Thursday, 22 January 2015

CAMERON WENT TO SCOTLAND AND ALL WE GOT WERE SOME DAMP SQUIBS

Him all in blue, and her in red and tartan.
I see that the Scottish TUC had something to say about the proposals for the devo super max, federalism released today by the British prime  minister.

I wonder if the newly socialist, newly Scottish, Scottish Branch office has anything to say on the subject. Are they with the TUC or the Tories?



"Despite being represented on the Scotland Office Stakeholder Group to consult on the draft clauses, the STUC was not given sight of the final details.

"STUC will now analyse this paper in some detail, however it is already clear that in key areas such as welfare and capital borrowing, the recommendations will not match the intentions of the Smith Commission proposals.

“It is unacceptable that the Scottish Parliament should require Westminster approval to create new benefit entitlements in Scotland. The current proposals will also seriously hamper the ability of the Scottish Parliament to make different fiscal choices by tying Scotland to UK deficit reduction targets.

“Given that the STUC was underwhelmed by totality of the Smith Commission proposals, this further watering down of the promise that was made to voters in Scotland is unacceptable. The UK Government will present today’s publication as significant progress, but the truth is that we are not even at the end of the beginning of progress to meaningful additional devolution.


“It is now vital that the fullest possible public consultation is conducted, including a citizen-led process. It is also a matter of particular importance that the Scottish Labour Party looks very carefully at these clauses and takes a clear view on whether they meet its aspirations and the spirit of the Smith Commission proposals.”

Any comment Mr Murphy, Ms Dugdale, Ms Baillie.... Anyone?

No? 
I did all this: It was me that got you all these watered down fig leafs.
Me, I tell you. I saved the banks, I saved the world and I saved the union.
Now I'll save the universe.
Take that Alistair Loser Darling, you couldnt even save your membership
of the Faculty of Advocates!
Well somehow the BBC managed to unearth Gordon Brown from whatever 6 star hotel he's staying at, and he's enthusiastic. 

So he is clearly on the side of the Tories. Surprise surprise!

Brown said he was pleased that there are new powers "of huge significance in employment and welfare that no one can undervalue with credibility".

He added: "Two issues have dominated Scottish politics for the past 30 years: the call for action on jobs and social justice.

"And the Scottish Parliament will now have substantial powers in both areas, as well as in tax matters, which will enable it to secure jobs and make decisions in fairness for the people of Scotland.

"This will ensure the new Scotland Act is a modern version of home rule for Scotland in an interdependent world."


**********
It appears that dogged persistence, threats of legal action, and the prime minister of Britain saying that he would withdraw unless the Green Party were included in leaders' debates ahead of the British elections in May have in the end worked in favour of democracy. The BBC carry a story that their debate will include all 7 leaders of major parties on the British mainland.
Icelandic tv debate with more that 4 people!
Cunning lot these foreigners!
The original proposals had been for the two major parties along with UKIP and the Liberals having a four-way debate. Not unreasonably, given the minority nature of both UKIP and the Liberals, other parties wondered why they were to be excluded.

Various excuses were trotted out including how difficult it would be to manage a debate with so many people but that was put to bed somewhat embarrassingly when it was pointed out that Scandinavian countries and Ireland all manage to organised them.

There were then a series of arguments about the minority nature of the other parties which wanted to participate, including:

That it was a prime ministerial debate (a silly argument in a parliamentary democracy, where the majority of us do not get a vote for a potential prime minister, and in any case, why would Clegg or Farage be included in such a debate?). 

And that the SNP, Plaid and the Greens were not national parties... (but then neither is Labour as it fields no candidates in Northern Ireland).

So far the BBC has announced the parties' inclusion on its website, but at the time of writing it hadn't bothered to inform the party leaders of the decision so we base this on the BBC website. 

I wonder what will happen if the Irish parties wish to get involved. Will Cameron support them as he supported the Greens?

55 comments:

  1. I can't wait to here how this watering down of the watered down Smith whatsit will go down with all those NO voters who voted NO because Brown promised them near Federalism!

    Personally I never believed a word of that creep but hey that's just me. Now he has the temerity to make these claims "of huge significance in employment and welfare that no one can undervalue with credibility". I always thought him to be a complete idiot but THIS he is an utter buffoon!

    If what dregs we finally end up with is what Brown thinks of as being of huge significance then he really should stop taking whatever drugs he is taking cause it is quite clear that they are definitely NOT working!

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    1. They are stupid enough to think that this will satisfy people who wanted independence.

      Bloody idiots.

      But apparently Jim Dim was on telly tonight backing Cameron all the way, like a good wee Tory puppet.

      The TUC should really tell them to ...hmmmm.... go away!

      Delete
  2. tris and the other stirrers


    Any comment Mr Murphy, Ms Dugdale, Ms Baillie.... Anyone?

    No? er Yes

    The smith commission is not i repeat NOT a Trogan horse for Independence
    attempt 2 its no good making more and more unreasonable and inflated demands
    NOT in the agreement. And then when they are as the snp expect unable to be met
    the snp resort to the normal hard dun by chip on the shoulder whine and whinge.

    YOU LOT LOST THE REFERENDUM AND YOUR ARE NOT GETTING
    A SECOND BITE OF THE CHERRY VIA THE SMITH COMMISSION.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Not through Smithy but, because of Smithy.

      Delete
    2. Devo Max? Ferderalism?

      Where is any of that.

      The Smith Commission met. It didn't have time to look at 5% of the submissions that were made to it.

      It came up with some suggestions and sent them to London and mr Cameron'scabinet threw a pile of them out.

      It re-submitt4ed proposals and Mr Cameron's cabinet watered them down.

      Still as you say Niko. It's democracy.

      It's a pit for Jim that he's having to take the side of the Tories yet again against the Trades Unions, specially in a week where he made his people vote for austerity for the poor and nuclear weapons for the rich... or was that Ed that did that?

      Anyway, that's his choice.

      It's democracy after all.

      Delete
  3. "of huge significance in employment and welfare that no one can undervalue with credibility". I can, they are a pig in a poke, without pig or poke.

    ReplyDelete
  4. As the snp ( and not the the Scottish peoples ) first minster of a devolved
    limited representative assembly with limited secondary powers,
    said

    Ultimately, however, the decision on whether the Smith proposals go far enough in delivering the powers we need to create prosperity, tackle inequality and protect our public services will be for the people of Scotland to take.

    And they will deliver their verdict at the ballot box in May.

    Question to the snp minions if the total votes cast for loyal pro
    union representatives total more.
    Than the total of votes cast for the seperationists even if this leads
    to the seperationists gaining more elected representatives.

    Will you except the majority vote or the majority elected
    the answer will reveal your true feelings on the much vaunted
    settled will of the Scottish peoples

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Let's see how the votes come out Niko.

      In the end we always have to accept what passes for democracy in Britain... FPTP, rigged postal voting, lords, bishops, aristocrats, placemen, and Liz and Chick.

      I wonder what it's like to live in a democracy?

      Delete
    2. As we have first past the post, whom soever has the most seats, gets the say. I don't particularly agree with that but, Labour have used that to their (yes their not the peoples) advantage for decades.
      The referendum result was not, the settled will of the Scottish peoples, it was the scared voter, mostly over 55's as has been shown in the voter breakdowns.
      Like it or not Nico, the union is dead, the death blow was delivered by the unionist parties, with their zeal for power, for powers sake.

      Delete
  5. The Myth Commission is delivering supercalifragilisticexpialidocious home rule better than any other devolved administration anywhere else on this planet Willie Rennie will confirm.

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    Replies
    1. Ah well, if Willie Rennie says it... what can I say?

      Delete
  6. Tris

    The watered down proposals of the watered down Smith Commission is actually a huge slap in the face to all the no voters who actually believed that they were voting for some mythical unionist home rule proposals. This will come back to haunt them, if not in May then I suspect sooner than they think.

    The three Tory Parties might think they have won the day but I don't think they will get off that easy this time. No one will ever change the minds of extreme Brit Nats like Niko who appear to have little empathy for the poor and suffering in Scotland but that is fine because they reinforce the arguments for independence that is coming one way or the other, either through a vote or through a declaration via Holyrood but it is coming.

    The simple reality is that Scotland and England are moving in different directions and the more they shout, the more they try to limit Scottish influence in Westminster, the more they tell the Scottish people that they can't do this and can't do that the more they stoke up the fire and the demand for change. That demand for change will result in a demand for independence as more and more people see that the UK only works if you do what a very small group tell you too, as well as, an England becoming more and more intolerant of democracy and diversity and looking more inwards and hateful of anything that they don't understand. Scots are waking up and expressing an opinion in ever greater numbers and they don't like it.

    Followers like Niko of the Murphy's , Cameron's of the world and the intolerance that smacks more of 1930's Europe than a modern democratic country will lose because their view is a sad, narrow minded, and ignorant view of the world. Scotland is changing, not fast enough for most of us, but it is changing. By taking Scottish people for fools they will face an electoral wipe out in years to come. Should Scotland buck the system again and say return 50 SNP MPs, I know extremely unlikely in our unfair and un democratic system, unionists will have a democratic crisis on their hands they won't believe. If they form a Government of National Unity involving Labour and the Tories then independence comes a lot quicker than they think. I hope they do form that type of Government as it will be the final nail that tells Scottish people you do not count in this union, you do not matter, shut the f up and do as your told.

    Interesting times, and for people like Niko I only have pity and wonder why they hate Scotland so much.

    Bruce

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    1. I just wonder where the unions go Bruce.

      Almost none of them backed Murphy or Dugtail. They all wanted Neil Findlay and Kathy.

      Now Murphy is raving about the Tory plans as being just the very thing.

      Has he forgotten that just last week he said that they had got together for one thing only...to save the greatest union in the history of unions.... but now they were proud patriotic Scots looking for a new national anthem.

      Now in the last week they have voted for Tory cuts; Tory nukes and the Tory plan for Scotland. Sounds like they are the same party to me.

      And where do the unions go for someone who gives a damn about their members?

      Well not to Murphy anyway.

      I have to say that I though Findlay would be best for m Scotland, although nowhere near as "slick" as Murphy. A bit amateur maybe, lacking big boy experience.

      But Murphy doesn't seem to understand squat about what is wrong in Scotland. Tory Tory Tory....

      Sorry Jim. Uncle Tony isn't here to hold your hand anymore.

      Delete
    2. A watered down, already watered down , medicinal treatment is the basis of homeopathic treatment.

      Completely useless as well.

      Delete
    3. Hello Panda...

      Have you overcome your posting problems?

      I have a feeling that the insults may be quite useful... but to us, not them.

      Delete
  7. I think we all, including Niko, realised that anything offered would fall far short of what was promised and I suspect that as time goes by it will be watered down even further. Incidentally, I thought I'd pay a quick visit to Question Time just to see if UKIP were represented again and sure enough they had this baldy idiot ranting about Scotland. It seemed that the panel had been asked a question about the SNP without anyone from the SNP on the panel. I find that strange because I can recall Dimbleby in a previous programme ruling that Question Time being a UK programme the SNP should not be discussed despite Nicola Sturgeon being on the panel. Still I was glad to see that the response to the UKIP idiot's rant was greeted more or less with an embarrassed silence but did not watch what others were saying out of respect for my TV. Given the nonsense spouted I have to wonder if Niko is in reality a wee baldy UKIP representative?

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    1. I couldn't watch QT because I don;t have a tv and my blood pressure wouldn't take it, even if I did!

      But I read some of what the kipper had said on Twitter.

      He is sick of Alex Salmond and Nicola Sturgeon. The SNP lost; they should go away.

      Should Ukip lose the referendum on the EU will they promise to do that?

      I thought he looked a bit like white van man that Ed respects so much.

      Delete
    2. John, I just could not be bothered watching the bit put on Wings. I made a mistake yesterday of going onto Sky News on the internet and also further made a mistake of reading the comments on Smith. Well Paul Nuttall and co were just spouting the general feeling Darn South don't you know.
      As for Niko, he really sometimes is a very stupid man. Does he not know that the opposite of Independence is Dependence, and that is how the English view us, as Dependents, Ta Niko and the 55%.

      Delete
    3. John from the comments I read on Wings and on Twitter, I do not watch BBC ... burned what laughing passes as a licence some time ago, Paul "I'm a real nutter" Nuttall was not the only racist on last night's BBC Question Time. From what I've read that Dim Tim Fallon was just as bad a racist towards the Scots as well. The only trouble is that, quite understandably, everyone is focused on the nutter.

      Delete
  8. Hello Tris & Munguin, it has been a while...busy busy busy. After days of torrentorial downpour now it is hot hot hot as hell. Must water plants twice every day.

    Anyway I thought Smith was bad enough. Never knew it could get worse. I mean the audacity. I think Cameron and Gideon are out to get Labour both in Scotland AND England. "Screw them over Smith and the Greens. Whatever happens we will deal with later".

    My my Labour lubed their own arse themselves before being shafted by the Tories.

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    1. Hey there AH... We were beginning to think that you had been washed away.

      Munguin was just finishing his breakfast of Foie Gras and Veuve Cliquot before ordering that a search party be mounted.

      have to agree. Labour walked into this with both eyes open, and it seems that Brown hasn't realised how he has been used. Clearly then, he really thinks it is a good deal...

      Maybe form the Los Angeles Hilton it looks like that!

      Delete
    2. Well I Do So hope someone told old GB the result of the Kircaldy East byelection Missing you already Gordon, not.

      Delete
    3. The best bit about the bye - election result last night Helena was that oor extremely (in)visible former Prime Minister made THREE outings in the ward to *ahem* bolster support for the Labour candidate. the only thing that appears to have been bolstered by his *cough* appearances is the support for the S.N.P. with an INCREASED majority. LOL

      Delete
    4. In fairness we need to remind ourselves that by-elections in STV systems with multi councillor wards are pretty unreliable sources of how the trend is going.

      Still, it's interesting that Gordon Brown put in an appearance. I thought he'd forgotten where Scotland was.

      Delete
    5. Arbroath 1320, that has made my day.

      Delete
    6. Note that James Kelly is saying that the figures are remarkably like the STV, Ipsos Mori came up with. See on your page....

      Delete
    7. Yes Helena. In these matters I will always defer to James. He understands this far better than I do.

      Delete
  9. A Damp Squib?

    More like a wet smelly lingering fart.

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    1. How I missed your eloquence Panda!

      Delete
  10. I must admit the UKIP Nuttter sounded like a bike I once had trying to start on a winter's morning.

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    1. It might have been better for his cause if he hadn't started.

      He lacked Panda's way with words!

      Delete
  11. The item about the proposed new powers on the BBC News website has disappeared from the UK and Scotland pages rather rapidly, being now relegated to a minor item on the Politics page. It looks like they would rather sweep it under the carpet.

    I have a suspicion that it might not matter what makes it into the Bill, as I suspect that the whole thing may be voted down in the Commons and/or the Lords. There seems to be a lot of anti-Scottish feeling down South, and I think a lot of backbenchers for English constituencies will be tempted to pander to that.

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    Replies
    1. It's true that they have over even Tories have pointed out to Camergoon that HE does not have any rights to promise anything. That is Parliament's job.

      Any you are right. The English are heartily sick of Scotland wanting powers that they can't have (blind doubtless to the powers that they have always had over Scotland). Murphy telling them that they will have to pay mansion tax to fund an undefined number (but 1000 more than the SNP wold offer) of nurses in Scotland, while their own health service collapses around their ears, can't have helped!

      And the Scottish attempt to get rid of the obscene House of lords won't have endeared us to the aristocrats that run the UK.

      Delete
    2. Apparently the BBC, Labour Scottish Branch had their version of Question Time from noon today, shall we put it this way, didn't seem to go well so perhaps that is the reason. The audience were rather obstreperous. Jeering when BBC. Labour Scottish Branch go some very loaded questions. Cathy Jamieson did not get her usual easy run.

      Delete
    3. I don't really know much about Cathie Jamieson (except John Brownlie fancies her, and she has that in common with at least 50% of the female population).

      I always had the impression she was brighter than Curran who ran away to England at the same time, but somehow got promoted (way above her ability).

      Delete
  12. I was just thinking that it is not beyond the realms of possibility that the next UK Government could be a Tory/UKIP coalition. Following on from that it is not beyond the realms of possibility that the next Governor-General or Scottish Secretary could be from the minor party as at present. Following on from that it could be Mr Nuttall.........

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    1. You should probably stop thinking before you give yourself a nasty turn...

      Delete
  13. Sorry for going well O/T here Tris but I don't know if you have read a couple of posts from Gillie on Wings but in case you haven't here they are.

    Post #1

    Rumours are that all is not well in Scottish Labour.

    Jim Murphy is facing internal criticism. MPs and MSPs are now complaining he is simply doing his own thing and increasingly isolating himself from the rest of the party. No consultation with others, including his front bench team, with everything coming through McTernan.

    McTernan seemingly is gunning for Jackie Baillie, thinks it was a big mistake for Baillie to be given the Finance brief and blames Dugdale for suggesting her appointment. Baillie was missing from FMQs yesterday.

    Paranoia now stalks the Labour benches.

    Post #2

    Two rumours;

    N E Labour MP to join UKIP

    Scottish Labour politician to join SNP

    Now I'm no conspiracy theorist ... well O.K. I am I know I could never fool either you or Munguin for a second. I'm beginning to think that all is not well within Labour or its Scottish Branch Office. I wonder if there will be any people left alive within Labour able to stand in the May General Elections if these rumours turn out to be true. Even if they don't Labour politicians will be turning on each other for the slightest thing ... you didn't pass me that pen quick enough you want us to lose don't you ... result yet another punch up at Labour, Scottish branch office, H.Q. LOL

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    1. Interesting Arbroath.

      After a leadership contest, of course, there are always some who backed the wrong horse... and who are therefore dissatisfied.

      And it's certainly true that Murphy is not a team man. He's very much his own man. Colleagues have said this about him... all that matters in Murphy.

      Given that he is hard right of Labour and Neil and Kathy are in the left, I would expect to see differences between the factions, even if most of the parliamentarians voted the way they were told.

      Jackie Baillie is a liability. There's no doubt about it. She rarely gets her facts right before she blows her mouth off, and I couldnt count the number of times she has come out with absolute corkers of lies which have been shortly afterwards proved to be figments of her imagination.

      She's certainly not up to the job of finance. (Says Tris who can hardly count up to ten.) But you need to be seriously bright to cope with that. They used to have a bloke who was good, but he lost his seat at the last election. John Swinney is a pretty smart man. Jackie doesn't stand a chance against him. Bad choice and if it was Dugdale who insisted on it, she must need her head looking at (that said who else do they have who is numerate and articulate?).

      I'd not be surprised to see some Labour looking at the SNP under Nicola and thinking... this is more my home than Labour. I'm a bit dubious about the UKIP one though. That seems really weird!! You'd think Murphy was right wing enough for anyone.

      McTernan is Alistair Campbell in tartan and I noticed they had appointed Susan Dalgety as a press officer and she said... that she hated the SNP and they were all bigots... I'll put up the pic on the next post...

      It's not been a good week for New Murphy. His troops voted for £30 billion cuts; then they wouldn't vote against £100 billio9n on Trident, and now he has sided with Cameron and against the unions over Smith.

      He's a Tory, and that don't play well in Scotland.

      Delete
    2. In fairness Tris I did see a Tweet later on yesterday that had a statement from the Labour politician about why he joined UKIP only he wasn't an M.P. (boo hoo!) it was a councillor (Hurrah!)

      Delete
    3. LOL... still a politician!

      Delete
  14. LOL...

    If I were them I'd try the love bombing. They just seem shrill and unpleasant when they try being tough. A bit like David Cameron. Come to think of it she looks a bit like Mrs Cameron.

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  15. Mary Fee? Could be an abbreviation of an anagram of " May be Brain Free".... Got to be a list MSP Cos no one would vote for that, surely?
    O/T, but had an email newsletter from Jim McGovern, probably feels the need to remind his constituents that he exists - well, you wouldn't know from the Westminster attendance records, would you?

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    1. Hi Alex. She is a list MSP from West of Scotland.

      As I understand it, they expected to win a lot of FPTP seats there, and as a result were a bit careless about who got on the list. (Normally they get no seats from that list given the wipeout that they have in FPTP.

      But they got three seats, because they lost so many FPTP seats to the SNP.

      When you don't expect to win you can afford to put up anyone as a dummy candidate.

      I'm not, of course saying that that is what happened in her case... but it is what usually happens in these cases, and it would explain her lack of subtlety.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scottish_Parliament_general_election,_2011#West_Scotland

      Delete
    2. PS... So Jim hasn't fallen off his perch then... That's nice.

      I wouldn't mind a sight of his newsletter. I'd be fascinated to know what he's been up to while he'snot been bothering to vote for the poor,

      Delete
  16. Hi Tris, will copy and paste it up here in the morning, as the computer is in the bedroom and Mrs. Smith has gone to bed ( I'm reading the site on my phone as I hate to miss anything). Will be under my "LocheeLuftwaffe" name...

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  17. Here we go, then - Invisible Jim's newsletter -

    "Dear friends,

    Let me first take this opportunity to wish you all a happy new year and I hope that you have had a merry Christmas.

    Yet despite the recent holiday cheer, the past year has been a difficult and challenging one for Dundee. We went through the Independence Referendum which threatened to split the United Kingdom; we saw a dramatic rise in the number of people living in poverty with over 1 in 4 of Dundee’s children living in absolute poverty; Dundee missed out on 700 new jobs as despite reassurances from Alex Salmond, SSE failed to invest in a new offshore wind farm; and despite falling unemployment, many new jobs fail to offer the secure and well paid work that people need.

    Nevertheless, I hope that this newsletter gives you a flavour of some of the important work that I have been doing in Parliament over the past year, both inside and out of the House of Commons chamber. To stay up-to-date with my work in Parliament and Dundee, visit my website at www.jimmcgovern.co.uk, follow my Twitter account @JimMcGovernMP and like my Facebook page Jim McGovern MP.

    Kind regards,

    Jim McGovern MP
    Member of Parliament for Dundee West

    p.s. If you have any issues which the UK Government is responsible for, please do not hesitate to contact my office on 01382 322100.

    Living Wage
    Across Dundee, more and more households are facing the tough choice of whether to heat their homes or put food on the table as a result of stagnating wages and a rising cost of living, and this has led to a dramatic increase in the use of food banks in 2014.

    One solution advocated is for businesses and organisations to pay their employees a living wage, and as a result I have pressed the Government on what measures they were taking in Scotland to persuade businesses to pay their staff a living wage. Although it is welcome that the Government supports businesses paying a living wage, much more needs to be done to encourage businesses to do so, particularly among those that can easily afford to.

    Going forward into 2015 I hope to meet with several charities in order to take the living wage campaign forward to get as many businesses in Dundee who are able to do so to pay the living wage to their employees.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Zero-hours contracts
    The fact that many jobs are insecure and fail to offer sufficient hours is also a major contributor to the cost of living crisis that is a harsh reality for many people in Dundee. The use of zero hours contracts in particular is so endemic that the TUC found that since the recession, only 1 in 40 new net jobs created were for full time employees.

    These contracts also erode hard won workplace rights as they leave employees at the beck and call of their management for fear of losing out on hours. I firmly believe that nobody on zero hours contracts, the majority of whom are there by dire necessity rather than by choice, should face the difficulties that they cause, and I believe that if we are to see a fair and balanced recovery where households are able to pay their bills and have leftover disposable income, we not only need to see an incentivised living wage but we need to outlaw exploitative zero hours contracts.

    As a result, I voted for a Labour motion in the Small Business Bill that would have obligated employers who use zero hours contracts to put their staff on a fixed hours contract after a fixed period of time, however this motion was defeated by the Government.

    Scottish Affairs Committee
    As you may be aware, being a Member of Parliament involves a lot more than being in the House of Commons chamber, and much of my time is taken up by being an active member of the Scottish Affairs Select Committee.

    The purpose of the Committee is to scrutinise the work of the UK Government’s Scottish Office as well as policies that impact on Scotland, and we do this through gathering evidence from professionals in many fields and then producing reports which are available on the Committee’s website. The 2013/14 Parliamentary session was a particularly productive one for the Committee as we were ranked as the best performing committee for the number of evidence gathering sessions that we held which ensured our work was well rounded, and we ranked amongst the best for the number of reports that we produced.

    These reports covered important issues such as the Bedroom Tax, blacklisting of employees and zero-hours contracts, as well as what the potential impact would be in the event of Scotland voting for independence. In the 2014/15 Parliamentary session, we are looking particularly closely at the proposals produced by the Smith Commission and how these can be implemented effectively to give Scotland further powers.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Support for video games
    The video games industry is extremely important for Dundee, not just economically but culturally too as it played a large part in the city being named as the UK’s only City of Design by UNESCO, something which I am extremely proud of.

    Consequently, in 2014 I met representatives from the video games industry to discuss what action can be taken by the Government in the future to help the industry, and I look forward to meeting with them again soon. I have also taken this cause up in Parliament where I questioned the Minister for the Digital Economy on skills funding to help games studios overcome the skill shortage that they face, and I received a positive response from the Minister which I will be taking up with him this year.

    Along with a skills shortage, games studios and other related businesses often started by fresh university graduates face financial challenges, and so in the week after the Autumn Statement, I asked the Chief Secretary to the Treasury what the Autumn Statement would do for these small studios. Again I received a promising response from the Government but I will continue to preach the benefits of the industry and press for further support.

    Equal pay
    In the 21st century it is obscene that men can earn so much more than women, and when I and many others marked Equal Pay Day, women were earning earn £2.53 less on average than men and a quarter of all women were earning less than the living wage. Four times as many women are also working part-time as they say they are unable to secure a full-time job and women make up the majority of zero-hours contracts which the Office for National Statistics estimates stands at 1.4million.

    In order to tackle this appalling pay gap, I voted for Sarah Champion MP’s Bill which would introduce greater transparency to tackle the pay gap and in 2015 I will be supporting measures to help new mothers who want to return to work to do so as well as measures to scrap exploitative zero hours contracts which hit women hardest, and measures to increase the number of women earning the living wage.

    Palestine
    Over the summer we all saw another horrific conflict unfold in Gaza with many hundreds of Palestinians killed and wounded by the Israeli Defence Forces. The UN estimates the death count to be over 2000, with almost 500 of those being children.

    It is a conflict that has gone on far too long without any resolution in sight and I believe that a new approach is needed to bring peace to the region. I and many of my Labour colleagues believe that the international community must take concrete steps to strengthen moderate Palestinian opinion, encourage the Palestinians to take the path of politics, reject the path of violence, and rekindle hopes that there is a credible route to a viable Palestinian state and a secure Israel achieved by negotiations, and that is why I voted to recognise Palestinian statehood in October.

    Furthermore, in questions to the Foreign Secretary and Secretary of State for International Development I raised the issue of the illegal settlements in Palestine that are the cause of much friction and act as a roadblock to the peace process, and in 2015 I will ensure that this issue is not forgotten by the Government

    Copyright © 2015 Jim McGovern MP, All rights reserved.
    This is an update of some of the work that I have been doing both in Parliament and Dundee in recent weeks.

    Our mailing address is:
    Jim McGovern MP
    Unit 3, 7
    West Wynd
    Dundee, Scotland DD1 4JQ
    United Kingdom

    Add us to your address book"

    In other words "Blah...Blah....I deserve my obscene salary and huge expenses. Look how much I've written. O.k, I didn't vote on the debates that were important to the people of Dundee West, but I was busy with errrrr....other stuff! Yes, that's right, other very important stuff - like filling in expenses forms, and and and... finding out how to sign on in May!"

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    Replies
    1. What a waste of time he is.

      My goodness, the foreign po face secretary must be quaking in his boots worrying about what Jim is going to ask the next time both of them are in the Commons at the same time.

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