Tag Archives: Tory

Pamela Nash, Nukes and Gender Inequality (Advertiser 27/01/15)

 An edited verion of this letter appeared in the Airdrie and Coatbridge Advertiser

Dear Sir, 

Was I alone in spotting the delicious irony displayed in last weeks Advertiser, where on one half of the page Labour MP Pamela Nash was bemoaning the plight of women across the UK suffering due to the gender pay gap, while on the other half of the page it detailed how Labour run North Lanarkshire Council was dodging its responsibilities and trying to diddle women out of money they were due as they had been paying them less than men? Labour MPs and MSPs are on a daily basis appearing to be a parody of the well known Iraqi Gulf War Information Minister Comical Ali, who was well known for making statements completely at odds with facts. Take Pamela Nash (someone PLEASE take Pamela Nash!) for example. Stuck on transmit, she never responds to questions from difficult constituents and has actually closed off the facility to comment from her website. She has in the past claimed that she voted against the bedroom tax (she was in Austria at the time), that she has voted against the Tories austerity (she voted for it) and that she has voted against fracking (she abstained). I honestly am starting to feel embarrassed for her. Every time she takes to social media the public are shooting down her claims within minutes. I’m just waiting for her to state that “there are no claims of impropriety between North Lanarkshire Council and Mears…”

These pronouncements pale into insignificance when you read her website where she has made a statement regarding why she has done her bit to rid the world of nuclear weapons by voting to buy more. Her conscience, last seen many years ago heading off in the opposite direction, would not let her leave the people of Airdrie and Shotts at the mercy of the Russians and the North Koreans. I wasn’t aware that Vladimir Putin had his eyes on Airdrie. Perhaps he’s after the football stadium, while Kim Jong Un is after the John Smith Pool. It certainly can’t be for our heavy industry, our manufacturing base or our rich mineral wealth. As any old military hand can tell you, the threat comes from capability combined with intention. Russia has capability, but no intention. North Korea perhaps has intention, but no capability. Ms Nash is selling us a lie based on the creation of a climate of fear. The retention, and indeed renewal of the UK’s nuclear arsenal is intended to keep the UK at the top table internationally, nothing else. This was at the heart of the Better Together ideal, a nuclear capable UK strutting on the world political stage. If continued austerity is the price they have to pay, then they will happily pay it. And by “they” I mean “us”. Any thoughts of the SNP propping up a Labour government in exchange for their scrapping of Trident can therefore be put to bed now, as I have no doubt that the Labour Party would see a coalition with the Tories a more acceptable venture. Pamela Nash and her colleagues will tell you that they are aiming to win a majority government. I could tell you that I will be crowned Mr Universe. Truth is, neither of them will happen, and the latter looks more feasible. We have a simple choice in May. Vote Labour and get an opposition who repeatedly fail to oppose, or vote SNP and get an opposition who will be speaking up for us at every turn. As for me, I’d best get to work on my abs… 

Yours Sincerely, 

James Cassidy,

 

Tom Clarke MP, Oil Fund and Election 2015 (Advertiser 11/01/15)

Letter to the Airdrie and Coatbridge Advertiser:

Dear Sir,

The glee which Tom Clarke revels in over the latest oil prices was barely concealed in his column in last weeks Advertiser. By his estimate around 35,000 jobs are now under threat of being lost. Yet these are 35,000 jobs which we were told by the likes of Mr Clarke and by his cronies in the Tory Party that would be safer under the “broad shoulders” of the UK. Well here we are, apparently not so Better Together. The crisis is here and those broad shoulders are shrugging and saying it is up to the SNP to come with a solution.

What is even more sickening is when the likes of Labour’s Jackie Baillie try to make capital out of this by demanding that the SNP set up a resilience fund to help cope for times when the oil price slumps. Ms Baillie has spent much of the last two years campaigning against an oil fund. Indeed a mere five months ago she on behalf of the Labour Party was stating that creating such a fund would strip money from essential public services. This clearly demonstrates that the problem with telling lies is that you have to remember which lies you have told, otherwise you end up contradicting yourself.

Since the 1970’s successive Labour and Tory governments have refused to set up any such fund, so why call for one now? The 1974 McCrone Report which was also covered up by successive Labour and Tory governments recommended setting up an oil fund, so again I wonder, why call for one now, and why call for one from a government which doesn’t actually control that revenue stream? The answer is simple. On May 7th Mr Clarke and all his colleagues are facing annihilation at the polls. Labours actual membership figures are so low that they will not release them while the SNP are now the 3rd largest party in the UK. You can almost smell the fear from Mr Clarke and his colleagues because this is a horror movie scenario for them. One by one they wait to be picked off, not knowing who is safe and who is next for the chop, so they run around wildly, panicking and shouting nonsense.

Mr Clarke’s last statement in his column was that the Scottish people aren’t daft. He’s right in that respect. We aren’t daft enough to fall for the flip-flopping lies that the Red Tories are throwing around, we aren’t daft enough to believe that voting Labour will keep the Tories out (which it didn’t in 1979, 1983, 1987, 1992 or 2010) and we won’t be daft enough to vote Labour on May 7th.  

Yours Sincerely, 

James Cassidy,

Post Referendum Letters: 25/10/14 (The Great Outdoors)

Dear TGO,

I was almost open mouthed as I read Roger Smith’s viewpoint in the November issue of TGO. Roger stated that the referendum result was the best option as Scotland would have been out of the EU for 5 years and revenue streams would have been lost. I cannot disagree more. For starters the figure of 5 years has been plucked from thin air. Why not say 15 years and make it a complete whopper? What is a fact is that Scotland is a member of the EU, and had 18 months in which to negotiate membership to an organisation of which it is already a member and already compliant. Another fact that was ignored is that the EU has no means to remove EU citizenship from its citizens. It bust a gut to ensure that the bankrupt Greek economy was retained, the idea that it would throw an energy and resource rich Scotland out is laughable. The real threat to continued EU membership is now looming on the horizon, with an in/out EU referendum and a possible Blue Tory/UKIP alliance. What is possible is not a mere blip in funding, but a complete end to it. In any case the point is now moot and a distraction from what is to come.

Roger is mistaken when he states the environment was rarely mentioned. Perhaps in the mainstream media it wasn’t, but at the public meetings I attended it certainly was. The Yes campaign was consistent in its message of wanting a cleaner, greener, nuclear free Scotland. This may be one reason why the Green Party in Scotland have seen their membership rise by over 4000 since the referendum.

I personally am no fan of windfarms and the industrialisation of our wild places, and Roger is correct when he says that the SNP’s record in this area is far from impressive. The present Scottish Government were however being pushed in the right direction, and while the overall battle against onshore windfarms has been lost, there have been successes, and the Scottish Wild Land Core Map was one. How successful this will be remains to be seen, but this will become apparent soon enough. While having a pop at the SNP, Roger fails to address the other parties and their intentions. The Tories and the Lib-Dems both support “respectful fracking”, the Lib Dems and Labour support more wind turbines, and the Conservatives are vowing to scrap onshore windfarms in future while supporting them today. It seems to me that the alternatives are more of the same, or slightly worse. There is no radical alternative out there, unless of course you consider UKIP, and they are radical in all the wrong areas.

Roger also asserts that the Scottish Government is set to receive more powers, while in the same issue of TGO he writes about the problems and benefits of fracking. Roger should know then that in December 2013 the unelected House of Lords voted to remove the Scottish Parliament’s powers over renewables by way of amendment 54 to the Energy Act 2013. This gave the UK Government a free hand to completely bypass the Scottish Government. Ten months later and there also seems to be a free for all on licences for fracking, something the Scottish Government was categorically against. Even national parks have not been kept off the target list. Westminster has stuck two fingers up to the people of Scotland, and said that if our legislation is a stumbling block to the UK national policy then they shall scrap it. “The Lords giveth and the Lords taketh away” would sum up the powers we may receive.

Scotland’s natural resources should be in Scotland’s hands, and I doubt very much if the new powers Roger speaks of will come anywhere near fulfilling his wish list, as they seem to be more about backtracking than backpacking. In any case they may be overtaken by the Westminster elections next year. One thing is for certain, there will be no conclusion anytime soon. 

Regards, 

James Cassidy

The Referendum Letters: 23/04/14

Airdrie & Coatbridge Advertiser

Dear Sir, 

This week Gordon Brown came out of retirement to lecture us all on the pensions timebomb that awaits us in an independent Scotland. According to the media one of Britains worst ever Prime Ministers, if not the worst ever is now “a well respected political heavyweight”. Gordon Brown is to pensions what David Moyes is to managing Manchester United, so it was no surprise that he dished out a few facts and ran off before they could be questioned, much as George Osborne did a few months back. Never mind the quality, feel the gravitas…

Mr Brown’s decision to talk at us, rather than with us leaves us to interpret things ourselves, or rely on other political heavyweights such as Ian Gray to interpret things for us. Mr Gray, like Tom Clarke a few weeks back on tax, manages to muddy the waters rather than clarify them. In a television interview he said that bigger nations are in a better position to manage pensions, yet the UK pension was reported in the English editions of some newspapers as being the 4th worst in the developed world and when you actually look at the figures, they show that some of the largest countries have some of the worst pension systems.

Which makes you ask, where did Mr Brown obtain his statistics? Apparently, from a leaked government document. Why is there no inquiry into the leaking of this? Is it because it wasn’t leaked in the traditional sense, it was simply supplied to Mr Brown by his Tory chums so that he could do their dirty work for them?

In any case Mr Brown should have paid more attention to the facts and figures in the secret report which we cannot see, as it would appear the figures don’t add up. That is to be expected, as he has previous for that, having raided pension funds and sold off the UK’s gold reserves to balance the books in the past. According to Mr Brown 259,000 pensioners in Scotland receive on average of £20 a week disability support, at a cost to the taxpayer of £1 billion a year. Yet 259,000 multiplied by £20 a week is only £269 million pounds, nowhere near a billion. Similarly he claimed that £700 million is paid in credits to 248,000 Scots per year at an average of £25 a week. 248,000 multiplied by £25 a week is £322 million! With arithmetic like that it’s no wonder he left the economy in tatters. It seems that his tactic is to take the actual figures and then double or treble them, before shouting it out and running away before anyone gets a chance to question it.

And here was me thinking Better Together were going to be more positive in their outlook. Two weeks ago George Roberston was warning that the “forces of darkness” lay in wait for an independent scotland. At the end of last week it was Philip Hammond claiming an independent Scotland was at risk from an attack from space, this week they are trying to frighten us with killer pensions. 

The affordability of pensions comes not from the size of the country, but how wealthy that country is. Scotland has the chance to takes it’s wealth and make it work for it, and provide a decent pension system which will pay something more than what is forecast in the United Kingdom, a less than minimum wage pittance topped up with food banks and charity.

When Mr Brown, and Mr Clarke and Ms Nash and their ilk warn that jobs and pensions are at risk, they are correct. What they fail to tell you is that the jobs and pensions they are referring to are their own. An independent Scotland means the wheels come off their taxpayer funded gravy train forever. Is it any wonder that they will try any scare story in the book to keep their gravy train on track? 

Yours Sincerely, 

James Cassidy

The Referendum Letters- 10/03/12

Airdrie and Coatbridge Advertiser

Dear Sir,
Pamela Nash’s column is always good for comedy value and this weeks was no let down. Pamela was blaming the big, bad SNP for not using Scottish steel in the construction of the new Forth crossing. I know Pamela is the baby of the house and new to politics, but perhaps she could ask one of the older members to help explain how New Labour introduced EU Procurement Laws which require bids to be opened up to anyone who wishes to put in a tender, and for the cheapest one to be selected, irrespective of nationality. If ten Scottish firms put in bids and were trumped by a cheaper French bid then the SNP government are bound by law to take the French one. Great thinking from Unionist Labour. Perhaps one of the grown up members could also explain to Pamela how their colleagues in saving the union, the Tories decimated the Scottish steel industry, to such an extent that the few Scottish companies left did not even submit tenders for work for the new crossing, as they don’t make the required products anymore. Of course Pamela really doesn’t have time to keep up to speed with Scottish politics. An online search shows that much of her time is spent on such pressing matters as work capability assessments in Northern Ireland, production of HIV medicine in India, and the standard of governance in Belarus. If there is one thing that is apparent, it is that neither Labour or the Conservatives put Scotland first, and that by campaigning for a referendum on independence, Alex Salmond is putting Scotland first. It is worth noting that parliaments “Union Jocks” have very good reason to campaign against independence. 65,738 good reasons every year (plus expenses). No wonder the likes of Ms Nash are making noises about it. She, along with her Unionist colleagues the Conservatives, will do and say anything to ensure that their gravy train stays on track. The fact that Scotland as part of the union is worse off economically, the fact that Scotland could be free of nuclear weapons, could decide how best to run its own services, could say no to jumping on the tailcoats of American foreign policy, none of that matters to the likes of Ms Nash, or indeed any of her Scottish colleagues. Within a few years we are looking at a parliament where a proposed reduced number of Scots MPs will finally be made irrelevant when the Tories decide to answer the West Lothian question, and the possibility of another term of Tory government where they will seek to strip every possible power from the Scottish parliament in the event of a no vote being returned. When given the chance I’ll be voting for independence, and consigning government from London to the bin. And no one is paying me £65,738 to say that.
Yours Sincerely,
James Cassidy