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Trump call

Brian Taylor | 11:01 UK time, Wednesday, 19 December 2007

And so Alex Salmond is to be called before a Holyrood committee to account for his role (or absence thereof) in the Trump planning application? Is he quivering? Not so as you’d notice.

The notion of an external inquiry (proposed by the Liberal Democrats) has gone, replaced by a Parliamentary investigation (first proposed by the Conservatives.)

The Local Government Committee now plans to take evidence from the First Minister; John Swinney, who called in the application; the Scottish Government’s chief planner, Jim McKinnon; and Alan Campbell, the chief executive of Aberdeenshire Council.

It is to be hoped that the inquiry by the Local Government Committee is searching and thorough. It is to be hoped that the politicians and the officials will be subject to detailed, precise interrogation.

But at Holyrood – and this is purely impressionistic – this doesn’t feel like an insuperable problem for Mr Salmond.

For one thing, he wanted a Parliamentary inquiry. For another – and, again, this is impressionistic – I don’t detect among opposition parties any real sense that they can “get” the FM over this, can inflict lasting damage.

A further point. The Trump plan has cross-party political support and, it would appear, widespread backing in the North-east. Which makes it more difficult to mount a sustained political attack if that might be perceived as undermining the project itself.

PS: I have, of course, been making daily checks re progress in the Electoral Commission’s inquiry into the funding of Wendy Alexander’s leadership campaign.

Don’t expect anything, now, until early in the New Year.


  • 1.
  • At 11:36 AM on 19 Dec 2007,
  • N Mackenzie wrote:

Yes, precise questioning is all very well, but I hope I am not proved correct when I suspect it will descend into petty point-scoring

  • 2.
  • At 11:44 AM on 19 Dec 2007,
  • Douglas Eckhart wrote:

The Aberdeen Press & Journal has now turned against Nicol Stephen, who they say is threatening to scupper a multi-million pound investment in the north-east of scotland in order to 'score cheap political points'. Today, a cabal of business leaders have joined together to write a letter of complaint to the AP&J.

As an MSP of the North East, Stephen may have done himself serious political damage by pursuing this.

Serves him right in my view.

  • 3.
  • At 11:47 AM on 19 Dec 2007,
  • iain morrison wrote:

Wee Nic really has shot his foot with this one.

  • 4.
  • At 11:50 AM on 19 Dec 2007,
  • Bill Beattie wrote:

For me onne word stood out above the rest in Nicol Stevens scurrilous attack on Alex Salmond about the Trump affair.


Surely a worthy attribute for any politician and one we have come to expect from him and his party.

This inquiry is really only a face saving excercise from the "unionists" who know they have been bested again.

"It is to be hoped that the inquiry by the Local Government Committee is searching and thorough. It is to be hoped that the politicians and the officials will be subject to detailed, precise interrogation".

Brian I don't recall any hoped for searching and thorough interrogation being looked for into Wendy's breaking of the law?
Oops sorry she broke the law but didn't do anything wrong!
Are you just a tad biased?

If the Trump plan has so much support politically and from the public, are the Lib Dems, Tories and Labour parties not just playing silly games as Alex Salmmond suggested, but, more importantly the Lib Dems Tories and labour are happy and willing to make the nation lose out on securing employment and investment just to score some cheap political point.

Finally the slease that Nicol Stephen can smell perhaps comes from the Labour party (Who have by admission broke the law) that he so much likes crawling too, my hope is that the electorate will remember this at the next election.

  • 6.
  • At 11:54 AM on 19 Dec 2007,
  • Colin wrote:

Hi Brian
You guys in the Broadcasting Corporation may have gorgotten this.
Just an extract from the previous Scottish Executive's website - a media release of 24th April!

Planning applications

Asked if the First Minister has been involved in Donald Trump's plans to develop Aberdeenshire's Menie estate into a golf course the FMOS confirmed that the First Minister is not involved. The FMOS pointed out that Mr Trump has done a lot of promotional work for Scotland and while the First Minister has met Mr Trump on a couple of occasions, there is nothing improper in meeting people who want to invest in Scotland and they have not discussed the plans in any detail.

Asked if that meant they have discussed it the FMOS said discussions will have taken place in the context of Mr Trump being interested in investing in Scotland and he reiterated that there is nothing in appropriate in that. The FMOS added that the Executive has been careful to acknowledge the planning aspect of any development. The FMOS also pointed out that if a decision was to come to Scottish Ministers it would normally be for the Deputy Communities Minister, Johann Lamont, to decide.

The FMOS concluded the briefing when he was asked about Mr Trump's hair.

If it was sauce for the wee Gander - then surely it is okay now? You don't really think the Scottish Government are accepting backhanders from non-resident businessmen or convicted fraudsters?

  • 7.
  • At 12:03 PM on 19 Dec 2007,
  • Gillon Johnstone wrote:

The liberals canna beat Alex at the ballot box

The Tories canna beat Alex in the polls

Labour hide lest Wendy be lifted

So they convenve their wee commitee

aye what a parcel of rogues in a nation

but not to worry the Scottish people know what the SNP want to do and thats bring jobs and investment to the people of Scotland

  • 8.
  • At 12:13 PM on 19 Dec 2007,
  • Malcolm wrote:

This is going the SNP's way.

I fully expect that people like Nicol Stephen who have falsely accused the SNP government of wrong doing will be forced to apologise, not only to ministers and civil servants, but also to the Trump organisation.

I also expect that BBC Scotland will now apologise for partisan way they handled this story. A deliberate attempt to deflect people's attention away from Wendygate.

I also expect that BBC Scotland journalists now turn their attention to the farcical way that Electoral Commission are investigating Wendygate. The law has been broken, there has been admissions of guilt. Why are the Electoral Commission and the police failing to act against law breakers?

That is a question that BBC Scotland have failed to ask.

  • 9.
  • At 12:13 PM on 19 Dec 2007,
  • Craig wrote:

I welcome this Government Inquiry,as a nationalist I do not believe the First Minister has a hidden agenda,he is clearly in favour of the investment project and has expressed his feelings as constituency MP,which is of course is his duty.

My concern is that again the taxpayer is left with the bill, if nothing untoward is found perhaps one those calling for the inquiry could find a non-voting, non-domicile individual to sponsor the entire investigation.

  • 10.
  • At 12:18 PM on 19 Dec 2007,
  • David wrote:

"PS: I have, of course, been making daily checks re progress in the Electoral Commission’s inquiry into the funding of Wendy Alexander’s leadership campaign. "

You failed to tell us this before and you wonder why we're sceptical about the impartiality of the BBC? This PS wouldn't be there because of the increasing comments on your blog about admitted crime breaking would it?


A lost BBC supporter who is searching, in vain, for a source of impartial, truthful and insightful comment and reporting.

This is not a party political issue, nor one which concerns only the people of Aberdeenshire. Neither does it have anything to do with the objectional applicant and his abrasive way of doing things.

You cannot have a situation where planning laws can be bypassed and due process can be set aside, where people can be sacked for simply carrying out their civic duty and others threatened. All to suit the will of one person who refuses to compromise.

  • 12.
  • At 12:43 PM on 19 Dec 2007,
  • Ross wrote:

Briliant, an enquiry to call AS whilst bent WA and CG seem to be getting off scot free!

you couldnt make it up

  • 13.
  • At 01:14 PM on 19 Dec 2007,
  • PMK wrote:

Another Unionist plan another waste of taxpayers money. Trams, original Edinburgh rail link plan, the alternative to the national conversation etc ... etc ... etc ...

  • 14.
  • At 01:25 PM on 19 Dec 2007,
  • Brian Clark wrote:

It appears that this planned exercise is party politic and not in the best interests of the Scottish people. Yet again, a totla watse of taxpayers money for what? It is obvious that the opposition parties wish to try and embarrass the FM. I hope that the whole thing rebounds on them, in particular Nicol Stephens who appears to be the only Scotsman I know who is supporting the Aberdeen Council.

I have seen 5 of the famous 7 councillors giving interviews on TV. They all apprae to be Lib Dems and English to boot. Is this true?

  • 15.
  • At 01:28 PM on 19 Dec 2007,
  • Gail wrote:

Brian I am glad you have added your PS comment.

I can't find any reports on Wendy anywhere, but everywhere I turn its Trump this Trumpgate that.

I am begining to think the BBC is possibly slightly biased towards Labour.(Opps thats this post removed)

  • 16.
  • At 01:33 PM on 19 Dec 2007,
  • Rab o'Ruglen wrote:

Is it just me or does all this Trump business from the Unionist parties seem to be from the realms of fantasy? Their only motive appears to be to "put one over" on the SNP and to hell with Scotland's interests or subsequent collateral damage. To date I have not heard of ONE substantial allegation, never mind accusations of actual wrongdoing. Just seemingly endless innuendo and "nudge nudge wink wink kno' w'ot I mean Guv'nor" nonsense hardly worthy of the playground never mind our premier national institution.

By all means if malfeasance has occurred let's root it out right now and punnish the guilty but please, please try and keep a sense of perspective when aiming the gun of accusation. There is more at stake here than just the SNP's reputation, or is that the intention?

  • 17.
  • At 01:37 PM on 19 Dec 2007,
  • EricH wrote:

Quote: 'The trump plan has cross-party support'. Yes it has, so why is the Cleggite (midge?) trying to undermine it and his own party? Please - someone - explain his reasoning to me!!!

  • 18.
  • At 01:38 PM on 19 Dec 2007,
  • bill wrote:

Is this not simply the continuation of the repugnant dirty-tricks campaign that the westmister parties have pursued since Alex Salmond became first minister? If the labour and liberal politicians had put half as much effort into running the country when they were in power as they have put into trying to defame Alex Salmond and the SNP since they took over, well, they might not have lost.
However, I think the words and actions of the labour party, since the election, have really shown them in their true colours and I can only say good riddance to bad rubbish.
I was never Alex's biggest fan but the real measures the SNP have taken and the concerted (though pathetic) media campaign to discredit them have really changed my mind.
BTW, as an economist I also am fully aware of the lie that is spread by westminster. Scotland is a net CREDITOR to the UK economy and not a debtor. Name me a poor small country in Europe .... and none of them have the resources we have.
The sooner we take responsibility for our future the better.

  • 19.
  • At 01:44 PM on 19 Dec 2007,
  • Ann Gray wrote:

Widespread public support? Well, maybe it has if you believe the local press, but then they, along with Councillors and senior Officers of the Council, seem to be blinded by fool's gold! Or is it more that that?

  • 20.
  • At 01:47 PM on 19 Dec 2007,
  • Astonished wrote:

"PS: I have, of course, been making daily checks re progress in the Electoral Commission’s inquiry into the funding of Wendy Alexander’s leadership campaign."

I simply don't believe you. The BBC, the electoral commission and the police have allowed this crime to fall off the radar.

Luckily the people of Scotland haven't :- I went to buy envelopes today and my local shopkeeper said they had two types white and "Labour party specials". I think he was joking.

  • 21.
  • At 01:50 PM on 19 Dec 2007,
  • J Stevenson wrote:

Ever heard of Scottish Labour Action? It's a shadowy, semi-secret group dedicated to the preservation of Scotland's Socialist Raj. Many of its members are top names at the BBC.
Is this why Salmond is being pursued so diligently?
I detest the SNP, and all party-based politics, but I'm fair-minded enough to see he's been set up as a diversion from Donorgate. Salmond is too clever by half, but his minions are just sloganising muppets of no substance. The one-man band is hurting Labour badly.
Most people in Scotland can cite instances of alleged corruption in local government, some of it malicious and trivial of course. But they are desperate to see Labour's rotten core really probed hard. The cash-for-plans "allegation" is a good starting point. So start!

  • 22.
  • At 01:54 PM on 19 Dec 2007,
  • Mercutio wrote:

I think Mr Salmond is well able to finagle his way round any of the second rate inquisitors chosen to preside over the Holyrood Star Chamber.

  • 23.
  • At 02:14 PM on 19 Dec 2007,
  • talorthane wrote:


"PS: I have, of course, been making daily checks re progress in the Electoral Commission’s inquiry into the funding of Wendy Alexander’s leadership campaign.

Don’t expect anything, now, until early in the New Year."

Thanks for that.

The silence on this matter from the Scottish media, in general, has led to a great deal of suspicion and concern.

It is a reassurance that someone in the media is keeping an eye on developments, or on whether there are any developments at least.

I wonder if you might consider doing an article on what the role of the Electoral Commission should be in cases such as this, and how they are measuring up to the task, in this instance.

  • 24.
  • At 02:30 PM on 19 Dec 2007,
  • RTP wrote:

Trump/Salmond.Having watched BBC News/Itv Scotland News Scotsman/Herald/P&J all stories about the above nowhere have I seen or heard anything about the £5000 Wendy & friends have given to Computing for Labour come on I always thought BBC would be impartial in their reporting but it seems the in thing nowadays is to be anti SNP I see the Electoral Commision will not issue there findings until next year and Wendy and friends have done wrong.Fair reporting is all I ask.

  • 25.
  • At 02:52 PM on 19 Dec 2007,
  • Bryce Miller wrote:

With 80% of Aberdeenshire behind Trumptoon, the big looser in this diversion will be the party that sat on its hands when one its members faced a no confidence vote, and the party that started all the shouting in the first place. Coincidentally, both those parties are the Liberals. Nicol had better hope that his constituents have short memories.

  • 26.
  • At 03:07 PM on 19 Dec 2007,
  • Andrew wrote:

So Nicol Stephen's Grand Inquisition has vanished without trace as he realises he made a fool of himself. Has he withdrawn the sleaze allegation? No. I think he should be called before the Committee too, to justify his accusation. Perhaps Jim McKinnon could be allowed to ask him the question "Are you talking about me". (After Robert di Niro)

Glad to see you are pursuing the Electoral Commission, Brian. Why do I get the impression that they don't know what to do about this case, and that the police are equally reluctant to take it on? Send for Yates of The Yard!

Finally, although on Sunday Glenn Campbell got a reluctant admission from Stephen that he was in favour of the Trump scheme, I don't recall having seen or heard a peep from AG or WA on the subject. C'mon Brian --do your duty and ask them NOW whether they favour this scheme or not.

  • 27.
  • At 03:19 PM on 19 Dec 2007,
  • Paul Taylor wrote:

This is good news, and I'm pretty sure that the SNP will come out smiling. If not, then that is also good news.

Funnily enough, Trump seems to be warning that any kind of investigation into the SNP's conduct should be avoided as it could throw the entire project into jeopardy.

One has to ask, how ask exactly can it have any impact on his application? It has already been made clear that the proposal itself is not under scrutiny.

Rather, let's notch that up as Number 2 in Trump's attempts to influence Scottish politics, with Number 1 being his (successful) attempts to modify the local windfarm planning process.

The list can and will continue to grow. Even if his proposals are accepted without any amendments, which would nothing short of a travesty, he will still be able to call a halt to the development at any time, should a local or national policy decision go against his personal preferences.

  • 28.
  • At 04:19 PM on 19 Dec 2007,
  • Ken Mac wrote:

You said it yourself Brian, this project has cross party support and widespread public support in the North East. It is quite right that it should be called in particularly as Aberdeenshire Council couldn't intervene because of their own rules which they have now changed. This is nothing more than a desperate attempt by the opposition parties to smear Salmond. Eck is relaxed, of course he is, because he knows he has done nothing wrong and he will wipe the floor with the opposition as usual. What's important here is the damage being done to politics in Scotland, our image abroad and our ability to attract inward investment. I'm suprised at Goldie supporting this. At the end of the day it will be the Lib Dems who are most damaged and Nicol Stephen is writing his political obituary.

  • 29.
  • At 04:25 PM on 19 Dec 2007,
  • Jim wrote:

I thought that the Lib-Dems had started throwing mud just too early on this one; they want to backtrack now, why? Could it be that there is a problem haunting them with the Aberdeen bye-pass?
Now the Tories no not the ones from Torry, recon they can throw some mud or should it be cattle sharren in the hope it sticks.
As for new Labour wanting to join in this playground tactics, I thought that you had to be 18 to be an MSP! Or is that the shoe size?
No the real problem is the corruption in party funding; we have the Liberal Democrats, the Tories, and New Labour can not comply with the Law of the land, now that’s the real reason that they have all been trying to shift the scene and change the subject. They have been caught with their hands in the till.

  • 30.
  • At 04:28 PM on 19 Dec 2007,
  • Robin wrote:

Could John Swinney nit just issye the planning consent with the conditions which were accepted by the local committee and give everyone a Christmas present?

  • 31.
  • At 04:31 PM on 19 Dec 2007,
  • Rick wrote:

talk about making a mountain out of something a tenth the size of a molehill !!! I think Salmond was right to meet the Trump delegation and quite frankly I couldn't give too hoots about which banner it was under. Any business deal of this magnitude would have the CEO's meeting to discuss the details. In my view if a party wishes to make a $10m investment in Scotland then Salmond has a responsibility as First Minister (and constituency MSP) to meet with them.

The way some people (esp on the Lib front)are carrying on you would think that they didn't want an investment on this scale.

  • 32.
  • At 04:32 PM on 19 Dec 2007,
  • HughB wrote:

I hope that Wendy will also be subject to detailed, precise interrogation.

I get the impression that the unionists would rather lose this project for Scotland, rather than investigate the real sleaze of donorgate, and IT gate.

What pitifull behaviour from all the Westminster based parties. They are obviously not there to do what's best for Scotland. They are there to try to throw as many spanners as possible in Scotlands works.

  • 33.
  • At 04:33 PM on 19 Dec 2007,
  • Robin wrote:

apologies for not checking my spelling - my typing skills leave a lot to be desired

  • 34.
  • At 04:54 PM on 19 Dec 2007,
  • CassiusClaymore wrote:


On your last comment, about Alexander's donation, many are perplexed about exactly why the Electoral Commission are taking so long to investigate this matter given that the Labour party have already admitted the illegality of the donation.

Why do you think that the press are playing down the Alexander thing and talking up the 'sleaze' allegations against Salmond? Even if those were all true in their entirety, there would still have been no crime committed. Trivial compared with Wendygate.

What am I missing here? The Scottish media making a collective decision to be the opposition, since the official opposition is so hopeless?

Definitely worth a blog!


  • 35.
  • At 06:27 PM on 19 Dec 2007,
  • djmac wrote:

And to quote another BBC News story:
'Nick Clegg does not believe in God'
Well, they (FibDems) never believed in anything - except their own ability to devise another new policy for this day or another or tomorrow or the next day!!
And so the final epitaph of the FibDems in Scotland is being - by their new leader!!

  • 36.
  • At 06:45 PM on 19 Dec 2007,
  • Bill wrote:

But, Brian, what we want to know is-what is YOUR take on events in Scotland. What, for instance, do YOU think of Nicols shenanigans re Trump, and what do YOU think of Salmond's stance on this?

About time you came off the fence, my man, and give us some answers, if you wish this blog to shed some light re what is actually happening in Scottish politics today!

  • 37.
  • At 06:49 PM on 19 Dec 2007,
  • Honest Joe wrote:

Indeed Brian ,I do not think Alex Salmond is there for the "getting", being as it was so clearly a contrived political posture by Nicol Stephen. Obviously in pain from the "burach" (to borrow your favourite phrase)his colleagues in the Lib/dems locally had made he went over the top with his smell of sleaze allegation. Only he could smell that among the other pongs including fear by most of losing the investment. The SNP had to and have to tiptoe through the tulips to keep it all going nicely but I think they are doing not bad at all!

  • 38.
  • At 07:14 PM on 19 Dec 2007,
  • Alex Brodie wrote:

What happened to the BBC's ridiculous use of the words "brought before a Holyrood committee" which were being deliberately used to make it sound as if Alex Salmond was being dragged in chains before a court of all-powerful judges? Brian, the people of Scotland are fed up listening to your twaddle. We want to know when Wendy Alexander - who has publicly admitted breaking the law - is going to be charged for her admitted wrong-doing: whether it was "intentional" or not.

  • 39.
  • At 07:57 PM on 19 Dec 2007,
  • ailean wrote:

Hello Brian,

Thanks for your largely objective blogs. A welcome change from the biased spinning of Scotland's print media!

I am sick and tired of Lib Dems always trying to put a stop to something that would benefit the country.
From the outside it very much looks like; it's not my ball so I'm not playing.
I'm of the impression that the Lib Dems lack vision. It seems to me Mr Stephen is only making a song and dance about the Trump saga to get some air time and see himself on the front page. Grow up or get out.

  • 41.
  • At 10:11 PM on 19 Dec 2007,
  • Medusa wrote:

A minor point I know, but perhaps the MacFuhrer could explain why he traveled to the meeting in the First Ministerial car, when he claims he was attending to constituency business (in another MSP'S bailiwick)? Is this a follow on from hosting a dinner for SNP backers in Bute House, another abuse of his position?

  • 42.
  • At 10:19 PM on 19 Dec 2007,
  • george alexander wrote:

Brian, two bodies will come out of this affair with diminished reputations.

The Liberal Democrats especially Nicol Stephen, and I'm afraid to say the Scottish media, both broadcast and press.

The way that each unsubstantiated allegation against the Scottish government has been headlined for 9 days running is nothing short of a disgrace. Nicol Stephen's attack on the reputation of a civil servant in no position to defend himself was cowardly.

Feel free to share with us the information you have been able to garner on the electoral commissions progress. You may have noticed that the story, along with further damaging revelations from the Sunday Times, have been buried by the Scottish media.

  • 43.
  • At 12:56 AM on 20 Dec 2007,
  • Astonished wrote:

Or not blether - if you can't say anything supporting the Labour party line !

A Judicial Enquiry would have been tricky to say the least and could well have made a dent in Salmond's armour, but this internal Holyrood committee seems to me like a piece of window dressing allowing the opposition to look tough, (look being the operative word), while back tracking furiously from shooting themselves in the foot, leaving poor old Nicol sitting high up on his limb watching the previously attentive mob below desert him.

As your piece points out Brian, this project has support right across the board. Nicol should really have seen it earlier and shut off his engines.

At least Wendy has had a breather for a few days before she faces her ordeal in the New Year.

Yawn !.

Why don't they get together a Holyrood committee to investigate what Wendy and her cronies got up to.

  • 46.
  • At 10:08 AM on 20 Dec 2007,
  • RTP wrote:

Still the papers and TV keep pluging this story but nowhere can I see or hear anything about the £5000 given to Computing for Labour by Wendy and friends come on BBC lets have a bit of fair reporting.

  • 47.
  • At 11:07 AM on 20 Dec 2007,
  • Tom Berney wrote:

So what's to be investigated? The fact that just about everybody thinks a £1 billion investment should be given serious consideration rather than thrown out by a sub-committee that wasn't even supported by its own Council?

The BBC's readiness to jump on that unfounded "sleaze" bandwagon was a disgrace, but it's indicative of the dumbing down of politics these days. Personal attacks are so much easier to report than issues that actually affect the voters.

Investigation of Wendy's donation, or Salmond's meeting, won't affect the price of fish or anything else impacting on our real lives.

Keep up the blog BTW I enjoy it.

  • 48.
  • At 12:26 PM on 20 Dec 2007,
  • ADAM NINIAN wrote:

Why did BBC Scotland fail to show live coverage of this morning's First Minister's Questions? Did they think that with Westminster already away on their hols. that there was nothing interesting in politics any more?

FMQs would have been fascinating with the Trump affair, the Forth Bridge, and other current issues
waiting to be discussed. I'm pretty furious about Scotland once again being treated with contempt, presumably following the instructions of some programmer in London HQ.

  • 49.
  • At 12:34 PM on 20 Dec 2007,
  • Deasún wrote:

If this is Nicol Stephen's way of getting at Salmond (and deflecting criticism from his pal, Wendy) then I think he's taking a imprudent political risk. After all, as you state, this development is popular in his constituency and is all about economic development - selling Scotland to the world, telling them that we're open for business and that we're the best wee golfing country in the world. In contrast, the LibDems come across as having a petty, small-minded, toon-cooncil mentality. Should this development end up in either Northern Ireland or the Republic (and you can bet your life there have been one or two enquiring phone calls) then Nicol could pay the ultimate political price. This may prove to be a foolish, and possibly terminal, sacrifice to save another leader's political skin.

  • 50.
  • At 02:44 PM on 20 Dec 2007,
  • daniel keating wrote:

I would be interested to see full details of the Trump plans divulged to the public for people to view and comment on for themselves. We seem to be between the government on one side and Trump on the other with no public interaction in between. Surely some public debate, online 'have your say' and a chance to view plans, drawings and necessary infrastructure would go along way to better judging this subject and public opinion.
I liked the idea initially but the sound of so many homes which amounts to the size of Cruden Bay or Newburgh at a guess, seems like a daunting task and burden on the environment. Yes, as in the US, the Trump village will look great but who will be paying for all the new roads and improvements necessary to get there. This project seems to have grown to a scale akin to the Aberdeen By Pass but all I have seen are photos of Trump swinging a golf club...No maps, plans etc. Yes its important for the economy but lets not sell out without first evaluating and deciding things on a public level.

  • 51.
  • At 03:01 PM on 20 Dec 2007,
  • clamjamfrie wrote:

I welcome the fact that Mr Salmond is to appear before the committee. I also welcome the recent detailed statement from John Swinney. However, it does seem to me rather odd that the chief accuser, Mr Nichol Stephen, is not to be called before the committee, so far as I am aware.

He has made claims, presumably based on some type of evidence, that have called into question the actions of Ministers and civil servants. Surely the committee should seek out such information, and balance it against evidence presented by Mr Salmond and others?

If, on the other hand, Mr Stephen has acted in a dishonest manner, surely that too is pertinent to an overall consideration of the case?

What sayest thou Brian?

  • 52.
  • At 10:18 PM on 20 Dec 2007,
  • Bernie wrote:

What are the odds on Salmond still being in office by 31st January 2008?

Altogether a too carefully worded a statement by Swinney. No doubt lots of effort by some very expensive lawyers.

I'm no Lib Dem but the only person so far who has emerged with any integrity from this episode so far is Nicol Stephen. No amount of cheap abuse from a First Minister fighting for his life can disguise that.

  • 53.
  • At 10:59 PM on 20 Dec 2007,
  • Alan wrote:

There is no doubt that the SNP has invigourated politics in Scotland.Alec Salmond is a class act and his government is quick to react when the need arises. However, like the dentist's drill Nicol Stephen touched a nerve, ordinarily Salmond would have, and should have, swatted off the "sleaze" remark with a humorous put down. In opposition he was remorseless and often careless in his criticism, eg the plight of the Kosovans in his infamous Strathconon outburst, it seems unbecoming now to demonstrate such umbrage when the pressure gets to him. I have no doubt that he has nothing to fear from inquiry into the Trump project and will be vindicated in due course but he has given a glimmer of hope to his opponents that he can be rattled. Happy Christmas

  • 54.
  • At 12:28 AM on 21 Dec 2007,
  • kevin wrote:

Politics is far more interesting now that we have a goverment in Scotland that will stand up for Scotland and do whats best, granted they won`t manage to do everything but they have a far better vision to lead us than the Lib-lab coallition which always had to answer to from London.We always seem to have the worst record in Europe, crime, drink etc but we`ve been run by Labour, so they`ve had plenty time to get it wright through the decades but no no they couldn`t . Like him or dislike him Salmond is by far the best politition Scotand has and puts Scotland first.

  • 55.
  • At 04:14 PM on 21 Dec 2007,
  • Paul wrote:

#50 - you wanted to see some details and plans of Trump's Menie scheme:

  • 56.
  • At 05:21 PM on 21 Dec 2007,
  • Donald McCaskey wrote:

I wonder if you've actually been following this story, Bernie #52.
Throwing about allegations of sleaze, allegations without one iota of substance to back them up, against civil servants who can't even publicly come back with further explantions to defend themselves, is hardly the epitome of integrity. Coupled with at least the appearance that Nicol Stephen is more interested in scoring cheap political points than ensuring Trump's application is subject to the scutiny it merits, Stephen hasn't exactly painted himself in glory.

Now the FM might be wrong when he says Stephen is now unelectable but if Trump's investment is lost simply because Scotland's politicians are acting like a bunch of petulant children and amatuers, I think the Lib Dems, and Nicol Stephen in particular, will be blamed.

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