Monday, 23 February 2015

RIFKIND, THE STRAW MAN AND LABOUR CANDIDATES IN SCOTLAND

How can Jack Straw say that he behaved honourably when he admits that he was being paid £60,000 a year by a company for whom he had EU directives changed.

Do his constituents need that kind of money to get things done? 

If EU rules need changing then surely MPs should work towards that without expecting a bung! 

Straw (you'll remember him as the Westminster wooden top that wanted to make it illegal for us ever to have another referendum on independence. A real democrat!) is standing down at the election to spend more time with... well, whatever he spends time with, presumably as the Noble Lord Jack of the Straws. 

He has insisted that all he was doing was looking for work for after that date. That may be above board and within the rules. But admitting that he had EU rules changed in the past is surely not.

Still the good thing for his future career is that well respected elder statesman Tony Blair has his back. Who could ask for more?

As for Rifkind, I fear his coat is on a shoogly peg. He is chairman of the Intelligence and Security Committee of the House of Commons, overseeing the doings of MIs 5 and 6 and GCHQ. He's a massive security risk if he's been up to no good, and the Prime Minister has apparently refused to say whether he has confidence in his ability to do that job.

Ooooops!

Update

Mr Rifkind has bitten the bullet, resigned from the chair of the Intelligence Committee and will stand down as an MP. Now he will have all the time in the world to get on with selling himself to the highest bidder.
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Who'd want to be a Labour candidate?


It seems that today's (or maybe yesterday's) gaffe from Labour in Scotland is that they have advised people to vote tactically in areas where either the Tories or Liberals have a chance of beating the SNP.

In other words... if you live in any of these areas vote Tory, or Lib Dem.

That must make the candidate feel wanted, loved, supported and that he is performing a useful function for his comradely party.

Labour would rather the right wing Tories or their right wing little helpers got seats than the centre lefty SNP got them. 

If I were the candidate I'd be tempted to stand down right now instead of spending cold nights on the doorstep trying to explain to people that they shouldn't vote for me.


Update


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36 comments:

  1. I don't know what Rifkind has been, sniffing, snorting, quaffing, drinking, injecting, smoking, even by osmosis; getting befuddled. MPs can't be reasonably expected to live on £67,000 a year, eh, whit, sorry!?
    People, one would assume, go into politics because they want to, no one forces them. If they can make more money in the private sector, then that is where they should go. I doubt ,however, that they would make the same monies, without having been an MP first.

    Vote SNP to get it richt up all the Tories, that's my tactical voting intention.

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    1. I forgot about the straw man, never did like him. Always came across as a right shifty git. I wouldn't trust him to hold his own breath, never mind high office.
      A democratic bone in his body, there is not/naught.

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  2. He was warbling on about how surely people don;t want their MPs not to have experience of the outside world. This old chestnut has been thrown around so many toimes.

    He's right of course. people who have been political activists at university, become researchers and moved on to be MPs, really do live in a world apart. They have no experience of doing anything except politics. I think they should ahve before they become MPs.

    But what Rifkind is saying is that we want people who have experience of making speeches as £5000- £10,000 a shout; who have experience of doing deals with ambassadors and the likes... No we don't. They don't understand the problems of the single mum trying to hold down shifts at Tesco and looking after 2 weans.

    We would like people with some experience of the kind of life that WE know.

    Someone who's been a brickie, or a miner, or worked in Sainsbury or the local engineering firm. Someone who worked offshoire or drove a train, was a nurse or a doctor, or a traffic warden.

    Rifkind's experience having dinner at the Ritz with the Ambassador for Saudi Arabia to the Court of St James won;t impact one tiny little bit on the life of a person trying to deal with a drug dealer living next door to them.

    What we would like is someone who actually gives all his time to the job of being an MP. Going through legislation line by line instead of voting how he is told on things he knows nothing about. That's why, very shortly, an MP, a person who needs no qualifications at all, and who starts from day one on the top salary for his job, will get paid around 4 times the average wage.

    As for Straw, he's a war criminal. That anyone would want his help or opinion on anything is a measure of them. I wouldn't ask him for directions to the toilet if I was bursting!

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    1. I totally agree, that MPs should have had a life before politics and they should be bloody grateful for the remuneration they receive. If they want to earn more, get educated and qualified (don't spend 9 years at uni and have nothing to show for it though) for these highly paid jobs but, I bet they would rather sit on the back benches, behaving like a school kid than do any actual work. Not all of them are like that but, that's the impression they emit.

      Off topic, I'm in Dundee at the weekend for a gig and staying for the night. What are the local highlights?

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    2. That's a hard one Jim, given that I don;t know your tastes in entertainment, or that of your companions.

      There is all the usual stuff... Town centre can get a bit boisterous but there are some nice restaurants these days. If you like Indian there is a really nice one out Perth Road called Dil Se (From the Heart). There are clubs... Fat Sam's... I'm a bit of a home boy myself, so I'm not an expert...

      There are a few other Dundee/Lochee lads on here, who might be able to help you out a bit more... Bruce, Lochee Luftwaffe ... HELP guys!!!

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    3. It's a punk gig I'm going to, a few small bands that do their own stuff, not covers. The Indian restaurant sounds good, it's my favourite cuisine. Not really in to clubs either, I'll be mostly going to the gig, then back to the hotel (it's Arlene's birthday this week and we'll be 25 years married this year, so we're blowing the budget). I was thinking more of the Sunday, things to see and do, in and around your fair city.

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    4. Congratulations on your 25 th anniversary :)

      Sunday in Dundee in February?

      Hmmm... Well there's a good shopping centre in the town centre "Overgate". If you ahve the car with you there is some great scenery around Dundee... The Carse of Gowrie is pretty or the Angus Glens are pretty spectacular even in the winter. There is the New Olympia swimming centre, if you're into that sort of thing. Of course St Andrews is close by and makes a good visit. The buildings, particularly the university ones, are fantastic and if you are a golf person it's a bit historic. There's Broughty Ferry (on the road between Dundee and Monifieth. It's a fishing village grown into a town and then suburb of Dundee. It has a nice beach and beautiful rock gardens.

      If any other Dundee people have ideas about what to do on a Sunday in Dundee... please add...

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    5. Sorry Tris, bit of a home boy meself, know you can get a cracking curry at Sunny's on Broughty Ferry road, but at 50+ I'm no clubber and I don't drink either! (Locheeluftwaffe alias)

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    6. Alex: Jim did say he liked a good curry :)

      Any ideas for Sunday during the day?

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    7. Just want to congratulate Jim and Arlene on their 25th Anniversary, spent mine with twa Pugs in a hotel in Dunoon, can't help with Dundee, sorry. Love the City and spent many a happy afternoon shopping,

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  3. The Unicorn is good - the ship on the quayside - for a bit of historical sightseeing. I didnt like the Discovery as much, but they are next to one another. I would have recommended the lovely Dundonian ladies too, but Arlene is with you, so perhaps you should give them a miss....

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    1. How could I have forgotten the Unicorn?

      Yes, an interesting way to spend a bit of time on a cold day, below decks.

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  4. If you like Indian it's got to be the Balaka ( Perth Road) Don't go by the decor close your eyes and just taste the food.
    Ps Don't order too much Dundee large portions.

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    1. I don't think I've been to the Balaka, Dinosaur. But I'm with you on the portions. It always looks so good and if you're hungry you think you can eat a mountain...

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    2. Thank you all, for the curry, things to see sugestions and the congratulations on my up coming anniversary.
      Funny thing, both our parents thought we wouldn't last a week, as it turns out we are the only ones, from both our families, not to be divorced and remarried.

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  5. The SNP are no better. The New Statesman exposes their filthy antics in Scotland!

    'The missing millions: the money pilfered by the SNP' = http://www.newstatesman.com/politics/2015/02/glasgows-missing-millions-money-pilfered-snp

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    1. The article is a party political comment by Matt Kerr - a Labour councillor. As someone once said "He would say that would'nt he?

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    2. Dean, what an exemplary piece of unbiased writing.
      No wait, written by a Glasgow councillor, representing Labour.

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    3. Hello Dean...where have you been? We missed you.

      On the subject of allocations of money to various cities and areas, even this Labour councillor agrees that the amount has been affected by the overall pot which, from the day Alistair Darling became chancellor (and John Swinney became Finance Secretary) has reduced.

      Labour, in government in Edinburgh had so much money from labour in government in London, that they actually used to send it back. So clearly, in these days, Glasgow must have had more money than it could spend, and yet, and yet, there still seemed, every time I was there, to be more poverty than you could shake a stick at... and mr Average still died in his mid 50s.

      I have no idea what the figures for distribution were then and are now. I suspect that there will have been some rebalancing, and areas which had less of the pot will be getting a little more.

      But Glasgow has done very well in funding in these hard times, which we can attribute mainly to the incompetence of London governments and their unwillingness to control the financial sector.

      I think the word pilfering is rather inappropriate. It gives the impression that Ms Sturgeon has been putting the cash Glasgow might have got in her pocket.

      Unlike Mr Rifkind and Mr Straw, there isnt any evidence to suggest that she even thought about doing that.

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  6. Most MPs seem to regard the £67k as something to stick in the bank, and then live on their expenses. McGovern claimed over £200k expenses last year.
    I'll bet very few MPs earn 'only' £67k.

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    1. Agreed. Heaven knows what McGovern thinks he's worth. I know what I think.

      Many seem to think that being an MP is a part time job, but want to be paid 3 x the national average wage... then want an 11% pay rise at a time when "we are all in this together", and the rest of us are getting poorer by the day.

      Mr Rifkind, in particular, already has two jobs in parliament. He is an MP for an ultra safe Tory seat. I expect that nothing will budge the Conservatives from Kensington and Chelsea. He is also chairman of the Intelligence Committee. In theory that SHOULD be a very important job. I understand that Committee chairmen are paid an extra amount on top of their salaries.

      Rifkind seems to think that he should get more money because he has a professional background. That's a bit like saying " I got a job in Tesco stacking the shelves but I have a degree in Nuclear Physics, so I should be paid as if I were working as a scientist... £60,000 please Mr Tesco!

      No Mr Rifkind. If you want to be paid a professional rate for being an Advocate, which I believe you are, then get a job as an Advocate in Edinburgh.

      You wouldn't of course be able to trade so much on that as having been foreign secretary! And you would have to live in Edinburgh!

      Nope, I thought not.

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  7. I suspect that Rifkind and Straw are just the tip of an enormous ice-berg which is common knowledge in the Commons and in the political media in the same way as they knew that Blair's Iraq dossier was nonsense.

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    1. Of course.

      Remember when Despatches did that programme before and they nabbed a whole pile of them including Pat Hewitt, Geoff Hoon and Stephen Byers ... not to mention our dear friend Maggie Moran, who, at the time of the sting was too ill to go into parliament because she had been caught stealing vast amounts from the taxpayer, but was well enough to turn up for the sting interview.

      Another really funny one was Sir John Valentine Butterfill (should have Boot Fill) another expenses cheat. He was so sure that he was going to the Lords that he bragged about it at the sting interview (and unfortunately for him, on telly... ) Needless to say he didn't end up in the Lords...

      Thre trouble is that they will all be on their guard against anyone they don;t know for the next couple of years. They will soon slip back into it.

      Mr Cameron promised in 2009, that he wouldn't tolerate 2nd jobs in the Tory party... ho hum...

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  8. And when you thought it cannot get worse/juicier, it does. SNP is going to have a field day when campaigning. As if the powers upstairs are blessing SNP's road to Westminster.

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    1. Their monumental stupidity seems to know no bounds...

      As John says this must be the tip of an iceberg.

      You think about how many of them have been caught, not just MPs but lords and members of the royal family, trying to sell influence. To make it worth their while taking the risk they must be fairly sure they will get away with it.

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  9. Re: Jack Straw. If he gets punished for cash for access, it's a bit like Al Capone getting done for tax evasion. It's good that he's getting found out, but it's not his major crime.

    jimnarlene. If you had gotten married three years later, you could visit the V&A Dundee :) The Fisherman's Tavern in Broughty is meant to be good if you are into your ales.

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    1. Yes, of course. We may laugh at his being a bit of an old fiddler, selling his influence and position for money, but MUCH more serious is that he was complicit in murdering hundreds of thousands of Iraqis and maiming many more, adn then leaving the country in complete ruin and wide open for ISIS and all that that means.

      Incompetent moron, maybe, wicked certainly.

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  10. Things to do in Dundee...

    Umm...

    Get a train to Edinburgh?

    Only kidding Tris.

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    1. Ha ha ha ha ha ha... if you are rich!

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    1. Greedy greedy men. It's clearly a part time job.

      It should be paid as such.

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  12. Tris

    Must admit I get annoyed when I hear Glasgow bleating that it somehow loses out financially and everyone else does well. With the advantages Glasgow has I tend to think they should be doing better, I suspect as many of us do, that Glasgow are hampered by shocking leadership over the years from Labour.

    Bruce

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    1. The thing is, Bruce, that they haven't done that badly. They had a fair whack given to them for the Games, which were theirs, for a start.

      But yes, one of the reasons that they have so much poverty is the amazing waste of money that their councillors oversee.

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  13. MPs second jobs

    Angus Macneil has a croft (they probably don't know what this is down south)
    Pete Wishart got £2000 royalties from his time with Runrig
    Mike Weir got £400 for filling in questionnaires for polling firms and gave it to charity
    The other three have no outside earnings
    I bet it makes the others feel sick when they go digging looking for dirt and find none

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    1. LOL Fairfor.

      I have always thought that the press must be looking at the behaviour of the SNP people through a microscope.

      And there are no Hewits of Rikinds. No Margaret Morans or Lord(??) Butterfills... becasue if there were, they would have been outed at the time of the referendum.

      How that must annoy them!

      Keep it that way, guys!

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