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Line goes dead

Posted on June 19, 2013 by

Willie Rennie made a bit of an idiot of himself last night. He appeared towards the end of the final instalment of Iain Macwhirter’s largely-excellent STV documentary “Road To Referendum”, with the empirically wrong assertion (in the name of the fabled “positive case for the Union”) that “the National Health Service is a United Kingdom institution, it was created by United Kingdom people.”

roadtorennie

This, as alert Wings Over Scotland readers will know in some detail, isn’t true. The NHS has never been a “United Kingdom institution”. From the first day of its creation, it was two independent institutions – the Scottish NHS and the English/Welsh NHS.

(It’s now four separate national bodies – Northern Ireland having its own service, with a different name and different responsibilities, and the Welsh NHS having been “divorced” from the English one and devolved to the Assembly in 1999.)

To the Scottish Lib Dem leader’s embarrassment, the NHS therefore proves the exact opposite of what he’s trying to use it to prove – namely, it shows that Scotland can deliver better health services for its people (free prescriptions, personal care, eye tests, dental check-ups, hospital parking) via independence, yet still co-operate smoothly and productively with the rUK where necessary without the sky falling in.

But Rennie’s clanger triggered off another interesting exchange.

His comments caused Twitter user Mark Smith to post a comment mocking both Rennie’s claim and former First Minister Jack McConnell’s views on the release of the “Lockerbie bomber”. Baron McConnell of Glenscorrodale quickly responded to Smith’s tweet with an attack on the SNP, and a short exchange took place.

mcconnelltwit

The link in that last tweet points to this BBC news story:

“Nelson Mandela has backed the Scottish Government’s controversial decision to free the Lockerbie bomber. The former South African president has expressed appreciation for the decision to release Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al-Megrahi on compassionate grounds.

Mr Mandela’s support came in a letter to the Scottish Government from Prof Jake Gerwel, chairman of the Mandela Foundation. “Mr Mandela sincerely appreciates the decision to release Mr al-Megrahi on compassionate grounds,” it stated.

The letter went on: “Mr Mandela played a central role in facilitating the handover of Mr al-Megrahi and his fellow accused to the United Nations in order for them to stand trial under Scottish law in the Netherlands. His interest and involvement continued after the trial after visiting Mr al-Megrahi in prison.

The decision to release him now, and allow him to return to Libya, is one which is therefore in line with his wishes.”

It’s pretty unequivocal, so far as these things go.

Happily, as we write this Nelson Mandela appears to be recovering from the life-threatening lung infection which earlier this month looked as if it might bring the frail statesman’s incredible life to an end. We’re glad that one of the final political incidents regarding his life now probably won’t be Lord McConnell grotesquely misrepresenting him in an attempt to score a cheap point against the SNP.

We’ll let you know if we ever get a reply, incidentally.

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    124 to “Line goes dead”

    1. Shinty says:

      Jack McConnell was (and still is) the laughing stock of Scotland would be nearer the truth.

       

    2. Robert says:

      http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2011/feb/07/labour-government-lockerbie-bomber-release
      Labour government did ‘all it could to secure release of Lockerbie bomber’
      The last Labour government did “all it could” to help release the Libyan convicted of the Lockerbie bombing to secure a BP oil deal and strengthen its political ties with Libya, an official review has found.
      The study of hundreds of confidential government papers by the Cabinet Office concluded that there was an “underlying desire” by the UK government to see Abdelbaset al-Megrahi released early from his life sentence to further UK-Libyan relations.

    3. Red squirrel says:

      Kenny MacAskill’s finest hour – compassionate release in accordance with Scots Law. I’m so proud our government took a brave stance and went with the legal argument, not the emotional blackmail and hysteria of the US, UK and others with supposed interest in the case.
       
      The trial and conviction remain dubious however I’m sure the truth will out.

    4. Tom Donald says:

      The humanitarian priority that led to the release of al-Magrahi made me feel very proud of my government, I actually joined the SNP on the strength of it. Only to desert in protest over the “white scots only” content of their following year’s election material!
      Politics, eh?

    5. Atypical_Scot says:

      Willie Rennie, proving the Lib Dem ideology of a federal UK is achieved by disproportionate misrepresentation.

    6. HandandShrimp says:

      Thought McConnell was very weak on Megrahi. It was a brave decision and it was undoubtedly going to receive some fire but I do wonder if a lot of the public statements made by the UK and US were covering relief that there would be no appeal.
       
      What were the ramifications? Investment in Scotland from the US is at a high, it is better than Labour achieved during an economic boom and clearly to the chagrain of Labour the issue made not one jot of difference on the doorsteps in 2011
       
      The simple fact remains that very few people believe Megrahi was anything more than at best a bit player fall guy for the Libyan Government and at worst the victim of a shocking miscarriage of justice and it was an Iranian/Palestinian group that did the deed. That some of the families were upset ignores the fact other families supported the decision including some of the US families. MCConnell’s position reflects the utter poodleality (apologies I felt the urge to create a new word) of the Blair/Brown Government to any and every whim of the US Government no matter how outrageous
       
      It is also a much overlooked fact that the week Scotland was releasing Megrahi, Senator McCain (Yes that one) was in Libya with three other US politicians signing trade deals with Gadaffi.   

    7. Robert says:

      Willie Rennie and his petty, gutter politics. He talks about Cybernats at every opportunity. He called independence supporters ‘anti-english’ on Brians Big Debate. Then there was this:

      “LIB Dem chief Willie Rennie was branded “petty” last night after calling for actor Martin Compston to be BANNED as a Commonwealth Games poster boy — because he supports Scottish independence.”

      Other than keeping Scotland in the Union does anyone know what the Lib Dems stand for in Scotland? I can’t remember the last time I heard them talk about a policy.

    8. Luigi says:

      Why did Mandela back the decision then?
      Brilliant put down. That really shut him up. I was really annoyed by the way Jack McConnell stated that everyone in the world was against the release of Megrahi on compasionate grounds. Not even all the victim’s parents were against it. Well, maybe a few of Jack McConnell’s friends were against it, but certainly not the majority of people around the world.
       

    9. HandandShrimp says:

      Our Wullie
       
      The NHS in Scotland was always different and it was modelled on the Highlands and Islands Medical Service set up in 1923. I can never make up my mind if Willie is just ill informed, makes stuff up on the hoof thinking no one else knows any better is just outrageously duplicitous. A mixture of all three perhaps?  

    10. Juteman says:

      No great mystery. The man is simply thick.

    11. Morag says:

      Hmmm.  Don’t get me started, as they say.

      The trial and conviction remain dubious however I’m sure the truth will out.

      It’s being worked on as we speak.  Sadly for those who want to defend everything Scottish on principle, the truth is not the D&G constabulary’s finest hour.

      I do wonder if a lot of the public statements made by the UK and US were covering relief that there would be no appeal.

      That relief could be somewhat premature.  In fact they are completely fecked already, what with the evidence that has been submitted to the cops showing beyind doubt that the bomb was introduced at Heathrow when Megrahi was a thousand miles away in Tripoli.  They’ve been trying to pretend since last November they’re not several hundred feet above the canyon floor with their legs spinning, but they can’t keep it up indefinitely.

      If they find some way to dismiss the current line of attack, we will simply find another one.  Now if you’ll excuse me, I have the last chapter of a book to finish writing.

    12. ianbrotherhood says:

       
      ‘Road to Referendum’ / Macwhirter / McCrone –
       
      ‘Lying by omission’ – from Wikipedia:
       
      ‘Also known as a continuing misrepresentation, a lie by omission occurs when an important fact is left out in order to foster a misconception. Lying by omission includes failures to correct pre-existing misconceptions. When the seller of a car declares it has been serviced regularly but does not tell that a fault was reported at the last service, the seller lies by omission.’

    13. Doug Daniel says:

      McConnell seems to be confusing the release of Megrahi with that kilt.

    14. Vronsky says:

      “They broke int’l agreement negotiated by Mandela, insulted families, made Scotland a laughing stock”

      This is so precisely the standard Labour trope (tripe?) that I wonder if MacConnell even wrote it.  I reckon the noble lord has some lackey sitting with a little checklist of The Party Line On Absolutely Everything in 140 Characters – a Twitter Wallah – mindlessly typing away. 

      BTW, can we do something about their titles after independence?  The grandiose labels given to pond life like Robertson and MacConnell sully by association the names of many pretty places in Scotland.  We could at least label them more appropriately; Lord MacConnell of Trough, Lord Robertson of Tank and Bomber, etc.

    15. Morag says:

      Actually I think Vronsky may be on to something.  Whose finger was on the keyboard, I wonder?

    16. David Smith says:

      I imagine Nelson Mandela backed Megrahi’s release because he understands what it feels like to be labelled as a terrorist for spurious political ends.

    17. Luigi says:

      Westminster, and Labour politicians in particular, were furious about the decision to release Megrahi, simply because it was out of their hands and they felt severely embarrassed in front of the Americans (many of whom were asking “what is going on?”). That was the day the Scottish government grew up.
      Can you imagine if the Labour yes man, Jack McConnell had still been FM when it was time to make such a difficult, important decision? He would have been straight on the phone to his London master: “Gordon, Gordon, what do you want me to do?”.

    18. Michael says:

      Extraordinary bad judgement to use LordMcConnell as you twitter name. Is he setting out to invite contempt and derision?

    19. Dcanmore says:

      Maybe it was McConnell’s put down of Scotland over the Megrahi release that got him his Knighthood and arse into the House of unelected Lords. It certainly wasn’t any political achievements as he had none. As for Rennie, once more this irrelevance is given air to breathe and once again it’s only bullshit that’s spewed back out. This is how far Scotland has fallen when these third-rate eeejits had a say about the running of the place.

    20. Atypical_Scot says:

      Please can I increase my taxes to pay for the education of MSP’s that they quite obviously require?

    21. CameronB says:

      Could Macwhirter’s omission be the big lie or the referendum? A wider appreciation of the McCrone Report and the reasons for its cover-up, could be a game changer.

    22. Luigi says:

      Aye, McConnel’s “kilt” was a real laugh. I’ll tell you another, very old joke:
       
      The Scottish Executive
       
      Thankfully, not many people are telling that one anymore!

    23. pa_broon74 says:

      I imagine McConnell will be on the receiving end of a rebuke from Labour’s truth team…
       
      Oh hold on, that’s not how it works is it…
       
      @Tom Donald. Out of interest, what was this “white Scots only” thing about then?

    24. Morag says:

      I imagine Nelson Mandela backed Megrahi’s release because he understands what it feels like to be labelled as a terrorist for spurious political ends.
       
      I think that’s absolutely right.  Mandela visited Megrahi in prison, and autographed Megrahi’s copy of his (Mandela’s) autobiography with a supportive inscription.  Mandela knew very well that Megrahi was innocent.

      That comment from McConnell is so wide of the mark you wonder if he’s just typing any old thing that comes into his head, irrespective of truth or accuracy.  I sometimes think these politicians get to a stage where they think that them saying something automatically makes it so.  It’s a dangerous mind-set – dangerous for anyone in the vicinity I mean.

    25. Luigi says:

      RE: McCrone report – I agree that Macwhirter may have bottled it and ommitted it. That may just have been a step too far. It was an interesting, informative (partly) account and was generally evenly balanced. That fact alone will already have Foulkes, Davidson and the rest of the gang fuming. Can you imagine if McCrone was mentioned? If think IM would have been out of a job this morning. Not to worry, the truth is getting out – people are speaking about it.

    26. Morag says:

      Can you imagine if the Labour yes man, Jack McConnell had still been FM when it was time to make such a difficult, important decision? He would have been straight on the phone to his London master: “Gordon, Gordon, what do you want me to do?”.
       
      Wouldn’t have arisen.  Long before that, Jack would have taken orders from Tony that Megrahi was to be sent back to Libya under the prisoner transfer agreement that was worked out with Gaddafi in early May 2007.  Tony signed that agreement assuring Gaddafi that while it was of course up to the Scottish government whether or not to go along with it, that wouldn’t be a problem.

      We all know what happened next.

    27. Bobby Mckail says:

      I was one of many who supported the SG in releasing the “Lockerbie bomber” on compassionate grounds. The man I feel, was fitted up by the Americans at the last minute by them producing a supposedly, bit of a electronic circuit  board that may or may not have been part of the detonator. What I found even more offensive was the death watch by the MSM which was repugnant. Labours attacks on the Scottish Government and them challenging the integrity of the Doctors, who diagnosed the cancer and said he was dying shows the opportunistic scum they are.
      Dr Jim Swire is a credit too his family and to this compassionate country, Scotland.

    28. Morag says:

      @Tom Donald. Out of interest, what was this “white Scots only” thing about then?
       
      I suspect we’re not going to get an answer to that.

    29. Scott Minto (Aka Sneekyboy) says:

      ianbrotherhood says:
      19 June, 2013 at 9:37 am

       
      ‘Road to Referendum’ / Macwhirter / McCrone –
       
      ‘Lying by omission’
       
      MCCRONE WAS COVERED IN EPISODE 2… BRIEFLY
       
      IT WAS IN CRONOLOGICAL ORDER SO MCCRONE WAS EARLY ON

    30. Indy_Scot says:

       
      Having watch Iain Macwhirters final instalment of Road to Referendum, I noticed that the end of the programme was heavily weighted with unionist points of view, with David Cameron having the final say.
       
      I think a more fitting end to the programme would have been if they had asked a high profile public figure who was still undecided and was still to be swayed by the arguments from both sides of the debate.
       
      But as in the past, I have always found Iains views to be relatively neutral up to a point, this being no different.
       

    31. Doug Daniel says:

      Scott – aye, I thought there’d been a mention of McCrone in the second episode.

    32. balgayboy says:

      “white scots only” I also would like more information on this please?

    33. Desimond says:

      Poor Lord McConnell (as if!) …come 2014, will his Gravy train still run beyond Carlisle? I doubt rUK would be happy with Scottish Lords taking 300 quid a time for hee-haw. Would be nice picturing Jack and Co having to attend “Back to Work” interviews.

    34. CameronB says:

      Apologies to Ian Macwhirter.

    35. Susan says:

      Handandshrimp, what is your evidence that Iran was involved?

    36. HandandShrimp says:

      Indy Scot
       
      I thought it was pretty evenly balanced too and it did finish with Iain saying so we the people will choose. Cameron being the last of the political types to speak was perhaps not so terrible given the popularity of the Conservatives in Scotland. A reminder of what we are stepping away from. 🙂

    37. Doug Daniel says:

      Vronsky – “BTW, can we do something about their titles after independence?  The grandiose labels given to pond life like Robertson and MacConnell sully by association the names of many pretty places in Scotland.  We could at least label them more appropriately; Lord MacConnell of Trough, Lord Robertson of Tank and Bomber, etc.”
       
      I have it on good authority* that the title “Lord” will be replaced by the title “Birkie” after independence, and it will be made illegal not to sing a particular verse from A Man’s A Man when you are in the company of one of them.
       
      (*I made this up)

    38. Morag says:

      The man I feel, was fitted up by the Americans at the last minute by them producing a supposedly, bit of a electronic circuit  board that may or may not have been part of the detonator.
       
      Actually, no.  That’s not how he was fitted up at all.  The Americans didn’t “produce” that bit of circuit board, and it didn’t appear at the last minute.  The bit of circuit board also didn’t implicate Megrahi personally at all, or no more than that he had had unrelated buiness dealings with the manufacturer.

      Megrahi was fitted up by the D&G police in the time-honoured manner.  They got a witness who had seen one of the terrorists to identify him.  Nudge nudge, wink wink.

      Megrahi was unfortunate in that he just happened to be at the other end of the blink alley the cops had gone down, after turning a blind eye to the absolutely in-your-face evidence of the bomb being introduced in London.  They were convinced it had happened on Malta, and Megrahi was on Malta that morning, so he was ripe for fitting up.  Simples.

      Well, not quite that simple.  There were a lot of peculiar coincidences going on, and that bit of circuit board isn’t necessarily kosher.  But there was an awful lot of sheer blind dumb cop work, and indeed that was most of it.

    39. HandandShrimp says:

      Susan
       
      I won’t bog this thread down with an O/T rehash of the details but as you will recall the US shot down an Iranian passenger jet not long before Lockerbie, the Iranians swore revenge, the Iranian Government paid a large sum of money to an active Palestinian group in the weeks following Lockerbie. Morag has far more details on this than I have.

    40. Tom Donald says:

      pa_broon74 (and morag)
      Hi! it was a DVD the SNP distributed to support their election campaign, mostly film of happy scots striding across the hills, you know the sort of thing, and every single human being on the film was “white”. I felt this was a bad move, we should be deliberately, cold-bloodedly inclusive when creating images of our nation, so I wrote to the bureaucrat whose name was on the covering letter, no reply. I emailed, no reply. I though “bugger this” and didn’t renew my subscription.
      So Morag,why did you “suspect we won’t get an answer to this one”? And now that we have, what do you think?
      I long for an independent Scotland for everyone in Scotland.

    41. Morag says:

      Handandshrimp, what is your evidence that Iran was involved?
       
      There’s a lot of circumstantial evidence that Iran was involved.  Iran had vowed revenge on the USA for the shooting down of flight IR655 in July 1988, which they refused to believe had not been deliberate.  They were threatening to take out more than one US airliner.

      The likely culprits for Lockerbie were a cell of the PFLP-GC, with the bombing having the fingerprints of their bomb-maker Marwan Khreesat all over it.  (Khreesat was a Jordanian intelligence asset though, which kind of makes him a CIA asset, but he was making live deadly bombs for the PFLP-GC, so who knows?)

      There is evidence that Iran paid Ahmed Jibril, the leader of the PFLP-GC, about $10 million shortly after the Lockerbie bombing.  For the first two years or so, everyone including the police were quite sure that was what had happened.  But they were looking in the wrong place at the wrong modus operandi, and coudln’t solve the case.  Insted of going back and looking at the right place and the right modus operandi, they found a plausible suspect for their false modus operandi, and fitted him up.

      Hard to prove it was Iran, because the cops simply failed to do the work that would have proved whether a PFLP-GC member had infiltrated the bomb at Heathrow.  It does seem very likely though.  The central error was however the ignoring of the evidence of the bomb at Heathrow, and the insistence that it must have flown in from Frankfurt.  The rest flows from that initial mistake.

    42. Donald Kerr says:

      It’s so good that the wee man/woman gets a shout these days with the likes of Twitter. No more can the news, the rich, the famous or the influential get away with talking nonsense without being forced to justify what they say or being forced in to an embarrassing corner. Three cheers for the ordinary citizen!

    43. HandandShrimp says:

      Tom
       
      Tricky thing this inclusiveness. 99% of our population are white of some description or other. If you do it proportionally you are accused of tokenism, if you over-egg it and minorities are wildly over-represented you are accused of politically correct lunacy and if you just use whoever is at hand and it misses people out you are racist/sexist/ageist whatever.
       
      It does go without saying that Scotland is for all of Scotland’s people. Black, white, brown, yellow, red, male, female, gay straight, old, young confused or even a Justin Bieber fan….
       
      I may have taken that too far.

    44. Morag says:

      I think demanding tokenism then going off in the huff because your demands aren’t pandered to is childish.

      The SNP actually does quite a lot of tokenism in that respect, in case you hadn’t noticed. So they omitted it just once, and that’s grounds for leaving the party? Ridiculous. You (Tom) make it sound as if the party was avowedly white racist, which is nothing but a smear.

    45. Tom Donald says:

      You are underestimating our non-white population Highland Shrimp. which seems to be above 2%. I live in the Woodlands area of Glasgow, and a lot of my neighbours are of asian origin. Alas I don’t find a lot of enthusiasm for independence among them.. It’s not tokenism, or political correctness, it’s politics that requires a proper picture of Scottish people to be shown. And I must say it was not the error in the video, it was the rudeness and inefficiency of the SNP office that made me feel some measure of despair… 
      Morag, your rudeness is completely unnecessary, if you really think the only reason to include a range of Scots when representing the nation is “tokenism”, you are, let me put it this way, seriously underinformed about equality issues.

    46. The Man in the Jar says:

      @CameronB
      I noticed that Macwhirter omitted McCrone during the “Road to Referendum as well, very disappointing.
      As for Rennie it isn’t as if he was caught out on camera. It was obvious that there was time to prepare for his piece to camera. All the other contributors seemed make a reasonable job of it.

    47. liz says:

      Why is it always the unionists that use the phrase ‘laughing stock’?
      I think that it  shows their ‘cultural cringe’ and is probably one of the reasons why they can’t  imagine Scotland as an independent nation.

    48. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “Morag, your rudeness is completely unnecessary, if you really think the only reason to include a range of Scots when representing the nation is “tokenism”, you are, let me put it this way, seriously underinformed about equality issues.”

      Morag often puts her views strongly, but I have little time for people who confuse that sort of thing with “rudeness”. We’re all grown-ups, and if we have to walk around on eggshells all the time for fear of upsetting the over-sensitive we’ll disappear up our own fundaments. You both have legitimate points, so let’s try to stick to the subject rather than start a “who’s the most offended” competition, eh?

    49. tartanfever says:

      Oh dear Tom, thats a dirty cynical trick there by the SNP. How dare they ! 
      So the SNP are somehow… what exactly ?…because they didn’t include any ethnic minorities on a promo DVD.
      Tell me, were there any single parents ?
      How about disabled people ?
      Let’s not forget the children, and OAP’s
      What about family pets ?
      Was it raining ? Cause if we didn’t see the sun, the SNP must be anti that also.
      What about Glasgow, was that in it ?
      Whisky ? Trainers ? Bagpipes ? Birds or any other wildlife ? 
       
      I probably wouldn’t have replied to your complaint either.

    50. ianbrotherhood says:

       
      @Scott Minto (10.06) & Doug Daniel (10.10) –
       
      I’ve just double-checked, (esp the start, seeing as it’s all ‘chronological’) and I can find no mention of McCrone in Episode 2.
       

    51. Andrew James Davenport says:

      Mini kilt….that is all 

    52. Doug Daniel says:

      liz – aye, I get the feeling that many of them dread the day someone asks where they’re from and the begrudgingly say “…Scotland”, only to be met with howls of laughter.
       
      It sounds utterly ridiculous of course, but I get the feeling many unionists subconsciously believe that’s what would happen – particularly the ones who slag off countries like Lithuania and Finland.

    53. The Man in the Jar says:

      @Scott Minto
      I mussed have blinked and missed it. I will watch it again.

    54. Leigh Douglas says:

      Willie Rennie also said that the pension system was started by an Englishman representing a Welsh Constituency. Em, David Lloyd George, who started the old age pension system, was Welsh. And he represented the constituency of Caernarfon in Wales for 55 years. Surely as a Liberal, you would have thought that Willie Rennie would know the backgorund to one of the most prominent Liberal politicians in modern political history. 

    55. Morag says:

      Tom, yes, you are demanding tokenism.  99% of the population is white.  Insisting that members of the remaining 1% always have to be shoved to the front in everything, every single time, is tokenism.
       
      It’s something the SNP do all the time, and I don’t have any problem with it.  To take the pet when they didn’t do it that one time is simply childish.

    56. HandandShrimp says:

      Tom
       
      I will take your word for it I haven’t seen the latest census figures so my data could be rusty. I have been meaning to go and have a look at the 2011 data for a while now.
       
      I thought the the SNP polled well in the Asian community in Glasgow though. They have able representation and support in Hardeep Singh and Hamza Yusuf 

    57. Davy says:

      I am sorry but after weighing up all the evidence from all the comments and having watched the program last night I have to agree with “Juteman”, Rennie is just thick.

      PS. Jack who ???
       
       
      Alba Gu snooker loopy!
       

    58. The Man in the Jar says:

      @Tom Donald
      Better Together = “Real Scots”
      SNP = “People of Scotland”
      Says it all for me.

    59. Morag says:

      OK, if it’s 98% or 97.5% of the population that’s white, it doesn’t really change the argument.  Woodlands is unusual.  Outside the cities, you can go for weeks without seeing a non-white face.  I don’t have a problem with the SNP over-representing non-white people for political gain, which they do all the time, but to stamp off in the huff because they didn’t do that on one particular occasion is petty.
       
      To use that contrived huff to make a post that essentially accused the SNP of white racial supremacist policies is more than disingenuous.

    60. Joybell says:

      If you click on Tom Donald’s name, his photostream appears to include white faces only.  Does this make him a racist?  That makes just as much sense.

    61. balgayboy says:

       
      Tom Donald says:@10.44
      Just reviewed the SNP political party broadcasts for 2011 that I can access and you have a point regarding the omission of ethnic minorities in these PP broadcasts. I think if you view more recent YES campaign videos I think there is a fair smattering of these Scottish minorities. I agree with you that an independent Scotland is for ALL but I do not think that the SNP are a “white only” party or differentiate regarding race or culture in their vision of an Independent Scotland

    62. Morag says:

      You know, I remember being in a choir in the south of England, and a US choir was discussing some sort of exchange visit.  Then the visiting choir sent a message asking if we were “racially inclusive”.

      Everybody was white, because everybody who wanted to be in the choir was white.  Nearly everyone living nearby was white, it was that simple.  The conductor looked round the sea of white faces in horror.  Then someone remembered that we’d had a black tenor in the group about a year previously, and a friend of his was despatched to beg him to rejoin so that we would look “racially inclusive”.

      It’s fecking insane.

    63. Tom Donald says:

      oh well, I can see I’m onto a loser here, but I think it’s vital that we deliberately  portray Scotland as the mixed race country that it is now, and will be (more) in the future. Perhaps some people still believe that Scotland doesn’t have a racism problem, but that’s not how I see it.
      Sorry to have an opinion though morag, it’s obviously annoying.

    64. Doug Daniel says:

      Maybe some of those white people were English…?
       
      In fact, they were probably Poles, just to annoy Ian Smart.

    65. Braco says:

      Tom Donald,
      your explanation of a desire and longing ‘for an independent Scotland for everyone in Scotland’ is all very commendable and shared by most Indy supporters, especially those that frequent WOS.

      So please explain to me how you think that important cause is in any way advanced by implying in the weakest, most unfounded UKIPish way, that the major Scottish political party that espouses just such a cause is somehow for “white Scots only”?

      You sound over sensitive. Do you believe the SNP is staffed solely by good fairies who spend all day standing in happydust just waiting to deal with member’s criticisms? Did you not get the response you wanted from an individual within a beaurocracy?  Hardly a reason to smear by implication an entire political party, the stated aims of which you claim apparently to agree with.

      BTW, do you agree with the SNP’s stated aims?

    66. balgayboy says:

      Tom Donald says: 11.07
      Tom, just to reinforce my point please take the time to watch the link about 4.00 minutes in. This does not seem like a leader of a “white only” party.

    67. pa_broon74 says:

      I would have thought the cross section of MSP’s the SNP has is more indicative of its intent that a puff-piece DVD they sent out?*
       
      Indeed, one of the SNP’s most prolific spokespeople is Humza Yousaf which I would’ve thought was more out there than this DVD.
       
      *I would say the same about any of the political parties, judging any organisation on such a narrow bandwidth is a bit silly. For the purposes of going back on topic, there is a comparison to be made here. If – for example – Willie Rennie said the kind of thing mentioned above once in a blue moon, we might be inclined to think more of him. However, he does it all the time – so we, or at least I; don’t.
       
      I’m sure in one of Caron’s Musings however, he will be ‘defended’ to the hilt. 😉

    68. Iain says:

      @ Braco
      ‘the weakest, most unfounded UKIPish way’

      I hope that adjective becomes part of the political lexicon. 🙂

    69. Braco says:

      Iain,
      yes, I thought it was quite good myself (snigger).

    70. Morag says:

      Sorry to have an opinion though morag, it’s obviously annoying.
       
      It’s not your opinion that’s the problem, it’s the way you initially expressed it.  If someone were to say, I was disappointed in that last PPB because the SNP didn’t make an effort to include ethnic minorties in it, that would be a reasonable point and one that could be discussed.  You probably wouldn’t get much disagreement. Tokenism can be irritating, but most people recognise that it’s a fact of campaigning.

      That’s not what you did.  You said you’d resigned from the party because its election material was pushing a “white Scots only” agenda.  Which is nothing but troublemaking and smearing.

    71. Braco says:

      Morag,
      well put!

    72. Linda's Back says:

      Will Scottish Lords lose their seats and gravy train after 2016?

    73. Morag says:

      Please God….

    74. DougtheDug says:

      ” From the first day of its creation, it has been two independent institutions – the Scottish NHS and the rUK NHS.”
       
      Not quite. Created between 1947 and 1948 under three different bills it has always been three separate institutions. The Scottish NHS, the English and Welsh NHS and the Northern Irish NHS.
       
      Since 1969 it has been four different Health Services when the English and Welsh NHS’es separated.
       
      Willie Rennie subscribes knowingly or unknowingly to the Unionist myth that there ever was a “British” health service which covered the entire UK.

    75. HandandShrimp says:

      Linda
       
      Scottish Lords would still be Lords but I can’t see them voting on rUK legislation post independence.

    76. Morag says:

      Rewinding a bit, it’s strange that McConnell should refer to “the parents” when talking about the Lockerbie relatives.  There were quite a number of young people on that plane, certainly, but it’s not just bereaved parents we’re talking about here.  I know a sister, two brothers and a daughter of (different) Lockerbie victims who have very definite views on the issue.
       
      McConnell is just going for the cheap sound bite without even thinkng about what he’s saying.

    77. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “Rewinding a bit, it’s strange that McConnell should refer to “the parents” when talking about the Lockerbie relatives. There were quite a number of young people on that plane, certainly, but it’s not just bereaved parents we’re talking about here. I know a sister, two brothers and a daughter of (different) Lockerbie victims who have very definite views on the issue.”

      Not to mention, of course, Jim Swire and others.

    78. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “Not quite. Created between 1947 and 1948 under three different bills it has always been three separate institutions. The Scottish NHS, the English and Welsh NHS and the Northern Irish NHS. Since 1969 it has been four different Health Services when the English and Welsh NHS’es separated.”

      Fair point, but as noted in the linked piece, it was created as two. Might see if I can edit a line in to that effect, though.

    79. DougtheDug says:

      Just change rUK to “English and Welsh” in the first paragraph.

    80. Atypical_Scot says:

      INVOICE No. 1234
       
      10  Mc Happydust meals.            
       
                                         Total=£144 (unqualified) 

    81. The Rough Bounds says:

      @Tom Donald
       
      I think someone else may have written something similar to this, but how can Tom Donald be so small minded? How can he assume that all the people in that DVD were Scots. They may have been a European mix.
      There are absolutely NO black people or Asians living in the area of Perthshire where I live. Absolutely NONE. That isn’t anybody’s fault; it’s simply a fact.
       
       

    82. balgayboy says:

      Back to our Jack! a big YES YES man dated as below, now a big NO NO man once the ermine and other embellishments surrounds him. Used to be a “teacher” but one wonders what his present curriculum is? 
       
      Early political career [edit]
      As a strong proponent of Scottish devolution, McConnell helped push for reform. Between 1989 and 1998 he was a member of the Scottish Constitutional Convention, where he was playing an important role in the creation of the Scotland Act, which created a Scottish Parliament for the first time. As General Secretary he managed the Labour Party’s successful YES YES devolution referendum campaign in 1997. Following the successful devolution campaign and the creation of a Scottish Parliament, McConnell was elected as an MSP, for Motherwell and Wishaw, in the first Scottish Parliament in May 1999. He was appointed immediately by Donald Dewar, the then-First Minister, to the post of Minister of Finance. As Finance Minister one of his primary jobs was to establish the budgeting procedures for the new Scottish government, which included consulting the public on budget priorities. As Minister responsible for External Relations he establishes Concordats with the UK Government and opened Scotland House in Brussels.
       

    83. Jimbo says:

      As I watched Rennie making his statement on the NHS I remarked to my wife, that for a Scottish politician, he is completely ignorant of the fact that the Scottish Health service is, and always has been, a separate entity from the NHS down south.
       
      Or, he simply preferred to lie to his back teeth.

    84. Jimbo says:

      “Scottish Lords would still be Lords but I can’t see them voting on rUK legislation post independence.”
       
      They may still be able to call themselves lords, but I don’t see them being allowed to sit in the rUK’s House of Lords. McConnell & Co would surely be redundant.
       

    85. Bill C says:

      To accuse the SNP of being for “white Scots only” is so absurd that it does not merit comment.

    86. Dorothy Devine says:

      Mr Donald you do seem to be ignoring those of Asian descent who are/were SNP MSPs, I give you the late Mr Ahmad and the delightful Mr Yousaf.( who looks positively stunning in a kilt, I’m allowed to say that because I am old enough to be his Granny)
      So to claim the SNP is hideously white is a little daft no?
      There is no way that any short video is going to include all aspects of Scotland , it has to be a quick ,pithy overview .

    87. balgayboy says:

      On the subject about the EHS, some apologies already about not “fit for purpose” 
      www.cqc.org.uk/directory/1-101669578?
      Yup, no need for further explanation what’s happening down south, hopefully will not be accepted north of the border.

    88. Morag says:

      Not to mention, of course, Jim Swire and others.
       
      Yes, but they are “parents”.  McConnell is talking as if Jim Swire and John Mosey and Susan Cohen (who all lost daughters) and the others are the only class of bereaved relatives that exist.  There are husbands, wives, sons and daughters and others as well.

    89. Scott Minto (Aka Sneekyboy) says:

      @Ian Brotherhood
       
      Going back over it now and it looks like your right, no mention so far.
       
      I was sure its in there somewhere but I may be confusing Rory Goes to Holyrood so am trawling through episodes now for confirmation.

    90. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “I may be confusing Rory Goes to Holyrood”

      That did definitely mention McCrone. I have no recollection of Road To Referendum doing so.

    91. Scott Minto (Aka Sneekyboy) says:

      Nope cant find the reference so I guess it is an omission – and a big one at that – which is surprising since they werent shy on hitting home on the Cunningham Amendment.
      Sorry Ian.
      Still… if ayone hasnt watched Rory goes to Holyrood then I reccoment it!

    92. CameronB says:

      Apology retracted Ian Macwhirter. Come on guy, your making me look daft now. I can do that fine myself, thank you very much. 🙂

    93. Bobby Mckail says:

      Cheers Morag for more info on Lockerbie. 🙂

    94. Morag says:

      Lots more to come, I can assure you.

    95. Chic McGregor says:

      @Robert
      Willie Rennie and his petty, gutter politics. He talks about Cybernats at every opportunity. He called independence supporters ‘anti-english’ on Brians Big Debate. Then there was this:
      “LIB Dem chief Willie Rennie was branded “petty” last night after calling for actor Martin Compston to be BANNED as a Commonwealth Games poster boy — because he supports Scottish independence.”
      Other than keeping Scotland in the Union does anyone know what the Lib Dems stand for in Scotland? I can’t remember the last time I heard them talk about a policy.”

       
      If that quote is correct then it is an astonishingly ironic display of lack of tolerance for anyone claiming to be a Liberal, never mind their alleged leader in Scotland. Especially bearing in mind that Scotland will be represented at the Commonwealth games as a participating nation and after independence will still be a member of the Commonwealth.
       
      Putting questions over the intellectual competence which produced that particular utterance aside, it is, I fear, only too indicative of a general mindset prevalent in the BT camp.
       
      Imagine if a prominent YES campaigner suggested someone similarly be banned because he was a  Unionist (I know, I know, not really imagineable, but playing along) how would that be treated by the media?

    96. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “If that quote is correct then it is an astonishingly ironic display of lack of tolerance for anyone claiming to be a Liberal”

      The quote is accurate, though those precise words were said by the newspaper:

      http://www.thescottishsun.co.uk/scotsol/homepage/news/4587241/Petty-Willie-Rennie-just-ad-it-in-for-Martin-Compston.html

      Rennie is directly quoted in this section:

      “But Mr Rennie said he had serious concerns about using “someone so politically active as the poster boy of the Games”. He added: “It’s ill advised for organisers to secure his services when he has declared support for the SNP’s independence policy. I urge them to rethink this decision.””

    97. Shinty says:

      Come on guys Willie Rennie is only defending his job, I mean seriously where is this guy going to be in 2016 with our newly elected Government of an Independent Scotland.
       
      Linda’s Back & Morag – re house of lords about half way down the page – quite frightening
      https://en-gb.facebook.com/pages/Women-for-Scottish-Independence/218467304939634

    98. Chic McGregor says:

      @Rev
       
      Possibly a notch lower on the political ineptitude scale but the basic message is the same and the reciprocity test still valid.

    99. CameronB says:

      Re. the HoL. I posted this link the other day, but at the end of a thread.
       
      http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2013/jun/16/house-of-lords-general-election

    100. Chic McGregor says:

      As to what the LibDem’s belive in, why it is freedom.
       
      Free bus passes (for LibDem bus drivers into Holyrood)
       
      Free care for the elderly (House of Lords)
       
      Free AYE tests (if you fail you man lose certain rights to be seen or heard)
       
      Free Nelson Mandela (but keep his opinions on Megrahi’s release well buried)
       
      Free Policy Making (LibDem reps. free to change policy on the hoof depending on their assessment of audience expectation.)
       
       

    101. ianbrotherhood says:

       
      @Scott & Rev-
       
      I haven’t seen the Rory Bremner show, so I guess that’s where the confusion comes from, particularly if they were shown back to back.
       
      If the series had been called ‘Macwhirter’s Scotland’ or somesuch, fair enough, we could have all enjoyed the choice of music and clips and swapped notes on where we were when this or that happened.
       
      But it was called ‘Road to Referendum’.
       
      The omission of McCrone is astonishing, but shouldn’t stop us demanding an explanation.
       
      Conspiracy or cock-up? Perhaps we’ll have to wait and see if it’s in the book – anyone secured a copy yet? If it’s not in there either then both the series and book are, in effect, an expensive exercise in smoke and mirrors.
       
      It’s a pretty safe bet that he casts an eye over WoS from time to time, so I’m hoping that one of you chaps will address yourself to this and give Mr Macwhirter (…let’s count to ten here, pick a nice expression…oh aye…) ‘a flea in his ear’.
       
       
       
       

    102. Toom says:

      In what way is Mr Rennie wrong ? The NHS was planned and *instituted* nationally as a UK-wide government initiative, in 1948 by the UK Attlee government as the fruition of long-term planning including *British* Medical Association outlines in 1938, and the UK-wide Beveridge report intentions. It was implemented regionally, and in Scotland with separate legislation and organisation because of regional and legal-system requirements, and different pre-existing arrangements in Scotland, which required separate specification. It was in no way a separate Scottish initiative or creation, but a major UK government initiative in the provision and regularisation of social, health, and  education services on a nationwide basis. It would require desperate sophistry to argue that what Rennie says is wrong. 

    103. Braco says:

      Iainbrotherhood,
      Iain Mcwhirter is a strange and to be honest a bit annoying commentator on Scottish/British politics (a bit like Gerry Hassan but not as bad).

      Many of his written pieces are considered and fairly balanced, but whenever I have seen him on the telly he plays the game very cleverly, considering or agreeing some outrageous imballance to be ‘an interesting point’ but then never countering with a whole hearted put down or killer fact.
       
      My annoyance comes from the fact that he has, to my certain knowledge, written articles centered on exactly those same killer facts and so we know that he knows, but for some reason is unwilling to follow through on air.
       
      The omission of any mention of the McCrone Report in his ‘Road to the Referendum’ series has come as no real surprise to me. After years of watching him during election night specials and By election specials etc., seated there as the ‘neutral’ (ie non rabid Unionist Commentator) opposite the ‘neutral’ rabid Unionist Commentator (such as Angus Macleod etc.) There is a point he has never failed to make over and over again.
       
      That is, that this particular test to the rise in SNP electoral fortunes (whatever it’s been, 2007,Glasgow East, Glenrothes, Glasgow North East, 2011 etc etc…) has some sort of similarity or resonance with Garscadden 78 and the mythical moment Donald Dewar stopped the SNP tide in it’s tracks!
       
      So marking the high water mark of Nationalism before the Scots returned naturally to the mighty electoral machine that is/was Labour in Scotland. Margo going on to lose to Lord NATO in Hamilton some weeks later and the SNP being returned to the Scottish political wilderness to await another opportunists chance.
       
      I think this was actually the jist of the second episode.
       
      Unfortunately if the McCrone report is added to this narrative it would mean that Donald and his Excalibur moment in Garscadden (along with Lord NATO’s slaying of the Margo SNP dragon) would have to be re assessed as being won through Unionist lies. Repeated, organised and professionally designed lies to mislead and defraud the electorate of Scotland.
       
      Not something that makes a good impression on a Scottish Media establishment that were all active participants, as high positioned political student activist leaders, in those momentous political turning points from recent Scots political history. These people commission his work. I wonder what Iain was doing and thinking during that period.
       
      Historical moments that are now (with access to the likes of the McCrone Report) being questioned as lost opportunities, that lead directly to Scotland’s de-industrialisation and the catastrophic lost years since.
       
      This questioning is getting awful close to apportioning blame and it’s not Thatcherism alone anymore in the firing line now, but the ineffectual SLAB and it’s 50 members that stood by and watched it happen, while all the time personally enriching themselves.
       
      The lies told then, just as now, require by nessessity the complicity of most parts of the Scots establishment, MSM and Broadcasters especially and as such they fear finding themselves in the firing line too.  Again These people commission his work. 
       
      One other last thought. This one I freely admit is definitely in the Dr Ruth School of political analysis so, as Peter Snow would say, ‘just a bit of fun’.
       
      The omision could be a result of a deep seated personal unease. During those various telly commentating gigs I mentioned previously, another constant was his repetition of how staunchly SNP his mother always was.
       
      Maybe it’s as simple as having argued the point so often and for so long with his politically aware mother, only then to find out you yourself were the one in the wrong is just a psychological step too far for him to start spouting about it now in public.
       
      Who knows, but one thing is for certain, it has seriously dented my opinion of the man as a journalist. Even more than when he advised folk in Scotland to vote Lib Dem at the last UK general election, but not much!
       
       

    104. Juteman says:

      An insightful post, Braco.
      We  will never know another human beings thought process thougb.

    105. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “It would require desperate sophistry to argue that what Rennie says is wrong.”

      Or for you to read the piece on the history of the NHS linked to at the beginning of the article.

    106. Dal Riata says:

      @Tom Donald
       
      Would you care to give evidence of Scotland having a racism problem as you assert in the following sentence you made (above)? 
       
      “Perhaps some people still believe that Scotland doesn’t have a racism problem, but that’s not how I see it.”
       
      Thanks.
       

    107. ianbrotherhood says:

       
      @Braco-
       
      Thanks for that. Plenty to think about, and you’re viewing a bigger canvas than I’m familiar with.
       
      I’ve been on a downer all day over this McCrone stuff – it’s just so dispiriting that a crucially important fact can simply be memory-holed depending on someone’s personal agenda, or worse, as part of a concerted effort involving the usual MSM suspects.
       
      Road to Referendum may have had much to commend it, but it now has potential as a useful tool for McCrone ‘deniers’ in much the same way as the imprimatur of the BBC is enough, in the eyes of some, to convey instant authority: ‘Macwhirter’s critically acclaimed Road to Referendum makes no mention of the infamous McCrone Report, so it can’t possibly be that important…’

    108. Currywurst says:

      “The NHS has never been a “United Kingdom institution”. From the first day of its creation, it was two independent institutions – the Scottish NHS and the English/Welsh NHS.”
       
      Sophistry.
       
      The NHS was created by a decision of the UK Government. Its administrative division into sub-UK bodies was, and is, a matter of detail.
       

    109. handclapping says:

      @Currywurst
      If you think about it, your post demonstrates exactly why the Scottish Independence movement exists. To you maybe 8.4% is sophistry, to us its our existence.

    110. Dal Riata says:

      @ianbrotherhood
      Yes, the non-mention of the McCrone report in that programme is sad and infuriating.
       
      Do you think it was a deliberate omission by McWhirter and the programme makers?  I don’t know. The only way to know would be to ask McWhirter himself, I suppose.
       
      Did McWhirter maybe believe that the McCrone report wasn’t part of the historical running events leading up to the present day? Again, I don’t know. But surely it could have been discussed as an extremely important example of Unionist skullduggery that has stopped Scotland being the wealthy country it should have been when exposed by FOI in 2005? The implications of that are just too huge to ignore, surely; it is a major issue in the independence referendum debate.
       
      I, myself, was unaware of the McCrone report until last year. I was always going to be a ‘Yes’ voter, but on reading something which had been kept secret from the people of Scotland showing what we could have been, it was a total and utter game changer for me. The anger and resentment I felt then still resides now and it has made me more determined than ever to give my all to help Scotland be the independent, wealthy and flourishing country it was meant to be.
       
      Anyway, everyone eligible to vote in the referendum should be made aware of the McCrone report. Its influence in achieving a ‘Yes’ vote cannot be underestimated or understated. The Establishment and their propaganda-enabling MSM know this well, of course. The majority of journalists working in the MSM will have known about the McCrone report before the FOI request – they are as complicit in hiding the truth as much as each successive Westminster government has been. Whether McWhirter is/was merely ‘helping out’ his journalist buddies by his silence on McCrone, well, only time will tell.

    111. scottish_skier says:

      @currywurst
      http://www.60yearsofnhsscotland.co.uk/history/birth-of-nhs-scotland/scotland-in-1948.html

      How the NHS came into being in Scotland is a story that isn’t widely known. It had its own strong and distinctively Scottish roots well before 1948.

      The NHS didn’t suddenly appear from nothing on July 5 1948.

      It also did not create a single new nurse, doctor or bed.

      Health Minister Aneurin (also known as Nye) Bevan merely nationalised the existing system across the UK. The revolutionary change was to make all services freely available to everyone.

      Half of Scotland’s landmass was already covered by a state-funded health system serving the whole community and directly run from Edinburgh. The Highlands and Islands Medical Service had been set up 35 years earlier.

      In addition, the war years had seen a state-funded hospital building programme in Scotland on a scale unknown in Europe. This was incorporated into the new NHS.

      Scotland also had its own distinctive medical tradition – centred on its medical schools rather than private practice. And a detailed plan for the future of health with the Cathcart report.
       
      Through the writings of AJ Cronin, the creator of Dr Finlay, it also shaped public opinion in favour of a National Health Service by exposing the injustices of existing provision.

      Scotland was already well on the way to a full nation-wide NHS before Bevan came along.

    112. Braco says:

      Ianbrotherhood,
      I know how you feel. I showed a copy of The McCrone Report to my mother and father (both in early to mid seventies) and the effect on their attitude to Independence, The SNP and most importantly a previously respected establishment, was almost instant and profound.
       
      It’s power being that it explains why and how it went so wrong for Scotland during their watch. How the optimism they remembered from the seventies was turned into such despair and struggle in the 80’s.
       
      They, like most other Scots made decisions about their future on Unionist lies which they truly believed.

      They, like most of Scotland have always felt something definitely and obviously went wrong during that period, but without being able to put a finger on a reason for our collective political helplessness in the face of that external political force (Thatcherism). So, they simply internalised it and eventually accepted the responsibility and blame. Not a pleasant way to live and feel. 
       
      Then, along comes their son and hands them a historic document that explains very simply why it went so wrong. The motivations. The detailed Governmental understanding of what was available, the concise and accurate (in hindsight) sketch of Scotland’s two possible futures and then the cold calculating choice made by every UK Government since then to choose the desperate and reduced future that they actually lived through.
       
      Simple dynamite!
       
      I had to say nothing. The power is not in the oil or it’s waste (though that is bad enough) it’s in the betrayal of Scots to a life of poverty, difficulty and struggle that could have been avoided. The squandering of a future they will never see. Betrayal by of all people, The Party that was entrusted to and specifically sold themselves as, the champions of social cohesion and the Poor!
       
      The 1974 report describes a Scotland of the future that almost exactly matches the Norway of today and after reading that document my parents now view Norway and it’s success as on going corroboration to the ‘Scottish’ Unionist politicians crimes of disdain for the interests of their electorate. This new ‘looking at Norway attitude’ is another reason the Report is an absolute killer.
       
      All I can say to you is that on seeing it, the results were almost instant so we definitely have plenty of time yet. Also, having it introduced by someone close and in person, I think really underscores the historically secret nature of the report. Something that can and is always played down whenever I have seen it reported on the telly (Rory Bremnar especially!) In it’s original typed form it really does carry gravitas.
       
      It needs to be copied by YES and given out to activists en mass to distribute amongst their family and friends (the older generation in particular).
       
      I wanted to do this a year ago throughout the old folks homes up and down the whole of Scotland, but could not raise the interest in the SNP to help finance it. It was before YES Scotland was formed so must have been more than a year ago now. Still plenty of time though! (optimisticsmily)
       
      Juteman,
      very kind of you. As you say all supposition.  I was just wondering to myself why and ended up with a book!  
      I think I may have done it again above, Oooops.
       
       

    113. morgan mkeown says:

      Whilst the NHS is devolved….my cover is UK wide.
      Whilst the NHS is devolved Trained Nursing Staff in all fields pay their professional fees to the NMC in London.

    114. TYRAN says:

      How’s Ronnie Biggs getting on? Still alive is see. The man released from prison before Megrahi, by London Labour.

    115. Peter Mirtitsch says:

      Great program, but I can’t help but think, when I see Willie Rennie, of the wee boy in the playground desperately trying to get the bigger boys to play with him, by trying to sound as if he knows all sorts of cool stuff. Sad really.

    116. Morag says:

      How’s Ronnie Biggs getting on? Still alive is see. The man released from prison before Megrahi, by London Labour.

      You know what?  The minute I heard about the proposed release of Biggs, my instant thought was, that’s a signal to the Scottish government to do the same for Megrahi.  They want him out of Scotland one way or another, just as they did in 2007.

    117. Derick Tulloch says:

      David Smith says:19 June, 2013 at 9:45 am
      I imagine Nelson Mandela backed Megrahi’s release because he understands what it feels like to be labelled as a terrorist for spurious political end
      A hundred thousand likes for  that comment Mr Smith
      Derick aka Derick fae Yell aka Van MacHelsing aka Scotraj1707 (hey you need ta hae some fun) aka Theoderic99 aka forgot aa da idder eens.
      Did I say da Fiberals lack all morality or value?
       
       
       

    118. ianbrotherhood says:

       
      @Braco (8.08)
       
      Thanks for another great post.
       
      I found your account of showing the report to your parents very moving. It’s not often that a ‘political’ matter can bring people closer without the need for any lengthy debate, but then again, McCrone isn’t really about politics, is it?
       
      It’s about honesty and common decency. Neighbourliness, if you prefer.
       
      Cameron and his ilk across the BT camp can trot out their pish about ‘splitting families’ and ‘creating foreigners’ while knowing that they stole from us, lied to us about it – but still have the brass neck to deny it and feign dismay at the prospect of losing us?
       
      Macwhirter – inadvertently or not – has helped them maintain that putrid charade. He should be taken to task.
       
      Ponsonby seems to be on form these days – perhaps he’s up for it?

    119. Braco says:

      Ianbrotherhood,
      That last bit of your post should be on ‘quoted for reference’ in order to be read by more folk!
      Ponsonby can be deadly when he wants. It was him that did for wee Joke MacConnel of Malawi during the run in to 2007 wasn’t it? Did you ever see that interview? What a corker! I might try and look it up just to refresh my memory and have a good laugh. Council Tax bands have never been so entertaining.

    120. ianbrotherhood says:

       
      @Braco-
       
      re McConnell/Malawi
       
      I haven’t seen it. Would like to.
       
      I once saw Ponsonby. I was working on the door in a Glasgow student night-club and he came in with some pals. He wasn’t on the guest-list or anything, and didn’t seem to expect any special treatment, waited patiently, looked happy enough (I believe ‘merry’ is the correct term), was signed-in by a friend of a student-friend, consented to be frisked for drugs, concealed weapons etc.
       
      We didn’t find any.
       
      I was itching to ask him about whatever was on the news at the time, but it just didn’t seem right – he looked so happy…

    121. Braco says:

      Ianbrotherhood,
      Here you go, Enjoy my friend! Remember he was First Minister at the time.

    122. ianbrotherhood says:

      @Braco-
       
      I hope you didn’t go to too much trouble to locate that, but I’m grateful that you did, so thanks aplenty.
       
      It’s no wonder these characters are so desperate to cling onto the structure which allowed them to climb so high – as you point out, this apology of a man was once called ‘First Minister’. He’s now called the Lord or Baron of Whatever-it-is?
       
      It’s beyond belief or satire…
       
      Wasn’t he best buddies with Kirsty Wark, who was in the Herald only yesterday helping Macwhirter to plug his discredited-before-published ‘Road to Referendum’ tome?
       
      The ‘House of Cards’ moment is fast-approaching for these belters.



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