The John Smith Centre promotes distrust in Scottish politics and the delivery of public services

The John Smith Centre

The John Smith Centre Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation (SCIO) is located in Glasgow University .

Operating under the University of Glasgow’s charitable status it is exempt from formally accounting to the public for the source of any finance raised or any expenditure although details are held secure by the University of Glasgow.

The centre’s management board oversees the conduct, leadership and management of the Centre and includes members of the Smith family, University of Glasgow alumni, public service practitioners and academic staff.

Its sales pitch states its purpose is to set the priorities, benchmarks best practice; and to review performance to enable the Centre to achieve its aim to promote trust in politics and public service and to empower and attract more people to contribute to public life.

But in reality the Centre provides training opportunities for young politically inspired unionist leaning students designed to undermine the integrity and authority and what is left of the impartiality policies of the UK civil service through the expansion and influence of political special advisors (Spads) whose unfettered growth lumbers the already austerity punished taxpayer with an additional massive and ever expanding expense of £billions supporting many hundreds of privileged party animals who are guaranteed public purse employment, from the time they leave university until retirement age.

The board:

Catherine Smith KC, Chair

Catherine Smith studied History and Law at the University of Glasgow.

She is an ad hoc Advocate Depute for the Advocate General.

Prior to becoming an advocate she worked at home and internationally on conflict resolution and democracy building for the London based NGO LINKS, particularly in the countries of the former Soviet Union.

She is also on the board of the John Smith Trust and is the youngest daughter. o the late labour Party leader John Smith.

Hon Ed Balls

Balls was a Spad for Gordon Brown before being elected as an MP following which he gained rapid promotion within the government.

He was appointed first to the post of UK Minister for Financial Services (2006-2007) then Chief Economic Adviser to the UK Treasury (1997-2004) thereafter retaining a number of senior positions within the Party.

He was a major figure in the right wing Fabian Society rising to the post of Chairman in 2007 and attended the 2006, 2014, and 2015 Bilderberg meetings.

He was an active member of the Labour Party Friends of Israel organisation in Parliament.

Dr Matt Carter

Former Labour Party General Secretary (2004-2005) was responsible for overseeing political campaigns and organisation in the period running up to and including the 2005 General Election, which saw Tony Blair win a successful third term in office.

He was at the heart of the “cash for peerages” scandal which was investigated by Scotland Yard. See: (

He left politics to enjoy a successful career focusing on corporate communications, reputation management, politics and polling.

Professor Sara Carter

Vice-Principal and Head of the college of Social Sciences at the University of Glasgow as Professor of Entrepreneurship.

Rt Hon Ruth Davidson

Former leader of the Scottish Conservatives she was placed in post by the Party Chairman, Andrew Fulton, from the Tory Central Office.

Fulton was exposed as an MI6 agent inappropriately monitoring the work of the Lockerbie Commission whilst supposedly employed by Glasgow University. He was sent packing soon after.

Resham Kotechaand

She is a strategy and policy specialist who stood, without success as a candidate for the Tory Party in the 2015 and 2017 GE.

She is a Trustee of the Fawcett Society, one of the UK’s leading charities which campaigns for gender equality and women’s rights.

The organisation is trans inclusion supporting and pronounced that GRA reform and Self-ID was not an issue for women to be concerned about.

But charities and the foundations that fund them play a key role as “civil society” building platforms so that people can advocate for their interests and rights, discuss and test ideas, feed them into policy makers, mobilise support for them, and hold governments to account.

They are not exactly democratic, but they are a part of democracy. They act as gatekeepers and filters to what is respectable thought.

Worth a read is the Fawcett Society Q&A on sex, gender and gender identity at: (

David Muir

Prime Minister Gordon Brown headhunted the marketing guru and in 2008 employed him as an expensive Spad as his Director of Strategy.

He advised on a range of issues most noticeably the response to the global financial crisis and worked closely with Peter Mandelson and Philip Gould on the Labour Party’s 2010 failed general election campaign.

He left Downing Street when Gordon Brown resigned in May 2010.

He delivers public service practitioner speakers to the University of Glasgow through his David Muir Speaker Series.

Baroness Smith Of Gilmorehill

Elizabeth Smith is very influential politically a result of her very long career near the top of the British secret services.

She was created a peer in 1995 following the death of her husband, Rt Hon John Smith M.P. who was the Leader of the Labour Party at the time of his early death at the age of 55.

She is a member of the board of several organisations with interests in Russia and FSU countries.

Her other positions include being an Advisory Council Member of the Russo-British Chamber of Commerce; Vice Chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Russia; Governor of the English Speaking Union; Board Member of the Centre for European Reform.

Andrew Wilson

Founding Partner of Charlotte Street Partners, the strategic communications firm based in London and Edinburgh.

He began his career in the civil service in the Government Economic Service and went on to work as a researcher and economist for the SNP and as a business economist at Royal Bank of Scotland.

He was elected as a member of the first Scottish Parliament in 1999.

There, he served as Shadow Minister for, variously: Finance, Economy, Transport and Lifelong Learning.

In 2003, he re-joined RBS working in a number of roles including as Deputy Chief Economist.

During the banking crisis, he served as Head of Group Communications and was intimately involved in the bank’s high-profile engagement with the City, UK Government and media.

In 2012, prior to the launch of Charlotte Street Partners, he joined global marcomms group WPP Group in a client strategy role working with agencies and group across the full range of services including media and advertising.

In March 2020 he was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh.

In September 2016 he was appointed by Nicola Sturgeon to chair the Sustainable Growth Commission.

He was also a member of the Independent Commission on Referendums based at UCL’s Constitution Unit, which reported in July 2018.

See: (

John Smith Centre Staff

Kezia Dugdale

Centre Director – Formerly a Spad for then MSP Lord George Foukes she went on to become a controversial short term leader of the Labour Party in Scotland before leaving politics.

She leads and oversees the Centre, and is responsible for all aspects of strategic development. She plans and drives the work of the Centre, encompassing all its activities and programmes.

See: (

Alison Hopper

Centre Development Manager – project manages all the Centre’s activities and oversees the day-to-day running of the Centre and its staff.

Carole Stimpson

Research & External Engagement Officer – oversees the research capacity of the centre and is also responsible for expanding the public profile of work programmes.

Julie Cooper

Centre Administrator – focuses on supporting the delivery of development programmes and events and research activities. Previously held positions within the School of Education and Policy Scotland at Glasgow University.


One reply on “The John Smith Centre promotes distrust in Scottish politics and the delivery of public services”

Just another organisation inextricably part of the security services and funded to undermine the drive for independence.

Now I know personal relationships are just that but Kezoa Dugdale with her links to funded trips to America along with certain others BUT who is her partner bidey in.

And you wonder why the SNP has done nothing, absolutely nothing, to pursue independence.

Hollowed out, that’s ehy

Liked by 1 person

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