A retraction

•March 27, 2009 • Leave a Comment

I am writing this post to formally retract all of my comments on the 22nd of March regarding the Scottish Youth Parliament. While I stand by what I had intended to say, I understand that my comments have been misconstrued and misinterpreted. I apologise whole heartedly for the offence taken, and appreciate I am not blameless as I should have been more clear of my intent in the post.

I would also like to clearly state that I wholeheartedly support our two new MSYPs, Anna Devine and Joanne Hodge, and wish them all the best. They would have not won if they were not exceedingly capable, and I’m sure they will do the people they represent very proud indeed.

I would also like to complete dissassociate myself with the comment I quoted in the now-deleted post. Having been brought up by a single mother, I have lived my life with strong female role-models, so in no way meant to demean Anna, Joanne, or any other female politician. 

My sincerest apologies to all who were offended by my comments, and if you wish to contact me to discuss it further please contact me on callumleslie92@googlemail.com, and I will be happy to do so.

I hope that we can all be adults about this, and take this retraction as the end of the matter.

An apology

•March 26, 2009 • Leave a Comment

In my post on the Scottish Youth Parliament, I posted the following: “Good luck to Anna, for she shall need it, and I hope she learns to cope with this new responsibility, and prove she is out of her depth.”

Obviously, this comment was a result of not proofreading my post, and not intentional. It should have read as follows: “Good luck to Anna, for she shall need it, and I hope she learns to cope with this new responsibility, and prove she is NOT out of her depth.”

I have amended the post accordingly, and apologise for any offence caused.

 

Thank you to Callum Aitken for pointing out my mistake!

Jade Goody, and illegal databases

•March 23, 2009 • 5 Comments

As I’m sure everyone is aware, Jade Goody passed way yesterday. An unbearable tragedy for her family, her children and her husband. 

However, her death, and more specifically the manner in which she went about her last months has created some controversy.

First of all, I object to Max Clifford’s involvement in the first place. He was always going to whore Jade’s death to the highest bidder, which personally I find disgusting. I don’t buy the excuse that she had to raise money for her kids future’s, as she is/was a mult-millionaire, and if she wasted that money without saving for her children’s future, that’s not an excuse. Surely if she thought about it, she must have known her fame could end any minute, and saving for her future and that of her children would have been sensible. Also, the children have a father and a step-father, who I’m sure are not incapable of working to provide for these boys.

Also, while I recognise and must praise her championing of the cause of increased range of screenings for cancer etc., the treatment she has recieved in the media, and the tributes that have poured in from fellow “celebrities”, politicians and ordinary men and women must leave those still fighting with cancer with a bitter taste in their mouth. No one will leave hundreds of cards and flowers for them after they die. The Prime Minister won’t publicly praise their courage, no matter how long and hard they’ve fought against their illness. 

I’m not saying that Jade doesn’t deserve this treatment. I’m saying every man and woman suffering in the same way deserves the same.

Also in the news today, is the Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust calling for “illegal government databases to be scrapped”.

Obviously I think the fact that the government spends £16bn on databases every year, but even worse so – “[the government] plans to spend a further £105bn on projects over five years but does not know the precise number of the “thousands” of systems it operates, the trust claims.”

I think it’s obvious these databases cause more problems than they solve, and we’ve been inundated with stories of data losses by Government employees. Yet another reason why these illegal databases should be scrapped. I don’t want this Government storing data about me without my consent, that’s illegal, and they know it.

I don’t want this Government anyway, but that’s a matter for another day…

In the spirit of avoiding maths homework…

•March 19, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Scottish Lib Dem Conference, what a weekend!!

Arrived on Friday and immediately bumped into Adam Stachura, which showed me that the Lib Dems had indeed taken over central Perth. hit a couple of fringe meetings Friday night, mostly for the food, but was sure to take in the Royal College of Psychiatrists sponsored “Bairns, Booze and Blades”, which was chaired by my good friend Cllr Tim Brett and one of the speakers was another good friend, Alex Cole-Hamilton PPC. An informative fringe, and probably my favourite of the weekend.

Later that night we headed over for a drink at the George, meeting several people, including Stephen Glenn, fellow Lib Dem blogger, and, to my surprise, Debra Storr. Meeting Debra was a pleasure, and made me even more determined that I had taken the right side against the Exec. After an amusing interlude of phoning the elusive Tory Bear, we headed in for our fundraising quiz night. Despite the ridiculous difficulty (thanks Kieran!) a good time was had by all, and we raised a shed load of money. Hugh and Alistair did a great job presenting, and the improv debating (or stand-up Charles Dundas will argue) led to some hilarious moments.

Saturday morning saw me stewarding as a favour to Kieran, but also managing to sneak in and watch our Minimum Income Guarantee motion. Tom spoke fantasically, in my view one of the speeches of the conference. Many high quality contributions to the debate, as well as Ruaraidh’s first class summation, saw the motion passed unanimously, another brilliant moment for LYS.

After getting out of stewarding, Richard Coxon ambushed me with a speaker’s card, saying he wanted young people to speak in the debate he was chairing later – More Powers for the Scottish parliament. I stuck myself in the top corner of the hall for half an hour and hashed out a few choice remarks, and managed to pull together a speech. Inevitably, I was called to speak, and I was pretty happy with my speech. Jeremy Purvis MSP stood up to summate immediately following my speech, and I was honoured that he mentioned me in his summation. Following my speech I had a plethera of congratulations, from Robert Brown to Elspeth Atwool. 

Sunday morning saw us all in the hall for Kieran and Sophie’s blood ban motion, which was also passed with a large majority. For a full account, read Stephen’s blog post here. Was yet another great moment for us. 

Got home on Sunday afternoon feeling satisfied with the weekend, and the icing on the cake came Monday morning, when word filtered through to me my speech had been on the BBC highlights. Sure enough, ten seconds of my speech featured on the BBC programme from conference, which you can watch here.

Had an amazing time, and met some really amazing people, not least of all Stephen, and Elaine of course. Can’t wait for the next one!

See, im not TOTALLY closed minded…

•March 15, 2009 • 1 Comment

This weekend, one person has changed my opinion of them completely.

That person is Elaine Bagshaw.

Elaine, I will admit I totally prejudged you, based partly on what I heard f your chair campaign, and partly on what I read.  This weekend at conference, I took the time to talk to you and get to know you, and you’re actually a really nice person. You’re are grossly misrepesented by not only your enemies, but also your supporters, who at times do you no favours. 

But on a personal level Elaine, you have certainly won my vote. And I apologise for my earlier scathing comments.

Blog neglecting, oops..

•March 11, 2009 • Leave a Comment

I’ve been neglecting my blogging recently, was meaning to do more at the beginning of this week but I’ve spent the last two days in bed with a viral infection. As it is I’m still not at school today, but hopefully will go back tomorrow. Anyway, enough about me.

Firstly, Liberal Youth. Oh my my my Sara Scarlett is a silly girl isn’t she?? Heckling Elaine Bagshaw at Harrogate conference in front of leading party figures and the television audience really seem to have backfired on her. I also think she has proved herself to be arrogant in the extreme, saying first that she regretted nothing, then posting up an “apology” (which has since disappeared), which basically said that it wasn’t her fault that what she did caused damage, in actual fact it was a reflection on what a poor state LY is in that what she did could bring it all crashing down. Personally, I hope RON wins, and then maybe we can start over with a clean and fair election. This election has done Liberal Youth no favours, and has only served to ruin its repuation. 

On another note, what is it with all the shootings in the last few days?? Two seperate incidents in Northern Ireland, and today one in Germany at a school leaving 16 dead, and  weird one in Alabama which has left ten dead. Proof if ever any was needed, that guns are never a good thing, particularly in the hands of ordinary people. I found the protests in Northern Ireland were very moving, and showed the committment of everyone in the country to the peace process. The country has come a long way, and I think that the announcement of the power sharing government will be one of those “do you remember where you were?” moments.

Will probably blog again after Perth, can’t wait for this weekend!

“Teenage girls shouldn’t be having underage sex…

•March 5, 2009 • 1 Comment

…Why? Because it’s wrong.”

The view of Glasgow South labour MP Tom Harris in this blog.

What on earth?? I mean, is this man TOTALLY ignorant?? It’s one thing to say that young girls getting pregnant is wrong, but to take it this step too far is too much. I know plenty of people in my school, as young as 12/13 who are sexually active, but I know of only one person who has actually gotten pregnant. Underage sex is NOT immoral. It’s not wrong. I will admit, that I don’t believe 12 and 13 year olds in the main are emotionally mature enough to be having sex, but it can’t be argued that “Teenage girls shouldn’t be having underage sex.” Even if the statement were “Teenagers shouldn’t be having underage sex,” I might understand slightly. Placing all the blame on girls in his situation is totally misguided. It takes two to tango as it were, and it certainly takes two to cause a pregnancy.

I would also argue that many adults of all ages get pregnant in situations that are not ideal, and many teenage mothers make very good lives for themselves and their children. I really don’t believe that many teenage girls get pregnant delibirately, but I will accept that there are always exceptions. I think Tom Harris needs to think about what he would do if his daughter got pregnant at a young age, and then maybe reconsider his stance. 

I think Caron got it on the money here.