A squalid little committee

Apparently the SNP are actually denying Wendy Alexander’s claim that the Scottish Parliament’s standards committee was biased when it considered the case against her. They might as well deny the earth is round while they’re at it.

I would like to think that if a similar case arose at Westminster, the fact that the individual in question had received written advice from the House authorities – advice the individual had then followed – then the case would be rightly thrown out. Case closed.

I hope that, for the sake of the parliament’s reputation, Labour MSPs who find themselves in future in the position of being asked to make a judgment against a nationalist member will resist being as partisan as this squalid little committee has been, regardless of the temptation.

I see Alex Salmond himself is going to enter the row on the side of his little henchmen. He should be careful that his carefully honed image as a statesman isn’t compromised by being seen as simply another secessionist putting the boot into a fallen opponent for party political advantage.

Advertisements

5 Comments

Filed under Alex Salmond, Labour, Politics, SNP

5 responses to “A squalid little committee

  1. If things were as simple as you paint them, then this whole thing would have been over long ago. I think it demeans the parliament to dismiss a half-delivered verdict as partisan, some grace in standing down would go a long way.

    The problem is, written advice or none, she asked after the deadline. Letting her off on that count would enable any future MSP, on realising they’d done something they were unsure about to submit a query and rely on time pressure to get them off the hook.

    If she wasn’t sure, and she clearly wasn’t if she asked, then the standing recommendation is to declare everything if you’re in doubt. The problem with the system is that it must be understood that everything must be declared except for a few types of item. Wendy’s team clearly saw it the other way and thought that taking donations £50 beneath the limit would put them beyond scrutiny and have seemed awkward about the whole thing since having to submit to scrutiny. None of that behaviour was forced by the SNP, it was the choice of Wendy and her team. She needed no hustings and no campaign.

    You must remember that Holyrood is (at least) trying to have higher standards than Westminster. Therefore an argument that Westminster would have behaved differently is of note, but not necessarily of material importance.

    As a concerned citizen I have no issue with SNP members at low levels being involved in submitting complaints. I think the one day ban is a pretty fair punishment, other leaders have resigned for less in Holyrood.

  2. John

    It’s your peers who make up the rules, so if you can’t obey them what hope have we?

  3. Robert

    Sadly this seem to run through new Labour, expenses it’s only expenses. donation it’s only money. The fact is they all knew the rules from this person to Peter Hain rules are put in place, believe me as a disabled person I have to report to the DWP gifts of money given to me as a present, even birthday presents of money should be reported to the DWP if somebody was to give me a £1,000 and I did not report it I be in a court of law. One law for MP’s one law for the people.

  4. “a squalid little committee”

    “his little henchmen”

    I don’t think this is the type of language that an MP of any party should be using regardless of whether it’s verbal or on a blog.

    As to your main charge:

    “the individual in question had received written advice from the House authorities – advice the individual had then followed – then the case would be rightly thrown out. Case closed.”

    The advice was sought AFTER the deadline that is given to MSPs to register such interests.

    Deadline passed. Interests not registered. Guilty. Case closed.

  5. Jeff said:

    The advice was sought AFTER the deadline that is given to MSPs to register such interests.

    It wasn’t just sought after the deadline for declarations, it was sought some 30 days after the deadline … a massive 60 days after the cheques were apparently banked.

    Wendy has hardly been whiter than white in all of this and her complete lack of respect for the electorate has pretty much evaporated any hope of sympathy anyone (including myself) might have felt for her.

    Her conduct and performance have been a disgrace. She’s brought the parliament into disrepute. Her attitude has been disgusting (“unintentionally broke the law”).

    She’s lucky she got a slap on the wrists from the fiscal (I imagine some sort of caution) and didn’t end up on a charge …

    … rant over.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s