Saturday, 4 April 2015

Le Lettre Zinovieff

His Excellency M. Pierre-Alain Coffinier is the diplomatic representative of the French Republic to Glasgow. 

M. Coffinier, a former banker, previously represented France in Madrid before moving onto Glasgow. He speaks impeccable English, as well as fluent Arabic from his time working for the French Republic in the Middle East. Previously, he worked at the Quai d'Orsay as an expert in the Middle East and North Africa.

Her Excellency Mme Sylvie Bermann is an highly educated woman. A graduate of the Beijing Language Institute, Institut nationale des langues et les civilisations, l'Université Paris-Sorbonne and Sciences-Po, it is safe to say that she has rather outshone the struggling "leader" of Scottish Labour, Jim Murphy, who - despite his education at a whites-only school in PW Botha's South Africa - failed to graduate from university despite spending nine years there.

Mme Bermann is a highly-regarded diplomat. She has represented the Republic of France to the world in several postings, including Hong Kong, Beijing, Moscow, New York and Brussels. She has worked at the Quai d'Orsay in a multitude of positions, heading the Asia and Oceania Directorate of the French Foreign Ministry and heading the Common Foreign and Security Policy Directorate. She has been awarded the legion d'honneur and is an officer of the ordre national du Mérite.

Aside from her native French, she speaks fluent Chinese, English and Russian. She has been the Ambassador and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of France to Beijing and is now the Ambassador of the Republic of France to London.

It is safe, I think, to say that Mme Sylvie Bermann is no James Kelly MSP.

M. Coffinier and Mme Bermann represent not just President of the Fifth French Republic, Dr François Hollande, but the entire Republic of France to the world. 

This evening, both of them condemned a fabricated story in the Conservative Party newspaper, the Daily Telegraph, intended to rescue the collapsing Scottish Labour Party, as an outright lie. 

This is an unprecedented intervention by the Quai d'Orsay in foreign politics in the midst of an election campaign.

The Telegraph's "story", which is apparently - bizarrely - that the First Minister, who has made it abundantly clear that she intends to collapse any Conservative government at the very first opportunity, is secretly working towards a Conservative victory in the upcoming General Election. They claim she revealed her plans to the French government during a meeting in February.

The Telegraph, which sells up to several dozen copies a day in Scotland, made no effort to contact either the First Minister, Mme Bermann or M. Coffinier to ascertain the veracity of the story. 

The Scottish Labour Party, collapsing into its death throes and with one of its remaining MPs walking out on it with only days to go until polling, seized on the moribund Tory organ's "story".

Inevitably, humiliation was to follow. 

The French government and the First Minister, within hours of the "story" breaking, made it absolutely clear that it was "categorically, 100% untrue", with the Quai d'Orsay adding "absolutely no preference [of prime minister] was expressed [by the First Minister]".

The story shows several things:

1. The career of Simon Johnson, the Scottish Political Editor of the Daily Telegraph who invented a "story" from his feverish imagination, lied about its provenance, and fooled his editors into humiliatingly printing it on their front page, is over. 

When the "Hitler Diaries" were found to be a forgery, both of Stern's editors, Peter Koch and Felix Schmidt, resigned in disgrace. Frank Giles resigned in disgrace from the Sunday Times, and William Broyles was sacked from Newsweek.

This was a hoax into which those men were fooled. And their careers ended that day. It is impossible to believe that Simon Johnson can remain in journalism - his credibility is utterly destroyed. 

2. The Scottish Labour Party is so consumed by fear and hatred that it is happy to repeat lies without checking their provenance or accuracy. 

It's not clear if the Scottish Labour Party was involved in the fabrication of the story - but the most generous interpretation of their behaviour is that they were fooled, hook, line, and sinker, by a corrupt and mendacious journalist writing for a newspaper which acts as the semi-official journal of the Conservative Party. 

If they can't get this right, how can we trust them to tackle the bankers, tax avoiders and employers who dodge paying the minimum wage? How can we trust them, if they can't pick up a phone to Paris, not to murder even more children in an illegal war into which they are fooled for voting?

3. The Unionists in Scotland, and the British Establishment in general, are absolutely shiting themselves.

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