The Blair’s misunderstood or bonkers?

 

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Is Cherie Blair misunderstood or bonkers?

She stoutly defended her sanity but given her husband’s track record with the truth, can we believe her? An examination of some of the bizarre fads to which Cherie resorted while she was the chatelaine of Downing Street: crystal therapy, clairvoyants and inflatable anticellulite trousers, to name just a few. It is left to the reader to decide whether she’s “bonkers” or not.

 

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• MAYAN REBIRTHING

In Mel Gibson’s blood-soaked film Apocalypto, the ancient Mayans are obsessed by human sacrifice.

The Blairs, however, preferred a gentler, A-mock-alypto Mayan vibe. Holidaying on the Mexican Riviera in August 2001, they underwent a “rebirthing ritual” in a temazcal – a Mayan steam bath which represents the womb. Herb-infused water was thrown over heated lava rocks to create a cleansing sweat and balance the Blairs’ “energy flow”, while their therapist, Nancy Aguilar, told the credulous couple to imagine animal-shapes in the steam and explained what such visions meant.

The Prime Minister of Great Britain and his wife, a Crown Court judge, wished for peace on earth, then screamed to signify the pain of rebirth before venturing outside again.

They were offered watermelon and papaya, then told to smear any uneaten fruit over each other’s bodies, along with mud from the jungle outside. They then walked hand in hand down the beach to swim in the sea.

Did it work? The 9/11 catastrophe came a month later, followed by six years of global conflict. So not much peace, but plenty of Apocalypto.

 

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• AURICULOTHERAPY

Do you think a human ear looks like a baby in the womb? No? Well, squint and turn the ear upside down in your mind – any better?

Cherie was certainly convinced, because she pitched up at the 2001 Labour Party Conference in Brighton sporting a small pin, covered by a gauze plaster, in the top part of her right ear.

She’d just undergone auriculotherapy, a form of acupuncture based on the not-remotely-barking notion that points on the ear represent the different body parts of that imaginary ear-baby.

Cherie’s needle was in the so-called Shen-men point (as opposed to the Bin-Men or Flowerpot-Men points, perhaps).

This is the master point of ear acupuncture and translates from the Chinese as the “gate to godliness” – not to mention “the gate to gullible women’s purses”.

Cherie’s stud was intended to combat stress and boost energy levels, and could be pressed if she felt particularly anxious or panicky. Or perhaps it would bring Downing Street security swooping to her side?

So did it work? Well, the next year saw the Cheriegate scandal of the Blairs’ Bristol flats, bought for them by conman Peter Foster, which ended with Cherie’s tearful TV confessional. Press that stud, Cherie, press! http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-465798/Is-Cherie-Blair-misunderstood-bonkers.html

 

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The Scottish electorate would be well advised to remember that the Labour leadership in place in 2015 is cloned from their former mentors, indeed John (Sex Bomb) Prescott has come back for another bite at the cherry (pun).

 

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Labour Party Property Rental Scam – Labour MP’s Recover Costs of Rental From The Taxpayer – Monies Received Are Transferred To the Labour Party. Millions To Labour Annually And They Pay No tax

 

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Labour Party rents property To Labour MP’s who recover the cost of said rental from the taxpayer

Expenses scandals just will not go away – Labour Party rents property To Labour MP’s who recover the cost of said rental from the taxpayer – monies received go back to labour, nice one, and we are talking millions annually. The SNP highlighted, in 2001 the hypocrisy of the practice. But Westminster continued with and expanded the activities. Adding insult to the abuse of the taxpayer LLP, the Labour Party company responsible failed to pay any form of tax in the last 8 years.

 

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14 February 1977; Hansard- Westminster Labour Party Properties Ltd.

Mr. Ridley – asked the Secretary of State for Trade if he will initiate an inquiry under Section 32 of the Companies Act 1967 into the affairs of Labour Party Properties Ltd.

Mr. Clinton Davis – This is a company limited by guarantee and, in the absence of issued share capital, the directors cannot be in breach of the disclosure provisions of Section 32 of the 1967 Act. There are, therefore, no grounds for such an inquiry.

Mr. Ridley – Is the hon. Gentleman aware that in addition to this problem the company seems to have been appallingly badly managed, leading to possible negligence by the directors? Now that it is insolvent and probably trading illegally, does he not think that he should put aside any party bias and appoint inspectors to see what has gone wrong in this disastrous example of a property flop? Full report here: http://hansard.millbanksystems.com/commons/1977/feb/14/labour-party-properties-ltd#column_13

 

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9 December 2001; MPs’ rent funds Labour’s £6.5m property company

Expenses claimed by Labour MPs to pay rent on their offices have helped a subsidiary of the party build a property portfolio worth nearly £6.5 million. Labour Party Properties Ltd is wholly owned by the party and is registered at its Millbank headquarters in London. It owns in excess of 20 UK offices that are let to MPs.

Much of the money to buy property comes from Rent paid by the House of Commons fees office or the allowances office of the Scottish Parliament. Labour says no money is transferred from the company to the Labour Party, though there is nothing to prevent it using the funds as collateral, a Millbank spokesman said this was not happening. ‘The assets are not used for securing our overdraft or any other finance,’ he said. LPP manager said the company sold properties, ‘from time to time’, but added that any profit stayed within the company. The company, which had a rental income of £320,000 in 2000, made a loss of £70,000 last year compared with a profit of £42,000 in 1999. This could be down to purchases made.

Mid Lothian Labour MSP Rhona Brankin rents her council-owned constituency office in Dalkeith through LPP, but claims it saves the taxpayer money because it means the rent is cheaper. The company, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Labour Party, owns the constituency offices of Aberdeen South MP Anne Begg, and Kilmarnock and Loudoun MP Des Browne. It is selling a property in West Bromwich, valued at the end of last year at £84,000 – up £20,000 since December 1999.

 

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An SNP Spokesman said, ‘This is quite unacceptable. The reality is that purchase of property for profit by the Labour Party is being done using public funds. It has happened in individual constituencies from time to time, but this is a national scheme which has been going on for years and nobody knew anything.’ http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2001/dec/09/scotland.devolution

 

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22 August 2013; Labour’s property firm paid no tax for eight years

LLP, a property company run by the Labour Party has paid no tax in eight years, despite earning millions of pounds in rental revenues.The company last paid tax in 2003, when its bill was £22,000. It recorded profits in 2006 and 2009, but did not pay any tax in those years thanks to carried-forward losses.

Experts said the administration costs appeared to be unusually high and said that a property portfolio of that size, if operated on commercial terms, could normally be expected to make a return of around 3-4 per cent a year. Last year’s administrative expenses of £305,000 included a £36,000 administration charge to the Labour Party, £37,000 in staffing costs, £2,000 of auditor’s costs and £100,000 in other ‘legal and professional’ charges. The company also paid £70,000 in interest on a £3.5m loan from the Labour Party.

 

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“Someone is making some fat money out of them. These are high, high costs,” said one commercial mortgage broker who reviewed the accounts. A tax accountant added: “The administrative expenses look very high for the rental income. That is the reason they have not been paying any tax, because the rental income does not cover the costs.”. A Labour Party spokesman declined to say why it did not cut its administrative costs. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/labour/10260728/Labours-property-firm-paid-no-tax-for-eight-years.html

 

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23 August 2013; HMRC asked to investigate expenses that gave Labour firm eight taxless years

Charlie Elphicke, a former tax lawyer, has written to HMRC to ask whether it will open an investigation into Labour Party Properties Ltd (LPPL), a property investment firm wholly owned by the party which operates a £6.3m rental portfolio. Yesterday the Daily Telegraph revealed the firm, whose directors include Iain McNicol, Labour’s General Secretary, received £8.7m in rents between 2004 and 2011 but paid no corporation tax after reporting a string of losses.

In the two years where the company made a profit, carried-over losses meant it paid no tax. It last paid tax in 2003. The Labour Party insisted the firm had done nothing to intentionally cut its tax bill. Ed Miliband has frequently attacked corporate giants including Starbucks and Google who are accused of failing to pay their full share of tax through artificial structures.

Mr Elphicke, the MP for Dover and Deal, has asked Lin Homer, the chief executive of HRMC, to investigate a series of “administration expenses” that wiped out the company’s profit. Last year the company earned £1.19m in rental income. Property expenses came to £1.14m leaving a gross profit of £49,000. But administrative expenses of £305,000 meant the company recorded a loss of £256,000. As a result, it paid no tax. Those charges included a £36,000 ‘administration charge’ to the Labour Party, £70,000 interest on a £3.5m loan from the Labour Party, £100,000 in legal and professional charges, £2,000 auditing fees and £37,000 in staffing costs.

 

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Experts said those costs appeared “very high” for a company of this size, which under normal circumstances should create a profit of 3 to 4 per cent a year. In a letter sent this afternoon Mr Elphicke said: “The level of tax avoidance by multinational enterprises and big businesses is a deep concern to me. Having reviewed the Labour Party Properties Ltd accounts a number of issues have arisen which I believe HMRC should investigate.” “The administrative costs were why no tax had to be paid. In view of this, has HMRC verified that the costs are appropriate and justifiable?”

He added: “While I understand that the normal procedure is for companies to file their accounts on trust, after auditing. However I believe HMRC have the power to make enquiries and investigate where expenses are claimed that throw up anomalies. Can you therefore let me know whether HMRC has undertaken an investigation and, if not, whether it now will to ensure that this company has paid its fair share of taxes.” http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/labour/10263347/HMRC-asked-to-investigate-expenses-that-gave-Labour-firm-eight-taxless-years.html

 

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14 November 2013; Re-Renting Name and Shame: 62 Labour Re-Renters

Rushanara Ali: Tower Hamlets Labour Party
Adrian Bailey: Labour Party Properties Ltd
Hugh Bayley: City of York Constituency Labour Party
Tom Blenkinsop: Guisborough Labour Party
Ben Bradshaw: Exeter Labour Party
Lyn Brown: West Ham Constituency Labour Party
Russell Brown: Labour Party Properties Ltd
Chris Bryant: Rhondda Labour Party
Karen Buck: Westminster North Constituency Labour Party
Ronnie Campbell: Blyth Valley Constituency Labour Party
Martin Caton: Gower Constituency Labour Party
Michael Connarty: Linithgow and East Falkirk Labour Party
Rosie Cooper: West Lancashire Constituency Labour Party
Mary Creagh: Labour Party Properties Ltd
Stella Creasy: Walthamstow Constituency Labour Party
Nic Dakin: Labour Party Properties Ltd
Geraint Davies: Swansea West Labour Party
John Denham: Labour Party Properties Ltd
Brian Donohoe: Ayrshire Central Labour Party
Jim Dowd: Lewisham West & Penge Labour Party
Clive Efford: Eltham Labour Party
Paul Farrelly: Newcastle-under-Lyme Labour Party
Mike Gapes: Labour Hall Ilford Ltd
Helen Goodman: Bishop Auckland Labour Party
Peter Hain: Neath Constituency Labour Party
Fabian Hamilton: Leeds North East Labour Party
Kelvin Hopkins: Luton Labour Parties
Cathy Jamieson: Labour Party Properties Ltd
Graham Jones: Hyndburn Constituency Labour Party
Tessa Jowell: Dulwich and West Norwood Labour Party
Alan Keen: Feltham and Heston Labour Party
Liz Kendall: Leicester West Labour Party
Sadiq Khan: Tooting Labour Party
Ian Lavery: Wansbeck Constituency Labour Party
Andrew Love: Edmonton Labour Party Trust
Fiona Mactaggart: Slough Labour Memorial Hall Ltd
Seema Malhotra: Feltham and Heston Labour Party
Kerry McCarthy: Labour Party Properties Ltd
Siobhain McDonagh: Merton and Morden Labour Halls Ltd
John McDonnell: Hayes Labour Hall
Ann McGuire: Labour Party Properties Ltd
Fiona O’Donnell: East Lothian Labour Party
Albert Owen: Ynys Mon Constituency Labour Party
Teresa Pearce: Erith & Thamesmead Labour Party
Toby Perkins: Chesterfield Labour Club
Dawn Primarolo: Bristol South Labour Party
Yasmin Qureshi: Bolton District Labour Party
Nick Raynsford: Greenwich and Woolwich Labour Party
Chris Ruane: Labour Party Properties Ltd
Gavin Shuker: Luton Labour Properties Ltd
Andy Slaughter: Hammersmith Labour Party
Nick Smith: Blaenau Gwent Labour Party
John Spellar: Brandhall Labour Club Ltd
Gareth Thomas: Harrow West Labour Party
Emily Thornberry: Islington South Labour Party
Karl Turner: East Hull Labour Party
Tom Watson: Labour Party Properties Ltd
Alan Whitehead: Labour Party Properties Ltd
Rosie Winterton: Doncaster Labour Club
Mike Wood: Spenborough Labour Parties
John Woodcock: Barrow and Furness Labour Party
Iain Wright: Hartlepool Labour Party

12 funnel taxpayer cash to the imaginatively-named “Labour Party Properties Ltd” http://order-order.com/2013/11/14/re-renting-name-and-shame-62-labour-re-renters/

 

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Jim The Unionist Murphy – Politics and Religion – Conflicting Views – Election Strategy 2010 and 2015 – A Summary of Posts to Date

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January 2015; Jim Murphy plays the class warrior card

a. If Murphy were a bibulous carnivore, I’m sure he’d happily stand Boris Johnson a beer and a burger for the huge boost the Mayor of London has given his hopes of reigniting Labour’s flame in Scotland. By attacking so vehemently Murphy’s plans to use the taxes on home owners in Chelsea and Kensington to fund an extra 1000 nurses in Scotland, Boris has earned the new Scottish Labour leader’s eternal gratitude. Mind you, I suppose a glass of beetroot juice and a nut cutlet would be a more appropriate reward from Mr Murphy – a teetotal vegan – but the response from Boris, in describing the plan as “vindictive”, has been like manna from heaven for Scottish Labour.

b. It may well have been a wholly cynical and desperately short-term and short-sighted ploy, but these are desperate times, and the one thing that Murphy needs to prove to a one-time Labour congregation in West Central Scotland is that he’s no Blairite Right-winger; rather, that he’s an in-your-face class warrior ready to hammer the toffs. And if someone like Boris Johnson, who’s seen by many as the epitome of an Eton-educated posh boy, takes Jim to task in such terms, then that can only be to Labour’s advantage on the doorsteps of places like Glasgow, Dundee, West Dunbartonshire and North Lanarkshire, which all ignored their former party’s advice and voted Yes in September’s referendum.

c. Murphy’s unashamed, and frankly provocative, plan to equate what is essentially a tax on the English to boost Scotland will increase the pressure to scrap Barnett. The truth, of course, is that there is absolutely no need to use English taxes to pay for the extra Scottish nurses – that was little more than a cheap trick which, thanks to Mr Johnson’s ill-judged intervention, achieved the desired result.

d. Murphy was determined to make an impact with his first major speech as Scottish leader. It wasn’t much of an effort but with a little help from an unlikely friend, he’s succeeded in proving he’s a genuine class warrior who’s not scared of taking on the English, so no doubt he and his cheerleaders will be well satisfied. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/columnists/alancochrane/11329251/Provoking-Boris-Johnson-could-yet-prove-a-masterstroke-for-Jim-Murphy-as-he-plays-at-class-warrior.html

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January 2015; Jim Murphy woos voters by insisting ‘I’m no Unionist’

a. Murphy’s campaign to persuade independence supporters to back Labour in the general election has attracted derision after he insisted he had “never been a Unionist”. The Scottish Labour leader said his family’s Irish Catholic background meant that belief in the 308-year-old Union between England and Scotland was not part of his “political tradition”. He said the Better Together referendum campaign had seen a “temporary” alliance between the dogmatic Unionism of the Tories and Labour’s principle of “socialist solidarity” between the people of Britain. The tour hit the headlines after Yes campaigners pelted him with eggs and vitriolic abuse, but since becoming Scottish Labour leader he has attempted to woo those who backed separation on September 18.

b. With opinion polls suggesting the SNP is on course to make major gains in May’s general election at Labour’s expense, he has explicitly appealed to 190,000 people who backed his party at the 2010 general election but voted Yes in the referendum.

c. Murphy emphasised that he was not a nationalist, saying there was no such thing as scottish identity or culture, and questioned whether “the party of Keir Hardie” has to prove how Scottish it is to beat the SNP.

d. Sandra White, an SNP MSP, said the Scottish Labour leader was trying to “rewrite history” to “distance himself from the Tories”. She added: “Does Jim Murphy really expect people to believe that despite having spent the entire referendum campaign arguing for a No vote, he does not believe in the union? It is utter nonsense and a sign of desperation that he would even attempt to claim otherwise.”

e. A Scottish Tory spokesman said: “It’s a great pity that, for short-term political reasons, Murphy now feels the need to distance himself from that great cross-party effort last year. But with Scottish Labour now trying to ape the Nationalists in Scotland, it is perhaps not that unexpected.” http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/labour/11343778/Jim-Murphy-woos-Yes-voters-by-insisting-Im-no-Unionist.html

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January 2015; Murphy: the Scottish Nationalists are ‘sluggish, lethargic and off the pace’

a. Murphy, the new Scottish Labour leader, has described the Scottish Nationalists as “sluggish, lethargic and off the pace,” saying he has been “amazed” at how easy it has been to take them on. Since being elected last month, the former Scotland secretary said he had found the Nationalists far less formidable than he had been warned, despite recent polls which suggest the SNP could be on course to take dozens of seats from Labour at the general election.

b. Murphy said that despite the dire predictions of the opinion pollsters, Scottish Labour was “avowedly more confident” under his leadership, and has a target of not losing a single seat to the SNP. “I’m confident we’ll get there by the general election,” he said. “What you have to do is stand for something, and you say to those people who voted Yes that that was last year’s disagreement, and whether you keep [David] Cameron in power in May is this year’s decision. “The SNP aren’t going to be the biggest party, and the biggest party gets to decide who’s in government.

c. “I’d like to see Scotland lead the UK rather than leave it, and in May we have the chance to lead the UK away from a Tory government. “We’ve done it before, and we can do it again.” He refused to be drawn on whether he would quit his Westminster seat in order to fulfil his pledge to serve as a Member of the Scottish Parliament, even raising the suggestion that he could remain Scottish leader while not being either an MP or MSP. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/11377345/Jim-Murphy-the-Scottish-Nationalists-are-sluggish-lethargic-and-off-the-pace.html

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January 2015; Will the real Jim Murphy please stand up?

a. Labour supports the British nuclear deterrent and even if a costly replacement for Trident was shelved and something cheaper – like a Cruise-based system – was decided upon, the missiles would still be submarine-launched. And as all of the Royal Navy’s submarines are due to be based on the Clyde within five years, Britain’s independent deterrent would still be situated in Scotland – a fact that the SNP would, presumably, oppose.

b. So what’s Labour to do? Clearly, it’s best option would be to halt that Nat tide and hang onto all those Westminster seats and, thus, help Mr Miliband get that overall majority that the polls are currently saying is beyond his reach. Charged with that uphill task since the beginning of December is Jim Murphy, one of the heroes of the successful defeat of the Nats in the referendum.

c. Whether he goes from champ to chump is now Scotland’s hottest political topic. Murphy is a talented politician – even his Nat opponents concede that – but his main problem at present appears to be that he can’t make up his mind what manner of politician he is.

d. Tagged from the start as an avowed Blairite, he’s been treated as such by those once termed the Brownies in Labour’s ranks and it was unfortunate for Jim that the ‘wrong’ brother won the Labour leadership. The victory for Ed quickly saw Murphy demoted from the defence portfolio to that of international development in the Shadow Cabinet.

e. Although he’s denied the Blairite label, he didn’t help his cause by appointing John McTernan, his former special advisor and also Tony Blair’s one-time political secretary, as his chief of staff when he assumed the Scottish leadership.

f. But in an attempt both to bury that image and also to recapture those Labour voters who voted Yes against their party in the referendum and who now appear to have deserted it in droves, Murphy is brandishing his left-wing credentials.

g. He deliberately picked a fight with Tories like Boris Johnson by saying that he’d use the mansion tax in London to pay for Scottish nurses. He tried to outbid the SNP by saying he’d ban fracking until all the environmental issues connected with it were resolved. He claimed the SNP’s council tax freeze and new property taxes as benefitting the better off and he pledged that a future Labour-controlled Scottish government would re-nationalise the country’s rail services.

h. Bizarrely, at least in light of his sterling service for the No campaign last year, he assured those Labour supporters in West Central Scotland, who associate the term with the sectarian politics of Northern Ireland, by insisting he wasn’t a “Unionist”.

i. Whilst all of this will be seen as pure political posturing to regain that traditional Labour vote, it’s doing nothing for those other Unionists – Tories and Lib Dems – who may be prepared to vote tactically for Labour to stop the Nats. “ Murphy used to say that you can’t win from the Left. But that’s where he is just now and he won’t get many Centre-Right votes from there,” said one senior Tory yesterday.

j. Adding to the confusion is the fact that he won’t tell us if he’s standing for election in his Renfrewshire seat in May’s general election. All of which leads to one obvious question: Will the real Jim Murphy please stand up? http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/columnists/alancochrane/11372609/Will-the-real-Jim-Murphy-please-stand-up.html

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The Roman Catholic vote – Murphy’s Strategy, (to date) in the 2015 General Election

a. December 2014: Murphy voted morally correct on only 4 out of 36 important moral issues.

i. The Christian Institute maintains a record of each MP’s voting record on moral issues. Murphy’s record is appalling. On the occasion of 36 votes in parliament he voted only 4 times in a morally correct manner. http://www.christian.org.uk/mpvotes.php?selection=&value1=198&submit1=SHOW&value2=1

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b. December 2014; Roman Catholic Canon Law & Jim Murphy

i. One of our bloggers wrote to Bishop John Keenan (Paisley) to draw his attention to the public statements of Jim Murphy MP, affirming his support for abortion. Jim Murphy is a Catholic of the Diocese of Paisley who is currently seeking to win the Labour leadership in Scotland. Click here to read more. Under Church law, manifest public sinners – and that includes those who support abortion – cannot receive Holy Communion. This is not a matter left to the discretion of any priest or bishop – Canon # 915 prohibits Communion to public sinners and it is a grave sin for any priest or bishop to flout this law. We’ve had this discussion more than once – click here to reach one of our previous conversations on the topic.

ii. Bishop Keenan declined to reply to our blogger, electing instead to delegate the matter to his Vicar General. Now, Paisley is not New York. You can go for a walk round Paisley and meet yourself on the way back. So, one might fairly expect the Bishop to answer his own mail, especially correspondence on a matter as serious as that under discussion here.

iii. The upshot of the responses from the Vicar General is that the Bishop takes pro-life issues seriously and is dealing with the matter of the “pro-choice” [i.e. pro-murder] MP privately and anyway “neither you nor I are entitled to know what transpires between a bishop and another’s soul.” What the heck does that mean? Nobody is asking what is going on in Jim Murphy’s soul but we have every right to know whether or not the Bishop is doing his duty to protect the MP himself from continuing on his – literally – damnable route by receiving Holy Communion in a manifestly unworthy state, and also whether he is doing his duty to protect the rest of the faithful from being scandalised. If Jim Murphy had publicly admitted to (let’s use a euphemism) “harming” children, the Bishop would have been in front of the TV cameras in jig time to express his shock horror and to discourage Catholics from voting for him. Surely unborn children deserve similarly robust protection from Catholic priests and prelates?

iv. The upshot of our blogger’s response to the Vicar General’s correspondence is that for the bishop to deal with this matter “privately” is not good enough since the scandal is very public and requires the enforcement of Canon 915. http://catholictruthblog.com/2014/12/10/canon-law-jim-murphy-mp/

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c. Comments;

i. Faith of Our Fathers; Jim Murphy should heed the words – What does it profit a Labour Leader if he gains the Whole Party but suffers the loss of his Soul. Or read St Thomas More,s last words – I am Gods good servant, but the Labour Parties Leader with all the trappings first.

ii. Petrus says: I agree with everything said so far. Bishop Keenan would rather take the easy option. I certainly question his commitment to prolife issues if he is unwilling to take a public stance on this. Mr Murphy didn’t hesitate to outline his support for abortion in public. The bishop’s failure to speak out is a cause of scandal to the faithful.

iii. How many Catholic members of the Labour Party will have voted for Mr Murphy not knowing his views on abortion or thinking that the Church really doesn’t have a problem with politicians being pro abortion. I’m afraid Bishop Keenan has the blood of unborn babies on his hands through his silence. We should also remember that the Bishop has also failed to protect the dignity of the Blessed Sacrament by allowing a public sinner to receive Holy Communion.

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d. Dec 2014; My fellow Catholics are the lapsed unionists behind SNP surge in the polls

i. The Catholicism of the Scottish Labour leader Jim Murphy has attracted some attention this week against a backdrop of fascinating political developments in Scotland. For there is plenty of evidence that people of Irish descent have been to the fore in the near – quadrupling of SNP membership to 92,000 since the referendum, which threatens to undo Labour at the 2015 UK general election.

ii. Within weeks of the referendum, Glasgow had a near five – fold rise in SNP membership and nearby Motherwell and Coatbridge had six-fold increases. These are the heartlands of a community once defined by deep Catholic loyalties. Their neighbourhoods are shared with people who adhere to a Protestant culture, but they are less likely to have been at the crest of the SNP wave. According to one poll, just 31% of non Catholics backed independence compared with no less than 57% of Catholics. http://theconversation.com/my-fellow-catholics-are-the-lapsed-unionists-behind-snp-surge-in-the-polls-35343

Mansion tax to fund nurses: Murphy

e. December 2014; Scottish Secular Society Founder Gary Otton accuses Murphy of being “a catholic fanatic”, “a Pope Benedict fan” and “a religious fanatic”.

i. Otton posted four different Facebook threads about Murphy in the space of two days, all making reference to Murphy’s religion and support for denominational schools. Robertson described some of the comments as “disturbing”. He said, “the Scottish Secular Society have posted several stories about ‘Catholic fanatic/extremist/Pope Benedict fan’ Jim Murphy over the past few days. I find it particularly disturbing this constant referral to Jim Murphy as Roman Catholic – what does that have to do with anything? It comes worryingly close to the kind of anti-Catholic sectarianism that plagued the West of Scotland – perhaps it still does. It is of no relevance or interest to me that a particular political candidate is Roman Catholic or not. Mr Murphy should be judged on his political views and abilities, not what church he belongs to. It is ironic that of all groups the Scottish Secular Society continues to highlight religious affiliation as though this were somehow a disqualifying factor.”

ii.Otton defended his remarks. saying, “The Scottish Secular Society have no problem with Mr Murphy’s beliefs, but a very great problem with the way in which we fear they will influence his political decisions. In particular, we don’t approve of support for the idea that bishops can be put in charge of sex education in Catholic schools. We are also concerned that he will defend privileges for organised religion, segregating children on the basis of their parents’ religion in denominational schools with separate staff rooms and entrances. We are utterly opposed to sectarianism in any shape or form. There is also general agreement amongst secularists that unelected religious representatives, both Catholic and Church of Scotland, voting on how Councils should deploy their limited education budgets is absurd. Murphy has been reported in the press praising the US because religion has a bigger role in politics. That is not a scenario the Scottish Secular Society would welcome in Scotland. Opinions on Facebook’s Secular Scotland are personal and social media is the appropriate place to express them. The Scottish Secular Society is the appropriate organisation to challenge the religious privileges.” http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/politics/fury-secular-society-chiefs-sectarian-4775349

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f. December 2014; Jim Murphy Fury at Secular Society chief’s ‘sectarian, anti-Catholic’ slur

i. Scottish Labour leadership hopeful Jim Murphy has hit back at remarks from a leading secular society figure accusing him of being “a catholic fanatic”, “a Pope Benedict fan” and “a religious fanatic”. The comments, made by Scottish Secular Society Founder Gary Otton on Facebook, have been dubbed “disturbing” and are “worryingly close to anti-Catholic sectarianism”, according to one of Scotland’s leading religious figures. The next Free Church of Scotland Moderator, Rev David Robertson, said the East Renfrewshire MP has been targeted by opponents because of his catholic faith. http://www.newsrt.co.uk/news/fury-at-secular-society-chief-s-sectarian-anti-catholic-slur-on-scottish-labour-leadership-hopeful-jim-murphy-2828196.html

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Murphy’s Strategy in the 2010 General Election – Lovebomb the Catholic voter

a. January 2010; Murphy Makes His Play For the Catholic Vote

i. Terry Sanderson, president of the National Secular Society, said: “Jim Murphy is taking the Labour Party into dangerous territory when he calls on it to make a special play for the religious vote. “His personal religious enthusiasm may be blinding him to the facts. It is no longer the case that clerics can dictate the way their congregations vote. People are too independent-minded now to be herded into the voting booth by religious considerations alone.” http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/8529789.stm

Puppet on a string

b. February 2010; Jim Murphy – risks alienating voters by over-playing religion

i. Labour’s Scottish Secretary, Jim Murphy, risks alienating the Party’s core vote if he continues to insist that it embrace a religious agenda, says the National Secular Society. Reacting to Mr Murphy’s speech in Westminster today to Labour think tank, “Progress”, Terry Sanderson, president of the National Secular Society, said, “Murphy is taking the Labour Party into dangerous territory when he calls on it to make a special play for the religious vote.

ii. His personal religious enthusiasm may be blinding him to the facts. It is no longer the case that clerics can dictate the way their congregations vote. People are too independent-minded now to be herded into the voting booth by religious considerations alone. The society that we live in today is very different to the one that existed fifty years ago, and we want our politicians to reflect that change. Even in the last twenty years Scottish mass attendance has almost halved.

c. The Labour Party should rein in Mr Murphy before he does it permanent damage. A poll by ComRes published last week showed that half of those who define themselves as Christian say that religion is of “little importance” to them.”

i. He went on to say, “If the Labour Party starts favouring religious voters by promising socially regressive legislation, dictated by out-of-touch and dogmatic religious leaders, it risks alienating huge numbers of people. Other polls have shown that ordinary Catholics are completely out of sympathy with the teachings of the Catholic Church on issues such as contraception, euthanasia, homosexuality and abortion. A 2007 YouGov poll showed that only a quarter of Catholics (and only a seventh of the population) agreed with Catholic dogma on abortion. This suggests allying a political party to religion is electorally very dangerous. This is why the electoral results of the Christian Party are pitiful.”

ii. He added, ” The British Social Attitudes Survey, published last month about religious leaders trying to influence how people vote in an election, showed that 75% of respondents thought that they shouldn’t, while 67% think religious leaders should stay out of Government decision-making. When asked: “If many of our elected officials were deeply religious, do you think that the laws and policy decisions they make would probably be better or probably be worse?” Nearly half of respondents thought they would be worse, whereas only 26% thought they would be better.” http://www.secularism.org.uk/labour-risks-alienating-voters-b.html

d. February 2010; Murphy’s faith card unlikely to win votes

i.. It is interesting to note the Scottish Secretary, Jim Murphy, intends playing, “the religion card to win votes” This is the same Mr Murphy who, last month, was reported as aiming to counteract the threatened opposition of the BNP in his East Renfrewshire Westminster constituency, by uniting, “Christian, Muslim and Jewish groups to battle the party, which he described as ‘abhorrent’”.

ii. However, it should be noted that this is also the same Mr Murphy who was apparently happy to support the present government in its attempts to add further restrictions to the Equality Bill – thankfully blocked by the House of Lords – that would have removed the right of churches and other Christian organisations to refuse to employ persons who do not share their core beliefs, in particular those whose sexual conduct is contrary to the teachings of the Bible. http://www.scotsman.com/news/murphy-s-faith-card-unlikely-to-win-votes-1-792087

e. Comment:

i. Calton jock: at interview Roman Catholic candidates seeking a job as housekeeper to the parish priest might be asked, Do you wear a condom during sex? An affirmative answer would be sufficient grounds to reject the candidate. Bonkers Spud.

ii. Rev C Brian Ross, Motherwell: I think it would be more accurate to say that, instead of “Labour trying to reposition itself as the natural party of religious voters” it is trying once more to get the endorsement of the Roman Catholic Church in particular which used to be taken for granted. Labour knows that a candidate being given the Church’s blessing is worth a lot more than thousands of pounds spent on leaflets through doors. Unless the SNP candidate is called John Paul, I suppose.

iii. Barry Lees, Greenock: You describe MP Jim Murphy as being a “devout” Catholic, that is: he subscribes to all the tenets, beliefs and instructions of that faith. That being so, he cannot speak to other faiths in the way he does because one of his beliefs and prayers he will offer is for the conversion of England, and so the United Kingdom, to the Pre – Reformation beliefs and practices. Others can fill in the many fault lines in his attempt to win votes.

iv. Tom Reilly, Edinburgh: Jim Murphy’s religion, or lack of it, is of no concern to me, nor I imagine to most in Scotland. His use of religion, and his “devout” Catholicism, to further his, and Labour’s, ambitions is disgraceful. To quote Keir Hardie, it is an insult to the founders of the real Labour party. Today’s Labour is no inheritor of those principled, decent men and women, who strove to improve the lot of those at the lower reaches of society.

v. Bill McLean, Dunfermline: Jim Murphy is taking Labour into dangerous territory when he calls on it to make a special play for the religious vote A poll by ComRes published last week showed that those who define themselves as “non-religious” are equal in number to those who say they have a religion. If Labour starts favouring religious voters by promising regressive legislation, dictated by out-of-touch and dogmatic religious leaders, it risks alienating that half of the population who say religion has “little importance” in their lives. Other polls have shown that most ordinary Catholics are completely out of sympathy with the teachings of the Church on issues such as contraception, euthanasia, homosexuality and abortion. Why, then, would they want such issues on the agenda of a political party? His personal religious enthusiasm may be blinding Mr Murphy to the facts. One of those facts is that it is no longer the case that clerics can dictate the way their congregations vote. People are too independent-minded now to be herded into the voting booth by religious considerations alone.

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f. February 2010; Church launches attack on Labour government

i. The Roman Catholic Church in Scotland has accused the Labour government of conducting a “systematic and unrelenting attack on family values”. The attack came as Scottish Secretary Jim Murphy, a practising Catholic, claimed religious faith had a role in British politics. Mr Murphy said in a lecture that Labour best represented people of faith. But Scotland’s most senior Roman Catholic accused the government of “undermining religious freedom”. And a spokesman for the Scottish National Party said Mr Murphy was guilty of “crude electioneering” by trying to “corner the market regarding people’s faith”. A tangible example by the government over the last decade that it acknowledged or endorsed religious values would also have been welcomed Cardinal Keith O’Brien

ii. Mr Murphy focused on the key part “values voters” can play in the election when he delivered the Progress lecture in London on Tuesday evening. He argued that faith values have always been “at the very foundations of the Labour Party”. In his lecture, the Scottish secretary said: “In the US, faith has long played a central part in politics. Not surprising for a country where 60% of people say that God plays an important part in their lives. “But it’s wrong to think that it plays no role in British politics.” The MP for East Renfrewshire added: “Faith voters massively outweigh ‘Motorway Men’ or ‘Worcester Woman’ or any other trendy demographic group identified by marketeers.”

iii. He also told the audience that like faith, the family was “another force for good” and “the most important thing in our country”. The minister added: “As well as providing a supportive intellectual environment, it’s a potential source of financial support in difficult days.” His comments were in contrast to the stated attitude of former Labour communications chief Alastair Campbell. Despite former prime minister Tony Blair’s strong religious faith, Campbell famously said: “We don’t do God”. Mr Blair himself said he had avoided talking about his religious views while in office for fear of being labelled “a nutter”. Jim Murphy said religion was at the “very foundations” of the Labour party

iv. Cardinal Keith O’Brien, the leader of the Roman Catholic church in Scotland, welcomed Mr Murphy’s “recognition of the role played by faith and religion in society”. But he added: “A tangible example by the government over the last decade that it acknowledged or endorsed religious values would also have been welcomed. “Instead we have witnessed this government undertake a systematic and unrelenting attack on family values. This is a charge I personally put to Gordon Brown when we met in 2008 and I have seen no evidence since then to suggest anything has changed.” Ironically, Mr Murphy had been due to mention the Cardinal by name in his speech by saying: “When the Cardinal speaks, people listen.”

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January 2015 A summary of all posts on my blog about Murphy

a. But those same figures argue that his personality, ideology and Westminster background make him ill-equipped for the task at hand. “He’s the Marmite-plus candidate,” one Labour MP told me, noting that his, “fraught relationship” with Douglas Alexander had, “got worse” during the referendum campaign. “Jim Murphy’s the last person you would want to heal the wounds of a divided party.” https://caltonjock.com/2014/08/29/all-about-jim-murphy/

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b. Murphy’ great idea – the Employment Support Alllowance (EMA) opens the door to George Iain Duncan Smith and the Tories

Murphy was Welfare minister in the last Government and oversaw the introduction of the Employment Support Allowance (ESA), etc, no mention by the faux anti-imperialists about that. He has simply never met a blairite policy or a party-line in his entire electoral life he didn’t agree with. https://caltonjock.com/2014/12/10/jim-spud-murphy-love-him-or-hate-him-he-is-not-returning-to-westminster-holywrood-beckons/

c. Murphy the Quisling

Jim Spud Murphy: I find it difficult to express my disgust for Quisling Murphy. In every situation he takes the smarmy anti Scottish line. Have people like this no pride? Do they ever tell the truth? Is their personal career all that matters? How exactly do they differ from the bankers? https://caltonjock.com/2015/01/13/video-record-exposing-murphys-role-in-the-betrayal-of-the-dunfermline-building-society-be-warned-he-is-a-snake-in-the-grass/

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d. Miliband Pulls the strings

So, the argument advanced by Murphy that only Labour can ensure removal of a Conservative government is a misnomer since the influence of the Scottish Labour membership over the mainstream Labour party is restricted and very much neutered by the fact that Miliband calls the shots over national policy which Scottish Labour will need to bend the knee.
https://caltonjock.com/2015/01/12/whos-pulling-murphy-strings-its-a-fallacy/

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e. The Student Years

In 1995, the leadership of the National Union of Students forced through their policy dropping support for free education and living student grants, in order to smooth the way for the next Labour government to introduce fees. https://caltonjock.com/2014/12/29/jim-spud-murphy-1992-1997-the-student-union-years-and-his-carefully-planned-and-jammy-rise-to-political-office/

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f. Give him the rope and he’ll do the rest

The unionist London parties at Holyrood are trying to kid us on that they are leading the way with the direction that Scotland is taking… but they’re not. Everything they are doing is being dictated by the popularity of the SNP. Issues are being seriously talked about now that unionists laughed at us about just a couple of years ago. A prime example is the the ‘Scottish Six’ and the fact that 8.6% of the licence fee is raised in Scotland but only 2.6% of it is spent here. https://caltonjock.com/2014/12/26/jim-spud-murphy-best-way-to-let-him-hang-himself-is-to-watch-him-in-action-a-selection-of-the-best-of-his-u-tube-videos/

Labour’s Legacy to Glasgow – Decay, Failure, Crime, Substance Abuse, Bitterness and Misery.

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Labour’s Legacy to Glasgow – Decay, Failure, Crime, Substance Abuse, Bitterness and Misery.

David lives in the gang-infested inner-city sprawl of Calton – the place with the lowest life expectancy in EUROPE. It is a drizzly Monday morning in Glasgow and the Triple Two Lounge in the shadow of Celtic Park is already doing a roaring trade. Out-of-work bouncer David McCabe stubs out his roll-up and takes a gutsy slurp on the first of his eight daily £2.20 pints of Fosters. Pasty-faced David’s epic, taxpayer-funded booze-ups end with an artery-clogging fry-up washed down with a four-pack of Tennent’s at his subsidised flat nearby. Looking a decade older than his 26 years, David says: “My grandad is 71 and still likes a drink. It doesn’t seem to have done him too much harm.”

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A boy living in Calton today can expect to live to just 54. Locals living among the graffiti-scarred council blocks of Calton drily observe: “If the booze doesn’t get you here, the blade will.” Calton, along with Easterhouse and Castlemilk in Glasgow, are the only places in Britain where murder – usually by stabbing – is the most common cause of death among the young. Someone is admitted to a Glasgow hospital with knife wounds every six hours. Medics expect as many as three Glasgow smiles – where victims are slashed from mouth to ear – every weekend.

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The city’s smartest restaurants, designer boutiques and museums are a short stroll away from Calton, in Merchant City. Yet here down-and-outs swill cider outside homeless hostel the decrepit Belgrove hotel and a “baggie” of heroin is a tenner. The area’s grinding poverty – where 30 per cent are unemployed – would be recognised by Charles Dickens and pioneers of the Labour movement.

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Today’s Labour Party, after 50 years in power, have failed many of the people of Glasgow’s East End. Last year a World Health Organisation study citing Calton said a “toxic combination” of bad policies, economics and politics creates social injustice that is “killing people on a grand scale”. Local GP Dr Robert Jamieson, 54, has spent the past 22 years working in the heart of Calton. “Drinking has got worse and so has the violence,” he explained wearily. “The healthy and wealthy got healthier and wealthier compared to the poor.

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Back at the bar, unmarried David, like his father before him, has been on benefits for most of his adult life. He pays for his lager from his £66-a-week incapacity benefit and whatever he can scrounge from family and friends. Overweight and pale, he explained: “I’m on the sick because of my drinking. I’ve got an enlarged liver. “I’ve done a few days work as a bouncer and a cleaner but not recently. My dad has been out of work most of his life.

Full report:

http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=561_1256060940

shettlestonhouse

Video Record Exposing Murphy’s Role in The Betrayal of The Dunfermline Building Society–Be Warned He Is A Snake in The Grass

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March 28 2009; Dunfermline Building Society collapse

Jim “Spud” Murphy Spins the lie. Sews the seeds of doubt about the society’s viability. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rv7wMpb1H1s

March 29, 2009 Labour, (Jim “Spud” Murphy) Spins and Lies Against The Dunfermline Building Society

Jim Spud Murphy: I find it difficult to express my disgust for Quisling Murphy. In every situation he takes the smarmy anti Scottish line. Have people like this no pride? Do they ever tell the truth? Is their personal career all that matters? How exactly do they differ from the bankers?

Alistair Darling: He was determined to force through the shotgun sale of Scotland’s largest building society despite an unprecedented backlash from its board and the Scottish Government. His decision meant the Dunfermline Building Society was broken up, its savings business taken over by the highest bidder and the taxpayer footing the bill for losses on its loans. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nU3qUt2Xb6k

March 30 2009; Dunfermline Building Society Scandal Unravels, Murphy Lies Exposed

Claims by Jim Murphy, the Scottish Secretary, about Dunfermline Building Society’s financial position have been contradicted by the government’s own appointed administrators KPMG, it emerged yesterday. Speaking last week, Murphy claimed that the society had invested in “reckless” sub-prime investments in the United States, and implied that it was actively involved in buying risky packages of US mortgage debt.

However, the government-appointed administrators, KPMG, have now identified that there were no such investments. Last night a KPMG insider confirmed that Dunfermline Building Society (DBS) was not exposed to American toxic debts and that it was solely commercial property problems in the UK that led to the society’s collapse.

Westminster has taken the so called bad parts. Nationwide have taken the good loan book. So why have they been given £1.6bn. Even if Darling was correct that the society would require £100m that’s a small percentage of the money given to the Nationwide. Isn’t it strange that unionists are so keen to blame the management rather than show concern that Scotland is losing another head office.

Evidence that the chairman is to blame? He has only been in post for 6 months. The Labour Government claimed the DBS needed £60m-£100m & that they had sub-primes debts, when in actual fact they had no sub-prime debt and they only needed 26m. The Scottish government offered 25m and there were loads of other offers. All ignored by Labour.

Labour Took full advantage of the banking situation to bring down the Scottish banking system. Third one in a row! Who do you believe the Uk Labour government or the chairman of the Dunfermline Building Society?? I know who I’d trust! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZR3SICn4Z58

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Apr 5 2009; Dunfermline Building Society & Team GB – Interview Jim Murphy

More waffle from Murphy. What a chancer!!! Quoting the Sunday Herald: “CLAIMS BY Jim Murphy, the Scottish Secretary, about Dunfermline Building Society’s financial position have been contradicted by the government’s own appointed administrators KPMG, it emerged yesterday. Speaking last week, Murphy claimed that the society had invested in “reckless” sub-prime investments in the US,… …However, the Sunday Herald understands that the government-appointed administrators, KPMG, have now identified that there were no such investments. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GktJWbstod8

Aug 24, 2010 Jim Murphy Tries The hard Sell Seeking to Justify The Unnecessary Takeover Of The Dunfermline Building Society

The Nationwide Building Society has been handed the vast bulk of the core business of the Dunfermline Building Society. So called toxic loans of £22M have been taken on by the government in Westminster. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ThK0pEWz5Lg

Sep 1, 2010 Gordon Brown and The Sell-Out of The Dunfermline Building Society

Brown doing his Thatcher act Closing down any form of independent banking in Scotland. Disgraceful centralisation of power emasculating Scotland. Concerns are now raised at the future of Dunfermline’s 530 staff members https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GboWulxaEh4

Who’s Pulling Murphy’ Strings? It’s a Fallacy

Murphy is able to claim autonomy for the Scottish Labour branch in the areas where Westminster has devolved authority. This is a must have since to be otherwise would place Murphy at a disadvantage to the SNP.

So, the argument advanced by Murphy that only Labour can ensure removal of a Conservative government is a misnomer since the influence of the Scottish Labour membership over the mainstream Labour party is restricted and very much neutered by the fact that Miliband calls the shots over national policy which Scottish Labour will need to bend the knee.

Not the case where the SNP is concerned. The policies of the party are decided in Scotland by Scots for Scots without regard to the nuances or predilections of Westminster parties. It follows therefore that only a large body of SNP MP’s is capable of removing the Conservatives from office AND holding the National Labour Party to account across the entire range of policy direction and or implementation over the term of the parliament. Any Scot that votes for the Scottish Labour Party branch membership in the General Election would be misguided and gullible and I am confident Scots are wise enough to do the right thing and vote SNP.

Puppet on a string

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown Is Taken Apart By European MEP’s

March 24 2009; European Parliament, Strasbourg – British Prime Minister Gordon Brown Is Taken Apart By European MEP’s

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An unelected Prime Minister, never elected to office who forced through the Westminster parliament ratification of the ill judged European treaty setting aside a clear Labour Party manifesto commitment allowing the British electorate the decision in a referendum. A really nasty man who will depart politics leaving a nasty odour. In office he sold large amounts of Britain’s gold reserves for a pittance, losing the country many billions and when this didn’t give up enough to fund the largesse of the Labour Party he raided the pension funds of Britain’s pensioners asset stripping, rendering them in danger of collapse. In his unadulterated flannel of a speech to the European Parliament he exposed a nightmare vision of a Labour Party dominated future state. A loathsome man indeed!! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n1WlpzvgciY

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