Friday, September 30, 2011


Well Mrs. Thatcher if there is "no such thing as society" what am I doing sitting here on Friday 30 09 11 at 11: AM drinking coffee in the community hall in God's own little acre Glenburn, historic birthplace of talented musicians, clever scholars and great footballers, yes I come from Glenburn back in a time when hair was long and time was short. Along with others I am doing my modest bit to raise money for the McMillan Cancer Charity at a coffee morning, by the time you have entered the hall, had a coffee and bought some raffle tickets a ten pound note or "big brown drinking voucher" as me and my brothers used to call it has vanished.

My good friend and comrade Neil Bibby Labour MSP was instrumental in organising this event along with similar gatherings across the country, and I can say without fear of contradiction that if you feel the urge to part with some money there is no more charming man to relieve you of it than big Neil, you feel nothing as the cash flows gently like a blood transfusion from you to him. This event was run by Neil and the local labour Party and it was nice to see some of the usual suspects there as always when good causes need support, the kind of people that the likes of Thatcher would never understand, the kind of people who prove time and time again that there is a thing called society and we are proud to be part of it. Why not join in by sending a donation to Neil Bibby MSP at the Scottish Parliament Edinburgh.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Down with Quarrier Homes workers – SNP/Libdem coalition show their anti union colours again.

19 / 09 /11 09.30 AM to the council chamber for a full council meeting, changed to a Monday by the SNP to accommodate their new MSP'S Mackay and Adam. We kicked off with a tribute to the late Provost; Labour's Ronnie Burns RIP and then saw a presentation by a delegation from the NHS on the future of the children's ward at the RAH, the usual things were said without the presenters giving anything away, medical considerations, consultation etc. safe to say the councillors were not impressed. Unfortunately we witnessed a shabby piece of opportunism by the SNP and Cllr. /MSP George Adam in particular, he attended the meeting of the campaign group to save the ward which I wrote about in my last post. At that meeting it was decided that a motion would be put to the Council demanding support from all councillors to help save the ward and Cllr./MSP Adam agreed with it: to avoid any accusations of political football it was also agreed that the people leading the campaign would choose the wording of the motion which they did. You can imagine the anger and disbelief therefore when the SNP and Cllr./MSP Adam and the hand ringing loathsome cllrs. from the LIbdems insisted on putting forward an amendment to that motion. No surprise for spotting that the vicious and discredited Cllr. McCartin was up to her neck in it, you can't get much lower than these people. Their reason for doing this which they will deny with a straight face was to make sure that the decision to support the campaign would go forward under their name rather than the names of the Labour councillors who proposed it, remember we put forward a motion written by the ward 15 campaign group we made it clear that it was theirs and not Labours we were acting as a conduit for the campaign but the SNP still blocked it for their own shabby political ends, in all my time in politics this SNP/Libdem coalition are the shallowest bunch of low lives I have come across, they bring shame on Scots. everywhere.

What followed was just as bad with the SNP/Libdem coalition acting like reactionary right wing Victorian Mill Owners and the Mills on this occasion was a children's charity known worldwide as Quarrier's Homes. Workers here are being forced to take a pay cut of between 3% and 23% we (Labour) put up a motion urging the council who use Quarriers services to back the staff in this dispute and the SNP/Libdem coalition said no and voted down the motion. They said they were doing this for two reasons one was that arbitration was ongoing which means they are either liars or incompetents because it's not and the Quarriers bosses have refused to negotiate and then the ex council leader Mackay SNP in an unabashed display of cynicism and right wing bias declared that because all the people employed were taking a cut it was none of the council's business. What he failed to say quite deliberately in a lie of omission was that senior management some on salaries exceeding £100,000 and a free house! yes you read that correctly were the ones losing 3% and some staff earning between £16,000 and £20,000 were the ones who will be losing up to 23% one SNP councillor Ken McLaren also voted to reject the motion to support the union and he ---wait for it, is employed by UNISON honestly I'm not making this up check for yourselves, dear readers these are the people who want to govern Scotland as an independent country, they are cut from the same cloth as Cameron, Osborne and Clegg. I urge everyone to reject the cowardly position of the SNP/Libdem Renfrewshire Council and do everything you can to support the Quarriers workers in their dispute, get on to the SNP/Libdem councillors and let them know in no uncertain terms that it's time for them to develop a backbone and stop grovelling to the bosses.

In another example of SNP/Libdem duplicity they tried through the strident hysterical Mackay SNP to accuse Labour of suggesting wrong doing on the part of officers because we are calling for a police enquiry into how £2Million to £2.5 Million pounds of council money was unaccounted for. He tried mighty hard to display his anger which is quite a funny sight really saying we are a disgrace for calling in to question the honesty and integrity of council officers which of course we did not but he forgot something which I felt obliged to remind him of, in a quite incredibly stupid way he accused us twice and I reminded him twice that the worst case of scurrilous accusations and contemptible behaviour towards council officers was carried out by his colleague the SNP'S Cllr. Nicolson who accused senior officers of nepotism he was at the time so enamoured with himself at learning this new word that he refused to withdraw it when given the chance, this vicious and spiteful outburst earned him a one year council ban from the Standards Committee. Along with many others I was amazed that the officers involved did not meet him in court. Mr. Nicolson is still in the SNP and is now convener of the planning board had he been in any other party he would have been out of politics but the SNP are not any other party are they?

Saturday, September 17, 2011


While we continue to moan about our lives and how badly treated we are the misery inflicted on the people of Palestine goes on. One of the terrible policies of the Israeli state is the system they established of having a two road system, modern roads for Israelis and old broken roads for Palestinians. The Palestinians are also plagued by roadblocks, detours and checkpoints, this includes when they are fighting for their lives in the back of an ambulance, and Israel BTW describes itself as a civilized country. Try to imagine being in the back of an ambulance with one of your children who is seriously ill or injured and a young Israeli soldier stops you and leaves you waiting while he goes for a coffee and a smoke without having to justify his actions; this nightmare faces all Palestinians every day.

"When a human body suffers a severe injury immediate treatment is vital, delay can lead to serious complications and avoidable death, many parts of the world including Gazza and the West Bank are seeing this and in the case of Palestine it is shamefully a deliberate act by Israeli troops" Dr. John Beavis Consultant Trauma Surgeon Path Hunterian Professor, Royal College of Surgeons of England. Israel has over 500 roadblocks across the occupied West Bank, they divide and control the whole population, every journey is at the whim of a soldier even emergencies.

"The denial of passage to Palestinian women in labour, resulting in increased numbers of childbirths at checkpoints and en route to the hospital, is consistent with the criteria for crimes against humanity" – The Lancet 5th July 2011. Donate to - Medical Aid for Palestinians - Unit 4 Minton Distribution Park – London Road. – Amesbury – Wiltshire – SP4 7RT.

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Friday, September 02, 2011


31/ 08/11 - 7 PM - to the Martyr's Memorial Church Hall for a public meeting to kick off a campaign to save Ward 15 (children's ward) at The Royal Alexandra Hospital which is threatened with closure by Greater Glasgow and Clyde Health Board. It was the second such meeting in the same day and between them they attracted about 70 people, not bad for the first kick of the baw in any campaign and this will run and run if I am any judge. It will grow because just about everyone in Renfrewshire has a locus in the children's ward, we all know someone with a connection to the place; in many cases we ourselves have reasons to be thankful for the skill and dedication of the health professionals who work there, hospitals can be very scary places for obvious reasons but; the children's ward is the scariest place on earth if you are a helpless terrified parent sitting by the bed of a sick child, you're sick child. This is when the staff working there grow halos before your very eyes as they pull out all the stops for your child or for the child of someone with whom you are connected in some way. Grannies, granddads, fathers, mothers, uncles, aunts, brothers, sisters, cousins, friends, neighbours etc. etc. the whole community is in this fight.

Despite what Mrs. Thatcher said about there being no such thing as society we will prove her wrong. The community working together can win this fight, It is not my intention to start rehearsing the arguments for keeping the ward open; those will be well reported as the campaign grows and the arguing starts. This post is by way of a wakeup call to everyone in Renfrewshire to get ready to rumble with the bureaucrats and bean counters who manipulate our lives without looking us in the eyes. I would urge everyone who agrees with us to watch out for the publicity which will shortly be going out to ask for help for the campaign. I get the feeling already that the people of Renfrewshire are going to win this one.