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CLYDE SHIPYARDS, WESTMINSTER BULLIES & JIMMY REID

Aamer’s unedited version of column published in Scottish Sun on Sunday 10th November

SCOTLAND AN ALIEN NATION?

When the MOD announced that the shipyards at Govan would remain open, Ian Davidson MP claimed it was ‘a great day for Scottish Ship building’.

I’m not so sure that the 800 Clyde workers who lost their jobs would agree with him, all the while the slashing of 935 jobs at Portsmouth meant Scottish workers were played off against English ones.

BAE Systems claimed the decision was ‘purely commercial’ yet those with a 600 year tradition of shipbuilding in Portsmouth believe they were thrown on the scrapheap because Westminster wouldn’t dare to shut the Clyde before the Independence Referendum.

The reality is that orders for warships will eventually end. The Govan shipyards which at their peak employed 70,000 have been in perpetual decline for over 100 years, a situation made even worse when Margaret Thatcher privatised the yards in 1982.

But this week Westminster claimed that the Royal Navy would never order ships from outside the UK.

Jim Murphy MP previously Shadow Defence spokesperson said if we voted for independence then ‘Scotland would be a foreign country to the Royal Navy’.

But that’s just lies, after all the Royal Navy had no problems in awarding a multi-million pound contract for tankers to South Korea Daewoo.

Italian company Fincantieri with BAE had offered to build tankers in the UK but Korea was considered more commercially viable by the MOD.

The next lie is that’s ok for tankers but we can’t really share ‘top secret technology’ with foreign powers.

So why then was the £37 Billion Eurofighter Typhoon built as a multi-national collaborative effort between Germany, UK, Italy and Spain and BAE?  Prior to this we had always built our own planes.

Then of course there is the MOD’s £13 billion contract for air refuelling tankers. The contract went to AirTanker a European consortium, 80% French and a kick in the teeth for BAE Systems who had also bid for the contract.

320 British jobs were axed last year after the remaining 12 aircraft were built in Spain as they were more ‘efficient!’ and commercially viable!

As for ‘Warships’ there’s more lies the UK Government have already approached India, Brazil then Australia to try and convince them to join in a consortium to build and design the ‘Type 26 Frigate’ now being dangled as a golden carrot to Govan.

In January our Defence Secretary was in Australia to sign a defence treaty declaring ‘in times of budget pressures for all nations, it makes sense to maximise economies of scale and work with our friends to get the best value for money on all sides.”

Westminster is desperately trying to bully us into submission with their ‘politics of fear’.

Is an independent Scotland really a greater threat than our allies France, Spain, Italy, Brazil, Canada, Germany, Australia, India, S Korea and are we not just as commercially viable?

This story of feast and famine cannot be allowed to continue. We are an island nation importing 90 % of our food and vital needs, yet have failed to diversify our shipbuilding industry.

Thousands of highly skilled workers on the Clyde would have a long term future if we had a Government that was willing to diversify and build for the benefit of mankind rather than war.

In 1971 the great Jimmy Reid led an 18 month ‘work-in’ at Clyde Ship Yards to reverse their closure and said We are not going to be led like lambs to the slaughter. This is the breaking point for Scottish workers. We have taken over the yards because we refuse to accept that faceless men can make these decisions.”

His words are as relevant today, it’s time we fought for Scotland.

DOLLY PARTON?

I see terror suspect Mr Mohammed evaded MI5 surveillance by leaving a mosque wearing a Burka.

Those desperate to turn the Burka into a ‘national security issue’ have finally got one, renewing demands for a ban.

But what exactly were MI5 expected to do? This man could not be charged with any crime, so he was given a PTIM (prevention terrorism investigation measures), an electronic tag and curfew, previously known as a ‘control order’.

Having just dressed up recently for Halloween, I was wondering if Mr Mohammed had donned a blonde Dolly Parton wig and blow up boobs as a disguise and evaded the Austin Powers of our security services, would we be calling for the banning of costume disguises from every shop?

The two issues of Security and the Burka are completely separate and in a free society a man or woman should be able to wear whatever they want, as long as they not harming anyone. And by the way it was a pirate I was dressed up as, not Dolly Parton.

Question Time

Managed some more head banging this week by watching BBC Question time, with buffoon Nigel Farage appearing for the 15th time more than any other politician in the last 2 years.

But the most bizarre point had to be a young man dressed in black, make up, lipstick, fur collar looking like an extra from the band ‘Cure’ ironically asking for the Burka to be banned.

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