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John Lamont & Kirstene Hair – Privileged Offspring of Uber Rich Scottish Landowning Families – Champions of the Tory Supporting National Farmers Union – Elected to Westminster in Error – Surely!!

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James Alexander Hair (F) Kirstene, Louise, Alison (M), Deborah and James   The Hair Family

 

 

The Hair Family are directly related, by marriage to the powerful Lamont Clan of North Ayrshire.

Kirstene will not be lonely at Westminster since her cousin John Lamont was also elected to Westminster in 2017.

The Lamonts:

https://caltonjock.com/2016/04/25/the-most-expensive-msp-in-holyrood-john-lamont-re-elected-in-ettrick-roxburgh-berwickshire-how-the-hell-did-he-do-it/

The Lamonts were one of the most powerful clans in Scotland until they supported the royalists against Robert the Bruce in the 1300’s, and were almost wiped out for their trouble. 
The victorious Robert the Bruce gave the Lamont land to the Campbell clan, and the two clans feuded right up until 1646, when the Campbells chased most of the Lamonts out of their castles  (Castle Toward and Castle Ascog) in Dunoon, Scotland and hanged them (35 on one tree).
  

Although the clan leader James Lamont was thrown in a dungeon for five years, and his brother Archibald was among those killed, James’ pregnant wife escaped to Ireland and took the name McDonald to avoid suspicion.

The baby boy later retook the name Lamont and became the new Lamont clan chief, continuing the name under reduced circumstances. 

Some sixty years after the Dunoon Massacre, another Archibald Lamont was born in Dunoon.

Several hundred of his direct descendants are listed in Eleanor Thomas’ book, including his great-great-granddaughter, the third Janet Stevenson Lamont, who married a McKinnon and emigrated to Canada, and her granddaughter Dorothy Lamont McKinnon.

Archibald Lamont was born in 1710 in Dunoon, Scotland. He married Jean Gemmel (b. May 16, 1711 in Neilston, Renfrew, Scotland) on July 25, 1732 in the Parish of Irvine, Ayrshire, Scotland, according to church records.

They lived in Kilwinning, Scotland and had three children: John (b. Apr. 30, 1734, d. Jan. 7, 1789 in Kilwinning, buried in the Old Kilwinning Cemetery), Jean (b. Jun. 27, 1736) , and Archibald (b.  Jul. 26, 1739). 

John married Martha Crawford (b. 1738 in Kilwinning) and had one child, John (b. July 13, 1769 in Murchland, Ayrshire, d. Jan. 31, 1853, buried in the Old Kilwinning Cemetery).  

During the late 18th century and early 19th, the second John Lamont farmed about 150 acres at the so-called Cockenzie Farm (click for aerial photo from Google Maps; if you back out a little you can see Ardrossan, Scotland on the coast, home of the McKinnons). 

Cockenzie Farm, which is a couple of miles south of  the town of Dalry, and a couple of miles north of Kilwinning, was owned by the Lamont family for hundreds of years, until finally sold by Robert and Elizabeth Lamont in Dec., 1997. 

On May 11, 1804, when John was 35, he married  20-year-old Janet Stevenson (b. Mar. 4, 1784 in Fenwick, Ayrshire to John and Ann Stevenson, d. Jan. 29, 1863, buried in Old Kilwinning Cemetery).

The spelling of Stevenson is sometimes found as Stevenston, which is the name of a town a few miles west of Kilwinning. 

John and Janet Stevenson Lamont had 7 children John (b. Feb. 17, 1805, d. Dec. 18, 1884, buried in the New Kilwinning Cemetery), Archibald (b. Jul. 18, 1809 in Stewarton, Ayrshire, d. Aug. 6, 1897 in Maybole, Ayrshire, buried in the New Kilwinning Cemetery), Anne, James, Robert, William, Allan and Janet. 

They would also have two granddaughters named Janet Stevenson Lamont.  One would stay in Scotland, and the other would end up in North Dakota.

Brothers John and Archibald married two sisters, daughters of John Reid and Martha Crawford.  John (the third John Lamont, if you’re counting) married Ann Reid (b. Nov. 11, 1812, d. Oct. 14, 1858) on Jun. 26, 1835. 

John and Ann lived at Cockenzie Farm, having seven children, including a daughter named Janet Stevenson Lamont (b. Feb. 17, 1845, d. Feb. 13, 1937, buried in Dalry Cemetery). 

Janet (number two) married a farmer, James Warden Hair in Dalry,  Scotland on March 19, 1872.  

Archibald Lamont married Ann’s sister Margaret Reid  (b. 1816, d. May 1, 1880, buried in New Kilwinning Cemetery)  on May 20, 1842. 

They had eight children, John, Martha Crawford, Janet Stevenson (number three), Ann, Margaret, Archibald, Daniel, and Jean Wilson. 

Their daughter Janet Stevenson Lamont (b. Feb. 10, 1847 in Kilwinning, Scotland, d. 1937 in Mapleton, ND) was 4 years old during the 1851 Kilwinning census (check District 2, under Dubbs Farm). 

Archibald and Margaret farmed about 90 acres and raised dairy cows with a half-dozen hired hands. 

It was said that he much preferred the milking to ploughing the fields. 

One afternoon in 1880, at age 64, Margaret died after being hit by the morning express train from Glasgow while walking home along the tracks from shopping in Kilwinning.

 

John Lamont MP

 

 

 

The Hair Family

The family name is derived from the Irish O’hIr, ‘descendant of Irish’ . It is a name common to Ayrshire.

The first direct record linking the current Hair family is:

John Hare and Niven Here  who were registered as voters in the parish  of Qwilton (Coylton), in 1513.

The Hair family went on to become were well established farmers across North Ayrshire from 1500 – to date.

The joining of the Lamont and Hair families was sealed in 1903 in Dalry when John Hair of South Lissens Farm, Dalry (Still owned by the Hair family), married Margaret Lamont of Auchenskeith Farm, Dalry.

 

 

 

 

The Current Hair Family  of Angus – Landowners and Electricity Providers

Two brothers, (James Alexander Hair and John Lamont Hair) are third generation major landowners owning: Smithfield Energy, (electricity production), located at, Smithfield Farm,  Monikie and Regiongrain Ltd, (growing of cereals, except rice, leguminous crops and oil seeds), located at, Mains of Ardovie Farm. Valued in excess of £1million (each).

James is married to Alison. They have three daughters, Louise b1985, Deborah b 1987, Kirstene b1989, and a son James b1990.

The family are of staunch Tory stock and are are keen supporters of the Scottish farmer and Young Farmer organisations (the girls have benefited from a number of sponsored trips abroad over the years) which is nice.

Kirstene is without any relevant experience politically but is keen to start her political career near to the top of the pile. Not for her any lowly Councillors job.

Education. University of Aberdeen. Master’s Degree, Politics. 2007 – 2011 17-21y (She studied for an MA in politics but it is unclear if she managed to gain a degree.)

Family members, a formidable team were highly visible during her campaign for election:

Deborah 30y: A highly qualified digital marketing consultant with expertise in financial, education, fashion and government sectors. Senior manager with Beattie, the large Scottish creative communications group. Most likely  the inspiration behind much of her sister’s excellent campaign.

 

 

 

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Employment Summary

Political Campaigns Assistant. (work experience whilst studying) March 2009 – May 2010 (1 year 3 months 19-20y

Overseas sales representative. OPM Partnership. September 2010 – December 2010 (4 months) 20y

Sales Representative. Kuoni Group. March 2011 – July 2011 (5 months) 21y
Personal Assistant. Scottish Conservatives. August 2012 – August 2013 (1 year 1 month) 22-23y

Personal Secretary. Wilde Thyme Ltd. August 2012 – October 2013 (1 year 3 months) 22-23y

Personal Secretary. DC Thomson Publishing. February 2014 – April 2015 (1 year 3 months) 24-25y

Executive Assistant. DC Thomson. July 2016 – Present (11 months)

 

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The Hair girls at brother’s wedding

 

22 February 2016: Kirsten Hair Candidate for Angus South (seriously)

I am delighted to tell you that Kirstene Hair was selected yesterday to stand as the Conservative and Unionist candidate for the Angus South constituency in May’s Scottish Parliament election.

Kirstene has allowed herself to be drafted in at short notice to stand instead of Derek.

Because of the limited time between now and the election on 5th May, and so as to ensure that there is no pause in campaigning in Angus South, the local Association has adopted a fast track selection process, which has been endorsed by the Party’s Candidate Selection Board in Edinburgh.

Kirstene lives in Angus and her family farm here.

She has been an energetic, effective local activist for us during the Better Together campaign and the General Election and has prior experience of the Party and Scottish politics through working in Central Office.

We are therefore extremely fortunate to have such a good, young local candidate..

http://www.angusconservatives.co.uk/2016/02/22/new-candidate-for-angus-south/

 

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Questions Put to Kirstene on her Facebook by potential voters from the date of her nomination (All unanswered) Need to Question Why She is Standing

Marion Philip: You do know that the Scottish Parliament has voted for a second Independence referendum??

Your MSP friend clearly does not understand that the decision is made, or does he not recognise Holyrood as a a decision making parliament? If not why is he there?

Helen Cairncross: Tell us what you are going to do to improve things in the UK.

Stephen McConnell: The SNP are Sinn Fein IRA in Scotland. Squash the filthy bastards.

Steve Brannigan: Tut Tut, bad language and such aggression? Are all unionists so aggressive? It is a bit childish is it not to be comparing the SNP to Sinn Fein?

Darren Stewart: Rape Clause?

 

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Atholl Clark: The Scottish Tories have done a massive handbrake turn on Free Prescription charges. Is there a single journo in our foreign owned media that has the balls ,or honesty to ask Ruthie about this monumental change of heart. Was she wrong then ,or lying now?

Jacqui Cook: I used to vote Conservative but disappointed in the way they are handling Brexit. Also fox hunting, where do you stand?

Dunc Gilmour: The Tories are nothing but scum, attacking the Disabled and sick whilst lining their pockets and making themselves rich. A vote for the Tories is a giant slap in the face for all those being humiliated by a Government that don’t care.

Hamish Budge: The Second independence referendum is already happening as OUR Scottish Parliament has already approved it. Scotland don’t want cruel Torys in charge Your values are vile! #rapeclause #foxhunting #bedroomtax #polltax #taxloopholes for the rich. I could go on…

Brian Shepherd Still better together ??? Winter heating allowance .. gone! Pensions triple lock .. gone ! The Conservative Party plans to scrap free school meals for children in the first three years of their education. Despite reports that 3 million UK children go hungry without school meals during the summer holidays, the Tories have revealed a plan to remove universal free school lunches for infants. Conservatives ….. still attacking the old, weak and defenceless….

Graeme Shepherd: Kirstene, if you say the Tories have done a great job on the economy, can you please explain why we have increasing number of cuts, a doubling of national debt since 2010 and shrinking wages? Surely that is an economy in trouble?

 

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A brilliant family effort and one of the best Conservative campaigns in Angus for a very long time that will not go unnoticed by Ruth Davidson and party HQs.

Thank you Iain for your support – that is very kind of you.

You will do very well at the next election. I’m sure that you’ll get in.

Charlotte Louise Stratton: Great photo. You did us proud.

Charlie Sharkey: Great job Kirstene and Ruth too. The fight back has begun!

Craig Allan Stewart: Yeah let’s turn Scotland blue. And have food-banks, poverty, bedroom tax, Trident, expenses fraud, election fraud, paedophile cover ups, austerity, monarchy, house of lords……

Like Show more reactions. Can you tell me if you support the raising of the current pension age please? I read that it is planned that this will go up to 70. Can you confirm or deny this and if not 70 what What are your views on fox-hunting?

Further to your question to Mike Weir in Arbroath Herald and his response, can you confirm Scottish fishing grounds WILL NOT be used as bargaining chips with EU and that any post Brexit deal has fishing devolved to Scotland.

I know you must be very busy but I really would like to know your views on University fees?

 

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Graeme Shepherd: first of all, thank you for the election leaflet that came through my door just now.

You may not know this but I will tell you. Independence referendum is mentioned 26 times, SNP get 20 mentions, Nicola Sturgeon herself gets 9 mentions.

Lagging behind is yer pal Ruth, she gets 7 mentions and Theresa gets 4.

Sadly, for you, no mention.

So, my question is simply this ‘why are the Scottish Tories so obsessed with an independence referendum?

Ruth, Theresa and Tories got pretty much same amount of mentions put together as the independence referendum got on its own.

Stop obsessing about the referendum and get on with your day job – providing a decent opposition to the Scottish National Party (SNP).

As ever, look forward to you answering my questions.

Steve Brannigan: Would you vote to close the Scottish parliament?

Michael Smith: http://www.ox.ac.uk/news/2017-02-20-30000-excess-deaths-2015-linked-cuts-health-and-social-care.

Do you have any thoughts on this ? Or is it just the same as for them as the foxes.

Steve Brannigan: 30,000 more deaths in England & Wales due to cuts to social care budget, surely Kirstene will have a view on that?

Steve Brannigan: I genuinely want to hear where she stands on all the questions I have asked.

I am sure the majority of the county want to hear them as well.

Craig Allan Stewart: Prescription charges. To pay or not to pay?

Depends what face you’re wearing.

Stewart Falconer: This mornings news suggests cuts to free school meals, pensions triple lock gone in two years and no cold weather payments for some pensioners, thoughts please.

Steve Brannigan: I’m sure there is a perfectly reasonable answer to these developments

Stewart. After all the OAPs are key to the Tory vote and to a NO vote in a referendum

.Stewart Falconer: My guess is they’ve been released to hide something else going on but hey I’m an old cynic.

Steve Brannigan: I genuinely want to hear where she stands on all the questions I have asked.

I am sure the majority of the county want to hear them as well.

Craig Allan Stewart: Prescription charges. To pay or not to pay?

Depends what face you’re wearing.re home for perennial losers?

Stewart Falconer: This mornings news suggests cuts to free school meals, pensions triple lock gone in two years and no cold weather payments for some pensioners, thoughts please.

Steve Brannigan: I’m sure there is a perfectly reasonable answer to these developments Stewart.

After all the OAPs are key to the Tory vote and to a NO vote in a referendum.

 

22 Sep 2017: Newly Elected Angus MP found it oh so difficult to make a decision on Brexit referendum so she didn’t vote. Unbelievable!!!

Despite her constituency voting Remain; 55.3% while 44.7% voted to leave and Scotland as a whole voted to remain by 62% to 38% Kirsten did note vote on Brexit.

She said: “I didn’t vote on Brexit. I took the decision not to vote on it. It was incredibly difficult. The first time I’ve never voted in my life. It was very difficult because you get two arguments very strong on both sides. I just ultimately couldn’t make that decision and I thought I would therefore go with the will of the UK which if I’m honest I thought we would remain. But I left that to everyone else. Now I think we all have to get behind it and say, you know what, that’s the way the country voted and we have to make the best.”

Full article here:

https://www.thecourier.co.uk/fp/news/local/angus-mearns/504054/newly-elected-angus-mp-kirstene-hair-reveals-not-vote-brexit-referendum/

 

 

 

24 Sep 2017: Kirstine Hair experiences no pangs of indecision when it comes to voting through a cut in the wages of agricultural workers

It’s been a busy week for newly-elected Tory MP Kirstene Hair, who stormed the SNP stronghold of Angus in the recent General Election.

Ms Hair turned her back on the family farm in favour of public service at Westminster.

But she faced pelters this week after publicly admitting that she didn’t vote in the Brexit referendum — because it was all too hard.

Spitting in the face of all that the Suffragettes stood for, she said: “It was very difficult because you get two arguments very strong on both sides.

I just ultimately couldn’t make that decision.”

You can’t blame Ms Hair for being unable to make up her mind.

After all, the Prime Minister used to think that Brexit was an economic disaster — now she loves it to bits.

The Foreign Secretary used to think it would bring in £350 million a week for the NHS and now he says he doesn’t.

In fact, the last time he said he doesn’t think that was exactly one day after he wrote a newspaper article saying that he did think that.

Ms Hair is to be saluted. This is a political break-through moment. Imagine if all our politicians took this kind of principled stance.

Imagine if they all went public and admitted “I don’t know what the hell I’m talking about so I’ll just shut up.”

Imagine if the public joined in and votes were cast only by people who had a clue. The effect would be transforming.

Of course Ms Hair is confused. But at least, now that she is an MP, she won’t have to make any more difficult decisions because the party whips will tell her how to vote from now on.

Anyway, she wasn’t confused when she appeared on the wireless this week.

Since Farming Today is broadcast at stupid o’clock in the morning, you probably missed it, but Ms Hair was there, calling for the abolition of Scotland’s Agricultural Wages Board.

It ensures fair wages for agricultural workers and it ensures fruit pickers are paid a rate which means they are able to earn the minimum wage.

Ms Hair wants it abolished. She thinks it prevents people getting a start in farming because they are priced out of the market.

So there we go. She wasn’t very sure if leaving Europe would be good for the family farm business, but she is absolutely certain that lower wages would be. (The Sun)

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Little Rich Girl – Grace Okeeffe – Tory Candidate for Aberdeen North – Her Wish is to be Successful Just Like Daddy – She Needs to Set Her Sights Lower

 

 

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Robert & Julia Grace and boyfriend

 

 

The Okeeffe Family – Born to Rule Over Us

Grace Okeeffe has been selected by Ruth Davidson to stand for the Aberdeen North seat on 8 June 2017.

An examination of her track record reveals little since she has not been in the public political arena for much time.

Facilitating the painting of an accurate picture required a study of her family background and this was more productive.

Her father Robert is a senior executive in one of the world’s largest oil support companies.

His present duties place him in South Africa where he has charge of all Pan-Africa business.

Her mother Julia maintains the family home, a large lodge house with outbuildings and scenic views. in the country outside Aberdeen. She is a company director.

Grace has a sister Lauren who lives away from home, in Edinburgh where she works in the French Consulate expanding her French.

She appears to be pro-European and this should make for interesting political discussions with her sister.

Finally there is Grace, who apart from completing a degree in politics at Glasgow University hasn’t done very much.

I have added mini pen pictures of the family confirming the foregoing.

 

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Robert and Julia

 

 

Robert O’Keeffe: English born;

Education:

* Cranleigh; (exclusive private school. Annual Fees around £30-£35K. 1978 – 1983

* University of Oxford, MA (Eng) Field Of Study Engineering Science. 1984 – 1987

* Cranfield School of Management and University. MBA 1999 – 2000

 

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Cranleigh

 
Employment Pattern:

* Management Consultant to the Pharmaceutical Industry: Shell – 1987 – Jun 1999 – Aberdeen, Oman, The Hague/Schiedam – Upstream Oil and Gas projects.

* Manager: Risk Management services – ZS Associates – 2000 – Apr 2005 – London, United Kingdom

* Principal Consultant: Risk Management services – DNV Consulting – Apr 2005 – Feb 2010 – Aberdeen, United Kingdom

* Senior Principal Consultant – DNV GL – Apr 2005 – Present – South Africa, Aberdeen, United Kingdom

 

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Cranfield University

 

 

Employment Summary

Business Development Manager for Africa, covering Oil & Gas and Energy Business Areas since January 2016 .

Formerly Head of Risk Advisory Services (Aberdeen), Region UK Oil & Gas, DNV GL.

28 years professional experience, supplemented by a full-time MBA qualification, in both the Oil & Gas sector with an Oil Major and in the Pharmaceutical sector with a London-based Management Consultancy.

12 years Upstream experience as project manager leading multi-discipline engineering teams in several countries covering the full spectrum of project life cycle activity including risk assessment studies, conceptual and detail design for brown/green-field projects, onshore / offshore construction projects, hands-on maintenance activity and project management system support activities

5 years Consultancy experience in the general area of change management at Director level, involving in-depth analysis of business data, facilitation of senior management meetings and presentation of recommendations typically leading to changes to product/customer strategy, reorganisation of companies and / or changes to management systems.

10 years Risk Management Consultancy in the upstream oil and gas industry.

 

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Lauren Okeeffe

 
Lauren O’Keeffe (Sister of Grace)
Education:

* Albyn School: – exclusive private school in Aberdeen

* The University of Edinburgh: – French MA (Hons)

* Université Paris XII: – Master’s Student of Linguistics MSc.

 

 

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Employment History:

*Marketing Assistant at Trybal

*Intern at European Parliament

* Committee Leader, “The Exchange Society”

* Expects to take up a career in Marketing,Communications…

 

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Lauren O’Keeffe and others at Holyrood

 

 

Lauren O’Keeffe participated in a discussion at the Holyrood Culture, Tourism, Europe and External Relations Committee 25 April 2017

Convener (Joan McAlpine):

Today, the committee will have a round-table discussion with young people to explore Scotland’s future relationship with the European Union.

I welcome all our attendees, who have joined us from a wide range of youth groups across Scotland.

I understand that you have spent the morning discussing in detail Scotland’s future relationship with the EU and the issues that you consider to be most relevant.

The participants were separated into four groups, each of which was allocated one of the following topics:

the economy; education; the environment; and human rights.

Two representatives from each group have kindly agreed to speak on behalf of their groups in our evidence session this afternoon.

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Cranfield Uninveristy

 

Lauren O’Keefe (Consulate General of France, Edinburgh):

We are concerned about how young people will be represented in the negotiations, given that over three quarters of young people voted to remain in the EU. There is consistent talk of a hard Brexit, but the vote was split almost 50:50, so why is it not a soft Brexit? Who is representing the remainers?

Lauren O’Keefe:

Our group discussed concerns about the environment, which is never prioritised in any mandate at the moment; it is always at the bottom of the list.

We are worried that some of the environmental protection laws that the EU has created might be lost once we leave. We wonder whether they will be maintained.

There are many lessons that we can take from Europe.

Places such as Holland and Scandinavia have a lot of initiatives, for example people get money for disposing of bottles.

There are so many more things like that that we could take from Europe and do in this country.

We are also concerned about a recent reconfiguration at Westminster, where the environment department’s funds were reduced.

The environmental situation is one of the biggest problems of our time and, for young people, it is our future.

Older people who voted will not see the impact but we will, so the environment is really important to us.

Furthermore, we can take lessons on renewable energy from countries such as Denmark, which has a target to go carbon neutral by 2050.

We have a target to reduce carbon emissions by something like 40 per cent by 2030, but a lot more could be done, such as encouraging less consumption of meat.

We also wonder whether sustainable fishing and farming will continue.

They benefit the economy, especially all the fishing in the north of Scotland, but will fishing and farming damage the environment if we do not have the EU regulations any more?

Someone in the group raised a point about nuclear energy.

Scotland is not proceeding with any more nuclear programmes when, in fact, it is a sustainable form of energy.

We get about two thirds of our energy from Europe, so how will that be replaced?

Will it be replaced with renewables or will the Government just continue with fracking and approaches like that?

Lauren O’Keefe:

Brexit could be seen as an opportunity to make a difference and to look good to other countries.

We could start to create laws that are even better for the environment. If we look at animal welfare, there are no battery hens because of EU law.

Will we maintain or improve those laws?

An excellent discussion group . Well worth a read (http://www.parliament.scot/parliamentarybusiness/report.aspx?r=10911&i=99818&c=1994316)

 

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Grace OKeeffe

Education:

* Glasgow University – MA (politics) 2008 – 2013

Employment:

* Whilst studying at University gained knowledge of Westminster politics through a number of 1 month internships. 2008-2013

* Worked as a waitress (part time) in a number of establishments whilst studying at University. 2008 – 2013

* Joined “Better Together” team at the start of the Referendum

* Employed by Alexander Burnett as a political P/A. West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine Election – June 2014-2017

 

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Alexander Burnett

 

 
February 2016: Grace O’Keeffe promotes crowd-funder appeal for Multi-Millionaire Tory candidate Alexander Burnett

Alexander has a real chance of beating the SNP and the Liberal Democrats have shown that they have no chance of winning.

Alexander has grown up in Aberdeenshire West and lives near Banchory with his wife and family.

He said “This constituency is my home. I want to see it prosper and our communities flourish. We have so much potential across this part of the North East and I know that with your support, we can ensure this beautiful area of Aberdeenshire continues to prosper.

With your help, we can spread Tory blue across the length and breadth of the Aberdeenshire West.

Your donations will help us contact thousands of voters, explain our Conservative vision and start a conversation about their ambitions for our capital and our country.”

We asked you to donate to Alexander’s campaign to get elected to the Scottish Parliament.

We are able to tell you that we successfully raised £3,020 of £3,000 target with 27 supporters in 42 days.

This page is promoted by Grace O’Keeffe on behalf of Alexander Burnett.  A millionaire Tory has the audacity to ask the electors to fund his campaign. Unreal.

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27 May 2016: Alexander Burnett Tory MSP in sexism row after family firm advert is branded derogatory by feminist group

Burnett is today at the centre of a sexism row after his family’s property firm published racy adverts that have infuriated feminists.

Aberdeenshire – based Bancon Homes are promoting a new housing development with a photograph of a scantily-clad model with the slogan: “I don’t remember him… but I remember his apartment.”

The brochure was last night branded “derogatory to women” by Talat Yaqoob, chairwoman of campaign group Women 50:50.

A Tory spokesman joked: “It’s clear the party won’t be taking advice from Alexander when it comes to advertising campaigns.” (Daily Record)

 

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Alexander Burnett

 

 
11 September 2016: Tory candidate, Multi-Millionaire Alexander Burnett and his Agent Claire O’Keeffe in Expenses cock-up ,

Multi-Millionaire Tory MSP Burnett is facing allegations he failed to declare using his own office for his Holyrood campaign.

The watchdog’s rules state the value of any office space used in election campaigns must be declared.

But Burnett, who is worth more than £20 million, allegedly failed to declare the use of his Banchory Business Centre in an official election spending return.

Burnett’s election agent Grace O’Keeffe inadvertently exposed the use of his business premises at the time she posted a photo to Twitter from within the Banchory Business Centre on polling day. A similar snap from the office had been posted in April.

Burnett’s election returns for the five weeks before the election show he spent £376.25 on office costs, with a further £682.50 spent between January and April.

But the return states the accommodation was supplied by the West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine branch of the Scottish Conservatives.

The returns also show Burnett spent modest sums on mobile phone bills supplied by the North Banchory Company, a property firm which the Tory MSP is a director of.

However, there’s no mention of phone costs for the Banchory Business Centre as referenced in the Twitter message from Grace Okeeffe.

Aberdeenshire East MSP Gillian Martin said: “It is vital for that candidates and political parties are open and transparent in what they spend.

The Tories won Aberdeenshire West by only the slimmest of margins and any campaign spending kept off the books could be seen as one candidate having an unfair advantage.

Since his election in May, Alexander Burnett has made a series of blunders and caused serious embarrassment for the Scottish Tories.

In cases where a member faces questions over their election spending, the public have a right to expect full answers from the Scottish Tories and Ruth Davidson should now suspend him from the party until the issue is fully resolved.” (The Sunday Post)

 

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Davidson needs to apologise

 

 

12 September 2016: Sturgeon calls for Davidson apology over ‘offensive’ EU comments

French-born former SNP MSP Christian Allard reported Aberdeenshire West Tory MSP Alexander Burnett to the Standards Commissioner for failing to disclose his business interests when raising objections against a rival property developer in the Scottish Parliament.

The Tory press office responded with a statement which said: “Some people may find it bizarre that an EU citizen has an interest in a planning application in Banchory.

However, it is easily explained when people understand that the planning consultant in question is an SNP appointee to the Scottish Government housing committee and Christian Allard was a former SNP MSP.”

Allard lives near Banchory in Aberdeenshire and represented the North East Scotland region until earlier this year.

Nicola Sturgeon wrote to Ruth Davidson; “Political leaders, such as ourselves, have a responsibility to set the tone for political debate and never more so than in the current climate, when the post-Brexit landscape has witnessed some deeply troubling episodes in other parts of the UK, and which all of us have a serious responsibility to try and avoid occurring in Scotland.

Although we have different views on the constitutional future of Scotland any debate must be “tempered with respect, a respect which is utterly lacking in the remarks about Christian Allard and, by extension, other EU citizens living in Scotland”.

I urge you to make it clear that your party accept that EU citizens living in Scotland have a right to involve themselves in the affairs of their communities and in public life in general” and that the comment issued by your office was unacceptable.

Ten days have now passed since the comments were made. And every passing day without a public acknowledgement and apology gives credence to the impression that you do not consider it a serious matter.

If you ultimately fail to publicly withdraw the comment and apologise for it, then the only conclusion people will be able to draw is that you – and the Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party as a whole – are content for such sentiments to be part of public debate in Scotland. That would be a matter of deep regret.”

The Tories declined to comment. (The National)

 

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French Consular General Rebukes Ruth Davidson over Anti-EU comments

The Consular councillor for French nationals in Scotland, Professor David Lussea, called on Tory leader Ruth Davidson intervene after clash over “anti-EU” comments directed at the former SNP MSP for Aberdeenshire West, Christian Allard, who is French.

In a recent statement, the Tory press office questioned Allard’s right to speak up about the property allegations in his area describing him as a EU citizen rather than a local resident with concerns.

In a strongly worded letter to Davidson, he wrote: “You must understand that the slightest slip of the tongue, the slightest allusion, can open the floodgate of xenophobia. The minority of people interested in segregating our communities will take it as a sign that xenophobia is acceptable.” (Daily Record)

 

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April 2017: Scottish Tory candidate selections proceed apace using fast-track rules

Whereas in England and Wales there’s a competitive process for most Tory held and target seats (unless CCHQ and the Association agree to automatically reselect a previous candidate), the Scottish Conservatives have opted to make it the norm to offer every association a single candidate approved by by Ruth Davidson.

Any local association has the right to reject that offer and go for the longer competitive route, but, to quote the Scottish rules:

“It will be emphasised to the association chairman that the process needs to be as efficient as possible and (approving a nominated single candidate) is the preferred option for selection.”

This allows total control of the candidate selection process by the leadership.

(http://www.conservativehome.com/parliament/2017/04/scottish-conservative-candidate-selections-proceed-apace-using-fast-track-rules.html)

 

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Ross Thomson MP – Six Times Rejected By the Aberdeen Electorate Now Lord’s It Over Them – But Why Does He Bite the Hand That Feeds Him??

 

 

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April 2017: Scottish Tory candidate selections proceed apace using fast-track rules

Whereas in England and Wales there’s a competitive process for most Tory held and target seats (unless CCHQ and the Association agree to automatically reselect a previous candidate), the Scottish Conservatives have opted to make it the norm to offer every association a single candidate approved by by Ruth Davidson.

Any local association has the right to reject that offer and go for the longer competitive route, but, to quote the Scottish rules: “It will be emphasised to the association chairman that the process needs to be as efficient as possible and (approving a nominated single candidate) is the preferred option for selection.” This allows total control of the candidate selection process by the leadership.

(http://www.conservativehome.com/parliament/2017/04/scottish-conservative-candidate-selections-proceed-apace-using-fast-track-rules.html)

 

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The Thomson Family

His family has contributed greatly to the development of shipbuilding and the oil industry in Aberdeen.

His grandfather Stanley Milne was the Chief Designer of ships for many year’s working for Hall Russell and transferred his skills to the oil industry when that company closed in the 1980’s.

Stanley’s daughter, Roslyne married John Thomson in Aberdeen, in 1984. John was employed in oilfield development working for Schlumberger, one of the largest companies in the world. After nearly 20 years he transferred his skills taking up a career with BP where has has worked for 20 years+.

John’s knowledge of Riserless light well intervention oilfield development and safety is extensive  reflecting his long experience and he is often quoted in informative trade journals. Why Riserless?

Contractors and service providers are joining forces, eyeing new areas West of the Shetlands to introduce their technologies and operators are pushing the boundaries of oilfield development into deeper waters.

Riserless light well interventions are performed to address well integrity issues and maintain or enhance well production without using a riser, by deploying intervention tools into the well on wireline, electric-line and slickline using a subsea intervention lubricator. A range of activities can be performed, from acquiring production data and running integrity logs to retrofitting gas lift valves and performing scale squeezes. Riserless stimulation, or high-rate pumping for fracturing, is also being used to improve production.

“Over a period of time, reservoir conditions change, such as producing more water or you might want to set plugs to re-perforate,” says John Thomson, intervention engineer, Global Wells Organization, BP, based in Aberdeen.

Ross was born  on 21 September 1987, in Aberdeen. His education was completed at: Balmedie Primary School, the Bridge of Don Academy and the University of Aberdeen from which he graduated in 2009 with a first class honours degree in Politics and International Relations. his sister was born a year after and followed an education path similar to Ross again gaining her own honours degree. Clearly a family of achievers

The Thomson family home is an immaculate 3 bedroom detached dwelling house with a double garage, and a detached steading, single garage, three stables and pond set within 8 acres of land North of Aberdeen. The property enjoys a tranquil setting with superb country views, yet is still located within easy commuting distance of Aberdeen, Dyce and Bridge of Don.

Roslyne is an experienced and accomplished horsewomen who devotes a deal of her free-time to the support of animal welfare.

 

 

 

Ross a wanna be Politician

2007: Unsuccessful candidate for Coatbridge and Chryston. (Holyrood.) Only 20 yo!!!

2010: Unsuccessful candidate for Gordon. (Westminster)

2010-2011: Gotta job as a bank customer advisor. Itchy feet; moved on to work at Debenhams store in  Aberdeen.

2011: Unsuccessful candidate for Aberdeen Donside. (Holyrood)

2012: Elected to represent Hazlehead/Ashley/Queen’s Cross on Aberdeen City Council. Finally made it!!!

2013: Unsuccessful candidate in the Aberdeen Donside By-election (Westminster)

2013: Civil marriage with husband Gordon. So in love politics on the back burner for a year.

2015: Unsuccessful candidate for Aberdeen South. (Westminster)

2016: Unsuccessful candidate for Aberdeen South and North Kincardine yet again.

Saved from the political scrapheap by Roothie the Moothie Davidson when added to the regional list as MSP for North East Scotland. (Holyrood)

 

 

 

 

 

14 May 2016: Yipee!!!! Ross is incorporated into Holyrood

My Mum, Roslyne, and my husband Dougie (1) came to visit me as Wednesday night was the kirking of the Parliament with HRH the Duke of Rothesay (Prince Charles to most folk).

The service was at St Giles Cathedral which is simply stunning. The service was multi denominational and was quite beautiful. I truly did feel at that time the weight of what I was about to take on.

Following the service there was a reception in Parliament Hall which is next to St Giles.

It was great to have Mum and Dougie with me and it was the first time I met Ruth’s partner Jen who is so lovely and really funny.

Though when Dougie and Jen started swapping first date story’s I thought it best I distract him with Prince Charles at that point.

Full article here:  (http://rossthomson.net/content/?p=793)

 

Dad, Ross, Mum and Husband Dougie (partnership didn’t last long)

 

 

 

2017: Forward one year and Ross is nominated as a candidate for Aberdeen South and North Kincardine (Westminster)

Itchy feet making another bid for stardom.

He is not likened to the Grasshopper for nothing – (Sod the MSP job).

But he hung onto it until he was sure of his election to Westminster

 

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Opposing Ross for the seat is sitting MP Callum McCaig, who said: “Over the past two years I have seen first-hand the horrendous impact Tory policies threaten communities across Aberdeen South, and I have used every opportunity to stand up in the House of Commons and hold the Tory Government to account for that appalling and often inhumane record.

The Tories are failing to adequately support the oil and gas industry by introducing robust fiscal incentives, they are literally leaving people to starve through draconian welfare cuts, and their immigration policies threaten every day to tear families apart.

At every step of the way I have stood up and fought for this constituency and worked to protect people in it from the appalling inhumanity of the Conservatives in Government.

I will defend this seat and work tirelessly to be re-elected as the MP for Aberdeen South so I can continue to serve this fantastic constituency and represent the people here.”

 

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In his spare time Thomson sticks his nose into everyone’s business but away from politics he is active within the local community and is a Governor of Robert Gordons College, Trustee of Aberdeen International Youth Festival, Trustee of Chris Anderson Trust, Cowdray Hall Committee, Rubislaw Field Committee, Friends of Hazlehead Park and volunteers at Aberdeen arts Centre. Catch your breath!!!!!

He resides in his ward in Aberdeen and is in a Civil Partnership with his partner Douglas.

In his spare time Ross enjoys watching films, meeting up with friends and family, going out for dinner, going on walks and reading.

 

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19 November 2015: Bizarre Claims Made By Finance Convenor Regarding Council Delays On Third Don Crossing Construction

​Following initial reports that the Third Don Crossing project was facing a significant delay to its completion, Tory Councillor,  Thomson, went to the local press and announced. “the cause for the delays is down to the ‘re-routing of utilities to the Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route

But Labour Finance Convenor, Councillor Willie Young had a different story to tell, alleging in a tweet that the delay was the ‘Scottish Government’s fault’ as they “stole all the contractors to deal with the Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route”.

What renders the wildly different claims bizarre is that Aberdeen City Council is the managing agent of both the Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route and the third River Don crossing.

In consequence the council is responsible for the provision of all services in connection with the procurement, preparation and construction of the roads. The Scottish government is not managing the project.

Commenting Mark McDonald MSP said:

“This is clearly another attempt by Ross Thomson and Willie Young to deflect criticism from the Labour and Conservative council’s own failings.

Yet more duplicity creating a fictional scenario in an attempt to encourage antipathy towards the Scottish Government.

This is yet another example of why the current council administration is held in such low esteem by our citizens.”

 

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Braden Davy

 

October 2016: The Curse of Braden Davy

Married Tory MSP Ross Thomson protested when ordered by Tory chief whip John Lamont to repay a £120 bill he had claimed on expenses because he had included a share of the cost of room rental in respect of an unauthorised person, former Labour candidate Braden Davy. The challenge to the authority of Party bosses won’t be forgotten about.

Thomson, a high profile Brexit campaigner got into Holyrood via the list and should have maintained a low profile in the early months of his tenure to gain experience but evidently headstrong he elected instead to flex his muscles and blew his political introduction.

Compounding the error in judgement Thomson’s office manager resigned in protest at the activities of his boss.

Well regarded before, Thomson has now shown immaturity and inexperience on several occasions and his case will no doubt be referred to the person that casts the beady eye. His card is marked.

Update: Actions have consequences.

Thomson and partner Dougie have since split. The marriage/civil partnership is over and done with and  ever loyal Dougie is in a happy relationship with a new partner.

 

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Braden Davy

 

 

 

Braden Davy -Who or What am I ?

January 2017: Braden Davy was selected for the Forfar and District ward on Angus Council in the local government elections in May.

Davy is currently head of office for Ross Thomson MSP having deserted the Labour Party to join the Scottish Conservatives over Labour’s ‘weakness’ over independence.

Speaking after his selection Davy said: “I joined the Scottish Conservatives in June after the EU referendum as Scottish Labour started to contemplate backing independence.

Yet now Labour are backtracking over their support of Scotland’s place in the UK.

I’m delighted to have been selected as the candidate for Forfar and District so I can play my part defending it.

I will be the only candidate willing to stand up to the SNP, and oppose their second referendum plans.

It’s time we had a candidate focused on local people, rather than another divisive referendum.” (Forfar Despatch)

 

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Braden Davy

https://caltonjock.com/2014/12/07/braden-i-worked-at-macdonalds-davy-young-northumbrian-nationalist-seeking-gordon-seat-braden-not-all-citizens-of-gordon-consider-themselves-to-be-britizens/

 

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Braden Davy

 

 

April 2017: Callous North-east Conservative MSPs refused to condemn the controversial “rape clause”.

The UK Government rule – branded a “depraved Tory mess” by an SNP MSP – requires rape victims claiming tax credits for a third or subsequent child to prove they became pregnant as a result of an attack or while in a coercive relationship in order to qualify.

MSP Ross Thomson said: “In applying for an exemption, women will not be required to either report their rape as a crime, bring new proof of rape or proof of a conviction, or report it directly to HMRC.

No evidence other than that of a third party professional, such as a health worker or support worker, will be required. Adding: “the Scottish Government has powers to create new benefits and could provide funding for families with more than two children from its own pockets if it wished to.”

A Tory spokesman said Mr Thomson’s view was echoed by his colleagues Alexander Burnett, Peter Chapman, Liam Kerr and Bill Bowman.

The comments came after MSP Gillian Martin had urged them speak out against the policy.

She said victims of the “most heinous of crimes truly do not deserve this added humiliation”.

She added: “It can take years for a woman to even admit they have been raped, and now they are expected to do so in order to receive what their child should be entitled to by way of tax credits.

It begs the question, how can you expect victims of sexual abuse or rape to disclose the most difficult of personal circumstances, in order to receive a small sum of money? And what effect do you think this will have on their children and families?”

MSP Kevin Stewart said the North-east Tories were “hiding behind a spokesman” and sticking to a “sick party line”. He added: “Finally the Tories have admitted that they do not even consider the rape clause to be of importance, and have more confidence in the Scottish Government to mitigate cuts for families than they do for the UK Government to adequately provide support for them.

The conservatives are expecting women to just freely discuss a rape as if it were a casual caveat to put on a form, rather than the horrendous physical and mental trauma that it actually is.”  (Evening Express)

 

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Tory Or Labour – Which One is the Natural Party of Government in Scotland – Calton Jock’s Letter to Willie

 

 

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Jock – The Labour Party in the West of Scotland Was Never Entirely Reliant on the Orange Order Vote – Willie You are Confused

You are correct but with an added fact.

The Labour Party was always to the fore in the West of Scotland but the Tory’s held the upper hand, up to the 1960’s when it came to the number of Scottish MP’s sent to Westminster.

That is until they removed the word “Unionist” from the party name in the early 1960’s.

The Orange Order Protestants were infuriated and punished the Tory’s by transferring their vote to Labour.

Within a decade the Tory Party declined substantially.

A change compounded when Thatcher gave her support to the Anglo-Irish Agreement allowing Irish politicians a say in the politics of the North.

This almost wiped the Tory Party out in Scotland and it has been, until recently in the doldrums for nearly 30 years.

 

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What’s changed?

Devolution in 1997 brought major change to the political map. For the first time in 300 years Scots were permitted a little taste of political freedom, albeit saddled with the oppressive hand of Westminster control over anything of note.

But although Scots had voted in a referendum, for the establishment of a Federal State system of devolved governance the minimal change (as a first effort) satisfied the European Union who had directed the Westminster Government devolve powers to the regions of the UK

But Westminster was not inclined to devolve any control and voting systems applicable to the reconvened Scottish Parliament were gerrymandered by the Westminster controlled civil service and their political masters so that the Parliament would be denied any one party forming the “Executive”

This ensured that the first past the post system of election to Westminster would hold sway over Scotland for ever since the politics of Scotland would be contained by the votes of MP’s sent from Scotland to Westminster which would reflect the make up of the “Scottish Executive”

And it worked. The “Scottish Executive” developed as an extension of the Labour and Liberal Democrat Party’s. But even with a very limited range of devolved powers the incompetence of the Labour and Liberal Democratic party’s became evident and the Scottish electorate turned the voting system on its head, rejecting the old politics and the party’s associated with it.

The 2007 Scottish Election returned Scottish National Party (SNP) candidates in numbers sufficient to allow the party to form a minority executive. Accepting the challenge the SNP went on to govern Scotland successfully blowing way old ways of thinking changing the country from a “can’t do” to a “can do” society.

The success of the SNP minority government was rewarded in the next 2 Scottish Election’s when Scots voted for the Party in very large numbers. Gaining experience and making the most of the few powers it had the SNP Government asked Westminster to devolve more powers to Scotland. Their requests were rejected out of hand. The answer was always the same. “Be content with what you’ve got or we’ll take it away”.

But Scots responded protesting vigorously at the attitude of Westminster politicians and very soon gaps started to appear on the “Berlin Wall” that Westminster had erected between London and Scotland. First the Liberal Democrat Party broke ranks and supported devolving some additional powers. The bandwagon effect brought a reluctant Labour Party to the negotiating table  but progress was torturous and it soon became evident that the efforts of both party’s bringing forward change became hopelessly bogged down as self-interest gained control of the thought process of politicians in Westminster.

The Conservative Party ruled out any change, indeed the reverse was proposed by a number of prominent Tory’s who were in favour of shutting down what they perceived to be a failed experiment. The EU should be ignored and control returned to Westminster

The SNP hit back demanding the right to conduct a referendum asking Scots if (as was their right) they wished to withdraw from the 1707 Treaty of Union. Permission granted and a referendum was held in 2014.

Much has been written about the conduct of Westminster politicians during the referendum but perhaps suffice to say that the only thing of persuasion not used by the State in the propaganda war against those who voted “Yes” was the Trident missiles located at Faslane. History will not look kindly on the behaviour of those who forced the “no” vote to success denying Scots their freedom.

 

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Returning to the Tory Party

A check of the Tory Party election campaign literature up to 2016 confirms the Party name was the Conservative Party.

A check of the literature for this years election reveals the change.

The party’s name is now the Conservative and Unionist Party.

Davidson has taken Scottish politics back to the bad old days.

Encouraging and promoting sectarianism and social division.

I despair at the cynical abuse of the Scottish electorate and pray that Scots will reject Tory Party dogma at the ballot box posting it to oblivion for ever as a political force in Scotland.

Let them ply their rich man poor man politics in England.

 

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The Unionist Protestant Orange Order Helped Create the Labour Party In Scotland and It Has Now Destroyed It – Kezia There is Still Time to Create an Independence Alliance With the SNP

 

 

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Political Fun and Games

Much has been made in the Unionist press and media of a resurgence in the fortunes of the Tory Party in the local Council elections.

Some political pundits attribute the change to a transfer of allegiance by the Protestant Orange Order away from the Labour Party to the Tory Party which recently changed its name from The Conservative Party back to The Conservative and Unionist Party. A minor change garnering a major result.

If affirmed the Labour Party voter base might deteriorate further in the General Election but  this will probably manifest in Labour voter apathy and it is unlikely any party will benefit in the short term.

The polarisation of Scottish politics is now well established.

The Conservative and Unionist Party has claimed the right to defend the Union.

The influence and role of the Labour Party and the Liberal Democratic Party is reduced that of political spoilers.

In the local council elections the Conservative and Unionist party recruited, marshalled and deployed their activists much more effectively than any other party and reaped the benefits. Lessons are there to be learned.

The SNP stand alone promoting the case for independence and it is imperative that every effort should be made to get supporters of independence to the voting booths on the day of the General Election.

The article that follows provides a detailed history of the Orange Order in Scotland and its capacity for disruption.

 

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The Orange Order in Scotland

The Orange Order first surfaced in the north of Ireland in 1795.

It’s constitution commits members to the defence of Protestantism and the British Crown.

It provides a focus for Protestant ethnic groups in Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Although it’s promoted activities are focused on social and religious matters the political dimension has always been considered to be of prime importance and the Order has provided a number of political activists and leaders at many levels of Scottish political society.

The Order is not exclusively an Irish import to Scotland since the politics of native Scots in the West of Scotland was historically sectarian in nature but apathetic towards the problems of Ireland.

This ensured the political growth of the Irish-Protestant working class in Scotland would be influenced by native Scots who were more inclined to embrace socialist ideology as opposed to confrontation.

The loss of many thousands of young Scots soldiers and the depression after WW1 changed the mindset of Irish immigrants and their descendants who became more reliant on the Order to ensure their place in Scottish society.

This brought with it a significant increase in membership and a much enhanced Order presence in the politics of Scotland in the 1920-1939 period.

At the end of WW2 and up to the late 1950’s the Order was influential in ensuring the political direction of the Protestant working class vote in the Central belt of Scotland.

The industrial downturn and slum clearance programmes in Scotland, brought about the establishment of overspill areas, such as Easterhouse and Castlemilk.

Expansion of town and village living; Coatbridge, Airdrie, Motherwell, Hamilton and the new town of Cumbernauld.

Similar programmes were completed in Edinburgh and the East of Scotland forming overspill areas such as Muirhouse, Sighthill and the new-towns of Glenrothes and Livingston.

The impact of the changes on the Order was significant. Membership fell sharply as the population of the Central belt of Scotland became more dispersed and the influence of the Order was lessened markedly.

But although much reduced in numbers the Order in Scotland is still influential in Protestant communities.

Membership has remained consistent in the West of Scotland (in or around Glasgow) and North Lanarkshire

West Lothian, in the East of Scotland is an Order stronghold and there are a significant number of lodges in Renfrewshire, Wigtownshire and Ayrshire.

Conversely there are few lodges in Edinburgh, Dundee, Aberdeen and the Highlands and Borders regions.

 

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Male membership of the Order

The highest ever male concentration of the Order in Scotland was recorded at 10% in Govan and Rutherglen, but overall Scottish male membership density rarely exceeded two percent.

At 2017 the figure is reduced to less than 1%.

For comparison male membership of the Order in Belfast routinely peaks at around 20%

 

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Membership Patterns

In Glasgow, at Ward level, pockets of the Order are to be found in; Govan (Kingston), Ibrox, Kinning Park, Fairfield, Kingston, Rutherglen, Cowcaddens, Drumchapel, Maryhill, Possil, Cowlairs, Baillieston and Bridgeton.

 

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Causes of Membership Change

Order membership improved following the introduction of licensed social clubs coupled with an ever increasing appeal of soccer and para-military activity in Northern Ireland.

Spikes and fluctuations in membership are also attributed to a number of factors:

1) Threats to Protestantism: Marked decrease in Scottish Protestant church membership and increasing secularisation resulting in declining church attendance and Pastoral influence.

2) Threats to the Union: e.g.. A visit of the Pope

 

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The Northern Ireland Troubles of 1969-90

In the 1960’s and throughout the troubles the policies of the Order in Scotland became ever more militant answering the perceived threat to the Union by Nationalists.

“Scottish” Lodges and their bands travelled to Northern Ireland in increasing numbers in the “Marching” season.

Over time the distinct “Scottishness” of marching lodge members was replaced with “Ulsterness”.

Pipe bands stopped travelling and Scottish Saltires were replaced with the Red hand of Ulster.

The retention of the Union Jack proved to be significant.

Later surveys identified that Order members claimed their identity to be “British” and it was the protection of the “Union” that drove them to go to Ulster each year.

The Grand Lodge of Scotland which supported financial contributions to Ulster, was also heavily involved politically, without success throughout the period with the many differing factions in Ulster and UK governments.

Nevertheless the Order benefited from the troubles achieving the highest ever level of membership in many years.

 

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The Sea Change

The 1982 visit of the Pope proved to be the turning point for the Order and it’s steady decline in membership and influence.

Hard-line “Ulsterised” rank and file members demanded militant action preventing the visit but were not supported by senior Order officers or the Grand Lodge.

A number of small groups ignored instructions and went ahead with protests causing an amount of disruption.

The failure of the Grand Lodge to establish control encouraged lodges to ignore instructions forbidding it introducing Sunday opening, the sale of alcohol and singing and dancing.

An added impact was the increasing militancy and unruly behaviour of marching bands and their supporters.

Bands had evolved from the Scottish pipe bands of the 1960’s, first to the accordion, then to “blood and guts” flute bands whose average age was under 30y.

Despite suspensions the bands continued to perform at many “Orange Walks” in Scotland and Northern Ireland.

 

 

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Influence

The Order in Scotland can be credited with the establishment of a working class Unionist Tory base through the lodge system and it’s influence over political events in Glasgow up to the start of WW2, was substantial resulting in a number of Tory Orange Order MP’s being elected to Westminster.

The Order had little purchase however in the rest of Scotland since there were no other significant Orange Order clusters.

The Scottish Unionists successful political recruitment and retention strategy up to the early 1960’s was centred on cultivating the votes of the Order membership without compromising it’s aims and ideals.

But the party alienated many members of the Order when it turned away from Unionism retaining only “Conservative” in it’s title.

Many Order members drifted away to the Labour party.

Thatcher’s agreement to support the 1985 Anglo-Irish Agreement proved to be the catalyst that severed any links between the Order and the Tory Party in Scotland.

Disillusioned Order members, supported by the Grand Lodge formed a political block to the Tory Party using their votes tactically making claim to a reduction in the number of Tory MP’s in Scotland.

Political observers are inclined to the view that the withdrawal of their support had less impact on the fortunes of the Tory party in Scotland blaming other Thatcher actions against Scotland.

 

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Freemasonry in Scotland

The Scottish Protestant tradition of Masonry stretches back to the middle ages and  the organisation of Freemasons in Scotland is broadly similar to that of the Orange Order.

Indeed there is a school of thought that supports the view that the Order first adopted the rules of Scottish Freemasonry and amended them to suit their own needs.

It is of no surprise that the Orange Order has done so well among Scottish Protestants.

Scotland’s total of around 170,000 Masons is the largest Masonic membership rate worldwide making it a Protestant institution guaranteed it’s place in Scottish society.

The stability of Scottish Freemasonry is attributed to its “articles of association” which require members to be strictly apolitical and non-religious, unlike the Orange order, (with 70% of its Scottish membership clustered in Central Scotland.)

It is also important to draw attention to class differences in the two groups of Protestants in Scotland.

In Glasgow, Masonic Lodge halls are primarily located in the more affluent West of the City and in the satellite villages and small towns on the city’s outskirts.

Major concentrations of Masonic lodges are also to be found in the Borders, Highlands and the North-east.

Other lodges are located, in Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh and Perth.

Conversely Orange Order Lodge Halls are located in working class areas of Glasgow and similar locations in other Towns in the West of Scotland.

 

 

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Spread of Freemason Lodges

 

 

 

Conclusions

In the last 30 years Scottish Protestant church membership and attendance has fallen significantly and the Grand Lodge is increasingly impotent in the control of younger, often more militant members who challenge it’s right to dictate policy in regards to the support of Ulster Orange-men.

The continued presence of the Order is directly attributed to the past influx of Irish-Protestant immigrants and their descendants and it’s power is only retained in areas of historic Irish-Protestant immigration such as Larkhall, Airdrie and parts of West Lothian. Overall however the strength of the Order, (even in the West of Scotland) is relatively weak.

 

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Katie Mackie – Tory Born and Bred – Twice Rejected by Edinburgh Voters – Got Lucky in Musselburgh in 2017 – Candidate for East Lothian Westminster Seat – Short Changing the Electorate

Katie Mackie with Ruth Davidson

 

 

 

 

April 2017: Scottish Tory Candidate Selections Proceed Apace Using Fast-Track Rules

Whereas in England and Wales there’s a competitive process for most Tory held and target seats (unless CCHQ and the Association agree to automatically reselect a previous candidate), the Scottish Conservatives have opted to make it the norm to offer every association a single candidate approved by by Ruth Davidson.

Any local association has the right to reject that offer and go for the longer competitive route, but, to quote the Scottish rules: “It will be emphasised to the association chairman that the process needs to be as efficient as possible and (approving a nominated single candidate) is the preferred option for selection.”

This allows total control of the candidate selection process by the leadership.

(http://www.conservativehome.com/parliament/2017/04/scottish-conservative-candidate-selections-proceed-apace-using-fast-track-rules.html)

 

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Katie Crighton Mackie and her Family

Redundant  following Diageo’s closure of their VAT69 distillery, in South Queensferry Melvin Mackie took up a Director post, from 1988-1990, at The Edinburgh Development & Investment Group:(property leasing) based at 3 Cockburn Street.

In 2002, Melvin, his wife May (married 1968) and Katie born Glasgow,1971  relocated to England where Melvin purchased and managed until 2004, the Pheasant Inn, in Cumbria.

Edinburgh, ( Morningside) born, Melvin retired in 2004 aged 69yo and bought  a lovely retirement cottage in, Carnforth Lancashire. Value 350-450K.

He was voted onto the Council (Conservative) shortly after taking up residence and is still serving.

This is a link to the 800 strong, Scottish Tory insider discussion group, The group is active and the discussions informative. https://www.linkedin.com/groups/2432384/profile

Katie’s mother May was appointed to and held the post of Director of The Fairbank Society,(care home) in Lancashire serving between 2005-2011.

Ayrshire born, Galston, May retired at age 72yo.

 

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Tracking Katies Career

2000 – 2004: Katie went off to Manchester Metropolitan University, gained a BA Hons Degree in Retail Marketing. She then returned to Edinburgh

2004-2008: Constituency Adviser: Margaret Mitchell MSP.

2007: Unsuccessful candidate for Dunbar and East Linton Council 2007.

2008-2011: Public Affairs Adviser: Scottish Grocers’ Federation.

2010: Unsuccessful Westminster candidate for Falkirk in 2010.

2011-2013: Communications and Legislation Manager: Molson Coors Brewing (UK) Ltd.

2013-2016: External Corporate Affairs Manager: Molson Coors Brewing (UK) Ltd.

2016-2017 Office Manager: Jeremy Balfour, List MSP for Lothian.

2017: Successful candidate(Seventh stage) for Ward 1 Musselburgh, East Lothian Council.

 

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Her Sales Pitch to the People of Musselburgh:

“I am delighted to have been selected as your local Conservative candidate for the local government elections in May. Living in Musselburgh I understand the opportunities and challenges the town faces. I pledge to be a strong voice for the people of Musselburgh and represent all our interests on East Lothian Council. Over the coming months I look forward to speaking to as many residents as possible to hear what your priorities are for Musselburgh. My priorities are:

To focus on improving Musselburgh town centre to support existing businesses and town users and to attract and encourage investment.

To fight against a second independence referendum.

To campaign for an improved train service on the North Berwick line to help Musselburgh commuters with overcrowding problems.

To raise the profile of Musselburgh’s history and heritage in order to boost tourism in the town.

To campaign for flexible local child care services to support working families.

Comment: Still forcing the Ruth Davidson independence mantra onto the electorate. Not the job of a Councillor. Also stood for election on false pretences. She already knew she would be Davidson’s nomination for the Westminster seat. Cynical opportunism.

In my view the people of Musselburgh would be best served by Katie remaining a Councillor. She is not ready for the more challenging role of MP

 

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2017: Selected by local Conservative as the candidate for the Edinburgh East constituency.

 

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Rooth the Mooth Brief Sales Pitch:

Katie has a strong track record of local campaigning, having fought the Falkirk seat in 2010, and most recently in Musselburgh for her successful campaign to serve on East Lothian Council.

Katie is currently employed in the office of Lothian MSP Jeremy Balfour and has previously worked as a constituency adviser to Margaret Mitchell.

 

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Miles Briggs – Tory List MSP – The Pseudo Scotsman With His Heart In England – A Hard-line Unionist Opportunist With a Questionable Political Record

 

 

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Feb 2018: Miles and the Racist Tory Bigot

The Tories stand accused accused of failing to take racism seriously after Briggs was caught campaigning with a former candidate suspended because of an online rant against Muslims.

Briggs posed with activists in a group picture including George McIntyre, who was dumped by the party for his online comments. He had intended to stand for the Tories for a place on Midlothian Council

Party Leader Davidson suspended him after he publicly ranted that  he was “sick to the back teeth” about “whingeing” Muslims.

A Tory spokesman said:

“This individual was removed as a member and a candidate at the time, and the local party have been told he cannot be involved in this way again. Mr McIntyre’s comments were utterly unacceptable and have no place in the Scottish Tory Party.”

Briggs did not respond to a request for comment.

 

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Miles Edward Frank Briggs – His Family Heritage

His Wikipedia profile states that he is a British politician who was elected to the Scottish parliament in 2016.

But he was not elected, he got in via the backdoor as a “list MSP” through the Westminster imposed, discredited “top-up” system that brings the electoral system into disrepute.

Miles was born in Preston, Lancashire in 1983. His parents are James and Jean Briggs.

He has two sisters: Philippa and Christina,  also born in  Preston. So he is English born and bred. Wikipedia needs updating.

In the mid-1980’s his mother Jean had charge of the payroll of Ribble Coaches. The largest coach operator in the North East of England.

After Stagecoach bought the company she was promoted to a senior management role and relocated with her family to Bankfoot, Perth.

Bankfoot, near Perth is known as “big tree” country and his father James formed his own business in forestry.

Retiring early, in 2004 James and Jean sold up and returned home, to England to enjoy their retirement.

Miles remained in Scotland at RGU in Aberdeen and embraced the Unionist cause which is no surprise given his background.

 

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Miles Briggs Mini Autobiography

I was educated at Auchtergaven Primary, from age 10-12 and then attended Perth Grammar School.

I moved away from home, to take a degree at Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen in Management & Politics.

Following graduation I worked for The Executive Council of the Province of Prince Edward Island, Canada (for 1 year.)

I have been employed for the last 10 years at Holyrood, working as a salaried Special Political Adviser (SPAD) to MSPs Dr Nanette Milne and Liz Smith.

(nice little earner, minimal relevant exposure in a working environment yet gets a contract of employment most likely costing the Scottish taxpayer around 400k over 10 years)

 

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Miles Edward Frank Briggs – Political Aspirations

He unsuccessfully contested North East Fife in 2010 and Edinburgh South in 2015, before running for and getting elected to the Scottish Parliament as a List Member for Lothian Region in May 2016.

Only one year on and he was the Conservative Candidate for Edinburgh and South West Westminster Seat. His bid for a London base career failed, so back to the day job, but evidently a man on a mission

He is the Shadow Minister for Public Health & Mental Health and a Member of the Parliament’s Health & Sport Committee and is Co-Convenor of the Parliament’s Cross Party Group on Cancer and Convenor of the Parliament’s Cross Party Group on Scottish Horse-racing & Bloodstock Industries.

He is actively involved in numerous other Cross Party Groups. He keeps himself busy.

 

Miles seeking to convince the Scottish parliament Standards, Procedures and Public Appointments Committee to set up a cross party group on Scottish Horse-racing and Bloodstock Industries.

But watch out for Patrick Harvie exposing the real reason for the submission which is to form a lobby group to promote the interests of businessmen with an interest in horse racing.

 

 

May 2016: Who’s a Lucky Boy Then? Mile Briggs fails to get elected for a third time but gets into Holyrood as a “top-up” list MSP

In his address he stated: “The people of Scotland want to turn the page on the constitutional argument that has divided our country.

“The Scottish Conservatives have been waiting for this resurgence for a long time. I believe this is only the start of something big.” (The Scotsman)

But Miles was born and bred in Preston & Ribble in Lancashire and it would be a reasonable assumption his loyalty would be fully committed to the Town and land of his birth, so his use of the word “Our” is misplaced.

But that’s politics!! If it is considered something might be detrimental politically, omit it!!!

 

 

Holyrood Debates the Scottish NHS

Miles Briggs, Scottish Conservative & Unionist MSP for Lothian, and the Shadow Health Secretary, today criticised the SNP Government’s record on the NHS over the last ten years in a Parliamentary debate on the Scottish Government’s Programme for Government. Speaking in the debate Miles said:

“ It is more than ten years now since this SNP Government took full charge of Scotland’s NHS and therefore an appropriate moment to assess their record of more than a decade running our health services in Scotland.

I am sorry to say that it is littered with broken promises.

Targets pledged for waiting times from referral to treatment and for cancer patients have been consistently missed.

Not only have they failed to deliver many of their own Manifesto pledges for improvement – this summer has seen confirmation from a wide range of indicators that show our health service is moving backwards under this failed SNP Government”.

Note: It is important to give attention to the emotional factors guiding Miles when compiling an analysis of his address to the assembled MSP’s.

He does not give mention to his place of birth and how his erstwhile fellow constituents in Preston are doing in regards to health policies in England.

But they are an important part of the credibility of his argument.

 

 

Three Performance Indicators

A&E: 95% of patients to be dealt within four hours.

Routine Operations: 92% of patients to start treatment within 18 weeks.

Cancer – England: Hospitals to start treatment on patients who receive an urgent referral by a GP within 62 days for 85% of patients.

Cancer – Scotland: Hospitals to start treatment on patients who receive an urgent referral by a GP within 62 days for 95% of patients.

 

 

A&E Performance Scotland V England

2016: Miles Briggs, Tory MSP:

“The A&E in Scotland waiting time target has been met in just six weeks out of 52.”

 

 

2 Aug 2016: Scotland – BBC News

More than 95% of patients attending accident and emergency departments across Scotland were seen within four hours, according to the latest figures.

At 95.7%, the figure – which relates to June 2016 – is the best monthly performance for A&E departments since July 2014.

Adding comment, Health Secretary Shona Robison said: “Scotland’s A&E departments are outperforming those elsewhere in the UK.

Today’s figures show that Scotland’s A&E departments are continuing to build on the improvements we have seen over the last year.

She concluded: “Nationally, our core accident and emergency performance has remained better than elsewhere in the UK for the last 15 months of published data, from March 2015 to May 2016.”

 

 

26 Jul 2017: Scotland – The National

95.3 percent of patients in accident and emergency were seen and subsequently admitted, transferred or discharged within four hours in July 2017– meeting the Scottish Government’s interim target of 95 percent.

 

 

14 Apr 2016: England – National Health Executive

Performance against the key A&E target was the worst since monthly data began being published.

Just 87.8 per cent of patients were dealt with within that time-frame, compared with a target of 95 per cent.

The Director of Policy at the Nuffield Trust, said: “Today’s figures are the very visible symptoms of a system facing both inexorably increasing patient numbers and severe financial strain.

It’s disappointing that for the second month in a row, the proportion of people seen within four hours in A&E in February was the lowest since 2004.

 

 

Routine Operations Performance Scotland V England

2016: Miles Briggs:

The 18 week referral to treatment target hasn’t been met by the Scottish NHS for more than 3 years.

 

 

28 May 2017: Scotland – INews

Scotland’s NHS has missed its key waiting time target of 92%, for the 30th month in a row, according to official statistics.

Records reveal that 83.8 per cent of patients waited less than 18 weeks for treatment from the point they were referred by their doctor.

 

 

17 Apr 2017: England – The Telegraph

The NHS in England has officially given up trying to achieve the target.

The number of patients in England waiting longer than 18 weeks for surgery is set to double in the next three years, the health service has been warned.

The new analysis, based on official NHS figures suggests the total number waiting for operations will reach almost 5 million in 2020 – an increase of almost 2 million since 2015.

On current trends, that will include more than 800,000 patients waiting more than 18 weeks.

Senior doctors said the NHS target to carry out 92 per cent of non-urgent operations within 18 weeks of referral had been “jettisoned in all but name” as the health service struggles to meet demand.

 

 

Cancer Treatment Scotland V England

2016: Miles Briggs:

“More than one in ten cancer patients in Scotland are waiting too long for treatment”. That is 10% according to Miles. 85% of target is routinely achieved in Scotland.

 

 

8 March 2017: England – The McMillan Cancer Support Charity

NHS England has missed cancer treatment targets for three years.

More cancer patients in England are facing delays for their treatment than three years ago, with 1 in 6 (17%) now waiting beyond the official 85% NHS target, achieving a 68% performance figure.

 

 

28 Mar 2017: Scotland – BBC News

The most recent figures published showed that 87.1% of patients started treatment within 62 days. The government target at 95% is 10% higher than in England.

 

 

21 April 2017: A Lancashire (Preston) Foundation Trust (FT) has been ordered to urgently improve its services after the Care Quality Commission (CQC) concluded the quality of care at its hospitals was not up to scratch.

The regulator has sent the message to the Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS (FT) after it rated it as ‘requires improvement’ following an inspection of the Royal Preston Hospital and Chorley and South Ribble Hospital in September 2016.

In April 2016, the trust was hit with with regulatory action after it was found to be in breach of its license to provide care, and authorities also had to intervene to address problems with the its way finances were run.

One of the hospitals in the trust, Royal Preston Hospital, also made headlines in February 2017, after a radiologist at the hospital was found guilty of defrauding the NHS of £24,000.

The Chief inspector of hospitals at the (CQC), Professor Sir Mike Richards, said that it was disappointing that the (FT) had not improved care after his organisation’s previous inspection in July 2014, which had already found significant problems surrounding patient flow and pressure within the A&E departments.

“Once again we found that patients were waiting too long in A&E, and a high number were placed in areas that weren’t the most appropriate for their needs due to capacity issues,” Sir Mike explained.

“Additionally, the problems with capacity and patient flow through the hospital led to the cancellation of planned operations due to bed shortages, patients unnecessarily being moved wards during their stay, and the use of areas such as theatre recovery to house patients instead of wards, at times of high pressure.”

“There are also concerns with staffing levels at the trust, particularly pertaining to medical, maternity, children’s and neonatal services.”

“The trust is working against a backdrop of pressure on all of its services and I am anxious to see them continue to monitor and improve staffing levels, patients flow and patient discharge.”

The news at the Lancashire (FT) follows a dire week for a number of providers nationally, with NHE reporting just last week that four trusts had been placed into special measures in a matter of days.   (Health-Care-News)

 

 

Benedetta Benzoni Interviews Miles Briggs

“So what would you say has been your best work so far this term?”

I’m sitting at a small, round wooden table with Miles Briggs, Conservative MSP for the Lothian region, just after getting him coffee with the researcher that collected me from the front desk.

He was second on the Conservatives regional list, behind Ruth Davidson.

He seems like quite a cheerful, if somewhat stressed man, with a blue suit and a slight English accent.

“Mm, good question… in terms of work, I guess campaigns.”

“I’ve been heavily involved in lots of campaigns across the Lothian region, from trying to save the Edinburgh Cleft Palate baby unit – which was for babies with a cleft lip, if you lived in the east, so the borders or Aberdeen, you’d get your surgery there in Edinburgh – that’s been centralised by the government to Glasgow.”

“I tried to prevent that, but haven’t been successful.”

“Why did you try to prevent it?”

“Well, right,” Miles began to wave his hands emphatically,

“They say-” (I’m guessing he meant either the Scottish Government or the SNP, judging by the level of vehement disapproval) “- they want to [centralise the unit] because it will have better outcomes – I disagree, I can see the loss of an excellent surgeon to our health service, and I just think in terms of patient travel and the time… if you’ve just had a beautiful baby but then the baby’s born with a cleft palate, you want the baby to be given the best opportunity for the best outcomes, for the rest of their lives, and that’s where I was disappointed that they closed that.”

“But that was just one of my early campaigns.” He paused to breathe.

“More recently, I’ve been involved with a campaign to try and get taxi access for disabled people back to Waverley station.

“So, there’s lots of campaigns like this as an MSP, you can either start one yourself or get involved with one.”

But I’ve got kind of fingers in all pies at the minute-” he chuckled “-across the Lothian region.”

(Having a look around at the sheer amount of papers and folders neatly shelved in the office, I can see why he’d feel stressed.)

“So, would you say your best work’s been done out of Parliament?”

“Probably, yes,” he answered with several bobbing nods, “We’re all basically in Parliament Tuesday/Wednesday/Thursday, and I really enjoy the Health and Sport committee which I sit on in the Parliament, but the rest of the time you’re here it’s like, you know, doing desk work.”

(Cue bitter glance to the item of furniture to my left.)

“So it can just feel like you’re behind the desk for hours writing letters, so I really enjoy on a Monday and a Friday, and also at weekends, getting a chance to get out and about, so that’s a big part of it.”

I smiled and nodded, subtly rearranging my notes.

“Okay, so you mentioned standing for Edinburgh because you live there – how do you make sure you’re representing your constituents accurately and fairly?”

“Okay, well, I really passionately believe that you’re elected to represent everybody, regardless of how they voted.”

“A bit part for me is making myself accessible, and listening to people.”

“By and large, people aren’t shy coming forward, telling you what their problems are, for example, I work heavily to try to stop the business rate increases.”

“Today we’ve seen kind of a tiny step forward on that from the government, who are in some extra transition to give support for businesses, but that was very much on the back of a lot of businesses from Edinburgh and the likes coming to tell me how they could be affected by the rates’ increase.”

“But, to answer your question, for me it’s actually making myself accessible, so I do surgeries, newsletters, I did a calendar.”

“Wow!”

“yeah, to over 28,000 people at Christmas time, with all my contact details on it, so that people are able to access [me]! And, by and large, in Parliament, a lot of people do come to tell me issues, or I have surgeries across the region where they can also come and see me.”

“Or just email – or phone – everything, we’ve got everything, we’ve almost got our website built as well!”

Miles beamed at the mention of this technological extravaganza.

Full interview here: https://spyglassonline.wordpress.com/2017/03/27/interview-miles-briggs-conservative-msp-part-1/

 

Observations:

A very revealing interview. Still awaiting the follow-up.

Miles, the man with his fingers in all the pies who finds desk-work boring.

Loves to get away from the office to sit on committees.

Produced a calendar and mailed it to 28,000 people at Xmas (hopefully not at the Scottish taxpayers expense) so they would have his details on their wall for an entire year.

Passionate in his belief that he was elected to represent everybody regardless of how they voted. But he was never elected. He was rejected for a third time.

But he conducts surgeries all over the Lothian region. One wonders who with.

And finally, tasking a £20K researcher to meet a guest at the front door of Holyrood rather than present himself might be considered discourteous to some and to boot!! she had to get him a coffee before the interview.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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West Dunbartonshire – Bad News Day – The Parcel of Rogues Are Back Seeking to Blind-side You into Voting Tory – Good News – Early Warning So You Don’t Fall For the Hype

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Penelope (Penny) Alison Veronica Hutton (nee Salvesen) Tory candidate for West Dunbartonshire

Her fabulously rich family are linked to some of the richest landowners in Scotland.

The old saying holds true “if she cut herself she would bleed blue blood.

Quite why she is the Tory candidate for West Dunbartonshire defeats me since the wider family could buy and sell West Dunbartonshire many times over and still consider the purchase to be achieved by spare cash.

It might be now that her children are adults she has a bit more time available and is a wee bit bored.

She was at some time or other a director of some of the family companies.

Her brother Jeremy’s obit provides further explanation: (http://www.scotsman.com/news/obituaries/obituary-jeremy-salvesen-entrepreneur-and-adventurer-1-3380489)

 

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Penelope – A Closer Look at her Lineage

Penelope (Penny) Alison Veronica Salvesen is the daughter of John Salvesen, a Kelso farmer, the great-grandson of the famously successful and wealthy Norwegian immigrant Christian Salvesen.

She is the great-great-granddaughter of Christian Salvesen, the 19th-century Norwegian immigrant who went on to develop the Salvesen shipping, whaling and road transport conglomerate who also brought the first penguins to Edinburgh Zoo.

 

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Her Husband John Rupert Hutton is Near Enough Scottish Royalty

James Rupert Hutton is the son of Commander John Robin Hutton and Elizabeth Judy MacMillan.

The family are directly descended from the Chief of the Clan Mcmillan through General Sir Gordon Holmes Alexander MacMillan of MacMillan and Knap and Rear-Admiral Reginald Maurice James Hutton.

 

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The Coupling of Penelope and John

Penelope (Penny) married James on 12 February 1994. They have 2 adult children. http://thepeerage.com/p17115.htm

 

 

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Penny Hutton – I Am a Scottish Conservative

Her self penned history is at odds with the gentility of her heritage:

“Born in the Borders I have lived in West Dunbartonshire for the last four years with my husband and two children.

Before that we lived in Argyll where we ran a marine and retail business.

I was also an advisor for the Prince’s Scottish Youth Business Trust helping young people to establish and run their own businesses.

I am now a volunteer for the NSPCC Schools Service giving assemblies and workshops in primary schools to help our young people understand abuse and how to get help.

 

 

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Briefly, Her beliefs – Quotes from Roothie the Moothy Political Dogma “Don’t Frighten the Natives” Handbook

“I will endeavour to ensure that funds from the Glasgow City deal (which is majority Westminster financed) are invested properly, eg. The Exxon Mobile site and that Clydebank and West Dunbartonshire get their fair share.

I will also work to bring life back to our town centres and to keep health and social care services local.

I believe in a strong United Kingdom (the rest of the UK being Scotland’s largest export market) and the benefits including inward investment it gives all four of our home nations.

I will oppose the SNP’s plans for a second Scottish independence referendum, which the people of Scotland do not want, and stand up for a strong United Kingdom.

I will support the growth and development of H.M.N.B. Clyde and the employment opportunities this will bring to the constituency, both at the base itself and in the wider community.

I will work with our local MSPs and others to ensure a secure, long term and viable future for the Vale of Leven Hospital.”

 

 

 

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Iain McGill – Fantasist – Twittererati and Tory Candidate for Edinburgh North and Leith – Hopefully Voters Will Realise Just How Right Wing He Is and Place Their Trust with the SNP Candidate

 

 

 

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April 2017: Scottish Tory candidate selections proceed apace using fast-track rules

Whereas in England and Wales there’s a competitive process for most Tory held and target seats (unless CCHQ and the Association agree to automatically reselect a previous candidate), the Scottish Conservatives have opted to make it the norm to offer every association a single candidate approved by by Ruth Davidson.

Any local association has the right to reject that offer and go for the longer competitive route, but, to quote the Scottish rules: “It will be emphasised to the association chairman that the process needs to be as efficient as possible and (approving a nominated single candidate) is the preferred option for selection.”

This allows total control of the candidate selection process by the leadership.

(http://www.conservativehome.com/parliament/2017/04/scottish-conservative-candidate-selections-proceed-apace-using-fast-track-rules.html)

 

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Edinburgh North and Leith: Iain McGill The Chosen Candidate

McGill fought the same seat in 2010 and 2015, and the equivalent Scottish Parliament seat in 2016, and stood for the European Parliament in Scotland in 2014.

He is a fiercely loyal Conservative activist and is desperate to have the political position to make a difference.

He is the part owner of an employment agency in Leith.

He was firmly behind David Cameron in wanting to renegotiate the EU deal, but will definitely not be voting to stay in the EU.

Although born in Edinburgh he retains strong links protestant unionist links with Ulster (through his mother).

He is quoted as saying: My mum’s Northern Irish, and I’ve much more family living there than I have in Leith.

Twas Ulster Day whilst I was here, and the centenary of Carson, and my great grandfather, signing the covenant. No doubt I’d have signed it as well had I been around 100 years ago.

 

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McGill’s Sales Pitch to the Electorate

I started off in a tenement in the Restalrig area of Edinburgh until too many brothers and sisters arrived and my parents moved to a bigger house just off Easter Road, in the most densely populated area of Scotland.

I went to Drummond High and left the school with next to no qualifications – certainly none that are worth anything. University was certainly not an option for me.

I became a postman in Leith. When other people my age were going to university to study subjects like English, Politics and History, I was slogging away in a Royal Mail sorting office, and pounding the streets making deliveries of a non-political kind.

I’ve been an ambulance driver in Albania, a hovercraft pilot in Africa taking part in massive international aid operations, I’ve run holiday clubs at Pilrig Park School which meet the additional support requirements of young people with complex needs including those with autism, and I’ve worked as a support worker for adults with learning disabilities and in homeless projects.

Volunteering around the constituency, I’ve a long track record with the likes of The Yard adventure centre, McCrae’s Battalion Trust and Street Soccer Scotland, and I travel every year with Homeless World Cup to referee their ever-growing football tournament.

I am a very typical Tory.

Many people like to stop me, particularly if I’m out ­canvassing in my Edinburgh North and Leith area, to tell me I don’t seem like an archetypal Conservative.

I’m not sure if this is because of my accent, which I suppose is unmistakably Leith, or simply my appearance and manner.

Maybe it’s because I prefer a pint in an old man’s pub to a gin and tonic in an upmarket bar.

Maybe it’s because I’d rather join the Tartan Army for a Scotland away adventure than head to Murrayfield for the rugby.

You won’t often see me in a suit and tie, I’ve never had a job that requires one. I’d much rather get my Hearts scarf on at 3pm on a Saturday then go for a pub crawl round Gorgie than go clay pigeon shooting on a rural estate.

In any case, what always attracted me to the Conservatives was that none of that mattered.

I looked at Margaret Thatcher and John Major both children from working families.

The fact they became Prime Ministers through the Conservatives appealed to me; it proved that if you worked hard enough and earned everything that came to you, it would be possible to achieve more or less anything you like.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kd1KGY6OMMQ (video 1 minute sales pitch vote for me)

 
Comment:

Reading his self penned autobiography I reached the conclusion that McGill is a mix of “Lawrence of Arabia” and “Walter Mitty.”

Regular employment seems to have eluded him, apart from a short period of employment, in Leith with the Post office.

The rest of his adult life appears to be taken up volunteering his services helping others in Edinburgh and all over the world.

Since just about all of his claims of voluntary work attract no salary it leaves one pondering just how he was able to survive. Did he win the lottery?

His treatise also reveals a weakness in his character since it is almost entirely focused on Leith when the constituency includes other areas such as, Muirhouse, Pilto, Granton, and the new Town.

His analysis of the duties of an MP give concern since he measures the job requiring delivery to constituents in two areas.

First would be his total commitment to the policies of Tory Party.

Secondly he would do his own thing primarily assisting rough sleepers.

No mention of matters important to the electorate: unemployment, poverty, housing shortages, welfare cut backs, education and the many other problems that face the public daily
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IB0VolIhpE8

(Independence debate: Stumped by the first question from the Chair. Waffled on about SNP promises then failed to answer a question about GER’s figures.)

 

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 16 February 2012: Iain McGill Twitterati  Arch Enemy of Rangers FC

It is unusual for a resident of Leith to claim to be a hard-line Heart of Midlothian supporter since Hibernian would appear to be a more logical choice.

But the answer is to be found in his strong family links to Ulster. His special affiliation to Hearts reveals a hard-line side to his character.

Namely abusive Twittering: In fact the baiting of Rangers supporters got so bad that the leader of the Rangers Supporters Trust, Chris Graham, published a ‘list’ exposing ‘enemies’ of Rangers for fans to read…. It included Iain McGill:

“He is the Conservative Party candidate for Edinburgh and as such represents his party in what he says. He is also pictured on his website shaking hands with David Cameron. I wonder what the PM would think of McGill’s views” https://twitter.com/DouglasDaniel/status/827510490360344577/photo/1 (An example of McGill’s Tweets baiting Rangers supporters. There are more on his twitter page. (https://twitter.com/IainMcGill?lang=en321.html)

 

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February 2016: Armed policeman spotted making routine traffic stop in Leith

Police Scotland has been criticised after using an openly armed officer to deal with a driver not wearing a seatbelt.

A picture of the incident was taken by a Tory candidate for the Scottish Parliament, who said it showed little had changed at the force despite the arrival of a new Chief Constable.

Businessman Iain McGill was at his office in Edinburgh when he spotted the officer – armed with what is believed to be a Glock semi-automatic – carrying out the routine traffic stop.

McGill posted the snap to his Twitter account with the caption: “Looks like a policeman with a side-arm outside my office ticking someone off for a traffic offence.”

But the force insisted the officer had done nothing wrong and that the driver was placing himself in “danger”. (Driving without a seatbelt)

McGill, 39, said: “There was no attempt to hide the gun. There was a big vehicle with blue lights and a policeman appearing to be giving someone a ticking off for not very much. “It looked like a routine ticking off. They don’t need to be armed to do that.”

Mr McGill, who is contesting the Edinburgh Northern and Leith seat at the elections in May, asked: “What are armed police doing traffic stops on Albert Street for?”

“That’s not the job of the armed police. They have a job to do and that’s not it. It unsettles people rather than reassures people.“

Chief Superintendent Elaine Ferguson today insisted: “These officers were doing absolutely nothing wrong.” She added: ”Drivers and passengers who do not wear a seatbelt are placing themselves at considerable risk if they are involved in an accident.

“Police Scotland’s Standing Firearms Authority means that there is a chance that members of the public will see a small number of our officers in public places wearing side arms.

“Their actions today were in line with the guidance that was introduced in October 2014.

They are still police officers and cannot ignore crimes or offences in progress, just because they are wearing a side-arm.”

(http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/news/armed-policeman-spotted-making-routine-traffic-stop-in-leith-1-4026671)
Public Comments

1.The sheer idiocy of the politicians’ statements in this article is nothing less than most shocking and amazing.

The necessary implication of their statements, concerning the fact that the police officers are armed, is that the politicians do not trust police officers.

The politicians are literally turning police officers into criminals by their statements and their points of view.

Guns are not evil: inanimate objects cannot be good or evil.

It takes a human being to do either the good or the evil.

2. Police officers being armed is no big deal, in point of fact, should a robbery take place, or a severe beating, or an knifing, an armed police police officer could be the difference between saving an innocent persons life, or showing up after the fact to cover the body from view.
3. Firstly I am amazed that the Evening News actually published this article, given that there forerunner post on Facebook last night took pelters from the general public, and miraculously the post disappeared shortly after I read it.

The Poliscopter was hovering over North Edinburgh last night and I pondered whether it was hoping to shine the spotlight on Ian McGill and expose his ridiculous views and comments, but no it was actually targeting relevant issues involving scumbags tearing around Muirhouse on (probably stolen) motorbikes.

McGill is the prospective Tory candidate for Edinburgh North and Leith, well that’s a joke in itself and this publicity will have diminished his paltry vote even more.
4. The current UK threat level for international terrorism today is: SEVERE

This means that a terrorist attack is highly likely. So Mr McGill, I am quite happy that police officers are carrying guns thank you very much.

They might need to save my and your life in the coming months.

When the Government lowers the UK threat level then you might be justified, but at the moment you are just being A.T.I.T (Another Tactically Inept Tory).

Now please go away and do you job properly instead of trying to win Brownie points with this pointless and dangerous article.

 

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McGill and His Misleading Bar-Charts

McGill is in the spotlight is once again, his bar chart suggests that support for Labour and the LibDems is smaller than shown by his own figures.

We measured the lengths of the columns to be 48mm (SNP), 34mm (Con), 8mm (Lab) and 1mm (LibDem).

These lengths are not proportional to the percentages.

If the SNP bar were used as the scale, the heights of the bars should have been 48mm (SNP), 36mm (Con), 14.2mm (Lab) and 5.5mm (LibDem).

Thus, the actual LibDem bar is a massive 82% shorter than it should be and the Labour bar is 44% smaller than it should be. In fairness, the Conservative bar is also 5.6% shorter than it should be. Still, the main impression given is that Labour and LibDem support is significantly smaller than it really is.

Is Iain McGill bothered about dodgy barcharts? So far, his Twitter feed suggests not. This may all seem pedantic, but if politicians can’t get the basics right, what about everything else?

(http://www.broughtonspurtle.org.uk/news/dodgy-election-bar-charts-2)

 

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Newly Elected Kinross Tory Councillor Guilty of AGM Election Fraud – Callum Purves (Society President) and Ian Donnell, (Ulsterman: believer in Faith, Flag and Family and Society Chairman) were investigated and found guilty of serious electoral foul play

 

 

 

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Purves & Donnell front centre

 

 

4 May 2017: Newly Elected Kinross Councillor Guilty of AGM Election Foul Play

Callum Purves (Society President) and Ian Donnell, (Ulsterman: believer in Faith, Flag and Family and Society Chairman) were investigated and found guilty of serious electoral foul play.

The odious behaviour of senior officers of the Society, many since promoted to senior positions within the Scottish Conservative Party is symptomatic of a failure on the part of Ruth Davidson and her colleagues to provide good leadership and guidance to younger members of her Party.

It is conjectured that, had the information contained in this article been made available to the Kinross electorate it is doubtful Purves would have been elected to serve as a councillor. Might be he will do the right thing. Stand down and submit himself for re-election. Full report follows.

 

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Society Chairman: Ian Donnell Ulsterman – believer in Faith, Flag and Family

 

 

 

May 2016: Ruthie the Moothie: Help! We have a Problem

Senior Office Holders of the St Andrews University Conservative and Unionist Association, or Society are Under Investigation Following Allegations of Foul Play. Members of the committee stand accused of “rigging” a recent election.

The charges expose long standing and bitter divides within the Society. Among the allegations (denied by the officers concerned) levelled against current Society president Callum Purves and chairman Ian Donnell are:

(a). Influencing the results of the AGM by having new members signed up to the society in order to vote for Purves and against his opponent, Marcus Buist.

(b). Not requiring that said new members pay membership fees.

(c). Denying Mr Buist access to the membership list.

(d). Creating a hostile society environment based on political divides and with anti-Roman Catholic sentiments.

 

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Explanation of Allegations

Donnell and Purves, outgoing and incoming presidents of the Society, are accused of attempting to manipulate the results of the AGM aided by senior figures in the Society.

Donnell and Purves also hold the positions of National chair and National secretary, respectively, of Conservative Future Scotland (the youth section of the Conservative party in Scotland.)

Michael Green, outgoing vice-president, who also served as returning officer for the election said that he believed both Donnell and Purves had abused their positions in order to ensure the election of Purves as president, whom Donnell had endorsed.

He also said that their actions could be characterised as “rigging” the election in their favour.

Another separate allegation of tampering was lodged by another student who said that he had been asked to join the Conservative Society (having had no prior affiliation.

He further confirmed he had been approached by members of Purves’ campaign team for the sole purpose of voting for him and against the other presidential candidate, Marcus Buist.

A second student, Ludo Stewart said that he had been contacted by a member of Purves’ campaign team a week before the election asking him to join the Society and vote against Mr Buist.

He said: “A member of Callum’s team sent me a message asking if I would do them a favour and sign up for the Tory Society so that I could submit a postal vote. He told me that Marcus Buist was very undesirable, that he would bring the Society into disrepute and that he held very unorthodox views.

They went on to say that the Society would arrange to terminate my membership after (the AGM) so that I wouldn’t have to be a part of a Society whose views I didn’t agree with.”

Mr Stewart then confirmed that he had “never been involved in the Society or been to any of their events” and that “no mention of money was made” during his interactions with the member of Purves’ team, despite the Conservative Society generally requiring a membership fee to become a voting member.

They said I had to vote because of extreme circumstances, but it turned out to be completely normal circumstances. Additionally, I didn’t pay my membership fee. I didn’t realise there was one.”

Adding to his statement Mr Stewart said that at the time he had been approached by Purves’ team they had referred to Purves challenger for office, Mr Buist as being at as a “fascist” who would bring the Society into disrepute.

Yet another student, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said that they had been signed up without their knowledge and without having to pay a fee, with the singular purpose of voting for Purves.
He went on to say: “I did not sign up to be a member of the society this year and it was disturbing to be told by a member of Purve’s team, on Sunday 17 April that I was a registered member and that my membership fee had been paid for.”

He also said that he was instructed many times throughout the following day, by a member of the Purves’ team to vote for Purves over Marcus Buist.

Donnell, asked to respond said: “All members who joined the association through the year have joined knowing the aims of the society. We did see an increase in members joining as the AGM approached.

A number of people asked to become members as they were worried that the behaviour of some candidates would damage the association.

As far as membership fees are concerned they will have been received by our treasurer, either directly from new members or representatives who collected membership fees from them. Our accounts are tightly audited by the Union.”

Purves also denied signing up people solely to vote for certain positions.

Mr Buist, attributed the actions taken by other members of the Society to a divide that emerged within the group prior to and as a result of the AGM.

He said: “At the end of first year, it was clear who the two candidates were probably going to be, as was the presence of a largely healthy rivalry that occasionally had nastier spots, but which would always calm down and return to normal.”

He then said that “problems” started within the Society at the beginning of the second semester and intensified through February and March and expanded on the foregoing saying that there began to be “a hostile environment as both sides [began] to think about the AGM.” The Society was soon divided along ideological grounds, between liberal and non-liberal members of the Society.

Another student, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said, “Before the AGM, we were a very happy Society. There was a mix of people who had quite strong conservative views and then people with more liberal views, but there was a place for everyone, and it was a place where you could feel safe, where you could feel like you had friends.

In March it became obvious that support for Callum Purves over Marcus Buist had been taken beyond endorsement. Electioneering turned into a public hate campaign to settle private matters.

I think this was unbelievably selfish and hostile, to use the AGM as a means to settle personal scores. He also observed that it was his view that some in the Society: “wanted to make it their own club and fill it with their friends and that they [didn’t] care about what was best for the Society.”

Donnell refuted accusations of a hostile environment in the group.

He said, “I respect each member of the association I lead, regardless of their views. I have enjoyed our debates and have tried to build an association which holds a wide range of events and speakers to accommodate every ideological persuasion. Our wide-scope of opinions is something of which I am proud.”

Purves as expected, agreed with Donnell, saying, “I have always encouraged debate and discussion within the Association from people across the conservative political spectrum.

We have had many passionate debates over the past year but are fundamentally united in our desire to see greater Conservative representation in Scotland. The key theme of my presidential speech at the AGM was my hope for us to be a more inclusive Society that celebrated difference of opinion.”

Mr Green, standing by his earlier statement confirmed that he believed tension had been created within the group, particularly by Donnell, “It became all about Donnell and what his vision of the Society was.”

 

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A Revised Constitution

Another divide in the Society came as the result of the decision to propose a new constitution.

The new constitution created a second vice-president, added the role of chairman, (which Donnell now holds) and increased his powers and those of the other executive officers.

Mr Buist challenged the changes to the constitution (without success) saying that they represented an unnecessary “centralisation of power” within the Society.

Mr Green said that he believed the new constitution had only been proposed to create additional executive positions on the committee for rewarding selected persons.

He said: “The goal from the very start was to get rid of certain committee members. Donnell didn’t really have a role going forward, so he created the new post of ‘chairman’ for himself.

So the entire purpose of re-jigging the constitution was simply a job creation scheme for approved people.”

 

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E-Mail Ballots

Donnell is also accused of illegally viewing the email ballots of individual members then using the information gained to canvass members.

Mr Green said: “The major thing for me was the fact that Donnell retained personal access to the (official Conservative Society) email account.

This provided him access the email ballots as they were sent in. This meant that he was able to “chase up people that he thought were potentially going to vote for Purves but hadn’t voted yet.”

He added, “Mr Buist was not afforded the same access to the email account and this was a huge disadvantage.”

Mr Stewart, who had been approached to sign up for the Society by a member of the Purves’ campaign team, said that he was later asked if he had sent in his email ballot.

After he confirmed that he had voted, the member of Mr Purves’ team said, “but for Marcus Buist.”  He said, “I assumed that (votes for) AGMs were meant to be anonymous, but the Purves team knew how I had voted.

In regard to the member of Mr Purves’ team that had approached him before the election, he said, “We haven’t spoken since.”

 

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The Campaign

A further dispute that arose during the campaigning period for the AGM was over access to a full list of members for canvassing purposes.

Mr Buist said that he had asked to be provided with a list of members.

Donnell and Purves, who had access to a full membership list in their capacity as president and secretary of the Society respectively refused, stating: “Given that the membership list contains details extending to email and residential addresses of all members, a decision was made that in the interest of data protection the list would not be distributed beyond those who would ordinarily hold it.

Donnell and Purves denied making use of the membership list for the purpose of canvassing members on behalf of Purves.

But Mr Buist and Mr Green accused Donnell of using the list to influence members who Mr Buist may not have known about and was therefore unable to contact.

In support of their allegation they cited an email sent by Donnell to a large number, though not all, members saying:

“Dear All, As the outgoing President of the society I recommend to you the following committee to be elected at our AGM……………………………………… ..If you are minded to agree with my recommendation, then please feel free to copy and paste this list of nominations and also to include the sentence following, “in regards to the constitution I support everything in red”. Please send in an email to toriesmail@st-andrews.ac.uk.”

Donnell’s email then endorsed Purves for president and other people for the committee’s roles.

Donnell said that the email was only sent to people he personally knew to be members.

Mr Stewart refuted this confirming he had received the email but had not known Donnell personally.

 

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Anti-Catholic Racisim

Accusations were also made that some members of the Society had contributed towards an anti-Roman Catholic sentiment within the Society.

Stephan Maier, (member) said that at times there was a “general sentiment” of anti-Roman Catholic feeling in the Society stating that, anti-Roman Catholic remarks were made.

He said: “I’m not someone who feels very uncomfortably easily myself, but I believe others would. People would easily be put off by that immediately, I completely agree with that.

Certain people would feel their presence was unwanted, and their opinion carried little or no value because they were Roman Catholic. It put off people from joining or attending.”

 

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University Response

A spokesperson for the Societies Committee said, “The committee is currently reviewing the election and allegations and will take action as found appropriate.”
Student Comments

Given the Returning Officer’s observations, Purves and Donnell should do the honourable thing, put the reputation of the University (and Conservative Party) before their own, resign and stand again through a new election next term.

If Purves and Donnell bluster their way through a full tenure, their authority and status will be badly tarnished and unfortunately, smell regardless of what actually did or did not happen

I think its absolutely dreadful that Donnell acts in this way. It raises questions regarding Conservative Future Scotland ( the youth wing of the conservatives).

He seems to be lacking in the character and stature to be an honourable politician.

If the St Andrews University Returning Officer has declared major concerns about this Young Conservative election process, it would be right and proper to declare the election void and simply repeat it next term. What is the point of nominating a returning officer for the victors to then ignore his critical assessment of this election process?

Can’t imagine anyone in that photo went to a particularly rough school.

Dodgy Dave would be proud of these Bullingdon club wannabes

An interesting and substantiated story. I’m both shocked and unsurprised that something like this could occur.

 

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From Start to Finish: A Timeline

18 April 2016 – Fraudulent AGM held.

19 May – Allegations of election foul play published; Students’ Association launch investigation into the AGM.

15 September – University Union confirms allegations of election fraud.

19 September – Conservative Society committee informed of results of investigation.

20 September – Meeting between committee and Students’ Association officials to “rectify lack of communication.”

20 September – Notice to Cure (a formal request to rectify the situation) issued to The Conservative Society, with the understanding that the Societies Committee would oversee the upcoming election.

23 September – Several people attempt to purchase membership through the Union, claiming to be members from the year previous. The Students’ Association authorised this under Standing Order 7.3.1 which states that, “Should any person dispute their membership in a society prior to a general meeting of the society, the Societies Committee shall have exclusive jurisdiction to adjudicate membership status.”

23 September – Students’ Association attempt to contact Conservative Society to discuss the option of selling membership through the Cash Office, No reply.

23 September – Conservative Society issued with a second “a notice to cure” asking that the location of the reconvened AGM be released publicly and in a timely manner so that all who wanted to attend would have equal access. Disaffiliation was threatened by the Students’ Association by Monday 26 September – 12PM if the society did not respond.

26 September – St Andrews Conservative and Unionist Society choose to disaffiliate from the Students’ Association.

 

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24 September 2016: Association investigation confirms Conservative Society “election fraud”

An investigation conducted by the Students Association has found that allegations of “election fraud” against the St Andrews Conservative and Unionist Society committee, first revealed in a report by The Saint earlier this year, were in fact true.

The investigation, conducted mainly by last year’s Director of Student Development and Activities, Kyle Blain, confirmed many of the allegations made against the committee regarding the society’s Annual General Meeting (AGM).
The Students Association’s Societies Officer Pia Szabo said, “There were accusations of election fraud and they proved to be true. In short, people were… stacking candidates, having people vote for candidates – and those people hadn’t been members (of the society).”

Elaborating further, Ms Szabo described how the Association found, “blatant evidence of people telling non-members to vote.”

Expanding, Ms Szabo said, “there was evidence of people being invited to the (AGM) who were not paid members and were not even being charged membership fees. This was wrong.”

Ms Szabo also confirmed that the society had been told to re-hold the AGM, this time under closer scrutiny from the Students’ Association.

Ms Szabo also described steps the committee had taken to prevent fraud in the future, “We have advised committees that they must keep track of their members and at any date and time, if we request a member list, they must be able to present it to us.”

Ms Szabo also praised the members of the Society who came forward with the allegations in the first place, saying: “It was the members of the society who said ‘obviously something’s not right here’ which is great because as Societies Committee we’re not actually a governing body, we’re not above societies in any way we’re kind of a resource for them so it was good that the members were the ones who were able to seek out help. And we were then able to help them.”

Commenting, Marcus Buist, the losing candidate for president in the AGM said:  “I am deeply saddened by the unfortunate events of last year. It is some relief to be vindicated by the Union, and that our claims that the election had been unpleasant and corrupted have been confirmed.

 

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26 September 2016: St Andrews Conservative and Unionist Society disaffiliation from the Students’ Association.

Marcus Buist, (the illegally defeated candidate) said, “It’s very sad that, in truth, the society chose to be disaffiliated. Despite the fact that the constitution binds the committee to respect the standing orders of the Union, despite the fact that the current constitution binds them not to be discriminatory and to accept all members properly signed up, including members signed up through the union.

They chose not to accept certain members, sometimes on personal grounds. In truth, they recognised that in a free and fair election that they wouldn’t have the [support of] membership with them.

They chose to take this action, which they are not legally entitled to take without consulting the membership.

The Union was obviously probably quite content to disassociate itself from the society being as it is in current state.

He also dismissed accusations that the committee had wanted to fairly exclude members who were making others feel uncomfortable, saying, “Undoubtedly in my mind it was to make excuses.

Now I’m sure some of them genuinely believe some of the things that have been said, I think that those things are largely ungrounded. Obviously I reject certain accusations accusations that have been made anonymously by certain people. Many of the people they chose to reject were members of the Conservative Party or in any case were members last year.

Obviously they’re not allowed to do that according to Union rules, and I think that’s where the focus should be, on the fact that they refused to abide by fair Union rules because they thought that it would lose them an election.”

He also spoke of his hope that there might be some form of Conservative society restored to affiliation with the Students’ Association at some point, “There are a large number of members, Conservative supporters, people interested in politics, who want to see a more honest and a more fun student politics which cuts out all of this political infighting and all that nonsense, and who want to have a connection with the Union, at the moment there is no society for them which is a significant shame.

The current committee of the disaffiliated society should think very carefully about what they’ve done to deny those people a chance to connect their politics or political interest with their studies and membership of the union.

The society grew from having less than 10 regular members at the start of last year to having an official membership of just under 80 people, when we sung together we sung with one voice.

We debated ideas together and I want it to go back to that, and with some people that’s not going to be possible because they’ve allowed it to get tied up with their own personal views.

But I believe that we can have a future, but that it must be based around a society that remembers that we’re all students and that it should be for students, that maybe puts egos to one side for a little bit, including my own.”

 

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29 December 2016: Ultra Right Wing – St Andrews Students Join Ruthie the Moothie’s intelligentsia Vanguard

Members of the disaffiliated St Andrews Conservative & Unionist Society have been promoted to top positions in the official Conservative Party youth organisation. The Society is a tightly knit group of students. Many committee members are room-mates and close friends.

James Bundy, Stephen Caulfield and Elliot Jordan have been respectively elected National Chair, National Secretary and East of Scotland Chairman of Conservative Future Scotland,(CFS) representing all members of the Scottish Conservative Party under the age of 30.

The successful candidates believe this is to be no coincidence. Caulfield, a second year studying Economics and IR, said that the Society had a large membership, meaning it carried a greater weight within (CFS) than any of the other university associations.

He added: “Coming from Glasgow and being a great admirer of our greatest PM, Baroness Thatcher, I already know what it feels like to get criticised for my politics – and that’s putting it mildly! St Andrews has been a safe-haven in comparison.”

Bundy, Secretary of the Society, when asked to comment on the disaffiliation from the Student Union said he did not believe that this would be a liability for his tenure as chair of (CFS). Stating: “thankfully the issue is now behind us and we are now in a position to move forward from this as the issue has been entirely resolved.”

He elaborated on his statement claiming that: “with an ever more left-leaning and liberal agenda being promoted around universities in Scotland, we need a strong centre-right voice. In the upcoming year, I want to see Conservative associations standing up and making our voice heard throughout Scotland.

Achieving this by taking a lead role in the campaign against a second independence referendum and the campaign against useless (NUS) ‘policies.’”

Jordan said, “I see no reason why acting to preserve ourselves as a truly Conservative group should cause anything other than congratulation from the rest of (CFS). Conservative students are “an endangered species but this has a hidden benefit of motivating us to get together in tighter-knit, more organised groups.”

A spokesperson for The Scottish Conservatives said it had not taken a stance on the disaffiliation, stating it was a private matter between the Society and the Students’ Association, adding: “the new (CFS) office bearers have to contend with the usual issues faced by Conservative students in liberal-leaning universities.”

 

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3 May 2017: St Andrews University Conservative Society Students in Hostile Confrontation with Visiting Lib Dem Leader

Liberal Democrat Leader Tim Farron, joined by Willie Rennie and a group of Liberal Democrat activists, walked to the Purdie Building on the North Haugh, with the intention of speaking to locals and students of St Andrews.

Some of those he spoke to seemed impressed by the Liberal Democrat Leader. Others seemed less appreciative of his message. One local woman, who preferred to remain nameless, said that the Liberal Democrats: “have denigrated local politics, have denigrated national politics, and don’t care about Scotland.” She attributed this to the decision of the Liberal Democrats to go into coalition with David Cameron’s Conservative Government in 2010.

A group of St Andrews students, members of the St Andrews University Conservative Society were much more hostile towards Farron’s messages.

One member, Drew Liquerman brandished a sign which read: “Be Lib and Dem, support the will of the people, 52% voted Leave.” The sign was a protest against the Liberal Democrat’s call for a second referendum on the UK’s membership of the European Union.

Liquerman’s protest was speedily blocked by Liberal Democrat members who displayed their own posters. One student, Lavie Rabinowitz, stood next to Liquerman carrying a homemade sign reading: “Don’t listen to him, he voted Trump.”

Minutes later, Farron was drawn into an angry debate with three St Andrews University Conservative Society members in the middle of Market Street The sharp exchange of views was picked up and broadcast live by ITV News as part of their General Election Coverage.

Ian Donnell, St Andrews University Conservative Society, President (leader of the trio that had confronted Barron on market Street) said: “I took an opportunity to ask Tim Farron why he felt he had a mandate to derail the democratic will of the people in the Brexit process when he only had 8 MPs and the choice was so clearly set out on the ballot paper. Leave means leave, but Tim Farron didn’t think so. Despite Britain self governing for centuries, he felt we needed a dossier to describe how this would look prior to the EU referendum. Mr Farron thinks more referenda are necessary, rather than strong and stable leadership to lead us out of the EU.”

 

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http://www.thesaint-online.com/2016/05/st-andrews-conservative-society-under-fire-over-allegations-of-agm-foul-play/
http://www.thesaint-online.com/2016/10/whatever-happened-to-the-st-andrews-conservative-and-unionist-society/
http://www.thesaint-online.com/2016/09/st-andrews-conservative-society-disafilliates-from-students-association/
https://thestand-online.com/2016/12/29/st-andrews-students-join-national-political-organisation/
https://thestand-online.com/2017/05/08/stauca-members-confront-visiting-lib-dems-market-street/
http://www.thesaint-online.com/2016/09/association-investigation-confirms-conservative-society-electoral-fraud/
http://www.pkc.gov.uk/media/39332/DeclarationOfResults-Report-Ward-8-Kinross-Shire-05052017-140744/pdf/DeclarationOfResults_Report_Ward_8_-_Kinross-Shire_05052017_140744

 

Scottish Referendum Yes Campaign Headquarters