Tory Party Candidate For Stirling – Stephen Kerr – A Fellow Mormon Questions His Integrity – The Stirling Electorate Have the Right To Know the Truth







Mormon Church Doctrine

From 1849 to 1978, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) had a policy against the ordination of black men to the priesthood, and forbidding black men and women from taking part in ceremonies in LDS temples. In 1978, the church’s First Presidency declared in a statement known as “Official Declaration 2” that the ban had been lifted as a result of a revelation from God.





1 April 2006: A Fellow Mormon Questions Stephen Kerr’s Integrity – Does he believe in the Mormon church’s teaching prior to 1978  that skin colour is a curse.

1 April 2006: Elder Stephen Kerr, a native of Dundee was sustained as an Area Seventy (top of the Mormon tree) in the Europe West Area of the Mormon Church.

A fourth generation Mormon on his mother’s side, after completing his first mission he progressed through the various ranks of the Church culminating in his appointment as leader of the Church in Scotland and Northern Ireland.

A post comparable with an arch Bishop or Moderator in the established church

In September 2006 Ensign Elder Kerr addressed the youth of the Mormon Church. He confessed to a passion for books and spoke to a list of things young Mormons might want to do while they are still young. Three things are especially important;

(1) Being worthy to go to the temple.

(2) Regular attendance at seminary and institute classes to learn more about the faith.

(3) The companionship of the Holy Ghost and receiving revelation.

Is this the same Stephen Kerr to whom I wrote in 1998 following his appearance in one of a series of TV programmes that looked at various faiths?

A panel quizzed him and another Mormon about their faith.

Of particular interest was the question of Negroes and the priesthood.

We have addressed this issue before and I need only say that, until 1978, Negroes were disbarred from full involvement in the Mormon Church because the colour of their skin marked them out as “unworthy”.

In 1978 this changed under enormous pressure from the wider society.

This is common knowledge and I don’t imagine that I am telling you anything you don’t already know.

Imagine my astonishment when I heard Stephen Kerr, a fourth generation Mormon, a lover of books, a priesthood leader of long standing and someone who encourages youth to learn more about their faith – imagine my astonishment when I heard him deny any understanding of this teaching.

He would have been 18 years old at the time of those momentous changes in 1978, when the official declaration announced from Mormon pulpits across the world that, “all worthy male members of the Church may be ordained to the priesthood without regard for race or colour (sic)”.

He would have been preparing for his mission, if not already serving, and this would have had a profound effect on the way missionaries responded to coloured people on the door.

He was challenged repeatedly and, repeatedly, he said, “I don’t know why this was so, nobody knows why.”

It might be argued that I am in no position to know what he knew or didn’t know.

That is right.

It might be argued that I couldn’t prove that he was being disingenuous in his answers.

That is correct.

It might be said that I must take the man at face value and accept that he spoke in good faith.

That is something I struggle with simply because it is not true that “nobody knows”.

It is common knowledge.

This is doctrine of recent memory, practised by Mormons of my generation.

Especially poignant was the fact that his Mormon companion was a young Negro woman who, I feel, was quite innocent in her endorsement of Elder Kerr’s claim to ignorance.

My generation and his would have been taught as a matter of course the story of skin colour being a curse.

Hers would have been denied such understanding as new opportunities opened up, post 1978, for Mormonism in Africa and among African communities across the world.

Now a new generation of young church members is deliberately kept ignorant of their own heritage.





Same Sex Attraction and the Doctrine of the Mormon Church

Same-sex attraction refers to emotional, physical, or sexual attraction to a person of the same gender.

The experience of same-sex attraction is not the same for everyone. Some people may feel exclusively attracted to the same gender, while others may feel attracted to both genders.

The Church distinguishes between same-sex attraction and homosexual behaviour.

People who experience same-sex attraction or identify as gay, lesbian, or bisexual can make and keep covenants with God and fully and worthily participate in the Church.

Identifying as gay, lesbian, or bisexual or experiencing same-sex attraction is not a sin and does not prohibit one from participating in the Church, holding callings, or attending the temple.

Sexual purity is an essential part of God’s plan for our happiness.




Sexual relations between a man and woman who are not married, or between people of the same sex, violate one of our Father in Heaven’s most important laws and get in the way of our eternal progress.

People of any sexual orientation who violate the law of chastity can be reconciled with God through repentance.

As followers of Christ, we resist immoral behaviour and strive to become like Him.

We seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit and the help of the Saviour, who knows how to succour us when we are tempted.

If we give in to sexual temptations and violate the law of chastity, we can repent, be forgiven, and participate in full fellowship in the Church.

We may not know precisely why some people feel attracted to others of the same sex, but for some it is a complex reality and part of the human experience.

The Saviour Jesus Christ has a perfect understanding of every challenge we experience here on earth, and we can turn to Him for comfort, joy, hope, and direction.

No matter what challenges we may face in life, we are all children of God, deserving of each other’s kindness and compassion.




When we create a supportive environment, we build charity and empathy for each other and benefit from our combined perspectives and faith.

Church leaders have emphasized that simply being attracted to someone of the same sex is not a sin, and that God loves all of his children.

But those wishing to maintain full membership in the Church are required to commit to a life of celibacy.

The Mormon Church states unequivocally that marriage and sexual relations can only be between a man and a woman who promise complete loyalty to each other and that homosexuality is contrary to God’s plan for his children.

Members in same-sex marriages are considered to be apostates which is an ex communicable offence.

Children living in same-sex households are excluded from religious rites, such as baby blessings and baptism, until they turn 18.

Once they reach that age, they have the option to disavow same-sex relationships, move out of their parents’ house, and ask to join the Church.



Rifkind – Fulton – Straw – Snookered the 2014 Independence Referendum and Are Waiting In the Wings to do it Again Next Time







April 1998: Rifkind Calls for Pact to Block Nationalists

Rifkind called for the formation of a cross- party movement to protect the Union and prevent the SNP taking power.

The former foreign secretary’s comments were the first clear indication that the Tory party north of the Border believed that Labour, the Tory’s and the Liberal Democrats needed to make common cause in an attempt to halt the rise of the SNP.

He said: “I think there will be a need for a non-party movement in Scotland to support the Union.”

We duly got that when “Better Together” was sent into action at the time of the 2014 Scottish Referendum.

Planning had been in place from 1998!!

He also accused Labour of fostering the mood of nationalism within Scotland by exploiting “nationalist language” during its spell in opposition:

“The genie is out of the bottle and, like all genies, once they are out of the bottle they are difficult to put back in.”





Enter Andrew Fulton

Born in Glasgow in 1944, Andrew Fulton grew up on the Isle of Bute and attended Rothesay Academy. He went on to study Law at the Glasgow University, graduating MA, LLB (1962–1967).

Employment history:

Diplomat: HM Diplomatic Service: (MI6) July 1968 – January 1999 (30 years 7 months): postings in Saigon, Rome, East Berlin, Oslo, the United Nations in New York and finally Washington DC.

President, (Founding Chairman): Scottish North American Business Council, (part of the British American Business network): January 1999 – Present (17 years 4 months)

Chairman: Global Scot World Wide Network (GPW): January 2001 – Present (16 years 4 months): global leaders in business intelligence, corporate investigations, dispute resolution, support and political risk management.

Senior Non Executive Director, IndigoVision: January 2011 – Present (5 years 4 months): United Kingdom based company engaged in the design, development, manufacture and sale of networked video security systems.

The Company’s segments include Europe, the Middle East and Africa; North America, Latin America and Asia Pacific.

Its cameras, encoders, network video recorders and software are designed both internally and with technology partners and manufactured in Asia and Europe.

The Company’s end to end Internet protocol (IP) video security systems allow full motion video to be transmitted around the world, in real time, with digital quality and security, over local or other area networks, wireless links or the Internet, using market compression technology to minimize the usage of network bandwidth.

Appointed to the international advisory board of International Street Papers (INSP).

Senior adviser (All-Party Parliamentary MENA* Group at Westminster): 2013 – Present:

The term MENA is an English-language acronym referring to an extensive region, extending from Morocco to Iran, including all Middle Eastern and Maghreb countries. Https://





Andrew Fulton – Former spy in line for top Scottish Tory job

Former high ranking MI6 intelligence officer, Prof Andrew Fulton. A spy who served behind the Iron Curtain at the height of the Cold War is in line to become chairman of the Scottish Conservative Party in a surprise move agreed by David Cameron and Annabel Goldie, the Scottish leader.

Fulton, whose last posting was “head of station” in Washington, has emerged as one of the favourites for the post that fell vacant when Peter Duncan, the former MP for Dumfries, stood down last summer.

The appointment of the former intelligence officer, will be seen as an attempt by senior Tories to inject fresh blood and new thinking into the Scottish party, which has struggled to recover from its 1997 wipe-out when it lost all its Scottish MPs.

Last year, he became the first high-profile former spy to join a listed British company when he was appointed as an adviser to the Armor Group, a firm that provides security services to national governments and large corporations.

Its non-executive chairman is the Tory grandee Sir Malcolm Rifkind






Andrew Fulton – Once a Spy Always a Spy

Fulton is a major player in the military corporate nexus.

He was placed in an overtly political position because of the UK government worries about Scottish secession.

He was put there to coordinate the destabilisation of the SNP government.

He is a very dangerous individual.

The Sunday Herald reported that Andrew Fulton’s CV, issued to the press at the time he was appointed chairman of the Conservative Party in Scotland, claimed that he is a visiting professor at Glasgow University’s School of Law.

The university denies this. The article reads in part:

“The new chairman of the Scottish Tories has become embroiled in a row over his CV after false claims were made about his academic credentials.

“Andrew Fulton, a former MI6 spy, recently appointed by the Conservatives, was hailed as a ‘visiting professor’ at Glasgow University’s school of law.

“But a spokesman for the university rebutted the claims, saying: ‘Mr Fulton is not associated with the University of Glasgow’s law school and is not entitled to call himself a professor.’

Fulton, 64, recently took up the post as the Scottish Tories’ top official and received endorsements from Conservative leaders David Cameron and Annabel Goldie.

“The biography supplied to the media claimed he had read law at Glasgow University and was ‘now visiting professor at his alma mater’s school of law’.

“But Fulton, who was a government diplomat for 30 years, was only briefly a visiting professor at the university between 1999 and 2000.

He worked in the university’s law school at the Lockerbie Trial Briefing Unit until he was dropped from his post when he was unmasked as an ex-spook.

“Visiting professors lose their title after leaving a university, but the academic status symbol has somehow followed Fulton in his business career.”







In 2008 the growth in nationalist support in Scotland alarmed the US and Westminster.

The Labour Party was in meltdown and it was entirely possible an SNP government would be in place in 2009.

This would bring with it calls for Scottish independence and a referendum.

There were also on-going problems within the Scottish Tory Party, which had suffered yet another bad election defeat.

Voices within the Party in Scotland had begun to raise the spectre of a split from Westminster control so that the Party in Scotland would be able to decide upon policy.

A strategy, designed to deal with the potential problems would need to be put in place.

Fulton was identified as the most effective “agent for change” available and it was agreed he would apply himself and his extensive resources to the tasks of completing a root and branch reorganisation of the party in Scotland, removing any person, (no matter how senior) who did not fully commit to Westminster Party ideals.

He would also design a long term strategy undermining the SNP government ensuring any referendum for independence would fail. It was believed that the SNP would fall apart in the aftermath of a failure to gain independence.


Prime Minister John Major (C) and Foreign Secretary Malcolm Rifkind (L) talk, watched by Defence Sec..




Former Spymaster Andrew Fulton Joins Rifkind’s Armour Group

Andrew Fulton (formerly MI6) became the first high-profile former spy to join a listed British company when he was appointed adviser to the Armor Group.

The company has more than 9,000 employees in 50 locations, (including 500 Gurkha’s and other ex UK and US military) providing security services in 38 countries.

It says its work is to ” identify, reduce and resolve exceptional risks in complex, sometimes hostile, environments”.

Its Chairman is Sir Malcolm Rifkind, the former Conservative foreign and defence secretary.






The Spies Who Love the Union More Than Scotland

Unravelling and reporting on the many plots and subterfuges of politicians is difficult but not impossible.

It is sadly often the case that they enjoy long and successful political careers within which the finger of fate may be pointed in their direction but never sticks.

This article highlights a small group of players who’s influence and machinations have shaped Scottish politics to their advantage but to the detriment of Scotland.






Martin Rifkind, (the leader):

Architect of the hated “Poll Tax” 1986.

As Minister of Defence decimated the regular army transferring responsibility for the defence of the nation to “Cruise missiles” and the Territorial Army 1994.

As Foreign Secretary had charge of Britain’s secret services 1995-2000

Out of government. Took up executive roles in a number of Security, Defence, medical companies outside parliament 2002-2004.

Armour Group, (Rifkind, Executive Director) awarded multi-million security contract in Iraq, by Jack Straw, Labour government Foreign Secretary 2004.

Returned to Westminster, ( retaining and expanding a number of executive roles in private companies). Appointed Chairman of the Standards and Privileges Committee of the House of Commons 2005-2010

Appointed, Chairman of the Intelligence and Security Committee (actively involved in the work of Britain’s Secret Services). Supported military action against Iraq, Libya and Syria 2010 -2015.

Founder of Better Together 1998. In 2009, Rifkind, Chairman of the British Parliamentary Intelligence and Security Committee (ISC), which oversees MI5, MI6 and GCHQ – (the most important position in the UK intelligence community) took charge of the Better Together disinformation campaign.






Former Spymaster Sent to Scotland to Sort Out the Tory Party

Andrew Fulton ( ex MI6 senior spook)sent to Scotland to assess the political situation and report back to Westminster 2008-9.

Additionally took up position as Chairman of the Tory Party in Scotland.

Ruthlessly axed many Party members from positions of influence. Anyone not on board with Cameron’s government in Westminster retired.

Gerrymandered Ruth Davidson’s appointment as leader of the party in Scotland 2008-2011.






Craig Murray (ex British Ambassador) confirmed the Security Services had been active in Scotland throughout the Scottish Referendum campaign.

Politicians for hire? Jack Straw & Sir Malcolm Rifkind embroiled in “cash for access” scandal. Rifkind forced to retire from politics. Straw denied place in the House of Lords.



malcom rifkind position untenable

Update On the Unaccountable Finance Finding Its Way To The Tory Coffers – East Renfrewshire – Linked to Hard-line Unionists – Scots Are Not Gullible They Will Reject Paul Masterson and His Secret Backers


 The full article is a must read

The dark money driving the Scottish Tory surge

The latest polls suggest the Conservatives could win up to ten seats in Scotland on Thursday. That’s ten times more than they’ve won at any point in the last 25 years. And it hasn’t come from nowhere: last year’s Scottish parliament election saw Ruth Davidson’s Scottish Tory party more than double its number of seats.

But new revelations today cast a shadow over that success. While the Scottish Tory surge is often put down to Ruth Davidson’s charisma, or to a polarisation on the independence question, this simple fact is often ignored: households in Scotland are being flooded with Conservative propaganda in a way they never have never been before. And it is unclear who is bankrolling it.

To be precise, Tory election spending in Scotland has more than trebled in five years. In the 2011 Scottish parliament election, the Tories spent nearly £275,000. In the 2016 election, they splashed out £978,921.07: more than three and a half times as much. Now, an openDemocracy investigation has triggered important questions about the sources of major donations to the party over that election.





Paul & Ruth



Paul Masterson – Tory Party Candidate for East Renfrewshire 

Employment: 2012-2017: Associate (qualified September 2010) with Pinsent Masons LLP specialising in Pensions Law

Education: The University of Dundee The University of Dundee LLB (Hons), Scots Law 2003 – 2007

Unsuccessful candidate for Paisley, 2016 Scottish Parliament elections
Candidate for the 2017 GE, East Renfrewshire constituency






Tory Party Links With Hardline Unionist’s of Northern Ireland confirmed – Failed Shady Tory Unionist Candidate For East Renfrewshire Orchestrating the 2017 Westminster campaign

A modest, semi-detached house in Clarkston on Glasgow’s south-side seems an unlikely source for a secretive, £425,000 donation to Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party’s Brexit campaign.

But the occupant – Richard Cook – is the only person publicly connected with the Constitutional Research Council, a shadowy pro-union group.

And Richard Cook is not just connected to Northern Irish unionism – he has links that go to the heart of the Scottish Conservative Party, the Saudi intelligence service and a notorious Indian gun running scandal.

Cook is a former vice chairman of the Scottish Conservative party and Tory election candidate (for which he was fast-tracked through the selection, according to reports on ConservativeHome).

He campaigned with Ruth Davidson and David Cameron, and his Facebook friends list is a roll-call of prominent Scottish Tories.

He is also listed as an advisor for ” Think Scotland” and “the Campaign Against Political Correctness.”

hard-line Tory websites owned by former Tory MSP Brian Monteith, who was head of press during the referendum for Leave.EU, the campaign group run by Arron Banks and Nigel Farage and Tory MP Phillip Davies.

Flashback: Right wing Unionist Cook was with ex-Tory MP Allan Stewart when he threatened M77 protesters with a pickaxe in 1995. Stewart , who was MP for Eastwood at the time, was fined £200.

Cook’s interests are not confined to politics.

Since the general election defeat in 2010, he has been involved in a number of international business deals.

In 2012, his company Cook Consulting (UK) Ltd held a press conference in Glasgow announcing its involvement in a £640m water desalination project in Pakistan.

The firm failed to submit accounts in 2014 and was dissolved by Companies House via compulsory strike-off in 2015.

In 2013, Cook founded another company called Five Star Investment Management Ltd with the former head of the Saudi Arabian intelligence agency, Prince Nawwaf bin Abdul Aziz.

The Prince’s son is the Saudi ambassador to the UK.

The other director of the company was Peter Haestrup, a Danish national who has been connected to the Purulia arms drop case, a long-running multinational scandal that involved weapons being dropped over the Indian province of West Bengal in 1995.

Five Star Investment Management Ltd was registered at Mr Cook’s Glasgow address.

The firm filed no accounts with Companies House, and was dissolved in December 2014.

Cook also has connections with right-wing pressure groups in the UK.

He was Scottish spokesperson for Conservative Friends of Israel and for the Campaign Against Political Correctness, a campaign allied to the Freedom Association, a right-wing Eurosceptic pressure group that supported apartheid in South Africa.

Scottish politicians are now calling for Ruth Davidson to clarify her relationship with Cook, who in the 2010 general election lost out to Labour’s Jim Murphy in East Renfrewshire.

Commenting on Richard Cook’s involvement with the CRC, Scottish Labour General Election campaign manager James Kelly said:

“This whole affair is like something from a spy novel and the East Renfrewshire Conservative Party is at the heart of it.

“Richard Cook isn’t just someone who happened to be a member of East Renfrewshire Conservatives.

He’s been a leading figure in the local Tories for more than two decades… He’s close to senior elected Tories, including Jackson Carlaw.

“It simply isn’t tenable for East Renfrewshire Tory candidate Paul Masterton to maintain silence on this.

Will Mr Cook play any part in his campaign? Will he refuse to take any funds from Mr Cook or anyone who has received money from Mr Cook?

Will Mr Masterton make a statement about what he knew and when about these extraordinary allegations?

This affair now risks tainting the Tory campaign to win the East Renfrewshire seat.
An SNP spokesperson said:

“These are deeply concerning allegations.

Just as concerning are the apparent links to the highest levels of the Scottish Tory party.

Ruth Davidson must clarify what links she has with Mr Cook, and whether her party has helped itself to money from the same murky sources.”

Richard Cook



5 March 2017: Business leaders ‘ready to donate six-figure sums to save UK’ in second Scottish referendum

Business leaders are ready to donate more money to fight Scottish independence in a second referendum than they did in 2014 and several have already promised six-figure sums, a controversial campaign group has said.

Richard Cook, who chairs the pro-Union Constitutional Research Council (CRC), said “several” wealthy backers are prepared to hand over major sums to “a new and positive campaign” to keep the UK together.

Cook broke his silence following claims CRC funnelled money from unknown sources to the Democratic Unionist Party to fund its Brexit campaign.

The £425,000 donation was not only used in Northern Ireland, but across the UK, for press advertisements.

It also emerged that the group was ready to bankroll opposition to independence if, as appears likely, Ms Sturgeon demands a second referendum.





Calton-jocks exposure of the right wing young conservative movement led by Richard Cook






Stirling Candidate For Westminster – Stephen Kerr – First Counsellor – The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. What Takes Priority When the Head of Spiritual Organisation Decides to Take On A Political Role As An MP?





Politics or Church What Takes Priority When the head of Spiritual Organisation decides to Take on a political Role

Westminster 2017 GE Tory Party candidate for Stirling Stephen Kerr, is passionate about the need for a more honest approach to politics.

He believes that principle-centred leadership would do much to restore popular trust in the political process.

Stephen has another calling as First Counsellor, Scotland/Ireland Mission Presidency – The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

An observer might wonder that Stephen supports and actively promotes the aims, aspirations and society norms of a party whose values are so much at odds with his beliefs.

But it takes all sorts I suppose.





The Family

The First Presidency and Council of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints – A Proclamation to the World

We, the First Presidency and the Council of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, solemnly proclaim that marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God and that the family is central to the Creator’s plan for the eternal destiny of His children.

All human beings—male and female—are created in the image of God.

Each is a beloved spirit son or daughter of heavenly parents, and, as such, each has a divine nature and destiny.

Gender is an essential characteristic of individual pre-mortal, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose.

In the pre-mortal realm, spirit sons and daughters knew and worshipped God as their Eternal Father and accepted His plan by which His children could obtain a physical body and gain earthly experience to progress toward perfection and ultimately realize their divine destiny as heirs of eternal life.

The divine plan of happiness enables family relationships to be perpetuated beyond the grave.

Sacred ordinances and covenants available in holy temples make it possible for individuals to return to the presence of God and for families to be united eternally.

The first commandment that God gave to Adam and Eve pertained to their potential for parenthood as husband and wife.

We declare that God’s commandment for His children to multiply and replenish the earth remains in force.

We further declare that God has commanded that the sacred powers of procreation are to be employed only between man and woman, lawfully wedded as husband and wife.

We declare the means by which mortal life is created to be divinely appointed.

We affirm the sanctity of life and of its importance in God’s eternal plan.

Husband and wife have a solemn responsibility to love and care for each other and for their children.

“Children are an heritage of the Lord” (Psalm 127:3).

Parents have a sacred duty to rear their children in love and righteousness, to provide for their physical and spiritual needs, and to teach them to love and serve one another, observe the commandments of God, and be law-abiding citizens wherever they live.

Husbands and wives—mothers and fathers—will be held accountable before God for the discharge of these obligations.

The family is ordained of God.

Marriage between man and woman is essential to His eternal plan.

Children are entitled to birth within the bonds of matrimony, and to be reared by a father and a mother who honour marital vows with complete fidelity.

Happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Successful marriages and families are established and maintained on principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreational activities.

By divine design, fathers are to preside over their families in love and righteousness and are responsible to provide the necessities of life and protection for their families.

Mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children.

In these sacred responsibilities, fathers and mothers are obligated to help one another as equal partners.

Disability, death, or other circumstances may necessitate individual adaptation.

Extended families should lend support when needed.

We warn that individuals who violate covenants of chastity, who abuse spouse or offspring, or who fail to fulfil family responsibilities will one day stand accountable before God.

Further, we warn that the disintegration of the family will bring upon individuals, communities, and nations the calamities foretold by ancient and modern prophets.

We call upon responsible citizens and officers of government everywhere to promote those measures designed to maintain and strengthen the family as the fundamental unit of society.




Election Hustings – Arbroath – Angus – Ms Hair Admitted She Could Not Bring Forward a Party Manifesto For Discussion Of Policies Since There Were None – She Only Wanted To Discuss The Referendum. That’s it Folks – The Tory One Trick Party Seeks to Con the Voters of Angus









2 Jun 2017: A Report On the Angus General Election Hustings at Arbroath

Tempers flared in Angus as the second evening of The Courier’s hustings events took place.

The audience packed into St Andrew’s Church in Arbroath to pose questions to candidates for the four main political parties – Mike Weir, defending the seat for the SNP, Conservative Kirstene Hair, Labour’s William Campbell and Clive Sneddon of the Liberal Democrats.

The SNP were attacked over their handling of farming subsidies, a subject that dominated a large part of proceedings in the largely rural area.

One member of the public said that 50% of Scottish farms are unprofitable without EU payments, and challenged the panel to ensure continued subsidies.

Ms Hair said: “The Scottish Conservatives have confirmed that cash payments to farmers will be secured to the end of this parliament and the SNP latched on to that policy Fergus Ewing agreed with it yesterday that they have that security.

It’s obviously a devolved issue and not really a matter for discussion here but the Scottish Conservatives have a good team of MSPs in our Scottish Parliament with farming backgrounds and that’s really important because they understand rural issues.

That’s simply something we don’t have from the SNP, and that was shown with the CAP payment shambles where a lot of farmers are still waiting on payments from that system.

There was a £178 million paid out for the IT system which didn’t work and was 75% over budget.

In terms of post-Brexit I think it’s really important because there’s a number of areas of EU regulation that stifle farming and doesn’t allow farmers to do what they want to be doing – and that is being out working the land.”

Mr Weir hit back: “There is absolutely no certainty that once we leave the European Union whether the funds would still come to Scotland or whether it would be taken back to London and there would be a UK-wide system.

That is a worry because if a UK-wide system works in the same way other UK-wide systems work then we’d end up with less funding for Scottish agriculture than we do at the moment.”
But Ms Hair made false claims seeking to credit her party with something they had no part in.

The Scottish Conservatives secured nothing until the end of 2020 – The fact is that there will be major changes in farming subsidies world wide in 2020.

The Common Market Farming policy is scheduled for a major shake up, from 2020, as a direct result of the UK withdrawal from the EC and the culmination of discussions with World Trade countries including; Russia, China, South Africa, Brazil, India, New Zealand, Canada, Australia and a host of developing countries, for European negotiators to set a firm date for ending farm subsidies that effectively lock poor farmers around the globe out of profitable markets.







A member of the public asked for an explanation as to why farmers were still waiting on subsidy payments, despite a new computer system.

Mr Weir earned cries of derision after admitting he did not have an answer, saying: “I’ve not been involved in that, so I can’t explain the ins and outs of that. I’m a member of the Westminster Parliament.

I haven’t been involved in that, but the fact a computer system doesn’t work, I’m afraid in government that isn’t unusual.

The Westminster Government has had some pretty spectacular computer failures, with computer systems that have to be scrapped.”

The Questioner, a local farmer quipped: “I wonder if that’s the beginning of what we are going to hear from time to time tonight that Mike Weir isn’t defending the Scottish Government.

I think it’s probably quite useful for him to be able to draw that line.

If only Nicola Sturgeon was keeping out of the Westminster election I would be very much happier.”

He added: “It’s simply not good enough to say the computer’s not working, the answer is the computer’s not been programmed properly but the people who are responsible for making sure that folk get the money they need are still responsible for making sure people get the money they need.”

Ms Hair added: “It’s a typical SNP answer when they don’t take responsibility when they are wrong, or hold their hands up.

It was a complete waste of taxpayers’ money.

It’s a complete disrespect to the rural economy, which is very important to Angus, and I think its a bit of an insult for Mike Weir, who represents such a rural constituency, not to understand a system that is so important to them.”







Miss Hair and the farmer questioner were disingenuous, highlighting a failing in the introduction of IT systems which contributed to excessive delays in payments being made to farmers.

Whilst this is correct and there can be no excuse for poor performance it is not the full story and voters need to be made aware of this.

Until this year farm subsidy payments were controlled through Westminster.

At no time in any previous year were payments made on time and central government perhaps exhausted by the many complaints, by farmers and landowners decided to delegate the payments regime to each of the constituent countries of the UK.

As is often the case little advance warning was given and there was an absence of implementation advice.

It was for each government to introduce new systems and make the required payments to farmers and landowners.

Complications arose at the start, created by a much changed qualification requirement and many new claimants being added to the database which had not been updated prior to transfer from Westminster to Edinburgh.

To conclude, no country in the union made the agreed payments deadline and to fixate on the Scottish government is unfair. There are also additional factors to give thought to:
Fact 1: The UK rates 19th. in the EU, with an allowance of £224 per hectare per annum (Germany £302, France £287)
Fact 2: The Westminster government sub-allocates Scottish Farmers £125-£135 per hectare per annum
Fact 3: In 2016 the EU recognised that Scotland was greatly underfunded and provided new money (Convergence Uplift) to be directly allocated to Scotland.

Fact 4: The Westminster government hijacked the finance and indicated Scots would need to get the begging bowl out and prove the need in each case.








The full story: Subsidy Payments to Farmers in Scotland – Convergence Uplift

A major row has broken out over the distribution of subsidies specifically allocated by the EU for the farming sector in Scotland.

The Tory government, took control of the new finance and announced that any payments from the new funds would be made through the common agricultural policy (CAP) and would be applied UK wide.

The government’s decision means that farmers in England, Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland will receive the same proportion of the CAP budget over the lifetime of the present agreement.

Scottish government ministers and the NFU in Scotland claimed farmers north of the border would be deprived of hundreds of millions of euros in “convergence uplift” subsidies that were “rightfully theirs”, adding that the only reason the UK qualified for the uplift was because of Scotland’s low payments under the current system.

Rural Affairs Secretary Richard Lochhead described Westminster’s decision to share out Scotland’s money across the UK as “a disgrace.”

He added: “I do not know how UK ministers will be able to look Scottish farmers in the eye after this outrageous decision that amounts to pocketing Scotland’s farm payments.

I am also aghast that Alistair Carmichael, can welcome the UK government’s decision to give Scotland the lowest farm payments in the whole of Europe and the UK.

If Scotland had been a member state in our own right during those negotiations, we would have benefited from a one billion euro uplift.

We have been denied that uplift and now we are even being denied up to 230 million euro uplift that the UK gets because of Scotland.”

NFU Scotland said farmers had been dealt “a bitter blow” by failing to win an immediate boost in European cash.

Scottish Conservative rural affairs spokesman Alex Ferguson said he was disappointed that all the extra convergence money did not go to Scotland.




Miss Hair




Ms Hair’s own man Boris Johnson added his own perception about the farming subsidy and referred to the government failures to meet payment deadlines:

There is another take on the payment subsidy system – Rural Payments Agency – Acres and acres of madness – and they call this reform

At the bottom of the garden we have a paddock, and on evenings like this I can think of no lovelier place on earth.

The buds have budded.

The trees are in leaf.

The lambs are making a racket.

The rabbits show a boldness that verges on insolence.

Everywhere I look I see nature transpiring at every pore with the green joy of photosynthesis.

I see the hawthorn blossom, rolling for miles in great gun-smoke clouds.

I see the shade starting to lengthen from the old oak, and the lovely rickety fence, on which I sometimes balance champagne bottles and shoot them off with an airgun, and I lie down on the springy grass and look up at the pale moon in the blue sky and I breathe a sigh of deep and unchallengeable contentment.

Sometimes, you know, I just can’t believe my luck.

Because it turns out that I am not only the possessor of a magnificent paddock.

I am a farmer. Yes, folks, I am a Tibullan agricola.

I am Marie-Antoinette.

I have managed to hitch my wagon to the gravy train of the CAP and clamp my jaws about the hind teat of Defra.

By virtue of possessing 0.3 hectares of grass, excluding the dilapidated outside privy, I am apparently eligible for subsidy!

You think I am mad; but read the 98-page booklet provided by the Rural Payments Agency and you will find your lungs tightening and your lips blibbering into a pant-hoot of pure amazement at the insanity of our masters.

The government – Brussels – the taxpayer – whoever – is seriously going to pay me 10 euros a year merely for being the owner of this blissful patch of grass and rabbits.

I don’t have to farm it, in any meaningful sense.

I don’t even have to graze a pony, though I could.

I can use it for clay pigeons.

I can use it for hot-air ballooning, it says here in the pamphlet.

I can organise motocross events or nature trails across the paddock.

Provided I don’t do it for more than 28 days a year, I can even have car-boot sales.

I can invite Billy Smart’s circus to pitch their big top in the paddock, or I can let it out as a location for television.

Year after year, the cheque will come in from Brussels via Defra, 10 princely euros, as a thank you to me and my family for doing – well, for doing absolutely nothing except luxuriating in the existence of this paddock.

Weeping with laughter, I decide to ring the Rural Payments Agency to find out if I can possibly have read this right.

Yes, they say, it sounds like you qualify.

Yes, they say, there are plenty of people who have been given subsidy entitlements for having pony paddocks, just like the one you describe.

Yes, it is OK to mow it.

Yes, it is acceptable to use the land for having barbecues, playing rounders or nude sunbathing.

Yes, says the Rural Payments Agency, you can have a pony paddock and attract the subsidy, without going to the trouble of having a pony.

Yes, says the agency (now with a tremor of exhaustion in its voice), you are right in thinking that you are getting the money for nothing at all except keeping the land in “good environmental condition”.

Fantastic! I say. Where do I send the form?

And it is only then, of course, that I discover the catch.

My paddock qualifies in every respect.

This beautiful, if tiny, corner of Oxfordshire is entitled to all the dignity that goes with being a CAP-funded estate – except that, like a complete fool, I missed the deadline, in May 2005, for registering my claim.

Through sheer stupidity, I failed to grasp that last year the government changed the basis on which agricultural subsidy is to be paid.

Under the reforms of the CAP, farmers are no longer rewarded for growing barley or rearing suckler cows.

It is the end of paying Greeks for growing acres of fictitious olives.

Under the brilliant new single farm payment, the Greeks and the rest of us are to be rewarded simply for having grown acres of fictitious olives in the past.

You no longer need even to pretend to grow the olives; you simply have to show that you have title to the land and that you are keeping it in good nick, olives or no olives; and that is why the pony paddocks of England are now accompanied by EU subsidy.

If I missed the deadline, there were thousands of paddock-owners who were quicker off the mark, who whanged those forms into the Rural Payments Agency – and who caused the monumental chaos with which you will be familiar.

Across Britain there are farming families who have been driven deep into debt, and farmers who have contemplated suicide, because of the government’s disastrous failure to send out the single farm payments.

They were told they could expect the payment in December; then it was February; then March; and when, by mid-March, the Farming minister was forced to come to the Commons and apologise, it was obvious that the system was in meltdown.

And the reason it was in meltdown was at least partly because no one had predicted that the number of subsidy claimants would rise – from 80,000 to 120,000 – as the paddock-owners, the raspberry-growers, the filbert-growers and the possessors of 0.3-hectare marrow patches piled in to register their land.

And, of course, there will be some optimists who point out that the expense can’t be overwhelming, not at 10 euros a paddock.

But if you look at the Rural Payments Agency booklet, you will see how ever more of our countryside is now being sucked into a bureaucratic vortex of madness.

If you claim a subsidy for your orchard (as you may), you have to prove that your trees are 10 metres apart and that the trunks are one metre in circumference; and if you have more than 50 trees a hectare, you’ve got to prove to the inspector that the bases of the trees have previously been nibbled by sheep.

You can grow cucumbers, cabbages and cauliflowers, but not strawberries or mint!

Think of the new legions of bureaucrats being created, who will have to check whether or not you are running your subsidised nudist colony for more than 28 days.

Forty thousand new dependants have been created!

Untold acres are now under new and pointless subsidy!

And they call this reform?



Meeting in Arbroath




A Journalist Summarised the Meeting

If the hustings at St Andrew’s Church, Arbroath, had an anger meter last night, it would have looked like any graphs with ups and downs until the end.

Then it shot off the scale, with participants still yelling their fury even after the night’s chairman, The Courier’s editor Richard Neville, called time on proceedings.

Obviously the good people of Arbroath had been gradually building up a head of steam.

It began quietly enough, with the candidates chatting politely as they waited for the audience to file in.

But when show-time began, the gloves were quickly off, with the civility between candidates quickly evaporating.
While the SNP’s Mike Weir, defending the seat, may be the favourite, he couldn’t have felt like a shoo-in last night during awkward questions about the Scottish Government’s expensive lemon – the flawed £180 million IT system that failed to provide the vital support to farmers it was supposed to.

Agriculture, and the computer system failure, proved a hot-button issue.

Mr Weir’s response – that he was not an IT expert – did not wash.

He may have had moments of seeing his 11,230 majority look a bit less of a sure thing.

He did manage to recover lost ground when it came to denouncing the controversial Tory “rape clause”, though, something a feisty Kirstene Hair for the Conservatives tried and failed to explain in a manner that made it palatable.

As the audience relaxed, so their derision levels rose, with Mr Weir and Ms Hair coming in for the most laughter – and not in a kind way – but also often the most applause.

But really, although they were cross about education under an SNP government and not so happy about Brexit uncertainty and Scotland’s future, the head of steam finally exploded when Kirstene Hair mentioned Scottish independence as being the real issue.

Then they really started shouting.

Ms Hair gave the game away at the end of the meeting.

The Tory Party is devoid of any policies relevant to the needs of Scots.

It is a one trick pony seeking to gain the votes of anyone who might be opposed to independence.

Surely Scots are not so gullible as to fall for Ruth Davidson’s tactical ploys.




Racism and Handicapism – Learned Behaviours Unacceptable in Society – Yet Still Embraced By Some Politicians and Their Offspring – Is This One – If Affirmative – Who is It?









Learned Behaviour

The capacity for humans to learn is infinite.

The teaching programme begins at childhood within the family and never stops.

On reaching adulthood the conduct of an individual in private or in public is reflected in their lifestyle of choice.








This programming is termed “learned behaviour.”

Unacceptable behaviour traits can cause great offence and this in turn often results in the individual being ostracised from society.

But there is good news the human has the capacity to unlearn unacceptable behaviours.

Although this might require professional intervention if the problems are deep seated.

This article comprises a number of Facebook entries posted by an individual.

They are produced here so that opinions may be garnered as to whether the content of the posts constitutes acceptable or unacceptable behaviour

I am able to reveal that the person concerned is closely related to a prominent politician. Would that be Tory, Labour, SNP, Green or UKIP??








Facebook Posts – Thoughts of a Youth – Is this learned behaviour?

Springburn: 28 Feb: Lyin in bed with a cuppa and a fag, unemployment’s great!

Springburn: 01 March: private school punters have life so easy. earywiggin on the train n cunts are talking about family ski trips? a thought that was only in movies.

Springburn: 01 March: ye step off the number 12 smelling like a spice rack. honestly Negroes everywhere.

Springburn: 08 March: A like ma women like a ma coffee…Hot, wet and not black.

Springburn: 24 March: My grandad just showed me his wee bail paper or something from BarL in 1966. DANG hooligan a tell ye!!!








More Facebook Posts – Same Youth Mocks the Disabled by Adding the Faces of Friends to Photographs of Truly Disabled persons – Is This Learned Behaviour



Sponsor R

Sponsor R*****



Springburn: 01 June: Please Sponser R***** for only £1.50 a month as she wants the ability to walk after a horrific dolphin accident left her strapped to a plastic chair at the age of 16!

Springburn: 13 June: Ross I really think ye should take this offffff?        nah !!




Sponsor N

sponsor N****



Springburn: 13 June: Sponsor N***** for only £2 a month. Help her live her dreams of going to the Moon.


Sponsor S




Springburn: 13 June: Sponsor S***** for only £2 a month and allow her to live her life-long dream of being a Paralympian.





Sponsor A



Springburn: 19 June: Sponsor A***** for £3.55 a month after she was rushed to hospital after a earthquake hit her home-town and left her looking like Stephen hawking. Thanks.




Sponsor G

Sponsor G*****



Springburn: 18 June: Sponsor G***** for a easy £3 a month he was left in a wheelchair after a go cart incident broke his anus pipe and he was no longer able to walk.




Wow!!! Hows This For An Exclusive? – Nurse Claire Austin – The Disgraceful BBC Ambush Of Nicola Sturgeon – This Questions Credibility









Real victims of surrogacy; It is the children who will suffer most from the decisions of their ‘parents

They could have been daughters of an Italian businessman, or of a working-class woman from the Midlands.

But the fate of Danielle and Emma will be to grow up with a lesbian showbiz couple from Hollywood for parents.

Their tale is shocking and distressing.

Miss Claire Austin, the surrogate mother who gave birth to them, says they have no real parents.

But in one sense they have four sets of parents – only one of which they will probably ever know.

First there are their genetic parents – the anonymous English woman who donated eggs and the American man who provided the sperm.

The father was a donor at an American sperm bank.

Nothing is known about the mother, except that Miss Austin has hinted she knows her, and would like one day for the children to know who she is.

Then there is the second set of parents.

An Italian businessman and his Portuguese wife who asked Mrs Austin to provide them with a child.

They already had a son and a daughter – both the result of surrogate births.

It is only because of them that the twins were ever conceived.

Yet upon hearing they were set to receive two more girls, they backed out of the deal and demanded an abortion take place.

Although they had no genetic link with the children, Miss Austin felt influenced enough by their views that she initially lied to them, claiming the pregnancy had been terminated when it had not.

The third potential parents were Miss Austin and her partner.

Under English law, the woman who gives birth to a child is the legal mother, whatever the circumstances.

If she is married, her husband is the father even if he had nothing to do with bringing it into the world.





But Miss Austin felt unable to cope with the babies in addition to the two daughters she already has.

She now says she regrets it, but she desperately sought out an adoption agency to take the children off her hands.

She used the Internet to search abroad, fearing that if she told anyone in this country about her situation the children would be taken away by social services.

But even in highly liberal America states such as California, no one would touch her except agencies such as Growing Generations, which specialise in ‘unconventional parents.’

Then the fourth set of parents came on the scene – Tracey Stern, aged 40, a scriptwriter on hit series such as ER and Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and her partner Julia Salazar, aged 43.

Miss Austin flew to Los Angeles, with her partner and her two children.

Within 24 hours of arriving, she fell and was rushed to Cedars Sinai hospital where she was diagnosed with pre-eclampsia.

Although her condition was stabilised, she was to stay in hospital until the children were born.

And this appears to be the root of her feud with Miss Stern and Miss Salazar.

She says they agreed to pay her hospital fees in the event her medical insurance refused – but have gone back on their word, leaving her with a pounds 25,000 bill she cannot afford.

Miss Austin claims the pair who finally adopted the babies were unsympathetic to her suffering, ungrateful she provided them with children and unwilling to allow her any contact with them.

Hence the decision to air her grievances in public.

She said: ‘In time these two little girls are going to want to know the truth about their parentage and, sadly, Tracey and Julia might not be in a position to offer much information.

I am the only person who knows the identity of the egg donor, their genetic mother.

‘As their birth mother, I am also the person who had the most to do with bringing them into this world.

I hope Tracey and Julia realise that, for the sake of their children, they should stay in contact.

‘I often wonder whether I should have tried to keep the babies.

I would have managed somehow and maybe it would have been better for them in the long run.’

She also says she now believes commercial surrogacy should be abolished.

She said: ‘My views on commercial surrogacy have changed dramatically.

Most couples view their surrogate as a commodity, to be discarded as soon as they have their precious baby.’

In fact, making a profit from surrogacy is already supposedly illegal in this country. Couples ‘commissioning’ babies should pay the mother giving birth no more than her costs.

The twist is that this includes loss of potential earnings while she is unable to work during pregnancy.

The total fee can be up to pounds 15,000.






And this not the first time Miss Austin’s attempts to help others have ended in turmoil.

In 1992 she gave birth to Matthew, who was biologically her son after she artificially inseminated herself with the father’s sperm.

The father and his wife took out a court order preventing Miss Austin from seeing him.

She says she still misses him.

Then she became pregnant for another couple with a boy who was found to have Downs syndrome.

She agreed to the parents’ request to abort him.





In 1995, to exorcise the pain, she was a surrogate mother again for a Greek couple.

This has been her one complete success and she stays in touch with the daughter, Celine.

But bolstered by this, she decided to try one more time – with disastrous results.

For those who oppose surrogacy, it provides the final proof it should be outlawed.

Prof Jack Scarisbrick, of pro-family and anti-abortion group Life said: ‘This is one of the most horrific stories I have ever heard.

It shows how abominable the practice of surrogacy is and I wish the Government would ban it.

‘The real victims are the children who were rejected by the parents who commissioned them, will never know who their genetic parents are and whose so-called parents now are two lesbians.

They will grow up to be psychotic.

The Rev Robert Ellis, Anglican spokesman for the diocese of Lichfield, said: ‘This case highlights some of the many problems surrounding surrogacy that society has got to grapple with.’

Mrs Heidi Birch, Director of Nursing at Midland Fertility Services, said: ‘This is a very unusual set of circumstances.

In this country the child must have genetic material from either the mother or father of the commissioning parents.

It would seem Miss Austin used a Greek clinic in order to get round this.’

The clinic has been involved in five surrogate pregnancies, of which two resulted in births.

Mrs Birch said: ‘We ensure both the surrogate mother and commissioning mothers have discussed what will happen in various circumstances, such as the child having a disability or being an unwanted sex.

But it seems nothing like that has happened in this case.’…-a061931625

First published in the Birmingham Post 8 May 2000





Nurse Claire Austin

The recent BBC television stage managed ambush on the First Minister by the Nurse, Claire Austin ended up providing the press with a day of blood letting.

Unfortunately there was no BBC blood spilt but the Nurse was hung out to dry. Was her trust in the BBC misplaced or did the cybernats overplay their hand? Evidence indicates the former.

But uninformed opinion often contributes to poor judgement and in this respect much mischief was made by her critics of her claims of hardship and food bank assistance.

The absence of fact caused  me concern and I considered it would be useful to nail the lie and put this matter to bed.Judge for yourself.





Clifton Hall Valued at £1.2million +





Ian Austin, Company Director: Date of Birth: February 1965. Companies:

Director: Appointed on: 15 October 2003. Active: Melle Mac Ltd: Correspondence address: Clifton Hall, Clifton, Derbyshire

Director: Appointed on: 17 March 2016. Active: Charles Martin Watch Company Ltd: Correspondence address: 9 Market Place, Uttoxeter, Staffordshire.

Director: Appointed on: 5 December 2014. Active: Meynell Developments Ltd: Correspondence address: Clifton Hall, Clifton, Derbyshire.










Business Profile:

The Austin family have participated in the business community in Staffordshire for many years.

Ian maintained the tradition having been a Director in a number of companies.

He is presently involved in property development through Meyell ltd.

The company correspondence address, Clifton Hall, Clifton was recently valued at £1.2million confirming that real estate is financially rewarding.










Marital Status:

Married: 1985, Claire Judith Austin (Nee Chambers) b.1966 Lichfield.

Children: 5? (4 girls & 1 boy)

She claimed in a recent statement that she was not married which might mean that she is divorced.











Marital Status at 2017:

It appears she separated from her husband around 2006 and relocated to Scotland with her youngest daughter aged 8y her status is recorded on Facebook as single.

In Scotland she enrolled at Napier College and gained a nursing degree, 2006-2009.

She then took up employment with Lothian Health Board, specialising in emergency trauma care, 2010-2017.












There is no evidence of any political activism before the recent television debacle.










Her generalised claims of hardship might relate to the period 2006-2009, when she attended Napier College, as a single mother, probably on benefits support.

But a Labour government was in control throughout that period and any financial difficulties would have been resolved by her subsequent employment, from 2010.

In any event the Tory government retained full control of the welfare state and associated benefits, from 2010-2017, with only very limited powers, (not directly attributable to the matters raised by Claire, in discussion with the first minister) being transferred to the Scottish Government in 2016.

Referring to the subject of the imposition of a pay cap on NHS staff Nicola Sturgeon supported Claire’s argument but explained that the Pay Cap had been imposed in the UK nationally and this was reflected in the financial allocation to Scotland by the UK Treasury.

An independent Scotland would be able to set pay awards without reference to Westminster.

In conclusion, many Scots, who viewed the programme were left, yet again feeling betrayed by the BBC who had clearly invited Claire to the show, with malice aforethought being fully cognizant with the inflammatory but entirely rebuttal content of her questions.








Commentary by Derek Bateman

a nurse – complained to Nicola Sturgeon about her wages. She couldn’t manage on them and used food banks, she claimed.

Cue uncomfortable questions for the FM and, of course, a media establishment loving it.

Over in the Spin Room – God, but it’s tiresome and derivative, isn’t it? – The Daily Labour’s David Clegg couldn’t hide his delight.

‘The nurse is the story’, he announced proudly. I immediately recognised the syndrome – the hound chases the rabbit without noticing the juicy steak in his bowl.

The story is whatever hurts the Nats and nurses confronting the leader is it and…and…food banks! Jings! Even the spoon-fed hacks couldn’t miss this.

It fitted their narrative, the one they’ve pursued for a decade and more now – the SNP gloss is losing its sheen.

But what stood out for me from the exchanges was something entirely different. It was the message that nurses in Scotland are paid more than nurses in any other part of the UK.

It was a chance to point out that when put on the spot with a tough choice in difficult circumstances, the SNP deliver.

An independent review body decides how much nurses should be paid and the Scottish government didn’t hesitate. It paid up.

There was no doctors’ strike in Scotland for the same reason.

In what they call Band 5 a nurse can be £300 better off than in England.

The latest deal gives anyone below £22,000 a minimum rise of £400 and entry level pay for staff is £880 higher than England.

Now it ain’t easy and Sturgeon wasn’t hiding from the effect on budgets of austerity, quoting her own sister’s views as a nurse.

But, ask a non-aligned member of the public if they recognise the dilemma for a government of reducing budgets which have to be balanced.

Ask if they think it reasonable to allow independent analysis to suggest an appropriate level of pay.

Ask if it seems reasonable that Scots nurses get a better deal.

Ask who you imagine would pay more if it were possible – Sturgeon or Theresa May.