Looks like in Dubai they have already devalued the poond…
Looks like in Dubai they have already devalued the poond…
Alex Salmond’s favourite columnist Joan MacAlpine MSP was off on one this morning about new union poster boy Alistair Darling. In a particularly unhinged rant, MacAlpine lambasted the former Chancellor for “being asleep at the wheel while the bankers screwed the rest of us”. That’s all very well, but poor old Joan then got slightly ahead of herself:
“Quite why he thinks he has the right to come to Scotland and lecture us about how to run our affairs is breathtaking in its arrogance.”
Perhaps because the fact that Darling is, er, Scottish…
Alastair Darling will launch the ‘no’ campaign against Scottish freedom in Edinburgh in two weeks time. Forth One broke the news that Darling will kick off the “Better Together” bid to maintain the repression of the Scottish nation with a speech in his own constituency on June 25.
Well they did say they wanted to stop the campaign from going down the glitzy route…
Former Purnell SpAd and David Miliband campaign organiser Blair McDougall has been approached to run the pro-Union “No” campaign against Scottish independence. Blair’s current job as director of David Miliband’s shadow activist base the “Movement for Change” was advertised in yesterday’s Guardian. A Number 10 spokesman did not deny that McDougall has been approached.
Guido understands that Jim Murphy and Alistair Darling recommended the ultra-Blairite to Downing Street through the cross-party “No” umbrella group. As one Labour insider put it: “Well, they certainly cleared the ‘get a bloke with a Scottish name’ hurdle”. An SNP insider told Guido “never heard of him…”
As we go to pixel McDougall has not returned Guido’s calls.
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.
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?
Let Scotland go and compete. Everyone would win.
— Rupert Murdoch (@rupertmurdoch) February 20, 2012
Given that his father’s family moved from Scotland to Australia this could just be sentimentality, however if Murdoch did decide to back Salmond in the referendum, it could all get very interesting. The Scottish Sun swung behind the SNP at the last Scottish elections, just four years after saying a vote for them would be putting Scotland’s head in a noose.
One to watch…
Whilst Guido was unable to persuade Neo-Guido of the merits of hanging child-killers, he has been converted to the cause of Scottish Freedom. A former Chairman of Edinburgh University’s Conservative and Unionist Association, he has come a long way from when he was the blog’s undergraduate summer intern in 2008. He has written about his conversion from devout unionist to freedom-fighting nationalist guerilla here:
“The brain drain that saw enlightened Scots give America its magnificent constitution has never stopped. What remains is a nation dependent on the state; a hand out culture and a something for nothing utopia. An insult to its past. And this will never change while Scotland remains the junior partner in a relationship it never asked to be in.”
Now, about the monarchy…
On Sunday Guido shared the news that the Scottish Conservative Party’s spin-doctor Ramsay Jones had been busted attending a campaign meeting for Ruth Davidson, one of the candidates for the Party’s leadership. A bit of a problem given party staff are meant to be staying neutral.
This afternoon the decision was taken to suspend him while the allegations are investigated. At the very least he will be out of action for the rest of the campaign. The announcement was timed just as conference closed. Davidson has become the establishment candidate and questions are now being asked about how “neutral” the rest of the party staff are…
Another Sunday and another hit on “Dave’s candidate” for the Scottish Conservative Party leadership – Ruth Davidson. The Herald team report:
“The Conservatives’ top spin doctor in Scotland is under intense pressure over claims he has been advising a candidate in the party’s leadership election. Ramsay Jones, who as head of media has to be neutral in the contest, recently attended a meeting at Ruth Davidson’s home with her campaign strategists.”
The controversy focuses around a meeting on Sunday September 18 at the Cameroon former BBC journo’s Glasgow home. Jones, a party official paid for on short money, did a 150 mile round trip to attend. Officially, it’s no comment all round, but Guido has spoken to other Scottish Tory figures who are fuming…
With one candidate ready to start all over again with a new party, and presumably new staff, the phrase “self-preservation society” is being thrown around an awful lot up north. Murdo Fraser’s plans have defined the entire debate to find a new Tory leader, and Davidson immediately became the “stop Murdo” candidate for those looking to save their own jobs. This meeting isn’t the first sign that the Tory establishment is backing Ruth, but it is the proof of the pudding.
While Cameron wants to keep out of this race, the timing of this story couldn’t be worse for him given that the candidates are going to come face to face at a conference hustings tomorrow afternoon in their first high-profile ding-dong. Given the temperature of the briefing going on this weekend it could get very messy…
UPDATE: Tory Party Chairman Baroness Warsi just told the Politics Show that she though Davidson was “fantastic”. There was no such praise for any other candidate. Seems the impartiality of the Party is well and truly out of the window…
It’s Time to Speak for England | John Redwood
It Was Me Who Taped Howard Flight | John Woodcock
Indy Editor: We Will Stay Afloat | Press Gazette
English Don’t Want Scotland to Stay at Any Price | Dan Hodges
England Must Have Self-Government Too | Mark Wallace
Next Year’s Election Will Be the Dirtiest Ever | Speccie
Chicken Salmond Runs Away From Sun Cabbie | Sun
Scary No Messages Don’t Add Up | Sun
Feminist War on Children | Laura Perrins
An English Parliament is Inevitable Whatever Happens | Alex Wickham
Union All But Over Even if Scots Vote No | Janan Ganesh
Gyles Brandreth writes in his memoirs:
“Sunday, May 10, 1998
Early start: appearing on Breakfast With Frost, to be broadcast from 11 Downing Street. The Chancellor [Gordon Brown] is grouchily amiable, but so earnest — and still biting his fingernails to the quick.
After the show, he took us upstairs to his flat. He lives above No 10, while Blair and family are in the No 11 duplex, which is bigger and more like a proper house.
I was intrigued that, when he took us into his bedroom, the Chancellor rather ostentatiously opened the built-in wardrobes, as if he wanted us to see the women’s frocks that were hanging in there.
They looked quite large, but I don’t think they belong to Gordon. I assume they belong to his girlfriend [Sarah Macaulay, who he later married].
I presume he was keen for us to know that he has one — and that she’s not a ‘beard’. I don’t think he does anything without calculation.”