Ruth Davidson is in deep S*** with the Women of Scotland Over Her Cold Uncaring Attitude towards Rape and Its Consequences – Justice Committee Tory Convener Margaret Mitchell Will Surely Put Her Right








About MSP Margaret Mitchell
Margaret Mitchell (b1952) in Coatbridge is a Scottish Conservative politician who, although never elected to office has enjoyed being a (list) Member in the Scottish Parliament for Central Scotland since 2003. Husband Henry, an accountant (now retired) and Margaret are directors of at least two Property Development companies. They also own a lovely holiday home in the Canary Islands valued at around £0.5m. Their net worth is estimated at £2m. (wikipedia)


Dec 2010: The Tory Party Commission – Building for Scotland

Lord Sanderson’s report, “Building for Scotland” was an attempt to tackle long decay in the Scottish Conservative & Unionist party. Its conclusions recommended:

(1) Candidate selection procedures to be overhauled.Clearing out the deadwood.

(2) There should be one elected Scottish leader, accountable solely to the membership of the Scottish party

(3) Senior Conservative Westminster and Holyrood parliamentarians should have regular meetings with their Westminster colleagues.

(4) There would be no distinct Scottish identity. (Sanderson failed to bite the bullet.)

(5) The Scottish party leader would only be allowed to appoint a Scottish chairman after “consultation with the UK party leader”.

(6) Westminster MP’s would be permitted to stand for leadership of the Scottish party. (A strange one)

(7) The Scottish Conservative and Unionist party would not be autonomous. (An outright rejection of full autonomy “the Bavarian solution”.)

(8) The operational freedom of the Scottish party is to be guaranteed, including authority to introduce policies (devolved matters only) different to that of the National party.

(9)  The Scottish Parliament should absolutely be given more tax powers. This would also allow Scottish Conservatives to fashion a more clearly defined pro-enterprise set of arguments:

  • The response of Margaret Mitchell MSP was disappointing. She said: “Having looked at the Sanderson report, I can only see it playing into the hands of the separatists. To me it can only help the move to independence. To me, it cannot possibly strengthen the Union. It could only weaken the Union. I fail to see how new tax raising powers can possibly strengthen the Union and I am encouraged that Sanderson says there must be a full debate on it.”

Report summary:

Granting Holyrood greater powers should not necessarily lead to greater support for independence. But all the evidence indicates that the vast bulk of Scots feel more Scottish than British. This does not always mean that those who feel more Scottish want the UK to split.

Many are comfortable with overlapping identities and might well vote for a party supporting enterprise, social stability and a caring society with an emphasis on traditions and responsibilities as well as rights.

The Conservative and Unionist party sadly does not meet any of these criteria and it is only by becoming like those voters – proudly Scottish but supportive of the UK – will the Scottish Conservatives become acceptable to the Scottish electorate. They could make a start by dropping the Unionist tag.


April 2011: Holyrood Tory MSP Margaret Mitchell in Holiday Home Row

Lanarkshires’s best-known blue rinse Tory was this week at the centre of an embarrassing holiday home row. The Mitchell’s live in Bothwell and she is the Conservative candidate for Hamilton, Larkhall and Stonehouse in the forthcoming Holyrood election.

She came under fire after trumpeting the delights of her overseas property in the middle of the election campaign. The Mitchell’s two-bedroom holiday apartment on the tiny paradise island of La Gomera was last week featured across two pages in a national newspaper’s property section.

In the article, the former Tory justice spokeswoman tells how she and her husband – South Lanarkshire councillor Henry Mitchell, a retired accountant – paid 300,000 euros (about £265,000) for the apartment which has views over a golf course on the Atlantic island, which is a 30-mile ferry ride from Tenerife.

The article explains that because of the election, she is “busy” in Scotland. Usually, however, the couple try to visit La Gomera in the “main holidays”. She told the paper: “So it’s Christmas and New Year, Easter and summer. We might also squeeze a few days in the February and autumn break and Henry can go more frequently than me because he is retired.”

Mitchell gushed that the island was “beautiful, safe and stable” with good roads and proper healthcare. And Playa de Santiago, situated in the dry south of the island, has 3000 hours of sunshine a year, twice that of Britain. The golf course on the island – Columbus’ last port of call before he sailed off to discover America -– is said to be spectacular and the walking “fantastic”. The article also pointed out: “A mobile phone and Wi-Fi at the development’s country club means Margaret is contactable and can keep up to date with her e-mails.”

Mitchell said the article arose after they agreed endorse the development in which the apartment is situated. “We have been going to La Gomera for 15 years and are very fond of the place,” she added. She added: “My view is that people who work hard should be able to spend their money as they see fit. As a Conservative, that’s what I am about. Are people saying that you should not get a holiday if you are a politician. I have not had a holiday for three months.”

SNP candidate Dick Lyle, the North Lanarkshire councillor who is representing the party in Uddingston and Bellshill and is fifth on the Nats’ Central Scotland slate, said: “When Mrs Mitchell needs to recharge her batteries she goes to La Gomera. Lucky her, the rest of us have to stay here and pay the price of her party’s economic policies. I’ve had one holiday in three years.”






May 2016: Tory MSP Margaret Mitchell is Branded a Hypocrite in EU Stance After Boasting of Canaries Holiday Home

The MSP is backing Brexit and says the UK is struggling under the strain of immigration, but she enjoys holidays in the Canary Islands. An anti-EU Tory with a second home in the Canary Islands was branded a hypocrite last night after calling for a Brexit. Mitchell said the strain of immigration on British public services was the “key” reason to get out of the European Union. She argued her case in a debate at Holyrood on the referendum on Britain’s future in Europe. But Mitchell, (63), did not mention her fondness for the EU holiday destination, where her husband owns a property.





Read on:

Tory MSP Margaret Mitchell became the first Holyrood politician to back Brexit from the ‘unwieldy’ EU. The Central Scotland MSP said: “I understand why people from other parts of the EU would want to come here to improve their standard of living. “But the situation has the potential to put unsustainable pressure on our schools, health service and housing, for instance. “Translation costs alone already impact on public services. “The access that those economic migrants gain to our benefits system in turn impacts adversely on pensions and other benefits that UK citizens have worked – in some cases, for a lifetime – to secure.”

Responding to criticism, Mitchell said the property is owned by her husband, not her. She added: “I don’t see what relevance this has to anything.”

An SNP spokesman said: “today’s debate showed Holyrood at its best, with overwhelming support across the chamber for Scotland’s place in Europe and the many benefits that come with EU membership. “Of course one of the great advantages of our membership is the freedom to live, work and study in other countries across the EU – something which so many of us benefit from. It seems completely hypocritical for Margaret Mitchell – while enjoying these benefits herself – to rail against them in calling for Scotland to withdraw from the EU to curb immigration.”

A Labour spokesman said: “Instead of ill-informed campaign rhetoric, Margaret Mitchell should welcome the positive contribution people coming to live in the UK make to our economy.“There is a strong, positive case to be made for remaining in the EU – including securing hundreds of thousands of jobs in Scotland and protecting the rights of workers.”














Davidson’s Small Troop of MSP’s Overturn 20 Years of Scottish Support for the Palestinians in Favour of Israel – Then Off they Go To The Golan Height’s (at whose Cost?) to Celebrate Their Victory



Scottish Tories on the Golan Heights



25 February 2016: Scottish Parliamentary Pro-Israel Lobby Group and the Scottish Tory Friends of Israel

Early in 2016 Ruth Davidson persuaded the Holyrood debating agenda to arrange a formal invitation to the Jewish Lobby Group (Culture for Coexistence) and Britain’s deputy Israeli ambassador Eitan Na’eh to meet with MSP’s to debate and vote in support of a motion “against the Holyrood Palestinian, Boycott, Divest and Sanction campaign” tabled on their behalf by Jackson Carlaw, deputy leader of the party.

On 25 February 2016, Parliament debated the first ever pro-dialogue Israel motion in a year that saw a staggering total of 62 anti-Israel debates at Holyrood. It was attended by 30 MSPs and did not culminate in a vote but a show of hands indicated 17 MSP’s backed the motion.

Motion debated: “Israel Needs Cultural Bridges, not Boycotts”:

That the Parliament acknowledges the recently published open letter signed by over 150 high-profile cultural and political figures in support of the aims of Culture for Coexistence, an independent UK network representing a cross-section from the cultural world;

“Notes that this open letter calls for an end to cultural boycotts of Israel and Israeli artists. Notes the views expressed in the letter in support of a two-state solution and the promotion of greater understanding, mutual acceptance and peace through cultural engagement.

Notes that one example of this cultural exchange took place in 2015 when the Israeli artist, Matan Ben-Cnaan, won first prize in the 2015 BP International Portrait Award and was given the opportunity to teach art to local school children at the opening of the exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery.

Hopes that, through groups such as the Centre for Scotland and Israel Relations, based in East Renfrewshire, similar educational and cultural programmes will take place in the coming months.

Notes the views expressed in the letter that “Cultural engagement builds bridges, nurtures freedom and positive movement for change. We wholly endorse encouraging such a powerful tool for change rather than boycotting its use”.



The debate

Jackson Carlaw, praised Israel’s contributions to international science and criticised campaigners who “overtly personally blame ‘the Jews’… over the actions of a foreign country”. Stressing the debate’s importance to the Jewish community in Scotland he said:

“I think this is a landmark day in the Scottish Parliament because we are able to host the first positive motion in support of Israel since the Parliament was founded in 1999.I think that it is important because it allowed us to actually show Israel in a much more rounded context and also to address the concerns of many who live here in Scotland within the Jewish community who have felt that the language of this parliament has been inadvertently hostile to Israel.”

Labour MSP’s and one Scottish Nationalist MSP criticised the “depressingly illiberal” tactics pursued by the anti-Israel lobby. A Green MSP, Alison Johnson claimed boycotts of Israel were “entirely consistent” with holding a “deep and unwavering commitment that none of us should ever downplay or forget the atrocities of the Holocaust”.



This is the life in the Golan Heights




November 2016: Pro-Israel lobby group approved at Holyrood

A pro-Israel lobby group was approved at Holyrood in a bid to counter claims that MSPs are overly hostile to the state. Politicians from all parties, with the exception of the Scottish Greens, will be represented on the “Building Bridges with Israel” group, which aims to establish closer cultural, academic and economic links with the country. It has been set up in a bid to oppose anti-Semitism and offer an “alternative viewpoint” to what it says is a pro-Palestinian stance that has been dominant since the Scottish Parliament’s inception in 1999. The group will meet early in the New Year.

Jackson Carlaw, the Conservative MSP who will act as convenor of the group, said it was “sadly true” that there had been more anti-Israel motions at Holyrood than the other parliaments of the EU put together. He went on: “This is not going to be a group that will simply be an apologist for the government of Israel. This is not a group being set up with a view to having a row with anyone or being antagonistic. It’s genuinely there to seek to have bridges built between the Jewish community, Scotland and the state of Israel. Responding to vocal critics of Israel in Scotland, he added: “I regard Israel as the only democratic state in that region. I’m not a fundamentalist in relation to these issues, I think the more we have an ongoing dialogue and an opportunity for all sides to participate so much the better.”



Cheese and Wine on the Golan Heights with the Scottish Tories



November 2016: High-Level, Scottish parliamentary pro-Israel lobby group visit to Golan Heights

The UN, in 1981, issued a resolution saying that Israeli occupation of the Golan Heights was illegal. The strategic ridge was captured by Israel from Syria during the 1967 Six Day War and formally annexed in 1981. Since then, every year the UN passes a General Assembly resolution titled “The Occupied Syrian Golan” which reaffirms the illegality of the Israeli occupation and annexation.

The Israeli government disputes this position. Answering Al-Marsald’s concerns, a Scottish Conservatives spokesman said their position is the same as the UK government position which is “not to support illegal settlements”.

A Scottish parliamentary pro-Israel lobby group delegation was heavily criticised by a Syrian human rights group after a high-powered group of ten Scottish Tories representing the Scottish parliament visited an Israeli settlement in the occupied Golan Heights.

Al-Marsad, the only human rights organisation operating there, is at loggerheads with the Scottish parliamentary pro-Israel lobby group after raising concern about the group’s visit to the Golan Heights winery in Katzrin. They say the delegation did not contact Al-Marsad or other representatives of the Syrian community in the “occupied Syrian Golan” to get a “balanced view”. And they say they have repeatedly failed to get an explanation for the visit to the territory or any condemnation of the illegal settlement.

The group, which is described as an independent, not-for-profit international human rights organisation, said it was “highly concerned” that it sends the message that Scotland endorses the illegal activities of such settlements.

The row involved a Scottish parliamentary pro-Israel lobby group of ten Scottish Conservatives, including nine MSPs who were on the Scottish Conservative Friends of Israel-funded trip to Israel, the West Bank and Golan Heights in August.

It was described by the Scottish parliamentary pro-Israel lobby group (CFI) as a trip to “promote bilateral trade between the two countries and bolster the growing pro-Israel advocacy movement in Scotland”.

The cross-party group, called ‘Building Bridges with Israel’. was set up in a bid to oppose anti-Semitism and offer an ‘alternative viewpoint’ to what it says is a pro-Palestinian stance that has been dominant since the Scottish Parliament’s inception in 1999.

The Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign, (formally given the support of the Holyrood parliament) strongly opposed the Scottish parliamentary pro-Israel lobby group’s message. Their spokesman said: “Israel doesn’t build any bridges, it demolishes homes, farms and is demolishing Palestine.”

The Scottish parliamentary pro-Israel lobby group included the director of the Scottish Conservatives, Mark McInnes, Scottish Conservative chief whip, John Lamont along with shadow justice secretary Douglas Ross, shadow economy, jobs and fair work cabinet secretary Dean Lockhart, shadow environment secretary Maurice Golden, tourism and small businesses spokeswoman Rachel Hamilton, community safety spokesman Oliver Mundell, digital economy spokesman Jamie Greene, further education, higher education and science spokesman Ross Thompson and welfare, reform and equalities spokeswoman Annie Wells.

James Gurd, director of the CFI, told the Jewish Chronicle that the trip, reflected a growing sympathy towards Israel north of the border saying: “For years a vocal minority seen as dominating debate there were very pro-Palestinian and anti-Israeli.”






Arab Human Rights Centre in The Golan Heights (Al-Marsad)

Al-Marsad, which has previously voiced concern over what it deems Israel’s “ethnic cleansing” of the Syrian Arab population in the Golan, say they have written two letters to Ms Davidson asking in particular about the visit of the Scottish parliamentary pro-Israel lobby group to “occupied Syrian Golan” but without response.

Dr Nizar Ayoub director, said “Given this lack of clarification, I am highly concerned that the Scottish parliamentary pro-Israel lobby group (Scottish Conservative party) appears to condone the construction and expansion of Israeli settlements – illegal under international law – in the occupied Syrian Golan.” He went on to say: “it is “highly concerning” if human rights issues, in particular, in the occupied territories should not be “not considered or trumped by business interests”.

Dr Nizar Ayoub told Ms Davidson in his letters: “As I imagine that you are aware, such settlements are illegal according to international law, and their construction and expansion at the expense of the native Syrian inhabitants have been repeatedly condemned by the international community.

I am highly concerned that the delegation has visited a winery in an illegal Israeli settlement without providing any explanation of the purpose of the visit. In effect, this sends a message that the Scottish parliamentary pro-Israel lobby group (Scottish Conservative party) endorses the illegal activities of this settlement – built on land illegally appropriated from its original Syrian owners.

Even more worrying is the fact that the Scottish parliamentary pro-Israel lobby group (Scottish Conservative party) has refused to answer questions about whether the delegation raised the broader issue of the expansion of illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied Syrian Golan during its visit.”

He was further concerned that, describing the visit, Mr Lamont said “on Israel’s northern border with Syria we witnessed first-hand the devastating civil war raging metres away from Israel”

Dr Ayoub reminded Ms Davidson that: “The only part of Syria that Israel borders is the occupied Syrian Golan. The fighting in Syria is not taking place metres away from Israel, it is taking place metres away from the occupied Syrian Golan. From Mr Lamont’s comments, it appears that he considers that the occupied Syrian Golan is part of Israel, which it is not.”

He added: “I am highly disappointed that the delegation did not contact Al-Marsad or other representatives of the Syrian community in the occupied Syrian Golan in order to discuss the daily challenges faced by the remaining native Syrian population in the Syrian Golan due to Israel’s illegal occupation.

This would have ensured that the delegation obtained a more balanced view of the situation in the occupied Syrian Golan.”

£12,000 expenses for Tory MSPs in Brexit-Israel pact

Tory MSPs received payments as post-Brexit vision of UK-Israeli ties are planned

THE ELECTORAL COMMISSION has released figures detailing expenses totalling £12,000 paid to six Conservative MSPs by the lobbying group Conservatives for Israel (CFI).

The data for September confirmed that on 31 July the MSPs were each given £2,000 by the group that supports business, social and security connections between the UK and Israel in the political arena. The monies paid for a trip to Israel by the MSPs.

The revelation comes in the light of the UK’s vote to leave the European Union, which has opened up debate over the future of the UK and Scotland’s trade relationships


wine tasting again in the Golan Heights










Tories Create a New Party Block (Think North) – It includes Scotland Which it Is Planned Will Be Phased Out as a Separate Entity Over Time – Read On McDuff – Independence Is your Only Option.


Scottish Local Elections 2017
You should be prepared to be subjected to a cacophony of English voices canvassing for your vote for the Conservative party in the days leading up to 4 May. loads of Tory supporters are being bussed from the North of England to Scotland to join with and boost local Tory activists in their campaigning efforts.

This is not a new event. The Tories have been dependent on their English supporters for many-a-year. What is new is the level of coordination which makes it difficult to see the join between the two groups. But the accent is the giveaway.

Also new is the 2016 creation of a new party group called “ThinkNorth” which joins Tories in the North of England with Scotland.

It is fully intended that, having concluded a successful Brexit and seen off a second Scottish independence referendum “Think North” will be formalised, operating under the control of Ruth Davidson, possibly out of Holyrood.

More on this group follows. Scott’s be warned If you get the chance to become independent within Europe grab you chance. You will never get another.


ThinkNorth” – A Centre-Right Policy Group Created Exclusively for the North and Scotland.

Founded in 2016, “ThinkNorth” was setup to develop a strong voice for the North of England, and Scotland (NE/S). We recognise that the NE/S has its own unique challenges and opportunities, and believe in you, its citizens are best placed to bring about long lasting positive change.

At “ThinkNorth” we have worked hard to develop a unique structure aimed at harnessing your collective knowledge, ideas, and creativity in order to strengthen the NE/S. The terms Connect – Shape – Empower guide our approach. We are continually striving to build the tools and offer the interactive events to enable you to connect with local politicians and decision makers. Our work has inspired over 18 individual MPs, MEPs, MSPs, and Councillors to join us as Patrons.

Our patrons (MP’s and MSP’s) want to hear your thoughts and opinions, offering you a unique opportunity to shape future policy of the North of England, and Scotland. As the “ThinkNorth” network grows, our collective voice will help empower the N/ES to address its challenges and meet its opportunities. If you believe in the potential of the NE/S and would like to share your ideas – connect with the “ThinkNorth” community, you could shape tomorrow’s politics and help us empower the North. (


25 February 2017: The Scottish Conservative & Unionist candidate for Shettleston ward, Thomas Kerr benefits from the attendance of “ThinkNorth” activists on our first Scottish action day in the Shettleston – Mount Vernon ward today. Much more blanket canvassing to follow before 4 May.


Statement Of Intent: Scottish Conservative Conference Demonstrates Confidence Of The Party North Of The Tweed – The 2017 Tory “ThinkNorth” Conference in Glasgow

A Scottish Conservative and Unionist administration, with Ruth Davidson as First Minister. That was the Scottish leader’s statement of intent when she strode on stage in blazing red for her keynote Address. Once more rejecting the notion of a referendum, she went on to give a strong indication of what that campaign would look like.

“Unlike the previous administration’s ‘Project Fear’, the PM realises that in the world of alternative facts and post the Leave EU campaign, the arguments will have to be emotional not just practical. May painted a picture of British patriotism, of “four nations but one people” and emphasised her role as UK Prime Minister. To an enthusiastic audience she hinted at more unified policies across the UK post Brexit, criticising previous Whitehall policy to “devolve and forget” and the need to “take this opportunity to bring our United Kingdom closer together.”

Of course, that is unlikely to become a reality with an SNP Government in Holyrood. Nicola Sturgeon had already called discussions on whether agricultural decision making coming from Brussels should remain at Westminster an “attack on the very foundations devolution”. So any moves, as suggested by the PM, for UK ministers to work more closely with Scottish ministers would likely only be workable under a Unionist administration.


The Silent Majority Must Be Prepared To Stand Up To The SNP Who Seek To Divide Us

The thoughts of Robert Weir (Law student at the University of Edinburgh) and co-Director of Policy for Conservative Future Scotland:
“Nationalism, if not born through the love of one’s country, is born through the hatred of another. Scottish nationalism is just as ugly as the rest, and together we must stand up against it and put forward the positive case for the United Kingdom: united by a common culture, an impenetrable bond of friendship and a desire to say No to nationalism.”

Joe Porter deputy chaiman ThinkNorth

Deputy Chairman “ThinkNorth” with Ruth Davidson

“Think North”, Chairman, Richard Salt and Deputy Chairman (Scotland) Andrew Jarvie Attend This Year’s Scottish Conservatives Conference

The team had an amazing time at the Scottish Conservatives Conference. Fantastic meeting up with our Scottish patrons, Annie Wells MSP, Ross Thomson MSP, Donald Cameron MSP, Alexander Stewart MSP, Ian Duncan MEP, Oliver Mundell MSP and Adam Tomkins MSP.

Met separately with Adam Tomkins MSP, Douglas Ross MSP, Peter Chapman MSP and Donald Cameron MSP to discuss “ThinkNorth” future policy ideas formulated at our 1st Scottish Conference. Fantastic to see just how far the Scottish Conservatives have come and how they are determined to make sure that the North gets the best representation it can get. Check out Tomkins Blog: (







Post Brexit – Another Independence Referendum – Another No Vote – Scotland Gets the Government of Ruth the “Mooth” Davidson and Her Unionist Tories – But it Can Be Avoided








Shocks in Store for Scotland if Ruth Davidson and her Tory Yes Ma’am politicians ever gain power in Scotland

Ruth Davidson and her Westminster Unionist Tory are not seen as an immediate threat to Scots, who through their SNP devolved government at Holyrood provide health care and some social services without reference to Westminster. But another referendum is in the offing and there is need to give consideration to the impact of another “no” vote.

The fallout in Scotland would be catastrophic. It is very likely the SNP government would resign and ask the electorate to decide its future within the UK. The electoral campaigns to follow would be greatly disappointing since the SNP would most likely split into factions leaving the Tories as the only united party.

A Tory victory would allow Davidson and her Unionist party to take up the reins of government in Scotland releasing the full might of Westminster on our country. In government she would be quick off the mark passing back to Westminster any devolved power that they required and then some.





She is no supporter of the Scottish parliament. Reverting to type Davidson’s government would implement the Tory philosophy bringing in prescription charges, hospital car parking fees, University graduate charges, elderly care-home charges, tax cuts for the richest 10% and increases for the remainder of the population.

In short Scotland would be changed from a social caring society to a right wing “dog eat dog” country where the strong survive and the weak perish. Not much of an outlook for a once proud nation that has given so much to the world.

Next is an example of the Tories at work. They look after only those that vote for them. Lanarkshire, Glasgow, the West of Scotland, Fife and Dundee beware:

Residential care of the elderly in England is a privatised entity worth around £16billion to the private sector annually. There are regularity standards in place designed to provide protection to elderly residents. The Quality Care Commission routinely inspects homes in England with the purpose of monitoring the standard of care and welfare provision.

Their most recent report makes for startling reading. Homes in the South of England are doing well being adequately funded, staffed and equipped. Conversely home in the North are performing very badly due to inadequate funding, staff shortages etc. The Tory government provide more finance to the richest constituency’s in England at the expense of the poorest. That is the policy Ruth Davidson will bring to Scotland if she ever gains power. Scotland’s day of reckoning is not that far off. Hopefully Scots will see the Tories for what they are. A bunch of carpetbaggers intent on asset stripping Scotland.





11 April 2017: Tory cuts lead to shocking North-South divide in quality of care for Britain’s elderly

The Tories were last night accused of neglecting elderly people outside their heartlands by imposing bigger cuts to social care in those areas. A charity study uncovered a shocking North-South divide in the quality of council-run old folks’ homes. The North West, an area well known for its anti-Tory sentiment, has the worst performing care homes in England. In some towns, such as Stockport and Salford, families have little choice when it comes to choosing a quality spot as three in five are rated not good enough. But London, the South West and East contain the best. Labour accused Theresa May of “protecting” social care budgets in Tory areas at the expense of everywhere else.

Shadow Cabinet Minister for Social Care Barbara Keeley said: “We have a crisis in social care that has been driven by cuts to council budgets since 2010. “These cuts have hit councils in the North disproportionately when compared to many in the South, giving northern councils a much more difficult job in funding the quality of social care.”

The stark analysis of the state of social care was undertaken by the charity Independent Age. It was based on the Quality Care Commission’s inspections of homes, which rated them outstanding, good, requires improvement or ­inadequate. Fifteen of the 20 worst areas were in the North. Stockport was the worst performing local authority area, with 62.9% of its homes rated inadequate or requires improvement. Islington in North London, Rutland, East Midlands, and Isles of Scilly, South West were the best areas, with no poorly-rated homes.

Independent Age blamed cuts, low pay and staff shortages for the northern crisis. Director of policy Simon Bottery said: “No one should be forced to live in an unsatisfactory care home but our ­analysis shows this is the grim reality in some parts of the country. There is little indication local authorities or the Government are giving the problem the attention it deserves.” The care homes market is valued at £16billion. But social care faces a £2.6billion funding gap by 2019/20.





England’s worst 20 areas – Highest percentage of care homes rated ‘inadequate’ or ‘requires improvement’: (15 x worst performers are in the North of England)

1. Stockport, North West 62.9% 2. Salford, North West 61.5% 3. Tameside, North West 54.8% 4. Manchester, North West 51.3% 5. Kensington and Chelsea, London 50.0% 6. Oldham, North West 48.6% 7. Liverpool, North West 48.1% 8. Trafford, North West 47.2% 9. Hackney, London 47.1% 10. Bradford, Yorkshire & The Humber 46.3% 11. Wakefield, Yorkshire & The Humber 46.0% 12. Portsmouth, South East 44.8% 13. North Somerset, South West 44.7% 14. Calderdale, Yorkshire & The Humber 43.1% 15. Hartlepool, North East 42.9% 16. Wirral, North West 42.1% 17. Wigan, North West 42.0% 18. Westminster, London 41.7% 19. North Tyneside, North East 40.5% 20. Kirklees, Yorkshire & The Humber 39.7%





England’s best 20 areas – Lowest percentage of care homes rated ‘inadequate’ or ‘requires improvement’ (1 x Northern Region is performing satisfactory)

1. Isles of Scilly, South West, 0.0% 2. Islington, London, 0.0% 3. Rutland, East Midlands, 0.0% 4. Richmond upon Thames, London, 2.3% 5. Thurrock, East of England, 2.9% 6. Wokingham, South East, 6.3% 7. Slough, South East, 7.7% 8. Bracknell Forest, South East, 7.7% 9. Camden, London, 3% 10. Telford and Wrekin, West Midlands, 8.9% 11. Croydon, London, 9.2% 12. Blackburn with Darwen, North West, 9.4% 13. Bedford, East of England, 9.5% 14. Bournemouth, South West, 10.0% 15. Peterborough, East of England, 10.0% 16. West Berkshire, South East, 10.0% 17. Brent, London, 10.3% 18. Redbridge, London, 10.4% 19. Reading, South East, 10.5% 20. Worcestershire, West Midlands, 10.8%


Yes Complacent Westminster Establishment

Ruth Davidson Boasts No Love of Scots and is Concealing the Post Brexit Tory Party Centralising Agenda – Holyrood Powers to be Returned to London – Wake up Scotland









Whatever Happened to the Tory Party in Scotland

The answer is that it perished. It is a dead party. It died the moment that Conservative Central Office in London decided it would take control of the party in Scotland and run it from London through a proxy leader called Ruth Davidson who was selected by the MI5 chairman and others of his ilk. The Scottish Tory is defunct.

In its place Tory Central Office and its MI5 connections created the Ruth Davidson appreciation society and gave her free rein (albeit strictly monitored by senior officers in the party) to rebuild the party from scratch. Initially things did not go well but Ruth struck lucky with the 2014 Scottish Independence Referendum.

The “Better together” campaign team, assisted by the entire mechanics of state at Westminster won the day and Scotland turned its face away from independence.

But the Tory success was gained at huge cost to the political scene in Scotland. The referendum effectively polarised the political views of the electorate to those for and those against independence.

Ruth then calculated that the 55% gained by “Better Together” truly reflected the wishes of Scots and she set about cultivating this group increasing the Tory share of the Scottish vote.

Achieving this was relatively straight forward since the labour and Liberal Democratic parties had supported the “Better Together” Unionist campaign and were now lumped together with the Scottish Tory party.




But, following the referendum she read badly misread events in the period up to the 2015 General Election. The “little Englander” conduct of Cameron, Osborne, Hague and other members of the Tory Government in Westminster sickened many Scots who had changed their votes in the last week of the campaign believing Gordon (clunky fist) Brown’s rhetoric committing all political parties at Westminster to dramatically increasing the powers of the Scottish government, (Devo-max) in the early days of the new British government.

The Vow was not delivered and Scots just about eliminated the Unionist parties in Scotland when 56 of 59 SNP MP’s were elected to office. reducing Unionist party representation to three Unionist MPs. Mundell, Murray and Carmichael.

As before stated, “in a cruel twist of fortune” Ruth Davidson and her party “jumped from the cliff” and landed on their feet. The fallout from the 2015 General Election was spectacular. The Unionist labelled Labour and Lib-Dem parties went into free-fall. Various factions fought damaging battles each seeking to control the political future of their parties and Scottish voters with a unionist leaning deserted them in favour of the party (other than the SNP and Greens) which maintained a united front.

But Ruth Davidson had her problems. The Tory Party in Scotland was still not trusted by Scots and radical change was required if the party’s fortunes were to be improved.

Ruth consulted with her minder (Dr Adam Tomkins) who advised a root and branch clear out of deadwood Tory wannabes before the 2016 Scottish parliamentary election.

The process was duly delivered. Ruth’s “advisers”, hand picked every candidate. Not one candidate was ever elected at any time, not even through the party’s internal candidate selection. The Scottish Tory party was eliminated. Davidson was ecstatic the party in Scotland was cloned from herself. Its image was her image. They were as one.

At the 2016 Scottish Elections Davidson’s entire campaign focused on retaining Scotland’s place in the Union. There was little mention of Scottish polices since there was little of any merit in their manifesto. So a party of clones asked Scots to elect them to office.

Of the 73 candidates seeking election to Holyrood through the first past the post system 7 Tories were successful. A total of 66 Tory candidates were rejected. There were 56 List MSP posts available of which 24 were allocated to the Tory party. Ruth appointed 24 Tory MSP clones.

Ruth Davidson increased the Tory share of the Scottish vote by approximately 8%, taking the party share of the vote to 22% “all of it at the expense of the labour Party.” In conclusion there is no Scottish Tory party. The nearest thing to it is the Ruth (Minime) Davidson party.






An observation by a former Scottish Tory Candidate

“Miracles of the Scottish Conservative variety seem to be based on delivering what the Scottish Conservatives want for the people even if they are against it. If there is a miracle to be had for the Scottish Conservative it should be the awakening that given they don’t understand the poor they should get someone in who does and rewrites their social policies. And then if they don’t like it say nothing and smile.

Of course it would be a miracle to change the fortunes of the Scottish Conservatives because they don’t have big ideas. It is true that Ruth Davidson had a good campaign in 2016 but please remember she had intensive media training and guidance throughout . She is a manufactured politician (view her poor performances at Holyrood when confronted by the wit of Alex Salmond).

Many Conservatives in Westminster and Scotland invested a lot of faith in Ruth Davidson getting the Scottish Conservatives back on the right track. But she has offered Scots absolutely nothing. Her policies, such as they, are ‘tat’ and Scots will not buy them.

This forces her to concentrate the parties efforts on the fall back position, Scottish Independence A useful distraction which might yet bring more labour voters over to her cause.”






Kyle Thornton – Scottish Conservatives Candidate for Office in Glasgow – Issues Advice to Ruth Davidson

The Party should be a bit more Scottish and be bold enough to back holding a referendum on Scotland’s constitutional future As the Scottish Conservatives are examining their role in modern Scottish politics maybe we should take a look at our more successful colleagues in Wales.

The Welsh Conservatives should be held up as a success story for the Scottish Conservatives to look to. From the 1997 wipe out, the Tories in Wales have built themselves back up to the point where the Conservatives topped the European Election poll in 2009, which has to be a fantastic achievement for a party that returned no MPs only 12 years previously. But how did they do it?

As I can see it, a factor in their success was that they simply became a bit more Welsh. (But Ruth Davidson is taking the Tory Party in the direction of Westminster control) I’ll put it another way: they shrugged off all the talk of British this and British that and they were saying Wales this and Wales that.

That brings me to the Scottish Tories. We’ve been slowly recovering some ground in Scotland but at a very slow rate. The General Election result must be a wake-up call to the party that we need to do something different.

Being on the ground during the election talking to people, I picked up the following broad message: Scots feel that the Scottish Conservatives are just the English with a different name. The talk of British General Elections and British Parliaments simply just makes the majority of Scots feel uncomfortable, it always has since 1707. So what can we do?

Simply, let’s become a bit more Scottish. There are many ways that we could approach this but I’d like to discuss just one method:

let’s support the idea of asking the Scottish people their view about Scotland’s constitutional future in a referendum.

As we should, we would be campaigning for a No vote to Independence, but we should support more powers for Holyrood as outlined by the Calman Commission.

It is my firm belief that by doing this we would show to the people of Scotland that:

We do trust them to decide their own future. (note the terminology he uses “them and us”)

We are confident that there will be a pro-union vote.

We accept that Scotland is a devolved nation, able to make its own choices on its home affairs and that it should be given greater flexibility.

Such a move would help the Scottish Tories to shrug off the words of electoral death in Scotland (Margaret Thatcher) and also to reduce the feeling that the Scottish Tories are just the English in disguise.

There is a saying that comes to mind when writing this: “Fortune Favours the Bold”. Well, if we do what I’m suggesting, we’ll be being very bold – but we may also just help save our electoral chances in Scotland from terminal decline. (conservative home)



Mary! They even knew the colour of your curtains!!! – How a Professionally Run Better Together Campaign Manipulated the Will of – Then Destroyed a Bunch of Enthusiastic Amateurs






Obama and Blair Campaigns Contractors Awarded “Better Together” Exclusive Media Strategy Contract.

Blue State Digital is a powerful USA media strategy and technology company specializing in online fundraising, social networking and constituency development. The Company provided digital strategy and technology services (cost £2million) to the Barack Obama presidential and a number of Tony Blair campaigns. The mission statement of the Company states;

“A full-service new media agency, Blue State Digital develops and executes multi-platform digital marketing and online engagement campaigns for non-profit and advocacy organizations, political candidates, causes, brands and businesses. Our work inspires and mobilizes people, increases revenue, and cements lasting support and loyalty.”
A Company insider quoted; “Future elections will be won not because the candidate was anointed by a powerful party, but because he or she was best at using a Web and new-media strategy to rally the masses.”

Just who are these guys? (

and the link to Tony Blair? (

and the link to Scotland? The UK Director of Blue State Digital is Gregor Poynton – Poynton, from Falkirk, (whose family still live in the town) is a Labour party election strategy manager, Scottish Labour party organiser and a potential candidate for the Falkirk West seat following the resignation of Eric Joyce. He is married to the Labour MP Gemma Doyle.






19 May 2012: Blue State Digital’s Political Director UK, Poynton oversees all BSD’s political work from the Company’s London office and acts as Senior Account Director on the largest UK-clients across the non-profit and corporate sectors. He specialises in campaign organisation and strategy, he previously worked as Election Strategy Manager for the British Labour Party, a researcher in the Political Unit of the Labour Group of Members of the Scottish Parliament and for Catherine Stihler, Member of the European Parliament. Gregor holds a BA (Hons) in Politics from the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow. (






7 July 2013: Gregor Poynton features on Sunday Politics Scotland selling the concept of online media strategy: (







7 November 2013: Gregor Poynton from Blue State Digital talks about how the Obama campaign used data to get the result it needed: (







29 January 2014: Hangout On Air with Gregor Poynton of Obama’s secret digital marketing weapon (







30 January 2011: Credit check giant Experian accused of ‘ripping off’ its customers

Britain’s biggest credit reference agency has been accused of misleading customers who sign up for a supposedly free service to check their financial records. Experian advertises the service on its website, stating: ‘Get your free Experian credit report. The UK’s No1 credit report!’ Those who take up the offer are then required to provide a range of personal information, including their address and credit-card details. But after receiving their online credit report, customers are automatically signed up to a full service charging them £14.99 a month – and many claim that it is extremely difficult to opt out of the payments.

The full service includes a £6.40 identity fraud insurance and email alerts telling customers about any changes in their financial circumstances. One customer said: ‘I searched for hours on the Experian website to get out of paying any money. I couldn’t even locate the free-phone number which they say you have to ring to unsubscribe. Even when I said I didn’t want to pay I was offered another service costing £7.99 a month.’

Within hours of being approached Experian admitted that the wording on the website, saying that the customer had been charged immediately, was misleading and promised to remove it. A spokesman said: “we re grateful for you drawing this to our attention and we will immediately update the website to stop the wording from appearing.” However, he denied that the system for opting out of Experian’s premium service was unfair, insisting that it was transparent to all users adding: “There is a balance to be struck here. We don’t want to be so helpful that we encourage people to leave our service. After all, you don’t go into a supermarket and see signs for how to get a refund.”

Experian has seen its profits soar as consumers use its online service to check their credit-worthiness during the economic downturn. It has also seen rising numbers of users checking their profiles after having their debit or credit card cloned. Credit reports are one of the main sources used by financial institutions when deciding whether to offer loans. Experian’s profits rose from £297 million in 2007 to £436 million last year. Experian has twice as much credit report business as its nearest rival in the UK. (Daily Mail)






“Better Together” Gains Unfettered access to Experian’s Database

The credit-checking group Experian was contracted by “Better Together” to devise a new data management tool. The company created a software package from it’s extensive database named “Patriot” which stored all consumer data obtained from lenders and companies who voters had contracts with. This allowed “Better Together” to identify lifestyle indicators, categorise voters and link them with activists of a similar age or with similar social media friends in order to improve voter targeting and canvassing.

The initiative is another product of Better Together’s appointment of Blue State Digital, the agency that worked on the successful first election campaign for US President Obama. The drive, using social media and YouTube was launched in an attempt at recruiting volunteers who were given the personal details of members of the public and asked to cold-call them in order to canvass them for support. All information gleaned by the calls was then stored in the campaign database and transmitted to the three parties involved in Better Together.

The initiative was a follow to the “Better Together” April 2013 controversal campaign which included the widespread unauthorised distribution of unsolicited text messages releasing people’s personal details and information. The campaign was successful in terms of volunteer recruitment (more than 3,500 volunteers signed up).




Afternote: Scottish electorate should be concerned:

“Anyone with a credit card, bank account, loan, mortgage, store card or monthly/quarterly mobile phone will likely have an Experian profile. The company conducts millions of credit checks each year on many hundreds of thousands of UK citizens. The level of data they collect and hold is frankly staggering. Making matters worse, the information Experian hold on us is very often gathered without our knowledge.

Companies run credit checks on potential customers whenever a new application for credit is made, yet it is rarely explained what “doing a credit check” actually entails. In fact, the consumer has little to no choice over which company actually undertakes the credit check. They are chosen by the bank, estate agent, mobile phone network or any other commercial organisation.

Not engaging with a credit reference agency is almost impossible. It would entail not having a bank account, not having any direct debits, not having a credit card, not renting or owning a property. We have to, whether we like it or not, engage with these companies.

The consumer needs to be able to trust companies such as Experian that handle massive levels of personal data, more acute when we have little to no say over what data they hold.”

( (






19 July 2013: Scottish independence: “Better Together” Targets Voter ‘Tribes’

The group campaigning for a no vote in Scotland’s independence referendum has said it will embark on the most sophisticated targeting of voters seen in British political history. Pro-union “Better Together” has launched its new “Patriot” system. It will divide Scotland’s four million voters into 40 different tribes. This will then allow the campaign to speak directly to undecided voters using letters, emails and face-to-face discussions.

Better Together said the technology, which has been developed with information from credit rating agency Experian (£500K) and input from advisers to President Obama, will allow them to identify lifestyle indicators like the number of cars a family has and local house prices. Voters will then be “linked” to activists of a similar age or with similar social media friends.
In a statement, Better Together campaign director Blair McDougall said: “We have to make sure that we are on the doorsteps and high streets, but also that we are also on peoples’ smartphones, tablets and PCs. This new tool will help bring our thousands of volunteers together with the key voters who will decide the outcome of the referendum.”

It is estimated “Better Together” had 10,000 volunteers signed up by the start of the campaign. IT expertise was utilised through the on-line presence of a significant number who were based in England throughout the campaign.

Social media played an important role in local campaigning especially as it enabled “Better Together” to more effectively mobilise more volunteers and disseminate information using the “Patriot” software. (






14 March 2017: Should Scotland be an independent country?

Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has demanded a second referendum on Scottish independence. Last time, the question was: “Should Scotland be an independent country?” We asked the same question again: All 13791 respondents live in Scotland:

Yes to Scottish independence. 8351 votes (61%) No to Scottish independence. 5374 votes (39%) I’d abstain. 66 votes (0%)



Scottish Rugby Union – Stuffed With Officials and Players No Better Than Financial Patriots – Staunch Unionists to the Core – They Brazenly Sing “Flower of Scotland” with Gusto – They Have No Shame






O flower of Scotland

“When will we see your like again, That fought and died for, Your wee bit hill and glen, And stood against him, Proud Edward’s army, And sent him homeward, Tae think again. The hills are bare now, And autumn leaves lie thick and still, O’er land that is lost now, Which those so dearly held, And stood against him, Proud Edward’s army, And sent him homeward, Tae think again. Those days are passed now, And in the past they must remain, But we can still rise now, And be the nation again, That stood against him, Proud Edward’s army, And sent him homeward, Tae think again”








1995: Shamateur to Professional – Scottish Rugby Union’s Torturous Process of Change

Scottish Rugby Union hierarchy failed to adjust at the same time as other nations and missed out on at least one season of professional rugby which also saw a number of Scot’s players transferring their contracts of employment to clubs in England, Wales, Ireland, France and Italy. The blundering continued well into the new era of professional rugby as various factions battled for supremacy and as a consequence the performances of the Scottish national rugby team deteriorated.

Attendance at Murrayfield dropped by up to 40% and disillusioned fans found other sports to support. The process of change laid bare to the public extreme right wing attitudes prevalent within Scottish rugby and the areas of Scottish society from which it attracted players and supporters. The prevalence of rugby players and supporters for retention of the Treaty of Union was found to be markedly high in comparison with other sports and this was manifest at the time of the 2014 Independence Referendum. The years of torment:

1995 International Rugby Board announces that the days of amateurism and shamateurism are over and the sport is going open.

1996-97: The organisation tries to come to grips with the new era forming part-time professional district teams to take part in European competition after missing out on the first season of the Heineken Cup.
1998: A momentous year in which the SRU’s first full time chief executive calls for an overhaul of the entire structure of the game and a coup at Murrayfield brings about a number of resignations from the committee.

1999: Lord Mackay comprehensive review of all aspects of Scottish rugby, brings about major changes including, removal of unelected “special representatives” to the SRU committee. Also recommends that the Union formally delegate the day-to-day running of the sport to their executives meeting only four times per year to offer an overview on policy matters.

2000: Ken Scobies appointed as the SRU plc’s first executive board chairman with three more non-executive directors – Andrew Flanagan, Fraser Livingston and Bill Wilson – also introduced at board level.

2002: With friction between the general committee and the executive board growing, Scobie survives challenges from committee members who seize upon newspaper allegations about his munitions company’s involvement distributing land-mines.

2003: After Scobie completes his three-year term David Mackay becomes the SRU’s second chairman, promptly launching a 100-day stocktake at the end of which Watson is asked to resign and agrees to go, Mackay taking over as caretaker chief executive.

2004: With Mackay claiming it represents “the last chance saloon” for Scottish rugby, the Genesis Strategic Review gets under way. Phil Anderton is promoted to the chief executive’s office after a highly acclaimed four-year stint as commercial and marketing director and both chairman and new chief executive receive unheard of applause at the SRU’s annual meeting after unveiling in broad terms the findings of the review.







10 January 2005: David Mckay resigns from his post as Chairman following a vote of no confidence. it is alleged that some members of the general committee, (which was far from unanimous in registering its no confidence vote in the chairman,) were actually motivated by their opposition to plans to overhaul the governance of the game. That would have removed much of their capacity to interfere in the running of the sport on a day-to-day basis. Mackay is credited with cutting SRU losses, which had reached £10million when he was appointed in 2003, reducing to under £2million at the end of 2004.

11 January 2005: Three members of the Scottish Rugby Union executive board resigned in protest at the `no confidence’ vote which caused the departure of chairman David Mackay. The former SRU chair resigned from his position yesterday in the wake of the vote taken by the general committee of the Union. Now executive board members Fraser Livingston, Andrew Flanagan and Eric Hagman have stepped down in response.

A row has been simmering for months between Scotland’s clubs and the SRU executive, with club sides fearing a loss of policy-making power to the governing body. But the three outgoing executive board members lashed out at the exit of Mackay in their notice to quit. A statement from Livingston, Flanagan and Hagman said: “Replacing the chairman without prior notice or any consultation whatsoever with the executive board flies in the face of good governance.`

In David Mackay’s short term in charge of the board, enormous strides have been made in improving efficiency, planning debt reduction and developing a cohesive and comprehensive strategy for the game. “Sadly, the general committee’s actions do nothing to further the interests of taking Scottish rugby into the 21st Century.”

12 January 2005: Scottish rugby in turmoil with leading clubs threatening to break away from the SRU, senior figures resigning in droves, and a question mark over the future of the chief executive, Phil Anderton, and the technical director, Ian McGeechan.

13 January 2005: Chief Executive Phil Anderton the latest casualty of the bitter battle for power in the game when he resigned yesterday.





13 January 2005: Scottish Rugby in Meltdown – MSP’s to Debate Matter at Holyrood: Susan Deacon MSP tables motion:

“That the parliament notes with extreme concern the current situation within Scottish Rugby which has seen the resignation of a number of senior figures within the organisation, including David Mackay as chairman of the executive board and Phil Anderton as chief executive, following a no-confidence vote in the chairman by the SRU general committee.

Recognises the importance of rugby at both a local and national level as one of Scotland’s major sports and applauds the efforts which had been made by the former chairman and chief executive to take forward a strategy which would secure a sustainable future for rugby in Scotland.

Believes it is vital that effective leadership and direction is restored within Scottish rugby at the earliest possible date, and supports calls for the reinstatement of David Mackay as chairman of the executive board and Phil Anderton as chief executive to secure this objective.”         (

17 Jan 2010: Five years on David Mackay looks back after he lost the battle but won the war in Scotland rugby’s revolution: There are many more pressing demands on Scottish Rugby’s resources right now, but if the big cheeses of the SRU’s administration ever wanted to scrape the bottom of the shortbread tin for funds for a work of public art they could do worse than raise a statue in honour of the 14 gentlemen who sat on their own general committee at the dawn of 2005.

The only drawback is it would take a sculptor of uncommon dexterity and craft to capture the myopia that characterised the actions of those individuals at the time. A handful – four, to be exact – came out of the administrative meltdown they had provoked with reputations intact, but the others could still serve, quite literally, as monuments to vainglorious stupidity.

Five years have now passed since the old committee unwittingly signed their own death warrants with a vote of no confidence in David Mackay, the much-respected businessman who had been called in as chairman a year earlier to steady a Union ship that had been holed below the financial waterline by the bungling of previous managements. (







11 March 2017: Why is the Scottish Rugby Union So Strongly Anti Independence?

“O’ flower of Scotland, when will we see your like again?” Scottish fans of rugby union must find their nostalgic pre-match anthem, which commemorates the history of Caledonian resistance against the English, especially poignant. But In sport, patriotism is not always the same thing as separatism. A number of Scottish athletes opposed independence in 2014. Why? The primary reason was money. Gordon Brown, (Scottish born former prime minister,) warned that a divorce could cost Scottish sport its funding from the National Lottery.

But rugby is a rich game, with little need for Lottery handouts. So its unionism is partly explained by demography. Poor voters are the most likely to back independence, and rugby players and fans are a posh bunch. Only one of Scotland’s 37-man squad was born in a local authority that voted to leave in 2014. Rugby also embraces internationalism more than most sports. Nineteen of Scotland’s players were born outside Scotland, eight of them in England. Nine play for clubs outside Scotland. (The Economist)








3 February 2013: Phil Anderton Joins Better Together

Phil Anderton, who currently works as a management consultant based in Scotland, has been appointed to the board of the cross-party Better Together organisation. He will have specific board responsibility for the interaction between Better Together and the business community. The Edinburgh-born businessman, who has a degree in management and international relations from St Andrews University, has also worked in brand management for both Procter and Gamble, Coca-Cola and the Scottish Rugby Union which he joined in 2000 and was appointed as the Chief Executive Officer in February 2004, after several years of successful marketing within the SRU. He was nicknamed “Firework Phil”, because he provided lavish firework displays and entertainment before rugby games at Murrayfield Stadium. He resigned as CEO in January 2005 after David Mackay (Chairman of the SRU) was forced to resign by the SRU General Committee. (He retains strong links to Scottish rugby)








2 October 2013: Gavin Hastings – Avid Opponent of Scottish Independence

He stated: “it’s all about exposure to the bigger picture, and Scotland is not the bigger picture. It never will be. We will not be able to do it amongst ourselves – we need to see the global picture in front us and be part of that picture, and, in my opinion, we will never be part of that were we to be an independent nation – which, by the way, we won’t be. “People say ‘what’s the greatest honour you had as a rugby player?’ Being captain of the British Lions. That’s bigger than being captain of Scotland, so you know what I’m saying.”

Reader Rebuts Hastings Assertions: With respect, I disagree. We don’t need a larger neighbouring nation to govern us. I believe the Scots have the wits and ability to control their own affairs. We are every bit as good as any other nation. I happen to believe strongly that ALL countries should have the right to democratic self determination. We are not too wee, too poor, and too stupid, as the No campaigners spent two years telling us. We are not “subsidy junkies”, reliant on hand outs. I find the idea that we are “not genetically programmed to make political decisions” offensive. At the end of the day, I am simply fed up of people telling us that we can’t do it, that we’re scroungers who can’t survive without the generous hand-outs from our neighbours. Independence is about self respect. About belief in yourself and in your nation. I just wish more people had the courage to believe in themselves and their fellow countrymen. Yes, let Scotland take its place on the world stage, but lets do it standing shoulder to shoulder with other countries as friends and equals. (The Scotsman)






13 September 2014: Scottish Rugby Stars Tactical Strike 5 days before the Independence Referendum: Scottish Rugby Legends Urge Scots to Vote No

The all-star line-up re-enacted the national side’s iconic 1990 march in a show of support for the Better Together campaign. Stars backing the anti-independence vote also included Kenny Logan, Scott and Gavin Hastings, Andy Nicol and Finlay Calder. Speaking, Sole – who captained Scotland’s Grand Slam-winning side of 1990 – said: “I think the Yes campaign almost feel they have exclusive rights on the Saltire which I think is completely unjustified. “I’ve played for Scotland, I’ve played for my country, I’ve split blood for my country and I’m very passionate about that. (The Record)

  • What a stupid thing to say.  Many hundreds of young men and women killed or injured in Iraq and Afghanistan spilt their blood for their country he cut his head playing a game of sport.





13 September 2014: Scottish Rugby Players Attack Childless SNP chiefs Claiming That They ” Have no Feel For the UK family”‘ and Want to Break Up the Union Because They do Not Understand Families

Former Scottish rugby players said Alex Salmond and Nicola Sturgeon do not have to worry about future generations of Scots as they are childless. At a pro-union campaign event outside Murrayfield Stadium in Edinburgh, Steve Munro, who earned 10 caps for Scotland, said the pair ‘don’t have any understanding of kids as they don’t have children’. The 56-year-old former winger added: “I’ve got children and I’m thinking about their futures. Salmond and Sturgeon have re-established divisions in our country.”

Andy Irvine, 62, a former president of the Scottish Rugby Union who earned 51 Scottish caps, added: ‘I’m a parent of four children and four grandchildren. I may be coming towards the end of my life, but they’re starting theirs and they’d be better in the Union. I’m a proud Scot and a proud Brit too. I have to think about the impact on their livelihoods.” (The Daily Mail)








17 Sep 2014: Scottish Rugby’s Bullingdon Boys Club Score an Own Goal

Much as I love the egg-chasing game, it has always struck me as rugby’s most profound weakness that it has nothing in its repertoire to match the sublime moment of sporting purity that is football’s own goal. Rugby is denied all this. Or rather it was until last week, when a group of Scottish ‘legends’ – a term that has clearly acquired a certain flexibility of late – gathered at Murrayfield to pledge their support for the referendum No campaign. Finally, rugby had its own goal.

As it happens, I have a lot of time for people such as David Sole, Gavin Hastings, Finlay Calder and the rest of them, just as I had a lot of admiration for them as individuals in their playing days. I also couldn’t really care less whether they favour Yes, No or Maybe. But for them to come together as they did, and where they did, was a monumental misjudgement.

By way of clarification, they weren’t actually in Murrayfield, the Scottish Rugby Union having made it crystal clear that they wanted nothing to do with the stunt. Instead, they hung about in Roseburn Street, just outside the stadium, which is where most of the photographs you might have seen were taken.

Now it can be dangerous to generalise but, from a brief look at the group shots of the former players, I reckoned that between two-thirds and three-quarters of them had attended private schools. A clear majority are Edinburgh-based. All had been retired a long time. All, of course, were male. Or, to put it another way, a bunch of well-off, middle-aged blokes want things to stay just the way they are. Staggering, isn’t it? Who knew? Well, most of the pollsters for a start. Which is why the number of votes added to their cause by this gathering is probably about the same as the number of points Scotland put on the scoreboard against England last February.

“What on earth were they thinking of?” was the comment of someone I met the following day. Now I have absolutely no idea whether the fellow who said this was in the Yes or No camp, but politics was not the issue for him. Instead, what incensed him was the fact the grey-templed Roseburn flash-mob’s reinvention of themselves as some sort of rugby Bullingdon Club only reinforced an image of the sport as the game of a privileged elite.

Yes, you can pick through the pictures and find John Rutherford and Colin Deans – both state-schooled in the Borders – in there as well, but the clear majority are from a different social sphere. Does this matter? Hugely. You can quibble over just about anything in this game – tactics, selection, league structures, governance – but the one overwhelming issue that holds Scottish rugby back is that its social and demographic base is far too narrow. It always has been. (The Herald)








But hold on “Yes” Scotland had one supporter:

“Jim Telfer, a former coach of the national side, has suggested that any Scot seeking reasons for secession should spend ten minutes with smug English fans at Twickenham. The English don’t help themselves: they banned bagpipes from stadiums when hosting the Rugby World Cup in 2015.”    (Mercatornet)







30 November 2016: Scottish Rugby Agree New 10-year Hospitality Deal With Elior UK

Further confirmation supporters of independence will be whistling dixie to any help from the Scottish Rugby set. Based in Macclesfield, Cheshire PLC, Elior UK has provided corporate hospitality, conference and event and match day catering at BT Murrayfield for the last seven years and the new 10-year hospitality contract extension will deliver in excess of £1million each year to Scottish Rugby substantially growing its commercial income. (The Insider)