In the Minds of the Labour Party In Scotland Women Count For Nowt -Women Would be Well Advised to Remember these Events Before Voting

 

 

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The 2019 GE Labour Manifesto

Contains a commitment that a Labour party in government will:

End zero-hours contracts and “bogus” self-employment.

Require employers to work on tackling the gender pay gap or face fines.

But Richard Leonard has no authority to do anything. He must comply with the instructions of the Labour Party leadership in London. Any failing on his part will bring about his speedy end.

And, in regard to his commitment to end zero-hours contracts he is remiss in his recollections of recent past events.

 

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In April 2015 Ed Milliband attacked the Con/Dem government over the issue of zero-hours contracts and promised the next Labour government would bring an immediate end to the practice.

But his strategy failed when it was revealed that 68 Labour MPs Employed Staff on Them? So much for the Labour Party sticking up for ordinary workers who are being exploited.

This is what he said:

“Less than a week ago, you may have heard the Prime Minister say that he couldn’t live on a zero-hours contract. Well, I couldn’t live on a zero-hours contract either. I’ve got a simple principle – if it is not good enough for us, it’s not good enough for you and it’s not good enough for Britain. “That’s the way I will run our country. One rule for all.”

But there was one small problem for Milliband. It was revealed by the pay and expenses watchdog IPSA that a large number of Labour MPs (68 in total, including Edinburgh South MP Ian Murray) employed workers on “zero-hours” contracts.

 

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The equal pay policy commitment is most certainly yet another Labour party joke, to be pulled on Scottish workers by the very people they elect, the Unions, to protect their rights at work.

In Glasgow, women involved in the pre-2007 pay claims recall how the GMB union and the Labour Party council pressurized them into accepting low settlements by offering them cheques for a few thousand pounds just before Christmas so long as they signed quickly. Many signed.

But many more held out against the injustice and badly judged advice from their Unions and took their cases to another source of advice. Namely, Action 4 Equality – Scotland managed by Solicitor Stefan Cross.

In doing so they had to wait longer but received far greater settlement sums. Not only did Cross take on Glasgow District Council, but he also sued the unions for failing to properly represent their female members, forcing them to up their game.

In so doing, he made himself hugely unpopular and many still regard him as an ambulance-chaser who got rich off the back of driving English councils to the brink of disaster.

To the women, however, he is a hero, which explains why Cross retained 80 per cent of the claimants. “I will have to give him 10 per cent of the payout, but he deserves it,” one woman tells me. “He stuck with us when the unions couldn’t be bothered.”

It reveals the duplicity of the Unions who unconditionally supported the policies of their Labour Party Councillor colleagues assisting their efforts to deny women workers a fair wage.

 

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12 Jun 2017: North Lanarkshire Labour/Tory Alliance Council forced to pay pension costs of hundreds of women it underpaid

And, not to be outdone the North Lanarkshire Labour/Tory Council set about screwing their female staff out of their pensions.

Yet again the Unions and the labour party were complicit in heinous acts against women employees.

As events unfolded it became evident that the Labour/Tory Alliance run Council would incur a £1million bill after systematically ducking its pension responsibilities to hundreds of female staff it previously tried to squeeze out of equal pay.

The Council was ordered to cough up after a Scottish Public Pensions Agency (SPPA) investigation found it tried to “obstruct” a fair deal for almost 700 women who were systematically underpaid for years by the council, earning lower wages than male colleagues doing jobs of equivalent worth.

Last year, after initially forcing the authority to give them back-pay through a tribunal, they reached a second negotiated settlement worth a further £7.1m, after being represented by equal pay experts Action 4 Equality Scotland, (note the absence of Union support).

However, their final salary pension deals remained below those of male counterparts, as their contributions were lower while they were underpaid.

According to recent local government pension regulations, all back-pay must be treated as “pensionable”, meaning bigger pensions and bigger lump sums for those affected. The change required the Council to top up their employer contributions to pension funds.

However in February, North Lanarkshire once again tried to sidestep its duties to the Strathclyde Pension Fund, which covers the female staff, by claiming the women’s second round of back-pay was actually a form of negotiated “compensation” and therefore not pensionable.

The women’s lawyers appealed to the SPPA in March, pointing out the potential differences would be profound if the back-pay was not made pensionable.

Some of the North Lanarkshire women would be denied a pension rise of £1500 a year and lump sums of more than £4000, a lifetime difference of around £50,000.

The SPPA has now ruled the council “misconstrued” the law, and criticised its arguments as “confused and an obstruction to finding an equitable solution to the disagreement”.

It said the council must pay the income tax and national insurance on the second wave of back-pay as well as employer contributions, an estimated total of £1m.

 

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Scotland in Union – The Anti-Independence Group Hiding and Sniping Against Scotland From the Safety Of the Political Gutters of Politics – Good Company For the Vermin That Shares the Space With Them

 

 

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Remember this bunch of forget-me-nots. They have been very active throughout the campaign. Here’s hoping that Scots have sussed their gutter politicking and ignore their vile lies.

The Green Ink Gang – (https://wingsoverscotland.com/the-green-ink-gang/)

(https://www.thenational.scot/news/15803413.scotland-in-union-in-crisis-after-donor-details-are-leaked/)

There exists in Scotland a small group of Ultra Unionists who were originally the foundation of the group – Scotland in Union

This group was highlighted in a leaked Email on the Website, Wings Over Scotland – and gave blanked out contact details for a few people and a message from their erstwhile leader telling them to keep their plans very strangely secretive.

You see, these ultra unionists have a plan – this plan has been going on for a year or so thus far and it is this – They take it in turns to Blitz every single newspaper every week with dozens of letters about their opinions on just how TERRIBLE life in Scotland is under the dreadful SNP.

And these people are being published in many of the mainstream newspaper letters pages very successfully…The Editors seeing the same names popping up all the time are patently complicit in this.

On twitter that one chap – Keith Howell of Peeblesshire had around 20 “Letters of the Day” published – some gaining £50 from the likes of Barrhead Travel. (https://twitter.com/Scotlandinyni…/status/946440109087436800)

Looking at the list of names of those involved revealed a few prominent individuals:

Jill Stephenson – the infamous “History Woman” an elderly retired lecturer from Edinburgh – who made the news when she was caught tweeting vile comments about the “Slut” Mhairi Black.

But she deleted that account and became Historywoman @2351onthelist – and then blitzed the newspapers and lo and behold got many of them published – she was brazen enough to share her letters on her Facebook page.

The continual damning of Scotland and the SNP by these people undoubtedly had an influence in the 2017 General Election and there may be more than just letter writing and bitching to the papers going on – hence the strict secrecy mentioned in the Wings article.

There are people listed who are “Friends” with the MP’s – Unionist Party Councillors – Ex and present MSPs – and vocal unionist supporters – who most likely orchestrated the successful tactical campaigns in the last General Election.

Caithness and the Northern Isles, for example, was bombarded with Lib/Dem propaganda – receiving literally no other paraphernalia from any other unionist Party.

Salmond and Robertson both failed to hold their constituencies having been subjected to similar treatment

And in the Borders,  Kezia Dugdale toured the area constantly telling people to vote Tory to stop the SNP.  Unbelievable but true.

The Unionists conducted their unsavory campaigns from the political sewers and devalued Scottish politics

 

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Now you know who is behind the release of dubious information about SNP candidates leading to their suspension from the party.

 

Scotland in Union is not a grassroots group for supporters of the Union as it would like us to believe.

It was a company set up in London with the sole aim of destroying the Scottish people’s chances of managing their own wealth, investments and opportunities.

This becomes apparent when you look at the board running Scotland in Union:

Chief Executive: Pamela Nash: https://caltonjock.com/2014/12/31/i-bet-you-had-forgotten-pamela-nash-labour-party-golden-child-useless-mp-now-leader-of-usury-financed-discredited-scotland-in-union-i-havent/

 

 

Founder & Executive: Director: Alistair Cameron: https://caltonjock.com/2018/12/12/exposing-yet-another-westminster-conspiracy-scotland-in-union-part-two-of-two-alastair-james-cameron-just-who-the-hell-is-he/

 

 

Director: Sheila Cannell:

Graeme Pearson: Director: https://caltonjock.com/2015/11/28/shameless-graeme-pearson-fronts-the-recently-formed-unionist-party-scotlandinunion-webpage-but-the-guy-is-a-joke-failure-and-opportunist/

 

 

Patrick Harkness: Vice-Chair: Ulster born: Lecturer/Reader, specializes in space research: University of Glasgow

 

 

William Ramsay: Campaign Manager:

Andrew Skinner: https://caltonjock.com/2018/12/19/all-you-need-to-know-about-unionist-rudeboy-andrew-skinner-the-guy-from-haghill-who-made-it-good-then-cocked-it-up-by-joining-scotland-in-union/

 

 

Others:

Martin Redfern: Allan Sutherland: Jennifer Young: Cllr Scott Arthur: Keith Howell: Keith Shortreed: David Bone: Ian Lakin: Dennis Grattan: Regina Erich: William Ballatine: Carol Ford: Alice Struthers: Richard Marsh: Hugh Pennington: Fraser Whyte: Joe McCauley: Phil Tate: Jill Stephenson: David Clews: Victor Clements:

 

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Scottish Independence Could be Done and Dusted Within Six Months If Other nations Can Do It Surely the UK Would Be Well Able

 

 

 

 

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Establishing an Independent Scotland

Whitehall mandarins, Unionist politicians and their Luddite supporters will tell you it will be a long and torturous process over many years and it must be this way because the relationship Scotland has with the rest of the UK is too complex to untangle in a shorter period.

But if Czechoslovakia could be split up in six months in 1992, why should the process of establishing an independent Scotland be such a hardship?

 

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The Velvet Revolution

World War I lasted four years, World War II lasted six. So is it easier to conquer then lose an entire continent than to separate two jurisdictions peacefully?

Czechoslovakia, not only transformed from a socialist republic and a Soviet satellite to liberal democracy, but it also successfully split peacefully into two nations.

The pivotal elections that took place in 1992 saw an even split of voters in both of the constituent parts of Czechoslovakia.

Tension arose and the leaders of both constituent regions agreed the federation should be split.

An agreement was signed on 26th August 1992.

By 13th November 1992, a law had been enacted as to how the federal assets were going to be divided and twelve days later, an act was passed that set the dissolution date on 31st December 1992.

Complex matters such as the continuity of government, continuity of laws, arrangements for courts and so on were all swiftly determined by December.

A new Czech Constitution was passed on 16th December. Czechoslovakia was dissolved at midnight on New Year’s Eve.

When the people woke up the next morning, they had new nationalities.

Within a mere six months, a comprehensive settlement had been agreed and activated.

Immobile assets were distributed to the country where they sat, mobile assets and assets abroad were distributed according to the rough population ratio

Amendments to international treaties signed by Czechoslovakia were negotiated and signed very quickly by both new republics, confirming the continuation of such treaties.

In 1996, the two countries signed a protocol specifying the distribution of duties enshrined by treaties signed as Czechoslovakia.

All of this happened whilst Czechoslovakia and its constituent countries were undergoing a massive economic transformation.

Czechoslovakia was privatizing on an unprecedented scale and at an unprecedented pace.

In a way, it was like Brexit and the UK’s 1980s privatizations combined, only a lot more complicated.

Whereas the 1980s UK privatized two companies a year, the early 1990s Czechoslovakia privatized two companies an hour.

Taken together, these companies’ accounting value was a big share of GDP. The voucher privatization alone (there were other methods of privatization) privatized companies worth one-third of Czechoslovak GDP.

And let us not forget the fact that Czechoslovakia was also a currency union.

The original idea was that the currency would continue after the separation, but the Czechoslovak koruna outlived Czechoslovakia by a mere six weeks.

All of this was taking place at the exact same time the republics were being separated. Where there is a will, there is a way.

 

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Two things made this possible:

The leaders’ insistence that it must happen fast before organized business interests and/or government could mount a successful defense of the status quo.

Then the fact that the two newly-created governments, for all the tension between them, successfully worked together to apply current or previous arrangements in good faith.

Wherever questions or differences arose, they sought an amicable solution where none of the parties would score a win for their side but rather one where future cooperation would be maintained.

Nobody was proposing divorce bills or ridiculous notions of planes not flying, trucks stuck at the border, licenses not being recognized, or one country continuing to have jurisdiction over the other for the next 100 years.

Time and good faith were of the essence.

If Czechs and Slovaks were able to separate in six months, surely Westminster and Holyrood can find a way to extract one the other in a similar time period?

Credit this article (paraphrased a wee bit here and there)  to Martin Pánek, Director of the Prague-based Liberal Institute.

 

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Tory MP Colin Clark MP – A Brexiteer At Any Cost – Ignores the Views Of The Electorate Who Voted to Remain In the European Community And His Party Is Betraying the Fishing Industry

 

 

 

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My previous blog on this guy

https://caltonjock.wordpress.com/2018/01/18/tory-mp-for-gordon-colin-clark-the-multi-millionaire-elected-by-deluded-voters-in-the-north-east-of-scotland-promised-much-delivered-little/

 

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The Update – Colin Clark – With his eyes on a peerage

Clark is hoping voters in the Gordon constituency will forget he failed to support the Scottish Tory leadership in their disagreements with Boris Johnson’s hardline no-deal Brexit policy.

His actions assisted Johnson with his strategy, which was designed to force Ruth Davidson to resign from her role as leader of the Scottish Tories.

And he was rewarded for his backstabbing with a job at the Scottish Office working under his co-conspirator Alister Jack who replaced David Mundell.

Jack and Clark are the only Scottish MPs to be blessed with a role in Johnson’s, Scottish Office government but Clark got a kick in the teeth when he was told that the Worcester MP Robin Walker had also been given a ministerial role at Dover House, an appointment giving him the honour of being first English MP to work at the Scotland Office since the 19th century.

Adding insult to injury Clark was also told Walker, as a junior minister would be paid around £25K a year but Clark given the title of parliamentary undersecretary at the Scotland Office, as well as being appointed as a junior whip will need to work for nothing since the positions to which he had been appointed did not exist.

(Johnson is permitted to appoint up to 115 ministers to government posts at an annual cost to the taxpayer of around £10million)

Yet only a few months before Clark was singing his praises about Davidson’s achievements as a leader and even after getting her out.

He and his fellow conspirators compounded their abuse of their ex-leader by sending out tens of thousands of mailshots with her picture emblazoned prominently, with a personal plea asking voters to vote for her.

But she is not their leader. Johnson is. But his popularity is so low in Scotland any use of his image was vetoed by the media moguls that control the party and its policies.

And all this from an MP who effectively told the voters of Gordon, (who recorded one of the highest remain votes total in the European Referendum) to get stuffed.

Even the fish markets and fishermen, who supported his election as their MP have deserted him now that the Tory fisheries policy has been revealed.

Ports in Scotland are in danger of being run down with fish transfers from ship to shore relocated to Europe to avoid high tariffs.

 

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What are the Tories and Lib/Dems protecting

In Scotland, quotas for species such as herring and mackerel have been bought up by a handful of families.

Two-fifths of the entire Scottish catch by value and 65 per cent by tonnage was landed by 19 powerful super-trawlers in 2016.

More than half (13) of the top 25 quota holders have directors, shareholders, or vessel partners who were convicted of offences in Scotland’s £63m “blackfish” scam – a huge, sophisticated fraud that saw trawlermen and fish processors working together to evade quota limits and land 170,000 tonnes of undeclared herring and mackerel.

Small-scale coastal fishermen, who operate 80 per cent of Scottish boats, have to make do with just one per cent of quotas.

Despite the pleas of smaller concerns the new bill failed to bring forward any redistribution of the UK’s existing quota rights. So the ultra-large companies owned by a small domestic Tory Party supporting elite who behaved so badly retain their monopoly over fishing catches in Scotland.

The shadow environment secretary said Tory ministers needed to take “urgent action to use the powers that they have domestically to redistribute fishing quota to deliver a fairer deal for smaller boats”.

“Fishing was the poster child of the Leave campaign and [environment secretary Michael] Gove has already broken promises he made to the industry to secure full control of our waters during the transition,” she continued. “With all the talk of ‘take back control’, ministers have the power to distribute UK quota now and put the smaller-scale fleet first. So why wasn’t it mentioned in their white paper?

“This shows that, while it points the fingers at others, this Tory government is to blame for a sector rigged in the interests of the super-rich. Any future fishing policy must consider how new and existing quota can be more fairly distributed and we will treat this as a priority in the upcoming fisheries bill.”

 

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The rich Tory-supporting fishing families of Scotland

Alexander Buchan and family. Estimated worth: £147m. The family’s Peterhead-based Lunar Fishing Company owns or controls 8.9% of the UK’s quota holdings (739,153 FQAs), making it the biggest quota holder in the UK.

Robert Tait and family. Estimated worth: £115m. The family’s Klondyke Fishing Company is the UK’s third-largest quota holder, with 6.1% of the UK total (506,953 FQAs).

Sir Ian Wood and family. Estimated worth: £1.7bn. (a fortune built largely on oil and gas services). Sir Ian’s fishing business, JW Holdings, holds 1% of the UK’s fishing quota (83,463 FQAs) and has minority investments in businesses/partnerships that hold a further 2.3% (192,169 FQAs).

This is well worth a read: (https://unearthed.greenpeace.org/2018/10/11/fishing-quota-uk-defra-michael-gove/)

 

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5 May 2018: leaked paper shows Tories want to trade away fishing

UK Environment Secretary Michael Gove had been expected to publish the white paper on the fisheries policy for leaving the EU in December last year but has yet to do so. A leaked draft commits the UK Government to consult the Scottish Government on fisheries decisions with Mr Gove retaining the final say.

Banffshire and Buchan Coast MSP Stewart Stevenson, SNP, said the paper was evidence the Conservatives still regarded Scottish fishing as expendable.

“The Tories’ White Paper utterly fails to deliver the control over our waters and who catches fish in them that was promised in the Brexit referendum,” he said. “It confirms the Tories want to keep control in London so they can again trade away our fishermen’s rights as part of their Brexit negotiations – as they have already begun to do.

“It’s even worse than taking fishing powers away from Scotland for seven years as threatened in the UK Withdrawal Bill. This is a bid to permanently remove control over fishing from Scotland’s fishermen.

“The Tories infamously described Scotland’s fishing industry as ‘expendable’ on our way into the EU – this proves beyond all doubt they plan to do the same on the way out.” (Press & Journal)

 

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6 Jun 2018: Peterhead fish processing could be relocated to Poland after Brexit, expert warns

MPs on Westminster’s Scottish affairs committee heard the warning from Kristen Hopewell, a senior lecturer in international political economy on trade at Edinburgh University. She said:

“companies had already moved to the north-east from Norway in order to access the EU market and are likely to move again, even in the event of a soft Brexit. Norway does not have the same kind of tariff-free access that Scotland and the UK has and that is part of the reason Norway moved a lot of its fish processing to Scotland. If Scotland all of a sudden faces a very high tariff on its exports, that could have profoundly negative impacts on the Scottish fish processing industry. We may well see Scotland’s fish processing industry move to places like Poland in order to access the rest of the market tariff-free.” (Press & Journal)

Small boat owners are being starved out of business

Their spokesman said:

“Inshore fishermen are facing a crisis never witnessed before. And the merchants that they supply are in utter despair at the difficulties that lie ahead.

Creel and dive fishermen working these small boats are horrified that the interests of the few owners of deep-sea fishing vessels are being put above the interests of the many. Of Scotland’s 2,089 fishing boats, 1,539 of them are under 10 metres (33ft) long – too small to go beyond the 12-mile limit that marks the edge of our inshore waters.

They have little to gain and much to lose from Brexit. European boats are already excluded from our inshore waters, so there will be no new fishing opportunities for us after Brexit.

Instead, there will be tariffs on our shellfish products and the strong possibility of our fresh produce going bad in the lorry parks of Dover as they wait to access Europe – our main market.

Shame on the quota barons for saying Brexit is a sea of opportunities. Self-interest and greed have been displayed in copious amounts, with little or no regard to those that may suffer.” (Press & Journal)

 

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20 Mar 2018: Fishing sector’s fury over Tory Government’s Brexit ‘betrayal’

The UK Government was last night facing a furious backlash after sanctioning a “massive sell-out” of the Scottish fishing industry in its interim Brexit deal.

Fishing leaders branded the decision to “capitulate” to EU demands that Britain continues to abide by its hated quotas during the two-year transition as a “disgusting betrayal” and “extremely harmful”. (Press & Journal)

21 Mar 2018: Fresh fishing pledge from UK ministers amid backlash over ‘unforgivable’ deal

Michael Gove appealed for Tory rebels and furious fishermen to keep their “eyes on the prize” yesterday as he promised full fisheries control by the end of 2020. The under-fire UK environment secretary was warned of “palpable anger” in fishing communities over a Brexit transition deal which will keep the UK in the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) (Press & Journal)

 

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20 Nov 2019: Fergus Ewing warns Fishing communities facing ‘extremely challenging picture’ ahead of talks

Looking ahead to annual negotiations that will determine catch and quota limits for the coming year, Mr Ewing warned jobs and livelihoods are at stake in the Brussels talks. He said:

“scientific advice published by the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) were testing for fishing communities. We have got a lot to lose.
reductions have been advised for whiting, saithe and hake, while zero catch advice remains in place for cod and whiting on the west coast. Advice on North Sea cod recommends a 61% reduction in catches next year, which will result in an “immediate and severe choke risk”. (A choke species is a type of fish with a low quota that can cause a vessel to stop fishing even if they still have quota for other species.)

Ewing also clashed with the Tories over their view that Brexit would result in regaining control over UK waters enabling fishermen to leave the “hated” Common Fisheries Policy (CFP). Ewing accused the Tories of promising the “earth, moon and stars” a no-deal Brexit would result in “bankruptcies” as a result of the need for certificates to export fish, which could cost up to £15 million. (Press & Journal)

 

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20 Nov 2019: Scottish fishing chief warns of looming crisis for the inshore fleet

In a strongly worded “Brexit Situation Statement” Scottish Creel Fishermen’s Federation (SCFF) (which represents creel fishers and comprises nearly three-quarters of the country’s inshore commercial fishing fleet) national co-ordinator Alistair Sinclair claimed that the much-vaunted benefits of the break-up for Scotland’s fishing industry were “only for the few”.

He said:

“Those who stand to gain most from exiting the EU are wringing their hands in delight at the prospect. But let us consider those within coastal communities who stand to lose most, many with the real prospect of losing their markets and livelihoods.

Scotland’s inshore fleet of small fishing boats supplies Europe with the finest shellfish – widely acknowledged to be the best in the world, sourced from the ‘best wee country in the world’.

These inshore fishermen are facing a crisis never witnessed before. And the merchants that they supply are in utter despair at the difficulties that lie ahead. Creel and dive fishermen working these small boats are horrified that the interests of the few owners of deep-sea fishing vessels are being put above the interests of the many.

Of Scotland’s 2,089 fishing boats, 1,539 of them are under 10 metres (33ft) long – too small to go beyond the 12-mile limit that marks the edge of our inshore waters.

They have little to gain and much to lose from Brexit. European boats are already excluded from our inshore waters, so there will be no new fishing opportunities for us after Brexit.

Instead, there will be tariffs on our shellfish products and the strong possibility of our fresh produce going bad in the lorry parks of Dover as they wait to access Europe – our main market.

Shame on the quota barons for saying Brexit is a sea of opportunities. Self-interest and greed have been displayed in copious amounts, with little or no regard to those that may suffer.” (Press & Journal)

 

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3 Dec 2019: Fishing industry boss claims Tories do not have ‘credible vision’ for the future of the sector

Fraserburgh-based William Tait SNR, who is a director at the Klondyke Fishing Company, has cast doubt over Boris Johnson’s pledge to take the UK out of the common fisheries policy and has warned that the Tories would “disregard fishing in Scotland and trade away opportunities”.

He called on fishermen in the north-east to now back the SNP at December’s election. (Press & Journal)

 

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Unionists Gang up on Ian Blackford in Ross, Skye, and Lochaber – But Their Candidate Craig Harrow has to Live Down an Appalling Political Record

 

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Ross, Skye, and Lochaber

A Unionist party pact to oust Ian Blackford has been put in place

The other unionist parties are of the view that Craig Harrow, the Liberal Democrat candidate, has the best chance of unseating the SNP and are standing aside giving him a clear run at it.

The Tories finished second in the last GE, but the seat, formerly held by the late Charles Kennedy was at one time considered to be a safe Liberal Democrat seat.

The choice of Harrow as their candidate reveals the nasty side of a party which is abusing the legacy of the Late Charles Kennedy as justification for selecting him.

Harrow’s opening address to the electors was:

“I am campaigning in place of my late dear friend Charles Kennedy and my election would be a fitting tribute to his memory. I am determined to win the parliamentary seat back from the SNP in a way that Charles would be proud of. We need an uplifting, positive campaign for the Highlands and Islands.”

What a load of twaddle!!!

I doubt Charles Kennedy would have campaigned for election with the byword Fix!Fix!Fix attached to it.

Yukky tactics but asymptomatic of the Liberal Democrats who being Westminster Whigs in disguise are the sleaziest operators in politics.

 

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Followers of my blog will remember this one:

“https://caltonjock.com/2014/08/31/yes-campaign-faced-the-might-of-the-abbotsford-team-actively-backed-by-the-entire-uk-political-system-the-civil-service-media-barons-commercial-and-financial-institutions-the-city-of/”

The Yes campaign faced the might of – The Abbotsford Team ( actively backed by the entire UK political system, the civil service, media barons, commercial and financial institutions, The City of London, Heads of State and senior politicians of countries worldwide and just about anyone or anything that David Cameron and Sir Jeremy Heywood could muster in their mission to deny Scotland it’s rightful place in the world as an independent country.)

The Liberal Democrats showed their true colours with this abuse of the Scottish electorate

13 May 2014: The Con/Dem Government handed a £30,000 taxpayer-funded PR contract to the company of a “Better Together” boss.

Questions have been raised after it emerged the UK cabinet office had paid the sum to “Engine Partners for “communication support” in January 2014.

The work is understood to be related to the UK Government’s campaign against Scottish independence. Craig Harrow, the convener of the Scottish Lib Dems and director of the pro-UK Better Together campaign, is in charge of the firm’s Edinburgh operations.

Harrow, 45, has been masterminding the Lib Dem’s drive for a No vote and was a founding member of the “Better Together” campaign. In addition to his role as party convener, he has also acted as Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Danny Alexander’s election agent.

Records from Companies House show Harrow’s company, MHP Communications, of which he is the Chief Executive, forms part of Engine Partners UK.

Harrow stated that he did not have responsibility for any part of the contract, but the company’s website lists Harrow as the Edinburgh contact for all business inquiries.

Engine’s Edinburgh office is at 3 Melville Crescent – right beside the Lib Dem-run Scotland Office’s HQ in the Scottish capital.

The SNP said the revelations expose the UK Government to a charge that it is dishing out “Scottish taxpayers money to an organization with unarguable links to the “Better Together” campaign which is illegal under the rules of the Independence referendum.

And I’ll take bets that the money was not declared to the Electoral Commission, as income and expenditure.

 

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SNP challenges the Westminster government abuse of financial regulations

The revelation that Harrow was also the managing director of PR firm MHP Communications, operating from the same office accommodation as Engine Partners UK, was the straw that broke the camels back for the SNP who demanded answers, saying:

“As well as £46,500 on secret polling, it now emerges that the Con/Dem UK Government has given £30,000 of public money to a company run by the Convener of the Lib Dems in Scotland. Harrow is also a founding Director of the “No” campaign and r’s election agent – and his office just happens to be next door to the Scotland Office. The Westminster Establishment is entitled to campaign for a “No” vote, but it is not entitled to parcel public money round their friends as if it were their own. There needs to be full disclosure of this secret spending, the publication of exactly what it bought, and both Danny Alexander and Willie Rennie need to tell us what they knew about it.”

An anonymous spokesman for the Treasury said:

“The Chief Secretary (Danny Alexander) was not involved in the appointment of “Engine Partners” to provide consultancy to the government. Harrow had no role in running the account. All spending in relation to the government’s work on undertaking analysis, communications, and research associated with the future of the United Kingdom has been made in full compliance with all relevant processes and procedures. The government remains committed to keeping the United Kingdom together and is focused on ensuring that the people of Scotland have access to the information and arguments that they need to make that crucial decision.”

The revelations came after it emerged that the Con/Dem government at Westminster also paid £46,550 to pollsters Ipsos Mori for “market research on attitudes in Scotland towards Scottish independence”.

Alex Salmond demanded that Scottish taxpayers’ money had been misused and at the very least the results of these surveys should be published. But the spokesman for the Con/Dem government at Westminster said it was “not usual practice” to publish internal polling. In other words, get stuffed Alex!!!

I did say the Liberal Democrats were sleazy but so blatant were these abuses of public finance in support of a political campaign by the Con/Dem government, Abuse of the Scottish electorate is commonplace with Westminster governments they got away with it, courtesy of the BBC and the Scottish, right-wing media who were well aware that the Con/Dem government had not even been economical with the truth. The brazenly lied to Scots.

 

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MHP Communications a major player in the Government Lobbies at Westminster

But Harrow is no second rate gopher for the Liberal Democrats. In a submission to the Westminster “Standards, Procedures and Public Appointments Committee” on 14 January 2014 he wrote:

“MHP Communications is one of the UK’s largest full-service communications agencies, employing 175 people in offices in London, Edinburgh, Brussels, Hong
Kong, the Middle East, and Washington DC.

With around 55 people working in the public affairs discipline, MHP has the biggest practice in the UK. We are long-standing members of the Association of Professional Political Consultants (APPC) and members of the Public Relations Consultants Association (PRCA) and other bodies.

Craig Harrow, Managing Director, MHP Communications (Edinburgh). No shrinking violet then are you Craig?

 

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Engine Acquisitions Reviewed

The political lobbying company was created by a management buy out, in 2004. It quickly added to its resources with the acquisition of a string of marketing services companies involved in interactive, branded content, sponsorship and direct marketing.

The Parent entity “Engine Group” was created as the umbrella for these different units, and operated as an integrated group offering a complete range of interlinked marketing services.

After a series of losses over a number of years, the agency’s marketing department was struggling but at the same time, the company greatly expanded its services, offering, launching or acquiring a string of marketing services subsidiaries through its corporate parent,the “Engine” Group, which held ownership of the entire agency and its various associated subsidiaries.

Although the service units remained to be standalone branded, they worked closely with one another to provide what was effectively a seamless integrated service, depending on the requirements of individual clients.

2013, annual accounts stated that more than half of “Engine’s” revenue had been generated from clients using two or more Engine subsidiaries.

(this is what the deal was in Edinburgh)

In July 2014, Venture capitalist company “Lake Capital” purchased 100% of the business for around £100m then injected its large US marketing-based investments into the group.

Lake Capital’s Terry Graunke is chairman of Engine Group. Kasha Cacy, previously CEO of UM USA, was appointed as global CEO of Engine in 2018. Engine Creative CEO Ete Davies.

Financials: Annual turnover for this American owned company ranges between £120m – £150m providing annual profits of £95m +

The good people of Ross, Skye, and Lochaber need to be informed and/or reminded of the political misconduct of Craig Harrow. Before the General Election.  Otherwise, they may well fall for the hype and get stuck with a Whig.

 

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Tory Candidate for Aberdeen South Duncan Lumsden – Exposed as an Incompetent Leader of a City Council that has abjectly Failed its electorate- Time for change – Get the SNP in and the Tories Out

 

 

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Change of face but no change in policies. They don’t have any anyway

 

 

Nov 2019: The 2019 General Election

The Scottish Conservatives have announced their candidate for the Aberdeen South seat at the upcoming general election.

Douglas Lumsden, who is currently co-leader of Aberdeen City Council, will defend the Aberdeen South seat, replacing the disgraced Ross Thomson who announced he was standing down, most likely before he was put down by the electorate.

Lumsden, 48, who had no political experience before being first elected as a Scottish Conservative councillor in 2017, lives in Aberdeen with his wife and children and has a background of 20 years experience (the bulk of it with one company) in IT.

In his sales pitch to the people of Aberdeen South he said:

“I am honoured to be selected as the candidate for Aberdeen South but I want to first pay tribute to the hard work and dedication of Ross Thomson over the past two years.

He has made a personal decision to step down, but he has always been a great champion for this city.

The Scottish Conservatives will stand up for the vast majority of Aberdonians who voted against separation in 2014.

We need to stop Nicola Sturgeon, keep Jeremy Corbyn out of Downing Street and get Brexit sorted so that we can all move on and focus on the things that matter.”

 

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Nov 2019: Lumsden campaign literature makes no of Brexit or the Tory plans for the future of Scotland. In short, as before there is no manifesto for Scotland

In one page there are 10 mentions of the yet to be called independence referendum, 10 direct attacks on the SNP, many of which address devolved areas and have no relevance to this election, 6 personal attacks on Nicola Sturgeon. and a whopping great amount of 0 mentions of Brexit.

And he goes on and on about the SNP constantly bringing the matter of independence when it is his party that keeps plugging away at since they have nothing to offer Scotland except more misery.

Lumsden’s record in the office at Aberdeen City Council, together with his Tory and Labour party colleagues is an appalling litany of incompetence, spin and abject failure.

A few of these are given mention below.

 

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public protest against Tory Councils plans For Marischal Square ignored

 

 

31 Aug 2017: UK public finances face twin threat from Brexit and downturn

The Aberdeen City Council leadership has taken the unusual step of accessing City of London money by selling bonds, raising £370m in November 2016 to help finance a massive £1bn capital spending programme.

As well as using the bond markets, the Council is taking out cheap loans from the Public Works Loan Board, a Treasury agency.

But echos of the South Sea Bubble should provide a salutary warning for Douglas Lumsden and the Aberdeen City Council

Noting his employment history is in IT the financial commitment raises questions over just what qualifications should be required before allowing councillors to spend public money on speculative deals.

This is relevant since the City of London financiers are a smart bunch of operators and the jungle that they survive in is no place for the inexperienced.

These guys do not take prisoners and will stuff Aberdeen Council if the opportunity arises.

The foregoing is witnessed by the 2014 downturn in the oil industry, of which the Unionist parties made a great play on during the referendum campaign, claiming the volatility of the market was such that an independent Scottish Government would not be able to survive its financial rise and fall.

Yet only three years later, with the market on the up the Tory Labour Coalition in Aberdeen have opened the city up to the same rising and falling oil market.

It would be disastrous for Aberdeen if there was a wibbly-wobbly occurrence and/or the City of London speculators short moneyed the Council.

Large debts and no money to even meet the interest charges.

Unemployment in Aberdeen could rise by around 50%.

Nice one Mr Lumsden.

 

 

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6 Feb 2018: Aberdeen City Council’s newly formed “strategic transformation committee” intends to significantly increase the number of civil servants working for the city council and to review the new committees proposed 5 years, £125 million cuts proposals.

A total of 13 chief officer posts are being created with salaries ranging from around £58,000 to £85,000 – with councillors asked to potentially approve hiring a “recruitment partner” and advertising campaign.

These are below the £115,000 director posts which were appointed last month. (Ready reckoner throws up an all cost spend on the new committee of over 5 years of approximately £8.5million). Crazy economics.

 

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12 Feb 2018: Aberdeens Co-Council leader admits concedes that contracting out of many services by the council, to save money has been an abject failure and the bulk of services are to be brought back in-house achieving savings of around £17million against an annual spend of around £445million.

 

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12 Feb 2018: Aberdeen councillors have revealed that 370 full-time equivalent posts are to be slashed within months.

The first council staff knew of the job losses was over the internet in a statement released by the London Stock Exchange. This novel approach to telling staff their number was up has been brought about by the council raising cash on the London Stock Exchange, (at extortionate interest rates) for its many overspending grandiose development projects.

The SNP group leader Stephen Flynn said:

“These job cuts are a direct result of the administration’s inability to manage the books for the last six years coupled with their blinkered desire to move to a new target operating model.”

 

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Aberdeen Tory Councillor lives in Dubai but I keep in touch with my constituents says he!!

 

9 Mar 2018: Aberdeen Council is preparing to introduce “Barneys Bikes” a cycle hire scheme in the city. It is hoped the project will be delivered using European funding. Not much chance of that then what with Labour and the Tories fanatical push on Brexit implementation.

 

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Tory Party conference

 

14 Mar 2018: Aberdeen’s new exhibition and conference centre will be open by next autumn. An opening cost of £185million rose to £333million over a period of 4 years it took to complete the project.

 

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Yup!! I’m still here in Dubai. Weathers nicer than in Aberdeen

 

 

3 Dec 2019: Council spending on temporary agency staff has rocketed in the Granite City in just three months this year.

Figures presented to the local authority operations committee show that spending has increased by nearly £700,000 across several departments, including the bereavement, building services, environmental services, roads and infrastructure and waste departments between January and March. So much for the savings.

 

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All under one banner march Aberdeen 2019

 

27 Feb 2019: Public toilets, libraries and community centres and all lollipop men and women could be axed under ‘heartbreaking’ Aberdeen City Council budget plans in an effort save £45 million over the next year.

 

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2 Mar 2019: The multi-million-pound projected cost of redeveloping Union Terrace Gardens is spiralling out of control and SNP opposition councillors have said they will be voting against the park’s long-awaited transformation, which does not have the support of the residents of Aberdeen in any event.

 

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2 Mar 2019: The price of the long-awaited revamp of Aberdeen Art Gallery has rocketed by £4.5 million, according to newly-published council papers.

 

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Craigiebutler and Seafield get all the redevelopment money. Lucky sods!!

 

4 Mar 2019: Aberdeen City Council is spending more than £115,000 a day paying back loan debt – a sum higher than the hefty budget shortfall it is preparing to tackle.

 

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26 Jul 2019: Aberdeen council bosses have taken out two new loans totalling £40million this year raising the level of city debt to more than £1billion.

 

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30 Nov 2019: Cash-strapped Aberdeen City Council bosses must make tens of million in cuts next year, months after slashing more than £40 million from budgets.

City council officers say the council will have to trim nearly £38 million in spending – a cut of around 8%.

City council bosses have already introduced a radical shake-up of the local authority with the aim of saving £250 million over five years.

The paper predicts deeper cuts to come – with a shortfall of £80 million predicted in 2021/22.

Opposition groups have questioned their spending priorities – pointing to numerous over-budgeted projects and the scary certainty that Douglas Lumsden and his administration will be paying back almost £50 million interest on debt in the coming year.

Thanks to the Press and Journal who provided the bulk of the content which allowed me to compile this blog

 

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Part 8 The Final Word From Westminster – Scotlands Quest for Independence is Extremism Since It Undermines “British values”

 

 

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What is the BBC?

The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) is an autonomous corporation founded under Royal Charter providing publicly-funded television and radio broadcasting organisation, with extensive interests in programme production, newsgathering and commercial publishing.

The BBC is funded by licence fees. The level of the licence fee is set by the Government.

This method of funding seeks to ensure that the BBC’s activities are not influenced by the interests of politicians, shareholders or advertisers.

The BBC is headed by a Governing Board which is responsible for the operational management of the Corporation and for the delivery of BBC services.

The Board is led by a non-executive Chairman and consists of ten non-executive members, including the Chairman, and four executive members including the BBC’s Director-General and Editor-in-Chief, who chairs the Executive Committee.

Four of the non-executive members are specifically appointed as members for each of the nations of the UK.

The Chairman and the non-executive members for the nations are appointed by HM The Queen.

Other members of the Board are appointed by the BBC through the Board’s Nominations Committee.

The BBC is subject to Public Service Broadcasting requirements under its Charter, which is reviewed every ten years.

 

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Important points to note:

1. The BBC is founded under Royal Charter and is accountable only to the Queen.

2. The Queen appoints 10 of 14 people to the Board of management.

3. Its non-commercial activities are not wholly overseen by OFCOM.

4. Ofcom is accountable to the State, not politicians.

 

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Censorship

The imposition of Censorship in 1937,  provided the totalitarian United Kingdom with a weapon with which it prevented the exposure of its abuse of power and privilege over Scotland.

For over 400 years the country boasting the oldest parliament and free speech muzzled Scots and systematically destroyed its communities.

In 1968 the Lord Chamberlins powers were supposedly curtailed and the nation was given the promise that there would be no more State secrets.

But the “Freedom of Information Act” is a joke. Politicians are still answerable only to parliament and information is rarely released.

Successive governments have replaced censorship with spin, an insidious development enhanced with the appointment of many hundreds of “Special Advisors” many just out of university with no political experience.

These political appointments (many the sons and daughters of party politicians) are fully financed by the State.

Compounding the abuse of the electorate they are then shortlisted as candidates in safe seats guaranteeing their political future at Westminster.

Nothing is safe in our Westminster politicians hands and Scots would be better off gaining independence and putting in place a written “Bill of Rights”.

 

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Jun 2015: Is Britain going to see the return of the Lord Chamberlain?

Keen watchers of the Queen’s Speech will have noticed three things.

Firstly, the Lord Chamberlain of the Household. Now supposed to be a constitutional ornament, the Lord Chamberlain was, for the 231 years to 1968, the state’s censor in the theatre.

He (invariably he), along with a team of play readers, was able to change the text – famously returning scripts annotated with blue pencil – or prevent the showing of any play in the country designed for public audiences altogether if, in his view, it was fitting for “the preservation of good manners, and of the public peace to do so.”

Second, to be spotted was the Minister for Internet Safety and Security, a post created the week after the General Election.

Among other laudable and positive policy goals, the holder, Baroness Shields, will be responsible for delivering protection from “extremist” and “harmful” content.

The Conservative Party’s efforts in the last parliament have not been limited to the removal and prevention of illegal content – it attempted to mandate opt-out content filters at the ISP level in 2013.

Under pressure from the government, Britain’s leading ISPs are now required to retain their customer database of usage and presume they also wish content filters to be applied apply unless they explicitly request otherwise.

Thirdly and finally, the Investigatory Powers Bill (formerly known as the Communications Data Bill).

The bill contains provisions to monitor not just the information about a given communication (who sent it, to whom, from where and when it was sent) but the communication itself.

It also strengthens the powers of Ofcom to deal with broadcasters airing anything “extremist”.

The working definition of extremism is that which undermines “British values” (or, to borrow the phrase, the public peace).

The category of broadcasters, it bears mentioning, now includes on-demand services.

The Queen’s Speech this year puts these otherwise disparate developments into a theme for government.

The sum may have more profound consequences than the parts, as they indicate a direction of travel toward greater regulation.

Those of us concerned with constructive Internet regulation, guaranteeing freedom and prosperous industry, should perhaps keep half an eye on the stationery orders of the office of the Lord Chamberlain – and indeed the Home Office and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport – for any increase in the number of blue pencils. It may be an acid test for future developments.

3 Jun 2015: Access Partnership has expertise in many areas of government relations and regulatory affairs. (accesspartnership.com)

 

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