Gemma Doyle – Labour Party Candidate – West Dunbartonshire – More Right Wing Than Jim Duffy – She Failed Her Constituents and Has The Neck To Ask Them To Overlook Her Appalling Record – I don’t Think So Emma- On Your Bike

 

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Gemma Doyle was elected as the MP for West Dunbartonshire in May 2010.

Doyle was born in 1981. She grew up in Dumbarton where she attended St Patrick’s Primary and Our Lady and St Patrick’s High School. Doyle attended the University of Glasgow, where she, graduated with an MA in European Civilisation.

Before being elected to Parliament, she worked as a Political Officer for the Parliamentary Labour Party. Previously she worked as a Conference Producer for the Institution of Civil Engineers, a Conference Development Manager for a small business and as a caseworker and parliamentary assistant for a number of MSPs. She joined the Labour party aged 15 and served on its Scottish Executive and National Policy Forum before being selected as Labour’s candidate in West Dunbartonshire in 2010.

Doyle is is a Shadow Defence Minister, with specific responsibility for defence personnel, welfare and veterans. Shadow Defence Secretary Jim Murphy backed Doyle’s husband, Gregor Poynton in a Labour Party selection process for the Falkirk constituency which was suspended in 2013.

Doyle sponsored the Westminster launch of the Henry Jackson Society report In Scotland’s Defence? An Assessment of SNP Defence Strategy, on 4 July 2013.

 

 

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February 2007: The parallel universe of BAE: covert, dangerous and beyond the rule of law

There is a state within a state in the United Kingdom, a small but untouchable domain that appears to be subject to a different set of laws. We have heard quite a bit about it over the past two months, but hardly anyone knows just how far its writ runs. The state is BAE Systems, Britain’s biggest arms company. It seems, among other advantages, to be able to run its own secret service.

This week, Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT) hopes to obtain a court order against BAE. The order would allow it to discover how the arms company obtained one of its confidential documents. CAAT instructed its lawyers, Leigh Day & Co, to seek a judicial review of the government’s decision to drop the corruption case against BAE, which is alleged to have paid massive bribes to members of the Saudi royal family. Leigh Day sent CAAT an email containing advice on costs and tactics. The email ended up in the hands of the arms company.

How? Correspondence between a plaintiff and his lawyers couldn’t be more private. The last people you would show it to are the defendants in the case. But somehow the letter found its way to BAE’s offices.

The arms company argues that it was the unwitting and unwilling recipient of the email. So why does it refuse to tell CAAT who sent it? Why, far from assisting CAAT’s attempt to explain this mystery, has it threatened the group with costs for seeking to reveal BAE’s source?

BAE’s spying operations represent just one way in which the company looks like a parallel state. It also appears to enjoy crown immunity. Last August, this column suggested that the Saudi corruption case might be dropped, in order to protect a new order for 72 BAE jets. It was not a hard prediction to make – Saudi Arabia had made the new deal conditional on the abandonment of the case. But I could not have guessed that both the attorney general and the prime minister would make such a show of squashing the investigation. They seemed to go out of their way to demonstrate to BAE’s clients that they would do whatever it took to protect the new order, even if it meant exposing themselves to allegations of collusion.

The prime minister has never taken such a risk on behalf of one of his departments, let alone his ministers or officials (witness how Lord Levy and Ruth Turner have been left to swing). There are just two friends for whom he will put his legacy on the line: George Bush and BAE. In 2001, Blair overruled Clare Short and Gordon Brown to grant an export licence for BAE’s sale of a military air-traffic control system to one of the world’s poorest countries, Tanzania. The World Bank had pointed out that the contract was ridiculously expensive – Tanzania could have bought a better system elsewhere for a quarter of the price. In January the Guardian revealed that BAE Systems allegedly paid a $12m (£6.2m) “commission” to an agent who brokered the deal.

In 2005, Blair made a secret visit to Riyadh to expedite BAE’s deal with the Saudi princes. He then sent both John Reid and Des Browne to clinch the order. Ministers in the UK have always acted as unpaid salesmen for the arms companies, but seldom has a prime minister muddied his hands this much. Blair pushed the order through by promising the Saudis that they could have the first 24 planes ahead of schedule. How? By selling them the jets already allotted to the RAF. BAE’s interests, in other words, trump the requirements of our own armed forces.

Blair has also broken his government’s pledge to publish the report by the National Audit Office on BAE’s dealings in Saudi Arabia. It remains the only NAO report never to have been made public. We can only guess why the prime minister needs to protect it.

It could be argued, with some force, that this government has always had a special relationship with big business, rather like its special relationship with George Bush (it gets beaten up and thanks him for it). But the special favours it grants BAE are deeply resented by other corporations. After the suppression of the Saudi case, F&C Asset Management, a very large institutional investor, wrote to the government to complain that its decision undermined the rule of law and the predictability of the investment climate. Hermes, Britain’s biggest pension fund, said that it threatened the UK’s reputation as a leading financial centre, and the chairman of Anglo-American wrote that the abandonment of thecase “damaged the reputation of Britain”.

At what point does the government conclude that this company has got out of control? That it presents a danger to national interests, to the reputation of the prime minister, tothe privacy and civil liberties of its opponents? Why does it appear to be above the law? For how much longer will it be permitted to run what looks like a parallel secretservice? Of all the questions we might ask of our ministers, these are the least likely to be answered. http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2007/feb/13/bae.foreignpolicy

 

 

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March 2013: How Scottish MPs Voted on the Workfare Bill

Yesterday the House of Commons passed the Jobseekers (Back to Work Schemes) Bill, which included a clause that retroactively changed the law to prevent back payment of approximately £130 million worth of benefits that had been found by a court decision to have been wrongly withheld.

Abstained: 33 of 40 (83%) Labour MPs. The Tory/LibDems achieved what they wanted. Despite being legally owed the money the claimants are to be denied this as a result of this hideous bill. The Labour MP’s that abstained should be ashamed, including Gemma Doyle.

Douglas Alexander (Paisley and Renfrewshire South)
Willie Bain (Glasgow North East)
Gordon Banks (Ochil and South Perthshire)
Anne Begg (Aberdeen South)
Gordon Brown (Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath)
Russell Brown (Dumfries and Galloway)
Iain McKenzie (Inverclyde)
Tom Clarke (Coatbridge, Chryston and Bellshill)
Margaret Curran (Glasgow East)
Alistair Darling (Edinburgh South West)
Thomas Docherty (Dunfermline and West Fife)
Brian Donohoe (Central Ayrshire)
Frank Doran (Aberdeen North)
Gemma Doyle (West Dunbartonshire)
Shiela Gilmore (Edinburgh East)
Tom Greatrex (Rutherglen and Hamilton West)
David Hamilton (Midlothian)
Tom Harris (Glasgow South)
Jim Hood (Lanark and Hamilton East)
Cathy Jamieson (Kilmarnock and Loudoun)
Michael McCann (East Kilbride, Strathaven and Lesmahagow)
Gregg McClymont (Cumbernauld, Kilsyth and Kirkintilloch East)
Anne McGuire (Stirling)
Ann McKechin (Glasgow North)
Graeme Morrice (Livingston)
Jim Murphy (East Renfrewshire)
Ian Murray (Edinburgh South)
Pamela Nash (Airdrie and Shotts)
Fiona O’Donnell (East Lothian)
John Robertson (Glasgow North West)
Frank Roy (Motherwell and Wishaw)
Lindsay Roy (Glenrothes)
Anas Sarwar (Glasgow Central)

 

 

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July 2013: Battle of Falkirk gets murkier for Labour

Labour’s three most powerful figures are all embroiled in some way – Ed Miliband, Len McCluskey and Tom Watson. And this morning a fourth figure, Jim Murphy, entered the fray. Details which I’ve been leaked, of Labour’s secret inquiry into Falkirk, show the report isn’t just about what the union Unite got up to in pursuit of getting its candidate selected. I’m told the report says that in June last year – 2012 – 11 new members were recruited by Gregory Poynton, who was also a contender for the Labour nomination. Mr Poynton submitted a cheque for £130, which I’m told is against the rules, which say cheques can only for submitted for new members if those members all live at the same house, which in this case, apparently, they didn’t. Mr Poynton refused to comment when I spoke to him this morning, but said he would get back to me later once he’d consulted the party.

Why does Mr Poynton’s recruitment activity matter? First because he’s married to Gemma Doyle, the young Scottish MP who is a member of Labour’s Commons defence team under Jim Murphy. And second, Mr Poynton is the London political director of the firm Blue State Digital, which has a contract to provide campaigning work for the Labour party. With that, and all the allegations about Unite recruiting dozens of new members in Falkirk without their knowledge, and seemingly against the rules, no wonder Labour big-wigs decided to keep the Falkirk report secret. Unite’s activity was reportedly on behalf of Karie Murphy, a former chair of the Scottish Labour party, who works in Tom Watson’s office, and is also very close to the Unite leader Len McCluskey. And Mssrs Watson and McCluskey once shared a house.

This morning Jim Murphy hit out at Unite. He told BBC News: “Something had gone really badly wrong in Falkirk when it came to the selection of the Labour candidate. “I don’t blame the people locally – there’s clearly been some external interference. And while trade unions are an important part of a society and our politics, there seems to be one trade union in particular that’s well and truly overstepped the mark. “It’s clear that Unite don’t run the Labour party; Ed Miliband does. And we should never confuse those two things.”

Friends of Gregory Poynton insist he did nothing wrong. They say he was not contacted by the Labour party inquiry and say that if he had been implicated the party would have contacted him for a response. It looks like it’s developing into a huge battle for Labour in the run-up to this autumn conference. And a huge headache for Ed Miliband. http://blogs.channel4.com/michael-crick-on-politics/battle-of-falkirk-gets-murkier-for-labour/2656

 

 

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Comments:
Interesting that the (nominal) leaders of British Labour in Scotland appear to have been totally sidelined by their masters in London. Labour in Scotland are no longer fit for purpose on three counts:

* They no longer represent the interests of the working poor, the sick, the vulnerable and the elderly.

* The leadership in Scotland has no autonomy, lacks intellect and clarity of vision and is incapable of independent thought and action.

* Labour is devoid of policy and offers no hope of a more socially just Scotland.
The Labour Party is now an irrelevance in Scotland as Scots move towards self determination. What we have now in England is a Dictatorship by tripartite agreement of the three main Parties who no longer represent Scotland in any way whatsoever. There was no need to wait for Falkirk to happen, Glasgow City Council has been mired in illegality of every sort for Generations! I regret every vote I ever cast for Labour.

The political system at Westminster is broken and cannot be fixed. Illegal wars started by Labour and supported by the Tories. Austerity introduced by the Tories is backed by Labour. All the parties at Westminster and the civil service recruit from the same universities and schools. Priveldge, patronage and nepotism abound. The infighting in Labour over the Falkirk candidacy is a perfect example of why the Scottish electorate is turning on Labour.

Labour’s Scottish leadership have not even been consulted on the ‘special measures’ imposed on Falkirk CLP. I will never vote Labour again. The present leadership of the party are pygmies when compared with the Attlees, Bevans, Castles, Wilsons and Benns of the Labour Party. All the Labour party are interested in is sitting room politics, where the leaders take the decision and the Party membership, the poor and disabled are ignored. The Milibands and Balls of this world worship at the altar of economic Liberalism and the politics of austerity. The Labour Party is finished, it now represents big business and no one else.

 

 

 

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July 2013 The Falkirk Debacle – Tom Watson’s Resignation and Jim Murphy

Tom Watson’s resignation from the Shadow Cabinet is a big shock for Labour. He was one of the most powerful men in the party, but felt very bruised by the recent row over events in Falkirk. Watson found himself embroiled in a behind the scenes battle with the Shadow Defence Secretary Jim Murphy, the senior Blairite in Scotland.

Murphy was backing another candidate in Falkirk, Greg Poynton, who is the husband of Gemma Doyle, one of Murphy’s front-bench team. And the Falkirk inquiry, whose report remains secret, uncovered evidence that Poynton was personally recruiting new members in Falkirk months before Unite mounted their recruitment drive. Watson was fed up with the assumption that because Karie Murphy works for him, then he was behind Unite’s attempts to recruit lots of new members in Falkirk to get her picked as Labour candidate.
http://blogs.channel4.com/michael-crick-on-politics/crick-on-watsons-dna/2716

 

 

 

Gregor Poynton, UK political director of American firm Blue State Digitalcomics-scottish-referendum-gill-hatcherB1GzEOkCQAEqzuk

 

 

 
September 2013: Dumbarton and Vale MP Gemma Doyle claimed more than £44,000 in expenses last year

Last week the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority revealed details of the business costs and expenses which had been claimed by Gemma Doyle, West Dunbartonshire’s representative at Westminster, between March 2012 and April this year.

The majority of the £44,900.47 claimed by Ms Doyle — an increase of nearly £6,500 on the previous year — was spent on office costs although £16,000 also was charged to the taxpayer for flights to and from London. The majority of these flights are British Airways “Business/Club” class tickets priced at around £400 a flight.

Last week Ms Doyle, told the Reporter the ticket doesn’t afford her the luxury of any improved seating and often works out as the cheapest way to travel as it allows her to make changes to booked flights at short notice, without incurring a penalty fee.

However, after all MPs expenses were made public last week one resident Gordon Morrison, 58, who acts as a carer for his 51-year-old wife Elizabeth, said something had to be done about the way the system works. He told the Reporter: “We’ve got to travel on the bus and the normal working man has to pay his own travel costs. These are the people who are telling us we need to tighten our belts and cut down on household expenses. It’s got to be highlighted, society has to change. If we want to do something about the economy it’s got to be a case of do as we do.

Our MP spent £16,000 on travel last year — that’s totally wrong when you’re only on the flight for an hour. The total amount of money we have coming in the house is £12,000 for a year and she’s claiming back £4,000 more per year for travelling than we get to live and run a house, as well as heat it and pay all the other expenses. It’s quite an eye opener the amount that these MPs are claiming. It’s too easy for them to claim money. Politicians tell you on one hand it’s time for austerity and then you see what they are spending money on. Westminster is the biggest money drain on the country. If that was a business it would have folded a long, long time ago.”

Other residents also raised concerns about other items Ms Doyle claimed as part of her expenses last year including a Q-Connect Pencil costing 59p, a black Banner medium ballpoint pen priced 65p, a large pair of rubber gloves billed at £1.82 and a Bentley Deluxe Squeegee Mop, which cost the taxpayer £11.51. http://www.dumbartonreporter.co.uk/news/dumbarton/articles/2013/09/19/472061-west-dunbartonshire-mp-claims-44900-from-the-taxpayer-/

 

 

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November 2013: Scots Labour MPs slammed after bedroom tax no-show

Scottish Labour MPs have been heavily criticised after nearly a quarter failed to vote against the bedroom tax policy in a motion put forward by their own party. Key players such as Anas Sarwar, deputy leader of the party in Scotland, and former Secretary of State for Scotland Jim Murphy were among the 46 MPs who didn’t show up for the vote on the controversial spare room tax. Kirkcaldy MP and former Prime Minister Gordon Brown – who claimed last month he was an ‘ex-politician’ – and Shadow Foreign Secretary Douglas Alexander also failed to to vote following the party’s debate in Westminster on the policy. Of the Labour MPs who failed to show up, ten represent Scottish constituencies.

The SNP hit out at the no-show from the Labour MPs, with SNP work and pensions spokeswoman Dr Eilidh Whiteford saying that they needed to explain their absences, adding: “We could have been talking about how the bedroom tax has been scrapped but instead the question on the minds of many Scots is: Where were they? “Some may have very good reasons for missing the vote but there can be no excuse for a quarter of Scotland’s Labour MPs not turning up for a vote to scrap the bedroom tax that could have been won.”

he Labour motion to scrap the policy was defeated by 252 votes to 226. The spokesman said the party were ‘disappointed’ that the government had used their majority to ‘re-affirm their support for the hated bedroom tax’. http://www.scotsman.com/news/politics/top-stories/scots-labour-mps-slammed-after-bedroom-tax-no-show-1-3189157
Comment:

* Labour has lost it’s soul it cannot even be bothered to vote against the Bedroom Tax . A No vote will therefore have catastrophic consequences for the poor and disabled. What is the solution more food banks, more pay day loan co’s, more money advice services, more appeals, more charity aid.

* Those who vote Labour in Scotland are being badly let down by the MPs they send to Westminster. Unfortunately their loyalty is to the party and themselves not their constituents. The best way to deal with these people is by voting for Independence and making them all redundant! Perhaps then we can have a new start with a real Scottish Labour Party.

* Maybe now, Labour Voters will realise that the party they voted for are nothing more than opportunists, who are interested in only what You can do for them. Disgraceful behaviour from a party that hang their hat on supporting the people. Say anything, do nothing, Labour, the me party.

 

 

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March 2014: 32 Scottish Labour MP’s who voted for the £119.5 billion Tory welfare cap with 520 in favour and 22 against.

13 Labour backbenchers and 6 SNP MPs opposed the motion along with 6 SNP MPs who said they were ‘shocked’ at Labour MPs decision to back the Tories so it wouldn’t make them look soft when it came to welfare issues. Ed Balls said it was the right thing to do while he whined that the welfare cap was originally his parties idea to begin with. He said: “We on this side of the House support capping social security spending, a policy the Leader of the Opposition advocated last year.”

SNP’s Eilidh Whiteford MP said: “The SNP voted against the welfare cap today because it piles yet more pain onto our poorest pensioners, carers, disabled people and low-income families. This cap is just a crude, blunt, instrument. It is shocking that so many Scottish Labour MPs have backed the Tories.”

“Labour supported the proposal because we believe social security spending needs to be kept under control by getting people back to work and tackling low pay. It’s about time the SNP came clean with their plans for social security in an independent Scotland.”

Save the Children warns the Welfare cap will push 345,000 children into poverty in just four years. Will Higham, the charity’s director of UK poverty, said: “Parties need to explain how they will work to improve wages and welfare to ensure that work pays. Otherwise, the vote will become a straitjacket, binding future governments from taking action to stem a rising tide of child poverty.”

Diane Abbott, one of the Labour rebels, said: “This is not a game, this is about people’s lives… [They] are not to be a matter of short-term political positioning.”

The 32 Scottish Labour MPs who voted for the Tory welfare cap:

Margaret Curran, Tom Greatrex, Ian Murray, Willie Bain, Gordon Banks, Tom Clarke, Anne Begg, Alistair Darling, Ian Davidson, Thomas Docherty, Frank Doran, Gemma Doyle, Sheila Gilmore, David Hamilton, Tom Harris, Jimmy Hood, Cathy Jamieson, Mark Lazarowicz, Greg McClymont, Anne McGuire, Anne McKechin, Iain McKenzie, Grahame Morris, Jim Murphy, Pamela Nash, Sandra Osborne, John Robertson, Frank Roy, Lindsay Roy, Anas Sarwar. https://mariamuir.com/meet-32-scottish-labour-mps-voted-tory-welfare-cap/

 

 

 

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April 2014: Clydebank MP Gemma Doyle slammed for backing Tories

Gemma Doyle MP has been accused of betraying Clydebank’s poor after she backed a Tory plan to slash benefits. The Labour MP has come under fire for siding with the Conservatives in a crucial Commons vote last week. Critics fear more hard-up Clydebank families will be plunged deeper into poverty as a result of a plan to limit what working families, pensioners, and those on disability benefits can receive from the government.

But that didn’t stop Ms Doyle supporting the controversial move and triggering a swathe of condemnation from poverty campaigners including former West Dunbartonshire Council leader Danny McCafferty, who is committed to highlighting the need to help those who are struggling to survive in the current climate. He told the Post: “It’s been well documented over the year. For a local MP to vote with a Tory government is unbelievable — I’m absolutely disgusted. She forgets who voted her into power and why she was voted into power.” “it also piles yet more pain onto our poorest pensioners, carers, disabled people and low income families.

The cap will include spending on the vast majority of benefits, including pension credits, severe disablement allowance, incapacity benefits, child benefit, both maternity and paternity pay, universal credit and housing benefit. http://www.clydebankpost.co.uk/news/roundup/articles/2014/04/02/493641-clydebank-mp-slammed-for-backing-tories/

 

 

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January 2015: Gemma Doyle MP cites North Korea as reason for £100bn trident renewal

Gemma Doyle MP has told how she fears for the safety of Scotland without a nuclear deterrent. The Labour politician, a shadow defence minister, insists she does believe in worldwide nuclear disarmament but last week voted against a proposal to scrap Trident’s renewal in 2016. This prompted a scathing attack from Clydebank SNP MSP Gil Paterson due to the “obscene” cost of the nuclear programme.

MP Doyle defended her position and reiterated that she wants to see a world free of nuclear weapons. She said: “No one believes for a second that the UK getting rid of our nuclear deterrent would make North Korea or Iran give up their nuclear programmes and it would be foolhardy to leave Scots unprotected in such a dangerous world.”

The House of Commons voted against proposals to scrap the renewal of the UK’s nuclear weapon system by a huge margin of 364 to 35. While the SNP, Plaid Cymru and single Green MP spoke out against continuing with Trident, most Labour, Conservative and Liberal Democrat politicians voted for a new nuclear weapon system for the UK.

The programme, which will see new nuclear weapons based at Faslane, is estimated to cost around £100 billion over its three decade life span.

Gil Paterson MSP said: “Gemma Doyle voting with the Tories is becoming normal practice, but at a time when poverty and food bank use has reached record levels, I find it incredible that she — as the Shadow Minister for Defence — could condone such expenditure on a weapon that could never be used.

“Trident also stops the exploitation of the massive oil reserves that are in the Clyde basin which would transform the western seaboard of Scotland and totally re-energise Clydebank. “Voting to spend this obscene amount of money when it could be used to create jobs, new schools, better housing and raise the standard of living for disadvantaged people defies belief. http://www.clydebankpost.co.uk/news/roundup/articles/2015/01/28/522736-doyle-mp-cites-north-korea-as-reason-for-100bn-trident-renewal/

 

 

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Comments:

She is clearly caught up in the clutches of the “Henry Jackson Society” and BAE. Voted for Trident just in case Iran or North Korea attacked. Now that is beyond stupid.

Two Ayrshire Labour MPs, including Carrick MP, Sandra Osborne, voted with the SNP at Westminster against new nuclear missiles on the Clyde.

SNP politician Angus MacNeill slated Labour. “They had no problem trooping behind the Tories to vote on £30 billion more austerity cuts – which will hurt communities and families across Scotland for years to come with a policy that is simply not working. That Scottish Labour MPs support wasting another £100bn on weapons of mass destruction while foodbank use is rocketing, and more and more children are being pushed into poverty, is simply indefensible – and with their refusal to debate it’s clear that they know it too. The debate was an opportunity for MPs of all parties to oppose the moral and economic obscenity of Trident renewal.”

Brian Donohoe, Central Ayrshire MP intervened stating: “I just can’t believe what he has just said. I honestly just don’t believe, when there are submarines coming from Russia going up the Clyde right now, he’s trying to tell us that we don’t need a deterrent, that we shouldn’t have a deterrent.

An incredulous-looking Mr MacNeill responded: “It wouldn’t be the first time the honourable gentleman has struggled to comprehend matters but it’s very alarming he tells us Russian submarines are going up the Clyde. My goodness, I thought we had a deterrent. Clearly his nuclear policies are failing because they will be docking in Greenock or Port Glasgow any minute now by the sounds of things.”

Mr Donohoe was heavily criticised and lampooned on social media. A parody picture even circulated depicting him in the James Bond classic From Russia with Love. ”http://www.ardrossanherald.com/news/roundup/articles/2015/01/31/523116-mp-brian-backs-trident-renewal-/

 

 

 

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February 2015: Mitochondrial Donation

In February 2015 Gemma Doyle voted against allowing mitochondrial donation, which would allow women who carried mitochondrial diseases to give birth to children who would not inherit the disease. If allowed, mitochondrial donation would be regulated by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) meaning that there would be ongoing assessment of the safety and efficacy of such procedures. An October 2014 briefing report by the HFEA, which had been investigating the issue for three years, stated that there was no evidence to show that mitochondrial donation was unsafe. However, some religious groups had said that such procedures should not be allowed. The majority of MPs voted in favour of allowing mitochondrial donation. http://skeptical-voter.org/index.php?title=Gemma_Doyle

 

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February 2015: West Dunbartonshire MP Gemma Doyle attended a defence trade banquet hosted by BAE Systems

Around 40 MPs including Doyle were on the guest list for a £250-a-head gathering at the Hilton hotel on Park Lane organised by trade organisation ADS, according to information provided by activist group Campaign Against Arms Trade (Caat). Doyle attended as a guest of BAE Systems and was joined by other Scottish Labour MPs such as Margaret Curran and Brian Donohoe.

While at the London dinner, woman gatecrashed the stage and made a speech to the high profile guests which included journalists and representatives from Europe’s biggest arms companies. The woman said: “I’m here today because 1 million people in this country use a food bank, and arms dealers get to have a £246 dinner… the point of this evening is to keep military spending at a high level.”

Business Secretary Vince Cable was the most high-profile attendee, and gave a speech at the event.

When asked by the Reporter about the dinner, Doyle said: “I am a firm supporter of manufacturing and engineering jobs in Scotland and this includes jobs at the shipyards on the Clyde. I engage with local employers like BAE Systems regularly and discussed the Type 26 contract with them this week. I want to see this contract placed as soon as possible to sustain local jobs.” http://www.dumbartonreporter.co.uk/news/roundup/articles/2015/02/13/524038-mp-attends-defence-trade-banquet-as-bae-systems-guest/

Comment: Gemma Doyle, Labour Party Shadow Defence Minister enjoy’s strong links to the ultra right wing USA financed “Henry Jackson Society” as does her husband’s friend Jim Murphy. Any liaisons involving Gemma Doyle, BAE and the aforementioned Society should be judged against their track record.

 

 

 

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29 April 2015: Child poverty rife among working families -The impact of the welfare cap and other austerity measures supported by gemma Doyle

Two thirds of impoverished children in Dumbarton and the Vale live in working households. Figures provided by the End Child Poverty Campaign state that a total of 2,492 children are living in poverty — despite coming from a working family. The 2013 stats — the most up to date figures available — show the rate of child poverty is, however, much lower among non-working households. This has been attributed to government benefits.

According to the End Child Poverty Campaign, in West Dunbartonshire 1,347 children in poverty come from households where neither parent is employed. Statistics have confirmed that for the first time in the UK, more working households are living in poverty than non-working ones.

Meanwhile representatives of Lomond foodbank say they are busier than ever and are in desperate need of donations. Kirsty Tivers, from Lomond foodbank, told the Reporter: “We often find when people manage to get a job, the benefits stop before the wages come in. We have many people here who have a job but are waiting six weeks for wages, and they have to pay for travel to their job.”

Relative poverty is defined by the Scottish Government as those living on a household income below 60 per cent of the UK median income. In 2012/13 that was £13,800.

Kirsty says poverty is much more rife in the area than people believe: “We very often have young families with children. I had a young single mum in last week who had no nappies or formula for her five-month-old, so we had to ask for specific donations for her. I made her up a bag of food for herself but she wouldn’t take it. She took for the baby but she had too much pride to take for herself. “She’s recently moved into a council flat that doesn’t have an oven or a fridge yet so she can only use a microwave, which uses more electricity.

“We’ve been quiet over the Easter holidays because a lot of people said they’d be embarrassed to bring their children here, to let their children know that their parents use a foodbank.” Kirsty said she increasingly worries about the amount of pensioners she feeds on a weekly basis. She added: “Our main problem is pensioners paying for funerals for loved ones and they can’t afford to feed themselves. They’re deemed as having too much money for a state funeral and it’s leaving them without money for food.

“One woman who came to us is retired, she worked her whole life from aged 15, now she’s 70, and when she came to us she hadn’t eaten in three days. In the winter she chose heat over food. We were able to give her a snack to get her along the road with her food. She uses her kettle to heat up soup instead of the cooker. It’s ridiculous people can be treated this way.”

 

 

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The Scottish Government recently revealed more than half a million Scots are living in severe or extreme poverty, with an annual income of less than £11,500 per annum. Of those 510,000 people, 330,000 were working adults, 100,000 were children and 80,000 pensioners.

Martin Rooney, leader of West Dunbartonshire Council, said: “The overarching challenge for West Dunbartonshire is the stubborn levels of poverty and deprivation that remain. “I believe inequality can be addressed and together we can create a better society and tackle child poverty in our area. I would like to see more investment in building social housing, supporting jobs and apprentices, as well as improving our housing stock. I want to see greater increases in the minimum wage and an extension of the living wage. I want our young people to stay on at school and get the best educational qualifications and skills to help them to succeed in a competitive jobs market.”

For anyone who wishes to donate, Lomond foodbank has a donation trolley in Balloch Coop or Iceland in Alexandria. You can also drop in with donations to St Mungo’s Church Hall, Alexandria from 10am on Tuesday. Items like nappies, tinned meat, pasta sauces and tinned pies are all desperately needed. http://www.dumbartonreporter.co.uk/news/thisweek/articles/2015/04/29/530693-child-poverty-rife-among-working-families/

 

 

 

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East-Dunbartonshire MP Jo Swinson

 

 

Lord Rennard said that he would not apologise over the claims

 

 

Bridget Harris, (former political aide to the worse than useless) Nick Clegg,  has accused the Liberal Democratic Party of ignoring women’s safety after one of the party’s peers, who was accused of sexual harassment, was allowed to campaign in a recent by-election.

Her criticism after the disgraced, Lord Rennard was photographed recently on the campaign trail for the party at a recent by-election.

Swinson and Rennard have history will be challenged to explain herself at the next Party conference.

 

 

Prime Minister Theresa May sits opposite Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn as they pose for a photo with members of parliament during a meeting to form a common policy on tackling abuse following allegations of sexual harassment and abuse in British politics, at the Prime Minister’s Office in the House of Commons, London, Monday, Nov. 6, 2017.

 

 

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Swinson To Ask The Good People of East Dunbartonshire to Forgive Her Disgraceful Betrayal  of the Electorate When A Minister in The Con-Dem Government

In 2010 Swinson was returned to Westminster as the MP for East Dunbartonshire.

Her success almost entirely due to tactical voting witnessed by the support of the media, Tory and a number of Labour supporters denying the SNP candidate an expected victory.

The outcome of the election was a hung parliament but, with the backing of the Liberals the Tory Party took up office.

So yet again Scotland had a government that it had rejected outright (80%+ voted for parties other than the Tories.)

The support of Swinson and her Liberal colleagues ushered in a Government comprised of old Etonians, corrupt businessmen and unelected peers of the realm.

The infamous Con-Lib coalition government brought with it swingeing cuts and misery and the East Dunbartonshire electorate was subjected to five years of savage cuts destroying working-class families and many of the less fortunate in society.

The end result was that the poor got poorer and the rich much richer.

Given their chance in 2015 the people of East Dunbartonshire punished Jo Swinson’s betrayal, booting her, the Tories and the labour party firmly into touch.

The SNP took up the reins of office bringing confidence to the people of East Dunbartonshire that their welfare and political desires would be faithfully represented in Westminster.

Not dismayed and without apology (she is quoted as saying she had no regrets) for her actions and the misrule of the Con-Dem government (in which she held a ministerial appointment) she brazenly announced her candidacy for the East Dunbartonshire seat in the 2017 GE.

For the record, her main residence is in Peckham, London. But (planning ahead) she retained the flat, (in East Dunbartonshire) purchased for her by the obliging taxpayers of the constituency.

The media are talking up Swinson for the East Dunbartonshire seat, but I thought the locals would be politically informed and resistant to her platitudes and promises. But I was wrong. The Unionist political Parties agreed to a pact to vote tactically and she was returned to Westminster yet again. What a bummer!!!!!

What follows is a blog setting out the political history of Swinson outlining the reasons she is not fit for office.

 

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Swinson Comeback Confirmed – The People of East Dunbartonshire Must Be Nuts

Swinson was returned to Westminster as an MP in the June 2017 General Election and soon found her place in a much reduced Lib/Dem Party that had been firmly rejected by the wider electorate.

The Party is so short of talent that she was elected unchallenged to the post of Deputy Leader to the old pensioner Vince Cable, he of the Post Office sell-off for peanuts.

Mindful of her appalling record of support to female staff under attack from Lord Rennard she had the hard neck to attend yesterday’s meeting, with Vince Cable in Downing Street, convened by the Prime Minister to thrash out an agreement designed to provide staff employed by politicians with a safe place of work, free from sexual innuendo and abuse.

The full story of her abject performance as a mentor for women in the party is detailed below.

 

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Swinson is a British Liberal Democrat politician and Member of Parliament (MP) for East Dunbartonshire constituency and the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Employment relations, consumer and postal affairs. She is also a junior Equalities Minister.

She was raised in East Dunbartonshire and educated at Douglas Academy in Milngavie and the London School of Economics, where she studied Management gaining a Bachelor of Science in 2000.

She signed up as an active member of the Liberal Democrats at the age of seventeen.

After graduating, she moved to Yorkshire and worked for Ace Visual & Sound Systems in Thorne, South Yorkshire from August 2000, then in marketing and public relations with Kingston Upon Hull based commercial radio station Viking FM from December 2000.

In 2001, at the age of 21, Swinson stood as a Liberal Democrat for the Hull East constituency against John Prescott in the UK General Election and lost.

In 2003, she contested the Strathkelvin and Bearsden seat in the Scottish Parliament and lost.

 

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May 2009: MPs’ expenses: Swinson submitted receipts for tooth flossier and eyeliner

Swinson, a Liberal Democrat was 25 when she was elected MP for Dunbartonshire East in 2005, she denied claiming for cosmetics but defended the use of taxpayer-funded expenses to pay for dozens of other everyday items.

At one point, she submitted a Tesco receipt for £22.67 that appeared to show that the MP or an aide went to the trouble of putting an asterisk next to three items, totalling £5.75, for which she intended to claim — a £1.75 chopping board, a “food saver” for £1.50 and a £2.50 sieve.

An Asda receipt included a bottle of Mr Sheen cleaner costing 78p and a £1.19 window cleaner.

She also claimed for a hairdryer and £16 lavatory roll holder, along with a £14.10 invoice to have a spare key cut for her cleaner.

Public concern over MPs’ expenses has focused on the petty nature of some of the claims submitted on second-home allowances, as well as the more extravagant spending of taxpayers’ money.

Swinson’s records show that she submitted receipts for items ranging in price from a packet of dusters for 29p to a television costing £544.90.

Known in Westminster for the attention she pays to her appearance, Swinson’s receipts contain a number of items relating to her personal care.

They included a “tooth flossier” costing £19.10, which the Commons fees office rejected, along with a set of “toothbrush refills”.

A few months previously, however, and in an apparent breach of the rules that prevented claims for personal items, she was reimbursed for an electric toothbrush and hair-dryer.

Also among her receipts was a £27.94 bill from Boots, which included a £5 eyeliner, a lip liner for the same price, and a £12.00 “R&M Eye Kit”.

In response to questioning, Swinson said she had not claimed for the eyeliner, suggesting that it featured on a receipt that included other items for which she did seek repayment.

No items other than cosmetics appeared on the receipt in question — it seemed to be the second of two pages, the first of which is missing.

Asked why she had regularly used the additional costs allowance, which MPs may use to fund a second home, to claim for low-cost, everyday items,  Swinson said: “None of these items would have been necessary for me to buy were I not living away from home for half of the week.

“Most of these were approved and the costs reimbursed, a couple were not and I accepted this.”

“As a new MP, my understanding was that the ACA reimbursed the costs of setting up a place to stay in London, including duplicates of the various kitchen and bathroom items that I use in my main home.”

“The receipt for Mr. Sheen and dusters was with the invoices from my cleaner.  However, I directly reimbursed my cleaner for these items and did not claim for them.”

“I am at work when she cleans my flat, so it was necessary to provide her with a key in order to get in. A television is necessary in order to follow programming relevant to my job.”

Swinson said she claimed less than the maximum food allowance of £400 a month — usually about £10 for each day she attended Parliament. (Telegraph)

 

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January 2013: Swinson wants to decamp from Scotland to England

Rumours abound that Swinson wants to decamp from Scotland and get the Bath nomination to be nearer her husband in Chippenham. (conservativehome)

 

 

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February 2013: Lord Rennard – allegations of sexual impropriety

Miss Smith, a senior female officer of the Party went to Swinson, the Party’s spokesperson for women and equality, who was then also the “minister for women” who agreed to investigate and to speak to other women who had also alleged Lord Rennard had behaved inappropriately.

She uncovered a very serious pattern of behaviour.

In a follow-up, Swinson told Ms Smith the problem with taking it forward was that nobody wanted to make a formal complaint.

Ms Smith said “It very quickly became quite Kafkaesque. They were saying, ‘No one wants to make a formal complaint’, and I was saying, ‘I’ll make a formal complaint,’ and they were saying, ‘That’s a shame because no one wants to make a formal complaint’.”

But who knows? There’s a quote in the Mail from an anonymous “Lib Dem insider” who spoke to  Swinson, now Equalities Minister, as long ago as 2004.

That was before Swinson, then just 24, was even an MP, though she was already a rising star in the party, famous among other things for wearing a pink T-shirt with the slogan “I am not a token woman”.

The source said: “Swinson said to me that Rennard had an issue about women but you have to put up with it if you want to get on in the party.”

The following year she became the youngest MP in the House of Commons.

heresycorner)  (capitalbay)

 

 

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suttieAlison Suttie (Cleggs Neice) Now a peer!!!

 

 

 

August 2013: Liberal Democrat leaders failed female staff

The formal inquiry into the Lord Rennard sexual harassment scandal has found that Clegg, Danny Alexander, Paul Burstow, and Jo Swinson “could have done much more” to protect Rennard’s alleged victims and investigate the claims against him.

Rubbing salt into the wounds Rennard’s niece Alison Suttie, who was accused of covering up the allegations, has just been awarded a peerage for her efforts.

The behavior of the Clegg and his executive lieutenants over the scandal shames their party and shames politics. (trendingcentral)

 

 

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Sex scandal: Con/Dem Women’s minister Jo Swinson has disappeared?

Since the Lord Rennard scandal broke, Liberal Democrat MP, Jo Swinson, the women’s and equalities minister, has gone to ground.

Why won’t she answer the questions she so urgently needs to, asks Cathy Newman. (The Telegraph)

 

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July 2013: Anger as constituents pay Swinson’s Electricity Bill

As East Dunbartonshire working people, pensioners, job seekers and families struggle to heat their homes and pay for food, local Tory/Liberal Democrat Westminster coalition Minister MP Swinson has been claiming from the taxpayer to pay her electricity bill.

Swinson who has, at the lowest estimation, not including the fact she has her food paid and subsidized, an income in excess of £100k a year – claimed £569.72.

This in the face of the calls from coalition members to end the £300 winter fuel allowance pensioners receive.

Politicians and their banker pals gamble and play with our money and caused the financial crisis, but seem to be the only ones not ‘in this together’, with the rest of us suffering wage cuts and hugely increased food and energy bills. (newsforscotland)

 

 

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Swinson and her fellow MP’s Voted against a proposed change to the Official Secrets Act – providing protection for public servants-regarding Child Sex Abuse

If the Lib Dems had voted for this, it could have passed.

Why on earth did they vote to kill it? It can’t be part of the coalition agreement. (exaronews)

 

 

The Last Day Of The Liberal Democrat's Annual Party Conference

 

 

 

September 2013: Swinson votes for war against the wishes of her electorate

Before the Westminster general election,  MP. Jo Swinson, espoused fine, compassionate Liberal principles and was generally applauded for her attitudes.

It is very sad that thereafter, and particularly since her elevation to the Cabinet, she forgot those principles and her compassion.

She voted with Cameron and Clegg on all of the big ones.

Principle after principle has fallen as her career and salary has taken an upward trajectory.

From University fees, through the privatization of the NHS and the lowering of taxes for millionaires and billionaires, the further impoverishment of those in poverty through the heinous welfare bill and the imposition of the bedroom tax on poor people with nowhere to move… this woman is for the House of Lords if she can topple enough of her principles to do the Tories bidding.

She is doing very well out of her support for the Tories.

But of course, the only thing that could get in the way of this plan of a job for life (something a huge proportion of her constituents will never have thanks to her Govt. attacks on workers rights) would be Scottish Independence, so she is working hard making sure she is photographed at every White Elephant, bazaar and three-legged race in her constituency.

And now her voting for war.

Like Blair and Thatcher did and look at how they did!

Looked after by their rich sponsors and never wanting for anything… Every lower-middle-class persons dream…Cameron’s shockingly badly handled attempt at forcing us to war- his Maggie moment- Jo’s Maggie moment – failed.

Reason, principle, compassion and the will of the people won.

And this and all of the dreadful compromises she made that impact terribly on peoples lives will be hers and her Rose Garden chums downfall. (plotsplot)

 

 

Jo Swinson MP in Westminster

 

 

 

November 2013: Swinson urged to ‘show consistency’ on unpaid workers

Swinson is under fire for railing against the use of unpaid workers – despite her party offering non-paying internships.

Campaigners have called on her to show consistency on the issue – and have accused her of promoting unpaid work through her Get East Dunbartonshire Working campaign.

They also accuse her of criticizing non-paying internships while backing the governments’ workfare scheme which forces people into unpaid work.

Swinson backed a campaign against the exploitation of interns – even though it was recently shown that the LibDems are the only party offering unpaid work experience.

Ross Greer, from Bearsden, convener of Dunbartonshire Greens, said:

“Young people in Scotland are being hammered by her government’s policies and workfare is a perfect example of this. Instead of investing in the economy to create more jobs, Westminster forces our young people into unpaid work experience. This system allows companies to hold back from employing new, paid staff as they can take on these young people for no cost instead. This creates a vicious circle of lost opportunities for young people in need of real, paid employment.”

Neil Scott, also from Bearsden, spoke for the Campise SSP, saying:

“While  Swinson’s constituents pay hundreds of pounds for her heating bill we have to endure damaging policies, all coming from a Tory-led government that we did not elect. She cannot campaign against unpaid internships on one hand whilst advocating unpaid work placements on the other.” (Milngavie Herald)

 

 

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November 2013: East Dunbartonshire MP Jo Swinson defends bedroom tax vote

A motion to scrap the controversial ‘bedroom tax’ fell short by 26 votes last week in the House of Commons.

East Dunbartonshire MP  Swinson was one of seven Lib Dem MPs who voted against the motion, helping to achieve the coalition majority.

The spare rooms subsidy has proved unpopular in East Dunbartonshire – with council chiefs and housing association bosses saying hundreds are being hit in the pocket.

The tax, introduced in April, means tenants have their benefits cut if they are deemed to have a spare bedroom.

However, a shortage of one-bedroom properties has meant many are unable to move and are forced to take the drop in income. (Kirkintilloch Herald)

 

 

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November 2014: Will Lib Dem MPs vote for a policy that will help to close the gender pay gap?

Con/Dem Equalities Minister Swinson was asked in the House of Commons whether she would vote with Labour on the 16th December on the proposal to require big companies to publish their gender pay gap. She refused to answer.

Given that one of the first things the Lib Dems and Tories did after 2010 was ditch Section 78 of Labour’s Equality Act, which provided the power to require big companies to do this, this is not surprising.

But it was only three months before that Swinson toured the TV studios and giving quotes to women’s magazines declaring that compulsory pay transparency was now Liberal Democrat policy.

She said voluntary targets didn’t work and firms must be compelled to publish this data.

She couldn’t have been clearer, saying “Part of the answer is about employers taking responsibility for their pay policies, and analyzing any gaps that exist.

Making large companies with over 250 employees publish the average pay of their male and female staff will create transparency about the gender pay gap.

Lib Dem hypocrisy – saying one thing but voting a different way – has become their hallmark.

We’ve seen it so many times before: promising to scrap tuition fees and then trebling them, promising not to increase VAT and then increasing it, failing to back the mansion tax to pay for the NHS but standing by the cruel bedroom tax. Well, it seems now we can add another to the list – equal pay. (labourlist)

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November 2014: All the lunatics are not locked up. Means Test the pensioners

The Business Minister has declared that wealthy pensioners should be stripped of their winter fuel allowance to fund cheaper bus fares for young people.

LibDem  Swinson said subsidizing rich pensioners’ energy bills with payments of up to “£300 [If you qualify by being over 80 and live alone]” each was hard to justify in times of austerity.

She said the cash should be used instead to help young people get to work or college with discounted bus tickets.

It didn’t occur to her that poor pensioners are dying at the rate of 200 a day in the winter because they are cold in their homes, whereas young people at work and in college are kept warm all day in their jobs or colleges because someone else is paying the heating bills there?

Perhaps even the wealthiest pensioners are more concerned about the 200 who die than is Swinson who, remarkably, is also kept warm at the House of Commons, is provided with subsidized meals and booze, and enjoys a huge salary and “Voted strongly for a reduction in spending on welfare benefits”.

No other section of our society is so vulnerable and treated so badly by Swinson and her ilk that they live in fuel poverty.

When these gas rings go off the lives of another 200 pensioners are at risk.

 

<> on October 6, 2014 in Glasgow, Scotland.

 

 

 

 

January 2015: Swinson MP: Encourage boys to play with dolls

“Boys should be encouraged to play with dolls to make them more nurturing and caring”, Lib Dem equalities minister  Swinson has suggested.

She said it would make them more likely to work in the adult care sector when they grew up.

The MP warned of a shortage of care workers in future years and said it was important to persuade more men to work in the sector.

Presumably, it’s ‘important’ to persuade more men to work in this low-paid sector – most jobs pay the minimum wage – for the same reason, it’s ‘important’ to persuade more women to work in well-paid sectors such as medicine and engineering.

I thank Swinson – also a business minister as if British businesses don’t have enough problems to cope with – for reminding me why she was such a worthy winner of a Gormless Feminist of the Month award just two months ago.

From her Wikipedia page:

She is an active campaigner against packaging of chocolate Easter eggs, and each year since 2007 has seen her attack confectionery manufacturers for what she sees as excessive packaging of the seasonal children’s treats, which generally involve a hollow egg covered in aluminium foil accompanied by a branded sweet, encased in plastic and cardboard to provide branding and protect the hollow and fragile chocolate foodstuff.

She named Guylian as the worst offender, followed by Lindt, Baileys and Cadbury.

How can anyone so mind-numbingly silly be elected not once, but twice, to parliament?

We can but hope the voters of East Dunbartonshire will have more sense than to elect her for a third term.

Maybe she could be replaced by an Easter egg, thereby sparing us from exposure to any more of her ridiculous views. (j4mb wordpress)

 

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January 2013: What anti-business planet is naive Swinson MP (Lib Dem) on? Why does Call Me Dave agree with her?

Swinson is the Lib Dem Business Minister who is also an equalities minister.

Based on her vast experience at age 25 of the needs of a business, she has come up with a cunning wheeze to make life even more miserable for employers with yet more red tape.

Just what the company doctor ordered. And it seems that this is coalition policy.

Were the leader of the Conservative Party someone other than a pampered suit who did a brief stint in PR before becoming a professional politician, Swinson would be told where to stick her daft plans but that was before “Call Me Dave” made his party a “nice” party.

If Swinson gets her way, all employees (not just those with kids) will be able to request the right to work flexible hours and cannot be denied unless the employer can show a clear business need.

The silly woman wants employees to be able to request flexi-time to avoid the rush hour commute.

Or if they have a hobby that takes place during business hours.

What is the difference between “a clear business need” and just “mildly inconvenient” for the employer? I do not know.

We shall wait for the first industrial tribunal for constructive dismissal to find out.

And why the hell should employers suffer any inconvenience at all because someone does not like having to fight for a seat on the 6.42 or because they want to do a spot of afternoon cottaging or whippet racing? (tomwinnifrith)

 

 

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November 2013: Lib Dem Unpaid Internship ‘Embarrassing

The Liberal Democrats have been criticized after launching a campaign to stop the exploitation of interns – despite being the only party offering unpaid work experience.

Lib Dem minister Swinson is backing the video and poster drive offering new guidance to interns uncertain about their rights.

It aims to explain to people making their first step on the career ladder what their rights are in relation to the National Minimum Wage (NMW).

It also advises what action they can take if they feel they have been exploited.

But it has been revealed that the only political party currently offering an unpaid internship is the Lib Dems.

John Leech, MP for Manchester Withington, has advertised an internship which comes without travel and lunch expenses, according to a notice on the website W4MP.

The MP says the role will “provide an opportunity for a candidate to develop their employability skills” with the job description including secretarial activities such as “diary management”, “e-communication”, “research” and “casework”.

The internship is being offered for three months full-time or up to a full year part-time. (Sky-News)

 

 

 

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January 2015: Jo’s cab’s rank

Prudent Lib Dem MP, Swinson has been rather quick to defend her expenses over the past few years. And she has done well after the accusations of buying ludicrous things was batted off. And I quite understand, she can have a long commute to Westminster from Westerton.

So imagine my surprise to read she has needed something called “business class taxis?” Surely a mistake?

http://plotsplot.blogspot.co.uk/2015_01_01_archive.html

Parliament’s official record has Consumer minister Swinson revealing her department spent nearly £80,000 last year on “business class taxis”.

Surely a mistake. How many taxis do you know, Jo, which offer economy and business class? (The Mirror)

 

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April 2015: Lib dem Swinson walked through the lobby with the rest of her political cronies to cut Scotland’s budget by £12 billion.

 

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April 2015: Swinson MP Liberal Democrat, East Dumbartonshire

Accepted a donation of £2,000 from private optician company, Peter Ivins Eye Care.

Then voted for the Health & Social Care Act that ramped up opportunities for the private sector to profit from the NHS.

The lib Dems have also failed to oppose the NHS inclusion in a controversial trade deal with the US following Brexit. (peoplesnhs.org)

 

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April 2015: Is Swinson’s permanent place of residence in london, near London or in East DunbartonshireDoes Swinson live?

Swinson, battling to hold on to her East Dunbartonshire seat, boasts about her local connections.

The Business Minister in the coalition government who is facing a Scottish National Party surge has sent a lawyer’s letter to a rival for suggesting she’s moved closer to London since the birth of the couple’s son in December 2013.

Despite her protests, she is jointly claiming for a home in London at taxpayers’ expense.

In fact, in the past year, they claimed £18,312, which included rent of £1,318 a month, £617 in electricity — which is high for a property if it is rarely used — and £1,768 council tax.

Their telephone bill is described in their expenses claim as for their ‘London home’. Yet the rules are clear, stating:

“Where an MP is claiming accommodation expenditure . . . the MP must be routinely resident at the property.”

Her expenses claims seem rather at odds with her boast of being a genuinely local MP, and Swinson’s legal letter denying she’s moved closer to London.

Additionally, her husband’s constituency is just over a 1-hour drive from London. Deep waters indeed. (Daily Mail)

 

 

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Jun 2019: Swinson branded a hypocrite for taking fracker’s cash

Swinson was accused of hypocrisy after accepting cash from a fracking businessman – then vowing to save the planet.

The East Dunbartonshire MP’s website boasts that she has “campaigned tirelessly to save our environment and “took to the streets with Extinction Rebellion”.

One of her central taglines quotes: “We will build an economy that puts people and the planet first.”

But it has been revealed that Swinson accepted a £10,000 donation from Mark Petterson in July 2017 and another £4000 in January.

Petterson is a director of Warwick Energy Ltd – a firm with fracking licences across England.

Her record:

She voted against a moratorium and a requirement for an environmental permit being granted for fracking.

She rejected carrying out a review of the impact of the highly controversial technique on climate change, the environment, the economy, and health and safety.

She voted in favour of cutting the subsidy for electricity generated via renewable or low-carbon methods and against ensuring the future of the payments in 2011.

She voted against targets for the amount of carbon dioxide or other greenhouse gases produced per unit of electricity generated.

She voted against requiring the UK Green Investment Bank to explicitly support the target of reducing UK carbon emissions to 20 percent of 1990 levels by 2050.

She refused to support the completion of a cycle path in her constituency of Milngavie after complaints from motorists.

She voted with the Tories to sell the Nation’s state-owned forests.

The Scottish ­Government has imposed a moratorium on fracking over environmental fears and  Rona Mackay, SNP MSP for Strathkelvin and Bearsden, said:

“Jo Swinson has some brass neck. She’s waving a ‘save the planet’ flag in one hand while grabbing cash from fracking companies with the other. Just a few years ago, she voted against plans to block fracking in England. Voters are questioning her political credibility. The strength of feeling against fracking in Scotland is clear – this issue really ­matters to people and their communities. So she needs to issue a full explanation to her constituents.” (The Record)

 

 

 

 

 Sep 2019: Lib Dems, the Tory’s  and other parties are close to agreeing to a General Election pact in Scotland to deny the SNP seats

Orkney and Shetland MP Alistair Carmichael admitted the former coalition partners and “Better Together” parties are holding talks but a formal deal has yet to be signed off.

Willie Rennie, the leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats, insisted there was “no pact” between his party and the Conservatives – saying the Lib Dems are “opposed to Brexit and Boris Johnson and won’t be doing anything to support them”.

He also took to Twitter to deny reports that talks were “ongoing” between the parties to ensure the SNP does not have a “clean sweep” of Westminster seats.

Recalling how the Liberal Democrats had gone into a coalition government with David Cameron after the 2010 election, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon tweeted: “Leopards – and it seems Liberals – don’t change their spots.

 

SNP MP Martin Docherty-Hughes said:

“The Lib Dems are showing their true colours by preparing to jump right back into bed with their old Tory chums in a pathetic attempt to stop the UK’s largest anti-Brexit party gaining traction at a general election.”

Adding:

“Let’s not beat about the bush – the Lib Dems have sold out their principles before and given the chance they’ll do exactly the same again to serve their own self-interests.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gavin Esler – University Of Kent Address – Is It UK Rest In Peace – Jack Straw – You Have Within The UK Three Small Nations Under The Cosh Of The English

 

dz0zNTAmaD0zMDAmbWk9NDFkYTM2Y2QtYjNlYy00NjZhLTljMGYtYjdjYmU2Mjk1ZjY0LmpwZw2.aspxGavin Esler

 

 

Gavin Esler spent much of last year working on a BBC Radio series entitled Brits. In November, he delivered an Open Lecture at the University of Kent on the subject. This article is taken from his lecture:

There are those who believe that Britain has had its day. There are now four significant parliaments or assemblies in the United Kingdom: Edinburgh, Belfast, sometimes Cardiff, and London. The monarchy and those other great British institutions – the Military, the Churches, the National Health Service, the BBC, the nationalised industries – have been eroded or forced to change, or they have gone completely. Now we have a prospect of a common European currency and greater power going to Brussels. But is it really UK RIP?

I spent last year trying to find out. I started in the Scottish Highlands and went via Glasgow, Ibrox Stadium, Edinburgh and the new Parliament down to Canterbury and Tunbridge Wells, then over to the Welsh valleys and Northern Ireland. One thing that really struck me was how lucky we are.

 

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‘Brits’ caused quite a stir when, at the beginning of last year, the Home Secretary, Jack Straw told me that in his view, ‘the English are potentially very aggressive, very violent and of course we have used that propensity to subjugate Ireland, Wales and Scotland and then we used it in Europe and with our Empire. You have within the UK three small nations under the cosh of the English. These small nations have inevitably sought expression by a very explicit idea of nationhood. You have this very dominant other nation England, ten times bigger than the others, which is self confident and therefore has no reason to be explicit about it. I think as we move into this new century,’ Mr Straw went on, ‘people’s sense of Englishness will become more articulated, and that’s partly because of the mirror that devolution provides us and partly because we’re becoming more European’.

 

 

CBI-West-Midlands06After the Scottish referendum.

 

 

Why did these remarks cause such a furore? Jack Straw was born in Essex. He represents a Blackburn constituency, and in many ways seems the quintessential Englishman. Yet he was called anti-English by quite a few newspapers. It may have been more politically wise to tone down some of the phrasing, but wasn’t Mr Straw merely pointing out the obvious? – that the English didn’t conquer the world just by playing cricket and having cucumber sandwiches. And the Scots or Welsh or Irish have frequently joined in this great enterprise and profited greatly from it. Complaints about the disproportionate number of Scots in the Cabinet have a history going back 200 years!

 

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While making this radio series I would ask English interviewees to tell me the date of St George’s Day. Most people had no idea; I was even assured by one group in Tunbridge Wells that it was 17 March (St Patrick’s Day.) The only two people I met for the series who did know the date for St George’s day were Jack Straw and a columnist for the Daily Mail called Simon Heffer who then wrote articles about why Jack Straw was an idiot!

In North London I came across a counselling group of intelligent, well-educated, middle-income, left-wing English men and women. They spent some of their time, in this counselling group, discussing problems they had with their English identities. They all found it easy to think of negative stereotypes of England: the lager lout, foreigner-haters, imperialists. I reminded them that whatever their flaws, the English had, for example, started the RSPCA; they were uniquely tolerant of immigrants; and they had an extraordinary cultural history.

Jack Straw told me, ‘we should stop apologising for being English and celebrate the country’s huge achievements – the industrialisation of the world, the development of institutions, the literature, music and poetry we have brought to the world. At the same time we should recognise the downside of being English – this aggressive, jingoistic streak – and try to eliminate it’.

 

 

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Some of those English people I interviewed about their sense of identity, strangely to me anyway, spoke of the United Kingdom in the past tense with a sense of loss. Britain or the United Kingdom was dead, they suggested, thanks to the Scots and the Welsh. This attitude was summed up by Sir Roy Strong who had just completed a book on the cultural history of Britain, ‘In Scotland and Wales’, Sir Roy said ‘you have the National Museum of Scotland, the National Gallery of Scotland, the National Museum of Wales, the National Gallery of Wales, but there is no National Gallery of England. You see the word English attached to very little.’

It is worth reminding ourselves of some of the reasons why the historian Norman Davies and others have concluded that Britain is ‘in a terminal phase’. Britain was an invention after the Union of Crowns in 1603, and has been re-invented repeatedly in the Union of Parliament in 1707, after union with Ireland in 1801, when the Irish Free States seceeded in 1922 and then around the Welfare State in the 1940s.

Historian Linda Colley said that what kept us together were three things that don’t seem relevant to most people now: Protestantism, Empire and War. You could add, in this century, the national industries the Coal Board, British Steel, British Rail and the great Unions. Now the nationalised industries have gone, the Unions have lost much of their power and that other glue, Socialism, which knitted together working class people from Glasgow to the Welsh valleys has also cracked apart.

There is, as we all know, no shared British football team or football league. There is no common legal system, no national British church, no national anthem. Nonetheless, I am unconvinced of the inevitability of the break-up of the United Kingdom.

 

 

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Professor of Government at Oxford University Vernon Bogden told me, ‘Britishness is not an artificial construct, but something deeply organic. It would need more than devolution to undermine the attachment to the British state. We are the most Euro-sceptic country in the EU. That’s a sign of the organic sense of Britishness that still survives.’

What else? There is a certain nostalgia. In a British Legion Club in Cardiff a wonderful World War II veteran, Tony Jones, explained to me why he ripped up his exemption papers to fight Hitler, ‘not because I was Welsh,’ Tony Jones said, ‘but because I was British. We were defending this island – Scots, Welsh, English. We were all the same when it came to the last war.’

Britain is not unique in questioning its continuing status as a nation state. In the case of the former Soviet Union or Indonesia or Yugoslavia, ‘nation state’ means not a lot. But many other nations are re-inventing themselves in ways that do have a parallel for us. A generation ago Spain and Ireland both had appalling images of backwardness with poor, agriculture-based economies. One was a semi-Fascist dictatorship and both were bastions of traditional Catholicism.

Now Ireland, as we all know, has re-invented itself as the ‘Celtic Tiger’ and Spain has obviously thrown off the Franco image. In Barcelona where the Mayor’s office carries three flags; those of the City of Barcelona, the region of Catalonia and the Spanish national flag. The Mayor, educated in Edinburgh, suggested to me that it was a British notion that devolution meant the country would fall apart. He believed that the result would be exactly the opposite.

 

 

daniel-defoe-6-728daniel-defoe-1-728English Spy sent to Scotland as a fifth columnist.

 

 

The Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown, one of the most prominent and outspoken Unionists in Labour, put it to me this way. ‘A lot of this debate is based on a misapprehension that without an institutional formula the UK could break up. But Britain exists because people want it to exist. Gordon Brown and William Hague believe that all kinds of values – fair play, tolerance, self-reliance, decency, inventiveness, enterprise, a sense of personal privacy, love of the eccentric, a sense of humour – somehow keep Britain together.

As I travelled across the country quite often I’d hear the same complaints. Too many Scots in important positions; it was unfair for Scottish and Welsh politicians to vote on issues affecting them in devolved parliaments but also to vote on issues affecting England. Disproportionate amounts of tax payers’ money was being spent on Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

 

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Let me point to what I think is more important than all this: something which does keep up all together and that’s a shared sense of British culture in its wider sense. This has been reflected, it seems to me, by the Tate Gallery, which in March this year split into two: Tate Modern and Tate Britain. I suggested to Stephen Dukar who is the Director of Tate Britain that to some people Tate Britain might seem a daft idea because if Britain really is dead he has named his gallery after the corpse. He responded that it was a perfect moment to engage in a debate about what British art might mean, whether Britain was any longer a valid concept and how it was changing. He saw Tate Britain as contributing to the new debate in the 21st century about the relationships within these islands.

 

YOU WILL

 

Modern British culture is so diverse and inventive it stretches from John Le Carré to Bryn Terfyll to Dwight York, from the Royal Opera House to your local Balti house, from Glasgow Rangers to Chelsea. Fans from Northern Ireland travel every week to football games in Glasgow, in Manchester, in Liverpool. TV sets in the Irish Republic will tune in to the BBC. Eastenders and Coronation Street, English soap operas, remain British institutions in Glasgow and Cardiff and Belfast. Even the historian Norman Davies, one of those who said that the British state was on its last legs, concedes that British culture, in its widest sense, will remain robust.

 

 

Scottish-Referendum4211004544_4937439849490_5017761181658621797_oPensioners-in-Scotland

 

 

What is it that has kept the idea of Scotland as a nation alive for 400 years and does it offer a clue about Britishness? Why do most Scots, including myself (despite the fact I’ve lived outside Scotland for longer than I’ve lived in it), still feel Scottish in one way or another – despite the power of the greatest empire the world has ever known, the British Empire, despite the drift of so many Scots southwards to help run that Empire, and despite the superior cultural power of England. Each of these three smaller nations was never completely overwhelmed by England or by the British State because in some small corner of our hearts most of us retain the belief that we were still Scots too, or Welsh or Irish even when we were British. The question for the future it seems to me, is whether the idea of being British will continue to reside in some small corner of our hearts. If it does, Britain will somehow be reinvented. If it ceases to be important to us, then no matter what constitutional arrangements we make, Britain will die. https://www.kent.ac.uk/alumni/pdf/kent36.pdf

 

 

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Ian Murray – Elected Labour MP For Edinburgh South On A Parcel of Lies Manufactured By A Labour Journalist – Voters Should Reject This Toxic Wee Man in Favour of the SNP Candidate

 

 

Ian-Murray

 

 

 

 

Ian Murray is a Scottish Labour Party politician

Murray’s political career started in 2003 as an Edinburgh City councillor when he stood for the Council elections in Liberton and won a seat. He later represented the Liberton, Gilmerton ward from 2007 to 2010. He has been the Member of Parliament for Edinburgh South since 2010.

At Westminster he has served on the Business, Innovation and Skills Select Committee and the Environmental Audit Committee. In 2011, he was appointed to the Shadow front bench, and served as Shadow Trade and Investment Minister, where his responsibilities included trade and investment, export licensing, postal affairs and employment relations.

He is a member of Amnesty International, USDAW Union, Progress and the Fabian Society.

Brought up in the Wester Hailes area of Edinburgh, he attended Dumbryden primary school, then Wester Hailes Education Centre. He went on to study Social Policy and Law at the University of Edinburgh graduating with an Honours degree.

After University he went on to work at the Royal Blind, then in pensions management. After this he took up employment with an Edinburgh based internet television station.

The company went bust and Murray decided to set-up his own event management company, “100 mph Events Ltd.” He retained a major share holding in the company after taking up the duties of MP.

He has a long-term partner Hannah Catherine Woolfson, who is descended from Lithuanian Jews who were emigrating to America but got off the boat in Greenock because the sea sickness was unbearable.

He employed her, as a Casual Junior Secretary, until May 2012. http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm/cmregmem/110124/part2.htm

He owns a half share in a house in Edinburgh, which he shares with his partner Hannah, from which rental income is derived. (Registered 29 June 2011)

 

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Ian Murray’s self penned Biography

As an event manager, Ian ran the largest arts festival in Europe for 7 years, during which time he was involved in television production, artistic programming, sponsorship and financial management and all other areas of the business from building scaffolding to presenting artists.

Ian’s proudest moment as an event manager was his concert with Billy Bragg, Chrissie Hynde, Steve Earle, Joan Baez and Emmy-Lou Harris, which raised over £100,000 for the Landmine for a Free World Charity in 2004.

Ian’s event management experience has included organising live music concerts and broadcasting over the internet, from various of Edinburgh’s large music venues.

Comment: If you voted Labour at the last Westminster election. You need to take a long hard look at this. I’m struggling to work out the truths and what are the not so truths. Murray which large arts festival did you run for 7 years? http://www.ianmurraymp.co.uk/biography.html

 

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February 2010: Murray late nomination for the Edinburgh South constituency – Scandal Hit Nigel Griffiths stands down

Griffiths, who was criticised during the MPs’ expenses scandal when he claimed for a 3,600 plasma television, is eligible for the cash payment to help him “adjust” to life outside Parliament.

Half of the payment is tax-free. The Edinburgh MP is also eligible for a winding-up allowance designed to help with the expenses of running down a constituency office.

But news of the payment and Mr Griffiths’s new job have been decried as “unacceptable” by campaigners in the wake of simmering public anger surrounding the MPs’ expenses scandal.

Martin Bell, the former MP who has written a book on the expenses saga, said: “It is quite reasonable for an MP who leaves at the behest of an election defeat to get this payment.

But I would have thought, if they have already lined up a job before leaving office, they should not be paid the money because it has come from the taxpayer.”

It was widely predicted that Griffiths would have struggled to retain his Edinburgh South seat following a sex scandal in 2008.

The former minister allegedly had an intimate encounter with a brunette in his Westminster office.

The 54-year-old, who has been married for 30 years, later apologised for engaging in sexual activity in his House of Commons office.

He said he was ashamed of his actions, which he said fell below acceptable standards.

The Scotsman revealed yesterday that Griffiths told party members in his constituency that he would not be standing for re-election and would instead take up a job with an “international educational institution”.

http://www.scotsman.com/news/shamed-mp-to-collect-163-60-000-for-quitting-1-788222

 

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April 2010: Murray Campaign gets nasty early – Sign of things to come?

The 2010 General Election campaign was barely four hours old when the first serious spat erupted between Labour and the Conservatives in Edinburgh South.

Ian Murray, the Labour candidate, had distributed leaflets claiming that an incoming Tory government would put at risk a whole series of pensioner benefits, including winter fuel payments and free TV licences.

The Tories were furious, insisting that they had promised categorically and publicly, on many occasions, that they would not cut these benefits.

One senior Tory source said: “These are just wrong. We have made it crystal clear that we are not going to do these things, but Ian Murray has put them out anyway.

It is outrageous.” Mr Murray hit back yesterday by insisting he did not trust the Conservatives’ promises anyway so he was right to “pose the question” about what might be at risk if the Tories win the election.

Early warning for anyone intending to run for political office against Murray. He gets into the gutter very early on and will broadcast anything to gain advantage regardless 0f truth.

http://caledonianmercury.com/2010/04/07/campaign-gets-nasty-early-sign-of-things-to-come/004982

 

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September 2012: “People want entrepreneurs to earn money through hard work” The Thought’s of Ian Murray MP

Public spending: Other members of the Labour shadow cabinet have put forward ideas, like shadow home office minister Stella Creasy’s suggestion of a “zero budget” spending review.

Creasy’s idea would be to put everything “on the table” in order to “reassess every single item of departmental public spending”. In short, everything (even the NHS) would be put under the microscope.

You could wonder if Creasy was speaking out of turn, or at least, not representing Labour’s stance on the economy.

As part of Labour’s business team, would Murray agree with her? “Absolutely, if you start from a zero budget spending review, you can always work forward if you have money available.

I don’t think there’s anything wrong in saying that you have to look at where your money is best spent.”

I remind Murray that the “zero budget” would mean that even things like the NHS would not be safe from the scalpel.

Former chancellor Nigel Lawson once compared the health service to the closest thing Britain has to a national religion.

Surely Labour would want to protect it? “It is a very emotive topic, people want more money spent on the NHS and that is absolutely right.” But, does that mean Labour would keep the NHS off the table?

“It shouldn’t be exempt, on the basis of the government are spending £2bn on a top-down reorganisation on it.

So if you don’t exempt the NHS and say we’re going to look at spending on the NHS, maybe you could spend that £2bn differently.”

Murray is very sharp and well versed in Labour policy, But in trying to ensure equality and “fairness”, how can Labour seriously encourage businesses to succeed?

After all, entrepreneurs are the engine of inequality. You can’t have buccaneering tycoons making millions and have greater income equality.

After a palpable pause, Murray scoffs “That is a first year university course exam paper question!”

Pointing to his experience as small business owner, he goes on to ask “Do you need an unequal society to make that successful”?

Bob Crow and RMT: Would he be so warm about Bob Crow, after the RMT’s repeated tube strikes in London?

“First thing I’d like to say is Bob Crow is not affiliated to the Labour party in any way” he rushes to make clear.

But would he condone the RMT’s tendency to threaten strikes in order to get their pay rises?

“If you feel as if you’re being done a disservice and you’re asking your staff to go above and beyond the call of duty and the biggest level you’d got is we’d scupper that, you’d use that wouldn’t you?” he replies gnomically.

Murray defends the idea of RMT tube drivers getting bonuses as “we’re talking about a few hundred pounds to some low paid workers, I don’t see what the problem is”.

The problem, I remind him, is that the average salary of a tube driver is £45,000.

The national average salary is £26,200, while a nurse starts out on £22,000.

Even a trainee tube driver starts out on near £40,000. If he can defend tube driver bonuses as “absolutely right”, what about their salaries?

His first answer is to admit “I’m not really aware of how much tube drivers are paid”.

After I repeat the figure down the phone, the Labour business minister asks “is that a basic salary without overtime?”

I read out quote from a London Underground official in full, saying “Tube drivers earn a fixed salary of around £44,545 per annum plus benefits”.

Finally, Murray answers: “Well, you know, salary levels for any organisation is based on what the market will provide at any time.”

This is odd. Unions exist to buck the market. They use the threat of mass disobedience to ensure pay levels are a premium of what the market would provide.

I probe further. Does Murray believe the tube driver pay is about right?

“I’m not getting into any discussion on whether they should be paid less or more. If that’s what TfL is paying tube drivers, then that’s what they’re worth,” he replies.

He swerves away from answering if that means Bob Crow has done a good job in getting such a bumper pay package for his members.

However, he adds enigmatically: “You’re comparing a £44-45k to £22k. But you’re comparing someone who has worked a long time in the tubes with a newly qualified nurse.”

However, he insists that he was not making the distinction based on experience, adding:

“You can create any argument you wish by taking the extremities of both. You can say a junior consultant earns X and should they be paid less a tube driver?”

http://www.londonlovesbusiness.com/business-news/politics/-people-want-entrepreneurs-to-earn-money-through-hard-work-ian-murray-mp/3455
Comment:

* How can an employment minister not know what the average national salary is?

That’s like a Tube driver not knowing when to stop at red signals.

Oh, hang on, they don’t know when to stop at red signals – hence all the “signal failures”.

Presumably a nurse still knows how to help save lives however.

Yet Murray still defends Tube drivers’ salaries and bonus demands? Unforgivable.

* It appears the labour party will subject the NHS to another 5 years of turmoil with a comprehensive zero-based budget approach. How sad.

 

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March 2013: The Workfare Bill

The House of Commons passed the Jobseekers (Back to Work Schemes) Bill, which included a clause that retroactively changed the law to prevent back payment of approximately £130 million worth of benefits that had been found by a court decision to have been wrongly withheld.

The under-noted Scottish MP’s voted against the Bill in the belief that monies owed to claimants should be made since to do so would constitute an illegal act.

Ian Murray’s name is not on the list. He and many of his Labour party colleagues let the poorest members of society down badly.

Note the SNP were 100% in favour of payments being made.

6 of 6 (100%) of SNP MPs:

Stewart Hosie, Angus MacNeil, Angus Robertson, Mike Weir, Eilidh Whiteford, Pete Wishart.

7 of 40 (18%) Labour MPs:

Katy Clark, Michael Connarty, Ian Davidson, Mark Lazarowicz, Jim McGovern, Sandra Osborne, Jim Sheridan

http://blog.scottishelections.org.uk/2013/03/how-scottish-mps-voted-on-workfare-bill.html

 

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November 2013: An MP has a duty to find the most cost effective office space available.

Murray rented an office owned by a trust fund controlled by ex MP Nigel Griffiths.

Is that best value for the taxpayers, or was he extending the largesse?

Labour MP Murray paid £5,847.74 office rent to Nigel Griffiths, who used to represent the Edinburgh South seat.

Griffiths quit Parliament in shame in 2010 admitting cheating on his wife with a mystery brunette in the House of Commons.

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/new-expenses-scandal-one-three-2792913

 

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Ian Murray – 2012 /13 Expenses Breakdown

In addition to his £66,396 a year salary he claimed the highest amount of any Lothian MP for his energy bill of over £747.

Good to see taxpayers paying for an early energy freeze for MPs when many are struggling to heat their homes.

He also claimed an additional £181,840 in expenses, including the third highest amount in the UK for his Constituency Office at £26,593 which is crazy as since devolution Scottish MPs have fewer responsibilities than English MPs.

The Office expenses don’t include his staff salaries amounting to £121,430 which also provides extra household income by employing his partner as a secretary.

Total Approximate Cost 5 year parliament:  £370,000 x 5 = £1,850,000

http://www.parliamentary-standards.org.uk/ViewAnnualisedTransactionalData.aspx

 

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April 2014: Smeargate 2014 Referendum Campaign

In 2014 Murray alleged that supporters of Scottish Independence had vandalised his office.

Critics claimed there was no evidence to support the allegation and accused Murray of “smearing” Scottish nationalists.

He subsequently said the office had been plastered with pro-independence “Yes” stickers, which had been removed.

http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/news/ian-murray-row-over-pro-independence-stickers-1-3363085
It surfaced soon after that his claims were a load of tosh. See comments submitted by locals.:

* Murray has done himself no favours with this claim. A few stickers, if there were even stickers in the first place, could hardly be described as “completely outrageous”. It is certainly not a police matter.

* Perhaps he should remove his pro Labour propaganda from the windows of his constituency office now he represents all the constituency not just Labour voters? He has contact details for Labour councillors but no other party in the area. Is that even legal Ian?

* You decided to move into a high profile shop on a very busy street for the simple reason to boost your profile. Don’t get too upset if someone puts a sticker on your window. Some of your constituents have to put up with far worse harassment.

* I would encourage people to check out his twitter account and the picture he put up, it is of the graffiti on the doors that has been there for several months not yes stickers.

* Own goal Mr Murray, own goal.

* Typical bluster from a minor politician. Anyone who considers this the sort of thing that needs reported to the police (informally or otherwise) needs a serious reality check.

* I wonder did he report the much more tangible ‘vandalism’ to the front door?

* Once again shoddy journalism reporting this as SNP stickers. There was no suggestion of this and the only picture, of a solitary sticker, says ‘Yes 2014’.

* Really…12 stickers The photos I’ve seen are 1 yes only 1 sticker with YES 2014 on it.

* Mega expenses Murray can’t even get his story right. Yes stickers become Yes flyers or Yes Scotland stickers or even SNP stickers.

* His attempt to smear the Yes campaign with unsubstantiated claims of vandalism and threats to his staff on the basis that some prankster put a couple of stickers on his scruffy graffiti strewn front door has rebounded spectacularly.

* Surely his £181,840 A year expenses claims could have bought a pot of matching paint during the two years his constituency office door has been a mess.

* It’s just not right. Nothing can be funnier than politicians and no-one could be as offensive as the moonlighting MP. Sooner this guy capitulates from public life the better.

* His staff removed the stickers shortly after they were stuck on his office. So now we have more witnesses. What did the staff say? (Might be an idea to remove some of that grass and weeds fae under the windae anaw.)

* Murray was caught out trying to smear the pro independence campaign, by claiming his offices were vandalised. Now that IS a serious claim. One thinks of smashed windows or paint daubed on the walls or graffiti.

* When people heard about the vandalism, they went to look and do you what readers, there wasn’t any evidence of such, in fact NOTHING. All except for a botched up paint job on the door from earlier (as in 2012) piece of actual vandalism committed by kids. You can tell its old as you can see the exact same state from Google street view. Despite all these expenses Murray cant be bothered to get the door properly painted!

* So what was this act of ‘vandalism’ claimed by Murray? Well he later changed his story to one where someone had placed a generic ‘Scotland 2014’ sticker on one of the windows. Yes that’s One single sticker, he even posted a picture of it.

* Sad thing is other Labour politicians have jumped on the bandwagon, such as Curran, to slate the SNP, who have nothing to do with this. This seems a common occurrence from labour, where they roll out the smear, which turns out not to be all quite what it seems

 

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April 2014: MP Ian Murray voted in favour of and defended the Con/Dem benefits cap

Critics argued the move to limit what working families, pensioners, and those on disability benefits can receive from the government would plunge hard-up families from some of the most impoverished areas of Scotland further into poverty.

http://johnhilley.blogspot.co.uk/2014/03/welfare-betrayal-and-labouring-under.html

(Another view of the nonsense)

Labour insisted nobody who was entitled to benefits would be left out and added that the new measures would hold the government accountable for their actions.

He said: “You can’t stop people getting benefits. you only qualify only if you are entitled. That’s the rules.

http://www.clydebankpost.co.uk/news/roundup/articles/2014/04/09/494391-mp-john-robertson-defends-benefits-cap-vote/

Maria Muir was scathing (on her blog) about the conduct of Robertson and his fellow Labour MP’s.

Commenting Eilidh Whiteford (SNP) MP said: “The SNP voted against the welfare cap today because it piles yet more pain onto our poorest pensioners, carers, disabled people and low-income families.

This cap is just a crude, blunt, instrument. It is shocking that so many Scottish Labour MPs have backed the Tories.”

https://mariamuir.com/meet-32-scottish-labour-mps-voted-tory-welfare-cap/

Shame on you Scottish Labour:

https://crowhousekitchen.wordpress.com/2014/03/27/shame-on-you-scottish-labour/

welfare cap means more childhood poverty:

https://snookcocker.wordpress.com/2014/03/27/welfare-cap-means-childhood-poverty/

Labour supports welfare cap:

https://kombatbadger.wordpress.com/2014/03/27/labour-supports-welfare-cap/

The word AUSTERITY was introduced to the Scottish public big time as a result of this appalling legislation which brought about great hardship.

Food banks and other charitable organisations took over the care of the nations poor from the Con/Dem government and the Labour party who had supported them in the attack on the nations sick, poor and needy.

Disgracefully the same Scottish labour MP’s will submit their names for re-election in May 2015. Surely the electorate will deny them that privilege.

 

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January 2015: Scottish Labour MPs vote to back Tory cuts

It has been revealed 28 Scottish Labour MPs (including Ian Murray) voted with the UK government for £75billion of cuts and tax rises.

Commenting, SNP Treasury spokesperson Stewart Hosie MP said:

“Labour have shown their true colours in siding with the Tories, and it shows now even more clearly that only by voting SNP can Westminster’s obsession with imposing austerity cuts – that just don’t work – be changed.

Osborne is committed to continued austerity which will hit Scottish public services and tonight he has been backed by Scottish Labour.

The Scottish Labour MPs who voted tonight with the Tories represent some of the areas which have been hardest hit by government austerity measures, and it will be ordinary, hard-working people in their constituencies who will continue to suffer.”

http://www.snp.org/?q=media-centre/news/2015/jan/scottish-labour-mps-vote-back-tory-cuts

 

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February 2015: Margaret Hodge, chair of the Public Accounts Committee attacks the Labour Party for accepting support from accountancy giant PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).

A number of Labour MPs have received more than £540,000 in research assistance from the firm in the past 18 months alone.

Ian Murray has been provided with the services of a PricewaterhouseCoopers research assistant, supporting him in his role at the Independent Export Commission (November 2014 – May 2015.) Total value of secondment £45,000.

Murray is researching the internal workings of “TTIP”  the much hyped US World trade agreement which PricewaterhouseCoopers is in support of.

That suggests a conflict of interest, particularly as Margaret Hodge, the chairman of the Commons Public Accounts Committee, said it was ‘inappropriate’ to accept unpaid help from the firm accused by MPs of promoting tax avoidance schemes on an ‘industrial scale’.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2943512/Labour-s-500k-help-tax-avoidance-firm-Party-urged-stop-taking-advice-company-accused-controversial-schemes.

 

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March 2015: Wings over Scotland – A Question Answered

Lovers of blood sports enjoyed a very special treat on this morning’s Sunday Politics Scotland, as Gordon Brewer got his teeth firmly around the throat of hapless Scottish Labour MP Ian Murray and shook him like a rag doll for ten toe-curling minutes.

We have the clip for you. Brewer was having so much fun tormenting Murray by repeatedly demanding an answer to the question of whether his party would rule out an electoral deal with the SNP that he didn’t notice when, at about the 15th time of asking, he actually got one.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CqHcyLIMMj8

 

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April 2015: If zero hours contracts are so bad, how come 68 Labour MPs Employed Staff on Them?

Ed Miliband blasted David Cameron and big business over zero hours contracts – and pledged to stick up for ordinary workers who are being “exploited.”

Speaking in Yorkshire, the Labour leader raged:

“Less than a week ago, you may have heard the Prime Minister say that he couldn’t live on a zero hours contract. Well, I couldn’t live on a zero hours contract either. I’ve got a simple principle – if it is not good enough for us, it’s not good enough for you and it’s not good enough for Britain. “That’s the way I will run our country. One rule for all.”

But there was one small problem for Ed. It was revealed by the pay and expenses watchdog IPSA that a large number of Labour MPs employed workers on “zero hours” contracts.

A damning list of 68 (nearly a quarter of the Labour parliamentary party) included Ed Balls, Lucy Powell, Karen Buck, and Ian Murray.

Labour insist their MPs only use the casual contracts to hire interns or students on flexible deals.

But Steve Turner, Unite regional officer, said last year: “Parliament passed the laws that are supposed to protect pay and conditions. “Our MPs ought to be upholding them, setting a high standard for employers.”

http://www.sunnation.co.uk/if-zero-hours-contracts-are-so-bad-how-come-these-68-labour-mps-used-them/?CMP=spklr-Editorial-TWITTER-SunNation-20150401-SunNation-163416812

 

After the Scottish referendum.

 

 

November 2014: Commons-Hansard – Zero Hours Contracts Bill – Second Reading

Ian Mearns (Gateshead) (Lab): Today, I am fighting for the same thing that people of every generation have fought for: the right to decent and secure conditions and terms of employment.

It is not a great ask. A well-paid and steady job is the bedrock on which people build their lives.

It is the starting point for planning for the future, and the platform of stability needed to pay the bills, meet the rent, pay the mortgage and start a family.

Those are not extravagances, but the minimum that should be available to any person who is prepared to work to pay their way in a wealthy nation such as ours. Yet that stability and security is denied to millions of workers in this country.

Increasingly, people are finding themselves plagued by job insecurity, not knowing from one day to the next whether they will be working or earning.

In recent years, the rise in the number of those feeling insecure at work is worrying. Nowhere is that clearer than in the explosion in the use of zero-hours contracts.

As recently as last year, the coalition was claiming that slightly more than 200,000 people were employed on zero-hours contracts.

The true figure, as revealed by the Office for National Statistics, was in fact seven times higher than Government Ministers admitted – a staggering 1.4 million people engaged in zero-hours employment contracts.as been startling.

Ian Murray (Edinburgh South) (Lab): Although unemployment has gone down in this country, the tax-take to the Treasury from income tax has stayed flat, despite the Treasury predicting a huge increase. That shows that we have under-employment and a massive explosion in zero-hours contracts.

Double standards Mr Murray. You are guilty as charged employing staff on zero hours contracts yourself.

Philip Davies (Shipley) (Con): To be perfectly honest, I must say, and we need to get this on the record before the clock counts us out, that it is a bit rich for the Labour party to come here en masse to pretend that they are massively opposed to zero-hours contracts, when if one believes what one reads in the press – I am one of those who does, rightly or wrongly – it appears that some of the worst offenders are not only Labour councils, but Labour MPs.

I do not know whether any of those in the Chamber want to fess up today, but perhaps those who skulked out quietly at the start of this debate are the guilty parties.

http://www.ianmearns.org.uk/141121zerohours.htm

 

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April 2015: Labour MP breaks ranks over Trident

Murray said he had a “different view on Trident” to the ­Labour leadership and also suggested he would be prepared to vote against his own party on the issue in the House of Commons.

The shadow minister, who is seeking re-election as the MP for Edinburgh South, is thought to be the first member of Miliband’s front bench team to deviate from the official Labour line of being fully committed to renewing Trident.

When asked whether he would be prepared to face being sacked from Labour’s front bench for voting with the SNP against Trident, Mr Murray said: “I’m more than happy to cross that bridge when we come to it.”

The Labour politician said it would be “bonkers” if he allowed concerns about being in the same House of Commons lobby as the SNP on the Trident issue to dictate his position, which he insisted was a matter of principle rather than party loyalty.

He said: “I have a different view on Trident. The party ­position is the party position. I’ve made it clear that I wouldn’t support it [Trident].”

http://www.scotsman.com/news/politics/top-stories/labour-mp-ian-murray-breaks-ranks-over-trident-1-3744485

 

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January 2015: Angus Robertson SNP Called for the removal of nuclear weapons from Scotland and abandonment of the proposed Trident replacement.

On conclusion of the debate a vote was conducted.  35 MP’s voted with Angus Robertson in favour of cancelling the Trident replacement. Murray failed to vote. So much for being anti Trident.

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201415/cmhansrd/cm150120/debtext/150120-0003.htm#15012058001018

 

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April 2015: SNP candidate Neil Hay Apologises over Twitter troll.

SNP candidate Neil Hay apologised after messages he had posted to Twitter two and a half year’s ago, (likening anti-independence campaigners to Nazi collaborators and disparaging the elderly) were lifted from his account and posted to the Edinburgh Evening News.

Scottish Labour immediately leapt on the article and demanded Mr Hay be sacked as the candidate, less than two weeks before the election.

It is not possible to replace a candidate at such a late stage – many voters had already voted by post – and if applied would have handed the seat by default to the Labour candidate, Ian Murray

As it unravelled the story turned out to be an absurd, massive exaggeration and misrepresentation of reality.

But it also exposed a level of naked, shameless dishonesty and hypocrisy in Scottish Labour, and in particular its deputy leader Kezia Dugdale.

Below is an extract from  First Ministers Questions in which the issue was discussed.

In it we hear Ms Dugdale repeat the accusations and assert that Mr Hay had “described the majority of Scots as traitors”.

But that allegation is a total falsehood. The Scottish Sun tracked down the offending tweet from Mr Hay’s pseudonymous (now deleted) account and it says no such thing.

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Q7ajGqn-Kw

Kezia Dugdale’s hysterical, overblown attack on an SNP candidate over two-and-a-half-year-old joke tweets calls her own judgement into severe question.

Full mucky story:   http://wingsoverscotland.com/a-serious-case-of-hypocrisy/

News reader comments:

The discrepancies between Mr Hay’s ACTUAL tweets and the statements being made in Mr Maddox’s articles really beggar belief. I imagined that Maddox was building up to the point when a ‘smoking gun’ is revealed – but no, just more innuendo. Regardless of one’s politics, surely we can expect better from this newspaper? Perhaps not! However, given the current journalistic focus here on associating with companies in the tax and wealth management business, perhaps the Editor might consider this worthy of publication?

Personally sick of Project Smear and now seriously annoyed. Will now vote for him even if the Evening News reveals that his principal pastimes are strangling kittens and robbing old ladies. This muck-spreading has gone too far.

I don’t claim to be morally superior, but neither do I spend my time scrabbling in the dirt. What has the Edinburgh News been offered to so debase their professional integrity to run nudge nudge, tripe like this, OK labour spin what’s next, he parked on a double yellow line when picking up a fish tea? Farted in a elevator? Forgot his PIN number had to call his bank and brought down the entire banking system, we deserve to be told!

 

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But square the foregoing with the under noted posted by Fifi La Bonbon, (aka Kezia Dugdale) who at the end of April 2015 made a tremendous fuss in Parliament attacking Mr Hay, demanding the SNP disown him.

The 2014 referendum:

Fifi la Bonbon: I oppose giving the vote to children, but not because of paedophile hysteria, but because they’re too daft to vote. How would publishing younger people’s details on the electoral register be of any benefit to paedophile ? What is the paedophile “danger” these “experts” are exercising their gums about? Would a paedophile look up the details of someone apparently aged 15, and then write to them to ask if they would like to see some puppies?

Her views that 15-17 year olds are too daft to vote will be extremely offensive to the younger members of Scottish society trusted by the SNP to vote in the referendum and any future Scottish Parliamentary Election. The Deputy Leader of the Labour party in Scotland should follow her own advice and resign before the so called, “daft youngsters” get the chance to punish her by voting her out of Holyrood in 2016.

https://caltonjock.com/2015/04/24/kezia-dugdale-or-is-it-fifi-la-bon-bon-the-latter-is-unfit-for-politics-if-the-latter-is-the-former-she-is-unfit-for-the-office-of-deputy-leader-of-the-labour-branch-office-in-scotland/

 

 

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May 2015:  History made in Edinburgh…. but Labour hold onto one seat

Labour’s Ian Murray narrowly held on to Edinburgh South, where SNP candidate Neil Hay was caught up in a manufactured social media scandal about a perceived insult to elderly people that his colleagues said cost him many votes. This was a campaign conducted in the gutter by a Labour Party desperate to hold onto power, by any means, in South Edinburgh

http://www.thenational.scot/politics/history-made-in-edinburgh-but-labour-hold-on-to-one-seat.2772

 

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The Virago Fifi La Bonbon Was Probably the Most Obnoxious Political Blogger on the Internet – Was Her Alter Ego Really Kezia Dugdale?

 

 

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Kezia, as Fifi La Bonbon, emerged as a sort of Leader of Labour in the Scottish Blogosphere and became something of a lightning rod, no doubt encouraging the fellow travellers but also attracting the critics from the other side, in massive numbers.

And of course, it’s the critics who are more likely to speak up – that’s a fact of life.

And Kez leaving the blogosphere has left a vacuum at the heart of Scottish Labour’s online presence. (macnumpty blogspot)

 

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MSP Kezia Dugdale launched her “Fifi La Bonbon” political career as an online abuser and troll in the Scotsman working, at the Public expense for the Lord Laird Foulkes.

Her most recent moan is a complaint about the fine socialist journal a “Daily Mail” article which suggested she might be better advised: ” to practice dancing on the head of a pin” than engaging in politics.

One stupid remark in the whole campaign so far hardly constitutes a hate campaign against her, particularly when contrasted with her own tawdry cyber history.

Time to cut the hypocrisy, Kezia.  (BBCScotlandshire?)

 

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But this a hate campaign Kezia.

In Westminster, Ian Davidson MP, prominent anti-independence campaigner repeated his call that once the, “conflict” of the independence campaign is over “all that will be required is mopping up and bayoneting of the wounded.

http://www.glawest.org/ian-davidson-mp-repeats-call-to-bayonet-scottish-independence-supporters/

 

 

 

2 August 2008: The Evening News’ Save our School Dinners campaign recently got hot meals back on the menu for the city’s toddlers.

 

Reader Fifi la Bonbon attacked:

So you’ve completed your degree, post graduate qualification and got yourself a job as a teacher.

Then toon cooncil wants you to serve up school dinners? That will be right.

The SNP and Lib Dems have been found out and now they’re acting all indignant, but they can’t resist that last wee insult to the teaching staff.

 

 

 

27 December 2008: Fears over paedophiles could scupper plans to give 16 and 17-year-olds the right to vote in elections – (The Scotsman)

 

Reader Fifi la Bonbon attacked:

I oppose giving the vote to 16 year old children, but not because of paedophile hysteria, but because they’re too daft to vote.

How would publishing younger people’s details on the electoral register be of any benefit to paedophile ?

What is the paedophile “danger” these “experts” are exercising their gums about?

Would a paedophile look up the details of someone apparently aged 15, and then write to them to ask if they would like to see some puppies?

 

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7 January 2009: A £2m appeal is being made to rehouse the UK’s leading Braille printing press and protect its long-term future

The Royal Blind, Scottish Braille Press was built in the 1960s and needs to be rebuilt and fitted with state-of-the-art printing equipment.

the press is a leading provider of the UK’s Braille books, magazines and other printed materials.

Best-selling author Ian Rankin, whose son goes to the Royal Blind School, is giving his backing to the campaign. (BBC Scotland News)

 

Reader Fifi la Bonbon attacked:

This arrogant, wicked man Rankin is just promoting himself.

How dare he do this so-called thing, and how dare he campaign for the Braille Press.

It’s just a cheap publicity stunt.

It’s the same with all these so-called “achievers” – anyone could have written a string of so-called internationally renowned bestselling novels and so-called TV films – he was just lucky, so he was.

There’s nothing special about him.

It’s doomed to crash and burn, to be able to play some records you need to have been doing it for at least 30 years, rank amateurs are taking over. ”

Fifi la Bonbon, channelling the voice of real Edinburghers.

 

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12 January 2009: A lot of anger over nursery plot – The Scotsman

Attached to Mrs McLeod’s nursery is a small allotment, which she uses to introduce the toddlers to horticulture expanding their knowledge and understanding of the environment.

But not for much longer, the council recently served a “notice of intent to evict” barring nursery age children from the allotment.

 

Reader Fifi la Bonbon attacked:

It’s a £33 a day private nursery run for profit in a relatively well-heeled area.

Presumably only those children whose parents pay Mrs McLeod fees to attend get to play, and local kids whose parents don’t pay are barred.

Allotments aren’t there to make businesses like hers more profitable.

If she wants to establish a garden for the inmates of her nursery, she should buy some more land herself.

Mrs Mac responded:

My daughter goes to a private nursery, I’m not well off, but I have no choice in the matter because I have to work, and I cannot get a state nursery place for her until she is three.

I get no help at all with the fees and I think that your comments are very uneducated.

So what if the parents are well off (which I bet most of them are not)!

This project has been an educational tool in a time when learning about where food comes from is a government target to cut obesity rates.

Perhaps instead of taking the land away from people who were using it for good, they should make more provision for programmes for both fee-paying and state nurseries to run these schemes.

 

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2 August 2009:  The Labour government spent £473m stockpiling, from 2006, the untested antiviral drug Tamiflu, in preparation flu pandemics

The drug was subsequently prescribed during the swine flu outbreak in 2009.

But reports soon surfaced claiming that the drug had a number of side-effects, including nausea, headaches, psychiatric events, kidney problems and hyperglycaemia.

The Labour government subjected the public to a costly and sustained propaganda onslaught, anticipating an improved level of take-up of the vaccination programme.

But to no avail. The public did not trust the Labour government to tell the truth. and the drug was withdrawn from use.

The £473,000,000 stock of Tamiflu was sent off to third world countries and the cost written off.

Epidemiologist expert advice was commissioned and a report named the “Cochrane Collaboration was submitted to government.

Carl Heneghan, Professor of Evidence-Based Medicine at the University of Oxford and one of the report’s authors, told the BBC: “I think the whole £500m has not benefited human health in any way and we may have harmed people. The system that exists for producing evidence on drugs is so flawed and open to misuse that the public has been misled.”

Dr Tom Jefferson, a clinical epidemiologist and former GP, said: “I wouldn’t give it for symptom relief, I’d give paracetamol.”

The Cochrane Collaboration researchers did not placed the blame on any individual or organisation, instead saying there had been failings at every step from the manufacturers to the regulators and government.

Between 2006-07 and 2012-13, the Department of Health purchased just under 40 million units of Tamiflu.

Only 2.4 million units were administered .

6.5m units had to be  discarded before their shelf lives had run out because poor record-keeping by the NHS meant it was impossible to tell if they had been stored correctly and were still useable.

30+ units were destroyed under controlled conditions.

The Public Accounts committee concluded that taxpayers’ money had been squandered and that there was “simply no excuse for this waste.”

 

 

 

The press followed up the story that the UK government were considering passing a law securing immunity from liability for the NHS, for any harm inadvertently caused to people getting immunised. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-22608671)

 

Reader Fifi la Bonbon attacked:

The taxpayer at large is paying for people to get the jags – we shouldn’t have to pay out damages for people unlucky enough to suffer bad side-effects.

Anyone getting the vaccine courtesy of the taxpayer should be made to sign a waiver supported by statute waiving the right to sue the NHS.

If they won’t sign, let them do without. They’ll still get free NHS treatment if they fall ill.

Iain, Glasgow commented:

Finally some sensible journalism on the dangers of this virus. Unfortunately though this is going to be effectively a taxpayer bailout for the dubious practices of the pharmaceutical industry now that the banks have had theirs. Which industry will be next?

Charles Linskaill, Edinburgh wrote:

Never before have we all been in a situation like this one, a flu pandemic that could be controlled and lives saved by a untested vaccine, and on the other hand, the mass inoculation programme may be lethal for some.

The question of choice for ourselves is difficult enough, but extremely difficult in making the decision to have your child inoculated with an unproved flu vaccine.

 

 

 

21 November 2009: It was identified that many school children were not being provided with a balanced diet. The council decided to heavily subsidise meals so that the health of children would be improved – (The Scotsman – Lothians)

 

Reader Fifi la Bonbon attacks:

“I completely disagree with this.

It is parents’ responsibility to look after their children, not that of the local authority.

Far from paying for meals for all schoolchildren, we should withdraw the free meals already given to some kids, and make parents pay for the lot.

The money involved just goes to paying for mobile phones, expensive sandshoes, and iPods anyway.

The taxpayer pays for their education, and gives generous benefits to parents who are disabled and cannot work, as well as to widows and to mothers who have been abandoned by feckless fathers.

But it is not our responsibility to feed their children at lunchtime.

If parents are too neglectful to do this properly, they need to be punished not rewarded.”

Charles Linskaill, commented:

“It is back to the good old days, when our schoolchildren did virtually get free school meals. It makes sense, and should be seen as part of our children’s welfare.”

 

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26 April 2010: General Election ‘debate’ appeal answered by ordinary Scots

The SNP have reached the target of £50,000 needed to fund the court action aimed at fighting their exclusion from Thursday’s leader’s debate:  (Newsnet)

 

Reader Fifi la Bonbon attacked:

The money was raised by cybernat fanatics and dubious foreign interests”:

 

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31 May 2010: Former boss of Jenners (Edinburgh) announces grand plans for a new luxury retail store in a new tourist village on the outskirts of Dalkeith –

Will our readers be rushing to snap up its offerings? (The Scotsman)

 

Fifi La Bonbon Gushed:

Well I for one cannot wait.

Quite frankly I am tired of travelling between the Borders and the city without a designer shopping experience and fine dining opportunity to break my journey.

I demand nothing but the best in luxury clothing and Scottish produce, and of course Midlothian has been crying out for a gateway for centuries.

Ikea and Costco just don’t cut it, I’m afraid.

So this is all good news for me, and literally dozens like me.

 

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26 June 2010:  Robina Addison, a Scottish dance teacher and philanthropist, brought a young girl to Scotland for reconstruction surgery.

Fifteen-year old Kade, had been born in Trinidad and Tobago without ears and missing part of her ear canal, a condition known as bilateral microtia.

This had rendered her partially deaf and according to her benefactor: “facing a future begging for a living.”

Ms Addison explained that because Kade had been born without ears, she couldn’t go to mainstream school and was attending a badly run down day care sanitorium for mentally handicapped children

The cost of the operations and treatment is believed to be around £50,000.

Fortunately for Kade, who was not entitled to free health care in Scotland, the Spire Murrayfield hospital offered its facilities and the surgical team worked for free.

Her foster parents themselves contributed £10,000 for a hearing aid implant that will allow her to hear.

Robina said “She is very intelligent but there is no special needs system in Trinidad.

I came home and I was quite upset to think that’s where she was.

After making several return trips. we eventually got permission to take Kade to Scotland.

Although the surgery appears to have been successful, there is a continuing struggle with Immigration since Kade entered on a visitor’s visa instead of the required medical visa.

At one point Kade faced the possibility of deportation.

Robina added “We do not intend to formally adopt Kade, but hope to help her with her health and education enough to allow her to make a success of her life back home on Trinidad…

We want her to get a job and help people in a similar situation.

If she does not get this opportunity, her future will be working on the streets or, stealing.

It’s the difference between the chance of a lifetime and nothing, and she has got so much to offer.”

(http://guanaguanaresingsat.blogspot.co.uk/2010/10/orphanhood-is-not-taking-care-of-your.html)

 

Fifi La Bonbon attacked:

These people are willing to pay all the costs themselves and the girl isn’t going to be getting to stay here permanently, so there oughtn’t to have been a problem if they’d made the proper arrangements.

Very neglectful not to check properly whether the girl needed a visa.

She does if the stay is for more than six months.

There are particular rules for visitors from Trinidad wanting to receive private medical treatment – very clear.

It took me less than five minutes to find and check the rules on the internet – it’s all on the UK Border Agency website.

If this “high profile couple” had bothered to check with a lawyer in Trinidad or over here they would have known what to do.

We only have the woman’s word that she was misled.

Anyway I hope it all turns out well but there’s no excuse for failing to get proper advice in such circumstances and them blaming the government.

Brodric challenged FiFi:

For goodness sake Fifi la Bonbon – don’t be so pompous.

They obviously asked a jobsworth who gave them the wrong advice.

And you can’t blame them for believing an official.

If we listened to everything we heard, or believed everything we see in black and white, no matter how careful we are, we can still end up with problems.

I hope that common sense prevails

Fifi la Bonbon responded:

I don’t disagree about the girl being allowed to stay to get her treatment.

My point is that anyone who fails to get legal advice on such matters or at least to make their own proper enquiries is being negligent.

There’s more to this than meets the eye, anyway.

The report says the girl is fostered.

That would involve contact and negotiation with authorities in Trinidad and Tobago, and certainly with social workers here.

I am surprised that the question of her legal ability to remain here was not picked up somewhere in the process.

What is the social work department’s view about the case?

 

Follow-up: 12 October 2012: Surgeons create new ears for girl from Trinidad

Kade was born without ears and missing part of her ear canal, leaving her partially deaf and facing a future begging for a living.

The medical team from the Spire Murrayfield hospital in Edinburgh gave its time and expertise for free to construct new ears so that she faces a brighter future.

She hopes to return to Trinidad soon. (BBC News)

 

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10 October 2010: Cybernats – a Scottish political phenomenon – David Torrance Releases Yet another book

It was, I think, the noble Lord Foulkes who coined the memorable term ‘cybernats’.

Then the Scotsman’s David Maddox likened them to an army who ‘launch daily, sustained attacks on journalists, politicians and anybody else perceived to stand in the way of their cherished aim of independence, or who raises even the mildest criticism of Alex Salmond or the SNP.

 

Fifi la Bonbon commented:

Mr Torrance is a long established, serious and distinguished writer who has published books on Margaret Thatcher, Harold MacMillan and the Secretaries of State for Scotland, and this is just the latest of these.  He doesn’t usually write hagiographies but here’s a starter;

Once upon a time, in a humble cottage in Linlithgow, Alex Salmond, the greatest living Scotsman was born.

A strange golden light shone out of his nappy, bathing the faces of his proud parents with a warm glow…

 

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15 June 2012: Andrew Whitaker’s observations on First Minister’s questions:

Alex Salmond pulled himself back up off the political canvas at First Minister’s questions yesterday after weeks on the ropes with a heavyweight performance at the dispatch box.

But those who witnessed Mr Salmond’s tirade at Ms Dugdale, it was hard not to say that the SNP leader was back to his most bombastic.” (The Scotsman)

 

The Famous 15 commented:

Kezia Dugdale was not bullied. Her pretended innocence hid a disgusting disreputable distortion of events.

The irony is the system was in place back in the days of Lab/Lib government but the SNP now do so much better……

Dugdale learned her craft at the feet of Lord Fffoulkes and we saw that when she posted as Fifi la Bonbon.

Day and night she posted the best distortions witnessed by mankind.

She sees herself as a fantasy champion of the British Empire and will have no concern about truth and justice in her frantic, desire to do down the SNP.

She loves the game and that is the main thing to her, not people’s welfare, just the point scoring.

More about FiFi

https://weegingerdug.wordpress.com/2014/06/02/the-kezia-dugdale-show/

https://weegingerdug.wordpress.com/2014/01/27/the-howls-of-the-cyberbritbrats/

 

 

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Austerity – For 5 More Years Of Ever Increasing Hardship Vote Tory-Labour or Lib/Dem – For A different Approach-Stick With The SNP – Give Your Children A Chance

 

ts-krugman-190Professor Paul Krugman

 
About the Author

Paul Krugman joined The New York Times in 1999 as an Op-Ed columnist and continues as a professor of economics and international affairs at Princeton University. Mr. Krugman received his B.A. from Yale University in 1974 and his Ph.D. from M.I.T. in 1977. He has taught at Yale, M.I.T. and Stanford. At M.I.T. he became the Ford International Professor of Economics.

Mr. Krugman is the author or editor of 27 books and more than 200 papers in professional journals and edited volumes. His professional reputation rests largely on work in international trade and finance; he is one of the founders of the “new trade theory,” a major rethinking of the theory of international trade. In recognition of that work, in 1991 the American Economic Association awarded him its John Bates Clark medal. Mr. Krugman’s current academic research is focused on economic and currency crises.

 

 

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2010: Myths of Austerity (I have edited the following articles to suit the UK situation but in essence they remain intact)

When I was young and naïve, I believed that important people took positions based on careful consideration of the options. Now I know better. Much of what serious people believe rests on prejudices, not analysis. And these prejudices are subject to fads and fashions.

For the last few months, I and others have watched, with amazement and horror, the emergence of a consensus in policy circles in favor of immediate fiscal austerity. That is, somehow it has become conventional wisdom that now is the time to slash spending, despite the fact that the world’s major economies remain deeply depressed.

This conventional wisdom isn’t based on either evidence or careful analysis. Instead, it rests on what we might charitably call sheer speculation, and less charitably call figments of the rich elite’s imagination — specifically, on belief in what I’ve come to think of as the invisible Hedge Fund vigilante and the confidence fairy.

Hedge Fund vigilantes are investors who pull the plug on governments they perceive as unable or unwilling to pay their debts. Now there’s no question that countries can suffer crises of confidence. But what the advocates of austerity claim is that;

(a) Hedge Fund vigilantes are about to attack the UK.

(b) Spending anything on financial stimulus will set them off.

What reason do we have to believe that any of this is true? Yes, the UK has long-run budget problems, but what we do on stimulus over the next few years has almost no bearing on our ability to deal with these long-run problems. “There is no intrinsic contradiction between providing additional fiscal stimulus today, while the unemployment rate is high and many factories and offices are underused, and imposing fiscal restraint several years from now, when output and employment will probably be close to their potential.”

Nonetheless, every few months we’re told that the Hedge Fund vigilantes have arrived, and we must impose austerity now now now to appease them. Three months ago, a slight upturn in long-term interest rates was greeted with near hysteria: “debt fears send rates up,” was the headline in the The London Financial Market’s, although there was no actual evidence of such fears, and financial experts later pronounced the rise a “canary in the coal-mine.”

Since then, long-term rates have plunged again. Far from fleeing UK government debt, investors evidently see it as their safest bet in a stumbling economy. Yet the advocates of austerity still assure us that Hedge Fund vigilantes will attack any day now if we don’t slash spending immediately.

What’s the evidence for the belief that fiscal contraction is actually expansionary, because it improves confidence? Well, there have been historical cases of spending cuts and tax increases followed by economic growth. But as far as can be certain, every one of those examples proves, on closer examination, to be a case in which the negative effects of austerity were offset by other factors, (such as an increased National Debt from £500 billion to £1.7 Trillion). Another example is Ireland: Ireland’s era of austerity-with-growth in the 1980s depended on a drastic move from trade deficit to trade surplus, which isn’t a strategy everyone can pursue at the same time.

And current examples of austerity are anything but encouraging. Ireland has been a good soldier in this crisis, grimly implementing savage spending cuts. Its reward has been a Depression-level slump — and financial markets continue to treat it as a serious default risk. Other good soldiers, like Latvia and Estonia, have done even worse — and all three nations have, believe it or not, had worse slumps in output and employment than Iceland, which was forced by the sheer scale of its financial crisis to adopt less orthodox policies.

So the next time you hear serious-sounding people explaining the need for fiscal austerity, try to analysise their argument. Almost surely, you’ll discover that what sounds like hardheaded realism actually rests on a foundation of fantasy, on the belief that invisible vigilantes will punish us if we’re bad and the confidence fairy will reward us if we’re good. And real-world policy — policy that will blight the lives of millions of working families — is being built on that foundation.

 

 

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2012: Cameron’s Remarkable Achievement – UK Office For National Stistics – Economic Review – April 2012 http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/dcp171766_263951.pdf

When David Cameron became Prime Minister, and announced his austerity plans — buying completely into both the confidence fairy and the Hedge Fund vigilantes — there were many plaudits. Cameron and Osborne were the toast of very serious people everywhere.

In the years that followed Britain has suffered the brutality of a double-dip recession, and has achieved the remarkable feat of doing worse this time around than it did in the Depression of the 1930s.

Britain is also unique in having chosen to implement an “Austerity Programme” freely, facing neither pressure from Hedge Fund markets nor conditions imposed by the EU.

Now, the defense I hear from Cameron apologists is that the austerity mostly hasn’t even hit yet. But that’s really not much of a defense. Remember, the austerity was supposed to work by inspiring confidence: where’s the confidence? Basically, the expansionary aspect should already have kicked in: But it’s all contraction and accompanying austerity from 2010 -2025 and beyond. Needless to say, Cameron and Osborne are insistent that they will not change course, which means that Britain will continue on a death spiral of self-defeating austerity.

 

 

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2015: The Big Wrong

Austerity measures forced on the UK by the Con/Dem coalition government (fully supported by the Labour Party) have raised public consciousness in a way literally years of economic data couldn’t. The austerity doctrine that has ruled UK policy in the period 2010-2015 has been a big fat failure.

It’s important to understand that what has occurred isn’t a failure of orthodox economics. The Keynesian approach. That is, economics based on what the finance profession has learned over many generations, and for that matter contained in most textbooks — wasn’t adopted by the Con/Dem Government. The austerity thing was simply invented out of thin air and a few dubious historical examples serving the prejudices of the “rich elite”. And now after 5 years the results are clear: Keynesians have been completely right, Austerians utterly wrong — at a terrible human cost.

Acceptance of the foregoing should really be enough for the future UK government to change their fiscal policy in favour of the Keynesian approach advanced by Nicola Sturgeon, First minister of the Scottish Government, now that it is known that the ideas behind the “Austerity Policy” were all wrong.

Wishful thinking! Not if SNP MP’s, in large numbers, are returned to Westminster on 8 May 2015. Their presence, in support of a Labour Government will do much to persuade ED Balls that whilst Austerian ideas clearly have an emotional and political appeal they are not resilient to the evidence stacked against them.  http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com//2012/04/25/camerons-remarkable-achievement/

 

 

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Bombshell – Brian Taylor’s BBC Blog – Wendy Alexander Leadership – The Reason BBC Banned The Public Any Public Comment And The Reasons For The labour Party Meltdown

 

Wendy Alexander

 

September 2007: Wendy To The Fore By Brian Taylor

And so finally, after weeks of waiting, Wendy Alexander has been confirmed as the new leader of Scottish Labour. Why the wait? Because, although she was sole nominee, her election had to be confirmed by an electoral college comprising Labour MSPs and the party’s executive in Scotland. Today it was announced that she had received 100% support from those voting. “Better than Stalin”, one party aide was heard to mutter, the comment somewhat stifled by the presence of tongue in cheek. And better than Donald Dewar. In similar circumstances, he only got 99.8% of the vote. On investigation, it turned out that one union had rashly declined to offer support. Plainly, discipline has improved.

 

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Wendy Alexander wants organisation to improve too. The new leader wants root and branch reform – extending the party’s campaign reach across the whole of Scotland. When Harold Wilson became Labour leader in 1963, he compared the party’s organisation to a “penny farthing”, quite unsuited to winning power in contemporary politics. Wendy Alexander plainly feels the same now about Scottish Labour. Stand by for policy movement too. She plans a virtual think-tank, tapping into ideas from a wider base. Stand by for a new team of advisers – and for her shadow cabinet, due to be unveiled on Monday.

But perhaps she faces a more fundamental question. What, precisely, does she lead? Strictly, it is Labour in the Scottish Parliament. Her focus upon party organisation would suggest that she definitely envisages a wider role. But how will that square with the role and influence of MPs – including one Gordon Brown? Wendy Alexander wants more autonomy for the Scottish party on policy. She says the Scottish party should lead on devolved issues while the UK party leads on reserved matters. It will be intriguing to see how it all shakes down.

 

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Comments:
Wendy Alexander is trying to prepare the ground for a UK general election in May 2008.

That job of convincing Scots to vote for Labour at these elections has now been made impossible by the pictures of Gordon Brown glad handing Margaret Thatcher at 10 Downing Street. That stunt has repulsed many in her own party, convinced others that Labour is back to it’s spinning ways, and will bring back some truly horrible memories for many Scottish voters.

“New Labour – New Tories”, will be the cry that Wendy will hear ringing in her ears right up to polling day.

Welcome the new caretaker of British Labour (Scottish division). Related to the incompetent one (her brother Douglas) who messed up Scotland’s elections in May. Protege of the dour (similarly unelected) Gordon Brown in control of number 10.

 

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Radical? She said it herself – today, the only thing Labour know they want is to change who is currently in power! This lot are clearly still in the William Hague, IDS phase of recovery that can be best summed up as “self-delusion”. ‘All we need to do is be Labour … more than we were before’. No you need to change.
When did Labour ever control the “politics of aspiration” incidentally? What I remember from countless Labour election campaigns is the politics of fear! It will be a long time before they even get to the Cameron touchy-feely “were listening” phase!
I think the Gordon Brown has already started his campaign in Scotland for a 2008 election. He said ‘we’ when referring to Scotland’s great result in France on Wednesday night, and he phoned Alex McLeish on his mobile to congratulate him, something he didn’t to to the successful Alex Salmond four months ago.
Will McFadden’s goal replace Gazza’s one against us in 1996 as his favourite goal of all time? Watch out for more clues as we head towards Euro 2008!

 

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Providing Wendy Alexander listens and the Labour Party remains disciplined, she will do fine. “Stand by for policy movement too”
This was by far her most dramatic policy statement and contradicted all that had been said by the Labour party on this issue to date, but you would be excused for not noticing. Neither the BBC nor the Scottish press gave it any coverage.

The journalists who were present were informed by her press team that this was no a slip of the tongue. But does this represent independence of thinking on her part? I hardly think so. Just how likely is it that Gordon Brown, who’s support secured the Scottish leadership position for her, would allow her to make such a monumental decision on her own.
For some reason no official statement has been made to inform the Scottish public of Brown’s change of heart. Perhaps it is because he is desperately trying to fend off pressure for a referendum on the EU Treaty, and perhaps also he doesn’t want voters in England reminded of the pressure in Scotland for a fresh look at the relationship of Scotland has to the rest of the UK. This would of course focus attention on those negative voter perceptions; the fact that he is Scottish, the Barnett Formula, and the West Lothian Question.

These are the perceptions that no amount of PR such as having Maggie round, or having members of other parties in his government, can do anything about. All of this doesn’t represent new politics, but a return to the old practices of subordinating Scotland’s interests to Labour’s UK electoral needs. The fact that Wendy Alexander let slip that Labour’s intentions before the general election is safely out of the way, could have been her first major gaffe, but thankfully for her the Scottish press obliged in not letting on.

 

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Who are they kidding ? Wendy is Browns stooge. Scottish Labour is rotten to the core and until it becomes an independent Scottish Labour party it will continue to lose out in Scotland. New Labour are Conservatives with a different badge nothing else.
I cant believe the BBC is calling Wendy Alexander “Red Wendy” the only thing that should be red about Wendy is her face. She is an embarrassment to true socialists everywhere. This is the woman who thinks thatcher is “interesting”.
I heard part of her speech and it was the same old garbage from Labour.It is almost as if they really believe that only they have the right to govern in Scotland, then of course she set about attacking the SNP for not delivering on election promises. Surely after all these years of Labour rule everything is wonderful and there is no need to change anything.

Labour still dont get that what she was saying may appeal to the core Labour voter but I and many others are sick of their negativity and lack of ambition.Dinosaurs the whole lot of them.
Wendy Alexander can run up and down Argyle Street in a chicken suit for all I care. After that disgraceful election campaign, and everything that English Labour has inflicted on us from Holyrood and Westminser, I will never vote Labour.

 

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Wendy Alexander is described on the Labour in Scotland website as, “Labour’s Scottish Parliament leader”. http://www.scottishlabour.org.uk/
Even though you acknowledge that Ms. Alexander is no more than, “Labour’s Scottish Parliament leader”, in your post you headline it with, “Wendy Alexander has been confirmed as the new leader of Scottish Labour.” This sloppy journalism seems to be endemic in both the Scottish and English media.

In the interests of accurate journalism are you going to stop using the phrases, “Scottish Labour” and “Leader of Scottish Labour” or “Scottish Labour Leader”, in print and on the television as no separate Scottish Labour party exists either within or without the Labour party and the post of Scottish Labour Leader is equally fictional.

All the use of these phrases do is reinforce the widespread misapprehension that there is a Scottish Labour party and that Wendy Alexander leads it. Wendy leads the Labour MSP’s in the Scottish Parliament. That’s her only official role within the UK Labour party.
The problem for Scottish Labour is that they are always going to be seen as part of the English Labour Administration. A Scottish Labour Party, truly independant of London – ooerr, starts to look somewhat Nationalist.

This is why Independance is ultimately a given – because all the parties must evolve to looking principally after the needs of the Scottish electorate. I look forward to an independant multi-party Scotland – I might even vote labour again then…

 

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The big ‘policy’ is to hike council tax to pay for Edinburgh’s trams; otherwise what? From the Herald: “The Labour Party has suffered because of the influence of the private sector, particularly on public services, and by giving them privileged access and positions, they’re going to alienate the membership.” So the membership is clearly unimpressed as am I, a member of the middle class. Wendy work this out: My house has increased in ‘value’ by 15% per annum over the last four years and my net income by 2.2% per annum over the same period. Explain why your pan is ‘fair’? Do you really think Scots will buy this nonsense.
The only person who wil be more pleased than Wendy Alexander at her “Election” is Alex Salmond. He must be so looking forward to her brand of 1980s-style, Politicaly Correct student Politics.Taken along with her membership of the Ronald Regan and Rupert Murdoch inspired “British-American Project” and her familial connections to the New Labour Establishment,she has serious credibility problems.Don’t be too hard on her Alex !
So Wendy Alexander is the new labour leader, I expect the people of Paisley wont have long to wait for a public apology for the destruction meted out by her party on its town centre. But no, she is now saying that her party would revitalise Paisley and that it was a mistake to vote SNP. Does she really think that the majority of people in Paisley have a short memory. Tell this hypocritical MSP to get back to basics and stop treating the electorate as fools.

 

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So Wendy says she wants to revalue all the homes in Scotland? Now is this not going to cause problems for those with the overinflated values around at present? And the pensioners who have lived in their house for decades being ripped off yet again and not a word about the ability to pay. So far under Labour council tax rates have increased above the rate of inflation every year without fail with no improvement in services, in effect local government is becoming a luxury we can ill afford. You have not listened Wendy, you have learned nothing, you are still in denial regarding the wishes or ordinary scots.
I wished she would have made a good introductory speech but sadly she did not. Labour are failing to capture the hearts and minds of the people of Scotland. Alex Salmond and the SNP are doing a good job but they require a good opposition to provide the spur to perfection. I am afraid tricks for Tory heartlands like resurrecting Maggie Thatcher on the steps of number ten are actually severely negative for me and my friends. I was gobsmacked.
They had eight years in power to prove themselves worthy,competent and listeners. They did none of these!!! Ready to meet the aspirations of the people? I think not!

 

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Wendy leads the Labour MSP’s in the Scottish Parliament. That’s her only official role within the UK Labour party. And that my friend is why you and your similar thinking Labour MPs are being increasingly left behind. The political scene in Scotland is evolving. The movement is without doubt towards autonomous Scottish parties, with an affiliation to their Westminster counterparts. It matters not a jot about your ‘formal designation’, the reality has already moved beyond it.

Eventially the formal set-up of the Labour party will reform itself to reflect the reality on the ground. You need to accept what is actually happening on the ground rather than being hung up with the ‘official designation’ of Scottish Labour. The future success of the labour party in Scotland is dependent on it coming to terms with the evolving trend of the new polity known as Scottish Labour. The Lib dems have accepted this development with regards to their own parties, as have the Tories.

Labour appear archaic. They are in danger of becoming political dinosaurs. Did Irving Berlin display a greater foresight than was perceived in 1911 when he penned “Alexander’s Ragtime Band”, seems an ideal call to arms with the exception of, “…Up to the man, Who’s the leader of the band…”; but Hey Ho the PC brigade had not darkened our doorsteps in those early years of the twentieth century. Will Wendy adopt this as her theme tune or is the rather obvious alternative interpretation cause this to be a title too far?

 

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The only reason Wendy Alexander is leader of the London Labour party in Scotland is because no one else bothered to contest the position. Why didn’t Andy Kerr or Cathy Jamieson or any of the others who previously held ministerial jobs contest the leadership? They surely have more right to the job and more ministerial experience than Wendy has. Could it be they declined the contest because,

a)Wendy was hand picked by Gordon Brown as his ‘stooge’ in Scotland, a case of like sister, like brother.
b)Her colleagues in Scotland want to see Wendy crash and burn so are only to happy to see her get the job.
c)Her colleagues in Scotland lack the ambition or ability to take on the job.
d)Her colleagues in Scotland think she is the only person for the job given her previous examples of leadership qualities, her popularity within the London Labour party in Scotland and her warm and engaging persona.

Methinks d) is the least likely reason, Wendy has questionable leadership qualities, she isn’t popular within Labour regardless of what the spin doctors say, and she certainly does not have a personality that would have most people running out to the ballot box to vote for her. This leaves a), b) or c) as the reason why Wendy is now the head honcho in Scotland, any of which speaks volumes about the lack of quality and ambition of the London Labour party in Scotland and their contempt for the Scottish electorate.

 

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I think another Political Editor got it right when he said the other night on television, that she was not an orator or telegenic communicator. First we get Donald Dewar, who the public never liked, then Henry who disgraced us all, and then inarticulate mumbling Jack. And now finally Wendy, who I think will distance Scottish Labour from the electorate, more effectively and efficiently than the previous three put together.

I hope wendy’s cabinet reflects the whole of scotland . I say this because she is MSP for Paisley North and with Cathy Jameison the MP for Cummnock there is currently a western imbalance some of the answers you seek were on the politics show today, its a conn!! Wendy WANTS more powers, its looking unlikely, Browne, not that one (the other invisable one)was very bashfull, giving loads of waffle,the usual saying plenty of nothing, does not want to burst her bubble so soon, now we all know there IS no such a thing as THE SCOTTISH LABOUR PARTY. ITS labour all the way, HEAD QUARTERS LONDON ENGLAND. we are not fooled,

 

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The saddest thing about the political situation is that the voting populace has become so complacent. I can’t stand the fact that the politicians in Scotland seem to think that it is OK to pour out the same old formulaic drivel when asked direct questions. I also cannot stand the fact that the voters seem to lap it up. Well Scotland’s got a new emperor with the same old clothes, hurrah, pity there are no wee boys or girls who can see through the facade. Politicians. Pity that we have them – and have to pay for the privilege of having them represent their own groupthink and not the needs of their constituents. Long live Emperor Wendy – I hope you wear underpants.

Is Politics about getting elected by sticking to your principles? Since New Labour “reinvented” intself i.e. changed its stance on many of its principles, other parties have done the same e.g. David Cameron. Now Wendy is proposing the same for Scottish Labour. The question is, has her principles/beliefs simply “evolved” (a not unreasonable thing to happen), or is she simply going for policies that she thinks will get Labour elected? The electorate will not be fooled. For what its worth, my view is that “career polititions”, of which I think Wendy Alexander is one, are more concerned with their standing in the polls that their principles.

What sort of party are the London based UK Labour Party in Scotland? No one of substance has put his or her name forward to lead the party’s Scottish region. This suggests the post is not of sufficient importance to the UK Labour party. Alternatively is it because there have no leaders of note? Those in Labour see their career and allegiance to Westminster and not the Scottish people. Was it ever so and will continue to be! Difficult to pick one reason, I believe it is a mixture of the two, that combined ensure Labour will treat Scotland with contempt, no surprises there either.

 

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Brown and Thatcher on steps of the Downing St in London. It is a pity Brown did not tell us of his admiration for Thatcher when she was closing Scotland down in the eighties. He wouldn’t have, Brown was playing the London card, not really caring what Scotland thinks. Only time Brown, Blair or the Alexanders care about Scotland is when they want votes or someone to fight for them in a war that without Union, would have nothing to do with Scotland. Surely people are beginning to see what a curse the Union is to Scots?

There is nothing about Wendy Alexander that encourages or persuades me to believe she will truly listen and re-act to what people think. After 40 years supporting and voting Labour I have switched to SNP and with the news that the Lib Dems are going to back them, I await the introduction of their replacement Council tax proposals with anticipation and delight – I couldn’t wait any longer for the fairness in taxation I expected Labour to provide. I await the Proclaimer’s new hit single with money to spend: ‘Labour no more’

 

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Wendy Alexander is yet another member of the West Coast Mafia, just from a different ‘family’ The Labour party in Scotland is now being led by the only person who wanted the job; there were no obvious contenders for the Labour Leadership and have been none since the demise of Donald Dewar, clearly the Scottish Labour Party is displaying the symptoms of a dearth of talent; Wendy previously ran away in the huff with Jack’s ‘family’, how long will she last this time?

Could John Reid be contemplating a run for the Scottish Leadership once he has spent enough ‘time with his family,’ he would at least be a credible figure in the role of Labour Leader / Prospective First Minister; could he become the second Westminster politician to re-cross the border?

At the risk of sounding cliched “Here comes the new boss, same as the old boss” So, “Red Wendy” has now been anointed as Gordon’s Representative to Northern Britain. Can anyone tell me what’s going to change ? Will New New Scotch New Labour Policy be made in Scotland or will it have to be run past Westminster first ? What’s Gordon’s, sorry, Wendy’s “Big Idea” to chivvy the Sweaties back into the traditional “weigh the vote” fold ?

 

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Let’s not forget that but for the eagle eyes of Dave Thompson we would now be sitting in a third term of a moribund and morose New Labour/Liberal administration and Wendy’s husband wouldn’t have to be giving up the day job. Jack wouldn’t be planning his retirement in Malawi and Nicol (Who?) Steven wouldn’t be trying to pick Tavish’s daggers out of his back. Ross Finnie would still probably be telling the Farmers not to panic and wait and see what London decides. And there’s still that deafening silence about the “stringencies” of the Spending Review… I give her about….until Brother Doug tells Gordon that it’s safe to call an election. Anyone for Wendy being the shortest serving Labour “Leader in the Scottish Parliament” ? I’m sure that Doug’ll give her plenty warning.

I am well aware how the system is supposed to work: and I am also well aware how it does. Dont delude yourslef. Consider if Tony Blair, Gordon Brown – or indeed your precious Maggy – govern/governed as the first among equals? No, they acted rather like Presidents in fact! Also, how quickly can a promise be forgotten? Tony Blair was elected to serve “a full third term”, not two years.

As much as I despised Tony Blair, you had to recognise his legitimacy as he was elected as PM (even if it was by a crooked system). But Gordon Brown has never been elected by anyone outside of Fife! There were no promises of an orderly transition at the last general election, and it was Brown and not McConnell who lost in Scotland in May. Put away the textbook and view reality. http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/legacy/thereporters/briantaylor/2007/09/the_waitings_finally_over.html

There already has been policy movement. See for instance this article on her speech at the culminating meeting of her national tour in the Apex Hotel in Edinburgh, where she said there would be a referendum on Scottish government in 2010 after all. http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/story/0,,2165513,00.html

 

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