Labour Party

Tom Harris – Modern Day Churchill – Scottish Labour Party Leader in Waiting – “By 2016, Scottish Labour will either have re-established itself as the party of aspiration, or it will be an irrelevance.”




Tom Harris.







16 March 2016: Former Labour MP Tom Harris to lead Vote Leave campaign in Scotland

Tom Harris, who represented Glasgow South until losing his seat in last year’s general election, said he will serve as the director of Vote Leave north of the border. He insisted the move “isn’t about being anti-European” but said instead “it is about putting our own country, our own economy, our own people, first”. Writing in the Daily Record, he said: “I’m proud to announce that I have been asked to serve as the campaign’s director in Scotland.  “It’s true that most Labour MPs will be voting for the UK to remain part of the EU. But Labour voters themselves are not as convinced.

“And who can blame them? Every week the UK sends £350 million to the EU. Scotland’s share is roughly a tenth of that – more than £1.5 billion a year.  “Just think what that money could buy here in Scotland – on schools, on our health service, repairing our roads – if it wasn’t being sent into the black hole that is EU spending.








Hush puppy or Rottweiler?

Tom Harris was born in Ayrshire and was brought up in Beith. He attended Garnock Academy, Kilbirnie and Napier College, Edinburgh where he was awarded an HND in Journalism in 1986. He worked as a trainee newspaper journalist with the East Kilbride News in 1986 before joining the Paisley Daily Express in 1988.

He was appointed as a press officer with the Scottish Labour Party in 1990, moving to the same position with Strathclyde Regional Council in 1992.

He was briefly the senior media officer with the City of Glasgow Council in 1996 before joining East Ayrshire Council later in the same year as a public relations manager.

In 1998 he became the chief of public relations at the Strathclyde Passenger Executive, where he remained until his election to the Parliament of the United Kingdom.



Why I'm Right 310811.indd



He joined the Labour Party in 1984 and was active in the Edinburgh South Constituency. He was elected as the chairman of the Glasgow Cathcart Constituency Labour Party for two years in 1998. He was then elected to the House of Commons at the 2001 General Election for the Glasgow seat of Cathcart following the retirement of the Labour MP John Maxton.

He held the seat with a majority of 10,816 and has remained an MP since. He made his maiden speech on 27 June 2001. His seat was abolished following the creation of the Scottish Parliament at Holyrood and the subsequent reduction of Scottish seats at Westminster. He has represented the new seat of Glasgow South since the 2005 General Election.






He served on the Science and Technology Select Committee for two years from 2001, and was appointed as the Parliamentary Private Secretary (PPS) to the Minister of State for Northern Ireland John Spellar in 2003, and from 2005 was PPS to the Secretary of State for Health Patricia Hewitt.

As of 7 September 2006 he replaced Derek Twigg as Parliamentary Under Secretary at the Department for Transport. However, in October 2008, Harris announced on his blog that he had telephoned the Prime Minister to inform him that he would be returning to the back benches.



Tom Harris Labour MP



He is a committed trade unionist and was a member of the National Union of Journalists from 1984 until he joined UNISON in 1997, and he is now a member of Unite the Union. He introduced a bill in 2005 for tougher sentences for e-criminals.

Also in 2005 he was involved in an argument over the funding of a housing charity which had called for direct action following the eviction and deportation to Albania of an Kosovan family seeking asylum from a flat in Drumchapel.  He is a member of, “Labour Friends of Israel”.






Having been vocal about uncapped EU migration to the UK, he made controversial statements on 3 August 2013, via online media about Daniel Pelka’s parents, immigrants from Poland convicted of the abuse and murder of their child, suggesting they be tortured.

In statements made on Twitter, Harris wrote: “That we have not killed them horribly says a great deal in our favour.” He also stated that he was, “certainly in favour of disinfecting our country by deporting them at the end of their sentence.”






November 27 2005: Harsh exchanges over asylum row tactics

Tom Harris, Glasgow South Labour MP has drawn a furious response from a group campaigning for asylum seekers after he called for its funding to be reviewed. He said Positive Action in Housing (PAH) went too far in urging direct action to stop failed asylum seekers being removed.

He has called on the Scottish Executive to look at the anti-racism body’s future funding. That provoked a furious response from director Robina Qureshi. Positive Action in Housing has been vocal in condemning dawn raids on the homes of failed asylum seekers – an issue which came to a head when the Vucaj family were removed from their flat in Drumchapel in September and subsequently deported.

The Scottish Executive and Home Office have been involved in long-running controversy over the reserved issue, with Communities Minister Malcolm Chisholm speaking out in condemnation of “heavy-handed” tactics. They accused the Home Office, for instance, of furthering the aims of the far right, they call on Strathclyde Police to arrest immigration officials.

Last week First Minister Jack McConnell met with Immigration Minister Tony McNulty in what was seen as an effort to present a united front.

Speaking on the BBC’s Politics Show, Mr Harris said: “First of all I want to make it clear that I have absolutely no problem at all and I think it’s absolutely right that charitable organizations should campaign and there’s nothing wrong in anyone campaigning on a particular policy. “My problem with Positive Action in Housing is the kind of language that they use. “They accused the Home Office, for instance, of furthering the aims of the far right, they call on Strathclyde Police to arrest immigration officials as they carry out their legal duties and this kind of language does nothing to ameliorate the situation, all it does is heighten tensions.” Ms Qureshi said PAH has a wide remit in helping the victims of inequality in Scottish society.






October 30 2008: Concerned about an ever increasing number of attacks on individual freedoms by the government, the Devils Kitchen Blog sent a free copy of Orwells 1984 to all Westminster MP’s – Tom Harris was not impressed.

Tom Harris posted to his blog. “An oddity arrived today at the office: an Amazon package containing a brand new copy of Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell. It’s not the book itself that is odd – I read it for the first time nearly 30 years ago and it’s a rollicking good yarn, with a great plot and a very dramatic ending. An Orwellian nightmare? Oh, wake up!”

Devil’s Kitchen, posted a reply: “Harris just doesn’t get 1984. One of the distinctive traits of the labour Party is their eagerness to rewrite history, and we all know that Harris is very adept at that, do we not? Now, having received his copy of 1984 and dismissive of it’s content. His comment, an Orwellian nightmare? Oh, wake up! and that, of course, is all that Harris took from it: the appreciation of a book that described, very well, the state of Stalin’s Russia — before it became so fucking obvious that even (most of) the Labour Party had to acknowledge what was going on, has been lost on this moron Why, thank you, Tom, for your patronizing comment:

Also, there seems to be an awful lot of people out there – perhaps dozens of them – who seem to get strangely exercised at the prospect of a “police state”. “Well, first of all, how about the arrogance of anyone referring to anyone else as anyone’s, “masters”?”

In a democracy, as you proudly boast that this country still is, who is master and who is servant? It’s a no-brainer isn’t it? Call it employer if you like but it doesn’t change anything and there is nothing arrogant about reminding the Labour party (or any of the other MPs) that this is the case. You all seem to have completely forgotten.

Your blithe dismissal of this, “gift” is stunning in its lack of understanding of how strongly many people feel about how the minutiae of their lives are being constantly interfered with. This isn’t Jim Baxter’s cherry-picked instances we are talking about, this is wholesale destruction of everyday life.… and a new restriction is brought out EVERY day. Today it was: Prospective MPs not required to give addresses any-more (yet contrast this with Section 50 of the Police Reform Act 2002 where it is an offense for a member of the public to refuse to give their name and address to the Police when asked, whether they have committed an offense, or even been suspected of one, or not – your lot brought that one in).

I could list one of these EVERY day if you like but I have a business to run and I would expect someone whose business is Government to know these things and to recognise when civil liberties are being cut out. You don’t seem to think there is anything wrong! It’s not all about CCTV, it’s about tiny things that add to a whole that is unacceptable and should be stopped. YOUR party have encouraged this and should be ashamed of yourselves. OK. Here’s a list of the recent ones that have staggered me and which your party should be thoroughly ashamed:

Separate queues for buying alcohol in supermarkets so buyers “will be subjected to scrutiny of fellow shoppers”. What? Why?

Smokers being banned from fostering children when there is a shortage of 2,000 foster homes. What?? Why??

History & Geography being scrapped from schools in favour of ‘Healthy Lifestyles’ and ‘Multi-Culturalism’. What? Really?

Compulsory … note, not available for veto by parents … compulsory sex education for 5 year old’s. (I haven’t mentioned the finger-printing, that’s so last month isn’t it?)






Bans on fast food outlets opening within 500 metres of schools. Funny, I don’t remember voting on that particular issue in this wonderful democracy that you seem to think exists, much as I didn’t vote on the idea of a blanket smoking ban but DID vote on a partial ban and a manifesto pledge of a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty.

That is just the past couple of days. Your copy of 1984 is richly deserved after reading your blog post. Read it again and take note of how your party have passed so many laws that are so very similar to those mentioned in the book. Here’s an example – a guy accosted in Middlesbrough for taking pictures on his mobile phone, the reason for being stopped for doing something legal? Anti-Terrorism laws. His crime? Nothing. The Police officer’s reasoning as to why he may have been committing an offence? He may have been a voyeur. Is the officer examining the man’s thoughts? Is this a ‘Thought Crime’?

My local paper (today) has the story of a 15 year old on a Geography field trip being accosted by PCSOs and made to sign forms under the Terrorism Act. His details were to be stored on a database as a potential terrorist for 6 years. Fortunately he has a Dad who is educated and can get it erased.

Your lot talk about social justice, can you imagine the son of a builder living on a council estate getting the same result? YOUR laws Tom. Labour is rotten. Orwellian nightmare under Labour? Absolutely. Quite. But, Tom being a party political animal, can’t resist getting such a dig in.

We live in a democracy, and just because those – including my anonymous benefactor – who get excited about such things are unhappy that Labour is in power, that does not make us anything other than a democracy.






March 1 2009: Tom Harris – Another Strawman

Jack Straw, responding to increasing criticism of the labour government’s ever increasing restrictions to the individual liberties of UK citizens. “Those who cast myself and my colleagues as Orwellian drones engaged in some awful conspiracy planned in Whitehall basements not only overlook all this government’s achievements, they cheapen the important debate about getting the balance right so that a very important freedom, that to live without fear in an atmosphere of tolerance and respect, is nurtured and protected.”

Longrider commented. “Anyone who genuinely believes this is delusional. Labour has introduced over 3,000 new offences. Reducing individual liberty does not protect or increase liberty.

Tom Harris, like other labour MPs defends the government’s legacy on liberty. He, like other Labour MPs believes that black is white, up is down and slavery is freedom. And, like other members of the supercilious righteous political elite, regards those who disagree with his opinion as green ink tinfoil hatters.”



tom harris mp




April 5 2009: The return of morality.  The army of teenage mothers living off the state is a national catastrophe

When my wife Carolyn was in hospital, having just delivered us of wee Reggie, a very young girl in the bed opposite was also celebrating the arrival of her newborn. As was her proud father, who made great play to anyone who might have been listening (me) of how proud he was of his daughter.

She was, I guess, about 16. I don’t think he should have been ashamed and it’s great that this young girl had such a loving dad to support her. But proud? Proud that his teenage daughter was not only sexually active but was now a mother? Proud that any chance of a decent education, followed by a decent job, was now remote at best? Proud that she was, in all likelihood, about to embark on a lifetime of depending on benefit handouts for her and her child?

I’m a Labour MP, so some will undoubtedly be surprised, and shocked that I’m writing this. But I can no longer pretend that the army of teenage mothers living off the state is anything other than a national catastrophe.






April 12 2009: The McBride/Draper smear scandal – “We can’t spin our way out of this. My party has screwed up big time.”

Tom Harris adding fuel to the fire at the time of the exposure of Damien McBride as Gordon Brown’s Rottweiler stated it was important that Labour people made clear that the whole McBride/Draper episode (must we call it “Smeargate”?) is as inexcusable to the Labour Party as it is to the rest of the world. There is absolutely no point in anyone in the party trying to spin such an odious sequence of events, in trying to suggest that it’s less serious than the media are trying to make out.

A reader commented:  “Such behaviour used to be inexcusable, but that was in the days of “Old Labour”. The arrival of Tony Blair coincided with the arrival of spin and smear. A new type of nasty politics emerged. This rather embarrassing but obvious fact that cannot be missed. Over the past decade, quite a few “nasties” have been appointed to senior positions in New Labour governments.

New Labour heralded not only a change in policies and a change in personnel, but also a change in ethics and morality within the party. Once the cat has been let out of the bag it becomes difficult to reign it in. A good period in opposition is what the Labour Party needs to purge itself of the type of person who now predominates at the higher levels in the party.

New Labour is a rather distasteful party, deeply divided, with little or no idealism and little or no vision. It has been too long in power and now the pursuit of power is its only objective. Great Britain needs a strong party of the left, but New Labour, in its present form and with its present personnel, is certainly not that party.






June 9 2009: Tom Harris MP confirms his disloyalty – calls for PM Gordon Brown to resign

A Glasgow MP has become the first Scottish Labour MP to suggest Gordon Brown should stand down as prime minister. Tom Harris said he did not think Mr Brown should lead the party into the next general election. Speaking at a Parliamentary Labour Party meeting, Mr Harris added that he felt compelled to express his views.

The group’s chairman, Tony Lloyd, said he was convinced there was no serious threat to Gordon Brown’s leadership after he was backed by most MPs.

Writing on his blog, Mr Harris said he told the meeting: “If there’s one thing that unites this PLP, it’s a determination to win the next election. “And those of us who have come to the conclusion, by an entirely objective and logical process, that you cannot lead Labour to victory, would be doing a disservice to our country and to our party by staying silent.”





August 20 2009: The high pay commission won’t work – the proposal has ‘securing Labour’s core vote’ written all over it – and the effect on our economy would be negligible

The left-wing pressure group, aligned with the Labour Party, “Compass” proposing establishment of a high pay commission said that pay disparity in the UK was the result of greed. The salaries of those at the top had raced away while the median wage stagnated. Inequality had grown, and an economic crisis ensued.

The unjust rewards of a few hundred, “masters of the universe” exacerbated the risks we were all exposed to many times over. Banking and executive remuneration packages reached excessive levels and we believe now is the time for government to take decisive action.

We need a, “High Pay Commission” to launch a wide-ranging review of pay at the top. It should consider proposals to restrict excessive remuneration such as maximum wage ratios and bonus taxation to provide the just society and sustainable economy we all want.

Tom Harris commented. The proposal has, “securing Labour’s core vote” written all over it – and the effect on our economy would be negligible.

A reader commented:  The minimum wage was introduced with all the enthusiasm of someone clearing up the cat’s honk. Once established, it was more or less ignored, with annual increments in the region of 10-20 pence/hour, if that, and an enforcement set-up so undermanned as to be useless. It was easy for UK’s vast sweatshop brigade to work around it.

Clearly Mr Harris, the scourge of pregnant teenagers on benefits, needs to earn more as his claim for a cot and bottle sterilizer for his London home was turned down by the House of Commons expenses office. £64766 pa (plus expenses) is simply not enough when you have this sort of heavy expenditure.







April 10 2010: Tom is a blogger with a taste for the direct, sardonic and serious

Tom Harris in discussion. Talking about twitter, the value of blogs in politics, rushing legislation through Parliament in ‘wash up’, Votes at 16, hung parliaments, why Tom Harris went into politics and his enthusiasm for the years ahead, the issue of whether Scots MPs should vote on purely Scots matters and even find time to discuss independence for Scotland – briefly.





November 16 2010: A significant moment in the British political blogosphere is Closing down

Tom Harris’s blog, “And another thing” was once one of the must read Westminster blogs, regularly ruffling feathers and making news, and consistently being voted one of the best political blogs. Now, with similarities to Tony Blair’s long goodbye – and Sinatra like – Harris announced he is shutting up shop.

In a blog entitled, ‘A Blessed Relief’ he writes that he is calling it a day. “I love blogging because I love writing. I love politics, I love the Labour Party, I love writing about Labour Party politics. But the blog has become a burden.

It’s taking up too much time (though not as much as some might think – I am a very fast writer), it’s getting me into too many squabbles with people I have never met and are likely never to meet. And increasingly I’ve felt like I’m adopting stances simply for the sake of being confrontational and provoking a row”.

Most of us who have a profile on the blogosphere can relate to these last comments, and he concludes. “Basically, the bottom line. blogging is having a negative effect on my personal, family and political life for reasons too many and complicated to recount.”






Gerry Hassan, Research Fellow in cultural policy at the University of the West of Scotland wrote; ‘I don’t like Tom Harris’s politics one bit. I regard them as symptomatic of the changing style of politics which is part of the problem. He is a defender of the status quo.

The wider currents of our politics which have taken us to this unfortunate position. He is an unapologetic defender of parliamentary privilege and tradition – in particular venting his anger on the new IPSA regime at length – and he is a strident, voice who enjoys the politics of condemning and attacking, finding opponents almost everywhere.

He has grown tired of the world he has created around himself, of hectoring, abusive non-debate, populated by enemies, and a lack of real exchange. I cant help feeling that Harris, dislikeable as he is in style and content, is merely a manifestation of a wider set of currents of confusions and changes.

What is the point of being a politician today? If one is not a careerist, or more accurately a failed careerist, what is the point of your existence?

Harris tried to provide an answer to this through his entertaining and often controversial blog, but it is a question we still need to ask. What is it that we expect of modern politicians? Of backbench MPs? What is the role of the majority of MPs who don’t sit as part of the government payroll vote or opposition equivalent?






January 17 2011: Dear Ed, remember that party members are not normal

Providing written advice to the leader of the labour party Harris compiled a characteristically entertaining piece, he instructed Ed Miliband to remember that Labour members “are not normal”. In other words, he should be prepared to ignore the politics of the membership because, in Toms opinion, it is so far to the left of the general population.

Yet what is most illuminating about the piece, is not what it says about the general public but what it says about Labour members. Like many of the Labour elite, he appears to see the Labour Party as more of a supporters club than a party. Those at the top of Labour have long seen party members as canvassing fodder rather than partners in a collaborative political project and Harris makes this explicit like nobody else.

Activists he notes, will come out on a Saturday morning to, “shove leaflets through people’s doors”, and, “Thank goodness they do” he says. “Neither you or I [Ed] would be MPs if it weren’t for our volunteer army of activists, they’re what keeps the party machines – and democracy itself – going.

But as a source of reliable strategic political advice, they’re at best a bit hit and miss. And the problem with too many party activists is that they spend far too much time talking about politics. Full stop”.






June 8 2011: A Glasgow MP has been criticised after accusing Dundee University of “dumbing down” by pioneering a postgraduate degree in comic book studies.

Harris posted a sarcastic twitter comment on Monday night stating, “Dundee University is launching a degree in comic books. That’ll show those who say degrees are being dumbed down!”

Several other Twitter users challenged Mr Harris and he responded by posting, “Wait for the cries of outrage when people realize that a MA in the Dandy is considered less valuable than PPE from Oxford.” He later added he was “looking forward to Sheffield University doing a degree in forks.” The dispute rumbled on throughout the day and Mr Harris continued posting comments disparaging the course.

One post in the afternoon stated, “Coming soon to a university near you: a BSc in Battlestar Galactica — comparisons of the original v the reboot. One of Harris’ constituents, former Dundee man Dave Lunan, said, “He seems to have his priorities all wrong. “I would like to know why my well-paid elected representative is spending so much time arguing on Twitter when he should be concerned with the real issues facing his constituency and the country”.






 July 18 2011: A media abuse inquiry highlighted the need for more transparency in contacts between the Press and politicians

Tom Harris twittered. In an ideal world, of course, there would be nothing wrong in registering every conversation we have with journalists; “transparency” is the new “progressive”, dontcha know? But politics is about more than transparency.

It is about deals, it is about secrets. For myself, I shall continue to have lunches, dinners, coffees and beers with any journalist I like (provided s/he pays for them, of course – parliamentary expenses don’t stretch far these days). Our conversations will continue to be private, and unless they describe their source as “an unidentified, tall, Scottish ex- minister, ex-blogger MP representing a Glasgow seat”, then I will be content.

Twitter response was swift. This is another depressingly typical entry in Tom Harris’ knee-jerk salvo’s against even the most minor political reform. First off he makes the classic mistake that ‘politics in Britain= only politics going on in the world.’ Plenty of countries have robust transparency rules in their politics, and work better than Britain as a result.






 July 25 2011: The dangerously ignorant Tom Harris – added uninformed twitter comment on the mass murders in Oslo by Breivik

What happened in Oslo was horrific beyond belief. On that, there is agreement across all the political divides. However, when it comes to the cause and the consequences, there is little agreement. For many, Tom Harris MP has epitomised the crassness of the right-wing response to the tragedy.

As the events unfolded, he waded in with a silly tweet assuming that the perpetrators were Al-Qaeda. He is unable to face down the complicity of his own politics for the events which led to that brutal murder and in doing so, he is showing himself to be a dangerous, hypocritical demagogue whose own politics need facing down and defeating if we are to avoid such tragedies.






August 26 2011: Tom Harris the twitter king of Westminster

The correlation between large amounts of tweeting and a below-average attendance in Parliamentary votes is well established. Tom Harris, Labour MP, has published over 22,000 tweets but made it to Parliament to vote 51% of the time, well below average.






September 12 2011: Harris Ready for Salmond

Confirming he will be a candidate to succeed Iain Gray as leader of Labour in Scotland the controversial Glasgow South MP made the announcement as the party’s Scottish Executive Committee agreed major changes to its constitution, including allowing MPs and MEPs, as well as MSPs, to stand in the contest.

The committee also agreed that the new leader would lead the whole Scottish Labour Party instead of leader of Labour’s MSPs at Holyrood.






September 12 2011: Way to up your book sales, Tom Harris

A reader commented:  For all I criticize the SNP, to accuse them of not being patriotic, or not caring about Scotland, isn’t fair – and I really can’t stand bringing that sort of language into the political arena. However, Tom’s going the same way as Jim Murphy did as Secretary of State. “Above all, we need a leader who will always put Scotland ahead of their own party.

I can’t see a Labour Party led by Harris ever co-operating on anything, or discussing anything in other than sound-bite fashion. But of course, book deals don’t appear overnight and when teased about his leadership being a way to promote his book, he replied, “In my defence, the deal was agreed when it seemed like Labour might win at Holyrood”!

Extra sales resulting from his leadership bid will, of course, be a happy coincidence.







October 29 2011: Tom Harris warns Scottish Labour could become an, “irrelevance”

Three contenders battling for control of Scottish Labour held their first leadership debate yesterday, amid warnings that the party could be an, “irrelevance” by 2016 unless it got its act together.

Tom Harris, the only MP standing in the contest, issued the warning when he appeared on a hustings platform with his rivals. Harris, the MP for Glasgow South, stumbled on his lines as he spoke without notes, but he told delegates at a conference in Glasgow that Labour must re-invent itself as the party of aspiration. “I love my country, I love my party and I hate being in opposition,” Harris said, “By 2016, Scottish Labour will either have re-established itself as the party of aspiration, or it will be an irrelevance.”






 November 11 2011: Tom Harris is a Liar – Wings over Scotland adds criticism

When Harris isn’t trying to imply racism with cheap sophistry, he resorts instead to evasion, sarcasm and condescension, and quite often just infantile jibes (e.g. suggesting all online SNP supporters still live with their mothers). Rev Stuart Campbell takes his twittering apart.


After the Scottish referendum.



November 13 2011: Tom Harris’ launches an unsuccessful campaign to be Labour’s candidate for first minister of Scotland

“Nearly four months after our dreadful result in May, there still had been precious little debate about the future direction of our party and how we could restore our electoral fortunes.

There had been precious little debate, either, about the challenge of nationalism and the threat posed to Scotland through the break-up of the United Kingdom.”

“So, in the absence of virtually anyone else making the case for Labour or against the nationalists, I stepped forward. Since then, I have led the debate on the future of our party and our nation.″






 January 16 2012: Labour MP Tom Harris forced to resign as social media Tsar

On 16th January, 2012, he was forced to stand down from his role as Internet Adviser after posting a video on youtube depicting First Minister Alex Salmond as Adolf Hitler.

The Twitter expert had posted the, “Downfall” parody video likening Alex Salmond to Hitler. Harris, who stood for election as Scottish party leader last year, apologized and said his “actions were an unhelpful distraction” which damaged his party’s attempts to make better use of social media.

The Scottish National party (SNP) commented, “It is silly, negative nonsense like this that helps explain why Labour are in the doldrums in Scotland,”.






March 12 2012: The thin line between confidence and arrogance – The Scottish Referendum.

Tom Harris wrote. “Of course, the SNP have more cause for optimism than Labour these days; their overwhelming victory in last year’s Holyrood elections changed the political landscape in this part of the country and made life extremely uncomfortable for the Labour Party.

The same is true of that bigger electoral contest: the independence referendum. It’s actually very difficult to find an SNP activist on Twitter who might concede that defeat for the nationalist cause in autumn 2014 is even a remote possibility.

This is despite the fact that all the polling evidence shows that, one or two recent polls aside, pro-unionist sympathy still dominates in Scotland. The fact is the nationalists might win. I hope they don’t, but they might. We might win. We might not, but we might. Such doubt is strangely absent from the nationalist camp. And I don’t think it’s all show or propaganda.

They seem to need to believe in the inevitability of their victory. They need to believe that the odds against them are simply the context of the Hollywood drama that will one day be made about their historic struggle and victory. But the public, whose support in both the local elections and the separation referendum is taken entirely for granted, still have the final say.”

A reader commented: !Expanding globalization and associated global systemic financial and economic crises are pushing the ruling parties of the UK state into feats of austerity and assaults on the public which can only serve the interests of the Scottish National Party, or so it would appear, as these phenomena form a catalyst for disintegration of the multi-national state.

That being the case, it is difficult not to be confident that the central objective of the Scottish National Party will be achieved. Rapid progress towards independence might not be ideal, and it is to be believed that this is understood and shared by a substantial proportion of the electorate, whose common sense and caution have always seemed to me to be rather well respected by the SNP.

There is merit in having faith in and respect for the people, a faith which the Labour Party in Scotland, not only appears to have lost but seems to be incapable of regaining.






September 2 2012: Democracy: what a pain in the backside

Tom Harris wrote. “Any country where it can be lazily assumed that X or Y party will take power no matter what, is a badly run one. The harder it is to win the votes of the electorate, the more determined will the winning party be to make their term in office a success. And in any modern democracy, no party should assume they will retain power ad infinitum; however healthy any living thing, it must die eventually, and the same should go for governments.

The principle that governments govern better when they’re held to account by strong oppositions is more than a sound-bite. And a strong opposition is one that stands a realistic chance of being the government next time round.

A reader commented: ” The thing is real participative democracy doesn’t happen and there is this huge power gap. Most potential voters feel powerless to effect change so switch off. Then politics becomes the almost exclusive territory of professional politicians and political pundits while the rest of us at best contribute with our vote every 4 or 5 years.

Every potential reform of the system to open it up and refresh democracy is resisted tooth and nail by the political classes of all parties at Westminster. From AV to Lords reform. As for accountability. MP’s expenses would still be shrouded in secrecy if it hadn’t been for whistle-blowers and brave journalists.

Much of the appeal of the Nationalist cause is arguably about this aspiration for more democracy and there is something politically enlivening about the process of challenging and taking back from the concentration of power at the centre. It is really satisfying to watch the FM take on the PM and send him back to London with a flea in his ear.

If it’s not Nationalism that rocks your boat then what is your democratic vision for the future of Scotland ?






September 23 2012: The Scottish obsession with the constitution has not served Scotland well

Tom Harris insisted Scottish Labour has an advantage over it’s nationalist opponents. For most Scot’s, devolution was never an end in itself. Donald Dewar’s dream was of a fully devolved Scotland, firmly within the UK but developing unique and radical policies that might even inspire the rest of the country once they were seen to succeed in Scotland. devolution as nothing more than a vehicle through which better policy solutions could be delivered.

Nationalists, on the other hand, however much they will deny it, see, “independence” as the end result of their struggle. A bad decision made in Edinburgh is, they believe, better than a good decision made on our behalf by Westminster.

A reader commented: “If Labour have big ideas to add to the post-constitutional referendum debate or even to enliven the debate process itself then we should hear them. We have been waiting a long time. A recall of some missed opportunities.

Before the Labour victory of 1997 we had Labour promises on all sorts of constitutional reform like Charter 88 which would have rebalanced the power of the citizen viz a vis the state. Then there are constitutional developments, up to and including independence, which have the potential to free up the way we think about public services and service delivery in modern Scotland and within a Scottish context.

The current institutional inertia in Scotland has been in large part cultivated by the Labour Party and has served it well until now. Constitutional reform does not need to be a barrier to new political and institutional thinking, indeed it could well be a catalyst, releasing new creative energy and freeing some of Scotland’s vested interests from institutional capture. Which is why Scottish Labour policy is limiting since ultimately it takes a limited, narrow and politically conservative view of constitutional reform.






 October 22 2012 Scottish Fishermen’s Federation attacks shadow Fisheries Minister Tom Harris for failing to understand his brief

The Scottish Fishermen’s Federation has launched a scathing attack on Shadow Fisheries Minister Tom Harris for his complete failure to understand the numerous problems currently facing the Scottish fishing industry.

The criticism of the minister comes in the wake of his contention that fishermen should be treated like ‘drug dealers’ in reference to the pelagic sector following prosecutions brought against them for incidents that occurred many years ago.



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April 1 2013: Tom Harris’ Taxpayer-Funded Game of Thrones Session – The I-Pad saga

Apple addict and Doctor Who fanatic Tom Harris, the likeable if slightly geeky Labour MP, got into a bit of bother when it was revealed he successively claimed for three iPads on expenses, insisting that they were for his staff and, according to the rules, that they were needed, “wholly, exclusively, and necessarily in the performance of their parliamentary duties”.

When queried about the use of iPads by staff versus cheaper computers with keyboards on which to type letters to constituents, Tom gave assurance that it wasn’t just him upgrading to the latest models. They were all at it.



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June 12 2013: Glasgow MP Tom Harris leaves Labour front bench for family

Labour MP Tom Harris has quit the front-bench – saying he was unable to juggle the responsibility with his family life. The MP for Glasgow South was appointed shadow environment, food and rural affairs minister in May last year. But he told party leader Ed Miliband that combining that extra role with his responsibilities as a husband and father had proved, “beyond me”.

In his resignation letter, the former minister who sought the leadership of the party in Scotland, said he had been “delighted” to return to the front-bench. But he added: “You and the party need frontbenchers who can fully commit to holding the coalition to account and to doing the hard work necessary to move into government in two years. “I am faced with the uncomfortable truth that my talents, such as they are, do not extend to being an effective front bencher as well as a good husband and father.”





July 18 2013: The tenth best MP on Twitter

Harris is a fully qualified journalist. Fluent in shorthand he has long been required reading on Twitter. The Scottish Labour MP is funny, eloquent, honest, steely and impatient. He can be tough. His mockery of his attackers on Twitter shows a man who resembles a columnist as much as he does an MP.

Nevertheless he is to be commended for standing up for his profession, in numerous tweets and blog posts, against a public which often associates being a member of parliament with being a criminal. “Just had some idiot on Twitter telling me I should be “MP-ing” instead of watching the tennis. “good grief” he wrote recently.

His Commons commentary is also golden. “Dear front bencher’s – when you throw your head back ostentatiously to ‘laugh’ derisively, you look like an idiot.” Harris is the opposite of those fake, positive Twitter accounts most MPs manage in a desperate bid never to cause offense.

In actual fact, Harris really isn’t nice at all. He’s a political attack dog with a side-serving of Doctor Who trivia. Firm, workmanlike and delivered from the trenches: this is beefy stuff.






September 26 2013: Why I Wouldn’t Support Votes for Sixteen and Seventeen-Year-Olds

Ed Miliband supports the campaign to lower the voting age which is being promoted by the vaguely left wing political classes and there seems to be plenty, or at least, vocal, support for the measure.

It’s just a pity that among the age group affected, demand for change doesn’t go beyond that tiny unrepresentative minority of teenagers who are already politically engaged.



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October 25  2013: Tom Harris Gets involved in the 2016 London Mayor election

Elected office is now too often something that can be attempted according to the convenience of the aspiring politician. Shouldn’t one’s calling, one’s conviction, come first? If the cause you espouse is so important, if the solutions you offer so vital to the well-being of your future electorate, surely such trifles as personal career, even family, must take a second place in your priorities?







December 14 2013: Voting Record — Tom Harris MP, Glasgow South (2001-2013)

Wonder why he remains a member of the Labour Party. He regularly rebels against Labour in the Commons.






December 23 2013: Labour MP: Tom Harris twittered angrily in support of Denis MacShane

Denis McShane, former Labour Party minister was sentenced to six months in prison after claiming more than £13,000 in fraudulent expense claims. The Taxpayers’ Alliance commented, “justice has been done”. “He routinely forged receipts to take taxpayers’ money” and that it was not up to the taxpayer to fund MacShane’s trips around Europe.

“This is an awful day, the jailing of my friend and ex-colleague Denis MacShane for making bogus expense claims was not justice”, said his former Labour colleague Tom Harris.






Annual Cost Travel, Accommodation, Subsistence, Office Rental & Running Costs – 2110-2014


Accommodation £12,542 (7 months rent and ancillary costs only)

Constituency £5,378 (6 months office rental)

General Admin £7,655 (£1,906 cellphones, telephones, mobile broadband, £3,699 computer hardware purchase + incidentals)

Travel £14,075 (£10,028 MP travel by air, car, rail, taxi Remainder staff and dependent travel costs)

Total £39,951





Accommodation £21,637 (rent of flat London £1,447 monthly (£1,950 from February)+ ancillary costs)

Constituency £21,079 (£11,150 office rental 1 year. computer hardware purchase £2,140 Cellphone, mobile broadband and other costs)

General Admin £240

Travel £17,132 (£11,362 MP travel by air, car, rail, taxi + £5,500 staff and dependent travel & accommodation costs)

Total £60,086







Accommodation £20,301 (rent of flat London £1,950 for 5 months then change of accommodation £8,580 + ancillary costs)

Constituency £23,740 (£11,150 office rental 1 year. computer hardware purchase £2,140 Cellphone, mobile broadband and other costs + rewiring and office redecoration)

General Admin £240

Travel £19,389 (£14,989 MP travel by air, car, rail, taxi + £4,400 staff and dependent travel & accomodation costs)

Total £64,217







Accommodation £18,790 (rent of flat London £1,430 for 12 months + ancillary costs)

Constituency £21,492 (£11,150 office rental 1 year. computer leasing £1556, stationery £3,106 + Cellphone, mobile broadband and other costs)

Travel £14,769 (£11,769 MP travel by air, car, rail, taxi + £3,000 staff and dependent travel & accommodation costs)

Staffing £132,693

Total £187,745




Labour Party

Willie Bain – Labour Candidate for Glasgow North East – Time To Bring To An End Seventy Years Of Shameful Neglect Of Constituents And Their Honourable But Misplaced Loyalty




bain2Willie Bain




2009: Local reaction in Glasgow North East following resignation of Michael Martin

a. No one walking through Mr Martin’s constituency of Glasgow North East yesterday could have failed to note the stark contrast between the deprivation on the streets, and the stories of refurnished second homes and thousand-pound food bills that have been front-page fare for the past two weeks.

b. The gap between the haves and the have-nots has always been incendiary in politics. It is what brought Labour to power in the first place. Now, as the voters look around, they see that, for all the promises, the reality of their own lives bears no comparison with the luxuries to which their MPs have grown accustomed. That is why the anger is so palpable, the desire for electoral revenge almost tangible.

c. One woman, approached by a Times reporter yesterday, summed up the mood of disillusion in this way: “After I have paid my bills I have nothing. I can’t afford to buy my TV licence. The people at the social tell us that teabags are luxuries and then you hear what the MPs spend their money on, and Michael Martin has been protecting them. I would never vote for Labour again.” This is the voice that Labour should have been listening to, but it is a voice that it has ceased to hear.






d. “I’ve known Michael Martin for 37 years, his son Paul as well, but I’m not going to use my vote at all until this whole thing is sorted out, and I have voted Labour all my life,” said Jean Deighan, 60, a hotel housekeeper.

e. The expenses scandal was “disgusting. It’s theft on a grand scale,” said James Love, 69, a former joiner. Like many others, Martin’s failure to police the Commons has crystallized Love’s mounting resentment about Labour’s wider performance: local issues like the closure of Stobhill hospital by the last Labour-Lib Dem government in Edinburgh and of three primary schools by Glasgow’s Labour council have been sharpened.

f. “He has been an MP here for years and years, but to be honest with you, you could put a monkey up here for Labour, and they would get in. I hope not now. I’ve no longer got any faith in Labour,” he said.






2009: Preliminary Jousting in the months following the resignation of the sitting MP, Mr Martin.

a. Labour Party accused of “running scared” of voters for leaving Glasgow residents without an MP for at least another four months by refusing to trigger the Parliamentary mechanism needed for an election.

b. Harriet Harman, the Leader of the House, insisted that the poll caused by the resignation of Michael Martin, the former Speaker, over the expenses scandal could not take place during the school holidays. The SNP attempted to force an earlier election by calling a vote in the House of Commons to move the writ straight away, which would have meant a poll in mid-August, but lost by 111 votes.

c. The SNP questioned why the Norwich North poll could go ahead on 23 July, when the Glasgow North East election was being delayed until October. The answer was that the Labour Party wished to be sure as many of their voters were at home and not away on holiday.

d. The real reason was that Gordon Brown considered time would be a healer and any delay in holding the by-election would be a good thing hopefully taking the heat out of the situation.

e. So the electorate were callously denied representation in Westminster for nearly 5 months.






2009: Glasgow North East November By-Election – Voters Voice Their Opinions

a. It is impossible for any candidate, other than Labour to win this constituency over, there are so many blinker wearing Labour supporters but It would be satisfying to see an honest socialist returned to Westminster. The best way forward is with the SNP but, on this occasion the candidate they have selected has not endeared himself to the electorate.

b. The Labour Party has had 74 years to get it right but what do we see? once thriving communities, with plenty of work, allowed to fester and rot with properties bulldozed to the ground and communities destroyed. Where the busiest places are the food bank and the Welfare office.

c. Not because people are idle or stupid, but because there is no employment for any of the many trades formally guaranteed work in the now destroyed engineering works and supporting industries. Those fortunate enough to find work locally are primarily women who work for a pittance in the local supermarket.

d. What is badly needed is a massive investment in the area improving housing, reintroducing manufacturing industries, eliminating drug dealing criminals and helping addicts to recover, helping the elderly and the sick, numbers of which the area has many more than the national average.There is a lot of anger here about Michael Martin and the labour Party the consequence of which is apathy.

e. If there’s any part of Glasgow with, “No Mean City” gouged on its forearm in sharpened Biro, it is Glasgow North East. The constituency, taking in a slice of Bishopbriggs in the north to the fringes of the city centre in the south, brings new shades of meaning to fearsome; it is urban squalor in every hue, an area that looks as if it is helping police with their enquiries.

f. The UK Polling Report guide says Glasgow North East is one of the “most degraded, deprived and crime-ridden parts” of the country. Come here and you are left supposing it was just being diplomatic, though, as you shuttle between the mean, flatlining shopping centres and the vast science fiction interzone of the Red Road flats.

g. I have been following the Labour campaign quite closely – it seems to rest solely on attacking the SNP – not much is said about making Glasgow North East a better place for the people that live there.

h. I read an article which said that 60% of the homes in the constituency are ‘workless’ – when not a family member is in paid employment. The labour candidate for Glasgow North East has been the local party secretary since 1999 under the previous regime of the now infamous Michael Martin MP.

i. I cannot find much about the expenses scandal in relation to Mr Bain. But during his tenure as secretary he will no doubt have known about the employment of Mr Martin’s family where they employed his wife, daughter and son in the local constituency.

j. On the campaign front the only comment I can find from Mr Bain is that he has promised that if elected he will not claim ‘lavish’ expenses.

k. I wonder if you knew that the previous incumbent MP of Glasgow NE spent £1400 in limousine hire to visit Celtic Park and a few other places during his time as an MP – the driver waited outside. perhaps Mr Bain went to Parkhead as well – the SNP should start asking questions!…eltic-Park.html

l. Glasgow North East is a very deprived area where those, people who bother to vote, tend to opt out, by voting Labour without thinking why. Lies, damn lies and politics.



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2009: Glasgow North East, 1999-2009. A collection of photos taken in Glasgow North East from 1999 to 2009 set to the song ‘Killermont Street’ by Roddie Frame of Aztec Camera. The song tells of the harsh personal, social and economic effects of the decline of heavy industry in Glasgow







2009: Willie Bain Labour Party – Official Election Biography

a. William (Willie) Bain 37y MP Glasgow North East – was elected in a by-election November 2009, (following the forced retirement of Speaker Michael Martin) and re-elected in the general election of 2010. He was born, educated, brought up, and has always lived in in the constituency.

b. He was born in Stobhill Hospital, grew up on the Carron estate in Springburn, and went to St Roch’s RC Secondary School. His dad William was a lift engineer and his mum Catherine was a payroll clerk. They both live in the same house Willie grew up in.

c. Willie was the first person in his family to go to university, and he studied law at the University of Strathclyde. He decided not to become a lawyer to but to stay in education, where he taught public law for thirteen years, first at the University of Strathclyde and then London South Bank University.






2009:  Aftermath of the By-election – Claims of voting fraud – benefiting Willie Bain

a. The by-election, in Labour’s safest seat in Scotland, was caused by the resignation of the former Commons speaker, Michael Martin. In 2005, Labour candidate Michael Martin took the seat with 15,153 votes.

This time the Labour candidate, Willie Bain, took the seat with 12,231 votes. The Scottish National Party came a poor second with 4120 votes. It is suspected that Labour Party’s Willie Bain may have benefited from vote fraud;

Police are investigating reports of voting fraud with multiple voting at polling stations. At the St Denis’s polling station, police were called in by staff after voters turned up to be told their vote has already been cast. “We have had three incidents at polling stations today where voters turned up and their name had already been crossed off,” said a council spokesman.

Glasgow City Council and The Scotsman claimed that over 6,000 people registered for postal votes in Glasgow North East, which is 10 percent of eligible voters. (Surely not that many people are bed ridden or in absentia, even in Glasgow North East?)

The Scottish National Party’s Alex Salmond, “told the Guardian that he had been very surprised at the large number of late postal vote applications submitted in this campaign. “Around 1,100 were made in the three days before applications closed.  Equally chilling is the revelation that over 4000 extra voters have been added to the electoral register in the last month, accounting for 25% of those that voted.”






2009: Just Where Does Willie Bain Live?

a. During the campaign, at every opportunity Willie Bain described himself as residing in the constituency but, strangely, he held a post as a lecturer in London where he worked part time (three days per week). He told the press that he stayed at his mothers place in Springburn, Glasgow, when not in London.

b. I don’t know how he managed to afford to travel home every week when working in London yet living in Glasgow. Surely lecturers wages are not that great, so they keep telling us, and yet he can afford to do this constant traveling and be able to live in London as well.

c. I, “happened” to visit Hammersmith & Fulham town hall and, “happened” to notice a William Bain living at an address given as his place of residence in London and found he was registered to vote in Hammersmith & Fulham.

d. Yet, the Labour party in Glasgow denied that William Bain was registered to vote in London. No Scottish media reporter has ever asked Willie Bain this question. What is so important about this question? Willie Bain founded his campaign on his insistence that he lived in the Glasgow NE constituency and was, therefore, a local.

e. He also used this ‘fact’ to attack the SNP candidate for not being local. This would be something that could have been easily checked by any Scottish media investigative reporter.

f. However, the Scottish media, in my opinion, have been consistent in not asking any probing questions to any Scottish Labour MP or MSP. Make of that what you will.








2009 – The secretary knows where the ……. are buried

a. Willie is registered as secretary of the Glasgow North East Constituency Labour Party and its predecessor constituency, Glasgow Springburn, from 1999 to 2009.

b. In his address He stated  “I am deeply honoured to be elected as Glasgow North East’s MP. I have already begun the work of standing up for families and children in my constituency at Westminster. Politicians have to keep in touch with the people who elect them, and that’s why I’m working hard in the constituency too.”

c. “I will never claim lavish expenses and never milk the system. We know the next General Election is a straight choice between Labour and the Tories – the SNP are irrelevant in that debate.”

d. “Growing up in Glasgow, we know the devastation caused by the Tory years. We saw the poverty, the mass unemployment, a whole generation and a whole city written off, pensioners living in freezing conditions with no dignity. It made me angry then and it makes me angry now.”

e. Apparently though, he lives here and cares deeply about all these things and wants to do something about the problems. So why hasn’t he?  He’s Secretary of the Labour Party in the constituency, worked closely with Michael Martin and Paul Martin, the “dynamic” father and son duo who seem pretty satisfied with their track records (even if nobody else is), indeed his party has been in charge there for SEVENTY FOUR YEARS.

f. So why does he SUDDENLY want to do something about it? If he cared that much he’d have spoken out before now. As secretary of Labour, Willie Bain colluded in the complacency that resulted in people here having to put up with higher rates of drug and alcohol addiction and deaths, higher rates of heart disease, lower life expectancy.






2009: Willie Bain believes his by-election victory can trigger a revival in The Labour Party’s fortunes.

a. On being sworn into the House of Commons on Wednesday, 18 November he said, ‘These are tough times, but I was enormously encouraged by what happened last week. We have come through a lot as a party and as a nation with the recession, the expenses scandal and a breakdown of trust in politicians.”

b. Willie was keen to point out that the Action Plan he campaigned on was already in the early stages of formation. His aim is to access a share of the £1b Jobs Fund from central government and use it in Glasgow. ‘I was at Downing Street on Wednesday and the Prime Minister and I agreed the big issue is about jobs.

c. We discussed the need to get more jobs investment in Glasgow in particular. ‘Once my office is up and running I’ll be working with people from the council, voluntary groups and local businesses to set up the jobs summit.

d. “There is money at Westminster, but we need to bring the bids together to allow the money to be released. Unemployment is at 12% in this constituency so it’s so important that we get in there in the next six months and make sure that the money is spent.”

c. Willie has now resigned from his job at the South Bank University in London where he was a law lecturer. If ever there has been a time for MPs to be squeaky-clean then that time is now. Something it would appear Willie has taken note of.

d. He insisted he has no plans of buying a property and he will continue to stay at his folks house in Springburn. He said; ‘The Members Services Office explained the various issues including living arrangements. ‘The person that was going through it with me explained that the current expenses system allows you to purchase a house and have the mortgage interest paid for by the House.

e. ‘But he looked at my face and sensed the disapproval, and said ‘I suspect you’re not going to do that are you?’ ‘People are angry that MPs have been able to benefit through this and I wont be doing that.’






2009: Accomodation in London

a.”The hotel near Euston Station that I stayed in three times a week when I was working in London is the same hotel that I am happy to stay in now when I’m down there.”  Didn’t last long. He now rents a flat and recovers all expenditure.

b. The Kelly recommendation, which aims to stop Westminster politicians profiting from their London homes, comes into play at the next general election and is fully supported by Willie.

c. He said  ‘I’m all for the Kelly Recommendation and argued throughout the campaign that it should be brought in immediately. It should also be applied to the Scottish Parliament.’






2009: Darling snub to Scotland undermines Willie Bain and Scottish Labour – Doris calls on Bain not to fall

a. Following news that the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Alasdair Darling, has snubbed cross party calls in Scotland to accelerate capital expenditure to support Scottish jobs and the housing sector, SNP MSP for Glasgow Bob Doris commented: “Willie Bain, the new Labour MP for Glasgow North East supported SNP calls for capital acceleration.

b. “Failure to accelerate capital expenditure to Scotland by the UK Labour Government despite cross party support north of the border is a real slap in the face for Scotland. It will put at risk 5,000 Scottish jobs and do nothing to stimulate the Scottish economy.

c. “This may be Mr Bain’s first real test. Will he hide on the Commons back benches or will he stand up for his constituents?

d. “I call on Willie Bain and his Labour colleagues in Glasgow to join the SNP in condemning Alasdair Darling’s decision. At a stroke Brown and Darling have shown that voting Labour in Scotland delivers nothing from the UK Government. Voters who supported Mr Bain in the Glasgow North East by election will be watching with interest.”

e. “Labour’s ‘tell them what they want to hear’ style of election campaigning will start to unravel quickly if he refuses to do the decent thing.” He did nothing.







2010: Electoral Commission Rebukes Prime Minster Brown and the labour Government.

a. Britain’s election watchdog has issued an unprecedented rebuke to the Labour Party over the four-and-a-half-month delay in holding the Glasgow North East by-election. The Electoral Commission pointed out in its report that no constituency in the UK had been without an MP for a longer period in the past 35 years.

b. The by-election was staged after Michael Martin, the former Commons Speaker, decided to stand down as an MP in the wake of the expenses scandal.






2011: The sordid attack by Scottish MPs on Scotland’s freedom – with help from English MPs



willie bain



2012: Willie Bain attempts to discredit Scottish Independence

a. Yet another Labour Party stalwart has jumped into the breach to try and stem the tide of opinion in favour of Scottish Independence. This time it is Willie Bain, Westminster MP and Shadow Scotland Office Minister. This latest effort appears in Labour List which is a grassroots Labour Party online site.

b. Willie’s offering has the title “Why the Left should beware Salmond-onomics”  which is presumably meant to be an attempt at witticism. If you have the stomach for it you can read the whole piece here.

c. Now the first thing to be said is that a left wing critique of current SNP economic policies would be a most welcome contribution. Alas, Willie Bain’s piece is no such thing. It is one more blatant attempt to discredit Scottish Independence.

d. What is interesting about this piece is that Bain makes not attempt to present a positive case for the Union, but simply asserts again and again that Scotland is too wee and too poor to be a successful state in its own right.







2012: Liar Liar Pants on Fire.

a. I am enraged at the bare faced lies of Willie Bain (Labour)who yet again pops up and tells the world that Scotland is being damaged by the prospect of an independence referendum in that companies are not investing here. This is the 3rd time I have heard this odious little man deliberately lying on national TV and getting away with it.

b. It is no more than a malicious attempt at causing damage to Scotland. This is the kind of wickedness and propaganda that the anti scotland parties are now getting away with it. Angus McNeil had a wide open goal with Bain and failed utterly to hold him to account. He should have publicly called him a liar and forced him to either provide the evidence or withdraw his treacherous propaganda.

c. It really is time for the SNP to stick the boot in to these liars. As it is Bain and Macmillan’s lies and propaganda that will do the damage if it is not stopped. These people would sooner see Scotland in eternal penury than independent.

d. What a disgrace.






2012: Ed Balls: The Labour Party will vote against the government’s higher rate tax change next week

a. We will vote against the 50p change. It is the wrong tax cut at the wrong time. I have always said that no tax rate is set in stone, but how can anyone believe it is right to take tax credits from working families. But they did not turn up to vote!!!!!!!!!! March 27 2012: March 27 2012:

Click to access labouremailleak.pdf






2012: There is a long-standing PLP convention that we do not support SNP motions – we will oppose the Finance Bill & lay amendments.

This week saw the leak of a document that showed the depths of Labour tribalism. A gift to oppose the Tories tax cut for millionaires was rejected by Labour because it would mean siding with Plaid Cymru and the SNP.

According to a tweet by Labour’s shadow Scotland office minister Willie Bain MP, it was revealed that the Tory budget which will benefit the UK’s millionaires was not opposed because it “is a long-standing PLP convention that we do not support SNP motions”.

The SNP’s Stewart Hosie commented: “Even when it came to voting against a Tory tax cut for millionaires, Labour could not put its resentment of the SNP aside in the interests of ordinary working people. “Mr Bain’s comments are a very sad indictment of Labour and his party’s failure, to put people before narrow politics, will rebound very badly on them.”

Comment. Straight from the horses mouth. Regardless of merit and benefit to the constituents the Labour Party in Scotland will vote against the SNP. Reckless and stupidity beyond the pale. The Party apparently hates the SNP more than it loves Scotland.



labour achievements glasgow



2012: Further confirmation of the, “Bain Principle”

a. The minority SNP administration in Stirling was prevented from passing a budget earlier this year by the combined forces of Labour and Conservatives who then joined to propose and pass a budget with a 1% Council Tax reduction. This saved householders pennies each week but cost the Council millions of pounds.

b. The Unionists did so, spitefully, in the belief that a majority SNP administration post-election would suffer politically in attempting to provide council services on a reduced budget and, no doubt, introduce service cuts.

c. This was a strange one. Throughout the election there were cries from Unionist party activists that the SNP was fighting a national campaign while they were fighting on local issues. This despite a plethora of election leaflets being produced with slogans like ‘Save the Union’, ‘Don’t Split Up the UK’ and similar.

d. And, when questioned by the media about the Tory-Labour coalition in Stirling (when SNP and Labour policy locally are similar) Labour Group Leader Corrie McChord stated he couldn’t work with the SNP. ‘It’s the big question of separation,’ he said.

e. Well, Mr McChord (and Mr Bain), as a member of the SNP Dunblane & Bridge of Allan branch which is part of the Stirling council area, I can confirm we have no local plans to separate from either the UK or the rest of Scotland.

f. So, the reason you can’t work with the SNP locally is because of a national issue? Or could it be that in the run up to 2014, with the symbolism of Stirling Castle, the Wallace Monument and Bannockburn, it was decided Stirling could just not be in SNP hands?

g. I tried to point this out to the (Honourable) Member for Glasgow North East. “I understand that. Local ‘circumstances’ according to Stirling Labour leader was ‘separation’.” I received no response from my MP. I don’t expect one either.

i. I know he’s a busy man and probably had to run off somewhere. With his tail between his legs. Labour ‘principles’ exposed yet again. The Bain Principle intact.



McTernan again



2012: The Benefits System

a. Can Scotland afford its benefit system? The only thing we know for certain is that the devastated and impoverished Springburn constituency has never been able to afford its Labour MPs, who for generations have done nothing for Springburn, but a helluva lot for themselves – witness Lord Martin, the disgraced former Speaker who presided over the expenses scandal that ripped off the taxpayer.

b. Radio Interview – Vote No and Benefits Go – Blair Jenkins and Willie Bain – Scotland’s Welfare – Why oh why will SNP MPs when they are on the national airwaves not nail these liars?  Willie has a weakness. He has a pathological hatred of the SNP.






September 2012: MP’s claiming 250,000 a day in tax free expenses

The amount of money claimed by MPs in expenses rose by almost a quarter in 12 months as they hit nearly £90 million in 2011-12, with three Scottish MPs in the top five claimants including Glasgow North East Labour MP Willie Bain, with £180,923.70.


If anyone had any doubts why Labour and the Liberals want to remain in the union then this is it, it’s not that it is good for Scotland, it’s because it’s good for Labour and Liberal Gravy Train Commuters .

Glasgow North East MP Willie Bain and his fellow MP’s have choices to make,  do they vote YES for Scotland’s Independence knowing full well that it is what is best for Scotland but at the same time kissing goodbye to their £70,000 salary and their £181,000 in expenses (Christmas and Turkey spring to mind) in fact is there not a conflict of interest here, c’mon good people of Scotland, over the years we have watched thousands of honest hard working miners, shipbuilders, steelworkers , mill workers and many more put out to grass, is it not time to put our MP’s out to grass, I hope that in future Scot’s like me will think that every time a Scottish MP is asked if Scotland will be better off Independent and the answer is NO, they are only really looking after their own self interests.



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2013: Labour Plan to Make Benefits a “Human Right”

a. Willie admitted it would be a lot easier for Labour to do a deal with Vince Cable he says a Lib-Lab coalition would make welfare benefits a “human right”:

b. “Sadiq asked me to do this and Jon Cruddas is keen on this as well is to look at whether economic and social rights can be put into law. At the moment the human rights act just deals with civil political rights.

c. It needs really careful handling because I think the politics of this would be the Tories would say it’s a scroungers charter, helping skivers….we might just talk about having a commission on it. It might need a commission after the election…that’s something again where there’d be a communality with the Libs.”






2013: Is Willie Bain, Labour MP, good for Glasgow North East?

a. Glasgow NE is one of the most deprived constituencies in the United Kingdom. (Milton, Ashfield, Keppochhill, Royston, Cowlairs, Springburn, Wallacewell, Milnbank, Dennistoun, Carntyne, Robroyston, and Gartcraig).

b. Willie Bain voted along with the Conservatives to continue austerity. Will that help those that live there?  Well, it will not affect his £200,000 a year expenses and £66,000 salary.

c. “Many Scottish Labour representatives have told us that they put party loyalty above all else, even expressly against their own beliefs, the interests of Scotland and the people who elected them.”

d. The MP last year admitted that he would still oppose Scottish independence even if he was completely convinced that it would benefit the people of Scotland.

e.Willie Bain also called for the renewal of Trident. The costs of which are still rising (£130 billion), the MOD is already placing orders for, but which has not been fully voted on in Westminster.






2013: Labour tying themselves in knots over the bedroom tax

Labour’s refusal to commit to scrapping the Bedroom Tax has been described today as symptomatic of the knots that the party is tying itself in over their partnership with the Tories in the No campaign. Appearing on Good Morning Scotland today (Wednesday), Labour Shadow Scotland Office Minister Willie Bain repeatedly refused to reveal where his party stands on abolishing the Bedroom Tax, stating that Labour would not make commitments until the 2015 general election – and he refused even to criticise Tory Work & Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith.






2014: The 30 Scottish Labour MP’s That Voted For Osborne’s Welfare Cap

a. So what did these ‘weekend socialists’ do when they returned to the day job at Westminster? Well, they voted with the Tories to put a cap on the amount of money the Government can spend on the welfare budget.

b. A callous, reprehensible and regressive measure that will once again disadvantage the poorest in our communities. A stupid, crude, blunt instrument to hammer the poor. Way to go comrade.

c. As a service to you, here is the list of those ‘weekend socialists’ who voted with the Tories to cap the level of spending allocated to helping the poorest in our community. These are the ‘weekend socialist 30’. You can put them up there with the 10 bedroom tax skivers from last year.

Margaret Curran  – Glasgow East – Tom Greatrex – Rutherglen and Hamilton West – Ian Murray – Edinburgh South – Willie Bain – Glasgow North East – Gordon Banks – Ochil and South Perthshire – Tom Clarke – Coatbridge, Chryston and Bellshill – Dame Anne Begg – Aberdeen Alistair Darling – Edinburgh South West – Ian Davidson – Glasgow South West – Thomas Docherty – Dunfermline and West Fife – Frank Doran – Aberdeen North – Gemma Doyle – West Dunbartonshire – Sheila Gilmore – Edinburgh East  David Hamilton – Midlothian – Tom Harris – Glasgow South – Jimmy Hood – Lanark and Hamilton East – Cathy Jamieson – Kilmarnock and Loudon – Mark Lazarowicz  – Edinburgh North and Leith – Gregg McClymont – Cumbernauld, Kilsyth and Kirkintilloch East – Anne McGuire – Stirling – Anne McKechin – Glasgow North – Iain McKenzie – Greeenock and Inverclyde – Grahame Morris – Livingston – Jim Murphy – East Renfrewshire – Pamela Nash – Airdrie and Shotts – Sandra Osborne – Ayr, Carrick and Cumnock – John Robertson – Glasgow North West – Frank Roy – Motherwell and Wishaw – Lindsay Roy –  Glenrothes – Anas Sarwar – Glasgow Central.



I don’t know why anyone finds this particularly surprising. After all, we are talking about a party which abstained en masse, when the ConDems changed the law retrospectively to validate their workfare program. The days when the Labour Party could be relied upon to support the poorest in society are long since gone.

I asked my MP Jim Murphy to explain his party’s actions, and as you’d expect, my inbox remained empty!

Labour haven’t just lost their way, they have chosen the path of being ‘Tory Light’ to pick up disgruntled Conservative voters. They’re leaning to the right like the Tower of Pisa!

It’s beyond me why Labour don’t just formally join the London coalition government, then the three shades of Toryism could work together to find the money to make Trident seem more affordable. Labour members must be so proud of their elected representatives. More proof that we are certainly Better Together.en this path of being ‘Tory Light’ to pick up disgruntled Conservative voters.

What I don’t fully understand is why all of a sudden it has become almost a crime in some people’s eyes to claim any sort of benefit when we’re allowing banks and large corporations to avoid paying tax. I did hear that some hedge fund managers, who had a tax break in last years budget, have recently donated almost £1.5 million to the Tory party. Is this sort of ‘corruption’ as commonplace as it seems to be these days?






2014: The crisis for the Labour Party resulting from the recent Independence Referendum seems to be worsening.

a. Not only did voters in the traditional Labour heartlands of Glasgow, West Dunbartonshire and North Lanarkshire reject Labour’s advice to vote No.  long-standing members of the Labour Party have resigned in recent months claiming Labour has abandoned the most vulnerable people in our communities.

b. Many local members have been expressing their unease about Labour’s attitude to Welfare. Whilst no one has any time for those who seek to abuse the welfare system, we have consistently raised concerns about the bad way benefit cuts are affecting people who are sick, disabled and out of work through no fault of their own.

c. The growth in the use of food banks is evidence of the impact these cuts are having on many local people, so the fact that Labour’s shadow work & pensions secretary Rachel Reeves has promised a future Labour Government will be tougher than the Tories on benefits has angered many traditional Labour supporters.

d. The final straw for some came earlier this year when Labour Members of Parliament, including local MPs Willie Bain, Anne McKechin & Margaret Curran, voted in favour of the George Osborne’s benefits cap. This was despite the fact that Save the Children and other Charities warned the cap would put 345,000 children in the UK into poverty in the space of four years.

e. I assume Johann Lamont’s defenders of the people in the Labour Party will oppose this move by the government on the grounds of their principled stance, as explained by Willie Bain MP, that Labour oppose everything that the SNP propose.

f. When asked to explain her reasoning Ms Curran said, ‘The Welfare Cap is not about cutting people’s benefits, it’s about accountability. Breaching the cap, which applies to overall social security spending not household income, will not mean that benefits suddenly stop or are reduced, just that the Government of the day has to explain why it has happened.

g. I am perfectly relaxed about a future Labour Government being held accountable for how it uses taxpayers money. I am also confident that a future Labour Government can drastically reduce the overall social security bill without cuts; by increasing and strengthening the minimum wage, getting people back to work, building more homes and reforming the private rented sector. We have also said that we will abolish the unfair bedroom tax, which may end up costing more than it saves.’

h. Others take a rather different view. Their analysis is that the Labour Party is terrified of any accusation about being soft on benefits and that the Party would rather buy into the myth that all people who receive benefits of whatever description are scroungers. For all the talk of supporting “hard working families” many people find themselves reliant on benefits through an accident, illness or redundancy.

i. The conclusion some have reached is that Labour are no longer standing up for people who find themselves in this type of situation and this could explain why many didn’t follow the party line in the referendum vote. Local feelings are running high and it will be interesting to see whether this level of disillusionment continues at the General Election in 2015.



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2014: Willie Bain calls for reconciliation after referendum

No sooner had Willie Bain called for reconciliation than people were tweeting how their elderly parents had been TOLD BY HIM they would lose their pensions if they voted Yes.


Contrast the foregoing with this.


2004: MP’s Increase  Their Pensions By 25%

a. MPs have awarded themselves a massive pension rise under new rules sneaked through on Monday. Their pay-outs – partly funded by the taxpayer – will climb by 25 per cent. The details were released just as Gordon Brown was unveiling his three-year spending review.

b. The move is a brutal snub to the millions of ordinary people struggling to save for retirement amid the deepening pensions crisis. Both the Treasury and the Department of Work and Pensions warned against the increase.

c. But the move went ahead – and was quietly revealed by Commons Leader Robin Cook in a written Parliamentary answer. He disclosed that MPs, who earn £55,118 a year, will see their pension entitlement increase by a quarter with immediate effect.

d. But the boost to the Commons pension fund comes as firms throughout the country are scrapping such final salary schemes, which pay a fixed income according to salary at retirement. They have been replaced by more risky and less generous schemes based on stock market performance.

e. With the devastating falls in the market, millions of workers now fear retirement poverty. The Treasury has been accused of aggravating the crisis with higher taxes on pension funds.


and this:


2014: MP’s exempt themselves from changes to pension state pension age

a. In the coalition agreement, the Tories and Liberal Democrats said changes to the retirement age for women wouldn’t take place until at least 2020:

We will phase out the default retirement age and hold a review to set the date at which the state pension age starts to rise to 66, although it will not be sooner than 2016 for men and 2020 for women.”

b. Unsurprisingly however, the coalition have broken the agreement. They’ve announced that changes to the State Pension Age would be brought in much sooner than they promised – with less than two years’ notice in some cases. This leaves tens of thousands of women approaching retirement age without a pension they’d planned for – sometimes for as long as 6 years.

c. A lot of men are also facing much longer waits for a state pension than they’d budgeted for.

d. Mind you – Lib Dem and Tory MPs aren’t daft. Unlike everyone else – they’ve made sure MPs close to retirement got a ten year exemption to changes in their own pensions





Late Breaking information about Willie Bain ( Q. How many Labour MPs does it take to change a light bulb? A. None. Labour never change anything.)

a. Willie Bain was a graduate teaching assistant at the Law School in the University of Strathclyde from approximately March 2001 to March 2005.  It is likely that this was not his primary role there, instead this role (sometimes some face-to-face tutoring to assist busy lecturers, but generally a bit of dogsbody) was probably as an aside to his studies for a PhD.

b. Bain does not use the title, “Dr” it looks like he was unsuccessful in gaining a doctorate, if he did in fact study for one. This may explain why he had to get a job in London, as without a PhD, he would struggle to get a job as a law lecturer in Glasgow, never mind the senior lecturing post he claims he had at London’s South Bank University.

b. Also germane is the fact that his qualification is listed simply as LLB, rather than LLB (Hons), which he would be entitled to if he had had successfully completed an honours degree and not a general. More failure perhaps?

c. Regardless, if Bain had studied for a 3 or 4 year degree after school then he should have graduated about 15 years ago (1994). Instead – assuming he went directly from studying to being a GTA, as normal – he became a GTA approx 7 years later.

d. why?? Where are those 7 years? What did he do? Can anyone find the missing years. He is a bit of an enigma. Posted by; Pure Jamie of the glasgowguide forum




Apart from salary what does Willie cost the taxpayer?

2010-2011 total. £35,035

i. Accommodation in London. True to his word he booked into a hotel on each occasion he attended parliament. £7,595

ii. Constituency costs. (Rental Admin). £13,861

iii. Travel Costs. Almost exclusively flights to and from London. £13,580





2011-2012 total £61,923

i. Accommodation in London. Rented a furnished flat. Cost £1,450 monthly plus rates, council tax, electricity, Insurance, telephone, tv licence. Total cost for year £19,099.

ii. Constituency Costs. (Rental Admin). £20,048

iii. Travel Costs. Almost exclusively flights to and from London but now claiming for Heathrow to London and underground travel. £22,776




2012-2013 total £59,656

i. Accommodation in London. Rental costs increased to £1,600 monthly plus rates, council tax, electricity, Insurance, telephone, tv licence. Total cost for year £20,831.

ii. Constituency costs. (Rental Admin) £16,370

iii. Travel Costs. Almost exclusively flights to and from London but now claiming for Heathrow to London and underground travel. £22,455






2013-2014 total £184,909 (includes staff costs)

i. Accommodation in London. Rental costs increased to £1,600 monthly plus rates, council tax, electricity, Insurance, telephone, tv licence. Total cost for year £20,100.

ii. Constituency costs. (Rental Admin) £17,373

iii. Staffing Costs. £127,247

iv. Travel Costs. Almost exclusively flights to and from London but now claiming for Heathrow to London and underground travel. £20,190









Labour Party





_63196675_glasgow_benefits_margaret_cMargaret Curran. MP


She became politically active as a student in the Glasgow University Labour Club in the late 1970s, where she associated with Johann Lamont and Sarah Boyack.

She held several posts in Labour student politics, including 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.




Early Setbacks

8 February 2008: Margaret Curran said; “Knife crime is the number one issue in my constituency and it is one where the SNP have been completely complacent”. And this is from a woman who attempted to lie her way into public office in the Glasgow East By-election!

She fails to mention that under the SNP Government, crime is falling but then the truth always plays second fiddle to spreading fear in the Labour Party.




10 July 2008: Margaret Curran calls home a luxury house in Glasgow’s leafy south side. The property, worth around £650,000 is a world away from the kind of housing used by most of her would-be constituents in the city’s deprived East End.

She again told voters after a campaign launch that she had lived in the city’s East End ‘all her life’. But the claim has been exposed as untrue after it emerged that she has actually lived in a far more affluent part of the city for several years.

The disclosure has sparked accusations from election rivals that Mrs Curran cannot be trusted to tell the truth to voters.


Margaret Curran July 2008


19 July 2008: Margaret Curran publicly backed a campaign to try and save Parkhead Fire Station from closure, saying that the station should not close unless fire service response times were bettered by its replacement. But, oh dear.

It was Margaret Curran and the Labour Party who voted for the Fire Act (2005) which scrapped guaranteed response times. A fact that was not lost on the firefighters. “She seems to have forgotten that she is partly responsible.

It really is hypocritical of her now to talk in this way.” one said.




21 July 2008: “They think the Prime Minister’s political performance is disappointing, and we learn that the candidate does not even read her own personal messages.

The Labour campaign is in total chaos and the earthquake is on the way, the ground in Glasgow East is shuddering.”




24 July 2008: Asked on the Radio Scotland show Good Morning Extra by a caller if she would consider moving to the East End of Glasgow constituency if elected. She pointedly refused to answer the question instead stating, ‘I have lived in the East End all my life’.

A slip of the tongue perhaps, she has lived in a £600 000 villa in the fashionable Newlands area in Glasgow’s Southside for many years




27 July 2013: Beware the fury of a Labour woman scorned, writes Joan McAlpine. Margaret Curran’s speech when she actually won an election, to Holyrood last year, was as sour as a grape blighted by a sudden frost.

Miffed at her reduced majority, she subjected thousands watching live on television to an ill-tempered rant about her determination “not to be intimidated” and to fight on and on.




25 July 2008: The Scottish National Party pulled off a stunning by-election victory by winning Glasgow East, one of Labour’s safest seats, by 365 votes, a swing from Labour to the SNP of 22.54%. (from Margaret Curran).

Labour minister and Scottish MP Douglas Alexander said his party needed to “learn the lessons” from the “bad result”. But they didn’t.


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14 February 2010: Curran is an obnoxious and offensive woman who breathes hate like a dragon whenever she talks about the SNP. She reminds me of Thatcher in her later years, but without the polish. Having been beaten by the SNP, of course, must have hurt.

There are better on the labour benches in Edinburgh. They are, however, less visible, because they sit and think rather than stand and shout ill-thought-out nonsense.




28 May 2013: Labour & the Tory’s conspired to keep secret from the Scottish public the 1979 McCrone report covering up the true extent of oil & gas in the North Sea. Margaret Curran deny’s any knowledge of it? But can this be true since she was already operating at the highest level in the Labour party.





23 July 2014: Another ‘mistake’ that was made by Maggie was when our paid representative denied knowing Dennis Healey. Maggie joked that she ‘was not around’ when Healey was serving in office. The problem with the statement, however, is that whilst Healey was the Labour Chancellor, Maggie was the vice-Chair of the Glasgow Uni Labour Club.

A position she resigned from in 1980 amid allegations of an attempt to rig the conference of the National Organisation of Labour Students. All of this scandal without even mentioning that Maggie was the election agent for Mohammed Sarwar when he was charged with election offences in 1997.

Finally, before summarising, a look at the link below will show you that Maggie’s promise to ‘fight hard for Glasgow East’ also seems to be inaccurate. Maggie is below the average MP for oral questions asked, and for vote participation. With expenses of £171k and £159k in the past two years, she is, confusingly, above the average for expenditure.




Land Sales, Transfers, Swaps, Greater Glasgow Council & Celtic Football Club & Margaret Curran’s Involvement

The European Commission are investigating claims of state aid at Celtic after buying various pieces of land, the main one being where Lennoxtown is situated.


It is claimed Glasgow City Council sold these pieces of land at rates well below the market value, while Celtic immediately used them as security (on the same day) with the Co-op bank for “soft loans”, which are also being investigated as part of a wider investigation into shady practices by the Co-op bank with regards to Labour, who also benefitted from loans which would eventually cost the bank money.

Lennoxtown land was valued at £30.2 MILLILON yet this club got the land for £400.000 + so can someone tell me how ANY council can sell land with that value for 1/64 of its TRUE value…???. Once again this club with it’s unblemished history shows us the meaning of INTEGRITY….their version




29 October 2013: Despite the intervention of the District Valuer it has not been possible, after almost two years, to agree a price for Westthorn Recreation Ground, previously valued at around £5m sold to Celtic Football Club for £675,000, quite a discount.




13 Dec 2013: When an option is exercised/executed it has to be actioned, the property has to be purchased – this did not happen. An option cannot be exercised then kept on ice for a further 3 years until Celtic decide when they want to make the purchase.

When will the national governments in Edinburgh and London instigate a Royal Commission to investigate all the land dealings between Glasgow City Council and Celtic?




18 December 2013: Someone at Glasgow City Council without any committees approval or minutes gave Celtic another option on the London Road Primary School site after the original lapsed. There is no paper trail for this decision and agreement.




8 January 2014: A spokesman for the Scottish government said: “We are aware of these allegations and we are working with the relevant parties to help the Commission to investigate this case consistent with our role to ensure public funds in Scotland are used in compliance with EU state aid regulations.




11 Mar 2014: Financial Integrity. At the time Celtic Football Club was awarded the right to acquire land owned by Glasgow City Council, (GGC) the purchase should have been paid for & not in token amounts like 1p or £1. None of the GCC documents mention any option charge or settlement.

Options to acquire land given solely to Celtic by GGC can be construed as State Aid and it is amazing that participants to the transactions had no idea that the modus operandus is illegal under EU State Aid and with the GCC the number of times it has happened displays a systemic abuse of the system which make it worse.




May 28 2014: This stuff goes deep into the heart of the Glasgow City Council, the Scottish Labour Party cabal that has worked under the momentum of the redevelopment of the East End, the East End Regeneration Route/The Clyde Gateway and The Commonwealth Games to deliver cheap land to Celtic PLC.

The current Shadow Secretary of State for Scotland, Margaret Curran MP (Labour) appears to have been caught acting for Celtic in commercial negotiations with the sale of public land owned by the West of Scotland Housing Association (WSHA) to the detriment of the public purse.




29 May 2014: Contaminated land was used as Security for Celtic’s dodgy Co-operative Bank loan & overdraft. End to end this transaction stinks and deserves investigation.




31 May 2014: Margaret Curran rushed the transaction through and now we see the consequences – the public authority end up with the bill and the private company, Celtic, getting a free pass. Because of the intervention of a Scottish Labour member, Glasgow East MP and Shadow Secretary Scotland the normal checks & balances were roughly pushed aside to quickly help Celtic get rid of some dodgy contaminated land – the patsy being a Glasgow Housing Association.

A public authority so in effect the rate tax payers ended up with bill.




12 Jun 2014: One major piece of information that came out of the the West of Scotland Housing Association (WSHA) land debacle is that valuations by the District Valuer (DV) are only valid for 6 months. Some of the valuations, including DV valuations, accepted by the GCC for the sale of land to Celtic PLC were years old.

In the case of the London Road Primary School (LRPS) the valuation was 7 years old (see previous post).




19 June 2014: As we saw before, Celtic pulled Margaret Curran, Shadow Secretary State Scotland, into both of their meetings with the West of Scotland Housing Association (WSHA) (see previous post). The second meeting was held on 23rd October 2013. And what was happening on the 24th October 2013? Performance




13 September 2012: Since May, Margaret Curran has only managed to ask 11 questions of any relevance to anyone but herself. That is not the full story of course as she can easily be meeting organisations relevant to life in Scotland. At yesterday’s Scottish Question Time at Westminster for example, she made comments regarding food prices in Scotland and the problems that many families had in having enough money to feed their families. She even quoted Save The Children and Citizens Advice Scotland on their work on poverty in Scotland.

However it was revealed that when there was a meeting and significant discussions this week with many of the leading stakeholders on child poverty in Scotland, including Save The Children, Margaret Curran did not turn up.

It is unclear what was more important to her than child poverty in Scotland but people are asking what she’s being paid for doing.

Margaret Curran claimed £155,504.65 in expenses last year.


The Independence Referendum

25 May 2013: Margaret Curran’s stint on GMS this morning has emphasised and exacerbated the route that they have chosen – with a strategy based on fear and ignorance. They don’t even have the decency to share the correct information,which is out dated and based on myths rather than fact.Causing disquiet amongst communities, cultures and different faiths.




24 September 2013: Addressing a Labour Party fringe event at the Labour conference in Brighton Margaret Curran, the Shadow Scottish Secretary said, “Serious doubts must be raised over whether the Scottish Parliament has improved the education system or NHS north of the Border.

She also indicated her support for abolishing the Barnett formula, which gives Scots almost £1,200 per head more public spending than the UK average, and replacing it with a means tested system.


Margaret Curran


14 May 2014: Bitchy. Margaret Curran attacks lottery winners who provided finance to the, “Yes” Scotland campaign, ignoring the fact that they also set up a £5m charitible trust fund. Commenting favourably in an article highlighting a £1m donation to the Better Together campaign She said, “People cannot be complacent, though. We are up against a campaign supported by big Lottery winners”.

No mention of JK Rowling’s donation to her campaign.




18 July 2014: The shadow Scottish secretary Margaret Curran has told people in Dumfries and Galloway and the Borders today an independent Scotland would “reduce the flow of border trade.” The SNP have argued this assertion is based on inaccurate data.


murphy nuc


3 September 2014: Without evidence in support of her allegations, Labour’s shadow Scottish secretary, Margaret Curran, has hit out at the co-ordinated “misogynistic” abuse she has received from some supporters of Scottish independence, as the latest polls suggest the outcome of the referendum is on a knife edge.




22 September 2014: British Labour has become nothing more than a career path for the ambitious, a chance of fame for the talentless. The British Labour party is the parliamentary tail of the Labour movement, the arse that thinks it’s the brain and heart.

The movement continues, the movement moves on. It must move on without British Labour. We have excreted you Magrit. You will be flushed away, unmourned.


brown pocketmoney

22 September 2014: After the Scottish referendum. Margaret Curran thought that by working hard for, ” Project Fear” it would ensure her Westminster career would be safe. Imagine her horror when she found out that Glasgow voted YES and she remembered that her own Glasgow constituents suffer from some of the worst poverty in Scotland.




UTube Videos Margaret Curran

Margaret Curran hasn’t a clue where the local MP has his office. If she really did represent Glasgow East for 9 years what a bit of a brass neck walking around as the place is a total dive. No disrespect to the honest poor who reside there. However Curran is just another parasite feeding of the poor just like the rest of her labour cronies.

Well done to Glasgow East for starting to wake up and get rid of them.




Labour shadow Scotland secretary Margaret Curran gives a disaster interview on Labour’s policies on the UK eocnomy, she’s all over the place.  And They think they are economically competent!


Iain Gray 3_1


Margaret Curran and those like her would be the first to say Ulster should be reunited with Ireland with their support whilst they attack the people of Scotland who wish to be independent from a government they never wanted. It’s democracy, but only when it suits.




Curran talks rubbish about the cost of setting up an independent Scotland.


Wendy Alexander


The legacy of the Labour campaign in Glasgow East. Mags Curran ‘standing up for herself, making sure she disnae lose her seat.




Better behaved Curran speaks after Labour’s crushing defeat in Glasgow east.




Shadow Secretary of State for Scotland, Margaret Curran MP’s full speech to Labour’s Annual Conference 2014 in Manchester.



Labour Party

Strange Bedfellows Indeed – How the Torys, Labour and Israel Denied Scotland Independence

Strange Bedfellows Indeed – How the Torys, Labour and Israel Denied Scotland Independence

Scottish Referendum – Independence: Good or bad for Jews & Israel?

An independent Scotland would be no friend of Israel. While so many issues remain coloured in grey, heading into the referendum on Scottish independence, this one should be viewed as black-and-white. Over the past decade, Scotland’s First Minister – and the architect of Thursday’s historic referendum vote – Alex Salmond, has consistently presented an anti-Israel agenda to the people of Scotland.

In 2002, it was an attack on then-Foreign Secretary Jack Straw for the supply of parts used in fighter planes that Mr Salmond believed attacked “Palestinians in the illegally-occupied territories”.

Five years on and he trumpeted the difference between UK and Scottish foreign policy on Israel. He stated that he was “appalled by the British approach that runs contrary to our Scottish view of the world”. And over the course of the most recent conflict in Gaza, the de-facto Scottish Foreign Minister Humza Yousaf was unequivocal in what he saw as a “heavily disproportionate” response by Israel to Hamas rocket bombardment and terrorism. “With mounting evidence of possible violations of international law the UK must ensure that it is not complicit in the killing of innocent civilians through its supply of arms,” Mr Yousaf said last month. “There must be an immediate embargo on arms sales to Israel and an investigation into whether or not UK arms supplies might have been used in violations of international law.” “We stand ready to play our part as a good global citizen.”

The last line is particularly important. Because while it is obvious that Scotland alone, a would-be-nation of just over five-million people, cannot dictate or influence Israeli policy, its voice would carry a greater weight than ever before. It would join the legions of ‘global citizens’ – inactive in so many other conflicts – in condemning Israel’s right to defend itself.

An independent Scotland would be one extra vote in the United Nations and, probably, one extra voice in the European Union where every vote, voice and opinion of smaller nations counts more than ever and multi – million – euro trade contracts with the Jewish state hang in the balance. Presently, Holyrood has no say in British foreign policy. And although Mr Salmond retains a right to his views, both publicly and privately, they appear to be unwanted when it comes to Israel.

Earlier this year, the former Palaun ambassador to the United Nations explained to me that no voice was insignificant in the UN and most countries formed,  “cohesive voting blocks, with each vote becoming noticed and vied for”. Scotland, like its Celtic neighbour the Republic of Ireland, is a historically left-wing nation never likely to favour Israel in its battle over what the Celts see as an oppressed people, like themselves.

Ireland is a prescient example of what a yes vote may bring and is home to one of the most vocal anti-Israel atmospheres in Europe. The Israeli embassy in Dublin is routinely barricaded and ‘sieged’. The Irish Foreign Minister is routinely asked to expel the ambassador, while members of the Oireachtas (parliament) Friends of Israel are lambasted on social media for their membership of the group and boycotts are spreading.

The President of Ireland, Michael Higgins, is considered one of the most anti-Israel heads of state in Europe and a quick glance at some of the comments directed to @IsraelInIreland Twitter would be eye-opening reading.This is all before taking into account the impact of being ruled by a nationalist party – the Scottish National Party – which Mr Salmond leads. How do we know that, in the years to come, the question of “just how Scottish are you” won’t be asked of Scottish Jews?

In May, the former Foreign Secretary, Sir Malcolm Rifkind, himself a Scottish Jew, told me that “nations don’t just break up” and said he would “bet everything against a vote for Scottish independence”. Let’s hope he is right.

Labour Party Members Actively Supporting Israel

1. The National Union of Students has supplied many of the Labour Partys senior members over the years. Lot’s of them also joined:

a. Labour Friends of Israel

b. Britain Israel Communications and Research Centre BICOM, a powerful lobbying group always pushing the case for support of Israel in all things in Westminster.

2. This note addresses in brief a group of student friends and their links to each other and the foregoing activities:

3. Jim Murphy was Chair (2001-2002) and still is a member of Labour Friends of Israel and has close links with members of BICOM.

a. WikiLeaks: In 2011, The Daily Telegraph published documents, compiled by a senior US official at the US Embassy in London and published by WikiLeaks, it was revealed that throughout 2009, Jim Murphy was in charge of organising a coalition of Unionist parties whose aim was to, “block an independence referendum” in Scotland. The documents state: Throughout 2009, UK Secretary of State for Scotland, Jim Murphy played a leadership role in organizing the opposition parties, hoping to move Scotland toward implementation of the Calman recommendations as an alternative to an independence referendum, according to Murphy’s advisors, Labour party insiders, and opposition party leaders. First Minister Salmond’s response to independence critics (such as Murphy) was to accelerate the implementation of the Calman recommendations as soon as possible – “to call the bluff.”

b. East Renfrewshire has the biggest Jewish community outside London and Murphy is noted for working hard for them. but the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign is a lot more extreme than the English one. It is a very hostile political environment for a beleaguered Jewish community of 5,000, which needs to change.

c. Avoiding national service with the South African Army; “I saw for myself the legalization of grotesque theories of racial supremacy” he returned to Scotland, and took up studies at a University in Glasgow before dropping out to become president of the NUS. Then on to become an MP.

e. Murphy is a prominent member of the ultra right wing think tank, “The Henry Jackson Society Advisory Council”. The policies of the group conflict, at times with official Labour Party policy which causes conflict.

4. Lorna Fitzsimons: Grew up in Rochdale where she still lives with her family and runs her two businesses, Lorna Fitzsimons Consulting and MK-LF Partnership.

a. She is currently the Director of The Alliance Project and the Textile Growth Program. The Alliance project was established by industry, Lord Alliance, (David Alliance, Baron Alliance, GBE is a British businessman and Liberal Democrat politician of Jewish origin from Iran). and the Combined Authority’s of Greater Manchester to work with Government on the growth potential in British textile manufacturing.

b. She has completed the biggest study of supply and demand in British textile manufacturing in the last twenty years and presented the findings and recommendations to Government. She is now working with Government, industry and GMCA implementing the recommendations. She directs a £12.8million textile growth fund investing in British textile manufacturing.

c. Lorna has also set up MK-LF Partnership with her business partners. The company runs The Pipeline, a program working with FTSE 100 company’s to develop executive female talent.

d. Lorna served as president of the National Union of Students from 1992 to 1994. She was a NED of Endsleigh Insurance and chair of the European Students Forum. From there she became an associate director at a Saatchi subsidiary. Lorna became the first ever winner of the IPPR’s Young Communicator of the Year award.

e. In 1997, Lorna was elected to Parliament as MP for Rochdale (29). She was PPS to Robin Cook. Lorna was a member of the Hansard Society Board and chair of the Historic Parliamentary Labour Party Women’s Committee, comprised of 101 female MPs.

f. On leaving Parliament in 2005, Lorna set up her own consultancy and became a senior visiting fellow at the Defence Academy.

g. Lorna became the CEO at the Britain Israel Communications and Research Centre (BICOM) in October 2006. She left BICOM after five and a half years in 2012 to set up her own company’s.

5. Dermot Kehoe has been Chief Executive of BICOM, Britain Israel Communications & Research Centre since 2012.

a. Dermot has over 20 years’ experience in public affairs, communications and journalism. A career in broadcasting that spans the BBC, ITV, GMTV and Channel 4 and in communications at the Home Office, Social Market Foundation and the Fabian Society.

b. His Credits include The Sunday Programme with Alistair Stewart, GMTV Election ’97, The Street Weapons Commission (C4) and The Iraq Commission (C4).

c. His partner John David Cairns MP died  from acute pancreatitis 9 May 2011

6. John David Cairns (7 August 1966 – 9 May 2011) was a Scottish Labour Party politician, who was a Member of Parliament (MP) from 2001 until his death.

a. He represented the constituency of Inverclyde.

b. He was the Minister of State at the Scotland Office until he resigned on 16 September 2008.

c. He died from complications of acute pancreatitis on 9 May 2011, aged 44.

d. He was a catholic priest but gave up his vocation to become a politician. Openly gay his long time partner was Dermot Kehoe.

e. He was a member of Labour Friends of Israel.

7. Michael Dugher was elected to serve as the Member of Parliament for the Barnsley East constituency at the 2010 General Election.

a. He is the Shadow Minister for the Cabinet Office, having been appointed as a full member of the Shadow Cabinet in October 2013.

b. He had previously attended the Shadow Cabinet as Shadow Minister without Portfolio since October 2013 and was also Vice-Chair of the Labour Party.

c. Prior to that, Michael was: Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Leader of the Opposition, Ed Miliband; Shadow Minister for Defence Equipment, Support and Technology; and briefly a member of the Public Administration Select Committee.

d. Jim Murphy and Michael compiled a document whilst in office setting out the benefits of defence purchasing from Israel

e. He is a member of Labour Friends of Israel.
8. Stephen Twigg is the Labour Co-operative MP for Liverpool West Derby and shadow Secretary of State for Education.

a. Openly gay he championed the removal of clause 28 from Schools.

b. He is a member of Labour Friends of Israel.

Labour Party

Scotland has Been Changed Forever by the Outcome of the Referendum

Scotland has Been Changed Forever by the Outcome of the Referendum

Lamont finally agrees Scotland has been changed forever by the outcome of the Referendum – But can the Labour Party in Scotland Change?? or Will it Still, “Cow Tow” to the Instructions of the English Labour Party??

Johann Lamont smiled for the cameras, ignoring the abject failure of her Party machine to motivate Labour leaning voters to support a, “No” vote in the referendum. Instead she weakly offered a view that it was clearly time for change. Addressing colleagues she went on to express concern that whilst Scotland had voted decisively to remain part of the UK significant numbers of Scots had expressed a strong wish to be independent and it was important that the establishment directed efforts towards healing wounds bringing Scotland together once more.

She studiously ignored the fact three of the four areas of Scotland that had voted, “Yes” were Labour Party controlled previously impregnable heartlands, (North Lanarkshire, Glasgow and West Dumbartonshire. Indeed the constituencies of MPs, Margaret Curran, Tom Harris, Willie Bain, Frank Roy, Ian Davidson, Anas Sarwar, Gregg McClymont and Tom Clarke, as well as MSPs Jackie Baillie, Paul Martin, Patricia Ferguson, Michael McMahon and Johaan Lamont herself were among those that voted, “Yes. As is always the case Labour sought to point the finger of failure at other parts of the, “Better Together” campaign asserting it was the barnstorming intervention of Gordon Brown that had saved the day.

But some Labour Party activists did accept there were many shortcomings in the entirely negative campaign and direction the Party had taken in recent times that would need to be addressed and corrected, if the Party was to recover it’s former place in Scottish society. Noteworthy comments;

“The problem has been too many in Labour politics believe they’ve a seat for life. There was a mini-cull of Labour councillors in Glasgow several years back and there may well be one in Lanarkshire very soon.

“The party is too remote from the voters and needs to talk about its failures and failings. [Council leaders] Gordon Matheson and Jim McCabe have serious questions to answer.”

Labour Party Scottish Referendum

Nose Back In The Trough – Prescott Returns – The Ultimate Insult – The Smell Of Largess Pervades – His Record Stinks


John Prescott, (the Baron) has been asked to return to frontline politics providing inspiration and a large front to the Labour Party May  2015 general election campaign. I thought we had seen the last of Teflon Tony’s sidekicks but it seems, “The Reluctant Baron” has other plans.

Reflecting back to his time at Westminster and the many financial fiasco’s he presided over I chose the, “Millenium Dome” disaster and associated financial mismanagement to present for study and comment since this is the one that was never properly put to bed to the satisfaction of the public who witnessed the waste and frittering away of many £Billions which would have been better spent improving the infrastructure of the UK.



The Millenium Dome

The debacle described below is yet another example of the excesses of Westminster governments. A project, to cost under £500m over-runs resulting in a spend of about £4billion. To add insult the government then gives everything away to private enterprise for nothing.  If ever anyone in Scotland needed a reason to vote, “Yes” to independence, the Millenium Dome is it.



1994:  Conservative Prime Minister John Major sets up the Millennium Commission and hands responsibility for the Dome to his deputy, Michael Heseltine.



January :  The site opposite Greenwich is selected over bids from Birmingham, Derby and Stratford in East London.

May:   Feasibility study into the business sector’s contribution to the Dome shows a huge financial shortfall.  £144m raised from industry, leaving project still short of £150m.

December:  Deputy Prime Minister Michael Heseltine announces the government will UNDERWRITE all Millennium Exhibition costs,  despite an undertaking the year previous that it would be paid for entirely with private money.



January:  Labour announces that if it wins the imminent general election, it will back the project.  Once installed in Number 10, Prime Minister Tony Blair – against cabinet resistance – gives it the go-ahead.

June:  Peter Mandelson is made sole shareholder of the New Millennium Experience Company.

July:  German company wins commission to build the dome after the only British company to bid pulls out due to the size of the project. But the contract eventually goes to the American,  Japanese-owned, company Birdair.

July:  Labour minister Clare Short refers to the dome as “a silly temporary building”.

July:  Controversy over ex-civil servant Jennie Page’s £500,000 salary as head of New Millennium Experience Company. The figure is eventually amended to £150,000,  but with significant built-in performance bonuses.



December: Mandelson forced to resign from the government  after The Guardian revealed he kept a £373,000 loan from the  Labour Party Paymaster General Geoffrey Robinson secret.



January:  Lord Falconer of Thoroton, Tony Blair’s former flatmate, replaced Mandelson as, “Minister Of The Dome.”

May:   First tube train to serve the Millennium Dome came on stream, 14 months late and £1.2bn over budget.

June:  Dome’s external structure,  finally, completed.

September: Tickets on sale for opening ceremony.  Sales disappointing.  Over priced admission.

November:  New Millennium Experience Company received £50m public subsidy loan to cover cash flow difficulties. Pay-out from Millennium Commission first of a number of large hand-outs to keep the attraction solvent.  Ticket retailers report low or non-existent ticket sales for opening event, despite £4m advertising campaign.

December:  Tony Blair gives strong backing to the Dome,  claiming it will be,  “a triumph of confidence over cynicism, boldness over blandness,  excellence over mediocrity”.

31 December:  Dome’s big day massive flop.  Problems at Stratford Station where 3,000 guests were forced to queue for hours as their tickets fail to arrive through the post due to an administrative error.



January:  First members of paying public view the Dome,  feedback generally positive.

January:  MPs decide to launch inquiry into problems blighting Millennium Dome, including complaints about two-hour queues to view the most popular attractions.

February: Figures reveal only 344,620 people visited Dome in January. Just  3% of  projected annual target.

February:  Chief Executive,  Jennie Page forced to resign her position. Replaced by frenchman, Pierre-Yves Gerbeau.



March: Millenium Dome project BORROWED a further £9m of lottery money. The finance, from the Millennium Commission, is additional to £32m already loaned to the project, to stave off cash-flow crisis caused by low attendance and booking numbers.

May:  Management of Millennium Dome project asked for a further cash injection – on top of a total of £110m given in previous loans – to cover losses due to disappointing visitor numbers. Dome’s management forced to admit it will not meet the required ten million visitor target,. More subsidies needed to stay afloat.

Following unfavourable comparisons with the London Eye Millennium Wheel,  Dome is embarrassed by the recently-opened Tate Modern, which attracted 120,000 visitors in the first three days of opening – in contrast to figures showing the Dome struggled to admit 20,000 visitors daily.

May:  Millennium Commission agreed to grant ailing attraction a,  ‘final’ emergency hand-out of £29m worth of Lottery money.   Chairman Bob Ayling forced to quit post.


queenelizabethiilightsthefinaljubileetorchSCAN0002-1024x868"Should the government give more support to the IT industry?"

June:  Recently sacked, Jennie Page levelled part of blame for the Dome’s poor performance and low visitor numbers at government ministers.

July:  Lord Falconer announced the government would sell Millennium Dome to Japanese finance house, Nomura.

August: Dome received fierce criticism of the running of the attraction in a scathing report published by the Culture Media Sport Select Committee.


Prince-Charles'It's big - but I got it cheap!'

August:  Newspapers accused Mr Gerbeau of breaking his word not to approach the Millennium Commission for more hand-outs, after news is released that Dome chiefs are to receive £43m in advance from the sale of the Dome.

Newspapers claim decision to proceed with the Dome project was backed by only five members of Tony Blair’s 22-strong cabinet.

Ticket prices for Dome reduced by up to 50% in a final attempt to reverse slump in visitor numbers.



September:  Dome receives an extra £47m from the Millennium Commission to stave off an early closure.

Nomura announced they were pulling out of  the  £105m deal to purchase the troubled attraction and it’s surrounding land.

Tony Blair finally stopped defending the Dome and admitted it had failed to meet public expectations.

London Evening Standard reported Dome chiefs had been given two warnings that their predicted visitor figures of 12 million would not be met some months before it opened.

Michael Heseltine, who commissioned the Dome admitted it should not have been built.


November:  Police foil audacious attempt to steal £350m worth of diamonds on display in the Dome.

National Audit Office published a report indicating visitor numbers had been,  “ambitious and inherently risky” while there had been a failure to put in sufficiently robust financial management.

Legacy Plc appointed preferred bidder with a plan to turn the Dome into London’s very own silicon valley with hi-tech offices, workshops, retail outlets and leisure facilities.



December: Dome’s year-long exhibition closes – with a surge of visitors in its last days.



February: Legacy Plc, with a bid of  £100m, failed to meet government expectations and was stripped of preferred bidder status.




December:  Meridian Delta Ltd  appointed, “exclusive partners” with government agency English Partnerships to regenerate the Greenwich peninsula. Agreement included plans to convert Dome into a 20,000 seat sports and entertainment complex.




April:  News leaked that taxpayers had paid more than £28m to maintain Dome in the year after it had closed.

May:  Deal with Meridian consortium and American entertainment giant AEG confirmed. But details slow to surface.

May: News release: Proposal handing over Millennium Dome to Meridien Delta for nothing set to be the subject of an inquiry by government’s financial watchdog. Announcement scheduled for later in the week.

Lord Falconer issued statement of support stating, “it’s got to be the best deal available and it is a deal that regenerates that part of London”. But refused to reveal precisely what the deal included.

National Audit Office, which had already conducted two inquiries into the Dome in recent years, including one only a month before,  planned to launch a third investigation after the sale was completed.

Deal involved purchasing Dome, (for nothing) – plus up to 200 acres of prime development land. In return, government would receive a share of any profit from the development of the site with a proposed, £4billion, “mini city” of offices and houses.

millenium dome

Shadow culture secretary Tim Yeo called for an immediate announcement as to how much the Dome deal would cost. “At present, after almost £1billion has been spent, there is still no certainty about whether, when, and how much will be recovered,” he said.

Meridian Delta spokesman denied any deal would be dependent on a new river crossing – a suggestion made in a Sunday newspaper report. “Our plans for the Dome to host a superb 20,000 seat arena and regeneration immediately around the Dome are also not dependent on a third river crossing,” he said.

Tim Yeo insisted inclusion of a river crossing, in any deal would, “materially alter” the value of the site. “If other prospective bidders had been aware that a couple of hundred million pounds was going to be poured on top of the £700m that has already gone in, to provide a river crossing, that may indeed have attracted many more bidders who would have made a much better offer than Meridian Delta has.” He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme,  “As usual with Lord Falconer, we never quite get the full truth.”


Meridian Delta, subsidiary of, “Anschutz Entertainment Group” (AEG) subsequently awarded a 999 year lease, (free of any charges). Backers reported to include Australian property developer, Lend Lease and British developers, Quintain.

Lord Falconer advised deal was a “joint venture for the Greenwich peninsula and the running of the Dome as an arena”. Both arrangements involved profit sharing. He said, “It’s got to be a value-for-money deal. It’s got to be the best deal that is available.”

Government admitted £4m of public funds had been spent maintaining and securing the Dome since it closed at the end of December 2000.

Total cost to the UK of developing the whole Greenwich Peninsula area between 2002-2006 estimated to be £4billion.


Hows this for a follow up;  2006

28 April

Mr Prescott admitted having an affair with his diary secretary, Tracey Temple as the Daily Mirror splashed photos of them cavorting together at a Whitehall party.

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Ms Temple published her diary of the affair in a Sunday newspaper, with Prescott saying many of her recollections were “simply untrue”. Sir Alistair Graham, chairman of the Committee on Standards in Public Life, said there were questions about whether Mr Prescott had broken the ministerial code.

1 May

Labour backbencher Stephen Pound said Prescott should consider his position and said news of his affair is causing “huge problems” for Labour in the run-up to the local elections.





Conservative leader David Cameron says Mr Prescott “clearly looks a fool” and has a “woeful record” in office.




Mr Prescott’s department, the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, promises significant changes after criticism of bullying and discrimination. In a staff survey last year, one in 10 workers claimed to have been victimised and 22% had witnessed some form of unfair treatment of colleagues.




Labour suffers heavy losses at the local elections and in the ensuing reshuffle Mr Prescott is stripped of his department but keeps his Cabinet job, his £133,000 a year salary and his two grace-and-favour homes.


Tony Blair defends Mr Prescott’s new role, saying Willie Whitelaw and Michael Heseltine performed a similar role as deputy prime minister.



28 MAY

The Mail on Sunday publishes photos of Mr Prescott playing croquet with staff at his grace-and-favour country residence, Dorneywood, while Mr Blair is away on an overseas trip.

30 MAY

More Labour backbenchers question Mr Prescott’s position, with Sittingbourne and Sheppey MP Derek Wyatt saying it is not tenable for him to keep his official residences or chairmanship of Cabinet committees.




31 MAY

Mr Prescott gives up his official country residence, saying: “I have accepted that my continued use of Dorneywood is getting in the way of doing my job in government.”


The Conservatives claim Mr Prescott costs taxpayers £2m a year – using figures from parliamentary answers and reports on wages paid to his staff.


The newspapers reveal that Mr Prescott visited the ranch Philip Anschutz, the owner of the Dome who is bidding for the UK’s first super casino to be located there. Mr Prescott says the visit was during a nine-day official trip to the US and he was discussing a film about former Hull MP William Wilberforce.




The Conservatives complain that Mr Prescott may have broken MPs rules and the ministerial code, as he did not register his stay with Mr Anschutz. Sports Minister Richard Caborn rubbishes the claims in the Commons and says Mr Prescott has no responsibility for planning casinos.




Parliament’s standards watchdog, Sir Philip Mawer, says he is making preliminary inquiries about whether he needs to investigate. Mr Prescott writes to the Tories saying he met Mr Anschutz seven times over three years but denies discussing either the sale of the Dome or casino licences.



Mr Prescott declares his stay with Mr Anschutz in the MPs’ register, although says he does not actually need to as it was an official trip and was covered entirely by public funds.




A row erupted after it emerged Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott and some of his civil servants stayed at tycoon Philip Anschutz’s ranch in July last year as part of a nine-day trip to the United States. He only declared the trip in a belated report to the Commons, 11 moths later, after some pressure.

The Commons standards committee who were asked to inquire suggested its role – and that of watchdog Sir Philip Mawer who carried out the initial investigation – had no remit to conduct an inquiry into whether a minister had breached the ministerial code since this was retained by the Prime Minister.

And that is precisely what Mr Prescott’s critics have been demanding and what the prime minister – who is the only one with the power to order that probe – has steadfastly refused to do. It would certainly represent a far more serious investigation and throw a major new question mark over Mr Prescott’s future. If it found the relationship between Mr Prescott and Mr Anschutz did lead to a conflict of interest, or the appearance of one, it could be a lethal blow to the deputy prime minister who has protested his innocence throughout this affair.



Mr Blair’s office spokesman stated their would be no further inquiry and the issue was now at an end.

The Commissioner on Standards in Public Life, Sir Alistair Graham applied pressure, (without success) on the Prime Minister to change his mind. Mr Blair went away on holiday.



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