Trump : PotUS : please no.

In Aberdeenshire, we have had, what is in the overall scheme of the world, a minor spat with Donald J Trump. 

He came, he made all kinds of promises with his usual mix of hyperbole and bluster.  Many people, including key politicians and business leaders were taken in.   He got the permissions he wanted.  He has since ignored conditions, blocked accesses, done things and then been forced to apply for retrospective permissions.

In short, he came.  He thought we were hicks.  And he was proven right.

There are honourable exceptions to that but even now our local politicians are rather quiet on the subject of Trump and very uwilling to say sorry to the Menie families whose lives have been severely impacted by the acts of this narcissistic showman. 

And now he want the biggest political job in the world.   Don't make the same mistake on a grander scale that we collectively made here in Scotland. 

Dear USA friends,

Don't.  Just don't.

I know that there is a lot wrong with the world.  But you know that none of the solutions Trump proposes will help.  Isolationist policies : building walls: fostering hatred : none of this will help.  Nor will tax cuts for the already rich. 

The man has no empathy for the little guy.  He cares only for his own narrow interests.  He doesn't understand others points of views. He's not going to 'clean up US politics' - he's been corrupting the political system in his his own interests for decades.  When he says he knows how the system works, I believe him.  But only a fool would believe he will dismantle the same systems that cushion his business interests.

So many times in fighting DJT over the Menie golf course, did I hear that his own experts had advised against actions : but he did them anyway.  When asked by the Scottish Parliament how he knew something, he had the arrogance to reply 'I am the evidence'. 

Now for a businessman subject to the normal rules of commerce, that's not so bad.  For a would be world leader, its a disaster.  I'd rather put the average 5 year old in the White House than an adult with his character traits.   At least a 5 year old might be persuaded out of something. 

OK - so you don't fancy the alternative and 'feel it's time for a change'.  Well, that kind of thinking promoted the UK vote to Brexit - and the economy here is tanking, only partially disguised by changed exchange rates.

Voting is not a game.  It changes things. 
Make sure the changes are in favour of the values of decency, working with others, sharing and distributing our wealth not in favour of hate, barriers, and furthering big business.


Rather belatedly : Why I resigned from the Scottish Greens

Letter to Patrick Harvie
Co-convenor, Scottish Green Party

16th February 2016

Dear Patrick

This letter is to let you know why I have decided to leave the Scottish Green Party.

I have been involved in Scottish politics for over 30 years. Throughout that time I have sought to advance democratic, environmental and liberal values in accordance with my belief that those in politics should be committed to principles of honesty and public service.

This is not the first time in my political life I have found myself a member of a party that has put expediency and short-term advantage ahead of the principles it claims  should guide its behaviour.  That doesn't make it any less disappointing to discover that in the Scottish Green Party, the Party's rules can be selectively applied by - and to the benefit of - senior figures.

My concern about whether the Party was following its own stated beliefs started about a year ago as I became more and more worried by the shambolic conduct of the selection ballot for the 2016 Holyrood candidates. As you know, I made my concerns clear at the time and later lodged a formal complaint. It was subsequently acknowledged, for example, that the ballot papers, though apparently randomised as the rules required, were actually alphabetic starting with the third letter of the surname, an ordering method that ensured the Party's co-leader, Maggie ChApman, came first on the North-East ballot paper. My complaint about the conduct of the ballot was delayed by the obstructive behaviour of senior Party figures.  The process as eventually concluded was not conducted according to either the principles of natural justice or the Party's own rules. By the time a verdict was delivered no-one was surprised it endorsed the selection of Maggie Chapman as lead North-East candidate.

Of course, no political party can be held responsible for the day-to-day, individual, actions of all its members. But a party is responsible for requiring its candidates to meet certain minimum standards. For me, and I believe most people, one essential is that a candidate for public office must be honest with the public. Maggie Chapman's clearly untrue statements in relation to a Ph.D. actually abandoned many years ago therefore seriously call into question her suitability to be a Green Party candidate. But that has not been the Party's response. Candidates on the North-East Holyrood list were told they must give unequivocal support to Maggie Chapman as lead candidate. Those who said they were not prepared to publicly defend dishonesty were given an ultimatum to resign (which three did) or face immediate deselection. Effectively, it would appear, the whole Party is expected to act in the interests of senior figures - and not according to the principle that rules should apply equally to all, regardless of position.  That is not healthy or wise. 

I have been privileged to be co-convenor of the Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire Green Party branch for the last two years.   It has been very saddening to me to see the devastating effect on the Green Party in the North-East of the events and actions described above. Experienced and committed Party members have left or stopped participating. The branch now rarely meets and barely functions at all.

I have now also reached the point where I believe my best chance of advancing the political causes I support is to campaign as an individual or as a member of various environmental and other organisations.  I shall not be voting for the Scottish Green Party this May.

Yours sincerely

Debra Storr