Sunday, September 20, 2015


The quite bizarre antics of Jeremy Corbyn continue with the announcement of his appointment of Lord Watson, Barron Watson of Invergowrie, to his shadow front bench as part of Labour's Education team.

Bizarre in the sense that Watson,  a sometime MP and MSP, was convicted of arson back in 2005 and given a sixteen month jail sentence for trying to burn down Edinburgh's Prestonfield House Hotel which was in the process of hosting the Scottish Politician of the Year awards ceremony.

One has to wonder what expertise he brings to his portfolio ... Firelighting 101 and Arson 302 perhaps.   If it weren't so bizarre it would be quite funny.



nig said...

Obviously Guy Fawkes wasn't available.

Anonymous said...

Why is he still a Lord then?

The Veteran said...

Anon 3.26 ... Watson was made a Life peer in 1997. At that time it was not possible for a Life peer to resign from the House of Lords nor was there provision for peers convicted of criminal offences to be stripped from their titles.

It could only happen by direct writ from the Sovereign and the last time this happened was a century ago
when the Dukes of Cumberland and Albany lost their peerages by committing treason and siding with Germany in WW1.

That all changed in 2014 with the passing of the Lords Reform Act which provides for peers to have their titles removed (1) if a peer fails to attend a whole session of Parliament and (2) if a peer is convicted of a serious criminal offense and is given a prison sentence of 12 months or more.

Clearly Corbyn has no shame.

Anonymous said...

For someone who is hell bent on having the Union Jack removed from our flag you seem to be deeply obsessed as to whether a bloke 18,000K away sings God save the Queen or not.

NZ MP's with Crimmy convictions. Minor arson VS assault, drunk driving Etc. Your choice.

Psycho Milt said...

From the linked article:

"A spokeswoman for Mr Joyce told NZPA the minister could not remember the details of the offences."

So, a crim and a liar then. Those details must be pretty embarrassing if he won't have them made public. Clearly, John Key has no shame.

The Veteran said...

Pretty pathetic Anon 1.17 and PM .... You trivialize a serious matter. People could have died from the arson attempt. That was why he was 'banged up'. As for Corbyn singing the national anthem Anon ... read my f*****g post. I backed Corbyn for standing by his principles ... only to see him back down and promise to be a hypocritical good boy.

For the record too. Yes I am in favour of changing the flag. No, none of the options presented ring my bell enough for me to vote for change this time round. But it will happen and I hope within my lifetime. Got it? ... good.

Noel said...

"No, none of the options presented ring my bell enough for me to vote for change this time round"

I hope we don't waste 26 million next time. I did suggest that we should have asked the yes/no question first and your response was one had to have something to measure against first.

Interesting that the current polls show markedly increased numbers against the change since the extravagant committees options were presented.

Perhaps next time ask the question first then take time tweaking the options until there is something the a majority are prepared to accept.

The Veteran said...

... but if you really want to make a point it is a matter of public record that the following serving MPs have arrest convictions ... as MPs: Mallard (L), Dyson (L); before becoming MPs: Woodhouse (N), Shearer (L), Tracey Martin NZF), Mark (NZF), Joyce (N), Hughes (G) ... there may be others.

Not sure this has any bearing on the substance of the post except to point out that clearly Anon and PM feel the need to engage in obfuscation in order to divert attention from their poster boy's bizarre behavior.

Anonymous said...

I took the trouble to look this up. This bloke lit a curtain in an almost empty room after the function had finished. It was put out by staff without the emergency services being called, a combination of drink and stupidity and frustration in not getting his own way.

Somebody could have died just as somebody could have died when our MP drove drunk. At the end of the day there is nothing bizarre about people who have paid their dues and are rehabilitated or are you from the one strike and you are out school, like Trump currently the most dangerous man in the world.

Anonymous said...

A perusal of non aligned UK papers showed this.

If only all MP's had this work ethic

The Veteran said...

Anon 7.31 ... again, in your haste to downplay the seriousness of the offence you refer to "a curtain" suggesting there was one fire. Wrong. He lit two fires, one in the reception lobby and one in the hotels 'Yellow Room'. The Sheriff justified the term of imprisonment stating that there was a serious risk of re-offending. Look, the crime of arson is right up there in the scale of offences and if you think that someone convicted of arson is the right and proper person to be let loose in the Education portfolio then more fool you.

The appointment has been panned across the political spectrum with criticism coming from the Tories, the SNP and from within the Labour Party itself with one senior Scottish Labour politician saying "Eyebrows have been raised. It is very surprising. One can only assume that Jeremy has struggled to persuade enough people to serve with him ... In a way it is less about Mike Watson and more about Jeremy Corbyn's style of leadership. It suggests his judgement is questionable."

That's not me speaking ... it's your mob.

And if that wasn't enough it now transpires that Watson is a prolific expenses claimant. Since his release from prison he has claimed a total of STG405,131 in expenses from the House of Lords despite having participated in less than a third of votes taken.

Didn't know you were a resident of Port Hills. Dyson is the only serving MP I know of to have been convicted of a drink drive offence while in office ... and in her case as a Minister.