Alex Salmond met Rupert Murdoch today for lunch. They talked about future investment in Scotland. I am prepared to give Mr Salmond the benefit of the doubt in terms of the wisdom of aligning himself with Mr Murdoch and I am prepared to give Mr Murdoch the benefit of the doubt when he”gave strong assurances that News International are intent on consigning these matters [phone hacking et al] to the past and emerging a better organisation from it.”
I do both of the above with some difficulty but I do them nevertheless.
It thus follows that Rupert Murdoch is someone who might be entitled to be a GlobalScot.
Imagine on the other hand if Rupert Murdoch had, instead of meeting with Alex Salmond for soup and talking about future investment plans, announced that he planned to spend millions of pounds to fund a campaign to oppose a central plank of the Government’s economic strategy and was considering launching a legal action in order to “delay it for years to come”.
Would Alex Salmond have met with him?
Would he be considered a fit and proper person to hold exclusive membership of the GlobalScot network?
The fact that one might even hesitate before asserting that the answer must be an emphatic no shows how far out in the deep murky waters of compromise we might be swimming.
But Donald Trump was in much the same situation as Murdoch in the past. Not in terms of presiding over rampant criminality but in being somebody the Scottish Government was obliged to deal with and who managed to convince those in whose gift it was to permit such things that he intended to make serious investment in Scotland.
As a consequence he was appointed a GlobalScot by Jack McConnell and his son was then invited to join by Alex Salmond. Like Murdoch I can (just and with some difficulty) accept the legitimacy of inviting the Trumps to be GlobalScots.
But all that has changed now. If I were to join one of Donald Trump’s golf clubs and announced I would be spending £10 million to campaign against it and launch a lawsuit to frustrate its plans I doubt I would remain a member for very long.
Today, I made further investigations into the GlobalScot network and uncovered some interesting new facts – which I will relay in my next blog.
For now, it is enough to know that the monumental disgust and loathing I feel towards Rupert Murdoch and his empire still allows me to understand why Mr Salmond might be justified in meeting for lunch and makes it all the more difficult to understand why Donald Trump is still a valued Scottish Government ambassador.