Friday, March 30, 2007


Hi, this is big Molly here, I don't look very alert in this shot because I'm just back from a long walk and a swim in the Clyde as well as a fight with an angry swan, I decided to let him live.

People have been asking the boss about me and my wee pal Bessie ( well sometimes pals ) she is now a fully grown up 100% fighting barking nuisance, I on the other hand am quite well behaved now as becomes a dog who is a Staffordshire Bull Terrior / Labrador cross, I have now gone 20 fights undefeated at Erskine Beach but I'm too modest to brag about it, the pets that hang around there are no match for me.

That's one of the reasons that I've got form, yes, I've done time, in fact the boss keeps threatening to return me to Cardonald " where you belong " says he. I had great mates up there, some of them were great dogs who had strayed off the straight and narrow but they would still be well worth saving, they are good natured and just need a little TLC, what are you waiting for ?

Bessie here, I've been told that I'm gorgeous in this shot but I don't like that kind of stuff, after all I'm a Lakeland Terrorist and we kill foxes and rats, in fact just about anything is fair game, especially when big Moll is with me to back me up. I'm glad she's my mate, she's like a cross between a crocodile and a donkey, I still fight with her but she's less tolerant than when I was a pup, I find the best time to give her a nip is when she is sleeping and then it's offsky and under the bed where she can't reach me.

We are however great with people, especially children ( there's always grub around kids ) this excludes anyone in uniform, postmen, bin men etc. we still have our reputation to think of, There's a big fat magpie which scavenges around our yard and it flies down and then away when we try to catch it, it's a great game and the bird loves it, so do we and we will also love it when we catch it and tear it too bits.

Molly's dead right about the dogs at Cardonald they just need a second chance, what are you waiting for ?


The above title words are what I would say to those who come here looking for work and a better life - I say the same to asylum seekers about whom so many lies are told, the reactionary right scream 'Britain is a soft touch', while the official statistics tell us that over 80% are refused. What they have to endure while waiting to be refused and, the way they are taken into custody and incarcerated brings shame on this country.

Many of these migrants are young, fit, skilled and willing to work as well as pay taxes while actually being denied most benefits, unemployment levels are unchanged, again giving the lie to the reactionary yells of 'taking our jobs'
The right wing try to demonise people and stir up fear and the gutter press encourage them.

I believe that we are better than this and we should start by treating asylum seekers like human beings as a matter of urgency - whatever the circumstances there is no excuse for dawn raids which cause fear and alarm to families, particularly with young children.

Surely we can start by sorting this out ? write to MP's MSP's etc to urge change - don't be tempted to use or exploit the situation like Rosie Kane of the SSP. She pulled the stunt of taking some asylum seekers into her home in a blaze of publicity and she cheapened herself and the whole issue, with friends like that etc. etc.

Evil people deliberately fuel hatred against these minorities for their own twisted ends and we all have to be vigilant in defence of what is decent, otherwise how can we as a society claim to decent and just ?

Thursday, March 29, 2007


" Oh the leg bone's connected to the foot bone " and don't I know it, yesterday saw me out delivering leaflets for the first time in ages and my bones now know about it, after about 30 mns in the warm sun I was aware of a small voice saying " mister why are you sitting on my daddy's wall sleeping " I opened my eyes, stinging with sweat to see a wee girl carrying a doll and looking at me with a degree of pity, "I'm just resting love" said I, and, since she lived there I got her to take my leaflet up the long garden path to her mother, bless her.

Yes it's that time again, sore feet, sore muscles, big slavering dugs and endless door knocking. The following actually happened, a woman called out her window from her top flat to me gesturing to me to come up, I dragged myself up three flights determined to win a vote and she said " Oh I don't want a leaflet I just want you to tell this wean that you'll take him away if he disnae stop greeting " it's true honestly.

I'm pleased to report though that, ( like Mark Twain ) reports of the death of the Labour Party are an exaggeration, when we get the chance to talk to the electorate we are addressing their concerns and we are in tune with them, it also gives us the chance to put the record straight about what our opponents are saying, and that's always worthwhile, suffice to say the Herald's version of events is not what's happening on the doorstep.


Scotland V Italy last night reminded me of why international football is so flawed, yes it's good to have a go at the giants but some people start to believe that there is a chance and these hopes are dashed, this was David V Goliath, only this time the Bookie's favourites won.

Italy is a great football country and Scotland has produced some really great players, the trick is to produce them at the same time, you could pick a team from the last 30 yrs that would see Scotland threaten anyone and that's what makes it all so frustrating - Law, Bremner, Baxter, Dalgliesh, Souness, Macari, Jordan, Jardine, McGrain, Johnstone, Henderson, Millar, McLeish etc etc.

The commentators we use are truly awful, Ian McCall is the latest and the worst IMO, he talks partisan rubbish and is embarrassing, he's a supporter with a mike and only feeds the fans frustrations, Scotland did OK and can still qualify but it won't be easy.

England IMO will also qualify but what about poor old Steve McLaren the manager, his head is being called for after 5 games by a hysterical press who demand success because they see themselves as favourites to win everything.

This stems from the time when they won the world cup with a team who were a match for anyone past or present, this present England team are not in that class, despite great players like Rooney and Gerrard.

If these managers are guilty of anything it's the fact that Alex McLeish doesn't have Law, Baxter and Jinky Johnstone and Steve McLaren doesn't have Bobby Moore, Bobby Charlton or Geoff Hurst, the fact that Jimmy Greaves couldn't get into that team is a sobering thought. It's still all to play for and the fight goes on, it's what makes it the beautiful game.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007


St Fergus primary have just had a glowing report from HMI and now as their local councillor I will bask in their reflected glory. The 'heedie' Maureen Haney informed me of this and she was chuffed by it and quite rightly so, as I've said before the schools, teachers and kids in Ferguslie are a match for anyone and I'm proud to represent them. St. Fergus were given high praise for their accommodation, their inclusive ethos, their excellent community links, their excellent and hard working school board and the quality of the teaching staff as well as other things too numerous to mention, well done to all.

Anyone driving or walking through the estate will notice an almost completed new school building, this will replace the Craigielea and Ferguslie primaries and will be called Glencoats Primary.

All three primaries have served the Ferguslie community well over the years and they continue to do so, the closure of any school is a mixture of sadness and optimism for the future. Some parents will have a last look at where they were taught as infants and the memories will flood back, they will also look with pride at the new school and the state of the art surroundings and facilities and be delighted that their children will be part of it.

I regard it as a privilege to be associated with the education of the children of the area and I pay tribute to everyone involved, above all I'm proud to be part of Renfrewshire's Labour Council who have delivered these schools despite our opponents saying that we would never do it.


When I watched the game it was Georgia and when I wrote about it on Monday they had become Croatia, maybe it was all too exciting. Check out some of the comments about this howler, some people have shot themselves in the foot in their anxiety to get at me, I must be getting to them !

Monday, March 26, 2007


Was unexpected sunshine a good omen ? Friday was close to freezing, Saturday was sunny and windless, perfect for fitba, Mampden looked magnificent the crowd were noisy and partisan, and the opposition were able, a wee bit too able as it turned out.

After a great start and a goal, Scotland proceeded to miss some good chances while Georgia quietly played themselves into the game until, quite suddenly they were well on top with some brilliant football, Shota Averthingmy was destined to score wasn't he, it then became nail biting time until the hero arrived in the unlikely shape of the tall gangling Craig Beattie. Careering into the box like bambi on ice, he killed the ball on his chest and volleyed home the winner in the dying seconds, cue joy unconfined and Georgian despair, Scots are now starting to believe that they can qualify.

Well done indeed to everyone involved, honest endeavour won the day and to Craig Beattie I say, paraphrasing W.S. ' some are born great, some achieve greatness and some have greatness thrust upon them'. Where is Italy anyway ?

Monday, March 19, 2007


I intend to come back to this, meantime I just want to say ( WHERE ARE YOU WILL ? HOW ARE YOU GOING TO WRIGGLE OUT OF THIS ? CAN I COMMENT ON THIS WITHOUT YOU CALLING IT A FALSE ACCUSATION AGAINST THE HOMOPHOBIC SNP ? ) Where are you Will, braveheart Will ? we can't hear you.


I am now in receipt of several letters from rugby players / coaches etc. about Penilee playing fields, these guys are really angry, they all wrote at the same time expressing identical sentiments, all being careful to call me a liar, they must be physic eh ? with that kind of telepathy they must be unbeatable on the sports field.

I will of course answer them when I get the chance, my understanding is that the rugby club wanted to go to a new home at Penilee and sell their ground for private development. New excellent facilities and a pay off for the club, who can blame them for that ? the council side of the story however doesn't quite match theirs and I am researching the facts.

I'm moved by the version of events as told by our old reactionary friend 'rightforscotland' you would need a heart of stone not to laugh when you read about his concern for everyone, and his determination to share the rugby club's largess.

Have I judged him harshly ? is their perhaps a decent human being hiding there ? then I read his web again, answer, NO.

RED MIST - There is only one man who talks this interminable gibberish, who never uses one word when he can use three, who can't resist letting us all know how clever he is, I. D. yourself or don't bother writing back.

Thursday, March 15, 2007


IMO the answer to both of these questions is looking more and more like no. Socialism has brought great benefits to mankind the NHS is a good example, Cuba is another, does anyone still believe Cubans are no better off than when it was the rancid, debauched playground of American capitalist politicians / gangsters.

Capitalism by contrast is great at producing victims and losers, the casino economy, the devil take the hindmost. "You'll get pie in the sky when you die " so wrote the the socialist song writer Joe Hill member of the IWW the International Workers of the World, their song book carried the slogan " to fan the flames of discontent " American Copper mine owners had him framed for murder and executed by firing squad.

Fast forward and Bush tours South American countries to a chorus of boos and anti American demonstrations. Could it be that the left are fighting back ? America could, at one time do what they liked in Latin America including financing coupes and torture and all kinds of villainy, they still do this but people are resisting more and more.

You can't talk about this without mentioning Cuba though can you, recently elected as the leader of the non aligned movement of 118 countries while more recently still, the UN condemned the USA embargo by 183 to 4. Cuba now has official relations with 182 countries, they are exporting doctors to needy countries and importing thousands of medical students from these same countries and much more, I'm a member of a Cuban solidarity organisation and proud to be so, Fidel and his revolution make me proud to call myself a socialist, while Bush, Cheney etc make me ashamed to be a human being.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007


Not so long ago the name on every one's lips was Newt Gingrich- big hitting republican, instrumental in pursuing Clinton from a moral stand point over the Lewinski affair. He's now admitted that he was having an affair with a woman 20 yrs his junior while he was pursuing the president but, salvation is at hand. The Rev. Jerry Falwell ( remember him ? ) has decided that, among other things Newt has redeemed himself by seeking god's forgiveness, 'how does Jerry know that god has forgiven Newt ? but I digress. Newt ( now with wife number three ) remains a staunch supporter of family values and, with the help of the christian right wing knuckle draggers, hopes to still reach the White House, his opponents have used the word hypocrite, the swines.

Meanwhile San Francisco has been polluted by an influx of bible bashing anti gay Christians who want to stamp out homosexuality, by force if necessary. They reckon that America's children are being raped and pillaged and it's all the fault of gays, what would Jesus say ? would he join in with such hatred ? After all as I've pointed out before, he still stayed with his mammy at the age of 33 and only ever had men friends, 12 of them, he said he loved the one called John, as in loved like a brother I suppose, not unlike Tam o Shanter and Souter Johnnie, at least I think that's what he meant, didn't he ? No gentle reader I'm not making this up it's in the papers at the moment.

Two weeks ago I stumbled on an old film and watched it again. it was 'Inherit the Wind' about a young teacher in a southern USA state charged with teaching Darwin, I saw this as a youngster and thought that the people exposed by the great Spencer Tracy's character Henry Drummond (based on famous left wing lawyer Clarence Darrow) were neanderthals and could not possibly exist.

Now, sadly I'm older and I know differently, think about Newt Gingrich, Jerry Faliwell and of course, good ole boy Bush, "God bless Amurka" an help us to kill more Ayerackies, bless you lord. Meanwhile, there are already Iraq veterans wandering the streets of American cities homeless and bewildered, you couldn't make it up, what a place.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007


I've managed somehow to print the same article twice ( COUNCIL MEETING )I removed one of them and sent I think, two comments to the deleted version which have now been lost, I'll get accused again of not printing comments. I invite them therefore to resubmit and they will be printed.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007


Second last council meeting before the election, feelings running high, commitment, anger, well no actually. labour as usual had a full turnout the SNP had eight present, treating the voters as usual with contempt, five missing and those present not giving a damn, they want to run the council and the country as well.

The fierce cllr. McGuiness, ( ex army ) convenor for growling and snarling, chose today to launch an attack on Renfrewshire Council for not doing enough for sports in the area, not an unusual attack I hear you say, except, well, the council magazine carries a story about ' investing in leisure ' and offers the following information, between three projects the following is being done :-

Lagoon Centre, a £4m sports hall has been started, 6 court games hall, new dance aerobics hall, new changing and expanded fitness area.

Penilee Project, a £2.6m upgrade to pavilion and playing fields with a further £200,000 to come, providing new pavilion, new changing facilities, 1 x synthetic pitch 2 x grass pitches.

Seedhill Project, a £2.2m project providing 1 x new synthetic pitch and 4 x upgraded grass pitches.

Total spend on sports facilities £8.8m. This according to cllr. Mc Guiness and the SNP is a bad news story, you probably won't be surprised to hear that he's retiring in May. And they want to run the council and the country !