Categories
Uncategorized

1999-Jackie Baillie, a Minister in the Scottish Executive publicly stated she was in favour of scrapping Trident. 2016-Baillie refused to support the Labour Party’s manifesto commitment opposing the renewal of Trident. In doing so she provided support to the GMP who represent defense and shipyard workers at Faslane and in which her husband Stephen is a high ranking officer. Loyalty apparently starts at home

I have great admiration for the 13,413 Dumbarton voters who on 5 May 2016 supported the SNP candidate, Gail Robertson.  So close to defeating Jackie Baillie who enjoyed a pyrrhic  victory by 106 votes.

But her victory was achieved at great cost to the party she purports to support. Her stance also further confirmed the deep divisions within the Labour Party in Scotland. The shaky truce between, “New Labour” supporters and the Corbyn team is now  well exposed and unfortunately the further demise of the Labour Party will continue for some time yet.

26 October 1999: Minister Jackie Baillie Backs Scrapping Trident

A Minister in the Scottish Executive has admitted publicly to being in favour of scrapping Trident, it was confirmed last night as the Opposition SNP moved to exploit Government concern at the controversial judgement of a Greenock sheriff who ruled that Trident was illegal.

In the wake of Sheriff Gimblett’s ruling that the nuclear deterrent based on the Clyde contravened the law as viewed by the International Court, the Opposition SNP last night asked if ministerial collective responsibility in Scotland applied to reserved as well as devolved areas.

Ms Jackie Baillie, Deputy Minister for Communities, replied to a CND questionnaire posted on the Internet before the Scottish Parliament elections saying she supported the scrapping of Trident. (Highbeam)

 
27 February 2007: The Pork-Barrel Component of Trident

I suspect there is only one job Jackie Baillie is anxious to protect at the moment. Mrs Baillie has put on a bravura performance pretending to be concerned with employment while actually defending Scotland’s place as a humble cog in the US military industrial machine and her own interest in the pork-barrel arrangements which flow there from.

Trident is about the British taxpayer subsidizing the US defense industry and providing, gratis, an ICBM submarine squadron to the US Navy.

The pork-barrel part is that impoverished / Labour – dominated (same thing, really) areas like Mrs Baillie’s constituency (20% of households living in poverty) get very few relatively well- paid, ferociously subsidized defense jobs. (Highbeam)

19 October 2007: Reasons to be cynical

Jackie Baillie tabled a question at Holyrood about the cost of the summit “Scotland Without Nuclear Weapons” convened by the Scottish Government. Her concerns, (related to the cost of the hire of a hall and some sandwiches) is in stark contrast to her support of political policies forcing the Scottish taxpayer to fork out billions of pounds being the nations share of the Trident renewal programme. This new charge being, added to the billions already paid for Trident system. Ms Baillie has become Scotland’s most vociferous supporter of nuclear weapons, no doubt in the hope of continuing to save her political skin as MSP for Faslane.  (Highbeam)  comment: But she said she was anti-Trident ?

Jackie is “New Labour” to the core

28 October 2012: Jackie Baillie Trident job loss claims challenged by official MoD figures

Claims by Labour MSP Jackie Baillie that the Trident nuclear weapons system sustains 11,000 Scottish jobs have been called into question following a Freedom of Information request by Scottish CND. Figures obtained from the Ministry of Defence by the nuclear disarmament group show that the total number of jobs directly linked to Trident is a mere 520. According to official figures only 159 are employed by the Ministry of Defence and 361 are employed by contractors.

Labour MSP Jackie Baillie has been a regular critic of the SNP’s policy over the siting of nuclear weapons on the Clyde. Ms Baillie has repeatedly claimed that having Trident creates 11,000 jobs, with thousands more set to be generated through plans to expand the naval base. Speaking on her official Labour party website, Ms Bailie said: “There are over 11,000 jobs dependent on the base.

The SNP would remove Trident, devastating our local economy and turning Helensburgh into a ghost town.” Ms Baillie also claimed that the renewal of the nuclear weapons system and the expansion of the base would create thousands more jobs and added: “The SNP also fail to acknowledge that almost 3,000 new jobs will be created with the impending expansion of the base. These too would be jeopardized by the SNP plans to scrap Trident.”

Dismissing his Labour opponent’s claim as nonsense, SNP MSP, Bill Kidd, said: “Trident is, in reality, a jobs-destroyer, and attempts to justify the presence of weapons of mass destruction on the Clyde in terms of jobs is the worst kind of nonsense, as Jackie Baillie knows only too well.” (http://newsnet.scot/2012/10/baillie-trident-jobs-claim-challenged-by-official-mod-figures/)

Scottish Referendum: Baillie and her Unionist Tory colleague Jackson Carlaw at Better Together fundraising event in Gartocharn, January 2014

 
19 November 2015: First Minister Holds Shameful Jackie Baillie to Account

You need to look no further than Labour’s Jackie Baillie to see why the people of Scotland have rejected this unionist party in their droves. Baillie shamelessly prodded Nicola Sturgeon by saying “She hopes the FM will eventually agree with Labour in restoring the cuts to tax credits”. When asked in a recent interview how Labour would pay for restoring the cuts, her answer was ridiculous gibberish that insulted the intelligence of every Scot.

The hypocrisy of Baillie is breathtaking…as the First Minister pointed out, Labour voted with the Tories against devolving tax credits and voted for spending £167 Billion on “independent” Trident nuclear missiles, that we can’t use without America’s permission, while children go hungry and homeless. Needless to say, the First Minister held her to account in no uncertain terms and exposes her shameful hypocrisy.

 
22 April 2016: Jackie Baillie Goes Rogue on Labour with support for Trident Nuclear Weapons Upgrade

The Labour politician currently MSP for the Dumbarton constituency is standing for re-election. She is also at the top of the party’s West of Scotland regional list. But questions are being raised about her suitability as a Party (list) candidate after she publicly vowed to defy the Party’s official policy on Trident.

In refusing to back her party’s manifesto commitment opposing the renewal of the nuclear weapons system she provided support to the GMB union who represent defense and shipyard workers at Faslane and also voted to retain Trident. Their representative also rebuked the conference stating that the debate was a nonsense and utter indulgence and the GMB was standing against “Alice in Wonderland politics.”

Baillie, whose Dumbarton constituency includes the naval base, said: “Faslane is the biggest single-site employer in Scotland. More than a quarter of West Dunbartonshire’s full-time workforce are employed there in good quality, well-paid jobs.” She then hit out at the SNP, who want to move the Trident submarines from the Clyde, describing their stance as “nimbyism on a national scale and “the worst kind of gesture politics”. Baillie’s husband Stephen, a high ranking officer with the GMB union did not contribute to the debate but was no doubt pleased with his wife’s contribution.

A report published last year by union umbrella group the STUC and the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament stated just 520 civilian jobs at HMNB Clyde are “directly reliant on Trident”, 132 of which are held by workers from Argyll and Bute and 178 by staff from West Dunbartonshire. The STUC, which calls for the establishment of a Defence Diversification Agency, says alternative roles can be found or created.

At the STUC congress in Dundee this week, Jane Carolan of Unison said her union has a “proud record of defending quality employment”, but argued replacing Trident would be “catastrophic”. She said Government figures show no jobs would be lost for 15 years, adding: “For the cost of Trident we could have 100,000 more firefighters, 120,000 nurses, 120,000 teachers. It is a gross misallocation of taxpayers money, our money, where there are so many more vital and constructive ways in which it could be spent.”

South of Scotland region Labour MSP Claudia Beamish told delegates there was a firm commitment to protect defense workers’ jobs regardless of Trident renewal.

Speaking for the locals a Councillor said:  “Night and day, the Ministry of Defense is transporting nuclear material through our streets. Jackie Baillie’s view has nothing to do with local jobs, it is to do with her protecting her own job. Her argument has always been the local economy is so reliant on it, but the Helensburgh economy has almost collapsed. It has empty shops. It is a fallacy.”

SNP Dumbarton candidate Gail Robertson, who is also standing on the regional list, said: “I don’t think Jackie Baillie can justify being a list candidate for Labour given what we are hearing about their manifesto. They are campaigning in opposite directions.”  (http://www.thenational.scot/politics/jackie-baillie-goes-rogue-on-labour-with-support-for-trident.16655)

 
2016 Scottish Elections – Jackie Baillie edges out SNP in closest race for Dumbarton seat

Labour: Jackie Baillie     13,522       40.2      -3.8%
SNP: Gail Robertson      13,413       39.9     +1.6%
Majority:                              109                      0.3%

Jackie Baillie said: “I’m so proud they’ve put their faith in me again and I will work my socks off for the next five years to repay that trust.”

Gail Robertson said: “I’m delighted at least that we managed to get it to the closest result we’ve ever seen in this constituency.”http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/local-news/jackie-baillie-edges-out-snp-7908968

Categories
Uncategorized

And they want your vote!! A comprehensive report cataloging the disgraceful abuse of the Glasgow electorate by the Scottish Labour Party  aided and abetted by the BBC and Scottish Press

BBC – Labour Party Bias – Not Us!!!

In denying the Scottish public their right to active promotion, through broadcasting of cultural diversity with other parts of the United Kingdom the UK government and its centrally controlled BBC is in breach of the UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions and the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights – Article 11 – Freedom of expression and information.

A well respected and truly impartial journalist was asked if the perception that BBC Scotland was anti-SNP was, in his view, justified said “Put it this way, it probably comes more naturally to them to attack the nationalists than to attack the union.”

A wee bit of history;

From 1946 to 1991 media affairs in Scotland were subject to the moderating influence of a BBC Scotland Controller who effectively reported to the, “Broadcasting Council for Scotland”, on which many distinguished Scot’s served over the years.

But following a reorganization control of BBC output in Scotland was transferred to the Board of Governors of the corporation in England then onto the BBC trust in London.

Macquarrie

What’s the problem?

The way in which BBC Scotland is run, the quality of care it shows for the many good people who work for it, the standard of what it does, the public service in Scotland ethos it supposedly represents are some of the more important questions facing the Scottish nation.

But it is doubtful they can be successfully addressed within the control systems that prevail at the present time.

The result is that the BBC is failing Scots when they need it most.

The primary blockages are firmly implanted the minds of those who retain control of the state media output:

1. That the BBC, is part of the glue that holds together the concept of a United Kingdom.

2. Weaken the corporation and the United Kingdom will fall apart. So weak is the quality of the paste.

3. The BBC dictates the daily agenda for the Queens subjects, how they talk to each other and what about.

4. It is of prime importance that Scots trust the BBC and feel they have a personal investment in it, otherwise it will be lost and the United Kingdom with it.

Boothman

Is the bias in BBC Scotland endemic or confined to a few employees?

The huge number of unresolved complaints and public demonstrations all voicing concern and anger about a blatant lack of impartiality by the news reporting/discussion teams in the course of the 2014 independence referendum and since gives support to the public perception that there is an on-going agenda within BBC Scotland ensuring support to Labour Party ideals, to the exclusion of other political parties in Scotland.

BBC Scotland needs to be taken away from London so that it can be truly independent and the over arching Scottish body, including members of the public, should be re-established.

MacQuarrie

Up Yours – BBC Scotland senior managers refuse to meet with MSP committee

Ken MacQuarrie, Head of BBC Scotland and his enforcer, Head of News and Current Affairs and Labour Party supporter bully boy Boothman refused to appear before the Scottish Education and Culture Committee at Holyrood stating that the BBC in Scotland was not accountable to the Scottish Government.

They were subsequently ordered to appear by the Chairman of the BBC Trust  and finally did so but stonewalled every question put to them.

Boothman (finally exposed as a bully) was later removed from his post as Head of News and Current Affairs after a protracted struggle with staff and trade unions and transferred his employment to the private sector.

Purcell

BBC Scotland News & Current Affairs Team

A Labour Party pedigree is a predominant requirement within the BBC Scotland senior management team and line managers and reporters in place are appointed through nepotism.

This needs to eradicated so that the BBC can be enabled to be truly impartial and accountable to the Scottish public.

The current “modus-operanti” cannot be allowed to remain in place.

There needs to be a cull of management and media correspondents that have abandoned the “Journalist’s Code” in favour of their politically minded colleagues. (https://www.nuj.org.uk/about/nuj-code/)

the Joker

Nepotism/Cronyism within BBC Scotland & protection of the Labour Party (1991-2017)

John Boothman headed News and Current Affairs and was the Editor of Elections and Political Output.

In 1979 he was the Chairperson of Strathclyde University Labour Club, Chairperson Scottish Organisation of Labour Students in 1980 and Chairperson of the National (UK) Organisation of Labour Students 1981.

According to former BBC broadcaster Derek Bateman, Boothman questioned the political output of radio broadcasts after receiving complaints from Paul Sinclair.

Sinclair, (SPAD to Johann Lamont) was said to enjoy a special relationship and regular contact with Boothman through both men’s links with the Labour party.

Writing on his blog,  Bateman claimed that Boothman was “famous for his unrivalled network of contacts in the Labour movement”.

Adding  “Sinclair had a name for trying to interfere in BBC news decisions to influence output.” and, according to the former BBC presenter, Sinclair and Boothman developed an unhealthy relationship with the Labour advisor calling the shots.

Bateman added: “But what I didn’t like about Sinclair – Boothman relationship was the informal and insidious way it developed, so instead of old pals, it became almost one of master and servant. Sinclair seemed to assume the right to call the BBC head of news to account”.

Bateman also claimed that Boothman had, on more than one occasion, questioned him about the political content of his radio programme after receiving complaints from Sinclair.

John Boothman is married to Susan Deacon: Former Chairman of Scottish Labour Students.

She served on the Scottish Labour Party’s, National Executive. MSP and was a Scottish Labour Party government minister.

Boothman, Margaret Curran and Johann Lamont when students were actively and closely involved in Labour Party politics at Glasgow and Strathclyde Universities.

Curran is a Labour Party Executive member and MP.

At university she was Secretary of Glasgow University Labour Club, Secretary of the Scottish Organisation of Labour Students, Chair of that organisation, and Vice-Chair of the Labour Club (the biggest of its kind in the UK) at the time.

Lamont is an MSP and former leader of the Labour Party in Scotland.

At university she was an active member Glasgow University Labour Club.

Sarah Boyack; Labour Party List MSP also attended Glasgow University and active in politics as a student, she was mentored by Margaret Curran (Chair of the National Organisation of Labour Students in 1985-86)

Catriona Renton: Reporter for the BBC Politics Show and BBC Presenter.

Renton is a former Glasgow Labour Councillor, who represented Kelvindale before losing her seat to the Lib/Dems in 2003.

She was “Glasgow’s Youth Tsar” and is a product of Balliol College, Oxford.

She was a Labour Party candidate in the 2003 Holyrood election and the 2004 European election.

She was recruited by BBC Scotland’s parliamentary unit in 2006, when Boothman, husband of Labour MSP and ex-Health Minister Susan Deacon, was a senior producer.

Her Facebook account lists as friends: Jackie Baille Labour MSP, Yousuf Hamid Labour Activist, Tom Harris Labour MP, Mike Dailly Labour Activist, David Martin Labour MEP, Frank McAvetty Labour MSP, John Robertson Labour MP John Park Labour MSP, Steven Purcell Labour Glasgow Leader, Dave Watson Vice-chair of the Scottish Labour Party.

At the centre of yet another bias storm in 2009 when attending the SNP conference in Inverness, she claimed on BBC Scotland’s Politics show that Alex Neil had confirmed the SNP’s desire to see David Cameron become the Prime Minister at the next general election. Views he had not expressed.

The BBC were forced to issue a personal apology to Alex Neil.

he Joker and Flashman

Tom Connor; BBC Head of Online News and Sport.

A friend and colleague of Boothman he was responsible for introducing and enforcing the continuation of censorship and blockage of comments to BBC Scotland political blogs.

No viewers comments or contrary views with the likes of Brian Taylor or Douglas Fraser accounts any-more.. Yet, in England, Wales and Northern Ireland BBC blogs actively encourage viewer feedback.

Conner and Boothman were censured a number of years ago for providing Labour candidates with media training using BBC Scotland facilities.

Coke King Purcell

The compliant Scottish Media & Glasgow – the labour Party Fiefdom

The Labour Party in Scotland’s abuse of Glasgow citizens was finally revealed to the public in March 2010 by newspapers published in England, the East of Scotland and Rebecca Gordon Nesbitt (http://www.variant.org.uk/37_38texts/1ed_2manifest.html) who headlined the very public downfall of Gordon Brown’s protege Steven Purcell.

The dearth of mainstream media reporting had led to online speculation of Purcell’s very cosy relationship with sectors of the Scottish media and its failure to fulfill its elusive role of holding power to account – namely, the press’s part in a regular Friday drinking date, dubbed ‘The Ritz Club’, which, Mandy Rhodes, the editor of Holyrood Magazine toyed,

“Did a misguided loyalty to a regular Friday afternoon drinking date, dubbed ‘The Ritz Club’, which included the editors of rival red tops, the Herald’s editor-in-chief and Purcell himself…influence reporting of the unravelling scandal?”

So there is no news in the truth / no truth in the news.

But still the complex network of Councillors, businessmen and public sector chiefs, all with connections to the Labour Party, in Glasgow’s iconic ‘redevelopment’ misadventure went for the time largely untroubled.

A prickled Sunday Herald driven to comment, responded to the suggestion of acquiescence towards the Labour Party;

“The absurd suggestions of a network of powerful figures working behind the scenes to influence the workings of the city and that this so-called network including leading figures from the media is now threatening to undermine public confidence in the integrity of the Scottish press”

and:

“The hints that some Scottish newspapers pull their punches on the controversy because editors have been too close to Purcell or, worse, they have been cowed into submission by Peter Watson and PR firm Media House.”

Jack and Bridget- the knowing look??

And what about Bridget McConnell?

In 2006, she spearheaded the controversial devolution of Glasgow City Council’s Cultural and Leisure Services to form the company/charity known as Culture and Sport Glasgow with a separate trading arm, Culture and Sport Glasgow (Trading) CIC. Since March 2007, she then held the post of Chief Executive of both companies.

In 2008, Culture & Sport Glasgow were awarded a long term contract to catalogue and manage the text archive and research department for Newsquest (Herald, Sunday Herald, Evening Times).

Another link established.

Those interested in the rudiments of democracy might wish to ask how a notionally privatised arm of Glasgow City Council could be allowed to become so tightly interconnected with Glasgow’s dominant media group.

More remarkable with the NUJ’s Vice-President-come-President also being the head of PR for spin-off Culture & Sport Glasgow at the time?

Additional reading:

I previously researched and published a comprehensive report cataloging the disgraceful abuse of the Glasgow electorate by the Scottish Labour Party  aided and abetted by the BBC and Scottish Press in the first decade of the new millenium.

Careful reading will reveal conspiracy, at all levels of those involved in the financial asset stripping of the poorest people in Western Europe

Categories
Uncategorized

In the Labour Party in Scotland Women count for nowt – Remember this ladies when you vote next week

Image result for richard leonard

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.

Image result for richard leonard cartoons

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.

Related image

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.

Image result for ian murray labour  cartoons

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.

Image result for scottish labour party cartoons
Categories
Uncategorized

In Glasgow votes for Labour carry the risk of control of communities being passed to the Orange Order and a return to the bad old ways in-Govan-Ibrox -Fairfield-Kingston-Maryhill-Rutherglen-Cowcaddens-Possil-Cowlairs-Baillieston-Bridgeton-Drumchapel

Political Fun and Games

The Unionist press and media made claims that a resurgence in the fortunes of the Tory Party in the last Council elections was part-attributed to a transfer of the protestant Orange Order away from the Labour Party to the Tory Party which had courted the Order by changing its title back to the “Conservative and Unionist Party.”

The Torys benefited again in the next General Election when the Labour Party voter base in Scotland collapsed due to in-fighting over the political direction the Party would commit to.

The polarisation of Scottish politics appeared to be established. The Conservative and Unionist Party claimed the right to defend the Union and the influence and role of Labour and the Liberal Democratic Party had been reduced to that of political spoilers.

But the Tory Party is well capable of “shooting itself in the foot” and Boris Johnson’s government duly did so with its mishandling of Northern Ireland post-Brexit where the Republican voter base now marginally exceeds the Unionists increasing the likelihood of an early referendum and the reunification of Ireland.

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

_61339894_ulstercovenant

The Orange Order in Scotland

The Orange Order first surfaced in the north of Ireland in 1795. Its constitution commits members to the defence of Protestantism and the British Crown. It provides a focus for Protestant ethnic groups in Scotland and Northern Ireland.

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

The Order is not exclusively an Irish import to Scotland since the politics of native Scots in the West of Scotland is historically sectarian in nature.

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

The loss of many thousands of young Scots soldiers and the depression after WW1 changed the mindset of Irish immigrants and their descendants who became more reliant on the Order to ensure their place in Scottish society. This brought with it a significant increase in membership and a much enhanced Order presence in the politics of Scotland in the 1920-1939 period.

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

The industrial downturn and slum clearance programmes in Scotland brought about the establishment of overspill areas, such as Easterhouse and Castlemilk. Expansion of town and village living; Coatbridge, Airdrie, Motherwell, Hamilton and the new town of Cumbernauld.

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

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

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

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

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

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

346p5zo

Male members of the Order

The highest ever male concentration of the Order in Scotland was recorded at 10% in Govan and Rutherglen, but overall Scottish male membership density rarely exceeded two per cent. In 2017 the figure is reduced to less than 1%. For comparison male membership of the Order in Belfast routinely peaks at around 20%

George-Square

Membership Patterns

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

flagprotest

Causes of Membership Change

Order membership improved following the introduction of licensed social clubs coupled with an ever-increasing appeal of soccer and paramilitary activity in Northern Ireland. Spikes and fluctuations in membership are also attributed to a number of factors:

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

Threats to the Union: e.g. a visit to Scotland by the Pope

image

 
The Northern Ireland Troubles of 1969-90

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

“Scottish” Lodges and their bands travelled to Northern Ireland in increasing numbers during the “Marching” season. Over time the distinct “Scottishness” of marching lodge members was replaced with “Ulsterness”. Scottish saltires were replaced with the Red hand of Ulster and the Union Jack. Surveys identified that Order members claimed their identity to be “British” and it was the protection of the “Union” that drove them to go to Ulster each year.

The Grand Lodge of Scotland which supported financial contributions to Ulster was also heavily involved politically, throughout the period with the many different factions in Ulster and UK governments. The Order benefited from the troubles achieving the highest ever level of membership in many years.

orange-order-edinburgh-parade

The Sea Change

The 1982 visit of the Pope proved to be the turning point for the Order and its steady decline in membership and influence. Hard-line “Ulsterised” rank and file members demanded militant action preventing the visit but were not supported by senior Order officers or the Grand Lodge.

A number of small groups ignored instructions and went ahead with protests causing an amount of disruption. The failure of the Grand Lodge to establish control encouraged lodges to ignore instructions forbidding them from introducing Sunday opening, the sale of alcohol and singing and dancing. An added impact was the increasing militancy and unruly behaviour of marching bands and their supporters. Bands had evolved from the Scottish pipe bands of the 1960s, first to the accordion, then to “blood and guts” flute bands whose average membership age was under 30y. Despite suspensions, the bands continue to perform at many “Orange Walks” in Scotland and Northern Ireland.

orange-order-bands-march-in-edinburgh-g66xr3

Influence

The Order in Scotland can be credited with the establishment of a working-class Unionist Tory base through the lodge system and its influence over political events in Glasgow up to the start of WW2 was substantial resulting in a number of Tory Orange Order MPs being elected to Westminster. The Order had little purchase however in the rest of Scotland since there were no other significant Orange Order clusters.

The Scottish Unionists’ successful political recruitment and retention strategies up to the early 1960s were centred on cultivating the votes of the Order membership without compromising its aims and ideals. But the Tory party alienated many members of the Order when it turned away from Unionism retaining only “Conservative” in its title. Many Order members drifted away to the Labour party.

Thatcher’s agreement to support the 1985 Anglo-Irish Agreement proved to be the catalyst that severed links between the Order and the Tory Party in Scotland. Disillusioned Order members, supported by the Grand Lodge formed a political block to the Tory Party using their votes tactically making claim to a reduction in the number of Tory MP’s in Scotland.

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

f8bc126e4b4e1585cfe70c

Freemasonry in Scotland

The Scottish Protestant tradition of Masonry stretches back to the middle ages and the organisation of Freemasons in Scotland is broadly similar to that of the Orange Order. Indeed there is a school of thought that supports the view that the Order first adopted the rules of Scottish Freemasonry and amended them to suit their own needs. It is of no surprise that the Orange Order has done so well among Scottish Protestants.

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

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

It is also important to draw attention to class differences between the two groups of Protestants in Scotland. In Glasgow, Masonic Lodge halls are primarily located in the more affluent West of the City and in the satellite villages and small towns on the city’s outskirts. Major concentrations of Masonic lodges are also to be found in the Borders, Highlands and the Northeast. Other lodges are located, in Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh and Perth. Conversely, Orange Order Lodge Halls are located in working-class areas of Glasgow and similar locations in other towns in the West of Scotland.

Summary

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

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