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Wings Over Scotland

WCR Smackdown 2012

Posted on August 15, 2012 by

We can’t let this magnificent crushing of ever-hapless Scottish Lib Dem leader William Cowan Rennie, by Alison Elliot – the admirably blunt convenor of the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations – go unrecorded. It requires no additional commentary, though we haven’t been able to resist highlighting a few of our favourite bits.

“15 August 2012

Willie Rennie MSP
The Scottish Parliament
EH99 1SP

Dear Willie

In your letter (14 August), you have made serious allegations against the CEO of SCVO, based on two specific incidents. I consider your allegations preposterous, your interpretation of the incidents fanciful and your attempt to interfere in the business of an independent organisation unworthy of a public leader. I have no intention of asking Martin to resign.

It can be argued that, were it not for the efforts of civil society, through the Constitutional Convention, there would not be a Scottish Parliament for you to be an MSP in. That was of its time but civil society always has a role in a healthy democracy.

The poll which the Future of Scotland published last month indicates that there is an appetite among the public at present for a wide debate about Scotland’s future, something which should be no threat to the seasoned politicians who lead the two referendum campaigns.

It is this debate which organisations in civil society are promoting, with the intention of encouraging people to develop a vision of the kind of Scotland they want to see so as to inform their referendum decision. It is not a campaign for any particular outcome, or for any particular mechanism for achieving an outcome.

Special advisers from all the main political parties, including your own, have been in dialogue with SCVO in recent months; that is their job. We welcome these conversations and engage in them vigorously from our perspective as a civil society organisation that has an interest, on behalf of our members, in contributing to policies that shape the environment in which the third sector works. We are quite clear about the grounds on which we base our arguments; they are formed by the work and concerns of our members, not by any party political stance.

SCVO is not a front for anyone, nor will it be told by outsiders what it will or will not debate or how it should conduct its business.

Yours sincerely

Alison Elliot
Convener, SCVO”

As Archie McPherson might say: oooft.

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    59 to “WCR Smackdown 2012”

    1. uilleam_beag says:

      Beautiful, simply beautiful. That’s Wullie tellt!

    2. Embradon says:

      Don’t think Wullie will be referring to this on his CV.

    3. Tris says:

      You would think, wouldn’t you, that in a party as small as the Scottish Liberal Democrats, it wouldn’t be unreasonable for the leader to be aware of who was talking to whom, and that his party had been involved in talks with SCVO.

      Or maybe he just thinks that SCVO should support his stance.

      The trouble with Willie is that he’s not really party leader material, not even micro-party leader material, and he loves to punch above his weight by having something to say about everything, whether or not it makes any sort of sense. 

    4. Cuphook says:

      Willie Rennie is following the Unionist strategy of discrediting any person or organisation that questions the Westminster line. He will further follow that line by refusing to apologise.

    5. Jeannie says:

      Well, to quote an old phrase,”she didnae miss him and hit the wa'”, did she.  First Isabel Fraser verbally nuts Ian Davidson and now this.  C’mon the wimmin!

    6. McHaggis says:

      O/T but I also see Doug Gilon is at it again in the Herald sports pages with a piece I couldn’t believe I was reading.

      To save you all the trouble, it basically states that the mostly south east england crowds at the Olympics cheered every competitor equally, but at the Commonwealth games Scotland will display its racism (his words not mine) towards the English by being somewhere less than generous in its accolades?

      Essentially, Scotland = racists
      England = fairplay and inclusive

      The suggestion being that not actively supporting another country at a sporting event I am racist. What planet is this man on? 

    7. MajorBloodnok says:

      Ahahha!  No need to wrap the letter in a rolling pin then!

    8. redcliffe62 says:

      Not in the MSM so far then? If Salmond had stupidly written this it would be page 1 with Magnus slavering at every word.


      I hope England get an anthem they like by 2014 Comm Games. 

      I used to wonder why there were so few Norn Irish athletes but as so many compete for Ireland as first preference I guess they have a smaller pool to pick from.

      Not too many from Scotland singing God save the queen, only Murray mumbling so he can coincidentally of course get a few more votes in SPOTY, but I suspect none singing from the Falls Road.

    9. Andrew says:

      England does have a national anthem. It’s called “God Save The Queen”. Whether they like it or not is another matter.

    10. James Morton says:

      This man has been slapped down but hard so many times that one wonders if he is just immune to common sense?

    11. Morag says:

      Could I inquire what it was Rennie said to this lady that prompted the retort?  I think I missed an episode.

    12. Doug Daniel says:

      I’m getting really sick of the pathetic nit-picking by unionist politicians. I’m looking forward to the referendum being over (and won) so I can just ignore politics completely, like any normal sane person does.

      Far too many people’s games need to be upped. We deserve better than this pish. Bring on the 2016 clear out at Holyrood, so we can get first-rate politicians in there, rather than the C-team Westminster-reject numpties we currently have to put up with.

    13. John Lyons says:

      In a nutshell Morag, he said the SCVO was a front for the SNP!

    14. Gaavster says:

      @Morag – It’s linked to in the article above Morag

      It’s the blue (embedded) ‘letter’ in the script

      Here’s the old-fashioned link –  

    15. ronlad alexander mcdonald says:

      Don’t think Willie will ever win Mastermind. He  looks and acts like man with a potassium deficiency. Just waiting for him to have a rant about the price of bananas!

      Oh dear the unionist can’t take it. Well tough shit! They can fuck off and mismanage England(no disrespect to the poor English victims)  and leave us alone to make our own decisions.   

    16. Galen10 says:

      Priceless – as elegant and forceful a slpa-down as I have read in a long time. So impressed was I by this that I felt moved to email the hapless Mr Rennie at Holyrood to back up the dressing down delivered by the estimable Ms. Elliot as follows:

      “Dear Mr Rennie,
       I have been following the news stories about your ill-judged attack on the CEO of the SVCO, and your frankly somwhat paranoid claims about Mr Sime, with some interest.
      Hopefully after some due reflection you will find yourself agreeing with the sentiments expressed by Alison Elliot in her letter to you of today, which is as elegant and forceful a put down as I have seen in some time. Her slap down of your preposterous allegations is right on the money.
      The increasingly hysterical and desperate tone of the attacks mounted by Labour and Lib Dem politicians in particular, simply reinforces the views of many of us that those opposing independence are as bereft of manners as they are of ideas. Your actions may be slightly less thuggish than those of Ian Davidson of ill-fame in his attacks (variously) on Dr Eilidh Whiteford, Isabel Fraser and the BBC, but they are all of a piece.
      You should be throughly ashamed of yourself. It is bad enough that your party is in bed with the Tories, and standing shoulder to shoulder with them in its attempts to subvert the referendum process which has a clear mandate from the Scottish people, but claiming that the independence and credibility of the SVCO is somehow in question on the basis of the threadbare “evidence” you have produced simply makes matters worse.
      I am no supporter of the SNP, but the way the Unionist parties have been responding to the referendum issue, and their lack of a positive case for Scotland remianing in the Union, or any detailed plans for what further devolution is on offer, and how your parties could deliver it at Westminster, makes me more convinced than ever that independence for Scotland would be the best option for both Scotland and the rest of the UK.
      Yours sincerely, etc…..

    17. Holebender says:

      Rennie is an idiot.
      When he came out with his silly notion that a 51% vote for independence would be trumped by a 99% vote for devo max in a two question referendum I had an exchange of e-mails with him in which I proved mathematically that he was wrong. I’ll give him his due in that he did actually answer me, but he proved his idiocy in the end by trying to say that mathematics was no more than opinion and that we must agree to disagree.
      Rennie is an idiot (and no cousin of mine, despite my maternal grandmother having been born a Rennie). Alex Johnstone, the Tory MSP, is, on the other hand, really my cousin – much to my chagrin.

    18. Andrew says:

      So Rennie received an unsolicited email.
      He should resign immediately!

    19. Holebender says:

      Andrew, is reading comprehension a problem for you? Rennie believes that mathematics is a matter of opinion. For that he should shut the fuck up.

    20. MajorBloodnok says:

      Yes, he should denounce himself to the Scotsman and then get Ian Davidson to give him a doing for good measure.

    21. Andrew says:

      I referred to the fact that Rennie had called for Martin Sime’s resignation because he received an unsolicited email from someone in the SNP, and suggested he should consider his own position as he had received a similarly unsolicited email from your good self.
      It was just my rather feeble little attempt at sarcasm and I apologise if I was being too obtuse for you.

    22. MajorBloodnok says:

      @Holebender and Andrew:
      That’s funny, I took it that Andrew was referring to the letter from Alison Elliot, not Holebender’s email ;o) However, I am remarkably obtuse, being sadly educated out of my wits.

    23. Andrew says:

      That’s quite incredible.

    24. MajorBloodnok says:

      It’s beyond idiocy. Remarkable.

    25. McHaggis says:

      Similar to Davidson, when caught in an act of idiocy, no shame as they try to cover up by lashing out…

      Does he really believe this will endear him to his own party members let alone other voting members of the public?

      What an arse. 

    26. Juteman says:

      Well, Norman Wisdom IS a comedian. 🙂

    27. Betsy says:

      Rennie really wants the back of legs slapping.
      Does anyone know if he actually intends to produce any evidence to support these remarkable assertions of his? Or is he just relying on no-one being terribly interested in what he says other than keen students of political buffoonery and a handful of well-intentioned but misguided relatives.

    28. Bugger (the Panda) says:

      How can one put more that two feet in one’s mouth at the same time?
      Rennie needs to have a Law (Murphy’s style) named after him.
      I am baffled how someone could be so stupid. Then again cooncillor Terry Kelly has blazed the way.

    29. Holebender says:

      Andrew, it seems I have mistaken you for a LibDem, for which I unreservedly apologise.

    30. James T says:

      And the Hits just keep on coming….


    31. megabreath says:

      Looked in the dictionary there and under “Balloon” it had “Rennie”(scots)

    32. Andrew says:

      OMG I must have been even more obtuse than I thought :0

    33. Betsy says:

      @bugger the panda,
      A while back I jokingly mentioned that Cllr Terry Kelly ought to be put in charge of the NO campaigns tactics. In the light of Davidson’s extraordinary tantrum and now this from Rennie, I am now beginning to worry about having made the remark a mere stone’s throw from John Smith House. One more absurd outburst from one of these gimps and I’ll know they heard me.

    34. pro-loco says:

      Is there a theme here of the unionistas trying to bully civic scotland into silence?

      And what is their problem with women?  

    35. Celyn says:

      Beautiful letter from the S.C.V.O! 

      As for maths being a matter of opinion, I wish my schoolteachers had thought so.  🙂 

    36. MajorBloodnok says:

      The thought did occur to me that Rennie might now be a contender for a Perrier comedy award at the Fringe…

    37. Ananurhing says:

      A timely reminder that the only Scottish Libdem politician with a shred of credibility left is Tavish. Wee Wullie Rennie is a chancer who has lost the right to call himself a democrat.

    38. Iain Gray's Subway Lament says:

      pro-loco says:
       “Is there a theme here of the unionistas trying to bully civic scotland into silence?
      And what is their problem with women”

      Speaking of which, Davidson back on Newsnicht right now blustering away. The twat.

    39. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      I’m having a LOT of trouble processing the words “Tavish” and “credibility” in the same sentence without the word “destroyed”.

    40. Andrew says:

      “Credibility” and “Tavish” in the same sentence?

    41. Macart says:

      Oooooooo that’ll leave a mark. Light blue touchpaper and retire ten paces.

      I wonder if Willie gets up in the morning and considers ‘just what more can I do to drop the Libdem’s past reputation and values in the dumpster of history?’ 

    42. James Morton says:

      Tavish put his “credibility” through a plausibility mincer with his wild idea about the Orkney islanders splitting off from Scotland….then linking up with the UK.
      There is also his rather bizarre performance during the leaders debate for the SP elections in 2011.

    43. Seasick Dave says:

      The technical term for Rennie is a FAWN; ******* Annoying Wee Nyaff.

    44. Ananurhing says:

      “Tavish” and “credibility”. Hey…….he resigned on a point of principle. Surely that qualifies as a shred. Perhaps I’m being generous and using the term relatively compared to the likes of Rennie, Moore, and Swinson, who are more than happy to offer themselves up on all fours for a stab at an ermine jaikit.

    45. MajorBloodnok says:

      This has to be one of the funniest episodes of Unionist ineptitude in recent months.  Mind you, there was that Better Together’s referendum question Electoral Commission fiasco, and Ian Davidson on Newsnicht, and of course Johann “How many beans make five” Lamont at FMQ… all very entertaining.

    46. Bugger (the Panda) says:

      Cognitive dissonance can be a portal to many strange maladies.

    47. Jim Campbell says:

      Where does Oor Willie get his silly notions from ?

      Is he looting “ideas from Labour’s PR department
      that even the Scotsman thought were too stupid to print” ?
      (despite A. Cochrane’s blessing)

      Hey Charles !    Dump Westminster and announce that you are voting YES 
      in the referendum and will run as an independent liberal democrat in the next
      Scottish Parliamentary Election.  Also announce that you  will be running for the
      leadership of the Scottish lib-dems.

      get elected  

    48. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      ““Tavish” and “credibility”. Hey…….he resigned on a point of principle.”

      He did? I thought he resigned because his party got its arse well and truly tanned and lost two thirds of its MSPs at the last election due to his implacable hatred of the SNP.

    49. MajorBloodnok says:

      @Jim Campbell
      Good point – where is Charlie Kennedy these days?

    50. Bugger (the Panda) says:

      Wher is Michael Moore?
      Probably in the same place as Charlie Kennedy.

    51. Arbroath 1320 says:

      Who IS Michael Moore? 😆

    52. Morag says:

      Guy who made Bowling for Columbine and Sicko.

    53. MajorBloodnok says:

      I always think of him fondly as the guy who blows himself up in Team America: World Police.

      The MP, not the film-maker, obviously.

    54. orpheuslyre says:

      Curiously, Lib Dem Blogger Caron Lindsay thinks that this letter by Allison Elliot actually *proves* Oor Wullie’s point.

      I don’t think it does.

      But I do marvel at the perennial combination of gross piety and outright intellectual dishonesty of many Lib Dems. 

    55. pa_broon says:

      Read Caron’s piece, it didn’t seem to matter how much I mentally squinted my eyes, it didn’t really wash.

      Willie even thought he’d help by explaining in his letter what the SCVO was supposed to do, I think they probably know that already better than he does.
      I don’t know what the lib dems are for any more, I used to feel they were a bit hard done by, now I just feel pity. I wouldn’t vote Rennie onto a town council, he’s just not good enough.
      Reading a bit further, it turns out the entire story was picked up by Magnus Gardham now of the Herald.

      I think that says it all.

    56. Iain Gray's Subway Lament says:

      Lindsay is merely Willie Rennie’s pliant mouthpiece and will gratefully trot out his party line and ridiculous spin without engaging any critical faculties.
      The idea that merely objecting to and correcting a loser like Rennie’s ignorant and desperate attempts to smear the SVCO as partisan somehow proves Rennie’s case is risible nonsense bordering on outright lunacy.
      But it does now appear to be the despicable unionist strategy to try and bully opponents, particularly women now, into silence and try to discredit them by smearing them as partisan and SNP supporters when anyone even remotely objective knows it’s a lie and a pathetic one at that.
      It’s amazing just how low the lib dems have sunk since becoming tory poodles and Thatcherite style true believers in attacking the poor, the unemployed and the disabled with their cuts to welfare.
      The lib dems continued destruction is not only assured, with the likes of Clegg and his yes man Rennie at the helm in scotland, it is well deserved and immensely satisfying.

    57. scottish_skier says:

      “and try to discredit them by smearing them as partisan and SNP supporters”

      Which could have cost those being smeared their job back in my parents day.

      Given that just shy of half the electorate support the SNP nowadays, with ‘satisfied’ ratings up to 60% in polls over the last year, seems this old classic unionist tactic is just a little dated.  

      Then there’s the strange irony of an e.g. Labour politician saying someone who supports the SNP is ‘biased’. This irony is hardly going to be lost on people; well not those making up their minds anyway…  

    58. Barontorc says:

      Lib-Dem status politically and morally is around the square root of nought – so why bother with what  Rennie or Scott or Ming, or Moore or Alexander or any other of that truly disgraced tribe utter? I also include Charlie Kennedy if he includes himself.

      The manifesto efforts from all political aspirants  for the 2016 GE in Scotland will be very illuminating indeed. The crass venality of these unionist ball-carriers will be quite an emetic.

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