A Short Article Not Mentioning Alex Salmond 289


An Ambassador is evidently not as important as a Scottish First Minister, but there is one interesting similarity. You get to live in a palatial Residence at public expense, and you host numerous social events there, from intimate lunches to grand dinners to receptions for many hundred people. Indeed as a diplomat you do this throughout your career – as an Ambassador, Deputy High Commissioner, First Secretary and even Second Secretary I hosted many scores of such events in my home, and in every case was supported by office and domestic staff who worked under me, both British and local.

The strange thing is that, despite the fact I generally had extremely friendly relationships with those I managed, out of the dozens of women, many young, who assisted me over the years on such occasions, I am absolutely certain that every single one of them would have point blank refused had I asked them upstairs to my bedroom after the event. Some would have refused humorously, some would have told me to F*** Off, some might have suggested I was drunk. But not one would have conceivably said yes. Not office staff, not domestic staff. Not from any of the very different cultures concerned – British, Nigerian, Polish, Ghanaian, Uzbek. And if I had “instructed” any of them to lie down on the bed, the reaction of all of them would certainly have switched from humour to “F… Off”.

Which is as it should be.

The position of a senior British diplomat to a Ghanaian member of their domestic staff is possibly one of even greater power and authority compared to that of a Scottish First Minister to any Scottish government sector employee. Simple authority cannot compel compliance with such obviously unorthodox instruction.

I do however recall an occasion when I invited a young woman, not working for me in any sense, to my hotel bedroom after an event in Lodz, Poland. We both understood what an invitation to a bedroom that late at night meant, and as soon as we closed the door behind us I kissed her, passionately, which she welcomed. I did not ask her permission beforehand, indeed there was no prior verbal exchange at all about the possibility of a physical relationship developing. That is not in the least unusual in human relationships, and I despise the drive to make such matters coldly transactional. In that particular instance, for example, we remain friends 25 years on.

Not one of us would be able effectively to clear our names against allegations made years after the event, of an incident which allegedly occurred with no independent witnesses. As outsiders, we can only refer to our own experience to judge the likelihood of the tale which is told. For reasons explained in the first paragraph, I happen to have experience of the peculiar circumstance of hosting large public events in my own home with the assistance of public sector staff who worked for me. Few of you reading this will have analogous experience, as it is an unusual position to be in.

And I smell horseshit.


289 thoughts on “A Short Article Not Mentioning Alex Salmond

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  • Trowbridge H. Ford

    I do too, though I wish he would supplyy more about his triumphs over the West even when he comes to his mistakes.

  • Sharp Ears

    George Galloway reports on the latest smear against Jeremy Corbyn – that he had an association with a group called Red Action.

    ‘David Aaronovitch yesterday accused “Red Action” rather than the IRA of having carried out the terrorist atrocity of the #WarringtonBomb and accused #Corbyn of being a close associate of the bombers. No allegation against the Leader of the Opposition could be more serious.” ‘
    https://twitter.com/georgegalloway/status/1034053721175539714

    This thread from TLN explains:
    http://members5.boardhost.com/xxxxx/thread/1535373977.html

    Aaronovitch again!

    This is the Wikipedia edit by ‘Anonymous User’ – just an IP address.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:MobileDiff/856759442

  • ADHD

    Western Provocations & War Moves in Syria

    See below the text of a letter that I have sent to my MP regarding the current dangerous situation in Syria

    –oOo–

    Dear MP,

    I am emailing to let you know that I am really concerned about what the West (US, UK and France) are up to in Syria.

    The Russian government have announced that the west (with the intimate involvement of the UK) are preparing a fake chemical incident as a pretext for attacking Syria.

    The previous incident, Douma, was clearly a fake and that is what the OPCW report has effectively confirmed (no matter how it is spun).

    I suspect that this new provocation will be different. Western opposing voices are silent (silenced?), information in the western media is practically non-existent and the UK public seem completely unaware that the West are moving to an unjustified further confrontation with Russia. It looks like it will all happen very quickly, before the British public are aware that something dangerous has happened.

    However, no matter what the West do (even it real deaths are included as part of the provocation), at this time Russia has far more credibility than the west (and the UK government). The western political establishment will not be believed by the vast majority of the British public. Can you imagine the consequences for the existing political establishment and arrangement if the public see clearly that they have been tricked into war? I doubt that just one party will be blamed.

    You and your colleagues must be fully aware of what is happening but you all seem much more interested in plotting against Corbyn and engaging in this ridiculous anti-semitic smear. Are MPs really so cut-off from reality?

    Important, potentially disastrous, unjustified war moves are happening which you and your colleagues were elected to stop and you all appear to be doing nothing but enabling war.

    I really expect you, as my MP, to get together with your colleagues (of all parties), to make a lot of noise, bring the issue to Parliament and get this incredible stupidity stopped.

    Kind regards,

    ADHD

    –oOo–

    You may (or may not) wish to do something similar.

  • mike

    Not content with swallowing the Skripal nonsense, Sturgeon is now paying tribute to John McCain.

    What a safe pair of hands she is.Dignified. Stateswomanlike. And completely wedded to the neoliberal status quo.

    Surely she will be allowed to rule Scotland for a while longer.

  • mike

    “Gas attack” in Idlib soon. The Empire is moving assets into place to respond – to something that hasn’t yet happened.

    I wonder if Alex Salmond will cover this on his RT show? I’ll be tuning in to find out!

    Probably later this week. I’d say Thursday for the “attack” and Saturday for the Empire’s response. We should run a sweepstake.

    Sturgeon will condemn the “vicious Assad regime”, I’m sure.

    • Kempe

      If RT know about this alleged upcoming gas attack then the Kremlin must know about it too so why aren’t they doing anything to stop it?

      It’s more likely that it’s Assad who’s planning the gas attack and that the ground is being prepared to pass it off as a false flag. Again.

      • nevermind

        The good thing about BS is Kempe, that we can smell it from a mile away.
        its always coming from the same wind direction.

        • Kempe

          You got that right! How come RT know so much about this forthcoming attack like they did the other one?

          Russia has dropped enough bombs on Syria not to worry about a few more.

          • Clark

            Kempe, I tend to agree. An islamist al Qaeda-linked group has arrested around a thousand civilians, most of them women and children, on concocted accusations, presumably to use as human shields. Much as Sharp Ears says below; what do you expect the Syrian government to do? They could bomb the extremist group thereby killing many civilians. Or they can use chlorine to get them out in the open, as you’ve suggested before. It may be the most human approach – I’m no tactician; do you have another suggestion? Should Syrian forces just give up each time the extremists use this ploy, so that Syria becomes a lawless terrorist breeding ground like Libya? Certainly Israel and the Gulf Monarchies would approve of that, but it’d be very bad for international stability and security.

      • Sharp Ears

        What do you suggest Russia does? Drop some bombs or send a missile like Trump?

        RT News – August 27, 2018 (12:00 MSK)
        Moscow warns it has intelligence that jihadists in Syria’s Idlib province – are preparing to stage a chemical attack, and lay the blame on the Assad government. Amid a barrage of allegations in the US media that Russia’s planning to meddle in the upcoming midterm elections, the CIA reportedly complains that it’s Kremlin moles have gone quiet. Two US nationals are sentenced to 14 years in prison for attempting a coup in Vietnam. They are members of a California-based group regarded as a terrorist organization by Hanoi.
        https://www.rt.com/shows/news/436923-rtnews-august-27-12msk/

        RT News – August 27, 2018 (17:00 MSK)
        Moscow says the US expansion of its strike capabilities near Syria, could be a sign Washington’s getting prepared, ahead of a possible false flag chemical attack by terrorists in Idlib province. Hundreds of far-right supporters rally in the German city of Chemnitz, after a local was stabbed to death in an incident involving people of quote ‘various nationalities’. The French president Emmanuel Macron says the security of Europe should no longer rely solely on the US.
        https://www.rt.com/shows/news/436957-rtnews-august-27-17msk/

  • nevermind

    Is Julian Assange the Jesus of our times? Discus cause the philistine pharisees armsdealers and crooks in charge want his hide like they wanted that of the Nazarean.

  • Republicofscotland

    Ex-Labour deputy leader fears the party might split.

    “The senior Labour politician and former deputy leader Roy Hattersley has written to Jeremy Corbyn asking him to intervene to stop one of his most loyal supporters campaigning for the deselection of centrist MPs, saying such tactics risked leading to a repeat of the party split of the 1980s.”

    https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2018/aug/27/roy-hattersley-urges-corbyn-to-intervene-in-labour-deselection-row

    • Jo1

      No offence RoS, but you’ve been remarkably quiet on this Salmond business. Why? Are you not bothered? Why, with all that’s going on are you posting links about the Labour Party?

  • MBC

    I think the Salmond smear is somebody trying to drive a wedge in the SNP between Sturgeon and Salmond but they won’t succeed. Salmond is far too clever.

  • Sharp Ears

    O/T but the Chagos Islanders are fighting back. It was revealed in a BBC report by Andrew Harding that the thuggish buffoon ex-Foreign Secretary made threats to the Mauritius PM.

    ‘Next week the issue will come before judges at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague. We have had verbal threats,” said the Prime Minister of Mauritius, Pravind Jugnauth, in an interview with BBC News.

    He did not dispute a report that Britain’s former Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson had called him personally to pressure Mauritius to back down on its demand that the islands be returned after decades under UK control.

    Unfortunately, we have been threatened with retaliation… on issues of trade and on issues of investment, you know, and on our relationship with the UK,” Mr Jugnauth added.

    Chagos Islands dispute: UK ‘threatened’ Mauritius –
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-45300739

    Makes you feel proud doesn’t it to know that low lifes are running this government.

  • patricia young

    I too worked for FCO in the eighties/nineties and did the whole shebang of entertaining etc I cannot recall any colleagues or staff (even me!) being invited to someone’s bedroom. If anything you were more scrupulous and transparent in your actions. This was simply because of the position you were in and would be vulnerable to any accusation- malicious or not. i enjoyed my job and all the perks, there is no way i would have jeopardised a gig like that. Happy days indeed.

  • MightyDrunken

    I just noticed an article on The Guardian, “Alex Salmond is using crowdfunding to signal his power. That’s wrong”

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/aug/30/alex-salmond-crowdfunding-scottish-independence

    I wouldn’t mention it normally as I am willing to wait for the fallout from the episode, even if it takes a year. However I could not understand the article at all. The authors writes:
    “I would donate to crowdfunders for victims of sexual assault to pursue their cases any day of the week”

    “but Salmond’s decision sticks in my craw.”
    because
    “…(he) is signalling his power in a way I find deeply worrying. The message being sent out to women is that if you make accusations you will be up against enormous power and wealth.”

    I guess I haven’t got the brains to understand the article. Shrug.

  • Andy

    While I can certainly see the establishment wanting to smear Salmond, I do know that he’s a bit “handsy” as one of my friends has found out to her cost before. He certainly isn’t alone in men in politics of his generation but he shouldn’t necessarily be given a free pass just because times have changed.

  • Muscleguy

    The stench of horse manure is overpowering in fact.

    My wife asked me a strange question last night ‘do you think it is right for Alex Salmond to crowdfund his legal fees?’. I replied that I found the question strange as it was clear from the response that a very great number of people thought that it was, funded within 12 hours, stopped in 48 when twice over the asked amount when it could have run for 26 days and I asked her for reasons why it would not be. None came. I noted that the case did not impinge on the credibility of the claims and she agreed, I further noted that the civil service had not followed their own guidelines and she further agreed.

    She seemed under the impression that Salmon is very wealthy. I noted to her that he had donated his FM salary to charity. How many of us could out of our own pockets and without remortgaging the house, fund a Court of Session review?

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