The Labour Party’s position on the Unite/Ineos dispute seems astonishing.  It can’t survive the weekend, surely? Neil Findlay MSP, a Scottish shadow cabinet minister, yesterday put out this statement on social media: “The workers at Ineos have my full support and solidarity – the company are (sic) acting disgracefully”. Does Labour really see the dispute.. read more →

17 Oct 2013
October 17, 2013

United in Calamity


The stand-off at Grangemouth between employer Ineos and union Unite has led to the chemical plant’s temporary shut-down.  Unite says the shutdown is ‘economic vandalism’ – Ineos says it’s because Unite’s continuing threat of industrial action means shut-down is the safest option.  Both statements reflect the standard public posturing which happens around industrial negotiations.  But what’s actually.. read more →

07 Sep 2013
September 7, 2013

Falkirk West: Constituency Unite Party?

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Here are a few thoughts in the wake of Labour’s apparent decision on Falkirk West that no rules have been broken by anyone connected to Unite, or anyone else, ever, capisce? The local complaints about Unite amongst Labour members were initially that the Scottish Chair of Unite, Stephen Deans, who became chair of Falkirk West.. read more →

Last week, Len McCluskey, The General Secretary of Unite, made a big play of sending out a letter to, he said,  all Unite members in Falkirk West (Unite’s still unable to distinguish Falkirk the Westminster Constituency from Falkirk West the CLP).  The purpose of the letter was to criticise the Labour Party for putting the.. read more →

08 Jul 2013
July 8, 2013

Falkirk Labour; a couple of facts

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Worth commenting, I think, on John Harris’ and Owen Jones’ pieces in, respectively, the Guardian and Independent, today. Harris’ thoughtful Guardian piece refers to declining membership in Constituency Labour Parties like Falkirk across the UK. I don’t know about elsewhere, but in 1999 when I was CLP Secretary in Falkirk West paid-up membership was around.. read more →

Michael Crick, of Channel 4 News, is tweeting (@michaellcrick) what appears to be content from Labour’s report on Falkirk.  He also seems to have had a conversation with at least one of the potential candidates. He’s a great digger, so perhaps there’ll be some more tweets coming along soon. The essence of his early tweets,.. read more →

David Blunkett has today called for the Labour Party’s report on Falkirk to be released.  I hope he’s listened to, and in short order. The report, I’m guessing, includes a simple analysis and cross-referencing of names and addresses to see if people who’ve been signed-up are actually present at the addresses given.  In addition, there’ll.. read more →

27 Jun 2013
June 27, 2013

Dumb and Dumber

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I have done my fair share of stupid things, obv. Generally, though, when I’ve done something I’ve later regretted it’s been because I’ve acted impulsively. I guess I have this in common with a lot of other people: act in haste, repent at leisure. It takes a special  type of person, though, to actually give.. read more →

Here’s the full text of my letter in today’s (24 Jan) Falkirk Herald on the subject of Coalbed Methane extraction and fracking.  I’ve added links. Do comment.  On this occasion, although it’s obviously a national issue it’s clearly a local one too and the planning application referred to is the first of its type in.. read more →

07 Nov 2009
November 7, 2009

Remembrance in Falkirk and Denny

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I’m privileged to be laying wreaths at remembrance day ceremonies in my constituency tomorrow – in Falkirk and Denny.  All politicians of all parties will be doing the same thing. It’s the only profound thing we do.  I’m looking at the wreaths now and just thinking about how this week serves as a reminder of how decent people are.   As the.. read more →