Tomorrow, Saturday 17 December, the new leader of the Scottish Labour Party will be announced. The three contenders are Tom Harris MP, Johann Lamont MSP and Ken Macintosh MSP. Throughout the campaign this website has received not one release from any of the three or from the Scottish Labour Party itself. As an independent, responsible, news website of long standing, a request for information and to be kept in touch with progress was made at the beginning of the contest. Each person did respond at that time but not one appears to have any mechanism in place to speak to anyone outside their party or to spread word about what they are doing or planning. Tom can be found if you tweet or choose to go on to his website. Johann’s website restricts what information can be viewed. And Ken’s page to ‘sign up’ for information can’t be found and seems to have been last updated in September.
All of this assumes someone has the online means to find out about these politicians. It is also dependent on the curious person making the effort to seek out the news of each candidate.
This lack of outward communication from three senior politicians would suggest that whoever gets the job is not seriously interested in telling anyone outside the party what they are doing. Maybe they have nothing of substance to tell. Is that not the reason why the Labour Party did so badly at the Scottish Parliament elections?
Around 125 people saved several lives at Glasgow Central Mosque recently when they donated blood.
The initiative broke the previous record of 67 people attending for the Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service (SNBTS).
Instigated and organised by Rizy Mohammed, of Soul Therapy Scotland, and his band of volunteers, it is the third time the Mosque has invited the SNBTS to set up in their community hall.
Local residents in Gorbals, workers in the Procurator Fiscal’s office across the road, staff from the nearby Sheriff Court and worshippers from the Mosque and local churches all waited patiently to give their 470 mililitre of blood in their life-saving mission – nearly a pint.
Said Rizy: ‘Blood banks are always very low in January, that’s why we chose this date.’ His concern first arose when his son, now aged six, had to have transfusions at birth. ‘I paced the floor of the Southern General and Yorkhill Sick Kids hospitals, ‘ he said.
Nicola Sturgeon MSP, Health Minister for Scotland dropped in to lend encouragement to those waiting for the 40 minute procedure: ‘This truly gives someone a new lease of life,’ she said. ‘This also brings people together to do some good for the community.’
Mosque General Secretary, Dr Mohammad Shafi Kausar said: ‘As a practicing G.P, I am very aware of the need for blood. It is heartening to see Glasgow Central Mosque facilities being utilised in this way. This is what Islam advocates and encourages – preserving and saving lives.’
Moira Eadie, of the Blood Transfusion Services, said: ‘This is an excellent community and interfaith event to acquire blood from donors. This will preserve and save lives.’
Westminster MP, Tom Harris, who was both a volunteer and a donor on the day, said: ‘It was good to see so many of the community willing to participate in the life saving event.’
Dr Nadeem Bhattie G.P, added: ‘All records were broken in respect of last year’s amount of blood collected and of new donors who came forward – including the ladies.’ A separate screened area with female assistants had been arranged for them. Other Mosques are now interested in carrying out similar events.
A donor can be from 17 years old. The number of active blood donors in Scotland declined by 14% in the last decade, with a further fall predicted this year.
More than 400 premature babies are born every month in Scotland. Each may require up to 50 transfusions while only three teaspoons of blood is also capable of saving a child’s life.
SNBTS provides blood transfusions for 100,000 patients each year
For more information: call 0845 90 90 999, text blood to 61611 or visit www.scotblood.co.uk to register
Holyrood Secondary School in Glasgow hosted a Fair Trade Extravaganza last week when the school, was awarded Fair Trade School Status for their dedication to and promotion of Fair Trade, over the past eight years.
Parents, pupils, teachers, friends, Service Director for Education Maureen McKenna and invited politicians, Robert Brown MSP, Tom Harris MP, Patrick Harvie MSP, Anne McLaughlan MSP and MEP David Martin enjoyed an afternoon of speeches, presentations, a Fair Trade Buffet and a display of Fair Trade Fashion Design as the pupils relished the opportunity to share their hard work. Monica Sgouros also modelled her T Shirt design, which has been adopted as the Glasgow Fair Trade Logo.
MEP David Martin commended Speech maker Mairead MacRae, who earlier this year had been to Strasbourg as part of the Youth Citizenship initiative, and who spoke ‘as well as any politician I have heard in the Plenary at Strasbourg.’
Mr Martin also commented: ‘I was truly proud to be part of this event and am full of admiration for the school, its pupils and staff. Not only have they promoted Fair Trade within Holyrood but they have also linked with schools in Malawi where many Holyrood students have gone to help in work to develop the educational system and infrastructure there.’
Green Party Leader Mr Harvie added: ‘I was delighted to attend the Holyrood Fair Trade Celebration. It was wonderful to meet young people who are passionate about justice and fighting for a fair deal for everyone across the globe. My warmest congratulations to the hard-working pupils and teachers at Holyrood Secondary on being awarded their Fair Trade School Certificate.’
Mr Brown, Ms McLaughlan and Mr Harris were all very complimentary about the event. The pupils and staff were thrilled to welcome so many people to share their celebration and will be continuing their work in the future.