All under one Clique

This is my second blog on the subject of All Under One Banner and their attempts to organise an event in Dundee. Since I wrote the blog yesterday there has been some very unsavoury developments such as threats of violence made against myself and others. I enclose the evidence below.

It is a great pity that the independence movement has to be tainted with this disgraceful behaviour.  A pity also that one of the main proponents in this affair was in the past involved in the attempts to adversely affect a previous rally because of the presence of Tommy Sheridan and now we have the spectacle of him arranging a speaking slot on this forthcoming march and rally. Mind you it is hardly surprising when you consider that AUOB is merged with Hope Over Fear, the organisation run by Tommy.

So we now have the situation where we have SNP members and ( as far as I know) an SNP office bearer and partner of an SNP MSP, assisting an organisation which he was involved in trying to prevent from coming to Dundee. One can but wonder at the motivation behind this conversion on the road to Damascus.

The independence movement is a conglomeration of small grass roots groups working away in their own way in their own areas and it was them who gave us the result we had in the referendum. I feel that these groups should be very careful of putting their names to or being on a committee linked to an organisation which openly  espouses breaking the law . An organisation which treats criticism by making threats of violence and arranges seedy back room deals among its chosen few. To do this in the name of a future independent Scotland is disgusting.

I would suggest that if groups do wish to be involved with AUOB they insist on full compliance with any Council or Police  conditions including the  rout to be taken .
They insist on proper public liability insurance and sight of the documents. They insist on a full set of accounts and a reckoning of ongoing expences and proper accounting for the collection buckets which will be there in considerable number, with a share of money collected going to the groups who have participated after of course the disbursement of expenses.

I attach below some more screen shots of conversations between members of the self appointed “committee” ( there are more) I have looked at the profiles of these people and I am sure the police will be interested in doing the same . There was only one which was difficult to get a profile for and that was Robert, I have a feeling you could substitute Mike for that one .

I am committed as ever to the cause of independence but I do feel we should not have to wade through a cesspit of inanity, incompetence and skulduggery to get there. The people of Scotland  deserve something better.

 

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How not to Organise an event

The other day I received an invitation to attend a meeting in the Butterfly Cafe in connection with a proposed march and rally to take place in August., The March is to be organised under the auspices of All Under One Banner. The group who have been responsible for the hugely successful recent marches in Glasgow.

On speaking to who I believe, is one of the main organisers of that group I was made aware that the purpose of this meeting was to elect a committee to decide on the arrangements for the march. I was asked to attend because of my experience with being involved in almost all of the independence related rallies in Dundee, both during and after the independence referendum.

I had a few reservations when I heard of several of the people involved in the initial set up of the meeting as the people have been instrumental in attempts to adversely affect several previous independence related events in the city. However I agreed to  attend the meeting with an open mind and hopefully contribute my experience in this area.

There was about 30 people at the meeting and it started by Dom Anderson ,who owns the Cafe giving an introduction and his opinion on the proposed rout of the march., He was of the opinion that the rout was too long and should terminate at Slessor gardens. Now, the strange thing was that although this meeting was to formulate arrangements for the march/rally, the rout had been published on social media earlier that day which kind of negated one of the functions of the meeting which was to elect a committee and make these very arrangements.

Dom then passed over to a group sitting together and one of the group who I think was called Dale Handy ( I could be wrong) gave a speech which consisted of stating that a committee had already been formed and consisted of the people sitting around him. I subsequently discovered that this “committee” had been formed about half an hour before the meeting in a pub about a hundred yards up the road.

The speaker tried to arouse some enthusiasm ,stating that Dundee needed this march and it would go ahead. He further stated that it would go ahead regardless of any “complience”. That rang alarm bells with me as he was basically saying that this march would go ahead whether or not, there was any permission in place or any restrictions Imposed .

The floor was open to speakers and once everyone else had been chosen I was finally given the chance to say something, although I had had my hand up from the start. I mentioned that I had reservations regarding the initial speakers assertion that the march  go ahead regardless of whether the proper permissions were in place and asked if the insurance implications of such a decision had been taken into consideration. None of the secretly arranged committee seemed to know what I was talking about. I explained that any insurance in place would be invalidated should the march go ahead either without proper permissions being in place or any contraventions, of the  conditions. There seemed to be a general ignorance within this cobbled together committee that insurance was either irrelevant or would not be invalidated by ignoring conditions. I explained that if there was to be a committee voted in ( which seemed irrelevant since this had already happened) then they would have to consider the individual liability aspect  of possibly being without insurance on the march.

As this seemed to be going over the heads of the self appointed committee, I went on to ask whether there was a list of speakers or acts,  at which point the initial speaker said that Mike Strachan ( partner of Shona Robinson, MSP) was in charge of this. Mike mumbled something about compiling a list and something about a problem with Tommy Sheridan appearing but that he would be there. This was the most hypocritical statement I had heard for a long time as Strachan was one of the main detractors of my decision to invite Sheridan to talk at a previous rally in the City Square two years ago. Yes ,of course Tommy Sheridan should be allowed to talk as he is a supporter of independence ,talks well and has a decent following, the problem will be getting SNP politicians to talk at the event as in Dundee we seem to have a lot of holier than thou politicians , one of which literally ran out of the building an independence event was being held in, when he discovered Sheridan was still there. Ironically the same politician was discovered to have been cheating on his wife in what could be called a Whitehall farce.

At this point in the meeting I decided that I could not have anything to do with an event that was being managed in a manner which could involve law breaking and lack of proper public liability insurance and decided that there could be no involvement of the Yes bus which is a pitty because I had though that with 94 seats it could have been used to take the less well able along the march rout.

It is some time since I have seen such a gathering of stupid people in the same place at the same time and I want nothing to do with any of them, and would suggest the decent people who were there, think carefully before committing themselves to involvement with this project in its present form .

To reinforce my opinion of this so called committee I attach a thread of ‘secret” messages ( there are more) between them concerning both me and several other people connected with the independence movement in Dundee. You can judge for yourselves the mental capacity of those involved even a bit of anti Semitism thrown in. I would suggest none of them apply for a job in MI5.

 

The Economy Of Truth

Did Nicola Sturgeon deceive the Scottish parliament when she said: “there is a ban on fracking in Scotland”? Probably, is it a resigning issue, probably not and here is my thinking on this?

When you ban something you simply stop it from happening from a position of authority. Ok, now there are two ways that can happen. A ban can be imposed by a person, organisation or government by invoking the law. The only way that can happen in the UK is by the Westminster government banning it because the law regarding Fracking is a reserved area. So could the Scottish government have banned fracking by using their legislative power? Almost certainly the answer to that is no.
OK, so the other way you can impose a ban is by making something legally impossible to happen by using a power allowed under the devolution settlement, and that is what the Scottish Government have done. Planning is a devolved power and the Scottish Government have decreed that no planning application for fracking will be allowed.

Jim Radcliff is jumping up and down because his lawyers kind of messed things up as it would appear they took the Scottish government to court on the basis that they had no legal right to ban fracking when, if anything they should have taken out the action against the Scottish government for misuse of their responsibilities under the planning act.

 

To use an analogy, suppose someone owned the land a loch sat on but not the water and they wished to stop people swimming in this loch but did not have the power to stop them. They could open a dam and allow the water to drain away thus making it impossible for anyone to swim in the Loch, for the simple fact that the Loch no longer existed,  without actually banning them. Not perhaps a perfect analogy but same principal.

I do think Nicola Sturgeon should apologise for misleading the public as the inference in what she said after the extensive consultation and investigation into the effects of fracking was that it was a legal ban. But on balance, not a resigning matter.

However, I do think she should resign for allowing the independence cause to get into the present mess that it is in.

EU, The Parliament Of The People

Yesterday I visited the EU Parliament. It was an event to open the institutions of the parliament and celebrate the success of the largest trading block on the planet.
It was indeed an interesting day with a chance to ask a question in the debating chamber and put a question in writing. Which will be answered within two weeks.

The role of the EU parliament is widely misunderstood in the UK and to a point in Scotland, although there is a difference in the degree of misunderstanding between Scotland and the rest of the UK and this was made apparent during the campaign and vote on exit from the EU. Overall, the UK voted by a very small margin to leave the EU but in Scotland, there was a large majority of 62% who voted to remain.
The difference between the way the EU is governed and say the UK is that the EU is all about the people, the citizens of the union. Whereas, the UK is all about the vested interests of big business and the xenophobic nature of the present ruling party.

The EU seeks to control corporate pressures, as opposed to the UK parties who are in the thrall of corporate interests through the funding direct from these corporate entities to political parties. Does anyone think that this funding is other than for the benefit of these companies? No, of course, it is not. So, in the UK our governance is based on the needs of the financiers of our governments and not on the needs of the people, otherwise, we would not be requiring foodbanks to feed large sections of the people.
The EU is different in as much as the funding comes directly from the member states, therefore it bears no allegiance to outside interests and therefore concentrates on the needs of the citizens of the EU and not big business.

No more is this evident than in the EU legislation to go live in early 2019 concerning tax evasion by corporate entities by way of the transfer of profits to offshore tax havens thus depriving the country that the money was made in the benefit of the taxes due.

Starbucks is a prime example of this and this is how they do it. They set up a company in say the Cymen islands where corporation tax is either nil or perhaps half a percent as opposed to the 19% it is in the Uk. This company owns the intellectual rights of Starbucks such as the right to use the name. So, when the profit is calculated for each Starbucks outlet, this potential profit is then taken as a payment for the intellectual rights such as the use of the name, by the company in the Cayman Islands, meaning that the Starbucks outlet in the UK appears to have made nil profit. This deprives the host country of billions of pounds in tax.

So, this is what this new EU legislation is all about, it is facilitating a fair tax system for the member countries and therein lies the true reason for Brexit. It is not about immigration (or at least only in a very small amount) no it is all about the corporate interests who fund the Tory party and indeed their own MP’s who are terrified that the EU will stop their huge tax evasion practices.

So, remember this. The EU is about people and the UK is all about corporate interests.

OK, so to the questions I asked. The session was hosted by the speaker and the speech was by Marie Arena who is one of the Socialist members of the parliament. She gave a very good speech, the gist of which was that the heart of the EU was the people. I asked her, “as the UK has voted by a small margin to, lemming-like, throw itself over the cliff edge and into oblivion, but the people of Scotland voted by a large margin to remain and taking into account that the people of Scotland are EU citizens, what is the EU position on this”?

Her answer was that this was a very good and difficult question. It was apparent that the UK had been forced to make a decision under false pretences by receiving unreliable information from people like Nigel Farage, and they were very aware of the difference in the Scottish vote. The member state is the UK and although they do not intend making it particularly easy for the UK to leave without penalty they have a duty to be less severe as they realise that many of the EU citizens do not want to leave, especially now that many of them realise they were deceived.

So there you have it, an honest answer from a member of the EU parliament.
The other question I was able to ask in writing, aided by one of the researchers was, “As Scotland voted to remain and the people of Scotland are by choice European citizens and taking it that there might very well be another referendum where Scotland will almost certainly vote to be independent. Should there be a fast track mechanism in place to facilitate immediate entry to the EU? The researcher said that this was a very good question and she would personally see to it that it was answered. I will have the answer to this within two weeks so watch this space.

So remember this, the EU is all about the people as opposed to the UK which is all about corporate interests.

The Rip Van Winkle of Scottish politics

OK so we have the unedifying sight of several SNP politicians squabbling over what should be the main purpose of the SNP, independence. We have Pete Wishart saying that there should not, be a referendum in the foreseeable future. Obviously with one eye on his chances of re-election ( in the event of an other snap election) and the other eye on the deputy leadership contest. He is apparently still in denial regarding why the SNP lost half a million votes at the last GE, erroneously under the impression that all that nonsense in the unionist press about the SNP talking too much about another referendum was true. No Pete , it was not true but it conveniently fell into the SNP psyche mode, of “don’t talk about independence” very prevalent since the election to the leadership of the SNP of Nicola Sturgeon.

This brings me on to the next deluded player on the deputy leadership contest Keith brown who has just came up with the gem of “we need to be prepared for another referendum campaign ” now I will say this again for any one who missed it “we need to be prepared for another referendum campaign” This guy has to be a candidate for mastermind or has just awoke from a Rip Van Winkle-esk slumber.

Of COURSE, WE HAVE TO BE PREPAIRED FOR A FUTURE REFERENDUM CAMPAIGN That is stating the bloody obvious and what also is bloody obvious, is that the SNP have wasted three and a half years in criminally neglecting their main function in life which should have been preparing for a future referendum by utilising the wonderful grass roots groups and SNP activists which are more than willing, and are based all over the country. Keith Brown is one of these very people who have wasted this three and a half years.

These latest confused messages are a symptom of the malaise prevalent throughout the SNP. There seems to be no hard and fast policy direction, and this is becoming clear, in fact I have been saying this ever since the last referendum and only now are mainstream commentators catching up with this regrettable fact of life.

Nicola Sturgeon is responsible for the policy vacuum within the SNP with regards to independence and the absence of a proper road map to independence. When Alex Salmond was the leader he had independence as the driving force behind the SNP with administering the Scottish Government (which he did very well) being in tune with the mandate he had which was to govern Scotland as the SNP, voted in to power in the full knowledge that they were the party of independence. Whereas Nicola seems to be in power predominantly to retain power at all costs, even to the cost of independence

To this day I still cannot get over a Dundee politician saying to me (when he was trying to persuade me to postpone an independence rally in Dundee City square scheduled for the week before the 2015 general election) WE CANT HAVE SALTIRES AND YES SIGNS BEING WAVED ARROUND THE CITY SQUARE ,THE WEEK BEFORE A GENERAL ELECTION. Well we all know now, just how wrong he was as we returned 56 independence MP’s to Westminster. This is just how out of touch the SNP have been since the last independence referendum and now we get this genius, Keith Brown, after three and a half years, coming away with the Jem,  “we need to be prepared for a future referendum”

The sad fact is that prepared or not the SNP have painted themselves into an ever-decreasing corner and it would appear we will have to go for another referendum within the next twelve months or so, probably in the spring of next year or even September this year. There are many factors in this, the main one is the Brexit negotiations which will in the main be agreed by then, although there is absolutely no need to use these negotiations as an excuse for delaying another referendum. There will never be another more advantages time to hold a referendum than now, but because of the SNP’s state of unpreparedness, that is just not practical unless we very urgently start a program of adressing the issues we lost the last one on , a policy on entry into the EU ot EEA and facing up to the press.

We need a road map to independence and to achieve that we need a new leader of the SNP.

Questions for Theresa and Nicola

Here is a list of questions the British government should be answering regarding the Skripal “Novachok” case. I did not compile this list myself but have been asking many of these questions since the poisoning took place.
There could possibly be feasible answers to these questions but I doubt it. This whole case has had a very unpleasant smell from day one. Not only does the Government have many questions to answer but every single politician who parroted the government position of “Russia guilty”, also have questions to answer including Scotlands first minister. I personally found it incredible and embarrassing, that Nicola Sturgeon, a lawyer, could have issued such a condemning diatribe, without sufficient evidence.
Meanwhile, negotiations on our exit from the EU were entering an extremely sensitive phase and we woke up yesterday to find that once again, Scottish fishing had been sacrificed on the altar of expediency. Mind you, because the Scottish government’s position on exit from the EU was to, in effect change the Scottish people’s will from full membership to attachment to the single market. Something, not a single person in Scotland voted for, this UK position was not unexpected.
Although this deal to sacrifice our fishing rights is part of the transitional arrangements, it shows just how important the EU look upon this Scottish asset and it can be well imagined that this will be a very important bargaining tool in the actual single market negotiations.
So, if the fishing community thinks they have missed out by two years as far as their fishing grounds go then they are in for a very big shock when the real negotiating gets started.
I wrote a blog some time ago concerning the SNP’s attitude to Brexit. I called it “A Road Map To Unionism”.I have seen nothing in the attitude or actions of the SNP since then, to change my mind. Including the attitude of the first minister to the Skripal case.
So here is the list of questions the British government should be answering.
1. Why have there been no updates on the condition of Sergei and Yulia Skripal in the public domain since the first week of the investigation?
2. Are they still alive?
3. If so, what is their current condition and what symptoms are they displaying?
4. In a recent letter to The Times, Stephen Davies, Consultant in Emergency Medicine at Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust, wrote the following:
“Sir, Further to your report (“Poison exposure leaves almost 40 needing treatment”, Mar 14) may I clarify that no patients have experienced nerve agent poisoning in Salisbury and there have only ever been three patients with significant poisoning.”
His claim that “no patients have experienced nerve agent poisoning in Salisbury” is remarkably odd, as it appears to flatly contradict the official narrative. Was this a slip of the pen, or was it his intention to communicate precisely this — that no patients have been poisoned by a nerve agent in Salisbury?
5. It has been said that the Skripals and Detective Sergeant Nick Bailey were poisoned by “a military grade nerve agent”. According to some claims, the type referred to could be anywhere between five and eight times more toxic than VX nerve agent. Given that just 10mg of VX is reckoned to be the median lethal dose, it seems likely that the particular type mentioned in the Skripal case should have killed them instantly. Is there an explanation as to how or why this did not happen?
6. Although reports suggested the involvement of some sort of nerve agent fairly soon after the incident, it was almost a week before Public Health England issued advice to those who had visited The Mill pub or the Zizzi restaurant in Salisbury on the day that the Skripals fell ill. Why the delay and did this pose a danger to the public?
7. In their advice, Public Health England stated that people who had visited those places, where traces of a military grade nerve agent had apparently been found, should wash their clothes and:
“Wipe personal items such as phones, handbags and other electronic items with cleansing or baby wipes and dispose of the wipes in the bin (ordinary domestic waste disposal).”
Are baby wipes acknowledged to be an effective and safe method of dealing with objects that may potentially have been contaminated with “military grade nerve agent”, especially of a type 5-8 times more deadly than VX?
8. Initial reports suggested that Detective Sergeant Bailey became ill after coming into contact with the substance after attending the Skripals on the bench they were seated on in The Maltings in Salisbury. Subsequent claims, however, first aired by former Metropolitan Police Commissioner, Lord Ian Blair on 9th March, said that he came into contact with the substance at Sergei Skripal’s house in Christie Miller Road. Reports since then have been highly ambiguous about what should be an easily verifiable fact. Which is the correct account?
9. The government has claimed that the poison used was “a military grade nerve agent of a type developed by Russia”. The phrase “of a type developed by Russia” says nothing whatsoever about whether the substance used in the Salisbury case was produced or manufactured in Russia. Can the government confirm that its scientists at Porton Down have established that the substance that poisoned the Skripals and DS Bailey was actually produced or manufactured in Russia?
10. The former ambassador to Uzbekistan, Craig Murray, has claimed that sources within the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) have told him that scientists at Porton Down would not agree to a statement about the place of origin of the substance because they were not able to establish this. According to Mr Murray, only under much pressure from the Government did they end up agreeing to the compromise wording, “of a type developed by Russia”, which has subsequently been used in all official statements on the matter. Can the FCO, in plain and unambiguous English, categorically refute Mr Murray’s claims that pressure was put on Porton Down scientists to agree to a form of words and that in the end a much-diluted version was agreed?
11. On the occasion that the FCO did attempt to refute Mr Murray’s claims, the wording they used included a straightforward repetition of the same phrase – “of a type developed by Russia”. Is the FCO willing and able to go beyond this and confirm that the substance was not only “of a type developed by Russia”, but that it was “produced” or “manufactured” in Russia?
12. Why did the British Government issue a 36-hour ultimatum to the Russian Government to come up with an explanation, but then refuse their request to share the evidence that allegedly pointed to their culpability (there could have been no danger of their tampering with it, since Porton Down would have retained their own sample)?
13. How is it possible for a state (or indeed any person or entity) that has been accused of something, to defend themselves against an accusation if they are refused access to evidence that apparently points to their guilt?
14. Is this not a clear case of the reversal of the presumption of innocence and of due process?
15. Furthermore, why did the British Government issue an ultimatum to the Russian Government, in contravention of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) rules governing such matters, to which both Britain and Russia are signatories, and which are clearly set out in Article 9, Paragraph ii of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC)?
16. Given that the investigation, which has been described by the man leading it as being “an extremely challenging investigation” and as having “a number of unique and complex issues”, and given that many of the facts of the case are not yet known, such as when, where and how the substance was administered, how is it possible for the British Government to point the finger of blame with such certainty?
17. Furthermore, by doing so, haven’t they both politicised and prejudiced the investigation?
18. Why did the British Government feel the need to come forward with an accusation little more than a week into the investigation, rather than waiting for its completion?
19. On the Andrew Marr Show on 18th March, the Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson, stated the following:
“And I might just say in response to Mr Chizhov’s point about Russian stockpiles of chemical weapons. We actually had evidence within the last ten years that Russia has not only been investigating the delivery of nerve agents for the purposes of assassination, but it has also been creating and stockpiling Novichok.”
Where has this intelligence come from and has it been properly verified?
20. If this intelligence was known before 27th September 2017 – the date that the OPCW issued a statement declaring the completion of the destruction of all 39,967 metric tons of chemical weapons possessed by the Russian Federation – why did Britain not inform the OPCW of its own intelligence which apparently contradicts this claim, which they would have had a legal obligation to do?
21. If this intelligence was known after 27th September 2017, why did Britain not inform the OPCW of this “new” information, which it was legally obliged to do since it allegedly shows that Russia had been lying to the OPCW and had been carrying out a clandestine chemical weapons programme?
22. Also on the Andrew Marr show, Mr Johnson made the following claim after a question of whether he was “absolutely sure” that the substance used to poison the Skripals was a “Novichok”:
“Obviously to the best of our knowledge this is a Russian-made nerve agent that falls within the category Novichok made only by Russia, and just to get back to the point about the international reaction which is so fascinating.”
Is the phrase “to the best of our knowledge” an adequate response to Mr Marr’s request of him being “absolutely sure”?
23. Is this a good enough legal basis from which to accuse another state and to impose punitive measures on it, or is more certainty needed before such an accusation can be made?
24. After hedging his words with the phrase, “to the best of our knowledge”, Mr Johnson then went beyond previous Government claims that the substance was “of a type developed in Russia”, saying that it was “Russian-made”. Have the scientists at Porton Down been able to establish that it was indeed “Russian-made”, or was this a case of Mr Johnson straying off-message?
25. He also went beyond the previous claim that the substance was “of a type developed in Russia” by saying that the substance involved in the Skripal case “falls within the category Novichok made only by Russia”? Firstly, is Mr Johnson able to provide evidence that this category of chemical weapons was ever successfully synthesized in Russia, especially in the light of the OPCW’s Scientific Advisory Board stating as recently as 2013, that it has “insufficient information to comment on the existence or properties of ‘Novichoks‘“?
26. As Craig Murray has again pointed out, since its 2013 statement, the OPCW has worked (legally) with Iranian scientists who have successfully synthesized these chemical weapons. Was Mr Johnson aware that the category of “Novichok” chemical weapons had been synthesized elsewhere when he stated that this category of chemical weapons is “made only by Russia”?
27. Does the fact that Iranian scientists were able to synthesize this class of chemical weapons suggest that other states have the capabilities to do likewise?
28. Is the British Government aware that the main plant involved in attempts to synthesize Novichoks in the 1970s and 1980s was based not in Russia, but in Nukus in Uzbekistan?
29. Does the fact that the US Department of Defence decontaminated and dismantled the Nukus site, under an agreement with the Government of Uzbekistan, make it at least theoretically possible that substances or secrets held within that plant could have been carried out of the country and even back to the United States?
30. The connection between Sergei Skripal’s MI6 recruiter, Pablo Miller, who also happens to live in Salisbury, and Christopher Steele, the author of the so-called “Trump Dossier”, has been well established, as has the fact that Mr Skripal and Mr Miller regularly met together in the City. Is this connection of any interest to the investigation into the incident in Salisbury?

The Dundee West fest Puzzle

 

I saw a petition on Facebook recently concerning the Westfest event which takes place on Magdalen Green in the west end on Dundee. It was concerning the apparent exclusion of a local band called The Graham Brown Band from performing at the event. This caught my interest as I know Graham, and have heard the band play many times. They are a hugely talented band, all the members of which play multiple instruments and regularly perform their own material.

 

They play to a variety of audiences all over the country, in fact appearing at a function where the first minister of Scotland was the main guest. They have a wonderful repertoire which they adapt to the type of audience they are playing to. From Weddings to large concerts. I suppose I would put their genre in the mode of Runrig giving a hugely entertaining experience.

 

They are, also like Runrig, well-known supporters of independence for Scotland, although the individual members of the band have a variety of political views.
Now the point of the petition was that although they have offered their services to the committee set up to run the Westfest event for several years, they have never been chosen, which to me seemed strange as most venues would jump at the chance to feature such a talented band and the petition was to allow local people to express their disappointment. Although the petition has not been going long it had received several hundred votes for the band to be included.
Last night whilst in my local Mennies which is in the Westend of Dundee, I had occasion to be in a company which included people involved in the organization of the Westfest event and in fact Alan Wilson who is a journalist with the DC Thompson publication, The Dundee Courier a well-known unionist organ. I enquired as to why the Graham Brown Band had never been successful in being allowed to perform at the Westfest event in front of the people of their home city when other bands based elsewhere were in fact regularly billed
I was told quite clearly that it was “because of their politics “I was dumbfounded, that because a bands perceived politics did not accord with the politics of the organisers they were being prevented from playing to their home audience at an event which as far as I Know has a financial input from Dundee Council and is held on public land.
The decision, it would seem, mainly centres around one person and that is Alan Wilson and I would not like to think that his allegiance to the unionist views of the courier is being transmitted to a public event to the detriment of a local group of entertainers and indeed to the detriment of the Dundee public who are being deprived of seeing this extremely popular band.