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Cultural encounters

Brian Taylor | 14:33 UK time, Wednesday, 16 June 2010

The verdict on Frank McAveety at Holyrood?

There's some anger with him, some sympathy for him, some exasperation that he was foolish - again.

But there is an over-arching view that he had to step down as the convener of the public petitions committee following his sotto voce comments appraising "an attractive girl" who was attending his committee as an observer.

To be blunt, it is the job of the convener to ensure that his committee is running smoothly and efficiently. Not to ogle members of the audience.

Still less should he be offering a brief running commentary to the committee clerk, to the effect that the woman in question was "dusky" and "the kind you'd see in a Gauguin painting".

Adding "there's a bit of culture" only made it worse.

He is an intriguing character, Mr McAveety. A former English teacher and twice, briefly, a Minister, he can converse intelligently about politics and culture one moment - before slipping all too easily into the mode of a laddish rascal the next.

Late arrival

It is as if these two characteristics compete for prominence in his personality, in Manichean fashion.

By common consent, he had done a notably good job at public petitions - expanding the committee's role of linking parliament and people.

But the ex-convener has form. He it was who, as a minister, explained his late arrival in the chamber by claiming he had been at a cultural encounter.

He had, in fact, been scoffing a pie in the Holyrood canteen.

That, supposedly, led to him being billed as "the pieman" in some quarters of his native Glasgow.

Comments

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  • 1. At 3:23pm on 16 Jun 2010, Barbazenzero wrote:

    Brian,

    This truly marks a new low in BBC coverage of Holyrood. Is McAveety's "mis-speak" really more interesting than dour Iain's "proof" of public money being wasted or his ambition to be granted an automatic place on Labour's NEC? Even the future of the last FM would [just] be more interesting.

    Even if it is, you could at least brighten up the non-story with some thoughts on the rummers and riders for Labour's new sports "spokesman" [the oddly sexist way your first link describes his former post] or for the convenership of the petitions committee.

    And while you're correctin stating that McAveety "has form", your second link to "porky pie-gate" is in almost as bad taste as this thread.

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  • 2. At 3:48pm on 16 Jun 2010, enneffess wrote:

    The man is supposed to be respresenting his constituents, his party and the Scottish Parliament. This is not the first time he has made a fool of himself.

    He should resign as an MSP.

    There are plently of other suitable candidates who could be a little bit more professional.

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  • 3. At 4:02pm on 16 Jun 2010, forfar-loon wrote:

    I wonder what Iain Gray, the vuvuzela of Scottish politics, will have to drone on the matter. He's been consistent in demanding resignations for the misdeeds of SNP underlings...will he fall on his toothpick after Frank's furtive fantasising?

    PS Brian, do you know if McAveety is pronounced "McAvennie"?

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  • 4. At 4:06pm on 16 Jun 2010, hamish wrote:

    Obviously unsuited to life in the PC Labour Party.

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  • 5. At 4:06pm on 16 Jun 2010, minuend wrote:

    .....but, but, but Lorraine Davidson on BBC Newsnicht said McAveety did nothing wrong. The Labour spokesperson said he did nothing wrong. The Herald and The Scotsman said he did nothing wrong. The Daily Record and the Scottish Sun said he did nothing wrong. The whole Scottish media said he did nothing wrong.

    There has been a big, big, big mistake, someone forgot to tell Frank that he did nothing wrong.

    Brian why didn't you tell Frank McAveety he did nothing wrong. It was clearly all the fault of that woman.

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  • 6. At 4:07pm on 16 Jun 2010, DrK wrote:


    While a politician and thus deserving of no respect or pity. I do actually feel a tinge of sympathy for this fellow who's had to quit for the "crime" of admiring a pretty girl...

    No overt sexually explicit suggestions and no racist overtones yet he has to go sacrificed on the altar of a bored and power hungry media who I suspect the public trust and like even less than our corrupt or incompetent policticians. And given the speed and level of debate amongst them no wonder the man was bored and oogling tha audience!

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  • 7. At 4:14pm on 16 Jun 2010, Flora d Lithe wrote:

    And in what way is it any business of Brian Taylor, or me, or anyone else, what was said as a private aside by an individual?

    If the person to whom the comment was directed (the clerk) was offended, or thought it otherwise inappropriate, then there are channels through which it should have travelled; otherwise, the matter should have gone no further.

    I trust that the BBC will be making public all available recordings of every word uttered by Brian Taylor at any time within any BBC building or while anywhere in the world on BBC business.


    Interestingly (?), under English libel laws, you can be gratuitously abusive about someone's appearance, etc., and "abuse" is a total defence, but a compliemtn can result in prosecution! I thought Scots were somewhat more evolved...

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  • 8. At 4:19pm on 16 Jun 2010, kenstor wrote:

    imagine saying that, it was an act of unpardonable folly

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  • 9. At 4:21pm on 16 Jun 2010, The_Concept_Of_Mind wrote:

    Brian ...

    The breathtaking condescencion of the 'bit of culture' remark betrays your 'intriguing' assessment; by exposing his woeful ignorance (he has amnesia about Polynesia) he lets us all down; surely Mike Russell will feel compelled to upbraid (not to say correct) he who was met by Simple Simon ...

    And by falling for the old 'open mic' trick (as perfected by his erstwhile boss) he demonstrates added incompetence; of course, we all think such things (predominantly privately) but the manner in which he made public his internal monologue, and the form of words he chose to express it, made for an eye - wateringly gripping clip ...

    On the other hand the business of this committee appeared to be almost as exciting as filling in a Tax Return (is that really what these people do all day ???); I can see how one might get distracted ...

    We must be thankful that his previous occupation wasn't teaching Art History ...

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  • 10. At 4:25pm on 16 Jun 2010, Wicked_Witch_of_the_West_Coast wrote:

    Always knew his interest in the laydees would prove his downfall!

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  • 11. At 4:27pm on 16 Jun 2010, orangefalcon40 wrote:

    I'm sorry but I just can't see what is offensive about this. Every normal man thinks like this. What happened to freedom of speech?

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  • 12. At 4:30pm on 16 Jun 2010, Joe wrote:

    Well at least he had the decency to fall on his sword quickly........What a refreshing change for a politician these days....A shining example to them all....lets hope that over the coming weeks there will be plenty more putting there hands up and shouting "Fair cop Guv".
    Well done Frank............humble pie well eaten.

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  • 13. At 4:44pm on 16 Jun 2010, Flora d Lithe wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 14. At 5:03pm on 16 Jun 2010, lfc84 wrote:

    the fact that he had to resign is ridiculous

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  • 15. At 5:07pm on 16 Jun 2010, Vakov2000 wrote:

    Moving away from the news as reported by the Labour Party. I see the proposed ideas being mooted for a transfer of finacial powers though again fiscal autonomy doesn't appear to be getting mentioned more a vague mention of "powers". The coalition revealed yesterday that any powers they do grant us would start with a gradual transfer begining in 2015! No doubt after the next election when the British National Party er Labour return to power and cancel any new powers being transferred. Looks like the coalition is already panicking and backtracking about financial resposibility for Scotland.

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  • 16. At 5:08pm on 16 Jun 2010, IRN - Tax doesnt have to be taxing wrote:

    This is complete nonsense. Even as a Nationalist I am firmly against the resignation of Frank McAveety. MP's and MSP's who indulge in nepotism, cronyism, and fraud, need to be rooted out way before we root out those who have done nothing more than act a bit foolishly.

    There is a time and a place to appreciate the female (or male) form, and yes, it's not in a Holyrood committee. But McAveety's behaviour was trivial and certainly not so serious as to merit his resignation. His embarrassed apology yesterday should have sufficed.

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  • 17. At 5:12pm on 16 Jun 2010, usdeeper wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 18. At 5:16pm on 16 Jun 2010, Diabloandco wrote:

    My! My ! Have ALL the above mentioned certain on-line publications?
    Or are the moderators in the huff?
    Profanity all round eh?

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  • 19. At 5:18pm on 16 Jun 2010, Diabloandco wrote:

    As a p.s I read in the Caledonian Mercury that Ed Milliband is a favourite in Scotland - which I find hard to believe!

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  • 20. At 5:22pm on 16 Jun 2010, Astonished wrote:

    I see moderation limbo is running for all quotes except those praising labour.












    Oh, just moderate me out.

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  • 21. At 5:24pm on 16 Jun 2010, Astonished wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 22. At 5:27pm on 16 Jun 2010, Barbazenzero wrote:

    Brian,

    Further to my #1, I should have pointed out that you're linking to the main Scotland page with your "verdict on Frank McAveety at Holyrood" link instead of to the actual Frank McAveety quits over 'attractive girl' remark story. Future visitors to this page will no longer find the story unless you correct the link.

    And while you're asking this blog's "owner" to make the update, perhaps you'd be kind enough to point out to him or her the continued moderation problems on these threads. At the time of writing, #12 of 4:30pm has been published while #2 to #11 languish in mod purgatory. It's bad enough that, unlike the BBC's other political blogs, this blog has threads peremptorily closed even before new threads are available but not to publish comments on a first come, first served basis makes possibly important comments very likely never to be read.

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  • 23. At 5:29pm on 16 Jun 2010, JohnMcDonald wrote:

    "Manichean" - now that's a wee bit o' kulture for you. No shades of Gray - sorry grey - there...

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  • 24. At 5:31pm on 16 Jun 2010, spagan wrote:

    Joe
    I thought that it was his sword that had landed him in the bother in the first place.
    I can't wait for "Off The Ball" or "Only an Excuse" or one of the similar BBC TV and Radio programmes where they extract the Michael (Moore?) from public persona.
    Poor Frank McAveetie - ex Celtic darling who flashes his eyes with the phrase "Burdz" emanating from his lips.
    He's been a lonely figure of fun at the BBC Scotland's Comedy Unit for many a year.
    However, now we can have 2 Franks.
    The other, the erstwhile Frank McAvennie - ex New Labour darling, who flashes his eyes with the phrase "Dusky Maidens" .......
    Is it possible that I've mixed up Scotland's 2 most famous Franks???
    What is funny is that Good Morning Scotland used Lorraine Davidson as the impartial journalist (sic) to provide her comment on this. Curiously, she played the role of sycophantic apologist "one of the least sexist men I know blah blah". Good to see that Brian takes a different view.
    Ah but which one is right? Brian or Lorraine? As Harry Hill says - "There's only one way to find out.........."
    Slainte Mhor
    Slainte Mhor

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  • 25. At 5:35pm on 16 Jun 2010, ReadingfaninBrighton wrote:

    What a fuss over nothing! Get a life all you politically correct nobodies, good to hear there are still some real human beings left in politics instead of robots!!!

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  • 26. At 5:38pm on 16 Jun 2010, Jonathan wrote:

    This is a terribly pompous posting. I find it hard to believe that a man loses his job because he found a woman attractive and mentioned it to a colleague.

    It is not sexist for men to notice and comment on woment they find attractive. Men often act in a sexist way either diminsihing women's achievement, trying to halt their progress or giving them priviliges because they are women.

    We are not robots, we have have hormones. Hormones in men and women are necessary for our survival.

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  • 27. At 5:41pm on 16 Jun 2010, GLESGABAMBIE wrote:

    WHAT IS THE WORLD COMING TO when men can't be men and women can't be women. What woman doesn't like a cool comment like this one being made about them.
    First our SCOTTISH prime minister has to apologise for being HUMAN and now FRANK what would we rather have politician's LIKE BIN LADEN because if someone has to resign for a bit of man talk god help us women , who i can assure you are a lot worse when they see some one they like, the day we all stop looking at the opposite sex, i would like to think the world had ended.
    FRANK REALLY WHAT KIND OF PEOPLE HAVE GUIDED YOU TO THE DECISION TO RESIGN am sure the world is real enough for someone like you, the labour party needs a kick in the butt for accepting your resignation, Whatever happened to loyalty no wonder the english ruled us for years, when Scottish peolple can let themselves be devided so easily. I may start a petition in FRANK'S HONOUR so us women will stand by him if his own party won't. ANYONE INTERESTED THEN LET ME KNOW

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  • 28. At 5:45pm on 16 Jun 2010, GrahamB wrote:

    If ever there was a case of someone trying to justify their own existence this blog is it.

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  • 29. At 5:58pm on 16 Jun 2010, Dunroamin wrote:

    *Stops by....sees the same old nationalists are still wailing, whinging and whining over nothing.....sighs and moves on*

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  • 30. At 6:12pm on 16 Jun 2010, Barbazenzero wrote:

    #12 Joe
    "Well at least he had the decency to fall on his sword quickly........What a refreshing change for a politician these days....A shining example to them all..."

    You'd have more of a point if he'd had any real choice in the matter. The era of political correctness was ushered in by the late vicar of St. Albions but hardly ushered out with Duff Gordon's remarks about the redoubtable Mrs Duffy that drove the last nail into his political coffin. It's a cross that Labour politicians in particular will have to continue to bear.

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  • 31. At 6:20pm on 16 Jun 2010, redrobb wrote:

    What is it with NuLabour, foot & mouth disease. If it ain't going in the nose its coming out the mouth and putting their great big foot in it. These comments are certainly the opposite of what he might think of one of his Tory collegues on the other side look like, I cringe every time that women? speaks or appears in the media..........aghhhhhhhh Mr Moderator dinnae dae it please!

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  • 32. At 6:36pm on 16 Jun 2010, Sheneval wrote:

    Brian,

    Much ado about nothing!

    If my former colleagues were to resign every time we made comment about an attractive girl our Industry would have been decimated and we would have done the Tories job for them.

    You say: "By common consent, he had done a notably good job at public petitions - expanding the committee's role of linking parliament and people."

    Surely that is far more important than being caught out in this fashion.

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  • 33. At 6:39pm on 16 Jun 2010, Vakov2000 wrote:

    Reluctant-Scot! oh you're back

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  • 34. At 6:42pm on 16 Jun 2010, Vakov2000 wrote:

    Were you away?

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  • 35. At 6:42pm on 16 Jun 2010, Barbazenzero wrote:

    #29 Reluctant-Expat
    "*Stops by....sees the same old nationalists are still wailing, whinging and whining over nothing.....sighs and moves on*"

    But that you did, R-E! 1522 posts, and we're still awaiting a positive one about anything relating to Scottish politics.

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  • 36. At 6:56pm on 16 Jun 2010, thomas thompson wrote:

    Surely this is political correctness gone mad. If he had made suggestive remarks then I could see the point in him resigning, but the remarks which all the fuss are about are all complimentary. It's a sad world we live in if this is considered to be a resigning matter.

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  • 37. At 7:03pm on 16 Jun 2010, keldiamond wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 38. At 7:11pm on 16 Jun 2010, freddawlanen wrote:

    So, is the biggest joke?
    1. A well respected MSP resigning his chair for saying something that was nothing more than a little laddish.
    2. His party accepting the resignation of one of its few members most people actually respect.
    3. The fact that this is ever a lead story instead of filler, when REAL issues like mass unemployment, budget cuts etc. are shunted down the list.
    4. This blog itself.

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  • 39. At 7:32pm on 16 Jun 2010, Barbazenzero wrote:

    Brian,

    If you're short of anything to write on Scottish politics and can think of nothing better from Holyrood than this tale of "the pieman", perhaps you should give us your take on what's going on at Westmidden re select committees and places for "minor" parties like the SNP, Plaid and the DUP?

    WalesHome.org's Is Plaid about to get shafted over Select Committee places? applies just as much to Scotland and the SNP as it does to Wales and Plaid Cymru, replete with useful links to save you the trouble of Googling them. Wouldn't that be a more apposite use of our Scottish polical heavyweight?

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  • 40. At 7:34pm on 16 Jun 2010, maxironchin wrote:

    So why has he resigned. I really don't get it. He's commented on the attractiveness of a girl in the gallery - did he tell a lie of some sort? Is it because he's married? Is it likely that he would not find other women attractive because he's married? It's quite ridiculous and I wouldn't accept his resignation if it came to me.

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  • 41. At 8:06pm on 16 Jun 2010, m4rkyboy wrote:

    Ah am a hardcore nationalist and even ah,with ma massive hate for all things unionist,think that the lad resigning was unnecessary.Poor Frank,an apology would've sufficed.Such a shame.

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  • 42. At 8:08pm on 16 Jun 2010, RandomArbiter wrote:

    It is common for the creepy old white man to feel attracted to the young, petite "exotic" oriental.

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  • 43. At 8:08pm on 16 Jun 2010, Teri wrote:

    Good Lord, there are much bigger worries out there about our politicians; many of it uninvestigated and never likely to be. This would have been forgotten by tomorrow. There was absolutely no need for a resignation. A memo to all to remind them to switch off their microphones when there was a lull in proceedings would have sufficed.

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  • 44. At 8:08pm on 16 Jun 2010, Diabloandco wrote:

    You seem to be forgetting that not only did he remark on her looks but a suggestion of getting his hands on her was also made , so lets not spin this as" the boy was paying her a compliment and women like compliments so whats all the fuss about" drivel.

    He made remarks which should not have been made , had he made them in private fine - he did'nt.
    Had this been an SNP MSP the BBBC would be making a mountain out of it instead of a wee molehill.

    Happily it will all be captured on mini tele!and in mini newspapers!

    And while I'm here , I was taught that" whingeing " was spelt with that wee "e" as a necessity.

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  • 45. At 8:09pm on 16 Jun 2010, U14517768 wrote:

    He is an intriguing character

    Just as well the word 'intriguing' doesn't trigger the profanity filter eh Brian, half of your blogs would disappear. The 'site we dare not mention' is rapidly achieving cult status by the looks of things.

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  • 46. At 8:57pm on 16 Jun 2010, Diabloandco wrote:

    Correct me if I am wrong, but he has only resigned from chairmanship of the petitions committee, he has NOT resigned as an MSP.
    So please don't feel too sorry for him.

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  • 47. At 9:59pm on 16 Jun 2010, kenstor wrote:

    why did he say that, it was an act of unpardonable folly

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  • 48. At 10:06pm on 16 Jun 2010, hillydown wrote:

    What on earth is all the fuss about? A man makes a private comment on a pretty girl and he has to resign? Did his remark interfere with his ability to do his job? Did he abuse or insult the woman concerned? Is there any suspicion of sexual harrassment? No, no and no.

    There is a world of difference between a sexist bully who imposes his unwanted attentions on a woman and a man who simply makes a private comment during a recess in proceedings.

    I don't know to whom he has tendered his resignation, but I hope the person concerned has the good sense and courage to refuse to accept it.

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  • 49. At 10:10pm on 16 Jun 2010, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 50. At 10:11pm on 16 Jun 2010, Gyro-11 wrote:

    I've no particular axe to grind over Mr McAveety's rather trivial and (given the microphone was on) careless remarks about the apparently attractive lady concerned other than the fact that he links her 'Filipino looks' with Gauguin's paintings and concludes with 'that's a bit of culture for you'. Correct me if I'm wrong, but Gauguin painted in Tahiti and, as Marlon Brando wuold surely attest, Tahitian girls are not only rather different from Filipinas (no offence intended to the latter) but also live rather a long way from the Philipines. So much for Mr McAveety's supposed 'culture'. And he was a teacher!

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  • 51. At 10:36pm on 16 Jun 2010, Pen80 wrote:

    Get a grip. Is this what it's come to in PC Scotland - a man can't make complimentary remarks about an attractiven woman? Can't see there being any eyebrows raised over such a comment in the French or Italian parliamnets. I'll bet if Mr McAveety was gay and made similar comments about a man no-one would dare to criticise for fear of being labelled a homophobe.

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  • 52. At 10:45pm on 16 Jun 2010, Mark S wrote:

    O good grief! Give me strength. If this nonsense carries on I may have to start reading the Guardian.
    Is there a picture of the lady in question? Fight for heterosexuality before it is made illegal. Perhaps future conveners should be eunuchs? Moreover, er, did he do his job well? That is the point surely?

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  • 53. At 10:58pm on 16 Jun 2010, sacrebleu1 wrote:

    Brian,

    Laddish rascal my bahookie! This is unacceptable behaviour in many workplaces nowadays and would be subject to potential disciplining - or at least 're-training' in dignity at work issues. He was caught and was right to resign his convenorship. Our public servants are expected to show a better standard of behaviour. Unfortunately, as we have seen all too often they don't.

    We get the politicians we deserve.

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  • 54. At 11:03pm on 16 Jun 2010, Diabloandco wrote:

    “There’s a very attractive girl in the second row, dark . . . and dusky. We’ll maybe put a wee word out for her. She’s very attractive looking, nice, very nice, very slim. You know… the kind you’d see in a Gaugin painting. There’s a wee bit of culture.”

    Interpretation of the second sentence ?

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  • 55. At 11:16pm on 16 Jun 2010, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    This comment has been referred for further consideration. Explain

    Is that MI5 vetting?

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  • 56. At 00:02am on 17 Jun 2010, alclearvoice wrote:

    OH, perlease, the guy was actually making nice comments about someone he saw in the gallery, the only thing he should resign for is for doing a "Gordon" and not realising his comments should be picked up. Alternatively, he should apologise to the woman in question and then get on with his job. Too much is put on this sort of thing and if he was doing a good job anyway, what is the harm - at least he did not swear or defame her - now that would have been serious.

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  • 57. At 00:03am on 17 Jun 2010, SteveBec wrote:

    How pathetic has this nation become? Everyone has become too scared to say or do anything.
    And yes, a picture of the lady in question would be most welcome!

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  • 58. At 00:24am on 17 Jun 2010, AllyEff wrote:

    If all Brian has to do within BBC is comment on political correctness then perhaps he should team up with BBC's Robert Peston and both find alternative forums for their boring and negative blogs thereby reducing the financial strain on BBC activity which is funded by TV licence fees. As for Frank McAveety, pleased to note he had his eyes open unlike many of our political masters and bloggers. I assume Brian is never detracted from his BBC funded blogging by a pretty face.

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  • 59. At 00:40am on 17 Jun 2010, frankly francophone wrote:

    Without making more of this piddling little affair than it deserves, I can report that I have followed the link and watched the excruciating video: Cultural Learnings of Holyrood for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of North Britain. My laughter was genuine even when I was appalled at what I was laughing at.

    The tackiness works because it is immediately recognizable, and Mr McAveety's target is completely inoffensive. The two guys talking about a woman between committee sessions was so horribly real that I wanted to switch off, laughing and screaming at the same time. McAveety is a PC offender if I ever saw one. The world is a cesspool and nobody is immune. Even his awkward pretensions to sophistication are as unsophisticated as they could possibly come.

    I have been considering watching the video again to check in case I had imagined any of it. But no. That really was an MSP. Just a Labour one, mind, but an MSP all the same. What does one do at this point? Laugh or cry? Both, I suppose.

    As I say, no point in making a mountain out of a dunghill. No, hold on. It wasn't even that, of course. What am I saying? That's overstating it. It was more a kind of . . . putrescence. Yes, that's it. A simple pimple on the dimple of an overgrown adolescent. No offence intended, and none taken, I'm sure . . . except by the lady in question, conceivably.

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  • 60. At 00:42am on 17 Jun 2010, ziggyboy wrote:

    Another microphone farce.

    I wonder what would have happened if the comments had been nasty.

    All we hear nowadays is watch what you say and everyone has taken political correctness to the nth degree.

    Give me strength!!

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  • 61. At 02:00am on 17 Jun 2010, professor plum wrote:

    Nice one! Gauguin would have been be proud to hear an obscure Scottish politician reminiscing about his art, the "dusky woman" in question must have been wearing a grass skirt then, or was it just a pie induced hallucination.
    Ironic really, considering it was Labour who started all this PC nonsense for the benefit of the plebs and we find out they're snorting chemicals, feasting on pies and probably waffling on about modern art at cheese and wine parties.
    What next? Labour politicians shooting grouse and quaffing champagne on their estates while commenting on the Landseer type qualities of the countryside?

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  • 62. At 06:54am on 17 Jun 2010, Patch Bruce wrote:

    here we go again, if you are a white middle age man in this country you cant open your mouth without some one taking offence. If i think a woman is attractive I have the human right of free speech and i will say she is attractive. no matter what the loony feminists say. As a middle age white man we are perceved to be racist sexist and if you look at child protection laws perceived to be pedophiles or a risk to society in general. I am an SNP supporter and regularly bash labour in this blogg site, but being made to resign because he is honest enough to call a pretty woman attractive is outrageous. Of course we all know that the women who complain about such things are as ugly as sin in the first place and are just jealous.

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  • 63. At 06:58am on 17 Jun 2010, Ubinworryinmasheep wrote:

    Resigned ...no. I daresay his wife has given him a hard enough time over it. If the language had been more colourful or descriptive then maybe aye but just commenting on a womans good looks then no.

    Is it just me or has anybody else notice the beeb seems to have switched sides to the new government. On the news yesterday at PMQs the headline at bottome of screenm cant remember exactly what it was but it was along these lines ' Labour blamed for the state of the country'. Now whilst its almost certainly true, it was nice of the BBC to leave it up on the screen for a couple of minutes to hammer home the message.

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  • 64. At 07:22am on 17 Jun 2010, Diabloandco wrote:

    “There’s a very attractive girl in the second row, dark . . . and dusky. We’ll maybe put a wee word out for her. She’s very attractive looking, nice, very nice, very slim. You know… the kind you’d see in a Gaugin painting. There’s a wee bit of culture.”

    Interpretation of the second sentence ?

    I ask again, interpretation of the second sentence?
    And I repeat he has resigned as committee chairman NOT as an MSP.

    Now Mr Taylor , remember that wee bit proof you were once so keen on???

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  • 65. At 08:06am on 17 Jun 2010, Barbazenzero wrote:

    63. Ubinworryinmasheep
    "Is it just me or has anybody else notice the beeb seems to have switched sides to the new government. On the news yesterday at PMQs the headline at bottome of screenm cant remember exactly what it was but it was along these lines ' Labour blamed for the state of the country'. Now whilst its almost certainly true, it was nice of the BBC to leave it up on the screen for a couple of minutes to hammer home the message."

    Yes, I watched PMQs too and noticed something of the sort. There does seem to be a realisation dawning in BBC London that the coalition just might survive a while and may just need to be mollified a little when discussions about licence fees start. I do have the feeling, though, that Pacific Quay may not yet be "on message", or perhaps have been given slightly different instructions for dealing with the "the devolved territories" as Brian calls them.

    The 2011 Scottish general election should provide more evidence, but we may get a sneak preview when the judicial review of the SNP "debates" claim happens - supposed to be later this month. BTW, would anyone know if there are two judicial Lady Smiths? One made the news on this website yesterday with another verdict, reported on this website's Grandmother jailed over WWII 'family heirloom' pistol where Judge Lady Smith in the High Court in Edinburgh sent Ms Cochrane down for five years.

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  • 66. At 08:25am on 17 Jun 2010, soosider wrote:

    If I may just point out that McAveetys comments were not to a colleague but to the clerk of the committee, who is an employee of the parliament.
    Which to my mind only adds to McAveetys creepy behaviour. Sorry but what exactly did he mean when he said "....We’ll maybe put a wee word out for her" did he think that she could be summoned like some concubine? has he done this before?
    Remember that this man has form and has previously lied to parliament, he deserved to go we have no place for this sexist and misogynist behaviour. On that topic I was surprised to see so many posts supporting McAveety, initially my heart sank at this and I was thinking that we had not made the progress that I thought we had, then it dawned on me so many of the posts were from people who I had never heard from before, and sure enough nearly all the supportive posts are from first time posters. SO I would like to say a very big welcome to them one and all to jonathan, ilfa84, glasggabamite, grahamb, maxironchin, the establishment and alclearvoice. Now do not misunderstand me, it is great to have new posters and I welcome them and look forward to their continued contributions. I am however a bit surprised that we have so many first timers on one article.

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  • 67. At 08:40am on 17 Jun 2010, Barbazenzero wrote:

    Brian,

    What chance of McAveety's downfall being mentioned in FMQs today, or even during the viceroy's visit?

    On the latter topic, it's odd that I can find no mention of it on the Scottish Parliament website and there's certainly no mention of it at the time of writing on Holyrood's Calendar of Parliamentary Events.

    That seems a little odd, with this webiste's new Scots secretary Michael Moore in Holyrood visit pointing out that Moore will be "the first Scottish secretary to address the Scottish Parliament". The timing seems set, at least according to the Scotland Office's Historic first for Moore as date set for Holyrood visit which informs us that: "The meeting will be held in public and broadcast. The Minister will appear before the meeting at 12.45 for an hour."

    Oddly, however, I note from this website's BBC Two Programmes - Scotland Schedule that you're only broadcasting the regular half-hour from 12:00–12:30 of Politics Scotland covering FMQs.

    With any luck, you'll have something worth blogging about later, but it seems a pity that today's historic event will only been seen by anoraks like us posting here on holyrood.tv or BBC Democracy Live.

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  • 68. At 08:52am on 17 Jun 2010, Unbiased wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 69. At 09:34am on 17 Jun 2010, minuend wrote:

    Another bad news story for Labour and yet again BBC Scotland suffers from technical problems.

    Anyone would think there is a conspiracy of silence at Pacific Quay.

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  • 70. At 09:38am on 17 Jun 2010, Soapy Sam wrote:

    Jings! Crivvens! Brian- are you saying a man can't run a committee and admire a bonny lassie at the same time? You could never type on your laptop and simultaneously notice that the girl serving coffee in " The Beanscene" was cute? Come on man!

    Now if Mcaveety's wife feels like knocking a couple of lumps off the eedjit, fair game. He has that coming.
    And politicians really do need a course in Basic Operation of Microphones 101; but come on- a gnostic battle of good and evil, because a bloke in a boring meeting fantasises over a pretty girl? It's a dour, dry man that doesn't have a bit of the laddie left in him.

    Now if he was doing an important job, that put lives at risk due to inattention- a bus driver say, it would be a disciplinary offence right enough- but when did anyone in Holyrood do anything that mattered?

    Anyway, if this was real journalism like the Record or the Mail, we'd have a photo of the lady to judge for ourselves...

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  • 71. At 09:44am on 17 Jun 2010, handclapping wrote:

    Brian
    A word to your handlers on this blog would not come amiss if you are wanting to continue to have a responsive readership. #68 of 8:52 am today has just been referred so there are moderators about, however #2 to #11 from 3:48 to 4:27 pm yesterday are still awaiting moderation. If a simple comment like Mr McAveety's can cause such ructions surely the gagging of your commentariat requires explanation, unless, of course, it is a new BBC policy that the only thing they will broadcast is the sound of silence?

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  • 72. At 09:49am on 17 Jun 2010, spagan wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 73. At 09:52am on 17 Jun 2010, soosider wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 74. At 10:02am on 17 Jun 2010, andrew wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 75. At 10:09am on 17 Jun 2010, ambi wrote:

    MacAveety's words were creepy, creepy on the page and even more so when listened to, and made worse by the gloss of humour and skewed 'culchural' reference. Whether that's a resigning matter is something else, but as has been pointed out resigning from a Holyrood committee is hardly a huge act of atonement, or a selfless disembarkation from the gravy train.
    I think that good old Glasgow word 'diddy' covers it.

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  • 76. At 10:22am on 17 Jun 2010, rigano wrote:

    So lets get this right, its OK to call someone a bigoted woman behind their back but if you actually praise how someone looks then you should resign? Bizarre.

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  • 77. At 10:23am on 17 Jun 2010, soosider wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 78. At 10:29am on 17 Jun 2010, john wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 79. At 10:38am on 17 Jun 2010, Bob Thomson wrote:

    Frank McAveety is my MSP and suggested the Public Petitions process when I raised the issue of the scandalous lack of availability of Low Dose Naltrexone on the NHS. He called me about this within an hour of my emailing him.

    Whilst this incident was a bit silly and careless, I have nothing but respect for Mr McAveety and he has been very professional and helpful in all my dealing with him on this important petition. I wish he had not had to resign his post as convener as he has done a great job in that position and he has an ability to make the public feel at ease in a potentially intimidating environment that is second to none.
    I wish him all the best in his future endeavors.

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  • 80. At 10:38am on 17 Jun 2010, john wrote:

    #70
    "but when did anyone in Holyrood do anything that mattered?"

    says it all about how seriously your views should be taken. If that is the contempt with which you hold the parliment, then no wonder you are happy for it to be filled with louts, criminals and misogynists.

    John

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  • 81. At 10:44am on 17 Jun 2010, Big_Steve_W wrote:

    What is wrong with people...!!!!

    He wasn't insulting, rude, racist or anything else.... We're all so paranoid that people will take offence to what we say that nobody wants to tell anyone when they are attractive anymore.

    He didn't say "wayhey look at the melons on that, I'd tap her" he was complimentary about her figure, her skin tone and her look... Give the guy a break, we all want people to notice us, we all want people to look at us and think wow, he/she looks good... so why are we all offended when someone actually does.

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  • 82. At 10:51am on 17 Jun 2010, Addicted to Joob-Joobs wrote:

    Surely some mistake?

    Perhaps Mr McAveety was raising an entirely reasonable observation in reference to his MSP's accommodation being "dank and dusty" - his remarks must have been misinterpreted over the microphone and blown wildly out of context???

    ;-)

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  • 83. At 11:00am on 17 Jun 2010, john wrote:

    What is it that the BBC are not telling you about the "woman"

    I'll give you a clue: It's not her looks, height, hair colour, shoe size, complexion or weight.

    It may have something to do with her current occupation (related to her admirer's former occupation)

    Maybe it has something to do with the fact that she was there at the invitation of the green party to experience work.

    John

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  • 84. At 11:08am on 17 Jun 2010, Rob04 wrote:

    Brian

    Yes FM has a habit of flaunting his various 'appetites' around the parliament!

    He's from the East End of Glasgow Brian where 'exotic' women are the ones that don't threaten you with GBH, speak clearly without the aid of a local translator and aren't dressed 'La Costa' style with a dash of burberry trim thrown in for some pre-nightime adventure. As Frank will no doubt know, 'exotic' in Shettleston takes on whole new meanings.

    You could even have asked about what his intentions were asking an employee of the parliament whether someone was tracking her outside the chamber. Heat and a hot room can do terrible things to us all Brian!

    But really I think it is his family's business and that perhaps you really should have let the 'Sun' cover this story. They will do it so much better. After all there are bigger things around this week with resonances in some of the darker aspects of Scotland's 'culture' Brian: The Bloody Sunday Report?

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  • 85. At 11:13am on 17 Jun 2010, john wrote:

    #79 Bob

    Doesn't matter who Frank Mcaveety is or how he did his job. He subjected this girl tobeing the subject of lurid comments. Is that what you expect of your representatives? What makes you so sure that she is mature enough to cope with this?

    John

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  • 86. At 11:18am on 17 Jun 2010, soosider wrote:

    It does appear as if the moderators are being very sensitive about a matter that is now in the public domain, why is that? check a number of papers in Scotland they have published the information so why is the BBC taking such a slow and ultra cautious approach.

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  • 87. At 11:25am on 17 Jun 2010, Rob04 wrote:

    #62
    here we go again, if you are a white middle age man in this country you cant open your mouth without some one taking offence. If i think a woman is attractive I have the human right of free speech and i will say she is attractive. no matter what the loony feminists say. As a middle age white man we are perceved to be racist sexist and if you look at child protection laws perceived to be pedophiles or a risk to society in general.
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------
    Sorry Bruce but I'm not sure what being a 'white man' and being seen as 'racist' has to do with this FM's resignation about finding a woman attractive and then wanting to track her. I'm sure that you will explain.

    And you do have the right to comment on whether someone is attractive or not. But I think I would expect the Chair of a Committee not to asking parliamentary employees whether a member of the public can then be tracked just because I'm feeling that the room is warm.

    He didn't really resign because he expressed his preference for an 'exotic' woman. He resigned out of embarrassment and wouldn't anyone with any sense do exactly the same.

    Loony feminists? Well there are some but surely not when it comes to complaining about aspects such as Equal Pay in Scotland's local authorities

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  • 88. At 11:49am on 17 Jun 2010, john wrote:

    What amuses me about this whole affair is that it was labour who have been preeching political correctness for the last 20 years, and implementing it for the last 13. And now (as with foreign donors) it is they who have shown that they cannot live up to their own rules. Let me remind you, that these are rules that they imposed on the rest of us.

    For all of you wondering what the world has come to: Ask yourself which party is responsible for making society the way it is today. Then, like me, have a wee chuckle.

    John

    John

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  • 89. At 12:32pm on 17 Jun 2010, bmc875 wrote:

    81. Big_Steve_W
    "Give the guy a break, we all want people to notice us, we all want people to look at us and think wow, he/she looks good... "

    I most centainly don't!

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  • 90. At 12:47pm on 17 Jun 2010, Unbiased wrote:

    I got moderated and my post removed because I pointed out that (in a lot less words) that this girl was on work placement. Was told it was potentially defamatory!!!

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  • 91. At 12:48pm on 17 Jun 2010, Unbiased wrote:

    I won't be posting again!

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  • 92. At 12:56pm on 17 Jun 2010, john wrote:

    OK, I'll see if extra disclaimer works. I believe that this comes under verifyable information, and is fair comment

    The radio this morning (rock radio) has reported that the "woman" in question was a girl of school age (on work experience for the green party). This is confirmed on their web site.

    They also state (and I second it) that there is no suggestion that the 47 year old married father knew the girl's age at the time of making the comment.


    John

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  • 93. At 1:20pm on 17 Jun 2010, Addicted to Joob-Joobs wrote:

    The inescapable subtext of Frankie boy's agenda at future committee sessions would surely now be: "Whaur's the burds??"

    Although Mr McAveety has highly entertained us with Piegate, and now this latest Burdgate fiasco - and while his 'highly cultured' references can only have elevated his standing amongst the more refined classes of 'ned' - such isolated incidents should not be allowed to detract from Labour's long-standing campaign of grinding negativity in Scottish politics.

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  • 94. At 1:26pm on 17 Jun 2010, soosider wrote:

    I have had 2 comments removed as apparently the moderators thought "they appear to be potentially defamatory" ie I broke house rules. Curious that the facts I referred to are already within the public domain having been published in todays papers.

    I had pointed out that a number of posts supportive of Mr McAVeety were from first time posters, an observation nothing else.

    In the broader sense there is an issue apparent in some of the posts that appear to suggest that it is alright to behave in the manner that Mr McAveety did. I would ask those posters to consider this, would there position change if it was there wife or daughter who was referred to in this manner? Would there position change if the woman was married or not, would it vary if the woman was old or young?

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  • 95. At 1:29pm on 17 Jun 2010, U14517768 wrote:

    Not at all strange that the in house caricaturist over at the Scottish Review should take the time to produce two pieces of work relating to Scottish politics. The subject of each piece raised eyebrows though for they are none other than Iain Gray and Brian Taylor.

    What is it that Mr Taylor could possibly have done in order to merit such attention? Is the Scottish Review making a subtle point?

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  • 96. At 1:32pm on 17 Jun 2010, U14517768 wrote:

    #91

    Best way seems to be to commit 'blog suicide' and reference a certain online news site. That way you'll be prevented from posting again.

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  • 97. At 1:37pm on 17 Jun 2010, FatherMacKenzie wrote:

    64. Diabloandco

    “There’s a very attractive girl in the second row, dark . . . and dusky. We’ll maybe put a wee word out for her. She’s very attractive looking, nice, very nice, very slim. You know… the kind you’d see in a Gaugin painting. There’s a wee bit of culture.”


    Your quotation misses out the bit between "very slim" and "You know" where he says "the heat's getting to me" and fans his crotch with his papers while the man he's talking to says something the mic can't detect and he replies "true, true, true"

    When I first heard it I thought the "put a word out for her" comment was about the fact she hadn't switched off her phone as he asked at the beginning of the clip. But now it emerges she was on work experience, I wonder if he was suggesting she be offered a full-time position in his office. Which suggests he knew she was a minor.

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  • 98. At 2:28pm on 17 Jun 2010, andrew wrote:

    until brian's postFMQ's blog is out i'll leave this here

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