Tuesday, 19 April 2011


For those who have a passing, or even no interest in politics, one of the things that mark the fact that there is an election going on is the appearance of posters all over the country.

In Dundee the red and yellow posters of Labour and the fluorescent yellow of the SNP have been appearing over the last few weeks, a bit like the appearance of mushrooms in autumn. I’ve yet to see any other parties' posters, but then there are still 2½ weeks to go!

Posters are stuck in windows, in cars, and even in gardens on gallows-like wooden constructions, to show that the owner, occupant or driver supports whichever political party. How much good they do only the experts will be able to tell us, but the one thing they do do is keep canvassers from other parties away. It’s the brave door knocker who goes forth to try to convince a person, so committed that they have a poster for Party A in the window, that they should be voting for Party B.

So the story in today’s 'Courier and Advertiser’s' dead wood edition about posters being put up in people’s flats, seemingly without their permission, is particularly disturbing, in that not only is this a breach of tenancy agreements, but it also potentially deprives the tenant of the opportunity to receive literature, and canvassing calls from any other party.

Dundee University Product Design and Engineering student, Karen Kerr, who is a supporter of the SNP, returned home from an Easter break with her family, to find the flat that she rents from “Easylets” had Labour party posters attached to its balcony. She was, not unreasonably, furious, and her dad who had come to Dundee with her, took them down immediately. Karen says that she thinks all political posters are tacky and would never agree to having display them, regardless of party.

The flats are owned by a company in which the Labour candidate and current city councillor, Mohammed Asif, has an interest.

When the Courier asked Mr Asif to comment, he agreed that he had asked for the letting company to put up the posters in their flats, but with permission from the tenants; permission which Easylet says they have for Karen’s flat. However, both Karen and her flatmate deny that any such permission was given.

So we have impasse!

It will be interesting to see how this story develops; if there are other tenants who come forward with the same story, or if in fact there has been some misunderstanding somewhere along the line and permission was indeed given.

Labour must ensure that no jiggery pokery is employed in the putting up of posters, as must, of course, every other party. It is not only an affront to people’s privacy to enter their flats to display posters without their permission, it could be seen as hindering the right of the tenant to receive information from parties across the political spectrum.

We surely don’t want to be in a position in Scotland where it is necessary to get Jimmy Carter or the EU to come and supervise our elections. We should be mature enough to do this on our own.

Let's hope that we are.


  1. PS: Paragraphs sorted... hoorah, but now it won't let me correct errors (in the heading)

    Grr, I hate blogger... and I apologise for the mistake.

  2. More Labour posters are starting to appear in shops that Asif owns, I spotted a couple more today Well, as we all know posters in shops don't vote but people in houses do. I intend to visit one shop that put one up today to say they have lost my business.

  3. Up here in Stirling there is a blanket ban on any political posters inside the city limits, I have to say it is refreshing not to have to be bombarded with tones of posters all over the place, ruining the historic beauty!

    But on the other hand, it has lowered awareness of elections ...

  4. Tris

    Call me an old cynic, but if these posters are the only dirty trick from some political parties I will be pleasantly surprised.

  5. Hi Marcia... Nice to see you.

    Yes, his posters are certainly everywhere, but of course posters alone don't win an election. Hopefully it’s a mixture of policies and dependability as an MSP. In Shona we have a really first rate proven MSP and a damned good minister on top of her brief and her party has policies which are decided in Scotland, for Scotland.

    Ridiculously the first thing I had through the door from Mr Asif, said something about it being the time for experience. I don’t know who advised on that one, but we’d be hard pressed to find an MSP with more experience than Shona; one term as list MSP and two as constituency... and Mr Asif... ? Ah yeah, he’s a councillor!

    I noticed one shop with two posters displayed on the door. One on either side... Shona and Mohammed! There’s a man hedging his bets!

  6. Hi dean,

    I'm not sure whether I think that's a good idea or not. I think probably leaflets alone would do the trick, and it would be nice not to see the posters all over the place. I'm like the lady in teh story. I think they are tacky.
    Mind I've still got one in the window!!

    Do you think they change anyone's mind?

  7. LOL Dubs, you old cynic...

    You're undoubtedly right though!!

  8. I guess the implication is that the posters were put up without the tenant’s permission. All the letting agency has to do now is release the relevant letter giving permission and Mr Asif will be fully exonerated. If it now turns out that they can’t find it then I think it would be fair to assume that Mr A has used his position to gain himself publicity and should he win start his career as an MSP under a cloud because people will say he cheated. It would also speak volumes for the rash of these posters which have sprung up all over Dundee East, for where you may be able to brow beat your tenants into displaying them (with or without permission) it is not so easy to make them vote for you in a secret ballot.

  9. SNP are tories, everybody knows this to be fact. Yes FACT.

    Vote Labour to keep the Tartan Tories out! tHE way the Glasgow airport rail link was destroyed by the Tartan Torie menace reminds me of what the real Tories did to Scotland.

    You SNP hate us west coasters, everybody knows this too.

  10. That's very true Munguin...posters are only posters.They are not votes. I'm sure that the letting agency will produce some signed document that will prove that the permission was given. Perhaps signed and forgotten about a long time ago; perhaps signed as part of the tenancy agreement.

    If not, the Labour party in Dundee will once again be brought under scrutiny.

    Party notwithstanding, if anyone came into my apartment and put up a poster while I was away, the police would be called.

  11. Hello Peter:

    Nice to see you again.

    You seem very sure about what everyone knows though. You sound like Mr Cameron’s: "I know the British people".

    And what’s all this hate about? The SNP is the party of Scotland; we love all Scots. Scots from all over the world never mind the West Coast. And what about the SNP councillors and MSPs from the west coast? What about the Deputy First Minister?

    Scotland is too small for that kind of nonsense. Let’s have no more of it. We could easily say teh Labour party hates the highlands and the southern uplands. I shouldn’t think they really do though. And do the Liberals hate the central belt? Doubt it? Does Labour hate the east coast?

    As for GARL, well blame London for that. There wasn't enough money to pay for it even under Brown.

    And what will Gray NOT pay for so that the GARL can go ahead? Schools, hospitals, OAP travel, kids care, roads, police, fire?

    All of them?

    Glasgow has had a great deal of money spent on it under this administration. You seek out the figures.

  12. Tris.
    Love the new look Munguins Republic. Very fresh and fruity.

    It doesn't surprise me those affiliated to Labour would stoup this Low. The party is on the back foot and looks like being torn to shredded at the polls.

    If I was the tenants I would ask for a free months rent for the distress at having that filthy tack hanging outside my flat. Tenants have rights and the company responsible should know this.

    Hopefuly the local council will revoke their licence to let.

  13. Peter.

    I'm from the West Coast now living in the East and I can 100% assure you that most people in the West Coast do not like Labour. They only won 32% of the votes in 2007 in the area that used to be Strathclyde.

    Remember this very important fact. Only one party has ever achieved more than 50% of the votes in Scotland and that was the Tory party yet we are told Labour are the natural choice for most Scots??


  14. Yay Peter a man after me own heart well said

    You weren't by any chance in Carstairs 1984/5
    as you remind me of a Peter i knew there he/you? always went around with his underpants tied tight around his head covering his ears,

    so as to stop the snp from stealing his brain and eating it you dont half sound like him is it you

  15. ALLAN

    A tad bit exaggerated there 'most people in the West Coast' now come we know you nats are a bit loose with the actualité but thats a bit far even for the mad men of the nat brigade

  16. Tris

    Just another thought from an old cynic. What else could happen in rented flats.

    No one would stoop so low as to apply for postal ballots in someones name would they? Well would they?

  17. Peter

    Who are the Tartan Tories?

    In short, then? Don't believe the hype. Contrary to the impression being portrayed in the media, the Scottish election offers voters a real ideological choice – Labour and the Tories on one side, the SNP and the Greens on the other, and the Lib Dems desperately trying to shake off the baggage of the London coalition to join the latter's broad-church left-of-centre team.

    You guys been spring cleaning?

  18. Just keep in mind that we do still rent out Jimmy Carter at reasonable rates if you need him to see that everything is on the up and up. If he had been as good at winning elections as he has been at supervising them, he would have gotten a second term. (But why wasn't he watching Florida in 2000?) :-(

    Here in the states, in single family residential areas, the rule is cheap signs on metal stakes that you stick in the lawn. All candidates and both parties use them. They sprout like dandelions. The campaign workers are pretty good at asking permission before they put them in anybody's yard. But in a bitter campaign, it's not unknown that a candidate will pick up and discard the signs of his opponent. It's an illegal theft of property of course, but I don't suppose that anyone ever actually went to jail for it.

  19. ch

    the snp and the GREENS snigger!!!

  20. Tris

    Asif is my Councillor and the first thing I have received from him since his election in 2007 was his leaflet as Labour Candidate last week. Funny that, must be an election on. We get regular newsletters from Jimmy Black and Dave Bowes. Glad the SNP refused to let him join when he tried many moons ago.

  21. Hey Allan,

    Thanks. I thought it looked a bit spring like, and I hoped that it would solve my paragraph problem... I see the boss kindly corrected my heading, which my computer wouldn't let me do.

    That's a good idea. If it is proved that there was no permission, a month's free rent would seem to be in order.

    You're right too about Labour. They seem to be one sandwich short of a Subway, ....no sorry, what am I saying...I meant picnic of course... or did I.

  22. He he Niko... Good one. Lovely put down.

  23. Hmmmm Dubs... surely not.

    You're getting more cynical than Cynical Highlander. ....

    Whatever whill you be thinking of next?

  24. I think CH, I would have said that Labour was definately to the right of the SNP...

    (They took a right turn a while ago...straight through Subway and into a taxi.)

  25. LOL Danny... How much does Old Jimmy cost these days? You're dead right, he was pretty crap at winning elections, but he seems to have supervised other people's all over the world. Still he wasn't there to teach them how to win, just to make sure they didn't do it by foul means...

    I'd like a job like that. Do you think Mr Obama would consider sending me instead of Jim next time. Specially to somewhere nice and warm, with palm trees... and white sand... [sigh]

    Actually a friend of mine had her SNP poster stolen from her garden the other night...but to be fair it is more likely to have been some drunken neds on the way home from the pub.

    (I'm assuming you can guess a translation for "neds", coz I'm not entirely sure what it is in American... think young, scruffy, ill bred...)

  26. Oh I didn't know that Marcia. So he's not so much a politician of conviction (if you take my meaning), but an opportunist?

    I too am glad he didn't get in!

    Cllr Black is a great guy. I'm not surprised you get stuff from him. I don't think I know Mr Bowes.

  27. The SNP is quite green Niko. Not that that bothers me too much personally. I tend to be a bit lazy in these matters.

  28. Mr ESPNNSP

    It's the unfair FPTP system that exaggerates the Labour vote in the west. Even in Glasgow most sensible people see right through Labour.

    Apparently a new poll is due out showing the SNP with a substantial lead over Labour according to some forum users on the Scotsman website.

  29. FPTP completely distorts results, and Labour (and the Tories in England) benefit hugely from it.

    As for this horrible little compromise that is being offered by the Tories as a sop to their puppet... it's almost, but not quite, as bad.

    The only real reason for voting Yes is the thought of Cameron being snubbed by the British people he likes to think knows so well [snigger].

    Glyndebourne anyone?

  30. LOL @ Tris....We have two white sand and palm tree areas I can offer you in your new role as an election watcher. Florida and Hawaii. Florida certainly NEEDS watching. But it has alligators and big tropical snakes. So you may prefer Hawaii, which is an alligator and snake-free zone. Southern California would qualify too of course. But lots of cars and freeways. Not so pretty. :-)

  31. Iain Gray on Newsnight Scotland last night


  32. For those of you who like a laugh Richard Baker on Newsnight on Monday is worth a watch as Labour's flagship knife crime figures are shown to be a ludicrous load of nonsense- he is literally all over the place what a numpty!


  33. Danny:

    Alligators and big tropical snakes is a bit of an off-put for me, and Hawaii sounds perfect.

    But you're right Florida is the place where election procedures should be watched carefully, corrupt as they undoubtedly are, and I hardly think that President Carter is the ideal man for that job, him having a bit of an interest...so, I guess I can always stay away from the bits with the snakes (but shhhh don't tell them that).

  34. Thanks for the links Munguin.

  35. Tris.

    I can't agree more with you. FPTP does distorts the results and Labour and the Tory's benefit from it. I'm no lover of the Libs but they could poll the same as Labour yet only come out with a quarter of the seats as Labour.

    AV is not much better, in fact Alex Salmond said it was marginally better. It looks like Clegg will lose his AV referendum...Referendum ends with "dum", a perfect ending to the Lib/Dums!

  36. Yes Allan. All you say is true.

    Can you imagine though, the smug look on Cameron's bizarrely, indeed unnaturally, ultra smooth, wrinkle free visage, as he reports that he "knew the British people would want to keep the British way of giving him a majority when he only got a third of the votes...erm no, British way of producing strong government” (even from a weak prime minister!).

    David Botox Cameron wins again, as only the super rich can.

    He he....:)


    I don't know where to begin with this.

    £500 million for the NHS, when the costs in England are only £3.2 million for 10 times the number of people.

    Then he quotes an organisation which disowns his figures; then the police say the policy won't make any difference; the SNPs policy is reducing crime; the prison officers say that it is impracticable.

    And so then it becomes an overall figure for the cost to society, including things like grieving families and friends... Not sure how you can put a cost on the loss of a friend or father.... but somehow that intellectual giant has managed it.

    They are used to all the papers going easy on them and the BBC treating them with kid gloves, so they obviously think that they can make up the stats to suit themselves.

    Imagine that half wit as justice minister. I’d sooner have my granny’s cat.

  38. Tris. As you know, I'm not a really passionate environmentalist. Moderation in all things I say. I dislike environmentalism which becomes theology, and Greenpeace wackos who try to sink ships in order to save the whales. So my first impression was to roll my eyes a bit when I saw the new green layout of Munguin's Republic. Oh no I thought, now we'll have bluebirds and butterflies and flowers.

    But then I looked more closely. The grass needs trimming, and the only "flower" in evidence is a dandelion seed head spreading its bounty in the wind, to produce a big new crop of weeds. How wonderfully droll of you! Very whimsical! I love it!

  39. PS: Don't get me wrong. I like the birdies and the flowers....in their place. But they're sometimes just a little overrated. ;-)

  40. Ah Danny... I fear you may read too much into my choice of colours.

    I tend to be in agreement with you over the environmental issues though, as you know. A little of it goes a long way, and I'd damned if I'll clutter my small kitchen with recycling bins while the Princes Charles, Andrew, William and Harry use private jets and helicopters to get where I would go on the train.

    I kinda like green as a colour though. It's restful on the eyes, and people can look at it for longer before it starts to hurt.

    It also felt more...spring like and clean.

    But I thank you for attributing to me the intellectual ability to choose uncut grass and dandelions... You're always much too generous in your estimations of my intellectual attributes!


  41. LOL Tris! Actually, I like the nice green color too. Very pleasant and Spring-like.

    Maybe the environmental extremists have just given green a bad name for me.....LOL. We have a failed politician named Al Gore who is now on an environmental crusade to save the world. Spends a lot of time on jet airplanes flying all around the world talking about it, (and selling his books.) Take a look at his palatial estate in Tennessee and ask yourself about THAT dude's carbon footprint.

  42. He he, yeah Danny, we've heard about Al here.

    (In fairness wasn't he the one who only failed because of the dubious hanging chads of Jeb Bush in Florida?)

    Prince Charles and he are two peas in a pod, except of course that Charlie boy isn't in a position to fail, even with the might of the Bush's corrupt election to hinder him.

    And I believe that Buckingham Palace leaks heat like a sieve.

  43. Tris...The royals give real meaning to the term "failure is not an option."

    Yes, it's true that old Al had the disadvantage of a state governor who was the brother of the opposing candidate, and a Florida (hanging chad-based) election system that would have done a third world dictatorship proud.

    So come 2012, we'll definitely need you in Florida to supervise. And how brave of you to volunteer, notwithstanding the tropical hazards. But not to worry. We'll put you up at a posh Miami Beach hotel. The alligators and Burmese pythons from the Everglades seldom find their way into the nicer accommodations of Miami Beach. ;-)

  44. Tris.

    Perfect description of Cameron lol.
    Yes he will be very smug if the no camp win and it looks like as if they will. I think many people are put off with the yes camp because they see it as a Clegg thing.

    If Clegg was not in coalition with the Cons and we still had the referendum then I think the yes vote would be well ahead.

  45. Nah sorryt Niko, that wasnae me son.

    But anyone who opposes the tartan tories are alright in my book!

  46. Danny:

    Pet Clark has a beach house in Miami, which she never uses, so I'll be OK there. (Claude will want rent though.)

    The odd python I can cope with. Iain Gray will doubtless be able to advise me on these hazards since he appears to have been everywhere and doubtless done battle with worse than any snakes the USA can thow at us.

  47. Allan:

    The likelihood is that the referendum will produce a "yes" in Scotland, Wales and Ireland, and a "no" in England where the turnout will be tiny.

    It is possible that, if the Celtic vote is enough to sway it to a "yes", the Tories will then vote against the bill that contains the change and we shall not have it despite voting for it.

    In any case it seems likely that Scotland will vote yes...

    More trouble I think!

  48. Peter:

    Niko will be sad to hear that. He was hoping to find a lost friend from the past. :)

    And the Tartan Tories are Scottish New Labour surely. Nuclear weapons, nuclear power, privatisation, PPP, no public housing, double the bottom rate of tax... goodness; they'll all be going to Fettes next.

    The SNP are building council houses; freezing council tax; abolishing prescription charges; keeping Scottish water in public hands (no profits out of our water); keeping pensioner benfits; keeping the health service as a public service...

    Oh yes. The SNP are way to the left of New McLabour

  49. Wow CH. That's something else.

    Don't look Niko. You'll have nightmares!