Friday, March 02, 2007



A few weeks ago a friends daughter sent me a text to say that I was famous, when I saw her a week later I was a little curious as to what she meant, but as it turns out it was from my past life so to speak.

As a youngster I was involved with a Local Youth Theatre and one of the projects they took on was an alcohol awareness film funded by Drinkwise Inverclyde initially to go on tour to show the dangers of alcohol to young people, I took part in this and it turns out that this is what she was referring to. It turns out that the video is now used throughout Renfrewshire in High Schools as part of their alcohol awareness campaign, I know that PACE are proud of this product and I was lucky enough to accompany them out on the first tour which included drama workshops afterwards and it was a huge success.

The main point for me was that it showed the difference in reception from watching older people telling you drink is bad from watching young people their own age show the dangers and tell a story which many of the young people would be able to connect with.

Similar projects that have been carried out by PACE are Dazzled an anti drugs production, Facing the Consequences a sexual education film, No Way Out a production on bullying in the workplace and Mr Fluffy, to name but a few, they do excellent work and I am proud to be an ex member, and still keep in touch with the organisation through my council duties.

Wednesday, February 28, 2007



The Scottish Executive's anti social behaviour roadshow is in Paisley's County Square today and I went along to find out more about it.

You can't actually miss it as the truck is HUGE! the personnel are giving out leaflets and talking to members of the public even though it is a cold, wet and windy day people are stopping to talk to them. The truck it's self is pretty impressive there are comment cards, loads of literature both local and national, a TV screen showing the latest Scottish Executive Adverts, computers with quiz's and a video booth where you can leave a message on anti social behaviour for the Scottish Executive. While I was there, there were a few people checking out the computers talking to the wardens and the police representatives and the whole thing seems to be a success.

Unfortunately the bus is only here for the day, and they are meant to be leaving at 5pm. I would like to thank the representatives who were there ALL day in the rain and wind helping the public with their queries and I hope that the rest of the day was as successful as the time I spent with them.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007



One of the main issues that I have had to deal with since becoming a Councillor is parking. You will have noticed earlier posts on the proposed parking scheme for the East End of Paisley, but, on this occasion the parking is in the residential car park of Williamsburgh Court.

It has been a long process and we have tried MANY solutions but through discussion with the Residents Association and the Housing department it has been agreed to install gates at the front entrance of the car park, the meeting went well and it was very positive. I know that the residents were delighted with the Housing Department's suggestions and can't wait for the next Neighbourhood Housing Forum in order to get things in motion.

Hopefully this will help alleviate the situation, and I am delighted to have been able to work with the tenants association to come to bring this problem to the attention of the Housing Department.

Monday, February 26, 2007



As you will see from the side bar I have removed last week's poll and started a new one, last weeks was quite successful so I hope to make this a regular feature. The results for last week's poll are as follows ...

66% of respondents agreed that Disabled Parking bays should be legally enforceable while 34% disagreed.

Not quite as clear cut as you might have thought. What does this prove? Well nothing really, it is a small sample and not widely publicised but, if the results were replicated on a larger scale it would show a significant level of support for the private members bill by Jackie Baillie MSP.

Thanks to everyone who took part and have fun with the next poll, how likely are you to vote in the Local Government Elections in May?

Sunday, February 25, 2007


are they or aren't they?

Many of you might be thinking that I have went a little strange but I have seen others be condemned for calling them racist and repugnant without actually researching what they stand for, so I have.

Looking around YouTube for something interesting politically it came up with a few BNP TV excerpts, and I was struck especially in the one about the building of a mosque by the lack of reasoning given for being against the Muslim or immigrant society. I think of myself as a British Citizen, yet my fathers side of the family are Irish Immigrants, it is funny that you never hear the BNP talk about those immigrants, in these videos they talk a lot about the Muslim community.

In the video I mentioned earlier the supporters talk about free speech, they talk about how the building of a mosque takes away their free speech and it takes away their culture, my question is how? They talk in another video about Croydon and asylum seekers coming to claim benefits, they then go on to suggest that they may be (not could be or remote possibility etc but may be) terrorists or criminals, no mention of the thousands of asylum seekers who are law abiding citizens looking for refuge, no mention of the thousands of 'indigenous' English/Scottish/Irish/Welsh or British people who are criminals and terrorists and this is exactly where the BNP shows it's racist under belly.

The problem for the BNP is that although they suggest that they are not racist EVERY time I hear them speak they seem to blame the ills in this country on the immigrant population, as a great great grand child of an Irish immigrant I find them offensive, as a friend to a few Asians I find them offensive and as a decent human being I find their views and political ramblings offensive, the problem is that some people fall for their solution of get rid of the immigrants and everything will be OK.

Even worse is the Scottish video where the guy stands in front of the camera and uses the image of Kris Donald in a bid to describe how bad Scotland's immigration problem is. Criminals and murderers come in all shapes, races, sexes, religions and sizes there is no one model, there is no way to say who will or will not be a murderer. The BNP use the Kris Donald murder as an excuse to vilify the Asian community and that is what I find repugnant.

Whether they think it or not, whether they like it or not they are racist and the views they express in these videos are repugnant, they can argue as much as they like but the idea that someone elses views or religious freedom would take away your free speech without honest or reasoned argument puts people off and shows a fear of the other person's religion and culture, why be afraid, embrace it, it may not be what you are used to or what you believe in but it will enrich your life and your understanding of the world.


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.