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Showing posts with label Holyrood May 5th. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Holyrood May 5th. Show all posts

Saturday, 30 April 2011

You got it right in 2008, Glasgow voters - now get it right again in May 2011

This was my first YouTube video in 2008 - a cry of pain over the lost Labour Party, and a cry of hope for Glasgow East voters to do the right thing - vote SNP.

You did do the right thing, Glasgow East, overturning a 20,000 Labour majority, voting for John Mason, one of your ain folk.

But you panicked in May 2010, Glasgow East - fear of the Tories made you let Labour in again - the party that wrecked the economy and wrecked your hopes and dreams. They bottled their chance to form a Rainbow Coalition, and thus let the appalling ConLib Coalition into power.

Now Labour says "It wisnae us - big boys did it and ran away ..."

But it was you that ran away, Labour - a contemptible act. Since then the corruption of GCC, the Purcell Affair, the obscene profits of developers in Dalmarnock and the unforgivable persecution of Margaret Jaconelli in her own home have all exemplified the rotten thing Glasgow Labour has become.

Don't repeat your 2010 mistake at the critical Holyrood elections in May. BOTH VOTES SNP - Glasgow and Scotland's - real, best hope for the future.

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Alex Salmond effortlessly deals with Paxman's predictable questions

Paxman deploys his usual repertoire of sarcasm, simplistic questioning and patronising manner. Alex has heard it all before, and deals with him rather in the way Spencer Tracy dealt with Ernest Borgnine in Bad Day at Black Rock - effortlessly and with one hand. The same old unionist script from Paxman, now a caricature of himself, like an old variety artist flogging the same tired old act round the Moss Empire circuit.

Some blog readers expected me to run the Newsnight Scotland Iain Gray interview. It was unutterably boring, and to listen to Gray’s evasion and excuses all over again is just embarrassing and is just to much to ask. So I passed gratefully on to the First Minister …

Of course, Paxman could have listened to John Swinney. But he didn't want to be confused by the facts. Fortunately Scottish voters do care about facts ...

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Straight Statistics–and a message for Richard Baker

Richard Baker - I invite you to consider some real facts about the costs of crime from Straight Statistics. Then, when you grow up, abandon the tabloid approach, and perhaps become a real politician with a soundly-based concept of what justice really means, you might just make a useful contribution in the Scottish Parliament and to Scottish society.

Richard Baker talks Labour nonsense on knife crime statistics and costs

This man aspires to be Scotland's next Justice Minister. He relies on a 'cost' figure from Medics against Violence which they flatly deny ever making.

Rapidly shifting ground in the face of Isabel Fraser's facts, he relies on newspaper reports, newspapers such as the 'Daily Record', which simply reports Baker himself, and his unsupported assertions.

Faced with ridicule on this, he shifts ground again to 'figures from the Violence Reduction Unit'

Here is a quote from the publication that Baker appears to be misusing and misquoting in the interview -

"The Health Service bears a significant burden from violence. Conservative estimates from England and Wales suggest that three to six per cent of the annual Health Service budget is used in the treatment of outcomes of violence. This equates to an annual cost of between £258m - £517m in Scotland (Home Office Police Research Unit)"
pp21 of Reducing Violence: An Alliance for a Safer Future

As this clearly show, Baker is quoting England and Wales figures on the total cost of violence from all causes, either a blatant careless error or a disingenuous misrepresentation of what the VRU were saying.

Labour's policy on knife crime is knee-jerk populism, unsupported by any real evidence, and attacked as unworkable by the police and justice authorities.

(Andy Kerr last week made a fool of himself on the same topic with Gordon Brewer)

Don't let this man anywhere near the Scottish justice system, never mind a ministerial post!

Vote for the SNP and for Kenny MacAskill, the Justice Minister of Scotland, a qualified and experienced lawyer, former senior partner in a Scottish law firm, steeped in the law, and with a sound grasp of fact and figures.

Thursday, 14 April 2011

Annabel Goldie – evasive and confused on Newsnight. Gordon Brewer wields the scalpel

Annabel Goldie - self-proclaimed straight talker, and claims to tell it like it is. But not much evidence of that in this evasive and confused performance. Another fine dissection by Gordon Brewer on Newsnight Scotland. There is some very muddy thinking at the heart of Tory policy, rivalling Labour for incoherence – and that’s saying something …

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Tavish the Doublethink–a train wreck interview with Gordon Brewer

Tavish Scott is a pathetic spectacle these days, reflecting all the pressures that are destroying his boss Nick Clegg’s credibility and morale, but with the certain knowledge that he and his Scottish ‘party’ will face the wrath of the electorate just over three week, while the architect of his misfortunes and his fellow jerry builders may be able to defer the consequences of their folly for year or so.

Tavish and the Scottish LibDems quite simply are expendable in the Cleggite game plan, and Danny Alexander and Michael Moore, having tasted the heady delights of the illusion of power, are focused firmly on their Westminster fortunes, and the next general election. Poor Tavish, a nice guy in the LibDem feeble and ineffectual LibDem mould of niceness, knows this all too well, and could be forgiven for looking enviously at his predecessor Nicol Stephen, now Baron Stephen of Lower Deeside in the City of Aberdeen, sitting comfortably in the Lords. Retreat to the farm must be a seductive prospect for Tavish the Panicking.

But he puts a brave, if logically incoherent face on things, because what he ‘hears on the doorstep’ – the politician’s last defence when all around him is crumbling – is different from what the polls say, from what the media says, from what the pundits say.

I don’t doubt it – faced with this shy boyish grin and self-deprecating style, exuding vulnerability and lack of confidence, it would take a heart of stone not to try to say something reassuring lest he burst into tears. And last night’s Twitter comments towards the end and just after the interview tended to the Poor Tavish, nasty Gordon Brewer type, including from those who did not share his politics.

I have a heart of stone (in political, if not in cardiac terms) when it comes to ineffectual politicians. I don’t want nice guys crying in their beers – I want robust, decisive, analytical politicians with sound values, pragmatism and a belief in Scots and Scotland.

Go back to the farm gracefully, Tavish, and live happily ever after – the political kitchen has got too hot for you, and you just can’t stand the heat. Otherwise, you may find that the American phrase he bought the farm, meaning a sudden end, may acquire a certain resonance.

And my thanks to Gordon Brewer for this political dissection.

It is the job of political interviewers to reveal the inconsistencies, evasions, factual inaccuracies and policy contradictions in politicians, a job that democratic accountability demands they do well. Like all dissections, it is not always a pretty sight, but nonetheless vital to a healthy democracy and a free press. Last night Gordon Brewer did it clinically and professionally, without giving way to either disgust or pity.

Sunday, 10 April 2011

Scotland’s First Minister, Alex Salmond –and the Three UK Stooges

Isabel Fraser quizzes the Holyrood opposition leaders on why they blocked the SNP's attempt to introduce minimum pricing for alcohol, a measure supported by medical experts, nurses, the police, alcohol harm reduction agencies, etc.

Iain Gray trots out his ridiculous argument that the measure would have been illegal, only to have it gently pointed out to him by Alex Salmond that the government is prohibited by law from introducing a bill for legislation that would be illegal, and that the law authorities in Scotland has certified that the bill was legal.


Iain Gray clearly does not understand the contradictions inherent in his policy on knife crime - after all, he is advised by Andy Kerr, who gave a train-wreck interview to Gordon Brewer on this recently.

But Annabel Goldie is a lawyer - she must know the implications of what she is proposing, yet she peddles this backwoods Tory nonsense for expedient electoral gain.

Tavish Scott at least emerges from this with some credit.

Only Alex Salmond offers calm, reasoned criticism of the Labour and Tory policy. He, of course, listens to the police and those who understand law and order and justice issues, unlike Gray and Goldie, who seem driven by the tabloids and misguided populist instincts


If you are a public sector worker in Scotland - listen carefully, and decide where your vote should be cast on May 5th. Only the SNP unequivocally supports the public sector and respect its vital role in Scottish society and the commitment of its workers.

If you are a public sector union member in Scotland, ask yourself why your union leaders slavishly support the party that is committed to attacking your jobs - or "reducing bureaucracy", as Iain Gray prefers to call it.

If you are a public sector full-time officer, try to forget your career aspirations and the high road to England for long enough to serve the interests of your members, instead of supporting the Scottish Labour Party.

If you are a public sector Tory, God help you - the Tories are the sworn enemies of the public sector, except when it provides cosy sinecures for their favoured few. Remember which coalition parties are trying to destroy the NHS.

Vote for a vibrant, well-resourced, well-respected public sector -

Vote SNP on May 5th!