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Blimey Charlie

Brian Taylor | 15:00 UK time, Friday, 7 December 2007

Charlie Gordon MSP is less than content. He had promised a statement on his political future by the end of this week. It duly emerged today.

Is he quitting his seat? Is he resigning the Labour whip at Holyrood? Neither.

Instead, the statement is a prolonged tirade against those who have, apparently, been stirring up “snide innuendo” about his business connections while a councillor in Glasgow.

I rather suspect - and this may come as a shock to you - that Mr Gordon has in mind some of his erstwhile comrades on the city council. He believes, in short, that there are people out to get him.

Now you might think that he has done a fairly good job in that regard without external assistance.

He it was who solicited a donation of £950 from a Jersey businessman for Wendy Alexander’s leadership campaign.

He had earlier attracted the same sum from the same source for Glasgow South Labour Party.

Both donations proved to be illegal.

Mr Gordon’s defence is that he had thought they were paid via a UK registered company. This was wrong.

In his statement today, Mr Gordon says he will deal with whatever emerges from the Electoral Commission in due course. Meantime, he stays in office.

That is the substance of the statement. But far more content is devoted to a lengthy defence of his period on the city council, including six years as leader.

His detractors, he says, tend not to mention the regeneration of Glasgow in that time.

Instead, he says, they indulge in “snide innuendo” about gifts, hospitality, business trips, planning consent and the like.

Such matters, he says, are strictly regulated by the local authority. Further, “the notion that one person can control planning decisions is absurd”.

Three things occur to me:

One, Charlie Gordon is plainly hurting.

Two, Glasgow City Council is plainly not the epitome of comradely fellowship one had always imagined it to be.

Three, this entire affair will remain unresolved until the Electoral Commission rules. Or the police intervene. Or both.


  • 1.
  • At 03:31 PM on 07 Dec 2007,
  • djmac wrote:

The WAGs (Whitton, Alexander, Gordon) are 'dead politicians walking'.

Time will bring relief to them (free them from jobs which they are unfit to hold) and to the Scottish electorate.

The thing that's most astounding in all of this is their complete abdication of responsibility.

We've heard it all from THE BENDY in that what matters is HER INTEGRITY.

Yesterday, Whitton was on the radio saying that the buck stopped with the Electoral Commission - which is to say, not with THE BENDY; not with Charlie and, most certainly, not with him!

THE BENDY's report to the polis would be that 'yon two big boys Davie and Charlie did it, mister, but I made sure that I gave them each a sword with their names on it, so I did'.

Time will tell, but the executioner of the electorate is ready and waiting!!

  • 2.
  • At 03:34 PM on 07 Dec 2007,
  • Peter, Fife wrote:

Obviously the seat on the gravy train is far too lucrative a season ticket to merely give up; missed the statement but I assume, in the full knowledge of what assumption produced as ‘her’ offspring that these accused were nameless; whereas Charlie merely seems shameless.

  • 3.
  • At 03:36 PM on 07 Dec 2007,
  • Gail wrote:

What else would you expect from Labour.

  • 4.
  • At 03:44 PM on 07 Dec 2007,
  • Ubi wrote:

No matter how questionable his alleged conduct it seems that he is determined to keep his snout firmly in the trough unless and until it is physically removed.

Let us hope the police will swiftly oblige.

They don't do honour, Labour.

  • 5.
  • At 03:48 PM on 07 Dec 2007,
  • Euromac, Brussels wrote:


Mr Gordon seems to bitter that anyone dare single him out - contrition is absent.

Tell me that you do not despair of what passes for politics here...what reputation the Scottish Labour Party had is being trampled underfoot.

  • 6.
  • At 04:04 PM on 07 Dec 2007,
  • louise wrote:

Brian I fear that Mr Gordon is unlikely to go like a lamb to the slaughter but may be intent on doing some knife weilding of his own. Of course we all know the parliamentary artithmetic is tight. I have to admit i did exect Mr Gordon to resign the whip and stay on but i guess not everyone takes to it like good old margo. I am however disturbed to hear glasgow council labour group is not all sunshine and roses. Surely the labour party works together in glasgow for the good of the people or is the tensions there that something else labour tried to keep hidden. As for Mr gordons comment that one man cant influence planning im sure one Mr D Trump would disagree.

  • 7.
  • At 04:12 PM on 07 Dec 2007,
  • G Ford wrote:

This attitude is typical of the Labour Party, particulary in west central Scotland. They were in power for nearly 60 years and felt ruling Scotland was theirs by right........Wrong. They are a bunch of arrogant corrupt dinosaurs led by an arrogant corrupt soviet style clique.They should be hanging their collective heads in shame.

  • 8.
  • At 04:12 PM on 07 Dec 2007,
  • Ross wrote:

As a Glasgow Cathcart constituent this is an outrage of the highest order. The very least CG should have done was resign his seat to protect the proberty and respect of his party. This is what any politician of any ilk would do.

He should be forcibly removed from his post and a by-election to overturn his 2000-odd majority.

I didnt think Labour could stoop this low.....

  • 9.
  • At 04:14 PM on 07 Dec 2007,
  • Martin wrote:

Sniping and infighting seems not to be only a thing for Labour MSP's seems it carries through to their council's aswell

has any party leader EVER had such a disastorous start to their leadership as Wendy Alexander ??

Her own MP's dislike her as do the opposition MP's, seems her only friend is her (very quiet of late) brother!

  • 10.
  • At 04:15 PM on 07 Dec 2007,
  • B Shelby wrote:

I'm less interested in whether he stays or goes than simply answering questions. Why did he go to a tax exile for contributions? How could he assume the donation was under auspices of a Glasgow company that the donor doesn't even own? Done it many times before?

Charles Gordon is a lot of things: stupid presumably isn't one of them. But this line of defense makes him look pretty dumb. So one has to think it's just a cover up.

And why does the news media allow him and Alexander to say nothing because the Electoral Commission is having a look-see? That doesn't preclude setting the record straight.

Turn up the heat. Look into the so-called “snide innuendo” and publish details of "gifts, hospitality, business trips, planning consent and the like." Now is the time for the press to do its job without fear or favour.

  • 11.
  • At 04:15 PM on 07 Dec 2007,
  • Dandie Dinmont wrote:

Regarding your second conclusion...

"... comradely fellowship ..."

Well Brian, everyone knows that fellowship was never one of the Scottish Labour Party's strong points.

But can they not see the damage that has been and is being done by all of this?

Personal wishes and aspirations are obviously being put before plain old common sense. Our office SLP supporter of 15 years' standing decided to throw in the towel earlier this week and has openly disassociated himself from the party. He had expected an honourable resignation or two.

We have welcomed him to the real world. His comments on fellowship cannot be printed here. He seems a lot happier though.

  • 12.
  • At 04:17 PM on 07 Dec 2007,
  • Dave wrote:

"True" statement from Charlie Gordon should read as:- "Why should I resign and give up a blooming good salary with great perks, just because I have broken the law (twice) and circumvented due electoral fund raising process. I've no intention of disembarking from this gravy-train until I get prosecuted (which probably won't happen as we have the Electoral commission and Strathclyde;s finest in our back pockets). Even then, nothing major will really happen to me as I am a politician, and not a civilian who would be jailed for (twice) committing the same crime. And if you think I'm paying back my salary and perks, you're sadly mistaken - I'm a NuLab after all - I'm only concerned with financial and economic growth (my own)!"

The term Honourable Gentlemen has been disparaged beyond repair since these NuLAb bandits came to power in 1997.

They shoud be wearing masks and crying "stand and deliver!"

  • 13.
  • At 04:26 PM on 07 Dec 2007,
  • Bryce Miller wrote:

"Two, Glasgow City Council is plainly not the epitome of comradely fellowship one had always imagined it to be."

When a single party routinely gets 80-90% of the seats, in-fighting should come as no surprise.

  • 14.
  • At 04:27 PM on 07 Dec 2007,
  • Davo wrote:

So Gordon, Whitton and Bendy Wendy will not resign. When will the West of Scotland wake up to how these Labour politicians have been fleecing us for years both at a national and local level. A slug with a Labour rosette would get elected here !

  • 15.
  • At 04:28 PM on 07 Dec 2007,
  • PMK wrote:

Charlie Gordon is plainly guilty (he admitted as much), Wendy Alexander is plainly guilty (she admitted as much). Why do Labour MSPs think they are above the law and can carry on regardless? Incidentally I have heard enough talk about "wrong doing" lets be clear: the law was broken, they have admitted breaking the law: the approroate word to describe both MSPs is "criminals". They have not been convicted of anything, but since they both openly admit breaking the law (i.e. committing a crime) we are now in a merely semantic argument.

Had a huge laugh at Wendy Alexander being appointed head of the new pretendy unionist "convention". If the opposition parties are so secure in their own "visions" then why not place them next to independence in the national conversation and argue it out. We may even be able to have a multi-option referendum on the subject! After all the Scottish people are sovereign (as stated in the Scottish Claim of Right: as signed by the Liberal Democrats and Labour).

  • 16.
  • At 04:28 PM on 07 Dec 2007,
  • robert wrote:

Snide innuendo or not, I would like Charlie Gordon to show us his bank statements.

He has committed a crime with a man who has made a fortune out of Glasgow property deals.

It takes two to tango.

Charlie Gordon, Charlie Haughey, Bertie Ahern, all politicians and all seemingly unable to keep their hands clean....It is no wonder the people are suspicious of what else muct go on beside the little that leaks out

  • 17.
  • At 04:33 PM on 07 Dec 2007,
  • Malcom wrote:

A one party man slowly turning himself into a one man party.

  • 18.
  • At 04:41 PM on 07 Dec 2007,
  • Craig wrote:

As my local MSP I am ashamed of this man.

Is there legislation by which the local MSP for an area can face a vote of no confidence?

serious question

  • 19.
  • At 04:59 PM on 07 Dec 2007,
  • martin wrote:

Charlie Gordon is not resigning as an msp.

New Labour never fail to disappoint.
Well Wendy it seems no one is going to be the fall guy and take the rap so the pressure increases.

They all have one thing in common though - COWARDS.

Independence will free Scotland of this incompetence and corruption when like other nations we will truly have a government that serves the people and the people hold them to account whoever that party is.

Labour in bed with the tories to fight the people, disgusting.

  • 20.
  • At 05:05 PM on 07 Dec 2007,
  • robert mcnaughton wrote:

Mr Gordon writes a statement which fails to answer any questions and ignores the will of the entire nation to come clean and tell us why he went to a amn in Jersey and even on receipt of personal cheques imagined som ecreativ eaccounting to put the donor into a new column would satisfy a curspory glance as it had done previousy.
The demands for an answer from the Liberals and Tories will be interesting, They are in with Labour to such an extent that I fear criticism will be muted or non existent. Survival against the squeaky clean SNP, (and how have they done that despite all the rummaging around from the socialist media?)is the current issue, and that requires Labour to be allowed to operate as an effective opposition. Divide and rule it is perceived will further weaken all opposition parties.
Without donations of over a million pounds from England, Labour could not have funded its recent Scottish elections. Reading Charlie Gordons statemnet, which is a basically a CV asking for a job for life, it coinfirms 50 years of oligarchic socialist rule now appears in serious trouble. This is despite the fact the mechanism at local level and in Glasgow and its environs is yet to be dismantled.

  • 21.
  • At 05:13 PM on 07 Dec 2007,
  • Jwil wrote:

I am sure that this line was dictated to all the MSPs at risk by the Labour spin doctor parachuted in from Westminster.

i.e., Close ranks and wait for the outcome of the enquiry. Next stage - brazen it out so that no one takes any flak! Then carry on as normal!

Our main hope to get rid of this lot is for the stink in London to get so bad that someone has to resign then there may be repercussions in Scotland.

  • 22.
  • At 05:19 PM on 07 Dec 2007,
  • J. Stevenson wrote:

Never mind the technicalities. The Law will sort that out. Ignore the sideshows. What we need to know is WHY the donations were made. Philanthropy? I doubt it! Was it a case of "I've scratched your back, so..."
Democracy has no part in this. Grotesque, unelectable people in constituency parties hold councillors by the throat. They in turn rubber stamp decisions that are forced on them in "cabinet" meetings. Minor rank-and-file cannon-fodder on the council agree to protect their allowances and wee convenerships. The public meetings are over in 10 minutes, rarely requiring a vote. That is how it works.
To get to be an MSP you just need to be a loyal time-server, most of them are jumped-up tenants' association rabble rousers and trade union placemen. And so it goes on. Everyone owes something to someone. So Brian, tell us who is REALLY pulling Labour's strings.

  • 23.
  • At 05:25 PM on 07 Dec 2007,
  • iain morrison wrote:

AH poor wee Charlie is hurting, wonder if it was getting his fingers caught in the till or snout caught in the trough that hurt the most.

  • 24.
  • At 05:31 PM on 07 Dec 2007,
  • Stephen wrote:

Charlie rants on about snide inuendo

This clearly sends a message to other SLP members who have had dealings with mister Gordon, that If he goes he's not going to go quietly. this will have a number of High end labour officials both in Holyrood and Glasgow council a little if not a lot worried. 60 years of power in Scotland will undoubtably have produced many skeletons. The more non-labour councils become, hopefully the less corrupt they will be. 60 years of ultimate power for one party (any party)will lead to at best complacency and at worst corruption. Id like to see proportional representation for the councils removing overall control to any one party so that everything is kept as transparent as possible.

  • 25.
  • At 05:31 PM on 07 Dec 2007,
  • craig wrote:

Ms Alexander MSP and Mr Gordon MSP have by their actions empowered the electorate of Scotland as judge, jury and executioner.

  • 26.
  • At 05:37 PM on 07 Dec 2007,
  • neil robertson wrote:

Sounds like Charlie Gordon has made sure this story is not going to be quietly forgotten and just go away.

Bottom line, though, is that this was Ms Alexander's 'campaign fund'
not his - or even David Whitton's.

It is understandable that they are
not prepared to be destroyed by it:
she was the candidate after all ...

Perhaps if there had been a proper election contest rather than this
'coronation' things would be very different ...... but there you go!

Her whining, sneering performance
in the Chamber yesterday did help
to consolidate her position though.

Labour is 11 points behind the SNP;
and Jackie Baillie is on You Tube!!

  • 27.
  • At 05:48 PM on 07 Dec 2007,
  • djmac wrote:

No 22. Who is pulling Labour strings you ask??

None other than GBroonie of 'Dancing in the streets of Raith' and 'Gazza scoring against my own country in my most favourite goal of all time' infamy!!

He is aided and abetted by one 'Puppet on a String' aka 'Bendy Wendy', the Westminster Labour Party's unelected representative in Scotland

  • 28.
  • At 06:07 PM on 07 Dec 2007,
  • neil robertson wrote:

Paul Green came across as a pretty decent sort of a guy as well in the
interview you did with him in Jersey,
answering all your questions, Brian, to the best of his ability - even the very cheeky one at the end about whether this was 'pay-off time'. But a brutal response to his rhetorical question 'what does £950 buy you in Scotland these days?' might have been: 'a daughter of the manse'!

  • 29.
  • At 06:24 PM on 07 Dec 2007,
  • Ross wrote:

Post 23...briliant!!

'Stay in the game at all costs, no matter how bad things get' is a perfectly laudable philosophy, it's also common sense. (leave and its game over, stay and things could turn around).

However, that philosophy has to be abandoned if by staying we damage the entire team. Charlie, Wendy and indeed Mr Whitton are surviving, but at what cost?

The SNP meanwhile are in a win win situation as long as they keep their distance and continue good Governance at Holyrood.

Last year at this time nationalists were buoyed by good poll results and were looking forward to big increase in votes and seats won in May.

However none in their wildest dreams foresaw this, an 11 point lead over an imploding Labour Party.

  • 31.
  • At 07:00 PM on 07 Dec 2007,
  • Stewart wrote:

Charlie Gordon's predecessor Lord Watson was accussed of setting fire to curtains at an award ceremony. He denied it but was suspended by the Labour Party.

Charlie Gordon ADMITS breaking the law but is not suspended.

Does anyone else struggle to understand the morality of the Labour Party?

  • 32.
  • At 08:03 PM on 07 Dec 2007,
  • Ayrshireman wrote:

What the is it about Cathcart? Didn't the last guy set fire to a pair of curtains or something.....?

  • 33.
  • At 08:35 PM on 07 Dec 2007,
  • Roderick MacLeod wrote:

Brian what amazes and saddens me is the "easy ride" the Scottish Media are giving this cabal of fraudsters.
We cannot for one minute be expected to believe this only happened twice.
That would stretch our credulity a little too far.
We the general public do not have the highest regard for our politicians ,is it any wonder when one witnesses the antics of this Labour Party.
They all have to resign and resign now call by elections and let the public have their say ,what everyone seems to forget these are our representatives we put then there we can remove them .
This should not be about protecting Wendy ,or Gordon Brown or Harriet Harman this should be about protecting democracy.

  • 34.
  • At 10:17 PM on 07 Dec 2007,
  • ditchgazza wrote:

One good thing to come out of this is that people now aware of the kind of media we have n this country.
Both the BBC to the press have defended the guilty and attacked the innocent throughout.
Whatever happened to journalistic integrity.

  • 35.
  • At 11:29 PM on 07 Dec 2007,
  • Scamp wrote:

This astonishing demonstration of a lack of integrity will kill Labour off at the next election.

  • 36.
  • At 11:45 PM on 07 Dec 2007,
  • Dan McC wrote:

So Charlie Gordon comes under internal criticism from Labour apparatchiks for resigning his shadow ministerial post too early, exposing Wendy to criticism.

Then we get the non-story about whether he will or will not resign the whip.

Couldn't possibly be an attempt to shift the focus.

Just go Charlie, but be a gent and hold the door open for the lady.

  • 37.
  • At 12:18 AM on 08 Dec 2007,
  • Mike wrote:

Well Brian how about some good old fashioned John Pilger type investigative journalism exposing the sleaze of the Scottish Political Mafis that operates under the name of Labour.

The BBC of old would have committed plenty of resources to bring the nitty gritty truth to the people. But alas our society is full of journalists who are old and tired, and just want to go with the flow until their retirement. Better to keep quiet and dont stir up the muddy waters, after all they are already unix who know that they are not equipped to tackle what was once the juicy goal of making their mark.

  • 38.
  • At 09:15 AM on 08 Dec 2007,
  • Mike R wrote:

This drawn out nature of this scandal is in contrast to the line that could've been drawn under it by the retention of some honour, public conscience & contrition that the resignations of Alexander & Gordon would have engendered.

Whilst the lack of public political blood-letting may protect Broon & co, it serves the SLP not. Colateral damage has been done to the SLP which may be irrevocable & the resignations may still follow, especially if (though surely that should be 'when') the Police become involved.

Wendy hanging on in this unseemly '... it wisnae me...' fashion is a gift to Wee Eck, especially in the context that 'Mr Impotent' & his Lab Dems can't bail out their Labour masters on this. Meanwhile Aunty Annabelle is probably telling Cameron about the soon to be recovered Westminster seats in Ayr, Aberdeen South plus some in posh Glasgow & Edinburgh. Aberdeen North, Dundee West, Ochil, Stirling & others could all go SNP & Broon'll be looking down the barrel.

  • 39.
  • At 09:50 AM on 08 Dec 2007,
  • Duncan wrote:

You would have thought that all those other Labour MSPs would have been outraged at the incompetence of Gordon, Whitton and McCabe who were Wendy Alexander's Election team, because of the damage it has done to the Labour Party, and would demanded that they go.

Alexander herself, whilst I do not particularly like her, is probably only a figurehead that has relied on these three too much and is suffering the consequences.

ex Labour supporter 1966-2006

  • 40.
  • At 01:02 PM on 08 Dec 2007,
  • megz wrote:

I would hope that since they have admitted breaking the law that the police will actually do something. I'm not holding my breath though, they say that sectarianism is the secret shame of Scotland well its not the only one. The media were as complicit in the sectarian shame as they are in the fact that there is no free press. I doubt anything will come of this and labour supporters will continue to vote for anyone wearing a red rosette as they are that stupid!

  • 41.
  • At 02:02 PM on 08 Dec 2007,
  • Dewi wrote:
  • 42.
  • At 03:26 PM on 08 Dec 2007,
  • Archie Andrews wrote:

The one good thing to come out of this "donations scandal" is the Labour mafia stupidly leant a little too hard on their puppets in the media and the resulting articles were so obviously biased for LAbour and against the SNP that many of them simply "blew their cover". Even people who are normally non-political have been writing in to forums like this record their disgust at the corruption that has now been totally exposed in the Scottish media.

  • 43.
  • At 07:23 PM on 08 Dec 2007,
  • ditchgazza wrote:

Keep pushing for the truth, Brian.
It will make you unpopular for a while with those who pull the strings but out of all the journos out there I think you have the impartiality to stand up for the ordinary man in the street.

  • 44.
  • At 10:54 AM on 09 Dec 2007,
  • PMK wrote:

Now more allegations surrounding wealthy businessmen paying Scottish Labour £100,000s and getting government contracts despite submitting the "worst bids for the taxpayer"! Personal intervention of Jack McConnell for the M74 link following a substantial cash donation from a major Labour donor who just happened to control the company who eventually got the contract, allegedly.

Apparently this complaint was submitted by the Scottish Tories (Murdo Fraser) - that would be the same Scottish Tories who just happily appointed (law-breaker) Wendy Alexander as head of the unionist convention?

  • 45.
  • At 12:50 PM on 10 Dec 2007,
  • Al wrote:

Politics world-wide is full of people in it for themselves financially or simply for the power. The Scottish Parliament has a good stock of MSP's who buck this trend, however it's a shame few of them seem to be member of "New" Labour.

I still can not believe the sheer brass neck of Wendy Alenxander - and her brother for that matter - they should have both resigned rather than holding onto their powerful positions while trying to convince us that they weren't to blame.

Shame on them both and their party.

  • 46.
  • At 06:49 PM on 10 Dec 2007,
  • Craig M wrote:

You can fool some of the people all of the time, you can fool all of the people all of the time, now it looks like Charlie Gordon and comrades will attempt to fool all of the people all of the time, nice try Charlie but you're not fooling anyone except yourself.

  • 47.
  • At 09:17 PM on 10 Dec 2007,
  • jim crossan wrote:

It's hard to disagree with the comments about the axe hanging over wee Wendy and Charlie et al, but surely we must consider that the first and finest function of our Government and local Councils is to keep people like that off the streets.
Consider this - what else could they do? Haunt houses? Mug pensioners? Become Social workers?
Be grateful that we have such fine institutions as the Scottish Parialment.

  • 48.
  • At 03:03 AM on 12 Dec 2007,
  • Michael McFarlane wrote:

It should not matter when or what the Electoral Commission `Rules`.

What should matter is that both Charlie Gordon and Wendy Alexander have acted illegally and our police should be doing their public duty and investigating this matter now; not when some "commission" tells them.

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