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.
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.
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)
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
(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.)
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)
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.”
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.
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?