BBC BLOGS - Blether with Brian
« Previous | Main | Next »

Deferred for reports

Brian Taylor | 14:55 UK time, Wednesday, 25 June 2008

And he's back in the room. Great visit to Germany, thanks for asking.

Lectures in Bonn and Dusseldorf. Intriguing to find that my brief post on Monday, simply signalling my absence, nevertheless prompted a flurry of responses.

What are you guys like?

Two little thoughts from Germany before I move on. One, that the people I met - admittedly a self-selected group - were fascinated by developments in Scotland.

I won't pretend they were up on the latest from the subordinate legislation committee. But they get the concept that there is an intriguing debate under way here; one that may have an impact upon state/substate politics elsewhere in the EU.

And, a bit more tangentially, upon the EU itself.

Two, the sight of German flags attached to cars everywhere - plus a few Turkish banners - in anticipation of tonight's European Championship match.

Brave politics

So what, you say? So this. I am assured this outburst of emblematic display would not have been so widespread only a few years ago.

Young Germans in particular, it would appear, are more comfortable with their own patriotism.

So back to Scotland. Have I returned to brave new politics? Scarcely.

Today's developments include Phase 53 of the Wendy Alexander story. The Standards, Procedures and Public Appointments Committee at Holyrood has found that Ms Alexander did, indeed, break the rules in failing to register, timeously, donations to her campaign to become leader.

They voted by five to two to endorse the finding of the Standards Commissioner that these donations, although accepted by the campaign and not Ms Alexander personally, should count as gifts and should thus have been declared to Parliament in her role as an MSP.

The two dissenters, one might reasonably surmise, would be the two Labour members of the committee.

Ms Alexander's defence, read out by the convener Keith Brown, was that she had taken every step to discern whether these donations should be registered with Holyrood.

Any sanctions?

She had written to the relevant parliamentary clerks who had consulted Holyrood lawyers and declared, in writing, that such donations did not require to be registered.

On learning the standards commissioner, Dr Jim Dyer, took a different view, Ms Alexander registered the donations.

The committee will meet again on Thursday to consider what sanctions, if any, should be applied.

If this were a court, we would probably say that they were seeking a social inquiry report before pronouncing sentence.


or register to comment.

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.