Thursday, November 23, 2006



I hate blogs that just reproduce the news without any comment or extra but this is well worth it!

Dr Elaine Murray (Labour) MSP has suggested yesterday (according to the BBC) that she will be closing down her Halifax/Bank of Scotland (HBOS) accounts unless they do more to help the Farepak victims, I am 100% behind this, it won't mean much to them to lose my business I have an old account with about £10 in it, but I do have friends and family who have their everyday accounts with HBOS and I would encourage them to write to HBOS to tell them that they are intending to do this! (added 27th November 2006) This is to encourage them to help out the Farepak victims in a more significant way, many of whom are no doubt customers of HBOS.

Come on Everyone just think 'People Power' we have done it before and will do it again! Also remember that European Home Retail (EHR) own Kleeneze so if they come round don't buy anything!

I have recently been taken to task for this last point by a Kleeneze rep who has suggested that it simply hurts the agents and ruins their Christmas and I take that point but given that the parent company EHR have reneged on giving the Farepak customers the goods how confident can you be as a consumer that you will get your Kleeneze goods?



As per the title the Labour Scottish/Transport Secretary and Local MP Douglas Alexander has announced this week Labour's new initiative to keep children healthy, walking buses!

The idea is not really a new one as I have been aware of it for the past three years since becoming a Local Councillor, however it is very worth while and the additional monies being allocated is no doubt welcome. Check it out and see what you think?



I normally read The Guardian online, this stemmed from when the paper was huge and it used to hurt my wee arms! However, I missed the one big story on the comment section that Poly Tonybee was recently praised for by The Conservatives! Yup that is right you heard correctly well it turns out that the worms are turning, if you look in on Iain Dale's blog they are going nuts about it! They are suggesting that relative poverty doesn't matter that it is a non entity and that it should be removed from official government language.

I cannot help but think that is because they have probably never met someone who lives below the poverty line, or if they have they do not consider them worthy of their time. In today's comment Tonybee points out that although 'relative poverty' is indeed relative it does not make it any less real for those children and parents who suffer with it, trying to avoid the PE lessons because you don't have the right kit might sound frivolous but it wouldn't be if it was your child!

Tonybee also doubts -as do we all- that Cameron and the Tories are taking this seriously, I agree with her assessment of the situation that the figures don't add up, you cannot cut spending on the social justice agenda and still lift people out of poverty, she suggests they will be looking to the voluntary sector to come up with the cash, but they get a lot of the funding for their projects from Government be it Central or Local so the idea that they would be able to sustain this type of spending without the assistance of government is ridiculous and I am sure Tonybee agrees.

I like the fact that she attacks the Government for their language on this, it should not be about the deserving and undeserving poor but about what we can do for ALL society and the injustices and inequalities that exist to make a more just and tolerant society. The tolerance debate seems to have been left out of this particular issue but it is relevant, tolerance is fostered by equality of rights and responsibilities and social policy should equally assist all sections in society.



  • Delivered 50 new employment rights since 1997

As promised this is my Labour Gain for today, the fact that workers now have more rights than ever before can only be a good thing, I am not suggesting that the present situation is perfect but at lot of work has been done.



OK you may be getting sick of hearing about the Birthday fund for Tebo but I am just letting you all know that today is the last day that you are able to donate online through the Just Giving page I set up, so if you haven't given, get a move on!

I would like to say that I am soooo grateful to all of those that helped out and donated, my friends have been excellent, as have my colleagues in the Labour Group in Renfrewshire Council have been extremely generous as have my family. All of those who came on the night thank you so much it was a great night and I have loads of photos as well! The Labour MSPs and MPs locally also pledged their support and it is gratefully received.

Thanks again all, mostly thanks to my mum, dad and sister Clare for all their support and help.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006



I have decided that due to some confusion over whether or not I am right to ask for those commenting to at the very least identify themselves I am taking the step of now NOT publishing comments unless the person identifies themselves, this should cut down on the confusion on my position.

This will not stop the likes of Max or Martin, who are obviously NOT in agreement with me in terms of politics, but it will stop those who like to challenge my position without identifying themselves or their own views.

This is just something I am trying and I know that it will not be popular with the anonymous crowd but to be honest if they had a blog I would identify myself when posting a comment I don't think it is too much to ask that they do likewise!



One of the Local MSP's Trish Godman (Renfrewshire West) the Deputy Presiding Officer of the Scottish Parliament, has advised that she will be supporting Jackie Baillie in her private members bill to stop people parking in disabled parking bays if they do not have a blue badge.

I personally wanted to thank Trish for this as this is something which will make a BIG difference to my constituents lives!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006



OK I have put down the side of this webpage (just for a wee while) a feed from the e petitions section of the Downing Street web site! It is quite interesting to see what kinds of things are being suggested. I knew that the site was up and running because they sent me an email about it, but, my attention redirected to it this afternoon on reading the Herald Diary page. The guys that write this can be quite funny and they have highlighted the petition with the 10th highest number of votes reads ...

'we the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to stand on his head and juggle ice cream'

Not the most intelligent suggestion, but I am still trying to find out if they have done this as a joke or whether they are just at it! Of course some petitioners may just be putting silly ones online so that they can increase their traffic to their blog! A lot of the petitions are from individuals who are serious about what they are saying so have a look and see for yourself. The Scottish Parliament petitions do allow online contributions as well so you may want to check them out too. (click here)



There is an article in the Scotsman this morning entitled 'Disabled parking-bay cheats face stiff fines under new law', it reports the new bill introduced by Jackie Baillie MSP (Labour) which would see the idiots that park in the disabled parking bays in supermarkets without a disabled badge having to pay fines. She goes further by suggesting that it should apply no matter where the disabled parking bay is whether it is outside your house for instance!

I could not agree more on this front, as a Local Councillor I get lots of complaints about parking hence the East End Parking scheme, one of the main problems is that the disabled bays are not statutory and people do not respect the need of the disabled for these bays! I am trying to see if Ms Baillie has an elctronic copy of this consultation document so that I can get it to the local Disability Resource Centre and my constituents.
Thanks to Jackie Baillie for this it will make a huge difference to people's lives.



This morning I received a copy of the above booklet in the mail from my Local MP Jim Sheridan - thanks for that Jim- and I am delighted. The previous book which was around two years ago was an excellent tool for campaigning and now for blogging!

I thought that I would pick out a few of the points in the book and put them in here just to cheer you all up, because part of the problem of being the Government is that people don't notice what the Labour Party are doing for them, so just in case you didn't know here is what the Labour Party have done for us ....

  • Created the first ever national minimum wage which delivers at least £5.35 an hour to 1.5 Million people.
  • Doubled Maternity pay to £106 a week.
  • 500,000 new fathers enjoy extended paid paternity leave of 2 weeks.
  • A record 28.94 million people in jobs - up 2.51 million since 1997 - the highest number ever.
  • Average incomes up by 19% since 1997
  • The longest period of sustained economic growth in Britain's history.
  • Cut by 2.1 million the number of children living in poverty.
  • NHS Investment has doubled since 1997 and will treble to £92 Billion a year by 2008.
  • 84% of NHS staff are directly involved in patient care across 300 different careers.
  • Banning smoking in ALL public places including private clubs.

Obviously this is just a fraction of the gains that the UK has benefited from under a Labour Government, we have a duty and a right to get the good news out there so start your day with one Labour Gain a day on your blog, try it for the next year! One a day keeps the Tories/SNP/SSP/Liberal Democrats at bay!



I love reading other people's blogs, and while scouring the Internet this evening I found the blog above ( On this blog there is a quiz about inspiring women, I have taken it twice, and both times came up with Mary Wollstonecraft.

The good part about it is that when you have finished it tells you a little of the history of the particular woman, take it see who you resemble.

To access the quiz click on the title above 'Inspiring Women'

Monday, November 20, 2006



The STUC are organising their annual anti racism march in Glasgow this year, the date time and place are outlined below.

The Scottish TUC Assistant Secretary Mary Senior said ...

“The STUC is proud to be organising this anti-racism event, where Scotland unites against racism and fascism, and really celebrates our diversity and shared humanity. We are delighted that the Glasgow Anti Racist Alliance is sponsoring this year’s event and hope that as many people as possible will participate in the march and celebration, to give a visible sign that we love Scotland, but we hate racism.”

Click on the title above to visit the STUC website for more information.



In contrast to what I have written about the Friends of Seedhill Playing Fields in the past this is not going to be a positive post! I have just checked in on their website and noticed a new article written by the group which is littered with inaccuracies and which is at best disingenuous.

To set the record straight this is the truth!

The Council have changed their plans partly due to cost but, partly due to listening to the community and the objections that have been made. There are NO PLANS for 79 flats on the ground and this has been advised numerous times yet the front page of the website still suggests this, why?

Despite the Director of Planning and Transport, the Head of Transport and the technical officer who commissioned the report advising the group that the contamination on the ground is not any different from that on any other urban site, the group continue to suggest that the ground is somehow dangerous to human life!

They advise that the land at Millarston has been sold for £8 Million pounds which is absolutely ridiculous and unfounded! No one knows where they have plucked this figure from and I can categorically deny it!

They further advise that the decision was take illegally and that the report was 'hidden', maybe this is something that they should take up with their Local Elected Representative Cllr Celia Lawson, she will be able to advise that EVERY Councillor in Renfrewshire gets EVERY council agenda and report across their desk, this would have included the report on the sale of the land at Seedhill Playing Fields in Cllr Lawson's ward.

I personally pointed out that even if you miss something on a board paper you have several representatives of your party on the policy board and they would be able to highlight this to you, at least that is the way it works in the Labour group where we work as a team, recent press reports from evictees of the SNP would suggest that this is not how they work.

The reasons for selling the land have not changed and the group are aware of this, despite what this press release says!

Sunday, November 19, 2006



Today my sister and I went out to Braehead Shopping Centre supposedly for fifteen minutes (in my sisters time frame!) which turned into two hours! Shopping is only fun when you have money to spend, which I don't so it is annoying basically.

What is more annoying is the number of people who simply walk into you and don't apologise, they don't try and move out the way, they don't even look at you just try and walk right through you. The Christmas spirit obviously hasn't reached some of the shoppers, hence why I prefer doing my shopping online!
You have heard of road rage look forward to shopping rage in the near future!


Please note all postings on this blog are of a personal nature and do not reflect the opinions of either Renfrewshire Council, the Scottish Labour Party or Renfrewshire Labour Group. NB No annonymous comments will be published on this blog if you have something to say have the courage to identify yourself.