Monday, 28 November 2011


Under Labour's devolution legislation Scottish ministers had the right to nominate suitable people for gongs under the antiquated UK honours system.

Of course Blair wouldn't let anyone in Edinburgh, even his own lackies, send prospective recipients directly to the Queen of Scots. Instead they had to be forwarded from Edinburgh to the cabinet office in London, to be scrutinised by the brains of the UK government before THEY referred them the Palace.

Oh well, I guess they thought we were too stupid, too wee and too poor to manage that on our own. It seems to be what they think of Scotland. (Maybe because their greatest point of contact with Scotland is their MPs.)

Anyway, that is the procedure that was adhered to until 2007 when the SNP formed their first administration.

The new first minister decided that he wanted to take no part in making decisions about honours. Whether that was because he might be against the honours system himself (no SNP person has ever taken a seat in the House of Lords) or whether it was because he could see what a political minefield honours can be, I have no idea.

He simply ruled that from then on in, no minister would have any part in drawing up of a list of possibles for honours. It would be done by senior civil servants who would, without ministerial oversight, send the list to the UK government in London.

Early this year SNP donor Brian Soutar was nominated for a knighthood in the birthday honours list. Shortly afterwards he donated a pound for every pound raised by the SNP (amounting to £500,000) to the party's election fund and so, I suppose, it was not unreasonable, given all the bent politicians we have read about over the last 2 years, that one and one might make eleven and that criticism be levelled at Mr Salmond.

The first minister reminded parliament that he and his ministers had had no involvement with the honours list, and the senior civil servant involved echoed that statement.

But that was not good enough for Jim Sheridan, an staunchly unionist Labour MP and supporter of  disgraced ex-speaker Michael fill-your-boots Martin. Maybe because in Westminster there is more corruption than you can shake a stick at, and possibly because he was just very angry at the SNP getting half a million pounds, he made an official complaint that Mr Salmond had 'misled' (lied) over the affair.

An official investigation, costing tens of thousands of taxpayer pounds was launched, conducted by Peter Fraser PC, QC, and found that Mr Sheridan's allegations were "wrong" and "ill-founded" (politically motivated?)

Fraser's report ended "There appears to me to have been no breach of the ministerial code by Alex Salmond as first minister and he should be fully exonerated of any breach".

I'm pleased with the result which I had always expected. Salmond is far too wily a politician to be caught out doing something as stupid as selling honours. That's a game for mugs...  

It's just a pity it had to cost the taxpayers had to stump up for it.

Pics: "Sir" Brian; Oor Eck, and Sheridan


  1. The "Honourable" MP for Near Troughing in the North was "entitled" to think da da da.

    He was entitled to think, as all people with at least half a brain, are also entitled and pontificate on anything and everything. However, before accusing anybody of anything, especially suggesting corrupt practices one would have thought that Mr Sheriden would have engaged that same cerval processor and checked if it was possible that it could be so?

    Not the bold MP, who seems wedded to a life of entitlement at Westminster.

    The gene pool for Labour in Scotland really is pretty depleted

  2. Nicely put wolfie.

    There really are very few who are of any quality at all.

    And that's the best of them too...

    When you think they send their second raters to Holyrood, you have to wonder how some of them find their way to the toilet.

  3. I believe quite a few of our honourable members have been known to find their way to the toilet unaided.

    Ted Heath for one was quite a homing pigeon, in that respect.

  4. This is the fourth time the FM has been wrongly accused of misdeeds It is about time such accusations if found to be false the cost of any investigation should be met by the accuser This I am sure would help to focus minds

  5. Aye Wolfie, that was a bit of an "I wasn't thinking it through when I wrote that" situation.

  6. Yes true Anon. I agree that there have to be checks and it's right that serious allegations be looked into by senior judges, in this case an ex-Tory minister... But this seems to have been a vexatious complaint.

    The chairman of the committee set up by top civil servants to propose candidates for honours completely backed what the FM had said. I dare say there were minutes and standing orders and all manner of things showing that there had been no malfeasance, but this bloke wanted to cause trouble at our expense.

  7. They know that the media wouldn't publish anything bad on them as long as they got there regular bung of public money for advertising government notices, jobs etc allowing them free rein to do as they wished. This is what is frightening these Labour politicians now that they see their future employment outside politics and that scares them to make accusations ad hoc hoping that some smear sticks.

  8. Someone said the other day, ch, that the trouble with politicians is that they go into politics in order to carve a career for themselves.

    It's a job, with a career structure, ending for some in cabinet positions, followed by memoires and after dinner speeches and buckets of money.

    Not of course for the likes of the lovely Sheridan blokey. He'll have to find himself something to do when eventually he is no longer required to go to London, any more than he would be required to go to Paris or Dublin.

    Lord knows what though...

  9. There are more than a few who may struggle to find employment when they are once again (or in many cases for the first time) forced to join the real world devoid of troughs and expenses claim forms

  10. The other thing that Sheridan was keen on (other than fill your boots Martin) was the proposed UK football team that could take part in the olympic charade down in the quisling Sheridan's own capital. That is the one that none of the regional FAs want to have anything to do with. They are going to have it anyway but just with all the players from the English there is "respect" for you!

    I see that Danny Champion of the world Alexander AKA the ginger rodent has let slip that the 1 Billion quid that wont be spend on carbon capture at Longannet will instead now be handed out by the English finance secretary (Gideon) later today for carbon capture infrastructure south of the border. And they want to win the referendum? Few more yes votes in the bag there then. I just love all that R-E-S-P-E-C-T that we get from the English Tories and their Scottish Lib Dem quisling hand puppets!!

    And talking about Fill your boots Martin I see his successor (mini-Martin Bercow) is spending £37,000 on a portrait of himself. We are after all: "all in this together" ??

  11. Did you miss his new coat of arms? Atrocious

  12. Yes Anon.

    Once upon a time it was considered a bit of an honour to have an ex-MP on your board.

    Now of course with their reputations torn to shreds most people would rather have the local tramp.

    Still, they tell us that the jobcentres do a wonderful job of job matching, and there's thousands of new jobs in every day, so they shouldn't have any trouble at all, if they want to work. After all the 7 million or so workless in the UK are only workless because of their chronic laziness... No?.

  13. Aye Munguin. How's that football team coming along, the multinational one?

    Oh brilliant, Danny has managed to take another billion pounds out of Scotland. He's definitely doing a good job of making sure that he gets a safe Tory seat in one of the shires for the next election.


  14. Anon...

    Ho ho ho...I feel a post coming on!

  15. I suppose Jim Sheridan could get a job on the buses once he learns how to conduct himself!

  16. He'll have to find himself something to do when eventually he is no longer required to go to London, any more than he would be required to go to Paris or Dublin.
    Surely Scotland needs an ambassador in Timbuctoo or somewhere equally fly-blown and far I remember they used to send a lot of people to a place called 'exile' sounds just the job for Sherriden and his ilk to me!
    On the subject of coats of arms have you visited Max Farquars place for his take on it!
    (thanks boys, if it has worked of course, if not back to the studies for me! LOL)

  17. ‘If Salmond run down by bus – I wouldn’t ask who did it’ says Labour MP Ms Curran as she looks to hire McAveety's bus with driver included.

  18. He looks like one of the surly guys who drive for National Express Dundee, John.

  19. LOL Nomine

    Absolutely superb...

    Wish I could do photoshop stuff like that...

    ...I see you were successful with your link.


  20. LOL CH,

    Even that wouldn't stop the momentum now!

  21. Nomine... How about consul general to Antarctica?

  22. I'm coool wi that wan tris, aye sounds about right, except we will have to specially import the flies on a regular basis, but hey he is worth the effort and expense eh!

  23. You might be cool with it nomine; he'll be cold.

  24. I must object as Antarctica is a pristine site and ALL rubbish is removed to keep it clean. Some unmanned lighthouse somewhere is more suitable.

  25. An unmanned lighthouse in Antarctica?