Saturday, June 09, 2007

Flat Spin?

The argument over the 'Libyan prisoner deal' is a storm in a teacup and Alex Salmond has done a brilliant job in using it to stoke up the argument with Westminster. This will be the pattern from here on in. There seems little doubt that the whole thing has been blown out of all proportion. It's clear that nothing would be done about the possibility of releasing Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al-Megrahi without the consent of the Scottish parliament. Salmond has been accused by the Scotsman this morning of being the Sultan of Spin (a play on Frank Sinatra's old epithet the Sultan of Swoon) and given the evidence of how he presented the situation to Holyrood it appears to be the case.

The row with Kirsty Wark over her handling of the interview with him is another matter. Having watched it this morning on Youtube there really is nothing in it. Ms. Wark was no more combative than is usual for a Newsnight presenter. However, given her 'form' as a Labour Luvvie and friend of the Joker then perhaps its not surprising that the SNP complainants have been out in force. The BBC's apology is not over her overall line of questioning but in how the interview ended and they said that it was a time pressure thing brought on by the show's producer. The BBC has said "As the programme producer tried to wind up the interview because of time pressure we cut off Mr Salmond in a way that came across as rude and dismissive. We have apologised to Mr Salmond for that." This is different from the Scotsman's headline, which says. 'BBC says sorry to First Minister for 'rude and dismissive' interview'. Subtle but different.

My contention remains that Alex Salmond and the SNP will continue to pick every fight they can with Westminster to try and show how Scotland is being 'done down'. However, we will not have an absentee demob happy PM for much longer and politicians from other parties will get more wary of his tactics as time goes along. Everyone credits Salmond with being a shrewd politician and he's showing it, but the balance will likely shift in the next six months as Labour in London will be watching their backs under GB; who after all has a bigger vested interest than most to see off the SNP.

1 comment:

apprentice said...

I think it will depend how GB plays it - at present he's more concerned about appearing to be a Great Brit.

In the longer term there are lots of issues to impact on his seat in Fife, Trident, Iraq, the West lothian question, and new nuclear power stations.

Scottish Labour have only themselves to blame, if they had tried to be a little more distinctive from London they might havve fared better in the election.

I'm not sure of the SNP, eg there's hardly seems any point in dualling the A9 when the Forth Road Bridge is in such poor shape.