Reevesey's recommended reading

Friday, 30 January 2009

SNP scaremongering is an outrage

It has really wound me up today - the scaremongering by the SNP and its spin doctors.

Claims such as council tax rises, 35,000 job losses and cuts in services have been peddled across the web, tv and in print by the Gnats (SNP - you see, I've gone native) because they didn't get the budget through first time round.

Such outrageous claims to scare members of the public - such low politics - but hey what else do we expect from a party that has performed so many u-turns on their 2007 manifesto pledges?

Shame on wee Eck (Alex Salmond for my English readers) and his team!

Then we have his puppets, aka the Conservatives who just dance to his tune.

They even joined the SNP yesterday in a vote to privatise Scotland's Forests by the back door - and when the vote was won, by just one vote, wee Eck did a little jig in the Chamber.

So a vote for the Scottish Conservatives is actually a vote for the SNP, I'm not sure that's what voters expected!

Thursday, 29 January 2009

Jeremy Purvis MSP explains why the Scottish Lib Dems rejected the SNP budget

Wednesday, 28 January 2009

Iain Dale's Diary: BBC Gaffe: Cable is LibDem Leader!#links

Iain Dale's Diary: BBC Gaffe: Cable is LibDem Leader!#links

lol - the BBC makes a gaffe and apologies to Nick Clegg but you have to see the funny side of this one

Holyrood Budget Drama

So, the SNP Government - sorry, the SNP propped up by the Tories Government - has failed to get it's budget through Holyrood today.

The Lib Dems have (consistently) warned the SNP that this Budget was an inadequate response to the economic situation currently facing facing Scotland and it's residents.

Today we did see the Labour and Green Party MSPs voting against the budget, despite attacking us two weeks ago for doing the very same thing, however we welcome the fact that they have now seen sense and it is one u-turn I welcome.

I recognise it is important for a Scottish Budget to be passed - however it is more important that the Budget is the right one for our times. It is the duty of Ministers to come back to Parliament with a Budget that can make a real difference to Scotland.

Gordon Brown's VAT cut was just a waste of space but also, let's take this back further to when Vince Cable MP was predicting these turbulent times and even then both Labour and the Conservatives across the UK just dismissed his comments and views - yet now all economic commentators are saying we should have listened to Vince and the Lib Dems.

Let's be clear. This is not the West Wing. There is no immediate threat to public services. The current year's Budget continues to operate and can sustain public services indefinitely. But, evidently, it is a matter that is better sorted sooner rather than later.

These are unprecedented times. Unemployment is at its highest level for 12 years; job losses are escalating; Government borrowing is at record levels; the pound is at a 25-year low against the dollar and approaching parity with the Euro; and today's shocking Scottish GDP figures should ring alarm bells very loudly in the Salmond & Swinney offices.

Yet the SNP budget put to the Scottish Parliament for consideration today was only one per cent different from their original Budget of 2007. A variation of one per cent forms the weakest response of any Western European Government, national or devolved, to the economic difficulties we face in 2009.

The SNP budget, supported by the Conservatives, was woefully inadequate and the Liberal Democrat MSPs simply could not support measures that do not respond to the ferocity of the economic storm. We have repeatedly proposed a 2p income tax cut that would put £330 in the pockets of every low and medium earner in Scotland. It would be a real help to struggling families and individuals when they need it most.

Today, an economic analysis from the Scottish Parliament Information Centre shows that our income tax proposal would support 9,200 direct and indirect jobs.

Remember what the Scotsman also wrote recently: "The only serious budget proposal to boost the economy is a 2p income tax cut put forward by the Lib Dems".

We aren't being awkward or just opposing for the sake of it, this is about standing up for the people of Scotland and putting money into their pocket so they spend more moving the economy onwards and upwards.

Monday, 26 January 2009

Traing station moaning - part 2

Not Peterborough this time, Aberdeen Stations Lemon Tree is my moan.

The young guy behind the counter was clean, well dressed but hadn't heard (and if he had he didn't know how to use them) of please or thank you.

He served one lady then before she had managed to move shouted "next" so the young girl in front of me, who was clearly showing more bottom than I wanted to see tried to say what she wanted but the person in front was still trying to move.

And I didn't stand a chance when she moved and it was my turn as he was transfixed by the part of the bottom hanging out.

He couldn't make a latte if his life depended on it and put his hand in the cup to fetch it off the machine.

Where is the hygiene and manners?

As I said at the weekend - it were different back in my day!

Friday, 23 January 2009

Peterborough Rail Station

Twenty years ago I started working at Peterborough Station as the Senior Supervisor for British Rail Catering.

Back then we had a small newsagents run by Ursula, a cafe bar on platform 4, Upper Crust on platform 2 plus the main cafe/bar also on platform 2.

I remember Hazel the Asst Manager who lived in Wisbeach, Craig the Deputy Manager - Hazel and I disliked Craig as he was on our graduate fast track management scheme - and Liz the General Manager, there were lots of other staff but that was the management team.

The main cafe was open 24hours and I spent my 21st birthday doing nights.

Back then Brother Beyond was in the charts and the weekend for my 21st I went to Blackpool with my best mates Richard and Andy - I won't go into lots of details but I got drunk, that's all you need to know :-)

Today is my 3rd weekend at Wyboston and I cannot belive how dirty the catering outlets are and how rude the staff are, I bet it doesn't take the money me and Hazel used to take on an early shift with the lady who worked nights (I can't remember her name) we were ace - a customer walked in and by the time they got to the till their drink was ready because we knew them, we chatted to them we were part of their daily commute and we made them laugh.

The company know doesn't seem to give a toss about anything other than money and yet it they treated the staff and customers right, they'd make much more money.

Lesson of the day - speculate to accumulate.

Sainsbury's - shame or praise?

My supermarket bashing moves from ASDA to Sainsbury's this week.

How many of you knew that each week Sainsbury's sent 42 tonnes of food to landfill?

And if I have read the report and the article in yesterday's Metro correctly that is just in Scotland! Imagine how much more horrendous that figure is if you count the whole of the UK?

Now, I know they are now proposing to send this waste to a biomass plant to turn it into electricity instead which possibly could power 21,000 homes - although it doesn't actually state how long it will power those homes for - and this is admirable, my point is this;

Why are they overproducing so much food every single week that they need to throw away 42 tonnes?

I am sorry, but in this day and age when so many people are still living in poverty in our own country some of this surely could go to homeless people, shelters, hospitals etc etc

Sainsbury's could move the food before it goes out of date or don't produce so much in the first place, this story is not a good news one for Sainsbury's, it is one that shouts bad management, bad stock rotation and over production - shame on you Sainsbury's!

Thursday, 22 January 2009

Tavish TV - Save our forests

Tories in financial crisis

Bury St Edmunds Conservative Association isn't having a good day today.

Apparently, according to the local newspaper the East Anglian Daily Times "During a recent meeting with lawyers, Bury St Edmunds Conservative Association was told its debts currently amounted to £130,000."

£130,000 - ouch, that is a lot of money, especially given it is an election year!

The East Anglian Daily Times goes on to say "Mr Flack, who was chairman of the association when the debts were incurred, said: “If I face legal claims which cannot be fully covered from the fund I have been advised that I need to serve contribution notices on everyone on the list so that they bear a proportionate share of their responsibility.”"

"“It is likely some councillors will resign from the party in protest.

“This could damage membership of the Conservative Party on a big scale in the whole country if all members found out they could end up paying their association's debts simply because they went to some meetings.''"

Read the full article here. Well done to the East Anglian Daily Times.

Lib Dem MPs make the difference

After only days of campaigning and pressure from people all over the UK and Liberal Democrat (and Conservative) MPs the Government, who are wildly out of touch with real people, have shelved their plans to exempt MPs expenses from the Freedom of Information Act.

Liberal Democrat Federal Leader, Nick Clegg said: "The Liberal Democrats are totally opposed to any Government move to allow MPs to avoid being subject to Freedom of Information requests.

"At a time when families are having to count every penny, it is outrageous that MPs are seeking to hide how they spend their money."

You can read the Nick Clegg's full statement here.

Today, the MPs will still vote on their expenses, but this is more about the auditing process and whether to have 26 headings rather than the current 9.

Well done to MySociety and Unlock Democracy for running a great campaign on Facebook, common sense won in the end but would it have done without this group and the Lib Dem & Tory MPs?

Tuesday, 20 January 2009

MPs Expenses - or Freedom of Information (Parliament) Order 2009

Why oh why do some MPs think their expenses should not be subject to public scrutiny?

So, party politics aside (I am a Liberal Democrat) - top marks to Jo Swinson MP for Tabling a Parliamentary Motion on this, it is EDM 492.

I am encouraging all my readers to write to their MP urging them to sign this EDM and you can do this so easily by using this website - write to their MP is a great free to use and easy service.

I have today written to my MP, who has yet to sign it, as he is part of the Government I am not optimistic he will do so.

Ministers are planning to keep MPs expenses hidden from view, why? What are they scared of?

Why should it be one rule for MPs and another for everyone else.

write to your MP today urging them to sign the EDM.

Sunday, 18 January 2009

On this day in

1963 - Labour leader Hugh Gaitskell died after a deterioration in his heart condition.

1967 -
The Boston Strangler (Albert DeSalvo), is given a life sentence for assault and armed robbery.

1972 -
Rhodesia's former leader, Garfield Todd and his daughter, Judith, were arrested.

1981 - Nine people were killed in a New Cross (London) House fire.

1991 - Iraqi Scud missiles hit Israel in Gulf War.

2009 - Tony Hart dies at the age of 83. A sad day, I remember as a kid Morph, liv
ing in his pencil box. RIP Tony Hart.

Tavish Scott will accept the Holyrood Probe findings

Of course he will, he accepts Parliament's authority.

Yet again the story of Alex Salmond misleading Parliament on the funding of the Scottish Inter-Faith Council rears it's head on the BBC News website.

Let us wait and see.

Friday, 16 January 2009

Football loses the plot

Okay, Premiership footballers get paid stonking amounts but all this fuss surrounding Kaka is just crazy.

Have AC Milan, Manchester City and Sheikh Mansour not realised there is a recession and major economic crisis going on at the moment?

It is reported that Manchester City have offered £107million for Kaka, plus, yes PLUS a further £31million for his representatives!

His salary is then being reported as £500,000 per week which equates to £2,976 per hour!

No one, and I mean no one should be paid that and no one is worth that.

Tavish Scott attacks wee Eck for misleading Parliament

Today is a great day for Tavish Scott, Leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats in the media because his principled stand against the First Minister, Alex Salmond has now been proven right.

It appears wee Eck wasn't entirely honest in First Ministers Questions on Wednesday 7th January when answering Tavish Scott about the funding of the Inter Faith Council.

The story is carried on the front pages of many of the national newspapers today - The Scotsman, The Daily Telegraph and The Times are the three I have read so far (plus an apology from Alan Cochrane in The Daily Telegraph). The story is also carried on the BBC News website and in The Sun, Daily Record, to name just a few.

Enjoy your reading.......

I've also bought a piece of land by Heathrow

Greenpeace have bought a plot of land right by where the proposed third runway would be at Heathrow. They are splitting this piece of land between 'beneficiary owners' who don't have to pay anything but will be signing up to show support.

I've signed up - as have Susan Kramer MP, Jo Swinson MP, Lynne Featherstone MP, Sandra Gidley MP and Simon Hughes MP - as have thousands of others.

So if you're interested and want to help stop Gordon Brown's Government embarking on this absolutely stupid decision to build a 3rd runway at Heathrow, visit the Greenpeace site.

I worked in Twickenham for Vince Cable for three years so I know first hand what damage this expansion would do, not just all the obvious environmental arguments, but the increased traffic - the local roads hardly cope now and the increased noise.

I recall the days when Concord used to land and take off, not only could you set your clock by it but the windows rattled and your ears knew about it, now I know that the planes used today aren't as loud as that, but what impact does the constant noise of planes landing and taking off have on the average person who lives within a few miles of Heathrow like my friends and residents in places like Twickenham?

Thursday, 15 January 2009

Tavish Scott on Alex Salmond

Wednesday, 14 January 2009

Scotland needs a Budget that responds to the economic storm

Today the Liberal Democrats voted against the SNP Budget. We did so after careful consideration, as this is a very serious issue affecting Scotland.

The SNP Government's Budget is only one per cent different in the choices it makes from the figures published in the Spending Review of October 2007. That was well before what Finance Secretary John Swinney has described as an "economic storm" engulfed Scotland. A variation of one per cent forms the weakest response of any Western European Government, national or devolved, to the economic difficulties we face in 2009.

We believe that the economic downturn, unprecedented since the Scottish Parliament was established, requires a distinct Scottish approach. To address the collapse of consumer confidence and the real hardship being faced we argued for a two pence reduction in income tax. This would have put £330 in the pockets of every typical low and medium earner in Scotland. It
would have been a real help to struggling families and individuals when they need it most.

Vince Cable has put forward proposals at a UK level to bring Income Tax down to the lowest levels of modern times. He was also the first person to call for dramatic reductions in interest rates to be part of the radical action needed to stave off the worst effects of recession. He was prepared to say that Labour's VAT reduction was simply not going to work to restore consumer
and business confidence. That has turned out to be the case.

Nick Clegg argues in the Scotsman today that Britain needs "big, permanent and fair tax cuts" to address the failure of Gordon Brown and the Labour Party to address social inequality in their ten years in power.

Liberal Democrats know that we need more support for our economy. Other choices the SNP have made over the last year are not helping. The SNP have slashed the budgets for Highland and Islands Enterprise, abolished Local Enterprise Companies, provided a real terms cuts in Universities' budgets for the first time since 1999. All this harms the ability for our economy
to recover when the credit crunch begins to turn. We are very concerned that the downturn in Scotland may be deeper and longer as a result of these actions and a business-as-usual budget.

The Conservatives' response has been extraordinarily weak. They call for more action from the Government outside the Chamber in local areas. But as far as the economy is concerned they are not just the "do nothing party" in Scotland, they are the "don't even try" party.

I am proud to be a Liberal Democrat, and I am proud that Tavish Scott and the MSP team have taken a principled stance on this matter.

Saving Scotland's Forests - the fight goes on

The campaign to stop the SNP selling off the family silver, Scotland's forests continues at a pace.

In todays Scotsman, Jim Hume MSP argues on behalf of the forests, the heritage and the hundreds of Scottish jobs that will be at risk if the SNP go ahead.

The thought of the SNP Government contemplating cutting jobs during this economic crisis is a strange way of boosting the economy.

How on earth the SNP Government can be contemplating this idea is beyond me, but they are and Mike Russell MSP is defending it in the Scotsman.

If you want to see if your local woodlands or forests are possibly affected then check out the list here.

Monday, 12 January 2009

Billy no mates Ken Livingstone

How sad is Ken Livingstone?

Ken, the elections were last year, I have got over the fact that my campaign resulted in Brian Paddick in third place and you in second. But, come on having your own silly opening ceremony three days before the official one is hardly grown up now is it?

The quote below is from Andrew Gilligan's excelent column in tonights Evening Standard.

"On Saturday, in his new role as the sorest loser in the history of the world, Ken staged his own separate, unofficial, ex-mayors-only DLR opening ceremony at Woolwich, two days before Boris's. How stratospherically sad is that?"

Sunday, 11 January 2009

Tut tut Alex Salmond!

Tavish Scott, Leader of the Liberal Democrats in Scotland, has demanded the First Minister make a public apology for misleading the Scottish Parliament.

Although progress has been made today, Mr Scott has learned that the funding situation at the Scottish Inter Faith Council had not been resolved yesterday, contrary to the answer given during First Minister's Questions. 
Senior representatives from the SIFC are due to meet civil servants on Tuesday to finalise the funding application.

An email from Major Alan Dixon, convenor of the Scottish Inter Faith Council makes it plain that the matter was not resolved.

Commenting, Mr Scott said:

"Although I am sure that the First Minister did not deliberately mislead Parliament, this is now a very serious situation.

"The First Minister told the Scottish Parliament that the funding crisis at SIFC had been 'resolved'. 

We now know this not to be the case.

"At the time that the First Minister was brushing off my questions about staff redundancies at the Council, no satisfactory resolution had been secured.

"Leading figures at the Council have made it clear that funding negotiations are ongoing and that they expect a satisfactory resolution early next week.  The First Minister needs to make a public apology to staff at the SIFC and to the Parliament to clear up this matter.

"Our most senior Scottish Minister cannot be allowed to mislead the public and the Parliament in this way."

You can read the full press release at

Friday, 9 January 2009

Labour plans pact to elect Sir Menzies as Speaker

That's the headline in todays Times.

There are indications, apparently that the current Speaker, Michael Martin is to stand down within months and rather than have a Tory Speaker it appears Labour want a Lib Dem one (as they really dare not nominate a Labour one).

Hurrah for the Lib Dems.

Well, I've certainly never rated Michael Martin, he just doesn't have that presence that previous speakers have had and when he shouts "Order" no one listens.

When he walks into a room, no one notices, and then there's the Damian Green incident where he acted appallingly.

So, who next?

Alan Beith is another contender, but to be honest I do feel Sir Menzies would be fantastic.

However, its a secret ballot for the MPs but last time round some heavyweight Tories backed Sir Menzies but would they this time if it was Sir Menzies up against one of their own?

Time will tell.

Thursday, 8 January 2009

SNP U-Turn over Parkhead Fire Station

Back in July last year I was in Glasgow East fighting the by-election for the Lib Dems.

We were advised by the Fire Brigades Union, as were all the four main parties that Strathclyde Fire Board and Brigade were considering closing Parkhead Fire Station.

We ran the story alerting the public to this outrageous closure, our fantastic candidate Ian Robertson publicly challenged all of the candidates to back the campaign - we were met with deafening silence.

So, today imagine my surprise when this story appeared in todays Glasgow Evening Times - where an SNP MSP has decided to back the campaign now its reared its ugly head again.

Where were you back in July, Sandra White?

Glasgow Lib Dem MSP, Robert Brown was there leading from the front with Party Leader Tavish Scott and Ian Robertson.

It was also fantastic that the Evening Times plugged our petition "The Libdems have an online petition at: "

Let us save Parkhead Fire Station from closure!

Tuesday, 6 January 2009

Recycling Christmas Cards - yes it matters!

Did you know that last year, only 7% of all Christmas cards were recycled in the United Kingdom?

Shameful really. Although I do wonder if that takes into account all those that would have gone into recyling boxes and bins operated by local authorities around the UK?

Anyway, this year it is key that we all do our bit.

Did you know that if each person in the UK recycles just ONE Christmas card, the Woodland Trust would be able to plant 15,000 trees - that is just amazing. Well the Reeves household will be recycling just over 60 cards (counting the two that only arrived yesterday) this year.

This year once all the cards have been recycled the Woodland Trust will be planting trees in five sites around the UK , here in Scotland it will be at a site called Milton, next to the Trust's Glen Finglas Estate.

It is estimated that over one billion Christmas cards will have been sent in 2008, so lets help the Woodland Trust get those trees and take your cards to WHSmith, Tesco, TK Maxx or Marks & Spencer to be recycled.

Saturday, 3 January 2009

The tide is out

What a beautiful view as the tide ebbs into Newhaven Harbour.

In the picture you can see the old lighthouse, now disused, in fact it now has coloured lights at night!

But, the small domed tower to the right is in fact the original lighthouse!

Friday, 2 January 2009

Celebrity Big Brother

Tommy Sheridan - oh come on.

Why on earth do politicians do it?, I know there were rumours that our very own Lib Dem Lembit Opik was asked - if its true then Lembit I thank you for not going on.

Although when you look at this years participants, surely it should have been called "once a minor sort of well known person Big Brother".

Well, this will be three weeks of boredom

Thursday, 1 January 2009

My 2008

Wow - what a year that was!

Career wise, 2008 definitely had its ups and downs. Those who work closely with me know what the main issue was for me in 2008 :-)

2008 started with the commencement of the London GLA and Mayoral campaigns with Brian Paddick as the London Liberal Democrats Mayoral candidate and an array of candidates across London for the GLA Constituency and List.

The election campaign pushed me to the limits on many levels, I learnt a tremendous amount and it made me view some things both politically and career wise slightly differently.

The result was a little hard to swallow, especially with only returning a team of three to the London Assembly. Caroline Pidgeon, Dee Doocey and Mike Tuffrey are the Lib Dems group in the GLA.

Nobody should underestimate the Liberal Democrats in London because of this campaign. In all Council by-elections last year the Conservatives averaged 36%, Lib Dems 29% and Labour 25%.

We were and still are outpolling the Party that is the National Government!

During the London campaign the Party advertised the post of Deputy Director of Campaigns for Scotland, after a discussion with my partner we both decided I should apply, so during a very busy and stressful time at work I put together my CV and also went to the Scottish Liberal Democrats Spring conference in Aviemore.

I got the job - hurrah, but really couldn't think much about it as we still had polling day to get through!

I eventgually got through the London campaign and then had to start planning a move to Edinburgh. I moved up first on Friday 30th May and on the Saturday morning was out delivering leaflets in Dunfermline with Willie Rennie MP, Elspeth Finlay and Caron Lindsay.

Roger arrived in August with Zennor, I had gone down to help them move up on the train. We were both really worried about Zen especially as once in her cage she gets stressed out. In the taxi to Kings Cross Station she was bad, but once we arrived at the station and then got on the train and all the way to Edinburgh she was an absolute angel.

Since we moved here we have had to move and now have a lovely flat in Western Harbour.

I have had a baptism of fire since my arrival with two Parliamentary by-elections, first in Glasgow East where our candidate Ian Robertson was brilliant - a star of the future - and the second in Glenrothes with our candidate Harry Wills. My sincere thanks both to Ian and Harry and the fantastic teams who helped me through those four months!

Since then I have had time to concentrate on our Euro 2009 campaign and also start to enjoy this beautiful country that is now our home.

Happy New Year!
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