Friday, August 07, 2009

Abusive Conversation

First Witch: All hail, Salmond! Hail to thee, Thane of Banff and
Second Witch: All hail, Salmond! Hail to thee, Thane of
Third Witch: All hail, Salmond! That shalt be King thereafter?!?

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II recently moved the timing of an event in Norwich so as not to make it appear political in nature. Not so much by her turning up, but no doubt to stop many of the candidates looking for a photo opportunity with her.

However, there are no such qualms with the man who would want to be the next King of Scotland. On September 1 there has now been arranged a new leg of the National 'Conversation' roadshow in Molendinar Community Centre.

So what you may ask? Well the location is slap bang in Glasgow North East, the scene of the next Westminster by election. So a taxpayer funded event highlighting one of the key policy differences of one of the parties is to take place during the period between the MP standing down and the writ being moved for the by election.

The National Conversation has been a soliloquy in the best Shakespearean traditions, all of Scotland's a stage and all the men and women merely listen to what the Nats have to say. The initial website was a hive for cybernats who quickly quashed out any overtly pro-union voice swiftly by diversionary posting. The currently tour taking the message out to the people is very much pro-independence and has cost the tax payer almost £500,000 last year, £341,356 on staff and Civil Service costs and £55,000 on publishing publicity materials.

The SNP are claiming that this decision to hold this here was made before Mr Martin took the decision to stand down. Yet there no advanced publicity of any kind, not even through National Conversation sources to point this upcoming event, which has only appeared recently on timetables.

Nats are also claiming that the timing and location of such meetings were made by officials. Officials had advised against moving a ministerial announcement to Glenrothes during last years by election, but the SNP Government went ahead anyway.

So already there is some doubt to be cast over the cover up that the party of Government in Scotland is making that they are not abusing taxpayers money in the run up to a by election.

You can almost imagine the Lady Sturgeon in the Ladies' bathroom at Holyrood wringing her hands:

Out, damned plot. Out I say!

Footnote: Of course as ever at the Edinburgh Fringe that is great deal of Shakespeare, or homages, on show including the Scottish play.


Malc said...


Have you read the National Conversation White Paper? It's actually not as pro-independence as you make out.

While it marks out the Scottish Government's preferences for independence, it recognises three main options for Scotland's constitutional future (status quo, devo max & independence). In some respects, its very similar to your very own Steel Commission.

As for the timing, well, we don't have a clue when the by-election is going to be, do we?

subrosa said...

Very witty Stephen. Erm, can I ask if the Libdems publish notification of public meetings months in advance?

Jim said...

Very good, although it does seem to overlook the rather large elephant in the room which is the reason as to why Glasgow North-East remains an unrepresented constituency...

The Aberdonian said...

And what about the other expensive white elephant, the Calman Report which cost about the same as the National Conversation?

The Kilbrandon Report of the early 21st century?

Saw in the Sunday Times that Liam Fox was "pleased that the report had been kicked into the long grass"

Anonymous said...

If they just had the by-election to replace the disgraced Labour Speaker in what would have been considered by any right thinking person to be a reasonable period, this would never have happened.

Around 6 months delay for a by-election is travesty, especially when it seemed easy enough to organise another one in England within 6 weeks!

If we are looking for dirty work at the crossroads, I don't think we have to look much farther than London Labour

Indy said...

It's a shame for you that the Summer Cabinet programme was announced on 24 June

Scottish Unionist is accusing the SNP Government of having selected the Molendinar Community Centre venue as one of the Glasgow venues (the Pearce Institute being the other) for political reasons.

I think we can all enjoy the humour of imagining civil servants hurriedly booking an entire programme of events in 3 days! (Michael Martin stood down on 21 June).

Anonymous said...

"The currently tour taking the message out to the people is very much pro-independence"

Is there anything at all preventing you from expressing your support for a federal solution or indeed retention of the UK Union?

Why couldn't I submit evidence in support of independence to the Calman commission.

If your looking for an exclusive consultation that is politically motivated and would 'fix' the results to suit it's own ends, look no further than Calman.

Any timetable yet from the Libdems on when the recommendatiosn raised by calman that can be actioned immediately will happen?

Are the LibDems all talk when it comes to consitutional matters?

Is that perception the reason that the party appears 'under seige'


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