Campaign Press Releases
Osama Saeed has today welcomed the Scottish Government's announcement
of £428,000 to be given to aid agencies working in Gaza.
The SNP's prospective parliamentary candidate for Glasgow Central had
previously called for money to be given to Islamic Relief and others
working in the region.
Commenting, Saeed said:
"The Scottish Government's response to the crisis has been to do
whatever was in their power to help. Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon
announced while the bombing was taking place that Scottish hospitals
would respond to any request for assistance.
"Now, this substantial monetary contribution will help with much
needed aid, relief and development in the bomb hit and starved region.
"I particularly welcome the support given to Islamic Relief's work.
They've been on the ground for years, and have kept their efforts
going through incredibly difficult times. They've also been at the
forefront of an astonishing fundraising drive here in Scotland during
the current crisis."
Mike Russell, External Affairs minister announced the following: "With
this funding, Christian Aid, Save the Children and Medical Aid for
Palestine will focus on food aid and hygiene requirements of
malnourished children and families. Following damage to
infrastructure, Oxfam Scotland will help provide safe drinking water
and removal of sewage, and Islamic Relief will work to make
neighbourhoods safer by removing rubble and dangerous debris. CBM
(formerly Christian Blind Mission) will evacuate seriously injured
children to the West Bank for specialist treatment. Glasgow The Caring
City will provide equipment for frontline medical workers and
Edinburgh Direct Aid will provide essential medical aid to the
Jabliyeh area." More information at http://www.snp.org/node/14862
Osama Saeed, the SNP's prospective parliamentary candidate for Glasgow
Central, has today slammed the "thirty years of subterfuge" from
successive Westminster governments following new revelations on
Scotland's oil wealth.
New archive material in today's Times reveal plans to delay
devolution, to manipulate the politics of Shetland and Orkney, and to
redraw offshore boundaries. The full article can be read here
Saeed, commenting on the papers, said:
"Today's revelations are absolutely extraordinary, there's even
throwbacks to good old fashion colonialism with the 'divide and rule'
plan to encourage mini independent states in Orkney and Shetland.
"The tone of the proposals and the fact they could even be aired
displays once again the utter contempt in which Scotland has been held
by successive London governments. We're seen as nothing short of a
cash cow, only for us to be further mocked by being told that we're
too poor to be independent. In reality, they knew back then that had
we been independent, we'd be running 'chronic surpluses to a quite
"This is no small matter. These lies have meant that where we could
have invested in our national public infrastructure with substantial
oil revenues for thirty years, we've instead got some of the poorest
areas in Western Europe. We could be infinitely better off right now,
and it is making Scots angry.
"It is not too late though – there's estimated to still be around
30billion barrels still under the North Sea. It's these realisations
that mean Labour does not want to take the question of independence to
the electorate any time soon."
Norwegian Oil Fund – Now over £200 billion
Alberta Oil Fund – £8.8 billion (May 2008)
Alaskan Oil Fund – £19 billion (March 2008)
"The example of Norwegian policy on Government revenue from oil
likewise shows up the failure of British." McCrone report Page 5
Information released in 2002 under the 30-year publication rule showed
that Edward Heath rejected the establishment of a Scottish Oil Fund
made up of North Sea revenues because such a call was based on a
Malcolm Wicks, Energy Minister The Guardian, 27 October 2007. "In the
Norwegian sector of the oil field, where many of the crew had worked
as well, the industry is organised somewhat differently . . . the tax
revenues have been husbanded rather than spent by the government.
'If you could replay history, the idea as in Norway of building up a
national [oil] fund is actually quite an attractive one'."
North Sea Production
Academics interviewed for the BBC have pointed to their being 30
billion barrels of oil left in the North Sea. 37 billion barrels have
been removed over the last 30 years.
Professor Peter O'Dell, of the Erasmus University in the Netherlands,
"There are at least 20, 25 even 30 billion barrels of the stuff left
and that's quite a lot,"
"It's not quite as much as we've used already but it's not far short.
"Moreover, there are still parts of UK Continental Shelf that have
never been examined at all in any great depth.
"So that could be the low end of a range that could take us into a
period when we have access to as much oil again as we've already
The McCrone Report, 1975
"What is quite clear is that the balance of payments gain from North
Sea oil would easily swamp the existing deficit whatever its size and
transform Scotland into a country with a substantial and chronic
"The country would tend to be in chronic surplus to a quite
embarrassing degree and its currency would become the hardest in
Europe, with the exception perhaps of the Norwegian kroner." Page 8
"An independent Scotland could now expect to have massive surpluses
both on its budget and on its balance of payments and with the proper
husbanding of resources this situation could last for a very long time
into the future." Page 16
"Thus, for the first time since the Act of Union was passed, it can
now be credibly argued that Scotland's economic advantage lies in its
"Britain is now counting so heavily on North Sea oil to redress its
balance of payments that it is easy to imagine England in dire straits
without it … it is now likely that transfer of North Sea oil to
Scottish ownership would occasion much bitterness in England if not an
attempt to forcibly prevent it." Page 17
The SNP’s national conference this year backed a motion calling for extra
resources to be directed to Govanhill.
The resolution noted with concern "the problems of overcrowding,
antisocial behaviour, and below tolerable standards housing in the
Govanhill neighbourhood of Glasgow" and welcomed the recent Oxfam report
on the Roma community of Govanhill, which linked the problems in the area
to "the exploitation of vulnerable residents, in particular new Roma EU
migrants, by slum landlords and unscrupulous gangmasters."
The resolution also welcomed the recent petition by Govanhill Housing
Association head Anne Lear to Scottish Parliament and urged the Scottish
Parliament to seek solutions in Govanhill.
Speaking on the motion in Perth, Osama Saeed, the SNP’s prospective
candidate for Glasgow Central said:
“Govanhill is an special place that has successfully dealt with different
waves of immigrations for decades. Talking to people on the doorstep, and
attending public meetings in the area though, there are undoubtedly
tensions, which is some cases have spilled into unacceptable racism.
“Being the son of immigrants myself, I know the challenges that exist, and
can point to successes in the recent past, especially with the example of
Pollokshields not even being a million miles away.
“The solution is not for residents to turn on each other, but to face the
authorities together and demand extra cash. What is needed is a systemic,
multi-agency approach to solutions in Govanhill. I welcome the work of the
Pollokshields/Southside Community Planning Council and I will continue to
press for longer term investment in housing and community organisations in
Govanhill at all levels of government.”
The SNP's Glasgow Central candidate Osama Saeed has expressed his deep
concern that the UK Government is considering the privatisation of Royal
Lord Mandelson this week appeared before a House of Commons committee
and very noticeably did not explicitly deny his support for privatisation
when quizzed by MPs.
Osama Saeed has been a long-time supporter of postal services. He opposed
the recent closure of post offices in the constituency including the
services in Govanhill, the High Street and Anderston. This was in contrast
to the Labour MP for the constituency, Mohammad Sarwar, who voted in the
House of Commons for the closures to take place.
Saeed is also a strong supporter of the Universal Service Obligation that
underpins Royal Mail's services.
Commenting on the suggestion of privatisation Osama Saeed said:
"We have just witnessed a massive bail out of banks. New finance for
business has all but dried up yet Lord Mandelson appears to be considering
the privatisation of Royal Mail. This is complete lunacy.
"Privatisation of Royal Mail would be a complete disaster, as it would
almost certainly lead to a downgrading of the universal service
"While Mandelson appears to be looking at privatisation, communities
across Glasgow have just suffered a round of closures despite very strong
local opposition. The whole process is deeply flawed.
"Worse may be around the corner with reports that the Department of Work and
Pensions (DWP) may give the contract for the Post Office Card Account (POCA)
to another provider.
"The DWP caused the present crisis by transferring payments from the Post
Office cutting a massive amount of business overnight. It would be the
ultimate betrayal if they now twist the knife further by taking away the
POCA which has proved very popular."
"The Government should be developing a positive policy and agenda for Postal
Services rather than constantly undermining them."
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