Message to Alex Salmond: BOHICA

First Minister’s Questions on 17 December included an approach from Scottish Labour leader, Iain Gray about how much Education Minister, Mike Russell knew about his former constituency office manager’s double-life as a guttersnipe-blogger.

Perhaps unaccustomed to not being able to lead a jeering pack against his political opponents on the floor of Scottish Parliament, Salmond chastised Gray for not raising questions about anything else issues such as UN climate change talks in Copenhagen or the collapse of Scottish airline Flyglobespan.

The reasons are simple. The Scottish Executive does not have UN status, despite Salmond’s begging letters in 2007, or a Foreign Office which would arguably have given it an interest in the summit; as Salmond found out when shuffled into a side-room after expending air-miles and carbon stains to arrive unannounced.

Although domestic Scottish interests have definitely been affected by Flyglobespan going into administration, this had been confirmed only the previous day. It would have been rash for an elected politician to make any sweeping statements about the issue, and a waste of valuble FMQ time to direct a statement potentially as simple as calling for an inquiry (which, with a suitable consideration period, has now been made).

The primary duty of MPs and MSPs should not be acting as glorified Citizens’ Advice Bureau volunteers or sparing other politicians from embarassment, but of holding their respective Executives to account.


2 Responses to “Message to Alex Salmond: BOHICA”

  1. subrosa Says:

    John Swinney acted immediately upon the fall of the airline. Was that wrong? I understand he wanted to know the ins and outs. Was that wrong?

    As it happens he was able to tell us the fault wasn’t with the airline but with an unscrupulous contractor.

    He then initiated an inquiry which you approve. I’m not quite sure what the point is here.

  2. efrafandays Says:

    I thought you’d departed this blogging coil!

    Yes, Swinney has acted promptly, and I commend him regardless of its being his brief. There looks as if there’s much to uncover with this sorry tale.

    What could Gray have asked, apart from “is an inquiry being initiated?”, and what could the reply have been other than “yes”?

    My point was that Salmond was using it as a foil to deflect attention from the Russell/MacLachlan affair which is no less worthy of discussion ‘cos of a separate event.

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