Saturday, March 28, 2015


The highlight of my week was the failure of the squalid Tory plot to get rid of The House of Commons Speaker John Bercow. This ‘Speaker’ is a man who has been on a long journey from rabid right wing hidebound Tory of the Tebbit/Thatcher school to the embodiment of what was once commonly referred to as ‘One Nation Tories’. People like Ian McLeod, Harold MacMIllan and RAB Butler all from before the brutal ‘nasty party’ of the Thatcher era and the privileged braying donkeys we know today as the wretched chinless Bullingdon Boys, most of whom need to use both hands to find their own a***s but, they are well bred and rich and born to be leaders.     

The fact that this last day of this parliament coincided with the last day of one of the most unpleasant: most arrogant Tory MP’S of my political life was a bonus and the fact that that revolting malevolent character was the would be assassin of the speaker made the enjoyment more satisfying, I refer of course to William Haque about whom it was often said “what, that slimy b*****d”. No one better embodied ‘the nasty party than Hague, he is rumoured to have a perfectly constructed glass eye, only detectable by looking closely and noting that one of his eyes shows humanity and compassion, that is the glass one, The House of Commons seems a fresher place already.

The post of speaker is a strange one it has the effect of making the most partisan of politicians act fairly before a watching world. This was regarded as a minus for a Tory Speaker by his party and so it was with Bercow, he was detested by many Tories because he refused to show his own party favour and liked by all others for that very quality. Bercow is more of a Disraeli Tory, while Hague, Cameron, Osborne etc. are more in the camp of Thatcher and Churchill, for those who are not political anoraks like me that is a compliment to Bercow, A Tory Speaker of the house, I never thought I would ever say something like that but there you are I’ve said it.   

Saturday, March 21, 2015


21:31Friday 20 March 2015
I WILL not be giving Mr Murdoch his £12.99 in order to share in the musings of Alex Salmond. Sufficient to rely on the extracts which can be obtained for nothing and all seem to be of the scapegoating variety. Always someone else’s fault. Whose fault is it, I wonder, that Mr Salmond is now confirmed as having attempted the biggest deception in modern political history by arguing a case for Scottish independence that was based on entirely bogus claims about future North Sea oil revenues? Fortunately, he failed.
The UK government will receive less than £1 billion a year in oil revenues for at least the next five years. This compares to the Scottish Government’s insistence that the revenues in 2016-17 alone would amount to between £6.8 – 7.9 billion. The Office for Budget Responsibility now estimates £600 million for that year – surely a record-breaking miscalculation by the Scottish Government of over 90 per cent. Nicola Sturgeon blithely states that “everyone’s projections about oil were wrong” as if that magically exonerates the deception to which she was a leading subscriber. But, anyway, her memory is highly selective. The scale of the fall may be even greater than anticipated but it was the downward trend which the Nationalists stood alone in denying and were prepared to denigrate anyone who dared contradict them. Incidentally, I see that Ms Sturgeon’s word of the week is “gleeful”. Anyone who points out the dishonesty of what she and her colleagues told the Scottish people, or the calamitous implications if they had succeeded, is not doing so because lies should be punished and realities exposed. They are doing so because they are “gleeful”, whatever that may mean in the language of the Holyrood kindergarten.
As far back as March 2013, the Office of Budget Responsibility was forecasting a drop in the oil price to “below $100 a barrel in future years”. Salmond dismissed this as “stuff and nonsense” and accused the civil servants responsible of “political manipulation”. That set the tone for two years of abusing the integrity and motives of anyone who dared contradict him. And what about the debased Scottish civil service? The White Paper insisted that a “cautious” figure to base Scotland’s economic future on was $113 a barrel. As Dr Azeem Ibrahim wrote in a paper for The Scotland Institute: “If any of my PhD students had produced an economic argument this poor, I would have failed them immediately”. But someone, still hiding in St Andrew’s House, did write it, probably under duress. Will Salmond’s book shed light on that murky process?
I accept that there are many in Scotland who do not give a toss about the lies, deceptions or dire economic and social consequences that would have followed, even by now, if the Nationalists had succeeded. For them, as for Salmond, the end justifies the means and if the means involve the flagrant fabrication of numbers to make the case stack up, then so be it. But when history takes a calmer look at last year’s referendum, it is important that the narrative is not written by the loser, for it is he who should be called to account. The parable of the oil revenues should not be forgotten. Neither should the abuse hurled at dissenting voices. The SNP’s projections for Scotland’s jobs, schools and hospitals were based on an oil price of $113 a barrel. That is inescapable.
If Salmond and Sturgeon had prevailed, Scotland would be facing austerity on a scale unimaginable to anyone other than, perhaps, the Greeks. Jobs would be flowing out of Scotland in their tens of thousands as the implications of the folly became apparent. The young would be leaving on the same scale they fled Ireland after the banking crash from which we in Scotland were protected. And it would be too late to do anything about it.
As Dr Ibrahim wrote in his paper: “With an annual borrowing requirement of £20 billion-plus, there would have been simply no way to get finance on the international markets at sensible rates. Throw in the uncertainty over the currency and EU membership and it would have been financial Armageddon”. That is the bullet we dodged and no re-writing of history should portray it as anything other than an extremely sensible decision.
Yet this is more than a lesson for the benefit of history. The “full fiscal autonomy” which Salmond and Sturgeon now demand would exchange the Barnett Formula for North Sea oil revenues. That is the platform on which they say they will contest the General Election – not because even they could conceivably want that outcome in current circumstances, but as the subsequent excuse for more posturing and blame-shifting to absolutely no useful effect.
If almost half of Scotland wants that kind of politics, then it is what they will get. Unfortunately, the rest of us will have to suffer it too, but that’s democracy. I have no doubt the outcome the SNP are desperate to facilitate is the return of another Tory government which they can then portray as pantomime villains for whom Scotland did not vote. And so it goes on – all about process and manoeuvring without an inch of progress in terms of equality, fairness and social justice.There was not much to cheer or boo about in this week’s budget. In fact, it contained a few good things and, as Labour have rightly said, nothing worth reversing. But a pre-election budget is not a reflection of the past five years or the next five years. The General Election offers a broad choice in the kind of society we want to live in. If Scotland helps to facilitate the return of the Tories as a price worth paying for giving Labour a kicking, then it must do so with its collective eyes open.

If it achieves that outcome by supporting the same people who assured them six months ago that their jobs, NHS and children’s future would be secure on the basis of an oil price of $113 a barrel, then we really are in a strange place. Yesterday, the price stood at $55. BRIAN WILSON. 

Tuesday, March 17, 2015


An increasingly significant way to protest against Israeli crimes against the Palestinians is to boycott Israel. Do not purchase Israeli merchandise, do not invest in anything they do, do not buy anything from any company which deals with Israel, cut off all communications with them, do not visit there, speak out against them at all times. One of the most productive means of protesting against Israel is a cultural/artistic boycott, this hits hard because, despite their terrible crimes, their bigotry and their genocide against Palestinians they like to depict themselves as the most sophisticated urbane people in the Middle East and the arts are very important to them if they want to try to maintain that facade. They would have us listen to their great orchestras and hope that the music will mask the cries of suffering Palestinian children; they would have us take pleasure in Israeli theatre and hope we can ignore the misery and pain of the rightful owners of the land, the Palestinians on the streets outside.

I urge everyone to support that arts boycott of Israel until the occupation of Palestine and the suffering and agony of its people are brought to an end, please contact to learn more about the principled and ethical  stand being taken against Israel by many brave and generous members of the artistic community all over the world. 

Monday, March 09, 2015


TRADE unionists’ hopes were dashed yesterday as the SNP ignored calls to enforce a living wage for tens of thousands working on public-sector contracts.Campaigners watched with bated breath as MSPs debated the Scottish government’s procurement Bill for a third and final time.
A Labour amendment had called on SNP ministers to require all firms awarded a public-sector contract to pay their staff the semi-official living wage, set at £7.65 an hour in Scotland.Holyrood has pledged the living wage for all those directly employed by a public body but ministers have refused to enforce it on public contracts, citing fear of EU competition rules.
Instead the government would require procurement panels only to consider contractors’ rates of pay as one of several factors. Labour MSP James Kelly told MSPs the measure “would make a massive difference” to underpaid care workers, cleaners and others.
But the Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon would not budge, saying the European Commission had advised ministers it would be “unlikely” that the policy would escape legal challenge from would-be contractors.

Green Party MSP Patrick Harvie retorted that ministers had already taken on an expected legal challenge to minimum alcohol pricing from booze firms.
“Sometimes governments must be willing to test the boundaries of what is possible,” he said.

The amendment was rejected by 34 votes to 44. 

Sunday, March 08, 2015


December 20 14 Nicola Sturgeon said scrapping Trident "would be fundamental" for any agreement to prop up a government.       
3 months later  ---------------------------------------...                            March 20 15 Nicola Sturgeon said that the SNP could comfortably vote for Labour policies without a deal on Trident.    

They recently voted to become a member of NATO a Nuclear first strike organisation, effectively condoning nuclear weapons while dishonestly trying to portray themselves as the holier than thou party of opposition to WMD'S. Their position became one of being in the nuclear club but claiming to have clean hands by not having these weapons in Scotland, is there a more corrupt and morally vacuous political position anywhere today than that taken by the snp?. Would it be fair now considering these events to expect the snp to shut up about weapons of mass destruction as their policy on them is now a mendacious sham. 

Are there any snp shibboleths still standing?, any red lines not erased? any deal breakers that haven't been broken?. The once proud republican party who now accept the monarchy, the party who regarded the pound sterling as a millstone round the neck of a possible independent Scotland who fought tooth and nail to cling on to it during the referendum, the party who wanted rid of the UK but wanted the UK to give them their war ships to build, to share their NHS and share the UK passport etc. and so it goes. 

This is a political party that is perpetually up for sale to the highest bidder, the party who hate Labour but are desperate to form a coalition with us, the party recently exposed as accepting Tory policies to get Tory support for their budget to inflict an snp/Tory budget on the Scottish people while professing their disdain for all things Tory. Make no mistake about it, they want a Tory victory at the forthcoming general election because they think that another 5 years of right wing Tory rule will move Scotland closer to their goal of separation. Another 5 years of suffering and pain they think is worth it for their spectacularly stupid ambitions, we must not allow that to happen and there is only one way to stop it happening and that is to vote Labour, a vote for the snp is a vote for a Tory government remember that when voting day comes.                                                                                                                                                                                                        

Wednesday, March 04, 2015


04/03/2015 (today). Westminster Parliament. The Labour Party votes against the Tory/Libdem coalition government austerity plans, the SNP’S Westminster MP’S abstain. When the SNP/Libdem coalition in Renfrewshire Council voted on a similar Labour motion to condemn the Tory/Libdem coalition’s austerity cuts they, (the snp libdem coalition) voted down that Labour motion and snp minister, then leader of Renfrewshire Council Derek Mackay stated, and I quote, “the cuts are about right”. Scottish voters think on!.