Friday, April 29, 2005

Opposition letting Dave Stewart slip through the middle?

Despite a slump in Labour support their candidate in this constituency could slip through the middle and continuing his voting record of supporting Tony Blair. This blog has always thought the Libs’ claim to be ahead in this constituency should be taken with a pinch of salt and the polling done by the P&J in Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey indicates that things are quite different.
Canvassers for Dave Thomson, the SNP candidate were reporting a very good response in Nairn and it seems on the P&J figures that they are repeated across the constituency. So it’s neck and neck to the finish with a massive amount of voters undecided.

It is no secret that this blog supports Dave Thomson and urges all who want to see the labour member deposed to support the SNP candidate.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Campaign gets cancerous?

Naughties going on in Inverness as Publican Party posters are changed to read:
'Vote Cancer Party' or
'Vote Don Cancer'
How many votes will this pro-smoking in pubs party get? If they fail to get over a thousand for example will that be a tempting signal for the politicians to go a-head with the ban? It works both ways, you can have an effect on the others but you can damage your own case too! (and your health everytime you light up)

Monday, April 25, 2005

Lochaber to get dumped on with our waste plus Moray's and Aberdeenshire's?

Will there be anymore progress on recycling or will holes in the ground stay the favoured option and of course incineration?
A story worth reading:
Anger grows over Highland ‘super dump’

Friday, April 22, 2005

Meeting: Gaelic Medium Primary School Unit in Nairn

Gaelic Medium Primary School Unit In Nairn
Anyone interested in finding out more about this proposal is welcome to attend
Wed 27 April
7:30 pm

Nairn Community Centre
(General Purpose Room)

General Queries : 07717615177

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Breaking news Tory posters seen in Nairn

Local election watchers report at least five Scottish Conservative signs in the High Street area. Another party you shouldn’t mention the war to?
All good fun but has anybody got any suggestions to keep spirits up until 2010 under Blair/Brown and perhaps not Stewart? They will probably get in with about 36% of the less than 60% who will bother to vote: Would that be about 20% of the population? wow! what a way to run a democracy!

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Signs of the times?

Auldearn sports 3 Lib-Dem signs at the junction for Cawdor and a sprinkling of Labour posters hit Nairn sometime yesterday. It's still a two-way race between the Libs and the SNP as far as the poster wars go, still not even a dash of green recycled cardboard yet? Have the Tories decided to give the posters a miss this time round. A free Vanilla slice to the first person to spot a political poster on a house (or would such a thing be considered so un-cool in this time and age where there is so much contempt for politics of the Westminster kind?).
Also standing are the SSP and the Publicans and maybe strutting their stuff from lamposts somewhere in Nairn quite soon?

Saturday, April 16, 2005

20 tonnes of Paper collected

The kerbside collection has got off to a good start with 20 tonnes of paper collected for recycling. Boosted by election literature? No figures were published for composting material but that has been bringing in substantial amounts in the Inverness area. A great start and some sanity coming into the proceedings now after years of perfectly good recyclable material being transported to the Longman Landfill and, more recently, further afield.
The Highland Council hopes to achieve a target of 18% of waste materials being reused by April 2006. That would be a start but we have a long way to go before we make serious inroads into turning around our ‘wasteful’ way of life. Many folk will remember the late Jack Ashford who campaigned for such a service long before the Highland Council was even conceived in the bureaucrats minds: he often would talk about the ecological sense such projects would make and the potential employment prospects.

300 jobs go at Buckie

Some are being so bold as to blame the meat-plant closure on the power of the supermarkets demanding that price margins are cut by suppliers. A sobering reminder of how the food industry is becoming more and more beyond the control of local communities and of how choice is reduced. Employment prospects are certainly taking a knock along the coast in Moray with this and the loss of jobs at the bases but the Gurn doubts if Gordon and Tony will fly up (joined at the hip for the duration) to offer a rescue or aid package.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey: six to chose from so far

So far voters have the choice of 6 parliamentry candidates but there could be more, nominations are not closed yet. As far as we know Donnie is the only one that has done time for his beliefs although he is hardly as charasmatic as the former 'political prisoner' Tommy Sheridan (where's he by the way, chained in a cupboard in the SSP's head office?). A lot of people supported the anti-GM movement in the Highlands and yes Mr MacLeod was a prominent figure at the time but will the population outside of the active green lobby remember him and how will the Green vote fare and who will lose out to him if it does well? Another wild card are the SSP: will they have any influence without Tommy at the helm? Is it a three-way marginal for the wooden spoon between the Tories, Greens and the SSP?
This blog still forecasts the SNP as the prime candidates to unseat one of Tony Blair's most loyal foot-soldiers.

Danny Alexander
Liberal Democrat

George MacDonald
Scottish Socialist Party

Donnie MacLeod
Scottish Green Party

Robert Rowantree

David Stewart

David Thompson
Opppppps! Nearly forgot another wild card that takes the total up to seven.
Don Lawson
Publican Party
And very bullish about his potential support he is too. Donald wants to stop a potential ban on smoking in pubs and with the extended social networks that centre on such establishments it's just possible he might take a few votes off the others. That's democracy for you - the right to stand for the right to ignore the warnings on the packets!
Any UKIP or Veritas to show up yet?

Editorial: Underhand or 'fair comment' website vanishes

‘‘Davie Useless MP’ website vanishes from the web. Was the site a below the belt attack or fair comment? You won't be able to decide for yourself now though.

A ‘Davie Useless MP’ website was decried as an electronic version of the ‘poison pen letter by Dave Stewart’s election agent Jimmy Gray and perhaps the Inverness Courier was mischievous in the way they presented it: any regular web user would have found it in seconds with the information presented even though the URL wasn’t prominent.
The blogging team inspected the site and thought it well put together and entertaining, a shame that it was anonymous but was any of the information incorrect? It concentrated on the MP’s pro-government voting record and other information readily available elsewhere. There are rules to be followed at election time though and it may be that they were broken by the content of the anti Stewart site. It obviously worried the Labour Camp and complaints must have been made, hence the site’s early demise. Was it just mirroring a debate about the sitting MP that is in progress anyway?
It is hard to say how much the web will influence this election and whether anyone that went to ‘Davie Useless MP’ website was influenced enough by it to consider voting for other candidates. The internet had a major effect on the US elections but far more people are online in the states (80% compared to less than 50% here), what is certain is that the parties are a lot more web-savy this time round and the Gurn would not be surprised if Dave Stewart had an emergency number to ring to deal with such an occurrence (rouge sitesmust be popping up all over the place) and in that he would be no different from the other parties. Was it an over reaction to complain, however, there was at least a forum for debate on the site and many pro-Stewart messages were posted and an interesting argument may have ensued: there were also critical submissions about the concept of an ‘anonymous attack’. The messages looked on the whole in the MP's favour, including one SNP voter who was considering supporting the MP simply because he thought the site despicable.
The web is here to stay and its influence will grow especially in the ‘blogosphere’ where ordinary punters get to state their views.
Some MP’s have realised this and a few have started their own blogs, although a debate among the blogging community about their status as true ‘blogs’ is underway.
Here's one example
And here's another
Decide for yourselves citizens, blogs or propoganda?

Fantasy Housing reaches Nairn?

Sharp-eyed iright files more copy:

Struggling to clean the coals from politicians this week I was struck by an advert for a Barrett Homes in the local rag promising that in Nairn ‘Luxury living is within reach’ and just happens to be off the Lochloy Road. Happy to leave my present cold midden I surfed to their website, but upon entering our local postcode was met with Nae houses listed here in Nairn, nearest available Inverness. Oh well… back to the coal – have we reached an age of fantasy housing?

Ladders – the new election guide?

Iright reports from the election battlefront:
Heavy gusts of political campaigning and wind continued to batter us today. In Inverness I noted a member of the SNP trying to place his party’s lamppost placard higher than the rest, but a vertically challenged ladder meant the SNP banner came 3rd for height, followed in 2nd place by Labour, with the Lib Dems at the top – I wonder if this is an indication of the result of the vote? The Publican Party had either fallen off their perch or being a new party had not bought ladders, for the only placards I saw were at chest height on a roundabout. Maybe they just need to give up the fags so they can attain those dizzy heights in this campaign? Coming into Nairn this evening it appeared it was only the SNP who had managed to scale the lofty heights to place their message. I just wish that the enthusiasm for removing the lamppost placards were the same post the election as pre! I wonder who will have suitable Victorian style posters for the new lampposts in the Fishertown. Maybe a town crier would be more suited, second thoughts not, lets try and keep the election as quiet as possible – did you see the Royal Wedding? A right Cornish Pastiche?

Letter to the Gurn: Labour Party Survey Criticised

Dear Gurn,
I was puzzled by a recently conducted survey, the results of which appeared in the local rag this week (Remember to place it in your new blue recycle box when you have finished with it). The subject was anti-social behaviour and surprise surprise many folk in Nairn who responded seem to suffer, damage to property, noise, verbal and physical abuse, and a kind of biblical one… stone throwing. I was sad to read that many folk are so affected. I guess I have been lucky, as so far apart from the odd football smashing holes in a wicker fence, and two separate incidents of unopened cans of beer being lobbed in the front garden, I have not been a victim thus far of ASB. The puzzle is that just prior to a much rumoured (now true) promise of a general election, the survey was commissioned by the Labour party’s two local members, MP David Stewart, and MSP Maureen McMillan. Normally such law and order issues are dealt with at such a time by the Tory’s hang ‘em and flog ‘em brigade when they are out of power. More jails, more bobbies on the beat, more money to tackle crime, greater sentencing powers, capital punishment, deport them to Australia, have all been past battle crys of this group, making the ordinary citizen too scared to even draw their curtains of a morning, let alone go outside. So why should party members carry out such a survey just before an election? Vote for us and we will tackle this problem that we obviously have ignored for the past eight years? All I can say is keep lobbing the unopened beer over the fence please. It’s a puzzle
Name and address witheld

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Snow on the Cawdor hills, definitely spring

Fourteen swans have arrived, its sunny and pleasant despite the persistent breeze, you still need an overcoat and perhaps a hat too but it’s fun. Springtime 2005, the lull before the posters go up.

Monday, April 04, 2005

Vote SNP citizens! - or 'blogs and election law'

Yes get out there and vote for Dave Thomson the SNP candidate when the time comes, he has the best chance of getting rid of the sitting Labour MP. That is the political stance that this blog is taking. However, might have to watch it for the period of the election, it seems that blogs have to be balanced and obey the law at these times. Well perhaps there won't be an election declared tommorow but here's how one political blog sees the situation: 'Honourable Fiend'.
I suppose it isn't only election law where blogs stray into a grey area.

Friday, April 01, 2005

Sad-looking bandstand

A few weeks from the big gale now and Nairn's icon the Bandstand still stands cordoned off with a good portion of its roof missing. Hopefully it will be fixed soon as visitors are now arriving or will a new picture have to be taken for the brochures and websites?
I hear Ronnie Sharp is a pretty good roofer, maybe the council will give him a ring? Perhaps we should all ask the political types walking around with rosettes what they are going to do about the bandstand?