The Ferris Conspiracy Forum
Sign up  |   |   |  Calendar
 
 
 


Reply
  Author   Comment   Page 5 of 43     «   Prev   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   Next   »
Admin2

Avatar / Picture

Registered:
Posts: 9,042
Reply with quote  #61 

Fire-raising peer sent to prison
Mike Watson
The sheriff said there was a risk that Watson would re-offend
Former Labour MSP Mike Watson has been sentenced to 16 months in prison for starting a fire which endangered lives at an Edinburgh hotel last November.

Earlier this month, Lord Watson had admitted wilful fire-raising.

Passing sentence, Sheriff Kathrine Mackie said a social enquiry assessment had concluded there was a significant risk of Watson re-offending.

However, the sheriff reduced his sentence from 20 months to 16 because of his pre-trial guilty plea.

Lord Watson, 56, admitted setting fire to a curtain after a heavy drinking session at the Scottish Politician of the Year awards ceremony at the Prestonfield House Hotel last November.

The blaze caused £4,500 worth of damage.

The potential for serious injury to guests and staff within the hotel, and for very significant damage to the property, was considerable
Sheriff Mackie

After being sentenced, Watson was taken to Saughton Prison in Edinburgh. He will be transferred to a prison near his home in the next week.

He had initially denied he was responsible, despite CCTV footage showing him crouching down at the base of a curtain just minutes before it was engulfed in flames.

After pleading guilty at Edinburgh Sheriff Court at the beginning of September, he stepped down as an MSP, triggering a by-election in his former Glasgow Cathcart constituency, and resigned as a director of Dundee United football club.

Sheriff Mackie said: "Fire-raising is a most serious crime.

"By pleading guilty to this charge you have acknowledged that you intended to set on fire property at Prestonfield House Hotel whereby property was damaged and lives were endangered.

"The potential for serious injury to guests and staff within the hotel, and for very significant damage to the property, was considerable."

No explanation

The sheriff said that it was due to the prompt action of staff that there was neither injury nor more significant damage.

She said there had been no explanation for his actions.

Outside the court, Watson's spokesman said: "He just wants to say that his wife Clare has stood by him like a rock during a phenomenally difficult time and she continues to stand by him.

"He would also like to thank what he would term his true friends, who have really stood by him during this time.

Prestonfield House Hotel
The peer set fire to curtains at the Prestonfield House Hotel

"I think when you are close to someone like his wife is, you hope for the best but prepare for the worst. Probably the worst fears were realised today."

The sentence was announced from the platform at the Scottish National Party annual conference in Aviemore following a debate about the House of Lords, and was met with a large cheer from delegates.

In a statement, a Labour spokesman said: "Mr Watson has been expelled from the Labour Party.

"His sentence illustrates that if you commit a serious crime in Scotland, no matter who you are, you must face the consequences. That is right."

Scottish Conservative home affairs spokeswoman and deputy leader Annabel Goldie said: "The sentence actually served will not be 16 months.

"Thanks to Labour and Lib Dem insistence of preserving automatic early release, Lord Watson will be out of jail after serving only half his sentence, eight months."

_____________________________________________________________

 

FREE ADVERT

 

Nationwide, Price beaters New gravity fail-safe system

__________________
FIGHT FOR YOUR RIGHTS
Admin2

Avatar / Picture

Registered:
Posts: 9,042
Reply with quote  #62 

ferrisconspiracy : UPDATE

 

First Minister Jack McConnell is to return to...

First Minister Jack McConnell is to return to Scotland after consulting cabinet colleagues amid concerns his presence is expected over the bird flu incident.
Photograph: Brad Barket/ Getty Images

 

McConnell ducks out of US parade

EDDIE BARNES AND RICHARD GRAY

JACK McConnell ducked out of the Tartan Day parade in New York yesterday following fears his presence would be seen as inappropriate in the wake of Scotland's bird flu outbreak.

Instead of joining the planned march down the American city's Sixth Avenue, which had attracted pipers from across the world, the First Minister arranged a telephone conference call with cabinet colleagues back in Scotland.

 

ferrisconspiracy : VIEW

 

You may be well able to DUCK the 'BIRD FLU' but you will never be able to DUCK the Nat Fraser or Shirley McKie case as a little bird (no flu) informed me that you must be 'QUACKERS' to even think we are all as dumbassed as yersel man!

 

Are you the 'TARTAN-YIN?' Shed Shir Shawn..............Oh and WELCOME HOME JACK we hope you liked the 'Road to Portabello'

 

ferrisconspiracy : UPDATE

 

9 April 2006
SNP GIVE MISSING JACK A ROASTING
First Minister slaughtered for staying in US
Brian Lironi, Political Editor, At The Snp Conference In Perth

SNP deputy leader Nicola Sturgeon launched a bitter attack on Jack McConnell yesterday for staying in the US despite the bird flu crisis.

Sturgeon used her keynote speech to the SNP spring conference in Dundee to criticise the First Minister who has been in New York for Tartan Week.

She launched similar broadsides on Justice minister Cathy Jamieson and former Lib Dem leader Jim Wallace.

She said: "When did you last hear our First Minister challenge the corruption of his party machine?

"In fact, when did you last hear from Jack McConnell at all?

"In the last few days, since bird flu was found in Fife, the public, the poultry industry, the whole nation has needed reassurance - reassurance that there is no cause for panic.

 

_________________________________________________________

 

Humor about politics

I'm Confused

 

I'm confused. I can't understand it. Maybe you can.

I'm trying to get all this political stuff straightened out in my head so I'll know how to vote.

Right now, we have one guy saying one thing. Then the other guy says something else.
Who to believe.

Lemme see; have I got this straight?

Clinton awards Halliburton no-bid contract in Yugoslavia - good...
Bush awards Halliburton no-bid contract in Iraq - bad...

Clinton spends 77 billion on war in Serbia - good...
Bush spends 87 billion in Iraq - bad...

Clinton imposes regime change in Serbia - good...
Bush imposes regime change in Iraq - bad...

Clinton bombs Christian Serbs on behalf of Muslim Albanian terrorists -good...
Bush liberates 25 million from a genocidal dictator - bad...

Clinton bombs Chinese embassy - good...
Bush bombs terrorist camps - bad...

Clinton commits felonies while in office - good...
Bush lands on aircraft carrier in jumpsuit - bad...

No mass graves found in Serbia - good...
No WMD found Iraq - bad...

Stock market crashes in 2000 under Clinton - good...
Economy on upswing under Bush - bad...

Clinton refuses to take custody of Bin Laden - good...
World Trade Centers fall under Bush - bad...

Clinton says Saddam has nukes - good...
Bush says Saddam has nukes - bad...

Clinton calls for regime change in Iraq - good...
Bush imposes regime change in Iraq - bad...

Terrorist training in Afghanistan under Clinton - good...
Bush destroys training camps in Afghanistan - bad...

Milosevic not yet convicted - good...
Saddam turned over for trial - bad...

Ahh, it's so confusing!

Every year an independent tax watchdog group analyzes the average tax burden on Americans, and then calculates the "Tax Freedom Day". This is the day after which the money you earn goes to you, not the government.
This year, tax freedom day was April 11th. That's the earliest it has been since 1991.
It's latest day ever was May 2nd, which occurred in 2000. Notice anything special about those dates?

Recently, John Kerry gave a speech in which he claimed Americans are actually paying more taxes under Bush, despite the tax cuts. He gave no explanation and provided no data for this claim.

Another interesting fact: Both George Bush and John Kerry are wealthy men.
Bush owns only one home, his ranch in Texas. Kerry owns 4 mansions, all worth several million dollars. (His ski resort home in Idaho is an old barn brought over from Europe in pieces. Not your average A-frame).

Bush paid $250,000 in taxes this year; Kerry paid $90,000.
Does that sound right?
The man who wants to raise your taxes obviously has figured out a way to avoid paying his own.

 

___________________________________

 

ferrisconspiracy : VIEW

 

Now that Jack had been brought up to speed over American Politics what are the good points that he can learn?

 

How to do a 'BIN LADEN' and hide from REALITY? .......................... 'Shirley Mckie'a still wants to see ya'..... (Extracts from the Road to Portabello REMIX)


__________________
FIGHT FOR YOUR RIGHTS
mactheknife

Avatar / Picture

Registered:
Posts: 120
Reply with quote  #63 

Little things affect little minds.
- - - Benjamin Disraeli

A sophisticated rhetorician, inebriated with the exuberance of his own verbosity.
- - - Benjamin Disraeli


__________________
Hey that shark has pretty teeth dear and he shows 'em pearly white.
Just a jackknife has Macheath dear And he keeps it way out of site.
Admin

Avatar / Picture

Registered:
Posts: 3,165
Reply with quote  #64 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mactheknife

Little things affect little minds.
- - - Benjamin Disraeli

A sophisticated rhetorician, inebriated with the exuberance of his own verbosity.
- - - Benjamin Disraeli

Hi mactheknife... thanks for your post, and excellent quotes!   Very appropriate for the topic too, I may add.


__________________
I'd rather be hated for what I am, than loved for what I am not".
________________________________
mactheknife

Avatar / Picture

Registered:
Posts: 120
Reply with quote  #65 

"In the darkness of secrecy
sinister interest, and evil in
every shape, have full swing.

Only in proportion as publicity
has place can any of the checks
applicable to judicial injustice operate.

Where there is no publicity there is
no justice. Publicity is the very soul
of justice."
                           Jeremy Bentham


__________________
Hey that shark has pretty teeth dear and he shows 'em pearly white.
Just a jackknife has Macheath dear And he keeps it way out of site.
Admin

Avatar / Picture

Registered:
Posts: 3,165
Reply with quote  #66 

Hi mactheknife...thanks for yet another fantastic quote. The last part of the quote, I thought, was of particular relevance, and I hope it is noted by members, and casual surfers alike.

 

Originally posted by mactheknife:

 

Where there is no publicity there is
no justice. Publicity is the very soul
of justice."
                           Jeremy Bentham

 

Perhaps with the fantastic publicity that http://www.ferrisconspiracy.com is giving to the wrongfully convicted, whether yet free or not,  and the uncovering of all the corruption that goes on within the system, one day, justice will indeed be done.


__________________
I'd rather be hated for what I am, than loved for what I am not".
________________________________
Admin2

Avatar / Picture

Registered:
Posts: 9,042
Reply with quote  #67 

ferrisconspiracy : UPDATE/LETTER

 

It is claimed we have a Scottish Executive that listens and is responsive to public opinion. As each day passes and more and more people join the call for a judicial inquiry into the Shirley McKie case it becomes increasingly obvious that the opposite is the truth.

 

Lord Macaulay (Letters, April 10) joins Lords Mackay and McCluskey and a growing list of Scotland's foremost legal brains in supporting a judicial inquiry and still the first minister, minister for justice, lord advocate and their colleagues in the Scottish Executive persist in a collective act of head-burying. 

 

Proof of this, if proof were needed, comes in the form of the revelation that the lord advocate has been made a peer in the House of Lords.

 

Only a few weeks ago in the Scottish Parliament we heard him angrily reject accusations of bias and political expediency in his refusal to prosecute the Scottish Criminal Records Office experts as recommended by the police. He explained in hurt tones that his independence was sacrosanct and essential to the probity of the Scottish justice system.


Now, in an unbelievable act of naked ambition and arrogance, he accepts a political peerage that further compromises his independence and shows just how shallow his parliamentary claims were.

 
It is because of such breathtaking hypocrisy that we need a judicial inquiry to look at, among other things, the role, responsibilities and independence of the lord advocate and the minister for justice; the effectiveness of the police inquiry into the death of Marion Ross; the lack of independence of the forensic services from the police; the interface between politicians, civil servants and the Crown Office; the separation of powers and responsibility within Scottish government; the validity of Crown Office and executive refusals to publish relevant expert and other reports; the role and effectiveness of civil servants in responding to questions from the public and from MSPs; the misuse of the sub-judice rule to suppress public and parliamentary debate; and what links, if any, exist between the Lockerbie and Shirley McKie cases.
Meanwhile, the fight for a judicial inquiry goes on and regular updates are available on http://www.shirleymckie.com
Iain A J McKie, 27 Donnini Court, South Beach Road, Ayr

 

ferrisconspiracy : VIEW

 

The reason why there is no public inquiry is because LABOUR blocked it first with a Parliamentary vote with members voting on Party lines and not for the inquiry itself.

 

The other reason that is now becoming ever so apparent is that THEY HAVE SOMETHING TO HIDE!

 

Now we have COLIN BOYD QC (THE LORD ADVOCATE) named in the PEERAGE list?.................................What GREAT SERVICE TO THE JUDICIARY IN SCOTLAND HAS HE DONE TO MERIT BEING A 'PEER'?

 

Boyd QC has presided over one of the most contentious times in Scottish Legal History with the Shirley McKie affair and several other HIGH PROFILE MISCARRIAGES OF JUSTICE!........ So now why has this man been named as a nominee for a PEERAGE? To keep him quiet or for his role in PUBLIC OFFICE?

 

If BOYD QC had any decency he would refuse it as we all know he did not merit it as it was given (NOT FOR CASH) but for covering up for the likes of the FIRST MINISTER & the SCRO.

 

This website has no political affiliation except with like-minded people who do not like the wool being pulled over our eyes!.......Oh and neither do the Judges.

 

 


__________________
FIGHT FOR YOUR RIGHTS
Magpie

Avatar / Picture

Registered:
Posts: 815
Reply with quote  #68 

11/04/06 - News section

Sir Ian tipped to land Blair peerage
by JANE MERRICK, Daily Mail

 

Sir Ian Blair could be in line for a peerage in the gift of the Prime Minister, it emerged last night.

 

A source close to the House of Lords Appointments commission said there were fears that the Metropolitan Police Commissioner - seen as a Blairite 'crony' - would take a seat in the Upper House when he steps down from his current job.

 

This would be highly controversial because he would be stepping down under the cloud of the Stockwell shooting of innocent Brazilian electrician Jean Charles de Menezes. The Commission plans to flex its muscles by demanding the power of veto over supposedly non-political peerages Tony Blair can create, say insiders.

The row comes in the wake of the loans-for-peerages scandal, which is now the subject of a Scotland Yard investigation.

Now the commission wants to rubber stamp the ten 'non-political' appointments Mr Blair can make at any time during a Parliament and the unlimited number in his gift when he resigns.

Sir John Stevens was made a peer by Mr Blair when he stood down as Met Commissioner - fuelling fears within the commission that his successor Sir Ian will also be elevated to the Lords.

The insider said: "It is quite wrong that non-party appointments should be in the Prime Minister's personal gift, not subjected to oversight by the commission."

 


The Times April 11, 2006

The Corruption Bill makes it virtually impossible to accept gifts


THE proposed Corruption Bill published last December could represent a side door to the end of patronage. As presently drafted, it would make it virtually impossible for donors to fund political parties.

The essence of corruption is conduct threatening the relationship of trust between two parties where one acts as agent for the other, such as an employer and his employee.

According to the Bill, an advantage will be given or obtained “corruptly” if the donor intends the recipient (employee) to commit or omit an act “primarily” motivated by the gift. The recipient must know or believe that the donor thought in this way. In other words, the employee has betrayed his employer for the gift.

There would be no offence of giving an advantage corruptly in the private sector where the employer, who is aware of all the circumstances, consents to the advantage (such as a commission) being given by the donor to the employee. But there is no equivalent defence for an agent of the public, such as a politician.

The Bill’s definition of “corruptly” may also criminalise normal procedures in the financial services sector — for example, the payment of commission to financial advisers by product providers (such as investment funds) — as the initial relationship is between the financial adviser and its client.

And it may make it virtually impossible for a donor to give money to a political party where there is any suggestion that the donor will receive some benefit. There may almost be a presumption that if a donor later receives an honour or benefit, the gift was made with that intention and was therefore “corrupt”. So unless the Bill is clarified, political parties may have to decline contributions.

There have already been criticisms of the proposal that, to prove corruption, a gift must be “primarily” motivated by advantage. The reason is that this could make it difficult to prove, particularly in relation to bribery in the public sector. One suggested change is to replace “primarily” with “substantially”. But that would make the position even more difficult for the private sector — “substantially” is easier to prove and so may prove unworkable because it is so broad that it could cover too many scenarios.

An alternative is to have clear exemptions for ordinary commercial activities that would take the financial services sector out of the Bill’s scope. This exemption could also be applied to political party funding. So contributions to political parties could escape the Bill’s reach — provided they are public, attributed and declared.

Iain Mackie is a partner and Bridget Hui a solicitor at Macfarlanes

Admin

Avatar / Picture

Registered:
Posts: 3,165
Reply with quote  #69 

Hi Magpie... thanks for your posts with regards to 'Minister Please'.  So, Sir Ian Blair could be in line for a peerage eh?  Hmm...comes as no great surprise...

 

As for the 'loans for peerages' scandal, which is currently being investigated by Scotland Yard, the outcome of this should be very interesting, although I don't doubt that the Labour Party will emerge smelling of roses, like they normally do. Or will they???


__________________
I'd rather be hated for what I am, than loved for what I am not".
________________________________
Admin2

Avatar / Picture

Registered:
Posts: 9,042
Reply with quote  #70 

Scotland Yard investigation into the scandal, following complaints from several MPs that peerages were being "sold" by political parties.

Arrested yesterday morning at his east London home, Mr Smith is also the first person to be detained in over 60 years under the 1925 Honours (Prevention of Abuses) Act. He was held at a London police station and was last night released on bail pending further inquiries.

The arrest propelled the scandal to the top of the political agenda once again, placing the Prime Minister and his city academies project at the centre of damaging sleaze allegations.

Police could interview Mr Blair as part of their corruption investigation, as well as Lord Levy, the Prime Minister's chief fundraiser who remains president of the academies' trust, and Mat Carter, a former general secretary of the Labour Party.

Mr Smith, whose role at the Specialist Schools and Academies Trust was to recruit education sponsors, resigned from the trust in January after he told an undercover reporter posing as a potential donor's PR assistant that someone who gave around £10 million to five city academies would be a "certainty" for a peerage.

It is claimed he told the reporter that "the Prime Minister's office would recommend someone like [the donor] for an OBE, a CBE or a knighthood".

The allegations were denied by Sir Cyril Taylor, the chairman of the trust.

Academies are funded directly from Whitehall and donors are given an input into their running in return for gifts, usually of about £2 million.

Mr Smith was remorseful after the newspaper exposé, saying he had "been shattered by the experience" and admitting he was naive. He said at the time: "I shouldn't have said what I did. I'm desperately sorry."

Downing Street has dismissed as "nonsense" any suggestion that honours were awarded for giving to academies. Mr Blair's allies distanced themselves from the row.

Last night, Downing Street refused to comment on the arrest, insisting it was "a matter for the Metropolitan Police". The Conservative Party also offered no comment.

Mr Smith remained in his post as headteacher of All Saints Catholic School and Technology Secondary College in east London.

A former Roman Catholic comprehensive, it became a specialist technology college in 1994 and has been praised for making great improvements.

Angus MacNeil, the SNP MP who was one of the original complainants, said: "Corruption has no place in politics in any advanced western democracy.

"Whether it's loans, or peerages being offered, the prize should never be a seat in the legislative body. I hope this investigation goes the whole way in cleaning up parliament."

The investigation came after the House of Lords Appointments Commission blocked the appointment of four of Mr Blair's nominations - who had made loans to Labour of £4.5 million - for peerages.

Sir David Garrard, a Labour lender who was offered a peerage but asked for his name to be removed from the list of nominees, last night spoke for the first time since it was withdrawn.

The property millionaire, who has sponsored the Business Academy in Bexley, south London, told Channel 4 News: "I have not been offered anything - let alone a peerage - for the academy. I withdrew my nomination from the list because I was outraged by the allegations."

The Met's investigation is being led by the Deputy Assistant Commissioner, John Yates.

Mr Yates has indicated he was prepared to widen the investigation to consider more general allegations of corruption.

The much-delayed list of the new working peers was finally published by Downing Street on Monday, without the names of the four Labour lenders or another who loaned the Tories £2 million.

Taking millions of pounds in loans to fund their election campaigns enabled both main parties to keep the cash off published lists of donations - a practice they have pledged to stop.

It has led to calls for a complete shake-up of party funding and Mr Blair met David Cameron, the Conservatives' leader, last week to discuss the issue.

A number of other inquiries - by MPs and by the Electoral Commission, the democracy watchdog - have been put on hold while the police investigate.

At the time of the original exposé of Mr Smith, John Reid, the Defence Secretary, insisted Mr Smith did not speak for the government.

"All I can say about this story is it seems to be based on one guy. I don't know who he is, and he certainly doesn't speak for the government," he told ITV's Jonathan Dimbleby programme.

"Usually you find that people who are in that position have made other contributions to society, and if you look at the honours list, you will see that the range of people who received honours range far and wide beyond those who make contributions, monetary contributions [to political parties]."

Jack Dromey, the Labour Party treasurer who has said he was "kept in the dark" about loans from wealthy individuals, told BBC radio he could not comment on the arrest.

He added: "All I could say is two things: first, it is right that politics is cleaned up.

"That is what is now happening and I welcome that.

"And second, the police are investigating what happened in the past - it's for the police to conduct that investigation."

What he's alleged to have said

THESE are excerpts of the alleged exchange between Des Smith, right, and a reporter posing as a frontman for a businessman, "Malcolm":

Reporter: I was talking to Malcolm's wife and she was saying that she thinks getting involved in academies - that lots of people seem to get some kind of honour or recognition for ...

Des Smith: Yes.

Reporter: For doing that? And she said, oh, do you think that might be a likely thing that might happen? Is that like a typical kind of thing?

Smith: Yes.

Reporter: Why's that?

Smith: If Malcolm, because basically ... the PM's office would recommend someone like Malcolm for an OBE, a CBE or a knighthood.

Reporter: Really? Just for getting involved with academies?

Smith: Yeah, so if he did one or two [academies], we would certainly start nominating Malcolm.

Reporter: And who does the nominating?

Smith: Well ...

Reporter: Does Cyril's office [Sir Cyril Taylor, head of the trust overseeing academies] do it?

Smith: I would say to Cyril's office that we've now got to start writing to the Prime Minister's office.

[Yesterday Sir Cyril denied any wrongdoing]

Smith: Yeah ... we'd get three or four people to nominate.

Reporter: Oh that's brilliant. I think she'd be quite excited at the prospect ...

Smith: Oh yeah, yeah, what happens is it's a nomination and then the PM would write to somebody and say we're thinking of nominating you, but we'll choose the honour.

Reporter: Yes.

Smith: It will either be an OBE, a CBE or a knighthood.

Reporter: ... I didn't realise it was as straightforward as that. Sponsoring five academies was ... it's £10 million.

Smith: Well, if you put in £10 million in total into education it's "services to education".

Reporter: So it seemed to be a typical thing. Almost the moment you, perhaps, have it approved, the moment you promise the money, you ...

Smith: You start getting considered.

Reporter: Yes.

Smith: But what would be great is, you could go to the Lords ... become a lord.

Reporter: Really?

Smith: Oh yeah. That's what I'd be most interested in.

Reporter: Really?

Smith: Oh yes. Not a knighthood.

Reporter: How does it work?

Smith: You get nominated to be a member of the House of Lords.

Reporter: What, if you get involved in city academies?

Smith: Oh yes ...

Reporter: Oh my goodness, that's amazing ... So, if you invested in five city academies over, say, a 10-year period, it would be ...

Smith: A certainty.

*********************************************************


__________________
FIGHT FOR YOUR RIGHTS
Magpie

Avatar / Picture

Registered:
Posts: 815
Reply with quote  #71 

Queue here for Honours, Please.

 
hammer6

Avatar / Picture

Moderator
Registered:
Posts: 8,395
Reply with quote  #72 

ferrisconspiracy : UPDATE

 

Mary Scanlon. Picture: Allan Milligan

Mary Scanlon.
Picture: Allan Milligan

 

Police urged to investigate 'dishonest and deceitful' Tory election tactics

FRANK URQUHART

THE Tory candidate in the Moray by- election was accused last night of running a "dishonest and deceitful" campaign after sending out fake letters of support from local councillors, The Scotsman can reveal.

Mary Scanlon's campaign team sent handwritten letters to electors purportedly written and signed by two independent councillors. But both councillors told The Scotsman yesterday that they had neither written the letters nor agreed to them being issued in their names

It is understood at least three voters plan to lodge official complaints with the Electoral Commission about the letters, alleging "misrepresentation" against Ms Scanlon. A formal complaint has also been made to Grampian Police.

Election experts described the campaign literature as "deeply dishonest", but the Tories insisted they had done nothing wrong and said they were victims of negative campaigning by the SNP.

It is the second time in less than a week that Ms Scanlon had been embroiled in claims of "tawdry" campaign tactics.

 

It was previously revealed that she had written to voters emphasising her friendship with Margaret Ewing, the late SNP MSP for the constituency, but had made no mention of the fact she was the Conservative candidate.

The new row centres around two letters which purport to have been written and signed by Tom Bothwell and Ron Shepherd, who are members of Moray Council's ruling independent administration.

Both letters call on the electorate to choose "an honest and approachable bonnie fechter" and end with the same key phrase - "So I urge you, like me, to vote for Mary Scanlon on the 27th".

Mr Bothwell, who is the councillor for Lossiemouth East, told The Scotsman he took "particular exception" to the claim that he had allegedly urged local voters to vote for Ms Scanlon.

He said: "I didn't write the letter endorsing Mary Scanlon. I didn't know about the letter until I came home from a council meeting and a friend phoned up about it. First of all, I didn't write it, and secondly, it wasn't my signature."

Mr Bothwell explained that he had earlier been visited by Ms Scanlon and two of her team when they had discussed a range of local issues.

"She was jotting down the things I said, and said she would come back to me with this letter and I would read it and OK it. But I never got it," he said. "I didn't say any of the things in the letter. It was the last two lines that I really objected to.

"I would have told them, 'There is no way you can print that on my behalf. I am an independent and I can't say to people to vote Conservative, Labour or whatever'."

Mr Bothwell went on: "She [Scanlon] came to me and she was in a terrible state and I was the same. She said, with hindsight, she should have showed me the letter first, I would agree with it and out it would go. But she didn't, and sent it out."

Mr Shepherd, the councillor for Rathford, said: "I never wrote the letter. It's signed Ron Shepherd, but I never signed it. You can't tell people who to vote for."

He went on: "She [Scanlon] phoned me one day and said I am putting in one or two things we are going to be working together on, this sort of thing, and I said, 'No problem'. But that doesn't mean I am going to endorse her. I never dreamed there was a letter coming with my address and my signature on it."

Mr Shepherd added: "I was upset at the time. I got on to the Tories and they said it was a rushed thing and they didn't really think. I don't think it's a dirty campaign. I believe it was an honest mistake."

Alex Folkes, the campaigns officer for the Electoral Reform Society, said: "As far I can tell, this is not against any particular electoral law. But whatever the law says, it is clearly deeply dishonest and, if nothing else, clearly the voters will be able to take their own view on this sort of activity.

"It is incredibly unwise, and I hope the voters will bear that in mind. Maybe it will be salutary lesson for the future for what parties choose to do."

John Curtice, Professor of Politics at Strathclyde University, said: "It is not immediately obvious to me that there is any election law that's been broken. An awful lot of things get said in an election campaign that are not necessarily true. But if I were one of the other candidates, I would be making hay with this."

Angus Robertson, the SNP MP for the constituency, said: "The Tories' campaign here has been dishonest and deceitful from the start, with their failure to even mention the name of their party on their literature. But this big con has now rebounded on them."

However, Ramsay Jones, for the Scottish Tories, said of the letters: "They are not forgeries or fakes. In both cases, the letters were gone over with them. Mary herself spoke with them and changes were made for them, and Mr Shepherd himself, I know, is entirely happy about it.

"He said that if it [the letter] had been in his own handwriting, no-one could have read it. I really don't see what the fuss is about in terms of the signatures."

He added: "We are trying to get on to run a positive campaign on the local issues and the Nats are just stirring it up."

In statement issued on her behalf, Ms Scanlon said: "At no time did Councillor Bothwell infer or state that he was supporting the Conservative Party. In fact, Councillor Bothwell insisted that he believed in voting 'for a person, not a party' and also emphasised 'representing a community irrespective of party politics'.

"Councillor Bothwell was elected as an independent, with no political ties, and he strongly holds his independent views, irrespective of supporting Mary Scanlon. He has endorsed Mary Scanlon because she has pledged to represent all views and all issues in Moray."

What the notes said

April 2006

• Dear Resident,

I'm Ron Shepherd, the local councillor here in Portknockie. I hope you don't mind me writing to you - it's about the Moray by-election on Thursday 27th April.

I'm an Independent councillor because I believe in voting for a person, not a party. Many people in Portknockie voted for Margaret Ewing in the past because she was a good, hard working local campaigner who genuinely wanted to do her best for local people. For exactly the same reasons, I would encourage you to vote for Mary Scanlon on the 27th.

Mary has a track record in the Scottish Parliament of helping local people. She will take our concerns to Edinburgh on crucial issues like securing the future of Portknockie Primary School with an on-site library.

At this by-election, we must choose an honest and approachable bonnie fechter for Portknockie, who will represent the whole community irrespective of party politics. So I urge you, like me, to vote for Mary Scanlon on the 27th.

Yours, Councillor Ron Shepherd

April 2006

• Dear Resident,

I'm Tom Bothwell, the local councillor here in Lossiemouth. I hope you don't mind me writing to you - it's about the Moray by-election on Thursday 27 April.

I'm an Independent councillor because I believe in voting for a person, not a party. Many people in Lossiemouth voted for Margaret Ewing in the past because she was a good, hard-working local campaigner who genuinely wanted to do her best for local people. For exactly the same reasons I'd encourage you to vote for Mary Scanlon on the 27th.

Mary has a track record in the Scottish Parliament of helping local people. All too often people in rural communities like Lossiemouth are forgotten, but Mary will take our concerns to Edinburgh and Westminster on the issues which affect us, like protecting jobs at the airbase.

At this by-election we must choose an honest and approachable bonnie fechter for Lossiemouth, who will represent the whole community irrespective of party politics. So I urge you, like me, to vote for Mary Scanlon on the 27th.

Yours, Councillor Tom Bothwell

Moray a bruising battleground for former Tory MSP

THIS is proving to be a bruising and damaging election contest for Mary Scanlon - and there are still almost two weeks left to run.

On 7 April, Mrs Scanlon was accused of using the memory of the late Margaret Ewing, the former SNP MSP, to further her own cause.

The reason for the row was a letter, sent out to constituents by Mrs Scanlon, in which she associated herself with Mrs Ewing and did not mention that she was a Tory.

She wrote: "We owe it to Margaret to choose a successor who will fight for the people of Moray as tirelessly as she did."

John Swinney, the former SNP leader, said the failure of Mrs Scanlon to identify herself as a Tory in the letter was "a tactic of the political gutter".

"The impression she gives of being a close associate of Margaret, who is capable of taking forward Margaret's political legacy, is tawdry and deceitful," he added.

But the Tories dismissed the claim as "relentless negativity", prompted by increasing nerves about the Tory vote.

The party insisted that Mrs Scanlon is well known as a Tory.

Already an MSP, Mrs Scanlon was forced to resign her seat in the Scottish Parliament to contest the Moray by-election, which perhaps explains why she is so desperate to use every tactic at her disposal in an all-out attempt to win.

Richard Lochhead, the SNP candidate, was also an MSP and he too had to resign his seat at Holyrood in order to stand in the contest.

With the by-election basically a two-horse race between the SNP and the Tories, this ensures that one of the former MSPs will be out of a job in the next two weeks.

Related topic


__________________
The TRUTH is out there...........
Magpie

Avatar / Picture

Registered:
Posts: 815
Reply with quote  #73 
Good grief, their all at it.
hammer6

Avatar / Picture

Moderator
Registered:
Posts: 8,395
Reply with quote  #74 

ferrisconspiracy : ARCHIVE

 

An old friend handed Wilson an envelope. In it was £8,000 cash...he got a peerage in return; Harold Wilson used the honours system as a blatantly corrupt way of getting money or favours, as former No 10 aide Joe Haines reveals in the second part of his fiercely honest memoir.

All governments are corrupt, some more than others, some less.

Political parties need money and rich men want honours. And it is in the honours system, the honeypot of politics, where most of the corruption occurs, thinly or thickly disguised as being for public services.

Some Prime Ministers are more blatant than others. Lloyd George was brazenly crooked, with a set tariff for knighthoods, baronetcies and peerages. Others, including Winston Churchill and Tony Blair, promoted or honoured cronies.

Somehow, those with the deepest pockets were among the most favoured. One would-be peer resorted to sending an envelope stuffed with pound sterling8,000 in used notes to a startled Harold Wilson.

 

Somehow, those with the deepest pockets were among the most favoured. One would-be peer resorted to sending an envelope stuffed with pound sterling8,000 in used notes to a startled Harold Wilson.

I can only write with firsthand knowledge about one government, Wilson's, for whom I was Press Secretary. When he was Labour's leader in Opposition, the party was so short of funds it refused to pay his wife Mary's fares to official engagements. That ended when he said: 'In that case, there's no point in my going because she's more popular than I am.' The promise of honours - never stated but understood - financed his political office, but it went too far.

He and, particularly, his political secretary, Lady Marcia Falkender - with whom, as I revealed last week in the first instalment of my new book, Glimmers Of Twilight, he had a tempestuous relationship - were too friendly with some donors. Three of those they insisted on rewarding had their collars felt later by the Fraud Squad.

Eric Miller, chairman of Peachey Properties and a generous contributor, was given a knighthood in Wilson's last Honours List - and subsequently blew his brains out as the law closed in on him.

Joe Kagan, manufacturer of Gannex raincoats, which Wilson shamelessly promoted, was awarded both a knighthood and a peerage. He went to prison for fraud. After a tip-off from a friend in the Treasury, I went to Wilson while his list was still in draft, warned him the Customs and Excise were investigating Kagan and suggested he leave him out, but he said the story wasn't true. It was, to no one's surprise.

And Colonel John Desmond Brayley, later Lord Brayley, died before a jury had the chance to consider whether he was guilty of robbing his company, which, from what he said to me, he almost certainly was.

Lord Goodman, Wilson's famous solicitor and fixer, acted as secretary of the secret trust which received money to keep Wilson's office going, both in Government and in Opposition. Whenever the trust met, Wilson always found reasons for not wanting to have me around, telling me to have an early night.

Marcia would come in from home for these meetings.

One rich businessman who gave generously refused a knighthood, saying he only wanted to help the party. He was the odd man out. Most of them wanted their ribbon, their tap on the shoulder or their ermine robes and were prepared to pay for them.

More humbly, a South London building contractor got the CBE he craved even though it was delayed for six months until a plausible reason for it could be contrived. The greed of men wanting honours ('it's not for me, it's for the wife') is beyond belief.

Kagan was the most unpleasant man I ever met and a notorious womaniser: he exuded menace. Miller, then chairman of Fulham FC and owner of the Churchill Hotel in London's West End, was engaging and likeable. He not only gave generously but he and his wife, Myra, spent hundreds of pounds on buying presents - and wrapped them themselves - when the Wilsons gave a party for handicapped children at No 10.

Miller was so embarrassed by any public show of his wealth that when he came to Downing Street to see Lady Falkender he arrived by taxi, rather than in his Rolls, and it waited, clock ticking, opposite the front door until he came out. The taxi was never hired by any other passenger. It actually belonged to him and the driver was his chauffeur. It just looked better, especially when calling on a Labour Prime Minister.

Lady Falkender was later to write that the trust to which Miller and the others contributed was to help finance the office of all leaders of the Labour Party and that Wilson was only the first beneficiary. Were he to be ousted or retire, she said, the trust was there for future leaders. That was nonsense. When Jim Callaghan succeeded Wilson he set up an entirely different and more open scheme to pay for his political office.

All the members of the trust, wrote Lady Falkender, were so discreet that neither Wilson nor anyone else knew the full details or who contributed to it. This, no doubt, was meant to show it was a 'blind trust' of the kind later popular with Tony Blair and members of his Shadow Cabinet. This hardly squared with the fact that the trust met in Wilson's office and he attended the meetings.

Wilson's profligacy in handing out honours to dishonourable men damaged his reputation forever. If the fate of Kagan was deserved, Miller's was a tragedy and Brayley's was comic. Defeated and without a home to go to after the 1970 General Election, Wilson was lent, rent-free, a penthouse flat above Le Caprice restaurant in Westminster. It belonged to Brayley, chairman of Canning Town Glassworks - a cheerful but politically ignorant man. His only talent was for making money and he generously supplied Wilson with the giant cigars he liked. Unfortunately, Brayley's defect was to confuse his money with that of his company.

It was after the Wilsons had bought a house in Lord North Street, near the Commons, that Brayley arrived and handed over a small brown paper parcel.

According to Wilson's chauffeur, Bill Housden, it contained between pound sterling7,000 and pound sterling8,000 in banknotes. There was no rule of Parliament then against accepting such a gift unless it were provably a bribe, and no requirement to disclose it.

But it was naive of Brayley to offer it and foolish of Wilson to accept it. Housden said the Wilsons didn't know what to do with the cash and that Mrs Wilson said she had better put it in the bank. The streetwise Housden was horrified. 'You can't do that,' he protested. 'How's it going to look if it leaks out that you've handed over all that money in used notes?' Wilson didn't profit by it personally - he didn't have much regard for wealth.

Instead, it was used to sustain his office staff, which is why for the next year I was paid each month in pound sterling50 notes. Brayley got his reward in 1974, when Wilson gave him a peerage and made him Army Minister in the Lords - the most crass political appointment in modern times.

After a few months, a deputation of Labour Ministers in the Lords, led by the Lord Chancellor, Lord Elwyn-Jones, called on Wilson and asked that Brayley should be dropped.

Wilson told me they said it was unfortunate that Brayley couldn't write his own speeches; even worse, he couldn't read those written for him.

Reluctantly, Wilson agreed Brayley must go after the next election, but in the meantime the rigorously honest Trade Secretary, Peter Shore, told Wilson he intended to order an inquiry into Brayley's handling of his company's affairs.

Worse, the Daily Mail then detailed the allegations of Brayley's frauds. I urged Wilson to dismiss Brayley that day. If an event can be both sad and hilarious at the same time, what followed was it.

Brayley was told to come to No 10 that afternoon after Wilson had fortified himself with lunch and a brandy or two. Before he went into the Prime Minister's study, Brayley told me a miserable tale about his terrible experiences the previous night. He said the telephone never stopped ringing as other newspapers tried to follow up the Mail's story.

Incredibly, this rich man climbed over the back wall of his home in Westminster and spent the night at a doss-house in South London. As a journalist, I thought 'Army Minister's night in a doss-house' a better story than the one which caused it.

'Why didn't you take the phone off the hook?' I asked him. He looked at me in wide-eyed astonishment. The thought hadn't occurred to him.

Wilson hated sacking people and on this occasion he was at his worst. He assured Brayley of his trust in him and said the real target of the Press was himself. His flattering words were totally misunderstood by Brayley, who thought he was being given a vote of confidence by the Prime Minister and thanked him for it.

There was an awkward silence, until Wilson began again. This time he was more direct and a dim light began to glow in Brayley's hitherto unlit mind.

'What do you want me to do, Prime Minister?' he asked. 'Do you want me to resign?' The fish wasn't going to escape the hook again. At once, Robert Armstrong, the Prime Minister's principal private secretary, slid a piece of paper in front of Brayley.

'What is it?' Brayley asked.

'Your letter of resignation,' replied Armstrong.

Bewildered, Brayley signed it.

Armstrong then placed another piece of paper in front of Wilson.

'What is that?' asked Brayley's solicitor.

'The Prime Minister's acceptance of Lord Brayley's resignation.' George Brown, persistent drunkard and still Labour's deputy leader although he had resigned from the Government, pestered Wilson almost daily for a peerage, which he got.

There was something pathetic about a former trade unionist, a workingclass boy from South London, being so desperate for his ermine cloak.

But a former Labour MP, slavishly devoted to Wilson, was decisively rebuffed. When I mentioned his name to Wilson, he sharply replied that the man was a homosexual and that was the end of it. Wilson wasn't homophobic, he just disliked what it entailed.

For a long time, he told me, he resisted the Queen's wish to bestow a knighthood on Noel Coward because he was a homosexual - and also because he lived abroad to escape British taxation. Wilson had called that 'taking the Coward's way out'.

I rarely had any success in blocking those names put forward for honours by Marcia. But my protests in 1976 against a proposed peerage for David Frost did succeed. I objected that it was far too early to honour him so grandly and, secondly, that a dinner at Frost's house in January, 1976 - long before Wilson's colleagues or party suspected he was about to retire - was to discuss plans for exploiting Wilson's departure through a series of programmes featuring him and with Lady Falkender as a consultant.

When I told Wilson, he replied that no one there had been told he was about to retire. So what did they think the dinner was for, then?

My objection to a peerage for Wilson's publisher, Sir George Weidenfeld, fell on stonier ground: it went ahead. Wilson once told me Weidenfeld intended to marry Marcia, as if that were reason enough. It seemed to us that the publisher's wife might have made that unlikely.

Marcia's obsession with showbusiness - she once brought Frank Sinatra to a No 10 reception - ensured peerages for entertainment moguls Lew Grade and Bernard Delfont.

Her determination to get the best education for her two sons meant a peerage for a virulent opponent of Wilson, John Vaizey, who had given her advice on public schools. And James Goldsmith, a contributor to Tory party funds, got a knighthood.

Perhaps the reason was that, as Wilson had told me, Goldsmith had promised Marcia a directorship of his main company, Cavenham Foods.

In April 1976, on a flight to Luxembourg, Wilson offered me a peerage.

I told him, conceitedly, that I wanted to abolish the House of Lords, not strengthen it. He then offered a knighthood, which I also refused on the grounds that it was a permanent ticket to cocktail parties. The deeper reason for refusing both was that there was no way I would have had my name included on a list like his.

Wilson told Castle: 'Get Jack Straw' to dig dirt on Thorpe

The General Election of February 28, 1974, was on a knife edge all night and the following Friday afternoon. As the final results came in, it was clear that Labour was the largest party - but only just. It had 301 MPs and the Tories had 297, including the Speaker, who couldn't vote. The Scottish and Welsh Nationalists, who might have supported a Labour Government, had nine, but the Tory Prime Minister, Edward Heath, could count on the bulk of the votes from the Ulster Unionists. The Liberal Party, led by Jeremy Thorpe, had 14 seats. They were the key.

All that Friday afternoon, Wilson's closest aides - Marcia Williams, myself, Dr Bernard Donoughue and Albert Murray, the former MP who was his office manager - plus Terry Lancaster, political editor of the Daily Mirror, sat in Wilson's drawing room at his home in Lord North Street, Westminster.

Wilson had once told us he intended to serve as Prime Minister for only another two years, but he wasn't going to be robbed of them. Marcia had been in touch with Robert Armstrong, Heath's principal private secretary at No 10, waiting to hear that Heath had gone to Buckingham Palace to offer his resignation to the Queen. We waited and we waited. Nothing came.

We heard instead, through various sources, that Jeremy Thorpe was contemplating forming a coalition with Heath in which, it was said, Thorpe would become Home Secretary. We were sure that Liberal MPs wouldn't allow Thorpe to get away with it, but Wilson was going to take no chances. He said Thorpe had had an affair with a young man called Norman Scott, and that Scott had complained, during the last years of the previous Labour Government, which went out of office in 1970, that his National Insurance cards had been held by Thorpe.

'I am not going to be cheated by Heath,' Wilson vowed, and added that he would ask George Thomas, a former junior Minister at the Home Office, to come forward and expose Thorpe's alleged homosexual affair with Scott.

What's more, Wilson added, Ted Short (now Lord Glenamara) also knew of the matter and he would ask him to do the same.

Wilson was convinced that Heath knew nothing of Thorpe's involvement with Scott, although Heath has since made it clear that he had been told by the Cabinet Secretary that allegations of homosexuality had been made against the Liberal leader. Wilson was confident - perhaps overconfident - that once Heath knew what we knew, there would be no job for Thorpe.

We waited for a call from Downing Street or Buckingham Palace until 7.30pm, when Armstrong finally phoned to say he was going out to dinner and would not be returning to Downing Street that night. The message was coded but unmistakable: nothing was going to happen that would warrant Wilson taking his best suit out of the wardrobe.

On the following Monday, it was evident that there would be no Heath-Thorpe coalition and Heath went to the Palace and resigned. The Palace then phoned and arranged for Wilson to see the Queen.

But Wilson was not finished with Thorpe. Subsequently, he asked Barbara Castle, who became his Secretary of State for Social Security, to let him have details of Scott's National Insurance records for possible future use: ie if the Heath-Thorpe coalition were revived again in another close-fought election, he would play the Scott card.

Mrs Castle was unhappy at Wilson's request and Wilson told her, 'Get Jack Straw' to do it. Straw, now Foreign Secretary, was Mrs Castle's political adviser at the time. Later, I asked Wilson if he had got what he wanted and he said he had. But how Mrs Castle got the records or from whom, I never learned.

Nearly two years after that long night in Lord North Street, Peter Hain - today a Labour Minister - presented Wilson with a dossier alleging a conspiracy by BOSS, South Africa's intelligence service, to blacken Thorpe's name.

Marcia, who paranoically believed she was also a BOSS target, urged: 'Harold, you've got to do something to save Jeremy.' Wilson did his best, in an incredulous Commons, by praising the man whose career he had been intent on destroying less than two years earlier.

Thorpe's downfall came quickly - he was accused of conspiring to murder Scott - and Wilson was left with more needless egg on his face.


__________________
The TRUTH is out there...........
hammer6

Avatar / Picture

Moderator
Registered:
Posts: 8,395
Reply with quote  #75 

 

JACK McConnell ducked out of the Tartan Day parade in New York yesterday following fears his presence would be seen as inappropriate in the wake of Scotland's bird flu outbreak.

Instead of joining the planned march down the American city's Sixth Avenue, which had attracted pipers from across the world, the First Minister arranged a telephone conference call with cabinet colleagues back in Scotland.

 

ferrisconspiracy : VIEW

 

You may be well able to DUCK the 'BIRD FLU' but you will never be able to DUCK the Nat Fraser or Shirley McKie case as a little bird (no flu) informed me that you must be 'QUACKERS' to even think we are all as dumbassed as yersel man!

 

Are you the 'TARTAN-YIN?' Shed Shir Shawn..............Oh and WELCOME HOME JACK we hope you liked the 'Road to Portabello'

 

ferrisconspiracy : UPDATE

 

9 April 2006
SNP GIVE MISSING JACK A ROASTING
First Minister slaughtered for staying in US
Brian Lironi, Political Editor, At The Snp Conference In Perth

SNP deputy leader Nicola Sturgeon launched a bitter attack on Jack McConnell yesterday for staying in the US despite the bird flu crisis.

Sturgeon used her keynote speech to the SNP spring conference in Dundee to criticise the First Minister who has been in New York for Tartan Week.

She launched similar broadsides on Justice minister Cathy Jamieson and former Lib Dem leader Jim Wallace.

She said: "When did you last hear our First Minister challenge the corruption of his party machine?

"In fact, when did you last hear from Jack McConnell at all?

"In the last few days, since bird flu was found in Fife, the public, the poultry industry, the whole nation has needed reassurance - reassurance that there is no cause for panic.

 

"The public servants working round the clock to help contain theit with an income outbreak deserve support.

"Ross Finnie has done his best. But that reassurance and support should have been coming from the First Minister."

In a speech which was thin on policy, she also turned her fire on Cathy Jamieson over the Executive's handling of the Shirley McKie affair.

And former justice minister Jim Wallace was criticised over his calls for a public inquiry into rendition flights touching down at Scottish airports.

She said: "Scotland's justice system failed the people it is meant to serve.

"And yet the First Minister and two successive justice ministers - the hapless Jim Wallace and the hopeless Cathy Jamieson - have failed to explain what went wrong.

"And they have done nothing to ensure that it never happens again.

"Jim Wallace even had the brass neck this week to go on TV and demand a public inquiry into rendition flights, while he and the Liberal Democrats continue to block a public inquiry on the Shirley McKie case.

"You'd think they had something to hide.

"If Jim Wallace is looking for something to do when he retires from parliament next year, here's a suggestion - Jim Wallace should run masterclasses in hypocrisy."

Sturgeon, the party's leader at Holyrood, told conference that Labour were on the slide but that her party was wrong if they thought power would fall into their lap.

She pledged to fight the next election on a manifesto which will include scrapping council tax and replacing it with an income tax, giving grants to first-time buyers and giving patients a legal right to hospital treatments when they need them.

She told activists to go out and fight for an SNP victory in next May's elections.

She said: "It will have to be worked for, campaigned for, earned - in every constituency, the length and breadth of Scotland.

"For the next 390 days the things I have been talking about today need to be talked about by all of us.

SNP leader Alex Salmond will give a speech today on the economy.


__________________
The TRUTH is out there...........
Previous Topic | Next Topic
Print
Reply

Easily create a Forum Website with Website Toolbox.