Saturday, March 27, 2010


To (scotland)

The post listed in the above title has some serious accusations about the role of the YMCA in the Red Road Flats tragedy.

I can't print these unless you give a proper ID to allow the organisation to respond as they see fit

Friday, March 26, 2010


Has anyone noticed a massive U Turn in Tory philosophy; during the wretched years of the last Tory Govt. British Industry and British companies were devastated and many went to the wall; it was all necessary said the hidebound ‘Laissez Faire’ zealots like Thatcher, Tebbit and the bug eyed crazed economic guru Keith Joseph. The market will decide; the market will regulate itself; this was their mantra; remove the dead hand of big Government from our entrepreneurs and businesses and the country will flourish; it was of course a massive crock of bulldung cheered on by the right wing media who vilified Trade Unions and ordinary working people. They; not the bankers, the shysters and the ‘Bullington Toffs’ like Cameron and Osbourne paid the price; the misery endured by those who lost their livelihoods is a price which is still being paid today.

Despite what happened we are heading the same way today if we don’t stand up against them, the Tory liars and the gutter right wing press who told us that business can run the economy better than Government are the same people who are now trying to damage Labour and Gordon Brown by implicating him and Labour in the industrial disputes which are happening just now, ‘the Govt. must act’ they now say; the same people who said the Railways, the Gas industry and British Airways ‘et al’ must be freed from Govt. intervention; they must be freed by privatisation. Well all 3 are privatised but were the Tories right? is this the biggest ‘U’ Turn in policy ever, now the Govt. must interfere right? is that a change or what?
Millions were made by friends of the Tories when these companies were privatised but; who was right are they better now? The trains? Air travel? Utilities like Gas and Electricity? There has been for a while a growing unrest among the public who are slowly realising that they were conned by the greedy Tories about privatisation and evidence has been piling up suggesting that the public would like to see more not less Govt. ownership; particularly the railways where it seems that the Marx brothers are in charge while James Cagney (with a Dublin accent) has been recruited by British Airways.

The lesson is a clear one for those who believe like me that the Trade Union movement along with the greater Labour movement and Labour Party has been the greatest force for progress in our country’s history; perhaps not for the Tory Bullington Boys but for the majority there can be no doubt. I will not turn my back on working people in struggle; I will not cross a picket line and I will not have any truck with these or any other companies or industries while their employees are on strike; it is the right and decent thing to do; Solidarity is a wonderful word and a wonderful concept. Think about the vile propaganda we are seeing; think also about the past; according to the media and the Tories there has never been a just strike they; the bosses are always right and we the workers are always wrong so don’t bother trying to appease them, support the strikers 100% they (the Tories) want to take us back to Thatcherism and the dark days of Tory misery.

When you hear the Tories and the media try to blame Brown and Labour and demand Government action remember these are private companies created by Tory dogma at great cost to all of us in morale; misery; lost jobs and shattered lives. Don’t fall for their lies don’t let it happen again back the workers in their struggle; perhaps in the future we can claim back these companies which should belong to the people not simply to the Tories and their rich corrupt friends.

They are again treating us the hard working people of this country with contempt by assuming we will not remember who took Government involvement away from such companies; don’t fall for their lies again.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Sir James Black - A Truly Great Scot.

The regular readers of this blog and the web site which preceded it might be aware that I have always been reluctant to describe individuals as heroes of one country or another: I think of myself as an internationalist and most of my heroes tended to have a similar outlook. I have always been suspicious of those who tub thump about someone achieving, the illusive title of greatness because they were by an accident of birth born in one part of the world rather than another; the most obvious people afflicted by this nonsense are the SNP and the mob who follow them “it might be rubbish but at least it’s Scottish rubbish” those people.

I find it easy to ridicule this baloney when I hear about the Scottish greats like Bruce, Wallace (not the Lisbon lion), and nonentities like Sean Connery and the over hyped Robert Burns; I much prefer John McLean; Keir Hardie; Alexander Fleming and Oor Wullie (OK the last one is a joke). The reason I am writing this is to confess that despite my cynicism about national heroes there is occasionally one who genuinely fits the bill and I don’t mind as much when I hear him / her called a great Scot; if that is illogical then I will live with it.

Two days ago March 22nd. 2010 such a man passed away at the grand old age of 85, Sir James Black; I will put aside my dislike of titles in his case. OM, FRS,FRSE,FRCP a Doctor and pharmacologist, winner of the Nobel Prize for Medicine (1988) even at 85 years old you would have to say that this guy didn’t waste a minute. Millions of people who are familiar with the words Propranolol and Cimetidine which are drugs, have great cause to thank him, when you realize that we are talking about Beta Blockers to treat heart problems which have saved millions of lives as the former and the treatment of Peptic Ulcers and the saving of millions more lives as the latter we can begin to see that this man has played a part in the lives of countless numbers of people; just about everyone knows someone who has benefited from the inventions; research and genius of Sir James Black.

A long time ago I suffered chronic stomach pains and was eventually referred to a consultant who examined me and told me and showed me through X rays that I had peptic ulcers; my response was to ask him how big an operation it would be. About that time the operation was common and it was a big deal and you were out of the game for about 6 weeks; also about that time unknown to me the great man had worked his magic and the operation had become scarce; the consultant was able to tell me that I would be put on a 6 week course of drugs by my GP which would cure me; there would be no side effects and no need for time off work and he was correct.

Consider the savings made by the NHS by issuing a 6 week course of drugs rather than a major operation, the time and money saved by not having to stay off work. Consider the savings in treatment of heart disease and the costs of big dangerous operations and recovery times and time lost at work by his invention of Beta Blockers. This man saved the NHS limitless billions of pounds and improved and saved the lives of countless millions of people and here is the best part; the part that no money grabbing capitalist entrepreneur can even begin to understand, I have heard nothing and been unable to find any evidence of him cashing in on his inventions; it never seemed to occur to him to patent anything. He could have been one of the richest people on the planet but that didn’t drive him he simply followed his brilliant and beautiful mind wherever it took him.

If Scots. must have heroes and statues; forget the usual suspects; unusually for me I would be proud to say I come from the same country as this great man; we had the same accident of birth. Sir James Black deserves the title of a great man and a great Scot. if you prefer to call him that.

Friday, March 19, 2010


The article below is similar to one which I printed a couple of days ago; I was contacted by the YMCA who strongly denied the allegations made by ‘Positive Action in Housing’ at the time and I printed their version of events. PAH have chosen to reiterate their version of events in more detail and I again print what they have said; I will of course afford the same courtesy to the YMCA. I have received no response to my last article asking the YMCA some questions. The story is a horrendous one and if it is accurate it simply cannot be allowed to continue; it beggars belief that the YMCA are responsible for a service where such abuses are happening and that is why they have to speak out. We also have to have a full public enquiry to get to the truth and put right any abuses that may be taking place.
In the meantime I urge everyone to contact their elected political representatives at all levels to demand action on this before there are any other tragedies. At the bottom of this article you can find details of how to support the work of ‘Positive Action in Housing’ I urge you to try to help by sending a donation. Click here for Positive Action in Housing's letter to the Lord Advocate asking for a fatal accident enquiry.

Latest release from Positive Action in Housing.
Many people will be aware of the story of the asylum seeker whose belongings were cleared out of his room at the Red Road flats by the YMCA while he was at a candlelit vigil for the Sehryk Family alongside 250 other residents at 63 Petershill Drive, Glasgow on Tuesday 9th March 2010. Saeed had received a letter from the YMCA telling him to leave his flat but he has nowhere else to go.

There was clearly a lot of tensions and sadness following the Red road suicides and for this to happen at all, never mind on the night of the vigil, showed, in our view a clear lack of humanity or compassion. Tensions could have flared as 25-30 people gathered round to see what the young man was upset about.

People were clearly distressed and upset and angry for the young man, especially after what had happened to the Sehryk family, clearly there was an incredulity in the air about the depths to which our “civilised” society could sink at a time of such despair and hopelessness in this community.

To calm things, we went with the young man, Saeed, to his flat. The events were filmed. The flat was indeed completely cleared out except for the cleaner’s Hoover (marked Cynthia) and cleaner’s trolley. We followed Saeed and a representative of the Scottish Afghan Society, Mohammad Asif, spoke to the staff at reception, two men. The two men rummaged amongst bags of other people’s clothes and called out names to Saeed. These were clearly not his. They then told Saeed in the presence of six witnesses that his stuff was probably thrown out or in the bin. Saeed was stood before us in the clothes he wore, with a pair of keys and a letter from the YMCA telling him to leave. (See attached).

On Wednesday 10th March, we sent a letter to the YMCA by email dated Wed 10/03/2010 18:46 expressing our shock at the way this young man was treated. We made it clear that if this is the YMCA’s standard practice when treating asylum seekers, then it is nothing short of flammatory to the Red road community and a disgrace to civilized society.
In a reply to Positive Action in Housing dated Thursday 11 March 2010, the YMCA’s Chief Executive Joe Connoly denied receiving our correspondence and stated that our account of events were “defamatory and offensive”. Mr Connoly went onto state that YMCA Glasgow has a “no eviction” policy.

This does not tie in with Saeed’s experience or those who witnessed what happened to him. If you get a letter telling you to leave by the YMCA and then find that all your belongings have been cleared out, then in our estimation, Saeed was evicted.
We should make it clear that we have filmed evidence of the events that unfolded on the night of Tuesday 9 March 2010 and sworn statements from Saeed and other witnesses. Furthermore, we have other service users who have received letters telling them to vacate YMCA accommodation. Yet they have nowhere to go.

In a separate piece of correspondence on Thursday 11 March 2010, the YMCA stated:
“The person [Saeed] is with his belongings, accommodated by YMCA Glasgow and, in accordance with our no eviction policy, will remain so until the Scottish Refugee Council are able to provide him with the assistance he requires”.

According to Saeed, this is simply not true. On Wednesday 10 March, he stayed at another asylum seekers flat, sleeping on the sofa. The following day, Thursday 11 March, a YMCA staff member searched for and found Saeed at the other asylum seeker’s flat, and hurriedly reinstated him in his original room that had been cleared out. The YMCA staff member then handed him a bag of dirty, scorched clothes, and told him, "Your problem is over". His dead family's photographs are still missing.

Unfortunately it was not over, for two reasons. Firstly, the bin bag of clothes that Saeed was given were not his. In fact, to add insult to injury, the clothes he received back were dirty, scorched and not even his size or style. Secondly, the following day, Friday 12 March, Saeed went to report at the UKBA Brand Street Reporting Centre. UKBA staff told him that he must report every week instead of the usual fortnightly reporting. Saeed is very worried about this sudden change in frequency of reporting, and thinks it is because he has attracted attention by talking about the way he was treated.

On Tuesday 16 March, Positive Action in Housing gave Saeed a little bit of money from our hardship fund to buy food as he has no other means of support. Yesterday, Wednesday 17 March, Saeed's lawyer advised him to report the missing belongings to the Police. We contacted Strathclyde Police who spoke to the YMCA. Today, Thursday 18 March, Saeed informed us that a YMCA member of staff visited him to find out what was missing and to begin a search of his missing belongings. As yet, Saeed’s belongings remain missing.

At 11 am, tomorrow, Friday 19 March, Saeed will attend a press conference prior to going into Brand Street to sign. The conference will provide an update to Saeed's extraordinary circumstances.

Saeed fled Afghanistan to escape the Taleban because they were forcing young men and boys in his neighbourhood to become suicide bombers.

This is not the first time that the treatment of asylum seekers by the YMCA has come under public scrutiny. As early as June 2000, the Sunday Herald reported that:

“More than 20 representatives of a group of 102 asylum-seekers housed in the YMCA building in Springburn said they were living in fear, being supplied with inadequate food and were discriminated against by the building's staff, who would not allow visitors. Ola Adewale said he arrived in Britain two months ago. He fled his Nigerian home in fear of his life, after earlier being detained and tortured by security services for speaking out against the government. He told the Sunday Herald he had been victimised by senior members of the YMCA's staff. "Up until last week, most of them were not treating us like human beings," he said. "I was in the building's reception and I picked up a magazine to read. A senior staff member said, 'Get away from that place, it is not for asylum seekers'.

In July 2000, the Herald newspaper reported that

“Asylum seekers called on MSPs to take action over conditions in their temporary accommodation which make them feel like 'prisoners'. Seven Glasgow-based refugees met the politicians to give them accounts of their difficulties and submitted a 70-signature petition describing their 'deplorable' conditions. The refugees, who were mostly professionals in their home countries, spoke of their fear and anxiety living at the YMCA centre in Sighthill, and said they had been attacked in their rooms and in the street. Their 'plea for support' expressed gratitude for 'providing us with a safe place in which to hide after our escape from almost certain death, torture and other forms of persecution'. It added that Glaswegians had 'consistently shown us a lot of love and a spirit of friendliness which we have found astonishing'. However, it went on to say that the YMCA accommodation was 'ridden with problems' because of inappropriate diet and meal times, and many asylum seekers were suffering weight loss problems. The petition accused the YMCA of treating the refugees like 'prisoners', although it conceded that they were at least now allowed visitors. It described as 'incomprehensible' the decision to place four women - including one who is pregnant - and two children, aged eight and nine, among 90 men in what could be a tense and aggressive atmosphere.”

From the desk of: Robina Qureshi Director w:0141 353 2220 m: 07807007680 f: 0141 353 3882 e:
w: Support our work: Send a cheque made payable to Positive Action in Housing Ltd to:
Jamie O’Neill, Admin Manager Positive Action in Housing, 98 West George St. Glasgow G2 1PJ

Thursday, March 18, 2010


A little while ago I wrote about the tragic suicides at the Red Road Flats and made remarks about the YMCA who run the housing facility for asylum seekers, my remarks were based on strongly critical comments from a homeless charity in Glasgow. I asked the YMCA for a response which they sent and I published it; some people took me to task for prejudging the YMCA which I deny.

I have now received a comment from someone who is critical of the YMCA and the person asked a simple but rather salient question namely just how much money does the YMCA get for each asylum seeker that it houses.

I can see no reason why the YMCA would not agree to share this information with us; anything we can learn about the situation regarding the asylum seekers and their treatment would be interesting to know, I therefore ask the following of the YMCA.

1/ How much do the YMCA get paid for each asylum seeker that they house per night.
2/ How many asylum seekers do they deal with in a year.
3/ What do they provide to the client for their payment.
4/ How many other organisations were given the chance to take on this servive.

I hope someone who knows the answers will contact me; perhaps some of those who accused me of being unfair to the YMCA could help here and maybe some readers could suggest other questions.


The attempt by the SNP to prevent vital information getting to the public has been crushed; their decision to stop local authorities from advertising in local papers has been overturned in a humiliating climb-down by Holyrood’s ‘Mr. Cellophane’ John Swinney. This talking suit was forced to announce the ‘U turn’ due to public protest and parliamentary pressure led by the Paisley Daily Express in this area and Labour MSP’s Hugh Henry, Wendy Alexander and Trish Godman; well done to all of them. Voters will note that the ubiquitous and hapless SNP MSP Bill Wilson who is ready to man the barricades to make supermarkets label turnips as neeps and potatoes as tatties had nothing to say about the SNP removing this vital facility.

The move to computers would have meant thousands of people without access to the web would have been unable to see recruitment notices, planning applications, road closures etc. The local SNP led administration jumped on it with enthusiasm for the additional reason that councillor’s surgeries would not be advertised in the PDE making them more distant from their constituents which suited them just fine. Make no mistake about it this was a cynical attempt by an increasingly unpopular SNP Government to deny people the right to know what is going on it was a contemptuous anti democratic swindle and very typical of the SNP.

It will be easier again to see when and where your councillor is holding her/his surgeries and; considering the cuts being imposed by this SNP/ Lib. Dem. administration I hope more people will turn up at surgeries to tell them what they think of the cuts; starting with the callous and reckless cuts in school transport; their attempt to hide from the public has failed; they have no shame.
(Byeck) 17/03/10

You have made serious allegations against someone without giving your identity therefore I can't print them. Try to find some courage somewhere and resubmit your accusations with your proper checkable ID and I will print it; that way the accused gets a chance to see who you are and respond if he/she sees fit.

(bbcc1234aa) 17/03/10

You have just accused a sitting MP of being a liar. If you want me to respond to your post you will have to identify yourself and I will print your accusation, that way the MP concerned can respond if he wishes.
Are you a coward as well as a liar?

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


I remember thinking when David Cameron extended the invitation to the retiring Army Chief Sir Richard Dannat to become the Tory spokesman on defence that it looked like a gaffe; a blunder by him and a clanger by the retiring soldier, one which called the soldier's competence and judgement in to question instantly. It is commonly recognised that the upper sections of the military in all three services are polluted by Tories and rotten to the core with cronyism; it was ever thus and it has been accepted as part of some kind of British tradition, like upper class inbreeding and the half witted Royals. The continuous sniping by these career soldiers against the Labour Govt. and in particular Gordon Brown always looked politically motivated and Brown’s evidence at the Chilcot enquiry stunned everyone by its confident and robust nature, this was not a man with anything to hide and he enjoyed his day in court.

What he highlighted was what many people were already beginning to think; simply by laying out the facts and squaring up to these nonentities he damaged the reputation of Sir Richard Dannat and Lords Guthrie and Boyce; who are two more retiring senior soldiers with their own agenda. The public is at last beginning to ask questions about these so called leaders and their motives; suddenly we are hearing “why was Brown so self-assured; after the mauling he has taken from the Army Chiefs and the right wing Tory press over this why wasn’t he cowering? He kicked Ass and didn’t even have to name his targets.

The UK spends more per soldier than any other country in the world except the USA! Wow! we haven’t heard that one Sir Richard; complaints about sending more troops are dashed by complaints about not having enough troops, when will people see through the Tories? Many members of the public; more often than not those who shout the loudest denunciation of the Govt. would rather watch strictly come dancing than a programme about the Afghanistan conflict but the right wing press don’t tell you that do they? The lazy corrupt media will relentlessly pursue the easy headline about troop deaths using them to attack the Govt. Here is a comment from a very unlikely source (certainly for me it is) which rather blows apart the case for the retiring senior soldiers who are now bleating from the sidelines “What no one seemed to have noticed was that no one resigned over the defence matter” I will return to this, (Norman Tebbit) Honestly it is Norman being quoted by me, the reptilian old ‘Chingford skinhead; the semi house trained polecat) nails them with effortless logic he makes them look like knaves and self serving liars; ‘well done that man’ as they say in the Army.

The truth of the matter which old Norman highlights is that these Lords and Sirs had a well established course to follow; they identify a military need and they ask the defence secretary to finance it; if he/she refuses they go over his/her head to the Prime Minister and if he refuses they can and should resign. if their outrage is authentic that is, it seems they failed to do so; the old ‘lions led by donkeys thing’ let me quote from my old chum Tebbit (more old than chum) still; coming from him it is too good to let pass.

“As we know, no one resigned. That is, they all went along with the then Chancellor. For anyone who held responsibility at that time to say now, years later, that the troops were sent to war without the right equipment is to invite the question: Then why did you go along with it at the time”? This is why David Cameron exploded with synthetic rage at PMQ’s the other day when he quoted the three exposed military officers attacking the PM. A number of Labour MP’s shouted out exactly what the rest of the country was thinking “they are Tories” they cried, as Mandy Rice Davies once said and I paraphrase “they would say that wouldn’t they”? She caused the Tories quite a crisis in a long-ago humiliation in their corrupt history.

Tebbit is a right wing yob who is true to his beliefs he does not excuse anyone who falls short no matter who they are; he has looked at these higher-ranking soldiers and their conduct and concluded as I do that their real position is self protection. They have failed and they know that if they can’t shift the blame on to Gordon Brown they have to think about who comes next? the answer is they do! I don’t in truth know and don’t for the most part care what kind of military career these men had but their behaviour in this matter suggests that for the sake of morale and professionalism the armed forces will not miss them.

I have said before and I say again the soldiers sailors and airmen and women who risk their lives deserve better than this, the officer class of the UK military needs an enema.

Thursday, March 11, 2010


The tall grey haired distinguished looking man who steps off the airplane in Israel is a VIP and no mistake; arguably there is only one more important VIP on the planet and that is Barak Obama the President of the USA. This is Senator Joe Biden the man who is one heartbeat away from the most important job in the world; Joe is the Vice President of the USA so this must be important right? well the world thought so but; Israel is not quite ready to be included as part of the rest of the world. Biden is in Israel to try to make a breakthrough in starting up the peace talks between Palestine and Israel for the umpteenth time.

For such an important man to get involved at this level suggests that something positive is about to happen we all hope it’s a chink of light; the world again holds its breath; Israel however sees an opportunity to once again dash all hopes of progress. Designed to coincide with the Vice President’s visit the devious liars who control the rogue State of Israel have decided to humiliate Biden and America and show the world that no one tells the Israeli Crazy gang what to do.

They announce in a move designed to make matters worse that 1,600 settler houses will be built in the illegally occupied Palestinian territory of East Jerusalem which has been occupied illegally according to the rest of the world since 19 67. Israel is not however part of the normal world; they have no intention whatsoever of making peace; if this latest provocation does not prove that nothing ever will. Palestinian homes will be knocked down and Jewish settler homes will be built on land that is legally Palestinian and the world continues to do nothing and the mightiest power on the planet accepts another humiliation.

The world will eventually have to act against Israel to enforce a two state settlement and it has to be the one based on 19 67 borders. For those who have forgotten what that means :- Gaza; The West Bank and East Jerusalem are Palestinian territories; the Apartheid Wall is illegal; the refugees have the right of return with compensation and the Golan Heights are Syrian but that seems to be ignored.

These conditions are those which are supported by the rest of the world; only Israel and America demur; we need a massive boycott to make this bunch of crazies see sense; if the USA were to lead it the problem would be over right away. Think about the above the next time you hear the weasel words of the Israeli spokespersons talking about a peaceful solution and remember when their lips move they are lying.

I predict that there will be a lot more bloodshed before any progress is made Israel has made it’s bed and it is slowly losing the war of ideas which they can’t control; they are in too deep; they can still hold on to Israeli popular opinion by going after Iraq or Iran or my tip which is Lebanon; they are still smarting about what Hezbollah did to the IDF who everyone thought were invincible; that is unfinished business for the Israeli warmongers but they will know that it won’t be like attacking defenceless Gaza; Hezbollah are a different prospect and Israel knows that, victory against them will come at a grave cost. The big question is how long can they get away with it; the world knows Israel is in the wrong but will they take everyone down with them? Look at the loonies in charge and be scared be very scared. What will they do when they start to see that the game is up? just how crazy and fanatical are they?

They will lose; and the more sane and astute among them know that; history tells us clearly that they will lose; remember Vietnam? south Africa ? oh, they will lose all right; mainly because by all that is decent in humanity they deserve to lose.


I received the letter below unsolicited from the YMCA and I am printing it in the hope that those concerned will accept that something is badly wrong with what is happening to asylum seekers in Glasgow.
Ms. Qureshi clearly makes some serious allegations and Mr. Connolly clearly refutes them robustly. I just want the matter clarified and something done about it and I hope that both agencies and others involved can act together to solve this very serious problem.

Dear All,
Please find attached a statement from Joe Connolly, Chief Executive Officer, YMCA Glasgow regarding correspondence circulated by Robina Qureshi, Director, Positive Action in Housing.

Yours sincerely

Lynne Fairbairn

Lynne Fairbairn
Personal Assistant to CEO
YMCA Glasgow
Head Office
William Harte House
15 Dava Street
G51 2JA Tel: 0141 565 1204
Mob: 07876028653 Fax: 0141 565 1219 Email: l.fairbairn@ymcaglasgow.orgWeb:

Statement from Joe Connolly, Chief Executive, YMCA Glasgow

Thursday 11 March 2010 – 14.30pm

Correspondence Circulated by Robina Qureshi – Positive Action in Housing

YMCA Glasgow was contacted, via messages left on the Head Office answer phone, in the early evening of Wednesday 10 March 2010 by BBC Radio Scotland and Radio Clyde. The messages were picked up when the office opened at 9am on Thursday 11 March and each was requesting that I contact the respective radio stations.

I proceeded to contact Radio Clyde in the first instance to be told by a reporter that they had received by e-mail the previous evening a letter from Robina Qureshi, Director of Positive Action in Housing (PAiH) in which she has made a number of allegations about the treatment of a YMCA Glasgow service user at 33 Petershill Drive on the evening of Tuesday 9 March 2010.

As you can see, the letter is addressed to me. I understand from various sources that it has been circulated extensively to a number of individuals and organisations, including sections of the press. To date, this letter has not been received by YMCA Glasgow and, in order to address the issues referred to in it, I asked the Radio Clyde reporter to e-mail it to me.

Having consulted with relevant staff who were on duty in 33 Petershill Drive at the time when the alleged incident referred to in the letter was taking place, I am satisfied that the allegations made by Robina Qureshi are totally unfounded.

My staff at the YMCA Glasgow service at Petershill Drive have reported that they were approached on the evening of 9 March 2010 by a woman who spoke to them in a challenging manner to the point that staff felt intimidated by her. She was accompanied by a man who seemed to be taking notes.

Staff have informed me that the description of events described in Ms Qureshi’s letter bears no resemblance to what staff members experienced, witnessed and said during the evening of Tuesday 9 March 2010.

I can also say, emphatically, that the description of events in Ms Qureshi’s letter bears no resemblance to what is standard practice within YMCA Glasgow asylum seeker services in which we operate an effective “no eviction” policy.

I will not comment in detail on the personal circumstances of any of YMCA Glasgow service user as to do so would breach our policy on service user confidentiality. It is, however, important in the circumstances to note that the person named by Ms Qureshi in her letter is, with his belongings, accommodated by YMCA Glasgow and, in accordance with our no eviction policy, will remain so until the Scottish Refugee Council are able to provide him with the assistance he requires.

YMCA Glasgow delivers similar services to other organisations, such as Glasgow City Council, which provide accommodation on behalf of the UK Borders Agency to asylum seekers in Scotland.

YMCA Glasgow funds a number of services and initiatives for asylum seekers and refugees from our own voluntary income. In the past two years this has amounted to approximately £2 million, a substantial amount of which is capital funding which we have used to refurbish accommodation in the North Glasgow, including at Petershill Drive. We have also supported the establishment of asylum seeker residents association as a means of ensuring that service users can communicate in a structured way with YMCA Glasgow for the purpose of working collaboratively to continuously improve services.

YMCA Glasgow is a charitable organisation registered with the Office of the Scottish Charities Regulator (OSCR) and, in common with other registered charities, our financial accounts are in the public domain.

Contact: Joseph P Connolly Chief Executive Officer
YMCA Glasgow Head Office
William Harte House 15 Dava Street
Glasgow Tel: 0141 565 120 Fax: 0141 565 1219


The elephant is one of the best loved animals in the history of our planet; its image is reproduced in tens of millions of children’s toys pictures and stories. It is an intelligent gentle giant and is completely harmless it just brings joy and wonder to everyone; everyone that is except the crooks who are willing to kill them so that our fellow human beings can wear pathetic trinkets.
Do you believe that it is OK to kill such a magnificent creature so that some shallow character can wear an ivory necklace? If like me you think that that is an obscenity then sign the petition below.

In 5 days, 2 African governments will try to pry open the worldwide ban on ivory trading -- a decision that could wipe out whole elephant populations and bring these magnificent animals closer to extinction.Tanzania and Zambia are lobbying the UN for special exemptions from the ban, other African states have countered by calling to extend the trade ban for 20 years.Our best chance to save the continent's remaining elephants is to support African conservationists. We only have 5 days left and the UN Endangered Species body only meets every 3 years. Over 30,000 elephants are gunned down each year and their tusks hacked off by poachers with axes and chainsaws. Click below to sign this urgent petition


It beggars belief that an organisation with the word Christian in its title could act in such a way; the letter below is a very serious and I think that the public are entitled to some answers from the YMCA.

98 West George Street Glasgow G2 1PJ
Tel 0141 353 2220 E
10th March 2010

FAO Joe Connolly
YMCA Glasgow
William Harthouse
25 Daba Street
Glasgow G51 2JA

Dear Mr. Connelly,


Last night, while attending a candlelit vigil in memory of the Serkhi family alongside over 200
residents of the Red road flats, myself and representatives from the Scottish Afghan Association,
Glasgow Campaign to Welcome Refugees were approached by a young Afghan man, Saeed. He
explained that he had left his YMCA flat on the 21st floor to join the other residents at the vigil. After
about an hour, he returned to the flat whereupon he found that his room completely cleared of his
belongings and was told by the YMCA staff cleaning out his room that his stuff was gone and he
couldn’t return to the flat because the room was “for someone else” He asked us for help and was
clearly distressed. When we were approached by the young man, a crowd of people gathered round
around 25 to 30 who were clearly distressed and upset and angry for the young man. There was a
small police presence of around three officers and we were in a potentially flammatory situation.
We took him aside and went with him to his flat. It was empty as if he had never been there. The
cleaners hoover and cleaning materials were in the flat. He looked in cupboards, drawers, all his
things were gone. We witnessed this first hand and were quite shocked and went with him to speak
to your staff at reception. Saeed was casually told that his belongings were in the bin. Saeed was
stood before us at eight o clock in the evening with a set of keys he could no longer use, the clothes
he was wearing, and a letter from the YMCA telling him to leave. All his papers and personal
belongings were ‘probably in the bin’. He had no money, papers, clothes and no means to support
himself. This man was treated worse than an animal. For someone to just come into his flat and
throw out all his personal belongings while he steps out for a few minutes displays a complete lack
of respect, compassion or humanity, and particularly at such a sensitive time in the Red Road
It is my understanding that Strathclyde Police deliberately reduced the numbers of police officers to
ease tensions within the community and particularly amongst vulnerable people in the depths of
despair about their asylum cases. If this is the YMCA’s standard practice when treating asylum
seekers, then it is nothing short of flammatory to the Red road community and a disgrace to civilized
On a separate note, we would be grateful to know the following:
1. What level of cooperation does the YMCA afford to the UKBA enforcement removal team
seeking to remove asylum seekers from the YMCA flats?
2. How much money does the YMCA receive per asylum seeker for its UKBA contract at the Red
Road flats?
3. We suspect many asylum seekers are being driven to desperation by the combination of
inhumane practices being perpetrated by the UKBA and the YMCA to the point they have said
firsthand that they fully understand why the Serkhi family threw themselves from the 15th floor
of one of your flats. Will the YMCA be evicting any more asylum seekers during this troubled
time at the Red Road when so many people are in the depths of despair and hopelessness?
I would be extremely grateful for an immediate response.

Yours sincerely,

Robina Qureshi

Wednesday, March 10, 2010


This is a chance to highlight the unacceptable treatment of Asylum Seekers; lend your support to the event below and donate what you can; if ever there was a good cause this is it; it does not matter what your philosophy, politics or religion etc. is, this is about our common humanity.

RED ROAD RESIDENTS MARCH AND RALLY 11 am saturday 13 March from red road flats, glasgow. 11 am.


Please join residents of the Red Road flats, Charities, churches, faith groups, Quaker groups and trade unions at 11 am on Saturday 13th March from the Red Road flats in Springburn, Glasgow to a rally in George Square.

The march, organised by Red road Residents, the Glasgow Campaign to Welcome Refugees and the Unity Centre, will begin at the exact spot of upturned grass where a family of three asylum seekers, the Serykh family, fell to their deaths on Sunday 7 March.
The purpose of the march and rally is to:

a) Remember the Serykh family and call for an immediate end to any further enforced removals of refugee families in the Red road area by the UK Borders Agency (UKBA) ; and

b) Call for the immediate return of Stephanie Ovranah and her twin six year old sons, Joshua and Joel, to their friends, neighbours and local church in Glasgow’s Cranhill where they have lived for past five five years. (The family were detained at Brand Street reporting centre without warning last Friday with the children still in their school uniforms. They are currently in Yarl’s Wood Detention Centre and the children are understood to be terrified of being returned to Africa which they do not know or remember).
Messages of support to

Positive Action in Housing depends on donations to carry out its humanitarian work and campaigns. Please give a single or monthly donation. Alternatively, donate online via your internet banking, through PayPal, or make a donation quickly, easily and securely online now via Charity Choice or JustGiving.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010


3 of our fellow human beings lie dead at the foot of a tower block in Glasgow; they were a family of asylum seekers who jumped to their deaths. The situation has moved on from whether we should accept asylum seekers or under what circumstances we should accept them; we are now dealing with how we the people of this country feel about what is being done in our name to asylum seekers. I believe that we have a duty as decent human beings to accept asylum seekers but that is now taking a back seat to how we treat them; I am not going into details of this case or the case in general for asylum seekers, the people who campaign for them and supply practical help to them (Positive Action in Housing []) can do that better than I can and I therefore print below their humane and decent response to this latest avoidable tragedy; I urge you to read this and respond to their pleas.





(please copy your emails or correspondence to )

The bodies of the family, a couple and their son, were found at the bottom of a 31-storey block at 63 Petershill Drive, Springburn, Glasgow, on Sunday morning. We understand they were asylum-seekers who had received a negative decision from the UK Borders Agency (UKBA).

According to the Unity Centre in Govan, Strathclyde police visited the family’s flat on the 15th floor last Friday to tell them their asylum case had been refused and they would have to leave the flat. It is common for the police only to come to the door of a refused asylum seeker at the request of the landlord after the family have refused to leave their accommodation.

So far, the YMCA who were landlords for the three are refusing to comment to the media. (The YMCA has a highly profitable contract with the UK Borders Agency to house asylum seekers in the Red Road flats, which are some of Glasgow’s worst housing stock).

It is difficult to understand why it has taken the police more than 24 hours to identify the three people as all asylum seekers are repeatedly asked to give their finger-prints by the Home Office and their landlords, the YMCA, should be able to tell the police who was living in the flat at the time.

At the moment, the Home Office are saying they are not prepared to comment, however it has been known for asylum seekers to be so desperate that they jump from their windows if they think they are about be detained in a dawn raid by the Home Office's Enforcement Team. Neighbours have said that they thought the Home Office had been banging on the door on Sunday morning when the family jumped.

Every-day, Positive Action in Housing’s staff are confronted with the reality of asylum seekers coming into the office crying or upset because they have just been told they must leave the country. Then their money and housing is stopped a week later. We run a hardship fund and give out small amounts of cash for food and arrange free shelter in the homes of our volunteers. There is a great deal of mental strain and it is normal currency for people to talk about ending their lives as a viable alternative to destitution or removal.

After years of waiting on a decision, and putting your life and the lives of your family on hold, it’s a big shock to be systematically stripped of each and every one of your basic human rights of food, shelter and work by the asylum system, and then face the daily terror of destitution or possible removal in the early hours. Then it’s easy to see why someone would consider suicide preferable to returning to an unsafe country.

We believe there should be a public inquiry into these deaths, and the impact of the UK Borders Agency and their terror campaign - disguised as asylum policy - on the lives of asylum seekers who have lived here for years but live in permanent fear of destitution, detention and removal. Many asylum seekers flee persecution or death, only to be terrorised by the prospect of removal back to an unsafe country, and in the process face destitution or long term detention. The current asylum system is based on the false premise that all asylum seekers are bogus. We need a complete rethink.


This case, and many others, raise serious questions about the way the UK asylum system operates in this country. Members of the public have a right to know if we have a fair asylum system, or one which terrorises vulnerable people to the point they would take their own lives. Please demand the following questions are answered and write to your MSP, MP, the First Minister, the Scottish Secretary and the home Secretary:

Please copy your correspondence to Email addresses are at the end of this email.

1. Who were the family and what was their background in the UK?

2. Demand a public enquiry into the suicides and in particular the details of all communications the UK Borders Agency had with the family.

3. What communications did the YMCA and Strathclyde Police have with the family?

4. We want to know the Home Office arrangements for the deceased. Have the relatives of the deceased been informed? What plans does the UKBA have to remove their bodies to their countries of origin? (We know of cases where the bodies of dead asylum seekers have been left unclaimed in mortuaries for years, this charity has had to step in to raise funds for the return of the dead to their families for a proper burial).

5. Neighbours have stated that on Saturday evening, a few hours before the suicide, the family were seen taking bags out of the flat. We believe they were planning to escape removal, not commit suicide, and that happened on the Sunday morning which drove them to make the decision to build a pyre of furniture on the veranda and throw themselves from their fifteenth floor. We want to know if the Home Office Removal vans were in the vicinity. We want to know if UK Borders Agency removal officials were in the vicinity of 63 Petershill Drive. Were they, as has been suggested, knocking at the door of the suicide victims at 63 Petershill Drive, Springburn on Sunday morning with a view to removing the family?

6. Why are innocent children still being locked up like criminals in Scotland? Many asylum seekers who report weekly to Brand Street reporting centre don't know if this or the next week they will simply not be allowed to leave. Only on Friday, Stephanie Ovrawah went to pick up her twin six year old sons, Joshua and Joel, from Cranhill Primary School in Glasgow before going to “sign” at Brand Street Reporting Centre. The family have been Glasgow residents since the children were babies. They were immediately detained with the children still in their school uniforms, no goodbyes to their neighbours or school friends, no chance to pick up their belongings from home; they were just taken to Dungavel Removal Centre and then to Yarls Wood Removal centre, where they currently await their fate. Joshua (6) said today, “I miss my friend Taylor. I miss Mrs O’Brien and Mr Downs. They are our teachers. They said they are sending us back. I don’t know this Africa... My mum says we didn’t do anything wrong. They shout at us and a guard hit my brother. We want to leave, this is a prison and a dump… I want to go back to school tomorrow and see my friends Taylor, Rhys and Keegan. ”

7. We want questions raised in the Scottish parliament asto why the barbarism of the UK asylum system is allowed to operate on Scottish soil. What is the Scottish Government going to do to put a stop to this once and for all?

Please write to the following people to demand answers about this case and the way the asylum system operates. Please copy your correspondence to

Write to your MSP, MP and MEP. To find out who your local representative is, just enter your postcode in and email them from the website.

Write to:

Alex Salmond, First Minister at
Jim Murphy, Scotland Secretary at
Alan Johnson, Home Secretary at

Positive Action in Housing Ltd is a Scottish wide charity working with communities, housing providers, voluntary organisations and faith groups to enable everyone to have an equal chance to live in good quality, affordable and safe homes, free from discrimination and the fear of racial harassment and violence. We offer advice, information and support to people from new migrant, refugee and minority ethnic communities. We run a free, confidential and impartial casework service for those facing poverty, homelessness, racism or poor housing. We run a Hardship Fund and provide emergency shelter and practical resources for destitute asylum seekers and their families. We provide volunteering and sessional work opportunities. We support human rights and anti-racist campaigns. We inform social policy from a user-led perspective
As a charity, Positive Action in Housing depends on donations. Please help us by making a single or monthly donation. Alternatively, donate online via your internet banking, through PayPal, or make a donation quickly, easily and securely online now via JustGiving.
The flats at Petershill Drive are run by the YMCA under a contract with the UKBA. It is not known exactly how much money the YMCA makes per asylum seeker from that contract.
Hundreds of refused asylum seekers in Glasgow rely on Positive Action in Housing when they are forced into destitution because of the UK government’s insistence that they return to unsafe countries. Through our destitution project, Lifeline, our caseworkers arrange for destitute clients to stay in the homes of our volunteers, and arrange practical support such as clothes, sleeping bags, food, shelter and befriending, as well as access to legal and housing support. We have a database of volunteers who provide free shelter in their homes. We rely on donations to pay towards the hardship fund.
We provide a Hardship Fund which gives out small sums of cash for food and hostel accommodation (£1500 per month). In 2009, we gave out over 700 destitution payments totalling £18,020 to prevent people going hungry or becoming street homeless.
In 2009, we assisted 975 households. Out of this, 276 were destitute asylum seekers. This represents a 25% increase since 2008. We provided 1,368 nights of shelter through hostels (554 nights) and volunteers (814 nights). 128 people (55%) were in the process of lodging a fresh claim or a judicial review when they were made destitute. We assisted destitute asylum seekers from 44 countries including the following: Iran (15%), Iraq (14%), Somalia ( 9%), Zimbabwe (8%), China (8%), Dem Rep of Congo (7%) and Sudan (5%)

Sunday, March 07, 2010

(tony) 17:54

The above post was gobbledygook except for the last para where you make accusations against people; accusations which I will be delighted to print when you identify yourself.

Saturday, March 06, 2010


There I was sailing along writing posts and swatting away critical comments effortlessly; (comments years ago were tougher; perhaps it gets easier with time as you see very little which is genuinely new) Then; out of left field an anonymous writer on Friday, March 05, 2010 6:04:00 PM – wrote to me and concluded with a challenge to me to devote an article on the theme of “Socialism V Electability” a topic which another commenter had raised previously; I should not have tempted fate because here it was, this was original.
It niggled at me for a couple of days; probably because it relates to something which very few people in any walk of life manage to avoid namely; what are you prepared to do or say to achieve something that you want? What hitherto precious things; beliefs or ideas are malleable to you? It’s a massive field and one which covers every feature of life but; for obvious reasons I will stick to politics. The struggle and yearning for power is at the core of all politics and the question of what you are prepared to do to achieve that power is a very valid one. Venial to Mortal are the sins and misdemeanours which politicians commit for power; from telling a constituent a white lie to get their vote to lying to the country about dodgy billionaires like Hague / Cameron/ Ashcroft illustrates this (I couldn't help myself)

The example I give is deliberate; I give it to show the massive variation which is caused by the desire for power and I believe that it also shows that the higher the stakes are i.e. becoming the Govt. the more ready and disposed some people are to doing such things. Clearly your own position on the political spectrum will affect how you look at compromises made by power seekers. The choice can be painful and stark and I think that with most people involved it’s a matter of a list of what individuals see as the big issues to them. Obvious examples at least to me and in no particular order are; peace; I believe in the struggle for world peace it’s a massive issue; racism; sectarianism - anything other than complete opposition to racism/sectarianism is another; capital punishment; any move to reintroduce the death penalty would be a resigning matter; immigration any move to forced repatriation is the same; nationalism; an evil creed, any move toward it and I would go. There might be more you can’t tell until they happen sometimes such as conflicts / wars etc.

Socialism V Electability? it’s almost impossible to answer; if you want to see a Socialist society you have to be prepared to compromise because it is a long march not a sprint. A revolution today would see us all dead on the left such is the power of the establishment and the propaganda of the media so, we compromise and try to win bit by bit; I know no other way to do it. Like most people I have become more pragmatic as I grow older but my goal has never changed; I know that there will be people who read this and will send me comments asking perfectly legitimate questions about Iraq; Afghanistan; Trident etc. should I have quit because of these things? Should I have quit because of Blair? Mandleson? Perhaps I should have set a deadline for the complete abolition of the Lords and the Monarchy and quit if it was not met?

Why do I stay when I am so opposed to our lack of action on Palestine and our subservience to America? I can only say in my defence that I believe most strongly in fighting for what I believe and the best place to do that is the Labour Party; the above issues are massive and I have compromised on them I believe that to be a measure of how important politics is; quite simply you stand and fight and hope for success or you take your ball and go home but one thing is certain; if you take up ‘keepy uppy’ in the garden you will never influence anything. That is the reason that I am not only still here but why I urge people to join the Labour Party; it’s the same reason that Michael Foot stayed and guys like Tony Benn; Dennis Skinner and Ken Livingston etc. are still here with me.

Thursday, March 04, 2010


It’s the mid seventies mid week and dreich; me and a couple of others have made our way via Heraghty’s Bar to attend a political meeting in a large old municipal hall in Glasgow’s South Side who’s name escapes me. It’s a time of political turmoil as the Tories take a wrecking ball to industry and hard won freedoms for working people and Trade Unions. Arriving some 20 minutes before the meeting is scheduled to start it is not easy to get a seat; unusual perhaps but not when the main speaker is the late Michael Foot.

Introductions are made and the place is heaving, standing room only; I see many well known faces and notice with some amusement that a Paisley comrade Ian Smart has managed to scramble up on to a window ledge from where he waves down to us. The atmosphere is such that a hat thrown in the air would not come down and the excitement is tangible; Foot appears, small; frail; partially blind and walking with the aid of a stick. The hall erupts in an animal roar which gets louder and louder a standing ovation for an Englishman from Plymouth who is among his own in Glasgow’s South Side; among his comrades. Respect and love washes over him; he stands taking it all in with arms stretched out to ask for quite. Danton has entered the Assembly; this was the first time I had seen him live and I remember thinking “is this the great man? he looks likely to fall over” he didn’t of course but he knocked everyone else over that night.

He stepped up to the microphone and the gremlins started to whistle and screech through it, after a couple of minutes wrestling with it he told them to take it away; he then stepped precariously forward to the edge of the stage scaring his minders and said or appeared to say rather than shout “we have lost the microphone; can everyone hear me” astonishingly he could be heard easily everywhere in the hall I think they could hear him back in Heraghty’s bar. I will never understand how that slight frame could produce that timbre and volume it did not seem to be a strain at all it was quite astonishing.

He spoke for about an hour without notes and then took questions; his oratory was quite spell binding; his grasp of every aspect of the political landscape was absolute; he was able to stir the crowd to palpable anger and reduce them to laughter at his ease the crowd loved it and we all filed out in high spirits and more determined than ever to win the election; it was a seminal experience. Some 35 years later I have never heard a more charismatic, influential and brilliant speaker he was on fire and we were lucky to witness it he made the hairs on the back of your neck stand up.

I had the great privilege of meeting him once at a rally in support of Chile in Renfrew at K.G.5 playing fields; we were introduced by the late Norman Buchan MP whom I knew; his generation are fading away but we will not forget them; Foot led the party under a manifesto which included nuclear disarmament; ending the House of Lords; nationalising the banks : higher taxation ; protecting industry; withdrawal from Europe and more Socialist policies. It was a great manifesto and we will return to it someday; the media slaughtered it and him because they feared him and a Labour victory; because he and Labour were right. It was a radical manifesto which would have taken us down the road to Socialism; we need it back now.

I will remember his wit, his passion; his honesty; his unswerving commitment to peace Justice and Socialism and the fact the he was a thoroughly decent man; I will close with a story told by him in the commons as opposition leader. He was attacking the Tory Leader and Chancellor for their stewardship of the economy and accusing them of being tricksters, he said that he was regularly taken as a child to the music hall in Plymouth by his father and he remembered seeing a conjurer who asked for a member of the audience to lend him their watch; he explained that he would place it in the velvet bag which he held up and then brandishing a wooden mallet he said he would smash it to bits then cast a spell and it would go back to normal; he proceeded to bring down the mallet half a dozen times on the velvet bag containing the watch. He then stopped and looking worried he said “ladies and gentlemen I do apologise, I’ve forgotten the rest of this trick” just like the Tories with the economy said Michael.

Absolutely priceless, we have lost a Giant of the Labour Movement, Michael Foot.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Another cowardly liar.

(Anonymous) 11:38

If you make accusations against someone you must identify yourself to allow the person you are accusing to decide what thier response should be; what are you afraid of; if you don't do this I will assume that you are a liar and you won't be printed.

Monday, March 01, 2010


This is a comment (and my response) sent by people who are campaigning against the SNP led council's decision to make callous and reckless cuts to school transport provision in Renfrewshire; I have decided to print it as an article for obvious reasons.

Terry, I would like to offering my public support to anyone who is opposed to the decision taken by ther SNP and the Lib Dems to effectively take away the free bus service for school childrenAs well as the meeting mentioned, in which I wasn't allowed in for lack of space (which should tell people about the anger that this decision has sparked) I was at the Education Board meeting on Thursday 25/2/10, along with around 30 concerned parents.Item 14 concerned appeals to removing free school transport.Despite opposition by the Labour Group, the religous group in the board and even the Tories, the administration gave parents another slap in the face bysignificantly watering down their right of appeal, if refused free transport.I have included a link to the report for other readers, which I hope works$file/Revised%20Home%20to%20School%20Transport%20Policy%20and%20Revision%20of%20Appeals%20Procedure%20EPB%2025%2002%2010.pdfMy understanding is that The Council must provide a safe route to school and under the old system, if a parent had been refused free transport on the grounds of distance, they could appeal, either on distance or safety grounds. At that point a Councillor, presumably with council officers would walk the route and check its safety. Now, after Wednesday and in anticipation of a flood of appeals, the SNP and the Lib Dems have moved the goalposts and are placing the onus on parents to judge whether the route is unsafe and report this to the Council, at which point, the route will be investigated.I have numerous problems with this. Firstly the onus should not be put onto parents, secondly the SNP and the Lib Dems are the ones that voted to extend the qualifying distance, so they should offer to walk the routes if they are unable to deal with a flood of appeals. Finally, parents are not road nor safety experts. They should not have to be put in this kind of position.I have walked and cycled a couple of likely routes following a parents meeting at Castlehead (which was attended by Cllrs Caldwell and MacMillan, both Labour Group) and there are significant safety concerns, not least on the cycle track, which is not lit and which was the scene of a horrific sex attack last year.There is also the bridge at Elderslie, which has a very narrow pavement and fast moving traffic.These are just two routes for one school. I understand that there are even more problems with the routes to St Benedicts and St Andrews amongst others, so much so that everyone from parents councils, to community groups are all firmly against this move.Personally, I have genuine fears that this policy is going to have disastrous consequences and I am with the parents who are quite rightly furious and worried.For anyone who is opposed to this policy, I will say this - There are numerous meetings coming up, many chances to voice your opposition to this policy and I would encourage all readers of this site, whatever their politics, to get involved in opposing this decision, because whatever you think about Terry or indeed myself, surely no-one in their right mind could say that removing a free bus service for children to get get to school safely is a good idea.If you are reading this site and you do want to do something, your first port of call should be your local Councillor, and you should call on them en masse, as an organised unit. If it is a councillor of the administration, then picket outside as they go into their surgery. Opposition Councillors, at least I am certain the ones in the local Labour Group, will already be behind you, so target the ones in power, that's the SNP and Lib Dem Councillors and remember above all, that your not alone.
Publish Reject

(My response) The SNP Lib. Dem. administration are destroying years of good progress on education in Renfrewshire this is only the last act of vandalism that they have come up with and they are not finished.

I encourage everyone who cares about our young people to get involved in the protests which are growing by the day; that means anyone who cares; this is not confined to parents; grandparents; relatives etc. it includes us all; don’t let them away with it.