Jack Straw and Sir Malcolm Rifkind did seek to “exploit their experience and connections” for personal gain, an independent inquiry ruled on Monday.The judgment, from the broadcasting regulator Ofcom – which conducted a thorough investigation into evidence collected by Channel 4 and The Telegraph – raises serious questions over the ability of Parliament to police its own affairs.In an undercover investigation, the Telegraph and Channel 4’s Dispatches programme exposed how the two former foreign secretaries had offered to use their positions as politicians on behalf of a fictitious Chinese company in return for payments of at least £5,000 a day.
New poll out today from TNS shows the SNP on the up, up, up despite all the noise about the Forth Road Bridge and all the claims that cracks are beginning to show and so on.
NO bridge over any of the unionist troubled waters at all. For Labour – they are down 5% in the list and well the LibDems entire vote in both the list and the constituency are within the sampling margin of error – and this is the fightback!
In many other countries with proportional representation they would not get anyone elected at all – none – an extra parliamentary future awaits them – and this they deserve for having fewer principles than any of the rest. At least we know where the Tories are coming from. No one can be suprised at their policies and Labour sold out long ago.
This is not about a one party state emerging but about a breakdown in confidence in the old parties of government – Labour mismanaged prosperity and the Tories are crucifying us with austerity. The Liberal Democrats will go with anyone who will give them a job.
SO the party must hold on to every voter it has here in the islands if it is to keep any shred of credibility at all (which is rather generous of me in saying it has any left.)
Here in Orkney, Liam’s Liberals are out in force thrusting leaflets through every available door. Strangely, they don’t mention a certain Carmichael at all in them – talk about rebranding – and all straight from the party rule book on how to win elections.
Remember to ask Liam if his promises are political or personal. Its good to know in advance, just to check. I am sure he will not take it to heart at all!
It’s hard to continue to be shocked by the moral sewer that is British tabloid journalism. But as a sheer act of pre-Christmas bile and bigotry, it’s hard to get past Sue Reid’s Daily Mail article on refugees coming to Bute. Reid, who specialises almost exclusively in stories stirring racial hatred, purposely ignores the wave of support and generosity that has been provoked by the worst refugee crisis since the Second World War. Scotland is the new home of about one-third of the Syrian refugees who have arrived in the UK so far, and the movement has been coordinated not just by the Scottish Government’s Minister for External Affairs and International Development Humza Yousaf and our First Minister, but supported also by the National, local authorities, churches and civic groups such as the “we have room” hashtag Refuweegee, Rooms for Refugees and other groups.
Apologise or face lawsuit, Labour members tell MP Lucy AllanTroubled Lucy Allan has been asked to apologise for her comments about “bully boy” Labour councillors in the town – or face a lawsui
Zara, the Shetland Selkie, sent this through to me last night.
‘Rumbled’, she said, ‘I knew it was a plot. The Orkney 4 are a sham. You are Tavish Scott. This whole campaign has been a conspiracy to get rid of AC so that you would benefit. You want to go to Westminster and have some nice lunches’
I protested my innocence vociferously, ‘I am am honest Vole from Stromness, I have no personal ambitions.’
‘Then explain this’ she demanded, ‘as its from the LibDem’ website, it must be true! – Here is the very link ‘
I scurried online as fast as my hot little paws could take me. I saw my human’s name ‘Tim’ there. I realised at once what was really going on.
‘Zara, there are other Tims in the world. Perhaps he wants anyone who has a problem with Tim Farron to go and speak to him.’
‘That would be quite a queue.’
‘Indeed, I am glad that someone is going to tackle the problems the LibDems are facing. – I am sick and tired of people making fun of them. Minority groups should not be persecuted.’
And with that I hung the phone up.
Lucy Allan made a statement yesterday on social media where she blamed activists for her lies. It was not her fault but disappointed people who did not get the MP or Government they wanted. Fascinating this, she seems to be quoting our own Orkney and Shetland MP himself who says the reason he was taken to Court was because we wanted to silence the opposition in Scotland – ‘it’s not me, its them – they should not notice our mistakes or hold us accountable.’
We expect the same standards of politicians that we would of anyone else – that they tell the truth and don’t make up things to smear other people.
Holyrood’s Justice Committee gave Deputy Chief Constable Neil Richardson a bit of a drubbing on Tuesday. MSPs questioned the senior police officer with uncharacteristic ferocity and skepticism, on how it came to be that Police Scotland “recklessly” obtained communications data about a journalist’s sources without the necessary judicial approval.
Pope Francis is reactivating the biggest gun of all in the birth control battleUntil recently, I believed that I had once been in the presence of Mother (soon-to-be-saint) Teresa. Pope John Paul II visited Ireland in September 1979, bringing the little Albanian with him as support act. Around a million people turned out to see them in Dublin’s Phoenix park, with a similarly huge number turning out in Knock, County Mayo, the scene of an alleged apparition by the Virgin Mary.
The Carmichael case shows that we need a stronger public understanding of the integral role that election courts perform in our democracyAlistair Carmichael, the Liberal Democrat MP who served as the Secretary of State for Scotland in the 2010-2015 Conservative/Liberal Democrat coalition, has survived the court case which threatened to strip him of his Orkney and Shetlands parliamentary seat. Heather Green follows up on her previous article for Democratic Audit, arguing that it is disappointing that public comment on this case has tended to dwell on presumed partisan machinations, and to overlook the reasoned and peaceful means by which the court brought about a legal resolution to the political melodrama that triggered the case in the first place.