Friday, October 20, 2017

The 'Dumb and the Furious' at Holyrood; SNP MSP Joan McAlpine makes a complete fool of herself claiming that the UK single market doesn't exist, insult to injury as she is corrected by two Professors, one of whom is a Law Professor, Nationalist trot out their ignorance as a matter of course, but this take stupid to a whole new level

Dear All

It appears that brains are in short supply when it comes to SNP MPs or MSPs, where it is married MSP like Kenny Gibson diving off to Costa Rica with a married party aide, attending illegal referendums like Joanne Cherry or talking bollocks like Joan McAlpine, there is a nationalist for every occasion to let Scotland down.

If there was prizes for stupidity, Joan McAlpine would have to be included in the line up, to leave her out would be a crime, her latest major gaffe is claiming there is no such thing as the UK single market. You might be shocked at how someone elected to public office can stand up and say this and think it would be allowed to pass unnoticed.

The United Kingdom is the most impressive single market that has ever existed, where you are Scots, English, Welsh or Northern Irish, there is border-free movement of goods, capital, people and services. In fact the free movement of trade has gone on for centuries which probably explain why people like; Joan McAlpine doesn’t get it.

The revelation makes you wonder how on earth someone like Joan McAlpine gets to be the convener of Holyrood’s European Committee especially when she comes out with statements like this which shows  stark lack of reality.

The claim made at the Scottish Parliament’s Festival of Politics however didn’t stand the test of time as she said:

“This talk of the UK single market, it’s a bit of a nonsense when you think that under the devolved settlement we already have different approaches to things. Health, for example, and lots of other areas as well where we take a different approach. So we don’t really have a UK single market.”

Up pops Professor Nicola McEwen, Associate Director of the Centre for Constitutional Change at Edinburgh University who told her:

“Yes, we do.”

Followed by Alan Page, Professor of Public Law at the University of Dundee who also set her staright by saying:

“Buying and selling goods, moving job, capital - all of these things move freely within the United Kingdom to the extent that we don’t even think about it. We live in an economic and monetary union. We do have, no question, a single market in which goods, people, capital move freely within the UK.”

Short, sanppy and to the point, even an idiot could understand this, McAlpine was born in Gourock, Renfrewshire, that being said, education is taught in that neck of the woods, and when you throw in her stint at Glasgow University where she did MA (Hons) in Scottish History and Economic History, you can only come to the conclusion that McAlpine is an ‘arse’.

Several things which Joan McAlpine seems to have no problem are listed in her wiki page, such as employing Gail Lythgoe, was found to have emailed a women's equality group, alleging that the Labour politician Ian Davidson has a history of bullying women and called on them to demonstrate against him, that ended badly for Lythgoe. Then there was failing to turn up to Ministerial Questions to ask a question which she had tabled in the Scottish Parliament as she was eating dinner in a restaurant. This was something I blogged on the deer muncher story.

Forced to apologise!

Then there is my two personal favs, the speeding in a car incident and the classic story of McAlpine in a sex romp:

A touching story of McAlpine breaking up a 29 year old marriage, at the time she said that she hadn’t had an affair but a relationship. According to her lover at the time, he said on the circumstances:

“We were both on our own in the city (Inverness at SNP Conference), drink was taken and we ended up in bed together. It was a fling. To me it was never more than a fling. It was me doing that thing that many married men do – when the opportunity is there you take it. I’m not proud of it.” 

Having done history, it seems that Joan McAlpine is unable to learn from history, or has a short term memory problem, her committee last year wrote the foreword to a paper which referred to the UK single market.

It said:

"The devolution settlement, like the European Union, is based on a ‘single market’ in goods, persons, services and capital."

If Ms McAlpine thinks she has a career as a propangandist, in the past she worked for newspapers, perhaps she should think again, her career is littered with gaffes where she ends up becoming the story due to ‘bad messaging’.

A spokesman for the Scottish Tories said:

“It appears Joan McAlpine has decided to temporarily leave the reality-based community. Of course we have a UK market - just ask anyone who has popped across the border from Carlisle to Gretna to do some shopping. Given Ms McAlpine is a South of Scotland MSP; you’d think she’d be the first to understand this. It’s therefore extremely odd she doesn’t.”

If you are ignorant, daft or feebleminded, a good strategy is to say nothing which draws attention to yourself, that way you can sup up the taxpayer cash as an MSP and no one will know you exist. After all, there are plenty of MSPs that no one has ever heard of at the Scottish Parliament.

Joan McAlpine is just another in the line of failed SNP politicians which the public is seeing on a daily basis, some like Tasmina Ahmed-Shiekh, Angus Roberston, Anne McLaughlin have been kicked out of office but other like Joan McAlpine still remain, one day, I hope to see the end of the Holyrood list system which allows people like Joan McAlpine into the Scottish Parliament, that day cannot come soon enough in my opinion.

Yours sincerely

George Laird

The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

Thursday, October 19, 2017

The Running Man: another major PR gaffe for Anas Sarwar emerges as he waited an entire year after his election before registering for living wage accreditation at Holyrood, he has lost the race to be leader several times over, his lack of preparation and attention to detail is astounding as questions are raise yet again about his commitment

Dear All

As campaign go, the attempt by Anas Sarwar to become the leader of the Scottish Labour Party has been a total PR disaster both professionally in terms of how he ran his campaign and personally regarding his personal life.

If it could go wrong in his campaign it has, the new issue is of credibility as Anas plunges into a new row over his commitment to the living wage.

It now transpires that the Scottish Labour leadership candidate failed to register as an accredited living wage employer. This little gem follows on from the revelation that his family’s business where he was a shareholder also didn’t pay the living wage. It has taken Anas Sarwar  more than a year after being elected to Holyrood to do, it appears that Anas is tidying up loose ends as he was accredited as a living wage employer just a mere two weeks ago.

This shows a pattern, a pattern of failing to lead while in public office, of course it is not the first time that Scottish Labour has elected a leader who hasn’t be capable or downright careless but Anas just blunders from mistake to mistake.

Anas Sarwar is a millionaire Glasgow MSP, the stories that emerge are damning but the alleged ‘voting rigging’ scandal; ‘sign up a Muslim to elect a Muslim’ has killed his campaign stone dead. If Anas Sarwar wins, he will be facing a civil war with Momentum or the Campaign for Socialism, Kezia Dugdale ducked that fight but the pro Corbyn group are growing.

In contrast to Anas’ blunder, his left-wing rival Richard Leonard registered in late 2016, obviously Richard Leonard has an eye for detail which Anas has failed to show.

What makes his latest failure so bad is it questions about the importance of the issue to him, and by default his credentials for standing in this leadership race. His tidying up exercises also saw him offload is his 23 per cent stake in his family firm, worth around £4.8m, to a trust for his three children. This was a cynical bid to draw a line under that controversy.

Anas Sarwar never ‘gave away’ £4.8m, the shares have been kept in his immediate family.

This raises the question, who suggested transferring the shares?

Is it appropriate to ‘use your kids’ in this fashion?

I would strongly suggest no!

Interestingly, it seems that Sarwar’s campaign team was last night unable to say whether he applied for accreditation. It begs another question was it before or over the row over UWS pay rates erupted on September 10?

When Ken Macintosh stood as Labour leader, he missed his window of opportunity, he stood against Johann Lamont who apparently didn’t want to be leader, and her time wasn’t exactly a success. When Ken Macintosh stood again against Kezia Dugdale, he had completely lost his chance, which is why he now sits as Presiding Officer. In some respects, his failure led to a better situation in my opinion.

A spokesperson for Mr Leonard said:

“Richard Leonard applied for accreditation as a living wage employer in October 2016 and was verified on 2nd November 2016. Richard pays his staff at least the real living wage and has done so since they were employed in Sept/Oct 2016.”

In terms of this contest, Richard Leonard doesn’t seem to have put a foot wrong, Anas on the other hand hasn’t put a foot right, professional disasters, personal disasters and lost every round of the PR battle as well.

Anas Sarwar is looking more like Ken Macintosh, a man who lost his opportunity to be leader, but with the added kick in the teeth that there isn’t a Presiding Officer’s job available.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University 

Monday, October 16, 2017

SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon doesn’t have the “intellectual capability” for the job as party leader and First Minister of Scotland; she hangs onto her job because of the lack of a decent replacement, Jim Sillars says he hopes she will improve, considering her bad judgement and track record, that is a bridge too far

Dear All

For years, and years, I have harped on about the complete lack of talent within the SNP, not just in the activist base but right through the entire party. Now the focus has turned on Nicola Sturgeon and her lack of ability which if you seriously looked at her performance not just as a Minister but also as an MSP has been poor. No matter what area Nicola Sturgeon has involved herself in a constituency area be it Govan or Govanhill, the population suffer due to her couldn’t careless attitude.

The Govanhill ghetto is a classic example of how an area can be run down, and the MSP, her staff and other elected members have completely failed the people, the area, and the City of Glasgow.

Nicola Sturgeon doesn’t have the ability to led, but that isn’t just her problem, her ability to make good judgement is also debateable along with something which former Deputy leader Jim Sillars says Sturgeon lacks, she lacks “intellectual capability”. I think Jim Sillars nails it completely when he says that Nicola Sturgeon should step aside to make way for someone of greater “intellectual capability”. The problem is along Nicola Sturgeon is terrible, there is the lack of a decent replacement within the SNP, something which I noticed as a member.

Because the SNP is run like a cult, the promotion of less than capable people was used in order to secure the leadership, this wasn’t just a new thing to keep Sturgeon in post, it was a continuation of what was done in the Salmond era. Nicola Sturgeon and Alex Salmond kicked Scottish Independence stone dead in 2014. In the wake of Brexit, the SNP led by Nicola Sturgeon is incapable of moving on, instead battles are refought that have already been lost.

What type of leader is Sturgeon when she can’t get passed the word No?

Nicola Sturgeon is a bad leader; she is a vacuum, a shallow and hollow politician who cannot make herself relevant to the political world that has changed around her in Scotland.

The fact that Jim Sillars criticised Sturgeon’s “helter skelter” push for a second referendum shows that she is worried about her position and the people in the SNP behind her. 2014 has been and gone, the debate now is Scotland’s position in the UK in a post Brexit era.

I doubt that Nicola Sturgeon will heed Jim Sillars’s call to “step aside” as SNP leader due to the simple issue of money, £145k a year is something which Nicola Sturgeon couldn’t hope to achieve in a post Sturgeon Scotland. Did you see a line of Fortune 500 companies rush to sign up Alex Salmond after he stepped down?

Me neither!

Jim Sillars told BBC Sunday Politics Scotland:

“Suppose Nicola was knocked over by a bus... where are the candidates of the necessary stature to take over the leadership of the SNP? So she’s what we’ve got at the present time. I would like to see her improve.”

One problem in that respect, a closed mind can’t develop, Nicola Sturgeon may have a university education but the mindset is still that of the ‘scheme’. Her pre MSP history wasn’t exactly that of a high profile lawyer, no one was beating down her door from a prestigious law firm.

Check out her wiki page and other resources to see what others said about her.

Jim Sillars added:

“At my age I can talk honestly. If there was someone better around who had the intellectual capability to understand that you’ve got to analyse things first before you take a decision, yes, I think she should step aside. But there’s no one there at the moment. So we’ve got Nicola and I hope Nicola improves. We lost seats at Westminster because the day after the [EU] referendum she went helter-skelter for a second referendum which everyone knew we would lose and most people didn’t want.”

I have to agree with Jim Sillars that there will be no second independence referendum before the 2021 Holyrood election, and the SNP may not be able to hold one after that, this is because the SNP have peaked, and their support is going down. The situation at present according to polling is that 2021 is looking like the SNP unable to form a majority. This is prompted a few to suggest a deal with Scottish Labour which is doubtful because the SNP and Scottish Labour fish in the same pond for the same thing, the working class vote.

As to Sturgeon’s rush for an independence referendum on the back of Brexit, he said:

“You cannot have [a referendum] sensibly until you know exactly what the Brexit deal is in detail, and then take time to assess it, and then take time to formulate an argument for independence. Because we’re in a new paradigm. What was in 2014 will no longer be the case when we Brexit. So we have to have a new thinking of the structure which we put to the Scottish people. It’s a huge amount and discussing that needs to be done.”

He is of the opinion that 2022 or 2023 is a date for a second referendum but if the majority goes in 2021 with pro independence parties at Holyrood, these proposed dates are moot. The 2021 election for Holyrood is one of the most important elections in the political calendar of this country.

Finally Nicola Sturgeon doesn’t as Jim Sillars says have the “intellectual capability” to lead Scotland to independence, her track record of failure, promoting pals to jobs such as Shona Robison tells a story all by itself. Sturgeon hasn’t made a success of being First Minister, we aren’t living in the days of a better tomorrow regarding health, education and jobs. The fact is the SNP is lacking in genuine talent right through the organisation, it is a party that is rather squalid, petty and unimpressive.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

Friday, October 13, 2017

Cry Baby Politics: Scottish Labour leadership contest is being "rigged" says Labour MP Ian Murray, he also wants interim leader Alex Rowley kicked off the chair of a panel set up to vet new recruits, this campaign letter tactic is rather squalid and counterproductive and doomed to failure

Dear All

It seems there is unhappiness which has publicly emerged in the Scottish Labour Party leadership which an allegation that the election process is being “rigged” to help left-wing candidate Richard Leonard.

A few days ago, I wrote about the Sarwar supporters signing up Muslims to vote for a Muslim, in this case Anas Sarwar, the fact that race politics has emerged in this contest is appalling.

I don’t like race politics myself, and I certainly don’t like vote rigging either.

I wonder how , Edinburgh South MP Ian Murray feels about what I wrote about just recently, is there anything in his letter about new Muslim members joining with same email addresses and mobile phone numbers?

I would suspect not as Ian Murray is a known anti Corbyn supporter. In a letter to party headquarters, Edinburgh South MP Ian Murray called for Labour to re-consider the validity of the members of the Unite trade union who had signed up to vote in the contest.

Under the rules, the Unite trade union has done nothing wrong, and if you take the wider view then the Sarwar supporters have done nothing wrong in their ‘sign up a Muslim to elect a Muslim’. As to the people who were signed up by Unite, the union wouldn’t be holding their hands when it comes to the vote, these people will be free to cast a vote for either candidate.

Another interesting turn is that Ian Murray wants interim leader Alex Rowley kicked off the chair of a panel set up to vet new recruits, I doubt that would happen, and although privately Rowley expressed a preference for Richard Leonard, he is entitled to his private views.

So that request will be chucked in the bin, along with his letter, Murray wrote:

“We are in danger of undoing all the progress we have made in the last year because the defence of the leadership election process is, at best, clumsy and, at worst, being rigged for a particular process.”

So, who exactly is doing the rigging for a particular process?

I joined up after the actions of Sarwar’s supporters because I don’t think their modus operandi sits well with; in fact, it leaves a bad taste in the mouth, and taints everyone connected to his campaign along with Anas. 

Anas Sarwar called for the debate to be about policy after news stories about his personal life and family business practices became public, we have seen what his supporters are up to, is that about policy?

Sign up a Muslim to elect a Muslim!

I would have thought someone has educated as Anas Sarwar would have recognised that a broader appeal base would have served him well rather than what has come to pass.

A Unite spokesman said:

"Ian Murray is wrong. Unite has adhered to the SLP's rules to the letter, and indeed the general secretary and the party's legal and governance unit have all confirmed that our affiliated members are valid. We urge Mr Murray to take Brian Roy's advice on this and in doing so withdraw his wrongful accusations about Unite."

No luck there for Ian Murray.

I am sure that the rules do need to be reviewed in the Scottish Labour so that they reflect fairness and are appropriate to a modern party but this contest is running and the rules are the rules as they stand at present.

A senior Labour source described the Murray letter as a “massive diversionary smokescreen” created to take attention away from the member recruitment strategy pursued by supporters of the other leadership candidate,  I would have to agreed with that, although Anas is in this contest to the end, it wouldn’t be a contest that ends in unity.

Not after the shit his supporters got up to, not only have they ‘queer the pitch’ for his campaign, they have also done it for themselves if any of them are elected representatives, who is going to be an activist willing to work for them.

Perhaps the Sarwar crowd think people have short memories?

This battle has become one of the dirtiest leadership contests in years, it didn’t have to be but this is how it ended up. Recently, I got an invite to take part in workshops for new members from someone called Kayleigh Quinn who is a Scottish Organiser, I won’t be going to these sessions as I am rather busy at present, whether I go to others will depend on how I feel, at present seeing what is going on, I am not impressed enough to offer my services as I did before as an activist.

Being a member and being an activist are two different things entirely.

Finally, Ian Murray's letter was a huge mistake, it damages the Sarwar campaign, not helped it, amazing stupidity on his part. 

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

Thursday, October 12, 2017

The Harvey Weinstein Scandal: Aftermath

Remainers in denial: National crying session organised over Brexit headed up by third rate politicians and the politically dispossessed, this event is really an anti democracy event which shows how much contempt people views are held in, the British people voted to leave the EU

Dear All

The crying game is in full swing as supporters of the UK’s membership of the European Union will stage another pathetic rally in Edinburgh this weekend. The aim of this non event is to make UK Government to “think again” on Brexit. The event is titled ‘Rally for Europe’ but this is a con trick, the rally is actually for the European Union, a political organisation with 50,000 employees, one in five of whom earn more than a £100k plus expenses a year.

This rally is not for Europe.

It now seems likely that there will be no Brexit deal with Europe given the nonsense coming out of Brussels from people like Jeam Claude Junker and Guy Verhofstadt. These people think they can hold the United Kingdom to ransom, when or if the talks collapse, they will realise how much they miscalculated the will of the British people.

So, at the weekend, we will see speakers at the rally urge other Scottish local authorities to follow the City of Edinburgh Council’s lead by signing an open declaration to become “hubs of EU activity and connections”.

What does that mean?

It means nothing, Brexit isn’t about rebuilding a wall, it is about reclaiming sovereignty for the people. The connections with EU institutions in various forms will continue such as in academia and security but the relationship will change, in some cases this will relate to funding issues.

When people vote for Remain, they didn’t know what they were voting for, they were deceived into think the vote was a vote against the other 27 member states instead of the EU organisation. In a post Junker world, which will be coming soon enough, the EU organisation will have to change because other EU members will follow the UK lead and leave.

I have my money on Hungary or Poland, although Nigel Farage thinks Italy is the next big player to follow its tents and march out.  

Vanessa Glynn, chairwoman of the European Movement in Scotland, said:

“More than 15 fifteen months on from the Brexit vote, the current UK Government still has no clear idea of where it’s going”.

I would hazard a guess and say No deal is going on!

Glynn added:

“As groups rally up and down the country, information about disarray within the cabinet is trickling down. The clock is ticking with negotiations on Britain’s future relationship with EU still on the starting blocks, and yet we do not see any clarity about the relationship that will follow between the UK and the EU, nor between the constituent nations of the UK. One cannot help but wonder when the cabinet will hear the increasing concerns from the man or woman on the street”.

One million Scots in the EU referendum said no, and this was done on a shoestring budget, little resources, people or time. Glynn isn’t speaking for Scotland or anything like it.

Glynn added:

“We are taking this opportunity to urge Scotland’s cities to spearhead opposition to Brexit and to mitigate the damage to our country as this process takes place.”

Scotland’s cities, by this I assume she means councils, as if they speak for the people, people aren’t buying into this rubbish.

This event will be covered by the press but it is a load of rubbish because the line up of speakers is of the third rate variety; speakers include Tommy Sheppard of the SNP, Labour’s Ian Murray and Scottish Greens co-convenor Patrick Harvie.


I don’t do ‘demos’, never have never will, I don’t waste my time on rubbish like this, the refusal to accept the result of the act of direct democracy is very telling, these people don’t like the fact they have been told no!

Get it over it, the people have moved passed the EU and as this organisation gears up to suppress internal dissent by creating an EU army, we are well done with them.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Bad taste in the mouth: Scottish Labour leadership contest is hit by massive row over new Muslim members joining with same email addresses and mobile phone numbers, now official complaints have been made to Scottish Labour by two secretaries of Constituency Labour Parties, this is a bitter nasty episode which taints those involved, and will not be forgotten post result

Dear All

On Monday, I highlighted in a post a problem within the Scottish Labour Party, two days later it seems that matters have gotten much worse.

I stated that after this contest was over that people will have a new view on Anas Sarwar and his supporters, and it won’t be positive. As much as the stories which have already came out regarding Anas Sarwar’s personal life and situation, this new revelation is the worst yet.

The Labour leadership contest hit by row over new members joining with same email addresses, when I read about this, my first thought was this isn’t happening from the campaign of Richard Leonard.

What is clear; is that the Scottish Labour Party needs to introduce new rules of membership voting. It is now out in the public domain that a sizeable number of new recruits who had signed up in recent weeks provided identical personal details in their applications. This has and should set alarm bells ringing because if single email address is being used then it raises the prospect of an individual casting someone else’s vote in the electronic ballot.

This cannot be a good thing for internal democracy and certainly won’t leave a good taste in anyone’s mouth post election, whoever wins, this grotty little episode will reflect badly on certain people.

Such is the concern that two secretaries of Constituency Labour Parties (CLPs) that nominated left-winger Richard Leonard for the leadership have raised concerns with Scottish Labour about this issue. When I started to read about what was going on, my immediate thought was how immoral and repugnant the practice was; now it seems that this contest is going to be seen by some as akin to vote rigging in order to attempt to win the leadership for Anas Sarwar.

The Leonard campaign has reacted by saying if complaints had been made then "we expect these will be dealt with through Scottish Labour Party's procedures." At this point in time, there isn’t much else that they can say.

A spokesperson for the campaign of Anas Sarwar however completely ignored the issue by saying:

“It’s incredibly encouraging that people across Scotlandhave joined the Labour Party and we are confident that many have been enthused to do so by Anas’s positive campaign and by a belief that he can be the next Labour First Minister.”

Anas Sarwar isn’t going to be the First Minister of Scotland, and if Richard Leonard gets elected then I doubt that Anas Sarwar will be holding the health brief, if any, and there should be an investigation into this affair.

This contest between Leonard and Sarwar has become a nasty bitter affair; this will encourage more support for people to join the Campaign for Socialism or Momentum if Sarwar wins.

Momentum is the pro Corbyn group within the Labour Party.

At the weekend, we heard that around 1600 sign-ups to Scottish Labour had happened with around 1200 of these being Asian members. This brought some to suggest that the sig ups were to “edge it” for Sarwar. The new facts put the application process under the microscope with a senior party source stating that in some cases, the same mobile phone number has been provided for all or many of the new members in a household. And it is also stated that in some multi-resident households put down the same email address.

Imagine that Anas Sarwar wins, who is going to work with anyone who is a supporter of him?

It is a bitter contest and for the sake of the party there has to be  a victory for Richard Leonard or civil war will probably erupt in Scottish Labour, Momentum didn’t get their fight with Kezia Dugdale, she jumped ship but they will get new members by the truckload if this contest is seen as being vote rigged.

It isn’t enough that justice is done; it needs to be seen to be done!

Finally, a verification panel, chaired by interim party leader Alex Rowley, has been set up to scrutinise the sign-ups but given the way the Scottish Labour Party rules operate there appears little that can be done, and that is the real shame of this sorry episode.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University