Sunday, March 30, 2008

Swinney expenses circulated by aggrieved lawyers over parliamentary confrontation with resigning Law Society Chief

The 'hero' of several campaigners for legal reform, John Swinney, who challenged the Law Society of Scotland's Chief Executive Douglas Mill in front of the Justice 2 Committee of the Scottish Parliament over corruption in the way complaints and claims against lawyers have been dealt with by the Law Society itself, has seemingly 'gone into silence' on the issue, after, it has been alleged, the legal establishment have given him a warning over his conduct, with the waiving of certain documents to preferred sections of the media ...

John Swinney v Douglas Mill at the Justice Committee - serious corruption revealed in Chief Executive's own attempts to thwart claims, which led to Mill's resignation.

You can read a lot more about the events leading up to Douglas Mill's resignation, which began with the confrontation between Mill & Swinney at the Parliament here : Breaking News : Law Society Chief Executive Douglas Mill who lied to Parliament, pursued 'personal vendetta' against critics - to resign

Now that you have watched the above video, and read my earlier report on Mr Mill's resignation, you should not be surprised to learn that earlier last week, documents were apparently being circulated by some aggrieved members of the Law Society, showing Mr Swinney's mortgage claims on his Parliamentary expenses account. The documents currently doing the rounds show among other things, Mr Swinney receiving regular payments for mortgage interest at around £900, with, curiously enough, even a 19pence stamp making the claims book.

John Swinney mortgage allowance claims

John Swinney on mortgage payments

even a stamp ...

John Swinney on stamps

The documents, apparently released by members of the legal profession, who clearly support Douglas Mill and the Law Society's policy of beating down complaints against solicitors with a stick or anything higher, don't particularly show anything we don't already know, but I am slightly amazed myself at the size of the claims and seemingly attention to detail, while Mr Swinney's constituent, and others mentioned by him not only in that confrontation with Douglas Mill, but also within the Parliamentary debate on the LPLA Bill, have not yet seen their cases achieve a measure of settlement.

I was in two minds whether to cover the story at all, but in the interests of fairness, and the expectation of Mr Swinney's constituents and those he has helped over the issue of problems with regulation in the legal profession, the story does deserve coverage, also hopefully to limit the damage that certain forces may be trying to do to Mr Swinney's reputation, as was seen in the early part of 2007 when several Labour & Lib Dem MSPS were caught in mortgage allowance expenses, apparently after leaks of documents from a few lawyers who were ticked off after the passage of the LPLA Bill in the Scottish Parliament in mid December 2006 ...

John Swinney speaks in the Scottish Parliament on corruption within the Law Society of Scotland and interference with innocent people's access to justice.

As you know, I am a supporter of Mr Swinney, particularly over his courage to take on Douglas Mill in front of the Justice 2 Committee in 2006, and really get to the heart of the issues which have been burning up the public over their poor treatment by the Law Society of Scotland when it came to making complaints and financial claims against either negligent or crooked lawyers. I simply don't think that anyone else, with the exception of Phil Gallie, would have had the courage to ask those questions and take issue with Mr Mill, as John Swinney clearly did.

Surely Mr Swinney has been in government long enough now to ensure these cases attain a measure of settlement and closure, for the good of his constituents, the others he mentioned, and the interests of justice and the Scottish justice system as a whole.

It's not too much to ask or expect I think, for people to be given closure and peace of mind over wrongs which were perpetrated against them by the legal profession itself, and if the Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Mr Swinney, cant put this issue on the table now and get it fixed for all concerned, we are living in a very sorry state of affairs in Scotland.

How about it John ? Lets give the innocent some justice and allow everyone to get on with their lives again ? It's time, and surely after you raised the subject, it's time to live up to the duty of seeing it through, which you have the power to do, and give some help to innocent Scots who are caught in this never ending injustice ...


Anonymous said...

If Mr. Swinney had any intention of righting known wrongs he would have done so long before now. His deafening silence since the Justice 2 Hearings clearly demonstrate that he is, like many others, quite content to see the abuses of the past continue - with his tacit approval.

Anonymous said...

okay, fair enough.I see what you are trying to do but Swinney is milking us just like the rest of them so this is really just another snout in the trough now.No more shiny John please in further stories.

Oh one last thing.If John Swinney had a go at Douglas Mill over a case during the summer of 2006 why hasn't he done something about it by now? As you say the clock is ticking away on that one and so is his credibility.

Anonymous said...

i agree its about time he did something on that mill thing.whatever happened to the client who was involved in the thing anyway ?

Anonymous said...

Did you do this to pre-empt the papers or are they running it tomorrow too ?

Strikes me the man has no credibility now.Finance Chief milking the public for expenses just like everyone else.What a let down.

Anonymous said...

thanks thats enough for me now no more snp
hope the tabs pick up on it and have a field day with it

Swinney (& the SNP) will do nowt about injustice said...

There is about as much chance of Swinney doing anything about injustice and miscarriages of justice in Scotland today, as there is with his crooked and corrupt SNP colleagues, MacAskill and Salmond.

Let's all face facts and reality folks ... all those out there seeking justice in Scotland for themselves, their loved ones or friends:

Scotland is a very corrupt little country, run by a very corrupt elite bunch of politicos who are at the constant mercy of those elite crooks at the Law Society of Scotland.

Swinney will not be the "hero" or Braveheart figure needed to take on any case of injustice and will never go against MacAskill, Salmond or the Law Society. Ditto most Scottish journalists out there who, though purporting to champion the underdog and be crusaders against injustice in very many cases, are just as corrupt and lilly-livered as our politicos and lawyers are (in the majority of instances i have come across over the years) and fear for their careers if they try to take on this corrupt SNP government and their crooked pals at the Law Society.

If you can cite me any journalist in Scotland who is totally honest, fearless, brave and bold enough to take on King Alex and his sycophantic Court Jesters, i would very much like to know their name ... cause i have yet to find one. Censorship Scotland is very much alive and well under King Alex and his thugs in the Tartan Tories at Holyrood and SNP HQ.

I would welcome any Scottish journalist coming onto this blog and telling me otherwise, though i strongly suspect it really is a case of :

Birds of a feather flock together...

tartan terrible said...

I just watched the clip of Swinney and Mill.

After 2 years of that I would have thought this would all be coming to a close now and you could all get on with things but you are right.Swinney has had his wings clipped by the lawyers.Looks very stupid though after coming out with all that.I think he should do the right thing and resign if hes not willing to follow through on all the trouble HE has caused over this.

Anonymous said...

Nice one Peter.I thought you were too much of a nat supporter to run something like this but I see you stuck to principles.Good.

Can you get John Swinney to give me £900 for my mortgage too so I can pay it off on the public's back!

Could do with some stamps too Mr Swinney!

Anonymous said...

just as bad as the commons speaker and just as unclean.

Not enough of an argument to say these people are entitled to all these expenses freebies etc because they bloody well are not especially when they arent doing their job

What about this person Swinney had used to have a go at the Law Society.You should get an interview with them and put it up too otherwise a god story.I think you probably spoiled a couple of front pages tomorrow though !

Anonymous said...

Swinney not heard of email or doesnt he know how to charge for it yet ? hahaha

Great catch Mr Cherbi.The whiter than white master of the snp laid out flat like the rest of them in that horrible Holyrood parliament.He should pay back the money and go.

Anonymous said...

Not too sure about you being a Swinney supporter but I am sure you have broken a hell of an important story.

If he is worth the money he will help his constituents.If he doesn't or hasn't, he's not worth a dime.

End of story

Anonymous said...

reasonable to expect revenge after swinneys tiff with the lawyer so no surprise to see the dirt being dished

anyway we should be told the dirt if the politicians are on the milking round such as swinney

Donald Anderson, Edinburgh said...

I was just looking up some of Swinneys claims to check this out - he claims for everything just like another snout in the trough

I agree with the commenter who said he is a let down.He hasn't stuck by his words at that justice committee and I presume he has left you and all these other people in the lurch over this stuff with the lawyers.He has to move on this now and do something about it if he is going to retain any credibility at all.

Anonymous said...

I had a good read of this and some of your other articles about bent lawyers.

You must be the best writer on legal issues in Scotland.I don't see any of the papers able to tackle these things very well probably through fear of their own lawyers or the dodgy ones.Keep up the good work.

Anonymous said...

and I forgot to say :

I would like to hear more about this case Swinney mentions in the video.You write that the victim of this Douglas Mill has still not had the case settled despite Swinney's intervention.Maybe some comment from the victim would be good and I presume they are quite angry nothing has been done after a further 2 years.

Anonymous said...

Very disappointing to read of this.I thought more of Mr Swinney before reading of his mortgage interest subs,so thats another one off the SNP here.The problem is the rest are just as bad.What do you advise?

Anonymous said...

I am appalled that MSPs are allowed to claim Newspaper Subscriptions over £222 to be precise.
Does this not distract them from their job.
Lets face it what other employer allows money for newspapers ?
The speaker takes the biscuit though £4 Grand for a taxi for his wife to go shopping ?
How many other jobs pay for spouses expenses ?
He is milking it get him oot but then again he is Labour and protected by his Scots Pal Broon.
All labour MSPs should be booted oot o Parliament

Anonymous said...

John Swinney v Douglas Mill at the Justice Committee - serious corruption revealed in Chief Executive's own attempts to thwart claims, which led to Mill's resignation.
Well Mr Swinney, please keep this up. Perhaps we need you as Justice Minister not Mr MacAskill.
Mill resigned, oh well Douglas only the weak run, clearly you are not as powerfull as you thought. You won't be missed.