Blair – Brown – Balls – Miliband – Darling – The Real Story Of The New Labour Finance Team That Brought The UK To It’s Knee’s

 

 

10603288_10152667059726047_8782007870087924874_n10429238_845482792148489_3740684647203776803_n

 
1986: The British American Project – The USA Groomed Gordon Brown and the Labour Party for office in the 1980s

The US, International Visitor Program is a subtle exercise that trades heavily on America’s considerable cultural and social capital, in other words its soft power. But the altruistic aspect of providing the trip is always balanced with the intention of some kind of return. An invitation offered at the start of a young, obviously talented politician’s career can pay off later if, as expected, that politician rises through the ranks in the following years.

A US funded trip has the potential; thanks to the extra information sources or contacts it can provide, to be career enhancing, particularly for those in the media or academics but also for MPs. It is not a case of undue influence but of pragmatically attempting to establish favourable, constructive relations early on with someone expected to achieve greater influence in the future. The element of chance that it will succeed in the long term is of course large. In 1984 the International Visitor Program showed the first signs of this approach, with an invitation, (accepted)  to Gordon Brown.

 

 

article-1216555-069CAFEC000005DC-334_634x49710856590_439328616232019_452178123173838636_o

 
1998: Ah !!! The Private Finance Initiative, (PFI).

Lest we forget. The PFI presented as one of the greatest financial cock-ups in modern times, recklessly committed to by the Labour government, smitten by the spell of Thatcher’s acolytes Blair & Brown.

The sell-off, of, in excess of 1000 UK taxpayer owned buildings to private enterprise was a disgrace then and is even more so now. The UK will effectively be handing over vast amounts of rent money, (leasing back, formally owned depreciating assets) from a foreign owned conglomerate, (Mapeley Steps) almost without limit of time. What a disaster.

Adding insult to injury the company, having bought the properties at a knock down price then immediately transferred ownership title and all other aspects of the contract to a Caribbean tax haven so that all revenue gathered from the UK government would be free of any form of UK tax liability.

Embarrassing indeed, but there’s more. The property sell off, included the entire HM Revenue and Tax Office estates UK wide, who, at the time of the sale were officially committed to the closure of tax haven loopholes. You couldn’t make it up.!!!!! Scotland needs to be rid of these extortionately financially draining PFI schemes.   http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200405/cmselect/cmpubacc/553/553.pdf

 

 

Gordon-Brown11021076_1020649231296638_5026923398780419747_n

 
THREE FULL YEARS BEFORE THE (TOTALLY UNEXPECTED) FINANCIAL DISASTER HIT THE UK

 

 

article-2270948-1541BC71000005DC-446_308x425Peter Mandelson Mellowing

 

 

2004: Warnings Ignored – Warnings Ignored – Warnings Ignored – Warnings Ignored – Warnings Ignored

Lyndon H Larouche jr. ranks highly among the world’s most influential international political figures. His exceptional qualifications as a long-range economic forecaster, was confirmed when, in 2004 he forewarned in the “Executive Intelligence Review” of the erupting, global systemic crisis of the world’s economy.

 

 

brownmandelson

 

 

2004: Warning of Unsustainable House Prices

House prices in Southern England were at the outrageous level of 7.5 times local earnings. Nationwide, the multiple was 5.6. Since 2001, house prices had risen by one-third in Greater London, but almost two-thirds in the rest of the UK. Halifax Bank, The UK’s biggest mortgage lender, reported that the average UK property now cost nearly £158,000.

UK householders were borrowing heavily on the bubble. In April, they took out a record £6.4 billion against the value of their houses, household debt was at a record 120% of disposal income, up from 100% during the pre-crash 1980s. as a direct result of ever increasing net mortgage borrowing which year on year was up:

* 27% over April 2003

* 60% over April 2002

* 131% over April 2001!

In France, by comparison, household debt was 58.7% of disposable income. Bets were being taken, which would burst first, the UK debt bubble, or Tony Blair’s political career.

 

 

10993098_436475866517294_2032262041814994997_n10405508_818905011498032_7364655500765974693_n

 

 

2004: Economy Overheating – Brown Dithering

Then, there was the economy. The Bank of England chose 10 June 2004 to announce it was raising interest rates by a quarter-point for the second time in two months.

This was even a greater blow for Blair.  Bank Governor Mervyn King followed up, four days later, with a blunt speech warning price inflation was now over 20% a year in Britain.

With credit card and other debt added on to mortgage obligations, British households were £1 trillion ($1.835 trillion) in debt — a bubble just as bad, per capita, as that in America.

One trillion pounds debt equals Britain’s annual output, the Financial Times noted sourly on 2 June 2004.

 

 

brown pocketmoneytrident

 

 

2004: Britain’s Housing Bubble Surfaces.

Already, the Bank of England had carried out four 0.25% to bring its base rate up to 4.5%, and there was widespread discussion that the rate would need to be raised to 5% before the year end.

Bank Governor Mervyn King’s June 14 statement that British home prices were not sustainable shook up the financial markets, and in a limited way, acknowledged the problem.

But while King and Greenspan made different public statements, both they and their respective central banks indicated that they hoped for a miraculous soft landing for their twin housing bubbles.

That is a fantasy wish: such highly-leveraged, immense housing would suffer a hard landing.

Synarchists Cheney and Blair would need to be prudent and prepare to experience their very brief last days in office.

http://www.larouchepub.com/eiw/public/2004/eirv31n25-20040625/eirv31n25-20040625_068-election_fiasco_kicks_blair_new.pdf

 

 

catholic-blairCash_682_1383604a

 

 

2004: Local and European Election Fiasco – Blair Takes A Kicking

British Prime Minister Tony Blair suffered his worst humiliation, in the June 2004 local elections and European Parliament contests across England and Wales, since he was elected in May 1997.

The result of Blair’s Labour Party’s miserable showing in both, is that the Prime Minister is now, at best, a lame duck, In the local council elections, ripe to be removed from power at some early date in the coming months.

In London on June 15, Blair showed the strain in his monthly press conference; he was rambling, losing track of his thoughts in mid-sentence, and issuing contradictory political assertions.

British press the next day noted that the best indication that Blair was losing it, was that he broke down amidst the subject he loves best: praising himself and the great domestic “successes” of his New Labour regime. He resigned not long after.

 

 

brownAfter the Scottish referendum.

 
2006: Gordon Brown,  “The Leaker”  sets the standard for Jim Murphy and fellow Labour politicians to follow

During his long years in opposition Brown became a regular conduit for publicising confidential documents leaked to him by civil servants and he was admired for the way he could put them to good use when attacking the Conservatives. Once Labour were in power, he demonstrated an equally deft touch when making use of the journalists he could trust.

The press build-up his Budgets and financial statements was always carefully manipulated to prepare the ground for any changes which he intended to make and Brown continued as Prime Minister to be Labour’s leading exponent of institutionalised leaking.

At the time he was interviewed by the BBC’s Frank Bough in July 1985 he just couldn’t avoid gloating and smirking about the leaks he had orchestrated, received and passed on through his network of minions who were always eager to do his murky deeds.

Many people will have cause to have hatred in their hearts for him. He has departed the scene as a politician, but he leaves a foul stench that will linger for years to come.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QIrweIqqsOc

 

 

BbpF-aECUAAgP752561734259_ecc1c63036_o

 

2007-2008: Financial Disaster

In the period 2004-2008  Brown then Alistair Darling ignored much repeated advice and public warnings issued by Lyndon H Laroche JR, many other eminent economists and Mervyn King, Governor of the Bank of England of the rapidly overheating British economy.

The financial “blow out” that hit the world financial markets in 2007 was brought about by defaulting mortgage holders in the USA and the UK who had been contracting to significant additional debt against their properties through excessive loans creating an unsustainable housing bubble.

Brown and Darling, conspired to divert blame away from the Labour government and had the audacity to blame the Royal Bank of Scotland for the financial disaster that befell the UK when it was clear the mismanagement of the economy was entirely the fault of a Labour Party leadership who had been warned in 2004 of an impending financial wipeout.

At a time the UK should have been introducing measures taking the heat out of the economy Brown and Darling instead played fast and loose with the electorate pushing on with a wilful expansion of the financial market, approving bank mergers funded by borrowing, looking forward only to the next General Election.

 

 

29405-royalty-free-cartoon-clip-art-of-a-stack-of-gold-coins-near-a-pot-of-leprechauns-gold-by-andy-nortnikhjs-murphy-jpg

 

 

March 24 2009; European Parliament, Strasbourg – British Prime Minister Gordon Brown Is Taken Apart By European MEP’s

An unelected Prime Minister, never elected to office who forced through the Westminster parliament ratification of the ill judged European treaty setting aside a clear Labour Party manifesto commitment allowing the British electorate the decision in a referendum. A really nasty man who will depart politics leaving a foul odour.

In office he sold large amounts of Britain’s gold reserves for a pittance, losing the country many billions and when this didn’t give up enough to fund the largesse of the Labour Party he raided the pension funds of Britain’s pensioners asset stripping, rendering them in danger of collapse.

In his unadulterated flannel of a speech to the European Parliament he exposed a nightmare vision of a Labour Party dominated future state. A loathsome man indeed!!   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n1WlpzvgciY

 

 

Scottish-Referendum42Scottish-referendum46Scottish-Referendum43

 

 

Advertisements

Labour – LibDem Minority Government Proposal – Miliband Taking Bad Advice From Preacher Brown – Remember Browns Double Dealing and Petulant Behaviour At The Time The First SNP Government Was Formed In Scotland

 

brown pocketmoney

 

 

May 2007: Scottish General Election

The SNP won the Scottish General Election with 47 MSP’s to Labour’s 46. Despite all the odds being stacked against them the SNP formed a minority Government and retained power for the full term of the parliament.

But Brown, assisted by his network of spies, the Civil Service and rumour mongers continued with vindictive attacks on Alex Salmond and his government making life extremely difficult for the newly elected SNP government turning down meetings delaying and denying Scotland effective governance.

But due to the dogged and unstinting efforts of Alex Salmond a way forward was finally agreed through the establishment of a new “Joint Ministerial Committee” comprising the leaders of devolved administrations and representatives of the Westminster government.

Adding insult Brown insisted that the First minister of Wales should undertake responsibilty for agreeing the format and chairing the body at the first plenary session after which Jack Straw would take the chair at meetings. What a control freak. No Gordon Brown Alex Salmond meetings.

 

 

article-1380915-039E0A4F0000044D-344_634x432gordon_brown_the_graduate

 

 

May 2007: Labour Backstabbers

Brown was so desperate to keep Alex Salmond from being First Minister he tried to cut a deal to keep him out of power. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nuHoijTQ3Y8

 

 

10993098_436475866517294_2032262041814994997_n4469610650_ba92acfcd9

 
May 2007: Sir Menzies Campbell And Gordon Brown’s Secret Talks On Pact To Deny SNP The Right To Govern Scotland

Brown held two secret meetings with Sir Menzies Campbell during the 2007 Scottish election campaign in an attempt to forge a new Labour-Liberal Democrat coalition and keep the SNP out of power, it emerged last night. Brown, the then Chancellor tried to get the agreement of the former Lib Dem leader for an anti-SNP coalition – even though neither had the authority to make such an agreement. The secret meetings, held behind the backs of their respective Scottish parties and leaders, were disclosed in Sir Menzies’ recently released autobiography.

 

 

campbellgordon-brown-diariesmedia-alex-salmond

 

 

In Menzies Campbell: My Autobiography,  Sir Ming described how he met Brown twice in Edinburgh during last year’s election campaign – once on Easter Sunday and on election day itself, when it was clear that the SNP was ahead in the polls and heading for victory. On both occasions, Brown asked for a new Labour-Lib Dem coalition as he did not want the SNP to control the Scottish Executive and its 30 billion budget. Sir Ming told Brown that, although he was also against an SNP-led devolved administration, he could not decide coalition policy, as that was in the hands of the party’s Scottish leader, Nicol Stephen.

 

 

jack-mcconnell-in-kilt-715380-743378500

 

Jack McConnell, the then Scottish Labour leader, was not invited to the meetings. Brown was operating without the knowledge or approval of the Scottish Labour leadership. News that Brown was working behind the scenes to forge an anti-SNP coalition will infuriate Nationalists and embarrass Scottish Labour leaders, particularly as Mr McConnell made it clear after the SNP won last year’s election that Alex Salmond would be given the chance to form a government.

 

 

imagesjjwhy

 

 

Sir Ming wrote that Brown first called him at home on Easter Sunday last year to ask for a discreet meeting. He stated: “Like me, he was anxious about the possibility of the SNP governing in Scotland, our own backyard. Was there common ground between Labour and the Lib Dems to tackle the SNP together? He made a number of suggestions. I told him I would have to discuss them with Nicol Stephen.

“He then raised possibilities for a new coalition between the Lib Dems and Labour on the assumption that the two parties had enough seats jointly to form a government. ” Sir Ming wrote that this was difficult for him as such decisions were for Mr Stephen.”

 

 

10881702_1551717875067997_8281966087651607890_narticle-2270948-1541BC71000005DC-446_308x425

 

 

As the election campaign drew to a close, Brown got in touch again. Sir Ming wrote: “We met at the same discreet place as before. Throughout the campaign, the polls had put the SNP ahead of Labour. Was there scope for an arrangement between our parties? “What would be the consequences for Scotland and our parties if the SNP used the 30 billion Scottish Executive budget to build support for independence over the next few years?”

 

 

10603288_10152667059726047_8782007870087924874_nBy0jX77CEAEDtgv

 

 

Sir Ming also explained how the Scottish Lib Dem leadership team met at his Edinburgh home the night after the SNP’s victory to eat pizza and decide what to do. “After two hours, we packed away our pizza boxes and any possibility of a coalition deal with the SNP.” Sir Ming also revealed that both he and Tavish Scott, the Lib Dems’ election campaign manager, were against an SNP-Lib Dem coalition, but a deal with Labour was still a possibility. Brown went on BBC Scotland’s Politics Show the following day, all forms of coalition had been ruled out for the Lib Dems, which is what Mr Scott then announced.

http://www.scotsman.com/news/sir-menzies-reveals-brown-s-secret-talks-on-pact-to-deny-snp-power-1-1158022

 

 

Scottish-Referendum43Scottish-Referendum42Scottish-referendum46

Gordon Brown – The Great Clunking Fist Keeps Resurfacing -The Long Goodbye Right Enough – Here’s Some Video’s of His Best Bits – Not

 

magaret-thatcher-and-gordon-brown-pic-pa-758894358

 

 

A video Selection of Gordon Brown’s best bits

* Brown gets beaten up by David Cameron over the BA and Unite Union strike by. https://youtu.be/Q-GkrHKcwvo

 

Gordon-Brown

 

 

* Brown gives a weak performance in Prime Ministers Questions. https://youtu.be/fvhgBV5YCZ4

 

 

brown

 

 

* Brown tries to say that David Cameron is Mr.10 per-cent. But in reality it is Brown who is Mr.10 per-cent. It was he who put the basic rate of tax up on the poor from 10% to 20% to pay for his rich banker friends. https://youtu.be/2tdPejENgms

 

 

brown pocketmoney

 

 

* Brown in his usual manner comes up with meaningless statistics to impress the gullible New Labour MP’s. https://youtu.be/qaDOIOkPlmc

 

 

1623566_460836310730482_406097192584783842_n

 

 

* In an effort to keep New Labour in power, Brown quits as Prime Minister. https://youtu.be/_0w9wGvWwnE

 

 

 

Bx5_3kkIIAI3GzR

 

 

* State Opening of Parliament. Closing remarks of Brown during the 2007 Queen’s Speech debate with Leader of the Opposition David Cameron. https://youtu.be/TsAa9VmwOaI

 

 

article-2270948-1541BC71000005DC-446_308x425

 

 

* The inside story of the credit crunch, charting the roller coaster journey of Gordon Brown’s fortunes from the moment the recession began. https://youtu.be/NL8A2fi3ols

 

 

Alistair+Darling+Johann+Lamont+Scottish+Referendum+isvGMymsqcIl

 

 

* Unfit for high office? It is a puzzle to me how such a flawed personality survived in politics for so long. https://youtu.be/fT0AtqaLbJY

 

 

 

4280206300

 

 

* Brown meets Gillian Duffy, who he was later heard off-camera describing her as a ‘bigoted woman’. https://youtu.be/CTr8IVWBuPE https://youtu.be/A-Ixqw85_P0

 

backstabbers

 

 

* Brown was so desperate to keep Alex Salmond from being First Minister he tried to cut a deal to keep him out of power. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nuHoijTQ3Y8

 

 

Cash_682_1383604a

 

 

* The woman that Gordon Brown called a bigot gives her instant reaction to what Gordon Brown called her. https://youtu.be/yMTnvtZro7U#

 

Pension-cartoon

 

 

* And to think one of the worst ever financial disasters was caused by a man who wrapped himself in ‘prudence’. https://youtu.be/lRTg13dwttc

 

 

murphy

 

 

* Farage blasts Gordon Brown as he calls for “New World Order”. https://youtu.be/VUFdVkAsU0Q

 

 

10959602_1573471849559266_2127018768988301529_n

 

 

* An English voice speaks out. Brown and his vows, he has no right to speak for the English. I for one will not let a Scottish MP and the one who ran the UK into the ground make deals to his own people on my behalf. Make note Scots anyone telling you the English will bribe you to stay has no authority. Don,t think you can have your cake and eat it. If you want to stay then great but 60 million English will not pay you to stay whatever Gordon thinks he can say on our behalf. English Nationalism will make a comeback so get ready for it.

 

 

murphy nuc

 

 

* Labour managed to spend the 3G money as well ! And the £35 billion they raided from British Pension Funds and every other stealth tax they invented. 10p in the £ anybody? And if 40p was OK then why is 45p wrong now? Hypocrites! You only get into debt when you spend more than you earn and borrow to make up the difference. Its really very simple. Even before the Bank bail outs we were in the shit with Labour. It now turns out the 2008 / 09 recession was 2% worse than we were told. https://youtu.be/MRAn_SB1Q9w

 

 

d9acf90ec3af135713e54af66d743743

 

 

* British troops begin their withdrawal from Iraq after over six years of occupation. The war led to a disconnect between the British people and their elected representatives, as well as a backlash against the UK’s Muslim minority. It also led to much death and destruction in Iraq itself. https://youtu.be/oWeY2BVNAHY

 

Gordon-Brown-Willie-Bain--001

 

* Gordon Brown Launches Big Bribe timetable at yet another private, closed pensioners meeting, ( broadcast in full on BBC) in Loanhead Miners Club, (but there are no miners now) and they swallow it. https://youtu.be/4PShsBlrCDg

 

 

10405508_818905011498032_7364655500765974693_n

 

Preacher Brown Savages The SNP at Another Closed Meeting – Labour Still Living In The Past While Scotland Has Moved On – Even Their Own Party Policy Guru Despairs At Murphy And Browns Negative Campaigning

 

Jon-Cruddas-Launches-His--010Hardie_elect

 

 

Labour Party Head Of Policy Review  Jon Cruddas – Persuades Labour That There Is A Better Way

Jon Cruddas, Head of the Labour Party’s policy review, has been promoting a policy of “winning power to give it away”. In collaboration with Labour leaders of English cities, Cruddas has been pushing the devolutionary agenda since he was appointed to his role in May 2012.

The approach advocated by the policy review – whose recommendations have now been adopted as official party policy, for what it’s worth – involves something rather different: as one text co-authored by Cruddas puts it, transforming Labour “from a 20th century political party into a modern, democratic political movement for radical change”.

But some party insiders are gloomy about the sincerity of the two Ed’s and their leadership colleagues, convinced that they are not fully committed to the new way of thinking. In this view, Labour still remains too fond of centralised lever-pulling. It is also investing too much political capital in what Miliband calls “the cost of living crisis”, believing the answer to most voters’ grievances is to engineer financial remedies (cuts in household bills, incremental upticks in the minimum wage) from Whitehall.

 

 

imagesbghrevscotlogo01plan-for-scotland-graphic

 

 

Cruddas has spent two and half years working on a new vision of Labour’s future. The whole experience, he said, has changed him in all kinds of ways – and by way of showing how much new thinking is required to restore faith in politics, he quickly went radically beyond party policy.

“One of the things that is reflective of changes in me is, for example, proportional representation,” he said. “That’s now not some sort of middle class indulgent exercise – it’s a fundamental issue in terms of democracy and people’s rights. I never had a view on it before; now I think it’s central to the rebuilding of the whole thing. As is space for referendums, and recalls. These are really interesting questions.”

The officially adopted elements of what Cruddas has been working on since 2012 cover all areas of policy, and do so on the basis of a deep analysis of what has gone wrong with Britain, much of it inspired by the pioneering work of Compass, the left-aligned pressure group that still comes closest to representing Cruddas’s political tribe.

As well as devolution to cities and regions in England, the review has proposed regional banks to provide grassroots help to small businesses, a ramping-up of local planning control over high streets, an insistence on public sector competition in rail franchising, and more.

Some of those who have worked on the policy review echo such thoughts. They also talk about palpable tensions at the top of the party. The policy review, it is said, offered Miliband a basic narrative about  “national renewal” and people’s sense of powerlessness, about which he was initially enthusiastic – before it was dropped in favour of the cost-of-living agenda, and a more tactical, day-to-day approach.

 

 

unisonSunday-Times-dead-hand-Miliband-blasted-by-top-adviser

 

 

When I last met Cruddas, at Labour’s autumn conference, we talked about the sense of ferment in Britain, reflected in the transformation of politics in Scotland. Rather than being thrown by this, he seemed to be fascinated: “People are confronting orthodoxies, kicking over tables, creating a bit of energy … and I think that is absolutely fantastic,” he said. When we spoke this week, he made much the same points: that in England, there was an obvious symmetry between, say, Ukip on the right and the apparently insurgent Green party on the left, and “I find that exciting, rather than threatening. But there are threats: huge tripwires, all around.”

Such as? “The future existence of the Labour party. In the sense of, are there changes in the structure of society and the economy which are so demanding for political parties … well, can they change?”

Big debates, he said, were happening around ideas about “family, home, nation”, Labour, he said, had to guard against becoming “quite calculating in our politics, versus other groups that are more culturally aligned, swarming in and out of those issues”.

Was that his interpretation of what has happened to Labour in Scotland? “I think that’s exactly what’s happened. They’re not talking about cash transfers, are they?

Just about everything Cruddas said in London, Liverpool and Manchester underlined his belief that these are serious, seismic times, replete with threats to the normal way of doing things. “There is a democratic danger here,” he said. “Those parties that hoover up seats in Westminster have been dependent on shrinking portions of the electorate.

But the system puts them into power, and there’s a legitimacy crisis about how much people actually vote for them. There are issues there around PR, and referenda, and the architecture of England, and pushing out power from Whitehall.

A big part of what we’ve been doing in the policy review is this: can you win power to give it away? That is hugely counter cultural for Labour.” Once again, there was a clear sense of a fork in the road. “My view is, you either hide from these issues – or you run towards them.”

 

 

Tories 'obsessed by Grammar schools' claims BrownDaily-Record-on-Johann-Lamont

 

 

Debating the Scottish Independence Referendum: What Future for the United Kingdom and Scotland

After their humiliating defeat in the 2011 elections, the Scottish Labour Party have found themselves ensnared in a circular dialogue of apology and aggressive stereotyping. Breaking out of this requires a change of focus – away from Alex Salmond and the SNP and towards the party’s professed values of social justice.

It is then timely and apposite that the Fabian Society in association with Compass held a discussion under the theme, ‘Debating the Scottish Independence Referendum: What Future for the United Kingdom?’ with Labour MPs, Jon Cruddas, Anas Sarwar, Deputy Leader of Scottish Labour, and Gemma Doyle, along with myself, (Gerry Hassan) in the Houses of Parliament.

The evening showed some of the many comfort zones and delusions which Scottish Labour still hold to after its 2011 Scottish Parliament election humiliation.

scottish_labour_party_broken_bumper_sticker-r515f71123b6b4446ada7687fa5687568_v9wht_8byvr_324Alistair+Darling+Johann+Lamont+Scottish+Referendum+isvGMymsqcIl

 

 

The two Scottish Labour MPs and Anas Sarwar in particular, spoke a language of renewal and urgency but which seemed mostly devoid of real political understanding or content.

The thoughtful observations of the evening from the Labour MPs came almost exclusively from Jon Cruddas who talked with an acute eye about England, the absence of English Labour, and the shifts in the Tories with a brash, aggressive English nationalism emerging in the party.

Cruddas referenced the Australian debate under Paul Keating which redefined national identity, and cited Tom Nairn and the challenge of ‘the hyper-empire of capital’.

In terms of hinterland Cruddas as well as referencing Nairn and Keating, mentioned George Lansbury’s ‘My England’ and Clement Attlee.

Sarwar and Doyle, as representatives of today’s new political classes, showed their ‘thin’ external world, with not one wider reference or example all evening.

 

 

@zx_300@zy_200vow3

 

 

In my presentation, I suggested Scottish Labour stop talking to itself and stop using words such as ‘devolution’ and ‘separatism’ which gave the party succour and satisfaction but which were mostly meaningless to the general public.

“Devolution” was a narrow notion of political change and a concept born of 1970s compromise and accommodation. ‘Separatism’ which is how Labour describes the Scottish Nationalists is an archaic relic of a term which reveals much about who says it.

The SNP have never been ‘separatists’ and indeed the true, serious ‘separatists’ in the UK are the fossilised, fanatic parliamentary sovereignty fetishists of Euroscepticism.

Labour has to drop its own private world of language, stop talking process and embrace substance.

Labour’s obsession with the SNP has been an unhealthy one, destabilising and disorientating the party’s view of the world.

Despite the fact the SNP have been on the Scottish political scene for over 40 years, Labour north of the border have yet to fully come to terms with them.

The aggressive language and stereotyping which goes on between the two parties belies that these are two rather similar parties, both broad churches and both, in parts, significantly (small c) conservative.

 

 

CDHJEXXXIAA6XvO.png large010929033_1560317807541337_6159744010173511920_n

 

 

Sarwar and Doyle presented cartoon caricatures of the Nationalists, citing ‘separatism’ many times, with Sarwar articulating a convoluted definition when challenged on Labour’s constant of use of the big bogey word.

The Nationalists talked left and right, he maintained, depending on the audience (just like New Labour), and as he accurately observed, have left independence so far undefined. Doyle talked from the old hymn sheet, talking of the SNP as having cornered ‘the right wing vote’ and being just like the Tories.

Scottish Labour has a proud history and story but they are currently in a terrible place and have barely begun to realise what has happened to them.

Both Sarwar and Doyle railed against the SNP Government for not using the Scottish Parliament’s existing tax powers, omitting that Labour in office for eight years had done exactly the same.

Similarly the SNP’s floated idea of cutting corporation tax was trumpeted as proof of their right-wing perfidy, ignoring New Labour’s cutting of it.

What this seemed to suggest was that the speakers had one rationale for an action when the SNP did it (bad), and another when New Labour had done it (good).

How does Scottish Labour get people to listen to them again? I suggested that the party apologise for 50 years of taking people for granted and for municipalism, cronyism, clientism and council patronage.

 

Graph-by-year11156342_816960831692450_892496525919344070_n

 

Cruddas immediately spotted that this was a wider Labour malaise, to which I agreed, pointing out that it was a Scottish variant of that crisis.

So far Scottish Labour has offered a half-hearted apology for losing in 2011, but hasn’t begun to understand why it was so soundly rejected.

Its public mantra has become ‘we have to stop apologising’ when the party hasn’t recognised the longer story of the machine politics it built in Scotland which it needs to take responsibility for and offer an explanation. Then and only then, people may begin to sit up and take notice. This is not just a Scottish but a British and international debate.

All evening Sarwar and Doyle defended a union which was in reality, a ‘Fantasy Island Britain’, the land of the most successful multi-national partnership in all human history, a place where redistribution and social enlightenment march proudly forward claiming the future.

At no point did they engage in some of the uncomfortable realities: of the UK as the fourth most unequal country in the rich world according to Danny Dorling, and on existing trends, set to overtake, Portugal, USA and Singapore, and become the most unequal country in the developed world.

Labour needs to embrace an agenda of social justice and stop talking about the constitution and being obsessed with the SNP and Alex Salmond.

 

 

alex-slamond

 

 

Twenty years after the Commission on Social Justice was launched perhaps Scottish Labour could revisit this terrain instead of talking all the time about ‘devolution’ and ‘separatism’.

What this could involve is renewing and marking John Smith’s values and coming up with a social justice covenant for the 20th anniversary of his tragic death, which coincides with the run-in to the autumn 2014 Scottish independence vote.

A Scottish Labour Party engaged with social justice would aid people in the SNP to develop a more distinct, radical social agenda and thus improve the quality of the entire Scottish debate.

It would reduce the superficial noise between these two parties and develop a debate with more substance addressing what Scottish voters want to see it engage with.

 

 

austeritywki9747629-large

 

 

Such a politics would entail addressing how we tackle and end child poverty, challenge welfare entrapment and despair, and address the huge gap in life expectancy between rich and poor across Scotland. It could even be called the John Smith social justice covenant.

Such a move would make the Scottish debate about self-government and independence both more subtle and real. It would take it away from the politicians’ love of the abstract and grandiose and connect it to the complex choices of modern life and challenges to progressive politics.

The values of solidarity, communitarianism and inclusion have always influenced and shaped much of the Scottish debate, driven in part by a distrust of British politicians and the state.

 

 

cruddas-alexanderbackstabbers

 

It is now crucial over the next two years that they are brought to the fore, from the implicit to the explicit.

We have to ask how do we best champion social justice in Scotland and in these isles?

That is what Scottish self-government and independent has to directly address; namely, the relationship between progressive values and government structures, and in so doing help all of us to make sense of how we all break out of ‘Fantasy Island Britain’ which has so served the forces of power and privilege.

 

 

Scottish-Referendum42Scottish-Referendum43Scottish-referendum46

 

Labour Needed To Learn Lessons From Past Failures And Change Their Approach – That They Didn’t Is Why They Are In Terminal Decline In Scotland

 

 

 

JS4382407510455324_10152545977986753_7487026676145808252_n

 

 

March 2012: Breaking the grip of ‘fantasy island Britain’: Social justice, Scotland and the UK by Gerry Hassan

Gerry Hassan, PhD, born in Scotland, is Research Fellow in cultural policy at the University of the West of Scotland who has recently been awarded his PhD on political and cultural contemporary debate in the public sphere of Scotland. Gerry is the author and editor of numerous books including ‘The Strange Death of Labour Scotland’ and the just published ‘After Independence’ (co-edited with James Mitchell). His most recent books are ‘Caledonian Dreaming: The Quest for a Different Scotland’ and the just published ‘Independence of the Scottish Mind: Elite Narratives, Public Spaces and the Making of a Modern Nation

 

@zx_300@zy_2003702099155

 
After their humiliating defeat in the 2011 elections, the Scottish Labour Party have found themselves ensnared in a circular dialogue of apology and aggressive stereotyping. Breaking out of this requires a change of focus – away from Alex Salmond and the SNP and towards the party’s professed values of social justice.

The Scottish independence debate had many dimensions, Scottish, English, British, European and global. It was also one that the insular London political class and media had only episodically covered the last forty years, being content to rest on ‘Braveheart’ and romantic, restless nationalist stereotypes.

It is then timely and apposite that the Fabian Society in association with Compass held a discussion under the theme, ‘Debating the Scottish Independence Referendum: What Future for the United Kingdom?’ with Labour MPs, Jon Cruddas, Anas Sarwar, Deputy Leader of Scottish Labour, and Gemma Doyle, along with myself, in the Houses of Parliament this week.

The evening showed some of the many comfort zones and delusions which Scottish Labour still hold to after its 2011 Scottish Parliament election humiliation. The two Scottish Labour MPs and Anas Sarwar in particular, spoke a language of renewal and urgency but which seemed mostly devoid of real political understanding or content.

 

 

_82285793_benn_973669_dewar_300

 

 

The thoughtful observations of the evening from the Labour MPs came almost exclusively from Jon Cruddas who talked with an acute eye about England, the absence of English Labour, and the shifts in the Tories with a brash, aggressive English nationalism emerging in the party. Cruddas referenced the Australian debate under Paul Keating which redefined national identity, and cited Tom Nairn and the challenge of ‘the hyper-empire of capital’.

In terms of hinterland Cruddas as well as referencing Nairn and Keating, mentioned George Lansbury’s ‘My England’ and Clement Attlee. Sarwar and Doyle, as representatives of today’s new political classes, showed their ‘thin’ external world, with not one wider reference or example all evening.

 

 

euro_elections_posterimages33

 

 

In my presentation, I suggested Scottish Labour stop talking to itself and stop using words such as ‘devolution’ and ‘separatism’ which gave the party succour and satisfaction but which were mostly meaningless to the general public. ‘Devolution’ was a narrow notion of political change and a concept born of 1970s compromise and accommodation. ‘Separatism’ which is how Labour describes the Scottish Nationalists is an archaic relic of a term which reveals much about who says it. The SNP have never been ‘separatists’ and indeed the true, serious ‘separatists’ in the UK are the fossilised, fanatic parliamentary sovereignty fetishists of Euroscepticism. Labour has to drop its own private world of language, stop talking process and embrace substance.

 

 

9747629-large74487894_saltireeu_gettytwo-150x150

 

 

Labour’s obsession with the SNP has been an unhealthy one, destabilising and disorientating the party’s view of the world. Despite the fact the SNP have been on the Scottish political scene for over 40 years, Labour north of the border have yet to fully come to terms with them. The aggressive language and stereotyping which goes on between the two parties belies that these are two rather similar parties, both broad churchesand both, in parts, significantly (small c) conservative.

 

scottish_labour_party_broken_bumper_sticker-r515f71123b6b4446ada7687fa5687568_v9wht_8byvr_324stream_img

 

 

Sarwar and Doyle presented cartoon caricatures of the Nationalists, citing ‘separatism’ many times, with Sarwar articulating a convoluted definition when challenged on Labour’s constant of use of the big bogey word. The Nationalists talked left and right, he maintained, depending on the audience (just like New Labour), and as he accurately observed, have left independence so far undefined. Doyle talked from the old hymn sheet, talking of the SNP as having cornered ‘the right wing vote’ and being just like the Tories.

 

 

10405508_818905011498032_7364655500765974693_nJS46323523

 

 

Scottish Labour has a proud history and story but they are currently in a terrible place and have barely begun to realise what has happened to them. Both Sarwar and Doyle railed against the SNP Government for not using the Scottish Parliament’s existing tax powers, omitting that Labour in office for eight years had done exactly the same. Similarly the SNP’s floated idea of cutting corporation tax was trumpeted as proof of their right-wing perfidy, ignoring New Labour’s cutting of it. What this seemed to suggest was that the speakers had one rationale for an action when the SNP did it (bad), and another when New Labour had done it (good).

How does Scottish Labour get people to listen to them again? I suggested that the party apologise for 50 years of taking people for granted and for municipalism, cronyism, clientism and council patronage. Cruddas immediately spotted that this was a wider Labour malaise, to which I agreed, pointing out that it was a Scottish variant of that crisis.

 

 

11156342_816960831692450_892496525919344070_nmedia-alex-salmond

 

 

So far Scottish Labour has offered a half-hearted apology for losing in 2011, but hasn’t begun to understand why it was so soundly rejected. Its public mantra has become ‘we have to stop apologising’ when the party hasn’t recognised the longer story of the machine politics it built in Scotland which it needs to take responsibility for and offer an explanation. Then and only then, people may begin to sit up and take notice.

This is not just a Scottish but a British and international debate. All evening Sarwar and Doyle defended a union which was in reality, a ‘Fantasy Island Britain’, the land of the most successful multi-national partnership in all human history, a place where redistribution and social enlightenment march proudly forward claiming the future. At no point did they engage in some of the uncomfortable realities: of the UK as the fourth most unequal country in the rich world according to Danny Dorling, and on existing trends, set to overtake, Portugal, USA and Singapore, and become the most unequal country in the developed world.

 

 

Daily-Record-on-Johann-Lamont10484949_726436334101043_1684413381150678248_o

 

 

Labour needs to embrace an agenda of social justice and stop talking about the constitution and being obsessed with the SNP and Alex Salmond. Twenty years after the Commission on Social Justice was launched perhaps Scottish Labour could revisit this terrain instead of talking all the time about ‘devolution’ and ‘separatism’.

What this could involve is renewing and marking John Smith’s values and coming up with a social justice covenant for the 20th anniversary of his tragic death, which coincides with the run-in to the autumn 2014 Scottish independence vote.

 

 

Hardie_electarbroath

 

 

A Scottish Labour Party engaged with social justice would aid people in the SNP to develop a more distinct, radical social agenda and thus improve the quality of the entire Scottish debate. It would reduce the superficial noise between these two parties and develop a debate with more substance addressing what Scottish voters want to see it engage with.

Such a politics would entail addressing how we tackle and end child poverty, challenge welfare entrapment and despair, and address the huge gap in life expectancy between rich and poor across Scotland. It could even be called the John Smith social justice covenant.

Such a move would make the Scottish debate about self-government and independence both more subtle and real. It would take it away from the politicians’ love of the abstract and grandiose and connect it to the complex choices of modern life and challenges to progressive politics.

 

labfirst10485307_10206031838613468_5034394981712833040_n

 

The values of solidarity, communitarianism and inclusion have always influenced and shaped much of the Scottish debate, driven in part by a distrust of British politicians and the state. It is now crucial over the next two years that they are brought to the fore, from the implicit to the explicit. We have to ask how do we best champion social justice in Scotland and in these isles? That is what Scottish self-government and independent has to directly address; namely, the relationship between progressive values and government structures, and in so doing help all of us to make sense of how we all break out of ‘Fantasy Island Britain’ which has so served the forces of power and privilege.
https://www.opendemocracy.net/ourkingdom/gerry-hassan/breaking-grip-of-%E2%80%98fantasy-island-britain%E2%80%99-social-justice-scotland-and-uk

 

plan-for-scotland-graphicBRITAIN-SCOTLAND-INDEPENDENCE-VOTE

 
Comments:

Great piece, I agree with a lot of what you say here, and I often find myself agreeing with John Cruddas who is one of the few gifted politicans we seem to have at the moment.

Labour’s problem in the Scottish election in 2011, and the General election in 2010, both relate to it taking people for granted so much that they lost all enthusiasm for the party which was once their own, it has yet to refind this either in Scotland or the rest of the UK. John Smith was a great man, and would have been a fantastic PM, I think if Labour can reinvent itself both UK wide and in Scotland by revisiting his legacy and perspective, then it can be revialised in Britain, regardless of whether Britain is made up of 2 sovereign states on 1.

Thanks for your thoughts. We need to bring the debate about the future of Scotland and the UK fundamentally on to what kind of future, what kind of society and economy.

 

 

CDHJEXXXIAA6XvO.png largeposthealey1345837499_0995

 

 

Sad and telling that Labour MPs still blindly defend the imperial centre as this great force of progressivism; a kind of blind faith ….

Absolutely, what really gets me about the modern Labour party is how soulless it has become. The 13 years they were in power were squandered, it was a real chance to help working people up and down the land, make a real difference to things such as housing, education, health and transport, but they wasted it, and now the Tories are back with their Lib Dem bag carriers.

There were some achievements, such as the Minimum Wage…any other good achievements currently escape me… The party needs to redefine itself and break away from it’s slavish ‘Thatcherism Lite’ type of ideal. The problem for me with Labour (& I am still a member) is that it totally lost touch with what it was about during the Blair/Brown era, people on the ground want things like decent housing, good transport, good schools and opportunities for their kids, good healthcare, and a decent Welfare State to support people when the fall on hard times.

 

 

Daily-Record-on-Johann-Lamont1531998_840234932709939_3385315916147037263_n

 

 

Labour needs to be on the side of the ‘little guy’ regardless of whether it is Labour in Scotland or wider Britain, too often it found itself on the wrong side in recent years, and that is something that I feel hasn’t yet changed. Markets, and big business have their place, and always need to be taken into account, and listened too, but they shouldn’t dictate everything in society. For me, the saddest, chapter in Labours’ recent history has to be when Gordon Brown met Gillian Duffy, a real person, and Labour supporter, who was concerned about immigration volumes, and he described her as a bigot…it kind of said it all, the arrogance and dislocation of the leadership from the supporters, from the average people in the street.

I am disenchanted with the current leadership, they have scored the odd victory like last year against the Murdoch Empire, Miliband did well, but they don’t have the vision or the passion to make (me at least) feel anything has really changed since they left power. Personally, I think that the ‘Blue Labour’ project that Jon Cruddas has been associated with is potentially the way forward, as it does seek to reconnect with our past as a party, and at the same time takes on board ‘the man on the streets’ concerns about immigration, law and order etc.

 

 

hjs-murphy-jpg11013081_599357796860910_9185575790238061152_n

 

 

More of the same from Labour just won’t work, at the moment it feels as though they are just waiting and hoping that the public get sick of the Conservative Party, but not providing any real hope for anything better.

I am English, so not mega hot on the Scottish political scene, however, I was disappointed with the Johann Lamont appointment as leader, as once again that spelt for more of the same. Looking into Scotland as an outsider, it would appear that the challenge again is to get back on the side of ‘the little guy – the man on the street – the working man’ (& women of course). The party obviously needs to take account of the current Scotland independence debate, and perhaps argue more vigorously for Scotland within a wider UK setting. It should also always seek to be more progressive than a nationalist party like the SNP, and only by reconnecting with it’s soul can it do this.

 

 

Scottish-referendum46Scottish-Referendum42Scottish-Referendum43

 

 

Gemma Doyle – Labour Party Candidate – West Dunbartonshire – More Right Wing Than Jim Duffy – She Failed Her Constituents and Has The Neck To Ask Them To Overlook Her Appalling Record – I don’t Think So Emma- On Your Bike

 

Not for PhotosalesmhNoToAusterity

 

 

Gemma Doyle was elected as the MP for West Dunbartonshire in May 2010.

Doyle was born in 1981. She grew up in Dumbarton where she attended St Patrick’s Primary and Our Lady and St Patrick’s High School. Doyle attended the University of Glasgow, where she, graduated with an MA in European Civilisation.

Before being elected to Parliament, she worked as a Political Officer for the Parliamentary Labour Party. Previously she worked as a Conference Producer for the Institution of Civil Engineers, a Conference Development Manager for a small business and as a caseworker and parliamentary assistant for a number of MSPs. She joined the Labour party aged 15 and served on its Scottish Executive and National Policy Forum before being selected as Labour’s candidate in West Dunbartonshire in 2010.

Doyle is is a Shadow Defence Minister, with specific responsibility for defence personnel, welfare and veterans. Shadow Defence Secretary Jim Murphy backed Doyle’s husband, Gregor Poynton in a Labour Party selection process for the Falkirk constituency which was suspended in 2013.

Doyle sponsored the Westminster launch of the Henry Jackson Society report In Scotland’s Defence? An Assessment of SNP Defence Strategy, on 4 July 2013.

 

 

GemmaWDMP_twitter_profile99198633austerity-children

 
February 2007: The parallel universe of BAE: covert, dangerous and beyond the rule of law

There is a state within a state in the United Kingdom, a small but untouchable domain that appears to be subject to a different set of laws. We have heard quite a bit about it over the past two months, but hardly anyone knows just how far its writ runs. The state is BAE Systems, Britain’s biggest arms company. It seems, among other advantages, to be able to run its own secret service.

This week, Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT) hopes to obtain a court order against BAE. The order would allow it to discover how the arms company obtained one of its confidential documents. CAAT instructed its lawyers, Leigh Day & Co, to seek a judicial review of the government’s decision to drop the corruption case against BAE, which is alleged to have paid massive bribes to members of the Saudi royal family. Leigh Day sent CAAT an email containing advice on costs and tactics. The email ended up in the hands of the arms company.

How? Correspondence between a plaintiff and his lawyers couldn’t be more private. The last people you would show it to are the defendants in the case. But somehow the letter found its way to BAE’s offices.

The arms company argues that it was the unwitting and unwilling recipient of the email. So why does it refuse to tell CAAT who sent it? Why, far from assisting CAAT’s attempt to explain this mystery, has it threatened the group with costs for seeking to reveal BAE’s source?

BAE’s spying operations represent just one way in which the company looks like a parallel state. It also appears to enjoy crown immunity. Last August, this column suggested that the Saudi corruption case might be dropped, in order to protect a new order for 72 BAE jets. It was not a hard prediction to make – Saudi Arabia had made the new deal conditional on the abandonment of the case. But I could not have guessed that both the attorney general and the prime minister would make such a show of squashing the investigation. They seemed to go out of their way to demonstrate to BAE’s clients that they would do whatever it took to protect the new order, even if it meant exposing themselves to allegations of collusion.

The prime minister has never taken such a risk on behalf of one of his departments, let alone his ministers or officials (witness how Lord Levy and Ruth Turner have been left to swing). There are just two friends for whom he will put his legacy on the line: George Bush and BAE. In 2001, Blair overruled Clare Short and Gordon Brown to grant an export licence for BAE’s sale of a military air-traffic control system to one of the world’s poorest countries, Tanzania. The World Bank had pointed out that the contract was ridiculously expensive – Tanzania could have bought a better system elsewhere for a quarter of the price. In January the Guardian revealed that BAE Systems allegedly paid a $12m (£6.2m) “commission” to an agent who brokered the deal.

In 2005, Blair made a secret visit to Riyadh to expedite BAE’s deal with the Saudi princes. He then sent both John Reid and Des Browne to clinch the order. Ministers in the UK have always acted as unpaid salesmen for the arms companies, but seldom has a prime minister muddied his hands this much. Blair pushed the order through by promising the Saudis that they could have the first 24 planes ahead of schedule. How? By selling them the jets already allotted to the RAF. BAE’s interests, in other words, trump the requirements of our own armed forces.

Blair has also broken his government’s pledge to publish the report by the National Audit Office on BAE’s dealings in Saudi Arabia. It remains the only NAO report never to have been made public. We can only guess why the prime minister needs to protect it.

It could be argued, with some force, that this government has always had a special relationship with big business, rather like its special relationship with George Bush (it gets beaten up and thanks him for it). But the special favours it grants BAE are deeply resented by other corporations. After the suppression of the Saudi case, F&C Asset Management, a very large institutional investor, wrote to the government to complain that its decision undermined the rule of law and the predictability of the investment climate. Hermes, Britain’s biggest pension fund, said that it threatened the UK’s reputation as a leading financial centre, and the chairman of Anglo-American wrote that the abandonment of thecase “damaged the reputation of Britain”.

At what point does the government conclude that this company has got out of control? That it presents a danger to national interests, to the reputation of the prime minister, tothe privacy and civil liberties of its opponents? Why does it appear to be above the law? For how much longer will it be permitted to run what looks like a parallel secretservice? Of all the questions we might ask of our ministers, these are the least likely to be answered. http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2007/feb/13/bae.foreignpolicy

 

 

GemmaDoyleMPMcTernanAusterity

 
March 2013: How Scottish MPs Voted on the Workfare Bill

Yesterday the House of Commons 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.

Abstained: 33 of 40 (83%) Labour MPs. The Tory/LibDems achieved what they wanted. Despite being legally owed the money the claimants are to be denied this as a result of this hideous bill. The Labour MP’s that abstained should be ashamed, including Gemma Doyle.

Douglas Alexander (Paisley and Renfrewshire South)
Willie Bain (Glasgow North East)
Gordon Banks (Ochil and South Perthshire)
Anne Begg (Aberdeen South)
Gordon Brown (Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath)
Russell Brown (Dumfries and Galloway)
Iain McKenzie (Inverclyde)
Tom Clarke (Coatbridge, Chryston and Bellshill)
Margaret Curran (Glasgow East)
Alistair Darling (Edinburgh South West)
Thomas Docherty (Dunfermline and West Fife)
Brian Donohoe (Central Ayrshire)
Frank Doran (Aberdeen North)
Gemma Doyle (West Dunbartonshire)
Shiela Gilmore (Edinburgh East)
Tom Greatrex (Rutherglen and Hamilton West)
David Hamilton (Midlothian)
Tom Harris (Glasgow South)
Jim Hood (Lanark and Hamilton East)
Cathy Jamieson (Kilmarnock and Loudoun)
Michael McCann (East Kilbride, Strathaven and Lesmahagow)
Gregg McClymont (Cumbernauld, Kilsyth and Kirkintilloch East)
Anne McGuire (Stirling)
Ann McKechin (Glasgow North)
Graeme Morrice (Livingston)
Jim Murphy (East Renfrewshire)
Ian Murray (Edinburgh South)
Pamela Nash (Airdrie and Shotts)
Fiona O’Donnell (East Lothian)
John Robertson (Glasgow North West)
Frank Roy (Motherwell and Wishaw)
Lindsay Roy (Glenrothes)
Anas Sarwar (Glasgow Central)

 

 

gemmaandjackie142235700571546539murphysimd_20-20_cities_inequality

 
July 2013: Battle of Falkirk gets murkier for Labour

Labour’s three most powerful figures are all embroiled in some way – Ed Miliband, Len McCluskey and Tom Watson. And this morning a fourth figure, Jim Murphy, entered the fray. Details which I’ve been leaked, of Labour’s secret inquiry into Falkirk, show the report isn’t just about what the union Unite got up to in pursuit of getting its candidate selected. I’m told the report says that in June last year – 2012 – 11 new members were recruited by Gregory Poynton, who was also a contender for the Labour nomination. Mr Poynton submitted a cheque for £130, which I’m told is against the rules, which say cheques can only for submitted for new members if those members all live at the same house, which in this case, apparently, they didn’t. Mr Poynton refused to comment when I spoke to him this morning, but said he would get back to me later once he’d consulted the party.

Why does Mr Poynton’s recruitment activity matter? First because he’s married to Gemma Doyle, the young Scottish MP who is a member of Labour’s Commons defence team under Jim Murphy. And second, Mr Poynton is the London political director of the firm Blue State Digital, which has a contract to provide campaigning work for the Labour party. With that, and all the allegations about Unite recruiting dozens of new members in Falkirk without their knowledge, and seemingly against the rules, no wonder Labour big-wigs decided to keep the Falkirk report secret. Unite’s activity was reportedly on behalf of Karie Murphy, a former chair of the Scottish Labour party, who works in Tom Watson’s office, and is also very close to the Unite leader Len McCluskey. And Mssrs Watson and McCluskey once shared a house.

This morning Jim Murphy hit out at Unite. He told BBC News: “Something had gone really badly wrong in Falkirk when it came to the selection of the Labour candidate. “I don’t blame the people locally – there’s clearly been some external interference. And while trade unions are an important part of a society and our politics, there seems to be one trade union in particular that’s well and truly overstepped the mark. “It’s clear that Unite don’t run the Labour party; Ed Miliband does. And we should never confuse those two things.”

Friends of Gregory Poynton insist he did nothing wrong. They say he was not contacted by the Labour party inquiry and say that if he had been implicated the party would have contacted him for a response. It looks like it’s developing into a huge battle for Labour in the run-up to this autumn conference. And a huge headache for Ed Miliband. http://blogs.channel4.com/michael-crick-on-politics/battle-of-falkirk-gets-murkier-for-labour/2656

 

 

mhblair_2368243bturncoats

 

 
Comments:
Interesting that the (nominal) leaders of British Labour in Scotland appear to have been totally sidelined by their masters in London. Labour in Scotland are no longer fit for purpose on three counts:

* They no longer represent the interests of the working poor, the sick, the vulnerable and the elderly.

* The leadership in Scotland has no autonomy, lacks intellect and clarity of vision and is incapable of independent thought and action.

* Labour is devoid of policy and offers no hope of a more socially just Scotland.
The Labour Party is now an irrelevance in Scotland as Scots move towards self determination. What we have now in England is a Dictatorship by tripartite agreement of the three main Parties who no longer represent Scotland in any way whatsoever. There was no need to wait for Falkirk to happen, Glasgow City Council has been mired in illegality of every sort for Generations! I regret every vote I ever cast for Labour.

The political system at Westminster is broken and cannot be fixed. Illegal wars started by Labour and supported by the Tories. Austerity introduced by the Tories is backed by Labour. All the parties at Westminster and the civil service recruit from the same universities and schools. Priveldge, patronage and nepotism abound. The infighting in Labour over the Falkirk candidacy is a perfect example of why the Scottish electorate is turning on Labour.

Labour’s Scottish leadership have not even been consulted on the ‘special measures’ imposed on Falkirk CLP. I will never vote Labour again. The present leadership of the party are pygmies when compared with the Attlees, Bevans, Castles, Wilsons and Benns of the Labour Party. All the Labour party are interested in is sitting room politics, where the leaders take the decision and the Party membership, the poor and disabled are ignored. The Milibands and Balls of this world worship at the altar of economic Liberalism and the politics of austerity. The Labour Party is finished, it now represents big business and no one else.

 

 

 

tweet_3155064ashelter_75436146_oxfamimage

 

 

 

July 2013 The Falkirk Debacle – Tom Watson’s Resignation and Jim Murphy

Tom Watson’s resignation from the Shadow Cabinet is a big shock for Labour. He was one of the most powerful men in the party, but felt very bruised by the recent row over events in Falkirk. Watson found himself embroiled in a behind the scenes battle with the Shadow Defence Secretary Jim Murphy, the senior Blairite in Scotland.

Murphy was backing another candidate in Falkirk, Greg Poynton, who is the husband of Gemma Doyle, one of Murphy’s front-bench team. And the Falkirk inquiry, whose report remains secret, uncovered evidence that Poynton was personally recruiting new members in Falkirk months before Unite mounted their recruitment drive. Watson was fed up with the assumption that because Karie Murphy works for him, then he was behind Unite’s attempts to recruit lots of new members in Falkirk to get her picked as Labour candidate.
http://blogs.channel4.com/michael-crick-on-politics/crick-on-watsons-dna/2716

 

 

 

Gregor Poynton, UK political director of American firm Blue State Digitalcomics-scottish-referendum-gill-hatcherB1GzEOkCQAEqzuk

 

 

 
September 2013: Dumbarton and Vale MP Gemma Doyle claimed more than £44,000 in expenses last year

Last week the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority revealed details of the business costs and expenses which had been claimed by Gemma Doyle, West Dunbartonshire’s representative at Westminster, between March 2012 and April this year.

The majority of the £44,900.47 claimed by Ms Doyle — an increase of nearly £6,500 on the previous year — was spent on office costs although £16,000 also was charged to the taxpayer for flights to and from London. The majority of these flights are British Airways “Business/Club” class tickets priced at around £400 a flight.

Last week Ms Doyle, told the Reporter the ticket doesn’t afford her the luxury of any improved seating and often works out as the cheapest way to travel as it allows her to make changes to booked flights at short notice, without incurring a penalty fee.

However, after all MPs expenses were made public last week one resident Gordon Morrison, 58, who acts as a carer for his 51-year-old wife Elizabeth, said something had to be done about the way the system works. He told the Reporter: “We’ve got to travel on the bus and the normal working man has to pay his own travel costs. These are the people who are telling us we need to tighten our belts and cut down on household expenses. It’s got to be highlighted, society has to change. If we want to do something about the economy it’s got to be a case of do as we do.

Our MP spent £16,000 on travel last year — that’s totally wrong when you’re only on the flight for an hour. The total amount of money we have coming in the house is £12,000 for a year and she’s claiming back £4,000 more per year for travelling than we get to live and run a house, as well as heat it and pay all the other expenses. It’s quite an eye opener the amount that these MPs are claiming. It’s too easy for them to claim money. Politicians tell you on one hand it’s time for austerity and then you see what they are spending money on. Westminster is the biggest money drain on the country. If that was a business it would have folded a long, long time ago.”

Other residents also raised concerns about other items Ms Doyle claimed as part of her expenses last year including a Q-Connect Pencil costing 59p, a black Banner medium ballpoint pen priced 65p, a large pair of rubber gloves billed at £1.82 and a Bentley Deluxe Squeegee Mop, which cost the taxpayer £11.51. http://www.dumbartonreporter.co.uk/news/dumbarton/articles/2013/09/19/472061-west-dunbartonshire-mp-claims-44900-from-the-taxpayer-/

 

 

BbpF-aECUAAgP75Screen-Shot-2014-02-20-at-13.13.435-717x68020140531_BRD000_0

 
November 2013: Scots Labour MPs slammed after bedroom tax no-show

Scottish Labour MPs have been heavily criticised after nearly a quarter failed to vote against the bedroom tax policy in a motion put forward by their own party. Key players such as Anas Sarwar, deputy leader of the party in Scotland, and former Secretary of State for Scotland Jim Murphy were among the 46 MPs who didn’t show up for the vote on the controversial spare room tax. Kirkcaldy MP and former Prime Minister Gordon Brown – who claimed last month he was an ‘ex-politician’ – and Shadow Foreign Secretary Douglas Alexander also failed to to vote following the party’s debate in Westminster on the policy. Of the Labour MPs who failed to show up, ten represent Scottish constituencies.

The SNP hit out at the no-show from the Labour MPs, with SNP work and pensions spokeswoman Dr Eilidh Whiteford saying that they needed to explain their absences, adding: “We could have been talking about how the bedroom tax has been scrapped but instead the question on the minds of many Scots is: Where were they? “Some may have very good reasons for missing the vote but there can be no excuse for a quarter of Scotland’s Labour MPs not turning up for a vote to scrap the bedroom tax that could have been won.”

he Labour motion to scrap the policy was defeated by 252 votes to 226. The spokesman said the party were ‘disappointed’ that the government had used their majority to ‘re-affirm their support for the hated bedroom tax’. http://www.scotsman.com/news/politics/top-stories/scots-labour-mps-slammed-after-bedroom-tax-no-show-1-3189157
Comment:

* Labour has lost it’s soul it cannot even be bothered to vote against the Bedroom Tax . A No vote will therefore have catastrophic consequences for the poor and disabled. What is the solution more food banks, more pay day loan co’s, more money advice services, more appeals, more charity aid.

* Those who vote Labour in Scotland are being badly let down by the MPs they send to Westminster. Unfortunately their loyalty is to the party and themselves not their constituents. The best way to deal with these people is by voting for Independence and making them all redundant! Perhaps then we can have a new start with a real Scottish Labour Party.

* Maybe now, Labour Voters will realise that the party they voted for are nothing more than opportunists, who are interested in only what You can do for them. Disgraceful behaviour from a party that hang their hat on supporting the people. Say anything, do nothing, Labour, the me party.

 

 

1958204_1552451481691538_5105037307914882006_nB0PsvuQCQAAc0vP.jpg largeUnum-disability-claim-form-article-5

 

 
March 2014: 32 Scottish Labour MP’s who voted for the £119.5 billion Tory welfare cap with 520 in favour and 22 against.

13 Labour backbenchers and 6 SNP MPs opposed the motion along with 6 SNP MPs who said they were ‘shocked’ at Labour MPs decision to back the Tories so it wouldn’t make them look soft when it came to welfare issues. Ed Balls said it was the right thing to do while he whined that the welfare cap was originally his parties idea to begin with. He said: “We on this side of the House support capping social security spending, a policy the Leader of the Opposition advocated last year.”

SNP’s Eilidh Whiteford MP said: “The SNP voted against the welfare cap today because it piles yet more pain onto our poorest pensioners, carers, disabled people and low-income families. This cap is just a crude, blunt, instrument. It is shocking that so many Scottish Labour MPs have backed the Tories.”

“Labour supported the proposal because we believe social security spending needs to be kept under control by getting people back to work and tackling low pay. It’s about time the SNP came clean with their plans for social security in an independent Scotland.”

Save the Children warns the Welfare cap will push 345,000 children into poverty in just four years. Will Higham, the charity’s director of UK poverty, said: “Parties need to explain how they will work to improve wages and welfare to ensure that work pays. Otherwise, the vote will become a straitjacket, binding future governments from taking action to stem a rising tide of child poverty.”

Diane Abbott, one of the Labour rebels, said: “This is not a game, this is about people’s lives… [They] are not to be a matter of short-term political positioning.”

The 32 Scottish Labour MPs who voted for the Tory welfare cap:

Margaret Curran, Tom Greatrex, Ian Murray, Willie Bain, Gordon Banks, Tom Clarke, Anne Begg, Alistair Darling, Ian Davidson, Thomas Docherty, Frank Doran, Gemma Doyle, Sheila Gilmore, David Hamilton, Tom Harris, Jimmy Hood, Cathy Jamieson, Mark Lazarowicz, Greg McClymont, Anne McGuire, Anne McKechin, Iain McKenzie, Grahame Morris, Jim Murphy, Pamela Nash, Sandra Osborne, John Robertson, Frank Roy, Lindsay Roy, Anas Sarwar. https://mariamuir.com/meet-32-scottish-labour-mps-voted-tory-welfare-cap/

 

 

 

29405-royalty-free-cartoon-clip-art-of-a-stack-of-gold-coins-near-a-pot-of-leprechauns-gold-by-andy-nortnik11030158_589225174511920_994594092349766388_n456

 

 
April 2014: Clydebank MP Gemma Doyle slammed for backing Tories

Gemma Doyle MP has been accused of betraying Clydebank’s poor after she backed a Tory plan to slash benefits. The Labour MP has come under fire for siding with the Conservatives in a crucial Commons vote last week. Critics fear more hard-up Clydebank families will be plunged deeper into poverty as a result of a plan to limit what working families, pensioners, and those on disability benefits can receive from the government.

But that didn’t stop Ms Doyle supporting the controversial move and triggering a swathe of condemnation from poverty campaigners including former West Dunbartonshire Council leader Danny McCafferty, who is committed to highlighting the need to help those who are struggling to survive in the current climate. He told the Post: “It’s been well documented over the year. For a local MP to vote with a Tory government is unbelievable — I’m absolutely disgusted. She forgets who voted her into power and why she was voted into power.” “it also piles yet more pain onto our poorest pensioners, carers, disabled people and low income families.

The cap will include spending on the vast majority of benefits, including pension credits, severe disablement allowance, incapacity benefits, child benefit, both maternity and paternity pay, universal credit and housing benefit. http://www.clydebankpost.co.uk/news/roundup/articles/2014/04/02/493641-clydebank-mp-slammed-for-backing-tories/

 

 

fear murphy10985908_932186526821261_7267157515267125862_nfunny army cartoon pictures (8)

 

 

January 2015: Gemma Doyle MP cites North Korea as reason for £100bn trident renewal

Gemma Doyle MP has told how she fears for the safety of Scotland without a nuclear deterrent. The Labour politician, a shadow defence minister, insists she does believe in worldwide nuclear disarmament but last week voted against a proposal to scrap Trident’s renewal in 2016. This prompted a scathing attack from Clydebank SNP MSP Gil Paterson due to the “obscene” cost of the nuclear programme.

MP Doyle defended her position and reiterated that she wants to see a world free of nuclear weapons. She said: “No one believes for a second that the UK getting rid of our nuclear deterrent would make North Korea or Iran give up their nuclear programmes and it would be foolhardy to leave Scots unprotected in such a dangerous world.”

The House of Commons voted against proposals to scrap the renewal of the UK’s nuclear weapon system by a huge margin of 364 to 35. While the SNP, Plaid Cymru and single Green MP spoke out against continuing with Trident, most Labour, Conservative and Liberal Democrat politicians voted for a new nuclear weapon system for the UK.

The programme, which will see new nuclear weapons based at Faslane, is estimated to cost around £100 billion over its three decade life span.

Gil Paterson MSP said: “Gemma Doyle voting with the Tories is becoming normal practice, but at a time when poverty and food bank use has reached record levels, I find it incredible that she — as the Shadow Minister for Defence — could condone such expenditure on a weapon that could never be used.

“Trident also stops the exploitation of the massive oil reserves that are in the Clyde basin which would transform the western seaboard of Scotland and totally re-energise Clydebank. “Voting to spend this obscene amount of money when it could be used to create jobs, new schools, better housing and raise the standard of living for disadvantaged people defies belief. http://www.clydebankpost.co.uk/news/roundup/articles/2015/01/28/522736-doyle-mp-cites-north-korea-as-reason-for-100bn-trident-renewal/

 

 

MPs_pay_rise_cartoon_roystonbrown pocketmoneyarticle-1380915-039E0A4F0000044D-344_634x432

 

Comments:

She is clearly caught up in the clutches of the “Henry Jackson Society” and BAE. Voted for Trident just in case Iran or North Korea attacked. Now that is beyond stupid.

Two Ayrshire Labour MPs, including Carrick MP, Sandra Osborne, voted with the SNP at Westminster against new nuclear missiles on the Clyde.

SNP politician Angus MacNeill slated Labour. “They had no problem trooping behind the Tories to vote on £30 billion more austerity cuts – which will hurt communities and families across Scotland for years to come with a policy that is simply not working. That Scottish Labour MPs support wasting another £100bn on weapons of mass destruction while foodbank use is rocketing, and more and more children are being pushed into poverty, is simply indefensible – and with their refusal to debate it’s clear that they know it too. The debate was an opportunity for MPs of all parties to oppose the moral and economic obscenity of Trident renewal.”

Brian Donohoe, Central Ayrshire MP intervened stating: “I just can’t believe what he has just said. I honestly just don’t believe, when there are submarines coming from Russia going up the Clyde right now, he’s trying to tell us that we don’t need a deterrent, that we shouldn’t have a deterrent.

An incredulous-looking Mr MacNeill responded: “It wouldn’t be the first time the honourable gentleman has struggled to comprehend matters but it’s very alarming he tells us Russian submarines are going up the Clyde. My goodness, I thought we had a deterrent. Clearly his nuclear policies are failing because they will be docking in Greenock or Port Glasgow any minute now by the sounds of things.”

Mr Donohoe was heavily criticised and lampooned on social media. A parody picture even circulated depicting him in the James Bond classic From Russia with Love. ”http://www.ardrossanherald.com/news/roundup/articles/2015/01/31/523116-mp-brian-backs-trident-renewal-/

 

 

 

murphy nuc10978624_433808866783994_747877177723272237_n10995342_436867843144763_4899589333113755761_n

 

 
February 2015: Mitochondrial Donation

In February 2015 Gemma Doyle voted against allowing mitochondrial donation, which would allow women who carried mitochondrial diseases to give birth to children who would not inherit the disease. If allowed, mitochondrial donation would be regulated by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) meaning that there would be ongoing assessment of the safety and efficacy of such procedures. An October 2014 briefing report by the HFEA, which had been investigating the issue for three years, stated that there was no evidence to show that mitochondrial donation was unsafe. However, some religious groups had said that such procedures should not be allowed. The majority of MPs voted in favour of allowing mitochondrial donation. http://skeptical-voter.org/index.php?title=Gemma_Doyle

 

images2vPensioners-in-Scotland11043093_1565752753706989_9065576706820729752_n

 

 

February 2015: West Dunbartonshire MP Gemma Doyle attended a defence trade banquet hosted by BAE Systems

Around 40 MPs including Doyle were on the guest list for a £250-a-head gathering at the Hilton hotel on Park Lane organised by trade organisation ADS, according to information provided by activist group Campaign Against Arms Trade (Caat). Doyle attended as a guest of BAE Systems and was joined by other Scottish Labour MPs such as Margaret Curran and Brian Donohoe.

While at the London dinner, woman gatecrashed the stage and made a speech to the high profile guests which included journalists and representatives from Europe’s biggest arms companies. The woman said: “I’m here today because 1 million people in this country use a food bank, and arms dealers get to have a £246 dinner… the point of this evening is to keep military spending at a high level.”

Business Secretary Vince Cable was the most high-profile attendee, and gave a speech at the event.

When asked by the Reporter about the dinner, Doyle said: “I am a firm supporter of manufacturing and engineering jobs in Scotland and this includes jobs at the shipyards on the Clyde. I engage with local employers like BAE Systems regularly and discussed the Type 26 contract with them this week. I want to see this contract placed as soon as possible to sustain local jobs.” http://www.dumbartonreporter.co.uk/news/roundup/articles/2015/02/13/524038-mp-attends-defence-trade-banquet-as-bae-systems-guest/

Comment: Gemma Doyle, Labour Party Shadow Defence Minister enjoy’s strong links to the ultra right wing USA financed “Henry Jackson Society” as does her husband’s friend Jim Murphy. Any liaisons involving Gemma Doyle, BAE and the aforementioned Society should be judged against their track record.

 

 

 

blair_for_president.1article-2270948-1541BC71000005DC-446_308x425_45174190_trident226cr_ap1623566_460836310730482_406097192584783842_n

 

 
29 April 2015: Child poverty rife among working families -The impact of the welfare cap and other austerity measures supported by gemma Doyle

Two thirds of impoverished children in Dumbarton and the Vale live in working households. Figures provided by the End Child Poverty Campaign state that a total of 2,492 children are living in poverty — despite coming from a working family. The 2013 stats — the most up to date figures available — show the rate of child poverty is, however, much lower among non-working households. This has been attributed to government benefits.

According to the End Child Poverty Campaign, in West Dunbartonshire 1,347 children in poverty come from households where neither parent is employed. Statistics have confirmed that for the first time in the UK, more working households are living in poverty than non-working ones.

Meanwhile representatives of Lomond foodbank say they are busier than ever and are in desperate need of donations. Kirsty Tivers, from Lomond foodbank, told the Reporter: “We often find when people manage to get a job, the benefits stop before the wages come in. We have many people here who have a job but are waiting six weeks for wages, and they have to pay for travel to their job.”

Relative poverty is defined by the Scottish Government as those living on a household income below 60 per cent of the UK median income. In 2012/13 that was £13,800.

Kirsty says poverty is much more rife in the area than people believe: “We very often have young families with children. I had a young single mum in last week who had no nappies or formula for her five-month-old, so we had to ask for specific donations for her. I made her up a bag of food for herself but she wouldn’t take it. She took for the baby but she had too much pride to take for herself. “She’s recently moved into a council flat that doesn’t have an oven or a fridge yet so she can only use a microwave, which uses more electricity.

“We’ve been quiet over the Easter holidays because a lot of people said they’d be embarrassed to bring their children here, to let their children know that their parents use a foodbank.” Kirsty said she increasingly worries about the amount of pensioners she feeds on a weekly basis. She added: “Our main problem is pensioners paying for funerals for loved ones and they can’t afford to feed themselves. They’re deemed as having too much money for a state funeral and it’s leaving them without money for food.

“One woman who came to us is retired, she worked her whole life from aged 15, now she’s 70, and when she came to us she hadn’t eaten in three days. In the winter she chose heat over food. We were able to give her a snack to get her along the road with her food. She uses her kettle to heat up soup instead of the cooker. It’s ridiculous people can be treated this way.”

 

 

Clowning_Around_Cartoon_only-1024x76998318_600

 

The Scottish Government recently revealed more than half a million Scots are living in severe or extreme poverty, with an annual income of less than £11,500 per annum. Of those 510,000 people, 330,000 were working adults, 100,000 were children and 80,000 pensioners.

Martin Rooney, leader of West Dunbartonshire Council, said: “The overarching challenge for West Dunbartonshire is the stubborn levels of poverty and deprivation that remain. “I believe inequality can be addressed and together we can create a better society and tackle child poverty in our area. I would like to see more investment in building social housing, supporting jobs and apprentices, as well as improving our housing stock. I want to see greater increases in the minimum wage and an extension of the living wage. I want our young people to stay on at school and get the best educational qualifications and skills to help them to succeed in a competitive jobs market.”

For anyone who wishes to donate, Lomond foodbank has a donation trolley in Balloch Coop or Iceland in Alexandria. You can also drop in with donations to St Mungo’s Church Hall, Alexandria from 10am on Tuesday. Items like nappies, tinned meat, pasta sauces and tinned pies are all desperately needed. http://www.dumbartonreporter.co.uk/news/thisweek/articles/2015/04/29/530693-child-poverty-rife-among-working-families/

 

 

 

Scottish-referendum46Scottish-Referendum42Scottish-Referendum43

 

East-Dunbartonshire MP Jo Swinson Supposedly a Shoo in for the Leadership of the LibDems – A Practiced Poser but a Poor Performer – Read her Record

 

 

 

 

 

 

Prime Minister Theresa May sits opposite Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn as they pose for a photo with members of parliament during a meeting to form a common policy on tackling abuse following allegations of sexual harassment and abuse in British politics, at the Prime Minister’s Office in the House of Commons, London, Monday, Nov. 6, 2017.

 

 

Swinson Comeback Confirmed – The People of East Dunbartonshire Must Be Nuts

Swinson was returned to Westminster as an MP in the June 2017 General Election and soon found her place in a much reduced Lib/Dem Party that had been firmly rejected by the wider electorate.

The Party is so short of talent that she was elected unchallenged to the post of Deputy leader to the old pensioner Vince Cable, he of the Post Office sell-off for peanuts.

Mindful of her appalling record of support to female staff under attack from Lord Rennard she had the hard neck to attend yesterday’s meeting, with Vince Cable in Downing Street, convened by the Prime Minster to thrash out an agreement designed to provide staff employed by politicians with a safe place of work, free from sexual innuendo and abuse.

The full story of her abject performance as a mentor for women in the party is detailed below.

 

72445837-766110

 

Swinson To Ask The Good People of East Dunbartonshire to Forgive Her Disgraceful Betrayal  of the Electorate When A Minister in The Con-Dem Government

In 2010 Swinson was returned to Westminster as the MP for East Dunbartonshire. Her success almost entirely due to tactical voting witnessed by the support of the media, Tory and a number of Labour supporters denying the SNP candidate an expected victory.

The outcome of the election was a hung parliament but, with the backing of the Liberals the Tory Party took up office. So yet again Scotland had a government that it had rejected outright (80%+ voted for parties other than the Tories.)

The support of Swinson and her Liberal colleagues ushered in a Government comprised of old Etonians, corrupt businessmen and unelected peers of the realm.

The infamous Con-Lib coalition government brought with it swingeing cuts and misery and the East Dunbartonshire electorate was subjected to five years of savage cuts destroying working class families and many of the less fortunate in society. The end result was that the poor got poorer and the rich much richer.

Given their chance in 2015 the people of East Dunbartonshire punished Jo Swinson’s betrayal, booting her, the Tories and the labour party firmly into touch.

The SNP took up the reins of office bringing confidence to the people of East Dunbartonshire that their welfare and political desires would be faithfully represented in Westminster.

Not dismayed and without apology (she is quoted as saying she had no regrets) for her actions and the misrule of the Con-Dem government (in which she held a ministerial appointment) she brazenly announced her candidacy for the East Dunbartonshire seat in the 2017 GE.

For the record her main residence is in Peckham, London. But (planning ahead) she retained the flat, (in East Dunbartonshire) purchased for her by the obliging taxpayers of the constituency.

The media are talking up Swinson for the East Dunbartonshire seat, but I expect they think locals are a set of country bumpkins who will swallow her platitudes and promises but once burned twice shy.  My advice is to retain John Nicolson.

What follows is my article setting out the political history of Swinson outlining the reasons she is not fit for office.

 

_45804745_001129838-1

 

 

Swinson is a British Liberal Democrat politician and Member of Parliament (MP) for East Dunbartonshire constituency and the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Employment relations, consumer and postal affairs. She is also a junior Equalities Minister.

Swinson was raised in East Dunbartonshire and was educated at Douglas Academy in Milngavie and the London School of Economics, where she studied Management gaining a Bachelor of Science in 2000. Swinson signed up as an active member of the Liberal Democrats at the age of seventeen.

After graduating, she moved to Yorkshire and worked for Ace Visual & Sound Systems in Thorne, South Yorkshire from August 2000, then in marketing and public relations with Kingston Upon Hull based commercial radio station Viking FM from December 2000.

In 2001, at the age of 21, Swinson stood as a Liberal Democrat for the Hull East constituency against John Prescott in the UK General Election, and lost. In 2003, she contested the Strathkelvin and Bearsden seat in the Scottish Parliament, and lost.

Swinson is married to fellow Lib Dem MP Duncan Hames.and has one son.

 

46977944421F6B4C700000578-0-image-m-14_1421168020316clegg_2348670b

 

 

May 2009: MPs’ expenses: Swinson submitted receipts for tooth flossier and eyeliner

Swinson, a Liberal Democrat was 25 when she was elected MP for Dunbartonshire East in 2005, she denied claiming for cosmetics but defended the use of taxpayer-funded expenses to pay for dozens of other everyday items.

At one point, she submitted a Tesco receipt for £22.67 that appeared to show that the MP or an aide went to the trouble of putting an asterisk next to three items, totalling £5.75, for which she intended to claim — a £1.75 chopping board, a “food saver” for £1.50 and a £2.50 sieve.

An Asda receipt included a bottle of Mr Sheen cleaner costing 78p and a £1.19 window cleaner. She also claimed for a hair dryer and £16 lavatory roll holder, along with a £14.10 invoice to have a spare key cut for her cleaner.

Public concern over MPs’ expenses has focused on the petty nature of some of the claims submitted on second home allowances, as well as the more extravagant spending of taxpayers’ money.

Swinson’s records show that she submitted receipts for items ranging in price from a packet of dusters for 29p to a television costing £544.90.

Known in Westminster for the attention she pays to her appearance, Swinson’s receipts contain a number of items relating to her personal care. They included a “tooth flossier” costing £19.10, which the Commons fees office rejected, along with a set of “toothbrush refills”.

A few months previously, however, and in an apparent breach of the rules that prevented claims for personal items, she was reimbursed for an electric toothbrush and hair-dryer.

Also among her receipts was a £27.94 bill from Boots, which included a £5 eyeliner, a lip liner for the same price, and a £12.00 “R&M Eye Kit”.

Contacted by the Telegraph, Swinson said she had not claimed for the eyeliner, suggesting that it featured on a receipt that included other items for which she did seek repayment. No items other than cosmetics appeared on the receipt in question — it seemed to be the second of two pages, the first of which is missing.

Asked why she had regularly used the additional costs allowance, which MPs may use to fund a second home, to claim for low-cost, everyday items,  Swinson said: “None of these items would have been necessary for me to buy were I not living away from home for half of the week.

“Most of these were approved and the costs reimbursed, a couple were not and I accepted this.”

“As a new MP, my understanding was that the ACA reimbursed the costs of setting up a place to stay in London, including duplicates of the various kitchen and bathroom items that I use in my main home.”

“The receipt for the Mr Sheen and dusters was with the invoices from my cleaner submitted on Oct 13 2005. However, I directly reimbursed my cleaner for these items and did not claim for them.”

“I am at work when she cleans my flat, so it was necessary to provide her with a key in order to get in. A television is necessary in order to follow programming relevant to my job.”

Swinson said she claimed less than the maximum food allowance of £400 a month — usually about £10 for each day she attended Parliament.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/mps-expenses/5357437/MPs-expenses-Jo-Swinson-submitted-receipts-for-tooth-flosser-and-eyeliner.html

 

imagesscimagesnti

 

 

January 2013: Swinson wants to decamp from Scotland to England

Rumours abound that Swinson wants to decamp from Scotland and get the Bath nomination to be nearer her husband in Chippenham.

http://www.conservativehome.com/leftwatch/2014/01/another-lib-dem-mp-stands-down-shrinking-the-partys-main-electoral-advantage.html

 

article-0-18329AB2000005DC-831_634x400nick_clegg-and-chr_2491208k

 

 

 

February 2013: Lord Rennard – allegations of sexual impropriety

She then went to Swinson, the party’s spokesperson for women and equality, who is now minister for women.

Ms Smith says Swinson agreed to investigate and spoke to other women who had also alleged Lord Rennard had behaved inappropriately.

Ms Smith added: “She certainly uncovered … that this was a very serious pattern of behaviour.”

But Swinson told Ms Smith the problem with taking it forward was that nobody wanted to make a formal complaint.

Ms Smith told us “It very quickly became quite Kafkaesque. They were saying, ‘No one wants to make a formal complaint’, and I was saying, ‘I’ll make a formal complaint,’ and they were saying, ‘That’s a shame because no one wants to make a formal complaint’.”

But who knows? There’s a quote in the Mail from an anonymous “Lib Dem insider” who spoke to  Swinson, now Equalities Minister, as long ago as 2004.

That was before Swinson, then just 24, was even an MP, though she was already a rising star in the party, famous among other things for wearing a pink T-shirt with the slogan “I am not a token woman”.

The source said: “Swinson said to me that Rennard had an issue about women but you have to put up with it if you want to get on in the party.”

The following year she became the youngest MP in the House of Commons.

http://heresycorner.blogspot.com/2013/02/rennard-fox.html

http://www.channel4.com/news/lib-dem-allegations-of-sexual-impropriety

http://www.capitalbay.com/uk/311992-sex-scandal-engulfs-clegg-at-least-10-women-claim-the-lib-dem-s-chief-executive-molested-them-and-the-leader-s-office-knew-about-it.html

 

article-2283097-08FB387B000005DC-373_306x592article-2283097-18352509000005DC-709_634x332article-2283097-18352509000005DC-208_634x286

suttieAlison Suttie (Cleggs Neice) Now a peer!!!

 

 

August 2013: Liberal Democrat leaders failed female staff

Helena Morrissey’s inquiry into the Lord Rennard sexual harassment scandal found that Clegg, Danny Alexander, Paul Burstow and Jo Swinson “could have done much more” to protect Rennard’s alleged victims and investigate the claims against him. It is surely pure coincidence that Alison Suttie, who described herself as Rennard’s niece and has been accused of covering up the allegations, has just been awarded a peerage as well. The behaviour of the leader and his top lieutenants over the scandal shames their party and shames politics.

http://www.trendingcentral.com/why-the-lib-dems-are-the-most-morally-bankrupt-political-party-in-britain/

 

800px-chris_rennard_01

 

 

Sex scandal: Con/Dem Women’s minister Jo Swinson has disappeared?

Since the Lord Rennard scandal broke, Liberal Democrat MP, Jo Swinson, the women’s and equalities minister, has gone to ground. Why won’t she answer the questions she so urgently needs to, asks Cathy Newman.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/women/womens-politics/9910924/Lord-Rennard-sex-scandal-Why-has-Lib-Dem-womens-minister-Jo-Swinson-disappeared.html

 

p10mpCHARLIE22053E0600000578-0-Mr_Hames_and_his_wife_s_expenses_claims_seem_rather_at_odds_with-a-41_1429745616702

 

 

July 2013: Anger as YOU Pay Swinson’s Electricity Bill

As East Dunbartonshire working people, pensioners, job seekers and families struggle to heat their homes and pay for food, local Tory/Liberal Democrat Westminster coalition Minister MP Swinson has been claiming from the taxpayer to pay her and her husband, MP Duncan Hames, electricity bill.

Swinson and her husband who have, at the lowest estimation, not including the fact they have expenses including food paid and subsidized, a joint income of £150,000 a year – claimed £569.72.

This in the face of the calls from coalition members to end the £300 winter fuel allowance pensioners receive. Politicians and their banker pals gamble and play with our money and caused the financial crisis, but seem to be the only ones not ‘in this together’, with the rest of us suffering wage cuts and hugely increased food and energy bills.

http://www.newsforscotland.com/news/anger-as-you-pay-jo-swinson-mps-electricity-bill

 

jo-Swinson_620_2219028alib-dems-party-con_1999913c

 

 

Swinson and her fellow MP’s Voted against a proposed change to the Official Secrets Act – providing protection for public servants-regarding Child Sex Abuse

If the Lib Dems had voted for this, it could have passed. Why on earth did they vote to kill it? It can’t be part of the coalition agreement.

http://www.exaronews.com/articles/5529/ministers-block-move-to-lift-official-secrets-act-for-csa-scandal

 

The Last Day Of The Liberal Democrat's Annual Party Conference

 

 

September 2013: Swinson votes for war against the wishes of her electorate

Before the Westminster general election,  MP. Jo Swinson, espoused fine, compassionate Liberal principles and was generally applauded for her attitudes. It is very sad that thereafter, and particularly since her elevation to the Cabinet, she forgot those principles and her compassion.

She voted with Cameron and Clegg on all of the big ones. Principle after principle have fallen as her career and salary has taken an upward trajectory.

From University fees, through the privatization of the NHS and the lowering of taxes for millionaires and billionaires, the further impoverishment of those in poverty through the heinous welfare bill and the imposition of the bedroom tax on poor people with nowhere to move… this woman is for the House of Lords if she can topple enough of her principles to do the Tories bidding. She is doing very well out of her support for the Tories.

But of course, the only thing that could get in the way of this plan of a job for life (something a huge proportion of her constituents will never have thanks to her Govt. attacks on workers rights) would be Scottish Independence, so she is working hard making sure she is photographed at every White Elephant, bazaar and three legged race in her constituency.

And now her voting for war. Like Blair and Thatcher did and look how they did! Looked after by their rich sponsors and never wanting for anything… Every lower middle class persons dream…Cameron’s shockingly badly handled attempt at forcing us to war- his Maggie moment- Jo’s Maggie moment – failed. Reason, principle, compassion and the will of the people won. And this and all of the dreadful compromises she made that impact terribly on peoples lives will be hers and her Rose Garden chums downfall.

http://plotsplot.blogspot.co.uk/2013/08/swinson-rung.html?m=0 http://eastdunbartonshiressp.blogspot.co.uk/2013/09/think-before-you-vote-for-jo.html

 

Jo Swinson MP in Westminster

 

 

November 2013: Swinson urged to ‘show consistency’ on unpaid workers

Swinson is under fire for railing against the use of unpaid workers – despite her party offering non-paying internships. Campaigners have called on her to show consistency on the issue – and have accused her of promoting unpaid work through her Get East Dunbartonshire Working campaign.

They also accuse her of criticizing non-paying internships while backing the governments workfare scheme which forces people into unpaid work. Swinson backed a campaign against the exploitation of interns – even though it was recently shown that the LibDems are the only party offering unpaid work experience.

Ross Greer, from Bearsden, convener of Dunbartonshire Greens, said:

“Young people in Scotland are being hammered by her government’s policies and workfare is a perfect example of this. Instead of investing in the economy to create more jobs, Westminster forces our young people into unpaid work experience. This system allows companies to hold back from employing new, paid staff as they can take on these young people for no cost instead. This creates a vicious circle of lost opportunities for young people in need of real, paid employment.”

Neil Scott, also from Bearsden, spoke for the Campise SSP, saying:

“While  Swinson’s constituents pay hundreds of pounds for her heating bill we have to endure damaging policies, all coming from a Tory-led government that we did not elect. She cannot campaign against unpaid internships on one hand whilst advocating unpaid work placements on the other.”

http://www.milngavieherald.co.uk/news/local-headlines/mp-swinson-urged-to-show-consistency-on-unpaid-workers-1-3197704

 

stevebell

 

 

November 2013: East Dunbartonshire MP Jo Swinson defends bedroom tax vote

A motion to scrap the controversial ‘bedroom tax’ fell short by 26 votes last week in the House of Commons.

East Dunbartonshire MP  Swinson was one of seven Lib Dem MPs who voted against the motion, helping to achieve the coalition majority.

The spare rooms subsidy has proved unpopular in East Dunbartonshire – with council chiefs and housing association bosses saying hundreds are being hit in the pocket. The tax, introduced in April, means tenants have their benefits cut if they are deemed to have a spare bedroom. However, a shortage of one bedroom properties has meant many are unable to move and are forced to take the drop in income.

http://www.kirkintilloch-herald.co.uk/news/local-headlines/east-dunbartonshire-mp-jo-swinson-defends-bedroom-tax-vote-1-3195956

 

jo-swinson-morning-star2

 

 

November 2014: Will Lib Dem MPs vote for a policy that will help to close the gender pay gap?

Con/Dem Equalities Minister Swinson was asked in the House of Commons whether she would vote with Labour on the 16th December on the proposal to require big companies to publish their gender pay gap. She refused to do so.

Given that one of the first things the Lib Dems and Tories did after 2010 was ditch Section 78 of Labour’s Equality Act, which provided the power to require big companies to do this, this is not surprising.

But it was only three months before that Swinson toured the TV studios and giving quotes to women’s magazines declaring that compulsory pay transparency was now Liberal Democrat policy.

She said voluntary targets didn’t work and firms must be compelled to publish this data. She couldn’t have been clearer, saying “Part of the answer is about employers taking responsibility for their pay policies, and analyzing any gaps that exist. Making large companies with over 250 employees publish the average pay of their male and female staff will create transparency about the gender pay gap.

Lib Dem hypocrisy – saying one thing but voting a different way – has become their hallmark.

We’ve seen it so many times before: promising to scrap tuition fees and then trebling them, promising not to increase VAT and then increasing it, failing to back the mansion tax to pay for the NHS but standing by the cruel bedroom tax. Well, it seems now we can add another to the list – equal pay.

http://labourlist.org/2014/11/will-lib-dem-mps-vote-for-a-policy-that-will-help-to-close-the-gender-pay-gap/liberal_democrat_sticker_bumper
article-2284225-01D52AE900000514-33_306x447

 

 

November 2014: All the lunatics are not locked up. Means Test the pensioners

The Business Minister has declared that wealthy pensioners should be stripped of their winter fuel allowance to fund cheaper bus fares for young people.

LibDem  Swinson said subsidizing rich pensioners’ energy bills with payments of up to “£300 [If you qualify by being over 80 and live alone]” each was hard to justify in times of austerity.

She said the cash should be used instead to help young people get to work or college with discounted bus tickets.

It didn’t occur to her that poor pensioners are dying at the rate of 200 a day in the winter because they are cold in their homes, whereas young people at work and in college are kept warm all day in their jobs or colleges because someone else is paying the heating bills there?

Perhaps even the wealthiest pensioners are more concerned about the 200 who die than is Swinson who, remarkably, is also kept warm at the House of Commons, is provided with subsidized meals and booze, and enjoys a huge salary and “Voted strongly for a reduction in spending on welfare benefits”.

No other section of our society is so vulnerable and treated so badly by Swinson and her ilk that they live in fuel poverty. When these gas rings go off the lives of another 200 pensioners are at risk.

 

<> on October 6, 2014 in Glasgow, Scotland.

 

 

 

January 2015: Swinson MP: Encourage boys to play with dolls

“Boys should be encouraged to play with dolls to make them more nurturing and caring”, Lib Dem equalities minister  Swinson has suggested. She said it would make them more likely to work in the adult care sector when they grew up.

The MP warned of a shortage of care workers in future years and said it was important to persuade more men to work in the sector.

Presumably it’s ‘important’ to persuade more men to work in this low-paid sector – most jobs pay the minimum wage – for the same reason it’s ‘important’ to persuade more women to work in well-paid sectors such as medicine and engineering.

I thank Swinson – also a business minister, as if British businesses don’t have enough problems to cope with – for reminding me why she was such a worthy winner of a Gormless Feminist of the Month award just two months ago.

From her Wikipedia page:

She is an active campaigner against packaging of chocolate Easter eggs, and each year since 2007 has seen her attack confectionery manufacturers for what she sees as excessive packaging of the seasonal children’s treats, which generally involve a hollow egg covered in aluminium foil accompanied by a branded sweet, encased in plastic and cardboard to provide branding and protect the hollow and fragile chocolate foodstuff.

She named Guylian as the worst offender, followed by Lindt, Baileys and Cadbury. How can anyone so mind-numbingly silly be elected not once, but twice, to parliament?  We can but hope the voters of East Dunbartonshire will have more sense on May 7 than to elect her for a third term. Maybe she could be replaced by an Easter egg, thereby sparing us from exposure to any more of her ridiculous views.

https://j4mb.wordpress.com/2015/01/13/jo-swinson-mp/

 

_45647186_swinson_226Liberal+Democrats+Launch+Their+2015+Election+8TXiPw8XPNel

 

 

January 2013: What anti business planet is naive Swinson MP (Lib Dem) on? Why does Call Me Dave agree with her?

Swinson is Lib Dem Business Minister who is also an equalities minister. Based on her vast experience at age 25 of the needs of business she has come up with a cunning wheeze to make life ever more miserable for employers with yet more red tape. Just what the company doctor ordered. And it seems that this is coalition policy.

Were the leader of the Conservative Party someone other than a pampered suit who did a brief stint in PR before becoming a professional politician, Swinson would be told where to stick her daft plans but that was before Call Me Dave made his party a “nice” party.

If Swinson gets her way, all employees (not just those with kids) will be able to request the right to work flexible hours and cannot be denied unless the employer can show a clear business need.

The silly woman wants employees to be able to request flexi time to avoid the rush hour commute. Or if they have a hobby that takes place during business hours. What is the difference between “a clear business need” and just “mildly inconvenient” for the employer? I do not know.

We shall wait for the first industrial tribunal for constructive dismissal to find out. And why the hell should employers suffer any inconvenience at all because someone does not like having to fight for a seat on the 6.42 or because they want to do a spot of afternoon cottaging or whippet racing?

http://tomwinnifrith.com/articles/2247/what-anti-business-planet-is-naive-jo-swinson-mp-lib-dem-on-why-does-call-me-dave-agree-with-her

 

cef026b7-1d51-46c6-8bb7-cd882f8a1201-620x372

 

 

November 2013: Lib Dem Unpaid Internship ‘Embarrassing

The Liberal Democrats have been criticized after launching a campaign to stop the exploitation of interns – despite being the only party offering unpaid work experience.

Lib Dem minister Swinson is backing the video and poster drive offering new guidance to interns uncertain about their rights.

It aims to explain to people making their first step on the career ladder what their rights are in relation to the National Minimum Wage (NMW). It also advises what action they can take if they feel they have been exploited. But Sky News has found the only political party currently offering an unpaid internship is the Lib Dems.

John Leech, MP for Manchester Withington, has advertised an internship which comes without travel and lunch expenses, according to the notice on the website W4MP, posted on October 28. The MP says the role will “provide an opportunity for a candidate to develop their employability skills” with the job description including secretarial activities such as “diary management”, “e-communication”, “research” and “casework”. The internship is being offered for three months full-time or up to a full year part-time.

http://news.sky.com/story/1166675/lib-dem-unpaid-internship-embarrassing

 

video-undefined-2202FF6800000578-15_636x358new-liberal-democrat-anorak

 

 

January 2015: Jo’s cab’s rank

Prudent Lib Dem MP, Swinson has been rather quick to defend her expenses over the past few years. And she has done well, after the accusations of buying ludicrous things were batted off. And I quite understand, she can have a long commute to Westminster from Westerton.

So imagine my surprise to read she has needed something called “business class taxis?” Surely a mistake?

http://plotsplot.blogspot.co.uk/2015_01_01_archive.html

Parliament’s official record has Consumer minister Swinson revealing her department spent nearly £80,000 last year on “business class taxis”. Surely some mistake. How many taxis do you know, Jo, which offer economy and business class.

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/nelsons-column-david-cameron-ed-4953599

 

Lembit-Opik-Bookarticle-2284225-121EC0D3000005DC-123_634x642

 

 

April 2015: John Swinney owns Lib dem Swinson

Another unionist liar. They walked through the lobby with the rest of them to cut Scotland’s budget by £12 billion.

 

470505270

 

 

April 2015: Swinson MP Liberal Democrat, East Dumbartonshire

Accepted a donation of £2,000 from private optician company, Peter Ivins Eye Care. Then voted for the Health & Social Care Act that ramped up opportunities for the private sector to profit from the NHS. The lib Dems have also failed to oppose the NHS being included in the controversial trade deal TTIP.

http://www.peoplesnhs.org/jo-swinson-mp/

 

article-2284225-01D52AE900000514-33_306x447

 

 

April 2015: OK Where do they live?

The Lib Dem husband and wife Duncan Hames and Swinson, both battling to hold on to their Commons seats, like to boast about their local connections.

Hames, who is defending Chippenham, Wiltshire, attacked his Tory rival Michelle Donelan for standing in Yorkshire at the last election.

Hames, who is Lib Dem leader Clegg’s Parliamentary aide, must have forgotten the fact that in 2000 he was the Lib Dem candidate in the Tottenham by-election, and stood in Watford at the 2001 General Election.

Meanwhile, Swinson, a Business Minister who is facing a Scottish National Party surge in her East Dunbartonshire seat, has sent a lawyer’s letter to a rival for suggesting she’s moved closer to London since the birth of the couple’s son in December 2013.

Despite these protests, the couple are jointly claiming for a home in London at taxpayers’ expense. In fact, in the past year they claimed £18,312, which included rent of £1,318 a month, £617 in electricity — which is high for a property if it is rarely used — and £1,768 council tax. Their telephone bill is described in their expenses claim as for their ‘London home’.

And the rules are clear, stating: ‘Where an MP is claiming accommodation expenditure . . . the MP must be routinely resident at the property.’

Their expenses claims seem rather at odds with their boasts of being genuinely local MPs, and Swinson’s legal letter denying she’s moved closer to London. Her husband’s constituency is just over a 1 hour drive from London. Deep waters indeed.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3051453/London-s-not-local-Mr-Mrs-Exes-ANDREW-PIERCE-stories-spin-doctors-don-t-want-read.html

 

Scottish-Referendum43