Saturday, March 14, 2009

Who's the novice?

Former Liberal Democrat leader Sir Menzies Campbell yesterday lambasted Alex Salmond for daring to meet Hillary Clinton (a meeting to which Ms Clinton must presumably have consented as well?), on the grounds that "this is no time for a novice" in international affairs. I can't really better the instant retort from the SNP that Sir Menzies was showing himself up as a "pompous ass" but two fairly obvious observations do occur to me. Firstly, whether or not this is any time for a novice, it's certainly no time for any self-respecting opposition politician to be proudly quoting, of all people, Gordon Brown! No surprise, of course, given the unmistakable way that he allowed his friendship with Brown to shape his decision-making during his spell as leader (not least at the time of the 2007 Holyrood election).

Second observation - although a few years older, Sir Menzies has in fact been a parliamentarian for exactly the same length of time as Alex Salmond. They were both first elected to Westminster in June 1987. Salmond has now been a government minister (holding a position that is at least the equivalent of cabinet rank in the UK government) for very nearly a full two years. Sir Menzies' ministerial experience consists of...well, quite. So on what grounds does he feel so secure in dismissing Salmond as the 'novice'? Does he deem his own participation in the Commonwealth Games as some kind of "international experience"?


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  2. Should have read - Good post. An ass indeed.

  3. I think old ming has finally lost it.

    What has also become apparent is that it is Ming who controls the Tavish puppet and the Nichol Stephen mannequin before him..

    Ming was at the centre of the Liberals policy of not entertaining a coalition (formal or informal) with the SNP and has also been at the centre of the 'no referendum' calls which I suspect are about to severly challenged in their conference.

    His 'unionist' views have superseded the parties 'federalist' instinct.

  4. A good post comparing Ming's and Alex's experience in Government.

    You could also add that it is also 1-0 to Alex in leading his party to an electoral victory. Ming got ditched before he got a chance to fail at that.

    Funny isn't it, the only way that the Lib-Dems will ever get their dream of a Federal UK is by piggy-backing on the constitutioal changes built on a fear of the SNP but they hate the SNP as good Unionists.

    They've always been a happy Alice to the Conservatives' and Labour's Tweedledum and Tweedledee in the looking glass world of Scottish Unionist politics and they do not like anyone who proposes to close the book and leave.