Wednesday, April 04, 2007


I am 54, divorced & own Glasgow's West End Science Fiction, Graphic Novel & Comic shop Futureshock & live nearby. I am also the publisher of the iconoclastic political blog A Place to Stand

I was a Liberal & Liberal Democrat since helping my father WGA Craig as a candidate in 1970. From him I learned that individuals are more creative than states, armies or classes & that it is better to stand for what you believe in than to win for what you don't. I also learned the importance of clear & logical thought rather than sloganising - he was as argumentative as I am & was alleged to be able not only to talk the hind legs off a donkey but also to be able to persuade it to walk.

I also grew to love not merely science fiction & the future it promised but also the scientific method as the best, perhaps only, tool to understand the world. Unlike the "Green" movement which says we should try to get through our lives without changing anything I believe that if the universe has a purpose it is that humans learn to understand & control it.

In 2001 as a Lib Dem I pushed through a motion, unanimously adopted, calling not only for Yugoslav war crimes trials to be prosecuted on a non-racial basis but for "leaders of the countries which, in clear violation of international law, supplied the KLA with vast quantities of weapons whilst they were an internationally proscribed terrorist organisation" which certainly included Helmut Kohl & Bill Clinton. Though this remains officially the Scottish party position it has never, for some reasin, been mentioned but I am proud of it because I was opposed to illegal wars when many of those now loudest in opposition were enthusiastic supporters.

Later in 2001 I spoke at conference against the leadership's motion to absolutely reject nuclear power. At that time Mr Blair was also opposed to nuclear electricity but has since followed my lead. In 2003 I first tried to get conference to discuss trying to achieve Ireland's growth rate by cutting corporation tax & regulations. Despite years of resubmitting the motion it was never debated though the SNP have subsequently adopted a similar policy.

In 2004 I was the only person at conference to speak directly against bringing in the smoking ban on the grounds that the alleged medical evidence that it was a serious health hazard was not scientifically supportable. That in such circumstances a ban was merely nanny statism & not in the tradition of liberalism.

In December 2005 I received a letter from the party executive, chaired at the time by Robert Brown MSP, saying that they had unanimously voted that I be expelled because letters I had had published in Scottish newspapers, supporting economic growth, lower housebuilding costs & the need for nuclear power were "too right wing to be discussed","illiberal" & "irreconcilable with membership". Despite (or to be fair possibly partly because of) my robust defence in which I proved that everything I had said was indeed Liberal as understood by the founders of Liberalism, who had followed Adam Smith among others & been opposed to overbearing government & Ludditism, my expulsion was confirmed.

I was dissatisfied with all parties. All of them are ignoring the very real threat that if we do not replace the 50% of Scotland's electricity due to close we will face a catastrophe. This will not go away if they ignore it & it is grossly irresponsible of them to do so. Ireland makes it quite clear that we can achieve economic success & though the SNP have made limited moves in this direction their primary interest in "independence in Europe" which I believe provides no answers.

I thought it sufficiently important for democracy that you have the choice of voting for somebody who does not stand for the Holyrood consensus that I decided to form the 9% Growth Party. We can achieve everything I am promising but only if you are willing to support it. I believe this country can achieve our potential but the choice is now yours not mine.

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