Sunday, 26 September 2010


The Sunday Post carries a story which shows three people in rather a good light.

The first of these is Paul McBride QC, who as a member of the Scottish Legal Aid Board (SLAB), working a few days a month for them, is entitled to a salary of £9,000 + expenses for each of the next four years.

He has decided to do the work pro bono and, as such, has given up in the region of £40,000. The work of SLAB is to administer civil and criminal aid payments in Scotland.

Mr McBride, who is one of Scotland’s top QCs, said that he thought that, with the level of constraint in the country at present, it was appropriate for those who could afford to, to set an example. He had been highly critical of Kenny MacAskill’s decision to release the Lockerbie bomber last year, and his re-appointment to the board, a post in the gift of the Scottish government, had come as a surprise to many in the legal profession not least himself.

Mr McBride said that he had appreciated the “non-partisan” gesture by Mr MacAskill, and had decided that he would donate his salary and expenses to charity. He said that it was unfortunate that so many people thought that people in public service were there for the money, rather than to provide a service and he wanted to help reverse that view. He was following in the footsteps of his colleague, the chief executive of SLAB, Lindsay Montgomery, who donated £20,000 of bonuses to charity.

So credit is due to both these men. It’s fair to say that they both receive very generous salaries and payments and Mr McBride has certainly earned a good deal of money over the past years, but nonetheless, their gestures are examples to others who are rich enough not to need their entire salaries... and frankly will make people who are paid vast amounts and do not need the money, but keep it all the same, look rather greedy.

Credit too, is due to Kenny MacAskill. Whatever you think of his politics, or indeed his decision to release Al Megrahi, it would be easy for him to favour only those who agree with him when it comes to public appointments. And he didn’t.

It’s a real change to discuss good news. But it’s a nice one.


  1. Good to hear indeed tris!
    The fact that K macAskill is big enough to have a disagreement with someone and not hold it against them is quite amazing...if only more politicians were as open as he appears to be!

  2. Well done MacAskill. I should think Paul McBride won't be worrying about a sum such as £40,000 minus tax which he'll pay at 40% but still, a fine gesture right enough.

    I couldn't get into the SP's site. :(

  3. Yep Indyanhat. I think the world would be a better plae if they didn't have their idiotic partisan childishness you often see. It's really not good for the country for, say, George W Bush to cram the Supreme Court in the USA with hard right-wingers. It may help him get his way, but it's not overall good for the country.

    The trouble is that politicians tend to think of themselves, their party and the country... in that order.

    There are exceptions. I'm sure it was a Tory that sent the old windbag Kinnock to Brussels, but I suspect that was more to get rid of him before he sent the country to sleep!

    Likewise Blair sent Paddy Ashdown to do various important jobs (probably for the same reason... that guy could bore for England).

    It was altogether a cheering story!

  4. No SR. It's probably small beer to Mr McBride, but he didn't have to do it, and the same for Mr Montgomery, who seems to flit from posh job to posh job in Edinburgh.

    If more would take their example, maybe fewer people, for whom the loss of a couple of quid will be an actual hardship, will have to suffer.

    That link was to a Telegraph story for a bit of background on Mr McBride.

    The Sunday Post doesn't give the story on its website. It only gives the headline and what it calls tasters (in short the first paragraph) so that readers will go out and buy the paper!

    DCT don't give much away as you know!