Here's the latest entry in the diary of Rupert St John-Fontaine, adviser at the Department of Social Affairs


I TAKE a call from Murdo Fraser, one of the true heroes of the independence cause in Scotland. Murdo is one of seven devoted nationalists who have taken lifetime vows for the cause by working clandestinely in Unionist organisations to undermine them.

These brave men and women – all scions of Scottish Unionist families - were hand-picked in their teenage years by a secret committee of the 79 Group. Their task: to infiltrate politics, business, the civil service and academia and then to work secretly as double agents, hollowing them out and planting little grenades here and there to keep them on the back foot.

Murdo is perhaps the bravest of the lot. He has risen to high office in the Conservative Party where he risks being exposed each day as a nationalist agitator and everyone knows what the British security services do with those who are found to have betrayed the Union Jack. When the English aristocrat Lord Lucan was outed as a Scottish independence activist it took MI5 less than 24 hours to make him disappear.

Murdo sounds very tense and wants to meet in The Meadows. “Bring your running gear and wear dark glasses.”


I DON’T actually possess any running gear and so had to make a rather audacious purchase at Busby & Ford, the sports boutique on the Gorgie Road.

I meet Murdo at the designated rendezvous point in The Meadows. He is wearing his tartan trews as usual (he wears them for every occasion, including bed, he once confided). But this isn’t the usual Murdo, full of bonhomie and eager to show me selfies of him at Ibrox stadium with assorted members of the Rangers team “who stopped the 10”.

This morning he seems nervous and is constantly looking over his shoulder. “I think I’m being followed and that my secret is out. I may need to come in and disappear for a while. I heard about that operation you set up in Dublin last year with your Ukrainian Special Forces wallahs when Peter was kidnapped by that Irish racing syndicate.”

The mere mention of the Peter Murrell incident sends a shiver down my spine. Only me and Nicola know how close we came to losing him after he’d staked the party’s missing £600k on a sure-fire winner at the Irish Grand National only to discover it was an elaborate hoax. When he withdrew from the deal he was kidnapped and I turned to my old Ukrainian friends to rescue him. They were all Spetsnaz veterans I’d met at a Spectator party and who’d set up a very successful (and very lethal) black ops team specialising in “off-the-books” transactions for western governments.

Murdo tells me the name of a high-ranking official in the Scottish Civil Service whom he believes has discovered his nationalist secret and I tell him not to worry about it and that I would handle it.


I CALL Yuri on the special number he gave me. After he and his team had rescued Peter from the Durty Nellie racing syndicate we’d managed to swing a modest construction contract in Leith their way. We also enjoined the local bizzies to look the other way at some occasional money-laundering taking place in a string of massage parlours they’d purchased around Scotland Street.

“Ah, Rupertski, how luvvly to hear vrom you. But I’m thinking zis is not vot you might say is a social call.”

I tell Yuri that a certain senior civil servant working out of St Andrew’s House had to be silenced, but that on this occasion perhaps just a warning might suffice.

“Leave it with me, Rupertski. I am zinking zat ze old flying carpet technique might suffice for zis one.”

The flying carpet technique referred to by Yuri is one that was perfected by Moscow agents in the Cold War as a warning to would-be defectors and their families. It’s since been adopted by some of the Glasgow crime families.

The victim is snatched off the street, wrapped tightly in a carpet from General George Carpets; bundled into the boot of a large car and driven to the Campsie Hills before being deposited and told to make his own way back wearing only his foundation garments.


I CALL Murdo to tell him that his “little situation” has been taken care of. But soon we have a much bigger problem on our hands. The two unfinished CalMac ferries at Ferguson’s in Port Glasgow seem to have gone missing.

It seems that a member of the United Arab Emirates royal family bought them as a job and turned them into floating beauty salons and gin palaces for several of his wives.

I now face a race against time to spin the tale in our favour.