Reevesey's recommended reading

Saturday, 29 May 2010

David Laws - the sheer hypocrisy....

.....of those Labour activists and mouth pieces on twitter and in the blogosphere for the turning on, of the anti machine.

It is sheer hypocrisy though, because when their MPs were being pictured walking into court for actual fraud the same bloggers/tweeters were all strangely silent.

I have long admired David Laws (not like that) politics and how he has handled himself within the Party and on the economics stage in the real world.

Has today's story in The Daily Telegraph also explained the reason why Alistair Campbell produced a framed photo of David Laws at the end of Thursday's BBC Question Time, is it he who tipped the Daily Telegraph off, who knows?

Or was Campbell going to put the framed photo of David in the seat where David had been due to sit, again who knows?

The Daily Telegraph's story claims that David Laws:
  • Claimed between £700 and £950 a month between 2004 and 2007 to sub-let a room in a flat in Kennington, south London, owned by his partner who was also registered as living at the property;
  • From 2007, David then began claiming £920 a month to rent the second bedroom from a new house bought by his partner, who also lived there.
David Laws has issued a statement, published in full by The Daily telegraph, as follows:

I’ve been involved in a relationship with James Lundie since around 2001 — about two years after first moving in with him. Our relationship has been unknown to both family and friends throughout that time. James and I are intensely private people. We made the decision to keep our relationship private and believed that was our right. Clearly that cannot now remain the case.

“My motivation throughout has not been to maximise profit but to simply protect our privacy and my wish not to reveal my sexuality.

“I claimed back the costs of sharing a home in Kennington with James from 2001 to June 2007. In June 2007, James bought a new home in London and I continued to claim back my share of the costs. I extended the mortgage on my Somerset property, for which I do not claim any allowances or expenses, to help James purchase the new property.

“In 2006 the Green Book rules were changed to prohibit payments to partners. At no point did I consider myself to be in breach of the rules which in 2009 defined partner as ‘one of a couple … who although not married to each-other or civil partners are living together and treat each-other as spouses’.

“Although we were living together we did not treat each other as spouses. For example we do not share bank accounts and indeed have separate social lives. However, I now accept that this was open to interpretation and will immediately pay back the costs of the rent and other housing costs I claimed from the time the rules changed until August 2009.”

There are many people with different opinions on this out there, I have selected four that you can go and read directly for yourselves and my opinion follows.

Liberal Democrat Voice;
I think many people will have a fair amount of sympathy for David’s position. Clearly in an effort to maintain his privacy, he has kept secret his domestic arrangements; and any form of secrecy will lead some to place the worst possible interpretation on it.
Sara Bedford's blog, Always win when you're singing;
I’m not from the same wing of the Lib Dems as David Laws. I’m not a likely cheerleader for him. But his performance since his appointment to the cabinet has been astounding, with a mastery and articulation of his new brief which has delighted most of the political world. Don’t resign and give the Telegraph their pound of flesh David. Your party, the coalition and, the country’s economy need you.
Jerry Hayes on Think Politics website;
Has David Laws behaved corruptly? The answer was simply put in a tweet by the Financial Times journalist and serious thinker, Christopher Cook, last night. If Laws had declared his relationship he could have charged the taxpayer for the whole mortgage. So when banner headlines demand a scalp, I hope that David Cameron and Nick Clegg have the compassion and common sense to ride out the storm.
Tony Grew is parliamentary editor of and writes in defence of David Laws.
It is an intense sadness to me that David Laws never felt able to step out into that new sunshine created by Tony Blair and New Labour. He was never able to learn that the vast majority of his colleagues and friends do not give a damn about who he shares his life with, as long as it made him happy.  Instead one of the richest MPs in parliament found himself in a ridiculous position - claiming rent from the taxpayer to refund his boyfriend, so that no-one would find out he was his boyfriend.
Now, my opinion for what it's worth is this, David Laws has tried to keep a difficult private life just that, private and has today paid the price for that because The Daily Telegraph don't respect that view, who ever it is.
Given David could have claimed the whole mortgage under the rules the taxpayers have not been shortchanged so David Laws should not resign, he is doing a great job and should be allowed to continue.
For me, it is really sad that here we are in May 2010 and a person's sexuality is front page news.
When will The Daily Telegraph grow up?

Friday, 28 May 2010

Arise my Lords and Ladies

So, the first appointments to the House of Lords under the Liberal Democrat - Conservative coalition government and the last before it is replaced with a democratically elected upper chamber.

The list of the new Liberal Democrat Peers is as below;

Floella Benjamin OBE DL – actor, presenter and campaigner for children’s issues

Mike German OBE AM – former Deputy First Minister (Wales)

Meral Hussein Ece OBE – Local Government Councillor in Islington, advocate of equality issues

Sir Kenneth (Ken) Macdonald QC – former Director of Public Prosecutions

Kathryn (Kate) Jane Parminter – former Chief Executive of Campaign to Protect Rural England

John Shipley OBE – leading Local Government Councillor in Newcastle upon Tyne
and the dissolution list;
Richard Allan – former MP for Sheffield Hallam and Chair of the Information Select Committee

Matthew Owen John Taylor – former MP for Truro and St Austell, Chair of National Housing Federation

George Philip (Phil) Willis – former MP for Harrogate and Knaresborough, Former Chair of Science and Technology Select Committee
For the full and comprehensive list of the 56 working Peers visit 10 Downing Street.

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Vince Cable stands down as Deputy Leader of the Liberal Democrats

But, who is next?

In the last hour one of my old bosses, Vince Cable has stood down as Deputy Leader of the Liberal Democrats in order to concentrate on his role as Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills within the Liberal Democrat - Conservative coalition government.

I am delighted that Vince has got such a major role within the coalition government, something he rightly deserves, although it is slightly ironic that he is now in charge of the department he put forward that we should abolish!

Vince is an absolute gentleman and will not have come to this decision lightly.

The text of Vince Cable’s resignation letter to Nick Clegg is below:

Dear Nick,

I am writing to offer my resignation in my role as Deputy Leader of the Liberal Democrats.

It has been an honour to serve as the Deputy Leader of our party. However, in joining the cabinet I have taken on many new challenges and responsibilities and it is right that I focus wholeheartedly on the job in hand.

These are exciting times to be a Liberal Democrat, and despite all the challenges we face we have a real opportunity to change Britain for the better. There are great opportunities for the party alongside our working in coalition.

I wish my successor all the best in what is a rewarding and important role.

Yours ever,

Vince Cable
In response to the letter, Liberal Democrat Leader Nick Clegg said:

“Vince has been a fantastic Deputy Leader during an exciting time for the party. I look forward to us continuing to work together in government.”

The election for the new Deputy Leader will take place on Wednesday 9 June with Lord (William) Wallace acting as the returning officer.
There will be a formal meeting of the Parliamentary Party on Wednesday 2 June to receive nominations.

Should more than one nomination be forthcoming, hustings will take place at the meeting of the Parliamentary Party on 9 June. The ballot will take place at the end of that meeting, with the result declared thereafter.
Now, who should be the next Deputy Leader?  For a start, in my humble opinion, it should not be one of the MPs who is a Minister or in the Cabinet, I know that slims the options down but I really think the back benchers need a voice.
I would like to see Michael Moore MP nominated.  Michael is currently the Deputy Leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats and I feel would add a lot to the role and would provide Nick Clegg with real support.
However, it is not up to me, a mere staffer for the Liberal Democrats.

Brian Haw and the protestors village at Parliament Square

What harm has Brian Haw and his merry band of protesters ever done?

When I worked in Parliament and then Westminster area they became part of the every day scene and a reminder that our democracy is based on free speech, something as a Liberal Democrat, I am immensely proud of.

So yesterday when it was announced the Police during a search of the tents, prior to the arrival of HM The Queen for the State Opening of Parliament, had then arrested Brian Haw and Barbara Tucker I was dismayed.  The Police presence as very often in London, was well over the top as you can see from this photo by The Press Association.

Now we hear that Boris Johnson is applying to The High Court to have the protesters removed from Parliament Square altogether.

Boris, you have got this one wrong, what harm are they actually doing? 

Don't we have a right to protest in this democratic country of ours?

In The Guardian, Shami Chakrabati, director of Liberty, the human rights campaign group, said:
"We are very sad to see that on a day that is supposed to celebrate British democracy, peaceful dissent is also shut down. The new coalition government has promised to restore the right to non-violent protest. Attempts to clear Parliament Square are not the most promising start."
Now, I accept when I worked in the area there were no more than 10 tents and now there in excess of 30+, but surely we should still remain focussed on the fact that this is a democratic country with free speech?

These people have not scaled the walls of Parliament nor broken through security like the Greenpeace protesters have in the past.  No, they have merely pitched a tent and are protesting about a cause they believe in opposite the Mother of all Parliaments as is their right to do so in this country.

Let us hope Boris Johnson fails in his bid to remove them.

Gay flashmob at a bad hotel

If you support LGBT rights and you are planning to go to San Francisco this summer please watch this first.

If you need cheering up today, then please watch this.

Monday, 24 May 2010

Eurest caterers let ASDA at Leith down

Perhaps not something many of my current readers would expect me to be blogging about?

However, before my career in politics I worked for Catering & Allied, a contract caterer based in Hounslow, London for nearly 10 years - starting at Cameron, Markby & Hewitt, moving to The Royal Society of Arts and ending up at UBS Warburg.

Once Catering & Allied merged with High Table, I moved on and started as an intern with Chris Huhne, before 3 years with Vince Cable, 2 years with Simon Hughes, 1.5 years with Lynne Featherstone, 1.5 years as London Campaigns Officer and now 2 years as Deputy Director for Scotland.

Anyway, back to my past as a General Manager for Catering & Allied, as Sarah Morris will testify, I can be a pain when going out for food!

Criticising anything from the staff to cleanliness.

Anyway, I decided with a bad head cold to head home at lunch today, but via ASDA's cafe (Leith branch).

I really wish I hadn't because not only did I have to wait ages for food, I was then served the wrong food (I asked for beef olives and got vegetarian sausage) and then got angry about the general cleanliness.

Eurest (part of Compass Catering) have the contract to run the cafe at ASDA Leith which has been open around 18 months now.

Unfortunately most customers will not realise a contract caterer is in charge as ASDA has decided not to advertise that point, which I think is a mistake.

In 18 months Eurest have seen 4 cafe managers come and go and a 5th has just started.

I've met and discussed the situation with John, ASDA's store manager and today with Richard one of the other managers.

What surprises me is that Eurest are not taking this seriously, if my clients ever had a problem, I only ever had hours to get it solved, Eurest seem to have taken 18 months.

If anyone in ASDA is reading this, I'd love to put a tender together to run that cafe (properly).

Today as you can see from the photos was a bad visit - there was an unattended stock trolley in the cafe, a rubbish trolley piled with rubbish bags, dripping fat on the floor, out of date products on the shelves, empty dishes on the hot counter, dried up peas and carrots (in fact the peas could have passed for bullets) counter displays not full, tables not cleared and generally just very grubby and dirty.

This cafe run by Eurest at ASDA Leith should be a goldmine, but it appears that Eurest don't have the right manager or staff to do it justice - or don't really care, which is a great shame.

Friday, 21 May 2010

Peter Mandelson's resignation forces Harriet Harman to reshuffle

Yesterday as the world watched the new Liberal Democrat - Conservative coalition government announce the full details of the coalition agreement, Alex Salmond shouting at Iain Gray or even Annabel Goldie moving deck chairs around there were two quiet resignations.

Lords Peter Mandelson and Andrew Adonis yesterday both quit the Labour shadow cabinet.

On any other day these resignations would have been major news, I have to confess I didn't even notice them despite being on twitter and having my nose in the news websites all day.

What is also surprising is the, quite honestly pathetic, reasons given for them quitting.

Labour said it was "very difficult" to act as a shadow cabinet minister from the House of Lords.


How is it possible to be more difficult now as a shadow minister than when they were the actual cabinet ministers?
When it suited Labour to have the Government Ministers sitting in the House of Lords it seemed to work fine, now it no longer suits them, the shadow ministers jump like rats jumping from a sinking ship.
I am sorry this is more about Peter Mandelson retiring from Labour politics isn't it?  He realises that because of the new politics of the coalition government, Labour are now going to be out in the wilderness for at least a decade and he doesn't want to hang around that long.
I suppose he can look back with pride, this is the third time he has quit front bench politics, however it is the first time it was his own choice though.

Thursday, 20 May 2010

Scottish Conservative reshuffle - hold onto the deck chairs

So, following the Scottish Conservatives returning just one MP at the general election and Bill Aitken announcing his resignation (for next year) Annabel Goldie rushes out to rearrange the deck chairs.

The Scottish Conservatives leader, Annabel Goldie has rushed to rearrange what deckchairs she has left.

The BBC reports;
John Lamont, who failed to win one of the Tories' UK election target seats, is handling justice issues.

Now John Lamont was one of 5 MSPs who chose to ignore the dual mandate issue and their parties and stand as a candidate for Westminster while already being an elected parliamentarian - I personally think this is wrong given the parties all signed up to cleaning up politics.

You can read about the cleaning up of politics including the actual clause (see this post).

The surprise of the reshuffle is the appointment of Gavin Brown MSP as political advisor to Annabel Goldie, now I have never met Gavin so went to his website to read a little about him.

His website is three years and 140 days out of date - it has not been updated since New Years day in 2007.

He claims he is standing for Edinburgh South - which is false, he also claims that the Conservatives are the main challengers in Edinburgh South, also false (it is in fact the Liberal Democrats who hold the Edinburgh South seat) and it was Fred Mackintosh and the Liberal Democrats who started second at the General Election and finished second with the Tories falling even further behind in a very distant third place.

It is hardly reassuring if he is now the political advisor to the leader, poor Annabel Goldie.

Anyway, here is the full Scottish Conservative line-up:
  • Leader: Annabel Goldie
  • Deputy leader and health: Murdo Fraser
  • Justice: John Lamont
  • Finance: Derek Brownlee
  • Education: Liz Smith
  • Rural affairs: John Scott
  • Chief whip and campaign manager: David McLetchie
  • Political adviser to the leader: Gavin Brown

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Child detention at Dungavel finishes under new Lib Dem - Conservative coalition government

So, the Liberal Democrat - Conservative coalition government has stuck to it's word and ended child detention at Dungavel.

Fantastic, and well done Tavish Scott for raising it at First Ministers Question's last Thursday.

This shows what can be achieved when people work together towards a set of objectives.  This was a Liberal Democrat manifesto commitment and unlike the SNP who are now infamous for performing u-turns on their 2007 manifesto commitments we have not performed a u-turn but instead have delivered on that pledge.
Immigration Minister Damian Green said the new policy was being introduced "with immediate effect".
Families with children detained in Scotland may still undergo initial health and welfare screening at Dungavel, in Lanarkshire, but will then be moved to Yarl's Wood in Bedfordhsire.

Last week, Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Tavish Scott described the detention of children at Dungavel as "shameful" and praised the new coalition government's commitment to bringing it to an end.
The Liberal Democrat - Conservative coalition government has already announced the launch of a comprehensive review of alternatives to child detention, including opening a dialogue with relevant stakeholders, organisations and experts across the UK.

This work has now started, because it is in all our interests, including those children who find themselves currently in detention, to do it quickly, but to also do it safely and thoroughly.

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Liberal Democrats on the Government benches

Today, Liberal Democrats sat in the House of Commons but instead of the Oppositions benches as before this time it was on the Government benches as the picture below shows.

I will be honest, upto a few months ago this is a scene I never thought I would ever see in my lifetime, however since Chris Fox's arrival as the new Chief Executive the Party has started to believe a lot more and challenge others views.

We are no longer the third party, we are the Liberal Democrats and we are in Government, although it is a coalition, we are still in a position now to start delivering on our manifesto commitments and ensuring Britain becomes a better place.

Senior Holyrood civil servants threaten Police Chiefs to withold information

Today's Herald newspaper has uncovered a story that key Holyrood civil servants are driving the policing agenda rather than letting the Police do their job.
Scotland’s chief constables have revealed they were urged by senior Holyrood civil servants not to reduce police numbers until this autumn, when a decrease could be blamed on Westminster spending cuts.
This is completely disgraceful and the senior civil servants concerned - Christie Smith, of the policing directorate within the Scottish Government, and Kenneth Hogg, another civil servant should be ashamed of themselves.

If they have acted under orders from SNP Ministers then this story will blow up even more, if they have acted alone then disciplinary action must be taken against them.  Civil servants must realise it is not they who are in charge.

I am completely prepared to accept (for now) that perhaps SNP Ministers were unaware of this, however the extra 1,000 police pledge by the SNP has been dogged with problems from the start.  Unfortunately the SNP don't have a great track record here!
Colin McKerracher, chief constable of Grampian Police and a former president of the Association of Chief Police Officers in Scotland, said he and other chiefs were increasingly concerned by civil servants driving their own agenda.
For the SNP this is somewhat embarrassing, having senior Police Chiefs coming out publicly against senior civil servants who intimated at a meeting to the police that if they didn't hold off reducing police numbers until the Autumn, allowing the civil servants to then blame the Westminster government they would withold the final tranche of a £40million Scottish government funding package.

These civil servants need to remember it is not them in charge of either the police or the Ministers and it is more embarrassing that they feel they can act in this manner without reprimand.

The Police are having to start allowing police officers to leave under natural wastage to balance the books.
Stephen House, Strathclyde’s chief constable, has already warned of a £16m deficit this year and £30m to follow, leading to a predicted 540 civilian job losses.
Following pressure from the Scottish Liberal Democrats today the Justice Minister Kenny MacAskill will make a statement to MSPs in Holyrood tomorrow on the matter of the civial servants.

Sunday, 16 May 2010

Offshore tax havens and football

A great piece in today's Sunday Times about "Top football clubs flee to tax havens".

I've blogged before the disgustingly obscene wages that todays footballers get paid in the top flight.

However, thanks to The Sunday Times we now discover that almost three quarters of the football clubs in the Premiership league are based in offshore tax havens.

Direct from the Sunday Times:

"An examination of filings at Companies House by a chartered accountant found that 14 Premier League clubs, 5 championship clubs, 2 Scottish clubs and Hartlepool, a league one club, are based offshore."
Here are some of the clubs and where they are run from:

Fulham FC - Bermuda
Ipswich Town - Bermuda
Blackburn Rovers - Jersey
Tottenham Hotspur - Bahamas
Sunderland - Jersey
Portsmouth - British Virgin Islands
Manchester United - Nevada

British football clubs are becoming an attractive target for wealthy business owners - although it would be much better if these people retained an interest in sport, specifically football rather than an unhealthy attraction to balance sheets.

Mike Warburton, a senior tax partner at Grant Thornton is quoted as saying: the biggest advantage of going offshore was that it allowed a wealthy owner to pour income that had not been taxed in the UK into British clubs.

My reply would be, and so it would if they paid tax here too!

This discussion then moves onto image rights - a headache in itself.

There are arguments for and against in the article, and it is truly a good read.

Saturday, 15 May 2010

The state of our railways

One of the advantages (or disadvantages) of not being able to drive is the time spent travelling on trains.

One of the advantages of that is the scenery.

As well as the beautiful countryside, with winding streams and rivers, the distant hills and the animals in Spring are the buildings and towns.

Carlisle - a walled City, not unlike York looks a great historic place for a visit when I'm not en route elsewhere.

Lancaster - another city with battlements. Although the thing that most struck me was the disused and derelict mills as you come over the river and the disused platform at the station.

What really strikes me though as the miles rumble on is the sheer damage done by Dr. Beeching all those years ago.

When travelling down to the Borders on the X95 bus you can still see where the railway used to be - something the government will need to tackle and rebuild to give Borderers better prospects again.

But today I have really noticed the volume of disused and abandoned former railway buildings - from signal boxes to maintenance huts.

The old tracks now abandoned that lead nowhere anymore.

Also other changes like solar panels to provide power for signals, a move to modernise the railway, a small but welcome innovation.

Let's hope the new cuddly coalition government puts rail at the heart of its transport policy and recifies these issues!

Pope Benedict condemns same sex marriage as a "dangerous and insidious" challenge to society

Once again the Pope opens his mouth and utter tripe spouts out.

My apologies to any Catholic readers of my blog, but the Pope really does need to engage his brain before putting his mouth in gear (a saying my Mum used to say to me a lot).

At the end of his four day visit to Portugal Pope Benedict XVI addressed the Catholic faithful during the traditional 13th May annual mass at Fatima's Sanctuary.

Addressing the huge crowd at the shrine of Fatima, Pope Benedict said that same sex marriage and abortion were among the
"most insidious and dangerous challenges that today confront the common good."
In his strongly worded attack, Pope Benedict also insisted that marriage should be founded on the "indissoluble" marriage between a man and a woman.

Now, let us see what indissoluble actually means;
1. not dissoluble; incapable of being dissolved, decomposed, undone, or destroyed.
2. firm or stable.
3. perpetually binding or obligatory.

Okay, now I really do see that Pope Benedict has lost the plot, number one alone shows you it is pish as so many marriages collapse, end up in divorce or just fade apart and number two can just as easily apply to a gay relationship as it could a straight relationship.  My partner and I are celebrating our 18th anniversary this year.

So, Pope Benedict, let me tell you what one of the "most insidious and dangerous challenges that today confront the common good" is in my opinion (as you have cared to share yours with all of us), it is paedophiles, paedophiles who prey on defenceless children and organisations such as the Catholic Church who just turn a blind eye and actually assist to cover it up.

When you and your speech writers sat there last week writing your speech for your Portugal visit did you write this speech against abortion and gay people to try and move the agenda from your own problems within the Church and try and create anger amongst Catholics once again, but not aimed at you and your Church but instead at others.

Others who have done nothing wrong.

I am pleased that you and the Vatican have finally started to act against those within your organisation who preyed on children but I urge you to re-think your policies and beliefs about condoms.

Instead of visiting Britain later this year (where I will be protesting at your visit) I urge you to go to Africa instead, go and visit the millions dying of AIDS, look those people in the eye as they lie dying in their beds and try and persuade them to understand why you are against condoms so much?

But you won't will you, why bother when no one will bother to listen to your outdated views.

Pope Benedict's visit to Portugal is somewhat ironic - a law allowing same-sex marriage was passed by parliament in February.  President Anibal Silva, himself a practising Catholic, is expected to sign the bill into law by May 17, just three days after the end of the papal visit.

The ratification by President Silva would make Portugal the sixth country in Europe to allow same-sex marriages after Belgium, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden and Norway.

In Britain, same sex marriage is not legal, but since 2005 homosexual couples have been allowed to enter into civil partnerships, which carry the same rights and responsibilities as marriage.

Thursday, 13 May 2010

The Labour Party and Data Protection

This morning I received a letter from the Labour candidate, John Adams, not from Edinburgh but re-directed from my former home in Dartford, Kent.

Now, given we have just come through a general election this is hardly surprising I hear you shout.

True, however, at the end of this month I have lived in Edinburgh for two years and not only have I been on the electoral register here in Edinburgh North & Leith since June 2008, I was also removed from the Dartford electoral register since June 2008.

So, how have I therefore been selected to receive just one piece of direct mail from John Adams and the Dartford Labour Party?

In fact, it wasn't just any piece of direct mail it was a letter and insert directed at a Liberal Democrat voter.

So, where did they get my details from?

There is only one other database other than the electoral register (which as I said before I had been removed from two years ago) in Dartford that my details existed on.

Howard Stoate, the former Labour MP had communicated with me on various issues but as the MP.

Surely under the Data Protection Act these details should not have been used in the election by another candidate (Howard Stoate had stood down).

I have emailed John Adams, but the auto reply stated that the email addres was no longer in use.

I have therefore today written to Dartford Electoral Registration, Dartford Labour Party and the Information Commissioner - I am just annoyed that the party who governed for thirteen years blatantly flaunt legislation when it suits them.

The coalition agreements between the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats

The coalition agreements between the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats - read it here.

The document linked to above sets out the agreements reached between the joint Conservatives and Liberal Democrats government on a range of issues.

These are the issues that needed to be resolved between the two parties in order for them to work together as a strong and stable government.

It will be followed in due course by a final Coalition Agreement, covering the full range of policy and including foreign, defence and domestic policy issues not covered in the document.

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Adam Boulton gets a dose of his own medicine and doesn't like it

Last weekend we saw Kay Burley interviewing bullying a protestor live on Sky News.

Last night we saw Adam Boulton get very angry with Alistair Campbell for telling him what he thought!

Is this not what Adam Boulton does to politicians and others every day of the week?

My own view on this is this, we have a group of political editors/commentators who have become a little bit to big for their boots and think the show is about them.  I am afraid Adam Boulton is one of those, he like others should take a few lessons from David Dimbleby.

Anyway for now, enjoy Adam Boulton's moment of madness, this was definitely one nil to Alistair Campbell.

Monday, 10 May 2010

Councillor Bailie Gordon Matheson is new leader of Glasgow City Council

While all eyes were on Westminster today watching the outcome of the talks between the Liberal Democrats and the Conservatives and then the resignation speech of Gordon Brown here in Scotland there were political announcements of our own.

Councillor Bailie Matheson, of Anderston/City ward in Glasgow has been a Councillor since 1999.

He was elected as the new leader of Glasgow City Council following the shock resignation of the former disgraced leader Steven Purcell back at the beginning of March who initially claimed he was standing down because of stress, then admitted it was cocaine use.

Councillor Matheson was voted in as leader at a meeting of Labour group members this morning. Councillor Archie Graham will be his depute.

Councillor Matheson takes over from interim leader Jim Coleman.

He has previously held the positions of City Treasurer and Executive Member for Education.

Jack Frew RIP

It now appears that Craig Roy has been arrested and charged with the murder of Jack Frew.

STV are reporting it - Teenager in court over East Kilbride death as are the BBC - Youth charged with murder of East Kilbride schoolboy.

Obviously we do not know any further details other than Craig Roy, 17, of East Kilbride, appeared at Hamilton Court and was charged with murder.  He made no plea or declaration and was remanded in custody.
Any pupils of Duncanrig Secondary School who wish access to counselling should contact their guidance teachers by telephone to make arrangements.

The headteacher of Duncanrig Secondary School has said:
As a community we are greatly shocked and saddened by Jack's tragic death. Teachers, school support staff and colleagues from SLC have been providing support to pupils as they try to come to terms with the news.

Jack was a popular senior pupil who was widely engaged in all aspects of school life, something which brought him many, varied, loyal friends. He was also a pupil whose personal qualities earned him the respect of both pupils and staff.

Jack was a committed and conscientious young man on the brink of a bright future, with many opportunities open to him.

He is a great loss to our school community. We grieve for him and his family who are in our thoughts as they come to terms with the loss of their son and brother.
For friends of Jack Frew's, you may not know about this link where you can post your online tributes for Jack -

Sunday, 9 May 2010

Jack Frew - murdered in cold blood for being gay?

As I sat and read the story of 16 year old Jack Frew being murdered, possibly for being gay I thought back to 1998 when the news of Matthew Shepard's murder broke.

Matthew Shepard was robbed, pistol whipped, tortured, tied to a fence in a remote, rural area, and left to die. Still tied to the fence, Shepard was discovered 18 hours later by Aaron Kreifels, who initially mistook Shepard for a scarecrow.

Although that awful murder was nearly twelve years ago and was in America it appears we have not grown up as a society anymore than the Americans.

Last week in East Kilbride, Jack Frew and a friend Craig Roy were walking home when it appears they were set upon by a gang and Jack was murdered - the gang had slit his throat like the cowards they are.

Now, his friend Craig is still in hospital, I like many others wish him a speedy and full recovery.  Craig will need a lot of love and support over the coming days, weeks, months and even years from those around him.

It utterley sickens me that this kind of needless attack and murder has taken place, Jack Frew had his life ahead of him and by the sounds of the reports and comments from friends about him it should have been a healthy and bright future.

Jack Frew was comfortable in his life and with his sexuality, just because other peoples were not, he has now lost his lfe.

The headteacher of Duncanrig Secondary school has paid tribute to Jack Frew:
"He was also a pupil whose personal qualities earned him the respect of both pupils and staff. Jack was a committed and conscientious young man on the brink of a bright future, with many opportunities open to him.  He is a great loss to our school community. We grieve for him and his family who are in our thoughts as they come to terms with the loss of their son and brother."
Whether Jack is gay is irrelevant they must, must find these cowards who attacked Jack and Craig, and then went on to murder Jack in cold blood.

These murderers must be brought to justice and quickly.

UPDATE: 20.13 May 9th
For friends of Jack Frew's, you may not know about this link for your online tributes.

I recall being bullied at my secondary school, Rushcliffe Comprehensive in West Bridgford about my sexuality, my response was to push one through a plate glass window, much to the shock of the sixth formers the other side.

I was also pursued by another bully for many a year, I used to get beat up fairly regularly by him, but never knew why, I always suspected it was because I was gay.

Sky News Kay Burley - reporter, presenter, journalist or bully?

With my mood and feelings being a little flat today I had only been on Twitter via my Blackberry and had only heard about Sky News presenters Kay Burley interview with one of the Smith Square protestors.

Many thanks to Cat Turner for recently putting up the link so I could sit and watch it.

I am not flat any more, I am now very angry after watching this video of Sky News Kay Burley interviewing shouting at bullying one of the protestors.

It was not an interview, it was not investigative journalism, it was an unprofessional presenter trying to be something she shouldn't be - a bully.

So, if like me you are annoyed with this treatment of a protestor then you should contact the following people and tell them what you think of Kay Burley's interview today;

Charlotte Reed - Publicist, Sky News - Email:

Francoise Frost - Assistant Publicist, Sky News - Email:

Anna Bifield - Acting Publicity Manager, Sky News - Email:

Stella Tooth - Head of Publicity, Sky News - Email:

Thursday, 6 May 2010

Conservatives miss out parts of Scotland

The Conservatives don't seem to know their geography so well. 

Apparently "We're all in this together" unless you live in Orkney or Shetland it appears.

So, not entirely together.......

Sunday, 2 May 2010

Conservatives to freeze pay of public sector workers on £18,000+

One of the Conservative manifesto pledges is to freeze the pay of all public sector workers who earn £18,000 and above.

Yes, that's right every nurse, police officer and fire-fighter across the UK will be hit hard in the pocket by David Cameron's party should they win on Thursday.

The Conservatives’ pay freeze plans will hit 43,575 nurses, 4,107 fire-fighters and 14,548 police officers across Scotland.

These people, care for our sick relatives, keep our streets safe and protect our children from danger – often at real risk to themselves.  They have dedicated their careers to helping others by working in our frontline public services. 

Our families and local communities owe them a debt of gratitude - but David Cameron and the Conservatives are targeting their wages to fund tax cuts for millionaires.

So, when a Conservative canvasser knocks on your door, ask them why they are penalising our nurses, police officers and fire-fighters?

Zennor - my spoilt pussy cat

Never let it be said I'm not a softie!

Saturday, 1 May 2010

The Reeves review of the stat porn for April 2010

So, continuing my monthly stat porn, the monthly summary of my visitor stats according to google analytics is as below for April 2010.

The busiest day on my blog last month was in fact Thursday 29th April and the story was about Labour's Twitter Czar breaching election law by tweeting postal vote results.

Last month I had 3,436 absolute unique visitors, well up from 2,702 last month. They made 4,666 visits and 6,070 page views.

So, my top 10 referring sites for the last month (with previous position in brackets) were;
1. Twitter (2)
2. Lib Dem Voice (5)
3. Facebook (1)
5. Lib Dem Blogs (4)
6. Blogger (7)
7. SNP Tactical Voting (3)
8. (New Entry)
9. (New Entry)
10. (9)

Last month I wrote 27 blog posts.

The top 10 stories by direct page views that you've read most were;

1. Tut tut - Kerry McCarthy breaches election law on Twitter
2. Labour candidate in Moray, Stuart MacLennan in Twitter ranting shame 3. Cameron's Glasgow South West candidate, Heather MacLeod quits over party’s ‘nest of vipers’
4. Aberdeen South Conservative candidate Mark Jones quits
5. Not a good day for the Conservatives - one former candidate endorses the Liberal Democrats as one candidate is suspended
6. Banksy and the Liberal Democrats
7. Conservative Chris Grayling MP in homophobic comments interview
8. Was the YouGov poll fair last night after the Sky Prime Ministerial debate?
9. STOP - put the chicken sandwich down, move away, it could turn you gay!
10. Breaking News: Stuart MacLennan sacked by Labour

So this month's mixed bag is about Chris Walker returns to endorse Michael Moore, Labour & Tory resigning candidates, Twitter cock-ups, Banksy, YouGov and fairness and don't eat chicken as it will turn you gay!

The visitors to my little blog came from 52 countries this month, up from 45 last time, the top ten were as follows;

1. United Kingdom (1)
2. United States (2)
3. Canada (3)
4. Ireland (6)
5. Netherlands (7)
6. Germany (4)
=7. Australia (8)
=7. Belgium (8)
9. France (5)
10. India (10)

Cleggmania in pictures

Here is a great photo of Cleggmania in action with media scrum in tow as well.

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