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Challenge to release correspondence behind Brian Souter’s knighthood

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  1. PN reported last year details of my FOI request re Brian Souters knighthood

    I took the Cabinet Office’s refusal to supply information as not being in the spirit of the FOI Act.

    They said:“We consider that it is in the public interest to maintain the integrity of the honours system and that it is not in the public interest to know the details of individual honours cases.”

    It is understandable that there are some issues which require careful handling by government in disclosing information either due to secrecy, privacy or other reasons. However, this response to a Freedom of Information request is a whitewash and is entirely against the spirit of open government and transparency.
    It suggests there is something to hide – perhaps a SNP nomination tacitly supported in the background by the Conservatives or Lib Dems?
    Whilst the Cabinet Office state there is a rigorous review system, the

    1. Cabinet Office state there is a rigorous review system, the Cabinet Office give no explanation as to how they ensured that Souter was an appropriate person to be knighted. They make no comment on his clear homophobia (which he heralds on his own personal website). It is clear from this response that government are happy to award and honour homophobes.

    2. Oh, that is ridiculous. How can something like the honours system have ANY integrity at all if it is all done in secret?! And we are not talking about data of military operations or anything that can cause someone harm – so cobblers is it against “public interest.”

      1. Absolutely it is ridiculous and stinks of government trying to hide some sort of corruption.

    3. I also made an FOI to the Cabinet Office and then later to the Scottish Government asking who nominated Souter. I got the same reply from the Cabinet Office that Stu did. The reason I got from the Scot Gov was that releasing the name of the person who nominated him would breach the Queen’s security!

      1. Would be interesting to know how they deemed the personal security of the Queen was at risk.

      2. Now that is being fobbed off if ever I heard it. The queen does not see the list until the last minute, or so I thought. I though the government put people’s names on the list. Silly me!

  2. So this this bigotted extremist Brian Souter purchase his knighthood for cash? From the SNP?

    That’s what it looks like to me.

    I mean I know that the whole system of knighthood is absurd, ridiculous and offensive, and we should be surprised that extremist bigots like Souter purchase these ‘honours’ for cash.

    But this story serves to bring bad publicity towards the extremist bigot Souter, the SNP and the whole rotten ‘honours’ system.

    So no complaints here.

  3. Craig Denney 11 Apr 2012, 1:52pm

    Another religious nutter!
    The Souter Charitable Trust.
    “The trust assists projects for the relief of human suffering in the UK and overseas, particularly, but not exclusively, those promoting spiritual welfare.”

  4. If both the UK and Scottish Governments have nothing to hide over this, then why not release the information?

    As for the Scottish Government claiming that Souter’s donations (remember, he’s given them more than one) had no influence over their transport policy, this is clearly nonsense. The SNP had a long-standing policy of bus re-regulation which was in both their 1999 and 2003 manifestos for the Scottish Parliament elections in those years. At the SNP party conference in autumn 2006, the membership voted for the policy to remain. In March 2007, Souter’s donation was announced and in April 2007 the SNP manifesto for the Scottish Parliament elections in May of that year was published with NO mention of the bus re-regulation policy. The SNP have always denied his donation was related to their dropping the policy, but they’ve never gave any other reason why they did so.

    1. Sounds like you’re onto something, and you have obviously been troubled from the start by such blatant corruption in Scotland.

      Lack of transparency scoffs at our right to know, and no amount of money can change that.

      1. @Jonpol

        I used to vote SNP, religiously, from I was 18 years old until 2007 when I found out they had taken half a million quid from Souter. That was enough for me to doubt their stance on gay equality. Sadly, I’ve been proven right time and time again since then.

  5. At the time of the knighthood being awarded, The Scotsman

    reported that:

    “it emerged that the Scottish Government had nominated him – the SNP’s biggest donor – for his knighthood.”

    and that Cathy Jamieson was told by the UK government that the nomination for Souter “came from the Scottish Government”.

    Salmond had previously condemned “a political culture which allowed a relationship between financial donations and nominations for honours”.

  6. How much does it cost to buy a knighthood through the SNP I wonder?

  7. Sadly I have to use this homophobes busses to travel along the coast from Brighton. Luckily I’ve got a bus pass.

  8. gattagiudecca 11 Apr 2012, 4:24pm

    This is a real low point for both Scottish politics and the SNP in particular. Clearly this guy bought his knighthood. Corruption plain and simple.Just shows that it’s the same in Edinburgh as it is in London. Money Talks. Give them enough money and the political parties will cough, look around them to see if anyone is looking, then grab the money. The behaviour of the individual giving the cash is a minor point that can be discreetly ignored. There really are no morals in politics. Such a shame. When Devolution happened, it was all supposed to be different in Scotland…..!

    1. Yes, I remember being promised a “different style of politics” when the Scottish Parliament was set up. It’s no different from Westminster.

  9. Why would they hide this information from the public to see? This information needs to be exposed to find out who did what and what criminal or illegal thing were done. These anti gay people are a slimy bunch and you know if they are making hidden or open attacks of gays they are up to no good and have broken the laws and are breaking the laws to harm LGBT people. Investigate these anti gay people and you will find out that they have criminal acts they can be brought up on charges for and tried in a court of law, that is if they do not buy off the legal system first with their money and influence. If the Catholic church can do it so can they. If they do buy off the system then turn the spot light on their crimes and broadcast it to the world to expose these criminals until people raise up and do something about these criminals and their evil deeds.

  10. I wonder if Bill Walker was involved somehow?

    1. @Stu

      I doubt it, after all Bill Walker was just an un-important and expendable backbencher who only became an MSP last year. There are other homophobes in the SNP like Roseanna Cunningham who said far worse than Bill Walker did and not only has she never been disciplined, she was later given a Minsterial job and still holds one today. In fact, when the same-sex marriage consultation was launched several months ago, it was reported in the newspapers that Roseanna Cunningham should have been the one to handle it as it fell under her brief as Community Safety and Legal Affairs Minister. However, apparently she refused to do it and Nicola Sturgeon was told to do it. If true, it’s disgusting that a government minister can refuse to do their work due to their own bigoted beliefs and not be sacked. Roseanna Cunningham, remember, is a catholic who tried to ammend the adoption law in 2006 to make it illegal for gay couples to adopt saying it “goes against 1000 years of nature’s design

      1. Suggests that the SNP regard LGBT issues as merely politically expedient – their support for them is not something they have passion over.

        1. @Stu

          I agree with you on that! Here’s a link to a Scottish Parliament Information Centre briefing. Read the paragraph headed “Scottish Government action”which starts half-way down page 2. It hardly looks like a party who are enthuisatic about gay equality.

          1. It seems to me that the SNP only came around to supporting same-sex marrige immediately before the Scottish Parlliament elections last year – funny that! And remember, they are only “tended towards” same-sex marriage, which is hardly unequivocal support. They still haven’t made a decision on whether they’re going ahead with it or not and they went to great lengths to get the opinions of the major religions (who are all against it) to take into account before making their decision.

          2. I think the fact the coalition have said their consultation is about ‘how’, not ‘if’, makes it more likely the SNP will go ahead with it. To what extent regarding religious involvement remains to be seen but Salmond wouldn’t want Cameron having this over him I don’t think in terms of the Independence debate, and in general

          3. @Kris

            I think you’re right about it being very likely that the SNP will go ahead with same-sex marriage. But at present, we still don’t know for sure if they will, and that’s my point. Surely a party who believes in gay equality would have taken a firm stand from the beginning?

            And to be honest, Salmond going ahead with same-sex marriage just to get one over on David Cameron is hardly doing it for the right reason – he should do it because he belives it’s the right thing to do!

  11. Why would a true Scotsman want a British honour?

    The bloke is a skidmark on the Calvin Kleins of life.

    1. Why not, since Scotland is part of Britain? Are there local honours that a ‘true Scotsman’ would rather have? It’s such a shame tribalism has to rear its tiresome head all the time these days.

      (Apparently the name Souter is Anglo-Saxon in origin, so maybe he’s not a ‘true Scotsman’ after all – there, a good excuse to disown him!)

      1. But it is strange for someone who supports Scotland becoming independent of Britain to accept a British honour.

  12. I have a lot of respect for Brian Souter.
    Section 28 should be returned, the “promotion of homosexuality” is not something that we need, and it certanlly should never be spoke about in teaching methods.

    1. Have you been, or recently just out of, school? In what way is it promoted exactly? Do teachers tell you all the details and encourage children to give it a go when the reach legal age? I left school just as Section 28 was being removed so I never got to find out how we are “promoted” but I assume you must have knowledge of this to make such a comment.

    2. Its impossible to “promote” homosexuality. No one chooses their orientation.

      In any event this debate is not about Section 28 – its about the corruption of Souter and the Scottish government and then the lack of transparency of both the UK and Scottish governments.

      1. Quite possible to “promote” bigotry, though. As Soulter has shown.

        1. Entirely possible to promote bigotry.

          Souter is a classic example of that. Keith, Aiden, Ken and Skinner are other examples.

  13. It doesn’t matter who nominated him. Soulter got the knighthood. It is the Monarchy who is at fault for giving an openly and virulent homophobic man a knighthood. If someone nominated openly racist and anti semitic Nick Griffin, he wouldn’t get the honour. Soulter’s knighhood shows where our Monarchy stand on LGBT rights and equality. Unless, that is, they withdraw the honour.

    1. Surely it matters both who gave the award AND who nominated him?

    2. Our monarch seems quite happy to break bread with despots and tyrants (see King of Bahrain invited to her birthday bash). The honours list usually reads as litany of crooks, sycophants, flavour of the day celebrities and nepotism.

  14. The more I learn, the more it seems that homophobia is endemic amongst the SNP:

    1. And the examples on the blog you link to are only the tip of the iceberg, there are more than that.

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