Scottish Devolution Threatens the Union and Will be Dismantled Post Brexit – The Mechanisms of Westminster Are Ready and the Strategy Decided – Read this Carefully

 

 

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The UK National Security Council

Established on 12 May 2010 by Prime Minister David Cameron, the (NSC) of the United Kingdom is a Cabinet Committee tasked with overseeing all issues related to national security, intelligence coordination, and defence strategy.

At a stroke it increased the power of the Prime Minister, who chairs the Council, and brought senior Cabinet ministers into national security policymaking, giving them access to the highest levels of intelligence.

From 1 April 2015, the council oversees a newly created Conflict, Stability and Security Fund, (CSSF) financed with more than £1 billion annually for tackling conflict and instability.

 

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Secretary of the UK National Security Council

Mark Sedwill, (a very senior spook). Former Director General at the Foreign Office then Permanent Secretary at the Home Office was appointed by then PM, Mrs May (from a shortlist of one) in 2015, to the post of Cabinet Secretary, after the death of the previous office holder.

As Cabinet Secretary, he is the Government’s most senior adviser on strategy, policy and implementation.

He is Secretary to the Cabinet and the National Security Council, responsible only to the Prime Minister and Cabinet for the propriety and effectiveness of Cabinet governance.

As Head of the UK Civil Service, he leads over 400,000 civil servants in HM Government and the Devolved Administrations, over 90% of whom are involved in the delivery of public services to the citizens of the UK.

 

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UK National Intelligence

Headquartered in Whitehall, City of Westminster, London the intelligence agencies are at the heart of the national intelligence machinery

The national intelligence machinery has the three Intelligence and Security Agencies, SIS, GCHQ and MI5 at its heart, with important work also carried out by Defence Intelligence and the Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre.

 

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The Joint Intelligence Committee (JIC)

the (JIC), operates within the Cabinet Office and is responsible for assessments and intelligence briefings that look at both tactical and strategic issues of importance to national interests, primarily in the fields of security, defence and foreign affairs.

The JIC’s permanent members are senior officials from the Cabinet Office, including the JIC Chairman, the Chief of the Assessments Staff and the National Security Advisor, as well as officials from the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, the Ministry of Defence, the Home Office, the Department for International Development, HM Treasury and the agency heads.

The JIC also feeds their assessments into the NSC which is the main forum for the collective discussion of the government’s objectives for national security, in which a range of relevant departments participates.

It is charged with examining more specific national security areas and overseeing and coordinating all aspects of Britain’s security.

The Prime Minister is advised by the head of the NSC secretariat, the National Security Adviser, who is responsible for coordinating and delivering the government’s international security agenda.

 

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The UK Stabilisation Unit

formed by the Labour government in 2003 it provided a 1,000-strong civilian force ensuring greatly increased capacity for planning and rapid reaction. Deployment of military reservists in a civilian capacity and police deployments was also in place.

The unit’s remit was expanded in 2015, to include crisis response and conflict prevention and control of it was transferred to the UK National Security Council. The unit, located in Whitehall is funded (£1 billion annually) by the Conflict, Stabilisation and Security Fund.

It is now a much enlarged and powerful cross-government team tasked with ensuring all departments of government have unfettered access to specialist support and resources when dealing with some of the trickiest policy challenges.

 

 

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Andrew Dunlop

The quiet man of UK politics. He has been closely associated with the Conservative Party for most of his adult life. He was a special adviser to the Defence Secretary (1986 – 88) and a member of Margaret Thatcher’s Policy Unit (1988 – 1990).

The demise of Thatcher brought his budding career to a halt and he moved away from active politics to found and develop his own strategic communications consultancy business. Over 20 years later he sold the business, for a very tidy sum of money, to the Brussels-based Interel Group (lobbyists).

The return to power of the Tory Party in 2010 sparked his interest in politics once again and he linked up with his friend and former colleague David Cameron, in his former role of special advisor, (2012 to 2015), with specific responsibility as the principal adviser on Scotland and devolution to the Prime Minister and Chancellor of the Exchequer.

He was elevated to the House of Lords in 2015 which allowed Cameron to take him into government where he served as a minister in the UK Government as Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Scotland and Northern Ireland between 2015 and 2017.

In the Lords, he is a member of the UK Constitution Committee and an Expert Member of the UK Civilian Stabilisation Group. Retaining contact with Scottish affairs he is currently a Board member of the Scottish Council for Development and Industry.

A supporter of Boris Johnson he is reputed to be formulating and implementing Tory government policies for Scotland. In this respect, he revealed his thinking in a speech he made in the course of a debate on the “possible effects of Brexit on the stability of the Union of the parts of the United Kingdom”. He said:

“Attention should be paid to the machinery of intergovernmental relations, which needs to be strengthened. We also need to look at the cross-UK synergies, weakened since devolution, which need to be reinvigorated. We need to pursue a decentralised, pan-UK strategy for rebalancing the economy, driven by city regions across the country. This means moving away from seeing everything through a four-nation prism. Many of the problems confronting Glasgow, for example, are similar to those of Manchester or Birmingham. They provide embryonic structures which can be built upon. There are two years until the next Holyrood elections. Strengthening our union must be an urgent priority whatever our post-Brexit future.”

 

A long read but a very enlightening one

https://caltonjock.com/2015/05/26/andrew-dunlop-the-murky-world-of-the-lobbyists-this-takes-a-bit-of-reading-but-all-the-inter-personal-links-are-included/

 

 

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Summary

This is the direction Boris Johnson is headed. So far as Scotland is concerned there will be no further independence referendums and devolution is to be rendered impotent being bypassed by UK government agencies working within Scotland but not responsible to the Scottish government.

The UK Stabilisation Unit is closely monitoring Scottish politics, events and personalities and has resources available to deal with any disruption or attempts at destabilisation of the UK.

 

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The Whitehall Civil Service Gained all the Plaudits of the Unionist Politicians for Illegally Scheming and Plotting Against Scottish Independence But Incurred the Wrath of Boris and his Bunch of Toerags When they Opposed Brexit – Boris Intends to Take it Apart and Today Another Mandrin Bites the Dust – Many will no Doubt Follow

 

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29 Feb 2020 – Home Office Boss quits over campaign against him

The top civil servant in the Home Office has resigned and said he intends to claim against the government for constructive dismissal.

Sir Philip Rutnam said there had been a “vicious and orchestrated” campaign against him in Home Secretary Priti Patel’s office.

Reported tensions between the pair included claims she mistreated officials – which she has denied.

Sir Philip, who has had a career spanning 33 years, said he received allegations that Ms Patel’s conduct towards employees included “shouting and swearing” and “belittling people”.

He said he believed his experience was “extreme” but part of a “wider pattern” in government.

Sir Mark Sedwill, cabinet secretary and head of the civil service, thanked Sir Philip for his “long and dedicated career of public service”.

Full Story here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-51687287

 

 

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December 2014: Westminster Civil Service, “Devolved Countries Unit”, (Dirty Tricks) campaign team wins “special” Cabinet Secretary and Head of the Civil Service Award

The three amigos who actually run the UK: Sir Jeremy Heywood, Sir Bob Kerslake and Sir Nicholas McPherson collaborated and plotted against Scotland marshalling the full resource of the civil service attacking the Scottish government and anyone in support of the “Yes” campaign.

In the months after the referendum, they expressed great satisfaction that their “Campaign of fear” had generated “fearties” in sufficient numbers so as to win the day for the Unionist coalition.

Any mention of the team members in the New Year honours list would be the ultimate kick in the teeth.

My understanding is that Civil Servants are obliged by their contract of employment to be strictly apolitical and deployment to duties such as described were forbidden.

But Sir Jeremy Heywood simply ignored the rules and instructed staff to ignore protocol:

Leaflets produced by HM Treasury and civil servants at the Scotland Office were also savagely criticised during the Scottish independence referendum.

A democratic political process in which the Whitehall civil service should not have been interfering. The behaviour of the Whitehall Civil Service will ultimately be seen to be greatly damaging to any concept of the supposed ‘apolitical’ claims of the UK civil service.

 

 

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Civil Service referendum Wreckers

 

 

An award, in recognition of the team’s outstanding achievement in making a difference on an issue of national significance, (the Referendum) was presented by the Cabinet Secretary and civil service head Sir Jeremy Heywood.

The proud team commented afterwards:

* Paul Doyle;

“This award is not just for the Treasury, it’s for all the hard work that was done by all government departments on the Scotland agenda. The reality was in all my experience of the civil service, I have never seen the civil service pull together in the way they did behind supporting the UK government in maintaining the United Kingdom. It was a very special event for all of us.”

* William MacFarlane;

Deputy Director at HM Treasury, (Budget and Tax Strategy): “As civil servants, you don’t get involved in politics. But for the first time in my life, suddenly we’re part of a political campaign. We were doing everything from the analysis to the advertising, to the communications. I just felt a massive sense of being part of the operation. This being recognised [at the Civil Service Awards], makes me feel just incredibly proud.”

* Shannon Cochrane:

“we’ve learned that it is possible for civil servants to work on things that are inherently political and quite difficult, and you’re very close to the line of what is appropriate, but it’s possible to find your way through and to make a difference.”

* Mario Pisani Deputy Director at HM Treasury, (Public Policy):

“In the Treasury, everyone hates you. We don’t get thanks for anything. This is one occasion where we’ve worked with the rest of Whitehall. We all had something in common, we’re trying to save the Union here, and it was close. We just kept it by the skin of our teeth. I actually cried when the result came in. After 10 years in the civil service, my proudest moment is tonight and receiving this award. As civil servants, you don’t get involved in politics. But, for the first time in my life, suddenly we’re part of a political campaign. We were doing everything from the analysis to the advertising, to the communications. I just felt a massive sense of being part of the operation. This being recognised [at the Civil Service Awards], makes me feel just incredibly proud.”

 

 

 

 

My Comments

Any mention of the team members in the New Year honours list would be the ultimate kick in the teeth.

My understanding is that Civil Servants were obliged by their contract of employment to be strictly apolitical and deployment to duties such as described were forbidden. But Sir Jeremy Heywood simply ignored the rules and instructed staff to ignore protocol:

Leaflets produced by HM Treasury and civil servants at the Scotland Office were also savagely criticised during the Scottish independence referendum. A democratic political process in which the Whitehall civil service should not have been interfering.

The behaviour of the Whitehall Civil Service will ultimately be seen to be greatly damaging to any concept of the supposed ‘apolitical’ claims of the UK civil service.

Ann Doyle is quoted as saying: “This award is not just for the Treasury, its for all the hard work that was done by all government departments on the Scotland agenda. In the interests of transparency and democratic accountability would it not be essential to hear more from them.”

 

 

 

Public Comments

I expect they will enjoy spending their forty pieces of silver in London. They destroyed the hopes and aspirations of future generations to protect their jobs and to support the gentry. Shame on them! – No impartiality whatsoever.

For the first time in my life, suddenly we’re part of a political campaign So, not really evidence-based policymaking then?

So these are the ones we have to thank for how Scotland is now being treated, removing one of our safety lines Kinloss rescue for all the children who are below the poverty line and wondering what sort of Christmas the other people enjoy.

I hope they do not bask in the false praise of the Whitehall mandarins for long.

Now that Bitter Together has won the day Scottish pensioners will continue to be the lowest paid in Europe and heating bills will increase manyfold.

Faslane will be greatly expanded and the US will be invited back. (and they were)

Westminster politicians are keen on stating that the UK needs nuclear weapons. If this is the case they should be located near to where the civil servants who received the award live. Let them sit on the threat. Have a Merry Christmas I know loads of children that won’t.

 

 

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The Whitehall Civil Service and Brexit

The Whitehall Civil Service gets involved in politics tactically delaying Brexit and the Tory’s didn’t like it. But when they did the same thing in the 2014 Scottish referendum the same lot were praised, promoted and awarded top civil service awards

Sir Oliver Robbins was until September 2019, a senior British civil servant who served as the Prime Minister’s Europe Adviser and Chief Negotiator for Exiting the European Union from 2017 to 2019.

He previously served as the Permanent Secretary at the Department for Exiting the European Union from July 2016 to September 2017, and as the Prime Minister’s Advisor on Europe and Global Issues from June 2016 to July 2016.

In January 2014, Robbins was appointed Director-General, Civil Service at the Cabinet Office.

In September 2015, Robbins moved to the Home Office as Second Permanent Secretary alongside Mark Sedwill.

He had responsibility for immigration and free movement, as well as the borders, immigration and citizenship system.

In July 2016, Robbins was appointed the head of the European and Global Issues Secretariat, advising the Prime Minister on the EU and to oversee Britain’s exit from the European Union.

Shortly thereafter, the secretariat was moved out of the Cabinet Office to become a full department, the Department for Exiting the European Union, of which he became the permanent secretary.

In September 2017, Robbins moved from the Brexit department to become Prime Minister Theresa May’s personal Brexit advisor.

Robbins’s role in negotiating a deal for the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union led to some Conservative MPs blaming him for an anti-Brexit “establishment plot”, criticising him as “secretive” and comparing him to Grigori Rasputin.

Acting Cabinet Secretary Mark Sedwill sent a letter to The Times defending Robbins, highlighting that civil servants implement the decisions of elected governments.

Responding to Sedwill’s letter, Andrew Adonis said that civil servants should “start getting used to criticism”, as they had the option to work on other policies.

A group of former military and intelligence officials associated with pro-Brexit pressure group Veterans for Britain including the former head of the Secret Intelligence Service Richard Dearlove said Robbins had “serious questions of improper conduct to answer” over defence and security co-operation between the UK and the EU after Brexit.

Former Department for Work and Pensions Permanent Secretary Leigh Lewis backed up Sedwill’s letter, noting the “occupational hazard for senior civil servants to be held responsible for the political decisions of ministers”, of which he considered the attacks on Robbins to be a blatant example in a particularly toxic environment.

Robbins resigned when Theresa May left office and took up the Heywood Fellowship at the Blavatnik School of Government in September 2019, after which he joined Goldman Sachs as a managing director in the bank’s investment banking division.

 

 

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Public comments

Robbins complicit in running secret parallel policy undermining his minister. Is that “impartial public service” or is it a civil service fighting a rearguard action against democratic decisions?

The problem is that significant numbers of your fellow citizens ‘know’ nothing of the sort; we no longer trust you. An investigation is required to determine whether the ‘service’ has worked in accordance with the codes of practice and in the national interest at all times.

What happens when the national interest and the ‘code’ are opposed?

At Oxford, Robbins was president of the Oxford Reform Club, a group promoting a federal European Union.

Maybe he is getting unfair criticism, but can you understand why? Is Robbins really the only civil servant without such a clear conflict?

The politicisation of the civil service has gone too far. Root and branch reform required. The senior civil service is no longer trusted. If civil servants are going to interfere in political decisions, undermining ministers, then they need to be properly held to account.

Doing one’s duty to the government is one thing. Doing one’s duty to the people of the country who pay your wages is a higher calling that far too many fail to achieve.

I’m staggered people can’t see that Robbins is an agent of the Commission. He is part of its internal political network. The civil service has all but been annexed by the Commission. May is an impotent messenger girl to keep Parliament from the truth of its almost total impotence.

Imagine getting this far and not noticing the scapegoating or realising that politicians made decisions that they couldn’t deliver. Nor that they are being played by them, not by civil servants trying to keep the rickety old Brexit cart on the road.

Problem is the Civil Servants have allowed their strongly held personal political Views to become public and influence their behaviour. They can’t complain that having entered the political kitchen they are experiencing its heat.

The government was elected on a manifesto to leave the SM and CU, notwithstanding the largest democratic mandate ever from the British people. Yet your kind always seems to manufacture obstacles to this end which aren’t there, which ultimately leave us dancing to the EU’s tune.

The crucial thing here is to remember that it is Theresa May who allowed this to happen. It is Mrs May who is ultimately responsible for this latest mess and the incredibly bad Chequers deal (capitulation) that Robbins, unchecked, has negotiated.

Robbins has been letting pro-EU tendencies shape our whole approach.

To negotiate with UK Services for 18mths, then simply phone to say you’ve changed tactics is not only incompetent, but it’s also arrogant.

That those tactics are wrong & you simply won’t be told? That’s something else.

I found myself listening to a civil servant at a private party. He was absolutely not impartial. In fact, it shocked me at how entrenched he and others (his words not mine) are about remaining. He had even moved jobs to not be involved.

When you’re not working, you’re one of us. When you’re working, you work for us. Don’t forget

Impartial? By what measure? You just made that up.

I’m sure they’re a great team – yet here we are with a Chequers deal that nobody else likes.

Worse still, the negotiations provide a clear & present threat to UK integrity & public faith in democracy.

I’m not sure ‘respect’ is quite the right word. ‘Sympathy’ might be closer. The moral dilemmas involved in attempting to deliver the impossible must be quite schizophrenogenic.

A dedicated and impartial public service. Oh, my word!

Surely, Mark, the time has now come to report May directly to the Commissioners for her ongoing attempts to damage the UK? Civil Servants are not allowed under your Charter to ruin Britain, but that is what May is now trying to do. Why not ask the Commissioners for a Ruling?‏

But we KNOW this not to be true? Robbins has a clear personal predisposition to the UK remaining far more closely tied to the EU than we, the people, voted for. This has led to our Government failing to implement our clear instruction to completely leave the EU.

No, that’s not what you voted for. Did you get a special, personal ballot? You voted to leave the EU. Nothing more.

Absolute nonsense. You’re just the Appeaser’s henchman who has set out to con the public since Day 1. You’ll all be shipped out once May is dumped though! Good riddance to bad rubbish.

Disturbing, and evidence that the civil service is far too ready to see itself as a separate power base within our constitution, whose leaders should defend it in public if they feel it has been attacked.

It needs root and branch reform.

Oh grow up, you & Robbins are certainly not above criticism-for once forget your precious egos,the future of the U.K. is infinitely more important.

Its the duty of civil servants to advise the PM her Chequers plan is insane.

Every hour of every day. Head of civil service told MPs e-border “we haven’t looked at that”.. what ! You are jesting right..

The phrase “only following orders” springs to mind. There is another option for civil servants. It’s a hard one, I realise, but they could always resign rather than help the government push the UK over a constitutional cliff with a dodgy mandate.

Lots of civil servants have resigned. They need to take on thousands more to cope with the extra work of Brexit.

Well said. I was never a huge fan of Olly personally but the vitriol being thrown at him and blaming him for this shower is unbelievable. If the Government wants to implement a bad policy the civil service are stuck with implementing it. Olly has all CS and former CS sympathy!

“Dedicated and impartial” but more highly paid than the prime minister with greater benefits, no accountability and then you receive a knighthood….. wastrels.

Civil servant? There are two dubious claims, just in the job title

That you post this spin just further underlines the concerns of the public. it isn’t necessarily your fault, but the perception amongst the public and even MPs is that Robbins has more pull than the DEXU secretary. Something that was evident under Davis and now Raab.

I support the civil service, currently being used by many in the UK as a scapegoat for every Brexit fantasy that has (obviously) been unable to come to fruition. Red lines need to be revised.

 

 

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Jackson Carlaw Promised to End the Unelected 20 Year Holyrood Career of Murdo Fraser – Confirmation the Gravy Train Has Been Derailed Expected Very Soon Jackson!!!!

 

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15 September 2011: Tory List MSPs will be forced to stand down

Long-serving Conservative MSPs will be forced to stand down from the Scottish Parliament at the next election if they fail to win a constituency seat, under a radical plan by a leadership candidate to introduce fresh blood into the party.

Jackson Carlaw told the Daily Telegraph they would only be able to serve three or four consecutive terms as list MSPs, who are elected using a complicated system of proportional representation to represent one of eight regions of Scotland.

Significantly, Carlaw said he would apply the change retrospectively, meaning a series of the party’s most high-profile figures would have to win a constituency at the next election or step aside if a three-term limit was imposed.

They include Murdo Fraser, who is serving his third full term as a Mid Scotland and Fife regional list MSP.

The change aims to address the situation whereby the same people are elected time and again, regardless of their performance, because rankings on the regional list are decided by loyal Conservative members.

Carlaw, whose candidacy has not been endorsed by any Tory MSPs, argued the change would be a far more effective method of reinvigorating the party than Fraser’s “superficial” plan to change its name.

“I was very impressed by what David Cameron did at Westminster to refresh the party,” he said. “I would ask the (party management) board to consider term limits of MSPs being elected three times or re-elected three times consecutively on the list.

“I realize that’s going to be unpopular with some, I realize it’s controversial, but I believe we have to substantially renew the face of its party, not its name. Leadership requires that you take tough decisions.”

Carlaw emphasized the new rules would apply to himself. The 52-year-old is serving his second term as a West Scotland list MSP having failed to win the Tory target seat of Eastwood in May.

The changes would apply in the 2016 election and he said he would be “happy” for them to be retrospective.

Only three MSPs of the 15-strong Conservative group at Holyrood have constituencies of their own, with the remainder relying on the regional list for their seats.

Some have used the system to win re-election since devolution started in 1999.

 

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Conservative 2016 2011 2007 2003 1999

Margaret Mitchell * * * *
Graham Simpson *
Alison Harris *
Adam Tomkins *
Annie Wells *
Ruth Davidson *
Douglas Ross *
Edward Mountain *
Donald Cameron *
Miles Briggs *
Gordon Lindhurst *
Jeremy Balfour *
Murdo Fraser * * * *
Liz Smith * * *
Alexander Stewart *
Dean Lockhart *
Alex Johnstone * * * * *
Ross Thomson *
Peter Chapman *
Liam Kerr *
Rachael Hamilton *
Brian Whittle *
Jamie Greene *
Maurice Golden *
Maurice Corry *
Jamie McGrigor * * * *
Mary Scanlon * * * *
David McLetchie * *
Gavin Brown * *
Annabel Goldie * * *
Jackson Carlaw * * *
Bill Aitken * * *
Ted Brocklebank * *
Nanette Milne * *
Derek Brownlee *
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton * *
Brian Monteith * *
David Davidson * *
Phil Gallie * *
David Mundell * *
Murray Tosh * *
Lyndsay McIntosh *
Mr Keith Harding *
Nick Johnston *
Ben Wallace *
Alex Fergusson *
John Young *

 

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The London Controlled Labour Party in Scotland Really is a Dead Parrot – Scotland Needs to Form Its Own Labour Party – Led By Alex Rowley – Fully Supporting Scottish Independence – No Time for Dithering – Get it Done Now

 

 

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The Labour Party in Scotland is a dead parrot

The disastrous result of the 2019 GE will most likely lead to civil war within the Labour Party in England, the fallout from which will spread rapidly to its branch office in Scotland where the Corbyn inspired leader, Richard Leonard and his policies were similarly rejected by the Scottish electorate.

The adoption, (chapter and verse) by the Scottish Branch office, of the extreme “left-wing” manifesto of the Westminster Labour Party, was firmly rejected by a Scottish electorate who wanted Brexit and Independence to be in the forefront of party political campaigning. The Labour Party in Scotland, “missed the bus” yet again.

The return to Westminster from Edinburgh South, of “Benito” Murray, MP, a confirmed Labour “right-wing “Blairite”, cannot construed as a beacon of light for the future of the Labour Party in Scotland given that the reason for his success is attributed to the affluence of the electorate of the community.

He is a voice in the wilderness within the Labour Party since he does not recognise or bend the knee to any politician in Scotland or for that matter any of his so-called colleagues at Westminster.

In his election campaign, Murray studiously avoided any association with the Labour Party preferring to sell himself to the electors as a politician of the centre-ground of politics, independent of mind and body from the Party he purported to represent.

The “Beast of Bolsover” is no more, (with the defeat of Denis Skinner) but true to form the Labour Party have found a ready replacement in little babyfaced “Benito”.

 

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Where Now for the Labour party in Scotland?

Alex Rowley is not an obvious choice, to take up the reins of leadership but he is an astute politician of conviction who has argued for many years for a fully autonomous Scottish Labour Party.

He is no Puppet and under his leadership, the Labour Party in Scotland would change its spots and become a Scottish Labour Party fully autonomous from Westminster.

 

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About Alex Rowley

Alex Rowley was born in Dunfermline and raised in Kelty. He attended Edinburgh University, graduating with an MA Honours in Sociology and Politics, and an MSc in continuing education.

He was also a local councillor with Fife Regional Council between 1990 – 2012 and was elected to the post of the first leader of the new Fife Council in 2012 and served the Council until his election to the Scottish Parliament in 2014.

He was also muted to be a strong contender for the office of First Minister of the recently formed Scottish parliament.

 

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Rowley Sacked by New Labour Party Bosses in London

He was elected to the post of General Secretary of the Labour Party in Scotland in May 1998 and held the post until May 1999 when after outlining his vision for the future growth of the party in Scotland he expressed a view that having modernised Scotland’s political institutions and introduced a Scottish Parliament, the party needed to change its structure including proposals giving the Labour Party in Scotland freedom from London control.

All hell broke loose and he was summoned to Millbank in London, where he was told the party had nowhere for him in its future planning.

He was then invited to resign from his post as General Secretary of the Scottish Labour party a decision which provoked great anger in Scotland.

Senior Labour sources in London denied that the general secretary of the Labour Party in Scotland had been sacked on the instructions of London-based officials.

They said that he had left the post of his own volition saying his task of helping the party win the Scottish Parliamentary elections had been completed and he wanted to move on to new challenges.

 

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Interviewed shortly afterwards ( through gritted teeth) Rowley said:

“After the election, there was a discussion about the future direction of the party. The “discussion” continued for a couple of weeks and I decided it was best for me to leave. I am not getting into a debate about this now, but there is a discussion for the Labour Party in Scotland to hold.

If you modernise the political institutions it is only natural to see how the party organisation has to change. You ask yourself if the party is still in line with the political institutions.  All I have ever said is that there needs to be a far greater discussion about that.

It would be inappropriate to go into detail but a number of factors were involved in my departure after only a year in the job. I think the party has to change quite a lot. We have to have a good look at this and also at how policy is made. There must be a real partnership in power in Scotland.

We have the Scottish Policy Forum and that can be seen as positive. But we also need to look at the membership and how it can have a greater say. I point to the fact that 30,000 members are not something to be proud of.

We need to increase party membership. I flagged this up at the Scottish conference and said that there should be a root and branch rethink about the party organisation in Scotland. But it became apparent in recent weeks and months that this was going to be difficult.

I won’t go into the reasons, but I decided it was in my best interests to leave. Now I have a number of things to consider and I have been having discussions with various people.  There are several options for me to consider. But in the meantime, I will be taking a well-earned rest.”

 

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Labour’s London Bosses confirm sacking of Scots party chief

The Labour Party in Scotland launched a month-long review of its structures yesterday after its dismissal of Alex Rowley, its general secretary in Scotland. The sacking provoked consternation in Scotland, where Labour is sensitive to claims that it is run from England.

There were suggestions Rowley had fallen foul of the continuing battle for power between Blair and Brown, (Rowley is very much Brown’s man).

The recent surprise appointment of “Unfit for Purpose” John Reid as Secretary of State for Scotland, was also seen as confirmation of the party’s London headquarters exerting a firm grip on power in Scotland.

 

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In the Minds of the Labour Party In Scotland Women Count For Nowt -Women Would be Well Advised to Remember these Events Before Voting

 

 

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The 2019 GE Labour Manifesto

Contains a commitment that a Labour party in government will:

End zero-hours contracts and “bogus” self-employment.

Require employers to work on tackling the gender pay gap or face fines.

But Richard Leonard has no authority to do anything. He must comply with the instructions of the Labour Party leadership in London. Any failing on his part will bring about his speedy end.

And, in regard to his commitment to end zero-hours contracts he is remiss in his recollections of recent past events.

 

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In April 2015 Ed Milliband attacked the Con/Dem government over the issue of zero-hours contracts and promised the next Labour government would bring an immediate end to the practice.

But his strategy failed when it was revealed that 68 Labour MPs Employed Staff on Them? So much for the Labour Party sticking up for ordinary workers who are being exploited.

This is what he said:

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

But there was one small problem for Milliband. It was revealed by the pay and expenses watchdog IPSA that a large number of Labour MPs (68 in total, including Edinburgh South MP Ian Murray) employed workers on “zero-hours” contracts.

 

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The equal pay policy commitment is most certainly yet another Labour party joke, to be pulled on Scottish workers by the very people they elect, the Unions, to protect their rights at work.

In Glasgow, women involved in the pre-2007 pay claims recall how the GMB union and the Labour Party council pressurized them into accepting low settlements by offering them cheques for a few thousand pounds just before Christmas so long as they signed quickly. Many signed.

But many more held out against the injustice and badly judged advice from their Unions and took their cases to another source of advice. Namely, Action 4 Equality – Scotland managed by Solicitor Stefan Cross.

In doing so they had to wait longer but received far greater settlement sums. Not only did Cross take on Glasgow District Council, but he also sued the unions for failing to properly represent their female members, forcing them to up their game.

In so doing, he made himself hugely unpopular and many still regard him as an ambulance-chaser who got rich off the back of driving English councils to the brink of disaster.

To the women, however, he is a hero, which explains why Cross retained 80 per cent of the claimants. “I will have to give him 10 per cent of the payout, but he deserves it,” one woman tells me. “He stuck with us when the unions couldn’t be bothered.”

It reveals the duplicity of the Unions who unconditionally supported the policies of their Labour Party Councillor colleagues assisting their efforts to deny women workers a fair wage.

 

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12 Jun 2017: North Lanarkshire Labour/Tory Alliance Council forced to pay pension costs of hundreds of women it underpaid

And, not to be outdone the North Lanarkshire Labour/Tory Council set about screwing their female staff out of their pensions.

Yet again the Unions and the labour party were complicit in heinous acts against women employees.

As events unfolded it became evident that the Labour/Tory Alliance run Council would incur a £1million bill after systematically ducking its pension responsibilities to hundreds of female staff it previously tried to squeeze out of equal pay.

The Council was ordered to cough up after a Scottish Public Pensions Agency (SPPA) investigation found it tried to “obstruct” a fair deal for almost 700 women who were systematically underpaid for years by the council, earning lower wages than male colleagues doing jobs of equivalent worth.

Last year, after initially forcing the authority to give them back-pay through a tribunal, they reached a second negotiated settlement worth a further £7.1m, after being represented by equal pay experts Action 4 Equality Scotland, (note the absence of Union support).

However, their final salary pension deals remained below those of male counterparts, as their contributions were lower while they were underpaid.

According to recent local government pension regulations, all back-pay must be treated as “pensionable”, meaning bigger pensions and bigger lump sums for those affected. The change required the Council to top up their employer contributions to pension funds.

However in February, North Lanarkshire once again tried to sidestep its duties to the Strathclyde Pension Fund, which covers the female staff, by claiming the women’s second round of back-pay was actually a form of negotiated “compensation” and therefore not pensionable.

The women’s lawyers appealed to the SPPA in March, pointing out the potential differences would be profound if the back-pay was not made pensionable.

Some of the North Lanarkshire women would be denied a pension rise of £1500 a year and lump sums of more than £4000, a lifetime difference of around £50,000.

The SPPA has now ruled the council “misconstrued” the law, and criticised its arguments as “confused and an obstruction to finding an equitable solution to the disagreement”.

It said the council must pay the income tax and national insurance on the second wave of back-pay as well as employer contributions, an estimated total of £1m.

 

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Scotland in Union – The Anti-Independence Group Hiding and Sniping Against Scotland From the Safety Of the Political Gutters of Politics – Good Company For the Vermin That Shares the Space With Them

 

 

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Remember this bunch of forget-me-nots. They have been very active throughout the campaign. Here’s hoping that Scots have sussed their gutter politicking and ignore their vile lies.

The Green Ink Gang – (https://wingsoverscotland.com/the-green-ink-gang/)

(https://www.thenational.scot/news/15803413.scotland-in-union-in-crisis-after-donor-details-are-leaked/)

There exists in Scotland a small group of Ultra Unionists who were originally the foundation of the group – Scotland in Union

This group was highlighted in a leaked Email on the Website, Wings Over Scotland – and gave blanked out contact details for a few people and a message from their erstwhile leader telling them to keep their plans very strangely secretive.

You see, these ultra unionists have a plan – this plan has been going on for a year or so thus far and it is this – They take it in turns to Blitz every single newspaper every week with dozens of letters about their opinions on just how TERRIBLE life in Scotland is under the dreadful SNP.

And these people are being published in many of the mainstream newspaper letters pages very successfully…The Editors seeing the same names popping up all the time are patently complicit in this.

On twitter that one chap – Keith Howell of Peeblesshire had around 20 “Letters of the Day” published – some gaining £50 from the likes of Barrhead Travel. (https://twitter.com/Scotlandinyni…/status/946440109087436800)

Looking at the list of names of those involved revealed a few prominent individuals:

Jill Stephenson – the infamous “History Woman” an elderly retired lecturer from Edinburgh – who made the news when she was caught tweeting vile comments about the “Slut” Mhairi Black.

But she deleted that account and became Historywoman @2351onthelist – and then blitzed the newspapers and lo and behold got many of them published – she was brazen enough to share her letters on her Facebook page.

The continual damning of Scotland and the SNP by these people undoubtedly had an influence in the 2017 General Election and there may be more than just letter writing and bitching to the papers going on – hence the strict secrecy mentioned in the Wings article.

There are people listed who are “Friends” with the MP’s – Unionist Party Councillors – Ex and present MSPs – and vocal unionist supporters – who most likely orchestrated the successful tactical campaigns in the last General Election.

Caithness and the Northern Isles, for example, was bombarded with Lib/Dem propaganda – receiving literally no other paraphernalia from any other unionist Party.

Salmond and Robertson both failed to hold their constituencies having been subjected to similar treatment

And in the Borders,  Kezia Dugdale toured the area constantly telling people to vote Tory to stop the SNP.  Unbelievable but true.

The Unionists conducted their unsavory campaigns from the political sewers and devalued Scottish politics

 

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Now you know who is behind the release of dubious information about SNP candidates leading to their suspension from the party.

 

Scotland in Union is not a grassroots group for supporters of the Union as it would like us to believe.

It was a company set up in London with the sole aim of destroying the Scottish people’s chances of managing their own wealth, investments and opportunities.

This becomes apparent when you look at the board running Scotland in Union:

Chief Executive: Pamela Nash: https://caltonjock.com/2014/12/31/i-bet-you-had-forgotten-pamela-nash-labour-party-golden-child-useless-mp-now-leader-of-usury-financed-discredited-scotland-in-union-i-havent/

 

 

Founder & Executive: Director: Alistair Cameron: https://caltonjock.com/2018/12/12/exposing-yet-another-westminster-conspiracy-scotland-in-union-part-two-of-two-alastair-james-cameron-just-who-the-hell-is-he/

 

 

Director: Sheila Cannell:

Graeme Pearson: Director: https://caltonjock.com/2015/11/28/shameless-graeme-pearson-fronts-the-recently-formed-unionist-party-scotlandinunion-webpage-but-the-guy-is-a-joke-failure-and-opportunist/

 

 

Patrick Harkness: Vice-Chair: Ulster born: Lecturer/Reader, specializes in space research: University of Glasgow

 

 

William Ramsay: Campaign Manager:

Andrew Skinner: https://caltonjock.com/2018/12/19/all-you-need-to-know-about-unionist-rudeboy-andrew-skinner-the-guy-from-haghill-who-made-it-good-then-cocked-it-up-by-joining-scotland-in-union/

 

 

Others:

Martin Redfern: Allan Sutherland: Jennifer Young: Cllr Scott Arthur: Keith Howell: Keith Shortreed: David Bone: Ian Lakin: Dennis Grattan: Regina Erich: William Ballatine: Carol Ford: Alice Struthers: Richard Marsh: Hugh Pennington: Fraser Whyte: Joe McCauley: Phil Tate: Jill Stephenson: David Clews: Victor Clements:

 

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Scottish Independence Could be Done and Dusted Within Six Months If Other nations Can Do It Surely the UK Would Be Well Able

 

 

 

 

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Establishing an Independent Scotland

Whitehall mandarins, Unionist politicians and their Luddite supporters will tell you it will be a long and torturous process over many years and it must be this way because the relationship Scotland has with the rest of the UK is too complex to untangle in a shorter period.

But if Czechoslovakia could be split up in six months in 1992, why should the process of establishing an independent Scotland be such a hardship?

 

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The Velvet Revolution

World War I lasted four years, World War II lasted six. So is it easier to conquer then lose an entire continent than to separate two jurisdictions peacefully?

Czechoslovakia, not only transformed from a socialist republic and a Soviet satellite to liberal democracy, but it also successfully split peacefully into two nations.

The pivotal elections that took place in 1992 saw an even split of voters in both of the constituent parts of Czechoslovakia.

Tension arose and the leaders of both constituent regions agreed the federation should be split.

An agreement was signed on 26th August 1992.

By 13th November 1992, a law had been enacted as to how the federal assets were going to be divided and twelve days later, an act was passed that set the dissolution date on 31st December 1992.

Complex matters such as the continuity of government, continuity of laws, arrangements for courts and so on were all swiftly determined by December.

A new Czech Constitution was passed on 16th December. Czechoslovakia was dissolved at midnight on New Year’s Eve.

When the people woke up the next morning, they had new nationalities.

Within a mere six months, a comprehensive settlement had been agreed and activated.

Immobile assets were distributed to the country where they sat, mobile assets and assets abroad were distributed according to the rough population ratio

Amendments to international treaties signed by Czechoslovakia were negotiated and signed very quickly by both new republics, confirming the continuation of such treaties.

In 1996, the two countries signed a protocol specifying the distribution of duties enshrined by treaties signed as Czechoslovakia.

All of this happened whilst Czechoslovakia and its constituent countries were undergoing a massive economic transformation.

Czechoslovakia was privatizing on an unprecedented scale and at an unprecedented pace.

In a way, it was like Brexit and the UK’s 1980s privatizations combined, only a lot more complicated.

Whereas the 1980s UK privatized two companies a year, the early 1990s Czechoslovakia privatized two companies an hour.

Taken together, these companies’ accounting value was a big share of GDP. The voucher privatization alone (there were other methods of privatization) privatized companies worth one-third of Czechoslovak GDP.

And let us not forget the fact that Czechoslovakia was also a currency union.

The original idea was that the currency would continue after the separation, but the Czechoslovak koruna outlived Czechoslovakia by a mere six weeks.

All of this was taking place at the exact same time the republics were being separated. Where there is a will, there is a way.

 

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Two things made this possible:

The leaders’ insistence that it must happen fast before organized business interests and/or government could mount a successful defense of the status quo.

Then the fact that the two newly-created governments, for all the tension between them, successfully worked together to apply current or previous arrangements in good faith.

Wherever questions or differences arose, they sought an amicable solution where none of the parties would score a win for their side but rather one where future cooperation would be maintained.

Nobody was proposing divorce bills or ridiculous notions of planes not flying, trucks stuck at the border, licenses not being recognized, or one country continuing to have jurisdiction over the other for the next 100 years.

Time and good faith were of the essence.

If Czechs and Slovaks were able to separate in six months, surely Westminster and Holyrood can find a way to extract one the other in a similar time period?

Credit this article (paraphrased a wee bit here and there)  to Martin Pánek, Director of the Prague-based Liberal Institute.

 

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Tory MP Colin Clark MP – A Brexiteer At Any Cost – Ignores the Views Of The Electorate Who Voted to Remain In the European Community And His Party Is Betraying the Fishing Industry

 

 

 

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My previous blog on this guy

https://caltonjock.wordpress.com/2018/01/18/tory-mp-for-gordon-colin-clark-the-multi-millionaire-elected-by-deluded-voters-in-the-north-east-of-scotland-promised-much-delivered-little/

 

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The Update – Colin Clark – With his eyes on a peerage

Clark is hoping voters in the Gordon constituency will forget he failed to support the Scottish Tory leadership in their disagreements with Boris Johnson’s hardline no-deal Brexit policy.

His actions assisted Johnson with his strategy, which was designed to force Ruth Davidson to resign from her role as leader of the Scottish Tories.

And he was rewarded for his backstabbing with a job at the Scottish Office working under his co-conspirator Alister Jack who replaced David Mundell.

Jack and Clark are the only Scottish MPs to be blessed with a role in Johnson’s, Scottish Office government but Clark got a kick in the teeth when he was told that the Worcester MP Robin Walker had also been given a ministerial role at Dover House, an appointment giving him the honour of being first English MP to work at the Scotland Office since the 19th century.

Adding insult to injury Clark was also told Walker, as a junior minister would be paid around £25K a year but Clark given the title of parliamentary undersecretary at the Scotland Office, as well as being appointed as a junior whip will need to work for nothing since the positions to which he had been appointed did not exist.

(Johnson is permitted to appoint up to 115 ministers to government posts at an annual cost to the taxpayer of around £10million)

Yet only a few months before Clark was singing his praises about Davidson’s achievements as a leader and even after getting her out.

He and his fellow conspirators compounded their abuse of their ex-leader by sending out tens of thousands of mailshots with her picture emblazoned prominently, with a personal plea asking voters to vote for her.

But she is not their leader. Johnson is. But his popularity is so low in Scotland any use of his image was vetoed by the media moguls that control the party and its policies.

And all this from an MP who effectively told the voters of Gordon, (who recorded one of the highest remain votes total in the European Referendum) to get stuffed.

Even the fish markets and fishermen, who supported his election as their MP have deserted him now that the Tory fisheries policy has been revealed.

Ports in Scotland are in danger of being run down with fish transfers from ship to shore relocated to Europe to avoid high tariffs.

 

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What are the Tories and Lib/Dems protecting

In Scotland, quotas for species such as herring and mackerel have been bought up by a handful of families.

Two-fifths of the entire Scottish catch by value and 65 per cent by tonnage was landed by 19 powerful super-trawlers in 2016.

More than half (13) of the top 25 quota holders have directors, shareholders, or vessel partners who were convicted of offences in Scotland’s £63m “blackfish” scam – a huge, sophisticated fraud that saw trawlermen and fish processors working together to evade quota limits and land 170,000 tonnes of undeclared herring and mackerel.

Small-scale coastal fishermen, who operate 80 per cent of Scottish boats, have to make do with just one per cent of quotas.

Despite the pleas of smaller concerns the new bill failed to bring forward any redistribution of the UK’s existing quota rights. So the ultra-large companies owned by a small domestic Tory Party supporting elite who behaved so badly retain their monopoly over fishing catches in Scotland.

The shadow environment secretary said Tory ministers needed to take “urgent action to use the powers that they have domestically to redistribute fishing quota to deliver a fairer deal for smaller boats”.

“Fishing was the poster child of the Leave campaign and [environment secretary Michael] Gove has already broken promises he made to the industry to secure full control of our waters during the transition,” she continued. “With all the talk of ‘take back control’, ministers have the power to distribute UK quota now and put the smaller-scale fleet first. So why wasn’t it mentioned in their white paper?

“This shows that, while it points the fingers at others, this Tory government is to blame for a sector rigged in the interests of the super-rich. Any future fishing policy must consider how new and existing quota can be more fairly distributed and we will treat this as a priority in the upcoming fisheries bill.”

 

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The rich Tory-supporting fishing families of Scotland

Alexander Buchan and family. Estimated worth: £147m. The family’s Peterhead-based Lunar Fishing Company owns or controls 8.9% of the UK’s quota holdings (739,153 FQAs), making it the biggest quota holder in the UK.

Robert Tait and family. Estimated worth: £115m. The family’s Klondyke Fishing Company is the UK’s third-largest quota holder, with 6.1% of the UK total (506,953 FQAs).

Sir Ian Wood and family. Estimated worth: £1.7bn. (a fortune built largely on oil and gas services). Sir Ian’s fishing business, JW Holdings, holds 1% of the UK’s fishing quota (83,463 FQAs) and has minority investments in businesses/partnerships that hold a further 2.3% (192,169 FQAs).

This is well worth a read: (https://unearthed.greenpeace.org/2018/10/11/fishing-quota-uk-defra-michael-gove/)

 

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5 May 2018: leaked paper shows Tories want to trade away fishing

UK Environment Secretary Michael Gove had been expected to publish the white paper on the fisheries policy for leaving the EU in December last year but has yet to do so. A leaked draft commits the UK Government to consult the Scottish Government on fisheries decisions with Mr Gove retaining the final say.

Banffshire and Buchan Coast MSP Stewart Stevenson, SNP, said the paper was evidence the Conservatives still regarded Scottish fishing as expendable.

“The Tories’ White Paper utterly fails to deliver the control over our waters and who catches fish in them that was promised in the Brexit referendum,” he said. “It confirms the Tories want to keep control in London so they can again trade away our fishermen’s rights as part of their Brexit negotiations – as they have already begun to do.

“It’s even worse than taking fishing powers away from Scotland for seven years as threatened in the UK Withdrawal Bill. This is a bid to permanently remove control over fishing from Scotland’s fishermen.

“The Tories infamously described Scotland’s fishing industry as ‘expendable’ on our way into the EU – this proves beyond all doubt they plan to do the same on the way out.” (Press & Journal)

 

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6 Jun 2018: Peterhead fish processing could be relocated to Poland after Brexit, expert warns

MPs on Westminster’s Scottish affairs committee heard the warning from Kristen Hopewell, a senior lecturer in international political economy on trade at Edinburgh University. She said:

“companies had already moved to the north-east from Norway in order to access the EU market and are likely to move again, even in the event of a soft Brexit. Norway does not have the same kind of tariff-free access that Scotland and the UK has and that is part of the reason Norway moved a lot of its fish processing to Scotland. If Scotland all of a sudden faces a very high tariff on its exports, that could have profoundly negative impacts on the Scottish fish processing industry. We may well see Scotland’s fish processing industry move to places like Poland in order to access the rest of the market tariff-free.” (Press & Journal)

Small boat owners are being starved out of business

Their spokesman said:

“Inshore fishermen are facing a crisis never witnessed before. And the merchants that they supply are in utter despair at the difficulties that lie ahead.

Creel and dive fishermen working these small boats are horrified that the interests of the few owners of deep-sea fishing vessels are being put above the interests of the many. Of Scotland’s 2,089 fishing boats, 1,539 of them are under 10 metres (33ft) long – too small to go beyond the 12-mile limit that marks the edge of our inshore waters.

They have little to gain and much to lose from Brexit. European boats are already excluded from our inshore waters, so there will be no new fishing opportunities for us after Brexit.

Instead, there will be tariffs on our shellfish products and the strong possibility of our fresh produce going bad in the lorry parks of Dover as they wait to access Europe – our main market.

Shame on the quota barons for saying Brexit is a sea of opportunities. Self-interest and greed have been displayed in copious amounts, with little or no regard to those that may suffer.” (Press & Journal)

 

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20 Mar 2018: Fishing sector’s fury over Tory Government’s Brexit ‘betrayal’

The UK Government was last night facing a furious backlash after sanctioning a “massive sell-out” of the Scottish fishing industry in its interim Brexit deal.

Fishing leaders branded the decision to “capitulate” to EU demands that Britain continues to abide by its hated quotas during the two-year transition as a “disgusting betrayal” and “extremely harmful”. (Press & Journal)

21 Mar 2018: Fresh fishing pledge from UK ministers amid backlash over ‘unforgivable’ deal

Michael Gove appealed for Tory rebels and furious fishermen to keep their “eyes on the prize” yesterday as he promised full fisheries control by the end of 2020. The under-fire UK environment secretary was warned of “palpable anger” in fishing communities over a Brexit transition deal which will keep the UK in the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) (Press & Journal)

 

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20 Nov 2019: Fergus Ewing warns Fishing communities facing ‘extremely challenging picture’ ahead of talks

Looking ahead to annual negotiations that will determine catch and quota limits for the coming year, Mr Ewing warned jobs and livelihoods are at stake in the Brussels talks. He said:

“scientific advice published by the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) were testing for fishing communities. We have got a lot to lose.
reductions have been advised for whiting, saithe and hake, while zero catch advice remains in place for cod and whiting on the west coast. Advice on North Sea cod recommends a 61% reduction in catches next year, which will result in an “immediate and severe choke risk”. (A choke species is a type of fish with a low quota that can cause a vessel to stop fishing even if they still have quota for other species.)

Ewing also clashed with the Tories over their view that Brexit would result in regaining control over UK waters enabling fishermen to leave the “hated” Common Fisheries Policy (CFP). Ewing accused the Tories of promising the “earth, moon and stars” a no-deal Brexit would result in “bankruptcies” as a result of the need for certificates to export fish, which could cost up to £15 million. (Press & Journal)

 

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20 Nov 2019: Scottish fishing chief warns of looming crisis for the inshore fleet

In a strongly worded “Brexit Situation Statement” Scottish Creel Fishermen’s Federation (SCFF) (which represents creel fishers and comprises nearly three-quarters of the country’s inshore commercial fishing fleet) national co-ordinator Alistair Sinclair claimed that the much-vaunted benefits of the break-up for Scotland’s fishing industry were “only for the few”.

He said:

“Those who stand to gain most from exiting the EU are wringing their hands in delight at the prospect. But let us consider those within coastal communities who stand to lose most, many with the real prospect of losing their markets and livelihoods.

Scotland’s inshore fleet of small fishing boats supplies Europe with the finest shellfish – widely acknowledged to be the best in the world, sourced from the ‘best wee country in the world’.

These inshore fishermen are facing a crisis never witnessed before. And the merchants that they supply are in utter despair at the difficulties that lie ahead. Creel and dive fishermen working these small boats are horrified that the interests of the few owners of deep-sea fishing vessels are being put above the interests of the many.

Of Scotland’s 2,089 fishing boats, 1,539 of them are under 10 metres (33ft) long – too small to go beyond the 12-mile limit that marks the edge of our inshore waters.

They have little to gain and much to lose from Brexit. European boats are already excluded from our inshore waters, so there will be no new fishing opportunities for us after Brexit.

Instead, there will be tariffs on our shellfish products and the strong possibility of our fresh produce going bad in the lorry parks of Dover as they wait to access Europe – our main market.

Shame on the quota barons for saying Brexit is a sea of opportunities. Self-interest and greed have been displayed in copious amounts, with little or no regard to those that may suffer.” (Press & Journal)

 

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3 Dec 2019: Fishing industry boss claims Tories do not have ‘credible vision’ for the future of the sector

Fraserburgh-based William Tait SNR, who is a director at the Klondyke Fishing Company, has cast doubt over Boris Johnson’s pledge to take the UK out of the common fisheries policy and has warned that the Tories would “disregard fishing in Scotland and trade away opportunities”.

He called on fishermen in the north-east to now back the SNP at December’s election. (Press & Journal)

 

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Unionists Gang up on Ian Blackford in Ross, Skye, and Lochaber – But Their Candidate Craig Harrow has to Live Down an Appalling Political Record

 

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Ross, Skye, and Lochaber

A Unionist party pact to oust Ian Blackford has been put in place

The other unionist parties are of the view that Craig Harrow, the Liberal Democrat candidate, has the best chance of unseating the SNP and are standing aside giving him a clear run at it.

The Tories finished second in the last GE, but the seat, formerly held by the late Charles Kennedy was at one time considered to be a safe Liberal Democrat seat.

The choice of Harrow as their candidate reveals the nasty side of a party which is abusing the legacy of the Late Charles Kennedy as justification for selecting him.

Harrow’s opening address to the electors was:

“I am campaigning in place of my late dear friend Charles Kennedy and my election would be a fitting tribute to his memory. I am determined to win the parliamentary seat back from the SNP in a way that Charles would be proud of. We need an uplifting, positive campaign for the Highlands and Islands.”

What a load of twaddle!!!

I doubt Charles Kennedy would have campaigned for election with the byword Fix!Fix!Fix attached to it.

Yukky tactics but asymptomatic of the Liberal Democrats who being Westminster Whigs in disguise are the sleaziest operators in politics.

 

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Followers of my blog will remember this one:

“https://caltonjock.com/2014/08/31/yes-campaign-faced-the-might-of-the-abbotsford-team-actively-backed-by-the-entire-uk-political-system-the-civil-service-media-barons-commercial-and-financial-institutions-the-city-of/”

The Yes campaign faced the might of – The Abbotsford Team ( actively backed by the entire UK political system, the civil service, media barons, commercial and financial institutions, The City of London, Heads of State and senior politicians of countries worldwide and just about anyone or anything that David Cameron and Sir Jeremy Heywood could muster in their mission to deny Scotland it’s rightful place in the world as an independent country.)

The Liberal Democrats showed their true colours with this abuse of the Scottish electorate

13 May 2014: The Con/Dem Government handed a £30,000 taxpayer-funded PR contract to the company of a “Better Together” boss.

Questions have been raised after it emerged the UK cabinet office had paid the sum to “Engine Partners for “communication support” in January 2014.

The work is understood to be related to the UK Government’s campaign against Scottish independence. Craig Harrow, the convener of the Scottish Lib Dems and director of the pro-UK Better Together campaign, is in charge of the firm’s Edinburgh operations.

Harrow, 45, has been masterminding the Lib Dem’s drive for a No vote and was a founding member of the “Better Together” campaign. In addition to his role as party convener, he has also acted as Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Danny Alexander’s election agent.

Records from Companies House show Harrow’s company, MHP Communications, of which he is the Chief Executive, forms part of Engine Partners UK.

Harrow stated that he did not have responsibility for any part of the contract, but the company’s website lists Harrow as the Edinburgh contact for all business inquiries.

Engine’s Edinburgh office is at 3 Melville Crescent – right beside the Lib Dem-run Scotland Office’s HQ in the Scottish capital.

The SNP said the revelations expose the UK Government to a charge that it is dishing out “Scottish taxpayers money to an organization with unarguable links to the “Better Together” campaign which is illegal under the rules of the Independence referendum.

And I’ll take bets that the money was not declared to the Electoral Commission, as income and expenditure.

 

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SNP challenges the Westminster government abuse of financial regulations

The revelation that Harrow was also the managing director of PR firm MHP Communications, operating from the same office accommodation as Engine Partners UK, was the straw that broke the camels back for the SNP who demanded answers, saying:

“As well as £46,500 on secret polling, it now emerges that the Con/Dem UK Government has given £30,000 of public money to a company run by the Convener of the Lib Dems in Scotland. Harrow is also a founding Director of the “No” campaign and r’s election agent – and his office just happens to be next door to the Scotland Office. The Westminster Establishment is entitled to campaign for a “No” vote, but it is not entitled to parcel public money round their friends as if it were their own. There needs to be full disclosure of this secret spending, the publication of exactly what it bought, and both Danny Alexander and Willie Rennie need to tell us what they knew about it.”

An anonymous spokesman for the Treasury said:

“The Chief Secretary (Danny Alexander) was not involved in the appointment of “Engine Partners” to provide consultancy to the government. Harrow had no role in running the account. All spending in relation to the government’s work on undertaking analysis, communications, and research associated with the future of the United Kingdom has been made in full compliance with all relevant processes and procedures. The government remains committed to keeping the United Kingdom together and is focused on ensuring that the people of Scotland have access to the information and arguments that they need to make that crucial decision.”

The revelations came after it emerged that the Con/Dem government at Westminster also paid £46,550 to pollsters Ipsos Mori for “market research on attitudes in Scotland towards Scottish independence”.

Alex Salmond demanded that Scottish taxpayers’ money had been misused and at the very least the results of these surveys should be published. But the spokesman for the Con/Dem government at Westminster said it was “not usual practice” to publish internal polling. In other words, get stuffed Alex!!!

I did say the Liberal Democrats were sleazy but so blatant were these abuses of public finance in support of a political campaign by the Con/Dem government, Abuse of the Scottish electorate is commonplace with Westminster governments they got away with it, courtesy of the BBC and the Scottish, right-wing media who were well aware that the Con/Dem government had not even been economical with the truth. The brazenly lied to Scots.

 

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MHP Communications a major player in the Government Lobbies at Westminster

But Harrow is no second rate gopher for the Liberal Democrats. In a submission to the Westminster “Standards, Procedures and Public Appointments Committee” on 14 January 2014 he wrote:

“MHP Communications is one of the UK’s largest full-service communications agencies, employing 175 people in offices in London, Edinburgh, Brussels, Hong
Kong, the Middle East, and Washington DC.

With around 55 people working in the public affairs discipline, MHP has the biggest practice in the UK. We are long-standing members of the Association of Professional Political Consultants (APPC) and members of the Public Relations Consultants Association (PRCA) and other bodies.

Craig Harrow, Managing Director, MHP Communications (Edinburgh). No shrinking violet then are you Craig?

 

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Engine Acquisitions Reviewed

The political lobbying company was created by a management buy out, in 2004. It quickly added to its resources with the acquisition of a string of marketing services companies involved in interactive, branded content, sponsorship and direct marketing.

The Parent entity “Engine Group” was created as the umbrella for these different units, and operated as an integrated group offering a complete range of interlinked marketing services.

After a series of losses over a number of years, the agency’s marketing department was struggling but at the same time, the company greatly expanded its services, offering, launching or acquiring a string of marketing services subsidiaries through its corporate parent,the “Engine” Group, which held ownership of the entire agency and its various associated subsidiaries.

Although the service units remained to be standalone branded, they worked closely with one another to provide what was effectively a seamless integrated service, depending on the requirements of individual clients.

2013, annual accounts stated that more than half of “Engine’s” revenue had been generated from clients using two or more Engine subsidiaries.

(this is what the deal was in Edinburgh)

In July 2014, Venture capitalist company “Lake Capital” purchased 100% of the business for around £100m then injected its large US marketing-based investments into the group.

Lake Capital’s Terry Graunke is chairman of Engine Group. Kasha Cacy, previously CEO of UM USA, was appointed as global CEO of Engine in 2018. Engine Creative CEO Ete Davies.

Financials: Annual turnover for this American owned company ranges between £120m – £150m providing annual profits of £95m +

The good people of Ross, Skye, and Lochaber need to be informed and/or reminded of the political misconduct of Craig Harrow. Before the General Election.  Otherwise, they may well fall for the hype and get stuck with a Whig.

 

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Tory Candidate for Aberdeen South Duncan Lumsden – Exposed as an Incompetent Leader of a City Council that has abjectly Failed its electorate- Time for change – Get the SNP in and the Tories Out

 

 

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Change of face but no change in policies. They don’t have any anyway

 

 

Nov 2019: The 2019 General Election

The Scottish Conservatives have announced their candidate for the Aberdeen South seat at the upcoming general election.

Douglas Lumsden, who is currently co-leader of Aberdeen City Council, will defend the Aberdeen South seat, replacing the disgraced Ross Thomson who announced he was standing down, most likely before he was put down by the electorate.

Lumsden, 48, who had no political experience before being first elected as a Scottish Conservative councillor in 2017, lives in Aberdeen with his wife and children and has a background of 20 years experience (the bulk of it with one company) in IT.

In his sales pitch to the people of Aberdeen South he said:

“I am honoured to be selected as the candidate for Aberdeen South but I want to first pay tribute to the hard work and dedication of Ross Thomson over the past two years.

He has made a personal decision to step down, but he has always been a great champion for this city.

The Scottish Conservatives will stand up for the vast majority of Aberdonians who voted against separation in 2014.

We need to stop Nicola Sturgeon, keep Jeremy Corbyn out of Downing Street and get Brexit sorted so that we can all move on and focus on the things that matter.”

 

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Nov 2019: Lumsden campaign literature makes no of Brexit or the Tory plans for the future of Scotland. In short, as before there is no manifesto for Scotland

In one page there are 10 mentions of the yet to be called independence referendum, 10 direct attacks on the SNP, many of which address devolved areas and have no relevance to this election, 6 personal attacks on Nicola Sturgeon. and a whopping great amount of 0 mentions of Brexit.

And he goes on and on about the SNP constantly bringing the matter of independence when it is his party that keeps plugging away at since they have nothing to offer Scotland except more misery.

Lumsden’s record in the office at Aberdeen City Council, together with his Tory and Labour party colleagues is an appalling litany of incompetence, spin and abject failure.

A few of these are given mention below.

 

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public protest against Tory Councils plans For Marischal Square ignored

 

 

31 Aug 2017: UK public finances face twin threat from Brexit and downturn

The Aberdeen City Council leadership has taken the unusual step of accessing City of London money by selling bonds, raising £370m in November 2016 to help finance a massive £1bn capital spending programme.

As well as using the bond markets, the Council is taking out cheap loans from the Public Works Loan Board, a Treasury agency.

But echos of the South Sea Bubble should provide a salutary warning for Douglas Lumsden and the Aberdeen City Council

Noting his employment history is in IT the financial commitment raises questions over just what qualifications should be required before allowing councillors to spend public money on speculative deals.

This is relevant since the City of London financiers are a smart bunch of operators and the jungle that they survive in is no place for the inexperienced.

These guys do not take prisoners and will stuff Aberdeen Council if the opportunity arises.

The foregoing is witnessed by the 2014 downturn in the oil industry, of which the Unionist parties made a great play on during the referendum campaign, claiming the volatility of the market was such that an independent Scottish Government would not be able to survive its financial rise and fall.

Yet only three years later, with the market on the up the Tory Labour Coalition in Aberdeen have opened the city up to the same rising and falling oil market.

It would be disastrous for Aberdeen if there was a wibbly-wobbly occurrence and/or the City of London speculators short moneyed the Council.

Large debts and no money to even meet the interest charges.

Unemployment in Aberdeen could rise by around 50%.

Nice one Mr Lumsden.

 

 

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6 Feb 2018: Aberdeen City Council’s newly formed “strategic transformation committee” intends to significantly increase the number of civil servants working for the city council and to review the new committees proposed 5 years, £125 million cuts proposals.

A total of 13 chief officer posts are being created with salaries ranging from around £58,000 to £85,000 – with councillors asked to potentially approve hiring a “recruitment partner” and advertising campaign.

These are below the £115,000 director posts which were appointed last month. (Ready reckoner throws up an all cost spend on the new committee of over 5 years of approximately £8.5million). Crazy economics.

 

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12 Feb 2018: Aberdeens Co-Council leader admits concedes that contracting out of many services by the council, to save money has been an abject failure and the bulk of services are to be brought back in-house achieving savings of around £17million against an annual spend of around £445million.

 

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12 Feb 2018: Aberdeen councillors have revealed that 370 full-time equivalent posts are to be slashed within months.

The first council staff knew of the job losses was over the internet in a statement released by the London Stock Exchange. This novel approach to telling staff their number was up has been brought about by the council raising cash on the London Stock Exchange, (at extortionate interest rates) for its many overspending grandiose development projects.

The SNP group leader Stephen Flynn said:

“These job cuts are a direct result of the administration’s inability to manage the books for the last six years coupled with their blinkered desire to move to a new target operating model.”

 

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Aberdeen Tory Councillor lives in Dubai but I keep in touch with my constituents says he!!

 

9 Mar 2018: Aberdeen Council is preparing to introduce “Barneys Bikes” a cycle hire scheme in the city. It is hoped the project will be delivered using European funding. Not much chance of that then what with Labour and the Tories fanatical push on Brexit implementation.

 

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Tory Party conference

 

14 Mar 2018: Aberdeen’s new exhibition and conference centre will be open by next autumn. An opening cost of £185million rose to £333million over a period of 4 years it took to complete the project.

 

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Yup!! I’m still here in Dubai. Weathers nicer than in Aberdeen

 

 

3 Dec 2019: Council spending on temporary agency staff has rocketed in the Granite City in just three months this year.

Figures presented to the local authority operations committee show that spending has increased by nearly £700,000 across several departments, including the bereavement, building services, environmental services, roads and infrastructure and waste departments between January and March. So much for the savings.

 

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All under one banner march Aberdeen 2019

 

27 Feb 2019: Public toilets, libraries and community centres and all lollipop men and women could be axed under ‘heartbreaking’ Aberdeen City Council budget plans in an effort save £45 million over the next year.

 

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2 Mar 2019: The multi-million-pound projected cost of redeveloping Union Terrace Gardens is spiralling out of control and SNP opposition councillors have said they will be voting against the park’s long-awaited transformation, which does not have the support of the residents of Aberdeen in any event.

 

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2 Mar 2019: The price of the long-awaited revamp of Aberdeen Art Gallery has rocketed by £4.5 million, according to newly-published council papers.

 

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Craigiebutler and Seafield get all the redevelopment money. Lucky sods!!

 

4 Mar 2019: Aberdeen City Council is spending more than £115,000 a day paying back loan debt – a sum higher than the hefty budget shortfall it is preparing to tackle.

 

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26 Jul 2019: Aberdeen council bosses have taken out two new loans totalling £40million this year raising the level of city debt to more than £1billion.

 

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30 Nov 2019: Cash-strapped Aberdeen City Council bosses must make tens of million in cuts next year, months after slashing more than £40 million from budgets.

City council officers say the council will have to trim nearly £38 million in spending – a cut of around 8%.

City council bosses have already introduced a radical shake-up of the local authority with the aim of saving £250 million over five years.

The paper predicts deeper cuts to come – with a shortfall of £80 million predicted in 2021/22.

Opposition groups have questioned their spending priorities – pointing to numerous over-budgeted projects and the scary certainty that Douglas Lumsden and his administration will be paying back almost £50 million interest on debt in the coming year.

Thanks to the Press and Journal who provided the bulk of the content which allowed me to compile this blog

 

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