The British Secret Services
Agents are recruited from all walks of life which is at odds with
A commonly held view by the public is that all employees of MI5/6 are trained to kill and then deployed to duties worldwide equipped with the assassination skills of James Bond.
But the reality is that 90% of the British Secret Service staff are employed completing administration duties such as information gathering, monitoring, telecommunication, cypher coding, bugging, etc.
At any time, without informing politicians, police etc. there may be up to 250 Secret Services agents operating in Scotland. Many for years on end.
The diplomatic service, politics, armed forces and business are fertile recruiting grounds for the Secret Services. The primary training establishment is at HMS Davenport ( the naval training centre). James Bond? Yes!!! the place where Commander James Bond was trained.
Agents released to political careers are normally registered with the political party of their choice and are activated, with the expectation that the next 40 years of their lives will require their presence at Westminster.
They enjoy “protected” status and are able to avoid detection and retribution for misdemeanors in their time in politics.
Can political agents be identified? Yes! but only in the early years. Senior agents are well capable of disappearing within the system.
Look for young politically inexperienced persons. Educated to university degree level. Appearing as surprise candidates for political office, supported by larger than usual canvassing teams. Those that are successful are given early promotion requiring them to be in Westminster longer than would be expected early on. Their sphere of interest will become apparent over time. Look out for activities in support of Atlantisist groups, visits abroad funded by ultra right wing organizations and membership of Common Purpose, Bilderberg, The British American Project and similar organizations. Happy spy hunting!!!!!
1988: Born Aberdeenshire 1999-2005: Education Inverurie Academy
2007-2010: The Royal Navy:
On completion of an 11-month recruit training course at the Britannia Royal Naval College in Dartmouth he was posted to ships for fleet training with the purpose of qualifying as a Junior Warfare Officer.
His ship was deployed to the gulf, (in a non-combat role) tasked to counter piracy, smuggling together with oil security activities protecting the Basra Oilfields in the Persian Gulf.
Royal Navy combat deployment to the Gulf ceased in 2006 and was followed up with peacekeeping duties until 2009, after which, at the request of the Iraqi Government the Royal Navy took on the task of training the reformed Iraqi Navy to defend its territorial waters and offshore oil infrastructure.
After completing his three year short term service contract he returned to full time education with the purpose of gaining a university degree.
The cost to the taxpayer of Bowie’s training at Dartmouth and short development as a Junior Warfare officer (in excess of £1m) was written off as a loss to the exchequer when he terminated his contract of employment at the end of 3 years. little return on an expensive investment.
2010-2013: Aberdeen University
MA Degree Politics and History. Active member (President) of the University of Aberdeen Conservative and Unionist Association.
At University he joined the Tory Party becoming an active member of the Aberdeen University Graduate Tory group and was appointed to the post of Chairman. A political career in the planning stage.
On leaving the Royal Navy he signed up to complete a degree in History and politics at Aberdeen University. This extended period of higher education was provided free of charge, thanks to the further education policies of the SNP government.
2013-2013: Divex Ltd
Employed (7 months) with a deep sea diving equipment supplier.
Utilizing knowledge of diving equipment gained in the Royal Navy. Short term stop gap employment. Politics being his chosen future.
2014-2015: Tory Party North of Scotland Campaign Manager.
Managed Tory (remain) campaign in North Scotland for the European Referendum.
Comment: Salary and on-costs estimated to be around £15k, plus expenses. Funded by campaign funds donated to the party.
Bowie organizes Hard right wing “Scotland in Union” with the Aberdeen “rich boys club”
2015-2016: European Parliament, Brussels
Appointed to the role of Parliamentary Assistant and Rural Affairs Policy Advisor to Tory MEP Ian Duncan, a reward for his efforts in the referendum campaign
Comment: Salary and on-costs £35 – £50K plus expenses annually. All expenditure charged to the Scottish taxpayer.
2016-2017: Parliamentary Assistant at Holyrood
Employed in the office of Liam Kerr MSP in the Scottish Parliament.
Comment: Salary and on-costs £20-£30K plus expenses. All expenditure charged to the Scottish taxpayer
May 2017: The 2017 General Election
Bowie was selected as the Tory candidate for Aberdeenshire West and Kincardine and won the contest.
The cost to the Scottish taxpayer:
Salary and on-costs £87K approx.
Plus: Westminster postage £10K.
Constituency Office Running costs £25K.
Constituency staffing: 151K.
London Accn. £23K.
Travel & subsistence (no limit but projected). £40K.
Annual cost to the Scottish taxpayer. £342K plus
Total cost to the Scottish taxpayer 5 year parliamentary session not far short of £2m
And there we have it. Over eleven years of employment (apart from a few months) he has been fully funded by the Scottish taxpayer.
Oct 2016: no way to treat a lady
Andrew Bowie, then chief of staff to Liam Kerr MSP, sent an offensive message to Geva Blackett, an SNP Councillor in the north-east of Scotland claiming she “had it in” for one of her Tory rivals.
The SNP Councillor was shocked to receive the disrespectful reply from Bowie in response to an email she had sent to Liam Kerr (MSP) soliciting his support to a local motor neuron disease charity campaign.
Bowie (in a separate message to his boss) wrote:
“This flipping woman is an SNP Councillor who has it in for Alex B (Alexander Burnett, Tory MSP for Aberdeen West)!”
Cllr Blackett, Councillor for Aboyne, Upper Deeside and Donside, said:
“I emailed all of the North-East MSP’s asking for them to lend their support to those living with motor neuron disease who are constantly being reassessed for benefits. I received the reply around 10 minutes later from Liam Kerr’s chief of staff and I was shocked. He accused me of having it in for Alex Burnett but I work across the political spectrum and I hold no malice against Alex. I sent the email as a constituent, not as a Councillor, about a serious illness and he used it as a political football. I am so angry about it. It wasn’t a party political issue I was emailing him about, I emailed Mr Kerr asking for his support.”
In her reply to the email she asked Mr Bowie if the phrase “flipping woman was an appropriate way to describe a constituent”. Adding, “He sent me an apology soon afterwards but didn’t even spell my name right!”
An SNP source said: “Though this wasn’t intended for public consumption, it rather underpins the deep disdain the Tories have for their constituents.
Liam Kerr is already in trouble for using taxpayers’ money to promote the Tory Party in the north-east. But sadly these sorts of blunders from a reckless right-wing, rabble of Tory MSPs have become all too common.”
Alexander Burnett was subject of a Police Scotland investigation into his election expenses after he was accused of breaching election spending rules and his MSP colleague Kerr also faced a separate investigation after he used parliamentary resources to circulate a post-election letter thanking his voters. (deadlinenews)
Navy Veteran Bowie promoted by the Tory party as the champion of the armed forces
A few snippets outlining the treatment of the armed services by the Tory Party, stoutly defended by the greatly experienced military veteran Bowie
29 Jan 2016: British warships need multi-million-pound refit to stop power failures
Repeated electrical faults left the £1bn Type 45 destroyers unable to navigate or activate weapons systems.
The Royal Navy’s most advanced warships, once described as the best in the world, will need multi million-pound repairs because of repeated power failures that leave the Type 45 destroyers unable to move or use defense and weapons systems.
Admiral Lord West called the flaw “a real weakness” and said the MoD had pretended it was a case of teething problems.
He said “they must have known three or four years ago that this was more than that. There’s no doubt this is extremely worrying. It’s an intermittent fault which has quite clearly caused a lot of problems. You don’t expect suddenly to lose all power when you’re steaming along normally.”
“Repairs will cost tens of millions, because you’ll have to cut a hole in the ship, get into it, fit something else into it, button it up and get it out. And even more worrying is we only have 19 destroyers and frigates. That is a national disgrace. Someone needs to look at why did we arrive at this position.”
MPs and peers asked questions in parliament about the power failures. Conservative MP Nicholas Soames commented:
“This is an unmitigated disaster and a huge cock-up by the Royal Navy. The ships don’t work. The secretary of defense, I am sure, will be outraged by this. We should never have got ourselves into the situation where the entire Royal Navy has just 19 frigates and destroyers. It is a disgrace.”
The ever spiraling costs of the Type 45 destroyers was criticized by the House of Commons defense committee as early as 2009. The Royal Navy had originally requested 12 ships but the cost of the advanced ships meant the force ended up with just six.
The ships are powered by integrated electric propulsion, using very high-voltage electrics.
Warships with electrical failures may be unable to navigate, with the destroyers drifting at sea until power is restored, and weapons systems may be unable to function.
At least one new generator is expected to be needed on each ship, requiring a major refit of the vessels where internal space is already very tight.
The work will be furthered hampered by a shortage of marine engineers, which has led to the Royal Navy being forced to recruit from the US Coast Guard.
It has been estimated that the Royal Navy is short of about 750 engineers, despite recruiting many from Canada and other Commonwealth nations.
Peter Roberts, former naval commanding officer now a senior research fellow at RUSI said:
“You cannot be in the Strait of Hormuz, where things can be tense, with the risk of a power failure. The upgrade is about adding resilience to the ship, it was always thought to be a risk when a ship depended on a high voltage but it is a risk that has come home to roost.” (The Guardian)
Jul 2016: Build of a new fleet of Type 26 global-combat frigates is indefinitely delayed.
The National Audit Office heavily criticized the MOD over a backlog of huge financial and technical problems facing the navy’s surface vessels.
Delays in contracting the building of new frigates – a project promised by David Cameron before the 2014 Scottish independence referendum – is threatening shipbuilding jobs on the Clyde in Scotland.
There are even more serious mechanical failures in the navy’s new fleet of Type 45 destroyers, which cannot operate anywhere south of Gibraltar due to overheating of key systems.
The main task of the new frigates and destroyers (which they are incapable of completing) include protecting two new large aircraft carriers as well as Trident nuclear weapons submarines approaching and leaving their base on the Clyde.
Tony Douglas, the MoD’s top official responsible for military equipment, said, “I can’t give you a time or a date when the frigate design will be approved” When asked by MPs on the Commons Defense Committee.
The number of planned new frigates was reduced from thirteen to eight and the project might yet be abandoned (a costly option) in favour of building five smaller and cheaper general-purpose vessels equipped with quiet engines making it harder for them to be detected by Russian submarines.
Westminster MP’s approved the building of four new Trident submarines at an official cost of £28billion (but this has since been adjusted upwards to £167billion) and experts expect further increases over the period of the contract.
The Tory Party Chairman of the all party Defense Committee, warned that further delays could lead to even more money being spent on a new frigate fleet and on extending the life of the existing frigates. He reminded the MoD of many previous navy “disasters”, including those involving the Astute class of nuclear-powered submarines.
The navy’s new fleet of destroyers, (cost £1.5 bn each) has also encountered serious and embarrassing mechanical failures. It is disappointing that the destroyers had been designed to be fully operational in hot climates, their resilience had “degraded catastrophically”, with problems over the high summer in the Red Sea and the Gulf.
The SNP’s defense spokesman in Westminster, Brendan O’Hara, said “the enormous cost of Trident is spiraling out of control – and it would be completely unacceptable and unforgivable if the Clyde yards had to pay the price for the Tory obsession with Trident, a weapon of mass destruction opposed by a majority of Scots.” (defense-aerospace)
Recruitment drive to make up armed forces shortages
Jul 2017: Senior military veterans warn that the Royal Navy’s new destroyers sound like a “box of rattling spanners” to Russian attack submarines.
Highlighting growing fears defense chiefs incompetently ignored the threat from enemy submarines whilst investing in anti-aircraft and missile defense systems, wrongly concentrating too much investment on the war against terror whilst ignoring the resurgence of Cold War hostilities.
Rear Admiral Chris Parry (rtd) claimed the new build destroyers can be detected from over 100 miles away by Putin’s deadly new hunter killer subs.
Amid damning claims of “huge gaps” left in Britain’s defense, Parry is reported saying:
“We used to put little wooden wedges between the hatch-clip and the hatches in my destroyer to stop them rattling so we could keep the noise down. We have forgotten all about it. It’s crazy. Noise suppression has been probably the biggest dirty secret since the end of the Cold War that people have been cheerfully ignoring. Ships currently in service are noisy as hell.
He went on to say: “During the Cold War . . .the ships I was in were the equivalent of a whisper. These ships now are the equivalent of someone shouting at somebody.”
The claims, cover a wide range of complaints about bungling MoD chiefs leaving Britain wide-open to attack and making a number of costly equipment mistakes. (The Mirror)
Dec 2017: Britain has a navy that cannot put to sea.
Britain had no major warships deployed on operations beyond home waters in what has been described as an “unprecedented” absence of the vessels on the world stage.
All six of the Royal Navy’s Type 45 destroyers were docked in Portsmouth, while twelve of thirteen frigates are docked at Portsmouth and Devonport.
HMS St Albans is the only frigate on duty at sea, as the fleet ready escort protecting home waters.
The absence of naval warships at sea is attributed to major cuts to the defense budget contributing to a dangerous shortage of trained naval staff.
Vice-Admiral John McAnally, National President of the Royal Naval Association, said:
“The scarcity of frigates and destroyers overseas is unprecedented and indicates the fleet is too small. I am distressed and alarmed. I do not see that it is easily remedied. The only answer is an increase in the defense budget. It is too small to meet what government want the armed forces to do.”
Fixed-wing carrier operations ceased in 2010 with the retirement of the last Harrier. This capability will not be restored until the Joint Combat Aircraft (F-35) and the first Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carrier become fully operational which is not expected to be until 2121 at the earliest
It also emerged during sea-trials that the new carrier (the largest and most expensive in the Royal Navy’s history) leaks. (defense-aerospace)
17 Jul 2017: Bowie’s contribution to the house of commons debate on the future of the UK armed forces
Bowie spoke on the importance of maintaining a strong Royal Navy and had this to say:
“I was proud to speak about how our island nation depends on safe waters and open sea ways and therefore a strong Royal Navy for its safety, security and its economic growth.
How I am proud that for the first time in many years, the fleet is growing in size; on the government’s commitment to Scotland and Scottish shipbuilding and how we must continue this trajectory, how we must never allow ourselves to become sea blind and how we need a strong and flexible navy, ready to fight the battles of the 21st Century.”
Comment. Yes!! He really did say that. What a pillock.!!
19 Jul 2017: Armed Forces Debate in the Commons:
“I stand here proud that, for all we talk today about moving towards a more flexible, agile force, armed and trained to fight the asymmetric wars of the future, the Conservative Government have proven, in not only words but actions, that they do not suffer, as other Governments have, from sea-blindness.
Douglas Chapman (SNP):
“More account needs to be taken of the threats that face Scotland from the north. The fact that we do not have a surface ship based in Scotland to protect our coastline from increasing Russian submarine incursions into our waters needs to be addressed.”
“The hon. Gentleman says that there are no surface vessels based in Scotland, but that is patently untrue. The mine counter measures squadron is based solely at Faslane, which if I am not mistaken is north of the border in Scotland.”
Douglas Chapman Shadow (SNP):
“What a tremendous example: one single minesweeper to deal with the whole of the North sea and the north Atlantic. I am sure everyone in Scotland will sleep easy in their beds tonight.”
The Tory government has ruthlessly cut funding of the Royal Navy reducing its capability well in excess of operational requirements present and forecast.
Badly designed destroyers and frigates need to be replaced as a matter of urgency, but less than 50% are scheduled to be built and new weaponry has been abandoned.
Add to this there was the ill advised sale of the excellent if ageing 72 Harriers to the US for less than £1bn, to be replaced with, as yet unbuilt 100+ US built F35 fixed wing airplane, (costing around £1.5bn each).
And two new aircraft carriers scheduled for introduction into service will only be securely deployed to their role, protecting the Atlantic sea-lanes, plugging the “Greenland gap” if the US military loans the UK sufficient numbers of their F35 aircraft together with american pilots and support staff. What a shambolic mess. And Bowie is effusive in his pleasure in the Tory government in its efforts.
Tax and Health and Welfare
8 Feb 2018: Universal credit all-party report raises fears over work-ability of system
The Commons work and pensions committee said the government had yet to produce a full business case justifying universal credit, seven years after the programme started, and there remained considerable uncertainty about its costs and benefits.
Government ministers produced no evidence to back up the key, central economic assumption of the biggest reform to our welfare system in 50 years.
The committee warned that the improved job outcomes the reform promises are uncertain, while anticipated taxpayer savings rely on it becoming increasingly automated and “industrialized”, despite evidence that significant numbers of claimants find it difficult to access and use the digital-only system.
Universal credit aims to roll six major working-age benefits into one monthly payment, including job seeker’s allowance, tax credit and housing benefit.
It has been criticized for design flaws and administrative errors that have left thousands of poorer claimants at risk of poverty, debt and rent arrears.
The Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) said that political uncertainties and problems with the design and implementation of the much-delayed project, currently around five years behind schedule, meant universal credit presented a “significant risk” to public spending.
Many billions of pounds have been written off to this debacle since Ian Duncan Smith first muted it many years ago and still Andre Bowie and his ilk insist it will all be for the better in time. But who’s betterment?
Comment: Bowie (member of the cross party commons work and pensions committee) praised the universal credit (UC) roll out claiming it eased claimants into work mirroring the benefits of employed income. This from a man that has sponged just about all of his salary and expenses from the Scottish taxpayer.
23 Dec 2017: Scottish income tax – Army at war over SNP taxes
The Ministry of Defense is to compensate armed forces personnel stationed in Scotland who end up worse off as a result of the Scottish government’s income tax hikes.
Tory MP Bowie, said:
“It’s becoming increasingly clear that the SNP has charged ahead with their tax changes without thinking through the consequences. Armed forces are facing a ‘Scottish surcharge’ simply for living north of the Border. There is no good reason why anyone in Scotland should be forced to pay more in income tax than people elsewhere in the UK. It shouldn’t be up to the MoD to have to compensate those being forced to pay more. The SNP need to think again.” (Scotsman)
The article is abject nonsense. The facts are that 14,000 military personnel stationed in Scotland will be better off when income tax is set against health and welfare benefits provided solely to those who reside in Scotland .
The Unionist rag and those who support it are lying through their teeth in yet another disgraceful attempt to smear the Scottish government.
Benefits exclusive to armed forces based in Scotland comprise:
Free provision of 600 hours per year of (16 hours weekly) early learning and child care for all 3 and 4 year old’s as well as vulnerable 2 year olds.To be increased further in 2018/19.
Free prescription charges.
All school children from primary one to three entitled to a free school meal.
12,000 forces personnel will pay less tax, (but the Unionists are not complaining that similar personnel based in England will pay more tax).
1,500 will pay between £0.50p – £1.50p more tax weekly.
The residue, around 500 personnel, will pay around £14.00p weekly. Hardly onerous when set against against a salary band of £50k plus.
Noteworthy is that the bulk of the 500 highest earners are married with children and gain significant benefits, (not available to English based armed forces through the earlier mentioned family orientated provisions
On the Campaign Trail in West Aberdeenshire
5 Jul 2017: At Prime Ministers Questions Bowie seized the opportunity to thank Mrs May for taking time out from her busy schedule during the general election campaign to campaign in his constituency.
Comment: But the reality was that her visit was botched from the time of it’s conception by Bowie. He would have been best advised to keep his mouth shut on the matter.
30 Apr 2017: Theresa May faces fresh accusations of ‘hiding’ after Scotland rally publicly listed as child’s birthday party
Theresa May faced fresh accusations of “hiding” from voters after a campaign event held in Scotland was publicly listed as a children’s birthday party.
Bemused locals in Aberdeenshire were sent on a “treasure hunt” but were unable to find the location of Mrs May’s visit, which had not been advertised in advance.
It was only after Mrs May spoke to a small audience of specially selected assembled supporters at Crathes village hall that locals discovered it had been booked by Bowie as a “child party”.
A local said he was shocked to find the listing on the venue’s website hours after attempting to put “serious questions” to the Prime Minister. He said:
“There were a whole load of us who wanted to go and question her on a lot of important policies and issues. It’s been so secretive, they are supposed to be holding these big rallies but all she’s doing is hiding in little village halls, not saying they are going to be there. So there’s no one apart from local Tory activists standing there boosting her ego. It’s quite pathetic really – for the Prime Minister of the UK to be hiding in a village hall in rural Aberdeenshire.”
29 Apr 2017: Just for the press, Theresa May (accompanied by Andrew Bowie) attempted to deliver leaflets to four terraced houses…no one answered their door!!!
2017-18: House of Commons – Contributions to debates and other relevant business
Bowie is very active in the Commons and is determined to establish his place in the Tory Party protecting his future employment should things go pear shaped in Scotland and he needs to find a constituency in England.
He has been on his feet on around 127 occasions and often asks loaded questions of ministers. I extracted a few examples for browsing but his parliamentary record is best followed here:
4 Dec 2017: affordable house building
Bowie: A loaded question. What steps is the housing minister taking to ensure that more homes are built in England.
Sajid Javid: In the autumn Budget, we announced further reforms and financial support to increase housing supply in England.
This includes more than £15 billion of new financial support, at least £44 billion of funding to 2022-23, and reforms to ensure that more land is available for housing.
Bowie: The work of his Department and the pledge in the Budget to build 300,000 new homes in England are very welcome, and will go some way to address growing inter-generational unfairness when it comes to getting on the housing ladder.
Will he join me today in calling for the Scottish Government to match the Scottish Conservatives’ pledge to build 100,000 new homes north of the border so that young people in my constituency can have the same opportunities to buy as those in constituencies in England?
Sajid Javid: He is right to highlight this issue. The Scottish Government, have been failing consistently on house building, especially affordable house building.
I commend the ideas, energy and ambition shown by the Scottish Conservatives in challenging the Scottish National party to build more homes in Scotland.
Alison Thewliss (SNP):
The Scottish Parliament has delivered more than 69,500 affordable homes since 2007, during the period of SNP government, and the new-build social sector completion rate is at 72 per 100,000 population, compared with just 49 in England. And why exactly was there no commitment to increase social rented housing in the Budget?
10 May 2017: But the Tory Minister was remiss in his answer – House building under the Tories is at its lowest level since the 1920’s
An analysis of house building going back more than a century shows the most recent years of Conservative rule has seen the lowest average house build rate since Stanley Baldwin was in Downing Street in 1923.
A political commentator said: “These humiliating figures show that Ministers’ promises on housing have been nothing more than empty words.
Official statistics confirm that since 2010 not only have Conservative Ministers built many fewer homes than claimed and after seven years of failure the Tory’s have no plan to fix the housing crisis. (Huffington Post)
12 Sep 2017: Questions to Mundell – Decommissioning of Oil Platforms Scotland
Bowie: Does the UK Government have plans to develop an ultra deep water port on the East Coast of Scotland?
Note: Without such a port the bulk of the anticipated multi billion pounds work will be awarded to contractors outwith Scotland.
Mundell: The Government is committed to supporting the development of a world-leading decommissioning industry.
But no UK port currently has the ultra-deep water facilities needed to directly accommodate the fully-loaded heavy lift vessels commonly used for decommissioning large platforms.
Comment: So! No plans in place. The work is destined for foreign shores.
17 Jun 2017: Scottish Tories expected to vote as bloc to protect Scotland’s interests
Leader Ruth Davidson told Scottish Tory MPs to champion Scotland in Westminster. The instruction included fighting for the devolving of additional Scottish powers and spending on fisheries and agriculture during and after the Brexit negotiations reinforcing Holyrood’s existing powers in both areas under devolution.
Davidson and other senior figures in the Scottish Tories also considered options to reinforce or indeed increase their independence from the UK party, after clear differences emerged between the group and Tory headquarters in London over the style and tone of the election campaign.
17 Dec 2017: Brexit – The Scotland Act and the infamous Henry the Eighth Act
The EU Withdrawal Bill was the subject of a heated debate in the Commons. There were 11 divisions all requiring a vote on amendments submitted by the SNP.
All amendments were voted down by the Tory Party assisted by their Scottish MP’s and DUP cronies resulting in the retention of draconian powers being retained at Westminster.
A key amendment submitted and rejected was one which, if accepted would have prevented Tory Government ministers from using Brexit as an excuse to modify the Scotland Act reducing the powers granted to the Scottish Parliament. This means that the SNP Government in Scotland and any future governing body are hanging their coats on shuggly pegs.
Westminster can now remove some or all powers on a whim and remove all devolved authority back to London.
The 13 Scottish Tory MP’s all voted against the amendment which is astounding.
In acting against the best interests of Scotland the Scottish Tory Party revealed its true agenda.
Well knowing it will never become the elected government of Scotland its Scottish MP’s have no wish to retain the Scotland Act. (the guardian)
17 Oct 2017: debate in the Commons on devolved powers in Scotland
Stephen Kerr Conservative, Stirling had called for the debate and spoke first:
“Twenty years ago, I was in the minority. At the referendum in 1997, I campaigned against the establishment of a Scottish Parliament, not from party loyalty but from the starting point that any dilution of the Union could lead to its ending. I urged the people of Scotland to think twice and vote no. They did not; instead, they voted yes to a future with a devolved Parliament in Edinburgh. However, I now realize that I was wrong. With the zeal of the convert, I have trodden my own road to Damascus and now I stand here today to extol the virtues of the Scottish Parliament and devolution. The Scottish Parliament has helped and is helping to create a better Scotland, and a more comfortable and confident Union, too; but more than that, I firmly believe that devolution is a principle worth arguing for. I am not talking about devolution in the sense of the establishment of a Scottish Parliament or Welsh Assembly, but about the concept of devolution. It is core to my credo that politics should be and is local. It is personal to communities that decisions that impact on people’s lives should be made as near to them as possible. Edinburgh is not the end of the road; Holyrood should just be the beginning. Politics should be local and we should seek to localize decision making.”
Bowie: It is right that we in this place—the place that passed the original Scotland Act 1998—consider the use of devolved powers. It is a fact that thanks to the actions of this Government, the Scottish Parliament is one of the most powerful devolved legislative Assemblies in the world, with powers over justice, education, health, transport, the environment, and now taxation and elements of social security. That is a good thing. However, for the people of my constituency, and indeed for the people of the wider north-east of Scotland, far from the renewing or revitalizing experience promised in 1999, the reality of devolution has been cuts, tax rises and the perception of a central-belt bias in all decision making.”
What followed was an acrimonious slagging match with each of the Scottish Tory MP’s in turn attacking the performance of the SNP Government on just about any minor grievance they could muster.
It fell to Tommy Sheppard to set the record straight and to remind those present of the inappropriate nature of the so called debate which should never have been permitted.
“It is customary, when I rise to make the third party submission, to thank the Member who has brought the debate. On this occasion, I will decline to do that. The Scottish Government are accountable to the elected Members of the Scottish Parliament, who are elected by and accountable to the Scottish people. It is not a matter for this Westminster Parliament—indeed there is an explicit constitutional convention that forbids it—to try to hold to account the Scottish Government, so I wonder why Stephen Kerr has chosen, among all the things he could discuss that affect his constituents, to bring this motion here today. I conclude that the only possible reason for this debate is not to try to advance or develop public policy but purely and simply political point scoring and to have a go at the SNP. It is a matter of some regret that he has been aided and abetted in that endeavor by the Labour party. It seems that contributors to the debate cannot make up their mind about whether the problem is that the Scottish Government are not using the powers they have, or whether they are using their powers, as some speakers have complained. The truth is that the Scottish Parliament and Government use their powers every day and in every way to try to make things better for the people of Scotland, but they do so within considerable legislative and financial constraints, which have seen Scottish public funding cut by almost 10% in real terms in a decade.”
2 Jan 2018: The Tory Party in Scotland has fewer than ten thousand members aged under thirty and faces a generation gap crisis
Bowie acknowledged the party faced a “serious problem” following years of heavy dependence on the loyalty of older voters and called for a drive to promote new Tory faces, to respond to young adults’ concerns and improve the party’s social media skills.
He said the party had the twin challenge of boosting numbers of members aged under thirty and of renewing its appeal to younger groups to ensure the Tories do not face “terminal decline”.
Asked how many young members there are, he replied: “It’s not great – we are talking about four figures, not five.”
Bowie, part of a group of young MPs working with Downing Street and Conservative Campaign Headquarters to reach out to a lost generation of voters said: “For far too long we were reliant far too much on the older vote. We took for granted that when people become slightly older, owned property, had a job and a family, they would naturally pivot towards Conservatives.
We needed to have some base in the 18 to 40 group and we are now at an historic low in that age range voting for us. People are not “going to go on the journey towards Conservatism” if they did not know anyone in their age group supporting the party.
The Young Conservatives membership peaked at 157,000 in 1949.
By 1970 membership had reduced to 50,000.
Factional in-fighting in the 1980s and 1990s brought the movement to its knees and it was disbanded in 1996.
Conservative Future was established soon after, gaining a membership of around 15,000 from universities and local Tory Associations.
But, as before, it was wound up after the exposure of bullying and blackmail of members. (i’news)
6 Mar 2017: The Crazy Gang strike again – Scottish Tory youth gush over Donald Trump’s “love” of the UK
Leaders of the European Conservatives and Reformist group, Scottish Tory MEP Ian Duncan and the Scottish Conservative youth wing have said that US President Donald Trump’s “love” of the UK bodes well for the growing relationship between his administration and the UK Tory Government.
In a Conservative Future fringe meeting at the Scottish Tory conference in Glasgow leading young members gushed over the new US leader, who had attracted unprecedented protests over his policies including a ban on citizens from seven Muslim majority nations entering the US and his promise to build a border wall with Mexico.
Speaking to an audience of party members, Scottish Conservative future chair James Bundy said he was excited about “Donald Trump’s love for the UK”.
A candidate for Grangemouth in the 2017 local elections he told the audience, which also included young US conservative Republicans, that he welcomed the growing relationship between UK Prime Minister Theresa May and Trump. He said:
“For a Britain that’s leaving the EU, May’s visit was a very encouraging sign. Our prime minister is striking up a new relationship with the US. This can only be good.”
MEP Duncan regaled the audience with stories of negative reactions of EU parliamentarians to Brexit,
Speaking about Nigel Farage, UKIP MEP he repeated the Brexit movement’s self commentary, saying that “they aren’t laughing at him now”.
He said that continuing EU member states may have to contribute more to the union after Brexit, and described an EU request for its members to pay more money into the NATO military alliance as “strike one to Donald Trump.”
Speaking about Trump’s erratic nature, he said: “Donald Trump confounds expectations and is unpredictable and that is good, especially in negotiations.”
Comment: The Scottish Tories have quickly become born-again Brexiteers, but even by their standards their whole-hearted embrace of Trump will raise eyebrows.
Young people across the UK voted overwhelmingly to Remain – just as Scotland did – and now face losing all of the opportunities to work, study and travel that come with EU membership.
The Tory vision of life outside the EU means pleading with Donald Trump for a trade deal and many people in Scotland will be looking for an alternative.”
11 Sep 2018: Boundary Commission redraws the constituency map of Scotland
Under changes proposed by the boundary commission only East Lothian would remain unchanged while the total number of Scottish constituencies at Westminster would be reduce from 59 to 53.
In a rare departure from his usual unqualified support of his party Andrew Bowie, Tory MP for West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine, said:
“I am very proud to represent West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine – and every town, village and community within the constituency. These proposals have already provoked a significant amount of debate and I am sure these latest revisions will continue to do so. However, I don’t detect a huge appetite within the UK to change the current boundary system. I think voters are more concerned with the state of our NHS, local schools and the economy. They want to see the government focused on securing the best possible deal as we leave the EU.”
Note: His plans for a long political career in the North East of Scotland are under threat and concentrates his mind on survival
Edinburgh SNP MP Tommy Sheppard said:
“Instead of reducing the number of democratically elected MPs, there should be a reduction of the 791 unelected peers in the bloated House of Lords. These proposed plans would see Scotland’s representation at Westminster slashed by over 10 per cent, with Scottish MP voices further diminished in a Parliament that looks increasing like it’s set up to work against those protecting Scotland’s interests. For the mainland Highlands – which has a geographic area one and a half times the size of Wales – to be cut down to just two constituencies, as this report recommends, is ludicrous. There is no appetite for these changes at present and I am confident that these proposals won’t see the light of day.”
6 Jul 2017: Tory MP Bowie asks the PM yet another loaded question
The SNP government was spared fines of up to £60 million after ministers missed the deadline of processing 95 per cent of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) subsidies and Bowie just couldn’t resist yet another back stabbing attack.
There is no end to Bowie’s embarrassing crawling. He said:
“I would like to ask if the Prime Minister agrees with me that it is utterly shameful that the Scottish government, for the second year in a row, have had to go pleading to the European Commission for an extension to the farm payment deadline? And, if further proof was needed that the SNP are failing rural Scotland?”
Theresa May, in response to her Commons colleague, insisted this is another example of Ms Sturgeon and the SNP “failing to deliver” for the Scottish people.
“But his cynical bitching was clearly designed to portray Scotland in a bad light and it backfired badly when Scotland’s performance was compared to an adverse report presented only a few months before at which time the Public Accounts Committee expressed their its deep concern about England’s pathetic performance, (much worse than Scotland’s) on the same matter.” (see below)
10 February 2017: Westminster MP’s express concern about much repeated farm subsidy payment delays in England
MPs say that EU subsidies account for about 50% of British farm incomes and the government’s failure to pay EU subsidies on time or help farmers hit hard by delays raises doubts about its ability to cope with Brexit.
Delays to Common Agricultural Policy payments meant some farmers had to sell livestock to pay bills, they say. Only 38% of England’s farmers were paid on the first day possible in 2015 – in other years it had been more than 90%. The government said major progress had since been made and it had met its 2017 target to pay 93% of farmers by March.
The Rural Payments Agency, which distributes EU funds to farmers paid out just 38% of farmers at 1 December 2015.
By the end of March 2016, only 84% of farmers had been paid – meaning some 14,300 farmers had received no payment. Some were still owed more than 1,000 euros (£850) nine months after they could first have been paid.
Payments to flood-affected farmers in North Yorkshire and Cumbria had also “lagged behind the rest of England until June 2016”, the MPs said.
The committee heard that some farmers had needed to take out bank loans or sell livestock to cover their costs because payments had been delayed.
The government was also criticized for the high number of “disallowance penalties” – fines imposed by the European Commission for late or inaccurate payments or other failures to meet the rules.
England has already incurred £642m in penalties since 2005, the fourth highest in the EU.
The committee’s deputy chairman, Richard Bacon, described the late payment of subsidies as “a sorry affair”. He said: “Farmers have suffered badly from the collapse in service levels, and government has done too little to help them cope with the fallout.”
The Public Accounts Committee report said: “The department’s record of failure when developing systems to support subsidy payments to farmers does not inspire confidence in its ability to cope with the challenges associated with Brexit that lie ahead.”
Comment: The EU commission recognized there were extenuating circumstances why the Scottish government missed the 95% target by a few percent which is why a fine was not imposed. Contrast Scotland’s performance against England’s:
“The EU Commission has imposed financial penalties, amounting to £642m in the last 10 years, the fourth largest in the EU, on English ministers for failing to meet farming subsidy targets.”
30 Oct 2018: Hammond associates his Scottish Tory MP cronies with his freeze on whisky duty.
In his budget speech Hammond said he had been persuaded to freeze duty on whisky by the Scottish Tory MP group. If affirmed this would recorded as a gross violation by himself , of Westminster protocol.
BUT it might be he was just spouting a load of bullsh*t
The Whisky trade lobby’s the Chancellor
It is noteworthy that the all-Party Group on Scotch Whisky, a powerful committee with links to the Scotch Whisky Association officially operating in Westminster, lists only one Tory MP as a member (and he represents Carlisle).
The group’s remit is:
“to promote and facilitate communication and understanding between representatives from the Scotch Whisky industry and MPs.”
Brendan O’Hara, Scottish National Party (Chairman): Jim Fitzpatrick, Labour Party: John Stevenson Conservative Party: Lord Purvis of Tweed, Liberal Democrat Party: Chris Law, Scottish National Party: Michelle Thomson, Independent: Ian Blackford, Scottish National Party: Martin John Docherty, Scottish National Party. Not one Scottish Tory MP in the group.
Chairman, Brendan O’Hara, wrote to the Chancellor on behalf of the Group warning him of industry concerns, saying it was vital that businesses and sectors were protected and not burdened with even more counterproductive and unnecessary tax hikes on whisky.
“Scotch whisky is one of Scotland’s major assets and a global success story. At a time of continued Brexit uncertainty and instability, we cannot risk or undermine our whisky industry by increasing the tax liability on our producers who are already contributing so much. Scotch whisky cannot be forced to bankroll the UK’s failing economic strategy. For too long the Treasury has viewed the industry as a ‘cash cow’, as evidenced by last year’s counterproductive duty hike. That approach must come to an end and we call on the Chancellor to rule out unnecessary tax hikes and instead take heed of the economic reality and retain the duty freeze on scotch whisky to ensure that this vital Scottish industry continues to grow.”
Celebrating the freeze on Spirits Duty with a bottle of single malt and the Chancellor of the Exchequer
The sector’s trade body – The Scotch Whisky Association said that a freeze would “not only deliver greater revenue for the Treasury but also help to support an industry that has invested more than £500m in capital projects over the last five years”.
The Bonded Warehouse Association (Whisky Trade) has around 100 companies as members throughout the UK and has established very close links to Government, regulatory bodies and other Associations. It engages government ministers on a strategic and partnership level to ensure that its members have a powerful voice which is acknowledged and listened to along with a consistent approach and vehicle to influence future policy.
And not long before the Tory Party sponsored this lot to a free dinner party at Westminster. https://www.thebwa.com/about-us
2017: Bowie and the Armed Forces Parliamentary Scheme (AFPS)
This is a privately funded scheme designed to provide MP’s an opportunity to gain arms length experience of the British armed forces so that they are better placed to debate military issues at Westminster.
Sounds good, so far!! But there’s a catch. The scheme is sponsored and fully funded as a “foundation” by three defence lobbying companies BAE Systems, Rolls Royce and Agusta/Westland.
All costs attributed to activities furthering the aims of the scheme are met by the sponsors. But there is a catch. There can be no criticism of the sponsors as Tory MP Douglas Carswell found out when in 1998, he was banned from the organization after criticizing the propriety of the defence companies sponsoring it when he saw British soldiers under-equipped on the front line
In their first year of service applicants are granted the honorary rank of Army – Major / RAF – Squadron Leader / RN – Lt Commander (depending on which branch of the armed forces they choose. In subsequent years they can expect promotion to a much higher rank, and more money.
Allocation of areas of interest depends on seniority. Year one allows access to the basics of the services, whilst more senior members deal with joint working, doctrine and strategic defence considerations.
Well, well so it may be he will resurface soon as Andrew Bowie, Lt Commander (RN) MP. (Not bad for a rookie sailor still wet behind the ears)
Bowie joins his ultra right wing activists in Washington. Celebrating the legacy of Thatcher and Reagan
Bowie and the International Republican Institute (IRI)
Bowie: “It was a huge honour to be invited to Washington DC to join with the IRI talking with young political leaders from across Europe & others about the future of the transatlantic relationship & how, in 2018 with anti democratic forces on the rise, we provide a buttress in the defense of democracy around the world. (Who Paid?)
But this statement does not apply to Bowie’s own country where communications, media etc are state controlled and the rights of Scots are trampled underfoot by the Westminster elite.
And Scots in Aberdeen foolishly believed the Tory hype that he would concentrate his efforts in full support of the electorate that sent him to Westminster.
As of March 2018 he was promoted to the position of parliamentary private secretary (PPS) within the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS). His new role will take up a deal of his time at Westminster but he will attempt to fit in his MP duty to his constituents in addition to his efforts in support of the Armed Forces Lobby group and his developing “Atlantisist” links.
27 Aug 2018: Bowie visits Thales Group in Glasgow
Thales has maintained offices in Glasgow from the end of WW1 and contributed to the recent build of the new aircraft carriers at Rosyth.
Bowie: “Great visit to the Thales Group in Glasgow today to see the incredible work being done on optromics for advanced systems for use on land, at sea and in the air by our armed forces. ”
Strange one this. Is it not conduct unbecoming to promote himself and his party in the constituency of another MP? Namely Chris Stephens SNP.
The company Bowie praises is an unsavory organization who reputation worldwide scores less than zero on the good conduct scale. Check out this blog: “https://rhk111smilitaryandarmspage.wordpress.com/2018/03/29/the-thales-groups-long-history-of-corruption/”
Bowie: “With Labour, it’s always about where you came from. With the Conservatives it’s where you can get to.”
And he is are clearly set on being financed by the taxpayer for all of his working life!!!
Bowie: “In 2012, the coalition government decided, on bad advice, to disband the Universities of Aberdeen Royal Naval Unit and to move the patrol vessel and training ship, HMS Archer, from Aberdeen to Edinburgh. This left a huge chunk of Scotland’s coastline with no permanent naval presence. The Aberdeen unit, the oldest of its kind in the UK, has a place close to my heart. It was where I met my wife, so I am perhaps guilty of being sentimental. However, I find it unacceptable that this unit could be disbanded and the ship moved to the central belt purely for cost saving reasons. This has deprived students of the ability to see or experience what a career in the senior service can offer. At the time of the decision, I was a student and couldn’t do much to stop it. But as a local MP, I have now written to the Secretary of State for Defence to ask for a review of the decision and ultimately, a reinstatement of the unit and ship in Aberdeen.”
Comment: OK!!! Bowie’s life on the ocean waves lasted only 3 years at a cost to the taxpayer in excess of £2m plus.
14 Aug 2018: And he had the temerity to tell the volunteers they were good citizens!!!
Bowie: “Yesterday I visited and met with the dedicated volunteers at the South Aberdeenshire Food Bank based in Banchory who do such amazing work for people who, for whatever reason, tragically find themselves in need of their service. False praise from Bowie.