Great News From Dundee 37


One of the most venial administrations in the UK’s many rotten boroughs was finally kicked out yesterday as New Labour lost power in Dundee City Council for the first time in my political lifetime.

It was Gordon Brown what done it. The day after Gordon’s speech to the Scottish New Labour Conference in Dundee earlier this month, New Labour lost a key by-election there to the SNP. Even then they had to be prised out kicking and screaming. For the last three years the SNP has been the largest party but kept out of power by a New Labour/Lib Dem alliance, with Tory voting support. Which illustrates perfectly the fact that the only actual choice in Scottish politics is between nationalists and unionists.

Manouverings to keep New Labour in power now included the offer of an OBE to John Letford, Lord Provost. I know John Letford, who is a good man from a trade union background. A Labour Party man his entire adult life, he has been so disgusted by the sordid dealings of Scottish New Labour in attempting to cling on to power that he has resigned from the party and offered his voting support to the SNP.

I won’t now go into the detail of the massively corrupt demolition and construction contracts, or the jerry built huge shopping centre and hotel that lasted fifteen years. Let us just be grateful we got them out at last, and make sure they don’t get back.


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37 thoughts on “Great News From Dundee

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  • Rich

    Have you seen that total crock about a helicopter breakout of dangerous terrorists! The UK govt must think the public are complete morons to buy this

  • eddie

    Craig, talking of corruption is it true that you received six years’ salary when you were sacked from the FCO?That’s what it says on wikipedia. If not, I think you need to get on there and amend it. I knew the FCO was spineless but if they gave you what, £500,000? I think that is outrageous (as a higher rate taxpayer).

  • Marvin

    WOW! THAT MEANS A TORY GOVERNMENT NEXT. FANTASTIC! THIS IS GREAT!

    Oh hang on, Labour ARE a Tory government. So that means a more virulent Tory government soon.

    Clearly Craig is a raving big business supporter with no concern for the people of this country. A LOT OF US HAVE HAD ENOUGH, CRAIG – OF BOTH LABOUR AND TORY. It is not “GREAT” news!

  • Craig

    Marvin,

    Your logic is faulty. A Lab/Lib administration with Tory support was in power in Dundee. This has been replaced by the SNP. That bears out your assertion that New Labour and the Tories are the same.

    The SNP are much better. So it is great news.

    There are indeed large numbers of Tories in England. That’s a different problem.

  • Craig

    Eddie –

    Six years salary – yes indeed. Taxed at 40% plus national insurance, which was 48% I think.

    They offered it to me because they were terrified I would sue over their efforts to frame me with false charges. I accepted because I was tired and gravely ill. Wish I hadn’t – I would have got a great deal more.

    You will be glad to know that almost all my assets went to my long suffering ex-wife (in a settlement which was friendly and voluntary. I had decided to pursue things other than money).

    Anything else you would like to know?

  • Marvin

    Thanks Eddie. Perhaps you can clarify that, Craig. First Noam Chomsky claiming to be “left of Lenin” – his words not mine – while charging $12K to speak and doing ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to realise his political beliefs – just selling his opinions like a true capitalist – and now you claiming poverty – such low wages us civil servants get – when, in actual fact, you received a VERY GOOD WAGE.

    Wow, the public are really being screwed and lied to in the UK. We really are finished!

    How about attacking the Tories, Craig, for wanting to get rid of unemployment benefit, starting with the long-term unemployed. I spoke to one woman who said she worked all her life, but it’s so hard now, not like the 1960s. After a year of being out of work, most companies just don’t want to know. So the Tory solution is to make people homeless. The present Tory government is making them do community service as punishment, and to force them to sign off.

    In a speech you made, you praised British American Tobacco (Chomsky condemns tobacco companies on many levels). How about sticking up for the people of this country who paid your wages, Craig? TO HELL WITH THE BIG, TAX DODGING CORPORATIONS!

    The public are being made homeless, the depressed suicidal, and all the while politicians and ambassadors have been siphoning off vast sums of money.

    THIS IS, INDEED, GREAT NEWS!

  • Marvin

    >Six years salary – yes indeed. Taxed

    >at 40% plus national insurance, which

    >was 48% I think.

    OH DEAR! Let’s tax you 0%! What about the rest of us being taxed? What about low wage earners? You earned a good salary for many years, now you want us to cry for you because you had to pay tax.

  • Craig

    Marvin,

    No, I don’t expect you to cry for me at all. I was just trying to get the facts straight given Eddie’s highly unrealistic assessment of the amount of money I received. I have always paid full UK tax my entire working life.

    Tesco, Walmart and Marks and Spencers all boycott – entirely voluntarily – any products containing cotton from Uzbekestan because it is picked by slaves and child slaves. By contrast to this ethical private sector behaviour, the New Labour government has been working to end the last vestiges of EU sanctions against Uzbekistan.

    I have never smoked and my father died of lung cancer. But BAT undoubtedly tried to help the ordinary farmer in Uzbekistan in ways that antagonised the Uzbek government. They didn’t have to do that and deserve praise in that limited sense.

    Of course on a wider perspective Big Tobacco is not a good thing – but probably better than the situation would be if tobacco were illegal. I much prefer small scale in general. Fair Trade tobacco would be a good thing.

    But a simplistic notion that all corporations are evil through and through is nonsense – just as stupid as the view that all government is good (or evil) is nonsense.

    The trend of much of your argument seems to be that we should back New Labour or we will get the Tories. I believe New Labour are to the right of the Tories anyway, as well as New Labour being the biggest threat in modern British history to individual liberty.

    Given a straight choice between old Labour and Tory, with no alternative, I would always have voted Labour. Given a straight choice between Tory and New Labour, with no alternative allowed, I would vote Tory, undoubtedly.

  • joe90 kane

    Geat post Craig.

    If people are interested,

    here is a SNP Glasgow City Councillor on the matter –

    ‘Exciting news from Dundee’

    Bellgrove Belle

    24 Mar 2009

    http://bellgrovebelle.blogspot.com/2009/03/exciting-news-from-dundee.html

    There aren’t that many New Labour local authority dominated councils left – only two of these old soviet dinosaurs still exist in Scotland, I think.

    I just happen to be living in one of them, and Bellgrove Belle the other.

    Just oor luck.

    all the best Craig!

  • Ruth

    If it’s true the SNP is in secret talks over the exchange of Megrahi, the so called Lockerbie bomber, then my belief is that the SNP is just as corrupt as the other parties. If Megrahi is released then he has to give up his appeal, which will, if it takes place, undoubtedly reveal that Libya was set up by the US and UK and that the three judges, two of whom were made Privy Councillors one month before the trial, made a corrupt decision. l notice too that Alex Salmond was made a Privy Councillor just a month after Blair’s signing the memorandum with Libya to open the way for prisoner exchange. Before that there had been a dispute over the matter.

  • George Dutton

    “The trend of much of your argument seems to be that we should back New Labour or we will get the Tories. I believe New Labour are to the right of the Tories anyway, as well as New Labour being the biggest threat in modern British history to individual liberty.”

    We might all be in for a bigger shock then you think Craig…

    While watching the Conservative party conference at Blackpool 2000 on television…I can only tell it as it happened…

    Outside the conference hall two members of the Conservative party stood waiting to be interviewed (they were not MP’s but were high up’s in the party) they were asked… “What is the big talking point on the floor of this years conference”… the reply floored me this is what they said…

    “It is clear that people don’t know how to use their vote.We left this country in the best economical state it has ever been in and now Labour will ruin it all.The big talking point on the floor is who should be allowed to vote should it be done on academic achievement or given to those who create the wealth or a combination of the two.”…The other one concurred.

    Please note it seems the decision to take the vote away from us had already been decided.

    Given that nothing happens on the floor of Conservative party conference without being instgated from above should frighten anyone that cares about democracy.The video of this must still be available in the archives of the BBC/Sky. The Conservative party getting their members ready for a fascist state?.

    “New Labour are to the right of the Tories anyway”

    You couldn’t be more wrong Craig.

  • eddie

    “Anything else you would like to know?”

    Yes, how big is your penis? (Only joking!)

    Thanks for being honest. I don’t begrudge you your payoff actually. In your position I probably would have gone for it too. I often think these things are a case of being in the right (or wrong) place at the right time. I think you are quite a complex character, it’s hard to pigeonhole you into left or right, (e.g. your comments about Walmart and BAT and your admittedly funny un-PC ones about Ms Smith) so that is quite refreshing in this day and age when so many opinions are kneejerk ones rather than fully thought through. Just thought I would share that with you, it probably doesn’t mean much.

  • eddie

    “Anything else you would like to know?”

    Yes, how big is your penis? (Only joking!)

    Thanks for being honest. I don’t begrudge you your payoff actually. In your position I probably would have gone for it too. I often think these things are a case of being in the right (or wrong) place at the right time. I think you are quite a complex character, it’s hard to pigeonhole you into left or right, (e.g. your comments about Walmart and BAT and your admittedly funny un-PC ones about Ms Smith) so that is quite refreshing in this day and age when so many opinions are kneejerk ones rather than fully thought through. Just thought I would share that with you, it probably doesn’t mean much.

  • Gerard Mulholland

    Craig, I remember the FCO coughing up more or less what your ex was due in your divorce settlement, leaving you skint and no money for lawyers to contest further. I remember thinking what bastards they were/are. And I’m disappointed that you seem to be beset by BNP nutters on this thread. However -like you I’m an old Liberal and never saw much difference between the Stalinists of Old Labour and the Mussolini admirers of the Conservative Party. Chips down I did indeed vote Lab rather than Con and now feel obliged to vote LibDem simply because I disagree with marginally less of their attitude than I do with the Con-NuLab twins. I’m intrigued that you still see the Nats as a ray of hope in Scotland. I did until they sold their souls for a mess of Donald Trump shekels. I see little on the political scene to offer any encouragement at all.

  • anticant

    Eddie –

    Why do you feel the need to pigeonhole people into left or right?

    The only meaningful division in politics today is between those who believe that the Sate exists to serve the citizen and those who believe the opposite – liberals vs authoritarians. There are some of each on both left and right, which makes those labels pretty meaningless.

  • George Dutton

    “I’m intrigued that you still see the Nats as a ray of hope in Scotland. I did until they sold their souls for a mess of Donald Trump shekels”

    Don’t forget other big backers of the SNP…Brian Soutar who ran an anti-gay campaign against the repeal of section 28.Other big backers are Sir Tom Farmer and former Royal Bank of Scotland chief Sir George Mathewson.

  • David McKelvie

    I know it helps people to deal in slogans or simple nicknames – but remember Lenin said (in Two Tactics?) that the role of the slogan is “to forestall thought”. There is a difference between Toryism and Conservatism – read some of the Canadians like David Orchard, Ron Dart, or the late great George Grant on Toryism. But the lot led by David Cameron are I think neither T nor C. They are NeoConservatives enamoured of Senator Henry Martin Jackson and the sort of nonsense he peddled and willful followers of the ex(?)-Trotskyite pupils of Carl Schwartz. We should be about coming to the end of their “Long March through the Institutions”, so whether we have a neoconservative NeoLabour government or a neoconservative NeoConservative government will probably only mean a change of faces, and perhaps of style.

  • joe90 kane

    “Don’t forget other big backers of the SNP…”

    – but no corporate news media, whatsoever.

    How many political parties with the whole of the pro-Brit corporate news media on their backs, along with the whole of the British Establishment, do as well as the SNP in elections?

    The success of the SNP is quite remarkable by any standard given what they are up against.

    Or to put it another, just imagine if Murdoch and the rest of these foreign owners of the British media supported the SNP. The SNP would be out of sight in the polls.

    Souter is someone who made his fortune out of Thatcherite-New Labour de-regulation – he is a creature of New Labour, not the SNP.

    The SNP sold their soul to Donald Trump for a golf course!

    Is this the best New Labour propaganda you can come up with?

    The Old Tories and the New Tories sold their souls for a Hitlerian foreign policy – and Thatcherite-New Labour financial market de-regulation, and asset stripping of British public services, which have devastated the economy and left British taxpayers owing nearly a trillion pounds in debt (to the banks!) and nothing to show for it, except a bunch of failed banks.

    all the best Craig!

  • George Dutton

    “Souter is someone who made his fortune out of Thatcherite-New Labour de-regulation – he is a creature of New Labour, not the SNP”

    SNP donation of £500,000 from tycoon Souter,say’s you are wrong joe90 kane. SNP/New Labour one of the same as time will tell.

  • Ruth

    George Dutton:

    SNP/New Labour one of the same as time will tell.

    If the SNP agree to the exchange of Megrahi then they are complicit in the the Lockerbie bombing together with the corrupt UK and US governments.

  • James

    You’re kidding about the choice between nationalists and unionists, right? The choice is between parties which broadly support neo-liberal economics and business-as-usual on the climate, and those who don’t.

    The first group is led by Labour, the Tories and the SNP. The second group is led by the Greens.

  • joe90 kane

    “SNP donation of £500,000 from tycoon Souter,say’s you are wrong joe90 kane.”

    – The fact of the matter is that Souter, and his fellow billionaires, are creations of Thatcherite/New Labourite neoliberal de-regulations.

    The SNP isn’t responsible for the British Government policies, since Thatcher, which have led to a re-distribution of wealth upwards to the rich, British regressive tax policies, tax havens and all the rest of the ffddles which have brought the British economy to its current sorry state.

    The British Government have just forked out a trillion pounds of taxpayers money for a bunch of failed banks – but you are complaining about some donation to a political party!

    People are perfectly entitled to donate to whoever they want to.

    As for this article, yes I forgot to mention the usual fly-by-night corporate interests who just want to sell their weaselly corporate rags, but who would be happy to stab the SNP in the back as well. Hence the reason the SNP doesn’t take any of them seriously because they are fundamentally against much of what the SNP stands for,

    ie anti-British imperialism, Scottish indpendence, indpendence for Englandandwalesandnorthernireland (all one country apparantly)

    “George Dutton:

    SNP/New Labour one of the same as time will tell.”

    – This is the wrong equation.

    The true one is

    New Labourism = Thatcherism with a vengance.

    SNP is –

    – anti-war

    – anti-imperialist

    – anti-Trident

    – anti-PFI

    – stood up for Gazans when they were under horrific racist attack from Israel, US and the UK

    – has not one sponsor amongst the coprorate pro-Brit blatts

    – is up against the whole of the British Establishment

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