Dr Richard Simpson
Profile: 73yo Dr Richard Simpson. Education: Trinity College, Glenalmond. Studied at Edinburgh University and gained medical qualifications. Qualified psychiatrist . In addition to being a medical adviser to the Samaritans and the Scottish Prison Service, also found time to be active in his local constituency Labour Party, serving as vice-chairman and chairman. A General Practitioner for nearly 30 years before entering the Scottish Parliament representing the Ochil constituency from 1999-2003. He was not re-elected to office but was added, in 2007 to the Mid-Scotland and Fife region as a list candidateHe gained a seat as a list MSP and was subsequently re-appointed in 2011. It is widely rumoured he will stand down from office in 2016 handing over his position to his young SPAD Craig Miller.
Craig Miller and Suzanne
12 February 2001: Frankenstein Food Link to MSP in Jab Scandal: Labour Doctor in Hiding over MMR Payments
Complaints centred over the Register of Interests, in which Dr Simpson states he receives up to pounds 5,000 per year as a member of the Prostrate Advising Forum – an educational group sponsored by Merck Sharpe and Dohme Ltd (MSD). The company owns part of drugs giant Aventis Pasteur who produce the controversial triple MMR vaccine.
And it has now emerged that, in 1999, the Ochil MSP – a staunch defender of the triple MMR vaccine – was embroiled in a row over his cash links to a genetically modified food firm.
Dr Simpson was a consultant for one of the world’s largest GM food companies, Astra- Zeneca, who paid him pounds 5000 a year. The GP claimed he only acted as a consultant on primary care and his role had no connection to GM foods.
22 November 2002: Deputy Justice Minister Richard Simpson Minister, the minister responsible for the fire service in Scotland has resigned after claims he described striking firefighters as “fascist bastards”.
He was summoned to talks with First Minister Jack McConnell after which it was announced that he had quit. He admitted using the words when discussing the dispute but insisted he was only repeating what was being said by the public.
In a letter to the first minster, Dr Simpson said they were not his views but that as the row was making the resolution of the fire dispute more difficult he was standing down.
Mr McConnell agreed to the resignation, saying he was not prepared to accept the doubt which surrounded the reporting of the conversation. His letter to Dr Simpson said: “I accept your resignation and I am clear that you do not hold the views about the firefighters that have been reported in the press.”
Dr Simpson’s words came to light when they were reported in The Scotland on Sunday newspaper. The minister was overheard using the words at a dinner party at the Glasgow Hilton last Thursday. It was reported that he said: “We must not give into the bastards. These people aren’t socialists, they’re protectionists, they’re fascists – the kind of people who supported Mussolini.”
Dr Simpson told BBC Scotland he may have quoted the words during the dinner party where the type of language used by hoax fire callers was being discussed. On no occasion did he attribute these [comments] to other constituents or other members of the public.
But he denied personally making the remark and dissociated himself from the opinion that striking firefighters were “fascist bastards”. Dr Simpson said: “It was not me that made the original remark. “I was quoting somebody else. It was a member of the public who made that remark and I was saying that this sort of remark had occurred.” ‘He was angry’ He continued: “I really would like the opportunity to say that is absolutely not my view. “I think the firefighters, in terms of coming off that picket line as they have done on a number of occasions in Scotland, are behaving totally responsibly.”
Jason Allardyce, political editor of Scotland On Sunday, said: “On no occasion did he attribute these [comments] to other constituents or other members of the public. “He was being quite clear this was his view. He was upset. He was angry.”
Dr Richard Simpson
12 November 2002: Dr Simpson in trouble with the First minister yet again
After two years as a backbench committee member at Holyrood, Dr Simpson was elevated to become deputy justice minister when Jack McConnell became first minister in November 2001. Originally his straight-talking style won him more friends than enemies but a series of gaffes blighted the latter months of his year in office.
In June he was embarrassed by comments on youth crime which seemed to be at odds with those of the first minister. He told MSPs that juvenile courts in England had been “an absolute disaster”. This was a view at odds with that of Mr McConnell who said he was considering special fast-track hearings for vandals and other persistent teenage offenders.
Dr Simpson’s aides were later forced to “clarify” the comments, claiming the minister had not meant any criticism of the English scheme.
In September, he became embroiled in another row when he was accused of shuffling his diary to allow more time for campaigning for next year’s Holyrood elections.
Labour Party workers in Dr Simpson’s Ochil constituency met civil servants in an attempt to ensure that the minister spent more time in the area. This followed concern over Dr Simpson’s summer workload which meant he could not fully attend to constituency matters.
The weighty responsibility of ministerial matters is not something Dr Simpson needs to let concern him any more.
Dr Simpson and Jack McConnell
January 2007: Dunblane Massacre – Political Opportunism
Dr Richard Simpson, a Bridge of Allan GP, psychiatrist and part-time lecturer at Stirling University, was the first to speak at a debate on gun control at the Labour Party Conference in early October 1996, six months after the Dunblane massacre.
The stated aim of the debate’s motion (composite 31) was ‘putting the needs of victims before gun users’. According to Mick North, Simpson’s arguments were “strengthened by his experience as both a GP and a psychiatrist”.
Sorry, but how many victims of gun violence did Dr Simpson come into contact with before Dunblane? I doubt there were any.
11 November 2010: Alcohol consumption debate – Labour’s Dr Simpson alleges the bulk of Scottish pensioners are alcoholics
Labour and the other unionist parties are totally disingenuous when they say minumum pricing is untried and untested.
Price does matter, as Finland shows. Yes, it would be better if the money went to the state instead of the supermarket. But the UK government refuse to act.
Why, then, do these parties oppose calls to give Scotland control over duty on alcohol and other taxes? Might it be because Scotch whisky alone provides £1.6bn a year to the UK exchequer?
Kaye Adams was taken aback when Labour’s Doctor Richard Simpson, a guest on her show, lamely responded that his only solution to the problem was to bat it back to the UK government – without even trying a Scottish approach.
Some people think he was given too much time by the BBC. Personally, I think he was given enough time to hang himself. Listen again to Call Kaye here.
Dr Simpson thinks most of the pensioners in the country are addicted to cheap vodka….he must hope Scotland is too inebriated to notice his inconsistency and opportunisim.
Bulk of Scottish Pensioners are boozers According to Dr Simpson
13 March 2015: Letter to Dr Richard Simpson MSP: “Mental Health (Scotland) Bill debate – disappointing performance – lack of insight and capacity”
Here is a letter just sent in an Email to Dr Richard Simpson MSP for Mid Scotland and Fife, in response to his performance yesterday at the Mental Health (Scotland) Bill Stage One debate in Scottish Parliament, at which I was a spectator in the public gallery:
Dear Dr Simpson
I am writing to let you know that I was disappointed with your performance yesterday at the Mental Health (Scotland) Bill Debate, Stage One, in Scottish Parliament, where I was a spectator in the public gallery.
You are an MSP for Mid Scotland and Fife, where I have lived for 25 years. You are also a GP and psychiatrist by profession, and therefore should be aware of the situation in Stratheden psychiatric Hospital where they have been using a locked seclusion room for generations, to “manage” patients. This has resulted in vulnerable people being locked in for hours at a time, no toilet or drinking water, light switch outside, in the dark, through the night.
I did not hear you speak out at the debate about the unreasonable treatment of psychiatric patients in Stratheden Hospital. You said nothing about the mental health act safeguards not being implemented properly or monitored effectively. Although I did hear other MSPs mention this in a general sense and by implication.
My youngest son was locked overnight in the Stratheden IPCU seclusion room for hours on end, unobserved, broken hand untreated, in February 2012. Prior to this he had been assaulted by a staff nurse in the Lomond Ward and face-down restrained. He has had 3 collapsed lungs and is asthmatic. His life was at risk.
My son was forced to defecate in the IPCU cell when no staff appeared to let him out for the toilet through the night, and then was forcibly injected with 25mgs Haloperidol until he would “voluntarily” swallow the drug. Sub-human treatment.
The RMO Dr Bill Dickson, a consultant forensic psychiatrist, told me that people without capacity don’t require advocacy. I set the doctor straight about this, that advocacy is a safeguard and a right for all, and then advocated for my son whenever he asked me to, representing my son’s views at clinical meetings in the ward.
I heard you speak twice yesterday about mental patients assaulting staff, victims of homicides. What about the people who have killed themselves after psychiatric inpatient treatment at Stratheden Hospital? Escaped from the hospital and thrown themselves on to the railway tracks at Springfield or into the sea at St Andrews, to be washed up on an English beach? I did not hear you mention these victims or their families.
You may be in a tricky situation as both a psychiatrist and government minister at mental health debates. Whatever. I thought that your performance yesterday lacked insight and capacity, in understanding the perspective of a person who has been subject to forced drug treatment and psychiatric abuse.
I hope that you might consider my critical feedback and that this may impact positively on your future practice.
I am copying others into this Email and will put the letter into a blog post, in the interests of transparency,
Chrys Muirhead (Mrs)
Comment: Your words are heartfelt and ring so true Chrys. As a health professional, (now retired) of many decades I was truly appalled at human rights abuses happening to young people in even modern psych settings.
They beg you not to speak out for fear of the reprisals on them, not on you – not until later on you anyway.
The very worst and lowest, hugely self-confidence shattering, behaviour I saw was done by a Senior Consultant Psychiatrist. Anything and everything was possible it seemed in his mission to ensure his profession was not seen to have messed up profoundly.
Who cares if the patient was left weeping and feeling she had been mentally raped. I will repeat, I am writing this as a health professional of many decades experience. My friend, years later has still not recovered from the treatment.
17 March 2015: Mental Health (Scotland) Bill Debate – Serious assaults perpetrated by persons suffering from mental illness states Labour MSP Dr Richard Simpson
At the Mental Health (Scotland) Bill Debate, Stage One, in Scottish Parliament, on 12 March 2015, the Labour Party spokesperson for mental health, Dr Richard Simpson MSP and psychiatrist, repeatedly referred to serious assaults and even homicides committed by persons suffering from “mental illness” or “mental disorder”.
Yet Dr Simpson did not once mention the psychiatric abuse exacted by staff upon patients, for many years at Stratheden Hospital in Fife, an area where he is a regional MSP and where he has a share in holiday home, valued at £300,000. (see the doctor’s Register of Interests)
My son’s abusive treatment in Stratheden Hospital, was revealed by the Daily Express, (February 2012): Hospital HorrorPatient locked in cell with no toilet, food or water: http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/518869/Patient-locked-in-cell-with-no-toilet-food-or-water
Chrys Muirhead wrote to Dr Simpson, March 13, 2015
My thoughts were with my family. We have been subject to assault and forced drug treatment by psychiatric staff, in every decade since the 1950’s. Most recently in Stratheden Hospital, Fife, an area that you are MSP over and have a holiday home in, but have never done anything to advocate for me and my family, or to advocate for more humane treatment of mental patients.
What about all the lives shortened by psychiatric drug treatment, the physical disabilities and long term chronicity caused by the diagnosis/label of “severe and enduring mental illness”? Why are you not equally concerned about the major issues in psychiatric forced drug treatment? About the covert drugging of elderly people and the mental health safeguards not being safe?
I contend that you are not a suitable advocate for the rights of people with mental illness because you see the label and not the person. Your “profession” unfortunately diminishes your capacity to imagine yourself in their shoes or my shoes. It is a deficit, regardless of all your qualifications and “work experience.”
This lack of balanced debate from the lived mental health experience perspective, and stigmatising of people with mental illness, has caused me to consider standing as an Independent candidate at the Scottish Parliamentary elections in May 2016. Therefore I will mount a campaign of action and construct a manifesto towards that end.
I highly recommend this well written and researched blog. It will open your eyes to a neglected area of healthcare
Suzanne the model Suzanne the nurse Suzanne at play
This blog post provides example of the lengths the Labour party will go to in their sleazy attempts to discredit the Scottish Government
Suzanne: BEBO posts to male friend
Post 1: Love for u… I’m still nursing, wouldn’t give that up, have a mortgage 2 pay haha. I’m only modelling in my spare time, have a few jobs lined up. Just fancy doing something 2 make me feel good about myself and the extra cash will be nice 2 ha. Wot u doing with urself now a days? U still living in Sauchie? x
Post 2: The story?! Come on Aaron, u know the story, start 2 finish. Haha Wasn’t satisfied with treating heart attacks, wanted 2 be the cause of them 2 haha. Wot u been up 2? Any half naked pics u want 2 show me??? xxx
Budding politician Craig Miller and Nurse Suzanne enjoying time together