Posts Tagged ‘Alex Salmond’

Its Labour’s fault there’s no-one as good as Salmond

24/04/2014, 10:08:10 AM

by Kevin Meagher

Alastair Darling has many qualities. He was an effective minister, a mainstay throughout Labour’s years in power and as Chancellor, he steered the economy through the worst recession since the 1930s, leaving behind a growing economy in 2010. He is widely respected and admired. But as a campaigner, he makes David Moyes look like Jose Mourinho.

He is so ill-suited to leading the cross-party campaign to galvanise Scots behind the simple proposition that they are “Better Together” with their kith and kin in the rest of the union that the No campaign against Scottish independence looks set to snatch defeat from the jaws of what should, on paper, be an easy victory.

Yet a vote for independence is now a real possibility – with a poll last weekend putting the Yes campaign just three per cent behind the No campaign, a once unthinkable prospect. (To put this in context, a poll last November had the No camp leading by a margin of 29 per cent).

This is a calamitous situation with the polling numbers now starting to reflect what is all too evident to anyone watching this referendum battle unfold: The Westminster class has badly underestimated Alex Salmond.

Frankly, it has paid too little attention to Caledonian affairs in general in recent years, wrongly assuming the devolution settlement of 1998 was the end of the line as far as Scottish nationhood goes. This has left opponents of independence with a strategic problem. There is simply no equivalent Scottish figure now able to make the case for retaining the Union with the same panache Salmond displays in trying to break it up.

David Cameron, the Prime Minister of the UK and leader of the most swivel-eyed pro-Union party in British politics, can barely open his mouth on the subject without sending undecided voters flocking towards the independence camp.

Ed Miliband and Nick Clegg, southern English and middle-class are clearly deemed surplus to requirements and have the good sense to stay out of it. Labour’s Scottish Leader, Johann Lamont, is tough and said to get under Salmond’s skin, but she is a provincial figure in comparison.


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The UK is staying together. But on what terms?

24/02/2014, 09:29:26 AM

by Jonathan Todd

David Bowie has supposedly waded into Scottish politics. How very dare he. He’d only been awarded a Brit. The ensuing furore may have missed this obvious point of context. Bowie may want the UK to stay together, at least in part, so that his award maintains a meaningful title.

What would we call the Brit Awards after Scottish independence? It’s hard to think of something equally snappy that captures the remnants of the UK. “Not even the most devoted unionist would claim” that the clear poll lead enjoyed by the Better Together campaign “is down to any tearful, emotional attachment to Britain and Britishness”, Chris Deerin has observed. Yet Bowie’s intervention underlines the self-evident point that breaking up the UK would be a needless destruction of something whose value, while immense, is sometimes so implicit as to be overlooked.

After Scottish independence, we wouldn’t know what to call the Brit Awards because we wouldn’t know who or what we’d become. To see what is in front of one’s nose, as George Orwell knew, needs a constant struggle. And sometimes it takes a supermodel dressed in the clothes of a 1970s pop star speaking the words of a contemporary cultural icon to remind us. It’s not that Bowie has gone political. It’s certainly not – pace cybernats – that Bowie is inserting himself where he shouldn’t. It’s just that Bowie is retelling us who we are.

The four words related to Scotland spoken by Kate Moss on behalf of Bowie were a concise version of the message of David Cameron’s speech at the Olympic park recently. The British remain a family – albeit, to again recall Orwell, with the wrong members in charge, though, of course, Cameron didn’t present familial relations in quite such terms. Nonetheless, to file for divorce, to metaphorically and almost literally reduce ourselves to arguing over our CD collection, would be a monumental self-harm. An absurd pettiness in a world of incredible opportunity.


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The Scottish separatists neither understand nor care about Scottish business

14/02/2014, 11:56:17 AM

by Gordon Banks

Yesterday’s intervention by the chancellor is a defining moment in what has become the key issue of the debate surrounding Scottish independence.

George Osborne dealt a serious blow to the SNP by effectively ruling out any possibility of a currency union between an independent Scotland and the rest of the UK.

His comments, which were echoed by both the shadow chancellor and the chief secretary of the Treasury, have confirmed that a vote for independence would be a vote for Scotland losing the pound.

The chancellor’s comments have also had another important consequence, one which has perhaps been overlooked in the analysis of his speech, and that is to bring attention to the debate about the impact of currency on Scottish business.

We already know that currency is one of the most important issues Scottish businesses consider when approaching the independence debate. This is a fact which has been repeated on a number of occasions, most recently by Liz Cameron of the influential Scottish Chambers of Commerce.

The reasons for this are clear. The UK stands as Scotland’s dominant export market by a wide margin and any change to the current currency arrangements would have a significant impact on trade, productivity and growth.


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There is going to be a referendum in the UK, but not the one Cameron is thinking about today

15/01/2013, 03:55:07 PM

by Jim Murphy

The politics of a referendum is centre stage in parliament today. No, not as you may think. It’s not David Cameron’s continuing journey beyond Major’s euro-weakness and Mrs Thatcher’s Euroscepticism. Rather, it’s a Section 30 Order which, despite its anodyne-sounding title, will have a profound effect on our politics.

Section 30 relates to Scotland but could affect everyone in the UK. It focuses on the rules of the game for Scotland’s referendum on independence. Today the House of Commons will give a different parliament powers over the UK government regarding the 2014 vote. And because the SNP controls the Scottish parliament in a way that Cameron could only dream of in Westminster, we are transferring the powers to a political party as much as a parliament.

So what’s it all about? In short, Section 30 gives the Scottish parliament powers over how much can be spent by both sides, who gets to vote, what the question is and much more.  This is part of the compromise agreed by the government – the Scottish government accepted the vote would take place by the end of 2014 and there would be a single question in return for which the Section 30 order was granted.

This has come at a terrible time for the SNP. Labour’s new team north of the border and the Scottish public have pursued the Nats’ unanswered questions on an independent Scotland’s economy and role in the world and any other subject you care to mention. But the Nats also share the blame for their current predicament. Opposition to independence increased from 50% in January to 55% in June then 58% in the latest poll. At the moment, the nearer we get to the vote the further away the SNP look like winning it.


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Alex Salmond wants to disenfranchise millions of Britons. Don’t let him.

04/01/2013, 11:56:58 AM

by Ian Stewart

Forgive me, this is all going to get a bit Simon Heffer, but in a good way, I promise.

Sometimes it seems that the political class is intent upon the out-and-out destruction of Great Britain. Witness the lack of support for our national broadcaster, even before the Saville scandal, and its supreme lack of care at the ruthless gutting of the welfare state, let alone the NHS sell off. If you value your eardrums, never get me started on education either…

Yes, the political class – a thing that back in the fifties and sixties most of us would have thought near to death – has, by the grace of Margaret and Tony, been placed firmly back in control. I suppose that we should all be glad that we have no need to worry our little heads about the issues of the day, despite that pesky universal suffrage thingy. Let us all sit back and let assorted witless media-types, lawyers, bankers, tame academics, the odd ex-oil company exec and career politicians lull us all to sleep.

Large sections of this privileged, educated elite show supreme indifference as to the fate of the United Kingdom, whether they wield power in London or Edinburgh.

Despite leading the Conservative and Unionist party, and despite presenting themselves as inheritors of Macmillans’ one nation mantle to get elected, Cameron, Osborne, Gove et al have no love for the union. Why should they, when Scotland rejects modern Toryism by such a large degree? Yet a common cynical cause has been made with the fat, failed economist in Hollyrood. An outside observer might possibly see that however unlikely it may have seemed given the SNPs anti-Tory stance at previous elections, for nationalists, they main enemy has been Labour all along.

It goes like this – Labour lost the Scottish parliament because we deserved to. For far too long we practiced the kind of machine politics that belong to Tammany Hall rather than a modern state. Hopefully we are learning the lessons and reconnecting. However the result of the stitch-ups, the graft and the internal censorship has been plain to see.

So Alex Salmond, never one to exhibit an ounce of shame, was given an open goal. Never mind that his policies on the economy were in tatters by 2009, never mind the backing of religious reactionaries, or his blatant courting of dear Rupert, he beat us fair and square.


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In Alex we trust

21/02/2012, 01:10:41 PM

by Tom Harris

When I launched LabourHame in June last year, I thought it would be fun to initiate a semi-regular column entitled “Questions To Which The Answer Is Er…'”

The point was simply to expose some of the more glaring inconsistencies in nationalists’ arguments and to poke a bit of fun at them in the process.

So, for example, we asked “Why are the SNP so reluctant to re-regulate the bus industry?” “Does the largest party in a hung parliament always have a right to form a government?” And  “Would the euro be good for Scotland?

Each of these questions is aimed at a particular Achilles heel in the nationalists’ armoury: their receipt of a million pounds from Stagecoach owner Sir Brian Souter; the SNP’s insistence that in 2007 Alex Salmond had the exclusive moral right to lead a government but in 2010 David Cameron didn’t; the party’s long-established (and continuing) support for ditching sterling in favour of the euro.

What was remarkable was the response from nationalist readers of, and contributors to, LabourHame. Was there even a hint of defensiveness or disagreement about their party’s inconsistencies, as there is in every other party? Not a bit of it.


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Tuesday NewsReview

31/05/2011, 04:44:42 AM

Brotherly love

David Miliband says the Tories and Lib Dems are more representative of the country than the Labour party led by his younger brother, Ed. In an extraordinary intervention, the former foreign secretary said the coalition party had more MPs who reflected Britain. Mr Miliband, who was elbowed out of the way for the top Labour job by ‘Red Ed’, also warned of the danger of the party ‘lapsing into long-term opposition’. Since being defeated in the leadership contest last year, David Miliband has made few public comments about Labour. But last night he said Labour should back David Cameron’s idea of a Big Society. Mr Miliband told the Hay  Festival: ‘If you look at the  Parliamentary Tory party and the Lib Dems, they have got some strengths over us. ‘They have got more doctors in Parliament than we have. ‘They have more military  officers. The Tories are trying to open up.’ Suggesting Labour should follow suit, he added: ‘We have to make sure we look like the  country we represent, not just our supporters.’ – Daily Mail

Mr Miliband’s remarks may be seen as a rebuke for his brother, Ed Miliband, who has described the Prime Minister’s call for a more responsible Britain as a “failure”. David Miliband also suggested that Conservatives and Lib Dem MPs are more representative of modern Britain than Labour members, and warned of the danger of the party “lapsing into long term opposition.” Since being defeated in a leadership contest last year, David Miliband has made few public comments about Labour under his brother. But speaking at the Hay-on-Wye festival, David Miliband appeared to raise questions about the direction and make-up of today’s Labour Party. The Prime Minister has called for a Big Society, which he says would see people taking more responsibility for their own public services and communities, and a stronger role for voluntary groups. Ed Miliband has sent mixed messages on the concept, endorsing some aspects of it but also saying earlier this year that it was simply a “cloak” for cuts in public services. – Daily Telegraph

Labour told you so

The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) cut its growth forecasts for this and next year on Monday, pointing to the impact of the government’s tough fiscal policy and high inflation on consumers’ ability to spend. The BCC reduced its forecast for gross domestic product (GDP) growth in 2011 to 1.3 percent from a previous prediction in March of 1.4 percent. It reduced its forecast for 2012 to 2.2 percent from 2.3 percent. That would argue for the Bank of England continuing to keep interest rates very low to support growth, but the BCC also raised its forecasts for inflation and said that would lead the Bank to raise rates for the first time in August. The business lobby said the government’s tough austerity measures to cut a record budget deficit, combined with higher than expected inflation, would squeeze disposable incomes, meaning economic recovery would be slow over the next 18-24 months. – Interactive Investor

A show of strength

First Minister Martin McGuinness and First Minister of Wales Carwyn Jones. Although no agenda has been released, it is expected the lower corporation tax proposed for Northern Ireland in Chancellor George Osborne’s Budget will be high on the agenda. Last week MPs on Westminster’s Northern Ireland Affairs Committee admitted other parts of the UK could be disadvantaged by the move. But they insisted the situation was unique because of the border with Ireland where the rate is less than half that in the UK. – Daily Herald

The meeting, to be held in Edinburgh at Mr Salmond’s official residence, is the first time the heads of devolved government of Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales have gathered since receiving renewed mandates following the recent elections. Mr Salmond will host the meeting with Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, and it will be attended by Northern Ireland’s First Minister Peter Robinson, Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness and First Minister of Wales Carwyn Jones. The three devolved governments will discuss their shared agenda. It is likely corporation tax will be discussed, with Mr Salmond currently pursuing the control of the levy as part of the Scotland Bill. A House of Commons report has already signalled support for the devolution of the tax in Northern Ireland. – Belfast Telegraph

Clegg’s constitutional dilemma

The scale of the fight facing Nick Clegg as he tries to reform the House of Lords has been made clear by a newspaper survey revealing an overwhelming majority of peers believe the change would be unconstitutional. The deputy prime minister published a plan last month to replace the Lords with a wholly – or 80% – elected chamber of about 300 peers. They would be elected by thirds every five years and serve single 15-year terms. Clegg, faced with hostility to the plan and bruised after the failure of the alternative vote referendum campaign, is attempting a more sensitive approach this time, bringing in a package of measures that would appeal to ordinarily sceptical MPs and peers. Because of the intrinsic unpalatability of the proposals, it had been suggested that the government use the Parliament Act to force its will on the upper house should it transpire that peers do not back the change. While all three main parties committed to the policy in their manifestos, there are large pockets of sceptics beneath the surface. – the Guardian

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Friday News Review

06/05/2011, 05:40:58 AM

The start of a long road back

Labour took control of Sheffield early this morning, gaining nine seats from the Lib Dems on leader Nick Clegg’s home turf. In a further blow for the party, Carl Minns leader of Hull council, lost his seat to Labour. The result capped a disastrous night for the Lib Dems. The party was also predicting it “could lose everything” in Liverpool, which has traditionally been a stronghold. In Hull, the party lost ten seats to Labour, with former council leader Mr Minns among the casualties. Labour now has a clear majority in the city. Sheffield, where Mr Clegg has his parliamentary seat, had been governed by the Lib Dems without an absolute majority. The party’s former council leader Paul Scriven insisted that the results were merely a “short-term setback” for the party, and said it should not change direction in response to its drubbing in the polls. Mr Scriven said Lib Dems had to “keep our nerve, keep our backbone and keep bringing fairness to Government and sort out this financial mess”. He told the BBC: “We are in this for the long term, because if not we let the country down.” As the counts were declared in Sheffield, former Labour minister David Blunkett said Cleggmania had become “Clegg pneumonia.” – Yorkshire Post

Liberal Democrat group leader Carl Minns faces being unemployed this morning, having paid the price for cuts which left hundreds of council workers out of a job. In a press conference, Mr Minns admitted his Liberal Democrat party was facing defeat in Hull and losing control of the council. He also conceded that he was facing losing his own seat in Kings Park although the result has yet to be confirmed. He said: “It is clear that the Liberal Democrats are not going to have a good night tonight.” – Hull Daily Mail

Gray has got to go… will go…

SNP leader Alex Salmond promised a referendum on Scottish independence as early results indicated an historic night for his party. Huge inroads have been made into Labour’s central belt strongholds, with John Mason taking the Glasgow Shettleston constituency, James Dornan taking the Cathcart seat and Sandra White winning in Glasgow Kelvin. There were also SNP gains in Strathkelvin and Bearsden, Hamilton, Larkhall & Stonehouse, East Kilbride and Clydesdale. The SNP also snatched Edinburgh Pentlands from the Conservatives – with former Scottish Tory leader David McLetchie losing his seat – and Edinburgh Southern from the Lib Dems. Meanwhile, Labour leader Iain Gray managed to hold his East Lothian seat – but by just 151 votes. He said that the collapse of the Liberal Democrats, who have already lost deposits, may have benefited the SNP. The final winners and losers are not expected to be confirmed until later in the afternoon. Voters are electing 129 MSPs, 73 for constituencies and a further 56 on regional lists. – STV

Alex Salmond was last night on course for a second term as First Minister as voters across Scotland turned away in large numbers from Labour and the Liberal Democrats.  Former Labour minister Andy Kerr became the first major scalp of the Holyrood election, losing to the SNP’s Linda Fabiani in the East Kilbride constituency. Mr Kerr, who was Labour’s finance spokesman in the last. Elsewhere, there were widespread signs of a collapse in the Lib Dem vote, with Tavish Scott’s party losing their deposit in the first seat of the night to be declared in Rutherglen, where the SNP vote surged by 16 per cent. The broad picture looks set to deliver an SNP victory and a return to Bute House for Alex Salmond with an increased mandate. If his re-election is confirmed today, Mr Salmond is expected to press ahead with his preferred plan to run a second SNP minority government for the next five years. Early indications last night suggested clearly that he will be in a far stronger position than over the past four years, when he held a one-seat majority over Labour. Labour sources were last night indicating they expected the SNP to beat them in several previously secure seats, and that their rivals could have a double-digit lead in seats by the time all the results came in. The last opinion poll of the campaign, published last night, suggested the SNP had double the support of Labour, and was in sight of a majority on its own.  – the Scotsman

Encouraging signs in Wales

Labour fears it may “fall short” of gaining an overall majority in the Assembly elections. The party has led the opinion polls since The Senedd went into recess last month – and was recently tipped to go into government alone following yesterday’s vote. Party sources say they expect some gains and an improvement on the 26 seats it held in the last assembly – but Labour insiders admit they may not be able to surpass the “magic figure” of 31 needed to claim an overall majority. First Minister Carwyn Jones, who attended the count in Bridgend, has downplayed those suggestions – saying the result is still too early to call. – Western Mail

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Monday News Review

02/05/2011, 06:44:20 AM

The world’s most wanted man is dead

Osama bin Laden, the criminal mastermind behind al-Qaida and the world’s most sought-after terrorist since the attacks of 11 September 2001, has been killed by a US operation, President Barack Obama has announced. In an address to the nation, President Obama said Bin Laden was killed in a “targeted operation” in Abbottabad, a highland town north of Islamabad, last night. The operation started with an intelligence lead last August, and culminated in an operation involving a “small team of Americans”. “After a firefight they killed bin Laden.” None of the Americans were killed. Pakistani cooperation “helped to lead us to him” he said. Osama’s body is in possession of the US, according to the first leaks of reporting from the US television networks. As the news spread, crowds gathered outside the gates of the White House in Washington DC, singing the national anthem and cheering. President Obama made the highly unusual Sunday night live statement to announce the news, around 11.30pm eastern time. – the Guardian

Barack Obama:

Today, at my direction, the United States carried out that operation… they killed Osama Bin Laden and took custody of his body. The death of Bin Laden marks the most significant achievement to date against Al Qaeda. We must also reaffirm that United states is not and will never be at war against Islam. Bin Laden was not a Muslim leader, in fact, he slaughtered many Muslims.

George W. Bush:

This momentous achievement marks a victory for America, for people who seek peace around the world, and for all those who lost loved ones on September 11, 2001. The fight against terror goes on, but tonight America has sent an unmistakable message: No matter how long it takes, justice will be done. – Al Jazeera

Speaking from the White House, President Obama said he authorised the operation. The body of the Al Qaida leader was now in US custody, he said. Prime Minister David Cameron welcomed the development in a statement issued by 10 Downing Street. “The news that Osama Bin Laden is dead will bring great relief to people across the world. Osama Bin Laden was responsible for the worst terrorist atrocities the world has seen – for 9/11 and for so many attacks, which have cost thousands of lives, many of them British. It is a great success that he has been found and will no longer be able to pursue his campaign of global terror. This is a time to remember all those murdered by Osama bin Laden, and all those who lost loved ones. It is also a time too to thank all those who work round the clock to keep us safe from terrorism. Their work will continue. I congratulate President Obama and those responsible for carrying out this operation.” – Daily Express

Scottish leaders in debate clash

The SNP’s Alex Salmond, Labour’s Iain Gray, Annabel Goldie of the Tories and Lib Dem Tavish Scott clashed just days before the 5 May Holyrood election. The BBC Scotland debate came on the day economists warned there could be thousands of job losses ahead. Each leader also spoke about a possible referendum on independence. The debate, at Perth Concert Hall, also saw the foursome square up on issues including the cost of university education, sectarianism and green energy. The programme came on the day of a report by the Centre for Public Policy for Regions (CPPR), attached to Glasgow University, which claimed planned 2%-a-year savings put forward in the SNP and Labour manifestos were likely to produce job cuts of 7%. – BBC News

Cameron’s spin doctor in hot water over AV battle

David Cameron’s spin doctor has risked tearing the coalition apart by blundering into the war over voting reform. Craig Oliver flouted a pact under which Government advisers promised not to get involved in the fierce mud-slinging between the Tories and Nick Clegg’s Lib Dems over the alternative vote referendum. He tried to use his influence as a former BBC editor when he called the corporation to moan about its reporting of the issue, insiders there have revealed. Mr Oliver, Downing Street’s director of communications, may have also broken strict rules on what politically-appointed special advisers can do, it emerged. They are only supposed to work on Government policy – which does not include the AV referendum because the coalition is divided. One senior Lib Dem source said yesterday it sounded like “a clear breach of the rules”. – Daily Mirror

Lansley is not listening

Health Secretary ­Andrew Lansley has just one ­practising nurse on the 50-strong “listening panel” set up to save his ­controversial reforms. And all five GPs serving on the panel – ­including Professor Steve Field, former President of the Royal College of GPs – are already supporters of Mr Lansley’s plan. The embattled Health Secretary set up his ­Futures Forum after nurses’ leaders gave him a ­humiliating no-confidence vote at their ­conference last month. But now Mr Lansley is facing angry criticism that he has shunned the views of ­frontline NHS workers by packing the forum with “yes men and ­women”. Mr Lansley and the PM David ­Cameron created the panel – largely made up of health service bureaucrats – after the public outcry over plans to give GPs more control of the budget of the NHS and open it up to more private firms. Dr John Lister, of pressure group Health Emergency, said: “This is all a stunt to convince the public that Lansley is listening.” – Daily Mail

Clegg admits to liking the trappings of power

Nick Clegg confessed that he has ‘grown to like’ his £15 million grace and favour residence, describing it as a ‘haven of freedom’. For decades, Chevening has been the official and exclusive country retreat of the Foreign Secretary. But William Hague had to agree to share the Kent mansion with the Deputy Prime Minister and his family when the Coalition was formed. Mr Clegg, who has three sons aged nine, six and two, said: ‘I’ve grown to like it. I was a little bit embarrassed by it when we first went down there. But from my purely selfish point of view, being able to walk through the woods and fields without having a protection team at my shoulder, and being able to let the kids run around totally unrestricted, that is absolutely lovely. It’s a sort of haven of freedom.’ Mr Clegg admitted he sneaks into the grounds to enjoy an occasional cigarette ‘out of sight, when the children are asleep’. – Daily Mail

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Alex Salmond’s cosy relationship with Rupert Murdoch and the Tories

14/04/2011, 03:42:43 PM

At the 1992 election, Scotland was one place where the Tory-loving Sun didn’t publish its “If Kinnock wins today will the last person to leave Britain…” front page.

The paper’s infamous attack on Labour would have been wasted on Scottish voters. Instead, Rupert Murdoch’s favourite tabloid switched support from the increasingly toxic Tories to the SNP. The objective, though, was still the same – to stop a Labour government at Westminster.

Fast forward nearly two decades, and we see that history may be repeating itself. The Daily Record political editor, Magnus Gardham, reveals in his blog that News International is hosting a “business breakfast” with first minister, Alex Salmond. It’s an offer that certainly isn’t open to other party leaders during the campaign.

In recent weeks, Murdoch’s Sun has splashed on celebrity endorsers for the SNP and attacked Labour at every opportunity. So it’s odds-on they’ll support the SNP – or at the very least Salmond – by polling day.

Magnus also highlights how this SNP Scottish government has not challenged the Tory-led coalition with the same vigour as they did the previous Labour UK government.

For example, there was no fight-back from Salmond over a recent clampdown on finances by Danny Alexander. According to Magnus, the treasury bean-counter informed SNP finance secretary, John Swinney, that the Scottish government could no longer hold on to unspent cash at the end of the financial year.

Magnus notes that “in days gone by, Salmond would have trampled folk underfoot in his haste to reach the Holyrood chamber for an angry emergency statement”. But not under a Tory government, it seems.

Obviously, there are huge questions about how our print media does actually influence voters these days. As Alastair Campbell reminds us in his blog, the Tories ended up with just one seat north of the border at last year’s general election, despite the Sun supporting them devotedly in Scotland.

The real problem for both the Sun and the SNP is one of credibility. The gymnastics performed by the Sun are of Olympic proportions. Only four year ago, the paper ran an election day splash with the headline “Vote SNP today and you put Scotland’s head in the noose”.

This time round, the Nationalists could find the Sun’s support extremely counterproductive, given that the paper is also supporting the Tories in its other UK editions.

The Scots are too canny to be taken in and will see through Murdoch’s motives. Endorsement from News International for Alex Salmond, the SNP or for both isn’t about what’s best for Scotland. It’s all to do with what’s best for the Tories at Westminster. And the last thing David Cameron wants is Labour first minister in Holyrood fighting for the things that really matter.

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