In Bed With the Unionist Scottish Tories – Rangers Football Club Supporters reveal their hand



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In Bed With the Unionist Scottish Tories – Rangers Football Club Supporters reveal their hand

The 2016 Scottish Cup Final was marred by the bad conduct of a large section of Rangers supporters who, throughout the match baited Hibernian fans with sectarian chants The songs (clearly audible to television viewers) contained the phrases ‘Fenian bastards’ and ‘up to our knees in Fenian blood’.

Despite the foregoing the game was played in a good spirit by both teams and the final result was in the balance up to the final minute when Hibs scored the winning goal. At the final whistle (seconds after the restart) a number of Hibs fans invaded the pitch. They were mainly exuberant, but a few sought to re-enact the events of 1977, when Scotland beat England at Wembley. This brought Rangers supporters onto the pitch and the resultant confrontation was inevitable. Many watchers and television viewers were horrified at the violence between both sets of supporters and allocated blame equally between them.

But not Prof Adam Tomkins. He made it clear, when writing to the Rangers Forum that the Scottish Tory Party absolved Rangers and their supporters of any blame. He then basked in the adulation of Rangers fans who commented favourably about the Tory party and Tompkins in particular.

But a subsequent investigation, completed by Sheriff Principal Edward Bowen QC made it clear that there was fault on all sides and he could not attribute blame to either club or to any individual, or group.

The Scottish government and First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon were castigated in a statement issued by Rangers Football Club shortly after the incident which stated:

“It must also be said that it was not at all helpful to see leading members of the Scottish Government, including the First Minister whose parish is Govan, passing comment on social media without any attempt to condemn the behaviour of Hibernian’s fans. These failures are unbecoming of our elected representatives.”

The comments made were: “Ms Sturgeon “condemns unreservedly any act of violence or disorder by anyone who attended the cup final”. “Violence has no place in football, either on or off the pitch,” Justice Secretary Michael Mathieson. The foregoing statements were vindicated by the later findings of Sheriff Principal Edward Bowen QC.

Prof Adam Tomkins MSP comments were unbecoming of a member of the Scottish Parliament but, as yet no disciplinary action has been taken against him by his Party leader. Shame!!!



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28 September 2016: Hibs and Rangers in the clear over Cup Final disorder at Hampden

Hibernian and Rangers escaped punishment by the football’s governing body in relation to the disorder at the Scottish Cup Final at Hampden.

Hibs triumphed 3-2 to win the Scottish Cup but the post match celebrations were marred by scenes of crowd disorder and a pitch invasion.

A report by Sheriff Principal Edward Bowen QC into the disorder said it was impossible to attribute blame to either Club or to any individual or group.

He suggested a reserve of police should be ready to deal with possible pitch invasions in high profile matches and said new laws should be brought in to make pitch invasion a criminal offence.



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Events of 21 May and Follow up.

23 May 2016: The Rangers Forum – Scottish Cup Final – Rangers v Hibernian – A supporter Sent Adam Tomkins (MSP) an e-mail

I’m writing to hopefully discuss the disgusting scenes witnessed at Hampden yesterday. I would write to Nicola Sturgeon, but she’s already made it quite clear that she has no interest in condemning it, in fact, on the contrary.

At the age of 29, and having attended hundreds of football matches at both Ibrox and Hampden, I’ve never seen scenes like yesterday. As a Rangers supporter, it’s safe to say I feared for my safety, and to watch Rangers player getting attacked was my worst moment as a Rangers fan.

I appreciate there’s not a huge amount that can be done with the SNP in control, but I was curious to hear your thoughts on the matter, none the less, and hoped as the main opposition, you would be the best person to contact (I should mention I’m a local constituent).

Any suggestions on what can be done to take the matter further would be greatly appreciated. I think I speak for the majority of Rangers fans when I say that we can’t accept what happened yesterday getting swept under the rug by the SNP.

Adam Tomkins responded:

I was at the game: not on a corporate freebie but with Rangers season-ticket holders in the Rangers end. I used to be a season-ticket holder myself at Ibrox.

I have tweeted several messages about the disgraceful and dangerous actions of the Hibs fans in storming the pitch at the final whistle. Like you, I was appalled by what I saw. It is important that the police and SFA inquiries proceed without political interference, but I will be looking for answers to two sets of questions in particular:

* Why Hibs fans were allowed to reach Rangers players who were still on the field of play?

* Why the police seemed (to me) to take quite a while to restore order?

It is the job of MSPs to press for answers to questions such as these and you may be assured that I will not rest until I have them. I will be discussing with colleagues in the Parliament tomorrow morning what further action we as MSPs should take at this stage. As the father of four young children, a number of whom enjoy coming with me to football matches, I share your concerns. What follows, in case of interest, are the lines the Scottish Conservatives have put out today:

“The events after the final whistle at Hampden on Saturday ruined what should have been a day of celebration for the whole of Scottish football; not only the culmination of a long cup competition but the first time that two teams outside the top tier have competed in the final. While Hibs supporters will rightly wish to celebrate winning their first Scottish Cup in 114 years that can be no excuse for the reported assaults on players and officials, nor the destruction of the fabric of our national stadium.

l understand that Police Scotland have set up a unit to track down the perpetrators, and I would urge them to ensure that all routes are taken to identify and charge those involved in these criminal acts. Thereafter, it will be for Parliament to determine how best to review the performance of Police Scotland in responding to this disorder.

The hard work of the footballing authorities, the police, football teams and their supporters has meant that significant progress has been made in the past two decades in making attending football matches in Scotland safer and more enjoyable, sadly the scenes on Saturday represent a significant setback for that progress.” This is not the end of this matter, but I hope you can see from the above that we have made a start in getting to the bottom of this, with a view to ensuring that all relevant lessons are learned. With very best wishes: Adam Tomkins MSP: Conservative MSP for Glasgow :




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Forum members comments:

Can’t argue with that, its set the bar for other MSP’s to respond to similar questions with the same respect and attention to detail.

Bravo Mr Tomkins, I actually trust this guy to do his best for us, most unusual for a politician.

I’m heartened to read that response from Adam Tomkins MSP

Thank you Mr.Tomkins and I trust that you will be vigilant when the SNP and Labour attempt to whitewash this affair.

Excellent response but where are SNP and Labour in their condemnation of the events or even acknowledge them.

Puts his party leader to shame. If this guy was in charge, they would get more votes.

The problem with police Scotland the route they will be taking will be mostly directed at our support.

Future leader of the Scottish unionist party

One of the reasons why I voted Conservative for the first time in recent elections.

That is the difference between a real political party and a shower of charlatans (SNP and Labour).

Impressed with that response. Wee Nic is my constituency MSP. I emailed her. Still waiting.

He was on one of my lecturers at uni. Full of his own self importance and loves the sound of his own voice however very committed to the union. Didn’t know he was a bear. That reply is very good. Hope he delivers.

Good reply, I hope he shares it with his party leader. She could learn from Prof Tomkins.

I’ve written to mine whose constituency covers Hampden. Not expecting much … he’s an SNP asslicking knobend

Just remember this is the result of voting Conservative in the Glasgow region. Far from a wasted vote.

Just remember this is the result of voting Conservative in the Glasgow region. Far from a wasted vote. Correct, don’t give SNP or Labour your votes, they despise Gers fans.
He is one of the reasons I voted conservative for the first time

Puts his party leader to shame. If this guy was in charge, they would get more votes. She was too busy getting married. Don’t suppose she gave much thought to the game.

Good reply. Fair play to him.

Decent reply, hope he follows it up.

Excellent response. I don’t know why we don’t vote more conservative in Scotland. SNP are fascist. Labour/liberals a joke.

That is a good reply. Glad to see that we have someone our side. I was at the game (as I was in 1980) and Saturday was a lot worse.

Best political response so far…..sadly maybe the only one. Saturdays troubles and concerns should transcend politics.

Excellent reply from Mr Tomkins, it’s good to know we have a politician on our side, I may need some advice later.

Just read about him in today’s Daily Mail said that he is a constitutional lawyer (whatever that is ) and academic who is probably the cleverest person at Holyrood. Just so happens that he is up against Angela Constance who is probably about the thickest person at Holyrood

Just gained a vote for Tory next elections. Bravo to him, hopefully he keeps his word.



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Get to Know Chancer Prof Adam Tomkins – the Tory List MSP is the Brains Behind the Scottish Tory deferendum Campaign





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Professor Adam Tomkins – A Visionary or a Plonker? – The Scottish Jury Is Still out – But a Verdict is expected Very Soon (Part 1)

Professor Adam Tomkins – A Visionary or a Plonker? – The Scottish Jury Is Still out – But a Verdict is expected Very Soon (Part 2)

Professor Adam Tomkins – A Visionary or a Plonker? – The Scottish Jury Is Still out – But a Verdict is expected Very Soon (Part 3)





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Prof Tomkins




UK and the City of London – Dirty Money Laundering Capital of the World – Spreading the Disease to Scotland – But it is Being Addressed -Isn’t it??



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UK and Tax Haven’s

“Land Registry” figures show UK real estate worth more than £170bn is held by nearly 40,000 secret tax haven companies and “The National Crime Agency” believes up to £100bn of tainted cash could be passing through the UK each year. Much of it ending up in real estate, but also in other assets such as luxury cars, art and jewellery. The laundering of the dirty money also funds terrorism which is an unacceptable practice since it has contributed to the death and injury to many members of the British forces in the past 20 years.



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The Teir 1 Investor Scheme – A Major Blunder by The Labour Government Extended by the Tories

At the height of the financial crisis in 2008 the Labour government decided that it would trade UK citizenship for cash investment through the introduction of the Teir1 Investment scheme.

The “no questions asked” policy required only that persons seeking to invest would need to lodge at least £2million in UK banks, trusts or investments. In return the investors and their families would be granted UK golden visa’s. After 5 years a visa requirement would lapse and those wishing to remain in the UK would be afforded permanent residency in the UK.

At 2016 the total number of visa’s issued exceeded 3000. In the so-called “blind faith period” where few checks were done over the source of income – 37% of Tier 1 investor visas were awarded to Chinese nationals and 23% to investors from Russia. In consequence very significant wealth has been transferred away from Russia and China to the disadvantage of their economies and to the benefit of the UK.

This UK Treasury: “no questions asked policy” exposed the Teir1 investor Scheme to abuse. Money laundering, was prevalent, leading to an increasing number of complaints and threats of retaliation, from nation States adversely impacted by the illegal transfer of finance away from their economies.

In excess of 75% of corruption cases involving property investigated by the Metropolitan Police’s Proceeds of Corruption Unit (POCU) involved anonymous companies registered in ‘secrecy jurisdictions’.

The Panama Papers scandal confirmed what was long-alleged: corruption is now a global problem, crossing multiple jurisdictions, in which the implausibly large wealth accumulated by certain politicians, shady business people and officials is easily hidden within a secretive financial system, and used to buy assets in stable countries like the UK.

In May 2015 the UK government hosted the London Anti-Corruption Summit, pledging better international coordination on corruption. The UK was forced to accept anti-money laundering procedures in the UK were inadequate and undertook to address the problem introducing effective, comprehensive checks on Tier 1 Investor visa applicants ensuring timeous reporting of any individual(s) who might be suspected of an illegal or improper attempt to invest money in the UK.

There was an added commitment that the UK would ensure measures would be taken, working with relevant governments or authorities, identifying illicit wealth, returning all such money to it’s rightful owners.



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London – The Queen of all She Surveys

In a single 50-storey apartment complex in London, the Tower at St George Wharf in Vauxhall, a quarter of the flats are held through offshore companies.

Millionaires Road (Bishops Avenue) London is well named since over a quarter of the avenue has been purchased by Teir1 status: Nigerian billionaires, business tycoons, oil rich magnates and Nigerian politicians, have acquired many of the street’s multi bedroom mansions for their families, and second and third properties for their mistresses.

Not to be outdone the President of the Nigerian senate, who faces allegations that he failed to declare his assets, owns a property in Belgravia in his own name.

Adding insult to injury “Real Estate” agents in London compared notes and identified that more than £600million has been spent in London by Africans from Nigeria, Ghana, Congo, Gabon, Cameroon and Senegal, with wealthy nationals forking out £250million on homes in the period 2013-2016 and there is no indication of fall off in demand.

Nigerians are the biggest spenders, and include, Aliko Dangote, a Nigerian business magnate, Folorunsho Alakija, a billionaire oil tycoon, fashion designer and philanthropist from Lagos and her British-born nephew Rotimi Alakija, who also goes by the stage name of DJ Xclusive are among the wealthy African buyers spending almost £4million on London property every week.

Folorunsho is said to have recently bought four apartments in One Hyde Park, the super-exclusive development in Knightsbridge. Many other tycoons have also been eyeing up homes on Kensington Palace Gardens – known as Billionaires’ Row.



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2014: The Panama Papers – the Destination of Libya’s Billions

“The Panama Papers” revealed how a powerful member of Muammar Gaddafi’s inner circle has built a multi-million-pound portfolio of luxury homes in Mayfair, Marylebone and Hampstead in London. Further extending the portfolio, adding housing, boutique hotels and other properties in Scotland.

Ali Dabaiba, head of Libya’s infrastructure fund for a decade, is accused by government prosecutors in Tripoli of plundering money meant for hospitals, schools and archaeology. Scottish police confirmed they are investigating, but at 2016 Libya’s request for an asset freeze has not been implemented.

It is alleged he secretly squirrelled away ‘stolen’ Libyan money by as revolution engulfed the troubled North African country. Amid the chaos of the Arab Spring, the 68-year-old is accused of shifting some of his family’s vast wealth – thought to run into millions of pounds – into the London property market by purchasing shares in Chesterton Humberts the London based Estate Agency

In documents sent to the UK’s National Crime Agency, it is claimed: The Libyan government is trying to claw back billions of pounds wrongly funnelled out of the strife-ridden country by Gaddafi’s former associates as the regime collapsed. Libyan Attorney General Abdulqader Radwan, that Mr Dabaiba was among those being investigated on suspicion of embezzlement and abuse of office.

A document sent to the UK by investigators working for the Libyans said: ‘The state of Libya believes that the estate agency Chesterton Humberts is part-owned by Ali Ibrahim Dabaiba or his brother or sons.’ In February, General Radwan sent a letter to Scottish authorities asking for help recovering ‘Libyan state assets stolen by Ali Ibrahim Dabaiba and concealed abroad with the help of his family members and others.”



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Ali Ibrahim Dabaiba and son






2016: Gaddafi insider accused of using state cash to buy Scottish Properties

Scottish police are investigating claims by Libyan authorities that a powerful member of Muammar Gaddafi’s inner circle used money meant for hospitals and housing to buy luxury hotels in the Highlands, other property throughout Scotland and a string of multi-million pound homes. The allegations were made in confidential documents sent to Scotland’s lord advocate in a request for legal assistance by the Libyan attorney general in 2014. Ali Ibrahim Dabaiba is suspected by Libyan prosecutors of embezzling millions from public funds during his two decades as head of the country’s major infrastructure commission.

Dabaiba is suspected of awarding contracts worth more than £200m to companies that he ultimately controlled, It is alleged he then laundered the proceeds in England and Scotland. They say he may have been helped by his sons, his brother, and a group of British associates based in Dunfermline. Business records reveal his involvement in multiple companies all registered at the same address in Dunfermline.

The Dabaiba family have dismissed the allegations as baseless. They maintain that they are not under investigation in Libya, and their lawyer claims they are “not wanted by any judicial, financial or security bodies”.

According to Libyan prosecutors companies the Dabaibas appear to control have invested in at least six prestigious properties in England with a current value of more than £25m. In London these include a £16.5m flat in Mayfair, a £1m flat in Marylebone, a £7m house in Hampstead; Land Registry records also show two £1m homes in Surrey.

Dabaiba’s salary in Libya was equivalent to just £12,000 a year and his declared earnings were not, according to Libyan prosecutors, sufficient to allow him to own these properties.

Officers from Police Scotland’s serious organised crime division are understood to be actively pursuing their own investigation. A Scottish Crown Office spokesman said: “We can confirm we have received a request for mutual legal assistance from the Libyan authorities. As this relates to an ongoing investigation it would not be appropriate to comment further.”



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The Criminal Finances Bill

The weakness in present UK legislation requires individuals to be first convicted in their native countries before any action can be taken against them in the UK . This barrier to the relevant authorities is to be removed through the introduction of the “Criminal Finance Bill” which contains an “Unexplained Wealth Order” section. The Serious Fraud Office, HM Revenue and Customs and other agencies will be able to apply to the high court for an order forcing the owner of an asset to explain how they obtained the funds to purchase it. The measures (to be applied retrospectively) places at risk of forfeiture or freezing the bank accounts and other assets such as jewellery and art and the many hundreds of properties hidden away in the UK, under the ownership of criminals, corrupt politicians and tax evaders. London’s long held reputation as a safe place to store dirty money will be nullified.



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Unexplained Wealth Orders

The orders, targetting politicians, public and private individuals and criminals (who need not to be resident in the UK so long as their assets can be seized) will apply to property and other assets worth more than £100,000. If the owner fails to demonstrate that a property or item was acquired using illegal sources of income, agencies will be able to seize it. It is expected the “Bill” will become law as early as the spring of 2017. Enforcement agencies will be increased significantly to cope with the new workload.

Sue Hawley, Corruption Watch commented: “The UK must end its role as a facilitator of the looting of state coffers by corrupt officials across the world, which undermines democracy, creates instability and fuels poverty. Unexplained Wealth Orders are an essential tool in ensuring the UK can seize corrupt wealth speedily and return it to countries that desperately need it.”




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Scottish Affairs Committee Recommend Changes Strengthening the Role of the Redundant Secretary of State for Scotland



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James Douglas, 2nd Duke of Queensberry (1662-1711) Secretary of State for Scotland, 1709-1711.  procured the signing of the 1707, Treaty of the Union





Secretary of State for Scotland – About the post

The post was created soon after the Union of the Crowns, but was abolished in 1746, following the Jacobite rebellion. Scottish affairs thereafter were managed by the Lord Advocate until 1827, when responsibility passed to the Home Office.

In 1885 the post of Secretary for Scotland was re-created, with the incumbent usually (though not always) in the Cabinet.

In 1926 this post was upgraded to a full Secretary of State appointment.

The 1999 Scottish devolution has meant the Scottish Office’s powers were divided, with most transferred to the Scottish Government or to other UK Government departments, leaving only a limited role for the Scotland Office. Consequently, the role of Secretary of State for Scotland was much diminished.

The role of the Secretary of State for Scotland:



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Helen Do-little – Labour Party – Secretary of State for Scotland

The Secretary of State for Scotland manages to fit French lessons and Burns Suppers into her less-than-arduous three-day-week, yet still manages to pull down a £100,000 salary.

The sinecure that Helen Liddell, the present incumbent, enjoys is breathtaking. The details of her diary, showed that because the Scottish Parliament is now responsible for virtually all domestic legislation north of the border, she has very little to do.

Opposition politicians, as well as some in her own party, are now asking whether the new constitutional arrangements justify having a minister of Cabinet rank solely for Scotland. The Scottish National Party has called for the abolition of the post of Scottish Secretary but, as its raison d’etre is the end of the union, this is hardly surprising.

The best solution – certainly the one that would appeal to those with an interest in preserving the United Kingdom – is for Scottish affairs to be handled by a Cabinet minister with other UK-wide responsibilities. In a re-arranged Cabinet the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, for instance, could make sure that Scotland’s interests were represented – and its voice heard – in Cabinet.

It would be an improvement on the current farce of Mrs Helen Do-little.



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What happened next?

Blair and Brown tried to address the much reduced role in various ways. Douglas Alexander and Alistair Darling fitted in the UK Minister of Transport posts whilst Des Browne took on the UK Ministry of Defence role, (at the time of the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts).

The appointment of Jim Murphy to the post full time in 2007 was met with some surprise when set against the foregoing. It was expected the post would be downgraded or given up reflecting the changing political scene in Scotland.

In 2010 David Cameron transferred responsibility for Scotland to the Lib/Dem party meeting the terms of the coalition government agreement. Michael Moore MP held the post from 2010. He was replaced, in 2013 with the infamous, Alistair Carmichael. David Mundell (Cameron’s blue eyed boy) took up the post in 2015 following the Tory party’s return to government



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2010: Scottish Affairs Committee Scotland and the UK: cooperation and communication between governments: Government Response to the Committee’s Fourth Report of Session 2009-10
Recommendation: (Establishing the Secretary of State for Scotland as the custodian of Scotland)

(C): We recommend that the Scottish Executive recognise the Secretary of State’s role as custodian of the Scotland Act and work with the Secretary of State to improve communication and cooperation between UK and Scottish Governments where possible.

(G): This Government remains committed to the role of the Secretary of State for Scotland. We believe that it is vital for the interests of all the Devolved Administrations to be represented
at the Cabinet table, not least at this time of economic and financial challenges and given the ambitious proposals we have set out to facilitate further devolution of powers to Scotland. The Secretary of State for Scotland will play a full and active role in policy formulation, ensuring that the devolution settlement in Scotland is fully respected during policy development, and also ensuring that the UK Government is represented in Scotland.



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Recommendation: (Asserting Secretary’s authority over the Scottish Government daily business)

(C): We note the Secretary of State’s concern that he is not copied routinely into correspondence sent from the Scottish Executive to UK Departments. We encourage the Scottish Executive to copy the Scotland Office into intergovernmental correspondence in future, as better and more open lines of communication are likely to enable the Scotland Office to offer its assistance to discussion at an earlier stage.

(G): We welcome the Committee’s encouragement to the Scottish Government to copy the Secretary of State for Scotland into all correspondence. This Government does not see the role of the Secretary of State for Scotland to act as an intermediary in direct and constructive bilateral relations between UK Departments and their Scottish Government equivalents, but we do share the Committee’s assessment that the Scotland Office plays an important role in supporting the full consideration of Scottish interests in policy formulation and development. Such action on the part of the Scottish Government will help ensure that the Scotland Office is best placed to help early identification of any areas of contention and work with relevant parties (in both the Scottish Government and in Whitehall) to resolve them satisfactorily.



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Recommendation: (Relates to the secret anti-devolution “Fifth Column Civil service team” that schemed, plotted and conducted a successful “spoiling campaign” against Scottish independence in 2014)

(C): We welcome the action that the Government is taking to improve the knowledge of devolution matters amongst civil servants which has been shown to be occasionally wanting in the areas of Whitehall which have little to do with devolved issues or Scotland. We recommend that the Ministry of Justice ensures that each department has a “devolution champion” at senior level to ensure that structures are put in place to achieve and maintain higher levels of devolution awareness amongst staff.

(G): As a result of recommendations and findings from the Calman Commission, the UK Government undertook an audit of its devolution capability between October 2009 and March 2010 which agreed a series of actions for improvement – one of these was that each department should identify a senior devolution champion. All departments have now identified at least one senior member of staff as their devolution champion. It was also agreed that these leads should form a network across Whitehall and meet periodically. A first meeting of these departmental leads took place on 15th April and we expect a second meeting to take place this summer.



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February 2014: A committee of MPs has announced an inquiry into the impartiality of civil servants in Scotland, ahead of the independence referendum.

Westminster’s Public Administration Select Committee (PASC) said it would look at the “challenges” they face in the run up to the 18 September vote. The independence campaign has already seen concerns raised about the neutrality of senior civil servants. The committee has asked for submissions by 4 April 2014. It will look at five key issues:

* The dual obligations of civil servants in the Scottish government to their ministers and to the UK civil service as a whole.

* Explore what “impartiality and objectivity” mean in practice for civil servants working on the referendum.

* Examine how the civil service code will be enforced, and complaints of alleged breaches of the code examined.

* Scrutinise the leadership of the civil service in relation to the referendum. (read my many posts about Cabinet Secretary, Sir Jeremy Heywood)

* Consider what lessons the civil service can take from the referendum when planning for similar events in the future.
The inquiry came after the UK government’s unusual decision to publish advice from the Treasury’s top civil servant caused a row between the Holyrood and Westminster administrations. Sir Nicholas MacPherson said a currency union with an independent Scotland would be “fraught with difficulty”, which prompted Scottish Finance Secretary John Swinney to say the mandarin had “crossed the line” of civil service neutrality. The Treasury said Sir Nicholas’s advice was “completely impartial”.



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Sir Nicholas Macpherson, permanent secretary to the Treasury






October 2014: Row deepens over Treasury civil servants’ indyref role

Mario Pisani, deputy director of the UK Treasury, made several controversial remarks at a ceremony where he and the rest of the department’s “Scotland Analysis Programme Team” received the Cabinet Secretary and Head of the Civil Service Award in the annual Civil Service Awards. He said:

“In the Treasury, everyone hates you. We don’t get thanks for anything. This is one occasion where we’ve worked with the rest of Whitehall. “We all had something in common, we’re trying to save the Union here, and it came so close. We just kept it by the skin of our teeth. “I actually cried when the result came in. After 10 years in the civil service, my proudest moment is tonight and receiving this award.” adding “As civil servants you don’t get involved in politics. For the first time in my life, suddenly we’re part of a political campaign. We were doing everything from the analysis, to the advertising, to the communications. I just felt a massive sense of being part of the operation.”

The foregoing is controversial because civil servants are supposed to retain a strictly neutral profile during political campaigns. Ironically, Mr Darling and several leading Better Together figures had accused the Scottish Government of abusing the rules in its use of civil servants during the referendum campaign – a charge that was never proven, and for which Mr Darling provided no supporting evidence.

In contrast, the role of the Treasury has been at the eye of controversy within the Civil Service itself, not least because of the publication by the UK government of “advice” offered by its Permanent Secretary Sir Nick Macpherson in support of Chancellor George Osborne’s crucial intervention on the currency question.

Better Together sources have stressed post referendum how important the currency question was in persuading people to vote No, as well as giving Darling a bat with which to beat former First Minister Alex Salmond MSP during last summer’s TV debates.

Whether Macpherson’s advice – basically that in the event of a Yes vote he would give advice that a rUK Chancellor should not agree to a common currency deal with Scotland – was actually “impartial” has been a controversial point.

The move, launched in a lightning visit to Edinburgh by Osborne – who refused, famously, to be interviewed on the subject by STV’s Bernard Ponsonby – is believed to have been initiated by Darling, and received public support from Labour’s Ed Balls in the belief that a joint Unionist front would beat back the SNP position.



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The man who runs the UK (its him in the middle) Sir Jeremy Heywood




Recommendation: (Keeping the Scottish Government in the loop))

(C): In future, the UK Government must consider whether the interests of confidentiality outweigh the responsibility it has to keep the Scottish Executive informed of international agreements made on its behalf, particularly in cases such as this where Scottish Ministers will be forced to make decisions on highly emotive and controversial devolved matters as a result.

(G): The UK Government is committed to the principles of co-operation and communication with the Scottish Government, as enshrined in the Memorandum of Understanding and Concordats. As recommended, Government will consider carefully the appropriate balance between interests of confidentiality and the responsibility to keep the Scottish Government informed of international agreements made on its behalf. This includes consultation with the Devolved Administrations on matters relating to international relations which touch upon devolved matters.



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2016: European referendum – Brexit – Role of the Secretary of State for Scotland

A leaked document has shown half of the cabinet is made up of hard-line Eurosceptics, yet Scottish Secretary of State David Mundell misses out. The 54-year-old Tory MP, will only be summoned to the crucial Brexit negotiations “as required”.

SNP’s deputy leader Angus Robertson criticised the decision to leave Scotland out in the cold in critical Brexit talks. He said: “The revelation that the Scottish Secretary is not a full member of Theresa May’s Brexit cabinet committee is deeply embarrassing for David Mundell — but also seriously undermines Theresa May’s claim that Scotland will be fully involved in the Brexit negotiations. But make no mistake — the SNP will ensure that Scotland’s voice is heard in the Brexit process. The people of Scotland voted overwhelmingly to remain in the EU, yet we face being dragged to the EU exit door — and as the ugly reality of the Tory vision of Brexit Britain becomes clear, we will explore all options to protect Scotland’s place in and relationship with EU.”

Chief Brexit negotiators Boris Johnson, David Davis and Liam Fox have all been drafted into the permanent committee. Prominent Leave campaigners and cabinet ministers Andrea Leadsom, Priti Patel and Chris Grayling have also been given key roles in taking Britain out of the bureaucratic bloc.

A Government spokesman said: “The UK government governs for the whole of the UK We have been very clear that we will work closely with the devolved administrations in order to deliver the best deal for the country.”

The revelation will only add to the SNP’s call for another independence referendum – with Nicola Sturgeon stating a new bill will be published in a bid to force Theresa May to back down to climb down from her threats of a hard Brexit which would see Britain pull out of the single market. During the first day of the SNP party conference on, Sturgeon said: “If you think for one single second that I’m not serious about doing what it takes to protect Scotland’s interests, then think again. “If you can’t – or won’t – allow us to protect our interests within the UK, then Scotland will have the right to decide, afresh, if it wants to take a different path.”



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Civil Servants awarded special Civil Service Award for their Key role defeating Scots in the Referendum






Baroness Helen Liddell – Stalin’s Granny didn’t just bake the (l)Pies – She had her finger in every single one




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The blessed Helen and even more blessed Tony



Baroness Helen Liddell of Coatdyke  – The Scottish Referendum

Helen Lawrie Liddell, Baroness Liddell of Coatdyke, is a British Labour Party politician who served as the Member of Parliament (MP) for Monklands East from 1994 to 1997, and then for Airdrie and Shotts until 2005. It was announced in the 2010 Dissolution Honours List that she would be created a Life Peer.

An ardent Blairite and Unionist she was an active member of “Better Together” in the 2014 Scottish Referendum.

Her opening contribution to the Reading of the Scottish Bill in the House of Lords 24 November 2015 was typical of her attitude towards Scotland. Referring to the “Vow” published in the Daily Record a few days before the referendum date she boasted of her ability to strike fear into the minds of gullible Scots saying:

“My Lords, I am delighted to follow the noble Baroness, Lady Goldie. She and I were a double act during the referendum and spread fear throughout the land. I shall take up one of her final points. She talked about faith and trust in the process and the “Vow”, or the promise, or whatever you call it. I agree that Ms Sturgeon will be cracking open the champagne bottle, because the one thing the SNP is very good at is whingeing. It has raised it to an Olympic sport.”



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Spread fear throughout the land


Syria – Aleppo Factual Update Late October 2016 – Ignore the Hype



Tuesday 18 October 2016: Aleppo Update – Do Not Believe the Hype -These are the facts

Terrorists of Al-Quaeda (recently renamed Al Nustra) in East-Aleppo are boxed in with nowhere to go. The Syrian army is steadily reducing terrorist held areas engaging in close combat, house to house fighting. Syrian and Russian air-forces deal swiftly with any overt attempts by the terrorists to gain advantage over ground troops. Al-Nustra fighters are reduced to less than 1000 and the civilian population is reported to be less than 20,000, (not the 1.5million headlined in the press.)

President Assad has halted military operations providing opportunity for civilians and fighters to leave the city and (under UN escort taken to a safe haven in Turkey.)

The 2013 and 2016 city maps provide supporting information:






October 2016

The Syrian army is advancing from the East using the main East-West road as the Axis. When complete Al-Nustra forces will be spit then rolled up within 2 weeks.







Referendum Protocols – A Look back at the 1979 Debacle – February 2014 Voting Advice to the Scottish Electorate Which Fell Upon Deaf Ears



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Referendum Protocol

A referendum is concerned with major questions of policy change and views will be strongly divided. There is a clear need, therefore, that its conduct should be accepted by the electorate as efficient and fair.

Guidelines should be established early and accepted by all parties ensuring consistency of administration in their conduct maximizing confidence in the legitimacy of the result.

Given the Westminster Government will be committed to a “no” vote the referendum should be handled exclusively, (in all aspects) by an Independent Electoral Commission whose purpose (free of any political or financial influence) should be to ensure the referendum is conducted efficiently enforcing a fair presentation of competing views.




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Referendum Independent from Government

Responsibility for the publication and management of information relevant to the referendum should be exercised entirely outside of Government – by the Independent Commission The conventions which require the Civil Service to avoid engaging in political or public debate’ and which limit its actions to the provision of factual information, should be strictly adhered to.

The Independent Electoral Commission should, (on an equitable basis) provide facilities and funds for the production and distribution of leaflets written by a campaign group from each side (and is responsible for any arbitration between the competing claims of campaign groups).

Every household should receive a publicly funded leaflet (through the Independent Electoral Commission) giving general information on the holding of the referendum and statements of the ‘Yes’ and ‘No’ cases relating to the referendum question.

Public funds, (other than the financial budget allocated by government to the Independent Electoral Commission) should not be used.

The Independent Electoral Commission should handle the process of consulting campaign groups, deciding on the establishment of umbrella organisations, and administering any appropriate financial assistance.

Political, groups, parties’ or individuals not wishing to be associated with any of the recognised campaigning organisations (and therefore not eligible for public funding assistance) should still be free to participate in the campaign.




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Broadcast Media Matters

A balance should be maintained between the ‘Yes’ and ‘No’ viewpoints rather than between the different political parties. Broadcasters should be encouraged to provide a limited amount of
airtime for setting out the arguments for each option in the referendum.

The content of such broadcasts would be the responsibility of any formally recognised campaign organisations. In the absence of such organisations the Independent Commission should appoint production companies to produce such broadcasts.

Party political broadcasts should not be transmitted during the referendum campaign.

The broadcast media will occupy a central role in informing the Public of the issues and the arguments on both sides of the referendum question.  The three distinct areas which concern the broadcast media are:

* News and current affairs coverage,

* Provision of fair time for referendum broadcasts

* Paid News and current affairs programmes should operate according the rules and guidelines to political impartiality.

Broadcasters should apply a strictly enforced 50:50 balance (observing well established and tested guidelines) between opposing views ensuring that ”justice is done to a full range of significant views and perspectives during which the issue is active”.




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Other Media

Restrictions on political advertising do not apply to the print media. It is difficult to see how expenditure on newspaper advertisements could be subject a general restriction. Current advertising law requires that advertisements are identified as such and cannot be confused with the editorial content of the paper. There is no requirement for newspapers to present a balanced political view and the political affiliations of the national newspapers are well known. Other forms of campaign media, like direct mail and telephone canvassing, are similarly unregulated. It is likely that legislation to do so would be politically unacceptable.




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Referendum – Use of Threshold Targets

The establishment of a threshold target is confusing for voters and produces results which do not reflect their intentions.

A turnout threshold may make extraneous factors, such as the weather on polling day, more important.

If a threshold is used, it should be a set percentage of the votes cast and not a percentage of the eligible electorate.

If thresholds are set, a clear explanation of the meaning of the threshold for the electorate should be included in the public information provided.”



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The 1979 Devolution Referendum Debacle

During the Parliamentary proceedings on the Scotland Act, a clause was inserted on the initiative of the Labour backbencher, George Cunningham MP. This provided that, unless 40% of those entitled to vote voted in favour, the Government had to lay an Order before Parliament repealing the Act. The turnout was 32.8%, (short of the 40% required.) The Labour Government accordingly tabled an Order repealing the Scotland Act. The outcome of the referendum produced lasting resentment, it was felt that the rules had been biased against advocates of a Scottish Assembly.

Outcome of the Referendum on Devolution for Scotland 1 March 1979:

Question: Do you want the provisions of the Scotland Act 1978 to be put into effect?

Yes: 1,230,937 – 51.6% No: 153,502 – 48.4% Spoilt Ballot Papers: 3,133 Turnout: 2,387,572 – 63.6% Percentage of Electorate which Voted Yes – 32.8%



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Factors Driving the 1979 Devolution Referendum

The BBC was the accepted “voice of the State.” The electorate in Scotland almost universally trusted “Auntie Beeb” to provide information with strict impartiality.

There was a very different level of media available at the time the 1979 referendum took place which was before the internet – so no web pages, twitter, podcasts – but also in the period when there were only three TV channels (Channel 4 did not appear until 1982).

There were few computers (not as we know them now anyway), no mobile phones, no telephone canvassing, and none of the modern campaigning techniques of recent years that have utilised technology (direct mail for example).

Campaigning was therefore quite traditional and involved pen and paper, leaflets, posters, public meetings, press releases to newspapers, limited TV coverage, etc.

The campaign did not have any party election broadcasts or even an information leaflet on devolution, setting out the arguments from the government. This was because the Party Whips warned that a Government leaflet held no appeal.

Even the provision of an explanatory leaflet in Post Offices in Scotland was not attempted, and although partly compensated for by private initiatives there is strong evidence suggesting that the turnout was reduced because voters had no information delivered to their homes.

Another factor was the content of the Act, which presented an extremely complicated set of responsibilities to be vested with widely differing proposals for Wales and Scotland. These had the effect of influencing the electorate that devolution mirrored the political scene in the country at the time, the (winter of discontent and the desperate struggle of the minority Labour Government to stay in power) were not necessarily in the long term interests of Scotland.

Campaigning was unregulated compared to now, with no spending limits for the campaign or any public accountability over campaign spending: It is estimated that the “no” campaign spent double the amount of money of the “yes” side.

Despite conflicting views on devolution a significant number of labour and Tory Party MP “no” activists joined forces and cross-funded campaigning efforts. Brian Wilson (strongly anti-devolution) was very active with this group.

Anti-devolution trade unions were supported, in their spoiling campaigning with finance laundered through a Tory backed, tycoon-fronted group “Scotland Says No”.

The Labour Party was almost exclusively against it’s own “Devolution Bill.” Party MP’s in Scottish constituencies, (with the exception of Willie Ross) were as one opposing the legislation, driven by an intense hatred of the SNP which blinded them to any suggestion that devolution would benefit their constituencies.

The political reality of the Lib-Lab pact that began in March 1977 had a serious effect on the devolution issue. It meant that Labour struggled to construct a parliamentary majority for its devolution proposals at Westminster, and this exposed it to influences of its own backbenchers (meaning Labour’s devo-sceptics such as Tam Dalyell, George Cunningham, Robin Cook, Brian Wilson, etc) as well as the Liberals and SNP.

The result was that Labour lost control of the devolution issue at Westminster and was forced to amend its legislative proposals to suit party dissidents –this resulted in the necessity of holding a referendum to implement the Scotland Act 1978 as well as the 40% rule: that 40% of the registered electorate would need to vote Yes to devolution for the Assembly to be created.

The SNP, was a new force at Westminster. The party’s electoral success in 1974 had brought 11 MPs to Westminster. This proved to be the catalyst for change that brought about proposals for devolution, within the lifetime of the parliament. But the devolution issue was also very controversial within the SNP. The party was not as one on providing support to the proposals and this was reflected in their poll ratings and performance in by-elections. The devolution agenda was a well designed “Harold Wilson” spoiler for the SNP and the party fell for it big time.

The Tory Party was well disciplined and contributed very little overtly to the referendum campaign. The cautious approach, (confining their efforts largely to the provision of funds to Labour party activists and unions) had been adopted so that the party would not adversely influence their prospects in the next election.



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UK General Elections

Application of the same criteria to the last four UK General Elections would have required a re-run of three. In 1978 the referendum was not re-run which is a blatant abuse of the 40% rule implemented by Westminster in 1978

2001: 59.4% 40.7%
2005: 61.4% 35.2%
2010: 65.1% 36.1%
2015: 66.1% 36.9%



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The Influence of the Newsquest Newspapers on the 2014 Scottish Independence Referendum

In the course of the 2014 Referendum Campaign the Herald in Scotland often changed its editorial policy – At times supporting independence then confusing the issue going cold on the approach transferring their allegiance to “Better Together”. In the final months of the campaign the paper firmly backed “No”. Its sister paper, “The Sunday Herald” also favoured independence only to revert to supporting the “no” side in the last weeks. The introduction of “The National” (from the same stable) with an editorial policy supporting independence was a godsend for the “yes” campaign.

In February 2014 (when it was onside with independence) the Herald issued a message to the Scottish electorate which had it been heeded would have ensured a different outcome to the referendum.



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Scots should take to heart the lesson of the 1979 campaign – (28 February 2014)

The referendum campaign has entered another and perhaps decisive stage, reminiscent in many ways of the 1979 referendum campaign for a Scottish Assembly.

In 1979, the “No” campaign was run by the same commercial and political forces now in play. The Labour Government was notionally in favour of its own legislation, which it had allowed to be crippled by the 40% rule. It sat passive, leaving the trade unions and opposing Labour MPs to join with the Conservatives in opposing the creation of an Assembly with minimal powers.

Yet the deceptions and threats were still being made. The Assembly, they said, would lead to a wholesale withdrawal of Scottish industry with loss of jobs.  It wasn’t all that valuableThe oil located in Scotland’s waters was British. It wasn’t that valuable. It would run out and where would Scotland be then? Impoverished and ruined was the answer. And weren’t we under a duty to be selfless and help out England’s poor? Further generations of those English poor – and Scotland’s too are still with us – and using food banks for survival.

Fifteen years after the setting up of the Scottish Parliament, the disaster has not happened. None of Scotland’s companies kept to their threats to pull out. Instead many of the objectors have prospered. If there has been any problem affecting Scottish commerce it has come from the mismanagement of the British economy and its cataclysmic failure to control the credit explosion from which came the 2008 depression.

As for oil, the tax revenues went south, causing huge expansion in London at the expense of Scotland.

It’s all happening again. Standard Life says it “may” transfer jobs and capital south. Then there is the Weir Group, which is to produce an “independent” report to assess the advantages and disadvantages of independence. Some may remember the then chairman, Lord Weir, being amongst the most militantly opposed of Scotland’s industrialists.

Until the start of the year, London thought it had the result in the bag. Then six polls charted growing support for Yes. Abruptly, the Unionist campaign became aggressive.

The figment that “Better Together” was running a purely Scottish campaign was brushed aside. Alistair Darling was sidelined. In came the main armament of the British state. The British Government actively canvassed support from other countries, including Russia and Spain, to collate opposition that would be broadcast in Scotland.

Then there was the Cameron “love-bombing”, the Osborne and Balls “blitzkrieg” on the currency, followed by the President of the EU Commission saying that Scotland would have difficulty becoming a member of the EU and a “rare” meeting of the Cabinet in Scotland to proclaim Scotland’s remaining oil was better in London’s hands.

The timing and sequences demonstrate that although the “British Government” claimed it was not involved in the debate, it had laid the ground work for its direct intervention through a series of political hammer blows. The tactics as in 1979 are simple – destroy Scottish self-confidence and morale.

There was no attempt to put forward constructive reasons for Scotland to stay in the Union. Promises for more devolution may be made at the Scottish party conferences. Do not believe them. In the aftermath of a No vote, London will see no need to give more powers to Scotland.

If the Scottish people are as gullible as in 1979, there is not much that can be done. They will pay the price. The budget of the Scottish Government will be slashed when the Barnett revenue formula is abolished and £25bn of cuts come down the line. In that case, the harsh experience that follows will induce Scotland to win independence in 10 years’ time.

But why wait? The evidence from 1979 is that these threats never come to anything. They are propaganda only. What is a reality is that “Food Bank” Britain is crumbling. The bubble of accelerating growth of London and the South-east of England will provoke increases in interest rates that will reverse today’s shallow recovery and induce a further recession.

There is an economic case to be made for independence and so far it has not been projected strongly enough. Time for “Yes” Scotland to move from defence to counter-attack.




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