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The BBC – The Secret Service and the Westminster Government – A Corrupting and Controlling Influence – Nothing Will Change

 

 

The BBC Is Totally Independent From the State – But Is It?

By the 1960s political vetting was so well entrenched that BBC interviews were resembling Civil Service selection boards. At one time, (according to former senior BBC executive Stuart Hood,) “a Civil Service Commissioner even attended the interviews.”

Hood recalls the selection boards using Whitehall euphemisms for vetting during their post-interview discussions. “Does he play with a straight bat?” or “Does he have snow on the right foot?” were typical BBC expressions for political suitability.

Hood was a key witness of vetting during this period. He had joined the BBC in 1946 and was head of the World Service throughout the 1950s. He became Controller of Programmes in 1961 before leaving in 1964.

He recalls attending BBC Board of Management meetings “During those meetings senior administrative officials used to approach me, show me these slips of paper and say, “I think you should know this,” and then show me an article in Peace News.”

Hood also saw the security files “The investigative reports produced on staff and performers by the security services are testimony to the amount of petty espionage and surveillance to which citizens of our society are subjected.”

Stuart Hood believes this interpretation was spurious. He argues that vetting was a natural consequence of the BBC’s constitution.

“If the BBC was honest about its role, it would admit that it must support the central political authority by virtue of the State licence-fee system. But the Corporation has always had this fantasy about itself as a totally independent social organisation.”

 

 

 

 

 

 
Vetting of BBC Staff Always Had More To Do With Politics Than Security

The British Secret Service clearly saw the political objective as the major issue in their role. This was confirmed by the Observer’s disclosure that, as well as vetting, the security services also provided ‘background briefs’ to the BBC on industrial disputes.

These secret reports included the alleged involvement of subversives in trade union activity. They were delivered every three months to a small number of senior BBC executives, including the head of news and current affairs.

The ‘briefs’ included the activities of radical and subversive political groups and traced their involvement in strikes and campaigns.

The BBC confirmed the reports’ existence, but said they had stopped receiving them by 1985 and in October 1985, the BBC agreed to stop all security vetting except in two areas.

1. Members of staff involved in the planning and operation of broadcasting when British Forces are engaged in armed conflict, as they have access to classified information.

2. The External Services. This was due to the threat of infiltration and intimidation of staff by foreign intelligence services. Overseas broadcasters also had access to information from embassies which could be sensitive. But staff would no longer be asked to sign the Official Secrets Act.

Full report here:  http://www.bilderberg.org/mi5bbc.htm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Positive Vetting – Sensitive Posts within the BBC

Around 120 BBC staff are positively vetted by MI5. If they fail to maintain a performance level acceptable to the controller and their P.V.  classification is removed they are either removed from their post or sacked.

 

Bias protest

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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European Referendum – Cameron & the EU Are Intent on Signing the TTIP Agreement – If You Are Rich That’s Fine But the Poor Will Be Hammered

TTIP

 

 

EU Parliament backs TTIP resolution

Despite vocal criticism, the EU Parliament has approved a non-binding resolution on the controversial Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, bridging a gap in protracted negotiations on the secretive trade pact between the EU and the US.

The resolution was approved by the majority of the parliament with 436 ‘Yes’ votes coming up against 241 ‘No’ votes in Strasbourg on Wednesday in hopes of influencing the TTIP negotiations between European Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmstrom and the USA.

Washington insists that for negotiations to be successful a dispute body must be incorporated into the final agreement.

http://rt.com/news/272563-eu-parliament-ttip-trade/

 

TTIP

 

 
Barack Obama is pursuing increased trade links with the EU and with Australasian countries. But why are these treaties being pushed through in haste and secrecy?

 

 

 

 
The Truth About TPP (Trans Pacific Partnership)

 

 

 

 

 
The Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) – European Disintegration, Unemployment and Instability – Jeronim Capaldo October 2014

According to its proponents, the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership will stimulate growth in Europe and in the US. Indeed projections endorsed by the European Commission point to positive, although negligible, gains in terms of GDP and personal incomes. But, In a paradox, these projections also show that any gains in Trans-Atlantic trade would happen at the expense of intra-EU trade reversing the process of European economic integration.

Using the United Nations Global Policy Model (UNGPM), projections are that TTIP will lead to a contraction of GDP, personal incomes and employment. It is also projected there will be an increase in financial instability and a continuing downward trend in the labour share of GDP. (Simplified this means that the poor will get poorer and the already rich much richer as corporate power increases and the influence of States reduces.)

* TTIP will lead to losses (0.95-2.07) in terms of net exports after a decade, compared to the baseline “no-TTIP” scenario.

* TTIP will lead to net losses (0.30-0.50) in terms of GDP.

* TTIP will lead to a loss (3400-5500 Euros) of labour income.

* TTIP will lead to job losses. Calculations are that approximately 600,000 jobs will be lost in the EU.

* TTIP will lead to a reduction of labour share (the share of total income accruing to workers), reinforcing a trend that has contributed to the current stagnation. The flip-side of its projected decrease is an increase in the share of profits and rents, indicating that proportionally there would be a transfer of income from labour to capital. The largest transfers will take place in UK (7% of GDP transferred from labour to profit income).

* TTIP will lead to a loss of government revenue. The surplus of indirect taxes (such as sales taxes or value-added taxes) over subsidies will decrease in all EU countries.

* Government deficits will also increase as a percentage of GDP in every EU country, pushing public finances closer or beyond the Maastricht limits.

* TTIP will lead to higher financial instability and accumulation of imbalances. With export revenues, wage shares and government revenues decreasing, demand will have to be sustained by profits and investment. But with flagging consumption growth, profits cannot be expected to come from growing sales. A more realistic assumption is that profits and investment (mostly in financial assets) will be sustained by growing asset prices. The potential for macroeconomic instability of this growth strategy is well known after the recent financial crisis.

 

TTIP Freihandelsabkommen Politik Deutschland USA

 
Summary

Projections point to bleak prospects for EU policymakers. Faced with higher vulnerability to any crises coming from the US and unable to coordinate a fiscal expansion, they will be left with few options to stimulate the economy: favouring an increase of private lending, with the risk of fuelling financial imbalances, seeking competitive devaluations or a combination of the two.

There are two general conclusions.

(1). As widely reported in the media, newsprint, financial and economic literature, existing assessments of TTIP do not offer a suitable basis for important trade reforms. Indeed, when the (UNGPM) model is used, results change dramatically.

(2). Seeking a higher trade volume is not a sustainable growth strategy for the EU. In the current context of austerity, high unemployment and low growth, further increasing the pressure on labour incomes will further harm economic activity. Model results suggest that any viable strategy to rekindle economic growth in Europe will have to build on a strong policy effort in support of labour incomes.

http://ase.tufts.edu/gdae/Pubs/wp/14-03CapaldoTTIP.pdf

 

Jean Lambert speaks to protesters at the London protest

 

 

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The Unashamed Unionist Civil Servant – Francesca Osowska A Master In the Art Of Obfuscation Denies Scots Their Freedom From the Tyranical Westminster Elite Fulfilling Its Political Agenda at Every Juncture

 

 

Francesca Osowska

 

 

Scottish Affairs Committee Meeting – 2015 – Scottish Office – Financial matters – Francesca Osowska OBE, Director, Scotland Office, and Michael Chalmers, Director and Solicitor to the Advocate General in attendance

Chair: Welcome to the Scottish Affairs Committee; we are very grateful for you both coming along today. If you would like to introduce yourselves and say what you do, and if there are any initial statements that you want to make to the Committee, please feel free to use that time.

Osowska: Thank you very much. I am Francesca Osowska. I am Director for the Scotland Office and I am also Principal Accounting Officer for the Scotland Office and the Office of the Advocate General.

I have no opening statement, other than that I am very pleased to appear before the Committee to answer questions on the Scotland Office and the Office of the Advocate General Annual Report and Accounts for 2014-15.

Chalmers: Thank you. My name is Michael Chalmers. I am the Director of the Office of the Advocate General and the Solicitor to the Advocate General. Similarly, I have no opening statement to make but am happy to answer any questions the Committee may have.

Chair: Thank you very much. Obviously, we are here to talk about the Annual Report, which we have all digested and know inside out and back to forward, and so on. We are grateful that we are able to ask you a few questions about what is included in the Annual Report.

One of the things that struck me, perhaps you could explain to me how this works is that there are 100 staff currently employed within the Scotland Office. Is that correct, roughly 100 staff?

Osowska: Across the Scotland Office and the Office of the Advocate General, yes.

Chair: Across the estate that is operating the Scotland Office. None of them is permanent. Does that create any difficulties or problems or issues for you? I would imagine it must, and why has the decision been taken that they have no permanent staff in the Scotland Office?

Osowska: Maybe I will kick off on that and I will ask Michael to comment and give a perspective from the Office of the Advocate General.

Since devolution and since the creation of the Scotland Office this has been the case: that the Scotland Office does not itself directly employ staff, but we second or take staff on loan from other Departments.

Part of that is pure economics, efficiency and practicality; to run a full-scale HR system for such a small office would be inefficient.

By tapping into the resources of other Government Departments for example, in the Scotland Office in London, most of our staff are on loan, but we also benefit from arrangements with the Cabinet Office we can access external expertise and indeed access external HR expertise, which is effective and efficient for us.

Members of staff, once they are in post within the Scotland Office, I feel are fully part of the Scotland Office team, so if the question is about allegiance, there are no difficulties there. Michael, do you want to say something?

Chair: Just before Michael comes in if you don’t mind, it is not about allegiance and I don’t think that is the issue. It is just being able to build up a staff capacity when none of them is permanent and most of them seem part-time.

Are they shared with other Ministry Departments or are they exclusive to the Scotland Office?

Osowska: They are exclusive to the Scotland Office.

Chair: Seconded from other Departments?

Osowska: They are seconded or on loan from other Departments. They have direct line management throughout the Scotland Office in the case of my staff, and for Michael in the case of OAG staff and they are answerable to Scotland Office Ministers, so that line of accountability is very direct.

Chair: Are there any plans to get permanent staff in place, given you have significant and substantial pieces of work to consider as we go forward in the session? Are you happy and relaxed about the current arrangements with the…?

Osowska: Yes, I believe the current arrangements work very well because we are able to bring in staff from other Departments and benefit from their expertise.

Chalmers: Yes. It is similar for the Office of the Advocate General, in that what I require to run my office is staff that have public law expertise and Scots-qualified lawyers. It is a relatively small office. We have about 36 lawyers.

It helps the resilience of my office to able to draw from a larger pool. So, the Office of the Advocate General is part of an association of Government legal offices, together with the Scottish Government Legal Directorate, Scottish Parliament lawyers and Scottish Law Commission lawyers.

All of these offices together draw from the same pool of staff but, yes, as Francesca has outlined for the Scotland Office, we have staff fully dedicated to working in our office. They do not move between offices day to day; they are on a reasonably long-term secondment and that operates as quite a successful model for us because it helps the resilience of not just our office but the other legal offices I mentioned.

It also means that staff interchange and it helps their development of legal skills. In fact, adding the perspective of working for another administration is helpful as well.

Chair: How many staff does the Office of the Advocate General have then?

Michael Chalmers: We have 36 legal staff and I think it is 46 in total.

Chair: The last year, as I think we touched on, has been a particularly trying year, with lots of pieces of significant and substantial work, particularly the referendum and the Smith Commission. What do you see as the main issues and challenges and the main thrust of your work as you go forward over the next year or two years in the parliamentary term?

Osowska: Thank you for the question. Again, I will speak for the Scotland Office and allow Michael to speak for the Office of the Advocate General.

In terms of the Annual Report, obviously, that sets out five objectives for 2014-15. For the Scotland Office, I think our work continues in that vein. We have a strong constitutional role, primarily in relation to the Scotland Bill, which, as you are aware, is passing through these Houses at the moment.

That is a key priority for the Scotland Office. In addition, we continue to be the voice of Scotland in Whitehall, so our work with other Government Departments across Whitehall, in terms of ensuring that they appreciate the devolution settlement and that they are conscious of the Scottish context, will continue.

Similarly, we are the voice of the UK Government in Scotland and, again, we work co-operatively with other Government Departments who have reserved responsibilities in Scotland to ensure that the UK government can work effectively in Scotland.

Chair: Just before we go to Mr Chalmers, do you have any sense of the balance? I am quite intrigued by seeing that you are the voice of Scotland and Whitehall and the voice of the UK Government in Scotland. How would you see that balancing out in terms of the commitment to either of those fine offices?

Osowska: In terms of numbers of staff?

Chair: No, not in terms of numbers of staff but about how much time or effort. Do you see yourself primarily as the voice of Scotland in Whitehall or do you see more of a role as being the voice of the UK Government in Scotland? How would you characterise the effort that is put on to each of those very laudable aims and objectives?

Francesca Osowska: I think we treat them equally. If I were to take those objectives along with our constitutional objectives which, as I mentioned, include the Scotland Bill, but also include responsibilities in terms of Scotland Act orders and LCMs—then I would say that we give those equal weight.

Chair: Mr Chalmers?

Chalmers: Yes. The role of our office is to provide Scots law advice to the whole of the UK Government. Our objectives reflect that, so that includes litigation for UK Government Departments in Scotland.

It includes giving Scots legal advice to all UK Government Departments, particularly on Westminster Bills, for example, but not restricted to that and also supporting the constitutional objectives that the Scotland Office shares.

Obviously, that would include the Scotland Bill and legal work on the Scotland Bill but it also includes a lot of the stuff that goes on below the radar.

Francesca mentioned Scotland Act orders; so, lawyers from my office will work closely with lawyers in the Scottish Government to make sure those orders proceed smoothly through each of the Parliaments.

I suppose an example would be the section 30 order that we put through in the early part of this year to change the competence of the Scottish Parliament to allow legislation for 16 and 17-year-olds to vote at next year’s Holyrood elections, so there is a lot of that sort of working below the radar that we continue to do and we see ourselves as part of the good operation of devolution and government for Scotland.

Chair: Thank you.

 

Image result for pete wishart

 

Financial matters – The Scottish referendum – Use of the Civil Service in support of the “Better Together” campaign

Margaret Ferrier: Looking at the 2015-16 budget for the Scotland Office it was set at £5.8 million in the 2013 spending round, but the most recent main estimate asked Parliament to approve an additional £3 million for capability enhancement. What are these additional funds for?

Osowska: In terms of the outturn for 2014-15 the total combined outturn for the Office of the Advocate General and the Scotland Office was £7.7 million. You will appreciate that that did include an uplift from the original budget setting process that occurred in 2010.

At that point, a referendum was not anticipated; a lot of the work in terms of 2014-15 has been the follow-through or was related to the referendum, so the work in the run-up to the referendum, contributing to the Scotland analysis papers, for example, supporting Ministers as they gave public information to inform the debate about the referendum, and that explains the increase in that provision.

Margaret Ferrier: These public Ministers, are you meaning UK Ministers?

Osowska: Yes.

Margaret Ferrier: Not the Scottish Government?

Osowska: No.

Margaret Ferrier: The Annual Report and Accounts show that general administration costs rose by about 8% from £7.2 million in 2013-14 to £7.7 million in 2014-15. Why do you feel the general administration costs are rising? Is there another reason, other than the referendum debate that was taking place?

Osowska: No. As I said earlier, the very initial budget was set in 2010 as part of that spending review. The referendum was not anticipated at that point and this increase represents the resources dedicated by the Scotland Office to support the work of the UK Government, overall, in informing the referendum debate.

Kirsty Blackman: So the Scotland Office had allocated to it and spent an extra £3 million helping UK Government Ministers with information about the referendum, mainly?

 

Image result for Kirsty blackman

 

Osowska: In terms of the increase, there are a number of different figures being talked about here. It might be helpful if I wrote to the Committee after this hearing to set out the sequence of events, because there were uplifts granted and changes in the Budget made from the original 2010 provision at different periods, including during the course of 2013-14, so I do not think it is entirely correct to say it was a single jump of £3 million.

In terms of what that money delivered and the outcomes that the Scotland Office delivered, I would refer the Committee to chapter 3 of the report. That sets out quite a detailed analysis of the outcomes and the outputs from the five objectives set by the Scotland Office, and certainly part of that work and a focus of that work in 2014-15 was in relation to the run-up and then the after-events—including the Smith Commission—of the referendum.

Chair: It would be helpful if you write to the Committee to explain properly what that £3.3 million did account for.

What we are hearing is that this might have been the figure that was used for the referendum campaign, for the “No” campaign, and used by UK Ministers to take part in the referendum. Would that be roughly a correct characterisation of that spending?

Osowska: I don’t think it would be if you don’t mind. What I am saying is that, if we look at page 54 of the Annual Report and Accounts, then you see the trajectory of the Scotland Office and Office of the Advocate General accounts.

You can see, in terms of general administration costs, that they have more or less been around £7 million. That is why I feel it is important that I write and set out the explanation of the £3 million figure.

Chair: Please do.

Osowska: However, in answer to your question, Mr Chairman in relation to “Was this a way of the Government funding the ‘No’ campaign?” this was to fund the activities of UK Government civil servants, in line with the civil service code.

All activities undertaken by civil servants in my Department would meet a propriety test, yet I think you would agree that in the run-up to a referendum, obviously when Ministers want to be more visible, when we need to ensure that there is a good flow of public information for example, via the Scotland analysis papers that increase our activity and that is why there was an increase between the 2013-14 out-turn and 2014-15 out-turn.

This statement was later revealed to be absolute tosh. See:

https://caltonjock.com/2015/03/04/civil-service-mandarins-plotted-against-scotland-scottish-labour-mp-sat-on-his-hands-welsh-mp-foughts-for-scots-remember-this-come-the-general-election/

 

Margaret Ferrier SNP MP

 

Damm, Damm and Double Damm – What a con – The civil service and their Janus-faced illegal political behaviour

Osowska in a number of evasive statements to the Scottish Affairs Committee represented them misleadingly glossing over the expensive and extensive work of a large group of (supposedly politically neutral) Civil Servants who actively supported the objectives of the “Better Together” campaign. A gross misuse of public finances and Civil Servants presumably authorised by David Cameron and Sir Jeremy Heywood.

The matter of the vastly oversized Scottish Office staffing establishment drew comment but did not address the previously advised 50+ excess staffing of the Scottish Office over the Welsh Office. So the Scottish Office has retained 50+ unjustified posts the costs of which are charged to Scotland’s block grant each year.

The political slush fund created is an ever-increasing Tory Party financial nest egg (it is skimmed off Scotland’s block financial grant) and abused by the Scottish Office for questionable purposes, such as the Westminster government anti-devolution leaflet production, printing and distribution.  And/or hiring Special Advisors (SpAds), often sons, daughters, other relations, friends of ministers or other MP’s.

 

 

Mundell Tory MP

 

 

 

Scotland Office – The Gobble Gobble Monster –  Rapidly Increasing Financial Allocations

The cost of maintaining the Scotland Office is extortionately high and is ever increasing year on year without justification or satisfactory explanation.

A House of Commons report submitted in 2005/2006 recorded that the Scotland Office was hopelessly overstaffed and recommended a 50 per cent establishment reduction. In the years that followed  salary costs were reduced.

But from the time the Tory Government took up the reins of government salary costs have increased year on year, but it only recently that the method in the apparent madness of the Tory Government has surfaced.

The Scotland Office is no longer a team existing to assist Scotland and it’s devolved government. It is the UK Government of Scotland. Its supremo is David Mundell assisted by the unelected Lord Dunlop. Read the 2014/15 Annual Report, Link attached:

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/448145/SO_Report_2014-15.pdf

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6 February 2011: Scotland Office – a Political Propaganda Unit maintained to retain supremacy over Scotland

Twenty staff are employed at the £6million-a-year Scotland Office to cope with just three letters a day. The astonishing revelation sparked calls for it to be scrapped as an irrelevant waste of cash.

The Scotland Office occupies plush Dover House in Whitehall and is supposed to look after our interests down south. But its role has shrunk dramatically since devolution in 1999.

We can reveal 20 staff employed to deal with mail replied to 1252 letters in 2006-2007 – just over one per member of staff every week. The letter scandal follows a series of damning reports on money-wasting at the department.

Its 50 staff, who work between Edinburgh and Dover House, claimed £75,000 hotel expenses last year and another £8000 on hiring plants. Matthew Elliot, of the Taxpayers’ Alliance, said: “These figures show how little work the Scotland Office is doing at the same time as it is costing taxpayers an extortionate amount.

It was very evident in the 80s and early 90s how powerless and useless our so-called Labour MPs were then as Thatcher raked her spurs along the flanks of Scotland.

The only time the “feeble fifty” Labour MPs did anything of significance in Westminster during that time was when the disbandment of Strathclyde region was announced, the Labour MPs walked out in protest with Dewar assaulting the mace. The present holders of the Labour flag are even worse if that were possible.

http://keyboredwarrior.blogspot.co.uk/2011/02/newsnet-scotland.html

 

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Lord Dunlop  Unelected member of the upper house at Westminster

 

 

 

 

Dunlop, Cameron, Mundell and? with Nicola & John

 

 

 

 

 

Scotland Office: Increase in salary costs between 2010 and 2015 projected to be £2.00million = 2015 Salary requirement approximately £7.00million. A scandalous amount of money supporting an unnecessary tier of Westminster government maintained just to keep the natives in their place as underlings of the Unionist political dictatorship.

A year on year analysis is revealing:

2010/2011: Total Establishment 57 WTE: Policy & Briefing: £.950k: Secretary of State Private Office: £.300k: Corporate & Constitutional Policy: £.700k. Total Cost Scottish Office: £1.950K

2014/15: Scotland Office – Total Establishment 118: Scotland Office, London: 27.00 WTE: Mundell’s Private Office (London) 8 WTE: Scotland Office, Edinburgh 40 WTE: Mundell’s Private Office (Edinburgh) 1 WTE: Total 67 WTE.

Staffing of the Office of the Advocate General: Ministerial Private Office: 3 WTE: Legal Secretariat to the Advocate General: 3 WTE: Office of the Solicitor to the Advocate General: 45 WTE: Total 51 WTE: Total establishment 118 WTE.

Total Salary Costs: 6.326K: add 1 Special (Dunlop) Advisor: £.82K  Grand Total Salary costs 2014/15: £6.408K

Comment:  Mundell siphoned off nearly £4.5million from the Scottish financial allocation and directed it into a Unionist party slush fund to provide very generous finance for schemes designed to enhance his and the Tory Party profile in Scotland.

 

Image result for lord dunlop

 

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Notorious Tartan Tammy Twitterer – BrianSpanner1 – Revealed as a Mullet Head

 

 

 

Brian Spanner1    https://twitter.com/brianspanner1

 

 

Man’s BFF - Pets

This little white dog (LWD) never understood why it was the one who had to go to the groomer. (submitted by Carl) April 27th, 2010    http://awkwardfamilyphotos.com/2010/04/27/sns-mans-bff-2/

Brian says:   LWD does that stand for Little White Dog or Lonely White Dude?

Is Brian this Person?  LairdBrian McSpanner

 

 

http://ponsonbypost.com/index.php/news/63-rowling-and-spanner-the-untold-story

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Scotland Bill – Fiscal Matters – Sterling – Independence – Scots Need to Heed the Advice of one of the UK’s Greatest Chancellors – Have Courage

 

 

 

Denis Winston Healey,  politician, born 30 August 1917; died 3 October 2015

Denis was the best Prime Minister the UK never had. The aptly titled “Iron Chancellor” (1974 to 1979) rescued the UK from financial disaster on a scale mirroring the recent Greek fiasco. As with Greece and the EU, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) demanded the imposition of harsh measures on the workforce.

His high tax, low wage increase policies squeezed the rich and the poor alike but achieved results (in one year Healey repaid the IMF more of their loan than Osborne has paid back in 10 years).

But just as the economy took an upward swing the Unions decided they would no longer tolerate a wage squeeze on the lowest paid. Healey advised the Prime Minister Callaghan and the cabinet that the recession was at an end and whilst small increases could be entertained there needed to be a wage cap. Unions decided against the cap and instructed their members to strike.

There followed the “winter of discontent” which ushered in Margaret Thatcher and the Tory Party (1979). The Tories reaped the benefit of a growing (IMF loan free) economy and the added massive bonus of North Sea Oil and gas, the price of which would increase fourfold following the overthrow of the Shah of Iran and the Iran/Iraq war. More money in Westminster’s coffers than there had ever been. In Scotland there was euphoria. All was well with the world. But it wasn’t.

Thatcher embraced “monetarism” the financial philosophy of American economist, Milton Friedman. Based largely on restricting the money supply in circulation this was her weapon against rising prices, and it succeeded in halving inflation, to less than 5 per-cent by 1983.

But her success was brief since the UK’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) failed to expand due to a massive programme of industrial downsizing instructed by Thatcher on Scotland and Wales, (punishment on Scotland for opposing the hated Poll Tax, support of the Coal-Miners and industrial action in the shipyards of the Clyde).

She went on to balance the failure of her monetary policies through the transfer of millions of workers to the care of the state, (the dole). Many aged over 40 would never work again.

Healey clashed frequently in Westminster with Thatcher, once accusing her of “adding the diplomacy of Alf Garnett to the economics of Arthur Daley.”

He also described her as “La Pasionaria of middle-class privilege” and declared: “I often compare Margaret Thatcher with Florence Nightingale. She stalks through the wards of our hospitals as a lady with a lamp. Unfortunately, it’s a blowlamp.”

 

 

 

Denis Healey and Scotland

Asked about “Scottish Independence” “fiscal independence” and the “currency union”  he said:

“I think we would suffer enormously if the income from Scottish oil stopped but if the Scots want it [independence] they should have it and we would just need to adjust. But I would think Scotland could survive perfectly well, economically, if it was independent. Yes, I would think so… with the oil.”

When questioned about the much repeated claims that Scotland is subsidised by the rest of the UK given that Joel Barnett, the architect of the Barnett formula, was his deputy at the Treasury and worked out what share of the national income pot Scotland should receive he said “pays its fair share” and that “these myths” are simply perpetuated by those that oppose independence.

On Scotland keeping the pound, he says Scotland would gain but adds that so “would the rest of us” and he doesn’t see why Westminster could say the Scots couldn’t have it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The National Headline Today – Scots ‘shafted’ as Tories break triple-lock pensions promise – Scottish Pensioners Ripped Off Yet Again but They Voted to Stay With the Union in the 2014 Independence Referendum Preferring to Believe the Guarantees of Unionist Political liars – They Should Read my 2016 warning and weep

See the source image

21 February 2016: Budget 2016 – Former Pensions minister warns Tory’s will drop a £4Billion Tax bombshell with pensions overhaul

A former pensions minister warned that the Tory chancellor is planning to drop a £4bn “extra tax bombshell” in next month’s Budget by getting rid of the so-called tax-free lump sum.

The retired politician who was pensions minister in the coalition and is now director of policy at Royal London, said that existing rules allowing people to access 25 per cent of their pension pots tax-free in a single lump sum when they reach the age of 55 “could be on the brink of extinction” if the Chancellor introduces a so-called pensions ISA.

http://www.cityam.com/235046/budget-2016-former-pensions-minister-steve-webb-warns-osborne-will-drop-a-tax-bombshell-with-pensions-overhaul?ITO=sidebar-most-read

See the source image

The UK has the worst state pensions in Europe;

A study shows the state pays pensioners an income equivalent to just 17% of average earnings. The, “inadequacy” of the UK’s state pension system is, “beyond question”.

This is the lowest level in Europe and well below the average for all European Union countries of 57%. Even the Netherlands, which has the second-lowest level, provides a state pension nearly double the UK figure, the study shows.

At the heart of the problem is Westminster’s failure to undo the damage caused by the Tories under Margaret Thatcher, who cut the link between average earnings and pensions in 1980. Since then annual pension increases have been tied to retail price inflation.

So much for a caring Westminster political system. Scotland would be better served by being independent from the corruption that is Westminster. Vote, “Yes” in the referendum

http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/pensions/article-1615956/UK-state-pension-is-the-worst-in-Europe.html

See the source image

January 2014; Women fear the struggle to survive in old age over pension uncertainty

Three-quarters of women fear they will struggle to get by when they reach retirement age because their current income is too low for a decent pension, a study shows.

Research also showed widespread confusion among working age women over the effect of changes to the pension system and the rising retirement age.

The study by the Pensions Advisory Service found that almost four in 10 women did not know when they would be able to draw their pension, because of changes to the qualifying age, and six in 10 had no idea if they had paid enough National Insurance.

Overall, it showed that seven in 10 did not feel confident about making decisions when saving for retirement.

Meanwhile 76 per cent do not believe they will have enough income to be financially comfortable once stopping work.

Around 40 million people currently of working age will receive the new single-tier pension, which is due to come into effect in 2016, simplifying the state pension arrangements.

It will run alongside the Government’s landmark plans to automatically enrol people into workplace pensions.

Michelle Cracknell, chief executive of the Pensions Advisory Service said: “The odds of women being able to provide for a comfortable retirement are stacked against them from the start.

“Women are much more likely than men to have career breaks, work part-time and have low-paid service sector jobs.

“The price they pay is an incomplete state pension in their own right and not much, if any, private pension to add to it.”

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/personalfinance/pensions/10592474/Three-quarters-of-women-fear-struggle-to-survive-in-old-age-over-pension-uncertainty.html

See the source image

January 2015; Less than half British retirees to get full pension

The UK government admits that less than half of all British pensioners will receive their full £150-a-week state pension from 2016.

The Department for Work and Pensions says only 45% of the 3.5 million people who will retire between 2016 and 2020 will receive the full annuity.

The new single-tier pension will from April 2016 replace the existing two-part system of basic state pension plus the state second pension (also known as Serps).

Now Rodney Shakespeare, a London-based professor of economy and political commentator, believes the pension system is being manipulated. “The pension system is part of a general cutback in state benefits of one source and another. Behind this is a collapse of the real economy, and that is because the UK system like that of Europe and in the Western system generally does not put any money supply into productive capacity.

It only puts it into the banks and those who have existing assets and it all ends up in a sucking up of wealth to the one percent.”

“Just about half of the people who are retiring in the next year or two are going to have much less in state pension and they had been conned and they had been deceived. They were allowed in the past, in addition to their taxes not to pay an element of the national insurance pension contribution,” Shakespeare went on to say.

Under the new system, employees will need to have 35 years’ of National Insurance (NI) contributions to obtain a full pension, compared to 30 before.

The figures reveal that one in three retiring workers will be paid a state pension of no more than £133.56 a week rather than the £150 many have been led to expect.

http://www.presstv.com/Detail/2015/01/12/392794/UK

See the source image

20 February 2016: Experts say low-earners will bear the cost of reform that promised to be fairer and simpler – and its impact will be greater than that of tax credits.

Twenty million people will lose out from the introduction of a new flat-rate state pension with the burden falling most heavily on low-paid private sector workers, according to analysis by leading pension experts.

The startling figure, part of research by pension consultants Hymans Robertson, comes just before the new deal for pensioners is to be introduced in April. It appears to undermine government claims that the reforms will create a fairer, as well as a simpler, system.

The company also warns that the policy could have wider and graver repercussions for government than its attempts to slash credits for working people, which forced chancellor George Osborne to perform a spectacular U-turn in his budget last November.

Research has revealed that while there would be winners among middle-to-higher earners from this April, the costs of these rises would fall on lower earners in the form of lower pensions in years to come for about 20 million people. “Within the private sector, it’s the low paid – those earning less than around £15,000 – that will be hit hardest.

Gordon Brown made changes to the way the low paid accrue state pension, which resulted in employees with earnings below around £15,000 accruing relatively large amounts. “Under the new rules, this population will be significantly affected.

http://www.theguardian.com/money/2016/feb/20/20-million-lose-out-pension-reform

Mortality Rates & Pensions

Up to the early 1950’s, Scottish mortality rates were broadly comparable with the rest of the UK.

But from that time, (attributed to increased levels of deprivation) life expectancy, in Scotland has hardly increased over a period of 60+ years.

In England, (over the same period) rates steadily increased year on year and there is now a very significant gap in life expectancy between England & Scotland.

Male pensioners, (approximately 1 million) of affluent areas of London & the South East of England enjoy a life expectancy of approximately 80 years. Female life expectancy, (similar in total)is approximately 84 years.

In Scotland, male life expectancy is approximately 72 years. Female life expectancy is approximately 78 years.

Allow individual pension contribution payments, (through taxation) approximately £60,000, (assume 40 years @ £1500 per annum) are the same for all taxpayers.

Maximum pension payments to male Scots. £6k x 7 years = £42K

Maximum pension payments to male English. £6K x 15 years = £90K

Maximum pension payments to female Scots. £4k x 13 years = £52K

Maximum pension payments to male English. £6K x 19 years = £76K

See the source image

Summary.

Scottish pensioners are heavily subsidizing pension payments of English pensioners.

In his article the, “Artful Dodger”, (Gordon Brown) proves once more that, “liars can figure but, “figures don’t lie”.

Ignore the negative hype of the, “No” campaigners we should not be subsidizing pension payments for the rest of the UK. Vote, “Yes” to independence.

See the source image

Worrying Statistics

The Office of National Statistics provides, age expectancy for 2010-2012, the years most favourable to England;

London & SE England: Males 80y,  Females 84y.

Glasgow & West of Scotland; Males 73y Females 78y.

Babies born in Glasgow & West of Scotland that reach age 65y; Males 73% Females 79%, (attrition rates much higher than those enjoyed by males and females in London & S/East England)

Note-worthy is the fact that 27% of males and 22% of females in Glasgow & West of Scotland will contribute to a pension all of their working lives and get NOTHING in return by way of pension, (Nice saving Mr Brown).

Scotland is poorly served by the United Kingdom. We will be much better off running our own affairs.

So as to be fair, I selected one, (similar in population density) conurbation in each country, namely ,”Glasgow & West of Scotland & London & S/East England”. Statistics extracted reflect an accurate snapshot of age expectancy in both countries.

Scotland is much worse off in the UK. Our people are dying much earlier than those in England and life expectancy for 25%+ of our children indicates they may not survive beyond age 65y.

A damming indictment of the so called fair and equal distribution of resources in the UK. Time we were out of it.

Lord Bichard – Retired people Should do work for pensions

The former head of the Benefits Agency said “imaginative” ideas were needed to meet the cost of an ageing society.

And although such a move might be controversial, it would stop older people being a “burden on the state”.

He added “the debate on rising healthcare and pension costs needs to be broadened out.

Are there ways in which we could use incentives to encourage older people, if not to be in full time work, to be making a contribution?,” he asked the committee investigating demographic changes and their impact on public services.

The 65-year-old cross-bench peer, suggested the government should use the pensions system to “incentivise” retired people.

“We are now prepared to say to people who are not looking for work, if you don’t look for work you don’t get benefits, so if you are old and you are not contributing in some way or another maybe there is some penalty attached to that.”

He asked: “Are we using all of the incentives at our disposal to encourage older people not just to be a negative burden on the state but actually be a positive part of society?” He acknowledged it would be difficult for politicians to sell to the public, but added: “So was tuition fees.”

See the source image

UK merit a place amongst the lowest pensions in Europe

The General Secretary of the “National Pensioners Convention”, Director General’s of the charity “Age UK” and “Saga” reacted angrily to Lord Bichard’s idea claiming that:

* “This amounts to little more than national service for the over 60s and is absolutely outrageous. “Those who have paid their national insurance contributions for 30 or more years are entitled to receive their state pension and there should be no attempt to put further barriers in their way.”

* “Older people are a hugely positive part of society – over a third of people aged between 65 and 74 volunteer, a percentage that only drops slightly for the over 75s. “In addition, nearly a million older people provide unpaid care to family or friends saving the state millions of pounds.”

* “Almost a third of working age parents rely on grandparents to provide childcare – and more than 900,000 people are working past the traditional retirement age “either because they want to or because they can’t afford to retire”.

* “We must not forget that retirement is a vastly different experience depending on your personal circumstances. For example, 40% of all people over 65 have a serious long-standing illness and 1.7m of our pensioners live in poverty. “For many of those, retirement can be an unrelenting struggle of trying to survive on a low income in poor health.”

* Those who have retired have already made huge contributions to our society and are already the largest group of charity and community volunteers.”

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-20044862

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UK Treasury Boss Who Screwed Scotland in the Independence Referendum Now Strongly Advocates an Independent Scotland

 

Image result for Sir Nick MacPherson

 

Treasury Mandarin, Sir Nick MacPherson Changes His Tune – Scotland Leaving the UK Post Brexit is a Golden Opportunity

Sir Nicholas Macpherson, the former permanent secretary to the Treasury  has claimed Brexit means Scotland leaving the UK now would present it with “an extraordinary opportunity” to attract skills and investment. In a column in The Financial Times, Sir Nicholas said the UK’s decision to leave Europe:

“changes terms of debate north of the Border” and that Scotland could “develop further as a financial centre”.

He wrote:

“With the UK leaving the EU, there is a golden opportunity for proponents of Scottish independence to re-appraise their economic prospectus. Clearly, membership of the EU will lie at the heart of it. That will enable Scotland to have access to the biggest market in the world without the uncertainties that are likely to face the rest of the UK for many years to come. It would also provide a historic opportunity for Edinburgh to develop further as a financial centre, as London-based institutions hedge their bets on the location of staff and activities.”

Adding:

“An independent Scotland committed to the EU would have an extraordinary opportunity to attract inward investment as well as highly skilled migrants and if it can develop a clear and coherent economic strategy ahead of any future referendum it not only stands a better chance of winning but it will also increase the probability that an independent Scotland inside the EU can hit the ground running.”

On currency, he said there should be a Scottish pound supported by a central bank, rather than an attempted currency union with the remainder of the UK.

Adding:

” the EU would have a “huge interest in fast-tracking membership for a country whose citizens have been members of the bloc for 43 years and have voted to remain by 62 per cent to 38 per cent.”

And referring to the “Euro”  he offered that Sweden has been committed to joining it for 20 years, and “the prospects of its giving up the krona seem vanishingly remote.”

The Scottish currency would allow Scotland to manage its oil price cycle, he said:

“The Treasury was concerned in 2014 that the Scottish Government’s prospectus relied on over-optimistic oil price projections. But First Minister Nicola Sturgeon’s administration has since worked to bolster its fiscal credibility.” (The National)

But he stabbed Scotland in the back in the 2014 referendum by strongly supporting the Westminster Government’s underhand tactics. See below

 

The Civil Service Code: Political Impartiality:

You must carry out your responsibilities in a way that is fair, just and equitable and reflects the Civil Service commitment to equality and diversity.

You must not act in a way that unjustifiably favours or discriminates against particular individuals or interests.

You must not act in a way that is determined by party political considerations, or use official resources for party political purposes, or allow your personal political views to determine any advice you give or your action.

(http://www.civilservice.gov.uk/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/civil-service-code-2010.pdf)

 

Feb 2014: Sir Nicholas Macpherson – Permanent Secretary to the Treasury  snubs the Civil Service Code

Macpherson breached the “Civil Service Code” when he released to the public his personal views and political advice regarding sharing of sterling in the event the Scottish Referendum returned a Yes vote.

His unsolicited written advice to George Osborne, Chancellor of the Exchequer was also at odds with the public position of the Governor of the Bank of England who had previously advised that an effective union of currencies was feasible, subject to agreement on a number of conditions.

Asked to clarify his actions  Macpherson said:

“throughout the debate on economic issues the Scottish Government has sought to cast doubt on the British Government’s position. It claimed we were blustering, bluffing – in effect casting aspersions on the UK Government’s integrity. My view is that if publishing advice could strengthen the credibility of the Government’s position, then it was my duty to do it.”

It was later revealed his intervention had been coordinated with senior government officials and members of the “Better Together” campaign forming part of a carefully choreographed exercise in political destabilisation, titled “the Dambusters strategy” by insiders. Noteworthy was his use of the words “we were” indicating his actions were politically driven, which he did not deny. Disgraceful conduct from a senior civil servant.

 

March 2014;  “Better Together” Scare Tactic Bang On the Money

On February 13th, in a flying visit to Edinburgh, the UK Chancellor, George Osborne, declared that Scotland would be denied use of the pound, if it voted “Yes” in the referendum. What followed was a carefully choreographed exercise in political destabilisation, titled the “Dambusters strategy” by Unionist insiders, which shook the “Yes” campaign.

 

March 7 2014; Danny Alexander, Chief Secretary to the Treasury – Says currency union decision is final

Calls for a monetary union between an independent Scotland and the rest of the UK were akin to “embarking on a damaging divorce” but insisting on sharing a credit card, Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander  said. Setting out his reasons for rejecting the Scottish Government’s preferred currency solution  he insisted that the decision to rule it out was final.

 

 

Feb 2015: Macpherson Takes Pride in The Actions of the Civil Service

Macpherson waxed lyrical about the effort put in by the Treasury to thwart Scottish independence;

“The project was run by a standing Treasury team of six officials, though during the course of two years’ work some 50 officials contributed to the analytic work.”

Full costs, about £2.5million was charged to the office of the Secretary of State for Scotland. So Scotland met the bill for advice it never asked for.

 

Image result for Sir Nick MacPherson

 

 

 

 

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Blair – Mandelson and Progress Make Their Move – Corbyn has a battle on his hands

 

 

 
  Mandelson’s favourite “son”
The Labour Party – Power Play Mandelson and Blair to Make their Move
Events are unfolding and it is clear the move against Corbyn has been planned for some time. The “Brexit” success in the referendum is claimed as the catalyst for change since Corbyn’s performance had been poor and contributed significantly to the “Remain” campaign failing to win a majority. The assertion offered by critics of Corbyn is utter nonsense but any excuse will suffice in times of need.  But who are the high-profile candidates for the leadership role? Anyone tainted by close association with ED Miliband can be ruled out leaving David Miliband as the front runner.  His bid will be backed by Blair and Mandelson, both of whom still exercise significant power over the direction the Party is to take.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

https://i0.wp.com/www.progressonline.org.uk/content//uploads/2011/05/DSC_9815.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

A message from Tony Blair

‘Since it was launched, Progress has proved itself a valuable resource for Labour activists. It has helped improve communication between the leadership and the party in the country, and now between party and government. This two-way dialogue is crucial if we are to continue meeting the priorities of the country. I believe Progress has an important role to play in our party and deserves all our support.

 

 

 

Peter Mandelson

 

 

 

 

 

The Progress Network – The Party Within a Party – Mandelson’s creation

In 2015, the Labour Party in Scotland, motto “Unity is Strength” asked the Scottish electorate to return their large group of MP’s to Westminster. Scot’s are loyal but not stupid and their campaign was a disaster. Only one Labour MP was re-elected.

It was only a few months ago that the party displayed “Unity of purpose” joining with Westminster Unionists in and leading the ” Better Together” team that browbeat Scots throughout the course of the referendum campaign. The programme of fear waged against Scots was brutally and repeatedly targeted against pensioners and other aspects of the Scottish community perceived to be vulnerable by Westminster. And they won the day.

The UK Labour Party after the 2015 General Election is in turmoil. It is hopelessly split into a number of groups each pursuing widely differing agendas. Not known for exercising common sense it is likely there will be a deal of blood-letting before the future direction of the party is decided.

Meanwhile in Scotland, ineffectively led by the incompetent Kezia Dugdale the party is also divided along political dogma lines. Indeed she was so bold as to make it known publicly before his election to the party leadership that Jeremy Corbyn did not carry her confidence or vote.

In Scotland there are some who are supporters of Corbyn’s ideals but many however are “Blairites” holding membership of the Progress group led by arch Blairite Lord Peter Mandelson. The divided Labour Party in Scotland is in big trouble. But what of Jeremy Corbyn?  The left wing of the Labour Party has waited 25 years for the opportunity to be placed to decide the political direction of the party and they will not give ground easily. What a mess!!!!

The performance of the Labour Party in the 2015 GE was summarised by : Paul Richards – Labour’s Revival: The Modernisers’ Manifesto.  ” The problem was not that millions of people in Britain thought the Labour party was not like them and did not understand them; the problem was that they were right.”

 

 

 

Ian Murray and Progress director Richard Angell #Lab7Scots

Richard Angell & Ian Murray Progress

 

 

 

February 2016: Richard Angell – Director of Progress (for Blair and Mandelson) Issues a Rallying call to a badly defeated Labour Party

“The result in Scotland in May 2015 was a blow for everyone in the Labour movement. No one predicted it would be a near total wipe-out. In Scotland itself fellow members were left with almost no parliamentary representation and were plunged into not one but two leadership elections. Now you are straight back in the firing line trying to make the case for Labour against a resilient and resurgent Scottish National party.

You have had to take the loss, feel the pain and do it all again. Doorstep by doorstep. And, if some accounts are true, the environment seems even more aggressive towards us than before, which in turn was worse than the Scottish referendum. In England, and no less Wales we looked on with a combination of horror and disbelief. Worse still, we are powerless.

There is a feeling that we are upset over someone else’s loss, intruding into something private. We are sometimes talked about as if we are sister parties not the same party and we are not, this is the SNP and their separateness argument is winning.

We looked up to the Jim Murphy’s and Douglas Alexander’s of this world and we cannot believe that seats once held by Gordon Brown and Alistair Darling are no longer Labour, let alone not even marginals. We also miss the 40-odd Labour MPs that should be sticking it to the Tories when the SNP are busy sticking it to the Westminster system itself.

I went to Edinburgh and Glasgow on the Progress listening tour and a colleague went to Aberdeen. At each of these events, someone would say, ‘I know you [in England] will not care about our problems …’ We both were horrified. I think everyone in the Labour party south of the board cares deeply about our fellow Scottish Labour and its fortunes. It is not that we do not care; it is that we do not know how to help.

We can give our tweets, Facebook timelines, the odd bit of cash (I assume all donations are welcome) and shoe leather. So, again, the Progress team is coming up to do our small bit. It does not feel enough, but a better idea is not out there.

Note: Many hundreds of Progress members were present in Scotland working against Scots actively supporting “Better Together” throughout the course of the referendum campaign.

 

 

Anas Sarwar and Progress director Richard Angell on the #Lab7Scots challenge

Anas Sarwar & Richard Angell Progress

 

 

 

 

 

Kezia Dugdale elected to the Leadership of the Party in Scotland Gaining 72% of the eligible members vote

The vote for Dugdale was 5,200 votes  from  a total 0f 7200 (hardly mind boggling)  but Dugdale is energetically rushing round the country, holding up a mirror to the so-called ‘anti-austerity’ rhetoric of the SNP who want to cut more and tax less than Labour and fighting for what we most care about: the best start for every child.  But see the article below:   Scottish Labour MPs vote to back Tory cuts

 

 

Gemma Doyle and Progress director Richard Angell #Lab7Scots

Gemma Doyle & Richard Angell Progress

 

 

 

 

 

January 2015: Scottish Labour MPs vote to back Tory cuts

It has been revealed 28 Scottish Labour MPs voted with the Tory government for £75 billion austerity cuts and tax rises.

Commenting, SNP Treasury spokesperson Stewart Hosie MP said:

“Labour have shown their true colours in siding with the Tories, and it shows now even more clearly that only by voting SNP can Westminster’s obsession with imposing austerity cuts – that just don’t work.  Osborne is committed to continued austerity which will hit Scottish public services- and tonight he has been backed by Scottish Labour.  The Scottish Labour MPs who voted with the Tories represent some of the areas which have been hardest hit by government austerity measures, and it will be ordinary, hard-working people in their constituencies who will continue to suffer.” This lot supported the Tories:

Douglas Alexander, Paisley & Renfrewshire N
Willie Bain, Glasgow NE
Gordon Banks, Ochil & S Perthshire
Anne Begg, Aberdeen S
Russell Brown, Dumfries and Galloway
Michael Connarty, Linlithgow & E Falkirk
Margaret Curran, Glasgow E
Iain Davidson, Glasgow SW
Thomas Docherty, Dunfermline & W Fife
Brian Donohoe, Central Ayshire
Frank Doran, Aberdeen N
Gemma Doyle, W Dunbartonshire
Tom Greatrex, Rutherglen & Hamilton W
David Hamilton, Midlothian
Tom Harris, Glasgow S
Anne McGuire, Stirling
Jimmy Hood, Lanark & Hamilton E
Cathy Jamieson, Kilmarnock & Loudoun
Iain MacKenzie, Inverclyde
Michael McCann, E Kilbride Straven & Lesmahagow
Graham Morrice, Livingston
Gregg McClymont, Cumbernauld Kilsyth and Kirkintilloch
Iain Murray, Edinburgh S
Pamela Nash, Airdrie and Shotts
Fiona O’Donnell, East Lothian
John Robertson, Glasgow NW
Frank Roy, Motherwell & Wishaw
Anas Sarwar, Glasgow Central

http://www.snp.org/?q=media-centre/news/2015/jan/scottish-labour-mps-vote-back-tory-cuts

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

April 2014: Tory/Libdem government caps welfare benefits  with the support of Scottish Labour MP Ian Murray

Critics argued the move to limit what working families, pensioners, and those on disability benefits can receive from the government would plunge hard-up families from some of the most impoverished areas of Scotland further into poverty. Labour insisted nobody who was entitled to benefits would be left out and added that the new measures would hold the government accountable for their actions. He said: “You can’t stop people getting benefits. you only qualify only if you are entitled. That’s the rules.

http://johnhilley.blogspot.co.uk/2014/03/welfare-betrayal-and-labouring-under.html (Another view of the nonsense)

http://www.clydebankpost.co.uk/news/roundup/articles/2014/04/09/494391-mp-john-robertson-defends-benefits-cap-vote/

https://mariamuir.com/meet-32-scottish-labour-mps-voted-tory-welfare-cap/
Shame on you Scottish Labour:

https://crowhousekitchen.wordpress.com/2014/03/27/shame-on-you-scottish-labour/

welfare cap means more childhood poverty:

https://snookcocker.wordpress.com/2014/03/27/welfare-cap-means-childhood-poverty/

https://kombatbadger.wordpress.com/2014/03/27/labour-supports-welfare-cap/

 

Comment: The word AUSTERITY was introduced to the Scottish public big time as a result of this appalling legislation which brought about great hardship. Food-banks and other charitable organisations have taken over the care of the nations poor from the Con/Dem government and the Labour party who supported them in the attack on the nations sick, poor and needy. Disgracefully the same Scottish labour MP’s will submit their names for re-election in May 2015. Surely the electorate will deny them that privilege.

 

SNP Against Con/Dem Welfare Cap

Commenting Eilidh Whiteford (SNP) 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 Party within a Pary “Progress”  show their hand in Scotland

Anyone under the age of 40 in any of the photographs posted below will most likely  have travelled to Scotland from England and will be a member of Progress.

Kezia Dugdale, Ian Murray, Jackie Baillie, Paul O’Kane, Fariha Thomas and Gordon McKee all candidates for the 2016 Scottish Election have revealed their political beliefs  which are noteworthy since “Progress” policy includes replacement of Trident and other policies directly at odds with the Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn and his front bench team.

 

 

 

Paul O’Kane candidate for Renfrewshire South. With Jim Murphy. Progress Scotland

 

Fariha Thomas believes she can unseat Nicola Sturgeon in Glasgow Southside

Glasgow South-side Fariha Thomas. Progress Scotland

 

jackie baillie

Jackie Baillie in soggy Dumbarton with Progress members

 

 

 

 

 

Kezia Dugdale canvassed in Edinburgh East with Progress assistance up from England for a couple of days

Gordon Mckee  Labour candidate Edinburgh South canvassed with Ian Murray  MP and Progress assistance up from England together with

Cat Headley candidate for Edinburgh West canvassed with Progress assistance up from England

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Labour Party In-Fighting Gets Serious – Progress – Blairites Leaning Right – Momentum -Corbynites Leaning Left

 

 

 

The 2015 General Election cleared 40 deadbeat Labour M.P.’s from Westminster  – what does the future hold for Labour

The Labour Party post the 2015 General Election are in turmoil. The party is hopelessly split into a number of groups each pursuing widely differing agendas. The party is not known for exercising common sense and it is likely there will be a deal of blood-letting before the future direction of the party is decided. Meantime, in Scotland the party, ineffectively led by the inexperienced Kezia Dugdale is also divided along politically dogmatic lines. Indeed she was so bold as to make it known publicly before his election to the party leadership that Jeremy Corbyn did not carry her confidence or vote. But there are others, (now members of her shadow front bench team) who  are supporters of Corbyn’s ideals. But many are “Blairites” holding membership of the Progress group led by arch Blairite  Lord Peter Mandelson.

The divided Labour Party in Scotland is in big trouble since the next election is only a few weeks away. It faces Armageddon at the polls.

 

But what of Jeremy Corbyn? The left wing of the Labour Party has waited 25 years for the opportunity to be placed to decide the political direction of the party and they will not give ground easily. So far I have identified two  opposing groups “Progress” and now “Momentum”. There are more. What a mess!!!!

 

 

 

 
8 October 2015: Senior Labour MPs have warned a new campaign group, set up by supporters of Jeremy Corbyn, is a “threat to sitting MPs” and will “undermine” the party.

Momentum, a collective set up with the backing of the Labour leader and the Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell, aims to influence party policy but MPs are worried it is the beginning of a purge of moderate members who don’t support the leader. One Shadow Cabinet Minister said: “They are setting up a party within a party and I fear that they will use it to take control of conference, policy-making and mount a purge.”

Another MP asked not to be named but described the new group as “a worrying sign” while respected Labour MP Stephen Pound said: “This is basically a parallel organisation as far as I’m concerned, it’s against the principles of the Labour party and I think less of Jeremy Corbyn for endorsing it. “It will inevitably be seen as a threat to sitting MPs and the Labour party in parliament – it is a retrograde step.”

Welcoming the group, which is also backed by a group of Labour MPs including Katy Clark, Clive Lewis, Richard Burgon, Rebecca Long-Bailey and Kate Osamor, Mr Corbyn said: “Now, more than ever, we need to unite and continue to build our movement to change our politics and to win together in 2020.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/Jeremy_Corbyn/11919492/Jeremy-Corbyn-backed-Momentum-group-is-a-threat-to-sitting-MPs.html

 

 

 
4 December 2015: Labour split exposed as Tom Watson describes Momentum as a ‘rabble’

Labour’s deputy leader Tom Watson has highlighted splits at the highest levels of the party by describing Momentum, the group established by supporters of Jeremy Corbyn to strengthen his leadership, as a “bit of a rabble”. Watson spoke out against Momentum during an interview on the Today programme in which he hailed Labour’s decisive victory in the safe Labour Oldham West and Royton seat by-election. Watson praised McMahon and Corbyn – who will be given an important breathing space as he seeks to overcome divisions in the party – after the emphatic win.

But Watson highlighted divisions at senior levels of his party when he criticised Momentum, the group set up to provide grass-roots support for Corbyn, which has been endorsed by the Labour leadership. He said: “I am not a member of Momentum. They look like a bit of a rabble to me. But I don’t think they’re particularly a problem for the Labour party. They are not a party within a party. I just don’t think they’re that effective. They are a bit of an irrelevance in this debate. If there are people who are linked to Momentum that are intimidating Labour party members, then I think we should deal with it.”

Watson said he was grateful to Momentum for releasing a statement that said that it would not campaign for the deselection of MPs. It also condemned abusive behaviour. http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2015/dec/04/labour-split-exposed-tom-watson-momentum-rabble-livingstone

 

 

 

8 February 2016: John McTernan -The idiots in Momentum will destroy themselves before they destroy Labour

It’s war. Well it was always a war, really. But the leaking of Momentum’s plans to become a fully-fledged party within a party and to win internal Labour Party battles shows how seriously the Corbynistas intend to remake everything in their image. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/labour/12145352/Jeremy-Corbyn-Momentums-militant-style-blueprint-for-gaining-influence-over-Labour.html

Their target this year is 20,000 members – five times more than Militant had – and eight full time organisers. They say they will campaign to win internal elections, in their own words ‘counter moderates seeking key internal party roles’. All they need is a newspaper and Labour will really be back to the future and fighting against destructive infiltration.

But the return of the repressed is evident in politics as elsewhere in life. Momentum give themselves away in one key passage entitled “Consider for membership people rejected by Labour” which states:

“It has been pointed out that the Labour Party may unreasonably proscribe organisations or exclude individuals from membership. For this reason, it is proposed that the National Committee may decide by resolution to admit to membership any person whom it feels has been unfairly excluded from membership of the Labour Party, and shall be the final arbiter in any dispute about whether an organisation is ‘opposed to the Labour Party’ as a determinant of membership of Momentum.

The aspiration to let non-Labour Party members join will be the undoing of Momentum – it is the thread at which moderates can pull. The Labour Party is an electoral machine or it is nothing. It’s organisational base remains local government and the most regularly attended meetings are based on council wards.

At these there is little sign yet of attendance by the new members. Discussions are always either highfalutin debates about ending inequality or hyper-localism, but they are congenial, comradely and always return to campaigning – campaigning to win. Trying to sneak enemies of the Labour Party in through the back door as Momentum plan is the surest way to find out that the “the broad mainstream of Labour Party grass-roots” do not welcome collusion with their electoral enemies.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/Jeremy_Corbyn/12146286/The-idiots-in-Momentum-will-destroy-themselves-before-they-destroy-Labour.html

 

 
8 February 2016: Corbyn hardcore plotting to deselect Labour moderates

Key organisers in Momentum, the new Jeremy Corbyn supporters’ group inside the Labour Party, are explicitly plotting “civil war” to get rid of moderate Labour MPs, despite repeated denials, a Telegraph investigation has found. Leaders of Momentum include, self-proclaimed revolutionary Marxists, and paid staff of parties which oppose Labour, including a man who was until five weeks ago official spokesman for a Green MEP.

Concerted efforts have begun to get moderate Labour incumbents pushed down the rankings of the party’s candidates for next year’s Welsh and Scottish elections, putting them at great risk of losing their seats. Momentum has harvested thousands of confidential personal records of Labour members, including their private emails and telephone numbers, and is already using them to operate phone-banks, it can be disclosed. The tactic has caused a major row, with Momentum’s opponents claiming it is illegal under data protection laws.

Momentum, launched last month to “continue the energy and enthusiasm of Jeremy’s campaign,” insists it is a “social movement” which is “not campaigning at all on any deselections” of MPs. Speaking to the BBC, the group’s spokesman, said: “The purpose of Momentum is not to have internal factional battles, it’s to look outside.” However, bulletins and documents – some confidential, others openly published online – make clear that Momentum leaders and activists have different ideas. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/Jeremy_Corbyn/11981745/The-Corbyn-hardcore-plotting-to-deselect-Labour-moderates.html

 

 

A look at Momentum's website

 
Momentum – Aims & Objectives (22 page document)

http://i.telegraph.co.uk/multimedia/archive/03570/National_Committee_3570014a.pdf

 

 

 

Britain's opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn

 

Jeremy Corbyn – Who is He?

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/Jeremy_Corbyn/

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Labour Party In Meltdown – Read What Their Own People Say

 

 

 

The Progress Network – Labours Progressives – The Party Within a Party

The Labour Party in Scotland will be seeking the support of the Scottish electorate in a few weeks time. The party motto “Unity is Strength” will no doubt feature in their propaganda leaflets, biased press, television and speeches. But Scots are not stupid. It is only a few months ago that the party displayed that Unity of purpose joining with Westminster Unionists in and leading the ” Better Together” team that browbeat Scots throughout the course of the referendum campaign.

The programme of fear waged against Scots was brutally and repeatedly  targeted against pensioners and other aspects of the Scottish community perceived to be vulnerable by Westminster. And they won the day.

But the 2015 General Election evidenced lies spun by labour to the UK electorate. There is no united party. Indeed there hasn’t been since Labour lost the 2010 General Election.  The Progress (Blairite) Network, (President Peter Mandelson)  part filled  the vacuum created by the strong (left-right) differences of opinion as to the future direction of the party.

The performance of the Labour Party was summarised by : Paul Richards – Labour’s Revival: The Modernisers’ Manifesto.

” The problem was not that millions of people in Britain thought the Labour party was not like them and did not understand them; the problem was that they were right.” 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In Scotland the only Labour MP (Ian Murray) remaining is a member of “Progress”. A significant number of MSP’s  have moved to the left however and the UK party is led by Jeremy Corbyn a left wing politician of the old school of Labour who is determined to take the party down the road of socialism.

In Scotland Kezia Dugdale expressed strong opposition to Jeremy Corbyn’s bid for the leadership and her appointments to the front bench  shadow team of ministers pointedly excluded anyone who might be considered a “Corbynite”.  Alex Rowley, (a Corbynite) elected by the party membership in Scotland to the Deputy Leadership role has been sidelined. So the party in Scotland is divided and its controlling party in Westminster is even more divided. Unelectable? I should say so!!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Two eminent political persons of the Labour Party  Joe Haines and Michael Taylor have spoken out about the on going conflict within the Labour Party. Extracts are added below.

 

 

Joe Haines

 

 

 

 

The Micawber Syndrome

Joe Haines, Harold Wilson’s press secretary, argues that the Labour moderates cannot “wait for something to turn up” in their battle against Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership.

Labour will lose the next general election if Jeremy Corbyn is still its leader, and lose it by a substantial margin. A distrusted and unloved Conservative Party will win something resembling a landslide victory.

No ifs or buts, as David Cameron might say: that is the plain, unpalatable truth. Either he goes or the party itself is a goner. Those who believe otherwise are the Flat Earthers of British politics.

Barring a cataclysmic economic failure or a sexual scandal of unimaginable proportions, Cameron’s successor will have a shoo-in and a near-moribund Liberal Democrat party will get a kiss of life and dream of beating Labour for second place.

Scotland, if it is still in the Union by 2020, wouldn’t offer a hope of returning to the Labour fold; the Scots voters know a wee, sleekit, cow’rin’, tim’rous beastie when they see one and Corbyn would be lucky to keep our only seat.

Either we wake up or we shut up. Too bleak? Too pessimistic? A fantasy scenario and not realistic? No. Things could get worse. The national party could, according to the gloomiest forecast, disappear altogether by next October, reduced to a municipal party with brave bands of councillors flying the flag, rather like the Independent Labour Party in the 1930s.

Actually, I don’t think things are quite that bad. We face disintegration rather than immediate doom. At least at the first stage. But what will follow is a series of electoral defeats that can only be imagined.

http://www.newstatesman.com/politics/uk/2016/01/micawber-syndrome-or-why-labour-mps-must-depose-jeremy-corbyn-now

 

 

 

 

Michael Taylor

 

 

 

 

The Labour Party Under Corbyn is ideologically bankrupt and organisationally incompetent

Michael Taylor was a Labour Party parliamentary candidate for Manchester in the 2015 General Election. He is a journalist, author, writer and event host amongst other things. He said, I too hold no hope for the Corbyn project. At every step it is politically doomed, ideologically bankrupt and organisationally incompetent. I don’t for a minute believe that Jeremy Corbyn will lead Labour into the 2020 General Election. His mission doesn’t strike me as that of a future prime minister of this country and with a plan to make it a modern socialist republic. He doesn’t think in short parliamentary terms, he thinks in decades. This is a step toward re-casting Labour as a left wing party.

A Podemos, or a Syrizia. He has no interest in power. Triumph is having the debate, or rather changing internal structures to build a party based on policies to fit his own interests and world view. And why wouldn’t he? After all, he was elected as leader by a large margin. The MPs I speak to are in despair. The atmosphere amongst the PLP is described as “toxic”, “awful” and “dysfunctional”. But they are in such a mood of hopelessness because of his “mandate” from the membership. But he doesn’t have a mandate from the electorate. Every single Labour MP was elected on a manifesto and a platform far away from that of the leadership. Few of them share his platform, many of them are either keeping their heads down or appealing for party unity. It’s a position I understand but don’t think is in any way tenable.

I would whole heartedly support a coup in the Parliamentary Labour Party to oust the narrow cabal of Jeremy Corbyn, the awful Diane Abbott and John McDonnell. They have their mandate to lead the party, but not in Parliament. They aren’t up to the job. They are an embarrassment and are unfit to perform their constitutional duty to provide effective opposition to this mediocre Conservative government.

Already the key interventions are at committee stage. The best performances at the despatch box have been from Hilary Benn and Angela Eagle. It has to change. Here’s why. The most common conversation I have with non-Labour friends is this. “Isn’t politics interesting?” they say. “Love him or hate him, doesn’t Jeremy Corbyn represent something new and different? At least you know what he stands for.”  My next question back at them is always answered with a big fat no. Well, would you vote Labour with him as leader? “No, no, no and once more for good luck, no, of course not,” and that’s the polite version. They just won’t. In fact they laugh. The opinion polls also show this. The response on the doorstep is the same. Our answer is either to apologise for him, or to plead for a vote despite him, as we successfully achieved in Oldham.  http://themarpleleaf.blogspot.co.uk/2016/02/how-i-got-my-political-mojo-back.html