Alicsammin loves Vlad, who’s currently impaling Ukraine on a pointy Russian stick. It’s all over the media, so it must be true. Alicsammin just loves Crimean kebabs with a spicy oligarch sauce. Labour and the Tories, naturally, are outraged. Appalled. Shocked. Mortified. Unionist politicians would never do anything like that.
The remarks were made during an interview for GQ magazine, the interviewer was Alistair Campbell. Yes. That Alistair Campbell. He of dodgy dossier fame. Of course Alicsammin’s comments about Putin were hedged about with enough qualifications to keep the dugs out the garden, but that didn’t stop certain yappy wee Labour and Tory MSPs digging their way through the mud and crapping all over the lawn. What he said was that Putin had successfully restored the shattered pride of the Russian people, which had been ground into powder by the dissolution of the Soviet Union. He didn’t say he approved of Putin’s methods of doing so, in fact he explicitly said he didn’t. The only gushing approval in his comments was of the Russian people. Not their political masters.
Of course Alicsammin didn’t ask for Putin’s help in the referendum campaign. That would be David Cameron who did that.
First things first. Alicsammin’s opinions on foreign politicians are not relevant to the independence debate. We’re not voting to express our approval or disapproval of Russian policies. We’re voting to express our approval or disapproval of UK policies and the Westminster system of government. Unionist attempts to work a few anodyne comments by Alicsammin about an irrelevant issue into a reason for Scotland remaining under the Tory and Tory-lite governments of Westminster are a symptom of the poverty of their own arguments.
But they can’t help themselves. They rush to criticise Alicsammin because they still believe that the referendum question is “Do you want Scotland to be an alicsammin country?” They’re hoping no one will notice the even more gushing approval of a whole list of nasty dictators, oligarchs, strongmen, and out and out gangsters sprayed like a sewer outfall from the mouths of an even longer list of Labour and Tory politicians. Their attack on Scotland’s First Minister boils down to – see that alicsammin, he’s just as bad as we are so he is. Which isn’t exactly a glowing recommendation of the Westminster system.
But Alicsammin isn’t as bad as they are. He’s never accepted money or favours to promote an oligarch’s interests. Which is more than can be said for certain Unionists. And that is a whole lot worse than highly qualified approval voiced in a magazine interview months before the object of their admiration invaded Crimea.
In 2012, the Guardian reported that Tony Blair had accepted US$13 million from the government of Kazakhstan to whisper good words about President Nursultan Nazarbayev in the ear of Western governments. The Guardian article was titled “Blair’s moral decline”. Which is a bit misleading as it assumes that Blair occupied some moral high ground to fall from. But the man was always in the gutter. Meanwhile Peter Mandelson accepts lucrative fees for giving speeches and presentations to the Kazakh state enterprise Samruk, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Nazarbayev family. And according to the same Guardian report, Blair’s media attack dog Alistair Campbell acted as go between for Blair, and was spotted on a visit to the Kazakh capital of Astana. That will be the same Alistair Campbell who interviewed Alicsammin for GQ magazine.
Nazarbayev’s regime has been criticised by Human Rights Watch for its repeated abuse of human rights, imprisoning political dissidents, torture, disappearances, and closing down critical media outlets.
In May 2012, former Blairite cabinet minister and current BBC director of strategy James Purnell went to a dinner organised by Portland Communications, the Russian Government’s publicists. He was accompanied by Andrew “Lord” Adonis, who now advises Ed Miliband on industrial policy. Adonis had a number of high profile posts in both Blair and Brown’s governments – although he was never elected. He’s a lardy lord. Portland Communications, which is a paid shill for an impressive list of repressive regimes, was founded by Tim Allan, formerly Blair’s media advisor.
John Reid, who has been touted in some circles as the man to save the ailing Better Together campaign, is notorious for his contacts with unsavoury foreign politicians. Now that he’s left politics he’s touting himself as a performing artiste. You can book him for your wean’s birthday party, and he’ll blow up some balloons and advise on how best to get your dogs of war to perfom some tricks for the MoD. For a hefty fee or course. He infamously accepted a holiday invite from the Bosnian Serb war criminal Radovan Karadzic in 1993. Perhaps we should be kind, and concede that John just isn’t a very good judge of character. A little bit of further reading about John’s own character can be found here and Iain MacWhirter’s opinion is here. You can judge John for yourselves.
George Cataclysm Robertson is a board member of the Cohen Group, a US lobbying organisation founded by the right wing former US defence secretary William Cohen. The group uses its contacts with governments to promote the interests of some seriously dodgy points of view. The Cohen Group has reportedly provided invaluable assistance to the Turkish government in its attempts to deny the Armenian Holocaust – for the reasonable fee of US$100,000 a month.
And that’s just with a bit of light trowelling. I haven’t done much in the way of digging into the numerous contacts between Unionist politicians and people you wouldn’t want to invite round for tea.
Hypocrisy much? It’s the charge of the shite brigade – into the valley of the death of their careers.