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

Donations and resignations

Brian Taylor | 16:09 UK time, Thursday, 29 November 2007

First, the basics.

Wendy Alexander’s campaign team broke the law by accepting a donation from a Labour supporter based in the Channel Islands. Offshore donations are not permitted.

The cash was accepted because Charlie Gordon MSP, one of Team Alexander, had been told the money was paid by a UK registered company. That is allowed.

Mr Gordon had solicited the donation because he knew the donor, Paul Green. Mr Green has property interests in Glasgow. Mr Gordon was formerly the leader of Glasgow City Council.

Mr Gordon has apologised and resigned from his front bench post.

Ms Alexander - who wasn’t at the news briefing which disclosed the details - is said to be “very upset”.

That tells the story. But it doesn’t convey the atmosphere here at Holyrood. A frenzied atmosphere - partly generated by the media but mostly driven by Ms Alexander’s inability to close the issue down.

Firstly, the guddle and confusion. The story surfaced, albeit in a slightly different form, on Sunday.

On Reporting Scotland last night, we disclosed that there was renewed doubt.

The story was massively covered by the newspapers this morning. Wendy Alexander knew she was likely to be teased over the issue in exchanges with Alex Salmond today (she was).

And yet, remarkably, remarkably, it was not until 1300 today - after question time - that Ms Alexander learned, precisely, what was wrong with the donation.

Why the delay? Why was this not tied down earlier?

Secondly, the environment. This story does not exist in a vacuum. It broke as Labour at Westminster is facing a crisis over party funding. A crisis, pure and simple.

Prior to that, the donation itself followed the huge controversy over the “cash for honours” investigation. Did that not demand extra close scrutiny of donations to Team Alexander?

Is Charlie Gordon, alone, culpable? Should there not have been closer checks made? By Tom McCabe, the campaign manager? By Wendy Alexander herself?

Mr McCabe says the money will be returned. He says, without offering this as an excuse, that electoral law is now exceptionally complex.

He points out that the sum involved is relatively small. He stresses that the remainder of the £17,000 campaign fund was legitimately donated.

But he admits, in terms, that the law was broken. Politically, how does that play? Badly?

You bet.



It is clear that Labour were seeking to avoid the declaration of this donation, hence why it was made at a level just below the declaration limit.

That shows that they knew there was something amiss, and is why they must now be investigated by the police.

Wendy has lost the moral authority, and her tenure looks likely to be over before too long.

  • 2.
  • At 04:53 PM on 29 Nov 2007,
  • PMK wrote:

Why no criminal investigation when the culprits (in both Westminster and Holyrood) are openly volunteering confessions to the press?

  • 3.
  • At 04:56 PM on 29 Nov 2007,
  • DCW wrote:

Come on Brian. You're an experienced Scottish political journalist, who's been around long enough to know the answer to every single question you've rhetorically posed. Instead of giving us questions, why not some answers? Why is BBC Scotland so apparently loathe to subject the Lib-Lab-Con alliance to proper scrutiny? Why were you quoted this lunchtime saying the donations were fine? Had your friends at Scottish Labour told you that?

Please, Brian, Scotland NEEDS sound journalism. Not partisanship - just sound, fair, balanced, tough journalism. Hold these people to proper account - of all party hues. At the moment, it seems to be Labour who need the spotlight put harshly on them - DO IT! Enough of this 'guddle and confusion' nonsense - you're better than that surely. What's really happening? A former leader of Glasgow City Council and a property developer responsible for the 'award-winning' new Clyde development? That is news! This strikes right at the heart of Scotland's leagacy of political corruption, brown envelopes, and all that has left our cities behind our European counterparts. Even if it's all a fuss about nothing (although it surely isn't) aren't you by not investigating it properly just adding fuel to the cynics fire? You have a chance to help set the process in motion to change all that. Please, for Scotland's sake - do your job and, just maybe, we can start to make this country better!

  • 4.
  • At 04:56 PM on 29 Nov 2007,
  • John Leven wrote:


This still leaves more questions than answers, such as.

Why was the donation set at £950, had Green been to Lidl and was £50 short, or was it deliberate to be below the £1000?

How many more donations in the £900 range are there in the £17k?

What was the money spent on as there was no election?

Why was this revealed now, to get past First Ministers questions maybe?

What part did Charlie Gordon play, if any, in Greens planning applications?

Did Gordon ever get campaign money from Green?

In the spirit of Mr Bean, Wendy has gone from crabit to grabit with this affair.

  • 5.
  • At 04:59 PM on 29 Nov 2007,
  • Malcolm wrote:

Will the Electoral Commission act on this news?

Will the Scottish equivalent of Yates of the Yard step in?

Will there be a proper investigation?

Will Wendy Alexander and her campaign team be interviewed, arrested and charged?

Will there a be prosecution?

Will Brian Taylor stop using the word "guddle" to describe Labour scandals?

We the public have the right to know!

  • 6.
  • At 05:04 PM on 29 Nov 2007,
  • Pendragon wrote:

This was Ms Alexander's Campaign Fund,surely it is She that must do the decent thing and fall on Her sword ?,anything else would be a dereliction of responsibilty and leave Her Party gravely damaged.

  • 7.
  • At 05:09 PM on 29 Nov 2007,
  • Thud wrote:

If Wendy Alexander and Tom McCabe are not able to run a £17000 budget for a leadership contest properly, What makes them competant to run the Nation?

I suspect that running the country is quite complicated as well!

  • 8.
  • At 06:08 PM on 29 Nov 2007,
  • DR JAMES wrote:

How come Wendy Alexander or, indeed, any of her counterparts in London, needed campaign contributions for what was an internal party election, not a public one? Where did her £17,000 in campaign contributions go when she was the only candidate? On wining and dining party members?

  • 9.
  • At 06:19 PM on 29 Nov 2007,
  • Rab o'Ruglen wrote:

Can anybody not believe that if the SNP had been caught accepting illegal donations that their feet (quite rightly) would not have touched the ground on their way to jail.

Cut the crap. Lets get this sorted now.

  • 10.
  • At 06:39 PM on 29 Nov 2007,
  • jameseyboy wrote:

Sir Sean gave the Nats £50k from, I believe, Malaga at that time.
Oh! No. Labour is not having that. Labour will bring in rules to stop this foreign interference.

Oops! Wendy, why do you need an election fund when you are not being opposed?

Don't worry we are Labour who have ruled Scotland for 30 years and we can do what we like. After all Wendy is a daughter of the manse like Gordie and we are superior anyway.

Maybe we in Scotland are just a little fed up with the assumption that we are Labour voting fodder.

  • 11.
  • At 06:40 PM on 29 Nov 2007,
  • Euromac, Brussels wrote:

Given that Wendy was elected unopposed, and therefore presumably did not spend it, where is the rest of the money now?

  • 12.
  • At 07:12 PM on 29 Nov 2007,
  • Andy wrote:

I am also fed up reading Brian Taylor 'apologising' for New Labour. Do your job and report facts.

  • 13.
  • At 07:59 PM on 29 Nov 2007,
  • David M wrote:

The public are sick to the back teeth of reading about these people admitting breaking the law who are not being prosecuted for it by the law. Where are the police in all this? Or are they getting a cut of the "donations"?

  • 14.
  • At 08:05 PM on 29 Nov 2007,
  • Bill wrote:

Broke the law. The law was broken. There was a breach of the law of the land. A law was not adhered to.
No matter how you say it it's seriously bad.
Yet, by assuming that the way to resolve this is simply to say "we will take steps to ensure this never happens again", you get the impression that what bothers the MSP's most is the fact that they got caught. If I ever break the law could I can save myself a fortune on legal fees by using this as my defence? Didn't think so.
Reinforces the "one rule for them, another for us".

  • 15.
  • At 08:05 PM on 29 Nov 2007,
  • Alistair Sloan, Cumbernauld wrote:

I'm ashamed to be a member of the Labour party at the moment. I'm seriously considering resigning my membership of the party.

I never wanted Alexander as our leader in Scotland and see this as the opportunity to get rid of her and elect a proper leader who is capable of sorting out the mess in Scotland. As for down south Harman should also resign as she accepted illegal funds. I'm sure either of the other two who just missed out on getting deputy Leader would make a much more honourable and credible deputy leader than Harman (I voted Cruddas and had there been an election in Scotland for a leader would not have voted for Alexander, for the record)

Following the mess that was “Cash for honours” I would have thought people would have asked more questions regarding funding and donations. Looks like some of the big players didn’t learn any lessons.

  • 16.
  • At 08:24 PM on 29 Nov 2007,
  • Gryphon wrote:

Is it just me, or is there a feel of a concerted campaign about all these events?

While one can never account for events (Events!, dear boy), the succession of media driven stories (the armed forces chiefs, the donations stories etc) one could be forgiven for feeling that there was a smattering of a very British coup.

  • 17.
  • At 08:50 PM on 29 Nov 2007,
  • JohnMcDonald wrote:

What if the donation had been to Alex Salmond and the SNP? I wonder if it would be described as a guddle. I wonder if Ms Alexander would simply have teased Alex Salmond at question time.

Like most readers, I suspect that the opposition would have been pushing for the fall of the SNP government if not for Salmond to actually fall on a real sword. And the media would have joined in the baying mob.

But the truth is this whole sordid affair is a symptom, a result of 50 years of single party "mafia" rule in Scotland.

No party should crow too much because no party is immune; let’s just hope the Scottish electorate will provide a suitable punishment to fit the crime.

  • 18.
  • At 09:08 PM on 29 Nov 2007,
  • Munro Ross wrote:

The regulations are not complex and anyone accepting a donation on behalf of a political party or part of it eg branch needs to ask one question. Is the person giving me this donation on the electoral role? If yes the it can be accepted and when necessary declared. If it is a coroporate bdoy eg a comapny all that needs checked is its companies number and/or trading addresses.

As McCabe has admitted the donation was illegal presumably Scottish police (Strathclyde?) will investiagte under instruction from Electoral commission. Will Labour if they want to be transparent list all donors and amounts so they can be verfied. anyhting less will suggest that there are more skeletons to come out

  • 19.
  • At 10:32 PM on 29 Nov 2007,
  • Russell wrote:

How can Scottish Labour not know that foriegn investment is not illegal, when this law was implemented with the sole intention to stop Sir Sean Connery from financially supporting the SNP!?

  • 20.
  • At 10:45 PM on 29 Nov 2007,
  • Peter Thomson wrote:

If you are a leader you are responsible for all the actions of those subordinate to you.

How long before Strathclyde's finest are chapping on Wendy's door?

If you or I had acted in a identifiably fraudulent way, Brian, they'd be round your or my place faster than a rat up a drain pipe.

If you want integrity in politics that has got to start happening and happening soon, politicians are responsible for their actions and those of their parties we have let them away with it for too long.

  • 21.
  • At 11:14 PM on 29 Nov 2007,
  • M McFarlane wrote:

If they have broken the law, they should be facing criminal charges.
Or is it only non-politicians who commit crimes?.

  • 22.
  • At 11:31 PM on 29 Nov 2007,
  • joe wrote:

"Team Alexander" are you having a laugh. This lot are a bunch of political pygmies. Labour in Scotland arent even a joke any more, they are pathetic. Its another example of reaping what you sow. For years, decades even dissent was not tolerated in the ranks, only the nodding donkeys were allowed to progress,so we arrive at "Team Alexander" with Charlie Gordon supposedly scrambling around trying to get donations ! "got a spare £950 guv". He should have stuck to collecting tickets.

  • 23.
  • At 11:32 PM on 29 Nov 2007,
  • Alan Quinn wrote:

Not only were the donations accepted by Wendy Alexander illegal, they were also morally and politically offensive to the people of Paisley whom she is supposed to represent.

Here we have the MSP for Paisley North, frequently accusing the new SNP led Renfrewshire Council (after only a few months in power after decades of Labour control) of not doing enough to stop the decline in Paisley Town Centre retail; whilst at the same time encouraging support and Finance from a man whose latest project (the Silverburn Centre) will put even more pressure on the remaining town centre stores in Paisley.

Anyone for conspiracy theories?

#3. Agree wholeheartedly ...

I would also add that it stretches credibility to claim these as mistakes, Labour drafted and passed the legislation regarding party funding and this "we didnae knaw the rulez guv" just doesn't wash.

I attempted to have a rundown of the gaffs, 'errors', and general dour behaviour we've had out of Labour in the last 12 months earlier on today. It was a long list and I'm sure I missed lots and lots out.

These 'errors' made by Labour must be the final straw and I think the viewing public want to see some Labour blood ... all of it if I had my way!

  • 25.
  • At 11:51 PM on 29 Nov 2007,
  • Eddie Truman wrote:

I realise that this isn't the central issue but why did Wendy Alexander need a campaign fund ?
She was elected unopposed with not a hint of another contender in sight from the very beginning.

  • 26.
  • At 11:56 PM on 29 Nov 2007,
  • sacrebleu wrote:

Honestly, do they think we're all daft? They're 'at it' as they say in Glesga

  • 27.
  • At 02:09 AM on 30 Nov 2007,
  • Douglas wrote:

Given that the labour leadership was uncontested, how was the £17,000 spent and what is the legal position of such monies in such a situation ?

  • 28.
  • At 09:09 AM on 30 Nov 2007,
  • HughB wrote:

It's time a new law came into effect: that only money raised by the Scottish parties can be used for Scottish elections.

This would prevent large subsidies from London interfering with politics in Scotland, and would greatly level the playing field.

I doubt if the London based parties Scottish branches could survive without handouts from their Westminster counterparts.

  • 29.
  • At 09:26 AM on 30 Nov 2007,
  • maggie macfadden wrote:

I have known Wendy Alexander since University days at Glasgow and she would not knowingly be involved in any illegal activity with regards to party donations.Quite a simple fact!

  • 30.
  • At 09:46 AM on 30 Nov 2007,
  • john wrote:

this is not a guddle. this is a crime. Gordon should resign his seat. Does Brian agree that there is a place in our Parliament for people who commit crime?

  • 31.
  • At 11:05 AM on 30 Nov 2007,
  • Andy wrote:

Really interested to see any Scottish opinion polls....has there been one since this crisis has developed?

I am interested in some of the views portrayed today by various political commentators that the amount of cash was so small that WA will not quit over a small amount. Does it matter the amount? A law is a law, it shouldn't matter what the amount. How can a party (if subsequently elected) have any moral authority to lead a country? If no criminal charges over breaking a law for "only £950" can members of the public illegally download movies or music for up to the value of £950?

This is the type of thing that the vast majority of the public find appalling and tends to taint all of politics.

I also think it is sad that the electoral commission aren't finding this stuff out themselves and relying on journalists to do the spadework. I have to question the effectiveness of the commission, are they up to the job?

Finally I also have to say that considering the huge issues facing the labour party I feel that they are not giving honest and open answers, every day there seems to be more that they wish to cover up, be honest it is what I want from politicians

  • 32.
  • At 01:34 PM on 30 Nov 2007,
  • JMcC wrote:

After watching question time last night I am concerned about the growing trend towards public funding of political parties. I dont see why I should contribute to any party whose principles I disagree with. Surely the answer to transparency is to have all contributions (above a ridiculously low amount - say £50) made through a through a statutory body, i.e. the electoral commission. Any contributions accepted directly by parties or candidates will disqualify them from running.

  • 33.
  • At 03:06 PM on 30 Nov 2007,
  • Bill McMenemy wrote:

Madam, how like you this play?

The lady doth protest too much, methinks.

  • 34.
  • At 08:24 PM on 30 Nov 2007,
  • Richard Caie wrote:

How come in her personal thankyou letter our First Minister managed to misspell "privileged" ?

  • 35.
  • At 09:57 PM on 30 Nov 2007,
  • Ayrshireman wrote:

Wendy's character judgement must be called into question. Charlie Gordon (old Labour with old Labour views on party funding) was kicked out of his job of leader of Glasgow City Council by his own party, but Wendy sees fit to give him a front bench role in her team? Even Jack didn't give him a job.

  • 36.
  • At 11:29 AM on 01 Dec 2007,
  • Bill wrote:

It beggared belief to watch Tom McCabe on Question Time claim that anyone with any knowledge of finance could confuse a personal cheque with a business one.
Now Wendy Alexander has admitted (by her letter of thanks) that she knew about it, she has to resign. She has lost all moral authority to be involved in law-making. Indeed if that letter does not represent involvement in law-breaking I will be most surprised.

I do not see that the amount of money involved is relevant - except that it looks as if it was intended to slip under the £1000 limit so appears devious. Therefore, I'd rather see all all donations to all parties above a nominal (£20 perhaps) channelled through an independent third party who would then have full oversight and perhaps limit corruption.

  • 37.
  • At 08:52 PM on 02 Dec 2007,
  • simpilmindz wrote:

Guddle, guddle, toil and trouble.

  • 38.
  • At 02:51 PM on 03 Dec 2007,
  • Douglas wrote:

Wendy broke the law whether intentional or not. The buck stops with her and she should resign. Will she? Probably not, as 'integrity' is not a word the Scottish Labour Party/New Labour understands.

If I 'unintentionally' break the speed limit while driving, can I use this as my defence??????????

Move over Wendy you've been rumbled.

  • 39.
  • At 04:28 PM on 03 Dec 2007,
  • Kenneth G. Ferguson wrote:

Brian Taylor
BBC News.
The Scottish Parliament.

Dear Sir,

It is outrageous that Wendy Alexander does not have the integrity and honour to step down.

What sort of example is she setting the young people of Scotland.

Everybody knows that ignorance of the law is no defence against criminal proceedings.

If she cannot understand that very simple rule, it does calls into question her ability to lead the Labour Party and, possibly, Scotland, if Labour ever win again in Scotland.

It was her Labour party in Government in London who passed the law and it is she, as the beneficiary of the donation, who has to check that the donation is squeaky clean, nobody else, not Charlie Gordon or any other person, just Wendy Alexander.

Margo Macdonald had a very sensible suggestion for Wendy Alexander on Sunday when, on television, she suggested that the Labour Leader should step down, temporarily, as leader and allow a Deputy to act as leader of the Labour Party in Scotland until this sorry mess is tidied up but no, the taste of power is too sweet for Wendy to do an honourable thing and temporarily step down to be with her family.

I, along with thousands of other Scots who voted against devolution, have been enjoying the new confidence that Alex Salmond has brought to Scotland, although I oppose the SNP plan for independence, and I like many others have been slowly coming round to the benefits that might flow from the new constitutional arrangements but the conduct of Wendy Alexander has destroyed, for me and, I suspect, others, the growing feeling that Devolution was starting to work for Scotland.

The fact that the SNP is a minor government has meant that all the parties have had to work very hard to ensure the satisfactory workings of the Parliament and that they all perform to the very highest standards of conduct, expected of them by the public.

If confidence is to be restored in Scottish politics and, in particular, devolution then Wendy Alexander must step down, if only temporarily.

It is said that she is staying as a political shield for Gordon Brown and Harriet Harman, because if she goes for £950.00 then, for £5000.00, Harriet Harman's feet should not touch the ground.

However, the Westminster world is bigger than the Scottish Parliament and we well remember that poor old David McLetchie had to go, as leader of the Conservatives, over £200.00 that he unintentionally claimed for expenses, if he had to go for £200.00, there should be no question of Wendy Alexander staying after receiving an unlawful donation of £950.00.

Leave gracefully, Wendy, and let the Scottish Parliament to get on with it's really important business and to connect with those of us who wish to be convinced of the merits of Devolution.

Yours faithfully,

Kenneth G. Ferguson.

  • 40.
  • At 07:54 PM on 03 Dec 2007,
  • Math Campbell wrote:

This isn't a guddle! This is downright disgraceful!! Not only the fact that the leader of the 2nd largest party in Scotland is a criminal (!) but the way the media are behaving towards this.
As many have said here, were Wee Eck to be found doing something along these lines, His Feet Would Not Touch The Floor!!!
But, it's ok, it's Labour. She didn't really 'mean' to do anything untoward, she didn't know. Anyway, her mate Mr Gordon did all the bad things, even if it were in her name, and, you know, this stuff is really complicated!!
No, she broke the law. Her campaign, her donation, her prison-cell. End of story. No backing out, claiming ignorance, or blaming toadies. She should have the simple dignity and honour (a lost word in politics it appears) to stand up, confess her guilt (although she kinda already has), say "Mea Culpa" and step down! Not be forced out my pressure from London (wanting to deflect the attention a wee bit perhaps) or from boo-ing from the SNP, Tories and Lib-Dems. She should step down before she's pushed, and she should do it soon. Have some dignity and honour woman!

And the media should start trying a new idea: non-partisan journalism! I know, I know, a shocking idea that perhaps the entirety of Scotland's media shouldn't immediately take Labours side in any story, but perhaps the day has come for some actual reporting, not just Labour PR.

Even the BBC have a shocking record here. That interview with Alex Salmond just after the election was a prime example. The women was on holiday with Jack McConnell just a week or two before!! Conflict of intrerests much??
Even you Brian display a noticeable bias I'm afraid. I hate to sound like an SNP supporter (I am, but I try not to show bias, so bear this in mind) but as Mr. Salmond said, there is a wind of change blowing through Scotland since that election. Devolution is here to stay. It's no longer just a fop to shut the nationalists up. It's Scotland's Government now. Not it's 'council', not it's 'committee', not it's 'executive', but it's Government. The media should maybe start to take notice that the SNP, lib-dems and labour are all fairly equal now, and should stop sucking up to labour constantly. If Labour keep going the way they are, it's going to be increasingly difficult for the media to do so. It's downright embarrassing to take the side of a political party that, when it gets caught breaking a law they themselves wrote, they turn around and say "Well, it's very complicated you know"!! She should go, and go now. And the Parliament (not the Government, but the entire Parliament) should announce an independent review of all parties financial details for the election. We cannot have the fetid stench of corruption overshadowing our Government. That might be how they play it in England, but it's not how we should play it here. Maybe it'd set an example to the Westminster crew to tidy up their affairs a bit.

  • 41.
  • At 11:18 PM on 03 Dec 2007,
  • Rory Shearer wrote:

#29 :
Well I didn't go to uni with Wendy Alexander but the facts.. this week she WAS found to be involved in illegal activity and she SHOULD do the right thing and resign. Quite a simple fact!

Are those that are defending these actions such blinkered Labour voters that they can't see their party has broken the law on a piece of legislation which they brought in! They'd all be shouting from the rooftops for Alex's head right now if it was the SNP. Well folks you're party has been caught out [sadly because at the end of the day it's usually apathy at the polls for all partys which wins with this sort of thing] At the end of the day though you are not doing yourselves any favours by defending Wendy Alexander who's hanging on by her tailcoats just to keep Gordon Brown in a job!

  • 42.
  • At 09:53 AM on 04 Dec 2007,
  • Ken Johnston wrote:

As others have pointed out, if this was the SNP on the hook every paper in in the country, I mean Britain, not just Scotland,would have been demanding heads roll.
If the Electoral Commission and the police do not get involved in this it will be a national disgrace for our nation, Scotland.

  • 43.
  • At 09:54 AM on 04 Dec 2007,
  • Robert Taylor wrote:

What will it take for any labour MP to lose their job? Their 10 years in power has been consistent in one respect - sleaze and dodgy dealings right back as far as Ecclestone. These latest revelations clearly demonstrate that they are no longer fit to govern.

  • 44.
  • At 10:05 AM on 04 Dec 2007,
  • Gerry wrote:

what does all this "no intentional wrongdoing" mean ?
sorry judge i admit i broke the law but i didnt know it was wrong?
give us a break,she broke the law, she now has no credibility.she has to go for the sake of the party

  • 45.
  • At 11:09 AM on 04 Dec 2007,
  • robbierotton wrote:

Call it what you will. Guggle, muddle,fuggle!

The law is plain - it has been broken.

If politicians ARE above the law then let them state it today.

Then we will all know where we stand!

  • 46.
  • At 01:34 PM on 04 Dec 2007,
  • Mark wrote:

I am viewing all of this from England, from where Wendy Alexander's protestations and refusal to quit look even more lame than Harriet Harman's. Both know (now, they say, but not at the time) that they broke the law, and expect to get away with it by saying 'I didn't know I was doing wrong'.

In Ms Alexander's case the fact that her team arranged the donation via a personally signed cheque from the Channel Islands and accepted it shows the intent to deceive. The argument that 'I didn't know, so it's OK' is a weak one; there were several points at which Ms Alexander could and should have asked. She didn't. She should go.

  • 47.
  • At 11:39 PM on 04 Dec 2007,
  • Iain More wrote:

The message New Labour in Scotland is sending out is that it is okay to break the law. No wonder we live in a country where there is no respect for anything anymore!

  • 48.
  • At 06:33 PM on 07 Dec 2007,
  • Peter Martin wrote:


As someone who has only a marginal interest in Politics I feel that the latest fiasco to eminate from our Scottish Parliament has pushed me to comment on the character of the individuals who control.

Firstly, I believe that the action or rather lack of it in Wendy Alexander failing to check the legality of the donation made to her does infact breach the criminal law. Ms Alexander herself has openly admitted this however states that there was no intent to deceive and that it was simply a mistake.

If it was allowed to be left like this I believe that Ms Alexander should not resign for what is in essence a trivial offence.

Accepting that there is no defence of a "mistake" to running a red light in your car it would appear that the subsequent reactions by Ms Alexander and her team in passing the buck and attempting to pass blame will be remembered for a long time by the Sottish electorate.

It is for her reaction to this disclosure and not for the commision of the offence in the first place being the main reason the she should resign.

I only hope that the attempted fudge of the facts is not systematic of the new politics in this country and I believe that the trust in polititians by the public has once again been eroded by inappropriate conduct.

Again, if Ms Alexander had openly held her hands up and accepted her punnishment by either the electoral commision or via the courts I for one would applaud her honesty and would agree that she should remain in post. Her personal integrity is now in serious doubt and she shoud go.

  • 49.
  • At 12:41 AM on 08 Dec 2007,
  • Douglas Blaney wrote:

I cannot beleive that there is so much fuss about £950, ok so they lied, but was anyone killed, stabbed or hurt in anyway.

This country need to get a grip of the real criminals in our society, the thugs who carry knives and the drug dealers.

I was stabbed in the head by a thug, he got fined £100.00. Is he a less of a criminal that Charlie Gordon or Wendy Alexander.
The Media and the general public need to tackle the real issues of today. Support the police and get the procurator fiscals and judiciary to protect the public.

  • 50.
  • At 10:19 AM on 08 Dec 2007,
  • Michael McNab wrote:


"If I 'unintentionally' break the speed limit while driving, can I use this as my defence??????????"

No, of course not.

But are you telling us that you'd not only accept the speeding ticket, you'd also resign from your job?

  • 51.
  • At 11:28 AM on 08 Dec 2007,
  • Ed Martin wrote:

The important thing to remember here is that Labour MADE the rules and then quite deliberately broke them when it didn't suit their purpose. They wanted the money and didn't care whether it was legal or not. The £950 figure is the key - deliberately kept below the £1000 to avoid having to declare the source.
Why should they be allowed to get away with it? Arrogant, self-serving and criminal.

  • 52.
  • At 01:28 PM on 08 Dec 2007,
  • louise wrote:

To all those who are saying that its not a serious offence and is not comparable to killing anyone I say you are wrong.
These people are people we elect to provide us with laws to ensure the smooth and fair running of our society.
If you start to say that well its okay to break that law because its not very important then by doing this you create a thin end of a wedge that sticks firmly under the closing door of democracy. We elect representatives to represent our views in parliament. We choose these representatives on the basis that they are the BEST people to represent us. What are we saying about who we are if the best person we can find to represent us is someone who has admitted that they broke the law.
If it s truly the case that such a little crime does not matter then why are murderers rapists and theives not the leaders of our country.
Answer because we do not look up to people who commit crime we do not choose them to lead us.
It is not the severity of the crime that stops us voting for them it is the fact they are criminals.
So to say that wendy alexanders team commiting a crime does not matter is to say that society and the views that this society holds do not matter. Now remove your wedge from my democratic fair door.

  • 53.
  • At 07:38 PM on 08 Dec 2007,
  • Davo wrote:

As the saying goes:-

"If you cant do the time, dont do the crime"

Wendy, Gordon, Whitton et al take note.

This post is closed to new comments.

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.