Wednesday, December 31, 2008
MSP condemns attack on ship called Dignity.
Hugh O'Donnell, the Liberal Democrat MSP for Central Scotland, has expressed dismay at reports that Israeli forces had attacked an aid boat bound for Gaza in international waters.
Dignity, which was carrying medical supplies, doctors and journalists, was rammed by a gunboat 90 miles from shore, according to Free Gaza, the group behind the "mercy mission", and was being towed to a harbour in Lebanon.
Mr O'Donnell, who travelled to Gaza on board the Dignity in October along with MSPs Sandra White and Pauline McNeill, said: "It makes absolutely no sense at all.
"The boat was carrying civilians and medical supplies and obviously presented no military threat. It's totally disproportionate."
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Israel has been described as an Apartheid State by people at the highest level of the UN as well as others like Ex US president Jimmy Carter and Archbishop Desmond Tutu, they stand accused of committing genocide by statesmen and politicians around the world. In WW11 there were anti Nazi partisan units fighting in many countries which, just like Palestine were occupied, when the Partisans achieved a modest success by killing one or two German troops the Germans retaliated by dishing out “Collective Punishment” which usually took the form of rounding everyone in a village up and killing all of them, Civilians, the elderly, women and children of every age were slaughtered. Some of the German troops responsible for these actions are still being tried today as relatives seek justice.
The charge against them could hardly be graver, it is one of committing war crimes by using “Collective Punishment” against innocent civilians; this is exactly what Israel is doing to Palestinians today and they should not be treated any differently. The rest of the civilised world should stand firm against America and Israel and demand that it stops and those responsible should be charged in exactly the same way as war criminals in the past have been, the reason is simple, they are committing the same crimes and justice demands that they be brought before an International court to answer for them.
MEANWHILE THE KILLINGS GO ON WHILE PALESTINIAN YOUTHS THROW STONES AT THE TANKS OF THE ISRAELI OCCUPIERS.
Monday, December 29, 2008
“They (Palestinians) only know but one thing: we have come here and stolen their country. Why should they accept that?”
(David Ben Gurion, - first Prime Minister of Israel)
You would struggle to get a more honest admission of guilt than the two quotes above, nor would you find more reliable sources but, the shameful crime goes on and on. In the past 6 months 1 Israeli has died from a rocket attack fired from Gaza, in the past 2 days 290 Palestinians have been killed and 1,000 have been injured by the Israeli defence forces. Killed and maimed by high tech. bombs supplied by America and dropped on the defenceless civilian population of Gaza, Israeli’s are murdering defenceless children in Gaza, did anyone ever think that someone could write such a thing? It’s been going on for years and every now and then it becomes too big, too abominable and too obvious for people to look the other way.
Yet again the world looks aghast and wonders with dread what atrocities the Israeli’s are prepared to inflict on the people of Palestine, in the name of god are they all suffering from collective amnesia? Are there none of them left who remember their own history, do they have flash backs when they see a pile of dead children, killed by them, their victims! Is this somehow different? What kind of people were those who inflicted such horror on the Jews, how were they labelled by us, us decent ones, we the good society, we called them evil, we called them vicious animals. What should we call the Israeli’s? should we still say “yes but, think of what the Jews went through, is the well of sympathy rightly afforded them after WW11 being drained, is it possible to justify the barbarism that is happening in Gaza, is a dead Palestinian child somehow different? because if the answer to that is yes then he/she who said it is no better than any other historical brute who had no respect for human life. This agony has been going on for so long now that Israeli citizens have become desensitised, killing children becomes acceptable and can be explained away, 1 Israeli death in 6 months as opposed to 290 Palestinian deaths in 2 days can be twisted and justified, it was ever thus when trying to explain away evil.
This is collective punishment and is a war crime, Western World leaders including Gordon Brown are too dominated by America to do anything except mumble “a plague on both your houses” the siege of Gaza and it’s blockade, the apartheid wall, the blocking of medical supplies might be a dream/nightmare for all we have heard from our Govt. “it never happened, it’s not happening” as the late great Harold Pinter said. Didn’t we send our charismatic former prime Minister to help solve the problem? No one expected miracles from him but nor did we expect a vacuum and a vow of silence, he is a waste of time and a continuous reminder of our subservience to the Americans on important matters. World leaders know what is happening, It is time they called a halt to Israel’s crimes, we hear about war criminals being charged at the Hague, why are the Israeli’s not being treated the same? When partisans killed a German soldier during the war, the Germans would kill a whole village of people, why is this different?
Am I alone in thinking that the Palestinian people must know that they can’t defeat the might of the Israel/American axis, they are killed, maimed, tortured and imprisoned, their land/homes/villages and farms are destroyed and the settlers take over their country, turning them into refugees, does anyone else, like me stop to think why on earth are they still fighting against such incredible odds, what possesses them, still after all this time and all this Israeli brutality are they still prepared to run out and throw a stone at a tank? Where does that kind of spirit come from what “banishes fear with the speed of a flame” as the Irish writer Dominic Behan once wrote? The answer is of course a 'just cause’ 'right against wrong’ ‘good against evil’ that’s why the Palestinians are still defiantly standing. Without tanks or war planes or even without stones to throw they still shame Israel.
The reason that Israel has stolen Palestine can best be understood by asking a settler who has just taken a Palestinian’s land, knocked down his home and made his family into refugees, this can be an urbane sophisticated well educated Israeli who will tell you the reason as follows “ this is our land because God promised it to us” That’s it folks, there you have it, press our settler further, when did God promise it to you? “Several thousand years ago” the land that Palestinians have been living in for thousands of years was promised to the Jews by no less a conveyance lawyer than God. Not only were bushes bursting into flames, seas parting and manna falling from heaven but God also found time to do a land deal with the Jews. Yes this sounds flippant but, this is their reason, they are not having a joke when they justify the killing and brutality, it was God who started it, this is their justification, is not time to put a stop to this nefarious injustice.
SEND DONATIONS TO THE PALESTINIAN CAUSES LISTED AT THE SIDE OF THE BLOG FRONT PAGE.
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
By contrast there are many in the world that are living on the edge of survival; for them a few shillings is the difference between life and death; the disparity could hardly be greater. From the fabulously wealthy financier who can hardly contemplate life unless he/she finds hundreds of millions of pounds to the mother in the third world who needs some loose change to feed her hungry child or, a few pence for cheap and available medicine to cure ailments which you and I shrug off but, which are deadly to them.
The situation described above goes on all the time but, because it is Christmas it seems more important when, what it is in fact, is our consciences bothering us, I remember the great actor and raconteur Peter Ustinov who was a U.N. ambassador saying years ago that hundreds of thousands of children in Africa were suffering from an eye condition which would blind most of them and, the cost of treating all of them would have been the same as one new vertical take off war plane (Harrier Jump Jet) which we were enthusiastically building and selling at the time, “it was ever thus I hear you say” and you are right.
Today we still build these obscene technological marvels to kill people with and we sell them for profit, to other countries that are lucky enough to be able to afford them and; consequently they can kill people from other countries with them. Weapons of mass destruction are of course where all this madness leads us, sadly we live in a more dangerous world than we ever did despite past and present wars, we as a species, can be marvellously inventive but can’t deliver the greatest thing of all which is peace. Albert Einstein declared that had he known where his research would lead in terms of Atomic weapons he would have become “a watch maker” he bitterly regretted his part in the Atomic Weapons Race.
Perhaps we are in fact standing at the beginning of a new era, a new millennium, a new more caring society following the collapse of greed, a slowing down of the rat race. The election of Obama could be a great opportunity for change, I am personally convinced that had Obama and Brown been in power rather than Blair and Bush we would not have gotten embroiled in Iraq and more would have been done to pacify Afghanistan, a country that has been fighting with one enemy or another for hundreds of years and still haven’t been beaten, mighty does not mean automatic victory, great countries also have to learn their lessons, does anyone for instance fancy going another couple of rounds with the dirt poor Vietnamese peasants ? thought not, time to talk perhaps.
Neils Bohr, Einstein, Oppenheimer, Von Braun etc. were giants and we will see more like them, the task is to direct them to peace and justice for all not to building more efficient killing machines, what scientist would prefer to build a bomb than discover a cure for cancer ? I am not aware of any religion which does not preach peace, love and understanding, likewise any country which does not claim to want international peace and justice, can there be a greater task before us than getting them all to live out their claims ?
Here in the West we sit upon a nuclear arsenal which is unprecedented in its destructive potential, this is matched by other regions of the planet, that sounds like a no win situation to me, all we need is someone to lead the way, why not us ? start by ridding the world of the obscenity that is Trident and the rest of the killing machines, there is a way of doing this, get the British Govt. to lead the way. To do this you need to join the Labour Party, this is a plea to all you good people who regard this as the most important issue facing mankind.
This is not a plea to embrace every labour policy, I don’t do that either, if everyone who is exercised by this issue were to join and turn up at meetings and push for resolutions against Trident and fight to elect anti Trident candidates we would have a far better chance of changing policy, I am not saying it would be easy but how big a prize do you need, is there a bigger incentive ? first Trident then Global Warming, sorting out the rest would be easy. Remember the massive demonstrations, they provided one day of glorious protest, magnificent camaraderie between millions of people which did very little, Govt’s don’t respond any more to that kind of protest. Consider however tens of thousands joining the Govt. party, all of them determined to get rid of Trident, no one can stop you joining, think about it.
Monday, December 22, 2008
Eckus rules by fear from a place called Edinburgh in the far east. The evil (spiv) has ruled over these lands for a year and a half and in that time he and his hand picked officers and local councillors led by the tyrannical local commander Derekus Mackayus, an evil tyrant by all accounts have wrought havoc, there has been much wailing and gnashing of teeth, particularly from primary school children and their parents.
The holy child has however survived the “flight into Paisley” though where they are going to find him a school place is anybody’s guess, a nursery place will be even harder as Eckus (the spiv’s) brutal regime has “done in” the nurseries as well, this is as a result of panic when he heard about the child and feared him as a challenger, rumour has it that the ambitious, ‘lean & hungry’ Mackayus could meet the same fate, he is watched closely by the malevolent plotters Cllrs. Mitchellus & Mcfeebleus known as the ‘jinglers’ because of the pieces of silver jangling in their deep ‘Paisley Man’ pockets, a legacy from their past association with the evil Torius tribe, only two of whom survive Cllrs. Langlandus & Clewless.
Remember (the spiv) has ‘previous’ in these matters. Local well loved tribunes of the people such as “Margo & Jim” and Mickus Russellus have been cast into the wilderness and been forced to live in the wild country around the Holy Cities of Glasgow & Edinburgh these two cities hate each other because of Glasgow’s great sporting dominance, particularly at the sport of footus, such is the depravity of this regime that they are not expected to be seen again.
Reports have it that the child was born in a stable in the lovely Paisley hamlet of Glenburn, a place of great peace and learning, known for its fine upstanding people and great footballers. A stable had to suffice as the local authority had destroyed the homeless provision once provided by previous benevolent rulers, before the invasion of the Philistines. The wean didn’t even have a warden to look out for him, the legion of the council known as the “Wardens” was also put to the sword by Eckus, Mackayus and their brutal hairy legged tartan clad troops. This was reported by the Popular front for the liberation of Renfrewshire or is it the Renfrewshire Liberation Popular Front they are AKA The Scottish Socialist Party, a wild hairy vicious bunch, and some of their male members are scary as well.
The people are confident however that the child will survive with the help and goodwill of a higher being, “The Great Gordus Broonus” who has many legions and has god on his side as well as Baracus Obamus from a far country where he smote some real “wronguns” the parts of the world that have not already been saved by Broonus will surely be save by Obamus.
Peace will some day return to the land of Renfrewshire as well as the wider area of Caledonius, evil tyrants like Eckus and his henchmen and henchwomen will dwell in the land of Barlinnus where they belong, along with Seanus Conneruss the foreign dodger of taxes and wee holy Sooterus the charioteer, the barbarian Trump and his bloodstained clubs will be vanquished, children will learn to read again and the ancients among us will once again be valued. The evil tribes of Eckus, Camerus and Cleggus will be banished by the lord Broonus, peace and prosperity will reign, shepherds will once again wash their socks in peace and Scotus will win the world cup and St. Mirrunus will prosper.
Just remember to vote Labour !
Saturday, December 20, 2008
“As the Titanic was going down I was coming up” (Studs Terkel, 1912 to 2008) the type of character you get only once in a lifetime, the great American chronicler of the 20 Th. Century, he interviewed everyone who was anyone but, interviewed even more ordinary people, in his own words he was “fascinated by the faces in the crowd” plumbers, soldiers, nurses, waitresses, actors, singers, bosses and union members, never without his tape recorder he got Buster Keaton, Louise Armstrong, James Baldwin, Brando, Dylan, Pete Seeger, Bertrand Russell, Dorothy Parker, JK Galbraith, Noam Chomsky, Martin Luther King, Mel Brooks Rosa Parks, Ali, Tennessee Williams, Leonard Bernstein and many more his output was incredible. From a bit part actor to a disc jockey to writer to union organiser and life long political activist, he never wasted a minute.
He was of course inevitably “Witch Hunted” by McCarthy and one of “the house Un-American activities” thugs tried to persuade him to admit to being duped by the communists, “ we have to oppose communism at all times” said the goon, “if they oppose cancer are we for it” said Studs, “not funny” said the goon, “ we must all stand up together” said the goon, Studs immediately got out of his chair and stood up, “that’s not funny either” said the goon, he was blacklisted. The radio station he was with tried to coerce him into signing an “American Oath of Loyalty” he refused using Chicago language, they were about to sack him when the rising star of the show Mahalia Jackson said “if he goes so do I” he survived.
When the Watergate hearings were held, Studs organised a public convention of professional burglars and Safe Crackers, the result of which condemned the corrupt politicians as amateurs who brought shame on decent criminals, hilarious stuff. He was of course synonymous with Chicago where he talked to everyone and everyone talked back, on meeting a young wealthy couple who were declaring their contempt for organised labour Unions he demanded to know how many hrs, a day the guy worked, 8 he said, why not 18 said Studs, don’t know said the guy not seeing the punch coming, “because of Unions ya goddamn shmuck” yelled Studs.
He was a one off and well worth any interest shown in his life and work; he made up his own obituary which said “Curiosity did not kill this cat”
A GREAT AMERICAN.
Well Terry (munch munch)another failure (munch munch)to add to the sad, long long list which defines your pathetic life (munch munch). Put your feet up (munch munch), scoff down(munch munch) even more food, and(munch munch)reflect on the saddness of it all.You led the parents up the garden path (munch munch) to a dead end. Now you will leave them (munch munch) and find another hate filled topic (munch munch) with which to fill your empty life.
What you have just read is a typical example of the character of the SNP; this is what passes for argument/ debate with them; in fact it’s quite sophisticated by SNP standards, particularly in Renfrewshire. These are the people responsible for running education in Renfrewshire as well as the rest of the council; this is how they react to their triumph in defeating the children and parents of South School who are looking for ways to continue the fight. Wouldn’t it be the greatest result ever if the parents at this late stage were to win, could you think of anything more satisfying than beating these foul mouthed ignorant SNP bullies.
Think about people like the anonymous author of this comment the next time you think about the SNP, think about how low these people can sink, think about their cowardice during the campaign where they could not be found, think about this comment from them where they display their triumphalism and glory in the fear and misery they are causing to innocent children and their families.
They (the SNP) like to call themselves “Scotland’s Party” was there ever a more cruel deception ?
Friday, December 19, 2008
THE PEOPLE V THE SNP - THE BATTLE FOR SOUTH PRIMARY - FURTHER HUMILIATION FOR THE STILL DEFIANT SNP COUNCIL.
Cllr. Cameron the convener sat in the chair like a female version of “Weir of Hermiston” her expression and body language like someone who has just stood in something nasty, she opened with an outrageous and unsubstantiated slur by suggesting that some people? said that the officers took delight in closing schools, which people ? She did not elaborate, did she mean the parents, the teachers, other councillors? just a typical SNP slur, still she knows how to win friends and influence people eh ?
Labour’s Jim Harte moved an amendment to the SNP/Lib. Dem. Closure motion and proceeded to dismantle the council case, bit by embarrassing bit but, this was talking to the deaf, in a devastating passage he stunned the chamber by reminding everyone that throughout this whole sorry farce neither the SNP/Lib.Dem. councillors nor the education officers had at any time mentioned what; if anything in all of this was best for the children. All they had talked about from the start to the end was money, not education, not children’s progress, not parent’s feelings, just money, a damning comment on the council, Labour’s plea to give the children of South Primary an early Christmas present fell on deaf ears, this was these parent’s first time seeing their councillors do their job and they were appalled by the SNP.
Such was their determination to close the school 'come what may' that the following points and hammer blows were absorbed by the council who sat there praying for the final bell.
Labour – “the method of using ‘capacity’ to determine the school usage was bogus, it’s been discarded by Glasgow City Council and professionals find it misleading” Renfrewshire Council, “No comment”
Labour – “there are 4 schools in Renfrewshire which are more expensive to educate children than South Primary, why then is South Primary closing” Renfrewshire Council, “No comment”
Labour - reminded the SNP of their promises “to lower class sizes” while now raising them by closing South Primary, Renfrewshire Council, “No comment”
Cllr, B Lawson managed to lower the tone by questioning the honesty of the parents when he referred to letters and emails which had been sent in “the guise of children” an arrogant callous insult from an uncaring bean counter who knows nothing about children’s education and cares even less. The parents found it hard to remain calm at this malicious insult by Cllr. Lawson SNP, a nasty piece of work indeed.
Neil Bibbie (Labour) in a devastating intervention reminded the meeting that the sum being saved by closure £191,000 was less than the SNP/Lib.Dems. gave to their senior council officers as a pay rise, this is SNP priorities. In a final act of humiliation for the education convener she moved to the vote rather than speaking to her own closure motion, a complete humbling for her and her party. Mark McMillan (Labour) invited Convener Cameron to apologise to the people of Renfrewshire for her mishandling of the education brief; he was met predictably by her most truculent sneer.
Following the vote to close the school the parents walked out of the meeting shocked, in a near by anti room I found anger and many tears, they had fought a magnificent campaign, they had demolished the council case, they had got the public on their side, how could anyone deny that they had won the argument, how could anyone vote to close the school? they made one mistake which, not being involved in politics they could not have foreseen, they allowed themselves to believe that the SNP were honest, that they (the SNP) would do the right thing, that they (the SNP) and the pathetic spineless Lib. Dems. who are always for sale, would do the decent thing. They have learned a painful lesson but they are not finished, they are now looking at ways of continuing the fight.
They deserve to win; they deserve the support of everyone who cares about the future of Renfrewshire’s children.
MORE POWER TO THEM, THE FAT LADY IS CLEARING HER THROAT BUT SHE STILL HASN’T SUNG.
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
December 17 Th. 08 - tomorrow at 1pm. The SNP led council will close South School, unless of course they suddenly have a collective urge to suddenly start telling the truth, readers of this blog will realize how unlikely that will be particularly when you consider that all the pro SNP pro closure comments which I have received have been anonymous, the SNP have hidden from the parents and hidden their names when writing, that suggests that they know they are wrong but, lack the courage to admit it. Their behaviour would be considered shameful by any decent standards but, this is the SNP where decency and truth are alien concepts, their apolitical amoral Lib. Dem. lackeys are in some ways worse, they stand for nothing and believe in nothing, they are; all of them, beneath contempt.
The SNP set out to close the South School on the clearly stated issue of costs, i.e. it was costing too much to run and could not be justified, this was a mistake borne of laziness, inexperience, incompetence and hubris. They overlooked many things, their argument was flawed, their education board was rudderless, this was cruelly apparent by observing the hesitation and eventual total silence of the convener who clearly was not up to the job, it was blatantly obvious that there were several parents who could manifestly run rings round her. This caused a slow embarrassing withdrawal from the fray by the convener as officers and other SNP councillors took over her brief mainly Cllr. Mackay who proved to be every bit as vacuous, this was not lost on the campaigners who quite rightly poured scorn on the SNP snake oil sellers.
The SNP are a disgrace and in Renfrewshire, that is most obvious in education, 119 teachers lost, not one probationary teacher employed, savage cuts and teachers using their own money to buy classroom materials, all taking place in a climate of fear where teachers are, according to the Scotland on Sunday paper afraid to speak out, this is a wee glimpse of life in an independent SNP governed Scotland, be warned.
The cruel farce and betrayal that is the South School issue shows SNP inexperience, incompetence and callousness, had this parent’s campaign been a fight the referee would have stopped it such was the battering the council took from the parents, they were demolished and humiliated at every meeting, the SNP’s reaction ? “Turn and flee” hide from them, it’s no mistake that the SNP and Lib. Dem. Councillors “done a runner” they are afraid to face the parents and children of the school they are about to close, it’s educational vandalism. The clear reason for the closure was given as costs, then the formidable parents started to find their feet and the costs theory was exposed as not quite so robust and the council case started to rock, council educational officers however are nothing if not resilient and about this time in the campaign a new phrase was thrown into the ring, “say how are ye” to “roll against capacity” yes it’s a new one on me as well, the discredited claim that South Primary was too costly to run was jettisoned and this ‘Orwellian’ phrase appeared. This is a phrase which is a bit like trying to put tooth paste back into it’s tube, I congratulate the officers, capacity is of course a malleable thing so it isn’t difficult to pick a figure for “roll against capacity” in my opinion it’s a crock of ‘bulldung; but it’s a cracker and the SNP are clinging to it like a Scotsman to a fiver.
I have asked questions on this blog which no-one has answered and they are quite straight forward, they can still be addressed by the SNP if they want to have a go, perhaps one of them will tackle them tomorrow, here they are again
a) What was the real reason for closure ? I say they used costs and made a hash of it; nothing to do with the “roll against capacity” diversion.
b) Where is South Primary in the table of schools with reference to running costs ? I say there are 5 which are more costly.
c) If I’m correct at b) above, why is South Primary closing ?
d) Would it be fair to say that a refusal to answer these legitimate questions would be a deception ? I say it would.
It’s not to late for the decent thing to be done but, no matter the outcome, the Parents, children and staff as well as all those who helped the campaign can be proud of themselves, SNP led Renfrewshire Council should be ashamed, and to those who think they won’t have to deal with similar problems, I hope I’m wrong but, I think you are whistling in the dark, remember Mr. Rooney’s candid words “we need about 40 schools” and we all know now don’t we, that we have fifty one, or possibly fifty after tomorrow.
Good luck and best wishes to everyone who supports South Primary School.
Friday, December 12, 2008
Another victory for the South School Parents, yes folks they were the audience, this time the SNP had to perform their pathetic circus under the disbelieving gaze of the angry parents, you just can’t put these parents off, they are indefatigable, a great bunch of people galvanised by having right on their side; much to the anger and embarrassment of the SNP. This time there was no hiding place for the SNP/Lib Dem Cllrs. who want to shut their school. Large demonstrations, Candlelit vigils, emails, letters, public meetings, street stalls and many more activities have turned SNP/Lib. Dem. Councillors into a collection of cowardly escape artists and vanishing shadows; they have hidden from these parents and have shown contempt for them by refusing to engage with them. The visitors to the council chamber; freshly betrayed by Alex(the spiv)Salmond were able to see for themselves what these political non persons look like as they cowered from their gaze, comment after comment and point after point was made by Labour Councillors attacking the administration's intention to close South Primary and they never answered any of them.
The fear and loathing of the administration for the parents was evident when one of their councillors instructed a council officer to threaten to expel them from the chamber because they had cheered and applauded some anti closure statements, maybe someone can inform me which councillor this was, I’m sure some people will know. Despite the topical nature of the South School situation and the continuous references to it as well as the Labour motion on the school plus the presence of the parents; incredibly the SNP administration’s convener of education Cllr. Cameron did not say a word about the whole affair. She sat silently throughout the whole meeting, is she on board with the SNP policy? Is she about to rebel? I can only say that it was not difficult to spot the difference between Cllr. Cameron and a ray of sunshine here as Cllr. Mackay humiliatingly removed her from her brief.
I have speculated in the past about whether this consultation was meaningful, well at this meeting we heard the hapless and completely befuddled Cllr. McCartin refer to “when the school closes” followed by the hugely inexperienced and incompetent council leader Cllr. Mackay who; while arguing against moving the final decision to a full council; talked about such a delay causing confusion and interfering with the move and the placing of the children for the new term, i.e. after closure, “Freudian slips” letting them down I fear. Labour’s motion to move the decision on South School from the Education Committee to the full Council was defeated by the SNP/Lib. Dem. Administration, a decision borne of fear. The full council would have allowed every councillor to have their say, especially the councillors for the ward which the school is in; only one of the councillors on the education board represents the ward the school is in; Cllr. McGurk Lib. Dem. She will not be able to hide unless she throws a “sickie” the rest of the SNP/Lib. Dem. Cllrs. will be delighted to keep their heads below the parapet; their relief at the vote was palpable.
This council meeting also gave me the chance to skewer the SNP and Cllr. Brian Lawson over the hypocrisy of the SNP relating to housing transfer. Cllr. Lawson has been protesting more and more desperately about a campaign by his former colleagues in the Scottish Socialist Party; they have accused him and the SNP of giving away council houses to private companies. This is being fought out in the letters page of the PDE “I repeat again; we are not giving away houses to private companies” (Cllr. B Lawson SNP). I asked the meeting where we had heard this before and reminded him and the SNP that we had heard it before when Cllr. Lawson and the Scottish Socialist Party accused the Labour Administration of exactly that when the issue of housing transfer was voted on about two years ago. Now the SNP are quite happy to let the remaining council houses in Ferguslie Park be transferred to the Ferguslie Park Housing Association depending on a yes result in a ballot of tenants, exactly what labour were doing while he and his disingenuous Party were accusing us of giving them away.
This is a 100 % case of double standards from the SNP, there is no other way to describe it, I invited Cllr. Lawson SNP to comment and let the meeting know if he and the SNP had been disingenuous then or if they were being disingenuous now, he did comment on Labour’s motion describing the last 18 months of the SNP/Lib. Dem. Administration as a disaster for the people of Renfrewshire but he remained strangely silent about the housing transfer question, perhaps he forgot, what do you think?
Just for the record the SNP are not giving away council houses to the private sector and neither were we in the Labour Party, the difference between us of course was the usual one.
We (Labour) told the truth, they; the (SNP) lied.
Saturday, December 06, 2008
That quote is not mine but, I agree with it completely, it wasn’t Yasser Arafat and it wasn’t a Hamas spokesman, it was from David Ben Gurion the first prime minister of Israel, the old Zionist thug at least told the truth.
Children suffering from malnutrition and the ailments that accompany it are dying in Gaza, these are children remember, not gunmen, bombers or insurgents, just children. Just recently these kids as well as other frail elderly people had cause for hope, word had spread that a relief ship was on its way to the Gaza Strip, mothers and fathers saw a chink of light, perhaps their children would survive, these parents are distraught having to watch their beloved children wasting because of hunger and dying for want of simple medicines. Food, medicine and clothing were on their way, international agencies had gathered together to fund a ship to carry life saving materials to Gaza, the aid did not arrive, the suffering would continue.
Israel decided that the ship would not be allowed to sail to Gaza, Israel decided that the children and old and sick would continue to suffer and die, this is being done by the survivors of the Holocaust, it beggars belief that the Jewish people who suffered so much could treat innocent children this way but that’s what they are doing.
They are inflicting “collective punishment” on a whole people, not only is this illegal under international law it is an act of barbarism, in addition Israel prevents the Palestinians in Gaza from using power by refusing to allow the delivery of spare parts for it’s power plants, this causes black outs which make the medical situation worse, they are bringing shame on decent Jewish people all over the world.
This is the “Holy Land” and this is the season of “Peace and Goodwill” though not for Palestinians, in Bethlehem of all places the Palestinians live under the lash of Israel, they can not travel without the say so of Israel and the “little Town” is surrounded by soldiers and the infamous “Apartheid Wall” They are prisoners in their own land where generations of Palestinians have lived for thousands of years, remember Jesus, Mary and Joseph were Palestinians. There must be millions of Jews all around the world who abhor what Israel is doing, why don’t we hear their voices, when will they stand up and shout ‘enough’ ? On the front page of this blog there is an appeal for aid to the Palestinian people, I urge everyone to assist them and also to write to your politicians to protest at this nefarious and immoral treatment of innocents.
Wednesday, December 03, 2008
I have now been accused by some of questioning the integrity of council officers by writing this song so, for the avoidance of doubt and to shoot this particular Fox from SNP supporters, I will put the record straight. None of the references in the song are directed at officers, they are directed at the SNP led administration and are based on conversations I have had with the parents and campaigners for the school, I have been a councillor for nearly 10 years and my relationships with officers has never been anything but harmonious. We have disagreed many times but strictly on a professional basis and that remains the case i.e. I disagree with the education dept’s apparent intention to close South Primary but I do not question their integrity. This in fact contrasts with the behaviour of the SNP who over the years have treated council officers appallingly and accused them of all kinds of dishonest goings on culminating with the outrageous smear by Cllr. Nicolson against council officers whom he accused of nepotism and bias toward Labour when appointing people to jobs, this got him a ban of one year by the Standards Commission, a body that I am familiar with to my cost but, for different reasons.
I have written many articles about South Primary and contained within these articles are several references to council officers, some critical but based on our honest disagreements, a search of the articles will also find several references to the Director of Education Mr. John Rooney, a man whom I trust and unhesitatingly describe as a man of honesty and integrity and Mr. Naylor of the education dept. whom I praised for his candour at meetings, this suggests I think that accusations of dishonesty by officers by me would be at best contradictory and at worse plain stupid. The tactics being used by the SNP supporters clearly smack of collusion and smears, this as I have pointed out before is no surprise to anyone who knows them but, I doubt if they are fooling anyone.
The Battle for South Primary goes on, can we win? Yes we can!
Sunday, November 30, 2008
These administration councillors have been conspicuous by their absence, they are afraid to face the parents and kids, they have even banned the advertising of councillor’s surgeries to make life more difficult for the campaigners to see their councillor, they have hidden from the consultation meetings, they went missing when the protest march visited council headquarters, they refused the school permission to display the children’s work and achievements, what does this tell us ? Well you could suggest many things, are they cowards ? absolutely, are they hiding ? no doubt about that, have they got a clue what they are doing ? not really. I believe that the biggest problem that these councillors have is the fact that the protesters have managed by dint of their hard work and zeal to shine a very unflattering light on the powers that be; because the public are firmly on their side. This is due to their diligence at getting their argument across, they have massive support and the SNP know that, hence their absence, “let them turn and flee” someone once said.
There is no one out there who does not have a locus here, I’m 60 and my children are long out of school but, my grandchildren haven’t started yet, how many of you out there are in the same position ? how many of you have nieces and nephews who are in the education system in Renfrewshire ? how many of you have small children who live around you, some at school and some not yet started ? they are the important ones, not me or you but them, they are the future, nothing is more important than this and don’t make the mistake as some are doing by saying “my school is OK” because it’s not.
There is a principle at stake here; do you believe that money can be found to prevent this closure? I do, is education vital, well? I also fear for the future of other schools if they get their way and close it, anyone who thinks that this will not impinge on them or their families or neighbours or just on any children at all are taking a risk, think of children you might never meet or see, they also are important, that’s what separates us from other creatures, we care about others, we are prone to being collective and we should be proud of that.
To those who have not been concerned by this struggle; I ask you to start by considering the children, all children, whether you have children at school or if you have had children at school in the past. What would you be doing if your children were in South School ? consider also that the director of education to his credit had the courage and integrity to state that we have 10 primary schools too many, consider also that South Primary is not the lowest attended school other schools are in a poorer situation, that is, if you take the SNP/Lib.Dem. definition of what a poor situation is and believe me, that situation to them is about money not the children, if I were a parent with kids in school in Renfrewshire I would consider it vital to familiarise myself with the facts, ask the questions, contact the campaigners and, having done so,
I WOULD DO WHAT I CAN TO SUPPORT THE SOUTH PRIMARY CAMPAIGN.
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
I received a cheeky email from a past adversary who worships the quicksand I might walk on someday because of my disdain for rugby, he suggests that as I have fallen out with football (not true) I should watch a real game i.e. Rugby, I responded by saying that after Scotland’s 41 – 0 victory over Canada I might find it too stressful, football is in the doldrums but Rugby is still played by those who are not good enough to play football, what does that make them ?
The faces of the young children ask the question far more eloquently than I ever could, Cllr. Cameron, “do I matter”? “do you care”? “why were we not allowed to put on an exhibition of our work, why are you treating us like this”? Can there be anyone left outwith the SNP who doesn’t support these children and their school, does anyone believe that a council with a budget of hundreds of millions of pounds can’t find a sum of less than £190,000 a year to save this school, I find that hard to believe. It’s not too late to save the school the SNP can still see sense and show some compassion, stop listening to the bean counting officers and do the decent thing, keep the school open.
Again I urge everyone who supports the fight to save South Primary to contact their councillors, by email at the council, or letter, or telephone, or fax or best of all find them and speak to them personally, go to their surgeries and make the case. Don’t allow this act of educational sabotage to take place, these children deserve to be educated at their own local school, you would want nothing less for your children and so would the SNP for their children all the parents want is the same treatment that the SNP would want for their own kids, is that too much to ask ?
Write to first minister Salmond (the spiv) who has already gone back on his word to come to see them at the school, the mountain must now go to Mohamad, they have to got to go see him in Edinburgh. Tell him that you want to see the school saved, he will be hoping that the parents don't go and that it will all go away, he underestimates these parents who are fighting for their children's futures, they deserve to win.
Monday, November 24, 2008
The lonely ‘one man band’ struck up at 7.15 pm and by 7.20 the floor was heaving, have you ever noticed that it is mainly women who take the floor, it’s a Scottish male thing I think, the wee musician knew his audience and any flagging in the dancing was sorted out by another “line dance” an incomprehensible affair which they all seem to do as if hypnotised but good fun for all that, here is where you learn that “the way to Amarrilo” is a bloody serious business. At one point I realized that it was not just the case that mainly women took the floor but quite alarmingly it dawned on me that, if you excluded the hall keeper who was dragged up to dance, and the band who, talented as he was could not cope with playing and dancing, there were only 3 men there, me, Cllr. Tommy Williams and Cllr. Kenny McLaren, armed as always with pens and small note pads to cope with those who see any meeting with a councillor as an impromptu surgery. There were about one hundred women and by now, three rather nervous men. Group jeopardy bonded us despite political differences as we were persuaded to dance by an assortment of partners of all ages, I know it isn’t a pleasant thought, me and the other two on a dance floor but refusing was not an option. By this time, many revellers were thinking that they had been drinking invisible ink and no one could see the antics of them, dozens of mobile phone cameras were no deterrent.
We survived to cope with the magnificent buffet and the inevitable ‘Bingo’ we three councillors gave out certificates of merit to the worthy volunteers and a great night was had by all, I could probably do it all again, once I get the stitches out that is. By the time the ‘band’ was playing “auld land syne” he could have been wearing boxing gloves and no one would have noticed.
The ‘Beechwood’ is a constant in the lives of the people of the area and as such is a fine example of community spirit and commitment. Renfrewshire Council supports them and it is well worth the effort, I love going down there, I remember many great nights and the enjoyment my family had there years ago, my children were involved in everything that went on, we will I’m sure continue to provide this support and I’m sure the centre will continue to thrive, well done to all of them and best wishes for the future.
Friday, November 21, 2008
Events at Hampden on Wednesday evening did nothing to change my mind, excuses have been trotted out by people who should know better, such as ‘a cold November night’ ‘too near Christmas’ what piffle! any game against Argentina would have filled the stadium 20 years ago. Just before that era Celtic became the first British team to win the European Cup and lost in the final of the same trophy as well as reaching I think 3 semi finals, Rangers won the Cup Winners Cup and always featured in European tournaments, not long after that the game became swamped with money and Scottish teams have since struggled to keep up, that is not about to change and it’s impact can be seen in International Football, quite simply the world has left us behind.
I’ve seen Scotland play many times and seen some great players but, unfortunately they were not in the same team, it would have been great to see Mackay, McStay, Bremner and Baxter in the same midfield with Law and McGrory as twin strikers, add McGrain, Ure, Buchan and Jardine and you could put almost anyone in goal. The larger countries have so many players that they can get several outstanding players into the same team, I can no longer be bothered to go to a Scotland game, in fact if they are on TV and a better international is also on I will watch that and switch on occasionally to check the score. When Scots. fans don’t turn out to watch the team play Argentina it spells big trouble, without an amalgamation it will only get worse and eventually it will become a waste of time, just consider the number of players who don’t bother with it now, how many call offs etc. the game’s up I’m afraid.
The match was painful to watch and predictable, Argentina scored a superb goal early and spent the rest of the game passing rings round the Scottish players while carefully avoiding the frustrated flying boots of Hutton, Brown and Broadfoot, I think they clearly enjoyed winning the game and would have seen the avoidance of serious injury to their players as a bonus, the look of incredulity on the faces of some of the Argentina players at some of the tackling said it all.
Maradonna’s contempt for Terry Butcher was deserved and completely destructive, his demeanour and likeable nature were a joy to watch and contrasted sharply with Butcher’s childish pique, after all these years Butcher should have shown more sense, he has no class I’m afraid, did he not stop to think about the misdemeanours that he committed on the football field in his long career as one of the most uncompromising ‘hard man’ defenders.
He might also have thought about the greatness of the man he refused to shake hands with, those who like me were lucky enough to see him at 18 years of age on his debut against Scotland knew we were in the presence of greatness, even at that age you could see he was special. A man who sustained more abuse on the football field than Terry Butcher could ever understand and, BTW along with Charlton, Pele and Puskas etc, one of the greatest players ever, a true legend with not a bad line in ‘put downs’ judging by his crack about England’s World Cup win. Butcher was probably right to stay away from him; he would have taken another drubbing, this time verbally.
And finally I have to say that the great Diego Armando Maradonna was wrong, IMO the English goal was valid.
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
To be sung with gusto by parents, staff, children and all supporters of the fight for children's education at South Primary School. so the SNP and the council officers can hear you.
On the 12 Th. Day of Christmas the council gave to us !
12 Weans a weeping
11 Chiefs a cheating
10 Dads protesting
9 Mums a mourning
8 Children pleading
7 Nat’s a sneering
6 Teachers toiling
5 Iron locks
4 Furniture vans
3 Council cuts
2 Dozen lies
And a CLOSURE notice on oor wee school.
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
They are putting every barrier they can find in the campaigner’s way, it’s easy to forget but, this is children and their future we are talking about, the SNP council are treating them like sworn enemies, it’s outrageous.
They have now come up with another scam to make life more difficult for the campaigners, they have just announced that councillors surgeries will no longer be advertised in the Paisley Daily Express, this they say is to save money, it also conveniently aids any councillor who doesn’t want to face angry parents at their surgeries, they have made it more difficult to get surgery information, for as long as anyone can remember the Paisley Daily Express has been the preferred method for people to see when they can visit their councillor, this was one of the many services provided by the local paper. SNP cllrs. are no doubt hoping that this will give them some respite, hiding from the electors, does that not just say it all? They will save £20,000 a year, remember they gave wage rises to senior officers of £11,500 per year. Do you get the feeling that the SNP council feel they can treat the people with utter contempt and get away with it because, that is what they are doing.
The parents, Staff and Children of South Primary School are facing Christmas with trepidation as the SNP prepare to close the place with an announcement 7 days before Christmas, Christmas is one of the best times of the school year with parties and pantomimes etc. Perhaps they will put on their own pantomime with the villains named after the faceless and heartless people who have them in their sights, I’m sure the kids and parents could find names for the “ugly sisters” or “Scrooge” and of course a name for the “wicked witch” they could extend invitations to their local councillors MP’s, MSP’s etc. I’m sure the education convener and members of the education board would be delighted to attend as well as some of the education officers, the higher up the better. Having barred them though from putting on the exhibition of the children’s work would the SNP council also stop them from putting on a pantomime, I suspect they would, why don’t you all ask them?
"OH NO THEY WOULDN'T - OH YES THEY WOULD"
I urge everyone who shares the concerns of the parents and children to protest to your councillors, MP’s and MSP’s they must not be allowed to get away with this attack on these children’s futures.
Sunday, November 16, 2008
Any views or comments can be posted on :-
or :- visit our Website at http://www.savesouthschool.co.uk/
The latest affront by the Education Dept. of Renfrewshire Council is to refuse the children and parents permission to put on a show of the children's work and achievements. I ask again what are they afraid of ? Could it be that the level of achievement is such that it would undermine their callous attempts to close the school and scatter the children around like so many unwanted orphans, how could they be so cruel? little children being forced apart from their friends at such a tender age, it can't be good for their education and it can't be good for their morale.
If I were an education officer I would be concerned about the potential damage which could easily be done to these kids, no one at Renfrewshire Council seems concerned about that, these bean counters do however have every last penny counted when it comes to financial savings from closure, very very sad, Scotland's Party, the SNP eh ? this is them dealing with Scotland's Children.
Saturday, November 15, 2008
An old friend of mine who has sadly now passed on told me a story about her which was told to him by a friend and it dated from his time on National Service. He was stationed at some castle where the Queen Mum was in residence and in pleasant weather she would sit outside reading or having a ‘swallie’ with friends. Soldiers regularly passed by where she was seated and were obliged to salute as they passed. Some soldiers on seeing that she was sitting with her back to them or engrossed in a book would pass without saluting, not a great sin you would think but, unknown to them she had a strategically placed mirror which allowed her to note those who didn’t salute and they were duly dragged over the coals when she reported them, what jolly good fun eh? Another mystery about this gracious lady was her wealth or lack of it, I remember reading on her demise among all the sycophantic grovelling in the press that she had died £6M in debt! How in the “name of the wee man” did she manage that?
A recent news story however has perhaps discovered why she was so reticent, possibly she was muzzled, censored, made to button her lip as it were. The BBC presenter Edward Stourton, himself from a ‘silver spoon’ background has described her as “a ghastly old bigot” and guilty of harbouring the prejudices which have caused conflicts in Europe in the past.
In an interview with Stourton she described our close European Allies as “huns, wops & dagos” he went on to say, ”I thought that what she had said was nasty and ugly” Oh dear dear me, when I wrote about the royal family before and the prejudice which is part of their lives I was attacked for it, perhaps the Queen Mum is just an example of what a dissolute artificial life, with no grasp of reality can lead to.
I do know this, my own grandmother was part of my life for Approx. 30 years and I never once heard her use such language, I never once heard her disparage anyone because of their colour, race or creed, is it any wonder her royal family have turned out the way they have, despite the wealth and the fame I am glad that the Queen Mum was not my grandmother, the one I had was just fine.
Friday, November 14, 2008
How can anyone object to a British Football Team? we already have an all British Olympic Team, and Scots. have shone in it along with everyone else, this is playground politics from ‘the spiv’ any reason to pick a fight with the “Engurlish” and he is right there. Let’s face it, when it comes to International football Scotland, as my old Da. would have said “couldnae beat Casey’s drum” that is a fact but it’s nothing to be ashamed of when you look at Brazil, Italy, Argentina and of course “Engurland” this might even provide Scots. with a chance to cheer on a team in the latter stages of a major competition with Scottish players in it, wouldn’t that be a brilliant novelty ?
Consider this, we would have 3 years and more to produce a player or two good enough to get in the team, what an incentive. A Jimmy Johnstone or a Willie Henderson or a Billy Bremner would make it worthwhile and taking part with our friends and neighbours from Wales, N.Ireland and Engurland would make for a great party, let’s go for it.
I've just watched the children in need contribution from BA Robertson & Co. about Scotland and it's Football Team and I am defiantly unrepentent I am still a fan, not even that can put me off.
Sunday, November 09, 2008
The Tories and the wretched Liberal Democrats were also humiliated but the greatest humiliation of all was not reserved for a political party, it was reserved for a political party leader. Let’s hear it for Alex (the spiv) Salmond, the sneering strutting wide boy leader of the SNP, a man who can swagger while seated and has the ability to follow you into a revolving door and come out in front of you. When this man says good morning to people they immediately think “what’s he up to” dishonest to the bitter end, he vanished and reappeared with a plan to lessen the blame on him, no one is more important than Alex (the spiv) that’s his creed. With rat like cunning he spun the story of taking the blame himself, why ? well he blamed himself for not rebutting Labour’s highlighting the local SNP’s terrible record as a council administration. The fact of the matter is he bragged and boasted about taking on Gordon Brown and spoke about little else, he hammered away at the ludicrous suggestion that Brown was responsible for the global finance crisis, “I challenge him to meet me head on in Fife” he bellowed, well that’s what Brown did and we all seen the result didn’t we. Alex (the spiv) of course doesn’t want that to be the discussion point, who wants to discuss taking a hammering from someone that you have been deriding for the whole campaign.
He hasn’t got away with this with the public and the media who easily see through his cowardice and trickery but, I predict he will get away with it in his own party who have no one to stand up to him, and are completely terrified of the regime he runs. Is it any wonder that on live TV that other political charlatan Jim Sillars was playing the elder statesman, heroically stifling his laughter and, ever so sympathetically twisting the knife in Alex (the spiv’s) back wearing a ‘Rev. I. M. Jolly’ “this hurts me more than it hurts Alex” expression on his face, meanwhile across the studio Nicola Sturgeon was, judging by her expression trying to turn him into a frog. Make no mistake about this, mid term By Elections are very difficult for Governments, Labour were taking a hammering in the polls, there was economic fear, a bullish and arrogant opposition, tipped for defeat by the guys who are never wrong, ‘the bookies’ This was a great Labour victory we increased our vote and our share of the vote, quite an achievement.
I have been told umpteen times by lumpen SNP members and followers what the SNP were going to do to Labour in Fife and now I find that they have gone away, probably “tae think again” these are the same people who exploded with rage and poison on the on line comments sections of national newspapers. They showed themselves for what they are and Nationalism for what it is, a philosophy of despair and hatred which attracts the very worst elements of our society, I have decided to print some of the comments made by these nationalists, to let you see for yourselves what they are like when the tartan veil slips, and their true character is exposed.
Here is a Nat. describing Labour and Fifers :- "it just proves the contempt in which they hold their electorate and how they rate their intelligence" The SNP have on these on line comments described the voters of Fife as follows :- Glenrothes 'traitors', 'numpties', 'thick' and 'blind' and said 'you deserve to rot in your pits of filth'. There’s more, "If confirmation was ever required that most Fifers are thick then this election result provides conclusive proof." An earlier commenter has another go thus :- "you deserve to rot in your pits of filth. Traitors one and all!" and even more :- “The kingdom of fife should hang its ugly unionist head in shame. Fifers are anti Scottish and a disgrace to their country” this is a small sample of what the SNP really think about their fellow Scots and you should hear what they think of me !
In case you think that the nationalists can’t get any lower, consider this. A group of disabled campaigners in wheel chairs were calling at polling stations telling people not to vote SNP as a protest against Fife’s SNP council and how they were treating the disabled. None of them were Labour members or supporters, SNP campaigners and supporters turned on them viciously and abused and harassed them, the disabled people were left in a state of shock at the behaviour of the SNP supporters. No one from the SNP has apologised for this outrageous example of nationalist intolerance and bullying.
These are the people who call themselves “Scotland’s Party” and “Scotland’s Bravehearts” The truth is, the SNP are “SCOTLAND’S SHAME”
Thursday, November 06, 2008
In Renfrewshire the “voice of Holyrood” EX MSP Cllr. McFee and wee Jim Mitchell the EX Parliamentary candidate are completely cowed, they are yesterday’s men, they should have done the decent thing and left with Martin and Vassie, both barking of course but, true Nationalists and loyal to the cause, now referred to as “The real SNP” they can at least still look at themselves in the mirror, “put a Scotsman on a spit and you can always pay some other Scotsmen to turn him for you” (to borrow from Jonathan Swift)
Trump will build a palace for Philistines on what was once a magnificent landscape which will never be seen again, and the people of the area will become caddies and bar tenders, that is Salmond (the spiv’s) vision for Scotland, the SNP have humiliated Scots. with their actions. Planning laws were circumvented and the democratically elected chair of the planning board was dumped to allow this sell out to happen.
I write occasionally about our fantastic natural environment, it is something we should cherish for future generations not sell off to global billionaires, in years to come people might take their children walking and look from a distance at the huge monument to the twin egos of Trump and (the spiv) Salmond, (they won’t be allowed near it) and tell them about the magnificent wildlife and spectacular scenery that was once here, back in the days before the SNP vandals got the whiff of Trump’s money.
What the Scottish Govt. Did here was to diminish and weaken their country in the eyes of the world, they showed themselves to be small timers, easy meat for the money men.
The SNP have wailed for years about people whom they accuse of not having the courage to let Scotland stand alone, "we can handle our own affairs" is their mantra.
Donald Trump knows different.
Wednesday, November 05, 2008
Parents have quite rightly highlighted the hypocrisy of the SNP led administration who promised reduced class sizes and are actively now increasing them, while at the same time damaging the job prospects of young teachers. It is a complete betrayal of those who voted for them. I hope people remember this. Cllr. Cameron displayed her hostility blatantly at this meeting where the parents from each primary sat on different sides of the isle; she pointedly refused to bring in people from South Primary who were incensed. Not only did she curtail the meeting against the wishes of the parents but she ignored the raised hand of a young woman who sat among the South parents, despite being from Lochfield, this caused Cllr. Cameron to deliberately ignore her. She finally got in and tore strips off the chair for her behaviour and made some hard hitting points, highlighting the fact as I have previously done that at no time did the platform mention the welfare of the children, they talked exclusively about money to the exclusion of what was best for the children, a total disgrace.
The pipes played and the drums banged, balloons were let go and placards waved as the parents, children and opposition politicians, took off on their demonstration march to the Council Chambers on Friday afternoon November 31St. 08 from South Primary. Down through the town to Cotton St. marched the noisy good natured riot of colour and movement which was applauded all the way by the paisley Buddies who witnessed it and there were plenty who did. Pedestrians, shoppers, smokers in pub doorways etc. all gave encouragement, cars and taxis hooted their approval, this was no surprise, education matters greatly. The ordinary people on the street that day do not need to be convinced of that. The SNP however do.
The local paper the Paisley Daily Express also covered the demo. and ran the story with colourful pictures and interviews with participants, the paper and the citizenry are becoming more and more aware of the educational vandalism which is going on in Renfrewshire, ask any teacher.
Something strange also happened that day, the local press, the radio, even the tele. knew about this march. Politicians from Holyrood, Westminster and Cotton St. knew about it and attended in protest along with the parents and kids, the public knew and cheered them to the echo but, there is always a but isn’t there ? guess who didn’t know about it ? well you might not be surprised to know that the following didn’t know, or so they say.
No one from the SNP led administration knew about it Cllr. MacKay the council leader stated he did not know about it. Cllr. Cameron the Education Convener was missing she hasn’t commented and no one from education was seen and they haven’t commented either.
Perhaps they think that if they stick their heads in the sand for long enough it will go away, having met the parents from South Primary I have a feeling that they might be reading that wrong. Everyone should support this school, and help to stop the SNP attacks on our children’s education.
Monday, November 03, 2008
All the more reason now to say to Americans, you can be the great country that you have always strived to be, in a short space of time you have gone from the unspeakable cruelty of slavery and murder of people because of their skin colour to the brink of electing one of those former put upon black Americans to the highest office in the country and, the most important leader in the world.
The knuckle dragging racists and the fundamental republican right wing bible bashers will foam and rant but America is about to stand tall despite them, America is big enough to take them on and win. The corporate gangsters like Cheney, Bush etc. are at last losing their grip, no more Bush, Reagan, Nixon, America is better than that, America strives to be cleaner than that.
The bravery of Rosa Parks still shines like a beacon along with MLK, Paul Robeson, Ali, James Baldwin and the countless others whose names we will never know who suffered and died under racist laws. Still today the black population of America is approx. 1/3 rd. While the population on death row is 90 % and this in the greatest country in the world ? what could America have achieved by now if all it’s citizens of every colour and background had always been given equal treatment ? Science, medicine, sports etc. what a waste, the same happens here in Britain because of class, and that will change also some day.
I have many relatives in America and some of them read my blog and I’m now saying to them, remember why you went there, remember the discrimination you faced, remember the arguments we have had over the years about America’s role in the world, remember the many times you have been shocked by what I have said about your country, here’s your chance to shut me up, at least for a little while, here’s your chance to do the right thing, prove that “all men should be judged, not by the colour of their skin but by the content of their character” MLK.
Vote for Barack Obama !
Saturday, November 01, 2008
Added to that blessing is the wild life which is there and can’t be found anywhere else in Britain in such numbers, Sea Eagles, Golden Eagles, Ospreys, Pine Martins, Wildcats, foxes and deer etc. make Scotland a wildlife haven. In past years I have roamed around some of these areas, mainly the Cairngorms and the Spey Valley. Over the years I have been lucky to see most of these creatures in the wild, even a Wildcat once and strangely it was not up north it was on the moors above the Glennifer Braes in the dead of winter when the roads and fields merged into one because of the deep snow, a total white out.
A workmate and I were sent out to trace the position of a pipeline using electronic location devices and at one point we became conscious of a creature sitting about fifty yards away like a statue looking at us, we both froze and started to whisper, “do you see that? it’s not a dog, it’s not a fox or a cat” having seen Wildcats in captivity and seeing it’s distinctive size, shape and above all it’s ears which taper upwards into long thin points I whispered “it’s a Wildcat” we stood looking at it in wonder, it stared back motionless, clearly the boss, it is a very rare sight indeed, we moved first and it vanished in a flash into the deep snow.
Recently the Scottish Govt. had a chance to strike a blow for such creatures and wildlife in general by imposing a ban on the cruel practice of snaring wild animals, this is a barbaric practice and causes animals to suffer a lingering agonising death, animals have been known to chew off their own paws which have been caught in snares to escape. Environment Minister Mike Russell refused the calls for a ban from SNP members at their conference; he said he “did not want to alienate those working in the countryside” meanwhile foxes, badgers and deer are dying in these hideous contraptions, this was a shameful piece of cowardice by Russell, this was nothing more than the SNP backing down before the landed gentry. Some people like killing animals for fun and they are not about to give this up lightly, like the Fox Hunters they will fight to preserve what they call “country ways” this means killing and torturing creatures for fun and can not be justified. Russell should be replaced with someone with a backbone.
A statistic emerged stating that 85% of vets were opposed to snaring animals, this is a high number but, it leaves me very uneasy to think that there are Vets working in Scotland who are not opposed to what is a cruel and vicious way to treat wild animals, what kind of Vets are they ? My understanding is that a majority of delegates were clearly in favour of a ban which is of course good but, they did not carry out their intention when it came to a vote which is shameful, why go to conference if you are only going to be browbeaten by the executive, the same happened over the quite ludicrous ban on selling alcohol to under 21’s the platform won because the delegates are cowards.
Innocent, beautiful wild animals will continue to suffer at the hands of man because the SNP members suffered a failure of nerve, wild animals have no voice, all they do is provide us with a sense of wonder at their existence and occasionally allow us to have a glimpse of them like the Wildcat.
I urge the SNP members to revisit this issue, rectify this ignominy and bring in the ban.
Friday, October 31, 2008
The Paisley Daily Express employs a journalist called Kenneth Speirs, this man regularly reads my blog and has fallen into the habit of lifting stories from it and trying to spin controversy around them, I suppose he has to make a living and in the past I have treated him with a degree of condescension which he probably found irritating, my attitude to him was designed to emphasize that I knew what he was up to and didn’t mind all that much as long as it didn’t get too serious, well, leading up to this latest headline it just did.
I wrote an article about the Royal Family which was designed to be critical and satirical, mainly about the cost of the Monarchy; the article can still be read in the back copies of my blog. During the article I speculated as follows “I wonder how many hospitals and schools etc. we could have built if we did what the Bolsheviks did all those years ago?” By the time Mr. Speirs had twisted it around for a while it came out as the following headline, “WE’D BE BETTER OFF IF HER MAJESTY WAS MURDERED” there are two main points which Mr. Speirs has deliberately twisted to get his spurious headline, he claims that I said that we would be better off, which I didn’t say and links it to me saying if she was murdered which once again I didn’t say, not a good day for the PDX.
I normally roll with the punches from minor journalists but this guy went too far, I was very disappointed that the PDX printed this and I felt that I had to complain, in defence of the paper I have to say that the editor immediately offered me a “right of reply” to put the record straight, I regard this as an acceptance from the paper that he was wrong. I have told Mr. Speirs not to contact me in future so I hope he will have to work a wee bit harder to find stories, or perhaps he will just make them up. As for the Royal Family, it’s business as usual.
Thursday, October 30, 2008
Today at Renfrewshire Council we endorsed the organisation we agreed that hitting women was not OK, violence against women was not acceptable, no matter who you are. Men who were present at todays meeting were invited to have a photograph taken which will form a montage in support of the cause. These sisters became synonymous with the dignity, suffering and courage of women all over the world; they campaigned against fascism and paid with their lives.
This is a cause worth supporting by everyone, violence against women goes on right here in Scotland and often children are involved as mothers try to protect them. Violence in the home is a dreadful thing, in many cases the woman can’t escape because she has young children and nowhere to go, that’s where politics comes in. Politicians can and must address this situation, proper monitoring and adequate safe shelter is essential for the safety of many women, this should be put in place by councils and Govt. As a matter of urgency, It is simply unacceptable that this violence is going on against vulnerable women and children, Nov. 25 Th. 08 should be observed by everyone and every chance should be taken to highlight this terrible crime.
The more light we shine on it the better chance we have of defeating it; I hope everyone does their bit.
Monday, October 27, 2008
Catch this latest one, the council Web Site took down it’s item advertising the consultation a couple of days ago even although the consultation does not close for some time yet, they have now put it back up amid great embarrassment and derisive laughter, it’s not the parents from South Primary who are laughing however, this is serious for them it’s their children who are going to suffer because of the SNP administration and their savage cuts.
It’s no joke folks, this administration are incompetent fools and families will suffer because of them, this old saying is usually meant to be funny but, for these children it isn’t, as my ma would have said “they couldnae organise a turn o the wash hoose key”
Sunday, October 26, 2008
The other day in the Glenrothes By Election the PM’s wife Sarah Brown was canvassing and was besieged by press and photographers, at one point they were asked by the Labour Head of Communications Rami Okasha to stand clear on a patch of grass to give her room, he said to them something to the effect “if you don’t stand clear there are six or seven men with guns who might shoot you and then you will not be my problem” I’m surprised that some Journalist wag didn’t shout back “go ahead, that’ll be a great scoop” so, the question is dear reader would you take this seriously ?
I know it’s a daft question but, you see quite a lot of people either did take it seriously or are thick enough to try to exploit it which of course would require people to be as gullible as themselves. These people either believed it or thought that others would, two equally brainless positions.
Who then am I talking about ? who has a light is on with nobody in ? who is a card short of a full deck ? who is the weakest link ? it is of course the SNP who else, come the hour come the man, no not the ‘wee spiv” this time, this time, he put up an intellectual giant, step forward the SNP MSP candidate for Dundee West Mr. Joe Fitzpatrick, America has “Joe the plumber” and Scotland has “Joe the Dumber” this guy (thank god he’s SNP) is demanding a full enquiry and disciplinary procedures against the Labour man who said this, what is the calibre of SNP candidates ? does a few verses of “stop yer tickling Jock” get you the nomination ?
The Scotsman newspaper knew exactly what it was doing when it ran this farce of a story, they know only too well what the calibre of the SNP candidates and their supporters is, and they knew that you could rely on the herd instinct of those they were targeting. The news meeting would have gone like this, “ OK it’s claptrap but that mob will go for it, let’s run it up the flag and see how many nationalist fools salute it” and they flew to the standard like true Scottish warriors, albeit ones who have taken too many head blows. The newspaper ran two stories about this and an incredible 340 comments came in on line overwhelmingly taking “Joe the Dumber’s" line. These people call themselves “Scotland’s Party” honest they do.
“President Raygun” I owe you an apology. In the SNP you would be an intellectual! mind you would anyone want the comparison ?
Saturday, October 25, 2008
The first thing is my contention that the consultation is flawed. The reason I say this is because the organisers of the process claim that it is and has to be, open to everyone, and they have failed to do this. At the time of this meeting at West Primary School another consultation was taking place about changes to nursery provision at Springbank Nursery which is in the same council ward. I was therefore prevented from attending one of the consultation meetings because of the scheduling, other councillors were in the same boat and so might some others, despite all my talents I can't be in two places at once, that means it's a flawed consultation.
The second thing which is quite explosive takes me back to my earlier comments by the officers about school numbers and numbers of schools. Mr Rooney Education Director said “we have 51 schools and not enough children to fill them” when he was asked how many schools we needed he actually said and was noted as saying that we needed “40 schools” in the school I went to that means we have 11 too many ! Hence my warning to other primary parents, kids and staff not to be complacent don’t make the mistake of thinking that it won’t happen to your school. It might not be 11 closures but, we have already seen the completely callous nature of the SNP when it comes to cutting services. You all have to ask if you can ignore the plight of South Primary, if South Primary is picked off who will be next ?
If South Primary closes we will, according to the Director of Education Mr. Rooney still have 10 too many, Mr. Rooney is to be commended for his courage and honesty but for the primary sector the dark clouds are gathering, this is the time for solidarity between schools, time to stand together for the good of your children as well as the good of everyone else’s children, don’t let the SNP get away with this.