by a Newsnet reporter

Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond is currently on a trip to the Gulf, where he met Qatari leaders.  During his meeting the First Minister commented on similarities between Qatar and Scotland, a reference to the fact that both are small nations with large petroleum resources.  The First Minister will also be visiting the United Arab Emirates.  The goal of the trip is to promote awareness of Scottish business and industry amongst Gulf leaders.

Speaking in Doha, the capital of Qatar, the First Minister said:  "As nations, we both have considerable expertise in oil and gas production but as we look to the future and a low-carbon economy, we must increasingly develop new technologies.

"We discussed the remarkable similarities between our respective nations.  Although both Scotland and Qatar have common strengths in the oil and gas sector, we are both seeking to develop our low carbon energy industries.  This is where Qatar's focus on becoming a global knowledge hub links well with Scotland's considerable reputation as a world-leading education nation.

However Scottish Lib Dem leader Willie Rennie has used the visit to launch an outrageous attack on Scottish independence and on the Qatari hosts of the First Minister, insulting both the First Minister and his hosts and undermining attempts to promote Scottish business interests in a key part of the global economy.  

Rennie published the accompanying image on his own Facebook page with the caption "A glimpse into Salmond's independent Scotland perhaps?"  The Lib Dems' official Twitter account later sent a message about the image, which also appeared on the official Scottish Lib Dem Facebook page.  The image, showing a mock up of what appears to be a 'darkened' or unshaven First Minister in Arab head-dress next to a camel, could be construed as racist.  The accompanying text makes three outright lies about the First Minister in an attempt to scare voters into voting against Scottish independence.

The image clearly alleges that the First Minister is homophobic.  However Alex Salmond has made clear his support for lesbian and gay rights and has spoken in favour of the introduction of gay and lesbian marriage on a par with heterosexual marriage.  

The image also implies that Alex Salmond intends to set himself up as a dictator in an independent Scotland, an outrageous, and possibly defamatory, statement to make about a democratic politician.

The SNP is opposed to the death penalty and has been consistently against capital punishment since before the re-establishment of the Scottish Parliament.

Damage may have been caused to relations between Scotland and key Gulf states as a result of Rennie's posts.  In recent months Unionist politicians have shown that they are not afraid to damage Scotland's standing and reputation abroad in order to score a cheap political point in the Unionist media back home.  Last year Iain Grey, leader of the Labour group in the Scottish Parliament, insulted the people and government of Montenegro.

Coming just a few days after Iain Grey launched into a vituperative attack on "cybernats", the image posted by Rennie on his own Facebook page is an unwelcome addition to the independence debate and, at best, unbecoming for a leader of a political party.


# Drew1314 2011-11-01 07:02
I see he has now withdrawn the offending post and made an apology:

"Willie Rennie
I apologise for the offence that has been clearly caused by our cartoon on the First Minister's remarks in Qatar. Although I did not approve its publication I accept responsibility for it. It has been interpreted in ways that were not intended. It has now been withdrawn. I apologise.

Sorry the link is:
# northernshedboy 2011-11-01 08:21
Interesting that the cartoon is on the 'personal page' of Mr Rennie, but in your posting above he says he did not approve of it's publication.

??? So why put it on your own facebook page ...... Or does someone else do these jobs for him? Why would he let anyone else know his Facebook passwords? I hope he gets on well with this person or it would be really easy to ruin a flourishing career as a party leader.

How bizarre.
# Embradon 2011-11-01 09:48
Quoting northernshedboy :
..... it would be really easy to ruin a flourishing career as a party leader.

How bizarre.

I'm not sure about the flourishing career NSB.

He may be cock of the Lib-dem walk.. but there is not much walk left to be cock of.

He can call himself king of his tiny desert island - but the sea level is rising.
# Robabody 2011-11-01 14:50
Hi Drew I was banging on last week about people having the courage to "Man up" when an error or mistake is made. In Mr Rennie's case he has done, which is more than can be said for M/s Lamont (fake rape case)and Iain Davidson(threat s of violence). So on balance, I'm inclined to accept his apology at face value.

Now Mr Rennie's next job is to ensure the bairns don't get loose on his facebook page again as the content reflects badly on him.
# JRTomlin 2011-11-01 17:44
Sorry, but I do not consider "It was nae me. A big boy did it..." to be an apology.
# mealer 2011-11-01 07:12
I dont think this will go down well with "liberal" people.Willie Rennie obviously has a blind hatred of the duly elected First Minister of Scotland.A large proportion of his partys members quite like Mr Salmond.At least thats what polling data suggests.
# GavB 2011-11-01 07:19
The comments and reactions to the facebook posting have also been removed. Many of the angry, dissapointed and downright disgusted reactions seemed to be coming from Lib Dems.

When I saw the site last night, there were just over 70 comments, all negative and, bizarrely, 5 likes.
# Drew1314 2011-11-01 07:41

102 comments earlier this morning.

Facebook retain the post and even after it is taken down it can be accessed if you commented and had a "like" for your comment.
# Macart 2011-11-01 09:22
Drew - You couldn't make it up could you. Dr Whiteford is apparently conducting a smear campaign. Messrs, Gray, Rennie and today Forsyth and friends are just telling it like it is apparently. No smear going on here and no mention of the like in MSM.
# Ken Mac 2011-11-01 07:44
At the risk of getting flamed here I can see the funny side of this. Though just like Iain Grey's gaffes on Montenegro etc it doesn't do anything for our international relations.
# Drew1314 2011-11-01 07:50
@Ken Mac


Already though comparisons are being made to Ian Gray's "subway moment".
# scottish_skier 2011-11-01 07:55
Quoting Ken Mac:
At the risk of getting flamed here I can see the funny side of this. Though just like Iain Grey's gaffes on Montenegro etc it doesn't do anything for our international relations.

I know what you mean. Under normal circumstances, it would be just a joke.

Point is however that Willie Rennie is supposed to be the Lib alternative as an FM. He should know better - a lot better.
# clootie 2011-11-01 08:13
Ken Mac

In the pub - Yes!. On the world stage when you are trying to buld an image as a nation worthy of investment - No!

It does show the worth of the opposition though - that damage to your nation is worthwhile if you can have a go at Alex!
# Jim Johnston 2011-11-01 10:15
Aye Ken, it's about as funny as Aids.

Rennie is as daft as a ships cat if he thinks this is a cartoon funny.

The LibDems better get a grip, they and the Tory party are irrelevant in Scotland, soon to be joined by Labour, now they are getting pathetic.
# RaboRuglen 2011-11-01 07:48
Hi there,

It ill-behoves the Liberals to call anybody a dictator when they rule Scotland through Westminster with no Scottish mandate. Governor-General Moore is the only "dictator" I can see in Scotland's government.

Mr Rennie, actions speak louder than words, and your actions since taking office have been dreadful.

# Siôn Jones 2011-11-01 14:44
I agree - this stupid contribution just serves to show how devoid of ideas and arguments the Unionists are!

Is is it just me, but has the stigma that used to be attached to the word Nationalist now been wholly transferred to the word Unionist?
# RJBH 2011-11-01 07:52
on the positive side.. it brightens up a rather slow start to the day...
# dogbite 2011-11-01 07:57
RabuRuglen I cannot for the life of me see the funny side of Rennies slur. I am sure Alex can take it but the damage it does to Scotlands relations with the outside world is damaging.
# km 2011-11-01 07:58
This is playground stuff from Rennie. He's just lost another hundred votes for the Lib Dems in Scotland. Can't be many left now.
# Alibi 2011-11-01 08:02
Wow, I have long thought Rennie was an idiot but that really pushes the boundaries. Clear racism apart from anything else. And his grasp of our own constitutional arrangements is clearly shaky with his line about an absolute monarchy. I would say the queen might be a bit put out by that line.

Rennie should resign over that. Clearly unfit for his (admittedly purely ceremonial) position.
# Robert Louis 2011-11-01 08:03
I do believe this needs reported to the police. It is blatantly racist. The commission for racial equality might like to get involved too.

My my what a tawdry bunch the Unionists have become. First we have Ian Davidson of Labour reportedly threatening to give a female MP "a doing' (which in Scotland means beating somebody up) in the house of commons, and now we have this blatant piece of racist propaganda by the Liberal Democrats.

On a side issue have the Labour party or Ed Miliband taken any action against Ian Davidson for his 'threatening' behaviour to a woman?
# Macart 2011-11-01 08:08
RL it gets better check this one out.

They really are ganging up big time now. It's attack after attack and all on a very personal level.
# Arbroath1320 2011-11-01 12:06
There are, I think, a couple of things to say about the unionist attacks these days.

1) They are all running about like headless chickens scared out of their tiny, and I mean TINY, little pea brains.

2) They have reached the point where they are now speaking before engaging their pea brains.

3) They now realise that all is lost. Hell even some are talking about U.D.I.

The extraordinary row erupted in the House of Lords as another Conservative, Lord Cormack, appeared to suggest Mr Salmond could be compared to the Zimbabwean dictator or his predecessor Ian Smith, who, as prime minister of the country then known as Rhodesia, declared independence from the UK in 1979.
# Macart 2011-11-01 13:54
I know! Its like they've forgotten how debate or discussion actually works. All pretence at politics is oot the windae an noo wur doon tae name callin. :0)
# manxbhoy 2011-11-01 14:55
hi arbroath, i know its a wee bit pendantic, but do these tories and their msm journos no ian smith, the expat scot, and prime minister of southern rhodesia declared udi on 11th november 1965, and no 1979????
i hate it when lazy journos fail to establish the facts before going to print.
# Arbroath1320 2011-11-01 15:07
Yeah well that's the MSM for you.

Make a quote, any quote, don't worry about the quote being correct, these "too wee, too poor, too stupid" Scots will no realise the error.

Oh so you ******* think so do you?

Methinks it is not only the unionist politicians that are running out of ideas but perhaps the MSM are as well.

I am just wondering if that "Lord" Cormack really thought his quote through. He does realise that we "cybernats" are always talking about U.D.I. We talk about nothing else.

Dammit, what am I talking about. "Lord" Cormack thinking about his quote before uttering it, he's a "politician" of course he doesn't do that.

I must be *******. I'm off to the "DARKENED ROOM". :D

Arbroath, please mind the language! We know you're capable of making a good point - such words really aren't necessary to do so. -- NNS Mod Team
# JRTomlin 2011-11-01 17:58
The attacks such as a comparison to Mugabe are so bizarre that they can only do the nationalist cause good. I've seen it in other campaigns. Scots do NOT take well to this kind of personal attack politics.
# Drew1314 2011-11-01 08:12
@ Robert Louis

Trouble is about Davidson - far from it. They continue to attempt to turn it into an SNP "smear".
# chiefy1724 2011-11-01 09:47
Oh look, no comments allowed. Surprise !
# Fungus 2011-11-01 08:52
Ask Willie Rennie, his Facebook page has an entry about the Scottish Affairs Select Committee
# gedguy2 2011-11-01 08:05
And now we have a dubious headline on the BBC's website:

'Alex Salmond makes invest with us plea to Abu Dhabi'

How come when a Unionist visits those countries it is written as selling yet when it is the FM it is a form of begging?
# Arbroath1320 2011-11-01 12:09
gedguy it is really quite simple.

Unionist politicians see themselves as "saving the union" i.e grabbing as much loot for Westminster as possible while controlling the "natives".

A.S. is all about doing whatever he can for the betterment of Scotland and her people.

MSM are all about putting Scotland down, end of!
# Ben Power 2011-11-01 08:11
"Construed as racist" that is putting it mildly.
I would say the caricature and wording is definitely racist and I find it offensive especially considering the majority of Scots positions on the subject and Mr Salmonds already public statements on his and the Scots governments position on the matters.
# Rannoch 2011-11-01 08:14
The Queen welcomed The Emir of Qatar and his family as her guests at Windsor Castle today.It is a sign of special favour when the Queen hosts VIP guests in her beloved Windsor Castle.
The Emir will also meet the Prime Minister David Cameron and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg. 26 October 2010
In This Photo: Nick Clegg meets The Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani ::

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg met today with Qatari Deputy Prime Minister His Excellency Abdullah bin Hamad Al-Attiyah.This meeting signifies the importance the Government places on building close ties with Gulf partners.27 May 2010.
# dogbite 2011-11-01 08:19
What are the chances of a newsnet reporter say Hazel to fly on the same plane with the first minister to report first hand on the business we want to hear and read about.

Oh and NEWSNET i want to contrbute on a regular basis but not through paypal they have given my deails to others without my permission. Is there any other option
# snowthistle 2011-11-01 08:28
There are details of how to do that at the end of this article
# Robert Louis 2011-11-01 08:48
Quoting snowthistle:
There are details of how to do that at the end of this article

This is great news, as many people had previously not wanted to use paypal, and so a direct bank account is very useful. for people to donate to the volunteer led Newsnet Scotland.
# dogbite 2011-11-01 10:33

Thanks for the link my friend I will now be puting in a wee sum so that newsnet can get all the help it can get. As i am currently on the buroo it wont be much but once I get my job i will increase accordingly.
# deepwater 2011-11-01 12:23

We'll need to wait for NNS to be a bit wealthier I think - but NNS does get information fairly quickly.
# Old Smokey 2011-11-01 08:31
When I saw this on Facebook last night, I actually was thinking that it was a hoax page, it was THAT bad.
I thought no one could be that stupid, but it appears that Rennie's and the Libdems stupidity know's no bounds.
Rennie is now trying to make out that it was nothing to do with him, it was down to 'someone' in the Libdems
Apart from that stupid cartoon
The other idiotic and racist poster 'Jimmy Power' is still there
I also read the 'Scottish Lib Dems: £250 million could be invested in Scottish economy' refering to England benefiting from £950 million of UK Government investment. Ignoring the glaringly obvious from Rennie as to why UK taxpayer money is funding investing in England, but the idiot compounds his stupidity by suggesting privatising Scottish water to pay for investment in Scotland!
# chicmac 2011-11-01 08:36
So where is the surprise? British Nationalism is based on imperialist notions of national priviledge where other nations are to be pitied and corrected if possible - for a fee of course.

Scottish nationalism is the antithesis of this. It is egalitarian in nature and anti-imperialist, according all cultures equal worth and respect. Indeed Scots nats see cultural diversity amongst nations a positive thing for the advancement of World civilization and something to be encouraged rather than discouraged.

It is highly ironic that it is the Unionist politicians and Brit Nats who incessantly hurl accusations of xenophobia at the SNP when in fact it is they who are the xenophobes. A process known as psychological projection I believe.
# James Irvine 2011-11-01 08:41
There is more to this than one person's comments. Unionist politicians and commentators are promoting the theme of independence/SNP/Alex Salmond as 'bullies', 'totalitarian', 'sinister', etc. It's the first clear tactical response of unionism to the SNP's election success and independence referendum.
# Zed 2011-11-01 08:44
Did Rennie actually say "It wasn't me"? As far as I'm aware all he said was others have Admin access to his FB page. That's not an actual denial it was him personally is it?
And how did he not know it was there? Saying he had a day off is hardly a credible excuse.
More to this methinks!
# Drew1314 2011-11-01 08:49
@ Zed.

The post on his F.B. is above. First post on this article. Although I understand he has to take responsibility for his social networking sites including twitter.
# JRTomlin 2011-11-01 18:05
He said: "I did not approve its publication"

What a lame excuse
# Robert Louis 2011-11-01 08:47
As Willie Rennie, the Liberal Democrat leader in Holyrood, whose PERSONAL facebook page this image was placed on has said it was not approved for publication by him (REALLY?????), will he make a formal apology this week directly to the First Minister of Scotland in FMQ's??
# J Wil 2011-11-01 09:07
Alex Salmond will be steamin' at FMQ's. Rennie better take the day off.

It's not good enough for Rennie to say 'I dinna ken'. He is supposed to be the leader.

He nows says he didn't know but he takes responsibility for it. Meaning?
# Arbroath1320 2011-11-01 12:13
Alex Salmond will be steamin' at FMQ's. Rennie better take the day off.

Has he no already had a day off this week? :D

Perhaps a better idea would not to take a day off but perhaps he should take the next five years off! :D
# RTP 2011-11-01 17:16
Alex Salmond will not be there he is off trying to get countries to invest in Scotland unlike the Lib/Dem unlike Wullie and Grey who runs down other countries.
Ms Sturgeon is taking Alex's place and she will not be easy with Rennie if he try's anything.
# UpSpake 2011-11-01 09:10
The sound of the desperation waters lapping at the shores of the unionist island is becoming deafening.
Vacuous and of little substance there is only one way to go, smear and belittling of your opponents. Desperation indeed !.
# Old Smokey 2011-11-01 09:15
A bit OT
Was listening to GMS this morning and they were on about the minimum unit pricing. They tried a vox pop bit interviewing the 'ordinary' man and women in the street. From what I heard, I think they were standing outside a pub in Govan (where the BBC are and where they do most of their interviewing of the 'public') first couple of men sounded as if they did enjoy a drink or three, one even admited to being a Labour supporter, all of course against minimum pricing
# Aplinal 2011-11-01 09:17
MODS: Can I suggest that your bank details are placed on the Home page for ease of reference? The "donate" page only has the other options. I will make a direct donation later today - keep up the good work.

Saor Alba

Many thanks Aplinal, we will pass on your suggestion to the techs. Mods
# tartanfever 2011-11-01 09:23
Surprise surprise, the BBC have decided to run with this story and to reprint the cartoon on their news pages. Any opportunity to mock the First Minister.
# Aplinal 2011-11-01 09:44
I listened to the clip also on the page - Rennie got a reasonably robust interview. Didn't come across well at all. Another nail in the LD coffin.
# fynesider 2011-11-01 16:07
"Surprise surprise, the BBC have decided to run with this story and to reprint the cartoon on their news pages."

and included within this article, which I'm sure you've read, is.....?
# Mac 2011-11-01 09:28
Gutter and desperate politics from the Lib Dems - why doesn't that surprise anyone these days.

Mind Willie Rennie has been told by the BBC/Scotsman/Daily Record etc that if the Lib Dems are not attacking the SNP they will not get reported.
# snowthistle 2011-11-01 09:52
How do you know?
# Clarinda 2011-11-01 09:53
Well, well - Mr Cochrane has finally blown his 'journalistic' big end this morning with a piece that defies just about everything apart from fear and loathing. I regret this link - but here goes
# Jim Johnston 2011-11-01 10:31
Hi Clarinda,
Cochranes' problem must have something to do with his upside doon heid. His brain has floated halfway towards his feet. That's what happens when your brain is still wrapped in polythene, it traps air pockets.
# Drew1314 2011-11-01 10:39

Read it earlier, he is a despicable man - Cochrane, yet I read his stuff because every article he writes like that (There have been too many to count) must give another few votes to the Independence movement.
# Macart 2011-11-01 10:41
I feel all dirty! :0(
# Diabloandco 2011-11-01 11:14
It is most interesting to scroll down his headlines - tells the world so much about his spiteful mental state.
# mountaincadre 2011-11-01 16:32
Clarinda there does seem to be a 80%-20% split though,with the 80% berating him for being a ********* and the other 20% being rabid english nationalists.

language edit -- NNS Mod Team
# Drew1314 2011-11-01 16:45

Hate to tell you he's got another article today. This time - no comments.
# Blanco 2011-11-01 09:55
If the picture had said "difficult to get hold of alcohol?" then at least there would have been some justification in projecting recent SNP actions into the future. But the points made miss the target so far that the only thing illuminated is Rennie's mindset.

I would have laughed it off as a poor attempt at humour except it didn't come from an anonymous cyberBrit, but the leader of the Lib Dems! To be reduced to this, Willie. It does not make voters inclined to take you or your party seriously.
# rog_rocks 2011-11-01 10:03
More anti-Scottish bigotry from another subservient agent of the south, they just don't know when to stop.

I wouldn't be surprised if the BBC's 'Newspeak Scotland' ramp it up another notch and headlined with this image tonight. After last weeks "SNP accused of smear campaign" in reaction to the SNP’s Dr Eilidh Whiteford being threatened with a "doing" by a British government thug; this week it could be;

"SNP leader incognito accused of stealing a Qatari Royal Camel to supplement poor Scottish oil production"

It is beyond belief, what next?
# mountaincadre 2011-11-01 16:28
Aye rog-rocks,i wonder if one of these days a presenter will turn round on air and say feck this its all mince.Doughtful but i like to think the best of abdae.
# rog_rocks 2011-11-01 20:23
:-} I'd maybe buy a TV license to see that, I could see it time and again on the iplayer for free tho :-)
# J Wil 2011-11-01 10:13
It was interesting to hear a comment on BBC News during a discussion about the UK economy continuing to flatline over the period. One reason was the Royal wedding and the holiday that was given in celebration. The down side of this is more jobs lost. It could only happen in Britain.
# Scottish republic 2011-11-01 10:16
It appeared early this morning on FACEBOOK and I didn't really believe it at first because it was so infantile and Rennie is supposed to be representing people. I thought it was an internet rumour and dismissed it.

No, it wasn't - it appears that the Lib Dems are now at the stage of operating a creche where the leader enjoys face painting, rude noises and other childish humour that illustrates the infantile nature of the man.

He is also unpleasantly aggressive at FMQs in a way that the other Brit nats aren't.

At the moment it takes a whole hand of fingers to count up the number of Lib Dems - in the future don't be surprised if it only takes two.

I'm angry but not because they attacked Salmond, he'll just ridicule them efficiently. I'm angry because it's an insult to the intelligence of the Scottish people who elect representatives only to discover this is the level of behaviour they wallow in.
# Scottish republic 2011-11-01 10:21
I know I just posted but I can't believe this - Rennie is a disgrace. He's supposed to be a professional politician... totally pathetic.

Racist? Certainly xenophobic and prints a blatant lie.

The SNP is going to take a hit in the polls for passing gay marriage, especially in the older generation.

Playing easy politics is the Lib Dem way, going into coalition with the Tories, getting 'power' and then it unravels for them.

They insult the gay community by attacking the party that is going to suffer for supporting gay equality - using 'homophobia' as a catch phrase for a cheap political attack.
# Robert Louis 2011-11-01 10:56
QUOTE "The SNP is going to take a hit in the polls for passing gay marriage, especially in the older generation. "

What nonsense. Maybe you disagree with it, but honestly, most people in Scotland don't really care anymore.
# Scottish republic 2011-11-01 11:07
Where did I say I disagree with it?

There is a sector of the community who will be very unhappy about the passing of the bill.

The SNP is going to take the tough decision and they'll take a hit in the polls from those people who don't agree with it because they have control of the government.

Simple logic.

Most people in Scotland is far from everybody doesn't care.
# mountaincadre 2011-11-01 11:39
Calm the heid Scottish Republic,this is only the begining,let absolutely no one dought there resolve to win,for them this is a life or death fight,there will be no repreive for them if they lose.This for them is a no holds barred steet fight and anybody thinking that this was/is going to be fair needs to steel themselves for what is to come,they are just looking for an excuse to step in and say the SNP are unfit to govern/run the referendum..take your pick.Having said that ladies and gentleman there is a direct correlation between how much nonsense they spout and there disperation level.
# fynesider 2011-11-01 10:49
This insulting 'cartoon' is still available on oor Wullie's Facebook 'Photos' page. Doesn't he know how to remove it from there?
# fittie 2011-11-01 10:55
Wasn`t there a story a few weeks ago along the lines ,that if the Lib/Dems didn`t attack the SNP the media would ignore them .
Who`s controlling the media ,ergo who controls the libs
# proudscot 2011-11-01 11:00
Maybe Wee Willie Rennie and his Wee Lib Dem Group in Holyrood are falling into the media trap of "any publicity is good publicity". Like many other unionist politicians consumed by their hatred of Alex Salmond and the democratically elected SNP Government, they would do well to consider another old saying - "Ensure brain is engaged before mouth is operated!"
# J Wil 2011-11-01 11:44
Any publicity is good publicity.

I agree. They have brought this to the attention of the public and it will stick in some peoples minds.

On another matter, the Record is saying Davison may take legal action on the accustaion that he is a serial woman abuser. I hope he does. All the questions that haven't been answered, like who passed the note, will be asked in court and the committee will have to go into court telling the truth. Each and every one of them should be summoned as witness.
# Robert Louis 2011-11-01 11:54
Indeed. It would be a most interesting court case, with Tory MP's from London dragged up to Scotland before the Sheriff, and obliged to tell the truth or end up in Barlinnie.

I'd enjoy that court case very much.
# Summerdale1529 2011-11-01 11:14
I think it was during one of party conferences that I heard Torquil Crichton? of the Daily Record? mention that the Lib/Dems would have to attack the SNP to get any media coverage. Not saying he said it directly or was the source, but he commented on it.
# J Wil 2011-11-01 11:45
I tried to get a letter in the local paper about this but it was turned down.
# RTP 2011-11-01 11:18
I have just emailed Rennie about this rascist story i just wonder what his reply will be will let you all know if I get a reply.
We can expect a lot more anti SNP stories coming from the Unionist crowd.
# Drew1314 2011-11-01 11:39

Safe to go on holiday and not check your emails for about four years, methinks.
# Diabloandco 2011-11-01 12:35
BWB is open for comment - better be quick though , you know how these things vanish like snow off a dyke!
# Arbroath1320 2011-11-01 12:38
Is it worth going for a wee peek? :D
# Arbroath1320 2011-11-01 12:37
Now let me see.

During the last governmental session we had:

Elmer insult Ireland and the Irish people.

Elmer insult Iceland and the Icelandic people.

Elmer insult Norway and the Norwegian people.

Elmer insult Montenegro and the Montenegrin people.

So far this parliamentary session we have had:

Ian Davidson threaten Dr. Eilidh Whiteford with a "doing".

Johann Lamont making up rape stories in the Holyrood chamber.

Elmer Fudd making outrageous claims that the "new" Labour leader would be smeared, lied about and threatened in "ugly" attacks.

Willie Rennie posting his outrageous cartoon.

Is it me or could there be an Independence referendum coming within the next few years.

The only party missing from this line up is the Tories, unless I've missed something.

The Davidson row will probably rumble on for a wee while.

Elmer will disappear by Christmas, possibly.

The time has come for the "bus driver" to resign from the Lib/Dems and get back to what he knows best..... driving buses!
# Clanky 2011-11-01 12:51
Tories, let me see...

Well there is the one, and I am not making this up, about Theresa May and the made up cat story!
# Arbroath1320 2011-11-01 13:11
Oops! I forgot about that one. MEOW! :D

What a cat-as-trophy that would have been. :D
# Drew1314 2011-11-01 13:30

You've been missed, you O.K. Nice to see you back. Keep control of us nasty cybernats.
# Arbroath1320 2011-11-01 13:35
I'll try. :D

You do know of course that you are asking the impossible! :D
# Legerwood 2011-11-01 13:50
You forgot the Labour MSP who suggested that the the SNP were to blame when the woman in Edinburgh killed her children. They had been home-schooled apparently and the SG had made some changes to the inspection of home-schooled children so the SNP were to blame. Newsnet covered the story which I think was reported originally in the Sunday Post.
# RTP 2011-11-01 17:21
That was Duncan McNeil and he never gave an apology to Schoolhouse they were not very pleased.
# Legerwood 2011-11-01 19:52
Thank you. Could not remember his name but then why should I want to.
# Macart 2011-11-01 13:58
RE: Tories - See Mugabe smear in the Herald. :0)

Helpful M
# mealer 2011-11-01 12:47
This cartoon wasnt clever or subtle enough to be considered good satire.But even if it was,it is hardly the kind of thing any MSP,let alone the leader of a party should be indulging in.I really think he should step down and make way for someone more responsible to lead the party.Theres several to pick from.
# Arbroath1320 2011-11-01 12:50
mealer there may be several people to choose from but are any of them any better material for Lib/Dem leader?

Remember the "bus driver" was the only candidate for leader the last time. I think that tells you a lot about what the remaining 3 M.S.P.'s thought about the job as leader to replace Tavish Scott.
# Alba4Eva 2011-11-01 13:24
"Theres several to pick from."

Four! ...but I can't name them!
# Arbroath1320 2011-11-01 13:34
Just remember Alba one of the "four" is Tavish. I didn't count him in the "3" because he was standing down. The "bus driver" stood but no one else did. This is how I cam to my magic number of three.
# Alba4Eva 2011-11-01 13:19
I hope everyone understands that other countries' opinions of Alex Salmond and Scotland in general are much better (indeed very possitive) than the opinions of the United Kingdom.

How many times have I been abroad to notice the difference when I tell people that I am Scottish rather than English or British.

Alex Salmond will have impressed the delegations he has met and boosted Scotlands profile overseas... All that needs to be explained to our potential future business partners are that there are a few in Scotland who prefer the United Kingdom to Scotland and would do Scotland down becauswe they dislike the self determination of Scotland... that in itself will build the support of other countries to a future independent Scottish nation; a nation they would prefer to do business with... so thanks for that at least unionists!

The unionists do not do their own prospects any good by insulting everyone around the world.
# Arbroath1320 2011-11-01 13:31
There is one side to this "bus driver" fiasco, and all the other unionist fiascos past and present, that I think we sometimes overlook.

Yes these "fiascos" do get under our skin but, after having given it a wee bit of a thought I have come to a conclusion. Rare for me I know and yes I'm heading for "THE ROOM" after this.

Other countries see A.S. as being head and shoulders above what we can call "the others". So while we might get upset don't be fooled into thinking that other countries see us as the unionists want them to see us, they don't. Other countries do see us in the same light as that painted by A.S. He is doing a magnificent job "selling" Scotland and the results are bearing fruit, as they will continue to do.

So come on y'all, don't despair. We are winning the argument, A.S. knows it, other countries know it, the unionists know it and best of all the people of Scotland know it.
# Drew1314 2011-11-01 13:31
Now here's a different perspective on the story from a Liberal. Strong stuff. A defection?
# Garve 2011-11-01 13:55
Like Drew, I think everyone should have a look at

There is an opportunity here. I was very heartened by the number of LibDem comments on the Facebook page which expressed abhorrence of this 'cartoon'.

I've long felt that a large proportion of LibDem MPs and MSPs are open to persuasion when it comes to Devo Max and even independence, unlike all Tories and most of the Labour party.

We should gracefully accept Mr Rennie's apology, and hope that this leads to a less adversarial relationship in the future.
# Macart 2011-11-01 13:56
WOW! I'd never have believed it if I hadn't seen it for myself. Well done Mr Page! :0)

Good link Drew.
# Rannoch 2011-11-01 13:37
Suggestion, send a printed copy of the cartoon to the Embassy of Qatar in London.
A copy of the cartoon can be found here.....
# Legerwood 2011-11-01 13:52
No, send it to Clegg along with the various newspaper articles about him meeting the Sultan of Qatar when he was here on his official visit to the UK.
# snowthistle 2011-11-01 14:09
That wouldn't do Scotland a lot of good would it?
# RTP 2011-11-01 15:56
Tried but not very comp.upto date
# ButeHouse 2011-11-01 14:15
There is no damage to Salmond in Scotland but it could well put a question mark over any possible Qatari investment into for example a Scottish Carbon Capture Project which they would finance, we would develop and they would ultimately share in.

Insulting one of the host nations your leader is visiting is a stupid thing to do at the best of times but to do it when you are looking to bring one or more of the countries in as investors and trade partners is the height of folly.

I think it's time for Rennie to step down.
# Drew1314 2011-11-01 14:17
Those suggesting Rennie may have overstepped the mark legally should read this.
# Ken500 2011-11-01 14:20
Any LibDems who support fairness, progress and prosperity for Scotland should do what former Labour voters did and vote SNP.
# RTP 2011-11-01 15:03

Willie Rennie
I apologise for the offence that has been clearly caused by our cartoon on the First Minister's remarks in Qatar. Although I did not approve its publication I accept responsibility for it. It has been interpreted in ways that were not intended. It has now been withdrawn. I apologise.

We need to see you make this appoligse on state TV and in the Scottish Parliament not on radio where you can't be seen.
# J Wil 2011-11-01 15:22
Willie: I apologise for being me. A cannie help it.
# den1605 2011-11-01 15:12
It just shows how far the Libs have fallen when this half wit is leader of their party in Scotland. This guy never has a good word to say about Scotland. Keep him in his post though, he is more an asset to the SNP than possibly imagined.
# macgilleleabhar 2011-11-01 15:42
I'm a bit behind the curve on this, so could someone kindly tell me who this Willie Rennie is?
# Arbroath1320 2011-11-01 16:20
Well how can I put this nicely mac. You know people think keeping others up to speed on all things political is easy. What can I say.

Any way I digress, what was your question again.

Oh yes Willies Rennie, who is he?

Well all I can say is that the $64,000 question everyone has been asking since May 6th.

The best description I can come up with is that he is a "bus driver" who sort of got lost in Edinburgh one day and has ended up as the Holyrood leader of the Lib/Dems. Whoever they are.
# macgilleleabhar 2011-11-01 16:49
Ahhhh yes # Arbroath1320 , that Willie Rennie!

"The Leader without a party"

Why do I always associate the name Rennie with flatulence?

Coincidence or what?
# Arbroath1320 2011-11-01 16:57
Nah, just reality. :D
# km 2011-11-01 16:02
Both Qatar and Scotland are oil- and gas- rich nations. The difference is, Mr Rennie, that Qatar has control over its resources, and can spend them how its government sees fit, and invest in its own future.
# Taysider 2011-11-01 16:58
Let's not read too much into this. Some LD minion with access to Mr Rennie's facebook account has done something very silly and has acutely embarrassed the leader of what is presently a very small party in Scotland to their further detriment. Said minion will I am sure have been given a huge flea in the ear and tasked with recapturing the lost votes if possible. Mr Rennie himself has apologized as is proper and unlike a certain individual in the Labour party.
# Arbroath1320 2011-11-01 17:02
has done something very silly and has acutely embarrassed the leader of what is presently a very small party in Scotland to their further detriment.

Gosh! The Lib/Dems, whoever they are, are that big a party you can actually quantify them by call them a small party. WOW! :D

I guess the rumours really are true then. The Lib/Dems are the party of government. :D
# Kinghob 2011-11-01 17:45
A ridiculous cheap shot at Scotland, the SNP as a party of Government and the First Minister.

Woefully unfunny, and if you don't believe me then I could make jokes or produce images about any unionist party and not only would they be far funnier...........they'd be factual!

Nil points to the Libdems for this half-baked lowbrow guff though, the unionists have backed themselves into a dunce's political corner where they demonstrate they don't have answers or vision-a situation they have had six months to reverse and look at the pure tripe they come out with, and I don't even mean this load of kindergarten kak they have embarrassed themselves with.

I enjoyed the article by the Libdem that condemned and despaired of the Libdems in general including this pile of sub racist insulting nonsense., although I felt a bit sorry for the guy writing that article.
# truth 2011-11-01 18:16
This is not the standard i want to see in Scottish public life. He should resign his position even if he is an asset to the SNP.

I would say the same if an SNP leader did this too.

Utterly disgraceful behaviour and shows complete lack of judgement.
# m4rkyboy 2011-11-01 18:18
Terrible lack of judgement.
Here's hoping it doesn't jeopardise any future business we have with Qatar.
# Arbroath1320 2011-11-01 18:21
I think that everyone that A.S. is currently talking to, or planning to talk to in the Gulf, is big enough and wise enough that they can see the difference between a First Minister trying to do the best for his country and a "stupid wee boy" just trying to do a one upmanship on the First Minister.
# Shagpile 2011-11-01 18:49
Personally, I feel this is a non issue. Why would the rest of the world (outside the UK) care about what at UK politician, with a tribalist axe to grind says? Given that nobody in the UK pays much heed to what he (not known outside Scotland, even within his own party) has to opine; because, nobody (not even Lib Dem party activists) give them creadence anymore.

I suppose it is of use to highlight a swansong...... fade to Spike Milligan left holding The Gord..... The Shoe.... Whatever! The point is.... what is the point of the Lib Dems?
# Gill 2011-11-01 19:15

Excellent blog from Andrews Page Libdem in reply to the cartoon
# Teri 2011-11-01 19:23
At Least Wullie Rennie has apologised. Hell would freeze over before any Labour politician genuinely apologised for anything.
# rog_rocks 2011-11-01 19:31
He forgot stoning;

"MATTHIAS: Look. I'd had a lovely supper, and all I said to my wife was 'That piece of halibut was good enough for Jehovah.'"
# Triangular Ears 2011-11-01 23:38
It's the sheer infantile nature of it that gets me. It's not even remotely funny. It's crudely done. There's virtually no cartoon artistry involved. Viz is infantile, but manages to be somewhat clever with it. This isn't even making any clever points.

It reminds me of the pathetic and infantile Little Alex videos.

To think that Rennie sees himself as keeping the FM in check too. Every time I see him on telly I get indigestion and think of taking a few of his namesakes.
# Marga B 2011-11-02 10:38
OT, but: Meanwhile, as Salmond tries to sell Scotland abroad, we see Scotland getting more flack in an article today in the BBC (useful email service from the Scotsman's Business Briefing):

Citigroup urges caution over Scottish green energy

Citigroup said the referendum process would "create huge uncertainty" over green investment

A major finance group has urged extreme caution over investing in Scotland's renewable energy sector, partly because of the independence referendum.

Citigroup said the referendum process will create huge uncertainty at the moment when major decisions on green projects are needed.

Scottish ministers dismissed the claims, saying big companies were already investing heavily in Scotland.

They also said much of the renewable energy produced would be for export.
# glassartists 2011-11-02 12:40
It may be of interest, but as of August 2011 the Heralds circulation was down to an audited circulation of 47,226, putting it ahead of the Scotsman.
The Glasgow Evening Times has now dropped to a circulation of below 60,000. It really is only a matter of time before the American masters of these, now sad, excuses for newspapers decide to get rid of them or just shut them down.
# Drew1314 2011-11-02 13:27

Citigroup - investment bankers.

Nuff said!!!!
# glassartists 2011-11-02 14:01
CitiCorp and Gannett, the American owners of the Glasgow Herald are and have been linked. Check out this woman, Marjorie Magner, out on the Forbes directory and Bloomberg

Joe Boyle
# glassartists 2011-11-02 11:59
Hey if you think this is bad check out the herald front page,

It took three journalists to write and investigate the article, Kate Devlin, who writes for the Telegraph ( haha )Tim Sharp, who writes about business and finance ( one has to wonder ) and Mike Settle who is a political editor for the really has to wonder about the mind set that produces an article like this for the herald.
I quite frankly have given up on the Herald, and will now try and encourage them to try and make more and more outraegeous claims in their articles, by posting comments of encouragement and applauding their wonderful investigative journalism (haha)..........Give the dog enough bones and it will choke itself.........Joe Boyle
# UpSpake 2011-11-02 12:41
Best get the uncertainty out of the way then by declaring the Union, null and void. Might startle the financial markets but stop in it's tracks the constant carping at Scotland from all unionists camps. Dragging international banks into the lambasting of Scotland is laughable if not seriously damaging to a fledgling country who will have some difficulty creating credibility in it's non existant institutions as it seeks to achieve Nation status.
Maintaining the Union and all it's devisive moves, seriously hampers Scotland break away, and the unionists know it, very well.
# Ken500 2011-11-02 15:12
Citigroup nearly went bankrupt. Had to be bailed out.
# Drew1314 2011-11-02 15:58

They did indeed nearly go bankrupt and we're (you, I and every other punter) still paying the price of them and others.
# Arbroath1320 2011-11-02 16:21
What's a little thing like bankruptcy between "friends" when we're all trying so hard to "put down" a wee country.

I posted this on another thread but it shows the level on con "artistry" that Citigroup will drop to.

About 8 minutes in Max and Stacey talk about a newspaper headline concerning fraud allegations against Citigroup. Where Citigroup settled a $1 Billion fraud charge with a lowly $285 Million fine.
# cynicalHighlander 2011-11-02 16:40
Citigroup Settles With SEC Over Fraud Allegations:

Citigroup has agreed to pay $285 million to settle civil fraud charges that it misled buyers of complex mortgage investments just as the housing market was starting to collapse.

At the height of the financial crisis in 2008, regulators worried that Citigroup was on the brink of failure. It received $45 billion as part of the $700-billion government bailout. In the civil lawsuit filed Wednesday, the SEC said Citigroup traders discussed in late 2006 the possibility of buying financial instruments to essentially bet on the failure of the mortgage assets being assembled in the deal.
# Ken500 2011-11-02 15:14
Scotland's invention shaped the modern world - recognised all over the world.
# sid 2011-11-02 15:18
well there we go- that's us back to being

" too wee & too stupid " again, you can smell the fear every time they open their mouths!!! Sid
# Arbroath1320 2011-11-02 15:19
Don't forget us being too poor as well sid.
# Arbroath1320 2011-11-02 16:28
Well I think I've just watched Disreporting Scotland's top story tonight.

Doesn't it make you proud of your broadcasting services when they put out total guff like this.

Where's that huge sick bucket, I need it quick!

I know this question has been asked before but, "How low will this disreputed company go to show total disrespect to Scotland?"
# cjmjr 2011-11-02 16:31
Libya are using thier Oil wealth to build a new country from scratch everyone and his dog are looking for contracts but Scotland produceing more Oil per head are too poor.You just could not make this stuff up.
# Arbroath1320 2011-11-02 16:38
I've just listened to A.S. putting good old Radio Scotland in their place, AGAIN!

The poor wee numpty from Radio Scotland just doesn't get Scotland's future as an Independent country with renewable energy. What a bampot!

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