Joan McAlpine Calls on Salmond to End Marriage

Joan McAlpine is a former editor of the Sunday Times Scotland turned MSP. She’s also his Parliamentary liaison officer. Today she has a new column in the Daily Record. The analogy used in her first outing has upset a lot of people:

The union between Scotland and England is a bit like the marriage of a talented, well-educated girl with good prospects and her own income, to a domineering man. She could easily stand on her own two feet thanks to a fortunate inheritance… But the husband complains she can’t be trusted to manage her own money. She would squander it. Anyway, it isn’t really hers, it belongs to both of them… Eventually she recognises the relationship for what it is – an abuse of power.

Concluding:

Scotland is as capable of running her own finances as England. Just as women are as capable as men. In fact, we could do a lot better.

Given that the Nats lost an MSP this weekend after his track record of wife-beating emerged, this is strong stuff from “Scotland’s Independent Woman”. What did she have to do to earn such a grand title?

Baldwin’s Nose Worries

Ed tried the old Cameron trick of no notes and no podium for his manufacturing speech today. Opening with some cracks about where he came in the Sky News totty trumps rankings, he tried to pretend he didn’t mind jibes about his looks. It would have worked better if he hadn’t been sporting yet another variation on his seemingly un-controllable pillow-hair. Geeky Ed is dressing a lot better these days. He has a range of TM Lewin suits for ordinary days and an Ozwald Boateng whistle for high days and holidays. However there is one recurring problem…

It’s not just the usual car-crash radio call-in today that is worries Labour insiders, Guido hears that Tom Baldwin is worried about two things; being marginalised by the new Chief-of-Staff Tim Livesey and secondly, Ed’s nose. He’s said to have raised the fact that things have got worse since his operation last summer, both in look and nasal twang. Baldwin even went as far as to suggest cosmetic surgery, something Ed rejected indignantly. The recent Party Political Broadcast voiced-over by Ed sounded like he was speaking underwater…

New Standard Editor Runners and Riders

With the surprise announcement on Thursday that Geordie Greig was jumping to the Mail on Sunday, Sarah Sands has been made acting editor of the Standard. Some suggest that if Lebedev had wanted to give her the job full time he would have just done so last week. Given the long handover time, speculation is swirling about…

Former London Paper editor Stefano Hatfield has apparently been making himself rather visible in the building in the last few days. He’s currently overseeing the “i”…

One theory is that Chris Blackhurst, one time Standard City editor, could return to push the button on the rumoured merger with the Indy. This would explain the decision to only create an “acting editor”…

The other name doing the rounds is Matthew d’Ancona. Currently a columnist on the paper, he would restore their national political clout and oversaw a record rise in circulation at the Speccie. If Guido was a betting man…

Charles in Wakefield tells Ed Miliband on Five Live:

“This is by no means a personal attack… but people don’t take you seriously and everyone knows you are not going to be Prime Minister of this country.” 

Think Tank Lets Sponsor Co-Author Research Report

The link between think-tank research and its “sponsors” has always been opaque. A cynical man would say companies bung a load of cash to shape supposedly independent research, but wonks wil always stress that their final recommendations are free from the influence of their paymasters. Not only did PA Consulting “kindly support” the New Local Government Network’s “Antcipating the Future Citizen Report” but the NLGN even let PA Consulting’s ‘Local Government Lead’, Graeme Walker, co-author the piece. The NLGN deny that any money changed hands for the research and stressed they have contractual commitments to independence. The “kind support” was apparently staffing, but it does look a little odd…

Ken Still Dodging Tax Questions
Is He Going to Hide Until May?

Another morning with Ken keeping his head down. He’s still dodging the cameras and has been relegated to mere tweeting. Meanwhile the Not Ken Again lot have put out this video:

They’re also looking to open source their attack ads Think you can do better? The longer Ken keeps his head down, the more obvious it becomes that he has something to hide. It’s deeply ironic that it was his campaign that were deploying a giant chicken suit last month…



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Quote of the Day

Liz Kendall is asked by Tom Newton Dunn if she would ever ban the Sun from one of her press conferences:

“If you stripped naked and ran in front of me, Tom, I might have second thoughts about it, but apart from that, no.”

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