28 Feb 2009

Go Hypocrite !

GORDON Brown last night dismissed calls to surrender his £123,000 a year pension when he is forced to stop being prime minister next June.

Mr Brown was defiant in the face of City outrage despite the UK government's annual operating loss of £100bn, rising to £1.5 trillion when the write-down of its banking assets is taken into account.

The prime minister said: "I've been building up this pension since I became an MP, it's all completely legal and now you want to take it away because I've been catastrophically bad at my job and you're looking for a scapegoat. What gives?"

He added: "Yes I've been in charge of financial regulation for 12 years, yes I encouraged the housing bubble, and yes I pissed billions up the wall giving pointless jobs to Labour voters, but I fail to see what any of this has to do with me being incredibly well off."

Brown's £3m pension pot is expected to cast the spotlight on the extravagant retirement packages of other failed politicians including Alistair Darling's inexplicable £1.7m and the £1.5m awarded to John Prescott for being a national scandal for 10 years.

Meanwhile Margaret Beckett has a fund worth £1.7m, something called 'Hilary Armstrong' has £1.2m and Tessa Jowell has £1m even though no-one has the faintest idea what any of them actually did.

Critics insist Mr Brown has a moral duty to hand back his pension fund as he will inevitably receive a multi-million pound advance for two volumes of eye-gougingly tedious memoirs which will end up in the bargain bucket at WH Smith within a fortnight.

Martin Bishop, head of pension rows at the Institute for Studies, said: "It's a fascinating dynamic. The politicians blame the bankers, the bankers blame the politicians, and the ordinary taxpayer is down on all fours with a confused look on his face, being fucked at both ends."

Lifted from The Daily Mash - ta to it . Pay the site a return visit - some great stuff there to help lift the gloom of that recession


This six month old payslip just conveniently popped up the day Gordy decided to give the banks another £300 billion of our money. (click to enlarge)

And whatever happened to that "brilliant" October 2008 bank "re-captialisation" rescue plan. You know - the one the rest of the world would be copying, in awe of our own genius Prime Minister?


27 Feb 2009

Sir Fred Goodwin Was My Chauffeur !

Spare a thought for the young Sir Fred Goodwin.

I went to school with him – Paisley Grammar in the early 1970s, and then onto Glasgow University where I developed a peculiar bond with him.

I enrolled at uni aged 16 - a year earlier than most. For the previous year Fred, a same age Paisley Grammar classmate of my brother Ian, and Paisley Grammar’s lone Trot, John "Paddy" Adams, were in Fred’s car pool from Paisley. I was a new class of ‘76 back seat recruit. It was a smart gold Rover 200 – quite a set of wheels for a student.

These were the days of the Pistols and, yes, The Eagles, Hotel California being THE album!

And in the dispute over what radio station (Radio 1 or Clyde) played in Sir Fred's Rover as we crawled along Paisley Road West, Fred was for commercial Clyde and The Eagles. It might surprise you to learn that, as a young radical, I was on Fred’s side, loving the Eagles more than he did, as opposed to the noisy “trash” of the punks, favoured by Paddy, the staple of Radio 1 - God Save The Queen aside, banned for just being too right on

Indeed at 16, with most of my own classmates still a school doing a sixth year, Sir Fred was a bit of a mentor, almost father figure to me. Whilst I was political enough - a party member since the age of 12 - I was never too keen on the ideological debate which raged between the 3rd ( Paddy) and 2nd ( bro) Internationals in the car, and then into the Men’s Union smoking room ( surrounded by a bunch of public schoolboy neo- fascists, plotting Maggie and Michael Forsyth’s soon to be launched counter revolution)

Me and Fred had ambitious plans of our own, and together we became the unofficial pinball champions of the Union basement, my mentor Fred being both proud and disappointed when I took his crown sometime mid 2nd term.

And all closely watched by The Union’s "Eddie the handyman", who in the juvenile homophobic mind of Sir Fred, was "a poof" eyeing him, me and everyone else up ready to whisk us away to his workshop if one dropped one’s guard

Of such stuff is the most successful and then most spectacularly disastrous banker in world history made.

And if he losses that £650k a year pension, who knows he might once more be my chauffeur

But I did like Fred, was proud of his success whilst it lasted. Maybe he will do a John Profumo and use a personal disaster to tun his life around, serving the poor rather than livimg off the backs of them.

I hope so. Fred has a better side. I can vouch for that.


25 Feb 2009

For Ivan Cameron and his family. From Willie Wallace Lincoln (21st December 1850 - 20th February 1862)


It was 68 years ago today - lest we forget these bravehearts

The 1941 February Strike was a general strike organized during World War II in The Netherlands against the anti-Jewish measures and activities by the Nazis.

Its direct causes were the razzias held by the Germans in the Jewish neighbourhood of Amsterdam. The strike started on 25 February and was largely struck down the next day.

The February Strike was the first direct action undertaken against the anti-Jewish measures of the Nazis in occupied Europe, and performed by non-Jewish citizens.

The timng and context was also significant. The strike was largely Dutch Communist Party led. But this was February 1941, four months before Hitler invaded the Soviet Union, a time in which Stalinist Russia was in a formal aliance with Hitler, Stalin actively supressing anti-nazi activity . The Dutch communists, the Dutch labour movement, chose justice and solidarity over party loyalty - doubly brave if you knew anything about what happened to communist dissidents under Stalin - not just in the Soviet Union. This strike was truly remarkable, courageous, inspiring Learn more


For the Dutch Transport workers - and millions more like them


22 Feb 2009

Middle East Peace Envoy, US Congressional Gold Medal of Honour, born again Catholic - are there no limits to this creep's brassneck?

From Today's Sunday Times

TONY BLAIR is cashing in on his experience as Britain’s longest-serving Labour prime minister by setting up a “commercial partnership” that offers clients political and economic advice.

The business venture, Tony Blair Associates, has been disclosed by the official watchdog that scrutinises paid employment undertaken by former ministers.

The advisory committee on business appointments said in a statement on its website this weekend: “Tony Blair has established Tony Blair Associates which will allow him to provide, in partnership with others, strategic advice on a commercial and pro-bono [free] basis, on political and economic trends and governmental reform.” The committee said it saw “no reason why he should not set up the firm forthwith”, and disclosed that this had been done this month.

It is believed to be the first time a former prime minister has set up a commercial venture with the apparent intention of cashing in on time spent in office. Since stepping down as prime minister in June 2007, Blair is said to have earned as much as £15m from a variety of business deals and a book venture. He has been paid a £4.5m advance for his Downing Street memoirs, a £2.5m salary as a part-time adviser to the American investment bank JP Morgan Chase and £2m for an adviser’s role with the Swiss firm Zurich Financial Services. He has also worked on the after-dinner lecture circuit. Last year a Spanish newspaper reported that he had earned up to £240,000 for making a 90-minute speech to 2,000 entrepreneurs in Barcelona. Blair also receives a taxpayer-funded pension of £63,468 a year, plus an annual £84,000 allowance to run a private office.

This chancer makes Sir Fred Goodwin appear contrite, credible.

It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God

Matthew, chapter 19; Mark chapter 10; Luke chapter 18 - Tony must only have read John ( Prescott).

Pray all you want Tony - you know where you're going


JUST GO ! - and take your ID cards, 42 day detention plans and your sister with you


Free Palestine!


21 Feb 2009

Malcom X - Assasinated, 44 years ago today..His message lives on and his spirit needed as much as ever


20 Feb 2009

Pre-Revolutionary Scotland 2009

Bring Out The Bikes!

Just been reading some interesting stuff on Monatgue Burton’s fine blog The Universality of Cheese .
Specifically, he has summarised well recent revelations that in 1975 the UK Civil Service openly conspired to downplay the real value of Scottish oil, tried to delay a referendum on devolution ( despite it being the only reason labour in Scotland was not wiped out in the October 1974 General election) and who – yes neutral good a stiff upper lipped civil servants - even planned funding Orkney and Shetland separatist movements to undermine Scotland’s strategic case

Great reading, as was finding our precisely who was behind this and where they are now

But did anyone that knows anything about the British State, the British establishment and its pre and post-independence strategies in close to half the countries of the globe think any different?

That it would play fair, that the Civil Service, was honourable, remotely neutral ?

What do people think the Holyrood building project was really about for starters?. Are we really that inept?

Back to 1975. To me the most interesting question is this:

If this is what the Civil Service were up to in 1975, when objectively the threat of independence was pretty remote, what are they up to now?

And I don’t just mean the London based civil service, but the one in Edinburgh, the one that advises Alex an co on just about everything, advice nine time out of ten SNP ministers implement without hesitation.

Indeed - and I have direct and very recent experience of this- slavishy backing Civil Servants and in some cases openly conspiring against those trying to help them, trying to point out the obvious traps being set for them

From Tartan Day to housing policy. From Creative Scotland to the National Conversation. In your own office Alex....open you eyes, pal

Waken up - read what the British state did in Ireland, pre and post independence. Read what they did here in 1975

But they aint doing it here and now" ? - not these nice pleasant Edinburgh-Oxbridge London appointed types . Not that nice man who bought me a Saltire tie for Christmas and gave Moira these lovely flowers......oh no not him, them...They are the nice unionists - the ones that advise us professionally with no hidden agenda…., and then go home to their New Town terraces to read Sir Wally Scott and listen to Puccini.

Bring out these bikes and Mick Collins' boys I say - Leave Nicola and co to pose around on Newsnight debating with Lord Foulkes.... out of harms way - our way,
Poor people gonna rise up and take what's theirs


18 Feb 2009

Japan's Recession Buster - a world exclusive

Sony Releases New Stupid Piece Of Shit That Doesn't Fucking Work


17 Feb 2009

News from Berlin -Derek Draper is New Labour's Poster boy - Mandleson's pal, a fantasist - and currenty the Labour Party's Communications Advisor!


14 Feb 2009

Happy 200th Birthday, Mr President


11 Feb 2009

Proud to Be Scottish

Just watch

listen to the quality

How can we not be like this everyday?

We'd be unbeatable!


8 Feb 2009

For Bashir Ahmad (1940-2009). This song, the way it is sung, the venue, those lyrics, sums him up if anything can.


7 Feb 2009

Why We Fight

Bashir Ahmad, the SNP list MSP for Glasgow has died

I met Bashir only a few times but thought he was great.

I first met him in 1988 when together as then Labour party supporters we helped get Mohammed Sarwar, now MP for Glasgow Central, get elected to the Glasgow City Council ward of Pollocksheilds East ( the East was so , so apt)

And an achievement I am still proud of, and Bashir too.

And whilst we all got the symbolism then - a Scots -Asian winning in 'till then true blue Pollocksheilds, (and on an up front anti-poll tax ticket) , we all got it even more when almost 20 years on, Bashir, then SNP councillor for Pollocksheilds East became an MSP fo the City og Glasgow - the whole city - on 3rd May 2007. The first Scots-Asian ( first ever Scots ethnic ) to sit in the Parliament of Scotland - and under the SNP's banner.

And on that great, day of days and - with respect to all the other winners - he provided that vital vote that made the difference

He will be greatly missed and sadly missed , but will go down in history for all the best of reasons

Indeed, I have just recalled the last time I heard him speak - maybe it was the last time he spoke in the chamber. It was during a Dignity for Palestine debate just before Christmas, and led off by two of Bashir’s fellow Glasgow MSPS, Pauline McNeil ( Labour) and Sandra White ( SNP) , both recently returned from Gaza on a high risk parliamentary delegation. I stayed in the chamber to watch it all after FMQs. There were some great speeches, and Bashir’s, whilst not the best, was the most effective. Read it in full here

I was sitting right next to a some young “Scots Asians for Independence” activists from an organisation Bashir had himself founded in 1995; They'd come through for Glasgow , I think with Bashir.

And whilst we said nothing to each other, we nodded and applauded together - being rebuked by the Presiding Officer for doing so. In this impossed silence, I could almost feel their pride as Bashir rose to speak.

I remember saying to myself , "this is what we all fought for - Bashir fought for" - our own free and democratic parliament, reaching out to the world.

And I also wondered what the folks of Gaza would have thought when via holyrood.tv they watched one of their own tribe rise to speak for them in our parly. ( very difficult to accees in gaza, but for surely it would have gotten though to someone there)

They have lost one of their best fighters today.

Scotland too

Bashir Ahmed 1940-2009

Born in pre partition India ( now part of Pakistan), Bashir came to Scotland aged 21 and worked as a bus conductor and bus driver before buying his own shop. He subsequently owned shops, restaurants and a hotel before retiring from business.

He was elected five times as president of the Pakistan Welfare Association. In 1995 he founded Scots Asians for Independence, and he had been a member of the SNP's national executive committee since 1998. In 2003 he was elected as councillor for the Pollokshields East ward of Glasgow City Council.

He was elected as an SNP member of the Scottish Parliament for the Glasgow region and Scotland's first and only Asian MSP at the 2007 election. He served on Cross Party Groups for Carers, Human Rights and Civil Liberties, Older People, Age and Ageing, Palestine and Tartan Day

As well as his political interests Bashir was an active member of the Asian and Muslim communities in Glasgow attending a number of the committees of various mosques in the city.


3 Feb 2009

Caledonian Trilogy - from Willie Wallace to Barack Obama. With a helping hand from Elvis and Rabbie!


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