Posts Tagged ‘snp’

Politically Motivated Campaign to Save Nairn Baths


Since regionalization, one major shortcoming of Highland Council has been the Inverness-based outlook of many decisions and plans. I knew the Nairn Public Baths were a popular and well-established municipal service, so was surprised that they should be included in budgetary cuts.

In the fray stepped Liz Macdonald – SNP Councilor in Nairn, and first female Provost of the town – who vocally opposed plans whilst chairing a ward forum on the matter. As a result, her fellow Councilors in the ward – Labour, LbDem and Independent – accused her of politicizing the role of Provost and first requested her resignation, and then sacked her.

Councilors in the Landward Caithness ward have their own opinions on windfarms, but dutifully keep them quiet with respect to Council policy. So, I agree Macdonald risked compromising the non-partisan role of forum chairman, as she accepted when she offered her resignation from this position.

Yet, unless she was appearing in the garb of Provost, I have difficulty seeing in what way she compromised that civic role. The only conclusion I can make just now is that her fellow Councilors allowed their separate opinons of her to colour their judgment of her probity.

Which would have been a politicized decision.

Osama Saeed Resigns as Director of Failed Quango


This explains his rather confused attempt to accuse the family of Anas Sarwar, his Labour rival for Glasgow Central of associating with Hamas.

An Appeal for Common Sense over Lunchgate


As Joan McAlpine gets indigestion from the media hoo-ha over Lunchgate, I am inclined to agree.  It is quite unedifying to watch the media fall on Salmond like wild-animals onto a giraffe, looking for lunch.

This is Scotland.  It’s should be Dinnergate.

Scottish-Islamic Foundation Should Be Politicized Only By the SNP



Greetings all.  Our Brother, Osama Saeed has a truly inspiring response to the toxic attack dogs of the neo-con, Zionist, Imperialist conspiracy which has been unleashed against him.

I write this article in a personal capacity, as much of the criticism surrounding the Scottish-Islamic Foundation are to do with my political life, even though SIF has always maintained a strict non-party political line, and no one can demonstrate otherwise.

Reports recently about SIF have been headlined about me as an SNP candidate even though this has absolutely nothing to do with the SIF. Candidates in all parties hold down sensitive jobs in the public and charitable sectors and are not subjected to this unfair blurring of lines.

From day one SIF has been hounded by the Labour Party. The reasons for this are obvious. I am in with a great chance of being the next MP for Glasgow Central, and thereby sweeping the Sarwar family, great benefactors of Scottish Labour, out of office.

Mohammad Sarwar is not just a normal MP to Labour. He got the party £300,000 for the last Scottish election campaign. He continues to fund, directly and indirectly, a number of candidates and the national party itself. Labour will as a result make sure he is looked after.

In the initial phases, Sarwar’s ally Frank McAveety MSP was getting in about SIF. His register of interests shows he was given money for his last election campaign by Sarwar’s Muslim Friends of Labour organisation. Labour’s point man on this then seemed to suddenly switch. An unholy number of parliamentary questions have been tabled about SIF, in a scenario perhaps not quite ‘cash for questions’, but morally dubious nonetheless.

The pressure put on the Scottish government about SIF has been unparalleled for any similar small organisation. It’s come not just from Labour, but from rightwing elements, but often with the two feeding from each other. 55 others were funded in the same stream as SIF, including some working with Muslims, but I doubt readers can name another one or what they do for the money. Any organisation, when examined under a cynical microscope, can have fun poked at it. I’ve seen enough in the last few years in this sector to know that.

Audit Scotland investigated SIF’s funding and clearly and definitively concluded that correct processes and procedures were followed. £200,000 was awarded by the Scottish Government in 2008 to organise a festival of Muslim culture in order to bring communities together. The total budget needed was greater than this, but it proved difficult to raise it due to the economic crisis that had broken out. The plans were therefore streamlined and retimetabled. A lot of organisations have commented to me that they would have just blown the money on any old thing anyway. Instead, we were prudent, wanted to do the job properly, and asked for the £128,000 that wasn’t spent so far in developing the project to be reprofiled into this year.

Projects get delayed all the time – folk in the Scottish Parliament building of all places should know that. Just last week it was reported that government IT projects had lost in the region of a cool £26BILLION (where are the parliamentary questions? Where are the Freedom of Information requests?). SIF is nowhere near this territory though and didn’t ask for any new money. I think the green light to finish the festival would have been given had it not been for the hatred that would have poured forward if it had. SIF has instead had to be nimble and resourceful in reconfiguring the plans where others would have given up.

So if anyone is to blame for the delays to the bold things SIF wanted to do, Labour should look at themselves. It is nonsensical to create an environment where an organisation cannot get funding, and then criticise the consequences. How are SIF meant to deliver a Middle East trade expo and a cultural festival with no staff resource on it, and no way to pay for venues, publicity and the rest? No organisation in the country would be expected to do that.

Despite working under considerable strain, the young people involved in SIF have carried on as best they can, and are firmly an important part of the Scottish landscape. A cultural festival will go ahead. Since its launch a short 18 months ago, SIF has campaigned against forced marriage, distributed food amongst Glasgow’s needy, set up a PhD with Strathclyde University, exposed the man that threatened to blow up Glasgow Central Mosque, condemned vandalism by young Muslims against a synagogue in Edinburgh, and seen its young people even win awards for their contribution in the mainstream of society. The organisation brought together the country, including all political parties, with the Scotland United initiative when the far-right SDL was formed – 3,000 people from all walks joined it including trade unions, churches and the EHRC.

The latter, with Nazis astonishingly on Scottish streets against Muslims, underlined the need for bridge building activities and action against Islamophobia that SIF brought forward. It’s not ever reported, but Labour recognised this themselves when they agreed in principle to fund the Islamic festival before leaving office in 2007. It’s just a shame political opportunism later took over.

Gosh, wow, I mean wow, inspiring, like.  Brother Osama is quite right to point out that his organization should not be politicized for any purpose (other than promoting him, the SNP PPC for Glasgow Central).  I cannot fail to disagree more with his germane observation that it had spent a mere £72,000 of the allocated £400,000 with no discernible result, comparing to many billions lost on Government IT schemes.

I was making just such an argument when the Police attempted to book me for speeding.  Why were they not out catching real criminals?

Brother Osama lists many inspiring achievements of the SIF, such as blogging about a washed-out loonie, and not asking for more state money when any fule nose it would have been forthcoming.  I felt the shame of the SIF when it, instead, felt the leading to ask for Ramadan donations.

Is Mark MacLachlan in Meltdown?


As I discussed earlier, it is being reported that the former constituency office manager of Mike Russell, Mark MacLachlan has been arrested and charged with breach of the peace.  This relates to e-mails allegedly sent to the former following the latter’s identification as the scabrous blogonym, Montague Burton.

An individual whom I strongly suspect is MacLachlan has appeared in the annotations box for my own missive with a bizarre sneer that I am “incredibly well uniformed” (I think this means the opposite) by repeating what is in every news outlet: namely, MacLachlan’s arrest.

The reason I suspect it is the soi-dissant Big Cheese himself is that he posted as himself making similar remarks at LibDem Voice (for some reason, assuming readers would be surprised to know he had friends LibDem friends).  In response to Fitaloon’s matter-of-factly discussing MacLachlan’s arrest, an anonymous poster – with strikingly similar prose to t’others – has blustered in to take issue with Fitaloon’s use of  “had” and insist that MacLachlan’s blog has been running for six weeks.

What an odd fellow.  Especially considering saying “had run x blog” does not necessarily preclude continuation.

Blogger Mark MacLachlan Arrested


Now it gets interesting.  Mark MacLachlan, the former constituency office manager to Mike Russell (what portfolio at the Scottish Executive does he hold this week?) has been arrested and bailed for breach of the peace.

This relates to his blog, Universality of Cheese which was used to make scurrilous remarks about opposition politicians with shades of the Dolly Draper und Damian McBride scandal.  On being identified as the blog author in November 2009, it was taken down and he was resigned (correct usage of the auxiliary verb).  Russell’s responses have varied between insisting he had no knowledge of such a blog being run by his constituency office manager to pleading that he took no interest in it.

I do not think this is a case of a member of an Executive minister using the Police to arrest someone whom he wishes to sue for libel.  Instead, there are allegations that MacLachan made veiled threats against Russell in a series of e-mails in which he expected equitable arrangements to be made.

Hmm, this could end up in court.

SNP Supports Racism Against the Dutch


private frazer

A state-funded political protest group which launched a foreign tourism campaign with images of tartan and shortbread tins has launched an official complaint with Germany’s advertizing association because of the use of the term Schotten Preise (Scot’s Price) for bargain basement.

It believes the long-established marketing technique is offensive and promotes an unfair racial stereotype of Scots people as mean.

Angus Robertson, the SNP’s group leader at Westminster, is to write to officials in Germany seeking an end to the use of the phrase, which has promoted products ranging from fast food to air fares. Robertson, the son of a German, said it was unacceptable to portray Scots in such a pejorative way, which he believes could harm the country’s reputation.

Many discount stores in Germany begin with the prefix “Mac”. Geizkragen, one of the country’s most popular price-comparison websites, depicts a Scot wearing a kilt and tartan hat chasing coins and advising Germans how to save money.

Travel agents regularly advertise “Scottish prices” for bargains and last year the ADAC, a German motoring club, sent an e-mail to 15 million customers featuring a kilt-wearing Scot, with the caption: “It doesn’t have to be this way.”

There is putting the angry brigade in charge of Scottish politics, ands there is being unforgivably dim. Like most of Scotland, these grievance-merchants are a disgrace to Scotland.

Robertson went on to say:

“You wouldn’t do it with orthodox Jews, so why do it with Scots?

Oh, good, Jews have been brought into the discussion. Presumably, Robertson would have less objection to Liberal or Reform Jews being so portrayed.

The constant association of our country and people with meanness and cheapness is beginning to hit at the borders of defamation and insult.”

Cannot say I have noticed. Formal positions such as this, however, do a lot to present Scotland as a nation of humourless prigs. And, by their own standards, hypocritical prigs.

At the SNP annual hate fest party conference, John Swinney, cabinet secretary for finance and sustainable development, said:

At the UK party conferences over the last few weeks, there has been a Dutch auction about public spending cuts and the effect on public services.

Well, considering that the PPC for Glasgow North East, David Kerr was either arrogant/stupid/naive enough to contradict his place-of-birth on separate campaign leaflets, this open contradiction is not that surprising.

Scotland, wha’ like us? None, thank fuck.

A Moment of Realization


salmond and kerr

Salmond: Mammy!