Sunday, February 6, 2011

Scottish Tories Condemn Al-Megrahi “Tawdry Deal”

Scottish Conservative Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Justice, John Lamont MSP has released a statement:

“17 months after the release of the man convicted of Britain’s biggest mass murderer there are still too many unanswered questions. Despite Megrahi’s continued survival in Libya the SNP will not disclose all the medical evidence to back up the claim that he had 3 months or less to live.

“These latest revelations of alleged deals between Alex Salmond and the then Labour Government will shock many people. Releasing the Lockerbie Bomber was a bad decision, made badly, but any suggestions that the SNP was willing to use him as a pawn in their constitutional games is odious. Even to consider such a tawdry deal is an insult to the memory of those who died and to their families and friends.”

David Cameron reportedly told Hillary Clinton during a meeting at the Munich security conference this week that the release of the jailed Lockerbie bomber was a mistake.

According to Washington diplomatic sources a new British government report on the Scottish government’s release of al-Megrahi could be completed as early as next week. It could add to the pressure on MacAskill to go…

UPDATE : Kevin Pringle, Alex Salmond’s spin-doctor-in-chief, has been on to Guido to deny it all, claiming that it was Labour that wanted the deal. Guido has no doubt that Blair’s Downing Street wanted to get Al Megrahi released as part of the BP deal with Libya, it wasn’t known as “Blair Petroleum” for nothing. Nevertheless it is clear the canny Scots got their own deal in return…

Al Megrahi Deal Smoking Gun
John McTernan’s Email Reveals Deal Terms

The SNP have always denied they did a deal with Downing Street to release Scotland’s worst mass murderer. Alex Salmond claimed only last December that “We weren’t interested in threats, we weren’t interested in blandishments, we were only interested in applying Scots justice and that’s what we did.” Only last week Salmond’s spokesman Kevin Pringle said claims of a deal are “complete and utter garbage without a shred or scintilla of truth.” Here is proof as to who is really lying:

Scot’s justice was bought and the Scottish Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill’s price was £100 million. The Labour government in Westminster brought forward legislation to get the SNP government in Scotland off the Somerville judgement hook in June 2009, two months later Megrahi was released. It was a sordid deal between Labour and the SNP at the behest of oil giant BP to get them off the hook with Libya. If you think it stinks, the smell is not just from the slopping out buckets.

Read the full story in the Mail on Sunday. More background here and here. Before anyone claims the above email is a forgery, Guido has already authenticated it.

See also: The Libyan Deal Makers Linked to Downing Street, BP Admits Straw Was Lobbied by Allen Over Deal for Megrahi, Three Months Later, Megrahi Lives, Labour’s Expensive Manifesto Club.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Gordon’s Scottish Snowstorm

Whoever says  Scottish politics is dull might want to take a look at last week’s unravelling saga around Labour controlled Glasgow City Council. Who would have thought when Gordon sat next to him on the Thursday before last that within a week one of Scotland’s up and coming politicians would have attempted suicide, that a police investigation would link the same man, Glasgow’s most senior politician, to major organised drug criminals and an 18-year-old Labour activist would be end up dead outside the city’s Council Chambers. As ever Gordon is pulling a Macavity on this one.

Steven Purcell was talked about as the saviour of the Scottish Labour Party, its brightest young star, he was tipped as a future First Minister.  However if Purcell ever wanted a return to front-line politics, he certainly handled his spectacular fall from grace, spectacularly badly. No crisis manager could stop the drip, drip, drip of information concerning his party-boy lifestyle, snorting and drinking until the wee hours yet serving the city of Glasgow to a surprisingly competent degree. Yet he was in with the wrong crowd and in May last year some of Scotland’s top coppers visited Purcell in his council offices as his name had repeatedly cropped up in investigations. There was reason to believe that someone was attempting to blackmail Purcell with mobile phone footage of him.

Fast forward to last week and as Gordon was leaving Glasgow, Purcell was going into meltdown. Vodafone blocked his number after he abused call centre staff and he was found in tears talking nonsense at his desk. He ended up in the Castle Craig rehab centre. Although Purcell was earning fifty grand as council leader, you must wonder how much of this went up his nose and therefore who was paying for the rehab stay and for retaining of lawyers and crisis managers? Either way Purcell went missing from the rehab centre on Sunday night. Some have suggested he attempted to kill himself in open water as he was found soaked.

By now the story had started to emerge in the press and by Monday the internet was rife with rumours about Purcell stepping down because of cocaine rather than the “stress” cited in the official statement.  We now know that Council staff wanted to blow the whistle but were stopped by Purcell’s mysteriously funded lawyers. As the week progressed the story unravelled more, Purcell’s vain attempts at crisis management were no match for overwhelming evidence. The final straw was the collapse and subsequent death of a admirer of Mr Purcell’s, a young Labour Party activist named Danus McKinlay who “worshipped” Purcell and “would do anything for him” . Guido understands that McKinlay was diabetic and there has been reason to believe that he had stopped taking his medication resulting in his subsequent collapse.  Witnesses said they thought he was drunk – an easy mistake to make of someone who desperately needs insulin.

That was the final straw, within two hours Purcell had resigned as a councillor and has fled Scotland to an unknown sunny destination. Through all of this Gordon has remained silent. The ally he was once so keen to be photographed with, campaign for, tip for future greatness and fund-raise for, was left to the scrap-heap. What did Gordon know and when?

Monday, November 30, 2009

Freedom for Scotland, Good for Londoners

Today the SNP led Scottish government is putting forward plans for a referendum, Alex Salmond is proposing four options; the status quo, the limited change offered by the Calman Commission, maximum devolution and full independence.

Labour opposes any referendum.  Somewhat incoherently so do the Tories and the LibDems.  Both parties claim to be in favour of localism and returning power to the people wherever possible.  The Tory arguments for repatriating powers back from Brussels to Westminster apply to giving the Scottish the right to self-government in Edinburgh.  So why do they oppose measures that move towards those goals in Scotland?  Isn’t it just petty partisan calculation?

Guido thinks Scottish Toryism is a busted flush.  Every nation in Western Europe has a strong, centre-right, patriotic party capable of forming a government – except Scotland – which has a weak centre-right party seen as too English.  Justifiably so.  Cameron says he will not allow Scotland to go independent on his watch,  reminding us that his party is the Conservative and Unionist Party.  Well that isn’t very localist and it isn’t “trusting the people” to deny them a referendum.  The rhetoric doesn’t match the policies again.

Maximum devolution (where the Union government in Westminster maintains foreign policy and national defence) is compatible with the localist ideas and rhetoric advanced by Tories and LibDems.  Brussels is where the fundamental legislative action takes place anyway.  London effectively pays for the national defence of the United Kingdom already, that wouldn’t change if Scotland became fiscally independent, though the £19 billion Boris identifies as being exported from London would inevitably be reduced.  If Scotland had to stand on its own fiscal feet it would soon discover that having a Sovietised economy is not sustainable.  An independent Scotland would see the SNP turn from being a left-wing nationalist party into a normal centre-right, patriotic party as found in every Western European democracy.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Scottish Dead Tree Scribblers Flee the Press

Guido doesn’t usually do local, particularly not local Scotland. However this is a bit too fun to ignore. Some thoughtless council official has made the mistake of putting this minute on the North Lanarkshire council website and it has put into the public domain the entire short list of applicants for the job as their Head of Spin.
Looks like there is a rush to get out out of the Dead Tree Press and into the safe harbour of the public sector with easy hours and gold plated pensions to accompany the job security.
  • “J. Allardyce” must be Jason Allardyce, associate editor of the Sunday Times Scotland.
  • “A.F. Carlin” could be Tony Carlin, Group Content Editor of Herald newspapers
  • “J.B. Currie” could be Brian Currie, former Evening Times’ political editor and now group political editor of Herald newspapers
  • “S. Dalgety” is probably Susan Dalgety, a former Labour councillor and aide to First Minister Jack McConnell and formerly of publishers Holyrood Communications.
  • “T.J.J. Little” must be Tom Little, Scotland on Sunday columnist
  • “S. Penman” is almost certainly Stephen Penman, currently Deputy Editor, Sunday Herald
  • “K.C. Symon” sounds like Ken Symon, currently with public affairs company McGarvie Morrison Media

One surprise, “J.P. Murdoch” – surely things can’t be that bad….

Friday, November 7, 2008

Labour Hold Glenrothes by Six Thousand

What is happening here – has Gordon’s Jonah curse been lifted?

  • He wished Lewis Hamilton well – and he still became World F1 champion.
  • Despite having met and been backed by Gordon, Barack won the Presidency.
  • Despite having visited the constituency, Labour didn’t lose.
The Tories beat the LibDems from third into fourth place, the LibDems had a disaster dropping ten percentage points. The SNP were very, very confident…

UPDATE : Should point out that it is fair to say that PoliticsHome’s PHI100 has now evened the score with the punters, although PoliticsHome did hedge themselves a bit with a press release splitting PHI 100 into politicians and pundits. Here’s what Rawnsley said yesterday

There’s a fascinating divide within the panel between the politicians and the media. The media panellists are political editors, leading commentators and executives. A solid majority of them are forecasting a win for the Nationalists. That puts them at odds with the politicians on the panel. They are MPs and peers, among them senior Ministers and Opposition frontbenchers, from all the main parties. A heavy majority of the politicians are predicting that Labour will hold the seat.

So the pundits still managed to get it wrong…

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Glenrothes : Internal Minutes Show Scottish Labour in Disarray

Highlights from the leaked document (below) include:
  • Cllr Iain Chrichton “The Gordon Brown photo with Thatcher was a big mistake.”
  • Cllr Alex Rowley – election agent to Gordon Brown “The party in Fife is not geared up for modern campaigning.”

Labour Cllr Minutes

Get your own at Scribd or explore others:

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Glenrothes : Punters V Pundits, Round II

Over at Politicalbetting.com Mike Smithson is encouraging the punters to vote on who they think is going to win the Glenrothes by-election – Labour or the SNP?
  • As of 0900 this morning the punters (after 200 votes) are splitting 61% for the SNP and 39% for Labour.
  • Over on PoliticsHome the PH100 Index “daily tracker of uk insider and expert opinion” is calling it 61% / 31% for Labour to win. Strikingly inverse proportions.
Over on Betfair the punters are putting their money where their mouths are and making the SNP odds on favourites. Back in July the punters made fools of the pundits over the outcome of the Glasgow East by-election. The pundits are as fickle as teenage girls, the punters are more calculating.

The London based punditry are out of touch, they talk too much to each other. Our old friend Tom Watson has been briefing the press that Labour will win Glenrothes and this will be a great victory for Gordon. He has convinced Gordon to stake what little political capital he has on a Glenrothes comeback campaigning in the constituency. However, as Ben Brogan has detected, so chronic is the shortage of local activists and supporters Labour are press-ganging English Labour MPs and Northern CLP activists to trek past Hadrian’s Wall to help in the constituency. Not exactly a sign of a forthcoming resounding victory.

Guido thinks the punters not the pundits are right, again. Gordon’s personal visit should, if the curse of the one-eyed son of the manse still holds, have doomed Labour’s candidate. Labour are throwing the kitchen sink at this, heck the 10p tax bailout cost a few billion during the Crewe by-election, this time the bailout of Scottish banks cost tens of billions for this by-election. It will be close…

Monday, September 22, 2008

Scottish Labour Facing Annihilation

The SNP is looking at a 14.5% swing towards them in Scotland on the basis of the YouGov / PolitcsHome super-poll of the marginals. That will wipe Scottish Labour out. Gordon will achieve the annihilation of the Labour Party in his homeland for a generation. Could that be why Luke Akehurst’s We Don’t Want a Labour Leadership Election Facebook group had a flood of non-Labour Party applicants? Luke has revoked Guido’s membership and blocked new members, spoilsport…

Seen Elsewhere

5 Things We Learned From Guido’s Party | GQ
Revealed: Guido Fawkes Anniversary Dinner Guestlist | Peter Oborne
More Owen Jones Errors | Michael Ezra
Why Should Men Get Equal Maternity Leave? | Laura Keynes
Dentists Have Last Laugh Over Sneering Keynes | FT
Why’s Clegg Giving Men Paternity Leave? | Conservative Women
Cam Cannot Stem EU Immigration | David Keighley
9 Mansion Tax Questions for Ed Balls | TPA
Politicians are Lying to You About Immigration | Alex Wickham
Give Journalists Public Interest Defence in Law | Guardian
Cameron is Going to Have to Deal With UKIP | Dan Hodges


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“I don’t think I’ve had sex with him. He says we had sex in Clapham. I’m fairly certain I’ve never had sex south of the river”



Progressive Inclusion Champion says:

Great to hear Carswell call for inclusive policies and that UKIP must stand for first and second generation immigrants as much as the English.


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