Thursday, February 2, 2012

First Minister Alex Salmond calls for the stripping of peerages and baubles of convicted Lords at the House of Lords and bankers, wrong approach Alex













Dear All

Alex Salmond yesterday waded into the row over ‘gonggate’ and suggested peers with serious criminal convictions and other failed bankers should be stripped of their titles.

The First Minister was speaking after expressing regret having previously backed the disgraced former Royal Bank of Scotland chief executive Fred Goodwin.

Goodwin lost his knighthood as he was stripped by the Queen on the recommendation of a forfeit committee set up to look into Goodwin’s knighthood.

The problem with Alex Salmond’s suggestion is that it lacks fairness, why should someone who has inherited a title can commits wrong doing be able to keep their title and someone who is ennobled by the Queen for services to whatever lose theirs if they transgress.

Alex Salmond is a clever politician, I have met him a few times, but throwing this suggestion into the mix to deflect his embarrassment was wrong.

Generally if someone elevated transgresses, the law deals with them that is why we have an independent judiciary.

Once they are punished and serve whatever penalty rendered, that should be the end of the matter, unless their offences involved crimes that by law, place restrictions on them in society.

Natural justice and fairness demands we don’t continually punish people post verdict; that is why we have courts.

A long time ago, I wrote a post on The Spectator where I highlighted the need not to conduct witch hunts which several SNP members in other publications started regarding Labour Peer Mike Watson, calling for him to be stripped.

Watson was punished, that is the end of the matter, but apparently some SNP people thought this was unacceptable.

http://www.spectator.co.uk/coffeehouse/3326771/we-shouldnt-ignore-the-poverty-in-our-own-country.thtml

I wrote this on Thursday, 5th February 2009.

By calling for others to be put to the sword, we should remember that the SNP Government is part of this charade by allowing people to be recommended for honours.

Brian Souter is an example of someone who I would never have put forward for a nomination.

The First Minister says there was "some humbug" about the whole affair, which had provided a "convenient distraction" from some of the bigger policy issues, such as spending cuts.

Mr Salmond added:

"What about all the other people who are keeping their honours who were also involved in the financial collapse? Are they going to have their honours withdrawn?

"What about the folk in the House of Lords who have been convicted of serious criminal offences? Why are they still in a legislature?"

Do you wish to punish these people Mr. Salmond and on what basis?

Because you backed Goodwin, you made a judgement call because at the time you thought that Goodwin was competent and wanted to be seen to support Scottish business.

Your judgement wasn’t wrong in the concept and you didn’t know Goodwin’s background because you took things at face value and gave people the benefit of the doubt.

I would do so too until they proved otherwise.

In the Westminster expenses scandal, many supposedly honourable people working as lawmakers turned out to be law breakers.

Also, less we forget many MSPs were exposed for the second mortgage scandal at Holyrood, where even SNP people who sold off second properties part funded by the taxpayer pocketed a fortune and kept the money the taxpayer paid.

They legally ripped off the taxpayer but that’s okay because they did so within the rules which means they are free if they so choose to remain an SNP MSP or stand again for Holyrood in the future.

I don’t agree with your stance and I don’t agree with you pulling others in front of you as a shield because some ‘political bullets’ came flying your way.

You made a judgement call, it turn out Goodwin wasn't worthy of your endorsement, it happens, but don’t go pissing on other people’s lives.

There is nothing honourable in travelling down that road.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

6 comments:

Annette Curtain said...

I must admit I was baffled at the time when I heard the news of Alex's letter supporting Fred and his expansion plans with ABN Amro. Northern Wreck had fallen a few months earlier and all the financial papers and blogs I read screamed ' steer clear' of ABN Amro. Then Fred failed to do due dilligence and he bought a toxic timebomb. My view on the SNP leader never recovered from that poor call. His barking mad policy of windmills and wave generators has confirmed my view that he is very dangerous.

George Laird said...

Dear Annette Curtain

“I must admit I was baffled at the time when I heard the news of Alex's letter supporting Fred and his expansion plans with ABN Amro”.

Alex Salmond is right to support Scottish business; he has a clear duty to do so to give Scotland the best possible profile.

However, he and his staff can’t look at commercially sensitive deals such as ABN Amro before giving an endorsement. He thought that Goodwin had competence, he gave him the benefit of the doubt, most people do that until they discover otherwise.

Then he manned up and corrected his mistake by saying he got it wrong.

I am fine with that, but at that point he should have stopped.

“Northern Wreck had fallen a few months earlier and all the financial papers and blogs I read screamed ' steer clear' of ABN Amro. Then Fred failed to do due dilligence and he bought a toxic timebomb”.

Some people like Goodwin think they are smarter than the rest of the population, it turned out; he wasn’t.

“My view on the SNP leader never recovered from that poor call. His barking mad policy of windmills and wave generators has confirmed my view that he is very dangerous”.

I disagree, he made a mistake which he recognises, if he hadn’t the ability to do that then he wouldn’t have recovered, Alex Salmond still remains a good politician, but no one is right all the time, everyone makes mistakes.

The trick is not to make the same one twice.

As to the policy of windmills and wave generators, regarding development of green energy sources, I am happy to support his stance that work could led to new industry for Scotland. Things aren’t as well developed as the hype suggests but the research is worth continuing with.

I believe that Scotland however needs a mixed energy policy so I support new nuclear stations in Scotland which I see as a necessary safeguard for our national grid.

“confirmed my view that he is very dangerous”.

There isn’t enough data to support such a conclusion as you profess because there is a whole industry engaged in this technology, and it is right he supports these people in their efforts.

It may lead to a new industrialisation of Scotland bringing jobs and prosperity; I would let him run with it.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

Annette Curtains said...

George..

Is it not a bit worrying that we're relying on windmills for energy security ?
Are staying in the corrupt EU if possible so giving away our resources like fish etc for buttons.
And the First Minister has such poor business acumen ? Missing simple signs that a layman could spot.

3 major things for any countries success or failure

George Laird said...

Dear Annette

“George..

Is it not a bit worrying that we're relying on windmills for energy security ?”

At present, we still do have Nuclear Power Stations, and as I say, I am in favour as an SNP member that we allow the building of new ones to replace those coming to the end of their operational life.

I also favour the introduction of a Nuclear power station tax as a revenue stream for building of infrastructure as power companies make obscene profits.

“Are staying in the corrupt EU if possible so giving away our resources like fish etc for buttons”.

I favour EU membership but with safeguards, Europe is a good thing but the EU is in need of overhaul, major overhaul.

“And the First Minister has such poor business acumen ?”

I don’t think giving an endorsement is a sign of poor business acumen by Alex Salmond, I think you are letting emotion cloud judgement.

“Missing simple signs that a layman could spot”.

You said you were well up this, does the fact Alex Salmond didn’t read what you read make his judgement faulty or rather did he go with the information he had at the time.

Which was RBS was a successful Scottish Bank.

“3 major things for any countries success or failure”.

As an SNP Member I argue for changes in policy that I believe aren’t workable or are needed, for example the Scottish National Police Force, proposed this 4 th September 2010 at SNP National Aassembly.

Scottish National Fire Service proposed by me on the same day.

Both are now Holyrood Bills, and I got no credit for it.

SNP media, I gave a talk at Pollok SNP on youtube, twitter, Facebook on to improve getting the message to people. Sitting there was Kirk j Torrance, like me an ordinary member. He went to next SNP Conference and gave presentation on social media and was given a job at HQ.

I got no credit for that either.
People in the SNP don’t have a problem copying my ideas and taking credit for them as their own it seems.

If you were to read a report I wrote July 2010 and look at the last three SNP Newsletters, you would see my ideas in each Newsletter in some shape or form, but I put my ideas down on paper first.

Despite all above and lots more done by me, I wasn’t deemed worthy to be selected as an SNP Candidate for the City of Glasgow.

But when I checked the Glasgow SNP List, very few people out of the 43 selected were actually born in Glasgow.

Apparently as a member of the working class I am good enough to be an unpaid SNP politician but not good enough to represent the area I have lived in for 40 years as a paid Councillor.

They choose only middle class members with little or no history of activism in Pollok.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

Annette Curtain said...

George..
I'll look up your talks and get back to you.
The SNP are against nuclear plants so those won't be replaced. The SNP are against coal plants unless carbon capture so those won't be replaced. That's a 40% reduction in our energy production arriving over the next decade. The total UK windmill output is 1.6% today due to the winter high pressure ( 3,600 windmills)

The EU can't be 'overhauled' The latest treaty doesn't allow any 'overhauls' It's either in or out.

RBS was an open book and it was easy to watch it's shares crash from £12 to 30p over 18 months. Staff and share hoders were questioning the takeover of ABN but Fred's roadshows were designed to calm fears. I know folk who got out before the takeover and saved their shirt. Others lost their life savings.

I admire your attempts at getting selected. It sounds quite ruthless.

Anonymous said...

it not the first time he has got it wrong he and his side kick got it wrong on letting the that bomber out on compassionate grounds
their will be a lot more coming out about what he has done wrong hell slap it into him
cjm