09 Mar 2015
March 9, 2015

A real Scottish Labour Party?

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Yesterday’s Sunday Herald reported that the Camelon Labour Club in my constituency of Falkirk has applied to trademark: “The Scottish Labour Party”. The Intellectual Property Office (IPO) is still considering the application, which was submitted in December. It’s an imaginative move. Dennis Goldie and May McIntyre (my office manager and long-time colleague), highly-respected Labour figures of huge.. read more →

Here’s my piece today for The Spectator on Charity lobbying. Like everywhere else, the overwhelming majority of workers in my constituency of Falkirk work in the private sector. Most of them feel that as well as looking after their families, they’re doing their bit for society at large – building buses, refining oil, serving the.. read more →

18 Feb 2015
February 18, 2015

Dr Goldacre will abuse you now

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Dr Ben Goldacre is a medical doctor, writer and public personality. He writes books and a super, genuinely valuable, weekly column for The Guardian which criticise the misleading use of statistics and ‘science’ in public life. Yesterday, he tweeted this link to a short BBC Newsnight package he’d made about how politicians should be ‘punished.. read more →

03 Mar 2014
March 3, 2014

Falkirk folk on the Ukraine

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Over the weekend, I’ve been talking to Falkirk (the largest constituency in Scotland by population, by the way, and very representative of public opinion across Scotland and the UK) area folk about the Ukraine. Here are two messages they’ve been consistently coming up with. First, whether or not they’re a supporter of independence they’ve been.. read more →

07 Nov 2013
November 7, 2013

The Labour Party’s Gift

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First, a bit of absurdity. 1. The official conclusion of the Labour Party’s report into Falkirk West is: “No organisation or person has been found to have breached the rules”. 2. Yesterday on BBC’s Daily Politics, Labour Shadow Cabinet member Emily Thornberry MP, speaking for the Labour Party, said (here, from 1752)  : “We have suspended.. read more →

Following on from my last blog, here’s what happened today. UK Labour Party official Eric Wilson turned up early and met Stephen Dean’s executive, which for now still runs Falkirk West constituency, in secret.  He refused to address the assembled members and left by a side-door so they wouldn’t actually see him.  The loyal members.. read more →

02 Nov 2013
November 2, 2013

One Sunday in Falkirk

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Tomorrow, Sunday, Falkirk West Constituency Labour Party will meet to discuss ‘events’. They’ll be addressed by Eric Wilson, the UK party officer who led the ‘Unite fixing’ inquiry – the one which concluded that nothing untoward happened.  Labour members will have in their hands copies of the Sunday papers providing more detail about who fixed.. read more →

28 Oct 2013
October 28, 2013

Stephen Deans’ resignation

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Grangemouth is moving into a phase where 1600 jobs at Ineos, and the many thousands more in the local supply chain, are more secure than they have been for years.  What workers need now is decent, intelligent representation. For now, Stephen Deans’ resignation was inevitable, and it’s a shame anyone has to lose their job,.. read more →

23 Oct 2013
October 23, 2013

Grangemouth Tragedy

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The announcement by Ineos this morning that Grangemouth’s petrochemical plant is to close is terrible news.  Hundreds of jobs lost directly, many more indirectly.  The loss of a significant element of Scotland’s industrial capacity. Why has this happened? As I’ve blogged below, Ineos has been flagging likely cuts for months but instead of engaging with.. read more →

Labour’s position on the Unite/Ineos dispute is now unambiguously to support Unite, which includes the continued threat of a strike.  One Scottish shadow cabinet member, Drew Smith MSP, attended a rally on Sunday and has made his supportive position clear on social media.  Another shadow cabinet member, Neil Findlay MSP, a Unite member, has also.. read more →