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
2 thoughts on “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”
An interesting piece CJ and most certainly so in the current climate since the Trident Submarine base at Faslane, warhead store at Coulport and other subterranean facilities at Glen Douglas are an absolute first strike target in the event of a ICBM nuclear conflagration.
Put starkly a Jackie Baillie’s Constituency will simply cease to exist, will be wiped utterly off the face of the earth.
Not a particularly appealing prospect in one of Scotland’s poorest but diverse constituencies.
Taking a stroll down Dumbarton town centre or Alexandria town centre the sight is one of absolute decline. They look like towns from the third world. It would be a grim jibe but you really could imagine someone asking if the Russian advance had got to Dumbarton and Alexandria.
Poverty poverty poverty is the hall mark and of course this is reflected in the surrounding peripheral schemes where, unemployment drug deaths, poor health, and some of the worst mortality rates and lowest levels of education exist in the whole of the UK exist.
On the other side of the Constituency in Helensburgh there is the wealth of a solid middle class. Save for a couple of small ex naval houses now council houses the area is the exact opposite of Dumbarton. There the Tories vote Labour to keep the SNP out.
And so against this background how did the SNP in 2016/ fail to take the Dumbarton seat against a tidal wave of support to the SNP. Yes Jackie Baillie in might have held on because of a poor SNP candidate, but five years later in 2021, the SNP with an inner circle Nikola Sturgeon supported candidate Toni Guilianno failed to take the seat with Jackie Baillie actually increasing her majority to around a thousand votes.
So clearly in Dumbarton, one of Scotlands most deprived communities, the SNP don’t cut it. And why is that. Something says that the electorate most certainly in Dumbarton prefer Labour. And sadly this sentiment against the SNP is becoming more and more extant.
Our ship has sailed without having plotted its course to our destination and is I think is in the process being systematically sunk by Commander Sturgeon and her crew. We need a new commander, a new crew, and we need it now. High water has been reached and now our tide goes down
I was disappointed when the SNP failed to take the seat by 169 votes in 2016/17 but Baillie played her cards well when she fully supported retaining Trident ensuring any votes in or around Faslane would be cast for her. She didn’t give a toss for party policy giving her all to the GMB and their workers. She must rank as one of the most despicable politicians to park her behind on a seat at Holyrood.