Thursday, 13 October 2016

Cavalier With Public Money

Alex Salmond has gone down yet another notch or two in my estimation after the revelation that the former First Minister accepted £29,544 in a 'redundancy' payment despite swapping his seat in the Holyrood Parliament for one in Westminster.

Now according to the rules Mr Salmond may be quite entitled to claim a resettlement grant which is intended to help former MSPs adjust to a new life outside of Parliament.

But all Alex did was to swap one parliament for another while trying to stem criticism of his actions by saying he gives 'a lot' of money to charity.

I would be more impressed with Alex if he was being generous with his own money rather than public funds and if you ask me, it's completely ludicrous that a politician can behave in this cavalier way - bigging himself up at public expense.

So whatever the parliamentary rules say in the court of public opinion his behaviour is all wrong.

Alex Salmond accepted £29,544 'redundancy' from Holyrood despite remaining an MP

Alex Salmond was paid a resettlement grant when he stepped down from the Scottish Parliament CREDIT: AFP/GETTY

By Simon Johnson - The Telegraph

Alex Salmond accepted a taxpayer-funded “golden goodbye” worth nearly £30,000 when he stood down from the Scottish Parliament this year despite remaining an MP and earning £30,000 a year from his radio show, the Telegraph can disclose.

Resettlement grants are supposed to provide financial assistance to former MSPs “adjusting to non-parliamentary life” but Mr Salmond accepted a tax-free payment of £29,544 from Holyrood’s authorities when he gave up his Aberdeenshire East seat ahead of May’s Holyrood elections.

The former First Minister last night emphasised that he has donated more money to charity than any other Scottish politician, using funds he has earned while sitting in both Westminster and Holyrood.

He said he has pledged to give £15,000 to good causes in the current financial year, including at least £10,000 to the Mary Salmond Trust this year, a charity he set up named after his late mother that provides funds to youth groups in the north-east of Scotland.

Skids Under Salmond (23/09/15)

Image result for misstep + images

Hot on the heels of Alex Salmond's bizarre admission that he prefers people of faith, Scotland's former First Minister announces that he is set to appear on Russia Today (RT) to plug his new book on Scotland's independence referendum.

Russia Today is really just a propaganda channel for the Kremlin and anyone who tunes in quickly realises that its main aim is to pour criticism on the western world, sometimes justified but at others not) while saying virtually nothing about day-to-day life in modern Russia.

Probably because the station would be quickly closed down if it strayed from the Russian government's script. 

Which matters, of course.

Because while Russia is a democracy, in name at least, under President Putin's rule Russia is really a one-party state which operates without  a viable opposition in the Russia Duma (Parliament).

Most of the Russian media is now under state control and the country's market economy is dominated by a handful of powerful oligarchs who promote a form of 'gangster capitalism' in which President Putin's enemies often end up dead.

So shame on Alex Salmond for allowing himself to be used by this odious TV channel; surely he can find other ways to promote his new book which would prevent him following  the footsteps of people like George Galloway, for example, who is a regular guest on the RT channel. 

The Scotsman reports on the story in more detail which you can read by following this internet link:

You Gotta Have Faith (06/09/16)

The BBC reports that Alex Salmond prefers 'people of faith' to us Godless types who don't believe that an all-seeing, all-knowing, all-powerful Supreme Being created the Universe before bestowing his blessing on followers of the Church of Scotland.

If you ask me, politicians should not have preferences over one group of people to another and in common with other organisations like trade unions, for example, they really ought to be completely neutral when it comes to matters of religion.

Seems to me the former SNP leader is losing his political touch.

Alex Salmond says he prefers 'people of faith'

BBC Scotland

Image copyright Church of ScotlandImage captionAlex Salmond appeared in the video, shot at the Scottish Parliament, alongside Rev Stuart MacQuarrie

Scotland's former first minister Alex Salmond has revealed that he prefers "people of faith to people of no faith or people who have lost their faith".

He made the statement in a video for the Church of Scotland.

Mr Salmond, who is now the SNP MP for Gordon, also said that he believed all denominations had a key role to play in society.

The Scottish Secular Society said the politician's remark was "controversial and divisive".

But a spokesman for Mr Salmond later clarified that the former first minister had been "talking about faith, not religion".

Mr Salmond, who is the SNP's foreign affairs spokesman at Westminster, was featured in the video alongside the Rev Stuart MacQuarrie, the Church of Scotland's chaplain to the University of Glasgow.

The clergyman had been at Holyrood to deliver the first "time for reflection" of the new parliamentary year.

Mr Salmond recalled that he was a champion for the chamber event, which features religious and humanist speakers.

Speaking during the three-minute video, he said: "I am biased, of course, because I am a Church of Scotland adherent and I prefer people of faith to people of no faith or people who have lost their faith.

"All denominations have a key role to play in society and we are very fortunate in Scotland because we have a tremendous ability, among religions and denominations, to come together and support good causes."

It's an incredibly ill-thought and divisive comment to makeSpencer Fildes, Scottish Secular Society

The chairman of the Scottish Secular Society, Spencer Fildes, said he was unhappy with Mr Salmond's comment.

He said: "For Alex Salmond to say he prefers people of faith is a controversial comment to make.

"With one sentence he has separated the religious and none religious, affording special place to the religious in his own world view; preferring one half of the country to the other.

"It's an incredibly ill-thought and divisive comment to make."

Gordon MacRae, chief executive of Humanist Society Scotland, also said he believed Mr Salmond's comments had been "deeply innapropriate".

He added: Non-religious people in Scotland constitute a larger group than any single religious denomination, and non-religious humanist wedding ceremonies are now one of the most popular ways for couples in Scotland to celebrate their love."