Thursday, 24 May 2007

Scottish Labour MP disgraces herself

I could not believe my ears when BBC Radio Scotland played the clip during the drivetime news. On Wednesday 23rd of May 2007, during Scottish Questions at the House of Commons, the Labour MP for East Lothian, Anne Moffat, said the following:

Anne Moffat: Did not proportional representation give Germany Adolf Hitler? To a lesser degree, we have been given the hon. Member for Banff and Buchan (Mr. Salmond). Can that be a good example?”

Amazingly, the SNP’s Angus Robertson, let this go unchallenged:

Angus Robertson: The hon. Lady has made her own point in her own way. Perhaps she will reflect on that later.”

And that was it.

You can read it yourself in the Hansard website. Hansard is the official transcript service of the House of Commons.

But then I kept reading other interventions by Anne Moffat MP during the session and came across this one, a reply to the LibDem MP Jo Swinson :

“(...) Is that not jumping on the Tory bandwagon? May I tell the hon. Lady that she should be very afraid of opening Pandora’s box when it comes to the Scottish parliamentary elections, because we made the amendment to introduce first past the post.”

To her credit, LibDem MP Jo Swinson, only replied:

Jo Swinson: I welcome the hon. Lady’s intervention, and her warning, which I am sure was kindly meant.”

Certainly Ms Swinson has a sense of humour. (But more on humour later…)

Yes, you read it correctly: Anne Moffat MP (Labour - East Lothian), threatening to change the process of the Scottish Parliamentary elections to a "first past the post" system and abandon the "Additional Member System" in the regional lists.

And I hear you ask: Anne who? Exactly.
A parasite Labour MP who has not achieved anything for Scotland. This nobody is apparently threatening with bringing back the “first past the post” system so that she and her corrupt and incompetent Labour croonies can continue to lead this country to economic, social and cultural decline.

But when I thought I had read enough nonsense, I come across the following intervention by the Labour MP from Glasgow South-West:

3.41 pm (link)
“Mr. Ian Davidson (Glasgow, South-West) (Lab/Co-op): Given that time is short, I shall make only a few points. First, I ask that the investigation examines the decision to have both ballots on the same day, not only in the context of possible erection irregularities —[Laughter.] I know what I meant. [Hon. Members: “Keep it up.”] I will endeavour to do so. That is a fair point —[Interruption.].”

Erection for Election. Very funny Mr Davidson. Now will your party apologise for the chaos and the shame they brought to our country if not for your cheap joke?

Now, I am the first one to come up with a bad joke and crap wordplay, so I plead guilty in advance to the charge of trying to be funny. I wonder if this clown is really a MP or he was impersonated by a fellow called Jim Davidson. The latter is only marginally funnier I must add.

But a MP, debating the shambles of the Scottish Parliament elections in which about 140,000 votes were rejected and which made this country the laughing stock of Europe?

This silliest of jokes by a MP from the Labour party, the party that rejected the recommendations of the Arbunoth Commision and the Electoral Commission warning about this very scenario (see my earlier post). Surprisinly, the BBC News website has not reported on any of these latter two interventions, and only carries a small piece on Anne Moffat’s disgraceful remark.

So this is the Scottish Labour party show in Westminster: a clown and a disgraceful, vindictive and venomous little nobody waste of space who has not digested the news that the SNP is now the dominant party in Scottish politics.

Ms Moffat, I have news for you: goodbye and good riddance.
People like you have kept this country in the doldrums for too long. You and your party have been a liability for Scotland for too long. Your stupid and braindead remarks show the kind of person you really are. I feel sorry for your constituents, being represented by such a miserable loser.

The Herald printed two Letters to the Editor in the Thursday editon. (today).
Link: The Herald - Wicked slur on the SNP
PS: it turns out thas Anne Moffat MP (Labour, East Lothian), along with other Scottish Labour MPs voted in favour of replacing Trident. Full list of Labour MPs voting in favour of the Trident system of WMD to be based in Scotland can be found on this link from the New Statesman. Shame on all of them. An insult to the memory of the Labour party.

Monday, 21 May 2007

The Immigrant President

The below text is from Josep C. Verges. It was published in the Catalan portal, Racó Català today, Monday 21 May.

I don't always necessarily agree with his views but I like to recycle his articles as there are not many opinion articles about Catalan politics available in English.
In this case, I broadly agree with the underlying premise of the article: millions of Spaniards emigrated to Catalonia yet, instead of adopting the cultural, social and political values of their host country, they still support the policies of the same state that expelled them from their land and made them destitute.

My parents are just another example of this. Destitute in Andalucia, they emigrated to Barcelona when there were early teenagers and met a few years later. My mum has adapted to Catalonia pretty well, and regularly votes for IC-V or ERC, and is fully aware of the issues. She speaks Catalan and regularly listens to Catalan radio or TV. My dad however is from the Troglodytes tribe and votes for the Spanish nationalists of the PP, even though he flirted with CiU in the ‘90s. After over 50 years in Catalonia, he hardly understands Catalan, let alone speak the language.

You can bet there are rather interesting discussions about politics at my parents. They don’t last too long though as inevitably someone storms off the living room sooner or later. I vote ERC and my brother Ciudadanos or PSOE, I am not too sure.

Anyway, here is the article from Mr. Verges. Some of the idioms read a bit awkward, not sure about the translations. Suggestions are welcome!

The Immigrant President
Josep C. Verges

“France has given me everything and now it's my turn to give everything to France” comments an emotional Nicolas Sarkozy, son of a Hungarian father fleeing from communism. The French voted massively with their head, not with their bottom as they say of Segolene Royal, wiping out the programmeless smile of the Socialists. Few immigrants govern in ethnic Europe. Not in Germany where the Eastern citizen Angela Merkel is seen as something exotic. Only in the United Kingdom you will see Scottish Gordon Brown as future prime minister, like the Welsh and Scots who preceded him.

The Europe of ethnic cleansing contrasts with the American melting pot. Two Irish, John F. Kennedy and Bill Clinton, have governed despite being a minority and the mulatto, of Indonesian father and white mother, Barack Obama, may reach the White House a generation after the murder of Martin Luther King. America has obtained a huge amount of energy, economic and political, from its immigrants which explains why they are the only world power. Europe would like to be one but will never get there constructed by its ethnic States. The English have understood this and have become the most dynamic in Europe. After twenty years of Jacobin stagnation the French have finally had enough throwing themselves into the American adventure symbolised by Sarkozy.

Spain liberated with democracy the repressed energy of Franco's racist State, but we have reached the ceiling with the State of Autonomies, as can be seen with the bikini sized Statute of Catalonia which the troglodytes and Jacobins want to cut up leaving us with one hand in front and the other behind in ethnic Spain.

Spain is the most racist State in the European Union. You will never see a Catalan president in Madrid. France collaborated with the Spaniards in eliminating Catalan freedoms, because alone they never succeeded. Catalans are the only case in Europe of a people occupied by force. Imported Jacobinism only resulted in three centuries of despotism. 25 years of democracy have maintained traditional ethnic discrimination. Only one Catalan has ruled Spain in three centuries, General Prim, who set the foundations of a liberal State which took another century to translate into a democracy. He was assassinated precisely for being a liberal. Catalans are not Spaniards because they are too liberal. We want the Rule of Law, not the law of the ruler; we want equal opportunities, not sharing out the spoils among the Madrid crowd; in short we want a State that is efficiently run. Which Catalan can say today “Spain has given me everything and now it is my turn to give everything to Spain”?

Spain does not want us, but has stolen our constitutions, like it has stolen our language and steals our taxes and public investment. Look at Gas Natural, doubly rejected by the PP troglodytes and the PSOE Jacobins when it wanted to expand into ethnic Spain. Look at the daily incompetence of Renfe and the barefaced discrimination by Aena. Democracy has given us a freedom on parole. Welcome freedom, but unwelcome parole. What a contrast the welcome of millions of Spanish immigrants in Catalonia, expelled by the big landowners who live in Madrid, today subsidised by the European Union. They have little to thank Spain.

We have an immigrant president, from an Andalusian village submerged by Franco. Jose Montilla is no longer a Maoist who wanted to throttle the Catalan bourgeoisie. He has found jobs for the old socialist apparatchiks like Narcis Serra of GAL State terrorism, now president of the socialist Caixa Catalunya, but he has belittled Pasqual Maragall for his Catalan nationalism and he will now found a Democrat Party like François Bayrou. The immigrant president has never said: “Catalonia has given me everything and now it is my turn to give everything to Catalonia”. He prefers the ethnic Spain which expelled him to liberal Catalonia.

Monday, 7 May 2007

The incompetence of the Labour party knows no bounds

Well, even in defeat, Scottish Labour has managed to take the shine of the historic SNP victory on the May 3 elections. I am referring of course to the voting and counting fiasco involving about 100,000 of rejected ballot papers, a ten-fold increase from the 2003 elections. But I will come back to this issue later.

When I wrote my previous post, at about 3am in the morning, it was looking like Labour would just squeeze in. The west of Scotland has not turned away from Labour in sufficient numbers. Fortunately, the SNP did pretty well in the regional lists in the Highlands & Islands and a solid performance in the Lothians list.

The final result of the elections, in number of seats, is:

SNP – 47
Labour – 46
Conservatives – 17
Liberal Democrats – 16
Greens – 2
Independent – 1 (Margo MacDonald, a former SNP MP)

It is worth pointing out that the SNP also has the highest number of votes, both in the constituency and regional lists:

SNP – 664,227– 32.9%
Labour – 648,374 – 32.2%
Conservatives – 334,743 – 16.6%
Liberal Democrats – 326,232 – 16.2%

SNP – 633,401 – 31.0%
Labour – 595,415 – 29.2%
Conservatives – 284,005 – 13.9%
Liberal Democrats – 230,671 – 11.3%
Greens – 82,584 – 4%

Full details of the results are in the BBC News web site.

Little mention has been made of the fact that the SNP is also the biggest party at the local council level: 363 local councillors for the SNP against 348 for Labour. The Tories now have 143 councillors, and the LibDems 166.

So let’s celebrate that, finally, after almost 50 years, Labour is no longer the dominant party in Scottish politics. Certainly it was about time!

The SNP now have the moral authority to try to form a government and Labour are licking their wounds. Their absence in the media is conspicuous. The daggers must be flying right, left and centre, and the future of Jack McConnell as leader of the Labour party in Scotland looks uncertain to say the least.

Still, Labour could not help but bring chaos to the election. Despite the concerns raised by the Electoral Commission and the Arbuthnott Commission review of the Scottish voting system, the Scottish Office, ruled by Labour MPs David Cairns and Douglas Alexander, decided to push ahead.

This article on the BBC News site is self-explanatory, even though it avoids to clearly identify the people responsible for this fiasco:

- the Labour-ruled Scottish Office for ignoring the advice of the Electoral commission to hold the local council elections and Scottish parliament elections on different dates; and

- the Labour-controlled Scottish Executive, who ignored the recommendations of the Arbuthnott Commission and other campaigners to invest more in voter education campaigns.

Another show of incompetence by our Labour masters. When will the people of Scotland, and more specifically, the people of Glasgow & Strathclyde, wake up and realise that Labour is a liability to Scotland?

Nevertheless, one could sympathise with those who argue that if people cannot read the instructions in a ballot paper, then they should not be entitled to vote. I’d rather side with Melanie Reid, who in her article in The Times, explains that it has been the poorest and most disadvantaged members of our society those who have had problems filling their ballot papers properly. Read the The Times column here.

Although Ms Reid clearly points the finger at the Scottish Office and Scottish Executive, she fails to mention that the communities with the highest percentage of rejected ballot papers are those that have been ruled by the Labour party for decades: Glasgow and west central Scotland. Why, after decades of rule by the so-called people’s party, are people unable to fill in a ballot paper?

In my own constituency, Glasgow Shettleston, the percentage of rejected papers was about 12%. This ties in with the unemployment and social poverty statistics for this area of Glasgow. That’s what decades of Labour rule have achieved for communities across the west of Scotland: people are unable to fill in a ballot paper.

Sadly, although they have lost the election, Labour has not sunk. It will take a great deal of effort, vigorous campaigning and building trust and relationships with the poorest communities in the west of Scotland for the SNP to bring about the change this country so desperately needs. Breaking the cycle of poverty and dependency will be extremely hard in Glasgow and Strathclyde. More hard work will be required. I for one am considering joining in this effort. It is time for a change. It is time to work for a better Scotland.

Friday, 4 May 2007

Another 4 years of Labour-LibDems decline?

Well the first results are coming in and it does not look good for Scotland.
Labour are holding onto their seats in their heartlands in the west of Scotland. The SNP swing predicted in the polls has not materialised and it is now unlikely that the SNP will be the biggest party.

This is disappointing but it shows what a complex country Scotland is. Despite being in power for over three decades in the Strathclyde area, their policies unable to halt the economic and social decline of this area, Labour keeps getting elected. Well, that’s democracy for you.

In any case, and as I wrote in my previous post, the break-up of the United Kingdom is inevitable. The minute we have a Tory administration in Westminster and a Labour-LibDem or minority SNP administration in Edinburgh, the Scottish Labour party will join the pro-independence camp. For Scottish Labour, it is not about Scotland or even the UK, it is about self-preservation.

The time will come when Scotland will join the rest of the world in its own terms.

The danger, witnessing the results today, is that we could end up in a few years with an independent Scotland, or even a federal Scotland, with a perpetual Labour government. Given the state of Glasgow and Strathclyde after three decades of Labour rule, sometimes I have doubts myself about the best way to go.

People in Strathclyde will vote for a monkey if it wore a Labour rosette. Such is the state of social and emotional dependence from the poorest and unhealthiest communities in Scotland towards the very people that are keeping them in such a condition.

It will take more than a confident and positive campaign for the SNP to make inroads in these areas. I read an article in The Times a few days ago along the lines of “things have to get worse before they get any better”, referring to the French presidential elections. Perhaps that applies to Scotland: we need to be kept in economic and social decline for a little bit longer before people wake up and realise that Labour policies are failing the communities in the west of Scotland.

Perhaps the time is not now, but sure that the time will come.

Tuesday, 1 May 2007

It is time to vote for Scotland

Another day in the Scottish elections campaign, another pathetic effort by New Labour at scaremongering and manipulation.

Now it is the Prime Minister, Tony Blair. The man who led this country to an illegal and ill-conceived war in Iraq; the man who lied to Parliament about WMD; the man at the helm of the party involved in the “cash for honours” scandal; the man who said “Education, Education, Education” and got us into PFI schools, faith schools, and tuition fees; the man who said “the UK will have an ethical foreign policy” and ordered to stop an inquiry into the dealings between BAE Systems and the corrupt and tyrannical Saudi regime. The leader of a so-called Labour government who will spend £20bn in Weapons of Mass Destructions that will be based in the Clyde. Ad infinitum…

Now Tony Blair tries to scare us into not voting SNP.
And his sidekick, Gordon Brown, openly says that he will not work with a SNP-led Scottish Executive. So, Gordon Brown, current Chancellor and next Prime Minister, refuses to work with the elected representatives of the Scottish people. What a shame for the Labour party to be ruled by such despicable people.

In any case, it is inevitable: Scotland is marching towards independence –regardless of what happens on Thursday.

For years, I have been saying that the minute a Conservative government gains sufficient majority in Westminster, the loudest defenders of the Union hitherto will become its coffin bearers. Once the Conservative forms government in London, Scottish Labour will unashamedly drop their pro-Union stance and push towards Scottish sovereignty. For Scottish Labour, principles are negotiable and flexible, self-preservation is what matters and they will do whatever it takes to keep themselves in power, as they have successfully don in the west of Scotland. It was with a smile that I read the following paragraph in The Times:
“Ten minutes after any future Conservative government is elected by English voters, the Scottish Labour Party (never mind the SNP) is likely to bolt for the door marked “Exit”.

The above is exactly what I think. Labour will switch sides to the pro-independence camp the minute we have a Tory Prime Minister. To me this is as clear as spring water.

By we don’t need to wait. It is time to end the rot, time to put a stop to Scotland’s decline. It is time to make things happen, time to release our potential, time to join the rest of free nations in Europe.

It is time to vote for the future. It is time to vote SNP.

The Herald – Salmond challenges Brown to work with SNP.
Financial Times – Union Blues
The Times – Braveheart on the march
ScotlandVotes – interactive tool
Adam Smith Institute – A road to riches