The Peninsula Hotel in Chicago is not too shabby. It can’t be if it costs more than £1100 a night to stay in its deluxe suite. It recently hosted Alex Salmond and his wife when they were over for the Ryder Cup.
Unfortunately, while Salmond is more than happy to gad about on the world stage, he’s less forthcoming when it comes to telling us how much his little jaunts cost.
One of his Special Advisers refused point blank to tell the Sunday Mail how much you and I, the humble taxpayers, had paid for his accommodation. They were told they would need to file a Freedom of Information request. So, rather than just show us the bill, Salmond wastes staff time and resource on a needless FOI request. And what’s the betting the Government finds some reason not to release the information. After all, they wouldn’t even tell us whether they’d taken legal advice on the implications of independence.
Now, I very much doubt they stayed in an £1100 deluxe suite. Apart from anything else, Chicago would have been hoaching with the A List and the Salmonds, bless them, would not have been that high up the pecking order. They may well have been in a standard room costing not that much.
Scotland’s Information Commissioner has already ticked off the Government in her annual report for being overly secretive.
The Scottish Liberal Democrats have filed an FOI request to get the answers to reasonable questions like how much did the accommodation cost, how many staff went and where did they stay. Watch this space.
It’s not the fact that he goes abroad that’s the issue. It’s the fact that he’s so secretive about this and other issues. There’s no reason for it.
But if you, like me, find it irritating that the First Minister can’t even answer simple questions like this, feel free to share this post on Facebook or Twitter, using the hashtag #showusthebillAlex.