Wednesday, April 30, 2008


PMQ's today April 30 Th. 08 was followed by a repellent spectacle as the writ for the by election caused by the death of Gwyneth Dunwoody was moved.

I was not a fan of Gwyneth Dunwoody, I regret her passing like everyone else, she was Labour and therefore I would have supported her and voted for her and I dare say she had many friends and, certainly had loyal support from the voters, a 34 Yr. long stint in Parliament proves that.

She nursed a long standing grievance against successive labour leaders and the Party itself, the reason ? the same as many who form the awkward squad "thwarted ambition" think Charles Clark, George Galloway, Frank Field etc. the opposition always brightened up when she rose to speak, not a good thing in my opinion but, it comes with the territory especially at this level of politics, my sympathy goes to her family but, unlike many others I'm not going to lie about her.

What made today such a squalid occasion was the opportunism and rat like cunning of the Tories and Lib. Dems. who tried to use her death to attack the Govt. nothing is sacred with this lot.
They were queuing up to praise her, led by the pompous Nicholas Winterton, Tory MP, eyes filling up with crocodile tears of "sadness and regret" he accused the Govt. of acting with undue haste by issuing the writ before her funeral, a dreadful intervention.

Winterton was followed by the oh so pious and ever so slightly sinister "Uriah Heep" of the Commons, Simon Hughes Lib. Dem. MP.
Apparently on the verge of tears he shared with us the opinion that "the Govt. would have to live with the consequences" no, he didn't give details.
This nonentity enjoys a 'nice guy' reputation but, not with those who remember the vicious homophobic campaign that won him the Bermondsey By Election.
Anyone labouring under the mistaken opinion that the Lib. Dems. are in any way 'nice' should check that By Election out.

These two toadies were then outdone by a truly dreadful contribution from Ann Winterton Tory MP (are they related ?) they ought to be.
She also stitched herself to the deceased and then descended furthest by saying this " I was amazed at the discourtesy and insensitivity afforded to Mrs. Dunwoody's family" at this point an angry John Spellar, Labour MP asked her to 'give way' demanding to know if her remarks were sanctioned by the family, she, unsurprisingly did not give way, what lovely people !

This whole unsavoury business was ended by Harriet Harman assuring the house that the family had written to her agreeing that the writ should be served right away, the Tories and the Lib. Dems. did not even blush, this was indeed the Commons at it's worst.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008


Which self appointed prison expert said the following:-

“Inmates are so comfortable in jail that they do not want to escape”
“they can get hold of drugs, mobile phones and even sex”
“He knew of cases of prostitutes entering open jails to service clients”
“We have got no-go areas in certain prisons because prisoners have got complete control”
“prisoners enjoyed satellite television and video game consoles”
“Drugs are coming into prisons at a rate that's so dramatic that drugs in prison are actually cheaper than on the outside”

The expert in question is none other than Glyn Travis of the Prison Officers Association, he apparently speaks for the prison officers, god help them.
As someone who has been in several prisons I have no hesitation in saying that this guy is talking absolute nonsense, quite frankly our prison system is a disgrace, our prisons are no more than human zoos where human beings are being treated so badly that most come out worse than when they went in.

Most make no attempt at rehabilitation and suicide and self harming are still rising, meanwhile we have 70 % of inmates suffering from 2 or more mental health conditions which are not being treated, this is the reality of prison in Britain today a reality which shames our country, it is not civilised to treat people this way.
What makes matters worse is it does not work, most prisons have revolving doors because we are still in the dark ages with our penal system.

Last week in Scotland a young woman prisoner 7 months pregnant was subjected to appalling humiliation when she had to go for medical treatment, she was forced to be examined, use the toilet and shower on the end of a chain which was connected at the other end to a prison officer. Oh ! and the officer was male, is anyone proud of this ?
Perhaps Mr. Travis thinks this is OK, perhaps he thinks prisoners self harm or even take their own lives because the picture on their satellite TV is wonky.

I think it’s about time that we took a good hard look at officers like Mr. Travis and reassessed their suitability to be anywhere near a prison, it’s time the prison system had an enema.

Monday, April 28, 2008


It's been a hard time lately for people of my vintage, I'm old enough to remember when jazz started to have an impact on our society in the years after the second world war, it seemed to arrive with the word 'cool'
Arguably the 'coolest cat' of them all has just died, Humphrey Lyttleton. He was one of the great entertainers who blossomed in those years and continued blossoming for another 60 Yrs.

He was a great band leader and musician and so much more, he done as much as anyone to popularise what some people called 'the devil's music' because of it's associations with the American black population where so many great players came from. Bessie Smith, Billie Holiday, Lena Horn, Thomas 'Fats' Waller, Art Tatum, 'Count' Basie, 'Duke ' Ellington etc. some got by on one name such was their greatness such as Ella and Satchmo.

These and many more were influences on Humph and he went on to influence so many more, a real musical giant. He was also of course a regular performer on radio, famously as the chair of "I'm sorry I haven't a clue" where he displayed a genius for comedy and a quite scary rapier wit. He did lots of other shows associated with Jazz and general good entertainment, I used to be jealous of him and his guests as it seemed a sublime way to make a living.

He joins some of my late favourites like 'the goons' especially Spike Milligan who was also a great jazz musician, George Melly, Oscar Peterson and many more, it was a golden era.

Humph's background should have been Eton, The Guards and Cambridge and then The City and maybe Tory Politics, he did Eton and The Guards but went off the rails and left all that stuff behind to go on and become loved by millions.
The business world's loss was entertainment's gain and we should be grateful for that, I like to think that these guys will be still jamming somewhere
I would like to crack one of his jokes to end but I can't think of anything suitable and, I couldn't do it like Humph anyway and, nor could anyone else.

Would they allow 'the devil's music' 'up there' ? Spike on the Cornet, Oscar on piano, George strutting and singing and Humph leading with the trumpet and, St. Cecilia doing the 'Cakewalk' along with a few bottles of the 'falling down water'

A line up to die for !

Thursday, April 24, 2008


About 2 months ago the Calzaghe Hopkins fight was announced, I said then that it was a cynical con to make money and it turned out to be quite accurate, following so much hype it should have been a spectacular and it was anything but.

Calzaghe has said many times that he is the best in the world, so what ? most fighters talk like that, he craves that recognition but, his problem is that he never found his way across the pond until he reached the age of 37 yrs. and then against a former great, Hopkins who is around 43 yrs. old maybe more.

Hopkins talked a great fight and the insults flew but the greatest insult of them all was Hopkins decision to make a come back and fight Calzaghe at his age and his time out of the ring. That was like saying I'm coming back because you are not a problem to me and there is money in it.

The fight was predictable and after 2 or 3 rounds it seemed to become pedestrian with no fighter getting a clear advantage, Joe got the decision but his boasts of greatness are hollow he could never win this whatever happened, he left it too late, I think he left it too late deliberately and will never get that recognition he so desires.
What about Hopkins ? I hope he calls it a day, a rematch would damage the sport if Bernard had glanced back at his opponent on leaving the ring he would not have seen Joe, he would have seen an old man with grey hair and flowing beard carrying a scythe. The all time world champion at every weight.


Scotland, England, Ireland and Wales all have their saints, Andy, Geordie, Paddy and Davy, today is St. George's day and English people all over the world will be saying 'so what' that's how much it matters, the same goes for St. Andrew's day and St. David's day. St. Patrick's day by contrast rocks the whole planet, it is a phenomenon.

Numerous attempts have been made to 'crack' America with St. Andrew, now embarrassingly called tartan day or some such, it will be a failed
re-branding. St. David is a non event and now we have St. George's day I have my doubts about it's long term future, all of this begs the question, what has St. Patrick got that the others haven't got ? It is massive in Ireland, Britain, Australia and of course the USA. I have a crowd of friends who go to New York for St. Patrick's Day 18 guys all wearing green tartan kilts.

It's the worlds greatest party according to these guys and New Yorkers line up to have their photographs taken with the 18 kilties.
I think the most obvious reason for this success is Ireland's incredible history of turbulence and tragedy culminating in the 'famine' and mass immigration, mainly to America, Irish Australians got there by a different route that was no less tragic as many of them travelled in irons.

The 4 Saints are pretty old and have many legends about them, Dragons, Snakes and blue and white flags appearing in the Sky, ex Cllr. Bill Martin SNP told us the flag thing happened at a battle that Scotland was involved in, I swear to God he was serious, those old times must have been a great gas and no mistake, like a massive dose of the DT's. and wee green men talking away to you, and no doubt 'drink was taken'

The whole lot of it is of course a load of bulldung but, if it gives us the reason for a party, why not go with it, where's the harm? I wish I could get over my horror of flying to become kiltie number 19.
A Happy St. George's Day to the English and everyone else who wants to join in, this is the right way to celebrate diversity, party away and get along with your neighbours, as someone once said "if you must fight, fight with a friend"

Tuesday, April 22, 2008


The Royal propaganda dept. is improving. Following a couple of days of excruciating embarrassment by the 'chuckle brothers' 'the firm' has reacted, they are learning.

They can no longer ignore the antics of Royal fools, it plays bad in the media, no more 'let them eat cake' now they have a PR dept.

Last night on TV there they were, the sibling princes, wearing nice suits and, wait for it, sober and, visiting the war wounded.
Coverage of this cynical stunt was interposed with film of the boys looking heroic in their uniforms.
We got to see Harry again in that staged gun firing shot and William climbing in and out war machines, and weren't they really nice to the soldiers, such nice young men and so down to earth.

A couple of bad days of cringing behaviour is remedied by getting all the TV stations to fall into line and remind a gullible public how wonderful the Royals are. 'it's a Barnum & Bailey world" with the Royal Firm right enough, and remember these guys are in their middle twenties, there's decades of this claptrap to look forward to.

"I have always thought that what we have to do with the royal family is integrate them as far as possible into the human race” (Vera Baird QC Solicitor General)
She hits the nail on the head, I agree that they are not yet a lost cause, they must be able to do something worthwhile surely.
She was commenting on Peter Philips losing his place in the succession for marrying a Catholic and Royal women being overlooked by men, yes even the chuckle brothers.

" He (Peter) is no longer good enough to join the brigands who robbed, pillaged, raped & fornicated their way to power.
He can't succeed the Hitler lovers like King Edward v111 or the SS uniform wearing Prince Harry.
His mother would have been elbowed aside by even an imbecilic younger brother, her and his sister Zara are better than the oddballs, looney tunes and comic (and tragic) cuts of the British Royal line. How long will we agree to this Ruritarian farce called monarchy, where the head of state is dependent upon the gene pool of inbreeding putrefying (and anything you like as long as it's not Catholic) aristocracy" (George Galloway MP)

I'll let George's measured words say it all, I'm feart frae the 'Tower' or being 'Diana-d'

Sunday, April 20, 2008


My criticisms of our military leaders are continuing to prove accurate.
The Navy were made fools of over the Iran incident when 16 sailors were captured.
Not to be outdone the dolts who run the Army stepped up to the plate with the Prince Harry 'the hero' debacle.
And now the chinless fatheads who run the RAF have waded in with their own version of how not to run things with Prince Willie and his pal 'budgie the helicopter' these are the senior brass who run the military.
These people are responsible for the conduct and tactics of any military action taken by this country, god help us.

First Willie does a trip to London to pick up his brother Harry and then on to the Isle of Wight for a stag do with their chums using a Chinook Helicopter and then, using the same mode of transport he has a jolly good time flying to his girlfriend's home and showing off to her by landing and taking off on her drying green, what girl wouldn't be impressed by such daring ? what a dashing young idiot he is but, be fair, he knows how to enjoy himself. Remember two young members of the RAF died last week in Afghanistan while this outrageous behaviour goes on.

He isn't to blame, neither is Harry, the kind of young men they are is down to their family who could easily, if they had a grain of common sense put a stop to this stupidity, where does the fault lie ? step forward the privileged clowns who have always been at the very top of our armed forces, the people who are stupid enough to tell us and think that we are stupid enough to believe them, that Willie's joy riding was normal and part of his training.
When young men and women join the armed forces they put their trust and their lives in the hands of these incompetent nonentities, isn't war bad enough without allowing people like these to have an influence ?

The RAF suffered terrible losses as did other services during the war and continue to do so today and this farce besmirches the memory of the brave people who died in conflict, the behaviour of the Royals and the acquiescence of the forelock tugging 'brass' is an insult to them.
Not to mention the waste ! where are the voices complaining about lack of equipment, where have they gone ?

I grew up learning about brave legends like Guy Gibson of Dam Busters fame, Archie McKellar V.C. from Paisley, Leonard Cheshire V.C. who survived to run a string of homes for the wounded and Paddy Finnucane who "came over the seas from Ireland when our backs were to the wall" these and so many others made the supreme sacrifice, is it too much to ask for some dignity from our first family ?

Friday, April 18, 2008


In the aftermath of the battle of Trafalgar, some captured enemy sailors were found to be dressed as circus clowns, this was because a travelling circus had been performing in the Spanish town of Cadiz near the battle site.

These poor guys had gone for a drink after a tough day taming lions, juggling and tumbling, only to wake up aboard a French/Spanish fighting ship heading for big trouble, much worse trouble than taming lions or swallowing swords.

They had of course been 'Press Ganged' something the British Forces also did, the Navy was most famous for it but the Army also used 'impressment' on the lower classes of course, that goes without saying.

These vile practices gradually died out and an equally vile practice came and replaced it 'conscription' this was because people in general are not as patriotic as the military and governments like to tell us, safeguards are needed to make people 'love their country' and, do their patriotic duty.

Nowadays we have propaganda, unemployment and lack of a meaningful future to bolster the numbers in the military, it was ever thus. Unemployment blackspots have always been fertile ground for recruitment, Billy Connolly used to sing a rather poignant song called "Sergeant where's mine" about a recruit who joined the Army to escape unemployment and 'learn to ski and see the world" only to find himself dodging bullets on the streets of Belfast.

It was recently reported that the Army were recruiting in schools and telling lies to the kids about Army life, they only told them the c--p about skiing and seeing the world, they missed the bit about getting shot and killed or maimed.

We are now being told that the Govt. is considering creating a Cadet Corps in schools, this is repugnant.

"this is teaching kids how to kill, it's training for war, youth are educated under the pretext of physical training and it's learning the science of war" (Einstein,Freud,Thomas Mann, H.G. Wells, Bertrand Russell, Jane Adams and the Society of Friends) 01 - 10 - 1930. nothing has changed really.

The marching and drilling and wearing of military uniforms for children is wrong, whether it's Army Cadets learning how to use arms or the Boys Brigade marching with wooden rifles as they used to do.

It's militarism and it's an ugly philosophy which speaks to despair about the future, it's time it was dumped, surely improving educational facilities would be a better use of money than this, we seem to be marching backwards.

The war after the next war will be fought with spears, it's got to stop.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008


Dear reader, I have mentioned in the past that there are people out there who send me comments who have to be read to be believed.
The stuff that they send sometimes has to be binned because it's unprintable and a lot of it is poisonous.

I believe the Internet has been a gift to some poor wretches best described as inadequate, at worse sinister, and many of them 'loosely wrapped'
I often wonder if people realise just what some of them are like, well, I can now show you.

One of those described above has gone to the trouble of making a video in my honour (not) it leaves one stunned, I didn't know what to say when I watched it.
A 5 yr. old wouldn't do something like this but it looks like one has made this, it's difficult to describe how puerile it is, I urge you to see it, so you will know that I wasn't making these people up.

It has all the style and intellectual content of an SNP leaflet, these are my opponents, honest !

Find it here :-


Some people think I've got it in for the Royals. What I've got it in for is useless privileged people wasting tax payers money and embarrassing the country which they say they are so proud of.
I refer here to the 'chuckle brothers' William and Harry, they chuckle endlessly because they are filthy rich and privileged, thick as posts and don't have to work, ever ! just like their family.

Their cousin Peter is getting married so they had a stag night, they are learning things, the Isle of Wight was the venue (less publicity) more scope for behaving like braying upper class donkeys.
Their circle of friends made their way there as did the heroic siblings, so what ? I hear you ask, well it's their travel arrangements which angered me and should anger you too.

Flyman Willie decided to use an RAF helicopter to fly to London to pick up Hooray Henry, who was just back from some hols. in Barbados, then off to the I.O.W. for a couple of days of jolly good fun, hopefully without the beastly press wallahs snooping around, a good time was had by all.

To London and on to the I.O.W. and back by private helicopter, how much ?
The sycophantic RAF brass that I'm so opposed to, on being rumbled have put out a risible story about it being part of his training, they described him as an "excellent pilot" and "a natural" now there's a surprise eh ? the Royal Family seem to be just brilliant at everything, it makes me feel quite humble.

No doubt about it the RAF is the place to be for a young recruit. "you there Wingco thingy, can we borrow a chopper to go on a golf trip" yes indeed sir, be careful now.

Prince Andrew, that intellectual big hitter took the Royal Train to Scotland once on a Golf outing, "it's jolly well my train" he said, is it too much to ask that these rich spongers at least pay for such things and, is it too much to ask the RAF to start acting like a proper professional Air Force, what an embarrassment, again.

Saturday, April 12, 2008


10 months into the SNP/L.D. administration and something unprecedented has happened, no I'm not talking about the savage cuts to services which effect the most vulnerable in our society, but it's linked to that.

Through the door the other day came a newspaper which was designed to look like it was officially sanctioned by the council which showed on closer examination that it wasn't.
It was from the SNP administration telling us what wonderful people they were, as an exercise in duplicity, even by SNP standards it was very revealing, a) for what it said and b) for what it didn't say.
New council offices were trumpeted, as were new schools, residential homes, a new health centre etc. what it didn't say of course was that these things were Labour achievements which the SNP got to open.

In a quite brazen display of cant and hypocrisy they posed and smiled at the opening ceremonies and claimed the credit, compounding the felony was the fact that they opposed every one of these innovations when in opposition. In the west of Scotland and in Renfrewshire there is a term for this kind of behaviour it's called displaying "a brass neck"

This newspaper carried the most extravagant claims and boasts by the SNP which had folk thinking that it wasn't Renfrewshire they were referring to at all, it was 4 legs good (SNP) and 2 legs bad (Labour) as Orwell put it, one of the most dishonest pieces of crude propaganda I have seen.

What made it so utterly mendacious was of course the things they never said, no mention of closed Nurseries, Libraries, Housing Offices, Homeless Facilities, £4.5 million Education Cuts meaning cuts in Supported Study, Less Teachers, Education Support Projects, Community Computer Learning, Charges to Elderly Facilities like Day Centres, Cuts to Warden Services to Elderly Accommodation, Sports Facilities etc, etc, I doubt if people are being fooled.

It's another example of underhand behaviour from a party who are already finding that their inexperience and incompetence have them out of their depth, they are under severe criticism from the people of Renfrewshire for what they didn't tell them at the election i.e. savage cuts, and they have started to panic as this paper shows.
I estimate that it cost them thousands of pounds partly because they didn't have any SNP activists so they paid a firm to deliver it so they must have come up 'Trumps' to find the money !

Tuesday, April 08, 2008


It seems like yesterday that everyone seemed to be singing that song from the title above, but it was 40 yrs ago that Martin Luther King was shot dead on that hotel balcony in Memphis, I was 19 yrs. old and developing deep political convictions due in no small part to people like him.

To take a stand against racism and 'Jim Crow' in America in those days was brave to the point of being foolhardy but that's what he did and inspired others to do likewise, to do it in Alabama and Mississippi was just about as risky as anything you could imagine, you can't learn to have that kind of courage, you are born with it, King and his followers had it.

Rosa Park's spirit and courage created the Alabama Bus Boycott and Dr. King lead it. America exploded, the 'Civil Rights Movement' became unstoppable, young Americans and young people world wide became radicalised and the 'Genie' has never been put back in the bottle.

That murder and the subsequent struggle of the black Americans and the brutality used to oppose them created a situation which could not be controlled.
The great Russian revolutionary Leon Trotsky once said, "Armies cannot stand against an idea whose time has come" and so it proved in America.
" you better start swimming or you'll sink like a stone cause the times they are a changing" sang Dylan and he was right to.

At that time there were approx. 300 elected black politicians in the USA, today it's 10,000, it's progress but there is a long way to go, there are more black males in prison than there are in college and 25% of blacks officially live in poverty, lynching of black people is still a living memory for some.

M.L.K. was of course followed by people like Huey Newton, Bobby Seale, George & Jonathan Jackson ( The Soledad Brothers) Angela Davis, Stokely Carmichael (The Black Panthers) The mighty Ali and many many more, including millions of courageous white Americans, and today we stand on the threshold of a black president.
Martin Luther King played his part and his memory continues to inspire. I remain confident that America will become a great country where M.L.K. could say, were he alive,

"free at last, free at last, thank God almighty we're free at last"


They used to say with heavy sarcasm of aspiring actors 'well he's no Chuck Heston but he ain't bad' so good an actor was he that he was better known for selling guns which was more lucrative.
He knew of course which side to be on during the Reagan years, a man with no principles whatever and very little talent either.

I think it's misleading and bogus to call people like Heston, Connery, Caine Etc. actors they are film stars, not IMO the same thing, real acting is to be found on the stage where you only get one shot at the line, it's a scary place.

Film locations are relaxed by comparison, you can always shoot the scene again and again until you get it right, is that really acting ?
Heston made movies where the movie was the star and anyone could have replaced him without any difference, people went to see epics like 'The Ten Commandments' and 'Ben Hur' to see the 'parting of the sea' and the 'chariot race' not him.

He became more and more reactionary as he got older and his championing of the right to bear arms was shameful, done for money of course.
I sometimes wonder if he ever felt any responsibility when he read or heard about shootings in schools and bars where innocent people lost their lives, it's my belief that he should have, the movie industry will survive.

Monday, April 07, 2008


It's Saturday night in the Maryhill Folk Club in the 'Annexe Centre' a couple of my brothers and a close friend have convinced me to attend to see and hear an American duo ' Laura Boosinger & Josh Goforth ' so laid back that they haven't bothered to come up with a collective name for their act. I'm getting on a bit and I don't impress easy but these two simply blew me and everyone else away, they were quite simply stunning.

They are down home folks from Carolina/ Virginia way and talk as if they have just walked off the set of 'the Waltons' they use that Walton's image and the duelling banjos tune from 'Deliverance' to send themselves up as a couple of hayseeds which they are not, definitely not.
Laura plays guitar, banjo and sings in a way which casts a spell over everyone, she is so good that she gets the audience to participate by simply 'nodding them in' at a chorus, she was mesmerising.

The other one, Josh, stunned the audience with his talent on guitar, fiddle and mandolin, this audience is made up of quite a lot of musicians and they were gobsmacked at this modest 27 Yr. old American's skill he really is worth seeing, brilliant at all 3 instruments and a fine singer too, both are also charming and display a gentle sense of humour which helped to create a great atmosphere.

Their stories and songs tell a history of this part of America which many of us are not familiar with, it's a long way from New York or Chicago and it aint wealthy but it has many other kinds of riches such as it's musical heritage and people like these, people that America can be proud of.

At the interval Josh was mingling and always takes his guitar with him, it's a hand made 'Wayne Henderson' acoustic which cost £20,000 my brother Brendan who had had a few by that time asked him for a shot and to my amazement he handed him the guitar and lifted another and off they went playing together, my other brother Hugh did the same, a real 'laid back' musician indeed.

A fantastic young man, a brilliant lady and a brilliant act, try to catch them while they are in Scotland.

Friday, April 04, 2008


On the subject below another couple of Area committees met yesterday and guess what ? they have decided to allow everyone who showed an interest to take part, these were areas with Labour majorities.

We now have areas where Labour have the majority allowing full inclusion for everyone or, if you want another word for it - Democracy - while areas like Paisley North with an SNP/Lib. Dem. majority are excluding groups, groups whom they lied to by telling them that everyone would be included, the word for that of course is - undemocratic.

This is the most inexperienced and bumbling crowd ever to run anything, they couldn't organise a turn of the 'wash hoose key' and the people of Renfrewshire are paying the price for their incompetence, they have already turned their flagship policy of area committees into a 3 ring circus.

Consider this, if you are a scout troop or an elderly forum in Houston you get to be represented, if you are a scout troop or elderly forum in Ralston you do not get to be represented, this is local democracy brought to you by the 'Marx Brothers' when will Renfrewshire tax payers be given a break from this crowd of amateurs.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008


At the last but one meeting of the full Renfrewshire Council a nasty incident took place, during a debate Cllr. Nicolson of the SNP managed to insult a great many people in Renfrewshire by describing our Community Councils as "rotten to the core" he has tried since to deny this, substituting the word 'rotting' in a devious and desperate attempt to wriggle out of a mess of his own making.

Community council volunteers who give their time and commitment generously are rightly outraged by his insulting remarks, he should be ashamed of himself.

Fast forward to Tues. April 1St. 2 p.m. and the first meeting to set up the SNP's flagship policy of 'Area Committees' this, say the SNP is the way forward for proper democracy, despite the fact that tenants groups don't want them.

We then saw just how shambolic and inexperienced the SNP/Lib. Dem. administration really is at our meeting chaired by Cllr. B Lawson SNP.

We learned that despite all groups being encouraged to show an interest the optimum number of delegates would be 2 to each Cllr. that's 16 for us in Paisley North.

Unfortunately for the administration we had 30 groups who applied with more to come and even more embarrassing for the SNP/Lib. Dem. blunderers is that they have decided that delegates from community councils would be given priority so, if there are 8 community councils in that group of 30 the other 22 groups will be out, despite being invited to apply.

What kind of mendacity is this from the SNP/Lib. Dems. ?

"join us in our great Democratic crusade but, we won't let you take part"

What a dishonest farce by a coalition of inexperienced incompetents, the people of Renfrewshire deserve better.

The following are ruthlessly cast aside by the SNP/Lib. Dem. administration -

Tenants Associations, Residents Associations, Tenants/Residents Associations, Pensioner groups, Church Groups, Disabled Groups, Housing Associations, ? Youth Groups, Charities, Elderly Forums Etc. Etc.

To cap off this political chicanery we have the much maligned, hard working volunteers of the Community Councils being asked to serve. Yes ! that's correct, the same people ! the same Community Councils ! described by the SNP Deputy Provost Cllr. Nicolson as "rotten to the core" the SNP/Lib.Dem. cabal once again have shown their 'Janus Face' they have nothing but contempt for the people of Renfrewshire.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008


March 27 Th. 08 full council going through business quitely when suddenly, a huge row breaks out over an item which should have been non contentious.

On Sept. 2Nd. 19 18 Hugh McIvor died in France at the age of 28, a casualty of the 'war to end wars' - if only.
He came from Linwood and he was awarded the Victoria Cross for bravery in action, a hero in other words.

Renfrewshire decided to mark the 90Th. anniversary of this man's death by attending the memorial service in France and this is where this business started to go wrong, for reasons best known to themselves it was decided that Renfrewshire would be represented by the Chief Executive, The Provost and the Council Leader.

A suggestion to include the opposition leader was turned down and argument followed, my own opinion with no disrespect to anyone is that 3 representatives was 2 too many, the Provost alone would have been appropriate.

It then descended into the mire when Cllr. Hall (Labour) expressed concern and informed the meeting that relatives of Hugh McIvor would be attending, Cllr. Hall said that she was worried that this could be construed as a 'junket' by some people when they observed that 2 Councillors and a council official would be going all expenses paid while the V.C. holder's family would be obliged to pay their own way.

This led to outrageous accusations from the SNP who immediately started to accuse Cllr. Hall of calling it a 'junket' which she did not do, the most vociferous of the accusers predictably was Cllr. McFee (SNP) a man with a reputation of never being able to see a belt without trying to hit below it, his opportunism was a sickening sight, some present were reminded of how he turned a valedictory speech for the late Brian Oldrey into an attack on the Labour Party, which, left some of his SNP colleagues at the time staring at the floor in embarrassment.

The dust has settled and I can only hope that the family concerned are not hurt by this row, hopefully they will remain unaware of it.
I hope that their trip to France brings great comfort to them and I hope that Renfrewshire Council learn from this.

The solution ? easy, Provost Lawson and 2 family members should have made up the visiting party, Cllrs. and officials should have been kept to a minimum, I sincerely hope that lessons have been learned by everyone through this fiasco.