“I will defend these rises until I’m blue in the face. Councillors work extremely hard and their pay is poor compared with that given to list MSPs. I’ve never really understood what list MSPs actually do, but councillors certainly deserve their pay rise.”
– Councillor Wilson on Inverclyde Council taking a backdated 2% pay rise
David Wilson, Conservative and Unionist Councillor for Inverclyde, posted a wee letter in this week’s Greenock Telegraph. I shall post the letter, with a few links that may be of interest.
THE SNP has criticised and opposed the £500 million investment in Faslane by the Conservative Government’s Chancellor George Osborne, which guarantees 6,700 jobs and creates thousands more.
Ministry of Defence reveals just 520 Faslane jobs depend on Trident
“Claims that Scotland would lose thousands of jobs if the Trident nuclear weapons system is taken out of service or moved elsewhere have been thrown into question following an admission by the Ministry of Defence that only 520 civilian jobs at HM Naval Base Clyde are dependent on Trident.”
Former Conservative Defense Secretary Michael Portillo on Trident
“No, it’s completely past its sell-by date. It’s neither independent, because we couldn’t possibly use it without the Americans, neither is it any sort of deterrent, because now largely we are facing the sorts of enemies – the Taliban, Al Qaeda – who cannot be deterred by nuclear weapons. It’s a tremendous waste of money, it’s done entirely for reasons of national prestige, it’s wasteful, and at the margins it is proliferatory.”
Do the Americans want Britain to Renew Trident?
“From the American perspective Trident serves no useful purpose whatsoever whereas other things upon which Britain could usefully spend the cash presently earmarked for Trident DO matter to the Americans or would, that is to say, be useful to them. And to NATO.”
There is an ideological theme here following on from the SNP’s rejection of fracking and the EU declared-safe GM crops.
Poll finds public support for fracking dives to new low
“Support for controversial fracking has fallen to a new low, according to an official Government survey.
Only a fifth of people (21per cent) back extracting shale gas for use in the UK, the lowest level of support since the quarterly public attitudes survey by the Department of Energy and Climate Change first quizzed people on the issue in December 2013.”
The SNP is frankly more concerned about its crazy policies than the economic wellbeing of the country.
Rogoff’s austerity miscalculation
“Growth in a Time of Austerity, a text often cited in the justification of tightened fiscal policy, has been found to contain statistical errors and selective omissions; thereby causing many to question the legitimacy of cutting public spending and rapidly raising taxes in spurring the economy.”
George Osborne’s cunning plan: how the chancellor’s austerity narrative has harmed recovery
“Over their five years in power, the Conservatives have claimed their austerity policy saved the country from disaster. This purported economic competence sits at the heart of their election campaign. It needs critical scrutiny.”
Top economist attacks Tory austerity – and Labour’s limp response
“Plans by the Conservatives and Labour for a fresh round of deficit reduction after the general election are being strongly attacked by one of the world’s leading economists who warns that renewed austerity will hold back a still-incomplete recovery.”
We all know that with oil at $43 a barrel we would have a £10 billion gap in our budget if independent…
Oil surges 25% in three trading sessions
“On Monday, Nymex October West Texas Intermediate, the US oil benchmark, rose $3.98, or 8.8 per cent, to settle at $49.20 a barrel. London-listed ICE October Brent, the international marker, climbed $4.10, or 8.2 per cent, to settle at $54.15 a barrel in thin UK holiday trading.”
North Sea oil and gas industry investment hailed by Chancellor
“£3 billion to be invested in the North Sea and its supply chain
The Chancellor has welcomed news that £3 billion is to be invested in the North Sea and its supply chain, supporting up to 6,000 UK jobs and creating more than 400.
The announcement comes as the UK Oil & Gas Authority has approved the development of the Culzean gas field – the largest new field discovered in the UK North Sea for a decade.
The Maersk Oil operated High Pressure, High Temperature (HPHT) Culzean field was discovered in 2008 and is expected to produce enough gas to meet 5% of total UK demand at peak production in 2020 to 2021.”
… and, rest assured readers, Nicola Sturgeon is well aware of this and will not be rushing to another referendum, as she would be beaten even more convincingly than in 2014.
STV poll: 53% of Scots would vote for independence if ballot held now
“More than half of Scots would vote for independence if a second referendum were held tomorrow, according to a poll commissioned by STV.
The Ipsos Mori survey shows 53% would vote yes, 44% would vote no and 3% are undecided.”
Of greater concern is the sheer incompetence of her administration and its running of the country.
SNP increase lead in the run up to 2016 Holyrood election
“Among those certain to vote and who tend to vote in Scottish Parliament elections, 55% would cast their constituency vote for the SNP in an immediate Holyrood election (up 2 points from January 2015), while 20% would vote for Scottish Labour (down 4 points). Support for the Scottish Conservatives is up by 1 point to 12% while the Scottish Liberal Democrats are at 7% (up 2 points).”
Education, the NHS and the Justice System have systemic problems all attributable to the leadership of Messrs Robison, Constance and Matheson the relevant ministers. They frankly are not officer material and are struggling with their briefs.
Teachers accuse Michael Gove of ruining England’s school system with ‘corporate greed’
“Education Secretary Michael Gove is allowing England’s state school system to be destroyed by “corporate greed” through his controversial free schools and academies programme, teachers claimed yesterday.
Delegates at the Association of Teachers and Lecturers conference in Manchester yesterday passed an emergency motion voicing concern over the “financial mismanagement” of free schools and academies.”
More than 140 top doctors attack government record on NHS
“Leading doctors in the NHS have accused the coalition government of a catalogue of broken promises, funding cuts and destructive legislation which has left the health service weaker than ever before.
In a letter to the Guardian, more than 140 senior doctors pass a damning judgment on the government’s stewardship of the NHS, which they say is under pressure because of unnecessary market-oriented changes.”
Campaigners blast Michael Gove and Tories over ‘vandalism’ of plans to scrap Human Rights Act
Human rights campaigners have fired their first shots at Michael Gove after it was revealed he’ll be in charge of scrapping the Human Rights Act.
The ex-education secretary was demoted to chief whip last year after his school reforms enraged teaching unions and he had a reported rift with home secretary Theresa May.
Now he is back in the fold after David Cameron promoted him to be justice secretary and Lord Chancellor, putting him in charge of prisons, tribunals, courts and heavily-cut legal aid.
In their defence, they were left problems because their predecessors omitted to do their day job in the two years run-up to the referendum, concentrating on their separatist agenda.
Regardless Of The Outcome, The Scottish Referendum Debate Has Impassioned A Generation
“”It might sound dramatic, but I haven’t seen a movement like this since Occupy Wall Street,” 22-year-old Daniel Scott Lintott says. “On both sides people have rallied around what they really believe is best for the future of Scotland.””
Why are Scots still more likely to vote than the rest of the country?
“Voters north of the border are more interested in politics and more likely to vote in general election in the wake of the independence referendum”
‘And the Winner is… the Referendum’: Scottish Independence and the Deliberative Participation of Citizens
“Only 45% of Scots said yes to independent statehood, but a massive majority said yes to direct democracy. The turnout of 84.65% was the highest for any UK electoral event since the introduction of universal suffrage, significantly trumping the 65.1% who voted in the 2010 UK general election and the 50.6% who bothered to turn out for the 2011 Scottish parliamentary elections.”
The creation of Police Scotland and the appointments of Messrs Mulholland and Thomson to top Justice roles have all brought into question the judgement and management ability of the minister.
‘Incompetent’ Grayling condemned by ex-Tory MP as ‘off his trolley’
“Chris Grayling is a disgraceful incompetent who should be sacked as Justice Secretary because he is undermining the legal system, a former Tory MP has claimed.
In a vitriolic personal attack, the barrister Jerry Hayes denounced the minister as “off his trolley” and as a “s*** which will have to be flushed” from office after the election.”
Michael Gove is not just a bungler, he’s a destructive ideologue
“By any normal reckoning, Michael Gove is a walking disaster-zone of chronic political incompetence. His ministerial career has been a litany of blunders and apologies. It began in his first months as education secretary, when he botched the coalition’s scrapping of Labour’s school building programme. Last year, he was at the centre of the GCSE regrading fiasco and the scandal of selling off school playing-fields in the year of the London Olympics.”
I also regret to say that in spite of us having more money per head, the education system and NHS are no operated better south of the border.
(… I think Mr Wilson could do with a proof reader)
Nicola Sturgeon has had personally (sic) to intervene to attempt to reverse the considerable decline in our youngster’s literacy and numeracy abilities since the SNP has been in charge since 2007.
Child Poverty in Scotland
“More than one in five (210,000) of Scotland’s children are officially recognised as living in poverty [i], a level significantly higher than in many other European countries[ii]. In 2013/14 the proportion of children in Scotland experiencing poverty remained at 22%, after increasing from 19% in 2011/12 [iii]. This increase is in-keeping with independent modelling by the Institute for Fiscal studies (IFS) which forecasts a massive increase in child poverty, with up to 100,000 more children living in poverty in Scotland in 2020 than in 2012 [iv]. This forecast does not take account of policy announcements, such as the decision to freeze working age benefits, made since January 2014.”
Under-10s stricken by stress and depression
“HUNDREDS of Scottish children aged between four and ten have been treated for depression, anxiety and stress in the past three years, an investigation by Scotland on Sunday has found.
Eight of Scotland’s 14 health boards provided figures through freedom of information legislation that revealed a total of 1,897 children under ten accessed specialist child and adolescent mental services (CAMHS) last year alone, with at least 5,044 referred for treatment since 2012.”
Scotland to spend £100m in the next year to ‘mitigate harm’ caused by Tory welfare cuts
“The Scottish Government will spend £100m over the next year to “mitigate the harm” caused by Conservative welfare cuts as it seeks to undermine Westminster’s austerity programme, Nicola Sturgeon has said.”
I hear talk of an SNP administration in Inverclyde Council in 2017. The current group could not in my opinion run this council. As with the Scottish Parliament, there is not the talent.
Tory MP David Davies sorry for ‘incompetent government’
“David Davies told the South Wales Argus, which covers his Monmouth constituency, that David Cameron needs to change tack to keep his position.
The coalition was not listening to backbenchers and voters, he said.”
Why many Tory MPs think they’ll lose – and some want to
“In office, Cameron hasn’t changed. He stands accused of being an incompetent Namierite — an insider who doesn’t know the inside track. For instance, no one in No. 10 fully realised the damage that sacking Owen Paterson — the reforming, right-wing and well respected Environment Secretary — would inflict on Cameron’s relations with various parts of the Conservative family. All of this explains why so many on the right struggle to feel sympathy for Cameron now.”
It is widely accepted that the best administration the council has had in recent times was when the independent councillor Ronnie Ahlfeld and I were in coalition with Labour.
(not difficult to do when this was the council preceding that one…)
Council Urged to tackle failings
A council branded one of the worst in Scotland has been ordered to seek outside help to solve its problems.
The Accounts Commission said Inverclyde Council requires “urgent remedial action” to address weaknesses in its leadership and direction.
Public Services Minister Tom McCabe said the findings were “completely unacceptable” and urged the council to tackle its failings.
I encourage our readers that in 2017 they give neither Labour or SNP a majority in the council, but elect a raft of independents and Conservatives who can hold both to account.
Aye, I’m sure they will, Mr Wilson.