Tuesday, 9 February 2010

Making a Meal from a Nine Day Wonder

For those of you who haven't heard, the unionist parties in the Scottish government are accusing Alex Salmond and his deputy Nicola Sturgeon of breaking the Parliament's Code of Conduct by claiming they used Holyrood for party fundraising purposes.

Both Mr Salmond and Ms Sturgeon auctioned prizes of lunches to be hosted by them in the members' restaurant of the Scottish Parliament. Labour have jumped on this as a 'cash for access' situation and a serious error by the SNP leader.

The media continue to tout the story with today's headline in the Herald declaring 'Lunchgate shadow will loom over election campaign.' A gross exaggeration.

I've yet to hear anyone mention this in the past days. Most people are concerned about the number of soldiers who may be killed in Afghanistan in the coming days and if they can afford to pay their utility bills after one of the coldest winters for years.

Should you wish to read the ins and outs of what has preoccupied the Scottish press for the past several days this is the latest article. As far as I'm concerned the Code of Conduct may need to be more explicit regarding politicians using the members' restaurant, but it's certainly not an issue that will loom over the election campaign, no matter how much the labour party wishes that were so.

This is petty, not party, politics from the labour party and a nine day wonder.


Alex Porter said...

It is petty.

I think it may be a bit of an own goal as Labour are calling it 'cash for access'. Given that many things were never answered about the original 'cash-for-access' scandal involving people still in Downing St.

Perhaps it is an appropriate time to have a fresh look at these allegations.

See my blog

and look up investigative reporter's (Greg Palast) entry:


Leg-iron said...

It's Labour.

'Petty' is what they do. Lately, it's all they do.

Strathturret said...

By my calculations the Herald/Sunday Herald have led on this story for five consecutive days. Talk about milking a non-story.

What happened? SNP supporters pay to have lunch with Alex/Nicola. One lucky auction winner was Stuart Pratt, SNP Aberdeenshire Councillor and Alex's election agent. Now he really needs to pay to have access to the great man doesn't he!

This has conveniently driven real criminality (Devine and co), plus the latest Westminster expenses scanadals (Brown repaying £13k) off the front pages.

I fear the Herald is going the same way as the Scotsman. What's the Johnson Press share price today?

Andrew said...

The Herald's news judgement has been suspect for ages now.

I assume from Labour's attack on the SNP that:-
no Labour MSP has EVER entertained to lunch at Holyrood any constituent (or anyone) as an inducement to join the Labour Party, give a donation to the LP,
make a business investment in the MSP's constituency, impress a constituent into voting for the MSP, etc. All political acts.

I hope the SNP has done its homework and will reveal some goodies at FMQs on Thursday---on this and Gray's 2003 Manifesto commitment to GARL.

Wrinkled Weasel said...

Leaving aside for the moment that the Scottish Press so hates the SNP that it employs professional barrel-scrapers, this fundraising was in aid of Osama Saeed, who I would not trust as far as I cold sling him.


Courting and appeasing Muzzies puts me right off, especially when they support extremism.

subrosa said...

Thanks for the links Alex. It wasn't my intention to write about this, but the papers have been running it for days.

What annoyed me was Robbie Dunwoodie's headline proclaiming it would be bad for the SNP during the election campaign.


subrosa said...

They've been petty since the SNP got into government LI. It's becoming such a habit but then it was always part of their tactics.

subrosa said...

That's about right Strathturret. We don't have a quality paper here anymore sadly. For news I rely on English papers sad to say.

Then I rely on German papers for info regarding the EU.

Mr. Mxyzptlk said...

nine days more like ninety days at least Labour have taken a leaf out of the snp book called...........

How to get Wendy Alexander

and are using the very PETTY snp tactic against them (thanks very much snp)

and its working which makes it even better.

subrosa said...

I certainly hope so too Andrew. This needs to be hit on the head right now.

subrosa said...

It doesn't really matter who the fund-raising was in aid of in this case WW. The SNP raises lots of money in various ways.

I'm not so keen on Saeed right now. He took months to return the money he was given by the government and I don't think that's the standard of politician I want.

Vronsky said...

The Herald is in full campaign mode - remarkable that they could spare their 'journalists' from their normal task of trying to shut down nat blogs.

Admittedly Alex has been very foolish - imagine inviting people to lucnh, the evil bastard! He should just have murdered a million Iraqis - that's OK round at the Herald.

Crinkly & Ragged Arsed Philosophers said...

Labour are far too incompetent and lazy to scrape a barrel. The best they can achieve is to spread a fungi.

The really is parochial politics exercising the minds of wee pretendy politicians.

If they were fighting for the union, you could at least respect them. But, no, what this lot are fighting for is their own wee niche in Labours hegemony.

Pathetic free-loaders.

Dean MacKinnon-Thomson said...


I've been blogging on this for a while, and while it does seem rather hypocritical of Labour to criticise [given that the Labour Party website STILL advertises 'lunch with Brown' & Darling!!!] there does seem an issue here.

As I've said over on my old spot, this comes down to a couple of issues; one- the rules are vague, too vague. Second, what can MSPs entertain, can Labour MSPs continue to entertain TU officials for example..and third, is it an apology issue for the FM.

I think, yes- there has been a technical breech, but it is hardly a bookable offense frankly. Apologise and lets get on with the real issues, not least education, health and Labours recession clean-up.


voterinscotland said...

It does seem to me to be an orchestrated campaign media-wise against the Scottish Government by the remnants of the pro-Labour media to try and blunt the SNP in the run up to the Westminster election. Their tactics would be to try and shore up the Scottish base and try and woo the English vote.

The attacks can do the opposite in that people can see through this and see it just as anti-SNP spin. After all the SNP did well despite the negative media and if they can stop sitting on their backsides and get up and get their message on the doorsteps. Not everyone reads newspapers.

subrosa said...

The Herald has become totally unionist now Vronsky. There was a time they published fair and unbiased articles, but it seems these days are gone.

subrosa said...

Their own wee niche in the West RA. Sounds like something out of a cowboy film.

subrosa said...

Dean, I've read your posts and others. It wasn't my intention to write about this, but the headline by a journalist I kind of respect, was too much.

subrosa said...

That's true voter. The SNP still need to work faster at quashing labour's lies though. They're just not quick enough.

joe90 kane said...

Petty politics sounds about right subrosa - so does petty corporate journalism.

Presently, there is the Westminster MP expenses scandal, with MPs actually being charged with breaking the law - and there is the Chilcott enquiry about the British New Labour government's war crimes and mass-murder abroad.

Scottish corporate journalists, however, choose to highlight some luncheon date in the Holyrood canteen as important. Bfore that it was an image of the saltire on the First Minister's xmas cards. Before that it was 'cybernats' which seemed to transfix the staff of the likes of the The Herald newspaper.

All corporate propaganda drivel.

With regards Osama Saeed, here he is with some explanations which might put your mind at rest subrosa -
Guest Post - Osama Saeed
SNP Tactical Voting
07 Feb 2010

all the best

Wrinkled Weasel said...

Joe90, that was an interesting piece, and indeed does show Mr Saeed in a different light, and if he is a patriot, then he is welcome.

As for Mr Sarwar, I find it hilarious that Tom Harris will have no mention of him in the comments section of his blog. That is because there is nothing nice to say about him.

subrosa said...

It's hard work to find a piece of good investigative journalism in any Scottish paper these days Joe.

Many thanks for the link btw.

Alex Porter said...

Just because it is a trivial matter to headline in national newspapers doesn't mean that a good examination of the motivations of said newspapers and their coverage of this story is not merited!

Our media's propaganda, and their corporate masters' agenda, must be exposed as often as possible!

subrosa said...

Ah yes Alex, there's always a positive side to any subject. Well done to you for finding it!

joe90 kane said...

Thanks Wrinkled Weasel.

Just to make a few points if I may -
...if he is a patriot, then he is welcome.
- I'm not really sure what that means, but Osama Saeed is in the SNP and he's also British - he is as British and as Scottish as the next person.

I'm not interested in latter-day McCarthy witch-hunts of people and their latter-day un-American activities.

This is a democracy and as such, people are perfectly entitled to think of themselves as Scottish, British, Muslim or Martian. It's their choice and nobody else's buisness.

It wasn't that long ago British politicians and British buisness people were lining up outside Saddam's palaces in order to sell him British-made WMD and extend him credit of £600 million in HMG export guarantees, underwritten by the British taxpayer - people and times change.

I forgot to mention in my first comment the £200 billion of our taxpayers money which has disappeared (aka 'quantitative easing') into the pockets of the welfare state for the rich, none of whom will be affected much by the razing of public services, or the tax increases and such like, planned by all the mainstream parties after the next election.

Related Posts with Thumbnails