John Mason, the SNP member for Glasgow East made another brave attempt at Prime Minister’s Question Time to open the sewer that Stephen Purcell recently crawled out of to inspection by the electorate.
He received nothing more than personal abuse from the Prime Minister by way of response. Gordon Brown made no attempt to answer the question merely hurled the accusation that John Mason had ‘spent more time’ voting in line with Conservative policies since he had been in Westminster and opined that ‘he should go back to Scotland’.
This is a monumental evasion of the central issue – the alarming revelations that have been slowly seeping out of the Glasgow political sewer week by week; champagne bills being paid by the tax payer, lucrative contracts awarded to Labour supporters, and of course the original claims that the man portrayed as the ‘second most important politician in Scotland’ and the public face of the council was not only a cocaine abuser and drunk who had considered suicide, but had been interviewed by the Serious Crime and Drug Enforcement Agency, an event which failed to raise eyebrows amongst the council officials who were aware of it occurrence.
This is not the first attempt to throw light on the alleged corruption in Glasgow.
Nicola Sturgeon called for an independent inquiry into the downfall of Stephen Purcell.
“There is clearly a growing unease about the things people are reading and hearing about concerning the council, and they are saying if Labour have nothing to hide why are they opposing an independent inquiry?”
Angus Robertson, the SNP leader at Westminster raised a similar question on the 17th March, and Gordon Brown said he ‘would investigate whether a member of his staff took part in a conference call to discuss the suitability of Purcell. Mr Brown replied that he ‘knew nothing of the matter’. He has yet to answer that question.
Tom Harris MP later claimed that ‘there are votes to be won by exploiting this tragic case’ – there probably are votes to be won, not by exploiting Purcell’s difficulties, but by exposing the corruption behind the stress he was under!
This is not the first time that Glasgow Council have been protected from questions regarding alleged corruption. During my trawl of Hansard on this matter – what do I find?
Mr. McGOVERN asked the Lord Advocate what action he proposes to take in regard to the representations which have been made to him to set up a, judicial inquiry into the allegations of corrupt practices by members of the city council of Glasgow?
The LORD ADVOCATE (Mr. Craigie Aitchison) I have considered these representations, but have been unable to discover any ground on which I could advise that steps should be taken to have a tribunal of inquiry set up under the Tribunals of Inquiry (Evidence) Act, 1921.
Mr. McGOVERN If I am able to place additional and important evidence of corrupt practices by members of the Glasgow City Council, in addition to the already conclusive evidence submitted by me and others, will the Lord Advocate undertake to tear himself away from the political influences which are operating, and set up a tribunal?
That was July 1930 – the problem is more deep rooted than I had imagined.
Come on Scottish readers – someone tell me what that was all about in 1930!
‘Rita’ is sitting here waiting to be educated – your starter for 10…….
Whislt I am waiting, I offer you this piece of trivia – guess who first thought of concealing underground the nasty smelly mess humans would prefer not to dwell upon, where it was neither seen nor heard – a Paisley man – Jenning’s patent sewer pipes. The things you learn eh?