Tag Archives: UKIP

Caledonian MacBrayne and The Politics of Hypocrisy

Letter to RMT News, 15th November 2015

From RMT News, November 2015

From RMT News, November 2015

Dear RMT News, 

I was disappointed to see that Coatbridge MSP Elaine (Not C) Smith given considerable space in Novembers RMT news and I was more disappointed to see that Mrs Smith remains convenor of the RMT group of MSPs. Mrs Smith, a vocal cheerleader for the pro UK Better Together campaign, is strangely silent as the 2000 jobs which would have been secure running Scotlands tax system are lost to Croydon. She is silent now that Scotland is about to say ta-ta to the last of its steel industry. She is silent on the subject of her party siding with the Tories to deny Scotland the chance to operate it’s own tax credit system, and instead implementing a system where we can use our Westminster pocket money to top up the benefits they are about to cut.

In the Scottish Parliament she has however not been silent on the alleged privatisation of the Clyde and Hebrides Ferry contract. As people across the country who are not afforded the same airtime as Mrs Smith have repeatedly pointed out, this is not privatisation. In fact it’s the same tendering process that the Labour/Lib-Dem Scottish Executive followed when the contract was awarded to Caledonian MacBrayne in 2007. Back then the SNP claimed this was privatisation by the back door, a charge denied by Labour then, yet employed by Labour now they are in opposition. So if we can take that hypocrisy away we are left with the argument as to whether Calmac or Serco should be awarded the contract. From a moral point of view you could say that Serco should be discounted, having as they do a horrendous record across the world in workplace relations. They are involved in almost every sphere of life, from office cleaners to atomic weapons, and at the end of it all the money they generate goes to private shareholders. They have the global financial clout to outbid anyone, anywhere, should they wish to do so. Calmac know that they must put a bid in which is sufficiently within the same ballpark that the Scottish Government can point to aspects of the bid which will compensate for what will undoubtedly be a poorer bid in strictly monetary terms in order to give them the contract, and I hope they are successful in doing so because I feel that at present we are seeing the asset stripping of everything that a future independent Scotland will need and in my view it would be far easier to renationalise a Calmac owned ferry service than a Serco owned one.

But I for one will not be standing alongside Mrs Smith and parroting her reasons for campaigning, which in the main are that anything the SNP does is bad, nor shall I share anything with a logo created by the treacherous Daily Record. The RMT, in aligning with Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party and the Daily Record appear to have chosen to ally itself with two organisations which are entirely out of step with the mood of, if not outright destested by a huge proportion of the Scottish electorate. I understand that the RMT has for the last few years campaigned on an anti EU stance, but I am sure it would not share a platform nor give a column to the odious UKIP politician Nigel Farage, even though his stated aim of a UK outside the EU is in line with this unions. Its apparent endorsement of the Labour Party’s Scottish branch is therefore viewed with equal distaste by this member. 

Yours Sincerely, 

James Cassidy




15/03/15 Racism and David Coburn

 The National.

Dear Sir, 

Another day, and another example of the language of the gutter being used against the Scottish nationalists. In this case it was UKIP’s David Coburn MEP, with his comments that he refers to SNP MSP Humza Yousaf as “Abu Hamza”. Abu Hamza is a convicted terrorist, and the link being inferred by Mr Coburn is a particularly nasty one. Over the course of the independence referendum there was some pretty strong language used, and I have no doubt many unionists took offence at being branded, among other things, traitors and Quislings, but when it came to the sheer volume of derogatory terminology and language those same unionists had the upper hand. Nazis references were (and still are) ten a penny with one the terminally declining Scotland on Sunday newspaper going as far as to change an iconic picture of the saltire being raised to show a blue and white swastika instead. One would have thought things would settle down after September 18th, instead the nastiness has went up a gear, with genuine hatred seething on a daily basis from some unionists who now realise that they appear to have won a battle and are now on course to lose the war. The language of the war on terror is now being applied at home, helped in great measure by the media wing of the Labour Party (Scottish Branch), otherwise known as BBC Scotland. I can watch the UK BBC news in the evening and see reports of insurgents in Iraq, extremists in Syria and separatists in Ukraine. Turn to Reporting Scotland and I can hear quotes from various politicians about the Scottish separatists here. A favourite phrase of Johann Lamont and Alistair Darling during the referendum, it is currently used by Jim Murphy and Margaret Curran, and I feel its use is a deliberate attempt to create a link in the mind of the viewer or reader between a peaceful, through the ballot box movement here in Scotland with the violent actions taking place in Ukraine and the Middle East. David Coburn is certainly not as skilled as the likes of Jim Murphy in the political art of saying one thing and meaning another and is just more ham fisted in his delivery, which makes his nasty, racist jibes all the more easy to spot. If UKIP is genuinely not a racist party I’m sure they will have no problem disciplining Mr Coburn. If the response of their Scottish Chairman Misty Thackeray is anything to go by, he won’t be disciplined at in any way, which says it all. 

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. 


James Cassidy

The Referendum Letters: 30/05/14

Airdrie & Coatbridge Advertiser

Dear Sir, 

The success of UKIP seems to have finally roused our local MP Pamela Nash into action. Having seen her party roundly spanked across England and Wales she is now drawn into a battle on two fronts, requiring her and her party to tell different stories to different groups of the electorate north and south of our border. In her column in this weeks Advertiser it didn’t take long before she once again tried to pass off the now well worn lie that patriotism is somehow different from nationalism. She claims she is a patriot, and infers that her brand of flag waving and protecting her nations interests is warm and fuzzy and cuddly, while people like me who wave Scotland’s flag and want to protect Scotland’s interests are nasty and narrow minded. She claims that nationalism is about a sense of superiority. It’s the UK who continually tell us we are too poor to succeed, that we are too stupid to manage our own resources and that we are too small to go it alone! If there is a sense of superiority from anyone it is from her and her ilk who think we are put here to do as they tell us, no questions asked. It’s equality we want! She tries to equate people who support independence with those who support UKIP. Yes Scotland is about giving control of decision making in Scotland to the people who live in Scotland, irrespective of where they were born. I can only assume that she is willfully trying to smear Yes voters, tarring them with the same brush as UKIP, who would close our borders, withdraw from Europe and whose leader has stated that he wouldn’t like Romanians living next door. This isn’t of course to be confused with the current UK government (who we are repeatedly told we are better together with) who instead had vans with billboards driven around London spreading the message that Johnny Foreigner should go pack up and go home.

UKIP’s massive success in England and Wales is a political earthquake, so much so that BBC observers have said that Essex is where Britain’s political future will be decided. If Essex man says we leave Europe, then as part of the UK we will leave, whether we want to or not. This comes in the week that a Westminster panel finally conceded that an independent Scotland will be allowed to remain in the EU, after all the bluff and bluster that came before. Labour and Conservative alike are now making plans for Nigel, and that involves pandering to a UKIP led agenda. There is now more chance of Ed Milliband delivering pizza than there is of him delivering the powers he promised Scottish voters a few weeks ago. There will be pigs with wings over Scotland before Mr Milliband gets a sniff of power, and we can be relatively certain that the UK political map will not be Labour red any time soon. The future is instead to be Tory blue, with a hint of UKIP purple, and that cannot be good news for any right minded people in Scotland. Vote No at your peril, and don’t say you weren’t warned.

Can I just say a final few words to my great fans, David Smeall and John Love. David, I’m not a member of the SNP, I never have been and don’t intend to join. I support Yes Scotland, which draws support from across the political spectrum, including Labour supporters. John, rather than take up another page of the Advertiser, prompting rage from Mr Smeall, who would rather people didn’t know and vote no, I have put links to Philip Hammonds “danger from space” quotes and George Robertson’s “forces of darkness” speech on the Advertiser’s Facebook page for everyone to see. Happy reading! 

Yours Sincerely, 

Jim Cassidy