An opportunity missed…

So Cameron has appointed his only Scottish MP as Secretary of State for Scotland and Labour have followed suit with their only Scottish MP as his shadow.

Personally, if I were Cameron and I was serious about uniting a divided UK I would have offered the job to Alex Salmond. This would have been a win-win situation. If Salmond accepted the post, he’d be part of cabinet and had the big voice in Scottish affairs that Nicola Sturgeon claims to want. Cameron would be seen as statesmanlike and inclusive, recognising the SNP landslide and the will of the Scottish people.

On the other hand refusing the post would have handed a huge piece of political capital to Cameron. “Well, I made the big offer and they SNP turned it down. Aren’t I bighearted and serious? They’re just churlish and anti-English.”

Salmond, of course, pre-empted any offer by calling for the Scottish Office to be abolished. A spokeswoman for the Scottish Conservatives responded angrily to Mr Salmond’s demands, saying :

“We, unlike Alex Salmond, want to form a constructive and respectful relationship between the Scottish Government and Westminster. It’s unfortunate that Alex Salmond has struck this tone, so early on into building that relationship.”

Quite so. Game on – and 15 love to Cameron.

It’s not a great start, is it?


6 responses to “An opportunity missed…

  1. “It's not a great start, is it?”

    Oh, but I think it is! To put it bluntly – “Fuck 'em!”. After all, the results indicate that whilst 50% of Scots voted SNP, the other 50% did not.

    It wouldn't make sense to appoint someone as Minister for Scotland whose avowed intent is independence in a cabinet committed to maintaining the union, would it? Not only that but they would be present when other issues were being discussed that might have wider implications for the union.

    Anyway, like it or not, the Conservatives got their overall majority – some argue it was because English voters did not want to be dictated to by the SNP – and David Cameron is perfectly entitled to appoint who he wants into his cabinet. David Mundell was democratically elected by the people of Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale, so I can't really see any objection to his appointment.

    I suspect Dave has had a belly full of having “outsiders” in the cabinet for the last five years.

  2. “Keep your friends close and your enemies closer still”

  3. So all of a sudden percentages are important? The Tories managed 37%, of all the UK, yet that is somehow better than 51% of Scotland to English eyes?

  4. Yes.they are, and it's neither better or worse, it's just the way it is. The following shows the breakdown as a percentage of the UK total;

    Conservative 36.9
    Labour 30.5
    UKIP 12.6
    LibDem 7.8
    SNP 4.7
    Green 3.8

    All I was pointing out was that just because the SNP got 50% of the vote IN SCOTLAND that was no reason why David Cameron should invite Alex Salmond to be secretary of state for Scotland.

    Not forgetting that the result of the referendum on independance was YES 44.7, NO 55.3.

  5. Smoking Scot

    One thing troubles me. It troubles me deeply and profoundly so, if I may, I'd very much like to half it, even quarter it.

    Immediately following the vote on Independence they shouted rather loudly about “the 45%” and how their aspirations should be taken into account, yet when the boot went on the other foot, they shout just as loudly that they have “an overwhelming mandate from the people of Scotland”. Now I don't want to nit-pick, however it simply doesn't stack up.

    Yes they won the seats, that's beyond dispute – and I am very pleased that in so doing they got shot of an awful lot of entrenched dead wood. However it seems that 71% of eligible voters turned out on the day and a fraction over 50% voted for the SNP.

    The way I look at it, that pans out at about 35.7% of those eligible to vote. As one of the the 64.3% who did not vote for the SNP, I'd be well chuffed if they'd refrain from grand sweeping statements about “The People of Scotland”. It's assuming far too much.

    On the plus side, I was pleased to see UKIP managed to hike it's share of the vote from a derisory 17,223 (0.3%) they got in 2010, to 47,078 (2.3%) this year. This bodes well for the 2016 assembly elections, I say this because when the Scots are not out to bite the hand that feeds them, they're usually quite sensible. UKIP got about 10.4% of the vote at the EU elections, so it's perfectly feasible they can get a couple under the Regional/List system.

  6. The feeble fifty six are already floundering, and that is without even opening their mouths. Once they do, it will become apparent that a gaggle of Rab C Nesbit soundalikes will make little coherent sense anyway.