Monday, 28 July 2014

Sponsor Our Operation Restore Democracy Organiser

Sponsor a community organiser.
Funded, per month
 
Help fund a community organiser.


We are fundraising for a paid community organiser to join our team, and help us punch out.

Introducing Operation Restore Democracy


Scotland has a severe problem.  We are currently discussing our nation's future against a backdrop of a deliberate establishment campaign to pauchle the vote.

These things cannot and should not be said lightly.  So let's spell out what has been going on.

The press is almost wholly London owned, and with the exception of one Sunday newspaper with a small circulation of centre left readers, is entirely against independence.  In Britain the press regulates itself.  Printing scurrilous nonsense and prurient drama and generally being right wing and miserable about everything is what the press largely exists to do.  It has excelled itself during this campaign, and has basically served as a platform for leading the news agenda with NO campaign press releases regurgitated.  So far so banal.

More information on this graphic here
What has really been chilling has been the role of the state broadcaster.  We are now into what is termed the regulated period of the campaign, so the state broadcaster is supposed to be neutral, and provide equal airtime and spokespeople for both campaigns.  This graphic below - and its subsequent edit - published last week during the regulated period *here* by the BBC, summarises the problem.  Remember this is the state broadcaster.  What you are witnessing is deliberate propaganda on behalf of the Unionist Government's state broadcaster to lie about Scottish economics.  Notwithstanding the edit to assert a stronger lie, their figures were already completely bonkers.

Scott Minto unpicks how the BBC may have arrived at these bonkers figure here: "it appears that the export figures have also been massaged to imply that Scotland exports vastly less than it does in reality..."

Scottish exports are not a matter of interpretation.  They are a matter of public record.  The data is published annually.  It has been widely reported, as in this graphic from the Financial times in February.

This is not happening at random: a mistake by some daft hack.  There is a pattern.

John Boothman is BBC head of news in Scotland.  He is a former Labour party activist, who has given media training to the Labour Party.  His relationship to Paul Sinclair - the man who writes Johann Lamont's speeches and scripts most of her questions in Parliament; her chief spin doctor - has been exposed by former BBC journalists.

The fact that the state broadcaster is effectively being bossed by Labour into becoming a mouthpiece for the NO campaign, explains much of the broadcaster's biased Scottish output.  Who knows who ordered the changes and lies about Scotland's exports on the UK section of the BBC website, but clearly somebody did - why edit something to make it more inaccurate?

Are we having a fair poll?  When the news agenda is so heavily biased, and the state broadcaster is pumping out literal propaganda, and the YES movement is only really able to put across its message on the unmediated doorsteps and in social media, the odds are certainly uneven, and the mainstream media is essentially united against democracy for Scotland.  Nonetheless this isn't the only aspect of democracy that is being undermined by establishment figures.

We are currently experiencing high ranking political figures lashing out at the organised people protesting in demand of a fair poll and for the Unionist state broadcaster to stop trying to subvert democracy.

Senior Scottish Labour MP Jim Murphy has described the anti-BBC bias demos - reflections of grassroots anger, which have drawn thousands of participants into the BBC's neuk of Govan - as, "The nationalists' attempts to bully broadcasters and boycott businesses." 


There are real tensions being exposed by senior figures in the Establishment's apparent desire to control all discourse, and lock down the debate, and the actual fragility of democracy in Scotland.  To put that another way, the role of citizens in the public discourse, and our very ability to be able to shape debate, beyond a narrow group of elite voices is contested within official Scotland, and there is a powerful lobby arrayed against us.  And we now know without a shadow of a doubt that the official purveyors of truth are lying to us, in the service of the state and their establishment interests.

The puerile and pointless bitterness of the NO
campaign is an attempt to obscure the issues
and to poison the discourse to shut down debte.
It is time for citizens to assert our power, to secure the position of ordinary citizens and our right to a voice, to ensure it is widely heard and above all that we never again experience the paranoid and authoritarian present of an establishment united as one against the ordinary people in revolt.  That is Operation Restore Democracy.

To that end the fightback against these corrupt elites begins in earnest on the Monday morning after the referendum.

A paid organiser will set to work on uniting the people of Johann Lamont's constituency into the biggest headache she has ever experienced.  Let's make the leader of the establishment in Holyrood, and her spin doctor Paul Sinclair (the man with the ear of Robert Boothman at the BBC), very acutely aware of our presence.  We need to strengthen the role of citizens in public life.  At the moment 22,000 children in Scotland are reliant on food aid - where are the voices of their friends and neighbours?  One man, Paul Sinclair, can effect a pro-Union propaganda position - that ignores these 10s of 1000s of Scots very existence - is the leading news item on the national radio station, the leading headline of a television news bulletin, but hundreds of thousands have no say at all in public life in Scotland.  That is a problem.  Let's fix it.  Together.

You can help sponsor a community organiser and make this happen here and now. 

Sponsor a community organiser.
Funded, per month
Help fund a community organiser.


If you can't help financially, but you can help with canvassing in Johann's Lamont's constituency, we'd also like you get in touch.  

Facebook
Twitter: @PowerCIC
Email: nick.durie[AT]googlemail.com

Friday, 6 June 2014

We are taking a gamble for more community power

[By Nick Durie]

Today we have launched a job application for our first paid community organiser.  I have led our organising efforts since we were first established in 2011 on a volunteer basis, and I want to continue volunteering for the organisation as we take this next step to building this institution.  This institution exists to build and restructure working class community institutions in our communities, and to grasp the mantle of a fairer Scotland with more employment that our reindustrialisation offers.  To date our work has centred on surmounting the challenges posed by the corrupt elite of the old Scotland.  We've done this by building a democratic community based opposition to those undermining reindustrialisation in Glasgow, and we've focussed on helping organised residents gain a negotiated settlement on their combined heat and power, and we are seeking to expand on both of those fronts, and elsewhere.

Our reach, without mainstream press, at the moment, is regularly in the order of 22,000 people. We have a support base of several thousand people.  We have facilitated a significant community victory when the movement we helped build won an inquiry into corruption at Glasgow City Council.

Now it is time to put down roots.  We're taking a bit of a gamble in putting out our fundraising target in public: we need to be grossing more than 70-80 pounds a week or so to make it happen, but we know that the support is out there, to put a paid organiser on the ground.  I regularly volunteer hours of my time to Power In Community, but it would be a mistake to say that I am giving of my time the kind of hours I would work when I did that job for a living.  I meet people when I can (and organising is all about meeting people), but I don't typically do the wall to wall meeting people that really making big impact with organising requires.  I am regularly canvassing people for the YES campaign.  There's lots of people out there in the YES movement who can relate to that, and the kind of conversations you have.  In any campaign those kinds of conversations are the conversations you are constantly having as an organiser.  Imagine being employed to canvass all day, every week.  You could get to know an entire scheme inside out in three months with that approach, whatever you were up to.  That capacity is a deadly weapon, put to work in organising people.  This is why we must build it.

I hope you support these aims.  If you do, I'd ask you to give a fiver a month to this NGO of ours, and to consider joining the advisory board.  This country needs people of talent taking a keen interest in community power, community solidarity, and driving the equality of the new Scotland.

The first advisory board meeting of our new board, following our AGM this August, is on the 22nd of September.  Up to you.

You can donate here.

Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Nick Durie explains why the 100 Promises Campaign has focussed on corruption at Glasgow City Council

Community Organiser Andy Bowden reflects on the police investigation into Glasgow City Council corruption

#Bingate and the NO Campaign: A reflection

Yesterday I had a bizarre experience.  A Daily Mail journalist interviewed me at an action I had helped to organise, about something that didn't happen.  Better Together Director Rob Shorthouse had, unbeknownst to me, summoned the Daily Mail, because there were people outside in Blythswood Square, and there were a crowd of them.

Monday, 28 April 2014

MEDIA RELEASE (for immediate release): CITIZENS Rally To Welcome Police Scotland Criminal Investigation Into Glasgow City Council Corruption

MEDIA RELEASE (for immediate release): CITIZENS Rally To Welcome Police Scotland Criminal Investigation Into Glasgow City Council Corruption

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CONTACTS

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MOBILE: 07904553200


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NOTES TO THE EDITOR

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* The 100 Promises Campaign was formed to hold the council to account from a number of community groups and community leaders.  It takes its name from Labour's 'Our 100 Promises: 100 Things We Will Do' manifesto document.

* In the course of holding The Council to account the campaign felt it had to say something about escalating corruption at the City Council which was actively derailing many of the promises community leaders were most concerned to see enacted.

* Following the publication of a report into the Ronnie Saez half a million pound payoff by the charities regulator which found "misconduct" by officials and councillors, and following the insider trading scandal at the Polmadie Recycling Plant (now a privatised incinerator), the 100 Promises Campaign decided to hold a meeting on misconduct by officials.  The results of this public meeting led to the campaign researching and publishing a dossier into corruption at The Council.

* This dossier has prompted Police Scotland to investigate a number of potential criminal allegations which the campaign has made the Crown Office and other civic authorities aware of.  Last year a printed copy of the dossier was hand delivered to the Crown Office, the Procurator Fiscal, every GCC Councillor, the Archdiocese, Central Mosque, Unison Glasgow HQ, Unite HQ, the Presbytery of Glasgow, and the Free Kirk, following the publication of the dossier online.

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STARTS

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On Monday evening community campaigners and local residents will gather together at Blythswood Square, before visiting Pitt Street Police Station to send a note of thanks and welcome to Police Scotland for launching an anti-corruption investigation into Glasgow City Council.

"We have been calling on the authorities to investigate Glasgow City Council, ever since the planned rollout of fuel poverty fighting combined heat and power was derailed by the corrupt payoff to ex council boss Robert Booth." Says Nick Durie, Community Organiser on the 100 Promises Campaign.

In what is expected to be a well-attended event campaigners, will note how far the campaign has come to have achieved official recognition of corruption problems at the troubled City Council.

"When we held our press conference at the dossier launch, there was some cynicism about whether we could get this corruption taken seriously in official channels.  Given how long this problem has been going on for, it's easy for some people to lose heart.  What we take from this as a campaign however is that organised people, acting together to a common plan of action can deliver social change.  We trust that Police Scotland will leave no stone unturned in their corruption investigation, because by God there is a lot of dirt hidden there.  We believe we have just begun to scratch the surface.  It is time for a new Scotland where these acts of malfeasance are consigned to history."

Citizens will gather from 6:15 PM at Blythswood Square.  Pictures will be available for media on request.

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ENDS

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NOTES TO THE EDITOR

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* The 100 Promises Campaign was formed to hold the council to account from a number of community groups and community leaders.  It takes its name from Labour's 'Our 100 Promises: 100 Things We Will Do' manifesto document.

* In the course of holding The Council to account the campaign felt it had to say something about escalating corruption at the City Council which was actively derailing many of the promises community leaders were most concerned to see enacted.

* Following the publication of a report into the Ronnie Saez half a million pound payoff by the charities regulator which found "misconduct" by officials and councillors, and following the insider trading scandal at the Polmadie Recycling Plant (now a privatised incinerator), the 100 Promises Campaign decided to hold a meeting on misconduct by officials.  The results of this public meeting led to the campaign researching and publishing a dossier into corruption at The Council.

* This dossier has prompted Police Scotland to investigate a number of potential criminal allegations which the campaign has made the Crown Office and other civic authorities aware of.  Last year a printed copy of the dossier was hand delivered to the Crown Office, the Procurator Fiscal, every GCC Councillor, the Archdiocese, Central Mosque, Unison Glasgow HQ, Unite HQ, the Presbytery of Glasgow, and the Free Kirk, following the publication of the dossier online.

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CONTACTS

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MOBILE: 07904553200