Wednesday, 28 January 2009

Champion This

The Labour councils along the Clyde are said to be planning a “Champion” of their own choosing, a sort of First Minister of the West of Scotland. Alex Salmond might (understandably) say “Who the hell are you?”, and put the phone down. But this person would be put through to Downing Street, and under that patronage to Brussels. He (presumably he) will therefore be dealing directly with Downing Street, and under that patronage with Brussels, so that Alex Salmond can just go hang.

It is rather comical to see the Greater Glasgow Labour Establishment reduced to such measures. But Gordon Brown is no Glaswegian, however tribally Labour he may be. So, what of areas that have always been neglected under devolution, always would have been, and always will be? Is it beyond, for example, the increasingly devosceptical Lib Dems of the Highlands and Islands to come up with a “Champion”? Apparently so, I fear, since they cannot even find anyone to put on Question Time from Fort William.

And then there is still the party thing. Yes, Gordon really is that old, and that non-metropolitan. What is Brian Wilson doing these days?


  1. Wilson is living is splitting his time between Lewis and an upmarket detached in west-end Glasgow making oodles of cash from various renewable energy companies which he works for.

    He occasionally pops up on STV as a "guest pundit" on politics now.

    A man who strangely said not that long ago that more devolution was inevitable.

  2. He probably meant the little that has since happened, after which there really isn't any left to do, because after that is not devolution, but independence, which now not only will not happen, but cannot happen.

    Oh, well, over to the Lib Dems it is, then.

  3. For an anti-devolutionist, you seem to be putting a lot of faith in a federalist party!

  4. They are a sort of franchise extended on a local-populist, Neither Of The Above basis around the country (separatism is simply a different electorate, of course)

    So in the Highlands and Islands, if they really believe in federalism at all, then they really believe in the Highlands and Islands as a member of the federation, not under some Edinburgh or Glasgow aegis.

    As is increasingly clear.

  5. How is it becoming increasingly clear. As someone who reads the northern papers, I do not see the groundswell!

    By the way, it looks like Highland and Island MSPs led by Tavish Scott (Inverness-born, Shetland raised) will get budget mark 2 through!


  6. Considering the Ft William MP is Charles Kennedy I can see their problem in finding an on-message representative.

    For the 2nd time the BBC have chosen that their representative of the typical Scotsman in the street be Hardeep Singh Kohli, failed London based comedian formerly from the BBC diversity graduate programme.

  7. Kennedy may not be on-message, but he's interesting.

    And local.

    Why does the BBC bother sending QT around the country?