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Showing posts with label Scottish Secretary. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Scottish Secretary. Show all posts

Monday, 14 October 2013

Alistair Carmichael fumbles and blusters on what happens after a NO vote in 2014

Alexander Morrison "Alistair" Carmichael, the new ‘Scottish’ Secretary opens by criticising the YES Campaign for "lack of detail" and the second half of the interview blustering feebly, unable to give any detail or any consensus among the parties of Better Together on perhaps the biggest question of all for the Scottish electorate - What happens if there is a No vote?

(Real answer: Devo Zero and likely clawback of existing powers under Scotland Act, not to mention utter UK contempt for Scots and Scotland for failing to seize their chance of independence.)

Alistair, his party and his Tory and Labour friends will tell us only AFTER we reject our only opportunity to gain full powers through a YES vote for independence. The three parties that will then engage in a bitter UK election battle in 2015, with the gruesome UKIP snapping at their heels, driving them even further to the right.

In contrast, the SNP's White Paper will set out, next month, highly specific commitments on the structure and shape of a new Scotland, in as much detail as can be achieved before the major negotiation with UK after a YES vote, and the subsequent election for an independent Scottish Parliament in May 2016, where the Scottish electorate for the first time for 306 years will truly elect their own Scottish Government.

Bluster on that, Alistair ...

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

La règle du jeu – Michael Moore and the independence negotiations

It’s easy to cast Michael Moore as a villain, the arch-enemy of the YES Campaign, the current Scottish Secretary whose predecessors had a remarkably consistent record in acting against the interests of Scots, with the honourable exception of Tom Johnson, probably the only Scottish Secretary who conceived of the role as Scotland’s man in the UK instead of the other way round.

I have done my share of teasing and criticising Michael Moore, but have radically revised my view of him after analysing in close detail his responses to Iain Davidson’s Select Committee and his performance in the negotiations with Nicola Sturgeon over the referendum deal. I have no doubt whatsoever that this Northern Ireland-born son of a British Army chaplain is a committed unionist in his heart, and intellectually as a Liberal Democrat, and that he is totally opposed to Scotland’s independence and will campaign vigorously against it.

But he is also what the independence debate desperately needs right now – a pragmatic realist with a sound grasp of the principles  of negotiation, and a budding diplomat of the highest order. (His destiny in the UK or rUK should be the Foreign Office, where he would do a better job than the pompously  inadequate William Hague.)

Having managed to upset Davidson’s Commons Committee by refusing to play their dirty little game, he has now repeated the trick with the Lords’ committee, which also has thinly concealed anti-independence motives. So far, I only have press reports to go on, but the signs are encouraging -  Michael Moore savaged by Unionist peers over EU row

What enraged the unelected Lords was Moore’s argument that that there was no need to engage in a dialogue with the European Commission because a considerable body of information was already in the public domain- including EC President Barroso’s letter to the Committee - suggesting Scotland, as a new member state, might have to reapply and negotiate its membership.

In reply to an increasingly frustrated Michael Forsyth – who one of these days is going to birl uncontrollably and fly up his kilt into his own orifice, such is his exasperation at the prospect of Scotland’s independence – Michael Moore offered the following gnomic reply, which baffled the parcel of Lords, but brought a knowing smile to the faces of experienced negotiators -

Michael Moore: "There will be elements of this which are, to put it mildly, inelegant in terms of how well-informed people can be at the time of that vote. But short of doing that pre-negotiation, which as the UK Government I don't think it's our place to do, I believe we cannot resolve some of those issues."

Moore, in this and other revealing remarks, displays an real understanding of the dynamics and tactics of the pre-negotiation phase of negotiation, especially one that is going to be conducted in under a media searchlight and in a atmosphere of fevered and often highly ill-informed speculation and comment. He seems to have acquired a sophisticated understanding of such matters, matters that most politicians and media commentators are involved with throughout their entire careers without ever grasping their essence. Either he has an innate grasp of the fundamentals, or has had formative experiences in politics and government that shaped him, or – perhaps and/or – he is being advised by someone who can tell shit from Shinola.

These are qualities and skills that will be vital in the run-up to 2014 and in the negotiations that follow a YES vote. But relaxing in the knowledge that the Scottish Government negotiators will have a worthy opponent who understands La règle du jeuwith a nod to a great filmmaker, Jean Renoir – nationalists must also brace themselves to face a formidable opponent, one they must treat with wary respect.

Michael Moore will be, I hope, the last incumbent of the post of Scottish Secretary, but I entertain the hope that he will acquit himself honourably, in the spirit of the great Tom Johnson, lose with honour and with the respect of nationalists, and go on to a long and successful career wherever he choses to pursue it. For my part, I would like to seem him join in building the new Scotland after independence.

Sadly, if the Forsyths of this world have their way, he will be eclipsed or supplanted by some bumbling but highly vocal primitive Tory placeman, and the negotiations will be a bitter experience with a negative fallout.

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Two men who claim to speak for Scotland–but only one does …


Michael Moore, Colonial Governor and representative of nothing but a failed and discredited political party, will attack the SNP today. We don’t need to know anything else, because he and his party don’t matter to Scotland or Scots. I thought of saying more, but Ian Bell has said most of it today in the Herald, as have others, including letter writers.

I occasionally get correspondents saying that I don’t have enough discussion and comment on my blog, and that this is a factor of my moderation constraints, .i.e. Google or other ID required for comment. No such requirement exists on my YouTube channel, TAofMoridura, and that’s YouTube’s lack of constraint, not mine. So a lively debate rages on some of my YouTube videos, sometimes for months or even years after they have been posted, and believe me, there’s a helluva lot of work involved screening out – by pre-moderation - the incoherent, incomprehensible, obscene, obsessive, libellous, repetitive, irrelevant and sometimes just plain vicious comments that come in my inbox each day. I can of course, block all comment, but it is something I’m reluctant to do because there’s so much good stuff.

I posted a video clip of Michael Moore three months ago. The comments keep coming, and I have screened out at least as many – from all sides of the argument – that were unacceptable in any civilised discourse. As for my older clip on David Starkey and Brian Cox – well, I could fill a week’s blogs with those …


  • A lot of postulation and conjecture in this unionist litany

    Alex462047 6 hours ago

  • A parcel of rogues in a nation.

    Does anyone in Scotland still vote for the Lib Dems?

    Thumbs up for Scottish independence.

    scotsskier 3 weeks ago

  • Michael Moore, like most unionists, is an enemy to Scotland.

    segano1 1 month ago

  • Michael Moore is better known as The Secretary of State AGAINST Scotland, he just stands by while his Tory Hatchett man colleague Danny Alexander lays into Scotland. SNP, SDA, Solidarity, SSP and Scottish Greens are all working to free us from the shackles of this union, good on them.

    iamtehmunkie 1 month ago

  • Inertia in people is much the same as inertia in objects, as the body in motion will tend to stay in motion, the old thought process and habits will continue without a good reason, or a “safe” way to ensure change.

    segano1 1 month ago

  • The SNP argument is that it’s just a natural step to take. The Unionists argue it’s a chasm. The conservative voter, for the most part, will not step. That is a fundamental definition of conservatism. The Union argument is more fear and scare tactics, these will often work with the more conservative voter.

    segano1 1 month ago

  • Support on union is based on negativity simply because there's not much positives for Scotland to stay in the union from a Scottish perspective. Scotland paying it's neighbours to speak on it's behalf while claiming in public that Scotland contributes nothing and is a 'subsidy junkie' nation.

    Britain is an ailing bankrupt state.

    Time this rancid Union parasite was removed once and for all from the body of Scotland. Only with this parasite cleansed from Scotland, can we as a nation succeed.

    segano1 2 months ago

  • Maddening! Westminsters approach each week, each year, each decade, is to tell Scotland that we're getting an, unfairly, good deal from the union, that our economy is not strong enough to support ourselves and to promise that London is on the case to make that economy stronger in the future. Within the UK Scotland will never be able or allowed to fulfill it's potential and all the double talk from London won't change that.

    Westminster also allows our most popular party to be called neo fascist

    mesmiths 2 months ago

  • A Lib Dumb and a Tory as colonial governors for Scotland, could you have any other two figures who are less representative of the Scottish people?

    BonnieBlueFlag1314 2 months ago

  • RBS Successful = British. RBS Unsuccessful = Scottish. Bailing out a bank with more English employees than Scottish was a wise move for the UK. Making themselves sound so generous to Scotland for doing it, is simply ludicrous.

    dauntless111 2 months ago

  • Wednesday, 22 December 2010

    The Scottish Secretary of State – a colonial governor in an ignoble role

    Another sordid chapter in the history of Scottish Secretaries of State - a sad procession of men who, with a very few remarkable exceptions, consistently betrayed the interests of Scotland in favour of the Union, but benefited personally from having held this colonial governors post, even if only briefly.

    In the period of the closures of companies and the destruction of entire Scottish industries in the video, three Tory Scottish Secretaries were in post -

    Malcom Rifkind, now Sir Malcom Rifkind, now cosily ensconced in the safe Tory seat of Kensington, as far as possible from his electoral failures in Scotland

    Ian Lang, now Baron Lang of Monkton, safely ensconced in the House of Lords.

    Michael Forsyth, now Baron Forsyth of Drumlean, a sworn enemy of Scottish devolution and the Scottish Parliament, also safely ensconced in the House of Lords

    The Labour Scottish Secretaries, with a couple of notable exceptions - exceptions that prove the rule - have been as bad as the Tories, and have tended to have a close, sometimes intimate association with defence matters and defence companies.

    Why? Because the UK exists to perpetuate the concept of war as the operating principle of the state, and war and armaments are very profitable businesses.

    (Jim Murphy, last Labour SSforS but one (the brief Danny Alexander), is now predictably Shadow Minister of Defence, following the template closely.)

    And what of Michael Moore, the current incumbent? He is quoted as saying -

    "I've just done (sic) the worst crime a politician can commit. It's one of the reasons most folks distrust us as a breed"

    Brian Taylor, BBC, asked him today what on earth he was doing in coalition with the Tories in the light of Moore's previous criticisms of them?  Moore glibly replies that he was talking about the situation 30 years ago. Will he resign? Of course not - there's the ministerial salary car, the illusion of status and the guarantee of reward at the end of it all.

    Join the ancient and contemptible club, Michael - you deserve the perks. But Scotland doesn't deserve you or your ilk.

    Wednesday, 1 December 2010

    Alex Salmond on Calman–and Mundell has trouble with the numbers–again …

    Alex Salmond offers a careful, considered critique of the Calman tax proposals, their weaknesses and speaks of his wish to find a way to improve them. This is a statesman – and an economist – speaking, with the interests of Scotland and the Scottish people at heart.

    David Mundell, under Gordon Brewer's questioning, waffles frantically about Calman, and displays an almost total inability to come to grips with the numbers and hard facts. Instead, he relies on political generalities and attacks on the SNP.

    This is Moore's man in the Scottish Office. He had high hopes of being Scottish Secretary under a Cameron Government (as the Scottish Tories' sole MP, there was little choice!) but the coalition, plus perhaps a little local difficulty with his election expenses (those pesky numbers again, David!) put paid to that.

    He had to watch two young LibDems fill the post he had coveted - first Danny Alexander and now Michael Moore.

    Not that numeracy - or anything much else - is required of a Scottish Secretary - only blind loyalty to the Union and the willingness to be Westminster's man in Scotland instead of Scotland's man in Westminster.

    Colonial governors never did require much between their ears, only the ability to salute the Union Jack.

    The last three incumbents of this ignoble role - Murphy, Alexander and now Moore - have filled the role in the way required by their UK bosses. Scots expects nothing from the office of Scottish Secretary, and nothing is what they get, except regular protestations of loyalty to the Union.