Friday, November 8, 2013

Scottish independence: Alex Salmond says the SNP stands for “fairness, equality and social justice”, so why is ex-SNP Councillor Alex MacLeod who worked for him facing criminal charges of allegedly using a fraudulent scheme to get elected?

Dear All

If you mention Alex Salmond, you have to mention Alexander Lindsay Murray-MacLeod in the same breath.

Comrades of the Nationalist cause who worked together.

MacLeod was a ‘rising star’ in the Scottish National Party, the youngest ever councillor to be elected in the Highlands, worked for 10 months for First Minister Alex Salmond, studied Law at Edinburgh University, National Secretary of Young Scots for Independence, appointed a Parliamentary Assistant to the SNP MSP Rob Gibson and his Campaign Manager in the 2011 election.

Sounds pretty good, but as we are seeing the great CV isn’t all it is cracked up to be.

He is also involved in a criminal case accused of forming a fraudulent scheme in a bid to win his election victory.

In any future employment if convicted that doesn’t sound good on the CV, especially if a prison term is tagged onto it if he is found guilty.

Alexander Lindsay Murray-MacLeod; faces allegations that he fiddled his expenses during the campaign for the Landward Caithness seat on Highland council.

Presumably he has never seen the movie Braveheart!

If he had then he would know that such behavior is not on, well below what William Wallace would expect.

Apparently the allegations against MacLeod came to light when someone stuck him in, an unnamed individual spoke out as a concerned citizen.

The former councillor, who has since resigned decided not to attend his recent court appearance where his lawyer sought a continuation of the case without a plea.

The new date of 5 December was set in this running saga, which although slightly less interesting than the Bill Walker scandal to hit the SNP, has some traction, this was one of Alex Salmond’s blue eyed boys.

In a statement, he said:

“Today I have asked my solicitor to appear on my behalf at the Sheriff Court in Inverness, who will seek a continuation of this case while my team works with the Crown.  I have asked my legal team to work as closely and cooperatively as possible with all the relevant authorities, as we seek to reach an eventual outcome. In the meantime, it is right that the people of Caithness are able to get involved in a by-election, so that they can move on from this matter. Following legal advice, I cannot offer any further comment at this time.”

I wonder if this statement could be read as him saying not guilty, but alas not, as to his point of “working with the Crown”, surely that is just bizarre?

Alex MacLeod is a former employee of First Minister Alex Salmond, so that doesn’t look good especially now that people know that Alex Salmond runs the SNP as a ‘rat ship’.

As to the allegations against MacLeod, he is accused of forming a fraudulent scheme to be elected as a councilor, allegedly incurred election expenses in excess of the permitted amount of £1226.04 and he is said to have knowingly declared false election expenses to officials of the Highland Council.

And if that isn’t enough, it is further alleged that he altered invoices from Caithness Print Solutions and the John O’Groat Journal. The Crown claims that they failed to show the true extent of the cost of the services provided by them.

And is there a cherry on the top of this cake?

Well, that could be the allegation of knowingly declared a false home residence in his nomination paper.

The charge alleges:

“All of this you did in the pursuance of election as a councillor for Landward Caithness, and did thereby induce officials of Highland Council to submit your application as an electoral candidate for Highland Council election, whereby you were subsequently elected as a councillor for Landward Caithness in a Highland Council election by fraud.”

In previous statements attributed to the former SNP Councillor MacLeod, he said he had to be “honest about any mistakes that I have made”.

Mighty big of him!

He added:

“I got into this situation when I was very young, with all the arrogance and hot-headedness that that entails. I feel a redoubtable sense of sorrow and regret for the events which have unfolded. I understand that this news will hurt a great many of my friends, colleagues, and supporters. I am truly, very genuinely sorry about that. My biggest apology is to the people who voted for me. It is right that they now have the opportunity to elect a new councillor in a by-election.”

This appears to be rather careless use of the English language which could be mistaken for a confession.

Presumably Alexander Lindsay Murray-MacLeod is pleading not guilty however at this stage he isn’t making any declaration which many people may find strange. Funnily enough SNP MSP Bill Walker was also pleading innocence right up to the time the jury delivered a guilty verdict on his ass.

He is now doing 12 months in prison for smashing women’s faces in over three decades.

So far, Scotland’s unpopular Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon hasn’t once visited her close personal friend in prison, not once. Nicola has got to watch her image as the ‘face of independence’.

A new poll shows independence support at 29%, which just goes to show that the ‘talented people’ remark by Alex Salmond was terribly misplaced. A year and a half of work and no progress at all, must be some kind of achievement which needs to be heralded for its abject failure to accomplish all objectives.

Having worked for Scotland’s ‘jolly fat man’ Alex Salmond, MacLeod enjoyed a high profile and with his election, this increased when he joined the authority after his election victory.

He famously declaring the council would “not know what hit it” once he started work.

Presumably if you can’t fill in a form on election expenses, do you have the ability to transform a council?

And it isn’t like the Council Election Officials aren’t helpful to candidates, you just pop into see them, take your forms and expenses receipts, and they are only too willing to help keep you right.

If convicted, Alexander Lindsay Murray-MacLeod would be getting punished under the Representation of People Act 1983 which can carry a maximum six-month prison term. I feel personally that Alex Salmond should be surrounded by all his little SNP cronies on the ‘grassy knoll’ when he loses the Scottish independence referendum. That way when they lose they will all know as fact that they are just talentless buffoons who live off the wits of others.

And also you can forget about Alex Salmond coming to see MacLeod, first rule of running a ‘rat ship’ is that when someone messes up they get abandoned pronto and publicly in order to protect the ‘rats’ in the party.

As a Law student at Edinburgh University, Alexander Lindsay Murray-MacLeod will have learned that law is there for his protection and others, although winning an election is important to an individual, it is not the be all and end all of politics. Everyone who stands for election should have a fair chance to win, even if they are the most repugnant of individuals.

Finally, time for part of a quote from Alex Salmond:

“My problem is that I have too many talented people”.

Can they bake a cake with a file in it?

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

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