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 By a Newsnet reporter
 
This weekend the latest shocking claims to engulf the BBC were made public when it was alleged that three BBC employees tried to rape a young man as a famous BBC actor watched. 
 
Such claims are now almost daily occurrences and are shaking the very foundations of the once rock solid British Establishment.  The allegations are no longer directed solely at the BBC, they reach deep into the heart of British institutions, and even go right to the top of government.

The allegations are almost too incredible to believe – paedophiles linked to Downing Street, Tory MPs facing exposure as child abusers, BBC presenters and staff members accused of rape and child abuse.  They are shocking and truly distressing to read.

As the appalling revelations of Jimmy Savile's activities and the alleged complicity of BBC managers were discussed during Prime Minister's Questions in the House of Commons, Labour MP Tom Watson told the stunned Chamber there was "clear evidence" that a Downing Street aide under a previous prime minister was connected to paedophile Peter Righton, who was convicted in 1992 of importing child pornography.

Mr Watson urged police to investigate the allegations. 

On Friday night, Newsnight on BBC2 broadcast the allegation that a senior Conservative raped and abused boys in a care home in Wales.  Although it had been thought Newsnight would name the individual, who remains highly powerful and well connected, at the last minute the programme decided not to identify him.   

But over the weekend the names of some very high profile Conservative MPs and former Ministers were being circulated on social media sites. 

Over the weekend Twitter was ablaze with rumours, and the same individuals' names cropped up repeatedly.  A consensus appears to have been reached concerning the identity of the individual at the centre of the Newsnight allegations, and many Tweets and postings on blogsites directly accused him of the most serious sexual offences. 

Others identified the former Downing St aide mentioned by Mr Watson, and alleged he was a key figure in a sex-ring procuring underage youths for senior Conservatives, some still in government.   The alleged events date back to the period of Thatcher's administration, but continued for many years.

The tabloid Daily Star reported that police investigating allegations of abuse against senior figures in the government during Margaret Thatcher's tenure in power were warned off and told that further questions would cost them their jobs.  The paper quoted an anonymous former detective who said:

"It wasn't that we ran out of leads but it reached a point where a warning to stop came.  It was a case of 'get rid of everything, never say a word to anyone'.  It was made very clear to me that to continue asking questions would jeopardise my career."

In an unrelated story another senior Conservative, and serving member of the Cabinet, is fending off allegations that while in the office of a political lobbyist he inappropriately touched a young actor whom he believed to be 15 years old.  The blogsite which made the allegations received a warning from the Cabinet Office to remove references to the politician or face legal action.  The senior Conservative politician strongly denies the allegation, but the actor at the centre of the incident stands by his version of events.

The dam is bursting, and this time it may not be held back despite the bribes and threats which worked in the past.  Meanwhile Tom Watson MP has spoken of his fears for his personal safety, saying: 

"I'm not going to let this drop despite warnings from people who should know that my personal safety is imperilled if I dig any deeper.  It's spooked me so much that I've kept a detailed log of all the allegations should anything happen.

"As I type this blog post, I'm half-smiling about how insane all this appears.  It sounds like I've taken leave of my senses – just like they said I had during the early days of the hacking scandal.  Maybe I have.  Yet with a properly resourced investigation, with the voice of victims being heard in public and with the political will we can get to the facts."

The MP says that since he made his statement in the Commons, he has been contacted by many members of the public alleging heinous abuse.  He writes: "... they have named powerful people – some of them household names – who abused children with impunity."  The MP added that two former police officers have raised their concerns of cover-ups.

David Cameron's 'flirtatious' texts with former News International Executive Rebekah Brooks look small beer when compared to the mounting revelations that threaten to engulf the British establishment.  Many similar allegations have been circulating for years, but were routinely dismissed as the demented ramblings of conspiracy theorists. 

With the BBC and the Westminster Parliament now at the centre of many of these shocking claims, and high ranking figures within British government implicated, there is a dawning realisation that the British establishment may indeed be more rotten than ever thought possible. 

Despite claims of rape, child abuse, paedophilia and a general culture of abuse towards women being rife at the BBC for decades, Jonathan Dimbleby complains of people "relishing" the opportunity to have a go at the broadcaster.  There are no allegations against Mr Dimbleby personally, but his remarks are representative of a culture in which abuse could flourish.

In an interview with The Times, the Radio 4 presenter, who first started working at the BBC in the late 1960s, said: "I think it's disgraceful and horribly out of proportion to hound everyone at the BBC in a way that is unwarranted and lacks perspective when the real focus should be on what Savile did wrong.

"Paedophilia is a huge national problem that no one thought about 50 years ago and is now something that concerns everyone, but this has become a witchhunt against the BBC."

Blaming the media and politicians for getting their priorities wrong, Mr Dimbleby added: "Organisations that have come under flack recently such as newspapers and MPs want to get their revenge.  They think the BBC is too smug and holier-than-thou.

"But there is a disturbing relish in the way the critics have laid into the BBC, holding today's office-holders to account for what happened 30 years ago."

What Mr Dimbleby fails to mention is that this isn’t the first sex scandal involving young girls and paedophilia to rock the BBC.  It happened in 1973 when a trial at Bow Street Magistrates’ Court heard of possible child prostitution, with a 14 year old girl ending up pregnant by a ‘BBC man’ and payments of £100 from another for sex with a girl he told the court appeared “much too young” to be a prostitute.

According to Dimbleby, the reporting of alleged sexual abuse allowed on BBC premises for decades as managers and chiefs turned a blind eye, is a "witchhunt".  Instead we must focus on the bad apple who is safely deceased and lying in a Scarborough cemetery.

Dimbleby, like his older brother, has thrived on the respect the BBC and similar British institutions have enjoyed for years – building their careers on the sense of fair play and the superiority of the British ruling classes, and married it to their own cut glass public school accents.  It's a culture they embody.  It's the culture that tells us to trust in the effortless self-confidence of those born to rule, while we struggle with our working class or Scottish insecurities. 

Yet this is the same unwritten constitution of gentlemen's agreements and nods and winks which allowed abuse and malpractice to thrive.  The managers of UK Plc simply didn't speak of such things, and most certainly not in front of the staff. 

But the stiff upper lip is beginning to quiver as evidence mounts of sexual scandal piling upon financial scandal, of lies and deceit affecting every institution of the British state. 

Over the past couple of years we have witnessed the economic crash and the malpractices of the financial sector, requiring billions of public funds to prop up the banks.  Our grandchildren will still be paying the bill.  Yet despite PPI misselling and LIBOR rate fixing, bankers' boardroom salaries continue to rise while benefits are slashed and the gap between rich and poor grows ever wider. 

We saw the systematic abuse of expenses by Parliamentarians who proved themselves remarkably adept at milking the rules to provide the maximum financial return.  Many of the most egregious offenders faced no sanctions for their behaviour.  Indeed some continue to tell us why we're "Better Together".  

The press awaits the findings of the Leveson Inquiry which heard shocking evidence of the routine manner in which British newspapers hacked the phones of celebrities and the victims of crimes.  The cosy relationship between media moguls and UK governments was unmasked.

Meanwhile the police are reeling from the Hillsborough scandal, which has uncovered an organised campaign by senior officers to smear the victims of the tragedy.  The Foreign Office is fighting a legal campaign to resist paying reparations to Kenyans who were tortured and mutilated by British forces during the final years of British colonial rule. 

The depressing and distressing litany of malpractice and abuse goes on and on, from the most appalling crimes, to the comically arrogant sense of entitlement recently displayed by Conservative whip Andrew Mitchell in his invective laden tirade against those who didn't know their place. 

The scandals continue to break, and although a couple of sacrificial lambs may be tossed to the wolves, most of those involved walk away with their pensions and privileges intact.  And perhaps most depressing and distressing of all is the realisation that the worst is yet to come, as the rumbling storm clouds of the sexual abuse scandal gather on the horizon. 

Any one of these abuses seen in isolation is aberrant behaviour, its detection a sign that the system is working.  Checks and balances are in place, the wrong can be righted and the system is rectified.  But taken together, the aberrant becomes the norm, the abuse systemic.  We can no longer focus just on the bad apples, we must look at the orchard which grows them.

Until now the independence debate has focused on what an independent Scotland might be like.  Questions have been raised about Scotland in NATO, or Scotland's currency, or Scotland and the EU.

But what exactly is the alternative that is being sold to Scots – what’s on offer if we vote No?  In the summer 'Brand Britain' was the London Olympics, the Diamond Jubilee and Boris Johnson.  It is now the Hillsborough cover-up, child abuse at the BBC and Jimmy Savile.

The ever growing list of institutionalised British scandals suggests that the status quo isn’t all that appealing.

It's time we started asking some hard questions of Unionists and the British institutions they so passionately believe in.

Comments  

 
# UpSpake 2012-11-05 07:32
Margaret Thatcher once described the BBC as the 'last bastion of restrictive practice'. I suspect she was refereing to the layer upon layer of bureurocracy that pervades this most inefficient organisation. She probably wasn't refering to the 'culture' of the establishment that invades the corridors of power within.
That 'culture' spreads throughout government, the banking industry and many other areas of life in this better together Britain.
It is hard to detect any such within the body politic of Scotland. Perhaps that is why we are such a 'different place' from that of England.
That doesn't mean that the perfidious arms of the establishment don't exist within Scotland, its just that there's less of it.
Meanwhile Scotland still suffers under its own Hillsborough - Lockerbie.
 
 
# clootie 2012-11-05 08:21
It is easy to accuse people of being "conspiacy nuts". However I do believe we have an elite group who consider themselves above the law.

It should be of great concern to everyone that the system is closing ranks to protect these people.
 
 
# an Olaindeach 2012-11-05 08:26
As someone from abroad, I can see less of the details, but maybe more of the big picture.
Compared to what I see in thre rest of NW and middle Europe, British politics, media and popular culture strike me as more cynical. The picture I get of Scotland seems less so.

Or is it simply an economy of scale that a larger country like England has more 'layers' and moe distance from top to bottom?
 
 
# davemsc 2012-11-05 08:32
I can understand where Dimbleby is coming from in psychological terms. He is in denial, frankly.
 
 
# Willie Hogg 2012-11-05 08:52
I was shocked to read Mr Dimbleby's comments. His willingness to try and talk down these allegations, along with the whispering campaign against some of the women concerned, is clearly aimed at protecting the BBC with no regard for justice. They should leave this to the police and not try and interfere. However, that the BBC establishment has no concern for truth comes as no shock to those of us observing its coverage of the independence debate.
 
 
# Breeks 2012-11-05 09:28
If the BBC was a private company, it's share price would be in free fall.

If the BBC was funded by sponsorship and advertising, the sponsors would be abandoning the BBC in their droves leaving it penniless.

As a state funded monopoly mouthpiece, all we can expect is more of the same. The 'system' possesses no mechanism for change.

2014 is our chance to get rid of it wholesale.

In the 90's I remember a Tory MP being found dead in self bondage, wearing high heels and stockings after autoerotic asphyxiation. At the time, this was spun as a great personal tragedy. No doubt it was, but I was puzzled by the attitudes towards morality. The perception was that sexual peccadilloes of MP's were none of our business. Whether it was a marital affair or predilection for rent boys, it seemed it wasn't in the public interest unless it infringed upon their parliamentary duties.
 
 
# truth 2012-11-05 12:39
Some believe that Tory MP was murdered because he was going to use his jourmalistic connections to expose secret service death threats against a high profile footballer who was allegedly blackmailing powerful people.

Seek and ye shall find.

By the way, that Tory MP used to work for the BBC.
 
 
# alexb 2012-11-05 09:50
Why, o why, in this electronic day and age are we forced to pay, on pain of imprisonment, for a "state" broadcaster which is obviously unfit for purpose. The sooner this monolith is consigned to history, the better.
 
 
# mmarsattacks 2012-11-05 12:32
We are NOT forced to pay the propaganda tax. If you want to legally stop, get rid of any equipment capable of receiving television broadcasts. Spend the savings you make on a fast internet connection and watch TV via that. As long as you don't watch BBC programmes at the same time as they are broadcast you do not require a licence. I for one refuse to pay for anti-Scottish propaganda and the salaries of paedophiles.
 
 
# truth 2012-11-05 13:24
I got rid of my TV and therefore pay no license either.

However, it's not just BBC programmes you must not watch in "simulcast". If you watch any internet channel at the same time it is being broadcast, then you are supposed to have a license.

As I don't have a large bandwidth, I don't watch TV on the internet either.
 
 
# Leswil 2012-11-05 09:59
The BBC needs broken up into accountable units. End of!
The forthcoming SBC will by definition be a much smaller entity and we will make sure that they to will be accountable. Vote YES!
 
 
# alasdairmac 2012-11-05 10:08
It certainly spikes to No Better Together campaign's guns on the loss to us of the BBC following independence and does it big time.

But folks, let's not get too sanctimonious about all these revelations as I have no doubt that we have one of two bad boys in public life up here just waiting to be exposed.
 
 
# X_Sticks 2012-11-05 10:42
Alasdair,
"I have no doubt that we have one of two bad boys in public life up here just waiting to be exposed."

That's almost certainly true Alasdair, viz the Holly Grieg case which alledgedly involves senior legal persons and police. Never been properly investigated to my knowledge.

I'm sure we have many of our own greenhouses in Scotland, so we should be careful about throwing stones around!
 
 
# Breeks 2012-11-05 11:03
Then I want to see them rooted out too.

Corruption of any kind is a cancer, it spreads, and Scotland isn't immune. We would be wise to erradicate it wherever and whenever we can before it takes over and becomes terminal.

We should not be vexatious, but quite, quite rutheless in erradicating corruption and the abuse of power.

Be sanctimonious. It's the healthier of the two to tolerate.
 
 
# J Wil 2012-11-05 10:16
The fact that Dimbleby vented his tirade about a witch hunt then went on to say that he was sure his father new nothing about activities within the BBC says it all. He is trying to protect his father's reputation. even although there have been no suggestions (to my knowledge) about what that his father did or didn't do.

What he is forgetting here is that the most important thing is the protection of children, which seems to have been forgotten then and is being forgotten now. It won't do.
 
 
# Barontorc 2012-11-05 10:17
We truly have seen day turn into night. The notion that ethics and morals are the bedrock of society lies in shreds. It's difficult to see how it can ever be put to rights.

Who would have thought 30 years ago that Labour would morph into its present day anti-movement, calling for the perpetuation of WMD's and billions to be spent on them, whilst threatening to cut protection to its vulnerable as unaffordable?

Who would have thought we would be intrigued in illegal wars by corrupt prime ministers whistling to a degenerate US President's capitalist mendacity?

Who would have believed the UK establishment would be allowed to take over the press and the BBC as its playthings, to propagandise, lie and misinform its own people?

Vote NO to keep the Status Quo – Aye Right So We Will!!
 
 
# Silverytay 2012-11-05 10:18
We all know what is going to happen next ! the establishment will close ranks to protect their own .
The b.b.c will sacrifice a couple of unimportant people who will conveniently get a pension and an undisclosed sum paid into their bank accounts .
If anybody of importance ever does stand trial ? I doubt very much that they would get any more than 18 months to 2 years just so that the establishment can claim that justice has been done .
 
 
# Mac 2012-11-05 10:25
Name and shame, name and shame the whole disgusting bunch, be they TV personalities, politicians or police officers.

BBC Children In Need????? That is now a horrendous thought.

Time to protect children from the BBC.
 
 
# Jim Johnston 2012-11-05 10:33
An excellent article.
No finger pointing, just hard facts.
Asking the questions every Scot needs answered to ensuse our country will no longer be run by despots. Enough is enough.

Better together - vote No.....aye right.

YES we certainly can and will build a better future for Scotland with Independence.
 
 
# Marga B 2012-11-05 11:33
I tell you what shocked me, a trivial thing and not quite OT.

At the Olympics opening ceremony, hundreds of hospital beds represented the pride of the NHS while Cameron was dismantling the service. And to see how people didn't seem to connect the two.

The UK elite seem to have lost all sense of accountability, and ordinary people seem to have forgotten that such a duty exists.

How do you change that culture, from both sides? Not in anger like now, maybe not even through new checks and balances where the old have fallen into disuse or been cynically abandoned, but establishing bottom-up not top-down government.

Finally, without defending them, presumably the BBC of its day did what everyone else was doing. The shocking thing is that, like much of the UK as seen from abroad, it seems to have got caught in a time warp.
 
 
# Massacre1965 2012-11-05 11:53
Yes Margo and the main sponsor of the paralympics was Atos - the organisation who is referring thousands of disabled people to work.
 
 
# Independista 2012-11-05 13:29
Craig Murray former Ambassador to Uzbekistan was sacked and vilified by the FCO for exposing Britain’s, and the CIA’s, use of intelligence obtained by torture abroad, accusing him of being “over-focussed on human rights”. I strongly suggest a read of his book “Murder in Samarkland”. He also happens to be a Scottish Nationalist, so maybe a connection there.
His blog is at www.craigmurray.org.uk/
 
 
# Breeks 2012-11-05 14:17
That's interesting what Craig Murray says about whistleblowers. However moral and correct a thing to do, it is rarely a good career move.

That is neither a failure nor a failing of the whistleblower, but as a society, we should look very closely at whichever regulator or control mechanism was remiss in the first instance and made the whistleblowing necessary. By the time you need a whistleblower to ring the changes, the 'system' has already failed.

I have had various grievances in my time, well supported with adequate evidence, but not once were the issues properly dealt with. Seeking justice in the UK can be a real uphill struggle, largely against corporate indifference to the truth. As a rule, we tolerate too much, but the answer is better regulation.
We don't need Ombudsmen, but corruption specialists with teeth, attitude and power, and without a history inside the organization they are called upon to judge.
 
 
# Soloman 2012-11-05 14:04
BBC

Broken GB

HUMPTY DUMPTY comes to mind.......
 
 
# bringiton 2012-11-05 14:04
The question that people should be asking is why are the Unionists and their press expending so much energy in an attempt to prevent 8% of the UK population from voting for managing their own affairs.
Is it because they fear for the future of these poor people in a Westminster free zone or is it more likely that a successful social democratic country would show Westminster up for what it is ?
Rule by an elite for an elite at the expense of ordinary tax payers.
Elitism is at the heart of the British establishment and is predicated on the belief that they inherit absolute power from the monarch and can pretty well do as they please.
They have been,until recently,aided and abetted in this by the fawning attitude of Her Majesty's press and the Westminster state broadcaster.
However,the times they are a changin'.
 
 
# theycantbeserious 2012-11-05 14:24
Westminster has a poison running through it's veins. The poisons lure of wealth and power for centuries has been able to turn Scot's against Scot's and divide a Nation. It reminds me of a story when James VI, who was brought up by those infected, away from his mothers influence, employed and sent twelve men from the Kingdom of Fife in 1598, who became known as the Fife adventurers, to colonise the Isle of Lewis in an attempt to begin the "civilisation" and de-gaelicisation of the region. This endeavour lasted until 1609 when the colonists, having been opposed by the native population, were bought out by Kenneth Mackenzie, the clan chief of the Mackenzies. This poison is still rife today and infects Scot's MP and Lord alike to denigrate, disparage even hate Scotland, it's people and their aspirations. Surely in the 21st century we can find a cure and eradicate this evil.
 
 
# Barontorc 2012-11-05 14:36
Just thinking, what would a present day George Orwell say of the garbage now presenting as politics?

And on looking him up, I see his real name is Eric Arthur Blair (25 June 1903 – 21 January 1950), known by his pen name George Orwell.

Blair! - boy,oh, boy - madam serendipity has sure been having a hoot for these past 20 years or so!
 
 
# Robabody 2012-11-05 14:37
First class article. As for Dimbleby, apologist springs to mind.
 
 
# Independista 2012-11-05 15:14
I recently emailed Media Lens www.medialens.org/to expose the BBC’s anti independence bias, citing Newsnets’s recent ‘liars’article.
Here is the reply.
Thanks for writing to us about this – an important issue and one that, as a Scot, I’m personally interested in – although it’s not always easy/practical to follow from south of the border. Also, there are just two of us researching and writing media alerts, and we choose our topics carefully to best highlight the systemic problems with the corporate media. Sometimes this can mean that important issues are not addressed in our alerts. However, you’re not the first to write to us about biased coverage around Scottish independence and I’ll certainly bear the topic in mind. Have you thought about signing up to use our free messageboard and contribute to discussions there?
Best wishes
David C

So sign up you posters!!
 
 
# Marga B 2012-11-05 15:40
Shamefully OT, but publicity for Catalan day, Glasgow Uni on Weds. pre-match including folk-pop group Els Amics de les Arts LIVE, Wednesday 7th November, 13.00 - full programme starts 10 a.m.

FREE ENTRY event, open to all. (Group tasters on Youtube, including "Jean Luc")

Full programme of events:
llull.cat/.../...
NB. talk 12-1, Matthew Tree "Catalonia And How It Got That Way". Committed English nationalist/ independentist explains recent events re. referendum etc.

Just saw this comment in Guardian: "Barca are just a Spanish version of Celtic". May the best side win!
 
 
# farrochie 2012-11-05 15:46
Esther Rantzen of course led the defence of the BBC, and the defence of her silence.
 
 
# sneckedagain 2012-11-05 16:37
X-Sticks

The Holly Grieg case has been investigated thoroughly and it's a load of rubbish. The main proponent of it has been jailed for defamation yet swivel eyed conspiracy theorists continue to believe that somehow Kenny McAskill, Alex Salmond, Nicola Sturgeon, Eilish Angiolini, the Chief Constable of Grampiam and dozens of others were involved in a paedophile ring or in covering it up.
That Holly Greig, who has Downes Syndrome, was sexually interfered with there is little doubt. That she was also impressionable, suggestible and incapable of giving reliable evidence is also not in doubt. As far as can be established safely she was interfered with by close or family connections, some of whom have left the country.
The would-be journalist who concocted the story was on a self promotion campaign and sadly many people feel that Holly's mother was looking for some rewards for going along with this.
 
 
# Nautilus 2012-11-05 17:32
Methinks our newnet reporter is describing the Fall of the Roman Empire.

This outfit can't fall fast enough for me!
 
 
# Embra 2012-11-05 19:15
Not sure why Newsnet didn't approve my earlier post.

Tried to say that some links from Twitter showed mind blowing story about establishment and Westminster cover ups.

This may or may not be true, judge for yourself, but Newsnet should not censor my post for this reason (if that is the reason). This is why we are where we are now, too many people keen to censor.

These allegations are in the public domain and it is up to people to make their own mind up on the issues and NOT for the MSM, BBC, Police or Establishment to silence whistleblowers.

NNS Moderation: NNS must be extremely careful to remain within the law, and cannot to publish anything which may cause NNS to be subject to legal action. The link you gave named names and may fall foul of the law, it also runs the risk of giving any alleged perpetrators a legal excuse to avoid criminal proceedings on the grounds that a fair trial is not possible. For these reasons we cannot publish it.
 
 
# xyz 2012-11-05 19:44
The Torygraph named a name in an article earlier today but fairly soon after the name disappeared from the article.

It was the name that most know by now. (It seems odd that only one person is in the frame right now)
 
 
# Embra 2012-11-05 19:50
The Twitter link I researched named names of many current politicians, Lords and judges.

I cannot link or reveal the website here and therefore determine if other people think these allegations are truthful.
 
 
# clochoderic 2012-11-05 19:24
OT
Knock me-down with-a-feather time, a fair article on Scotland in Europe from the Herald today, written by a former BBC journalist, no less!

"Why Europe will find a way to accommodate Scottish independence"

The conclusion is trenchant:

"Nothing is set in stone in the EU. It is a giant piece of putty, to be moulded to every situation. As no country has ever split while being a member, there is no precedent for the situation that will arise if Scotland votes for independence. That being the case, a tortuous overnight Brussels summit will come up with a solution, just before daybreak. That’s how it always works."


ANGUS ROXBURGH is a former BBC europe correspondent based in brussels.


heraldscotland.com/.../...

.
 
 
# Piemonteis 2012-11-05 20:04
This is absolutely true, and again backs up the argument that it will be political, and not legal, means that determine Scotland's position as an independent State.

In fact, this is the frustrating thing about both sides of the argument just now. One side quotes a document "proving" that Scotland will be forced to join the Euro, or will be blocked by Spain; and the other produces "evidence" that we'll be waved through with all the benefits we want.

There's a demand for final, definitive proof about Scotland's post-referendum status that just doesn't exist. It's about percentages and possibilities of what will happen next, and it is up to each citizen to evaluate the merits of the debate.

It does seem increasingly more logical, however, that Scotland would be accepted as a fully integrated member of the European community (small "c").
 
 
# weegie38 2012-11-05 22:52
The thing is, the EU kind of has to find a way to accommodate Scotland otherwise it will end up with a legal minefield. A Scottish citizen on day 1 after independence would still be an EU citizen, because Scots law is not being magicked out of thin air.
 
 
# J Wil 2012-11-05 21:39
The number of countries which have been admitted to the EU, whose qualifications could be said to be dubious, both on economic and political grounds, mitigates against Scotland being excluded.
 

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