Monday, September 26, 2016

Charge, the cgi war scene- a George Laird Production

Dear All

Have you ever been given a task or had to learn something and hadn't a scoobie?

I got myself Photoshop to help me learn about set extensions, set extensions are a way of enhancing your scene in a movie when you can't afford to build the real thing like actual sets which are expensive. So, I created this set extension picture as a learning project and then afterwards thought I wouldn't mind using it in a clip.

I brought the picture into after effects and added in some fire and smoke assets, then I thought, I wouldn't mind some sort of action, so I got what is called an obj sequence which when animated gives the impression of movement. An Obj sequence can be used in various software programmes then rendered out, but if you don't get the position right you have to scrap it and start back at the drawing board.

As luck would have it I used a plug in, in after effects which allowed me to put the animation where I wanted it, then created a 3d camera to fine tune the position of the troops as they charged across the field. I then created what is called an obscure matte so that the troops appear to be behind the big rock on the right side which gives the illusion of depth.

Then using keyframes, I animated what is called the Z position to move the troops forward which gives the appearance that they are running along charging towards an enemy, the obj sequence only gives them the ability to move on the same spot, key framing and the Z position allows them forward motion, hence you see them running across.

The sound was a clip which I found online which was an MP4 sound clip converted to be an MP3 clip which found on youtube some time ago.

For ages, I was stumped using photoshop then I went to a website that sells matte paintings, watch their videos and others and something just clicked, I am not an expert but at least I have a better understanding then I previously did.

Everyone should try and learn something through-out their life just to keep up with technology, you never know when it might come in useful.

Anyway, hope you enjoy the clip.


Going, Going, Gone, high profile former Westminster Candidate Braden Davy defects to the Scottish Conservatives citing the Labour Party is ‘weak’ on Scottish independence, after Kezia Dugdale said she could support independence voters left, activists don’t want to come out and key donors aren’t funding the party, I think that could be classed as a major mistake which will come back to further haunt the party

Dear All

During the EU referendum, I fought on the side of the Vote Leave campaign; in fact I attended the launch in the Central Station Hotel in Glasgow where a UK Government Minister gave a brief talk.

The event was reasonably well attended considering it was setup on the hoof, there were a couple of other speakers, Tom Harris, the ex Labour MP was the person in charge in Scotland for Vote Leave.

Prior to the launch taking place, I had been campaigning in Glasgow helping to found and setup the Glasgow Street stall, I was specifically asked to attend this event because one of the core people wanted my input as a campaigner.

The first day, I turned up, the work rate went through the roof, previously years ago I used to be; Glasgow SNP’s top activist, I was pretty well known as a campaigner. Afterwards, I gave the person running the event my take on what they were doing, what needed to be changed and future ideas for the stall on Buchanan Street; I was doing most of the talking at that meeting. Later on after the meeting ended the person who asked me to help thanked me for my efforts, both on the day and the advice afterwards, because it wasn’t their speciality. 

Once up and running, the Buchanan Street stall churned out thousands of leaflets each week to the Glasgow public, new people turned up to join in, and the event was gaining momentum. In fact the biggest success story of Leave Campaigning in Glasgow was the street stall which one PhD student who had campaigned in Kent said was much better run and more professional.     
At Buchanan Street stall, the press popped by in various guises from home and aboard, the public certainly did, and so did the opposition in the shape of the Labour Party and the SNP. In areas were people adopted my campaigning methods in the City of Glasgow, the Vote Leave share was over 40%. My area of Pollok had the second highest Leave vote in Glasgow at 40.8%; for the most part I did all the heavy lifting myself but I did organise and plan a day for some visitors. In other areas where people didn’t follow my methods of campaigning, the vote hovered around the 30% mark and even dropped as low as 20% in Glasgow North. 

So, you might ask why the difference?

At the Glasgow launch, I stood up to speak, where I pointed out the stark realities of life, there was a lack of time, people and resources, therefore I suggested that a traditional campaign wouldn’t be possible and that to generate the highest vote possible, certain activities which had a low yield of contact with the voters might need to be abandoned. If you check the results and percentages you will see….. George Laird right again!

Incidentally politics isn’t that hard to do, I find it quite easy when it comes to campaign planning, referendums aren’t the same as elections and to that end you have to treat them differently, for a start there is no ‘candidate’ in a local area. Next up you find that pre-organisation is generally lacking which means no ground operation until what is termed the short campaign is up and running. Depending on the issue; you maybe thrown together with people who any other day of the week you would be politically attacking on a whole range of issues!

Vote Leave had people from the Labour Party, SNP and the Scottish Conservatives’; Ukip weren’t included which led them to run their own operation in Scotland. Then you have other organisations such as Leave. EU which really did understand what I had been trying to get across to Vote Leave at the Glasgow launch.

The Assistant Director of Vote Leave in Scotland was Braden Davy, he was a previously a staffer for the office of Anne Begg who was a Labour MP in Aberdeen. As well as being a staffer, he stood against Alex Salmond in the Gordon constituency. One of the things that political parties like to do is ‘try’ people out in no hope constituencies and see how they do, no surprise but Braden Davy lost.

So, after a really bad Scottish independence referendum, the Scottish Labour Party found itself in the nightmare of Westminster 2015, lost all but one seat in Scotland. Then comes Holyrood 2016 election, another disaster of biblical proportions for the party and to add a cherry to the cake, 23rd June was the Brexit vote, Labour was on the wrong side of the argument again.

Having done Brexit as Assistant Director of Vote Leave in Scotland, Braden Davy has decided to ditch the Scottish Labour Party and defect to the Scottish Conservatives. Davy has cited party’s perceived softness on independence, which might be a reference to Kezia Dugdale saying she could see herself vote for Scottish independence. This comment which she might have seen as a way to reach out to Labour voters who backed indy was to backfire rather badly on her. Unionist Labour voters dumped Scottish Labour and voted Conservative which is why there are two Conservative list MSPs in Glasgow now.

Oh and the ‘biggie’, the Scottish Labour Party is now the third party in Holyrood.

So, is there any silver lining for the Labour Party out this defection to the Scottish Conservatives?

Before I forget, Braden Davy said that there are more people in Scottish Labour who are going to defect to the Scottish Conservatives, I have seen no evidence if that is the case, and generally I would say at a push given what are the elected representatives at present, don’t see any of them jumping ship unless it is to the SNP! 

If there is any crumb of comfort from this wee story, it is that Braden Davy isn’t a very good political campaigner or strategist in my opinion. During the Vote Leave campaign, Davy wanted to enact a system for data collection which was so ‘time consuming’ to be a fool’s errand. If you don’t campaign, let me fill you in, a typical day of campaigning is a two hour slot, if you go canvassing you may if lucky manage to talk to about 20 to 30 people per hour and that is really pushing it to an extreme. So, in a session you might talk to 40 people over the two hours which isn’t very many in the way of contacts or even having a meaningful conversation. At Buchanan Street stall, one person managed to hand out about 900 leaflets in a three hour period, basically one every 12 seconds.

If you do the arithmetic, what is better, maybe 60 people in a three hour stint or 900 people in the same time frame?

When Braden Davy decided he wanted to push ahead with his voter id nonsense, the people on the ground in Glasgow and elsewhere weren’t happy, it was independently decided by some groups to dump voter id as a means of campaigning. I would also say to go back to something I wrote earlier, in areas where people used my campaign methods the vote was over 40%.

It seems that Braden Davy hasn’t been happy with Scottish Labour for sometime, and given the state of the party at present, perhaps he sees no chance electorally of getting into public office, especially at Westminster and Holyrood level. Earlier this year, the Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale was rejected by the voters in her area by a rather large margin, in Pollok former Labour leader was rejected by voters by similarly a rather large margin as well. 

When Davy stood as a candidate his election leaflet said:

“Only Labour can stop the Tories.”

It also stated: 

“In Gordon, the only way to make sure the Tories don’t form the next Government is to vote Scottish Labour.”

Its just rhetoric that you get on election leaflets which is why so many people get turned off when they get a leaflet pushed through their door.

One tweet which he stuck up on twitter was a tad risky; he tweeted next to a picture of Labour-supporting transvestite Eddie Izzard sarcastically:

“I just don’t understand why Labour can’t connect to the working class anymore.”

Personally I don’t think the reason is anything to do with Eddie Izzard more to do with a perceived lack of representation by those who were put into power who subsequently failed to hold up their end of the bargain when a constituent sought help. If you piss off a lot of people don’t be surprised when they turn their back on you when you need their help in return, what goes around comes around. 

To return to the Scottish Independence question, Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale was rightly criticised during the campaign after saying it was “not inconceivable” she could back independence if it secured Scotland’s place in the EU.

What possessed her to say this is beyond me, but there have been consequences which haven’t stopped rippling yet, the party ended up fighting a losing battle to hold onto second place at Holyrood and also helped the Tories who benefited by a huge margin which wasn’t down to anything other that the mistake by Kezia Dugdale.

A Ratner’s moment! 

Just as the voters have done a runner, so have other people, such as members failing to come out and be activists, but also there might be a cash crisis down the line as people like Alan Massie, a party donor have said Dugdale has to “do more” to back the Union.

Kezia Dugdale has since written a piece in a daily newspaper opposing a second independence referendum but is that enough, if you are saying you stand for one thing and the next minute you change your mind, people wonder about your credibility. As I said in earlier posts, Kezia Dugdale made a mistake backing Owen Smith, she then made a mistake saying Jeremy Corbyn couldn’t win an election; she has since backtracked on this statement in a short period of time as well. And then she has her own troubles as the momentum crowd in Scotland want her gone as leader, if she does badly in the Council elections in 2017, the pressure will be on for her to step down as leader.

A spokesman for the Scottish Conservatives said:

"The message sent to Labour during the Scottish election was clear, they are very much now a bit-part player. Now, with more people leaving Labour to come to us, we're in a better position than ever to be the strong opposition people elected us to be."

I don’t know about you but I would think that Scottish Labour should seriously think twice about rejecting me as a candidate for public office, I seem to have the uncanny knack for getting things right. This isn’t a sales pitch to those Labour members who read the blog or the staffers who may or not trot by scanning the blog for information on the George Laird view; I would say it is about facing reality.

The reality is this, there isn’t much difference between the Scottish Labour Party, the SNP, the Scottish Conservatives or the Lib Dems which is why people can so easily move from party to party. 

After being rejected by Scottish Labour, I have had two offers of help if I wish to stand for public office as an independent, one organisation previously supplied people to help Labour candidates. The other offer is to be involved in the setting up of a group for people who wish to stand as independents for Glasgow City Council in 2017. 

Apparently I am if I wish to be, the campaign director and a candidate of this new organisation, this is a real dilemma, do I stay as a Labour Party member delivering leaflets or do I take a campaign director's role and candidate’s position?

Finally, the Scottish Conservatives may think because Davy has a good CV which ticks several boxes, middle class, uni, staffer, assistant director, Royal Navy Reserve etc etc and that they have picked up a 'bargain', actually the reality is that they haven’t, yes, folks it is really is pig in a poke time, but they just don’t know it yet. 

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University 

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Friday, September 23, 2016

The War is On: Labour hopes of power could hinge on a Tory deal as polling figures show council election meltdown for the Labour Party in Glasgow, in local news, trust is an issue for Glasgow Labour as internal Party documents are leaked to the press, if you didn’t know better, you might think someone is sabotaging the party for an SNP win

Dear All

If someone in the Scottish Labour Party had said about a decade ago that a current Glasgow City Council Labour Group would jump into bed with the Tories you would have thought that you have lost your mind.

Some time ago in a chat with a Conservative, we ended up talking about the Glasgow Council Elections and he said to me given the success of Holyrood 2016 and the rise in the Conservative vote in the City, he could thought the 4 or 5 seats could be picked up by his party.

A decade ago such a conclusion would have be dismissed out of hand, but Scotland is in political flux, the big loser in the whirlwind is of course the Labour Party.

The Glasgow Labour Party is having a difficult time it had a bad Scottish Independence referendum losing in every area of the city.

Incidentally while in Pollok through-out the campaign no one from Pollok CLP campaign out to work with the Better Together Team.

Imagine it, 9, yes 9 elected members of the Labour Party in the Pollok Constituency and they never did a single day with the Better Together Team made up mostly of people who were members of any political party.

Westminster 2015 saw Pollok lost to the SNP, I always wondered if the then Labour MP Ian Davidson ever considered that working could or might have saved his job.

Holyrood 2016 again in Pollok another SNP victory, Johann Lamont lost badly in a Labour campaign which several people described as a ‘shambles’. Personally I have done a lot of campaigning and this campaign wasn’t good, leaderless, rudderless and not inclusive. It started late, didn’t have enough people, money and resources.

If there was a plan then it was a bad one.

The Labour Party needs to up its game, which is why it is a surprise to me that instead of being down to the business of fixing things, they are planning for defeat, or ‘managing expectations’ as they so delicately put it,

If there is a power meltdown, hopes of Labour continuing as the administration could rest on a Tory deal within the city.

It is said that the party is so sure of defeat that they have internal documents show it preparing for an electoral meltdown.

I wasn’t aware of this development but now that I am I don’t have much faith that appeal to stand as councillor for the Labour Party will come to much given that since they failed on me failure to demonstrate leadership that they don’t actually know what leadership is themselves.

Am I a leader, simple put yes, I have been in leadership positions before such as when I taught at Glasgow University running classes and most recently as Glasgow Spokesman for Leave.EU.

I didn’t volunteer for the role as Glasgow Spokesman for Leave.EU, I was specifically chosen by Dr Tom Walker who travelled right across the country to a meeting specifically to offer me the post. You may remember that I did the BBC Big Debate which is hosted by Gordon Brewer up against Ming Campbell, the elder statesman of the Lib Dems and SNP MEP Alyn Smith.

I and Brian Monteith won that debate hands down, you should have seen the face of Alyn Smith afterwards he was raging.

Some areas of Glasgow is predicted to drop by about two thirds of what it was polling in local government elections less than a decade ago, so you might ask why the massive drop?

It isn’t just because of the Scottish Independence vote, no; resentment has built up for some considerable time against elected Labour representatives.

It seems the part time attitude, failure to deliver and having a big vote to rely on had made some people adopt a couldn’t care less attitude to the punters.

But the tide has turned and people realise that that they can switch their vote to anyone, the Tories played the Union card and scooped up a hell of a lot which is why there are 2 list MSPs in the City of Glasgow.

Adam Tomkins and Annie Wells!

Cllr McAveety of the Labour Party and leader of Glasgow City Council said:

"This is ridiculous. I know what the Tories did to Glasgow and I know what damage their current policies are doing again. They will be nowhere near power next May. The reality is that this election will be a straight fight between Labour and the SNP. A straight fight between a party that will put Glasgow first or a part obsessed with another referendum. We are fighting to win and deliver for our city."

Does Frank remember the shock on his face in 2011 when he got put out in the street, I do, I remember him on the platform at the SECC giving his resurrection speech of he will be back.

Well, he didn’t come back in 2016.

In 2012, the Labour Party officials in London came up to Glasgow to do a cull, that was a success despite them getting some people wrongly put out, I was calling for this for years beforehand. The cull should have been extended to MPs and MSPs, that didn’t happen and we all know how that turned out.

Glasgow is up for grabs, the Labour Party organisers have a problem, the old ways of doing things is gone, you can’t rely on the public just to give you their vote anymore, you have to go out and earn it and not just at election time during the short campaign.

The Labour Party knows it has lost voters, they know that they have lost activists and they also know that they have lost donations from high profile donors; so are they about to lose the City of Glasgow to the SNP?

One ray of hope in the gloom is that the SNP opposition is incredibly poor in Glasgow, filled with non-entities but they wouldn’t be fronting the campaign, they will be standing around Nicola Sturgeon.

Someone in the Labour Party has apparently leaked internal documents show it preparing for an electoral meltdown.

It appears that not everyone is as trustworthy as they should be.

Finally as to my appeal to be a candidate, I do hope I get someone who understands what leadership actually is, part of leadership is about making tough choices and if I have to make a tough choice then you can be damn sure I will without giving it a second thought.

Yours Sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Convincing the public, convincing the members, Scottish Labour autonomy reforms blasted as 'cosmetic' as Kezia Dugdale signals "the biggest changes to how Scottish Labour is run in a generation", the proof will be whether Labour members will come out for the party for the 2017 Council Elections

Dear All

The Scottish Labour Party is said to be in the process of being ‘fully autonomous’ within the Labour Party.

Do you remember when the members had a vote to see if they wanted this move to take place?

I don’t and I am a member, when I say I am a member, I mean I pay the party money for a membership, but haven’t attended a CLP meeting during my entire time as none have taken place.

In fact I have to say I haven’t felt very welcome since I was put into the Pollok CLP, so prior to going along I looked them up and found this article.

When I did my first day with the CLP it was at Govan Cross, the Sun was shining, it was 14th November 2015; the Tax Credit was on the go. I found the event on the Scottish Labour Party event page so popped along. I didn’t expect a warm welcome as a new member and to no surprise I didn’t get it, after being given some leaflets by a councillor I handed them out to the public. The SNP turned up and managed to get the Labour Party to stop campaigning because of the Paris attacks, what happened is that the SNP did a picture op with the Labour Party and I was the only member of the party to be not asked and excluded.

When I ran out of leaflets I wandered over to be told that the Labour Party had decided to stop campaigning but no one could be bothered to cross the street to tell me this, the ‘event’ such as it was lasted circa 19 minutes.

First impressions count, and I wasn't impressed, an event lasting 19 minutes which I gave up an entire morning to attend.    

The Holyrood election was on the 5th of May 2016, it is now the 22nd of September, for nearly 5 months the Pollok CLP has done nothing in the way of campaigning in the Pollok area. During the Holyrood election, I found out again to no surprise that out of circa 220 members, about 95% of them didn’t turn up to do activism for the candidate Johann Lamont.

She lost rather badly; it could have been much worse however I ended up doing Govan myself, when I asked who was doing Govan, a former Labour heartland I was told no one. I took the decision to do it myself so that as wide an area could get covered.

The move towards Scottish Labour getting autonomy reforms has been hailed as putting Scottish Labour on track but others view the move as  'cosmetic', what good is autonomy when the activist base has collapsed?

Will more people come out and be activists because of this move?

The party's National Executive Committee (NEC) agreed that it will be handed control over policy, constituency parties and candidate selections for Westminster, this might worry supporters of Jeremy Corbyn in Scotland as the party is seen by some to be led by the right wing of the party.

When Johann Lamont resigned as Scottish leader in 2014, she said that the Scottish Party was being treated like a "branch office from London", the flare up was the removal of Scottish General Secretary Ian Price, were being taken by bosses in London without input from her.

Many people have commented that there is no such as the Scottish Labour Party, that is true, the Labour Party is registered with the electoral commission but not a separate Scottish Party.

Kezia Dugdale has said that the planned move is "the biggest changes to how Scottish Labour is run in a generation."

Previously, Jim Murphy with her as his deputy said that he had ‘fixed’ Scottish Labour, and promptly led the party to the worse defeat in about 100 years, all Westminster seats bar one held by the party wiped out.

I have little faith in claims made by people who have to keep saying they have ‘fixed’ the party repeatedly.

How many goes does it take to get it right?

Holyrood 2016, pushed Labour into third place by the Tories, a lot of that was based on Kezia Dugdale’s misstep by saying she could vote for independence, this was to try and win back Labour voters from the SNP that backfired; she didn’t get them back and lost many Unionist Labour voters as well.

An interesting thing popped up on the radar regarding the lack of funding from Labour donors.

If the voters have deserted the party, if the members aren’t willing to be activists and if the Labour donors don’t want to give donations, does anyone serious think that being ‘fully autonomous’ within the Labour Party is the solution to the problems.

Ms Dugdale said:

"I’m pleased to say that we have the agreement of Labour’s NEC for our autonomy proposals. These will be the biggest changes we’ve seen to how the Scottish Labour Party is run in a generation. It means Scottish Labour is now on track to become fully autonomous within the UK Labour Party."

Some people have concerns that the NEC seat is a ploy to have a built in anti Corbyn majority but I am wondering if the move to being ‘fully autonomous’ is in fact the gearing up towards federalism in the UK further down the line.

Either way I doubt the changes mean anything significant at grassroots level with members who will continue to act as they see fit on whether or not they wish to involve themselves in elections.

My experience in Pollok CLP is that if you want an event to start on time, have the job done properly then best to pre-plan it all out, and then do it yourself, otherwise you might end up being treated like you are a fucking arsehole and be left standing in the street 30 minutes past the start time.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University  

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

The Contest That Solved Nothing; Polls close in the bitter nasty Labour leadership contest between Jeremy Corbyn and Owen Smith, Corbyn is on course for a landslide victory as Smith fails to make headway, a battle is won but the civil war will continue

Dear All

The great battle of who is to lead the Labour Party has now drawn to an end as the polls have now officially closed.

And the winner by a landslide prior to an announcement is probably odds on to be Jeremy Corbyn.

The bitter fight between the right and left of the Labour Party was never in doubt as the right tried to scrap together anyone but Corbyn candidate.

First the right’s candidate Angela Eagle came spouting rubbish, claiming that she was a ‘strong’ Labour woman only to run off with her tail between her legs and making accusations against people in the party.

Her CLP membership no doubt when they get back together will want to field their ‘anyone but Angela Eagle’ candidate.

Next Owen Smith, the candidate seen as ‘the big business’ corporation man who didn’t impress, fought like a loser, had only soundbites and of course managed to have Corbyn’s policies as his own needed a patch up.

This has been a "long and bruising" campaign which was entirely pointless, the right of the Labour Party wanted to force out Jeremy Corbyn, they campaigned against him as leader right from the start, the 172 Labour MPs who failed to support him are a disgrace.

In the public domain it has been stated that the ‘coup’ didn’t just happen after Brexit, it was planned out for months beforehand. How could 172 Labour MPs feel that the Labour membership shouldn’t have a say in the direction and leadership of the party they are members of is beyond me.

So, what did they feel the role of a member is, is it to provide cheap labour while they enact Tory policies which punish the poorest and most vulnerable in society just so these people could get into political office?

Is that what the right of the Labour Party now stands for supporting big business at the expense of the poor, if that is the case why vote Labour to get Tory policies when you can have the genuine thing by voting Tory.

Many people see no difference between the right of the Labour Party and the Conservative Party, in Scotland, the shift away from Labour has been an on-going and sustained, the catalyst to abandon the party was the Scottish Independence referendum. People in working class areas saw no future in voting for elected Labour representatives who had completely failed them time and time again.

So, they took their votes, abandoned the party and looked elsewhere, finding the SNP as a protest vehicle, the great wipe out of Westminster 2015 was of the right wing control Labour Party in Scotland.

The wipe out of the Holyrood 2016 election was of the right wing control Labour Party in Scotland.

And guess what we know have the 2017 Council elections in Scotland where the right wing of the Labour Party is planning for defeat or as they say ‘managing expectations’.

Although Corbyn is holding out the peace pipe, his supporters aren’t, they have a new task and that is to get momentum supporting candidates put into public office and already there is talk about a new Labour leader in Scotland to replace Kezia Dugdale.

Kezia Dugdale backed the wrong candidate, getting it wrong is bad enough but getting it wrong and being Scottish Labour leader is a real problem, some people in the Corbyn camp wouldn’t be forgetting her pledge to Owen Smith.

Why did I vote Corbyn?

This contest was nasty, Corbyn was treated badly and I don’t like coups especially when the person attempting to be forced out hasn’t crossed their rubicon. The right of the Labour Party could have sat back and watch events unfold and waited, they didn’t, they thought the drip drip effect of resignations would see a new leader in, it didn’t.

Now the left is mobilised in the party, centred round ‘momentum’ much in the same way that the right wing of the Labour Party is centred round the Progress Crowd!

Whether as Progress has a limited appeal, momentum has the opposite, they want ordinary people to join them; Progress is all about the 1%, the middle class self-styled university educated elite who don’t think twice about supporting Tory policies saying that ‘hard choices’ must be made by the poor.

Brexit is a clear example how the 1% middle class self-styled university educated elite got it spectacularly wrong.

A recent YouGov poll for The Times predicts Jeremy Corbyn win by 62% of the vote but the problem doesn’t end there, the right will not accept Corbyn, you can only wonder who the next contender they will send out as challenger.

I would have expected that Hillary Benn would have stood as a candidate, but where is Hillary Benn?

Benn is nowhere to be seen, in fact the right wing of the Labour Party have been careful to keep the focus all on Owen Smith and to some degree Angela Eagle when she was a candidate.

But there will be other people who will come forward to challenge Jeremy Corbyn, either before the next election or after it, especially if there is a defeat and the Tories win.

In politics, not only can you not trust the opposition, you also cannot trust your own colleagues in your own party because of factions, political unity is an illusion feed to the masses to dupe them.

640,000 people are eligible to vote in the election, the fact that 172 Labour MPs thought that they should be able to overrule the 640,000 is something which needs to be dealt with, democracy must be as wide as possible in the Labour Party for the benefit of all.

So far the talk of the PLP wanting to have sole control of who is elected to the shadow Cabinet is now on the political agenda, why should members be cut of who the representative is in a shadow portfolio that is entirely wrong.

Finally Owen Smith said:

“I'm particularly honoured that over 5,000 people have donated their time and efforts to this campaign”.

5,000 out of a party of 640,000 doesn’t seem like popularity to me.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Reclaiming the word ‘Dyke’, SNP MP Joanna Cherry says 'regrets' offence caused by homophobic slur at independence event which she called "hilariously irreverent satire", it seems SNP MPs can use specific homophobic language and get away with it under Nicola Sturgeon’s weak leadership, where’s the suspension Nicola?

Dear All

It has been said and with some justification that the current crop of SNP MPs aren’t very good, in fact you could put hand on heart and say what a disgrace to Scotland they are.

From the moment they hit Westminster right up to the present they have been a feral mob whether in the House of Commons acting like fools or beyond acting like fools.

The SNP do show the public one thing, anyone can be an MP regardless of talent or not, you don’t need brains, you don’t need merit, you don’t need ability in the SNP, it is purely a matter of does your face fits.

SNP MP Joanna Cherry is in the spotlight at present for tweeting enjoyment at what was dubbed "hilariously irreverent satire" from the comedy group Witsherface. This group did a spoof rap battle at Sunday's Scottish Independence Convention in Glasgow with a character called "Ruth 'Dykey' D".

Although the arts are and tend to be liberal, the political context of the event cannot be ignored nor the target which in this case is Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson.
During the rap, the character went on to make a series of inappropriate sexual comments to someone playing the 22-year-old SNP MP Mhairi Black, who is also LGBT. Black, the MP also has an act, playing the character of someone who is working class while staying in an expensive middle class house in Ralston. You could argue that is more like humour as she ‘rips the piss’ out of the punters in Paisley while playing one of the ‘mucker’ brigade.

I have met Ruth Davidson a couple in passing, mostly at politics things where I say a quick hi in passing, so what she must have made of this ‘event’ is anyone’s guess.

So, what is Joanna Cherry’s claim to fame, what makes her a ‘Nationalist’?

During the Scottish independence she  set up the "Lawyers for Yes" campaign group, this was SNP trying to convince the legal profession to back independence which incidentally they didn’t.

Lawyers for Yes, Poles for Yes, French for Yes, Rangers for Yes, Celtic for Yes, Youth for Yes, LGBT for Yes all add up to one thing……. Shit, a con trick to try and create voter caches which doesn’t work.

The multi organisation idea was to give the false impression that Alex Salmond and Nicola Sturgeon had a whole country in their corner and that they were leading them to independence when the opposite was true.

Salmond and Sturgeon were a pair of con merchants who tried to dupe people into putting their financial future on the line and that of their kids, on a bet, a bet that was to be seen later on to be made on a totally flawed prospectus.

Scotland if independent right now would be bankrupt and add to it, the lifeline that the SNP wanted from the EU wouldn’t exist, another lie feed to the masses. Four EU countries already have expressed their desire to block Scotland from joining the EU.


Internal domestic politics in their own countries which they wish to keep in check.

So lets get back to SNP MP Joanna Cherry, she has decided to say that she ‘regrets’ any offence caused, but you have to ask is this the same as apologising?

Clearly the answer in my opinion is no, her rationale is that she was among the ‘gay’ women who had reclaimed the term and she now 'used it proudly.'

She added:

"I understand others are not comfortable with it and while the event and performance were not organised by me or the SNP I regret the offence that was caused."

Cherry can ‘claim’ what she wants but charity Stonewall Scotland condemning use of the word 'dyke' which it cites as a specific example of homophobic language.

So, there you are, there is an SNP MP called Joanna Cherry who says she is actively  using the term ‘dyke’ which is regarded as  homophobic language and Nicola Sturgeon is quite happy and willing to sit back and let that happen.

The SNP membership love to smear and brand people homophobic now senior members get carte blanche to toss the word ‘dyke’ about the place when it suits them.

A spokesman for the SNP said:

"We condemn any form of homophobia - this was not an SNP event."

Oh someone is a tad sensitive it seems.

Finally, will Joanna Cherry be disciplined for what she did by the SNP leadership, the answer is probably no, the Civic Nationalists are a bunch of hypocrites.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University