Wednesday, December 31, 2008



The Story below is from today’s Herald and needs no comment from me.

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


I have said many times that Israel is guilty of war crimes against the Palestinians. They illegally occupy the West Bank and Gaza, apologists for them are quick to say that they don’t occupy the West Bank but they have turned the Gaza Strip into the world’s biggest prison, no one moves without their say so, the place is completely sealed; the Israeli’s control every inch of land, sea and air, they decide who lives and who doesn’t so don’t come away with this lie about them not occupying Gaza. They also continue to take Palestinian land on the West Bank and are now into the fourth day of their murderous killing spree, when you drop high explosive bombs on an area which is the most overcrowded in the world and then claim to be targeting terrorists and not civilians you are telling a lie which will besmirch the name of Israel for ever.

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.


Monday, December 29, 2008


“If I were a Palestinian I would have joined a terrorist organisation” (Ehud Barak Israel Defence Minister)

“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.


Tuesday, December 23, 2008


Tonight in various places around the world people will be struggling with their own specific problems, these will range from things which some might call trivial to those which look insurmountable and; which is which; will be determined by the individuals own circumstances. Some will see huge problems because they are used to being at the height of power and wealth with riches 'beyond the dreams of avarice' and international influence, billions of pounds would be required to restore these people to their former positions. Bankers, Financiers, Stockbrokers, Builders and Businessmen, have seen their lives shattered by the events in our corrupt capitalist society.

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


And so it came to pass, that loud voiced town criers employed by the Pasaleth Expressus are going around telling that some child calling himself the “The Prince of Peace” has been smuggled into the town of Paisley in the land of C.E. Royal David AKA Renfrewshire, despite the efforts of the local council, run by Philistines, to catch and kill him on the orders of the Governor of the area, King Eckus (the spiv) Salmondus.

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


Almost 2009 and as usual at this time most people me included tend to reflect, it might seem morbid but I always think about those who have passed on during the year, this seems more relevant than ever since I turned 60, 2 weeks ago, just the other day one of my heroes from the old folk scene died, Davy Graham, an extraordinary and influential guitar player, probably not so well known outside the world of the guitar buffs but, an incredible talent and a man who couldn’t really care less about fame, rich or poor he was happy playing music. Richard Widmark, Roy Scheider and Paul Newman, great film stars and liberal Americans gone too, Paul Scofield great British star of stage and screen; a man whom I had the privilege of seeing on stage in Glasgow playing opposite Felicity Kendall in Othello, god I am getting on a bit, the great Oscar Peterson whom I’ve written about before, absolutely irreplaceable, likewise Humphrey Littleton.

“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”


Below is a comment from the SNP on the latest development in the struggle for South Primary.

(Anonymous) 10/12/08

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.
Publish Reject

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


Thursday Dec. 18 th. 08. To the council for the education meeting, yes that meeting, the decision on South Primary School. A novelty was immediately apparent, for many parents this was their first glimpse of the SNP/Lib.Dem. Cllrs. who are laughingly called their representatives, there at last was Cllr. Adam, a big talker but, alas, not a doer, the famous comic singer and self publicist Cllr. Mitchell, a man who would turn up for the opening of an envelope remained in self imposed purdah, while Cllr. McGurk at last showed up, parents were asking who they were, her included, she is the only local councillor on the education board which made her disappearance all the more cowardly and all the harder to take for her bitter constituents, maybe some had made the mistake of voting for her.

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.


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


Thursday Dec. 11Th. 08 - Meeting of Renfrewshire Council. The orchestrated applause for SNP speakers was not enough, the prearranged false laughter when labour speakers made a point was somehow more false than ever, the rehearsed abuse by the SNP, the now traditional nationalist heckling of opposition speakers, yet again did not work, once again it served to show up the SNP administration on Renfrewshire Council for what they are, not a political party but a mob. What Marx described as the “Lumpen Proletariat” their behaviour this time created a different atmosphere, where in the past they had usually created one of nastiness and thuggery; met with withering contempt from us in the labour seats, this time we had an audience, the public gaze made them “bottle it” their excesses were being witnessed and they couldn’t handle it, they didn’t know how to behave properly because they haven’t done so for so long.

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


“If I were an Arab leader, I would never make terms with Israel. That is natural: we have taken their country. Sure, God promised it to us, but what does that matter to them? Our God is not theirs....There has been anti-Semitism, the Nazis, Hitler, Auschwitz, but was that their fault? They only know but one thing: we have come here and stolen their country. Why should they accept that?”
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


Wed. Nov. 19 Th. 08 on this blog carries a spoof song based on the “Twelve Days of Christmas” OK I’m not Irving Berlin and I wrote it in about 5 minutes but, it has just proved how devious and dishonest some people who support the closure of South Primary are, they are on a downward spiral and they are looking more and more desperate. All the references in the song are anti closure, anti the SNP led council and supportive of the parent’s campaign.

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!