Stuart Crawford Associates
Stuart Crawford Associates is an Edinburgh-based lobbying firm. It says it specialises in 'Scottish public affairs, security issues, and media communications'.
It was established in 1999, coinciding with the restoration of the Scottish Parliament, which made Edinburgh once more the focal point for political debate in Scotland.
It claims to be ' expert in explaining how the Scottish Executive and Parliament work, in what ways its work affects businesses and organisations, and how best to interact with and influence the Scottish political decision making process.'
Sectors where the firm claims political experience and expertise include: health, planning and development, defence and security, independent schools, and heritage tourism.
- Political Campaigning: 'We have run numerous high profile campaigns on behalf of clients from across the private, public and voluntary sectors as our clients strive to influence the development of government policy.'
- Political monitoring: 'Stuart Crawford Associates has been monitoring the Scottish Parliament since its re-birth and has unrivalled knowledge of how, when, and why policy is developed.'
- Political Research: 'Drawing on our expert knowledge of the Scottish political scene, Stuart Crawford Associates is able to provide an outstanding political research service for organisations which need a detailed understanding of particular issues and topics.'
- Preparation of Briefing Materials: Stuart Crawford Associates has prepared politically oriented brochures and briefing papers for some major organisations in Scotland and the UK.
- Presentations: 'Briefing politicians, officials, and political journalist personally is sometimes the best way to get the message across. Stuart Crawford Associates takes the lead in preparation of scripts, invitation of appropriate individuals, and locating appropriate venues. Our clients make the presentations, but we do the work.'
It also claims to have a 'broad portfolio of military skills enabling us to advise and assist government departments, armed forces, and the defence industry.'
According to Spinwatch, official sources encouraged a climate of fear about the actions of protestors in the run up to the G8 summit in 2005:
- The spiral of panic suits some very well, since they can make money out of it. Here is how the scam works. The press have repeatedly quoted 'Security consultants' about the risk of trouble around the summit. Two such are Clive Fairweather and Stuart Crawford, who regularly warn about a 'greater degree of organisation than had previously been recognised' amongst protestors which 'fuelled fears that violent… protests would erupt'(Crawford, Scotland on Sunday 12 December 2004) or that the protestors 'will be most interested in publicity' and so will focus their efforts on the 'temptation' of Edinburgh, Glasgow or Stirling' (Fairweather, Scotland on Sunday, 3 April 2005) or that 'I think it is far more likely there will be protests in cities like Edinburgh than at the summit itself' (Fairweather, Scotland on Sunday, 8 May 2005)
- In fact both men work for Stuart Crawford Associates which describes itself as 'specialising in Scottish public affairs, security issues and media communications' - in other words public relations. The worse the warnings, the better the business. At present they are engaged in advising the Gleneagles Estates (bordering the Gleneagles hotel and owned by seriously old money) and possibly other business interests. Their background is in the British Army, Crawford is a former Lt Colonel and Fairweather a Colonel. He was second in command of the SAS when it raided the Iranian embassy in London in 1980, killing all but one of the hostage takers and, according to eye witnesses, executing two of them after they had surrendered. Amongst their former clients are the 'Scottish People's Alliance' a political party linked to the 'New party', which was condemned by the Scottish Conservative leader David McLetchie as 'fascist and undemocratic'. Both parties are run by Robert Durward, the Scottish business man who also runs the British Aggregates Association (also listed as a former client of Stuart Crawford Associates).
- In other words trained killers with dubious connections to far right politics are posing as security experts and briefing the media on the dangers faced from protests. The more the dangers are hyped the more likely it is that they might be hired. At best this is a conflict of interest, at worst a conspiracy against democratic protest for pecuniary interest. Certainly the media do not yet seem to see a story in the fact that trained killers are advising on the security response to protests at Gleneagles. They prefer to refer to 'military style' training given to 'anarchists' whose total tally of killing of civilians or military personnel in the last decade is zero. This compares very favourably with the tally attributed to US and UK forces in Iraq in the year 2003-4 alone (over 100,000).
Stuart Crawford Associates is not signed up to the voluntary transparency registers operated by the lobbying industry, which would require it to make public its lobbying clients.
However, its website features a long list of clients it works for, or has worked for. These include:
- British Aggregates Association
- Ministry of Defence
- BAe Systems
- The Historic Houses Association
- Optometry Scotland
- The Association of Optometrists
- The Scottish Council for Independent Schools
- Depression Alliance Scotland
- Rangers Football Club Ltd
- Keep Our Scottish Battalions
- The Airborne Initiative Trust
- The Gleneagles Estate
- V Ships
- Business in Action
- The Work Foundation Scotland
- Ferntower Estates Ltd
- Scottish Beer and Pub Association
- Orkney Islands Council
- James Watt College
- Scottish Peoples' Alliance
- BioMarine Ltd
- Friends of Midlothian's Children
- Peak Leaders UK Ltd
- Stuart Crawford, selected as a Parliamentary candidate in the first Scottish Parliamentary elections in May 1999 and again in the General Election in June 2001. Former Convener of the Association for Scottish Public Affairs
- Alasdair Rankin; ex-senior official in the Scottish Parliament and was Clerk to the European and External Relations Committee of the Scottish Parliament; previously Ministry of Defence career civil servant in Whitehall; adopted as a regional list candidate for the Scottish Parliamentary elections in 2011.
- Charles Pelling, former army major.
- Website: http://www.swcrawford.co.uk
- Address: 7/9 North St David Street, Edinburgh, EH2 1AW
- Political, Stuart Crawford Associates website, accessed August 2015