Tuesday, 3 November 2009

MSPs Remembrance Wreaths - Update

My post yesterday created a good discussion about the decision of the Scottish Parliament's Corporate Body to allow MSPs to claim for Remembrance Day wreaths.

The Times is reporting today that SNP MSPs will not claim for wreaths. I'm pleased to hear it. Surely they could go one step further and ask for the item to be removed from the list of claimable expenses. I know many veterans who would appreciate such a gesture.

Iain Gray said his personal view was that MSPs should pay for wreaths and not claim them on expenses. Decisive leadership as usual from Mr Gray.


Rab C. Nesbitt said...

It just goes to show how out of touch they are. Regardless if any MSP claims, (and I dare any of them to claim), the fact that officially it has been allowed speaks vloumes.

Here was a great opportunity for some decent publicity, but they blew it.

Big time.

brownlie said...


Hee Hee! Do you believe me now that it's in a Tory newspaper?

subrosa said...

Jings Brownlie, I never doubted you in the first place and you know that. I just hadn't seen/read anything.

In fact I scanned the Record (a paper I seldom read) for around 5 minutes yesterday and found nothing.

At least give me a little credit for finding an article which did say something - even though it wasn't put online until later yesterday.

subrosa said...

Blew it right enough Rab. Such a shame really because if they had decided against allowing claims, the publicity would have put our MSPs head and shoulders above the Westminster MPs.

Instead they decided to join the club. Such a pity.

brownlie said...


I'm only kidding - you know I'm a devoted admirer despite all the attention you heap on that Conan! Maybe the Record did not put it on-line as the SNP's stance was different from Gray's position.

I thought I'd done a blog before on ex-servicemen but cannot find it so I'll attempt it again.

Anonymous said...

Who's Iain Gray again?

subrosa said...

Jeez Brownlie, you don't actually BUY the Record do you?

I can't find a record of your post about ex-service personnel and I would have kept one.

Remember to mention the Army, RAF and Royal Navy benevolent funds won't you?

subrosa said...

Isn't that the bloke who says he received his life experiences working for Oxfam Tris? I know I've given you this reply before, but I just can't think of any other claim to fame he has.

brownlie said...


Yes, guilty, know your enemy, you know!

subrosa said...

What can I say Brownlie? I'm quite speechless.

Then again, I so seldom buy newspapers these days I feel guilty at times. Sometimes on a Sunday I'll get one just because I do miss the mess they make around the house. :)

Munguin said...

Do I understand correctly S/R that the Queen gets a gratis wreath from the British Legion to lay at the Cenotaph? I think you said that somewhere. If true it’s quite incredible that the nation’s richest person cannot put her hand in her purse and buy a wreath in the same way as we are all expecting these MSPs to. After all, Brenda’s Civil List millions make an MSP’s salary pale into nothing by comparison. It does not matter at all that she and her blood sucking brood may support these charities in other ways because MSPs may do as well and no mention is made of this.

Anonymous said...

Um... sorry SR. Maybe I'm thick or maybe he's just very forgettable?

subrosa said...

Tris, you're too young to remember the song 'Unforgettable' but perhaps we could dedicated the same tune to Iain Gray and rename it 'So Forgettable'.

Google it, it's a good tune mind you. :)

subrosa said...

Munguin, surely I don't have to point out to you that the Queen is the head of the military - hence HM Forces. To the best of my knowledge she doesn't receive an invoice for the wreath she lays at the Cenotaph. Neither does the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces. I'm not sure if the CEO of the British Legion doesn't receive a 'free' wreath. If you're interested for more details I'm sure the BL PR department would be helpful.

I don't have a clue if Brenda does support any military charity. The only people I know who support a military charity are those who openly admit to supporting the likes of Help for Heroes etc.

Are you saying because Queenie doesn't pay for her wreath (I presume the cost is absorbed by the BL), that MSPs, having far less money, should also have a free wreath or one paid for by the taxpayer?

MSPs salaries are accepted by the public. Maybe you'd like to have a look at this site and see that a Major in the Army would have had to have served at least 20 years and have top end increment to achieve the salary of an MSP.

Yes, 20 years of being responsible for the lives of thousands and putting, these days, their own lives at risk on a regular basis. Officers pay for their own wreaths.

How does that compare with the public service of an MSP?

Anyway I digress. With regard to Brenda receiving a 'free' wreath and MSPs now being able to claim for the ones they lay, are you suggesting two wrongs make a right? Surely not.

Your problem lies with the military tradition, don't you think?

Munguin said...

Not at all S/R, my problem is with a hereditary millionaire getting a free wreath, while a part of your argument seems to be that those on 55K can easily afford it. Is the argument that they can afford to pay or not? If so then Brenda can easily afford to buy every MP and MSP a wreath out of the huge shed load of cash she gets for being the Head of State. I think I am saying that she ought to pay for a wreath same as ordinary people. And not that MSPs ought to get one for nought.

As for he being the titular head of the armed forces, are you proposing that as an argument for getting things for nothing? If so should every member of the armed forces not also get a free wreath? I think you said somewhere that they don’t.

Don’t you think a “come on Brenda cough up” campaign might be a good idea?

subrosa said...

We're going away from the point of the post but I'll answer.

Munguin, it is tradition for the Head of State to lay a wreath on behalf of his/her armed forces in memory of those who have given their lives in the service of their country. If you don't like the tradition, which you obviously don't, then campaign to change the tradition.

You have a problem with Brenda being head of Britain's military. I don't, at least not at present. I may have once she dies.

As far as I know the military don't have a problem with her receiving a wreath either. To the best of my knowledge most of the military would never even consider claiming from the taxpayer for a wreath or ten. They're perfectly happy to put their hands in their pockets to honour their fallen colleagues.

Plus of course, many present military representatives attend Remembrance Day events long after their public service is finished.

How many politicians (with the exception of the few MPs who have military experience) do so?

No I don't think a 'cough up Brenda' campaign is a good idea Munguin but please feel free to start one. As I said before, two wrongs don't make a right.

The wrong in my opinion is that the item is now on the list of expenses claimable in the SP. Bad idea really.

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