Thursday, 4 August 2011

Salmond's Dear Rupert letters

Robbie Burns couldn't have penned a finer exchange of letters that those between First Minister Alex Salmond and media mogul Rupert Murdoch.

From a day at the races to a night at the opera, Salmond's courting of News International has the makings of a fine one-sided bromance. Here we go...

After the 2007 New York meeting, Salmond wrote:

"Dear Rupert,
It was good to meet you again in New York last earlier this month.I enjoyed our conversation and, as ever, found your views both insightful and stimulating.

Thank you very much for your letter of 12 October and Jim Webb's book which I will read with interest."

An invitation to join the GlobalScot network was extended, but it doesn't look as if Rupert took out membership. Undeterred, Alex ploughs on...

"Dear Rupert

Many thanks for taking the time to speak with me earlier this week.

As discussed I would be delighted if you were able to join me as guest of honour for The Gathering celebrations on 25 July. I will host a reception at the Great Hall in Edinburgh Castle before the unique Pageant production takes place, a highlight of the weekend's celebrations."

Ach, Rupert didn't make it home, so Alex tries to get him on his own patch.An invitation for Murdoch to join Salmond at a golf event in Kentucky in the US follows.

"Dear Sir Rupert(sic)

Scotland is a country renowned for being the birthplace of Golf and as such we take pride in calling ourselves "The Home of Golf. Scotland is due to host the Ryder Cup at Gleneagles in 2014 and as future hosts we have the opportunity to invite a limited number of guests to the preceding tournaments.

I would like to invite you to join me as part of the official Scotland delegation to the forthcoming 37th Ryder Cup Matches to be held at the Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, Kentucky, next month..."

Later Salmond offers the media tycoon tickets for a performance of the Black Watch play in Brooklyn:

"We would be very happy to organise for you to meet with the artists if you like. However, if you would like to attend incognito this can also be arranged. I will arrange for my office to contact your secretary to make further arrangements."
He went on to advise Mr Murdoch that the play is a "rough, tough production" with views he might find controversial."

Then Salmond sents Rupert a DVD through the post, the political equivalent of a homemade teenage mixtape:

"Dear Rupert

I recently wrote to you enclosing a copy of a DVD with a voice over by Sean Connery that encouraged golfers to come to home of golf next year and to join in our Homecoming Scotland 2009 celebrations. I asked that you help ensure maximum exposure for this film and I am very grateful to you for showing it across some of your network...As I mentioned before, I would be delighted if you where able to join me at any of the Homecoming events as my special guest and I look forward to welcoming you back to Scotland in the near future."

Finally, Rupert replies:

Dear Alex:

Thank you very much for your letter and the beautiful brochure about your coming celebrations. I can't yet promise to be there but I am trying.
I have passed your letter on to Sky Television to see what they can do and either they or I will be in touch with you very soon."

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