Doing it deliberately

June 20, 2008

Is George Foulkes trying to be Kelvin Mackenzie?

His latest attack on the SNP has backfired spectacularly straight back to the previous Labour and Liberal Democrat administration.

I previously suggested here that Kelvin Mackenzie’s ongoing diatribe against Scotland is such a votewinner for Scottish independence that he may be a fifth column nationalist.

I now suspect that Labour’s own Baron Foulkes of Cumnock may also be a fifth columinist.

What else could possibly explain his latest gaffe?

Fifth columnist in action

Lord Foulkes asked parliamentary questions to ‘expose’ the SNP Government’s waste and mismanagment. In the event he only exposed the last administration’s incompetence and huge expenses.

Among the details uncovered were:-

The SNP is spending around 40 % less than the previous Labour and Liberal Democrat on PR costs and communication officer costs. The famous Labour spin never comes cheap.

Advisors to Alex Salmond have claimed 1/6 of the expenses claimed by the former administration’s advisors.

The number of comparable ministerial car journeys has decreased by 500 by the new SNP government.

Three times as many people watch Alex Salmond’s online broadcasts compared to the previous First Minister, Jack McConnell.

His latest blunder was a free gift to the SNP. One of the youngest members of the parliament, Jamie Hepburn could not resist:”I would like to thank Lord George Foulkes for going to such lengths to expose the efficiency and effectiveness of the SNP Government in contrast to the waste and excess of the Labour and Lib Dem administration.

“His fishing attempts demonstrate that the SNP have delivered far more effective, efficient and leaner government than the previous Labour/LibDem Executive – which was clearly all expensive spin and no policy substance.

“The SNP government has done more in the last year than the Labour/LibDem coalition did in 8 years, which is one reason why we are at record levels in the opinion polls.”

Ah yes. The SNP Government. How does George think they are doing?

Rewind to the 25th February, on the BBC Scotland at Ten programme; George is discussing the months since Scotland elected the SNP Government and began to implement their policies:-

“The SNP are on a very dangerous tack. What they are doing is trying to build up a situation in Scotland where the services are manifestly better than south of the border in a number of areas.”

Interviewer Colin Mackay:”Is that a bad thing?”

Lord George Foulkes: “No, but they are doing it deliberately.”!!

Henry McLeish, the ex-Labour First Minister mentioned here, once responded to Lord Foulkes’ comments insinuating that the SNP were xenophobic, clearly worried about the Lord’s habit of self-destructing the Labour Party: “I think in Scotland at the present time there is no need for that type of vitriol for the SNP.”

“This is about Lord Foulkes and I think Lord Foulkes has to realise that every time he makes such comments he damages the Labour Party. He damages the prospect of winning more votes”.

Scottish Labour may wish that Lord Foulkes be quiet, for the sake of the party, worried about the SNP’s record opinion poll ratings.

Yet he continues to gaff, as thousands of once-Labour voters switch allegiance to the SNP.

There is only one reason.

He is doing it deliberately!

David Davis resignation

June 13, 2008

Its a win – win situation.

David Davis has made one of the shrewdest political gambles of his career.

In resigning from Parliament after such a contentious Labour win aided by the Democratic Unionist Party, and fighting as a candidate in the subsequent by-election, he now appears as a man of principle.

As Shadow Home Secretary you may have fought that he was in the right job to influence people’s minds on the 42 day detention, but although he may have won the moral argument in the Commons the vote still went against him.

Labour have been arguing that the public are behind them but as David Cameron said that doesn’t make it right.

Now standing on a civil liberties platform in the coming by-election he can give Labour a public vote that might just change the popular views in the UK, and destroy Labour’s public argument.

I fully expect David Davis to win his seat.

His closest rivals last time were the Liberal Democrats and as they support David Davis’ stance on civil liberties Nick Clegg has refused to put a candidate up against him.

Now it is up to Labour whether they will stand.

If they refuse, it will look as though they have been scared to test public opinion.

If they accept, odds are they will be humilated.

Its win – win for David Davis.

The public like politicans of principle. You may not always agree with them but at least they stand a corner and fight for their beliefs.

That’s why people like Tony Benn are so respected. His socialist views may be a thing of the past for New Labour but his views give us a true distance of how far this New Labour Government has travelled to the right.

You could argue that democracy needs this shading to work well.

The talk is that Labour won’t stand in the by-election and try to marginalise David Davis.

If that is the case then Kelvin Mackenzie, former editor of The Sun, has said that he will probably run, backed by Rupert Murdoch’s money and press.

Now a News International campaign against David Davis will certainly make the by-election more interesting.

I suspect though that Davis will still win against Mackenzie. It would take some sleaze or corruption angle by News International to make it a close race. Something which they will no doubt be looking into just now.

Much as I’d love Kelvin Mackenzie to win the seat and become an MP – everytime he speaks his anti-Scottish diatribe, the nationalist vote in Scotland soars. He’s a one-man Recruiting Sergeant for the SNP, SSP and Greens. In a political war he could be even described as a fifth-columist for Scottish independence! – the vote has got to go with Davis.

We have too few principled politicans in Westminster to afford to lose him.

Speaking of lack of principles let us turn to the Labour Party. They have bullied, dealt and perhaps bribed their way to win this vote.

There was media talk today of Gordon Brown offering would-be rebels: ‘What do you want in your constituency?’ and offering Labour MPs sitting on marginals safer seats come election time. One radio report said one Labour MP was offered the Governorship of Bermuda! Even bribes were suggested!

But it is the deal offered to the DUP that is the most interesting. The SNP will be watching with interest to see if Northern Ireland accrues any benefit from this deal, as this negates the Government policy of acting in the interests of the UK over a devolved administration. Labour couldn’t use that argument to argue against a Scottish oil fund for instance.

The Lord Advocate of Scotland, Elish Angelini, has said that she sees no circumstances where this law to come into effect in Scotland. The previous Lord Advocate, Colin Boyd, a Labour Peer no less, has agreed with her.

Given that any such extension to 42 days detention without charge in Scotland would need to be granted by the Lord Advocate then it can be seen that the law will be operationally defunct here in Scotland in any case.

If it comes into statute at all. There is enough opposition in the Lords to suggest that this bill will never make it to law. It will also be challenged on Human Rights laws if need be.

Which makes Gordon Brown’s posturing on this all the more remarkable.

He seems to have lost his leadership of the party somewhere over the Bermuda Triangle.

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