Yesterday PMQs was more a matter of entymology than what was happening in the Wendy house up at Holyrood. However, Dave leader of the opposition and second most powerful Tory in London asked away:
Labour’s leader in Scotland, Wendy Alexander, says that there should be a referendum now on Scottish independence. Does he agree with her?
Up stood the Tim'rous Beastie, to correctly say that she had not said now. However, now is one of those words in politics that does not have the same entomology as elsewhere in the known universe. You see now in politics takes some time to actually come to reality cogs need to be set in motion, to enable now to come to be at the appropriate time.
It was when Dave tried to follow up with:
She said: "I don’t fear the verdict of the Scottish people," she told BBC Scotland on Sunday, "Bring it on."
What else could that possibly mean? Can I ask the Prime Minister again? Does he agree with Wendy Alexander or not? It is not much of a leadership if no one is really following him.
However, then the Tim'rous Beastie ignored the facts that Ms Alxeander's aides had clarified her statement on Sunday, by telling the world that she was in favour of a referendum. On Monday that she had said she wanted it within 12 month, a relative now in the world of political planning. That on Tuesday the Labour group at Holyrood had met and agreed this new tact, with Gordon Brown's own spokesmouse saying the issue is "a matter for the leader of the Labour Party in Scotland". Having had that clearance Ms Alexander clarified her position by saying that ideally such a referendum should take place in 2009.
To what is happening to the Wendy house of cards or the Tim'rous Beastie who's facing agitated reactions from his mischief of mice. From the outside clearly they are playing this on the hoof and nobody quite knows what is going to happen next. One leader has found a potential way to get out of the trough they are in the other is still looking and he is possibly jealous that there is a get out clause for his Scottish counterpart.
Corrected: Thanks to Bernard Salmon for correcting my English usage. Apologies for any insect lovers who thought I was referring to their speciality instead of the derivation and usage of the word now.