Dear Andrea McGall,
You are the Renfrewshire Council Housing Officer who hand delivered a letter for me today. It wasn’t in an envelope and I picked it up, about 6:45pm, it scared me. My electricity had been cut off before I went to bed and I hoped it would be a powercut and be okay when I got up again. Alas, I was still electricity-free. No access to the internet. No way to recharge the battery in my phone. No idea if I’d get the electricity back. I phoned my MP, Mhairi Black first. Just an answering machine?
After two attempts to leave a message on Mhairi’s answering machine (due to not knowing my telephone number without having to write it down and having no pen with which to write it down, plus an extremely dry throat which meant I had to get water before I could speak), I eventually left a message. And then I left a second one. Or, to be more precise, I tried to leave a second message as I got cut off far too quickly. My second attempted message ended with a voice telling me I hadn’t entered some ‘pin code’, which made no sense to me at all. I’ve no idea how much of my message got through to my MP. But when I realised someone seemed to be stopping me leave any more than my first message, I chose to phone the number in your letter instead.
Again, no one would speak on the phone. I don’t get on well with answering machine instructions, mostly because of my attention deficit disorder. I’ve no idea what Renfrewshire Council was asking for. Indeed, I don’t even know for sure that I’d phoned the right number, so I gave up. Will phone again tomorrow.
However, when my electricity did come back on, I reconnected my laptop to the internet, and I started tweeting about what had happened. Your name came up, Andrea. You fightened me. And if you don’t mind doing that, then I don’t mind making sure you have to face questions about how you’re treating me.
I intend to record any conversations between us, unless I have access to a representative who will protect me from you and/or any other member of staff at Renfrewshire Council, or individuals appointed by you, including police officers. Let me make a few things clear, Andrea. I can’t remember if I’ve had any dealings with your before or not. If we’ve never met, I’ve no way of knowing if I have any reason to worry about how you will treat me. But my vast experience with Renfrewshire Council teaches me I have no choice but to treat everyone who works for Renfrewshire Council as a single group with a shared ethos, and I keep being your victim. You’re covering each other’s back. If one of you ever felt like acting as some noble whistle-blower, you’re clearly all far too scared of your boss and/or peer pressure. Maybe you don’t want to face hostility from colleagues, from colleagues who may be among your closest friends. I simply can’t afford to take the risk. I have to work on the reasonable assumption that you will behave like many of your colleagues, even if you feel shame in doing so.
I await a response from my MP, Mhairi Black. I’ve managed to recharge my mobile phone. I hope she will speak to me; I’ve been waiting long enough. I first tried to contact her over a year ago. I posted a blog which included a series of Direct Messagess I sent her on Twitter. In those I explained why we needed to record any telephone conversation for the protection of the both of us. You can find those DMs here: Theresa May, Mhairi Black and me.
I had approached Mhairi’s predecessor as Paisley South member of partliament – Douglas Alexander – many times, all to no avail. His secretary clearly was covering up for some very sinister individuals, and I’ve not one iota of doubt that Privy Council member Douglas Alexander paid his secretary to stop my story getting out, or at least to try to stop it getting out.
I gave up on Douglas Alexander. I gave up on him because not only did he refuse to speak to me; he got his secretary to put the phone down on me, and then both refused to let me pick my own advocate, choosing instead someone totally unsuitable, someone whose behavior they knew I wanted him to investigate, someone I have reason to believe may have been acting in a criminal fashion. Both my MP and his secretary have serious questions to answer; both, I’m convinced, acted in a criminal manner, and ought to face the consequences.
I tried to contact tried Stewart Maxwell MSP, an SNP member, although I knew that the matters I needed help with went far beyond the remit of Holyrood. The first time I phoned him I got straight through, which was great. Unfortunately, he said he’s due in the Chamber within minutes, so he had to get back to me. In the meantime, he put me through to his secretary, who in turn put me through to a friend of his, Councilor Andy Doig.
My councilor’s behavior has been beyond belief, but I’m not going to dwell on that in my correspondance with you. Stewart Maxwell didn’t want to speak to me without allowing his secretary being involved, and he’d wasted my time with this friend of his who didn’t have a clue what he was doing and was self-evidentally prejudiced against me and had no intention of giving me protection from anyone at Renfrewshire Council. Stewart Maxwell seemed to have chosen to side with Renfrewshire Council against me without even trying to find out what this was about. No idea what he thinks he’s playing at.
I had publicly toyed with the idea of standing against Douglas Alexander to expose him at the 2015 general election. At the end of the day – partly due to ill-health, partly due to not wanting to damage Mhairi Black’s prospect’s of being elected under first-past-the-post -, I chose not to stand.
I was going to use the 2015 General Election to make Renfrewshire Council’s treatment of me become an issue for all voters, a means of damaging him politically and drawing attention to the sisues he had so successfully managed to bury. I considered doing the same thing in May’s Holyrood election; but by that time my health had deteriorated a lot more, and I felt like I was dying. Catastrohically bad ill-health is the main reason I pulled out of May’s Scottish Parliament elections.
I tried to get Mhairi Black to raise this during Prime Minister’s Questions, but her secretary wouldn’t let me speak to her, and I’ve no idea why. But I’m extremely angry that David Cameron managed to crawl off before Mhairi Black or Douglas Alexander had a chance to expose him during Prime Ministers Questions. David Cameron has gone, but his Home Secretary was his partner in crime, and Mhairi Black can still raise it with the new Prime Minister.
What has any of this to do with my proposed eviction unless I speak to you, my Housing Officer? I’ll have to get back to you on that, Andrea McGall. [End of Part I]