Friday, 30 August 2019

Trump, Graphs and the KKK

Here's a serious study in which experts from the left, right and centre of politics conclude that Donald Trump is a narcissistic psychopath.  

But the most amazing coincidence for me is that the shape of Trump's graph is almost identical to the pointy hoods that KKK members wear.



Dump Trump vs Trump's Dump

Here's an inspiring story from the Big Apple about a petition to rename one of New York City's landfill sites after Donald Trump.

You never know 'Dump Trump' could become a major campaign slogan if Trump's Dump becomes a reality by 2020. 


Glasgow - Spending Public Money

A Glasgow councillor has been making the news headlines over a £2,000 payment to his partner - Anne McLaughlin the former SNP MP for Glasgow North East.

Read the full story in the link below to The Herald, but it is interesting to note that when Ms McLaughlin was elected in 2015 she hired Mr Campbell, presumably as a member of her constituency office staff.

Regular readers will no doubt remember Cllr Campbell as 'Mr Know-It-All' from the Glasgow equal pay campaign - read the full story via the link below to The Herald and a selection of posts from the blog site archive.


SNP Glasgow councillor in row over £2,000 payment to partner

By Paul Hutcheon - The Herald

Photo - Campbell and McLaughlin

A GLASGOW SNP councillor transferred £2,000 from a voluntary group to his partner without the "clear and unambiguous consent" of the board, according to the findings of an investigation.

The firm that examined Graham Campbell’s decision in 2013 to make a refund to Anne McLaughlin from the African and Caribbean Network (ACN) concluded that it was a “breach of trust”.

However, a source flatly denied the suggestion and insisted Campbell had received permission from the ACN board for the transaction.

The ACN was formed in 2005 to establish an African and Caribbean centre for cultural heritage, integration and social enterprise in Glasgow.

Campbell, who once stood for the Solidarity party, was appointed a director in 2010 and McLaughlin was a volunteer. He stopped being a director in 2014 and became an SNPcouncillor for Springburn/Robroyston two years later.

He is now running to be an SNP office bearer, having announced his intention to seek election as the BAME representative for the party last week.

Documents obtained by this newspaper reveal the that an internal row was followed by his departure from the ACN, which pre-dated his time as a councillor.

In 2013, the ACN commissioned a Glasgow-based chartered accountancy firm to investigate a complaint by Campbell against a fellow ACN figure, as well as a counter complaint against him.

According to the investigation report, one of the complaints was that Campbell allegedly transferred £2,000 to McLaughlin without board approval or supporting receipts.

It provided an abridged version of the complainant's account of the matter: “Graham should not have made a payment to a personally connected person without the consent of the Board.”

The report also included a summary of Campbell’s response: “Anne had paid out significant costs on behalf of the organisation in relation to events and needed to be paid. The receipts were checked by the Independent Examiner....and by members of the board.

“The Board has accepted formally that £1,500 was due and then Anne incurred further expenses. He acknowledged the potential conflict of interest but in the event made the payment because he genuinely felt that the monies were due.”

The conclusion stated: “A review of the cashbook and bank statements shows that the £2,000 was paid to Anne on 25 February 2013. Because of the personal relationship between Graham and Anne and the clear conflict of interest; Graham should not have made this payment without the clear and unambiguous consent of the Board.

“This is regarded as a serious matter because of the amount involved and the breach of trust.”

Campbell is listed as having resigned as a director of ACN in April 2014.

However, a source disputed the report's findings, and said: "At no point is the fact that Ms McLaughlin was owed more than the sum refunded under dispute. The accusation appears to be that the transaction was made without permission. This is not true.

"The payment was made in February 2013 with permission from the 2012/13 board. The accusation was issued by the board elected in May 2013. The chairman of the board at the time of the transaction subsequently wrote to the 2013/14 board expressing concern at the accusations and confirming that this had all been agreed at a board meeting.

"Indeed, Mr Campbell had delayed the payment by 7 months because he felt, in light of his personal relationship with Ms McLaughlin, it would be better if the charity’s treasurer made the transaction.

"The treasurer however, had gone AWOL and Anne was in need of the refund, several suppliers were requiring to be paid and with the permission of the chairperson of the board (who can verify this), Mr Campbell made the transactions. The composer of the report was aware of this but chose not to mention it."

The report includes claims by Campbell and McLaughlin that they were still owed money from the ACN, which was wound up in 2017.

McLaughlin was elected as the SNP MP for Glasgow North East in 2015 and hired Campbell. She lost her seat two years later.

A spokesperson for Campbell and McLaughlin said: "We have written off the money still owed to us and have no further comment to make."

Glasgow Tory councillor Thomas Kerr said: “These are clearly very serious allegations which need to be thoroughly investigated.

“If not, the public will lose trust not just in the SNP, but elected representatives in general.”

Technically, Yer A Twat Mate (08/11/18)

“Technically I’m one of the management”.....technically yer a twat mate.

A Glasgow claimant responds to Cllr Graham Campbell who thinks he's part of the Council's management.


Mr Crystal Ball vs Mr Know-It-All (05/11/18)

Here's something you don't see every day - an elected Glasgow Councillor who thinks he's part of the Council's management.

Now I've mentioned Cllr Campbell before on the blog site, as Graham thinks he's something of a 'Mr Know-It-All' when it comes to equal pay, given his background as a 'trade unionist' - whatever that means.

In any event, Glasgow councillors represent the City Council as a 'corporate body' and 'employer' - elected politicians are not part of the management or the council workforce for that matter.  

I suspect Graham's Facebook post is based on an internal Council briefing because he trots out a whole number of confusing and misleading arguments:
  • the strike was unnecessary
  • the strike was politically motivated
  • the workers are not being kept informed
  • the council has already agreed to all pay demands
  • the council has dropped the pay litigation in the courts
  • Cordia coming back in-house has stopped pay inequality
  • the 'unfit for purpose' WPBR scheme has been scrapped
  • the council will not know the cost of settlement until 2019, but will have a settlement in place by December 2018
Now that last point is a real doozy because how can the Council possibly have an equal pay settlement in place by Christmas 2018 - if the cost of settling these claims is not known until 2019.

If you ask me, either Mr Know-It-All doesn't know what he's talking about - or his crystal ball has run out of batteries.

But the weirdest thing is that while this self-proclaimed, long-standing trade unionist has plenty of criticism for the trade unions and has the cheek to be snide about Stefan Cross and A4ES - he has not a single word of criticism for the senior management of the council.

Maybe it's because Graham think's he's 'one of them'. 


Cllr Graham Campbell - October 25 2018

Glasgow is a gallus city indeed. That is why thousands of our working women were on strike for equal pay these last two days. Technically I am one of "the management" they are striking against - as a Glasgow City Councillor. However I 100% support their right to strike and fully back the just demands they make. Some of those I spoke to (including women from my constituency) told me they knew it's the SNP Council administration which has done more in the last year to rectify the mess Labour left behind – than any previous administration.

I totally understand - that after many of them will have waited for 12 years for equal pay justice and not got it - why they have taken industrial action. It's out of total frustration that it has taken so long to resolve. I would ask for a little more patience for just a little bit longer though.

We are negotiating with a panel of trade unions and a class action legal group Action for Equality (A4E) led by lawyer Stefan Cross who stands to make significant sums out of any settlement based on no-win-no-fee. However he has the majority of the claimants with him precisely because the unions failed to help their members back in 2006 and since then for over 10 years. This is only happening now because legal action brought things to a head in 2017. The unions were really scrambling to catch up with A4E having not called serious industrial action on behalf of the mainly women workers discriminated against by the pay and grading system they helped Labour to bring in. 

Some very misleading and politicising statements have been put out there - to which we can't respond because we've all agreed not to make public statements about it until negotiations are completed.

But this strike was totally unnecessary and on the part of some – although certainly not most union reps – may have been motivated by wanting to 'have a go' at the SNP administration – the only Council leadership that has dealt fairly with the issue of equal pay. As Susan Aitken said - the women won their case the day she was elected as Council Leader.

However it may also be the case that workers are not being kept aware by both management and unions of how the negotiations are progressing. This will undoubtedly have added to their sense of frustration and anger at the sexist inequality of the WBPR pay and grading scheme agreed by the then Labour Council and the Trade unions.

It should be said that most of the players involved on both sides now – were not there in 2006. We have all inherited a mess from a Labour Council administration that refused to resolve it. We changed all that. The strike was unnecessary because we have already agreed all their central demands: We acted

a) to drop Council legal action brought by the last Labour administration to fight their legal discrimination cases. We then agreed to negotiate a settlement with unions. Labour leaders refused for 10 years to even meet the unions who had to talk to council lawyers;

b) to bring Cordia (the social care ALEO) staff back in house to the Council - This took place in September 2018 and at a stroke stops any ongoing pay inequality;

c) to scrap the unfair WPBR pay and grading system which we did last month after reviewing it at the unions' request; and

d) to have an equal pay settlement within a year - which is up in December - in which we are well on the way to getting an agreement by the deadline

(NB - it took Birmingham 3 years to settle their equal pay dispute but we're doing it in 1 year! No one else has done it that quickly)

As a trade unionist of long standing – I personally know what it means to bring people out on strike. I know what it means to ask fellow workers to sacrifice days of pay for the sake of a concrete goal – whether it’s better pay and conditions, protection of public health and safety or a change in attitude of your management - especially when your employer is not listening to you.

But in this case it was completely unjustified and unnecessary as not only are we listening but we agree with the workers' demands. And we are making provision to pay for the settlement to meet then - even though this potentially could have a negative effect on public services depending on how big the bill is. We don't know yet and won't know the true scale of its cost until early next year, However whatever the cost - Equal Pay is simply the right thing to do.

Sadly unions and management were unable to properly coordinate the full emergency cover necessary for about 1200 vulnerable service users who need 24 hour personal care. 90 of them had to be moved into hospitals. Although workers will have made local ad hoc arrangements many relatives and partners will have had to drop everything to care for them. Parents will have had to take days off work as schools were shut,

We should all have in mind that it is all of Glasgow's workers (including those who took action this week) who pay the city's bills.On behalf of the citizens of Glasgow who recognise the amazing work these workers do - we have shown in deeds that we mean what we said: We had some of these commitments in our SNP Council election manifesto in May 2017. Essentially we are sorting out a mess that was left for us by the outgoing Labour administration. I am proud to say 'We 100% support and will deliver Equal Pay justice' - and it can’t come a moment too soon.

He's Misstra Know-It-All (11/04/18) 

Here's a topical track I haven't heard in a long time although I do remember buying myself a copy of Stevie Wonder's 'Innervisions' in the 1970s. 

He's Misstra Know-It-All - Stevie Wonder

He's a man 
With a plan
Got a counterfeit dollar in his hand 
He's Misstra Know-It-All 

Playin' hard 
Talkin' fast 
Makin' sure that he won't be the last 
He's Misstra Know-It-All 

Makes a deal 
With a smile 
Knowin' all the time that his lie's a mile 
He's Misstra Know-It-All 

Must be seen 
There's no doubt 
He's the coolest one with the biggest mouth 
He's Misstra Know-It-All 

If you tell him he's livin' fast 
He will say what do you know 
If you had my kind of cash 
You'd have more than one place to go oh 

Oou...oou...oou oou...oou... 

Any place 
He will play 
His only concern is how much you'll pay 
He's Misstra Know-It-All 

If he shakes 
On a bet 
He's the kind of dude that won't pay his debt 
He's Misstra Know-It-All 

When you say that he's living wrong 
He'll tell you he knows he's livin' right 
And you'd be a stronger man 
if you took Misstra Know-It- All's advice oh oh 

Oou...oou...oou oou...oou... 

He's a man 
With a plan 
Got a counterfeit dollar in his hand 
He's Misstra Know-It-All 

Take my work 
Please beware 
Of a man that just don't give a care no 
He's Misstra Know-It-All (Look out he's coming) 

Dum bum bum ba bum bum, 
Dum bum bum ba bum bum 
Bum bum bum bum bum Say 
He's Misstra Know-It-All 

Can this line 
Take his hand 
Take your hat off to the man who's got the plan 
He's Misstra Know-It-All 

Every boy take your hand 
To the man that's got the plan 
He's Misstra Know-It-All 

Give a hand to the man 
Don't you know darn well he's got the super plan 
He's Misstra Know-It-All 

Give a hand to the man 
You know damn well he's got the super plan
He's Misstra Know-It-All 

If we had less of him 
Don't you know we'd have a better land 
He's Misstra Know-It-All 

So give a hand to the man 
Although you've given out as much as you can 
He's Misstra Know-It-All 

Check his sound out 
He'll tell it all 
Hey You talk too much you worry me to death 
He's Misstra Know-It-All


Glasgow - Equal Pay Update (11/04/18)

Lots of readers were throughly unimpressed at the 'know-it-all' attitude of SNP councillor Graham Campbell regarding the fight for equal pay in Glasgow City Council - and here's a selection of what people had to say. 

Shocking. Don't think he will get any our workers voting for him again.


Arrogant to say the least! Mayhaps his "at length"girlfriend Ann McLaughlin "SNP"MP should have a talk with him on his obvious lack of manners!


Some people just don't possess the art of good manners. It costs nothing and says a lot of the person. This man needs to go and find out how he goes about finding some manners. Especially doing the job he is fortunate to have. 


Good on you mark😂bet he was mortified. He will be keeking round corners in the future


I hope he doesn't take this attitude with all members of the public,if he does,he's in the wrong job,and needs to find a job he's good at,the job he has just now sounds like it's not the job for him,another ignorant MP,Glasgow is full of them!!


Not much a people person in the wrong


Well maybe this information should be shared with his constituents that put him there. Absolutely no need for that response. If he isn’t interested maybe he is in the wrong job.



Glasgow - Equal Pay Update (06/04/18)

I forgot to mention in a recent post about visiting Glasgow City Chambers that I bumped into another elected member on my way out of the building - Councillor Graham Campbell from the SNP.

Now I hadn't met Cllr Campbell in the flesh before, but I recognised his photograph from the GCC web site, so I stopped and introduced myself because we had exchanged words, previously, via email, over equal pay.

Regular readers will recall that back in January I received a bizarre note from Cllr Campbell asking me to stop sending him information about the ongoing fight for equal pay in Glasgow City Council.

I queried this at the time, but never received a response so I took the opportunity to ask the councillor why he would behave in such a strange and rude way.

Graham's answer was that as a committed trade unionist he knows all about equal pay and doesn't need information from me or anyone else to help him 'see the wood through the trees'.

As you can imagine, we had a few words over his attitude because I've been involved in fighting for people's employment rights for most of my working life, yet I would never dream of presenting myself as someone who knows all there is to know on the subject.

In fact, I'm still on a steep learning curve and on a very regular basis I come across employers and council bosses who find new ways of trying to wriggle out of their commitments over equal pay or in relation to Freedom of Information requests, for example.

So if you ask me, Cllr Campbell's attitude is both arrogant and foolish, and I suspect he will come unstuck if he behaves in such a smug manner towards local constituents in Glasgow, especially those still fighting the City Council for equal pay.   


No Mandate 4 No Deal

Sign the petition and send a message to Boris Johnson that he has No Mandate 4 No Deal!

As you can see the petition has now reached 1,590,537 signatures - and counting!

Do not prorogue Parliament
Parliament must not be prorogued or dissolved unless and until the Article 50 period has been sufficiently extended or the UK's intention to withdraw from the EU has been cancelled.
Sign this petition
1,590,537 signatures


Do not prorogue Parliament

Parliament must not be prorogued or dissolved unless and until the Article 50 period has been sufficiently extended or the UK's intention to withdraw from the EU has been cancelled.
Sign this petition
1,257,139 signatures

No Mandate 4 No Deal (12/08/19)

Boris Johnson is talking up the prospects of a 'No Deal' Brexit, but his government has no mandate for crashing out of the European Union in such a reckless fashion - not least because of the huge damage this would do to the UK economy.


Bollocks to Brexit! (09/08/19)

The BBC reports that the mad march towards Brexit continues to damage the UK's economy - apparently these are the worst performance figures since 2012.

UK economy shrinks in second quarter

The UK economy contracted 0.2% between April and June, its worst performance since 2012, the Office for National Statistics said.

The surprise contraction came after a boost to economic growth in the first three months of the year because of Brexit stockpiling.

Rob Kent-Smith, head of GDP at the ONS, said manufacturing output fell and the construction sector weakened.

The pound slipped after the data was released, raising fears of a recession.

Mr Kent-Smith added that "the often-dominant service sector delivered virtually no growth at all".

A Constitutional Outrage! (2)

According to the latest YouGov poll half of Conservative voters and half of Leave voters say it is not acceptable for the Government to suspend Parliament and bypass MPs - in a an effort to bulldoze a No Deal Brexit through the House of Commons.


A Constitutional Outrage! (28/08/19)

The Speaker of the House of Commons, John Bercow, has just released the following statement regarding the Government's plans to by-pass Members of Parliament over Brexit.