Nov 26th

Keep Cadbury British, sign the petition

By Graham Burton
I work in Birmingham and this is part of my heritage as a Brummie.

We need to make sure Cadbury stay in British hands. Just down the road from Cadbury was Rover at Longbridge. Rover does not exist today as we have all seen on the news and the Cadbury site is tiny compared to what Longbridge used to be.

So please sign the petition

http://petitions.number10.gov.uk/CadburyBritish/


graham
Nov 22nd

Need something to cheer about!

By Andrew Moore
Moved by the courage & sacrifice of PC Bill Barker, he has 4 children (as i have) who will miss him dearly but particularly on his birthday. He would have been 45 yesterday.
  How long can the govt defend the sustained casualties in Afghanistan. I heard it said that Gordon Brown has yet to oversee the return of any of our fallen soldiers yet he can visit flood victims in Cumbria.  Is this freakish weather real proof of climate change?
Nov 21st

Some useful links that might make us ready for the election.

By William Jones
It is all very quiet on here.

Perhaps we are spending too much time licking our wounds after last week.  But the clock ticks on towards the 2010 election.

Lets stop naval gazing and perhaps bash ourelves into some shape that may give us a fight chance of getting ourselves elected.  Please have a listen of the week in westminster 21/11/09 at link:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00nwyqq

and the independents network that offers advice (bootcamp) in preparing for election. I shall be taking their advice for my campaign and will stop my naval gazing and take some action. Please see the independents network at:

http://www.independentnetwork.org.uk/Coverage.html

Good luck all and lets move on from Glasgow North East, learn the lesson and give the 2010 election a proper go.

Kind regards

William Jones
Nov 17th

BBC Documentary

By Alan Wallace
When we agreed to back John Smeaton in his campaign to win the Glasgow North East by-election, we inherited a tv documentary crew who were filming John for the BBC.  Believing firmly in transparent politics as we do, we happily allowed the film crew full access to the offices and meetings throughout the campaign.  At no time did we ask for editorial control, nor did we seek to influence the film-makers in any way.

As a result, what will be shown is a fascinating insight into the workings of a Jury Team Campaign, especially tackling the unique aspect of an Independent working with Jury Team and all the stresses that are inherent in such a relationship.

Unlike in a Party, we cannot impose upon candidates. We cannot order candidates around or ask them to do anything they don't particularly want to do. We are a support organisation. As will be seen in the film, Jury Team provided significant resources to John Smeaton, giving him the tools to take on the Party machines.

The documentary is "warts and all", as the film crew repeatedly told us (with relish).  It is being shown on BBC1 on Wednesday 18th at 10.45pm. I will be available here immediately afterwards or by email at alanw (at) juryteam (dot) org to answer any questions raised by the film.
Nov 13th

Pushing past the apathy

By Heather Kavanagh

Okay, so John Smeaton got just over 1% of the vote. The question now is how does JT propose to make the electorate of the UK see independent candidates as worthy of their votes, over the entrenched and discredited main parties? 

It seems to be the same thing, over and again. There appears to be a lot of popular interest in a local independent candidate - a local hero no less. Support seems to grow, despite snubs from the media. But come election day, that support seems to evaporate. Only 258 votes for John? Mind you, it was a record low turnout, so we can take that as a protest.

I can't see how anything will ever change if people continue to vote for the old system, or worse not bother voting at all. This is ver
y frustrating, particularly as a lot of people I interact with are fed up with the way things currently are, and really want change. Yet it seems that when it comes down to making their mark on the ballot, they revert to what they've always done.

This is making me angry. How do we rouse the people of Britain out of their political stupor? How do we get the people of Britain to realise that if they want the system to change, they have to make it change?

Nov 12th

Election Posters

By dziet sma
Glasgow City Council have banned any Election materials being put on lamp posts or any other property belonging to the council.   This is seemingly being done for environmental reasons. 

Seems more like  the Labour council  wants to stop anyone else promoting their political party.  If this was a Tory run council the local Labour Party would be up in arms.  And quite rightly so.

The most interesting thing is that Glasgow City Council recently put up tourist information signs by Clear Channel which have advertising on them. 
Glasgow Council also recently had adverts in Glasgow papers warning companies that illegal signs will be liable to large fines.

Seems to me that if you're prepared to pay GCC are quite happy for signs to be put up.  But people's democratic right to vote is not important enough for signage to be used.  I do agree that parties should make sure they take down whatever election materials they put up. 
Nov 11th

GNE

By Austin Compson-Bradford
Good Luck tomorrow go for it!!
Nov 7th

Why Smeaton?

By Alan Wallace
It's a common question. Why Smeaton? What gives John Smeaton the right to think he can stand as an MP? How does his role in the events at Glasgow Airport equip him to represent 80,000 people?

The answer's obvious really. It's not so much his actions - I don't think John did any more than most of us would have done given the opportunity, it was the voice he gave to a nation the morning after when a camera crew grabbed him for a quick interview.

Let's not forget the sense of shock in Scotland at the time. We pride ourselves in being different from the rest of Britain, that we are a happy-go-lucky nation comprised of people loved the world over. Terrorism is something that happens everywhere else, not in Scotland. But as those images of a burning car at the airport filled the news-stands and the flames flickered repeatedly on tellys in shop windows it hit home that maybe the world doesn't really love us. Maybe Jocks are as vulnerable as anyone else and any one of us could have been engulfed in tragedy just by going to an airport to fly out on holiday.

As we collectively held our breath, up stepped a glaikit ginger Weegie babbling excitedly and swinging his arms in the air, descibing what he did and more importantly coming out with a line that caught the imagination - "This is Glasgow - we'll set aboot ye".

The relief in us all was tangible. Across the nation people laughed and said "Good for you son". Suddenly, we were back in our rightful place. Jocks are different after all. The terrible evil that was almost perpetrated by religious fanatics intent on burning holidaymakers to death had been thwarted by Scots. A tale of heroism was being told to us by a baggage handler - who was quick to downplay his own role and point out that others did as much, if not more.

That's why John Smeaton deserved his medal. Not for saving Glasgow Airport but for saving a nation from doubt and self-pity. He took away our fears and made us smile again. The immediate fear amongst the Muslim Community in Glasgow was that there would be an unfair backlash against them. That there wasn't can largely be put down to John Smeaton puncturing the pontificating terror "experts" who flooded our tv screens with dire warnings about the "enemy within". All nonsense of course and a nonsense that we Scots instinctively knew, but it took the excited tones of John Smeaton to help us see through that.

John Smeaton is the everyman for our times. His Sun column regularly strikes a chord with the public in a way that more highbrow, more educated, more academic tomes fail to. He doesn't make any claim to being better than anyone else, he just tells it as he sees it, just as he did outside the airport in July 2007. It's that refreshing straightforwardness that endears him to thousands of his readers and so infuriates rival newspapers.

And it's that same welcome gauche approach that makes him an ideal candidate for Westminster. We know that if we send John Smeaton to Westminster, we're going to get some more straight talking answers. Somebody wrote that John wouldn't be smart enough to fiddle his expenses - well he's smart enough to know that taking money that isn't yours is theft, something that a few hundred MPs failed to recognise so he's ahead of 50% of them right away.

Sending John Smeaton to Westminster might be the smartest thing Glasgow has done in ages. Who can doubt that the media circus will descend upon Glasgow North East if Smeaton leads them. As an Independent untainted by the machinations of Scottish politics he can point to Labour and SNP failures equally and cry "enough". He can embarass the sitting governments in Holyrood and Westminster into finally doing something in the constituency. And be sure of this, after such a slap in the face, if Labour regain the seat in the future they will never neglect it again.

In July 2007, John Smeaton made us proud to be Scots. On November 12th, he can make Scots proud of Glasgow.
Nov 6th

Hustings

By Jaki Paterson

Once again a Hustings has been held in Glasgow North East and John Smeaton wasn’t invited.  According to the SFHA’s website the five main candidates in the election were invited, Labour, SNP, Conservative, Lib Dems and Greens. 

At the moment both Paddy Power and Ladbrokes have John Smeaton sitting in third place with odds of 25/1 and 33/1 respectively.  Ladbrokes have Con,  Lib and Greens all on odds of 100/1.  Paddy Power has odds of 80/1 for Con and Lib Dem and don’t even mention the Greens. 

The results of the last election in the constituency were 1. Labour, 2. SNP, 3. Socialist Labour, 4. Scottish Socialist, 5. Scottish Unionist Party, 6. BNP and 7. Independent.  Although Con, Lib Dem and the Greens didn’t stand in this seat at the last election. 

So by the last election and by the odds being given at the bookies why are Conservative, Lib Dem and the Greens considered the five main parties?  I certainly wouldn’t put money on those parties being in the top five positions other than Labour and the SNP. 

So why are none of the other candidates being asked to the Hustings?  If you look at the election results for the last General Election in Scotland the party that should of had the fifth place would of been the Scottish Socialist Party as they polled almost 18 thousand votes more than the Greens. 

So I’m wondering if they just pull names out of a hat when will it be John Smeaton’s turn?  Because as far as I can see there is no logic in the parties being called to the Hustings outwith SNP and Labour.; 

Nov 6th

Knife Crime

By Jaki Paterson

Willie Bain the Labour candidate has an idea to cut knife crime.  On his action plan it says “Willie is running a "carry a knife - go to jail" petition to get automatic jail sentences for jail criminals and will build support for an amendment to the SNP’s Criminal Justice Bill in the Scottish Parliament”  I think he means automatic jail sentences for KNIFE criminals. 

Where is the money going to come from for more jails?  Last time I looked jails in Scotland were already over crowded. 

Beside which do we really want sentencing in the hand of politicians?  These issues should be dealt with by the courts not by politicians with agendas.  Mr Bain has a law degree surely he can see that. 

What if you have to use a knife in the course of your job?  A factory I worked in it was mandatory to have a knife to trim flashing off the plastic moulding coming out of machines.  If you left your knife in work it wouldn’t be there when you came back. So everyone would take them home and back again the next day.

So if Mr Bain’s election promise came to be law anyone in that situation with a genuine reason to have a knife about their person would automatically be sent to jail.  I don’t think this would be the case if you had a chance to be heard in court.    

Being tough on Law and Order may seem like a great vote winner but  taking powers away from the courts to do it is in my opinion a crazy idea.  One with ramifications that could affect us all.