As Relevant Today as it was in 1701 When the Good People of Fife Wrote to the Rulers of Scotland- Is Your Ancestor listed? – Two of mine are!!!!



James Douglas, 2nd Duke of Queensberry



Petition from the people of Fife to the Scottish Parliament 9 January 1701

To his Grace his majesties High Commissioner (James Douglas, 2nd Duke of Queensberry) and the right honourable Earls and representatives of parliament, we submit this humble address and petition of the people of Fife.

That now after so long and expensive wars, attended with unheard scarcity and many other calamities, instead of enjoying the blessings of a happy peace, incentives for trade and manufacturing, providing employment for the poor and easing the burdens of state support.

We still find not only great discouragements to trade, increased numbers of poor and a lack of money sufficient to pay a standing army. But above all what we are deeply aware of is the violation of the sovereignty, freedom, and independence of Scotland which our predecessors so nobly defended with their blood.

And the encroachments by English and Spanish forces upon which seem to us to be the cause of the great losses which the African and Indian companies have sustained in their Caledonian colony settled in Darien.

Losses contrary to their human rights and the law of nations, and which we perceive to be of national concern affecting the hearts of every true-hearted Scot.

May it, therefore, please your grace and right honourable Earls and peers of the Scottish parliament to give serious consideration to asserting the Kingdom’s freedom, sovereignty, and independence.

Strengthen and support the people in Darien in their right to their settlement in Caledonia, make good their losses, assist them in their efforts so much that they are able to succeed for the honour and wealth of Scotland.

Introduce measures designed to provide a better future for the poor, encouraging Scottish manufacturers to invest in Scotland restraining the practice of transferring money to England.

Reduce the size of the occupying army bringing forward ways, other than force, of ensuring the security of peace and support of the government and the future and liberty of the Kingdom.



Signed 9 January 1701

Mr George Arnott of Grange

W. Anstruther,

Robert Forbes of Riris,

David Leslie, master of Lundors,

James Fairfull of Kilduncan,

John Preston, baronet,

David Corstorphine, portioner in Kingsbarns,

George Sinclair, baronet,

Henry Balfour of Denbre,

Alexander Bridge, portioner in Kingsbarns,

James Preston of Denbre,

Andrew Baillie of Parbroath,

T. Bruce of Blairhall,

Robert Herriot of Ramorny
J. Browne of Bogward,

Patrick Ross of Hilcairnie,

Robert Scott of Spencirfeild,

John Wemyss of Winthank,

David Lindsay of Kirkforther,

Thomas Weems of Fingask,

Henry Wardlaw of Pitravie,

D. Clephane of Carslogie,

William Henderson of Fordell,

R. Douglas of Glenbervie, baronet,

James Lindsay of Kavill,

James Holburne of Menstrie,

Archibald Makgill of Kemboke,

Robert Ged of Baldrige,

Captain Alexander Bruce of Petothe,

James Bennett of Graing,

W. Trent of Pitcullo,

John Stanhous of Southfod,

G. Paterson of Dinmuire,

Mr Duncan Whyte of Cruiks,

John Imrie of Crowie,

John Forrester of Carberrie,

George Hay of Mortoune,

John Dewar of Lafodie,

John Cuninghame of Banden,

H. Wardlaw of Luskar,

John Malcolm of Inverteill,

David Wardlaw of Craighouse,

James Law of Burntoune,

P. Seton of Lathrisk,

R. Balfour of Balbirne,

John Balfour of Fernie,

J. Balfour of Collachy,

J. Kinnier of Kinnier,

Michael Malcolm of Balbeadie,

J. Malcolm of Foxtoun,

Mr David Dewar of Balgonie,

John Crawford of Montquhne,

Boswell of Glenistoune,

J. Arnott of Woodmile,

J. Skene of Wester Bogie,

Russell of Balmalkim,

Rachie of Ballmedisyd,

James Walker of Daftmill,

John Aitoun of that ilk,

George Arnott of Woodmill,

Michaell Balfour, (the younger) baronet,

John Barclay of Colernie,

Charles Cheape,(the younger)of Rossie,

D. Anderson of Ferriebanck,

Alexander Spens of Beriholl,

David Orme of Amriecruik,

James Maxuell of Lekebank,

Patrick Forbes of Lumquhat,

Alexander Thomson of Yerdland,

James Nicolson, porshoner in Strakes,

Robert Maxwell of Brounbrae,

Walter Scot of Eadniehead,

Alexander Weymes, portoner of Ballow,

Alexander Nairne of St Foord,

A. Bruce of Earlishall,

Robert Lentron of Kincaple,

Philip Hamilton of Kilbracmonth,

James Martine of Clearmonth,

A. Balfour of Northbank,

John Bethune of Craigfudie,

William Jack of Possil,

James Scott of Dron,

John Pattullo of Balhoussie,

John Wemys of Lathockar,

Alexander Nairne of Friertoun,

D. Boiswell of Dovan,

W. Imrie of Flass,
T. Nairne of Craigtoune,

James Robertsone, portioner of Grange,

James Linsay of Balkirst,

P. Anstruther of Anstruther,

James Robertsone of Newbiging,

Robert Anstruther of Balcaske,

Alexander Aytoune of Inchdarnie,

John Leslie of Eastquarter,

John Watson of Dunekeir,

J Beatsone of Kilrie,

J. Alexander of Skeddoway,

James Betsone of Glesmonth,

Patrick Murray of Pittloche,

John Skene of Hallyards,

P. Greig of Ballingrie,

William Aytown Douglas of Kinglesy,

W. Arnott of Achmur,

Robert Douglas of Strahenry,

Arnott of Arnott, Archibald, portinor of Drumard,

Robert Bogie of Lennestoun,

William Dudingstone of St Foord,

James Archibald, portioner of Balbrikie,

John Carstairs of Kinneucher,

Col. Arthur of Ballon,

Henry Stephenson of Ballmoolde,

Alexander Monniepennie of Pitmillie,

William Lyell, portioner of Kingsbarns,

Robert Ged (the younger) of Baldrig,

William Wemyss of Cuttlehill,

John Aytoune of Kinnaldy,

Henry Wardlaw, portioner of Luskar,

Andreas Smith (the younger) of Food,

John Morres of Coldensbeath,

James Stenhouse of South Food,

John Stevenson of Stevenson Bath,

Andrew Smith of Food,

William Halkerstone of Halkerstons Beat,

John Dewar of Beath,

Laurence Walls of Mosyde,

J. Balfour of Baith,

Hendrie Belfrag of Coltstown,

Thomas Mwdie of Lassoddie,

David Douglas of Gellits,

John Aitken of Thorntoune Milln,

James Halkett of Pitfirren,

David Black of Cocklaw,

James Moutray of Rescobie,

David Aitken of Windag,

Michaell Balfour of Forrett,

J. Balcanquall of that ilk,

W. Aitoun, younger, of Aitoun,

J. Colqwhown of Corstowne,

William Schaw of Gospertie,

George Lundy of Drum,

G. Birrell, portioner of Kineskwood,

Mungo Law of Pitlouk,

William Arnot, portioner of Kinaskwood,

John Arnot of Chapell,

James Hoy Leslills of Riggs, 

Thomas Craige of Lamonths Law,

D. Balfour of Kinloch.



Comment: Three hundred and nineteen years later the content of this petition still holds relevance today.



I was asked recently why I wished to live in a Scotland independent of Westminster governance. My answer: Because I am a Scot.!!!  That’s it, folks, my heart dictates my actions.





Owners of Tracts of Forested Land in Scotland larger Than Renfrewshire – the Church of England Invests the Profits – Distributes the Proceeds in England and Claims Annual Subsidies in Excess of £650,000 From the Scottish Taxpayer







Who Owns Scotland?

The ever increasing calls for independence and land reform from Scots, fed up to the teeth with a grossly unfair feudal system of land distribution is the cause of desperation amongst those who fear they have most to lose.

The “old school” comprising dukes, peers and their ilk and landowners whose inherited estates were gifted to their forebears courtesy of the “clearances” which forced many hundreds of thousands of Scots from their land and country in support of the aims and aspirations of a corrupted system of privilege benefiting the lickspitals of British gentry.

And the “New School” made up of rich businessmen, British and, foreign and institutions of English Statehood.

This blog addresses one of the old School institutions; The Church of England!!

landowners in Scotland with forestry estates the combined size of which exceeds Renfrewshire.

All held business and tax free.

And they get a £650,000 tax free subsidy each year courtesy of the Scottish taxpayer, through the Common Agricultural Policy.

And all their profits from Scottish land goes back to England to be invested in all sorts of weird and wonderful ventures some of which are dubious.






The Church of England retains a Charitable Fund valued in excess of £8 Billion

The fund, managed by, “Church Commissioners generates Interest providing around 16% of the Church’s annual income requirements.

Historically the church inherited the wills of bishop’s and cathedrals over many years.

Church estates in rural areas, included agricultural land and residential buildings that were let to farmers, generating income needed to pay local clergymen and to meet other expenses.

But large tracts of church land were left undeveloped until the Industrial Revolution which brought with it a massive expansion of towns and cities throughout Britain.

Some of these ancient holdings, in Britain and abroad remain in the church’s’ ownership, e.g. the highly valued Hyde Park Estate in West London and a number of similar tracts of land and the church today still benefits financially from many prime central London residential property’s, department stores and media outlets built on this land.

Up to the end of WW2 the bulk of the church’s assets was in real estate and government securities, after which the commissioners widened the portfolio of investments to include; shares, bonds, commercial property, (including purchase of land for coal mining and planting of forestry) and other many other business assets.

In the latter part of the 20th century the task of effectively managing the fund overwhelmed the Commissioners and the Archbishop of Canterbury asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer and the Governor of the Bank of England to appoint policy committee to advise the Commissioners’ about ethical investment policy.

Over time the role of the policy advisory committee diminished in favour of retaining professional, “Fund Managers”  expected to subscribe to the Commissioners approach to ethical investments, which is always to avoid a short term quick profit in favour of more secure long term returns.






The Church of England investment portfolio includes ownership and development of forestry in the South of Scotland in excess of 120,000 acres.

In 2016 the Commissioners claimed £649,988 subsidy support through the CAP.(£6 million annual subsidy over 10 years.) No business rates and a very tidy tax free profit to the Commissioners through the sale of wood.






12 December 2014: UPM (Sweden) sells Scottish forest land to The Church Commissioners for England

The purchase includes 14 forests in Scotland extending to approximately 6,300 hectares in total.

The transaction price is £50.6 million.

The Church Commissioners for England are already a significant forest owners.

The agreement consolidates the Church’s forest holdings in Scotland.

UPM Tilhill , the UK’s largest forest management and timber harvesting company will be contracted to provide a full range of consultancy and contracting services to the new investors.

This is a nonsense. An English organisation of State buys a large bit of Scotland from a Swedish company






11 Jul 2014: Church of England finally severs financial links with Pay-Day Lenders

The Archbishop of Canterbury attacked payday lenders claiming that they destroyed lives and that the church should compete them out of existence.

But he was mortified when less than 24 hours later it was revealed by the press that the church of England had a £75,000 indirect investment in Wonga, despite having added payday lenders to its list of prohibited investments.

Months after, The Church of England Commissioners announced they had finally cut financial links with Wonga.

The commissioners also indicated that they had tightened restrictions on direct investments and would announce new controls on indirect investments later.

A new position was being created in the investment team to ensure that ethical policies were implemented, supporting the church’s investment advisory group.

The controversy deepened when David Cameron and the Tory party were linked to Wonga and another Pay-Day Lender through business links with party Donors

Conservative donor and government adviser Adrian Beecroft had a major stake in Wonga, Britain’s best-known payday lender, which charged borrowers more than 4,000 per cent APR.

Beecroft had given almost £800,000 to the Tories in the last seven years, contributing more than £100,000 last December.

And there’s more: Jonathan Luff, former senior adviser to David Cameron, (on the public payroll) quit Downing Street a few months before to become a lobbyist for Wonga.

And there’s even more: Henry Angest controlled the high-cost credit company , “Everyday Loans,” and charged members of the public interest at an average 74.8 per cent APR.

Financier, Angest – a friend of the Cameron’s and a former Tory Treasurer – gave the Conservatives a £5m overdraft facility shortly before the last General Election at an attractive interest rate of just 3.5 per cent.

The scandal of Conservative grandees seen to be benefiting financially from the misery caused to lower paid members of the public through their involvement in the high-cost lending industry might just prick the conscience of the Prime Minister who has dined privately with Angest and his wife Samantha at Chequers and Downing Street.





21 May 2017: The Church of England made a stunning 17% return on investments in 2016

A focus on ethical investing has long been part of the body’s mandate, although some of its investment picks have still provoked debate.

The church is facing questions about its holding in Alphabet Inc., Google’s parent company.

Google has been embroiled in a long-running battle over accusations of tax avoidance in Britain.

Earlier this year, the company agreed to pay £130-million and it has insisted that it has followed all tax rules.

The company generated around £24-billion of revenue in Britain between 2005 and 2015, the period covered by the settlement.

It paid a total of £180-million in tax over that time, including the settlement amount.

Archbishop Welby and other church officials criticized Google and other companies for not paying their fair share of taxes.

Welby said last year that companies should pay tax in the country where revenue is generated.

The Church Commissioners said returns meant it had contributed £230.7m to the mission of the Church of England, The Church Commissioners, whose target is making a return of inflation plus five percentage points. (The Guardian)




22 May 2017: The Church of England paid more than £1million in bonuses to its own fund managers last year

The payouts were given to 10 senior managers despite the Archbishop of Canterbury’s professed disapproval of the way banks use bonus systems to reward their staff.

The payments brought charges of hypocrisy from City critics who say the CofE has opened a gap between what it tells other people to do and what it does itself.

The annual report of the CofE’s financial wing, the Church Commissioners, showed that bonuses, which were first paid to managers in 2013, topped the £1 million level for the first time in 2016.

The biggest bonus went to investment chief Tom Joy, who was given a ‘long term incentive payment’ of £202,000 on top of his salary of £259,000, taking his full earnings for the year to £461,000.

Mr Joy’s bonuses from 2013 to 2016 have now totalled £661,000.

But there is a contradiction in the ethical policy advice of the Commissioners to companies in which they invest, namely, that: “long term incentive payment schemes, bonuses should reward work over five or seven-year timescales “and should normally be paid in shares held for the long term in order to reward permanent value creation.”

But there is an inconsistency which some people might see as hypocrisy.

Bonuses for the Church of England Commissioners’ staff are paid in cash.

And all this when the Church was later forced to admit paying workers in its care homes less than the living wage which its Archbishops had been urging other employers to pay. (The Mail)



Baron Fraser of Corriegarth – Tory Unionist – Bought and Sold for Anybody’s Gold – Sad to See Scotland’s Peers Are Still Desperately Clinging to the Corrupt Political System That Is Westminster



Baron Fraser



Alexander Andrew Macdonell Fraser, Baron Fraser of Corriegarth

Born in 1946, he is a treasurer of the Conservative Party and from 2016, (courtesy of David Cameron’s much criticised Resignation Honours list) a life Peer member of the House of Lords also called “God’s waiting room.”

The World’s second largest legislative body after the Chinese National People’s Congress.

Whilst there is no record of a marriage before 2010, he has a son, Alexander Albert Henry Fraser (b1984), a property developer, who, together with his father controls Remenham Riverside Ltd., London.

His son is also one of 6 partners in Northampton registered property company, Vanneck Residential LLP and is one of 2 Directors of Container City Projects (London) Ltd., Property developers.

A major financial donor to the Tory’s, he has given many millions of pounds to the party since 2004.

He was also the second largest “Better Together” donor, giving £200,000 to the campaign for a no vote in the 2014 Scottish independence referendum.

His Garthbeg Farms enterprise in Scotland  claimed £84373.22 farming subsidies in 2016.

He was educated at Eton College and St John’s College, Oxford. After graduation (Master’s degree in Politics, Philosophy and Economics from St. John College, Oxford) he started his career covering equity markets in the Asian region, working at Vickers De Costa, Sun Hung Kai Securities and Henderson Crosthwaite.

He progressed and became a global investor and has held numerous posts in the financial sector both in the City of London and elsewhere.

He served as a director then President of Golden Bridge Investment & Securities Co., Ltd.

He served as a Director then Chief Executive at Nava Securities in London and Golden Bridge Investment & Securities Co., Ltd.

In 1984, he joined and served as a Director then CEO at Baring Securities, Far East and also established and managed the stock broking network and infrastructure in Australia and Asia ex Japan.

In 1985 he was listed as a Director at Ing Baring Securities (Japan) Limited holding the position of “Stockbroker”.

The company had been around since 12 Jul 1985 and lists its registered address as being in Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands.

He served as a Director, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman at Bridge Securities, with responsibility and oversight for all stock broking activities.

Note: His Wikipedia incorrectly quotes: “He is married to Rebecca (née Shaw-Mackenzie, formerly Ramsay), they have two daughters and three sons between them.”

This is incorrect the children father is William Alan Grant Ramsay. (,_Baron_Fraser_of_Corriegarth)


William Alan Grant Ramsay



William Alan Grant Ramsay and Rebecca Mckenzie Shaw

Born in Canada in 1958, he resides at Newhall, Balblair, Dingwall, Scotland.

He currently holds the position of, Director of Closed Joint Stock Company, Aral Petroleum Capital, Mostostal Export, Sir Ian Noble & Partners Ltd. registered office; (Skye).

The company, incorporated in 2000 is classified as Fund management activities.

Ramsay has been engaged in private equity investments primarily in Kazakhstan since 1997.

From 2004-2014 he was, Chief Executive Officer, then President of Caspian Energy Inc. (Oil exploration company registered in Ontario, Canada.


As a founder of Golden Eagle, he was actively engaged in advising companies on inward investment in the energy sector.

Following the acquisition of Golden Eagle by Central Asian Industrial Holdings, he worked closely with Kazkommertsbank CJSC during which time a group of investors from Kazakhstan acquired a majority stake in Nelson Resources Inc.

He became the chairman designate, and subsequently interim chairman of Nelson Resources Inc. on completion of the acquisition.

He has over 35 years experience in the Asian capital markets.

From 1984 to 1990 he served as a director of Baring International Investment Management, during which years he resided in Korea and Japan, with principal responsibility for managing funds investing in the Asian equity markets.

From 1991 to 1997, he was based in Hong Kong and worked for Jardine Fleming Securities as a director.

His geographical areas of responsibility included Korea, Taiwan, India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

He graduated from Magdalene College, Cambridge University UK and completed a Post-graduate degree at Peking University, China.

He married Rebecca Mckenzie Shaw, (b1961) on 4 May 1985.

The family was complete with the birth of their 5 children: Catriona Alexandra Ramsay, (1987), Douglas Shaw-Mackenzie Ramsay, (1989), Irene Lilian Ramsay, (1990), Euan Shaw-Mackenzie Ramsay, (1992) and Ruaridh Shaw-Mackenzie Ramsay (1996).

The couple suffered tragedy with the early death of their eldest son, Douglas Shaw-Mackenzie (b1989) who was found dead in his room at the Vimean Angkor Pich Hotel in Siem Reap Town, Cambodia, on December 26, 2012.

According to the medical report, he had died from a self-administered drug injection.

Her divorce date is not available, but from 2002-2014 Alexander Andrew Macdonell Fraser, Baron Fraser of Corriegarth and Rebecca with her children are recorded as living in Dingwall.

They went on to marry (3 Jun 2010)).

The couple split their time between their homes in London and the Highlands of Scotland.

Her father is the 22nd Chief of Clan Shaw and a feudal Baron.


Cameron created more Peers than any other PM in history




6 Aug 2016: New peer on David Cameron’s controversial honours list, Alexander Andrew Macdonell Fraser is exposed as a multi-millionaire Tory donor who donated millions of pounds to the party

Despite backing reform of the House of Lords, David Cameron nominated 245 peers during his time in office, working out at an average of 39 a year.

New analysis by academics shows that Cameron created lifetime peerages at a quicker rate than any Prime Minister in history.

The former Prime Minister has come under fire for the list he submitted just before leaving office, naming a total of 59 people, (including Fraser) in line to receive 13 peerages and 46 honours.

The latest honours list has reignited debate over reform to the unelected House of Lords, with questions being raised over who is being installed into the upper house,  one of the biggest legislative chambers in the world.

Fraser is estimated to be the fifth biggest individual donor to the party within the last parliamentary cycle.

He is one of the coveted few who donated enough to be part of Cameron’s exclusive ‘leader’s group’, an inner circle of businessmen who had access to the then PM and other ministers for lunches and other events.

Fraser, who has a net worth of £150 million, recently described the £300 daily allowance for Members of the House of Lords as “inadequate.” (7 Aug 2016)

Critics have complained that the list reeks of ‘cronyism. Also among the recipients is former chancellor George Osborne, Samantha Cameron’s stylist Isabel Spearman, his long serving aide Gabby Bertin, and Eton alumni Ed Llewellyn. (The Independent)


On your way up




3 Jul 1999: Nick Leeson, the trader who gambled and made £millions for Barings eventually lost £850 million and bust the Bank – is on his way home, released early due to cancer

Nick Leeson has dominated the lives of 1,200 bank workers who in 1995 lost their jobs and countless others who were deprived of their savings and his return to Britain after serving 4 years in Jail in Singapore will succeed only in adding to their torment.

Before Leeson flies to Britain, he will be questioned again by investigators who are unsure how he made losses of £850m and camouflaged them in an “errors” account, labelled 88888.

Yesterday, Baring’s liquidators in the UK, solicitors Slaughter and May, obtained a high court order freezing whatever assets he has here.

When Leeson was arrested in Germany, he fought hard to be extradited to Britain.

His lawyers argued he was a British citizen and the offences he had committed were against a British bank.

Leeson said he would plead guilty and offered a full, written confession to the serious fraud office (SFO).

He was desperate for the case to be heard in Britain and for his sentence to carried out in a British jail, and not in the Far East.

But his plea was ignored by the SFO, and many City commentators remain suspicious about the motivations behind the decision.

The Bank of England and the directors of Barings were no doubt relieved to see him go back to Singapore, where the two technical charges of fraud he faced would not necessitate calling witnesses from Britain to explain how a junior trader had precipitated an international banking crisis.

The SFO’s decision also prevented hundreds of Barings bond holders, investors who had put savings into the bank’s bonds, starting a private prosecution.

They were the only ones to lose money when ING bought Barings.

Leeson suspected that the establishment and the government conspired to keep him out of Britain.

“He was very angry and very bitter when he was extradited back to Singapore,” said a friend. “He never got over it. It meant serving his sentence on the other side of the world, away from his wife and his family.

Lisa, his wife, divorced him and remarried while he was behind bars.

He has been very isolated over the past three years.

The prison kept him away from English-speakers, so he hasn’t been able to talk to anyone.” (The Mail)





“All that Gltters – The fall of the Baring Bank” – John Gapper and Nicholas Denton

The book provides a definitive, classic account of the fall of the House of Baring and the ultimate rogue trader Nick Leeson.

It reveals the Faustian deal struck between the whizz-kid traders who seemed to be bringing in huge profits and the grandees who were happy to pocket them without asking too many questions.

For the first time, the actions and motives of all the participants are explained, including the final days when politicians and bankers made a last-ditch attempt to save the bank, as well as Nick Leeson’s actions and motives.

Extracts from the book:

“The Henderson Crosthwaite,(Far East) securities partnership was finalised in August 1983 with the recruitment of the Honourable Alexander Andrew MacDonell Fraser.

A tall, handsome man who previously worked as the London representative of Sun Hung Kai Securities, a Hong Kong broking firm.

He had been educated at Eton College and st John’s College, Oxford, which gave him a combination of laid-back charm and patrician haughtiness.

His first job after Oxford in 1968 had been at Kleiwort Benson, the merchant bank.

He had not blazed a distinguished trail there, being known as much for a dark blue velvet suit that he owned as for his merchant banking skills.

Fraser spent evenings at the New Casanova Club, a casino off Grosvenor Square, and was inclined to gamble to the limits of his means.

He had gone to Hong Kong in 1970 as an analyst with Vickers.

He was struck by the vitality of the colony compared with Britain at that time and felt an immediate affinity with the money making culture and with the Chinese love of gambling.

In 1977 he came back to London with Sun Hung Kai.

His job was to buy shares and bonds in the London market for Sun Hung Kai’s customers.

Fraser did well, partly because many of them wanted to trade gold and London was the centre of the world market.

Frasers contacts in Hong Kong would come in useful later when selling Japanese shares.

In 1984, Baring Brothers agreed to buy out Henderson Crosthwaite,(Far East) in which Fraser was a partner.

Baring Brothers would hold 75% of shares in the new broking firm called Baring Far East Securities Ltd whilst Henderson Croswaite,(Far East) would get 25%.

The quarter share in the new firm was divided among the partners. Fraser’s share was 10%.

The initial deal was for 7 years which would provide a good reward for all involved if projected operating profits were achieved.


Barings Bank management incompetent at every level




At the beginning of 1992, Baring Securities decided to set up a futures operation in Singapore to take advantage of the rapidly growing success of SIMEX (Singapore International Monetary Exchange).

Nick Leeson seemed to be the right person to head up the operation and, in April 1992, Nick and Lisa Leeson moved to Singapore.

Leeson was appointed general manager of Baring Futures (Singapore) and was responsible for organizing the settlements and accounting departments and acting as head of the SIMEX trading operations.

The true extent of Barings’ problems was not to be fully appreciated until February 1995. But even in 1992 there was a warning signal of potential problems ahead.

Before he took up the posting to Singapore, Leeson had applied to the Securities and Futures Authority (SFA ) for a Certificate in Corporate Governance London trading licence.

Despite his success with the settlements part of broking activities (often referred to as the ‘back office’), Leeson was keen to be involved in the more glamorous side of broking, that is dealing in futures and options (referred to as the ‘front office’).

In broking circles, those who worked in the back office were almost regarded as second-class citizens compared to the front office.

In the front office there was greater opportunity to earn sizeable bonuses, which came to be a feature of city financial institutions during the 1980s.

Leeson would not be able to actively trade securities unless he was licensed by the SFA. Baring Securities therefore submitted Leeson’s application to the SFA.

Leeson answered ‘no’ to a question whether he had any County Court judgements outstanding against him.

Following a routine check by the SFA, it was found that Leeson indeed did have an outstanding judgement.

In fact, in May 1992 Watford County Court, on behalf of National Westminster Bank, made a judgement of £2,426 against him.

The SFA returned the application to Baring Securities, who simply withdrew it.

It seems that no more was said about the misinformation and there was no negative impact on Leeson’s career, since he moved to Singapore shortly afterwards.

Leeson was to remain in Singapore, working for Baring Securities, for almost three years.

When Leeson arrived in Singapore in 1992, he was just 25 years old.

During 1992 it seems that Baring Futures (Singapore) was operating profitably, buying and selling futures and options on behalf of clients.

Leeson spent his mornings from Monday to Friday overseeing dealing at SIMEX and afternoons were spent reconciling the trades, working through the dealing slips.

On busy days the settlement process could take until midnight.

However, given the sometimes frenetic activity on the dealing floor at SIMEX, it was not unknown for errors to take place.

These were often no more than misunderstandings.

Normally the bank would accept the loss, on the assumption that the client had acted in good faith.

An error account, 99905, would be created in which the relevant transactions could be put until they had been resolved or else written off in the profit-and-loss account.

According to Leeson, he was asked by the London office of Barings to create another error account, to handle only trivial items arising in Singapore. Consequently, error account 88888 was created, this unusual number being chosen because in Chinese the number 8 is supposed to be lucky.

But within a few weeks, the London office of Barings decided that it needed to see all errors arising in Singapore and that its computers could cope with the numbers of errors being recorded.

Leeson was therefore asked to revert back to using only error account 99905.

The new error account 88888 therefore lay dormant.

According to Leeson, he first used it seriously on Friday 17 July 1992.

One of his employees had mis-understood a client’s orders and instead of buying 20 contracts had instead sold 20 contracts.

To rectify the mistake, Barings would need to buy 20 contracts to cancel out the original mistake and on top of that buy a further 20 contracts to satisfy the client’s order.

The hit to Barings’ profit-and-loss account amounted to about £20,000.

Because Leeson discovered the mistake on Friday 17 July after close of trading at SIMEX he was not able to rectify the situation until trading restarted on the following Monday, by which time the market price could have moved against him.

In order to hide the mistake Leeson made use of account 88888.

Leeson was reportedly annoyed that his superior in Singapore – Simon Jones, Operations Manager for South Asia – had not allowed him to employ sufficient qualified staff to cope with the expanding volume of work.

When Leeson asked Simon Jones for advice on resolving the 20 contracts, he advised him to sack the employee and inform Andrew Bayliss, Deputy Chairman of Baring Securities in London.

Leeson did not take Simon Jones’ advice and instead used the account 88888 to mask the error.

His justification was that he needed time to think how to hide the loss and also he wanted to protect his staff.

It is also possible that he was not keen for Barings in London to learn of this type of mistake, which could damage his reputation.

The problem was that Leeson found it remarkably easy to hide errors in this way, and this was facilitated by the fact that he was in charge of both the ‘front office’ and ‘back office’ for Barings Singapore operation:

Over the next few months, up to the end of 1992, he put over thirty errors into the 88888 account which although bad, was not catastrophic.

There were other errors in the London account, but he also put them into 88888 together with very large discrepancies, which he thought would get his newly recruited traders into trouble.

There was no hard and fast rule – an error’s was an error – but the traders knew that if they’d made a bad mistake they could refer it to Leeson who would resolve it by placing it in the 88888 account.


Nick Leeson (now)




Early Warning ignored

At the beginning of 1992, just before Nick Leeson’s deployment to Singapore, James Bax (Head of Singapore Operations) wrote to Andrew Fraser (Managing Director Baring Securities Far East), based in Hong Kong, to complain that:

“once again we are in danger of setting up a structure which will subsequently prove disastrous and we will succeed in losing either a lot of money or client goodwill, or probably both.”

He insisted Leeson should report solely to Simon Jones Operations Manager, South Asia).

It is clear that James Bax was concerned about the conflict of interest involved if there was not a clear demarcation between the ‘front office’ and the ‘back office’.

Bax’s recommendation was rejected, for Leeson reported directly to London once he began trading. In addition, Leeson was made basically a one-man show, permitted both to trade and to do all the paperwork and account for his investments.

This made Leeson, in effect, his own policeman, a practice nearly unheard of in the industry.

Leeson subsequently acknowledged that if the advice of Bax had been followed, such that Leeson had responsibility only for the settlements and accounting, he would not have been able to instruct the traders in the way he did, let alone indulge in trading himself.

Why did Barings ignore the advice of James Bax?

It is possible that Barings was keen to restrict costs.

If we are to believe Leeson’s version of events, he was having problems getting authority from Barings to recruit sufficient numbers of well qualified staff.

It was also possible, that over time, as the Singapore operation appeared to be making excellent profits, that Leeson’s superiors were reluctant to annoy Leeson by requesting him to curtail his trading activities which might have led to their ‘star trader’ resigning and moving to another broking firm.




According to Leeson:

“As my losses in Error Account 88888 began to creep up again from the zero balance I had managed to achieve in July, I found myself growing increasingly angry that I hadn’t shut the whole thing down and never used it again.

I began to trade aggressively to make the money back, and these trades never turned out the right way for me.”

A damming report on the scandal concludes that: Leeson managed to operate his 88888 account for three years without Barings’ senior management knowing about it yet they managed to unearth the account within hours of his disappearance.

The report alleged that Barings’ management structure was incompetent at every level, allowing Leeson a free hand to cripple the company.

10 senior managers at Barings were banned from the city fo periods between 4-6 years.

More details at: ( (

Note: Someone is determined to change history in favour of Fraser. His Wikipedia quotes: “In 1992, Fraser had written a memo expressing concern about Leeson’s power.” Oh! no! he didn’t. James bax wrote a warning memo to Fraser. (,_Baron_Fraser_of_Corriegarth)


Corriegarth Estate Wind Farm




22 December 2013: No vote donors caught in wind farm payments row

A Company involving two major donors to the pro-Union Better Together campaign has been accused of trying to short-change a Highlands community out of millions of pounds.

Stratherrick & Foyers ­Community Trust, on the southern shore of Loch Ness, is angry at North British Wind Energy Ltd (NBW) for offering to pay less than half the industry benchmark in “community benefit” compensation for a 23-turbine wind farm on the Corriegarth Estate

Corriegarth is the family estate of former Barings Bank stockbroker Andrew Fraser, who was last week revealed as one of the largest donors to Better Together, after giving £200,000.

Fraser first entered into an “option agreement and licence” with NBW in 2008. (The Herald)


The Singapore Trading Pit  where Leeson excelled




Asia Frontier Capital Fund (investing in high growth Asian frontier economies)

Fraser has greatly reduced his commitments in recent years but retains an active interest in Asia Frontier Capital Ltd., a major financial securities investment company which manages subsidiary operations: the AFC Asia Frontier Fund, AFC Iraq Fund, and AFC Vietnam Fund.

The company manages a portfolio of stocks in high growth markets focusing on consumer, financial and infrastructure stocks with the goal of offering investors high returns.

Over the last 3 years it has yielded benefits to investors in excess of 42%, the best of any of the top 10 companies in the World.

AFC Asia Frontier Fund invests in listed equities from Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, Iraq, Laos, Maldives, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Sri Lanka and Vietnam.

AFC Iraq Fund invests in companies from Iraq and Kurdistan listed on the Iraq Stock Exchange (ISX) or listed at any other Stock Exchange.

AFC Vietnam Fund invests in companies listed on the Ho Chi Minh City Stock Exchange or Hanoi Securities Trading Center.

Baron Alexander Andrew Macdonell Fraser is a shareholder and Director.

The company, headquartered in Hong Kong and the Cayman Islands is licensed by the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission (SFC.)

More information can be found at: (





Fraser’s record of interests declared to the House of Lords provides a measure of his previous and current business activities.

Current Directorships

Remenham Riverside Limited (field used for rental purposes during Henley Regatta) – Director:

Current Shareholding and Investment management

AGET Inc (food company) – Energia Iberica Ltd (oil) – Nomad Energy UK Ltd (oil) – Nordaq Energy plc (oil) – Maitland Institutional Services Ltd (fund manager) – Chenavari Capital Solutions Ltd (investment managers) – P2P Global Investments plc (equity investment) – Ferox Salar Fund plc (investment managers) – Bacit Ltd (“battle against cancer” investment trust) – NB Private Equity Partners Ltd (specialist fund managers) – John Laing Infrastructure Fund Ltd (investment in PPP projects) – GCP Infrastructure Investments Ltd (invests in UK infrastructure debt) – Harbourvest Partners (UK) Ltd (property) – Empiric Student Property plc (property) – Royal Dutch Shell plc (oil) – Persimmon plc (property) – Reckitt Benckiser Group plc (chemicals) – Unilever plc (chemicals) – GlaxoSmithKline plc (pharmaceuticals) – Shire plc (pharmaceuticals) – Entertainment One (media) – WPP plc (advertising) – BT Group plc (telecommunications) – Vodafone Group plc (telecommunications) – HSBC Holdings plc (banking) – Lloyds Banking Group plc (banking) – Beazley plc (insurance) – Aviva plc (insurance) – Prudential plc (insurance) – Hansteen Holdings plc (real estate investment trust) – ARM Holdings plc (semiconductor and software design) – Franklin Templeton Investment Management Limited (fund manager) – Marlborough Fund Managers Fund Ltd Special Situations (UK small companies fund) – Apple Inc (information technology) – Boeing Company (aerospace) – JPMorgan Chase & Co (banking) – Walt Disney Company (media and entertainment) – Johnson & Johnson Services Inc (medical equipment and pharmaceuticals) – Activision Blizzard Inc (media) – CVS Health Corporation (health) – John Wiley & Sons Inc (publishing) – Aramark Corporation (conglomerate) – Bayer AG (chemicals) – BB Biotech AG (biotechnology) – Nestle SA (food) – Polar Capital Holdings plc (investment management) – Halley Asian Prosperity Fund (value investing in Asia) – Standard Life Investments Ltd (fund manager) – S&W Investment Funds (investment management) – Brompton Bicycle Ltd (folding bicycles) – Pigeon Land Ltd (property investment) – Pigeon Sawston LLP (property investment) – Pigeon Shelford Ltd (property investment) – Pigeon Wickford Ltd (property investment) – Waterbeach Promotions Ltd (property investment) – Secure Income REIT plc (real estate investment)




Closed accounts

Bank of Scotland plc 9.375% (banking) (interest ceased 25 July 2017) – LBG Capital 1 plc 11.04% (banking) (interest ceased 25 July 2017) – Lloyds Bank plc 13% (banking) (interest ceased 25 July 2017) – Pantheon Resources plc (oil) (interest        ceased 25 July 2017) – Cadiz Inc (water provider) (interest ceased 25 July 2017) – Ashtead Group plc (equipment rental) (interest ceased 25 July 2017)
Compass Group plc (services) (interest ceased 25 July 2017)




Glenfiddich Malt Whisky- Proudly Associated With Scotland – The Distillers – William Grant Family – Sadly Associated With Better Together and the Tory Unionist Party


William Grant and Wife                   



Austerity – A word foreign to the Estate owners of Scotland

The Austerity years (2008 – 2030): Scots are burdened with the impossible task of breaking free of many years of austerity forced upon them by the criminal excesses of bankers and financial investors seeking to add fast bucks to their already greatly swollen chests of gold.

But austerity does not have any place in the mindset of those who brought financial ruin to the country.

Recent data identified the wealth of private households in the UK totalled £11.1 Trillion.

But the gap between rich and poor has expanded greatly.

The richest 10% of households command 50% of the wealth whilst the lowest 50% of earners exist on less than 9% of the nations economy.

This blog is centred on one of the richest families in the UK, William Grant & Sons, whisky distillers of note.

A Tory Unionist family that contributed nearly £200,000 to the “Better Together campaign in the 2014 Scottish independence referendum.

An act which contradicted the Scottish Whisky Association (S.W.A.) policy to which the company had subscribed. Ye cannae trust a Tory.!!!


The Grant Family



William Grant & Sons Ltd

William Grant was born in Dufftown in 1839.

He spent his childhood herding cattle on lands belonging to the Duke of Fife.

He went to work as a clerk, before becoming a bookkeeper for the Mortlach distillery. It was there that he learned the art of distilling, remaining in the position for some 20 years, and eventually becoming the distillery’s clerk and manager.

In 1886, he had saved enough to go into business on his own and together with his wife and their seven sons and two daughters, the family purchased a plot of land in Speyside, near the River Fiddich.

He acquired a second hand still and other equipment from the Cardhu Distillery and began the construction of a distillery.

The entire build was done by Grant, his 7 sons, and a stone mason.

The distillery began production on Xmas day 1887.

He named his distillery Glenfiddich, Gaelic for “Valley of the Deer.”

In 1892, William Grant & Sons expanded the business purchasing a second neighbouring Distillery called Balvenie.

In 1898, the two distilleries started blending their whiskies and Grant’s Whisky was “born”.

Still family owned, the company is now in its 127th year and expanding its business world wide.

It posted a (2016) turnover of around £1.5 billion.

A subsidiary of William Grant & Sons Holdings Ltd, it lists 3 persons with significant influence or control:

Arthur Detmar Chamberlain, Residence-England: Glenn Grant Gordon, Residence-Jersey: Peter Grant Gordon, Residence-Scotland.

Grants are the the third largest producer of Scotch whisky (10.4% market share) after Diageo (34.4%), and Pernod Ricard.

Headquartered at Strathclyde Business Park, North Lanarkshire, its brands include the Balvenie, Glenfiddich, Tullamore Dew,  Drambuie, Hendrick’s Gin, Sailor Jerry rum and Grant’s.

Distilleries owned By Grants, around twenty in total, include: Glenfiddich, Balvenie, Girvan and Kininvie.

Many of Grant’s distilleries are still located in Dufftown, making the Company the largest employer in the town.

The Company has established major outlets worldwide, including but not limited to, Europe, Asia, Canada, USA, Australia, South America, India, England and Ireland.

Grant’s combined with The Edrington Group in 1999 to acquire Highland Distilleries, owner of The Macallan and Highland Park malts, The Famous Grouse, Black Bottle and Gloag’ London Gins creating the Company, with Grants holding a 30% stake.


Janet Roberts – William Grant’s Granddaughter- oldest woman in Scotland when she died aged 110 years



The William Grant Foundation

William Grant & Sons has always taken a long-term view to support its people, its communities and its business.

The company has long given to a wide range of non-profit and charitable organisations and projects across Scotland and remains committed to donating 1% of pre-tax profits each year to charitable causes, (2016, nearly £2 million).

In support of this, family shareholders established the William Grant Foundation in 2014 as a non-profit association to oversee and direct donations.

A comprehensive statement of expenditure can be found at:


Grant Gordon




Grant Gordon – Author – Businessman – Millionaire – Philanthropist

The Author: Family Wars – Classic Conflicts in Family Business and How to Deal with Them: by Grant Gordon & Nigel Nicholson

His book provides fascinating insights into business management within families.

An extract:

“The passing of a company from parent to child has remained an essential backbone of the global economy.

Craftsmen have historically ensured that their unique trades and skills are perpetuated beyond their own life spans by bringing the next generation in early.

Many major corporations have their roots in a single family that shepherded the original business through good times and bad.

Family-run businesses will always be essential to the continued development of new ideas and services.

But the authors’ true concern is with the darker side of multi-generational businesses.

There are natural downsides that can result from several decades of a business under the same last name if the ownership is not careful.

Gordon and Nicholson expertly name and number the problems unique to family-run businesses, but more than just labelling they also offer insight and solutions.”

(Great read: eye-opening expose of the myths of family business)




The Businessman: Although Gordon left William Grant’s board of directors in 2003, he still plays a small role in the family foundation and is a board member of Laurent-Perrier, the leading independent family owned champagne house in France and actively participates in the business affairs of, The Institute of Family Business (IFB).

Family business is the backbone of the UK economy, and the bedrock of its communities.

(IFB) is the voice of the UK family business sector.

Two thirds of UK businesses are family owned – three million in total, of which over 15,000 are medium and large businesses.

They generate over a quarter of UK GDP and employ around nine and a half million people and generates over £1.4 trillion turnover a year.

In 2013, the family business sector paid £102 billion in tax, 15.5% of UK government revenues.

(IFB) is a not for profit, member-led organisation.

It works closely with family firms to gather evidence on how the sector is faring and the challenges they face.

(IFB’s) members represent a strong collective voice, with a combined turnover approaching £100 billion, employing over half a million people.

(IFB’s) growing membership includes some of the UK’s largest and most successful family-owned businesses, including some of the UK’s most recognisable and well loved brands.

(IFB) members are based throughout the UK and represent a diverse range of industry sectors.

International links: ( IFB) is the official UK chapter of both the Family Business Network (FBN) and European Family Businesses (EFB).

They, in turn support and work with international colleagues connecting family businesses across the world, sharing knowledge and best practice.

One of the most powerful lobbying networks at Holyrood, Westminster, Europe and Worldwide.

More details here:




The (IFB) Research Foundation: Is a registered charity and its parent organisation is the Institute for Family Business (UK).

The Foundation is governed by its own Board of Directors and operationally managed by Grant Gordon, Chairman of the Research Committee

The board includes representation from independent directors who are unrelated to the (IFB.)

Peter Armitage, OCS Group
Sir Michael Bibby (Chairman), Bibby Line Group
Roshanak Dwyer, Butane Group
Grant Gordon (Chairman Research Committee), William Grant & Sons
Carrie Rubin, Pentland Group
Richard Sermon (Independent Director), Gryphon
Barnaby Swire, John Swire & Sons
Ross Warburton, Warburtons
Andrew Wates OBE, Wates Family Holdings
Martin Wyn Griffith (Independent Director)




The Philanthropist: Grant Gordon appointed Chairman of “Philanthropy Impact”

Britain has a wonderfully rich history of giving. In fact Britain today is defined by the generosity of our predecessors.

In Britain some hospitals, social housing estates, museums and gallery’s, theatres, public parks, schools and universities might not exist without the support of philanthropists.

Philanthropy has a huge role to play in society and the givers are all truly inspirational and make a significant impact with their generosity.

Full details can be found at: (



William Grant, Lord Grant, QC (19 June 1909 – 19 November 1972)

Born to the Grant’s distillery family, William married Margaret Katharine Milne, a native of Aberdeen, in 1936 and lived in Moray Place in the New Town of Edinburgh. The couple had two sons and a daughter.

As an officer of the Territorial Army, he was mobilised at the outset of World War II and served in the Royal Artillery, reaching the rank of major

Returning to the bar after demobilisation in 1945, Grant rebuilt his legal practice, focusing on trusts, wills, inheritance and company law.

In 1949 he became standing junior counsel to the Ministry of Pensions in Scotland.

With a reputation for fast work and effective presentation, he took silk in 1951.

He was a Scottish Tory Unionist politician and representing Glasgow constituencies sat in the House of Commons from 1955 to 1962.

He left Parliament in 1962 to become Lord Justice Clerk, the second most senior judge in Scotland then first Solicitor General for Scotland, then Lord Advocate. .

He died on 19 November 1972 as a result of a road accident near Lynchat, about 3 miles north of Kingussie in Inverness-shire. He was 63 years old.

Driving home alone from Brora in Sutherland, his BMW had overtaken a car transporter on a double bend, and collided with a car travelling in the opposite direction, carrying a young family home to Alness.

The crash killed the driver and male passenger of the other car and seriously injured his wife and their three children, aged between three and seven years.

A fatal accident inquiry in May 1973 heard that blood tests showed Lord Grant to have consumed the equivalent of two pints of beer or two large whiskies.

No alcohol was found in the blood of the other driver.

The injured widow testified that her husband had been driving at under 25 miles per hour (40 km/h).

The Inverness Constabulary estimated the impact speed to have been between 100 miles per hour and 140 miles per hour (Wikipedia)




6 July 2014: Scottish independence: Distiller William Grant and Sons Ltd and their substantial donation to Better Together

A company representative said, “We support the stance of the Scotch Whisky Association (S.W.A.) over independence and would refer you to their recent statement that the Scotch whisky industry enjoys substantial support from the UK government and its worldwide embassy network and from lack of trade barriers within the EU.”

It is understood to have given in the region of £135,000 to Better Together, £25,000 to the No campaign group “No Borders” and a further £25,000 donated through an individual registered with the No campaign called Angus MacDonald.

Parent company, William Grant & Sons Holdings Ltd.,  added to confusion through a public statement that the company had not formally backed either side in the independence debate.

The industry trade body, the (S.W.A) chief executive, David Frost, said in April that the industry would succeed regardless of the result but he was seeking reassurances about what he described as the potential “risks” of independence for the industry.

You couldn’t make it up: William Grant & Sons forked out nearly £200,000 in support of “Better Together” whilst the parent company stays out of the argument, with the rider that the non-negotiable, “remaining part of the European Union was crucial because of the benefit from “free-trade agreements around the world”.



6 August 2014: Paul Walsh, former Chief Executive, of the much larger Whisky producer and distributor, Clarified the Company’s position

He said: “Scotch has been around for hundreds of years, it has seen all kinds of political changes. We’ll weather anything. Our decision to invest is based on the economics that we think the category will continue to enjoy”.




29 May 2014: Ivan Menezes, current Chief Executive of Diageo

Said that Scotland remaining part of the European Union was important because of the benefit from “free-trade agreements around the world”, but that the decision on independence was for “the people of Scotland to make.

What we will fight for is keeping our industry competitive and thriving, and we are very clear on what that requires.”

He explained that Diageo was speaking to both sides of the debate on Scottish independence.

“We’re being very proactive in ensuring the health of this industry is protected.

Unlike other businesses, we cannot pick up and leave Scotland.

We’re there to stay.” (Wall Street Journal)




6 August 2014: The Scottish government response

Scotch whisky was responsible for more than £4bn of exports last year, which the (S.W.A.) said accounted for about 85% of Scottish food and drink exports and nearly a quarter of the British total.

In its White Paper on independence, the Scottish government argued that the biggest threat to the Scotch whisky industry was a potential in/out referendum on the UK’s membership of the EU.

It said: “Scotland’s food and drink industry does an excellent job promoting the Scottish brand, but Scotland is constrained by the current constitutional settlement, which prevents it from directly engaging on a level footing with other countries.

“The UK’s planned in/out referendum on EU membership threatens our food and drink industry’s current access to Europe’s single market of 500 million citizens and 20 million businesses.

“There is also a real concern, particularly for the whisky industry, that if the Westminster government takes Scotland out of the EU, we will lose the backing of the EU’s trade negotiations with countries like India, the United States and China.” (BBC News)


Julias Chamberlain

late Major Francis Chamberlain loved flying these 3 helicopters which he restored



The Chamberlain Family – Suffolk Foundation uses Scottish derived finance to fund English based organisations

Thirty-Nine different shareholders, most–if not all–distant relatives of William Grant, lay claim to the company.

The ownership structure is tiered, with both “ordinary” and “preference” shares.

While both hold equal economic value, “preference” units have restricted voting rights.

A significant amount of equity in the company, mostly “preference” shares is owned by direct descendant’s of William Grant.

The Chamberlain family headed by Benedicta Chamberlain, widow of the late Major Francis Chamberlain and her sons are major shareholders establishing their worth at around £2.5 Billion.

Benedicta does not sit on William Grant’s board, but her sons Julius Fergus Chamberlain and Arthur Detmar Chamberlain do.

The Chamberlains operate a family account, Bamboo Holdings Limited, which is registered in Scotland.

It’s value is in excess of £40 million, much of which is invested through their London based agents.

A sum of money £750 – £900 is transferred annually to the Broomtown Foundation.

The Chamberlain’s finance the Suffolk based, Broomton Foundation which supports good causes in Suffolk.

In recent years donations have been made to, The Queen’s Dragoon Guards, (Late father and son Arthur served with the regiment) British Red Cross, Cardiac Risk in the Young,  ABF The Soldiers’ Charity, East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices and Suffolk Foundation.





William Grant & Sons – Shareholders

MICHAEL SCOTT-BROWN-100 shares at 1.00 value (share type ORDINARY)
MATHIEU GRANT GORDON-20 shares at 1.00 value (share type ORDINARY)
ALEXANDRA SARAH GRANT COHEN-5 shares at 1.00 value (share type ORDINARY)
FIONA WILSON-33 shares at 1.00 value (share type ORDINARY)
SALLY WOOF-5142 shares at 1.00 value (share type ORDINARY)
JOHN GARNER-1455 shares at 1.00 value (share type ORDINARY)
ELIZABETH GORDON-300 shares at 1.00 value (share type ORDINARY)
RORY GORDON-200 shares at 1.00 value (share type ORDINARY)
WILLIAM DOUGAL GRANT GORDON-200 shares at 1.00 value (share type ORDINARY)
LLOYD GRANT GORDON-100 shares at 1.00 value (share type ORDINARY)
DAVID EDMOND GRANT-34 shares at 1.00 value (share type ORDINARY)
CLAIRE GORDON-25 shares at 1.00 value (share type ORDINARY)
VALERIE GORDON-25 shares at 1.00 value (share type ORDINARY)
CHARLES GRAY GRANT-5 shares at 1.00 value (share type ORDINARY)
Palmilla Holdings-39465 shares at 1.00 value (share type 10% CUMULATIVE PREFERENCE)
ALISON MARY GRANT-2400 shares at 1.00 value (share type 10% CUMULATIVE PREFERENCE)
PETER GORDON-4894 shares at 1.00 value (share type ORDINARY)
ALISON MARY GRANT-1339 shares at 1.00 value (share type ORDINARY)
IAIN MEIKLE-873 shares at 1.00 value (share type ORDINARY)
IAIN MEIKLE-9100 shares at 1.00 value (share type 10% CUMULATIVE PREFERENCE)
DOUGLAS MEIKLE-291 shares at 1.00 value (share type ORDINARY)
DOUGLAS MEIKLE-10000 shares at 1.00 value (share type 10% CUMULATIVE PREFERENCE)
WILLIAM ALEXANDER WOOF-150 shares at 1.00 value (share type ORDINARY)
KENNETH SCOTT-BROWN-100 shares at 1.00 value (share type ORDINARY)
GRANT GLENN GORDON-39466 shares at 1.00 value (share type 10% CUMULATIVE PREFERENCE)
GRANT GLENN GORDON-40 shares at 1.00 value (share type ORDINARY)
JULIETTE GORDON-25 shares at 1.00 value (share type ORDINARY)
ANNABELLE JANET MARIE GORDON-20 shares at 1.00 value (share type ORDINARY)
JONATHAN GRANT-14550 shares at 1.00 value (share type 10% CUMULATIVE PREFERENCE)
WILLIAM GORDON-4794 shares at 1.00 value (share type ORDINARY)
JONATHAN GRANT-427 shares at 1.00 value (share type ORDINARY)
MARGARET LINDSAY GORDON-2 shares at 1.00 value (share type ORDINARY)
JEAN LESLIE SCOTT-BROWN-1155 shares at 1.00 value (share type ORDINARY)
GRANT EDWARD GORDON-25 shares at 1.00 value (share type ORDINARY)
NOMINEE HOLDINGS LTD-23370 shares at 1.00 value (share type ORDINARY)
KIRSTEN ANNA WALLACE MEIKLE-10000 shares at 1.00 value (share type 10% CUMULATIVE PREFERENCE)
KIRSTEN ANNA WALLACE MEIKLE-291 shares at 1.00 value (share type ORDINARY)
MARGARET LINDSAY GORDON-42720 shares at 1.00 value (share type 10% CUMULATIVE PREFERENCE)
VMJR LIMITED-11340 shares at 1.00 value (share type ORDINARY)
ALLAN BOOTH SCOTT-BROWN-100 shares at 1.00 value (share type ORDINARY)
THOMAS GRANT GORDON-20 shares at 1.00 value (share type ORDINARY)
ROBIN WILLIAM GRANT-33 shares at 1.00 value (share type ORDINARY)
SASHA ROSE GRANT COHEN-5 shares at 1.00 value (share type ORDINARY)
FLORENCE LUCY GORDON-200 shares at 1.00 value (share type ORDINARY)
VMJR LIMITED-660 shares at 1.00 value (share type ORDINARY)
NOMINEE HOLDINGS TWO LIMITED-3203 shares at 1.00 value (share type ORDINARY)
NICOLA COHEN-14550 shares at 1.00 value (share type 10% CUMULATIVE PREFERENCE)
NICOLA COHEN-418 shares at 1.00 value (share type ORDINARY)
VMJR LIMITED-100000 shares at 1.00 value (share type 10% CUMULATIVE PREFERENCE)

There aren’t many family businesses that survive intact through five generations, but William Grant & Sons is one of them.

In fact, forget about surviving: the business behind the best-selling Glenfiddich single-malt whisky is positively thriving, throwing off so much cash that it recently paid a special dividend worth £200m to the few dozen descendants of the founding Grant and Gordon families.

The bulk of this group, their relatives and associates are actively involved in the control of a large number of companies worth multi-million pounds sterling, operating outwith the scope of William Grant & Sons. (


Charles Gordon




13 October 2014: A £10 million super-yacht and a whisky heir

Mr Charles Grant Gordon, great-grandson of the founder of William Grant and Sons Distillers, piloted the family firm to a billion pound business, while pursuing his 50-year hobby of ocean sailing.

The former Royal Navy recruit developed a passion for sailing with the purchase of his first boat, Yala, on which he took his family sailing with his three infant sons tied in their prams to the mast.

He went on to build and sail a total of eight yachts, five new-builds and three second-hand over the next 50 years.

he helmed his last yacht Cinderella 1V across the Atlantic at the age of 85 just months before his death.

He had just refitted Cinderella IV for the following season and was on his way to London and Scotland for business meetings when he was stricken by pneumonia.

Through his efforts Glenfiddich, with its iconic triangular bottle, led the market as the first “straight” malt to achieve international brand recognition


Huma Abedin & Hilary Clinton



5 October 2015: Hilary Clinton woos ex-pat bankers at Lloyd Grant Gordon’s house in London

The race for the White House came to London as Hillary Clinton’s closest lieutenant made a fundraising stop to woo wealthy US expatriates.

Huma Abedin will appear at a fundraising event where the minimum contribution has been set at about £1,000.

It will be held at the Kensington home of Rola Gordon, an American socialite who is married to Lloyd Grant Gordon, an heir to the Glenfiddich whisky fortune.

Abedin has been tainted with emails released showing Clinton personally signed off on an employment deal that allowed Abedin to work at the State Department, the Clinton Foundation and an outside firm.

During the job transition, Abedin was discovered not to have disclosed information to the State Department about her husband’s business dealings.

Her husband, Anthony Weiner left congress in 2011, in the midst of a sexting scandal, and went on to start his own consulting firm.

Today he works for a crisis PR firm.

He recently was told by his boss, who was hosting a fundraiser for Clinton, that he wasn’t invited and to stay away.

Weiner hasn’t been seen publicly with Clinton since 2013, after news broke that he was still sexting women while running for New York City mayor.

The Gordon’s, owners of expensive homes in London, New York, California and elsewhere might need to exercise more care about those they choose to associate with.(The Times)


Lloyd Grant Gordon and Wife Rola,




7 October 2015: Scotland’s four richest families worth £1 billion more than poorest 20% of population

The four richest families in Scotland are worth £1 billion more than the poorest 20 per cent of the country’s population, according to new research which calls on ministers to do more to tackle inequality.

The combined wealth of the Grant-Gordon whisky family, Highland Spring water owner Mahdi al-Tajir, oil tycoon Sir Ian Wood and former Harrods owner Mohammed Fayed dwarfs that of the one million people who make up Scotland’s poorest 20 per cent.

The four families – all of whom are either based in Scotland or have substantial business interests there – are worth an estimated £6.1bn.

Researchers also calculated that Scotland’s 14 wealthiest families are better off than the most deprived 30 per cent of the population.

A Scottish Government spokesperson said it was tackling poverty and inequalities “head on” by investing £296m in measures to mitigate Westminster-led welfare cuts.

“We have also appointed our first independent adviser on poverty and inequality who will advise Scottish ministers on how we can move forward with our efforts to tackle poverty in key groups.”

“But we do this against a backdrop of a UK Government which is removing income targets from the definition of poverty and continues to introduce policies and implement cuts that will have a devastating impact on families in Scotland.”

More here: (





12 November 2015: Anti renewable energy (windfarms) – The Speyside Alliance fails to overturn District Council ruling

Speyside Business Alliance (SBA): was formed in 2009 as a vehicle to defend the interests of a number of significant local brand owners against the plan to industrialise the Glenfiddich Estate, through the construction of a 59 turbine wind farm known as Dorenell.

SBA is made up of a coalition of five members including: Diageo, Edrington, Glenfarclas, Walkers, Shortbread and Wm Grant and Sons.

These companies collectively own a substantial proportion of the brands that have their home of origin as “Speyside”.

The combination of Malt Whisky distilleries located in the area, the majority of which are owned by SBA members and a number of iconic local food brands sharing the same regional brand designation “Speyside” arguably gives these products the support of the most valuable regional brand in Scotland.

The area is the home to brands that collectively have revenues of approximately £0.5 Billion, and who represent for consumers over the world strong premium connotations, setting these brands in terms of imagery and quality perception at the pinnacle of the global drinks industry.

Names such as Cardhu, Glenfiddich and Macallan are recognised as leading Malt Scotch Whisky brands; acting as locomotives for an entire sector that generates over £3 billion in annual export earnings and is the UK’s leading category in terms of international trade of food and drink. (



12 November 2015: EDF Energy Renewables Gains approval to develop the 60 unit Dorenell wind farm project in Morayshire

EDF Energy Renewables, (EDF ER) working with the renewable energy company Infinergy, is taking on the development and construction of the Dorenell Wind Farm, which is one of the largest onshore wind projects due to be built in Scotland.

The site near Dufftown in Moray had been developed by Infinergy and consent for a 60-turbine wind farm with a capacity of up to 177MW was granted by Scottish Ministers in December 2011.

Following improvements in the latest available turbine technology, applications for a redesign of the currently consented project have been submitted to boost to the amount of renewable electricity produced from the site.

If successful this would see the wind farm’s installed capacity increased to approximately 200MW.

Once built, Dorenell could produce enough electricity for up to 138,000 homes.

Grid connection is planned for 2018.

EDF Energy Renewable’ s recognises the importance of this project locally and will honour the commitments that have been made by Infinergy throughout the years that Dorenell Wind Farm has been in development, which include a Community Benefit package worth nearly £1m a year.

More info here: (







Swiss Born Henry Angest – Tory Party Financial Backer – Scottish Estate Owner Registered in Jersey – Donated £100,000 to the Better Together Campaign. Claims nearly £58,000 farming subsidy from the Scottish Taxpayer.




Henry Angest




Swiss Born Henry Angest – Tory Party Financial Backer – Scottish Estate Owner Registered in Jersey – Donated £100,000 to the Better Together Campaign. Claims nearly 58,000 farming subsidy from the Scottish Taxpayer.

Henry Angest is a Swiss born banker.

He was an international executive with The Dow Chemical Corporation in Europe, USA, Latin America and Asia.

He was until recently the Chairman and Chief Executive of Arbuthnot Banking Group and is a former master of the Worshipful Company of International Bankers.

He and his wife, were named as having had dinner with David Cameron The Prime Minister, courtesy of his enormous financial donations to the Tory party which formed part of the infamous “cash for access” row that engulfed the party in March 2012.

According to an Observer investigation, Angest provided almost £7 million to the Conservative party in loans and donations between 2001 and 2010.

He was also a funder of Atlantic Bridge, the disgraced charity that the commissioners forced to close after identifying it was a front for the ultra right wing British American Foundation.

He also owns Ashmore-Strone & Dalmunzie estates in Perthshire under the name of Rora investments Ltd., a company registered off shore in Jersey.

The estates comprise 8,000 include farming activities, forestry, Deer and Grouse moor, holiday cottages and 9 hole golf course.

The estate claimed £57,614.71 farming subsidies in 2016


Henry Angest



Queen’s Birthday Honours: Sir Henry Angest, banker who gave Tories millions, is knighted in reward for ‘political service’

Swiss-born multi-millionaire millionaire banker, Sir Henry Angest, one of the Tories’ biggest financial backers with links to a high-interest loans company  “Everyday Loans”, a company charging members of the public an average of 74 per cent APR, has been knighted in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List, as are others who donated to the Conservatives during the election.

Angest, a former party treasurer gave the Tories a £5m overdraft facility just before the 2010 general election through Arbuthnot Latham, a private bank in which he owns a majority stake.

He has also given £1.9m to the party in his name and through his companies, Arbuthnot Banking Group and Flowidea.




The Arbuthnot Banking Group and Secure Trust Investment Bank

He was chairman of the group and associated companies from 1982-2016 before stepping down as Chairman on 19 October 2016.

He remained an executive member of the board retaining the role of chairman of the Remuneration Committee and member of the Nomination Committee.

He is a past Master of the Worshipful Company of International Bankers, Chairman and Chief Executive of Arbuthnot Banking Group and Chairman of Arbuthnot Latham & Co., Limited.

He gained extensive national and international experience as an executive of the DOW Chemical Company and DOW Banking Corporation.

He was chairman of the banking committee of the London Investment Banking Association and a director of the Institute of Directors.

He has a law degree from the University of Basel.






Angest owns Flowidea, a City-based investment company which has given £484,981 to the Tory party since early 2001.

William Hague, MP, stated, in his members’ interests, that Flowidea, “makes financial support available to my office”.

Flowidea is a subsidiary of the investment bank Arbuthnot Securities, which is owned by Secure Trust Banking Group, a company listed on the London Stock Exchange

He supported the Better Together campaign at the time of the 2014 Scottish referendum donating £100,000 to its coffers.





Murdo Fraser’s leadership campaign and other funding

Fraser’s bid to lead the Scottish Tories was bankrolled by a secretive Swiss-born financier with links to right-wing pressure groups.

He took £5000 at the start of his leadership campaign from Flowidea Ltd, controlled by reclusive millionaire stockbroker Henry Angest.

The same company has given cash to controversial groups, including The Atlantic Bridge, the charity set up by the tarnished former Defence Secretary Liam Fox.

Flowidea has also funded groups which are sceptical about the UK’s membership of the Europe Union and man-made climate change.

The donation to Fraser, declared in Electoral Commission records, is the first glimpse of the tens of thousands of pounds being pumped into the Scottish Tory leadership race.

A past master of the Worshipful Company of International Bankers, Angest is a publicity-shy ex-treasurer of the UK Conservatives, but remains one of its biggest donors.

Since 2001, Flowidea has given £1.4 million to the Tories, while Angest’s private bank, Arbuthnot Latham, has loaned the party a further £5m.

The 71-year-old recently complained that bankers were being “ demonised” by politicians, and called the £ 2.5 billion bankers’ bonus levy “grossly unfair”.

Flowidea offered the cash to Fraser’s leadership drive in August, before the Mid-Scotland and Fife MSP had officially entered the race.

At the time, Fraser had already settled on his campaign platform: a pledge to axe the “toxic” Scottish Tory brand if elected and start a new party of the centre-right instead.

Fraser accepted Flowidea’s £5000 on September 9, four days after he launched his campaign to replace Tory leader Annabel Goldie.

Angest, a former lawyer, became a British citizen in 1985.

Through Flowidea, he has funded an array of right-wing pressure groups, many opposed to the UK’s membership of the European Union.

In 2006, Flowidea gave £ 2000 to the Freedom Association, which campaigns for the UK’s withdrawal from the EU, and offered a platform to sceptics of so-called “climate change alarmism”.

The following year, Flowidea donated £ 1000 to The Atlantic Bridge, a charity founded by Liam Fox which fostered closer links with the US and was accused of being a neoconservative front.

The charity denied this, but was later wound up for being too political.

Its UK executive director was Adam Werritty, Fox’s former flatmate, whose special access to the Defence Secretary resulted in a breach of the ministerial code and Fox’s resignation last week.

In 2008, Flowidea gave £10,000 to Global Britain, a Eurosceptic “geopolitical think tank” co-founded by Lord Pearson of Rannoch, ex-leader of the UK Independence Party.

The same year, Flowidea gave £5000 to a failed campaign by Eurosceptic millionaire Stuart Wheeler to force the then Labour government to hold a referendum on ratifying the Lisbon Treaty, which replaced the European constitution.

Over the past decade, Flowidea and Angest personally have given around £35,000 to the local Tory parties in Perthshire and Tayside, where Fraser has his political base.

Fraser, current deputy leader of the Scots Tories, is competing for the leadership with three other MSPs – Jackson Carlaw, Ruth Davidson and Margaret Mitchell – all of whom oppose his idea to scrap the party and start afresh.

Last week the Sunday Herald revealed Davidson’s opponents had jointly demanded an independent investigation into possible bias, and had in turn been challenged to produce evidence.

Mike Weir, the SNP MP for Angus, said: “Murdo Fraser wants a new party, but it seems he is still happy to take donations from the same old Tory sources.”

A spokesman for Fraser said: “ Murdo’s proposal attracts support from all corners of the business community … those people will inevitably have differing political viewpoints.”




Flowidea donations to the Tory Party

25/06/2001 Flowidea Ltd £60,000.00 Conservative Party Central Party
14/12/2001 Flowidea Ltd £30,000.00 Conservative Party Central Party
18/03/2002 Flowidea Ltd £25,000.00 Conservative Party Central Party
20/06/2002 Flowidea Ltd £29,250.00 Conservative Party Central Party
26/09/2002 Flowidea Ltd £35,000.00 Conservative Party Central Party
22/11/2002 Flowidea Ltd £10,000.00 Conservative Party North Tayside
03/03/2003 Flowidea Ltd £10,650.00 Conservative Party Central Party
25/04/2003 Flowidea Ltd £50,800.00 Conservative Party Central Party
30/06/2003 Flowidea Ltd £22,863.01 Conservative Party Central Party
17/09/2003 Flowidea Ltd £21,500.00 Conservative Party Central Party
10/12/2003 Flowidea Ltd £105,000.00 Conservative Party Central Party
17/03/2004 Flowidea £10,000.00 Norris for London Campaign
11/05/2004 Flowidea Ltd £54,553.37 Conservative Party Central Party
16/08/2004 Flowidea Ltd £26,500.00 Conservative Party Central Party
27/09/2004 Flowidea Ltd £3,865.00 Conservative Party North Tayside
01/10/2004 Flowidea Ltd £10,000.00 North East Says No Ltd
20/12/2004 Flowidea Ltd £25,500.00 Conservative Party Central Party
01/03/2005 Flowidea Ltd £105,000.00 Conservative Party Central Party
04/03/2005 Flowidea Ltd £5,444.71 Conservative Party Angus
31/05/2005 Flowidea Ltd £3,658.86 Conservative Party Angus
20/06/2005 Flowidea Ltd £10,000.00 Conservative Party Central Party
30/06/2005 Flowidea Ltd £1,500.00 Conservative Party Central Party
13/01/2006 Flowidea Ltd £1,896.43 Conservative Party Angus
18/01/2006 Flowidea Ltd £50,000.00 Conservative Party Central Party
16/06/2006 Flowidea Ltd £1,800.00 Conservative Party Central Party
08/08/2006 Flowidea Ltd £8,000.00 Conservative Party Central Party
10/10/2006 Flowidea Ltd £2,000.00 Andrew Mitchell MP
07/03/2007 Flowidea Ltd £109,000.00 Conservative Party Central Party
04/06/2007 Flowidea Ltd £20,000.00 Conservative Party Central Party
07/09/2007 Flowidea Ltd £11,344.39 Conservative Party Central Party
07/11/2007 Flowidea Ltd £2,000.00 Conservative Party Brentford & Isleworth
22/11/2007 Flowidea Ltd £2,000.00 Conservative Party Central Party
05/12/2007 Flowidea Ltd £102,750.00 Conservative Party Central Party
02/03/2008 Flowidea Ltd £15,000.00 Conservative Party Central Party
23/06/2008 Flowidea Ltd £34,000.00 Conservative Party Central Party
01/09/2008 Flowidea Ltd £5,000.00 Conservative Party Central Party
02/12/2008 Flowidea Ltd £5,000.00 Conservative Party Angus
09/12/2008 Flowidea Ltd £10,000.00 Conservative Party Central Party
10/03/2009 Flowidea Ltd £60,000.00 Conservative Party Central Party
16/06/2009 Flowidea Ltd £17,670.00 Conservative Party Central Party
14/07/2009 Flowidea Ltd £46,000.00 Conservative Party Central Party
08/12/2009 Flowidea Ltd £7,500.00 Conservative Party Central Party
26/01/2010 Flowidea Ltd £5,000.00 Conservative Party Angus
03/02/2010 Flowidea Ltd £3,000.00 Conservative Party Totnes
01/03/2010 Flowidea Ltd £50,000.00 Conservative Party Central Party
17/06/2010 Flowidea Ltd £133,500.00 Conservative Party Central Party
30/09/2010 Flowidea Ltd £18,800.00 Conservative Party Central Party
31/05/2011 Flowidea Ltd £50,000.00 Conservative Party Central Party
24/08/2011 Flowidea Ltd £10,000.00 Conservative Party Central Party
09/09/2011 Flowidea Ltd £,000.00 Murdo Fraser MSP Central Party
30/11/2011 Flowidea Ltd £11,000.00 Conservative Party Central Party
08/03/2012 Flowidea Ltd £5,000.00 Conservative Party Perth & North Perthshire
08/03/2012 Flowidea Ltd £7,500.00 Conservative Party Central Party
20/06/2012 Flowidea Ltd £57,450.00 Conservative Party Central Party
27/09/2012 Flowidea Ltd £75,000.00 Conservative Party Central Party
16/11/2012 Flowidea Ltd £2,500.00 Conservative Party Central Party
12/02/2013 Flowidea Ltd £10,000.00 Conservative/Unionist 1922 Committee
16/05/2013 Flowidea Ltd £50,000.00 Conservative Party Central Party
12/11/2013 Flowidea Ltd £2,000.00 Conservative Party Central Party
11/02/2014 Flowidea Ltd £50,000.00 Better Together 2012 Ltd
11/02/2014 Flowidea Ltd £10,000.00 Conservative Party Wirral West
15/05/2014 Flowidea Ltd £50,000.00 Better Together 2012 Ltd
03/07/2014 Flowidea Ltd £10,000.00 Conservative Party Central Party
03/07/2014 Flowidea Ltd £876.00 Conservative Party Central Party
04/02/2015 Flowidea Ltd £8,400.00 Conservative Party Central Party




Arbuthnot Banking Group

01/07/2005 Arbuthnot Banking Group Plc £50,000.00 The Rt Hon David Davis MP
27/10/2009 Arbuthnot Banking Group PLC £25,000.00 Conservative Party
01/03/2010 Arbuthnot Banking Group Plc £25,000.00 Conservative Party
10/02/2011 Arbuthnot Banking Group Plc £893.00 Conservative Party
11/02/2011 Arbuthnot Banking Group Plc £20,000.00 No Campaign Limited
17/02/2011 Arbuthnot Banking Group Plc £8,400.00 Conservative Party
01/07/2011 Arbuthnot Banking Group Plc £800.00C Conservative Party
06/09/2012 Arbuthnot Banking Group Plc £16,810.00 Conservative Party
£21,500.00 Arbuthnot Banking Group Plc £21,500.00 Conservative Party 29/07/2013 Arbuthnot Banking Group Plc £13,760.00 Conservative Party
24/10/2013 Arbuthnot Banking Group Plc £8,600.00 Conservative Party                    11/02/2014 Arbuthnot Banking Group Plc £7,500.00 Conservative Party     11/09/2014 Arbuthnot Banking Group Plc £2,600.00 Conservative Party     11/12/2014 Arbuthnot Banking Group Plc £20,500.00 Conservative Party


Forsyth Chairman of the Bank




The Henry Angest Foundation and Perth College

Angest established The Henry Angest Foundation in April 2006 and donated a total of £285,000 to Perth College Development Trust, 2007 (£125,000), 2008 (£80,000) and 2009 (£80,000).

This represented 75% of all of the Foundation’s charitable giving in the period 2006-2010.

Since then Perth College/UHI has had no income.

The size of the donation was substantial and invited investigation, which Andy Wightman, MSP for the green Party duly did.

He extracted information from the original provided to him by Perth UNI under the FOI act.

In January 2007, Perth College announced the “donation of £285,000 towards research into Scottish estates.” The research, it is announced, will “look at the economic and employment benefits of estates to local communities and how owners and managers ensure that their estates fulfil their diverse roles.”

On 21 September 2007, Henry Angest received an Honorary fellowship at Blair Castle.

By early 2008, research students had been recruited and had begun work.

By early 2010, the question of further funding arose and Angest wrote to Professor Martin Price, the “Director of the Centre for Mountain Studies” to lay out two issues.

The first was redacted in its entirety. The second is revealing. Angest wrote:

“Before I could even consider any further support for the project, I would want to see the outcome of the studies.

I have no idea what the conclusions are.

I would not wish to give further support to a project where I would personally find the conclusions wrong or unacceptable.”

Angest, as a private donor is perfectly entitled to give money to whomsoever he likes but his statement reveals a inappropriate motive – namely the wish to be assured that the outcome is not “wrong” or “unacceptable.”

It should be obvious that such reassurance could never be given since it would be impossible (or should be) to know at the outset what the results of any inquiry will be.

In May 2011, Angest wrote to Professor Price to congratulate him on a recent research presentation to a meeting of the owners of Scotland’s largest estates.

He then went on to address community-owned estates.

A whole paragraph was redacted but he stated:

“Having observed some of these community estates as a businessman, I have great trouble in believing that they can be truly financially viable, for the following reasons:

Some of these estates have been endowed with huge amounts of public money, including money from charities.

They were therefore acquired without debt and some may well have surplus funds.

Furthermore, I would be very surprised if they didn’t continue to draw subsidies, including possibly, personal benefits for the people living and working there.

I don’t consider that such a privileged situation makes an estate independently financially viable (or sustainable).”

Professor Martin Price, in the 10th annual report of the Centre for Mountain Studies, thanked Henry Angest “for financing what will, I hope, be regarded as a landmark study on estates.”

However, the fact remains that this is the most substantial research programme on Scottish “estates” in recent decades and yet begins from the premise that such landholdings are a given.

But the inquiry failed to consider a range of issues central to a critical understanding of their role and function such as succession law, taxation, land tenure, the role of charity law, offshore trusts, trust law and the peculiar fact that these estates are exempt from business rates.

If I can be sure of one thing, it is that Henry Angest would never have funded research that examined these questions and that might have undermined the legitimacy, benefits or role of Scottish estates.

The full report can be found at: (



Direct Descendent of The Scottish Chancellor That Signed the Treaty of Union Confirms the Family Links to the English Whigs is as Strong as Ever. But he still Claims Farming Subsidies From Scottish Taxpayers










2014 Scottish Referendum and the Earl of Seafield

The Earl of Seafield, a peer of the United Kingdom confirmed his family ties to the Tory party remained as strong as they were when his forebear signed the 1707 Treaty of Union against the wishes of the Scottish nation.

At time of the referendum he personally donated – £100,000 and the Reidhaven Trust Estate, a trust belonging to the family donated a further £20,000 to the Better Together campaign.


Family Seat




The Treaty of Union

1 Aug 1705: James Ogilvy, Earl of Seafield and a member of the Court Party, was one of the Scottish commissioners.

He wrote to the Earl of Godolphin, the Queen’s senior minister and Lord Treasurer of England, with clear reasons why he supported union. Edinburgh, 1 August 1705:

“My reasons for conjoining with England on good termes were these: that the kingdome of England is a Protestant kingdome and that, therefor, the joyneing with them was a security for our religion. 2nd, England has trade and other advantages to give us, which no other kingdome could affoord; 3rd, England has freedome and liberty, and that the joining with it was the best way to secure that to us; and 4th, that I saw no other method for secureing our peace, the two kingdomes being in the same island, and forreign assistance was both dangerous to ourselves and England and that, therefor, I was for a treatty.”

It was the Earl of Seafield, who in 1707 as lord chancellor of Scotland, signed the Treaty of Union and remarked: “Now there’s ane end of ane auld sang”.


The Family at rest




The Earl of Seafield 1815- to date

Scottish nobleman John Charles Grant Ogilvie – born September 4, 1815 – was the eldest son of Francis William Ogilvy-Grant, 6th Earl of Seafield.

He succeeded his father as Earl of Seafield in 1853 and sat in the House of Lords as a Scottish Representative Peer.

A tradition maintained up to August 1958 when the Scottish peerage was given up in favour of an elevation to the Peerage of the United Kingdom.

The Earl continued to sit in the house of Lords as a Tory supporter.

The current Earl of Seafield, who is the 13th, is Ian Derek Francis Studley.

Born in 1939 and educated at Eton, he spent his adult life managing the family estates.

The head of a family which is one of the largest landowners in Britain holding 84,500 acres in the lowland district of Cullen on the Moray Firth and Strathspey in the North-east.

In recent years, the Seafield family has diversified their land use from traditional hunting and shooting.

A number of rural businesses have been set up and there have been efforts to manage the environment and promote conservation. (The Scotsman)





Common Agricultural Policy – Subsidy Claims – 2016

Reidhaven Farms: £73,425.73  Reidhaven Estate: £2,402.00 Seafield Heirs Trust: £3287.80

The multi-million pound Seafield and Strathspey Estates operate through a number of housing, estate development, and trading concerns and include wind-farms, arable tenanted farming, forestry, Salmon Fishing on the River Spey, accommodation and field sports including red and roe deer stalking and grouse shooting.

Seafield Estate: This is the main business in the Cullen area with let farms and residential property and provides the administration for the management of all the family ownerships and related businesses.

There is considerable interaction with the local villages. As the major landowner in the area, the Estate acts as a facilitator, making land available for housing and commercial needs to enable the settlements to grow.

Land use is mainly divided between reasonable sized arable holdings and commercial forestry.

Much of the farm output is in the form of quality malting barley for the local whisky distilleries.

Salmon Fishing on the River Spey Strathspey Estate

Strathspey Estate is the trading name of the Reidhaven Estate and offers a range of field sports – primarily salmon fishing, but also by arrangement red deer and roe deer stalking, and grouse shooting.

A wind farm at Boyndie Airfield, near Ogilivie-Grant Estate has been generating electricity since 2006 with eight turbines now on the site.

With business interests at both Cullen and Strathspey, income is generated from forestry and the letting of agricultural land at Cullen.

Seafield Heirs 2009 Trust: This small farming business also grows cereals and qualifies for Single Farm Payment entitlements.

Dava Enterprises Ltd: This Company provides a small industrial site at the former Boyndie Airfield, near Banff (Seafield)




3 November 1996: Viscount Reidhaven – His Family Trust Fund – and the Long Shadow of an Islamic Sect

James Ogilvie-Grant, Viscount Reidhaven, the heir to Earl of Seafield, was educated at Harrow and lives in Kent. He is a trustee of The Reidhaven Trust. But he has a troubled past.

Fearing the Naqshbandi Sufi sect’s influence on his son, his father, the 13th Earl of Seafield, arranged to put his son’s share in £25m inheritance into a trust.

Almost six years after his father employed a team of former SAS soldiers to seize and spirit him away from the Naqshbandi Sufi sect to the remote west coast of Scotland, where he was put through a course of debrainwashing by a “cult-buster” flown in from America.

The Earl’s son is still seeking to convince the trustees that he has broken the sect’s hold over him.

It transpired that Viscount Reidhaven embraced Islam in June 1990 and joined the six-hundred year-old and widely respected Naqshbandi Order under the tutelage of Muhammad Iqbal Ali, a brother-in-law of Yusuf Islam of the Islamia Schools Trust.

It was this Order and Mr Ali who were referred to in the press as an “Islamic cult” and a “guru” respectively.

The fears that the Viscount had been “brainwashed” were apparently founded on discussions at the home of his father between himself and Mr Ali in which “matters were discussed which the Naqshbandi Order does not normally deal with outside meetings of adepts” (Q News 30.09.94).

This was compounded by expensive gifts given to Mr Ali by Mr Ogilvie-Grant and the impression that he was not free to make any decision without referring it to the former’s advice.

In addition to obvious concerns about his son’s health and freedom of action, the Earl of Seafield was concerned about the administration of the Reidhaven Estate as well as the Strathspey Estates to which the Viscount is heir.

Currently the Reidhaven Estate is being administered by a curator but the Viscount is applying for control to be passed back into his own hands.

He has emphasised that he is and has always been a Muslim since the time of his conversion and has never been brainwashed by Mr Ali or anyone else connected with the Naqshbandi Order.

Serious questions have been raised about the legality of the kidnapping of Mr Ogilvie-Grant and his detention in a secret Highland location. (





30 Jun 1998: Scots aristocrat convicted of making nuisance phone calls

Viscount Jamie Reidhaven, 34, who stands to inherit £40m and an 85,000-acre estate in Banffshire from the Earl of Seafield, was kidnapped from the cult by two former SAS soldiers hired by his father.

Reidhaven appeared at Seven-oaks Magistrates’ Court in Kent, accompanied by the earl, where he pleaded guilty to “causing annoyance by using a telecommunications system” after making a series of threatening calls to his local pub. The court was told Reidhaven, of Leigh Road, Hildenborough, Kent, was banned from his local pub, the Hare, after a disagreement with the landlord. (The Herald)




30 Jun 1998: Viscount James Reidhaven described as “a walking advert for reform of the House of Lords” yesterday

Viscount James Reidhaven – who once had to be rescued from a religious cult by former SAS men – waged a campaign against his local pub. Yesterday, the 34-year-old son of the wealthy Earl of Seafield admitted making nuisance calls. The shamed heir to a pounds 40million fortune later said: “I want to put this all behind me and get back to Scotland and reclaim my inheritance.”

He claimed he still heard voices in his head as a result of brain- washing by a sect. But unless the Government carry out their promise to reform the House of Lords, he will be able to shape the laws of the land when he succeeds his father. (The Record)


Family home in the highlands




11 Aug 2014: Earl of Seafield sidesteps referendum public debate challenge

Hundreds of local people have signed a petition calling on one of Scotland’s wealthiest landowners, who made a six-figure donation to the ‘Better Together’, to debate the Scottish independence referendum question in public.

The petition has been raised by Macduff-based ‘Yes’ campaign organiser, Ross Cassie, after he challenged the Earl of Seafield, who owns vast swathes of land in Banffshire and Moray, to meet him in a public debate.

But his efforts to draw one of Scotland’s richest men into the political arena have drawn a blank. Attempts by the ‘Banffshire Journal’ to contact the Earl of Seafield elicited a polite, but terse, “No comment” from his Edinburgh-based media representatives.

Since Mr Cassie challenged the Earl to “put his mouth where his money is” in a ‘Banffshire Journal’ front-page exclusive last month, more than 250 local people have backed the Macduff independence activist’s call for the debate to take place.

Mr Cassie said: “The Earl should be prepared to debate his reasons for making the campaign donation in public.

“I’m a democrat and I believe that if somebody tries to influence people to vote a certain way, they should be prepared to be held to account, expect to debate the issue and justify their view.”

“I have now written to the Earl of Seafield at his estate and sent him a copy of the petition which shows an overwhelming demand for this debate to take place.

“People want to know why he is prepared to spend £100,000 to encourage people to vote ‘No’.”    (JohnoGroat Journal)


Farming the estate




17 Aug 2017: One’s Own Private Station: Private Rail-House Built So the Earl of Seafield’s Aristocratic Family Could Travel Straight to Their Castle

East Lodge, in the grounds of Castle Grant in Morayshire, was once the Earl of Seafield’s own private train terminal. It was constructed to prevent the Scottish peer having to mingle with other passengers travelling in the Highlands.

The opulent Baronial style train station, known locally as Lady Catherine’s Halt, even has a drum tower and turrets. It was built in 1863 by the Inverness & Perth Junction Railway Company in thanks to then Earl John Charles Grant Ogilvie, 7th Earl of Seafield, who allowed them to run the railway line through his estate. The A-listed building has since undergone significant refurbishment and converted into a unique three-bedroom house.

It was once part of the grounds of Castle Grant which hit the headlines in 2014 after being repossessed from former Rangers owner Craig Whyte. The castle was reportedly bought by Sergey Fedotov, director general of the Russian Author’s Society, for £1million. (The Mail)


The Earl and his landau




7 Aug 2017: Earl of Seafield Loses Grouse Moor Case to Frozen Food Tycoon

Alistair Erskine, a frozen food tycoon who sued a shooting estate’s trustees, ­claiming he was misled over the numbers of birds he could shoot, will receive compensation after the Supreme Court ruled in his favour.

He claimed that despite spending £530,000 to improve a grouse moor above the banks of the River Spey, five years of hard shooting yielded just 180 brace, or 360 birds – a far cry from the 2000 birds he had anticipated taking each year.

Despite previously losing in two lower courts, Mr Erskine took his £1 million damages claim against the landowners, the trustees of Viscount Reidhaven’s trust – including the Right Honourable Ian Derek Francis Ogilvie-Grant, 13th Earl of Seafield – to the Supreme Court.

Five judges at the Supreme Court said that he was due compensation. The Court of Session will now determine the damages payable by the owners of the moor at Castle Grant, near Grantown-on-Spey.

The Reidhaven Estate, along with the Seafield and Ogilvie-Grant Estates, forms part of the 54,000 Strathspey Estate within the Cairngorm National Park. Castle Grant, which was sold in 1983, was the family seat.

It was occupied by Jacobite forces in 1747 when the then laird was blocking the path of Bonnie Prince Charlie’s army. (The Scotsman)


Countess of Seafield The Richest Woman in Scotland



14 Aug 2017: A Biography of Sorts – 13 Earl of Seafield’s sister – Lady Pauline – The Lady Chatterly of the Highlands

Lady Pauline Nicholson, who died on January 10 aged 65, was a classic example of the poor-little-rich-girl in the Swinging Sixties, exuding a happy innocence yet going on to marry four husbands and to earn a reputation north of the border as “the Lady Chatterley of the Highlands”.

She was born Pauline Anne Ogilvie-Grant on May 26 1944 to the Countess of Seafield, who had caused a scandal of her own by eloping at 26 to make a marriage that broke down after Pauline was born.

Lady Seafield was a peer in her own right and was said to have been the richest woman in Scotland after the Queen.

Her daughter grew up a shy, stammering girl at Cullen House, near the Banffshire coast, where her main company was a nanny and the chauffeur, whom she called “Pop” – to the distress of her father on the rare occasions they met.

As Pauline grew up she attracted a series of young admirers and found her mother’s efforts to control her life constricting.

After being refused permission to share a flat with another girl, she married her brother-in-law, Jamie Illingworth, at 19.

The match collapsed after two years: “All I did was to swap one sort of a prison for another,” she recalled.

By the time Pauline divorced in 1970, her parents were dead, and she had inherited the twin Revack and Dorback estates, which included 26,900 acres of grouse moor, deer forest, salmon fishing and 15 tenanted farms on Speyside.

Her next marriage, in 1972, was to a long-standing boyfriend, the Scottish landowner Sir William Gordon-Cumming of Forres, 6th Bt and Chief of the Clan Cumming.

They had been stepping out for some years, and it seemed a natural alliance. But this too failed after four years.

Then she married, in 1976, Hugh Sykes, a businessman with whom she had a son, which did not prevent another divorce.

By now Pauline’s enthusiasm for the state of wedlock was waning. She took up with one of her underkeepers – an affair closely observed by the local newspapers.

They reported how he had left his wife and four children to live in the lodge after Lady Pauline had taken to calling at his council house to drink whisky before going out with him to hunt foxes, sometimes until 3am.

When this liaison wilted she took up with the head keeper (though an affair was later denied).

But this did not stop the first keeper’s wife describing her as someone “who picks off gamekeepers like she picks off red deer”.

Pauline was wounded by the “Lady Chatterley” label, but wistfully replied to criticism by saying that she had no regrets: “I would do it all again. I was always looking for love.”

One consequence, she admitted, was a rift with her brother, the 13th Earl of Seafield, who no longer spoke to her. “It was a gamekeeper too far,” she explained. “We used to be very close.”

She met her fourth husband, whom she married in 1989, while drinking at his hotel at Nethy Bridge. Unlike his predecessors, Dave Nicholson brought her lasting happiness.

A down-to-earth Lancastrian, he left a wife and four children, then energetically set about helping his new spouse to diversify what had been a purely sporting estate at Revack, where the revenues from grouse shooting and deer stalking were declining.

They turned the estate into a tourist attraction, with a restaurant and craft shops as well as woodland walks.

It attracted 40,000 visitors a year and gave employment to 40 local people, who, like her many friends, held her in great affection.

A herd of automated Jurassic Park dinosaurs to roam the property was being considered when Pauline, who had thrown herself into the project with gusto, developed breast cancer.

In 1999 she sold both estates, which had an initial price tag of £7 million, sending a personal note to each of her employees.

The properties had been in the family for 800 years, and the sale was a heart-wrenching experience for her.

In need of warmth, Lady Pauline Nicholson built a four-bedroom house overlooking a golf course in Tobago.

As her condition continued to deteriorate she also bought a house in Dorset, from which she would drive up to Scotland, stopping to play golf at courses along the way before reaching Speyside, where (as the former landowner) she was an honorary member of the local club, playing off a handicap of 12.

Excellent history of the Seafield family at: (





Duke of Buccleuch Gets £1Million Farming Subsidy From the Taxpayer Each Year Then Charges Walkers £10 Each to Use His Estate Byways and Pathways. Bloody Cheek!!



Dalkeith Estate



Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) Aims and Rewards of the Scheme

The scheme rewards landowners simply for owning title to land, as opposed to encouraging farmers to invest in improving product output to the public good.

In terms of share the top 20% of claimants get 70%. The bottom 40% get 5% of the grants.

Claimants, totalling approximately 18,000, include the entire royal household, large numbers of wealthy aristocrats, other members of the house of Lords, Tory MP’s (past and present), MSP’s, countless Tory Party donors, offshore companies registered in the Isle of Mann, Guernsey, Jersey, Cayman Islands etc.

Billionaires and other very rich foreigners investing their gains in land ownership are the major beneficiaries.

Timber companies, through the Rural Payments Agency, are provided with annual grants up to £50 million.

Financially sound investment opportunities for many stars of stage and screen other media.

Large corporations and companies also qualify for subsidies eg. refunds on exports.

These include Tate & Lyle who get more than £130 million and Nestle UK who received are gifted about £13 million annually.


10th Duke of Buccleuch



The Buccleuch Estates

The estates are owned by the 10th Duke of Buccleuch and 11th Duke of Queensberry, who also inherited three earldoms and many other titles together with a fortune in excess of £300million.

he is reputed to be the richest and largest landowner in Europe, maintaining stately homes, set in more than a quarter of a million acres at, Drumlanrig Castle, Dumfriesshire; Bowhill, near Selkirk; and Boughton House, Northamptonshire.

He also owns artworks by Rembrandt, Da Vinci, Gainsborough and Van Gogh.

His late father, grandfather and great grandfather were Tory MP’s at Westminster for many years before taking up their positions in the House of Lords as Tory peers of the realm.

The SNP policy of land reform, which is designed to enable more people in rural and urban Scotland to have a stake in the ownership, governance, management and use of land, has him worried and he has been vociferous in his opposition, but he is resigned to the reality of change and intends reducing the size of his estate over time.

In defence of his families stewardship of the estates he said it had always been conducted to the highest standards and respect for nature, to the benefit of the communities

Although there is not yet an absolute right of Scotland’s tenant farmers to buy their farms rich landowners fear this is only a temporary stay of execution and the potential loss of their inherited land is inevitable.

So the stage for the battle for land ownership in Scotland has been set.

The 10th Duke and his fellow Tory landowners will fight and fight dirty to prevent change.

But why oppose new ways if it is what the community desires?

It’s down to money, money, money.





Under the existing (CAP) rules agricultural subsidies and forestry grants are weighted so that the largest farming outlets, owned by the richest and biggest landowners, get the most money in subsidies.

In recent times they have also benefited from major recurring financial windfalls in excess of £1billion through the leasing of large tracts of land to energy companies for the installation of wind-farms.

Asked for his views a tenant farmer said: “The families of many of Scotland’s tenant farmers have worked this land for generations.

They have invested money in them and made improvements, while the estate owners sit back and employ agents to raise rents every three years.

People generate economies and it’s unhealthy to have such sparsely-populated estates covering so much of the country when more farmers owning their own little scraps of land would lead to a more vibrant economy.

But we are seeing an increasing number of cases where our members are being forced out due to a lack of co-operation by the estate owners and often downright intimidation.”

Land means power, so Scotland’s few hundred aristocrats can scarcely be expected to give up on four centuries of owning more than half of the country.

They are happy to support the community buy-outs such as Assynt and Eigg, but will reject anything that smells of compulsory purchase.

They do not even recognise the concept of doing so when it is deemed to be for the greater good of the larger community.

This is simply because they regard themselves as the sole arbiters of what is good in the countryside.

Being forced to share gargantuan and uncapped agricultural benefit payments and wind-farm income, while avoiding tax, could never be deemed acceptable in their world.

Compulsory purchase orders are only acceptable, it seems, when they swallow up high-street family-run restaurants for the common good of another retail emporium.

But the spectre of a mild-mannered, bespectacled writer and researcher stalks their nightmares.

Andy Wightman is author of The Poor Had No Lawyers: Who Owns Scotland (and How They Got It), which has become the primer for those who had always felt something was never quite right about such a concentration of land and unearned privilege in the hands of so few.

His book gives depth and academic rigour to the arguments of those seeking meaningful land reform.

“The land on which many of our lairds sit was stolen in the 17th century,” he says. “But these ill-gotten gains were protected by acts which maintained their hegemony after the rest of Europe ditched feudalism and concentrated land ownership.”

He describes how the aristocracy embraced the 1560 Reformation as a means of getting their hands on land belonging to the “Auld Kirk”.

They needed to protect their stolen goods with a robust law.

The Act of Prescription (1617) did the trick.

Thus any land occupied for 40 years or more was indemnified from future legal challenge.

The law remains in place and has effectively upheld the gentry’s rights to stolen goods for 400 years.

Last October, on a farm near Edinburgh, the body of Andrew Riddell, a tenant farmer, was discovered.

He and his family had worked on the farm for more than 100 years and then, one day, he was given notice to quit by his landlord, Alastair Salvesen, billionaire and Scotland’s third-richest man.

The notice followed a year-long legal case which finally found in favour of Salvesen. The judge ruled that the protections Riddell thought he had in the tenancy arrangement were trumped by the landlord’s rights under the European Convention on Human Rights.

He killed himself after collecting his final harvest.

Thus Scotland’s richest people are skimming off more millions from taxpayers when benefits are being capped and the bedroom tax is forcing people on to the street.

But within the tendency of several landowners to view the UK as their private merchant bank with limitless cash reserves may be the seeds of their downfall.

Adventurous and unusual tax arrangements, whereby ownership of estates is registered overseas and convenient charitable trusts are created, are coming under scrutiny.

That sound you hear is of a black grouse, possibly a ptarmigan or two and maybe a brace of pheasants, coming home to roost.

The landowners view the absolute right to buy of tenant farmers as anathema.

This will lead to the break-up of their estates, they claim, and dilute hundreds of years of expertise they have banked in maintaining the beauty and integrity of the countryside.

Several have made submissions to the LRRG which betray their worst nightmares.

Taken together they could form another of history’s longest suicide notes.

Most exude the sense of exclusive entitlement which says only they are capable of managing such vast expanses of land.

James Carnegy-Arbuthnott, whose family owns an estate in Angus, thinks he knows why so few people own land in Scotland: “It’s because so much of the land is unproductive wilderness.”

The Earl of Seafield thinks that it is a myth that too few people own too much “and there is very little evidence to show this is a bad thing”.

More info: (





Tax Haven Registered Claimants  – Pentland Ltd

Buccleuch Estates Ltd DG3 THORNHILL £820,190.19 and BQ Farming Partnerships Ltd TD7 SELKIRK £325,210.34 Total £1,145.400.53

Mr Richard Scott (sometimes referred to as the 10th Duke of Buccleuch) is frequently cited as the owner of the largest extent of private land in the United Kingdom.

Yet, this has never been entirely accurate.

The 242,000 acres of land in Scotland is owned not by Mr Scott, but mainly by a company called Buccleuch Estates Ltd.

The shares in Buccleuch Estates Ltd. are not owned by Mr Scott and his family but by two companies – Anderson Strathern Nominees Ltd and MDS Estates Ltd.

Anderson Strathern Nominees Ltd. is a dormant company which is wholly owned by Anderson Strathern Asset Management Ltd. Anderson Strathern Asset Management Ltd. is wholly owned by Anderson Strathern LLP which, in turn is owned by the 53 partners in the law firm.

MS Estates Ltd. is wholly owned by Anderson Strathern Nominees Ltd. though the Directors include Mr Scott and other family members.

So the ultimate owner of Buccluech Estates Ltd are 53 solicitors? Well, not quite.

Because what the Nominees do is to act on behalf of persons unknown on their behalf.

These persons are likely to be members of the Scott family but we can’t know because the arrangements are not made public.




But enter Pentland Ltd, a company based in the Cayman Islands.

It is part of the extensive group of companies whose ultimate parent undertaking and controlling entity is ‘The Buccleuch Estates Limited’ (BEL) and is listed in the annual accounts as a subsidiary undertaking with the principal activity of property development through which money is routinely loaned at keen interest rates between all of the aforesaid companies in the group.

The company is a subsidiary of:

(1) Dabton Investments Ltd. Founded initially by the current duke and his brother Damian and incorporated in May 2009, Dabton Investments Ltd was owned by the Scott family until 2013 when 100% of the issued share capital was acquired by Tarras Park Properties Ltd:

Tarras Park is in turn a subsidiary of:

(2) Buccleuch Properties Limited, a BEL company.

The consortium, valued in excess of £90million comprises Mixed Farming, Farming, Farm Management, Property, Agricultural Services, Estate Management, Fishing, Property Development, Forestry, Residential Developments, Bioenergy, Rural Land Management and House Building, Bioenergy

Important, comprehensive reviews of the activities of Buccleuch Consortium are to be found at:



Westminster: The £4 Billion Agricultural Subsidies Policy Will be Controlled From London – Post Brexit – With the Full support of Scottish Tory’s






27 Jan 2017: Theresa May:  UK’s richest aristocrat landowners will continue to get massive farming subsidies funded by British taxpayer after Brexit.


Ruth Davidson: agriculture powers not be transferred to Scotland after Brexit.




The Common Agricultural Policy (CAP)

The Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) provides around £4 billion in subsidies within the UK by 2021 accounting for nearly 50% of all receipts from the EU budget to the UK.

Scotland’s share should be around £850 million.

EU regulations require the full financial allocation to be transferred to the UK Treasury from where it should be distributed equally to each constituent country of Great Britain & Northern Ireland.

The EU exercises no executive role in the sharing of finance within Britain thus allowing the Westminster government full authority to set the criteria and other terms and conditions which claimants must adhere to.

Westminster top slices finance for allocation to the Royal household then sets a budget for each country and, in the case of Scotland transfers funds to the Scottish Parliament for distribution.

These arrangements were introduced in 2015 after many years of centralised control and distribution from Westminster proved to be impossible to sustain.

Westminster never once completed payments to claimants within deadlines resulting in the imposition of fines by the EU exceeding £600 million over a period of 8 years.

The government in London also wrote off to the public purse failed IT development costs exceeding £180.

There were also incidences where small farmers were forced to close their farms due to financial hardships caused by the tardy support offered by Westminster government.

The same Westminster government, incapable of running the scheme, transferred responsibility for payment of claims to the Scottish government, at very short notice without ensuring the provision of operational facilities to run it.

For Scotland it was sink or swim. The Scottish government struggled and failed to meet EU target deadlines.

The Scottish farmers Union (front for the Tory party) spread misinformation amongst the farming community and succeeded in persuading many to vote for the Tory candidates at the last election. No sea change there Rooth!!!!

The only thing that remained sacrosanct was that the rules of the scheme would continue to be set by Westminster.

So delegation of responsibility, including brickbats from claimants who might experience delayed payments through inefficient operational systems, but without authority to make changes. Nice one Westminster.





Aims and Rewards of the Scheme

The scheme rewards landowners simply for owning title to land, as opposed to encouraging farmers to invest in improving product output to the public good. In terms of share the top 20% of claimants get 70%.

The bottom 40% get 5% of the grant money.

Claimants, totalling approximately 18,000 annually, include the entire royal household, large numbers of wealthy aristocrats, other members of the house of Lords, Tory MP’s (past and present), MSP’s, countless Tory Party donors, offshore companies registered in the Isle of Mann, Guernsey, Jersey, Cayman Islands etc.

Billionaires and other very rich foreigners investing their often ill-gotten gains in land ownership are the major beneficiaries.

Timber companies, through the Rural Payments Agency, are provided with annual grants up to £50 million.

Financially sound investment opportunities for many stars of stage and screen other media.

Large corporations and companies also qualify for subsidies e.g.. refunds on exports.

These include Tate & Lyle who get more than £130 million and Nestle UK who receive about £13 million annually.

There are rare good works, such as the RSPB, which receive around £2million annually.

A body working hard for the benefit of nature, maintaining, expanding and improving the habitat of the wildlife.




Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) – Convergence Uplift – Scotland Cheated Yet Again

Completed between 2010 -2014, a review of the scheme by EU ministers identified that many farmers in Scotland, confronted with difficulties not experienced elsewhere in Britain were not receiving a level of financial support needed to ensure their operational viability.

Correcting matters, the EU allocated a “convergence uplift” and transferred £260 million to Westminster to be forwarded to Scotland.

The Con-Dem government refused to transfer any of the new finance to Scotland stating their, “one rule for all” policy would remain in place regardless of need.

Scotland was awarded only 36.8m Euro (16% of the 230m Euro allocation).

Rural Affairs Secretary Richard Lochhead described Westminster’s decision to share out the pot across the UK as “a disgrace”. His statement read:

“I do not know how UK ministers will be able to look Scottish farmers in the eye after this outrageous decision that amounts to pocketing Scotland’s farm payments. I am aghast that Mr Carmichael (remember this guy?) the new secretary of state for Scotland can welcome the UK government’s decision to give Scotland the lowest farm payments in the whole of Europe and the UK. If Scotland had been a member state in our own right during those negotiations, we would have benefited from a one billion euro uplift. We have been denied that uplift and now we are even being denied up to £ 230 million uplift that the UK gets because of Scotland.”

The NFU Scotland said farmers had been dealt “a bitter blow” in failing to win an immediate boost in European cash.

Scottish Conservative rural affairs spokesman Alex Ferguson said he was disappointed that all the extra convergence money did not go to Scotland.

Scottish Labour rural affairs spokeswoman Claire Baker said: “I am disappointed that Scotland has not received an immediate uplift and called for intervention on a cross-party basis by MSPs.





Scottish Tory Landowners Unhappy With the Tory Government

NFU Scotland secured commitment from David Mundell, Secretary of State for Scotland, to organise a meeting with UK farming minister George Eustice.

The meeting is to be convened to discuss a review of the allocation of CAP convergence money.

Since 2013, Scotland’s farming union has tried to secure real movement on the allocation of the UK’s 230m Euro convergence dividend from the EU.

Scotland has the third lowest Pillar 1 [direct support] payment rate per hectare in the EU which was why the UK received this dividend.

However, the UK government chose to share this around the UK on the basis of historic allocations.

After lobbying, the NFU was previously promised this would be received once the new CAP was implemented, but the extra funds are still being withheld.

The NFU expect the Westminster government to honour its commitments.  (Eskdale Advertiser)




The Impact of Brexit

There will be little change if Scotland remains in the UK. Subsidy distribution will continue to be controlled by rules and regulations decided by Westminster.

The Scottish government will be required to disburse finance strictly observing rules set by Westminster.

Scotland’s land ownership management system is one of the most anachronistic systems in Europe.

Land is regarded as a commodity to be sold to anyone who has the money to pay for it and owners need not take occupancy or declare ownership to anyone.

This has resulted the vast bulk of Scotland being owned by less than 500 individuals.

Brexit provides opportunity for an independent Scotland to introduce major changes to land management systems brought into disrepute by politicians whose single minded purpose is to transfer finance, contributed by 99% of the population, to the richest 1% of the corrupt Little Englander Unionist society run from Westminster.





Selected Subsidy payments to Conservative & Unionist Party Members and Scottish Politicians


Donald Houston

Keith Falconer




Adephi Distillery Ltd PH36 Ardnamuchan £623,236.00:

2014 Scottish Independence Referendum “Better Together” campaign received its largest contribution of £600,000 from Donald Houston, the owner of the Ardnamurchan Estate in the western Highlands and the Adelphi distillery.

Rain Dance Investments, a financial holding company based in Lincoln has just under £50million in the bank.

Directors include the Irwin Houston family who own Ardnamurchan Estate and Keith Falconer, who runs a distillery at Glenborrodale Castle, Ardnamurchan. They contributed £200,000.

The Adelphi Distillery Ltd received a grant of £1,148,736 (in 2014/15) to build a new Ardnamurchan Distillery. Bloody ridiculous, Scottish taxpayers provide huge amounts of cash so that Houston and Falconer can develop the business and they transfer £800,000 to the “Better Together” campaign.


Bertram Stanley Mitford Bowyer, 2nd Baron Denham




Mrs E V McCorquodale Trs PH2 PERTH £706,751.28:

Primarily involved in the development of forest areas and improvement of their sustainability.

Controlling company Glenlonan Developments, London.

Person with controlling interest. Bertram Stanley Mitford Bowyer, 2nd Baron Denham, KBE, PC (born 3 October 1927).

He is a British Conservative politician and member of the House of Lords as one of the remaining hereditary peers.

He is one of the few people to serve in the governments of five different Tory Prime Ministers. He married Ms E V McCorquodale Lady Denham (deceased) and has control of her estate.


Philip Astor



Tillypronie Estate near Banchory, Aberdeenshire £385,279:

Managed by Strutt & Parker and owned by Philip Astor, first cousin once removed to Viscount Astor, Samantha Cameron’s step-father.

The claim approved for “first afforestation of agricultural and non-agricultural land”.




JF Burnett of Leys £26,319.88:

Alexander Burnett MSP is a major shareholder in major shareholder in the Bancon Construction Group (real estate building and sales)


Kirstene Hair



Messrs J Hair £119,191.00:

Kirstene Hair (MP) is the daughter of the owners of the farm near Brechin. She was elected to the Westminster parliament in May 2017.


Sir Edward Mountain



Delfur Farms Elgin £131,960.09:

Tory rural affairs spokesman, multi-millionaire, Sir Edward Mountain (MSP), is a partner in Delfur Farms Farming Partnership (breeding livestock).

He is also a partner in and owner of 50% of Delfur Fishings, of Moray, a rod and line salmon fishing.

He also owns a 50% share of a rod and line salmon fishing in Moray, operated by Delfur Fishings, which has a total market value of between £8,200,001 and £8,300,000.

The property yields a gross annual income in the range £230,001 – £240,000.




Robert Lamont Duns Berwickshire: £63692.19:

Growing of crops combined with farming of animals (mixed farming.

Owner Robert is a former NFU Scotland legal and commercial chairman.

He also led the Scottish Borders, farmers, Better Together campaign in the Borders in the 2014 referendum.

Son John is a Politician who was elected to serve Berwickshire as an MSP at Holyrood a post he subsequently gave up to be elected MP at Westminster in May 2017.


Alistair Jack



Rars Woodlands 3 Limited – Courance Estate £74792.11:

Alister Jack was born and educated in Dumfries. He lives and farms in Courance, near Lockerbie.

He made his business in self-storage, making an estimated £20m fortune through his company, Armadillo and retains significant business interests and declares shares in 16 companies.

He also has investments in Jardine Matheson Holdings (JMH), which is incorporated in Bermuda a British Overseas Territory that can provide tax advantages to firms that register on the island.

An Asian-based business group. It is listed on the London Stock Exchange and provides management services to companies in the wider group.

JMH is chaired by Eton-educated Sir Henry Keswick.

Jack declared £3,000 of support from Sir Henry in the following Westminster declaration category: “Support linked to an MP but received by a local party organisation or indirectly via a central party organisation.”

Jack also declared £5,000 from Percy Weatherall, who is listed as a JMH director, in the same category on his MP register of interest.

In JMH’s latest half-yearly results, the group’s underlying profit for the first six months of 2017 rose 20 per cent to $765 million, while revenue was $19.4 billion.

In 2016, Oxfam published a report which named Bermuda as the worst of 15 corporate tax havens.

The charity examined practices such as countries offering “unfair and unproductive” tax incentives and zero or extremely low corporate tax rates.

At the time of the report, Oxfam stated that Bermuda’s “characteristics” included zero corporate income tax and zero withholding tax.

The territory’s Finance Minister claimed the report contained “serial errors”, but Oxfam defended the findings.

In June 2017 Jack, a Tory candidate won the Dumfries and Galloway constituency after defeating the SNP’s Richard Arkless by 5643 votes.



Colin Clark



R & M Clark Turriff £90415.90:

Growing crops, (750 acres) combined with buying and selling Cattle and Sheep.

Son, Colin Clark combines working the farm with politics.

Formally MSP for the local area he was elected to Westminster for the Gordon constituency in the 2017 General Election.


Peter Chapman



Peter Chapman & Co £76452.33:

Farms 1,100 acres at South Redbog Farm, near Strichen.

It is a mixed arable Beef and Pullet rearing enterprise.

Four wind turbines are located on the farm.

He is a former vice president of the NFU Scotland. Director of Aberdeen and Northern Marts livestock auctions, Director NFU mutual insurance society, board member Scottish Natural Heritage.

Politically active he was elected as a local councillor before taking up the role of MSP for Banffshire & Buchan at Holyrood in 2017.

Actively involved in the support of the 2014 “Better Together” campaign


Colin Cameron




Achnacarry Estate £79,781.89:

The family seat of the Cameron’s of Lochiel comprises 60,000 acres of wild country and forests in the North of Scotland. Wind-farms are recent additions bringing revenue to the estate.

It is described as being the “largest landholding in Britain of any commoner”.

Commoner because “the Cameron’s famously supported the losing side in every Scottish conflict with remarkable consistency, for approximately 500 years.

As punishment the family were never ennobled or given fancy titles!”

Donald Angus Cameron, 27th Lochiel, is the current chief of the Clan Cameron.

His son, Donald Cameron (MSP), who assists his father in the running of the estate was elected to Holyrood in 2017 representing the Highlands and Islands.

He is also a lawyer, Scottish Government advocate/ counsel in agriculture, crofting and employment.

His ancestors will be affronted that Donald supports the Union.


John Scott




W Scott & Son £44,229.33:

William John Scott is a sheep farmer at Balkissock, Ballantrae, Ayrshire. A Tory MSP he was first elected 2000.

Established the Ayrshire Farmers Market in 1999 and founded the Scottish Association for Farmers in 2001

Appointed as the convenor of the Delegated Powers and Law Reform Committee of the Scottish Parliament in June 2016.


Sir Alex Fergusson Tory Peer




Messrs J A Fergusson & Sons £44229.33

Sir Alexander Charles Onslow Fergusson,  a Scottish Tory politician, was a Member of the Scottish Parliament from 1999 to 2016, and served as the 3rd Presiding Officer from 2007 till 2011.

Before and after his tie in politics he ran Grennan, farm, Castle Douglas, rearing cattle and sheep

Fergusson is a male-line grandson of  Sir Charles Fergusson 7th Baronet and so is in the remainder to that Barontecy.

He is also descended from many Scottish noble families including the Earls of Glasgow, Earls of Dalhousie and Barons Crofton.





John Sheeden & Partners £45,504.83:

Tory supporting partners John Sheeden unhappy with BBC.



Its my Land Git Aff



Abuse of a Nation – Westminster Politicians Gave no Thought for the Safety of Scots – When They Installed and Operated – Fast Breeder Nuclear Reactors at Dounreay – And I am Accused of Being a Bell-end For Alerting You All



Freedom of Information

For many years concerned Scots were denied information about the safety of nuclear-generated energy by successive Westminster governments on the grounds of national security.

Despite delaying tactics by the Labour-led Scottish Executive, the Freedom of Information Act of 2005 forced politicians to provide information opening files previously hidden away.

Information in this blog was released after many months of circuitous correspondence and although revealing it is not comprehensive. Other information will no doubt be released over time.

But what is listed is a damming indictment on successive Westminster government abuse of Scotland and Scots further reinforcing the urgent need to for Scotland to break free from 300 plus years of tyrannical rule from Westminster actively assisted by Little Unionist Englanders residing in Scotland



1955 -1960 – Technology unproven – Fast breeder reactors were installed at Dounreay despite real fears of a nuclear blast

Fast-breeder reactors were conceived in the Fifties when uranium – the nuclear industry’s raw material – was scarce.

At the same time, the US was being uncooperative in sharing nuclear expertise, despite Britain’s role in developing the atom bomb.

So UK nuclear chiefs set up a fast breeder programme to ensure fuel independence and stationed it in remote Caithness, Scotland – because they feared their first test reactor might explode.

They even encased it in a giant sphere of steel, known as Fred the Golf Ball – Fred standing for Fast Reactor Experiment in Dounreay – to contain any blast. At least that is what the Scottish public was told

Daydreaming government officials also conjectured that it could be converted into a visitor centre after closure.

Unfortunately, the sphere contains about 50 tonnes of highly radioactive liquid metal coolant that will take many decades and a lot of cleaning before people can walk inside.

In the end, Dounreay was doomed to close early because uranium was discovered in significant quantities in Australia and Canada, making standard reactors cheaper to run.


57 Dounreay Scotland Photos and Premium High Res Pictures - Getty ...


Three reactors were installed between 1958 and 1975.

Reactor No1: was a test unit operating from 1958-1969. It was never connected to the national grid and produced nothing. Work was transferred to Harwell in 1969

Reactor No2: was operational from 1962-1977. Its output was around 14 M.W.E.

Reactor No3: was operational from 1975-1994. Its output was around 250 M.W.E.

In 1994, the government ordered closure along with a full-scale clean-up.

Projections are fluid but completion of decommissioning is expected to take around 50 years.

The shut down of the reactor’s care and maintenance of old plant and decommissioning activities means that Dounreay still retains a work-force.

Commercial reprocessing of spent nuclear fuel and waste was stopped by the UK government in 1998 although some waste is still accepted from other nuclear facilities in special circumstances.



01 Apr 2005: Safety ‘failures’ at the closed nuclear plant facility at Dounreay between 1999-2005

There have been more than 250 violations of safety conditions at Dounreay since 1999, including leaking waste tanks, lost radioactive waste, and power cuts.

Some records of discharges have been wrong for months and many of the problems listed have never been reported before.

They include the radioactive contamination of whelks, winkles, rabbits, concrete, soil, water, air, and beaches.

The list includes 18 incidents in the first 3 months of 2005, including an “abnormal” radioactive discharge from a stack, the contamination of grass with caesium 137, and a spill of radioactive caustic soda.



01 Apr 2005: Protection agency – nuclear Dounreay chiefs played down major blast at the plant

An explosion in Dounreay’s waste shaft, one of the most serious incidents in the site’s turbulent history, was dismissed as a “minor incident” by senior staff.

A press release issued on the day of the blast in 1977, explained that a chemical reaction, probably involving 2.5kg of sodium had occurred adding “No injury occurred, the damage was minor and the public was not involved.”

It has now been revealed that the explosion caused extensive damage with pieces of asbestos discovered up to 75 metres away.



01 Apr 2005: Decommissioning of Dounreay is planned to bring the site to interim care and surveillance state by 2036, and as a brownfield site costing many £billions

Apart from decommissioning the reactors, reprocessing plant, and associated facilities, there are five main environmental issues to be dealt with:

1. A 65-metre deep shaft used for intermediate level nuclear waste disposal is contaminating groundwater and is also threatened by coastal erosion.

The shaft was never designed as a waste depository but was used as such on a very ad-hoc and poorly monitored basis, without reliable waste disposal records being kept.

In origin, it is a relic of a process by which a waste-discharge pipe was constructed. The pipe was designed to discharge waste into the sea.

Historic use of the shaft as a waste depository resulted in one hydrogen gas explosion caused by sodium and potassium wastes reacting with water.

At one time it was normal for workers to fire rifles into the shaft to sink polythene bags floating on water.

2. Irradiated nuclear fuel particles on the seabed near the plant are estimated to be many hundreds of thousands in number.

Beaches in the vicinity were closed to the public in 1983 due to this danger, caused by old fuel rod fragments being pumped into the sea.

It is planned that from 2008, a clean-up project using Geiger counter-fitted robot submarines will search out and retrieve particles, a process that will take many years.

In 2009 nearly 130 radioactive particles washed ashore on the publicly accessible Sandside Bay beach and one at a popular tourist beach at Dunnet.

3. 18,000 cubic metres of radiologically contaminated land, and 28,000 cubic metres of chemically contaminated land will need to be cleared of contamination, a process scheduled to take many decades to complete. If ever.

4. 1,350 cubic metres of high and medium active liquors and 2,550 cubic metres of unconditioned intermediate-level nuclear waste in-store will need to be transferred to another site for long term storage.

5. 1,500 tonnes of sodium, (900 tonnes of this unproductive Prototype Fast Reactor) will need to be transferred to another site for long term storage.



Historically much of Dounreay’s nuclear waste management was poor.

On 18 September 2006, the acting chief operating officer, predicted that more problems will be encountered from old practices at the site as the decommissioning effort continues.

At the start of decommissioning some parts of the plant will be entered for the first time in 50 years and no-one fully knows what to expect.

In 2007 UKAEA pleaded guilty to four charges under the Radioactive Substances Act 1960 relating to activities between 1963 and 1984, one of disposing of radioactive waste at a landfill site at the plant between 1963 and 1975, and three of allowing nuclear fuel particles to be released into the sea, resulting in puerile financial penalties fines.

Due to the quantities of uranium and plutonium held at the site, it is considered a major security risk and there is a high police presence.



Major safety flaws uncovered at Torness plant.

An accident at Torness nuclear power station in 2002 described at the time by British Energy as “vibration problems” was far more serious according to the official investigation.

The accident began when reactor two automatically shut down because it detected a flaw in its cooling system.

Operators made a serious mistake and a gas circulator meant to keep the reactor cool was badly damaged.

Alarms sounded, a temperature gauge went “off-scale” and 750 litres of oil went missing.

A report by the Nuclear Installations Inspectorate, released under the FOI Act, criticized managers at Torness for staff cutbacks, and for failing to give safety a high enough priority.      (The Sunday Times)



Nuclear radioactive waste at Royals’ beach

Radioactive deposits washed up on Dunnet beach near the late Queen Mother’s former Scottish home were not reported by the management of the decommissioned Dounreay reactor, according to a response to an FOI request.

The findings prompted the Energy minister to admit that safety standards at Dounreay had been unacceptable and measures taken to protect the environment had been ineffective.  (The Guardian)



UK Atomic Energy Authority- Nuclear Power

British Energy’s decision to close its Peel Park headquarters in East Kilbride triggered a severe staffing crisis that could have put safety at risk, according to documents disclosed under the FOI (Scotland) Act.

A report by the Nuclear Installations Inspectorate in December 2004 concluded “British Energy’s intent to close Peel Park, and the consequential impact, has had an adverse effect on the staff with respect to stress, morale and uncertainty over their future”. (Sunday Herald)



Nuclear Installations Inspectorate

Nuclear waste sites list revealed a list of sites across the UK considered for the dumping of nuclear waste has been disclosed under the FOI Act.

Nirex, the government-owned company set up to implement a nuclear waste disposal strategy, published the information on its website following an FOI request.

The short-list includes two sites in Essex and five in Scotland.







First Labour Coalition Executive Filled Their Pockets at the Expense of the Scottish Electorate – Memories Fade But Scots Do Not Forget






Scottish Executive costs hit £150m

The Scottish Executive has spent almost £150 million on travel, hospitality and office costs in the 6 years since devolution.

The figures, show that nearly £34m has been spent by ministers, special advisers and civil servants on travel, and more than £3m on hospitality since 1999.

The cost of office accommodation including utility costs, rates, maintenance and repairs was more than £111m. 16.9.05 Evening News Edinburgh





Scottish Executive Expenses

MSPs run up £500,000 bill on hotels since devolution.

Figures obtained reveal that MSPs have claimed £500,000 in hotel expenses since devolution.

The figures also reveal the amount claimed for taxis (£193,865), rail fares (£359,276) and telephone calls from home (£187,149).  24.4.05 The Sunday Times





Scottish Parliament Expenses – MSPs claim nearly £52k in taxis.

The amount MSPs spend on taxis has doubled since the first year of the Scottish Parliament figures reveal.

Last year, MSPs claimed £51,716.97 to cover their taxi fares, compared to £25,514.38 in 1999.

Tory leader David McLetchie has racked up the largest bill, claiming £11,565.19 over the six years, an average of nearly £2,000 a year. 30.9.05 The Scotsman




Scottish Parliament Expenses – McLetchie finally quits over taxi row

David McLetchie has resigned as the Scottish Conservative Party leader following the controversy over his taxi expenses.

McLetchie had been under pressure since February 2005 when details of his travel claims were requested under the FOI (Scotland) Act.

On 21 April, the Scottish Parliament provided copies of claims totalling £10,448 but blacked out many of the destinations, claiming Mr McLetchie’s safety would be compromised.

But on 7 October the Scottish Information Commissioner Kevin Dunion ordered the destinations to be disclosed.

It then emerged that Mr McLetchie had already paid refunded over £250 in travel claims for party political events.

He had also claimed for trips to the home of Lady Sian Biddulph, a Tory activist. 19.6.05 Scotland on Sunday





MSPs expense claims to be posted online

Invoices and receipts for all MSPs’ expenses claims will be published on the Internet in the future, George Reid, Holyrood’s Presiding Officer has announced.

Mr Reid said the current system of disclosing total figures annually was not adequate to meet the demands of the FOI (Scotland) Act.

The move to make expenses more open and accountable follows the resignation of the Scottish Conservative leader David McLetchie for using taxpayers’ money to fund taxi journeys for personal or party political business. 2.11.05 The Scotsman





Outrage over council’s taxi bill of £71,000

East Lothian Council spent £71,000 on taxis over the past financial year.

A spokesman for the council said that “not all councillors are drivers and…when public transport…(is) not available it is more economical and efficient to use taxis”. 13.6.05 Evening News Edinburgh




Agency chief Laird spent £260 on a taxi

The cost of Lord Laird’s official taxi journeys whilst chairman of the Ulster-Scots Agency have been disclosed.

The bills from 2000 and 2001 include fares of £240 and £260 for Belfast to Dublin return trips and £272.50 for a Co Derry journey.

In total, £2,505 was spent over a 10 month period.

The peer defended some of his taxi use on personal security grounds, linked to his practice of wearing a kilt for functions.

“Am I going to turn up somewhere, get out of a car and walk half a mile to a function wearing a kilt? That would be drawing attention to me,” he said.

Lord Laird resigned as Ulster – Scots Agency chairman in 2004. 7.2.05 Belfast Telegraph




Labour Councillor who ate for free in canteen to pay money back

A Glasgow councillor who claimed expenses for lunches despite eating for free in the council’s canteen, has agreed to pay the money back.

Council records show that Gary Gray had lunch in a special City Chambers’ buffet on at least seven occasions when he also claimed a lunch allowance of £6.99.

The discrepancies were revealed when the Mr Gray’s expense forms were cross – referenced with records showing the number of times he had entertained visitors in the councillors’ buffet. 29.8.05 Evening Times Edinburgh





Ulster-Scots Agency cash rap revealed

The scale of past cash control failings at the Ulster – Scots Agency has been revealed.

A 2001 internal audit concluded that the cross – border body had been spending “with no apparent regard to the fact that public monies are involved”.

It stated that government investigators were seriously concerned about a number of issues, including hospitality spending, credit card use and travel expenses.

The Agency was established in late 1999 to promote Ulster-Scots language and culture. 10.3.05 Belfast Telegraph





Expenses – The strange tale of the huge expenses bill, the pension application and the disappearing MSP

Invoices for travel expenses claimed by the former MSP Keith Raffan have been disclosed.

In December 2004 the Scottish Parliament revealed the Lib Dem MSP had claimed an incredible £41,154.64 in travel costs for one year.

The released invoices show that he claimed for travel in Scotland whilst on a two day break on the Isle of Man.

He also claimed for round trips between Edinburgh and Dunfermline and between Edinburgh and St Andrews on the same day that he flew to Germany on a VIP trip. Raffan resigned as an MSP in January 2005. 18.9.05 The Sunday Herald





Jackson courts questions on travel expenses

A Labour MSP charged taxpayers for travel to the Scottish Parliament on the same days that he earned hundreds of pounds in legal aid as a top QC.

Gordon Jackson billed the Parliament for travel from Glasgow to Edinburgh on nine occasions when he’d been in court.

On two of those occasions, Jackson who earns £264,000 a year in legal aid plus a £50,000 MSP’s salary is recorded as having missed parliamentary committee meetings.

On a third occasion, the parliament was not in session, although Jackson claims he went to his parliamentary office, which would entitle him to claims expenses. 24.4.05 Scotland on Sunday





Revealed: the MSPs’ houses we paid for

Ten ministers in the Scottish Executive are among more than 40 MSPs who claim an allowance to help pay the mortgage on their Edinburgh homes.

MSPs who live too far from Edinburgh to commute are entitled to claim an accommodation allowance of up to £10,600 a year which they can use to pay for hotels, rent flats or pay the interest on a mortgage.

The Scottish Parliament published, in response to public pressure a list of politicians who have bought property with the allowance.

A total of 41 current MSPs and 7 former MSPs have claimed for mortgages since the scheme started in 1999. 4.6.05 Evening News Edinburgh





Scottish Parliament Expenses

Yes, minister, your lunch did cost £426. When Jack McConnell met Gavin McCrone and officials for dinner during his time as education minister in 2000, the Carlton Hotel in Edinburgh presented him with a bill for £426.60.

Meanwhile, the communities minister Margaret Curran last year lodged expenses for £285 for a meal at the Glasgow Hilton.

However, when the then First Minister, Henry McLeish, met Cardinal Thomas Winning, the then head of the Catholic Church in Scotland, for lunch at the Bonham Hotel in 2000, he registered expenses for a very reasonable £25.50.    30.3.05 The Scotsman