A fool or just deluded?
Willie Rennie – A confidence trickster who repeatedly tries to deceive the Scottish electorate with false claims and innuendo seeking to gain political advantage over the SNP government via some form of pretence or deception.
Rennie is readily available to the right-wing Scottish press and media frequently and with ever increasing vigorous impetuosity making statement’s calling for government intervention or apology, challenging the integrity of the SNP. His public performances are breathtaking in their arrogance.
I well remember, his promise to “rediscover the party’s soul and rebuild trust with voters” at the time he was elected leader of Scotland’s Lib Dems after their demolition in the 2011 Holyrood elections
He claimed, with a straight face, to be an honourable man who would have no truck with anyone in public office who did not measure up to exacting standards he demanded of himself. Those who failed, for any reason would be expected by him to resign.
But. True to form his own performance in public life has been less than honourable but he still clings to public office like a “chit-chat on a wall”
For details of Rennie’s rise to the top of the cesspit that is the Liberal Democratic Party in Scotland read my previous blogs on this person:
One more nail in this chappies coffin.
Searching back through Holyrood records I was reminded of another of Rennie’s dishonourable performances at the time in September 2003 the Scottish Parliament launched a science project to afford MSPs access to ‘reliable and factual information’.
A one-year pilot Science Information Scheme for MSPs was launched at the Scottish Parliament in 2003. The Scheme was a collaborative project between the Scottish Parliament Information Centre (SPICe), the Royal Society of Edinburgh (RSE) and the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) in association with the Institute of Physics in Scotland and the University of Edinburgh.
The main purpose of this service was:
* To ensure that all MSPs had access to rapid, reliable and factual information on science, engineering and technology-related issues in order to help inform Parliamentary debates on scientific issues.
The scheme was operated through a group of 52 Topic Co-ordinators who acted as “sign posts” directing MSP queries to the appropriate expert. Queries were directed to these topic co-ordinators through the RSC Parliamentary Liaison Officer or SPICe.
The contacts named at the end of the press release included the Parliament, the RSE and the Royal Society of Chemistry. The contact for the latter was Willie Rennie, at that time in the employ of company McEwan Purvis.
Rennie had passed himself off as working for a learned society while in reality he was employed by and a shareholder in the PR firm. Rennie, subsequently elected to Westminster as an MP now leads the Lib/Dem party,in Scotland as an MSP.
Furthermore all of the science related organisations involved have strong corporate links and are known to take pro-corporate views on science issues. For example:
* The Royal Society of Edinburgh
* Royal Society of Chemistry
* Institute of Physics
The service promoted as ‘rapid, and impartial’ was run jointly by the parliament, the Royal Society of Chemistry and the Royal Society of Edinburgh, in association with other learned or scientific bodies.
But Corporate influence was kept hidden from the public and MSPs. Some briefings for MSPs were provided through the scheme on an anonymous basis and initially the list of “topic co-ordinators” was kept confidential to avoid “inhibiting” their ability to provide “free and frank” advice.
Much later, when Greens finally gained access to the list under “Freedom of Information Act,” they found that, among a number of academics with strong ties to industry was Sir Tom McKillop, the chief executive of Astra-Zeneca, who went on to become the Chairman of the Royal Bank of Scotland and who presided over the bank’s worst ever performance when the value of the bank’s shares dropped by over 75% following criticism from the press for the takeover of ABN AMRO and the UK government having to bail out the bank.
Announcing his early retirement as Chairman of the Royal Bank of Scotland at a meeting of the Treasury Select Committee of the House of Commons on 10 February 2009, he admitted to having no qualifications in banking. Like other retired bankers present, he apologised for the financial crisis at the Royal Bank of Scotland, and other academics with strong ties to industry which the Greens said made them partisan.
The GM crops/agrochemical divisions of Astra-Zeneca and Novartis were merged in 2000 under the name Syngenta. As of 2008 Syngenta became one of the major producers of GM crops.
Perhaps not coincidentally, the SPICe briefing on GM crops were described by Dr Sue Mayer, director of campaign group Genewatch and a member of the UK Government’s Agriculture and Environment Biotechnology Commission, as “highly biased and pro-GM”.