Brian Wilson – Labour Party Agitator – A Sad and Deluded Ex Politician – Who Really Should Be Relaxing and Enjoying His Football in Paradise








Celtic Chief Brian Wilson (In Yet Another of his Sleekit Innuendo’s) Seeks to Accuse the SNP of Attempting to Sectarianise Scottish Politics

Spouting his latest fantasy at a fringe meeting of the Labour party he said “nationalists are importing loaded political language from Ireland, which carries the risk of inflaming tension between Catholics and Protestants in Scotland. Grouping the pro Westminster parties together as “Unionist” is part of a knowing effort to link supporters of the United Kingdom with Ulster Unionism and “the Orange vote”. By putting that tag on, and in the full knowledge of that connotation in an Irish context, they know exactly what they’re doing. It’s a very dangerous road they’re going down.”

Although Wilson did not single out any party or politician, Nicola Sturgeon, Alex Salmond and other SNP politicians often refer collectively to the “Unionist parties”. Wilson said when Nationalists grouped supporters of Westminster together as “Unionists” it “obviously mirrored images of Northern Ireland, where the political divide is also about the constitution”. One of the worrying things I see going on here is… a very deliberate attempt being made to sectarianise Scottish politics. That is very dangerous.

The word Unionist in Scottish politics is not a Scottish word. It is not Scottish Unionism. When Tory candidates stood [in the past] as Conservative and Unionist candidates in Scotland they were not talking about Scotland, they were talking about Ireland, and they were playing for the Orange vote in Scottish politics.

Note: Utter twaddle “Unionist” in the title of the Conservative and Unionist Party was only ever associated with Northern Ireland. That Wilson thinks otherwise betrays his assertion as baseless.

In recent years, Catholic voters have swung away from Labour to the SNP, to the point where they are now the most pro-Yes religious group in Scotland. Indeed in the 2014 Independence Referendum and in the 2015 general election it was a huge swing by Catholic voters from Labour to the SNP had helped ensure Labour’s virtual wipe-out.

This is the difficulty Wilson is struggling with and failing to understand. Even now, after the public exposure of the cynical betrayal over a period of nearly 50 years of Roman Catholic voters by New labour, Councillors, MSP’s and MP’s and the many newly created peers of the realm) he refuses to accept the new reality preferring to remain with his head in the clouds believing in the sanctity of the 1707 Treaty of Union. An event no Roman Catholic ever subscribed to or supported.












Civil War in the Labour Party in Scotland After Deputy leader Alec Rowley Says Party Should Ditch Unionist Ideology

Scottish Labour was last night plunged into civil war after deputy leader Alex Rowley called on the party to ditch its Unionist stance in a dramatic break with the “narrow” ideology which has come to define it. He said “the shift is urgently needed if Labour in Scotland is ever to recover from the stark decline that has left it facing electoral oblivion and an existential crisis”.

In a seismic intervention that will send shock-waves through the party, Rowley said Scottish Labour had to replace its Unionist stance with an avowedly Socialist and pro-home rule platform. He said the “status quo” of a Union dominated by Westminster and Whitehall could not deliver the radical social and economic change that left-of-centre Scots want to see.

Putting him totally at odds with Kezia Dugdale, Rowley added, “I have never considered myself a Unionist” – and called on Labour to abandon the stance he said was heavily associated with the Tories.










Sectarian Tweets by Tory Ruth Davidson’s Special Advisor Provoke Outrage

New Tory Holyrood group leader Ruth Davidson, has become embroiled in a sectarianism row after it was revealed that one of her staff posted offensive sectarian tweets.

Colin James Taylor, a member of Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson’s Holyrood staff posted sectarian song lyrics on Twitter glorifying the Northern Irish terrorist group, the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) and also referred to Celtic Football Club as “tims”.

Belfast born Mr Taylor is employed at public expense by Ms Davidson in the Tory Press and Research Unit (PRU) at Holyrood. He was president of the student Glasgow University Conservative Association (GUCA) from 2009 to 2010 and while studying there posted the offensive remarks under the Twitter name ‘ulsterexile’.

Taylor posted lines from a verse of a provocative UVF song about a UVF member awaiting execution, Here Lies a Soldier. He posted: “Don’t bury me, in Erin’s Fenian vallies. Oh take me home, to Ulster let me rest …”, Mr Taylor did not tweet the rest of the verse, which continues: “And on my gravestone carve a simple message, Here lies a soldier of the UVF.”

Not long after he tweeted the sectarian pro-UVF words, the UVF was in the news as the anticipated Northern Ireland police ombudsman report into one of the UVF terrorist group’s worst atrocities was about to be released – the bombing of McGurk’s Bar in Belfast in 1971, where 15 people were murdered and 16 injured. The details of the report, published 48 hours following Taylor’s tweet, revealed that the IRA had been wrongly blamed for the McGurk’s Bar attack which had in fact been carried out by the UVF.

Another tweet of Taylor’s appeared on the eve of the anniversary of the 1979 conviction of the notorious ultra-Loyalist gang the Shankhill Butchers – many of whom were members of the UVF. The Shankill Butchers murdered at least 30 people and tortured many Catholics civilians.

Taylor’s tweet remarks continued and on the day of a Scottish Cup semi-final match between Aberdeen and Celtic, he tweeted: ‘Hope the sheep absolutely hump the tims today’ – tim is a term of anti-Catholic abuse. Taylor is not the first member of Davidson’s staff to embroil her in a sectarian related controversy.

At the very beginning of her recent campaign for the leadership of the Scottish Tories, she was forced to fire Holyrood assistant Ross McFarlane. McFarlane was filmed burning a European Union flag in Glasgow while sectarian remarks were made by a companion. At the time of the incident, McFarlane was the president of the GUCA, as well as being Davidson’s Holyrood election agent.

It has also been noted that Davidson when referring to her party repeatedly uses the name “Conservative and Unionist” – with the emphasis on Unionist. Leading QC, Paul McBride quit the Tories over the party’s hostility to an SNP Bill aimed at tackling sectarianism in football.







Murdo Fraser – Deputy Deadwood – 18 Years An Unelected MSP – Spongebob Personified







The Near Death and Signs of Recovery of the Tory Party in Scotland

Murdo Fraser first stood for election to Holyrood in 1999 but was unsuccessful. Undeterred he turned his sights to bigger things and fought for a seat in the Westminster election in 2001(and failed). Never one to give up easily he lowered his expectations once again and sought to be elected to Holyrood in 2003, 2007, 2011 and for a record fifth time in 2016. On each occasion he failed succeeding only in garnering a lower share of the vote each time his name was entered onto the ballot paper.

But the Tory party were determined that talented Murdo would never be lost to Scottish public service and added his name at or near to the top of their proportional representation list which provided opportunity for a number of failed candidates to be elected to Holyrood as second class MSP’s. Murdo was so elected in 1999, 2003, 2007, 2011 and 2016. A record unsurpassed by any other nominee.

It is noteworthy that the Scottish devolution Bill’s inclusion of proportional representation (so vehemently opposed by the Tory’s) saved the party from oblivion in the first four terms of government. But the practice of retaining the same persons for election, time after time resulted in an ageing pool of candidates (old talentless Tory’s) and subsequent recurring failure at the polls.

The party desperately needed a complete overhaul if it was to command a place in Scottish politics. This was facilitated by a “night of the long knives” in 2011, bringing with it a change of leadership (Cameron acolyte Ruth Davidson) coupled with the introduction of new office management, staff and Central Office financial support and the establishment of clear and unambiguous lines of communication with the office of the Tory Party in London.

Autonomy was a dead duck. Scottish Tory party members would toe the line or suffer the consequences. A new agenda was then put in place tasked with ensuring Holyrood’s independence from Westminster would be marginalised, reduced then eliminated over time.






Getting Rid of the Deadwood – Three Strikes and You’re Out

Jackson Carlaw (Deputy Party leader) announced that long-serving Conservative MSPs would be forced to stand down from the Scottish Parliament from the 2015 election if they failed to win a constituency seat. They would only be able to serve three or four consecutive terms as list MSPs, who are elected using a complicated system of proportional representation to represent one of eight regions of Scotland.

He said the change would be applied retrospectively, meaning a series of the party’s most high-profile figures would have to win a constituency at the next election or step aside if a three-term limit was imposed. They included Murdo Fraser, (the bookies’ favourite in the contest to succeed Annabel Goldie as Tory leader) who is serving his third full term as a Mid Scotland and Fife regional list MSP.

The change aims to address the situation whereby the same people are nominated time and again, regardless of their performance, (such is the loyalty of the party’s rank-and-file that they consistently choose the same people no matter how poorly they perform). Carlaw said “I realise it’s going to be unpopular with some and it is controversial, but I believe we have to substantially renew the face of its party, not its name. Leadership requires the taking of tough decisions.

Only three MSPs of the 15-strong Conservative group at Holyrood have constituencies of their own, with the remainder relying on the regional list for their seats. Some have used the system to win re-election since devolution started in 1999. (The Telegraph)




That’s it. Murdo has been sponging off the Scottish taxpayer for around 18 years at a gross cost of approximately £2million. Contributing nothing of substance he seems to spend an inordinate time (well he’s got plenty of it) twittering nonsense. But surely he is deadwood and what the hell happened to the 3 strike rule policy???






Bank of England Sacrifices Scotland’s Economy to Protect the Overheated London Property Market – Oh Yes They Did and They Will Do It Again – Wake Up Scotland







5 November 1999: Scotland ‘Sacrificed’ as Interest Rates Rise

The Bank of England was accused yesterday of sacrificing Scotland’s economy after slapping on another interest rate rise to stop the over heating in the London property market.

Scotland’s hard pressed business community said the result of the boom in house prices in the south east was to pile more misery onto Scots firms.

The Monetary Policy Committee announced another 0.25 per cent hike in base rates to 5.5 per cent which will further strengthen the pound making life even more difficult for Scottish exporters.

Yesterday Scots business groups queued up to blast the decision, saying the Bank of England was ‘ignoring the pain being suffered in Scotland’. … (Daily Mail)



17 March 2017: The Bubble is about to burst once again

Inflation is now at its highest rate for nearly four years. The pace of increase is relentless. Households and businesses are being forced to cut back on expenditure and The Bank of England is under increasing pressure from the City of London to increase interest rates. Changes are primarily attributed to:

* Brexit. There is an increasing picture of “doom and gloom” within the UK (at all levels) in response to the March 29 triggering of Article 50. Many are of the view that this will bring with it a long period of difficult discussions with no guarantee of success.

* A weakening pound. An negative impact of the June referendum on membership of the EU. Reducing benefits of hedging increases in the price of food (bringing to an end nearly three years of supermarket price cuts)

* The heating up of the London housing market (foreign buyers)

* Escalating fuel oil costs. The commodity is priced in US Dollars and the fall in the value of Sterling against a major upturn in the cost of a barrel of crude doesn’t help matters.

* Imports – including food. Nearly three years of cost cutting in the supermarkets is at an end and increasing cost of production are being passed on to the consumer.

* Above inflation wage increases. Companies are under pressure to award annual wage increases well in excess of inflation and the bandwagon effect is bringing industrial action to the fore.

In recent months corridor conversations (in the Treasury) have focused on monetary policy and just how long the excess inflation over target will be accepted before the Bank takes remedial action.

There is anxiety that tackling inflation by increasing interest rates might only be achieved at the expense of shoppers and small businesses. But the UK consumer and small businesses are a major factor in driving the economy forward and it is crucial that the purchasing power of wages is not reduced to levels against which buyers would cease to spend.






17 March 2017: Help to Buy Scheme and the Overheating Housing Market

The Tory government’s “Help to Buy” mortgage guarantee scheme,(ended on 31 Dec 2017) largely enjoyed success in London (where the bulk of property’s valued between 200K — £600K are located). The measure, designed to help first time buyers get into the housing market had the undesired effect of heating up the property market in London with house prices rising in double inflation figures.

The house price surge was not so evident in Scotland. Indeed in some deprived areas house prices actually fell. Cameron and Osborne’s con-job on the Scottish electorate had been successful. London had been protected at the expense of Scotland’s property sector.

The warping of the housing market came to the attention of the EU’s financial risk watchdog who warned recently that the UK had a property market that risked overheating in the low interest rate economy.

Correcting measures will need to be introduced requiring buyers to find much larger deposits against lowered borrowing limits. It is entirely possible housing values could be reduced into negative equity sparking the dreaded property “fire sales”.

The Bank of England also cautioned last month that any improvement in household finances seen since the 2008 crisis “may have come to an end”.




17 January 2017: Property Market in Scotland Takes a Hit Whilst the overheated London market Prospers

The City of Aberdeen has seen the biggest drop in property values across the whole of the UK in 2016. Given that the overall UK property market has and is predicted to continue increasing in value, it is shocking that Aberdeen saw prices down by nearly 10%.

It is not only Aberdeen which has been affected in Scotland as the country accounts for seven of the 16 areas covered. Accompanying Aberdeen in its property price woes is Inverclyde who took second place in the list of areas with the largest drop in property values with a near 8% fall.

Biggest price falls in London It has been an up and down year for London with the changes to stamp duty tax for buy to let investors and the uncertainty caused by a Brexit vote. Although

the capital has remained strong in the face of adversity, homeowners in Hammersmith and Fulham won’t be feeling great about their investment in one of the most expensive markets in the world. It is the only borough to have seen prices decline, down -2.10% in the last year whilst the capital as a whole has seen values rise by over 7%. .








Jackson Carlaw – Tory Party in Scotland – Deputy leader (Ruth Davidson’s Third Choice) – A Long History of Despair and Failure Yet He Pontificates in Holyrood at the Taxpayer’s Expense



MSP's 'Wear It Pink' for Breast Cancer Campaign 2009





Jackson Carlaw

Carlaw stood as the Conservative candidate in the 1982 Queen’s Park By-election (failed) and in the 1983 GE in Pollok (failed)

He gave up seeking election to Westminster and then turned his attention to Holyrood standing as a candidate for Eastwood in the 2003, 2007 and 2011 parliament elections (failed 3 times).

He was looked after by the Tories and was elected on the party list system in 2007 and 2011 representing the West of Scotland.

In 2016 he gained the support of the 10,000 Jewish electorate in Eastwood and was elected, by a narrow margin as its MSP. (sixth time lucky)








23 March 2003: A top Tory whose car firm crashed owing more than £24million is to stand in the Holyrood elections.

But Jackson Carlaw, former deputy chairman of the Scots Tories, won’t be campaigning on his business record. Carlaw, 42, was boss of car giants First Ford, which once boasted a £77million turnover but went into receivership in November 2002. The receiver its debts include £4million to the B.O.S. , £1.5million to Customs and Excise and thousands of pounds to 300 staff. (Sunday Mail)

He was also a director of Wylies Automotive Services (trading as Auto Contracts) which went into administration in February 2002. The contract hire and leasing firm is being wound up, and 18 people have lost their jobs. The latest available documents lodged with Companies House reveal its four directors took £163K from the company in the year ended 2000, when losses were £39K, compared with more than £290K in 1999.








8 October 2003: Hutchesons’ parents query Carlaw’s role – Surprise over choice after collapse of two businesses

Parents at one of Scotland’s most prestigious private schools are questioning the appointment of Jackson Carlaw, a former governor, to lead its strategic review, just months after two of his businesses collapsed. They are astonished by the development, especially when Hutchesons’ Grammar is embroiled in controversy over perceived falling standards and concerns about finances.The board of governors yesterday defended the appointment, saying it was not only ”grateful” to Carlaw for undertaking the job, but for using his extensive knowledge for the Glasgow school’s good.

Carlaw became a Hutchesons’ governor in 2001 but resigned in July to take up the new post. His remit is ”to ensure the school remains at the forefront of modern educational expectations”. The school refused to say how much he was being paid for the part-time role. Issues surrounding the appointment are expected to be raised at the forthcoming annual meeting.

Jack Irvine, who has two children at Hutchesons’, said: ”It beggars belief that a failed businessman has been appointed to the position.” He added: ”Other parents I have spoken to are also astonished by the appointment, bearing in mind Hutchesons’ has access to some of the finest brains in the west of Scotland, including successful businessmen.” Other parents, who asked not to be identified, expressed little confidence in the appointment. One said: ”With his track record, I cannot understand how it is considered he will turn fortunes around.” (The Herald)







10 Oct 2003: Mystery of lost paintings at collapsed firm Carlaw was director of car hire company

A collapsed company headed by Jackson Carlaw the Scottish Conservative party executive member and failed MSP candidate in Eastwood is at the centre of a mystery surrounding 22 missing works of art. The firm’s private records reveal ownership of 50 pieces as investments, including paintings – but only 28 have been recovered, according to Ernst and Young, the administrator.

Latest available accounts to December 2000 disclose under the heading Investments: ”Paintings, at a cost of £69,028, were acquired by the company during the year from Wylies Ltd, a subsidiary company.” Descriptions of the works have not been released, but are believed to include 10 still life paintings; five cameo pieces with maritime themes; three Glasgow and Edinburgh tenement scenes; three maritime sculptures on driftwood, and a painting of a naked woman.(The Herald)







12 April 2005: Top Tory under fire for racist jokes

A senior Scottish Tory was castigated yesterday for making racist jokes at the launch of the Conservatives’ election manifesto. Jackson Carlaw, a long-time party activist in Scotland and a former office holder, gave the opening speech to welcome activists before the arrival of Michael Howard, the party leader. He made a series of jokes, most of which failed to raise even a titter, including one about Chinese tourists and another about the Zimbabwe president Robert Mugabe’s chiropodist.

Carlaw said he had met a Chinese couple in Edinburgh who said they were “Tories”. He said he was delighted, until he realised they meant “tourists” not “Tories”. He remarked that announcing he was a Tory ten years ago was the equivalent of a “death sentence” but insisted that times had changed and that the Tories were now accepted in Scotland. Indeed, he argued, defeat was no longer an option for the Conservatives, adding: “The only person recorded as saying ‘de-feat’ is marvellous is Robert Mugabe’s chiropodist.” Carlaw had come to the end of his speech, but Mr Howard had still not arrived at the Hampden Park conference suite where the manifesto launch was taking place, so Carlaw continued to make jokes (none of which drew much of a laugh from his audience) to pass the time until the Tory leader arrived.





12 June 2005: Tory who told racist jokes appointed deputy chairman of Scottish party

The Scottish Conservatives’ post-election nightmare continued last night after the party was forced to defend itself against accusations of sexism and racial insensitivity. Opposition politicians lined up to denounce the Tories for appointing Jackson Carlaw, the man who told racist jokes at the party’s recent election launch, to the post of interim deputy chairman. The Conservatives were also put on the back foot by Carlaw’s predecessor, Mars Goodman, who accused the party of being a “back- slapping boys’ club”. Carlaw was promoted after a meeting yesterday at the Conservative party headquarters in Edinburgh. The vacancy had been created by the departure of Goodman, who was forced to resign earlier this month after writing a highly critical report about the performance of chairman Peter Duncan during the general election campaign. (Sunday Herald)







28 February 2006: Close vote as Scots Tories elect new deputy chairman

Bill Walker, the 77-year-old former Tory MP, was last night elected as deputy chairman of the Scottish Conservatives – beating Jackson Carlaw, the incumbent, by just eight votes. Mr Walker, as well known for his robust right-wing views as he was for wearing the kilt in the Commons as an MP, secured 2,518 votes to Mr Carlaw’s 2,510 in a ballot of Tory party members which saw a turnout of 37 per cent. Last night a spokesman for the Tory party refused to comment on the signal Mr Walker’s election would send out for the party, which is now led in the UK by David Cameron, 39, who will speak to the Scottish conference in Perth later this week. … (The Scotsman)


Jackson Carlaw 1



7 January 2007: Goldie under siege by Carlaw as Tory rival bids to oust party leader

Scots Tory leader Annabel Goldie is facing a determined bid to unseat her from the Parliament. In an internal vote to take place this week party members are to be asked to rank candidates for the forthcoming election,with only those at the top of the list likely to make it to Holyrood. But Goldie is now facing an aggressive campaign by fellow candidate and Thatcherite stalwart Jackson Carlaw who has issued a thinly veiled attack on the leader in his bid to beat her in the vote. In a ‘communication’ sent to party members in the West of Scotland, Carlaw declares: “Wherever I go, people say they want robust leadership and someone who will take the fight to Labour. …(Scotland on Sunday)





23 August 2010: Tory MSP Jackson Carlaw under fire over sick Gordon Brown suicide ‘joke’

Carlaw caused anger when he asked followers on micro-blogging site Twitter if the former PM was visiting Beachy Head on a charity walk, before saying: “Alas, not.” The East Sussex cliffs are a notorious suicide spot. Carlaw’s jibe came in a chat with a pal John McGlynn. McGlynn mocked Brown’s plans to take part in the walk next month for WaterAid, raising cash for fresh water in developing countries. He used the site to tweet: “Gordon Brown on a charity walk, this is only because nobody would pay to hear him speak or read his book! Such a joke.” West of Scot land MSP Carlaw replied: “Beachy Head? Alas, not.” The tweet has been deleted from Twitter but it was copied to Carlaw’s Facebook page.

Labour MSP Ken Macintosh said: “How Carlaw ever thought making these sick comments was acceptable is beyond me. He should be ashamed of himself and apologise immediately. The Tories need to think long and hard about whether he is fit to hold office.” It is not the first time Carlaw has hit trouble. In 2005, he was castigated for making racist jokes at the Tory party’s Scottish manifesto launch. (Daily Record)


a jackson carlaw



3 September 2011: Tory leadership candidate Carlaw accuses rivals of appeasing Salmond

Tory MSP Jackson Carlaw launched his campaign to lead the party in Scotland with a demand for an early referendum on independence and a suggestion that supporters of more powers for Holyrood want to “appease” nationalism.The West of Scotland MSP opened his campaign to replace Annabel Goldie with a slogan of “a strong Scotland in a Great Britain” at a launch event in Glasgow yesterday, where he criticised the policies of the retiring leader and his current rival for the leadership, Murdo Fraser. Carlaw, the Scottish Tory transport spokesman, wants an independence referendum before any further moves to hand more responsibilities to the Scottish Parliament beyond the Scotland Act, which is set to extend Holyrood’s tax-raising powers. … (The Scotsman)







15 September 2011: Tory List MSPs will be forced to stand down

Long-serving Conservative MSPs will be forced to stand down from the Scottish Parliament at the next election if they fail to win a constituency seat, under a radical plan by a leadership candidate to introduce fresh blood into the party. Jackson Carlaw told the Daily Telegraph they would only be able to serve three or four consecutive terms as list MSPs, who are elected using a complicated system of proportional representation to represent one of eight regions of Scotland.

Significantly, Carlaw said he would apply the change retrospectively, meaning a series of the party’s most high-profile figures would have to win a constituency at the next election or step aside if a three-term limit was imposed. They include Murdo Fraser, (the bookies’ favourite in the contest to succeed Annabel Goldie as Tory leader) who is serving his third full term as a Mid Scotland and Fife regional list MSP.

The change aims to address the situation whereby the same people are elected time and again, regardless of their performance, because rankings on the regional list are decided by loyal Conservative members. Carlaw, whose candidacy has not been endorsed by any Tory MSPs, argued the change would be a far more effective method of reinvigorating the party than Mr Fraser’s “superficial” plan to change its name. “I was very impressed by what David Cameron did at Westminster to refresh the party,” he said. “I would ask the (party management) board to consider term limits of MSPs being elected three times or re-elected three times consecutively on the list. “I realise that’s going to be unpopular with some, I realise it’s controversial, but I believe we have to substantially renew the face of its party, not its name. Leadership requires that you take tough decisions.”

Carlaw emphasised the new rules would apply to himself. The 52-year-old is serving his second term as a West Scotland list MSP having failed to win the Tory target seat of Eastwood in May. The changes would apply in the 2016 election and he said he would be “happy” for them to be retrospective. Only three MSPs of the 15-strong Conservative group at Holyrood have constituencies of their own, with the remainder relying on the regional list for their seats. Some have used the system to win re-election since devolution started in 1999.

List seats are allocated to parties using a formula based on the number of votes they received and taking account of the number of constituencies they hold in each region. Candidates are given seats according to a ranking decided by Tory members, but such is the loyalty of the party’s rank-and-file that they consistently choose the same people no matter how poorly they perform.

Carlaw suggested that long-serving list MSPs were being rewarded for electoral failure. “At the end of the day, if you’ve had four terms as a list MSP, that’s four times you’ve failed to win your (constituency) seat,” he said. “Nobody is entitled to sit permanently in parliament. There’s a generation of talent emerging now that I think we’ve got to do our very best to promote.” (The Telegraph)





19 October 2011: Jackson Carlaw not impressed with the leadership Qualities of Ruth Davidson

He says he has a lot of time for Murdo Fraser, “he has been “tested in battle”. But mention Ruth Davidson, (who has emerged as perhaps his main challenger for the top job) and a more venomous tone comes out.

Question: “Won’t she be a breath of fresh air; a walking, talking sign that the Tories in Scotland have changed”?

Answer: “You cannot simply say I’m the new kid on the block and therefore the world is going to come and flock to vote Scottish Conservative & Unionist – someone who has been parachuted in from absolutely nowhere, who we know nothing about, who has no political agenda that we know about, who has fought no campaigns.

Ruth Davidson’s own performance in Glasgow [at the May election] wasn’t terribly impressive. Moreover, she failed to win the list-ranking ballot in her own seat and none of the constituency chairmen in Glasgow are supporting her. The idea that you simply say because somebody is new, that is going to save the party, I’m afraid I simply don’t buy it.” (The Scotsman)


IMG_4156 800x540





20 August 2012: Tory cancer drug scare angers SNP

The SNP has accused the Tories of distributing “discredited and factually incorrect” leaflets that scaremonger about the lack of availability of Abiraterone, a new treatment for prostate cancer.

Kenneth Gibson MSP accused Tory health spokesman Jackson Carlaw of “astonishing arrogance” in distributing the leaflets, “despite it being nearly a week since the drug’s approval by the Scottish Medicines Consortium – and advice offered to him to withdraw the leaflet run.”

Mr Gibson said that while on a constituency walkabout yesterday morning he noticed that the Tory leaflet was still being put through doors by Royal Mail, adding that he was now taking the matter to the Scottish Parliament Corporate Body. He said “Despite it being pointed out that his leaflet is both scaremongering and inaccurate, Jackson Carlaw seemed determined to keep delivering this scaremongering nonsense, including this weekend – nearly a week after abiraterone was approved by the Scottish Medicines Consortium. The leaflet and its delivery have been paid for by the Parliament and states: “The cost of this publication has been met from parliamentary resources”.

“I am writing to the corporate body of the Scottish Parliament to complain about the Mr Carlaw’s series of errors over this leaflet and its distribution. He has had ample opportunity to withdraw his leaflet but his persistence to spread mistruths is astonishingly arrogant. Scaremongering and spreading false information is bad enough but the Tories are stooping to new lows if they think for a minute that they can push lies and then expect the taxpayer to pick up the bill.” (Morning Star)




6 July 2013: Top Scots Tory blasted for anti-depressants comments

A leading disability campaigner blasted Scottish Tory Jackson Carlaw today after he accused doctors of leaving patients “parked” on anti-depressants.The Scottish Tories’ deputy leader had called for a “concerted effort” to get people off medication – even though his own party’s welfare cuts have driven people to suicide.

Carlaw said that anti-depressants had “a place in treating some mental-health problems,” but the Scottish government had spent almost £90 million on such prescriptions since 2010. “People cannot just be parked on anti-depressants. We need solutions that will see them beat the condition and return to positive mental well-being”.

But disability rights campaigner Susan Archibald said “the Westminster coalition’s policies only worsened people’s depression. From a Conservative, when their whole welfare reform is denying people any happiness whatsoever? They seriously don’t have a clue.  Dozens of deaths have now been linked to the Con-Dems’ attack on Britain’s welfare state, making national headlines.”

In May, 53-year-old Birmingham woman Stephanie Bottrill stepped in front of a lorry after penning a note to her son explaining that she could not afford another £80 a month in rent under the bedroom tax. Ms Bottrill’s death came less than a month after father and fiancée Iain Hodge took his own life in his East Kilbride flat, having been sanctioned for 10 weeks for refusing to attend workfare placements despite having a serious blood disorder that prevented hard labour.

A Scottish government spokeswoman said that the drugs were only prescribed “in line with good clinical practice,” including ongoing supervision. (Morning Star)







28 April 2014: Former labour Strategy Director Alastair Campbell’s interview of Alex Salmond (14 March 2014) BEFORE the annexation of the Crimea

Mr Salmond expressed a view that it was a “good thing” confidence had returned to Russia and said that Mr Putin was “more effective” than his portrayal by the press suggested. Pressed further he went on to say “Well, obviously, I don’t approve of a range of Russian actions, but I think Putin’s more effective than the press he gets I would have thought, and you can see why he carries support in Russia”.

Asked if he admired the Russian leader, he said: “Certain aspects. He’s restored a substantial part of Russian pride and that must be a good thing. There are aspects of Russian constitutionality and the inter-mesh with business and politics that are obviously difficult to admire. Russians are fantastic people, incidentally, they are lovely people.” The remarks were made on MARCH 14 (as Mr Putin faced widespread condemnation from the international community with Russian and Ukrainian troops squaring off in Crimea).

The usual suspects labelled the remarks “insensitive and ill-judged” and said the First Minister’s admiration for a man with such a “controversial” record on human rights did not reflect well on Scotland. Carlaw, Scottish Conservative deputy leader, said: “his views make a mockery of the Scottish Government’s faux outrage over the Crimea situation”. (The Telegraph)

But on the same day this surfaced

28 April 2014: Official Russian news agency Itar-Tass reported that David Cameron’s office wants support on the Scottish independence referendum from Putin’s government

Itar-Tass, citing a source in the Conservative Prime Minister’s office, said Britain was “extremely interested” in referendum support from Russia, which this year holds the presidency of the influential G8 group of rich industrial nations. The state-owned agency (acknowledged as the Kremlin’s official mouthpiece before and after the end of Communism) said the Cameron aide had warned Scottish independence could “send shock waves across the whole of Europe”. The report sparked criticism last night from Alex Salmond. He said: “This report from Russia raises serious questions about the UK Government’s underhand tactics. If this is accurate, then Westminster has been caught red-handed trying to stir up hostility to Scotland instead of representing Scotland’s interests – it seems the No Campaign’s self-named ‘Project Fear’ has now gone global.” Jackson Carlaw (evidently ashamed of his government’s dialogue with Mr Putin, said nothing) (







2 December 2016: Tory MP Jackson Carlaw on the wrong track with attack on Yousaf’s train use

Scottish Tory deputy leader & Eastwood MSP Carlaw’s attack on Humza Yousaf hit the buffers yesterday after he wrongly said the Transport Minister hadn’t boarded a Scot Rail carriage since MSPs returned after the Holyrood election. caught the train since May 2016. Carlaw said: “Commuters will be furious that the train network is deemed good enough for them, but not seemingly good enough for the man in charge.”

However, the Tories were looking at the wrong expenses.

The SNP said the Transport Minister’s commute was covered by the Scottish Government rather than the Parliament, and that he had taken the train just about every week. Carlaw had accused Yousaf of having “never set foot on a train” apart from for publicity pictures.

SNP MSP James Dornan pointed out that the latest expenses release showed that Carlaw himself had only made five train journeys and mostly used his car. He said: “The Tories are on the wrong track with this ridiculous claim. Humza takes the train most weeks to commute between Glasgow and Edinburgh in his ministerial role and it would be wrong for him to bill his parliamentary expenses for ministerial travel.

In contrast Carlaw has made only five train journeys since May, far fewer than Mr Yousaf took in his first two months as Transport Minister. The Tories’ efforts to personally attack the Transport Minister instead of contributing to improving our train service have well and truly hit the buffers.” (The National)


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Gordon Brown Sets Out His Case For Scotland’s Independence – I Kid You Not – Thank You Gordon









Scotland – The Relatively Good Years – 1880 -1914

Between 1880 and 1914, Scotland’s relative position within the United Kingdom was improving. Before World War One, Scotland was, first of all, one of the high growth and high employment regions of the United Kingdom.

In 1913 Scotland’s unemployment rate was only 1.8% (of the insured, labour force) contrasted with 8.7% (in London). Coal output rose from 12.4% to 14.8%, Steel from 14.8% to 20.8% , and shipbuilding retained a third share of UK output.

Scotland’s more open economy – with indigenous control linked to a greater predominance of family firms, (as opposed to joint stock companies) offered limited opportunities for mergers, amalgamations and monopolies.
The Scottish business system still bore the signs of its origins in small family enterprises. Although the period from the 1890’s to the First World War involved numerous company amalgamations, the new combines differed only a little from their predecessors.

Amalgamations involved the fusion of independent family concerns into a holding structure in which there was little reorganisation at the technical or financial levels …Many dominant firms were either family firms, which had adopted the joint stock form concerns which had grown up on the basis of old family firms, or groups of family firms held together through a holding company. Only in the case of the railways and some newer firms in oil and electricity was the family principle not to be found. (Scott & Hughes: Anatomy of a Scottish Capital)

If wages did not match United Kingdom averages, they were rising faster than in the rest of Britain. And while Scotland’s social problems were immense (for example, one half of Scots lived in one or two roomed houses) there were signs of social improvement, such as in the fall in infant mortality rates between 1871 and 1911. The Scottish Infant Mortality rate was actually below that of England and Wales.

If there were symptoms of a deeper malaise affecting the industrial economy, as the severity of the 1906-1908 recession indicated, and if Scotland was both overdependent on a small group of stable industries and suffering because of a high level of capital exported abroad (in preference to reinvestment in the home economy), it was still possible for politicians to argue that Scotland’s economic difficulties were temporary and that the dominant trend was one of improvement. (The Search for Wealth and Stability, I Levitt), ( The Scottish Poor Law and Unemployment, T Snout).

These economic and social characteristics helped to determine political attitudes. Middle class support veered towards Conservatism after 1886 and working class voters became dependent on Liberalism, the Liberals were after all a party of all Scotland rural and industrial.

Their support owed little to their political organisation or the representativeness of their candidates (in 1910, of fifty-nine Liberal MP’s, twenty-five were lawyers, none were working men and many were Englishmen).

Rather the resilience of Liberalism owed more to the relevance of the Liberal philosophy, as demonstrated by the appeal of the social and economic views posted by Gladstone in his Midlothian speeches, as early as 1879. (The Scottish MP since 1910 : His background and performance, C Larner)







The Impact on Scottish Society of the First World War – The Development of the One World Economy and Associated Politics

By the late nineteen twenties, Scotland was a very different kind of economy and society. First, Scotland’s economic base was contracting. The striking feature of the inter-war years, in contrast with the late nineteenth century was the persistently wide margin of unemployed resources.

Scotland’s share of British output fell from 11.8% in 1907 to 10.5% in 1924 and only 8.8% in 1935 ), and with around 10% of the British labour force, Scotland had nearly 15% of British unemployment throughout the inter-war years, with an estimated three fifths of the workforce experiencing at least one period of unemployment during the 1920’s .
The most striking problems were in the staple industries – agriculture, mining, steel, engineering and textiles – which had formed the basis of Scotland’s industrial progress before 1914. While in 1907, they represented more than half (53%) of all output, by 1924 they accounted for only 48% and by 1935 only 39% of output (Depression and Recovery – British Economic Growth, 1919-1939, B Alford), (No Gods and Precious Few Heroes, C Harvie), (The Impact of Unemployment on the Development of Trade Unionism in Scotland, E Kebblewhite).
The Performance of Scotland’s Basic Industries, 1911-1929
M Tons          Coal            Iron         Steel         Shipbuilding
1911-13         22.7            1.32        1.3               676.0
1918-20        17.1             0.97        1.8              617.2
1927-29        16.8             0.61        1.3              544.3
The foregoing table illustrates the difficulties faced by coal, iron and steel and shipbuilding after the war. As early as 1921, officials in the Scottish Office realised that Scotland’s economic problems were permanent, rather than temporary. Diagnosing a picture of unrelieved blackness a confidential report remarked:

“The main belt of severe unemployment and accompanying distress runs through the mining, steel and shipbuilding areas of Fife, Edinburgh, Stirling, Linlithgow, Lanark, Dumbarton, Renfrew and Ayr … It is difficult to pick out any industrial occupation as being principally affected by unemployment, almost all are in bad condition.”

The report suggested that those engaged in export trade and the means of export were worse off than those engaged in home trade, while only certain luxury services were remarkably vigorous. It added that an estimated 25,000 miners were in excess of capacity of the mines for for years to come.




More than 400,000 Scots left the country during the nineteen twenties. It was a group that contained a disproportionate number of lower middle class and skilled manual workers. Throughout the period of the inter-war years unemployment was never less than 10%. And the numbers in metal industries and mining fell dramatically between the 1921 and 1931 censuses, by 23% and 18% respectively.

Shipbuilding, whose Clyde output had fallen-four fold between 1920 and 1923 employed 100,000 workers in 1920 but only 50,000 in 1925 and only 10,000 in 1932.

Scotland’s economy was becoming increasingly corporate in its organisation. Three trends stand out in the inter-war years, “economic concentration, anglicisation (Englishing) of control and the growth of government regulation”.




By 1923, mergers had brought three of Scotland’s seven banks into the hands of English banks. The vertical cartellisation of shipping, shipbuilding and steel production through company amalgamations resulted in Colville’s becoming a centre for steel, shipbuilding and shipping interests in the West of Scotland. This development was also closely associated with the rise of Lithgow in shipbuilding and together these firms became the pivot of Scottish heavy industry.

In whisky distillers, in brewing Scottish Brewers, and in textiles Jute industries, (with Coats and Linen Threads) became dominant, and the rail companies became part of London dominated cartels. Expansion of these companies tended to occur through the direct acquisition of other companies rather than through the older holder company form.

Monopolization in each of the major industrial sectors was producing the large corporations of the modern period.

Generally, the twenties saw little redistribution of income between rich and poor. What redistribution in wealth which did take place in the period was within the top fifth of the population and not from rich to poor. Scottish infant mortality was higher than in England and Wales. And it was outward mobility through emigration more so than upward mobility through education that did most to lessen the potential tensions in Scottish society.


The Labour Party and political change in Scotland 1918-1929 : the politics of five elections. Gordon Brown ( )






Trojan Horse for American Politics – the British American Project Wields Its Power Over Scotland Through Latter Day Daniel Defoe’s – He Was English – But Many of Them Are Scot’s – 21st Century Born Again “Parcel of Rogues”








Daniel Defoe The Spy – The Inspiration For the Agents of The British American Project (BAP)

Daniel Defoe was a key contributor to the Act of Union between England and Scotland in the 1700s and in fact worked as a spy for the then Chancellor of the Exchequer, Robert Harley.

Defoe was working in turbulent times; he strongly associated himself with Scotland, and he travelled in Catholic Europe and around Wales and Scotland.

Defoe had been raised in the Presbyterian movement, (Scotland did not persecute Presbyterians) making him a dissenter in the eyes of the English government; A Union, he felt, would help Scotland both financially and in terms of security. Protestant England would also benefit by the association as threats to its security from across the channel were frequent.


Defoe was asked by English spymaster Robert Harley to continue visiting Glasgow and Edinburgh, but to work as a secret agent of the Crown. Using his writing of ‘The History of the Union of Great Britain’ as a cover, he was instructed to use his time monitoring and noting public and private perceptions around the proposed Union, and to report back directly to King William, of whom he was a great supporter.

This was undoubtedly dangerous as the Union was hugely controversial, particularly in Scotland. And contemporary accounts show that Defoe’s own swagger, and the irresistibility of hinting at his important role in coffee houses, very nearly made his role short-lived.

More publicly he ghost-wrote speeches and wrote essays and pamphlets promoting the Union, one of which got him in to trouble as giving in to his satirical vein, he suggested furiously that non-conformists like himself should be killed. That earned him prosecution and the stocks.

(BBC Radio 4)





The British American Project

Founded in 1985 by Reagan and Thatcher and Rupert Murdoch (to perpetuate the close relationship between the United States and Britain) the British-American Project for the Successor Generation (BAP) has a membership of “1200 leaders and opinion formers”, drawn equally from both countries.

The project is sponsored by several well-known businesses including Monsanto, Philip Morris (tobacco), Apple, British Airways, BP Coca-Cola, Unilever.

It holds an annual conference to which journalists are not invited and at which everything said is, officially at least, not to be repeated to outsiders. It rarely features in the mainstream media – instead, it makes tantalisingly vague and fleeting appearances in those corners of the internet where conspiracy aficionados gather.

In real terms it is a “Trojan horse” for American foreign policy, primarily recruiting Britons of liberal or left-of-centre inclinations and political talent and connections when they are young, indoctrinating them with propaganda about the virtues of American capitalism and America’s role in the world, and then watching them approvingly as they steer British politics in an ever more pro-Washington direction.




In the summer of 1997, a few weeks after New Labour won power, a striking article about the election appeared in a privately circulated newsletter. Under the cryptic headline Big Swing To BAP, the article began, “No less than four British-American Project fellows and one advisory board member have been appointed to ministerial posts in the new Labour government.”

The under-noted list provides a sample of the extent of the odious presence in British politics of persons whose loyalty is firmly placed with the US. In addition to politicians, the BBC and press are extensively represented.

Labour Party: Edward Miliband, David Miliband, Douglas Alexander, Wendy Alexander, Baron Mandelson, Baron Robertson of Port Ellen, Baroness Symons, Jonathan Powell, Baroness Scotland, Geoff Mulgan, Sadiq Khan, Matthew Taylor.

Conservatives: David Willetts, Stephen Dorrell, Alan Sked (founder of Ukip), Rishi Saha.

Journalists: Isabel Hilton, the Independent, the Guardian; Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, The Independent, London Evening Standard; Charles Moore, Daily Telegraph, Sunday Telegraph, The Spectator; Rowan Pelling, Daily Telegraph, Daniel Franklin Executive Editor of the Economist, Martin Vander Weyer, Business editor of the Spectator and Gideon Rachman, The Spectator, Chief Foreign Affairs Columnist .     and many, many more.

BBC: Jeremy Paxman,  Evan Davis, James Naughtie, William Crawley, Jane Hill, Ben Hammersley, Trevor Phillips, Margaret Hill, Laura Kuenssberg



This document provides evidence confirming the extent of the political power wielded by members of the British American Project (BAP). Note the high profile of Laura Kuenssberg who has been selected for high office within the project. (Shades of  1707 and Daniel Defoe). No friend of Scotland methinks






Conference -The EU-US Relationship

Committee: Policy and Resources Date(s): 21 October 2010 Subject: Joint event with British American Project on the EU-US relationship Report of: Director of Public Relations For decision

Proposal: This report proposes that the City of London Corporation, in partnership with the British American Project, organises a high profile event on the EU-US relationship at a cost not exceeding £8,000 (including a contingency of £1,000) to be allocated from your Committee’s Policy Initiatives Fund 2010/11 and charged to City’s Cash.

Recommendation: Your Committee is recommended to agree that the City of London Corporation should organise this event on the EU-US relationship at a cost not exceeding £8,000 to be allocated from your Committee’s Policy Initiatives Fund 2010/11 and charged to City’s cash.





Background: The British American Project (BAP) exists to help maintain the long-standing relationship between Britain and the United States. BAP brings together young people who have achieved distinction in their field. Their annual four day conference chooses 20-24 from each side of the Atlantic, to debate issues of importance to both countries. Delegates come from a wide variety of backgrounds and include rising stars from the world of business, government, the voluntary sector, the media and the armed forces.

BAP has a very impressive list of alumni which includes the Leader of the Opposition Rt Hon Ed Miliband MP, the Executive Editor of the Economist Daniel Franklin and the Higher Education Minister Rt Hon David Willetts MP. As well as their annual conference BAP organise a number of high profile events during the year. Recent BAP events have featured the US Ambassador Louis B Susman, the Chief Political Correspondent of BBC News Laura Kuenssberg and Deputy Head of Communications (Digital) in No 10 Downing Street Rishi Saha.

In November 2008, the City of London Corporation organised a highly successful seminar, in partnership with BAP, on the implications of President Obama’s election for the global financial services industry (the approved budget being £9,000). The event was chaired by Jim Naughtie of the Today Programme and the panel discussion featured the Business editor of the Spectator Martin Vander Weyer and the Chief Foreign Affairs Columnist Gideon Rachman. The seminar and subsequent reception were attended by over 150 guests from the worlds of politics, business and media.





Proposal: It is proposed that the City of London, in association with BAP, organise another high profile event either in Guildhall or a Livery Hall to consider the EU-US relationship. The event will consist of a high level panel discussion before an invited audience followed by a reception. James Naughtie of the Today programme has already indicated he would be available to chair the discussion. The seminar would be followed by a reception. This report therefore proposes that the City of London organise this event at a cost not exceeding £8,000 (including a contingency of £1,000), with the funding to be allocated from your Committee’s 2010/11 Policy Initiatives Fund (categorised under the “Events” section of the Fund). This estimated cost is based on room hire and related costs (including a/v equipment) and hospitality costs for a reception for up to 150 guests.





Financial and Risk Implications: The option of the City Corporation providing support at a lower level has been considered and discounted because the BAP approached the City Corporation with a request that it acts as the sole funder and sponsor for the event and, given the relevance of the subject to the role of the City as the world’s leading international financial centre, this request is considered fully appropriate. There is no possibility of meeting the proposed financial support from existing local risk resources because this proposal entails, in common with other requests for funding events, research or related projects by think tanks and similar other non-profit organisations, a substantial one-off item of expenditure, for which no provision has been made in the Public Relations or other local risk budgets.

The current uncommitted balance available within your Committee’s Policy Initiatives Fund for 2010/11 amounts to some £271,000, prior to any allowance being made for any other proposals on today’s agenda.


Jane Cummins



Consultees: The Chamberlain and the Comptroller and City Solicitor have been consulted in the preparation of this report and their comments incorporated within it.

Conclusion: Organising a high profile event on the EU-US relationship accords well with the City of London’s core aims and fits in well with key elements of the community strategy. The event will also allow for high quality interaction with a number of the City of London’s key audiences including the City financial, political and media and the impressive BAP alumni list in particular.









Willie Rennie & the Lib/Dem’s – (In Government With Labour) – Forced Through The Intermediary Technology Institutes Scheme – Against the Wishes of the SNP- Investments Cost the Taxpayer £230Million – But Was Willie Ecstatic at the £600K Return









The Labour and Liberal Democratic Party Coalition Government – (1999-2007)

In 2002 Labour and the Liberal/Democrat’s formed a powerful coalition government in Scotland. Their political dominance over a fractured opposition provided opportunity for their politicians to introduce novel and untested working arrangements.

The Liberal/Democrats had enjoyed a long and successful history representing Scottish constituencies and had in place an efficient lobbying machine, advancing to government the interests of a number of multi-national organisations and other UK based companies. McEwan-Purvis was one such company, operating in or around Holyrood between 2001-2006.

With the assistance of government ministers, the company introduced direct links between the government and the commercial sector, (Willie Rennie’s input was substantial but largely unnoticed) through the introduction of an ALEO (given the title “The Intermediary Technology Institutes” (ITI)). Opposition party and public protests questioning the integrity of the scheme, “fell on deaf ears” and a new way of working to government was adopted by Scottish Enterprise and given a budget of budget of £450m.

The scheme, launched in 2003, was aimed at turning innovative ideas in Scottish universities into commercial triumphs, attracted hundreds of millions in public cash. However, only £600,000 was ever received in royalties.

ITI had badly malfunctioned; chronically failing to deliver the economic objectives envisaged by Scottish Enterprise and the Scottish Government. The ten year programme produced very little of the expected commercial outputs, such as new tech start-ups and licensing revenues, and was prematurely terminated by Scottish Enterprise in 2010.

This article identifies some of the characters and circumstances that resulted in such a massive loss to the Scottish Taxpayer. The route to the truth may be convoluted and lengthy but it is important Scottish electorate is appraised of the shortfalls of those who seek their vote.




McEwan-Purvis – A Lobbying company with direct links to the Liberal Democratic Party (operating between 2001-2006).

There were two directors and 5 shareholders: (Jeremy Purvis – Sam McEwan – Willie Rennie – Jayne Struthers – Jacqueline Wilson)

Jeremy Purvis: graduated from University in London. He then worked full-time for Sir David Steel in the House of Commons and ran his office in the House of Lords. In 1998 he moved to Edinburgh to work for political lobbying firm GJW.

In 2001 he established, with a fellow director, his own strategic communications consultancy, advising clients on communications. He was elected to the Scottish Parliament in May 2003 (suggesting that he ceased to be a director of the company before June 2003).

In August 2013 he (Baron Purvis of Tweed) was elevated politically when he was appointed to the post of “working peer” for the Liberal Democratic party, in the House of Lords.

He represents the Liberal/Democratic party on: “The Commission on Parliamentary Reform which is an independent group, established in October 2016 by Ken Macintosh, the Presiding Officer of the Scottish Parliament It expected to report by June 2017.


Sam McEwan: Was employed (from 1993) as Media Manager at “Scottish Enterprise.” (advising on public affairs issues in the software, textiles, food and biotechnology industries).

Before founding McEwan & Purvis he was manager of the Edinburgh based political lobbying firm GJW (now Weber Shandwick Worldwide).



Willie Rennie ran the Scottish Young Liberal Democrats whilst studying at college in Paisley. After graduation he left Scotland to work for the party in Cornwall, returning to Scotland in 1997 to take up the post of chief executive of the Scottish Liberal Democrats, moving on to the post of chief of staff in the new Scottish Parliament from 1999-2001.

From 2001-6 he worked for the lobbying company McEwan Purvis, primarily providing supporting advice to the Royal Society of Chemistry and the arms manufacturer Raytheon.

In 2006, Rennie won the Westminster seat of Dunfermline and West Fife in a bye-election. At Westminster, he was a member of the Lib/Dem shadow defence team, and also chair of their parliamentary campaigns unit. In November 2006 at Westminster PMQ’s Rennie (Lib/Dem defence spokesperson) asked the Prime Minister:

“After the conflict ended, cluster bombs used in Lebanon by Israel resulted in 159 casualties, including 23 deaths so far. In Geneva last week, why did the UK not support calls from the UN Secretary-General, the International Committee of the Red Cross and 27 nations for urgent action? In Oslo next year, will the Prime Minister push for a ban on those indiscriminate bombs, or does he agree with the Minister of State, Ministry of Defence, who has responsibility for the armed forces, who strongly advocates the use of such bombs?”

What a chancer, (and thick with it) Rennie was a Lobbyist employed with McEwan Purvis, (the Liberal/Democratic commercial organ) who had the merchants of death as their client. Yes, it was “Raytheon” – one of the World’s largest weapons manufacturer. Looks like “Oor Willie” is not only a political opportunist but the worst kind of hypocrite seeing as Raytheon is a proud manufacturer of, you guessed it, CLUSTER BOMBS.

He failed to hold the seat in the 2010 GE and returned to Scotland once more taking up a newly created post as special adviser to Scottish Secretary Michael Moore then Danny Alexander.

He was elected leader of Scotland’s Lib/Dems after their demolition in the 2011 Holyrood elections. In his first address to party members he stated that under his leadership the party would rediscover its soul and rebuild trust with voters. He was an honourable man who would have no truck with anyone in public office who did not measure up to the exacting standards he demanded of himself. Those who failed, for any reason would be expected by him to resign.

And so to “Frenchgate”. The exposure of former Scotland Secretary Alistair Carmichael, after much prevarication by himself, of his disgraceful, underhand leadership and devious direct involvement, with others in an attempt to smear Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.

There were strident across the political spectrum, the public and the press for the exposed rogue and liar to stand down from the seat he won by a whisker in the Westminster Election for Orkney and Shetland. But he didn’t. That he took his place at Westminster brings politics into disrepute. And Willie and his principles. Scotland waited in vain for the word “Resignation” It was not to be.

Finally, after much pressure Willie issued the following statement:

“I have discussed the serious nature of the publication of the Scotland Office document with Alistair Carmichael. He fully understands the impact it has had on his reputation. He deeply regrets his actions, has accepted responsibility for his error of judgement, apologised to Nicola Sturgeon and the French Ambassador and declined his ministerial severance payment. I have known Alistair for almost thirty years and have worked closely with him in parliament for almost a decade. I have always been impressed by his energy, dedication and professionalism. He has served Orkney and Shetland for fourteen years and has been elected on four separate occasions. It is clear to me that recent events are an aberration. As a liberal I believe that people deserve a second chance. I hope fair minded people would agree that Alistair Carmichael should be given that second chance.”





Clients of McEwan-Purvis

Raytheon: At that time the fifth largest defence manufacturer in the world. The company had four business areas: Missile Defense; Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance; Precision Engagement; and Homeland Security. It was most famous for missiles. The company is a global leader in the development and deployment of advanced technology missile systems and air combat and strike systems”. Products include the AIM-9 Sidewinder air-air missile, the AIM-120 AMRAAM air-air missile and the Tomahawk Block IIIC Cruise Missile. and the now banned cluster bomb.

Royal Pharmaceutical Society (Scottish branch):

Royal Society of Chemistry:

Association for Science Education in Scotland:







Dec 2002: Scottish Parliament Science Information Service

In December 2002 the Scottish Parliament launched a one-year pilot Science Information Scheme for MSPs at the Scottish Parliament. The Scheme was promoted as 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.
Scheme purpose

To ensure 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.
Scheme Operation

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.
Political lobbying connection

The contacts named at the end of the press release included the Royal Society of Chemistry. The contact was named as Willie Rennie of the political lobbying company McEwan Purvis. This indicated that Rennie was passing himself off as working for a learned society while in reality he was employed by and a shareholder in the PR firm. It is common knowledge that science related organisations enjoy strong corporate links and that they routinely promote pro-corporate views on science issues.
Biased briefings

The scheme, (guaranteed to be 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.

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.

After a long struggle the Green Party gained access to the list under the freedom of information (FIA) and discovered that among the Topic Co-ordinators were Sir Tom McKillop, (then chief executive of Astra/Zeneca) and other academics with ties to industry which the Greens said made them partisan. (1)

(1) The GM crops/agrochemical divisions of Astra/Zeneca and Novartis merged in 2000 under the name Syngenta. As of 2008 Syngenta is one of the major producers of GM crops.

Perhaps not coincidentally, the SPICe briefing on GM crops was 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”.
Protests against the Scheme

Mark Ballard, the Green MSP, wrote to Holyrood’s chief executive asking for a review of the Scottish Parliament science information service saying “The scheme must be open, transparent and objective. I am deeply concerned that people providing information feel the need to hide behind a cloak of anonymity.”

Professor David Miller of Strathclyde University, who runs the internet group spinwatch claimed the parliament has been naive in its dealings with the private sector and its lobbyists. He pointed out that Willie Rennie, now a LibDem MP, effectively ran the science information scheme while working for a PR agency hired by the Royal Society of Chemistry – the kind of linkage between learned societies and private lobbyists who could represent other clients, which made it impossible to be confident of the impartiality of advice.




The Intermediary Technology Institutes (ITI)

Ignoring the critics warnings, (at the end of the 2003-2004 trial period) the Scheme was formally adopted by the Scottish government and titled, “The Intermediary Technology Institutes” (ITI).

Its mission statement included the statement: “to drive innovation in research and development within Life Sciences, Energy and Digital Media sectors.”

To facilitate the foregoing the ITI’s commissioned research programmes to generate assets for onward commercialisation by Scottish companies supporting Scotland’s economic growth.

( (







14 Jan 2009: Scottish Enterprise takes charge of failed ITI scheme

Scotland’s flagship technology commercialisation body is to lose its independence and come under the direct control of its main financial backer, Scottish Enterprise.

In a move to cut spending, the Intermediate Technology Institute (ITI) will become part of the publicly funded enterprise quango.

The surprise decision means that the ITI chairman, will step down and the organisation’s non-executive board will be disbanded at the end of the month.

In November, the chairman said that the organisation – set up in 2003 to commercialise intellectual property – faced a shortfall in its budget, allocated annually from Scottish Enterprise. Last year the group had a budget of £38.1 million.

The same month, Scottish Enterprise said “in future the two organisations will be working more closely together”, but the merger surprised business groups and politicians.

Scottish Enterprise yesterday said there would be no compulsory redundancies among the organisation’s 80 staff but promised there would be a review of its funding.

A spokesman denied the merger was a failure of strategy on behalf of Scottish Enterprise and said it would knock out duplication between the two organisations.

Last year, Scottish Enterprise undertook a major restructuring as more than half of its employees moved out to a new organisation, Careers Scotland, and its annual budget was slashed from £329m to £283m.

The Intermediate Technology Institutes (ITI) were set up by Scottish Enterprise in 2003 to commercialise technology based research and intellectual property in a ten-year programme with an overall budget of £450 million.

ITI Scotland oversees divisions in three main research areas: energy in Aberdeen, life sciences in Dundee and techmedia in Glasgow.

In its latest annual report, ITI Scotland said it had so far spent £134 million on 25 commercialisation projects and filed 132 patents.







11 Sep 2013: Holyrood urged to back Scottish Enterprise probe

The Scottish Parliament has been urged to back calls for Audit Scotland to investigate a failed Scottish Enterprise scheme (ITI) which wasted more than £230 million of taxpayers’ money. The scheme, launched in 2002, was aimed at turning innovative ideas in Scottish universities into commercial triumphs, and attracted hundreds of millions in public cash.

However, only £600,000 was ever received in royalties, and it was wound-up in 2009 having been deemed a spectacular failure. No full-scale investigation has ever taken place into why the programme did not succeed and Audit Scotland has been asked to find out what went wrong to ensure mistakes are not repeated in future, and to obtain an explanation as to how so much cash could have been wasted.






Monday 19 Jan 2015: Academics warn policy-makers must learn from their mistakes

New research examining the controversial Scottish Government funded innovation initiative – the Intermediate Technology Institutes (ITIs) – was published this week by a team of entrepreneurship researchers from the Universities of St Andrews, Glasgow and Edinburgh.The work examines the spectacular failure of the programme.

The ITIs were an extremely ambitious policy intervention launched in 2003 by Scottish Enterprise with a budget of £450m. Designed to have a major transformational impact on the Scottish economy, its main aim was to produce new high-technology start-ups and to dramatically increase the levels of business expenditure on research and development (R&D).

The researchers concluded that the ITI badly malfunctioned; chronically failing to deliver the economic objectives envisaged by Scottish Enterprise and the Scottish Government. The ten year programme produced very little of the expected commercial outputs, such as new tech start-ups and licensing revenues, and was prematurely terminated by Scottish Enterprise in 2010.

In the first independent and objective assessment of the initiative, the research examined the reasons for this policy failure.
Three comments are worthy of note

(1) The ITI programme was based on an outdated linear view of innovation. The critical stumbling block behind the policy’s failure was the inability of policy makers to properly diagnose the nature of structural problems within the Scottish entrepreneurial ecosystem.

While policy failures in the sphere of innovation policy are numerous and costly, such failures are rarely acknowledged by policy makers, as was the case of the ITIs. Arguably, this prevents the ability to learn from past mistakes.”

(2) A number of factors contributed to ITI : The research undertaken was too ‘far from market’, fitted poorly with the innovation needs of Small and medium-sized enterprises (SME’s) had too many restrictions in terms of the usage of the intellectual property (IP) and the licensing conditions were prohibitively expensive.

Innovation policy makers need to become less focused on generating the supply of new IP and more focused on increasing the ability of Scottish SMEs to undertake innovative activities and to absorb external sources of knowledge. A critical mass of innovative SMEs will provide more of a seed-bed for new tech start-ups than policies to stimulate and protect.

(3) Lessons need to be learnt to prevent similar and costly policy failures being repeated. This entails being open with external researchers and stakeholders with information and data to further understanding of the performance of policies and, crucially, the causes of failure.

The authors of the report expressed concern that Scottish politicians may not have fully absorbed the lessons from the failure of the initiative.