Reevesey's recommended reading

Sunday, 31 October 2010

Edinburgh Capitals vs Sheffield Steelers at Murrayfield Ice Rink

Yesterday was the first of two games of ice hockey to take place this weekend at the Murrayfield Ice Rink in Edinburgh, the home rink to the Edinburgh Capitals.

It was a fantastic end to end game and given the difference in league placings the Edinburgh Capitals held on extremely well until the final whistle.

There was then the obligatory 5 minutes of extra time, where once again the Edinburgh Capitals held their own.

The Sheffield Steelers finally won in the shoot out and the game finished Sheffield Steelers 4 - Edinburgh Capitals 3.

The two teams face each other once again this evening at Murrayfield ice rink, with face off at 6pm both teams are on twitter - Edinburgh Capitals and Sheffield Steelers.

My usual seat had been pinched by a group of Steelers fans, but I did get chatting to some of them and their story is a real embarrassment especially for the Edinburgh Tourist Information Service.

They arrived into Edinburgh yesterday lunchtime and after spending some time sightseeing and shopping they went to the Tourist Information Office to enquire where the ice hockey stadium was and were told there wasn't one in Edinburgh!

The Sheffield fans then asked about the ice hockey team and were told Edinburgh didn't have an ice hockey team!

Come on Edinburgh Tourist Information Office - get with the programme.

Saturday, 30 October 2010

Labour's Harriet Harman and the Highland ginger rodent, Danny Alexander

Labour's Scottish conference in Oban seemed to be going so well until the new Labour new generation same old Party's Deputy Leader, Harriet Harman MP called Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Danny Alexander a "ginger rodent".

"Now, many of us in the Labour Party are conservationists - and we all love the red squirrel," Ms Harman said.

Danny Alexander is a Lib Dem MP in the north of Scotland "But there is one ginger rodent which we never want to see again - Danny Alexander."
Labour's former Equalities Minister, Harriet Harman went on to attack Mr Alexander's other party colleagues north of the border, telling delegates:
"There's something deeply unnatural that's happened in Scotland.

"Without asking anyone in Scotland, the government has been carrying out a programme of genetic modification - political genetic modification.

"This mutation has contaminated every Lib Dem councillor, it's affected every Lib Dem MP and Lib Dem MSP.

"They've all mutated into something alien to Scotland - Tories."
It is a little bit rich for Harriet to name call and get involved in this childish kind of playground politics, however, she is the Deputy Leader of a Party that has saddled us with a daily payment of £120million just in interest on the amount they borrowed!
Danny Alexander is an excellent MP and is proud of his roots - both hair and where he represents - and had the last laugh just moments before Harriet Harman was forced to apologise after a public backlash.

Danny Alexander tweeted;
I am proud to be ginger and rodents do valuable work cleaning up mess others leave behind. Red squirrel deserves to survive, unlike Labour

Anyway, although the BBC are now saying Harriet Harman has apologised, it is only via a spokeswoman it appears, so hardly sincere is it?

A spokeswoman for Ms Harman said later:
"Harriet Harman has today apologised for her comment about Danny Alexander and says it was wrong."

The reason this angered me, was two fold, one I think childish name calling like this is exactly how playground bullying starts - believe me, I received enough of it to know first hand.  I cannot understand given her former job as equalities minister how she fell into that trap?

Secondly, this is the kind of politics that turns the public off, but it does just show that Labour are not above it and actually enjoy it.  The Labour Party are still out of touch with public opinion, perhaps they should take a break and return when they have grown up.

While the Labour Party participate in childish playground antics it is the Scottish Liberal Democrats led by Tavish Scott, who are fighting for Scottish jobs, reforming public services and wanting to restore the excellence back to Scottish Education.

Prostitution and Glasgow City Council - End the DEMAND

Last week I was in the Glasgow City Chambers for a meeting and as I signed out I noticed a stack of postcards and pin badges.

The postcards were for END PROSTITUTION NOW although I do applaud Glasgow City Council for running this campaign, I was somewhat disappointed that it mainly targets the men using female prostitutes.

Male prostitutes, as is male rape are topics very rarely covered either in the media or by Governments.  This campaign gives just one line of text to male prostitutes.

Anyway, I digress.

End Prostitution Now is a campaign led by Glasgow City Council which aims to raise awareness of the harm caused through prostitution and put the focus on the buyers of sex - the DEMAND - who have in the past been invisible from public debate.
We believe that it is the demand which fuels the sex industry in Glasgow and, only by targeting this demand and challenging attitudes towards buying sex, will we be able to put a stop to this harmful activity which blights cities and towns across Scotland.

Prostitution is not a choice.

The only choice in prostitution is that of the buyer, who decides when, where and how he will buy sex. For this reason we believe that legislation which criminalises the purchaser of sexual services is needed. Credible legislation is vital in order to send the message that people are not and should not be for sale.
There are many myths about prostitution, I have selected four from the END PROSTITUTION NOW website, but please do read the myths and facts page and then download the three page handout.

Myth: Women choose to get involved in prostitution

Fact: Most women become involved in prostitution because of lack of choice and many are groomed, pressured and/or coerced by pimps or traffickers. It is well documented that a majority of women in prostitution are poor, homeless and have already suffered violence and abuse throughout their life.

70% of those involved in street prostitution have a history of local authority care and 45% report experiencing sexual abuse during their childhoods (Home Office 2006). Many enter prostitution before age 18. Once in prostitution, 9 out 10 surveyed women would like to exit but feel unable to do so (Farley et al, 2003). It is the men who buy sex who are exercising free choice, and it is this “choice” to purchase vulnerable women and girls that maintains prostitution and fuels trafficking for sexual exploitation.

Myth: Prostitution is just sex

Fact: Prostitution is not about sex. It is about exploitation, violence and abuse. More than half of UK women in prostitution have been raped and/or seriously assaulted at the hands of pimps and punters (Home Office 2004). Up to 95% of women in street prostitution are intravenous drug users (Home Office 2004); and 68% meet the criteria for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (Ramsay, Retal, 1993).

“I would numb my feelings. I wouldn’t even feel like I was in my body…

I don’t know how else to explain it……it was rape to me” (In Farley, 2003)

Myth: Only women sell sex

Fact: While the overwhelming majority of those who sell sex are female, it must be acknowledged that there is also a hidden population of men who sell sex and experience many of the same issues of exploitation and abuse. The problems of poverty, addiction, homelessness, grooming by a pimp continue to be the routes into prostitution for men who sell sex and similarly to women sellers of sex there is a clear lack of choice. It is the circumstances combined with the demand for sex which have forced the individual into prostitution. What is clear, however, is that those who buy sex, either from men or women, are predominantly male.

Myth: Criminalising the purchase of sex drives prostitution underground

Fact: The nature of the sex industry is that it is underground and it is very difficult to scope or quantify. However, prostitution can never truly exist “underground” – if punters can those selling sex, so can the Police and those offering services to help exit prostitution. Criminalising the purchase of sex and offering support services to people in prostitution is the only viable way to work towards an end to this exploitative industry. In Sweden, where they have criminalised the buying of sexual acts, there has been a significant reduction in trafficking and prostitution with a halt in recruitment of new women (Baklinski, 2007).

Sweden is no longer an attractive market for traffickers and pimps – the law clearly works as a deterrent.

Please do sign up as a supporter and if you live in Scotland use the very easy to use email system to lobby your MSPs so that together we can sort this problem out.

Monday, 25 October 2010

Kerry McCarthy MP receives police caution for illegally revealing postal vote results

In April this year I did a blog post titled - Tut tut - Kerry McCarthy breaches election law on Twitter - when Kerry McCarthy revealed a little too much about the postal vote opening in Bristol East.
Well, now Kerry McCarthy, the Labour MP who illegally revealed postal vote results on Twitter in April, has been given a police caution for the said offence.
Labour’s “Twitter Tsar” and a qualified solicitor, has avoided both a fine or a six month prison sentence for the offence.

Although she deleted her original post after a few minutes, it had already been spread around the internet.

An Avon and Somerset police spokesman said:
"Police have confirmed that they have cautioned a man and a woman – both from Bristol – following an investigation into alleged electoral fraud earlier this year under the Representation of the People Act 1983."
So, we assume that was both Kerry and her Agent.

Perhaps now the Labour party will advise their Election Agents and candidates to read the secrecy notices given out at election time.

Sunday, 24 October 2010

Conservative MP Philip Hammond insults mentally ill with flippant remarks on suicides

So yet again another Conservative MP hits the news for making flippant remarks.

Photo: Getty Images
This time it is Philip Hammond MP who during an interview, suggested that the train service he used from Surrey to London was:
"pretty reliable, unless somebody jumps off the platform at Wimbledon, which happens with monotonous regularity."
In the Daily Telegraph, Dr Peter Byrne, from The Royal College of Psychiatrists, said:
"There was very little mention of mental health in the Government spending review and it is a pity to hear these kinds of views come through in such ill-considered remarks.

"There is nothing inconsiderate or amusing about people taking their own lives."
I think the attack on Philip Hammond should actually come from closer to home though.

Only in June this year one of Philip Hammond's Conservative colleagues, David Ruffley MP jumped in front of a train at Victoria Station, thankfully he survived and is now back at work.

Thank goodness for Ruffley that he wasn't at Wimbledon Station otherwise he would not have got any sympathy from Hammond, just a whinge about the delay he had caused.

Seriously, MPs and others need to think clearly before they open their mouth and make flippant comments - or as my Mum used to say - engage brain before putting mouth into gear.

Labour and the Unions are hypocrites on the cuts within the CSR

Yesterday morning I had been at the Scottish Liberal Democrats HQ attending a meeting.  Afterwards I headed down Princes Street and was passing when some of the speeches to the massed protesters (not 20,000 at this point, nearer 2,000) were taking place.

I have never heard so many hypocrites, one after another.  All the union spokespeople were complaining bitterly that their members will be affected in one way or another by the outcomes of the Comprehensive Spending Review.

I am all for the unions standing up for their members rights.

What galls me is the sheer hypocrisy of it though.  None of these unions were lambasting Labour in the last thirteen years for spending money like it was going out of fashion, were they?

Not one union leader has complained about Labour plunging the UK into debt over recent years?

How come all of the union leaders and members are happy that the UK is spending £120 million, per day just on the interest on the amount the previous Labour government borrowed?

Sorry guys, but you laughed at Vince Cable and the Liberal Democrats when they pointed out to you that Labour's borrowing was getting out of hand.

Now you sit back and have jumped on the bandwagon to complain about the cuts, yet you remain completely silent about the positive aspects of the CSR.

I am sorry but the Labour politicians and union leaders are nothing more than a bunch of hypocrites.

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

ASDA and Kenco in marketing catastrophe

Recently ASDA were advertising Kenco coffee on their bags for life, specifically highlighting the Kenco coffee eco refill bags, supposedly saving the environment.

When ASDA have these Kenco eco refill bags in stock they work out more expensive to purchase than the jar next to it, that doesn't make sense!

Yes, seriously.  The prices were a jar with 300g of coffee for £3 or a 150g eco refill bag for £2.50.

However, during the promotion period my local ASDA at Leith, Edinburgh never had the shelf space for more than 3 of the eco refill bags so there were never any on the shelf which begs the question, was the advertising campaign really honest?

Certainly in my eyes the campaign was a major flop.

ASDA at Leith needs to sort itself out and get the right stock on it's shelves, on too many days there are empty shelves around the store. With a new Tesco on Duke Street and Morrison's only a bus ride away ASDA needs to stop complacency setting in.

Kenco needs to evaluate the pricing (as does ASDA) of a jar of coffee versus the eco refill bag, shoppers are watching the pennies even more currently so won't be impressed with these promotion shams.

Monday, 18 October 2010

Hopetoun House 10k run for Cancer Research UK

Some months ago I was pushed into signing up to do a 10k run around the grounds of Hopetoun House near Edinburgh, to raise money for Cancer research UK, given the charity it didn't take me long to say yes.

Well, yesterday it had finally arrived, the day to do the 10k run.

Now for those who know me, I do not have a runners body nor a gym bunny body, despite me having a personal trainer now, Richard Kerrigan at the Newhaven David Lloyd gym, if anyone else wants to sign up for some decent (but evil) workouts.

So, yesterday morning at 6am the alarm woke me out of my slumber.  First job after feeding my girls, Loco and Taz was to make my porridge with blueberries.

Then I headed out to meet Beverley and Fiona to make our way to Hopetoun House.

We arrived at Hopetoun House and met up with Elspeth and then bumped into Jamie.  Graeme appeared out of nowhere to cheer us on just after the warm up.  The warm up was run by the personal trainer of Beyonce and Madonna. Not a patch on Richard.

So, just after 11am I crossed the start line, well it was 2 minutes and 4 seconds after 11am to be precise.

The grounds of Hopetoun House are stunning and at some point I really want to go and have a proper look round.

When you are jogging round you don't notice everything, up the hill around the lanes and then back up the Z hill and then downhill was where I made up a lot of time.

The worst part was between the 7k and 8k markers where as you turn towards the house, you realise you have to go back out towards the lake and around a few more twists and turns before you get onto the home straight.

As I approached the final turn, Graeme, Charles, Elspeth, Fiona, Beverley and Siobhan were there to give me a big cheer, in fact Beverley ran the last part with me.

I crossed the finish line at 1 hour and 19 minutes, so if I take the 2 minutes and 4 seconds off then that makes my race time 1 hour and 17 minutes for which I am extremely proud.

Saturday, 16 October 2010

SNP drop prescription charges when NHS is laying off nurses

I don't understand the SNP.

Why cancel prescription charges for everyone when we are in the middle of a major recession?

The SNP's, Nicola Sturgeon announced to the SNP conference in Perth that the sick should not have to pay for "Labour's economic mess".

Erm, sorry Nicola but your own SNP run Scotland's NHS, not Labour and it is you as Health Minister who is taking the money away from frontline NHS services and in return giving everyone in Scotland free prescriptions.

What a backwards way of prioritising funding.

I am able to afford a prescription should I need one, as can many people across Scotland so surely, instead of offering what is just a basic election grabbing headline shouldn't the SNP be more government like and do this in a more systematic way?

Universal benefits are not a forward way of running the country's finances.
Over on Caron's Musings she said;
This reminds me of research done by the Scottish Liberal Democrats last year which shows that over the whole of their four year term, the SNP will have given 133 times more every year to a household on £100,000 than they have to households on £15,000. That doesn't seem very fair to me.
At that point last year, Tavish Scott said;
Over four years, the SNP will have spent £950m on a set of distorted priorities and hand-outs that give more to the rich than to the poor.

“If you have two children and earn £100,000 then you will have gained £802 per year from the SNP.

“But if you have two children and you earn £15,000 then you will have gained just six pounds and seven pence.

“So that’s enough champagne and lobster every night for the rich, but a fish supper for the poor.

“So I mean it when I say that, in Scotland, the only party at the General Election for a fairer society will be the Liberal Democrats.”
Caron is spot on, the SNP are in denial, first they offer us a council tax freeze, ensuring Councils will cut frontline services and now Nicola Sturgeon is guaranteeing more cuts in Scotland's NHS by giving universal free prescriptions to everyone in Scotland.

I am all for helping those on low incomes and those who need prescription drugs constantly, but I and anyone on salaries over £35,000 can all afford a prescription charge if it is required.
This is just another example of the SNP putting even more money into the pockets of the richest people in Scotland and not governing responsibly - next May it is time for change and only the Scottish Liberal Democrats led by Tavish Scott are offering a programme for a fair and prosperous Scotland.

Caron's Musings: Don't vote yet in the internal party elections!

Caron's Musings: Don't vote yet in the internal party elections!: "One of my favourite things about being a Federal Conference representative is that big thick envelope of manifestos and ballot papers which ..."

Friday at the gym - Run Day -2

Yesterday morning at 9.30am I had my last session with my personal trainer, Richard Kerrigan at my local David Lloyd gym (Newhaven).

Various evil exercises set by Richard, including one where I take on the Superman pose, or as Richard put it a ballerina - sometimes a PT is there to be hated :-)

Certainly yesterday was easier than Tuesday's session, but yes, I do ache a little today.

Yesterday was based on my core and cardio, with some weights thrown in for good measure.

Although with my left shoulder is not as strong as my right so some of the heavier weights I struggle with.

My favourite yesterday, if I really had to pick one,was sitting on the half exercise ball, holding a medicine ball and doing crunches, bizarrely I can feel a six pack, it is just I have a serious investment of blubber around it.

Anyway, as tomorrow is the run, Richard also spent time on some sensible warm up exercises for tomorrow plus diet recommendation.

Today, I will be going to the gym for my stretches, 4k bike ride and then a swim.

Next time I am at the gym, I promise a photo or two.

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Gym session with Richard Kerrigan

Oh my god, I bloody well ache all over at the time of writing this, despite this now being some six hours after my gym session.

This was my first session back at the gym with Richard Kerrigan for a while so I knew it would be tough, but given I am doing the 10k run this coming Sunday at Hopetoun House - I am running with Elspeth Finlay, Fiona Lang, Beverley Hope and Jamie McHale and my chosen charity is is the Bobby Moore fund for Cancer Research UK - I needed to do it.

If you would like to sponsor me, however small an amount I would very much appreciate it and you can do so HERE.

So, back to today's gym session - so Richard concentrated on various exercises that would help me on Sunday.

I did my usual stretches and warm up on the bike, just 4k today then into the evil things with Richard including actual running jogging on the running machine, 45 seconds at 7.5 (jogging is 6 and running is 9) and then 30 seconds at 5.5 for ten minutes in total.

Press ups - 3 seconds down and 1 second up, with my legs crossed and using a step.

Then the large exercise ball leaning right back on it and doing stomach crunches - that bloody hurt, they say, no pain, no gain.

Exercise bike - keeping up over 90 RPM for 45 seconds and then 70 RPM for 30 seconds, another 10 minute session.

Plus a couple of others which involved squatting.

My thighs ache so much but looking forward to a run on Thursday as spending most of tomorrow on a train!

Monday, 11 October 2010

Andrew Marr on bloggers - socially inadequate, pimpled, single, slightly seedy, bald

Now, I am not Andrew Marr's biggest fan, I personally think he is one of the group of journalists who think that they are are more important than many of their guests and who treat politicians with no respect whatsoever and just constantly talk over them instead of asking a question and then letting the guest answer it.

However, I do think his rant against bloggers is somewhat over the top.

Andrew Marr, speaking at a Cheltenham Literature Festival audience, said:
"Most citizen journalism strikes me as nothing to do with journalism at all,"
He then, once warmed up, went on;
A lot of bloggers seem to be socially inadequate, pimpled, single, slightly seedy, bald, cauliflower-nosed, young men sitting in their mother's basements and ranting. They are very angry people.

OK – the country is full of very angry people. Many of us are angry people at times. Some of us are angry and drunk. But the so-called citizen journalism is the spewings and rantings of very drunk people late at night.
As a blogger, I take exception at Marr's comments - I have never claimed to be a journalist nor do I state my writings are journalism, although on occasion I get a story out there before journalists and have in fact been linked to by journalists.

Nor am I socially inadequate, pimpled, single (I am getting married next year), slightly seedy (okay, he may have me on that one), bald (balding but not bald), cauliflower-nosed, young or in my mother's basement.

The final one is possibly correct when I write sometimes, angry.  Yes, sometimes I am angry and today is one of those days.

Once again one of our elite journalists think they are above everyone else and generalise on a level that is somewhat amazing - and yet if a blogger did that, what would Marr call them then?
I will leave the final word to Roy Greenslade of the Daily Telegraph blog;

But I'm surprised at the Marr assault because he is usually so thoughtful. Aside from the paradox of him indulging in a rant to complain about other ranters, it is the one-sidedness of his argument that is so striking.

Thursday, 7 October 2010

Scottish Conservative candidate Colin McGavigan describes carers as "the great unwashed"

The Scottish Conservatives are not having a great week, on Tuesday one of their candidates called Scots thick and then he resigned.

I blogged about this yesterday morning Conservative candidate Ivor Tiefenbrun describes Scots as "so thick" and his subsequent resignation yesterday evening Conservative candidate Ivor Tiefenbrun resigns over insult to Scots.

Then this morning we woke up to hear that the Scottish Conservative candidate for Clydesdale, Colin McGavigan had tweeted:
"kids in care: why do the carers look like the great unwashed? They're supposed to be carers not warders."

These comments by Colin McGavigan were made in response to a BBC documentary broadcast on Tuesday night, focusing on children in care.  You can read the full story in The Scotsman.

Mr McGavigan was yesterday forced to express his "utmost respect" for carers in a statement issued by his party.

However, the Scottish Tories are set to allow him to continue as the party's Clydesdale candidate at next year's election on the grounds that they believe he has no case to answer.

I think this case should highlight to all of us in the public eye, whether it be a candidate or support staff such as myself, our tweets are followed by journalists waiting for this catastrophic mistakes.
I disagree with the Conservatives though, how on earth can they say there is no case to answer?  Yet again this shows one of their candidates as out of touch. 
How on earth can the voters respect someone who can cast aspersions such as this in a public forum?
Sorry Annabel, I really think another one bites the dust!

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Conservative candidate Ivor Tiefenbrun resigns over insult to Scots

They say a week is a long time in politics, however, for Ivor Tiefenbrun three days is enough.

On Monday he was the Conservative candidate for Glasgow Maryhill and Springburn.

On Tuesday, he insulted Scots while at the same time defending Margaret Thatcher in an interview published in The Scotsman.

Also on Tuesday,  a spokesman for the Scottish Tories denied Mr Tiefenbrun had made the comments, stating:
"The candidate denies using these words and does not hold these views."
On Wednesday, he has to resign as the Conservative candidate for Glasgow Maryhill and Springburn.

However, in a statement published today [Wednesday], Mr Tiefenbrun said:
"There are many important issues facing our country and I have no desire for anything to divert my party - or indeed the media - from concentrating on those vital challenges.

"Accordingly, I will not be standing in the forthcoming Holyrood elections. I wish my successor and our candidates across Scotland well in May."
Andrew Fulton, Scottish Conservative Party Chairman, added:
"I have spoken to Ivor and respect and understand his decision which has been taken in the best interests of the party."
So, the Conservative Party are now seeking a new candidate for Glasgow Maryhill and Springburn, preferably one who doesn't insult the very people they may well rely on for votes next May.

Conservative candidate Ivor Tiefenbrun describes Scots as "so thick"

I must admit when I read the headline in yesterday's Scotsman, I did  a double take and thought “Really?”  Would anyone be so stupid as to say that?  Has The Scotsman got this out of context?
Apparently not.  The Conservative candidate Ivor Tiefenbrun has defended Margaret Thatcher's policies and in doing so said "It's only because Scots are so thick that this was swallowed."
Now,  I have to be honest, Ivor isn't the only man to defend Margaret Thatcher's policies. A fairly well known Scot within the world of politics has also done this, not yesterday but during the Glenrothes by-election in 2008. This person said that the Scots didn't mind Thatcher's policies.
Have you guessed who it is yet?
Well it was in fact Wee Eck himself, our very own First Minister and leader of the single issue party itself, the SNP's Alex Salmond.
Who would have thought that he would support the devastation that Thatcher brought to Scotland?
Anyway, I digress. Back to Ivor who has in fact been selected as the Tory candidate for Glasgow Maryhill and Springburn.
He claimed Baroness Thatcher had;
"saved our cities" in Scotland and had broken the "corrupt power" of the trade unions as well as "enabling people to buy their own homes" during her 11 years in power.
No-one will argue that allowing people to buy their homes was entirely a bad thing, although we should remember that most councils were then prevented using the money raised from the sale of these homes to build  any more by Thatcher. That’s why we have such an affordable housing crisis today. Ivor Tiefenbrun played a leading role in the anti-devolution Think Twice campaign so isn't always on message with Scots anyway.
Mr Tiefenbrun defended the 1980s governments of Lady Thatcher, whose controversial policies included the unpopular poll tax and wide scale closure of Scottish coal mines.
He said:
"The way Labour work is that they have demonised Thatcher as if she was an evil force.
"It's only because Scots are so thick that this was swallowed."
When asked to explain his comments by The Scotsman, Mr Tiefenbrun said;
"You would have to be thick to accept that" Lady Thatcher had been bad for Scotland.
I am neither a Scot, although I now live here and call this home,  nor am I thick and I can see the damage that Margaret Thatcher and the Conservatives did across Scotland in the 1980s. What I can also see is that Labour didn't mend some of the damage either.
During the Glasgow East and Glasgow North East by-elections in the last two years I saw that there are still areas of deprivation which should not exist in this day and age and it is only down to the communities living there that they don't let it beat them.  Yes the Conservatives did damage this country and they should be ashamed of themselves.
Ivor Tiefenbrun continued;
"We have to look at the education system and ask if we have got too many teachers."
Too many teachers?  When did Mr Tiefenbrun last visit a school?
The Tory businessman was last night heavily criticised for his remarks, which included a claim that patients could;
"walk into hospitals and be dead in 48 hours from an infection."
Annabel Goldie has a lot to deal with being the leader of the 4th party in Scotland with just one MP in Westminster and candidates such as Gill Dykes claiming to be an MSP when she isn't, John Lamont who is bored of Holyrood and now Ivor Tiefenbrun who is insulting Scots by calling them "so thick".
I hope Annabel does the decent thing and at the very least insists Mr Tiefenbrun issues an apology, very quickly, or he may just face calls for his resignation from the good folk of Glasgow.

Sunday, 3 October 2010

Scottish Labour leader Iain Gray stabbed in the neck

I thought this photo on The Herald website was a great catch.

It shows Iain Gray MSP, leader of Scottish Labour with an obvious item sticking out of his neck, so which of his own MSPs has done that?

Obviously, it is a microphone, just in case you were wondering?

My little blog gets a mention on The Guardian website

My little blog continues to go from strength to strength and this week another first was achieved.

On October 1st my blog was mentioned on the Society Daily section, written by Patrick Butler.

On my radar ...

• Nadine Dorries MP. I thought at first her blog attack on "benefit scroungers" who Tweet was a hilarious spoof. But apparently not. Much Tweet anger followed yesterday, and some good blog ripostes, such as these by blogger Mind in Flux, Ms Humphrey Cushion and Liberal Democrat activist Andrew Reeves. Reeves writes:

"Oh my god, it is stupid ridiculous comments like ...[Dorries'] that remind me despite being in coalition, our two parties are so far apart."

And here's Rich Watts' pithy Tweet:

"I don't know which is funnier: a) Nadine Dorries's indignation, or b) Nadine Dorries's obvious ignorance and stupidity."

Dorries has kept digging though. You can read the latest instalment of her War on "the left wing Twitterati" and the Workshy here.
So my thanks to Patrick Butler but I really should thank Nadine Dorries MP whom without the blog post - Conservative MP Nadine Dorries loses the plot - would never have been written.

Friday, 1 October 2010

My monthly report on internet stat porn

So, continuing my monthly stat porn figures for anyone who is remotely interested in who reads my little blog, the monthly summary of my visitor stats according to google analytics is as below for September 2010.

The busiest day on my blog last month was Wednesday 1st September and the story was about the coalition replacing NHS Direct but highlighting Labour's hypocrisy and lies on this as it was in their election manifesto, to do the very same thing - many thanks to Guido Fawkes for linking to the story.

Last month I had 6,950 absolute unique visitors, over 2,500 up from last month. They made 8,169 visits and 10,231 page views.

11.46% of the visitors were through direct traffic, 59.53% from referring sites and 29.01% via search engines.

So, my top 10 referring sites for the last month (with previous position in brackets) were;

1. (1)
=2. Facebook (3)
=2. Twitter (2)
=4. Lib Dem Blogs (4)
=4. Lib Dem Voice (5)
6. (7)
7. (8)
8. SNP Tactical Voting (6)
9. Total Politics (49)
9. Better Nation (New Entry)

During September I wrote 31 blog posts, once again keeping up the momentum from the month before.

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

1. John Prescott, Labour and the truth about NHS Direct
2. William Hague's special adviser Christopher Myers quits
3. The Liberal Democrats Conference in Liverpool was a disaster
4. Clinton Cards - homophobic or just plain lazy?
5. No word from Clinton Cards on whether they are homophobic or just plain lazy?
6. Conservative Minister to address the Liberal Democrat Conference this weekend
7. Chris Bryant MP tells Sky's Kay Burley she's a bit dim
8. Rugby star Gavin Henson strips off to raise awareness for male cancer
9. Clinton Cards answer back
10. Conservative MP Nadine Dorries loses the plot

This month is dominated by Clinton Cards stories, Labour's lies about NHS Direct (again), Conservatives quitting, Kay Burley is dim according to Chris Bryant MP, a naked Gavin Henson and Conservative MP Nadine Dorries loses the plot once more.

The visitors to my little blog came from 81 countries this month, up 13 from 68 last time, the top ten were as follows;

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

Scottish Police pledge swifter response for homophobic and racist crimes


I am sorry, I really do not agree with this one and I say that as someone who has suffered homophobic crime twice in my lifetime, one was a mugging and the other was more serious.

Did I want the police to prioritise those crimes any differently to the occasion we were burgled, absolutely not, they were all crimes and I would want them treating no differently to any other crime.

The Scotsman was carrying this story earlier this week and Assistant Chief Constable Mike McCormick, of Lothian and Borders Police, said:
"We wanted to make sure our own staff were aware of the impact hate crime has.

This I agree with, informing all of the rank and file officers of the impact is a sensible aspect of this manual.

"If you punch me in the nose because you don't like me because of the colour of my skin, race, sexuality or whatever, that has a longer effect because I'm thinking that not only does this person not like me, but lots of other people won't like me either.
I don't agree with this and it certainly was not how I was feeling after any of the three crimes I have suffered (two homophobic and one other).

"If people say 'I had not meant any harm' it was just a bit of loose language, we're saying think hard before you say something. And we want victims of hate crime to know this is how we feel."
Again sensible, but did this really require the eight Police Forces of Scotland to bring together their best practice into one manual, or actually are we saying use your common sense?

The manual represents a promise to protect, not only ethnic minorities, but anyone who might be prejudiced against because of age, disability, gender including transgender, race including gypsy/travellers, religion or belief, and sexual orientation.

It is backed by new powers in the Offences Aggravated by Prejudice (Scotland) Act, which was passed in Scottish Parliament earlier this year.

All commons sense again, or as my Mum used to say, treat other people how you would expect to be treated, good advice that if a few more people took heed of, the society we live in can only benefit.

There was one part in the article that was spot on.

Sergeant Martin White, of the diversity unit at Lothian and Borders Police, one of the officers who wrote the manual, said:
"(Under the act] if someone is arrested for hate crime, we must look to put them before the courts as soon as possible, if not from custody then bailed to appear as soon as possible.

"In the courts, hate crime has to be recorded and reflected in the sentence. It gives the courts the chance to give an appropriate sentence."
But surely, every single victim of crime deserves that same right?

All crime has to be recorded and the sentence must reflect the crime.

My message to all Scottish Police Officers today is simple, once the crime is identified ensure the perpetrator is apprehended and pushed through the system.

My message to the courts and judges is also simple, ensure you act swiftly, take the accused off the streets and ensure the sentence fits and is carried out to completion, a weeks good behaviour behind bars doesn't help the victim, whoever they are.

Please let us not treat homophobic or racist crimes any different, crime is crime and if you commit crime, you should be punished - simples!
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