Thursday, 24 August 2017

Are you a Scottish voter who has turned back to Labour?

I completed a Guardian questionnaire today in relation to Jeremy Corbyn of the UK Labour Party touring Scotland at the moment.

This is a link to the story and questionnaire below...

Why did I vote SNP at the UK General Election earlier in 2017, and vote for them as standard?

I believe Scotland is a country and therefore should actually be a real one i.e. the same status as all other countries in the world, not some underling status which means we get everything we want within the UK as long as fits with what England wants. Currently we can never outvote England in the UK House of Commons (don't get me started on the House of Lords!). I believe that Scotland has a different viewpoint that would positively add to the world, that it cannot do so whilst in the UK as it is not allowed to. I also strongly believe in social justice which requires to be combined with Scottish autonomy as what fits the whole of the UK will never completely fit Scotland as our land mass and population are distributed very differently. The UK is such a financial basket case with such a lop sided economy and far too much debt. In order to have proper social justice in the near future independence is a no brainer. I believe a country should not be conned - Norway has a £1 trillion oil fund with less oil than Scotland but Scotland has £0 and a supposed share of debt which it did not run up as part of the UK, so I shall never trust the UK to manage anything on Scotland's behalf ever again.

Do you think the Labour Party will make significant gains in the next UK election?

Hopefully they will in England as they are actually offering something for the whole population unlike the Tories who always just look after number one. I am unsure as to whether they will though as the Labour MPs seem to be hell bent on destroying their party so far under the Corbyn leadership. However in Scotland I would hope people will stick with independence supporting parties and politicians. The UK is such a financial basket case that social justice for the many not the few will be hamstrung by debt and other decisions like privatisation for generations. This will only be made worse by Brexit unless something earth shattering occurs. It is well beyond time for Scots to say good bye to the UK. It won't be plain sailing but it will be on our terms. We may not know the future but I would rather my country was in charge of its own future and not constantly being dragged along in another countries wake particularly when Scotland didn’t actually vote for what is happening.

What are the main challenges Labour face in picking up more seats?
  1. Previous economic incompetence of the most epic proportions on almost the same scale as the Conservative Party.
  2. Becoming the nicer wing of the Tory party since the mid 1980s and therefore a complete lack of trust as a result.
  3. Voting for austerity over and over in the House of Commons.
  4. Labour preserving the House of Lords even although they have been going to abolish it for about 100 years.
  5. Taking over 100 years to give Scotland a parliament of any sort when this was part of its early manifestos, and then not even calling it one when it finally did! 
  6. Labour constantly complaining that the SNP Government should be mitigating this and that, that is being enforced by Westminster when if Scotland was independent it would not have to. And to make these protestations said in seeming all seriousness even more ironic they fought for the powers that allow the Scottish Government to mitigate these things to be retained at Westminster! In other words they are crack pots!

I could go on and on. They are a party of great ideals but have largely failed to advance any since they were in power from 1945 to 1951 in the UK.

Monday, 31 July 2017

Confusing and frustrating experiences with Scottish Power website. What is new?

Why is it when I use the Scottish Power website trying to enter my meter readings it is always a confusing and frustrating experience? 

I transferred tariff at the end of May and my account still shows the old tariff name. In order to find out the actual costs for my new tariff it is like trying to find a needle in a haystack - I think I have found it by printing out 30 pages of price tables. And when I try to enter in my meter readings I must now go into several different screens. If you happen to enter a reading into the wrong screen the site allows you to do so but then rejects any subsequent readings made on the same date. I am also yet to find any way of contacting them except by telephone. And this from a company that states 86% of customers are satisfied with their online experience. One wonders what website these good folks are actually using!? 

And anyone that thinks I can just change supplier is wrong. Due to the type of heating I have I can have any electricity supplier I like as long as it is Scottish Power. In other words they can do anything they like and I am completely powerless to do anything. That is the privatised energy market in the UK for you. Wonderful isn't it?


Friday, 9 June 2017

Thanks England. Scotland enjoys its wee shots at your General Election.

I would just like to thank England for allowing Scotland to have a wee shot in your General Election. It was a needless election, just like last years European Referendum, both caused by internal problems within the Conservative Party and nothing to do with the good of the UK or Scotland.
For once though the additional Tory seats elected by Scotland seemed to have allowed Theresa May to stay in Downing Street with the help of the DUP (who seem more Tory than the Tories if that is possible). Usually it is a one way street i.e. that it is English Tory votes that mean we have a Tory Government in Scotland. 
It remains a mystery to me why any Scottish person could actually vote Tory however. They obviously don't know the misery the Conservative Party continue to cause across the whole of the UK and Scotland in particular, or even worse they do not actually care. #GE17

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

That's me just back from being at the Glasgow Lourdes, also known as the disability assessment centre.

That's me just back from being at the Glasgow Lourdes, also known as the disability assessment centre. According to the UK Government you go in ill or disabled and come out miraculously cured. If that was actually the case I would have no complaint whatsoever. What usually happens however is you remain ill, and probably more so, as you have had the income you need to exist taken away for no reason other than they require to remove half the attendees from benefits so that the company contracted to do the assessments can get its bonus. And then you require to go to tribunal to get the money you are actually entitled to back and in the meantime have to live on air and water alone. I have yet to see what positive this actually achieves apart from a big needless bureaucratic jungle (jobs for the boys) which results in the weakest and most vulnerable in society ending up in misery and on the breadline. Perhaps Ruth Davidson and Theresa May can actually tell me (as Nicola Sturgeon asked Ruth to do on Sunday). #FreeScotland #Dignity #Lourdes #Bonus #UKGovt #TheYESmovement #MAYhem #NicolaSturgeon

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

The Westercraigs Nusery School saga continues (now almost 10 years and counting)

This is a deliberate direct copy of the post made in December 2014 as the position has not changed one jot!!!

I have lived in Meadowpark Street for 20 years now. 

Having the secondary school opposite was an advantage as it meant an almost open outlook and barring the odd issue with vandalism and litter there was never really a significant problem. 

With the arrival of the so called 'temporary' Westercraigs Nursery in summer 2007 all that changed. 

The 'temporary' Westercraigs Nursery School in 2007
With the secondary school the times when there is noise were limited to morning before the pupils went in, lunchtime and also when the pupils finished. 

With the nursery the noise levels are much greater, and can last all day. To get away from it I moved my main bedroom to the back of the property which has the drawback that is comes directly off the kitchen but this inconvenience is less when compared with being disturbed if I sleep later in the day as I am long term unwell. 

I have also had to invest in double glazing at the front to reduce the adverse noise pollution which was a financial outlay I could well have done without since I am living on benefits of about £100 a week, but the resulting reduction in noise has been terriffic. 

Of course I can do nothing about the visual polution - rather than an open space used for car parking during the day we are now faced with straggly bamboo trees and half broken bamboo fencing both placed there temporarily after a meeting with the Council in 2011 in front of a grey portable cabin structure which never melts in the background as it is so in your face.

Even if it is warm I don’t usually open my front windows (particularly in the room I am in) as otherwise I frequently cannot hear people speaking on the phone or indeed concentrate on anything (even with them shut this is difficult). 

I now also feel really uncomfortable being in the my front garden during the day as I was told on arrival by an employee of the school that I was not to disturb the children by cutting my grass! Nice to know that they consider their neighbours (not!).
The playground for the Nursery School children

I now keep my blinds largely shut during the day and as a result live in twilight world most of the time, but it better than looking out right into to the office of the Nusery School.

I don't really understand the positioning of this school here. It is far too close to homes and is therefore bound to cause disruption. It is also not a suitable location due to the shape of the site. Looking at the picture on the right it can be seen that the playground is divided off from the main school grounds by an access road to Whitehill High School campus. The needless additional hassle to the staff must be considerable on a daily basis as they must accompany the children between each half on each and every occasion. It also must be costing Glasgow City Council a fortune to rent the temporary buildings. They have plenty money for needless alterations to George Square that they can see from their windows but don't seem to care very much for what the residents can see from theirs.

I continue to look forward to the nursery being moved although by the looks of things despite it being considered ‘temporary’ it is becoming more and more permanent by the day (and I also have to say more and more unsightly). So I think I shall probably be dead before it moves at the rate Glasgow City Council moves.

It really has ruined staying in this street as previously it was quiet and tidy looking. I would never have moved here if that had been directly opposite the flat I intended to buy. If my circumstances had been different I would be moving to get away from it, as several of my neighbours have done all ready.

Temporary. almost 10 years and counting!

Previous posts on this subject:


Suddenly but not unexpectedly after fighting bone cancer for almost 4 years my Mum passed away on Saturday 8th April 2017 at home in her own bed. She had had a good day on Saturday being out going to and from hospital for a blood transfusion. She had enjoyed the lovely weather, the spring flowers and bird sounds, spring being her favourite time of year as she had become recently almost housebound. She particularly enjoying the time with, and chatting with my brother. She passed away very quickly shortly after returning from hospital in the evening whilst still in his company. She didn't quite make her 86th birthday which would have been on Sunday but pleasantly had all ready received a birthday card and was looking forward to the big day.
Mum I miss you so much but I am pleased that your recent suffering is now at an end and you are with your recently departed sister who passed in January.

Mum and I October 1984. Just about to go out to celebrate my brother's 21st birthday by having a slap up tea at Dallam Tower Hotel on Dundonald Hill above Loans.
Mum and I October 1984. Just about to go out to celebrate my brother's 21st birthday by having a slap up tea at Dallam Tower Hotel on Dundonald Hill above Loans.
My Mum on Largs seafront after a shower of rain during the 1930s.
My Mum on Largs seafront after a shower of rain during the 1930s.
Her funeral service was held at St Meddans Church of Scotland, her church of over 40 years, at 12 noon on Thursday 20th April and afterwards at the South Beach Hotel, South Beach, Troon. There then was a private cremation at Masonhill Crematorium, Ayr on Friday 21st April 2017. In attendance were only my brother, my Dad and myself.
My Mum's funeral flowers. She loved her flowers and was a very competent flower arranger (she won a competition and was so surprised when that happened) so the flowers were very important and well chosen by my niece and sister in law. My only request was that they should include freesia as these were her favourite flower of all due to their beautiful scent. I always tried to have freesia within sniffing distance of her whilst she was ill. The blue/ purple colours were also chosen as these were her favourite colours. Thanks to Kirstie's Flowers in Troon for these.
Mum's funeral flowers at Masonhill, 1
Mum's funeral flowers at Masonhill, 1

Mum's funeral flowers at Masonhill, 2
Mum's funeral flowers at Masonhill, 2

Mum's funeral flowers at Masonhill, 3
Mum's funeral flowers at Masonhill, 3
My Mums ashes are to be interred at Largs Cemetery on Monday 29th May 2017 followed by lunch at Nardini's restaurant.

This was beside my Mum's bed throughout her illness.
This was beside my Mum's bed throughout her illness.

Wednesday, 29 March 2017


Dear Sir/ Madam,

I write this letter with a heavy heart. I also write this on a day which is extremely important for the future of Scotland i.e. the first day of the debate in the Scottish Parliament on whether to have another Scottish Independence Referendum or not. And I am writing it despite thinking that Nicola Sturgeon has been superb regarding the UK Brexit vote since it occurred.

I first joined the SNP in 1992 having been independence leaning since 1979 after the referendum on a Scottish Assembly (Scotland voted for it but didn’t get it). I have nearly always voted SNP and I strongly believe the right thing is for Scotland to be an independent country as this is the natural state for a nation. I have been a member of a number of branches as work and life took me around Scotland. The best was Edinburgh Central SNP which was then led by Fiona Hyslop who was superb, when I was a Dalry Shandon sub branch member in the mid 1990s. Being in the SNP and the wider independence movement was always a positive experience. We discussed politics and felt energised by each meeting even if we disagreed with one another and we could freely do so.

That is until I joined the Glasgow Provan branch where the independence and self determination for Scotland is rarely if ever discussed. It seems to be mostly about procedure, point scoring, and personal agendas/ careers. I am struggling to remember a meeting that I have not left feeling diminished, disappointed or angry to the point I now don’t go.
I know of members enthused by the indyref leaving in disgust after only a single meeting and I want to reach out and say that the SNP is not this, that this is not representative. But when that is their only experience of party politics then what can you say?  I also know of longer term members who do not now go to meetings for the same reason. That is because this branch is run by a cabal of careerists centred on the MP Anne McLaughlin.

‘One of the chief complaints of a political party that operates through nepotism/cronyism is the patent lack of fairness. Perceived favouritism of a relative or best friend can cause dissatisfaction among activists and lower morale. Political parties may have less incentive to perform their responsibilities diligently and proficiently if they feel that the path to success is undermined by nepotism/cronyism. Indeed, a party applying such tactics may find its more valuable activists seeking new paths away from politics where their talent is better recognized. At a minimum, party members and activists will likely complain and become embittered and less productive in the face of blatant nepotism.’

This is a complaint that was until recently rightly aimed at the Labour Party. When I originally joined the SNP this was not a problem because it had no power whatsoever, and I honestly thought, somewhat naively as it has turned out that the SNP was better than that. I would never have believed that within a short time of the independence referendum when the SNP expanded so much that this would so soon become an accusation that could be justly aimed at certain branches of the SNP one of those being Provan. The MP and MSP have safely installed their friend’s and acolytes in paid or elected positions.

A group of us in the Provan branch have tried on numerous occasions to raise issues at branch level. We were ignored, shouted down, insulted, bullied, harassed, threatened, even sworn at by the MSP; and, even if the comments were actually discussed, the way that they were discussed was never mentioned in the resulting minutes. This means it is pointless going to meetings as I have no confidence whatsoever that what is said, and what I say, will be recorded correctly in a fair and impartial matter. If a vote is taken I have no confidence that the true result will be arrived at, or indeed recorded correctly if it is.

After the joke of our branch AGM late last year which embedded the cabal in with no real possibility of achieving anything further in branch, we wrote to HQ as a group in November. To date we have not even had the courtesy of a reply.

And then last weekend I discovered to my dismay that a long serving SNP councillor who has consistently and ably worked on his community’s behalf has been de-selected. Why? There were 2 SNP candidates selected in his ward but both were male. HQ decided to impose a woman resulting in an election between the 2 men. Needless to say the person selected with 1 vote difference was one of Anne McLaughlin’s cabal who has no experience at all, and the person with the long standing experience was discarded.

These things were the final straws, as it indicates clearly that HQ is clearly not interested at all in investigating allegations and looking after its own members, or indeed in rewarding people for their efforts. If that is way the party is run, then by expansion it does not bode well for the SNP running an independent Scotland or indeed for the party’s long term running of Scotland whilst still in the failing UK. It is not what you know, whether you have done a good job, if you have the experience but just WHO you know and who your friends are.

Given my long standing membership and my staunch believe in self determination for Scotland I do not resign from the party lightly.

I hope by airing the issues mentioned above that this will in some way start to resolve the problem. The actions of the ruling elite in this branch have led me to feel ashamed of being in the party. However given that a letter from a larger number of activists has led to no response I don’t suppose you will really care.

This resignation comes despite my strong belief in Scottish independence and my long standing activism, even if this activism is severely limited at present by my own life circumstances. I shall continue to fight for independence outside the party as I can’t morally remain a part of it due to the issues highlighted above.  

Due to the above I will not be voting SNP, not even lower down in my preferences, in the forthcoming local elections as I know the people selected by the Glasgow Provan cabal for my council ward are sub-standard or do not have any experience and have only been in the party for 5 minutes, and therefore have no right to be councillors. I shall be voting Green as my first preference as I know the person standing and she was an active Yes campaigner during the independence referendum and therefore actually deserves it. 

After 25 years the response was swift but disappointing. Indeed it included a grammatical error which just shows how much they care...

Thursday, 23 March 2017

Scotland's Yes Movement for Independence

Ask yourself this question?

Is Scotland a country? #ScotRef #TheYESMovement
What is independence or self determination about?

Independence is... #ScotRef #Brexit #TheYESMovement
Its about this...

Scotland's voice is being silenced by the UK. #ScotRef #TheYESMovement #Brexit
 Scotland's vast natural resources being squandered....
Scotland: The only country in the world to have discovered oil and got poorer. #ScotRef #TheYESMovement
It is about the weapons of mass destruction 30 miles from Scotland's largest city. Scotland doesn't want them but it has them and will continue to have them as part of the UK.
If Trident had an accident this is the kill zone #ScotRef #WMD #ScottishCND #CND #TheYESMovemen

Its about being attached to the Brexit shambles which Scotland did not vote for. The UK still has no plan, and has ignored Scotland's input to the extent the Scottish Government found out when the leaving process was being triggered was by watching the BBC that well known UK Government mouthpiece.
Headless chickens. Tory and Labour MPs in Westminster after Brexit vote. #ScotRef #Brexit #TheYESMovement
It is about the EU and the European Economic Area...
EU = peace. #EU60 #Brexit #ScotRef #IndependenceInEurope
Its about European open borders as Scotland needs European immigration to be a more prosperous country. Without it the Scottish Government will not have the tax income to provide so many services in future. Scotland doesn't control immigration. This is done for it currently by the UK Government who wish to drastically reduce it without thought for Scotland's future. ...
EU citizen remain welcome after #Brexit vote. #NicolaSturgeon #TheYESMovement #ScotRef
It is about being lied to prior to the Scottish Independence Referendum in 2014...
Better Together lies. What is the process for removing our EU citizenship? Voting Yes. #ScotRef #BetterTogether #YouYesYe
It's about the future. It is only thanks to the SNP that Scots get free prescriptions, free university and college tuition, free bridge tolls, etc.With a Tory Government in Westminster intent on constant austerity and cuts to spending and tax giveaways for the rich, how long will these advantages continue?
And lastly...

Wednesday, 1 February 2017

Shit Creek for the Scots. And it is entirely of their own making which is what makes it so sad.

Following the news this evening that MPs in the House of Commons have by majority, 498 to 114, voted to trigger the UK leaving the European Union I thought this cartoon is becoming more and more pertinent by the day.
Incidentally but of no real importance at this time (as we are talking about Scotland in the UK and it doesn't really count when it comes to votes) Scottish MPs voted 58 to 1 to NOT initiate plans to leave the EU. Scotland voted 62% to stay in the EU, but the UK Government as usual is ignoring the Scottish Government and the UK supreme court agreed that the Scottish Government and therefore the Scottish people's opinion can be ignored legally.
The harsh reality for Scotland now, at this juncture in its history, is that the governments of Estonia or Malta have more of a say about the future Scotland faces than the people of Scotland do themselves. And Ruth Davidson, leader of the Scottish Conservative and Unionist branch office, wants to do all she can to ensure it stays that way, because in her universe everyone has the right to determine the path that Scotland treads except the people of Scotland .
And this is entirely due to Scots voting NO to their own country's independence in 2014. In September 2014 the question on the ballot may have said independence, but forget the terminology for a moment. What it meant was: Do you want Scots to have the power over their own lives or do you want to leave it up to whoever is in charge in Westminster?