• Europe,  Labour Party,  Peace,  The Left,  Westminster

    A Nest of Lies

    The story of When Corbyn Met Sarkocy, a Czech spy, during the Cold War has been seized on with glee by the usual press, plus the anti-Corbynites.  My own thoughts are:- 1) Corbyn was a back-bench MP and unlikely to know anything except the price of a cup of tea in the House of Commons café;  Corbyn, though classic useful idiot material, was useless in this case ; 2) this is reminiscent of a Le Carre novel where a clapped out branch of the security services bigs up a bungled operation with a dodgy agent. That’s off the top of my head. Paul Anderson, who knew the milieu, has this…

  • Scotland,  Westminster

    The Scottish Equivalent of Taqiyya?

    Oaths of Allegiance have been taken in Parliament by the SNP MPs aka #team56 (not #the56 after it was realized, long after their supporters had piled into this hashtag, that it had been established for the 30th anniversary commemorations of the Bradford City fire). I would say all did so in the “Scottish style”, although Alistair Carmichael appears to have been the first to do so yesterday. There had been concerns that at least some of them would insist on doing so in Gaelic or snubbing the oath of loyalty to Queen Elizabeth, her heirs, and her successors. Yesterday, Rory Stewart pre-empted the first by asking if he could do…

  • Holyrood,  Standards in Public Life,  Westminster

    Removing M(S)Ps

    There is a cast iron rule that constituencies elect the individual as their member, and whilst any Party can remove benefits such as the whip, no-one other than the electorate at the next national election should be able to unseat them. As such, calling for the removal from Westminster of a convicted drink driver and thug who also had used his position to proposition female constituency workers (of any age) or removing from Holyrood of a serial wife beater would set a worrying precedent… … no, hang on. That is rubbish. I already have written about the then Labour MP for Falkirk, Eric Joyce who – at that stage –…

  • Labour Party,  Standards in Public Life,  Westminster

    Get Rid of Joyce

    As soon as I heard that an MP had been arrested in the Palace of Westminster for head-butting anyone, nevermind a Tory MP – and assaulting various other MPs before being restrained by half a dozen Po-Po – I knew it would be a Scottish MP. Okay, let me have that giggle. Of course this was a disgraceful episode, and anyone who thinks that, as a Labour MP the assailant… whoops, sorry… alleged assailant would have been increasing his kudos by assaulting a Tory – even if he had not assaulted the Labour chief whip who was leaping to the defence of a Tory – is a political lout. Step…