THE ADMIRAL BAR!

FIRST PUBLISHED 12/04/2012

In a message dated 30/05/2010 Mortonjag wrote to Nick Robinson.

Nick, I had an interesting meeting with Paul Gill recently, and only now know that you are a Committee member. My point in writing – as a Trust member I requested that all documentation re. the ‘Stars’ evening be made available to the new Committee members. Paul has informed me that that has not been done. The reason given was that ‘it is in the lawyer’s hands’.

What mandate do three Committee members from among fourteen have for withholding CRUCIAL evidence while potentially wasting more Trust members’ money on legal advice, and indeed have the new Committee members had confirmation from the lawyer that they are not entitled to share information which involves them and the Membership as a whole?

I’m not looking for a formal reply, nor will I share anything you say with anyone else – just want to ‘run it past you’.

Ernie Newall.

The following day Nick replied.

Ernie,

You and I have exchanged mails in the past and I hope that you know that I have Morton’s interest at heart in joining the trust board.  I am also a professional person with a reputation at risk.   I am not at liberty to discuss what has or has not been said at the board but you will have to trust that I will not support any action which I do not think is justified.

Your blog makes it clear that you believe that others, or maybe even all of the old board are culpable to some degree.  If you would share your reasons for that with me, I would treat it in an appropriate way.

I have to say, I have found some of your blog entertaining and some of it over the top.  Scott Gillen, for example, is a bright young man with a lot of good ideas for the benefit of the trust and therefore Morton.  He did not deserve the comments made, irrespective of your interpretation of the usage of ancient Greek and even if he disclosed something he should not have to a third party (which he denies!).  If he did blab, he has certainly learned a lesson.

This thing is not going away and, unfortunately, it is very difficult for the trust to move on until it has!

Nick

Well, apart from giving Mortonjag a ticking off for misjudging the young genius Scott Gillan at least Nick had promised to treat any information appropriately and professionally so on June 1st, Mortonjag replied (sincerely).

Thanks for replying Nick. I have always respected your professionalism. I have expended a huge amount of time and effort on this. The Trust will die unless Duncan, Goodwin, and Donnelly are removed (or remove themselves) very soon. Stuart is willing to go anyway.

I’d like to meet up with you VERY soon if possible. I’m willing to do so to suit your diary. I’m happy to travel down to Wemyss Bay if need be – any time. If you agree I insist on only one thing – that it remains strictly private until we’ve had a chat. What a horrible June morning! I suppose that like Morton, it can only get better! I wish I could say the same of the Trust as things stand.

Ernie.

Nick came back promptly.

Ernie,

I am between a rock and a hard place on this.  I will meet with you on condition that:

1) That meeting is confidential between us and remains so at least for the time being – that includes no cryptic blogging!!!

2) That you divulge to me your take on the events of that night with some indication of evidence to back that up. 

I am old enough and a veteran of far too many court actions to know that nothing is ever black and white.  As things stand and based on the limited information I have, it seems to me that Jim Gallacher does at least have a case to answer.  What is less clear to me is the role of other trust members and if you shed light on that in more than a circumstantial way then I will take notice!

As it happens, I am in Glasgow tomorrow for a couple of meetings, the last of which finishes it 4.00pm – its a Scottish Government working party and they are usually pretty prompt.  I generally park my car in the Waterloo St car park and so I could meet you somewhere around there at say ten past four.  The only place I can think of on Waterloo St is the Admiral bar.

Let me know if you can make it

Nick

The meeting took place as planned. As with Paul Gill before, it was apparently frank and amicable, lasting as it did for the better part of two hours. Nick was less effusive than Paul and appeared more cautious, but openly agreed that he had been most unimpressed by the financial affairs of the Trust, which he said had been ‘a shambles’, and he had been shocked to learn that there had been two separate fines by the F.S.A. for late ‘annual returns’. 

He told Mortonjag that he had taken over as Treasurer, and he had apparently got things tidied up already and had changed or was in the process of changing the auditors. Just as with Paul Gill, Mortonjag explained in considerable detail his concerns and reservations about the handling of the ‘Stars’ business, and emphasised in particular his belief that one co-organiser had been victimised whilst the other escaped scrutiny. 

Nick appeared to take that concern ‘on board’ and suggested that if he could be provided with Jim Gallacher’s figures he could look at those alongside what he had from the Trust. The understanding was that in so doing he would be acting entirely separately from and independently of the ‘older’ committee members, and specifically as part of Paul Gill’s initiative  (in which Mortonjag played a crucial role) to get the matter fixed internally, starting off with issues to be addressed at the forthcoming committee meeting.

Had Mortonjag not been entirely satisfied that that had been agreed mutually with Nick, there would have been no question of providing confidential facts and figures.

To be continued next time.