Monday, 21 September 2009

The ambassador’s ‘special’ relationship

In the week that will see Gordon Brown publicly meet Libya’s Col Gaddafi in New York we have the BBC in Scotland again running a story suggesting Scotland’s relationship with the USA has been harmed by the compassionate release of Al Megrahi.

This conveniently timed story results from comments made by someone called Susan Stewart who, according to the BBC, was Scotland's former "ambassador" in the United States.

Stewart told BBC Scotland: "I think undoubtedly there has been some short-term damage to the relationship between Scotland and the United States, but I don't think that damage is irrevocable.

"Their perspective on Lockerbie I think is that it was an attack on the United States and on their citizens, which makes the anger and the hurt that many Americans feel very real.

"So, yes there has been a problem but not one I think that we can't get past."

Stewart’s comments were reported on Monday’s Good Morning Scotland by Glenn Campbell who had already been despatched by the BBC to New York. They also appeared on the BBC Scotland website and have featured in news items throughout the day.

However it is an altogether different ‘special’ relationship that has led to suspicion that all is not as it appears.

Ms Stewart’s official title was not that of ‘ambassador’ but rather Secretary for Scottish Affairs, she was based at the British embassy in Washington until the role ended in 2005. Susan Stewart was appointed to this role in 2001 by former Labour First Minister Henry McLeish.

The connections to Scottish Labour do not end there, for Newsnet Scotland can reveal that Susan Stewart is also the former chief press officer to one ....... Jack McConnell, a role she occupied when he was education minister.

Furthermore Stewart’s partner at the time was Jeanne Freeman, who was a special adviser to McConnell after he became the First Minister and was one of his most trusted aides.

Jack McConnell is just one of many Unionist politicians who have attempted to politicise the Megrahi decision and who have embraced the opportunity to falsely claim international outrage at the decision. McConnell even went as far as to suggest that the decision had “shamed Scotland”, flying in the face of statements of support from many respected figures within the international community.

Of course, Newsnet Scotland would never dream of suggesting that this story has been contrived and carefully timed in order to once again deflect attention away from Labour’s 'dodgy' deals with Gaddafi and onto the Scottish Government.

We would also never suggest that the BBC are only too happy to continue to promote the myth that the release of Al Megrahi has caused a significant backlash against Scotland in the USA and damaged relations between the two nations.

Others though may take a different view.

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Dramfineday said...

well you should suggest it! Have a look at post 330 on the BBC BT's blog - just above yours

mrbfaethedee said...

Yes, it was a well matched bit of mood music for the Reporting Scotland piece tonight from the US.

scotto voce said...

newsnet reveals??? i recall the relationship between susan stewart and jeane freeman was covered extensively, nauseatingly and homophoibally, by the Daily Mail and others. the most telling qoutes are "short term" damage and "not irrevocable". Your slant ont this is quite biz\arre; next time, check the cuttings ot even contact the subject of your nast little "story"

Newsnet Scotland said...

scotto voce:

The relationship that is being alluded to is the one with Jack McConnell and by extension Scottish Labour.

This section from the article gives a clue:
"Newsnet Scotland can reveal that Susan Stewart is also the former chief press officer to one ....... Jack McConnell"

Anonymous said...

Jack McConnell regularly aired his views/lies of embarrassment and intergalactic outrage on BBC UK national news; even the first news item. I think he started this lineage.

scotto voce said...

newsnet: go to the source. susan stewart is many things, but scottish labour stooge is not one of them! To anyone who knows her, the idea of her taking a line from Jack McC is as laughable as it is ridiculous!

Jack McConnell's Pinstriped Kilt said...

This section from the article gives a clue:

"Newsnet Scotland can reveal that Susan Stewart is also the former chief press officer to one ....... Jack McConnell"

Sorry Bernstein, but had you done your research you would also have found that the political relationship between Stewart and the former First Minister came to an abrupt end when McConnell lost his spine and failed to stand up for her when she was recalled.

Do a little research...

Anonymous said...

Remarkable how BBC Scotland never has any money for a whole range of programmes but can easily fund Mr Campbel's trip to to New York to stir up the Megrahi issue despite Obama saying the USA welcomed a strong relationship with Scotland and that the US wanted to move on from the Megrahi incident.

Just another anti Scottish anti SNP move from the English controlled BBC.