Tuesday 8 November 2005

New Tory leader

So now it's official:
Sole nominee Annabel Goldie has been confirmed as the leader of the Scottish Conservatives.
Of course, as I wrote here, none of this trouble would have happened if MSPs had followed the Farrer plan and accepted neither salary nor expenses!

On Monday the Hack had this to say:

As if the Tories don’t have enough problems in Scotland they use his role in plotting against the taxi man to force out Brian Monteith, one of their best operators. Monteith merely suggested what other Tories had been thinking all along – it was time for the Letch to go because the taxi saga was destroying whatever credibility the party had left. His biggest mistake was committing his thoughts to email and sending it anywhere near Barclay Towers and the editor of Scotland on Sunday. Most journalists I know would have been happy to use their sources anonymously and not splash their contents right across their rags. Ethics is word not generally used or understood at the SoS, or so it seems.
Unsurprisingly, other politicians deplore the leaking of Brian Monteith's e-mails:
Even some Labour MSPs felt sympathy for Mr Monteith, concern for themselves and astonishment about what the newspaper had done with confidential exchanges between the MSP and an editor.

..."It just means people will go back to the quiet telephone conversation or a furtive word behind the back of the hand," was how one party aide put it.

Such a pity that Labour is outlawing smoke-filled rooms.


David Farrer said...

Comments made on previous template:

Niniane Mackenzie
I think we are bot in agreement here: 
journalistic ethics = oxymoron 
After several days distance from the topic I found myself weighing in on that which we call 'journalistic ethics' and their unwritten code of 'protecting one's sources'. 
It would seem to me that the code of 'protecting of one's sources' refers specifically to those whom we call 'whistleblowers', ie those innocent by-standers who, through no fault of their own, have become privy to critical information which may serve to protect and/or defend innocent people from getting hurt; while at the same time, the protection of the 'whistleblower's identity becomes critical for fear of repraisal and retribution against him and his family -- this vital protection serves as an incentive for them to come forward with whatever valuable tidbits they may hold in confidence. 
Brian Moneith was certainly no innocent by-standing whistleblower. He was a devious snake, at work plotting against members of his own party. 
Clearly, in this instance, protecting one's sources (ie Brian Monteith) did not apply.

17 November 2005, 20:53:20 GMT
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Neil Craig
My point about the term "fault" is that when you get into the Alice in Wonderland world of journalistic ethics what is "right" loses its normal meaning. 
Monteith has not behaved well altho' he is hardly the first politician to leak against associates - but when proven it is right to go - this, many years ago, is what Westland was about. In partial mitigation it can be pointed out that he had previously resigned from the Tory front bench to consider new policies which means it was no secret he didn't like the purveyor of the old ones so it wasn't entirely a backstab. 
PGO I stand corrected.

15 November 2005, 19:33:16 GMT
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Niniane Mackenzie
Neil Craig wrote: "The editor's fault is that he was going to tell the truth about somebody." 
Do you sincerely believe it was the editor's fault ???? 
What about Brian Monteith? 
Monteith is the one who concocted this scheme in the first place. 
Monteith is the one who contacted Iain Martin with the plot -- the plot which ultimately unravelled of its own accord on Wednesday prior to Monteith's resignation -- the plot which was set into motion at Mr. Monteith's behest with Alan Cochrane's article in the Daily Telegraph. 
The only one to blame is Brian Monteith himself, as heopenly confessed. He didn't think through the consequenses of his conniving actions. 
Iain Martin is not to blame at all for any of this.

12 November 2005, 15:30:52 GMT
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The Pedant-General in Ordinary
Tautology or oxymoron? 
Toodle Pip! 

11 November 2005, 10:13:19 GMT
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Neil Craig
SoS were implying they were about to release the emails - that Brian jumped before he was pushed barely affects the ethical position. 
In any case journalistic ethics is somewhat of a tautology. The editor's fault is that he was going to tell the truth about somebody. 
There are good business reasons why journalists conceal their sources but, except in the case of real whistleblowers, they aren't connected to ethics.

9 November 2005, 21:35:49 GMT
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David Farrer said...

Niniane Mackenzie
Yes, the emails were published after the fact in EVERY SINGLE BROADSHEET in the UK on SUNDAY. The Tory leadership made certain of that. But it was not Iain Martin who did the leaking prior to Monteith's resignation. 
Monteith came clean and resigned on SATURDAY -- BEFORE the contents of the emails were published.  
There was no question or doubt as to whether or not the the contents of the emails would be published -- it was a matter of whether or not MONTEITH would actually be named as the source of the emails. 
We cannot blame Iain Martin for wanting to reveal his sources -- it's juicy news and far too important not to report. But the truth is that he did not reveal his sources. 
So how did Alan Cochrane of The Daily Telegraph get wind of the MYSTERIOUS unsourced emails without mentioning Monteith by name? Obviously they were leaked to him by Iain Martin, which I suppose was part of the scheme Martin and Monteith had worked out earlier. But it all back fired after that. 
The rest, as they say, is politics.

9 November 2005, 19:29:42 GMT
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Kenny McCormack
Brian Monteith only outed himself because the emails were about to be published. And they were published, I read them in the Sunday Times. See bellow:  

9 November 2005, 19:05:12 GMT
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Niniane Mackenzie
Iain Martin did not reveal his sources to anyone. 
The emails were never published. 
It was Brian Monteith who outed himself about the emails he sent. 
Here's a full account of the events as they unfolded: 

9 November 2005, 18:12:45 GMT
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Kenny McCormack
But usually Niniane all leaking and briefing is done to newspapers in confidence. It is not the case that journalists reveal their sources in the way Iain Martin did.

9 November 2005, 17:27:08 GMT
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David Farrer said...

Niniane Mackenzie
I'm not sure if you miss the point when you say, "what Monteith emailed to Martin should have stayed confidential. Martin is 34 years old, that is old enough to know how that game works". 
The game is called "politics" and there are no clean rules in this game, just dirty tricks. 
Press 'leaks' are one of the many game tactics used by politicians to cock-up their political opponents, even when the cock-ups are setup against other members of their own political party. 
Our broadsheets are truly nothing more than polished-looking tabloids. And a large portion of our press reporters are on the take with these politicans, exchanging favours for their dirty deeds. 
Odd, this game of politics, eh?

9 November 2005, 06:55:13 GMT
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Kenny McCormack
Firstly - This Hack guy is right: what Monteith emailed to Martin should have stayed confidential. Martin is 34 years old, that is old enough to know how that game works. The excuse that Monteith was shedding 'crocodile tears' is a moronic excuse for that breach of confidence. 
Secondly - the Tories are a joke in this country. For years they stupidly always selected their candidates from the upper classes, and chose the most anglicised Scots to represent them. Hardly surprising that ordinary Scots don't have much time for them. 
George Younger is a prime example of this trend: nominally Scottish, educated at Winchester public school and New College, Oxford; had a peerage etc. Watered down Thatcherism for Scottish consumption (threatened to resign if Ravenscraig closed etc)which resulted in failure to wean the country from its dependency culture. We are still living with the legacy of Younger now. 
I am not really that bothered about the Tory party either side of the border, except that we desperately need an opposition to the Red Front that is currently ruining, sorry, ruling the country.  
Personally I would like to vote Liberal, but that once great party has no modern equivilant. There is a party called the Liberal Democrats. They should be sued under the Trades Description Act.

8 November 2005, 20:27:07 GMT
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dave t
The whole thing is a farce. MY local Chairman has written saying vote for Cameron. So I voted for Davis instead.... 
The party is going down the plughole because the stupid upper class twits that ran it for years are lashing out as they are slowly eased out of the HQ staff etc. I paid my dues this year but next year? Maybe not but where the eck do I go?

8 November 2005, 17:47:17 GMT