Saturday, February 06, 2010

Well, I'm Convinced!

Oh dear. I don't think Jim Devine did himself any favours by doing this interview. He basically admits to Krishan Guru-Murthy that he provided false receipts to the Fees Office.

It's so cringeworthy that you almost - almost - end up feel sorry for him when he starts digging himself so may holes he nearly creates a sieve.

There is a bigger question which this rasies, though. How on earth did this man ever get selected as an MP in the first place? It's frightening to think that this buffoon legislates over the rest of us.


Fenrir said...

I want to know who this mythical whip is. Either name him or shut up.

Anonymous said...

Devine is another one of Labour's parasites, who enrich themselves constantly at the taxpayers' expense. They routinely abuse power, lie and suppress and manipulate the truth. They never admit error or failure, they always shuffle responsibility onto someone else. In daily life, unlike the old Establishment, they are graceless and self-obsessed. In sum, they have no standards whatever except their own advancement. Yet they are indignant when anyone exposes their behaviour and turn savagely on those who call them to account

Dual Citizen said...

The look on the interviewer's face at 2:30 tells it all. "What the **** is this Hoon saying?"

Perhaps most telling is Devine at the end -

"This is what happened when I worked in the union. This is what happened when I worked in the health service."!!!!!!!

Dual Citizen said...

@ Fenir

Well the current government whips are -

Nick Brown (Chief Whip), Tommy McAvoy (Deputy Chief Whip), John Spellar (Comptroller of the Household), Helen Jones (Vice-Chamberlain of the Household)

Junior Lords of the Treasury:
David Watts, Frank Roy, Steve McCabe, Tony Cunningham, Bob Blizzard

Assistant Whips:
Diana Johnson, Mark Tami, Dawn Butler (!!!), John Heppell, Lynne Brown, Sharon Hodgson, Mary Creagh, David Wright and (ahhem!) Kerry McCarthy!

Devine referred to the whip as HE, so that rules out Helen, Dawn, Lynne, Sharon, Mary and Kerryout.

DespairingLiberal said...

Yes M, and that's so different to the many Tory MPs who have in the past set such a shining example of all that is good and moral. Not.

I am curious Iain. How can your comments not be seen as a contempt of court when this comes to trial? Are you cool with making public pronouncements on it because your defence will be that Devine did so and therefore it's OK for you and Paul Staines to? If so, you are wide of the mark.

Iain Dale said...

DL, you really make me laugh. I have not said whether I think he is guilty or innocent so how I could be in contempt of court I do not know.

In addition, if he gives interviews, surely it is reasonable for people to comment on his performance in said interview. That is all I have done.

But you knew that.

Gareth said...

A combination of the "A man in the pub said its OK" and "Everybody does it" defences.
If he doesn't get some good advice very soon he's going to end up in prison.

Dual Citizen said...

This guy either has a completely dumb lawyer who has just let his client hang out to dry ....

.... or a very good lawyer who has used Ch4 and your good self to poison the jury pool to get his client off!

Over here, it would be game set and plea bargain!

wild said...

He may be a cretin but ask yourself who pays for him. Yes, you*. So who is the fool now?

* By "you" I mean anybody who does not live off the taxpayer.

A Leftist is essentially a believer in feudalism with a grudge against God for not making him the aristocrat.

New Labour = Old Corruption

Dave H said...

I can't be bothered to watch the video and the name is unfamiliar. It doesn't matter, the finger poised in readiness is enough.

Tell me, Bullying Trades Union Thicko?

Kalvis Jansons said...

It was absolutely amazing!

no longer anonymous said...

This man was elected because the people who voted for him are pig-ignorant cretins who don't mind being represented by a moron.

If he had stood for the Tories in my constituency I would have abstained from voting.

Is that too harsh?

Stepney said...

Good God alive.

Anyone who's had children has experienced the same sort of shifty evasion from a 7 year old claiming innocence over the broken ornament.

This is priceless TV.

And you're right Iain - how the hell did the democratic process reward us with people like this?

Anonymous said...

OT, but I was listening to Ann Cryer this morning, on R4 Week in Westminster, I think. I don't share her politics but generally I rather like her. What a disillusionment! Usual excuses about MP expenses... "busy people"... "genuine mistakes". I accept MPs are busy people, and anyone can make a genuine mistake. But if I were to do that on my self-assessment tax return and it were later discovered, at the very least I would have to repay it, with interest appropriate to the delay in discovering the mistake. I would very likely have to pay a fine for getting it wrong in the first place, and quite possibly be subject to a tax investigation. Why do MPs suppose they are exempt from the conditions imposed on their electorate by the Inland Revenue?

Kebab77 said...

Just proves that all MP candidates should go through some form of aptitude/acumen test before they are allowed to stand. Multiple choice would do, for example:

Is paying your mate down the printing shop £5k for a service he never provided with taxpayers money ...
a/ Fair 'nuff
b/ OK 'cos everyone else is doing it
c/ Criminal fraud

Liz said...

Is it possible that the electorate is even more stupid than this imbecile? unfortunately the evidence is that in this particular instance they are
This is out and out fraud and explains why we are in such a mess."oops, I seem to have spent all that money but never mind, I'll just nick some more from Joe Public" Not any longer you won't sunshine - I'll see you behind bars first

Mr Eugenides said...

An absolutely typical Scottish Labour MP.

Now you know what we have to put with.

Old Holborn said...

"How on earth did this man ever get selected as an MP in the first place? It's frightening to think that this buffoon legislates over the rest of us."

Best of luck in East Surrey, Iain

Meanwhile, Nadines in trouble

Conand said...

Jim Devine states that he recieved no training/instructions on how to administer his parliamentary finances. However, he also states that he was encouraged to perform fraudulent activity by a Labour Whip.

Who was the Labour Whip in the Commons who was allegedly encouraging fraud?

Jim says the original complaint against him was concerned with shelving. I think Jim should be permanently shelved.
Jim thinks that you can break laws as long as you personally don't benefit financially. Sorry Jim that ain't how it works.
It is tempting for people of all political persuasions to just assume that 'Jim Devine' is played by an actor and is part of a Performance Art piece sponsored by Private Eye. Much as we would all prefer that to be the case I'm afraid that he is indeed real, on some level. That level being one of Dante's Circles of Hell >> 'The Devine Comedy' goes on.

Guppy said...

Devine seems a genuine sort of bloke but he is being made a scapegoat because his paperwork was too transparent.

Keir Starmer (Public Prosecutor) can't even bring himself to charge the Labour peer (Clarke) who admitted to fiddling his overnight expenses but this poor sod is hung out to dry.

Ian said...

"How on earth did this man ever get selected as an MP in the first place?"

The answer to that is the Labour Party in mid-Scotland. There are a few honourable exceptions such as Alistair Darling and Tom Harris but many of them are time serving, ill educated numpties who have risen to the top of pile through the unions or being a local "cooncillor" and having a nice Irish sounding surname and in quite a few cases kick with the appropriate foot.

Any sympathy I have for Independence is destroyed by the depressing thought that the Scottish Labour Party have a queue of Jim Devine or Tommy Graham or Cllr. Terry Kelly clones and that while we can lose these people in a chamber of 650, in a chamber of 126, its a different matter.

In Livingstone, they must be wondering how one minute they have an able MP like Robin Cook, now that have Jim Devine.

Guppy said...

Devine seems a genuine sort of bloke but he is being made a scapegoat because his paperwork was too transparent.

Keir Starmer (Public Prosecutor) can't even bring himself to charge the Labour peer (Clarke) who admitted to fiddling his overnight expenses but this poor sod is hung out to dry.

Paul said...

How Devine can believe that he did not benefit from this is beyond me.

If the taxpayer had not paid for the services provided, then surely he would have had to and thus would have had to pay the money from his own pocket.

The fact that he did not and thus was left with £5,505 in his pocket means to me that he did benefit financially from this fraud, as he knows only too well.

As for the comments about the Union and the NHS, well I think that people are taking them out of context.

From my experience it is common practice to move money between accounts in business to cover any temporary shortfall that may occur in 1 account. To use this to attempt to bash the unions or the NHS is a bit like clutching at straws and says more about the people making them than any point they may be trying to make.

miko said...

Rather like a parent trying to explain what the truth means to a naughty child - except this person is paid £65,000 to represent thousands of constituents and make decisions affecting 60 million people.

I am absolutely fed up with this country - it's now a crap hole after 13 years of these shysters.

My wife and I are leaving just as soon as we get the kids through University (don't start me off on that one...).

Depressing to know these scum share the same planet as us.

Eddie said...

It is quite clear that Labour are short of quality candidates for MP's, and, judging from the naivety of Devine, they have been for some time.

A recent example is Luciana Berger, selected only last week as the Labour party’s candidate in Liverpool Wavertree.

There may have been some shenanigans to get this friend of Euan Blair the safe Labour seat. It appears that during the election process she stayed at the house of the stepping down MP Jane Kennedy.
The election papers were also returned to the same house as the parties procedure secretary, Peter Dowling, is Kennedy's partner.

However the quality of the candidate was summed up by Ms Kennedy when she was explaining the living arrangements for their new prospective MP during the process...

"The kid had nowhere to stay and she needed a roof over her head""

Sounds as though the next Labour MP for Liverpool Wavertree, who may be advising constituents that are about to lose their homes, is only a kid that needs a roof over their heads themselves.

Still, I am sure a salary of £68,000 + expenses will sort her out.

Anonymous said...

It's the way they did it in the Union - rather says it all. These guys believe that once public money is paid over, it becomes their personal property to spend as they see fit: no matter it may have been given for one thing, they can decide to spend it on another.

In properly run organisations, cross budget transfers are not allowed as it defeats the whole point of the budget process.

Lock him up.

John R said...

You said "There is a bigger question which this rasies, though. How on earth did this man ever get selected as an MP in the first place? It's frightening to think that this buffoon legislates over the rest of us"

He got elected in the usual "pin a red rosette on a donkey" fashion that's standard in many core LieBore seats. Whoever replaces him will likely get the same support from the unthinking voters of the left. That's why McNutter is using the class war tactic. In many seats he knows all he has to do is to be able to hang a label round the opposing candidates neck that says "toff" and the flock will do what they're told and support the nice man with the LieBore rosette.

Anonymous said...

Iain: "How on earth did this man ever get selected as an MP in the first place?"

As you well know Iain, in certain parts of this land, a red rosette is enough to secure a vote for a monkey / donkey / sloth / dodo (no offence intended to these or any other animals).

Ed the Shred said...

People like Devine make me want to have proportional representation introduced as fast as possible.

Proportional to the level of IQ that is.

Devine, in this brave world, would be automatically disqualified from voting, let alone being able to lord it over us.

Matelot said...

I just read the "Anonymous Prosecutor". According to the Ghosh test he could be too thick to know he's being dishonest and therefore get away with it. That interview was probably his lawyer's idea for displaying his amoeba-like intelligence to the world. Defence well underway!

TartanSeer said...

Ian, your 'Any sympathy I have for Independence...' line is a classic, if a little 6th form debating society.

In reality of course, it is not Independence that has created the numptie elite that we see in the likes of Devine, but the Union, here & now, which rewards loyalty to Unionist Labour over and above that of the country.

It's interesting that Tories, both in this country & south of the border, delight in ranting about the supposed iniquities of the EU as a threat to 'our way of life' & national independence, yet come up short when applying the same criteria & logic to Scotland.

And, by the way, the numpties are not consigned purely to the ranks of Labour - come on down David Mundell, Scotland's solitary MP & grandly monickered 'Shadow Sec of State for Scotland'.

Paul said...

Anna: I listened to Ann Cryer on the Daily Politics show before the expenses crisis got really bad. She was so cross and incredulous that she had to show receipts for towels she had bought. Her attitude so disappointed me as I had always had a great deal of respect for her.

To coin a phrase "she just didn't get it".

Gallimaufry said...

It wouldn't surprise me if a patient at Bangour Village Hospital, of Jim Devine's age and appearance, requires increasing doses of medication to treat the persistent delusion that he is a qualified psychiatric nurse and that a patient has escaped. That is the only possible explanation for the awful performance by the institutionalised numptie interviewed by Channel 4. Then again, he could be normal for Livingston.

Q said...

How on earth did this man ever get selected as an MP in the first place?

By being a Roman Catholic in the West of Scotland, by showing unwavering devotion to the unions and by patiently serving his time in the local Labour Party.

Which is to say, he was selected as an MP on the same basis as almost every Scottish Labour MP.

Elby the Beserk said...

I particularly enjoyed his plaintive statement that how he did it is how it is done in the Trade Unions and other sectors of the Labour Party.

Just as we thought then.

I'm astonished he manages to get dressed in the morning.

Old Holborn said...

Lest we forget

He replaced Robin Cook after he resigned from the cabinet over Iraq (and suddenly died)

Ronald said...

Typical standard of MPs that came up through the unions.

I have a theory that in the past in many jobs and still in the public sector there were two ways to increase job security, or to get promotion.

The first was to to a good job.
The second was to make the bosses too scared to sack you by becoming a union official.

Those incapable of doing the first did the second.

Ronald said...

ED the shred

I presume you would set the qualifing level at just below your own IQ

wild said...

Tartan Seer,

South of the border it is assumed that anybody with any talent emigrates from Scotland, and that people in the highlands and islands (and in particular Shetland & Orkney) no more want to be ruled by the numpties in the Glasgow/Edinburgh Labour establishment than do people in England.

You misread the mood south of the border if you think that the English enjoy paying for your bloated public sector. If you want to go independent good luck to you.

In the past it was in Scotland's interest to be part of the union, but it harder and harder to convince "Tories" south of the border that subsidising you is in our interest.

The English Labour party oppose independence for Scotland because they rely upon whey faced welfare dependent Scots for the votes to keep them in government in England.

Jimmy said...

What he gets off and then wants to publish a book about how the party abandoned him? Can anyone suggest a poublisher?

TinPot said...


Labour scum.

Who on earth votes for these people, apart from similar Labour scum?

Unsworth said...

Do you have the slightest understanding of the English legal system?

As to Devine, the man is a total custard.

Demetrius said...

I have made this comment on other blogs. Sadly, I have come to the opinion that of the many and various humanoid species that have existed in the past for some reason it is one of the most stupid that has survived. This is possibly as a freak of geographical location during one of the geophysical species wipe outs of the distant past. Survival of the dimmest?

SNC Discussion Group said...

I thought that the most interesting part of this was his constant referrals to money in this account or that account.

This was the same language used when Guido and Kevin Baron had a set too on Sky

see 1:30 in

I had the money in that account and could claim it - said Baron

This is the problem - Communications Allowance, Staffing Allowance, Additional Living Allowance etc are seen by Labour as accounts - to be used to the limits. An entitlement.

I don't want to comment on Mr Devine - he is entitled to a fair trial - but I cannot see that his defence lawyers will be pleased with that performance.

TartanSeer said...

Wild, your assumptions regarding emigration to England & the position of Orkney/Shetland say it all. Pure ignorance, as indeed is the idea that Scotland is living off the largesse of England.

The latest official GERS figures show that Scotland ran current budget surpluses in each of
the three years to 2007/08, worth a cumulative £2.3 billion, including a geographical share of North Sea revenues.

In contrast, the UK recorded a deficit of £24 billion over the same period, and last managed a current budget surplus – including a 100 per cent share of North Sea revenues – in 2001/02.

As for the notion that in the past it was in Scotland's interests to be in the union ignores the fact that it was in England's interests to effectively take over Scotland in order to secure her northern border, guarantee the Protestant succession, & leave England to continue her beef with the French.

The 'it was a good deal for the Scots' line was - and still is - a salve for the loss of Scotland's sovereign independence & extinction from Europe's family of nations.

As for Scottish (sic) Labour, they gave up on representing the interests of Scotland & her people decades ago. Indeed, they only exist as the (happily, declining) force they are thanks to the English/Brit State.

But you are right on the English Labour party depending on their bovine comrades north of the border to keep them in with a chance of power.

Why then are Cameron et al in favour of the status quo?

The Grim Reaper said...

Iain asks: "How on earth did this man ever get selected as an MP in the first place?"

I don't know, but for some reason, this reminds me of the Blackadder episode where he manages to get Baldrick elected to a rotten borough which had only one voter.

Nigel said...

I think the prosecution are going to have problems demonstrating mens rea with this one.

Does this man have a functioning mind at all - or was the interview a sophisticated defense strategy ? ?

Doubting Richard said...

When he says he did not benefit from this he is mistaken. He clearly benefited from a 60-odd thousand a year salary he did not in any way deserve. What a complete muppet.

wild said...

The reason nobody (except maybe for a few myth making nationalists) is interested in the history of Scotland before the union is the same reason why nobody will be interested in the history of Scotland if they break away from the United Kingdom.

It is your belief that Scotland would have flourished more if there was no act of union. Well in virtual history you can speculate about anything you like.

As for the question of whether or not Scotland (like Northern Ireland and Wales) are a financial burden upon England (or the reverse) your claim that England lives off Scotland (by the way Shetland oil is no more Scottish than it is English) I am sure with a bit of creative accounting you can prove anything you like. I see it keeps you amused. Good luck to you.

Doubting Richard said...

Despairing Liberal

When you claim such Conservative malfeance (assuming none from my old university friend, Sarah Teather, in your own party) you completely fail to give any particular case. That is a typical LibDem sneer, as it is almost impossible to address unless you say what you actually mean, and make a sensible comparrison.

Before the current expenses issues which have hit all parties the Conservatives were, compared to Labour, very clean outside the bedroom (and Labour and LibDems try desperately to match them even there). Sleaze was a catchphrase, it was not reality on anything like New Labour's scale. Of course the Lib Dems have rarely been hit, the opportunity is there as they have not had a sniff of poser in living memory.

Doubting Richard said...

Tartan Seer

Most of the North-Sea oil is English, not Scottish. Check out your international law and the bearing of the border at the coast. That border, which runs distictly north of east, should be continued to determine posession of the oil. Therefore your assumptions are fundamentally flawed.

DespairingLiberal said...

Iain - what on earth?

"He basically admits to Krishan Guru-Murthy that he provided false receipts to the Fees Office."

How can that possibly be construed as anything other than a statement by you that Devine is guilty as charged??

Ian said...

Tartan Seer,

Thank you for your previous comment although I would have thought Observer Mace rather than sixth form standard. For what it is worth, my view is that Scotland could succeed as an independent nation but not if it follows the present path of semi-soviet state employment. A free market, Free enterprise, low tax economy would work.

For over fifty years we have tolerated people like Devine and his ilk. At least Rab C Nesbitt is a creature of fiction. But we've tolerated an education system that seems to inculcate the chip on the shoulder mentality that personifies many of his kind. We blame the English for our faults and if we're honest, we're only to blame ourselves.

You're right of course that many of us find Mundell uninspiring but even now the SNP are showing themselves to be no better with auctiongate in that with a bid of £9,000 with a private lunch with Alex Salmond at Holyrood or £2,000 with Nicola Sturgeon. Proceeds to SNP funds.

To be equally fair, I lived in Liverpool for a while and its clear the Labour Party draws its talent from the same gene pool as central Scotland even having as referred earlier on to parchuting candidates like Stephen Twigg in Liverpool West Derby or Luciana Berger in Wavertree

TartanSeer said...


I agree with the free enterprise, low tax economy that you refer to, which of course is the SNP model.

This can only take place with sovereign decision making, so why are your friends in the Conservative party so agin it?

Strip away all the verbiage & I think you'll find England's determination to keep Scotland within its embrace is at heart good old English national interest, not just Scotland's oil, but the loss of English face/prestige, not forgetting kissing goodbye to the Permanent Seat at the UN & global pretensions.

Your comments on the ridiculous 'auctiongate' story betray a cheap shot based on a cursory reading of Labour & Tory press briefings, well below the quality of debate that I appreciate in your blog - in a week when we had the Scottish budget & the latest twist of the Westminster expenses saga, the best that Labour & poor old Auntie Bella could cook up was a non-story about a fund raising lunch that had yet to take place. Er ... cash for honours? Lord Ashcroft?

Where I do agree with you Iain is the depressing tendency of some to blame the English. Interestingly, most of these punters in my experience are Unionists, moaning about how the English do them down, but feart of getting off their knees & making their own country anew.

Yes, we have only ourselves to blame which is why Scotland has to quit abrogating national decision making and take responsibility for her own destiny.

With Independence England will lose a surly lodger & gain a friendly neighbour. What's to disagree with that?

Andrew said...

Doubting Richard

Rubbish! If the border happens to be runnning north AT the border then everything to the east is "English"? Better tell the people of Aberdeen their beaches are English....

Which whip tipped off Devine? Must be McAvoy. Irish extraction, Celtic-supporting. Probably at half-time in the plush seats at Celtic Park.

Mark MacLachlan said...

"How on earth did this man ever get selected as an MP in the first place?"

He spent five years as Cook's election agent and used his local Union pull to bring out the voters in the 2001 and 2005 General Elections which had seen a massive growth in the SNP vote, they shifted from perennial fourth place no-chancers to a strong and consistently strong second place.

Devine has a problem with alcohol. His crimes in comparison to the house flippers and capital gain tax avoiders in all other parties is paltry.

Labour in an effort to distance themselves from a former friend have declared him a non-person and hung him out to dry.

TartanSeer said...

Wild, for the record I never said that England lives off Scotland, but that Scotland more than pays her way in an unequal union. Grow up & quit sooking on a nettle.

As for Doubting Richard, the existence of separate legal systems in England and Scotland means there's already a division of the North Sea into two component regions. The Continental Shelf Act 1964 and the Continental (Jurisdiction) Order 1968 split the UK North Sea - the area above latitude 55 degrees north is identified as coming under the control of Scots law. This immediately means more than 90-per cent of the UK's oil wealth would come under an independent Scotland's control.
Westminster knows this full well too - the FoI released McCrone Report that indicated ownership of North Sea oil would deliver to an independent Scotland "embarrassingly large tax surpluses" was predicated upon Scottish ownership of the oil.

Bet your bottom dollar my friend that any international arbitration would fall Scotland's way.

Ronald said...

As far as I can tell two of them were union men, and two of them worked for the education establishment.

Forcing all potential candidates to work in the private sector first might help weed out some of the dishonest and incompotent.

wild said...

Tartan Seer, you find it so easy to delude yourself (you give the impression you only talk with yourself and you evidently give yourself an easy time) but for the sake of this discussion I will assume you are capable of engaging with reality on this issue.

If I was Scottish (and Scotland is just the Northern bit of Great Britain and so having Scottish relatives in England [and vice versa] is hardly unusual) I would want to be part of the union, but if people living within its administrative boundaries want their own set of politicians stuffing their faces at the taxpayers expense then good luck to them.

I am sure you are right that there are reflective people who think that dismantling the United Kingdom would be welcomed by its enemies it would therefore ipso facto be a retrograde step, but I think you will find that most people in England (including myself) do not care much either way.

If Scotland could become a low tax, small State, haven of prosperity and freedom that would be great. You might even get emigrants from England. But expecting the SNP to deliver that seems far fetched.

My only experience of them is on programmes such as Question Time, where they remind me of the sort of pocket sized fascists that the election systems sometimes throw up in continental Europe, with little but their hatreds and love of socialism to keep them going. But I could be wrong, I hope so. Most people in England only wish Scotland well.

TartanSeer said...

Wild, you have only succeeded in displaying your own prejudices in a manner that does you no favours.

Ian said...

Tartan Seer,

One small misunderstanding to correct. You used the phrase. "well below the quality of debate, I appreciate in your blog" I do think you are getting your Ians mixed up with your Iains.

Even so "auctiongate" is not a cheap shot. The announcement last night that the meal had been cancelled was surely indicative of an admission of guilt. Today's story in "Scotland on Sunday" that "Salmond had sold off three more lunches" makes one wonder whether a cash for access project was being sold by the SNP. Bear in mind, that these sales were in the lead up to the budget.

I think its also fair to question the relationship of the author of "The Universality of Cheese" blog with its rather nasty smears and the fact that he was Mike Russell's (SNP Education Minister)Office Manager.

I think the SNP must be grateful there's no a Scottish Guido or inded that Guido himself has paid no serious attention to these matters.

We have a Parliament that has seen in the last six years, two major Party Leaders (Henry McLeish and David McLetchie) resign over expenses and finance and one minor party leader being involved in a Manchester Massage Parlour scandal.

All it proves to me is that given the opportunity, the SNP is no different to the other parties both within Scotland and within the UK. Though that being said, both the SNP and the Tories are very much Division Two compared with the Labour Party in central Scotland

TartanSeer said...

No, the SNP is not different to other parties when we are looking at personal probity, professional conduct in public life - people are people regardless of political views, are fallible & make mistakes - but the fund raising lunches are a non story.

Firstly, they were planned months ago, & to infer that this was part of a plot to influence the budget - a budget don't forget that was haggled for between competing parties - is a conspiracy theory too daft for all but the most deranged swiveled eyed troll.

Secondly, these lunches - open, up front and completely legitimate as a party funding vehicle - have not taken place yet. If the Corporate Body finds that using a room within the Parliament is inappropriate, no big deal, they will take place somewhere else.

All political parties need to raise money, unless we go down the road of State funding. Mr Salmond, David Cameron, Brown & no doubt Clegg have all attended dinners to raise part funds. All quite legitimate.

The real issue is the back door funding and possible corruption associated with the Bernie Eccelstone & cash for honours scandals, not forgetting, as I posted earlier, Lord Ashcroft.

I cannot comment on the 'Cheese' story as I do not have the full facts - as you do not - but I'm sure it will come out in the wash.

Resignation of party leaders at Holyrood has nothing to do with the SNP, other than as an attempt to link the SNP to Opposition failures. Anyway, this is small beer compared to the venality of elected members on the Thames with expenses and the failure of the Westminster parliament over Iraq.

The SNP's opponents are clutching at straws in their desperation to pin something on the First Minister. It seems nothing, no matter how outlandish, is beyond contemplation if they think they can land a punch. What they don't understand is that these infantile attacks are seen by the public as just that - infantile - and have the effect of burnishing even further the SNP's government credentials.

Q said...

The people claiming that North Sea oil is in some way English should go back to law school and brush up on the North Sea Continental Shelf Case and the Anglo-Norwegian Continental Shelf Case.

In fact, forget going back to law school - just go back to primary school and get the education you obviously missed first time around.