Sunday, 16 September 2007

Foulkes pleaded guilty to assault and being drunk

Foulkes pleaded guilty to assault and being drunk

Published: 22 January 2007

The genial Blair sycophant George Foulkes - Baron Foulkes of Cumnock since Tony elected him a life peer and now one of the henchmen trying to treat Labour's Scottish schizophrenia - was a most promising shadow cabinet minister until he came to suffer "a nasty fall on the slopes of Glenfiddich in July 1993".

At a party held by the Scotch Whisky Association, the defence spokesman at the time, also a magistrate, drank adequately from the fountain of the water of life. One witness described Foulkes's subsequent behaviour as "like Zebedee on acid". The MP trundled back to the Commons for a crunch vote.

Unfortunately, the pavements of Westminster dipped and rose like the deck of a clipper on a choppy sea, tossing him into the arms of pedestrians. An attempt to dance with a 70-year-old lady resulted in them both hugging the asphalt. Foulkes biffed one persistently helpful constable on the chin.

He was arrested and invited to spend the night enjoying Her Majesty's hospitality. He pleaded guilty to assault and being drunk and disorderly, and was fined £1,050. He vowed not to drink whisky again.

So I am delighted to hear of an invitation doing the rounds. In his capacity as president of the Caribbean-Britain Business Council, Foulkes is hosting a party at the House of Lords on 13 March: a "rum punch reception". A Caribbean holiday for two shall be raffled and guests hope Foulkes will lead the calypso. (He is, of course, bringing the punch.) Boing!


Alexander’s first test as Foulkes brands her spin doctor an ‘idiot’ (Sunday Herald)

Alexander’s first test as Foulkes brands her spin doctor an ‘idiot’ (Sunday Herald)

honeymoon as Scottish Labour leader has ended abruptly after one of her senior MSPs described her new spin doctor as an “idiot”. Lord Foulkes, a Labour member for Lothians, has made a complaint about the party’s head of communications, Brian Lironi, for allegedly briefing against him.

Foulkes snubs McLeish's call to apologise for SNP 'racism' claim

Foulkes snubs McLeish's call to apologise for SNP 'racism' claim

LABOUR MSP George Foulkes last night refused to apologise for remarks linking the Scottish National Party to anti-English racism despite a call to do so from a former first minister.

Lord Foulkes, the former UK minister who is now an MSP, sparked a heated row after he warned the Nationalists over their disparaging talk of "London Labour".

He claimed the SNP encouraged people "on the extreme outskirts of nationalism to think it is OK to do things that could be very harmful to English people".

However, Henry McLeish, the former Labour First Minister, launched a stinging attack on his party colleague over the remarks.

Mr McLeish said he was "very disappointed and saddened" by Lord Foulkes' comments.

"I think in Scotland at the present time there is no need for that type of vitriol for the SNP," he said.

A spokesman for the Labour party said neither Lord Foulkes nor Wendy Alexander, the party's leader-elect, would be apologising.

The two spoke by phone yesterday but no details of their conversation were released.

Lord Foulkes was unavailable for comment and Labour issued a one line statement in response to the continuing controversy.

The party spokesman said: "George Foulkes has made it clear that he is not accusing the SNP of racism".

According to Labour, the MSP had said: "I'm not suggesting for a second that the SNP are racist, or indeed, anti-English.

"What I am saying however is that Alex Salmond needs to be very careful when he makes snide remarks about 'London' Labour and the 'London' Government, that he's not fanning the flames of any existing anti-English sentiment.

"That would be deeply irresponsible".

A source close to Alex Salmond, the First Minister, said: "We would associate ourselves with the sensible, dignified remarks of Henry McLeish.

"It's a shame the Labour Party don't have the grace to apologise and draw a line under George Foulkes's antics.

"He has only succeeded in making himself look silly and his party look shabby."

COMMISERATIONS to Milor' Foulkes MSP, late of Westminster.

COMMISERATIONS to Milor' Foulkes MSP, late of Westminster.

George is awfully distressed to find, gosh and golly, that being a member of the Scottish Parliament is not only quite a lot of work, but that the gravy he gets from the Holyrood allowances train isn't nearly as rich as the House of Commons'.

He wants more.

You have to admire the noble Lord.

Abare four months in the job and he's got his priorities spot on.

But fair dos. He's only got his MSP's salary and pension pot from years as an MP to keep body and soul together.

Just as well then, should he find himself short of a few quid, he can also nip down to the House of Lords to pick up his £200-a-day attendance fee.