bills that had been introduced by the last Labour Government.

bumpkinsville’s response back to “Graham” at the courier…He doesn’t really answer the question does he, why am I not surprised? I wanted to know why he voted against an investigation “as to the need” for foodbanks with the Trussell Trust especially as Cameron stated “we are committing to working with foodbanks”, I never mentioned Lib/dem inability to keep pre-election promises. I wonder why he felt the need to talk about them instead of what he was asked, and his assumption that I support Labour? Could you please ask him again why he doesn’t want poverty and the need for foodbanks investigated, why he voted against it last week in the House of Commons? The original question, not interested in party political spiel, or what he thinks about energy, I genuinely would like to know. I think we need a new MP?

 

Debate bedroom tax

The situation in the Co-op was a very sad and uncomfortable scene where an elderly gentleman wanted to pay for his entire xmas shopping with vouchers and was told he couldn’t, he was angry and embarrassed, as was I. I thought of foodbanks, saw the thread on this forum and wondered how a recession caused by the richest 1% is being paid for by cutting social security for the most vulnerable in our society. Then read how my MP voted against an inquiry into the use of foodbanks and was curious as to why. I’m sure I wasn’t the only one appalled by all MP’s laughing uproariously as Fiona MacTaggart MP recounted stories of people fighting over end of day reduced food in supermarkets during the food bank debate, Alan Reid was there. Do a Google search if you want the horrific specifics. These are the people we trust to run the country, laughing at the poor, whilst rewarding bankers with bonuses. I thought my local paper may have a comment, but it seems they do not. Their raison d’etre seems to be naming shaming and giving out the addresses of people having to appear in court. http://www.kintyreforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=12&t=16410

 

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January 2014; Whisky tax could be lowered ahead of referendum in support of the “No” campaign

Tory economic secretary Nicky Morgan pledged that the government would look at the duty escalator on spirits in a Westminster Hall debate on how whisky sales in the UK have been squeezed by 12 per cent in the last five years because of high taxation. There has been speculation among MPs that the Budget in 2014 will contain measures to boost Scotland in an effort to support the No referendum campaign. In a recent debate, called by Labour Central Ayrshire MP Brian Donohoe, the chairman of the all-party whisky group, senior Lib Dem MPs were asked to put pressure on the coalition. Chief Treasury Secretary Danny Alexander, Scottish Secretary Alistair Carmichal and Alan Reid Lib/Dem MP also have distilleries in their constituencies. http://www.scotsman.com/lifestyle/food-drink/features/whisky-tax-could-be-lowered-ahead-of-referendum-1-3261509

 

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February 2014; Michael Russell MSP slams Alan Reid’s voting record on welfare.

* Alan Reid MP votes against SNP motion calling for welfare inquiry.
* November (2013) Mr Reid also failed to show up at vote on Bedroom Tax.
* Alan Reid MP failed to back an SNP-led motion at Westminster calling on the UK government to halt further spending and welfare cuts.
* The ‘opposition day’ motion recognised that the UK is one of the most unequal states in the OECD ranking 28th out of 34 countries for income inequality in the developed world, and called for the UK government to establish a Commission of Inquiry to investigate the impact of the Government’s austerity measures on the incidence of poverty and inequality.

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Commenting MSP for Argyll and Bute Michael Russell said, “Alan Reid has once again let the people of Argyll and Bute down by failing to hold the UK government to account for its disgraceful welfare reforms. Instead of sending a clear message rejecting the UK government’s assault on welfare benefits he simply fell into line. This follows on from last November when Mr Reid also failed to show up for a vote to scrap the abhorrent Bedroom Tax. This simply is not good enough. The Scottish Government continues to mitigate the worst impact of Westminster’s austerity agenda however the constraints of devolution means we can only do so much. We need the full economic powers of independence to design a welfare system best suited to our country and to scrap the iniquitous Bedroom Tax once and for all.” https://www.facebook.com/yescowal/posts/216948038497587

 

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February 2014; Welfare Reform (Sick and Disabled People) Westminster Parliament

It is proposed: That this House calls on the Government to commission an independent cumulative assessment of the impact of changes in the welfare system on sick and disabled people, their families and carers, drawing upon the expertise of the Work and Pensions Select Committee; requests that this impact assessment examine care home admissions, access to day care centres, access to education for people with learning difficulties, provision of universal mental health treatments, closures of Remploy factories, the Government’s contract with Atos Healthcare, IT implementation of universal credit, human rights abuses against disabled people, excess deaths of welfare claimants and the disregard of medical evidence in decision-making by Atos, the Department for Work and Pensions and the Tribunals Service; urges the Secretary of State for Health and the Secretary of State for Education jointly to launch a consultation on improving support into work for sick and disabled people; and further calls on the Government to end with immediate effect the work capability assessment, as voted for by the British Medical Association, to discontinue forced work under the threat of sanctions for people on disability benefits and to bring forward legislative proposals to allow a free vote on repeal of the Welfare Reform Act 2012.

We are making history today. This is the first time in the history of this Parliament that people with disabilities have secured a debate in the Chamber on an agenda of their choosing, so let us pay tribute to the War on Welfare campaigners. They initiated the campaign, drafted the petition that we have before us in the form of a motion, and worked hard for a year to gather more than 100,000 signatures in order to secure this debate. They are heroes and heroines who worked, many of them despite their disability, to ensure that this campaign was a success.

MPs may speak in this debate, but it is the voice of the WOW campaigners and petitioners that will be heard. What do the WOW campaigners want from this debate? They have said that they want a serious debate. They want MPs, party spokespeople and Ministers to listen, and to listen well to the statements that they have made. What do they want us to say? I have asked WOW petitioners what they want me and other MPs to say in today’s debate. They said, “We want you to get across as best you can what the welfare changes brought in over the last four years have meant to us and our families—the stark reality.” Why do they want that? Perhaps naively, they believe that if MPs and Ministers really knew what it is like, what disabled people are going through, they would not stand by and let fellow human beings suffer and be degraded in this way.

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Mr Alan Reid (Argyll and Bute) (LD): Although I have not supported every detail of the Government’s welfare reform, I certainly support the overall thrust of what they are doing. Liberal Democrats in government are building a stronger economy and a fairer society so that everyone can get on in life. We are fully committed to enabling people with disabilities to have the same opportunities and choices in life as everyone else. It is important to note that disabled people are moving into jobs at the rate of more than 100 placements every working day.

Liz Kendall: Why does the hon. Gentleman support the bedroom tax, which has affected 2,300 people in Leicester? The council has overspent the discretionary fund by £100,000 this year because there has been such demand for it, and it had to increase it from £212,000 last year to £813,000 this year because of a tax that he supported. Why does he support it? http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201314/cmhansrd/cm140227/debtext/140227-0002.htm

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Mr Reid: The hon. Lady’s question is based on the wrong premise. I actually voted against the bedroom tax. As I said in my introduction, I did not support every detail of the Government’s proposals. No you didn’t, you voted for it – see this: http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/bedroom-tax-your-mp-vote-4830243

An end note: Between January 2011 and November 2011, some 10,600 employment and support allowance claims ended and a date of death was recorded within six weeks of the claim end. This Government have repeatedly refused to release updated 2013 statistics on deaths within six weeks of the end of an ESA claim, calling such requests for information “vexatious”. Four people a day are dying within six weeks of being declared fit for work under the WCA—it is scandalous and an indictment of this place. Some might consider this bad taste, but I am told that there was a story doing the rounds that when the bones of Richard III were discovered in Leicester, Atos carried out an assessment and judged him fit for work. It would be funny if it was not so sad. It is a sad truth faced by 12,000-plus families who every year face their own personal tragedies of this nature—it is a reality.

 

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February 2014; MP’s selective defence of voting record

Alan Reid is very selective in defending his voting record. He was instumental in backing the welfare reforms that included the ‘bedroom tax’, and his actions since have been akin to stable doors and bolting horses. He mentions nothing of the motion against the ‘bedroom tax’ on November 12, 2013, for which he was a ‘no show’ despite being in the House of Commons at the time. Nor does he care to talk about the motion of December 17, 2014 to remove the bedroom tax, in which he voted in support of the Tories and therefore in favour of the bedroom tax. In fact, since 2011 there have been 15 votes in the House of Commons on the bedroom tax, and whilst Mr Reid has indeed voted four times against it, he has also voted to introduce it (as part of welfare reforms) or keep it a total of five times. No wonder the democracy website http://www.theyworkfor you.com describes Alan Reid as “voting moderately for reducing housing benefit for social tenants deemed to have excess bedrooms (the bedroom tax)”.

He may have backtracked , particularly after his constituents started to notice what he had done, but he has backed it. Let me quote his own words: “There is a housing shortage and it would not be right for people of working age to be getting housing benefit for spare rooms they do not need if they have turned down an offer of a move to a smaller property in the same locality.” But just so as he does not feel lonely, let us also recall that the Scottish Lib Dem leader Willie Rennie, said at the 2013 Lib Dem conference: “The bedroom tax is tough, but it is central to the welfare reforms.”

 

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Mr Reid and Mr Rennie are Liberal Democrats. They must accept that it is their party which has been complicit in imposing the bedroom tax and, more widely, in propping up one of the most destructive governments this country has ever seen. They cannot re-write history just because there is a car crash of an election coming for them. They won’t escape that – not even with the smokescreen of blame that Mr Reid always tries put up when he is cornered. No matter what he says the bedroom tax has not been devolved – what the Scottish Government is having to do is to use money that should be going to build our society and economy on mitigating the disastrous, vicious policies of the Tories and their Lib Dem coalition colleagues.

That is the truth, and no amount of self-deluding spin can change it. It is the truth that will result in him losing his seat at Westminster in just the same way as his Liberal Democrat colleague, Bute’s own George Lyon, lost his at Holyrood.

 

Clegg Times cartoonDebate bedroom tax

 

February 2014; Welfare reforms – Alan Reid – Atos Is All Labour’s Fault

Blundering Alan Reid presents the coalition’s new line: Labour introduced Atos so it’s all Labour’s fault. (but coalition government rolled out the Work Capability Assessment against the advice of their official reviewer.) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dMWU7NiHvRk

 

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May 2014; Welfare reforms, medical tyranny or crimes against humanity?

During the historic Westminster WOW petition debate, Alan Reid MP claimed to be proud of his record in government as a Liberal Democrat (Lib Dem), and insisted that Lib Dems in government have been responsible for ‘improving’ the WCA process, whilst totally disregarding the fact that it is irrelevant how much more ‘flexibility’ is given to the DWP ‘Decision Makers’ when overlooking the fact that the Decision Makers, by their own admission, are totally unqualified for the vast responsibility they have. They are basic grade administrators, not medical administrators, and they are incapable of comprehending diagnosis, prognosis or the implications of long term drug use when using a combination of prescribed drugs. More and more DWP bureaucracy means more and more delays, increasing numbers of incorrect decisions made by the DWP Decision Makers and utter chaos with a
system clearly in melt down as more and more victims of this UK Government suffer and die.

CONCLUSION: In the UK the growing catalogue of reported atrocities, fear, deaths, human suffering, humiliation, degradation and despair, caused by the impact of the ongoing enforced welfare ‘reforms’, are the very definition of Crimes Against Humanity and were accelerated by the Coalition Government without any consideration of the confirmed and very obvious human consequences: http://disability-studies.leeds.ac.uk/files/library/GVT%20refuses%20responsibility%20for%20crimes%20against%20humanity%20-%20FINAL%20-%203rd%20May.pdf

Debate bedroom tax

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August 2014; One of the most enlightening aspects of doing this website has been seeing how the nation’s elected representatives behave towards the people they ostensibly represent.

Catherine Wilson is a French citizen, but has lived and worked in Scotland for the last 20 years. She’s on the electoral register and can vote in local and Scottish Parliament elections, but not UK Parliament ones. Writing to her local Liberal Democrat MP for Campbeltown, Alan Reid, she focused on our “foreigners” question.

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“Dear Mr Reid,

You are part of the “Better Together” campaign which keeps insisting that independence would make our family and friends in the rest of the UK foreigners. Although that may be true in the strict sense of the word, I can’t for the life of me understand why that is a problem. I am a French citizen, as are my children, but their dad is English, and lives in England. Does that mean he is a foreigner to us? This has never been a consideration for us, and I would like you to explain why it should be. Could you also tell me if you, as my MP, consider me who has lived and worked in Scotland for over 20 years, as a foreigner? Does that affect the way you are representing me?

These questions are of great importance to me, as for all the years I have lived in Scotland, this has never been an issue, but lately, I have noticed that people were asking where I was from, and in the context of the referendum, why I had a say. Although this is strictly anecdotal, it does worry me that people are starting to think in this way, and I can’t help thinking this is linked to the rhetoric deployed by the “Better Together” campaign.

Also of great concern to me, as a European citizen, is the question of Europe. Can you guarantee me that in the event of a no vote, the UK will still be in the EU in 5 years time? And in the event of a vote for leaving the EU, what would happen to me and my children who are here on an EU passport? Both my children were born in the UK, one in England and one in Scotland, they consider Scotland their country, so what guarantees are there they wouldn’t be made to leave if we remained in the UK but were out of the EU?

Please do not reply by telling me that we would be out of the EU in an independent Scotland, that is a separate issue and I already have the answers I need on that one. Yours sincerely, Catherine Wilson”

Reasonable enough questions, politely expressed. Here’s the reply she got.

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“Dear Catherine Wilson

The legal position is that, as a French citizen, you are a foreigner and so I am not your MP. Nobody can give you a guarantee that the UK will be in the EU in five years’ time.
Without knowing more details about your children’s circumstances and any changes to the law which may be made by a Parliament, which hasn’t yet been elected, it is not possible to answer your questions about their future. Yours sincerely Alan Reid MP” More reading : http://wingsoverscotland.com/the-subhumans/

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October 2014; How are the Lib Dems defending their seats?

This morning I left the conference venue to take a look at one of the seats the Lib Dems are defending in Scotland. Argyll and Bute is also one of the most beautiful Scottish seats and there’s some pretty stiff competition. The Lib Dems have held this seat since 1987. It’s now a four-way marginal. The MP, Alan Reid, could drift through a Commons corridor without being recognised. In Helensburgh however, beside the Clyde, you find even the disaffected and disengaged have heard his name. Alan Reid pumps a leaflet through every door in the constituency once a month. It’s festooned with his image, his work schedule and Lib Dem policies achieved in government. It costs £5,000 a pop to post out something to every constituent but with the Lib Dem efforts now relentlessly focused on the seats they hold the parties’ limited resources don’t have to stretch as far as usual.

In Alan Reid’s seat, the poll showed him losing to a resurgent SNP who have leapfrogged from fourth place. You can still be at the mercy of great outside forces. In Alan Reid’s case, if the devolution plans promised to Scotland don’t emerge to the satisfaction of Scottish voters, non-SNP candidates including Lib Dems like Alan Reid might be struggling on an extra front as voters punch them for what they might see as a broken pledge. See more at: http://blogs.channel4.com/gary-gibbon-on-politics/lib-dems-defending-seats/29451

Comment: This is the gang who reneged on promises about tuition fees isn’t it? Well, isn’t it? I never bet, but I might be tempted to have a small wager the LibDems get electorally murdered in Scotland. And it couldn’t happen to a more suitable mob of lower bourgois hypocrites. Not that any of it will make anything more than a marginal difference to the corrupt ripoff that lies ahead.

 

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October 2014; Decarbonisation Target (under the guidance of the Committee for Climate Change)

The proposal: That a decarbonisation target range be set by order of the Secretary of State. The public, by a large majority wish the government would agree a target, to be in place from 2014 but the Tory Party is against setting any green targets. 32 undecided MP’s could yet win the day for the Public. Alan Reid is one such MP. http://mhpccom.wpengine.netdna-cdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/Dacarb-Target-Infographic.pdf

 

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December 2014; Alan Reid’s public views on nuclear weapons

Responding to a constituent – 2006. “I think that the lives of the Vanguard submarines, and the missiles they carry, should be extended and that the Government should start looking now at possible replacements. It’s important to remember that the decision over whether or not we actually go ahead and replace our nuclear submarines does not need to be taken until around 2014. I think it’s important that plenty of time be made available for a full public and Parliamentary debate to take place before any decision is taken.”

Told the Press and Journal – 2007. “I believe in retaining the UK’s minimum deterrent until we make progress towards the global elimination of nuclear weapons.”

Public meeting in Helensburgh – 2007. Told the audience that he was in favour of replacing Trident.

Statement to the Helensburgh Advertiser – 2010. “If this summer’s Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty talks fail to reach agreement on eliminating nuclear weapons, Britain will need to retain a nuclear deterrent, but we don’t need the massive firepower of Trident. When Trident is replaced in 2024, a less powerful nuclear deterrent will be enough”
http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:tQTJw9VNnMkJ:www.scotland4peace.org/Binthebomb/lobby/MPs/reida.htm

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January 2015; Labour and Lib Dems betraying oil workers

Aberdeen Central SNP MSP Kevin Stewart has attacked Scottish Labour and Liberal Democrats for seeking to remove a key recommendation of Sir Ian Wood’s Review into the industry as the Bill which introduces its recommendations is debated and voted upon the Commons today [Monday]. Mr Stewart said it was not too late for Scottish Labour and Lib Dem MPs, who are backing amendments which oppose enshrining in law “maximising economic recovery” of North Sea oil reserves, to change their position, but that failure to do so would be a betrayal of oil workers fighting for their jobs due to the low oil price. The MPs move has been branded “ill-informed” by industry body Oil and Gas UK, who also said the move put the industry “in jeopardy” and “in peril”. Scottish Labour MPs Mark Lazarowicz and Katy Clark are backing one amendment which removes the key recommendation, whilst Scottish Lib Dem MP Alan Reid has put his name to another amendment which removes the whole section bringing in the Wood Review recommendation. http://www.snp.org/media-centre/news/2015/jan/labour-and-lib-dems-betraying-oil-workers

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January 2015; Clean energy vote narrowly lost – Alan Reid voted with the Tory Party against decarbonisation – How sad

After masses of emails, meetings, and organisations lining up to support decarbonisation of our electricity supply, MPs supporting it narrowly lost the vote. The Government’s majority was reduced to just 23, so the amendment would have passed if just 12 more Lib Dem backbenchers had voted in line with their party’s official position. Seven Tories also followed Tim Yeo’s lead and voted for his amendment. See the attachment to find out how your MP voted.

The amendment is not yet dead – with such a close vote the Lords will look at it carefully. A Lords rebellion would not necessarily mean that George Osborne would give in and adopt the target, but it could result in a stronger commitment to clean energy than is currently in the bill. The campaign for clean energy by 2030 has also helped strengthen the climate movement in this country, and we will be working with our allies to build on this momentum. Thank you to everyone who campaigned so hard over the past months for this. http://www.campaigncc.org/energybill#vote

 

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January 2015; List of Scottish MP’s that voted for austerity (including Alan Reid)

http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:5eEu0aMgqgUJ:bravemany.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/Scottish-MPs-that-Voted-For-Austerity.docx+&cd=269&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=uk

 

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January 2015; Castle Toward Rally

Around 300 people gathered in Dunoon’s Queen’s Hall to make their feelings about Argyll and Bute Council’s refusal to discount the asking price of the Castle Toward estate known. South Cowal Community Development Company had offered £750,000 for the estate to run it on behalf of the community, but estate owners, Tory/LibDem controlled Argyll and Bute Council stuck to a disputed District Valuer’s costing of £1.75m, offering the community group an unaffordable loan of £1m.

Today’s meeting heard from Cllr Bruce Marshall (Cowal, Ind) who said that he simply did not understand the councils decision not to support the South Cowal community by discounting the estate. To close the meeting Helensburgh councillor Vivien Dance (Ind), who ‘retired’ from the council’s administration three weeks after voting in favour of the discount, took to the lectern. In a rousing speech she asked why Lib/Dem MP Alan Reid was supporting the community when his Lib/Dem councillor colleagues had voted not to offer the discount.

Cllr Dance said that she was against party politics being involved at council level, but was appalled that ‘your local independent councillors have given away power to a small number of Conservative and Lib/Dem councillors’. She continued: “Your local councillors have sold their souls. You must remind them that their souls belong to you,” before encouraging people to ‘bombard your local councillors with letters and e-mails’. http://www.dunoon-observer.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=8510:castle-toward-rally&catid=1:news&Itemid=19

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January 2015; Alan Reid and another 307 MP’s voted against a moratorium, so fracking will happen.

All over the UK, people and local councils have been refusing planning permission to energy companies for fracking. but the con/dem government aided by the Labour Party has a plan that will thwart the public. The plan, “simple” change the centuries old trespass law removing the rights of property owners – meaning homes surrounded by noisy machines, and local parks turned into gas fields. All without permission. The process – known as fracking – could also poison the water supply and produce toxic waste. And it’s known to cause earth tremours and worse. Most Labour MPs got on the fence and abstained – meaning they in effect voted against a moratorium. MPs weren’t even given the chance to vote on changes to trespass laws, because the debate went on so long. This means changes to trespass laws will happen, so fracking companies can drill under homes without the express permission of the owners. The situation is toxic. http://blog.38degrees.org.uk/tag/mps/

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January 2015; Disgust at MP’s stance on fracking

It is with shock and disgust that I read our own MP, Alan Reid, has voted for the notion of fracking our beautiful countryside. He could have abstained. He could have voted to delay this monstrous process until futher tests are carried out to prove conclusively that fracking is a safe process. How little disregard he must have for his constituents’ health. Even less for our beautiful scenery. As countries across Europe and states in America ban fracking or vote to delay the process our elected member chooses instead to pollute our land, water and scar our landscape. I can think of no reply from him or his supporters that can justify this heinous descison. I sincerely hope the readers of The Buteman will consider Alan Reid’s vote when they cast their ballot on May 7. Tracey Guy, 27 Wallace Avenue, Rothesay http://www.buteman.co.uk/news/your-letters-to-the-buteman-february-6-2015-1-3682366

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February 2015; Sexiest MP survey – Poor Alan Reid scores 641 of 648 MP’s

In addition to my wanting to create a fun and memorable tool to help the British public get to know their Members of Parliament, I thought it would be an interesting opportunity to hold the first ever parliamentary beauty contest and find out once and for all which MPs and Parties have the most sex-appeal. Although I fully expect this to offend some people, this was never my intention and I hope you will see the funny side. Enjoy, Francis Boulle http://sexymp.co.uk/

 

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February 2015; a historical record of how MPs voted on important moral issues.

Of the 33 listed votes, Alan Reid voted in a morally correct way on 5 occasions which is a poor moral record in accordance with christian society.
http://www.christian.org.uk/mpvotes.php?selection=&value1=13&value2=13&submit2=Show#

 

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More Savage Austerity Cuts In The Pipeline – Child Poverty – Education – More Despair For The Easy Targets – More Money For the Rich. It Isn’t Fair

polyp_cartoon_redistributionThe Child Poverty Act received Royal Assent on 25th March 2010.

The target is to eliminate child poverty by 2020 and legislation makes tackling child poverty a priority for all governments. The Child Poverty Act requires the Secretary of State, when setting the child poverty strategy, to consider which groups of children in the UK are disproportionately affected by socio-economic disadvantage, and to consider the likely impact of government policy on children in these groups. This will provide a mechanism to target children most at risk of poverty and will allow decisions to be made on the basis of whether they will help these children in the long term. Further reading : http://www.endchildpoverty.org.uk/why-end-child-poverty/child-poverty-act

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A reality check is in order

Many crucial programmes that enabled over a million children to be lifted out of poverty over the period 1999-2009 have/are being dismantled forming part of savage, “austerity measures” introduced by the Tory government in 2010. UK wide major political parties are committed to extending and further increasing the aforementioned austerity programmes reducing state expenditure by £20-30billion. The brutal cuts forming part of the manifesto’s of the UK wide political parties will increase the numbers of children living in poverty by around one million over the lifetime of the next government.

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But the Scot’s want a different approach

SNP policy rejects, “austerity” as the way forward giving favour to an expansion of the economy increasing the value of the state, better managing the balance of payments deficit and long term debt incurred at the time of the 2006-2008 financial crisis and the last five years of failed, “austerity” driven Tory party government which doubled to long term debt of the country.

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Facts and figures don’t lie

* There are 3.5 million children living in poverty (households below average income) in the UK today. That’s 27 per cent of children, or more than one in four.

* There are even more serious concentrations of child poverty at a local level: in 100 local wards, for example, between 50 and 70 per cent of children are growing up in poverty. http://www.endchildpoverty.org.uk/why-end-child-poverty/poverty-in-your-area#map

* Work does not provide a guaranteed route out of poverty in the UK. Two-thirds (66 per cent) of children growing up in poverty live in a family (households below average income) where at least one member works.

* People are poor for many reasons. But explanations which put poverty down to drug and alcohol dependency, family breakdown, poor parenting, or a culture of worklessness are not supported by the facts. Population estimates of problematic drug users in England who access DWP benefits, Department for Work and Pensions, 2008, suggest that 6.6 per cent of the total number of benefit claimants in England were problem drug users. While drug misuse may prove to be a key reason this group of people finds it hard to escape poverty, it clearly has no explanatory power for the other 93.4 per cent of claimants.

* Child poverty blights childhoods. Growing up in poverty (households below average income) means being cold, going hungry, not being able to join in activities with friends. For example, 61 per cent of families in the bottom income quintile would like, but cannot afford, to take their children on holiday for one week a year.

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* Child poverty has long-lasting effects. By 16, children receiving free school meals achieve 1.7 grades lower at GCSE than their wealthier peers. Leaving school with fewer qualifications translates into lower earnings over the course of a working life.

* Poverty is also related to more complicated health histories over the course of a lifetime, again influencing earnings as well as the overall quality – and indeed length – of life. Professionals live, on average, eight years longer than unskilled workers.7

* Child poverty imposes costs on broader society – estimated to be at least £29 billion a year.8 Governments forgo prospective revenues as well as commit themselves to providing services in the future if they fail to address child poverty in the here and now.

* Child poverty was reduced, (addressing major increases in the level of child poverty in the time of the Tory government), dramatically between 1998/9-2011/12 when 1.1 million children were lifted out of poverty (households below average income). This reduction is credited in large part to measures that increased the levels of lone parents working, as well as real and often significant increases in the level of benefits paid to families with children.

* Under current government policies, child poverty is projected to rise once more from 2012/13 with an expected 600,000 more children living in poverty by 2015/16.10 This upward trend is expected to continue with 4.7 million children projected to be living in poverty by 2020.

The full report on child poverty can be found at: http://www.cpag.org.uk/sites/default/files/CPAG-PovertyinScotland2014-sample-chapter.pdf

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Spongers, down and outs, overweight and alcoholics

The denigration of people in poverty is not new. The state assumes de facto responsibility for the care of ‘paupers’, and the terms ‘deserving’ and ‘undeserving’ are once more prevalent in the language of politicians. The divisive, self-justifying distinction between the workless, rogues, idlers and scroungers on the one hand and the hardworking, law-abiding, responsible, taxpayer has not. Recently poublished research highlights how recent welfare reforms continue the states’s long tradition of shaming people who live in poverty. http://www.cpag.org.uk/content/adding-shame-poverty-public-politicians-and-media

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The Conservative manifesto 2010 – education of our children is paramount:

* We will improve standards for all pupils and close the attainment gap between the richest and poorest. (but there remains a fast growing gap between achievements in reading, maths and science between the richest and poorest students).

* We will enhance the prestige and quality of the teaching profession.

* We will give heads and teachers tough new powers of discipline. (but violence in the classroom is a serious and growing problem).

* We will restore rigour to the curriculum and exam system and give every parent access to a good school.

* We will improve our school system to world leadership standard. (but Britain has slipped further down the world leaguetable for student achievement).

* We will make opportunity more equal for all students and address our declining social mobility.

http://www.general-election-2010.co.uk/conservative-party-manifesto-2010-general-election/conservative-manifesto-2010-change-society-raise-standards-in-schools

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So how did they do?

Not at all good – Under the auspices of Michael Gove, (whatever happened to him?) and his successors teachers are still overworked, underpaid and underappreciated. Schooling is still beset with brainless standardization with which students are increasingly non-compliant. The depressingly constant undermining of teachers and their skills only serves to devalue the learning process. Teachers thrive in a listening not telling environment and society would do well to encourage politicians and the state to take a back seat allowing the teaching profession to improve the learning process elevating their skills and place in society.

Tory, Labour and other UK Parties have failed our children – underfunding, overcrowded classrooms, poor payment of teachers, inadequate financial resources to schools and low attendance all beset education.

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How do our children compare with other nations?

A UN report this week named the UK as the worst place to grow up, and Holland the best. Why? – The Unicef team assessed six different areas: material well-being, health and safety educational well-being, family and peer relationships, behaviours and risks and the young people’s own perceptions of their well-being.

In the Netherlands, 73.2% of children found their peers “kind or helpful” – but in the UK only 43.3% felt the same. More than a third of Dutch children liked school “a lot” but in the UK this was less than 20%. 31% of UK children admit to having been drunk on one or two occasions. In the Netherlands it is 12.9%.

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One child – Chloe, 14, has just finished posting leaflets through letterboxes. She is bright, with high aptitude test scores but she has enormous difficulties at school and has been excluded 14 times. She has to be on her best behaviour for the next eight weeks or she is out. Chloe swears a lot at the teachers and answers back and so gets put in isolation all the time, where she has to sit in a cubicle at a desk on her own for seven hours. Chloe hates that and runs off. “They focus more on punishment than on rewards,” she snorts. The police have been called to her parents house a few times when Chloe kicked off and once she was almost charged with domestic violence, though she got let off with a warning. Chloe’s mum, Michelle, 36, says her daughter was “paralytic” when she got to her. The family doctor said Chloe was just a spoiled brat acting up. He sent her to a therapist but she “kicked off” there too.

In Holland secondary school children wear what they want and they say this is why they are happier. There are 10 “golden rules of school”, including no bullying, using bad words or mobiles and smoking is only allowed in identified smoking areas in the playground. But very few children smoke.

Feedback from children believe it is this tolerance that stops them pushing too many boundaries. They say they are treated like adults and are allowed to grow in their less rigid environment. “In Holland, we are much more free,” explained one child, in England, you have uniforms and we get to do more things with clothes and make-up and express ourselves.” A friend 16 added: “No-one is alone here. Here everyone has friends and I think we’re a bit more helpful – we help each other out.”
http://www.theguardian.com/society/2007/feb/17/childrensservices.uknews

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rigid systems breed contempt

A poverty inquiry identified growing inequality in schools – The School-Wear Association, the body representing independent retailers which claims to clothe three-quarters of Britain’s schoolchildren, suggests it costs about £80 to kit out a state secondary school pupil with one new uniform set.

How does a low income family, struggling to pay rent, bills and food manage the cost? For an unemployed parent, it’s just not possible. Families in increasing numbers are turning to loan sharks and high credit lenders to ensure their children have suitable uniform and shoes so they do not suffer the stigma of standing out as poor. A typical parent response;

“I don’t know which schools the School-Wear Association looked at but £80 didn’t even cover half of what my daughters high school specified, and we don’t live in a wealthy area. The blazer alone cost £39, I cant remember the cost of the rest. The blouse and black trousers/skirt were the only items that could be generic, everything else had to be from named suppliers, including school sweatshirt, PE sweatshirt, PE T-shirt, PE tracksuit bottoms, tie, PE kit bag, even the PE socks had to be from the named supplier. Add school shoes, PE pumps, trainers for outside PE, two aprons (also specified supplier) for cookery and textiles. Contrast with when I was at school you could buy nearly ALL as generics, and even buy sew on logos for the blazers in some cases. Many children are ashamed of not having everything they need, or bullied because of it, which has a detrimental knock on effect on their confidence – and their education.” http://www.childrenscommission.org.uk/

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