Tuesday, 22 July 2008

One rule for them, another for us?

I see that the Scottish Government are warning that civil servants could not possibly go on strike this summer as PCS proposals were backed by only 54% of the vote on 56% turnout - apparently that is no endorsement of the leadership stance.

But it is perfectly acceptable for Scotland to be wrenched out of the UK on a minority decision in Salmond's suggested multi-option referendum.


Wednesday, 16 July 2008

Nat Councillor = Slum Landlord

SNP councillor Jahangir Hanif is facing court action over a flood-hit flat.

Stewart Daniels has launched a legal fight against to claw back thousands of pounds he has spent repairing water damage to his home. The 61-year-old lives below a property rented out by the councillor for South Side Central, who is a campaigner against rogue landlords and poor housing.

The retired engineer says his problems with the landlord started about a year ago.

He said: "I came home one day to find water pouring through the ceiling. It turned out there was a problem with the overflow in the toilet cistern.

"It would have cost a few pounds to replace the part. After that there was a problem with the bath. Every time something goes wrong, I've been given the runaround. I'm sick of it."

Mr Daniels said he went to confront whoever was living in the upstairs flat but no one answered the door. He added: "You expect someone in public office to do work for the good of the people but all he seems to be doing is benefiting himself."

A spokesman for the council's environmental health department confirmed they had inspected the flat for water damage. Mr Hanif, who lives in a luxury home in Deaconsbank, owns other properties in the city including two in Mr Daniels' block.

He has been summoned to appear at Glasgow Sheriff Court in August over the claim.
Just two weeks ago Mr Hanif pledged to take action against rogue landlords at a public meeting on poor housing in Govanhill. He is currently on holiday in Dubai.

Last week it was reported Mr Hanif makes £500 a month renting a flat out to a family of five Romanian Big Issue sellers in a close residents claim is littered with drugs equipment, graffiti and rubbish.

The flat in Westmoreland Street, Govanhill, is nicknamed ground zero' by residents because of the poor state of the area.

Edited from http://www.eveningtimes.co.uk/news/display.var.2397939.0.0.php

Tuesday, 17 June 2008

Motions, motions everywhere...

Regional Member Christina McKelvie has lodged a motion sycophantically welcoming the closing of a loophole which means that those in postgraduate study who had received a demand for the immediate payment of their graduate endowment can now defer it to after the completion of their studies, as was the case before the Graduate Endowment Abolition (Scotland) Bill was passed.

Methinks it will take more than a motion congratulating the Government on fixing a mess they created to make Ministers forget about your Newsnight Scotland debut.

Monday, 2 June 2008

I'm a student, get me out of here?

I certainly don't pretend that I am the first person to comment on this, in fact from the look at the newspapers over the last few days I may in fact be the last - but the fact I have been moved to means that I must. Why should innocent people suffer my constant ranting merely because the SNP Government has a beef with poor students. Local Income Tax - the policy that will tax students who have to work 21 hours a week or above - is the latest bludgeon.

Now I graduated more years ago than I care admit, but it did sometimes stick in my craw while at uni that I, from a home with little money, had to work in the evenings and weekends whereas others a dash more fortunate than myself were able to use that time for other pursuits - be the curricular or extra. But I made my peace with it as my mother would have done the same for me if she could.

However, now thanks to a 'socially-democratic' (that is what they say, is it not?) Scottish Government, poorer students aren't so much put at a disadvantage - but are being crushed into the ground. How dare you need to work to support yourself in your studies! How dare you have the audicity to think that you should have an opportunity to learn!

The reality - sad as it is - is that people from poorer backgrounds often need to work or else university becomes an unsustainable aspiration.

For all the SNP talk of 'free universal education' being restored - it's only for those who can afford it.

Monday, 19 May 2008

And the prize for bare faced cheek goes to....

“When you’re trying to change people’s lives for the better, it should never be tokenistic and it should never be worn as a badge of achievement. It’s about doing the right thing, it’s about doing the fair thing.”

Linda Fabiani, Reporting Scotland Monday 19th of May

NatWatch wonders if Alex Salmond agrees. Where’s that latest opinion poll?

Friday, 16 May 2008

Minister for Schools & Thrills

Education Minister Maureen Watt revealed to Parliament this week that SNP Ministers had officially opened no less than 8 schools in the last 12 months.

She neglected to tell Parliament that not only was every single school opened built under the LibDem/Labour Executive but not one single new school has been initiated under the SNP.

Just another example of the SNP preferring grandstanding instead of school building.

Friday, 9 May 2008

Scottish Futures Distrust

The SNP promised to match Labour's school building programme "Brick for Brick." After 12 months of grandstanding in the Scottish Parliament, not a new school has been initiated let alone built. The performance of this SNP MSP on Newsnight shows just how little hope there is for Scotland's parents and pupils waiting for new schools in their communities.