Saturday, 25 February 2017

Glasgow MSPs and MPs



I've sent lots of tweets and emails to Glasgow MSPs and MPs recently keeping them up to date on the latest developments in the fight for equal pay with the Labour-run Glasgow City Council.

Here's just one for information and to give readers some food for thought - so don't be shy about contacting your own local MSP/MP and asking for their support.

  

Dear MSP/MP

Glasgow and Equal Pay

For your information and interest - a copy of latest post to my blog site on the ongoing fight for equal pay with Labour-run Glasgow City Council.

I expect you will be hearing much more on this subject from local constituents in Glasgow in the weeks ahead.

Kind regards



Mark Irvine


Weasel Words from Glasgow



A kind reader has shared a response she received from Glasgow City Council after writing to its Labour leader, Councillor Frank McAveety.

Now Frank's been around the track once or twice so he must surely be embarrassed by the 'weasel words' which have been written on his behalf.

For a start, Glasgow City Council is now the only council in Scotland not to have dealt with the so-called protection and pay assimilation period which followed the Workforce Pay and Benefits Review in 2007. 

Neighbouring councils in North Lanarkshire and South Lanarkshire both recently resolved this issue, so there is no 'best use of public funds' or 'wider community interest' at stake here. 

Which means that Glasgow is on the hook just like other councils, except Glasgow is 10 years late after refusing to deal with the issue at the time, i.e. back in 2007.

So there is no dispute about whether or not a further 2nd Wave payment is required, the only issues are how much and over which time period?

A4ES says the pay of the women's jobs should have been levelled up to the same as the men before the WPBR came into force in 2007 - in which case the women are entitled to the same level of pay protection as the men.

Not just that, of course, since the WPBR has not been given a clean bill of health and Glasgow's local job evaluation scheme (the City Council refused to use the nationally approved scheme) forms part of the appeal to the Court of Session.

The other glaring point Frank fails to mention is that thousands of low paid workers in Glasgow were made very poor offers of settlement in the run-up to Christmas 2005.

Everyone caught up in that exercise (not the A4ES claimants) feel cheated and angry at the way they were treated - here's an extract from a recent post from the blog site (from 1 Feb) which explains the background and why people are so determined that they 'won't be fooled again'.

Council 'buy-outs' - Christmas 2005

  • Lots of people are understandably still very angry at being pressurised into accepting very poor offers of settlement in the run-up to Christmas 2005. In plain language people felt they were bullied and intimidated into accepting these offers which were capped at a maximum of only £9,000 - because they were frightened into believing that they would probably lose everything, if they continued with their claims to the Employment Tribunals.
The role of the trade unions
  • The trade unions in Glasgow had agreed the £9,000 cap with the City Council and were left looking foolish when far higher settlements were achieved by Action 4 Equality Scotland. As a result, the trade unions in Glasgow (and elsewhere) lost credibility with their own members after siding with management and the employers over equal pay, which is why the vast majority of claimants in Glasgow (around 6,000) are now with A4ES.
As I said on the blog site recently, this may not have been down to Frank as he was an MSP in the Scottish Parliament in 2005, but the reality is that the buck stops with him now as Leader of the Council in 2017.

The Council's response also says that both sides are 'talking' which is technically correct although Glasgow is dragging its feet quite shamelessly. 

For example, at the last meeting with A4ES on 19 January 2017 the Council claimed they were unable to provide pay information because of ongoing industrial action in their IT section.

Embarrassingly, the industrial action ended that same day (19 Jan) which the Council clearly knew at the time, but still used this as a ridiculous excuse for not providing information which they had been promising to release for months.   

So if you ask me, it seems as if we are dealing with some cynical people who use weasel words when what's needed is some straight talking and a commitment to get the job done.


  



Cllr McAveety thanks you for your recent enquiry and has asked me to respond on his behalf.

A number of colleagues have written in about equal pay and have been asking when the Council will settle. In fact the Council settled equal pay in 2006. Unlike a good many other Councils all of these cases are now settled and the Council has had a pay and grading system in place that ensures equal treatment. This system has been tested twice in Court and has been approved each time.

The Council did not have a robust system of equal pay in place before 2006. It settled, quite rightly, those claims and put in place a robust system that made sure that this could not happen again. What is currently at issue is whether the Council should have put in place 3 years pay protection in 2006 for those whose income was due to fall. One Court supported this while another did not.    

Both sides have appealed but they are also talking to each other. This is a complex issue and because public funds are at stake the Council does need to act in the best interest of the entire community. I hope, however, that before too long one of the first Councils to resolve the source issue will be able to resolve this final point.

I hope that this answers your enquiry.

Yours sincerely,

Robert   



Robert Anderson
Head of Human Resources
Corporate Services
Glasgow City Council
Room G.20
40 John Street

Operation Take-Out Frank (29/01/17)



A number of readers from Shettleston have been in touch to ask how they can assist in Operation Take-Out Frank.

Well the first step is to organise a local meeting in Shettleston to test the level of support for standing an independent candidate to run against the Council leader in his own back yard.

I've been to lots of meetings in this particular part of Glasgow in my time including a very memorable one at the Barn Club, if the place still exists.

So go to it Glasgow! I'm happy to come along and explain what's at stake (financially and otherwise) in the fight for equal pay with the Labour-run City Council.

But folks on the ground need to do their bit as well.


  



Operation Take-Out Frank? (26/01/17)


I've had a great response to the recent post setting out my plans for a big equal pay campaign in the run up to the council elections in May 2017. 

Some of these activities are already in hand and will be reported on the blog site as things take shape in the days ahead.

But there has been surprisingly strong support for the idea of fielding an 'Equal Pay' candidate in the Glasgow Shettleston seat where the Council's Labour leader, Frank McAveety, is standing again.

Now that would really set the cat amongst the pigeons if you ask me, as I doubt very much that Councillor McAveety can muster a credible defence to Glasgow's behaviour in relation to equal pay over the years.

As regular readers know, thousands of low paid City Council workers were 'bullied' and intimidated into accepting poor offers of settlement in the run-up to Christmas 2005 although those who threw their lot in with A4ES received a much better deal, of course.

So 'once bitten, twice shy' as they say and even though Frank was an MSP in the Scottish Parliament at the time, the responsibility for sorting things out lies with the Labour-run City Council which Councillor McAveety currently leads.  

A number of readers have asked if I would consider standing against Councillor McAveety, given my knowledge of the City Council and the long fight for equal pay. 

Now that's an intriguing proposition, but we have a long way to go because I'm told that  the relevant papers do not have to be registered until the end of March 2017. 

But who knows, maybe I will throw down the gauntlet in Shettleston and challenge Frank McAveety in his own back yard.

Maybe it's time for Operation Take-Out Frank?


  


Labour's Albatross

Image result for albatross around neck + images

I watched Jeremy Corbyn's news conference yesterday in the sorry aftermath of the Copeland by-election, a safe Labour seat which the party held for over eighty years under a succession of .

Not since the 1980s and the days of Margaret Thatcher has the Government of the day won a by-election from the official opposition.

The Labour leader's answer to this unprecedented state of affairs is that whoever or whatever is responsible for Labour's collapse in the polls - it has nothing to do with him.

After all Jeremy has a 'big mandate', as he's fond of reminding everyone, but  still the voters remain completely unimpressed.

But if you ask me, Jezza's a political albatross around his party's neck.


  


Buck Stops Elsewhere



Many a true word is spoken in jest, as the old saying goes. 

  

State Assasins

Image result for north korean assassins

'VX nerve agent' is a deadly and highly toxic liquid which was developed for the sole purpose of waging chemical warfare.

So it stands to reason that access to such a substance is highly restricted and that just like radioactive Polonium, say, not just any Tom, Dick or Harry can lay their hands of the stuff.

In which case the only plausible explanation for the murder of Kim Jong-nam in Malaysia is that his killing was authorised and facilitated by the North Korean state.

The same inescapable logic applies to the murder of Alexander Litvinenko in London when he was poisoned with radioactive polonium following a meeting with two Russian citizens, both of whom now enjoy the protection of President Putin.

The Guardian has an excellent report on the latest state sponsored assassins which you can read via the link below.  

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/feb/24/kim-jong-nam-north-korea-killed-chemical-weapon-nerve-agent-mass-destruction-malaysian-police

  


Kim Jong-nam killed by VX nerve agent, say Malaysian police

Kuala Lumpur airport terminal to be decontaminated after deadly attack on North Korean leader’s half-brother

 

Kim Jong-nam, left, and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un Photograph: Shizuo Kambayashi, Wong Maye-E/AP

By Oliver Holmes, Tom Phillips and agencies - The Guardian

The substance used in the killing of Kim Jong-nam was a “VX nerve agent”, a highly toxic liquid used only in chemical warfare, Malaysian police have said.

Analysis What is the VX nerve agent that killed North Korean Kim Jong-nam?
Declared a weapon of mass destruction by the UN, the banned chemical agent is more potent than any other

The inspector general, Khalid Abu Bakar, said later that one of the two women suspected of involvement in the poisoning also suffered its effects: “She was vomiting.”

The findings follow a preliminary analysis of swabs taken from the face and eyes of the victim, who is the half-brother of the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un. More items linked to the attack at Kuala Lumpur airport were still being analysed and the terminal would be decontaminated, police said.

VX – also known as ethyl N-2-Diisopropylaminoethyl Methylphosphonothiolate – is classified by the United Nations as a weapon of mass destruction.

Kim Jong-nam died on 13 February from a seizure on while being taken to hospital after complaining that a woman had sprayed chemicals in his face at Kuala Lumpur airport. Leaked CCTV footage shows a woman grabbing his face. Malaysian police had said earlier that two attackers rubbed a liquid on him before walking away and quickly washing their hands.

Kim Jong-nam killing: CCTV footage appears to show attack on North Korean

More Strange Deaths (25/11/17)



I'm not a big fan of conspiracy theories, but I think there are good grounds to make an exception in the case of any incidents connected to the terrible murder of Alexander Litvinenko, a critic of President Putin and former Russian spy.

The manner of Alexander Litvinenko's reads like something out of a James Bond movie and there is not doubt that the Russian state, if not the Putin government, was involved in his macabre killing.

The Times reports that a radiation expert, Matthew Pulcher, who helped to investigate Litvinenko's poisoning by radioactive Polonium was found dead five months after a trip to Russia.

Apparently, Mr Puncher bled to death after stabbing himself multiple times (a highly unusual way of committing suicide) and while a pathologist concluded that his injuries were self-inflicted, the pathologist also said that he could not "entirely exclude" the possibility that someone else was involved.

Read the full story via the following link to The Times.

http://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/news/litvinenko-expert-took-his-own-life-0v29n0hqg

  

Russia in the Dock (23/07/14)



In November 2006 Alexander Litvinenko, a former Russian agent, met with two former colleagues, Andrei Lugovoi and Dmitri Kovtun, in London.

A few days later he was admitted into hospital suffering from poisoning, but not just any old poisoning because somehow he had ingested radioactive Polonium 210 which finally killed him 22 days later - with the poison being traced back to a teapot in the London hotel where he had shared a cup of tea with his fellow countrymen from Russia.

Suspicious, damning even, or what?

Because it's not everyone, of course, who has ready access to a highly volatile, dangerous radioactive isotope and the ability to administer such a deadly substance to an 'enemy' they intended to kill, without being anywhere near the scene of the crime when their deadly deed finally came to light. 

So it's great news that Marina Litvinenko has been granted the public inquiry that her husband's terrible murder deserves, as explained in the following report from the BBC.  

Alexander Litvinenko death: UK announces public inquiry




A public inquiry will be held into the death of the Russian dissident Alexander Litvinenko, the UK Home Secretary Theresa May has announced.

Mr Litvinenko, a former KGB officer who became a British citizen, died in 2006 in a London hospital after he was poisoned with radioactive polonium.

The investigation will examine whether the Russian state was behind his death.

Mr Litvinenko's widow, Marina, said she was "relieved and delighted", saying the "truth will win out in the end".

Announcing the inquiry - which will be chaired by senior judge Sir Robert Owen - Mrs May said she hoped it would be of "some comfort" to Mrs Litvinenko.

The former Russian spy, 43, died after he was poisoned with radioactive polonium while drinking tea with two Russian men, one a former KGB officer, at a London hotel.

His family believes he was working for MI6 at the time of his death and was killed on the orders of the Kremlin.

'For truth'

Speaking at a press conference, Mrs Litvinenko - who had legally challenged the government's earlier decision not to hold a public inquiry - said she had pursued the case "for justice", adding: "I did this for truth."

"I would like to be able to show people that you are able to get justice, in any difficult situation," she added.

But she added that she did not believe the suspects would face trial in the UK.

One of the suspects, Andrei Lugovoi, told the Russian Interfax news agency the decision to launch an inquiry was "the height of cynicism".

In May 2007, the UK said Mr Lugovoi - now a politician in Russia - should be charged with the murder of Mr Litvinenko. Russia refused to extradite Mr Lugovoi, who denies any involvement.

The inquiry will seek to establish how Mr Litvinenko died and where the responsibility for his death lies. It will also have powers to make recommendations.

The government had previously resisted calls for a public inquiry, saying it would first "wait and see" what a judge-led inquest found.

However, Sir Robert - who was the coroner overseeing Mr Litvinenko's inquest last year and will now chair the inquiry - called for a public inquiry to be set up.

In a written ruling, he said an inquest could not take sensitive evidence due to national security fears. As a result any verdict would be "potentially misleading and unfair", he said.

As the law stands, inquests cannot consider some material relating to national security because of rules preventing its public disclosure.

The inquiry will be able to be mostly held in public but have closed sessions to consider sensitive evidence.

In February - following a legal challenge by Mrs Litvinenko - the High Court said the Home Office had been wrong to rule out an inquiry before the outcome of an inquest.


Analysis from BBC security correspondent Gordon Corera

Until now, the government has steadfastly resisted holding a public inquiry.

That was because there are layers of secrets surrounding the death of Alexander Litvinenko. This is thought to include secret intelligence that may relate to whether the Russian state was responsible for his murder.

There are also secrets about Mr Litvinenko's own relationship with MI6. The government demanded all these secrets be kept out of an inquest.

But the former Russian security officer's widow has fought a long legal battle to get to the truth.

A public inquiry will now look at where responsibility lies for the death although it does not look as if it will look at whether his relationship with MI6 means that more should be done to have protected him.

Lawyers for Mrs Litvinenko had claimed that the issue of state responsibility was being closed down precisely to try to improve relations with Russia.

If so, then changing times may explain a government's change of heart. And so we may get one step closer to finding out who was behind a radioactive murder on the streets of London.

A Downing Street spokesman said Sir Robert would have the jurisdiction to demand the production of both witnesses - including security agents - and documents from the security and intelligence services.

However, the inquiry will have no such powers in relation to evidence from Russia, he added.

The inquiry is due to begin on 31 July and is expected to conclude by the end of 2015.

A government spokesman said Mr Litvinenko's death was "an appalling crime and we want to see those responsible prosecuted through the courts".

Safe Havens (16 July 2013)

While the former American spook, Eric Snowden, is thinking about seeking political asylum in Russia I wonder if he might like to raise the curious case of Alexander Litvinenko - with his new comrades and friends.

Now I'm sure that Alexander Litvinenko became a useful source of information to British intelligence handlers - a 'spy' in the very broadest sense of that word - but in no way could he have been regarded as an on-going threat to Russian security.

Yet he was murdered by consuming radioactive Polonium shortly after taking tea with two former Russian intelligence agents in a London hotel - an act which could only have been organised by a very sophisticated state machine with a motive to kill a Russian defector.

So Russia looks like a very unpromising place for an American spy to call his new home from home - although this is a very murky world where things are not necessarily as reliable or believable as they would first appear.

Andrew Lugovoi has since become a Russian MP, of course, which makes it unlawful for the Russian authorities even to consider extraditing him to the UK - where he is wanted for questioning in connection with a cowardly and vile murder plot.

Here's a little history of the Litvinenko case which I came across on the BBC web site - I can't say I'm surprised that the Government has decided not to proceed with a public inquiry.

Because what would that tell us other than it is almost certainly the case that Russia and its intelligence services - were responsible for Alexander Litvinenko's untimely and unnatural death. 

The Litvinenko case
  • 1 Nov 2006 - Alexander Litvinenko has tea with former agents Andrei Lugovoi and Dmitri Kovtun in London
  • 4 Nov 2006 - After three days of vomiting he is admitted to hospital, and dies 22 days later. His death is attributed to radiation poisoning
  • May 2007 - The UK decides Mr Lugovoi should be charged with the murder of Mr Litvinenko. He denies any involvement but says Mr Litvinenko was a British spy
  • 5 Jul 2007 - Russia officially refuses to extradite Mr Lugovoi, prompting a diplomatic row
  • 20 Sept 2012 - Pre-inquest review hears that Russia's links to the death will be probed
  • May-June 2013 - Inquest into Mr Litvinenko's death delayed as coroner decides a public inquiry would be preferable

Putin's Russia (28/02/15)


The violent death of yet another critic of President Vladimir Putin confirms to me that Russia has become a rogue state which is willing to eliminate its political opponents both at home and abroad.

The BBC has published a helpful list of Russian figures who stood up to President Putin in one way or another only to meet with a violent and/or mysterious death - and the list does not include Sergei Magnitsky who died on remand in a Russian jail and was convicted after his death in a bizarre propaganda show trial.

Now for all its huge resources (from the Russian state) I've never seen these issues reported or discussed seriously on Russian TV from which you can draw your own conclusions.

Perhaps the most glaring act of murder and tyranny involved the carefully planned execution on UK soil of Alexander Litvinenko who was poisoned with radioactive Polonium with the key suspects in his murder leaving their radioactive fingerprints all across London as they fled the scene of their crime - both men are now being sheltered by the Russian state and one, Andrei Lugovoi, has since become a member of the Russian Duma (Parliament).   

So the time has come for a major re-appraisal of relations between Russia and the western because there seems little doubt that under President Putin's leadership Russia is now turning the clock back, trying to reinvent itself as a 21st century version of the old Soviet Union.   

Russia opposition politician Boris Nemtsov shot dead

Mr Nemtsov was shot on a bridge within sight of St Basil's Cathedral and the Kremlin

A leading Russian opposition politician, former Deputy Prime Minister Boris Nemtsov, has been shot dead in Moscow, Russian officials say.

An unidentified attacker in a car shot Mr Nemtsov four times in the back as he crossed a bridge in view of the Kremlin, police say.

He died hours after appealing for support for a march on Sunday in Moscow against the war in Ukraine.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has condemned the murder, the Kremlin says.

President Putin has assumed "personal control" of the investigation into the killing, said his spokesman Dmitry Peskov.

It "bears the hallmarks of a contract killing," said Mr Peskov.

US President Barack Obama condemned the "brutal murder" and called on the Russian government to conduct a "prompt, impartial and transparent investigation".

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko described Mr Nemtsov as a "bridge between Ukraine and Russia".

"The murderers' shot has destroyed it. I think it is not by accident," he said in a statement published on his administration's Facebook page.

Boris Nemtsov was one of Russia's leading economic reformers in the 1990s (file photo from 2009)

In a recent interview, Mr Nemtsov had said he feared Mr Putin would have him killed because of his opposition to the war in Ukraine.

Mr Nemtsov, 55, served as first deputy prime minister under President Boris Yeltsin in the 1990s.

He had earned a reputation as an economic reformer while governor of one of Russia's biggest cities, Nizhny Novgorod.

Falling out of favour with Yeltsin's successor, Mr Putin, he became an outspoken opposition politician.


Analysis: Sarah Rainsford, BBC Moscow correspondent

A lawyer for Mr Nemtsov reported that he had received death threats over social media in recent months; but for now there's only speculation as to why he was targeted. He openly opposed Moscow's role in the crisis in Ukraine - and the annexation by Russia of Crimea.

He had been planning a rare public protest on Sunday against both things - and a growing economic crisis in this country.

Since his death, social media has been flooded with tributes to a man remembered by friends as decent, honest and a democrat. He had been pushed to the political margins in Vladimir Putin's Russia, but he was still prominent enough for someone to want to kill him.

Profile: Boris Nemtsov

Russian and world reaction
Mr Nemtsov was shot at around 23:40 (20:40 GMT) on Friday while crossing Moskvoretsky Bridge accompanied by a woman, Russia's interior ministry said.

He was shot with a pistol from a white car which fled the scene, a police source told Russia's Interfax news agency.

According to Russian-language news website Meduza, "several people" got out of a car and shot him.

One of the politician's colleagues in his RPR-Parnassus party, Ilya Yashin, confirmed Mr Nemtsov's death.

"Unfortunately I can see the corpse of Boris Nemtsov in front of me now," he was quoted as saying by Russia's lenta.ru news website.

Flowers were left at the site of the shooting through the night. 

People came during the night to leave flowers at the scene

Russian opposition leaders Ilya Yashin, left, and Ksenia Sobchak react to news of the death of Mr Nemtsov

Mr Nemtsov feared his vocal opposition to President Putin's policies on Ukraine could get him killed

Violent deaths of Putin opponents

April 2003 - Liberal politician Sergey Yushenkov assassinated near his Moscow home

July 2003 - Investigative journalist Yuri Shchekochikhin died after 16-day mysterious illness

July 2004 - Forbes magazine Russian editor Paul Klebnikov shot from moving car on Moscow street, died later in hospital

October 2006 - Investigative journalist Anna Politkovskaya shot dead outside her Moscow apartment

November 2006 - Former Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko died nearly three weeks after drinking tea laced with polonium in London hotel

March 2013 - Boris Berezovsky, former Kremlin power broker turned Putin critic, found dead in his UK home

'Putin's aggression'

In his last tweet, Mr Nemtsov sent out an appeal for Russia's divided opposition to unite at an anti-war march he was planning for Sunday.

"If you support stopping Russia's war with Ukraine, if you support stopping Putin's aggression, come to the Spring March in Maryino on 1 March," he wrote.

Speaking earlier this month to Russia's Sobesednik news website, he had spoken of his fears for his own life.

"I'm afraid Putin will kill me," he said in the article (in Russian) on 10 February.

"I believe that he was the one who unleashed the war in the Ukraine," he added. "I couldn't dislike him more."

Mr Putin has been widely accused of fomenting the bloody rebellion in east Ukraine - an accusation he denies. Fighting there followed Russia's annexation of Crimea in March last year.

Almost 5,800 people have died and at least 1.25 million have fled their homes, according to the UN.

The Ukrainian government, Western leaders and Nato say there is clear evidence that Russia is helping the rebels with heavy weapons and soldiers.

Independent experts echo that accusation while Moscow denies it, insisting that any Russians serving with the rebels are "volunteers".

Trump's Doppelgänger

Image result for robert maxwell + images

I've been thinking for some time that Donald Trump reminds me of a strange 'blast from the past' and then it came to me the other day, that Trump's an absolute dead ringer or doppelgänger for that fat old fraudster Robert Maxwell.

Now Robert Maxwelll was a flamboyant and very wealthy businessman who turned into a 'progressive' politician just like Trump, although Maxwell was a rags to riches story as opposed to being born with a silver spoon in his mouth.

Maxwell's business empire was built around his publishing and media interests, in particular his ownership of The Mirror group of newspapers which he used to throw his weight around inside the Labour Party.

Like Trump, Maxwell was notoriously litigious and had no qualms about employing family members in plumb roles, only to defend the indefensible in court via high ci]osy litigation lawyers,

Maxwell was also very thin-skinned and responded to people poking fun at him very badly, pursuing several libel actions against Private Eye, via cost litigation lawyers.

I suspect his head would have exploded had he been impersonated by the equivalent of Alec Baldwin and Saturday Night Live who have Donald Trump down to a tee.

Like most vainglorious bullies Maxwell's was not an admirable death - his naked body was fished out of the Atlantic Ocean in 1991 after he fell off of his luxury yacht, the Lady Ghislaine, following a suspected heart attack.  

As they say, pride comes before a fall and that was true, quite literally, in Robert Maxwell's case.

  


America's Next President (10/01/17)

Foghorn Leghorn.png

The next President of the United States is an overbearing, thin-skinned bully who loves to 'dish it out', but who squawks at the first hint of personal criticism.

Donald Trump mocked a disabled journalist with the comment "Oh you gotta see this guy" before launching into an impression of Serge Kovaleski.

Meryl Streep calls him out over his behaviour and he responds by dissing her career as one of Holywoods biggest stars for movies such as 'Sophie's Choice' and 'The Bridges of Madison County'. 

   

Seeing is Believing (09/01/17)



Meryl Streep tore into Donald Trump during her speech at at the Golden Globes Awards last night for mocking a disabled reporter from the The New York Times, Serge Kovaleski.

Trump's acolytes responded quickly on social media by saying that the President-elect was not making fun of someone's disability, but have a look at the following YouTube video and decide for yourself.  

 
And here is Meryl Streep's take on the whole affair.  

   

Trump as Foghorn (09/12/15)


Politics is a funny old business.

Just the other day I heard chap on the TV, a Stop the War (STW) supporter I believe, arguing that 'we' should sit down and talk to the head-choppers from the Islamic State (IS) who murder innocent people for fun and have no qualms about forcing women and young girls into sexual slavery.

A short time later Donald Trump makes the most outrageous and inflammatory remarks he can think of regarding Muslims entering America and the knee-jerk reaction from some is to call for an immediate ban on the businessman turned politician from visiting to the UK.

Now if you ask me this is the perfect opportunity to make Trump eat his words by inviting him to explain and debate his views with some of our own politicians such as Sajiv David, the UK Government's business secretary, who comes from a Muslim family and whose father was a bus driver.

My view is that Trump is a terrible bully and blowhard, the Republican Party's answer to the cartoon character Foghorn Leghorn from the aptly named Looney Tunes stable - and that UK politicians from the mainstream political parties would make complete mincemeat of him.

So, far from banning him or censoring what he has to say I'd invite Trump over on the next available plane.

Because another advantage Sajiv David would have is that his head is shaved completely bald whereas Donald Trump sports a ridiculous hairpiecespookily like the crazy rooster, Foghorn Leghorn.