Tuesday 24 April 2012


This week's cock up for the Tories seems to be centred on Jeremy Hunt, Culture Secretary, and his almost daily emails with the offices of News Corporation, while he (Mr Hunt) was acting in a quasi-judicial role, deciding on the future of the company's bid to purchase BskyB.

Interestingly, this work was originally the remit of the Business Secretary, Vince Cable, but was taken away from him when he made the catastrophic error of assuming that two young ladies who had come to his constituency surgery were who they said they were. You may remember that Vince, thinking himself a bit of a lad, and imagining that the girls were captivated by all the power he weilded, or perhaps even his sexy if somewhat ragged good looks, told them that he had 'declared war' on Mr Murdoch. The young ladies were, of course, undercover reporters and Vince's war led in the next day's Telegraph.

Cable should have lost his job over it, of course, but one presumes that the idea of Cable, a less than enthusiastic member of the coalition, on the outside of the tent, doing what people on the outside of the tent tend to do, was more that Cameron, and more particularly Clegg, could imagine being able to cope with! 

So Vince kept the Business role and poor old Jeremy got that part of the job that Vince had shown himself incapable of conducting in a responsible  unbiased way.

Hunt was already known to be a strong supporter of News International and the Murdochs, and his appointment to this role was one that a brighter prime minister might not have made. So what now of another minister, clearly not up to doing the job fairly, and too stupid to see that his bias was bound to be made public at some stage?

Gotta love the second photograph. It's Jeremy and that icon of culture Victoria Beckham at the Oscars or some other self congratulatory lovie bash, each trying to be weirder than the other... and both succeeding nicely.


  1. Oh Eck what, what have you done now?

    Ach, just a bit of lobbying for the Murdoch empire..... in return for support from his toilet paper press.

    What's wrong with that?

  2. "Ach, just a bit of lobbying for the Murdoch empire..... in return for support from his toilet paper press."

    You mean exactly like Alex Salmond was also (and still is) doing?

  3. When you think what Henry McLeish resigned over.... how can Eck stay?

  4. Well, I presume you two have some proof of that.

    I've read the allegations on Caron's blog. They seem to depend on an email from a functionary at NI, who may or may not be reliable.

    I'm amazed that braveheart would be having a go at anyone over allegations of fawning at the feet of Murdoch considering the fact that when Tony Blair wasn't kissing ass with George W Bush he was a permanent fixture in Rupert's backside.

    If there is any truth in these allegations I'd like to know.

    The English government is full of corrupt, stupid incompetent amateurs. I'd like to think that a Scottish government of whatever colour would not be.

    George... I'm somewhat surprised at your choice of bedfellow there in Braveheart. Not your type at all.

  5. Well Braveheart, we didn't just take the word of some blokey at NI trying to impress his boss... for what McLeish did.

    And it wasn't the FM who was reported to have been involved. It was one of his staff who was apparently quoted.

    So let's at least hear the other side of the story, or isn't that allowed by unionists?

    Congratulations on you position (equal with the charming Terry Kelly fellow) on Scot Goes Pop's blog.

  6. Tris

    no Nat willing to defend Salmond on Newsnicht the nicht.

    Wonder why?

    Because it's indefensible.... surprised you are trying to defend it when Eck himself nor none of his MSPs is willing to do so.

  7. Salmond labels accusations over BskyB email “total nonsense”

    Scottish Labour MSP Jackie Baillie appeared to blunder on STV current affairs show Scotland Tonight when she claimed that the email showed a link between the Sun's support for the SNP and the First Minister's support for the BskyB bid.

    "I think the problem is the linkage in the email between the question of his support for the BskyB bid and the question of the Sun's support for the SNP prior to the last elections." she said.

    The published email in fact makes no mention of any newspaper support whatsoever. Ms Baillie was immediately challenged by fellow guest, Colin Mackay, who insisted there was "no evidence" that the two things were connected.

    Newsnet Scotland has also discovered suggestions that the Scottish Lib Dems were also supportive of the BskyB bid. In another communication a segment reads:

    "He was very much taken by our commitment to Scotland and Alex Salmond’s desire to support us. He thought it was a strong ally to put forward, very contrarian/unexpected. Same for Scottish lib-dems."

    Speaking last night on Newsnight Scotland, Tavish Scott who was leader of the Scottish Lib Dems at the time, denied any knowledge of the email claim.

    Thursday is going to be fun.

  8. Wait Braveheart. Can you read?

    I have defended nothing and no one so far.

    I've said you've both taken the word of an NI executive that an aide of AS said something.

    It's up to AS to defend himself and I'll listen to what he has to say.

    Now read it slowly and see if you can get it past your irrational hatred and fear of your country being independent of big brother.

    I could understand that if there was the vaguest chance that Lamentable would be the first minister after independence, but as that's a hysterically laughable notion, we can move on.

    And please don't keep posting the same crap over and over without reading what's been said in reply. We know it's a Labour trait but try to resist.

    So, the post is on Jeremy Hunt. If you have comments on that do feel free to express them...

  9. "The published email in fact makes no mention of any newspaper support whatsoever. "

    You mean Eck is willing to sell his office in return for......nothing at all? Nil? Nada? SFA?

  10. @tris

    I was just quoting what Braveheart said in order to make a point of my own.

    On the Murdoch issue, Salmond has form.

    I should also point out that, no matter where it comes from, an argument can still be correct.

    For example, Nadine Dorries recently described Osborne and Cameron as a pair of spoilt posh boys. I'd probably agree with that assessment - despite thinking that Nadine is madder than a spoon that's contracted mad cow disease.

  11. Yes CH. It will be interesting to see what they make of it.

    Every first minister English or Scottish ... in fact French or Bolivian too, meets with and corresponds with the movers and shakers in the press.

    For there to be something wrong, accusers have to show that something illegal was done...as in Jeremy H sending daily emails of progress to NI.

    So far we appear to have an email from some bloke who works for Murdoch (obviously then above suspicion of lying), who says that an aide of the FM said he would contact Hunt if necessary.

    As Hunt was never going to turn down Murdoch, this would have been pointless, and they knew it (thanks to the daily emails they were getting from him.

    So.... let's find out who's telling the truth and who is lying.

  12. Also @tris

    Sorry, the "English" government? There's no such thing. You're referring to the UK government - which includes a sizeable contingent of Scottish MPs and which also includes one former Scottish Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. One Gordon Brown MP.

    Please get your terminology right. I normally have a great deal of respect for you but calling the UK government "English" is absolute nonsense.

  13. Having looked at Allan Massie's site that has the internal NI emails I somewhat puzzled at the faux outrage by Labour supporters as Milliband and Alexander seem to have enjoyed the Murdoch's hospitality well after the date of the emails show on AM site that refer to the First Minister of Scotland. It seems that just doing his job and promoting jobs into Scotland is now not allowed by the opposition or are they miffed the papers don't support them?


  14. Yeah OK George. I just wondered if you'd come across him before... and as I said, it's a bit rich of Braveheart to criticise anyone in relation to the Murdoch press given Blair crossed continents to please him. Come to that Cameron pretty much did too.

    It appears that Tavish Scott (according to the email which may or may not contain some truth) was in agreement over the BskyB bid.

    I personally wasn't in favour, regardless of whether AS, TS or even the Duchess of Rothsay herself was in agreement with it. The Murdoch press like most of the press in the UK is utter rubbish! Unfortunately it's powerful utter rubbish. It would be nice if it were not; if it didn't influence people, but it does.

    And any party upon which it smiles is likely to be pleased. The Liberals appear never to have been blessed with Mr Murdoch's attnetion, but labour and the Tories were happy as pigs in sh*t when they were in favour.

    I have to say the Liberals were pretty chuffed at the Guardians (more intelligent) support at the last election.

    Nadine, incidentally, is far madder than any of that. I wonder they let her out. But yes, they are two posh boys that don't know the price of a pint of milk or anything else, except maybe a villa in Tuscany and a bank account in the British Virgin Island.

    (Come to that, of course, neither do I) I wonder if Nadine does...

    And didn't Nick have a wild and utterly wrong guess at prices in a debate before the election?

  15. George. I'm sorry. I meant to write London government...although the Westminster set up is massively English in make up (550+ out of 650, sits in England and operates under English law. It spends most of the week discussing English only business, so it's an easy mistake to make.

  16. Catherine. Welcome to Munguin's Republic. And thanks for the link too. I'll go over and read it now.

    It's unfortunate that Labour in Scotland are so negative about the FM trying to bring jobs to Scotland. If THEY were bringing in jobs, I'd be positive. If the SoS would bring jobs I'd be delighted... and I'd say so.

    But Labour just want everything to go wrong on the SNP's watch. It's very sad. We just have to hope that their wishes will be damned to hell, and that we do get more jobs, and continue to perform better than the rest of the UK.

    Lamentable's lack of enthusiasm for John Swinney's news that the government will find the money to make up the council tax reductions for the old, sick, unemployed and low paid, that the unelected (in Scotland) Tories have wished upon us.

  17. This is all becoming a bit far fetched. Alex Salmond is suppsoed to handle Doosan's PR, although I'll admit to a spot of gamesmanship on behalf of Salmond, its no less than Labour, the Tories or Lib Dems would do.

    And now this, an internal News International email, a comment made by someone at News International and labour in the form of Jackie Baillie are all over it.

    You'll forgive me if I wait for further evidence before jumping to conclusions.

    I won't say anything about the hypocrisy coming from the labour ranks.

  18. Hello Pa.

    Hmmm... Oh go on... say something about the hypocrisy from Labour. It's always a good laugh.

    It was like the day in 2010 that The Sun announced it would be supporting the Tories, after Cameron fell over himself to get them on board and Harman said something about not caring because all that it was was News in Briefs.

    Well of course for 13 years it had been News in Briefs when it was supporting beloved Tony and Hardman hadn't had a word to say then....

    Yep, let's see what the FM has to say.. and what proof there is before we draw any conclusions.

  19. It's brilliant seeing all the Unionists getting excited with all of this Murdoch nonsense. Joe Bloggs couldn't give a monkeys and have never heard of Levenson or their joke inquiry.
    Harman etc talking about 'integrity' is stomach churning. And BBC Scotland are going at it 24/7 oblivious to the fact that no one believes a word they say ( hint : the SNP had an electionn landslide despite your hatred and biased reporting of them). Not a peep from the BBC during the Purcell scandal or Glasgow dodgy goings on.
    Millionaire expenses trougher and all round bad egg Hunt is in charge of the English games. Maybe they will have to be cancelled when he goes.
    Donald Trump is up next. He'll talk the truth about the useless windmills but will be ignored.

  20. monty said:

    "It's brilliant seeing all the Unionists getting excited with all of this Murdoch nonsense. Joe Bloggs couldn't give a monkeys and have never heard of Levenson or their joke inquiry."

    exactly, monty.

  21. Harriet Harman talks about integrity. That's a good laugh coming from the deputy leader of the labour party.

    As for the BBC Scotland, I've all but stopped watching their news. It's entirely biased. They know perfectly well that in an independent Scotland they would not be living the jet set life at our expense. The gravy train stops at the referendum guys. Get used to it.

  22. Hello Anon....

    Yes Monty's bang on. For most people Leveson might as well be a washing powder or a type of flour.

    But the BBC and, I imagine the Scottish press (I've not had a look yet) will make of it what they can.

    I think that they'll find though that, however tasteless and crass the Scottish Sun is, it still outsells its rivals by a long way

  23. I've had the chance to look cursorily at the Scottish press. Surprisingly the Scotsman doesn't seem to carry the story, but predictably the Herald has it as a lead story.

    The Record is more concerned with Rangers (interesting story) but carry Alex rather as the second story.

  24. tris..
    The Leveson inquiry is just a smokescreen to bring in less freedom in the press and allow the troughers to get away with much more in the future. Ian Hislop got it right during his evidence. All the laws are already in place to nip corruption and illegal activity in the bud but the police turned a blind eye. It will just get worse in the future rather than better because a lengthy set of recommendations will be produced that will stifle a free press.
    I was thinking this morning that all we need is Lord Prescott to put his tuppence worth in and up he pops on Sky.
    Talking about 'integrity ' again.
    From the guy who used our money to put up mock tudor beams on his house and charge £300 for toilet seat repairs. Oh and of course was rogering his secretary in the office while Deputy PM before going to 'the other place' where he became what he used to call another 'vermin in ermine'.
    It must be time for him to fly off on a global scam conference somewhere and give us all a break.

  25. The Scotsman has it... http://www.scotsman.com/news/uk/leveson-inquiry-alex-salmond-was-at-ni-s-disposal-over-bskyb-bid-1-2252801

    Although Hunt of front page....

  26. Yes Monty. Ian Hislop tends to see it as it is. I'm a big fan.

    The trouble is not that the press was corrupt. In fact a large percentage of the population would be corrupt if they could get away with it.

    The real problem is that, because the Met is corrupt and incompetent, the press (like politicians), WERE able to get away with it. And so, like much of the the rest of the population would, they took advantage of the blind eye (and recruited members of the Met to actually work for them).

    It seems to me that a load of the people at the top in the Met have escaped criminal prosecution by resigning. How can that be?

    Mr Prescott, another lard-arse with a comb over, talking about integrity ... hell's teeth, what a joke that is. Ask Pauline Prescott what she thinks of his integrity. And, didn't you know, he accepted the peerage so that his wife could be Lady Prescott, which, incidentally, is something that in these days of equality should be knocked right on the head. He got a title because he'd been deputy prime minister. She got a title for...erm... being married to him.

  27. Oh right, thanks Braveheart. I only glanced and noticed the Hunt story. I suspected the Hootsman wouldn't leave it out.... nor should it.

  28. http://sturdyblog.wordpress.com/2012/04/25/aye-murdoched/

    This is a good read, from a guy who used to be a competitions lawyer.

  29. tris..I think Yates of the Yard retired and took his expertise to Bahrain.
    I'm no fan of the Murdoch's but today's weird questioning of Rupert is bizarre. Talking about his discussions with people long since dead or gaga and even mentioning the Hitler Diaries scam from 30 years ago. The BBC will be happy though. They mentioned THATCHER !!. LOL

    This video is funny and should be sent to all Lib Dems/ Tories ...


  30. I don't think I care if Salmond tried to curry favour with The Sun, its no less than the opposition have done, are doing and will continue to do with other news sources.

    I also don't think Salmond is daft enough to 'offer' any assistance to the Murdoch family in terms of the BskyB take over, the idea Salmond could've had any sway with Westminster is as laughable as the idea that the SG some how colluded with Westminster over Megrahi and oil deals, the idea is just asinine and illogical.

    I think these events are going to turn yet more people away from the union, it might not turn them onto to independence but it'll definitely turn them off the idea of TeamGB.

    All the sophistry, hypocrisy and lies are so plain to see, the press in this country massively underestimate the viewers and readers, which is evidenced by its free-falling figures.

    More over, in all of Baillie's mitherings, the BBC's squeelings and various teeth gnashing ans wailings of opposition MSP's and MP's I ask again: Where is the positive case for the union?

  31. ooops Monty. I see they don't care for him... and neither they should. he has ruined his party.

    I wonder who exactly is going to vote for the Liberals now, students were the natural constituency, but involving themselves with the Tories has kinda knocked that on the head.

    It seems that they may have two kinds of supporters left. People like Caron who seem to think that almost everything they do is good, and people like George who is fighting them every step of the way until they return to being Liberals. More power to George I say.

  32. Nice comment Pa.

    I doubt very much that Salmond offered support on the basis that it would be pointless. One word from Alex Salmond and Jeremy Hunt would have done the opposite thing.

    Besides which it was known that Jeremy was a friend of the Murdochs. It was always going to be a piece of cake for them. He was as biased FOR as Cable was biased AGAINST.

    The only "positive case" for the union I've heard was from Cameron, who just doesn't get it.

    He talked about Britain's role in the world. It being the third largest spender on arms; the permanent membership of the Security Council; Britain's "influence" in Europe (he must have dreamt that one) and our ability to attack Libya...

    What good does any of that do you or me? It's great for him and his likes. They trot all over the world pretending that they matter (and now wanting private planes to do it in). For the rest of us all that that means is that our money is spent on a massive killing spree every so often, instead of repairing our roads, schools and hospitals and providing us with a 20th century railway, never mind a 21st century one.

    I don't give a toss if we are not important. I want our money spent here. If it is going to be spent abroad let it be on humanitarian grounds...

  33. I've just heard Jackie Baillie talking about "this is the way that the SNP do business, back room deals".

    Seriously, come on... someone from the Labour Party talking about backroom deals.

  34. Salmond admits he wanted to lobby on behalf of Murdoch.


  35. Labour and their friends at Pathetic Quay are trying to sling mud as usual but thankfully some are able to add up.

    Rupe and Salmond

  36. Salmond was on tv tonight. He said that as NI and BskyB were going to bring more jobs to Scotland he was prepared to speak up for it to Hunt. In fact he never did speak to Hunt.

    I don't know if it's wrong to want to bring more jobs to Scotland. probably is in Labour's cirles.

  37. CH. Thanks for the link to AA's great post.

    All the way through that letter it is Scotland, Scotland, Scotland, jobs, jobs, jobs.

    Who could ask for more from a first minister?