Dictum Meum Pactum.
When I left, school my first job was for a Glasgow firm of Stockbrokers. The Scottish Stock Exchange was closed around about the same time as oil was discovered in the North Sea. No coincidence there when all the Stock Exchange business transferred to the London exchange. Not long after (BNOC) The British National Oil Read more about Dictum Meum Pactum.[…] The post Dictum Meum Pactum. appeared first on BarrheadBoy.
- When I left, school my first job was for a Glasgow firm of Stockbrokers. The Scottish Stock Exchange was closed around about the same time as oil was discovered in the North Sea. No coincidence there when all the Stock Exchange business transferred to the London exchange. Not long after (BNOC) The British National Oil Corporation, the company set up to manage the North Sea bounty was sold by the government to BP. The HQ in St Vincent St., Glasgow closed and this too all transferred to London.
Needless to say the House Jocks and their English based political parties stayed silent as both these vital institutions were stolen from the Scottish nation. Hopefully, in the not too distant future, a new Scottish Stock Exchange and a Scottish National Oil Company will emerge in the independent Scotland.
There are, of course, many hurdles and travails to meet before that comes to pass. Today events at Holyrood may well determine if it is sooner rather than later.
The British Political System, unlike most western democracies does not work to a written constitution. Instead, it is codified by an honour system and an unwritten constitution which to be generous can be best described as fluid in interpretation.
This ‘honour system’ is loosely aligned to the code of chivalry from medieval times. In those days, unlike now Knights of the Realm lived and operated by a strict code of honour and chivalry. Some things were just not done. Anyone breaking the code was drummed out of Christendom and viewed as a rogue by the other knights. This chivalry operated even in the rules of war and to this day survives in a fashion. Nowadays we know it better as Rules of Engagement. That is why we had Nuremberg Trials back in 1945 at the end of WWII. Since that time it is fair to say that many British and American commanders and politicians should have been facing justice for illegal wars sadly modern times politics and nuclear weapons outweighs justice every time.
The House of Commons and Holyrood are still supposed to operate on this honour system. We can see from the recent revelations regarding Matt Hancock that Westminster long ago gave up on any kind of honour system. How a government minister that was found to have broken the law over awarding multi-million £ contracts can not only avoid criminal charges but remain a Cabinet Minister shows how ineffective British democracy is.
It was not always the case. For younger readers it might come as a shock to know that once upon a time there were Tories at Westminster that did uphold truth, honour and decency.
On 2 April 1982, Argentinian forces invaded the British overseas territory of the Falkland Islands. Argentina had claimed sovereignty over the islands for many years, and their ruling military junta did not believe that Britain would attempt to regain the islands by Force. Whatever their own military intelligence discovered they made one fatal mistake, they had not studied Margaret Hilda Thatcher!
I remember the shock to the entire nation when the BBC announced the invasion. In the days before Google search we all had to head to the library to find where the Falkland Islands were situated. I think it is safe to say if the BBC had asked 1000 British subjects to point to the archipelago only 1 or maybe 2 could have pointed to it.
It was not in our consciousness, and nobody gave a flying fig except Thatcher and her government. Needless to say the Little Englanders and the armchair generals were apoplectic with outrage at this affrontery to Mother England. It lead to the Task Force and many young lost lives before Britannia once more felt for a short time a ‘power’ in the world. For the pacifists it was a nauseating time to be ‘British.’ As an aside to make Mother England feel good she sent the Scots Guards, The Welsh Guards and the Nepalese Ghurkas to restore England’s pride!
One of the few decent events in this entire fiasco was Peter Carrington, later Lord Carrington he invoked the honour code, on himself. Although nobody including the Prime Minister held him responsible for the invasion, he held himself to account. Despite the pleadings of the Prime Minister and his Cabinet colleagues, he did the honourable thing. He resigned from the position on 5 April, taking full responsibility for the complacency of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in its failure to foresee this development and for the misleading signals sent by the Foreign Office on British intentions for retaining control over the Falklands.
That was the last time I can recall any Tory or any MP of the UK Parliament acting with honour until Robin Cook 17th March 2003.Cook too invoked the honour code and is about the only Scottish Labour MP I have ever respected.
Mr Cook said in a statement: “It is 20 years ago that I first joined Labour’s shadow cabinet. It is with regret I have today resigned from its cabinet. I can’t accept collective responsibility for the decision to commit Britain now to military action in Iraq without international agreement or domestic support.”
So much dishonour and so few honourable men and women in British politics. One of the biggest motivations for myself and many others in the Scottish Independence Movement was this lack of honour and decency in politics. That was a factor in us joining the SNP and wanting independence from the dishonourable Westminster. We envision a Scotland with a written Constitution, an honour code and accountability from our politicians. Till that day of liberation, we agreed that the halfway house of Holyrood would not ape the corruption, the dishonesty and downright sleaze of Westminster.
We prided ourselves on our vehicle the SNP being different from the British Parties. Our Party would be honest, transparent, observe all the protocols and never lower ourselves to the dirty politics of the English based parties. There would be no illegality, no nepotism, no underhand dealings. We started in the manner that would continue in and beyond our independence. It worked to, right up until November 2014.We then inadvertently allowed a fox into the chicken coup.
The behaviour of the SNP leadership in the last three years, in particular, has been more than questionable. Everything this party set out to destroy we instead became a mirror image of Westminster. Division, subterfuge, lies, nepotism, back stabbing plotting criminality. We have a Party Leader married to CEO of the Party highly irregular and extremely questionable. It would not be permitted in your local bowling club let alone in a nations government. Highly paid jobs being created like COO and appointed not advertised or approved of by the NEC or Conference. Only this week another such appointment has been created. Kenny MacAskill, MP, rightly asked when and where was the Jessica Mennie post advertised, the answer was, of course, it wasn’t it was another job created and given to a favoured member.
Then we have the sorry sad saga surrounding the Alex Salmond case. With each passing day more facts emerge of collusion, obfuscation, obstruction and lies. The documentation and evidence that the committee has required have needed prised from the Scottish Government at every turn. Court orders and search warrants, votes in Parliament and threats of Votes of No Confidence have been required to get what should have freely been handed over.
All this goes to fan the flames of a cover up by the leadership of the SNP Scottish Government. Nicola Sturgeon whole piously demanding Alex Salmond put up or shut up was working behind the scenes to ensure he could not produce the damning evidence of her own lies. She felt secure in the knowledge that the Crown Office would deploy the jigsaw defence of anything that could remotely implicate her in any wrongdoing. That has all unravelled now. Everything she tried to have hidden has been revealed. Her lies to Parliament a resignation matter has been laid bare. There has been corroboration of Alex Salmond’s evidence that she knew on March 29th, not only the reason for her meeting with Salmond’s Chief of Staff, Geoff Aberdien, she also knew the names of at least one of the complainers. If and when the second name ever gets into the public domain you will know she knew the name of the second complainer too. That lie is enough to trigger her resignation. There will be a Vote of No Confidence in the chamber. She may survive that if the Greens put their own electoral chances above the integrity of the parliament as an institution. The exact same circumstances rests with every single SNP MSP. They can either put the honour of the parliament or grubby politics as their motivation. One hopes there are some Peter Carrington and fewer Matt Hancocks in the SNP benches.
Before that Nicola Sturgeon has to face the Fabiani Committee. Just a reminder this Inquiry is into the actions of the Scottish Government’s handling of the Sexual Harassment claims it is not a retrial of Alex Salmond.
Nicola Sturgeon has only one opportunity to do the right thing. She can go to the committee today and have a mea culpa moment. She can accept responsibility for her Government’s failings in this story sad tale. She should remember the words of Lord Pentland, Unfair, Unlawful and Tainted with Apparent bias. She should accept that verdict assure us lessons have been learnt and apologise to the two complainers and Alex Salmond for all the distress caused by her governments incompetence. She should apologise to the Scottish tax payers for misusing their money in extending the Judicial Review case much longer than was necessary. She should apologise to the committee for all the redactions and withheld evidence. She should then return to the chamber and resign.
She should but does she have in it her character, does she gave the honour code?
The title of this blog was also the motto of the Scottish Stock Exchange, Dictum Meum Pactum loosely translated means, My Word is My Bond. It would be a good time to reintroduce this into the SNP and our Parliament.