Tuesday 7 April 2009



For a very long time I have been pressing the council to repair potholes and bad road surfaces on the Rushmere estate.

In particular, the part of Renfrew Road at the junction with Ayr Road has been in a terrible state.

At long last, and after more pressure on the council, we understand that resurfacing work is being planned for this part of the road and that ‘currently’ the council anticipates the works being completed by the end of June.

Welcome though this will be, there are, as we all know, very many more potholes and bad road surfaces, some of which are potentially dangerous to cyclists and motor cyclists, not to mention the damage they do to car tyres.

Labour councillors will continue to press the Tory/Liberal council to make our roads safe.

This week I will depart for Afghanistan after completing my training in Ireland, but whilst I am away my Labour colleagues will continue to campaign on your behalf and mine. So if you have a pothole or bad road surface you’d like your labour team to refer to the council you can contact us by any of the methods below:

New e mail address: alasdairrosslabour@hotmail.com You can also contact my Labour colleagues by writing to
A Ross, c/o 33 Silent Street Ipswich, IP1 1TF
or you can phone the office on: 01473 255131

I hope to be able to continue with my blog whilst I am away, I also have a Twitter page that will give you a feel of the type of work the Army is undertaking in Afghanistan: http://twitter.com/leftwingsoldier

Thank you,

Saturday 4 April 2009

Shackleton -Timewatch- Rifles at the South Pole.

Last year I blogged on the Matrix Shackleton Centenary Expedition to the South Pole. Shackleton is my hero and probably one of the greatest British leaders of all time.

Tonight I have just watched the BBC 2 Timewatch programme, which followed the successful 2008/09 Expedition. A fantastic programme and a great achievement,

The picture is of Lt Col Henry Worsley, a former colleague of mine, here he is at the South Pole, with the Rifles flag.

A proud moment.

Daniel Hannan - showing the Tory Party is still full of far right politicians

You would have thought that now he is the 'darling' of the US media and a 'You Tube' star, the Tory party would be pushing Daniel Hannan forward as a spokesman for the Tory Party, grass root Tories are even suggesting he may be a future leader or even PM.

Today has shown why those in Conservative Central Office were not so keen to see Hannan take central stage. On a US Chat show (not sure he is doing much for his constituents, whilst he is appearing on US TV) this week he has declared that the NHS is a failed Socialist experiment. Both my parents spent most of their working life working for the NHS, so I have notrhing but great pride when it comes to talk of the NHS and like most of my Labour colleagues I believe the NHS is the greatest social invention of the 20th century. We all know that the NHS needs to improve and that changes have to be made but no way can the last 60 years of the health service be seen as a failure. This is what Hannan said on US Fox TV:

"If you see a friend about to make a terrible mistake you try and warn him ... We have lived through this mistake for 60 years now. It began with the best of intentions. It began because people thought it was wrong for those who weren't well off and who couldn't afford the best healthcare to be treated differently. Everyone felt it is a nice togetherness solidarity thing if we all took part in this experiment. But the reality is that it hasn't worked. It has made people iller ... As long as you have a socialist system, no amount of extra spending is going to save it".

If you can stomach it, you can see the vile man talking on US TV here.

I am still waiting for Mr Cameron to tell Hannan he is wrong and to defend the NHS, it was only 3 months ago that Cameron stated that the Tories could become: "the Party of the NHS".

I actually believe that Cameron is an admirer and supporter of the NHS, trouble is most Tory MP's, MEP's and activists are more likely to agree with Hannan. Even in Ipswich, Tory councillor Gavin Maclure called one of Hannan's speeches -'Superb'.

Well the fame has got to him, not sure how going on a Right wing/republican supporting TV Channel and criticising the NHS is showing the British public that the Tories are 'the Party of the NHS'. I just believe that in his attacks on the health service, he is insulting all those who have devoted their lives or still are devoting their lives to the care of others through the NHS.

Funny thing he seems to forget to mention to his new friend - Far Right American, Sean Hannity that Daniel actually said he wanted Obama to win the US Presidential election.

The Tory Spring conference will be upon us soon, I wonder who will get the biggest cheer from the Tory faithful? Cameron telling them they are now 'the Party of the NHS' or Hannan telling them that the NHS is a failed socialist experiment.

John Prescott has become so enraged that he has even made a video critisising Hannan, watch John here, defending the NHS.

Thursday 2 April 2009

Eirigi - Irish socialist's or just Irish dissidents?

This week I have come across a leaflet that was being handed out in Belfast over the weekend. Now as a bit of a political anorak, I love pouring over election/campaign leaflets- not caring from which party they are produced by. But this leaflet does leave me worried, it was produced by Eirigi. now "who are they" you may ask?

The leaflet describes themselves as a campaigning party with the aim of forming a 32 county Irish Socialist Republic. Now I am proud to call myself a socialist, but I am not one for the likes of those who seem to live in 'cloud cuckoo land' the Socialist Workers Party, Respect and the hopefully now finished Militant. Dreamers and chatterers, and the ones I have met seem to come from middle class or privileged backgrounds. Now at first these seem to be an Irish version of the SWP, originating in Dublin but in their move to expand North they seem to have attracted a different type of member. The Irish Republican who has become disaffected with Sinn Fein and their 'friends' in the IRA.

Respect, Galloway, SWP, Troops Out, all of those organisations in the UK have at some time supported Sinn Fein, trouble is if you do have a true aim of forming a Socialist Republic in Ireland, you have to gain support of the Protestant community. having ex Sinn Fein members in your ranks is not going to help on that front.

So in the North at least, Eirigi have become just a front for dissident republican groups. Now since the murders last month, Eirigi have tried to accuse the media of falsely linking them to the atrocities, trouble is their spokesman in Lurgan - Colin Duffy has been arrested and since charged with the murder of the two young soldiers in Antrim.

So I have no wish to see Eirigi leaflets in Belfast or for that anywhere in Ireland. Now I do wish we could see a Govt in Northern Ireland that is elected on political views rather than religious/sectarian views. So I would like to see Labour and the Lib Dems join the Tories in fighting elections in the Province. Voters on the Protestant Shankhill Road and the Catholic Falls Road have far more in common with each other than a farmer in County Wexford or a civil servant in North Down or a Dublin suburb.

It has to be the mainstream parties that get the ball rolling, because as seen with the likes of Eirigi, any fringe party will end up becoming attached to one side of the divide or other.