Friday, September 29, 2006



It came as no surprise as earlier stated that Cllr Martin of Renfrewshire Council abandoned his SNP party after his mate Vassie left, to be honest I know of at least one poll that was running to see how long it would take.

The latest in the saga is that Cllr's Martin and Vassie (still suspended from ALL council meetings) have combined their mighty intellects and formed their own group on the Council (imaginatively called the independents). Cllr Martin the (at least) two time failed leadership candidate for the SNP group on the Council, is at last a leader of himself and the disgraced Vassie! He only needed to leave the SNP to achieve it, meanwhile back on the ranch the SNP locally are in disarray trying to distance themselves from Martin. They suggest it is a bruised ego and that he was on the way out before he jumped, meanwhile Martin suggests that the Boy MacKay is not the real leader that would be equally disgraced Councillor Iain Nicholson!

The saga will no doubt continue with Martin and Vassie setting up their own, Independent SNP party or something of that ilk! I will keep you posted!



Well just an update on the big event on the 13th of October (my party) I have sent out email and text messages invites to most of the people I know and I am going to send out more paper invites to those I don't have contact details for. If you haven't received one by Thursday next week and you know me and would like to come drop me a line.

Anyhoot family and friends are preparing and I am going to plug the website for donations yet again ...

Thursday, September 28, 2006



Tonight on Newsnight he suggested that Cherie Blair should keep her mouth shut! Surprise surprise, I think that he should keep his mouth shut, but that is simply my opinion!

Mr Morgan seems to think that he is some kind of celebrity, the BBC don't do much to dissuade him of this opinion by treating him like a REAL journalist! Bolstering this mans massive ego doesn't do anyone any good! His opinions are as vulgar as they are sexist, his suggestion seems to be that the PM's spouse should be quiet, women should be seen and not heard! This was the original question!

WELL HEAR THIS! I am one woman who will not be silenced, as someone who had the privilege of staying in the same close as a REAL SUFFRAGETTE, I will not be silenced by any misogynistic megalomaniac! I don't believe that we should play to the lowest common denominator as he does, I believe that people are intelligent enough to know what matters! Not being a politician he is NOT subject to the same scrutiny as Jack Straw, and that is where this falls down!

He is now shouting at Jack Straw to apologise for his mistakes, like he has? Has he apologised to the people he hurt and the stories he got wrong as the editor of the Mirror? I doubt it!

Photo below

Thought that I had better clarify the photo earlier, it is me, when I was first elected. I know what a change!



This morning we had a Full Council meeting discussing the issue of Single Status, and although the Falkirk issue had already been exposed by the national media. The difference as outlined by the Labour Administration at today's meeting was that ...

1. Falkirk (the SNP controlled council) to the best of my knowledge did not allow the Unions to ballot, where Renfrewshire did.

2. Renfrewshire's package was accepted by Unison, Falkirk's was not.

3. The Renfrewshire package was widely hailed as one of the most generous in Scotland, the same has not been said of Falkirk's!

The SNP are saying one thing in Power and another in opposition, how tell me can they be trusted?

John Reid


There are many of my friends reading this going OH MY GOD, stop now! Some of them are not fans of Dr Reid and to be honest lately I haven't been either, I believe that some of the rhetoric that he has been 'quoted' as saying has been too right wing for me. Let me clarify before anyone has a go at me, I mean right wing in the Labour sense not outright political sense.

In his speech to conference (which I didn't see due to Council duties) I noticed that he suggested that NO area of Britain should be a no go area for ANYONE!! I agree that 'it is the weak and vulnerable who suffer most in an insecure world' and recently at a policy forum I suggested that the reason we as party are different from the others is that we consider and try and help the most vulnerable, and that our policies should and do create an inclusive society where EVERY view matters.

And his points regarding illegal Labour are exactly what I was getting at in previous posts, it is not to a certain extent the fault of the immigrant who comes here, it is the fault of the unscrupulous employer who takes advantage of their poverty and status to exploit them and our Labour market!

The problem with terrorism is a big one and I know that we have a big issue with Iraq, my CLP was not for the war in Iraq, but what Tony Blair said earlier this week is true we are not in his position and most of us wouldn't be for toffee (old Scottish saying I think!). I have friends who are Muslim and they are law abiding and would NEVER think about taking innocent lives, yet some are scared to go to certain areas for fear of attack, when John Reid suggests that NO area in the UK shall be a NO GO AREA I agree but as he says it has to extend to everyone!

I agree with a lot of the statements in this speech and that pleasantly surprised me, I heard Dr Reid speaking at a Young Labour Conference some years ago and this speech was reminiscent of that, it WAS more substance, well done!

Wednesday, September 27, 2006



It has been put to me that I shouldn't say (as with a previous post) that I am ashamed of being British because it will not win any votes, I responded by saying 'TOUGH' there are things that make me ashamed of being British, some attitudes held, some opinions voiced and some narrow minded nationalism.

Having said that there is a lot more that makes me proud of being British, Scottish and a global citizen. I am proud that the UK has one of the lowest unemployment rates in Europe, I am proud that this UK government has made tremendous strides in reducing child poverty (lot still to be done), I am proud of the national wage, I am proud of the community that I represent electorally and I am proud that the Labour Government is acting globally to end world poverty. What makes you proud to be British?

Councillor Rayleen Kelly


This morning I attended the funeral of a colleague Cllr Jean Goldie, the Deputy Provost of Renfrewshire. Cllr Goldie was born in Sunderland and moved to Renfrewshire with her husband David. My condolences go out to David and all the family, the Labour Party has lost a great advocate and true stalwart.
I know that Jean will be missed not just by her family and friends, or just in the Labour Group and by her constituents, but as a public figure in Renfrewshire.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006



I watched the television news tonight and was ashamed to be British for the first time in a long time! The coverage of the expansion of the EU bringing in Romania and Bulgaria showed how xenophobic some people can be, it is my belief that the majority of people do not feel as the scary woman with the wild hair that they interviewed.

I am reading the Ragged Trousered Philanthropist and I am still on the first chapter but the view of 'these foreigners stealing our jobs' is echoed in this book from some of the characters. If I was a betting woman I would bet that by the end of the book the characters are more or less against this view (NO posts telling me the end!). The unemployment rate in the UK is at it's lowest for generations, the interest rates are stable and the minimum wage, parental leave and flexible working have not been the industry killers the Tories would have had us believe.

Yet some people still think in terms of 'foreigners stealing our jobs', this is the sentiment that upsets me, the idea that some people say this with an undercurrent of racism, some say it with real fear, remembering the Tory days where unemployment was a curse on this country. This is not the case anymore, I challenge anyone with this view to provide the evidence to support it, I doubt I will get it, but I give the challenge anyway. Think about it seriously and if you still think that way leave a comment tell me why, start a debate and take part!



OK it is a Labour blog and you would hardly expect anything less than comment on the main speeches at the conference, I know yesterday I said I wasn't going to do this BUT a woman is allowed to change her mind!

I wasn't able to attend national conference (never have) but have seen both Blair and Brown speak to Scottish Conference and I must admit up till now I have always preferred Brown. Not because he is Scottish but because his style brings you into the conversation, it is like he is having a conversation with you and you can answer back at anytime. Blair seemed a little fire and brimstone for my liking, but today he came across relaxed, personable and interested!

I am not one for personalities in politics, I agree with Gordon Brown when he said yesterday that it is about making a difference and helping others, however, Blair today was engaging and entertaining, in fact the story he told about his sons canvassing has happened to me and my cousins when my father and I were standing at the last election. He was non conciliatory and part of me liked that, I understand the need for change but some of the change we have been through has not been substance based merely cosmetic and I think at times this is where we fall down.

If Margaret Thatcher were to stand again today would she be elected on the promises she made in 79? Of course not and Blair's point here is well taken, the change though cannot affect the aspirations that we have for society it must simply be about how we achieve them, not why!

What do you think?

Monday, September 25, 2006


I suddenly realised that I forgot to let you all know about this photo, the girl is me aged about 11 and the boy is my youngest brother Tebo (Terence) who must be about 8? Not quite sure if that is right but it looks about it, although he never changed much in the following few years. Anyway Tebo and I are standing at Loch Milton just outside Boat of Garten where we went on holiday every year for about ten years! Not saying I didn't enjoy it I did! It is strange I look back on those times with NO TV, NO Phone, NO radio and think GOD we were lucky!

Every night the guitars came out and we sang until the wee hours of the morning! We sang and sat by the fireside! I know it sounds so parochial but when my friends were in Ibiza I was in Aviemore and loving every minute of it!

Please check out my birthday fundraising page (told you, you would all get sick of hearing about it!) and tell your friends!



While reading this weeks edition of the New Statesman online I noticed an article by Anthony Giddens author of among others 'The Third Way' and 'The Third way and it's critics', and one of the theorists widely suggested to be one of Blair's gurus. In his article he suggests that the UK political sphere has moved too far toward the US, their policies and ideals.

I argued this point in the synopsis I entered for my fourth year dissertation in Uni entitled 'The Americanisation of UK Politics', I even had a theory shall we say, it was called the 'Hat and Balloon' theory. I know sounds frivolous, but, the point was that it is not just the policies but the way that we campaign that has moved towards the American model. Instead of concentrating on the issues and policies the street stalls have turned into helium balloons, pencils, pens and badges! Maybe it is because as a society we are not willing to stop and engage in politics or maybe it is the other way round!

What do you think?



You are all going to get sick of hearing this, but hear goes again! I am asking for help with publicising my fundraising for my 30th Birthday.

The website address is here, please help! Read either my earlier post or the web site for more information, thanks all!



Now I am not going to be one of these bloggers that go on and on at length about how wonderful Gordon Brown or Tony Blair are, and I am not even going to tell you which one I prefer, what I am going to do is ask for the highlights of the non-celebrity political speakers.

For instance a delegate from AMICUS today Mrs P Muggins (Also from my local CLP) outlined why the rule of 85 in local government had to stay, this is something that local parties and the Scottish Executive have been at odds about for sometime now. If you don't know much about it the short version is that public servants are allowed to retire early as long as their age and their service adds up to more than 85 years old. AMICUS are against this change, and Phil Muggins spoke eloquently and forcibly on this issue and I was really impressed, as conference goes on I think I will look out for more like her instead of the publicised speeches, tell me who you think is impressive.

Sunday, September 24, 2006



While looking through other Labour blogs this evening I noticed a rather interesting post on a fellow Labour blog (click here for original post) it is a challenging quiz item, but I did get 87% on my first try!

All that political lecturing and reading in University obviously sunk in! Have a go have fun, oh and let me know your score!

Labour Party Conference


Well the real show in town has finally arrived the Liberal Democrat Conference was simply the warm up act for the main attraction! OK so I get a little excited about the whole conference season, despite never having been to the main Labour Party conference I am an avid follower of all of the conferences and hope that all of the delegates are enjoying themselves.

Also a big shout out to the Bloggers4Labour crowd who are having a get together, I would suggest the same for Scottish Conference but I think it would pretty much be me on my lonesome having a glass of wine! Have fun guys and remember and blog all the gossip for those of us that can't be there!


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.