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“They do things different in Scotland.

As Scottish National party ministers railed against the "despicable" bedroom tax and "shameful" cuts in public services at their conference in Perth, rumours circulated that Alex Salmond been staying at Scotland's most luxurious hotel, Gleneagles, for the weekend. The opulent Royal Lochnagar suites at Gleneagles, described as a "magnificent French chateau", 20 miles from Perth, cost £1,770 a night this weekend.


Alex Salmond is under pressure to account for a “mystery” £54,000 spent during his delegation’s visit to the Ryder Cup in Chicago after a Telegraph investigation into how it racked up a bill of nearly half a million pounds. This newspaper can disclose details of how more than £414,000 of taxpayers’ money was spent on the week-long trip to the golf tournament in the US, including £80,000 on food and drink. But the Scottish Government has so far refused to disclose how the remainder of the £468,580 total was spent, including the cost of Mr and Mrs Salmond’s stay in a five-star hotel away from the rest of the ‘Team Scotland’ delegation.


By Big_Ger Posted: February 11, 2014


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  • Taxman100  |  February 12 2014, 10:59AM

    Big_Ger. I am absolutely certain the Scottish people are fully capable of dealing with these matters.

  • AnBalores  |  February 12 2014, 11:36AM

    Agreed. Many posters base the highlight of their day on believing and highlighting the reports contained in the London press. Scotland will vote yes and then the whole post imperial house of cards will come tumbling down.

  • kclarkDD  |  February 12 2014, 1:37PM

    The Guardian and The Telegraph?! LOL. Of course, as Scotland's First Minister, he should have stayed in a £25 a night BnB, commensurate with his status. ;D Previous Scottish FMs have been praised by our media for raising our profile at events like these. Lauded as champions of Scotland, they were of course unionist FMs, good guys, who were treated in a wholly different manner.

  • Big_Ger  |  February 12 2014, 7:48PM

    Why did Salmond drag his heels on the FOI request to disclose his freeloading? Three months over the acceptable limits before he coughed.

  • Big_Ger  |  February 12 2014, 8:39PM

    Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond blamed expensive food allowance claims on William Wallace events. Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond who is also an MP at Westminster, been sucked into the expenses scandal at the House of Commons in London, with revelations Mr Salmond had claimed £800 for food expenses for two months, while the Parliament was actually in summer recess.

  • kclarkDD  |  February 12 2014, 11:53PM

    The Guardian. Again? Alex Salmond donates his MP's salary to a trust which helps groups in the North East of Scotland. The money you mention is within the rules, so what are you beefing about? Labour have been spending a lot of taxpayers' money on FOI requests, desperately trying to find anything to use against Alex Salmond and this is the best they can do? Some excitement was had amongst his opponents when a receipt for a novelty toy shop came up during a newspaper trawl through his activities. It must have been a great disappointment to them when they discovered it was a children's toy shop. I don't like most of what goes on at Westminster and the expenses system is high on that list, but compared to others Salmond is clean. There are many out there you should be gunning for. I don't suspect for a minute though that you and the Guardian give two hoots about the money. Any ammunition that can be used against Salmond will be used, while the real "freeloaders" get away time after time. I hear the Lords are complaining that standards in their subsidised restaurants are falling. One complained that his reservation was cancelled at the last minute and he was unable to book elsewhere because his wife was wearing a tiara. Overdressed for the local food bank obviously. :) Labour also know the FOI system well enough to ask questions Salmond can't answer without breaking ministerial rules. They then complain the SNP are secretive. A bizarre and wasteful use of taxpayers' money. You're obviously not a fan of the Scottish First Minister Big_Ger, as your term "freeloading" betrays. Be patient, he and the rest of us will soon be out of your hair.

  • Big_Ger  |  February 14 2014, 9:38AM

    First Minister Alex Salmond's argument that the revenues from North Sea oil would be a golden ticket if Scotland became independent after September's referendum has received a devastating blow. According to the latest monthly report from the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec), the average oil output in 2013 from the North Sea registered its lowest level since 1977. This represented a roughly 10% decline from the previous year of 90 thousand barrels per day (tb/d) and could undermine the arguments a number of Scottish nationalists regarding the North Sea oil and gas cash cow which would be available to Scots. What is even worse for Salmond, the report said that this trend of lower production could deepen this year. http://tinyurl.com/ouxvpka The golden goose stopped laying, I'm afraid.

  • kclarkDD  |  February 14 2014, 11:11AM

    Yes Big_Ger, believe it if you like. The oil has been running out my whole adult life and is an unstable resource which can't be relied on. Yet London guzzles it like mother's milk. A huge asset when talked of as a British resource, yet apparently a liability and millstone to an independent Scotland. The drop you mention was caused by tax grabs made by the London exchequer on the North Sea industry. It has never, ever, been well husbanded by London. The industry is making huge investments in the North Sea. They have a different view on it's long term viability. Your argument is moot however. If the oil only produced another year's yield Scots wouldn't see a penny of it anyway while part of our "Better Together" union. After independence we will show you the scale of amateurism at the heart of Whitehall by having a well governed, fair and aspirational country which looks after all it's citizens. Something which will embarrass the Westminster clique and may spur the rest of Britain's inhabitants to find a better system of government. One which benefits all of them.

  • AnBalores  |  February 14 2014, 12:30PM

    Well said kclarkDD. I so hope that the people of Scotland vote yes. And as you say, this will create enormous reverberations which will bring a huge change to the constructed UK. Bigger is obsessed with a dated and outmoded view of imperialism. He is the last of a breed.

  • kclarkDD  |  February 14 2014, 7:56PM

    Cheers AB. We had a stark example of old style British imperialism here yesterday with Osborne's flying visit. He came in the manner of some Inspector General, made some threats while hiding behind civil service advice, took three carefully orchestrated questions and departed as quickly as possible. STV's Scotland Tonight analyst, Bernard Ponsonby, was brushed aside as if he were an uppity serf. Given the monstering Ponsonby gave Gideon when last in town (available on YouTube) he was probably wise to dodge into his limo with the alacrity shown before he could be collared. Part of the civil service advice revealed to the Edinburgh audience was England's intention of working against Scotland should we vote for independence. Scots are used to the rough wooing of the English elite, but really, which bloody century do they think we are living in? They seem to envisage a 21st century version of the "Alien Act" to keep us in our place. I suspect it will be counter productive and cause yet another surge in the YES vote and hell mend them if it does. I doubt very much if this has reached your TV screens though. Few questions have been asked of the NO camp in regard to this with the British media lining up four square to attack the Scottish government.

  • Big_Ger  |  February 16 2014, 10:16PM

    Whoopsy!! European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso has said it would be "extremely difficult, if not impossible" for an independent Scotland to join the European Union. Speaking to the BBC's Andrew Marr he said an independent Scotland would have to apply for membership and get the approval of all current member states. The referendum on Scottish independence will be held on 18 September, with voters being asked the Yes/No question: "Should Scotland be an independent country?" http://tinyurl.com/kebx57j

  • kclarkDD  |  February 16 2014, 11:47PM

    "Whoopsy!!" BBC caught dictating the direction of the independence debate. Again! Andrew Marr asks a question, Barroso gives him the answer he wants and the band wagon rolls again. This isn't new, or news, Big_Ger. He has repeated a statement made before. I know you guys aren't up to speed on this, but we've been over this before up here. His is a lone voice on this issue. Barroso never names names when referring to vetoes. The Spanish government confirmed only last week that if Scotland votes for independence in a legally binding referendum they will not stand in our way. Of course all this "uncertainty" can be resolved if Westminster just asks for a ruling now, instead of hiding behind their "no pre-negotiation" mantra. A stance they have conveniently set aside by ganging up on Scotland in regards to the monetary question. They refuse to ask though. Ask yourself why? Once again, in Westminster's little bubble it's a case of heads we win, tails you lose. Barroso's comparison of Kosovo and Scotland is beyond contempt, no matter how much he couches his statements with his assurance that he does not want to get involved in a foreign country's politics. He is, which surely breaks the code of the office he holds. The only European state to have suggested they will work against Scottish interests is, of course, our better together partners England. An intent made clear by the civil service advice revealed last week by George Osborne. However, tomorrow we will see the headlines, watch the "news" on TV and at First Minister Questions on Thursday this will be the attack line of both Johann Lamont and Ruth Davidson. Our state broadcaster leading the van, supplying the ammunition, working hand in glove with the forces hell bent on keeping hold of Scotland, no matter the long term damage it does to us or the RUK. As I said at the start, this isn't news. Scots on both sides of this debate pay licences, yet it is only too obvious who's side good old Aunty Beeb is on. I guess the name gives it away.

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